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11.21.14

Links 21/11/2014: Problems at Debian, Jolla Tablet

Posted in News Roundup at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Security considerations for Enterprise Linux

    To maintain an application infrastructure that meets continually expanding business demands, organizations need more than a maintenance and support contract. Organizations need a proven, scalable, reliable, and secure enterprise platform.

  • About Linux Weekly News – 17th November 2014

    This week’s news is a tale of two stories.

    During the week Groupon tried to take the name from under the toadstool of the GNOME desktop and Microsoft became Linux friendly.

    Groupon provides low price coupons and deals for goods and services such as meals at restaurants, haircuts, hotel stays and spa days.

  • Linux Vs Unix: The Crucial Differences That Matter To Linux Professionals

    Lately, we hear a lot about Linux — how it’s dominating on servers, how it makes up a large chunk of the smartphone market, and how it’s becoming a highly viable option on the desktop. But Linux didn’t appear out of thin air; before the creation of Linux, and before the rise of Windows, the computing world was dominated by Unix. And for those who don’t know, Linux is very similar to Unix. Since we’ve already looked at the differences between Linux and Windows, what exactly is the difference between Linux and Unix?

  • Desktop

    • Purism seeks funding for 15-inch free software Linux laptop
    • Librem 15: Sexy Open Source Laptop Wants Your Money

      That free software refers to the fact that you have the liberty to change the laptop’s operating system. The Librem 15′s OS is based on the GNU operating system, which, with the relevant know-how, you can modify the code of to make it work however you want. Clearly, this notebook is for the tinker/programming enthusiast who wants a lot of control over the way their computers work.

    • Purism Librem 15 Linux laptop blends high-end hardware with totally free software

      We don’t normally cover crowdfunding campaigns on PCWorld, but sometimes one comes along that’s just begging for a deeper look. The Purism Librem 15 notebook is one of those.

      Purism, which launched a drive on Crowd Supply on Wednesday, is seeking at least $250,000 to make a high-end Linux laptop that only runs free, or open-source, software. This means no annoying closed-source drivers—or “binary blobs”—necessary to make the hardware work. Make no mistake—this is a serious, slick Linux notebook, not a bit of kit for hobbyist hackers.

    • LISA’14 – Are We Making Linux Too Easy?

      OpenLMI is designed to support this. The LMI CLI is task oriented, simple, and easy to use. All you really need to use the LMI CLI is “LMI help”. The LMIShell scripts are designed to do useful work, to be easy to read, and to be modified for specific tasks.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Outlaws Ride Into the Sunset

      Now, Lynch and Scherschel — Dan and Fab to their relatives, friends, and a wide listener base — are at the crossroads. Recently, with the episodes well into the 360s in number, they decided to finish out the year with Linux Outlaws and ride off into the sunset.

  • Kernel Space

    • In praise of Linux Software Raid

      It may interest some of you to know that we in Fedora Infrastructure use Linux Software Raid (mdraid) on all our servers local disks.

    • Introducing 300,000 People to Linux

      We’ve focused a lot of attention in recent years on making Linux learning materials more accessible to more people. This year, for example, together with our partner edX, we were able to offer our Intro to Linux course for free to nearly 300,000 people from all over the world. While the United States ranks first in the number of students taking Intro to Linux, it only represents about 30 percent of all class participants. The top geographies include the U.S., India, United Kingdom, Brazil and Spain. Linux attracted more people with this one course than the number of people who attended all seven games of the recent World Series combined.

    • Predicting the Future of Training for Linux, Open Source Software

      How much demand is there for Linux training? Enough to make the Linux Foundation’s inaugural MOOC online training course, “Introduction to Linux,” the most popular offering on the edX platform. So the open source advocacy group has pointed out in a memo that reveals much about the present and future of open source education.

    • Thoughts on Systemd

      Some folks say that systemd is the svchost.exe of Linux, saying it is essentially making
      Linux more like Microsoft Windows. It is a monolithic entity that hides what’s happening
      behind the scenes. It stomps on the Unix Philosophy (again) of doing one thing and
      doing it well. With systemd we have one large Swiss army knife of a tool that isn’t
      very good at anything in particular.

    • Kernel prepatch 3.18-rc5
    • Automotive Grade Linux Adds Industry Partners for Open Source Cars

      Cars may still not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Linux and open source, but the Linux Foundation’s Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) project continues to expand. This week, it announced three new members, bringing the total number of industry partners and academic collaborators to 46.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Is The Open-Source NVIDIA Driver Fast Enough For Steam On Linux Gaming?

        While I generally don’t recommend Nouveau for Linux gaming systems due to the re-clocking still being a huge work-in-progress to allow the graphics cards to effectively operate at their designated clock frequencies / performance states, I decided to run some fresh tests using the Linux 3.18 kernel and Mesa 10.4-devel to see where things stand today. For the tested Kepler graphics cards that support re-clocking, I tested them at their maximum obtained re-clocked frequencies where the system was stable — generally still below their rated core/memory frequencies.

      • More Radeon Driver Changes Queued For Linux 3.19

        Just one week after the bulk of the Radeon DRM changes for Linux 3.19, another round of updates were submitted for DRM-Next.

    • Benchmarks

      • Ubuntu 14.10 vs Kubuntu 14.10 vs Xubuntu 14.10 vs Lubuntu 14.10 vs Ubuntu GNOME 14.10: A Comparison

        So, in nutshell, I found Lubuntu 14.10 to be the best in performance among the Ubuntu distros. It offered me trouble free experience throughout my usage and I found it to be really stable. Anyone looking for a really really efficient distro and those with low powered machines can safely bet on Lubuntu 14.10

        Based on my experience, I found Ubuntu GNOME to be the second best offering very decent performance with a very refined desktop environment. I thought Xubuntu would occupy this position but unfortunately, a bit of instability in the distro marred my experience. I would safely recommend Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 to users with modern laptop with or without touchscreen over the rest of the four distros.

        As usual Kubuntu is the slowest of the lot and consumes the most power. You can expect the least battery life from Kubuntu. However, the desktop environment (specially the Plasma 5 upgrade) is mind blowing! Those with powerful modern machines and less usage of battery power can safely choose Kubuntu as it seemed to be the most exciting of the lot.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kubuntu 14.10 review

        KDE has improved in may respects since my last review of Kubuntu, so it’s fair to say that Kubuntu itself has improved. Muon Discover has improved too, so kudos to the developer. However, Kubuntu is not the best KDE-using distribution around. ROSA Desktop, for example, offers many more features than most KDE-using desktops. That said, Kubuntu 14.10 should be good enough for most users. If you would like to take it for a spin on your computer, installation images are available for download from here.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 8th June 2014
      • Kubuntu CI: the replacement for Project Neon

        Many years ago Ubuntu had a plan for Grumpy Groundhog, a version of Ubuntu which was made from daily packages of free software development versions. This never happened but Kubuntu has long provided Project Neon (and later Project Neon 5) which used launchpad to build all of KDE Software Compilation and make weekly installable images. This is great for developers who want to check their software works in a final distribution or want to develop against the latest libraries without having to compile them, but it didn’t help us packagers much because the packaging was monolithic and unrelated to the packages we use in Kubuntu real.

      • KDE Applications 14.12 Beta 3 Is Now Ready for Testing

        The KDE Project developers have announced that the 14.12 Beta 3 version of KDE Applications has been released and is now ready for download and testing.

        Now that this particular branch of the KDE project is getting closer to the release, some distributions and developers have added the packages to some repositories. Before trying to test it you should check if it’s already available in the local repos.

        “Today KDE released the beta of the new versions of KDE Applications. With dependency and feature freezes in place, the KDE team’s focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing. With various applications being based on KDE Frameworks 5, the KDE Applications 14.12 releases need a thorough testing in order to maintain and improve the quality and user experience,” wrote the developers on the official website.

  • Distributions

    • The Case Against Rolling Release Linux Distros

      Over the past year, I’ve spent more time than ever using rolling release Linux distributions. My experiences have been positive and negative, depending on the distribution and system updates applied.

      Having tried a number of different rolling release distros, I’ll be speaking frankly in this article about a solid case against rolling release distributions. But before you jump to any conclusions, it’s worth reading the entire piece to better understand where I’m going with this.

    • Reviews

      • Kubuntu 14.10 review

        KDE has improved in may respects since my last review of Kubuntu, so it’s fair to say that Kubuntu itself has improved. Muon Discover has improved too, so kudos to the developer. However, Kubuntu is not the best KDE-using distribution around. ROSA Desktop, for example, offers many more features than most KDE-using desktops. That said, Kubuntu 14.10 should be good enough for most users. If you would like to take it for a spin on your computer, installation images are available for download from here.

      • Cinnamon Desktop Spices Up Makulu Linux

        The Makulu Cinnamon Debian Edition 1.1 marks a new path for Makulu. This latest release has numerous new features that could make it a top competitor against the Linux Mint Cinnamon edition.

      • Hands-On: New KaOS Linux Release

        I wrote about KaOS Linux some time ago, when the 2014.06 release came out. I had it installed on a couple of my laptops, and I have been using it occasionally since then. It is a rolling release distribution, so if you already have it installed, you don’t need to get these new ISO images and install them, you just have to make sure that you are current with all the latest patches and updates.

      • Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn” Review: Fantastic performance and upgradable to GNOME 3.14

        I must say, GNOME 3 has come up a long way from being really unintuitive desktop environment to a more intuitive and efficient one. I really like what I see in Ubuntu GNOME 14.10. It is aesthetically very refined, intuitive, supports multi-touch (with GNOME 3.14 upgrade) and is very efficient. Plus, the customization options are good and you don’t need to be a techno wizard to make those changes.

        Though the distro has a support period of 9 months, you can safely try it out. I bet you’ll definitely enjoy it. Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 is definitely recommended from my side with the 2nd highest score I gave to any GNOME or GNOME forked (Cinnamon, Mate, Unity, etc.) distro that I reviewed during 2013-14.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • Arch Family

    • Slackware Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Sets New 12-Month High at $63.33 (RHT)
      • Red Hat play bets big on earnings

        Somebody’s putting all their chips on Red Hat’s next quarterly report.

      • Red Hat play bets big on earnings
      • Scientific Linux 7 – Poorly executed

        Apart from CentOS, another distro I have really been waiting to explore is Scientific Linux. With its solid RedHat base plus extra software, it could be an excellent contender for the ultimate desktop distro. And so our quest continues.

        What will amaze you even more is my decision to try the Gnome edition. Yup, after some three years of ignoring Gnome due to its stupidity, I decided to give it another try, just for fun, to see what gives. Maybe it can redeem itself, or be redeemed by Scientific Linux. Either way, it’s an interesting test.

      • Cue The SmackTalk–Red Hat And Mirantis Face Off

        Red Hat, that long time central hub of all things good and true and open source is appearing more and more to live up to its reputation of being, as one industry commentator put it, the Oracle ORCL -0.82% of open source. And that didn’t refer to buying islands and sponsoring yacht races either. The company has had something of a recent history of, if not playing dirty, at least being a little aggressive in its commercial activities. A recently regular target of its attacks has been Mirantis, itself no stranger to controversy and storms.

      • Red Hat Calls CloudFoundry the Unix of the Cloud

        In the world of cloud Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) technologies, there are now two primary open-source competitors, the Red Hat backed OpenShift and the Pivotal backed CloudFoundry.

        The CloudFoundry PaaS project was officially launched by VMware back in 2011. In 2012, then VMware CTO stated that his vision was for CloudFoundry to be, “the Linux of the cloud.”

      • Red Hat’s FeedHenry Gets A Dose Of Collaboration

        The idea of cross-team collaboration is spreading its tentacles to almost every part of the enterprise. The latest area to get a dose of the collaboration goodness is development and, in particular (at least this week) mobile development. A couple of days ago it was Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) vendor Kinvey announcing teams functionality and today it is the turn of FeedHenry, the formerly independent MBaaS vendor that is now a part of Red Hat RHT -0.44%. Red Hat is announcing a new version of FeedHenry that includes functionality aimed at helping development teams collaborate over their projects.

      • Fedora

        • The State of the Cloud Working Group and Fedora 21 Cloud

          As Fedora 21 approaches, let’s take a bit to examine the state of the Cloud Working Group (WG) — or, more importantly, the releases that are coming your way very soon! With Fedora 21 you’ll have two distinct Fedora “flavors” from the Cloud WG: ready to run images for public and private clouds, and Fedora 21 Atomic Host. And, to pique the buzzword crowd’s interest, here’s a spoiler – we’ll be talking about Docker.

        • Fedora 21 Is Doing Its Final Freeze Tomorrow
        • The Fedora Developers Plan To Switch Firefox With Epiphany, Somewhere Between The Releases Of Fedora 23 And Fedora 25
        • Fedora Infrastructure Freeze for Fedora 21

          Yesterday, Fedora Infrastructure went into “freeze”. This happens at the same time in the Fedora release cycle as the development freezes.

          First, what is a ‘freeze’? We mark all our hosts (with ansible variables) as either freezing or non freezing. Hosts are assumed to freeze unless they specifically are marked non freezing. If a host is non freezing, there’s no change for it. We could update it’s configuration in puppet or ansible, reinstall it, apply updates, reboot it, whatever we normally would like to do with it. However, if the host is frozen, we have to follow a new process to make any changes on it: A patch or description of the change has to be mailed to the fedora infrastructure list and get two people to approve it that are in the sysadmin-main or releng groups.

        • A response to Infoworld’s confusing article about Fedora

          The article dives into the productization of Fedora 21 that hopes to deliver a better experience for workstation, server, and cloud users. The article suggests that Red Hat drove Fedora development and that the goals of Red Hat and Fedora are closely aligned.

        • OPW Fedora Badges Intern… A Year Later!

          I can’t believe that my internship started almost a year ago! I participated in the seventh session of the Outreach Program for Women working on Fedora Badges. Time has gone by so quickly! Since my internship ended in March I have continued to stay active on the Fedora Badges project, creating more badge designs and helping others design their own. To date I have designed or collaborated on 97 badge designs in the Fedora Badges system.

        • There is no Substitute for #1. Fedora 21 Workstation. Linux Done Right.
        • Fedora Council Elections Start Today
    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Intel’s MICA fashion bracelet features Linux and 3G data

      Intel and Opening Ceremony unveiled a $495, Linux-based “MICA” smart bracelet with 3G data, Facebook notifications, navigation, and “intelligent reminders.”

      Intel teased its MICA (My Intelligent Communication Accessory) bracelet at the launch of the Edison module in September. Yet, while it is similarly based on Linux, the MICA appears to be too small to house the Edison. The MICA is co-designed by fashion design house Opening Ceremony, which along with Barneys, will begin selling the smart bracelet in early December for $495 via their retail and online venues.

    • 3 amazing Raspberry Pi gadgets we can’t wait to get our hands on

      There are some seriously cool Raspberry Pi-powered products on the way. Here are 3 that make us want to throw money at our screens…

    • Eben Upton: Google’s Eric Schmidt helped inspire Raspberry Pi Model A+ price cut

      While the Raspberry Pi has always been cheap, the Foundation didn’t rest on their laurels with the Model A+ price. In fact, Google’s Eric Schmidt had a hand in making it cheaper…

    • Phones

      • Tizen

      • Android

        • Google’s Massive New Android Update Just Launched, But Some Users Are Already Reporting A Big Problem

          Some users are reporting that there’s an issue with Google’s new Android 5.0 Lollipop update that prevents them from sending text messages, according to a thread in Google’s official forum for tracking bugs in Android (via Phone Arena).

          In the original complaint, one user says he or she is unable to send SMS text messages. The message would appear to be sent, but the receiver would never actually get the text.

        • Run Linux on Android – part1

          If you can’t wait for the launch of the official Ubuntu smartphones (the first models are supposedly due later this year), don’t want to shell out for a new phone anyhow, or would prefer to use a different version of Linux on a portable device, there is an alternative. It’s possible to run a variety of popular Linux distros on a standard Android smartphone or tablet – everything from a simple BusyBox toolset right up to a full distribution with a desktop environment. You don’t even need to root your phone for some of the methods that we explore in this feature.

        • Run Linux on Android – part 2
        • After Divorcing Microsoft, Nokia Reveals The N1, An Android Tablet Hitting China First

          “They said Nokia is dead,” Nokia’s head of devices Sebastian Nyström, pictured below, said as he started out his presentation today. “I say, they couldn’t be more wrong.” After the N1, there will be more products to come.

        • Free of the Phone Business, Nokia Delivers a Slick Android Tablet

          What ended up happening, though, was that Nokia sold its handset business to Microsoft and has been pursuing its own Android-focused initiatives, including delivering a brand new $250 Android tablet. It’s dubbed the N1 and is seen here.

        • 15 Android Apps That Will Make Your iPhone Friends Jealous

          One of the best things about Android is that apps have a lot more freedom compared to those found on iPhones.

          Today, most apps launch on both Android and iOS, but the most interesting Android apps are exclusive to Android because they do something Apple wouldn’t allow.

        • Gallery: Android 5.0 Lollipop, before and after

          Android 5.0 Lollipop—and the app updates that were released with it—changed the look of Android quite a bit. Google’s new design style, called “Material Design,” makes the OS more colorful, more consistent, and even more of a “light OS” than before. While we covered the OS in detail in our Lollipop review, we thought it would be fun to take a look at how the apps have changed during the journey from KitKat to Lollipop. In the above gallery, we’ve rounded up before-and-after shots of the major changes.

        • 16 Things You Can Do In Android Lollipop That You Couldn’t Do In KitKat

          After what feels like a long time since we saw the L Preview first appear, Google is now rolling out the final version of Android 5.0 Lollipop to its existing Nexus devices, and it also appears on the brand new Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 gadgets. Get to know the best version of Android yet by working through this selection of tips and tricks, covering all of the new features, major and minor, that are built into the operating system.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Jolla Tablet running open-source Sailfish OS based on Linux is already a smashing hit

        The Jolla Tablet is different from any slate currently on the market, and what makes it stand out is its operating system. More specifically, Jolla aims to take on Android and iOS with its own Sailfish OS, which is an open-source platform based on Linux.

      • Can the Linux-based Jolla Tablet take on Android and iOS?

        The Jolla Tablet runs Sailfish OS. Oddly enough, Sailfish OS can apparently run Android applications too, which might make it more appealing to current Android tablet owners who want to switch to a different mobile operating system without entering the Apple ecosystem.

      • This is The Linux-based Tablet You’ve Been Dreaming Of

        Like the Ubuntu Edge campaign that spectacularly failed/spectacularly smashed funding records, Jolla has turned to the crowdfunding site IndieGoGo to help make their Android-rivalling slate a bona fide reality.

        In barely a few hours Jolla has already surpassed its $380,000 target. And while that goal may sound cheap when compared to the $32 million Canonical sought to raise, the hardware the Fins are offering is anything but:

      • Finnish Sailfish/Android tablet rivalry heats up

        Jolla quickly hit the Indiegogo goal for its first Sailfish-based tablet, with a quad-core Intel SoC, while Nokia tipped a similar Atom-based Android slate.

      • Linux Tablet Developer Crowdfunds Mobile App Tools for Ubuntu, Android, iOS

        An outfit called the Demski Group has launched a Kickstarter campaign to support development of MAGE, a platform for building mobile apps without having to write code. On its own, that would not be interesting news—there’s plenty of similar stuff out there already—but what makes it noteworthy is Demski Group is the same company is behind the UT One, the Ubuntu Linux-based tablet whose release could come as early as next month.

      • Jolla’s Open Source Tablet Gets Crazy Crowd Love

        Jolla, the company set up by former Nokia executives to keep the Meego operating system alive, raised more than US$841,000 on Wednesday, the first day of its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 open source projects making the world better you should know

    One of the strengths of the open source community has been its ability to bring concentrated effort to bear on big problems. When tragedy strikes, or a pressing need arises, there are groups of people who gather together to attempt to solve the problems as a community.

  • How SanDisk is Becoming an Open Source Player

    Earlier this year SanDisk committed to becoming an open source player, created an open source strategy office and joined the Linux Foundation. Since then, the flash storage company has begun contributing to open source projects in the three main areas of its business: mobile, enterprise and hyperscale computing, and consumer products, said Nithya Ruff, director of the open source strategy office at SanDisk in an online presentation yesterday.

  • ClusterHQ Unveils Data Storage Tools for Docker Virtualization

    ClusterHQ says it has taken a major step toward making Docker, the open source, container-based virtualization platform, viable for enterprise production use in major public clouds including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Rackspace (RAX), thanks to integration of its Flocker data-storage tool with Docker Fig.

  • Google Leverages Old Technique with New Open Source Tool

    With what is being heralded as a look back to 1960s approaches to surveys and statistics, Google has announced a new open source project that seeks to collect data about users’ computers without invading their privacy. Dubbed RAPPOR, it is available on GitHub, and has been announced at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, which is often a venue for announcements of new technologies.

  • Twitter emoji: 5 lessons for effective open source

    An emoji library may seem an unlikely source of best practices for open source. But Twitter’s careful work provides an excellent guide

  • Events

    • Join Us at Vault: The Linux Storage and Filesystem Conference

      We’re currently accepting submissions for Vault, The Linux Foundation’s Linux storage and filesystem conference, happening this March 11 and 12 in Boston, MA. The call for proposals will remain open until December 1. Submit a session proposal and register to get your space.

  • Web Browsers

    • 5 Best Open Source Web Browser Security Apps

      The Web browser acts as the gateway for myriad online services these days. Computer security problems are far from solved, and technology advances provide new ways for malware to infect our devices and enter our business networks. For example, smartphones and tablets offer fresh new fields for malware—and its malicious cousin, “malvertising”—to exploit.

    • Cisco open sources security

      Cisco this week announced the availability of an open source security framework designed to harness big data analytics to combat data loss.

    • Chrome

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • Dwight Merriman Part III: Vendor Lock, Forks & Desktop FOSS

      MongoDB’s Dwight Merriman and I were about thirty minutes into our conversation at All Things Open. Lunch time was approaching and I was definitely hungry. Merriman was getting a little antsy, ready to wrap it up, but there were a few more things I wanted to talk about first.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 4.1 Beta 1

      This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site just to play with the new version. To test WordPress 4.1, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the beta here (zip).

  • Education

    • Software engineering in schools

      In iterative development, the process of designing, coding, testing and evaluating becomes a cycle rather than once and for all. Most modern software development fits into this pattern or a variant of it, hence new versions of software are regularly released which fix bugs that only became apparent once the software was released, or implement new features, in response to customer suggestions, technical innovations or market pressures. Often developers will release an early ‘beta’ version of their software, perhaps to a limited number or quite openly, to get help with testing and evaluating the software before committing to an official final release. This is common practice in open source development, where the users of the software are positively encouraged to help with fixing as well as finding bugs or adding code for new features themselves.

    • The digital open source library of tomorrow

      Too many people ask, “What is the future of libraries?” and not, “What should the future be?” A book that we must read is: Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries For Today’s Complex World. If we don’t expect more of libraries, we’re not going to see libraries change. We have to change the frame of mind that libraries belong the directors—they actually belong to the people and they should be serving the people.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Enterprise adoption of open source is on the rise

        It is no surprise that reducing operational IT expenditures, while simultaneously increasing the level of security and software capabilities, is a top priority for most enterprises.

        Open source software, which uses an open development process, is proliferating across the globe given the advantages it offers over traditional forms of software. Open source solutions can be modified and adapted to fit the needs of various companies – something that’s often not possible with proprietary software.

  • Funding

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Guix 0.8 released

      We are pleased to announce the next alpha release of GNU Guix, version 0.8.

      The release comes both with a source tarball, which allows you to install it on top a running GNU/Linux system, and a USB installation image to install the standalone operating system.

    • Free Software, Free as in Beer

      Conversely, for all the talk of political freedom, the usual free cost has also encouraged the spread of free software. Corporate startups, developing nations, the impoverished, the handicapped — all have gravitated towards free software despite their doubts, because the free price was the definitive argument.

  • Licensing

    • Dispelling the myths of open source licences

      Misconceptions surrounding the rights and obligations provided by open source software in the enterprise have fueled the spread of fear, uncertainty and doubt. A better understanding of the role open source licensing will help organizations realist the full potential of open source investments.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How to channel the spirit of farming into your open food code

      In the local food movement, open source principles are very much like the open pollinated seeds that farmers keep to grow next year’s crops. When farmers use their own seeds, they are in control of breeding and conserving for the future. In contrast, closed source and software as a service (SaaS) providers are more like the companies with patented seeds who exert control over farmers by requiring them to purchase new seeds each year, sometimes even controlling the sale of the harvested crops.

    • How do you envision better food in your neighborhood?

      As a society, we are far removed from our food sources and even further from understanding how they work. Most of us interact with the food system as unconscious consumers, wandering supermarket aisles or restaurant menus with little thought about where the food comes from, how it will affect us, or the consequences of how it was raised or produced. As such, we are in no position to make change for the better.

    • 4,100 new jobs through wildly successful NC farm grant program
  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Interview with OpenStand Advocate Tim Berners-Lee: The Internet Turns 25

      From the beginning, the Internet was built on a set of open development principles, that are now recognized as the OpenStand Principles. As the Internet turns 25 this year, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, sat down to reflect back on the first days of its existence. In the below video, he discusses how far web information has come, and how much more ground there is left to cover.

    • Too many IoT standards, or too few?

      Interoperability and the easy exchange of data is a major concern in the buildup of the Internet of Things (IoT). To ensure those attributes, a set of commonly accepted standards will be needed. So, do we need to create those standards, or do we already have enough standards and simply need to pick and choose?

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Thursday
    • Let’s Encrypt Effort Aims to Improve Internet Security

      Cisco, Akamai, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla and others join together in a new effort to expand cryptography use on the Web.
      In the quest for improved user security on the Internet, encryption is a key tool, though it hasn’t always been easy to use and deploy. Today, a group of organizations—including Mozilla, Cisco, Akamai, Electronic Frontier Foundation, IdenTrust and researchers at the University of Michigan—joined with the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) to announce the Let’s Encrypt initiative.

