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05.28.15

Links 28/5/2015: SourceForge Hijack, RIP Marco Pesenti Gritti

Posted in News Roundup at 2:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Voice of the Masses: What will Linux look like in 10 years?

    The future promises to bring us many things: solar powerered hoverboards, giant underground cities on Mars, and slightly less painful dentistry. But what about in Linux? How do you think our operating system will look like in 10 years? Maybe we’ll all be controlling our Wayland-powered Gnome 18 desktops via eye movement trackers, or perhaps the long-established desktop metaphors will ultimately win and not much will drastically change.

  • Running Linux On The Intel Compute Stick

    The Intel Compute Stick has begun shipping, a tiny device that plugs into any HDMI TV or monitor and turns it into a fully-functioning computer. This low-power PC ships with Windows 8.1 or Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, though at the moment the Windows version is first to market with the Ubuntu Compute Stick not widely shipping until June. I have an Intel Compute Stick at Phoronix for testing.

  • 11 pointless but awesome Linux terminal tricks

    Linux is one of the most astoundingly functional and utilitarian Operating Systems around when it comes to working from the command line. Need to perform a particular task? Odds are there is an application or script you can use to get it done. Right from the terminal. But, as they say in the good book, “All work and no play make Jack really bored or something.” So here is a collection of my favorite pointless, stupid, annoying or amusing things that you can do right in your Linux Terminal.

  • Desktop

  • Security

  • Kubuntu/Canonical Feud

    • Moderating and Code of Conduct

      To me there seems to be a lot of similarities between above and personal experience with moderating. Basically: don’t moderate in threads you’ve participated in because you’re biased. If you think you’re unbiased, guess again and have fun dealing with the fallout if you still take a decision. I thought a few times that I really could be unbiased and was proven wrong each time.

    • Ubuntu Community Council Can’t Track Down $143,000 Worth of Donations

      The Ubuntu Community Council has made a rather troublesome discovery regarding the accounting of $143,000 in donations. From the looks of it, no one knows how this money was spent.

    • Jonathan Riddell gets full support from the Kubuntu community

      By now, you’ve probably met the donate page on Ubuntu, the one you see when you go to download an Ubuntu ISO. This donation page has led to a schism between the Ubuntu Community Council and Jonathan Riddell, the ‘leader’ of the Kubuntu project. All stemming from a perceived lack of transparency regarding donations made to Canonical.

    • Challenges and opportunities

      Jonathan’s questions to the CC about a legal issue and that of funds donated to the flavors were not personal, but done on behalf of the Ubuntu community, and on behalf of us, the Kubuntu Council and the Kubuntu community as a whole. We are still concerned about both these issues, but that pales in comparison to the serious breach in governance we’ve experienced this past week.

    • Making Sense of the Kubuntu/Canonical Leadership Spat
    • Jonathan Riddell forced out of Kubuntu

      He has also stated his intent to leave the Ubuntu community. “I also wish to extend my personal apology to the Kubuntu community for keeping this private for as long as we did. Generally, I don’t believe such an approach is consistent with our values, but I supported keeping it private in the hope that it would be easier to achieve a mutually beneficial resolution of the situation privately. Now that it’s clear that is not going to happen, I (and others in the KC) could not in good faith keep this private.”

    • Of course I support Jonathan

      I’m disappointed in the way the Ubuntu Community Council has handled this and I think the way they treated Jonathan is appalling, even taking into account that he could’ve communicated his grievances better. I’m also unconvinced that the Ubuntu Community Council is at all beneficial to the Ubuntu community in its current form. The way it is structured and reports to the SABDFL makes that it will always favour Canonical when there’s a conflict of interest. I brought this up with two different CC members last year who both provided shruggy answers in the vein of “Sorry, but we have a framework that’s set up on how we can work in here and there’s just so much we can do about it.” – they seem to fear the leadership too much to question it, and it’s a pity, because everyone makes mistakes.

    • #ISupportCommunity
    • Ubuntu Community Manager Explains the Workings of the Community Council

      Canonical has a community team that interacts with the users and Nicholas Skaggs is part of that team. He wasn’t involved in the discussions regarding Jonathan Riddell, but he posted a lengthy post on his blog explaining what is the Community Council and why it’s important to respect its decisions. One phrase, in particular, is very interesting.

      “So please respect the authority of our community governance structure. Respect those who serve on both councils. Not satisfied? We vote again on Community Council members this year! Think we should tweak/enhance/change our governance structure? I welcome the discussion! I enjoyed learning more about ubuntu governance, and I challenge you to do the same before you let your emotions run with your decisions”, wrote Nicholas Skaggs.

    • Joining the Kubuntu Family

      I’m very happy to join the Kubuntu Team and look forward to supporting the project through contributions in my spare time.

    • #ISupportJonathan

      You too can let folks know that you support Jonathan Riddell just like the Kubuntu Council has by tweeting with hashtag #ISupportJonathan or using this nifty banner on social media.

    • Shuttleworth delivers death blow in Umbongoland dispute

      A storm of accusations, claims, and furious counterclaims has hit the Ubuntu penguins, with a community cleaved of its head following allegations of unsavory behavior.

      Long-time Kubuntu dev Jonathan Riddell has been dismissed as head of Kubuntu and removed from all positions of responsibility within the Ubuntu community.

    • Kubuntu: Statement from a not so important Kubuntu Developer.

      It truly saddens me to see all this FUD being thrown around, by folks that up till recently I had great respect for.
      Couple things that do not sit well with me at all.
      1) Absolutely zero communication to the Kubuntu Council about the “issues” with Jonathan prior to the shocking “request”.
      2) The Kubuntu Council asked (repeatedly) for one thing: proof. This still has not been provided.
      So what was suppose to happen here? Evidently bow down, walk away and happily work away silenced.
      This is NOT the open source / FLOSS way. At least not to my understanding. Perhaps I have misunderstood the meaning all these years.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux 4.1 Kernel Benchmarks With An Intel Core i7 IVB System

        Yesterday I ran some fresh tests of Intel Ivy Bridge on the latest Mesa Git code to see if the performance has changed much recently for the slightly-older generation of Intel HD Graphics. Today I’ve done some similar tests in kernel-space with the Linux 4.1 kernel.

        I ran benchmarks from the same Core i7 3770K system while testing the vanilla Linux 3.19, 4.0, and 4.1 Git kernels and running various graphics tests to see if there’s been any recent i915 DRM kernel changes affecting the Ivy Bridge graphics performance.

      • Mesa Git OpenGL Tests With Intel Ivy Bridge Graphics

        From an Ubuntu 15.04 x86_64 system with the Linux 3.19 kernel, I ran some tests on an Intel Core i7 3770K Ivy Bridge desktop system in our labs. Compared was the stock Mesa 10.5.2 on Ubuntu 15.04 against Mesa 10.7-devel Git as of this week.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • ColorHugALS and Sensor HID

        As Bastien hinted in his last blog post, we now have some new test firmware for the ColorHugALS device. The ever-awesome Benjamin Tissoires has been hacking on an alternative device firmware, this time implementing the Sensor HID interface that Microsoft is suggesting vendors use for internal ambient light sensors on tablets and laptops for Windows 8.

      • Mourning Marco Pesenti Gritti

        I unfortunately have some terrible news, Marco Pesenti Gritti passed away last Saturday in London, after a long fight against cancer. He was with his family and in good medical hands. He leaves behind his girlfriend Daniela and 4 year old daughter Daniela. I had the chance to say goodbye last week, and convey thoughts and support for his coworkers, current and passed.

        I was lucky to have worked with Marco for many years at litl, on a very broad range of projects, and had the chance to count him as a good friend. He was the most passionate and dedicated hacker I knew, and I know he was extremely respected in the GNOME community, for his work on Epiphany, Evince and Sugar among many others, just like he was at litl. Those who knew him personally know he was also an awesome human being.

        We will try to help his family as much as we can. He will be sorely missed.

      • GNOME’s Mutter 3.17.2 Adds X11/Wayland Clipboard Interoperation

        GNOME’s Mutter window manager was updated to v3.17.2 today as the latest development version in the road to GNOME 3.18.

        Of importance to Mutter 3.17.2 is that it now supports X11/Wayland clipboard interoperation. Now the clipboard contents from copying and pasting can be done between native X11 and Wayland applications, which previously wasn’t possible up until now for those running a mix of X11 and Wayland programs on the desktop.

      • The 5 best distros for the Gnome desktop

        Gnome is a great great desktop environment that offers an elegant and simplified Linux experience. These are the 5 best distros for Gnome that offer it as the default DE.

      • GNOME Shell for GNOME 3.18 Increases Expanders’ Visibility in the Alt-Tab Popup

        The GNOME Project is about to release the second development release towards the GNOME 3.18 desktop environment, which will see the light of day on September 23, 2015.

      • GNOME’s Orca Is Now Compatible with the Latest Mozilla Thunderbird Releases

        The Orca open-source screen reader and magnifier software that is used by default in numerous Linux kernel-based operating systems, including Ubuntu, has received a new update in preparation for GNOME 3.17.2.

      • Cinnamon 2.6.3 Arrives in Unstable Official Repository for Linux Mint

        Cinnamon developers have just released a new version of the desktop environment today, 2.6.3. The packages are now available for testing in Linux Mint 17.1 and Linux Mint Debian 2, via the Romeo unstable repository.

  • Distributions

    • 10 of the most popular lightweight Linux distros

      Modern Linux distros are designed to appeal to a large number of users. As a result, they have become too bloated for older machines or systems with limited resources. If you don’t have several gig of RAM to spare and an extra core or two, these distros may not deliver the best performance for you. Thankfully, there are many lightweight distros that you can use to breathe new life into older hardware.

      But there’s one caveat when working with lightweight distros – they usually manage to function with limited resources by cutting away just about everything you take for granted, such as wizards and scripts which make everyday tasks easier.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • Indonesia uses Linux, openSUSE for pilot project

        An estimated 45,000 students from a province in Indonesia have enhanced their education and computer-usage knowledge through a pilot program using Linux and openSUSE that is expected to become a nationwide educational program.

        From 2009 to 2014, the project called “Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Utilization for Educational Quality Enhancement in Yogyakarta Province” used openSUSE and created material with Linux to enhance educational quality and equality in Yogyakarta Province schools.

    • Slackware Family

      • KDE 5_15.05 packages are available for slackware-current

        I am trying to keep up with a monthly release of KDE 5 (Plasma5) packages for Slackware-current. So far, so good, and every month I have been able to make a significant difference. Today the KDE developers released an update to Plasma 5 while earlier this month you could have noticed updates for Frameworks and Applications. Time for some new packages for Slackware land!

    • Red Hat Family

      • New Red Hat Cloud Suite for Applications Offers Open Source Integrated IaaS and PaaS Solution

        Red Hat has announced Cloud Suite for Applications, an accelerated way to develop, deploy, and manage applications at scale using open source technologies. The new cloud offering helps enterprises reduce silos and enable more efficient OpenStack cloud deployments. Through the platform, Red Hat is offering IaaS, PaaS and management in an open environment, supported by Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the ability to leverage certified hardware of choice.

      • Red Hat Extends Enterprise Management for OpenStack with CloudForms 3.2

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced Red Hat CloudForms 3.2, the latest version of its award-winning solution for managing private and hybrid clouds. CloudForms 3.2 delivers innovative management features that enable customers to automate the deployment and management of OpenStack infrastructures, using advanced management instrumentation available in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 7 release (based on OpenStack Kilo).

      • Jim Whitehurst

        • Beware Red Hat interviews: you’ll pay for coffee, lunch and fuel

          Want a job at Red Hat? If so, prepare to buy your interviewer coffee, lunch and maybe even the petrol needed to drive to the coffee shop.

          That’s what happened to the company’s CEO Jim Whitehurst when he was interviewed by his predecessor Matthew Szulik.

        • Red Hat CEO: Here’s how to create an ‘Open Organization’

          In a brand-new book, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst explains what he’s learned from leading the largest open source company and how the lessons can be applied

        • The open source CEO strikes again

          In The Open Organization, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst presents a compelling, modern alternative to the traditional, top-down hierarchy of business organization. I had the pleasure of interviewing Whitehurst for TechCrunch.com in early 2012, and the seeds of many of the ideas in the book were clearly present even then. Reading The Open Organization felt, in some ways, like the conclusion to that interview.

        • Why I Wrote “The Open Organization”

          In my line of work, I get a lot of questions. Most of these are along the lines of “What’s it like to be CEO of an open source company” or “Where do you see technology moving over the next year?”

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • SourceForge hijacks GIMP account, loads it with adware

    It looks like SourceForge has taken over the account of GIMP user Jernej Simončič who was maintaining the Windows version of the project.

  • SourceForge grabs GIMP for Windows’ account, wraps installer in bundle-pushing adware [Updated]

    SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP’s lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements.

  • Using Windows? Avoid SourceForge.

    GIMP is not the only program. According to Ars Technica, a SourceForge staffer appears to have taken control of the SourceForge repository for all these projects:

  • SourceForge accused of shackling GIMP in kinky adware
  • SourceForge takes liberties with open-source software, uses it to push advertisements
  • GIMP Devs Accuse Sourceforge of Locking Them Out and Distributing Adware
  • Sourceforge accused of hijacking GIMP photo editor, company claims project was abandoned
  • Genode OS 15.05 Brings New Drivers, Architecture Improvements

    The release of the Genode OS 15.05 Operating System Framework is now available and it’s quite a sizable release.

    Genode OS 15.05 is shipping with a new AHCI driver, new audio drivers ported from OpenBSD, new SD-card drives, platform support for the i.MX6, and multi-touch support.

  • Test out DocHive for data geeks and journalists

    DocHive is an open source Ruby on Rails project for capturing data from image-based PDFs. Created for journalists and other professionals who need a more efficient way to extract meaning for tedious data, DocHive is in development and ready for testing in the community.

  • Philly’s open source mentorship program is back and expanding to 3 cities

    Women are drastically underrepresented in the open source movement. Of the open source contributions made in 2013, only 11 percent were made by women, according to a survey of the open source community.

    Girl Develop It wanted to change that. That’s why the nonprofit partnered with civic hacking group Code for Philly last year to launch a summer-long open source fellowship for women. Fellows said the program helped them find their place in the tech community.

  • Research community looks to SDN to help distribute data from the Large Hadron Collider

    There is one project called the LHC Open Network Environment (LHCONE) that was originally conceived to help with operations that involved multiple centers. To understand this, though, I have to explain the structure of the data and computing facilities.

  • How to Find the Best Open Source Project to Work On

    In my last article for Linux.com, I explored a few ways newcomers to open source projects can get started. While there are many resources to explore open source project communities, choosing which project to contribute to can still be a quite daunting task. You could go searching in the more than 23 million repositories on GitHub, the world’s largest source code hosting platform. But there are better ways. This article is meant to be a short guide to help novice open source practitioners more easily identify the first project they’d like to contribute to.

  • Using Raspberry Pi to get teens involved in open source

    At the end of last month, I had the unique opportunity to participate with a few of my work colleagues on the US2020 RTP STEM EXPO. About 500 students from North Carolina interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) showed up to the event. My colleagues and I gathered around a couple of tables and chatted with students, teachers, administrators, and parents about open source, open hardware, and programming.

  • Companies should be on the hunt for gremlins in the open-source machine

    Open-source software makes the computer code at its heart publicly accessible. This in turn means that anyone can update it or change it to suit their own needs. Closed-source, or proprietary software, remains the property of its original authors, who are the only ones legally allowed to copy or modify it. So Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is a closed-source product, but if you are reading this article on Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, you are making use of an open-source product. The authors of those browsers have made the source code available to you, and – if you were so inclined – you could view the code, copy it, learn from it, alter it and share it. But read to the end before you dive in.

  • Twitter Kit and Digits for Android go open source

    With a swarm of developers from around the world converging on San Francisco’s Moscone Center tomorrow for Google I/O, Twitter wants them to keep the company’s real-time social platform at the top of mind. This afternoon it announced that its developer tools for integrating Twitter into Android apps have been open-sourced, with the projects now hosted publicly on Github.

  • First Look Publishes Open Source Code To Advance Privacy, Security, and Journalism

    The Intercept and its publisher First Look Media strongly believe in the benefits of free and open source software — in part because we rely on such software every day. To keep our journalists and sources safe, we use secure communication tools like the data-encryption system GnuPG, the Off-the-Record secure messaging protocol, the SecureDrop communications platform, and the secure calling and texting app Signal. To publish on the web, we use the GNU/Linux operating system; the Apache web server; OpenSSL, a web encryption library; WordPress, the open-source blogging engine; and Piwik, which tracks web traffic. The list goes on.

  • Google Makes The Roboto Typeface Open Source

    With Ice Cream Sandwich, Google introduced Roboto to the world. Since then, the family (designed by Googler Christian Robertson) has expanded to include a set of slab serif fonts, and has even seen a major revision introduced with Android 5.0 last year.

  • Google has made its Roboto font open source
  • Google’s Roboto font for Android and Chrome is now open source
  • Google has made its Roboto font totally open source
  • Google makes its Roboto font from Android/Chrome OS open source
  • The Android ‘Roboto’ Font Is Now Open Source To Be Modified
  • Google makes their most famous font: Roboto completely open-source
  • Chrome for Android Goes Open Source; Now Anyone Can Build a Chromium Browser for Android
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • Basho combines its databases with open-source tech into an analytic bundle

      The intensifying competition in the NoSQL world is driving Basho Technologies Inc. to move up the value chain with a new platform promising to provide a unified environment for storing and processing the growing amounts of unstructured data entering the corporate network. It’s the latest realization of the tried and true one-shop-stop approach to differentiation in the enterprise.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice launches Open Document Format viewer app for Android

      THE DOCUMENT FOUNDATION, curator of the LibreOffice suite, has announced LibreOffice Viewer for Android.

      LibreOffice Viewer is the first native application from the group to offer Open Document Format documents.

      The term ‘Viewer’ should be emphasised at present, as the Foundation acknowledges that it is not ready for “mission critical tasks” in edit mode, and indeed users have to opt in to editing within settings.

      It is an important first step, however, and the community is already working on a fuller version that offers more of the expected features.

  • CMS

    • 8 features multilingual organizations should look for in a CMS

      For rapidly growing organizations, global expansion introduces hosts of new challenges. As you are spinning out more sites, you will likely be opening the door to new regional sites featuring local translations. In this scenario, a content management system (CMS) with multilingual capabilities isn’t just a nice feature to have, but rather a necessity.

  • Education

    • NY State school libraries fund flexible software

      OPALS is licensed under a GPL license, and libraries can elect to support it on their own hardware or have it hosted by Media Flex in the United States, or by Bibliofiche in Canada and internationally. Media Flex hosts nearly two thirds of the 2,000 libraries worldwide currently using OPALS. The other third are self-hosted and supported by MediaFlex.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU ease.js 0.2.5 release [stable]

      This is a feature release, focused primarily on the continued development of traits. This release succeeds v0.2.4, which was released 07 Aug, 2014.

  • Project Releases

    • Blender 2.75 Allows For AMD OpenCL Support

      A test build of Blender 2.75 was released this past week and it will be of interest to a lot of open-source designers and artists.

      Blender 2.75 notably has added initial support for OpenCL on AMD Radeon GPUs with the Cycles Rendering. The AMD OpenCL support is coming as the Cycles compute kernels have finally been split into smaller kernels, so they now compile and work for AMD GPUs. However, the AMD OpenCL stack failing to work with transparent shadows due to a compiler bug. The AMD OpenCL improvements for Blender was work led by AMD that we previously covered on Phoronix.

