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Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

Posted in News Roundup at 11:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

    • Puppet Rolls Out New Docker Image Builds

      Folks who are focused on container technology and virtual machines as they are implemented today might want to give a hat tip to some of the early technologies and platforms that arrived in the same arena. Among those, Puppet, which was built on the legacy of the venerable Cfengine system, was an early platform that helped automate lots of virtual machine implementations. We covered it in depth all the way back in 2008.

      Earlier this year, Puppet Labs rebranded as simply Puppet, and also named its first president and COO, Sanjay Mirchandani, who came to the company from VMware, where he was a senior vice-president. Now, at PuppetConf, the company has announced the availability of Puppet Docker Image Build, which “automates the container build process to help organizations as they define, build and deploy containers into production environments.” This new set of capabilities adds to existing Puppet functionality for installing and managing container infrastructure, including Docker, Kubernetes and Mesos, among others.

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel Has Been Working On MIPI SoundWire Support For Linux

      An Intel developer has published testing patches for providing a SoundWire bus driver within the Linux kernel, which implements the MIPI SoundWire 1.1 specification.

      For those unfamiliar with SoundWire as was I when coming across these patches, “The SoundWire protocol is a robust, scalable, low complexity, low power, low latency, two-pin (clock and data) multi-drop bus that allows for the transfer of multiple audio streams and embedded control/commands. SoundWire provides synchronization capabilities and supports both PCM and PDM, multichannel data, isochronous and asynchronous modes. SoundWire does borrow a number of concepts from existing interfaces such as HDAudio, AC97, SLIMbus, which already provide control/audio on the same wires, or legacy interfaces such as I2C/I2S, TDM, PDM.”

    • Linux Perf Gets New “C2C” Tool For False Sharing Detection

      The perf code for Linux 4.10 is set to receive a new “c2c” tool.

      The C2C tool within the perf subsystem is aimed to track down cacheline contention and has already been used by developers in tracking down false sharing of large applications, readers/writes to cachelines, and related information to assist NUMA shared-memory applications.

    • OpenTracing: Turning the Lights On for Microservices

      Those building microservices at scale understand the role and importance of distributed tracing: after all, it’s the most direct way to understand how and why complex systems misbehave. When we deployed Dapper at Google in 2005, it was like someone finally turned the lights on: everything from ordinary programming errors to broken caches to bad network hardware to unknown dependencies came into plain view.

    • Linux Foundation Spurs JavaScript Development
    • Graphics Stack

      • Radeon vs. Nouveau Open-Source Drivers On Mesa Git + Linux 4.9

        For your viewing pleasure this Friday are some open-source AMD vs. NVIDIA numbers when using the latest open-source code on each side. Linux 4.9-rc1 was used while Ubuntu 16.10 paired with the Padoka PPA led to Mesa Git as of earlier this week plus LLVM 4.0 SVN. As covered recently, there are no Nouveau driver changes for Linux 4.9 while we had hoped the boost patches would land. Thus the re-clocking is still quite poor for this open-source NVIDIA driver stack. For the Nouveau tests I manually re-clocked each graphics card to the highest performance state (0f) after first re-clocking the cards to the 0a performance state for helping some of the GPUs that otherwise fail with memory re-clocking at 0f, as Nouveau developers have expressed this is the preferred approach for testing.

      • NVIDIA 375.10 Linux Driver Released, Supports GTX 1050 Series
      • Nvidia 375.10 Beta Linux Graphics Driver Released with GeForce GTX 1050 Support

        On October 20, 2016, Nvidia published a new Beta graphics driver for the Linux platform, adding support for some new GPUs the company launched recently, as well as various improvements and bug fixes.

        The Nvidia 375.10 Beta is now available for early adopters, but we don’t recommend installing it just yet if you’re looking for a stable and reliable gaming experience, adding support for Nvidia’s recently announced Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 and GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics cards, as well as Nvidia Quadro P6000 and Nvidia Quadro P5000 GPUs.

        Another interesting change implemented in the new Beta video driver, which should hit the stable channels next month, is the addition of two new X11 configuration options, namely ForceCompositionPipeline and ForceFullCompositionPipeline, overriding the MetaMode tokens with the same names.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Open-Source Budgie Desktop Sees New Release

        The pet parakeet of the Linux world, Budgie has a new release available for download. in this post we lookout what’s new and tell you how you can get it.

      • Solus Linux Making Performance Gains With Its BLAS Configuration

        Those making use of the promising Solus Linux distribution will soon find their BLAS-based workloads are faster.

        Solus developer Peter O’Connor tweeted this week that he’s found some issues with the BLAS linking on the distribution and he’s made fixes for Solus. He also mentioned that he uncovered these BLAS issues by using our Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

      • SalentOS “Luppìu” 1.0 released!

        With great pleasure the team announces the release of SalentOS “Luppìu” 1.0.

      • Slackel “Live kde” 4.14.21

        This release is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, while the 64-bit iso supports booting on UEFI systems.
        The 64-bit iso images support booting on UEFI systems.
        The 32-bit iso images support both i686 PAE SMP and i486, non-PAE capable systems.
        Iso images are isohybrid.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the Week 2016/42

        This was week 42 – The openSUSE LEAP week of the Year. It can’t be a co-incidence that the Release Candidate 1 was announced in Week 42, on the 2nd day (42.2 – European counting, we start our week on Monday, not on Sunday).

        But also in Tumbleweed things are not standing still: of course many of the things are well in line with what Leap received (like for example Plasma updates), but Tumbleweed rolls at a different pace ahead of the game.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu MATE, Not Just a Whim

              I’ve stated for years how much I dislike Ubuntu’s Unity interface. Yes, it’s become more polished through the years, but it’s just not an interface that thinks the same way I do. That’s likely because I’m old and inflexible, but nevertheless, I’ve done everything I could to avoid using Unity, which usually means switching to Xubuntu. I actually really like Xubuntu, and the Xfce interface is close enough to the GNOME 2 look, that I hardly miss the way my laptop used to look before Unity.

              I wasn’t alone in my disdain for Ubuntu’s flagship desktop manager switch, and many folks either switched to Xubuntu or moved to another Debian/Ubuntu-based distro like Linux Mint. The MATE desktop started as a hack, in fact, because GNOME 3 and Unity were such drastic changes. I never really got into MATE, however, because I thought it was going to be nothing more than a hack and eventually would be unusable due to old GNOME 2 libraries phasing out and so forth.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Renesas spins 3rd Gen automotive starter kits, adds new M3 SoC

      Renesas has launched two Linux-ready R-Car starter kits optimized for AGL and GENIVI: an R-Car H3 based “Premier” and a “Pro” with a lower-end M3 SoC.

      Later this month, Renesas will begin selling two third-generation starter kits for its 64-bit ARM-based R-Car automotive SoCs. The kits are designed for ADAS, infotainment, reconfigurable digital clusters, and integrated digital cockpits.

      The two kits are optimized for open source Linux standards like Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) and GENIVI, but they also support QNX. Earlier R-Car automotive starter kits include last year’s R-Car H2 ADAS Starter Kit, based on its earlier H2 automotive SoC.

    • Yocto driven camera design taps octa-core Snapdragon

      Qualcomm and Thundercomm unveiled a Linux-supported, 4K camera reference design with an octa-core Snapdragon 625 and video analytics software.

      Qualcomm and hardware partner Thundercomm Technology announced an IP Connected Camera reference design called the Snapdragon 625 IP Camera built around its 14nm-fabricated, octa-core Cortex-A53 Snapdragon 625 system-on-chip. This is Qualcomm’s first Connected Camera design to support Linux instead of Android.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Open Source Way

    “Open source”, in the world of IT, is program code that is meant for collaboration and open contribution. Intended to be modified and shared, because by design and spirit, it is meant for the public at large.

    It’s been said that “”open source” intimates a broader set of values—what we call “the open source way.” Open source projects, products, or initiatives embrace and celebrate principles of open exchange, collaborative participation, rapid prototyping, transparency, meritocracy, and community-oriented development.” So it is a natural conclusion that in this age of open and transparent government, that the government IT manager or technician would be one of the first to want to embrace this new role of collaborative team member within a larger community.

  • Another rift in the open source BPM market: @FlowableBPM forks from @Alfresco Activiti

    In early 2013, Camunda – at the time, a value-added Activiti consulting partner as well as a significant contributor to the open source project – created a fork from Activiti to form what is now the Camunda open source BPM platform as well as their commercial version based on the open source core.

  • Pydio, an Open Source File Sharing and Sync Solution, Out in New Version

    If you’ve followed us here at OStatic, you’ve probably seen our coverage of open source file sharing, cloud and synchronization tools. For example, we’ve covered ownCloud and Nextcloud extensively.

    Not so many people know about Pydio, though, which is out in a new version Pydio7. It’s an open source file sharing & sync solution that now has a host of new features and performance upgrades. It’s worth downloading and trying.

    Through a new partnership with Collabora Productivity (the LibreOffice Cloud provider), Pydio7 now combines file sharing, document editing and online collaboration. Users can now not only access documents online, but also co-author new content and work collaboratively.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Open-Source Innovations Driving Demand for Hadoop

      AtScale, provider of BI (Business Intelligence) on Hadoop, has released its study titled “The Business Intelligence Benchmark for SQL-on-Hadoop engines,” which is a performance test of BI workloads on Hadoop. The report also studies the strengths and weaknesses of Hive, Presto, Impala and Spark SQL, which are the most popular analytical engines for Hadoop.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • Lumina Desktop 1.1 Released

      The BSD-focused, Qt-powered Lumina Desktop Environment is out with its version 1.1 update.

      The developers behind the Lumina Desktop Environment consider it a “significant update” with both new and reworked utilities, infrastructure improvements, and other enhancements.

      Lumina 1.1 adds a pure Qt5 calculator, text editor improvements, the file manager has been completely overhauled, system application list management is much improved, and there is a range of other improvements.

  • Public Services/Government

    • EU-Fossa project submits results of code audits

      The European Commission’s ‘EU Free and Open Source Software Auditing’ project (EU-Fossa) has sent its code review results to the developers of Apache HTTP server target and KeePass. The audit results are not yet made public, however, no critical vulnerabilities were found.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • New SafariSeat wheelchairs made from bicycle parts help East Africans roam rough terrain
      • SafariSeat, an Open Source Wheelchair for Rural Offroading

        If you’re disabled in a poorly developed part of the world, even a great modern wheelchair may be next to useless. What’s needed is a more off-road design that’s made to be easy to manufacture and repair than something built for a city with sidewalks.

        SafariSeat is a newly designed open-source wheelchair that hopes to make a big impact for disabled people the world over. It uses push bars for power and has large front wheels and small rear ones to easily roll over large objects.

        In a novel move, the designers included a moving seat that shifts bit every time you push the bars to help prevent pressure sores on the butt.

      • Five 3D printing projects for Halloween

        With Halloween fast approaching I figured it was time to add some 3D printed decorations to the office. Below are some of my pictures for fun Halloween-themed prints. I tried to pick some models that demonstrate varied printing techniques.


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • OOPS! Sometimes Even Linus Gets It Wrong!
    • Free tool protects PCs from master boot record attacks [Ed: UEFI has repeatedly been found to be both a detriment to security and enabler of Microsoft lock-in]

      Cisco’s Talos team has developed an open-source tool that can protect the master boot record of Windows computers from modification by ransomware and other malicious attacks.

      The tool, called MBRFilter, functions as a signed system driver and puts the disk’s sector 0 into a read-only state. It is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows versions and its source code has been published on GitHub.

      The master boot record (MBR) consists of executable code that’s stored in the first sector (sector 0) of a hard disk drive and launches the operating system’s boot loader. The MBR also contains information about the disk’s partitions and their file systems.

      Since the MBR code is executed before the OS itself, it can be abused by malware programs to increase their persistence and gain a head start before antivirus programs. Malware programs that infect the MBR to hide from antivirus programs have historically been known as bootkits — boot-level rootkits.

      Microsoft attempted to solve the bootkit problem by implementing cryptographic verification of the bootloader in Windows 8 and later. This feature is known as Secure Boot and is based on the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) — the modern BIOS.

    • DDOS Attack On Internet Infrastructure

      I hope somebody’s paying attention. There’s been another big DDOS attack, this time against the infrastructure of the Internet. It began at 7:10 a.m. EDT today against Dyn, a major DNS host, and was brought under control at 9:36 a.m. According to Gizmodo, which was the first to report the story, at least 40 sites were made unreachable to users on the US East Coast. Many of the sites affected are among the most trafficed on the web, and included CNN, Twitter, PayPal, Pinterest and Reddit to name a few. The developer community was also touched, as GitHub was also made unreachable.

      This event comes on the heels of a record breaking 620 Gbps DDOS attack about a month ago that brought down security expert Brian Krebs’ website, KrebsonSecurity. In that attack, Krebs determined the attack had been launched by botnets that primarily utilized compromised IoT devices, and was seen by some as ushering in a new era of Internet security woes.

    • This Is Why Half the Internet Shut Down Today [Update: It’s Getting Worse]

      Twitter, Spotify and Reddit, and a huge swath of other websites were down or screwed up this morning. This was happening as hackers unleashed a large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the servers of Dyn, a major DNS host. It’s probably safe to assume that the two situations are related.

    • Major DNS provider Dyn hit with DDoS attack

      Attacks against DNS provider Dyn continued into Friday afternoon. Shortly before noon, the company said it began “monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack” against its Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. The attack may also have impacted Managed DNS advanced service “with possible delays in monitoring.”

    • What We Know About Friday’s Massive East Coast Internet Outage

      Friday morning is prime time for some casual news reading, tweeting, and general Internet browsing, but you may have had some trouble accessing your usual sites and services this morning and throughout the day, from Spotify and Reddit to the New York Times and even good ol’ WIRED.com. For that, you can thank a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) that took down a big chunk of the Internet for most of the Eastern seaboard.

      This morning’s attack started around 7 am ET and was aimed at Dyn, an Internet infrastructure company headquartered in New Hampshire. That first bout was resolved after about two hours; a second attack began just before noon. Dyn reported a third wave of attacks a little after 4 pm ET. In all cases, traffic to Dyn’s Internet directory servers throughout the US—primarily on the East Coast but later on the opposite end of the country as well—was stopped by a flood of malicious requests from tens of millions of IP addresses disrupting the system. Late in the day, Dyn described the events as a “very sophisticated and complex attack.” Still ongoing, the situation is a definite reminder of the fragility of the web, and the power of the forces that aim to disrupt it.

    • Either IoT will be secure or the internet will be crippled forever

      First things first a disclaimer. I neither like nor trust the National Security Agency (NSA). I believe them to be mainly engaged in economic spying for the corporate American empire. Glenn Greenwald has clearly proven that in his book No Place to Hide. At the NSA, profit and power come first and I have no fucking clue as to how high they prioritize national security. Having said that, the NSA should hack the Internet of (insecure) Things (IoT) to death. I know Homeland Security and the FBI are investigating where the DDoS of doomsday proportions is coming from and the commentariat is already screaming RUSSIA! But it is really no secret what is enabling this clusterfuck. It’s the Mirai botnet. If you buy a “smart camera” from the Chinese company Hangzhou XiongMai Technologies and do not change the default password, it will be part of a botnet five minutes after you connect it to the internet. We were promised a future where we would have flying cars but we’re living in a future where camera’s, light-bulbs, doorbells and fridges can get you in serious trouble because your home appliances are breaking the law.

    • IoT at the Network Edge

      Fog computing, also known as fog networking, is a decentralized computing infrastructure. Computing resources and application services are distributed in logical, efficient places at any points along the connection from the data source (endpoint) to the cloud. The concept is to process data locally and then use the network for communicating with other resources for further processing and analysis. Data could be sent to a data center or a cloud service. A worthwhile reference published by Cisco is the white paper, “Fog Computing and the Internet of Things: Extend the Cloud to Where the Things Are.”

    • Canonical now offers live kernel patching for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS users

      Canonical has announced its ‘Livepatch Service’ which any user can enable on their current installations to eliminate the need for rebooting their machine after installing an update for the Linux kernel. With the release of Linux 4.0, users have been able to update their kernel packages without rebooting, however, Ubuntu will be the first distribution to offer this feature for free.

    • ​The Dirty Cow Linux bug: A silly name for a serious problem

      Dirty Cow is a silly name, but it’s a serious Linux kernel problem. According to the Red Hat bug report, “a race condition was found in the way the Linux kernel’s memory subsystem handled the copy-on-write (COW) breakage of private read-only memory mappings. An unprivileged local user could use this flaw to gain write access to otherwise read-only memory mappings and thus increase their privileges on the system.”

    • Ancient Privilege Escalation Bug Haunts Linux
    • October 21, 2016 Is Dirty COW a serious concern for Linux?
    • There is a Dirty Cow in Linux
    • Red Hat Discovers Dirty COW Archaic Linux Kernel Flaw Exploited In The Wild
    • Linux kernel bug being exploited in the wild
    • Update Linux now: Critical privilege escalation security flaw gives hackers full root access
    • Linux kernel bug: DirtyCOW “easyroot” hole and what you need to know
    • ‘Most serious’ Linux privilege-escalation bug ever discovered
    • New ‘Dirty Cow’ vulnerability threatens Linux systems
    • Serious Dirty Cow Linux Vulnerability Under Attack
    • Easy-to-exploit rooting flaw puts Linux PCs at risk
    • Linux just patched a vulnerability it’s had for 9 years
    • Dirty COW Linux vulnerability has existed for nine years
    • ‘Dirty Cow’ Linux Vulnerability Found
    • ‘Dirty Cow’ Linux Vulnerability Found After Nine Years
    • FakeFile Trojan Opens Backdoors on Linux Computers, Except openSUSE

      Malware authors are taking aim at Linux computers, more precisely desktops and not servers, with a new trojan named FakeFile, currently distributed in live attacks.

      Russian antivirus vendor Dr.Web discovered this new trojan in October. The company’s malware analysts say the trojan is spread in the form of an archived PDF, Microsoft Office, or OpenOffice file.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • [Older] US Air Force Carries Out Mock Nuclear Bomb Tests in Nevada Desert

      Two surveillance flight tests using mock B61-7 and B61-11 nuclear bombs were successfully carried out in the Nevada desert several weeks ago, according to a release last week.

      The mock bombs did not carry any nuclear devices but instead recorded information on how the bombs performed during the test runs. The tests were jointly conducted at Tonopah Test Range by the U.S. Air Force’s Global Strike Command and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

      Two B-2A Spirit stealth bombers dropped the mock bombs to “allow scientists and engineers from national laboratories to assess their performance” and they “contain no nuclear materials and are not capable of nuclear yield,” the NNSA said in a news release on Oct. 6.

    • Sweden’s unethical – and unlawful ­­– arms deals with ISIS-backing Saudis

      Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven, and with him the Swedish arms-dealer magnate Jacob Wallenberg, are travelling to Saudi Arabia in official visit. The meetings with the Saudis, as announced by the Swedish Radio, shall aim to “increase the exchange” between the two countries. [1] At the same time, the Chairman of the Defence Committee in the Swedish Parliament, Mr Allan Widman, is now demanding that Sweden should send arms to US-backed Pershmerga, integrating the US & Saudi-led coalition in Iraq. [2]

      The above-mentioned issues are not only connected in its timing, but also produced against the backdrop of the US and Saudi’s instigated Syria war aimed to depose the legitimate government of Assad, and the confrontation pursued by NATO and its political front EU against Russia. Evidence put forward in the US, among other by Senator Richard Black, show that Saudi Arabia has been financing/arming ISIS jihadists. [3] The Senator revealed also that “Saudi Arabia and Turkey formed the Army of Conquer and coordinated ISIS and Al-Qaida”. Further, emails published by WikiLeaks’ Podesta series revealed that Hillary Clinton has been fully aware – already since 2014 – of the fact that both Saudi Arabia and Qatar were financing ISIS.[3] On the other hand, the US government has claimed the responsibility for financing, training and arming so-called “moderate rebels” – the “moderate terrorists” – which together with ISIS maintain a common war against the government of Syria.

    • Philippine President’s Most Searing Insults to World Leaders

      Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is known for saying things that are quite scandalous and many would consider unsayable. However, his outspoken style and crime-fighting record is making him quite popular with many Filipinos. Here are some of his most outrageous statements.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • A Quick Logic Lesson For Confused WikiLeaks Haters

      I know the following might be difficult to grasp for all you amateur internet logicians out there, but give it the ol’ college try anyhow. (I also know there’s a strand of Ironic Twitter commentary which immediately discounts the invocation of “Logic!” as somehow inherently foolhardy, and while I’ve often found such memes funny, logic is an important field of philosophy and everyone should study it. For serious.)

      Tonight, in his infinite wisdom, Sean Hannity tweeted out an approbation of WikiLeaks.


      Drawing attention to Hannity’s change of heart on WikiLeaks — he unsurprisingly called Chelsea Manning treasonous back in 2010 when WikiLeaks published the Iraq/Afghanistan logs and the State Department cable trove — is just the heroes’ latest attempt to show that WikiLeaks is now Bad with a capital B, after having previously been Good with a capital G. Let’s work out how their logical theorem progresses.

      Sean Hannity is Bad
      Sean Hannity likes WikiLeaks
      WikiLeaks is therefore bad

      Wow, good stuff here — the type of staggeringly incisive philosophizing that would’ve made W. V. Quine envious. I guess we should briefly “unpack” why this logic is faulty, for the edification of very desperately confused people on the internet.

      Hannity might indeed be bad with a capital B, but his being Bad doesn’t ipso facto make anything he likes Bad. For instance, Hannity may well also like dogs. I’ll be damned if dogs are Bad because Bad Hannity likes them. Please do not sully our canine friends by dint of their association with Hannity.

      Let’s go to another extreme. Genocide is not bad because Hitler did it, genocide is bad because there are all sorts of reasons that can be marshaled to prove its badness: it’s bad to kill people on account of their inborn characteristics, etc. Hitler is also bad, but his being bad is not what inherently makes genocide bad.

    • Just How Wise Is It When Marco Rubio Promises To Swear Off Factual Information From Wikileaks?

      Amidst the reporting and fervor over the email hack of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, there has been something of a recent discussion that has begun over the ethics of circulating what is in that hacked cache. Some within the media itself have worried about about reporting either too much on the hacked emails, or even at all in some cases, with still others going for a more nuanced position of encouraging the reporting of information in the public interest while leaving all the personal stuff in the emails undisclosed to whatever degree is possible.

  • Finance

    • What’s scarier than Donald Trump? Hillary Clinton’s plans to gut Social Security

      As the sun sets on Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions, a likely Hillary Clinton victory means her intent to defund Social Security may come to fruition.

      The Democratic nominee recently came under fire in revealing articles by Naked Capitalism’s Yves Smith and International Business Times’ David Sirota, for her potential plans to introduce mandatory retirement savings accounts set up to enrich Wall Street — rather than expanding Social Security.

    • CETA Talks Break Down: “It is Evident that the EU Is Incapable of Reaching an Agreement”

      International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland has walked out of talks aimed at addressing Belgian opposition to the Canada-EU Trade Agreement, stating:

      I have personally worked very hard, but it is now evident to me, evident to Canada, that the European Union is incapable of reaching an agreement – even with a country with European values such as Canada, even with a country as nice and as patient as Canada. Canada is disappointed and I personally am disappointed, but I think it’s impossible. We are returning home.

      Leaving aside the odd reference to how nice Canada is, this is remarkable language that lays bare the obvious frustration and disappointment for the government which prioritized the CETA agreement above all others. The prospect of the deal falling apart has been evident for months. I wrote in July that the agreement was in more trouble than the Canadian government would admit, noting that opposition from any national or regional government could kill CETA altogether. Canadian officials downplayed the risk, but it was obvious that CETA faced stiff opposition that would not be easy to overcome.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • WikiLeaks: Bill Clinton took home ‘expensive gifts’ from foundation donors

      Emails made public Thursday by WikiLeaks suggest Bill Clinton accepted “expensive gifts” from Clinton Global Initiative donors and kept them at his home.
      In a November 2011 email to John Podesta, currently Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, complaining of the conflicts of interest that plagued the Clinton Global Initiative, longtime confidante Doug Band mentioned that the former president had several undisclosed conflicts.

      “He is personally paid by 3 cgi sponsors [sic], gets many expensive gifts from them, some that are at home etc,” Band wrote.

      Band had recently left a position at the foundation to co-found a consulting firm called Teneo Strategies. In his email, he lamented that he had been forced to sign a disclosure form as a board member of the Clinton Global Initiative, while Bill Clinton had not.

    • Leaked Email Reveals Sady Doyle, Other Liberal Bloggers Coordinated with Clinton Campaign on Sanders Hits

      As WikiLeaks continues to leak emails from the Clinton campaign, new lights are shed on the tactics that the campaign has employed. In one such email, the Clinton campaign describes a call with several bloggers who discussed attacks that could be made against Clinton’s primary opponent Bernie Sanders related to racial and reproductive rights.


      With Clinton’s lead in the polls solid, it’s unclear if these new leaks will do substantial damage, even if they don’t necessarily help her. After all, her opponent is degrading democracy itself by spurning the peaceful transition of presidential power.

    • WikiLeaks emails part curtain on a nearly elected Obama considering White House staff

      The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks on Thursday released a handful of Barack Obama’s emails from a period immediately before he was elected in 2008, including several that revealed names of people Obama was considering for senior roles and one that reflected care in avoiding a transition conflict with President George W. Bush.

      The emails span a period from Oct. 6, 2008, until Election Day that year, Nov. 4, and several include comments from “Barack,” who used the email address: bobama@ameritech.net.

    • No, Hillary, 17 U.S. Intelligence Agencies Did Not Say Russia Hacked Dem E-mails

      Hillary Clinton in last night’s presidential debate tried to avoid talking about the substance of the damaging WikiLeaks disclosures of DNC and Clinton campaign officials by claiming 17 U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Russia was responsible for this. After Clinton made this claim, she scolded Trump for challenging U.S. intelligence professionals who have taken an oath to help defend this country.

      What Clinton said was false and misleading. First of all, only two intelligence entities – the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – have weighed in on this issue, not 17 intelligence agencies. And what they said was ambiguous about Russian involvement.

    • WikiLeaks: Clinton Foundation Paid Women Less Than Men

      The Clinton Foundation in 2011 employed more women than men but paid them less, on average, according to a salary schedule included in an email released Friday by WikiLeaks.

      A foundation employee emailed the payroll schedule to board Chairman Bruce Lindsey and John Podesta, who currently chairs Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. It included then-Chief Operating Office and Chief of Staff Laura Graham’s salary recommendations for 2012 for rank-and-file employees.

    • Dublin school board member linked to WikiLeaks

      A local school board member, whose father is head of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, has been connected to allegations sprung from WikiLeaks.

      Megan Rouse, a Dublin school board member elected in 2014, was mentioned in the hacked email allegations that her father, John Podesta, at one time had stocks connected to a firm that had ties to Russia. Documents show that Podesta received 75,000 shares of Joule Unlimited Technologies. Podesta is Clinton’s campaign chair.

      The hacked Jan. 3, 2014 document shows that Podesta transferred more than 25,000 of these shares to Leonidio Holdings LLC, which had an address listed as Rouse’s Shannon Court home in Dublin. Rouse operates Megan Rouse Financial Planning from that same address.

    • What The WikiLeaks Emails Reveal About Branding Hillary

      Pundits all across America are poring over the Podesta emails, emails released by WikiLeaks that show the behind-the-scenes dealings of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. At the end of the day, those emails might end up containing more tasty risotto recipes than actual scandals.

      But for design lovers, there’s at least one bombshell: If not for a passionate email written by one of Coca-Cola’s chief marketing gurus, renowned design firm Pentagram could have lost Hillary Clinton as a client just two months before her logo debuted to the world.

      Reporting on leaked emails is justifiably contentious, as conversations that participants had every reason to believe were private are given scrutiny they were never meant to have. (Pentagram partner Michael Bierut, who oversaw designing the identity, declined to comment on the record when we reached out to him.) Still, we think this exchange—already, at this point, a matter of public record as part of the greater Podesta email leaks—is worth highlighting. Not just because it’s a rare glimpse behind the design process of a major political campaign, but because some of the arguments could be assigned reading in any branding class.

      The exchange in question involves Wendy Clark, a Coca-Cola marketing veteran who consulted on Hillary’s branding before becoming the North American president and CEO of the ad agency DDB Worldwide, and Joel Benenson, the chief strategist for the Clinton 2016 campaign.

    • Leaked email: Hillary Clinton told “radical environmentalists” to “get a life,” defended fracking and pipelines

      Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton condemned the “radical environmentalists” behind Bernie Sanders’ campaign, indicating they should “get a life,” according to a transcript of her comments at a September 2015 meeting with a construction union.

      Clinton also reaffirmed her support for fracking and pipelines and made it clear that her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline was a calculated political move.

      The transcript was included in an email to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta released this week in a trove of documents by the whistleblowing journalism organization WikiLeaks.

      “You know from my perspective, this is just one of these issues,” Clinton said of the Keystone XL pipeline at the meeting. “It’s symbolic and it’s not going to go away.”

      “They’re all hanging on to it,” she continued. “So you know Bernie Sanders is getting lots of support from the most radical environmentalists because he’s out there every day bashing the Keystone pipeline.”

    • WikiLeaks Reveals DNC Elevated Trump to Help Clinton

      In June 2015, Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign.

      According to an email from Marissa Astor, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook’s assistant, to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, the campaign knew Trump was going to run, and pushed his legitimacy as a candidate. WikiLeaks’ release shows that it was seen as in Clinton’s best interest to run against Trump in the general election. The memo, sent to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) also reveals the DNC and Clinton campaign were strategizing on behalf of their candidate at the very beginning of the primaries. “We think our goals mirror those of the DNC,” stated the memo, attached to the email under the title “muddying the waters.”

      The memo named Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson as wanted candidates. “We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to them seriously,” the memo noted.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom Of Expression Under Attack, Says UN Special Rapporteur

      Governments worldwide are engaging in censorship and punishing those who report or post opinions, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, says in a report on the widespread global assault on the freedom of expression to be presented to the UN General Assembly today.

    • Tripura: No magisterial-level interference in media censorship and news dissimination

      According to the video footage, Jhumu Sarkar, Barjala candidate fielded by the ruling party was seen fighting with females in drunken condition. The incident occurred at Lankamura on October 12 centering immersion of Durga idol.

      After that, the TV channel was censored in visuals for few minutes. The by-elections in Barjala seat and Khowai seat would be held on November 19. Results of the elections would be declared on November 22.

    • Blocking of RT Accounts in UK is ‘Censorship and Example of Double Standards’

      RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said Monday that the international broadcaster’s accounts had been blocked in the United Kingdom. RT UK said it had been informed by NatWest that its banking arrangements with RT were null and void.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Google’s ad tracking is as creepy as Facebook’s. Here’s how to disable it

      Google has changed the way it tracks users across the internet so that it can now link people’s personally identifiable information from Gmail, YouTube and other accounts with their browsing records across the web. The company had previously pledged to keep these two data sets separate to protect individuals’ privacy.

      As first reported by Propublica, Google quietly updated its privacy settings in June to delete a clause that said “we will not combine DoubleClick cookie information with personally identifiable information unless we have your opt-in consent”.

      DoubleClick is an advertising serving and tracking company that Google bought in 2007. DoubleClick uses web cookies to track browsing behaviour online by their IP address to deliver targeted ads. It can make a good guess about your location and habits, but it doesn’t know your true identity.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • S’pore prison to look into alleged abuse of jailed blogger Amos Yee

      Singapore prison authorities said today that investigations are being launched into allegations that jailed teenage blogger Amos Yee has been assaulted by prison inmates.

      Yee began a six-week jail term on Sept 29 after he pleaded guilty to six charges of wounding the religious feelings of Muslims and Christians, through comments made on social media.

      But on Wednesday a Facebook post from the activist group Community Action Network (CAN) said that the group had been informed that Yee had been threatened, slapped and kicked by inmates.

      In a statement to dpa, the Singapore Prisons Service confirmed they were “aware” of the allegations made by Amos Yee, emphasising that the prison is committed to inmate safety and security.

    • Actress Shailene Woodley Reveals She Was Strip-Searched After Her Arrest Protesting Dakota Pipeline

      Actress Shailene Woodley pleaded not guilty on charges related to the resistance to the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline on Wednesday. She was arrested along with 27 others in North Dakota on October 10 during actions to mark Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Woodley was strip-searched and then put in an orange jump suit in the Morton County jail, which appears to be a common practice even for low-level misdemeanor charges. Woodley told Democracy Now!, “Never did it cross my mind that while trying to protect clean water, trying to ensure a future where our children have access to an element essential for human survival, would I be strip-searched. I was just shocked.” Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chair Dave Archambault II and others have also been strip-searched after being arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience against the pipeline.

    • FBI Director: We Need More Data On Police Shootings So Law Enforcement Can ‘Change The Narrative’

      FBI Director James Comey didn’t dig into his bag of “Ferguson Effect” rhetorical devices during his comments to a law enforcement conference on Sunday, but he came close. Under that theory, the possibility of being held accountable by citizens and their recording devices has apparently been holding officers back from enforcing laws, making arrests, or otherwise earning their paychecks.

      The problem now is a lack of data, Comey claims. Law enforcement has lost control of the narrative, he stated, as if a one-sided portrayal of every police use of excessive/deadly force was somehow beneficial to the nation.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • FTC Warns AT&T Court Victory On Throttling Could Screw Consumers For Decades

      AT&T stopped selling unlimited wireless data plans back in 2011, and instead started pushing more expensive capped and metered plans. Existing unlimited users at the time were “grandfathered,” but AT&T went out of its way to make life as unpleasant as possible for these users, ranging from blocking them from using Facetime unless they subscribed to metered plans, to throttling these “unlimited” users after only consuming a few gigabytes of data. Ultimately AT&T faced a $100 million fine by the FCC (currently being contested by AT&T), and a 2014 lawsuit by the FTC for misleading consumers and dramatically changing the terms of service while users were under contract.


Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 10:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Top 8 Linux Distributions Of 2016

      There are quite a number of linux distribution out there and new ones are being added as the days go by. This means picking a distro amongst the lot becomes quite a difficulty. Luckily for you, I have hand-picked the best linux distributions in 2016 for you. These are the top distributions targeting very different uses and users and I bet at least one is going to appeal to you. So let’s get started.

    • Patten: How to exorcise Windows from your old computer

      You may have heard of Linux (also known as GNU/Linux), but only as something that hackers use. It has a reputation for being unwieldy and hard. That reputation is deserved … sometimes.

      But anyone can learn it. And if it’s good enough for Barbie, it should be good enough for you.

      The best part: It’s free, free, free.

      Linux is actually a kind of operating system, just as a mammal is a kind of animal. Linux systems are all similar or identical at the core (also known as the kernel). But they come in a lot of varieties, or distros. (Fun fact: Much of the Android operating system is based on Linux.)

      The hard part about Linux isn’t learning. It’s choosing.

  • Server

    • Docker: Making the Internet Programmable

      Docker, and containers in general, are hot technologies that have been getting quite a bit of attention over the past few years. Even Solomon Hykes, Founder, CTO, and Chief Product Officer at Docker started his keynote with the assumption that people attending LinuxCon Europe know that Docker does containers, so instead of focusing on what Docker does, Hykes used his time to talk about Docker’s purpose saying, “It really boils down to one small sentence. We’re trying to make the Internet programmable.”

      Hykes described this idea of making the Internet programmable with three key points. First, they are focused on building “tools of mass innovation” designed to allow people to create and innovate on a very large scale. Second, applications and cloud services are allowing the idea of the Internet as a programmable platform to be realized, and they want to make this accessible to more people. Third, they are accomplishing all of this by building the Docker stack with open standards, open infrastructure, and a development platform with commercial products on top of the stack.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.8.3

      I’m announcing the release of the 4.8.3 kernel.

      All users of the 4.8 kernel series must upgrade.

      The updated 4.8.y git tree can be found at:
      git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.8.y
      and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:


    • Linux 4.7.9
    • Linux 4.4.26
    • Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0 Patches Updated For Linux 4.9

      Intel has updated its currently out-of-tree Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 patches for compatibility against the Linux 4.9-rc1 kernel plus made other improvements to the code.

      These patches have been worked on the past few months after Intel PR initially claimed no TBM 3.0 Linux support. The patches have gone through several public revisions but sadly didn’t make it for integration into the mainline Linux 4.9 kernel.

    • Linux 4.9 Is Showing A Performance Boost On More Systems

      Earlier this week I posted some benchmarks of a Core i7 6800K Broadwell-E system seeing performance boosts under Linux 4.9 and it turns out it’s looking more widespread than just affecting a niche system or two. When testing a more traditional Intel Haswell desktop, Linux 4.9 Git is seeing more wins over Linux 4.8 and 4.7 kernels.

      Following that earlier 4.9 Git benchmarking I set out to do a fairly large Linux kernel comparison on a Haswell system to go back three or so years worth of kernel releases. That big kernel comparison will be finished up and posted in the days ahead, but already from this Core i7 4790K Devil’s Canyon system I am seeing some performance improvements with 4.9 Git to share over 4.7.0 and 4.8.0 stock kernels…

    • Linux Foundation Welcomes JavaScript Community

      Kris Borchers, executive director of the foundation, announced the news, saying that the JavaScript Foundation aims “to support a vast array of technologies that complement projects throughout the entire JavaScript ecosystem.”

      This includes both client and server side application libraries, mobile application testing frameworks, and JavaScript engines.

      All jQuery Foundation projects will also be united within the JS Foundation including jQuery, Lodash, ESLint, Esprima, Grunt, RequireJS, jQuery UI, Globalize, Sizzle, Jed, and Dojo.

    • Kernel 4.4.25 Has Been Released
    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • How to benchmark your Linux system

        The Software Center list will also include individual tests. These can be fine to use, but they can be tedious to open and configure manually. Keep your eye out for an entry called Phoronix Test Suite, or PTS for short. The Phoronix Test Suite is a powerful program that can run a single test, or an entire battery. PTS offers some built-in suites (collection of tests), or you can design your own suite. When tests are completed, you can choose to upload the test results to openbenchmarking.org, where other users can see your results and even run the exact same tests on their PC.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Leslie Zhai Talks 20 Years of KDE in China

        In 2002, as a computer science major university student, I went to a Legal Authoried software store in Wuhan, Guangputun, and bought Redhat7 including four install CDs, three src.rpm CDs and a very exquisite user manual for only RMB 50, because other software for Windows 98 was too expensive to a univerty student! It was my first time to use KDE 3. Yes I chose KDE as my default desktop enviroment, but I tried GNOME of course. Wink Then I tried to migrate my university’s course assignment developed in Turbo C to compile with GCC. I used Konsole and VIM to edit my source code, I tried Emacs but I did not know how to make coffee with it, so I switched to VIM Wink and my teachers switched to use Redhat8 instead of Windows 98 when teaching operating system courses.

      • Choose Your Own Experience in Plasma 5.8 and beyond

        One of the key points of Plasma is while giving a simple default desktop experience, not limiting the user to that single, pre-packed one size fits all UI.

      • KDevelop 5.0.2 released for Windows and Linux

        Four weeks after the release of KDevelop 5.0.1, we are happy to announce the availability of KDevelop 5.0.2, a second stabilization release in the 5.0 series. We highly recommend to update to version 5.0.2 if you are currently using version 5.0.1 or 5.0.0.

      • Wayland improvements since Plasma 5.8 release

        Two weeks have passed since the Plasma 5.8 release and our Wayland efforts have seen quite some improvements. Some changes went into Plasma 5.8 as bug fixes, some changes are only available in master for the next release. With this blog post I want to highlight what we have improved since Plasma 5.8.

      • Wayland For KDE Plasma 5.9 Should Shape Up Quite Nicely

        Plasma 5.8 was only released at the beginning of October but already there has been a number of Wayland improvements queuing up for the next milestone, Plasma 5.9.

        KWin maintainer Martin Gräßlin wrote a blog post yesterday about some of the early Wayland changes coming for Plasma 5.9. Some of this early work for the next KDE Plasma 5 release includes resize-only borders, global shortcut handling, support for keyboard LEDs via libinput, relative pointer support, the color scheme syncing to the window decoration, window icon improvements, multi-screen improvements, panel imporvements, and more.

      • Autumn Sale in the Krita Shop
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME at Linux Install Fest

        It’s an event organized in order to help first year students install a Linux distro on their laptops (here at our uni, we work almost entirely on Linux, so we need to help those that have never used it and set up their distros🙂 ).

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Highlights of YaST development sprint 26

        One of the main reasons to adopt Scrum was to ensure we make a good use of our development resources (i.e. developers’ time and brains) focusing on things that bring more value to our users. In the past we had the feeling that many important things were always postponed because the developers were flooded by other not so important stuff. Now that feeling is gone (to a great extent) and we have a more clear and shared view of the direction of our development efforts.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Debian-Based Parsix GNU/Linux 8.15 “Nev” Gets First Test Build, Ships GNOME 3.22

          Today, October 21, 2016, the developers of the Debian-based Parsix GNU/Linux operating system proudly announced the availability for download of the first test build of the upcoming Parsix GNU/Linux 8.15 “Nev” release.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Turns 12, Happy Birthday!

            Today, October 20, 2016, is Ubuntu’s birthday! Its 12th anniversary since the release of the first Ubuntu version, namely Ubuntu 4.10 (Warty Warthog), which was originally announced by Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth on the 20th of October 2004.

          • Celebrating 12 years of Ubuntu

            Founder Mark Shuttleworth announced the first public release of Ubuntu – version 4.10, or “Warty Warthog” – on Oct. 20, 2004. The idea behind what would become the most recognizable and widely used Linux distributions ever was simple – create a Linux operating system that anybody could use. Here’s a look back at Ubuntu’s history.

          • Happy 12th Birthday, Ubuntu!

            Yup, it’s twelve years to the day since Mark Shuttleworth sat down to tap out the first Ubuntu release announcement and herald in an era of “Linux for human beings”.

          • A Slice of Ubuntu

            The de facto standard for Raspberry Pi operating systems is Raspbian–a Debian based distribution specifically for the diminutive computer. Of course, you have multiple choices and there might not be one best choice for every situation. It did catch our eye, however, that the RaspEX project released a workable Ubunutu 16.10 release for the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3.

            RaspEX is a full Linux Desktop system with LXDE (a lightweight desktop environment) and many other useful programs. Firefox, Samba, and VNC4Server are present. You can use the Ubuntu repositories to install anything else you want. The system uses kernel 4.4.21. You can see a review of a much older version of RaspEX in the video below.

          • Download Ubuntu Yakkety Yak 16.10 wallpaper

            The Yakkety Yak 16.10 is released and now you can download the new wallpaper by clicking here. It’s the latest part of the set for the Ubuntu 2016 releases following Xenial Xerus. You can read about our wallpaper visual design process here.

          • Live kernel patching from Canonical now available for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

            We are delighted to announce the availability of a new service for Ubuntu which any user can enable on their current installations – the Canonical Livepatch Service.

            This new live kernel patching service can be used on any Ubuntu 16.04 LTS system (using the generic Linux 4.4 kernel) to minimise unplanned downtime and maintain the highest levels of security.

          • How to enable free ‘Canonical Livepatch Service’ for Linux kernel live-patching on Ubuntu

            Linux 4.0 introduced a wonderful feature for those that need insane up-time — the ability to patch the kernel without rebooting the machine. While this is vital for servers, it can be beneficial to workstation users too. Believe it or not, some home users covet long up-time simply for fun — bragging rights, and such.

            If you are an Ubuntu 16.04 LTS user (with generic Linux kernel 4.4) and you want to take advantage of this exciting feature, I have good news — it is now conveniently available for free! Unfortunately, this all-new Canonical Livepatch Service does have a catch — it is limited to three machines per user. Of course, home users can register as many email addresses as they want, so it is easy to get more if needed. Businesses can pay for additional machines through Ubuntu Advantage. Want to give it a go? Read on.

            “Since the release of the Linux 4.0 kernel about 18 months ago, users have been able to patch and update their kernel packages without rebooting. However, until now, no other Linux distribution has offered this feature for free to their users. That changes today with the release of the Canonical Livepatch Service”, says Tom Callway, Director of Cloud Marketing, Canonical.

          • KernelCare Is Another Alternative To Canonical’s Ubuntu Live Kernel Patching

            Earlier this week Canonical announced their Kernel Livepatching Service for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS users. Canonical’s service is free for under three systems while another alternative for Ubuntu Linux users interested in a commercial service is CloudLinux’s KernelCare.

            The folks from CloudLinux wrote in to remind us of their kernel patching solution, which they’ve been offering since 2014 and believe is a superior solution to Canonical’s service. KernelCare isn’t limited to just Ubuntu 16.04 but also works with Ubuntu 14.04 and other distributions such as CentOS/RHEL, Debian, and other enterprise Linux distributions.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Exclusive: Blockchain platform developed by banks to be open-source

    A blockchain platform developed by a group that includes more than 70 of the world’s biggest financial institutions is making its code publicly available, in what could become the industry standard for the nascent technology.

    The Corda platform has been developed by a consortium brought together by New-York-based financial technology company R3. It represents the biggest shared effort among banks, insurers, fund managers and other players to work on using blockchain technology in the financial markets.

  • European banks risk lagging Wall Street in blockchain race
  • Report: R3′s Banking Blockchain Software is Going Open Source
  • Major Banks Take First Steps Towards Creating Industry Standards For Blockchain Technology
  • ‘Disputive’ blockchain technology set to be co-opted by banks
  • Google’s Open Source Report Card Highlights Game-Changing Contributions

    Ask people about Google’s relationship to open source, and many of them will point to Android and Chrome OS — both very successful operating systems and both based on Linux. Android, in particular, remains one of the biggest home runs in open source history. But, as Josh Simmons from Google’s Open Source Programs Office will tell you, Google also contributes a slew of useful open source tools and programs to the community each year. Now, Google has issued its very first “Open Source Report Card,” as announced by Simmons on the Google Open Source Blog.

    “We’re sharing our first Open Source Report Card, highlighting our most popular projects, sharing a few statistics and detailing some of the projects we’ve released in 2016. We’ve open sourced over 20 million lines of code to date and you can find a listing of some of our best known project releases on our website,” said Simmons.

  • Events

    • LatinoWare

      Yesterday, Wednesday 19 oct, was the first day of LatinoWare thirteen edition hosted in the city of Foz do Iguaçu in Parana state with presence of 5155 participants and temperature of 36ºC. Currently this is the biggest event of free software in Brazil.

    • Attending a FUDcon LATAM 2016

      From my experience I will share my days at FUDcon 2016 held on Puno last week. There were 3 core days, and 2 more days to visit around.

    • FOSDEM Desktops DevRoom 2016 all for Participation

      FOSDEM is one of the largest (5,000+ hackers!) gatherings of Free Software contributors in the world and happens each February in Brussels (Belgium, Europe).

      Once again, one of the tracks will be the Desktops DevRoom (formerly known as “CrossDesktop DevRoom”), which will host Desktop-related talks.

      We are now inviting proposals for talks about Free/Libre/Open-source Software on the topics of Desktop development, Desktop applications and interoperability amongst Desktop Environments. This is a unique opportunity to show novel ideas and developments to a wide technical audience.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Nino Vranešič: Open Source Advocate and Mozilla Rep in Slovenia

        “My name is Nino Vranešič and I am connecting IT and Society,” is what Nino says about himself on LinkedIn. The video is a little hard to understand in places due to language differences and (we think) a slow or low-bandwidth connection between the U.S.-based Zoom servers and Eastern Europe, a problem that crops up now and then in video conversation and VOIP phone calls with people in that part of the world, no matter what service you choose. But Vranešič is worth a little extra effort to hear, because it’s great to learn that open source is being used in lots of government agencies, not only in Slovenia but all over Europe. And aside from this, Vranešič himself is a tres cool dude who is an ardent open source volunteer (“Mozilla Rep” is an unpaid volunteer position), and I hope I have a chance to meet him F2F next time he comes to a conference in Florida — and maybe you’ll have a chance to meet him if he comes to a conference near you.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Mirantis and NTT Com Double Down on OpenStack

      Mirantis continues to drive forward with new partnerships focused on the OpenStack cloud computing platform. The company and NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com) have announced that they will partner to offer fully managed Private OpenStack as a service in NTT Com Enterprise Cloud and its data center services across the globe. NTT Com, in becoming Mirantis’ first data center services partner, says it will offer Mirantis Managed OpenStack on NTT Com Enterprise Cloud’s Metal-as-a-Service.

    • Using metrics effectively in OpenStack development

      At the OpenStack summit taking place this month in Barcelona, Ildikó Váncsa will be speaking on metrics in her talk Metrics: Friends or Enemies? She will discuss OpenStack metrics and how they can be used in software development processes, both for the individual developer and manager.

      I caught up with Ildikó before her talk to learn more about how metrics in OpenStack help guide developers and companies, and how they also drive evolution of the OpenStack community itself.

  • Databases

    • MySQL and database programming for beginners

      Dave Stokes has been using MySQL for more than 15 years and has served as its community manager since 2010. At All Things Open this year, he’ll give a talk about database programming for newbies with MySQL.

      In this interview, he previews his talk and shares a few helpful resources, required skills, and common problems MySQL beginners run into.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Nadella’s trust talk is just so much hot air

      Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella appears to have an incredibly short memory. Else he would be the last person who talks about trust being the most pressing issue in tech in our times.

      Over the last year, we have been treated to a variety of cheap tricks by Microsoft, attempting to hoodwink Windows users left, right and centre in order to get them to upgrade to Windows 10. After that, talking about trust sounds odd. Very odd.

      Microsoft does not have the best reputation among tech companies. It is known for predatory practices, for being convicted as a monopolist, and in recent times has been trying to cultivate a softer image as a company that is not as rapacious as it once was.

      That has, in large measure, come about as its influence and rank in the world of computing have both slipped, with other companies like Apple, Facebook and Google coming to dominate.

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source where possible in Polish Gdańsk

      The city of Gdańsk, Poland’s sixth largest city, is using open source software applications where possible. Open source is called an ‘important element’ in the Operational Programmes, made public in August. This document describes the tasks and activities set out by the city to achieve the goals it defined in the Gdańsk 2030 Plus Development Strategy.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Ranking the Web With Radical Transparency

      Ranking every URL on the web in a transparent and reproducible way is a core concept of the Common Search project, says Sylvain Zimmer, who will be speaking at the upcoming Apache: Big Data Europe conference in Seville, Spain.

      The web has become a critical resource for humanity, and search engines are its arbiters, Zimmer says. However, the only search engines currently available are for-profit entities, so the Common Search project is creating a nonprofit engine that is open, transparent, and independent.

      We spoke with Zimmer, who founded Jamendo, dotConferences, and Common Search, to learn more about why nonprofit search engines are important, why Apache Spark is such a great match for the job, and some of the challenges the project faces.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

  • Programming/Development


  • What You Should Know About Ken Bone

    Photoshops, memes, witty comments, retweets, offhanded references … and now, for some reason, his sexual fetishes are making national news.

  • Come On Elon! Tesla Stupidly Bans Owners From Using Self-Driving Teslas For Uber

    We’ve talked a lot about the end of ownership society, in which companies are increasingly using copyright and other laws to effectively end ownership — where they put in place restrictions on the things you thought you bought. This is bad for a whole variety of reasons, and now it’s especially disappointing to see that Tesla appears to be jumping on the bandwagon as well. The company is releasing its latest, much more high powered, version of autonomous self-driving car technology — but has put in place a clause that bars Tesla owners from using the self-driving car for any competing car hailing service, like Uber or Lyft. This is not for safety/liability reasons, but because Tesla is also trying to build an Uber competitor.

    We wrote about this a few months ago, and actually think it’s a pretty cool idea. Part of the point is that it effectively will make Tesla ownership cheaper for those who want it, because they can lease it out for use at times when they’re not using it. So your car can make money for you while you work or sleep or whatever. That’s a cool idea.

  • Science

    • Artificial intelligence could be the greatest disaster in human history

      Stephen Hawking has warned artificial intelligence could be the greatest disaster in human history if it is not properly managed.