    • Synchronize Your Life with ownCloud

      Like most families these days, our family is extremely busy. We have four boys who have activities and appointments. My wife and I both have our own businesses as well as outside activities. For years, we’ve been using eGroupware to help coordinate our schedules and manage contacts. The eGroupware system has served us well for a long time. However, it is starting to show its age. As a Web-based groupware system, it’s pretty well polished, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Kontact or Thunderbird. Also, my wife finds that she needs to access her calendar from her Android phone, and eGroupware just isn’t very mobile-friendly. Sure, we can set up calendar synchronization, but eGroupware seems to have added synchronization as an afterthought, and it really doesn’t work as well as we’d like.

    • Lock Down Network Security with Newly Open Sourced Tools

      In recent months, without a lot of fanfare, major technology firms have been open sourcing extremely sophisticated security tools. A number of these are flying under the radar, but they are worth knowing about. Here are some of most useful tools to be open sourced recently by Google, Facebook and Netflix.

    • Manage own CA with Debian
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • No Debate on War
    • The Weight of a Death

      At least 28 people have been killed in US drone strikes in Afghanistan in November so far. Several of those were involved in tribal fighting against the Afghan government, but at least five were small children and total non-combatants were probably in double figures. These deaths do not go reported at all in western media. Cameron and Miliband both started at Prime Minister’s Questions today by condemning the killings in Jerusalem. No chance they will ever mention the ongoing US murders in Afghanistan, let alone the three Palestinians killed by Israelis lately, including a taxi driver lynched by Israeli illegal settlers.

    • PBS to Treasury Official: ‘Why Can’t You Just Bomb Them?’

      pbs-warner-isisPBS NewsHour correspondent Margaret Warner (11/18/14) had on the US Treasury official, David Cohen, who’s in charge of trying to counter ISIS by cutting off its finances. But it seems like it’s hard to talk to an elite media host for very long before they start fantasizing about blowing things up.

    • Right-Wing Media Falsely Claim That Museums Need To Give Up Their Guns

      Conservative media outlets are misleadingly promoting the report that a Washington state museum will return some firearms on display to their owners following the passage of a new background check initiative, while ignoring statements from law enforcement that there is no legal reason to remove the guns.

      On November 4, a majority of Washington voters passed Initiative 594, a proposal to require a background check on nearly all gun sales in the state, with some exceptions for temporary transfers and transfers between family members.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Edelman TransCanada Leak: Aggressive PR for Keystone Alt

      Leaked documents expose a plan by Edelman for TransCanada to launch an “aggressive” American-style policy/politics PR campaign to persuade Canadians to support a Canada-based alternative to the stalled Keystone XL pipeline to get controversial tar sands oil to refineries in eastern Canada for export.

    • No, Tar Sands Oil Isn’t Inevitable

      With the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline heating up, pundits and editorial pages are finding it hard to figure out why on earth anyone would be opposed to a massive new fossil fuel extraction project. Keystone opponents are the “tea party of the left,” according to Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank (11/17/14).

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Billionaires Push ALEC Agenda in Minneapolis School Board Election

      Calling for a “reboot” of public education in Minnesota, hundreds of thousands of dollars flowed into the Minneapolis school board elections this November to try ousting an incumbent and to usher in an education agenda that resembles that of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Ferguson Protests And Fox News’ Contempt For Free Speech

      Missouri Governor Jay Nixon on Monday issued a state of emergency and activated the National Guard in anticipation of the grand jury announcement about whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will be charged with the August 9 shooting of Michael Brown.

      The unarmed teen’s controversial death sparked weeks worth of protests, many of which were met with overwhelming police force. The killing also inspired a national debate about police shootings and law enforcement’s relationship with black Americans. (The Department of Justice is currently investigating the Ferguson police department.)

    • Should Obama Use Executive Action on Immigration? Ask Ronald Reagan

      Yet, the Reagan administration nonetheless declared it would exercise its “discretion by allowing minor children to remain in the United States even though they do not qualify on their own, but whose parents (or single parent in the case of divorce or death of spouse) have qualified” for legalization under the law.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Does Commissioner Oettinger Want to Discard Net Neutrality?

      Günther Oettinger, Digital Commissioner made his first post on his blog in which he clearly introduces garanteeing internet access in rural zones as justification to give in to the demands of the Telcos to consolidate or increase their unwarranted earnings. Although the author has tried to avoid mentioning Net Neutrality, this blog post reveals his intended strategy regarding this principle.

    • Is the EU Giving Up on Net Neutrality?

      After EU Commissioner Oettinger’s outrageous blog post, the bad news keeps on coming from the front of Net Neutrality. The principle, strongly defended by the Members of the European Parliament on April 3rd is worryingly jeopardized by an agreement currently discussed within the Council of the European Union. Governments are about to give in to the demands of big telecom operators by creating Internet fast-lanes whose access will be sold to dominant online services like YouTube or Netflix. Such unacceptable move, amounting to discriminating communications of all EU citizens, must be denounced by our representatives at the EU Parliament!

    • Net Neutrality in EU Under Attack *Again*

      This gratuitous element has the fingerprints of lobbyists all over it. It looks like yet another demonstration of how destructive and selfish the copyright industry is. As we’ve seen time and again – with the UK’s Digital Economy Act, for example – it cares little what collateral damage it causes to anyone else in its blinkered obsession with protecting outdated and broken business models. The latest bad news on net neutrality is a further reason why thoroughgoing European copyright reform is urgently required, and needs to be radical enough to minimise the malign influence of the music and publishing industries in the future.

11.18.14

Links 18/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC 5, New DigiKam

Posted in News Roundup at 12:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • 4 ways Docker is remaking Linux

      When containers first appeared in Linux, the natural assumption was that it would be yet another of many technologies that Linux has assimilated.

      But then came Docker, a novel use of containers to make apps portable and self-contained. It’s set Linux vendors scrambling, both to to rethink the way containers are implemented in Linux and to see how Linux can be reworked around Docker’s application-centric model.

      Here’s how four major enterprise Linux distributions are readying themselves for a Docker-ized future.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.18-rc5

      Hmm. We had a very calm -rc4, and I wish I could say that things
      continued to calm down, but… Yeah, rc5 is clearly bigger than rc4
      was. Oh well.

      It’s not like it’s entirely out of line, though – rc4 was unusually
      small. And the changes aren’t particularly odd or scary: about 55%
      drivers (networking, gpu, cypto, thermal, sound), 15% arch updates
      (xtensa, x86, arm[64], parsic, sparc), and the rest is a mostly a mix
      of netwoorking, filesystem, VM, documentation and tracing updates.
      The changes tend to be fairly small and clear, and about a third are
      marked for stable.

      So we still have a few pending issues, but things look fairly normal.
      We’ve still got a few weeks to go before final, and the more you can
      test, the better off we’ll be.

      Linus

    • Linux 3.18-rc5 Is A Bit Heavy On Changes
    • Linux Kernel 3.18 RC5 Is Out, Bigger than Linus Torvalds Expected

      A fresh Release Candidate for Linux kernel 3.18 has been announced by Linus Torvalds and it looks like it’s a little bit bigger than expected. In any case, things are on track and the development powers on.

    • Linux extremists owe Debian systemd maintainer an apology

      I’ve been aware of the systemd nastiness for quite a while, but I must admit that I was shocked to read about his resignation this morning. He has apparently been a long-time Debian developer and for him to be forced to this resignation by vicious attacks is really just beyond the pale. Fortunately, he is not leaving Debian altogether but is simply resigning as a systemd maintainer.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • digiKam Software Collection 4.5.0 released…

        The digiKam Team is proud to announce the release of digiKam Software Collection 4.5.0. This release includes bugs fixes and switch as optional some dependencies as libkipi, libkface, libkgeomap dedicated respectively to support Kipi plugins, Face management, and Geo-location maps. By this way we will be able to port digiKam to KF5/Qt5 step by step.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Release Notes for Grml 2014.11

        This Grml release provides fresh software packages from Debian testing (AKA jessie). As usual it also incorporates up2date hardware support and fixes known bugs from the previous Grml release.

      • Black Lab Professional Desktop 6.0 Service Release 2 Available Now

        Today we are announcing the immediate availability of Black Lab Professional Desktop 6.0 SR2. SR2 (Service Release 2) is a collection of all security updates for October and November 2014.

    • Screenshots

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Developer Resigns From The Systemd Maintainership Team
      • Resignation from the pkg-systemd maintainer team

        I hereby resign from the systemd maintainer team in Debian. Please remove me from Uploaders on the next upload. You’ve been an awesome team to work with, but the load of the continued attacks is just becoming too much.

      • on leaving

        I left Debian. I don’t really have a lot to say about why, but I do want to clear one thing up right away. It’s not about systemd.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • LoCo stands for Local Community

            LoCo is for Local CommunityThe other day there was a trivial blog post that came across Planet Ubuntu which proclaimed that a certain LoCo in the Ubuntu Community was no longer going to use the LoCo term because they felt it was offensive in spanish.

          • Developer Creates Gorgeous New Radial Menu for Ubuntu Touch – Video

            Most of the work done by third-party developers for the Ubuntu Touch platform consists of new apps and scopes and very few tackle stuff that is much deeper embedded in the operating system, but that has now changed.

          • Ubuntu Kylin 14.10 Utopic Unicorn : Video Overview and Screenshot Tours

            Ubuntu Kylin 14.10 Utopic Unicorn is latest release of Ubuntu Kylin based on ubuntu 14.10 that used Unity desktop environment. As official ubuntu flavors it released brings with improved stability along with newly added features which provides better user experience.

            According to Official announcement of Ubuntu Kylin 14.10. In this release, Ubuntu Kylin team has improve the system stability and add more new features, which provide you a better user experience. The Linux Kernel is updated to Ubuntu Kernel 3.16.0-17.23 based on 3.16.3 upstream version and Unity is 7.3.1. This release upgrades Ubuntu Kylin Software Center to 1.1.3, Youker Assistant 1.3.1, Youker Weather 2.1.2, Youker Calendar 1.0.0, Youker Fcitx 1.0.0, Sogou IM 1.1.0, Kuaipan 2.0.0 and Wiznote 2.1.12. Meanwhile, we have done lots of optimization and enhancement for you, with new slideshow and new wallpapers from 14.10 Wallpaper Contest!

          • Ubuntu 32-Bit ISO Images Are Not Going Away Anytime Soon

            Numerous Linux distributions have stopped providing 32-bit images for their users, but most of those OSes don’t have large user bases. It’s easy to say that you don’t support 32-bit apps and that you won’t build 32-bit images when there are not too many users for your operating system, but things change when that distro is Ubuntu.

          • UbuTricks 14.11.17 Released with Support for 6 New Apps, 20 Updated Apps

            This new version adds support for six new applications and 20 apps with updated versions. The new applications are Exaile, Yarock, GNOME Commander (Trusty), SimpleAudioPlayer, Kid3 and Fotoxx (DEB).

          • Ubuntu Server 14.10 Utopic Unicorn : Released with OpenStack 2014.1
          • Flavours and Variants

            • The Ultimate Ubuntu MATE Installation Guide

              In all truth this guide will show you how to install Ubuntu MATE on a computer with a standard BIOS. If you are looking to install on an EFI based system then a future guide will cover that.

            • Ubuntu MATE VS Lubuntu On An Old Netbook

              Up until last week the netbook was running Lubuntu 14.04 and before that it was running Lubuntu 13.10 and before that Lubuntu 13.04. I have tried a number of different distributions on this netbook over the years but Lubuntu has been the go to distribution because of its performance.

              I was preparing to write about the latest Lubuntu 14.10 release but instead decided to give the new Ubuntu MATE edition a go after seeing it in action as a live distribution on my far more powerful Toshiba Satellite Pro.

            • Linux Mint 17.1 with Cinnamon 2.4 Looks Beautiful [Overview, Screenshots, What's New]

              The next Linux Mint Cinnamon edition is knocking on the door and a Release Candidate was put out yesterday. This release will bear the version number 17.1, and it is codenamed “Rebecca”. In this overview I will look at the release candidate for Mint 17.1, focusing on the main new features in Cinnamon, which ships the latest bleeding edge version in Rebecca, and will accompany it with screenshots for the desktop and the new changes that went into it.

            • Linux Mint 17 RC “Rebecca” MATE Is Out and Features Full Compiz Support – Screenshot Tour

              Linux Mint 17 RC “Rebecca” MATE has been officially announced and the ISOs have been made available for download. It’s a big improvement over the previous 17 version and it will be a very interesting update.

            • Linux Mint 17.1 RC “Rebecca” Cinnamon Officially Released – Screenshot Tour

              Clement Lefebvre has launched the first Release Candidate for Linux Mint 17.1. “Rebecca” Cinnamon is now available for download and comes accompanied by a major update for the desktop environment.

            • An Unofficial Lubuntu 14.10 Image Using LXQt Has Been Released

              As you may know, the LXDE developers have started porting their desktop environment to Qt, under the name of LXQt. It uses PCManFM-Qt, a version of PCManFM, re-written in Qt, as the default file manager and Openbox as window manager and has support for Wayland, a new display server developed by Red Hat.

              Recently, a Lubuntu image using LXQt as default has been released, to allow the users to test the new desktop environment.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Samsung Gear S now on Amazon India for Rs 27,900

          As we wait for the first Tizen based Smartphone to be released in india, the Samsung SM-Z130H, it seems like that is not the only Tizen based device to make a splash in the Indian subcontinent. The Samsung Gear S has gone on sale on Amazon India for Rs 27,200 which is about $452 USD. It is felt that this is quite a steep price for the average Indian to pay, but generally speaking this is not the cheapest of devices and is at the current cutting edge of technology.

      • Android

        • Review: Android’s ‘Lollipop’ upgrade is sweet

          Android’s sweet new “Lollipop” flavor brings security improvements and easier ways to view and respond to notifications. The new Google software for mobile devices even lets you lend out your phone without worrying about a friend circulating your naked selfies on Facebook.

          I tested Lollipop on Google’s new Nexus 6 phone, released this week. I can only hope that as other phones get the upgrade over time, it will be as good as what you get on the Nexus.

          It’s a shame many phone manufacturers that use Android believe they have to tweak it extensively to make the software theirs and not Google’s. Mucking around with it only confuses customers and steers app developers toward working on iPhone versions first, where there is more uniformity — and thus incentive to incorporate the latest features.

          Assuming your phone maker is running Lollipop in its purest form, here’s what you’ll get:

        • How to Build Awesome Android Apps

          Over the years, Android has grown from a simple mobile operating system to a highly profitable ecosystem. Among the people to benefit from this growth are Google, gadget manufacturers (Samsung, HTC, Motorola), and millions of app developers from around the world. With multiple ways to monetize applications, Android has been responsible for turning many small-time developers into the “rich geeks” who have made quite a following for themselves in the pop culture.

        • Lollipop OTAs Have Started For The Nexus 5, 6, 7 (2012 And 2013), 9, And 10

          Can you feel it? It’s in the air. Of course I’m referring to the impending arrival of Android 5.0 on Nexus devices. It’s starting now with a full jump to Lollipop for devices that are currently on KitKat, and a small bug fix update for new devices like the Nexus 9.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 14 fabulous open source gifts for the holidays

    Firefox OS for mobile runs as the backbone of the Alcatel One Touch Fire and the ZTE Open smartphone. They are the first of their kind based entirely on open web standards. Emily Price for Mashable tells us, “That means everything on the phone is running in a web browser… Mozilla is not going after the type of customers who are obsessed with the screen size and type or processing power of their device. It’s targeting customers who just need to communicate with the world around them, and it’s giving them a much more feature-rich way to do so.”

  • Can India break the pattern and do open source right?

    The government of India has recently announced a big push into open source as a part of its Digital Initiative. For a country of more than a billion people and thousands of government organizations, I see this as a long overdue move that will hopefully boost the faltering free and open source software communities in India.

    On the face of it, this initiative should not be written off as yet another bureaucratic exercise into nothingness, because the program seems to be headed by an able administrator, RS Sharma, who was a part of the massive Universal ID (UID) project executed by the government of India. That project has issued bio-metric based IDs to around 700 million Indians. Mr. Sharma and has also managed to build an impressive and tasteful attendance application based on the UID infrastructure.

    From my experience in the free and open source software industry, I think if public money could be used to either build a public or private asset, it should be used to create public assets.

  • FLOSS And Government In India

    FLOSS is the right way to do IT for everyone. Governments may feel FLOSS is unnecessary/different/unusual at their peril.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Licence fine forces town to drop move to alternative office tools

      The Dutch city of Arnhem has, for now, given up searching for alternatives for its office productivity tools, after settling a claim with a dominant software vendor for unlicensed use of its office software. To compensate for not having adequately licensed the software used by the town’s civil servant’s who were working from home, Arnhem has paid 600,000 euro for new licences. These allow the use of the ubiquitous proprietary office software for the next three years, says the city’s CIO, Simon Does.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Linux for lettuce

      What infuriates Myers, though, is that patents such as the one Seminis is seeking don’t just impede sharing; they deter others from using their own germplasm. As the examiner noted, Seminis’s patent application claims essentially all broccoli with an exserted head of a commercial size. If Myers’s plants are too similar to those grown by Seminis, he won’t be able to release his own variety for fear of patent infringement. Even if he did, no farmer or seed company would use it lest they be sued for the same violation.

    • Open Data

      • Finding the sweet spot for data between privacy and open

        Every municipality should have an open data champion. The City of Raleigh, the capital city of North Carolina, is fortunate to have Jason Hare, an open data program manager and an open data consultant. Last year, Hare lead the effort to deploy a beta version of the first open data portal for Raleigh that went live earlier this year after another iteration with even more data available to the public.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Dr Matt Taylor’s shirt made me cry, too – with rage at his abusers

      Except, of course, that he wasn’t crying with relief. He wasn’t weeping with sheer excitement at this interstellar rendezvous. I am afraid he was crying because he felt he had sinned. He was overcome with guilt and shame for wearing what some people decided was an “inappropriate” shirt on television. “I have made a big mistake,” he said brokenly. “I have offended people and I am sorry about this.”

      I watched that clip of Dr Taylor’s apology – at the moment of his supreme professional triumph – and I felt the red mist come down. It was like something from the show trials of Stalin, or from the sobbing testimony of the enemies of Kim Il-sung, before they were taken away and shot. It was like a scene from Mao’s cultural revolution when weeping intellectuals were forced to confess their crimes against the people.

      Why was he forced into this humiliation? Because he was subjected to an unrelenting tweetstorm of abuse. He was bombarded across the internet with a hurtling dustcloud of hate, orchestrated by lobby groups and politically correct media organisations.

      [...]

      It’s the hypocrisy of it all that irritates me. Here is Kim Kardashian – a heroine and idol to some members of my family – deciding to bust out all over the place, and good for her. No one seeks to engulf her in a tweetstorm of rage. But why is she held to be noble and pure, while Dr Taylor is attacked for being vulgar and tasteless?

  • Hardware

    • Anti-Competitive Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

      One of the disadvantages to buying an Apple system is that it generally means less upgradeability and flexibility than a system from a traditional PC OEM. Over the last few years, Apple has introduced features and adopted standards that made upgrading or using third-party hardware progressively more difficult. Now, with OS X 10.10 Yosemite, the company has taken another step down the path towards total vendor lock-in and effectively disabled support for third-party SSDs.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • An Embattled ALEC, Buoyed by Election Results, Lays Blueprint for 2015

      The midterm elections may have given the embattled American Legislative Exchange Council a new lease on life. ALEC has been bleeding corporate members, but with Republicans now in control of 68 out of 98 state legislative bodies, there are fewer impediments to the enactment of the corporate-friendly legislation that ALEC peddles — and in early December, ALEC and the corporations that still fund it will likely lay out the legislative blueprint for 2015 at the ALEC States & Nation Policy Summit in Washington, DC.

    • Will Bob Schieffer Move Toward the Center?

      All of this on a show that is regularly stocked full of Republican and right-leaning guests, the most popular in the show’s history being John McCain.

    • No, NPR Did Not Ask Cosby About Rape Accusations

      Now, Cosby surely knew what Simon was referring to–as did media writers who reported on the interview. But you know who likely didn’t know what Simon was talking about? Most of his audience, given that the rape allegations have received remarkably little coverage since they first emerged almost a decade ago.

  • Censorship

    • Does Twitter have a secret weapon for silencing trolls?

      In recent months, Twitter has come under fire for the proliferation of harassment on its platform—in particular, gendered harassment. (According to the Pew Center, women online are more at risk from extreme forms of harassment like “physical threats, stalking, and sexual abuse.”) Twitter first implemented the ability to report abuse in 2013, in response to the flood of harassment received by feminist activist Caroline Criado-Perez. The recent surge in harassment has again resulted in calls for Twitter to “fix” its harassment problem, whether by reducing anonymity, or by creating better blocking tools that could mass-block harassing accounts or pre-emptively block recently created accounts that tweet at you. (The Blockbot, Block Together, and GG Autoblocker are all instances of third party attempts to achieve the latter.) Last week, the nonprofit Women, Action, & the Media announced a partnership with Twitter to specifically track and address gendered harassment.

    • Twitter Testing Secret Filter To Stop Abuse: Is That A Good Thing Or An Attack On Free Speech?
    • Roca Labs Issues Bogus DMCA Takedown Notices To Google To Try To Hide PissedConsumer Reviews

      Yes, we’re back again with another Roca Labs story already. Lawyer Ron Coleman alerts us to the latest ridiculous legal strategy by Roca Labs: send a DMCA notice to Google to try to hide the negative reviews of Roca Labs on PissedConsumer.com. As you know, Roca Labs is suing PissedConsumer because it hosts some negative reviews of Roca’s product (a claimed “alternative” to gastric bypass surgery). The DMCA notice in question claims that thumbnails used on the PissedConsumer reviews violate its copyright, and further, that PissedConsumer violates Roca Labs trademarks by using Roca Labs in the URL for the Roca Labs reviews.

    • Will the Great Firewall of Australia block pirate websites?

      The slippery slope to Australia becoming an authoritarian capitalist state with restricted Internet access like China is looming with the excuse being that pirate sites need blocking, even though VPNs can easily get around government enforced restrictions.

  • Privacy

    • Documents Obtained By The ACLU Show NSA’s Inability To Prevent Collection Of US Persons’ Data And Communications

      The ACLU has freed up more NSA documents — again as the result of a FOIA lawsuit. Some of what’s been obtained provides a few more details on the NSA’s reliance on Executive Order 12333 to perform its data and communications harvesting. This Executive Order is, and always has been, the go-to authority for the NSA. This allows it to bypass nearly every form of oversight. There’s no FISA court involvement or input from Congressional oversight committees. The NSA relies almost exclusively on the good graces of the Executive Branch — something that has worked out in its favor for the past two presidencies.

    • ORG calls for political parties to state their position on surveillance

      At their annual conference, ORGCon14, Open Rights Group (ORG) have called on politicians to address surveillance by the police and security services in their manifestos for May’s General Election. The digital campaigners believe that a big increase in ORG’s membership over the last year and a half shows that surveillance is becoming a key issue for voters. They are calling on political parties to state their policies so that the electorate can make an informed choice about who will protect their rights to privacy and free speech.

    • University lacks policy for preserving public records

      Of the many grievances voiced against former Athletic Director Dave Brandon before his departure Oct. 31, lack of transparency was at the forefront. Brandon’s consistent response to requests for his public records, however, was in line with University policy.

    • BND to hire hackers to check shopping carts

      Germany’s foreign intelligence agency plans to spend millions to penetrate the secure connection technologies used by social networks, banks and online shops.

    • German Spy Agency Wants To Buy Zero-Day Vulnerabilities In Order To Undermine SSL Security
    • Senator Harry Reid Going To Try To Push Through USA Freedom Act Before GOP Takes Over Senate

      There were some rumors that, with the GOP about to take over the Senate, the Democratic leadership might try to finally move forward with the USA Freedom Act. The Senate bill has been languishing, despite it being considered a “compromise” bill that was widely acceptable to both intelligence community folks and many in the civil liberties community. Over the last few months, civil liberties and consumer activists groups have been growing less pleased with the bill, as the deeper they’ve explored it, the more worried they’ve become about some of how it might be abused. However, it’s still considered by many to be a good start, if not (in any way) a perfect bill.

    • Ontario Police Inspector Says He Wants A ‘Driver’s License For The Internet’

      Naylor obviously realizes his idea will be unpopular, hence the “child sexual exploitation” lead-in. That makes his assertion binary. Either you’re for an internet driver’s license or you’re for child molestation: which is it? This is a common law enforcement affliction — seeing anything that makes the job slightly more difficult as a barrier to be eliminated.

    • Russian Law Demanding User Data Remain On Russian Soil Could Turn Into A Ban On Apple Products

      A law outlawing the use of offshore servers to store Russian internet users’ data and content goes into effect at the beginning of 2015. That means popular products like Apple’s iPhone and iPad will all be technically violating Russian law with their automatic iCloud syncing.

    • Russia to ban iCloud.. to PROTECT iPhone fiddlers’ pics ‘n’ sh*t

      Anti-data-offshoring laws will come into force on New Year’s Day 2015 that require all data generated within Russia to be stored within its borders.

    • EVERYTHING needs crypto says Internet Architecture Board

      The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) has called for encryption to become the norm for all internet traffic.

      Last Friday, the IAB issued a statement saying that since there is no single place in the Internet protocol stack that offers the chance to protect “all kinds of communication”, encryption must be adopted throughout the protocol stack.

    • Open Rights Group presses political parties on privacy policies

      UK PEOPLE BACKER the Open Rights Group (ORG) has called on the main political parties to clarify their views on privacy and surveillance, and let the electorate know how they intend to treat personal information.

    • Sir Tim Berners-Lee: we need more MPs who know how to code

      More politicians need to be able to code if they are to legislate effectively on technology, Sir Tim Berners-Lee said on Saturday.

      Berners-Lee, who invented the world wide web in 1989, said it is crucial that politicians appreciate the technical capabilities of computers and that a knowledge of coding is key.

      Speaking at the Every Second Counts Forum, the renowned computer scientist said: “Being able to code means that you understand what people can do with a computer. You need to be able to understand what people can do with a computer to make laws about it.

    • Encryption should be the norm, says internet overlord

      ENCRYPTION SHOULD BE a matter of priority and used by default. That’s the message from the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the worldwide body in charge of the internet’s technology infrastructure.

