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02.24.15

Links 24/2/2015: Xfce 4.12 a Week Away, GNOME 3.16 Previewed

Posted in News Roundup at 4:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source switches gain more vendor traction

    The open source movement is making waves in the networking space as more vendors are opting to build open switches and routers in favor of proprietary technology. HP is the latest vendor to join the open source networking movement, and some are speculating that open networking could give Cisco a run for its money.

  • Weather Company CIO: 5 reasons why I believe in open source

    Since The Weather Company has been a major adopter of open source software, I’m often asked why we have chosen this path. Where is the value in taking the open source route to solve your business challenges? I’m a big advocate of open source, so I’m always happy to oblige. Here are my top five reasons:

  • Distributors Play Growing Role In Open Source Space

    If tech distributors want to survive in the market, they’ll have to provide channel partners with more training and enablement on open source and cloud-based solutions. Here’s how distributors have responded.

  • Nginx Gearing Up for HTTP2

    The open-source Nginx web server has been steadily gaining in popularity in recent years to become one of the most widely deployed web servers. To date, Nginx has delivered its traffic over HTTP 1.1, but at some point in the near future it will also enable HTTP/2.

  • HP deal marks milestone for open source networking hardware

    If you still harbored any doubts that the web is now driving the future of IT, last week’s announcement that HP will offer disaggregated products for web-scale data centers via deals with Cumulus and Accton should be enough to convince you.

  • eBay’s new Pulsar framework will analyze your data in real time
  • eBay launches Pulsar, an open-source tool for quickly taming big data

    E-commerce giant eBay needs to deal with new usage data — to personalize content and detect fraud, among other things — within seconds. So engineers went and built something to perfectly meet the company’s needs: Pulsar.

    The company revealed details about the system for the first time today, and eBay is making it available for anyone to use under an open-source license.

  • New open source strategy revelations at IBM Interconnect 2015

    An opportunity for IBM’s individual businesses to come together and demonstrate how they best leverage each other’s technologies and capabilities, IBM InterConnect 2015 will touch on cloud, mobile, DevOps, security, asset management, Internet of Things, application integration, and smarter processes.

  • Getting started with Project Atomic

    I had some concerns about learning Middleman and HAML, but there was a solid ‘fork-and-go’ contribution mindset. I started lurking in the -devel list and the IRC channels to start, and picked a single piece of content that I thought could use an update. I got in touch with one of the project folks on IRC and asked about the best way to go about creating and submitting my first change.

  • Events

    • Protocol Plugfest: opening closed doors to interoperability together

      The “world wide web” has been such an amazing success in large part because it was based on open protocols and formats that anyone can implement and use on a level playing field. This opened the way for interoperability on a grand and global scale, and is why http and HTML succeeded where many others failed previously.

    • SCALE 13x, Day 3: The Finale

      First things first: It’s a safe bet that Ruth Suehle could read the Raleigh phone book and make it sound interesting, with or without accompanying Lowenbrau slides. So it would come as no surprise that of all the great keynotes that have been given at the Southern California Linux Expo, Ruth’s Sunday keynote makes anyone’s SCALE short list as an all-time great.

  • Web Browsers

  • Business

    • HP’s Marten Mickos: Open Source Is Not a Business Model

      “Open source is a production model. In some cases, it is a distribution model … . You need a business model for any business that you build, but open source in itself is not that business model. Just like if you have a manufacturing branch and you use robots or you don’t use robots. That is a production question, but it is not a business model for the business you are in.”

  • Public Services/Government

    • Reuse is key for Danish telemedicine project

      Reuse is one of the main reasons for the development as open source of OpenTele, a Danish e-health telemedicine project. The health sector is crying out for open source ICT solutions, says Mike Kristoffersen, a senior software architect at the Danish Alexandra Institute. “Doctors and hospitals are seriously locked into medical ICT systems, making it difficult to do research, even for small scale projects.”

  • Licensing

    • Samsung, OpenChain Aim to Build Trust With Open Source Compliance

      Samsung is a top-five contributor to the Linux kernel and contributes upstream to more than 25 other open source projects. Yet the public perception that the company doesn’t care about open source has persisted, despite its efforts, said Ibrahim Haddad, head of the Open Source Innovation Group at Samsung in a presentation at Collaboration Summit last week.

    • Buyer Beware: Demystifying Open Source Software Licenses

      Not too long ago, acquiring software was pretty easy: gather requirements, meet with vendors to evaluate products, select the winner. Legal review took place late in the process, and the final terms that both customer and vendor could live with were generally agreed to quickly.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • 3D printers become viable tools in healthcare

      And with desktop 3D printers becoming increasingly affordable and reliable—and open source software such as Cura being versatile, easy to use, and free to update—barriers to further 3D printing innovation are quickly disappearing. What was once only available to well-funded practitioners has now become genuinely accessible to every patient, nurse, doctor, surgeon, hospital, and teaching facility.

    • OpenStack at Walmart, project reform status, and more
    • The Pi Tank – 3D Printed Open Source Smartphone Controlled Raspberry Pi Robot
    • How I upgraded my garden’s ugly drip system with a sexy OpenSprinkler

      After a few hours of work alongside an electrical engineering buddy this week, my home garden drip system became powered by a Raspberry Pi. I can control the entire thing locally from my iPhone and, to be frank, it’s pretty flippin’ cool.

      For some background, I’m a very lazy gardener. When my wife and I bought our house in 2012, our horticultural mission was Hippocratic (do no harm). In other words, we wanted—at the very least—to not kill the plants we inherited from the previous owners. So while some people relax when they do weeding or other green thumb-related activities, we find it tedious and uninspiring. I’m the guy who jumped at the chance to review the Estonian-made Click and Grow.

    • This guy is the Mark Zuckerberg of open-source genetics

      Three years ago, Bastian Greshake spit in a vial and sent it off to personal genomics company 23andMe for analysis. He’d spent years studying the genetics of other organisms, but didn’t know much about his own DNA. He was curious.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Purdue plans to expand open-source online coursework

        A plan to use online open-source curricula for more classes at Purdue University starting this fall could collectively save students up to $1 million.

        The Journal and Courier reports the plan would be an alternative to online programs that can cost students more than $100 per class to access.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • EZchip Announces 100 Core 64-bit ARM Chip

      An Israeli company known as EZchip has introduced their TILE-Mx processors that ship in up to 100-core 64-bit ARM configurations with up to 200 Gigabit Ethernet throughput.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The End to Industrialized Farming

      In 2013 the United Nations released a report indicating that the world’s food needs could be met through organic, local farms. The United Nations report stated that food security, poverty, gender inequality, and climate change can be addressed with a significant shift towards organic, localized farming. In contrast with industrialized farming, organic and local farms cut down on the energy and pollution that transporting food requires. Another study revealed that organic farming utilized less water than industrialized farming, as well as a general reduction in pollution related to production.

  • Security

    • Lenovo Sued Over Superfish Adware
    • The Venture Capitalists Behind Superfish

      Lots of people are talking about the Superfish malware debacle. People are starting to understand just how bad this situation is.

      [...]

      I’d like to see the tech press dig into this. And the venture capitalists involved, particularly the board members, should talk about what they knew and didn’t know.

    • Laptop Buying Advice?

      My current Lenovo X201 laptop has been with me for over four years. I’ve been looking at new laptop models over the years thinking that I should upgrade. Every time, after checking performance numbers, I’ve always reached the conclusion that it is not worth it. The most performant Intel Broadwell processor is the the Core i7 5600U and it is only about 1.5 times the performance of my current Intel Core i7 620M. Meanwhile disk performance has increased more rapidly, but changing the disk on a laptop is usually simple. Two years ago I upgraded to the Samsung 840 Pro 256GB disk, and this year I swapped that for the Samsung 850 Pro 1TB, and both have been good investments.

    • How to delete Superfish from Lenovo computers permanently
    • Moving On From Superfish

      It’s true, RMS was right. The folks at LinuxBSDos.com are right. The world needs to use Free Software.

    • Lenovo’s Superfish spectacle: ‘Catastrophic’ security failures discovered

      Last week, reports surfaced which claimed that Lenovo Notebooks have been issued to consumers containing a preloaded security flaw. Originally, the Chinese tech giant said the Superfish adware was not a security concern — however, eventually the company realized and admitted that the software was able to install its own self-signing man-in-the-middle (MITM) proxy service which has the potential to hijack SSL and TLS connections — a severe, nasty security vulnerability.

    • SSL-busting code that threatened Lenovo users found in a dozen more apps

      Richard went on to publish the SHA1 cryptographic hashes he used to identify software that contained the Komodia code libraries. He invited fellow researchers to use the hashes to identify still more potentially dangerous software circulating online.

      “We’re publishing this analysis to raise awareness about the scope of local SSL MITM software so that the community can also help protect people and their computers,” he wrote. “We think that shining the light on these practices will help the ecosystem better analyze and respond to similar situations as they occur.”

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Samba vulnerability (CVE-2015-0240)

      Samba is the most commonly used Windows interoperability suite of programs, used by Linux and Unix systems. It uses the SMB/CIFS protocol to provide a secure, stable, and fast file and print services. It can also seamlessly integrate with Active Directory environments and can function as a domain controller as well as a domain member (legacy NT4-style domain controller is supported, but the Active Directory domain controller feature of Samba 4 is not supported yet).

    • Samba 4.1.17 Security Release Now Available for Download

      The Samba development team has announced earlier today, February 23, the immediate availability for download of Samba 4.1.17, a security release that addresses the CVE-2015-0240 security vulnerability related to an unexpected code execution in Samba daemon (smbd).

    • Samb-AAAHH! Scary remote execution vuln spotted in Windows-Linux interop code

      Linux admins were sent scrambling to patch their boxes on Monday after a critical vulnerability was revealed in Samba, the open source Linux-and-Windows-compatibility software.

  • Finance

    • The Real Cost of Walmart’s Low Prices

      Like other large companies with globalized production chains, Walmart exploits workers outside of the United States, but the consequences of these exploitative practices impact everyone. In the U.S., social and economic pressures force Walmart employees to accept low wages.

    • 5 Insane Things You Believe About Money (Thanks to Movies)

      I bet every one of you can remember the first time financial reality smacked you in the face like a Hulk-thrown engine block. (“I work two jobs, shouldn’t I be able to afford to get this festering wisdom tooth taken out?”). That’s because unless your parents were wealthy, you left school knowing jack shit about how money worked. We have a trillion dollars in credit card debt to show for it, along with an upper class who just can’t figure out what the rest of us are bitching about.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • The Scary World That Is Arabic Twitter

      As an independent journalist who contributes to various organizations inside and outside the U.S., Twitter is my virtual newsroom. It is where I get story ideas, connect with sources and engage with my readers. On average I spend at least four hours daily on Twitter. As the Islamic State’s (ISIS) atrocities started to dominate the news cycle during the mid part of last year, most of my Tweets have become very ISIS-focused. I tweet about their latest actions, and the reactions that followed. As an native Arabic speaker, I spend a big chunk of my time following Arabic hashtags, Arabic-speaking influencers, and news organizations, and boy, let me tell you what I found. The world of Arabic Twitter is a scary one. I’m stunned by the amount of support that ISIS enjoys on Twitter, and mostly among Arabic speakers.

  • Privacy

    • Mark Zuckerberg ‘not sure’ about Internet.org advertising

      Advertising is not a “near term” priority for Facebook’s Internet.org initiative to get more people online in the developing world, according to chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

      Facebook launched the scheme in 2013 with fellow technology firms including Samsung, Qualcomm, Ericsson and Nokia as its effort to connect “the next few billion people” to the internet.

      The social network has since worked with mobile operators in countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Zambia and Kenya to provide free access to basic internet services from their mobile phones.

    • Mark Zuckerberg Q&A: The Full Interview on Connecting the World

      Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has a big, expensive goal: to connect the world to the Internet. He spoke with Emily Chang about his plans, after returning from a trip through Southeast Asia and India last year as part of his Internet.org initiative. The interview airs Feb. 19 on Bloomberg Television’s Studio 1.0. The transcript below has been lightly edited.

    • There’s a massive new leak of confidential spy files from MI6, Mossad and the FSB

      Al-Jazeera has obtained hundreds of confidential “spy cables” from some of the world’s top intelligence agencies, in what the news channel is calling “the largest intelligence leak since Snowden.”

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Here Comes the ACTA Attack – Again

      Three years ago I began a series of articles about ACTA – the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. ACTA was originally about tackling counterfeit goods, but had a completely inappropriate digital chapter added, which tried to ride on the coat-tails of the initial plan by suggesting that digital copies were somehow as dangerous as fake medicines or aircraft parts. After a fierce battle that saw hundreds of thousands of Europeans writing to their MEPs, and even taking to the streets, ACTA was thrown out by the European Parliament.

    • Copyrights

      • The Australian Pirates Leave PPI

        The Pirate Party of Australia has been unhappy with the structure functioning of Pirate Parties International for some time and after the PPAU membership gave their board the power to potentially leave international organisation at their last national conference.

      • Draft copyright code published

        Rights holders and ISPs have published a draft of the Government mandated code intended to combat online copyright infringement.

      • Torrent Site Admin Can Pay Piracy Fine…in 227 Years

        After being chased down by a coalition of mainstream entertainment companies, a French court has just handed a former torrent site operator a six month suspended sentence. ‘Boris P’ must also pay two million euros in damages, an amount he predicts could be cleared in approximately 227 years.

02.23.15

Links 23/2/2015: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.2 LTS, Cinnamon 2.6 Previews

Posted in News Roundup at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • My Four-Year-Old Daughter Rejected Windows 10

      Eimi, my four year old daughter, has interacted with Linux-powered computers since she was born. I still remember those nights in which I would pace up and down in my office, holding her and rocking her on my arms while the Linux desktop played music.

      Then, Eimi grew and started enjoying her own room and, rather precociously, discovered how to use desktops and laptops. I will never forget her first encounter with PicarOS, the Linux distro for children!

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Xfce 4.12 One Week Away, Xubuntu Technical Lead Says

      According to this blog entry by Sean Davis, Xfce contributor and Xubuntu Technical Lead, Xfce 4.12 is to be released in about one week, this being quite an important announcement, since it comes after almost three years in which no new releases have occurred.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • What’s coming to Green Island: part 2
      • Libinput support added to Touchpad KCM

        As an aftermath of the discussion in Fedora, libinput maintainer Peter Hutter contacted KDE developers, including yours truly who is guilty of porting the kcm-touchpad to KDE Frameworks 5. As I know nothing about input stack or touchpads in general (phew), Peter was kind enough to step up, clone the kcm-touchpad and add support for libinput in addition to (existing) synaptics driver. All I had to do then, is to port it again to Frameworks 5.

      • KDE Touchpad Configuration Now Supports Libinput

        With Libinput support being important not only for Wayland input but also is starting to be used for X11/X.Org input too, the KDE input configuration module now supports configuring libinput devices.

      • Plasma Sprint in Barcelona

        We want to get KInfoCenter out of this “nerdy corner” by augmenting it with rich and beautiful modules and encourage users to check it out. The energy information module is the first step in that direction, other developers have also expressed their interest for that, for instance, it could show much more detailed information about what Baloo is doing at the moment.

      • Kronometer 1.6 released

        Kronometer 1.6 is now available for download. This new release brings an improved UI in the Settings dialog, as well as a couple of annoying bugs fixed.

      • TEA 40.0.0 Released – Qt Text Editor with Many Functions

        TEA is a Qt-based text editor with support for tabs, syntax highlighting, spell-checking, editing support for Wikipedia or LaTex, as well as many configuration options. The latest release, 40.0.0, has been put out earlier today and it represents a major milestone.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME’s Log-In Screen Will Still Work Without Wayland

        With the just-released GNOME 3.16 Beta there’s a switch to use Wayland by default for the GDM log-in screen. For those wondering what this means to those using binary blob graphics drivers on your systems or in cases where Wayland isn’t working, fear not.

      • GNOME Maps App Can Now Display Contacts with Geocodable Addresses

        The first beta of the upcoming GNOME Maps 3.16 app of the GNOME desktop environment has been announced as part of the GNOME 3.16 Beta 1 release of the controversial desktop environment. In this beta, GNOME Maps received several improvements and bug fixes that we’ve detailed below for your general information.

      • GNOME 3.16 Beta Brings Wayland-Based Log-in Screen

        Matthias Clasen has announced the release of GNOME 3.15.90, the GNOME 3.16 Beta, that’s coming out slightly delayed but still in time for some weekend testing.

        The saturday afternoon release of this first beta in the GNOME 3.15 series brings several more “big features” that have been a priority for the GNOME 3.16 development cycle.

      • Cinnamon 2.6 to Be a Massive Update, Panel Support for Multiple Monitors Incoming

        Cinnamon, a Linux desktop environment developed by the same guys who are also responsible for Linux Mint, will be getting some very important new features with the next 2.6 version that will be out soon.

      • Cinnamon 2.6 brings panels to multiple monitors

        Cinnamon is one of my favorite open source projects because it actually listens to what users ‘need’ and then works on features to fulfill those needs.

        Despite being a full time KDE Plasma user, Cinnamon is one DE that I would be very comfortable with. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Gnome or Unity; I do. It’s just that Plasma and Cinnamon are more suited for my needs – they both are extremely customization and allow me to give a personalized touch to my PC.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • AntiX Linux: A Brief Review

        Certain factors like systemd are polarizing the Linux community. It seems that either you like it or you hate it. Some of the Debian developers are getting nervous and so a fork of Debian called Devuan has been announced.

        I’m always looking at other distros that emphasize compactness and the ability to run on old hardware. I was also intrigued by the Debian controversy with systemd so when I saw AntiX 13.2 was based on Debian Wheezy I had to give it a try. AntiX comes on a single CD so installing it was easy enough.

      • Running Bodhi 3.0.0 Legacy on Older Hardware

        There are many reasons why people use Bodhi Linux. Some use it because they really like the Enlightenment desktop, and Bodhi has pioneered the integration of Enlightenment to create a distro that is both beautiful, elegant and functional. Others use it because they want an operating system that stays out of their way. Again, although Enlightenment offers plenty of whistles and bells for those who need or want them, it can also be configured to be highly minimalist and use a very small amount of system resources.

    • New Releases

      • 7.5-TEST-1 Release Notes

        Parsix GNU/Linux 7.5 (code name Rinaldo) brings the latest stable GNOME desktop environment, a new kernel built using our modernized kernel build system, updated installer, a new version of systemd and an upgraded X.Org Server. This version has been synchronized with Debian Wheezy repositories as of February 20, 2015. Thanks to the upgraded X.Org server, there is a noticable desktop performance improvement. Parsix Rinaldo ships with GNOME 3.14 and LibreOffice productivity suit by default. Highlights: GNOME Shell 3.14.3, X.Org 1.16.4, GRUB 2, GNU Iceweasel (Firefox) 35.0.1, GParted 0.12.1, Empathy 3.12.7, LibreOffice 3.5.4, VirtualBox 4.3.18 and a kernel based on Linux 3.14.32 with TuxOnIce 3.3, BFS and other extra patches. Live DVD has been compressed using SquashFS and XZ.

      • Q4OS 0.5.26 version released

        The main purpose of this release is to fix ‘unetbootin’ weighty issue. Some Q4OS USB installation media created with unetbootin utility didn’t correctly extract all the archives and packages. It is now fixed as well as several other bugs. Packages updates and fine tuning of Q4OS Setup utility has been made as well.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mir Now Depends Upon C++14

            While many open-source projects are still transitioning over to a C++11 code-base, Ubuntu’s Mir display server is already moving onto C++14.

            C++14 was officially released last December as a small update over C++11. While it’s officially just a few months old, GCC and LLVM/Clang have been working on supporting the C++14 changes for some time.

          • Kadu 2.0 Instant Messenger Client Released with Better Ubuntu Unity Support

            After two alphas, one beta, and three RC (Release Candidate) versions, the final release of the anticipated Kadu 2.0 IM client is now available for download. Kadu is an open-source, user-friendly, flexible, and stable Instant Messenger client that supports the Jabber, XMPP, and Gadu-Gadu protocols. Kadu 2.0 is a major release that brings a number of new features and improvements over previous versions.

          • I wrote some more apps for Ubuntu Phone

            As before, all these apps are GPL 3 licensed and available on Launchpad. What’s new is now you can browse them online due to a great unofficial web appstore made by Brian Douglass. This solves one of my previous gripes about not being able to find new applications.

          • Writing Ubuntu Phone Apps Seem Fairly Easy

            Robert Ancell of Canonical posted a new blog post this morning about writing some more apps for Ubuntu Phone. He shows off a simple dice roller app written in just over 400 lines of QML, a morse sender example in less than 600 lines of code, and a yatzy game in less than 1k lines of code all with QML. He’s put out the source to these example Ubuntu Phone apps under the GNU GPLv3.

          • Ubuntu 15.04 to Get Locally Integrated Menus by Default

            Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) will implement Locally Integrated Menus by default, making this a very important change for Unity and the operating system.

          • Canonical targets IoT for critical infrastructure

            The increase in hacking attacks that are aligned to geo-political issues is on the increase. Over the last decade, conflicts on the ground have often spilled over to groups of hackers, some state sponsored and some claiming to act independent of the state. The majority of these hackers have chosen to deface government websites or launch DDoS style attacks to force websites offline.

          • Canonical announces new partnership
          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • SCALE 13x, Day 2: Knock on Wood

      The day Saturday started with Monty Taylor’s Flying Circus. HP’s Monty Taylor, accompanied by his rubber duck, gave an insightful talk on the direction of Open Source and how media-fabricated one-liners — akin to the misconception that lemmings jump off cliffs — affect the tech industry and, more importantly, what can be done about it.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • OpenStack at Walmart, project reform status, and more
    • Open Data

      • 3 ways open data is revolutionizing product development

        Somewhere between these two factors — what people really need and don’t have on one end, and what technologies can make a meaningful impact on the other — lies the sweet spot where the next breakthrough product is waiting. And as some leading companies have started to discover, open source data can lead you straight to it. Most recently I witnessed this play out with a company in medical device development — although the learnings from their experience are applicable across industries. Here’s why:

Leftovers

  • American Airlines Strands Luggage From Multiple Flights In Miami; Blames ‘Technical Issue’

    MIA may be the airport code for Miami International Airport, but it’s also the state of luggage for hundreds — if not thousands — of passengers flying on American Airlines out of Miami on Friday: missing in action.