      The world famous physicist said AI could bring about serious peril in the creation of powerful autonomous weapons and novel ways for those in power to oppress and control the masses.

      Hawking suggested AI could be the last event in the history of our civilisation if humanity did not learn to cope with the risks it posed.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • UNICEF Tender Allows Gavi To Supply Vaccines For Millions Of Children

      Gavi, the vaccine alliance, announced yesterday that a UNICEF pentavalent vaccine tender will secure sufficient supplies for the next three years to protect millions of children in Gavi-supported and transitioning countries.

      According to a Gavi press release, pentavalent vaccine will be accessible from a broad base of manufacturers at less than US$1: half this year’s average price.

      Pentavalent vaccine protects against five major infections in one shot: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), according to Gavi.

    • Flint Water Panel Calls for New Emergency Management Rules

      Michigan should consider abandoning its one-person emergency management structure and instead install a team of three experts when deficit-ridden municipalities and school districts fall under state control, according to a report released Wednesday by a legislative committee that investigated Flint’s lead-tainted water crisis.

      Nine current or former government workers have been criminally charged since doctors detected elevated levels of lead in some children due to the discolored and smelly water supply in the impoverished city of nearly 100,000.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Thursday
    • More information about Dirty COW (aka CVE-2016-5195)

      The security hole fixed in the stable kernels released today has been dubbed Dirty COW (CVE-2016-5195) by a site devoted to the kernel privilege escalation vulnerability. There is some indication that it is being exploited in the wild. Ars Technica has some additional information. The Red Hat bugzilla entry and advisory are worth looking at as well.

    • New Debian Linux Kernel Update Addresses “Dirty COW” Bug, Three Security Issues
    • CVE-2016-5195

      My prior post showed my research from earlier in the year at the 2016 Linux Security Summit on kernel security flaw lifetimes. Now that CVE-2016-5195 is public, here are updated graphs and statistics. Due to their rarity, the Critical bug average has now jumped from 3.3 years to 5.2 years. There aren’t many, but, as I mentioned, they still exist, whether you know about them or not. CVE-2016-5195 was sitting on everyone’s machine when I gave my LSS talk, and there are still other flaws on all our Linux machines right now. (And, I should note, this problem is not unique to Linux.) Dealing with knowing that there are always going to be bugs present requires proactive kernel self-protection (to minimize the effects of possible flaws) and vendors dedicated to updating their devices regularly and quickly (to keep the exposure window minimized once a flaw is widely known).

    • “Most serious” Linux privilege-escalation bug ever is under active exploit (updated)

      While CVE-2016-5195, as the bug is cataloged, amounts to a mere privilege-escalation vulnerability rather than a more serious code-execution vulnerability, there are several reasons many researchers are taking it extremely seriously. For one thing, it’s not hard to develop exploits that work reliably. For another, the flaw is located in a section of the Linux kernel that’s a part of virtually every distribution of the open-source OS released for almost a decade. What’s more, researchers have discovered attack code that indicates the vulnerability is being actively and maliciously exploited in the wild.

    • Linux Kernels 4.8.3, 4.7.9 & 4.4.26 LTS Out to Patch “Dirty COW” Security Flaw

      Today, October 20, 2016, Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman announced three new maintenance updates for the Linux 4.8, 4.7, and 4.4 LTS kernel series, patching a major security vulnerability.

      Known as “Dirty COW,” the Linux kernel vulnerability documented at CVE-2016-5195 is, in fact, a nasty bug that could have allowed local users to write to any file they can read. The worst part is that the security flaw was present in various Linux kernel builds since at least the Linux 2.6.x series, which reached end of life in February this year.

    • Canonical Patches Ancient “Dirty COW” Kernel Bug in All Supported Ubuntu OSes

      As reported earlier, three new Linux kernel maintenance releases arrived for various Linux-based operating systems, patching a critical and ancient bug popularly known as “Dirty COW.”

      We already told you that the kernel vulnerability could be used by a local attacker to run programs as an administrator, and it looks like it also affects all supported Ubuntu releases, including Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin), as well as all of their official or unofficial derivatives running the same kernel builds.

    • Linux users urged to protect against ‘Dirty COW’ security flaw

      Organisations and individuals have been urged to patch Linux servers immediately or risk falling victim to exploits for a Linux kernel security flaw dubbed ‘Dirty COW’.

      This follows a warning from open source software vendor Red Hat that the flaw is being exploited in the wild.

      Phil Oester, the Linux security researcher who uncovered the flaw, explained to V3 that the exploit is easy to execute and will almost certainly become more widely used.

      “The exploit in the wild is trivial to execute, never fails and has probably been around for years – the version I obtained was compiled with gcc 4.8,” he said.

    • Dirty Cow, Ubuntu @ 12, Save a Penguin

      Dirty Cow is a local privilege vulnerability that can allow one to gain root access. Specifically, “race condition was found in the way the Linux kernel’s memory subsystem handled the copy-on-write (COW) breakage of private read-only memory mappings. An unprivileged local user could use this flaw to gain write access to otherwise read-only memory mappings and thus increase their privileges on the system.” Linus signed off and pushed the patch to git a few days ago and distributions are currently updating their products. This is considered a critical bug and users are encouraged to update as soon as possible because researchers have found code in the wild to exploit it. Worse still, the exploit leaves little or no trace of being compromised. So, keep an eye on your update applets or security advisories over the next few days. Since this bug has been in existence for so long, Kees Cook had to revise his critical bug lifetime average from 3.3 to 5.2 years, while the overall average for all bugs increased only slightly.

    • Hackers Hit U.S. Senate GOP Committee

      The national news media has been consumed of late with reports of Russian hackers breaking into networks of the Democratic National Committee. Lest the Republicans feel left out of all the excitement, a report this past week out of The Netherlands suggests Russian hackers have for the past six months been siphoning credit card data from visitors to the Web storefront of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).


      Dataflow markets itself as an “offshore” hosting provider with presences in Belize and The Seychelles. Dataflow has long been advertised on Russian-language cybercrime forums as an offshore haven that offers so-called “bulletproof hosting,” a phrase used to describe hosting firms that court all manner of sites that most legitimate hosting firms shun, including those that knowingly host spam and phishing sites as well as malicious software.

      De Groot published a list of the sites currently present at Dataflow. The list speaks for itself as a collection of badness, including quite a number of Russian-language sites selling synthetic drugs and stolen credit card data.

      According to De Groot, other sites that were retrofitted with the malware included e-commerce sites for the shoe maker Converse as well as the automaker Audi, although he says those sites and the NRSC’s have been scrubbed of the malicious software since his report was published.

      But De Groot said the hackers behind this scheme are continuing to find new sites to compromise.

      “Last Monday my scans found about 5,900 hacked sites,” he said. “When I did another scan two days later, I found about 340 of those had been fixed, but that another 170 were newly compromised.”

    • Thoughts on the BTB Paper

      The Branch Target Buffer (BTB) whitepaper presents some interesting information. It details potential side-channel attacks by utilizing timing attacks against the branch prediction hardware present in Intel Haswell processors. The article does not mention Intel processors later than Haswell, such as Broadwell or Skylake.

      Side-channel attacks are always interesting and fun. Indeed, the authors have stumbled into areas that need more research. Their research can be applicable in certain circumstances.

      As a side-note, KASLR in general is rather weak and can be considered a waste of time[1]. The discussion why is outside the scope of this article.

    • Donald Trump running insecure email servers

      In addition, Beaumont said he’d found that emails from the Trump Organization failed to support two-factor authentication. That’s particularly bad because the Trump Organization’s web-based email access page relies on an outdated March 2015 build of Microsoft Exchange 2007, he says. “Windows Server 2003, IIS 6 and Exchange 2003 went end of life years ago. There are no security fixes. They don’t have basics down,” the UK based researcher concludes.

    • Video: Endgame, Live from Grace Hopper 2016 [Ed: covers voting security]

      Andrea Limbago is interviewed by the CUBE at the Grace Hoper Celebration 2016 conference. She covers a number of interesting topics and I thought it was worth sharing. Enjoy!

    • Stable Linux Kernel Updates Roll Out To Address “Dirty COW” CVE
    • Dirty COW explained: Get a moooo-ve on and patch Linux root hole [Ed: If there was no branding, logo and Web site would it be news?]
    • Dirty COW: Linux kernel security flaw bypasses antivirus software
    • Warnings over Dirty Cow Linux bug [Ed: BBC found something negative to say about Linux so even a local privilege-escalation bug is “news”]
    • ‘Dirty Cow’ Linux vulnerability found after nine years [Ed: Wow, finally. The Guardian covers “Linux”… Couldn’t get the BBC and The Gurdian to cover Linux even when this kernel turned 25, but some old bug is major news? Shame. Both publications are Bill Gates-funded.]
    • “Dirty COW” Is The Most Dangerous Linux Privilege-escalation Bug Ever, Experts Say
    • Attackers exploit ancient ‘Dirty COW’ kernel flaw [Ed: My assessment: A CVE hyped up as “Dirty COW” is a lot more hype and fear-mongering than it ought to be. Pure marketing almost…]
    • Dirty COW Linux vulnerability – what you need to know
    • A serious Linux privilege-escalation bug has been in the wild for nine years
    • Linux Kernel Zero-Day CVE-2016-5195 Patched After Being Deployed in Live Attacks
    • ‘Dirty COW’ Linux kernel security vulnerability being exploited in the wild, warns Red Hat
    • The NyaDrop Trojan for Linux-running IoT Devices
    • Flaw resides in BTB helps bypass ASLR
    • Thoughts on the BTB Paper

      Though the attack might have some merits with regards to KASLR, the attack on ASLR is completely debunked. The authors of the paper didn’t release any supporting code or steps for independent analysis and verification. The results, therefore, cannot be trusted until the authors fully open source their work and the work is validated by trusted and independent third parties.

    • Spreading the DDoS Disease and Selling the Cure

      Earlier this month a hacker released the source code for Mirai, a malware strain that was used to launch a historically large 620 Gbps denial-of-service attack against this site in September. That attack came in apparent retribution for a story here which directly preceded the arrest of two Israeli men for allegedly running an online attack for hire service called vDOS. Turns out, the site where the Mirai source code was leaked had some very interesting things in common with the place vDOS called home.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Channel 4 News defends Facebook live stream of battle for Mosul

      Channel 4 News has defended its decision to live stream a conflict for the first time amid concerns over the dangers of watching the battle for Mosul on a Facebook live feed.

      The publicly owned broadcaster joined other TV stations including Al-Jazeera and Rudaw, the Kurdish news agency that provided the content, to live stream the advance of Iraqi troops and Kurdish fighters into Mosul, Islamic State’s last major stronghold in Iraq.

      Watched more than 500,000 times by lunchtime on Tuesday, the Channel 4 News feed prompted a mixed response with several users questioning the appropriateness of “liking” and pasting emojis on scenes of potential devastation.

    • US marines to establish Norway ‘base’ by January

      The US Marine Corps is to establish a new base in northern Norway as early as January, as Nato forces work to improve their ability respond rapidly to potential Russian aggression
      Maj. Gen. Niel E. Nelson, commander of US Marine Forces in Europe and Africa, told US broadcaster CNN that the new marine base was under discussion with the Norwegian government.

      “We enjoy a very close relationship with the Norwegian Armed Forces and a limited rotational presence in Norway would certainly enhance this relationship and our ability to operate together,” he said in a statement

    • Let’s Rethink What ‘Leadership’ Means in Foreign Policy

      As a retired lieutenant colonel for the U.S. Army, I want to be positive. Even when I’ve identified major conceptual and practical failures in the conduct of American foreign and military policy, I’ve suggested alternatives that could improve the situation. But when looking at the state of our foreign policy in this moment, and given how entrenched the foreign-policy elite in Washington has become, a rational optimism is getting more and more difficult to find.

      In practice, the current administration tries to keep a lid on problems by applying limited military power—at least regarding troop levels—over large sections of the globe. These military operations are tactical in nature, designed to achieve small-scale results, without the consideration of how or even whether they support some larger strategic objective.

    • Agencies Found to Be Ignoring IGs to the Tune of $87 Billion

      Federal agencies are wasting $87 billion by failing to implement more than 15,000 inspector general recommendations, according to a new report released by Republican senators.

      Many of the proposals have been floated for more than 10 years, wrote Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, in their findings. The lawmakers and their staffs compiled the data over the last year from 72 different inspectors general at federal agencies governmentwide, and issued the final document without Democratic input.

    • Washington’s foreign policy elite breaks with Obama over Syrian bloodshed

      There is one corner of Washington where Donald Trump’s scorched-earth presidential campaign is treated as a mere distraction and where bipartisanship reigns. In the rarefied world of the Washington foreign policy establishment, President Obama’s departure from the White House — and the possible return of a more conventional and hawkish Hillary Clinton — is being met with quiet relief.

      The Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the groundwork for a more assertive American foreign policy, via a flurry of reports shaped by officials who are likely to play senior roles in a potential Clinton White House.

    • Clinton’s “Incredibly Dangerous” Nuclear Brinkmanship

      Rowley, a former FBI special agent and division counsel whose May 2002 memo to the FBI Director exposed some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures was named one of TIME magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002. She said today: “Clinton is engaging in incredibly dangerous brinkmanship with a nuclear superpower but at the same time, trying to lull the public into complacency about the danger she intends to place them in. Last night, she again pledged she would, after being elected, institute a ‘no-fly zone’ and ‘safe zones’ over Syria but she evaded answering the debate moderator’s direct question as to whether she would give the order to shoot down Russian aircraft over Syria. Her evasive response was directly at odds with the recent assessment of General Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in testimony to Congress (as well as earlier assessments from former Chief Martin Dempsey and other top generals) that establishing a ‘no-fly zone’ would almost certainly mean war with Syria (and Russia).

      “In addition, Clinton mischaracterized what the intelligence agencies are saying about the emails to/from her campaign chief of staff, John Podesta, that are being put out by WikiLeaks. She claimed they have come from ‘the highest levels of the Russian government, clearly, from Putin himself, in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election.’

      “In fact, a carefully crafted statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (James Clapper) was far less definitive, stating: ‘The recent disclosures … are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.’ It’s also worth noting that this was not the conclusion of a National Intelligence Estimate, merely a statement from the ODNI and Department of Homeland Security.” [Note: Because of an editing error by IPA staff, this news release originally quoted the line from the ODNI statement: “However, we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian Government.” But that sentence was referring to “scanning and probing of … election-related systems” — not to the recent WikiLeaks disclosures. IPA regrets the error.]

      ELIZABETH MURRAY, emurray404[at]aol.com, @elizabethmurra
      Murray served as deputy national intelligence officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career in the U.S. government, where she specialized in Middle Eastern political and media analysis. See her page at Consortium News, including “How U.S. Propaganda Fuels New Cold War” and “Seeking a Debate on ‘Regime Change’ Wars.”

    • ‘Time to say goodbye to US,’ Philippines’ Duterte proclaims on historic China visit

      It’s “time to say goodbye” to the United States, said Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on a visit to China, where he and President Xi Jinping are turning the recently-frosty tide with bilateral agreements, while Washington now gets the cold shoulder.

      Duterte spoke to the press in Beijing on Wednesday, on the eve of talks with Xi. There was scant information about what was to come on Thursday, but Duterte’s conference coincided with talk of unprecedented agreements being written up – particularly the granting to the Philippines the use of Scarborough Shoal territories – a disputed resource-rich area in the South China Sea.

    • ‘The Promise:’ The Armenian Genocide Epic Kirk Kerkorian Spent a Fortune to Make

      “The Promise,” a sweeping historical romance starring Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale, is the kind of movie epic they just don’t make anymore. It’s a throwback to David Lean’s “Doctor Zhivago” and Warren Beatty’s “Reds,” movies that transposed big, emotional stories against a sprawling canvas, and tugged at the heartstrings while dealing with thorny political periods.

    • Finland: Russian propaganda questioning our validity risks destabilising country

      Finnish government communications chief Markku Mantila said his officials had observed a barrage of state-sponsored media attacks ahead of the country’s celebrations marking 100 years of independence from Russia

    • Pakistan bans Bollywood and Indian television as Kashmir dispute spills over into entertainment industry

      Pakistan is banning Bollywood films and all Indian programmes and music across the country’s television and radio networks amid heightened tensions with its neighbour in the disputed Kashmir region.

      The two countries have exchanged cross-border fire in recent weeks, after India blamed Pakistani forces for raid on one of its army bases that left 18 soldiers dead last month and responded with “surgical strikes”.

      Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, vowed that the attack would “not go unpunished”, while his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif denied his country’s forces were involved and condemned “the unprovoked and naked aggression of Indian forces”.

      The escalation has provoked international alarm, spilling over into the world of entertainment and celebrity in both countries.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • 4chan, Anonymous working to get Julian Assange working internet

      It’s been a rough week for WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange, who’s cooped up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London with no internet and, possibly, poisonous vegan meals trying to kill him.

      But members of 4chan and Anonymous are rallying together to get Assange the Wi-Fi he needs so that a good samaritan can stop reading him everything off of the internet.

      The plan, per a report by The Next Web, is called “Operation Hot Pockets” and involves members of the notorious internet gathering around the embassy, in shifts, to create wireless hotspots so Assange can, once again, access the internet to leak emails, update his Friendster account, and do whatever else he needs to do (Instacart?).

    • WikiLeaks claims sham U.S. firm is trying to smear Assange

      The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks is claiming that an elaborate and somewhat wacky smear campaign has targeted the group’s founder, Julian Assange, to paint him as a pedophile and Russian client.

      WikiLeaks said the smear efforts, which it’s outlined in tweets and a series of documents over the past two days, include a sham offer from the Russian government to pay Assange $1 million to promote a women’s dating site and a separate scheme to link Assange to a criminal case in the Bahamas.

      The assertions are the latest twist in events that have kept Assange and WikiLeaks at center stage of the presidential campaign. The smears come as WikiLeaks releases tens thousands of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and from the personal email account of campaign chairman John Podesta.

    • ‘We wouldn’t not publish Trump documents or suppress them, but we can only work with what we’ve got’

      Last Sunday, Sarah Harrison stayed up to watch the second US presidential election debate between Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican rival Donald Trump. The organisation she works for, WikiLeaks, got a special mention at the showdown.

      “Our intelligence community just came out and said, in the last few days, that the Kremlin… are directing attacks, are hacking American accounts to influence the election,” Clinton said. “WikiLeaks is part of that, as are other sites.”

      It’s an accusation that rankles a little bit with Harrison.

      “This sort of attack keeps coming against us,” she says. “She [Hillary Clinton] is basically saying that the US intelligence community has confirmed this. But in their statements they have used vague language like ‘it’s the sort of thing we’ve come to expect from the Russians’. There’s no proof it comes from the Russians. We operate on the basis of source anonymity. We don’t comment on sourcing.”

    • Former CIA Employee Sues Agency Over Its Refusal To Provide Documents In Electronic Form

      The CIA is still causing problems for Jeffrey Scudder. Scudder used to work for the CIA. He was forced out of the agency after making a FOIA request for “historical documents of long-dormant conflicts and operations” while still employed there. Perhaps the agency thought only citizens outside of the agency should be making FOIA requests. Or maybe it thought Scudder was engaged in a particularly labyrinthine plot to exfiltrate declassified documents out of the agency. Whatever its thought process, it resulted in an FBI raid of Scudder’s house, the seizure of his electronics, and the end of his career.

      Unfortunately for the CIA, this has given Scudder more time to file FOIA requests and sue the agency when it responds in increasingly ridiculous ways. Scudder has already tangled with the CIA over its refusal to join the 20th century (never mind the current one) when turning over responsive documents. His last major request to the agency asked for “softcopy” — i.e., not paper — copies of 419 articles from the CIA’s “Studies in Intelligence.”

      The CIA told him it had no way of providing him documents in the format he asked for. Instead, it claimed it only had one way to comply with the request: the stupidest, most circuitous way.

    • The Wikileaks Story Is Even More Dramatic Thanks to This Composer’s Auto-Tuned Opera

      In early 2010, a US Army intelligence analyst stationed in Iraq sent three quarters of a million military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks, a non-profit founded by Julian Assange dedicated to sharing official documents “alleging government and corporate misconduct,” according to their website. Private Bradley Manning, the analyst behind the biggest intelligence leak in US history, then confessed to his deed in an online chat with a known hacker named Adrian Lamo. In May of 2010, Lamo reported the confession to US Army counterintelligence, the chat logs were published by Wired.com, and by July of 2013, Private Manning had been charged by the US government with 22 offenses, including “aiding the enemy.” After pleading guilty to 10 of the charges and the trial finished on August 21st in 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

    • This Is Huge: New Project Releases All Current (Non-Confidential) Congressional Research Service Reports

      Going back nearly a decade, we’ve been talking about the ridiculousness of Congress refusing to publicly release reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS). As we’ve discussed many times, CRS is an in-house think tank for Congress that is both famously non-partisan and actually really good at what they do. CRS reports tend to be really useful and highly credible (which is part of the reason why Congress isn’t a fan of letting them out into the public). Of course, as works of the federal government, CRS reports are in the public domain, but the way it’s always worked is that the reports are released only to members of Congress. These include both general reports on topics that are released to every member of Congress, or specific research tasked by a member for the CRS to investigate and create a new report. The members who receive the reports are able to release them to the public, and some do, but the vast majority of CRS work remains hidden from public view. For the most part, both CRS and Congress have resisted any attempt to change this. Going back decades, they’ve put together a mostly ridiculous list of reasons opposing plans to more widely distribute CRS reports.

      Some members of Congress keep introducing bills to make these public domain CRS reports actually available to the public. We’ve written about such attempts in 2011, 2012, 2015 and earlier this year. And each time they get shot down, often for completely ridiculous reasons, including the belief that making these reports public will somehow hurt CRS’s ability to continue to do good, non-partisan research.

      At times, different organizations and groups have taken up the cause themselves. Back in 2009, Wikileaks hit the jackpot and released nearly 7,000 such CRS reports. Steve Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists has been posting CRS reports to a public archive for quite some time. There’s also Antoine McGrath’s CRSReports.com and some other sites that all create archives of CRS reports that they’ve been able to collect from various sources.

    • Agents of influence: How reporters have been “weaponized” by leaks

      Since June, some entity has been releasing e-mails and electronic documents obtained via network intrusions and credential thefts of politicians and political party employees. Some of the releases have appeared on sites believed to be associated with Russian intelligence operations; others have appeared on Wikileaks. On occasion, the leaker has also engaged journalists directly, trying to have them publish information drawn from these documents—sometimes successfully, other times not.

      The US government has pinned at least some of the blame for these leaks on Russia. This has led some observers to argue that WikiLeaks and Russian intelligence agencies are “weaponizing” the media. This is what national security circles refer to as an “influence operation,” using reporters as tools to give credibility and cover to a narrative driven by another nation-state. The argument is that by willingly accepting leaked data, journalists have (wittingly or not) aided the leaker’s cause. As such, they have become an “agent of influence.”

    • Agent of Influence 2.0

      An agent of influence is a particular type of agent used by an agency to deliver information (or a narrative) they hope will sway public opinion. There are three types of agent of influence:

      Controlled Agent — an agent under the direct control of an agency

      Trusted Contact — someone who is aware that they are being fed data by an agency; who is also looking to advance the same/similar agenda, but is not directly under the control of the agency

      Unwitting Agent — sometimes called a “useful idiot,” these agents are not aware of their role as conduits of data for an agency

      The primary role for an agent of influence is to add credibility to the narrative / data that the agency is attempting to get out and help influence the public.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • World’s mammals being eaten into extinction, report warns

      Hundreds of mammal species – from chimpanzees to hippos to bats – are being eaten into extinction by people, according to the first global assessment of the impact of human hunting.

      Bushmeat has long been a traditional source of food for many rural people, but as roads have been driven into remote areas, large-scale commercial hunting is leaving forests and other habitats devoid of wildlife.

      The scientists behind the new analysis warned that, without action, the wiping out of these species could lead to the collapse of the food security of hundreds of millions of people reliant on bushmeat for survival.

      The work comes against the backdrop of the natural world undergoing the greatest mass extinction since a giant meteorite strike wiped out the dinosaurs 65m years ago, with species vanishing far more rapidly than the long term rate, driven by the destruction and invasion of wild areas by humans and their livestock and hunting.

    • Norway nature group calls for limits to tourist hikers

      Norway’s leading hiking group has called for limits to the huge number of tourists hiking to Pulpit’s Rock and other attractions.
      Lasse Heimdal, leader of Friluftsliv, an umbrella organisation for those engaged hiking and other outdoor pursuits, said there was a risk that the huge spike in tourists seen in recent years would damage the most popular sites.

      He argued that was “urgent that we now take measures to ensure that outdoor life is safeguarded”.

      “If the large loads might damage nature, the authorities are obliged to impose countermeasures,” he told NRK. “Limiting access can be one of the measures.”

    • Greenland is Melting

      Not long ago, I attended a memorial service on top of the Greenland ice sheet for a man I did not know. The service was an intimate affair, with only four people present. I worried that I might be regarded as an interloper and thought about stepping away. But I was clipped onto a rope, and, in any case, I wanted to be there.

      The service was for a NASA scientist named Alberto Behar. Behar, who worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, might be described as a twenty-first-century explorer. He didn’t go to uncharted places; he sent probes to them. Some of the machines he built went all the way to Mars; they are orbiting the planet today or trundling across its surface on the Curiosity rover. Other Behar designs were deployed on Earth, at the poles. In Antarctica, Behar devised a special video camera to capture the first images ever taken inside an ice stream. In Greenland, he once sent a flock of rubber ducks hurtling down a mile-long ice shaft known as a moulin. Each duck bore a label, offering, in Greenlandic, English, and Danish, a reward for its return. At least two made it through.

      When Behar died, in January, 2015—he crashed his single-engine plane onto the streets of Los Angeles—he was at work on another probe. This one, dubbed a drifter, looked like a toolbox wearing a life preserver. It was intended to measure the flow of meltwater streams. These so-called supraglacial rivers are difficult to approach, since their banks are made of ice. They are often lined with cracks, and usually they end by plunging down an ice shaft. The drifter would float along, like a duck, collecting and transmitting data, so that, by the time it reached a moulin and was sucked in, it would have served its purpose.

  • Finance

    • Saudi Arabia’s $17.5 Billion Bond Sale Draws Investors

      Banks and investors flocked to buy Saudi Arabia’s first global bonds, a milestone in the giant oil producer’s efforts to diversify its economy and embrace global financial markets.

    • Iain Macwhirter: Panic! We’re led by a Dad’s Army of Brexiter buffoons

      The vote to leave the EU has been widely interpreted as a cry of anguish, predominantly from the dispossessed in non-metropolitan England: white working class people, typically in the north, who feel they have been left behind by globalisation, rising inequality, casualisation and low pay.

      It is a cruel irony, therefore, that it is these people, the ones at the bottom of the social heap, who stand to be worst hit by the emerging post-Brexit economy. There have been howls of anguish from financiers in the City of London, who are demanding a special deal in the EU, and, since money talks, they’ll probably get one. But the first casualties, as The Herald reported yesterday, will be low-income families caught in the vice of rising living costs and benefit cuts who stand to lose £360 a year. As we know, most of the working-age benefit claimants are actually in work and their income had already been squeezed by 10 per cent since the 2008 crash.

    • CETA – new documents and declarations (as of 19 October)

      Several documents have been transmitted to the Walloon parliament, including these.

      Again, nothing clear about the legal weight of these documents. Interesting to see how many of them are unilateral declarations of the Commission or of the Council or even of one member state, which means they did not convince Canada to make those joint statements, which makes them even weaker than the joint interpretative declaration that has already wiedly been criticised. Indeed, even a joint interpretative declaration cannot solve the concerns that have been expressed.

    • Citizens’ Summit Contra CETA: It’s Not Only Wallonia

      With the vote on the European Union-Canada trade agreement (CETA) on the agenda once more at the upcoming EU Council meeting tomorrow the representatives of European and Canadian cities and regions gathered at Brussels today for a “CETA Citizens’ Summit.” Gerardo Pisarello, vice mayor of the city of Barcelona, said that cities like his see CETA as a barrier to their plans to remunicipalize water and energy services and the attempts “to open up public procurement to small companies and cooperatives.”

    • Power company drags Guatemala back to ICSID

      The case is the second ICSID claim to be filed against Colombia. The first, by mining company Glencore International, was filed earlier this year. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is acting for the claimants in the two cases and also defended Guatemala in its dispute with TECO, though so far the state has not instructed counsel for the resubmitted claim.

      Last week, another ICSID tribunal issued a decision on rectification in a dispute between Philip Morris and Uruguay, making only minor corrections to an award issued earlier this year, which had held the state’s tobacco control regulations were not in breach of an investment treaty.

    • TTIP: the impact on the Greek democracy, economy and society

      The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), belongs to the “new generation”of trade agreements. Together with Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is one of the most important forthcoming steps for the wide-ranging transformation of the bourgeois society and capitalism.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • WikiLeaks poisons Hillary’s relationship with left

      Donald Trump is pointing to a stream of hacked emails as proof that Hillary Clinton would be a compromised president, but a surprising number of progressives are drawing similar conclusions — albeit for a totally different reasons.

      Some of the left’s most influential voices and groups are taking offense at the way they and their causes were discussed behind their backs by Clinton and some of her closest advisers in the emails, which swipe liberal heroes and causes as “puritanical,” “pompous”, “naive”, “radical” and “dumb,” calling some “freaks,” who need to “get a life.”

    • Jill Stein op-ed: Break the blackout on political competition in America

      A voter revolt is brewing in America. People are fed up, and they should be. The super rich are destroying our economy, sending our jobs overseas and making our planet uninhabitable. But instead of offering real solutions, the two-party system has produced the two most disliked and distrusted candidates in history.

      In a Fox News poll from Sept. 30, 57 percent of voters said their choice in the presidential election is motivated primarily not by enthusiasm, but by fear of the other candidate. Democrats and Republicans have lost ground to independents, now the largest voting block. Meanwhile, an incredible 57 percent of Americans polled recently by Gallup say the Democratic and Republican parties have failed and we need a new major party. In short, the American people are ready for real competition to the two-party system.

      As I travel the country, I hear disgust with both parties, especially among young people. They see a political establishment that is unwilling or unable to tackle the dead-end economy, crushing student debt, endless expanding wars, growing climate crisis and injustice in our legal and immigration systems. They see Donald Trump as an ignorant, bigoted predator and Hillary Clinton as an untrustworthy insider with a troubling record. The Green Party’s message makes sense to many because Greens have the freedom, as the only national party that doesn’t take corporate money, to speak out for fair, common-sense solutions that establishment politicians won’t touch.

    • Op Ed: Investigative Journalism is Not Dead

      Okay, so, I wasn’t going to submit these here because I’ve really had quite enough of politics for the year but it seems the mainstream media are having an absolute blackout on anything critical of Hillary, to the point of CNN has both coincidentally lost a sitting congressman’s satellite feed immediately after mentioning wikileaks and tried to tell their viewers that even reading the wikileaks emails is illegal.

      These two videos by Project Veritas Action, apparently with more to come, are the result of a year or so of actual investigative journalism and deserve coverage somewhere though. I don’t personally care at all if you like Hillary or not but it’s always better to know the truth than to stick your head in the sand, so here they are.

    • If You’re Ever Dissed in a Hacked Email, Try to Respond Like Larry Lessig

      Lawrence Lessig is a professor at Harvard Law School, a leading advocate for campaign finance reform, and short-lived presidential candidate.

      He was also, in the view of the Clinton campaign, circa August 2015, a “smug,” “pompous,” loathsome guy whom a reasonable person might wish “to kick the shit out of on Twitter.”

    • Jill Stein offers third party perspective on final debate

      The final debate of the 2016 Presidential Election was a terse one, with more jabs than a UFC event. While the debate only featured the two mainstream candidates, Jill Stein used Facebook Live to communicate the Green Party’s goals for the country and politics.

      While the mainstream debates mostly focused on which candidate is more corrupt politically and morally, Jill Stein’s Facebook Live event drew 12,500 viewers who were excited to hear of an alternative to the two-party system. Leaving Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to mudsling and name-call, Stein wanted to focus on the need for a three-party system and offering alternatives to the corporate-backed political system.

    • Green Party V.P. candidate makes visit to Muskegon, hopes for support

      Green Party vice-presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka visited Muskegon, and his stop was not at a college campus or a coffee shop but the Michigan Department of Corrections campus.

      Baraka visited Wednesday, Oct. 19, with prison inmate Rev. Edward Pinkney, who is serving time at the prison for a conviction on an election law forgery charge.

      “For him to be given a 30-month sentence allegedly for changing some signatures on a voter card that is outrageous,” Baraka said.

      Baraka has a message to voters looking for a home this election cycle: “We say you only have one choice and that is to support the Green Party. Don’t let fear undermine your commitment to principal.”

    • Green Party Candidate Jill Stein Rips John Oliver’s ‘Deceptive Attack’

      “Coming from someone who made a stunt of buying and canceling medical debt on his show, and who claims to want alternatives to the failed two-party system, this disingenuous attack on the idea of canceling student debt is both puzzling and hypocritical,” Stein’s campaign said in a statement. “It was beyond disappointing to see that our responses were completely ignored. The same tired, misleading attack lines were trotted out, and Oliver chose to misrepresent our campaign on the lone substantive issue that he addressed: our plan to cancel student debt.”

      In Sunday’s episode, Oliver said Stein’s plan to eliminate student debt relies on an economic method called quantitative easing, which is essentially the printing of new money. The problem, Oliver said, is that the Federal Reserve doesn’t have the jurisdiction of the president. “It’s basically akin to saying, ‘I’ll make us energy independent by ordering the Post Office to invade Canada,’” Oliver said. “No, Jill. That’s impractical, it’s a terrible idea, and you don’t seem to understand anything about it.”

    • Jill Stein Pitches a Green Foreign Policy

      On The Gist, Green Party candidate Jill Stein lays out her foreign policy. She debates Mike Pesca about Hillary Clinton, Yemen, and America’s use of force. Stein believes the United States is closer to nuclear war than ever, including the Cold War. She explains how de-escalating nuclear tensions with Russia should take priority, and how neither of the major party candidates is up to the job. This year marks Stein’s second run for the presidency.

    • Why These Americans Refuse to Vote

      In Nevada, residents are afforded a luxury not enjoyed by any other Americans: When they trudge to the polls next month, they’ll have the chance to check a box that reads, “None of These Candidates.” Nevada voters are statutorily entitled to signal their discontent with the entire array of presidential contenders before them by saying “screw it” and selecting that particular option. And it’s not a joke—this ultimate “F you!” has actually won various Nevada state primary elections in the past.

      One can only guess what percentage of voters would choose “none” were the option available nationwide, but there are some clues it’d find sizable traction: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the two most despised major party nominees in modern electoral history. But outside Nevada, there’s no way to formally register your across-the-board disillusionment with the political system that produced them: You’ve got to pick Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or one of the third-party also-rans. (Or you could write somebody in, such as Fred Flintstone or LeBron James.)

    • Green Party’s Jill Stein on “Donald Trump’s Psychosis and Hillary Clinton’s Distortions”

      After Wednesday’s debate, Democracy Now! spoke to Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential nominee. She and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson were excluded from the debate under stringent rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties.

    • A Tale of Three Foundations
    • Donald Trump Just Lost, But So Did American Democracy

      Trump called Clinton a liar, a “nasty woman” and someone who should have “never been allowed to run” because she is a crook.

    • Presidential Conflicts of Interest, and More from CRS

      “Does federal law require the President to relinquish control of his or her business interests?” That question is considered in a new analysis from the Congressional Research Service.

      The short answer appears to be No. “There is no current legal requirement that would compel the President to relinquish financial interests because of a conflict of interest.”

      There are, however, certain legal disclosure requirements that apply to candidates for the Presidency. It is those requirements that are “the principal method of regulation of potential conflicts of interests for elected officials such as the President.”

    • Natasha Stoynoff’s account of Trump sexual assault now backed by 6 witnesses

      Former People magazine contributor Natasha Stoynoff recently went public with her claim that she was sexually assaulted by the GOP Presidential Nominee, Donald Trump.

      Trump and his paid toadies on the campaign trail mocked Stoynoff, and questioned her motives. There were no witnesses, Trump said, adding, “She lies! Look at her, I don’t think so.”

      A totally normal thing for an innocent man to say when accused of sexual assault.

      “We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat,” she wrote.

      Six people have now come forward to corroborate Stoynoff’s account.

      She wasn’t lying, they say. It happened. And it happened just like she said it happened.

    • Revealed: 6 People Who Corroborate Natasha Stoynoff’s Story of Being Attacked by Donald Trump

      Six colleagues and close friends who corroborate former PEOPLE writer Natasha Stoynoff’s account of being attacked by Donald Trump in 2005 are now coming forward. Among them is a friend who was with Stoynoff when she ran into Melania Trump later in N.Y.C.

      The wife of the Republican nominee denies meeting Stoynoff after the attack, but Stoynoff’s friend Liza Herz remembers being there during the chance meeting.

      “They chatted in a friendly way,” Herz, who met Stoynoff in college, says. “And what struck me most was that Melania was carrying a child and wearing heels.”

      Stoynoff’s story, which made national news when it broke last week and is reprinted in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, describes a run-in with Trump when she was covering him and pregnant wife Melania on assignment for PEOPLE in December 2005.

    • Michael Moore quietly made a Donald Trump movie. “TrumpLand” opens this week.

      Filmmaker Michael Moore has an “October surprise” for America: A stealthily and quickly made movie about the presidential campaign of GOP nominee and accused serial sexual predator Donald Trump.

    • What Michael Moore Understands About Hillary Clinton

      “Michael Moore in TrumpLand” isn’t quite the film that I expected it to be, and that’s all to the good. Moore is, of course, a genius of political satire, deploying his persona—as a populist socialist skeptic with a superb sense of humor and a chess player’s skill at media positioning—to deeply humane ends that are mainly detached from practicality, policy, and practical politics. The very idea of the new film—a recording of Moore’s one-man show from the stage of a theatre in a small, predominantly Republican town in Ohio—runs the risk of self-parody, being a feature-length lampooning of Trump, laid out with meticulously researched facts set forth with the sublime derision of which Moore is a master. It would have been a highly saleable version of preaching to the converted.

    • Final Debate Review: One President vs One Petulant Child

      So the last Trump vs Hillary debate is done. It will be remembered as the debate where Trump put himself and his personal acceptance ahead of the opinion of 200 million voters. I think this will damage him more than any other third debate ever, and will bring on a wave of condemnation by Republicans and more un-endorsements. I think he will walk that statement back, soon, and may be forced to Apple-igize or non-apologize for it.

    • Clinton Campaign Makes Wildly Inconsistent Claims About Emails Published By WikiLeaks

      Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign contends the publication of emails from the campaign are part of a Russian plot. It believes raising the issue of Russia’s alleged involvement is enough to avoid discussion of the contents of emails. However, the campaign has been inconsistent in appearances on cable news networks.

      Multiple individuals explicitly insist there are doctored or forged emails to dodge questions. Some of these people had their email exchanges published by WikiLeaks. Yet no member of the Clinton campaign can name a single example of a forgery.

      Representatives of the Clinton campaign back away from talking points and answer questions about the emails if they can make a point that may be useful to the campaign about Donald Trump or Clinton’s progressive credentials. But when hosts of news programs ask questions they do not want to answer, they repeat a set of talking points; in particular, how Republican Senator Marco Rubio said this shows the Russians are trying to rig the election and people should stop talking about the emails.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Police mass face recognition in the US will net innocent people

      Live in the US? There’s a 50:50 chance that you’re in a police face recognition database, according to a report from the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law in Washington DC. The findings suggest that about a quarter of all police departments in the US have access to face recognition technology.

      That police are using face recognition technology is not a problem in itself. In a world with a camera in every pocket, they would be daft not to. But face recognition can be used far more broadly than fingerprint recognition, which means it carries a higher risk of tagging innocent people.

      Fingerprints are difficult to work with. Prints from known criminals can only be gathered in controlled environments at police stations, and dusting for prints is so time consuming that it is only done at relevant crime scenes. This narrows down the number of people in the sights of any one investigation.

      It’s much easier to build huge databases of identified photographs. The majority of the 117 million faces in the police datasets come from state driving licenses and ID cards. And when trying to solve a crime, gathering faces is as easy as pointing a camera at the street. People attending protests, visiting their church, or just walking by can all have their faces “dusted” without ever knowing it.

    • UK first to bring surveillance under rule of law, says former GCHQ director [Ed: So the spies broke the law for many years and our government will pardon them and legalise the crime]

      Former GCHQ head David Omand says the UK will be the first country in Europe to legislate to regulate digital intelligence and put it under judicial supervision with judicial review

    • NSA Can Access More Phone Data Than Ever

      One of the reforms designed to rein in the surveillance authorities of the National Security Agency has perhaps inadvertently solved a technical problem for the spy outfit and granted it potential access to much more data than before, a former top official told ABC News.

      Before the signing of the USA Freedom Act in June 2015, one of the NSA’s most controversial programs was the mass collection of telephonic metadata from millions of Americans — the information about calls, including the telephone numbers involved, the time and the duration but not the calls’ content — under a broad interpretation of the Patriot Act’s Section 215. From this large “haystack,” as officials have called it, NSA analysts could get approval to run queries on specific numbers purportedly linked to international terrorism investigations.

    • NSA, GCHQ and even Donald Trump are all after your data

      As production and usage of data keeps growing globally, it’s worth remembering that the US government wants access to your information and will use warrants, decryption or hacking to get to it.

      That’s not news and the US government has many tools in its box. Many had already heard of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (aka the Patriot Act) as the means by which the FBI would get access to data. Then the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act took centre stage (although the original version of this actually predated the Patriot Act by a couple of decades) following the Snowden revelations that the NSA had access to data on a massive scale.

      If Donald Trump gets elected as president, he might introduce more snooping powers. As part of his election campaign, he has already issued some tough statements which seem likely to rebalance powers in favour of the US government and away from the tech industry.

    • Local Superior Court Judge Says DEA’s Wiretap Warrant Factory Perfectly Legal

      Over the past several years, the DEA has run hundreds of wiretap warrants through a single county judge’s court after getting them approved by whoever happened to be in the local district attorney’s office when agents need one signed. The latter part of this process runs contrary to statutes enacted specifically to prevent abuse of wiretap warrants by the federal agencies.

      The approval process, which had been streamlined to eliminate any possible roadblocks to the DEA’s deployment of wiretaps all over the country, was considered by the DOJ to be far enough outside legal boundaries as to make the warrants questionable, if not legally “toxic.”

      The district attorney who was supposed to personally approve these wiretap warrants never did. Former Riverside County district attorney Paul Zellerbach delegated this task to anyone but himself. Because of this, some of the warrants have been challenged in court, leading to the DOJ stepping in to salvage wiretaps its lawyers had previously instructed DEA agents to keep out of federal courts.

    • New Research Blames Insiders, Not North Korea, for Sony Hack

      Growing evidence suggests it was not North Korea.

      A leading cyber security firm says it has evidence that contradicts the government’s allegation that North Korea was behind the debilitating cyber attacks against Sony Pictures.

      Researchers from the firm Norse told Security Ledger, an independent security news website, that they believe that a group of six individuals orchestrated the hack, including at least one former employee who was laid off in company-wide restructuring in May.

    • “I’ve seen pretty much all your tech secrets”

      Government prosecutors intend to file charges under the Espionage Act against a former NSA contractor who was arrested in August and charged with stealing a massive trove of top-secret intelligence documents.

      In court papers filed Thursday [you can read them below], the government said Navy veteran Harold T. Martin III stole 50,000 gigabytes of data over the course of two decades, which far exceeds the number of documents Edward Snowden took from the NSA and leaked to journalists. (One gigabyte can store about 10,000 pages.)

      Prosecutors say Martin, who had been a contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton — the same company that employed Snowden at the time of his leak — is a national security threat and a flight risk, and must remain behind bars until a trial in his case begins next year. Earlier this week, Martin’s attorneys requested a court hearing to determine if he could be released pending trial; the hearing is scheduled to take place Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Maryland.

      In the court papers, the government for the first time characterized the documents that Martin allegedly stole, which prosecutors said lay bare a “course of felonious conduct that is breathtaking in its longevity and scale.” According to the government, in addition to numerous digital media devices the FBI seized from Martin, there were also “hard-copy documents that were seized from various locations during the search that comprise six full bankers’ boxes worth of documents.”

    • Trove of Stolen Data Is Said to Include Top-Secret U.S. Hacking Tools

      Investigators pursuing what they believe to be the largest case of mishandling classified documents in United States history have found that the huge trove of stolen documents in the possession of a National Security Agency contractor included top-secret N.S.A. hacking tools that two months ago were offered for sale on the internet.

      They have been hunting for electronic clues that could link those cybertools — computer code posted online for auction by an anonymous group calling itself the Shadow Brokers — to the home computers of the contractor, Harold T. Martin III, who was arrested in late August on charges of theft of government property and mishandling of classified information.

      But so far, the investigators have been frustrated in their attempt to prove that Mr. Martin deliberately leaked or sold the hacking tools to the Shadow Brokers or, alternatively, that someone hacked into his computer or otherwise took them without his knowledge. While they have found some forensic clues that he might be the source, the evidence is not conclusive, according to a dozen officials who have been involved in or have been briefed on the investigation.

    • Feds seized 50TB of data from NSA contractor suspected of theft

      In a new Thursday court filing, federal prosecutors expanded their accusations against a former National Security Agency contractor. Federal investigators seized at least 50 terabytes of data from Harold Thomas Martin III, at least some of which was “national defense information.” If all of this data was indeed classified, it would be the largest such heist from the NSA, far larger than what former contractor Edward Snowden took.

      Prosecutors also said that Martin should remain locked up and noted that he will soon be charged with violations of the Espionage Act. That law, which dates back nearly a century, is the same law that was used to charge Chelsea Manning and Snowden, among others. If convicted, violators can face the death penalty.

      United States Attorney Rod Rosenstein and two other prosecutors laid out new details in the case against Martin, whose arrest only became public earlier this month. Martin had been a contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton and possessed a top-secret clearance.

      The new filing states that Martin also took “six full bankers’ boxes” worth of paper documents, many which were marked “Secret” or “Top Secret.” The documents date from between 1996 through 2016.

    • Cops Monitoring Social Media Is Much More Than Just Collecting Tweets

      It’s not just your friends following you on Facebook or Twitter. The cops are, too.

      Law enforcement agencies around the world have used social media monitoring software to keep tabs on populations en masse, sweeping up their posts and tweets, giving police a bird’s-eye view of what, say, Twitter users are broadcasting in a specific area, or about a particular topic. Tweeting from an Olympic stadium? Sharing a post with a hashtag supporting Black Lives Matter? Police may be watching that, in real time.

      On the face of it, you might not have a problem with cops reading public social media posts or tweets: individuals presumably took the decision to put the information out there themselves. But law enforcement’s monitoring of social media is not that simple.

      “Social media monitoring is so much more than it first appears. Programs to monitor social media are rarely about manual review of public information,” Amie Stepanovich, US policy manager at activist group Access Now, told Motherboard in a Twitter message.

    • DNA testing for jobs may be on its way, warns Gartner

      It is illegal today to use DNA testing for employment, but as science advances its understanding of genes that correlate to certain desirable traits — such as leadership and intelligence — business may want this information.

      People seeking leadership roles in business, or even those in search of funding for a start-up, may volunteer their DNA test results to demonstrate that they have the right aptitude, leadership capabilities and intelligence for the job.

      This may sound farfetched, but it’s possible based on the direction of the science, according to Gartner analysts David Furlonger and Stephen Smith, who presented their research at the firm’s Symposium IT/xpo here. This research is called “maverick” in Gartner parlance, meaning it has a somewhat low probability and is still years out, but its potential is nonetheless worrisome to the authors.

    • How to endorse a political candidate on Facebook and lose friends forever
    • How to find out what Facebook knows about you

      Close to the top of this page you’ll see a section called “Interests” with a whole lot of tiles. Each tile represents an interest, and Facebook organizes your interests under a variety of categories including sports, news, entertainments, people, and technology.

      All you have to do is go through this list. If you see something that shouldn’t belong—or you’d rather not have belong—just click the “X” that appears in the upper-right corner of the tile when you hover over it with your mouse. This should remove or at least reduce any ads you see related to that content.

      Perhaps the most interesting section for most of us right now is the “Lifestyle and culture” section, which houses political interests. For me, personally, this area was way off. It said I had liked pages related to political parties I don’t support.

      My best guess as to how this happened is that in the last few weeks I’ve liked a bunch of articles criticizing the other side. Do that enough times and one particular candidate’s name comes up more than the other’s, and (perhaps) an association is made between you and the side you disagree with.

    • Email/Web footer – For the NSA….

      I responded to a spam message from my credit union, asking to be removed from their mailing list for things not directly related to my current account status using my standard Live.com email which has for at least 10 years now contained a footer labeled for the NSA which contains dozens of keywords sure to get you scanned. Well it finally worked… 2 days later the Yuma PD responded to my door and questioned me regarding the text of the footer which was reported to them by my credit union as a terrorist bomb threat. 2 Yuma PD marked cars and an unmarked vehicle containing a ‘detective’ arrived, rang the door bell and asked to speak to me, they wanted in the house badly but I chose to speak to them on the front porch. They had a copy of the email and were as they termed it just following up on a complaint lodged by the AEA credit union. The detective asked some rather pointed questions and tried real hard to get me to admit that the footer was really a threat but seemed rather embarrassed at his presence and went away after apparently I turned out to have valid ID and wasn’t brown. The patrol officers openly laughed with me at the over reaction and accepted a bottle of water on their way out. I am debating wearing a turban to the credit union to close my account out and demanding cash in lieu of a cashiers check, but given the state I am in and the gun carry laws that might be too much. I’ll report back if I don’t end up in Gitmo.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Denmark: Muslims stage organised attack against teenagers for being “American”

      The below story also shows how little security Danes (and American tourists) have, now because the police is overwhelmed by Muslim crime and terror.

    • Segregated Housing For Black Students At Cal State LA

      Welcome to the indoctrination station.

      Martin Luther King, please report to the front desk. You’re being brought to trial on charges of microaggressions for this “content of their character” microaggression.

    • Uh, America’s Take On The Salem Witch Trials Is Really Weird

      Imagine someone accusing you of a crime so ridiculous that the crime itself isn’t a real thing, like “French-kissing a pink elephant while enjoying free healthcare and a living wage.” And before you can even figure out how to mount a reasonable defense, you and a dozen other people in your community are dead, swinging from a hanging tree while the rest of the town pats themselves on the back for sending the pink-elephant-kissers back to Hell where they belong.

      Now imagine that a few hundred years have passed, and instead of mourning the terrible crime committed against you, everyone in town dresses up as a cartoon version of you and encourages tourists to buy trinkets that minimize and celebrate your death.

      Got all of that? Cool, you’ve basically pictured what’s happened in Salem, Massachusetts. This town is famous for witches and witch trials, which is another way of saying “mob hysteria which resulted in the murder of over 20 people.” Instead of solemnly remembering their dark past with humility, Salem has gone a different route — specifically, the route populated with merchandise and Ferris wheels.

    • Imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi faces more lashes: supporters

      Imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, whose public flogging in the kingdom in 2015 generated global outcry, now risks a new round of lashes, a co-founder of a Canadian foundation advocating for his release said on Tuesday.

      Evelyne Abitbol, who founded the Raif Badawi Foundation with Badawi’s wife, said a “reliable source” in Saudi Arabia claims he faces a new flogging after being sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and 1000 lashes in 2014 for breaking the kingdom’s technology laws and insulting Islam.

    • Outrage over actor Rahama Sadau’s hug highlights Nigeria’s divisions

      She is a hugely popular actor. He is a hugely popular rapper. But when Rahama Sadau and ClassiQ briefly touched in a music video released this month in northern Nigeria, their fleeting embrace set off a storm of controversy that has revealed the deep divides in the country.

      Sadau, 22, found herself lambasted by conservative commentators and banned from working in the predominantly Muslim north of Nigeria.