  • Civil Rights

    • Chicago School Zone Speed Cams Tag Drivers Even In The Summer, Because Chicago

      Well, this is fun. We just recently wrote about how Chicago’s speed cameras, ostensibly all to do with safety, failed to bring in as much money as Mayor Rahm Emanuel had suggested in his budget plan. Yes, tickets based on speed cameras were worked into the budget numbers, which is a strange thing to do if they’re supposed to be about safety and not money. Safe driving, in other words, should not trigger a budget crisis. But it turns out the ticketing revenue might still be inflated, even at the crisis number, as a bunch of speeding tickets were generated by cameras within school zones flagging drivers for driving over the school zone limit in the summertime.

    • A tiny town in Michigan will sell you a police badge and gun permit

      Oakley, Mi. is barely a town at 300 people, only one streetlight and, until recently, one police officer. The one cop was good at his job, reports Vocativ’s M.L. Nestel, until he was forced to step down after getting caught stalking a teenage girl.

      In 2008, new chief Robert Reznick made some changes: he hired 12 full-time officers and started an enormous volunteer officer program which allowed lawyers, doctors and football players (from other towns) to work toward upholding the law.

      One qualifies for this prestigious program simply by paying $1,200 to the police department. In return, you’ll get a uniform, bullet-proof vest and gun. For an additional donation, you’ll get a police badge and the right to carry your gun basically anywhere in the state, including stadiums, bars and daycares.

    • The FBI Is Offended That It Isn’t Allowed To Control How The Press Portrays Its Deceptive Activities

      The last few weeks have revealed a bunch of deceptive practices by law enforcement — mainly the FBI. First, there was the revelation that the FBI had impersonated an online news story to install malware in trying to track a high school bomb threat. Then, there was a story from a couple of weeks ago about the FBI turning off internet access at some luxury villas in Las Vegas, and then acting as repair technicians to get inside and search the place (while filming everything). That was a story we had hoped to cover, but hadn’t yet gotten to it. However, after the NY Times editorial board slammed that operation, FBI Director James Comey wrote a reply defending the FBI’s “use of deception.”

    • Part Of CIA Torture Report May Finally Be Released Next Week, As More Details Leak
    • The Senate Report on CIA Interrogation Is About to Reignite Debate Over the Killing of Osama Bin Laden

      “It’s irrelevant whether torture ‘worked,’” said Zeke Johnson, a spokesman for Amnesty International. “We don’t ask about the efficacy, for example, of genocide or rape. Torture is immoral and always illegal. The US government must disclose the full truth about the torture program, ensure justice for victims, and end impunity.”

    • It Is Racist To Be Worried About Immigration

      The wealthy right-winger Yvette Cooper has just been on television intoning Labour’s new mantra “It isn’t racist to be worried about immigration.” This should be challenged robustly at all times. Above all, it is very, very racist for politicians to go around saying “It isn’t racist to be worried about immigration” when they are using it nakedly and cynically to bid for the votes of racists.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Comcast Supports The President’s Net Neutrality Plan, Except For The Only Part That Does Anything Meaningful

      Most of the industry’s biggest ISPs have spent the last week either threatening to sue over the President’s surprising support of Title II, or in the case of AT&T, pouting like a child and making empty threats. Most of the biggest ISPs also spent the week insisting that the FCC should simply back away from meaningful consumer protections, leaving such heady tasks to a broken, bickering Congress awash in telecom lobbying cash.

    • Republicans And Democrats Alike Overwhelmingly Support Net Neutrality; Why Don’t GOP Officials In Congress Recognize This?

      Within hours of President Obama’s surprise call for true net neutrality rules under Title II, Republicans in Congress were in a full-fledged freakout. Beyond the nutty comparisons to Obamacare or suggesting that this will lead to greater oppression in Russia, China and Iran (no, really, that claim was made), a bunch of elected Republicans in Congress sent a letter to the FCC strongly opposing Title II, insisting that it would be “beyond the scope of the FCC’s authority.”

    • Tom Wheeler Still Wants To ‘Split The Baby’; Forgetting That The Point Of That Story Was Not To Actually Split The Baby

      The Washington Post put up an article last night claiming that FCC boss Tom Wheeler is telling tech companies that he isn’t going to follow President Obama’s net neutrality plan, following the President’s surprise announcement on Monday of his support for real net neutrality rules under Title II. We’ve heard from a few people who were at that meeting who claim that the Washington Post article isn’t entirely accurate. It is true that Wheeler is still very interested in a potential hybrid plan that almost no one likes, but that much of Wheeler’s statements at the meeting were actually more focused on delaying an official decision by the FCC, which many had expected to come in a December FCC meeting. Wheeler, it appears, wants more time to study the different options. Another FCC commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel (who seems more likely to support a plan including Title II reclassification), has apparently been pushing for the FCC to stick to the existing schedule and to make a decision “without delay.”

    • Colorado Residents Wake Up, Vote To Bypass Protectionist State Broadband Laws

      As we’ve noticed in the past, if there’s a place to start fixing U.S. broadband competition, it’s the nearly two-dozen state protectionist broadband laws written and passed by the nation’s incumbent ISPs. Said laws either hinder or outright ban towns and cities from building and/or improving their own broadband networks, even in cases where local private companies refuse to. In several instances, the laws even prohibit government collaboration with private companies in any way.

    • Net neutrality is as simple as freedom vs. monopoly

      As information services, the court ruled, ISPs were exempt from the FCC’s regulations. No sooner had the FCC’s Net neutrality rules lost their teeth, then the big ISPs began playing fast and loose with their interconnects to artificially constrain their networks in order to extort money from Netflix. In short order, the worst of my predictions quickly became reality. One prediction I definitely didn’t make: We’d be faced with the threat of Comcast and Time Warner Cable merging to form the worst company that ever existed.

    • Seven Design Firms Give ‘Net Neutrality’ a Makeover

      Net neutrality is making friends and influencing people these days: President Obama, plucky tech startups, 81 percent (PDF) of the U.S. public, even corporate giants far from Silicon Valley. Imagine how much more attractive the policy would be if it weren’t saddled with the vague and unlovable name “net neutrality.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Lawsuit Filed Against European Commission In EU’s Highest Court For Refusing To Allow Official TAFTA/TTIP Petition

      This really goes to the heart of the problem not just with TAFTA/TTIP, but also with TPP and the new TISA. The public is told that it cannot comment while the negotiations are being conducted, but that it should wait to see the final document. At that point, it is then told that there is no point in commenting, since nothing can be changed, and so the agreement must simply be accepted.

    • European Commission taken to court for ‘stifling dissent’ over EU-US trade deal
    • Copyrights

      • Giganews Not Liable for Pirating Usenet Customers, Court Rules

        A federal court in California has ruled that Usenet service provider Giganews is not guilty of copyright infringement, nor can it be held responsible for customers who do pirate content. The case in question was brought by adult magazine publisher Perfect 10 which previously lodged similar complaints against Amazon, Google and RapidShare.

      • Consumer Organizations And Internet Companies Mount Legal Challenge To Italy’s Extreme Copyright Enforcement Regulations

        Techdirt has been following for a while the saga of Italy giving its Authority for Communications Guarantees (AGCOM), which regulates broadcasting and telecommunications, wide-ranging new powers to police online copyright infringement too. That culminated in the first instances of Web sites being blocked without any kind of judicial review earlier this year. Since then, there has been an important development as civil organizations and Internet companies have mounted a legal challenge to the new regulations.

      • The Copyright Monopoly Wars Are About To Repeat, But Much Worse

        The copyright monopoly war wasn’t the war, it was the tutorial mission. The internet generation is using technology to assert its values and its place in society, and the old industrial generation is pushing back hard against irrelevance. Things are about to get much worse.

      • Dotcom Faces Jail Following Application to Revoke Bail

        Kim Dotcom’s predicament worsened today when a prosecutor revealed that a bail revocation application is underway which could put back behind bars as early as next week. In the meantime Dotcom is being restricted on land, sea and air.

      • €40k brothel bill ‘work-related’: copyright boss

        A former executive with Spain’s main copyright organization has been sentenced to prison for spending €40,000 ($50,000) in brothels using a corporate credit card, with a judge describing as “nonsense” the man’s claims that the visits were work-related.

      • Spain Copyright Executive Claims $50k Brothel Bill Was For Work-Related Activities

        When you write about as many different people, groups and organizations as we do here at Techdirt, you occasionally forget to check in on some places and people occasionally. Take SGAE, for instance. It’s the Spanish music collection group that has made a name for itself chiefly stealing money from artists, epitomizing corruption, and generally behaving like pain-in-the-butt asshats whenever given the opportunity. We haven’t checked on SGAE in about three years or so, so I assume the group has completely turned itself around and are now a shining example of above-board behavior?

11.16.14

Links 16/11/2014: Xfdesktop 4.10.3, GNU Hello 2.10

Posted in News Roundup at 5:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Japan: Train fans experience super-fast maglev speed

      One hundred passengers whizzed along a 42.8km (27 mile) route between the cities of Uenohara and Fuefuki, reaching speeds of up to 500km/h (311mph), The Asahi Shimbun website reports. The Central Japan Railway Company is running eight days of testing for the experimental maglev Shinkansen train on its test track in Yamanashi Prefecture. In total, 2,400 people will take part in the tests after winning tickets in a raffle. They represent a lucky minority – there had been more than 100 times that number of applications, the report says. “I applied for my nephew who is a big railway fan, but now I am more excited than he is,” one passenger, who was travelling with his parents and two young nephews, tells the website.

    • Stunning fossil shows pregnant mare and fetus

      Forty-seven million years ago, a pregnant mare and its unborn foal lost their lives, perhaps chased into a lake, where they drowned. Where they died, however, was a stroke of luck for 21st century paleontologists. Their fossilized remains were discovered in the Messel Pit, a former coal and oil shale mine near Frankfurt, Germany, that is famous for its exquisitely preserved fossils. The mare and her fetus are now giving scientists an unprecedented glimpse into the anatomy and reproduction of this early horse species, Eurohippus messelensis. Like other early horses, the mare was small, only about the size of a fox terrier, says Jens Franzen, a paleontologist at the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Frankfurt, who presented the prepared fossil for the first time yesterday at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology annual meeting here.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Dutch authorities identify highly contagious bird flu strain

      Dutch authorities said on Sunday they had found a highly contagious strain of bird flu at a poultry farm in the central Netherlands and set about destroying 150,000 chickens.

      The strain, H5N8, has never been detected in humans, but an outbreak in South Korea meant millions of farm birds had to be slaughtered to contain the outbreak. Cases have also been reported in China and Japan, although the strain was first reported in Europe, on a German farm, in early November.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Massachusetts School Installs Military-Style Shooter-Detection System

      A technology adapted from a U.S. military “smoke alarm for gunfire” was installed recently in a Massachusetts school, a protective measure implemented weeks after a deadly high school shooting in Washington State.

    • Selling Fear: The First US School Installs A Shooting Detection System

      Congratulations, America. A defense contractor tried to sell you on the idea that our schools are war zones and you bit like a musky on a minnow. The manufacturer’s website, along with most of the accompanying news articles, are filled with statistics all about how school and mass shootings are on the rise. Obviously this serves as evidence that such shooter detection systems are needed. That way, the $100k per school systems can alert authorities when these increasingly common shootings occur. The most common figure you’ll hear from these contractors and in the news is the same one authorities used in buying this detection system: there have been 88 school shootings in America since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. The claim comes from Everytown.org, an organization dedicated to gun control and safety. And if that statistic sounds shocking to you, there’s a very good reason for that: it’s complete bullshit.

    • Obama administration considering ramping up CIA’s role in training Syria rebel fighters: report

      The CIA currently vets and trains about 400 fighters a month, the same number expected to be trained by the Pentagon when its program reaches capacity by late next year, The Post reported.

    • Present at the creation: ‘America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East’

      The period in question is the end of World War II until the Kennedy administration was, to say the least, formative and what happened then is clearly relevant to the circumstances in which the United States finds itself now.

      Current tensions foreshadowed in the 1950’s include the U.S. approach to the Israeli-Palestinian imbroglio, unrest in cornerstone Egypt, monarchic rule in Saudi Arabia, and perhaps most important of all, the role of Persian, Shiite Muslim Iran in the region.

    • Could relationship between CIA, military be at risk?

      He said the CIA and military started working together after 9/11. Before that, there was little partnership between the two. Because of budget cuts, both are at risk of losing the progress they have made, said Oakley (pictured), who is working on his doctorate in security studies from Kansas State University.

    • The CIA Won the Midterms

      Incoming intel committee chair Richard Burr will end any hope of holding out of control spy agencies accountable.

    • Ex-US officials criticise Obama ‘micromanagement’

      He compared the Obama administration to that of Lyndon Johnson, who personally chose military targets in the Vietnam war. “It was the micromanagement that drove me crazy,” Gates said. The former defence chief said that Obama’s administration stands in contrast to both Bush administrations, where once a decision was made, there was no micromanagement.

    • Germany regrets diplomat’s expulsion from Moscow

      A German diplomat working in Moscow has been expelled, a German government official said, shortly after a Russian diplomat working in Bonn was expelled amid media reports he was a spy.

      “We regret this unjustified action and expressed that to the Russian government,” a German official said in a statement late on Saturday after Der Spiegel magazine reported the German was expelled in retaliation for the Russian’s explusion.

    • Former navy Seal says public has right to know how he killed Osama bin Laden

      After helicoptering to the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, assaulting the house and killing three men and a woman, some of the Seals reached the third floor, where a CIA analyst had told O’Neill that Bin Laden would be. O’Neill followed an unnamed point man into Bin Laden’s bedroom, he told the AP, and the point man tackled two women, believing they had a bomb, in what O’Neill calls an incredibly selfless act.

    • Contras and drugs, three decades later

      …Reagan administration had illegally aided a stateless army known as the Contras in Central America.

    • Historic photos of dead Che Guevara resurface in Spain

      Hunted by the CIA, he was captured by the military in Bolivia on October 8, 1967, and executed the following day.

    • Looming US Ground Wars in Iraq and Syria

      Thirteen years post-9/11, out-of-control violence replaced regional stability. Prospects ahead look worse, not better.

    • THE WORLD GETS THE WARS AMERICANS DESERVE

      But the primary thing the U.S. government does is wage wars, and it wages them against other people who had no say in the matter. Of course I don’t want wars waged against Americans either, but the general impression one gets from traveling around and speaking and answering questions at public events in the United States is not so much that people are indifferent to the destruction of the globe as long as they don’t miss their favorite television show, as that people are unclear on what destruction means and can’t identify a globe when it’s placed in a lineup with six watermelons.

    • Obama Has No Good Options for Ending the War in Syria

      The US has also faced criticism from Turkey and Gulf states because of its focus on fighting Islamist militias rather than Assad.

    • What Dick Cheney’s lies on 9/11 has cost the US and impacted the world

      In a documentary The World According to Dick Cheney,” Dick Cheney then Vice-President of the USA admits that it was he and not President Bush who ordered the shooting down of the plane that fell into a field in Pennsylvania in September 2001. He also admits that he falsely linked Iraq with 9/11 and influenced Justice Department to legalize torture. He admits too that he used 9/11 to enable spying on Americans, start the Afghan and Iraq war and the ‘war on terror’ which were all planned before 9/11 which in other words has to leave us to deduce that 9/11 itself was pre-planned as well!

    • Delimiting presidential war powers

      The Constitution strongly disfavors war except in self-defense because it bloats executive power, cripples liberty, celebrates secrecy and risks blowback. Mr. Obama’s current war against IS is many things, but it is not self-defense. The tighter the limits of any new AUMF, the less the U.S. Constitution will be wrenched and challenged.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • The Siege of Julian Assange is a Farce

      The persecution of Julian Assange must end. Even the British government clearly believes it must end. On 28 October, the deputy foreign minister, Hugo Swire, told Parliament he would “actively welcome” the Swedish prosecutor in London and “we would do absolutely everything to facilitate that.” The tone was impatient.

    • A guy walks into the Ecuadorian embassy … Assange inspires new BBC comedy
    • Novak in Assange-inspired comedy

      The BBC4 show, called Asylum, is described as “a satirical comedy about a government whistle-blower and a millionaire internet entrepreneur trapped together in a London embassy”.

    • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange inspires new comedy show

      The comedy is one of a string of shows created to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta which was one of the first attempts to limit the powers of the monarchy and develop a functioning legal system and parliamentary democracy.

    • Russell Brand, PJ Harvey, Susan Sarandon & dozens of A-listers support Snowden, Manning

      Dozens of celebrities, including musicians, filmmakers, actors and intellectuals have signed their names to a statement of support published Monday to show solidarity for Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Jeremy Hammond.

    • Brand and Žižek lead celebrity call for greater whistleblower protections

      It also comes at a moment where the US government is perceived to be taking a particularly aggressive approach to official leakers. Including Snowden and Manning, there have been a total of eight prosecutions by the Obama administration relating to leaks under the 1917 Espionage Act – more than those that were brought by all previous presidents combined.

      [...]

      The list of those who have backed the whistleblower statement also includes movie directors Alfonso Cuarón, Terry Gilliam and Ken Loach; musicians Robbie Charter of the Avalanches, PJ Harvey and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth; and writers Roddy Doyle and Hanif Kureishi.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Shale fail

      ON NOVEMBER 25th, fracking experts from across the continent will convene in Warsaw for the Shale Gas World Europe conference. The gathering is a reminder of the heady days, just a few years back, when the Polish government promised to wean the country from dependence on Russian fossil fuels by imitating America’s successful exploitation of shale. Poland would become “a second Norway”, as Radek Sikorski, the former foreign minister, put it in 2010. All that was needed was to open the country to foreign drilling firms, set up a regulatory and profit-sharing structure, open the taps, and watch the methane (and the dollars) flow.

      [...]

      Perversely, Moscow may now hold the key to galvanising the Polish shale industry. While Russian gas continues to flow cheaply, exploring for Polish shale gas is risky and expensive. But with the risk of renewed military conflict in Ukraine rising, the situation could change. “There is certainly gas in Poland, but is the current system able to extract it? I don’t think so.” says Grzegorz Pytel, an energy expert with the Sobieski Institute, a think tank. “However, if Russia cuts off gas exports that would revive shale. The hope is in Moscow.” Shale enthusiasts who once hoped to free Poland from Russian gas have been reduced to hoping that Russia will turn off the gas, or raise prices sharply, to make Polish shale viable.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • ISPs criticised over deal to filter extremist material online

      British internet service providers have been accused of rushing into an ill-thought-out attempt to block political material online, after agreeing with the government on a system of filters for websites espousing extremist views.

      The four largest ISPs have independently agreed with the government to implement a system of blocks, similar to that used to keep child abuse material off the net. But civil liberties campaigners expressed fears that the move opened up a risk of political censorship.

      Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, said: “We need transparency whenever political content is blocked, even when we are talking about websites that espouse extremist views. The government must be clear about what sites they think should be blocked, why they are blocking them and whether there will be redress for site owners who believe that their website has been blocked incorrectly.”

  • Privacy

    • Justice Department Admits It Lied To Appeals Court Concerning Companies’ Ability To Talk About National Security Letters

      Back in October, we wrote about the appeal on the legality of National Security Letters (NSLs), which are secretive filings from law enforcement demanding information with a perpetual gag order. In 2013, a district court had declared that NSLs were unconstitutional, but stayed that decision pending appeal. While the appeals court judges seemed skeptical, it still wasn’t clear how they would rule. So it’s interesting to see that the Justice Department has just admitted that it misled the court on some rather important points during the oral arguments.

    • Unsealed Filing Shows DOJ Misled Appeals Court About National Security Letter Gag Orders

      A court filing unsealed late Wednesday shows that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) made a highly misleading argument to an appeals court in October during a hearing on the constitutionality of National Security Letters (NSLs).

    • Major hurdles await NSA reform bid

      Yet Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) — the two leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee — have both expressed reservations, worrying that it would go too far.

    • Data retention: Divining the metadata of the Govt’s true intention

      Data retention is a hot topic, so much so that the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has included several pages examining the proposed legislation in its fifteenth report of the 44th Parliament. Suggestions put forward are that TIA Amendment Data Retention bill invades privacy, doesn’t properly define data, goes too far and needs further amendment.

    • Facebook: You post it, we can see it, and that’s that

      Facebook lets its users control whether other people can see the information they post, but when it comes to controlling what Facebook itself gets to see, privacy-conscious users are out of luck.

    • British Spying Is Our Problem, Too

      We learned last week that GCHQ – the U.K. equivalent of the NSA – permits its employees to target the communications of journalists and lawyers. That revelation has serious implications for the work of both groups.

    • The sci-fi future of lamp-posts

      Street lighting has always been a form of social control. As ‘smart’ lamp-posts start to adapt to our needs, are we entering a brave new world of big city lights?

    • UN to investigate claims that UK spies infiltrated climate talks

      Reports that GCHQ snooped on other countries at two climate summits will be investigated, says UN secretary general

    • Ambassador thrown out of Ecuador after WikiLeaks scandal will talk about her life and times at Kirtland event

      The fascinating background of being the only U.S. ambassador expelled during the global WikiLeaks scandal will be a large part of her presentation to the Nov. 16 Millennium Salon set for East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Kirtland. The salon, part of the church’s social justice committee, presents topics that examine various issues and discuss their impact on society.

    • Phone and web data plan under fire for interfering with privacy

      Human rights committee finds the plan to retain data for two years could have a ‘chilling effect’ on journalists

    • USPS Bemoans Massive Data Breach But Continues Surveillance Program

      While such data breaches are lamentable, it is a bit ironic that an agency that has been carrying out an extensive secret surveillance operation for years would be so vigorous in its vendetta against the alleged hackers who exposed sensitive data of employees and customers.

    • Consciousness in the Age of Digital Dystopia

      It’s Monday morning and you’re preparing your first cup of coffee when the tanks roll into your neighborhood. Phone lines are cut, curfew is activated and doors are broken down.

      You sigh. It’s another “cleanout day” in the not-too-distant future.

      The War on Terror has infiltrated every layer of society. Internet sites track the spread of extremism like the CDC tracks a lethal virus. The threat is pandemic and online news sources agree: In order to keep you safe, weekly cleanout campaigns must ramp up all across the nation – yet again.

      Today you just happen to be in the red zone.

      The main annoyance about being in a red zone is usually the loss of your phone signal. But today is different.

    • AT&T stops adding Web tracking codes on cellphones, Verizon says it still uses ‘super cookies’

      AT&T Mobility, the nation’s second-largest cellular provider, says it’s no longer attaching hidden Internet tracking codes to data transmitted from its users’ smartphones. The practice made it nearly impossible to shield its subscribers’ identities online.

    • Amnesia: A mad Aussie dash through history, hacking and the CIA

      Never has the long shadow of America across the world been so ominous and so ephemeral as it is in the wake of Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations and Wikileaks. Data surveillance and the huge US presence in the tech and internet worlds have contributed to a sense of America as the omnipresent, unseen superpower in a way that no world leading country has ever been before.

      This ownership of the web is what lets the US suggest, with no apparent sense of irony, that people like Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, are “traitors”, though what patriotism or loyalty they owe a country they have nothing to do with is unclear.

      It is this long shadow that Peter Carey takes to task in his hacker conspiracy thriller Amnesia.

    • First Snowden. Then tracking you on wheels. Now spies on a plane. Yes, surveillance is everywhere

      US government-owned airplanes that can cover most of the continental United States are covertly flying around the country, spying on tens of thousands of innocent people’s cellphones. It sounds like a movie plot, but in a remarkable report published on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal exposed that these spy planes are part of an actual mass surveillance program overseen by the Justice Department (DOJ). And it’s been kept secret from the public for years.

    • U.S. government set to use airplanes to collect information
    • Mobile Phones Data Intercepted by U.S. Marshals
  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Hey UK: Jailing File-Sharers for Years is Shameful

        Admins and uploaders know the risks, but when otherwise good citizens go to jail for sharing files it’s a horrible moment for all involved. This week two young men from the UK were locked up for years, one for his acts as a teenager several years ago. What a complete and utter waste of life.

      • Mega Terminates Kim Dotcom’s Account For Repeat Infringements

        Dotcom has been using Mega to share his first music album “Good Times” with everyone who wants to give it a spin. While he holds all the rights, several prominent music labels kept informing Mega that the album was “infringing.”

        A few weeks ago we learned that the takedown requests were all inaccurate, and triggered by a prankster. However, that apparently didn’t stop them from coming in and as a result Dotcom has now had his Mega account terminated for repeatedly violating the terms of service.

      • Anti-Piracy Firm Rightscorp On The Brink of Bankruptcy?

        Rightscorp, a prominent piracy monitoring firm that sends settlement requests for Warner Bros. and other copyright holders, may soon go out of business. The publicly listed company is losing millions of dollars per year and says it desperately needs a fresh cash injection to survive.

11.15.14

Links 15/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1 Release Candidate, Popcorn Time 0.3.5

Posted in News Roundup at 7:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Continental Drift Continues

      While there are many hotspots in the GNU/Linux landscape, usage of GNU/Linux on the desktop is still spotty around the world. There are millions of GNU/Linux desktops but they are in clusters rather than widely spread.

  • Server

    • Docker-based Multi-Container Applications Run on AWS Cloud with Introduction of the EC2 Container Service

      It was great to have Werner Vogels up on stage talking about “why developers love containers.” That was a wonderful lead in to my Docker presentation in front of the 13,500+ person audience at AWS re:Invent listening to Werner’s keynote. That kind of visibility is inspiring, but the thing I’m most excited about today is what great news there is for Docker and AWS customers with the launch of the Amazon EC2 Container Service.

  • Kernel Space

    • Stable kernel updates

      Greg Kroah-Hartman has released three stable kernels; 3.17.3, 3.14.24, and 3.10.60. All of them contain lots of important fixes throughout the tree.

    • Why prominent ‘hobbyist’ operating systems face an existential crisis

      Do you think Linux is an alternative, hobbyist operating system? Ha! Linux is mainstream. If you’re looking for the next niche OS, you’ll need to dive deep into the cracks and crevices: passion projects worked on by a handful of developers in their spare time.