    An apparent “technical issue” with its baggage conveyor belts at Miami International Airport prevented American Airlines from loading any planes with checked luggage on Friday. For eight hours, the airline let its flights depart sans bags, but did not notify passengers of the issue. Instead, most passengers discovered when they reached their destinations that their luggage hadn’t.

  • Science

    • Google boss warns of ‘forgotten century’ with email and photos at risk

      Humanity’s first steps into the digital world could be lost to future historians, Vint Cerf told the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in San Jose, California, warning that we faced a “forgotten generation, or even a forgotten century” through what he called “bit rot”, where old computer files become useless junk.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Owen Paterson gets his facts wrong in pro-GMO push

      An emotive press release hypes the visit to South Africa by the discredited former UK environment secretary Owen Paterson. The press release, sent from the right-wing think-tank that Paterson founded, UK2020, accuses the European Union and Greenpeace of “condemning millions of people in developing countries to starvation and death by their stubborn refusal to accept the benefits of genetically modified crops and other potentially life-saving advances in plant sciences.”

  • Security

    • Lenovo: Avoid!

      As for me, I will not be buying a Lenovo computer, ever.

    • A Bit Late, But Lenovo CTO Admits The Company Screwed Up

      We’ve had a bunch of posts today (and yesterday) about the “Superfish” debacle, with a few of them focusing on Lenovo failing to recognize what a problem it was — first denying any serious security problem, and then calling it “theoretical.” It appears that Lenovo has now realized it totally screwed up and is finally saying so.

    • Dear Lenovo, it’s not me, it’s you.

      I’ve been a mostly happy Thinkpad owner for almost 15 years. My first Thinkpad was a 570, followed by an X40, an X61s, and an X220. There might have been one more in there, my archives only go back a decade. Although it’s lately gotten harder to buy Thinkpads at UNB as Dell gets better contracts with our purchasing people, I’ve persevered, mainly because I’m used to the Trackpoint, and I like the availability of hardware service manuals. Overall I’ve been pleased with the engineering of the X series.

    • Superfish means its time to replace your Lenovo computer

      Lenovo is all over the media recently, and not for a good reason. The revelation that it corrupted its computers with the vile Superfish adware has shocked many people in the computing world. It’s almost impossible to believe that a company could be so incredibly stupid and so unbelievably uncaring about the security of its customers.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • What Would Malcolm X Think?

      FIFTY years ago today my father, Malcolm X, was assassinated…

    • Australia rules out Sweden for $39 billion submarine contract

      Australia will not partner with Sweden to build its next-generation submarine fleet, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Friday, narrowing the list of potential partners for the A$50 billion ($39 billion) program to Germany, France and Japan.

      Swedish defense firm Saab, France’s state-controlled naval contractor DCNS and Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems have expressed interest in the project.

    • Pakistan Army increasing cooperation with CIA on drone strikes after Peshawar massacre, expert says

      The Pakistan Army is once again cooperating with the US on drone strikes, a renowned expert on the country’s military tells the Bureau in the latest edition of Drone News.

    • CIA-planted ‘evidence’ may force IAEA review of Iran’s alleged nuke arms program – report

      Doctored blueprints for nuclear weapon components supplied to Iran by the CIA 15 years ago could force the IAEA to review its conclusions on Iran’s atomic program, which was potentially based on misleading intelligence, Bloomberg reports.

      The details of the Central Intelligence Agency operation back in 2000 were made public as part of a judicial hearing into a case involving Jeffrey Sterling, an agent convicted of leaking classified information on CIA spying against Iran.

    • CIA’s Nuclear-Bomb Sting Said to Spur Review in Iran Arms Case

      Details of a 15-year-old Central Intelligence Agency sting emerging from a court case in the U.S. may prompt United Nations monitors to reassess some evidence related to Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons work, two western diplomats said.

      International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors in Vienna will probably review intelligence they received about Iran as a result of the revelations, said the two diplomats who are familiar with the IAEA’s Iran file and asked not to be named because the details are confidential. The CIA passed doctored blueprints for nuclear-weapon components to Iran in February 2000, trial documents have shown.

    • The CIA Once Ran Brothels And Dosed Unsuspecting Customers With LSD

      For ten years during the Cold War, the CIA conducted mind-control experiments on unsuspecting San Franciscans. Dubbed Operation Midnight Climax, the program was packed with salacious details: a power-mad narcotics agent, a brothel equipped with two-way mirrors, and gallons of LSD.

    • Christian War Crimes Prize

      After destroying Hiroshima, President Truman offered thanks to God for the power to kill indiscriminately…

    • The Israeli agent behind enemy lines

      “The Israeli intelligence services paid me to complete certain missions, such as secret missions in Syria under the cover of a reporter. These missions were at times very dangerous, and I risked the worst, including death in the case of failure. I traveled to Damascus a number of time in order to make contact with the local elite, doctors, researchers and others – all of whom wanted to emigrate to the United States. Every time I would get the equivalent to a month’s wage.”

    • David Swanson – Not Very Funny

      More broadly, Jeb pushed the idea that the Middle East is a disaster because it hasn’t been bombed enough, and that the U.S. is disliked because it hasn’t attacked enough countries. There are two problems with this. One, it’s a disgusting and ridiculous lie that has been getting people killed for many years. A Gallup poll early last year of 65 countries found the U.S. to be considered far and away the biggest threat to peace in the world. The nations in the worst shape are the ones the U.S. has bombed. U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Powers has actually argued that we should stop paying attention to what bombing Libya did to Libya in order to be sufficiently willing to bomb Iraq and Syria. ISIS actually produced a 60-minute movie begging the United States to go to war against it because recruitment would soar. The U.S. obliged. Recruitment soared. This is how disliked the United States has made itself: organizations are willing to be bombed if it will show them to be the leading opponents of the United States — a country that, by the way, puts over a trillion dollars a year into war when tens of billions could address world hunger, clean water, and other basic needs. For a fraction of war spending, the U.S. could address climate chaos, agriculture, education, etc., and become the most loved government on earth. But would that feel as good as screaming threats at ISIS?

    • Russia Bashing Big Lies Persist

      They report nothing about Washington supplying Kiev with heavy weapons since the conflict began last year.

    • O’Reilly’s “Combat Situation” Reporting Problem Just Got Worse

      Seven of Bill O’Reilly’s former CBS News colleagues who were with the Fox host in Buenos Aires have challenged his account of the riot he has recently come under fire for describing as a “combat situation.” As contradictions to O’Reilly’s account of his 1982 reporting on the Falklands War build, O’Reilly has responded to critics with personal attacks.

    • On CNN’s Reliable Sources, Media Critics Dissect O’Reilly’s Politicization Of Criticism Of His Falklands War Reporting
    • Former CBS News Colleague Contradicts O’Reilly’s Story About Argentina Protest After Falkland Islands War
    • Bill O’Reilly: Former CBS News Correspondent Eric Engberg “Is A Coward” For Criticizing His Falklands War Reporting
    • Turkish Forces Attack Syrian Troops

      Former US ambassador to Syria Robert Ford admits moderates don’t exist in numbers and motivation enough to matter.

    • Argentina charges US interference in crisis over prosecutor’s death

      The political crisis precipitated by the mysterious January 18 death of Alberto Nisman has continued to deepen after a mass march called by fellow prosecutors and backed by the government’s right-wing opponents drew large crowds into the streets of Buenos Aires Wednesday to mark one month since the Argentine federal prosecutor was found with a fatal bullet wound to his head.

    • Failing Tonkin Gulf Test on Ukraine

      For instance, Congress could investigate the role of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in orchestrating the political crisis that led to a violent coup overthrowing Ukraine’s constitutionally elected President Viktor Yanukovych a year ago.

    • RABBLE ROUSER: Peace activists give food for thought

      He reminded us that in Nazi Germany, many people had to look the other way to allow for the horrendous atrocities while others risked their lives and paid a high price. He also pointed to the historical reality of the FBI illegally spying on both blacks and Peace Groups during the Vietnam era.

    • Gallup: Americans’ Fear of Russia Soars

      Gallup headlined on February 16th, “Americans Increasingly See Russia as Threat, Top U.S. Enemy,” and reported that whereas back in 2011 only 3% of Americans answered “Russia” when asked “What country anywhere in the world do you consider to be the United States’ greatest enemy?” 18% cite “Russia” today, which is 3% more than the #2-cited threat, “North Korea,” cited now by 15% (which had been 16% back in 2011, when the top-cited threat of all was then Iran, at 25%, which is now cited by only 9% of Americans, as being America’s “greatest enemy.”

    • America Threatens to Wage War on Russia: “US public is being Prepped to Hate Russians and to Fear Russia”

      Gallup headlined on February 16th, “Americans Increasingly See Russia as Threat, Top U.S. Enemy,” and reported that whereas back in 2011 only 3% of Americans answered “Russia” when asked “What country anywhere in the world do you consider to be the United States’ greatest enemy?” 18% cite “Russia” today, which is 3% more than the #2-cited threat, “North Korea,” cited now by 15% (which had been 16% back in 2011, when the top-cited threat of all was then Iran, at 25%, which is now cited by only 9% of Americans, as being America’s “greatest enemy.”

    • Swedish migrant aides ‘were Isis recruiters’

      Sweden’s national job agency has sacked its whole network of immigrant resettlement assistants after suspicion that some of them may have tried to recruit newly arrived immigrants to jihadist-style militant groups, such as Isis.

    • US Backing for ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels: Long Reported, Continually Forgotten

      The Guardian story cited the Pentagon in acknowledging that “a small group of US special forces and military planners had been to Jordan during the summer to help…train selected rebel fighters.”

    • America loves its war porn: “American Sniper” and the Hollywood propaganda machine

      In the age of the all-volunteer military and an endless stream of war zone losses and ties, it can be hard to keep Homeland enthusiasm up for perpetual war. After all, you don’t get a 9/11 every year to refresh those images of the barbarians at the airport departure gates. In the meantime, Americans are clearly finding it difficult to remain emotionally roiled up about our confusing wars in Syria and Iraq, the sputtering one in Afghanistan, and various raids, drone attacks, and minor conflicts elsewhere.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • World Bank Refuses to Consider Haitian Communities’ Complaint about New Mining Law

      Last week, the World Bank Inspection Panel refused to consider a complaint from Haitian communities about the Bank’s support for development of the mining sector in Haiti. Communities affected by mining activity and the Justice in Mining Collective, a group of six Haitian civil society organizations, submitted the complaint in early January, alleging violations of their rights to information and participation and threats of human rights abuses and environmental harms. The Inspection Panel—an office established to address complaints from people affected by World Bank-sponsored projects—recognized that the complaint raised “serious and legitimate” concerns and that the mining industry presents significant risks. The office nevertheless denied the complaint on narrow, technical grounds. The complainants expect to receive a copy of the decision in French today.[1]

  • Finance

    • In Remarks on Obama, Rudy Giuliani to the Core

      It has been years since he disclosed his assets, but Mr. Giuliani revealed as a presidential candidate that his personal wealth had ballooned from a modest sum when he left City Hall to more than $30 million in 2007.

    • Straw and Rifkind deny ‘cash for access’ wrongdoing

      Two former foreign secretaries have been secretly filmed apparently offering their services to a private company for thousands of pounds.

    • Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind face ‘cash for access’ allegations

      Two former foreign secretaries are facing accusations of being involved in a new “cash for access” scandal by offering to use their political influence in return for payment.

    • ‘Cash for access’ scandal: How to buy a politician

      The Telegraph looks at how to buy a politician, including Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind

    • Hillary Clinton’s Complex Corporate Ties

      Among recent secretaries of state, Hillary Clinton was one of the most aggressive global cheerleaders for American companies, pushing governments to sign deals and change policies to the advantage of corporate giants such as General Electric Co., Exxon Mobil Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Boeing Co.

    • Hillary, Jeb and $$$$$$

      This was on top of another $4 million that he reportedly netted the previous week in one evening alone at the Manhattan home of a private equity bigwig. After Manhattan came the Washington, D.C., area, where he racked up $1 million at two events, according to Politico. An atlas of cities, an avalanche of dough: It’s what successful campaigns are made of, and his is expected to raise between $50 million and $100 million over a span of three months.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Denying History: Cuba in the German Liberal Press

      The U.S.-Cuban negotiations were extensively discussed in the liberal German press. A closer reading of the news indicated a slant in coverage: Cuba was depicted as a terror state and a nefarious actor. The USA, on the other hand, was described as a benign actor with noble aims such as to bring democracy and reforms to Cuba.

    • Reel life is often significantly different than real life — even for Academy Award winners

      Reel life is often significantly different than real life — even for Academy Award winners. Here are eight movies that got their facts wrong.

    • So who is the Biggest Prevaricator: Brian Williams or Bill O’Reilly?

      According to David Corn’s February 19, 2015 article “Bill O’Reilly Has His Own Brian Williams Problem” in Mother Jones–the Fox News host stands accused of making false claims of stolen valor, similar in nature to those made by NBC News anchor Brian Williams. This despite O’Reilly’s feigned outrage at the hypocrisy of Mr. Williams. The article cited several instances of O’Reilly’s own historic, documented duplicity, but there was another one which went unreported that came from his own words as written within one of O’Reilly’s own books.

    • Erick Erickson Follows Scott Walker In Questioning Obama’s Christianity

      Fox contributor Erick Erickson parroted Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) to cast doubt on President Obama’s Christianity, alleging he is not a Christian “in any meaningful way,” despite the fact that right-wing attempts to call Obama’s faith into question have long been discredited.

    • The Sexist Attacks On Women For Saying The Same Thing As Men

      The National Review’s Ian Tuttle called the two women an incapable “hapless duo” with a “Lucy and Ethel routine” (Harf is blonde, Psaki a red head) who were trying to create a version of the comedy film Legally Blonde at the US Department of State. In a separate piece, the conservative journal of record’s Kevin Williamson called Harf “cretinous” and a “misfit who plays Messy Marvin to Jen Psaki’s feckless Pippi Longstocking.”

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Laura Poitras’ CITIZENFOUR Awarded Oscar for Best Documentary in 2014

      CITIZENFOUR, Laura Poitras’ riveting documentary about Edward Snowden’s efforts to shed light on gross surveillance abuses by the United States government and its partners, just won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Tonight’s Oscar win recognizes not only the incredible cinematography of Poitras, but also her daring work with a high-stakes whistleblower and the journalism that kick-started a worldwide debate about surveillance and government transparency. We suspect this award was also, as the New York Times pointed out, “a way for Academy members to make something of a political statement, without having to put their own reputations on the line.”

    • Citizenfour: Inside Story of NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Captured in New Film by Laura Poitras

      “At this stage I can offer nothing more than my word. I am a senior government employee in the intelligence community. I hope you understand that contacting you is extremely high risk … This will not be a waste of your time.” This was one of the first messages Edward Snowden wrote to filmmaker Laura Poitras beginning an exchange that helped expose the massive surveillance apparatus set up by the National Security Agency. Months later, Poitras would meet Snowden for the first time in a Hong Kong hotel room. Poitras filmed more than 20 hours of footage as Snowden debriefed reporters Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill. That footage — most unseen until now — forms the backbone of Poitras’ new film, “Citizenfour.” She joins us to talk about the film and her own experience with government surveillance. The film is the third installment of her 9/11 trilogy that also includes “My Country, My Country” about the Iraq War and “The Oath” about the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Poitras’ NSA reporting contributed to a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service awarded to The Guardian and The Washington Post. We also speak with Jeremy Scahill, who appears in the film reporting on recent disclosures about NSA surveillance from a new, anonymous government source. Scahill, along with Poitras and Greenwald, founded The Intercept, a new media venture to continue investigating whistleblower leaks.

    • Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald on Government Surveillance

      Laura Poitras, nominated for best documentary for “Citizenfour,” said she had seen some changes as a result of her film, about the whistleblower Edward Snowden and his revelations of government surveillance.

    • Laura Poitras on Her Oscar-Nominated Snowden Doc Citizenfour

      When we sit down in her New York office on the evening of February 14, I wish Laura Poitras a happy Valentine’s Day. “Oh, is that today?” she replies. The filmmaker has ample reasons to be unaware of ordinary reality. It has been two years since, while making a documentary about government surveillance of citizens, she received an encrypted email from a correspondent who identified himself only as “citizenfour.” The anonymous emailer turned out, of course, to be Edward Snowden. Since Citizenfour was released to great acclaim last October, she has been in constant motion, mostly outside the U.S. Two nights before we meet, she and Glenn Greenwald were joined, via satellite link from Moscow, by a smiling, relaxed Snowden for discussions at New York’s IFC Center and the New School. The current week contains two more milestones in the film’s remarkable career: It is the odds-on favorite to win Best Documentary at the Oscars this Sunday; the following night, it will have its first telecast on HBO.

    • Edward Snowden Congratulates Laura Poitras for Winning Best Documentary Oscar for Citizenfour

      The following is a statement from Edward Snowden provided to the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents him…

    • Why Kaspersky was right to reveal NSA secrets

      This means that the NSA likely had help from the corporations that build the hard drives and USB devices in question, because they’d have no access to the source code otherwise, according to Reuters. It opens up the possibility that the NSA used an American company’s cooperation with a foreign company on projects as an invitation to steal the American company’s proprietary information, too, even though U.S. law explicitly prohibits this type of covert operation.

    • Wanda Sykes on Working at the NSA, Coming Out, & Shooing the FLOTUS Away

      Before her career in comedy, Sykes got, as she called it, “a good government job.” She worked for the NSA and, when prompted, confessed that “yes, she learned some things that were surprising.” She did not elaborate, maybe because it was long ago, or maybe because none of us had the proper clearance.

    • Jeb Bush: ‘I don’t understand’ why anyone is upset about the NSA
    • Jeb Bush Backs NSA Powers
    • Find out if the UK used NSA data to spy on you

      While it’s sadly likely that your communications have passed through an intelligence agency at some point, it’s usually difficult to know just who got your data. However, you now have a rare opportunity to find out.

    • Kaspersky Lab Cannot Confirm NSA Behind Espionage Program on 30 Countries

      Ealier this week, the Moscow-based internet security company published a report saying that spying software operated by a hacker group had infected over 500 computers in over 30 countries including Iran, Russia, China and Syria. The revelations triggered media reports about the US NSA being behind the espionage.

    • Hard-drive spy malware linked to NSA

      A powerful cyberspying tool can tap into millions of computers worldwide through secretly installed malware, security researchers say, with many signs pointing to a US-led effort.

    • NSA spied through Seagate, Micron, Western Digital gear, Russian researchers say (Correction)

      The NSA’s spy programs can function in disk drives sold by more than a dozen companies, which means just about every computer on the market vulnerable to eavesdropping. Kaspersky Lab, a Moscow-based security software maker, discovered that implants could be placed by what it called the “Equation Group,” a reference to the NSA. The finding was confirmed by Reuters via a former NSA employee.

    • Vermont Legislation Goes Head-to-Head with NSA Spying

      A bill filed in the Vermont House last week represents a transpartisan effort taking on the surveillance state. The legislation would not only support efforts to turn off NSA’s water in Utah, but would have practical effects on federal surveillance programs if passed.

      Vermont Rep. Teo Zagar (D-Barnard) introduced H.204 on Feb. 12. His three cosponsors literally span the political spectrum, including a Republican, an Independent and a member of the Progressive Party.

    • FBI surveillance tactics jeopardized by fight over NSA phone snooping program
    • NSA Spy Hacking Undermines US Credibility Over Outlawing Cyberattacks

      The United States is planning to create a new agency dedicated to cybersecurity in light of the growing number of hacking attacks and identity theft in the past year.

    • Fresh Insights into the NSA’s Cyber Capabilities

      It is widely known that the National Security Agency houses an impressive cyber force with the capacity to bypass the digital defenses of private individuals, enterprises, and even foreign governments – a force powerful enough to draw criticism from the American public and American allies. A recent report from Russian researchers has provided more specific information vis-à-vis the technical capabilities of NSA.

    • Citizenfour: meet NSA whistleblower Snowden

      Last year, Attorney-General George Brandis introduced legislation to Parliament which, if passed, would require telecom companies to retain metadata for two years. Last week, in the 100-seat Parliament House theatre located just next door, politicians and journalists gathered to watch an advance screening of documentary Citizenfour. The film follows whistleblower Edward Snowden as he reveals the extent of the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program. It is a must-see: a poignant reminder of the dangers posed to individual privacy and security by data collection.

    • The NSA’s Snooping Reaches Insane New Levels. You Can’t Do A Thing About It.

      Apparently, the United States National Security Agency has been spying on computers used in several countries through software buried within hard drives manufactured by big companies such as Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital.

      Security researchers at Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab discovered personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs. The most infections were found in Iran, along with computers in Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria.

    • Russia Improving Electronic Security in Response to NSA Spyware – Lawmaker

      The remark follows an announcement made on Monday by Kaspersky Lab, a Moscow-based Internet security software company, on a broad surveillance program that was tracking data on computer hard disks worldwide. The company said a cyberattack team known as the Equation Group had infected the computers of 500 organizations worldwide with spying software, most of them in Iran and Russia.

    • ​Criminally insane irresponsibility led to modern ‘hacker’s paradise’

      The US government has been irresponsible about cyber security for the past 25 years, essentially allowing the NSA to create a ‘hackers paradise’ through numerous infantile backdoors they planted, former US intelligence officer Robert Steele told RT.

    • Find Out if You’ve Been Spied on—and Join the Fight for Privacy

      Want to know if GCHQ spied on you? Now you can find out. Privacy International (PI) has just launched a website that lets anyone find out if their communications were intercepted by the NSA and then shared with GCHQ.

    • Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden film set for Christmas release

      Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone’s big-screen dramatisation of Edward Snowden’s mass surveillance revelations will be released on 25 December, distributor Open Road Films said on Friday.

