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06.26.16

Links 26/6/2016: IceCat 38.8.0, Wine 1.9.13

Posted in News Roundup at 2:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Q&A with Tracy Hinds: Improving Education and Diversity at Node.js

    To increase developer support and diversity in the Node.js open source community, the Node.js Foundation earlier this year brought in Tracy Hinds to be its Education Community Manager. She is charged with creating a certification program for Node.js, increasing diversity, and improving project documentation, among other things.

  • Startup Snyk Aims to Lockdown Open Source Code in Real Time

    Eight months ago, without a lot of fanfare, a startup company called Snyk, with roots in London and Israel, started talking about its unique focus on helping developers keep open source code secure. Specifically, Snyk monitors vulnerabilities and dependencies in open source code and integrates securing open source into common developer workflows. The bottom line is that code vulnerabilities get checked in real-time, rather than getting focused on during official audits.

    Now, Snyk is coming out of beta with its tools, and releasing some metrics on how successful it has been at finding probems and patching them.

  • Best Open Source Software for Windows 10
  • Open Source Replacements for Windows XP
  • Open Source Business Intelligence Software [Ed: rather old]
  • Open Source Software: Top Sites
  • A DevOps dashboard for all: Capital One’s Hygieia project offers powerful open source resource

    When do you know a technology or process has reached the peak of its hype cycle and crossed over to the mainstream? When there’s an executive dashboard to track key performance indicators.

    US-based financial services company Capital One birthed an open source project that provides a dashboard for DevOps projects. The project, called Hygieia, is notable for several reasons.

  • EU Researchers Are Making a Tool That Fact-Checks Tweets

    Back when people were still using the term “Web 2.0,” everyone was excited about Twitter‘s impact on journalism. After all, anyone could use it. Maybe it could crowd-source journalism starting from the exact moment a newsworthy event happened across the globe!

  • A team of researchers from 7 countries is building an open-source tool to help verify claims on Twitter

    Social media newsgathering and verification are no longer novel practices in the newsroom. But even if publishers now have a person or a team of reporters tasked with monitoring conversations on these platforms and verifying their accuracy, there have still been instances of fake rumours or misrepresented facts spreading online when news breaks.

    A team of researchers, developers and journalists is hoping to solve this through the EU-funded project Pheme, an open-source dashboard they are currently building to help newsrooms detect, track and verify facts and claims the moment they start spreading on Twitter.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Open Source NFV Part Four: Open Source MANO

      Defined in ETSI ISG NFV architecture, MANO (Management and Network Orchestration) is a layer — a combination of multiple functional entities — that manages and orchestrates the cloud infrastructure, resources and services. It is comprised of, mainly, three different entities — NFV Orchestrator, VNF Manager and Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM). The figure below highlights the MANO part of the ETSI NFV architecture.

    • After the hype: Where containers make sense for IT organizations

      Container software and its related technologies are on fire, winning the hearts and minds of thousands of developers and catching the attention of hundreds of enterprises, as evidenced by the huge number of attendees at this week’s DockerCon 2016 event.

      The big tech companies are going all in. Google, IBM, Microsoft and many others were out in full force at DockerCon, scrambling to demonstrate how they’re investing in and supporting containers. Recent surveys indicate that container adoption is surging, with legions of users reporting they’re ready to take the next step and move from testing to production. Such is the popularity of containers that SiliconANGLE founder and theCUBE host John Furrier was prompted to proclaim that, thanks to containers, “DevOps is now mainstream.” That will change the game for those who invest in containers while causing “a world of hurt” for those who have yet to adapt, Furrier said.

    • Is Apstra SDN? Same idea, different angle

      The company’s product, called Apstra Operating System (AOS), takes policies based on the enterprise’s intent and automatically translates them into settings on network devices from multiple vendors. When the IT department wants to add a new component to the data center, AOS is designed to figure out what needed changes would flow from that addition and carry them out.

      The distributed OS is vendor-agnostic. It will work with devices from Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Juniper Networks, Cumulus Networks, the Open Compute Project and others.

    • MapR Launches New Partner Program for Open Source Data Analytics

      Converged data vendor MapR has launched a new global partner program for resellers and distributors to leverage the company’s integrated data storage, processing and analytics platform.

    • A Seamless Monitoring System for Apache Mesos Clusters
    • All Marathons Need a Runner. Introducing Pheidippides

      Activision Publishing, a computer games publisher, uses a Mesos-based platform to manage vast quantities of data collected from players to automate much of the gameplay behavior. To address a critical configuration management problem, James Humphrey and John Dennison built a rather elegant solution that puts all configurations in a single place, and named it Pheidippides.

    • New Tools and Techniques for Managing and Monitoring Mesos

      The platform includes a large number of tools including Logstash, Elasticsearch, InfluxDB, and Kibana.

    • BlueData Can Run Hadoop on AWS, Leave Data on Premises

      We’ve been watching the Big Data space pick up momentum this year, and Big Data as a Service is one of the most interesting new branches of this trend to follow. In a new development in this space, BlueData, provider of a leading Big-Data-as-a-Service software platform, has announced that the enterprise edition of its BlueData EPIC software will run on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other public clouds.

      Essentially, users can now run their cloud and computing applications and services in an Amazon Web Services (AWS) instance while keeping data on-premises, which is required for some companies in the European Union.

  • CMS

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 11 Alpha 1 — New Features Coming To This Open Source OS

      For those unfamiliar with FreeBSD, it is considered one of the few operating systems left to be true UNIX. It is a direct descendant of the BELL/AT&T labs UNIX. Much of the software available for Linux is also available for FreeBSD as well, including Gnome and KDE desktop environments and much more user and server software. Despite the amount of software available, it is often thought of as an obscure system with a rather small software library. This is simply

    • FreeBSD 11.0 Alpha 5 Released, Schedule So Far Going On Track

      The fifth alpha release of the huge FreeBSD 11.0 operating system update is now available for testing.

      FreeBSD 11.0 is bringing updated KMS drivers, Linux binary compatibility layer improvements, UEFI improvements, Bhyve virtualization improvements, and a wide range of other enhancements outlined via the in-progress release notes.

    • DragonFly’s HAMMER2 File-System Sees Some Improvements

      The HAMMER2 file-system is going on four years in development by the DragonFlyBSD crew, namely by its founder Matthew Dillon. It’s still maturing and taking longer than anticipated, but this is yet another open-source file-system.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • North American Cities Are Slow To Adopt Open Source Software

      Government IT departments are often one of the last places that politicians or the general public look to when trying to squeeze more out of the limited public purse. This is not likely intentional. Elected officials and their constituents understand when roads and bridges are in need of repair. But the IT department is often just seen as a bunch of people in a far off building who make desktops work so that employees at the municipality can get their work done.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • In-demand dev skills, understanding licensing, and more open source news
    • Open Access/Content

      • Higher ed systems expanding access to open-source materials

        Open-source learning technology is at the core of higher education for institutions that want to reach broader audiences with very strict ideas about how convenient learning should be. But developing these initiatives does not happen quickly or easily. It requires strong leadership in information technology, expertise to determine which solutions work best for a campus, and a financial commitment to making sure the technology is sustainable.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Proxmark Pro Proxmark3 Standalone Open Source RFID Tester (video)

        Rysc Corp has unveiled a new open source board in the form of the Proxmark Pro which now offers a true standalone client and RFID test instrument, check out the video below to learn more.

        The Proxmark Pro will feature an FPGA with 5 times the logic cells of the Proxmark3 and will remove the need to switch between HF and LF bit streams during operation, to use developers.

  • Programming/Development

    • Python gains functional programming syntax via Coconut

      Many Python fans have longed for the language to adopt functional programming features. Now they can get those features without having to switch to a new Python implementation.

      Coconut, a newly developed open source dialect of Python, provides new syntax for using features found in functional languages like Haskell and Scala. Programs written in Coconut compile directly to vanilla Python, so they can be run on whatever Python interpreter is already in use.

    • ECMAScript 2016: New Version of the JavaScript Language Released

      Ecma International, the organization in charge of managing the ECMASCript standard, has published the most recent version of the JavaScript language.

      ECMAScript 2016, or JavaScript 2016, is the first release in the organization’s new release schedule that it announced in 2015, when it promised to provide yearly updates to the JS standard instead of updates years apart.

    • PowerNex: A Kernel Written In The D Programming Language
    • ErupteD Brings Vulkan To The D Programming Language

      The D programming language is just the latest to have support for Vulkan alongside C++, Rust (via Vulkano, if you missed that project), Go, and many other modern languages getting bindings for this Khronos Group high performance graphics API. Should you not be familiar with the D language, see Wikipedia.

Leftovers

  • Printing At Night

    I haven’t touched a Mac in over a decade but one came to my home yesterday in the hands of a visitor. A party was being planned and a document was produced on the Mac. It should have been simple to print over my LAN. I allow all comers. Somehow, it didn’t work. The printer was seen but no driver could be found and there was the “locked” icon beside it. The last time I was in a school that used Mac OS (Pre UNIXy version) printing kept failing to a bog standard HP Laserjet printer so the Macs e-mailed a Mac which had been liberated by me to GNU/Linux. A tech arrived eventually and made the Macs print again but within an hour of his departure printing failed again. Besides connectivity, the Macs butchered every file with a MacOS header of some kind which I had to strip off… MacOS/X is apparently much more sane.

  • Meanwhile, In An Alternate Universe, M$ Defines Reality

    The slaves of Microsoft accept that upgrading a motherboard is “essentially building a new PC”.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Linux Kernel 4.6.3 Has Multiple Networking Improvements, Better SPARC Support

      Today, June 24, 2016, renowned Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the general availability of the third maintenance release for the Linux 4.6 kernel series.

      Linux kernel 4.6.3 is here two weeks after the release of the second maintenance update in the series, Linux kernel 4.6.2, to change a total of 88 files, with 1302 insertions and 967 deletions. Unfortunately, very few GNU/Linux distributions have adopted the Linux 4.6 series, despite the fact that Greg Kroah-Hartman urged everyone to move to this most advanced kernel branch as soon as possible from Linux 4.5, which reached end of life.

    • Teardrop Attack: What Is It And How Does It Work?

      In Teardrop Attack, fragmented packets that are sent in the to the target machine, are buggy in nature and the victim’s machine is unable to reassemble those packets due to the bug in the TCP/IP fragmentation.

    • Updating code can mean fewer security headaches

      Organizations with high rates of code deployments spend half as much time fixing security issues as organizations without such frequent code updates, according to a newly released study.

      In its latest annual state-of-the-developer report, Devops software provider Puppet found that by better integrating security objectives into daily work, teams in “high-performing organizations” build more secure systems. The report, which surveyed 4,600 technical professionals worldwide, defines high IT performers as offering on-demand, multiple code deploys per day, with lead times for changes of less than one hour. Puppet has been publishing its annual report for five years.

    • Over half of world’s top domains weak against email spoofing

      Over half of the world’s most popular online services have misconfigured servers which could place users at risk from spoof emails, researchers have warned.

      According to Swedish cybersecurity firm Detectify, poor authentication processes and configuration settings in servers belonging to hundreds of major online domains are could put users at risk of legitimate-looking phishing campaigns and fraudulent emails.

    • Friday’s security updates
    • A couple of unpleasant local kernel vulnerabilities

      As part of a kernel fuzzing project by myself and my colleague Tim Newsham, we are disclosing two vulnerabilities which have been assigned CVEs. Full details of the fuzzing project (with analysis of the vulnerabilities) will be released next week.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Emails Show Hillary Clinton’s Email Server Was A Massive Security Headache, Set Up To Route Around FOIA Requests

      While trial-and-error is generally useful when solving connection problems, the implication is undeniable: to make Clinton’s private, insecure email server connect with the State Department’s, it had to — at least temporarily — lower itself to Clinton’s security level. The other workaround — USE A DAMN STATE DEPARTMENT EMAIL ADDRESS — was seriously discussed.

      This latest stack of emails also exposed other interesting things… like the fact that Clinton’s private email server was attacked multiple times in one day, resulting in staffers taking it offline in an attempt to prevent a breach.

    • Post Gag Order, Lavabit Founder Reveals Non-Secret That Feds Were After Ed Snowden’s Emails

      Want some unsurprising news? Apparently a three year gag order has just lapsed, allowing Ladar Levison, the founder and former operator of Lavabit, the secure email service Ed Snowden famously used, to finally say that yes, the feds asked him to turn over his encryption key in order to access Ed Snowden’s emails.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Democrats Ignore Urgency Of Climate Crisis, Vote Against Adding Fracking Ban To Platform

      Democrats appointed to the Democratic Party’s Platform Committee by Hillary Clinton and the party’s chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, defeated a ban on fracking on June 24.

      Former U.S. Representative Howard Berman, American Federation of State, County, and Muncipal Employees executive assistant to the president, Paul Booth, former White House Energy and Climate Change Policy director Carol Browner, Ohio State Representative Alicia Reece, former State Department official Wendy Sherman, and Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden all raised their hands to prevent a moratorium from becoming a part of the platform.

      Those who voted against the ban were met with a cry of, “Shame on you! Shame on you!” from the audience.

  • Finance

    • European Parliament to Britain: Don’t let the door hit you as you Leave

      The leaders of three of the European Parliament’s largest groups have called for exit talks with Britain to begin immediately, and Members of Parliament are likely to vote on a resolution on the matter at a voting session on Tuesday, sources told POLITICO.

    • The British are frantically Googling what the E.U. is, hours after voting to leave it

      The whole world is reeling after a milestone referendum in Britain to leave the European Union. And although leaders of the campaign to exit Europe are crowing over their victory, it seems many Britons may not even know what they had actually voted for.

      Awakening to a stock market plunge and a precipitous decline in the value of the pound that Britain hasn’t seen in more than 30 years, voters now face a series of economic shocks that analysts say will only worsen before they improve. The consequences of the leave vote will be felt worldwide, even here in the United States, and some British voters say they now regret casting a ballot in favor of Brexit.

    • British Lose Right to Claim That Americans Are Dumber

      Across the United Kingdom on Friday, Britons mourned their long-cherished right to claim that Americans were significantly dumber than they are.

      Luxuriating in the superiority of their intellect over Americans’ has long been a favorite pastime in Britain, surpassing in popularity such games as cricket, darts, and snooker.

    • Brexit could be Scotland’s ticket into the EU as an independent state

      In times like these, political journalists like me tend to reach for the collected works of WB Yeats. “All changed, changed utterly,” he wrote after Ireland’s Easter rebellion, and those words could not be more appropriate as a description of Scottish politics in the wake of yesterday’s Brexit vote. The Yeats poem captured a decisive moment that altered everything in its wake; for Scotland that moment was the 2014 independence referendum.

    • Blimey, it is Brexit!

      A striking victory for what I dubbed ‘Maggyism’ has taken place. It seeks the “liberation” of Europe from a ‘super-state’, not isolation. It might even succeed, this being a time of surprise, as the EU is struggling with a dysfunctional currency and has other electorates already enflamed by its rigid policies and lack of democracy. In England for sure, under the banner of Maggyism’s alluring yet chilling command to ‘take back control’, a new form of populist Toryism will be tested. The challenge for the left across England will go deep and it will have to discard its attachment to the ruins of Labourism if it is to recover.

    • Oil prices plunge 5 percent as Britain votes to leave EU

      Oil prices settled 5 percent lower on Friday after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union spurred massive risk aversion and a rally in safe havens like the U.S. dollar that threatened to cut short a three-month-long recovery in global oil markets.

      Financial markets have been worried for months about what a British exit from the European Union, dubbed widely as ‘Brexit,’ would mean for Europe’s future, but were clearly not fully factoring in the risk of a ‘leave’ vote.

    • Five legal points about the Leave victory
    • Reality Check: ‘Do I need a new passport?’ and other Brexit questions

      A Reality Check reader gets in touch to ask about what happens to his Italian wife. “My wife has lived and worked in the UK for 15 years having come over from Sardinia, Italy. We got married in March of this year.”

      It seems unlikely that your wife will be forced to return to Italy – nobody has suggested there will be deportations of people already living and working in the UK.

      If there were to be problems, she may be eligible to apply for British citizenship as she is married to a British citizen and has been in the country for more than three years.

    • DisUnited Kingdom

      This is a man-made disaster. The EU is a mess but it is fixable. Breaking up the UK will be a bigger mess and it isn’t fixable.

    • Brexit won the vote, but for now we remain in the EU

      The most significant announcement David Cameron made this morning was not that he plans to resign in October. It was that he will not be triggering article 50 of the Lisbon treaty in the meantime. When to “start the formal and legal process of leaving the EU” would be a matter for the new prime minister, he said.

    • Petition for London independence signed by thousands after Brexit vote

      A petition calling for Sadiq Khan to declare London an independent state after the UK voted to quit the EU has been signed by thousands of people.

      The petition’s organiser James O’Malley, said the capital was “a world city” which should “remain at the heart of Europe”.

      Nearly 60% of people in the capital backed the Remain campaign, in stark contrast to most of the country.

    • Post-Brexit – The What Now?

      Out of 46,500,001 electorate 17,410,742 voted to leave, which is a mere 37.4% or just over a third.

    • To mitigate poverty, Y Combinator set to launch minimum income plan

      Earlier this month, Y Combinator, the famed Silicon Valley incubator dropped a bombshell: it had selected this city to be the home of its new “Basic Income” pilot project, to start later this year.

      The idea is pretty simple. Give some people a small amount of money per month, no strings attached, for a year, and see what happens. With any luck, people will use it to lift themselves out of poverty.

      In this case, as Matt Krisiloff of Y Combinator Research (YCR) told Ars, that means spending about $1.5 million over the course of a year to study the distribution of “$1,500 or $2,000″ per month to “30 to 50″ people. There will also be a similar-sized control group that gets nothing. The project is set to start before the end of 2016.

    • America’s national priorities: Police thuggery, broken schools, and the ‘wages of whiteness’

      A budget is a statement of priorities and values. In a political community, a budget also prioritizes the interests of some individuals and groups over those of others.

      For example, the city of Chicago has spent more than $ 500 million since 2014 in literal blood money for the victims of police brutality. Collectively, the 10 largest American cities have paid out hundreds of millions of dollars to settle police misconduct cases during the same time period.

      These sums of money are the macro-level reflections of individual tragedies and needless deaths that include names such as Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, and Rekia Boyd.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Republican delegate sues to avoid voting for Donald Trump at convention

      One of Virginia’s delegates to the Republican National Convention has filed a federal lawsuit in an effort to avoid voting for presumptive nominee Donald Trump at the party convention next month.

      The delegate, Carroll Correll Jr of Winchester, Virginia, argued in the suit that being forced to vote against his conscience was a violation of his constitutional rights.