    • NVIDIA Adds “Nyan Blaze” To Coreboot

      NVIDIA has committed a new “nyan_blaze” motherboard for Coreboot.

    • Over-Volting Your GPU With The New NVIDIA Linux Driver

      Unlike the frequency overclocking done through the NVIDIA Settings GUI, the over-volting can only be done via the command-line interface. It’s not clear yet if this is just a temporary limitation if NVIDIA didn’t get around to exposing it via the GTK interface or they will keep it CLI-only in trying to discourage novice users from accidentally over-volting their system and causing potential damage, etc.

    • AMD’s “AMDKFD” HSA Driver Is Ready For Pulling In Linux 3.19

      Oded Gabbay of AMD sent out the pull request to David Airlie for trying to land the AMDKFD driver in Linux 3.19. The difference between this driver and AMDGPU is that it’s already been public for a while where we’re still waiting for the AMDGPU graphics driver to be published that’s the new DRM driver to be shared with the Catalyst Linux user-space for supporting the AMD Radeon R9 285 and newer GPUs.

      While the AMDKFD driver hasn’t yet been pulled by Airlie at the time of writing, this driver has already undergone review from upstream developers and in fact revised six times through the public process. Given that the drm-next merge window is still open for a few more days, this driver stands good chances of being merged then as a new Linux 3.19 driver. Friday’s sixth version contains just minor changes to the driver compared to last week.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • GeForce GTX 970/980 Linux Benchmarks With NVIDIA 346.16 Driver

        This week NVIDIA introduced the 346 Linux driver beta with a huge amount of changes and new features — from GPU over-volting to NVENC and VP8 support. Curiosity got the best of me so I’ve now ran some GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 Linux benchmarks to see if the performance of these new, high-end Maxwell GPUs have changed at all with this latest proprietary driver release.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Running XFCE on Chrome OS

      I know what you are thinking. Big deal. Folks have been running Crouton, Chrubuntu, and even Xubuntu for some time now on their Chromebooks. Yes, but what about running XFCE straight from the cloud itself. A webapp, if you may, without an offline mode.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • OpenGL Support Is Looking Good For GTK+ 3.16, But Help Is Needed

        For a few weeks now within mainline GTK+ has been native OpenGL support and as part of that a new GtkGLArea widget for allowing OpenGL drawing within GTK applications. Since that initial work landed, there’s been more GTK+ OpenGL code progressing that right now primarily benefits Linux X11 and Wayland users.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Trisquel 7.0 LTS Belenos

        I was very pleased with Trisquel 7.0 while I was using it. I found it to be incredibly stable and also very fast while I was opening and using applications. I did not experience any crashes or other overt indications of stability problems.

        For me Trisquel 7.0 is pretty much what a desktop Linux distribution should be in terms of usability, software selection and stability. I had pretty much everything I needed right after my install was completed. And I had the satisfaction of knowing that I was using free software the entire time I used Trisquel 7.0.

        I highly recommend that you check out Trisquel 7.0, even if you’re not a free software aficionado. It’s well worth a download. And once you get a taste of it, it may end up being your preferred desktop distribution.

      • CAINE Provides Sturdy Support for Forensic Specialists

        Eye candy and fancy screen effects have little place in the strictly business routine of forensic techs and IT pros. The CAINE and MATE combination contribute to the smooth interface and straightforward desktop. The default setting for full panel bar transparency blends it right into the desktop’s background. This further extends the uncluttered appearance of the desktop.

    • Screenshots

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo Monthly Newsletter: October 2014

        The council addressed a number of issues this month. The change with the biggest long-term significance was clearing the way to proceed with the git migration once infra is ready. This included removing changelogs from future git commits, removing cvs headers, and simplifying our news repository format. The infra and git migration projects will coordinate the actual migration hopefully in the not-so-distant future.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 21 Workstation Prerelease. Pure Awesomeness. Zero Exploitation.

          Why pay for recycled software bits when you can get it for free, every version release? That’s Zero Exploitation. Fedora continually refines its software technology as part of Red Hat’s R&D process and becomes part of Red Hat Enterprise Linux when mature.

        • Council Elections, Flock, Workstation Focus, Atomic, and Improving the Join Process

          We are in the “campaign season” (okay, “campaign week”) for the first general election for representatives for the new Fedora Council. (If you haven’t been following, see the Council charter on the Fedora Wiki. The “Coda” in that document should answer most of your questions, and if you have others, please feel free to ask them.)

        • FUDCon Managua 2014 Clousure

          Last day of FUDCon I tries to approach as many contributors to ask: What do you think was accomplished in this FUDCon? I used their input as part of the closure speech at the end of the convention. I improvised with a hand write notes. Here you have a more digested summary.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Governance: Empower It

            I was really saddened to see Jono Bacon’s post today because it really seems like he still doesn’t get the Ubuntu Community that he managed for years. In fact, the things he is talking about are problems that the Community Council and Governance Boards really have no influence over because Canonical and Mark Shuttleworth limit the Community’s ability to participate in those kind of issues.

            [...]

            Honestly, if this is the way Jono felt then I think he should have been going to bat for the Community and Ubuntu Governance when he was Community Manager because right now the Community and Governance cannot be inspirational leaders because Canonical controls the future of Ubuntu and the Community Council, Governance Boards and Ubuntu Members have very little say in the direction of the project.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 4.3.4

      The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 4.3.4, the fourth minor release of LibreOffice 4.3 “fresh” family, which is a stable release of the more advanced version of the software, and is targeted to users focusing on features. LibreOffice 4.3.4 contains over 60 bug fixes.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • Pigs Flying, Popular Licenses, and LibreOffice 4.3.4

      Steve O’Grady today blogged about today’s popular Open Source licenses and how this has changed over time. According to his graphs borrowed from Black Duck, the various versions of GNU GPL is the most popular today. But O’Grady said Apache and MIT licenses have gained the most ground in the last five years because they are more permissive. He said, “What will be interesting to observe moving forward is whether these trends continue, or whether further corrections are in store.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Oculus VR’s mobile SDK, women in gaming, and more

      Hello, open gaming fans! In this week’s edition, we take a look at Gamebuino’s Arduino console, Oculus VR’s SDK for mobile release, women in gaming, and more!

    • The Open Science Peer Review Oath

      Open access is about making academic research more widely available, particularly when it is publicly funded. But there is a broader open science movement that seeks to make the entire scientific process — from initial experiments to the final dissemination of results — transparent, and thus reproducible. One crucial aspect of that complete process is peer review, whereby experts in a field provide advice about the quality of new research, either to editors prior to a paper being published in a journal, or more directly, by reviewing work publicly online.

  • Programming

    • The 15 Best JavaScript Charting Libraries

      It is practically impossible to imagine any dashboard without graphs and charts. They present complex statistics quickly and effectively. Additionally, a good graph also enhances the overall design of your website.

      In this article, I will show you some of the best JavaScript libraries for graphs / charts. These libraries will help you create beautiful and customisable charts for your future projects.

      While most of the libraries are free and open source, some of them provide a paid version with additional features.

    • DevAssistant 0.10.0 Released

      Dear friends of all things free software, DevAssistant is back with a new release! It has been over two months, and such a time would make you think that something big has been in the works. It has.

Leftovers

  • Boris Johnson’s Winston Churchill Looks an Awful Lot Like Boris Johnson

    Boris Johnson, as the subtitle of this book proclaims, is a firm believer in the “great man” theory of history. Not for him the subtleties of the complex interplay of historical forces and individual personalities. Subtlety is not Boris’s strong point. Winston Churchill alone, he writes, “saved our civilisation.” He “invented the RAF and the tank.” He founded the welfare state (although Boris gives David Lloyd George a bit of credit for this, as well). All of this, he argues, confounds what he sees as the fashion of the past few decades to write off “so-called great men and women” as “meretricious bubbles on the vast tides of social history.” The story of Winston Churchill “is a pretty withering retort to all that malarkey. He, and he alone, made the difference.”

  • Five-year-old passes Microsoft exam

    A boy from Coventry has become the youngest computer specialist in the world.

    Ayan Qureshi is now a Microsoft Certified Professional after passing the tech giant’s exam when he was just five years old.

    Ayan, now six, whose father is an IT consultant, has set up his own computer network at home.

  • Science

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • US mulls more CIA aid for Syrian rebels

      CIA buildup would expand a clandestine mission that has grown substantially over the past year

    • U.S. weighs expanded CIA training, arming of Syrian allies struggling against Assad
    • Obama Plans CIA Expansion On Anti-ISIS Covert Operations

      The Obama administration has been mulling plans to increase the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) involvement in providing support to moderate rebels in Syria, in an effort to boost U.S. anti-Islamic State operations, even as the Pentagon prepares to set up additional training facilities.

    • The Neocon Plan for War and More War

      A major test for President Obama is whether he will – in the face of the Republican midterm victories – submit to neocon demands for more wars in the Middle East and a costly Cold War with Russia or finally earn the Nobel Peace Prize that he got at the start of his presidency.

    • An Uprising Remembered: CIA Daughter on Anti-junta Polytechnic Anniversary

      On the occasion of the Athens Polytechnic Uprising against the Greek Junta, Leslie Absher, the daughter of a CIA operative stationed in Greece during the military dictatorship, remembers the events that brought down the regime forty one years ago Monday. Leslie arrived in Athens as a baby before the coup, brought there by her father, a young spy on his first mission. “There is much I’ll never know about his work in Greece but my love for him and Greece calls me to never forget this historic day,” she wrote to Greek Reporter describing her complicated relationship with Greece and her CIA dad.

    • Living in the shadow of the “angels of death”

      Last year a bomb dropped by an American drone hit the Rashid family’s pick-up truck in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar. Fourteen occupants, most of them women and children, were killed in the attack. Only four-year-old Aisha survived, losing a hand and sustaining severe injuries to her lower body, while nothing at all was left of her nose or eyes.

      When Aisha’s relatives learned of the attack, they rushed to the site – and found her there. A nearby hospital in Asadabad could however not do much for her. Aisha had lost not only her family, but also her face. At the time, NATO announced that only Taliban militants had been killed in the drone attack in Kunar. No mention was made of Aisha or her family.

      Civilian casualties branded as extremist perpetrators

      NATO’s statement came as no surprise. “Civilian casualties in remote areas of Afghanistan are not uncommonly described by the occupying forces as Taliban fighters. Incidents are often quickly forgotten,” says the Afghan journalist and political analyst Waheed Mozhdah.

      Ismael Zadran, an Afghan living in Germany, had to find this out the hard way. A few years ago his cousin Sadiq Rahim Jan, 21 years old at the time, was killed by a drone in the Afghan province of Paktia. Not only NATO, but also some Afghan mainstream media reported only a slain Taliban commander.

    • US drone strike kills 5 militants in Kunar province

      At least five militants were killed following a US drone strike in eastern Kunar province on Friday, local security officials said Saturday.

    • Can the World Avert a New Cold War?

      The West is charging off into a new Cold War with Russia under banners of hypocrisy, from charges of “expansionism” to complaints about disrespect for individual rights. This lack of balance could have grave consequences for the world, says former British intelligence officer Annie Machon.

    • War and Peace: Western Leaders Terrorizing the Mankind

      A “war of religion” is unfolding, with a view to justifying a global military crusade.

    • The Bases of War in the Middle East

      In the Persian Gulf alone, the U.S. has major bases…

    • Caught in conflict: women in Pakistan

      ‘We nearly died getting this story,” Alixandra Fazzina tells me calmly. The war artist turned award-winning photographer is flicking through the haunting images she took during her five years in Pakistan. Despite covering countries such as Somalia and Yemen – and being held hostage for four days by militiamen in Liberia – Fazzina says Pakistan is the most difficult place she has worked. And it is only now she has left that she can safely reveal many of the stories people told her.

    • In Rome’s Riots, Cries for Mussolini and Attacks on Refugees

      In Tor Sapienza, frustrated Italians are turning to urban warfare, attacking immigrants and police to push out the thousands of refugees streaming into their crumbling neighborhood.

    • Thailand’s refugees

      The Syrian crisis has taken crucial attention and resources from the Asia Pacific region, even as the number of unprotected refugees continues to grow.

    • Going to war: Not legal without Congress, but few seem to mind

      Few members of Congress seem to care that their own legal authority has been ignored. One who does, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) argues that President Obama must come to Congress to start a war and that he acted against ISIS without “true constitutional authority” since the country was not under attack at the time. ”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • There’s No Good Reason to Build Keystone XL

      No lasting jobs, no cheaper gas, and a chance to kill off one-fourth of U.S. farmland and maybe the planet. Why are both parties going all out to get such a crappy deal?

    • Climate change can’t be put on ice

      Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s assertion that he is “focusing on what we’re doing now and we’re not talking, we’re acting” on growth and jobs, seems to play down the US-China agreement to take decisive action on CO₂ emissions warming the globe (“Climate: Abbott digs in”, November 14). That agreement clearly shows the Australian government is way, way short of what it has done so far and or proposes to do in the foreseeable future, with its piddling 5 per cent reduction of the 2000 CO₂ emission levels.

    • 7.1 quake hits Indonesia, causes small tsunami

      A strong undersea earthquake hit eastern Indonesia on Saturday, triggering a small tsunami and some panic but no casualties or major damage.

      The 7.1 quake occurred west of Halmahera island, which is about four hours’ flight from the capital, Jakarta.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Appeals Court Finally Agrees To Rehear Horrible Ruling Over Actress’ Supposed Copyright In ‘Innocence Of Muslims’

      It’s been a while since we’d heard anything from the 9th Circuit appeals court concerning Garcia v. Google, the case in which actress Cindy Lee Garcia successfully went after Google for hosting the controversial Innocence of Muslims video on YouTube. Garcia is one of the actresses who claims she was tricked into appearing in the film, leading to death threats. Without doubt, her situation is not a great one to be in, but it doesn’t change the basics of copyright law, in which it has long been established that actors do not have a copyright interest in video and film projects they appear in… until Judge Alex Kozinski in the 9th Circuit appeals court suddenly reinterpreted decades of settled copyright law. Back in March, an unnamed judge on the court asked the court to reconsider the case, holding an “en banc” rehearing of the case with a full slate of judges (in most appeals courts en banc would be all judges, but the 9th circuit has so many judges that they limit it to Chief Judge Kozinski and 10 others). Back in April a bunch of folks — including us at Techdirt — filed amicus briefs asking the court to rehear.

    • China’s Porn Crackdown: No Extramarital Affairs or One-Night Stands

      The latest rules about pornographic content covers a bewildering array of sexual categories

    • Anti-Censorship Groups Tell Senate to Stop the ‘Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation’ Act

      A coalition of civil liberties, publishing, and online commerce groups are asking Congress to oppose a piece of anti-speech, anti-sex work legislation known as as the “Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation” (SAVE) Act. The bill is allegedly aimed at thwarting human trafficking but in reality would create harsh new criminal liabilities for websites and publishers, allow federal agents to censor online ads, make it harder for adult sex workers of all sorts to safely connect with clients, drive traffickers further underground, and potentially expose anyone advertising online to new privacy infringements.

    • Iran to have internet ‘smart filtering’

      Tehran already blocks access to popular websites including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

    • As Indian govt plans a web filter, let’s see how Internet censorship works in Iran, China and Cuba

      The Internet censorship debate in India has been going on for some time now. But according to a latest report by Medianama, the Indian government is contemplating on using web filters to control the internet. One of the main triggers of this discussion on web filters is ban of pornographic websites and those sites which carry ‘objectionable’ content – a term which is open to interpretation.

    • Rubbing Out Internet Porn Won’t Be Easy for the Indian Government
  • Privacy

    • David Chavchavadze, CIA spy with Romanov roots, dies at 90

      He did much of his work in Berlin in the years after World War II and at the start of the Cold War. His assignments included recruitment of Soviet agents.

    • New NSA director rips critics, calls for ‘less simplistic’ national conversation about surveillance
    • Congress to tackle NSA reforms, government funding in waning days

      Although the GOP-controlled House and Senate elected earlier this month in the midterms is waiting in the wings, the 113th Congress is back from recess and still has the floor. The Republican-led House and Democratic-led Senate will move on some critical agenda items and take up hot-button issues before it adjourns in December.

    • Rand Paul to oppose NSA reform bill

      Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) won’t support an upcoming bill to reform the National Security Agency (NSA) without changes to strengthen it, an aide told The Hill on Friday.

    • Rand Paul Gives Thumbs Down to Weaker NSA Reform Bill

      Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) gave a strong signal today that he intends to try to keep surveillance and National Security Agency (NSA) reform in the news. His office has told beltway media that Paul will not support the Senate version of the USA Freedom Act, a legislative effort to scale back the massive expansion of surveillance against American citizens exposed by Edward Snowden. The problem is that the proposals have been watered down too much.

    • Rand Paul to oppose NSA surveillance reform bill
    • Cruz reiterates support for NSA reform bill

      Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Friday reiterated his support for a National Security Agency reform bill slated to hit the Senate floor next week.

      Cruz is one of three Republican co-sponsors of the USA Freedom Act, which would end the government’s bulk collection of phone records. He called the legislation essential to rein in what he described as the Obama administration’s “extreme” position on U.S. privacy.

    • LA Times pushes NSA reform

      The Los Angeles Times is telling lawmakers in the Senate to get on board with the USA Freedom Act.

    • Freedom Act’s Advance Threatens NSA Court Cases

      Legal experts say passage of the bill, which would end the automatic bulk collection and in-house retention of phone records, may short-circuit lawsuits that claim the collection is illegal. That would deprive citizens not only the satisfaction of possible rulings that Obama and President George W. Bush ordered violations of their constitutional rights, but also head off Supreme Court review of a 35-year-old precedent the government says allows it to collect huge amounts of data provided by ordinary Americans to businesses.

    • 81% of Tor users can be de-anonymised by analysing router information, research indicates

      Research undertaken between 2008 and 2014 suggests that more than 81% of Tor clients can be ‘de-anonymised’ – their originating IP addresses revealed – by exploiting the ‘Netflow’ technology that Cisco has built into its router protocols, and similar traffic analysis software running by default in the hardware of other manufacturers.

    • AT&T stops adding Web tracking codes on cellphones

      AT&T Mobility, the nation’s second-largest cellular provider, said Friday it’s no longer attaching hidden Internet tracking codes to data transmitted from its users’ smartphones. The practice made it nearly impossible to shield its subscribers’ identities online.
      The change by AT&T essentially removes a hidden string of letters and numbers that are passed along to websites that a consumer visits. It can be used to track subscribers across the Internet, a lucrative data-mining opportunity for advertisers that could still reveal users’ identities based on their browsing habits.

    • First ruling on interception of legally privileged material awaited

      Following last week’s revelations at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) that intelligence agencies are intercepting the privileged communications between lawyer and client, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) is now considering whether intercepted legally privileged material has had a bearing on a sensitive and long-running case.

    • Make 2016 About Surveillance

      A lot has changed since Edward Snowden lifted the veil on the surveillance of millions of Americans. The NSA no longer enjoys an existence in the shadows, reform has been proposed in both houses of Congress, and public opinion overwhelmingly reflects a growing mistrust of the US government’s justifications for spying on its own citizens.

    • Privacy experts want UK national security boss to be honest, open

      “Given everything we’ve learned in the past 18 months, he chose not to address at all the very serious things that GCHQ stand accused of: blanket surveillance of the UK population with public knowledge and without parliamentary knowledge, [and] receiving warrantless bulk intercepts from the NSA on US and people around the world,” said Annie Machon, former MI5 intelligence officer and whistleblower.

    • Experts call for ‘return to human intelligence’ after Snowden

      The UK’s national security boss, Robert Hannigan, should come clean on surveillance and stop attacking technology companies, privacy experts have said.

      Intelligence agencies must use the debate sparked by Edward Snowden’s surveillance revelations to overhaul their attitude to privacy and oversight, said the group speaking at Dublin’s Web Summit in November.

    • NY Times Urges News Sites To Embrace HTTPS/SSL… In An Article That Can’t Be Read Via HTTPS

      Earlier this year, Techdirt announced that it had gone over to HTTPS as a default to better protect everyone’s privacy on this site. As the Freedom of the Press Foundation recently pointed out, it appears that we’re one of only three media properties that do so, along with Muckrock and the Intercept. A few others have SSL, but not by default. But most don’t even have HTTPS at all.

    • The Snowden Effect on Privacy Attitudes

      More than 90 percent of the people who took part in the survey agree consumers have no control over their online information, and 88 percent understand it would be difficult to remove inaccurate information about them from the Internet. Eight out 10, the survey said, are aware of and concerned about advertisers and businesses taking advantage of what’s shared over social media.

    • Pierre Omidyar’s Weird Hiring Practices

      “To this day,” Glenn Greenwald told New York magazine recently, “I’ve never met Pierre in person.”

    • All Cameras Are Police Cameras

      The Sixth Wall will be made of intelligent dust which settles in the folds of your clothes and communicates your position and heart rate to orbiting satellites. London’s citizens will dream, and the images of their dreams will dance on the telescreens of Piccadilly Circus, and be found wanting.

  • Civil Rights

    • Ex-officer going to prison: ‘I’m the boogeyman’

      Darrell Beavers went to church with David Schofield, served on the Cincinnati Police Department and worked off-duty security jobs with him. Officer Beavers also patrolled the neighborhood where Schofield lives.

    • Sexual Relationship With A Minor, Theft Of Services And Destruction Of Evidence Nets Police Officer One-Year Prison Sentence
    • Cop Who Obtained Warrant To Take Photo Of Teen’s Erect Penis For Sexting Case Sues Teen’s Lawyer For Defamation

      One of the more remarkable intersections of law enforcement and sexting this year involved the Manassas City (VA) police department and a 17-year-old boy’s erect penis.

      Briefly: two teens — a 15-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy — exchanged nude photos. Apparently, the boy went further, sending a nude video to the 15-year-old. The parents of the girl brought this to the police, who then sought to charge the 17-year-old with “possession of child pornography and manufacturing child pornography,” mainly because the law remains mostly “a ass” when it comes to teens sexting.

    • Mark Udall’s Open To Releasing CIA Torture Report Himself If Agreement Isn’t Reached Over Redactions

      As we were worried might happen, Senator Mark Udall lost his re-election campaign in Colorado, meaning that one of the few Senators who vocally pushed back against the surveillance state is about to leave the Senate. However, Trevor Timm pointed out that, now that there was effectively “nothing to lose,” Udall could go out with a bang and release the Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA torture report. The release of some of that report (a redacted version of the 400+ page “executive summary” — the full report is well over 6,000 pages) has been in limbo for months since the Senate Intelligence Committee agreed to declassify it months ago. The CIA and the White House have been dragging out the process hoping to redact some of the most relevant info — perhaps hoping that a new, Republican-controlled Senate would just bury the report.

    • Doubt cast over US torture investigation as more CIA detainees come forward

      Lawyers for men allegedly tortured by the CIA say their clients were never interviewed as part of a major criminal investigation concluded in 2012

    • Sen. Mark Udall Contemplates Revealing CIA Torture Report
    • Los Angeles police using CIA software to track criminals, ex-cons

      New software used by the Los Angeles Police Department shows not only where crime is most likely to happen, but also tracks ex-cons and others likely to commit crimes. Civil rights groups are concerned over its use for entrapment and data collection.

    • LAPD’s CIA-developed computer fights crime, but not everybody’s happy about it

      Los Angeles police are increasingly relying on technology that not only tells patrol officers where crime is most likely to occur but also identifies and keeps track of ex-cons and other bad guys they believe are most likely to commit them.

      Police say the effort has already helped reduce crime in one of the city’s most notorious and historically gang-ridden neighborhoods.

    • FROSTED GLASS FALCONS AND OTHER GIFTS FOR YOUR FAVORITE CIA EMPLOYEE

      Qatar is the U.S.’ favorite rich relative, doling out 32 gifts worth a total of $100,568, mostly to the Air Force and the Defense Department. China gave 24 presents but it’s obviously cheap crap, adding up to just a measly $23,438. Afghanistan comes in third with 22, of which 16 are rugs. Iraq only gave the U.S. 8 things. Ingrates.

    • Is the U.S. really against torture? It can be hard to tell

      President Barack Obama brought the U.S. commitment against torture into sharper focus on Wednesday. For a president who prohibited torture as one of his first official acts, this shouldn’t be news. But it is.

      At issue is Washington’s interpretation of the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Seeking to exempt American abuse of detainees overseas, President George W. Bush had broken with his predecessors and claimed that the treaty didn’t apply outside the United States. This strained reading flew in the face of American values, the rule of law and the text of the 1987 treaty.

    • The US Says It Will Stop Using Torture … Mostly

      The Obama administration indicated on Wednesday that it will back away from a position held by the previous administration that claimed the United States is not obligated to abide by the UN Treaty Against Torture when operating on foreign soil. That’s the good news.

    • Philip Hammond: ‘UK could leave EU’ over renegotiations

      The UK must be ready to “stand up… and walk away” if it is unhappy with talks over its relationship with the European Union, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said.

      He told the Daily Telegraph agreement was possible on such issues as curbing EU migrant numbers into the UK.

    • Why the FBI’s Suicide Note to MLK Still Matters

      The more we learn about the government these days, the less we can trust it. Forget about the simple incompetence that used to fire up libertarian critics of an expansive government—that’s a complaint that seems almost quaint given recent and ongoing revelations about official fraud and deception. It’s looking more and more like the government tends toward evil and mean-spiritedness, and it’s going to take real change to reverse eroding faith among citizens.

    • Hit and run is a crime in Florida — unless you’re a Florida State football player

      P. J. Williams totaled two cars and fled the scene. Cops gave him two tickets and didn’t ask if he’d been drinking

    • UK’s Home Secretary Says Terrorists Will Be The Real Winners If Country’s Cell Coverage Dead Zones Are Fixed

      The UK’s culture secretary wants to eradicate the nation’s patchy cell phone coverage. UK cell phone users aren’t able to switch towers on the fly — something residents of other EU countries (as well as the US) enjoy — but are forced to connect only with their provider’s towers.