    • Blender 2.75 Open-Source 3D Modelling App Will Be a Massive Release with AMD GPU Support

      The Blender Foundation has informed users today, May 27, about the immediate availability for download and testing of the first Beta test build of the forthcoming Blender 2.75 open-source and cross-platform 3D modelling software.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • BuzzFeed Founder Launches New Lab for Open-Source Invention

      Over the nearly two decades that BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti has spent inventing things, he’s figured out that one of the most important ingredients of new ideas is something closer to play—experiments taken on not to profit immediately, or to develop a product, but because they’re flat-out fascinating. It’s what he figured out at MIT Media Lab, where he first became Internet Famous after his correspondence with a Nike customer service representative over getting the word “sweatshop” stitched into his sneakers went viral. And it’s what he promoted at the Brooklyn art and technology nonprofit where he built Eyebeam OpenLab, an open-source research and development space for artists.

    • Open Hardware

      • Introducing the Cubic Board — A Completely Open Source FPGA Project

        We believe the Cubic SoC board has a lot more performance and capability than other similar products out there (e.g., Arduino or Raspberry Pi) and — using the Cyclone FPGA’s pin migration capability — adding additional hardware resources by building the same board with a larger capacity FPGA is possible. All that processing power does, however, come at a price premium, probably retailing for sub-$200, which we believe is still very accessible for many hobbyists and commercial product developers.

      • exiii Japan releases Open Source files for amazing 3D printed HACKberry Bionic Hand

        Exiii, which consists of graduates from Sony’s manufacturing industry including Gentu Kondo, Hiroshi Yamaura, Tetsuya Konishi and by Akira Morikawa – have concluded the first iteration of their Open Source HACKberry bionic hand and have just released all of the design files online for others to use in creating their own bionic hands using a 3D printer and some basic hardware components – including an existing smartphone for the onboard computer.

      • Can Open-Source 3D Printing Make Custom Prostheses Affordable?

        One exciting thing about 3D-printed prostheses is that the designs are all freely available open source and constantly evolving. Holmes-Siedle is particularly interested in tensioning, and the fishing wire that acts as tendons in the prosthetic hands. He made some changes to the basic design of Joe’s hand and within minutes of sharing his new designs online, other volunteers around the world were printing, testing and giving feedback on the adjustment. He’s now working on a new revision based on what he’s learned.

      • Building better assistive technology with open hardware

        For many people, technology assists and augments our lives, making certain tasks easier, communicating across long distances possible, and giving us the opportunity to be more informed about the world around us. However, for many people with disabilities, technology is not an accessory but essential to living an independent and quality life.

        [...]

        Examined through the lens of accessibility, open hardware brings a lot of advantages, such as letting people with disabilities use readily available hardware that others use regardless of ability. Open hardware’s basic tenets in openness and usability allow for the creation of more customized, personalized assistive technology devices that fit a user’s needs. Open hardware allows for features to be added or removed as an individuals’ needs change with age and ability, extending the life of their device. The availability of parts, detailed guides, and tutorials on various single-board computers (SBCs) and components, ease of repair, and affordability are all profound qualities that are not only wanted, but needed in AT. Also, since open hardware is not locked behind proprietary controls and patents, there’s no requirement to use insurance or obtain medical permission to alter, modify, or change the state of what is truly owned by the person—in this case, their own assistive technology device.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe

      The 6th May 2015, the European Commission published a communication to the European Parliament, the Council, The European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions councerning a new Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe.

Leftovers

  • Reynolds: Fire administrators to fix higher ed

    Administrators increasingly outnumber faculty, and they’re weighing down higher education.

  • UK TV Licensing – Time to let a court hear this episode.

    So my message to TV Licensing is this: Good. Lets go to court. Lets have a court hear how I’ve written twice, let a court see my payment already made and my in date license; and then let the court hear my counter claim for the waste of my time and loss of earning incurred from attending. I’ll donate any award from the court to a local food bank.

  • Science

  • Security

    • IT Security Pros See Rise in Salaries

      Lead software security engineers, security consultants and others tasked with repelling cyber-threats can expect to earn six-figure salaries per year.

      Salaries for security tech professionals can greatly exceed the baseline for IT professional salaries, according to a report from Dice, the IT jobs portal.

      Lead software security engineers, directors of security, security consultants and others tasked with repelling cyber-threats can expect to earn six-figure salaries per year, so long as their skills, experience and certifications prove to be a match for demanding roles that are continuously evolving, the report noted.

    • The Price Of Ignoring Free Internet Security Advice: Billboards Of Goatse

      Great, so because whoever is in charge of managing that electronic billboard couldn’t be bothered to take the advice any competent technology person who came across the setup, of which there must have been at least one, the great people of Atlanta were treated to one of the most disgusting images in human existence. I’m generally loathe to blame the victim, but the owner of a public-facing billboard must have some culpability when it comes to securing their display. And I say that there was at least one person who warned them about this, because at least one has come forward publicly.

    • Hush! Call that bug ‘severe’ at your own risk

      Ever had a job where you had to constantly look over your shoulder and were hesitant to make decisions because you could be blamed for them? It’s not fun. I once found myself in such a situation, but fortunately, it didn’t last too long.

      In the late aughts, I worked for a large national bank that was acquired by an even larger national bank. Our bank still ran our own IT operation, but we engaged with the larger bank’s incident management team for any major problems. Part of my job supporting our Retail Bank organization was incident coordination.

    • iOS bug lets anyone crash your iPhone with a text message

      Glitch causes iOS to choke when certain non-Latin script is sent in a text message, causing the device to crash

    • Logjam, Part 1: Why the Internet is Broken Again (an Explainer)

      The discovery last week of another major flaw in TLS was announced, nicknamed “Logjam” by the group of prominent cryptographers who discovered it. It’s getting so hard to keep track of these flaws that researchers at INRIA in France created a “zoo” classifying the attacks (which is not yet updated to include Logjam or the FREAK attack discovered in March). Despite the fact that these attacks seem to be announced every few months now, Logjam is a surprising and important finding with broad implications for the Internet. In this post I’ll offer a technical primer of the Logjam vulnerability.

    • Logjam, Part 2: Did the NSA Know the Internet Was Broken?
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Tony Blair Resigns As Middle East Peace Envoy, Twitter Has A Field Day

      Yes, the news that the former British prime minister has quit his job as a peace envoy for Quartet after eight years has been met with the sort of reaction you’d expect. At least: the sort of reaction you’d expect on Twitter. Which is a mixture of mirth, relief and irony…

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Critics of Capitalism Must Include Its Definition

      Because capitalism is so regularly defined as “a market system,” we may consider first the actual nonequivalence of capitalism and markets. Capitalism became the dominant economic system in England in revolt against feudalism there in the 17th century. Capitalism spread from England to the western European mainland and thereafter to the rest of the world. However, capitalism was neither the first nor the only system to utilize markets as its means of distributing resources and products. In the slave economic systems that prevailed in various times and places across human history, markets were often the means of distributing resources (including slaves themselves) and the products of slaves’ labor. In the pre-Civil War United States, for example, masters sold slaves and cotton produced by slaves in markets. Thus, the presence of a “market system” does not distinguish capitalism from a slave system.

    • NYT: ‘Too Generous’ Family Policies Cause Discrimination Against Women

      That’s one way to put it, and the article, by “Women at Work” columnist Claire Cain Miller, puts it that way repeatedly. Women are paid less in Chile as a “result” of the law that requires employers to provide childcare for working mothers. Maternity leave measures “have meant that” European women are less likely to achieve powerful positions at work. Policies intended to mitigate the penalty women pay for their traditional “dual burden,” the Times says, “end up discouraging employers from hiring women in the first place.”

      The workplace repression of women is described as the “unintended” impact of family-friendly policies. Sure, such impacts weren’t intended by the policies’ drafters, but that makes it sound as though there were no conscious human beings behind decisions to pay working mothers less or not to hire women. It isn’t the policies that “make it harder” for women, but the male-centric management structure’s unwillingness to integrate those policies into the way work is done. Why not say that?

    • KKR Rolls Out Petraeus in $4 Trillion Hunt for Family Wealth

      McCarthy is the type of investor that KKR and its private equity competitors including Blackstone Group LP and Carlyle Group LP are increasingly courting. Family offices and their advisers manage an estimated $4 trillion, including for the newly rich in Silicon Valley and China, Midwestern entrepreneurs and old money in Europe.

    • Sterling falls on UK GDP data

      Sterling fell on Thursday after data confirmed that the UK economy grew at 0.3 per cent in the first quarter compared with the previous three months, disappointing those who had expected a higher reading.

    • “Dirty last-minute deal” sees ISDS accepted by key European Parliament committee

      In a significant omission, one of the European Parliament’s key committees, INTA, has not called for the rejection of the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in its TTIP report, which will be voted on by the full European Parliament on June 10. Although neither today’s vote, nor the plenary next month, has any direct effect on the negotiations, it is regarded as an indicator of the mood of the MEPs, and of how any eventual vote on ratifying TTIP might go.

      The second-largest party in the European Parliament, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group, published a position paper on ISDS back in March, which said: “we have made it clear that we do not see a need for its inclusion and have called for it to be excluded when negotiations for the investment chapter start.” It appears that S&D MEPs initially held onto this position in INTA, but as the result of what the Greens MEP Michel Reimon calls a “dirty last-minute deal” between the main political parties, they voted to drop all mention of ISDS from the committee’s final report.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • NYT Scrapes the Bottom to Argue ‘Democrats Pulled Too Far Left’

      Surely Wehner remembers that after the first half of Clinton’s first term, Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate for the remainder of his administration—exactly as happened under Obama. There were 30 Democratic governors when Clinton took office, and 19 when he left; there were 29 when Obama took office, and currently there’s 18.

      It’s true that Obama has been been bad news for his party—but as FAIR has long pointed out, that’s true of Clinton as well. An honest appraisal of the administrations of both Clinton and Obama, with their emphasis on deficit-cutting and corporate-friendly trade deals, reveals both Democrats to be establishment centrists—and centrist politics, contrary to what the punditocracy would have you believe, do not have a particularly winning record at the ballot box.

  • Privacy

    • The government’s data law – an attack on encryption?

      Overdue modernisation of the way the authorities monitor criminals and terrorists – or a Snooper’s Charter eroding our basic liberties? The proposal outlined in the Queen’s Speech to “modernise the law on communications data” will divide opinion. But prepare for another long battle over the way that law is framed and the balance it strikes between privacy and public safety.

      [...]

      The Open Rights Group (ORG), which campaigns against increased surveillance, is convinced this is the return of the so-called Snooper’s Charter, with increased powers of data collection and retention aimed at the entire population, coupled with attacks on encryption.

      The ORG’s executive director Jim Killock thinks the bill will have two aims – codifying existing practices by the intelligence agencies uncovered by Edward Snowden and expanding data retention by ISPs.

      But he believes that the increasing use of encryption by the likes of Google and Facebook means that ordering ISPs to store their customers’ data won’t be enough: “There’s going to be a very interesting discussion about whether government can break encryption or order companies to break it.”

    • Obtained Emails Show FBI’s General Counsel Briefly Concerned About Privacy Implications Of License Plate Readers

      According to documents obtained by the ACLU, the FBI briefly had a crisis of (4th Amendment) conscience while putting together its license plate reader program. How it talked itself out of its privacy concerns remains secret, as do any policies or guidelines addressing potential privacy issues. All we have so far is a heavily-redacted email in which the FBI’s General Counsel is noted as struggling with the issue.

    • German “Gründlichkeit” (Thoroughness)

      The German BND and the American NSA are not so different in the end, especially regarding their objectives and actions. The NSA might be better equipped technically and the BND signs formally correct contracts. In any case, this shows again that we can not trust that suggestions like “Schengen-Routing”, data storage in Germany only or even German inventions like “De-Mail” serve to protect the privacy of communications and data.

    • Queen’s Speech: Snooper’s Charter is back, plus extension of GCHQ powers

      The Queen’s Speech, delivered this morning at the opening of UK parliament, has confirmed earlier indications that the Snooper’s Charter is on its way back, with the UK government promising that “new legislation will modernise the law on communications data.”

      An analysis in The Guardian claims this new legislation will also include “an extension of the powers of the security services in response to the surveillance disclosures by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden,” although no sources are given for that information.

    • UK Government Goes Full Orwell: Snooper’s Charter, Encryption Backdoors, Free Speech Suppression

      The old joke goes “George Orwell’s 1984 was a warning, not a ‘how to’ manual.” But that joke is increasingly less funny as the UK really seems to be doing everything it can to put in place Orwell’s fictitious vision — just a few decades later. Right after the election a few weeks ago, we noted the government’s plan to push forward with its “extremist disruption orders” (as had been promised). The basic idea is that if the government doesn’t like what you’re saying, it can define your statements as “extremist” and make them criminal. Prime Minister David Cameron did his best Orwell in flat out stating that the idea was to use these to go after people who were obeying the law and then arguing that the UK needed to suppress free speech… in the name of protecting free speech. Really.

    • Updated: Flower Mound HS Student Photographer Forced to Take Down Website

      A sophomore honors student at Flower Mound High School who posted online some of the photos he took as part of his yearbook class, has been forced by school administrators to take down the photos. Anthony Mazur, 16, is on his school’s yearbook staff, and over the past year has been learning about photography- focusing mostly on sports photography. Mazur posted his best photos on Flickr, and had even been successful at selling a few of them to the parents of his subjects, until school administrators threatened him with in-school suspension or loss of privileges unless he removed them all.

      [...]

      Hass declined to answer our followup questions about how the AUP applied to the situation, since his work was related to a class project (yearbook), and since photographs taken at public events have no legal expectation of privacy, or whether Brown threatened him with expulsion, confiscating money, or reporting him to the IRS.

      Although the Mazur family is fighting the decision, Anthony says he is undeterred. He has since obtained his own camera, and is continuing to photograph sporting events, where he says he has the same access as other members of the public, and members of the media. “They’re not going to stop me, I’ll keep doing what I love,” said Anthony.

    • Hola VPN Sells Users’ Bandwidth, Founder Confirms

      The operator of 8chan says the bandwidth of millions of Hola users is being sold for reuse, with some of it even being used to attack his site. Speaking with TorrentFreak, Hola founder Ofer Vilenski says that users’ idle resources are indeed utilized for commercial sale, but that has been the agreement all along.

  • Civil Rights

    • Meanwhile, In Japan: More Arrests For Cheating At Video Games

      Some months back, we noted that something odd was happening in Japan: online gaming cheaters were being arrested. Yes, arrested. Not arrested in a virtual sense, not banned from games, arrested as in picked up by police and charged with a crime. This, in case you are undecided on the matter, is insane. Cheating and online gaming have been a virtual arms-race for going on forever and generally it’s been on the gaming companies to win that war. If they can use law enforcement as a new ally, the implications could be scary, especially when it’s quite easy to levy accusations of cheating and when simply finding ways to exploit an advantage within a game is often times mistaken for cheating as well.

    • Steam Replaces The Linux Tux Logo With SteamOS

      In an unsurprising move, Steam has replaced the Linux icon of “tux” with their own SteamOS icon. I completely understand why they did this, but it does make things confusing.

    • A Bill AP Calls a ‘Compromise’ Could Put AP’s Sources Away for 10 Years

      If you’re more worried about the government spying on you than you are about the government losing “valuable surveillance tools”—well, I guess AP is not the news service for you, then.

      One such PATRIOT Act preservation effort is labeled a “compromise” by AP—Senate Intelligence Committee chair Richard Burr’s proposal to extend the NSA’s bulk collection of domestic phone records until 2017—in what AP calls a “transition.”

    • Corruption Welcome in London

      The FBI had somebody wearing a wire at the London Olympics to capture the FIFA corruption taking place in the margins. What were the British authorities doing? Nothing.

      Britain prides itself as having in London the world’s leading financial centre. Substantial assets, both financial and real estate, from FIFA corruption are located in London. But Britain has taken over the crown from Switzerland as the major financial destination which will always protect ill-gotten wealth.

      Alisher Usmanov played a major role as bagman for the corrupt Russian World Cup bid, particularly with delegates from FIFA’s Asian Confederation. His place as Britain’s third richest resident is very obviously based on extreme Russian corruption and he rose to power and wealth solely with the use of gangster muscle and contacts he gained and expanded while serving a prison sentence for blackmail. But he is a billionaire and beloved by the City of London so there is no danger of him ever being investigated in the UK.

    • Fifa scandal: Why the US is policing a global game
    • Putin: FIFA-linked arrests are US attempt to thwart Blatter re-election
    • 2 Teen Diablo Players Were Charged, Got Probation For ‘Stealing’ Virtual Items That Were Replaced

      With some of the recent news stories about how cheating, or other crimes, committed in virtual settings is resulting in real-world legal consequences, I’m sort of surprised the media hadn’t picked up on this story before. Apparently back in the summer of 2012, two teenagers, Patrick Nepomuceno and Michael Stinger, ran a scheme in Blizzard’s Diablo 3 in which Stinger would send out a link to another player that allowed Nepomuceno to take control of the player’s computer, force the player’s character to drop all of his/her valuable virtual game items, and then Stinger would scoop them up.

    • An Innocent Pressure Cooker Pays The Price In The War On Terror

      Israel Shimeles operates a food truck (SUSPICIOUS!) and moved those items to his parked car to make more room in his truck. He has since apologized and calls his own actions “stupid.” That’s the world we live in today, where a propane tank and a pressure cooker laying in plain sight in a parked vehicle results in destroyed property and apologies from the person who’s now out a pressure cooker, propane tank and rear window.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T Argues Net Neutrality Violates Its First Amendment Rights

      Back when Verizon sued to overturn the FCC’s 2010 net neutrality rules, the telco argued that the FCC was aggressively and capriciously violating the company’s First and Fifth Amendment rights. According to Verizon’s argument at the time, broadband networks “are the modern-day microphone by which their owners engage in First Amendment speech.” Verizon also tried to claim that neutrality rules were a sort of “permanent easement on private broadband networks for the use of others without just compensation,” and thereby violated the Fifth Amendment.

    • Code injection: A new low for ISPs

      Imagine you’re on the phone with your doctor, discussing a very sensitive and private matter that requires your full attention. Suddenly in the middle of a sentence, your mobile phone provider injects a recording saying you’ve used 90 percent of your minutes for the month and to press 1 to contact customer service, and repeats the message until you either hit 1 or hit 2 to cancel.

      Or you’re on a call with a buddy, talking about your favorite sports team. Suddenly you get several text messages with “special offers” from companies that sell jerseys and other sporting goods.

    • Net Neutrality On The Ropes In Europe As Some EU Members Wimp Out On Real Rules

      While net neutrality may have recently found its way into the Merriam Webster dictionary, it still hasn’t managed to find its way to Europe. Most assumed that the EU would have passed net neutrality protections long before the States, so the FCC beating the EU to the punch surprised more than a few people. That was especially true if you’d been watching some of rhetoric coming out of the EU over the last few years.

      [...]