    • Osborne Told LBC Last Week He Had No Plan For Brexit

      The Chancellor told LBC earlier this week that he has no plan for the UK economy should the nation vote to leave the European Union.

      He said: “Britain does not have a plan for Brexit. It’s not for me to come up with [Leave's] plan.

      “It wouldn’t just be when we left in two years time that the economic hit would come,” said Osborne. “It would start to come this coming Friday.

      “That’s when the uncertainty would start.”

      Iain says that means he shouldn’t stay in his job.

      Speaking on Britain Decides, LBC’s results show, Iain said: “As far as I’m concerned – and I like the man and have a lot of respect for him – but his credibility has to be shot after this.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • New Service Sends Summaries of Your Social Media to Landlords, Employers to ‘Assess’ You

      Here’s a shout out to all of you who said “If I’ve got nothing to hide I’ve got nothing to fear” after the Snowden revelations. And this little gem deals only with publicly available information about you. Imagine what it’s like when it gets into the good stuff you think is private.

      An Orwellian startup called Tenant Assured will to take a deep dive into your social media, including chats, check-ins, how many times you’ve posted words like pregnant, wasted, busted, no money, broke, moving back in with the parents, weed, or loan, and deliver to potential landlords and employers a “personality score.”

    • Judge Says FBI Can Hack Computers Without A Warrant Because Computer Users Get Hacked All The Time

      The FBI’s use of a Network Investigative Technique (NIT) to obtain info from the computers of visitors to a seized child porn site has run into all sorts of problems. The biggest problem in most of the cases is that the use of a single warrant issued in Virginia to perform searches of computers all over the nation violated the jurisdictional limits set down by Rule 41(b). Not coincidentally, the FBI is hoping the changes to Rule 41 the DOJ submitted last year will be codified by the end of 2016, in large part because it removes the stipulation that limits searches to the area overseen by the magistrate judge signing the warrant.

      For defendant Edward Matish, the limits of Rule 41 don’t apply. He resides in the jurisdiction where the warrant was signed. He had challenged the veracity of the data obtained by the NIT, pushing the theory that the FBI’s unexamined NIT was insecure (data obtained from targets was sent back to the FBI in unencrypted form) and info could have been altered in transit.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • OECD Ministerial On Internet Wraps Up: Openness A Concern

      The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) should not wait 8 or 10 years before its next Internet Ministerial, said OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria at the closing session in Cancun Mexico yesterday. Gurria called for a faster pace for government and regulators to adapt to the digital markets. Better data on the data economy will help, as reflected in the new Cancun Declaration.

    • Tell Europe’s regulators: Net neutrality isn’t just for the US and India!

      Net neutrality exists when Internet service providers (ISPs) must allow equal access to everything on the Web, rather than favoring some sites over others. It’s a bedrock condition for Internet freedom, but ISPs generally oppose it because it prevents them from charging companies extra for privileged access to the network — making a video from one Web site load faster than video on other sites, for example.

  • DRM

    • Oculus reverses course, dumps its VR headset-checking DRM

      The Oculus team has reversed course on one of its most unpopular decisions since launching the Rift VR headset in April: headset-specific DRM. After weeks of playing cat-and-mouse to block the “Revive” workaround that translated the VR calls of Oculus games to work smoothly and seamlessly inside of the rival HTC Vive, Oculus quietly updated its hardware-specific runtime on Friday and removed all traces of that controversial DRM.

    • Oculus Reverses DRM Course After Public Backlash

      Weeks back, Karl Bode wrote about the curious position Oculus Rift had taken in updating its software to include system-checking DRM. VR headset technology and game development, experiencing the first serious attempt at maturity in years, needs an open ecosystem in which to develop. What this DRM essentially did was remove the ability for games designed to run on the Rift from running on any other VR headset, with a specific targeting of community-built workarounds like Revive, which allowed HTC Vive owners to get Rift games running on that headset. Oculus, it should be noted, didn’t announce the DRM aspect of the update; it just spit out the update and the public suddenly learned that programs like Revive no longer worked.

      The backlash, to put it mildly, was swift and severe. Oculus having been acquired by Facebook likely didn’t help what were already negative perceptions, supercharging the outcry with allegations of the kind of protectionism and the lack of care for the public that Facebook has enjoyed for roughly ever. Still, many saw the whole thing as peons screaming at a feudal lord: Oculus would simply ignore the whole thing. Just weeks ago, in fact, Oculus was working journalists at E3 in defense of the DRM.

    • Sony agrees to pay millions for removing Linux support from the PlayStation 3
    • Sony settles with PS3 owners over Linux lawsuit
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Sequencing the future of IP in genomics [Ed: Bristows cannot see the issue with patents on genomics yet?]

      Genomic technology has rapidly created a multi-billion dollar growth industry. With life sciences companies scrambling in US and European courts for a share of the lucrative market, in-house IP counsel should start preparing for the next wave of IP litigation, explain Dominic Adair and Annsley Merelle Ward

    • Key amendments to Russian patent legislation

      Federal Law No 35-FZ of March 12 2014 introduced several substantial amendments into Part IV of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation which regulates intellectual property. Some of the amendments came into force on October 1 2014, and others did so on January 1 2015. We provide a review of the key amendments that involve patents.

    • Trademarks

      • Dweezil Zappa Renames His Tour Again: Dweezil Zappa Plays Whatever The F@%k He Wants; The Cease & Desist Tour

        Oh boy. A few weeks back, we wrote about the absolutely ridiculous story in which the four children of Frank Zappa appear to be fighting over the Zappa name. The story is somewhat complex and involved and is actually somewhat more nuanced than the unfortunately-all-too-typical “heirs of famous artist fight over splitting up the proceeds of that artist’s legacy.” In that original article, we noted that the dispute seemed to focus on two specific claims: first that the Zappa Family Trust (run by Ahmet and Diva, but to which all four children are beneficiaries) had a trademark on the tour name “Zappa Plays Zappa,” under which Dweezil Zappa had toured for years. After some fairly public back and forth online, it became clear that there was an underlying dispute that had simmered for years here: Frank’s wife Gail, who had controlled the ZFT, had trademarked Zappa Plays Zappa and charged Dweezil to use it, but had (according to Dweezil) then reneged on an agreement to share the proceeds from
        merchandise sales. Ahmet insisted that he’d allow Dweezil to continue to use the name for just $1, but it didn’t seem that there was any interest in clearing up the older dispute about merch sales, or to allow Dweezil to get some of the proceeds from ongoing merch sales.

      • Is it safe to bring abandoned brands back to life?

        What trade mark issues arise with the resurrection of zombie brands? Carrie Bradley and Tony Dylan-Hyde examine the position in Europe and the United States

      • Super Slimey: Comodo Tries To Trademark ‘Let’s Encrypt’ [Updated]

        Almost two years ago, we excitedly wrote about the announcement behind Let’s Encrypt, a free certificate authority that was focused on dramatically lowering the hurdles towards protecting much more of the internet with HTTPS encrypted connections. It took a while to launch, but it finally did and people have been gobbling up those certificates at a rapid rate and getting more and more of the web encrypted. This is a good thing.

        [...]

        Update: And… of course, after this goes public, Comodo suddenly backs down. Of course that doesn’t explain why it refused to do so when asked months ago.

    • Copyrights

      • A Bug in Chrome Makes It Easy to Pirate Movies

        For years Hollywood has waged a war on piracy, using digital rights management technologies to fight bootleggers who illegally copy movies and distribute them. For just as long, hackers have found ways to bypass these protections. Now two security researchers have found a new way, using a vulnerability in the system Google uses to stream media through its Chrome browser. They say people could exploit the flaw to save illegal copies of movies they stream on Chrome using sites like Netflix or Amazon Prime.

      • As CBS/Paramount Continue Lawsuit Over Fan Film, It Releases Ridiculous & Impossible ‘Fan Film Guidelines’

        We’ve been covering the still going lawsuit by CBS and Paramount against Axanar Productions for making a crowdfunded fan film that they claim is infringing because it’s looking pretty good. Things got a little weird last month when the producer of the latest Star Trek film, JJ Abrams, and its director, Justin Lin, basically leaked a bit of news saying that after they had gone to Paramount, the studio was going to end the lawsuit. At the time, Paramount said that it was in “settlement discussions” and that it was “also working on a set of fan film guidelines.”

        We pointed out that we were concerned about what those guidelines might entail, and worried that they would undermine fair use. In the meantime, as settlement talks continued, the case moved forward. I’m still a little surprised that the two sides didn’t ask the court for more time to continue settlement talks, as that’s not that uncommon, and it’s something that a judge often is willing to grant if it looks like the two sides in a dispute can come to an agreement. But, without that, the case has continued to move forward with ongoing filings from each side.

06.24.16

Links 24/6/2016: Xen Project 4.7, Cinnamon 3.0.6

Posted in News Roundup at 6:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Coach of world 1500m champion arrested as part of EPO probe released but forfeits passport as investigation continues

      Somalian coach Jama Aden and two other detainees has been instructed to report to court once a month and have had their passports forfeited after being released by police as an investigation into the alleged doping of athletes continues in Spain.

      A Moroccan physiotherapist, who was also arrested as part of the initial operation on Monday (June 20), and Qatari 800 metres runner Musaeb Balla were placed under the same conditions by a judge.

      The operation had been carried out by police, in collaboration with the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (AEPSAD) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), at a hotel where the Somali coach was staying with his training group.

    • Nigel Farage: £350 million pledge to fund the NHS was ‘a mistake’

      Nigel Farage has admitted that it was a “mistake” to promise that £350million a week would be spent on the NHS if the UK backed a Brexit vote.

      Speaking just an hour after the Leave vote was confirmed the Ukip leader said the money could not be guaranteed and claimed he would never have made the promise in the first place.

    • EU referendum: Nigel Farage disowns Vote Leave ‘£350m for the NHS’ pledge hours after result

      Nigel Farage has disowned a pledge to spend £350 million of European Union cash on the NHS after Brexit.

      The Ukip leader was asked on ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme whether he would guarantee that the money pledged for the health service during the campaign would now be spent on it.

    • Waukesha gets permission to draw water from Lake Michigan

      The governors of the eight U.S. states surrounding the Great Lakes, including Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, today in Chicago unanimously approved diverting Lake Michigan water to supply a Wisconsin community just outside the Great Lakes basin — but only with conditions, including that water withdrawn must be treated and returned to the basin.

      The controversial decision to allow Waukesha, Wis., access to Lake Michigan water marks the first test case of the Great Lakes Compact, an agreement ratified by the lake states in 2008 to protect the Great Lakes from large-scale water diversions out of the Great Lakes basin.

    • This US City’s Move to Divert Great Lakes Drinking Water Is Just the Beginning

      The drinking water of Waukesha, Wisconsin, is contaminated. On Tuesday, the suburban city won its 13-year-long-bid to divert water from the Great Lakes, by way of Lake Michigan, to appease its thirsty inhabitants. Environmentalists are worried the diversion will have a devastating impact on the lakes that so many people rely on—and critics say it could pave the way for similar requests.

      It’s just the beginning of what many worry will be growing fights over who has the right to clean drinking water from the Great Lakes.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Armed police at scene of Germany cinema shooting

      An armed man has reportedly been shot dead by police officers after storming a cinema complex in Viernheim, in Germany’s Hesse region. The man reportedly fired into the air as he entered the cinema and is said to have taken hostages, all of whom have escaped uninjured

    • Not the Chilcot Report

      It was an aggressive war on the basis of lies, for which people still die today, all over the world.

    • Colombia and Farc rebels sign historic ceasefire deal to end 50-year conflict

      Final peace deal will require approval in referendum but formal cessation of hostilities and Farc’s acceptance of disarmament are key steps toward resolution

    • Pakistan Mourns Sufi Singer Amjad Sabri After He Was Shot Dead in Karachi

      The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the assassination

      Thousands of people in Pakistan mourned the death of one of the country’s most famous musicians, Amjad Sabri, on Thursday, a day after he was shot dead by armed assailants in broad daylight in the city of Karachi.

    • Amjad Sabri: Pakistanis mourn singer killed by Taliban

      Pakistan is mourning one of its most famous singers, Amjad Sabri, who was shot dead in Karachi by militants.

      Thousands paid their respects, throwing rose petals over an ambulance carrying his coffin. A faction of the Pakistan Taliban claimed Wednesday’s attack.

      Sabri performed Qawwali devotional music from the Sufi tradition, an Islamic practice opposed by extremists.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • German government agrees to ban fracking indefinitely

      Germany’s coalition government agreed to ban fracking for shale gas indefinitely on Tuesday, after years of fractious talks over the issue, but environmental groups said the ban did not go far enough and vowed to fight the deal.

      Test drilling will be allowed but only with the permission of the respective state government, officials said.

  • Finance

    • ‘Britons, vote in our name’: UK referendum dominates continental front pages

      Germany’s Bild newspaper promised on Thursday that Germans would not hog hotel sunloungers and would make key concessions to the England football team if the UK voted to stay in the European Union.

      “Dear Brits, if you remain in the EU … then we ourselves will recognise the Wembley goal,” Bild declared above a picture of Geoff Hurst’s controversial extra-time goal in the 1966 World Cup final, when England beat West Germany. The paper said Germany would go without its goalkeeper in the next penalty shootout between England and Germany.

    • I Will Vote Remain Because I Love My Mum

      After voting tomorrow I shall fly down to take part in an alternative online referendum results programme from the Ecuadorian Embassy with Julian Assange, to give you a chance to hear a discussion of the results without having to listen to yet more neo-liberal spokesmen spouting establishment propaganda.

      It is no secret I am an enthusiast for the EU. However as an ardent Scottish nationalist it has of course crossed my mind that it might be a plan to vote tactically for Brexit, to provoke a new independence referendum.

      I have decided against this for two reasons. First, there is no way the Establishment is going to allow Brexit to happen. And second, I love my mum, who is English and moved back from Inverness to Norfolk following the death of my father a decade ago. I wish England and the English nothing but well. An independent Scotland inside the EU would be disadvantaged by having its only land border with an ailing England outside the EU.

    • Farage declares ‘remain will edge it’ as polls close in historic vote

      The polls have closed in Britain’s referendum on EU membership, with a survey suggesting a bitterly close fight and the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, saying it “looks like remain will edge it”.

    • Intel Fighting EU’s $1.4B Fine Levied 7 Years Ago

      Today’s topics include Intel’s return to a European Union court to fight a $1.4 billion antitrust fine, the FAA’s finalized commercial drone rules, the addition of new business-oriented features to Drobox’s cloud storage service, and Docker’s launch of its containers-as-a-service management and orchestration software.

    • Pound rises – do markets believe Remain has won?

      Sterling hit a 2016 high today against the dollar and could be on track for one of its strongest weeks on the markets – in terms of increase in value – for 30 years.

    • FTSE 100 hits two-month high on Remain hopes

      The FTSE 100 hit a two-month high and the pound surged as investors bet on the UK voting to remain in the European Union.

      London’s blue-chip shares rose 1.2% to 6,338.1 points, with miners, banks and travel firms rising.

      Sterling almost hit $1.50 after Leave campaigner Nigel Farage said it looked as though Remain had “edged” the vote.

      Wall Street also jumped in late trading, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 both closing 1.3% higher.

    • EU referendum: Pound hits lowest level since 1985

      The value of the pound has fallen dramatically as it emerged that the UK had voted to leave the EU.

      At one stage, it hit $1.3305, a fall of more than 10%, and a low not seen since 1985.

      The Bank of England said it was “monitoring developments closely” and would take “all necessary steps” to support monetary stability.

      Before the results started to come in, the pound had risen as high as $1.50, as traders bet on a Remain victory.

    • Going on holiday soon? You’re the first victim of the leave victory

      Many UK holidaymakers travelling abroad will pay more for foreign currency as the pound plunged to its lowest level since 1985 following the EU referendum.

      Sterling was down against every single major currency group.

    • Scotland’s Status Returns to the Center of Attention

      All 32 voting areas in Scotland voted to stay in the European Union, but they were outnumbered by an overwhelming “Leave” vote in England and Wales.

      That has created an immediate political dilemma for Scotland, which in a referendum in September 2014 voted against secession from the United Kingdom.

      Scotland, which has been legally in union with England and Wales since 1707, is considered the most pro-European part of the United Kingdom, and the decision by British voters to leave the 28-member European Union could prompt a second independence vote.

    • UK votes to leave the EU in historic referendum
    • Nicola Sturgeon: Second Scottish independence vote ‘highly likely’ after Brexit vote

      Nicola Sturgeon has said a second independence referendum is “highly likely” after Scotland’s voters overwhelmingly backed Remain.

      Scotland was out of step with England and Wales after all 32 of its local authorities voted to stay in the EU.

      Speaking this morning after the result was declared, the Scottish First Minister said it was “democratically unacceptable” that Scotland had been taken out of the union against its will.

    • Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland sees its future as part of the EU as Brexit confirmed

      Nicola Sturgeon has said the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union, after it became clear Britain had voted for Brexit in a historic referendum.

      Speaking after all 32 local authorities delivered a vote to Remain in Scotland, the First Minister welcomed her country’s “unequivocal” vote to stay in Europe. But despite the vote, the country still faces having to exit the European Union after the Leave campaign edged ahead across the UK.

    • LuxLeaks special committee’s first country visit: Belgium is breaching EU tax law

      This Tuesday a delegation of the European Parliament’s special committee on tax rulings and similar measures has completed its first country visit to a Member State with a problematic ruling practice. Visits to at least the UK, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Ireland and Switzerland will follow. The programme included discussions with tax experts, the Belgium parliament and the commission responsible for tax rulings. On the lessons from this visit Green committee members Sven Giegold and Philippe Lamberts conclude:

    • David Cameron says he will stand down as Prime Minister – new PM by October

      The Prime Minister said he had been honoured to serve as Prime Minister for the past six years. He held nothing back in his campaign. He always believed Britain would be safer, stronger and better off inside the EU. He said it was only right for someone else to lead the country in this new direction.

    • Rest in peace UK

      I am mourning for the UK. I feel so much pain and pity for all my good friends over there. Stupidity has won again. Good bye UK, your long reign has found its end.

    • FTSE 100 sees £120bn wiped off its value in worst day of losses since financial crisis

      The FTSE 100 has plunged more than 8 per cent in its biggest opening slump since the financial crisis, wiping £120 billion off the value of the 100 biggest UK companies.

      Banks were particularly badly hit, with shares in a number of banks losing at least 20 per cent of their value on opening, including Lloyds, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutschebank.

    • Shares and pound plunge on Leave vote

      The FTSE’s slump was its biggest one-day fall since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in October 2008.