    • Mexico: General Strike on November 20 for Missing Students

      The strike is scheduled to coincide with the national holiday commemorating the start of the Mexican Revolution.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing: Comcast Kisses-Up To Obama, Agrees With His Stance On Net Neutrality

      Comcast is one of two companies to have earned Consumerist’s “Worst Company in America” title on more than one occasion (once in 2010 and again this year, 2014), and it looks like the company is lobbying for a third title. That is, unless there’s another explanation as to how the cable giant can claim (seemingly with straight face) that it’s in agreement with President Barack Obama for a free and open Internet.

      [...]

      Earlier this year, Netflix begrudgingly inked a multi-year deal with Comcast in which the streaming service agreed to pay a toll to ensure faster delivery into the homes of Comcast subscribers, who prior to the deal had been complaining of frequent buffering and video degradation when watching content on Netflix.

    • Behind Closed Doors, Ford, UPS, and Visa Push for Net Neutrality

      The corporate battle lines over the new federal rules for the Internet have been well established. Vocal technology startups have been leading the charge for muscular regulations for broadband access, and Internet service providers including Comcast (CMCSA) and Verizon (VZ) have been arguing loudly for more flexibility. Blue chip companies without obvious tech interests have kept a lower profile.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Perfect 10 Loses Yet Another Copyright Lawsuit, Once Again Losing To Giganews

        As we’ve noted in the past, Perfect 10 appears to be a company who’s entire reason for being is to set good precedents in copyright law, by filing ridiculous lawsuits and losing. So many important copyright precedents have come out of Perfect 10 cases, including ones on fair use and secondary liability. Some have argued (with fairly detailed explanations) how Perfect 10 is not a porn publisher at all, but rather a pure copyright troll that makes a living off of suing. While it seems to always lose in court, the problem is that some companies just pay up rather than fight. Back in 2011, we noted that Perfect 10 had sued Usenet provider Giganews. Earlier this year, the court smacked down Perfect 10 on a number of issues. And now, the court has done so again, handing a complete and total victory to Giganews.

11.14.14

Links 14/11/2014: LibreOffice 4.3.4, Ads Now in Firefox

Posted in News Roundup at 7:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Here They Are: Ads in Firefox

        With the launch of version 33.1 of the venerable Firefox browser this week, we’re witnessing a momentous new playbook change from Mozilla. Specifically, there are now advertisements in Firefox.

      • Mozilla Cuts First Brand Deals With GroupM, CVS, Weinstein, Booking.com

        In its first major push into Madison Avenue, Web and mobile browser software developer Mozilla has cut its first deals with big advertisers and at least one big media-buying organization to help it develop ways for brands to participate in a major content play. The deals, which include agreements with GroupM’s Mindshare unit, its client CVS Health, and two independent brands — travel site Booking.com and Hollywood studio The Weinstein Co. — are toes in the water, but the free, open-source software giant has ambitious plans for transforming the way people create and share content across digital screens, including advertisers and agencies.

      • First Firefox OS Smartphones Available in the Philippines

        Mozilla, the mission-based organization dedicated to promoting openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web, is happy to announce that Cherry Mobile will launch the first Firefox OS smartphone in the Philippines in the coming days. Cherry Mobile will offer the customizable and affordable Firefox OS smartphone – ACE – to their customers providing unique Web experiences through its open source mobile OS. Moreover, key app providers including Easy Taxi and OLX will partner with Mozilla to enrich Firefox Marketplace and expand the Firefox OS ecosystem in the Philippines.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open Cloud Alliance Joins Growing Crowd of Cloud Standards Setters

      As the momentum surrounding OpenStack, CloudStack and other open cloud computing platforms accelerates, there are increasing needs at many enterprises for certification and validation of services, standards, and guarantees of interoperability. We are starting to see cloud computing reference architectures arrive from players such as HP, and interoperability labs focused on determining which cloud tools work together properly.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • As open source goes mainstream, institutions collaborate differently

      Earlier this week, I saw what the future of building government services may look like when I stumbled upon a simple dashboard of projects-in-progress. The dashboard is hosted by 18F, the new development unit within the US General Services Administration.

      18F, which explicitly seeks to tap into the success of the UK’s Government Digital Services unit, is pursuing a similar strategy, trying to lure developers from Silicon Valley and the ranks of civic developers all over the country with a daunting mission: change how federal technology gets done, at a time when bad government websites now damage public faith in government. Behind the dashboard is 18F’s GitHub account, which exemplifies a quietly revolutionary idea that the UK has been pursuing with great success: build beautiful digital services for the public, in public.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Optimising the datacentre using open standards

      The exponential growth of enterprise data and corporate reliance on technology is placing enormous demands on the modern datacentre. Information must be transmitted rapidly, processed in real time, and stored securely. Service uptime and availability guarantees necessary for your business to compete in the global marketplace are increasing. While cloud computing solutions to these problems have steadily matured and adoption is now widespread, business leaders continue to demand greater efficiencies and ROIs from their IT investments. Intel believes that employing open standards is the key to unlocking the full potential of your datacentre infrastructure.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Fox Devoted 57 Segments To Manufactured ACA Scandal

      This week Fox News devoted at least 57 segments to scandalizing MIT economist Jonathan Gruber’s statement that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) “was written in a tortured way” in a renewed effort to delegitimize the passage of health care reform.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Porno and Bloodbaths

      With a defense budget — hold on, let’s dispense with the spin — with a war budget that eats up at least 50 percent of federal tax dollars each year, did you ever wonder if all the legal tender being funneled away from social programs is making anyone except defense contractors safer?

    • Countries without militaries

      Not entirely by coincidence, these countries include seven of the world’s 10 smallest independent countries by land area—a list that, in addition to the Holy See, comprises small island nations like Tuvalu and Nauru, as well as San Marino, another landlocked city-state on the Italian peninsula. “Traditionally [those countries] weren’t subject to invasion,” explained Peter Stearns, a George Mason professor who edited the 2013 book Demilitarization in the Contemporary World. Some formerly US-administered territories, like the Marshall Islands and Palau, simply never established militaries after achieving independence, instead leaving the US in charge of their defense.

    • 1914-2014: One Hundred Years of Conflict, Presages an Age of Endless Wars

      Of course, if you’re in the arms industry these are good times indeed. Those Tomahawk missiles are in action again, thanks to the rag tag Islamists (or possibly CIA armed, trained and financed insurgents) known as “ISIS”. Nevertheless, somewhat ironically despite more armed conflicts world wide, defence budgets are stagnating. This seems to be the case in Europe, the theatre of the last two world wars or mass slaughters of the 20th century. The “old continent” overall, is reluctant to increase military spending. Yet despite the economic hardships of austerity, the victors of WWI (UK, France) are purchasing more weaponry. The allies’ former foes (Austria and especially Germany) are for obvious historical considerations, loath to boost outlays for the military establishment. Berlin and Vienna seek to use the powers of diplomacy and economic might to maximise their clout in the world. Guns and armed men seem to be a thing of the past as far as they are concerned. Both EU member states, have taken a more conciliatory and less confrontational tack with respect to the perceived foreign “incursions” and “meddling” next door in Eastern Ukraine.

    • Debating How–Not Whether–to Launch a New War

      Moments after Barack Obama’s September 10 primetime address laying out a military plan to attack ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria, CNN featured a debate between Republican Sen. John McCain and former White House press secretary Jay Carney. The somewhat contentious exchange went viral. “Carney, McCain Spar on CNN Over ISIS Strategy” was the headline on the NPR website. “John McCain Has a Huge Fight With Jay Carney on CNN” was how it was billed at the Huffington Post.

    • No Debate and the New War

      Study finds little opposition to US attacks on Iraq, Syria

    • ‘Stealth drone technology – ace in Tehran hands’

      The US will have to bite the bullet over Iran building a copy of its cutting-edge stealth drone, Kaveh Afra-siabi, a political scientist and author, told RT. The technology is a major plus for Tehran’s deterrent strategy vis-à-vis US power in the region.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The New York Times Won’t Cower to the Government, Except When It Does

      But they have certainly submitted to United States government coercion in the past. Here are a few recent instances that come to mind…

    • Who is the most influential person in your life? Edward.

      The 22d of November marks the 123d birth anniversary of Edward Bernays which is without doubt the single person that affected all our lives, often in a negative way.

      Some think that they make choices out of their free will but don’t realise that their free will has been conditioned by years of “propaganda”.

      But who is he and why he’s influencing my life?

    • ALEC Support Drops 19 Percent in 2013

      The embattled American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) lost nearly 20 percent in grant revenue between 2012 and 2013, according to new tax filings, reflecting the financial hit that the “corporate bill mill” has suffered as it has been dragged into the sunlight.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • London’s Third Wall And Surveillance Function Creep

      The UK is infamous for the Orwellian number of its CCTV cameras dotted around the land. And as the UK is to the world, so London is to the UK, with an even more extreme level of surveillance taking place 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As part of “an investigation into paranoia, electromagnetism, and infrastructure,” James Bridle decided to walk around the inner core of London known as the “Congestion Charge Zone,” which requires all vehicles that enter to pay a fee — the idea being that this will reduce unnecessary traffic and thus air pollution in the capital. For reasons explained in Bridle’s entertaining post, he never made it all the way around the London Congestion Charge Zone’s perimeter, but he did manage to record around half of the surveillance cameras he encountered on his way — all 427 of them — which he turned into an interactive map.

    • Government planes mimic cellphone towers to collect user data – report

      The US justice department is reportedly using electronic equipment on aircraft to simulate cellphone towers so it can collect phone location and identifying information on a mass scale from users on the ground below.

      The allegations, reported in the Wall Street Journal late on Thursday, suggest that the US Marshals Service has for seven years flown Cessna aircraft outfitted with “dirtbox” devices that mimic cellular towers, permitting the collection of thousands of unique IDs and location data from users.

    • US government spying on people’s cell phones using fake signal towers
    • WSJ: A Secret U.S. Spy Program Is Using Planes to Target Cell Phones
    • The Justice Department Has Been Spying on Your Phone From Airborne Cessnas
    • U.S. Authorities Are Reportedly Gathering Phone Data Using Fake Celltowers On Planes
    • Americans’ Cellphones Targeted in Secret U.S. Spy Program

      The Justice Department is scooping up data from thousands of mobile phones through devices deployed on airplanes that mimic cellphone towers, a high-tech hunt for criminal suspects that is snagging a large number of innocent Americans, according to people familiar with the operations.

    • Americans’ Cellphones Targeted in Secret U.S. Spy Program

      Devices on Planes that Mimic Cellphone Towers Used to Target Criminals, but Also Sift Through Thousands of Other Phones

    • US government is using planes to spy on cell phones, suck up data

      It’s the sort of thing that makes you want to hide in a cave with a tin foil hat: a new report reveals that the Justice Department is using airplanes to scan the cell phone data of suspected criminals, and anyone who might be standing near them.

    • Democracies US, UK and India Listed Among Enemies of Internet Freedom

      Internet censorship and monitoring are prevalent in authoritarian countries such as North Korea, China and Russia, and these countries are still regarded as the biggest enemies of internet freedom.

      Now, a few democratic countries have been added to the list of nations that monitor citizen’s activities online and pose a threat to internet freedom. Advocates of internet freedom are worried as democratic nations are heading towards a more authoritarian internet.

    • Senate may vote to cut NSA recording

      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., moved yesterday to take up legislation that would curtail some of the bulk collection of Americans’ telephone data.

      Reid filed notice that he would hold a procedural vote, probably next week, on a bill sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., to limit which records of domestic phone calls can be collected and stored by the FBI and the National Security Agency.

    • As It Stands, Feinstein Would Vote ‘No’ on Surveillance Reform

      In its current form, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, would vote against major legislation to reform the National Security Agency’s bulk metadata collection program, the California Democrat said Thursday.

      “Do I intend to vote for it? I’m giving that real consideration. Right now, no, but that’s subject to change,” she said, after walking out of a closed committee hearing. Her committee colleagues, including Sens. Angus King (I-Maine), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.) also expressed skepticism over the USA Freedom Act, which would end much of the government’s bulk data collection activities.

    • Quite Possibly the Worst Analysis of NSA Spying You Will Ever Hear

      In a bizarre application of the old “blame the victim” idea, the Guardian’s James Ball has decided that ordinary people with nosy neighbor syndrome are the fundamental cause of government spying. It’s a classic example of confusing the cultural problem of gossip with the political problem of surveillance.

      This comes in the wake of that viral video a guy took of a housekeeper cleaning his hotel room and riffling through his stuff. The question is, what makes us want to spy on a housekeeper and punish her with internet infamy when she dares to spend time looking at some videogames before making the bed? It’s probably the same urge that makes us gossip about celebrities, and spread vicious rumors about people that can harm their reputations and send them into deep depression. Call it nosy neighbor syndrome. It’s an ugly urge, and has only gotten more pernicious in the wake of easily-available cams and gossip-spreading services like YouTube and Facebook.

    • To stop the government from collecting our phone records, pass the USA Freedom Act

      Almost a year and a half after Edward Snowden revealed that the government was collecting the telephone records of millions of Americans, Congress may be about to end that program — if it doesn’t succumb to specious arguments from defenders of the status quo.

    • California police spent $45mn on spy gear with little oversight

      Police departments across California spent more than $45 million on surveillance equipment over the course of a decade with little to no legislative or public oversight – and without the public’s knowledge, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

      The ACLU report, titled ‘Making Smart Decisions about Surveillance: A Guide for Communities,’ reveals how California law enforcement took advantage of millions of dollars’ worth of federal surveillance gear to sidestep city council oversight and boards of supervisors. Police also avoided consideration of costs and benefits and left the public in the dark as to how law enforcement was using the equipment to track their lives.

    • Snowden media prize to be awarded in Moscow

      Winners of Russia’s first online media prize named after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden will be announced at a ceremony in Moscow on Friday, an event organizer said.

      The Russian Association of Electronic Communications told TASS that 83 applications from companies and 62 applications from Russian journalists had been received for the Internet Media Awards.

    • US Whistleblower Edward Snowden Reunites With Girlfriend And Pets A Dog, Flashes On Russian TV

      Edward Snowden has reunited with Lindsay Mills, his girlfriend, in Russia. The U.S. whistleblower, who is on the run, has also made another friend—a dog of strange breed. According to rtnews.com, the NSA ex-contractor’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, flashed the picture of Snowden with his dog in Rossiya 24 TV channel, and revealed the animal’s name as Rick.

    • Pew Study Shows Americans Are Fed up with Government Surveillance

      It’s a fact: most Americans are concerned about their online privacy. According to a Pew study released on November 12th, 80% of surveyed participants believed that Americans should be fully concerned with the government’s monitoring of phone calls and internet activity. 82% of respondents believed that details regarding their physical location should be more protected. 91% of participants feel that they’ve “lost control” over how their personal data is collated and collected and utilized by private companies. By contrast, only 41% of respondents considered their online purchasing history to be “sensitive information”, and only 5% of participants were actually unaware of the government’s monitoring of American’s internet and communication activity….

    • Intel Subsidiary Agrees to $750,000 Penalty for Unauthorized Encryption Exports
    • Advanced persistent threats found in the TOR network

      There are suggestions that the malware code has been around for a while, and has predecessors, and F-Secure warned internet users, anonymous or otherwise, to tread carefully when they download.

      “However, it would seem that the OnionDuke family is much older, based on older compilation timestamps and on the fact that some of the embedded configuration data makes reference to an apparent version number of four, suggesting that at least three earlier versions of the family exist,” the firm added.

      “In any case, although much is still shrouded in mystery and speculation, one thing is certain: while using Tor may help you stay anonymous, it does at the same time paint a huge target on your back.

      “It’s never a good idea to download binaries via Tor (or anything else) without encryption.”

    • For a year, gang operating rogue Tor node infected Windows executables

      Three weeks ago, a security researcher uncovered a Tor exit node that added malware to uncompressed Windows executables passing through it. Officials with the privacy service promptly shut down the Russia-based node, but according to new research, the group behind the node had likely been infecting files for more than a year by that time, causing careless users to install a backdoor that gave attackers full control of their systems.

    • US privacy confidence at new low, survey indicates

      The vast majority – 91% – of Americans believe that consumers have lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies, according to a survey.

    • EU DNA Database Back on the Agenda

      dna-3Following Monday night’s confused debate on EU Justice and Home Affairs powers it has been revealed that the Government is embarking upon a scheme that would give European states limited access to the UK DNA database and potentially pave the way to a linking of the UK and EU databases.

    • Nations want to be the ruler of the internet – at least within their own borders

      While there is only one world power on the internet, that situation will not last forever. The internet’s underpinning technologies were mostly created in the US, the initial networks were based there – and today the US hosts the majority of the most powerful internet companies. Although the international community has fought minor battles on internet sovereignty for years, the de facto power that stems from this US-centricism has for a long time seemed acceptable. But with the revelations – not even all following from Snowden – about international mass surveillance by the US and its allies, it’s inevitable the gloves have had to come off.

    • The GCHQ boss’s assault on privacy is promoting illegality on the net

      As he will have wished and we might have predicted, the bandwagon created by the GCHQ boss, Robert Hannigan, is gathering momentum. His demand that the internet companies abandon their stance on privacy now carries the weight of the British government.

      Addressing the Society of Editors conference on Tuesday, Sajid Javid, the culture secretary, dismissed the right to privacy – in the form of the right to be forgotten – as “little more than an excuse for well-paid lawyers to hide the shady pasts of wealthy businessmen and the sexual indiscretions of sporting celebrities”. Last weekend the former home secretary David Blunkett jumped on board, accusing technology companies that offer encryption of “helping terrorists to co-ordinate genocide and foster fear and instability around the world”. Bernard Hogan Howe, the Metropolitan police commissioner, said this month that space and technology firms must do more to frustrate paedophiles, murderers and terrorists.

  • Civil Rights

    • Why the Press Is Less Free Today

      In the worldwide movement away from democracy, perhaps the most vulnerable institution is the free press, and the most disposable people are journalists. If they’re doing their job right, they can have few friends in powerful places. Journalists become reliably useful to governments, corporations, or armed groups only when they betray their calling. They seldom even have a base of support within the general public. In some places, it’s impossible to report the truth without making oneself an object of hatred and a target of violence for one sector of society or another.

    • Senator Mark Udall plans to push on issues of CIA torture and snooping during final weeks in office

      U.S. Sen. Mark Udall has seven weeks left in office, but the Colorado Democrat isn’t prepared to go quietly — especially when it comes to the twin issues of CIA torture and government snooping.

    • Will Mark Udall release details of CIA torture report before he goes?

      Pentagon Papers redux?

      Even before Sen. Mark Udall’s Nov. 4 loss, transparency advocates were pushing him to take a dramatic stand: Disclose all the secret details of the CIA’s torture techniques.

      Now that he’s on his way out, the Colorado Democrat told The Denver Post, his hometown newspaper, that he’s considering it.

      “I’m going to keep all options on the table to ensure the truth comes out,” Udall said.

    • Udall: ‘All options’ on table with CIA report

      Outgoing Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) said he is keeping “all options on the table” when it comes to publicly releasing the Senate’s report on the CIA’s now-defunct interrogation program.

    • Outbound Udall Considers Spilling Torture Report Secrets

      The defeated Democrat is leaving open the possibility that he will take into his own hands release of a controversial study of Bush-era “enhanced interrogation” methods.

    • U.N. Commission Presses U.S. on Torture

      A United Nations panel that monitors compliance with an antitorture treaty expressed skepticism Thursday about American law enforcement and national security practices.

      In a two-day presentation in Geneva, the American delegation acknowledged that the United States had tortured terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11 attacks. It emphasized, however, that the government had since tightened its rules, including with a 2005 statute against using cruelty and a 2009 executive order by President Obama that limits interrogators to a list of techniques in an Army field manual.sed the delegation to explain Appendix M of the manual, which contains special procedures for separating captives in order to prevent them from communicating. The appendix says that prisoners shall receive at least four hours of sleep a day — an amount Mr. Bruni said would be sleep deprivation over prolonged periods and unrelated to preventing communication.

    • Release the Senate Torture Report

      In addition to the Torture Report, there is a CIA formal response defending the agency’s actions. A third report, commissioned by former CIA Director Leon Panetta, is reportedly consistent with Torture Report findings, but contradicts the CIA’s response to it. It is not clear whether these reports will be released.

    • Diego Garcia Dentention Questions

      The questions of Mr Tyrie also confirm that the US detention facility closed in 2007; the same year the UK holding cells were opened. The Ministers stops short of denying US forces have requested use of UK detention facilities on Deigo Garcia but does state that “there is no information to suggest that the US requested permission to use it during this period [2002 to 2009].”

    • Obama seeks human rights waiver on war funds

      The Obama administration has asked Congress repeatedly to exempt its military effort against the Islamic State from a longstanding ban on U.S. assistance to torturers and war criminals, highlighting doubts about finding “clean” American allies in a region wracked by ethnic animosity and religious extremism.

    • Laos: International donors must press government on human rights issues

      The Lao government’s failure to adequately investigate and attempt to solve most cases of enforced disappearances, including that of prominent civil society leader and human rights defender Sombath Somphone, remains an issue of serious concern. In addition, recently-enacted legislation adds to a body of existing repressive laws that severely restrict the people’s enjoyment of their civil and political rights. New regulations proposed by the government, if enacted, will negatively impact Lao people and adversely affect the operations of International Non-Government Organizations (INGOs) and Non-Profit Associations (NPAs).

    • Bolton: The search for intelligent life forms should start here

      Look at all the CIA coups where we undermine and/or overthrow governments to the detriment of its people as well as to ours, where it usually costs us in blood and treasure. However, the international bankers make out like bandits, which they are.

    • The Klan’s Call to Violence in Ferguson Blows the Lid Off Its Hypocritical Rebrand

      Despite the KKK’s recent attempts to soften its ‘burning crosses, bombing churches’ image, its call to violence against Ferguson protesters exposes the same old racist Klan mentality.

    • High School Kids Staring Down Child Porn Charges In Sexting Scandal

      Even as we recently discussed yet another case of law enforcement getting involved in cases of teens sexting, a behavior that is likely more common than we prudish adults can even fathom, it seems that a group of teens in the Chicago suburbs just weren’t getting the message. This isn’t to say, of course, that sexting is a recommended behavior. Still, it’s common enough that the existing laws and punishments in place are often more harmful than the behavior they’re trying to curtail.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net neutrality is not a liberal-vs.-conservative issue

      All hopes for a reasoned discussion on Net neutrality seemingly flew out the window this week, as President Obama issued a strong statement calling on the FCC to reclassify ISPs as Title II carriers in order to preserve a free and open Internet. And though a new poll shows Net neutrality is not a liberal-vs.-conservative issue, that’s undeniably how it will play out in Congress.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

Links 14/11/2014: GNOME 3.14.2, PulseAudio 6.0

Posted in News Roundup at 7:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 6 tips for adopting open source

    Open source code drives collaborative innovation from a larger pool of developers at a lower cost, which is why federal agencies are adopting the “open source first” model. In fact Sonny Hashmi, CIO of the General Services Administration, recently announced that implementing open source software is among his top priorities this year.

    So what’s the best way to increase your agency’s adoption of open source software and keep it secure?

  • Databricks Adds Certifications for Spark Big Data Integrators

    Apache Spark, the open source platform for in-memory, cluster-based big data processing, has taken another step toward readiness for prime time with the announcement of a new certification program from Databricks that focuses on Spark systems integrators.

  • GlobalSight shines with open source in the translation community

    Making GlobalSight open source in 2009 was a business decision by Welocalize, as it allowed users and clients the most options to support and create solutions that work best for them. As it turned out, clients liked the decision and Welocalize embraced the open source model as a business strategy. The GlobalSight community has been active since then and is a vibrant, active group of users, developers, and translation professionals. Users like GlobalSight because it is a fully featured TMS system, which is core to supporting localization and translation programs in large enterprises.

  • Adobe appoints former Reg man as open-source chief mobile lead

    Matt Asay has quietly been appointed Adobe’s vice president of mobile for the firm’s digital marketing business, The Reg has learned. He left his post as vice president of community at NoSQL database MongoDB on 31 October.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google’s Blink WebKit Engine Fork Is Doing Great

        A “State of Blink” presentation was shared during the conference and the short story is that this engine, which is used by Google’s Chrome/Chromium among other open-source web projects, is doing great.

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • ownCloud Enables True Universal File Access via Cloud Service

      ownCloud uses its own server-to-server sharing capability to bypass all the Web interfaces that trip up seamless file sharing across silos.

      Anybody who says there’s nothing new under the sun–or clouds–ought to read this story.

      Cloud storage and collaboration service provider ownCloud (yes, with a lower-case “o”) has found a way to sync up files from all over the place–from the cloud, to enterprise silos, to personal connected storage devices, to other disparate places–and make them easily available and sharable using its own cloud (hence, ownCloud) common file access layer.

  • Databases

    • Amazon: DROP DATABASE Oracle; INSERT our new fast cheap MySQL clone

      Amazon fired a volley at Oracle and other relational database vendors on Wednesday, with the launch of a new, cloud-hosted database service that it says can deliver better performance than on-premises installations at a fraction of the cost.

      Amazon Web Services senior VP Andy Jassy unveiled the new service, dubbed Amazon Aurora, during the opening keynote of the annual AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, arguing that traditional database software isn’t serving customers’ needs in a cloud-centric world.