      “Rahama has been banned for life from acting … This is as a result of her recent immoral appearance in a certain video song where she appeared … hugging and cuddling,” said Salisu Mohammed, the head of the Motion Picture Practitioner’s Association of Nigeria, based in Kano state.

      The actor apologised for any offence she might have caused but called for a “more forgiving and tolerant” attitude.

      The northern Hausa-language film industry is only one part of the vast Nigerian movie business. Dubbed “Nollywood”, but divided along linguistic and cultural lines, it claims to be the second largest in the world, producing 2,000 films a year. Only Bollywood, the Indian film industry, which has been a huge influence on its Nigerian counterpart, produces more.

    • Muslim leader jailed for life after hiring hitman to kill mosque rival

      A Muslim leader has been jailed for life after hiring a hitman to execute his rival in cold blood following a bitter dispute over control of a controversial mosque.

      Khalid Rashad, 63, a Muslim convert, is the brother of Liz Mitchell, the lead singer in the 1970s band Boney M, famous for disco hits such as Rivers of Babylon, Rasputin and Daddy Cool.

      She appeared as a character witness in his trial, held in January this year, explaining how they had grown up in a large Christian family in Jamaica.

      The case can finally be reported at the end of a second trial in which Rashad was convicted of possessing military-grade plastic explosives and rounds of ammunition at his home, yards from Wembley stadium.

      In the first case, Abdul Hadi Arwani, 48, was found slumped in the driver’s seat of his VW Passat in a street in Wembley, north London, with the engine still running and bullet wounds in his chest in April last year.

      There was speculation that the preacher could have been murdered by a Syrian hitman when it emerged that he had been a vocal opponent of the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

    • Journalist Charged in North Dakota with Rioting; Case is Dismissed

      Amy Goodman, host of the New York City-based leftist news programme Democracy Now! was charged with criminal trespass by the North Dakota state’s attorney (prosecutor). The charge was changed to riot, then was dismissed due to lack of evidence when Goodman appeared in court on Monday. The charges stemmed from her presence at a protest in September against construction of the Dakota Access (Bakken) oil pipeline, after the protest was reported on her show.

    • Christian refugees persecuted by Muslim asylum seekers in German shelters – survey

      Christian asylum seekers as well as members of other religious minority groups living in refugee shelters across Germany face systematic persecution from both Muslim refugees and Muslim staff, a recently published survey shows.

      As many as 743 Christian refugees and 10 Yazidis living in refugee centers in various German states have reported religiously motivated attacks between February and September 2016, a survey conducted by several charitable NGOs says, stressing that collected data should be “considered … as the tip of the iceberg,” as “there are a high number of unreported cases.”

      Fifty-six percent of the affected refugees said that they were subjected to violent assaults and were beaten up while 42 percent of them said that they or their family members received death threats both from fellow refugees and Muslim staff, including volunteers and security personnel working at the centers.

    • Teat Scares Airlines: TSA Still Humiliates Nursing Mothers

      The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) still can’t identify an obvious breast pump used by women who are breastfeeding. According Hawaiian media, a mom was asked to prove her breast pump was real at the Lihue Airport.

      Agents told her she couldn’t take the pump on the plane because the bottles inside were empty. Interestingly, the same thing happened to Kossack Jesselyn Radack 8 years ago for the opposite reason: the bottles were full.

      This is not just a one-off. This is what occurs with measures intended to make people feel secure while doing nothing to actually improve security.

      Radack was on the No-Fly List, so maybe that’s why her breasts are more suspicious. But what the Hawaiian woman experienced is eerily similar and degrading as what Radack went through.

    • Arrested Backpage Execs Ask Kamala Harris To Drop Bogus Case She Herself Has Admitted She Has No Authority To Bring

      A few weeks ago, we wrote about the absolutely ridiculous and unconstitutional charges brought by California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against the online classified site Backpage.com. We focused on the fact that Section 230 clearly protects Backpage from such a lawsuit, and went into detail on the ridiculousness of Harris’ “investigator” using the fact that Backpage itself actually worked with him to track down, remove, and block ads for prostitution as some sort of evidence of wrongdoing.

      The execs are now hitting back — as they should. They’ve asked the court to dump the case with a detailed and thorough filing. It highlights that the charges violate the First Amendment, Section 230 of the CDA and, at an even more basic level, the complaint doesn’t even satisfy the requirements for “pimping,” which is what they’re charged with.

    • By stealing from innocents, Chicago PD amassed tens of millions in a secret black budget for surveillance gear

      Since 2009, the Chicago Police Department has seized $72M worth of property from people who were not convicted of any crime, through the discredited civil forfeiture process, keeping $48M worth of the gains (the rest went to the Cook County prosecutor’s office and the Illinois State Police) in an off-the-books, unreported slush fund that it used to buy secret surveillance gear.

      Civil forfeiture is widely considered to be an invitation to abuse and exploitation, and Chicago’s system is especially pernicious, as the police get to keep the proceeds from seizure, and do not have to disclose or account for the money.

      The full scope of the program was revealed in late September by the Chicago Reader, who worked with Muckrock and the Lucy Parsons Lab to file public records requests that yielded more than 1,000 pages’ worth of CPD documents.

    • URGENT CALL: ask your MP to sign letter to Obama

      One week ago Lauri Love’s case was raised at Prime Minister’s Questions by David Burrowes MP. Lauri’s case, and the inadequacy of Theresa May’s forum bar, is now firmly on the Parliamentary agenda.

      David Burrowes is one of a cross-party group of MPs who are now campaigning for Lauri in Parliament. Along with Labour’s Barry Sheerman and Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael, he has written a letter to President Obama, asking for the extradition warrant to be withdrawn.

    • Iran arrests Baquer Namazi, father of imprisoned American businessman

      Six weeks after freeing U.S. citizens in a prisoner swap with the United States, Iran appears to have arrested yet another man whom Washington may take an interest in seeing freed.

      Baquer Namazi, 80, is the father of American businessman Siamak Namazi, who was detained in October and was not part of last month’s exchange. Before his father’s arrest, he was the last confirmed U.S. prisoner still being held in Iran.

      Baquer Namazi, a former UNICEF official, was arrested on Monday, his wife Effie Namazi said on Facebook. He is an Iranian-American.

      “I must share the shocking and sad news that Baquer was arrested in Tehran late evening of 22 February 2016 and as far as I have been told by those who took him taken to Evin prison,” she wrote. “Now both my innocent son Siamak and my Baquer are in prison for no reason. This is a nightmare I can’t describe.”

    • Muslims call for Norway minister to resign after pork post

      Norwegian Muslims have called on the country’s integration minister to step down after she said that immigrants should adapt to a culture of pork, alcohol and no face-veils.

      Sylvi Listhaug, a minister appointed by the anti-immigrant Progress Party, caused outrage on Monday when she made an incendiary post on the eve of an national integration conference.

      “I think those who come to Norway need to adapt to our society. Here we eat pork, drink alcohol and show our face. You must abide by the values, laws and regulations that are in Norway when you come here,” she wrote in a post that was ‘liked’ by 20,000 people.

    • Supporters of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi fear flogging set to resume

      Supporters of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi are sounding the alarm that his flogging could soon resume.

      The Montreal-based foundation that bears Badawi’s name said this week it has it on good authority his punishment will begin again.

      The information comes from a “private source” who is the same person who informed Badawi’s family in Canada about the first series of lashes in January 2015.

      Evelyne Abitbol, the foundation’s executive director, conceded Tuesday it isn’t known for sure if or when the lashes will resume. Nonetheless, the organization found the information credible enough to convey it publicly.

      “We believe this information is right because it came from the same source,” Abitbol said. “We thought: If we don’t do anything and he is flogged, we would not be happy about not alerting the international community.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • How the Web Became Unreadable

      It’s been getting harder for me to read things on my phone and my laptop. I’ve caught myself squinting and holding the screen closer to my face. I’ve worried that my eyesight is starting to go.

      These hurdles have made me grumpier over time, but what pushed me over the edge was when Google’s App Engine console — a page that, as a developer, I use daily — changed its text from legible to illegible. Text that was once crisp and dark was suddenly lightened to a pallid gray. Though age has indeed taken its toll on my eyesight, it turns out that I was suffering from a design trend.

      There’s a widespread movement in design circles to reduce the contrast between text and background, making type harder to read. Apple is guilty. Google is, too. So is Twitter.

      Typography may not seem like a crucial design element, but it is. One of the reasons the web has become the default way that we access information is that it makes that information broadly available to everyone. “The power of the Web is in its universality,” wrote Tim Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web consortium. “Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”

    • Time’s Running Out for the FCC on Set-Top Reform, Privacy and Zero-Rating

      Dozens of leading public interest groups on Monday urged the Federal Communications Commission to swiftly approve new consumer protection policies aimed at promoting competition in the video marketplace, increasing online privacy, and ensuring internet openness.

      In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and his colleagues, the groups asked the agency to take action on two of the most important issues facing US telecom regulators: Rules that would save consumers billions of dollars annually by breaking the cable industry’s stranglehold on the video “set-top box” market, and tough new policies designed to protect consumers from broadband industry privacy abuses.

      The public interest coalition is also urging the FCC to crack down on the controversial practice of “zero-rating,” in which internet providers exempt certain online services from monthly data caps. Open internet groups say such schemes violate net neutrality, the principle that all content on the internet should be equally accessible, because they favor certain services by giving consumers an economic incentive to use them over rival offerings.

    • Oversight Transition Isn’t Giving Away the Internet, But Won’t Fix ICANN’s Problems

      At midnight last Saturday morning, Washington DC time, oversight over the performance of ICANN’s IANA functions—notably its maintenance of the root zone database of the Internet’s domain name system (DNS)—passed from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to ICANN’s global multi-stakeholder community.

      Despite several weeks of heated discussion within the United States, we haven’t commented much on this transition. That’s because there has not been much to say: the talking points over ICANN have been mostly a product of American party politics (and the election season) rather than a debate on a substantive technical or policy issue. The outcome was unlikely to affect Internet users much one way or the other. Now that the transfer of oversight has gone through, life will go on pretty much as it did before, with the exception that a broader group of people will have the formal responsibility of ensuring that the DNS root zone is being administered according to community-developed policies. New accountability measures have been put in place by ICANN as a condition of the transition, which will give this community some extra teeth to make sure that it stays on the straight and narrow.

    • Vox Seems Kind Of Upset That We’re Building Gigabit Networks With Bandwidth To Spare

      If you want to see why broadband in the United States still stinks, your first stop should be to examine the state level protectionist laws used to stifle competition across countless markets. But despite the lobbyist stranglehold over state legislatures, we’re still seeing some impressive progress when it comes to the deployment of gigabit fiber networks. Google Fiber continues to slowly but surely expand its footprint, and we’re seeing the rise of numerous other piecemeal gigabit solutions, whether coming from the likes of Tucows or municipal broadband deployments in cities like Chattanooga, Tennessee.

      To be clear, the “gigabit revolution” is certainly a bit overhyped. The vast majority still can’t get this caliber of service, and the obsession with the mighty gigabit does tend to obscure a potentially more important conversation about broadband prices and the often glaring lack of real competitive options. But by and large most people can agree that gigabit fiber builds are a good thing in an era when most users can still only obtain DSL at circa 2002 speeds and prices, and two-thirds of homes lack access to speeds greater than 25 Mbps from more than one provider (aka a broken monopoly).

    • FCC Fines T-Mobile For Abusing The Definition Of ‘Unlimited’ Data

      For the better part of the last decade, wireless carriers have had an often vicious, adversarial relationship with the dictionary. More specifically, they’ve struggled repeatedly with the definition of the word “unlimited,” often pitching data services that proclaim to be unlimited, only to saddle users with onerous, often confusing restrictions. For the last decade, regulators have tried to cure them of this behavior, from Verizon paying $1 million to New York’s Attorney General in 2007, to the FCC fining AT&T $100 million last year.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • China’s Manufacturers Now Producing Copies Before Original Products Are Even Launched

      Techdirt has written a number of articles tracking how China is moving beyond its traditional counterfeit imitation culture to one of collaborative innovation, as exemplified by “gongkai”. An article on the Quartz site provides a useful update on this world, concentrating on developments in Shenzhen, generally regarded as China’s hardware equivalent of Silicon Valley.

    • Comments Received On South African IP Framework; Action Seen In Early 2017

      The invitation by the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to intellectual property stakeholders to comment on its recently released IP Consultative Framework has reignited calls for the department to come clean on the status of the national draft IP policy.

    • US, India Trade Ministers Agree List Of IP Enforcement Actions For India

      United States Trade Representative Michael Froman and Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman met in Delhi today and discussed various bilateral issues including intellectual property rights. Based on the release from the meeting, it appears much of the IP focus was on tasks for India to do to better protect IP rights.

    • Copyrights

      • Skittles Photographer Actually Sues Trump Campaign Over Infringement

        A few weeks ago, we wrote about how David Kittos was threatening the Trump campaign with a copyright infringement lawsuit after Donald Trump Jr. tweeted out a really dumb image involving a bowl of Skittles and a ridiculous statement about refugees.

      • Megaupload User Fears Complete Data Loss, Asks Court For Help

        Millions of users lost access to their personal files when Megaupload was raided, and after nearly half a decade they are still stashed away in a Virginia warehouse. Former Megaupload user Kyle Goodwin has been trying to get his files back for years. This week he urged the court to take action, fearing that his data may soon be lost forever.

      • Our new brochure is finally here!

        After countless hours of work our new brochure “Ancillary Copyright for press publishers – Background and key issues” has arrived! It is easy to read and answers all relevant questions regarding an Ancillary Copyright for press publishers (AC). You can download it here for free.

        Much has happened in the past years. The first part of the paper reconstructs the development from the first discussions in Germany back in 2009 over the implementation in Germany and Spain with its consequences to Günther Oettinger’s current plans to introduce an AC at European level.


Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

Posted in News Roundup at 6:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • ‘Why Use Linux?’ Answered In 3 Short Words

      This post is not a typical post. I’m not going to change your life, or teach you a new trick. Instead I’m going to drag you down the rabbit hole…

      I had to Google a rather dry grammatical enquiry from my sister earlier. See, she’s in the process of going back to college to study nursing and has become fastidious about punctuation in the process.

      She turned to me because her iPhone did not, in her words, ‘give the correct answer’.

    • How does Linux need to change to achieve the ‘year of the Linux desktop?’

      The year of the Linux desktop has long been the unicorn of the open source movement. People have looked for it for quite a long time, but nobody’s ever seen it. But hope springs eternal, and for some the quest for the year of the Linux desktop goes on.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux kernel bugs: we add them in and then take years to get them out

      Kees Cook is a Google techie and security researcher whose interests include the Linux Kernel Self Protection Project.

      The idea of “self-protection” doesn’t mean giving up on trying to create secure code in the first place, of course.

      It may sound like an irony, but I’m happy to accept that writing secure code requires that you simultaneously write code that is predicated on insecurity.

    • storaged – next evolution step of udisks2

      What do you think about the above goals? Do you think GNU/Linux distributions should and will adopt storaged as a replacement for *udisks2″? Would you like your favorite distribution to do so? Or do you see a really bumpy road ahead? Please tell us what you think in the comments and if you know about somebody who should read this post and participate in the broader discussion, don’t forget to let them know and send them the link!

    • Ten Years of KVM

      We recently celebrated 25 years of Linux on the 25th anniversary of the famous email Linus sent to announce the start of the Linux project. Going by the same yardstick, today marks the 10th anniversary of the KVM project — Avi Kivity first announced the project on the 19th Oct, 2006 by this posting on LKML…

    • Linux Foundation Certified Engineer: Karthikeyan Ramaswamy

      Linux was part of my academics. I was introduced to Linux at the Anna University Bioinformatics Lab by my Professor Gautam Pennathur. After that introduction, I became truly interested in Linux and open source when I was doing my final year project with Professor Nagasuma Chandra in the bioinformatics department, Indian Institute of Science. It was an incredible journey with the different flavors of Linux as well as the scripting and programming languages. After learning about the history of Linux and open source software movement, I become an Individual supporter of The Linux Foundation and an Annual Associate Member of the Free Software Foundation.

    • Linux 4.9 Is Showing Some Performance Improvements On A Core i7 6800K

      Now that Linux 4.9-rc1 is out, it’s onward to testing this new Linux kernel on the dozens of test systems at Phoronix. With some early testing on a Core i7 6800K Broadwell-E box, there are some promising improvements.

    • Linux 4.10 To Expose EFI Framebuffer Configuration

      While Linux 4.9-rc1 was only released this past weekend, the EFI subsystem changes are already being staged for the next kernel cycle.

      One of the EFI changes catching my attention for Linux 4.10 is that the EFI frame-buffer configuration will be exposed. This will allow for localized status strings during firmware updates.

    • Features You Won’t Find In The Linux 4.9 Mainline Kernel

      While there are many new features in Linux 4.9, there is some functionality we’ve been looking forward to that sadly isn’t yet in the mainline kernel tree.

    • Blockchain technology can help save the lives of millions of refugees by giving them a verified identity

      What if you had no proof of who you are? What would you do when the bank manager asked for ID when you tried to open an account or when the hospital asked for your documentation?

      You wouldn’t be able to function, at least not easily. Billions face this problem internationally, but now blockchain technology is helping those with no paper proof of existence get the same services as those with “official” identification.

    • Open Networking Foundation and ON.Lab Merge

      As Software Defined Networking (SDN) has matured from just being a theoretical concept to a production reality, consolidation is now happening in SDN advocacy efforts as well. Today the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and ON.Lab announced that they would be merging, bringing the two groups’ SDN efforts under one umbrella organization.


      There is also a connection between ONF and the Linux Foundation, with the ONOS and CORD projects led by ON.Lab. Parulkar said that with the ONF merger, the ONOS and CORD boards and governance will continue unchanged and they will continue to be Linux Foundation Collaborative projects.

    • ONF to Merge With On.Lab

      The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is merging with On.Lab, creating one entity that will curate standards such as OpenFlow while developing software projects such as ONOS and the Central Office Re-Imagined as a Datacenter (CORD).

    • SDN groups shack-up to promote standards, open software development
    • ON.Lab and ONF to combine open source SDN efforts
    • SDN Champions ONF & ON.Lab Tie the Knot
    • ONF, ON.Labs to Merge
    • ONF will merge with ON.Lab to advance SDN adoption
    • Linux Kernel 3.12.65 LTS Released with Updated Wireless Drivers, PowerPC Fixes

      It’s been only two weeks since the release of the Linux 3.12.64 LTS kernel maintenance version, and today’s Linux kernel 3.12.65 LTS update attempts to add various improvements, updated drivers, as well as patch some of the bugs reported by users. According to the appended shortlog and diff from Linux kernel 3.12.64 LTS, a total of 80 files were changed, with 516 insertions and 283 deletions in Linux kernel 3.12.65 LTS.

      “I’m announcing the release of the 3.12.65 kernel. All users of the 3.12 kernel series must upgrade,” said Jiri Slaby. “The updated 3.12.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-3.12.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git;a=summary.”

    • Systemd – Progress Through Complexity

      A play on the Audi slogan: Vorsprung Durch Technik. Except we’re going to talk about something that is clearly not progress. Systemd. Roughly 6 years ago, Systemd came to life as the new, event-based init mechanism, designed to replicate the old serialized System V thingie. Today, it is the reality in most distributions, for better or worse. Mostly the latter.

      Why would you oppose progress, one may say. To that end, we need to define progress. It is merely the state of something being newer, AKA newer is always better, or the fact it offers superior functionality that was missing in the old technology? After all, System V is 33 years old, so the new stuff ought to be smarter. The topic of my article today is to tell you a story of how I went about fixing a broken Fedora 24 system – powered by systemd of course, and why, at the end of, my conclusion was one of pain and defeat.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Open Build Service in Debian needs YOU! ☞
      • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, September 2016

        Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

      • Derivatives

        • RaspEX Project Now Lets You Run Ubuntu 16.10 on Raspberry Pi 3 and 2, with LXDE

          Today, October 19, 2016, GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton informed us about the immediate availability of a new build of his RaspEX project, which brings the latest Ubuntu OS to Raspberry Pi users.

        • Why Security Distributions Use Debian

          What do distributions like Qube OS, Subgraph, Tails, and Whonix have in common? Besides an emphasis on security and privacy, all of them are Debian derivatives — and, probably, this common origin is not accidental.

          At first, this trend seems curious. After all, other distributions ranging from Slackware and Gentoo to Arch Linux all emphasize security and privacy in their selection of tools. In particular, Fedora’s SE Linux can be so restrictive that some users would rather disable it than learn how to configure it. By contrast, while Debian carries many standard security and privacy tools, it has seldom emphasized them.

          Similarly, Debian’s main branch consists of only free and open source software, its contrib and non-free branches not being official parts of the distribution. With many security experts favoring the announcement of vulnerabilities and exploit code rather than relying on security through obscurity, the way that many pieces of proprietary software do, this transparency has obvious appeal.

          Yet although the advantage of free software to security and privacy is that the code can be examined for backdoors and malware, this advantage is hardly unique to Debian. To one or degree another, it is shared by all Linux distributions.

        • Why Use Linux, Systemd Complications, Debian’s Security

          Why do so many security focused distributions choose Debian as their base? Bruce Byfield detailed several reasons beginning with Debian’s transparency in dealing with security issues and its free and Open Source commitment. But primarily, “security and privacy are built into Debian policy and procedure.” Keeping out intruders is better than trying to expel them he said. And finally, Byfield believes stability trumps “newness” everyday of the week especially since “newer packages are more apt to have vulnerabilities than older.”

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Apache on Ubuntu Linux For Beginners: Part 2

            You must set up your Apache web server to use SSL, so that your site URL is https:// and not http://. Sure, there are exceptions, such as test servers and lone LAN servers that only you and your cat use.

            But any Internet-accessible web server absolutely needs SSL; there is no downside to encrypting your server traffic, and it’s pretty easy to set up. For LAN servers it may not be as essential; think about who uses it, and how easy it is to sniff LAN traffic.

          • Live kernel patches for Ubuntu

            Kernel live patching enables runtime correction of critical security
            issues in your kernel without rebooting. It’s the best way to ensure
            that machines are safe at the kernel level, while guaranteeing uptime,
            especially for container hosts where a single machine may be running
            thousands of different workloads.

            We’re very pleased to announce that this new enterprise, commercial
            service from Canonical will also be available free of charge to the
            Ubuntu community.

            The Canonical Livepatch Service is an authenticated, encrypted, signed
            stream of livepatch kernel modules for Ubuntu servers, virtual
            machines and desktops.

          • Canonical Ltd.’s Ubuntu Core

            Canonical Ltd.’s “Snappy” Ubuntu Core, a stripped-down version of Ubuntu designed for autonomous machines, devices and other internet-connected digital things, has gained significant traction in the chipset/semiconductor market recently.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • London Zoo escaped gorilla ‘drank five litres of undiluted squash’ during escape

    A gorilla that sparked an emergency after breaking out of its enclosure at London Zoo opened and drank five litres of undiluted blackcurrant squash during his escape, the Zoological Society of London has revealed.

    Members of the public and staff at the zoo were locked into buildings and ordered not to leave certain areas after Kumbuka, an adult silverback gorilla, made his escape on Thursday.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Does Hillary Have The Temperment To Have Her Finger On The Nuclear Button?

      If these reports are true, at this time of heightened tensions between Washington and the two other major nuclear powers, it would be extremely dangerous to have in the White House a person susceptible to uncontrollable rage, especially a person who would be staffed with neoconservative warmongers. A vote for Hillary could be a vote for nuclear war and the end of life on earth.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Ecuador Cut Off Assange’s Access to the Internet – So This Man Is Reading It to Him

      After WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s internet service was cut off by the Ecuadorian embassy where he is holed up, one man sought to bring the internet back for the cloistered Queenslander.

      Armed with a bullhorn and a sign that reads “Julian Assange’s Personal Internet Service,” Canadian comedian Bobby Mair has been standing outside the embassy shouting the news of the day to Assange.

    • Ecuador confirms it cut off Assange’s internet over Clinton emails

      The Ecuadorian government confirmed Tuesday that it cut off WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s internet connection because of his anti-secrecy platform’s publication of emails allegedly stolen from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

      “The Government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states. It does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favor any particular candidate,” Ecuador said in a statement.

      “Accordingly, Ecuador has exercised its sovereign right to temporarily restrict access to some of its private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom.”

      The emails are believed to have been stolen by the Russian government, and their release has been widely seen as a deliberate attempt to meddle in the U.S. election — although some Republicans have lauded their publication.

    • Assange’s Fate

      ​The saga of Julian Assange seems to be drawing to a climax – one that will decide the fate of this historic whistleblower who, for years, has been a giant thorn in the side of governments everywhere.

      His role in exposing the machinations of the US government over the years earned him the plaudits of liberals – until the Bush era ended, and he started exposing the crimes of the Obama administration and – most pointedly – the hypocrisy and venality of Hillary Clinton and her journalistic camarilla. Now we see right-wing figures like Sean Hannity and – yes! – Donald Trump praising and defending him, while the ostensible liberals take up the cry of the Clinton campaign that he’s a “pawn of the Kremlin” and a “rapist.” Even Glenn Greenwald, formerly a comrade-in-arms, who together with Assange helped Edward Snowden evade the not-so-loving arms of Uncle Sam, has lately sought to distance himself from the founder of WikiLeaks (over the value of “curation”). Nice timing, Glenn!

    • CNN Tells Viewers It’s Illegal For Them To Read Wikileaks Document Dumps. CNN Is Wrong

      I cut the cord years ago, so the only time I stumble into cable “news” coverage is usually at the gym or airport. And time and time again I’m struck by how the empty prattle is more in line with dystopian satire than anything resembling actual news reporting or intellectual analysis. Even when these channels feature live breaking news stories, you’d be hard pressed to find a reporter willing to call up a source and confirm details of what’s happening, resulting in something that’s more akin to industrialized speculation than the polished news product of multi-billion-dollar media empires.

    • A Peculiar Coincidence

      Today, Swedish prosecutors were meant to question Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy, something for which the Assange legal team has been pressing for years. They believe that once this step has been taken, prosecutors will no longer be able to keep from the scrutiny of Swedish courts the fact that there is no viable evidence whatsoever to back up the ludicrous allegations which have been made.

      Frustratingly, Swedish prosecutors cancelled the interview last week, with no explanation given. Anyone would think they do not wish the investigation to progress… Then this same day Assange’s internet access is cut, WikiLeaks say by a state actor. To add to this string of coincidence, at the same time Russia Today has its bank accounts frozen by the Royal Bank of Scotland, again without explanation

      This series of events are all aimed at those who seek to counter the neo-con narrative pumped out by the state and corporate media. It could be coincidence, but it looks like co-ordinated clampdown to me.

    • ‘Nothing to See Here’ Is Pundit Takeaway on DNC Leaks

      Hillary Clinton’s campaign emails have been trickling in for the past week. The leaks—along with previous DNC emails—provide intimate details about the inner workings of the campaign that may well soon elect the most powerful person on Earth.

      The response from some journalists has been to analyse, dissect and find the most newsworthy bits. For others, the reaction has been to dismiss and downplay, turning the often cynical meatgrinder of American politics into a snooze barely worthy of discussion.

    • How to Really Really Upset the Foreign Office and Security Services

      I left Julian after midnight. He is fit, well, sharp and in good spirits. WikiLeaks never reveals or comments upon its sources, but as I published before a fortnight ago, I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is not any Russian state actor or proxy that gave the Democratic National Committee and Podesta material to WikiLeaks. The claim is nonsense. Journalists are also publishing that these were obtained by “hacking” with no evidence that this was the method used to obtain them.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • High-Selectivity Electrochemical Conversion of CO2 to Ethanol using a Copper Nanoparticle/N-Doped Graphene Electrode

      Though carbon dioxide is a waste product of combustion, it can also be a potential feedstock for the production of fine and commodity organic chemicals provided that an efficient means to convert it to useful organic synthons can be developed. Herein we report a common element, nanostructured catalyst for the direct electrochemical conversion of CO2 to ethanol with high Faradaic efficiency (63 % at −1.2 V vs RHE) and high selectivity (84 %) that operates in water and at ambient temperature and pressure. Lacking noble metals or other rare or expensive materials, the catalyst is comprised of Cu nanoparticles on a highly textured, N-doped carbon nanospike film. Electrochemical analysis and density functional theory (DFT) calculations suggest a preliminary mechanism in which active sites on the Cu nanoparticles and the carbon nanospikes work in tandem to control the electrochemical reduction of carbon monoxide dimer to alcohol.

    • This Could Be Important, A Means To Readily Convert CO2 To Ethanol Electrically
    • October 2016: North Carolina Flooding

      From October 11-16, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) collected imagery of areas in North Carolina to help assess damage caused by river flooding due to heavy rains from the now-dissipated Matthew. The aerial imagery was collected in specific areas identified by FEMA and the National Weather Service.

    • ‘How Do We Get to a Conversation in This Country About Climate?’

      That a holiday honoring a man responsible for the murder, enslavement and exploitation of indigenous people should be occasion for the arrest of Native Americans acting in defense of water, land and life is not mere symbolism. The celebration of Christopher Columbus in US history books and culture is increasingly denounced, not only because of his devastating cruelty, but because of the way the fable erases the Taino people, legitimizing their oppression with an implicit view of history as the story of the winners.

    • The Debates Are Over, and No One Asked About Climate Change

      From campaign finance reform to gun violence to poverty to education to LGBTQ rights, lots of important subjects were ignored by corporate media debate moderators in the presidential (and vice-presidential) debates. All of these topics are urgent and deserve a spotlight on the national stage. But one topic stands out as a non-factor: climate change.

      Climate change—or, more accurately, climate disruption—is the greatest existential threat of our time. It threatens the economy, national security and health, exacerbates poverty and racism, and threatens to undermine or compound virtually all other issues discussed on the stage tonight.

  • Finance

    • Bradley Birkenfeld on Corporate Crime in the USA

      And it is telling that he invited some of the nation’s top whistleblowers — including John Kiriakou who spent two years in prison — to be his guests.

      One of the ironies that was not lost on anyone in the room is that increasingly, it’s not corporate executives but whistleblowers who are doing jail time.

      Birkenfeld himself blew the whistle on his employer, the giant Swiss bank UBS, where the rich and famous stashed their millions in numbered accounts to evade U.S. tax authorities.

      Guess who went to jail?


    • I Won $104 Million for Blowing the Whistle on My Company—But Somehow I Was the Only One Who Went to Jail

      Bradley C. Birkenfeld, 51, blew the whistle on the Swiss bank UBS for helping Americans avoid paying taxes, leading to about $15 billion in recovered tax money, fines and penalties. He spent two and a half years in prison, but he later was awarded $104 million by the I.R.S. for his role in exposing the scheme.

    • The government has finally come up with a plan for Brexit and it’s seriously worrying

      Speaking at a trade fair on Tuesday evening, the environment secretary Andrea Leadsom outlined Britain’s plans for Brexit.

      Prior to the referendum there was no plan for Brexit.

      Turns out they weren’t bluffing.

      Then Brexit meant Brexit.


      According to an official press release, the goverment believes there could £185 million worth of exports to Japan “through demand for classic British products like tea, jam and biscuits and new opportunities for British beef.”

      These predictions are ‘export wins’, meaning exports which would probably not have occurred without government support.

      Leadsom was unveiling her department’s ‘International Action Plan for Food and Drink’, at a fair in Paris, France. Home of jam, and bourbons.

    • After CETA: the EU trade agreements that are in the pipeline

      EU countries are considering signing the free trade agreement with Canada this month, but the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) is far from the only deal the EU is working on. Various deals are being negotiated all over the globe, but they can only enter into force if the European Parliament approves them. Read on for an overview of negotiations in progress and a discussion of how it works.

    • ISDS Alone Makes TPP Unacceptable
    • What Are The NAFTA and TPP Trump and Clinton Fought About in the Debate?

      The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which went into force in 1994, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is still pending ratification in the U.S. and elsewhere, are international trade agreements.

      Trump is unambiguously, totally, absolutely, hugely opposed to both deals and any others in the future. He has held that position from Day One.

      Clinton, less so. NAFTA was pushed through by Bill, and Hillary continues to defend it. As Secretary of State she strongly advocated for the TPP. She continued that advocacy during the first part of her campaign, right up until Bernie Sanders started to score points against her by opposing it. Hillary then shifted to also opposing it. No one knows what her stance will be if she is elected.

      Meanwhile, the Obama administration is still hoping to force TPP through a lame duck Congress following the election. Hillary would then be free to shrug her shoulders come January and claim the TPP is not her responsibility.

    • Halloween Comes Early as Bloomberg Tries to Scare Kids With Debt Monster

      Bloomberg (10/14/16) decided to get into the Halloween spirit by warning our kids about the national debt. The piece is headlined “A Child Born Today Comes Into the World With More Debt Than You.” Bloomberg was going to headline the piece, “Kids Worried That Universe Is Closer to Destruction Than When Parents Were Born,” but they decided it would be too scary.

    • ‘Real Estate Investors Should Be Treated Like Any Other Businessmen’

      In case you somehow managed to miss it, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump acknowledged in the most recent debate that, for at least some period of time, he paid no federal income tax, explaining, characteristically, “That makes me smart.”

      The statement revealed nothing we didn’t know about Trump, but it did raise a few questions for some folks about taxes—who pays what and why. Richard Phillips is senior policy analyst at Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. He joins us by phone from Washington, DC.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Jill Stein: Democrats Govern by Fear—That Alone Should Cost Them Your Vote

      Despite running a national campaign with an established political party, you were excluded from the presidential debates this year, but you’re scheduled to appear alongside Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in a Democracy Now! special debate segment later this week. What do you expect from the candidates?

      Jill Stein: Truthfully, I don’t expect much that is different from the prior two debates. We’ve had a very enthusiastic response to our forcing real issues and real answers into the debate. There’s a dire need for real discussion here, and the events of even the last week underscore that, now that we have been involved in an exchange of missiles with Yemen. The war is getting bigger and still there is no real discussion of this war, certainly not between Donald and Hillary. Their discussion of the war in the last debate amounted to the question of when exactly did Donald Trump take his various positions about Iraq?

    • Jill Stein Rips John Oliver for ‘Disingenuous Attack’ on Student Loan Debt Plan

      Jill Stein is firing back at John Oliver after the “Last Week Tonight” host criticized Stein’s plan to cancel student loan debt.

      “Coming from someone who made a stunt of buying and canceling medical debt on his show, and who claims to want alternatives to the failed two-party system, this disingenuous attack on the idea of cancelling student debt is both puzzling and hypocritical,” Stein’s campaign said in a statement.

      In the segment, Oliver said that Steins’s plan involved the use of a process called quantitative easing, in which more money is printed and put into circulation.

    • Green Party: Don’t Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils

      Ajamu Baraka is running for Vice President alongside Doctor Jill Stein. He made a campaign stop at Wayne State University Tuesday.

      Baraka says now is a critical time for the Green Party to campaign aggressively.

      “When do we draw a line in the sand and build a real alternative to corporate power? When do we oppose the agenda and the interest of the one percent? 2016 is the time to go ahead and make that change,” Baraka says.

      Baraka says polls show that citizens are disgusted with both major party options for president.

    • Green Party VP hopeful in Detroit: Time to “break two-party monopoly”

      It’s time to reject the “politics of fear,” and embrace third-party alternatives in American politics.

      That was the message Ajamu Baraka had for an audience at Detroit’s Wayne State University on Tuesday.

      Baraka, a longtime political activist who founded the U.S. Human Rights Network, is the Green Party candidate for vice president. He and running mate Jill Stein will appear on the ballot in 45 states, including Michigan.

      Baraka says he and Stein represent an opportunity to “break the two-party monopoly” on government.

    • Where the ‘Bernie or Bust’ movement ends up

      When YahNé Ndgo went to the first presidential debate at Hofstra University, on Long Island, she had a lot on her mind. She had to pack for a couple weeks of appearances and travel along the West Coast. She wanted to buy her 19-year-old daughter some groceries, and maybe even cook some dinner. She hoped they’d have some time to spend together in her hometown, Philadelphia, before Ndgo had to leave on an early morning flight to Arizona.

      Ndgo wasn’t afraid of getting arrested for protesting the exclusion of Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein from the debate, but she just didn’t have the time.

    • The Internet’s Best Rebuttals to John Oliver’s Attack On Jill Stein

      If you have at least one outspoken Hillary supporting friend on your Facebook, chances are you saw a video of John Oliver’s latest hit piece on Jill Stein and Gary Johnson (who we don’t specifically cover in this article. However, his scandals are a lot less terrifying than the two “major party” candidates.)

    • WikiLeaks Just Dropped Bombshell About Hillary’s Health… The Truth, REVEALED!

      WikiLeaks has been Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare for months, but they just dropped the biggest bombshell yet: They have released emails which confirm just how serious Hillary Clinton’s debilitating health issues are.

      First we learned, Hillary Clinton reached out to the NFL Commissioner in 2012 to ask for advice about dealing with her “cracked head” and head injuries.

      But the details are even worse than that. It has been confirmed that the State Department staff, under Hillary Clinton, was told to research new drugs to treat Parkinson’s disease.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • ACLU Wants 23 Secret Surveillance Laws Made Public
    • Trove of Stolen Data Is Said to Include Top-Secret US Hacking Tools
    • NSA official calls for new federal cyber structure
    • Feds need clarity on cyber structures
    • The US Needs One Cyber Defense Agency—Not Three, a Top NSA Official Says
    • NSA: Hackers find an easy path to U.S. systems
    • NSA deputy proposes dedicated U.S. cybersecurity team
    • NSA: No zero days used in last two years

      It is hard to believe that not one single zero-day exploit – or a previously undisclosed vulnerability – has been used against the United States in the last 24 months, and even harder that that fact could be viewed as a negative. But according to Curtis Dukes, deputy national manager for national security systems at the NSA, adversaries did not need to use such exploits, instead taking advantage of poor security and poorly patched systems.

    • Intelligence Contractors Being Paid Millions To Surf The Web, Sext With Teens, Have Affairs With Co-Workers

      There’s way too much fraud, misconduct, and criminal activity in these reports to fully cover here. The 264 pages [PDF] released to Leopold and Vice as the result of an FOIA lawsuit detail extramarital affairs involving supervisors and subordinates, unapproved telecommuting by contractors handling sensitive documents, and page after page of attendance fraud.

      Multiple cases are included, most involving hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars of unearned wages. The intelligence community has the big budget and all the manpower it wants, but it apparently doesn’t have enough actual work to keep them all busy. Contractors have charged taxpayers for hours they never worked, running personal errands, moonlighting as university instructors, and tending their Farmville crops.

      This is the direct result of the community’s “collect it all” attitude. If some is good, more is better, and while budgets and staffing expand exponentially, lots and lots of tax dollars are spent paying contractors who aren’t doing anything and plenty of other contractors engaged in IC busywork that contributes nothing to the nation’s security and safety.

    • Racial Disparities in Police ‘Stingray’ Surveillance, Mapped

      Louise Goldsberry, a Florida nurse, was washing dishes when she looked outside her window and saw a man pointing a gun at her face. Goldsberry screamed, dropped to the floor, and crawled to her bedroom to get her revolver. A standoff ensued with the gunman—who turned out to be an agent with the U.S. Marshals’ fugitive division.

      Goldsberry, who had no connection to a suspect that police were looking for, eventually surrendered and was later released. Police claimed that they raided her apartment because they had a “tip” about the apartment complex. But, according to Slate, the reason the “tip” was so broad was because the police had obtained only the approximate location of the suspect’s phone—using a “Stingray” phone tracker, a little-understood surveillance device that has quietly spread from the world of national security into that of domestic law enforcement.

    • Ex-NSA head suggests US also hacks political parties

      Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden on Tuesday implied that the United States, too, has hacked foreign political parties.

      The difference between the U.S.’s actions and Russia in the 2016 presidential election, Hayden said, was that “once they got that information, they weaponized it.”

      But up until they weaponized information, Hayden said their actions were par for the course.

      “I have to admit my definition of what the Russians did [in hacking the Democratic National Committee] is, unfortunately, honorable state espionage,” Hayden said during an on-stage interview at the Heritage Foundation.

    • Snowden: the IT analyst turned whistleblower who exposed mass surveillance

      Essentially, this is the tale of an idealistic patriot motivated solely by the common good. He enlists to serve his country and, when the gruelling army regime leads to broken legs and an administrative discharge, he joins the CIA. An unethical field mission in Geneva leads him to resign, only to join the NSA as an infrastructure analyst.

    • NSA’s post-Edward Snowden reforms fall short

      When Edward Snowden swiped a trove of classified information from the National Security Agency and released it to journalists, he exposed deep flaws in the way America’s intelligence community secures its most sensitive computer data. The NSA and the federal government embarked on reforms meant to never allow a breach as devastating and extensive as Snowden’s to happen again.

      Those reforms included overhauling the way Washington conducts background checks on people given access to classified information, a new task force to create and enforce security rules for agencies that handle sensitive data, and cutbacks in the number of employees allowed access to top secret material. Booz Allen Hamilton, the consulting firm that employed Snowden and the recipient of billions of dollars in contracts with the U.S. intelligence community, last year teamed up with Raytheon to create a service that records an employee’s activity on his or her computer screen.

    • Yahoo accused of scanning emails for US government

      The American Civil Liberties Union, Edward Snowden and others criticized Yahoo after an unverified report released Tuesday claimed the company scanned all of its users’ emails for the National Security Agency.


      Amnesty International also dashed off a disapproving statement regarding the company.

      “If true, this news will greatly undermine trust in the internet,” said Sherif Elsayed-Ali, head of technology and human rights at the organization.

    • Businesses cooperate with government mass surveillance at their peril, says Edward Snowden

      Resisting government mass surveillance isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s good for business, whistleblower Edward Snowden told a Toronto cybersecurity conference Tuesday.

      Speaking via video link to the annual Canadian industry event SecTor, Snowden brought up the recent revelation that Yahoo! Inc. had agreed to scan customer’s emails for U.S. intelligence. Yahoo also recently disclosed its email accounts were hacked in 2014 and Verizon Communications Inc. has since announced it is attempting to renegotiate its US$4.8 billion agreement to buy the company.

    • Edward Snowden talks privacy, surveillance at Valley cybersecurity conference

      Some call Edward Snowden a hero, while others call him a traitor.

      The whistleblower and former intelligence officer helped launch a global debate on privacy after revealing the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs in 2013.

      Snowden talked with CyberScout employees and customers via Skype at the Scottsdale company’s fourth annual Privacy Xchange Forum Monday afternoon at the Boulders Resort in Carefree.

    • The Echo Chamber: On Snowden

      Without Snowden and others like him, we would be completely unaware as to how our government is spying on us. But was he in the right? Who gets to decide what is leak-worthy? And how much should our government be spying on us and the world around us? These questions are for you to decide. I just hope that you’ve enjoyed some time outside of The Echo Chamber.

    • Imagine if Donald Trump Controlled the NSA

      When Edward Snowden first came forward in 2013 as the leaker of the biggest trove of National Security Agency secrets ever spilled, he ended his first interview by noting that his greatest concern was about the agency’s future. He feared that a less scrupulous commander-in-chief would take charge of the executive branch and with it, the most highly resourced surveillance agency in the world, ready to be exploited in new and troubling ways. “There will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it,” Snowden warned. “And it will be turnkey tyranny.”

      Three years later, America has watched Donald Trump praise foreign dictators from Kim Jong Un to Vladimir Putin, vow to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate his opponent, Hillary Clinton, if he’s elected, and call for Russian hackers to dig up Clinton’s emails. “I wish I had that power,” he later said in a campaign speech. “Man, that would be power.” If that statement didn’t sufficiently reveal Trump’s lust for surveillance capabilities, he reportedly listened in on phone calls between staff and guests at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach in the mid-2000s. As Trump and Clinton prepare for their final debate tonight—this time focused on national security—NSA alumni as well as critics are concerned that Trump may be exactly the turnkey tyrant Snowden had in mind.

    • Appeals Court Affirms NSA Surveillance Can Be Used To Investigate Domestic Criminal Suspects

      The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals confirms what’s already known about the NSA’s domestic surveillance: it’s not just for terrorism.

      The NSA collections — done in the FBI’s name — are supposed to only gather info related to international terrorism. But that requirement has been phased out. The NSA “tips” a certain amount of data to the FBI for its own use and it has been shown in the past to do the same for the DEA, which it then instructs to obscure the origin of its info.

      An opinion [PDF] just released by the Appeals Court, says basically the same thing: although the NSA’s surveillance is supposed to be used to sniff out terrorists, there’s nothing in the law that prevents it from using its collections to go after criminals.

    • ACLU takes on Fisa court over secret decisions on surveillance laws

      The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging a secret court to effectively turn its back on deciding the meaning of a broad swath of surveillance and cybersecurity laws without public disclosure.

      A motion the ACLU is filing on Wednesday before the controversial foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court, a panel that operates in secret, argues that the first amendment requires the release of numerous classified decisions between 2001 and 2015 that have established a legal foundation for expanding the government’s surveillance activities.

      Among the Fisa court opinions sought is an interpretation of the seminal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 that many suspect will shed light on a reported Yahoo program to scan vast amounts of users’ emails.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • TSA staffer claims retaliation in do-nothing jobs

      A Transportation Security Administration worker is urging criminal charges against the head of the agency for assigning him do-nothing jobs after he won reinstatement to the job he lost as a whistle-blower.

      TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger told Congress that Robert MacLean, a former air marshal who flew undercover and was armed to thwart terrorists, has received substantive assignments since he was reinstated in the decade-long personnel conflict that reached the Supreme Court.

      MacLean was fired in April 2006 for disclosing years earlier to MSNBC that TSA planned to reduce air marshals on overnight flights. TSA charged that he revealed secret information.

      But MacLean fought the dismissal all the way to the Supreme Court, where justices ruled in January 2015 that his disclosures weren’t “specifically prohibited by law.” TSA reinstated him in May 2015 rather than continue the dispute at the Merit Systems Protection Board.

    • Turkey Becomes Brazil: Orders Victim To Pay For Costs Of Trial After Police Blinded Him

      If George Orwell’s “1984″ has become a how-to manual for the modern surveillance state, Terry Gilliam’s dystopian satire “Brazil,” released in 1985, is surely the film of the book (one of the possible titles considered for the film was “1984 ½”). Amongst its many brilliant and disturbing moments, there’s the following dialog from an interview of Mr. Helpmann, the Deputy Minister of Information…

    • Kyrgyz tourist wounded in Gezi protests ordered to pay debt to Turkish state

      A Kyrgyz tourist who was wounded during the Gezi Park protests has been ordered to pay a total of 151 Turkish Liras to the Turkish state even though his injuries were caused by state police.

      Shavkatbek Saipov, 30, filed a complaint against the police, claiming that he lost his eye after a gas canister hit his face, but the court rejected his claims and ordered him to pay 151 liras as “the cost of trial.”

    • Documents Show Chicago PD Secretly Using Forfeiture Funds To Buy Surveillance Equipment

      The Chicago Reader has put together a massive, must-read investigation into the Chicago Police Department’s secret budget. The Chicago PD has — for years now — used the spoils of its asset forfeiture program to obtain surveillance equipment like Stingrays. This discretionary spending is done off the city’s books, allowing the CPD to avoid anything that might prevent it from acquiring surveillance tech — like meddling city legislators… or the public itself.

    • FBI, CBP Join Forces To Turn Airports Into Informant Recruiting Centers

      The FBI and CBP have been using the nation’s borders as recruiting stations for informants. This phrasing makes it sound a lot more voluntary than it actually is. The Intercept has obtained documents showing how these two agencies work together to pressure foreign visitors into basically becoming spies for the United States.

    • Revealed: The FBI’s Secret Methods for Recruiting Informants at the Border

      Think about arriving at the airport from a foreign country. You are tired from a long flight, anxious about your baggage, and thinking about meeting your family in the arrivals area. You may not have seen them in years. Perhaps it is your first time in the United States. Perhaps you do not speak English well. Perhaps you plan to ask for asylum. Perhaps you are coming from a country where interactions with people in uniform generally involve bribery, intimidation, or worse.

      The FBI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection work closely together to turn these vulnerabilities into opportunities for gathering intelligence, according to government documents obtained by The Intercept. CBP assists the FBI in its efforts to target travelers entering the country as potential informants, feeding the bureau passenger lists and pulling people aside for lengthy interrogations in order to gather intelligence from them on the FBI’s behalf, the documents show. In one briefing, CBP bills itself as the “GO TO agency in the Law Enforcement world when it comes to identifying individuals of either source or lead potential.”

      When the FBI wants to find informants that fit a certain profile — say, men of Pakistani origin between the ages of 18 and 35 — it has at its fingertips a wealth of data from government agencies like CBP.

    • Highland Clearances

      Deporting children who have only ever known Scotland is ludicrous. Fairly well the entire community of Laggan has written in support of the Zielsdorfs. Both Jason and Christy have Scottish ancestry.

    • The Ugliest Face of Unionism

      Cohen’s fury that a member of his neo-con clique should be denigrated, leads him to deny the existence of the most extreme misogyny imaginable. It also leads him to make the laughable assertion that the SNP control the media in Scotland. In Scotland the BBC, STV and 80% of the newspapers are viciously anti-SNP. Plainly that is not enough for Cohen. He hates the SNP for providing an alternative to unionism, he hates Corbyn for providing an alternative to neo-liberalism, and he hates the idea of anybody criticising the neo-con cheerleaders. His pathology is simple enough. But why does the Spectator pay him for it?

    • Charges Dropped Against Amy Goodman–No Thanks to Corporate Media

      Few corporate media journalists took note of a fellow reporter being charged with trespass for doing her job (FAIR.0rg, 9/15/16). When the prosecutor upped the ante by trying to build a criminal charge based on his perception of a reporter’s point of view, this still did not provoke much attention—let alone outcry—from outlets whose lucrative commercial enterprises are dependent on the protection of the First Amendment.

    • North Dakota’s War on 1st Amendment Goes From Bad to Worse

      Both sets of charges relate to Goodman’s coverage of protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline project, which is opposed by a Native American–led coalition that is concerned about its threat to sacred and historic sites, North Dakota’s water resources and the planet’s climate. While accusing a journalist of trespassing for covering a breaking story of vital public interest is a clear threat to freedom of the press (FAIR.org, 9/15/16), a riot charge would be even worse, because it would attempt to criminalize Goodman’s point of view as a reporter.

    • Dutch woman raped on vacation receives ‘lenient’ suspended sentence from Qatari court for ‘adultery’

      A Dutch woman who reported being drugged and raped while on vacation in Doha was sentenced to a one-year suspended jail term by a Qatari court for having “illicit sex.” She had been held in custody since March.

      On Monday, a Qatari court sentenced a 22-year-old Dutch woman, known as Laura, to a one-year suspended sentence and fined her 3,000 riyals ($824) for having “extramarital sex.” The woman will be deported once she pays the fine, according to the court’s decision.

      While on vacation in Qatar in March, Laura went out for drinks at an upmarket nightclub in Doha before being taken to an unknown place where she said she was sexually assaulted.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Comcast Sued For Misleading Fees It Claims Are Just Its Way Of Being ‘Transparent’

      In addition to vanilla price hikes and usage caps and overage penalties, ISPs have spent the last few years borrowing a tactic from the banking industry to covertly jack up the advertised price of broadband service: the completely nonsensical hidden fee. From CenturyLink’s $2 per month “Internet Cost Recovery Fee” to Fairpoint’s $3 per month “Broadband Cost Recovery Fee,” such fees usually just hide some of the cost of doing business below the line, letting an ISP advertise one price, then charge something quite different at the end of the month.

    • Vox Joins Growing Chorus Of Outlets Weirdly Crapping On Cord Cutting

      For a few years now there’s been a lazy trend among reporters analyzing “cord cutting,” or the practice of leaving legacy cable TV for streaming alternatives. Usually the narrative goes something like this “cord cutting is (stupid/failing/irrelevant/on the ropes) because users need to subscribe to multiple streaming video services to get the same amount of content they used to get with cable.” Despite these stories popping up pretty much constantly these reports miss a few key points, the biggest being that nobody wants to duplicate the 300 channels of bullshit that comprises the traditional cable bundle.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • International report – Supreme Court to review exclusion of disparaging marks from federal trademark registration

        On September 29 2016 the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Lee v Tam. In so doing, the Supreme Court agreed to review a decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit which held that the statutory prohibition on disparaging marks from federal trademark registration was unconstitutional.