    • UK now poorer than France as pound hits 30-year low and FTSE 100 drops 8.7pc following British vote to leave EU

      The FTSE 100 fell as much as 8.7pc when the London market opened after the UK voted to leave the European Union, an unexpected outcome that prompted the resignation of prime minister David Cameron this morning.

      The blue chip index recovered slightly to a loss of 4.9pc, but the FTSE 250 – which is considered a closer barometer of the UK economy – fell by 12.3pc before paring losses back to 7.1pc.

    • Spanish minister calls for Gibraltar to be returned to Spain on back of Brexit vote

      Spain’s Foreign Minister José García-Margallo y Marfil has proposed a shared British-Spanish sovereignty over Gibraltar followed by the “restitution” to Spain, after the British territory voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU while the U.K. overall voted to leave.

      “Our formula … is British-Spanish co-sovereignty for a determined period of time, which after that time has elapsed, will head towards the restitution of Gibraltar to Spanish sovereignty,” García-Margallo told Spanish radio on Friday, AFP reports.

      Gibraltar, a former Spanish territory which was ceded to Britain in 1713, heavily relies on Spain for its economy, with over 12,000 people commuting across the border every day.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The Tories Will Knit Back Together Quicker than Joe Ledley’s Leg

      The purpose of the Conservative Party is simply to be in power. The object of power for them is to make sure that nobody else can use the power of the state to counteract the power of the wealthy and curb their excesses.

      You will therefore be amazed by how, whatever the result today, the Tory cabinet will next week be smiling together in a show of unity. Because unity is needed for power. That they were calling each other liars, abusers of government funds, racists, unpatriotic or inciters to murder will be heartily brushed off as the rough and tumble of politics. Cameron will sleep soundly in his bed in Number 10.

    • WaPo Cites FAIR on C-SPAN’s Record of Bias

      The Washington Post‘s Callum Borchers (6/23/16) cited FAIR research in a story about complaints that C-SPAN continued to cover the Democratic sit-in on the House floor even after House Speaker Paul Ryan had the network’s cameras turned off.

      “This isn’t the first time C-SPAN has been accused of taking sides, of course,” Borchers wrote, noting that usually, “the charge is that it has a conservative bias.”

    • CMD Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Prosecutors’ Appeal in John Doe II Corruption Case

      On Wednesday, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), the Brennan Center for Justice, and Common Cause filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging the justices to grant a hearing and overturn a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that shut down a criminal investigation into potentially illegal campaign coordination between Governor Scott Walker’s campaign and groups that spent millions during the 2011-2012 recall elections.

    • Clinton’s private e-mail was blocked by spam filters—so State IT turned them off

      Documents recently obtained by the conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch show that in December 2010, then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staff were having difficulty communicating with State Department officials by e-mail because spam filters were blocking their messages. To fix the problem, State Department IT turned the filters off—potentially exposing State’s employees to phishing attacks and other malicious e-mails.

      The mail problems prompted Clinton Chief of Staff Huma Abedin to suggest to Clinton, “We should talk about putting you on State e-mail or releasing your e-mail address to the department so you are not going to spam.” Clinton replied, “Let’s get [a] separate address or device but I don’t want any risk of the personal [e-mail] being accessible.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • 100 years ago in Spokane: Petition sought end of movie censorship ordinance

      The censorship ordinance was mainly about sexually suggestive movies and plays, but it also was intended to prohibit movies that incited racial hatred.

    • Information Warfare: China Demands Better Censorship

      In a rare move Chinese leaders recently criticized, in public, their own Propaganda Department for not doing its job. The Propaganda Department is the several hundred people who direct the vast censorship

    • Turkey blocks Google Cache to stop censorship circumvention, breaks its own internet

      It was first speculated that the Google domain might be simply overlooked among a long lists of URLs to be censored by the authority, just like the ‘accidental’ censorship of shortening service Bit.ly last year. But local sources reported that the ban was intended to block access to Google servers, which keep a cached copy of content previously banned in Turkey.

      Indeed, various Google services have been used in Turkey to circumvent political censorship. During the Gezi Protests of 2013, protesters tagged ‘8.8.8.8’ graffiti (Google’s Public DNS) on walls to broadcast ways to avoid DNS-filtering (a method for censoring internet content). Turkish authorities resorted to IP-blocking and even DNS-hijacking to prevent access to social media during the 2014 local elections. For Turkish citizens who cannot use VPN or the Tor anonymity network, which masks users’ locations and identities, both Google Cache and Google Translator were suggested options among lists of proxies since then.

    • Rather Than Launch A Massive DDoS Attack, This Time China Just Asks GitHub To Take Down Page It Doesn’t Like

      You may recall that a year ago, a massive DDoS attack was launched against GitHub from China. The attack itself was somewhat clever, in that it effectively turned the Great Firewall around, using Chinese search engine Baidu’s ad platform and analytics platform to basically load code that contributed to the attack. The target of the attack were two tools that helped people in China access material that was blocked in China by the Great Firewall. Of course, this attack was actually the second attempt by China to stop people from accessing such information on GitHub. The first attack involved just using the Great Firewall to block GitHub entirely (it needed to block the entire GitHub, rather than just specific pages, because GitHub is all HTTPS) — but that caused Chinese programmers who rely on GitHub to freak out and point out that they rely on GitHub to do their jobs.

    • Web content blocking squeezed into draft EU anti-terrorism law

      A vote in the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee early next week will set the stage for a debate over Web content blocking and terror attacks. It comes during a jittery period of concern around extremist activity online following the atrocity in Orlando and the murder of British politician Jo Cox.

    • West Allegheny student petition decries censorship of reading list

      In response to parents’ demands this year that some books be removed from the West Allegheny High School reading list, about 200 students have signed a petition asking the district not to use censorship in an attempt to shield teens from problems they may be encountering in their lives.

      “You’re trying to protect the children and I see that, but you’re really sheltering them and making them ignorant to issues that actually plague our society and are relevant right now,” student Renae Roscart,15, said of the parents who had sought the removal of some books.

    • Don’t Look! Erotic Khajuraho Drawings Show Hypocrisy of Censorship

      While Shiv Sena’s repeated attempts at beating, slapping and thrashing couples on Valentine’s Day started as a hot topic for outrage, it ended up as a Twitter joke.“It’s not part of Indian culture,” is what they often announce.

    • Twitter trolls are reporting Muslim girls to the police for posting ‘blasphemous’ messages online

      This weekend an account was spotted sending screenshots of ‘blasphemous’ tweets to the Dubai police and calling for action, after a 16-year-old girl rewrote a passage of the Quran to include a slang term for vaginas

    • SEX AND CENSORSHIP

      Although I believe censorship is a potential danger to the First Amendment’s protection of free speech, I find myself wistful for the bad old days of the Motion Picture Production Code of the 1930s and 1940s.

      [....]

      There’s the smarmy sexualization of “family” sitcoms and the suggestive advertising using sex to sell.

    • Icasa to hold public hearing on SABC censorship
    • Public hearing looms over SABC censorship
    • Activists Say the SABC’s New Editorial Policy Is Shutting Them Out
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Court Rules the FBI Does Not Need a Warrant to Hack a Computer

      In one of the many ongoing legal cases surrounding a dark web child pornography site, a judge has written that the FBI did not require a warrant to hack a suspect’s computer.

      According to activists, the ruling could have serious implications for how law enforcement is able to conduct remote searches.

      “The Court finds that no Fourth Amendment violation occurred here because the Government did not need a warrant to capture Defendant’s IP address,” Henry Coke Morgan, Jr., a senior United States District Judge, wrote in an opinion and order on Tuesday. He adds that the government did not require a warrant to extract other information from the suspect’s computer either.

    • VPN Providers Protest Plans to Expand Government Hacking Powers

      Proposed legislative changes that will increase law enforcement’s ability to hack into computers are under attack by a broad coalition. Google, EFF, Demand Progress and FightForTheFuture are joined by TOR, Private Internet Access and other VPN services seeking to block changes to Rule 41.

    • In Wisconsin, a Backlash Against Using Data to Foretell Defendants’ Futures

      When Eric L. Loomis was sentenced for eluding the police in La Crosse, Wis., the judge told him he presented a “high risk” to the community and handed down a six-year prison term.

      The judge said he had arrived at his sentencing decision in part because of Mr. Loomis’s rating on the Compas assessment, a secret algorithm used in the Wisconsin justice system to calculate the likelihood that someone will commit another crime.

      Mr. Loomis has challenged the judge’s reliance on the Compas score, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which heard arguments on his appeal in April, could rule in the coming days or weeks. Mr. Loomis’s appeal centers on the criteria used by the Compas algorithm, which is proprietary and as a result is protected, and on the differences in its application for men and women.

    • EU to adopt new US data rules in July

      The European Commission is set to present a new draft of its data-exchange pact with the US, the Privacy Shield, in early July.

      EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova told EUobserver in a recent interview that the most contentious issues had been agreed by Washington and Brussels.

      These concerned access to data by US security services, bulk collection of people’s personal information and independent oversight.

    • Snoopers’ Charter: Government explains why it needs the power to hack into everyone’s devices

      GCHQ WILL have the power to hack into the devices of entire towns under the forthcoming Investigatory Powers Bill, according to a recently released Home Office briefing document.

      The ‘Operational Case for Bulk Powers’ is intended to explain why the security services need such wide-ranging and intrusive powers of surveillance and hacking granted under the so-called Snoopers’ Charter.

      The document uses a series of examples to make its case, citing terrorism, serious crime, terrorism, paedophiles, terrorism, state-based threats and, of course, terrorism.

    • GCHQ explains why it may want to hack every computing device in your town

      The Home Office has made the case for GCHQ’s new powers of bulk collection and hacking under the Investigatory Powers Bill, which will become law once it passes its third reading in the House of Lords, in a new document released this week.

      “The draft Investigatory Powers Bill… seeks to update the law to reflect technological change, ensuring that these powers – including those relating to sensitive capabilities available to the security and intelligence agencies – are set out transparently and consistently, with robust safeguards and world leading oversight,” claims the document.

    • Russia’s Problem (According To Russian Politicians): Not Enough Mass Surveillance

      When you look back at Techdirt’s coverage of Russia’s attempts to control its people and shut down online dissent, it’s unlikely you will be thinking to yourself: “What Russia really needs is more mass surveillance.”

    • Privacy Shield: Experts in the dark on planned EU-US data sharing pact

      National representatives charged with assessing the European Union’s controversial Privacy Shield proposal still haven’t seen the final text of the would-be Safe Harbour replacement, Ars has learned.

      The so-called Article 31 working group—which includes officials from the bloc’s 28 member states and the European Commission—held its last meeting on Monday. But despite anticipation, the commission didn’t deliver a new draft of the data-sharing deal it is negotiating with the US, and some delegations are getting frustrated.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • FBI, police visit activists’ homes in advance of Republican National Convention

      Law enforcement investigators this week began visiting the homes of local activists in an attempt to gather intelligence for possible planned demonstrations surrounding the upcoming Republican National Convention.

      Activists said they view the “door-knock” visits as intimidating. A spokeswoman for the local branch of the FBI acknowledged that “community outreach” is taking place as law enforcement officials try to make sure next month’s GOP convention is a “safe and secure” event.

      Jocelyn Rosnick, a leader with the local chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, a left-leaning group planning legal support for RNC protesters, said over a dozen activists have reported visits by teams of federal and local law enforcement officials this week.

      Some of the activists are involved with groups planning RNC demonstrations, while some aren’t, she said. She also said that some of the people who were visited were among the 71 people who were arrested in May 2015 in the aftermath of protests that broke out following the acquittal of Michael Brelo, a then-Cleveland police officer who had been charged with voluntary manslaughter in connection with the 2013 shooting deaths of two Cleveland motorists following a police chase.

    • FBI and Police are Knocking on Activists’ Doors Ahead of Republican National Convention

      Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, have been knocking on the doors of activists and community organizers in Cleveland, Ohio, asking about their plans for the Republican National Convention in July.

      As the city gears up to welcome an estimated 50,000 visitors, and an unknown number of protesters, some of the preparations and restrictions put in place by officials have angered civil rights activists. But the latest string of unannounced home visits by local and federal police mark a significant escalation in officials’ efforts to stifle protest, they say.

      “The purpose of these door knocks is simple: to intimidate the target and others in efforts to discourage people from engaging in lawful First Amendment activities,” Jocelyn Rosnick, a coordinator with the Ohio chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, wrote in a statement denouncing the home visits.

    • Teen Sues U.S. Over Cavity Drug Search for Which She was Billed $575

      Ashley Cervantes, a then 18-year-old American citizen, was stopped at the Mexico border and, for some unspecified reason, perhaps related to her being young and of Hispanic ethnicity, accused by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of smuggling drugs.

    • The Campaign To Dox Twitter Users In Islamic Countries For ‘Blasphemy’ And Supporting LGBT Rights

      Nearly half a decade ago, we wondered publicly what a company like Twitter, a self-proclaimed advocate of free and open speech, would do if confronted by a government that is anything but. In that post, Mike discussed how Twitter had been used to rant against the government in Saudi Arabia, and wondered what would happen if Saudi Arabia decided to make such speech illegal. But what if it’s not direct government action but that of other users that threatens such speech? While we have seen some governments routinely punish internet speech they don’t like, we’re now seeing signs of non-government individuals getting into the racket as well, as a way to silence the kind of barely-progressive speech a company like Twitter would likely say it wants to protect.

    • #LibbyLeaks: Oakland Mayor Launches Investigation Against City and Police Whistleblowers [iophk: "Multiple separate scandals and they try to distract with this instead"]

      This week, the national spotlight is on Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and her embattled police department — and the headlines aren’t favorable.

      And now the Express has learned that Schaaf and City Administrator Sabrina Landreth have opened an investigation to identify internal whistleblowers and leaks, according to multiple city and police sources, who asked not to be identified because they fear retaliation.

      The investigation started after recent news reports exposed details regarding multiple police-misconduct cases, as well as efforts by city and police officials to keep the misconduct hidden from the public.

    • Interpol says it’s seeking public help to track down 123 suspected human traffickers

      Interpol said on Thursday (June 23) it is seeking public help to track down 123 suspected human traffickers wanted around the world.

      The largest international police organisation put out the public appeal from its base in Lyon, France, in a bid to bring the remaining fugitives to justice.

      “People smuggling is a global issue which is why international cooperation through operations such as Hydra are essential,” said Interpol’s director of Operational Support Michael O’Connell in a statement announcing the programme’s launch.

      The operation, known as Infra Hydra, involves 44 countries as well as the EU police agency Europol, and has already made 26 arrests and located 31 other suspects, Interpol said.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • North Carolina’s New Broadband Plan Forgets To Include ‘Don’t Let ISP Lobbyists Write Shitty State Telecom Law’

      For years we’ve noted how 19 states have effectively let companies like AT&T and Comcast write protectionist state broadband laws to protect the status quo. Such laws usually either block or hamstring frustrated communities looking to build their own broadband networks, or in some instances from striking public/private agreements with companies like Google Fiber. Last year the FCC finally started paying attention to such bans, stating it intends to use Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to preempt restrictions conflicting with its Congressional mandate to ensure even broadband deployment.

      The FCC’s action specifically targeted bans in both Tennessee and North Carolina, both states where incumbent telecom lobbyists quite literally control state legislatures. Both states’ dysfunction on this front is legendary, yet both chose to sue the FCC in court to, they claim, defend “states rights” from federal government “overreach” (defending state residents from shitty telecom law written by lobbyists isn’t much of a concern).

    • DTN: Vint Cerf And NASA Just Created An Internet For Whole Solar System

      Making the communication systems more reliable for its future missions, NASA and Google VP Vint Cerf has created a Solar System Internet service. Called DTN, or Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking, this service is already incorporated in the software suite at the International Space Station.

    • Senate Report Cites Charter, Time Warner Cable Overcharges

      According to a copy of a staff report from the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Charter and Time Warner Cable (now a part of Charter) have failed to refund customers for overcharges, but both have taken steps to correct the issue.

      The report found that MVPDs vary greatly in how they handle billing overcharges, but that while “Time Warner Cable and Charter have procedures for identifying overcharges and removing them from customers’ bills prospectively, [n]either company, however, has automatically provided full retroactive refunds or credits for past overcharges.”

  • DRM/E-books

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • South Centre Steps Up Activity On IP, Medicines Access, Trade, Investment And More

      The Geneva-based organisation represents the interests of its developing country members.

    • Trademarks

      • Defending Our Brand

        We’ve forged relationships with millions of websites and users under the name Let’s Encrypt, furthering our mission to make encryption free, easy, and accessible to everyone. We’ve also worked hard to build our unique identity within the community and to make that identity a reliable indicator of quality. We take it very seriously when we see the potential for our users to be confused, or worse, the potential for a third party to damage the trust our users have placed in us by intentionally creating such confusion. By attempting to register trademarks for our name, Comodo is actively attempting to do just that.

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA Boss: Europe’s Geo Unblocking Plans Threaten Movie Industry

        MPAA Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd fears that Europe’s plans to limit geo-blocking will “cause great harm” to the movie industry. In a keynote address at the CineEurope convention, Dodd warned that broad access to movies and TV-shows will result in fewer films and higher prices for consumers.

      • Court Orders Usenet Providers to Expose Prolific Pirates

        Dutch Usenet providers Eweka and Usenetter have been ordered to hand over the personal details of two uploaders who shared over 2,000 pirated e-books. The case was initiated by local anti-piracy group BREIN, which plans to offer a settlement to the accused uploaders.

      • Jury finds Led Zeppelin did not steal intro to ‘Stairway to Heaven’

        Led Zeppelin did not steal a riff from an obscure 1960s instrumental tune to use for the introduction of its classic rock anthem “Stairway to Heaven,” a federal court jury decided Thursday.

        The verdict in Los Angeles settles a point that music fans have debated for decades but didn’t find its way to court until two years ago, when the trustee for the late Randy Craig Wolfe filed a copyright lawsuit.

      • Led Zeppelin Wins Copyright Case Over Stairway To Heaven

        Back in April, we talked about the fact that the lawsuit against Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page for copyright infringement over “Stairway to Heaven” was moving forward to a jury trail, and how ridiculous it was. As we noted, the song was written in 1970, and it’s a bit crazy to argue after all these decades that there’s infringement. But, more importantly, the similarities between Stairway and the Spirit song “Taurus” were just a few common notes that were predated by many artists, including Bach’s Bouree in E Minor. Still, as we’d seen with the Blurred Lines case, when copyright cases go to juries over song similarities, they often turn out wacky. The intricacies of copyright law are tossed out the window and often “hey, these sound similar” seems to win out.