    • Amazon Claims New Aurora DB Engine Screams With Speed

      Looks like the long-popular, open-source MySQL database, which runs inside so many IT systems now that there isn’t a good way to know exactly how many instances are out there, has a viable new competitor.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Leaving da Camera On: Introduction and Contents

      Which brings us to a very relevant point. The Gnu/Linux and Free Software Foundation people (we mean the real guys, the ‘amateur’ programmers, artists, writers, engineers — many of whom do not get paid for their ‘real work’ (“I’m a programmer, really. Acting in major motion pictures is just my day job”) — not the ‘Official Value-added Linux Distributors’ who package and dispense the product to supplement their substantial offerings of NSA-quality and price-tag corporate ‘offerings’) are totally responsible for Leaving da Camera On — though we’ll accept the blame; happy to take a bullet for GNU/FSF any time. The crude — but vehemently sincere — multi-media shtick we’ll be offering you — Hey all you people out there on Internet Land! Hi Mom! — would have cost thousands of dollars — per machine — had we been forced to knuckle under to MacWindows shake-down-ware. Which is and would have been impossible — in every sense of the term. And way beyond our humble dissents’ budget. A lot or GNU/Linux ‘day-to-day-routine’ processes are deliberately blocked, as anyone who’s been duped by the iPadphonepoddronelauncher PR hustle and ‘copyright law’ strong-arming via their congressional attorneys has experienced; which is why all of Free Media Offerings (FMCs) within these quercks and decs are ‘conceptually correct,’ the ‘production values’ would have been considered cheap and cheesy by Ed Wood.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Scholarship Winner Sandeep Aryal Aims to Bring Open Source to Nepal

      As a system administrator for the Government of Nepal in Kathmandu, Sandeep Aryal says it will be a formidable challenge to convince his employer to adopt Linux and open source software. But he believes the training he receives through his Linux Foundation scholarship will help him better make his case, he says.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How open source is changing our food

      Our planet is currently inhabited by 7 billion people. And we believe open source holds a key to building better hardware, methods, and systems to help us grow, harvest, and share food with each other. Right where we live, and on a greater scale, with our global neighbors. Out of the sharing economy and the labors of love of open source communities have come innovative ideas that we need today and will need into the future.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Celebrating 10 years of Lohit fonts project

      I am sure in open source it is rare to find people who are not aware of Lohit fonts [1] or not used it over the years. It is default fonts for number of Indian language in Most of the open source distribution including Fedora, Debian. It was used in early version of Android for Indian languages. It is used in Wikipedia as a Web fonts. Recently Unicode started using it for building Tamil code charts.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Activists Arrested for Protesting Drone Killings Speak Out

      Ellen Barfield and Marilyn Carlisle talk to the Real News about why they committed civil disobedience opposing drone strikes at the NSA headquarters in Ft. Meade, Maryland

    • World wary as bombs, not humans, pick whom to kill

      On a bright fall day last year off the coast of Southern California, an Air Force B-1 bomber launched an experimental missile that may herald the future of warfare.

      Initially, pilots aboard the plane directed the missile, but halfway to its destination, it severed communication with its operators. Alone, without human oversight, the missile decided which of three ships to attack, dropping to just above the sea surface and striking a 260-foot unmanned freighter.

    • Bombs Away: Weaponized Drones Flying High

      For a while it seemed that the drones project had been restrained following a flood of public criticism last year. Reports from United Nations Special Rapporteurs, and mainstream NGOs like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International clearly documented violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law by Drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, countries the US is not at war with. US attempts to justify the strikes were clearly inadequate but strikes dwindled so the discussion around Drones lost it’s allure. I warned last fall that this is was just a superficial misdirection while all the corporate and pentagon initiatives remained on track [1][2]. Today the drones are back in force and legality seems a forgotten issue.

    • If only America didn’t have those high-tech hammers

      Every time the US goes and pummels another Muslim country — by sending drones to conduct ‘signature strikes’ or using the NSA to eavesdrop — it reinforces the terrorists’ claim that the West has an insatiable desire to dominate the Arab and Islamic world and has no respect for Muslim life

    • Why’s Al Qaeda So Strong? Washington Has (Literally) No idea

      In the years since Bin Laden declared war on the West, we’ve learned how to kill his followers, but not how to defeat his ideology.

    • Secret Cash Pays for U.S. Drone Mistakes

      A Yemeni family was paid $100,000 for the death of relatives in a U.S. drone strike in 2012, according to a remarkable story yesterday from Yahoo News. Faisal bin Ali Jaber, a 56-year-old who works at Yemen’s environmental agency, has been on a mission to find out why his innocent nephew and brother-in-law were killed in a strike that also took out three suspected militants. He made it to Washington D.C. last fall, he told journalist Michael Isikoff, where he met with two White House national security aides. They listened, but said little in response.

    • US Drone Strike, Clashes Kill 40 in Yemen

      None of them have been identified.

    • U.S. sailors attacked in Turkey, have bags placed over heads

      Three U.S. Navy sailors were assaulted and had bags placed over their heads during a stop in Istanbul, Turkey, according to U.S. military officials.

      The incident, captured on video, happened Wednesday when sailors from the USS Ross were attacked by members of the Turkish Youth Union, according to local Turkish press accounts.

      A statement posted on the Turkish Youth Union website said the bags were placed on the sailors’ heads to protest American “imperialism” in the Middle East and other areas.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Republicans vow EPA fight as Obama touts China climate deal

      Republican congressional leaders on Wednesday wasted no time in criticizing what they called President Barack Obama’s “one-sided” climate deal with China, using the announcement to declare war on the administration’s plan to use executive actions to combat carbon emissions.

  • Finance

    • Welcome to Sweden – the most cash-free society on the planet

      Electronic payment evangelists say largely cash-free economy has cut costs and reduced crime rate

    • .1% of America Now Controls 22% of Wealth: The Wealth Gap Has Killed the Middle Class

      A new working paper by London School of Economics professors Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman sheds some very unflattering light on the American wealth gap, which has reached levels unseen since the Roaring ‘20s. The wealth gap has been overtaking the income gap as a popular cultural topic since Thomas Piketty’s splashy Capital in the 21st Century, and Saez and Zucman’s work fills in some crucial blanks to flesh out Piketty’s contentions. Saez and Zucman conclude that the top .1% of America now controls 22% of the aggregate wealth – an especially troubling figure when examined in the context of America’s stubbornly conservative political landscape.

    • Obama’s ‘Hot Anti-Wall Street Rhetoric’?

      So the evidence is Obama making a comment on 60 Minutes and apparently blaming Wall Street for the economic collapse. But while financiers would no doubt rather be referred to as “entrepreneur/philanthropists” than as “fat cat bankers”–a phrase that did not become a regular part of Obama’s vocabulary–there is little doubt that Wall Street does in fact deserve a major share of blame for the financial meltdown. It’s peculiar to classify a commonplace observations about the world as “hot rhetoric.”

      And there’s the fact that Obama made a joke about Goldman Sachs’ profitability–at a dinner where presidents make jokes!–right after the company just paid out a massive settlement for the kind of behavior that helped fuel the economic collapse.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Britain Poised to Muzzle ‘Extremist’ Speech

      In Britain, if you have extreme views on anything from Western democracy to women’s role in public life, you might soon require a licence from the government before you can speak in public. Seriously.

    • Kuwaiti Cartoonist Battles ISIS Death Threats, U.S. Bigots

      Seven years after the Kuwaiti psychologist and entrepreneur first launched his comic book series based on the 99 attributes of Allah, he’s facing a sudden onslaught of death threats, fatwas and lawsuits. His US distributor, meanwhile, continues to sit on a TV deal, in part because of pressure from conservative bloggers who object to any positive description of Islam.

  • Privacy

    • Twitter given junk credit rating

      Standard & Poor’s issues BB- score, saying social network is growing strongly but spending heavily at the same time

    • Student, 20, speaks of her fury after photos were stolen from her Facebook profile and used to promote a sex website

      A university student was furious when she found her Facebook profile pictures had been stolen and used to advertise a ‘no-strings attached’ casual sex website.

      Three pictures of Grace Marr, an English language student at Aston University, Birmingham, were used alongside a promotion offering ‘hot horny singles in your local area’.

      Embarrassingly, she only found out they were being used when she was contacted by a friend of her mother, who told her he had seen the advert while surfing the Internet last month.

    • 6 Reasons Why You Should Quit Facebook

      Entrepreneurs are often time and money poor, yet engage in a daily habit that diminishes both: Facebook.

      With over 750 million active accounts, an astounding one in nine people in the world log on to Facebook, arguably the most addictive social media site. Studies reveal that Facebook makes us spend more, work less and generally, discourages us. In this, has Facebook become a liability for budding entrepreneurs?

    • Race to revive NSA surveillance curbs before Congress handover

      The major post-Edward Snowden legislation meant to constrain the National Security Agency received a new lease on life Wednesday when the Senate majority leader paved the way for the USA Freedom Act to receive a vote before the congressional session expires.

      Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who will cease being majority leader when his party returns to the minority in January, filed a procedural motion that will permit the bill to receive a hearing on the Senate floor, perhaps as early as next week. Its supporters have feared that Senate inaction would quietly kill the only post-9/11 attempt at curtailing mass surveillance.

    • Harry Reid Moves for Senate Vote on NSA Reform

      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday moved to advance a bill that would usher in sweeping reforms to the government’s most controversial domestic-spying program, more than a year after Edward Snowden’s leaks exposed it publicly.

    • Tech, digital rights groups applaud Senate move on NSA reform

      “The legal reforms in the USA Freedom Act send a clear signal to U.S. citizens and Internet users around the world that Congress is serious about reforming government surveillance practices, and providing the judiciary and the public with tools that allow better oversight over remaining narrowed programs,” CCIA President and CEO Ed Black said by email. “The USA Freedom Act closes key loopholes on bulk call data collection and offers greater transparency, which is essential for citizens in a free democracy.”

    • Ex-NSA technical chief: How 9/11 created the surveillance state

      Former NSA technical director Brian Snow discusses the ethical issues around the use of mass surveillance and tells Sophie Curtis why citizens should be careful what they wish for

    • Plumbing the Depths of NSA’s Spying

      The complexity of the National Security Agency’s spying programs has made some of its ex-technical experts the most dangerous critics since they are among the few who understand the potential totalitarian risks involved, as ex-NSA analyst William Binney showed in an interview with journalist Lars Schall.

    • Google urges US government to extend the US Privacy Act to EU citizens

      The U.S. government should give European citizens whose personal data is sent to U.S. authorities the same privacy protections that American citizens already enjoy in the EU, Google’s top lawyer has said ahead of trans-Atlantic talks.

    • Google urges US to let Europeans sue over information disclosures
    • Who will save Europe’s privacy from the NSA? Oh God … it’s Google
    • Lame duck? Senate to vote on Keystone pipeline, NSA reform

      Republicans are set to take over the Senate next year, but the chamber is gearing up to make the lame duck session eventful: lawmakers will vote on the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline bill next week, as well as another to curb domestic surveillance.

    • The Surveillance State’s Legalism Isn’t About Morals, It’s About Manipulating the Rules

      Margo Schlanger has written a great article forthcoming in the Harvard National Security Journal about intelligence legalism, an ethical framework she sees underlying NSA surveillance. Margo makes the case that NSA and the executive branch haven’t been asking what the right surveillance practices should be, but rather what surveillance practices are allowed to be. She takes the concept of legalism from political theorist Judith Shklar: “the ethical attitude that holds moral conduct to be a matter of rule following, and moral relationships to consist of duties and rights determined by rules.” In the model of legalism that Margo sees the NSA following, any spying that is not legally prohibited is also right and good because ethics is synonymous with following the rules. Her critique of “intelligence legalism” is that the rules are the bare minimum, and merely following the rules doesn’t take civil liberties concerns seriously enough.

    • The Mercenaries

      Ex-NSA hackers and their corporate clients are stretching legal boundaries and shaping the future of cyberwar.

    • Watch out: the US government wants to pass new spying laws behind your back

      Dangerous cybersecurity legislation would allow Google and Facebook to hand over even more of your information to the NSA and FBI

    • Ex-NSA Chief Urges Congress to Step Up Fight Against Cyberattacks [pro-surveillance scare]
    • TAKE ACTION: Hearing Set for Bill to Turn Off NSA Water in Utah

      A bill that would set the stage for turning off the water at the NSA datacenter facility in Bluffdale, Utah will get a public hearing this month, and your action can help move the legislation forward.

      Rep. Marc Roberts introduced the Utah Fourth Amendment Protection Act (HB0161) during the 2014 legislative session. The bill would ban the state and its political subdivisions from providing material support or resources to federal agencies engaged in mass warrantless surveillance programs. This would include the up to 1.7 million gallons of water per day being supplied to the datacenter by the city of Bluffdale.

    • Now the GOP Must Choose: Mass Surveillance or Privacy?

      Before May, Congress has no alternative but to endorse or end NSA spying on the phone calls of virtually every American. What does the new party in charge want?

    • Stalling on Surveillance Reform Could Cost the GOP

      Right now, there is a viable, bipartisan bill called the USA Freedom Act that would limit government spying on Americans and has received support from members of both parties, the tech industry, and the Obama Administration. Yet, there are few remaining legislative days left to allow a vote on the bill so that it can become law. Failure to move the bill in the lame duck session will leave some tough questions for the new Senate to deal with in 2015.

    • Greenwald to Share His NSA Secrets at the U

      Glenn Greenwald, a journalist famous for breaking the story of Edward Snowden’s leak of confidential information from the National Security Agency’s surveillance of American citizens, will be speaking at the U about topics concerning security and privacy.

      Matthew Potolsky, an English professor at the U, is teaching a course on secrecy Spring Semester, and Greenwald was selected to coincide with the class. Potolsky said he was also intrigued at the thought of Greenwald coming to Utah because of the NSA’s new data facility in Bluffdale.

    • Rep. Mike Rogers Is Taking His NSA Propaganda to the Airwaves

      Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the outgoing chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has announced details of his plan to become a talk-radio host.

      Rogers, who didn’t run for re-election, will launch a thrice-daily radio segment on Cumulus media’s national radio network.

    • NSA Requests for Facebook Data Up By 24 Percent

      A new report has been released that requests for information on Facebook from federal spy agencies is up by 24 percent.

    • ‘There is but one way out for you’: Uncensored ‘suicide letter’ sent from FBI to Martin Luther King made public for the first time

      The uncensored contents of a letter sent from the FBI to Martin Luther King in which he is called an “evil, abnormal beast” and apparently encouraged to kill himself have been made public for the first time.

      In what appears to be a heavy-handed attempt to unsettle the civil rights leader, the anonymous letter was written by a deputy of the bureau’s director J Edgar Hoover, posing as a disappointed activist, and sent to King in the weeks before he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

    • Democrats face hefty to-do list in final weeks of Senate majority

      Isis, Ebola and NSA reform all make the list – but most important will be nominees the White House wants approved before Republicans take the Senate

    • Germany and Brazil propose UN resolution re-write to condemn ‘highly intrusive act’ of NSA surveillance

      Germany and Brazil have made alterations to a United Nations draft resolution on the issue of state surveillance, with the two countries calling for protection against government spying on communications and personal data.

    • Germany, Brazil Push the UN to be Tougher on Digital Spying

      Germany and Brazil are pushing the United Nations to be tougher on spying by beefing up an earlier UN resolution raising concerns that mass surveillance, interception of digital communications and personal data collection could harm human rights.

    • How quantum computers will undermine cryptography

      Quantum computing has many benefits, but it could also undermine the cryptographic algorithms that underpin the World Wide Web, according to a former NSA technical director

    • New Report: Patient confidentiality broken 6 times a day

      The report shows that between 2011 to 2014, there have been at least 7,255 breaches. This is the equivalent to 6 breaches every day. Examples of the data breaches include:

    • New OASIS Standard to Build Biometric Security Wonderwall

      Non-profit IT consortium OASIS is developing a server-based biometric authentication standard. Industry professionals, government officials, and academics have been invited to help develop the standard as part of the Identity-Based Attestation and Open Exchange Protocol Specification – or IBOPS – Technical Committee.

    • The U.S. must respect the rights of all users

      In the nearly 18 months since the first Snowden revelations, policymakers around the world have spent countless hours discussing the proper scope and reach of surveillance authorities. The United States has been at the center of these discussions, and for good cause. Many of the revelations have focused on U.S. activities and the U.S. maintains the largest budget for surveillance in the world many times over. However, frighteningly little has been said in these discussions about surveillance of people outside of America.

    • PRISM scandal threatens EU-US ‘Safe Harbour’ agreement

      The European Court of Justice (ECJ) could be tempted to invalidate “Safe Harbour” agreements on data retention between the United States and the European Union because of the PRISM spying scandal, writes Yann Padova.

    • Human Rights Watch calls on US to recognize all privacy rights

      The United States should recognize the right to privacy of other countries and stop its practice of spying on the communications of friendly nations, Human Rights Watch’s general counsel Dinah Pokempner said Thursday.

    • Want your privacy back? First, curb your own enthusiasm for snooping

      If we film everyone, all the time, that’s not merely a threat to trust in our society – it’s the end of it

    • New head of Britain’s GCHQ demands Internet companies act as state informers

      Within hours of Robert Hannigan becoming the new director of Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) spy centre last week, he demanded it be allotted even more draconian powers.

    • The mass surveillance scandal fallout

      Over the last year the extent of NSA and GCHQ monitoring of communications has come under increasing scrutiny and informed privacy policy in Europe.

    • US concerns about online privacy present opportunity, experts say

      A new survey saying an overwhelming majority of U.S. adults believe they have lost control over how private companies collect their personal information may be an opportunity in disguise for Web-based companies, some privacy experts said.

    • Art in a Time of Surveillance

      You can’t throw a rock these days without hitting a surveillance art project, and the remarkable thing is that so much of it is so good. Some of the Snowden era’s sharpest interrogations of collect-it-all tracking by corporations and the government are to be found in galleries and other art spaces. They are the opposite of the acronym-laden news stories we read: NSA, FISA, PGP, PRISM, ACLU, EFF, SIGINT, GCHQ, TOR, FOIA, HTTPS, are you still awake? They are playful, invasive and eerie, and best of all they are graphically visual. With a transgressive edge that journalism struggles to match, they creatively challenge what it means to be human in a time of data.

    • Stephen Walt: Without high-tech gadgetry, Washington might have to do real spying, and thinking

      If we didn’t have all these expensive high-tech capabilities, we might spend a lot more time thinking about how to discredit and delegitimize the terrorists’ message

      [...]

      To be clear: I’m not suggesting we dismantle the NSA, fire all our cryptographers, and revert to Cordell Hull’s quaint belief that “gentlemen [or ladies] do not read each other’s mail.” But until we see more convincing evidence that the surveillance of the sort Hannigan was defending has really and truly kept a significant number of people safer from foreign dangers, I’m going to wonder if we aren’t overemphasizing these activities because they are relatively easy for us, and because they have a powerful but hard-to-monitor constituency in Washington and London. In short, we’re just doing what comes naturally, instead of doing what might be more effective.

    • Peak indifference-to-surveillance

      The Pew Internet Project has updated its must-read 2013 work on privacy perception in the post-Snowden era with a survey of American attitudes to privacy and surveillance that shows that the number of Americans who worry about privacy is steeply rising.

    • How much do we care about our online privacy?

      A year and a half after Snowden’s initial NSA revelations, internet privacy has become one of the most widely discussed topics in media and technology. But there is little evidence that snooping habits have diminished. Even apps that emerged to ensure consumer anonymity, such as Snapchat and Whisper, have been under investigation for breeching their own privacy specs. But how much has changed in the mindset of consumers, and are we genuinely concerned about privacy?

    • Is online privacy a lost cause?

      Nine in 10 Americans believe they have no control over their personal information, how it is collected and how it is used by companies, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

    • Pew Study: Americans Fear They’ve Lost Control of Personal Data

      A Pew Research study examined how Americans view the privacy of their personal information in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations about online government snooping.

    • Senate poised to vote on USA Freedom Act as early as next week

      The Senate is poised to vote as early as next week on the USA Freedom Act, legislation that would end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of records about Americans’ phone calls.

    • Immigration hinders anti-terror efforts – UK police chief

      The influx of immigrants to the UK, with different languages and their own communities, are an obstacle for British police combating terrorism, the country’s most senior police chief said.

      Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said officers working in local communities aiming to combat radicalization often found it “more difficult to integrate with new populations.”

      This especially applies to multicultural London, where a disproportionately high number of migrants from overseas arrive each year.

    • How Obama Endangered Us All With Stuxnet

      A few months after President Obama took office in 2009, he announced that securing the nation’s critical infrastructure — its power generators, its dams, its airports, and its trading floors — was a top priority for his administration. Intruders had already probed the electrical grid, and Obama made it clear the status quo around unsecured systems was unacceptable. A year later, however, a sophisticated digital weapon was discovered on computers in Iran that was designed to attack a uranium enrichment plant near the town of Natanz. The virus, dubbed Stuxnet, would eventually be identified by journalists and security experts as a U.S.-engineered attack.

    • Germany plans early-warning defence against cyber attacks

      Germany is to develop a new cyber security “early-warning” system to detect impending foreign-based internet attacks before they are launched.

      The move reflects growing concern about possible cyber attacks being launched on German targets from a range of potential sources, including Islamist extremists, crime gangs, and state-backed hackers in Russia and China.

    • German spies want millions of Euros to buy zero-day code holes

      Germany’s spooks have come under fire for reportedly seeking funds to find bugs – not to fix them, but to hoard them.

      According to The Süddeutsche Zeitung, the country’s BND – its federal intelligence service – wants €300 million in funding for what it calls the Strategic Technical Initiative. The Local says €4.5 million of that will be spent seeking bugs in SSL and HTTPS.

  • Civil Rights

    • Mark Udall to consider all options to reveal CIA torture report

      U.S. Sen. Mark Udall has seven weeks left in office, but the Colorado Democrat isn’t prepared to go quietly — especially when it comes to the twin issues of CIA torture and government snooping.

      In his first interview since Election Day, Udall told The Denver Post that he would “keep all options on the table,” including a rarely-used right given to federal lawmakers, to publicize a secret report about the harsh interrogation techniques used by CIA agents in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

      He also vowed to make one final push to curb the National Security Agency and its power to gather information on ordinary Americans.

    • The U.S. Tells the World It’s Officially Done With Torture—But Is It Too Little Too Late?

      The U.S. made its most formal admission of torture yet to a United Nations panel in Geneva, telling the international community that “we crossed the line.”

    • US government sees off legal challenge over Guantánamo force-feeding

      The Obama administration has prevailed in the first court challenge to its controversial force-feedings of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, even as the judge ruling in the government’s favor criticized its lack of “common sense and compassion”.

      Gladys Kessler, a federal judge in Washington DC, denied Abu Wa’el Dhiab’s request to significantly change the manner in which the US military transfers, restrains and forcibly feeds detainees on hunger strike to protest their confinement. Kessler’s ruling, siding with the government in nearly every particular, is the denouement of a courtroom drama that in May saw a civilian judge ordering the military to briefly halt Dhiab’s forced feeding.

    • Report: NOLA PD failed to investigate hundreds of sex crimes

      In a shocking, enraging report released Wednesday by the New Orleans Office of Inspector General, the city’s special victims unit appears to have failed to investigate 1,111 sexual abuse reports over a three-year period – including those involving young children.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Columbia Pictures Wants Anti-Piracy Policies Kept Secret, Indefinitely

        Columbia Pictures has asked a Florida federal court to keep its anti-piracy policies secret forever. The records in question are part of the now closed case between Hotfile and the MPAA. Previously, U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams ruled that the information should be unsealed in the public’s interest.

11.13.14

Links 13/11/2014: Ubuntu MATE 14.04.1 LTS, New KDE Plasma

Posted in News Roundup at 10:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source assumes growing role in data center transformation

    The acceleration of cloud computing as a model for modern IT infrastructure is causing massive transformation in data centers today. The largest data centers in the world run by Google, Amazon and others are super-efficient, automated, dynamically scalable and operate on seamless virtualized platforms often running on open source systems.

  • Australian news agency joins open source project

    Open source software developer Sourcefabric has signed Australian Associated Press to help develop an end-to-end news creation, production, curation, distribution and publishing platform.

    The two parties are inviting other news publishers to participate in the project, called Superdesk.

    AAP editor-in-chief Tony Gillies said, “Over the past 10 years, our existing editorial platform has proven increasingly inflexible.”

    “The time is right for some true innovation in this area and we believe that Sourcefabric will set us on the right path.”

    Sava Tatić, Sourcefabric managing director, said he was thrilled to be partnering with Australia’s national news agency.

  • Extra extra! How to use the press to promote open source

    This is a report from the All Things Open conference, held this year at the Raleigh Convention Center. I attended Steven Vaughan-Nichols session on marketing and using the press in open source—this is a recap.

    Before Steven was a journalist, he was a techie. This makes him unusual: a journalist who actually gets technology. Steven is here to tell us that marketing is a big part of your job if you want a successful open source company. He has heard a lot of people saying that marketing isn’t necessary anymore. The reason it’s necessary is because writing great code is not enough—if no one else knows about it, it doesn’t matter. You need to talk with people about the project to make it a success.

  • GraphHopper: a fast and flexible open source trip planner

    Route planning is an essential part of the connected and mobile world. Many people use commercial solutions on a daily basis to avoid traffic jams when heading home or when they plan their next business or outdoor trip. It is also a crucial part in many business areas like for garbage collection, pizza delivery, or ride sharing where speed is important to calculate thousands or even millions of high quality routes within a short time.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Lightweight Web Browser Midori Arrives with Lots of New Features

      Midori, a lightweight web browser that features full integration with GTK+ and fast rendering with WebKit, is now at version 0.5.9 and it should arrive in all the major repositories pretty soon.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Develops a Case of Selective Amnesia

        Roughly 10 years to the day after the release of Firefox 1.0, Mozilla on Monday announced an updated version of its open source browser complete with a new Forget button aimed at protecting users’ privacy.

        “Forget gives you an easy way to tell Firefox to clear out some of your recent activity,” explained Firefox Vice President Johnathan Nightingale. “Instead of asking a lot of complex technical questions, Forget asks you only one: How much do you want to forget? Once you tell Firefox you want to forget the last five minutes, or two hours, or 24 hours, it takes care of the rest.”

      • Firefox 10th Anniversary and new Firefox

        The celebratory Firefox release that puts the users more in control of how they browse

      • Firefox 33.1 Debuts With Security, Privacy and Developer Focus

        Ten years after the first Firefox 1.0 release, Mozilla emphasizes its core strengths of privacy and developer focus.

      • Mozilla Launches MozVR, Moves Toward Virtual Reality

        For some time now, Mozilla has been focused on making virtual reality come alive in browsing experiences. In June, the company delivered builds of Firefox that supported the Oculus Rift device and platform, and now the company has delivered a new site that demonstrates the virtual reality promise of the Web.

      • Firefox 33.0.3 Has Fixes for Conflicts with Graphics Drivers

        Mozilla has announced that Firefox 33.0.3 has been officially released and is now available for download. It’s just a maintenance version, but users should still upgrade.