      Snowden will star Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the NSA whistleblower who leaked details of US and British surveillance and electronic monitoring programs.

      Filming has begun in Munich and will move to other locations before its expected completion in May.

      Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto and Tom Wilkinson will also star in the film, adapted from two books, The Snowden Files, by Guardian journalist Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden’s lawyer.

    • Timothy Olyphant Joins Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden Movie
    • Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden biopic to open on Christmas Day

      Stone is also adapting the screenplay with Kieran Fitzgerald, from Luke Harding’s The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man and Anatoly Kucherena’s Time of the Octopus.

    • You can now find out if GCHQ spied on you

      People from around the world can join a campaign to find out if British intelligence agency GCHQ illegally spied on them — and force it to delete the data.

      The move follows a ruling by the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) that GCHQ’s use of data gathered by the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US was unlawful prior to December 2014.

    • Snowden Documentary Earns Ridenhour Film Prize

      The Ridenhour Prizes announced Friday its documentary prize will go to “Citizenfour,” the film about Edward Snowden’s leaks of classified NSA documents, directed by Laura Poitras.

    • Director Laura Poitras accepts the award for best documentary for her film “Citizenfour” at the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica
    • SA’s securocrats serious about cyberwarfare

      Shortly after 9/11, the South African government introduced measures to fight terrorism in the country, including a bill allowing the monitoring and interception of communications. It became the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (Rica) of 2002. It replaced the Interception and Monitoring Prohibition Act of 1992, which did not deal adequately with technological advances.

    • Loopholes exist in our laws covering interception of communications, and the state is abusing them.

      Shortly after 9/11, the South African government introduced measures to fight terrorism in the country, including a Bill allowing the monitoring and interception of communications. It became the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (Rica) of 2002. It replaced the Interception and Monitoring Prohibition Act of 1992, which did not deal adequately with technological advances.

    • The Spy Cables: A glimpse into the world of espionage

      A digital leak to Al Jazeera of hundreds of secret intelligence documents from the world’s spy agencies has offered an unprecedented insight into operational dealings of the shadowy and highly politicised realm of global espionage.

      Over the coming days, Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit is publishing The Spy Cables, in collaboration with The Guardian newspaper.

      Spanning a period from 2006 until December 2014, they include detailed briefings and internal analyses written by operatives of South Africa’s State Security Agency (SSA). They also reveal the South Africans’ secret correspondence with the US intelligence agency, the CIA, Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, Russia’s FSB and Iran’s operatives, as well as dozens of other services from Asia to the Middle East and Africa.

      The files unveil details of how, as the post-apartheid South African state grappled with the challenges of forging new security services, the country became vulnerable to foreign espionage and inundated with warnings related to the US “War on Terror”.

    • ‘Overnight, everything I loved was gone’: the internet shaming of Lindsey Stone

      When a friend posted a photograph of charity worker Lindsey Stone on Facebook, she never dreamed she would lose her job and her reputation. Two years on, could she get her life back?

    • Why The USA Hacks

      The U.S. government views cyberspace as just another theater of war akin to air, land and sea…

    • Alleged NSA Computer Hardware Espionage Not Surprising – Former CIA Officer

      A former CIA and State Department counterterrorism expert says a report by Russia-based Kaspersky Lab that the NSA could have infiltrated computer hardware to spy on foreign entities is not surprising.

    • Investigation looks at possible CIA malware plant

      A new report from Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab said its researchers identified a new family of malicious programs or worms that infected computers in multiple countries, primarily overseas. Targets appeared to be specifically selected and included military, Islamic activists, energy companies and other businesses, as well as government personnel.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Infamous Oscar Speech Heard Around the World

      Can we all just agree on that point? I’m not saying we owe Michael Moore an apology for the way he was derided for his speech after winning the Academy Award for Bowling for Columbine, 10 years ago, but on this momentous anniversary, I think we can at least acknowledge that much.

      On March 23, 2003, Moore made the Oscar speech heard around the world, in which he condemned George Bush for going to war in Iraq, which had just begun four days prior. And Moore was booed, stalked and threatened for it. He had to get a security detail to protect him from the death threats (some of which were encouraged by the media), and he claims that Homeland Security scratched up his Oscar at the airport on the way home.

    • Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud during his one meeting with THE General Body

      THE General Body’s website shows they are connecting with other anti-corporatization student groups, such as those at Colgate University and the University of California.

    • Poland to Pay $262,000 to Inmates Held at Secret C.I.A. Prison
    • Poland agrees to pay 2 victims of CIA rendition

      Poland will be the first country to pay damages for participating in the US Central Intelligence Agency’s secret rendition programme after its was found to have hosted a facility used for illegal rendition and interrogation.

    • CIA terror suspects get pay from Poland

      Poland will pay $262,000 in compensation to two terror suspects who say they were tortured at a CIA secret prison that Poland hosted from 2002-2003, a government minister said Wednesday.

      Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna spoke after the European Court of Human Rights in France rejected Poland’s appeal of its earlier ruling.

    • European court rejects Polish appeal in CIA jail case

      The European Court of Human Rights refused on Tuesday to reconsider its ruling that Poland hosted a secret CIA jail, a decision that will now oblige Warsaw to swiftly hold to account Polish officials who allowed the jail to operate.

      The court’s decision will add to pressure on other European countries to end years of secrecy about their involvement in the CIA’s global programme of secret detention after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

    • Poland to Pay €230,000 to Two CIA Detainees Previously Held on Its Soil
    • Will the U.S. prosecute torture?

      When America Tonight approached the Justice Department for this report, its press office responded in an email in bold type: “We are not doing interviews.” But in a statement, the agency said that it reviewed the cases of several detainees “alleged to have been mistreated” back in 2009. In the two criminal investigations that resulted, it said it did not find sufficient evidence to “obtain and sustain” convictions.

    • Did the Torture Report Give the C.I.A. a Bum Rap?

      IN December, when the Senate Intelligence Committee issued its long-awaited report on the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program, it seemed to confirm what I and many human-rights advocates had argued for a decade: The C.I.A. had started and run a fundamentally abusive and counterproductive torture program. What’s more, the report found that the C.I.A. had lied repeatedly about the program’s efficacy, and that it had neither disrupted terror plots nor saved lives.

    • Former CIA officer suing agency for wrongful termination

      A former CIA officer who operated under shadowy “non-official cover” status is suing the spy agency in federal court, claiming he was wrongly fired after a senior manager fabricated allegations of misconduct.

      The officer filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under a pseudonym, Mack L. Charles. The CIA declined to comment, but did not dispute the plaintiff’s former association with the agency.

    • Fired CIA Worker’s Suit Stymied by State Secrets

      A former CIA operations officer with narcolepsy cannot pursue discrimination charges against the agency because his claims violate state secrets privilege, a federal judge ruled.

      The plaintiff, under the pseudonym Jacob Abilt, claims he divulged his disability to the CIA upon employment when he was hired by the agency in 2008.

      “The parties agreed that as an accommodation of Plaintiff’s disability he could take brief naps at his desk, provided that he make-up the time either by foregoing a lunch break and/or working beyond his scheduled tour of duty,” the complaint says.

    • How the CIA gets away with it: Our democracy is their real enemy

      The inside, untold story of CIA’s efforts to mislead Congress — and the people — about torture will horrify you

    • He blew the whistle on CIA torture, and now he’s finally home from jail — and talking

      After serving almost two years in a federal prison in Pennsylvania, former CIA officer John Kiriakou, the first agency official to publicly confirm and detail the agency’s use of waterboarding, is back at home in Virginia to complete the rest of his sentence under house arrest.

    • CIA Torture Whistleblower: US Government Lacks “the Guts” to Face Its Crimes

      Out of prison and living at home under house arrest for the remainder of a suspended prison sentence, former CIA operative John Kiriakou, convicted and sent to jail for blowing the whistle on agency torture under the Bush administration, has been speaking to major medi outlets this week about the brutal tactics and depraved abuse administered by the U.S. government in the name fighting terrorism as well as his prosecution and conviction under the Espionage Act for speaking out against such crimes.

    • The dark comedy of the Senate torture report

      Nevertheless, civic duty spurred me and a lawyer colleague to write the preface. So I read the report — all 500 or so pages of it — first in English and then in French. To my great surprise I learned that the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture moves right along, with an authorial voice, lots of irony and plenty of gruesome detail that wasn’t in the newspapers. The principal writer, a former FBI analyst named Daniel Jones, renders the story of the CIA’s gratuitous brutality with a rhythmic repetition that approaches literature. Again and again, we’re told, detainees were grabbed by the CIA or its proxies, transported to secret prisons, subjected to ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’, and eventually dropped because they didn’t reveal anything useful, or they invented stories, or, as in the case of the suspected Afghan militant Gul Rahman, died. Then, after ploughing through many pages of CIA boasting about success in foiling terrorist plots, we find out that the agency’s ‘representations were almost entirely inaccurate’ and that torture foiled not a single plot. The former FBI man has fun hanging his CIA rivals with their own words, such as when then CIA director Porter Goss briefs senators about how ‘professionally operated’ CIA detention techniques are compared with the Abu Ghraib variety: ‘We are not talking military, and I’m not talking about anything that a contractor might have done… in a prison somewhere or beat somebody or hit somebody with a stick or something.’ No, we’re talking about chaining a prisoner to the ceiling, making him wear a nappy, and letting him soil himself. After slamming him into a wall.

    • How Britain’s treatment of ‘The Hooded Men’ during the Troubles became the benchmark for US ‘torture’ in the Middle East

      When Amal Clooney flies into Belfast shortly to meet a group of former Irish prisoners known as ‘The Hooded Men’ it will be the latest chapter of an extraordinary story concerning a quest for justice that has lasted almost half a century.

    • Judge who wrote ‘torture memos’ speaks at University of Utah

      One man held a sign reading “Torture Is a War Crime.”

    • Torture, terrorism, and paranoia

      Director Adeara Maurice said Why Torture is Wrong highlights the “fear-based culture” surrounding terrorism and homeland security in post-9/11 America.

    • Selma Director Ava DuVernay on Hollywood’s Lack of Diversity, Oscar Snub and #OscarsSoWhite Hashtag

      Today we spend the hour with Ava DuVernay, the director of the acclaimed new civil rights film “Selma,” which tells the story of the campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to draw the nation’s attention to the struggle for equal voting rights by marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in March of 1965. While the film has been nominated for an Oscar for best picture, to the shock of many, DuVernay was not nominated. She would have made history as the first African-American woman nominated for best director. At the Sundance Film Festival, DuVernay joins us to discuss the making of the film and the Academy Award nominations. “The question is why was ‘Selma’ the only film that was in the running with people of color for the award?” she asks.

    • Verdict expected in trial of 25 Egyptian activists, including Alaa Abdel-Fattah

      An Egyptian court is expected to issue a verdict on Monday in a case which leading activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and 24 others stand a retrial on a variety of charges, including taking part in an unauthorised protest in 2013.

    • David Cole Turns in His Torture Homework Late, Gets a C

      Here, Cole misrepresents the conclusion of the Torture Report, which leads him to a conclusion of limited value. It is not just that CIA lied about whether torture worked.

    • Even as Many Eyes Watch, Brutality at Rikers Island Persists

      The brutal confrontations were among 62 cases identified by The New York Times in which inmates were seriously injured by correction officers between last August and January, a period when city and federal officials had become increasingly focused on reining in violence at Rikers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The World’s Most Idiotic Copyright Complaint

        If you can bear to read it the full notice can be found here. Worryingly Total Wipes Music are currently filing notices almost every day. Google rejects many of them but it’s only a matter of time before some sneak through.

02.21.15

Links 21/2/2015: GNOME 3.15.90, Google Wins Android Lawsuit

Posted in News Roundup at 8:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Fully sandboxed, cross-distro Linux apps are almost here

      Right now, you get most of your Linux software from your distribution’s software repositories. Those applications have to be packaged specifically for your Linux distribution, and you have to trust them with full access to your Linux user account and all its files.

      But imagine if developers could distribute applications in a standard way so you could install and run them on any Linux distribution, and if those applications ran in a “sandbox” so you could quickly download and run them without the security and privacy risks.

      That’s not just a dream. It’s the goal of the GNOME desktop-affiliated Sandboxed Applications project, and the first fully sandboxed application is already here. A preliminary version of this project is planned to be released in GNOME 3.16, which should be in the next release of Fedora—Fedora 22.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linus Torvalds: Write Linux Kernel Code, ‘Get Hired Really Quickly’

      It’s a brave endeavour to dive into the source code for any project you didn’t program yourself, another entirely when that project happens to be the guts of Linux. Considering the impact the open source operating system has had on the IT world, having some familiarity with its internals is going to take you places — a sentiment Linux creator Linus Torvalds agrees with.

    • New AMD Processors Supported By Coreboot

      While Coreboot support for systems with newer Intel CPUs is tough, Coreboot gained yesterday support for some new AMD CPUs.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Nouveau Gallium3D Now Supports Double-Precision Floating-Point Data Types

        Nouveau (NVC0) Gallium3D now supports the GL_ARB_gpu_shader_fp64 extension. What’s exciting about this enablement is that it’s a feature for OpenGL 4.0 / GLSL 4.00 compliance and this Nouveau driver support is beating out the Intel and Radeon drivers in providing this OpenGL capability.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Xfce 4.12, Raspberry Pi’s Whole Number & More…

      Speaking of Larry, back in December he helped quash a rumor that the popular Xfce desktop had been abandoned. Now we have further evidence that he wasn’t just talking through his hat — as if there was ever any doubt.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Shell Gets a Visual Refresh Based on the Redesigned GTK+ Theme In GNOME 3.16

        As we’ve reported in several GNOME related articles this week, the GNOME development team is hard at work to bring you the anticipated GNOME 3.16 desktop environment, due for release on March 25, 2015. As expected, GNOME Shell will be part of this release and it is the most important component, providing the actual user interface.

      • GNOME 3.15.90

        This is the first beta release of the 3.15 development…

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • pcDuino3B hacker SBC features WiFi, GbE, and Arduino I/O

      LinkSprite launched a gig-Ethernet version of its PCDuino3 SBC, featuring the same dual-core Allwinner A20 SoC, plus SATA, WiFi, and Arduino compatible I/O.

      Like Hardkernel’s Odroid project and a few others, LinkSprite’s pcDuino community has been churning out ARM hacker boards over the last year with generally lower prices and improved features. The newly shipping pcDuino3B barely qualifies for the above description, but it should please pcDuino fans looking for a faster Ethernet connection.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • [Video] Samsung Launch 2015 Tizen Smart TV in Africa

          Samsung Electronics has introduced several of its products to the African market at the sixth annual Africa Forum in Antalya, Turkey which is a three-day forum. The main Interest for us here at Tizen Experts is the Samsung SUHD TVs that is being showcased there, as from 2015 onwards all Samsung TVs will run Tizen which is a HTML5 web standards open source platform.

      • Android

        • US judge dismisses antitrust case against Google over Android apps

          The two consumers who filed the suit failed to show that Google’s allegedly illegal restrictive contracts on manufacturers of Android devices resulted in higher prices on phones, U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman said in a Feb. 20 ruling.

        • Google wins dismissal of U.S. lawsuit over Android app limits

          A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit accusing Google Inc of harming smartphone buyers by forcing handset makers that use its Android operating system to make the search engine company’s own applications the default option.

          Consumers claimed that Google required companies such as Samsung Electronics Co to favor Google apps such as YouTube on Android-powered phones, and restrict rival apps such as Microsoft Corp’s Bing.

          They said this illegally drove smartphone prices higher because rivals could not compete for the “prime screen real estate” that Google’s apps enjoyed.

        • Android Circuit: Sabotaging The Galaxy S6 Story, Xiaomi Defeats Samsung, Sony Abandons Android

          Taking a look back at the week’s news across the Android world, this week’s Android Circuit highlights a number of stories including Samsung’s battery issues and the potential of wireless charging, the story J.K. Shin could tell the press at MWC, Sony abandons Android and its Xperia smartphones, Microsoft invests in Cyanogen, Xiaomi overtakes Samsung, designing for the South Korean company, Pebble picks up Android Wear support, and LoopPay’s Galaxy potential for payments.

        • Top Android news of the week: New trojan, DIY repair site, and Windows app does Android
        • Android malware hijacks power button, empties wallet while you sleep

          Don’t panic, though. So far the outbreak in small and localized: around 10,000 cases have cropped up almost exclusively in China, none of which work on Android 5.0. But code spreads so fast these days and something so useful is bound to be popping in malicious apps from dodgy online stores in the near future.

        • Android Malware Can Spy on You Even After Your Phone Is ‘Shut Off’

          The good news is that this creepy spyware isn’t something that has been, or probably ever will be, found in Google Play apps. Android has gone to great lengths to clamp down on fraudulent and malicious apps in its market, now scanning them both before and after you’ve installed them to your Galaxy, HTC One, Moto X, or whatever. So if you stick with the official Google app store, you should be safe from any of the above scariness.

        • Toggle Android 5.0 device settings with your voice

          Forget third-party widgets, Google’s Search app will now let you use your voice to toggle several settings on Android Lollipop devices.

        • New update for Register Android app

          Android users, update (or download) the Des Moines Register app for a new, improved reading experience.

        • WhatsApp starts rolling out voice calling feature to Android users

          After testing the feature with select users, it appears mobile messaging service WhatsApp is now rolling out the much awaited internet calling functionality to a wider set of people.

        • New BlackBerry Phones Can Now Run Android Apps from Amazon

          Launched on Thursday, BlackBerry 10 OS 10.3.1 provides the usual access to the BlackBerry World app store but also adds entry to the Amazon Appstore, where users can download a variety of Android apps. The latest update has started to roll out for several BlackBerry 10 devices, including the Passport, Z30, Z3, Z10, Q10 and Q5, along with the Porsche Design P’9983 and P’9982 smartphones.

        • Why Amazon’s Fire TV beats the Apple TV

          set top box has been around for quite a while now, but it has never been as much of a priority for Apple as the iPhone, iPad or even Macs. Apple long regarded it as a hobby, and that attitude might have finally caught up with Apple TV. A prominent Apple blog has come out in favor of as a better option than the Apple TV. Yes, a writer at a well known Apple blog has actually opted for the Fire TV instead of the Apple TV.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Confessions of a Recovering Proprietary Programmer, Part XIV

    Similarly, if a patch fixes a difficult and elusive bug, the maintainer might be willing to apply the patch by hand, fix build errors and warnings, fix a few bugs in the patch itself, run a full set of tests, fix and style problems, and even accept the risk that the bug might have unexpected side effects, some of which might result in some sleepless nights. This in fact is one of the reasons for the common advice given to open-source newbies: start by fixing bugs.

  • Creating a Community: Getting Started

    It was a little over four years that I was bitten by the bug for the Enlightenment desktop. It was fast, it was customizable, it was beautiful, but one thing it was not was easily accessible. There were countless directions on the internet of how to manually compile the latest version of the desktop from source repositories, but not only was this process complex – it was tedious.

  • Facebook Releases New Open Source Android Debugging Tool
  • SD Times GitHub Project of the Week: Stetho
  • Events

    • SCALE 13x, Day 1: Oh, the Humanity!

      Attendance for SCALE looks like it may break previous records. Steve Bibayoff, who works the Free Software Foundation booth, asked me Friday evening if his badge number was any indication of how many people have registered so far.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Rust 1.0 Alpha 2 Lands All Major API Changes

        The second alpha release of the forthcoming Rust 1.0 is now available and it marks the landing of all major API revisions for this programming language’s major milestone.

      • Announcing Rust 1.0.0.alpha.2

        We’ve managed to land almost all of the features previously expected for this cycle. The big headline here is that all major API revisions are finished: path and IO reform have landed. At this point, all modules shipping for 1.0 are in what we expect to be their final form, modulo minor tweaks during the alpha2 cycle. See the previous post for more details.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.3.6 Released as TDF Celebrates Three Years

      The Document Foundation today announced the release of LibreOffice 3.4.6, the latest update for the conservative user and supported deployments. This release brings over 100 bug and security fixes as the foundation celebrates three years. TDF released a video as “a testimonial of the activity of many members of the LibreOffice community.”

  • Project Releases

    • RcppAPT 0.0.1

      Over the last few days I put together a new package RcppAPT which interfaces the C++ library behind the awesome apt, apt-get, apt-cache, … commands and their GUI-based brethren.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Science

    • How the Photocopier Changed the Way We Worked—and Played

      Recently I visited Whisk, a Manhattan store that sells kitchen goods, and next to the cash register was a strange, newfangled device: a 3-D printer. The store bought the device—which creates objects by carefully and slowly extruding layers of hot plastic—to print cookie cutters. Any shape you can think of, it can produce from a digital blueprint. There was a cutter in the shape of a thunderbolt, a coat of arms, a racing car.

  • Security

    • Maintaining vendor trust proves tough for Lenovo, Microsoft

      News roundup: Amid hidden add-ons, discontinued services and walled gardens, vendor trust proves elusive for several high-profile tech firms. Plus: Evidence ties North Korea to Sony Pictures hack; card brands boost cybersecurity; and cookies that last 8,000 years.

    • Lenovo redeems itself with open source Superfish removal tool

      What do you do when you are facing scrutiny in the media? Damage control. You see it all the time with celebrities. A famous actor or musician does something wacky or stupid and ends up crying to Oprah, or going to rehab.

      If you are a respected computer manufacturer, what do you do to fix a tarnished image? Open source. Nothing makes computer nerds more giddy than hearing that software is open source and the source code is available to investigate. Today, Lenovo releases an official open source Superfish removal tool under the Mozilla Public License.

    • Superfish – Man-in-the-Middle Adware

      Let’s say that you are looking for a watch and you visit Fred’s Fine Watches. Every time you want to look at a watch, someone grabs the key to the cabinet from Fred, uses a magic key creator to create a new key, opens the cabinet, grabs the watch from Fred, studies the watch, looks for “similar” watches, and jams advertising fliers for these other watches in your face – right in the middle of Fred’s Fine Watches! Even worse, they leave the key in the lock, raising the possibility that others could use it. Further, if you decide to buy a watch from Fred, they grab your credit card, read it, and then hand it to Fred.