      • Led Zeppelin Wins ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Jury Trial

        A jury rules in the band’s favor after hearing testimony and arguments that the iconic song was a copyright infringement of Spirit’s “Taurus.”

      • Good News: California Legislature Dumps Stupid Plan To Copyright All Government Works

        Back in April, we noted that California Assemblymember Mark Stone was pushing some legislation to basically push California governments to copyright and trademark everything they could. This was a bad kneejerk response to the admittedly ridiculous situation in Yosemite, where the concessions vendor had trademarked various park names and then tried to hold them ransom. Of course, the proper response is to make sure that kind of thing can’t be covered by trademark or copyright law, not push state government entities to lock up things under intellectual property laws.

      • Digitising public domain images creates a new copyright, rules German court

        A Berlin court has ruled that digitising paintings that are in the public domain creates new copyrights, even if the intent is to create a faithful image rather than produce an artistic interpretation.

        The case was brought by the Reiss Engelhorn Museum (REM) in Mannheim, Germany, against the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland—the local German chapter of the global Wikimedia movement—over 17 images of the museum’s public domain works of art, which have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.

      • Terrible Ruling In Germany: Digitizing The Public Domain Creates New Copyright

        This is not a particularly new issue — it’s come up many times in the past. In the US, thankfully, we have a nice precedent in Bridgeman v. Corel that states clearly that exact photographic copies of public domain works are not protected by copyright, because they lack the originality necessary for a copyright. Of course, that hasn’t stopped some US Museums from looking to route around that ruling. Over in Europe, where there is no Bridgeman-like ruling, we tend to see a lot more of these kinds of attempts to relock down the public domain by museums. There have been similar attempts in the UK and in France, though as far as I can tell, neither case went to court.

06.23.16

Links 23/6/2016: Red Hat Results, Randa Stories

Posted in News Roundup at 8:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Lessons learned for building an open company with transparent collaboration

    In the first part of this two-part series, Building a business on a solid open source model, I described how an open source business needs to provide a solid ground for all stakeholders, users, contributors, employees, customers, and of course investors. Foundations, licenses, and trademarks can be helpful in building an open ecosystem. Open source communities need supporting organizations to work transparently, otherwise there are barriers to contribution. Code might be public, but code dumps (like Google tends to do with Android) don’t always facilitate collaboration. To encourage collaboration, you must go one step further and be proactive. Development in a place like GitHub or GitLab, and having open feature planning meetings and conferences help toward that goal. But still, open source project leaders can do more.

  • Why share / why collaborate? – Some useful sources outside Debian

    I consider that the Golden Rule requires that if I like a program I must share it with other people who like it. Software sellers want to divide the users and conquer them, making each user agree not to share with others. I refuse to break solidarity with other users in this way. I cannot in good conscience sign a nondisclosure agreement or a software license agreement. … “

  • “But I’m a commercial developer / a government employee”

    Your employer may be willing to negotiate / grant you an opt-out clause to protect your FLOSS expertise / accept an additional non-exclusive licence to your FLOSS code / be prepared to sign an assignment…

  • How to share collaboratively

    Always remember in all of this: just because you understand your code and your working practices doesn’t mean that anyone else will.

  • twenty years of free software — part 3 myrepos

    myrepos is kind of just an elaborated foreach (@myrepos) loop, but its configuration and extension in a sort of hybrid between an .ini file and shell script is quite nice and plenty of other people have found it useful.

    I had to write myrepos when I switched from subversion to git, because git’s submodules are too limited to meet my needs, and I needed a tool to check out and update many repositories, not necessarily all using the same version control system.

  • OPNFV

    • Linux’s NFV crew: Operators keen to ditch clunky networks, be cool like Facebook

      Network operators have a jealous eye on the likes of Facebook and Google and want to ditch their clunky networks to compete for “cooler” consumer services, the head of the open-source network function virtualisation (NFV) project has said.

      Heather Kirksey is director of the collaborative Linux foundation’s OPNFV project – the open source software platform intended to promote the uptake of new products and services using Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV).

    • Nokia, Intel collaborate on open source hardware

      Just a week after Nokia (NYSE:NOK) announced an agreement to help China Mobile move to a more flexible cloud network infrastructure, Nokia said it is teaming up with Intel to make its carrier-grade AirFrame Data Center Solution hardware available for an Open Platform Network Functions Virtualization (OPNFV) Lab.

    • OPNFV Summit: Key Takeaways

      The open source multi-VIM MANO, Cloudify, is giving a sneak preview of its Telecom Edition today at the OPNFV Summit in Berlin. Cloudify is an open source orchestrator used by a growing group of large telecoms and Tier 1 network operators that are pursuing network functions virtualization (NFV).

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Being open to open source and creating a new business category at VMWare

      In the age of developer-defined infrastructure, where developers have decision making power in application and cloud infrastructure technologies, open source has proven to be a powerful go-to-market and distribution method for both startups and enterprises. Developers are always looking for new technologies to improve their productivity.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Microsoft Edge is a system hog and cannot be called ‘power efficient’

    IT WAS ONE HELL of a Monday morning. The rain was hammering down with no end in sight, and the usual ‘wrong type of rain’ and ‘leaves on the line’ meant that trains from outlying areas into central London were all pretty much stationary.

    When I finally got to the office, I dashed to my desk, powered up my system and launched Microsoft Edge – the window to my Office 365-using world.

    I was met with a big, blank white window that wouldn’t shift, no matter how often I pressed Ctrl+Alt+Delete.

    It was the final straw after a year of repeated crashes, hangs, random tab locks followed by forced refreshes, and general slow motion performance that’s made anguished cries and keyboard thumps a normal occurrence for those around me.

    So after using Edge religiously since Windows 10′s launch as an attempt to ‘embed’ with the tech I write about, I decided this morning to stop using it entirely.

  • Opera repudiates Microsoft Edge battery-saving claims

    The browser-maker Opera has negated Microsoft’s much-publicised claim that its Windows 10-exclusive Edge browser provides significantly less battery drain than competitors Chrome and Opera – and its own tests put Edge firmly in second place for battery efficiency.

    In a post at the Opera blog today, Błażej Kaźmierczak reveals the result of the company’s own tests, which put Google Chrome in third place at two hours and fifty-four minutes, Edge in second at three hours twelve minutes, and Opera ahead of that by obtaining three hours and fifty-five minutes of battery life under identical tests.

  • Dell Sells Off Software to Double Down on Its Riskiest Business

    For Dell, combining software and hardware within a single company was supposed to be like chocolate and peanut butter. Instead, it’s turning out more like oil and water.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The media may have stopped talking about it, but the Flint water crisis is far from over

      “The national media [attention] has waned, but we are trying to keep the story alive,” Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha said, with a voice of sheer determination.

      After becoming the face of a national movement, Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician who helped unmask the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, knows all too well — for herself and the residents of Flint — the disaster which almost destroyed the city is far from over. The series of unfortunate of events leading up to the calamity, the world knows all too well — the city stopped using Detroit’s water supply to use water from the Flint river as an economic measure in April 2014.

      High levels of lead permeated the pipes and infiltrated the water supply, while Flint locals complained incessantly about the water’s color, taste and odor, and reported several incidences of strange rashes and skin outbreaks. Yet, government officials assured residents of a majority black city, the water was not a “threat to public health” and “safe to drink.”

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Destroying Fallujah to ‘Save It’

      One of the concepts that emerged from the Vietnam War was that of destroying a village to save it. The idea was that by leveling a place where people once lived, the area would be denied to the Viet Cong. The people? Well, they’d just have to find somewhere else.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Here’s the Full Transcript of Our Interview With DNC Hacker ‘Guccifer 2.0′

      We spoke to the hacker who claimed to have broken into the servers of the Democratic National Committee, who goes by the name of “Guccifer 2.0,” in reference to the notorious hacker who leaked the George W. Bush paintings and recently claimed to have hacked Hillary Clinton’s email server.

      In the interest of transparency, and to let readers judge for themselves, we decided to publish the full chat log. We kept the parts in Romanian, adding the English translation, according to Google Translate.

    • Signs of thaw in Assange affair as he begins fifth year in embassy

      As Australia’s Julian Assange begins a fifth year of life in the Ecuador embassy in London, it looks like Sweden, the country that has accused him of rape, is finally beginning to come around.

      A report in the Guardian says Ecuador has received a formal request from Swedish authorities to interview Assange, a move that could bring the long-running saga to an end.

      Strangely, this is exactly what Ecuador has been asking for all along!

      Proposals for Assange to be extradited to Sweden for questioning were rejected because it was feared that he would be sent to the US from there.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Saudi energy minister just declared the oil glut over

      After two years of pain, the market has finally worked off the global glut of crude that slammed oil prices, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said in a newspaper interview published Wednesday.

      “We are out of it. The oversupply has disappeared,” said Khalid Al-Falih, according to the Houston Chronicle. “We just have to carry the overhang of inventory for a while until the system works it out.”

    • Indonesian Foreign Ministry on Smoke Haze

      This story is from the Jakarta Post. I reproduce it with this brief comment.

      I find the reluctance of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry to make meaningful comment about the problem of transboundary haze very puzzling indeed. It leads me to wonder whether there is the will and capacity, at a national level, to tackle this problem.

  • Finance

    • We can only contemplate leaving the EU because its miracles have become banal

      Another day has brought another dismal poll for the Remain campaign. And yet, if Britain does vote to leave the EU on the 23rd, it will still most likely not be because a majority of British people wish to leave, but because those who wish to remain are too lukewarm about the issue to get out and vote.

      This, if it happens, will be tragic. For all its faults – which, though very real, are inherent to the grandeur of its virtues – the European Union is arguably the greatest thing human beings have ever achieved in the political sphere.

      To put the matter in perspective, imagine for a moment how the world would look if the international system worked like the EU.

    • EU Referedum polling day: Race ‘too close to call’ as four polls give different sides the lead as voting begins

      People are taking to Twitter to complain about flooded polling stations.

      The rain doesn’t seem to be putting people off, but many are being forced to return to their polling stations this evening.

      There are reports of flooded streets as storms swept through the South East this morning.

    • EU referendum: Why is there no exit poll?

      There will be no (public) exit poll following the EU referendum: our Chief Political Commentator explains why, and tells you what to look out for instead

    • Why isn’t there a European referendum exit poll?

      When Britain votes at general elections, minutes after voting ends at 10pm, the broadcasters reveal the results of their exit poll – a massive survey of around 150 seats in the country, paid for the BBC, Sky and ITV – which, mostly, gives us a fairly clear idea of how the country has voted.

    • Chinese internet firm buys majority stake in Finnish gamemaker Supercell

      The Chinese internet giant Tencent has finalised a deal to purchase a majority share in Finland’s biggest earning game company, Supercell. Tencent replaces the Japanese telecoms group SoftBank as the Finnish gamemaker’s largest owner.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The degenerate gambler: Trump runs his campaign like he ran his casinos — right into the ground

      Monday’s bombshell that Trump had finally fired his incompetent campaign manager Corey Lewandowski hit the news networks like a lightning bolt. It had been clear for months the man was in over his head but Trump was loyal to him apparently under the assumption that he’d ushered him through the primaries and therefore knew what he was doing. According to news reports it took the Trump heirs gathering Lewandowski and The Donald in a room together to confront the campaign manager with the campaign’s lack of organization.

    • R. Crumb v. D. Trump, 1989 [NSFW]
    • More young people voted for Bernie Sanders than Trump and Clinton combined — by a lot

      It’s hard to overemphasize how completely and utterly Sen. Bernie Sanders dominated the youth vote to this point in the 2016 presidential campaign. While Hillary Clinton dominated him among older voters, he dominated her right back among younger voters — even winning more than 80 percent of their votes in some states against no less than the eventual Democratic nominee.

      But this fact might say it better than any: In the 2016 campaign, Sanders won more votes among those under age 30 than the two presumptive major-party presidential nominees combined. And it wasn’t close.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Wearables at work are the new spy tool, UK workers say

      Despite 3m Britons buying a wearable device in 2015, we are not willing to use them at work, according to new research from PwC.

      In a survey of 2,000 workers across the UK, only 46pc of people said they would accept a free piece of wearable technology if their employers had access to the data recorded.

      This was despite the fact that two-thirds of respondents wanted their employer to take an active role in their health and well-being. The biggest barrier to adoption was trust, with 40pc saying they don’t trust their employer to use it for their benefit, and in fact believe it will actively be used against them.

    • Facebook Signs Deals With Media Companies, Celebrities for Facebook Live

      Facebook Inc. has inked contracts with nearly 140 media companies and celebrities to create videos for its nascent live-streaming service, as the social network positions itself to cash in on a lucrative advertising market it has yet to tap—and keep its 1.65 billion monthly users engaged.

    • Facebook Just Made A Pretty Awkward Change To Your Profile

      If you haven’t looked at your own Facebook profile recently, you might want to go check it out.

      The social network recently tweaked a setting that changes how your employment and education history is displayed, a spokeswoman for Facebook told The Huffington Post on Monday. While the change won’t make any private information public, it could make some previously tucked-away information very obvious to your friends — which might be a bit uncomfortable.

    • Supreme Court Gives Police More Leeway on Illegal Searches

      NBC reports that Justice Sonia Sotomayor let loose a scorching dissent in a case involving the Fourth Amendment and police conduct. The case concerns Edward Strieff, who was stopped while leaving a house a police officer was watching on suspicion of drug activity. When the officer discovered Strieff had an outstanding warrant for a minor traffic violation, he searched Strieff and found methamphetamine. The court had to decide whether the drugs found on Strieff could be used as evidence or whether such evidence was disqualified by the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on “unreasonable searches and seizures.” Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority, saying the evidence was “admissible because the officer’s discovery of the arrest warrant attenuated the connection between the unlawful stop and the evidence seized incident to arrest.”

    • After Orlando, Senate rejects plan to allow FBI Web searches without court order

      The Senate on Wednesday rejected a Republican-led effort to allow the FBI to access a person’s Internet browsing history, email account data and other electronic communications without a court order in terrorism and spy cases.

      The measure from Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) would have also extended the government’s authority to conduct surveillance over potential “lone wolf” attackers.

      McCain and Burr argued that the changes were necessary in the wake of recent terrorist attacks such as in Orlando, where a gunman claiming inspiration and loyalty to the Islamic State killed 49 people at a gay nightclub.

    • How ‘Deleted’ Yahoo Emails Led to a 20-Year Drug Trafficking Conviction

      In 2009, Russell Knaggs, from Yorkshire, England, orchestrated a plan to import five tonnes of cocaine from South America hidden in boxes of fruit. Somehow, he did this all from the cell of a UK prison, while serving a 16-year sentence for another drug crime.

      As part of the plan, a collaborator in Colombia would log into a Yahoo email account and write a message as a draft. Another accomplice in Europe would read the message, delete it, and then write his own. The point of this was to avoid creating any emails that could be found by law enforcement.

      Knaggs didn’t use the email account himself, but when Yahoo provided copies of the inbox contents to the authorities, he was convicted and sentenced to another 20 years in prison. The emails certainly aren’t the only pieces of evidence used to bust Knaggs (the plot was foiled after officers found a piece of paper with transfer routes and other details during a cell search), but it’s one that the defense is scrutinizing.

    • Invoking Orlando, Senate Republicans set up vote to expand FBI spying

      U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set up a vote late on Monday to expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s authority to use a secretive surveillance order without a warrant to include email metadata and some browsing history information.

    • Don’t break crypto, go easy on the algorithms—global Internet commission

      Crypto backdoors, the overuse of opaque algorithms, turning companies into law enforcement agencies, and online attacks on critical infrastructure have all been attacked by the Global Commission on Internet Governance in a new report published on Wednesday.

      The body, which was set up in 2014 by UK-based Chatham House and the Canadian Centre for International Governance Innovation, has presented its 140-page-long One Internet report to provide “high-level, strategic advice and recommendations to policy makers, private industry, the technical community, and other stakeholders interested in maintaining a healthy Internet.”

      It comes out in favour of strict legal controls on the aggregation of personal metadata, net neutrality, open standards, and the mandatory public reporting of high-threshold data breaches. Along the way, it offers opinions on areas such as the sharing economy, blockchains, the Internet of Things, IPv6, and DNSSEC.

    • EFF Urges Citizens, Websites to Fight Rule Changes Expanding Government Powers to Break Into Users’ Computers

      San Francisco—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Tor Project, and dozens of other organizations are calling today on citizens and website operators to take action to block a new rule pushed by the U.S. Justice Department that would greatly expand the government’s ability to hack users’ computers and interfere with anonymity on the web.

      EFF and over 40 partner organizations are holding a day of action for a new campaign—noglobalwarrants.org—to engage citizens about the dangers of Rule 41 and push U.S. lawmakers to oppose it. The process for updating these rules—which govern federal criminal court processes—was intended to deal exclusively with procedural issues. But this year a U.S. judicial committee approved changes in the rule that will expand judicial authority to grant warrants for government hacking.

    • Congress Seeks to Expand Warrantless Surveillance Under the Patriot Act

      How would you feel if the Federal Bureau of Investigation could get information about websites you visited or emails you sent – without ever getting permission from a judge? Would you begin to self-censor the websites you visited — maybe avoiding revealing sites? Or, avoid emailing your pastor, therapist, or lawyer? These scenarios may soon no longer be hypothetical.

    • Battle of the Secure Messaging Apps: How Signal Beats WhatsApp

      This spring, text messages got a lot more private. In April, the world’s most popular messaging service, WhatsApp, announced it would use end-to-end encryption by default for all users, making it virtually impossible for anyone to intercept private WhatsApp conversations, even if they work at Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, or at the world’s most powerful electronic spying agency, the NSA. Then in May, tech giant Google announced a brand new messaging app called Allo that also supports end-to-end encryption.

    • Senate Just Barely Rejects Plan To Expand FBI Surveillance Powers

      Just yesterday we wrote about how the Senate was, somewhat ridiculously, rapidly pushing forward plans on a vote for an amendment to the laws concerning what information the FBI can gather using National Security Letters (NSLs). Despite the fact that the big push for this bill began a few weeks ago, and the fact that it had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the Orlando shooting, cynical Senators including John McCain and Mitch McConnell pointed to the shootings in Orlando as a reason that this expansion of FBI surveillance powers was needed. Of course, the reality is that it wasn’t needed, and the law is really there to paper over the fact that the FBI has already been widely abusing its NSL powers to get information it’s not allowed to request.