      • Firefox Leans Towards the Vertical

        A couple of months ago, I wrote about the tremendous potential for Mozilla to change the world by putting smartphone capabilities in the hands of hundreds of millions of people with its Firefox OS. That’s an example of the project moving its focus away from the traditional desktop to a sector that is likely to become the dominant one in the next few years.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • Postgres and MySQL: EnterpriseDB unveils new way to link these open source databases

      EnterpriseDB says a tool unveiled today that connects Postgres and MySQL databases strengthens the position of Postgres as an alternative standard database.

      The MySQL foreign data wrapper allows remote data from Oracle’s open-source database to be defined as a table in Postgres, so firms can run SQL queries across it along with local Postgres tables as if they were all local.

    • Why MongoDB Embraces Open Source

      “If I were starting something new today that was software as a business, I would make it either open source or SaaS or freemium,” he said. “I would definitely not make it closed source if I’m starting from day one, ’cause I don’t think it works anymore. I think you’re going to have competition. There’s going to be stuff out there. It’s going to be tough. If you’re starting today, it’s sort of what are people doing five years from now would be the question.”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF & Conservancy Launch Copyleft.org To Promote Licenses Like The GPL

      Copyleft.org is intended as a project to promote copyleft licensing, especially the GPL. There’s guides, information on the licenses, and analysis of such licenses. There’s also a mailing list, IRC channel, and other resources for those wishing to learn more about these friendly licenses.

  • Public Services/Government

    • UK Ministry of Defence opens up to FOSS, a bit

      Earlier this year Computer Weekly reported news of the MoD’s £2m in sponsorship for a competition to find innovative ways of automating cyber defences.

    • The US Government’s Tenuous Relationship With Open Source

      The government has been involved with open source software since before the Internet — but it is only recently that government use of open source really has come into vogue, observed GitHub’s Ben Balter. “A big reason for this is that open source used to be inaccessible to outsiders and didn’t have the quality and support large organizations like government have come to expect.”

    • Indonesia tax agency saves 90 per cent with open source

      The open source community in Indonesia is still small and this has discouraged the Indonesian tax agency from moving some big systems to open source, its Transformation and ICT Director told FutureGov.

      Open source is usually used by universities in Indonesia, he said, and the source code is not published so “it’s in a small group”, said Harry Gumelar.

      “Our difficulty right now is that we don’t know who to contact if we have a problem,” he added. The tax agency has asked for help in the past, but not received any response from the community.

    • Government logs into open source policy to use as Digital India drive, cut software costs

      Indian government software applications are set to make the shift to open source, potentially boosting the pace at which such programmes are developed, and leading to millions of dollars in savings by moving away from proprietary systems.

  • Licensing

    • How to choose an open source license

      Open source license management provider Protecode has put together a simple overview (and accompanying infographic) on choosing the best open source license for a project.

      [...]

      The GNU General Public License (GPL) is a copyleft software license, which guarantees end users the freedoms to use, study, share (copy), and modify the software as long as they track changes/dates of in source files and release their code and any modifications under GPL. They can distribute their application using a GPL commercially, but they must open-source it under the same GPL license.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • You don’t know Javascript, but you should

      Thank you all for having me. I’m Kyle Simpson, known as “getify” online on Twitter, GitHub, and all the other places that matter. I was here in Rochester teaching a workshop for the Thought @ Work conference this past weekend, and figured I’d stick around to check out some JavaScript (JS) and Node classes here in the New Media Interactive Development program, so thank you for having me.

Leftovers

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Russia — once again Public Enemy No 1

      The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, said at the cel­eb­ra­tion of the fall of the Ber­lin Wall last week­end that we are facing a new Cold War. What are the geo­pol­it­ical real­it­ies behind this statement?

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Zealot of US climate change sceptics Jim Inhofe to determine environmental policy

      Ever since he became a US Senator in 1994, Jim Inhofe has been among the most prominent climate-change sceptics in Washington. The Oklahoma Republican, who turns 80 next week, once compared the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Gestapo.

      Now, the man who also compared the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to “a Soviet-style trial, in which ideological purity trumps technical and scientific rigour”, is in line for one of the most important environmental jobs in Congress.

    • G-20 nations spend $88 billion a year propping up the fossil fuel industry

      Or it would be, at least, were it not for the enormous amounts of subsidies bestowed on the industry by G-20 nations, which seem to be reneging on their 2009 pledge to phase out inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies. According to a new report from the Overseas Development Institute, G-20 nations spend $88 billion per year supporting oil exploration. That’s twice the amount the industry itself spends, and, according to the report, almost twice what the International Energy Agency estimates we’ll need to meet heat and electricity demand by 2030. And it definitely contradicts the IEA’s contention that, if we’re to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, two-thirds of our remaining fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground.

    • Rich countries subsidising oil, gas and coal companies by $88bn a year

      US, UK, Australia giving tax breaks to explore new reserves despite climate advice that fossil fuels should be left buried

    • Dead whale on French beach could explode

      Officials in France are racking their brains about how to deal with a dead whale washed up on a beach on the south coast of France. The decaying carcass is a ticking time bomb, with the possibility it could explode.

  • Finance

    • New EU migrants add £5bn to UK, report says

      Immigrants from the 10 countries that joined the EU in 2004 contributed more to the UK than they took out in benefits, according to a new study.

    • Activists Stopped From Feeding the Homeless in Fort Lauderdale
    • Global Displacement: A Result of Climate Change and War

      June 20, 2014 marked World Refugee Day, the first World Refugee Day during which global forced displacement was the highest since World War II. The Global Trends report, compiled by the UNHCR(United Nations High Commission for Refugees), established the figure of 51.2 million globally displaced people at the end of 2013, an increase of six million from the 45.2 million at the end of 2012.

    • Global Killing of Environmentalists Rises Drastically

      “Deadly Environment,” a report by the non-governmental organization Global Witness. revealed that from 2002 to 2013 at least 908 people were killed globally due to their environmental advocacy, with the rate of murder doubling in the last four years. Latin America and the Asia-Pacific show the highest rates of violence as tensions over limited natural resources in these regions escalate. Will Potter writes for Foreign Policy that, today, “Brazil remains overwhelmingly more dangerous for environmentalists than other countries.” Twice as many environmentalists were killed in Brazil as in any other country. However, this problem is just part of the global trend that reveals an increasing number of such deaths.

    • The Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Failures of Actually Existing Economic Systems

      Hype went wild coming into last week’s 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. “Freedom” had been achieved. The German Democratic Republic (GDR), or what Western media preferred to call communist East Germany, had been rejected. Its hated official spying on its people – the massive “Stasi” apparatus – could not continue. Liberty and prosperity would and did arrive as the country rejoined the “free world.” The people had peacefully overthrown actually existing socialism and returned to capitalism. No one could miss that (officially hyped) interpretation of the fall of the Wall. Yet it is hardly the only one, although that was rarely admitted.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Facebook Messenger hits 500 million users after becoming mandatory

      FACEBOOK MESSENGER has hit the 500 million monthly user milestone after the social network forced users to download the app.

      The figure is more than double the 200 million the firm claimed in April, but doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

      The social network made it mandatory in July for iOS and Android users to download Facebook Messenger in order to use it, removing the chat functionality from the main Facebook app.

    • FBI’s “Suicide Letter” to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance

      The New York Times has published an unredacted version of the famous “suicide letter” from the FBI to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The letter, recently discovered by historian and professor Beverly Gage, is a disturbing document. But it’s also something that everyone in the United States should read, because it demonstrates exactly what lengths the intelligence community is willing to go to—and what happens when they take the fruits of the surveillance they’ve done and unleash it on a target.

      The anonymous letter was the result of the FBI’s comprehensive surveillance and harassment strategy against Dr. King, which included bugging his hotel rooms, photographic surveillance, and physical observation of King’s movements by FBI agents. The agency also attempted to break up his marriage by sending selectively edited “personal moments he shared with friends and women” to his wife.

    • Senator Reid Moves Forward With NSA Reform Bill

      We’re pleased to see Sen. Harry Reid move toward a final vote on the Senate version of the USA FREEDOM Act, S. 2685. EFF has consistently urged the Senate to move forward on the bipartisan bill since it was first introduced in July.

  • Civil Rights

    • Boyfriend of woman shot by Ann Arbor police: ‘Why would you kill her?’

      The boyfriend of the 40-year-old Ann Arbor woman who was shot and killed by police Sunday night said he doesn’t understand why police had to use lethal force to take down the woman who had a knife in her hand as she confronted officers.

    • Brazilian police kill 11,000 people in five years

      Brazilian police killed more than 11,000 people between 2009 and 2013 for an average of six killings a day, a public safety NGO said Tuesday.

      The study by the Sao Paulo-based Brazilian Forum on Public Safety said police nationwide killed 11,197 people over the past five years, while law enforcement agents in the United States killed 11,090 people over the past 30 years.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Obama thrills left with Web fight

      For his first battle against a Republican-controlled Congress, President Obama has chosen the Internet.

      Obama on Monday released an unusual video statement urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to enact the toughest possible rules on Internet service providers, thrilling liberal activists who have long pushed him to take a firmer stand on net neutrality.

    • Anti Net Neutrality Crowd Reaches Deep For The Craziest Possible Response To President Obama’s Call For Real Net Neutrality Rules

      Well, we already wrote about President Obama’s somewhat surprising decision to come out strongly in favor of Title II reclassification for broadband (with strong forbearance) to setup some real net neutrality rules. We also covered the unhappy response from the big broadband players who are just repeating the same talking points from the past year, claiming that they’ll suddenly stop investing in broadband and how this will kill the internet (ignoring that they already rely on Title II for a number of things, including internet infrastructure).

    • Obama tells the FCC uphold net neutrality and reclassify the internet as a utility

      US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA has come out in favour of reclassifying the internet as a public utility.

      The president has stayed fairly quiet on the matter since the Open Internet Order that made up part of his election pledges was shot down in a courtroom battle with Verizon at the start of the year.

      But in a statement on Monday he said: “I’m asking the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] to reclassify internet services under Title II of a law known as the Telecommunications Act.

    • Obama shows the way on Net neutrality

      If you’ve been reading these parts for even a little while, you’re sure to have come across one of my many Net neutrality discussions. As tiresome as it has been to pound on the same podium over and over, it has been necessary — and President Obama’s very public statement asking that Internet service providers be classified under Title II is a major step in the fight for an open Internet.

      [...]

      Of course, that didn’t stop Sen. Ted Cruz from coming out with a pants-on-head stupid comment about Net neutrality being “Obamacare for the Internet.” Making a statement that amazingly dumb in public would probably have found him signed up for forced sterilization in the 1950s. It’s this kind of blatant, arrogant, willful ignorance that undermines our democracy. But enough about the dim, let’s look at the future.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XLII

      The problems of TTIP are so many – total lack of meaningful transparency, the unnecessary inclusion of an ISDS chapter, the threat to Europe’s high standards governing health, safety, the environment, labour etc. – that the agreement’s supporters have been forced to fight back with the only thing they claim to offer: money. TTIP, they argue in multiple ways, will take us to the land of milk and honey, boost the GDP massively, and lead to lots of extra dosh for every family in the EU.

    • Copyrights

      • Dotcom Loses Lawyers – Then They Erase All History of Him

        Kim Dotcom is looking for a new legal team in New Zealand after a high-profile lawfirm withdrew its services. However, what’s especially unusual is that Simpson Grierson has not only pulled out, but is also removing all references to Dotcom and Mega from its corporate site.

      • Internet Pirates Always a Step Ahead , Aussies Say

        Almost three-quarters of Australians believe that using technical measures to end Internet piracy are doomed to fail and will only lead to higher ISP bills for consumers. Those are just two of the findings of a new survey carried out by the Communications Alliance, the industry body for the Australian telecoms industry.

      • ISP Protects Subscribers From Piracy “Fishing Expedition”

        Atlanta-based Internet provider CBeyond is protesting a DMCA subpoena from the anti-piracy monitoring outfit Rightscorp. The ISP is refusing to hand over the identities behind more than a thousand IP-addresses connected to copyright infringement while declaring Rightscorp’s efforts as a frivolous fishing expedition.

      • Copyright Holders Want Pirate Bay Blocked in Sweden

        Several major movie studios and record labels have filed a lawsuit against the Swedish ISP B2, demanding that the company blocks access to The Pirate Bay. The lawsuit, which also calls for a blockade of the streaming site Swefilmer, is the first of its kind in The Pirate Bay’s home country.

11.11.14

Links 11/11/2014: GNOME Trademark Dispute Settled, Mozilla Embraces Tor

Posted in News Roundup at 6:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • YOLOTD: Could 2015 Be Linux’s Big Year?

      The Year of Linux on the Desktop will come, but not in 2015, said Rodolfo Saenz. “Let’s be honest: Linux is still an ‘underground’ OS. It is still targeted for elite users. That day will come when Linux becomes a truly intuitive OS that’s good enough for the masses, but to be honest, I don’t want that day to come soon — it’s part of the OS’s charm.”

    • Chromebooks: Debunking the misconceptions

      Chromebooks are the little laptops that could. They are relatively inexpensive and have capabilities that can work for a wide range of companies and consumers.

      That’s if they are given a chance. There are some common misconceptions about Chromebooks and Chrome OS that prevent many from trying them.

    • A Pleasant Stroll Through Europe – GNU/Linux Rolls On Desktops

      Europe is a hot bed of activity with governments promoting and sharing ideas about how to implement FLOSS and GNU/Linux on clients and servers. A lot of activity is in schools where students will be introduced to FLOSS and run with it. I expect GNU/Linux to become more available and widely accepted in Europe in the next few years.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.18-rc4

      Hey, things are finally calming down. In fact, it looked *really* calm
      until yesterday, at which point some people clearly realized “hey, I
      should push my stuff to Linus so that it makes it into -rc4″, and then
      a third of all changes came in the last day, but despite that, rc4
      finally looks like things are falling into place, and we’ll get to
      stabilize this release after all.

      Here’s to hoping the trend holds…

      Things look fairly normal. A bit over half is drivers, and almost a
      third is architecture patches (arm, powerpc, mips and s390). The rest
      is a few filesystem updates (mainly XFS) and misc random stuff.

      The shortlog gives a feel for the details, and nothing looks
      particularly scary or odd.

      Linus

    • diff -u: What’s New in Kernel Development

      Hardware errors are tough to code for. In some cases, they’re impossible to code for. A particular brand of hardware error is the Machine-Check Exception (MCE), which means a CPU has a problem. On Windows systems, it’s one of the causes of the Blue Screen of Death.

      Everyone wants to handle hardware errors well, because it can mean the difference between getting a little indication of what actually went wrong and getting no information at all.

    • Differential Flame Graphs
    • Graphics Stack

      • ToAruOS: A Hobby Kernel & User-Space, Runs Mesa & GCC

        ToAruOS is a hobby kernel and user-space that can form a working operating system with some common open-source third party libraries. ToAruOS has been in development for nearly four years and was born at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

      • NVIDIA NVPTX Port Added To GCC

        The NVPTX back-end has been committed to GCC 5 as part of the process for offloading support to NVIDIA graphics processors from the compiler.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • My new library: Qlogind
      • Autostart in Plasma 5
      • Last week in Krita – Week 45

        Scott Petrovic revamped the UI of the transform tools for better readability and usability, and is now heading towards changing around the brush-settings.

      • Interview with Eo Fenstalker

        I’m Andrea, better known as Eo Fenstalker anywhere that it matters. I’m a freelance artist in my 30s living in Melbourne, Australia and I primarily focus on animal and fantasy related artwork under the name Toast Weasel Illustration.

        [...]

        I try and help find and report bugs as I use Krita. It can sometimes add to the difficulty level of achieving finished work when using pre-release builds, but it’s fun in its own way and I enjoy being able to contribute, even though it’s in such a minor way. I also happily allow my art to be used in promotional material for Krita.

      • KDE Gardening Love Project: KRecipes

        KRecipes has been in 2.0beta since 2010 so we decided it will be our next Love Project.

      • Q&A with Aaron Seigo: How Kolab Systems Uses Open Source and Linux

        I’ve been involved since around 2001, during which time I’ve worked on a number of areas within the community. I ended up maintaining the panels and parts of the desktop shell in KDE’s 3.x desktop and from there ended up doing the ground-up redesign of the shell we now know as Plasma.

        That introduced some radical (at the time) concepts such as device-independent UIs, strong business/UI separation, animation rich interfaces, visual integration of desktop services and visual distinction between the desktop shell and applications running in them.

        Outside of technical work, I was also president of KDE’s global non-profit foundation, KDE e.V., and oversaw improvements in how we manage intellectual property, standardizing developer sprints, rigorous reporting and more. It was during this time that I was named one of the top 50 most influential people in IT by silicon.com.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • An Everyday Linux User Review Of Ubuntu 14.10

        Ubuntu 14.10 is another nice little step forward for Ubuntu without being spectacular.

        Linux has faced many hurdles over the years such as lack of MP3 support, Flash support, hardware support, gaming, decent software, running Windows applications and recently Netflix. All of these issues can now be filed away as “used to be an issue”.

        Ubuntu is one of the more popular distributions for a reason. As Windows users love to say “It just works” and for it just does.

      • Xubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn” Review: Looks great but slightly disappointed with performance

        I think frankly the developers could have done better for Xubuntu 14.10. The previous LTS version was a better release from performance and stability aspects. Further, a support of 9 months do not do any good as well. I am a bit disappointed and this is the first XFCE spin that I won’t recommend. It gets a score of 8.2/10 from my side, which is actually much below average. If you are already using the launchpad ppa’s then except the 3.16.0 Linux kernel, you would have got all the latest stable packages in your Trusty Tahr installation already. So, I don’t see any motivation to actually use this Xubuntu release.

      • Introducing OpenMandriva 2014.1

        This version of OpenMandriva was presented mostly as a bug-fix and polish release and that shows. The operating system is stable and the interface looks friendly. For the most part, the distribution worked very well for me. OpenMandriva has a sense of polish and friendliness about it which is hard to qualify, but is certainly there. The system installer, the Control Centre and the pretty (yet traditional) desktop environment all appear to be designed to be as newcomer friendly as possible. I was especially impressed by the systemd front end. Recent experiments with Arch, openSUSE and Debian have left a bad taste in my mouth has far as systemd is concerned and OpenMandriva did a beautiful job of smoothing over the details of systemd while presenting a functional front end. During my trial I ran into two minor glitches, both with package management, but nothing that really caused me any concern.

        In recent years I think it has been too easy to think of the Mandriva-based projects as “also ran” distributions. The financial troubles Mandriva faced and the user friendly efforts of projects like Ubuntu and Mint have conspired to push Mandriva out of the spotlight. OpenMandriva 2014.1 is one of the best efforts I have seen to date to take back the “beginner friendly” crown. This distribution was easy to set up, easy to use, has a great control centre and should appeal to both novice users and power users alike. I was happy and a bit impressed with OpenMandriva 2014.1 and I recommend giving it a try.

    • New Releases

      • Q4OS 0.5.20 released

        Significant update 0.5.20 of Q4OS Desktop is out. The essential new feature is KDE4 desktop integration into Q4OS system. It is comprised of two plasma themes, converted crystalsvg icons, splash theme and original Q4OS desktop look&feel configuration. Single-command script for automatic easy installation is included. If users want to set up a complete KDE4 desktop alongside the standard Q4OS desktop, they will need to run the “kde4-install” script from the terminal. They will be able to choose the “KDE Plasma Workspace” session type option from the login screen and experience the brand-new environment. They will be able to select the classical Q4OS desktop too, of course.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Launches Linux Container Beta With Docker And Google Kubernetes Support

        Red Hat recognizes the changing face of enterprise computing involves containerization technology and to that end, they announced a Beta release of their Linux container platform called Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host.

        Containerization is a new trend that offers a more efficient and faster way to deliver applications than virtual machine technology. In a sense, it’s another step in virtualization that takes the concept and strips it down even further to produce greater resource efficiencies and faster deployment.

      • Fedora

        • Flock 2015: Rochester Institute of Technology

          After four bids (!) and much discussion to make the difficult decision between two great finalists, we’re happy to announce Rochester, NY and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) as the location for Flock 2015.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project Announces the Code Names for Debian 9 and Debian 10

        The Debian project has chosen the names of the next two versions of the operating system that are scheduled to be released in the coming years. They don’t have any glamour, but they will be easily remembered.

      • Debian 8.0 “Jessie” Final Could Arrive in February – Screenshot Tour

        Debian 8.0 “Jessie” has been in the works for quite some time and it has just entered feature freeze. Now, the Debian project leader is pushing for a release of the new operating system in under 12 weeks.

      • Systemd again? Debian drops kFreeBSD as official architecture

        The Debian GNU/Linux project has decided not to support its GNU/kFreeBSD distribution as an official release for the forthcoming version 8.0 which is better known as Jessie.

        GNU/kFreeBSD is one of the numerous Debian architectures that combines the userland of GNU/Linux with a FreeBSD kernel. Debian is the only GNU/Linux distribution that releases with anything other than a Linux kernel.

      • Re: Plan B for kfreebsd
      • More Debian and Systemd, *Ubuntu Reviews, and Fedora Confusion

        Debian and systemd top Linux news today with the latter being blamed for the loss of high profile Debian developer. Paul Venezia says Red Hat has confused Linux users with its latest Fedora moves and bloggers contemplate Debian and other forks. Adrian Bridgwater says had Linux been proprietary it would have cost $1 trillion and Michael Meeks talks OpenGL rendering in LibreOffice.

      • How could you rationally fork Debian?

        The topic of Debian forks has come up a lot recently, and as time goes on I’ve actually started considering the matter seriously: How would you fork Debian?

      • Debian 8.0 Jessie Now Under Its Feature Freeze

        Jonathan Wiltshire on the behalf of the Debian release team announced this week that Debian 8.0 “Jessie” is frozen.

      • More systemd drama as a long-time Debian developer quits

        In today’s open source roundup: Debian developer Joey Hess leaves the project after eighteen years. Plus: Is Linux gaming performance lagging behind Windows? And reviews of Ubuntu 14.10 seem to indicate that it’s a mixed bag

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch Music App Is Proof That Total Ubuntu Convergence Is Getting Closer – Gallery

            While other platforms like Windows or iOS are still working towards their convergence goal, Canonical is already there and the developers now have applications that work both on the mobile and on the desktop platform without any major modifications. One such example is the Ubuntu Touch Music App, which looks and feels native on both operating systems.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 391
          • The Ubuntu 15.04 Online Developer Summit Starts Tomorrow

            The first Ubuntu Online Developer Summit for the 15.04 Vivid Vervet kicks off on Wednesday and runs through Friday.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu Kylin 14.10 Utopic Unicorn : Adds New Features and Improve the System Stability

              Ubuntu Kylin 14.10 Utopic Unicorn is the latest version of Ubuntu Kylin based on Ubuntu 14.10 featuring with Unity desktop environment. Released and announced by Ubuntu Kylin team brings with improved stability along with newly added features which provides better user experience.

            • Kubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn – That’s better

              Kubuntu has one definite advantage. It’s predictable. Predictable in the sense that it will never give you a fully satisfying experience out of the box, and it will do its best to be controversial, bi-polar and restrained by default. You get a very good and modern system, but then it’s almost purposefully crippled by boredom, a conservative choice of programs and missing functionality. Why, oh why. It could be such a shiny star.

              Utopic Unicorn is a pretty solid release, but it does suffer from some alarming issues. The graphics stack, first and foremost. Desktop effects are also missing, and Samba printing is simply disappointing. The rest worked fine, the system was robust, there’s good evidence of polish and improvements, but then it lacks pride and color. I would say 8/10, but that’s not enough to win people’s hearts. We’ve all been there, every six months, so something new is needed. Maybe Plasma 5? Aha! Stay tuned.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Dev board runs Yocto Linux on Altera ARM+FPGA SoC

      Newark Element14′s “Lark Board” SBC runs Yocto Linux on Altera’s ARM/FPGA Cyclone V SX SoC, and offers USB Blaster II, camera, and expansion interfaces.

      The Lark Board, which sells for $940, is one of the more powerful ARM development boards you’re likely to find, at least if FPGAs are what you’re looking for. It’s designed for development of high-volume applications including automotive, medical equipment, video surveillance, and industrial control.

    • Raspberry Pi Model A+ is out now. It’s 20% cheaper, 24% shorter and consumes 45% less power
    • Raspberry Pi Model A+ on sale now at $20
    • The Making of the Ninja Sphere: a Q&A with Daniel Friedman

      Like the Ninja Block, the Ninja Sphere runs on Linux and incorporates an Arduino-compatible microcontroller. However, it switches from a BeagleBone Black SBC to a computer-on-module that offers much the same Cortex-A8-based TI Sitara processor and other circuitry. Instead of being limited to a 433MHz RF radio, the Sphere adds ZigBee, WiFi, and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and supports Z-Wave via an add-on.

    • Selecting an operating system for an embedded application

      Free OSes, in this context, do not really include Linux, as most embedded developers are likely to spend money on a supported and packaged version, so it is not really free. This section looks at some of the smaller, readily downloadable RTOSes that are quite popular.

    • Timesys Partners With GizmoSphere to Provide Embedded Linux Solution for Gizmo 2 Single-Board Computer
    • Gizmosphere focuses on graphics in open-source computer

      Open-source computers have so far lacked good graphics, but Gizmosphere’s new Gizmo 2 is an exception.

      The Gizmo 2 is an uncased single-board computer that will sell for US$199. The computer can be used to build robots, electronics with large screens, or interactive computer systems that can recognize gestures or images.