        The trademark application at issue in Lee was for the mark THE SLANTS. The applicant was Simon Shiao Tam, a member of Asian American rock band The Slants. The mark was refused registration under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which prohibits the registration of a mark that consists of “immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt or disrepute”. The mark was alleged to be likely to be disparaging to persons of Asian descent. After the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board affirmed the examiner’s rejection of the mark, the applicant appealed to the Federal Circuit. On rehearing en banc, the issue before the Federal Circuit was whether the Lanham Act’s prohibition of disparaging marks burdens private speech in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

    • Copyrights

      • International report – Illegal hyperlinks: the final decision

        Is posting a hyperlink to a work which is protected by copyright allowed? The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has now said yes – and no.

        Since 2012 Sanoma and shockblog GeenStijl.nl have faced each other in court. GeenStijl had posted links on its website to unpublished photos from Playboy, a Sanoma publication. Sanoma claimed that GeenStijl violated its copyright. With the ECJ’s ruling, this long-running case is now approaching a final decision.


Links 19/10/2016: Canonical Livepatch Service, Plasma Plans

Posted in News Roundup at 7:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux-Based Photographic Workflow on Android with Termux

    The title is a bit of a mouthful, but the basic idea is pretty simple; Instead of schlepping around a Linux machine, you can transform an Android device into a lightweight Linux-based platform for organizing, processing, and backing up photos and RAW files when you are on the move. The key ingredient of this solution is the Termux, a small open source app that combines a terminal emulator and a lightweight Linux environment. The app comes with its own software repository that has all the tools you need to set up a simplified photographic workflow. The Linux Photography book explains exactly how to can go about it, but here are a few pointers to get started.

  • Server

    • Demand compels container management vendor Rancher to create partner program
    • Rancher Labs Expands Container-Management Reach With New Partner Program
    • Rancher Labs Introduces Global Partner Network
    • Rancher Labs Launches Partner Program Around Open Source Container Management
    • WTF is a container?

      You can’t go to a developer conference today and not hear about software containers: Docker, Kubernetes, Mesos and a bunch of other names with a nautical ring to them. Microsoft, Google, Amazon and everybody else seems to have jumped on this bandwagon in the last year or so, but why is everybody so excited about this stuff?

      To understand why containers are such a big deal, let’s think about physical containers for a moment. The modern shipping industry only works as well as it does because we have standardized on a small set of shipping container sizes. Before the advent of this standard, shipping anything in bulk was a complicated, laborious process. Imagine what a hassle it would be to move some open pallet with smartphones off a ship and onto a truck, for example. Instead of ships that specialize in bringing smartphones from Asia, we can just put them all into containers and know that those will fit on every container ship.

    • Solving Enterprise Monitoring Issues with Prometheus

      Chicago-based ShuttleCloud helps developers import user contacts and email data into their applications through standard API requests. As the venture-backed startup began to acquire more customers, they needed a way to scale system monitoring to meet the terms of their service-level agreements (SLAs). They turned to Prometheus, the open source systems monitoring and alerting toolkit originally built at SoundCloud, which is now a project at the Cloud-Native Computing Foundation.

      In advance of Prometheus Day, to be held Nov. 8-9 in Seattle, we talked to Ignacio Carretero, a ShuttleCloud software engineer, about why they chose Prometheus as their monitoring tool and what advice they would give to other small businesses seeking a similar solution.

    • VMware Embraces Kubernetes in Container Push

      VMware is the latest IT vendor to support Kubernetes, the open-source container management system that Google developed.
      VMware announced on Oct. 18 at its VMworld 2016 Europe event that it is now supporting the Kubernetes container management system on the VMware Photon platform.

      Kubernetes is an open-source project that was developed by Google and today benefits from the contributions of a diverse community, including Red Hat and CoreOS. The Kubernetes project became part of the Linux Foundation’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in July 2015. The Kubernetes 1.4 release debuted on Sept. 26 with added security features.

      “We have now built a Kubernetes-as-a-service capability into Photon Platform,” Jared Rosoff, chief technologist for cloud native apps at VMware, told eWEEK.

    • CoreOS Expands Kubernetes Control With Redspread Acquisition

      The purchase of container management vendor Redspread is the container startup’s second acquisition.
      CoreOS on Oct. 17 announced the acquisition of privately held container management vendor Redspread. Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.

      Redspread got its start in the Y Combinator cyber accelerator for technology startups and was officially launched in March. Coincidentally, CoreOS was also originally part of Y Combinator, graduating in 2013. To date, CoreOS has raised $48 million in funding to help fuel its container efforts. The acquisition of Redspread is the second acquisition by CoreOS and comes more than two years after CoreOS’ acquisition of quay.io in 2014.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Plasma 5.9 Desktop Launches January 31, 2017, Next LTS Arrives August 2018

        After announcing earlier today, October 18, 2016, the release of the second maintenance update to the KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS desktop environment, KDE published the release schedule for the upcoming major versions of the project.

      • KDevelop 5.0.2 Open-Source IDE Adds Many UI Improvements, 32-bit Windows Build

        The open-source, cross-platform and free integrated development environment (IDE) software KDevelop has been updated the other day, October 17, 2016, to version 5.0.2.

      • Plasma’s road ahead

        On Monday, KDE’s Plasma team held its traditional kickoff meeting for the new development cycle. We took this opportunity to also look and plan ahead a bit further into the future. In what areas are we lacking, where do we want or need to improve? Where do we want to take Plasma in the next two years?

        Our general direction points towards professional use-cases. We want Plasma to be a solid tool, a reliable work-horse that gets out of the way, allowing to get the job done quickly and elegantly. We want it to be faster and of better quality than the competition.

      • Global Menu Support Is Coming Back to KDE Plasma 5
      • KDE Plasma Looking At Global Menu, Wayland & Mobile For 2017

        KDE Plasma developers talked this week about their plans for the new development cycle and what they want the desktop to look like moving into 2017 and further ahead into 2018.

      • KDE Plasma 5 Desktop to Become a Solid and Reliable Workhorse That Stands Out

        On October 18, 2016, long time KDE software developer Sebastian Kügler published an in-depth story about what’s coming to the KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment in the next couple of years.

        It appears that KDE’s Plasma team had their traditional kickoff meeting on Monday, October 17, to discuss the upcoming features of the next KDE Plasma 5 release, which will be versioned 5.9 and whose release schedule has been already published, as reported earlier right here on this space.

        However, the Plasma team also discussed new ways to improve the quality of the popular desktop environment, as well as make it faster, more stable and reliable than existing versions. Their aim is to bring KDE Plasma to an unprecedented level of quality that will blow the competition away.

        “Our general direction points towards professional use-cases. We want Plasma to be a solid tool, a reliable work-horse that gets out of the way, allowing to get the job done quickly and elegantly. We want it to be faster and of better quality than the competition,” said Sebastian Kügler in the blog announcement.

      • Twenty and counting: KDE marks another milestone

        Twenty years ago, a German software developer named Matthias Ettrich kicked off a project to provide Linux users with all the desktop functionality that Windows users had at the time.

        The detailed email inviting participation was sent by Ettrich on 14 October 1996. He outlined his ideas and goals and attracted plenty of interest. The K Desktop Environment project was on its way.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GStreamer Conference 2016 Videos, Vulkan Support Was Among The Talks

        The annual GStreamer Conference took place last week in Berlin alongside the Linux Foundation’s Embedded Linux Conference Europe. The videos from this multimedia open-source conference are now available.

        The folks from Ubicast have once again done a nice job recording all of the presentations from this GStreamer event. Conference talks ranged from the “stage of the union” to the state of VA-API with GStreamer, GStreamer Video Editing, dynamic pipelines, Vulkan, and more.

        When it comes to Vulkan support in GStreamer, there is work underway on vulkansink and vulkanupload elements, basic Vulkan support modeled on GStreamer’s libgstgl API, and more, but much more work is needed before it will be at the level of OpenGL support.

  • Distributions

    • Solus Enables OpenGL 4.5 for Intel Broadwell, MATE Edition Coming Along Nicely

      It’s been a great week for users of the unique and independent Solus operating system, and while you’re waiting impatiently for the Solus 1.2.1 release, we’d like to tell you a little bit about what landed in Solus during the past week.

    • Solus 1.2.1 Officially Released, First MATE Edition Now Available for Download

      Today, October 19, 2016, Softpedia was informed by the Solus Project about the official release and general availability of the long-anticipated Solus 1.2.1 release, along with the first Solus MATE Edition.

    • Solus 1.2.1 Released With Budgie Desktop Updates, Ships RADV Driver

      Version 1.2.1 of the promising Solus Linux distribution is now available and also premieres a MATE edition ISO to complement its original Budgie desktop.

    • Reviews

      • Meet Maui 1, the Slick New Hawaiian Netrunner

        Maui, the Netrunner Kubuntu replacement, is an inviting alternative. It is both new and already accomplished. The developers took a Kubuntu distro that was well-oiled but at the end of its development line to the next level.

        That should make adopting the Maui Linux distro a less risky option. Most other Linux distros are moving in the new direction of Wayland, Systemd and such. Maui’s developers are already there.

        Maui 1 is very stable and easy to use. It is a well-stocked distribution with an established library of KDE software.

    • New Releases

    • Arch Family

      • 5 Best Arch Linux Based Linux Distributions

        Arch Linux is a very popular name amongst Linux enthusiasts. It is very popular because it allows the user to tailor-make their linux distro to their taste. Arch Linux provides a solid base for you to work with, while still allowing for expansion and complete customization. ​

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Leap 42.2 Approaching with RC, Meet Maui 1

        The openSUSE project today announced the release of Leap 42.2 Release Candidate 1 with less than one month remaining before final. On the other side of town, Dustin Kirkland announced Ubuntu kernel hotfixes and the Hectic Geek reviewed recently released 16.10. Jack Germain said Maui 1 “is stable and easy to use” and Sebastian Kügler blogged on “Plasma’s road ahead.”

    • Red Hat Family

      • Senior Gains Web Development Experience at Red Hat Internship

        High Point University senior Ryan Long got a taste of his dream career during a web development and design internship at Red Hat in Raleigh.

        Long, an interactive media and game design major and computer science minor from Fort Mill, South Carolina, gained valuable experience with the IT marketing team. He worked with the company’s website, fixing broken links, inserting translations and doing quality assurance. He also provided graphic design assistance and collaborated with the video team for projects that would be incorporated into the website.

      • Video: RHS 2016 – Container Security

        Dan Walsh (of SELinux fame) gave a talk on container security at the recent Red Hat Summit 2016.

      • CLIMB Project Selects Red Hat Ceph Storage to Achieve Their Storage Needs to Support Medical Breakthroughs
      • Red Hat eye from the Ubuntu guy: Fedora – how you doin’?

        Comment Red Hat is the biggest – and one of the oldest – companies in the Linux world, but despite the difficulty of accurately measuring Linux usage figures, Ubuntu and its relatives seem to be the most popular Linux distributions. Red Hat isn’t sitting idle, though. Despite its focus on enterprise software, including virtualisation, storage and Java tools, it’s still aggressively developing its family of distros: RHEL, CentOS and Fedora.

        Fedora is the freebie community-supported version, with a short six-month release cycle, but it’s still important. Although RHEL is the flagship, it’s built from components developed and tested in Fedora. According to Fedora Project Lead Matthew Miller told this year’s Flock to Fedora conference this summer its future looks bright.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Raspberry Pi (2 and 3) support in Fedora 25 Beta!

          So support for the Raspberry Pi in Fedora has been a long time coming and yes, it’s FINALLY here with support landing just in time for Beta!

          The most asked question I’ve had for a number of years is around support of the Raspberry Pi. It’s also something I’ve been working towards for a very long time on my own time. The eagle-eye watchers would have noticed we almost got there with Fedora 24, but I got pipped at the post because I felt it wasn’t quite good enough yet. There were too many minor issues around ease of use.

        • Raspberry Pi Finally Well Supported By Fedora With 25 Beta

          While Fedora has always supported ARM/AArch64 hardware well, they’ve missed out on the whole Raspberry Pi craze even as the ARMv7 hardware has been shipping for a while and there are plenty of Pi-focused Linux distributions out there. With Fedora 25, there’s finally going to be good support for the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 devices.

        • Fedora 25 Linux OS to Officially Offer Support for Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 Devices

          Just a few moments ago, Fedora Project proudly announced that support for Raspberry Pi 2 and Raspberry Pi 3 single-board computers is finally coming to the Fedora Linux operating system.

          As you might know, the Beta of the upcoming Fedora 25 operating system has been released, and it brought numerous new GNU/Linux technologies and Open Source software projects, including but not limited to Linux kernel 4.8, GNOME 3.22 desktop environment, KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS, and LibreOffice 5.2.2. One thing was missing, though, and that’s support for ARM devices like the popular Raspberry Pi.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Refracta 8.0 – Devuan on a stick

          There are probably some people living in the world today who still haven’t heard of systemd, though I doubt that any of them read DistroWatch. More digital ink has been spilled debating the topic of init systems than any other in techie history. There is probably nothing I can say about systemd that hasn’t already been said, and no argument either for or against it that hasn’t been repeated ad nauseum. So I won’t waste this review seeking converts for The Cause™. I don’t expect the issue to be finally settled until the Sun swells up to become a red giant and evaporates the Earth.

          Geeks determined to resist the systemd juggernaut have several options. For me, the most interesting project is Devuan, a fork of Debian. I will say by way of disclosure that I have downloaded Devuan, installed it, used it for months, and like it. However, it does have a few flaws – the installer in particular needs some more work. The first beta forces you to do a network install that – depending on your Internet connection speed – can take an hour or more. This has defeated curious newbies who decide to give up long before the first boot-up prompt appeared.

          It was my search for a quick and easy way to get Devuan up and running that led me to Refracta, a unique distro that fills a niche that has long been neglected. Refracta’s existence predates the systemd wars – it was originally based on Debian 5.0, otherwise known as “Lenny.” But when Debian 8.0 “Jessie” went full systemd, Refracta moved to the Devuan camp.

          Refracta’s chief selling point is this: it’s a live image that can be quickly installed, customized, and re-installed back to live media again. So basically you can roll your own live CD, configured for your hardware and tweaked to suit your personal tastes. It is currently my favorite distro, and I’d recommend it to any Linux geek who has had a little bit of experience. A total Linux newbie might feel more comfortable with a distro that mimics Windows’ point-and-click friendliness, but once you’ve got the basics down, Refracta is easy to get used to.

          It’s also worth mentioning that even without being installed, a Refracta live CD or USB stick makes an excellent diagnostic and rescue tool. It contains quite a few command line utilities that aren’t in a default Devuan or Debian installation, including gddrescue, testdisk, smartmontools, hdparm, lm-sensors, iftop, and iptraf. I have personally used testdisk to recover data from a crashed hard drive.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 16.10 Review: Not Bad, But if You’re Happy with 16.04 LTS, Stick with it!

            After the previous 16.04 Long Term Release, Ubuntu has rolled out its latest ‘short term’ (my own naming convention for the non-LTS releases) version 16.10. Mainly, the ‘short term’ releases are only supported for 9 months and usually include software applications with their recent updates.

            When you release a new version of your operating system within every 6 months, usually there isn’t a lot of room for adding major changes. And that is the case with many GNU/Linux distributions these days, and Ubuntu 16.10 release is no exception. Since Unity is based on the user application set provided by GNOME desktop environment, according to the release notes, the underlying GNOME user applications have been upgraded to the version 3.20 at least (which is the case with the file manager — ‘files’, for instance) and some others have been upgraded to the version 3.22 which is the latest release of GNOME currently.

          • Canonical Now Offering Live Kernel Patching Services, Free for Up to Three PCs

            Today, October 18, 2016, Canonical informs us, through Dustin Kirkland, about a new interesting feature for Ubuntu Linux, which users can enable on their current installations.

          • Canonical Rolls Out Its Own Kernel Livepatching Service For Ubuntu
          • Canonical enterprise kernel livepatch service, free to Ubuntu community!
          • Hotfix Your Ubuntu Kernels with the Canonical Livepatch Service!

            Ubuntu 16.04 LTS’s 4.4 Linux kernel includes an important new security capability in Ubuntu — the ability to modify the running Linux kernel code, without rebooting, through a mechanism called kernel livepatch.

          • Ubuntu 16.10: Yakkety Yak… Unity 8′s not wack

            Canonical’s Ubuntu 16.10, codenamed “Yakkety Yak”, is nowhere near as chunky an update as 16.04 LTS was earlier this year. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing new. In fact, the firm’s second release of the year has quite a few fresh features to hold users over until the bright and shiny future of Unity 8 and Mir arrive some time next year.

            Nevertheless, it’s very odd to have what feels like a smaller update arrive with Ubuntu’s October release, which typically is the more experimental release with tons of new features being tested. This time around that’s not really the case. In what’s become a familiar refrain for Ubuntu, most of the work is happening with the still-not-quite-there Unity 8.

            Ubuntu 16.10 marks the seventh time Unity 8 has not been ready for prime time. While Unity 8 appears to be progressing – judging by developer updates and playing with pre-release versions – it is, at this point, in danger of joining Duke Nukem Forever on the great vaporware list in the sky. Still, take heart Ubuntu fans, just as Duke Nukem Forever did eventually see the light of day, it seems very likely that Unity 8 and Mir will in fact be released eventually. Perhaps even as early as 17.04. Also, I have a bridge for sale, if anyone is interested.

          • LinuxAndUbuntu Review Of Unity 8 Preview In Ubuntu 16.10

            Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak has just been released with quite a few number of new stuff and a first preview of Unity 8 desktop environment. Unity could be installed in Ubuntu 16.04 but it comes with 16.10 pre-installed. Unity 8 has been in development since 2013 and anyone who has seen or used Ubuntu phone will quickly notice the similarities and some major differences.

          • Ubuntu 16.10 targets hybrid cloud deployments, supports Unity 8 development

            Canonical, developer of Ubuntu, a distribution of Linux, released a new version of its software that targets hybrid cloud deployments. Ubuntu is often mentioned as one of the top 3 distributions of Linux when shipments are considered, depending upon which research firm one cites.

          • Ubuntu 16.10 Now Offers More than 500 Snaps, Including VLC 3.0.0 and Krita 3.0.1

            With the release of the Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) operating system, Canonical also had the pleasure of informing the community about the latest status of their Snaps universal binary packages.

          • Canonical Brings Its Ubuntu OpenStack and Ceph Offerings to 64-bit ARM Servers

            Canonical informs Softpedia about their latest collaboration with ARM, the industry’s leading supplier of microprocessor technology, to bring the company’s OpenStack and Ceph offerings to 64-bit ARM-based servers.

          • ARM, Canonical deliver Ubuntu OpenStack, Ceph to 64-bit ARMv8-A platforms
          • Canonical and ARM collaborate on OpenStack
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • NFL Teams Enjoy Giving NFL’s Social Media Policy A Giant, Hilarious Middle Finger, Using Toys

    You’ll recall that we recently commented on the NFL’s new dumb social media policy for its member teams, which outlines how much video content a team can push out as kickoff approaches (less than before), what type of video content from games teams can produce and distribute on their own (basically none), and the size of the fines if teams violate this policy (huuuuuge). The NFL has insisted elsewhere that this one-size-fits-all marketing approach has zilch to do with its precipitous ratings decline, although few believe it on this point. And, even as news of the policy has been released, the NFL itself has been inclined to push out as much of this very same content itself, centralizing its social media media control.

    So, if you’re an NFL team that doesn’t like the new policy and wants to make its fans aware of how silly it is in the most hilarious way possible, what do you do? Well, if you’re the Cleveland Browns and the Philadelphia Eagles, you push out Twitter updates to your followers that depict game highlights using plastic figurines. Here is how the Browns alerted their fans that their team had scored a touchdown.

  • Bill Belichick rants against NFL tablets: ‘I’m done’

    After the image of the New England Patriots coach slamming a Microsoft Surface tablet on the sideline in a Week 4 game against the Buffalo Bills went viral, Belichick explained Tuesday why he is fed up with the product.

  • Science

    • What is deep learning, and why should you care about it?

      Whether it’s Google’s headline-grabbing DeepMind AlphaGo victory, or Apple’s weaving of “using deep neural network technology” into iOS 10, deep learning and artificial intelligence are all the rage these days, promising to take applications to new heights in how they interact with us mere mortals.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • WHO Pandemic Influenza Advisory Group Meeting In Secret This Week

      The World Health Organization pandemic influenza framework advisory group is meeting this week, behind closed doors. A consultation is expected to take place on 20 October with stakeholders, and an information session has been organised on 21 October on the work of the advisory group, but no press is allowed in either meeting nor able to obtain any information about any aspect of the week’s events.

    • How Pharmaceutical Companies Are Keeping Americans From Doing Something The Government Says They Can Do

      The EFF’s series on “shadow regulation” continues, this time exploring how American pharmaceutical companies are keeping affordable medication out of the hands of Americans. The examination goes beyond what’s already common knowledge: that patents and regulatory capture have created a skewed marketplace that ensures healthy profit margins, rather than healthy Americans.

      But what’s not generally known is that the pharmaceutical companies have “partnered” with internet intermediaries to lock Americans out of purchasing options specifically approved by the FDA. To hear big pharmaceutical companies tell it, purchasing drugs from other countries (where the price is generally lower) is extremely dangerous, if not completely illegal. But that’s simply not true.

    • Eli Lilly Commits To Healthcare For 30 Million People In Middle-Income Countries And US By 2030 [Ed: Publicity stunt by company that got a bad name in those countries]

      Pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly today announced a stepped-up commitment to provide improved access to quality healthcare for 30 million people in resource-limited settings by 2030.

      The initiative, called Lilly 30×30, is based on a five-year, US$90 million investment in the Lilly Global Health Partnership, and aims at improving access to treatments for diabetes, cancer, and tuberculosis.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Mumbai: Two Muslim men arrested in RTI activist Bhupendra Vira murder case.

      Two Muslim men arrested in the Hindu RTI activist Bhupendra Vira murder case were remanded in police custody till October 24 by a magistrate in Mumbai today.

      The Mumbai police had arrested former Mumbai corporator Razzak Khan (78) and his son Amjad Khan (53) for their alleged involvement in the murder of the RTI activist. A 61-year-old Right to Information activist was killed in Mumbai on Saturday evening by a man who barged into his home, held a gun to his head and fired.

      Demanding their police custody, public prosecutor Ashok Medhe told the court, “The complainant (Vira’s son-in-law) in this case has alleged that they were getting repeated threats from the family of the accused. They also have a property dispute. In the past, family members of the accused had attacked Vira’s son. Police custody is required for a detailed investigation.”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Background and Documents on Attempts to Frame Assange as a Pedophile and Russias spy

      Earlier today the website DailyKos reported on a smear campaign plot to falsely accuse Julian Assange of pedophilia.

      Here is the description of the plot from Mr Assange’s legal team, the investigative report into the front company and associated correspondence. An unknown entity posing as an internet dating agency prepared an elaborate plot to falsely claim that Julian Assange received US$1M from the Russian government and a second plot to frame him sexually molesting an eight year old girl.

      The second plot includes the filing of a fabricated criminal complaint in the Bahamas, a court complaint in the UK and laundering part of the attack through the United Nations. The plot happened durring WikiLeaks’ Hillary Clinton related publications, but the plot may have its first genesis in Mr. Assange’s 16 months litigation against the UK in the UN system, which concluded February 5 (Assange won. UK and Sweden lost & US State Dept tried to pressure the WGAD according to its former Chair, Prof. Mads Andenas).

    • Ecuador curbs Assange’s internet to halt US election ‘interference’

      Ecuador has acknowledged it partly restricted internet access for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is taking refuge at its London embassy.

      It said Mr Assange had in recent weeks released material that could have an impact on the US presidential election.

      Ecuador also said its move was not the result of pressure from Washington.

      The US denied WikiLeaks accusations that it had asked Ecuador to stop the site publishing documents about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

    • WikiLeaks accuses Kerry of getting Assange off net

      WikiLeaks has said US Secretary of State John Kerry asked Ecuador to cut its leader Julian Assange’s Internet connectivity after the organisation had released the content of paid speeches that Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had given to Goldman Sachs.

      The US State Department has denied that Kerry was involved.

      The whistleblower organisation had accused Ecuador of cutting Assange’s Internet access a day earlier, saying “We can confirm Ecuador cut off Assange’s internet access Saturday, 5pm GMT, shortly after publication of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speechs.”

      On Tuesday, it released another lot of emails from the Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. None of the material released has contained any sensational disclosures.

    • Ecuador says it cut off Assange’s Internet over Clinton data dumps

      Ecuador, the nation that has granted political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the country’s London embassy, said late Tuesday it had cut off his Internet access. Ecuador says it did this because of WikiLeaks’ recent dumps of hacked e-mails surrounding Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

      “The Government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states. It does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favor any particular candidate,” the government said in a statement. “Accordingly, Ecuador has exercised its sovereign right to temporarily restrict access to some of its private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom. This temporary restriction does not prevent the WikiLeaks organization from carrying out its journalistic activities.”

    • Ecuador says it disconnected Julian Assange’s internet because of Clinton email leaks

      The government of Ecuador disconnected the internet access of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at its Embassy in London because of his site’s publishing of documents that could affect the US presidential election, the government said in a statement today.

      WikiLeaks announced early on Monday that Assange’s internet link had been severed, saying that it had “activated the appropriate contingency plans.”

      In that statement, shared by Politico reporter Eric Geller, the Ecuadorian government says it “respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states” and that it “exercised its sovereign right to temporarily restrict access to some of its private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom.”

    • Ecuador cut off Assange’s internet at U.S. request, WikiLeaks says

      Wikileaks said Tuesday that Secretary of State John Kerry asked Ecuador to stop WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, from publishing leaked emails that could disrupt peace negotiations with a guerrilla group in Colombia.

      [WikiLeaks emails show influence of Univision chairman in Clinton campaign // Internet cutoff is just the latest trouble for WikiLeaks’ Assange]

      Assange, who has been in refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London for more than four years, saw his access to the internet cut over the weekend.

  • Finance

    • Tobacco Carve-Out From ISDS Starts To Spread: Another Nail In The Coffin Of Corporate Sovereignty

      One of the last pieces of horse-trading that went on in order to conclude the TPP deal involved corporate sovereignty, aka investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), and tobacco. As we reported a year ago, a “carve-out” for tobacco was agreed, which was designed to assuage fears that tobacco companies would use TPP’s ISDS mechanism to challenge health measures like plain packs — something that Philip Morris attempted against both Australia and Uruguay.

    • EU to push through Canadian trade deal despite Belgium split

      The free trade pact between the European Union and Canada is likely to be sealed next week despite opposition from the Belgian region of Wallonia, according to European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom as quoted by AFP.

    • CETA Still Not At Finish Line As Belgian State Halts Process

      CETA, the Canada-Europe trade agreement, is still not at the finish line yet. The European Commission has all but one member state on board for the signature of the Comprehensive Economy and Trade Agreement (CETA), Slovak Economy Minister Peter Ziga said today after a meeting of the trade ministers of the EU member states.

    • Rethinking investment treaties to advance human rights

      There are over 3,000 international investment treaties worldwide, with more under negotiation. The number of investor-state arbitrations based on these treaties continues to grow. Human rights issues have emerged in several arbitrations, for example in disputes that affected water access, public health, land rights, the environment and actions favouring disadvantaged groups. Yet few investment treaties contain meaningful references to human rights, and some arbitral tribunals have proved reluctant to consider human rights arguments made by states and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Investment treaty policy needs reconfiguring in the light of human rights obligations. The UK has long been a key player in the development of the international investment regime. As the country gears up for international trade and investment negotiations in the aftermath of the ‘Brexit’ vote, there is an opportunity to show leadership by ensuring that investment policy supports human rights.

    • Surprise: Now Even Australia’s Biggest Business Organization Says It Has Doubts About TPP

      When a country’s top business association offers criticism in more or less the same terms as anti-TPP activists, maybe it’s time to think twice about ratifying a deal that still lacks any credible justification.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Green Party VP Nominee Ajama Baraka: We Must Disrupt Our Relationship to Democratic Party

      When Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein tapped Ajamu Baraka to be her running mate back in August, there were a flurry of news stories. Most tried to paint him as the anti-Obama—too radical, too intense, too left to occupy the space just a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

      All of these characterizations of Baraka amounted to attempting to insult him with compliments.

      Long a voice for oppressed people around the globe, Baraka’s presence on the Green ticket is both self-aware and forward-moving; Southern organizer, human rights activist, veteran and socialist, Baraka is strategically positioned to prove that the core of what centrist Democrats would like you to believe about the Green Party is a lie.

    • Ken Loach: BBC news manipulative and deeply political

      Director Ken Loach has taken aim at the BBC, describing its news coverage as “manipulative and deeply political” and saying it is a “rotten place for a director”.

      Prominent leftwinger Loach, who is promoting his Palme d’Or-winning film about a man’s struggle with the UK benefits system, I, Daniel Blake, said there was a need to “democratise” the corporation.

      “Diversify it so that different regions can make their own dramas. And its notion of news has got to be challenged,” he told the Radio Times.

      “The BBC is very aware of its role in shaping people’s consciousness; this is the story you should hear about, these are the people worth listening to. It’s manipulative and deeply political.”

      In response to the comments, a BBC spokeswoman said: “BBC News is independent and adheres to clear published editorial guidelines including on impartiality. The BBC is consistently rated the most trusted and accurate news provider by the majority of people in the UK.”

    • Hacked Emails Prove Coordination Between Clinton Campaign and Super PACs

      The fact that political candidates are closely coordinating with friendly Super PACs — making a mockery of a central tenet of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision — is one of the biggest open secrets in Washington.

      Super PACs are only allowed to accept unlimited contributions on the condition that the money is spent independently of specific campaigns. The Federal Election Commission hasn’t reacted for a variety of reasons, including a lack of hard evidence, vague rules, and a partisan divide among the commissioners so bitter they can’t even agree to investigate obvious crimes.

      But newly disclosed hacked campaign documents published by WikiLeaks and a hacker who calls himself Guccifer 2.0 reveal in stark terms how Hillary Clinton’s staffers made Super PACs an integral part of her presidential campaign.

    • Donald Trump Is Running Some Really Insecure Email Servers

      In what might be one of the more delicious cases of irony to ever grace a presidential election, a researcher has found that a number of email servers linked to Donald Trump’s hotel and others businesses are running horribly out of date software which receive no security patches, and are lacking other precautions for keeping hackers out.

      The findings come at a time when cybersecurity is a crucial topic in the presidential election, with hackers dumping documents from Hillary Clinton’s campaign online, and Trump and his supporters continuing to criticise Clinton’s use of a private email server.

    • Clinton campaign considered Bill Gates, Tim Cook for VP

      An email from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta released in the recent WikiLeaks dump reveals a group of potential running mates considered by Clinton’s campaign. Clinton’s vice presidential candidates, while not altogether surprising, include some vaguely interesting choices like Bill and Melinda Gates, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and General Motors CEO Mary Barra.

    • Obama: Trump should ‘stop whining’ about rigged election

      President Obama on Tuesday offered a blunt rebuke to Donald Trump’s claim the presidential election will be rigged against him: Stop whining.

      “I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes,” Obama said during a Rose Garden press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

      Trump has riled his supporters in recent days by ramping up his effort to undermine the November elections as “rigged” by the political establishment and mainstream media.

    • Donald Trump support during presidential debate was inflated by bots, professor says

      Many of the Twitter users supporting Donald Trump after the presidential debates were bots, according to a new analysis.

      More than four times as many tweets came from automated accounts that supported Mr Trump than they did backing Hillary Clinton, according to Philip Howard from the University of Oxford.

      The robot tweets helped give the appearance that Mr Trump had more support than he did, according to Professor Howard. That apparent surge in support was referenced repeatedly by Mr Trump, who claimed that despite what the official polling showed he had actually won both of the debates.

    • GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election

      Republican senators don’t want to talk about Donald Trump’s allegations of a rigged election.

      The Hill contacted the offices of all 54 Republican senators and asked them if they think the election is rigged. Thirty-four of the senators’ offices did not respond, while another three declined to comment.

      Those that did respond offered little support for the GOP nominee’s claim.

      Fifteen senators said they do not think the election is being or will be rigged.

      One, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), wants to “wait and see.”

    • Why Did Vote-Rigging Robert Creamer Visit The White House Over 200 Times During The Obama Admin

      Earlier today we wrote about a new Project Veritas undercover video that uncovered several democratic operatives openly discussing, in explicit detail, how to commit massive voter fraud. One of the operatives was a person by the name of Robert Creamer who is a co-founder of a democratic consulting firm called Democracy Partners. Within the video, an undercover journalist details a plan to register Hispanic voters illegally by having them work as contractors, to which Creamer can be heard offering support saying that “there are a couple of organizations that that’s their big trick” (see: “Rigging Elections For 50 Years” – Massive Voter Fraud Exposed By Project Veritas Part 2″).

      Unfortunately, the embarrassing video caused Creamer to subsequently resign from consulting the Hillary campaign as he issued a statement saying that he was “stepping back from my responsibilities working the [Hillary] campaign” over fears that his continued assistance would be a distraction for the campaign.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • GCHQ reacts in the best way to Oliver Stone’s description of it as “barbaric” and “ruthless” [Ed: The mouthpiece of GCHQ speaks]

      GCHQ has refused to be drawn into a war of words with Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone, who described the agency as “barbaric”.

      Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on Sunday, Stone – the director of JFK, Platoon, Wall Street and Snowden said: “GCHQ is one of the most barbaric agencies around, very cold, very smart.

      “And likely to arrest anybody at any time, on any thing on any cause. So hello!”

    • The Shadow Brokers is now crowdfunding release of NSA hacking tools
    • Hackers selling NSA hacking tools for 10000 bitcoins
    • Stolen NSA Cyberweapons Auctioned: Shadow Brokers Wants $6.3 million To Publish Hacking Tools’ Password
    • Shadow Brokers Cancel Auction of Supposed NSA Hacking Tools
    • No one wants to buy NSA’s hacking tools
    • Shadow Brokers cancel auction of alleged stolen NSA cyberweapons after no one bid anything
    • Shadow Brokers Scraps Auction, Opts for 10000 BTC Crowdfund to Release NSA Files
    • NSA hackers abandon auction, seek $6M in crowd funding
    • Granted Warrant Allowed Feds To Force Everyone At Searched Residence To Unlock Devices With Their Fingerprints
    • MI6, MI5 and GCHQ ‘unlawfully collected private data for 10 years’
    • FBI Lifts Gag Order On NSL Issued To Google… Which Doesn’t Have Much To Say About It

      In other news, Google saw an increase in FISA-ordered requests for user info, bumping it up by about 5,000 total accounts as compared to the previous reporting period.

      Hopefully, Google’s ungagged-but-still-secret NSL won’t stay secret for much longer. It would be troubling if this were to become Google’s standard policy — the announcement of gag order removals but with no further details forthcoming. Not much “transparency” in the Transparency Report, unfortunately… not if that’s how it’s going to be handled.

      True, much of the opacity is still the government’s fault: the not-at-all-useful “banding” that makes NSL numbers impossible to parse (1-499 could mean one NSL… or almost 500 in one reporting period), the gag orders that remain in place forever, etc. But private companies shouldn’t take their cues from naturally-secretive government agencies. They’re pretty much all we have to provide us with an outside, somewhat unrestricted measure of the government’s surveillance efforts.

    • Government Seeks Do-Over On Win For Microsoft And Its Overseas Data

      The DOJ wants the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to revisit the decision it handed down in July — the one that’s preventing it from forcing Microsoft to hand over data stored on its servers in Ireland. The DOJ hoped the court would read the Stored Communications Act as applying to the location of the company served with the data request, rather than the actual location of the data. The Appeals Court disagreed with the lower court’s finding — one that dragged in the Patriot Act for some reason — pointing out that the purpose of the SCA was to protect the privacy of communications, not to facilitate the government in obtaining them.

    • Security agencies collected data unlawfully, UK court rules

      British spy agencies collected data illegally for more than a decade, a court has ruled.

      The Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which investigates complaints against intelligence services, ruled on Monday that the agencies’ secretive collection and use of bulk communications data (BCD) failed to comply with human rights laws until 2015.

      The ruling is the result of a case brought by privacy campaigners Privacy International that challenged the collection and use of bulk data by security agencies GCHQ, MI5 and MI6.

    • Police should rein in facial recognition programs, says new report

      A coalition that includes the ACLU, EFF, and 50 other organizations has asked the Department of Justice to investigate how the FBI and police are using large-scale facial recognition databases in criminal investigations. The letter comes alongside a new report that claims around half of American adults are effectively part of these databases.

      The report, released by the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology, draws on both existing data and material obtained through public records requests. It notes that at least 26 states — which have been previously identified — let law enforcement scan photos from the Department of Motor Vehicles as part of investigations. Based on the number of drivers who have received licenses in each state, the study’s authors calculate that this covers 117 million adults — or 48 percent of the total adult population. The licenses aren’t part of one central index, but several databases across states.

    • The perpetual lineup: Half of US adults in a face-recognition database

      Half of American adults are in a face-recognition database, according to a Georgetown University study released Tuesday. That means there’s about 117 million adults in a law enforcement facial-recognition database, the study by Georgetown’s Center on Privacy & Technology says.

      “We are not aware of any agency that requires warrants for searches or limits them to serious crimes,” the study says.

      The report (PDF), titled “The Perpetual Line-up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America,” shows that one-fourth of the nation’s law enforcement agencies have access to face-recognition databases, and their use by those agencies is virtually unregulated.

    • Before Nixon: When JFK tapped the phone of a New York Times reporter

      President Kennedy’s order to the CIA to begin collecting intelligence on American reporters—shattering its own charter—was formalized as Project Mockingbird. In the spring of 1963, this resulted in the wiretapping of two columnists, Robert S. Allen and Paul Scott, after they allegedly revealed classified secrets. Other reporters were also monitored in this program until its end in 1965.

    • A database of the UK’s porn habits. What could possibly go wrong?

      To this end the Digital Economy Bill creates a regulator that will seek to ensure that adult content websites will verify the age of users, or face monetary penalties, or in the case of overseas sites, ask payment providers such as VISA to refuse to process UK payments for non-compliant providers.

      There are obvious problems with this, which we detail elsewhere.

      However, the worst risks are worth going into in some detail, not least from the perspective of the Bill Committee who want the Age Verification system to succeed.

    • NBC Happily Parrots The CIA’s Case For Escalating Cyber War With Russia

      As we’ve been noting there have been growing calls for the Obama Administration to publicly scold Russia for hacking the DNC, and to dole out some kind of righteous punishment for this unseemly behavior. Calls on this front have ranged from launching larger cyber offensives or even a brick and mortar military response. We’ve noted repetaedly how this is stupid for a multitude of reasons, since hacking “proof” is (if the hacker’s any good) impossible to come by, with false-flag operations consistently common.

      So while there are some very obvious problems with escalation here, the U.S. press seems pretty intent on helping the intelligence community justify doing exactly that. Enter countless outlets breathlessly passing along the idea that we simply must “retaliate” for Russia’s behavior, willfully ignoring that the United States wrote the book on nation state hacking and lacks the moral high ground. As Snowden and other whistleblowers should have made abundantly clear by now, we’ve been hacking allies, fiddling in Democratic elections, creating indiscriminately dangerous malware and worse for decades.

      Led by our bad example, we’ve cultivated a global environment in which nation state operators hack one another every second of every day to keep pace with the United States. As such, the idea that the United States is an innocent daisy that needs to “retaliate” is absurdly, indisputably false, yet this concept sits at 90% of the reporting on this subject. Case in point: eager to get the escalation ball rolling, the CIA last week used NBC to make the case for a renewed cyber-warfare campaign against Russia in the coming months…

    • StartPage decides to ditch Yahoo after data breach

      Europe-based StartPage, a search engine that focuses on user privacy has canceled its partnership with Yahoo. In an announcement made on Monday, StartPage said it will be dropping Yahoo’s aggregate search results from its metasearch platform Ixquick.eu by the end of the month.

    • Top U.S. security official returns to AU to talk cyberspace [Ed: Michael S. Rogers in latest NSA charm offensive]
    • Director of the National Security Agency and Commander of US Cyber Command to Speak at Columbus State University
    • Adm. Rogers: US ‘Working Our Way Through’ NSA-Cyber Command Split
    • Feds need clarity on cyber structures
    • Rogers: ‘We’re working our way through’ process to split NSA-CYBERCOM roles
    • Cybersecurity chief supports splitting role with NSA, but in the right way
    • Official: you can still trust the NSA [Ed: FCW with its puff pieces now...]

      t might not be as momentous as knocking down the Berlin Wall, but tearing down the barriers between Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance inside the National Security Agency is revolutionary, an NSA official in the thick of those efforts contends.

      The NSA is six weeks into “NSA21,” which the agency calls the most substantial organizational reform in its 60-year history. Announced earlier this year, NSA21′s primary change is flattening the organization and moving it from a mission-based construct to a functional model.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • 4-star general snagged for lying in Stuxnet leak probe

      The Obama administration’s anti-leak drive has netted its most serious conviction of a high-ranking government official: a guilty plea by a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to a felony charge of lying to investigators probing leaks about top secret U.S. efforts to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

      Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright appeared in federal court in Washington on Monday afternoon, speaking in a low voice as U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon accepted the former four-star general’s admission that he lied to FBI agents about his contacts with New York Times reporter David Sanger and former Newsweek reporter Daniel Klaidman.

    • Judge Rejects ‘Rioting’ Charge Against Journalist For Reporting On Protestors, But Prosecutor Still Looking For New Charges

      Last week it was announced that journalist Amy Goodman would go to North Dakota to face charges over her coverage of North Dakota oil pipeline protests that went viral. The idea that Goodman was charged with doing journalism was really ridiculous. The original charges focused on “trespassing” but once the local state’s attorney, Ladd Erickson, realized that those clearly would not stick, he changed them to rioting. When asked to defend the arrest warrant and charges by a local newspaper, Erickson displayed a complete lack of understanding of the First Amendment in saying that because Goodman’s coverage was sympathetic to the protesters, it was fine to consider her a protester too.

      Thankfully, a judge disagreed and rejected the rioting charge.

    • Judge Rejects Riot Charge Against Amy Goodman of ‘Democracy Now’ Over Pipeline Protest

      The radio journalist Amy Goodman spent the weekend with the threat of a riot charge hanging over her, arising from protests over a planned oil pipeline in North Dakota. But on Monday a judge rejected the case for lack of evidence.

      Ms. Goodman, the host and executive producer of the syndicated radio, television and web show “Democracy Now!” on Pacifica Radio, had planned to enter a not guilty plea on Monday, but District Judge John Grinsteiner declined to sign the charging document, bringing the case to a stop — at least for now.

      She and her lawyers declared victory on Monday, but Ladd Erickson, a state prosecutor who is assisting the Morton County state’s attorney’s office in the case, said other charges were possible.

    • Stepdad Goes To Police With Stepdaughter’s Sexts, Asks Them To Intervene, Is Prosecuted For Child Porn

      Sexting continues to be a thing. And, as we have covered various stories revolving around people sending pictures of their naughty bits to one another, much of the consternation in the public tends to be around children partaking in sexting. And I can see their point. While I tend to laugh at prudishness in general, it would probably be best for all involved if underage youngsters weren’t texting each other provocative pictures of themselves with reckless abandon.

      So what is a parent to do if their children are found to be doing just that? One might think that going to both the child’s school and authorities to ask for help in stopping this behavior would be in order, right? Well, for one parent in Australia, doing just that landed him a conviction for child pornography and sex offender registration, even as essentially the entire legal system acknowledged that he was just trying to be a good father.

    • Dad Asks Cops to Intervene in Daughter’s Sexting. They Arrest Him for Child Porn.

      A man who found out that his 15-year-old stepdaughter was sexting her boyfriend proceeded to download the evidence to bring it to the school and the police to ask them to intervene.

      Oh dear, readers. You know where this is heading. Intervene they did. Now the dad has been convicted on child pornography charges and placed on the sex offender registry. This, despite the judge understanding exactly why the man, Ashan Ortell, 57, held onto the images.

      “There is no suggestion of any exploitation of them by anybody,” ruled Judge Jane Patrick, over in Australia, which is becoming as daffy as the United States. “You made no attempt to conceal the images. In fact, you were so concerned that you contacted the authorities about the images.”

    • Child bride in Turkey dies after giving birth

      A child bride in Turkey has died of a brain hemorrhage after giving birth at the age of 15, local media have reported.

      The bleed thought to have killed her is believed to have been associated with going into labour at such a young age.

      Known only as Derya B, the girl was married in a religious ceremony at the age of 14.

    • Turkish child marriage film shines light on hidden abuses

      Child brides in Turkey are often raped, beaten and forced to undergo virginity tests, according to the director of a new documentary which aims to break the silence on the taboo issue.

      “Growing Up Married”, which will premiere in London on Oct. 30, examines the impact of child marriage on four women who were wed as teenagers in western Turkey.

      “When hearing some of their stories I thought to myself ‘how are you still alive?’,” filmmaker Eylem Atakav said in an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

      Globally, one third of girls in developing countries, excluding China, are married before the age of 18 and one in nine before the age of 15, according to U.N. data.

    • Vintage Photos of Bold and Modern Iranian Ladies Before the Islamic Law Took Over!

      The Islamic Republic however didn’t incline towards the Sharia Law until the late 70’s. The Iranian Revolution that took place in the year 1978 witnessed massive changes in the otherwise modern country.

      Right from their eating habits to their attire, to literature and art & culture, Iran witnessed a sudden shift in their functioning. Overtaking the Pahlavi dynasty changed the fate of the innocent Iranians forever under the rule of Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

    • Two-thirds of child refugees screened by officials found to be adults, Home Office figures show

      Nearly two-thirds of “child” refugees who officials questioned about their real age were found to be adults, Home Office documents show.

      Figures show that in the year to September 2015, 65 per cent of the child refugees who had their age disputed were found to be over 18.

      It comes after Conservative MPs raised questions about the ages of 14 refugees who were brought to the UK this week from the “Jungle” migrant camp in Calais.

      The Home Office has no way of independently verifying the age of child refugees being brought to the UK.

      Home Office documents show that if a refugee does not have a birth certificate, a Home Office screening officer can certify them as a child based on their “physical appearance” or “demeanour”.

    • Stripped, stomped and sprayed: Former police officer Yvonne Berry breaks silence on Ballarat arrest ordeal

      A woman who was captured on CCTV being stripped, stomped on and kicked in the Ballarat police cells has spoken out for the first time.

    • Finally Free: ‘Guantánamo Diary’ Author Released After 14 Years Without Charge

      After unlawfully imprisoning our client Mohamedou Ould Slahi at Guantánamo for 14 years without charge or trial, the U.S. government has finally released him. He is now home in his native Mauritania.

      We are overjoyed for Mohamedou and his loving family, who have been anxiously awaiting his return for so many years. His release brings the U.S. one man closer to ending the travesty that is Guantánamo.

    • FBI Facial Recognition Expert Helps Denver PD Arrest Wrong Man Twice For The Same Crime

      Never let it be said law enforcement won’t get their man. Even if it’s the wrong man. And even if they do it twice.

      This was Denver native Steven Talley’s first experience with the local PD.

    • ‘Fear, censorship and retaliation’: United Nations rapporteur slams Australia’s human rights record

      Australia lacks adequate protections for human rights defenders and has created “an atmosphere of fear, censorship and retaliation” among activists, according to a United Nations special rapporteur.

      Michel Forst, who released an end-of-mission statement on Tuesday after a fortnight in Australia, said he was “astonished” by numerous measures heaping “enormous pressure” on public servants, whistleblowers and ordinary citizens.

    • UN warns of ‘fear, censorship and retaliation’ in Australia

      Strict secrecy laws and harassment by government officials are creating an “atmosphere of fear” in Australia, a UN investigator warns.
      In a damning report Tuesday, United Nations special rapporteur Michel Forst said several human rights defenders had refused to meet him because of the fear of persecution.

    • Australian secrecy laws must be reviewed, says UN investigator
    • UN Calls on Australia to Re-examine Secrecy Laws
    • Australia should urgently improve whistleblower protection, UN expert says
    • UN investigator urges review of Australian secrecy laws
    • UN warns of ‘fear, censorship and retaliation’ in Australia
    • Chilling effect on rights defenders: UN
    • Chilling effect on rights defenders: UN
  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Software-Defined Networking Puts Network Managers in the Driver’s Seat

      SDNs can help organizations keep up with evolving network demands in an app-centric IT environment and give network managers much more flexibility.

    • The Open-Source Group Trying To “De-Google” The Internet

      How can we surf the web without using Google, Amazon or Facebook? French group Framasoft, which promotes the use of open-source software, offers a way.

      Under the “De-google-ify internet” initiative, the group uses decentralized software solutions to design tools that allow consumers to retake control of their data.

      Members of Framasoft are strong advocates for the digital privacy of consumers. They consider it their mission to educate people about internet freedom.

  • DRM

    • MacBook Pro to ditch traditional USB ports in favour of USB-C

      TRADITIONAL USB ports could be about to go the way of the 3.5mm headphone jack after the news that Apple’s new MacBook Pro will come with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 only.

      A report from Macotakara claimed that Apple’s upcoming MacBook Pro models will ditch traditional USB ports, Thunderbolt 2 and the company’s MagSafe charging connector.

      Instead, according to a “reliable Chinese supplier”, the 13in and 15in laptops will have USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports, so buyers will be forced to cough up £65 to hook up standard USB devices.

    • Report: Apple will introduce new Macs at October 27th event [Updated

      The most interesting new information is about the MacBook Air. The 13-inch model is said to get USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3, and those ports will replace all of the ports on the current Air—USB Type-A, Thunderbolt 2, and Magsafe 2. We don’t know how many of these ports the Air will get, but if the design stays more or less the same, it should at least get more than the one-ported MacBook. The 11-inch Air, which currently serves as Apple’s entry-level laptop, would be removed from the lineup.

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 18/10/2016: Release Candidate of Leap 42.2, Looking Ahead at GTK4

Posted in News Roundup at 11:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Best Linux Intranet Solutions

    There’s a lot of benefits to having your local communications within the confines of your office Intranet. When it comes to keeping content and communications local, there are a number of decent Linux Intranet friendly solutions to serve content to those on your network.

  • Server

    • The Ops Identity Crisis

      A big theme in the keynotes and conversation during Velocity Conf in NYC a few weeks ago was the role of ops in an “ops-less” and “server-less” world. It’s also been a big feature in discussions on twitter and in conversations I’ve had with coworkers and friends in the industry. There are several things that stand out to me in these conversations: first, that some ops engineers (sysadmins, techops, devops, and SREs) are worried that they will be phased out if developers and software engineers are responsible for the operational tasks in their systems; second, that developers and software engineers do not have the skills needed to take over responsibility for operational tasks; and third, that building reliable systems is impossible without an operations organization.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel 4.9 merge window highlights

      The 4.8 kernel was released on October 2nd. This also marked the start of the merge window for the 4.9 kernel. The merge window is the time period when kernel subsystem maintainers send their pull requests for new features to be included in the 4.9 kernel. Here are a few features pulled into the 4.9 kernel that might be of interest for Fedora users.

    • The Linux Foundation strives to unite open-source JavaScript community
    • The Linux Foundation Helps Launch the JS Foundation

      Today, the Linux Foundation announced the creation of a new entity named the JS Foundation that will serve as an umbrella project and guiding force for various open-source utilities at the heart of the JavaScript ecosystem.

      The JS Foundation’s primary mission is to help manage and fund projects, but also cultivate best practices in the JavaScript ecosystem.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Clear Linux Now Riding On Linux 4.8.1, Ships AVX2-Optimized Python

      Intel’s Clear Linux open-source operating system continues advancing as one of the less heard of but highly performant rolling-release distributions for servers, cloud, containers, and other applications.