      The EU’s net neutrality bill began in 2013 when Kroes introduced a proposal for a Telecoms Single Market (TSM), or a single piece of regulation covering all telecom issues across the EU. That proposal was slowly but surely boiled down to just two major proposals: one aimed at eliminating wireless roaming between EU nations to reduce consumer rates, and one focused on enshrining net neutrality into law. Like initial efforts in the States, however, this proposal was packed with all manner of loopholes pushed for by major telecom carriers, worried their ability to abuse limited last-mile competition would come to an end.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Never Ending Copyright Dispute

        For the last few years, we’ve been covering a long (now complete) saga concerning the status of the copyright on Sherlock Holmes. A few years ago, we wrote about the odd state of the copyright according to the Conan Doyle Estate — which insisted that the character was not in the public domain in the US (even as it is in the public domain in many other countries). That’s because, while nearly all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works were published long before 1923, a final set of 10 stories were published after. The Estate erroneously argued that as long as any part of Sherlock Holmes was under copyright, all of it was. In 2013, a scholar of Sherlock Holmes sued the Estate to argue otherwise. And despite the silly fears of the Estate, both the district court and the appeals court rightly explained how copyright law works to the Estate, noting that all of the early works are in the public domain, and the only copyright that may be maintained is in the marginal creative additions in those final 10 works. The appeals court even went so far as to argue that the Estate was abusing antitrust laws in demanding fees from everyone. And the Supreme Court refused to review the case.

05.27.15

Links 27/5/2015: Fedora 22 is Out, Mandriva Liquidated

Posted in News Roundup at 5:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Innovation: What’s In and What’s Out

    Open source innovation has not only revolutionized the software and biotech industries — it’s completely changed the way we think about creativity. To be derivative is now a form of being creative. That is, in order to do something new, we don’t have to build something new — we can use existing and emerging forms, made available through open access, and do something new with them. This promotes a democracy in the innovation game: with open source services, there is no discrimination against persons or groups or against fields or endeavors.

  • 4 steps to creating a thriving open source project

    Andrey Petrov spoke at a Sourcegraph open source meetup about lessons learned from his successes and failures creating open source projects.

  • Google turns its Android font Roboto into an open source project

    Designed by Christian Robinson, the Roboto font files were first released in 2011 under the Apache license. Now, the company is organizing the files and the font production toolchain into a fully realized open source project on Github.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Downgrading to stable

      The system works fine otherwise and can be accessed via ssh, but restarting kdm doesn’t help to fix it, it just changes the pattern. Anyway, as explaining a toddler he cannot watch his favourite youtube cartoons because suddenly the computer screen has become an abstract art work is not easy I quickly decided to downgrade.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Richard Stallman Says He Created GNU, Which Is Called Often Linux

      Richard Stallman is the President of the Free Software Foundation and also the founder of GNU or GNU’s Not Unix! operating system that contains only free software. One of his constant claims is that GNU/Linux is a misnomer and that it shouldn’t be used. In fact, he’s now saying that the GNU operating system is often called Linux.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Researchers to track down obstacles to digital DIY

      An EU-funded research project wants to find regulations and other obstacles that hinder digital Do-It-Yourself companies. A consortium of universities and research institutes in Manchester, Milan, London, Thessaloniki and other cities intends to help small enterprises benefit from digital DIY, help policy makers and prepare teachers and educators.

    • Open Data

      • Open Government and geo-data infrastructures at AGIT 2015

        One of the themes at the AGIT 2015 conference will be Open Government and geo-data infrastructures. According to the organisers, the availability of standardised open government services has increased the importance of government geo-data infrastructures, taking the opportunities for using geo-information to a new level. Discussions will focus on questions like what value can be created by building a European ‘spatially-enabled society’ as part of the European knowledge society, and what are the challenges and prospects with regard to cloud computing.

      • How open data is transforming the business landscape

        Despite pledges by the G7 and G20 to boost transparency by opening up government data, fewer than 8% of countries publish data sets in open formats and under open licences on public sector budgets, spending and contracts.

    • Open Hardware

      • Hubble delivers a more affordable 3D laser cutter

        Hubble is an open source, mid-level laser cutter designed to be affordable, versatile, and hackable. Hubble was created to fill the current gap between amazing, entry-level projects, like MicroSlice, and the expensive, proprietary laser cutters on the market.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Stop Feeding the Troll: The Case for an ISIS Propaganda Blackout

      Now, there’s no actual evidence that any of this is anything more than deranged ranting, yet here we are: Millions of casual news observers who scrolled through western media this weekend came away thinking ISIS is plotting to acquire a nuclear bomb, kill the president and prostitute his wife.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • EU dropped plans for safer pesticides after pressure from US

      EU plans to regulate hormone-damaging chemicals found in pesticides have been dropped because of threats from the US that this would adversely affect negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), according to a report in The Guardian. Draft EU regulations would have banned 31 pesticides containing endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that have been linked to testicular cancer and male infertility.

      Just after the official launch of the TTIP negotiations on 13 June 2013, a US business delegation visited EU officials to demand that the proposed regulations governing EDCs should be thrown out in favour of a further “impact study.” Minutes of the meeting on June 26 show Commission officials saying that “although they want the TTIP to be successful, they would not like to be seen as lowering the EU standards.” Nonetheless, the European Commission capitulated shortly afterwards.

  • Privacy

    • Glenn Greenwald, I’m sorry: Why I changed my mind on Edward Snowden

      I was wrong. So was most of the media

    • New surveillance laws must have full public debate, say top UK academics

      A group of 35 top academics have published an open letter calling on the UK government to ensure “the Rule of Law and the democratic process is respected as UK surveillance law is revised.” This comes in response to the UK government previously turning to draft “Codes of Practice” and “clarifying amendments” to extend its surveillance powers, rather than using primary legislation that is subject to full parliamentary and public debate. Interestingly, the letter includes signatories both for and against such extensions, working in the fields of law, media, policy, and technology.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Last chance for MEPs to save Net Neutrality?

      The negotiations on Net Neutrality comes to the end in June with next and probably final trialogue expected on 2nd of June. Until now, the different documents received from the negotiations1 have shown a very weak position of the Members of European Parliament (MEPs), abandoning the improvement on Net Neutrality that had been brought by the previous legislature. If the MEPs do not take this last chance to save Net Neutrality, it would have a critical impact on the way Internet is functioning, on the citizens’ fundamental rights and on further regulations adopted within the so-called Digital Single Market.

    • How people power took on big business in the fight for net neutrality in India

      At the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Jan Koum, chief executive of WhatsApp, made an announcement that would cause much unease 4,000 miles away in New Delhi. “We want to make sure people always have the ability to stay in touch with their friends and loved ones really affordably,” he said. “We’re going to introduce voice on WhatsApp in the second quarter of this year.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Court Order Forbids ‘Poor Pirate’ To Use BitTorrent

        A federal court in Oregon has signed off on a highly peculiar judgment against a Dallas Buyers Club pirate. Citing “financial hardship,” the woman doesn’t have to pay the $7,500 in costs and fees as long as she promises not to download any infringing material in the future, and removes any and all BitTorrent clients.

      • Rightscorp Offered Internet Provider a Cut of Piracy Settlements

        Rightscorp, the piracy monetization company that works with Warner Bros. and other prominent copyright holders, goes to great lengths to reach allegedly pirating subscribers. The company offered Cox Communications a cut of the piracy settlements if they agreed to forward their notices, the ISP revealed in court.

05.26.15

Links 26/5/2015: Reviews of Kubuntu 15.04, Linux 4.1 RC5

Posted in News Roundup at 5:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux and Windows Are Heading Towards a War That Microsoft Will Lose

    The “battle” between Windows and Linux is more of a fictional one, and it has been raging on for the past couple of decades. It wasn’t really a battle, despite what each side was saying, but that will undoubtedly change when Linux clearly becomes a force to be reckoned with.

  • A Linux proud history – 15 years ago and the Brazilian ATM

    The history i want to share with you is how that “marble Tux” happens. Yes, it was a production machine that you see in the picture and was running in every place in Brazil for at least 10 years.

    So, a 25 years old boy, in this case me, the guy typing now, who was working in a ILOG graphical toolkit partner suddenly decide to look for Linux jobs, it was out of university for 1 year, but was already infected for the open source and Linux for more than 3 years, and thought it can be done.

  • Nitpicking Linux

    If you present someone to the Linux world as GNU/Linux, you spend the next fifteen minutes trying to explain GNU. It’s difficult to explain in just a few minutes, it’s difficult to pronounce and it confuses the new Linux user. However, I make it a practice to bookmark websites that explain what GNU is and why it’s critical to Linux, and I tell people why it’s important to read about the subject when they have time.

  • The CompuLab Fitlet Is A Neat Little Linux PC With AMD SoC

    Earlier this year CompuLab announced the Fitlet PC as a tiny, fanless, Linux-friendly PC. The Fitlets are finally starting to ship at scale and recently I received one of the AMD-powered Fitlets that’s preloaded with Linux Mint. Here’s a quick look at the Fitlet.

  • CoreOS becomes available in OpenStack App Marketplace: Linux Wrap
  • CoreOS Linux is in the OpenStack App Marketplace

    Today at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, we are pleased to announce that CoreOS Linux – the lightweight operating system that provides stable, reliable updates to all machines connected to the update service – is included in the OpenStack Community App Catalog.

  • Desktop

    • Xolo Chromebook: Handy device for enterprises

      Google Chrome OS has been developed on the Chrome browser which has become hugely popular and successful. Google, which has also made the OS capable of running Android apps and games, recently launched three Chromebooks (laptops that run on the Chrome OS) made by three different manufacturers in India targeted at different segments of consumers with attractive price tags. Here’s a peek under the hood of Xolo Chromebook, priced at Rs. 12,999.

  • Server

    • Contain(er-ize) yourself, it’s Intel Clear Linux

      Intel explains that its aim was NOT to make ‘yet another general-purpose Linux distribution’; and so, as such, while it has included ‘many’ software components from the OpenStack Foundation, but it chose (among other decisions to cull) not to include a GUI or printing support.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Xfce’s Power Manager Is Finally Ported To GTK3

      The xfce4-power-manager 1.5.0 update is a big release! Xfce4-power-manager 1.5.0 is ported over to using the GTK3 tool-kit rather than GTK2, has also been ported to using GDBUS, has dropped its LXDE panel plug-in with upstream focusing upon LXQt, and there’s also various other improvements with this new Xfce power manager release.

    • xfce4-power-manager updated to 1.5.0

      Xfce4-power-manager version 1.5.0 was released today and I have updated that for rawhide and F22. Apart from bug fixes, there are one or two nice UI changes (shown in the screenshots).

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Interview with Griatch

        I’ve known about Krita for a long time, I might have first heard about it around the time I started to complement my GIMP work with MyPaint for painting. Since I exclusively draw in Linux, the open-source painting world is something I try to keep in touch with.

      • Hitting the ground running

        Today is officially the first day of coding for this year’s Google Summer of Code. For the next three months I will be working on bringing animation to Krita. There’s a lot of work ahead, but I have a solid plan to work with.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Why a Rolling Release Model is the Way to Go for Any OS

      In the last year or so, I’ve noticed that rolling-release distributions are becoming more and more popular among Linux users, and even big names like Ubuntu are considering the switch to a rolling update development model, but I think all operating systems should use the rolling release model.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Plex Home Theater 1.4.1 for Debian Jessie and Sid

        Recently Plex Plex Home Theater was updated to 1.4.1 with fixes for some errors, in particular concerning the new music handling introduced in 1.4.0. As with 1.4.0, I have compiled PHT for both jessie and sid, both for amd64 and i386.

      • Debian/TeX Live 2015 preparations

        I have uploaded a preliminary version of the texlive-bin based on the 2015 sources (plus the first fixes) to the Debian archive, targeting experimental. As there are four new packages built from the sources (libtexlua52, -dev, libtexluajit2, -dev) the packages have to go through the NEW queue, which at the moment is an impressive 500+ entries long (nearly top in total history). But ftp-masters are currently very active and I hope they continue for some time.

      • Reproducible builds: week 4 in Stretch cycle

        Lunar rebased our custom dpkg on the new release, removing a now undeed patch identified by Guillem Jover. An extra sort in the buildinfo generator prevented a stable order and was quickly fixed once identified.

      • Derivatives

        • Parsix GNU/Linux 7.0 Will Reach End of Life on June 14 to Make Room for Parsix 8.0

          The Parsix Project has recently announced that their Parsix GNU/Linux 7.0 (Nestor) distribution will reach the end of its life support in the coming weeks, urging users to upgrade to Parsix GNU/Linux 7.5 (Rinaldo) as soon as possible.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch to Get Improved Desktop Mode with Next Update

            Canonical is preparing a major new update for Ubuntu Touch, but it will take a while until it’s going to be ready. From the looks of it, the devs are preparing some interesting improvements and updates.

          • Ubuntu Powers Self-Driving Tesla Model S Modified by Bosch

            Ubuntu can be used for almost any task you can imagine and that includes powering a Boss-modified Tesla Model S so that it can run autonomously.

          • Dell Now Has Ubuntu Installation Tutorial on Its Website

            Dell is one of the biggest companies that sell PCs preinstalled with Ubuntu, and now they are also featuring a tutorial on how to install Ubuntu on your Dell machines.

          • GPS Navigation Coming to Ubuntu Touch

            One of the apps still missing from Ubuntu Touch is one that provides GPS navigation. Well, if you are an Ubuntu user that really needs this functionality, then you will be glad to know that an app called GPS Navigation is currently being developed.

          • Apport Exploits Closed in All Supported Ubuntu OSes

            A couple of Apport vulnerabilities have been found and fixed in Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

          • Canonical on the cusp of becoming a public traded company

            Since 2004, when Ubuntu was launched, Mark Shuttleworth, its founder, has been paying privately to keep Canonical (Ubuntu’s parent company) alive. While Canonical as a whole has been unprofitable, its OpenStack cloud division has become profitable. Based on this Shuttleworth has been contemplating whether Canonical should become publicly traded.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Review: Kubuntu 15.04 “Vivid Vervet”

              This month has been quite busy for me with classes. Now that the semester is finally over, I have a little more time, and that means I have enough time to do a review. It has been a few years since I’ve reviewed Kubuntu, the officially-supported variant of Ubuntu that uses KDE. Moreover, Kubuntu now features KDE 5 (I know the KDE naming and numbering system has become a lot more complicated, so this is, as a physicist might say, an intentional abuse of notation) as stable for the first time, so I figured I should try this version. I tried it as a live USB made with UnetBootin. Follow the jump to see what it’s like. (It should become progressively clearer through this review why there are no pictures.)

            • Exploring Kubuntu 15.04

              Kubuntu Kubuntu is an official Ubuntu community project which releases new versions in step with the rest of the Ubuntu community. Kubuntu ships with KDE’s Plasma desktop by default, offering users the latest technology to come out of the KDE project. Kubuntu’s most recent release, version 15.04, is the first to ship with Plasma 5 and this is also the first version of the distribution to ship with systemd as the default init technology. The distribution’s release announcement states, “Plasma 5, the next generation of KDE’s desktop, has been rewritten to make it smoother to use while retaining the familiar setup. The second set of updates to Plasma 5 are now stable enough for everyday use and is the default in this version of Kubuntu.”

            • elementary OS “Freya” Finally Gets Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

              elementary OS “Freya” has been out for some time now, but developers are still adding features to it despite the fact that it has been dubbed stable. Now, users have the option to define custom keyboard shortcuts, which was a very sought after feature.

            • Elementary OS 0.3 Freya Has Received A New Option, Permitting The Users To Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

              Elementary OS 0.3 Freya has received a new option that permits the users to define their custom keyboard shortcuts, a feature which has been long awaited by the community.

            • Pre-order Linux Mint 17.2 Rafaela
            • How to turn your old PC into a modern media center with Kodibuntu

              We will be using Kodibuntu, a Linux based operating system with sole purpose of giving you a modern HTPC features and interface. The goal of this tutorial is to help you in building a standalone, multi purpose media center which you can control from your smartphone, tablet or PC.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Introducing Tessel 2, a $35 Open-Source IoT Development Board That Runs Linux

      After having introduced you to the Lemon Pi single computer board, today we are happy to present Tessel 2, a development platform created by Technical Machine and designed from the ground up to be embedded in a product.

    • FPGA add-on boards support Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black

      Newark Element14’s new ValentFX Logi-Pi and Logi-Bone FPGA add-on boards for the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black feature Arduino and PMOD hooks.

      We first covered the Logi-Pi and Logi-Bone Logi-Boards back in Sept. 2013 when ValentFX showed off prototypes at the New York Maker Faire. The Logi-Boards, which integrate Xilinx SPARTAN-6 XC6SLX9 FPGAs, and plug into the Linux-based Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black hacker boards, respectively, have now reached market, thanks to a partnership with Newark Element14. ValentFX and Newark have also launched a $45.48 Logi-Edu educational board add-on that purports to teach everyday hackers the mysteries of FPGA.

    • Phones

      • Smartphone Bloodbath Q1 of 2015 same ole, same ole

        Nokia’s own MeeGo OS (used in Nokia N9) was regularly rated better than iOS…

      • Android

        • Google Makes Chrome For Android Open Source

          Google has announced that Chrome for Android is now open source, the news was announced by Android software engineer Aurimas Liuyikas on Reddit.

        • Screenshots of Google’s new Photos app for Android leak

          We’ve heard rumors since at least August 2014 that Google+’s image functions may be spun out into a standalone photo service. In March, Sundar Pichai, senior vice president for products at Google, said the company is going to put a renewed focus on photos. “Photos are a big use case,” Pichai said. “So we are going to say this is the stream now.”

        • Android’s stand-alone Photos app will give you more creative control

          Android Police has peeked at a leaked copy of a reworked Photos app, and it’s clear that Google is using the service split as an incentive to shake things up. The highlight may be Assistant (below), an effective substitute for Auto Awesome that gives you more creative power — you can produce more content yourself (such as Stories) instead of waiting for it to show up.

        • Android Factory Resets Are Flawed, Allow User Data to Be Recovered: Study
        • Factory data reset for Android leaves encrypted data and login keys intact

          Researchers at Cambridge University discovered they were able to recover data on a vast array of Android powered devices that had undergone the factory data reset process.

        • Android 5.1 Lollipop Update Coming To The NVIDIA Shield Tablet

          The update would improve performance and stability, and bring a Shield controller update that makes pairing easier. Among many other features, the LTE model includes improvement in camera, audio, and performance of the modem.

        • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop For Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9190: How To Install It Using CM12.1 Nightly Custom ROM

          Users of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini with the model number GT-I9190 can have the latest Lollipop experience on their smartphones with the help of a new custom ROM. The new CyanogenMod 12.1 (CM12.1) Nightly custom ROM is based on stock Android user interface with additional features and options.

        • Android Payments Could Be Key Item News From Google I/O: Merrill Lynch

          In the research report published on Friday, Merrill Lynch analysts gave their input on 2015 Google I/O developer conference that will take place on May 28- 29 in San Francisco, California. Since competition in the payments industry is on the horizon, the research firm expects Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) to launch an upgraded payment platform for the Android users.

        • Android M: This is Google’s new Photos app

          Google is expected to announce a bunch of new software initiatives later this week, one of them being Android M. Some leaks have already provided early information on what the upcoming operating system will have to offer, and a new report sheds light on what could be one of the most important new apps for Android M (and other Android versions) that Google is expected to announce at I/O 2015.

        • Best new Android widgets (May 2015) #2

          If you’re a dedicated Android fan and not making full use of widgets, then you’re totally not using the full potential of Google’s platform. See, if we take away widgets out of the feature bag, we are easily stripping it from one of its defining features.