    • Linux Top 3: Raspberry Pi A+, Debian Freezes Jessie and ReactOS Polishes
    • Phones

      • Tizen

      • Android

        • Apps to Make Your Android Smartphone More Productive, Fun

          The Google Play marketplace has more than 1.3 million apps available for download to Android mobile devices, many of them available for as little as 99 cents or less. But searching through all those apps to find the ones that might be most suitable for your needs may not be so easy. The sheer mass of available apps can make many users feel overwhelmed by the choices and they don’t know where to begin. This can be especially true of the owners who just bought an Android smartphone for the first time. And there is no shortage of those because the smartphone market is growing by leaps and bounds. This slide show includes a curated list of Android apps that will serve as a good base for anyone to try out once they fire up their Android device for the first time. The list includes some consumer-focused apps, as well as those that can be used in business. To be sure, this isn’t an exhaustive list. But it’s a start because the first step to getting productive and having some fun with a new Android device is to invest in some cool apps.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source accelerating the pace of software

    Containers are fundamentally enabled by Linux. As I discussed in more detail recently, all the security hardening, performance tuning, reliability engineering, and certifications that apply to a bare metal or virtualized world still apply in the containerized one. And, in fact, the operating system arguably shoulders an even greater responsibility for tasks such as resource or security isolation than when individual operating system instances provided a degree of inherent isolation.

  • How To Use Emoji Anywhere With Twitter’s Open Source Library
  • Taiwan’s g0v: Using Open-Source Code And Communities To Engage Citizens And Make Government More Open

    The post goes on to describe g0v’s hackathons, its first conference, and the Open Political Donation Project. This brought together 9,000 volunteers to digitize 300,000 political donation records as a pointed response to Taiwan’s old Campaign Donation Act of 2004, which allowed the public access to campaign donation documents, but only as a paper copy, or in person at a government office.

  • ON.Lab Launches SDN Open Source Network Operating System (ONOS), Backed by AT&T & NTT

    The Open Networking Lab, ON.Lab, last week launched an open source SDN Open Network Operating System (ONOS) which is now available for downloads. ON.Lab is a non-profit organization founded by SDN inventors and leaders from Stanford University and UC Berkeley aimed at fostering an open source community for developing tools and platforms to realize the full potential of SDN. Tier 1 service provider partners such as AT&T and NTT Communications and several key vendors have supported the ONOS platform, including Ciena, Fujitsu, Huawei, Intel, NEC and members who are collaborating and contributing to ONOS .

  • MoD scientists publish open source code on GitHub for first time

    Defence ministry follows other government departments by publishing code for its ‘Ideaworks’ idea-sharing software

  • Ministry of Defence posts open source code to Github

    THE UK MINISTRY OF DEFENCE (MoD) has revealed that it has put a piece of code into the open source community for the first time.

  • MoD releases code to GitHub: Our Ideaworks… well sort of

    The Ministry of Defence is to consider making some of its more “sophisticated” software available online, having for the first time publicly released code onto open-source site Github.com.

  • Gluster Lead Speaks on Open Source Scale-Out Storage and OpenStack

    GlusterFS, the open source scale-out storage system Red Hat acquired in August 2012, is poised to play a key role in OpenStack and cloud computing, according to Gluster lead Dave Mcallister.

  • MEMS group looks to promote open source development

    The MEMS Industry Group (MIG) has announced the Accelerated Innovation Community (AIC), an open source algorithm cooperative intended to collaboration across the MEMS/sensors supply chain.

  • DreamHost spinout Akanda offers open source NFV for cloud providers

    Akanda Inc., a company spun out from cloud provider DreamHost, will offer an open source, Layer 3-7 virtual network functions platform for OpenStack clouds. The company is calling its technology the first production-ready open source network functions virtualization (NFV) project.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenGL rendering for LibreOffice 4.4

      Many areas of LibreOffice have been hugely improved in recent times, from the general cleanup of the code, to the huge VCL / UI layout re-work touching all of our dialogs, the significant re-work of Calc’s internals – many areas of the code have had big improvements. One area that has however sadly fallen behind is the Visual Class Libraries (VCL) rendering model – that is used to draw nearly everything in the document, and chrome around it.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Enhancing Education With FOSS

      So yeah, we occasionally run into people who have reinstalled Windows. We refuse to do it for them even if they supply a legitimate copy of Windows. Many of them have called after the switch to ask for help with virus or malware infections. We simply tell them that if they had left Linux on their child’s computer, we would not be having this discussion.

    • The Rich Landscape of Linux Education Software

      With regard to the various educational programs that are available for Linux, there are a number of different websites that are devoted entirely to promoting educational software for Linux based systems. The KDE Education Project, Schoolforge.net, and Kid’s Software for Linux are just a few of the websites that are devoted to promoting education software resources for children of all ages.

  • Business

    • SlamData announces General Availability of open source MongoDB BI solution

      SlamData, Inc., commercial developer of the SlamData open source project, announced the General Availability of their MongoDB BI/analytics solution.
      Installers for the release are available from the SlamData website, or the project can be accessed on GitHub and built from source code. The project is licensed under the AGPL V3 license.

    • 10 Open Source ERP Options

      While the ERP market is dominated by software giants like SAP and Oracle, there are plenty of open source ERP options.

  • Funding

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Let Congress use open source, say transparency groups

      Transparency groups are recommending changes to the rules of the House of Representatives that would allow the use of open source software.

      Noting a push toward open source software adoption by the executive branch, the legislative branch should follow suit and allow open source code to be used and published, say recommendations (pdf) issued to the 114th Congress by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the Sunlight Foundation and the OpenGov Foundation.

    • Australian government Drupal-based CMS goes live

      GovCMS, the Australian government’s new cloud-based web content management system, has gone live on Australia.gov.au, the federal government’s chief technology officer, John Sheridan, said at a media briefing in Sydney on Tuesday. The site receives more than 2 million visitors each month, and is the first site to migrate to the platform.

      The Department of Finance has developed govCMS, an Australian government-specific distribution of the Drupal open-source content management platform, in conjunction with Acquia — a company founded by Drupal’s creator, Dries Buytaert, to provide commercial-grade support for the platform.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • TAH, An Open Source Device That Connects Anything To Your Smartphone

      With smartphone prices falling alarmingly over last few years, everyone is moving from basic phones to Smartphones and with it world of possibilities have opened up, especially when it comes to controlling various devices and gadgets directly from your smartphones.

    • Open-source atlas of the human proteome goes live

      In 2003, a team of scientists and IT engineers set out to create a map of which proteins are found in each part of the body. Now, after committing more than 1,000 man years to the project, the team has released the Human Protein Atlas, an interactive map of the proteome containing 13 million annotated images.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Bacteria Contaminated Cosmetics Quietly Pulled from Shelves

      When Vogue International pulled over 200,000 bottles of OGX Biotin and Collagen Conditioner in May 2014 due to contamination by Burkholderia cepacia, a bacteria that can cause life-threatening respiratory infections for those with weakened immune systems, the only form of notice came from the FDA website, four months after the recall. When Kutol Products Co., a company responsible for two of seven major cosmetic recalls this year, quietly pulled 4,500 units of lotion from shelves, again, no notice was found save on the FDA website. These lotions were contaminated by P. aeruginosa and P. putida, types of bacteria that can cause inflammation, pneumonia, blood infections, and even sepsis, a potentially deadly full-body inflammation.

  • Security

    • Google Open Sources Sophisticated Network Security Tool

      Google has announced an open source tool for testing network traffic security called Nogotofail. The project is now available on GitHub, and Google is inviting the community to work with it and help improve the security of networks and the Internet.

      Many people are familiar with the “HTTPS everywhere” tool, and a related Firefox add-on, which protect online security. Nogotofail is a roughly similar tool, but is more robust. Here are the details.

    • Google Releases Nogotofail Tool to Test Network Security

      The last year has produced a rogues’ gallery of vulnerabilities in transport layer security implementations and new attacks on the key protocols, from Heartbleed to the Apple gotofail flaw to the recent POODLE attack. To help developers and security researchers identify applications that are vulnerable to known SSL/TLS attacks and configuration problems, Google is releasing a tool that checks for these problems.

    • The 7 deadly sins of startup security

      For startups, user growth, product growth, virality, marketing usually goes on the top of their priority list. As part of product planning cycles, embedding information security into their product/service is the last concern for most startups.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Russian Menace Made Simple

      There is currently a major propaganda blitz by arms and security industries to convince us was are in a “new cold war”, and therefore should be spending even more ludicrous sums of money on weapons of mass destruction. Here are a few simple facts.

    • On Iran Policy, America Is Not ‘the World’

      There is not a disagreement between Iran and “the world.” A small number of countries–the United States being the most powerful one–have made a variety of claims for the past several years about Iran possibly concealing a weapons program. There is no public evidence to support the most extreme accusation, but it doesn’t seem to matter; Iran is under stiff sanctions, and US lawmakers want to hit them even harder.

    • Military Personnel Trained by the CIA Used Napalm Against Indigenous People in Brazil

      For the first time in the history of Brazil, the federal government is investigating the deaths and abuses suffered by Indigenous peoples during military dictatorship (1964-1985). The death toll may be twenty times more than previously known.

      Just as in World War II and Vietnam, napalm manufactured in the US burned the bodies of hundreds of indigenous individuals in Brazil, people without an army and without weapons. The objective was to take over their lands. Indigenous peoples in this country suffered the most from the atrocities committed during the military dictatorship (1964-1985) – with the support of the United States. For the first time in Brazil’s history, the National Truth Commission, created by the federal government in 2012 in order to investigate political crimes committed by the State during the military dictatorship, gives statistics showing that the number of indigenous individuals killed could be 20 times greater than was previously officially registered by leftist militants.

    • Bob Schieffer, George W. Bush, And The Echoes Of The Iraq War

      There was nothing especially scandalous about Schieffer’s decision to treat the former president differently than he did the sitting president, who, by definition, continues to face pressing issues and grapple with unforeseen crises. And yet, there was something noteworthy about the way Schieffer just tossed off Bush’s answers about the Iraq War and didn’t ask a single obvious follow-up question. The performance nicely captured the double standard that seems to have always existed between Bush and the Beltway press.

    • Never Too Late to Tell Old Iraq Lies

      Perhaps it is fitting that Bush would say, “When you say something as president, you better mean it”–and then say something so demonstrably false. It would have been nice for CBS to point this out.

    • Joy First: Good people must end denial, help ground drones

      As part of the Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, a group of us has been holding vigils at the gates of Volk Field Air National Guard base every month for the past three years. There they are training pilots to operate the Shadow drone, which is used overseas for surveillance and target acquisition. It is part of the program of U.S. drone warfare, responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Iran and Iraq.

    • “Killing Without Heart”

      My father’s Air Force tenure in the Strategic Air Command filled my childhood with amazing military technology. Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas featured the U-2 spy plane. The SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest jet in history, was the pride of Beale Air Force Base in California. Hampton Roads’ concentration of armed forces has meant battleships and jet engine noise as territorial background.

    • Weapons Directed by Robots, Not Humans, Raise Ethical Questions

      On a bright fall day last year off the coast of Southern California, an Air Force B-1 bomber launched an experimental missile that may herald the future of warfare.

      Initially, pilots aboard the plane directed the missile, but halfway to its destination it severed communication with its operators. Alone, without human oversight, the missile decided which of three ships to attack, dropping to just above the sea surface and striking a 260-foot unmanned freighter.

      The test was deemed a military success. But the design of this new missile and other weapons that can pick targets on their own has stirred protests from some analysts and scientists, who fear that an ethical boundary is being crossed.

      Arms makers, they say, are taking the first steps toward developing robotic war machines that rely on software, not human instruction, to decide what to target and whom to kill. The speed at which these weapons calculate and move will make them increasingly difficult for humans to control, critics say — or to defend against.

    • Don’t Claim to Support the Troops If You Agree With Obama Sending 3,100 Soldiers to Iraq

      We’ve already learned that counterinsurgency wars aren’t conflicts that America can win.

    • Protesters target B.C. drone mission

      Protesters from across Michigan are expected Saturday to demonstrate in Battle Creek against the use of military drones.

    • Israel woman dies amid stab attacks

      Two stabbing attacks have been launched on Israelis, killing a young woman and gravely wounding a soldier.

      The woman was killed at a bus stop in the West Bank and the Israeli soldier injured in Tel Aviv, with the attacks the latest in an ongoing wave of Arab violence that has put the country on edge.

    • The Mystery of Ray McGovern’s Arrest

      Why, I asked myself, would the New York City police arrest me and put me in The Tombs overnight, simply because a security officer at the 92nd Street Y told them I was “not welcome” and should be denied entry to a talk by retired General David Petraeus? In my hand was a ticket for which I had reluctantly shelled out $50.

      I had hoped to hear the photogenic but inept Petraeus explain why the Iraqi troops, which he claimed to have trained so well, had fled northern Iraq leaving their weapons behind at the first whiff of Islamic State militants earlier this year. I even harbored some slight hope that the advertised Q & A might afford hoi polloi like me the chance to ask him a real question.

    • Drone strike kills at least four suspected militants in northwest Pakistan

      A U.S. drone strike killed at least four suspected militants in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, security officials said, the nineteenth such strike reported this year.

      The strike hit a house and a vehicle in Datta Khel area of the North Waziristan tribal area near the Afghan border, three security officials said. The Pakistani government sent a protest to the U.S. government over the strike.

    • After an errant drone strike in Yemen, a trail of secret meetings and U.S. cash

      The shadowy world of ‘condolence payments’: Did the CIA pay off victims’ families after a botched attack?

      [...]

      The day Jaber and the executor were first offered the cash, they consulted with a committee of village elders. One group, Jaber said, argued against accepting the bag “because this should be public compensation,” not “secret compensation where they are trying to push this all under the carpet.” But another group, he said, argued, “‘If we don’t take it, we will lose it — and the families that have lost breadwinners are in a terrible state.’ … And the families said, ‘We really need this money.’”

      In the end, the decision reached by the village elders was to take the money.

      So the next morning the executor returned for a second meeting at the National Security Bureau. While there, he told Yahoo News in an interview, he was told by the bureau’s legal adviser that were it not for Jaber’s trip to Washington the bag of cash “wouldn’t have happened,” noting that there has been no compensation for the majority of drone strikes.

      The lawyer then asked the executor to sign two documents acknowledging receipt of the money for the deaths of the police officer and the imam “during an American airstrike,” copies of the documents show.

      But then, at the lawyer’s insistence, the executor added the words “and this compensation comes only from the National Security Bureau” — an effort, as the executor saw it, to remove the fingerprints of the U.S. government.

    • Inside the CIA’s Syrian Rebels Vetting Machine

      Nothing has come in for more mockery during the Obama administration’s halting steps into the Syrian civil war than its employment of “moderate” to describe the kind of rebels it is willing to back. In one of the more widely cited japes, The New Yorker’s resident humorist, Andy Borowitz, presented a “Moderate Syrian Application Form,” in which applicants were asked to describe themselves as either “A) Moderate, B) Very moderate, C) Crazy moderate or D) Other.”

    • Addicted to Lies: Kiev, CIA Still Pushing Fake Reports of ‘Russia Invading Ukraine’

      On Friday, the Ukrainian military’s PR machine spun-up its latest episode of the illusive “Russian Invasion”, this time accusing Moscow of dispatching a column of 32 tanks and “truckloads of Russian troops” into the country’s eastern region.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • More Establishment Hypocrisy

      Those suddenly concerned about the European Arrest Warrant in Westminster last night were notably silent when it was used against Julian Assange, with a case that had more holes in it than a condom torn by Anna Ardin, the noted CIA agent.

      Not only was the evidence against Assange not tested, the Supreme Court accepted that a Swedish prosecutor with a screaming political agenda was a “judicial authority”, despite her being neither a judge nor a court. That extraordinary ruling was itself dependent on two even more extraordinary false premises, directly stated in Lord Phillip’s judgement.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Trash Burning, Health, and Global Pollution

      In July 2014, Christine Wiedinmyer, Robert J. Yokelson, and Brian K. Gullett reported in the scholarly journal Environmental Science & Technology that unregulated trash burning around the globe is significantly increasing atmospheric pollution. Their study established the first “comprehensive and consistent” estimates for emissions of greenhouse gases, particulates, and toxic toxic compounds from open waste burning. As they report, these emissions “are not included in many current emission inventories used for chemistry and climate modeling.”

  • Privacy

    • Google’s New Open Source Privacy Effort Looks Back to the ’60s

      Google is building a new open-source tool designed to preserve privacy when analyzing large amounts of data. The company’s researchers unveiled their work at a computer security conference this week.

    • Dark net raids were ‘overblown’ by police, says Tor Project

      The impact of raids on so-called “dark net” websites has been “way overblown” by police, according to the group responsible for the Tor browser.

      Tor is a popular way of accessing the dark net – websites that are hidden from traditional search engines.

    • Dark net experts trade theories on ‘de-cloaking’ after raids

      The hidden web community has started trying to find out how services and identities were compromised after police raids led to 17 arrests.

      Last week, several high-profile sites on the so-called “hidden”, “dark” or “deep” web were seized.

      Experts are looking at techniques the authorities may have used to “de-cloak” people running services accessed through anonymisation service Tor.

    • Ontario Provincial Police Recommend Ending Anonymity on the Internet

      The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs began its hearings on Bill C-13, the lawful access/cyberbullying bill last week with an appearance from several law enforcement representatives. The Ontario Provincial Police was part of the law enforcement panel and was asked by Senator Tom McInnis, a Conservative Senator from Nova Scotia, about what other laws are needed to address cyberbullying. Scott Naylor of the OPP responded (official transcript not yet posted online):

    • Asset Forfeiture Is Just Cops Going Shopping For Stuff They Want
    • Police Use Department Wish List When Deciding Which Assets to Seize

      The practice, expanded during the war on drugs in the 1980s, has become a staple of law enforcement agencies because it helps finance their work. It is difficult to tell how much has been seized by state and local law enforcement, but under a Justice Department program, the value of assets seized has ballooned to $4.3 billion in the 2012 fiscal year from $407 million in 2001.

    • Are Apple, Google, Microsoft And Mozilla Helping Governments Carry Out Man-In-The-Middle Attacks?

      Back in September, we reported on the Chinese authorities using man-in-the-middle attacks to spy on citizens who carry out Google searches over encrypted connections. That’s done by using a fake security certificate to redirect traffic to a server where the traffic is decrypted, analyzed, and blocked if necessary.

    • Apple and Microsoft trust Chinese government to protect your communication

      Microsoft, Apple and Mozilla among others, trust CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) to protect your communications on their platforms by default, regardless of whether or not you are in China. CNNIC has implemented (and tried to mask) internet censorship, produced malware and has very bad security practices. Tech-savvy users in China have been protesting the inclusion of CNNIC as a trusted certificate authority for years. In January 2013, after Github was attacked in China, we publicly called for the the revocation of the trust certificate for CNNIC. In light of the recent spate of man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks in China, and in an effort to protect user privacy not just in China but everywhere, we again call for revocation of CNNIC Certificate Authority.

    • NSA Chief Bet Money on AT&T as It Spied on You

      The former head of the world’s biggest spy agency didn’t just oversee the collection of billions of AT&T records. He also tried to make money off its customers.

    • Keith Alexander’s Investments While At The NSA Included A Data Storage Provider For AT&T

      Keith Alexander’s financial records — sprung by Jason Leopold’s lawsuit against the NSA and explored in depth by Shane Harris — continue to point towards more questionable behavior on the part of the former NSA director.

    • Snowden: Congress needs to encrypt emails

      The communications of lawmakers and staffers on Capitol Hill are not beyond the reach of spies and hackers, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden warned on Friday.

      Without proper protections, he warned that sensitive details about upcoming bills and international deals could be unnervingly insecure.

    • In Surprise Call From Exile, Snowden Calls Out U.S. FBI Director

      “One of the most significant things that was not well understood about the events of last year was that it’s not entirely about surveillance,” said Snowden, who spoke via livestream to a conference on digital news and security held in Washington, D.C. The bespectacled former NSA contractor shot to international fame last year after revealing the government’s bulk intelligence-gathering practices.

    • German TV: Snowden says NSA also practices industrial espionage

      Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden claimed in a new interview that the U.S. agency is involved in industrial espionage.

      In the interview aired Sunday night on German public television broadcaster ARD, Snowden said if German engineering company Siemens had information that would benefit the U.S., but had nothing to do with national security needs, the National Security Agency would still use it.

    • Electronic Frontier Foundation release secure messaging scorecard to help identify the messengers you should be using

      It’s not true to say that everyone has become more wary of their communications data since we heard the news of the capabilities of the spy agencies. However many more are concerned. For those that are the EFF have released a score card outlining the most secure messaging services. On top in the chart are relative newcomers to the encryption market, Silent Phone and Silent Text. Also on top is RedPhone and Text Secure aka Signal on iOS devices. Also scoring perfect points was CryptoCat and ChatSecure + Orbot (both of them running together.)

    • ORG and Privacy International publish guidance on privacy and open government

      Open Rights Group and Privacy International have worked with the Transparency and Accountability Initiative to develop a new chapter on Privacy and Data Protection in the Open Government Guide, which will be officially launched at Open Up on November 12th.

      The new chapter provides a menu of commitments that governments could adopt in their next OGP Action Plans, each supported by standards and country examples. The ‘illustrative commitments’ are not prescriptive, but ideas that governments can adapt to local circumstances in order to enhance existing protections.

      Open Rights Group has long advocated for privacy to be addressed in this context as one of the thorny issues that will make or break the credibility of open government.

    • Where is Congress After a Summer of Proposed NSA Reform?

      Fake Fixes and Bad Bills

      Other bills suffered the same fate. In many cases, these bills were no great loss, being “fake fixes,” or bills that would either codify or expand—not fix—the current spying programs.

    • How the NSA Became a Killing Machine

      Bob Stasio never planned to become a cyber warrior. After he graduated high school, Stasio enrolled at the University at Buffalo and entered the ROTC program. He majored in mathematical physics, studying mind-bending theories of quantum mechanics and partial differential equations. The university, eager to graduate students steeped in the hard sciences, waived the major components of his core curriculum requirements, including English. Stasio never wrote a paper in his entire college career.

    • Law enforcement lost public’s trust after NSA leaks, says UK police chief

      Law enforcement agencies lost the public’s trust after disclosures on government surveillance by the whistleblower Edward Snowden and must ensure that they strike the right balance between privacy and security, the UK’s most senior police officer said on Thursday.

      Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, commissioner of the Metropolitan police in London, told a conference of senior American police chiefs that authorities must take care “post-Snowden” to use the most intrusive surveillance tools available to them “only where necessary”, or “risk losing them altogether”.

      “We need to ensure that where law enforcement accesses private communications there is a process of authorisation, oversight and governance that gets the balance right between the individual’s right to privacy and their right to be protected from serious crime,” said Hogan-Howe, whose force that takes the lead on police counter-terrorism efforts in the UK.

    • Is the NSA actually making us worse at fighting terrorism?

      The head of the British electronic spy agency GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, created a minor flap last week in an article he wrote for the Financial Times.

      In effect, Hannigan argued that more robust encryption procedures by private Internet companies were unwittingly aiding terrorists such as the Islamic State (IS) or al-Qaida, by making it harder for organizations like the NSA and GCHQ to monitor online traffic. The implication was clear: The more that our personal privacy is respected and protected, the greater the danger we will face from evildoers.

    • Leahy pulls rank on lame-duck agenda

      Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont is twisting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) arm about passing surveillance reform in the lame-duck session of Congress despite reluctance from the White House.

      Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the most senior member of the Democratic caucus, is insisting his bill, the USA Freedom Act, pass before he loses his gavel at the end of the year.

    • NSA Reform Drifts Sideways In The Senate

      According to Senate sources speaking to The Hill, the White House would prefer not to pass NSA reform in the coming lame duck Congressional session.

      Current chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy, is trying to press forward with a vote on the bill that he authored — the USA FREEDOM Act — this year. The legislation has attracted approbation from technology companies and civil groups. A bill with the same name passed the House previously, but was scorned by privacy advocates as having been neutered in its final days before its vote.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Obama backs net neutrality plan

      Open net access should be seen as a basic right that all Americans should enjoy, President Obama has said.

      He said he supported net neutrality, which means all data travels on cables with the same priority.

      There should be no paid prioritisation system that slowed services if they did not pay a fee, he added.

    • Without Greater Transparency And Meaningful Net Neutrality Rules, The Netflix Interconnection War Will Get Much, Much Uglier

      If you’ve followed the ongoing feud between Netflix and the nation’s biggest ISPs, you’ll recall that streaming performance on the nation’s four biggest ISPs (AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable) mysteriously started to go to hell earlier this year, and was only resolved once Netflix acquiesced to ISP demands to bypass transit partners and pay carriers for direct interconnection. Though the FCC has refused to include interconnection in their consideration of new net neutrality rules, we’ve noted how it’s really the edges of these networks where the biggest neutrality battles are now being waged.

    • Will an open Internet policy emerge? FCC Advisor on net neutrality

      Daniel Alvarez—Legal Advisor for Wireline, Public Safety, and Homeland Security at the FCC (Federal Communications Commission)—spoke at a forum last week with the North Carolina Technology Association about the FCC’s deliberations on a framework to “protect and promote Internet openness.”

      [...]

      Over the past decade, the FCC has made a few attempts to provide guidelines or regulations that would prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking or discriminating against certain online services, especially from competitors. In January 2014, the DC Circuit court held that while the FCC generally has authority to regulate broadband pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act, the anti-blocking and anti-discrimination provisions of its Open Internet Order were Title II regulations that could not be applied to Title I services.

    • Obama trying to push FCC to enforce tough rules to ensure Net Neutrality

      For those not following net neutrality, it’s the concept where all users can access any website online at an equal speed, like we can now. However there is a subset of people who say that what we have today isn’t fair to ISPs and argue for a model where you pay more for certain services. If you look at services like Netflix, it’s what the average person uses the most and the content is bandwidth heavy. On the other hand you might have someone who never uses Netflix and other streaming services. Both of these people using the internet for one hour non-stop will have widely different data usages in that time and so some people argue for the person using more bandwidth to pay more for their service.

    • Obama wants more web regulation [anti-Net neutrality]

      Barack Obama has embraced a radical change in how the US government treats internet service, coming down on the side of consumer activists who fear slower download speeds and higher costs but angering US cable giants who say the plan would kill jobs.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Big Numbers: Google Challenges Wolfram to Open Up Math

      Sage, the free and open source analog to Wolfram Research’s Mathematica, is now SageMathCloud. Thanks to collaboration with Google’s cloud services, Sage is now in a position to draw more mathematicians to its community.

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