      After a vocal debate this morning, the measure (somewhat surprisingly) failed to pass, but by just two votes. It need 60 votes to move forward (it was a vote for “cloture” on debate, which requires 60 votes), and it only received 58. But McConnell already made it clear that the amendment will be reconsidered soon, which means he’s likely going to be pushing strongly to get those two remaining votes.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • CIA Psychologists Admit Role In ‘Enhanced Interrogation’ Program In Court Filing

      Two psychologists who helped the CIA develop and execute its now-defunct “enhanced interrogation” program partially admitted for the first time to roles in what is broadly acknowledged to have been torture.

      In a 30-page court filing posted Tuesday evening, psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen responded to nearly 200 allegations and legal justifications put forth by the American Civil Liberties Union in a complaint filed in October. The psychologists broadly denied allegations that “they committed torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, non-consensual human experimentation and/or war crimes” — but admitted to a series of actions that can only be described as such.

      “Defendants admit that over a period of time, they administered to [Abu] Zubaydah walling, facial and abdominal slaps, facial holds, sleep deprivation, and waterboarding, and placed Zubaydah in cramped confinement,” the filing says.

      The American Psychological Association issued a lengthy report last year acknowledging members of the profession collaborated with the CIA and Pentagon on the torture program, and apologized. But until now, no psychologist has ever been called to account in court.

    • Anger as Swiss council plans non-pork school lunches

      Politicians with the conservative Swiss People’s Party believe school authorities in Basel have caved to religious minorities in their decision to take pork off the school lunch menu in the coming school year.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • OECD Ministerial On Internet: Trust, But Whom?

      Beware “digital protectionism.” That was one of the key messages of United States Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, speaking at the official opening of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ministerial on the digital economy in Cancun, Mexico.

    • After Net Neutrality Win, Emboldened FCC Eyes New Reforms

      One week after a federal court upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s landmark net neutrality policy, emboldened FCC officials are moving to advance an ambitious set of reforms that are already generating static from the broadband industry and its political allies.

      The decade-long battle over net neutrality, the principle that all content on the internet should be equally accessible to consumers, is not over. Industry giant AT&T has said it plans to join an appeal of the DC Circuit’s decision to the Supreme Court, and net neutrality foes in Congress continue to pursue their relentless campaign aimed at knee-capping the FCC’s consumer protections.

    • Open Access Idaho Broadband Network Lets Customers Switch To A New ISP In Seconds

      In 2009, the FCC funded a Harvard study that concluded (pdf) that open access policies (letting multiple ISPs come in and compete over a central, core network) resulted in lower broadband prices and better service. Of course when the FCC released its flimsy, politically timid “National Broadband Plan” back in 2010, this realization (not to mention an honest accounting of the sector’s limited competition) was nowhere to be found. Since then, “open access” has become somewhat of a dirty word in telecom, and even companies like Google Fiber — which originally promised to adhere to the concept on its own network before quietly backpedaling — are eager to pretend the idea doesn’t exist.

  • DRM

    • Taking the headphone jack off phones is user-hostile and stupid

      Another day, another rumor that Apple is going to ditch the headphone jack on the next iPhone in favor of sending out audio over Lightning. Or another phone beats Apple to the punch by ditching the headphone jack in favor of passing out audio over USB-C. What exciting times for phones! We’re so out of ideas that actively making them shittier and more user-hostile is the only innovation left.

      [...]

      1. Digital audio means DRM audio

      Oh look, I won this argument in one shot. For years the entertainment industry has decried what they call the “analog loophole” of headphone jacks, and now we’re making their dreams come true by closing it.

    • 74% of Netflix Subscribers Would Rather Cancel Their Subscription Than See Ads

      In its early days as a streaming service, Netflix wasn’t just the biggest and best company on the block – it was the only one. In those heady days, Netflix was able to charge low subscription rates and still provide a catalog that included just about everything.

      As we’ve seen, that’s been changing. With new competition from companies like Hulu and Amazon, Netflix has seen streaming deals get pricier and customers get antsier. For a few years now, Netflix’s catalog has been shrinking while its prices have been rising.

      So where’s a streaming company to find new profits in a tight market? According to some people, the answer is for Netflix to start showing ads, like competitor Hulu does. That would give the company new revenue streams without forcing them to raise prices.

      Of course, there’s a group of stakeholders that’s still left unaccounted for here: Netflix’s customers. We decided to ask them about the issue. And, in a survey of more than 1,200 people on Reddit, we got some pretty clear answers.

    • If you kill the headphone jack, you need to replace it with something better

      As the rumors that the next iPhone will drop the 3.5mm headphone jack have intensified, I’ve been keeping tabs on the specific argument that Daring Fireball’s John Gruber made yesterday: that removing the headphone jack from the iPhone is the modern-day equivalent of removing the floppy drive from the iMac in the late ’90s. It caused some pain at the time, but it was the way things were moving anyway and in the grand scheme of things it was a smart thing to do.

      The people on the “get rid of the headphone jack” side of the debate normally choose some version of this position as the justification that the jack is “old” and so getting rid of it represents “progress.” And the fact of the matter is that Apple has been pretty good at this kind of progress over the years, picking up new technologies like USB and SSDs and dropping aging ones like the DVD drive well before those technologies had gone (or ceased to be) mainstream.

      But the headphone jack is not the floppy drive. It’s not the 30-pin connector. It’s not the DVD drive. It’s not even USB Type-C. It’s not, in other words, directly comparable to all those other times when Apple has been “right” to remove or change something, both because of the ubiquity of the headphone jack and the quality of the supposed replacements.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Texas Trademark Spat Full Of Crap?

        We’ve seen plenty of strange, even laughable, trademark spats around here. What can get lost in the kind of ownership culture we’ve collectively created is that trademark is chiefly built around the concept of avoiding customer confusion. With that noble goal in mind, businesses are allowed to reserve the right to use specific marks that act as identifiers for their brands. One of the tests that’s commonly referenced to determine whether there is the potential for customer confusion is: would a moron in a hurry be confused by a given use between two competing companies?

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay Co-Founder to Sue Record Labels For Defamation

        Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde is firing back at several major record labels, demanding compensation for damaging his name. Sunde is preparing a lawsuit against the music labels, who were recently awarded damages for his involvement with the notorious pirate site.

06.22.16

Links 22/6/2016: PulseAudio 9.0, GNOME 3.21.3 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Building a business on a solid open source model

    Since we announced Nextcloud, an ownCloud fork, many people have asked me how we plan to build a sustainable, healthy open source business. My short answer is that it requires a strong focus on maintaining a careful balance between the needs of all stakeholders: users, contributors, employees, customers, and—of course—investors. Building a solid open source business requires that management has confidence in the abilities of your company, stakeholders must be on board with the business model, and everyone must understand that balance is important for the ecosystem. Like a rising tide lifts all boats, a strong ecosystem benefits all stakeholders.

  • Why I must use Free Software – and why I tell others to do so

    My work colleagues know me well as a Free/Libre software zealot, constantly pointing out to them how people should behave, how FLOSS software trumps commercial software and how this is the only way forward. This for the last 20 odd years. It’s a strain to argue this repeatedly: at various times, I have been asked to set out more clearly why I use FLOSS, what the advantages are, why and how to contribute to FLOSS software.

  • BusyBox 1.25 Released

    This latest update to the widely-used BusyBox software features a new blkdiscard applet, new options for gunzip/gzip, new nsenter / unshare / ubirename applets, build system changes, fixes for unzip, updates to ntpd, Ash additions, and a wide variety of other changes.

  • Altair Adds Open-Source Licensing to PBS Pro

    One of the problems that continues to hinder HPC is that, by and large, there’s a greater demand for computing cycles than there are CPUs and GPUs available. With researchers and engineers lining up to have their calculations crunched, it’s critical that HPC schemes have effective job management software that can keep track of a queue or jobs and assign the appropriate hardware to each project.

  • ClusterHQ’s Mohit Bhatnagar Talks Flocker, Docker, and the Rise of Open Source

    Container technology remains very big news, and if you bring up the topic almost everyone immediately thinks of Docker. But, there are other tools that can compete with Docker, and tools that can extend it and make it more flexible. CoreOS’s Rkt, for example, is a command-line tool for running app containers. And, ClusterHQ has an open source project called Flocker that allows developers to run their databases inside Docker containers, leveraging persistent storage, and making data highly portable.

  • Events

    • openSUSE Conference 2016 Day 1

      The first day of this year’s openSUSE Conference went well and the keynote speaker team of SaltStack Chief Technical Officer and technical founder Thomas Hatch along with Senior SaltStack Engineer David Boucha and SUSE’s Joe Werner showed how powerful Salt is for IT automation.

      Boucha gave a live demo and Hatch talked about the evolution of Salt and even talked a little about Salt’s Thorium Reactor, which was added to Salt as an experimental feature in the 2016.3.0 release. Werner discussed how SUSE uses Salt with SUSE Manager.

    • Building a better LibrePlanet: What we learned from the conference surveys

      Our samples are usually about sixty to seventy respondents, and self-selecting — from their responses, we can say with confidence that LibrePlanet attendees feel we’re doing a decent job organizing the conference. The questions “How much did you enjoy the sessions you attended, compared to those at other conferences you have attended?” and “How likely is it that you will return to LibrePlanet next year?” received an average of about 3.5 out of 4 each of the last three years.

    • Do you GNU? Attend the GNU Hackers’ Meeting in France this summer!

      The GNU Hackers’ Meeting is a friendly, semi-formal forum to discuss technical, social, and organizational issues concerning free software and GNU. This is a great opportunity to meet GNU maintainers and active contributors.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

  • OPNFV

  • Healthcare

    • Dysfunction and Sabotage: Why Large Hospital EHR Costs So Much

      Years ago I read the cannon of the classic medical book “House of God” by Samuel Shem which reads: “…the House of God was sad and sick and cynical…like all our doings in the House…” At first, before I had worked in an actual hospital I thought the book itself was sick and cynical. After working in an actual hospital I re-read the book. I then found it hilarious for its uncomfortable truths, and did not think it was sick or cynical enough. Therein likes the crux of the matter with regard to very expensive large hospital EHR’s.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • ‘Steal My Tool’ showcases open source tools for journalists at IRE conference

      Robert Gebeloff, database projects editor at The New York Times, demonstrated how to use XML Grid to access and interpret a website’s data. Using these tools and techniques, Gebeloff showed how one can find which Trader Joe’s stores sell beer by simply scraping the site’s XML code. Gebeloff has published detailed instructions for web scraping without programming on his GitHub page.

    • Open Data

      • The current state of open data in the US government

        The S.2852 OPEN Government Data Act aims to require true open data access at the federal level. In this article I will discuss the importance of open data in government, the current state of open data in government, and what we need to do to implement true open data.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • VR Care is Frog’s open source VR headset for hospital patients

        VR is pretty good at distracting us from the outside world – take off the headset you’ve been wearing and you’ll see that it’s gone dark/everyone has left/you really need to shower.

      • 2048 DIY Open Source Game Console Hits Kickstarter (video)

        Anyone looking to learn more about coding and creating video games may be interested in the new DIY open source games console called 2048 which has been created by 2048.

        The name refers to the special screen that the game console is equipped with that is constructed from 2048 individual LED bulbs that are placed in a matrix form offering a 64 x 32 resolution.

        Learn more about what is possible using the open source games console from the developers at Creoqode. Who was taken to Kickstarter this week to raise the £20,000 they require to take the hardware into production. Early bird pledges are available from just $99 with delivery expected to take place during December 2016 with worldwide shipping available if required.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Google Hacker Donates His $15,000 Bug Bounty Cash Award To Charity

      Google’s leading security engineer Tavis Ormandy recently won a bug bounty challenge run by security solutions firm Bromium and decided to donate the money to charity. Following his gesture, Bromium matched Ormandy’s donation and donated $15,000 to Amnesty International organization.

    • TOR Project And Security Experts Making A “Hardened” Version Of TOR To Defeat FBI

      The TOR Project is working closely with security researchers to implement a new technique to secure the TOR Browser against the FBI’s de-anonymization exploits. Called “Selfrando”, this technique will fight the FBI’s “Code Reuse” exploits and create a “hardened” version of TOR.

    • Mozilla Awards $385,000 to Open Source Projects as part of MOSS “Mission Partners” Program

      For many years people with visual impairments and the legally blind have paid a steep price to access the Web on Windows-based computers. The market-leading software for screen readers costs well over $1,000. The high price is a considerable obstacle to keeping the Web open and accessible to all. The NVDA Project has developed an open source screen reader that is free to download and to use, and which works well with Firefox. NVDA aligns with one of the Mozilla Manifesto’s principles: “The Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible.”

    • Mozilla MOSS ‘Mission Partners’ makes it rain $385,000 on open source project developers

      Open source is very important nowadays, especially from a privacy and security standpoint. Look, closed source ideology is not inherently bad — it is a good way to protect a company’s code. The problem, however, is that users are increasingly suspicious of software since Edward Snowden’s leaks. There is no telling what kind of back doors or other malicious things are hiding in the code.

    • Severe flaws in widely used archive library put many projects at risk

      n a world where any new software project is built in large part on existing third-party code, finding and patching vulnerabilities in popular open-source libraries is vital to creating reliable and secure applications.

      For example, three severe flaws in libarchive, recently found by researchers from Cisco Systems’ Talos group, could affect a large number of software products.

      Libarchive is an open-source library first created for FreeBSD, but has since been ported to all major operating systems. It provides real-time access to files compressed with a variety of algorithms, including tar, pax, cpio, ISO9660, zip, lha/lzh, rar, cab and 7-Zip.

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Ecuador ‘fed up’ with Assange embassy ‘under siege’

      Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Guillaume Long says there is concern about the health of Julian Assange, who has now been in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy for four years.

      He told Zeinab Badawi: “We are concerned about his health. He doesn’t have access to good health care. We are very worried about this. After four years, there is a clear deterioration.”

      The Wikileaks founder sought refuge in the embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face accusations of sexual assault, which he denies.

    • Julian Assange Just Began His 5th Year Inside the Ecuadorian Embassy

      This past Sunday, June 19, Julian Assange began his fifth year inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he was granted asylum from the United States in 2012. The date was marked with simultaneous worldwide events—with 60 prominent supporters, including Noam Chomsky, Ai Wei Wei, Patti Smith, and Michael Moore, demanding Assange’s release. The theme of the day was “First They Came for Assange,” an allusion to Pastor Martin Niemöller’s famous poem warning of the dangers of staying silent in the face of rising state repression.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • NSA rejects ‘inappropriate’ invitation to assist with design of lynx introduction programme

      Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, says: “Our understanding is the Project Advisory Group will design the trial that will only go ahead if Lynx UK is successful in gaining a licence from Natural England and/or Scottish Natural Heritage. We feel it is inappropriate for NSA to provide guidance to Lynx UK ahead of that licence application, as we remain opposed to any pilot taking place. In addition, we are not prepared for someone from NSA to be part of the group when the terms of reference state members would not be there to represent the views of any particular organisation.”

    • The lynx effect: Plans to release wild animals in Britain abandoned

      But two more sites on either side of the border are still under consideration and one will ultimately be chosen to have lynx released to start breeding colonies.

      Alarmed farmers say it could lead to savage attacks on livestock and even children by the hungry beasts, which became extinct in Britain around 700 AD, almost 150 years before King Alfred the Great was born.

    • Bloodthirsty lynx to be released into UK for breeding for first time

      One of two sites will be chosen where the Eurasian lynx will be reintroduced.

      Alarmed farmers warn the decision could lead to savage attacks on livestock and even children by the beast.

      Now the Lynx UK Trust hopes to release the wild cat to somewhere in Aberdeenshire or Northumberland.

    • Lynx return ruled out in Cumbria and Norfolk

      Plans to reintroduce the lynx to the wild in Cumbria and Norfolk have been scrapped.

      The Lynx UK Trust said the animal, which has been extinct in Britain for 1,300 years, would help control deer populations and attract tourists.

      But it has now ruled out Ennerdale in the Lake District and Thetford Forest in Norfolk, as too small to support populations of the big cat.

  • Finance

    • Banks Warn Of Trading Issues Over EU Vote

      Banks and money transfer services are warning that a surge in market volatility surrounding Thursday’s EU referendum may impact electronic trading platforms.

      As holidaymakers flock to cash in on the strong pound, and buy their travel money ahead of the vote, a number of money transfer companies are suspending services.

      Azimo and rival website Transferwise, have both announced they will be suspending trading on Thursday morning.

    • Michael Gove compares experts warning against Brexit to Nazis who smeared Albert Einstein’s work as he threatens to quit David Cameron’s Cabinet

      Michael Gove has compared economic experts warning about Brexit to Nazis who smeared Albert Einstein’s scientific findings during the 1930s.

      Mr Gove, who chairs the Vote Leave campaign, also suggested that he may quit the Government if Britain votes to stay in the EU because David Cameron will not be able to meet his pledge to control migration.

    • Eddie Izzard: Comedian Gets Serious with ‘Remain’ Campaign

      English comedian Eddie Izzard is a passionate European who has been vigorously campaigning for young people to vote Remain in the Brexit referendum. Ahead of his last speech before the vote, he told Handelsblatt about his vision for a positive, unified European future.

    • A Brexit won’t stop cheap labour coming to Britain

      The Unite union is fighting all the way for a remain vote and for British workers to build their future in unity with workers in the rest of Europe. But I refuse to lecture or to patronise those working people who take a different view. After all, who can be surprised that in so many industrial areas, voting for the status quo is not a popular option?

    • Brexit: James Dyson is lone, pro-Leave voice among UK tech superstars

      British tech firms overwhelmingly support the UK remaining part of the European Union, even at the eleventh hour before Thursday’s referendum vote.

      In fact, the vacuum cleaner innovator Sir James Dyson is the only really big name among the country’s tech players to publicly come out and back Brexit—he believes that leaving the EU might help him recruit top engineering talent from outside Europe to come and work in the UK, and says “we will create more wealth and more jobs by being outside the EU.”

      Aside from him, the British tech sector appears to be very pro-European Union.

    • Why Mining Corporations Love Trade Deals

      From the salmon-spawning waters of Alaska to the cloud forests of Ecuador, communities are standing up to mining projects that threaten their health, environment, and livelihoods.

      But mining corporations are fighting back with a powerful tool buried in trade and investment agreements: the ability to go to private, unaccountable tribunals and sue governments that act to protect communities from mining.

      In these private tribunals, which sit outside of any domestic legal system, corporate lawyers – not judges – decide whether governments must pay corporations for halting destructive mining projects. To date, mining corporations have used these private tribunals to sue over 40 governments more than 100 times.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Hillary Clinton Criticizes Donald Trump for One of the Few Things He Is Right About

      Deficit hawks often raise the specter of hyperinflation to scare people who disagree with them. And that’s exactly what Hillary Clinton did on Tuesday.

      Speaking in Columbus, Clinton criticized Donald Trump for saying last month that the U.S. can never default on its debt obligations “because you print the money.”