      Clear Linux Highlights #4 was published today to make known some of the latest improvements. Some of the recent packaging changes include landing GNOME 3.22 components, adding Wayland 1.12, introducing Apache Maven, and updates to various existing packages. Some of the notable updates are using Linux 4.8.1, systemd 231, Vim 8.0, Emacs 25.1, and Node.js 6.8.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Linux Kernel 4.8 and KDE Plasma 5.8.1 Coming Soon to openSUSE Tumbleweed Users

        openSUSE Project’s Dominique Leuenberger informed the Tumbleweed community about the latest goodies that landed in the stable software repositories of the rolling release operating system during the past week.

        We’re talking here about the openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots released during the week of October 10, 2016, which brought several interesting software components which might get users of the rolling OS excited. For example, you can now enjoy the latest KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS desktop environment.

      • First openSUSE Leap 42.2 Release Candidate Adds KDE Plasma 5.8.1, GNOME Updates

        Just a few minutes ago, openSUSE Project, through Douglas DeMaio, proudly announced the availability of the first Release Candidate (RC) version of the upcoming openSUSE Leap 42.2 operating system.

      • OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 Release Candidate Published
      • Release Candidate Available for openSUSE Leap 42.2

        The openSUSE Project is pleased to announce the availability of the openSUSE Leap 42.2 Release Candidate 1 (RC1).

        Since mid-May, the project has been guiding the development of the next openSUSE community release Leap 42.2, which will be released in 29 days. The release of RC1 completes the development process for openSUSE Leap 42.2 based on source code from SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) Service Pack (SP) 2.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Why enterprises are now opting for open source software

        In March this year, Red Hat became the world’s first open source software (OSS) solutions company to cross $2 billion in revenue. The term open source implies ‘free’ access to software which developers can modify. Not many thought Red Hat would be successful when the company was founded in 1993. However, it has proved its naysayers wrong with a $14.78 billion market cap (as on September 30), $600 million revenue in Q2 FY17 and entry into the Forbes list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2016 for the fourth time. Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat’s president and CEO, and Rajesh Rege, its India MD, tell Forbes India why enterprises are now opting for open source software.

      • CentOS Linux Vagrant Boxes Gets September’s Updates and XFS File System Support

        CentOS maintainer Karanbir Singh announced the availability of updated Vagrant Box images for the CentOS Linux 7 and CentOS Linux 6 operating systems for the month of September 2016.

      • Using feedback loops for greater work satisfaction

        In August I wrote about using feedback loops in your personal life to get unstuck from unproductive habits. This month I’ll talk about some new helpful feedback loops for your workplace. I’m going to make this easy for you: Here are my top three, and they’re always good ones to start with.

      • Red Hat study shows virtualization will keep growing

        With the rise of exciting new technologies like containers, virtualization might sometimes seem like it’s old hat. But not according to Red Hat, whose latest research shows that enterprise adoption is still on the rise.

        In a new survey of over 900 enterprise information technology pros, Red Hat discovered that virtualization is still gaining traction thanks to its ability to drive server consolidation, reduce provisioning times, serve as platform for app development and deployment and save enterprises money.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • New Tool Lets You Easily Install the Ubuntu Touch OS on Your Mobile Devices

            Softpedia was just informed by Marius Quabeck from UbuntuFun.de about a new tool that lets users super easily install the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system on their devices.

            The tool is developed by Marius Quabeck himself and is called magic-device-tool. The first stable version, magic-device-tool 1.0, is now available to everyone and promises to offer a simple and easy-to-use batch tool for installing Canonical’s Ubuntu Touch mobile OS, as well as Android, Cyanogenmod, or Phoenix OS.

            In other words, you’ll be able to replace your mobile operating system on your device with any of the following: the latest Ubuntu Touch release, Cyanogenmod – with or without the GAPPS (Google Apps) package, the factory Android image, as well as Phoenix OS. Please note that you’ll only be able to run one of these OSes on your mobile devices.

          • Canonical Brings Ubuntu OpenStack, Ceph to ARM Servers

            Telco and enterprise customers are looking for an alternative source of silicon beyond Intel for data center silicon, Canonical officials say.
            ARM officials took a step forward in their effort to build the software ecosystem around its efforts in the data center when Canonical said that its Ubuntu OpenStack and Ceph offerings are now commercially available on servers powered by ARM’s 64-bit chip architecture.

          • Ubuntu OpenStack and Ceph Storage now available on ARM v8-A

            Unified solution will benefit majority of public cloud services, Canonical explained

            Canonical and ARM have announced a strategic partnership, making Ubuntu OpenStack and Ceph Storage now available on ARM v8-A-based enterprise solutions.

            Working together with Ubuntu certified System on Chip (SoC) partners, ODMs and OEMs, the two companies will ensure the equipment used by customers, such as servers, storage and networking products can be used with Ubuntu Advantage.

            “We have seen our Telecom and Enterprise customers start to radically depart from traditional server design to innovative platform architectures for scale-out compute and storage. In partnering with ARM we bring more innovation and platform choice to the marketplace,” Mark Baker, product manager of OpenStack at Canonical said.

          • Canonical gives Ubuntu Linux 17.04 the name ‘Zesty Zapus’ (jumping mouse)

            Linux distributions and silly names go together like peanut butter and jelly. For whatever reason, the maintainers of these operating systems seem to enjoy having fun with what they call them — some argue it is childish. Even Google — a billion dollar company — uses sugary dessert names for the Linux-based Android operating system.

            One of the most well-known Linux distributions to use funny names is Ubuntu. It famously uses the convention of an adjective and a lesser-known animal, each starting with the same letter. The letter is chosen sequentially by alphabet. For example, Ubuntu 16.10 uses the letter “Y” — “Yakkety Yak”. The next version of the operating system will use the letter “Z”. While many folks hoped for “Zebra”, that would be too obvious. Instead, Canonical has chosen “Zesty Zapus”. Don’t know what a zapus is? Neither did I. It is apparently a type of jumping mouse. The selection was not made at random, however, as the company has an explanation for the decision.

          • Upcoming Zesty Zapus, Bodhi 4 Beta 3

            Mark Shuttleworth today blogged of the “metaphorical” naming of the release has reached the end of the alphabet with 17.04′s Zesty Zapus. Apparently, a zapus is “a genus of North American jumping mice,” thanks to Wikipedia, and is the only living mammal to have 18 teeth. The genus includes three distinct subspecies and has inhabited Earth since the Pliocene. They have long tails, long back feet, yellowish-brown backs and white bellies. Zesty means “having an agreeably pungent taste,” according to the collective dictionary databases of KDict.

          • Ubuntu MATE 16.10 – quick screenshot tour

            Ubuntu MATE became an officially supported family member not so long ago. Linux notes from DarkDuck have already published a review of Ubuntu MATE 16.04.

          • Why the IoT security nightmare could be a dream for Ubuntu

            A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how the poor design of Internet of Things devices poses a serious threat to the Internet. By an interesting coincidence, security guru Bruce Schneier wrote about the same issue on the same day, albeit rather more authoritatively. Other articles on the topic continue to appear, as people begin to wake up to the seriousness of this issue.

            On Monday, I attended the opening day of Oscon in London, and listening to Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth talk about “Brilliant pebbles,” it seemed to me that he was outlining part of a possible solution to IoT’s problems. Here’s a description of his keynote…

  • Devices/Embedded

    • RPi Compute Module 3 revealed, tapped for NEC signage

      On Oct. 10, NEC Display Solutions Europe announced it would produce a series of digital signage display computers equipped with the upcoming Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, which runs Linux on the same quad-core Cortex-A53 SoC as the Raspberry Pi 3. On Oct. 14, Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading, made his own announcement of the displays, adding some more details, and today, the datasheet for the Compute Module 3 leaked online.

      Long story short: the Compute Module 3 is pin compatible with the original, but will be available in 4GB eMMC and SD-only models. There’s no pricing or close-up photo, but the module will ship by the end of the year.

    • How to fly your DIY Raspberry Pi drone

      We’ve shown you how to build your own drone, and once you’d fitted all the cables and powered up, you have been able to enjoy your first flight. However, if you’ve found that your drone has a tendency to fly off in a random direction or doesn’t seem to respond in the way that you want then we’re now going to take a look at the delicate process of connection and calibration.

      The calibration of the drone will be carried out using software called APM which enables us to calibrate the RC unit with the PXFMini autopilot module.

    • Demonstrating the Future of IoT

      Yesterday was a special day. It would be a nightmare day for most tech executive. I was a keynote speaker for OpenIoT Europe / Embedded Linux Conference from The Linux Foundation and was asked to demo IoT in front of more than a thousand [potentially multiple thousands] experts. If there is one thing software companies don’t do enough, it is sending their executives to demo their new products. I survived and it went quite well. This blog post will run through my demos but also explain how each is just a building block towards a software defined future in which home, business and industrial IoT will redefine our future. My code is on Github and where possible I will give instructions to do the demo yourself.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • App: Smart Tutor Released by Samsung for Tizen Smartphones

          A new app named Smart Tutor has been released by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and is available right now from the Tizen Store. Using the app you are able to contact Samsung customer care about your device support needs. It’s an easy, quick and safe technical support application and a good consulting tool for Samsung smartphones. You can get help from Samsung Customer Care for solve your device’s technical issues. It can be used to diagnose your device remotely in order to optimize device performance and give functional advice.

      • Android

        • Google Maps for Android can now show you nearby traffic through a one-tap shortcut
        • HTC launches virtual reality-focused Viveport M storefront for Android
        • BlackBerry Mercury, Like Pixel Phones And LG V20, Will Run Android 7.0 Nougat Out Of The Box

          BlackBerry appears to be up to speed when it comes to releasing new Android smartphones. Since releasing the PRIV and DTEK50, the Canadian company reportedly worked on a new smartphone, which is now called the DTEK60. Just this Monday, however, new information has surfaced, revealing that Apple’s former greatest rival is working on another Android hardware.

        • PBS Launches Android Tablet for Kids

          A sub-$100 Android tablet is hitting Best Buy stores in November, and its 16GB of flash storage will be prefilled with so much content you probably won’t have room to add your own.

          But it’s not all adware, as you might expect for such a cheap device. Instead, the more than 25 games and 120 video clips are educational resources from PBS Kids. Dubbed the “Playtime Pad,” the $80 tablet is a partnership between PBS and California budget electronics maker Ematic.

        • Google Pixel review: Bland, pricey, but still the best Android phone

          Welcome to the age of Google Hardware. Apparently tired of letting third-party Android OEMs serve as the stewards of Android handsets, Google has become a hardware company. (Again).

          Earlier this year Google, launched a hardware division with former Motorola President Rick Osterloh at the helm. With the high-ranking title of “Senior Vice President,” Osterloh doesn’t oversee a side project—his group is on even footing with Android, Search, YouTube, and Ads. The hardware group is so powerful inside Google that it was able to merge Nexus, Pixel, Chromecast, OnHub, ATAP, and Glass into a single business unit. The group’s coming out party was October 4, 2016, where it announced Google Home, Google Wifi, a 4K Chromecast, the Daydream VR headset, and the pair of phones we’re looking at today: the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The answer to Internet of Things madness? Open source, of course!

    “Open is always going to win,” states Ed Hemphill, CEO of WigWag, a company that hopes to make sense of the ever-expanding and ever-more-complex Internet of Things market.

    WigWag is named after the traditional flags used by the US military’s Signal Corps to communicate messages. Hemphill and his cofounder Travis McCollum both served in the Signal Corps before starting up their company in Austin, Texas.

  • What the history of open source teaches us about strategic advantage

    The free software movement started like many other movements: A group of bright, spirited people felt controlled by a greater power and rose up and took matters into their own hands.

    It’s not that different from the American Revolution. The colonists were tired of being controlled by Great Britain, so they declared their independence and started building their own system of government and military, and creating their own cultures. The revolutionaries’ methods were disorganized and improvised, but they ultimately proved to be effective. Same goes for the software revolutionaries.

  • Web Browsers

    • 7 chronic browser bugs plaguing the web

      Web browsers are amazing. If it weren’t for browsers, we wouldn’t be able to connect nearly as well with users and customers by pouring our data and documents into their desktops, tablets, and phones. Alas, all of the wonderful content delivered by the web browser makes us that much more frustrated when the rendering isn’t as elegant or bug-free as we would like.

      When it comes to developing websites, we’re as much at the mercy of browsers as we are in debt to them. Any glitch on any platform jumps out, especially when it crashes our users’ machines. And with design as such a premium for standing out or fitting in, any fat line or misapplied touch of color destroys the aesthetic experience we’ve labored to create. Even the tiniest mistake, like adding an extra pixel to the width of a line or misaligning a table by a bit, can result in a frustrating user experience, not to mention the cost of discovering, vetting, and working around it.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • 12 Top Open Source Data Analytics Apps

      For many large enterprises, open source big data analytics have become an integral part of daily business. According to a 2016 New Vantage Partners survey of executives at Fortune 1000 companies, 62.5 percent of enterprises are now running at least one big data tool or application in production. That’s nearly double the number who said the same thing in 2013. And only 5.4 percent of those surveyed had no big data plans.

      When it comes to big data analytics, open source software is the rule rather than the exception. Several of the leading tools enterprises are using are managed by the Apache Foundation, and many of the commercial tools are based at least in part on these open source solutions.

      In this slideshow, we’re featuring twelve of the top open source data analytics solutions. Some of them offer a complete end-to-end platform for big data analytics while others must be combined with other technologies. All of them are suitable for enterprise use and are among the leading tools for data analysis.

    • One CTO’s mission to boost needed OpenStack skills in future IT talent

      Virtually every employer struggles to hire people with needed tech skills. But Amrith Kumar, CTO of the OpenStack database-as-a-service company Tesora, is fighting the talent crunch in the future. He’s investing some of his time in working with college students, making sure there will be more available hires with OpenStack expertise. In an interview with The Enterprisers Project, Kumar explains why this work is so important.

    • OpenStack Summit, Barcelona: Your Guide to the Event

      The OpenStack Summit event in Barcelona is only days away, and you can still register. According to the OpenStack Foundation, approximately 6,000 attendees from 50+ countries are expected to attend the conference, taking place Oct. 25 – 28 in Barcelona.

      This event is a bi-annual gathering of OpenStack community members, technology leaders, developers and ecosystem supporters. Each year one summit event is held in North America and then one additional event rotates between Asia and Europe. Barcelona already has a packed schedule, and here is what you can expect from the event.

    • Mesosphere Embeds Marathon Container Orchestration in DC/OS

      While Marathon may not draw as much attention these days as other container orchestration technologies, work surrounding the platform continues. With the latest version of the DC/OS platform from Mesosphere, the Marathon container orchestration engine now comes baked in.

      Tal Broda, vice president of engineering for Mesosphere, says with version 1.8 of DC/OS via a new Services Feature the Marathon container orchestration engine can be more naturally invoked, with the same dashboard IT administrators employ to schedule jobs and perform other tasks. The end result is a more refined IT management experience.

    • A new kind of match-making: Speed mentoring

      My primary focus is to make contributing to the OpenStack community easier and more fun.

      I’m an upstream developer advocate for the OpenStack Foundation, and this work includes bringing new people into the community, making sure members of the community feel valued, and reducing conflict and removing roadblocks to contribution. It’s also part of my job to smooth the path for newcomers just starting to get involved in the community.

      In many cases, people looking to contribute often don’t know where to start—a mentor can point new people in the right direction and help them feel involved and engaged.

  • BSD

    • DragonFly 4.6.1 tagged

      I don’t have it uploaded yet, but DragonFly 4.6.1 is tagged. Anyone with an existing 4.6.0 or earlier system can upgrade now. Use the 4.6 release instructions if you are unsure on how to upgrade. The 4.6.1 tag commit message has all the changes.

  • Public Services/Government

    • France renews its two free software support contracts

      The French administration in charge of the public procurement, and DINSIC (the state agency in charge of the IT ) have renewed the two contracts for free software support services. Both contracts were awarded to the French free software services provider Linagora.

    • White House Open-Sources Bot Code
    • White House open sources Facebook Messenger

      The US government is looking to help other governments build bots, with the White House having shared open source code for President Obama’s Facebook Messenger bot.

      Jason Goldman, Chief Digital Officer of the White House, said in a post announcing the open source move: “we’re open-sourcing this White House technology, with the hope that other governments and developers can build similar services—and foster similar connections with their citizens— with significantly less upfront investment.”

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Linux & Open Source News Of The Week — Ubuntu 16.10, FreeBSD 11, Android 7.1, And More
    • Open Data

      • Open Data: 81% of European countries have a dedicated policy

        In 2016, 81% of countries in the European Union have a dedicated Open Data policy, up from 69% in 2015, according to a new report, “Open Data maturity in Europe 2016,” produced by Capgemini.

        Data collected from the European Open Data Portal showed that, in 2016, only five countries in the EU28+ zone had not yet deployed an Open Data policy (nine countries in 2015): Hungary, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta and Portugal.

        The report also showed signs of improvement in the involvement of European countries in Open Data. In 2016, 57% had completed what the report called their open data journey – an incremental strategy which leads to opening data. This is a 28.6% increase compared to 2015. “A majority of the EU28+ countries have successfully developed a basic approach to address Open Data,” the report stated. “Countries are also investing in understanding the impact of Open Data for their economy and society via the launch of a number of studies and interactions with civil society,” the report went on to say.

  • Programming/Development

    • More GCC Patches To Get OpenMP Offloading To NVIDIA NVPTX Working

      Fresh patches are available for GCC to get OpenMP offloading to the NVIDIA PTX ISA working for accelerating OpenMP on NVIDIA GPUs with the GNU Compiler Collection.

      Alexander Monakov has published the latest patches for GCC to provide OpenMP offloading to NVPTX, the ISA to be consumed in turn by NVIDIA’s proprietary driver. GCC NVPTX support has been ongoing for quite a while now but these are the final pieces for getting OpenMP support in place.


  • The Villains of Remote Work

    Working remotely is awesome. It’s how DNSimple operates. There’s no office, there are no working hours, there is nowhere you need to be, there’s no commute, and no line for the bathroom. You’re free to work when you want, how you want, and from wherever you want.

    Working on a small team is awesome. It’s how DNSimple operates. There are no deadlines, there are no managers, there is no disconnect between the development and the business, and no HR department. You’re free to contribute wherever it’s effective, you get to know your coworkers well, you develop your own workflow, and you’re held accountable by your commitment to your team and forward progress.

    Both core aspects of DNSimple, being a small remote team is a wonderful combination, but it’s one that opens itself up to unexpected vulnerabilities. Much like how when a superhero makes their appearance, villains inevitably follow…being part of a small team that works remotely is a superpower that draws in super-villainy.

  • Science

    • Connected cars are cash cows; low margins may have killed the Apple Car

      A pair of articles published on Monday by Bloomberg and Fast Company provide an interesting snapshot of the ongoing collision between the tech and automotive industries. In the former, Mark Gurman and Alex Webb provide a fuller exploration of Apple’s ongoing “Project Titan” than we’ve read to date. The “so secret we can’t talk about it” car R&D is believed to have been heavily scaled back—along with Apple’s vehicular ambitions.

      The once thousand-strong team has now lost hundreds of members, particularly those working on a car OS, as well as chassis and suspension design, Bloomberg reports. Perhaps Apple’s scaled-back plans were inevitable; according to Bloomberg, “Apple executives had imagined an electric car that could recognize its driver by fingerprint and autonomously navigate with the press of a button.”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • [Older] Pesticide manufacturers’ own tests reveal serious harm to honeybees

      Unpublished field trials by pesticide manufacturers show their products cause serious harm to honeybees at high levels, leading to calls from senior scientists for the companies to end the secrecy which cloaks much of their research.

      The research, conducted by Syngenta and Bayer on their neonicotinoid insecticides, were submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency and obtained by Greenpeace after a freedom of information request.

      Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used insecticides and there is clear scientific evidence that they harm bees at the levels found in fields, though only a little to date showing the pesticides harm the overall performance of colonies. Neonicotinoids were banned from use on flowering crops in the EU in 2013, despite UK opposition.

      Bees and other insects are vital for pollinating three-quarters of the world’s food crops but have been in significant decline, due to the loss of flower-rich habitats, disease and the use of pesticides.

    • CEO’s Death Stirs Debate About Chinese Techies’ 70-Hour Work Weeks

      The premature death of the 44-year-old founder of a prominent mobile health app startup has spurred a bout of soul searching in the Chinese tech community, where working long hours in the hope of making a quick fortune has become a way of life.

  • Security

    • Understanding and Securing Linux Namespaces

      Richard Guy Briggs, a kernel security engineer and Senior Software Engineer at Red Hat, talked about the current state of Kernel Audit and Linux Namespaces at the Linux Security Summit. He also shared problems plaguing containers and what might be done to address them soon.

      His insights are borne of deep experience. Briggs was an early adopter of Linux back in 1992, and has written UNIX and Linux device drivers for telecom, video and network applications and embedded devices.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • An ‘Epidemic of Graft’ – Anti-Corruption Efforts in Afghanistan Fail Hard

      The U.S. spends spends $5 billion of your tax money a year in “aid” to Afghanistan, plus billions more for the cost of the thousands of American troops and Pentagon-sponsored military contractors there.

      An “Epidemic of Graft”

      One of the (many) reasons why all that money has accomplished close to jack squat in 15 years of war is corruption. Extraordinary amounts of U.S. money simply disappears, siphoned off at high levels, passed on as bribes to suppliers and Taliban hustlers at the lower levels. It is, according to one study, an “epidemic of graft.”

    • The Story Changes: The Pentagon Is No Longer Sure Yemen Fired Missiles At A US Ship

      Last Thursday, after two consecutive missile attacks on the US Navy ship USS Mason, which allegedly were launched by Houthi rebel forces in Yemen, the US entered its latest military engagement in the middle east, when the USS Nitze launched several Tomahawk cruise missiles aimed at radar installations located by the Bab el-Mandab straight, and which enabled the launch of at least three missiles against the U.S. ship.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiLeaks Claims ‘State Actor’ Has Cut Off Assange’s Internet

      One of Julian Assange’s only ways of communicating with the outside world from within the Ecuadorian Embassy in London has been disconnected, according to WikiLeaks.

      WikiLeaks claims that a “state actor” has cut off Assange’s internet access, with the group’s Twitter account confirming on the morning of October 17 that Assange’s connection has been “intentionally severed” and contingency plans are being activated. It’s unclear what those contingency plans may be and Motherboard was unable to verify Wikileaks’ claim. The Ecuadorian Embassy also did not immediately provide Motherboard with any more information.

    • Wikileaks: a “state party” has cut off Julian Assange’s primary internet access

      Late yesterday, the @wikileaks account tweeted “Julian Assange’s internet link has been intentionally severed by a state party. We have activated the appropriate contingency plans.”

      The tweet followed some apparent “dead man’s switch” with what looked like cryptographic fingerprints or keys, which could be used to decrypt “insurance files” of leaks that had been posted in encrypted form to a server somewhere, or to verify future documents as having originated with Wikileaks.

      The “state party” could be the UK government, which exercises an extraordinary level of fine-grained control over the six major ISPs that serve the UK market (Assange is stuck in the Ecuadoran embassy in London), or it could be another government.

    • Assange net access cut after Clinton papers leaked

      The government of Ecuador has been accused of cutting off Internet access for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after the organisation released details of speeches given to Goldman Sachs by Democrat presidential contender Hillary Clinton.

      In a tweet, WikiLeaks said: “We can confirm Ecuador cut off Assange’s internet access Saturday, 5pm GMT, shortly after publication of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speechs.”

      Assange has been taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since August 2012. He has been accused of rape in Sweden and the country has said recently that it is willing to interview him in the embassy.

    • Someone has pulled the plug on Julian Assange’s internet

      BEFORE ANYONE asks whether someone has tried turning it off and on again, we will quickly get in the fact that somewhere in or around the Ecuadorian embassy someone has turned off Julian Assange’s internet connection and plunged him into a world of daytime television. And no-one is sure how or why.

      Assange has made a home for himself at the embassy, although reportedly not a very comfortable one, and may consider himself lucky to be in exile when he sees The Jeremy Kyle Show. He may even plead for a bit of time out of the office so that he can check any attics for cash.

    • Assange’s Internet “intentionally severed by state party”

      WikiLeaks announced via its Twitter account this morning that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s Internet connection had been cut off, blaming a “state party” for the outage. Assange, who has been ensconced in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since he sought asylum there over four years ago to avoid extradition, has been “detained in absentia” by the Swedish government for questioning on allegations of rape. Other lesser allegations have been dropped because they have passed the time allowed by Sweden’s statute of limitations.

    • Wikileaks: Julian Assange’s internet access ‘cut’

      Wikileaks says that Ecuador has shut down internet access for its founder Julian Assange.

      The transparency activist has sought asylum at London’s Ecuadorean embassy since 2012 to avoid extradition over sex assault allegations.

      Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Guillaume Long made no comment on the claim, saying only: “The circumstances that led to the granting of asylum remain.”

      Wikileaks has recently been releasing emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

    • These Cryptic Wikileaks Tweets Don’t Mean Julian Assange Is Dead [Update]

      In the absence of context, some users on Twitter, Reddit, and various image boards were quick to speculate that the tweets were the result of a “dead man’s switch,” triggered in the event of Julian Assange’s untimely end. Such switches do exist (both mechanically and electronically) and many speculated that all 349 gigs of the heavily-encrypted “Wikileaks insurance” from 2013 are intended for precisely that purpose.

    • What’s Going On With Julian Assange and WikiLeaks? Here Are 4 Theories [Ed: Time continues its endless, years-long attacks on Wikileaks under the guise of “coverage” or “journalism”]
    • Republicans warm up to Assange [iophk: “they are too stupid to understand WL”]

      Republicans are making common cause with an old enemy: Julian Assange.

      In 2010, prominent figures in the GOP wanted the WikiLeaks founder jailed for releasing thousands of diplomatic cables leaked by former Pvt. Chelsea Manning.

      Onetime presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said the leak “put American lives at risk.” Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said Assange had “blood on his hands” and should be “hunted down.” Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) called for the Australian anti-secrecy activist to be tried under the Espionage Act and asked if WikiLeaks could be designated as a terrorist organization.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • WWF: Finnish wildlife already feeling the burn from climate change

      WWF Finland issued a report Monday in which it outlined signs that global warming is already beginning to affect Finland. The organisation noted that ice formations on lakes and open seas last for shorter periods, while vegetation has changed and the tree line is migrating further north.

      “These changes and winter temperatures in particular have a massive impact on species that depend on snow and ice in Finland,” said WWF Finland programme manager Sampsa Vilhunen in a statement.

      According to the report, the Arctic fox has almost entirely disappeared from Finland and the snowy owl has all but shunned Finland as a nesting site, only returning occasionally. Wolverines, the Saimaa ringed seal and salmon are also suffering the effects of climate change, the NGO said.

    • The Riverkeeper: Just a Florida Man Trying to Save Waterways From Toxic Algae

      Marty Baum jumped on a friend’s boat, his phone blowing up with frantic phone calls from fishermen. Forty square miles of catfish, mullet, redfish and most other common game were dead in the water. Thousands of fish, all belly-up.

      “We went out on his boat and I cried,” Baum said. “Every little thing that required dissolved oxygen was dead.”

    • The Montreal Protocol Is the Most Successful Climate Agreement Ever

      Remember the hole in the ozone layer? If you were around in the 80s, you definitely do—it was a climate bogeyman of the time, along with acid rain, and rightfully so.

      It was in that decade that scientists confirmed that chemicals called CFCs (found in aerosol cans like hairspray and deodorant) were eating away at the ozone layer, and would produce some scary consequences, from skyrocketing skin cancer rates to damaging effects on plant life and marine ecosystems, if left unchecked.

      That realization lit a fire under scientists and, importantly, government officials. (Margaret Thatcher, who trained as a chemist, was among those spooked by it.) In 1987, almost every country in the world signed the Montreal Protocol, agreeing on a plan to phase out damaging CFCs. Consumers bought in, too, voluntarily boycotting the spray cans. As a result of this global effort to get rid of CFCs, scientists now say the ozone layer is slowly healing.

  • Finance

    • SoftBank and Saudi Arabia Partner to Form Giant Investment Fund

      SoftBank of Japan has already earned a reputation as one of the most ambitious technology companies around, unafraid to strike huge deals.

      Now the conglomerate is aiming to become one of the world’s biggest investors in tech — potentially with the help of Saudi Arabia.

      SoftBank announced on Thursday that it would form a new investment fund that could invest up to $100 billion in technology companies worldwide.

      SoftBank will invest at least $25 billion into what’s provisionally called the SoftBank Vision Fund over the next five years, while Saudi Arabia is weighing putting in at least $45 billion. They may draw in other partners who could eventually push the fund’s size to its maximum.

    • Cadbury owner paid no UK corporation tax

      The owner of Cadbury paid no corporation tax in its latest financial year, despite making a profit of £177.6m on sales of £1.73bn.

      Mondelez, the UK subsidiary of US snacks giant Kraft Foods, said its annual profit was inflated by a “one-off gain” from the sale of its coffee business, behind brands such as Douwe Egberts, for £147m last year.

      This sale was not subject to tax under UK law.

    • From laptops and cars to Cadbury and Heinz: the brands accused of exploiting Brexit to ramp up prices

      Today a Sun on Sunday investigation has unearthed an epidemic of price increases in the pipeline from firms ready to blame Brexit and the falling Pound.

      Former Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith has blasted these “Brexit bandits” as firms are already using the impact of the vote to crank up the cost of iPads, Dell laptops and our holiday cash.

      And everyday shopping items such as Cadbury chocolate, Majestic wines and Next clothes could increase too.
      A tub of Marmite on a white background

    • Andersson: “If there were no trade unions, this would be the time to invent them”

      Holmström has predicted that the age of trade unions is about to be over. He estimated last week that changes in the nature of employment will result in a decline in trade union membership and, therefore, in the inevitable disintegration of trade unions.

      “The age of trade unions is over in the sense that their societal power will decrease and their nature and role change,” he told Talouselämä on Friday.

      Andersson acknowledged that the changing nature of traditional occupations and the working life in general will also have an impact on the position and responsibilities of trade unions.

      “Having a high rate of organisation and strong trade union movement is not self-evident, but the trade union movement has to demonstrate that it can keep step with social changes and understand the problems created by the fragmentation of employment and the working life,” she said.

    • The job juggle is real. Many Americans are balancing two, even three gigs

      Many Americans who struggled to find a job several years ago are now juggling two or three.

      The number of multiple job holders hit an eight-year high in September as several forces reshape the labor market. Many workers are seeking extra income as wages are inching up. Job openings are near record levels. And the burgeoning gig economy is putting a premium on freelance work and short-term projects.

      Michael Alfaro, 49, of Coloma, Mich., toils full-time as an executive customer service representative for an appliance manufacturer. And on most evenings and some weekends, he works the late shift — 6 PM to 10 PM or 4 PM to midnight — in the electronics department of a local department store.

      Alfaro decided to take the gig last November to whittle down about $37,000 in debt, including credit card, and student and personal loans. But he also was spurred by the struggles of area retailers and other businesses to find employees.

      “It encouraged me,” he says.

      The ranks of multiple job holders jumped by 300,000 last month to 7.8 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The moonlighters represent 5.2% of all those employed, up from 4.9% in September 2015.

      Monthly data can be volatile, but the totals through the first nine months of 2016 have averaged 7.5 million, nearly 300,000 higher than the year-ago figure.

    • UK inflation rises to 1% in September

      The UK inflation rate rose to 1.0% in September, up from 0.6% in August, according to official figures.

      It is the biggest monthly rise in the cost of household items in more than two years, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

      Rising prices for clothing, overnight hotel stays and motor fuels led to the rise in the Consumer Prices Index.

      However, the ONS said there was “no explicit evidence” the lower pound was increasing prices of everyday goods.

    • Brexit is simulated in Football Manager 2017, and it’s going to make the game harder than ever

      Miles Jacobson is frank about what he is up against: “As far as I know this is the first time a computer game has tried to predict the future of a country.”

      This would always have been a busy time of year for the man in charge of Sports Interactive, the makers of the phenomenally successful Football Manager series of videogames. A new instalment is released on 4 November, but the period leading up to the 2017 edition has been made particularly complicated by the biggest political decision taken in this country since the Second World War.

      While the rest of the world waits to see how the government approaches the triggering of Article 50, Jacobson and his team have built a Brexit simulator into this year’s game, which models some of the consequences of the UK leaving Europe.

      The world outside football is not something that had previously been incorporated into Football Manager, a game so comprehensive that some clubs are now using it as a resource to help scout players. But Brexit, says Jacobson, was too big to be left out: “We usually try and keep politics out of the game because nobody wants it rammed down their throat.

    • How Trump’s Casino Bankruptcies Screwed His Workers out of Millions in Retirement Savings

      When pressed about the multiple bankruptcies at his Atlantic City casinos, Donald Trump routinely says the episodes highlight his business acumen. He made out well, he claims, at the expense only of his greedy Wall Street financiers. “These lenders aren’t babies,” he said during a Republican primary debate last fall. “These are total killers. These are not the nice, sweet little people that you think, okay?”

      Yet among those who suffered as a result of Trump’s bankruptcies were his own casino employees, who collectively lost millions of dollars in retirement savings when the company’s value plummeted.

      Trump’s company encouraged its employees to invest their retirement savings in company stock, according to a class-action lawsuit filed by employees against Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts following its 2004 bankruptcy. Then, when the stock price was near its nadir as bankruptcy loomed, the company forced the employees to sell their stock at a huge loss. More than 400 employees lost a total of more than $2 million from their retirement accounts, the lawsuit states.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • John Oliver Treated Jill Stein and Gary Johnson Like What They Are: Presidential Candidates (Video)

      In the video seen above, the “Last Week Tonight” host powerfully dismisses the idea that third party candidates are “spoilers” and expresses his understanding at the American public’s desire for alternatives to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. In an assessment of both the Libertarian and Green Party candidates aired on the HBO show on Sunday, Oliver vetted their positions and statements in a segment that contained quite a few jokes, and, admittedly, quite a bit of ridicule. Johnson came under attack for his less-than-detailed desire to rid the nation of several important government organizations while Stein was criticized for making vague comments that, in Oliver’s view, seemed to egg on conspiracy theorists.

      Yet perhaps being ridiculed by the comedian is part and parcel of running for office. In this sense, Oliver has offered the third party candidates more respect than many other pundits have, including his political comedy peers (see Samantha Bee, for example, who refused to name Stein on her show). The “Last Week Tonight” host even groups the four candidates together at the end of his monologue (something most of the rest of the media have been reluctant to do, still treating third party candidates like extras rather than main players), joking that on Nov. 8 Americans will have to choose between the lesser of four evils, not two.

      “As uncomfortable as this is, everyone has to own the floors of whoever you vote for,” says the host in his wrap-up. “Whether they are a lying, handsy, narcissistic sociopath; a hawkish, Wall-Street-friendly embodiment of everything that some people can’t stand about politics; an ill-tempered mountain molester with a radical, dangerous tax plan that even he can’t defend; or conspiracy-pandering political neophyte with no clear understanding of how governments operate …”

    • The media’s extermination of Bernie Sanders, and real reform

      All politicians love to complain about the press. They complain for good reasons and bad. They cry over frivolous slights and legitimate inquiries alike. They moan about bias. They talk to friendlies only. They manipulate reporters and squirm their way out of questions. And this all makes perfect sense, because politicians and the press are, or used to be, natural enemies.

      Conservative politicians have built their hostility toward the press into a full-blown theory of liberal media bias, a pseudosociology that is today the obsessive pursuit of certain nonprofit foundations, the subject matter of an annual crop of books, and the beating heart of a successful cable-news network. Donald Trump, the current leader of the right’s war against the media, hates this traditional foe so much that he banned a number of news outlets from attending his campaign events and has proposed measures to encourage more libel lawsuits. He does this even though he owes his prominence almost entirely to his career as a TV celebrity and to the news media’s morbid fascination with his glowering mug.

    • Green Party Candidate Jill Stein: What Global Citizens Should Know

      Hillary Clinton isn’t the only woman breaking records in this year’s election.

      Dr. Jill Stein, this year’s Green Party nominee, holds the current record for most votes ever received by a woman candidate for president of the United States in the general election.

      That’s because she also ran in 2012 as the Green Party’s nominee, and since her defeat, Stein has not slowed down.

      A physician who graduated from Harvard, Stein worked in the medical field for 25 years, until 1988, when she moved into activism. This transition was more seamless than you might expect.

    • 6 Signs That the Election is Rigged
    • Donald Trump’s rigged election is GOP’s latest headache

      It might seem as though Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is moving further away from the party that nominated him. Since he declared himself “unshackled” he’s escalated his maverick rhetoric, hammering home his claims that the November 8 election is “rigged” against him.
      Cornered by a flood of accusations of sexual assault, Trump’s Fifth Avenue headquarters has become an unlikely fort from which he’s staging a last stand against an ever-widening circle of enemies that includes not only the media and his Democrat opponent, Hillary Clinton, but much of the GOP. “100% fabricated and made up charges … may poison the minds of the American voter. FIX!” he tweeted on October 15.

    • Judicial Watch Statement on FBI Interview Document Detailing Open Source Investigation into Hillary Clinton’s Emails
    • FBI Agents Say Comey ‘Stood In The Way’ Of Clinton Email Investigation

      FBI agents say the bureau is alarmed over Director James Comey’s decision to not suggest that the Justice Department prosecute Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of classified information.

      According to an interview transcript given to The Daily Caller, provided by an intermediary who spoke to two federal agents with the bureau last Friday, agents are frustrated by Comey’s leadership.

    • Documenting Trump’s Abuse of Women

      When the news broke that Donald Trump had been caught on video in 2005 boasting that, as a celebrity, he feels free to “grab” women “by the pussy,” Harry Hurt III experienced a sense of vindication. In 1993, Hurt published “Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump,” an unauthorized biography that has long been out of print. The day the tape surfaced, he was hitting golf balls at a driving range in Sagaponack, New York, when a text message arrived from a friend: “Donald is done!”

      After Hurt watched the tape, he said, “I thought, Finally, this behavior is coming out.” But he doubted that the revelation would do any real damage to Trump’s campaign. Researching his book, in the early nineties, Hurt discovered and documented more serious instances of Trump’s mistreatment of women, yet most news outlets had declined to report on them. Even during the current campaign, Hurt said, “I’ve been a voice in the wilderness.”

    • Companies used Clinton fundraisers to lobby State Department

      The nexus among private companies, Hillary Clinton’s State Department and the Clinton family foundations is closer and more complex than even Donald Trump has claimed so far.

      While it is widely known that some companies and foreign governments gave money to the foundations, perhaps in an effort to gain favor, one of the key parts of the puzzle hasn’t been reported: At least a dozen of those same companies lobbied the State Department, using lobbyists who doubled as major Clinton campaign fundraisers.

      Those companies gave as much as $16 million to the Clinton charities. At least four of the lobbyists they hired are “Hillblazers,” the Clinton campaign’s name for supporters who have raised $100,000 or more for her current White House race. Two of the four also raised funds for Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid.

    • Private Prison Company Bankrolls Pro-Trump Super-PAC

      It’s unusual for a publicly traded corporation to donate to a super-PAC, but in August, private prison company GEO Group steered $150,000 to Rebuild America Now, a pro-Donald Trump outfit launched by the GOP nominee’s longtime friend, developer Tom Barrack.

      The timing of the GEO Group’s contribution is significant. It cut a $100,000 check to the super-PAC on August 19, the day after the Justice Department announced that it would phase out the use of private prisons. (The company’s political action committee donated $50,000 to Rebuild America Now a week before the announcement.)

      The multibillion-dollar-a-year private prison industry has been under increasing scrutiny, in part thanks to a groundbreaking investigation by Mother Jones that revealed a litany of disturbing practices at a Louisiana prison run by the Corrections Corporation of America. GEO Group is one of just three companies that operate prisons and detention centers on behalf of the federal government. It’s no surprise the company is putting its money behind Trump. While Hillary Clinton has sharply criticized private prisons, Trump has expressed support for expanding their use, and his policy proposals, including his plan to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, could be a boon for the industry. In addition to backing Trump, the company recently brought on three lobbying firms to represent its interests in Washington.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Porn in the classroom? Here’s why it makes sense

      What a cat I put among the pigeons last week by suggesting, in answer to a question about pornography at a literary festival, that it should be considered suitable for pupils to watch and analyse this material in schools. I was accused, on social media of course, of being a danger to innocent children, and, yes, I received my first online death threat.

      What, I wondered, do so-called grown-ups think our youngsters are up to when it comes to sex? The internet is the wild west of the information age, and the younger generation is far more adept than the older ones at gaining access to its more unsavoury territories.

      Teenagers will always be drawn to the raunchier aspects of whatever culture is available to them. This would once have been a copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, passed around the classroom with a giggle, disguised beneath the cover of Calculus for Beginners.

      In the 1990s there were the lads’ mags, and lots of work for any feminist mother trying to persuade her sons that the exploitation of women – putting semi-nude pictures of them on a bedroom wall – was not a good idea. That was a difficult one, because you didn’t want your kids to think sex was dirty or to make them afraid to share their interest in it with their parents. You just wanted them to know that women should never be used or objectified.

    • Posting on Facebook is now a crime under Ethiopia’s state of emergency

      A state of emergency declared in Ethiopia last week is growing more draconian by the day. Posting updates on the current status of the country, hit by anti-government protests since last November, is now a crime, the government said over the weekend.

      Watching Oromia Media Network and Ethiopian Satellite Television and Radio, outlets run by the Ethiopian diaspora supportive of the protesters, is also illegal.

      “The military command will take action on those watching and posting on these social media outlets,” Siraj Fegessa, Ethiopia’s minister of defense, said on state television. Those who violate the terms of the state of emergency risk imprisonment of three to five years.

    • Tomorrow’s Wars Will Be Livestreamed

      Hundreds of thousands of people around the world watched the start of the invasion of Mosul, a city held by ISIS in Iraq, live on Facebook and YouTube this morning.

      The most popular stream—there were several, some of which are still live—was shared by Kurdish outlet Rudaw and re-posted by outlets like the Washington Post and Channel 4 in the UK. While some viewers commented on the merits of the offensive, for others, the livestream itself was the most startling thing. As angry cartoon faces and “Wow!” emoticons floated over top of live images of war, viewers noted that it all seemed like a bit too much like a sci-fi fever dream about a war-obsessed culture.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • ]Older] United States v. Ganias and the Case for Selective Seizures of Digital Evidence

      Recent high-profile cases involving digital searches and seizures have largely focused on government access to data, from the battle over breaking strong encryption to the debates over whether a warrant is required to hack a computer or to obtain private communications from a third-party service provider. But the next big set of questions lurking in the wings revolves around what happens after law enforcement gains access to a cache of personal data: How much can they seize? What can they can search, and how? What happens to non-responsive data? What if it is evidence of another crime? A handful of courts and commentators have grappled with these questions, but the issues seem to be coming up with increasing frequency, highlighting the lack of clarity and consensus on a difficult suite of problems.

      Earlier this year, the Second Circuit waded into these waters when an en banc panel decided United States v. Ganias, a case that many observers expected to resolve a thorny Fourth Amendment question about how long the government can keep seized data that falls outside the scope of a warrant.

      Unfortunately, the opinion may do more to muddy the water than clear it. In particular, it operates on mistaken assumptions about the need to copy entire caches of data and search them off-site, suggesting that such an invasive process will often be reasonable for Fourth Amendment purposes. But a few additional facts make clear that such an approach ought to be exceedingly rare.

    • Court Finds UK Spies Unlawfully Collected Bulk Data for Over a Decade

      The UK government used its bulk collection powers, including sweeping up details on ordinary citizens’ internet usage, illegally for over a decade, according to privacy campaigners.

      On Monday, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), a court tasked with keeping tabs on the country’s surveillance powers, highlighted the intense veil of secrecy that has formed around the UK’s use of bulk powers, and the lack of oversight around those powers, in a written judgment. The judgment comes when the country is just preparing for a huge overhaul in its surveillance legislation, via the Investigatory Powers Bill, which is likely to soon become law.

    • Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America

      There is a knock on your door. It’s the police. There was a robbery in your neighborhood. They have a suspect in custody and an eyewitness. But they need your help: Will you come down to the station to stand in the line-up?

      Most people would probably answer “no.” This summer, the Government Accountability Office revealed that close to 64 million Americans do not have a say in the matter: 16 states let the FBI use face recognition technology to compare the faces of suspected criminals to their driver’s license and ID photos, creating a virtual line-up of their state residents. In this line-up, it’s not a human that points to the suspect—it’s an algorithm.

      But the FBI is only part of the story. Across the country, state and local police departments are building their own face recognition systems, many of them more advanced than the FBI’s. We know very little about these systems. We don’t know how they impact privacy and civil liberties. We don’t know how they address accuracy problems. And we don’t know how any of these systems—local, state, or federal—affect racial and ethnic minorities.

    • Telemetry, an essential part of any cloud-native app [Ed: Putting surveillance in Clown Computing (servers) advocated by this network, under the guise of "diagnostics"]

      Auditing and monitoring cloud applications are often overlooked but are perhaps some of the most important things to plan and do properly for production deployments. If you wouldn’t blindly launch a satellite into orbit with no way to monitor it, you shouldn’t do the same to your cloud application.

    • GPG Sync simplifies encryption key management

      In all the discussion about using encryption, a critical point keeps getting lost: It’s difficult to work with, and it’s even harder to deploy it at scale. Nowhere is the challenge more evident than in sending secure email.

      There are many ways to interact and collaborate — instant messaging, Slack, and so on — but email still dominates in enterprises. Even as encryption goes mainstream with secure messaging tools, more websites adopting HTTPS by default, and cloud storage services allowing easier file encryption, sending an encrypted email message is still a challenge.

    • NSA contractor accused of hoarding classified information seeks pre-trial release

      A former National Security Agency contractor accused of bringing a large volume of classified information to his home is asking to be released as the legal proceedings against him grind forward.

      Harold Martin was arrested by the FBI on Aug. 27 and has been in pretrial detention since, without objection from his lawyers. The defense strategy seemed aimed at convincing investigators that Martin meant no harm with his activities and had no intention to disclose sensitive information to anyone.

      That phase of the case seemed to come to a close Monday as Martin’s defense lawyers filed a motion in federal court asking for a hearing to discuss conditions for the computer specialist’s release.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Spy fraud

      Taxpayers are paying intelligence contractors to browse Facebook, watch porn, and commit crimes

    • Intelligence Watchdog Finds Contractor Abuses

      Last week brought news that another Booz Allen Hamilton employee was accused of improperly removing sensitive material from the National Security Agency (NSA). Harold Thomas Martin III was charged with theft of government property and unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials. The government alleges Martin took documents and digital files containing information that, if disclosed, “reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”

      It was another black eye for Booz Allen, which was NSA surveillance program whistleblower Edward Snowden’s employer. It was equally embarrassing for the U.S. intelligence community, which pays contractors like Booz Allen billions of dollars each year to help run its global operations and keep a tight lid on our country’s more sensitive secrets.

    • The Pentagon Must Stop Abusing the War Budget

      After years of claiming that the war budget has been limited to paying for the costs of foreign conflicts, the Pentagon has finally admitted that it has been using that account to pay for tens of billion of dollars in costs that have nothing to do with fighting wars. This budget shell game has been particularly egregious in recent years, as the Pentagon has sought to evade the caps on non-war spending that were imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

      The revelation was recently confirmed by Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col Eric Badger. Badger acknowledged that this year’s request for the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account – the formal term for the war budget – contains $30 billion for “enduring requirements” that have always been funded whether or not the nation was at war.

    • Pentagon Admits Half of War Spending Account Is Slush

      The Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account was originally designed to support unanticipated and difficult-to-plan costs for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. But over time—particularly to circumvent spending caps established by the Budget Control Act and subsequent budget deals—it’s become a slush fund for programs with little connection to our current war efforts. Now a new story by Tony Bertuca at Inside Defense reveals we grossly underestimated just how slushy this fund has truly become.

      The Congressional Research Service (CRS) previously found that even according to the Pentagon’s own accounting, $71 billion in OCO spending went to non-war programs from 2001 to 2014. The definition for OCO became increasingly squishy as Congress and the Pentagon sought opportunities to increase Pentagon spending to circumvent spending caps first established by the Budget Control Act. For example, in 2014 then-House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon expanded the definition of OCO to include “readiness shortfalls.”

    • Out-of-control North Dakota prosecutors still pursuing reporter Amy Goodman, even after judge dismisses riot charge

      Award-winning journalist Amy Goodman won an important victory for press freedom yesterday, but given alarming new comments made by her prosecutor, it may be short lived.

      On Monday, a judge quickly dismissed an absurd ‘riot’ charge brought against her by North Dakota authorities that stemmed from her coverage on Democracy Now of a violent attack on Dakota Access Pipeline protesters. But apparently, prosecutors don’t plan on dropping their investigation into her. They announced they may charge her again and indicated they want her unaired footage.

    • Malaysian sharia laws: Parliament to debate hudud bill that could introduce stonings and amputations in state of Kelantan

      The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party — commonly known as PAS — is pushing to introduce the proposed laws in the conservative north-eastern state, but first the bill must be passed by the Malaysian national parliament.

      Kelantan is a major stronghold for PAS, which was founded in 1951 and is among the country’s oldest and largest opposition parties.

      “Among the mandate from the people is to try to establish the Islamic system here, including the Islamic criminal law,” PAS executive council member Mohd Fadzi said.

      Kelantan’s state capital Kota Bahru is deeply religious and many of its citizens live by a strict adherence to Islam.

      At shops and supermarkets there are separate queues for males and females, while signs advising women to cover up are common outside offices and government buildings.

    • Aggravated judge tosses off robe, joins courtroom scuffle

      When McBain’s court officer went to take Larson into custody, he resisted. McBain said he was “hand fighting” the officer, Jared Schultz, then a deputized law clerk. Larson would not cooperate, tensed up and made a fist as though he was trying to fight, said Schultz, now working for the state Court of Appeals.

      There were no other officers or any sheriff’s deputies in the courtroom – they are not typically present unless there is a jailed person in court – and McBain said he assisted in getting control of Larson’s hands, arms and elbows. Schultz, a former police officer, said he was fortunate to have the judge as backup.

      Schultz said at one time he removed his Taser from its holster, but did not have to use it.

      Even when Larson was on the floor, he wouldn’t allow the officer to cuff him, said McBain, who says he was concerned about the welfare of both men.

    • Sweden’s Shaky Walk Down the Aisle of Equality

      Everything was perfect on the day of Hanna Skjutare’s wedding. On a Saturday in September the sun shone down on the rural church where the ceremony was held and Skjutare was sipping champagne and getting ready with her bridesmaids. They took a car to the church and met up with Hanna’s dad, who escorted the bride down the aisle to her groom and their toddler son.

      “That was one of the strongest memories of the whole day when my dad saw me in my wedding dress and his eyes teared up,” Skjutare explains over lunch.

    • Muslim woman who was sentenced to 40 lashes for wearing a MINISKIRT as a teenager reveals how she left Iran to forge a new life in the US as a bikini designer

      A Muslim woman who was punished for wearing a miniskirt says she’s been heavily criticised for pursuing a career as a swimwear designer.

      Tala Raassi told FEMAIL how she was sentenced to 40 lashes in her hometown of Tehran for attending a mixed party when she was 16 – but has refused to let her ordeal hold her back.

      Instead Tala moved to the States where, despite speaking no English, she carved out a career in fashion, launched her own swimwear line and has just written her first book.

    • Court: It’s entirely reasonable for police to swipe a suspicious gift card

      A US federal appeals court has found that law enforcement can, without a warrant, swipe credit cards and gift cards to reveal the information encoded on the magnetic stripe. It’s the third such federal appellate court to reach this conclusion.

      Last week, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals found in favor of the government in United States v. Turner, establishing that it was entirely reasonable for Texas police officers to scan approximately 100 gift cards found in a car that was pulled over at a traffic stop. Like the previous similar 8th Circuit case that Ars covered in June 2016, the defendants challenged the search of the gift cards as being unreasonable. (The second case was from the 3rd Circuit in July 2015, in a case known as US v. Bah.)