        • Boffins silently track train commuters without tripping Android checks

          Nanjing University boffins Jingyu Hua, Zhenyu Shen, and Sheng Zhong have tracked commuter train trips with 92 percent accuracy using stolen phone accelerometer data.

        • ZTE unveils Q519T smartphone in China: 4000mAh battery, Android 5.0 Lollipop

          Chinese smartphone maker ZTE has unveiled the successor to the Q509T, dubbed Q519T, a new affordable smartphone which is priced at 599 Yuan (approximately Rs 6,100) in China. There is no information provided as to when the device will be available in India.

        • Android M and Nexus updates: The good, the bad and the ugly

          Android M is expected to be unveiled later this week at Google I/O, and it will bring several new features to Google’s mobile platform according to various reports, including a brand new device update guarantee for Nexus devices.

        • 10 Best Android Apps & Games This Week

          A week has passed, which means we’re back with our usual roundup with some of the best new Android apps and games that have made their way into the Play Store. This time we’ve got a good collection of games, so if you were looking to add some new ones on your Android smartphone or tablet, now is the right time to do it. Also, do check out our previous roundup, as well as this week’s sister list with the newest and greatest iOS apps, as well.

        • Asus ZenFone 5 Android 5.0 Lollipop Update to Release in ‘Next 3-4 Months’

          The Android 5.0 Lollipop update for Asus ZenFone 5 has been delayed by 3-4 months, reveals the Taiwanese company.

        • [Android Auto Watch] 2015 Hyundai Sonata Android Auto Upgrade Now Available At Some Dealers, Others Soon
        • AT&T to begin selling LG G Pad F 8.0 Android tablet on May 29

          After releasing its own branded 8-inch Android tablet a mere two weeks ago, AT&T is giving itself some fresh competition. The mobile carrier has announced that it’s bringing the LG G Pad F 8.0 to its customers starting on May 29.
          What’s Hot on ZDNet

          The new model should not be confused with the LG G Pad 8.3, which, while being an older tablet, offers a slightly larger, higher-resolution screen and a faster processor. Rather, it’s more of a bigger sibling to the LG G Pad 7.0 that was released late last year, coming with the same 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor (compared to the 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 inside the G Pad 8.3).

        • ZTE Q519T With 4000mAh Battery, Android 5.0 Lollipop Launched

          ZTE, soon after launching the Nubia Z9 smartphone in China, has now unveiled yet another smartphone, the Q519T. Unveiled in China, the ZTE Q519T has been priced at equivalent of $95 (approximately Rs. 6,000).

          The highlight of the ZTE Q519T smartphone is that it features a massive battery capacity of 4000mAh, which is claimed to deliver up to 35 days of standby time. The new ZTE Q519T smartphone will be available in Blue, Gold, and White colours.

        • LG Watch Urbane Review: Wonderful Hardware But Android Wear Is Still Frustrating

          When I wear the LG Watch Urbane people almost never ask me about it. Why? Because it looks like a watch. Other smart watches, like the original Samsung Gear and the Sony Smartwatch 3 attracted more questions from people, perhaps because they’re more obviously not watches.

          The shape helps, like the G Watch R, the Urbane is circular and has a prominent button on the side. If you have the right watch face installed it’s actually nearly impossible to tell it’s not a standard, but chunky, watch. That is surely a good thing from a design perspective, although watch elitists will still tell you the smartwatch thing is nonsense, and a fad. The truth is that even big names in traditional watchmaking are thinking about how they can offer smart features in their watches.

        • Roman Nurik’s FORM Android Wear Watch Face Is Now Available, Includes Cool Muzei Integration

          Roman Nurik works for Google, but he also develops really cool (and free) Android apps from time to time. He’s the man behind Dash Clock, Muzei, and now the FORM Watch Face for Android Wear. You can grab it right now and enjoy it all on its own, or you can take advantage of the sweet Muzei functionality.

        • Roman Nurik’s latest FORM Watch Face demonstrates the power of Android

          If the name Roman Nurik doesn’t ring a bell, he’s a design advocate for Google, and every time he decides to publish an Android app it seems to turn out a winner. His two previous apps that created quite a stir in the Android community are DashClock Widget and Muzei Live Wallpaper. Both are awesome, so you shouldn’t expect the next to be less so. While not immediately useful to non-Android Wear users, Roman’s new FORM Watch Face demonstrates the power of Android as a mobile platform.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Is your open source security software less secure?

    “Your secure software is open source; doesn’t that make it less secure?”

    This is a recurring question that we get at Benetech about Martus, our free, strongly encrypted tool for secure collection and management of sensitive information built and provided by the Benetech Human Rights Program. It’s an important question for us and for all of our peers developing secure software in today’s post-Snowden environment of fear and worry about surveillance. We strongly believe not only that open source is compatible with digital security, but that it’s also essential for it.

  • Open HUB: How to find the best open source projects

    Let’s say you want to identify something like a Kanban system for your software project management and you’ve looked at various commercial products but for one reason or another nothing quite fits your requirements. Perhaps they’re not organized in a way you’d like or they come with a load of other features at a price that doesn’t make sense for you or they can’t be integrated into your workflow so you’re going to bite the bullet. You’re going to look for an open source Kanban system and adapt it to meet your needs. But how do you find such a beast?

  • Events

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Software Commons vs. Product

      One regular reader of this blog contacted me a few days ago to share a few suggestions and some concerns about the LibreOffice project. I did not agree with many of the points he was making, but a few of them made sense. I’d like to discuss the main one, because I think there is no clear cut answer about it even inside the LibreOffice project.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Open source data integration with Karma

        I recently attended a half-day workshop on Karma with Pedro Szekely, our instructor. He started by warning us that he knows very little about libraries, but a ton about data. The files we needed for the workshop were on GitHub, if you’re interested in checking it out. You can follow the tutorial steps on the Wiki, and, of course, you can find Karma itself on GitHub.

    • Open Hardware

      • LayerOne Hardware Hacking Village

        Go to DEFCON and you’ll stand in line for five hours to get a fancy electronic badge you’ll be showing to your grandchildren some day. Yes, at DEFCON, you buy your hacker cred. LayerOne is not so kind to the technically inept. At LayerOne, you are given a PCB, bag of parts, and are told to earn your hacker cred by soldering tiny QFP and SOT-23 chips by hand. The Hardware Hacking Village at LayerOne was packed with people eagerly assembling their badge, or badges depending on how cool they are.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Failure of the US coup d’État in Macedonia

      Macedonia has just neutralised an armed group whose sponsors had been under surveillance for at least eight months…

    • The War Commemoration Racket

      Memorial Day commemorates soldiers killed in war. We are told that the war dead died for us and our freedom. US Marine General Smedley Butler challenged this view. He said that our soldiers died for the profits of the bankers, Wall Street, Standard Oil, and the United Fruit Company.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Holy Shit! Almonds Require a Ton of Bees

      Growing 80 percent of the globe’s almonds in California doesn’t just require massive amounts of water. It also takes a whole bunch of honeybees for pollination—roughly two hives’ worth for every acre of almonds trees, around 1.7 million hives altogether. That’s at least 80 percent of all available commercial hives in the United States, Gene Brandi, a California beekeeper who serves as vice president of the American Beekeeping Federation, recently told NPR.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Right-Wing Pundits’ Anti-Memorial Day

      With all this talk about epistemology and the messiness of history, it’s easy to forget that what Bush was being asked to do was not travel through time but to say whether or not he agreed with a decision, made by the last president from his party (who also happens to be his brother), that was based on lies and resulted in the deaths of half a million people. Would his brother have made that same choice? It’s an important question whose answer is obviously not obvious.

  • Privacy

    • Encryption is good for the economy, even if the Tories say otherwise

      Digital privacy has been a growing concern for businesses and general web users ever since Edward Snowden leaked PRISM documents to the press, and for good reason.

      The documents revealed a digital surveillance operation that was larger and more efficient than even the most zealous tinfoil hat wearer could have imagined.

      They detailed operations that collected vast streams of data from big name companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Yahoo, that had been approved in dark, back-room, secret courts away from the eyes of privacy advocates and digital watchdogs.

    • Why Mitch McConnell Cannot Be Allowed to Decide the Fate of the Patriot Act

      Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear this week that, while the Senate is rapidly approaching recess, the Senate “will stay in [session] until a deal is struck to extend” the Patriot Act. McConnell has also introduced legislation for both long-term and short-term reauthorization of the Patriot Act’s expiring provisions. It seems that McConnell is trying to bully the entire Senate into passing short-term reauthorization, giving him more time to further weaken reform efforts.

    • Philip Zimmermann: king of encryption reveals his fears for privacy

      Zimmermann and Snowden are 30 years apart in age, but their actions have framed the privacy debate. Zimmermann switched his focus from campaigning against nuclear weapons to pushing back on state snooping in 1991, when he released PGP for free over the internet in an act of political defiance. His protest helped prevent legislation which would have forced software companies to insert “backdoors” in their products, allowing the government to read encrypted messages.

      The user manual for PGP, written by Zimmermann in 1991 and updated seven years later, is a startling prediction of the mass surveillance methods that were eventually adopted by the NSA after 9/11.

    • Senate Fails To Pass Both USA Freedom And PATRIOT Act Extension, Setting Up Possible Expiration Of Section 215

      Well, well. Here’s a quick (rare) Saturday post just to get folks up to speed on what happened late last night. After going back and forth for a while, the Senate voted on… and failed to approve both a version of the USA Freedom Act and a short “clean extension” of the clauses of the PATRIOT Act that were set to expire — mainly Section 215 which some (falsely) believe enables the NSA to collect bulk metadata from telcos (and potentially others). What this means is that it is much more likely that Section 215 expires entirely. The Senate has since left town, though it plans to come back next Sunday, May 31st to see if it can hammer out some sort of agreement. Though, beware of false compromises, such as those being pushed by Senate Intelligence Committee (and big time NSA supporter), Richard Burr. His “hastily introduced” bill pretends to try to “bridge the gap” but in actuality is much worse than basically anything else on the table.

    • Paper Says Public Doesn’t Know How To Keep Score In Privacy Discussion While Glossing Over Government Surveillance

      Lawfare — a blog primarily devoted defending the practices of spy agencies — has released a paper authored by Benjamin Wittes and Jodie Liu that theorizes that the public’s concern over privacy encroachments are — if not overblown — then failing to properly factor in the privacy “gains” they’ve obtained over the past several years.

      The theory is solid, but the paper fails to differentiate between what sort of privacy losses people find acceptable and which ones they don’t — mainly by leaving privacy invasions by government entities almost completely undiscussed. It opens by quoting a scene from an old Woody Allen film in which the protagonist attempts to “hide” his purchase of porn at a magazine stand by purchasing several unrelated (and presumably uninteresting) magazines at the same time. This leads to the conclusion that people’s ability to enjoy porn in private has risen with the advent of the internet, while simultaneously opening them up to data harvesters and internet companies less interested in personal privacy than selling users to advertisers.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • A Licence With Limited Value: Copyright Board Delivers Devastating Defeat to Access Copyright

        The Copyright Board of Canada delivered a devastating defeat to Access Copyright on Friday, releasing its decision on a tariff for copying by employees of provincial governments. Access Copyright had initially sought $15 per employee for the period from 2005 – 2009 and $24 per employee for the period from 2010 – 2014. It later reduced its demands to $5.56 and $8.45. The board conducted a detailed review of the copying within government and the applicability of the Access Copyright licence. Its final decision gives Access Copyright pennies rather than dollars: 11.56 cents for 2005-2009 and 49.71 cents for 2010-2014.

      • Pirate Bay Founder Appeals Domain Seizure Decision

        The court order to transfer ownership of two Pirate Bay-related domains to the Swedish state will not be a straightforward process. Site co-founder Fredrik Neij, a party in the two-year long case, has just announced he will appeal the ruling. Neij isn’t interested in the domains though, he has much more serious things to consider.

05.24.15

Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

Posted in News Roundup at 6:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Science

    • 20 First Photos from the History of Photography

      Photography has been a medium of limitless possibilities since it was originally invented in the early 1800s. The use of cameras has allowed us to capture historical moments and reshape the way we see ourselves and the world around us. To celebrate the amazing history of photography and photographic science, we have assembled twenty photographic ‘firsts’ from over the past two centuries.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Fascists Flipping Burgers in Saigon or Stalingrad

      These legends have some fundamental similarities. They are based on deliberate misrepresentations of the war and obfuscation with regard to the interests involved. In order to explain the deceptions behind the Vietnam Syndrome it is necessary to examine the “other war”. Contrary to much official history of US involvement in Indochina—the stuffing of almost all the films made—whether documentary or feature—the war began and ended as a CIA operation. The confusion as to war aims, strategy, tactical and operational effectiveness arise entirely from the fact that more than probably any other war fought with conventional forces—up to that time (except Korea but that war hasn’t ended yet)—the war in Vietnam was initiated, managed, funded, advertised and ultimately waged by the invisible army of US capitalism.

    • Unlike Chavez, Chavistas Appealed To A Powerless US President Who Works For Investors In Genocide!

      Yet, Obama is known to be just another powerless US president serving war industrialized Wall Street and at present dutifully ordering lethal multi nation bombings.

    • Congress must not abdicate its duty to authorize or declare war

      Despite the fact that the US plans on conducting airstrikes on Isis in Iraq and Syria for years, the Chicago Tribune reported on Monday that key members in the House and Senate have resigned themselves to the fact that there’s virtually no chance of Congress agreeing on any sort of bill to constrain or legalize the Obama administration’s bombing campaign in the Middle East.

    • Pentagon sham: Defense Dept altered books in long-awaited audit, reports claim

      The US Defense Department’s watchdog knowingly turned a blind eye to financial irregularities, leading to the Pentagon signing off on an audit. This has led to questions regarding just how transparent the government auditing process actually is.

      A special investigation by Reuters revealed that a senior member of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Inspector General team had colluded with an independent auditing company, Grant Thornton LLP, to falsely keep the US Marine Corps books clean.

    • Inside the fall of an Army Green Beret hero
    • Is the US-UK’s special relationship in decline?

      Is Anglo-America a failed state? In the realm of intelligence and national security, the special relationship is being tested.

      As he spoke to a crowd of Americans, Britain’s defence minister, Michael Fallon, had a US-UK flag pin on his lapel.

      “Just as together we broke the bonds of totalitarianism and tyranny in the Second World War,” he said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in March, “so we faced down the threat of communism in the cold war”.

    • TribuneDrones, jets and sovereignty

      There is no independent identification of the casualties or any explanation as to why they were targeted.

    • Lindsey Graham Literally Says U.S. Drones Should Kill Americans Who Consider Joining ISIS
    • Lindsey Graham’s comments on drones were very blunt

      It’s springtime, and Republicans are feeling hawkish again. See how Sen. Rand Paul’s views on foreign policy have shifted as he’s adopted a more aggressive stance. It wasn’t that long ago when the Kentucky Republican was staging a talking filibuster against the Obama administration’s drone policy, warning the American people that the president might deploy a drone against an American citizen on American soil without judicial process.

    • Lindsey Graham Will Drone You for Thinking About Joining ISIS

      At the Lincoln Day Dinner dinner in Des Moines Saturday night, Senator and probable 2016 candidate Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he would have no problem droning potential ISIS recruits, and was so excited to do so he reckoned he might could skip the whole due process part.

    • Women and children targeted by US drones: Pundit
    • Why Elites Love Drones

      Elites want more violence. They are unconcerned that innocent civilians are killed.

    • Good Kill – American Sniper with Drones
    • Drone strikes take a terrible toll in innocent lives

      The truth is that we can never be certain who is in the target zone of any drone strike. Even though drones spent a week watching this compound, it is obvious that drones cannot see everything in the area.

    • Drone Warfare’s Costs and Benefits

      Lethal drones are President Obama’s weapon of choice in striking at suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists in remote areas, but – as with any weapon of war – there must be a cost-benefit analysis, including whether drone strikes create more enemies than they kill, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

    • US drone complex bureaucratizes murder

      Machinery of lethal strikes enjoys moral and legal impunity – as intended

    • Justice Department issues policy on domestic drone use

      The Justice Department is acknowledging that the FBI, DEA and other federal law enforcement agencies are likely to make increasing use of unmanned aerial drones in the United States.

    • The Future of War

      MALE VOICEOVER (Good Kill, Voltage Pictures): The remotely-piloted aircraft is not the future of war. It is the here and now. Make no mistake about it: this ain’t PlayStation. We are killing people.

    • Why the Drones Keep Firing

      President Obama’s announcement last month that earlier this year a “U.S. counterterrorism operation” had killed two hostages, including an American citizen, has become a fresh occasion for questioning the rationales for continuing attacks from unmanned aerial vehicles aimed at presumed, suspected, or even confirmed terrorists. This questioning is desirable, although not mainly for hostage-related reasons connected to this incident. Sometimes an incident has a sufficient element of controversy to stoke debate even though what most needs to be debated is not an issue specific to the incident itself. More fundamental issues about the entire drone program need more attention than they are getting.

    • Interview: Robotics Professor Noel Sharkey

      TONY JONES, PRESENTER: All this talk of killer drones raises some very profound questions. For instance, are nations more likely to go to war if there’s less risk of their civilians being killed? And what does it mean if you take human decision-making out of the loop? Can a machine tell the difference between a civilian and a combatant?

    • Mission Unstoppable: Why Is the CIA Running America’s Foreign Policy?

      The programs in question involved such activities as the CIA’s efforts to derail Iran’s nuclear program and the agency’s use of drones to kill militants inside Pakistan. Again, the cracks in Blair’s authority were revealed: The DNI, as determined by the 2004 legislation that created the position, was to be the focal point for intelligence support to the president and other senior government leaders, and was allowed some say in budgetary matters, but was not granted command over any covert missions abroad.

    • Why can’t we handle the truth?

      Don’t expect any news you read or watch today or in the future to tell you that. The fact that President George W. Bush knowingly lied us into a disastrous war in Iraq cannot be told. Our media systems even now cannot report this story.

    • Iraq’s phantom army

      These are the choices facing Washington, all stemming from the events of just one weekend. The path of this war has changed, leaving western powers with ever less room for manoeuvre.

    • 9 depressing predictions for the future of America

      Remind me who, even among opponents and critics of the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq, ever imagined that the decision to take out Saddam Hussein’s regime and occupy the country would lead to a terror caliphate in significant parts of Iraq and Syria that would conquer social media and spread like wildfire. And yet, don’t think that the future is completely unpredictable either.

    • Local View: What we knew then

      On top of this evidence, known to the Bush White House but not the general public or Congress, was the public evidence from the international weapons inspectors on the ground in Iraq. They found no WMD, yet the Bush administration insisted the weapons must be there and only by invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein could America be safe.

    • The War In The Shadows

      In which we examine the shadowy death of democracy, where we’ve come from and where we may still go.

    • Rachel Maddow slams Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio’s half-assed Iraq answers: “They weren’t duped by the CIA!”
    • Marco Rubio crashes and burns on Iraq question, says war was “not a mistake”

      So when Jeb Bush gave four answers in four days last week to the same question — “Knowing what we know now, would you have invaded Iraq?” — one would expect that his primary opponents realized that they were about to get asked the same question, and spent all of five minutes coming up with a better answer than “yes.”

      If Marco Rubio’s appearance yesterday on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace is any indication, he did not take those five minutes.

    • Yet plans call for guns-blazing war games on Pagan at least 16 weeks a year. Hundreds of Marines, potentially joined by troops from Japan, Australia and South Korea, would storm ashore in landing craft, firing mortars and small arms, backed by naval bombardments, swarms of helicopters, drones, fighter jets and perhaps B-52s dropping real bombs.