      “We know what happened to countries that tried that in the past, like Germany in the ‘20s and Zimbabwe in the ‘90s,” Clinton said. “It drove inflation through the roof and crippled their economies.”

      But printing money — otherwise known as increasing the money supply – is a routine occurrence for governments that control their own currency. The Federal Reserve has increased its balance sheet by over $3 trillion since the financial crisis, explicitly to support the economy. (The Fed does this by buying stocks and bonds with electronic cash that didn’t exist before.)

      In fact, an increasingly influential school of economics, known as Modern Monetary Theory, argues that deficit spending, including through money printing, is critical to promote full employment.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • The New Censorship

      How did Google become the internet’s censor and master manipulator, blocking access to millions of websites?

    • Cleveland Bans Soapboxes and Sleeping Bags, Not Guns, Near Republican Convention

      Anyone venturing into a 3.3-square-mile “event zone” surrounding next month’s Republican National Convention will be prohibited from carrying tennis balls, tape, rope, bike locks, sleeping bags, or any object they could stand on to rise above the crowd and speak. They won’t be allowed to carry swords or water guns. But if they have a license, they’ll be permitted to openly carry real guns, including assault weapons.

      As Cleveland gears up to host one of the most controversial GOP conventions in decades, Ohio’s permissive gun policy isn’t the only red flag raised by prospective protesters and civil rights advocates. Many also warn that the regulations put in place by the city place “unacceptable restrictions on free speech” and risk escalating conflict, rather than diffusing it, by forcing rival groups of demonstrators to share tight quarters and schedules while keeping them out of sight and earshot of delegates and the media.

      The restrictions imposed on the large event zone drawn around Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena — known locally as “The Q”— have earned the city a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Ohio and widespread criticism across the spectrum of groups planning to show up at the convention to make their voices heard.

    • Egyptian and Lebanese film festivals censor ‘I Say Dust’ because of a same-sex kiss

      In making her short film “I Say Dust,” Darine Hotait wanted to explore Arab American identity from her perspective as a New York-based American Lebanese writer and director. It just so happened that her two lead characters would be women in their 20s who share a kiss. That kiss, however, has put “I Say Dust” at the center of a long-standing discussion about censorship after it was recently banned from two film festivals in the Middle East.

    • Sex Party forced to remove posters in ACT

      The Sex Party says it will reluctantly take down posters around Canberra deemed offensive by the ACT government.

      The party’s Senate candidate Steven Bailey says he will on Thursday remove signs reading “Screw the major parties – Vote for the Sex Party” and “Tax the Church – Vote for the Sex Party”.

      He said a city ranger on Monday gave the party 48 hours to remove the signs or face potential prosecution.

    • Election 2016: Sex Party hits out at ‘censorship’ after election signs taken down
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • NSA Designates UTEP as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Operations
    • Author Stephen Budiansky adds perspective to NSA’s covert activities

      Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon used the CIA and NSA for personal projects

    • American Intelligence Agencies Lag Behind in Diversity

      For decades, intelligence agencies like the CIA and NSA that have been tarred with accusations of sexism and racial profiling have worked hard to clean up their images and present a friendlier, more inclusive face to the world. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, similar scandals continue to hound the intelligence community, from the CIA’s hand in helping the NYPD monitor “ancestries of interest” to a culture within the NSA that condones violations of women’s privacy.

    • DOJ Insists That Rule 41 Change Is Not Important, Nothing To See Here, Move On Annoying Privacy Activist People

      We’ve been talking a lot about Rule 41 lately around here. As we’ve discussed, the DOJ had pushed for an update to the rule, basically granting the FBI much greater powers to hack into lots of computers, including those abroad (possibly creating diplomatic issues). We’ve been discussing the problems with the DOJ’s proposed change for years, and we haven’t been alone. Civil liberties groups and tech companies have both blasted the plans, but to no avail.

      Back in March, a judicial panel approved the DOJ’s proposed changes, and the Supreme Court gave its blessing a month later. The rule changes are set to go into effect on December 1st if they’re not stopped. Senators Ron Wyden and Rand Paul have introduced a bill to block them, while the EFF, Tor and friends have kicked off a big No Global Warrants campaign, encouraging Congress to block this change.

    • Firm pays $950,000 penalty for using Wi-Fi signals to secretly track phone users

      A mobile advertising company that tracked the locations of hundreds of millions of consumers without consent has agreed to pay $950,000 in civil penalties and implement a privacy program to settle charges that it violated federal law.

      The US Federal Trade Commission alleged in a complaint filed Wednesday that Singapore-based InMobi undermined phone users’ ability to make informed decisions about the collection of their location information. While InMobi claimed that its software collected geographical whereabouts only when end users provided opt-in consent, the software in fact used nearby Wi-Fi signals to infer locations when permission wasn’t given, FTC officials alleged. InMobi then archived the location information and used it to push targeted advertisements to individual phone users.

    • Senate Narrowly Rejects Controversial FBI Surveillance Expansion—For Now

      A controversial amendment that would expand the FBI’s surveillance power was narrowly defeated in the Senate Wednesday.

      The final tally was 58 to 38, two votes shy of the 60 needed for the amendment to move forward. The issue will likely surface again soon, however, as Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., immediately filed for a motion to reconsider the amendment.

    • Dashcam and bodycam undermine reasonable suspicion in two cases

      These two make one wonder how many times officers have just fabricated reasonable suspicion and courts have bought it:

      The dashcam video supports the defendant’s argument that he was stopped without reasonable suspicion of driving with lights off when they should have been on. The stop for following too close is also unsupported. The highway was nearly empty. Suppressed. United States v. Dominguez-Fernand, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76368 (S.D.Ind. June 13, 2016).

    • Court Refuses To Uphold Evidence Seized During A Completely Bogus Traffic Stop

      Very rarely does anyone want to believe a defendant in a criminal prosecution. They have the most to lose, are often presumed guilty by all involved, and if they’d done nothing wrong, they wouldn’t be here defending themselves, right? None of that is how the system is supposed to work. But that’s how it often does.

      Law enforcement officers, on the other hand, are often treated as unimpeachably credible, even when their recollections of events are less than accurate. Sometimes they get called out for it. Most times they don’t. About the only way their dishonesty is called out if if there’s another set of eyes on the scene — like dashcams or body-worn cameras. (This, too, is far from a sure thing.)

      That’s what happened here. A bogus traffic stop that morphed into a drug bust began with zero traffic violations — even though the officer performing the stop claimed at least two violations had occurred. (via FourthAmendment.com)

      Victor Dominguez-Fernand was pulled over for allegedly driving with his headlights off and following too close to the vehicle ahead. Unfortunately for Deputy Nicholas Ernestes, his dashcam showed both claimed violations were bogus.

      First off, the supposed violation of “driving with headlights off” was only a presumed violation. Deputy Ernestes testified that he “believed” headlights were required because of the weather conditions (overcast and raining) but couldn’t actually assert that such a requirement exists.

    • GCHQ sets out ‘operational case’ for bulk collection

      A GCHQ document has put forward the ‘operational case’ for bulk collection.

      Authored by the UK’s signals intelligence agency, which is also the principal agent of bulk collection in the UK, the report sets out the manner in which “bulk powers provide vital intelligence that cannot be generated from any other source”.

      It goes on to draw out scenarios, some real, some hypothetical, in which bulk powers were or could be useful.

    • EFF Urges Senate Not to Expand FBI’s Controversial National Security Letter Authority

      The controversial National Security Letter (NSL) statute could be significantly expanded under two separate bills currently being debated by the Senate. Every year, the FBI issues thousands of NSLs to telephone and Internet companies, demanding records about their customers and gagging the companies from informing the public about these requests. NSLs are inherently dangerous to civil liberties because their use is rarely subject to judicial review. But NSLs are not magic, and they don’t require recipients to do whatever the FBI says. Above all, the type of information available to the FBI with an NSL is quite limited, reflecting the need to tightly control the extrajudicial nature of this controversial power.

    • Jewel v. NSA Moves Forward—Time For NSA To Answer Basic Questions About Mass Surveillance

      It’s time to lift the cloak of secrecy that has until now shielded the NSA from judicial scrutiny. EFF served the agency with information requests late last week in Jewel v. NSA, EFF’s signature case challenging government surveillance. Since we filed the case in 2008, leaks about government spying—much of which have been confirmed by intelligence agencies—have vindicated our claims that the U.S. government is and was illegally spying on millions of innocent Americans. Now, we are seeking answers to basic questions about the nuts and bolts of the government’s Internet and telephone mass surveillance programs.

      Not only does this mark the first opportunity to obtain evidence since the case was filed nearly eight years ago, but it’s also the first time any party has been allowed to gather facts about the programs’ inner workings from the NSA in a case involving the agency’s warrantless surveillance.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Customs Agents, Local Doctor Subject 18-Year-Old To Vaginal, Rectal Probing In Search Of Nonexistent Drugs

      The police obtained no drugs, but Eckert obtained a $1.6 million settlement.

      Perhaps that sort of payoff is in 18-year-old Ashley Cervantes’ future. Cervantes did nothing more than cross the border to eat breakfast in Nogales, Mexico. Upon her return, things went from bad to worse to nightmarish.

    • Guy In Australia Pleads Guilty To Criminal Trolling On Facebook, Faces 3 Years In Jail

      Let’s start off with this: there’s no legitimate way to defend Zane Alchin, a guy in Australia who appears to be an all around horrible person. He went on Facebook, and after seeing a friend of his post (and mock) a woman’s Tinder profile, proceeded to post a whole bunch of pretty horrible and misogynistic posts on Facebook, including some pretty horrifying statements about “raping feminists.” I won’t post any of his other comments, though they’re covered in some of the articles written about the case. Alchin, who now claims he was just drunk and trolling, and also insisted he wasn’t breaking any laws, has since discovered that apparently he was breaking a weird Australian law…

    • Sydney labourer Zane Alchin switches to guilty plea over Tinder shaming case

      A Sydney labourer, who unleashed a torrent of explicit abuse online after a screen shot of a woman’s Tinder profile was uploaded to Facebook, told police he was drunk and unaware that trolling was a crime, court documents show.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • As OECD Gathers, Call For New Internet Social Compact – With Some Open Questions

      The GCIG report is here. Information on the OECD Ministerial is here.

      Information Society (ISOC) background on Ministerial is available here.

      Insurance companies for example are asked in the report presented in Cancun today to “rise to the challenge of ensuring that best practices for data protection and security are appropriately rewarded.” Governments are requested “to ensure their taxation policies do not bias the market for internet services or related equipment.”

    • Study Finds That T-Mobile’s Binge On Is Exploitable, Unreliable, And Still Violates Net Neutrality

      For a while now we’ve warned how “zero rating” (letting some content bypass usage caps) is a creative way for ISPs to tap dance around net neutrality –potentially to public applause. Comcast, for example, exempts its creatively-named “Stream” streaming video service from caps, but claims this doesn’t violate net neutrality because the traffic never technically leaves Comcast’s network. Verizon exempts its own Go90 video service from caps as well, and to date doesn’t even bother justifying the move. Both AT&T and Verizon let companies pay for cap exemption.

      And while these programs all laugh in the face of neutrality, many users still tend to applaud the horrible precedent because they believe — despite paying an arm and a leg for wireless data — that they’re getting something for free.

      T-Mobile has been perhaps the most creative in exploiting this belief and implementing zero rating, now exempting some 90 video services from user usage caps and throttling these services to 1.5 Mbps (or 480p) unless a user opts out. But neutrality advocates have repeatedly noted this idea still violates net neutrality given that thousands of startups, educational orgs, and non profits still aren’t whitelisted — and may not even realize they’re being discriminated against.

    • Northeastern researchers find T-Mobile’s Binge On doesn’t live up to the hype

      Want to watch unlim­ited videos from Net­flix, YouTube, and other providers on your mobile device for free? Make us your internet ser­vice provider, says T-​​Mobile. Our Binge On ser­vice allows you to do just that.

      Not so fast, says Northeastern’s David Choffnes, assis­tant pro­fessor in the Col­lege of Com­puter and Infor­ma­tion Sci­ence. New research by Choffnes and his col­leagues shows that what T-​​Mobile promises is not what you, or con­tent providers, may actu­ally get.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • No Man’s Sky Settles With Sky TV So It Can Have ‘Sky’ In Its Name

        As you may or may not be aware, Sky TV is a European cable television network owned by Rupert Murdoch. Sky TV is also a company that has trademarked the word “sky” and enjoys bludgeoning anyone who uses the word “sky” in business into the ground. This has resulted in exceptionally silly disputes, such as Sky TV suing Skype, despite there being not a lick of competition between a messaging/calling system and television.

        This past week, gaming enthusiasts learned that the much anticipated open universe space exploration game No Man’s Sky had been battling with Sky TV over the inclusion of the word “sky” in its title. This case of trademark bullying can act as a wonderful barometer, because if you don’t think this is ridiculous, then you are ridiculous.

      • Cinemark Files Trademark Infringement Lawsuit Against Roblox Over User-Generated Content

        Today’s misguided IP infringement lawsuit comes from Cinemark USA, one of the largest theater chains in the United States. Its target is Roblox, a multiplayer online sandbox game where users can create their own “worlds” using blocks — putting it somewhere between Minecraft and Second Life.

        Cinemark is accusing Roblox and a few dozen of its users of trademark infringement, thanks to the latter’s creations. According to the lawsuit [PDF], various users have created versions of Cinemark theaters (complete with branding) and placed them in their own worlds, or uploaded for others to use in theirs.

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA Happily Gets Into Bed With Russian State Censor Agency… To Protect Copyright!

        Roskomnadzor is the Russian “telecommunications regulator” or “watchdog,” but it could just as easily be described as the Russian internet censor, because that appears to be a large part of its role in the country. In the past, we’ve written about Roskomnadzor blocking all of Wikipedia over a single reference to hashish (really) and also a plan to block all of CloudFlare because the company made it difficult for Russia’s internet censorship plans to work. Earlier this month, Roskomnadzor made news for blacklisting a Vice article, claiming that it would encourage shoplifting.

        So, who better to support such a censorship regime than… Hollywood! The MPAA has now proudly signed an agreement with Roskomnadzor to cooperate on protecting copyright online. The linked article is unfortunately horribly written. The title implies that the MPAA represents the government of the United States (while sometimes true in practice, that’s not how it’s supposed to work…) and then provides frightfully few details on what the agreement really is), beyond “protect copyright!”

06.21.16

Links 21/6/2016: Fedora 24 and Point Linux MATE 3.2 Officially Released

Posted in News Roundup at 4:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Elon Musk’s open source OpenAI: We’re working on a robot for your household chores

    OpenAI, the artificial-intelligence non-profit backed by Elon Musk, Amazon Web Services, and others to the tune of $1bn, is working on a physical robot that does household chores.

    The robot OpenAI is targeting would be as reliable, flexible, and intelligent as Rosie the maid from TV cartoon comedy The Jetsons.

    OpenAI leaders Musk, Sam Altman, Ilya Sutskever, and Greg Brockton explain in a blogpost that they don’t want to manufacture the robot itself, but “enable a physical robot … to perform basic housework”.

  • Is Open Source Right for You? Maybe, But Cost Should Be the Last Consideration

    Without a doubt, open source is making the software business better. But, if you’re considering going the open source route for software that’s critical to your company, keep in mind that “open” doesn’t mean “free.” It’s understandable that cost would be a major factor in the decision to go open source, as it’s free to license and allows you to spin up unlimited instances. However, there are a number of hidden expenses associated with using open source software that in many cases can drive up the price tag way past commercial software. The real differentiating factors in open source have less to do with cost than they do with your objectives, and the capabilities of your team.

  • Community-powered marketing succeeds where traditional marketing fails

    It’s time for us B2B marketers to stop being so transactional and impersonal—to stop believing that buyers’ purchase decisions are completely rational. Buyers, after all, are people, not cogs in a wheel spinning inside their companies.

    Traditional B2B marketing tactics are expensive and increasingly ineffective. You know them well: online banners, emails from random salespeople, sponsored golf outings, airport advertising, billboards, radio ads. Our customers are swimming in messages about why our product is better than the next guy’s. They’re messages designed to promote, persuade, and convince, and they speak to the part of us hungry for just one more tiny bit of data that might help with an important decision.

  • Understanding Ceph and Its Place in the Market

    I see a strong and promising future for Ceph. Sure, like any other data storage solution it doesn’t address all data storage needs, but it’s here, and it’s yet another contender in the software-defined storage arena.

  • twenty years of free software

    I’m forty years old. I’ve been developing free software for twenty years.

    A decade ago, I wrote a series of posts about my first ten years of free software, looking back over projects I’d developed. These retrospectives seem even more valuable in retrospect; there are things in the old posts that jog my memory, and other details I’ve forgotten by now.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Getting Automatic Crash Reporting

      Markus Mohrhard cross-posted today on the Document Foundation blog of a new feature coming in LibreOffice 5.2. Mohrhard said, “Starting with LibreOffice 5.2 the LibreOffice project will have an automated crash reporting tool with server side analysis.” In other news, GNOME’s Sébastien Wilmet today blogged this thoughts on Mint’s X-Apps, little applications commonly forked from GNOME apps and Sam Varghese reported on the exit of Jacob Appelbaum from Debian. Gizmodo listed five reasons to install Linux, and by Linux they mean Ubuntu, onto your laptop and Matt Hartley discussed why Ubuntu LTS is better than the latest and greatest.

    • Crash reporting for LibreOffice

      Starting with LibreOffice 5.2 the LibreOffice project will have an automated crash reporting tool with server side analysis of the reports. This has been active in the builds since 5.0.0.0.beta1 and was really working since beta 2.

  • Docker

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing/Legal

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • Science and Tech museums’ documents to be ‘open by default’ by fall, CEO pledges

        In a government town like Ottawa, where information has traditionally been jealously guarded, what Alex Benay is proposing could trigger a bout of cognitive dissonance.

        According to Benay, president and CEO of the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation, almost all documents generated by the corporation’s three national museums – Science and Technology, Aviation and Space, and Agriculture and Food – will soon be available to the public through an online portal.

        “Our hope is by the fall, roughly 90 per cent of our information is available to the public in real time,” Benay said in an interview Monday, hours after tweeting that museum documents will be “open by default” by autumn.

        Not everything will be made public: cabinet documents and material dealing with such things as personnel matters or corporate planning will remain confidential.

        But after that, pretty much anything goes, Benay said, including early drafts of historical assessments, exhibition plans and schedules for travelling exhibitions.