      After leaving Fred’s Fine Watches you visit your bank. You stop by your doctor’s office. You visit the DMV for a drivers license renewal. And, since this article is written in February, you visit your accountant about taxes. Someone now has all this information. They claim they aren’t doing anything with it, but there is no particular reason to trust them.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Obama’s Libya Debacle

      On March 17, 2011, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973, spearheaded by the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, authorizing military intervention in Libya. The goal, Obama explained, was to save the lives of peaceful, pro-democracy protesters who found themselves the target of a crackdown by Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi. Not only did Qaddafi endanger the momentum of the nascent Arab Spring, which had recently swept away authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, but he also was poised to commit a bloodbath in the Libyan city where the uprising had started, said the president. “We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi—a city nearly the size of Charlotte—could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world,” Obama declared. Two days after the UN authorization, the United States and other NATO countries established a no-fly zone throughout Libya and started bombing Qaddafi’s forces. Seven months later, in October 2011, after an extended military campaign with sustained Western support, rebel forces conquered the country and shot Qaddafi dead.

    • US drone strike kills three in southern Yemen: Witnesses

      Three people were killed Friday in a drone strike on southern Yemen, local residents say.

    • Spreading Terror around the Globe by Selling Drones to “US Allies”

      As an example last October an airdrop of weapons that was purported to go to the Kurds in the besieged town of Kobani in Syria to fight the Islamic State forces ended up in the wrong hands. As recently as last month it was discovered and reported that the US was regularly air dropping arms and supplies to the waiting Islamic State on the ground below in Iraq. Obama’s huff and puff rhetoric about hunting down the Islamic State in Syria in reality is merely another effectively deceptive ploy to commit air strikes on Assad’s Syria that he couldn’t get away with the year before right after the false flag chemical weapons attack committed by US backed rebels (that were later renamed ISIS). So now both Israeli and US military air strikes are taking out infrastructure inside Syria that hurts the Syrian people, destroying oil refineries and food storage silos.

    • Psssst! Wanna buy a lethal drone? US to export unmanned aircraft

      The Obama administration is opening the door for US military drone makers to sell their unmanned killing machines overseas.

      “The new export policy is part of a broader United States UAS [unmanned aircraft system] policy review which includes plans to work with other countries to shape international standards for the sale, transfer, and subsequent use of military UAS,” the State Department said in a statement.

    • Second UK-based Israeli drone factory shut down by protesters

      Instro is owned by Israeli arms company Elbit Systems, who make drones that are used to kill Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Optical and camera systems like those made at the Instro factory are also supplied by Elbit for use in drones flown over Afghanistan, as well as in Israel’s apartheid wall.

    • Those calling for a boycott of Israel are ignoring some painful truths

      This past weekend, 700 British artists had a letter published in the Guardian in which they called on others to boycott Israel until what they term the “colonial occupation” ends. As an Israeli politician who supports the creation of a Palestinian state, it has been a long time since I saw a letter so shallow and lacking in coherence.

    • I Was Born in Israel Many Years before I Realized Israel Was Palestine

      I was born in Israel and it was many years before I realized that Israel was Palestine. I was relatively patriotic. I was looking forward to serving in the army and then I grasped that there was little truth in the Jewish historical narrative. I then gathered that I was living on someone else’s land. At the same time I discovered the saxophone. By the age of 30, I left Israel and never went back.

    • The Front Page Rule

      When U.S. media and U.S. government officials ask, “who are the murderers,” the default answer is enemy soldiers.

    • The World We’re Leaving Our Children

      Dick Cheney and George Bush have no regrets about war. No regrets about torture. They defend waterboarding, mock execution, and rectal feeding. Bush referred to the men and women who conducted this savagery as “patriots”. Commander-in-Chief Obama, with his Kill List, drones, incinerating civilians, inspiring even more hatred of the USA.

    • Hollywood’s Service to Empire

      Many Americans would find it strange to think of their local Cineplex as propaganda sites. But more than six and a half decade ago, the notion of US movies as tools of propaganda was hardly debatable for right-wing McCarthyites determined to eliminate leftists from Hollywood. As US Court of Appeals Justice Bennett C. Clark explained in upholding the conviction of ten Hollywood screenwriters and directors who refused to “confess” current or past Communist Party membership in 1949, US motion pictures play “a critically important role” as “a potent medium of propaganda dissemination” (quoted in Ellen Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America [Boston, 1998], 328).

    • A solo flight for the star of ‘Grounded’

      When she took a look at the script for George Brant’s “Grounded,” a one-woman play about an Air Force fighter pilot coping with the changing landscape of 21st-century warfare, actress Celeste Oliva wasn’t sure it was for her. But director Lee Mikeska Gardner was insistent.

    • Community Roundtable: War authorization vital?

      Military action works only if we target weapon caches and the actual terrorists who commit these atrocities. We also need to understand that killing ISIS members will not stop the fanatical ideology. Only until the people of those nations fully reject the fanatical and distorted version of Islam ISIS has manufactured to suit their violent agendas, military action will do very little to stop them.

    • U.S. must end its immoral drone warfare: Guest commentary

      I have been a minister in the United Church of Christ for more than 40 years. My religious convictions have led to my activism in seeking a more just and peaceful world. Right now, that activism centers on American use of drone warfare as one of the greatest threats to global peace.

    • Drone strike kills 8 rebels in E. Afghanistan

      At least eight Taliban rebels were killed in a United States-led drone strike in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan on Wednesday, said officials.

    • Could Obama’s Drone Sale Spread Robo-Warfare?

      President Barack Obama’s decision to sell missile-carrying drones like the Predator and Reaper to U.S. allies has raised questions over whether this marks another step in the evolution of robo-warfare, or is just a boon to U.S. military contractors already making them.

    • Soon on sale in your country: US armed drones

      The US is to export armed drones to sell to its military allies around the world, a move that has been welcomed by the arms industry but provoked outrage among human rights campaigners.

    • US to allow export of armed military drones

      The State Department said Tuesday the new policy would allow foreign governments that meet certain requirements — and pledge not to use the unmanned aircraft illegally — to buy the vehicles that have played a critical but controversial role in combating terrorism and are increasingly used for other purposes. Recipient countries would be required to sign end-use statements certifying that the drones would not be used for unlawful surveillance or force against domestic populations and would only be used in internationally sanctioned military operations, such as self-defense.

    • 6 arrested at Beale Air Force Base protesting drone deaths

      Six people were arrested at Beale Air Force Base in protest of people killed by government drones.

      Protest organizers said six men and women were taken into custody during an Ash Wednesday service at the Beale gate.

      The participants are accused of trespassing onto federal land, and they were arrested by military police as they spread ashes memorializing those killed by U.S. drones overseas.

    • 6 Arrested At Drone Protest Outside Of Beale AFB

      Six people were arrested at a Northern California air force base in protest of people killed by government drones.

      Protest organizers said six men and women were arrested during an Ash Wednesday service at the gate of Beale Air Force Base.

    • 6 arrested at Beale AFB during drone protest

      Six people were arrested at a Northern California air force base in protest of people killed by government drones.

      Protest organizers said six men and women were arrested during an Ash Wednesday service at the gate of Beale Air Force Base.

    • Yemen’s former leader flees to Aden

      Yemen’s former president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi escaped weeks of house arrest by the Houthi militia at his official residence on Saturday and fled to his home town of Aden, sources close to him said.

    • Former president of Yemen dons disguise and flees home as Houthi Shias take over country

      The former president of Yemen wore a disguise to escape from house arrest today to fly to his home town of Aden, an official has said.

      Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi fled his official residence in Yemeni capital Sanaa after weeks of house arrest by the Shia Houthi militia, who looted the property soon after his departure.

    • Hotel suicide attack kills Somali minister, 11 others
    • Washington’s Foolish Foreign Policy: American People Must Say No To More Wars

      American foreign policy is controlled by fools. What else can one conclude from the bipartisan demand that the U.S. intervene everywhere all the time, irrespective of consequence? No matter how disastrous the outcome, the War Lobby insists that the idea was sound. Any problems obviously result from execution, a matter of doing too little: too few troops engaged, too few foreigners killed, too few nations bombed, too few societies transformed, too few countries occupied, too few years involved, too few dollars spent.

    • Islamic State: bring on the drones

      The challenge of jihadism in Iraq, Syria, Libya and elsewhere is reinforcing the United States’s embrace of “remote control” warfare.

      [...]

      American arms companies engaged in armed-drone development and production have often complained at the US government’s restrictions on their exports, which leaves competitors such as Israeli arms companies in a good place to benefit. That official policy may now be coming to an end.

    • Obama to Congress: Rubber-Stamp My “Perpetual War”. “Blank Check to Use US Military Force in Perpetuity”

      As President Barack Obama presented his proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to Congress, he declared, “I do not believe America’s interests are served by endless war, or by remaining on a perpetual war footing.” Yet Obama’s proposal asks Congress to rubber-stamp his endless war against anyone he wants, wherever he wants. Obama has launched 2,300 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since August 8, 2014. In his six years as president, he has killed more people than died on 9/11 with drones and other forms of targeted killing in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia – countries with which the United States is not at war.

    • Obama’s Latest Hokum on Violent Extremism: Arar Retorts

      In his speech this week to his anti-extremism conclave in Washington, President Obama declared that “former extremists have the opportunity to speak out, speak the truth about terrorist groups, and oftentimes they can be powerful messengers in debunking these terrorist ideologies.”

    • Islamophobia is just the latest in a history of US imperialism

      The shooting of three American Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, this month has focused attention on anti-Muslim hatred in the US.

      There are strong reasons for thinking the suspect, Craig Stephen Hicks, was motivated by anti-Muslim animosity to murder Deah Barakat, 23, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and Razan Abu-Salha, 19. The FBI is now investigating the case as a possible hate crime, although initial reports stated the murder may have been about a dispute over parking.

    • Afghan civilian deaths hit record high

      Insurgents, government forces and international troops all contribute to highest total in five years since records began

    • Arab Spring left army in disarray, soldiers sympathetic to rebels – Yemeni minister

      Yemen is grabbing international attention – the government ousted, the president under house arrest and rebels in power. Will the country slide into Syria-style civil war? And with Al-Qaeda in Yemen growing stronger, who will be there to stop it? We ask a leading Yemeni politician, state minister, and former mayor of the capital, Sanaa, Ahmed Al-Kohlani on Sophie&Co.

    • Groups slam Aquino, US troops for violation of Constitution in Mamasapano operations

      “From all indications, the special operation in Mamasapano, Magindanao is a U.S. operation from the start. Of course the Aquino government won’t admit that because if they do, they would inadvertently confirm the US direct intervention.” This is the conclusion Prof. Roland Simbulan of UP Manila shared with the media at Thursday’s press conference of Save the Nation: Aquino Resign Movement.

      Based on Simbulan’s study of what have been revealed by SAF survivors of the incident, the fact that it was a US operation, that it was illegal and the Aquino government and the US are trying to cover it up resulted in the high number of casualties.

    • Senate may send questions to Aquino to wrap up inquiry on Mamasapano clash
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • On Fox, A Train Spilling Oil Is An Argument For Keystone XL, But A Pipeline Spill Isn’t News

      After a massive oil tanker derailed in West Virginia, several members of Fox News claimed that the accident demonstrates the need to build the Keystone XL pipeline because it is supposedly “safer” to transport oil by pipeline than by train. However, pipelines spill even more oil than trains, and when a major pipeline spill recently occurred near Keystone XL’s proposed route, Fox News barely mentioned the spill and didn’t once connect it to legitimate safety concerns about Keystone XL.

    • Niagara on Ice: Falls Freeze Up Photos

      It may have felt too cold on Friday in much of the East to even think of walking outside. But since drones don’t feel cold, why not fly one over a mostly frozen Niagara Falls? That’s exactly what Canadian videographer Brent Foster did on Friday. The results were spectacular.

    • Coming rain threatens to turn snow into ice, weighing down region
    • Future of New York Could Be Wet, Hot and Flooded: Report

      New Yorkers like to complain about the weather, especially in the summer when it can get hot and muggy. Well, they ain’t seen nothing yet. A new report envisions a wet, overheated future for New York City, saying temperatures and sea levels will rise as climate change settles in over the coming decades. The report for 2015 released by the New York City Panel on Climate Change on Tuesday says average temperatures could increase by as much as 5.3 to 8.8 degrees by the 2080s — with sea levels rising a full 18 to 39 inches. At worst, seawaters could rise 6 feet by 2100, researchers project. “These changing climate hazards increase the risks for the people, economy, and infrastructure of New York City,” the report states. The city is also likely to see its annual rainfall increase about 5 to 13 percent by the 2080s. These changes could add up to flood damage beyond what was seen during Hurricane Sandy, affecting wide portions of Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, according to the report.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Wisconsin Introduces Word-for-Word ALEC Right to Work Bill

      Wisconsin Republicans have called a special session to take up a “right to work” measure attacking private sector unions–and the text of the bill, the Center for Media and Democracy has discovered, is taken word-for-word from American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model legislation.

    • Mainstream media’s rational irrationality

      One of the most deceptive and disturbing aspects of America’s political culture is the assumption that by having a free press and a democratic government, our country has erected a bulwark that restrains our leaders from committing the type of atrocities committed by our nation’s enemies.

    • Bill O’Reilly Lies–but Some Lies Matter More Than Others

      Most prominently, Mother Jones’ David Corn (2/19/15) pointed out that despite O’Reilly’s claim (in his book The No-Spin Zone) that “I’ve reported on the ground in active war zones from El Salvador to the Falklands,” in reality he was never on the islands that Argentina and Britain fought a war over in 1982. Nevertheless, O’Reilly has repeatedly boasted of his exploits on the remote South Atlantic islands–telling a detailed anecdote in 2013, for example, of saving his injured photographer “in a war zone in Argentina, in the Falklands.”

  • Censorship

    • Has free speech changed since the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ attack?

      “Charlie Hebdo,” a French satirical newspaper, was used to making headlines for its provocative cartoons – especially those featuring the prophet Mohammad. But that changed in January when two brothers stormed the newspaper and killed the publication’s editor and cartoonists.

  • Privacy

    • Your SIM card is probably hacked by NSA and colonial cousin GCHQ

      In the latest leaks from The Intercept leaked documents show that the NSA and GCHQ used the previously talked about X-KEYSCORE program to stalk employees of SIM maker Gemalto. The agents managed to break in to the email and Facebook accounts of the employees to steal information secretly which they’d go on to use to collect encryption keys for the SIM cards.

    • Green: Another update on the Truecrypt audit

      On his blog, Matthew Green gives an update on the plans to audit the TrueCrypt disk encryption tool. Green led an effort in 2013 to raise money for an audit of the TrueCrypt source code, which sort of ran aground when TrueCrypt abruptly shut down in May 2014.

    • Another update on the Truecrypt audit

      There’s a story on Hacker News asking what the hell is going on with the Truecrypt audit. I think that’s a fair question, since we have been awfully quiet lately. To everyone who donated to the project, first accept my apologies for the slow pace. I want to promise you that we’re not spending your money on tropical vacations (as appealing as that would be). In this post I’d like to offer you some news, including an explanation of why this has moved slowly.

    • Spy agency policies breached rights

      UK intelligence agencies’ policies on handling communications between lawyers and clients breached European human rights law, the government has said.

    • Accused British hacker, wanted for crimes in US, won’t give up crypto keys

      An alleged British hacker who has criminal charges pending in three American federal districts is preparing to petition a Suffolk County, United Kingdom court to compel the National Crime Agency (NCA) to return his encrypted seized computers and storage devices.

      The BBC reported Friday that Lauri Love “will petition Bury St Edmunds magistrates for the return of his property,” adding that “the BBC understands that the NCA has been unable to decrypt some of the files and does not want to return the computers and media devices until Mr Love helps them to decrypt them.”

    • US hacking case: NCA refuses to return Lauri Love’s computer

      Police in the UK, who arrested a man accused of hacking FBI computers in the US, are refusing to return his computer because they cannot decrypt its files.

      Lauri Love, 30, of Stradishall, Suffolk, who is accused of hacking offences in the US, was arrested in Britain in October 2013.

    • ‘Citizenfour’ Will Receive The Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize

      Today The Ridenhour Prizes announced that Academy Award–nominated documentary CITIZENFOUR, directed by Laura Poitras, will receive the 2015 Documentary Film Prize. The Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize is conferred to films of exemplary merit to “encourage those who persevere in acts of truth-telling that protect the public interest, promote social justice, or illuminate a more just vision of society.”

      [...]

      “We’re honored to receive this award, which recognizes a legacy of whistleblowers and adversarial journalism,” said Laura Poitras. “This film and our NSA reporting would not have been possible without the work of the Free Software community that builds free tools to communicate privately. The prize money for the award will be given to the TAILS Free Software project.”

    • US and UK Government SIM Card Hack Threat to Privacy, Infrastructure Security

      Yesterday, The Intercept reported that the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) collaborated to hack the network of the world’s largest SIM card manufacturer and obtained the encryption keys that protect the privacy of cell phone communications. The Center for Technology & Democracy (CDT) released the following statement in response:

    • A close eye on security makes Canadians safer

      The four of us most certainly know the enormity of the responsibility of keeping Canada safe, something always front of mind for a prime minister. We have come together with 18 other Canadians who have served as Supreme Court of Canada justices, ministers of justice and of public safety, solicitors-general, members of the Security and Intelligence Review Committee and commissioners responsible for overseeing the RCMP and upholding privacy laws.

    • Harper sees no need for more oversight of national-security agencies

      As four former prime ministers called for renewed efforts to enhance the oversight of national-security agencies, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday that he prefers the status quo.

    • At the centre of the anti-terror bill: Who’s watching our spies?
    • Hack gave U.S. and British spies access to billions of phones: Intercept

      U.S. and British spies hacked into the world’s biggest maker of phone SIM cards, allowing them to potentially monitor the calls, texts and emails of billions of mobile users around the world, an investigative news website reported.

    • Gemalto Starts Investigating The Degree Of Breach Allegedly Done By NSA, GCHQ

      Gemalto, the Dutch security firm, has opened an investigation looking into the claims that the company’s network was hacked, resulting in leakage of millions of communications worldwide.

    • How Latest Snowden Leak Is Headache for White House

      Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has revealed so much information about government spying in the past two years that little seems shocking. But allegations in his latest leak, published by the Intercept, could upend any chance the White House has of mending relations with Silicon Valley in the near future.

    • European Lawmakers Demand Answers on Phone Key Theft

      European officials are demanding answers and investigations into a joint U.S. and U.K. hack of the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile SIM cards, following a report published by The Intercept Thursday.

      The report, based on leaked documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, revealed the U.S. spy agency and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, hacked the Franco-Dutch digital security giant Gemalto in a sophisticated heist of encrypted cell-phone keys.

    • ‘NSA, GCHQ-ransacked’ SIM maker Gemalto takes a $500m stock hit

      The world’s biggest SIM card manufacturer, Gemalto, revealed yesterday to have been hacked by the NSA and GCHQ, has taken a $470m hit in its stock price.

    • Hellooo, NSA? The US State Department can’t kick hackers out of its networks – report

      Email servers still compromised after THREE months

    • Jeb Bush backs brother’s NSA surveillance program ‘to keep us safe’

      Former Florida governor Jeb Bush delivered a full-throated defense of government surveillance programs on Wednesday, expressing a resounding faith in techniques pioneered by his brother, George W Bush, and staking out a position in sharp contrast with other prospective 2016 presidential candidates.

    • Jeb Bush: NSA Bulk Telephone Records Collection ‘Hugely Important’

      Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is seriously considering a run for the White House in 2016, said Wednesday that the National Security Agency’s program that collects bulk telephone records was “hugely important,” throwing his support behind the practice as Congress debates whether to reauthorize or limit it.

    • NSA Analysis Of Sony Hack Identifies North Korea [distraction tactics]

      The NSA backs FBI conclusion that North Korea was responsible for the damaging hack of Sony Pictures

    • NSA chief says Sony attack traced to North Korea after software analysis [distraction tactics]
    • Gemalto denies knowledge of GCHQ and NSA Sim card hack

      The world’s largest maker of Sim cards, Gemalto, says it cannot verify a report that it was hacked by UK and US spy agencies to steal encryption keys used to protect the privacy of mobile phone communications.

    • The NSA is inside hard drive firmware – now what?

      It’s been almost five years since the discovery of Stuxnet disabused the world of its naivety about nation state malware but since then more attention has been paid to Edward Snowden’s NSA hacking revelations than the occasional technical insights into old-style spying software.

      Kaspersky Lab’s Equation group report, then, has been a bit of a body shaker while helpfully moving the story on a bit. We can now see that Stuxnet was, as everyone suspected, the business end of a far large platform containing eight or nine modules whose genesis goes back as far as 2001, the defining year for so many things that have been going on behind everyone’s backs.

    • NSA & GCHQ teamed up to hack billions of SIM cards

      British and US securities services have hacked into the world’s biggest SIM-card maker and stolen billions of encryption keys, according to the latest leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • Gemalto opens investigation into SIM card hack by NSA, GCHQ

      Following a report yesterday that US and UK spies hacked Dutch security firm Gemalto to track mobile phone users across the globe, the company says it has opened an investigation into the claims.

      Allegations of the hack came from the latest documents leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden and published by The Intercept yesterday.

      According to the documents, the UK’s surveillance agency GCHQ and the US’ NSA teamed up in 2010 and 2011 to penetrate Gemalto’s internal network and steal encryption keys that would allow the organisations to monitor mobile communications without the assistance of telecoms companies.

    • Chip Maker to Investigate Claims of Hacking by N.S.A. and British Spy Agencies

      Gemalto, a French-Dutch digital security company, said on Friday that it was investigating a possible hacking by United States and British intelligence agencies that may have given them access to worldwide mobile phone communications.

    • Gemalto launches probe after report claims NSA, GCHQ hacked its system to steal SIM card encryption keys
    • GCHQ and NSA ‘hacked Dutch company’

      Britain’s electronic spying agency and the US National Security Agency stole codes from a Dutch company allowing them to eavesdrop on mobile phones, documents suggest.