      The plan has sparked an outpouring of resentment toward the U.S. military, fueled by strong sentiment that Pagan’s future should be determined by the people of the islands, not by Washington.

      “We love our island. We don’t want to give it up,” said Jerome Aldan, the 40-year-old elected mayor of the Northern Mariana Islands. “This proposal is going to turn it into a wasteland.”

      Aldan was 6 when the eruption of Mt. Pagan forced the island’s residents — about 100 families in all — to evacuate 200 miles south to Saipan, capital of the Northern Marianas, a U.S. commonwealth territory. The military, he fears, will turn Pagan into a war zone and kill the families’ decades-old dream of returning.

    • US Lacks Transparency on Drone Policy Despite Children’s Deaths – NGO

      Pentagon’s admitted partial responsibility in the death of two children was meant to divert attention from more widespread abuses, critics of the US government’s drone strikes claim.

    • What the accidental drone killing of an American ‘traitor’ says about the power of visual weapons

      This designation, I suggest, was less a reflection of the seriousness of Gadahn’s actions and more an indication of how much they perplexed the state. Gadahn never killed anyone, never blew up a building; the closest he ever came to actual operational significance was when he petitioned bin Laden, offering his services as a media strategist. Ultimately, the real threat was not so much Gadahn as his image. With his undeniable American-ness and (renounced) Jewish heritage, Gadahn confounded prevailing understandings of who “terrorists” are, where they come from and what they look like.

    • German court to hear case brought by relatives of Yemen drone attack victims

      A German court is to hear a case against the government brought by relatives of victims of a US drone attack in Yemen in a groundbreaking action that has the potential to interrupt the American strikes.

    • German court to consider evidence from Yemeni drone victim

      A court in Germany is set to take evidence from a Yemeni victim of the USA’s secret drone programme following revelations that military bases on German soil play a key role in the strikes.

      Faisal bin Ali Jaber, an environmental engineer from Sana’a who lost two relatives to a 2012 drone strike, has won the right to have his evidence heard as part of a constitutional claim filed in Germany.

    • US Drone Program Fails to Reduce Terrorism, Violence

      KnowDrones.com Coordinator Nick Mottern claims that the US Army and Air Force program to use unmanned aerial systems in combat has had catastrophic results because the drones have killed large numbers of civilians, but have not had significant impact on the scale of terrorist activities.

    • Scrutiny of CIA drones necessary

      No miraculous leap of faith is necessary to believe that U.S. officials did not know that the hostages were at the target site. And, still, it raises the question of whether the CIA really knows who it is killing when it launches strikes.

    • Saudi-led coalition pounds Yemen rebels in three cities

      Warplanes from the Saudi-led coalition pounded Shiite rebels across three Yemeni cities today, as Riyadh reported the death of a Saudi child from cross-border fire.

    • Two Saudis killed in rocket attacks launched from Yemen – SPA

      Cross border rocket attacks launched from inside Yemen have killed two people in southern Saudi Arabia over the last 24 hours, Saudi Arabia’s state news agency SPA reported on Friday.

      SPA quoted a Civil Defence official in the southwestern province of Jizan as saying that a child was killed and three other children were wounded on Friday in the al-Tawal region.

    • Whoopi Goldberg mocks ‘dummy’ Lindsey Graham and GOP contenders: They all want to be action heroes

      Whoopi Goldberg lit into Republican presidential candidates on The View on Tuesday for their attempts to sound tough on foreign policy.

      “The Republican candidates are kind of sounding more like action heroes,” Goldberg said. “Chris Christie wants to pump up the military. Marco Rubio says he will find and kill terrorists like Liam Neeson in Taken. You’re too short to be Liam Neeson, find somebody else.”

    • ‘Children died’ in US air strike

      A US air strike on Syria last year probably killed two children, officials say – the first admission of civilian casualties in the campaign.

      “We regret the unintentional loss of lives,” said Lieutenant General James Terry, head of the US-led campaign.

      US Central Command said the strike on 5-6 November, near Harim City, targeted the al-Qaeda-linked Khorasan Group.

    • Six Months Later, Pentagon Admits (Maybe) We Killed Some Kids in Syria

      While notable for admitting the possibility it killed two young children, admission called “too little, too late” by expert who says deathtoll of innocent people far exceeds Pentagon statement.

    • U.S. military and civilians are increasingly divided

      The segregation is so pronounced that it can be traced on a map: Some 49% of the 1.3 million active-duty service members in the U.S. are concentrated in just five states — California, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia.

    • Making sense of Hersh’s Bin Laden blockbuster

      The capture and killing of the world’s most wanted man was always going to be an enthralling story, considering how he challenged and punctured the pride of the sole global superpower as well as evade arrest for a decade before being liquidated.

    • How Was Bin Laden Killed?

      Some might argue that knowing exactly how Osama bin Laden was killed really doesn’t matter. Some might even argue that he is still alive, which, if nothing else, would demonstrate the persistence of urban legends relating to conspiracies allegedly involving the U.S. government. JFK’s assassination has the grassy knoll and second gunman, plus Mafia, CIA, and Cuban connections as well as a possible Vietnamese angle. 9/11 had the mystery of the collapse of Building 7. More recently still, the Texas State Guard was mobilized to monitor a military training exercise because it was rumored to be a ploy to impose martial law. Demonizing Washington as one large conspiracy is good business all around.

    • World Bank: Gaza economy on ‘verge of collapse’

      Gaza’s economy is on the “verge of collapse,” a new World Bank report warned Friday, saying the unemployment rate there is now the highest in the world and calling on Israel and international donors to remedy the situation.

    • FO condemns NWA drone strike

      Pakistan has strongly condemned the US drone strike in North Waziristan on May 16, and has called for cessation of such strikes.

      “Such strikes are a clear violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said.

    • 3 EU nations pledge cooperation on developing ‘Euro-drone’

      Germany, France and Italy have pledged cooperation to jointly develop a “Euro-drone” for intelligence-gathering and surveillance of the skies.

    • As Long as the War on Terror Continues, There Will be More Dzhokhar Tsarnaevs

      Last week, just over two years since that note was written, a jury sentenced Tsarnaev to death for his role in the bombing. Speaking to the press outside the John J. Moakley courthouse in Boston, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said, “We are not intimidated by acts of terror, or radical ideals,” and described the marathon bombing as “a political crime, designed to intimidate and coerce the United States.”

    • Freedom and Death

      On May 12, 2015, Ananta Bijoy Das (32), a progressive writer, blogger, editor of science fiction magazine Jukti, and an organizer of Gonojagoron Mancha (People’s Resurgence Platform), was hacked to death, using machetes, by four assailants at Subidbazar Bankolapara residential area of Sylhet city, for writing against religious fundamentalism.

    • Nepal quake death toll becomes highest on record
    • How Seeing Argo Helped Me Uncover a Top Secret Operation to Save My Dad

      In 1979, my father was arrested and tried as a CIA agent in Iran.

    • Morsi’s Death Sentence Reminds Us of Our System

      It would be difficult to find a better example of tyranny than the U.S.-supported military dictatorship that has ruled Egypt for decades. In many ways, it mirrors the brutal U.S.-supported military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile. No legislature. No independent judiciary. No due process of law. And lots of round-ups, kidnappings, torture, and execution of people who protest or who just hold the “wrong” beliefs.

    • Drones best weapon against Al-Qaeda despite collateral damage – ex-CIA deputy

      Drone use against terrorists causes collateral damage, but it remains “the most effective weapon” in the United States’ arsenal, former Deputy Director of the CIA Michael Morell told RT in a wide-ranging interview.

    • Is U.S. Foreign Policy Making Americans Less Safe?

      In summary, the most likely—though not most lethal—terror threats to Americans come from individuals living within the United States who are partially motivated to undertake self-directed attacks based upon their perception that the United States and the West are at war with the Muslim world.

    • Secrets, the C.I.A. and The New York Times

      Since 9/11, the United States’ “war on terror” has become the overarching news story of our time.

      As the nation’s dominant news organization, The Times deserves, and gets, intensive scrutiny for how it has handled that story. The grades, clearly, are mixed. Its role in the run-up to the Iraq War has been rightly and harshly criticized. Its early reporting on surveillance, though delayed, was groundbreaking. Its national-security reporting has been excellent in many ways and, at times, is justifiably slammed for allowing too much cover for government officials who want to get their message out.

      Nearly 14 years after 9/11, a reckoning finally is taking place. The Times’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, has said repeatedly in recent months that he thinks it’s time to toughen up and raise the bar.

    • Matt Taibbi on the Journalist & Politician Cheerleaders for Iraq War, Then & Now

      In this web-only conversation with journalist Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, we turn to Iraq. He recently wrote a piece for Rolling Stone titled “Forget What We Know Now: We Knew Then Iraq War Was a Joke.” Taibbi wrote the piece after Jeb Bush’s infamous interview on Fox News. Megyn Kelly asked Bush “knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?” Bush responded, “I would have.” Jeb Bush later reversed his stance.

    • VIDEO: Former CIA Deputy Director Grilled on Falsehoods That Led to Iraq War

      In a heated 10-minute exchange, MSNBC host Chris Matthews confronts CIA Deputy Director Mike Morrell with the question of why, during the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, he let Vice President Dick Cheney get away with saying Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was building nuclear weapons.

    • Ex-CIA Official, Intel Briefer: Bush Admin Made False Claims on Iraq

      A former top CIA official and intelligence briefer to President George W. Bush before the Iraq War has acknowledged Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney falsely presented information to the public. In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Michael Morell was asked about Cheney’s claim that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons.

    • Here’s how George W. Bush handled the big question that’s dogging Jeb

      Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) could learn a lesson from his older brother on how to field questions about the Bush family political dynasty.

    • Ex-CIA Leader Endorses Freedom Act and Mass Collection of Email Metadata

      Michael Morell, twice acting director of the CIA and a member of President Barack Obama’s five-member surveillance review panel, said he supports the latest version of the USA Freedom Act, which backers say would end the dragnet collection of domestic call records.

    • The CIA is dropping Burmese bombs on China

      Mystery bombs have fallen twice on China, from Myanmar. The first time, March 13, killed five Chinese and injured eight. On May 14th, another one was dropped, injuring five villagers.

    • Turkey Hires Ex-CIA Director to Lobby US Congress
    • Ex-CIA director hired by Turkey

      Goss registered through Dickstein Shapiro law firm which is his new employer. The company has long-lasting relations with the Turkish government in its turn.

    • Cheney Thought al Qaeda was Bluffing

      So it’s not just that Cheney is cartoonishly evil, it’s that he’s monstrously incompetent; in fact, his monstrous incompetence is a large part of why he’s so cartoonishly evil. He was overwhelmingly powerful, but with no understanding of reality, and so blundered around the world strewing destruction wherever he went.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Ralph Nader on Bernie Sanders’ Presidential Bid & His Unanswered Letters to the White House

      Since independent Senator Bernie Sanders announced his presidential candidacy in April, polls in Iowa show support there for him has increased to 15 percent among Democrats, up from five percent in February. This compares to about 60 percent backing for former secretary of state, senator and first lady Hillary Clinton. Sanders is the longest-serving independent member of Congress in U.S. history, yet he is going to run in the Democratic Party for the Democratic nomination. We discuss Sanders’ plans with former presidential candidate, Ralph Nader, author of the new book, “Return to Sender: Unanswered Letters to the President, 2001-2015.”

    • Murderous spooks drive journalism project to WikiLeaks

      Just two weeks after its launch, Transparency Toolkit’s ICWatch project, which documents more than 100,000 job profiles associated with the US “intelligence community” has been rehoused at WikiLeaks due to death threats and DDoS attacks on its infrastructure.

    • Bernie Sanders has been against the CIA’s role in destroying democracy since his early days

      As Independent Senator Bernie Sanders ramps up his campaign for the presidency, his focus has been on issues like economic inequality, the corrupting influence of money in politics, and stopping global climate change. Yet questions have remained about his views on the realm of policy most relevant to the commander in chief’s job: foreign affairs.

      A televised CSPAN interview Sanders gave in 1989, when he was mayor of Burlington, Vermont, offers a look into his thinking about the world. At one point, the interviewer asked Sanders about the distinction between socialism in Latin American countries and the authoritarian government of the Soviet Union.

    • Treat leakers like Edward Snowden, David Petraeus equally

      Earlier this month, a federal judge sentenced Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA analyst convicted of leaking information about a secret anti-Iran plot, to three-and-half years in prison. It was a strikingly heavy sentence. If it were part of a serious crackdown on all government employees who violate their oaths, it might be justifiable. Instead, it is something quite different: further evidence of the wildly different ways leakers are treated, depending on who they are.

    • The war on whistleblowers continues

      Even worse, the feds claimed that Sterling, who is black, did it out of resentment over a failed racial discrimination lawsuit against the agency — in effect using Sterling’s willingness to stand up for his rights against him.

    • A case of ‘selective prosecution’?

      There were no Blacks on the jury, and according to Mr. Solomon, “the evidence presented by the prosecution was circumstantial email and phone call metadata without content of any incriminating nature.”

      Despite pledging to be the most transparent presidential administration, Pres. Obama has expanded Bush era surveillance techniques, and has used the Espionage Act more than all previous administrations combined.

    • Louis: Clinton emails — A mix of conflicts?

      The mere fact that Hillary Clinton’s official emails were kept on her personal computer system is turning out to be one of the least important things about them. What matters most about this first batch of messages released by the State Department is that they reveal Clinton, as secretary of state, at the center of a tangled web of connections and conflicts of interest between public and private actors.

    • Clinton’s Benghazi emails show correspondence with adviser

      The messages show the role played by Sidney Blumenthal, who was working for the Clinton family foundation and advising a group of entrepreneurs trying to win business from the Libyan transitional government. Blumenthal repeatedly wrote dispatches about the events in Libya to Clinton, who often forwarded them to her aides at the State Department.

    • Britain hid secret MI6 plan to break up Libya from US, Hillary Clinton told by confidant

      Britain acted deceitfully in Libya and David Cameron authorised an MI6 plan to “break up” the country, a close confidante of Hillary Clinton claimed in a series of secret reports sent to the then-secretary of state.

      Sidney Blumenthal, a long-time friend of the Clintons, emailed Mrs Clinton on her personal account to warn her that Britain was “game playing” in Libya.

      Mr Blumenthal had no formal role in the US State Department and his memos to Mrs Clinton were sourced to his own personal contacts in the Middle East and Europe.

    • Alegedly US Officials Leak Worse Than Whistleblowers

      Unnamed US officials allegedly disclosed very sensitive information in a report on raid in Syria, published by New York Times.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Women and Biodiversity Feed the World, Not Corporations and GMOs

      The two great ecological challenges of our times are biodiversity erosion and climate change. And both are interconnected, in their causes and their solutions.

      Industrial agiculture is the biggest contributor to biodiversity erosion as well as to climate change. According to the United Nations, 93% of all plant variety has disappeared over the last 80 years.

    • Pesticides offer bees a risky allure

      Bees flit from flower to flower dining on nectar. Sometimes that nectar may contain traces of widely used pesticides. Yet the bees are unlikely to know which nectar is tainted. Indeed, they can’t taste these pesticides, a new study finds. However, the pesticides are similar to nicotine. This can encourage the bees to come back for more. And especially troubing: A second new study suggests the pesticides can harm some wild bees.

    • Survivor bees

      “We need that relationship with bees,” says author and beekeeper Crowder. “That’s how we need nature. We can’t live without nature and bees help us recognize that connection.”

    • The CIA Is Shuttering a Secretive Climate Research Program?

      So gushes Mother Jones, adding the enticing word “exclusive” to the story. But – weirdly enough, for a confection of spying and science reporting, both of which are normally so reliable – this appears to be a bit garbled. Firstly, the “climate research programme” looks to be more like the CIA had allowed civilian scientists to access classified data—such as ocean temperature and tidal readings gathered by Navy submarines and topography data collected by spy satellites. So, not CIA research at all: just data sharing. And presumably not CIA data mostly; if this is stuff routinely gathered by Navy subs, its presumably Navy data; which the CIA had been given the job of giving out? Hard to be sure. National Journal seems to support my interpretation.

    • CIA shuts down program using spy satellites to track climate change

      For most of the past two decades, a handful of climate change scientists have had the CIA’s MEDEA (Measurement of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis) program as an ace in the hole: they could draw on classified info from spy satellites and subs to study global warming in extreme detail. However, they’ll now have to make do with alternatives. The agency has shut down MEDEA, saying that its projects to study the security implications of climate change “have been completed.” While the CIA says it’ll still “engage external experts” on the subject, it won’t be providing consistent access to its extremely accurate and rare data.

    • The CIA Is Shutting Down Its Secretive Climate Change Research Project

      The Central Intelligence Agency has announced that it’s closing down MADEA, a decades-old research program that shared classified information with scientists to study how climate change might exacerbate global security risks.

    • CIA ends climate research program after Obama calls climate change a security risk

      Measurements of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis, or Medea, which began in the 1990s, allowed civilian scientists access to classified satellite data. The program was scrapped under former President George W. Bush, but reconstituted in 2010 under president Obama.

    • Britain sends biggest warship for NATO drills on Russian border

      Britain is ramping up its military rhetoric, sending its biggest warship for NATO drills in the Baltic, right off the Russian coast, in this latest show of force. The drills kick off on June 5 and will last for two weeks.

      The helicopter carrier HMS Ocean is expected to reach Russia’s city of Kaliningrad sometime this week, carrying aboard about 80 Royal Marines who are to join other NATO troops in Poland, the Sunday Times reports.

  • Finance

    • Bank of England’s EU exit strategy leaked to national newspaper – by its head of press

      A senior official at the Bank of England “inadvertently” sent research assessing the economic dangers of the UK leaving the European Union to an editor at a national newspaper.

      The Bank was left in an embarrassing situation on Friday after it accidentally emailed details – including how to fend off inquiries related to the report – directly to the Guardian newspaper.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Ira Glass Clarifies That Public Radio Is Ready for the GOOD Kind of Capitalism

      The context was “Hearing Is Believing,” an event sponsored by NPR and member stations WNYC and WBEZ to pitch public radio (and its podcasts) as an advertising vehicle (American Community Radio, 5/12/15).

    • Jeff Bezos’ Paper Assures Us System Isn’t Rigged for Amazon

      Actually, Border Books did close in large part because the economic system is rigged against ordinary Americans. One of the main reasons Amazon has been able to grow as rapidly as it did is that Amazon has not been required to collect the same sales tax as its brick-and-mortar competitors in most states for most of its existence. The savings on sales tax almost certainly exceeded its cumulative profits since it was founded in 1994.

      While there is no policy rationale to exempt businesses from the obligation to collect sales tax because they are internet-based, this exemption has allowed Amazon to become a huge company and made its founder, Jeff Bezos, one of the richest people in the world.

      Oh yeah—Jeff Bezos now owns the Washington Post.

    • War Propaganda. “Planting Stories” in the News Chain

      The most powerful component of the Fear and Disinformation Campaign (FDI) rests with the CIA, which, secretly subsidizes authors, journalists and media critics, through a web of private foundations and CIA sponsored front organizations. The CIA also influences the scope and direction of many Hollywood productions. Since 9/11, one third of Hollywood productions are war movies. “Hollywood stars and scriptwriters are rushing to bolster the new message of patriotism, conferring with the CIA and brainstorming with the military about possible real-life terrorist attacks.” “The Sum of All Fears” directed by Phil Alden Robinson, which depicts the scenario of a nuclear war, received the endorsement and support of both the Pentagon and the CIA.