  • Programming/Development

    • Automating your Home with Home Assistant: Python’s Answer to the Internet of Things

      Paulus Schoutsen created Home Assistant in 2013 “as a simple script to turn on the lights when the sun was setting,” as he told attendees of his recent Embedded Linux Conference and OpenIoT Summit presentation, “Automating your Home with Home Assistant: Python’s Answer to the Internet of Things.”

    • How DevOps best practices improve team dynamics

      I’ve spent the past few months writing about the small, incremental behaviors that individuals can employ to be more successful. This month, I’d like to highlight team behaviors that I think are critical to having small successes at work. I spent time with one of the AtomicOpenShift (AOS) teams at Red Hat—the Cockpit project.

      Although I spend a significant amount of my time with the AOS teams, I rarely get the chance to work directly with Cockpit. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit with them for a while when we were all in Brno earlier this year. From an outsider’s perspective, the team has an ease of speaking with each other—both on technical topics and personal ones—that makes you take notice. In fact, you might have assumed they all work together in the same office. However, all five engineers and the designer on the team are spread out across Europe and the United States.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • IOC Upholds Olympic Ban on Russia’s Track and Field Athletes

      The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced today that it has upheld the ban imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Russia’s track and field athletes.

      Meeting in the Swiss city of Lausanne, the IOC said that the widespread doping allegations in Russia casts “very serious doubts on the presumption of innocence” on Russian athletes and every athlete from the country who wants to compete in the Olympics will have to undergo an individual doping evaluation from an independent lab before being allowed to compete.

      Although some Russian media and officials had pinned hopes on the IOC intervening in the ban, most indications were that the Olympic body would affirm the IAAF decision. On Saturday, the IOC released a statement that it “fully respected” the IAAF decision and said it accepted the IAAF’s right to determine athletes’ eligibility to compete.

    • Rx Pizza: 1 Free Meal Can Sway Doctor Prescribing

      As little as one free meal from a drug company can influence which medicines doctors prescribe for Medicare patients.

    • Feed Me, Pharma: More Evidence That Industry Meals Are Linked to Costlier Prescribing

      Evidence is mounting that doctors who receive as little as one meal from a drug company tend to prescribe more expensive, brand-name medications for common ailments than those who don’t.

      A study published online Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine found significant evidence that doctors who received meals tied to specific drugs prescribed a higher proportion of those products than their peers. And the more meals they received, the greater share of those drugs they tended to prescribe relative to other medications in the same category.

      The researchers did not determine if there was a cause-and-effect relationship between payments and prescribing, a far more difficult proposition, but their study adds to a growing pile of research documenting a link between the two.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • BadTunnel: Critical vulnerability affects every version of Microsoft’s OS since Windows 95

      A security researcher from Tencent, China’s largest internet service portal, has discovered a critical security flaw in Microsoft’s Windows operating system that affects every single version of Windows over the last two decades, from Windows 95 all the way to Windows 10.

    • Decentralized Security

      If you’re a fan of the cryptocurrency projects, you’ve heard of something called Ethereum. It’s similar to bitcoin, but is a seperate coin. It’s been in the news lately due to an attack on the currency. Nobody is sure how this story will end at this point, there are a few possible options, none are good. This got me thinking about the future of security, there are some parallels when you compare traditional currency to crypto currency as well as where we see security heading (stick with me here).

      The current way currency works is there is some central organization that is responsible for minting and controlling the currency, usually a country. There are banks, exchanges, loans, interest, physical money, and countless other ways the currency interacts with society. We will compare this to how IT security has mostly worked in the past. You had one large organization responsible for everything. If something went wrong, you could rely on the owner to take control and make things better. There are some instances where this isn’t true, but in general it holds.

      Now if we look at cryptocurrency, there isn’t really a single group or person in charge. That’s the whole point though. The idea is to have nobody in charge so the currency can be used with some level of anonymity. You don’t have to rely on some sort of central organization to give the currency legitimacy, the system itself has legitimacy built in.

    • New RAA ransomware written in JavaScript discovered

      A new variety of ransomware called RAA has been discovered that has the somewhat unusual attribution of being coded in JavaScript instead of one of the more standard programming languages making it more effective in certain situations.

    • Want To Be A Cool Security Guru?

      Well it will take some work, security is not like what they show on TV. You don’t need green on black text, special goggles or an unlimited enhance function. Instead, it requires sitting down and understanding the history of the field, what it means to be “secure” and what limitations or assumptions you can work under. This summer I have decided to start my journey on the vast field of cryptography and am doing an online course at Stanford University that provides an introduction to cryptography. It is appropriately named “Cryptography I” and is the first part of a two part course, the second part being offered later in the Fall. Both are taught by a really awesome professor Dan Boneh who I find explains the material very well. I decided I would like to make some posts about what I have learned in this course as I go through the material so that I can share my knowledge and get a chance to write it down somewhere for later reference.

    • WordPress 4.5.3 Maintenance and Security Release

      WordPress 4.5.3 is now available. This is a security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • US election: Arrested Briton ‘wanted to shoot Donald Trump’

      A Briton who tried to grab a police officer’s gun at a Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas said he wanted to shoot the US candidate, court papers say.

      Michael Steven Sandford, 20, did not enter a plea when he appeared before a judge in Nevada and was remanded in custody until a hearing on 5 July.

      He is charged with an act of violence “on restricted grounds”.

    • Medea Benjamin

      This week’s Project Censored features a recent speech by long-time peace organizer Medea Benjamin. She examines recent successes and setbacks for the antiwar movement, and discusses her current campaigns.

      Medea Benjamin is cofounder of the womens’ peace group Code Pink and the fair trade organization Global Exchange. She spoke at Sonoma State University on March 25, 2016, as part of the student-organized Social Justice Week.

    • What is Missing from the Memo 51 U.S. Diplomats Signed Urging Strikes Against Assad in Syria

      Despite over 400,000 dead and ongoing ground and air campaigns inside the country by the U.S., Russia and several others, 51 U.S. diplomats are publicly demanding the Obama administration launch strikes directly against Bashir Assad in Syria.

    • The Use of Error-Prone and Unfair Watchlists Is Not the Way to Regulate Guns in America

      Using the broken watchlist system to regulate gun ownership raises issues of fundamental fairness.

      In the wake of the attack on LGBTQ Americans in Orlando, gun control is again at the forefront of the national conversation. It is also the subject of proposed legislation in Congress. We at the ACLU, like many other Americans, are appalled by the Orlando tragedy. We have deep concerns, however, about legislative efforts to regulate the use of guns by relying on our nation’s error-prone and unfair watchlisting system.

    • If You Value Life, Wake Up!

      Do you remember how close we came to Armageddon in the early 1960s when Washington put nuclear missiles in Turkey on the Soviet Union’s border and the Soviets responded by putting nuclear missiles in Cuba? Fortunately, at that time we had an intelligent president instead of a cipher. President John F. Kennedy pulled us back from the brink and was assassinated by his own government for his service to humanity.

    • How a Shootout on a Guatemalan Highway Opened Window to Corruption

      In 2013, ProPublica reporter Sebastian Rotella got a tip on an assassination attempt against Enrique Degenhart Asturias, a 44-year-old Guatemala native who had been working as a consultant to the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City. Rotella, a veteran Latin America correspondent, knew such violence was common in that part of the world, but this event felt distinctive.

  • Finance

    • George Soros: EU exit risks ‘black Friday’

      The world’s most famous currency speculator has warned that a vote on Thursday for Britain to leave the EU would trigger a bigger and more damaging fall for sterling than the day he forced Britain out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism almost a quarter of a century ago.

      George Soros, writing in the Guardian, said a Brexit vote would spark a ‘black Friday’ for the UK, but the devaluation of sterling would bring none of the benefits to the economy that it enjoyed after it dropped out of the ERM on 16 September 1992 – Black Wednesday.

      He said that, as in 1992, there would be big financial gains for speculators who had bet on the UK leaving the EU but that such an outcome would leave “most voters considerably poorer”.

    • Microsoft UK’s tax bill challenged… by the Sunday Times [Ed: Microsoft Jack calls story about Microsoft tax evasion “weak story”]

      Microsoft’s name has generally been missing from the reporting of tax avoidance by America’s tech giants: the brunt of the attack has been borne by Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon, all of which have sophisticated tax reduction strategies. Now the Sunday Times has thrown Microsoft’s hat into the ring, in a half page (paywalled) story headlined “Taxman backs £100m Microsoft wheeze”.

    • Boris Johnson will make TV apology if Brexit triggers recession

      Boris Johnson has said he will apologise on national television if Britain were to plunge into recession after a vote to leave the EU.

      His promise came in response to a caller to radio station LBC, who asked the former mayor of London: “If we Brexit and we go into recession, would you have the political courage, to go on TV … and say sorry, I made it wrong and I apologise?”

    • ‘Together as a people we are strong’ – David Beckham to vote Remain in EU

      Former England and Real Madrid star David Beckham has said that he will be voting for Remain in the EU Referendum.

    • David Beckham Will Vote Remain ‘For Our Children’ In EU Referendum

      “I played my best years at my boyhood club, Manchester United. I grew up with a core group of young British players that included Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville Brothers. Added to that was an experienced group of older British players such as Gary Pallister, Steve Bruce and Paul Ince. Now that team might have gone on to win trophies but we were a better and more successful team because of a Danish goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel, the leadership of an Irishman Roy Keane and the skill of a Frenchman in Eric Cantona.”

      Beckham continued: “I was also privileged to play and live in Madrid, Milan and Paris with teammates from all around Europe and the world. Those great European cities and their passionate fans welcomed me and my family and gave us the opportunity to enjoy their unique and inspiring cultures and people.

    • The writings of Gove and Boris reveal a chilling double act

      If Brexit happens, the chances of them running the country will increase. Do their books contain any clues about what they might do?

    • Barnes Denies Gove Claim He Backs Brexit

      The former footballer tells Sky News his views have been “misinterpreted” after he said Brexit would be good for English players.

    • EU referendum: England’s John Barnes calls out Michael Gove for saying he supports Brexit
    • Oracle profits surge—at the expense of Java development and software support

      On June 16, Oracle Corporation released financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016, and corporate executives trumpeted the company’s cloud services success. According to the latest report, Oracle’s cloud infrastructure, platform, and software services collectively brought in $859 million for the quarter ending May 31, compared to $576 million for the same period in 2015. Oracle brought in $2.853 billion in revenues for cloud and had an $8.9 billion (£6.07 billion) profit for the year.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • No, Sanders’ Secret Service Detail Isn’t Costing ‘Taxpayers’ $38,000 a Day

      How does Messing propose that the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security, given Sanders’ authorization to stop protecting him, turn the resulting savings into cash for the purposes of “donating to Orlando families”? She, of course, won’t be proposing any such process, because this talking point is based on shallow moralizing, not on an honest assessment of the costs of Sanders’ continuing his campaign. Even without the exploitation of the Orlando attack, it’s a talking point that doesn’t make any sense.

      [...]

      Does anyone think the Secret Service is going to fire the exact number of agents assigned to Sanders the day he drops out? Does anyone think the additional vehicles and equipment needed will quickly be pawned off and the money transferred over to Johnny Taxpayer? Does anyone repeating this talking point think that if the Sanders campaign had ended one week ago the US federal government would somehow be $166,000 richer?

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Seeing Opportunity, Congress Tries To Rush Through Its Plan To Legalize FBI Abuses Citing ‘Orlando!’

      Just a few weeks ago, we wrote about the FBI pushing strongly for an update to the law that covers National Security Letters (NSLs) to cover up the fact that the FBI has been using them to get electronic communications records. The current law on NSLs doesn’t cover that information, though the FBI insists that it’s just a “typo” in the law, and still frequently asks for them in its NSLs, because NSL recipients often don’t know the law themselves and will still turn over the info. Of course, it helps that the NSLs often come with gag orders. Reports going back a decade have shown that the FBI has a serious problem with abusing its NSL powers to get lots of information it’s not supposed to have. And rather than do something to stop such abuses, the FBI’s friends in Congress have, instead, been trying to legalize such abusive practices to allow the FBI to do even more.

      And, in the spirit of “leave no crisis unexploited,” Senator Mitch McConnell is pushing forward on the amendment put forth by Senators McCain and Cornyn to expand NSLs. And, cynically, they’re citing the Orlando shootings as the reason why, despite the fact that this amendment was being pushed for before the shootings even occurred and the fact that this would have done absolutely nothing to stop the shootings.

    • Snooper’s charter: GCHQ will be licensed ‘to hack a major town’

      The security services are to receive a licence for hacking into the phones and laptops of a “major town” under the snooper’s charter legislation, which reaches the House of Lords next week.

      The broad nature of the hacking powers to be handed to GCHQ are disclosed in an obscure case study in a background Home Office document setting out the operational case for their use.

      This shows that all the phones and laptops in a “major town” could be hacked into, as long as the town were overseas and the action were necessary for national security purposes. The example used in the case study is identifying the phones and laptops being used by a terrorist group planning an attack on Western tourists in a major town

    • EU biometric data collection welcomed by US

      According to the minutes of the most recent EU-US justice and home affairs ministerial meeting, held in Amsterdam on 1 and 2 June, the US: “commended the EU collection of biometric data which had facilitated the fight against terrorism and the work of US law enforcement.”

    • Tor looks to beat off FBI hacking with Selfrando project

      YOUR PRIVACY PAL the Tor Project is going the extra mile to protect users from the spying eyes of the FBI.

      Tor, as you might already know, is a solid privacy choice that the anti-privacy people would like to see eviscerated. The Russians want it, and so does the US, which has broken into Tor already, apparently legitimately, in the pursuit of the Silk Road marketplace.

      Tor does not rest, and a document entitled On the Effectiveness of Address-Space Randomisation (PDF) shows the firm’s efforts to limit the kind of exposure that it was set up to circumvent.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • NY Legislature Rushes Anti-Airbnb Legislation; Likely In Violation Of Federal Law

      A few weeks ago, we wrote about how legislators in various cities (mainly SF, Chicago and LA) were trying to push through anti-Airbnb legislation that would require homeowners doing short term rentals to register with the city — and which would hold the platform (Airbnb) liable if its users failed to do so. As we noted, that almost certainly violates Section 230 of the CDA, which bars any law that attempts to hold a platform liable for the actions of its users. At least in San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors ignored all of this with a city attorney claiming (incorrectly) that since it regulates “business activities of platforms,” it’s not regulating the content on those platforms. That’s an… interesting dodge on the Section 230 issues. It seems unlikely to hold up in court, but California’s been especially wacky on CDA 230 lately. The SF legislation has since passed, and it will be interesting to see if anyone (i.e., Airbnb) decides to challenge it in court.

    • NY Post Craps On NYC’s Plan To Offer Free Wi-Fi — Because The Homeless Might Watch Porn

      As you might have heard, New York City recently launched one of the biggest free Wi-Fi initiatives ever conceived. Under the program, some 7,500 Wi-Fi kiosks will provide gigabit Wi-Fi, free phone calls to anywhere in the country (via Vonage), as well as access to a device recharging station, 311, 911, 411 and city services (via an integrated Android tablet). The city is installing ten a day — most at old payphone locations — and hopes to have 500 of the kiosks in place by July. It’s a pretty impressive effort, and by most measures providing fast, free connectivity to the city’s five boroughs has been something to celebrate.

    • How An Engineer’s Little Mistake Nearly Broke The Entire Internet

      A recent internet outage has affected many services like WhatsApp, Facebook, Slack, Reddit, and CloudFlare. After this massive outage was reported across many countries, TeliaSonera sent a note to other network operators and informed them about the mishap.

    • Cable Industry: Our Shitty TV Apps Are Just As Good As Real Cable Box Competition, Right?

      The cable industry is aggressively fighting the FCC’s attempt to bring competition to the cable box market. So far that’s been via a two-pronged approach of buying a torrent of incredibly misleading editorials by people pretending to be objective observers (including Jesse Jackson), and throwing money at politicians who oppose the plan, but pretty clearly have no goddamned idea what they’re actually talking about.

      Under the FCC’s plan (pdf), cable providers would be required to provide their existing programming to third-party hardware vendors, creating competition and hopefully a flood of better, cheaper hardware without the need for expensive, and annoying CableCARDs. But with the average user paying $231 annually in set top box rental fees, the cable industry is pulling out all the stops to protect $21 billion in annual, captive revenues.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

06.20.16

Links 21/6/2016: GNU/Linux in China’s HPC, Linux 4.7 RC4

Posted in News Roundup at 5:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Linus Torvalds Announces Linux Kernel 4.7 Release Candidate 4, Go Test It Now

      Just a few minutes ago, Linus Torvalds announced the general availability of the fourth RC (Release Candidate) version of the upcoming Linux 4.7 kernel.

    • Linux 4.7-rc4 Kernel Released

      Linus Torvalds announced the release of the Linux 4.7-rc4 kernel on Sunday night.

      Linus explained in the announcement, “It’s been a fairly normal week, and rc4 is out. Go test. The statistics look very normal: about two thirds drivers, with the rest being half architecture updates and half ‘misc’ (small filesystem updates,. some documentation, and a smattering of patches elsewhere). The bulk of the driver updates are usb and gpu, but there’s iio, leds, platform drivers, dma etc).”

    • Graphics Stack

      • Trying The Intel Vulkan Driver On Skylake With Dota 2 + Talos Principle

        With the recent report that Intel’s Vulkan Linux driver should now work with Dota 2, I was curious to test out the game — and Talos Principle — with the latest Mesa Git code that houses this open-source “Anvil” Vulkan driver.

        With the Padoka PPA now shipping the Intel Vulkan driver by default, it’s super easy on Ubuntu-based Linux systems to fetch a Mesa Git snapshot within the past day or two that does have the Vulkan driver for Intel hardware built and enabled. So that’s what I went with for trying Mesa 12.1-dev state of the Intel Vulkan driver as of today on a Core i5 6600K “Skylake” box running Ubuntu 16.04.

      • Why The R9 290 & Other Select Radeon GPUs Are Performing Miserably On Linux 4.7

        With this weekend’s 5-Way Mesa 12.1-dev + Linux 4.7 Git Radeon Comparison and other tests I’ve done on Linux 4.7 Git with Radeon hardware, the R9 290 has regressed to the point of performing noticeably worse than other AMD GCN GPUs… Many other Phoronix readers with different Rx 200/300 graphics cards have also confirmed their graphics cards performing poorly on Linux 4.7.

      • NVIDIA Launches Tesla P100 PCI-E Card
      • Mesa Lands Support For GL_EXT_window_rectangles

        The newest OpenGL extension now supported by Mesa is GL_EXT_window_rectangles.