      In this case, after pulling over the car and running the IDs of both men, police found that there was an outstanding warrant for the passenger, Courtland Turner. When Turner was told to get out of the car and was placed in the patrol car, the officer returned to the stopped car and noticed an “opaque plastic bag partially protruding from the front passenger seat,” as if someone had tried to push it under the seat to keep it hidden.

    • Refugees being forced into ‘modern slavery’ by people traffickers before attempting deadly journey to Europe

      Refugees and migrants risking their lives in desperate attempts to reach Europe are being forced into “modern slavery” by ruthless people traffickers who are imprisoning, torturing and raping those they exploit.

      A new report has revealed the shocking scale of abuse by criminal gangs who prey on asylum seekers travelling across Africa – most commonly in Libya, which has become the main launching point for smugglers’ boats in the chaos following its civil war.

      Research by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) found that almost three quarters of migrants attempting to cross the Central Mediterranean have experienced exploitation and human trafficking.

      The group said practices occurring with “alarming scare and frequency” included forced labour, imprisonment, kidnapping, ransom and physical and sexual abuse.

    • The Last Nuremberg Prosecutor Has 3 Words Of Advice: ‘Law Not War’

      When the Nazi leadership was put on trial in Nuremberg, Germany, in the wake of World War II, the notion of an international war crimes tribunal was new and controversial.

      British Prime Minister Winston Churchill proposed a summary execution of Nazi leaders. But it was decided that trials would be more effective, and would set a precedent for prosecuting future war crimes.

      Thirteen trials were held in Nuremberg from 1945 to 1949, with multiple defendants in the cases. The prosecutor for one trial was Benjamin Ferencz, who was just 27 at the time, and it was his first trial.

      “We shall establish beyond the realm of doubt facts which, before the dark decade of the Third Reich, would have seemed incredible,” Ferencz said at the trial.

      He served as a combat soldier during the war, but as the fighting was coming to an end, Ferencz says he was assigned to Gen. George Patton’s headquarters.

      “The final assignment in the army was to go into the concentration camps as they were being liberated and collect all the evidence of the crimes for future trials,” he said.

      Ferencz, who’s now 96 and living in Florida, spoke with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep.

    • Despite a post-Snowden push for openness, report shows secret laws still abound

      The Justice Department has kept classified at least 74 opinions, memos and letters on national security issues, including interrogation, detention and surveillance, according to a report released Tuesday by the Brennan Center for Justice.

      Also still classified are between 25 and 30 significant opinions issued between 2003 and 2013 by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the secretive federal court that interprets the law governing foreign intelligence-gathering inside the United States.

      And at the State Department, 807 international agreements signed between 2004 and 2014 have not been published.

    • The New Era of Secret Law

      An unprecedented buildup of secret law has been created by the federal government since 9/11 through legal memos, court opinions, agreements with foreign nations, and more. All have been issued without public scrutiny or input — and many impact crucial decisions about the lives and liberties of U.S. citizens, from the use of torture to mass surveillance.

    • The Government’s Addiction to ‘Secret Law’

      The Central Intelligence Agency’s torture of detainees, and the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ international communications, were two of the most controversial programs our government implemented after Sept. 11. Both are now widely considered to have been illegal, even though both were authorized by official legal analyses that were withheld from the public — a phenomenon known as “secret law.”

      The notion of secret law is as counterintuitive as it is unsettling. When most of us think of law, we think of statutes passed by Congress, and we take for granted that they are public.

      Statutes, however, are only one kind of law. When the secret surveillance panel known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court, construed the Patriot Act to allow bulk collection of Americans’ phone records, that interpretation became part of the statute’s meaning. When President Obama issued procedures and standards for using lethal force against suspected terrorists overseas, agency officials were bound to follow them.

    • Former Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman pleads guilty to false statements in classified leak investigation

      A retired four-star Marine Corps general who served as the nation’s second-ranking military officer pleaded guilty Monday to a federal felony charge of lying to the FBI in a probe of a leak of classified information about a covert U.S.-Israeli cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear program.

      James E. “Hoss” Cartwright, who served as deputy chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before he retired in 2011, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon of Washington hours after the charge was announced by the office of U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein of Maryland.

      A senior Obama administration official in June 2013 acknowledged that Cartwright was the target of a Justice Department investigation into a leak to New York Times reporter David E. Sanger of details about a highly classified operation to hobble Iran’s uranium-enrichment capability through cybersabotage — an effort not acknowledged by Israel or the United States.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • 4 reasons why an accessible website is a win-win

      Why do some people choose to make a website accessible? Some people are do-gooders who, like the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), believe that “the web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, culture, location, or physical or mental ability.” And, some people do it because they are compelled by law, based on Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities act. Most federal and state institutions require that websites are accessible to people with a variety of disabilities. Though they may want to do good, their main motivation is to avoid costly legal problems.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • WIPO launches pro bono patent programme [Ed: Charm offensive from body which is attacking its very own staff]

      The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has launched a global programme aimed at helping inventors in developing countries to file patents for their inventions.

      The “first-of-its kind” programme, in cooperation with the World Economic Forum, will see patent attorneys provide pro bono help.

      Following a successful pilot effort in Colombia, the Philippines and Morocco, the Inventor Assistance Program was officially launched yesterday, October 17.


Links 17/10/2016: JS Foundation, Ubuntu 17.04 Named ‘Zesty Zapus’

Posted in News Roundup at 6:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Chromebooks: The smart person’s guide

      Chromebooks are any laptop that, under license from Google, runs the Linux kernel-based Chrome OS. Chrome OS is incredibly lightweight, drawing almost all of its interface from the Chrome browser. It also supports Chrome apps, and as of late 2016 will be the only platform to get new Chrome apps.

      Chromebooks are manufactured by a variety of vendors, such as Google, HP, Acer, Samsung, Dell, and others. They range in price from the mid $100 range to over $1,200 for the Google Pixel. Educational pricing is available as well.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.8.2

      I’m announcing the release of the 4.8.2 kernel.

      All users of the 4.8 kernel series must upgrade.

    • Linux Kernel 4.8.2 Is Out with x86 and ARM Improvements, Updated Drivers

      Today, October 16, 2016, renowned kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman was proud to announce the general availability of the second point release to the Linux 4.8 kernel series.

      That’s right, Linux kernel 4.8.2 is here, and it arrives a little over a week from the first maintenance update. According to the appended shortlog and the diff from Linux kernel 4.8.1, the new version changes a total of 52 files, with 487 insertions and 213 deletions. Overall, the Linux 4.8.2 kernel looks pretty small in changes with the exception of some ARM and x86 improvements, and the updated drivers.

    • Linux 4.7.8
    • Linux Kernel 4.7.8 Released with x86, ARM, and PowerPC Fixes, Updated Drivers

      Immediately after announcing the second point release of the Linux 4.8 kernel series, Greg Kroah-Hartman informed the community about the immediate availability of Linux kernel 4.7.8.

    • Linux 4.4.25
    • Linux Kernel 4.4.25 LTS Is a Small Update with PowerPC, ARM, and x86 Changes

      After informing us of the release of Linux kernel 4.8.2 and Linux kernel 4.7.8, Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the twenty-fifth maintenance update to the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel series.

    • Linus Torvalds Announces the First Release Candidate of Linux Kernel 4.9

      The first Release Candidate (RC) snapshot of the Linux 4.9 kernel was announced by Linus Torvalds on October 15, 2016, which means that the merge window is now close and development was begun.

      According to Linus Torvalds, the Linux kernel 4.9 merge window was pretty big and that’s why we’re seeing the first Release Candidate build a day earlier than expected. Another reason for shipping the RC1 earlier is to not encourage kernel developers to send in last-minute pull requests.

    • The Exciting Features Of The Linux 4.9 Kernel

      This weekend was the release of Linux 4.9-rc1 to mark the end of the 4.9 kernel merge window. As such, here’s our usual feature overview recapping all of the changes to Linux 4.9 that have us excited about the next version of this open-source kernel.

      Some of the highlights include AMDGPU GCN 1.0 experimental support, memory protection keys support, mainline support for the LG Nexus 5 and Raspberry Pi Zero (along with a lot of other ARM hardware), the Greybus subsystem was added, support for vmapped stacks, and many other additions.

    • Linux Foundation whacks open JavaScript projects umbrella

      A project fostering JavaScript’s panoply of projects has been established by the Linux Foundation.

      The JS Foundation will cultivate JavaScript application and server-side projects. The thinking is to create a centre that drives broad adoption and development of JavaScript technologies and that fosters collaboration. It should help devs and tools builders make sense of the rapid pace of change.

      The focus on standardization and mentoring, JS Foundation executive director Kris Borchers told the Open Source Business Conference in London on Monday. The Linux Foundation and Node.JS will, in particular, work to advance the JavaScript language through bodies such as ECMA TC39 and the W3C.

    • StackPath Supports JavaScript Developers as Founding Member of JS Foundation
    • JavaScript Grows Up and Gets Its Own Foundation
    • Appium joins the JS Foundation
    • Linux Foundation Launches JS Foundation
    • The Linux Foundation Unites JavaScript Community for Open Web Development
    • Node-RED moves to the JS Foundation, making STEM great again, and Blockly for iOS developer preview—SD Times news digest: Oct. 17, 2016
    • The JS Foundation forms to help javascript and servers play nicer together
    • JavaScript projects regroup under a new foundation
    • The Linux Foundation takes on the JavaScript community with the JS Foundation

      The Linux Foundation is giving JavaScript projects a new home. The company announced the JS Foundation is now a Linux Foundation Project. The JS Foundation was designed to foster JavaScript applications and server-side projects by providing best practices and policies.

      “The Linux Foundation’s primary mission is to create the world’s largest shared technology investment,” said Kris Borchers, executive director of the JS Foundation. “JavaScript is an extremely important programming language, which has seen numerous open-source projects arise around it. Many of these projects are essential to the infrastructure of the Internet, so the Linux Foundation feels it is important to ensure they have structured support and neutral governance to ensure their stability, which is why the JS Foundation is being formed.”

    • Meet ‘The Other Linux Logo’, A Modern Take on Tux

      When you look at Tux, the Linux mascot, what do you see? Do you see a penguin? Do you see a project? Or do you see something that’s dated and in need of a revamp? If it’s the latter then check out a modern reinterpretation of the famous penguin notify by designer Ecogex…

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa Benchmarks Post-ReZ RadeonSI Change, Another Game Jumps Up By ~20%

        Earlier this week was a discovery of a “serious performance fix” For the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver by disabling ReZ. That change landed in Mesa Git already so I ran some before/after benchmarks.

        The discovery by AMD’s Marek Olšák was described by him as luck and the small patch to disable ReZ ended up boosting the DIRT Showdown performance by about 15%. In my before/after benchmarks, unfortunately, the game wasn’t working for me on my system with its open-source driver stack… When loading the DiRT Showdown test profile as usual via the Phoronix Test Suite, the game would end up getting hung on the loading screen. Didn’t have that problem a few months back on RadeonSI last time I tried.

    • Benchmarks

      • Dota 2 Radeon OpenGL vs. Vulkan Performance With Mesa Git, Linux 4.9-rc1

        Now that the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver has landed in Mesa Git and Linux 4.9-rc1 is out, I figured it was time for some fresh benchmarks of the Radeon Vulkan driver against the RadeonSI Gallium3D OpenGL driver. Here is the first of that new data.

        For some Sunday benchmarking fun was testing RADV Vulkan vs. RadeonSI OpenGL for Dota 2, the best Vulkan benchmark on Linux to date. In addition to looking at the latest performance results, the Phoronix Test Suite was looking at the CPU utilization in both scenarios too (by setting the MONITOR=cpu.usage environment variable). The OpenGL vs. Vulkan tests were done at a variety of resolutions.

  • Applications

    • Calamares 2.4.2 Universal Linux Installer Supports Disabling of LUKS UI Elements

      The development team behind the Calamares universal installer framework for GNU/Linux distributions announced the second update to the Calamares 2.4 stable series.

      Calamares 2.4.2 is now the latest version of the installer, and, according to release notes, it implements support for disabling LUKS (Linux Unified Key Setup) related UI (User Interface) elements, adds support for Debian-style /etc/default/keyboard configuration as an option, improves the checking of system requirements configuration, and removes the dependency of chfn in the users module.

    • 10 Top Tools for Novelists

      Writing is one of the essential skills in modern society. Being able to communicate effectively is paramount both at work and at home. It makes your thinking visible to others, and is the main way in which work, learning, and intellect is judged by others.

      At first glance, the trusty word processor might seem a good tool for a novelist. After all, in days gone by, budding authors would tap away using a typewritter, and a word processor is the modern day equivalent. Linux has some excellent word processing software such as LibreOffice. However, word processors are actually not the ideal tool for some forms of writing, particularly novel-writing. In fact, it could be said that using a word processor for novel-writing is a recipe for disaster, and actually a retrograde step from a typewritter. Word processors are a general application software that are perfect for constructing business documents, letters, batch mailings using templates, etc. However, many word processors are too obtrusive and distracting for writers. What is needed is software that helps concentrate on the content of the novel, sketch out the chapters and scenes, work out the best structure, import research, add locations, characters and objects, and so on.

    • Lighttpd 1.4.42 Brings New Modules, Rewritten Authentication Framework

      Lighttpd 1.4.42 was released this Sunday morning as the newest version of this open-source, lightweight HTTP web-server.

      Lighttpd 1.4.42 introduces some new modules including mod_deflate, mod_geoip, and mod_uploadprogress. This release also has a rewritten auth framework that affects mod_authn_ldap, mod_authn_gssapi, and mod_authn_mysql.

    • Find Files Faster with FSearch, an ‘Everything Search Engine’ for Linux

      FSearch is a promising new file search utility for the Linux desktop, inspired by the Everything Search Engine tool for Windows.

    • Released OpenStack Newton, Moving OpenStack packages to upstream Gerrit CI/CD

      OpenStack Newton was released on the Thursday 6th of October. I was able to upload nearly all of it before the week-end, though there was a bit of hick-ups still, as I forgot to upload python-fixtures 3.0.0 to unstable, and only realized it thanks to some bug reports. As this is a build time dependency, it didn’t disrupt Sid users too much, but 38 packages wouldn’t build without it. Thanks to Santiago Vila for pointing at the issue here.

      As of writing, a lot of the Newton packages didn’t migrate to Testing yet. It’s been migrating in a very messy way. I’d love to improve this process, but I’m not sure how, if not filling RC bugs against 250 packages (which would be painful to do), so they would migrate at once.

    • Rcpp now used by 800 CRAN packages

      A moment ago, Rcpp hit another milestone: 800 packages on CRAN now depend on it (as measured by Depends, Imports and LinkingTo declarations). The graph is on the left depicts the growth of Rcpp usage over time.

      The easiest way to compute this is to use the reverse_dependencies_with_maintainers() function from a helper scripts file on CRAN. This still gets one or false positives of packages declaring a dependency but not actually containing C++ code and the like. There is also a helper function revdep() in the devtools package but it includes Suggests: which does not firmly imply usage, and hence inflates the count. I have always opted for a tighter count with corrections.

    • backup.sh opensourced

      All the authors agreed to a GPLv2+ licensing, so now it’s time for backup.sh to meet the world. It does about the simplest thing you can imagine: ssh to the server and use GNU tar to tar down every filesystem that has the “dump” bit set in fstab. Every 30 days, it does a full backup; otherwise, it does an incremental backup using GNU tar’s incremental mode (which makes sure you will also get information about file deletes). It doesn’t do inter-file diffs (so if you have huge files that change only a little bit every day, you’ll get blowup), and you can’t do single-file restores without basically scanning through all the files; tar isn’t random-access. So it doesn’t do much fancy, but it works, and it sends you a nice little email every day so you can know your backup went well. (There’s also a less frequently used mode where the backed-up server encrypts the backup using GnuPG, so you don’t even need to trust the backup server.) It really takes fifteen minutes to set up, so now there’s no excuse. :-)

    • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Inklings, a lemmings-style puzzle game is now out on Linux

        Inklings [Steam, Official Site] is an indie lemmings-style puzzle game with simple visuals, guide your Inklings to safety! This game comes from a family team of developers.

        The developer told me that himself and his brother developed it, while their mother had a hand at the level paintings.

        I’ve tested it out for a bit, as the developer sent in a key and I haven’t come across any problems. It’s quite a nice game, but it is rather simplistic visually.

      • Hyper Ultra Astronautics, a fast-paced competitive local multiplayer space arena
      • Stellar Overload, the block-based adventure FPS is now on Steam

        If you remember, I recently wrote about Stellar Overload [Steam, Official Site] and did a small preview. The good news is that the game is now available on Steam with Linux support.

        While there are a lot of these block games now, Stellar Overload at least offers up some unique features. The major one being cube shaped planets to explore. I’ve found it to be way more interesting than other blocky games.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Talos’s $18K Linux Workstation, KDE 1 on Modern Metal & More…

        KDE reissues KDE 1 for modern hardware: Now you can turn your latest and greatest PC or laptop into its own “way back machine” by fixing it up with KDE 1, the release that started everything “K.” It seems that the folks at KDE wanted to come up with a special gift for their supporters to celebrate the project’s 20th birthday, which was October 14, so they went to work fixing KDE 1 so it’ll run on modern metal. It might be a little work getting it up and operating properly on your machine, but I’m sure that some will find it worth it for such a retro experience. Read all about it, complete with screenshots, on the Helio Castro website.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Nautilus 3.22.1 File Manager Improves the Batch Renaming Feature, Adds Fixes

        The popular Nautilus (Files) file manager saw its first point release for the latest 3.22 series, distributed as part of the recently announced GNOME 3.22.1 desktop environment.

        Yes, that’s right, we’re talking here about Nautilus 3.22.1, the latest, and most advanced, stable version of the file manager used in numerous GNU/Linux distributions, including the very popular Ubuntu, Fedora Workstation, openSUSE Leap and Tumbleweed, Solus, and many others.

      • gnome extensions

        In general when using Gnome I try and avoid extensions. Most of the ‘default’ setup is fine or I was able to get used to it and it works well enough. There are a few extensions I do use however for various reasons. All of these work with Wayland.

      • GNOME 3.22/KDE Plasma 5.8 release party in Brno

        Last Thursday, we organized a regular Linux Desktop Meetup in Brno and because two major desktop environments had had their releases recently we also added a release party to celebrate them.

        The meetup itself took place in the Red Hat Lab at FIT BUT (venue of GUADEC 2013) and it consisted of 4 talks. I spoke on new things in GNOME 3.22, our KDE developer Jan Grulich spoke on new things in Plasma 5.8, then Oliver Gutierrez spoke on Fleet Commander and the last talk was given by Lucie Karmova who is using Fedora as a desktop in a public organization and shared her experiences with the Linux desktop.

      • GNOME outreach flyer for local groups and events

        One of my very early contributions to GNOME was a flyer. FOSDEM 2014 was one of the first conferences I attended and with me I had brought printouts of this flyer which we handed out to people from the GNOME stand.

      • GTK4 Development Code Just Received 100+ Commits Dropping Old Stuff

        Development on the GTK+ 4.0 tool-kit continues moving along and this weekend has seen 100+ commits dropping various deprecated and outdated code.

  • Distributions

    • Top 5 Penetration Testing Linux Distributions

      There are a seemingly endless amount of Linux distros for just about every area of use. This includes pen testing, sometimes called hacking, distros. Some of you are undoubtedly familiar with, at least if you have spent any time looking around at all the distributions out there. ​

    • New Releases

      • 4MParted 20 Disk Partitioning Live CD Enters Beta Stage, Based on GParted 0.26.1

        Today, October 16, 2016, 4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki informs Softpedia about the release and immediate availability of the Beta pre-release version of the upcoming 4MParted 20.0 Live CD.

        Based on the 4MLinux 20.0 operating system, which is also in the Beta stages of development, the 4MParted 20.0 disk partitioning Live CD is built around the popular and open-source GParted 0.26.1 graphical partition editor utility, which right now is the best tool for formatting, resizing, splitting, and joining disk partitions of any type.

      • ExLight Live DVD Is Now Based on Ubuntu 16.10, Ships with Enlightenment 0.20

        Today, October 16, 2016, GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton informs Softpedia about the release and immediate availability of a new, updated version of his lightweight ExLight Live DVD distribution.

        Based on the recently released Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) and Debian GNU/Linux 8.6 “Jessie” operating systems, ExLight Live DVD Build 161016 uses Arne Exton’s special kernel 4.8.0-21-exton, which is based on Linux kernel 4.8 (also used in Ubuntu 16.10), replacing the 4.6.0-10-exlight kernel used in previous releases of ExLight.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat finds virtualization vital for enterprise despite container competition

        Containers are hot, but virtualization adoption remains on the rise within the enterprise, according to recent Red Hat research.

        The survey of more than 900 enterprise IT pros found businesses are using virtualization to drive server consolidation, decrease provisioning time, and provide infrastructure for developers to build and deploy applications.

      • Why Red Hat’s OpenShift, not OpenStack, is making waves with developers
      • Happy 15th Birthday Red Hat Product Security

        This summer marked 15 years since we founded a dedicated Product Security team for Red Hat. While we often publish information in this blog about security technologies and vulnerabilities, we rarely give an introspection into the team itself. So I’d like, if I may, to take you on a little journey through those 15 years and call out some events that mean the most to me; particularly what’s changed and what’s stayed the same. In the coming weeks some other past and present members of the team will be giving their anecdotes and opinions too. If you have a memory of working with our team we’d love to hear about it, you can add a comment here or tweet me.

      • Red Hat Names University of Dammam as the first Red Hat Academy in Saudi Arabia

        Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the University of Dammam has been signed as the first Red Hat Academy in Saudi Arabia. Starting today, the university will offer Red Hat courses and exams to up to 200 students per year, who will receive hands-on instruction, curriculum and labs, performance-based testing, and educator support.

        University of Dammam has chosen Red Hat to support its IT infrastructure and encourages students to learn in new and exciting ways. As a pre-eminent research-based institution, the University of Dammam has grown and developed through continually assessing and aiming to improve its curriculum and expand its academic capabilities across disciplines.

      • Dammam university named first Red Hat Academy in Saudi
      • Red Hat to flaunt open source technologies

        “Making true digital transformation is difficult unless organisations in the Middle East embrace central themes such as software-defined everything, hyperscale, containers and hybrid cloud,” said Lee Miles, General Manager Middle East and Africa, Red Hat. “Proprietary technology will no longer exist as a viable innovation model. Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, will participate in GITEX Technology Week where its focus will be on demonstrating how the company’s open source technologies are helping accelerate business transformation by enabling all these trends.”

      • Finance

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • How Building Strong Open Source Teams Is Like Raising Chickens

    Dr. Margaret Heffernan, in her LinuxCon North America keynote, tells an open source story that isn’t about software. It’s a story about chickens.

    If your organization is struggling to build teams that work well together, and it feels more like The Hunger Games than a smoothly functioning team, let the tale of the two chicken flocks show you the open source way. Dr. Heffernan tells how a reseacher used two flocks of laying hens to study how to breed more productive egg-layers. One was an average, nothing special flock, just ordinary hens. The other flock was composed of super-chickens, hens who were highly productive egg layers. The researcher bred only the most productive of the super-chickens, and did no selective breeding in the first flock.

  • Keynote: Beyond Measure: The True Power and Skill of Collaboration by Dr. Margaret Heffernan
  • Meet Hubot: The DevOps chat bot
  • Google Delivers its own Open Source Report Card

    In recent months, Google has open sourced a slew of useful tools, many of them tested and hardened in-house. They include machine learning applications, 3D visualization tools and more. Now, in a move that should be followed by other companies, Google has announced the ‘Open Source Report Card.’

    “Today we’re sharing our first Open Source Report Card, highlighting our most popular projects, sharing a few statistics and detailing some of the projects we’ve released in 2016. We’ve open sourced over 20 million lines of code to date and you can find a listing of some of our best known project releases on our website,” said Josh Simmons, from Google’s Open Source Programs Office.

  • IBM i Open Source Roadmap Finds Perl

    Support for open source development on IBM i has been a big deal for the Technology Refresh program. Just last week, with the latest TR announcement, support for Perl was added along with support for the current version of Node.js, which is v6. In previous TRs, we have seen support for programming languages like Ruby and Python, plus tools such as the GNU Compiler Collection and Git. The PHP language, the Eclipse integrated development environment, and the Apache web server are pre-TR open source advancements.

    Compared to Node.js, Python, Ruby, and PHP, there’s not much happening in terms of new application development in Perl. It was once one of the big three–Perl, Python, and PHP–recalled consultant Alan Seiden, after I emailed him to discuss open source support on i. Seiden, a PHP subject matter expert, was quick to note PHP originally was a macro language over Perl scripts in the days before PHP was rewritten in C. Perl scripts are under the covers for a ton of open source software.

  • Events

    • How a healthy developer conference budget can provide a big ROI for organizations

      At OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Emily Hugenbruch, John Arwe, and Ji Chen will give a talk called How to lose clients and alienate coworkers: Lessons learned on an OpenStack enterprise journey. In a recent email interview, Emily, an Advisory Software Engineer and z/VM OpenStack Community Liaison at IBM, discusses the transition developers from proprietary backgrounds must make when they move onto open source projects, and she explains the big ROI on sending developers to conferences.

    • Event report: PyCon India 2016

      This time instead of per day report, I will try to write about things happened during PyCon India. This time we had the conference at JNU, in Delhi. It was nice to be back at JNU after such a long time. The other plus point was about the chance to meet ilug-delhi again.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome Remote Desktop 53 adds remote sound support [APK Download]

        Chrome Remote Desktop is a rather obscure Google product, but that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. Once the desktop application is installed, you can control it from any Android device, iOS device, or computer (with Chrome). In my testing, it actually works extremely well, often with a lower latency than popular remote access applications like TeamViewer.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • OpenBGPD Large Communities

      Back in the early days of The Internet, when routers rode dinosaurs to work and nerds weren’t cool, we wanted to signal to our network neighbours certain information about routes. To be fair, we still do. But, back then everyone had 16 bit ASNs, so there was a simple concept called ‘communities’. This was a 32bit opaque value, that was traditionally split into two 16bit values. Conveniently, we were able to encode an “us” and a “them”, and perform actions based on what our neighbours told us.


      OpenBGPD in OpenBSD -current has support for Large Communities, and this will be available in the 6.1 release and later.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Dutch govt ordered to use open standards for comms from 2017

      Government bodies in the Netherlands will have to use open technology standards for communications after next year, following a vote by the nation’s parliament.

      The requirement for open document standards has already been adopted by the Netherlands Senate, but a motion by Member of Parliament Astrid Oosenbrug has now unified the policy. She said the lower house would be the first government body to standardize around the use of Open Document Format (ODF).

      “We should set the right example,” she said. “Ironically, lower house published the adopted law on its website by providing a download link to a document in a proprietary format.”

      As part of the new legislation, the government will also promote the use of open source code across government and the private sector. Michiel Leenaars, head of the Dutch Internet Society, welcomed the move.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • PHP 8.0 Likely To Have A New JIT Engine

      Zend has begun developing a new JIT (Just-In-Time) Engine for PHP and is expecting it will likely be ready for PHP 8.0.

      PHP 8.0 is still out in the distance with PHP 7.1 being what’s under development now for release in the weeks ahead while PHP8 is much further down the road. However, Zend has already begun work on a new JIT for PHP that they hope will be able to “deliver some useful results” for the next major PHP version.

    • Top software and the programming language in which they are written

      BackRub (Google’s first incarnation) was written in Java and Python. Now, Google’s front end is written in C and C++ and its famous crawlers (Spyders) were written in Python. However, the crawler kept crashing, and indexes got stale with old information, therefore Google developed a new crawler (capable of incremental index updates) written in C++.

    • ALLVM: Forthcoming Project to Ship All Software As LLVM IR

      Interest is growing around shipping software as LLVM IR and will be discussed at this year’s LLVM Developers’ Meeting.

      Various parties have been investigating using LLVM IR as the medium for shipping software while doing the final conversion on the host for execution. The aim would be to provide greater performance, security, and other benefits by the distributed software being LLVM IR.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • VK9: Still Pursuing Direct3D 9 Over Vulkan

      VK9 is the project formerly known as SchaeferGL as an open-source project implementing Direct3D 9 over Vulkan.

      It’s been a few months since originally writing about this open-source project and fortunately pleased this week to see its development continuing, albeit now under the name VK9. The developer, Christopher Schaefer, recently passed his “third milestone” with getting to the point where the geometry is correctly being passed to the render pipeline, texture loading is beginning to work, etc.


  • Annual Survey of American Fears Released — 2016 Edition

    The 2016 survey shows that the top 10 things Americans fear the most are:

    Corruption of government officials (same top fear as 2015)
    Terrorist attacks
    Not having enough money for the future
    Being a victim of terror
    Government restrictions on firearms and ammunition (new)
    People I love dying
    Economic or financial collapse
    Identity theft
    People I love becoming seriously ill
    The Affordable Health Care Act/”Obamacare”

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • 55 Civil Society Groups Ask US Government To Allow Export Of Affordable Version Of Prostate Cancer Drug Xtandi

      A range of 55 civil society organisations from around the world today sent a letter asking the United States Department of Health and Human Services to accept an offer from a Canadian generics company, Biolyse Pharma, to manufacture and export high-priced cancer drug Xtandi to countries with a per capita income of less than one-third that of the United States.

      The groups included Knowledge Ecology International, Public Citizen, Oxfam, NAACP, cancer and HIV/AIDS groups and “a host of other social justice, faith, patient, and consumer groups,” as described by KEI in a release.

    • EFF Co-Founder Announces Benefit Concert to Pay His Medical Bills

      Barlow’s family describes the last 18 months as a “medical incarceration” with “a dizzying array of medical events and complications” that has depleted his savings and insurance benefits. They’ve also set up a site for donations from “his fellow innovators, artists, cowboys, and partners-in-crime, to help us provide the quality of care necessary for Barlow’s recovery.”

    • The DEA Backs Off Its Kratom Ban…For Now

      The internet exploded in September when America’s Drug Enforcement Agency announced it would outlaw kratom—a mildly popular plant native to Southeast Asia. The DEA claimed the plant should be a Schedule I substance and join the ranks of heroin, Ecstasy and marijuana as a chemical with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

      Kratom is one of those weird, understudied substances headshops sell alongside salvia and fly agaric mushrooms. And much like any drug, kratom’s effects vary widely based on the user, the dose and the setting.

      Some fans describe a stimulant effect at low doses, others claim a high dose mimics opiates (a claim with some scientific backing) while still others can gobble up the powdered plant with no high whatsoever. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the drug, which is a big reason the DEA shouldn’t ban it. Marking a chemical Schedule I makes it incredibly hard to do any kind of scientific study.

    • Here’s How California Would Spend Its Expected $1 Billion in Marijuana Tax Revenue

      The Nov. 8 election can’t come quickly enough for some people — especially for supporters of California’s recreational marijuana legalization initiative, Prop 64.

      Prop 64 would legalize recreational cannabis for adults aged 21 and up and impose a 15% sales tax at the retail level on consumers. Additionally, growers would be subject to a $9.25 per ounce tax on marijuana flowers, and a $2.75 per ounce tax on cannabis leaves, at the wholesale level. If approved, cannabis research firm New Frontier estimates that marijuana sales in California could jump from $2.76 billion in 2015 (solely from medical cannabis) to $6.46 billion by 2020. This more than doubling in sales could lead to the state of California collecting more than $1 billion in annual tax and licensing revenue as a result.

      Early indications would suggest that Prop 64 has a good chance of passing. Nationally, Gallup puts support for marijuana in its poll at 58%, and two recent California polls from the Public Policy Institute and Field Poll/Institute for Government Studies found identical support levels for Prop 64 at 60%.

      With an approval looking likely, it’s time to consider how California plans to spend this new source of revenue.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • NyaDrop exploiting Internet of Things insecurity to infect Linux devices with malware

      A Linux threat known as NyaDrop is exploiting a lack of security in Internet of Things (IoT) devices to infect them with malware.

      A NyaDrop attack begins with the threat attempting to brute force the default login credentials of internet-exposed IoT device running Linux. It does so by running through its list of stored usernames and passwords, a collection which is no doubt similar to that of the Mirai botnet.

    • Smart cities: 5 security areas CIO should watch

      New worms designed to attach to IoT devices will emerge − and they could wreck more havoc given the extended reach of the new converged networks.

      Conficker is an example of a worm that spread on PC’s in 2008 and is still persistent and prevalent in 2016.

      Likewise, worms and viruses that can propagate from device to device can be expected to emerge – particularly with mobile and the Android operating system.

      Embedded worms will spread by leveraging and exploiting vulnerabilities in the growing IoT and mobile attack surface. The largest botnet FortiGuard labs has witnessed is in the range of 15 million PCs.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • US and Russia headed for new cold war

      Since the 1940s, every newly elected United States president has been confronted with the same foreign policy predicament: how to deal with a Russia which on some subjects could be a partner, but in almost all others remained an unbending strategic competitor.

      And so will be the case with whoever takes over the White House from Jan 20 next year: she or he will grapple with the same problem no fewer than 13 previous US leaders faced.

      But this time, the stakes are higher than they have been in decades. For Russia’s unprecedented meddling in the US electoral process presents the American authorities with an immediate challenge to which they have to provide a robust riposte. And there are few viable options apart from greater confrontation between Russia and the US. The future relationship between the two powers looks grim, the grimmest it has been in almost half a century.

    • Putin to Kremlin journalists: US is watching you
    • In Somalia, U.S. Escalates a Shadow War

      The Obama administration has intensified a clandestine war in Somalia over the past year, using Special Operations troops, airstrikes, private contractors and African allies in an escalating campaign against Islamist militants in the anarchic Horn of Africa nation.

      Hundreds of American troops now rotate through makeshift bases in Somalia, the largest military presence since the United States pulled out of the country after the “Black Hawk Down” battle in 1993.

      The Somalia campaign, as it is described by American and African officials and international monitors of the Somali conflict, is partly designed to avoid repeating that debacle, which led to the deaths of 18 American soldiers. But it carries enormous risks — including more American casualties, botched airstrikes that kill civilians and the potential for the United States to be drawn even more deeply into a troubled country that so far has stymied all efforts to fix it.

    • Imams in Germany brainwashed Berlin bomb attack plotter Jaber Albakr, says brother

      Jaber Albakr, the 22-year-old Syrian refugee recently arrested in Leipzig, Germany for planning a terror attack on Berlin, was radicalised by religious preachers, or imams, his brother has said. It is said that Albakr was linked to the Islamic State (Isis) in Syria, but his brother neither confirmed, nor denied the allegations.

      Jaber was arrested earlier in the week on suspicion of plotting to bomb a Berlin airport, but he killed himself in prison two days later.

      Alaa Albakr said his brother began showing signs of radicalisation while in Germany, where he was a refugee. “Last year he started posting jihadi videos and songs,” Alaa told Reuters over phone from the village of Sa’sa’ near Damascus.

      Alaa added that although Jaber started appearing to have been inspired by jihadists, considering his Facebook posts, he never thought his brother would indulge in violence. He also said that he failed to understand why his brother would have wanted to attack a country that had given shelter to thousands of fleeing Syrians, including himself.

    • ‘My Sister Is 16, They Married Her To 7 Men’: ISIS Crimes Against Women

      A handcuffed man sits on a dirty couch in a small room. The walls are painted a sickly, pale yellow that is even less appealing in the harsh fluorescent lighting. Two fighters and an officer clad in green camouflage stand by, watching.

      The prisoner is in his mid- to late 30s, relatively fair-skinned for an Iraqi, with curly auburn hair and light brown eyes. According to the Peshmerga, the fighting force of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), he was the leader of an Islamic State intelligence unit. His jailers explain that the prisoner was responsible for interrogating people in Islamic State-held territory, trying to gather information and root out any internal dissent.

      I purposefully twirl a piece of my hair around my index finger. I am aware that the prisoner, as a member of an organization that insists on the complete submission of women, is likely fighting back fury at the sight of an unveiled woman looking at him without fear.

    • RSS root BJP leader hacked to death in Jihadi style in Bengaluru. City on Communal Fire.

      A RSS root – BJP Local Leader aged about 42-years was murdered in full public view on Sunday afternoon, right in the heart of Bengaluru city near Commercial Street, in a brazen attack that sent shivers down the spine of onlookers.

      Shops in Commercial street were forced to down shutters after RSS and BJP workers held protests on the streets, following which riot control police were deployed in the area.

      Rudresh R, a resident of Shivajinagar, was on his way home in the afternoon at about 1.30 after attending an event of the RSS, when the assailant on a bike attacked him with a knife near a Hindu temple on Kamaraj road. The attacker, who was riding pillion, slit Rudresh’s throat from behind in a copybook ISIS style, witnesses told the police.

    • Narendra Modi labels Pakistan ‘mothership of terrorism’

      In a barely concealed reference to Pakistan, the Indian prime minister accused his country’s neighbour of promoting terrorism. “Tragically the mothership of terrorism is a country in India’s neighbourhood,” Modi told a gathering in India of the heads of governments of the Brics countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

      “Terror modules around the world are linked to this mothership,” he said. “This country shelters not just terrorists. It nurtures a mindset. A mindset that loudly proclaims that terrorism is justified for political gains. It is a mindset we strongly condemn. And against which we as Brics need to stand and act together. Brics must speak in one voice against this threat.”

      Sunday’s meeting in the Indian state of Goa was attended by the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and the president of China, Xi Jinping.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Clinton WikiLeaks Update: Leaked Emails Show Hillary Told Climate Change Activists To ‘Get A Life’

      At a meeting with environmentalists last year in which they probed Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on renouncing fossil fuels, the former secretary of state dismissed the activists saying they should “get a life.” The revelation came about when WikiLeaks dumped more emails from the accounts of Clinton aide John Podesta on Saturday.

      A section of Clinton’s meeting with the building trades union in September last year was made public Saturday where she said she defended natural gas and fracking “under the right circumstances.” The meeting occurred at a time when she was fighting a challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

      “Bernie Sanders is getting lots of support from the most radical environmentalists because he’s out there every day bashing the Keystone pipeline. And, you know, I’m not into it for that,” Clinton said at the meeting, according to transcripts. “My view is, I want to defend natural gas. I want to defend repairing and building the pipelines we need to fuel our economy. I want to defend fracking under the right circumstances.”

    • Forest Fires Still Persist in Siak and Meranti

      Tera and Aqua satellites are monitoring five hot spots as the signs of forest and land fires in Riau.

      “Hot spots were observed at 4 o’clock,” Head of Pekanbaru Metorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Sugarin said on Saturday (15/10).

      Sugarin mentioned that hot spots were observed in Pelalawan, Meranti, Siak, Downstream Rokan, and Upstream Indragiri, one in each area.

      Out of the detected five spots, two hot spots are confirmed to have a raging fire, which are in Siak and Meranti.

      The fire swept about 50 hectares of fire and land in Telesung and Tanjung Kedabu villages in Meranti.

    • How the changing weather affects our health

      Two months ago, I strained my neck. It’s better, but I now notice that every time it gets cold, I feel tingling all down my arm. I started joking that I had become one of those people who could “tell when it’s about to rain” because my joints hurt. Then I wondered: how does changing weather affect our health?

      Turns out, it’s not just that we’re more likely to get sick when the weather turns cold. Lots of health issues are associated with the changing of the seasons.

      First, there may be some truth to the old wives’ tale that old injuries can “tell” when it’s about to rain. As far back as 400 BC, people were complaining that the changing weather made their joints hurt, according to a paper on the relationship between weather and pain.

  • Finance

    • D.C. Hivemind Mulls How Clinton Can Pass Huge Corporate Tax Cut

      Treating the whole voting thing as a formality, serious political players are now pondering how exactly President Hillary Clinton can pass what Sen. Elizabeth Warren has called “a giant wet kiss for tax dodgers.”

      This discussion isn’t happening on television, where normal people would hear about it. Or on Reddit, where people would freak out about it. To the degree it’s taking place in public at all, it surfaces in elite publications, where only elites are paying attention.

      For instance, Peter Orszag, a top Obama economic official before he left to cash in with Citigroup, just wrote an op-ed in the Financial Times on how to make the wet kiss happen.

    • Boris Johnson takes waffling to world-beating levels

      Imagine a past where Britain ruled the world. Imagine a world where Britain no longer had to kowtow to the jackboot of the EU. Boris Johnson can do both, and he wanted to share his vision with the foreign affairs committee. “I was having lunch somewhere in the Gulf with this sheikh the other day,” he confided. And what the sheikh had told him was that the region was fed up with being abandoned to the French and was longing for some good old-fashioned colonial rule.

      “People want more Britain, not less,” he said, donning a pith helmet, “and that’s what I am going to give them. Now that we are about to be liberated from the EU, there will be no corner of the globe from which the union jack does not fly.”

    • Flash Crash trader Navinder Sarao loses US extradition appeal

      The London trader accused of spoofing the US financial markets will be extradited to stand trial in the States after losing his final appeal.

      Navinder Sarao, a 37-year-old from Hounslow, has been fighting the US authorities’ bid to extradite him since he was arrested at his home in April 2015.

      He has been charged with 22 offences that come with a maximum sentence of 380 years in total. His trading strategies, run from his bedroom in his parents’ home, generated $40m (£32m) in profits, prosecutors allege.

    • Retailers are finally realizing that starting Black Friday on Thanksgiving is a terrible idea

      Retailers have officially lost the so-called “war on Thanksgiving.”

      An increasing number of retailers are closing on Thanksgiving Day this year in response to backlash against the trend of starting Black Friday sales a day early.

      CBL & Associates, the operator of 89 regional malls and shopping centers, announced it would close 73 of its locations on Thanksgiving Day and not open until 6 a.m. on Black Friday, CNBC reported. Last year, the mall operator opened at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Stein, Green Party running mate to campaign in Michigan

      Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka are scheduled to make campaign stops in Michigan this month, the Michigan coordinator for Stein’s campaign said Thursday.

      LuAnne Kozma said Stein will make a public campaign stop at 2 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Redford Theatre in Detroit before heading to Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti for a 6 p.m. event at the Bowen Field House. Both events are free.

    • Judge Nap: New FBI Docs Show ‘Bribe Offer’ to Agents in Hillary Email Probe

      Judge Andrew Napolitano said this morning that newly-released FBI documents show evidence of a bribe being offered by a senior State Department official to FBI agents.

      Patrick F. Kennedy, the undersecretary of state for management, is reported to have pressured FBI agents to change the classification on sensitive documents found on Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

      The new revelations were contained in just-released FBI interview summaries from the Clinton email investigation.

    • Journalists shower Hillary Clinton with campaign cash

      New Yorker television critic Emily Nussbaum, a newly minted Pulitzer Prize winner, spent the Republican National Convention pen-pricking presidential nominee Donald Trump as a misogynist shyster running an “ugly and xenophobic campaign.”

      What Nussbaum didn’t disclose in her dispatches: she contributed $250 to Democrat Hillary Clinton in April.

      On the nation’s left coast, Les Waldron, an Emmy Award-winning assignment editor at television station KFMB, the CBS affiliate in San Diego, swung right in July, shooting $28 to Trump.

      And Carole Simpson, a former ABC “World News Tonight” anchor who in 1992 became the first African-American woman to moderate a presidential debate, is not moderate about her personal politics: the current Emerson College distinguished journalist-in-residence and regular TV news guest has given Clinton $2,800.

    • Pressure Cited Against Marking Clinton E-Mails Classified

      A State Department team responsible for determining which records should be kept secret felt “immense pressure” not to label any of about 300 e-mails found on Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server as classified, according to interview summaries released by the FBI.

      Officials from the State Department’s Information Programs and Services office began a review in March 2015 of 296 e-mails that were set to be turned over to a House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

      “IPS felt immense pressure to complete the review quickly and not label anything as classified,” according to interview notes from a State Department official whose name was redacted from the FBI summary.

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday released 100 pages of redacted interview notes, known as 302s, the latest batch of summaries made public from its inquiry into Clinton’s use of private e-mail for official business while secretary of state. She has called using the private system a “mistake,” but her Republican opponent Donald Trump has said it’s a crime and told her in the second presidential debate that “you’d be in jail” if he wins on Nov. 8.

    • The Press Buries Hillary Clinton’s Sins

      If average voters turned on the TV for five minutes this week, chances are they know that Donald Trump made lewd remarks a decade ago and now stands accused of groping women.

      But even if average voters had the TV on 24/7, they still probably haven’t heard the news about Hillary Clinton: That the nation now has proof of pretty much everything she has been accused of.

    • The Clinton Foundation left a toxic legacy in Colombia

      Hillary Clinton has long said she is “very proud” of the Clinton Foundation’s work, but many of its beneficiaries in Colombia wonder why.

      Since Bill Clinton established the foundation in the late 1990s, with help over the years from Hillary and daughter Chelsea, the nonprofit “global philanthropic empire” has raised roughly $2 billion from foreign governments and various wealthy donors to tackle global development and health problems. While intense media scrutiny has focused on the foundation’s donations and its use of that money – partly because of the wealth of available information on its vast financial intake – little sustained attention has been dedicated to its accomplishments on the ground.

    • Glenn Greenwald: WikiLeaks Emails Clearly Show Serious Media Impropriety

      Glenn Greenwald joined Brian Stelter on CNN this morning to discuss the “serious impropriety” between the media and Team Clinton, as shown in the WikiLeaks emails.

      Greenwald, who personally doesn’t agree with WikiLeaks’ “dump everything” approach to transparency, still thinks not only is it ethical to report on the leaks, but it would be “incredibly unethical” if journalists didn’t.

      Stelter asked if anything shows serious “media collusion.” Greenwald said that while there’s some normal back-and-forth communications there people might be exaggerating, there is “serious impropriety” in there. And while on CNN, he cited as his chief example the mess that Donna Brazile and CNN have gotten into over an apparently-leaked town hall question to Team Clinton.

    • Stein addresses immigration, police issues, Middle East

      An overflow crowd of about more than 300 cheered for Green Party candidate Jill Stein as she spoke about various topics, including immigration, U.S. policy in the Middle East and people killed by police during a rally at Cafe Mayapan in South El Paso.

      “Don’t be fooled by the lesser evil. Don’t think for a moment that you have to drink that Kool-Aid,” Stein said.

      There is a need for a third party because of the influence by big money donors over the Republican and Democratic parties, said Stein who took shots at Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump and Libertarian Gary Johnson.

      Stein’s visit was the first to El Paso by a candidate for president during the current election season. Election Day is Nov. 8.

    • New WikiLeaks emails show influence of Univision chairman in Clinton campaign

      The clashes between presidential candidate Donald Trump and the Spanish-language Univision television network began within days of Trump’s announcement last year that he was seeking the Republican nomination.

      Now, a series of emails pirated from the Democratic National Committee and published in the past week by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks show that within days of Trump’s June 16, 2015, announcement of his candidacy, Univision’s chairman, Haim Saban, was urging the Clinton campaign to take a tougher stance on Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.

      “Haim thinks we are underreacting to Trump/Hispanics. Thinks we can get something by standing up for Latinos or attacking R’s (Republicans) for not condemning,” Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta wrote July 3, 2015, in an email to other Clinton staffers.

    • Fears mount on Trump’s ‘rigged election’ rhetoric

      Donald Trump is laying the groundwork to lose on Nov. 8, refuse to concede the election, and teeter the country into an unprecedented crisis of faith in government. Republicans and Democrats, in Washington and beyond, fear that the aftermath of the 2016 election will create a festering infection in the already deep and lasting wound that the campaign is leaving on America.

      And, they say, only Republican leaders who speak up will have any chance of stopping it.

      “Polls close, but can you believe I lost large numbers of women voters based on made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED. Media rigging election!” Trump tweeted Sunday morning in response to the latest round of numbers showing him behind.

    • Report: Tech investor Peter Thiel will donate $1.25M to Trump campaign

      Silicon Valley heavyweight Peter Thiel will soon cement his place as one of Donald Trump’s biggest financial supporters. The New York Times reported last night that the billionaire venture capitalist, who co-founded PayPal, will donate $1.25 million to Trump’s Presidential campaign.

      According to the report, part of the money will go to a pro-Trump Super PAC, while some will go directly to the campaign. Thiel declined to comment on the donation, which was sourced to “a person close to” Thiel.

      Saying that Trump’s support in Silicon Valley is slim would be an understatement. Thiel, who spoke at the Republican National Convention in July, is practically the only high-profile tech personality who has come out in support of Trump.

    • The growing list of women who have stepped forward to accuse Trump of touching them inappropriately

      Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper at the second presidential debate on Oct. 9 that he had never touched women without their consent. The comment came after The Washington Post published a video of Trump bragging to “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush in 2005 that he could kiss and grope women without their permission because he was a celebrity.

      “Have you ever done those things?” Cooper asked at the debate. “I will tell you: No, I have not,” Trump responded.

      Since then, a series of women have come forward to accuse Trump of inappropriately touching or kissing them without their permission. Trump has denied the allegations. In a Saturday morning tweet, he called them “100% fabricated and made-up charges, pushed strongly by the media and the Clinton Campaign,” warning that they “may poison the minds of the American Voter.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • BBFC Appointed Censorship Role Over Websites, Porn, Adult Content

      The British Board of Film Classification has been appointed arbiter over adult content viewed by U.K., citizens via the internet. This comes after the BBFC signed an agreement with the U.K., government for the 2016 Digital Economy Bill, where the appointment of arbitration was granted to the classification board.

      The news was reported recently by Xbiz.com after the bill was weighed in on by the U.K., Parliament in a recent committee hearing that you can view over on the official Parliament website. The article explains that the BBFC will be monitoring local and foreign sites that may contain content for those 18 years of age and older, and will ensure that these sites have appropriate age gates for accessing said content.

    • ‘Maybe I said something wrong’: Putin mocks US surveillance during presser power blackout
    • The NSA’s Far Reach? Power Fails After Putin ‘Said Something Wrong’ (VIDEO)
    • Internet censorship: making the hidden visible

      Despite being founded on ideals of freedom and openness, censorship on the internet is rampant, with more than 60 countries engaging in some form of state-sponsored censorship. A research project at the University of Cambridge is aiming to uncover the scale of this censorship, and to understand how it affects users and publishers of information.

    • Flying the Isis flag is legal, Sweden declares

      Flying the Isis flag in Sweden is not illegal and cannot be considered an incitement to racial hatred, according to a Swedish prosecutor.

      A 23-year-old man from Laholm has avoided prosecution after he allegedly posted a picture of himself with the Isis flag as his Facebook profile photo.

      The photo was reported to the police in March and the men was investigated for incitement to racial hatred. The man, originally from Syria, denied the charges.

      He said he is not a supporter of Isis and claimed the flag has been used as a symbol of Islam for hundreds of years and then abused by Isis, his defence attorney Bjorn Nilsson told the Swedish newspaper Hallandsposten.

    • Germany threatens Facebook with hate speech law

      The threat from Volker Kauder, a key member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, follows a similar warning by Justice Minister Heiko Maas, in a growing sign of German politicians’ frustration with such websites.

      “The time for round-tables is over. I’ve run out of patience,” said Volker Kauder, chairman of the Christian Democratic Union’s parliamentary group.

      Facebook and Twitter have seen a rise in anti-migrant commentary in Europe’s biggest economy, as public misgivings grow in some corners over the almost 900,000 asylum seekers who arrived last year.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • ACLU Dumps Docs On Social Media Monitoring Firm Geofeedia; Social Media Platforms Respond By Dumping Geofeedia

      Surveilling citizens engaged in First Amendment-protected activity? That’s just how Geofeedia rolls.

      Records obtained by the ACLU show the private company pitched its “firehose” connection to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as a way to monitor the situation in Ferguson (during the 2014 protests) and “stay one step ahead of the rioters.”

      Geofeedia itself didn’t do anything illegal. It simply provided a one-stop shop for social media monitoring of public posts. It’s the way it was pitched that was a problem. Rather than sell it as a way to keep law enforcement informed of criminal activity, its sales team highlighted its usefulness in monitoring protestors and other First Amendment activity.

      The documents the ACLU obtained show the company paid these three social media services for “firehose” attachments — beefed-up API calls that allowed Geofeedia to access more public posts faster than law enforcement could do on its own.