    • The Infernal Cocktail Party Corruption of Washington’s Elite Media

      In particular, Allen frequently documents how intimately and seamlessly connected the members of the media aristocracy are with other members of Washington’s ruling elite, whether they come from the intelligence community, the super-wealthy, big banks, the lobbying community, or top levels of government.

    • Fox News confused about whether Allah and God are the same
    • The Accidental Operative

      Here is the shocking story of how the niece of former CIA director Richard Helms became an intermediary for the Taliban in Afghanistan and relayed an offer by the Taliban to the US government for the surrender of Osama Bin Laden months before the 9/11 attacks. The offer was refused. This story, written by my friend and Cockburn’s old partner at the Village Voice, James Ridgeway, and Camelia Fard, was published in the Voice on June 12, 2001, and promptly vanished from the cultural memory after 9/11. In the wake of Seymour Hersh’s recent revelations, Ridgeway asked me to re-run the article on CounterPunch. I was very happy to oblige him. It’s an astounding read. –Jeffrey St. Clair

    • The Misinformation Burnout. Media Fatigue with “Islamism” and “Terrorism”

      Every nation must create a bogey man or a group to crucify and persecute, in order to unify the public behind their leaders, help them act out their collective aggression, and dodge the important domestic issues that plague the day.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Here’s how badly we’re getting ripped off by our mobile phone providers

      It is hard to overstate how much I love the British mobile provider Three and how I wish it would come to the United States.

      My fellow Americans, let me (again) re-iterate how badly we’re all getting overcharged: Three offers a 30-day prepaid plan with unlimited data, unlimited texts, and 200 minutes of domestic calling, all for £20 ($31). That’s about one-third less than what I pay right now Stateside.

05.23.15

Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

Posted in News Roundup at 4:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why Wal-Mart’s E-Commerce Group Embraces Open Source
  • Why Do People Contribute to Open Source Projects?

    Open source development is the future of software. It’s great for users like you and me because open source software is usually free (not always) and often safer to use because malicious code is less likely to be implemented.

  • Automatic Goes Open Source to Make an App Store for Your Car
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 44 Dev Gets Better Page Capture Resolution

        Google developers have released a new development version of the Google Chrome browser, and the latest version is now at 44.0.2403.9. It’s not a big update, but it does bring some interesting changes.

      • Chrome for Android goes almost “entirely open source”

        Launched in September 2008, Google’s Chrome browser is now dominant in its share of the desktop web browser market, with approximately 1 in 4 Internet users interfacing with the web using the browser. What many Chrome users probably don’t know, however, is that it’s actually based off the open source Chromium browser, also developed by Google. Up until today Chrome for Android differed from its desktop counterpart in that it’s codebase wasn’t open source – meaning, the code for the app wasn’t publicly available for other developers to view, modify, and build upon. That changed today.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Tesora’s TroveSpeed Program Aimed at Speeding OpenStack Trove Deployments

      As the OpenStack cloud computing scene evolves, an ecosystem of tools is growing along with it. Tesora, the leading contributor to the OpenStack Trove open source project, cam out a few months ago with what it billed as the first enterprise-ready, commercial implementation of OpenStack Trove database as a service (DBaaS). The company also announced that it had open sourced its Tesora Database Virtualization Engine.

    • IBM Centralizing its Cloud Strategy Around OpenStack

      Concentrating on the hybrid clioud during a time when it is seriously reshaping its whole business around cloud computing, IBM has announced that it will make OpenStack the central platform for its portfolio of cloud services. Dubbed IBM Cloud OpenStack Services, the new program will deliver a collection of OpenStack-based services for hybrid cloud customers.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Malware is not only about viruses – companies preinstall it all the time

      In 1983, when I started the free software movement, malware was so rare that each case was shocking and scandalous. Now it’s normal.

      To be sure, I am not talking about viruses. Malware is the name for a program designed to mistreat its users. Viruses typically are malicious, but software products and software preinstalled in products can also be malicious – and often are, when not free/libre.

      In 1983, the software field had become dominated by proprietary (ie nonfree) programs, and users were forbidden to change or redistribute them. I developed the GNU operating system, which is often called Linux, to escape and end that injustice. But proprietary developers in the 1980s still had some ethical standards: they sincerely tried to make programs serve their users, even while denying users control over how they would be served.

    • Asking Obama to protect encryption, and why that’s not enough

      This week the FSF added our signature to a coalition letter addressed to Barack Obama, calling on him to reject any proposal to systematically undermine the encryption used to secure digital devices and software made in the US.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Dutch seminars on PSI Directive implementation
    • Rust 1.0.0, NASA Software Catalog, and more open source news
    • Open-source plant breeding: new freedom for farmers

      Software developers—and even consumers—are familiar with the open-source movement. Open-source projects, like the popular Firefox web browser, are generally developed in a public, cooperative effort. The copyright holder “opens” the consumer’s right to modify the “source” product and distribute it to others as long as the result is also “open” for others to do the same.

    • OpthalmicDocs Releases Open Source Files for Portable Retinal Scanning Technology

      We hear enough about how so many third world diseases are preventable, but people just lack the resources; preventable diseases can too easily become severely crippling, or even deadly, due to the condition of poverty. We also hear enough good stories about people who are using their medical and technical knowledge to change this fact.

    • Open Data

    • Open Hardware

      • Tessel 2, A $35 Linux Computer That’s Truly Open Source

        We’ve seen the first version of the Tessel a few years ago, and it’s still an interesting board: an ARM Cortex-M3 running at 180MHz, WiFi, 32 Megs of both Flash and RAM, and something that can be programmed entirely in JavaScript or Node.js. Since then, the company behind Tessel, Technical Machines, has started work on the Tessel 2, a board that’s continuing in the long tradition of taking chips from WiFi routers and making a dev board out of them. The Tessel 2 features a MediaTek MT7620 running Linux built on OpenWRT, Ethernet, 802.11bgn WiFi, an Atmel SAMD21 serving as a real-time I/O coprocessor, two USB ports, and everything can still be controlled through JavaScript, Node, with support for Rust and other languages in the works.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • 12 reasons Manchester is better than London
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • BRICS trample US in South America

      It started in April with a rash of deals between Argentina and Russia during President Cristina Kirchner’s visit to Moscow.

      And it continues with a $53 billion investment bang as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits Brazil during the first stop of yet another South American commercial offensive – complete with a sweet metaphor: Li riding on a made in China subway train that will ply a new metro line in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the 2016 Olympics.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • The Trident Whistleblower

      Today it was reported that McNeilly turned himself in to the police at Edinburgh airport and is currently in military custody.

    • Seymour Hersh Stands by His bin Laden Story, and His Sources

      With the Obama administration having prosecuted more national security leakers than any other, anonymous sources are the only way Americans can find out how their government is waging its secret war on terror. That’s why journalist Seymour Hersh deserves congratulations rather than condemnation for his story on the killing of al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden.

      There’s been criticism of Hersh, much of it centering on his use of anonymous sources. But if you read Hersh’s story closely and check what others have written, you’ll see that his account holds up. The report was published in the May 21 edition of the London Review of Books.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • The Guardian view on Theresa May’s censorship plan: pointless and unprincipled

      If Theresa May has a reputation as a safe pair of hands, one has to wonder what she would have to do to lose it. The home secretary invented a human right to a pet cat in a conference speech, and allowed “go home” immigration vans to be wheeled out in diverse communities, before conceding that the vans themselves had to go home to the garage. Now we learn, courtesy of a leaked letter from her cabinet colleague Sajid Javid, about a wild scheme to censor broadcasters.

    • State censorship: Tory minister slams Home Sec’s plan to sanitize UK TV shows

      UK Home Secretary Theresa May has been accused of trying to introduce state censorship of TV broadcasters by a senior Conservative minister in a leaked letter.

    • Cameron slaps down Business Secretary Sajid Javid in Cabinet row with Theresa May over TV censorship
    • Theresa May accused of seeking to introduce state censorship of the media by Cabinet colleague Sajid Javid

      In a letter to David Cameron written before the general election, then Culture Secretary Sajid Javid attacked Ms May’s plan to use regulator Ofcom to vet programmes before they were broadcast in the strongest terms, saying it posed a threat to freedom of speech.

      Mr Javid, now Business Secretary, also said Ofcom would be turned from a regulator into a state “censor” by the proposal and lead to comparisons with “regimes” with dubious human rights records, according to the letter which was leaked to The Guardian newspaper.

    • Theresa May TV censorship plan attacked by Sajid Javid

      Home Secretary Theresa May has been accused of attempting to introduce government censorship of British television programming by one of her Cabinet colleagues, a leaked letter has shown.

    • Why government censorship [in no way at all] carries greater risks than benefits

      The phenomenon of the Streisand Effect, where high-profile attempts to censor or prevent people from seeing something result in massively increased attention for the something, is a brilliant example of psychological reactance, the tendency of people to strongly object when a freedom is being taken from them [even though they weren’t using it] and do whatever they can to restore it [which will get them arrested if they’re not careful].

    • Wikipedia Disturbed Over Fresh China Censorship

      Wikipedia is yet again being censored by China’s Great Firewall.

    • Cuba’s Clandestine Press Thumb Their Noses at Street Censorship

      Español
      On Thursday, May 21, the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU) — an illegal opposition party created in 2011 — uploaded a YouTube video of activists in the southern city of Palma Soriano sharing DVDs filled with news and other hard-to-access information with the public.

    • Jimmy Kimmel Presents ‘The Week In Unnecessary Censorship’

      Uh oh… We’re not sure Taylor Swift said “eff you” on stage at the Billboard Music Awards, a Fox News anchor definitely didn’t talk about the prospect of free “cock” across the nation and we’re pretty sure a little boy didn’t beg his mother to get nasty with a homeless man.

    • When A Benefit Against Censorship Gets Censored

      A New York benefit show for the National Coalition Against Censorship cancelled last week over allegedly offensive material will go on at a new venue — though without the Mohammed-themed play that first started the controversy.

    • Anti-Censorship Event Canceled over Concerns About Muhammad Play

      An anti-censorship benefit event at New York City’s Sheen Center was canceled recently over concerns about some of the scheduled speeches and Neil LaBute‘s play Muhammad Gets a Boner.

    • EFF calls FPB’s new Internet censorship law ‘worst in Africa’

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has proclaimed the Film and Publication Board’s (FPB) Draft Online Regulation Policy “Africa’s worst new Internet censorship law”.

    • Africa’s Worst New Internet Censorship Law Could be Coming to South Africa
    • In this game, censorship does not mean ‘deleting your spiteful internet comments’

      As a woman who writes articles about video games, I hear the word “censorship” a lot these days. To hear certain corners of the internet tell it, “censorship” supposedly means having discussions on the images we see in media, asking people to think about the language they use and the effect it achieves, doing any kind of media criticism, or moderating comments so that nobody can shit them up with frantic sealioning about how other people are being too sensitive to criticism.

    • Kanye West Slams ‘Unwarranted Censorship’ by Billboard Music Awards

      “Kanye West was grossly over-censored at the Billboard Music Awards,” the statement reads. “Non-profane lyrics such as ‘with my leather black jeans on’ were muted for over 30-second intervals. As a result, his voice and performance were seriously misrepresented.

    • Kanye West issues statement about ‘ridiculous’ censorship at Billboard Music Awards

      Kanye West was all ready and amped to close out the 2015 Billboard Music Awards with “All Day” and “Black Skinhead.” But home viewers weren’t able to fully enjoy Yeezy’s performance, as the broadcast heavily muted parts of the show, including words that don’t even anger the FCC or violate its regulations.

    • Writer Prosecuted for Facebook Posts Critical of State Censorship

      Authorities in Iran are prosecuting another writer on national security charges for signing statements and writing posts that criticized state censorship on the Facebook page of the Iranian Writers’ Association.

    • Egypt Court Orders Censorship of Pornographic Websites

      An administrative court in Egypt ordered the prime minster to take the necessary and immediate action to censor pornographic websites on Wednesday. While the court specifically calls for immediate action, the order can still be appealed at the Supreme Administrative Court.

    • Egypt Court Bans Pornography

      An Egyptian court has ordered Egypt’s Prime Minister take immediate action to ban pornography websites in Egypt, reported state media Al-Ahram.

      The decision by Egypt’s Administrative Court on Wednesday contradicts the same court’s decision two years ago in which it decided not to ban pornography websites, stated Ahram Online.

    • Religious Israeli website censors women ministers from cabinet portrait

      Country’s new gender equality minister among those blurred from photograph on grounds that pictures of women offend conservative religious mores

    • Just say no to the censorship of culture in Israel

      When it was announced that Miri Regev was to be the culture and sports minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fourth government, some people made jibes about her suitability for the position, based on her reputation as a loud and inflammatory politician who sees the world in clear terms of good and pure (us) and evil and impure (the entire world, including groups in Israel that don’t think “as we do.”)

    • Africa’s Worst New Internet Censorship Law Could be Coming to South Africa

      Only once in a while does an Internet censorship law or regulation come along that is so audacious in its scope, so misguided in its premises, and so poorly thought out in its execution, that you have to check your calendar to make sure April 1 hasn’t come around again. The Draft Online Regulation Policy recently issued by the Film and Publication Board (FPB) of South Africa is such a regulation. It’s as if the fabled prude Mrs. Grundy had been brought forward from the 18th century, stumbled across hustler.com on her first excursion online, and promptly cobbled together a law to shut the Internet down. Yes, it’s that bad.

    • Federal Court of Appeals Blocks Use of Trademark for Censorship

      Today, in an important First Amendment decision, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked an attempt by the NAACP to use trademark as a tool to censor unwanted online criticism—a result we had urged in an amicus brief filed with the court back in October. The Fourth Circuit overruled a federal district court in Virginia, which had previously ruled that the Radiance Foundation’s use of the moniker “NAACP” infringed on the organization’s trademark.

    • Rockstar sues BBC over Grand Theft Auto game violence censorship film

      Rockstar Games and parent company Take-Two Interactive have filed a lawsuit against the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) over the latter’s in-production TV drama film Game Changer (working title).

      The BBC revealed the project last month, confirming earlier reports. The film traces the conflict between Rockstar Games lawyer Jack Thompson over Rockstar’s controversial Grand Theft Auto series, with Bill Paxton playing Thompson and Daniel Radcliffe starring as Rockstar Games co-founder Same Houser.

  • Privacy

    • How we’re fighting back against the UK surveillance state—and winning

      In October 2014, the IPT hearings produced another unexpected admission from the UK government. As Privacy International reported: “Details of previously unknown internal policies, which GCHQ was forced to reveal during legal proceedings challenging their surveillance practices in the wake of the Snowden revelations, reveal that intelligence agencies can gain access to bulk data collected from US cables or through US corporate partnerships without having to obtain a warrant from the Secretary of State.” The safeguards on how this material can be used are minimal: “On the face of the descriptions provided to the claimants, the British intelligence agencies can trawl through foreign intelligence material without meaningful restrictions and can keep such material, which includes both communications content and metadata, for up to two years.”

      In December 2014, the IPT ruled against the Privacy International group of human rights organisations, and “accepted the security services’ position that they may in principle carry out mass surveillance of all fibre optic cables entering or leaving the UK and that vast intelligence sharing with the NSA does not contravene the right to privacy because of the existence of secret policies.”

    • There’s an app for that: How NSA, allies exploit mobile app stores

      In 2011 and 2012, the NSA and the communications intelligence agencies of its “Five Eyes” allies developed and tested a set of add-ons to their shared Internet surveillance capability that could identify and target communications between mobile devices and popular mobile app stores—including those of Google and Samsung. According to an NSA document published by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the targeting capability could have been used to launch “man-in-the-middle” attacks on mobile app downloads, allowing the NSA and other agencies to install code on targeted devices and gather intelligence on their users.

    • Edward Snowden: NSA reform in the US is only the beginning

      Edward Snowden has hailed landmark shifts in Congress and the US courts on NSA surveillance but cautioned that much more needs to be done to restore the balance in favour of privacy.

    • NSA pranksters plant ‘listening’ devices in New York and take snooping abroad

      The conversations are, mainly, pretty mundane: one man at East Village restaurant Cafe Orlin, talks about publishing photographs. A woman at Crunch is talking to her personal trainer about how much she enjoys watching House of Cards. A guy in a cafe is telling a story about getting evicted from an apartment with “a bathtub the size of a racquetball court”.

    • Anti-NSA Pranksters Planted Tape Recorders Across New York and Published Your Conversations
    • ‘We Are Always Listening’ Project Skewers NSA Spying And Will Make You Paranoid About Having A Conversation In Public
    • Are anti-NSA pranksters invading people’s privacy?

      Over the past year, they’ve hidden dozens of mini tape recorders under tables and benches around New York City, secretly taping people’s conversations. This week, they launched a website where they’ve posted some of their recordings. They range from the mundane, like a woman at a gym talking about her plans for the evening, to the intimate, like a man at a restaurant talking about his lover’s fetishes.

    • Top spy admits: We’re ‘dependent’ on NSA

      The head of the German Intelligence Agency (BND) told a special parliamentary committee on Thursday that his agency is ‘dependent on’ the American National Security Agency (NSA).

    • More NSA keywords detected in German spy agency’s computers

      More than 400,000 new keywords have been found in German spy agency BND’s computers, a German media report says. The findings would further undermine the organization, accused of helping the NSA with surveillance.

    • The NSA Plan to Find Bin Laden by Hiding Tracking Devices in Medical Supplies

      The scheme is laid out in a top-secret NSA presentation dated June 2010 and titled “Medical Pattern of Life: Targeting High Value Individual #1,” which was among the files provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

      [...]

      Once the compound was located, the U.S. government also wanted DNA evidence that bin Laden was inside. Not long after the raid, it was reported that the CIA had set up a hepatitis vaccine drive in Abbottabad as a front to obtain DNA samples. The doctor working for the CIA, Shakil Afridi, was arrested by Pakistani intelligence and eventually sentenced to decades in prison — not for allegedly working for the CIA, but on charges of aiding a militant group.

    • Big sales growth nothing to do with NSA fears – Huawei top brass

      Chinese kit-maker Huawei isn’t apportioning swelling sales outside the Middle Kingdom to NSA snooping fears, more that double digit growth in Europe is related to brand recognition a decade after it up shop there.

    • Surveillance diehards in the Senate will do anything to stop NSA reform

      The NSA and its surveillance state supporters in the Senate are making a last ditch effort to prevent Congress from taking away any of the spy agency’s authority to snoop on innocent Americans, despite the fact that there is now broad support for NSA reform in Congress.

    • Fox News Pundit Paid by NSA Contractor Reacts to Rand Paul: “Trust the NSA”
    • Two Senate Republicans Predict Short Extension of NSA Spying

      Two U.S. Senate Republicans predicted Friday that their chamber will have enough votes to pass a short extension of three U.S. spy programs until Congress and the White House can come up with a final plan.

    • Chris Christie accused of ‘political pornography’ over NSA remarks

      “You can’t enjoy your civil liberties if you’re in a coffin,” Christie — a likely presidential candidate — said earlier this week.

    • Bush, Christie defend NSA surveillance programs

      As Congress ponders the fate of the PATRIOT Act — and the counterterrorism surveillance programs it authorizes — two potential Republican presidential candidates stuck up for those programs Friday at a conference of Republican activists.