    • Rights groups criticise US and UK spies for ‘disturbing’ sim cards hack

      NSA and GCHQ told to stop pretending that law doesn’t apply to them after revelations that they gained access to Dutch manufacturer Gemalto’s encryption keys

    • Encryption keys of mobile SIM cards powerful spying tool for NSA

      It would be another powerful tool in the arsenal of US and British spy services: the encryption keys for a large share of the SIM cards used for mobile phones.

      A report by the investigative news website The Intercept, citing leaked documents from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, said the US and British agencies “hacked into” the European manufacturer Gemalto to gain these keys.

    • NSA refuse to comment on malware rumours

      Initially Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs. Naming the attacking group “The Equation Group”, it targeted Government and military institutions, telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies, nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists, Kaspersky said. However it declined to mention who the Equation Group was.

    • Obama said everyone wants secure mobile communications. But the NSA worked to undermine that.

      Just a week ago, President Obama assured the public that he understood the importance of securing the privacy of mobile phone networks.

      “Ultimately, everybody — and certainly this is true for me and my family — we all want to know that if we’re using a smartphone for transactions, sending messages, having private conversations, that we don’t have a bunch of people compromising that process,” Obama told technology site re/code in an interview. “So there’s no scenario in which we don’t want really strong encryption.”

    • NSA-linked Sqrrl eyes cyber security and lands $7M in funding

      Sqrrl, the big data startup whose founders used to work for the NSA, plans to announce Thursday that it is shifting its focus to cyber security with a new release of its enterprise service. The startup is also taking in a $7 million Series B investment round, bringing its total funding to $14.2 million, said Ely Kahn, a Sqrrl co-founder and vice president of business development.

    • Sqrrl raises $7.1 million for its NSA-rooted security risk detection software

      There are numerous potential threats to Internet security: lone-wolf hackers, state-sponsored cyber attacks, or identity and data theft, for example. But one of the most difficult cybersecurity challenges to identify and prevent are the Edward Snowdens — the players already inside an organization who are looking to steal or share sensitive information.

    • Sqrrl Adds $7M in Another Big-Data Analytics Deal for Boston

      In the second major big-data analytics deal in Boston in two days, Cambridge startup Sqrrl has raised $7 million in Series B funding. The deal comes a day after Cambridge analytics technology startup RapidMiner announced raising a Series B of its own, at $15 million.

    • Is NSA ‘World’s most advanced threat actor’ revealed by Kaspersky?

      There is strong speculation that the so-called Equation Group – which infected the hard drive firmware of Seagate, Maxtor, Toshiba and others, and hit political and commercial targets in over 30 countries in the last 15 to 20 years – is America’s NSA.

    • Latest NSA Revelation Presents a Major Risk to American Tech Companies

      The Week’s Washington correspondent Ryan Cooper rarely has a nice thing to say about the NSA, which is understandable because the NSA is an almost-categorically distrusted agency. If it were a baby, it’d be one of those really ugly babies that would cause people to say, “Darn, only a mother would love that.” Whether the NSA’s shrouded parentage actually approves of it is up for debate. What’s not up for debate is Cooper’s categorical dislike for the government’s surveillance goons.

    • NSA-Linked Spyware Widespread, Impossible to Remove

      The NSA may be attacking foreign governments with a virus that can only be removed by putting a sledgehammer through the hard drive.

      The U.S. National Security Agency has created a trove of spyware that is difficult to detect and almost impossible to remove, cyber security experts warned Monday.

    • GCHQ’s Hacking Of Gemalto Shows The Global Telecoms Industry Is Broken

      If privacy conscious folk aren’t already using encrypted mobile communications apps (I can personally vouch for WhatsApp or TextSecure for texts, and RedPhone or Signal for calls), they should be convinced to do so by the latest Edward Snowden revelations in The Intercept. They outline GCHQ’s “DAPINO GAMMA” attack on the world’s biggest provider of SIM cards, Gemalto , as well as widespread targeting of telecoms industry employees the world over. With the NSA, GCHQ has effectively destroyed any remaining shred of trust people had in use of everyday telecoms services.

    • NSA could have full access to your cellphone

      It’s not just the National Security Agency that’s using hackers to do some scary snooping this time. The U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters and the NSA worked together to hack Gemalto, a Dutch SIM card manufacturer.

      The story originally came from The Intercept, a site that publishes NSA documents originally leaked by Edward Snowden.

    • Creepy, Calculating and Controlling: All the Ways Big Brother Is Watching You

      None of us are perfect. All of us bend the rules occasionally. Even before the age of overcriminalization, when the most upstanding citizen could be counted on to break at least three laws a day without knowing it, most of us have knowingly flouted the law from time to time.

    • All the Ways Big Brother Is Watching You

      Drones, which will begin to take to the skies en masse this year, will be the converging point for all of the weapons and technology already available to law enforcement agencies. This means drones that can listen in on your phone calls, see through the walls of your home, scan your biometrics, photograph you and track your movements, and even corral you with sophisticated weaponry.

  • Civil Rights

    • Holder Rationalizes Obama’s War on Whistleblowers

      Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a luncheon speech on sentencing reform at the National Press Club on February 17. He then answered questions after his speech. One of the questions involved President Barack Obama and his administration’s unprecedented crackdown on leaks.

      “The Obama administration has prosecuted eight alleged whistleblowers under the Espionage Act, more than all previous presidential administrations combined. What justifies this more aggressive posture toward leakers?” a person attending the speech asked.

    • The U.S. and International Law: Q&A with Binoy Kampmark

      It has been appalling. The result is that a particular type of incarcerated figure has come into being: the Guantanamo inmate, one who is neither guilty nor innocent, yet too ‘dangerous’ to release. The result is, effectively, indefinite detention. (The point is also to be found in other countries, for instance, Australia, whose domestic intelligence agency has used assessments to prevent unconvicted, uncharged detainees from being released.)

    • Loretta Lynch Is Eric Holder 2.0—And The Senate Should Block Her

      If President Obama’s nominee for attorney general, Loretta Lynch, gets appointed, she will continue the practice of her predecessor by expanding presidential power and the federal government, ultimately threatening the liberty of American citizens and the stability of the nation. It is the Senate’s constitutional duty to make sure that doesn’t happen.

    • Terrorism’s collateral damage

      He found himself sent for secondary inspection at American airports, where he was asked if he had ever received combat training. As America prepared to attack Afghanistan, he wrote a piece for an American newspaper about how scared his family were of the coming war.

    • We’re Losing Our Democracy and All Our Freedoms

      Critics of President Obama’s proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force AUMF) against ISIS have been focused upon its deliberately obfuscatory and ambiguous language, which they rightly note would make it essentially a carte blanche from Congress allowing the president to go to war almost anywhere some would-be terrorist or terrorist copycat could be found who claims affinity with ISIS.

    • Signer: Confronting political extremism through debate itself

      Today, our commonwealth and the country at large are being poisoned by a toxic brew of extremism, gridlock and cynicism about leadership itself. Congress is both historically unpopular and unproductive. President Barack Obama has been stymied in his quest to bring hope and unity to a country divided between red and blue. And here in Richmond, many leaders of both parties can barely speak to each other, let alone compromise, on issues ranging from Medicaid expansion to nonpartisan redistricting.

    • Q and A: Lack of international communication path to terrorism

      As the White House prepares for a major summit discussing how the root causes of terrorism and violent extremism, the Daily Lobo talked with Nakhleh about why people become terrorists, and what governments and communities can do to deal with the problem.

      What are the main factors that contribute to a person turning into a terrorist?

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

02.20.15

Links 20/2/2015: Android Studio v1.1, GDB 7.9

Posted in News Roundup at 8:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux-based desktops work despite Windows app prevalence

    With so many devices already based on Linux — Android devices and Chromebooks, to name a few — it makes sense for some companies to consider virtual and cloud-hosted Linux desktops. Windows applications are a hurdle, however.

  • Desktop

    • Desktop */Linux Trends In Canada

      Now that we’ve pretty well figured out that the huge “Unkown” thing in StatCounter‘s “desktop” OS category is closely related to Android/Linux, this graph makes sense. Some people in Canada are hooking up Android/Linux systems to big screens. GNU/Linux is growing pretty well, not explosively, but definitely breaking out of the ~1% doldrums. ChromeOS is on a plateau, probably because schools just buy once or twice per annum. It’s all good. The grand total? 2.6%. It’s not wonderful but a far sight better than a year ago and this time GNU/Linux seems to be going places steadily. We have product/salesmen/promoters doing the job, finally. The growth in share is small, but this is a measure of a considerable rate of change of shipments/units/migrations on top of a huge installed base of PCs.

    • Why you should consider cloud-hosted Linux desktops

      With all the licensing troubles that can come with hosting Windows desktops in the cloud, some companies — and vendors — are looking to Linux operating systems instead.

      VMware plans to offer a Horizon View client for Linux, and Horizon DaaS, formerly Desktone, has had a hosted Linux option for years. Citrix is planning a similar strategy for XenDesktop and XenApp with Linux Virtual Apps and Desktops. These two big-name virtualization vendors putting attention on Linux shines a spotlight on the OS.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Demand for Linux developers on the rise

      The demand for Linux developers has jumped seven percent in comparison to last year, a study has shown.

      The 2014 Linux Jobs Report shows that hiring managers at tech-powered companies are focusing more attention on Linux talent, and that’s reverberating in the market, with stronger than average salary increases to those working with the OS.

      Dice and The Linux Foundation surveyed both hiring managers and Linux talent to gain a 360-degree view of the thriving jobs landscape, and here’s what they found.

    • Intel Quark SoC x86 Platform Support For Linux 3.20/4.0?

      Ingo Molnar has asked Linus Torvalds to pull the x86 platform support for Intel Quark SoC systems for the Linux 3.20/4.0 kernel.

    • Code Merged This Week For Linux 3.20/4.0 Is Just As Exciting As Last Week

      Last weekend I covered the changes so far for the next kernel release, which will be called either Linux 3.20 or Linux 4.0 depending upon Linus Torvalds’ end decision. This week more exciting code has landed.

    • Why All Linux (Security) Bugs Aren’t Shallow

      Zemlin quoted the oft-repeated Linus’ law, which states that given enough eyes all bugs are shallow. That “law” essentially promises that many eyes provide a measure of quality and control and security to open source code. So if Linus’ law is true, Zemlin asked, why are damaging security issues being found now in open source code?

    • Linux clockpocalypse in 2038 is looming and there’s no ‘serious plan’

      The year 2038 is still more than two decades away, but LWN.net editor and longtime Linux kernel chronicler Jon Corbet believes software developers should be thinking about that date now, particularly in the Linux world.

      Corbet raised the issue at his annual “Kernel Report” talk at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit in Santa Rosa, California this week. “Time to start worrying,” he said.

      The issue is similar to the dreaded Y2K bug, in that a longstanding deficiency in the way some computers record time values is due to wreak havoc in all manner of software, this time in 2038.

    • Graphics Stack

      • It Could Be A While Before Seeing The Tamil GPU Driver Code

        While the Tamil driver is moving along for open-source ARM Mali T-Series graphics support, it could be a while before seeing the actual source code.

        Luc Verhaegen presented at FOSDEM a few weeks back about his work on Tamil, the Lima driver project’s work on supporting the newer ARM Mali T-Series GPUs found on various SoCs. While Luc showed off some demos and is working towards a Tamil Mesa driver, the code hasn’t yet been opened up.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Xfce 4.12 Should Be Released in One Week, at the End of February

      After several emails between Xfce developers and numerous delays, it appears that the highly anticipated Xfce 4.12 desktop environment will finally be released at the end of February 2015, in the last weekend, most probably on March 1, if nothing goes wrong.

    • Xfce 4.12 Is Still Planned For Release In One Week

      Earlier this week we wrote about plans for Xfce 4.12 to finally be released and that it was being targeted for the end of February. Unlike failed Xfce 4.12 plans of the past few years, it looks like this release will actually pan out in one week’s time.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Using play/pause buttons in Chrome with GNOME 3

        I wrote a post last summer about preventing Chrome from stealing the media buttons (like play, pause, previous track and next track) from OS X. Now that I’m using Linux regularly and I fell in love with Google Play Music All Access, I found that GNOME was stealing the media keys from Chrome.

        The fix is quite simple. Press the SUPER key (Windows key or Mac Command key), type settings, and press enter. Click on Keyboard and then on the Shortcuts tab. You should now see something like this.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 Released – Detailed Review and Installation Instructions

        Bodhi GNU/Linux is a Ubuntu-based distribution designed especially for Desktop computing and is best known for its elegant and lightweight nature. The Distribution philosophy is to provide a minimal base system that can be populated with the applications as per user’s choice. The base System only include those applications which are essentially required viz., ‘Etecad‘ File Manager, ‘Midori‘ web browser, ‘Terminology‘ terminal emulator, ePhoto and ePad. Apt or AppCenter can be used to download and install lightweight applications in one go.

    • New Releases

      • LinHES 8.3 Finally Makes the Switch to Kodi, Includes MythTV 0.27.4

        Cecil Watson, the developer of the LinHES (formerly KnoppMyth) GNU/Linux Live operating system designed especially to be used as a home entertainment system, proudly announced the immediate availability for download of LinHES 8.3 (Lorne Malvo), a release that introduces a new Linux kernel, as well as updated Nvidia drivers and core components.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat: Open Source ARM Platform Gets Closer to Prime Time

        Red Hat’s (RHT) investment in ARM hardware is heating up. This week, the company announced that more than 35 hardware and software companies have joined its ARM Partner Early Access Program, and that it expects its partners to begin delivering ARM software and drivers to the open source community starting now.

      • Fedora

        • New features in Fedora 22 Workstation.

          Matthias Clasen recently posted some updates on the Fedora development list about new features in Fedora 22 Workstation. As you may know, we’re getting ready to issue an Alpha, so it’s a great time to try out these changes.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS Arrives with Linux Kernel 3.16

            Canonical announced that Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS (Trusty Tahr), the second point release for the latest LTS branch, has been released and is now available for download.

          • Locally Integrated Menus (LIM) Set As Default In Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet

            After getting an option to always show the menus as well as global menu (Appmenu) support for Java Swing applications, yet another menu-related change has landed in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet: locally integrated menu (LIM) is now the default menu.

          • Wayland/Weston 1.7.0 Make It For Ubuntu 15.04

            While Canonical remains committed to Mir as the future display server technology for Ubuntu Linux both on the desktop and for mobile devices, the upcoming Ubuntu 15.04 release does have the latest Wayland/Weston 1.7 support too.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu 14.04 LTS Update Out

              The second update to our LTS release 14.04 is out now. This contains all the bug fixes added to 14.04 since its first release in April. Users of 14.04 can run the normal update procedure to get these bug fixes.

            • Kubuntu 14.04.2 LTS Officially Released, Users Can No Longer Upgrade to Plasma 5

              Kubuntu 14.04.2 LTS (Trusty Tahr), a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu that uses the KDE desktop environment, has been released and is now available for download.

            • Edubuntu 14.04.2 LTS Has Been Officially Released

              Along with the release of Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS (Trusty Tahr) GNU/Linux computer operating system, as announced by Adam Conrad on behalf of Canonical, the Edubuntu team was also proud to announce earlier today, February 20, the immediate availability for download of Edubuntu 14.04.2 LTS, a release that includes new kernel and graphics stacks.

            • Elementary OS 0.3 Freya Beta 2 : Video Overview and Screenshot Tours

              Elementary OS 0.3 Freya Beta 2 has been released by Elementary OS Team, based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and featuring with pantheon desktop environment, it comes with various User Interface improvements, UEFI/SecureBoot support, better and more discoverable multitasking, updated 3rd party apps (including Geary, Simple Scan, Document Viewer & more), Updated development libraries (including Gtk 3.14), Security and Stability improvements, tons of stylesheet and icon changes and fixes along with other interesting changes as well as almost 600 bug fixes.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi, oh my: From classrooms to the space station

      Well, this is starting to look sort of like “Jamie’s Mostly Raspberry Pi Stuff”, but that’s not intentional. There are just a lot of interesting things going on with the RPi at the moment, so that’s where I seem to be spending a lot of my time right now.

      The big news, of course, was the announcement and immediate availability of the Raspberry Pi 2 hardware two weeks ago. The new hardware needs updated software to really make the most of its capabilities, so there was also a new Raspbian and NOOBS release (1.3.12) made at the same time.

    • GDB 7.9 released

      Release 7.9 of GDB, the GNU Debugger, is now available via anonymous FTP. GDB is a source-level debugger for Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, Pascal and many other languages. GDB can target (i.e., debug programs running on) more than a dozen different processor architectures, and GDB itself can run on most popular GNU/Linux, Unix and Microsoft Windows variants.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Facebook benefits from formalising management of open source

    Facebook is now contributing more to external open source projects and keeping closer tabs on its own open source efforts

  • Facebook Picking Up the Pace on Its Open-Source Code Journey
  • Bind Exploit Closed in Ubuntu 14.10

    Canonical has announced that a Bind vulnerability has been found and fixed for Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems.

  • Pivotal pivots to open source and Hortonworks

    A few days ago Pivotal made three major announcements: the creation of a Big Data Product Suite, a partnership with Hortonworks and the launch of an ‘Open Data Platform’.

  • INTERVIEW: TIM O’REILLY

    There are many memorable quotes attributed to Tim O’Reilly. Which isn’t surprising. He’s been talking for decades about open data, the internet and the direction technology is taking us. Like Arthur C Clarke, much of what he’s predicted, talked about and written has proven incredibly judicious. He popularised the ideas behind ‘Web 2.0’, as well as the incoming wave and impact of social media. He believes in an open government and that the internet will become a global brain of networks and things.

  • Enterprise Software Giants Live In An Open Source World

    A decade ago now, I was recruited by ZDNet to launch a blog about open source software.

    At the time, the concept was controversial. Proprietary giants like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) argued that open source was insecure, that the business model would not work, that it would destroy the enterprise software space, that they couldn’t make money with it.

    One decade on and it’s clear what has happened. Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Android dominates the consumer space, and those who advocate proprietary models would claim it proves their point. Android OEMs don’t make money, while Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), with its proprietary model, is making a fortune.

  • Pivotal Open Sources Their Big Data Suite
  • Untangling the intense politics behind Node.js

    The news that broke at the Node Summit last week — that Joyent and others are proposing to create a Node.js Foundation — came as no surprise to anyone who has been watching the controversy around everyone’s favorite server-side JavaScript platform. It’s been clear for a while that Node.js has outgrown its roots and become an important structural tool for the software industry.

    Node.js’s hosts at Joyent didn’t plan for this — the code had been an employee project rather than a strategic investment. While Node.js is an important part of Joyent’s operations, it’s not a key product for the company, which has certainly spent far more to host it than it has received in business value as a pioneer of container-based cloud deployment. Joyent deserves credit for acting responsibly and maintaining its commitment as steward, despite the intense interest — and fierce political intrigue — in which it found itself.

  • Node.js fork JXcore goes open source, aims for mobile developers

    With all the noise surrounding the Io.js variant of Node.js, it’s easy to forget about another Node fork that’s been quietly percolating: JXcore. Last year it added multithreading (sort of) and the ability to turn Node apps into stand-alone executables — but at the cost of JXcore being a closed source project.

  • ONF launches open source community to bolster SDN software development

    The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has announced the launch of an open source software community and code repository aimed at consolidating and accelerating development efforts around software and solutions that take advantage of software defined networking.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox 36 Will Bring Support for HTTP/2

        This just got in: Mozilla Firefox 36.0 will bring support for the brand-new HTTP/2 protocol, according to the official release notes from the last Beta version of the web browser. HTTP/2 will enable a faster, more responsive, and more scalable Web.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • PLUMGrid Offers Virtual SDN Sandbox for Testing OpenStack Concepts

      There are lots of IT adminstrators out there wrestling with sticky issues as they pursue OpenStack deployments, and many of them say that they simply need to experiment with security and stabiity before rolling out mission-critical applications. Enterprises simply don’t want to trust a cloud platform and move apps and data to the cloud without having full platform confidence.

    • Q&A: MapR Technologies’ Tomer Shiran on Hadoop, Myriad, Apache Drill, and Data Analytics

      Recently, MapR Technologies, focused on Hadoop and Big Data analytics, has been out with some interesting announcements that we covered. We wrote about Myriad, an open source project focused on consolidating big data with other workloads in the datacenter, in this post. And we covered the latest release of the MapR Distribution including Hadoop in this post.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.3.6 “Still” Is Out with 110 Fixes

      The Document Foundation announced the release of LibreOffice 4.3.6, which is a new maintenance version in this branch of the famous office suite.

    • Creating Forms for Easy LibreOffice Database Entry on Linux

      The LibreOffice suite of tools includes a very powerful database application ─ one that happens to be incredibly user-friendly. These databases can be managed/edited by any user and data can be entered by anyone using a LibreOffice-generated form. These forms are very simple to create and can be attached to existing databases or you can create both a database and a form in one fell swoop.

  • Business

    • Pentaho’s Open Source Background Keeps It Flexible in a Changing Marketplace

      Enabling customers to ride the waves of tech trends is a big part of Pentaho Corporation’s business approach, said the tech company’s Vice President of Product and Solutions Marketing, Donna Prlich, during a live interview on theCUBE. With a new technology emerging every day, Prlich explained, it’s essential for customers to be flexible without sacrificing their ability to “get value from Big Data.”

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GDB 7.9 Brings Improvements To The Python Scripting API

      Today’s release of GDB 7.9 brings many improvements to the Python scripting API, compilation and injection of source code into the inferior with GCC 5.0+, resume improvements, hardware watchpoint support on GNU Hurd x86, MIPS SDE target, and a number of new commands.