    • Two More Courts Find In Favor Of The FBI And Its NIT Warrant; No Suppression Granted

      Two more rulings on suppression motions in FBI Playpen cases have been handed down. (h/t Riana Pfefferkorn) The ruling [PDF] in Tennessee agrees with the defendant that the FBI’s NIT warrant exceeded Rule 41 jurisdiction limits. The following quotes are from the more substantive “Report and Recommendation” [PDF] by the magistrate judge, which has been adopted by the court overseeing the criminal trial.

    • UK surveillance agencies illegally kept data on British citizens’ communications, spying court finds
    • UK security agencies unlawfully collected data for 17 years, court rules

      British security agencies have secretly and unlawfully collected massive volumes of confidential personal data, including financial information, on citizens for more than a decade, senior judges have ruled.

      The investigatory powers tribunal, which is the only court that hears complaints against MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, said the security services operated an illegal regime to collect vast amounts of communications data, tracking individual phone and web use and other confidential personal information, without adequate safeguards or supervision for 17 years.

      Privacy campaigners described the ruling as “one of the most significant indictments of the secret use of the government’s mass surveillance powers” since Edward Snowden first began exposing the extent of British and American state digital surveillance of citizens in 2013.

      The tribunal said the regime governing the collection of bulk communications data (BCD) – the who, where, when and what of personal phone and web communications – failed to comply with article 8 protecting the right to privacy of the European convention of human rights (ECHR) between 1998, when it started, and 4 November 2015, when it was made public.

    • UK Tribunal Says Spy Agencies Illegally Collected Communications Data In Bulk For More Than A Decade

      This ruling comes at a particularly opportune time — just as the UK government is putting the finishing touches on another investigatory powers bill: the so-called Snooper’s Charter. But not necessarily because this will deter GCHQ from further bulk data collections. In fact, the ruling may give pro-surveillance politicians a better idea of how to make future collections stand up to legal challenges.

      On the other hand, the tribunal’s examination of the case uncovered some interesting statements by agency insiders who rather presciently noted the press would have a field day if information about the programs were ever made public. (The statement also shows the agency was prepared to head off backlash by questioning the media’s truthiness.)

    • Hillary Clinton’s Staff Recognize She Doesn’t Understand Encryption And Is Supporting ‘The Impossible’

      Teddy Goff, a political strategist and the digital director for Obama for America during the 2012 campaign, responds, calling it “a solid B/B+” and suggests that someone tell Clinton never to use the Manhattan Project line again. He also highlights the point that Ben Scott had raised a month earlier, and that it was clear that Clinton did not understand, that there is open source encryption out there that anyone can use already, and any attempt to backdoor proprietary encryption won’t stop anyone from using those other solutions. Finally, he suggests that having “pledged not to mandate backdoors” will be useful going forward.

    • CIA threatens cyber attacks against Russia [Ed: corrected URL]
    • Unicorn Wrangling 101: What is a Backdoor?

      There is an obviously bolted-on piece of code whose sole purpose is to provide some type of access (remote or otherwise) to an attacker. This is your traditional backdoor, it could come in the form of an extra program or app that is installed that allows a bad guy to function on the system. This is usually considered real-time remote access – many of your traditional rootkits fit into this category – but it could allow for special access if the bad guy is holding the device in their hands. Of course the more obvious the backdoor, the easier it is to spot, and the more likely forensics could trace back and identify the attacker.

    • Self-destructing messages don’t protect against the recipient – that was never the point

      This week, Signal finally introduced self-destructing messages. Regrettably, many seem to miss the point of what they’re for. The point of a self-destructing message is not to protect against the recipient, it’s to protect the message from being read by somebody else than the recipient much later if the device is lost, seized, or otherwise compromised.

      Signal has long been the go-to secure messaging for privacy activists – for long enough that I used to recommend it as TextSecure and RedPhone, before it merged to one app and changed names to Signal. The one lacking feature has been self-destructing messages, which is why I used Telegram in the most sensitive of environments, despite Telegram’s encryption being significantly weaker and not entirely best practice.

      But as of last week, Signal finally added self-destructing messages. Unfortunately, most people seem to be missing the point as to their immense value, and even the Signal pages talk of “data hygiene” and a way to “keep message history tidy”, as if the self-destruct was mostly about not cluttering your phone memory with old messages.

    • Even Clinton’s Aides Think She’s Wrong About Encryption

      As someone who has had the privilege of their emails being a part of the massive Wikileaks dump culled from the personal email account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta, the Democratic nominee’s position on information security is a subject near and dear to my heart. Unfortunately, the very fact that hack happened and the emails contained so much sensitive info is pretty strong evidence that the Clinton campaign’s infosec policies are—how should I put this—not good. Or to put it another way, they are bad.

      But you don’t have to take my word for it: as the leaked emails show, even Clinton’s top tech policy advisors cringed when she started talking crypto at the Democratic debate last December.

      Things took a turn for the worse for Clinton when the debate moderator Martha Raddatz asked Clinton about her opinion on that pesky new “terrorist tool” known as encryption. In response to Raddatz’s question about whether she would make a law that would force Apple CEO Tim Cook to make a key enabling government access to encrypted information, Clinton said she “would not want to go to that point.”

      She probably should have left it at that, but instead she continued on, envisioning a “Manhattan-like project” that would see government and industry partnering to create back doors allowing access to encrypted info. What this secure encryption standard that has fundamental insecurities built into it would look like is left a mystery, however.

    • Feds Walk Into A Building. Demand Everyone’s Fingerprints To Open Phones

      In what’s believed to be an unprecedented attempt to bypass the security of Apple iPhones, or any smartphone that uses fingerprints to unlock, California’s top cops asked to enter a residence and force anyone inside to use their biometric information to open their mobile devices.

      FORBES found a court filing, dated May 9 2016, in which the Department of Justice sought to search a Lancaster, California, property. But there was a more remarkable aspect of the search, as pointed out in the memorandum: “authorization to depress the fingerprints and thumbprints of every person who is located at the SUBJECT PREMISES during the execution of the search and who is reasonably believed by law enforcement to be the user of a fingerprint sensor-enabled device that is located at the SUBJECT PREMISES and falls within the scope of the warrant.” The warrant was not available to the public, nor were other documents related to the case.

      According to the memorandum, signed off by U.S. attorney for the Central District of California Eileen Decker, the government asked for even more than just fingerprints: “While the government does not know ahead of time the identity of every digital device or fingerprint (or indeed, every other piece of evidence) that it will find in the search, it has demonstrated probable cause that evidence may exist at the search location, and needs the ability to gain access to those devices and maintain that access to search them. For that reason, the warrant authorizes the seizure of ‘passwords, encryption keys, and other access devices that may be necessary to access the device,’” the document read.

    • Freed From Gag Order, Google Reveals It Received Secret FBI Subpoena

      Google revealed Wednesday it had been released from an FBI gag order that came with a secret demand for its customers’ personal information.

      The FBI secret subpoena, known as a national security letter, does not require a court approval. Investigators simply need to clear a low internal bar demonstrating that the information is “relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”

      The national security letter issued to Google was mentioned without fanfare in Google’s latest bi-annual transparency report, which includes information on government requests for data the company received from around the world in the first half of 2016.

      Google received the secret subpoena in first half of 2015, according to the report.

      An accompanying blog post titled “Building on Surveillance Reform,” also identified new countries that made requests — Algeria, Belarus, and Saudi Arabia among them — and reveals that Google saw an increase in requests made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

    • GCHQ branded as “barbaric” by Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone at Cheltenham Literature Festival

      Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone launched an extraordinary attack on GCHQ while appearing at the Cheltenham Literature Festival tonight.

      The JFK, Platoon and Wall Street director was speaking in the Town Hall to promote a book, The Oliver Stone Experience, about his many award-winning movies.

      And after a bit of joking along the lines of ‘GCHQ is listening’ from host Mark Lawson, Stone said:”GCHQ is one of the most barbaric agencies around, very cold, very smart.

      “And likely to arrest anybody at any time, on any thing on any cause. So hello!”


      He then referenced how editors from The Guardian destroyed computers used to store leaked documents from Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency whistleblower while being watch by GCHQ staff.

    • Yahoo Email Surveillance: the Next Front in the Fight Against Mass Surveillance

      In a bombshell published today, Reuters is reporting that, in 2015, Yahoo complied with an order it received from the U.S. government to search all of its users’ incoming emails, in real time.

      There’s still much that we don’t know at this point, but if the report is accurate, it represents a new—and dangerous—expansion of the government’s mass surveillance techniques.

      This isn’t the first time the U.S. government has been caught conducting unconstitutional mass surveillance of Internet communications in real time. The NSA’s Upstream surveillance program—the program at the heart of our ongoing lawsuit Jewel v. NSA—bears some resemblance to the surveillance technique described in the Reuters report. In both cases, the government compels providers to scan the contents of communications as they pass through the providers’ networks, searching the full contents of the communications for targeted “selectors,” such as email addresses, phone numbers, or malware “cybersignatures.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Wikileaks Activates “Contingency Plans” After Unknown “State Party” Cuts Julian Assange’s Internet Connection

      There was little actual detail, aside from a subsequent tweet in which WikiLeaks called on the public to support it by donating.

      Previously on Sunday, there was concern about Assange’s well-being when Wikileaks tweeted out what some suggested were the “dead man keys” that are allegedly the encryption codes for highly damaging secret documents to be uneviled in the case of Assange’s death.


      Even former outspoken Trump advisor Roger Stone got involved tweeting that “John Kerry has threatened the Ecuadorian President with “grave consequences for Equador” if Assange is not silenced” adding that “Reports the Brits storm the Ecuadorian Embassy tonite while Kerry demands the UK revoke their diplomatic status so Assange can be seized.”

    • WikiLeaks Just DUMPED EVERYTHING – This is HUGE – Historic Activity by Wikileaks – Read and Share before it is taken down!

      It appears Wikileaks has signalled all operatives to take measures to protect themselves. Guccifer 2.0 has indicated he is ready for the next release. Looks like Podesta 10 is still coming, but possibly just late.

      Also developing story, RT Media’s Bank Accounts Closed in the UK (Suspected close ties to Wikileaks? or Propaganda we don’t know, will start new article on that story soon.)

    • RT: NatWest to close Russian channel’s UK bank accounts

      NatWest bank has frozen the accounts of Russia’s state-run broadcaster RT, its editor-in-chief says.

      Margarita Simonyan tweeted: “They’ve closed our accounts in Britain. All our accounts. ‘The decision is not subject to review.’ Praise be to freedom of speech!”

      An MP from Russia’s ruling party has said the country’s Parliament will “demand an explanation” from the UK.

      RT says the bank gave no explanation for its decision.

      It said the entire Royal Bank of Scotland Group, of which NatWest is part, was refusing to service RT.

    • Former general charged with false statements in leak probe

      Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright has been charged with making false statements during a federal investigation into a leak of classified information, the Justice Department announced Monday.

      Cartwright, a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, falsely told investigators that he was not the source of classified information contained in a book by New York Times journalist David Sanger, according to charging documents unsealed by prosecutors.

      Neither the book nor the classified subject is identified in court papers. But Sanger has written in his book, “Confront and Conceal,” about a covert cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear facilities and the use of a computer virus called Stuxnet to temporarily disable centrifuges that the Iranians were using to enrich uranium.

      The charging documents also say Cartwright misled prosecutors about classified information shared with another journalist, Daniel Klaidman.

      The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland announced the case on Monday.

    • Ex-Joint Chiefs vice chairman charged with lying in leak investigation

      Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright, the former Joint Chiefs vice chairman, has been charged with making false statements in an investigation into the leaking of classified information about Iran’s nuclear program.

      Cartwright, who also led the U.S. Strategic Command and was known to have a close relationship with President Barack Obama, was the subject of a federal investigation into the leaking of details of a reported joint U.S.-Israeli cyberattack targeting Iran’s nuclear program.

    • ‘Obama’s General’ Charged With Leaking Classified Info to Journalists

      Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright, once considered one of President Obama’s favorite generals, has been charged with lying to federal investigators about revealing classified information to two journalists, including a New York Times reporter who wrote about a highly-classified U.S. cyberattack against Iran’s nuclear program.

      Cartwright is due in a Washington, D.C., courtroom at 3 PM, where he can be expected to plead guilty to one count of making false statements as described in a so-called criminal information filed with the court on Thursday. Such documents are prepared with a defendant’s knowledge and cooperation.

      The charges weren’t exactly a surprise. Cartwright has known for more than three years that he was the target of an investigation into who leaked details about the so-called Stuxnet computer virus, which the United States used to destroy centrifuges inside an Iranian nuclear enrichment facility in 2008 and 2009.

      But notably, Cartwright who previously served as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is the only person to have been charged with leaking information about the highly classified program, even though it’s clear from various books and articles that he wasn’t the only source of information about it. Times reporter David Sanger revealed the operation and wrote about it extensively in his book, Confront and Conceal.

    • Protest winds down at Morton County Courthouse

      Police officers arrested one person as a protest winds down outside the Morton County Courthouse after a judge dismissed a complaint against Democracy Now journalist Amy Goodman, who reported on a clash between pipeline protesters and private security in September.

      Police ordered about 200 people to stay out of the road. Officers with batons were lined up outside the courthouse. As protesters left, some thanked officers.

      Goodman’s attorney, Tom Dickson told the crowd Judge John Grinsteiner did not find probable cause in a riot charge against Goodman. The case was dismissed.

    • Prosecutors Changing Charges Against Reporter To ‘Rioting’ Because Her Coverage Was Sympathetic To Protestors

      On Friday, we wrote about the ridiculous arrest warrant for reporter Amy Goodman for reporting on the protests over the North Dakota oil pipeline. At the time, the charges against Goodman were apparently for trespassing, but late on Friday, the state’s attorney alerted Goodman’s lawyer that they were now actually trying to charge her with rioting. Say what?

    • Breaking: ND Prosecutor Seeks “Riot” Charges Against Amy Goodman For Reporting On Pipeline Protest
    • Democracy Now reporter to return to state to face charges

      A journalist facing criminal charges after reporting on a clash between private security and protesters at a Dakota Access Pipeline protest will return to North Dakota within the next week to face the accusations, said Tom Dickson, the Bismarck-based attorney representing Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now.

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 16/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC1, Wine 1.9.21

Posted in News Roundup at 11:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • NFV trends and open source SDN work with OpenDaylight

    Open source continues to gain momentum and is said to remain central to ongoing development and deployment of NFV and SDN for telecommunication operators

    The open source community remains active in bolstering support for the telecommunication market’s move towards network virtualization platforms using software-defined networking and network functions virtualization.

    In the past month alone, new platform iterations from the Open Platform for NFV project with its Colorado release; fellow Linux Foundation organization OpenDaylight with its Boron SDN platform; and the Open Networking Laboratory’s Open Network Operating System Project with its SDN-focused Hummingbird platform.

  • Google releases Open Source Report Card — does the company deserve an A+?

    The future of computing is open source. While there is still room for closed source software, more and more companies are going the open route. Major players such as Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook are all contributing to the open source community. Google in particular is a huge proponent of open source. Heck, two of the company’s operating systems — Chrome OS and Android — are Linux distributions.

    Today, the search giant announces the ‘Open Source Report Card’. This is essentially a report that explains the details of its open source projects. Google is undoubtedly a major open source contributor, but the question is, what grade should the company get?

    “Today we’re sharing our first Open Source Report Card, highlighting our most popular projects, sharing a few statistics and detailing some of the projects we’ve released in 2016. We’ve open sourced over 20 million lines of code to date and you can find a listing of some of our best known project releases on our website”, says Josh Simmons, Open Source Programs Office.

  • My FOSS Journey and Why I am applying for a Toptal Scholarship

    When I graduated from my high school in India, our class had an almost 50-50 ratio of boys-to-girls. My graduating class in one of India’s premier engineering institutions had less than 10%. It was even more interesting to see that there were more than 20% girls enrolled in Bachelors in Design (which offered courses like Product Design, Human Computer Interaction and User Experience Research) while there were none in Mechanical Engineering since the last three graduating classes. Was it that Design was considered a relatively non-technical course ? While I have never been openly discouraged from pursuing a career in technology – a predominantly male-populated field – there has always been an unconscious bias even from within my family. When I wanted to apply for a degree course in Mechanical Engineering, I was asked to take some more time to think about my future – was gently nudged towards more female-friendly engineering fields like Computer Science which wouldn’t involve as much strenuous physical effort. Was it even sublte experiences like this which had contributed towards the gender gap ? This feeling of being an ‘outsider’ in a predominantly male field never left till I started contributing to Open Source.

    I first learnt about Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) via Outreachy, a program designed to increase participation of minorities in FOSS. I liked the fact that the program had no knowledge prerequisites so that anyone interested in contributing to FOSS could be a part of it.

  • Hello fans and followers of open source voting in San Francisco!

    The Open Source Initiative works with a variety of organizations to promote the adoption of open source software throughout government. San Francisco Elections Commissioner Chris Jerdonek provides the OSI with a breakdown of the latest happening with San Francisco’s efforts to develop and certify the country’s first open source voting system!

  • Events

    • Announcing Google Code-in 2016 and Google Summer of Code 2017

      One of the goals of the Open Source Programs Office is to encourage more people to contribute to open source software. One way we achieve that goal is through our student programs, Google Summer of Code (for university students) and Google Code-in (for pre-university students).

      Over 15,000 students from more than 100 countries have worked with 23,000 mentors and contributed to 560+ open source projects, so we’re excited to announce the next round of these programs.

  • Databases

    • MySQL 8.0: The end of MyISAM

      This blog discusses the gradual end of MyISAM in MySQL.

      The story that started 20 years ago is coming to its end. I’m talking about the old MyISAM storage engine that was the only storage provided by MySQL in 1995, and was available in MySQL for 20+ years. Actually, part of my job as a MySQL consultant for 10+ years was to discover MyISAM tables and advise customers how to convert those to InnoDB.

    • Devs Await Open Source Word After Commercial RethinkDB Effort Fails

      With the company behind the RethinkDB project having failed and its engineering team scooped up by Stripe, Big Data developers are awaiting further word on plans to continue it as fully open source.

      Although failing to achieve commercial success, the RethinkDB database was lauded by many developers for its different approach and solid technology on developer-oriented social sites such as Hacker News and Reddit.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • First LibreOffice 5.3 BugHunting Session

      LibreOffice is approaching the 5.3 release season with the first bug hunting session, on Friday, October 21, 2016. Tests will be performed on the Alpha version of LibreOffice 5.3, which will be available on the pre-releases server (http://dev-builds.libreoffice.org/pre-releases/) a few days before the event. Builds will be available for Linux (DEB and RPM), MacOS and Windows, and will run in parallel with the actual installation.

  • CMS

    • When it Comes to Open CMS Solutions, Take a Test Drive First

      Datamation is out with an extensive evaluation of which open source content management systems (CMS) really stand out, which is a topic near and dear to us here at OStatic. Our site runs on Drupal, which powers many sites around the web, but there are key differences between CMS offerings, and if you’re looking for the right solution, we have some good resources for you.

      The Datamation story provides a nice overview of the open CMS space, but here are some of out favorite ways to go about evaluating which is the right CMS for you.

      Marking a true renaissance for tools that can help anyone run a top-notch website or manage content in the cloud, open source content management systems (CMS) have come of age. You’re probably familiar with some of the big names in this arena, including Drupal (which Ostatic is based on) and Joomla. As we noted in this post, selecting a CMS to build around can be a complicated process, since the publishing tools provided are hardly the only issue.

  • Microsoft and Openwashing

  • Public Services/Government

    • The White House open sources President Obama’s Facebook Messenger bot

      The White House today shared open source code for President Obama’s Facebook Messenger bot to help other governments build their own bots.

      The White House says it’s sharing the code “with the hope that other governments and developers can build similar services — and foster similar connections with their citizens — with significantly less upfront investment,” according to a post published today by chief digital officer for the White House Jason Goldman.

      In August, the White House launched a Facebook Messenger bot to receive messages from American citizens. The messages are read alongside letters and other communique sent to the president.

      The open source Drupal module for the president’s bot is available to download on Github.

      “While Drupal may not be the platform others would immediately consider for building a bot, this new White House module will allow non-developers to create bot interactions (with customized language and workflows), and empower other governments and agencies who already use Drupal to power their digital experiences,” Goldman said on the White House website today.

    • Obama’s Facebook Messenger Bot Is Now “Open Source” And Available On GitHub
    • Why the White House is open-sourcing its chatbot code
    • White House open-sources chatbot
    • White House encourages local governments to embrace chatbots
    • Governments favor open source, Google releases 3 new projects, and more news: Russia and the Netherlands propose moves to open source

      For years now, governments throughout Europe have been enthusiastically adopting open source software. Their main reasons for doing so have been to lower costs and to be able to modify the software to suit their needs. Governments in Russia and the Netherlands are following that trend, but for divergent reasons.

      The Russian Duma announced earlier this month that it’s drafting a law to give preference to open source over proprietary software. Specifically, “the law will require local agencies to give preference to open source software and justify any purchases of proprietary software.” In an interview with Bloomberg News, Duma official Andrey Chernogorov cites security as a major driver behind this shift. Much of the government’s IT infrastructure is based on proprietary, foreign-made platforms, and Chernogorov said that the Russian government is “seeking to close this loophole for state purchases, as it causes security risks.”

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • Senate supports open-source initiatives

        The ASWSU Senate passed a resolution to support the Office of the Provost’s open education initiatives at its meeting on Wednesday. The resolution supports the use of the OpenStax program to provide textbooks created with open-source material.

        This does not force professors to use a book that does not perfectly line up with their curriculum because they can freely edit and update the source material, said Sen. Matthew Morrow, author of the resolution.

        Researchers and professors collaborate to create open-source textbooks for students at other universities to use. Morrow said they are targeting UCORE courses because open-source textbooks are currently less suitable for upper-level classes.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

  • Programming/Development

    • TFW an obituary you wrote five years ago goes viral

      This is not a new phenomenon. Social media snap-posts have killed off celebrities hundreds of times before their actual deaths (to the point where some have required websites to constantly fact-check their mortality). Facebook is full of years-late “RIP” posts. The Internet may never forget, but the humans who use it have become increasingly absent-minded.

      It wasn’t even just my story that went viral—a similar Guardian story also resurfaced, probably because of the same “memories” feature on Facebook or some other social media feature that dredges up old content. Still, there was something personally unsettling about having words I had written in tribute of “dmr”—a man whom I credited personally for making my early exposure to computing and its potential possible—suddenly resurface five years later.

      The first few times I spotted Twitter acting up, I thanked people for resurfacing the story after so much time. But reading the post again—partially to make sure I hadn’t somehow written another tribute subconsciously from my perch at my dad’s bedside—was affecting in ways I didn’t expect. Maybe I got emotional because I was in a hospital room with my father, who was recovering from an other-than-routine knee replacement surgery, and I had spent the day before sitting in a surgical waiting room.

    • Tracing HTTP request latency in Go with OpenTracing
    • How it feels to learn JavaScript in 2016
    • Why should students learn to write code?

      There are lots of efforts underway to get students (young and old) to learn to write code. There are far-reaching efforts, like the Hour of Code, and plenty of smaller, more focused projects, such as the Design and Technology Academy (part of Northeast ISD here in San Antonio, Texas). These are excellent programs that enrich the education of many students.


  • Smartphones are “contaminating” family life, study suggests

    Parents, which do you respond to first – your ring tone or your toddler’s crying?

    Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets can be distracting from child-rearing, upending family routines and fueling stress in the home, a small, new study finds.

    Incoming communication from work, friends and the world at large is “contaminating” family mealtime, bedtime and playtime, said study lead author Dr. Jenny Radesky. She’s an assistant professor of developmental behavioral pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School.

    Her comments stem from her team’s study involving interviews with 35 parents and caregivers of young children in the Boston area.

  • Science

    • FCC CIO encourages creative problem solving in IT through compassionate leadership

      When speaking with Dr. David Bray, senior executive and CIO of the U.S. Federal Communication Commission, he is always quick to assign all the credit for achievements within his organization to his team of interdisciplinary change agents – from a successful move to the cloud, to saving millions on a legacy technology upgrade.

      Bray is firm in his belief that if digital C-Suite leaders aren’t first and foremost inspiring people to be creative problem solvers, their organizations simply won’t be able to move with the speed or the resiliency necessary to survive in the fast-paced digital world. Further, he says that leading a team of diverse change agents who are intrinsically motivated takes a unique approach. We touched base with Bray to learn more.

    • Opinion: Stop Submitting Papers

      PIXABAY, STARTUPSTOCKPHOTOSI woke up to three requests for review, and two papers to handle as a subject editor. It is unusual, but it happens. I declined to do all the reviews. This is not sustainable.

      Over the last six months, I kept informal track of the reviews I received, both as an author and as a subject editor. In the overwhelming majority of papers, about half of the “major” points were actually not major, but things that improve the paper because the reviewers see it from a different perspective.

      This is burdening the peer review process for very little return (because these comments, important as they may be, do not make the paper more correct or more robust).

      Here is what we should do: stop submitting papers to journals.

      Wait, what? No, I mean it. We should write our draft, go over it with our coauthors, and then put it on a preprint server. And wait. Some reasonable amount of time. A year, maybe. After a year, when we had the opportunity to share this paper with colleagues, then we can submit it.

    • Winner of the Norwegian Digitalisation Prize 2016, Deichmanske Public Library in Oslo

      A movie that shows that putting the user at the hub and thinking untraditionally makes exctiting things happen.

    • Status digitalisation in the Norwegian Public Sector
    • Digitalisation for Renewing, Simplifying and Improving the Norwegian Public Sector
  • Hardware

    • AMD x86 Zen Architecture Will Implement Game Changing Encryption Features Such as SME, SEV and HW Based SHA – Not Present In SkyLake or KabyLake

      Today I will be talking about a very disruptive feature that will be present in AMD’s upcoming compute architecture. Disruptive is probably the most misused word in the history of technology and I do not use it casually. While the readers of this site consist primarily of technology enthusiasts, for whom this news may not mean much. From a company like AMD’s standpoint, a vast majority of revenue will come from the Enterprise segment. For Enterprise users, data security is a very important consideration and on that front AMD Zen will be introducing some very significant advanced encryption features, such as SME and SEV. These features are not present in any competing Intel architecture.

  • Security

    • Friday’s security advisories
    • Metasploit eyeing Linux and usability improvements; iOS support uncertain

      Engineers at Rapid7, which owns the popular Metasploit penetration testing tool, are preparing a variety of enhancements for the ramp-up to version 5.0 in 2017.

      Metasploit evolved in 2003, Rapid7 acquired it from the original developers in 2009, and fourth-generation software debuted in 2011. Metasploit Pro is currently in version 4.2 and costs several thousand dollars for a license; Metasploit Framework currently in version 4.12.33 is open source, officials explained.

    • Self-Checkout Skimmers Go Bluetooth

      This blog has featured several stories about payment card skimming devices designed to be placed over top of credit card terminals in self-checkout lanes at grocery stores and other retailers. Many readers have asked for more details about the electronics that power these so-called “overlay” skimmers. Here’s a look at one overlay skimmer equipped with Bluetooth technology that allows thieves to snarf swiped card data and PINs wirelessly using nothing more than a mobile phone.

      The rather crude video below shows a Bluetooth enabled overlay skimmer crafted to be slipped directly over top of Ingenico iSC250 credit card terminals. These Ingenico terminals are widely used at countless U.S. based merchants; earlier this year I wrote about Ingenico overlay skimmers being found in self-checkout lanes at some WalMart locations.

    • 10-year-old OpenSSH vulnerability caught up in IoT DDoS attacks [iophk: "not an actual ssh problem despite the parrots"]

      THE THREAT WRANGLERS AT Akamai have come up with something new for us to worry about, except that it isn’t so much new as a decade old.

      An OpenSSH vulnerability is being used to fuel distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on the bloody Internet of Things (IoT).

      DDoS attacks are a constant pain, but attacks on the IoT are relatively new. A combination of the two would be a problem, unless you are the kind of company that makes its business discovering this kind of thing.

      “Researchers at Akamai have been monitoring the growth of attacks leveraging IoT devices,” said Eric Kobrin, director of adversarial resilience at Akamai, in a blog post about the SSHowDowN Proxy.

    • a single byte write opened a root execution exploit

      As one of the maintainers of the c-ares project I’m receiving mails for suspected security problems in c-ares and this was such a one. In this case, the email with said subject came from an individual who had reported a ChromeOS exploit to Google.

      It turned out that this particular c-ares flaw was one important step in a sequence of necessary procedures that when followed could let the user execute code on ChromeOS from JavaScript – as the root user. I suspect that is pretty much the worst possible exploit of ChromeOS that can be done. I presume the reporter will get a fair amount of bug bounty reward for this.

    • Parrot Security 3.2 “CyberSloop” Ethical Hacking OS Is Out with Linux Kernel 4.7

      Today, October 15, 2016, the ParrotSec team unleashed the second point release to the Debian-based Parrot Security 3.x GNU/Linux distribution designed for ethical hackers and security researchers.

    • Parrot Security 3.2 “CyberSloop” Ethical Hacking OS With Linux Kernel 4.7 Released
    • Alpine edge has switched to libressl

      We decided to replace openssl with libressl because we believe it is a better library. While OpenSSL is trying to fix the broken code, libressl has simply removed it.

    • German nuclear plant infected with computer viruses, operator says

      A nuclear power plant in Germany has been found to be infected with computer viruses, but they appear not to have posed a threat to the facility’s operations because it is isolated from the internet, the station’s operator said on Monday.

      The Gundremmingen plant, located about 120 km northwest of Munich, is run by the German utility RWE.

      The viruses, which include “W32.Ramnit” and “Conficker”, were discovered at Gundremmingen’s B unit in a computer system retrofitted in 2008 with data visualisation software associated with equipment for moving nuclear fuel rods, RWE said.

    • The Slashdot Interview With Security Expert Mikko Hypponen: ‘Backupception’

      Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer at security firm F-Secure, has answered a range of your questions. Read on to find his insight on the kind of security awareness training we need, whether anti-virus products are relevant anymore, and whether we have already lost the battle to bad guys. Bonus: his take on whether or not you should take backups of your data.

    • SourceClear Brings Secure Continuous Delivery to the Developer Workflow [Ed: I don’t trust them; they’re Microsoft connected with a negative track record]
    • Serious security: Three changes that could turn the tide on hackers

      The state of tech security is currently so dire that it feels like anything you have ever stored on a computer, or a company or government has ever stored about you, has already been hacked into by somebody.

    • Crypto needs more transparency, researchers warn

      Researchers with at the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA) and the University of Pennsylvania have called for security standards-setters to publish the seeds for the prime numbers on which their standards rely.

      The boffins also demonstrated again that 1,024-bit primes can no longer be considered secure, by publishing an attack using “special number field sieve” (SNFS) mathematics to show that an attacker could create a prime that looks secure, but isn’t.

      Since the research is bound to get conspiracists over-excited, it’s worth noting: their paper doesn’t claim that any of the cryptographic primes it mentions have been back-doored, only that they can no longer be considered secure.

      “There are opaque, standardised 1024-bit and 2048-bit primes in wide use today that cannot be properly verified”, the paper states.

      Joshua Fried and Nadia Heninger (University of Pennsylvania) worked with Pierrick Gaudry and Emmanuel Thomé (INRIA at the University of Lorraine on the paper, here.

      They call for 2,048-bit keys to be based on “standardised primes” using published seeds, because too many crypto schemes don’t provide any way to verify that the seeds aren’t somehow back-doored.

    • Is Let’s Encrypt the Largest Certificate Authority on the Web?

      By the time you read this, Let’s Encrypt will have issued its 12 millionth certificate, of which 6 million are active and unexpired. With these milestones, Let’s Encrypt now appears to us to be the the Internet’s largest certificate authority—but a recent analysis by W3Techs said we were only the third largest. So in this post we investigate: how big is Let’s Encrypt, really?

  • Defence/Aggression

    • U.S. Enters Yemen War Directly for the First Time With Attack on Houthis

      When the Houthis fired on the U.S.S. Mason earlier this week, sailors were able to deploy countermeasures and the ship was not damaged.

      The Department of Defense issued a statement describing the U.S. attack as a series of “limited self-defense strikes,” but promised to “respond to any further threat” to U.S. ships “as appropriate.”

      “The intent of our strikes were to deter future attacks and to reduce the risk to U.S. and other vessels,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said Thursday. “We are prepared to respond if necessary to any future missile launches.”

      The U.S. Navy tweeted a video of the destroyer U.S.S. Nitze launching cruise missiles, captioning it with the hashtag “#Yemen” — commonly used by activists to draw attention to the humanitarian catastrophe.

    • Biden vows US will retaliate against Russia for hacks

      Vice President Biden is vowing the U.S. will retaliate against Russia for its alleged hacking of American political groups.

      “We’re sending a message,” Biden said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that will air Sunday.

      Biden did not detail the type of response the U.S. is preparing but said Russian President Vladimir Putin will “know it” when it happens.

      “It will be at the time of our choosing,” he added. “And under the circumstances that have the greatest impact.”

      The vice president is the highest-ranking member of the Obama administration who has pledged a response to Russia for its alleged hacking.

      His comments come a week after the administration took the unprecedented step of publicly blaming Moscow for hacking the computer systems of political organizations with the goal of influencing the outcome of the November elections.

      The Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the hacks of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and campaign officials were authorized by senior Kremlin officials.

    • The Left’s Fatal Dismissal of Islamic Imperialism

      There is a general dearth of leftist discourse critical of Islamism in the English speaking West. In fact, the dominant leftist discourse in that regard is characterized by a mixture of portraying Islam as the ultimate victim and Islamism as a force of resistance to, or at least an excusable reaction to, Western policies. Meanwhile, millions of people throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) continue to struggle against the rising wave of Islamism on a daily basis in the absence of acknowledgement or support from the Western left.

      For the colonized peoples of the MENA region such as Amazighs, Assyro-Chaldeans, Copts, Nubis, Kurds, and Yezidis, Islamic imperialism is the most serious threat to their very existence. One would hope that the situation of these peoples would form the foundational parameters of the international left’s outlook on the MENA region. However, it is far more often the right in the West that takes issue with the genocidal campaigns waged against these peoples.

    • Hiding US Role in Yemen Slaughter So Bombing Can Be Sold as ‘Self-Defense’

      To hear US corporate media tell it, the US was dragged into a brand new war on Wednesday.

      US destroyers in the Gulf of Aden launched airstrikes against Houthi rebels, a Shia insurgent group currently withstanding a massive bombing campaign from a Saudi-led coalition in a year-and-half conflict between largely Shia rebels and the Saudi-backed Sunni government in Yemen. The Pentagon insisted that cruise missiles had been fired onto the USS Mason on Sunday and Wednesday from Houthi-controlled territory, and called the airstrikes a “limited self-defense” response.

      Needless to say, US media followed the Pentagon’s lead. The fact that the United States has been literally fueling Saudi warplanes for 18 months while selling weapons and providing intelligence support to the Gulf monarchy—acts which even the US State Department believes could expose the US to war crimes prosecution—was either downplayed or ignored. Nor did media recall the US’s long history of drone warfare in Yemen, where the military and CIA have been carrying out long-range assassinations since 2002, killing more than 500 people, including at least 65 civilians.


      Why are American ships in those waters? Why are Tomahawk missiles “flying”? The conflict is never explained; it’s only brought up so that Maddow can warn that the GOP nominee could make things worse. Of course, it isn’t Trump who backed the Saudis in an air campaign that’s left thousands dead, but Obama—and it’s Hillary Clinton who as secretary of State enthusiastically pushed to sell warplanes to Riyadh (The Intercept, 2/22/16). But such facts would messy up the election-season narrative.

      Maddow, like the other reports, used the loaded modifier “Iran-backed” to describe the Houthis (even though experts and Pentagon officials think Iran’s support is overblown). This is a stark asymmetry, considering that none of the reports referred to the Yemeni government as “US-backed” or “Saudi-backed.” She also said that the Navy blamed the attacks on the Houthis, when the Pentagon only claims the missiles came from rebel territory, and could very well be from other allied groups (New York Times, 10/13/16).

      Not only is the US’s backing of Saudi Arabia omitted from all these reports, the word “Saudi” isn’t uttered in any of them. The viewer is given the impression that the war, aside from Iranian meddling, is an entirely internal affair—when it actually involves over 15 different countries, mostly Sunni monarchies propping up the Yemeni government—and that the rebels just randomly decided to pick a fight with the largest military in the history of the world.

      The Houthis, for their part, vehemently deny having carried out the attack on the Mason, and there is no publicly available evidence it was them or allied forces. It should be noted, however, that Houthi forces took credit for sinking a United Arab Emirates supply ship two weeks earlier.

      As is often the case with war, the issue of “first blood”—or who started the fighting—gets muddied. Governments naturally want global audiences and their own citizens to view their actions as defensive—a necessary response to aggression, not aggression itself. US corporate media are aiding this official spin in their reporting on the US bombing of Yemen.

    • Regime Change In The Philippines

      When will the neoconservative chant begin: “Duterte must go”? Or will the CIA assassinate him?

      President Rodrigo Duterte has indicated that he intends a more independent foreign policy. He has announced upcoming visits to China and Russia, and his foreign minister has declared that it is time for the Philippines to end its subservience to Washington. In this sense, regime change has already occurred.

      Duterte has suspended military maneuvers with the US. His defense minister said that the Philippines can get along without US military aid and prefers cooperation over conflict with China.

    • I Support a No-Fly Zone in Syria – A Real One that Applies to NATO Too

      When the neo-cons in the UK parliament and the serial warmonger Hillary Clinton call for a “no-fly zone” they actually mean the opposite. They mean that NATO should be given untrammelled access to the airspace to carry out mass bombings – but that nobody else should.

      We saw it in Libya. The argument goes like this. NATO aircraft need to enforce the no-fly zone. To do this in safety, they need to attack and destroy any ground to air weapons capabilities on the ground. That does not just include surface to air missiles, both carriage mounted and hand held, but anything that can be pointed upwards and fired. They need to take out by more bombing any stores that may house such weapons. They need to take out any radar installations, including civilian ones, that may pinpoint NATO aircraft. They need to destroy any runways and hangars, including civilian ones. They need to destroy by bombing all military command and control centres, including those in built up areas. They need to destroy the infrastructure on which air defence relies, including electricity generation and water supply, including civilian assets.

      I am not exaggerating. That really is the doctrine of NATO for enforcing a “no fly zone”, as previously witnessed in Iraq and Libya. It really was NATO aircraft which did to the beautiful Mediterranean town of Sirte the destruction which you see in that picture – in order to enforce a no-fly zone. Enforcement of the no-fly zone was the only authorisation NATO had for the massive bombing campaign on Libya which enabled regime change, which enabled rival jihadist militias to take over the country. They showed their gratitude by murdering the US Ambassador. The failure of central government led to Libya becoming the operating site from which a number now in the hundreds of thousands of boat refugees have crossed to Europe.

    • How Much Will Brexit Add to the Cost of Trident and Hinkley Point?

      The spectacular and continuing fall in the value of the pound will add over £50 billion to the cost of Trident. Yes, bits of steel are being welded together in the UK, but the steel is imported and so is the missile technology.

      Similarly, Hinkley Point will be in trouble. The Chinese and French are to build it against guarantees of income from future energy prices fixed at double the cost of current wholesale electricity. But the hard currency value of that income has now been slashed. I do not know the precise details of the contracts, but the French and Chinese not being stupid, my guess is that their income from it is set in a proper stable currency not in sterling. Which means that electricity prices to the British consumer will have to not just double as planned, but go up 50% again, to cover the diminished value of sterling.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Pamela Anderson reveals fears for Wikileaks’ Julian Assange on Embassy visit

      Pamela Anderson has revealed her fears over Julian Assange’s health after visiting him at the Ecuadorian Embassy.

      The former Playboy model said the WikiLeaks founder was doing “really well” but expressed concern for him and his family.

      The Australian has been living in the embassy for over four years and has been granted political asylum by Ecuador.

      He is due to be questioned over a sex allegation in Sweden – which he denies. Mr Assange believes that if he goes to Sweden he will be extradited to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • As She Campaigns With Al Gore, New Emails Show Hillary Told Environmentalists to ‘Get a Life’

      Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s relationship with the environmental movement has never exactly been the epitome of cordiality. At a campaign event in March, she blew up at a Greenpeace activist who asked her about her relationship with fossil fuel companies. Annoyed at the young woman’s question, she angrily pointed her finger at her and said she was “sick!” of the Bernie Sanders campaign lying about her. Now, thanks to WikiLeaks, we have proof that Clinton outright mocked green activists in her speeches to trade unions.

    • Greenland Is Very Mad About the Toxic Waste the US Left Buried Under Its Ice

      Greenland isn’t happy about being treated as a dumping ground for abandoned US military bases established at the height of the Cold War—and in a newspaper editorial, it’s calling on Denmark to deal with the mess left behind by the Americans, since the Danish long ago took responsibility for them. This editorial notes that, after decades, Greenland is “losing its patience.”

      One of the abandoned bases, called Camp Century, is full of nasty chemicals and some radioactive material, as Motherboard previously reported.

      At Camp Century, which was built in 1959, soldiers called “Iceworms” practiced deployment of missiles against Russia and literally lived inside the ice. When the US decommissioned the base in the 1960s, the military left basically everything behind, thinking that its waste would stay locked up in the Greenland ice sheet forever.

      Well, climate change has made that unlikely. Melting ice threatens to expose all kinds of toxic debris in decades to come, and Greenland wants it cleaned up, now.

    • Climate change: ‘Monumental’ deal to cut HFCs, fastest growing greenhouse gases

      More than 150 countries have reached a deal described as “monumental” to phase out gases that are making global warming worse.

      Hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) are widely used in fridges, air conditioning and aerosol sprays.

      Delegates meeting in Rwanda accepted a complex amendment to the Montreal Protocol that will see richer countries cut back their HFC use from 2019.

      But some critics say the compromise may have less impact than expected.

    • Nations, Fighting Powerful Refrigerant That Warms Planet, Reach Landmark Deal

      Negotiators from more than 170 countries on Saturday reached a legally binding accord to counter climate change by cutting the worldwide use of a powerful planet-warming chemical used in air-conditioners and refrigerators.

      The talks in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, did not draw the same spotlight as the climate change accord forged in Paris last year. But the outcome could have an equal or even greater impact on efforts to slow the heating of the planet.

      President Obama called the deal “an ambitious and far-reaching solution to this looming crisis.”

    • Bernie Sanders Just Asked President Obama to Halt the Dakota Access Pipeline

      The Dakota Access pipeline currently hangs in a state of uncertainty. On October 9, a federal appeals court dismissed the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s request for a permanent injunction to stop to the project. Meanwhile, Obama administration officials continue to stall; one day after the court ruling, the departments of Justice, Interior, and the Army issued a joint statement refusing to authorize construction along part of the proposed route.

      And while a federal review of the permitting process began this week, a handful of Senate Democrats, led by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, have now penned a powerful letter to President Barack Obama, calling on him to suspend all construction permits for the project and to order a full environmental impact statement. Check it out below.

    • NOAA Collects Aerial Imagery in Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

      From October 7-10, 2016, the National Geodetic Survey collected damage assessment imagery for more than 1,200 square miles in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. The aerial imagery was collected in specific areas identified by FEMA and the National Weather Service.

    • ‘All the Warning Signs Are There, Loud and Clear’ – CounterSpin interview with Dahr Jamail on climate disruption

      New research on attitudes to climate change suggests that people believe they are entitled to their own facts on the matter, even as scientific evidence points one way, only one way, and every day more urgently. Corporate media bear some responsibility: years of matching every piece of evidence with some statement of doubt or denial, years of placing scientific consensus alongside politicians’ folkloric ideas as though they merited the same sort of attention.

  • Finance

    • The Tax Code for the Ultra-Rich vs. the One for Everyone Else

      The revelation of details from Donald Trump’s 1995 state tax returns created exactly the political firestorm that it merited. Before they came to light, the Republican presidential candidate’s flimsy excuses for not releasing his returns produced two lines of speculation: Either he wasn’t as rich as he claimed, or he wasn’t paying any taxes. Trump’s colossal $916 million loss in 1995 partially confirmed both theories, with opponents portraying him as a bumbling businessman who exploits tax loopholes to shift his losses onto ordinary taxpayers.

      When it comes to tax policy, however, Trump’s tax returns are a distraction that crowds out more important issues. In The New York Times, the columnist James Stewart outlined how to prevent Trump’s particular form of tax avoidance: Shorten the period in which losses can be used to offset income, limit the deduction for depreciation, and so on. These are perfectly good solutions—to a minor issue. The poster child for the problems of the tax code isn’t Donald Trump; it’s Warren Buffett.

    • Why For-Profit Education Fails

      Earlier this year, LeapFrog Enterprises, the educational-entertainment business, sold itself for $1 a share. The deal came several months after LeapFrog received a warning from the New York Stock Exchange that it would be delisted if the value of its stock did not improve, a disappointing end to the public life of a company that had the best-performing IPO of 2002.

      LeapFrog was one of the very last remaining of the dozens of investments made by Michael Milken through his ambitiously named Knowledge Universe. Founded in 1996 by Milken and his brother, Lowell, with the software giant Oracle’s CEO, Larry Ellison, as a silent partner, Knowledge Universe aspired to transform education. Its founders intended it to become, in Milken’s phrase, “the pre-eminent for-profit education and training company,” serving the world’s needs “from cradle to grave.”

    • The battle of Hastings: What’s behind the Netflix CEO’s fight to charterize public schools?

      Silicon Valley electrical engineer Brett Bymaster was optimistic when Rocketship Education, a non-profit charter school chain, began building its flagship Mateo Sheedy elementary school next to his San Jose home in 2007. He and his family lived in a lower-income community, so he figured the new approach could help local kids. “I didn’t know anything about charter schools, so I thought it was a good thing,” he said.

      But the more he learned about Rocketship and charter schools, which receive government funding but operate independently of local school boards, the more concerned he became. He was struck by the school’s cramped quarters: over 600 students on a one-acre campus, compared to the 9.2 acres per 450 students recommended for elementary schools by the California Department of Education. All those students meant big classes; last year Mateo Sheedy had one teacher for every 34 students, more than the maximum allowed for traditional elementary schools under state law.

      The teacher deficit seemed to be compensated for with screen time: Thanks to its so-called “blended learning” approach, Rocketship kindergarteners were spending 80 to 90 minutes a day in front of computers in a school learning lab, nearly the daily maximum screen time recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. And when the kids weren’t in front of computers, they seemed to be getting disciplined throughout their extra-long school days. Bymaster says he’d constantly see teachers yelling at students. “It’s a military-style environment,” noted Bymaster, who spearheaded a 2013 lawsuit that caused Rocketship to scrap one of its planned San Jose schools. “It’s really a kill-and-drill kind of school.”

    • On TTIP, CETA, free trade and a free and open Internet

      I’m a free marketeer. I believe that free trade would be hugely beneficial for all.

      I also believe in a free and open Internet. Especially as it provides a level playing field on which entrepreneurs from all over the world can join a global market, 24/7.

      And I’m not at all happy with politicians and bureaucrats trying to force me to choose between the two.

      The CETA (EU-Canada) and TTIP (EU-US) trade agreements are problematic. CETA will undermine Europeans right to data protection and privacy online. The same goes for TTIP, which also might contain intellectual property regulations undermining the principle that Internet service providers are not responsible for what their customers are up to in their cables (the mere conduit principle). That would have huge implications, leading to a strictly controlled Internet where everything you are up to must be approved in advance. When it comes to TTIP, we still have no comprehensive information about what is going to be included or not when it comes to IP – as negotiations are carried out behind closed doors.

      Also, the ISDS mechanism in these trade agreements will make a much needed and long overdue copyright reform impossible.

    • CETA puts the protection of our privacy and personal data at risk

      We are constantly sharing parts of our lives on the internet. We feel free to do this because we believe that we can still preserve some privacy and remain in control of what we share. Governments have a moral and legal duty to protect our privacy, prevent abuses and preserve a climate of trust. This is done through laws. Nowadays, our online privacy and the protection of our personal information are threatened in “creative” ways. One of these ways can be found in the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union. Unlike traditional “trade agreements”, CETA goes far beyond trade, touching upon privacy and data protection, as well as other fundamental rights.

      Fifteen years ago, the European Union formally recognised that Canada offered EU citizens an adequate level of protection of their privacy and personal information, and this permitted EU data to be exported to Canada without additional restrictions. However, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) has recently clarified in the Schrems case that this means that non-EU countries must provide not just “adequate” but essentially equivalent protection as the EU does.

    • Boris Johnson’s ‘secret’ case against Brexit

      Boris Johnson thought Britain should stay in the European Union to avoid worsening “geostrategic anxiety” and a potential break-up of the United Kingdom, according to a “secret,” unpublished newspaper column by the foreign secretary.

      Johnson, the former mayor of London, was the figurehead for the Leave campaign in the run-up to the June 23 Brexit vote, but had flirted with supporting the other side earlier in the year.

    • Aide Planted Anti-Bank Comments in One Paid Clinton Speech to Throw Reporters Off the Scent

      A top aide calculatingly inserted a passage critical of the financial industry into one of Hillary Clinton’s many highly-paid speeches to big banks, “precisely for the purpose of having something we could show people if ever asked what she was saying behind closed doors for two years to all those fat cats,” he wrote in an email posted by Wikileaks.

      In late November 2015, campaign speechwriter Dan Schwerin wrote an email to other top aides floating the idea of leaking that passage, which had come in a speech Clinton gave to Deutsche Bank in October 2014 in return for $260,000.

      “I wrote her a long riff about economic fairness and how the financial industry has lost its way,” for that purpose, Schwerin wrote. “Perhaps at some point there will be value in sharing this with a reporter and getting a story written. Upside would be that when people say she’s too close to Wall Street and has taken too much money from bankers, we can point to evidence that she wasn’t afraid to speak truth to power.”

      Another email, from among the thousands posted by Wikileaks over the past week from Hillary Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta’s Gmail account, shows how panicked members of the Clinton campaign intervened at the last minute to cancel a paid Bill Clinton speech to Morgan Stanley because it was timed too close to the launch of her campaign — against the initial wishes of the candidate herself.

      In the passage that Schwerin wanted to leak from Clinton’s speech to Deutsche Bank, she quoted Chicago Mercantile Exchange president Terry Duffy warning that “some Wall Streeters can too easily slip into regarding their work as a kind of moneymaking game divorced from the concerns of Main Street.”

      In his email to his fellow aides, however, Schwerin recognized that the press response might not be entirely in the campaign’s favor. “Downside would be that we could then be pushed to release transcripts from all her paid speeches, which would be less helpful (although probably not disastrous). In the end, I’m not sure this is worth doing, but wanted to flag it so you know it’s out there.”

    • As the Spirit of Enoch Powell Presides Over England, Scotland Must Leave the Union Now

      I am genuinely stunned that, following the competitive racism-fest that was the Tory Party conference, the Tories have gone up in the opinion polls.

      I quite admit my judgement was completely wrong. I was feeling happily that the Tories had finally overreached themselves, and the implications of employers drawing up lists of foreign employees, or primary schools writing to parents demanding birth certificates, would be met with popular revulsion from the inherently decent British people.

      Well, I was wrong. Racism pays, at least in England. After their Conference the Tories are up to 43%. The Tories and UKIP combined are up to 54%. I am afraid it is intellectually dishonest to avoid the grim truth. At present, you cannot be too racist for popular English taste. The underlying theme of the Labour Party conference was Blairite calls for Labour to join in the mood of xenophobia. Of the existence of that mood there can now be no doubt.

    • I am Warming to Nicola

      The BBC spin on Nicola Sturgeon’s speech was that actually it was a move further back from Indyref2. It can be interpreted that way. In effect she was saying that leaving the EU is perhaps not a “material change” triggering Indyref2, only hard Brexit would be a “material change”. On this reading, as given by Brian Taylor of the BBC, the publishing of a draft Indyref bill is simply a sop to placate the SNP troops in the hall.