    • Chris Christie backs NSA snooping in hawkish foreign policy speech
    • NSA Whistleblower: No Real NSA Reforms Being Considered by Senate

      Kirk Wiebe says the Senate is not challenging the authority that allows bulk collection of phone records

    • Russian enterprises unconcerned by NSA network hack allegations

      Russian companies are taking no drastic steps to replace US-made equipment.

    • Death Threat Over Public NSA Database

      The creator of a searchable database of 27,000 National Security Agency (NSA) contractors says his team has received a death threat as well as legal threats.

    • Aiming to Scare Congress into Authorization, NSA Claims Surveillance Program ‘Winding Down’

      The news that the NSA is preparing to begin winding down their bulk surveillance program against Americans would be welcome to the general public, but it’s probably not true, and the claim is certainly not directed at us.

    • The NSA’s mass surveillance program: illegal and opaque

      After Congress passed the PATRIOT Act in the panic following the 9/11 and anthrax attacks, officials described it as a way of breaking down a wall that had kept the CIA and FBI from sharing information. They argued that international terrorism investigators needed the same powerful tools that a grand jury gives law enforcement agents to conduct broad criminal inquiries.

      Section 215 was already law, but it was expanded by the PATRIOT Act to allow federal agents to obtain not only “business records,” but also “any tangible things.”

      Librarians were among the first to sound the alarm, and they were ridiculed for it. Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft accused them of spreading “hysteria” that FBI agents were tracking what people were reading and “how far you have gotten on the latest Tom Clancy novel.”

    • Researchers design new Tor client resistant to NSA attacks

      Internet anonymity has become difficult to procure as the NSA is doing everything in its power to keep tabs on Internet activity. One way that people have been protecting their anonymity is by using the anonymizing network, Tor. It was popularly used to access dark web sites like Silk Road, but it can also be used for good. For example, people in certain countries without free speech protections could be jailed or worse for disparaging online claims against the government; Tor provides a way to prevent those users’ web activity from being tracked. As it turns out, Tor isn’t as safe from the prying eyes of big government surveillance as we once thought.

    • Researchers build new Tor client called ‘Astoria’ to evade NSA snooping

      It has become very hard to keep internet anonymous, as the NSA is doing everything in its ability to keep a check on internet activity. The hackers which have the full force and backing of Beijing, London, and Washington, D.C. are anonymity’s toughest opponents. People have been using the anonymizing network, Tor to protect their anonymity. Tor was generally used to enter dark web sites like Silk Road, but it can also be used for good.

    • NSA data collection divides Republican presidential hopefuls

      This week, Paul tried to recapture that spirit, inveighing for 10.5 hours against the National Security Agency’s data collection program — an effort that also attempted to boost his presidential campaign.

    • One third of Germans feel deceived by Merkel on NSA

      One in three Germans have said their trust in the government is shaken. Regardless of the media outrage over the allegations that German intelligence helped the NSA, Angela Merkel wasn’t rushing to offer an explanation.

    • Angela Merkel under pressure to reveal extent of German help for US spying

      The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, is coming under increasing pressure to divulge a list of targets, including the IP addresses of individual computers, that German intelligence tracked on behalf of the US National Security Agency (NSA).

    • As Future of NSA Surveillance Grows Murky, New Report Shows Section 215 Not Exactly Vital

      Among the many arguments presented in opposition to allowing the federal government collecting mass amounts of data from people who aren’t even suspected of terrorism (besides the Fourth Amendment violations) is that: one, it hasn’t actually helped stop any terrorist plots; and two, we can’t trust a massive federal bureaucracy to subsequently dispose of information it gathers unrelated to any cases its working on.

    • Quiz: Just how Kafkaesque is the court that oversees NSA spying?

      “The court” in Franz Kafka’s novel The Trial is a shadowy tribunal that tries (and executes) Josef K., the story’s protagonist, without informing him of the crime he’s charged with, the witnesses against him, or how he can defend himself. (Worth noting: The FISA court doesn’t “try” anyone. Also, it doesn’t kill people.)

    • NSA: Too Much Data, Not Much Information

      There’s a reason why gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins. According to whistleblower former NSA official William Binney, the NSA has too much data to sift through, that it hampers the agency’s effectiveness in detecting threats before they happen with potentially deadly results. Basically, the NSA is no longer as effective in preventing any attacks. What it’s good for now is forensic investigation to trace the perpetrators of any terrorist attack—after it happens. The Boston Marathon gets bombed, the government finds the Tsarnaevs quickly enough, (through a lot of security videos and much later their transmissions) but the agency still failed to prevent the bombing from happening. So all the data the NSA has collected is actually slowing the agency down. Imagine a cop so pumped up with donuts he can’t catch up to a purse snatcher on foot.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Imagine the web without hyperlinks

        Such a plan would affect over 500 million citizens’ ability to use the Internet. Imagine using Twitter and not being able to link to a news article without paying a fee. It would shut down the spread of news. This is just one way copyright is being twisted to censor the Web – but it’s far from the only way. That’s why we are part of a huge network of individuals and organizations committed to stopping these censorship plans, wherever they emerge.

      • Pirate Domain Seizures Are Easy in the United States

        It’s taken more than two years for Swedish authorities to seize two key Pirate Bay domains but over in the United States the process is dramatically quicker. A TV company has just achieved similar aims against 11 ‘pirate’ streaming domains after being granted a comprehensive ex parte restraining order by a Florida court.

05.22.15

Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

Posted in News Roundup at 10:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • WhyWeFOSS

    I’m likely on the hook for providing a version of my “WhyWeFOSS” as an example, so stay tuned for that post in the near-ish future.

  • Netflix’s Latest Open Security Tool, FIDO, Does Triage, Research and More
  • Nexenta Announces Availability of Open Source Software Defined Storage Platform NexentaEdge

    At the Vancouver OpenStack summit, software-defined storage company Nexenta announced the general availability of its NexentaEdge Block and Object Storage platform, as well as a strategic alliance agreement with Canonical and its Ubuntu OpenStack.

  • Vatican library: open source for long-term preservation

    The combination of open source and open standards ensures long-term preservation of electronic records and prevents IT vendor lock-in, says Luciano Ammenti, head of the IT department at the Vatican Library (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana) in Vatican City.

  • Open source initiatives saving grace for many companies

    If your next software development project is going to be successful, be it a simple Java EE deployment or a full-scale role out of a private cloud initiative based on OpenStack, a tremendous amount of code has to be written. The sad state of affairs enterprise organizations need to reckon with is that there is no way all that code can be written by the internal development team.

    So what’s an organization to do? According to Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, successful organizations reach out to the open source community. “There is too much software to be written for any one organization to write this software on its own,” Zemlin said. “Open source allows businesses to focus on only the most important aspects of their technology stacks; only the things that truly differentiate the organization.”

  • Measuring performance the open source way

    Jim Whitehurst recently wrote about the performance management approach we use at Red Hat for the Harvard Business Review. In his article, Whitehurst details one aspect of the performance management process that differentiates Red Hat from other companies—its flexibility.

    We have a system for tracking performance (called Compass), and we have expectations for when Compass reviews are performed (at least annually, preferably quarterly). But the details and structure of implementation are up to individual managers or teams. I lead a team of more than 100 people at Red Hat, and I’d like to share how I measure and manage performance the open source way.

  • DrumPants 2.0 is open source, still turns your pants into drums

    That crazy DrumPants wearable tech we first saw in ’07 — the same one that raised 75 grand on KickStarter and was featured on Shark Tank in 2014 — is back. Its creators have now turned to Indiegogo to fund the mass production of DrumPants version 2.0, which they claim is faster and stronger than its predecessor. Plus, it’s now open source. The wearable, for those who’ve only just heard of it, isn’t actually a pair of pants with drums (sorry to disappoint). It’s a set of accessories comprised of two elongated drum pads and two foot pedals you can use to play different kinds of instruments, along with a knob that lets you choose between samples and musical scales. You can wear them over your clothes, or under, like the jamming dude in the GIF above.

  • Events

    • Report of Libre Graphics Meeting 2015

      We have been back from Libre Graphics Meeting 2015 in Toronto for 2 weeks now. It is time for a report! :-)

    • DEVit Conf 2015 Impressions

      I’ve started the day with the session called “Crack, Train, Fix, Release” by Chris Heilmann. While it was very interesting for some unknown reason I was expecting a talk more closely related to software testing. Unfortunately at the same time in the other room was a talk called “Integration Testing from the Trenches” by Nicolas Frankel which I missed.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack isn’t just ready for enterprise adoption, it’s already there

      There are not enough OpenStack experts to go around. At OpenStack Summit, there is literally not a single company here that is not looking for more programmers, architects, and engineers.

      But, they’re coming. OpenStack is now backed by more than 200 vendors, including Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Oracle, RackSpace Red Hat, and VMware. Is there any enterprise out there which doesn’t have a working relationship with at least of one of these companies?

      This is making OpenStack deployment easier. If your company doesn’t have the talent it needs to do it in-house, Canonical, Red Hat, and Mirantis, to name but three of the leading OpenStack deployment firms, are all ready to jump in and help you get up and running. In short, you can pay cash today and have a working OpenStack cloud tomorrow.

    • New Surveys Show Rising Interest in the Cloud, Especially OpenStack

      CDW is out with its Cloud 401 report, based on interviews with more than 1,200 IT managers from many industries. The report finds that more than a third of all computing services today are delivered throughthe cloud. It also determined that organizations are actively pursuing new services: Thirty-five percent of respondents say they plan to shift new IT services to the cloud.

    • 75 Open Source Cloud Computing Apps

      In one recent survey, IT managers said that the most important project their teams are working on for 2015 is cloud computing. And IDC predicts that by 2018, the worldwide market for public cloud services will be worth more than $127 billion, accounting for “more than half of worldwide software, server and storage spending growth.”

    • OpenStack Foundation Not Worried about the Death Star [VIDEO]

      “The moment we stop listening to users and it’s just a vendor-to-vendor conversation, or it’s just a developer-to-developer conversation and the user doesn’t have a seat at the table, that would leave us with a vulnerability that could undo all the good work we’ve done,” Collier said. “We just have to keep listening to users and we’ll be ok.”

    • Entrepreneurs Share How to Build an OpenStack-Powered Business

      Building a company from freely available software might not seem like the most logical idea, but it’s one that is working for many vendors in the OpenStack cloud ecosystem. In a panel session at the OpenStack Summit here, the founders of cloud storage vendor SwiftStack, cloud database vendor Tesora, cloud vendor Piston Cloud Computing and cloud service provider Blue Box Cloud as well as the CEO of DreamHost, Simon Anderson, detailed their experiences and challenges in building OpenStack-powered businesses.

    • Cisco Bringing Group Policy to OpenStack [VIDEO]

      David Ward, Development CTO and Chief Architect at Cisco, has been thinking a lot about how networking works in the cloud era, and he shared some of those thoughts at the OpenStack Summit here.

    • OpenStack enables open source shift at Time Warner Cable

      Just a year into their production use of OpenStack for powering their internal cloud, they are leveraging it for everything from video to networking to deploying web applications, all on an in-house OpenStack cloud spread across two data centers. And this rapid change is getting noticed inside the company.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.0 Release Notes

      This is an in-progress scratch-pad of notes to build release notes from as and when we release. Please do not list features that are to be shipped already in the 4.4 release! Please do not add wish-list features that you hope will be implemented, but only what actually is implemented already.

    • LibreOffice Can Now Import Apple Pages & Numbers Files
    • LibreOffice 5.0 Beta 1 Released

      Following yesterday’s LibreOffice 5.0 branching in Git, the first beta for LibreOffice 5.0 is now available for testing.

      The Document Foundation announced on their blog the availability of the first beta for LibreOffice 5.0, which will be officially released around the end of July or early August.

  • Healthcare

    • The radical potential of open source programming in healthcare

      Everyone wants personalized healthcare. From the moment they enter their primary care clinic they have certain expectations that they want met in regards to their personalized medical care.

      Most physicians are adopting a form of electronic healthcare, and patient records are being converted to a digital format. But electronic health records pose interesting problems related to sorting through vast amounts of patient data.

      This is where open source programming languages come in, and they have the ability to radically change the medical landscape.

  • Business

  • Licensing

    • Allwinner Publishes New CedarX Open-Source Code

      For months now Allwinner has been violating the GPL and have attempted to cover it up by obfuscating their code and playing around with their licenses while jerking around the open-source community. At least today they’ve made a positive change in open-sourcing more of their “CedarX” code.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Rig a smarthome and more hacks with TouchBoard

      There was a time when a reporter was called a hack.

    • Open Hardware

      • The future of manufacturing will happen on your desktop

        The Pi-Top is an open source DIY laptop made using the latest in kitchen table manufacturing technology

      • Ragnar Robotics to Release Open Source Educational Deltabot Platform – Details Revealed at RoboUniverse

        Last Monday marked the start of the RoboUniverse Conference and Expo at The Javits Center in New York City. Twelve companies vied for a single cash prize, as well as complimentary investment and legal services. Voxel8 was the winner of the competition, and while all the entrants gave fascinating rapid-fire pitches for their startups, there was one company that stood out for me and has seemingly slipped under the radar in the 3D printing space. The company I’m speaking about is Ragnar Robotics.

      • Open-source Luka EV runs on hub motors (images & video)

        The Luka EV is an all-electric, street legal vehicle designed and built as an open-source experiment. Currently, the vehicle is targeting a single-charge range of around 186 miles, with a top speed of about 81 mph. The Luka’s price should land in the area of $22,445 when all is said and done. The creators are aiming at a design and build time of less than a year, and are using a FRP body based on a Solidworks model of a video game car.

  • Programming

    • Java at 20: How it changed programming forever

      Remembering what the programming world was like in 1995 is no easy task. Object-oriented programming, for one, was an accepted but seldom practiced paradigm, with much of what passed as so-called object-oriented programs being little more than rebranded C code that used >> instead of printf and class instead of struct. The programs we wrote those days routinely dumped core due to pointer arithmetic errors or ran out of memory due to leaks. Source code could barely be ported between different versions of Unix. Running the same binary on different processors and operating systems was crazy talk.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Cyberattack on University of London Computing Centre causes Moodle chaos

      The University of London’s Computing Centre (ULCC) has recovered from a major cyberattack that cut dozens of UK institutions from the institution’s IT services for five hours this morning.

      The incident appears to have started around 7am and by 9am ULCC said it was looking into a firewall issue. By 10am, engineers had reset its firewalls and core routers but had been unable to solve the issue.

      By mid-day, the assessment had become clearer. “All our services are now up and running again! The networking issue was caused by a cyber attack,” read an update on the institution’s website.

    • How I Got Here: Marcus Ranum

      ​Dennis Fisher talks with security pioneer Marcus Ranum about writing an early Internet firewall at DEC, the security gold-rush era of the 1990s and early 2000s, why he never patented most of the ideas he has come up with and how he found peace of mind.

    • Google Reveals the Problem With Password Security Questions

      Google analyzed hundreds of millions of password security questions and answers, revealing how startlingly easy it is for would-be hackers to get into someone else’s account.

      [...]

      With ten guesses, an attacker would have a near one in four chance of guessing the name of an Arabic speaker’s first teacher. Ten guesses gave cyber criminals a 21 percent chance of guessing the middle name of a Spanish speaker’s father.

    • Security advisories for Thursday
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Iraq War Architect Bill Kristol: Knowing What We Know Now, “We Were Right To Fight In Iraq”

      Bill Kristol, the Weekly Standard editor who predicted in 2003 that proponents of the U.S. invasion of Iraq would be “vindicated” upon the discovery of weapons of mass destruction there, is holding fast to the idea that the deadly and expensive conflict was the right move. Kristol’s justifications for the war, however, have changed dramatically.

      In a May 20 op-ed for USA Today, Kristol argued that U.S. intervention in Iraq was justified in 2003 “to remove Saddam Hussein, and to complete the job we should have finished in 1991.” Kristol added that “we were right to persevere” in Iraq, “even with the absence of caches of weapons of mass destruction.”

  • Finance

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • NSA planned Google Play hack to target Android smartphones

      Global intelligence agencies, including the US National Security Agency, planned to hijack millions of Android smartphones with spyware.

    • NSA Planned to Hijack Google App Store to Hack Smartphones

      The National Security Agency and its closest allies planned to hijack data links to Google and Samsung app stores to infect smartphones with spyware, a top-secret document reveals.

    • Spy agencies target mobile phones, app stores to implant spyware

      Canada and its spying partners exploited weaknesses in one of the world’s most popular mobile browsers and planned to hack into smartphones via links to Google and Samsung app stores, a top secret document obtained by CBC News shows.

    • WSJ Editorial Board So Clueless It Thinks That We’re Now ‘Rushing’ Through A Surveillance Debate That’s Been Going On For Two Years

      As the Senate does its little song and dance today over surveillance reform, kudos to the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board for producing what has to be one of the most ridiculous opinion pieces on this debate to date. It’s called The Anti-Surveillance Rush, and its main argument is that the Senate shouldn’t be “rushing” through this debate, and that it should instead simply do a clean extension of section 215 of the PATRIOT Act to allow for further debate. This is wrong and it’s clueless. The WSJ editorial board can be nutty at times, but the level of cluelenssness displayed here really takes it to another level. Let’s dig in.

    • Tech companies ask Senate to pass NSA reform bill

      Reform Government Surveillance, an organization that represents large technology companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft, on Tuesday pressed the U.S. Senate not to delay reform of National Security Agency surveillance by extending expiring provisions of the Patriot Act.

    • NSA surveillance powers on the brink as pressure mounts on Senate bill – as it happened

      As the deadline ticked closer to the expiration of the NSA’s powers of mass phone record collection, the Senate locked itself into chaotic wrangling over two competing surveillance bills on Thursday.

    • Man Who Deactivated Facebook Account To Dodge Discovery Request Smacked Around By Disgruntled Court

      Social media. So popular. And so very, very incriminating. The less-than-illustrious history of many a criminal who felt obliged to generate inculpatory evidence via social media postings has been well-detailed here. But what if you want to hide your indiscretions and malfeasance? If you’ve posted something on any major social network, chances are it will be found and used against you.

    • Report: FBI’s PATRIOT Act Snooping Goes Beyond Business Records, Subject To Few Restrictions

      A report by the FBI’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on the agency’s use of Section 215 collections has just been released in what can only be termed as “fortuitous” (or “suspicious”) timing. Section 215 is dying. It was up for reauthorization on June 1st, but the Obama administration suddenly pushed that deadline up to the end of this week. Sen. Mitch McConnell took a stab at a clean reauth, but had his attempt scuttled by a court ruling finding the program unauthorized by existing law and the forward momentum of the revamped USA Freedom Act. And, as Section 215′s death clock ticked away, Rand Paul and Ron Wyden engaged in a filibuster to block any last-second attempts to ram a clean reauthorization through Congress.

  • Civil Rights

    • Gyrocopter pilot pleads not guilty

      The Florida mailman indicted for flying his unregistered gyrocopter through restricted airspace and landing on the U.S. Capitol lawn last month pleaded not guilty to six charges on Thursday.