    • Tell Lenovo: respect user freedom and prevent future Superfishes

      Security experts have discovered a highly threatening vulnerability in software preinstalled on some Windows computers manufactured by Lenovo through January 2015. Extreme negligence on the part of Lenovo and unscrupulous programming by its adware partner Superfish seem to have caused the vulnerability.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Visegrad countries and Bulgaria compare eGovernment practices

      Best practices in the implementation of eGovernment services by public administrations in Bulgaria will be compared with those in the Visegrad countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, at a workshop in Sofia on 26 February. According to a press announcement, Bulgaria’s coalition government is making the modernisation and increase of eGovernment services one of its priorities.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • This electrical engineer built an open-source headlamp for doctors in developing countries

      That’s what Amanda DelCore learned through the work of Dr. Laura Stachel, who designed a portable light kit when she saw that doctors and nurses in developing countries had to postpone treatment when their lights would go out. The doctors and nurses were especially excited about the headlamps included in Stachel’s kit because they were hands-free.

    • What do off-patent GM soybeans say about possibilities of open source biotech?

      March of 2015 marks the beginning of a new era in genetically modified foods. It’s the first year farmers can plant a generic version of glyphosate-resistant soybeans—the first GMO to be patented by Monsanto in 1996. There are some caveats to this, but it’s also a case that no longer fits the anti-GMO meme denouncing large agribusiness for holding intellectual property rights over seeds.

    • Open Data

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Sources: Marissa Mayer is firing people at Yahoo (YHOO)
  • Adobe Photoshop: changing your perception of reality for 25 years

    On the 25th anniversary of the launch of Adobe Photoshop, Sophie Curtis examines why the software program has become a cultural phenomenon

  • Metrolink delays after ANOTHER driver ends up on tram tracks on new Manchester Aiport line

    Since November 25, at least 12 drivers have ended up on the tram tracks – half of those on the new Manchester Airport line.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Top 10 Bogus ISIS Stories

      ISIS’s violent bona fides are not in doubt to anyone paying attention. They’ve targeted religious minorities, beheaded aid workers, sold women into sex slavery and have been all-around devastating for those under their rule. But as America debates the possibility of a full-scale ground invasion of ISIS-controlled territory, it’s important to note that much of the ISIS threat — namely that which targets the West — has been habitually overstated by an uncritical media.

    • Veteran War Reporters: O’Reilly’s Falklands Fibs Violate “Journalism 101″

      Revelations that Bill O’Reilly may have misled viewers about his reporting from the Falklands War back in 1982 are drawing fire from veteran war correspondents who contend apparent embellishments like O’Reilly’s hurt the credibility of all combat journalists.

    • How Fox News Responded To Bill O’Reilly’s Falklands Fibs

      Fox News has gone to war with Mother Jones after the liberal magazine published a story raising questions about the credibility of host Bill O’Reilly’s past statements about his experience as a war correspondent.

    • Who Killed the Argentine Prosecutor? More Than 400,000 March for Justice in Buenos Aires as Controversy Grows

      As many as 400,000 people marched through the pouring rain in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires on Wednesday demanding an independent judiciary. The march came one month after the mysterious death of special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who had accused Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, of helping to cover up Iran’s role in the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center that killed 85 people and injured hundreds in Buenos Aires. On January 18, Nisman was found dead in his apartment of a gunshot wound to the head. His body was discovered just a day before he was due to testify before lawmakers on his findings on the 1994 attack. Just four days before his death, Nisman appeared on television and outlined his allegations against the president and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman. Investigators initially said Nisman’s death appeared to be a suicide, but no gunpowder residue was found on his hands. If it was not a suicide, who killed him? That question has gripped Argentina for the past month. We make sense of this unfolding story with Sebastian Rotella, senior reporter for the investigative news website ProPublica. He first covered the investigation into the 1994 bombing as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times based in Buenos Aires.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • CNRL’s Steve Laut Says Oilsands Face ‘Death Spiral’ If They Don’t Cut Costs

      As the world’s oil glut continues to build, wiping out hopes of a price recovery, the head of one of Canada’s largest oilsands operators is warning the industry faces a “death spiral” if it doesn’t figure out how to cut costs.

      Speaking before the Chamber of Commerce in Fort McMurray, Steve Laut, president of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL), said oilsands companies can still return to health, but only if they aggressively begin to cut costs.

      Costs have risen so far, so fast that oil producers were making three times as much profit in 2004, when oil was at $40 a barrel, than they were a few years ago when oil was at $100 a barrel, Laut said, as quoted at the Globe and Mail.

  • Privacy

    • UK Surveillance: The Fightback Begins – Please Join

      It’s one of the longest, most-detailed stories that The Intercept has published so far, and is well-worth reading in its entirety. What it shows is that GCHQ and the NSA really do want access to everything, and that they are prepared to do more or less anything to get that. Put together with all the other Snowden revelations, plus the news from earlier this week about infected hard drive firmware – almost certainly another NSA project – and things might seem utterly desperate.

      And yet there are some glimmers of hope. A couple of weeks ago, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), which reviews complaints about surveillance in the UK, decided that British intelligence services acted unlawfully in accessing millions of people’s personal communications collected by the NSA – the first time it has ever ruled against the intelligence and security services in its 15-year history. It’s true that the ruling was unsatisfactory in many ways, but it still sets an important precedent. And then just this week, the UK government was forced to make a humiliating admission that it was unlawful for intelligence agencies to have monitored privileged conversations between lawyers and their clients for the past five years.

    • NSA’s Stealing Keys To Mobile Phone Encryption Shows Why Mandatory Backdoors To Encryption Is A Horrible Idea

      Over the last few months, ever since both Apple and Google announced plans to encrypt data on iOS and Android devices by default, there’s been a ridiculous amount of hand-wringing from the law enforcement community about requiring backdoors, golden keys and magic fairy dust that will allow law enforcement to decrypt the information on your phone… or children will die, even though they actually won’t.

      [...]

      It would be nice to see that the revelation of the NSA undermining one use of encryption led people to realize the stupidity of undermining other forms of encryption, but somehow, it seems likely that our law enforcement community won’t quite comprehend that message.

Links 20/2/2015: Bloomberg Joins Linux Foundation, ClearOS Community 6.6.0

Posted in News Roundup at 12:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 ethical open source hacking tools for business

    Many businesses routinely employ “ethical” hackers as a means of testing whether their systems are secure, paying the tech-savvy to break into their computers in what is known as penetration testing, or pen testing.

  • ONF launches open source community to bolster SDN software development
  • Graylog 1.0 Eliminates Cost Barriers to Unlocking Big Data

    HOUSTON — Graylog, Inc., the company behind the popular Graylog open source log analysis platform, today announced that it has released v1.0 of its Open Source Graylog product. This enterprise-grade platform enables organizations to store, search and analyze machine data collected from their IT infrastructures to quickly pinpoint and address the root cause of operational problems. Graylog is providing paid services/support to make it even easier for enterprises to deploy this affordable alternative to expensive log analysis tools such as Splunk.

  • Events

    • SCALE 13x Day 0: Exceeding expectations

      It was a first for the Southern California Linux Expo — a midweek start on Thursday for SCALE 13x, and those of us on the SCALE Team did not know what to expect. The day was composed of a variety of sessions — an all-day Intro to Chef, Puppet Labs held its separate-registration Puppet Camp LA, openSUSE held its mini-summit, PostgreSQL held the first of its two-day PostgreSQL days, Fedora held its Fedora Activity Day, and an all-day Apache session.

    • Collaboration Summit 2015 Keynote Speakers

      The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit 2015 took place Feb. 18-20 in Santa Rosa, Calif.

  • CMS

    • 4 tips for how to migrate to Drupal

      Well, to jump from your current CMS (or lack thereof) and make the transition to Drupal, you want to know much it costs and exacting what that migration entails. First, there are several factors that have to be taken into an account before any Drupal development company can give you a quote. But, while there isn’t an exact price range for migrating to Drupal, you can do some in-house work to keep your migration costs down and prepare your team for the migration, keeping headaches down too.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Facebook Announces The Hack Specification

      Last year Facebook launched Hack, a new programming language derived from PHP and powered by their HHVM software. The Hack specification serves as official documentation for those wanting to come out with their own Hack implementation rather than relying upon HHVM. The Hack specification complements the existing Hack programming documentation.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • I gave up social media for Lent

    Could getting off Twitter be a religious experience?

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • U.S. officials, in blunt language, say Israel is distorting reality of Iran talks

      The Obama administration on Wednesday accused the Israeli government of misleading the public over the Iran nuclear negotiations, using unusually blunt and terse language that once again highlighted the rift between the two sides.

      In briefings with reporters, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki and White House spokesman Josh Earnest suggested Israeli officials were not being truthful about how the United States is handling the secretive talks.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • How a Snowdenista Kept the NSA Leaker Hidden in a Moscow Airport

      Since spiriting NSA leaker Edward Snowden to safety in Russia two years ago, activist and WikiLeaks editor Sarah Harrison has lived quietly in Berlin. Sara Corbett meets the woman some regard as a political heroine—others as an accomplice to treason.

      Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport is, like so many international airports, a sprawling and bland place. It has six terminals, four Burger Kings, a sweep of shops selling duty-free caviar, and a rivering flow of anonymous travelers—all of them headed out or headed in or, in any event, never planning to stay long. But for nearly six weeks in the summer of 2013, the airport also housed two fugitives: Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor who had just off-loaded an explosive trove of top-secret U.S. government documents to journalists, and a 31-year-old British woman named Sarah Harrison, described as a legal researcher who worked for the online organization WikiLeaks.

    • A Stronger Freedom of Information Act

      Congress came tantalizingly close last year to passing a bill to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act, which allows journalists and the public to access federal government records. The legislation, which would have brought more transparency, was blocked in December when the House speaker, John Boehner, refused to hold a vote on the Senate bill with no explanation. Two months later, lawmakers have a second chance.

  • Finance

    • NYT Hopes India Can Avoid China’s Plight: a High-Paid, Well-Educated Workforce

      There aren’t a lot of numbers in the Times piece, so it’s useful to pause here and note that according to the IMF database, China’s per capita GDP (measured in terms of purchasing power) grew by 8.6 percent last year, vs. 6.0 percent for India. So any stumbling, slowing or faltering seen in China’s economy is based on forecasts of future growth–which are notoriously unreliable, though often given great credence in articles like these.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Op-Ed on Venezuela Slips Past NYT Factcheckers

      Krauze begins by claiming that the Venezuelan government, first under President Hugo Chávez and then his successor Nicolás Maduro, has taken control over the media. Chávez “accumulated control over the organs of government and over much of the information media: radio, television and the press,” we are told, and then Maduro “took over the rest of Venezuelan television.”

      A simple factcheck shows this to be false. The majority of media outlets in Venezuela–including television–continue to be privately owned; further, the private TV audience dwarfs the number of viewers watching state TV.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Lenovo caught installing adware on new computers

      It looks like Lenovo has been installing adware onto new consumer computers from the company that activates when taken out of the box for the first time.

    • Law enforcement divided over releasing StingRay docs

      State and local law enforcement agencies that use StingRays must weigh their obligations under public records statutes against nondisclosure agreements with the FBI and the device’s manufacturer. While some police departments have ruled that they cannot share any documents whatsoever, a handful of key disclosures in recent weeks — including the cleanest version of the NDA released to date — together shed new light on the FBI’s involvement in cell-site simulator deployments nationwide.

    • How to Remove Superfish Adware From Your Lenovo Computer

      We recently learned that PC manufacturer Lenovo is selling computers preinstalled with a dangerous piece of software, called Superfish, that uses a man-in-the-middle attack to break Windows’ encrypted Web connections for the sake of advertising. (Here’s a list of affected products.) Research from EFF’s Decentralized SSL Observatory has seen many thousands of Superfish certificates that have all been signed with the same root certificate, showing that HTTPS security for at least Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari for Windows, on all of these Lenovo laptops, is now broken. Firefox users also have the problem, because Superfish also inserts its certificate into the Firefox root store.

    • Lenovo In Denial: Insists There’s No Security Problem With Superfish — Which Is Very, Very Wrong.

      Late last night, people started buzzing on Twitter about the fact that Lenovo, makers of the famous Thinkpad laptops, had been installing a really nasty form of adware on those machines called Superfish. Many news stories started popping up about this, again, focusing on the adware. But putting adware on a computer, while ethically questionable and a general pain in the ass, is not the real problem here. The problem is that the adware in question, Superfish, has an astoundingly stupid way of working that effectively allows for a very easy man in the middle attack on any computer with the software installed, making it a massive security hole that is insanely dangerous.

    • Lenovo accused of compromising user security by installing adware on new PCs

      The information extracted by Graham can now be used to break the security on every compromised Lenovo computer. This leaves infected users essentially open to any eavesdropping if they are using the net on a public Wi-Fi account, and also enables future malware authors to convince Lenovo owners that their software is produced by a trusted vendor, such as Microsoft.

    • Russian Researchers Uncover Sophisticated NSA Malware

      Over the weekend Russian IT security vendor Kaspersky Lab released a report about a new family of malware dubbed “The Equation Family”. The software appears, from Kaspersky’s description, to be some of the most advanced malware ever seen. It is composed of several different pieces of software, which Kaspersky Lab reports work together and have been infecting computer users around the world for over a decade. It appears that specific techniques and exploits developed by the Equation Group were later used by the authors of Stuxnet, Flame, and Regin. The report alleges that the malware has significant commonalities with other programs that have been attributed to Western intelligence agencies; Reuters subsequently released an article about the report in which an anonymous former NSA employee claims that the malware was directly developed by the NSA.

    • US and UK accused of hacking Sim card firm to steal codes

      US and British intelligence agencies illegally hacked into a major manufacturer of Sim cards to steal codes and facilitate eavesdropping on mobiles, a US news website says.

    • Snowden’s Revenge: New Mega-Spying Project Revealed

      A giant cellphone surveillance program is just one of the dark NSA secrets being dragged out into the light, thanks to a certain whistleblower and a Russian cybersecurity firm.

    • NSA, British spies hack Gemalto to tap mobile calls – Intercept

      Digital security company Gemalto NV was hacked by American and British spies to steal encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications, news website Intercept reported, citing documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • Sim card database hack gave US and UK spies access to billions of cellphones

      International row likely after revelations of breach that could have given NSA and GCHQ the power to monitor a large portion of world’s cellular communications

    • Edward Snowden reveals that NSA and GCHQ hacked SIM card manufacturer Gemalto: reports

      British and American spies stole the encryption keys from the largest SIM card manufacturer in the world, according to a government document handed to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • How to paint yourself into a corner (Lenovo edition)
    • Superfish: A History Of Malware Complaints And International Surveillance

      Superfish, a little-known “visual search” and ad tech provider from Palo Alto whose CEO was once part of the surveillance industrial complex, is about to learn what it feels like to face the unwavering wrath of the privacy and security industries. Lenovo will take much of the blame for potentially placing users at risk by contracting Superfish to effectively carry out man-in-the-middle attacks on users to intercept their traffic just to get the firm’s “visual” ads up during customers’ web searches.

    • Your Mobile Privacy is Under Threat Because of US and UK Spies

      One of the “biggest Snowden stories yet” has arrived today, according to journalist Glenn Greenwald.

      Spies from the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) and the United Kingdom’s Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) “hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe.” The information was obtained from top-secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

  • Civil Rights

    • Proposed Florida Body Camera Law Riddled With Exceptions At Behest Of Police Union

      Florida’s legislators are pushing through bills mandating body camera use by the state’s law enforcement officers. So far, so good, except for the fact that law enforcement officers aren’t really looking for greater transparency or accountability, at least not according to Florida Police Benevolent Association chief Gary Bradford.

    • Why a Reporter’s ‘Epic Rant’ on Twitter Gets No Argument Here

      Mr. Risen, an investigative reporter for The Times, was writing in response to Mr. Holder’s statements in a National Press Club speech Tuesday defending the Obama administration’s record on press rights. Mr. Risen, who narrowly escaped jail time as he insisted on protecting a confidential source, begged to differ – in no uncertain terms.

      Referring to the Obama administration as “the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation,” Mr. Risen called the attorney general “the nation’s top censorship officer.”

      Although the wording of the Risen tweets was outside the tacitly accepted norm for Times reporters on social media, The Times declined to criticize them and issued a statement in his support.

      I followed up in a conversation with the standards editor, Philip Corbett, and some email correspondence with Mr. Risen.

    • Did the US Prison Boom Lead to the Crime Drop? New Study Says No

      Louisiana — a state whose motto is Union, Justice and Confidence — is known for many things. The Bayou State is the birthplace of jazz, Creole, and Cajun food, and New Orleans is the site of the country’s largest annual Mardi Gras Carnival. But as the Times-Picayune found in a major series years ago, Louisiana is also “the world’s prison capital,” with an incarceration rate that is “nearly five times Iran’s, 13 times China’s and 20 times Germany’s.”

    • FBI Flouts Obama Directive to Limit Gag Orders on National Security Letters

      Despite the post-Snowden spotlight on mass surveillance, the intelligence community’s easiest end-run around the Fourth Amendment since 2001 has been something called a National Security Letter.

    • Yes, Eric Holder Does Do the Intelligence Community’s Bidding in Leak Prosecutions

      The second-to-last witness in the government’s case against Jeffrey Sterling, FBI Special Agent Ashley Hunt, introduced a number of things she had collected over the course of her 7.5 year investigation into James Risen’s chapter on Operation Merlin. That included a few things — most notably two lines from Risen’s credit card records from 2004 — that in no conceivable way incriminated Sterling.

    • Hacker Claims Feds Hit Him With 44 Felonies When He Refused to Be an FBI Spy

      A year ago, the Department of Justice threatened to put Fidel Salinas in prison for the rest of his life for hacking crimes. But before the federal government brought those charges against him, Salinas now says, it tried a different tactic: recruiting him.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net neutrality: UK Lords call for internet to be reclassified as a utility

      THE HOUSE OF LORDS IS BACKING the idea of a free and gloriously open internet that is available to all, and is – rather less exciting sounding – reclassified as a utility.

      The plans come on the heels of similar noises from the US where Title II reclassification is a hot and contentious topic.

      Here we have the Lords releasing a report advocating that the government takes the internet and makes it a ;utility service’ much like it is in Estonia where it is considered a human right, and much as people like Tim Berners-Lee would appreciate.

    • Former FCC Boss Turned Top Cable Lobbyist Michael Powell Blames Everyone But Himself For Current Net Neutrality Mess

      You might recall that top cable industry lobbyist Michael Powell, formerly head of the FCC, got much of the current Title II debate rolling back in 2002 when he reclassified cable broadband as an “information service.” This effectively opened the door to a massive era of broadband deregulation Powell and friends at the time insisted would usher forth an immense new wave of broadband competition. If you’ve checked your broadband bill or oh, stepped outside lately, you may have noticed that this utopian broadband landscape never materialized.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Cerf Warns Of A ‘Lost Century’ Caused By Bit Rot; Patents And Copyright Largely To Blame

      The main obstacles to creating software that can run old programs, read old file formats, or preserve old webpages, are patents and copyright. Patents stop people creating emulators, because clean-room implementations that avoid legal problems are just too difficult and expensive to carry out for academic archives to contemplate. At least patents expire relatively quickly, freeing up obsolete technology for reimplementation. Copyright, by contrast, keeps getting extended around the world, which means that libraries would probably be unwilling to make backup copies of digital artefacts unless the law was quite clear that they could — and in many countries, it isn’t.

02.19.15

Links 19/2/2015: Hewlett-Packard on Cumulus Linux, Previews of GNOME 3.16 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 8:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • A developer’s guide to getting into open source

    Want to contribute to an open source project, but don’t know where to start? Finding the first problem to fix in an unfamiliar codebase can seem pretty difficult—and even more so if it counts millions of lines of code—but it’s usually much easier than it looks. This article should give you a few tips and ideas on how to get started.

  • Open source Graylog puts Splunk on notice

    Splunk, the log analysis system that’s evolved into a full-blown, machine-generated data processing platform (also described as “Google for visual analytics”), faces competition from a rising wave of open source competitors. One of the most prominent, Graylog, has unveiled its formal 1.0 release. Graylog’s success won’t be in meeting or exceeding Splunk’s feature set or performance, though; it’ll be in capturing or re-creating Splunk’s existing ecosystem of users and applications.

  • Events

    • Getting Things Started at SCALE 13x

      As midnight Wednesday becomes Thursday morning, SCALE Team members continue to put in hours, doing everything from wiring the rooms to stuffing swag bags, getting ready for 8 a.m. Thursday morning, when registration opens. Once that happens, the show is on the clock and all the work that those on the SCALE Team have put in so far — the long hours of work prior to, and leading up to, the show — and the work that the team puts in during the course of the show becomes the cornucopia enjoyed by the attendees.

      Reunions are quick — those who keep in touch through emails or social media over the course of the year meet face-to-face for the first time since last February. Security is called at times (just kidding, right Phillip Ballew?) and quick hellos give way to pitching in with what’s left to be done before the show opens in around eight hours.

    • 10 Great Quotes on PaaS and Containers from Collab Summit 2015

      A panel of Platform as a Service and container experts at Collaboration Summit Monday didn’t agree on many things – including the relative importance of PaaS and containers, which is more useful for developers, and how the ecosystem will evolve. But they all agreed that the PaaS ecosystem relies on open source to remain relevant and useful.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Emilia-Romagna completes switch to OpenOffice

      The administration of the Italian region Emilia-Romagna will complete its switch to Apache OpenOffice next month, says Giovanni Grazia, an IT project manager for the region. Emilia-Romagna is making the Open Document Format ODF the default on all 4200 workstations, across 10 departments and 5 agencies.

      Emilia-Romagna is adding several tools to the OpenOffice suite, “improving the user experience”, says Grazia. Three of these are publicly available OpenOffice extensions, but others are being developed especially for the region. The latter will be made available as open source within the next few weeks, Grazia says.

      The first of the official OpenOffice extensions used in the region is Alba, which makes it easy to insert in a document one or more pages with a different orientation. The second is Pagination, which improves the insertion of page numbers. Third is PDFImport, which allows the import of PDFs into OpenOffice.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 4.1.1 Maintenance Release

      WordPress 4.1.1 is now available. This maintenance release fixes 21 bugs in version 4.1.

      Some of you may have been waiting to update to the latest version until now, but there just wasn’t much to address. WordPress 4.1 was a smooth-sailing release and has seen more than 14 million downloads in the last two months.