      But I am satisfied that Nicola has in fact deliberately set conditions for Scotland to remain in the Union which she knows Theresa May will under no circumstances meet. Barring continued full access for Scotland to the single market, which simply cannot happen if England leaves it, then she insists that not only must the powers held by Brussels come to Scotland (eg fisheries) but that Scotland must control its own immigration policy and run its own foreign relations.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Leaked Podesta emails address Obama polling in 2008, executive privilege

      Emails leaked from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s private email account Friday by WikiLeaks addressed using executive privilege to keep the emails between Hillary Clinton and President Obama from being released, a 2008 survey testing reaction to then-Sen. Obama’s Muslim father and use of cocaine, and a suggestion from former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholme on how to take Clinton out of the “bubble.”

    • Roaming Charges: a Wikileak is a Terrible Thing to Waste

      + I’ve spent the week greedily consuming the treats offered up by Wikileaks’s excavation of John Podesta’s inbox. Each day presents juicy new revelations of the venality of the Clinton campaign. In total, the Podesta files provide the most intimate and unadulterated look at how politics really works in late-capitalist America since the release of the Nixon tapes.

      + There’s a big difference, though. With Nixon, the stakes seemed greater, the banter more Machiavellian, the plots and counter-plots darker and more cynical.

      + The Podesta email tranches show the inner mechanics of a much more mundane, petty and banal political machine. Instead of shaping a campaign around an ideological movement, the Clinton operation resembles the packaging of a political mutual fund, a balanced, low-risk portfolio of financial interests, captive NGOs and dependent demographic sectors.

      + The red meat in the emails can be found in the disclosures of the internal rivalries, self-aggrandizement and sycophancy of hired guns and consultants, especially as they gravitate toward Podesta, whose chilly presence looms behind the scenes like the ghost of Thomas Cromwell.

    • Latest Wikileaks Releases Boost Case for DNC Class Action Lawsuit

      Shortly after the Democratic Primaries, attorneys Jared Beck and Elizabeth Beck, Harvard and Yale Law School graduates, filed a class action lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee and disgraced former DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, for the millions of Bernie Sanders supporters they allegedly suppressed and silenced. The latest Wikileaks releases of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s emails has revealed further evidence that the scales were heavily tipped in favor of Hillary Clinton by both the DNC and the mainstream media.

      “The latest documents provided by Wikileaks confirm and add considerable detail to what prior leaks have disclosed: that the DNC was actively working to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign while colluding with the Hillary Clinton campaign behind the scenes,” Jared Beck told the Observer. “This is further evidence in support of our lawsuit, which seeks to hold the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz accountable under the law for their failure to ensure a fair and neutral presidential nominating process.”

      The latest leaks include evidence current DNC interim chair Donna Brazile forwarded the Clinton campaign information about the Sanders campaign while she served as DNC vice chair and was obligated to remain neutral per the DNC Charter. Brazile also tipped off the Clinton campaign to a planned question on the death penalty the day before a Democratic town hall on CNN. “As soon as the nomination is wrapped up, I will be your biggest surrogate,” Brazile wrote to Podesta in a January 2016 email.

    • From liberal beacon to a prop for Trump: what has happened to WikiLeaks?

      How did WikiLeaks go from darling of the liberal left and scourge of American imperialism to apparent tool of Donald Trump’s divisive, incendiary presidential campaign?

      Thursday brought another WikiLeaks dump of nearly 2,000 emails hacked from the Hillary Clinton campaign, allegedly by Russians. As usual, they were inside-the-beltway gossip rather than game-changing: the campaign tried to push back the Illinois primary, believing it would make life harder for moderate Republicans.

      That has not stopped Trump trying to make hay from the leaked emails and deflect attention from allegations of sexual harassment against him. “Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “So dishonest! Rigged system!”

    • Want to Know Julian Assange’s Endgame? He Told You a Decade Ago

      Amid a seemingly incessant deluge of leaks and hacks, Washington, DC staffers have learned to imagine how even the most benign email would look a week later on the homepage of a secret-spilling outfit like WikiLeaks or DCLeaks. In many cases, they’ve stopped emailing altogether, deleted accounts, and reconsidered dumbphones. Julian Assange—or at least, a ten-years-younger and more innocent Assange—would say he’s already won.

      After another week of Clinton-related emails roiling this election, the political world has been left to scrub their inboxes, watch their private correspondences be picked over in public, and psychoanalyze WikiLeaks’ inscrutable founder. Once they’re done sterilizing their online lives, they might want to turn to an essay Assange wrote ten years ago, laying out the endgame of his leaking strategy long before he became one of the most controversial figures on the Internet.

    • WikiLeaks Sources Face Serious Charges Following CIA, FBI, DHS Hacks

      Two North Carolina men were arrested in September for their alleged roles in a hacking group responsible for breaching the email accounts of CIA Director John Brennan, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper — and providing the contents to WikiLeaks.

    • David Crosby: America is no longer a democracy

      At three o’clock in the morning on the day we talk, David Crosby woke from a sound sleep and wrote a song. He’ll be the first one to tell you that wasn’t the case years ago when he was touring huge venues with Crosby, Stills and Nash and CSNY in between bouts of his public struggles with drugs, alcohol and prison (he was jailed for five months in 1986 for on weapons and drugs charges).

      But with Lighthouse, a new album due this month, Crosby continues the hot streak he started in 2014 with Croz, his first solo album in 20 years. As a founding member of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills and Nash – and one of the finest voices of his generation – Crosby could well be sitting on his laurels. But the stunning material on Lighthouse, which is focused squarely on his vocals and guitar, suggest he is more creatively engaged than he has been since his much younger days.

    • Warnings of conspiracy stoke anger among Trump faithful

      In an arena normally reserved for ice hockey, the Donald Trump crowd was on edge.

      Some wore shirts with slogans like “[Expletive] Your Feelings” or, in reference to the female Democratic nominee, “Trump that Bitch.” Others had buckets of popcorn, ready for the show. When the media entourage entered, thousands erupted in boos.

      Anger and hostility were the most overwhelming sentiments at a Trump rally in Cincinnati last week, a deep sense of frustration, an us-versus-them mentality, and a belief that they are part of an unstoppable and underestimated movement. Unlike many in the country, however, these hard-core Trump followers do not believe the real estate mogul’s misfortunes are of his own making.

    • Transcripts of Clinton’s Wall Street talks released in new Wikileaks dump

      U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s full remarks to several Wall Street audiences appeared to become public on Saturday when the controversial transparency group Wikileaks dumped its latest batch of hacked emails.

      The documents showed comments by Clinton during question-and-answer sessions with Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and Tim O’Neill, the bank’s head of investment management, at three separate events in 2013 in Arizona, New York and South Carolina.

      Some excerpts of Clinton’s speeches had already been released. For more than a week, Wikileaks has published in stages what it says are hacked emails from the account of John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman.

      Clinton’s campaign has declined to verify the emails. Goldman Sachs did not immediately provide any comment on Saturday.

    • Donald Trump’s Son & Campaign Manager Both Tweet Obviously Fake Story

      It’s no secret that there’s been a huge number of totally fake news websites popping up in the past few years. Apparently, it’s a fun and profitable venture. While some of the fake news sites come up with generic names, like National Report, Hot Global, The Valley Report and Associated Media Coverage, some of the most successful fake news sites just make use of the big well-known broadcaster websites… and just get a .co domain: using nbc.com.co or abcnews.com.co. Some of the hoax stories are really well done — and, yes, even we’ve been fooled, though in our defense, the fake story we fell for… was so believable it became true just months later. But, of course, we’re just a bunch of random bloggers, not a Presidential campaign.

      The Trump campaign, on the other hand, should know better. Amusingly, of course, this week we’ve talked about the Trump campaign’s willingness to fall for hoaxes, but they seemed to take it up a notch this week. I first noticed it when I saw Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway tweet an obviously fake story, claiming that an anti-Trump protestor was really paid by the Clinton campaign.

    • How One Young Black Man Supporting Trump Massively Skews The LA Times Presidential Poll

      Let’s jump right into this, because this post is going to be a bit on the wonky side. It’s presidential silly season, as we have said before, and this iteration of it is particularly bad, like a dumpster fire that suddenly has a thousand gallons of gasoline dropped onto it from a crop-duster flown by a blind zombie. Which, of course, makes it quite fascinating to watch for those of us with an independent persuasion. Chiefly interesting for myself is watching how the polls shift and change with each landmark on this sad, sad journey. It makes poll aggregating groups, such as the excellent Project FiveThirtyEight, quite useful in getting a ten-thousand foot view as to how the public is reacting to the news of the day.

      But sites like that obviously rely on individual polls in order to generate their aggregate outlooks, which makes understanding, at least at a high level, just how these political polls get their results interesting as well. And, if you watch these things like I do, you have probably been curious about one particular poll, the U.S.C. Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Daybreak poll, commonly shortened to the USC/LAT poll, which has consistently put out results on the Presidential race that differ significantly from other major polls. That difference has generally amounted to wider support for Donald Trump in the race, with specific differences in support for Trump among certain demographics. To the credit of those that run the poll, they have been exceptionally transparent about how they generate their numbers, which led the New York Times to dig in and try to figure out the reason for the skewed results. It seems an answer was found and it’s gloriously absurd.

    • Speaker Paul Ryan Tries to Change the Topic

      One day after Donald Trump spoke to a crowd of 20,000 in Cincinnati, Speaker Paul Ryan spoke to a group of about 100 undergraduates, 50 reporters and a phalanx of cameras on the “Failures of Liberal Progressivism” in a heavily controlled and scripted event in Madison on Friday.

      The students were members of the College Republicans of UW-Madison, a student group led by Gov. Scott Walker’s son Alex Walker.

      Acknowledging that the election has taken “a dark turn,” Ryan quickly pivoted to his hallmark message of fiscal austerity and his Better.GOP site, a website and policy plan first unveiled in June.


      The invitation-only speaking engagement and managed “Q&A” at the Madison Masonic Center Foundation followed a tumultuous week for Ryan which began last Friday with the release of an Access Hollywood audio tape in which Trump brags about his ability to grope women. When you’re a star, “they let you do anything,” said Trump.

      The following day, Ryan rescinded Trump’s invitation to his annual “Fall Fest” in his congressional district. But Ryan was booed and heckled by some of Trump’s grassroots supporters and even called a “traitor,” according to news accounts. On Monday, Ryan said in a conference call with House Republicans that he will no longer defend Trump, nor campaign for him, over the objections of some.

    • Trump, Victim Shaming, Coincidences and Some Questions About the New York Times

      Did none of the many, many Republican primary candidates do any opposition research about Trump during the months and months of the primary season? Given the apparent accessibility of Trump sexual assault material, how was none of this found by Trump’s earlier opponents, who were certainly digging for dirt? A Ted Cruz or a Marco Rubio could have knocked Trump out of the race in April with half this information.

      Similar question; did no media investigate Trump’s background during his 18 months of candidacy?

      Coincidences happen, just not as often as we’d like to believe. Was any of the timing of any of this indeed coincidental, given much of this information was never reported for decades but is now front paged a few weeks before the election? I am well-aware of the reasons a woman might choose not to report an attack for many years. I am sometimes a bit more skeptical when after 30 years, during which Trump was in the media spotlight, and then another 18 months of Trump as a leading candidate, the accusations emerge only weeks before the election, timed nearly to the day with bookended presidential debates.

      And the big one.

      What process did the New York Times pursue before it decided to print the stories of the two initial Trump accusers? How did the Times vett their stories? If I were to walk into the Times’ newsroom today and report that either Trump or Hillary had inappropriately touched me in 1979, what process would unfold at the Times before my statement was published?

      I’m not being a smartass. I am not “victim shaming.” I do not believe asking these questions, especially the procedural questions about how the Times conducted its journalism, amounts to victim shaming. This is politics. No one is saying they are suing Trump, or engaged in a criminal case against him. It is at this point pure politics.

    • Russia, Terror and Taxes Dominate Debates; Climate, Poverty, Abortion Barely Mentioned

      A review of topics mentioned and questions asked in the first three presidential/vice-presidential debates shows a significant emphasis on Russia, terrorism and taxes—pushing aside most other issues, including climate change, abortion, education, campaign finance and LGBTQ rights.

      The total mentions of Russia and Putin—the number of times the words were said by either candidates or moderators—was 137. For ISIS and “terrorism” combined, it was 101. “Taxes” were mentioned 171 times—94 times in the context of tax policy, 77 times in regard to Donald Trump’s unwillingness to release his tax returns.

      In contrast, “climate change” (or “global warming”)—widely recognized as the biggest existential threat facing humanity—has only been mentioned three times. All three mentions were by Hillary Clinton, made in passing.

      “Poverty” (and “the poor”), “drugs,” “abortion” (with “right to choose” and “pro-life”) and “environment” have each been mentioned less than 10 times. LGBTQ issues (“LGBT,” “gay,” “trans,” “marriage equality”) were brought up in passing three times—once for the sole purpose of criticizing Russia. “Campaign finance” and/or Citizens United was brought up once by Clinton.

      The NSA (along with “privacy” and “surveillance”) and Native Americans have not been mentioned onstage once.

      In the first three debates, Russia and Putin have been mentioned more than the TPP, trade, race, guns, Social Security, the Supreme Court, education, student debt, poverty, drugs, abortion, climate change, LGBTQ issues and the environment combined, with 137 vs. 132 mentions.

    • Engage In Sex, Not War

      During the sexual scandals of Bill Clinton—the “bimbo eruptions” as Hillary called them—the Democrats and progressive opinion ruled out a person’s sex life as a political factor. Now suddenly nothing more than juvenile locker room banter without the actual sex has become the determinant of political unfitness.

      Where did the 11-year old recording of locker room talk between Donald Trump and Billy Bush come from? Who recorded it and kept it for 11 years for what purpose? Why was it released the day prior to the second debate between Trump and Hillary? Was the recording an illegal violation of privacy? What became of the woman who recorded Monica Lewinsky’s confession to her of sex with Bill Clinton? Wasn’t she prosecuted for wiretaping or some such offense? Why was Billy Bush, the relative of two US presidents, suspended from his TV show because of a private conversation with Trump?

    • The Donald Lives!

      The press had to cover it. Then the women marched into the auditorium at Washington University to watch Hillary Clinton defend her behavior toward them after their encounters with Bill.

      As the moderators and Hillary Clinton scrambled to refocus on Trump’s comments of a decade ago, Trump brought it back to Bill’s criminal misconduct against women, his lying about it, and Hillary’s aiding and abetting of the First Predator.

    • After the Republic

      Electing either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump cannot change that trajectory.


      Because it is difficult to imagine a Trump presidency even thinking about something so monumental as replacing an entire ruling elite, much less leading his constituency to accomplishing it, electing Trump is unlikely to result in a forceful turn away from the country’s current direction. Continuing pretty much on the current trajectory under the same class will further fuel revolutionary sentiments in the land all by itself. Inevitable disappointment with Trump is sure to add to them.

    • Blaming Millennials for Their Elders’ Trump Attraction

      Mahken, Stern and Boot all argue that declining civic education standards—a popular target of neoliberal criticism—gave rise to the ignorant population that bred Trump. There’s one basic problem with this premise: It doesn’t make any sense.

      If Trump’s support were tethered to declining education standards, the younger someone is (e.g. the more recently they were educated), the more likely they would be to vote Trump. But Trump’s voters trend overwhelmingly older: He’s most popular with voters 65 and over, least popular with those under 30

      The two most recent examples of this argument, by Stern and Boot, are textbook think piece sophistry: They begin with a superficially appealing premise designed to flatter the reader (people are dumber, therefore Trump; but not you, you’re smart) and throw out some data points, pivot to a conclusion that doesn’t follow and hope no one notices. While Boot doesn’t use the word Millennial, it’s the logical implication of what’s he’s advancing. (His examples supporting his claim that people are getting more stupid are all relatively recent.)

    • Dear Clinton Team: We Noticed You Might Need Some Email Security Tips

      There is probably no one more acutely aware of the importance of good cybersecurity right now than Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, whose emails have been laid bare by WikiLeaks, are being mined for news by journalists (including at The Intercept), and are available for anyone with internet access to read.

      So as a public service to Podesta and everyone else on Clinton’s staff, here are some email security tips that could have saved you from getting hacked, and might help you in the future.

    • White House Brief: Things to Know about Jill Stein

      This isn’t Stein’s first foray into presidential politics. She ran on the Green Party line in 2012, failing to crack 500,000 votes or generate any significant spotlight. She thinks this time could be different, thanks to Sanders. Stein wasted no time swooping in on his political revolution, campaigning in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention and rallying throngs of angry Sanders’ supporters outside of the convention hall when the Vermont senator conceded the nod to Hillary Clinton.

      Stein’s running on a platform of erasing all existing student debt, mobilizing what she calls a wartime effort to switch the United States to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 and disengaging from foreign wars that she says the United States has no business being in. She’s offering a dark view of the future, saying both Republicans and Democrats are leading the country into imminent disaster.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • CPJ calls on Thailand to not censor news during royal transition

      The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Thailand’s military government to lift a blanket censorship order on television news broadcasters imposed in the wake of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death yesterday.

      According to local news reports, all television news channels including foreign broadcasters were blocked and replaced with Royal Household Bureau footage eulogizing the Thai king. Local media were also barred from using Facebook live indefinitely, according to reports. Bhumibol, the world’s longest-serving monarch at the time of his death, reigned for 70 consecutive years.

    • Thai TV flicks back to colour, subdued, after king’s death

      Thai television flicked back to colour today – but with orders to keep it subdued – as the government lifted a black-and-white rule imposed out of respect for the country’s late king.

      All channels, including international satellite networks, have been replaced with prepared state media programmes praising revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death, who died Thursday after a 70-year reign.

    • 12 unspoken censorship rules for Bollywood, if it still wants to make movies

      The following are the unspoken censorship rules that Bollywood must follow if it still wants to make movies.

      1. Even if the Government of India issues visas to Pakistan talent you will not make films with them. You must understand that the government of India is not bothered about how our jawans are dying in the border fire but you, as a proud Indian, should be.

      2. Even if the Central Board of Film Certification clears your film, it can still be censored by political parties. The CBFC does not have people of any merit. They can only determine the length of the kiss in a film. It is our political parties who really know how to protect the value, culture and integrity of India.

    • Kashmir, Dylan, censorship hog limelight

      Sleepy Kasauli town reverberated with the sights and sounds of authors, intellectuals and actors as the three-day Khushwant Singh Literature Festival-2016 got underway on Friday.

      Apart from a number of panel discussions, the day also saw Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh declaring the Khushwant Singh trail open.

      One of the highlights of the day was the panel consisting of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, author and journalist Rahul Pandita and author and historian Dilip Simeon talking about the crisis in Kashmir with the topic being “Kashmir: Cry the Beloved Country.”

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Police Around the Country Regularly Abuse Law Enforcement Databases

      For more than a year, EFF has been investigating how police in California misuse the state’s law enforcement database with little oversight from officials. An investigation published by the Associated Press today shows that abuse of law enforcement systems is a nationwide problem.

      The AP’s investigation analyzed records from all 50 states and three dozen of the country’s largest cities. The reporters found that officers have routinely used law enforcement and driver databases to stalk ex-partners, dig up dirt on their neighbors, and even spy on celebrities and journalists.

    • [Old] Why the Warrant to Hack in the Playpen Case Was an Unconstitutional General Warrant

      Warrants are often considered the basic building block of the Fourth Amendment. Whenever the government seeks to engage in a search or seizure, it must first get a warrant, unless a narrow exception applies. In a previous post, we explained the significance of the Fourth Amendment “events”—several searches and seizures—that occurred each time the government employed its malware against visitors to Playpen.

      But simply calling something a warrant doesn’t make it a constitutionally valid warrant. In fact, the “immediate evils” that motivated the drafters of the Bill of Rights were “general warrants,” also known as “writs of assistance,” which gave British officials broad discretion to search nearly everyone and everything for evidence of customs violations. In the words of colonial lawyer James Otis, general warrants “annihilate” the “freedom of one’s house” and place “the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer.”

    • What Yahoo’s NSA Surveillance Means for Email Privacy

      This is a terrible precedent and ushers in a new era of global mass surveillance. It means that US tech companies that serve billions of users around the world can now be forced to act as extensions of the US surveillance apparatus. The problem extends well beyond Yahoo. As was reported earlier, Yahoo did not fight the secret directive because Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and the Yahoo legal team did not believe that they could successfully resist the directive.

      We believe that Yahoo’s assessment is correct. If it was possible to fight the directive, Yahoo certainly would have done so since they previously fought against secret FISA court orders in 2008. It does not make sense that US surveillance agencies would serve Yahoo Mail with such an order but ignore Gmail, the world’s largest email provider, or Outlook. There is no doubt that the secret surveillance software is also present in Gmail and Outlook, or at least there is nothing preventing Gmail and Outlook from being forced to comply with a similar directive in the future. From a legal perspective, there is nothing that makes Yahoo particularly vulnerable, or Google particularly invulnerable.

    • CIA threatens cyber attacks against Russia

      The CIA was recently reported to have issued the threat of cyber attacks against the Russian leadership, in retaliation for alleged and unsubstantiated claims that Russia is trying to influence the American elections.

    • Five EFF Tools to Help You Protect Yourself Online

      Do you get creeped out when an ad eerily related to your recent Internet activity seems to follow you around the web? Do you ever wonder why you sometimes see a green lock with “https” in your address bar, and other times just plain “http”? EFF’s team of technologists and computer scientists can help. We engineer solutions to these problems of sneaky tracking, inconsistent encryption, and more. Our projects are released under free and open source licenses like the GNU General Public License or Creative Commons licenses, and we make them freely available to as many users as possible. Where users face threats to their free expression, privacy, and security online, EFF’s technology projects are there to defend them.

    • How a Facial Recognition Mismatch Can Ruin Your Life

      It was just after sundown when a man knocked on Steve Talley’s door in south Denver. The man claimed to have hit Talley’s silver Jeep Cherokee and asked him to assess the damage. So Talley, wearing boxers and a tank top, went outside to take a look.

      Seconds later, he was knocked to the pavement outside his house. Flash bang grenades detonated, temporarily blinding and deafening him. Three men dressed in black jackets, goggles, and helmets repeatedly hit him with batons and the butts of their guns. He remembers one of the men telling him, “So you like to fuck with my brothers in blue!” while another stood on his face and cracked two of his teeth. “You’ve got the wrong guy,” he remembers shouting. “You guys are crazy.”

    • Hillary Clinton’s Encryption Proposal Was “Impossible,” Said Top Adviser

      Hillary Clinton’s advisers recognized that her policy position on encryption was problematic, with one writing that it was tantamount to insisting that there was “‘some way’ to do the impossible.”

      Instead, according to campaign emails released by Wikileaks, they suggested that the campaign signal its willingness to use “malware” or “super code breaking by the NSA” to get around encryption.

      In the wake of the Paris attacks in November, Clinton called for “Silicon Valley not to view government as its adversary,” and called for “our best minds in the private sector to work with our best minds in the public sector to develop solutions that will both keep us safe and protect our privacy.”

      When asked during a debate in December whether she would legally compel companies to build a backdoor into their products to give law enforcement access to unencrypted communications, Clinton responded “I would not want to go to that point.”

      But she then called for a “Manhattan-like project” to develop secure communication while allowing the government to read messages.

      Cryptography experts overwhelmingly agree that backdoors inevitably undermine the security of strong encryption, making the two essentially incompatible.

    • Researchers Ask Court To Unseal Documents Related To Technical Assistance Requests And Electronic Surveillance Warrants

      This has the makings of a movement along the lines of the highly-unofficial “Magistrates Revolt.” More efforts are being made more frequently to push federal courts out of their default secrecy mode. The government prefers to do a lot of its work under the cover of judicial darkness, asking for dockets and documents to be sealed in a large percentage of its criminal cases.

      Just in the last month, we’ve seen the ACLU petition the court to unseal dockets related to the FBI’s takedown of Freedom Hosting using a Tor exploit and Judge Beryl Howell grant FOIA enthusiast Jason Leopold’s request to have a large number of 2012 pen register cases unsealed.

      Now, we have researchers Jennifer Granick and Riana Pfefferkorn petitioning [PDF] the Northern District of California court to unseal documents related to “technical assistance” cases — like the one involving the DOJ’s attempted use of an All Writs Order to force Apple to crack open a phone for it.

    • ‘NITE Team 4′ Announced, Seeks Crowd Funding – Screens & Trailer

      You play as a new recruit in the covert hacking cell, Network Intelligence & Technical Evaluation (NITE) Team 4. Engaged in cyberwarfare with black hat groups and hostile states, you will be in a struggle to penetrate highly secure targets. Your job is to use the STINGER hacking system to infiltrate hardened computer networks and coordinate strike teams on the ground to carry out missions that feature real espionage tradecraft terminology taken straight from leaked NSA documents.

    • New Story-Driven, TSW Inspired Sim Game Announced

      Alice & Smith have announced a new story-driven military hacking simulation game based on The Secret World. Called NITE Team 4, the game is based on both strategy and RPG elements with an emphasis and base on NSA top secret documents in the real world. A Kickstarter project has started and is already fully funded.

    • Military hacking RPG NITE Team 4 blends real NSA documents with gamified espionage

      In a world where hacking groups are a powerful tool in clandestine political warfare, we sure don’t exploit that rich fictional seam much in games. NITE Team 4, a currently funded Kickstarter title, looks to breach into that world and create an RPG out of what lies within.

    • Appeal Court Revives Lawyer’s Lawsuit Against The NSA’s Email Dragnet

      Another lawsuit against the NSA has been revived. Previously dismissed by a district court for lack of standing, attorney Elliott Schuchardt’s suit against the NSA for its domestic surveillance has been remanded back to the court that tossed it.

      Like several other surveillance lawsuits, Schuchardt’s springs from the Snowden leaks. Unlike some of the others, it doesn’t focus on the NSA’s phone metadata collection — the subject of the first Snowden leak. Instead, his challenges the constitutionality of the NSA’s Section 702 collection. With this program, the NSA apparently collects not just metadata on electronic communications, but also the content.

    • Even NSA BFF Verizon Thinks Warrantless Location Data Collection May Have Gone Too Far

      You’d be hard pressed to find companies more bone-grafted to the nation’s intelligence gathering apparatus than AT&T and Verizon. So much so that it’s often difficult to determine where the government ends, and where the telecom duopoly begins. From Mark Klein highlighting how AT&T was giving the NSA live access to every shred of data that touched the AT&T network, to Snowden’s revelation of Verizon’s handover of customer metadata, these are companies that were not only eager to tap dance around privacy and surveillance law, but actively mocked companies that actually stood up for consumer privacy.

      That’s why it’s notable to see one of Verizon’s top lawyers, Craig Silliman, penning an op-ed over at Bloomberg implying that location data hoovering has jumped the shark. Silliman details the problems arising in the age of location data collection, and specifically how four recent district courts have ruled that law enforcement can get location data without a warrant. These rulings relied on the “third-party doctrine,” or the argument that consumers lose privacy protections to this information if they’re willing to share it with a third party — aka Verizon.

    • Top German court rejects lawmakers’ request for NSA targets [Ed: same as below]
    • Top German court rejects lawmakers’ request for NSA targets

      Germany’s top court has rejected German lawmakers’ demands for access to a secret list of U.S. eavesdropping targets.

      Parliament’s intelligence oversight panel, known as the G 10 committee, had asked the Constitutional Court to force the German government to hand over the list. It contains “selectors” — such as phone numbers and email addresses — that the U.S. National Security Agency wants allies to monitor.

      Following ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks in 2013, German media reported that the targets included officials and companies in Germany and other European countries.

    • Salesforce CEO has “walked away” from deal with beleaguered Twitter

      In the wake of Salesforce’s CEO publicly saying Friday that his company would not buy Twitter, the popular social network’s stock price has dropped more than six percent as of this writing.

      “In this case we’ve walked away. It wasn’t the right fit for us,” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told the Financial Times.

      For months, rumors have swirled that numerous tech giants, ranging from Apple to Google, would snap up the San Francisco startup, which has lost nearly $2 billion from 2011 through 2015.

      Twitter has had a hard time attracting new users, which, in turn, has resulted in flat or slow growth.

    • After being outed for massive hack and installing an NSA “rootkit,” Yahoo cancels earnings call

      What do you do if your ailing internet giant has been outed for losing, and then keeping silent about, 500 million user accounts, then letting American spy agencies install a rootkit on its mail service, possibly scuttling its impending, hail-mary acquisition by a risk-averse, old economy phone company? Just cancel your investor call and with it, any chance of awkward, on-the-record questions.

    • DOJ: Microsoft Email Ruling Leaves Evidence Out of Authorities’ Hands

      In July, a court ruled that Microsoft did not have to provide the Department of Justice with the emails of a criminal suspect stored in Ireland. The case reportedly revolves around Gary Davis, who is charged with being a staff member of the dark web marketplace Silk Road.

      That ruling was seen as a victory for privacy and civil liberties campaigners. But the DOJ is not giving up. On Thursday, government attorneys filed a petition asking for the case to be reheard.

      The July ruling, “is significantly limiting an essential investigative tool used thousands of times a year, harming important criminal investigations around the country, and causing confusion and chaos among providers as they struggle to determine how to comply,” the DOJ writes in its petition, filed in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and sent to Motherboard by DOJ spokesperson Peter Carr.

    • Verizon reportedly wants $1 billion discount on Yahoo

      Verizon may not have bailed out of its deal to purchase Yahoo for $4.8 billion, but amid a growing case of bad news at the search engine company, the telecommunications giant is reportedly pushing to reduce the acquisition price by $1 billion.

      According to the New York Post, AOL chief Tim Armstrong, who runs the Verizon subsidiary that would be the umbrella company for Yahoo, is “getting cold feet.” Sources tell the publication that he’s “pretty upset about the lack of disclosure and he’s saying can we get out of this or can we reduce the price?”

      Yahoo is currently embroiled in two scandals, one of which involves hackers illegally accessing 500 million account. Members of the U.S. Congress have called upon the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate Yahoo’s disclosures in light of the hacking. The other issue involves Yahoo’s apparent compliance with U.S. intelligence agencies in secretly scanning customer emails, especially years after the Snowden revelations.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Amy Goodman Is Facing Prison for Reporting on the Dakota Access Pipeline. That Should Scare Us All.

      This Monday afternoon, as the sun hits its peak over Mandan, North Dakota, the award-winning journalist, and host of Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman will walk into the Morton County–Mandan Combined Law Enforcement and Corrections Center and turn herself in to the local authorities. Her crime: good, unflinching journalism.

    • Why Is North Dakota Arresting Journalists For Doing Journalism?

      Two years ago, we wrote about the ridiculousness of police arresting reporters for reporting in Ferguson, Missouri, even though courts had told police to knock it off. Even more ridiculous is that those reporters were eventually charged, leading to a ridiculous settlement earlier this year.

      And yet… arresting journalists for doing journalism continues to be a thing. As you probably know, there have been a bunch of protests in North Dakota lately concerning the Dakota Access Pipeline. Back in September, after covering the protests and having some of her videos of an attack on the protestors go viral, famed Democracy Now reporter Amy Goodman found out an arrest warrant had been issued for her. It’s pretty clear that this arrest warrant was solely because of the coverage reflecting poorly on officials.

      On Thursday, Goodman said that she’ll surrender to authorities next week. As Democracy Now points out, the criminal complaint against her is so transparently unconstitutional and so transparently about intimidating reporters, that it actually notes that “Amy Goodman can be seen on the video identifying herself and interviewing protesters about their involvement in the protest.” Right. That’s called journalism. Goodman was basically arrested for doing journalism that the powers-that-be dislike.

    • Outrageous! Felony Charges Given to Journalist Filming Anti-Pipeline Protest

      Many of you may have read my post on EcoWatch this morning, and already know that Deia Schlosberg, the producer of my new climate change documentary, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change, was arrested Tuesday in Walhalla, North Dakota, for filming a protest against a pipeline bringing Canadian tar sands oil into the U.S.

    • The New Federal Safety Guidelines For Self-Driving Cars Are Too Vague… And States Are Already Making Them Mandatory

      The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earned plaudits from across the tech sphere for its recently released safety guidelines for self-driving cars.

      With the NHTSA looking to offer guidance to this emerging industry, the agency issued a set of rules that largely just asks manufacturers to report on how they were following the guidelines. The 15-point checklist is vague in quite a few details, but that isn’t necessarily a tremendous problem so long as the standards remain voluntary, which they purport to be. To many, this approach struck a good overall balance between oversight and flexibility.

      Regulatory ambiguity can, however, turn out to be a real nightmare with standards that are mandatory. Vague rules can leave even the best-intentioned firms at a loss as to how to proceed. Given how much of a premium consumer confidence will be in a market as revolutionary and potentially transformative as autonomous vehicles, it’s crucial that manufacturers comply with whatever standards the federal government promulgates.

    • My Secret Evidence to Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee

      I have been considering my appearance before the Committee.

      As you will know, there has been very substantial doubt in the human rights community about the good faith of your committee’s inquiry. I have been prepared to give the benefit of the doubt and offer to cooperate.

      However if the committee really are genuine, they should wish me to be able to prepare and give the best evidence that I am able to do. There is no doubt that something went very wrong in terms of the UK government’s collusion with overseas torture programmes. The Feinstein report made plain that the CIA was very wrong in what it did, and your committee know very well that the CIA was sharing with SIS the intelligence obtained by torture. The British government has settled with large payments cases where the British government was involved more actively.

    • Structural Racism and Human-Rights

      In the first half-hour, author and professor Carol Anderson rejoins the Project Censored Show to discuss structural racism in the US, especially in the context of the presidential campaign. In the second half of the program, human-rights activists Hector Aristizabal and Isabel Garcia speak about conditions on the US-Mexico border, and how multiple US administrations have enforced border policies that bring death to many immigrants. They also discuss the Border Convergence taking place October 7 – 10.

    • A Missed Chance to Put Discriminatory Policing on Campaign Agenda

      But only a few—like Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post (10/7/16), Steven Holmes at CNN (10/7/16)—reminded us of Trump’s full-page screed in the New York Times, calling uncryptically for the young men to be executed and demanding an end to “our continuous pandering to the criminal population.” Trump’s CNN statement indicates that he would still support executing people whom the courts have found innocent. But no one withdrew their support or demanded an apology, and the comments were pushed off the page just hours later by the unearthing of tape of Trump joking about sexual assault.

      Those abhorrent remarks deserve the attention; but as The Intercept‘s Liliana Segura (10/11/16) noted, Trump’s comments on the Central Park Five also have wider repercussion. The ugly truth, she writes, is that his attitude is all too common in district attorneys’ offices. Prosecutors routinely defend the convictions of innocent people even after exoneration, and often block efforts to test for such evidence as DNA in the first place. When convictions are overturned, DAs often refuse to drop charges, dragging out the legal fight and forcing people found innocent to live under constant threat of re-imprisonment.

      Governors play a role—like Mike Pence, who recently refused to grant pardon to a man in Indiana, exonerated with DNA evidence after 10 years in prison. (Pence’s office said he refused to consider granting a pardon “out of respect for the judicial process.”)

      Hillary Clinton has shown more concern about wrongful convictions, but, Segura notes, she still supports the death penalty. And while in theory one might support executions while opposing killing innocent people, reality—preeminently, the exoneration of more than 150 death row prisoners to date — shows these positions are irreconcilable.

    • UK Torture Secrets Will Remain Secret

      The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has agreed that I shall be able to review Top Secret and other classified documents which contain the evidence of UK complicity in torture and my attempts to stop it, before giving evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament. But under conditions which make plain the determination that the dirtiest of secrets will remain firmly shut away. Given that parliament actually defers to the FCO over what can and cannot be done, the entire pointlessness of the Intelligence and Security Committee Inquiry is starkly revealed.

      Gareth Peirce as my counsel is not to be allowed in to any of my evidence where anything secret is being discussed – which is 100% of it. I think that really says everything about the “Inquiry” that you need to know.

    • For Black Men, Running Is a Reasonable Reaction to Police Harassment and Racial Profiling, Concludes Massachusetts’ Supreme Court

      The justices found that it’s reasonable for Black men to run from police because of the indignity of stop and frisk.

      In 2004, University of Virginia football player Marquis Weeks returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. After the game he described how he did it: “That was just instinct,” Weeks said with a laugh. “Kind of like running from the cops, I guess you could say.”

      It’s funny until it isn’t. The “instinct” exists for a reason. Black and brown people have been running from people with badges for generations, going all the way back to the days of the slave catchers, who were predecessors of modern-day police.

      Despite his obvious speed, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court caught up with Mr. Weeks this month. The court found that the facts of the case, including that the young Black male suspect tried to avoid the police, did not justify a stop and search of the young man.

    • Report: Every 25 Seconds, Cops Arrest Someone for Drug Possession

      The war on drugs may have failed, but it certainly hasn’t ended: Every 25 seconds in the U.S., someone is arrested for drug possession.

      Arrests for the possession and personal use of drugs are boosting the ranks of the incarcerated at astonishing rates — with 137,000 people behind bars for drugs on any given day, and 1.25 million every year. Possession of even tiny quantities of illicit drugs is criminalized in every state, a felony in most, and the No. 1 cause of all arrests nationwide. And while marijuana is now legal in a handful of states and decriminalized in others, in 2015 police nationwide made over 547,000 arrests for simple marijuana possession — more than for all categories of violent crime combined. These arrests are feeding people into a criminal justice system that’s rife with inefficiencies, abuse, and racism, and compounding drug users’ substance abuse with the lifelong impact of a criminal record.

      The staggering numbers, detailed in a report released today by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union, shed new light on the colossal impact of the criminalization of drug use, as well as on the discriminatory impact of its enforcement. These laws have done nothing to stem the public health problem of drug addiction and in the process have destroyed countless lives and cost incalculable amounts of public resources in arrests, prosecution, and incarceration, the report charges.

      Nearly half a century after it was first launched by President Nixon, the war on drugs has been widely recognized to have been a failure, yet little of substance has been done to reverse its course and the catastrophic damage it continues to inflict. In fact, while piecemeal approaches to fixing some of its symptoms — like sentencing reform, marijuana reclassification, and some discussion of police abuse — have by now been embraced within mainstream politics, the drug war’s founding policy, the criminalization of the personal use and possession of drugs, has rarely been questioned.

    • Drawing Representative Districts

      FOR MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY, “one person, one vote” has been essential to American representative democracy. Key to preserving equal representation is redistricting, occurring most broadly every 10 years. The decennial census records population changes, which states must reflect in legislative districts to make the democratic process fair.

      But in many states this is a highly partisan process that is not always fair or in voters’ interests, says Laughlin McDonald, ACLU special counsel, who has fought voter suppression for decades. “Somewhere down the line they may consider the interest of the voters, but that’s not really what drives the process,” he says.

      Without Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, states are now free, without federal oversight, to make election-related changes that could adversely affect racial and language minorities.

    • It Is Time to Get Real About School Policinga

      Interactions between young people and police don’t occur just on the streets of America — they’re happening in our nation’s K-12 schools, too. Increasingly police have become “embedded” in schools, in many cases working there full-time. Many are considered school staff and have daily authority over students, even in situations that have traditionally been seen as everyday disciplinary matters.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • The World Trade Organization Sets its Eyes on the Internet

      This week, EFF has been at the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s annual Public Forum. Best known to the general public as the locus of anti-globalization protests at its 1999 Ministerial Conference, it’s ironic that the WTO is today the most open and transparent of trade negotiation bodies—an honor it holds mainly because of how closed and opaque the trade negotiations conducted outside the WTO are, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), or on its margins, the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).

      This year’s Public Forum, although notionally focusing on inclusive trade, has featured unprecedented interest in digital trade, with dozens of sessions dealing with this topic. Just a few of them, including the workshop “Boundaries and Best Practices for Inclusive Digital Trade” organized by EFF, have been summarized by the Geneva Internet Platform (you can also read slides from some of our workshop’s presentations below).

  • DRM

    • Amazon launches new ‘Music Unlimited’ service, starting at $4/month for use on just one Echo [Ed: DRM. Avoid.]

      Would you pay a few extra bucks a month to turn your smart home speaker into an intelligent, unlimited jukebox? Amazon is betting people will.

      The company on Wednesday is launching a new subscription music service, Amazon Music Unlimited, that starts at $3.99 a month for a library of tens of millions of songs. That’s less than half the cost of Apple Music, Spotify Premium and other competing music services.

    • Studio Ghibli’s first TV series getting English dub courtesy of Amazon

      Famed animation studio Studio Ghibli launched its first TV series, Ronja the Robber’s Daughter, in 2014, and fans’ wait for an official Western version is now coming to an end, thanks to Amazon.

      After the series’ 26-episode run wrapped, the studio began shopping an English-language version to various international channels and distributors. That shopping apparently concluded this week, as Amazon confirmed via a Friday press release that Ronja’s dub will debut exclusively on Amazon Video in the US, UK, Germany, Austria, and Japan. The news didn’t include a release date, but it did confirm one familiar voice joining the Ronja cast: Gillian Anderson, whose voice previously appeared in famed Ghibli film Princess Mononoke.

    • …And Here Come The Device-Restricted Music Subscriptions

      And so we enter a world with yet another means of fragmenting digital music services and making them way, way less appealing. At least they were decent enough to drop the price — but now that the floodgates are open, it’s entirely possible such heavily limited subscriptions will eventually become the new baseline, and truly open subscriptions that can be played anywhere (one of the biggest advantages of digital music) will morph into an expensive luxury. The key difference between this and our speculation about Apple limited output devices is that the restriction happens further upstream, with the subscription only being piped to one specific device — and if that device is an Echo Dot, there’s even still an analog jack so it can be plugged into just about anything else. But the next step — a subscription on a general purpose device like a phone with music that is artificially limited to only be output through certain devices, thanks to the DRM capabilities of digital-only connectors — feels slightly and worryingly closer to reality. And what will this accomplish? Nothing more than ensuring legal digital music continues to suck in unnecessary ways.

      The grand, omnipresent and incorrect assumption about music piracy is that it’s primarily motivated by price, and the desire to get content without paying. It’s not and it never has been: it’s motivated by restrictions, and the desire to easily access a wide variety of content how, when and where you choose. It’s about music being free, but not free as in beer.

      And so, naturally, the legacy music industry has sought out almost every opportunity to add restrictions and limitations to their digital offerings. Disruptive innovators like Spotify and Pandora fight an ongoing uphill battle to secure the necessary rights to offer something more open and appealing, and the massive digital retailers — Apple, Google and Amazon — drift around in between: aware and capable of the type of technological innovation necessary to make digital music services appealing, and armed with the money and clout to secure better licensing deals from rightsholders, but also prone (to varying degrees) to following in those rightsholders’ restrictive footsteps in order to fulfill their own dreams of total control and a captive audience. Amazon isn’t banking on people who are out searching for a digital music service deciding to go with the absurdly limited $4 option — it’s targeting existing Echo customers who might see it as a cheap add-on for some extra music around the house. It wants to upgrade those Echo users into Prime subscribers if they aren’t already (for even more music, since the services are weirdly fragmented from each other), and eventually turn new Echo-only music subscribers into fully dedicated Amazon Music customers. Instead of making it really, really easy to sign up for a music subscription that gives you everything you want on every device you own, it’s ensuring there are plenty of different ways for people to pay up for a tiny slice of that experience.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Lawmakers Warned That 10 Year Sentences Could Apply to File-Sharers

        The UK is currently forming new legislation that will harmonize sentences for offline and online piracy. While the theoretical 10-year maximum sentence is supposed to target only large-scale pirates, this week MPs were warned that wording in the Digital Economy Bill is not tight enough to exclude file-sharers.

      • Company Offers “Fraudulent” and Deceptive Copyright Registrations

        A ring of misleading websites is charging people to pay for copyright registrations in the UK, Australia and elsewhere, even though it’s a free and automatic right. In India, where there’s also an official registration office, the authorities are taking legal action to stop the “fraudulent” operation.


        Interestingly the Indian Copyright Office has now become the center of a rights dispute itself. As it turns out, the website copyright.in is offering ‘unofficial’ copyright registrations to Indians as well.

        The website in question offer users “anteriority proof for their copyrights” in 164 countries, charging roughly $10 for a copyright registration.

      • AllMyVideos.net to Shut Down, No Longer Profitable

        Video-hosting service AllMyVideos.net has announced that it will shut down its website next weekend. The operator says that it’s no longer profitable to host videos due to a lack of revenue and encourages users to back up their files before it’s too late.


Links 14/10/2016: 20th Birthday for KDE, Apache OpenOffice 4.1.3

Posted in News Roundup at 6:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Google offers baseball bat and some chains with which to hit open source software

    For a while now, Google’s Chrome team has had a fuzzing tool to help them find bugs in the browser before bounty hunters do. Now, Mountain View has decided the same techniques can be applied to open source software in general.

    The company’s emitted the first generalised version of its OSS-fuzz software at GitHub.

    A quick primer: fuzzing involves sending random data at a piece of software to crash it and capturing the conditions at the time of the crash.

    Chrome’s in-process fuzzing is described in this blog post, in which security engineer Max Moroz introduced libFuzzer.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Bringing the Power of the Internet to the Next Billion and Beyond

        At Mozilla, we believe the Internet is most powerful when anyone – regardless of gender, income, or geography – can participate equally. However the digital divide remains a clear and persistent reality. Today more than 4 billion people are still not online, according to the World Economic Forum. That is greater than 55% of the global population. Some, who live in poor or rural areas, lack the infrastructure. Fast wired and wireless connectivity only reaches 30% of rural areas. Other people don’t connect because they don’t believe there is enough relevant digital content in their language. Women are also less likely to access and use the Internet; only 37% access the Internet versus 59% of men, according to surveys by the World Wide Web Foundation.

        Access alone, however, is not sufficient. Pre-selected content and walled gardens powered by specific providers subvert the participatory and democratic nature of the Internet that makes it such a powerful platform. Mitchell Baker coined the term equal rating in a 2015 blog post. Mozilla successfully took part in shaping pro-net neutrality legislation in the US, Europe and India. Today, Mozilla’s Open Innovation Team wants to inject practical, action-oriented, new thinking into these efforts.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • 14 facts about Newton, OpenStack’s 14th release

      Last week the OpenStack community celebrated its 14th release, Newton. Packed with new features, fixes, and improvements, Newton offers substantial upgrades in a number of areas. The official software project page includes more detailed information about the specific changes with individual components.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Apache OpenOffice 4.1.3 released

      12 October 2016 – Apache OpenOffice, the leading Open Source office document productivity suite, announced today Apache OpenOffice 4.1.3, now available in 41 languages on Windows, OS X and Linux.

      Apache OpenOffice 4.1.3 is a maintenance release incorporating important bug fixes, security fixes, updated dictionaries, and build fixes. All users of Apache OpenOffice 4.1.2 or earlier are advised to upgrade.

  • BSD


    • Friday ‘Skeleton GNU’ Directory IRC meetup: October 14th

      Participate in supporting the FSD by adding new entries and updating existing ones. We will be on IRC in the #fsf channel on freenode.

      Tens of thousands of people visit directory.fsf.org each month to discover free software. Each entry in the Directory contains a wealth of useful information, from basic category and descriptions, to providing detailed info about version control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing info that has been carefully checked by FSF staff and trained volunteers.

      While the FSD has been and continues to be a great resource to the world over the past decade, it has the potential of being a resource of even greater value. But it needs your help!

      This week we’re the ‘Skeleton GNU’ looking to beef up bares bones entries with more information. While even the most skeletal entry can be useful, the best ones have robust description, links to documentation and other resources. We’ll be looking for entries with minimal information, adding as much as we can and making sure they’re up to date.

  • Public Services/Government

    • “Netherlands lagging in transition to open government”

      The Dutch government is not doing enough to further its transition to an open government. It should step up its ambition in this area and start working on implementation. This was the main message from a meeting that the Standing Parliamentary Committee of the Interior had last month with the substitute Minister of the Interior Stef Blok on the National Action Plan Open Government 2016-2017 and the National Open Data Agenda (NODA).

    • US federal source code repository about to be launched

      The portal will serve as a software repository, i.e. a catalogue of all software the US government is procuring or building, and as a central place from which to disseminate a collection of tools, best practices, and schemas to help government agencies implement the policy. That makes this initiative closely related to the objectives of the Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR) project of the European Commission, of which the publication of this news article is a part too.

      The source code for the code.gov portal itself has been made available under a Creative Commons Zero licence, thereby donating the code to the public domain. The public is invited to contribute to its (further) development.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Digital Republic Bill Uses Crowdsourcing To Promote Data Protection, Net Neutrality And Openness In France

      As the population of Internet users ages, this is likely to become a major issue. It’s good to see France tackling it head-on with the Digital Republic Bill — one of the few countries to do so. The proposed law now passes to the French Senate, but is unlikely to undergo any major modifications there, not least because it has already been subject to unusually wide consultation thanks to the innovative approach used in drawing it up.

  • Programming/Development

    • GCC 7 & Clang Are Nearing Full C++1z/C++17 Support

      While C++17 hasn’t even been officially released yet, this specification also known as C++1z, has nearly all of the expected features implemented in the GCC 7 and Clang compiler releases.

      C++17/C++1z features had begun landing in the GNU Compiler Collection since GCC 5 while some functionality even dates back to GCC 4.8, but the GCC 7 SVN/Git code implements a majority of the new language features. Support for inline variables was the latest feature to be added while many other new language features were previously added to GCC 7 development that’s been open since April.

    • Taking PHP Seriously

      Slack uses PHP for most of its server-side application logic, which is an unusual choice these days. Why did we choose to build a new project in this language? Should you?

      Most programmers who have only casually used PHP know two things about it: that it is a bad language, which they would never use if given the choice; and that some of the most extraordinarily successful projects in history use it. This is not quite a contradiction, but it should make us curious. Did Facebook, Wikipedia, WordPress, Etsy, Baidu, Box, and more recently Slack all succeed in spite of using PHP? Would they all have been better off expressing their application in Ruby? Erlang? Haskell?

      Perhaps not. PHP-the-language has many flaws, which undoubtedly have slowed these efforts down, but PHP-the-environment has virtues which more than compensate for those flaws. And the options for improving on PHP’s language-level flaws are pretty impressive. On the balance, PHP provides better support for building, changing, and operating a successful project than competing environments. I would start a new project in PHP today, with a reservation or two, but zero apologies.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Celebrating open standards around the world

      Today, October 14, is World Standards Day, an event reminding us both of the importance of standards in our day-to-day lives, and recognizing the efforts of the countless individuals and organizations around the globe who are working to create and promote these standards.


  • Hardware

    • VMS will be ready to run on x86 in 2019!

      VMS Software Inc (VSI), which became the custodian of the venerable OpenVMS in 2014, is getting close to its Holy Grail of running the OS on x86.

      HP had decided that the operating system it inherited from DEC was end-of-life back in 2013, but in 2014 signed over an exclusive licence to VSI.

      At that time, the company’s CEO Duane Harris said VSI’s “passion for taking OpenVMS into future decades” would see it ported to Itanium and then x86 architectures.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • FDA: Homeopathic teething gels may have killed 10 babies, sickened 400

      To practice homeopathy, one must master the skill of diluting things in water—an awe inspiring talent, no doubt.

      At its core, homeopathy is based on the idea that “like cures like,” and remedies are made by watering down selected poisons that cause or mimic the disease being treated. Practitioners must at least dilute those poisons until they’re safe for consumption, but often dilute them to the point that only plain water remains. Tossing aside the pesky rules of physics and chemistry, believers argue that water molecules have “memory.” Those liquefied ghosts of poisons can cure a wide range of ailments, from allergic reactions to HIV/AIDS, they say.

      Though Ars has previously pointed out that this pseudoscience is clearly a “therapeutic dead-end,” providing a placebo effect at best, Americans still spent $2.9 billion on them in 2007. Some may argue that such spending on expensive placebo water is harmless. But the discussion changes dramatically when federal regulators catch homeopaths that aren’t so skilled at the art of dilution.

    • Grand jury investigation sought over Snyder legal fees for Flint

      A former chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party has asked the Ingham County Circuit Court to appoint a one-person grand jury to investigate Gov. Rick Snyder charging taxpayers for his criminal defense legal fees related to the Flint drinking water crisis.

      Snyder’s office says the contract in dispute — a