      Doug Hughes appeared in federal court in Washington, D.C., where he entered his plea. He faces nearly a decade in prison if convicted on the two felony counts and four misdemeanors.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Facebook’s Plan To Be The Compuserve Of Developing Nations Faces Mounting Worldwide Criticism

      What began as some squabbling over the definition of net neutrality in India has evolved into a global public relations shit show for Facebook. As we’ve been discussing, India’s government has been trying to define net neutrality ahead of the creation of new neutrality rules. Consumers and content companies have been making it very clear they believe Facebook’s Internet.org initiative violates net neutrality because it offers free, walled-garden access to only some Facebook approved content partners, instead of giving developing nations access to the entire Internet.

      Internet.org partners began dropping out of the initiative, arguing they don’t like any model where Facebook gets to decide which content is accessed for free — and which content remains stuck outside of Internet.org. Facebook so far has responded by trying to claim that if you oppose Internet.org you’re the one hurting the poor, because a walled garden is better than no Internet at all. Of course that’s a false choice; Facebook could simply provide subsidized access to the entire Internet, but that wouldn’t provide them with a coordinated leg-up in the developing nation ad markets of tomorrow.

  • DRM

    • Promote a Libre Movie during the International Day against DRM… and after!

      Digital Right Managements (systems preventing you from copying a movie or a song you bought, print an ebook you paid… and sometimes even read these!) are a real nuisance and we should fight them. But we believe here that fighting only is not enough. We should also propose constructive alternatives, new ways to produce, share and enjoy media and arts.

05.21.15

Links 21/5/2015: Fedora 22 RC2, CERN Chooses OpenStack

Posted in News Roundup at 3:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source is about more than cost savings
  • Open source as a path to innovation

    So as technology leaders — as the drivers of innovation — we must always be on the lookout for new ways to ready our organizations for agility. One means to that end is open source. Open source is the ultimate platform for flexibility, right? A platform that affords us the agility we need to quickly adapt as technology evolves, business demands expand and markets mature. A platform that allows us to innovate how we want, when we want — rather than innovating on the path and at the pace of our vendors.

  • Open Source Software to Catalogue Cultural Heritage Before a Crisis

    Cultural heritage management tends to suffer from limited funding and resources, which can make a crisis — whether natural disaster, pipeline construction, or war — that much more catastrophic for assessing what’s in need of protection. An open-source system called Arches is the first online tool designed specifically to inventory heritage sites. It was created through a partnership between the World Monuments Fund (WMF) and the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), and its third version launched earlier this month.

  • Events

    • Protocols Plugfest Europe 2015

      Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at Protocols Plugfest Europe 2015. It was really good to get out of the bubble of free software desktops where the community love makes it tempting to think we’re the most important thing in the world and experience the wider industry where of course we are only a small player.

    • GNOME Asia 2015

      I was in Depok, Indonesia last week to speak at GNOME Asia 2015. It was a great experience — the organisers did a fantastic job and as a bonus, the venue was incredibly pretty!

    • [Event-Report] rootconf-2015
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Integrates Propietary Pocket Plugin

        This is based on the proprietary former addon pocket, which is now no longer supported since it is being integrated.

        It’s only the beta channel, but this has all the hallmarks of a half-baked revenue stream for Mozilla that ultimately sells out user privacy – and what’s worse, is opt-out, rather than opt-in.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • fresh breeze for LibreOffice

      LibreOffice is a great OpenSource project. They have a Design Group and help you a lot if you’d like to do something for LibreOffice. Now LibreOffice prepare the new release LibreOffice 5.0 and for this release I’d like to be finished the LibreOffice Breeze icon set. Uri and I work since last November on the icon set so you also have a package available in your repository. Now I’d like to post that we are nearly finished. 98 % (2.700 icons) of the icon set is done, so it is ready for your review. As the monochrome LibreOffice icon set Sifr is less finished than Breeze, I though the fallback icon set for Sifr is Breeze.

  • CMS

    • How open source disrupted the CMS market

      Open source is increasingly changing the software industry. We can see open source products gaining market share in almost every category today, and this development is continuing at a fast pace.

      Although a lot of business people still intuitively think of Linux when it comes to open source software, content management systems played a pivotal role in changing the mindset within corporations. Why? Because the CMS industry was one of the first to largely adopt open source products. Nowadays, the most corporations use open source content management systems for their web platforms. Some of them may not even realize it.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • France wants to accelerate its reforms through open government

      The action plan that France must submit as part of its membership of the Open government partnership (OGP) is mainly build on reforms already announced.

    • France will chair OGP in 2016

      France will chair the Open Government Partnership from October 2016 to October 2017, after the OGP Steering Committee accepted France’s application at a meeting in Mexico on April 24.

    • PDF Poland Central Eastern: Digital tools to promote openness and democracy

      Eastern Central Europe has to reinvent itself and digital tools are the way to succeed. This is one of the conclusions drawn during the Personal Democracy Forum Poland-Central Eastern. This conference, which took place in Warsaw in mid-April, was organised by the ePaństwo Foundation (Fundacja ePaństwo) – a Polish NGO aiming at developing democracy and transparency.

    • Open Hardware

      • VA’s ‘Grand Challenge’: Open-Source Prosthetic Limbs for Veterans

        Last week, VA’s Center for Innovation launched its three-month Innovation Creation Series for Prosthetics and Assistive Technologies. The aim of the series is to build a suite of special prosthetics and other state-of-the-art technologies to support wounded veterans in their day-to-day lives.

  • Programming

    • Java at 20: Its successes, failures, and future

      Although Java was developed at Sun Microsystems, Oracle has served as the platform’s steward since acquiring Sun in early 2010. During that time, Oracle has released Java 7 and Java 8, with version 9 due up next year. InfoWorld Editor at Large Paul Krill recently spoke to Oracle’s Georges Saab, vice president of software development for the Java Platform Group, about the occasion of Java’s 20th anniversary.

    • Happy birthday Java

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • US Approves Saudi Use Of Banned Cluster Bombs (But Only If They’re Extra Careful)

      Following a report on Sunday, where Human Rights Watch said video and photographic evidence showed that Saudi Arabia used cluster bombs near villages in Yemen’s Saada Province at least two separate times, the US State Department said it is “looking into” the allegations but, as Foreign Policy reports, said the notoriously imprecise weapon — banned by much of the world — could still have an appropriate role to play in Riyadh’s U.S.-backed offensive (as long as it was used carefully).

    • Africa as Battlefield

      The US is trying to win “hearts and minds” in Africa. It’s not going well.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Snowden Sees Some Victories, From a Distance

      For an international fugitive hiding out in Russia from American espionage charges, Edward J. Snowden gets around.

      May has been another month of virtual globe-hopping for Mr. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, with video appearances so far at Princeton and in a “distinguished speakers” series at Stanford and at conferences in Norway and Australia. Before the month is out, he is scheduled to speak by video to audiences in Italy, and also in Ecuador, where there will be a screening of “Citizenfour,” the Oscar-winning documentary about him.

    • Fighting that Terminator in our Pockets

      Communications massively collected for further behavioural analysis and profiling (PRISM) and sabotage of any commercial product dedicated to protect our data and communications (BULLRUN) are just examples of how everyday technology, now part of ourselves, has been systematically perverted and turned against us.

    • The new war on encryption is based on a lie

      Back in January, David Cameron made what sounded like a threat to ban, or at least undermine, encryption in the UK. “The question is,” Cameron said, “are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn’t possible to read. My answer to that question is: no, we must not.” On its own that might be dismissed as a politician talking tough to please his supporters, but it’s part of a much wider attack on strong encryption from the authorities on both sides of the Atlantic.

      In October last year, FBI Director James Comey spoke of his agency’s fears about things “going dark” because of encryption, while NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said encryption “does a terrible disservice to the public.” A month later, NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker offered the view that the reason Blackberry had failed was because it used “too much encryption.” More recently, Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said encryption is “the biggest problem for the police and the security service authorities in dealing with the threats from terrorism,” while the UK’s National Policing Lead for Counter-Terrorism, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, called products that offer strong encryption “friendly to terrorists.”

  • Civil Rights

    • Border Patrol Agents Tase Woman For Refusing To Cooperate With Their Bogus Search

      Cooke knew the CBP agents needed something in the way of reasonable suspicion to continue to detain her. But they had nothing. The only thing offered in the way of explanation as they ordered her to return to her detained vehicle was that she appeared “nervous” during her prior interaction with the female CBP agent. This threadbare assertion of “reasonable suspicion” is law enforcement’s blank check — one it writes itself and cashes with impunity.

    • Tased Motorist to CBP Agent: ‘What the Fuck Is Wrong With You?’

      After presenting her driver’s license, Cooke, who surely learned in college that police (and even CBP agents!) need “reasonable suspicion” to detain someone, asks why she was pulled over. “You guys have no reason to be holding me,” she says. A male agent who identifies himself as a supervisor has no explanation for the detention, but he says Cooke will have to wait for a drug-sniffing dog to inspect her car. “Well, they’d better be here soon, because if not, I’m calling 911, and this can all be figured out,” Cooke says. “You guys are holding me here against my will.” Eventually the female agent who first interacted with Cooke says she seemed nervous—an all-purpose excuse for detaining someone, since people tend to be nervous when confronted by armed government officials.

    • Pilot who landed gyrocopter at US Capitol now faces six charges

      A Florida man who piloted a gyrocopter through miles of America’s most restricted airspace before landing at the U.S. Capitol is now facing charges that carry up to 9½ years in prison.

    • Gyrocopter pilot indicted on six charges

      The Florida postal worker who flew his gyrocopter under the radar into Washington and onto the West Lawn of the Capitol earlier this year faces nearly 10 years in prison after being indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday.

      Doug Hughes, 61, was indicted in U.S. District Court in D.C. on two felony counts of flying without a pilot’s certificate and lacking registration for his small aircraft, each carrying up to three years in prison.

05.20.15

Links 20/5/2015: Containers, OpenStack, and EXT4 Corruption

Posted in News Roundup at 3:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Lee Schlesinger: No one nowadays objects to FOSS

    I’m Lee Schlesinger, currently managing editor for the Spiceworks Community. Spiceworks provides a free downloadable help desk and network inventory application, and hosts a community for IT pros to discuss both work and off-topic issues. Though we have a pretty popular Linux group in the community, many of the community members, who we call SpiceHeads, work in Microsoft-centric shops.

  • Huawei launches 10KB LiteOS to power the internet of things

    Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is preparing to launch an operating system for the internet of things that’s just 10 kilobytes in size. The company says that its “LiteOS” is the “lightest” software of its kind and can be used to power a range of smart devices — from wearables to cars. Huawei predicts that by 2025 there will be roughly 100 billion internet-connected devices in the world, with 2 million new sensors deployed every hour. The company also said that the OS would be “opened to all developers” to allow them to quickly create their own smart products — although it’s unclear whether this means that LiteOS will be fully open-source. Huawei says LiteOS also supports “zero configuration, auto-discovery, and auto-networking.”

  • Electronic IDs need open source tools

    In Sweden there is a service called BankID, it’s an electronic identity service. Banks issue the electronic ID which can be used by companies, banks and government agencies to authenticate and conclude agreements with individuals over the internet. A few months ago however it was decided that BankID software on Linux would no longer be supported. Finding an alternative can be difficult for Linux users.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack: Ready for more enterprise adoption?

      OpenStack is ready for enterprise deployment, but there are rough spots that is likely to relegate it to new workloads and self-service developer use, according to Forrester Research.

    • ​Red Hat brings Gluster to OpenStack shared file service

      At OpenStack Summit, Red Hat announced it was releasing a technology preview of Red Hat Gluster Storage with integration into OpenStack’s new Manila shared file system project.

    • The OpenStack Foundation Rolls Out a Community App Catalog

      A foundation can do a lot to unite a community–just look at the example set by The Linux Foundation. This week, the OpenStack Foundation has rolled out a community application catalog built to facilitate collaboration and sharing on the OpenStack scene, where many IT administrators are wrestling with deploying the open cloud platform. The concept is to encourage administrators and others to leverage the work that has already been produced in OpenStack deployments.

    • MapR Reacts to Gartner Findings on Hadoop Implementation

      Researchers at Gartner have been in the news for throwing some shade on Hadoop with the results of a new study that found that Hadoop is, well, hard. There are just not enough skilled professionals that can claim mastery of the platform, among other issues. Gartner, Inc.’s 2015 Hadoop Adoption Study, involving 284 Gartner Research Circle members, found that only 125 respondents who completed the whole survey had already invested in Hadoop or had plans to do so within the next two years.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.0 Open-Source Office Suite Has Been Branched

      Branching LibreOffice 5.0 now puts it under a hard feature freeze while the beta one release is to follow quite soon followed by a second LO 5.0 beta in early June. Four release candidates for LibreOffice 5.0 will come during June and July while the official release of LibreOffice 5 is still slated for the end of July or early August.

  • CMS

    • Free, Open Source & Feature Rich: An Overview of DotCMS

      dotCMS has claimed a desirable chunk of the enterprise market by landing and working alongside large clients such as Standard & Poor’s, Wiley Publishing, Thomson Reuters Foundation and Hospital Corporation of America. As such, it’s reputation as an enterprise solution is growing fast.

  • Healthcare

    • The future of open source in health IT

      I’ve known Fred for about 15 years or so, first as a contributor to OpenEMR and later we accidentally met in person at the University of Texas. It’s pretty cool to come face-to-face with folks you’ve only know online and, mostly, from working with their contributed code! Over the years, Fred has hosted a couple of open source healthcare IT conferences and done some great work in the field for ClearHealth/MirrorMed with Dave Ulhman and now focusing on open data.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Node.js and io.js to merge under Node.js Foundation

      The merger was put to a vote on GitHub by io.js developer Mikeal Rogers, who initially proposed the merger in February, and the io.js technical committee voted to approve the merger yesterday. According to Rogers, the team will continue releasing io.js versions while the convergence takes place, but after the merger is complete, the io.js working groups and technical committee will join the Node.js Foundation under renamed titles.

    • Code.org and College Board Team Reach Out for Talented High School Coders

      The goals of the program are to provide high-quality computer science instruction at the high school level and to identify potentially talented computer students who are in demographics underserved by the IT industry, such as women and ethnic minorities.

Leftovers

  • IT Workers Report Significant Decrease in Stress Levels

    Good news for stressed out IT professionals—a TEKsystems survey of more than 1,000 IT workers indicates a vast positive change in the stability of IT staffing environments as compared to a year ago.

  • Hackathons 101: How to Hack Your Way to the Top
  • Security

    • Oracle Patches the Venom Security Issue in All Supported VirtualBox Branches
    • Is SELinux good anti-venom?

      Dan Berrange, creator of libvirt, sums it up nicely on the Fedora Devel list:

      “While you might be able to crash the QEMU process associated with your own guest, you should not be able to escalate from there to take over the host, nor be able to compromise other guests on the same host. The attacker would need to find a second independent security flaw to let them escape SELinux in some manner, or some way to trick libvirt via its QEMU monitor connection. Nothing is guaranteed 100% foolproof, but in absence of other known bugs, sVirt provides good anti-venom for this flaw IMHO.”

    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • DDoS reflection attacks are back – and this time, it’s personal

      At the start of 2014, attackers’ favorite distributed denial of service attack strategy was to send messages to misconfigured servers with a spoofed return address – the servers would keep trying to reply to those messages, allowing the attackers to magnify the impact of their traffic.

    • Another HTTPS Vulnerability Rattles The Internet

      Another HTTPS vulnerability has started to make its rounds earlier this morning. Dubbed Logjam by its researchers, the vulnerability stems from the US’s encryption export mandate back in the 1990s. This particular vulnerability, in the transport-layer security layer protocol, breaks the Diffie-Hellman perfect forward-secrecy. Susceptibility to the vulnerability is depended on servers and clients supporting the DHE_EXPORT encryption scheme, or using a key less-than-or-equal to 1024 bits.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Europe faces second revolt as Portugal’s ascendant Socialists spurn austerity

      Europe faces the risk of a second revolt by Left-wing forces in the South after Portugal’s Socialist Party vowed to defy austerity demands from the country’s creditors and block any further sackings of public officials.

    • Fox News Omits Mention Of Dangerous Consequences Of Arizona GOP Welfare Restrictions

      But the measure will not only hurt those who need such programs most, it may also increase costs to the state in the long run. As Liz Schott, a welfare policy analyst, explained to the AP: “Long-term welfare recipients are often the most vulnerable, suffering from mental and physical disabilities, poor job histories and little education … But without welfare, they’ll likely show up in other ways that will cost taxpayers, from emergency rooms to shelters to the criminal justice system.”

    • Accountability? How Overseers Let Charters off the Hook; $3.3 Billion Spent (Part 4)

      Earlier in this special report series, CMD revealed how states that do not hold their charter schools and authorizers accountable have the upper hand when the U.S. Department of Education (ED) evaluates applications to the quarter-billion-dollar-a-year charter schools program. But if the review process is deeply flawed, the oversight of the $3.3 billion disbursed within the charter schools program is not much better.

    • Austerity and Neoliberalism in Greece

      Austerity is about shifting the burden of an economic crisis from one part of the population to another.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • President Obama Rolls Back Some Police Militarization… Police Flip Out

      We’ve had a bunch of stories lately about the increase in militarized police and what a ridiculous and dangerous idea it is. As we’ve discussed in the past, much of this came from the Defense Department and its 1033 program, which takes decommissioned military equipment and gives it to police. This results in bizarre situations like the LA School District police having a bunch of grenade launchers. The program is somewhat infamous for its lack of rules, transparency and oversight.

    • The 85-Year-Old Nun Who Went to Prison for Embarrassing the Feds Is Finally Free

      Sister Megan Rice, the 85-year-old activist nun who two years ago humiliated government officials by penetrating and vandalizing a supposedly ultra-high-security uranium storage facility, has finally been released from prison. A federal appeals court on Friday overturned the 2013 sabotage convictions of Rice and two fellow anti-nuclear activists, Michael Walli, 66, and Greg Boertje-Obed, 59, ruling that that their actions—breaking into Tennessee’s Y-12 National Security Complex and spreading blood on a uranium storage bunker—did not harm national security.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • EU’s ongoing attempt to kill Net Neutrality forever

      For more than two years hard negotiations have been conducted within European institutions regarding the regulation proposal on telecommunications, which now contains two main chapters, one on roaming and the other on Net Neutrality. In 2014, a lot of work was done by citizen organisations to ensure that the European Parliament would protect Net Neutrality and uphold the rights of citizens to access a non-discriminatory, guaranteed access to a neutral and transparent Internet networks.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Popcorn Time Now Streams Movies To A Browser

        Popcorn Time has been called the Netflix for pirated movies, but it requires the installation of a desktop application. Not anymore. Now thanks to a site called Popcorn Time In Your Browser you’re just a couple of clicks away from watching a pirated movie stream.

        The in-browser app works much like the desktop version, remotely streaming torrent files from YTS through Coinado. Users do not need to install anything, and from what I can tell, the torrent files are never stored locally on the user’s machine. Just click on a title, wait a few seconds and bam, a pirated movie starts playing.

      • Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood Insists His Emails With The MPAA Are Super Secret

        Last we had checked in on the ongoing legal wrangling between Google and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, a court had ruled pretty strongly against Hood, accusing him of acting in “bad faith,” for “the purpose of harassing” Google in violation of its First Amendment rights. Checking back in on the case to see what’s been going on, it appears that things have continued to get more and more heated. A little while after that ruling slamming Hood, Wingate ordered Hood to provide a bunch of information to Google as part of the discovery process for the case — including, bizarrely, responses to Techdirt’s FOIA request, which we had declined to continue after Hood’s office demanded over $2,000 and made it clear that they still likely wouldn’t give us anything.

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