  • BSD

    • Lumina Desktop 0.8.2 Released!

      The next version of the Lumina desktop environment has just been released! Version 0.8.2 is mainly a “spit-and-polish” release: focusing on bugfixes, overall appearances, and interface layout/design. The FreeBSD port has already been updated to the new version, and the PC-BSD “Edge” repository will be making the new version available within the next day or two (packages building now). If you are creating/distributing your own packages, you can find the source code for this release in the “qt5/0.8.2″ branch in the Lumina repository on GitHub.

      The major difference that people will notice is that the themes/colors distributed with the desktop have been greatly improved, and I have included a few examples below. The full details about the changes in this release are listed at the bottom of the announcement.

      Reminder: The Lumina desktop environment is still considered to be “beta-quality”, so if you find things that either don’t work or don’t work well, please report them on the PC-BSD bug tracker so that they can get fixed as soon as possible.

    • PC-BSD Releases Lumina Desktop 0.8.2

      The PC-BSD developers behind the original Lumina Desktop Environment have put out a new “spit and polish” release of Lumina.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Does your open hardware project need a license?

        The last part is in place, you can still smell the solder in the room. Your open hardware project is complete. So, what comes next? The hard part: do you need a license?

        The first step is to determine if you have anything to license. For those of us coming from the software world, this step may seem odd.

        Michael Weinberg, Vice President at Public Knowledge and a board member of the Open Source Hardware Association, tells us, “Software is protected by copyright (and protected automatically), so you can safely assume that you have something to license when you write software.”

  • Standards/Consortia

    • What is HTTP/2 and is it going to speed up the web?

      The web is about to get faster thanks to a new version of HTTP – the biggest change since 1999 to the protocol that underpins the world wide web as we know it today.

      Hypertext Transfer Protocol is familiar to most as the http:// at the beginning of a web address. It governs the connections between a user’s browser and the server hosting a website, invented by the father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Leftovers

  • Should publishers try to block ad blockers?

    Ad blockers have always been controversial among publishers. Many web publishers resent the use of ad blockers and feel that they are being cheated out of their rightful ad revenue. Some have even started to block access to their content when they detect an ad blocker in a reader’s browser.

    [...]

    Readers don’t use ad blockers because they want to cheat publishers out of revenue or act in an otherwise aggressive or nasty way. They use them because some web advertising has become incredibly obnoxious or intrusive.

  • Hardware

    • Qualcomm Announces Four New Snapdragon Processors

      Qualcomm announced yesterday the introduction of four new Snapdragon processors that the company says will “take 4G LTE and multimedia to new heights”. These new processors are the Snapdragon 620, 618, 425, and 415.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Measles makes its mark all over again: One of humanity’s oldest foes is back on the increase

      Abu Bakr Mohammad Ibn Zakariya al-Razi – the great Persian physician often described as the grandfather of pediatric medicine – was a meticulous man. Before the age of 30, he discovered ethanol, thanks to the careful application of the then new art of distillation.

      When overseeing the building of a new hospital in Baghdad, al-Razi hung raw meat around the city and broke ground where the meat putrefied most slowly. And, in one of the 200 or so books that he wrote, he created the first and most extraordinarily detailed account of one of the most infectious diseases ever known.

  • Security

  • Privacy

    • In France, La Quadrature du Net Brings Legal Challenge Against Mass Surveillance

      Together with FFDN, a federation of community-driven non-profit ISPs, La Quadrature du Net is bringing a legal action before the French Council of State against a decree on administrative access to online communications metadata. Through this decree, it is a whole pillar of the legal basis for Internet surveillance that is being challenged. This appeal, which builds on the European Union Court of Justice’s recent decision on data retention, comes as the French government is instrumentalizing last month’s tragic events to further its securitarian agenda, with an upcoming bill on intelligence services.

    • Lenovo’s bundled adware also comes with a worrying security hole

      We reported earlier today on Lenovo bundling adware with some of its newer computers, but over the last few hours it’s emerged that the situation is worse than originally thought.

      The software, named Superfish, was pre-installed by Lenovo on some consumer computers. The software injects unwanted advertising into users’ browsers in search results and on third-party websites.

    • Lenovo Is Breaking HTTPS Security on its Recent Laptops

      News broke last night that Lenovo has been shipping laptops with a horrifically dangerous piece of software called Superfish, which tampers with Windows’ cryptographic security to perform man-in-the-middle attacks against the user’s browsing. This is done in order to inject advertising into secure HTTPS pages, a feature most users don’t want implemented in the most insecure possible way.1

    • Lenovo honestly thought you’d enjoy that Superfish HTTPS spyware

      Imagine that you are a major global seller of laptop computers and that you were just caught preloading those machines with ultra-invasive adware that hijacks even fully encrypted Web sessions by using a self-signed root HTTPS certificate from a company called Superfish. How do you explain why you did it?

    • Lenovo installs adware on its computers that could let hackers steal private data
    • It has been 0 days since the last significant security failure. It always will be.

      Lenovo deserve criticism. The level of incompetence involved here is so staggering that it wouldn’t be a gross injustice for the company to go under as a result[1]. But let’s not pretend that this is some sort of isolated incident. As an industry, we don’t care about user security. We will gladly ship products with known security failings and no plans to update them. We will produce devices that are locked down such that it’s impossible for anybody else to fix our failures. We will hide behind vague denials, we will obfuscate the impact of flaws and we will deflect criticisms with announcements of new and shinier products that will make everything better.

    • How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle

      AMERICAN AND BRITISH spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data.

    • Alleged hack of encypted sim-card producer Gemalto by NSA and GCHQ

      With reference to writing to the Commission (dated 9/9/2013) on alleged hacks into the Dutch based SWIFT-server and Written Questions on the alleged infiltration of the Belgium based Belgacom servers and the Commission systems with the use of REGIN-malware (E-010269-14 of 5/12/2014);

Links 19/2/2015: 64-bit ARM Linux, Chinese New Year

Posted in News Roundup at 6:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Caveats of the HP MicroServer Gen8

      If you try to boot FreeBSD with its zfsloader you will likely need to apply a workaround patch, because the BIOS seems to do something odd. Linux works as expected.

  • Kernel Space

    • 10 Highlights of Jon Corbet’s Linux Kernel Report

      Here are 10 highlights:

      1. 3.15 was the biggest kernel release ever with 13,722 patches merged. “I imagine we will surpass that again,” Corbet said. “The amount of changes to the kernel is just going up over time.”

      2. The number of developers participating is going up over time while the amount of time it takes us to create a kernel is actually dropping over time. It started at 80 days between kernel releases some time ago, and it’s now down to about 63 days. “I don’t know how much shorter we can get,” het said.

      3. Developers added seven new system calls to the kernel over the past year, along with new features such as deadline scheduling, control group reworking, multiqueue block layer, and lots of networking improvmenets. That’s in addition to hundreds of new hardware drivers and thousands of bug fixes.

    • Kernel build times for automated builders

      Over the past year or so various people have been automating kernel builds with the aim of both setting the standard that things should build reliably and using the resulting builds for automated testing. This has been having good results, it’s especially nice to compare the results for older stable kernel builds with current ones and notice how much happier everything is.

    • The Linux Foundation Shows Us Just How Massive the Kernel Development Really Is

      The Linux kernel is the biggest collaborative software project on the planet, but sometimes it might be difficult for people to understand that. The Linux Foundation has released its annual development report and we can get a glimpse of just how much work is being done.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The 8 best desktop environments for Linux

      There is no shortage of desktop environments for Linux, which means you can customize your PC the way you want it.

      I have used almost all major desktop environments — not just to test the waters but to actually find the one that works for me — because, you know, the best DE is the one that fits your needs.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Control Center 3.16 Beta Release Adds Keyboard, Bluetooth, Privacy Fixes

        The GNOME development team is working hard on the next major version of their controversial and modern GNOME desktop environment, release 3.16, which will bring a number of improvements in performance, stability, and updated components, each one having its own major features. This is the case of GNOME Control Center, which is now available to testers worldwide in a beta form.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Adds Networking, Storage Features to OpenStack Platform

        Networking improvements, better Ceph distributed storage support and enhanced I/O virtualization are the headline features in the latest version of Red Hat (RHT) Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, the enterprise cloud computing product that the company released this week.

      • Red Hat continues its 64-bit ARM growth

        Red Hat started putting its weight behind 64-bit ARM architecture in data-center last year by launching ARM Partner Early Access Program for Partner Ecosystem.

        The idea behind the program was to develop an operating system which was capable of supporting multiple partner-initiated system designs based on the 64-bit ARMv8-A architecture.

      • Red Hat launches Enterprise OpenStack Platform 6 with IPv6 support

        RED HAT has announced the arrival of Red Hat Enterprise OpenStack Platform 6 (RHOP6).

        The infrastructure-as-a-service offering has been modelled in part on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, aiming to push forward the firm’s commitment to Ceph storage along with a host of other enhancements.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Facebook unleashes Stetho, its open-source Android debugging tool

          Facebook said today that it’s giving away a tool it built to spot errors in Android application code.

        • Mysterious Android 5.2 Lollipop update appears – but we have no idea what’s in store

          According to Google’s own Android version distribution data, Android 5.0 Lollipop is only on 1.6% of Android devices that are currently in use. The actual figure is undoubtedly much smaller, as it doesn’t take into account the millions upon millions of off-brand Android devices that don’t ship with Google’s apps and services installed.

        • Decrypt Android Wear with these 16 essential tips and tricks

          Using Android Wear isn’t always easy, but it’s beginning to catch on. Google has been busy packing new functionality into Android Wear, and though smartwatches (like any new tech) have a steep learning curve, they’re quickly becoming more practical. Here are some essential tips to get the most out of your Android Wear smartwatch.

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop update now available for T-Mobile Galaxy S5

          A couple of readers just got in touch with us to inform us that the long-awaited Android 5.0 Lollipop update has landed for the T-Mobile Galaxy S5. And by the looks of things, it’s a fairly hefty update weighing in at almost 1GB in size. It’s available to download over the air, so if you haven’t received a notification yet, check your settings and update manually. If that fails, give Samsung Kies a try.

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop Tested: Performance and Battery Life

          Google released Android 5.0 ‘Lollipop’ last November, a major milestone in the life of today’s most popular mobile operating system. Like with most Android revisions, the update was pushed over-the-air to Nexus devices and all was well in the vanilla Android camp. Google took the opportunity to launch new devices, too, the Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet, complete with Android 5.0 support out of the box.

        • Beam’s Android-powered projector fits in your light sockets

          Let’s face it: most projectors aren’t very useful outside of home theaters or boardrooms, even if they’re packing some smarts. Beam may get you to change your mind, though. Its namesake Android-powered projector runs apps, streams media from your mobile gear (through AirPlay or Miracast) and starts tasks based on the time or what you’re doing. You can play a video message when someone gets home, for instance, or load Netflix as soon as you turn on Bluetooth speakers. However, the design is the real party trick. While the 854 x 480 resolution and 100 lumen brightness are no great shakes, you can screw Beam into any standard light socket — you don’t have to hunt for a free wall outlet (or even a wall) if you’re just looking to show off some vacation photos.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why open source needs accessibility standards

    A core tenet of the free software movement is to enable every computer user to cooperate and contribute as equals. Improving the accessibility standards at which open source software is developed not only progresses the fundamental concepts behind this philosophy, it further legitimizes open source developers’ place in the software development community.

  • Facebook garners big gains from tighter management of open source

    Thanks to some applied discipline, Facebook is reaping greater benefits from its efforts around open source software.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Moving Forward with Firefox

        Next month, Johnathan Nightingale will step down as a full time Mozillian after 8 years of distinguished service. We’d like to thank him for his countless contributions to the Mozilla project and leading Firefox through periods of intense competition and change.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • The List of OpenStack Distributions Keeps Growing

      It’s been said that sometimes the only thing worse than no choices is too many choices. If that is the case, the enterprise could be in a jam when it comes to cloud architectures.

      The number of OpenStack distributions is getting larger every day, and they are starting to incorporate wildly divergent ancillary feature that will make it difficult to identify the right solution for the task at hand.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • SiteSupra CMS Launches Open Source Edition

        SiteSupra Open Source Edition is a PHP-based free, GPL-licensed CMS that is available to download from www.sitesupra.org via GitHub. The product contributes to a hosted version of the product available under the same name at www.sitesupra.com. You can find out more about the original platform via our SiteSupra Review.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Elon Musk Clarifies That Tesla’s Patents Really Are Free; Investor Absolutely Freaks Out

      We’ve written a few times about Elon Musk and Tesla’s decision to open up all of Tesla’s patents, with a promise not to sue anyone for using them. We also found it funny when some reacted to it by complaining that it wasn’t done for “altruistic” reasons, but to help Tesla, because of course: that’s the whole point. Musk recognized that patents frequently hold back and limit innovation, especially around core infrastructure. Since then, Musk has said that, in fact, rivals are making use of his patents, even as GM insists it’s not.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Chinese New Year 2015: 6 things you need to know about the Year of the Goat (or Sheep)

    The world’s largest annual human migration is now well underway as 2.8 billion trips are made across China in what is known as chun yun, when students, migrant workers and office employees living away from home will make the journey back to celebrate with their families.

  • Security

  • Transparency Reporting

    • A Whistleblower’s Horror Story

      This is the age of the whistleblower. From Chelsea Manning to Edward Snowden to the latest cloak-and-dagger lifter of files, ex-HSBC employee Hervé Falciani, whistleblowers are becoming to this decade what rock stars were to the Sixties — pop culture icons, global countercultural heroes.

    • Disdaining ‘the Search for Truth’

      When information becomes a weapon – whether in geopolitics or domestic politics – the democratic principle of an informed electorate is sacrificed, as is now the case in modern America, where some leaders pander to parts of the electorate that are disdainful of science, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • What Is Real ID?

      As of today, the Real ID Act—which will require all US IDs to meet minimum federal security standards—enter the first stage of its multi-year enforcement. That has a lot of people pretty nervous; whether legislators use the term or not, it smells an awful lot like a national ID card. But what is Real ID, exactly?

    • Samsung smart TVs don’t encrypt the voice data they collect

      Samsung does not encrypt voice recordings that are collected and transmitted by its smart TVs to a third party service, even though the company has claimed that it uses encryption to secure consumers’ personal information.

      A week ago, the revelation that Samsung collects words spoken by consumers when they use the voice recognition feature in their smart TVs enraged privacy advocates, since according to Samsung’s own privacy policy those words can in some cases include personal or sensitive information. The incident even drew comparisons to Big Brother behavior from George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.

    • Media Companies Track Pirated Downloads For Marketing Purposes

      A new report released by Tru Optik shows that there are hundreds of millions of active BitTorrent users who together shared 18 billion files last year. The data is being used to show media companies the scale of the “unmonetized” demand for their products while offering a tool to target pirates with the right offerings.

    • Google warns of US government ‘hacking any facility’ in the world

      Google says increasing the FBI’s powers set out in search warrants would raise ‘monumental’ legal concerns that should be decided by Congress

    • Beijing subway swipe data betrays social class

      BEIJING is an enormous city, sprawling over an area 10 times larger than Greater London. To get around China’s capital, many residents rely on the metro, swiping a smartcard each time they jump on or off. Could their swiping patterns reveal their class?

      At the Beijing Institute of City Planning, researchers led by urban planner Ying Long have been poring over the smartcard records of millions of riders to see what their travel patterns reveal.

      They explored two separate, week-long snapshots of public transportation activity taken two years apart, each including the movements of more than 8 million riders along the city’s bus and subway lines.

    • Yet Another Report Showing ‘Anonymous’ Data Not At All Anonymous

      As companies expand the amount of data hoovered up via their subscribers, a common refrain to try and ease public worry is that consumers shouldn’t worry because this data is “anonymized.” However, time and time again studies have highlighted how it’s not particularly difficult to tie these data sets to consumer identities — usually with only the use of a few additional contextual clues. It doesn’t really matter whether we’re talking about cellular location data, GPS data, taxi data or NSA metadata, the basic fact is these anonymous data sets aren’t really anonymous.

    • China To Require Real-Name Registration For Online Services And Bans On Parody Accounts

      China has been trying for some time to clamp down on the Internet, in an attempt to prevent it from being used in ways that threaten the authorities’ control. Since the appointment of China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, the situation has deteriorated — China Digital Times speaks of the “new normal” of sharpened control.

    • Supreme Court To Tackle LA Law Enforcement’s Warrantless Access To Hotel Records

      The question of whether law enforcement’s warrantless (and subpoena-less) access to hotel records falls outside the confines of the Constitution will be answered by the Supreme Court. An en banc hearing by the Ninth Circuit Court found that Los Angeles’ ordinance granting local law enforcement this power was unconstitutional. Not content with this finding, the city of Los Angeles has managed to bump it up to the highest judicial level.

  • Civil Rights

    • Nominee For Attorney General Tap Dances Around Senator Franken’s Question About Aaron Swartz

      We’ve discussed for years how broken the CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) is. The law, which was written many years ago, is problematically vague in certain areas, allowing prosecutors to claim that merely breaking a terms of service you didn’t read is a form of felony hacking — as they define it as “unauthorized access.” While there have been many egregious CFAA cases, one of the most high-profile, of course, was that of activist Aaron Swartz, who was arrested for downloading too many research papers from JSTOR from the computer network on the MIT campus. The MIT campus network gave anyone — even guests — full access to the JSTOR archives if you were on the university network. Swartz took advantage of that to download many files — leading to his arrest, and a whole bunch of charges against him. After the arrest, the DOJ proudly talked about how Swartz faced 35 years in prison. Of course, if you bring that up now, the DOJ and its defenders get angry, saying he never really would have faced that much time in prison — even though the number comes from the DOJ’s (since removed) press release.

    • Woman fatally shoots herself while adjusting bra holster

      Police in Michigan have determined that a mishap involving a bra holster led to the death of a local politician and pageant champion.

      Christina Bond, a 55-year-old mother of two, fatally shot herself in the eye while attempting to secure her handgun.

      “She was having trouble adjusting her bra holster, couldn’t get it to fit the way she wanted it to,” said St. Joseph Public Safety Director Mark Clapp. “She was looking down at it and accidentally discharged the weapon.”

      Bond was rushed from her home on Lake Michigan after the incident, but succumbed to her injuries at a local hospital.

02.18.15

Links 18/2/2015: Linux Report, FlightGear 3.4

Posted in News Roundup at 8:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Twitter’s Aurora and How it Relates to Google’s Borg (Part 1)

    The information jobs for the remainder of the 21st century will not be managed by operating systems. Today, we perceive Twitter as one of a very few examples of services that run at “Internet scale” — at a scale so large that the size of its domain is meaningless. Yet Twitter is actually an example of what one day, within most of our lifetimes, will be considered an everyday job, the sort of thing you expect networks of clustered servers numbering in the tens of thousands to do.

  • Playing the Markets: ClusterK Launches Cloud Scheduler, Open Source GATK Pipeline

    At least that’s how Dmitry Pushkarev sees it. His new company, ClusterK, is releasing its genomics pipeline to illustrate how complex workflows like the Broad Institute’s GATK can be run efficiently—and much faster—on the cloud. The pipeline breaks the GATK pipeline into thousands of different tasks, each taking 10-20 minutes, which can be run in parallel. “It allows the entire workflow to be distributed across dozens of compute nodes,” Pushkarev says, and results are returned much faster.

  • HP Goes Open Source For Haven Predictive Analytics

    HP has released a product that checks off many of the boxes on the hot-technology list for 2015: big data, business intelligence, predictive analytics, and open source.

  • 11 ways to get involved with Humanitarian FOSS

    HFOSS organizers need to make is easier to help people get involved. One recommendation that I have is a simple navigator that asks people what they want to do or what they want to give. The aggregator would then help match them to tasks and communities. Think of it as a global Match.com for giving. We would give love to open source organizations, corporations, nonprofits, community-based organizations, and citizens. Truly, this is all hands on deck to make it possible for anyone and any organization to connect. We could tailor it with the code to help people choose their own adventure based on topic, time, location, and their learning/doing/giving path. Really, we need to dream big more and build it.

  • Why An Open-Source Pro Sees His Next Act In Security

    Zack Urlocker was just named COO of Duo Security, a Benchmark and Google Ventures-backed security company that aims to make two-factor authentication omnipresent and painless. Is this Urlocker’s next unicorn? After all, as SVP of products and marketing at MySQL, he helped to drive a $1 billion sale by Sun. Later, he went on to run operations at pre-IPO Zendesk (now worth $2 billion).

  • Where the corporate and the upstream world meet…. or collide

    From the corporate world I frequently hear how hard it is to predict and track what upstream developers do. On the other side, developers that work part or full time upstream frequently underestimate the need for communicating what they do in a way that enable others (or themselves) to provide deadlines and effort estimations. Upstream and product “time lines” and cultures often differ too much to be compatible under the same environment.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Big data vendors back open source tools

      IBM, GE, Teradata, Infosys, VMware, Pivotal, SAS and others will develop on and test out Apache Hadoop open source tools

    • Making MapR’s Data-Centric Platform More Elastic with Mesos and Yarn

      MapR has a new release today that provides some perspectives on the influences that are shaping new data-centric architectures. In particular, it shows the importance of Yarn, Mesos and the continued value that Docker plays as the need increases for developing new patterns that reflect the forces of data gravity and container density.

    • OpenStack Earns Plug-in Replacement for Amazon EC2 API

      All the way back in 2013, the folks at Cloudscaling were adamant that the future of OpenStack depended on embracing Amazon Web Services (AWS), and there has continued to be much debate on the topic. Eucalyptus Systems, among other open cloud players, proved that by integrating Amazon’s command interfaces exactly, many users would react positively.

    • New MapR Distribution Including Hadoop Supports More Big Data Applications

      This week, there are a lot of interesting big data announcements coming out of Strata + Hadoop World. MapR Technologies, Inc. has announced at Strata + Hadoop World the latest release of the MapR Distribution including Hadoop, which, the company notes, “has new features that accelerate the data-centric enterprise by supporting applications on globally-distributed, big data.” The company’s new MapR Distribution including Hadoop, version 4.1, features interesting table replication features and more.

    • Pivotal goes all-in with open source in Big Data Suite

      Bowing to customer pressure, enterprise software and services vendor Pivotal will release as open source the remainder of its software suite for analyzing data.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.4 review – Finally, it rocks

      LibreOffice is the flagship office suite for Linux. It’s also quite popular with Windows users. As a free, open-source and cross-platform solution, LibreOffice allows people to enjoy the world of writing, spreadsheets, presentations and alike without having to spend hefty sums of money. The only problem till now was that it didn’t quite work as advertised. Microsoft Office support was, for the lack of a better word, lacking.

      Version 4.4 is out, and it promises a great deal. A simplified interface, new looks, much improved proprietary file format support. Sounds exciting, and as someone who has lambasted LibreOffice for this very reason in the past, I felt compelled to give this new edition its due rightful try. On top of Plasma 5 no less. So let’s see.

  • Funding

    • Should Linux distro developers expect to be paid for their work?

      I wrote a column a while back called “Distro developers need dollars” where I included links to distro donation pages. My thought then was that it was a good idea for distro developers to get financial support from users whenever possible. I still feel that way, however, there’s a flip side to that idea too.

  • BSD

  • Openness/Sharing

    • ONF launches open source SDN community, website

      The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has announced the launch of a new open source software community and code repository at OpenSourceSDN.org. The foundation said the new site is designed to be a resource for those looking to commercially deploy open SDN (Software-Defined Networking) solutions, free from vendor lock-in.

    • ONF Aims to Be Open-Source SDN Glue
    • ONF Launches Open Source Community
    • Open Data

      • OpenStreetMap finally gives directions; gets routing support

        OpenStreetMap has been for almost 11 years and at long last routing has arrived on the main website. The functionality is actually provided by 3rd parties including OSRM, MapQuest and GraphHopper. One shortcoming of the new map implementation is that you cannot add multiple destinations to your journey. Nonetheless the new update is a huge one for the open source map software.

      • Cities open-source fiscal data via OpenGov

        The OpenGov platform has been gaining traction as a tool for governments to demonstrate their transparency by providing better access to government spending data in a user-friendly, digital format.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Cultural knowledge needs to be more open

        Subha Panigrahi is an educator and open source activist based in Bangalore, India. He is currently works at the Centre for Internet and Society’s Access To Knowledge program where he builds partnership with universities, language researchers, and GLAM organizations. Their goal is to bring more scholarly and encyclopedic content under free licenses. During his work at the Wikimedia Foundation’s India Program, Subha was involved in designing community sustaining and new contributor cultivation models.

    • Open Hardware

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Premier Li Keqiang Discusses Views on Standardization Reform

      On February 11 at the State Council Executive Meeting in Beijing, Premier Li Keqiang confirmed the final framework agenda for China’s standardization reform. According to a report on the State Council website, the key target of reform is improving China’s economic performance and enhancing the overall competitiveness of China’s products and services.

    • HTTP/2 & HPACK Specifications Approved

      The HTTP/2 and HPACK specifications have been formally approved by the IESG.

Leftovers

  • Vanilla Ice arrested in Florida home burglary

    The ‘90s rapper known as Vanilla Ice has been arrested and charged with burglary and grand theft for allegedly stealing an array of items from a vacant Florida home.

    Lantana police told TMZ that furniture, a pool heater, bicycles and other items were stolen from the property in the 100 block of N. Atlantic Drive.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Toxic exposure is causing a pandemic of brain disorders in kids

      The numbers are startling. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1.8 million more children in the US were diagnosed with developmental disabilities between 2006 and 2008 than a decade earlier. During this time, the prevalence of autism climbed nearly 300%, while that of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder increased 33%. CDC figures also show that 10 to 15% of all babies born in the US have some type of neurobehavorial development disorder. Still more are affected by neurological disorders that don’t rise to the level of clinical diagnosis.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • What Putin Learned From Reagan

      There was a great power that was worried about its longtime rival’s efforts to undermine it. Its leaders thought the rival power was stronger and trying to throw its weight around all over the world. In fact, this longtime rival was now interfering in places the declining state had long regarded as its own backyard. To protect this traditional sphere of influence, the worried great power had long maintained one-sided relationships with its neighbors, many of them led by corrupt and brutal oligarchs who stayed in power because they were subservient to the powerful neighbor’s whims.

    • Jeb Bungles Facts, Pronunciation in His Big National Security Speech

      Further, Bush misrepresented the strength of ISIS, saying they have some 200,000 men, which is far greater than U.S. intelligence community’s estimates. Last week National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen pegged the fighting strength of ISIS at between 20,000 and 31,500.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • What’s the Difference Between a Leaker and a Whistleblower?

      Last month, WikiLeaks wrote an open letter to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt admonishing the tech giant for waiting over two and a half years to reveal that it gave the Department of Justice the emails and other data of three Wikileaks staffers. Google was finally successful in overturning the gag order in December, which was when the staffers in question – Sarah Harrison, Kristinn Hrafnsson and Joseph Farrell – were made aware of the investigation into their activities.

    • Headline: Despite Moral Victory, Whistleblower Matt DeHart To Be Deported In ‘Very Short Order’

      Adrian Humphreys of the National Post, who last year wrote an award-winning 5 part investigative piece on Matt DeHart’s case, reports: “The decision by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) offered him a moral victory — finding no ‘credible or trustworthy evidence’ he committed the child pornography offences alleged by the government — but extended him no protection, denying him refugee status, which would have allowed him to remain in Canada.” — See full story here.

    • Collective Privacy and the Anonymous Archipelago

      The sea is rising and our remaining hills are few and far between. This is not a discussion of climate change despite its perils. This a discussion of the anonymous archipelago in the global sea of surveillance and our loss of collective privacy. While our individual privacy is in grave danger today, there are still countermeasures to protect our thoughts and words from hostile eyes and ears. It cannot listen to yet the voice in our heads nor can they follow everyone at all times. It cannot yet steal the ideas from our minds nor can they accurately predict our intentions short of our overt behavior. They do not yet have this power, but they will try. They will try because we have ceded to them our right to collective privacy.

    • The Dos And Don’ts Of Discussing Transgender Health Care

      When Private Chelsea Manning – the former soldier currently serving a 35-year prison term for leaking thousands of classified documents – came out as transgender in August 2013, major media outlets proved just how ill-prepared they were to cover transgender stories. Both Fox News and CNN repeatedly misgendered Manning, disregarding GLAAD’s Media Reference Guide, which calls on news organizations to refer to transgender people by their preferred gender pronouns.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Borrowing a Climate Denial Trick to Erase Rising Inequality

      Or maybe people think inequality hasn’t stopped rising because it hasn’t. The problem with Leonardt’s argument is that it’s cherry-picking: If you start from 2007, which was the height of a financial and real-estate bubble that mostly benefited the wealthy, then of course the income of the wealthy won’t return to where it was; a bubble is by definition unsustainable. (If the recovery amounts to reinflating the bubble, as some observers fear, that would be bad news for the elite as well as for the rest of us.)

      [...]

      Leonhardt can sometimes be an effective debunker of conservative spin, but the trick of starting your measurement of inequality from an unrepresentative peak is reminiscent of the chicanery of Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Robert Barkley, who wrote an entire book, The Seven Fat Years, based on manipulating the timeframe of economic comparisons.

    • Fox Host Reframes Income Inequality Report To Throw A Pity Party For The Rich

      Of course, income inequality is still at historically troubling rates, and could potential even worsen, as the Times repeatedly noted.

    • Swiss prosecutor searches HSBC premises, opens criminal inquiry

      Geneva’s public prosecutor searched the premises of HSBC Holdings PLC in Geneva on Wednesday and said it had opened a criminal inquiry into allegations of aggravated money laundering.

      “A search is currently underway in the premises of the bank, led by Attorney General Olivier Jornot and the prosecutor Yves Bertossa,” Geneva’s prosecutor said in a statement.

      HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, apologised to customers and investors on Sunday for past practices at its Swiss private bank following allegations that it helped hundreds of clients dodge taxes.

    • HSBC: Swiss bank searched as officials launch money-laundering inquiry

      Investigation into suspected ‘aggravated money laundering’ comes after Belgium and France begin scrutinising tax affairs of Europe’s biggest bank

    • Swiss police raid HSBC Geneva office in money laundering probe

      The Swiss subsidiary of HSBC was searched on Wednesday by officials after prosecutors in Geneva said they are opening a money laundering investigation into the bank’s alleged illegal tax activity.

      The premises of HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) were searched by authorities, AP reported, and the investigation could possibly extend beyond the bank to any clients participating in money laundering.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • UKIP drama sparks 1,000 complaints to Ofcom and Channel 4

      The First 100 Days featured actress Priyanga Burford as the party’s only Asian woman MP, who is elected for Romford in an imagined landslide making Mr Farage Prime Minister.

    • Telegraph’s Peter Oborne says he feels ‘sick’ over alleged failings of paper’s HSBC coverage

      Former Telegraph journalist Peter Oborne has said that “poor editorial judgement” has been exercised at the newspaper he stepped down from.

      Following his announcement that he had resigned from his position as The Telegraph’s chief political commentator, Oborne appeared in a strongly-worded interview on BBC Radio 4, where he repeated his comments that the paper had “failed” its readers in its alleged underreporting of the HSBC scandal.

    • Peter Oborne demands inquiry into Telegraph guidelines over HSBC

      The Daily Telegraph’s former chief political commentator, Peter Oborne, has called for an independent inquiry into the paper’s editorial guidelines over its lack of coverage of the HSBC tax story, which he described as a “fraud on its readers”.

    • Peter Oborne may be a maverick but his Telegraph revelations are dynamite

      In September 2013, Peter Oborne wrote a piece in the Daily Telegraph in praise of Ed Miliband, calling him a brave and adroit leader. I remarked at the time that he was a columnist renowned for going against the grain of the newspaper for which he writes.

      It is to his credit that he did so and was to the Telegraph’s credit that it hired him and published him for five years. He never subscribed to the paper’s large-C Conservative line on many subjects.

    • Gauging media freedom

      THE report released on Thursday by Reporters Sans Frontières reminds us that politics around the world today has inevitably taken a heavy toll on media freedoms, squeezing both the public’s right to know and journalists’ duty to inform.

      “Press freedom … is in retreat in all five continents,” said the RSF 2015 World Press Freedom Index.

      The head of the RSF told the media that the deterioration is linked to a range of factors, “with information wars and actions by non-state groups acting as news despots”.

  • Privacy

    • US spy agency (probably NSA) has its virus installed on hard drive firmware

      New research done by Russian cyber-security firm, Kaspersky, suggests that the NSA (although not confirmed by Kaspersky) has spyware deeply embedded into hard drives from manufacturers including Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and others, covering much of what’s on the market. The software embedded in the hard drives is part of a group of spyware which Kaspersky found out about.

    • UK Police Forces Have Secret Facial Recognition Database Of 18 Million People, Many Innocent

      The UK already has a pretty awful reputation when it comes to surveillance, what with millions of CCTV cameras, DRIPA and two recent attempts to shove the Snooper’s Charter through Parliament without scrutiny. So perhaps it should come as no surprise to discover that UK police forces have created a giant facial recognition database that includes hundreds of thousands of innocent people….

    • ‘Innocent people’ on police photos database

      Police forces in England and Wales have uploaded up to 18 million “mugshots” to a facial recognition database – despite a court ruling it could be unlawful.

      They include photos of people never charged, or others cleared of an offence, and were uploaded without Home Office approval, Newsnight has learned.

    • Researchers Find ‘Astonishing’ Malware Linked to NSA Spying

      Security researchers have uncovered highly sophisticated malware that is linked to a secret National Security Agency hacking operation exposed by The Intercept last year.

      Russian security firm Kaspersky published a report Monday documenting the malware, which it said had been used to infect thousands of computer systems and steal data in 30 countries around the world. Among the targets were a series of unnamed governments; telecom, energy and aerospace companies; as well as Islamic scholars and media organizations.

      Kaspersky did not name the NSA as the author of the malware. However, Reuters reported later on Monday that the agency had created the technology, citing anonymous former U.S. intelligence officials.

      Kaspersky’s researchers noted that the newly found malware is similar to Stuxnet, a covert tool reportedly created by the U.S. government to sabotage Iranian nuclear systems. The researchers also identified a series of code names that they found contained within the samples of malware, including STRAIGHTACID, STRAITSHOOTER and GROK.

    • Thousands Join Legal Fight Against UK Surveillance — And You Can, Too

      On Monday, London-based human rights group Privacy International launched an initiative enabling anyone across the world to challenge covert spying operations involving Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, the National Security Agency’s British counterpart.

      The campaign was made possible following a historic court ruling earlier this month that deemed intelligence sharing between GCHQ and the NSA to have been unlawful because of the extreme secrecy shrouding it.

    • If the NSA has been hacking everything, how has nobody seen them coming?

      As the Snowden leaks continue to dribble out, it has become increasingly obvious that most nations planning for “cyber-war” have been merely sharpening knives for what looks like an almighty gunfight.

    • From Moscow, With Aloha: A Recap of Snowden’s Talk in Hawaii (VIDEO)

      Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower on the run, spoke at ACLU Hawaii’s First Amendment Conference live Saturday, via a video link from Moscow, Russia.

    • Google Calls FBI’s Plan to Expand Hacking Power a ‘Monumental’ Constitutional Threat

      Google is warning that the government’s quiet plan to expand the FBI’s authority to remotely access computer files amounts to a “monumental” constitutional concern.

      The search giant submitted public comments earlier this week opposing a Justice Department proposal that would grant judges more leeway in how they can approve search warrants for electronic data.

    • Government concedes polices on lawyer-client snooping were unlawful

      The UK Government has today conceded that its policies governing the ability of intelligence agencies to spy on lawyer-client communications were unlawful, in response to a case brought by two victims of an MI6-orchestrated ‘rendition’ operation.

      Abdul-hakim Belhaj and Fatima Boudchar were tortured and rendered to Libya in 2004 in a joint MI6-CIA operation. They filed a case in 2013 with the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) concerning alleged eavesdropping by UK intelligence services on their confidential communications with their lawyers.

    • UK admits unlawfully monitoring legally privileged communications

      The regime under which UK intelligence agencies, including MI5 and MI6, have been monitoring conversations between lawyers and their clients for the past five years is unlawful, the British government has admitted.

      The admission that the activities of the security services have failed to comply fully with human rights laws in a second major area – this time highly sensitive legally privileged communications – is a severe embarrassment for the government.

  • Civil Rights

    • THE CONTOURS OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE

      No country on the planet is untouched by the United States government. In fact, the US has the most powerful military on Earth and arguably the most powerful military in the history of the world. There is no more important “affair of the state” during the life of a nation than its participation in war. Yet instead of defending the country, the United States government often uses the military, the CIA, and a variety of international organizations to intervene in foreign affairs on behalf of powerful US based multinational corporations often to the detriment of the great majority of the people in the United States and billions of people around the world.

    • JUSTICE FOR SALE – PART 3: GREED BREED’S CORRUPTION

      This is the third article (see PART 1 & PART 2) in a five part series examining the US legal system. The series collectively argues that corporate media and political rhetoric have made Americans acquiescent toward corruption in the US legal system. This piece examines how public ambivalence toward a justice system which operates for profit not public good has created a breeding ground for corruption.

    • Paris: Chelsea fans push black man off Metro

      French police have opened an investigation after Ffans of Chelsea football club were filmed repeatedly pushing a black man off a Paris Metro train, before chanting “We’re racist and that’s the way we like it”.

    • UMass Amherst Will Accept Iranian Students into Science and Engineering Programs, Revising Approach to Admissions

      The University of Massachusetts Amherst today announced that it will accept Iranian students into science and engineering programs, developing individualized study plans to meet the requirements of federal sanctions law and address the impact on students. The decision to revise the university’s approach follows consultation with the State Department and outside counsel.

    • WATCH: The Surrender

      In August 2010, Stephen Kim, a highly-regarded intelligence analyst in the State Department, was indicted under the Espionage Act for divulging classified information to Fox News reporter James Rosen. If convicted at trial, he faced 10 to 15 years in prison.

      Kim allowed me to film his life in intimate detail from the period after his guilty plea early last year — he accepted a sentence of 13 months — until his surrender at a federal prison this past July. I watched him simultaneously disassemble the physical components of his life while he retraced the journey that brought him from speaking zero English as a young Korean immigrant, to the nation’s top universities, to the State Department and ultimately to the courtroom where he faced federal prosecution.

    • Destroyed by the Espionage Act

      Stephen Kim Spoke to a Reporter. Now He’s in Jail. This Is His Story.

    • Risen: Obama administration is greatest enemy of press freedom

      New York Times reporter James Risen slammed Attorney General Eric Holder in a series of tweets Tuesday evening, calling the Obama administration “The greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation.”

      “Eric Holder has been the nation’s top censorship officer, not the top law enforcement officer,” Risen tweeted. “Eric Holder has done the bidding of the intelligence community and the White House to damage press freedom in the United States.”

      Risen was tweeting in response to a speech Holder gave earlier on Tuesday at the National Press Club, where he defended the administration’s record on prosecuting leakers, saying they could have prosecuted far more than they actually did.

    • Jeffrey Sterling Moves for Acquittal Based on Government’s Expansive Interpretation of Spying

      At almost the same time, lawyers for Jeffrey Sterling moved for acquittal on all charges. As part of that, they made an argument very similar to the one I made: Jeffrey Sterling was convicted on three charges relating to the possession of a copy of a letter that appeared in Risen’s State of War that not only did the FBI admit they never found, but which Sterling had no possible way of possessing.

    • New DNI Guidance on Polygraph Testing Against Leaks

      Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper issued guidance this month on polygraph testing for screening of intelligence community personnel. His instructions give particular emphasis to the use of the polygraph for combating unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

    • Eric Holder: Moratorium On Death Penalty ‘Would Be Appropriate’ Pending Supreme Court Decision

      Speaking at a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Holder, noting that he was speaking in a personal capacity and not as a member of the administration, said the “inevitable” possibility of executing an innocent individual is what makes him oppose capital punishment.

    • Whistleblower: Government Lacks The ‘Guts’ To Charge U.S. Leaders With Torture

      The human rights abuses revealed in the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report released in December sparked global outrage, leaving some begging for senior officials from the George W. Bush administration to be held accountable. But CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou is certain the U.S. government will do nothing of the sort.

      Just two weeks after Kiriakou was released from prison after agreeing to a plea deal in which he admitted to violating one count of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, he spoke with HuffPost Live’s Alyona Minkovski on Tuesday about where the accountability should lie.

    • Killing in Washington State Offers ‘Ferguson’ Moment for Hispanics

      Members of the Zambrano family began arriving here three decades ago, picking apples in nearby orchards. Over time they have become part of the fabric of this harvesting town, growing to more than 50 and settling in tiny candy-colored homes, some ringed by white picket fences.

    • The Secret Squirrels Pitching “Countering Violent Extremism”

      For the record, I believe our country needs some kind of program to divert wayward young men — of whatever race, religion, and ideology — rather than ensnaring them in stings that will result in a wasted life.

      Mind you, the government is going about it with the Muslim community badly. In part, that’s because the US doesn’t have much positive ideology to offer anymore, especially to those who identify in whatever way with those we’ve spent millions villainizing. In part, that’s because we’d have to revamp FBI before we started this CVE stuff, starting with the emphasis on terrorist conviction numbers as the prime measure of success. You’ll never succeed with a program if people’s primary job measure is the opposite.

      Finally, and most obviously, you have to start by building trust, which will necessarily require a transition time between when you primarily rely on dragnets and informants to that time when you can rely on community partners (it will also require an acceptance that you won’t stop all attacks, regardless of which method you use).

    • Parliamentary Resolution On Condemning Torture by the CIA post 911

      This is for the courageous whistleblower John Kiriakou. He was the first U.S. government official to confirm in December 2007 that waterboarding was used to interrogate Al Qaeda prisoners, which he described as torture. On October 22, 2012, Kiriakou pleaded guilty to disclosing classified information about a fellow CIA officer that connected the covert operative to a specific operation. He was the first person to pass classified information to a reporter, although the reporter did not publish the name of the operative.[6] He was sentenced to 30 months in prison on January 25, 2013, and served his term from February 28, 2013 until 3 February 2015 at the low-security Federal correctional facility in Loretto, Pennsylvania.[7]

    • An Imprisoned CIA Whistleblower Breaks His Silence
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Internet.org app raises net neutrality fears and how to remedy the problem

      In countries where Internet access is widespread there’s active conversations going on regarding net neutrality as more and more users tax ISP’s infrastructures thanks to heavy data usage. The fear surrounding a tiered Internet is that people will lose access to some sites and therefore lose out on information. Facebook’s attempt to provide some sites for free in India also raises net neutrality issues, rather than included sites being democratically chosen by it’s users, they’ve been pre-selected by Facebook.

    • In Russia, Yandex Files Antitrust Complaint Against Google Over Search On Android Devices

      More antitrust woe for Google on the international front. Search giant Yandex, often described as the “Google of Russia”, has filed a request with Russia’s antimonopoly regulator to investigate Google over possible violations of Russia’s antitrust laws.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Guardian Live: What is TTIP and how does it affect us?

      London’s Conway Hall was the venue for a Guardian Membership event held this week to debate the pros and cons of TTIP. The discussion was chaired by Guardian economics editor Larry Elliott and the panel comprised Claude Moraes, Labour MEP; Owen Tudor, head of European Union and International Relations, TUC; John Hilary, executive director of charity War on Want; and Vicky Pryce, chief economic adviser at the Centre for Economics and Business Research. There was also a room full of impassioned Guardian members. So what did we learn?

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay Caught Up In a Hosting Whac-A-Mole

        The Pirate Bay has been back online for more than two weeks but thus far it’s been rough sailing. The notorious torrent site has had to jump from hosting service to hosting service just to stay online and is still looking for a safe haven. At the same time, scammers keep hounding the site with fake files and malicious links.

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