        GL_EXT_window_rectangles is a newer OpenGL extension and explained via the OpenGL.org registry, “this extension provides additional orthogonally aligned ‘window rectangles’ specified in window-space coordinates that restrict rasterization of all primitive types (geometry, images, paths) and framebuffer clears.”

    • Benchmarks

      • 5-Way Mesa 12.1-dev + Linux 4.7 Git Radeon Comparison

        Following the massive Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 16.04 Graphics Performance With Radeon Software, AMDGPU-PRO, AMDGPU+RadeonSI article, I immediately started work on my next article… In preparation for a hardware launch Linux testing later this month, I started testing my collection of AMD cards on Linux 4.7 and Mesa 12.1-dev. Here are some of those results if you are curious, including performance-per-Watt metrics.

        The cards tested so far this weekend on this bleeding-edge driver stack were the R9 270X, R9 285, R9 290, R7 370, and R9 Fury. Mesa 12.1-dev was from Git yesterday using the Padoka PPA and also built with LLVM 3.9 SVN. The Linux 4.7 kernel was from Git in the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA this week.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • The Qt Company Is Still Aiming To Get Qt 5.8 Out This Year

        This year has already encountered the releases of the much-delayed Qt 5.6 followed quite quickly by Qt 5.7.

      • QtWebKit Technology Preview 2
      • New Technology Preview Of QtWebKit

        There’s a new technology preview release of QtWebKit for those wanting to use this formerly retired WebKit-based module instead of the newer QtWebEngine that makes use of Chromium’s Blink engine.

        As covered earlier this month, QtWebKit has been aiming for a return by interested developers wishing to continue to leverage WebKit in Qt applications rather than moving over to Qt WebEngine. Konstantin Tokarev who has been leading the revival on QtWebKit announced the release of its second technology preview release.

      • Qt 5.7 Consolidates Open Source, Commercial Versions Under New Licensing

        The Qt Company has released a new version of its namesake C++ cross-platform app dev tool, featuring new licensing that consolidates the open source and commercial versions of its Qt for Application Development offering.

      • KDE Desktop project finally fixes 13-year-old bug

        A bug in the KDE Desktop Environment, a popular desktop for Linux users, has been fixed after 13 years, according a post from one developer for the project.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GTK’s Roadmap Updated, Here’s What Is Coming For GNOME 3.22

        This past week the GTK+ road-map was updated during the GTK hackfest with more plans for the future, on top of their new vision for GTK+ 4.0 and beyond.

        The work that remains on the GTK roadmap for the GNOME 3.22 release this fall includes the (already completed) Wayland graphics tablet support along with plans for an image viewing widget, merging GSK, an image viewing widget, moving menu placement to GDK for Mir/Wayland, cleaning up display/screen/monitor code, GtkPathBar improvements, and more.

      • Progress so far
  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Devil-Linux 1.8.0 Distro to Add Google Authenticator for PAM, Moves to SquashFS

        Devil-Linux developer Heiko Zuerker has announced that the Devil-Linux 1.8.0 operating system is now open for development, and a Release Candidate is ready for public testing.

        Devil-Linux 1.8.0 promises to be a major release with many improvements and additions, among which we can mention the use of SquashFS as the main file system, along with high compression LZ4, and a Google authenticator was added for PAM (Pluggable Authentication Module).

      • 4MRescueKit 18.0 Enters Beta, Adds Antivirus Live CD 18.0-0.99.2 & 4MParted 18.0

        Today, June 20, 4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki proudly informed Softpedia about the general availability of a Beta release of his upcoming 4MRescueKit 18.0 Live CD project.

      • NetOS 8.0.2 Arrives with Improved Support for Chromebook Pixel and Surface Pro

        Black Lab Software (PC/OpenSystems LLC) CEO Roberto J. Dohnert informs Softpedia today, June 20, 2016, about the immediate availability for download of the NetOS 8.0.2 operating system.

      • ISO Refresh 2016.06.18
      • Antergos Spins New ISOs, The Last Time Pushing 32-bit Media

        Antergos 2016.06.18 has been released as a re-spin of this Arch-based Linux distribution.

        Antergos 2016.06.18 has a number of fixes and package updates over their earlier ISOs. The fixes do include addressing some issues with UEFI and its installer.

      • Solus 1.2 Shannon Released

        We are proud to announce the release of Solus 1.2, the second minor release in the Shannon series of releases. Solus 1.2 builds upon the groundwork of 1.1 and 1.0, with continued improvements to Budgie, a huge focus on software optimizations, in addition to laying the framework for providing a performant gaming experience. Solus 1.2 furthers us on our journey to realizing the future of home computing.

      • Solus 1.2 Linux Distribution Released
      • Solus 1.2 “Shannon” Officially Released, First OS to Ship with Arc Icon Theme

        Softpedia has been informed today, June 20, 2016, by Solus Project’s Ikey Doherty, about the release and immediate availability for download of the Solus 1.2 “Shannon” operating system.

        We’ve talked a lot lately about Solus 1.2 and the fact that it is coming soon. Well, today is that day, the day when you can finally enjoy all the goodies that the great Ikey Doherty and the skillful team of developers behind the Solus Project have prepared for you during the past three months, since the release of Solus 1.1.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Slackware Family

      • Zenwalk 8.0 final release candidate – RC2

        This pre-release ISO should be at 99% the stable target, you will get latest Libreoffice 5.1.3, latest Chromium 51, Mplayer 1.3, ffmpeg 3.0.1, latest Slackware current system (many upstream packages updated) featuring the Linux kernel 4.4.13, and a new desktop layout for XFCE 4.12.

        Lately, system tools have been heavily improved to fully integrate Policykit privileges elevation features, enabling the unprivileged user to tweak many system parameters that require root ownership : you can now change your user password from the XFCE Panel by just entering your previous password, you can set the Xorg keyboard layout without root privileges, set your locale, set the login manager settings, set system clock, etc…). All these features can of course be hardened with Policykit to disallow automatic privileges elevation for users.

      • Zenwalk 8.0 Is Just Around the Corner, Final Release Candidate Out for Testing

        Zenwalk developer Jean-Philippe Guillemin has informed users of the Slackware-based operating system that the final Release Candidate (RC) milestone of the upcoming Zenwalk 8.0 release is now available for public testing.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat launches a Docker Compose rival for running containers

        Vendors are hard at work adapting their products to support the containerized workloads that are starting to appear in enterprise environments. One of the companies at the forefront of the push is Red Hat Inc., which today introduced a new native Docker management tool for Ansible, the popular automation framework it acquired last year.

        Users will now be able to deploy and define the behavior of containerized applications in the same interface where they control the other components of their infrastructure. Policies are inputted in the form of Playbooks, which can be used to perform everything from setting up an AWS instance to orchestrating multi-stage update outs. They play an analogous role to Puppet’s Modules and the Cookbooks in Chef, the two most popular configuration automation tools on the market. Red Hat says that using native functionality is more convenient than opening an external tool like Docker Compose or Dockerfile in a separate tab and constantly switching back and forth during development.

      • Red Hat Launches Ansible-Native Container Workflow Project
      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 24: Comparing Gnome, KDE Plasma, Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce, LXDE

          It is interesting to look at the gaps in this table – for example, the KDE spin doesn’t include digiKam, which seems very odd, and please don’t try to tell me that Gwenview should count as a photo management application! Why does the Cinnamon spin not have a music player? Perhaps I overlooked it… but I don’t think so. Also, even though LXDE is expected to be a lightweight distribution, the lack of any kind of PDF viewer seems rather extreme.

          So that’s the whole family — six different desktops, ranging from the most fully equipped to the most leanly stripped. They will all be available starting Tuesday, 21 July from the Fedora Downloads page. Get it while it’s hot!

        • Plex Media Server on Fedora 24 weird SELinux issue

          Recently I upgraded my Plex Media Server from Fedora 23 to Fedora 24, and upon restart my Plex Media Server service was not starting.

        • Fedora 24 and CentOS/RHEL 7 repositories

          Fedora 24 repositories have been available for quite some time now, but here is the official statement that everything should be supported out of the box.

          As part of the repository availability, I would like to say that starting from Fedora 24, the repositories are self-sustained and do not require RPMFusion to be enabled. I try to preserve compatibility between the two, so if you step into any problem just open an issue to the specific package on Github, send me an email or drop a message in the comment section of the various pages. Please note that “compatible” means that actually you shouldn’t get any conflict when installing packages, and not that I will not overwrite/obsolete the packages provided in the other repositories.

    • Debian Family

      • Security expert Appelbaum no longer part of Debian

        Well-known privacy advocate and developer Jacob Appelbaum is no longer a member of the Debian GNU/Linux project, with his status as developer having been revoked as of 18 June.

      • Go Debian!

        As some of the world knows full well by now, I’ve been noodling with Go for a few years, working through its pros, its cons, and thinking a lot about how humans use code to express thoughts and ideas. Go’s got a lot of neat use cases, suited to particular problems, and used in the right place, you can see some clear massive wins.

      • Wheezy LTS and the switch to OpenJDK 7

        Wheezy’s LTS period started a few weeks ago and the LTS team had to make an early support decision concerning the Java eco-system since Wheezy ships two Java runtime environments OpenJDK 6 and OpenJDK 7. (To be fair, there are actually three but gcj has been superseded by OpenJDK a long time ago and the latter should be preferred whenever possible.)

        OpenJDK 6 is currently maintained by Red Hat and we mostly rely on their upstream work as well as on package updates from Debian’s maintainer Matthias Klose and Tiago Stürmer Daitx from Ubuntu. We already knew that both intend to support OpenJDK 6 until April 2017 when Ubuntu 12.04 will reach its end-of-life. Thus we had basically two options, supporting OpenJDK 6 for another twelve months or dropping support right from the start. One of my first steps was to ask for feedback and advice on debian-java since supporting only one JDK seemed to be the more reasonable solution. We agreed on warning users via various channels about the intended change, especially about possible incompatibilities with OpenJDK 7. Even Andrew Haley, OpenJDK 6 project lead, participated in the discussion and confirmed that, while still supported, OpenJDK 6 security releases are “always the last in the queue when there is urgent work to be done”.

      • Weekly Report for GSoC16-week 1 and week2
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu phone is not yet ready for prime time

            Phones that run Canonical’s Ubuntu Phone operating system have been around for more than a year but given that they appear to be predominantly aimed at European markets, they are a rare sight in Australia.

            One cannot blame Canonical, the company behind the phone, for Australia is a very small market and one that tends to follow American trends.

            The first Ubuntu phones were released in February 2015 and came in for some criticism because they were under-powered, being a modified version of the Aquaris E4.5. With a 4.5-inch, 540×960 resolution display, a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek Cortex A7 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, they were not much to write home about.

          • Software radio apps are open-source on Ubuntu App Store

            Lime Micro (London, UK) has announced that Ubuntu is putting together an App Store for LimeSDR that can be accessed once the LimeSDR crowd funding campaign successfully reaches its $500,000 pledge goal. The Snappy Ubuntu App Store will ensure the software defined radio (SDR) apps developed with the LimeSDR board are downloadable and those developed by Lime remain completely open-sourced.

          • Snappy vs flatpak

            There is fierce debate brewing in the Linux community right now. Here we have two rival formats for packaging software. which one will be victorious and become the standard across all Linux desktops ? The answer in our opinion is that both will find a strong following for various reasons. Both will serve the common user, but one will reign supreme for industrial use. From as security viewpoint, at least for now, Flatpak has the advantage.

          • Linux Snap Package Format Goes Multi-Distro

            Snapcraft — the Linux package format Canonical developed for Ubuntu — now works on multiple Linux distros, including Arch, Debian, Fedora and various flavors of Ubuntu, Canonical announced last week.

            They’re being validated on CentOS, Elementary, Gentoo, Mint, OpenSUSE, OpenWrt and RHEL.

            “Distributing applications on Linux is not always easy,” said Canonical’s Manik Taneja, product manager for Snappy Ubuntu Core.

          • Goodbye to other packages (rpm & deb), Say Hello to Snaps

            Multiple Linux distributions and companies announced collaboration on the “snap” universal Linux package format, enabling a single binary package to work perfectly and securely on any Linux desktop, server, cloud or device.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • The next wave in software is open adoption software

    There’s a big shift happening in how enterprises buy and deploy software. In the last few years, open technology — software that is open to change and free to adopt — has gone from the exception to the rule for most enterprises.

  • Open source innovation is significantly impacting the IT marketplace: IDC Canada

    Open source is having a huge effect on IT operations. In fact, it has fundamentally changed the marketplace, according to David Senf, program vice president, Infrastructure Solutions Group, at IDC Canada.

  • Treasure Data Releases Latest Version of Open Source Phenomenon Fluentd, Joins the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)
  • Pentaho Labs Extends Open Source Innovation with New Docker Utilities
  • Pentaho Docker utilities: massage & pedicure for software footprints

    Pentaho has tabled a set of Docker open source utilities intended to help simplify big data analytics. Emanating from its Pentaho Labs division, this containerised open source platform is available through the Pentaho Server. So what is actually happening here?

  • Open Source Licensing for Altair’s PBS Professional Now Available
  • SourceForge Seeks a Return to Relevancy

    The new owners of SourceForge, once the primary code repository for open source projects, work to make good on a promise to restore a reputation that was tarnished by its former owners.

    It’s been about 2 1/2 years since GIMP began what became something of a mass exodus of large open source projects away from SourceForge, which at one time had been the go-to code repository for open source projects.

    The site’s reputation began to wane almost immediately after it was purchased from Geeknet in September, 2012, by Dice Holdings in a deal that included Slashdot and Freecode/Freshmeat. In July, 2013, Dice introduced DevShare, an optional profit sharing feature that included closed-source ad-supported content in the binary Windows installers and gave projects agreeing to use the feature a portion of the revenue.

  • Under new management, SourceForge moves to put badness in past

    It has been six months since the company formerly known as Dice (DHI Group) sold off Slashdot Media—the business unit that runs Slashdot and SourceForge—to BIZX, LLC, a San Diego-based digital media company. Since then, the new management has been moving to erase some of the mistakes made under the previous regime—mistakes that led to the site becoming a bit of a pariah among open source and free software developers.

    In an e-mail to Ars, Logan Abbott—the new president of Slashdot and SourceForge—said, “SourceForge was in the media a lot last year due to several transgressions, which we have addressed since the acquisition. Unfortunately, the media has thus far elected not to cover the improvements (probably because bad press is more popular).” In the conversation that followed, Abbott emphasized the transformation underway at SourceForge.

    Abbott has an uphill climb, to be sure. The shifting nature of the software development world has made repositories such as GitHub a go-to for open source projects of all sorts, while the focus on application downloads has shifted heavily toward the mobile world. But Abbott said he believes SourceForge is still “a great distribution channel,” and that developers will come back to host with the repository “when end users see us as a trusted destination once again.”

  • Can SourceForge regain credibility with Linux users and developers?
  • How cloud, open source enable new digital experience government

    Government agencies have been on the web since the 1990s, but today’s digital government strategies look very different. Far from the static sites of past years, great government sites today must be less agency-centric and more reflective of the needs of citizens and others. Sites need to be engaging, easy to navigate, available on any device and make it easier than ever for citizens, businesses and other stakeholders to access. Re-imagining digital for citizen engagement is a major investment, but the payoff is a more efficient, accessible and responsive government.

  • Open Source 2.0

    The open source movement is typically portrayed as an egalitarian response to the constraints imposed on software development by the entities that previously “controlled” software evolutions. The general principles espoused by open source, however, have a much longer history.

  • What Employers Want in an Open Source Applications Developer

    In the end, whichever method(s) you choose to brush up on or expand your skills base doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you are continuously learning and keeping current on what’s trending in tech. As a problem solver, you need to have a keen familiarity with the latest platforms and skills in order to offer up the best solutions.

  • Breathing Games Joins Open Source Initiative

    The Open Source Initiative welcomes unique community of heath care professionals and open source developers collaborating to transform breathing therapy into games.

    The Open Source Initiative® (OSI), recognized globally for promoting and protecting open source software and development communities, announced today that Breathing Games has become an affiliate member. Breathing Games is an international, multidisciplinary community working to improve the quality of health care and life expectancy for people with respiratory disease through therapeutic, science-based-and fun-games.

  • Netflix Open Sources New Machine Learning Tool

    While open source machine learning tools make headlines nearly every day now, it’s still a young science. Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix is one of the many companies that has been making extensive use of machine learning tools for years, and we’ve reported on Netflix open sourcing a series of interesting “Monkey” cloud tools that it has deployed as satellite utilities orbiting its central cloud platform.

    Now, Netflix is open sourcing a machine learning system it built to orchestrate the workflows that improve recommendations to users on what to watch next. Here are details on this tested and hardened offering.

  • Events

    • Dockercon 16 Descends on Seattle

      This particular Dockercon will be a major event, larger than any other prior Docker event anywhere in the world. But size alone isn’t what anyone should judge the success of an event about – it’s the quality of speakers and sessions that truly matter.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Containers Allow You to Browse with Separate Personas

        When it comes to browsers, you don’t see as many truly innovative features arrive as often they did years ago. Mozilla, however, has a new idea that it is testing with the Firefox browser that does qualify as innovative.

        A new Containers Feature in Firefox lets users browse with separate personas. Here are the details.

        Containers is an experimental feature in Firefox that caters to the idea that as we browse the web we take on different personas, such as shopper, reader, communicator, etc.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Databases

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 11.0 Alpha 4 Released

      The fourth alpha release of the upcoming FreeBSD 11.0 is now available for testing.

      FreeBSD 11.0 Alpha 4 ships the very latest fixes for this major BSD update. FreeBSD 11.0 is scheduled to be officially released in early September with the code freeze happening last week, the beta builds beginning in July, and release candidates in August. The FreeBSD 11.0 schedule can be found via FreeBSD.org.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Removing Barriers to the Uptake of Open Source Software

      Public sector procurement organisations such as Crown Commercial Services in the UK are guiding public sector organisations to facilitate the procurement of Open Source Software based solutions. However there is little or no guidance of how to negotiate contracts and measure the effectiveness of open source software solutions compared to proprietary solutions.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Arduino Open Source Self-Reconfigurable Modular Robot (video)

        Arduino enthusiasts and makers with access to a 3D printer might be interested in a new open source self reconfigurable modular robot that has been created and powered by an Arduino Nano development board.

        Check out the video below to see the Dtto modular robot in action, and how it can both self assemble and disassemble itself and has been built as an entry for the 2016 Hackaday Prize.

      • Masterwork Tools’ amazing collection of 3D printable open source tabletop gaming scenery

        It’s no secret that 3D printing technology provides a fantastic opportunity for spicing up your gaming nights. Nothing quite takes the fun out of an evening of tabletop gaming as fighting over the same cardboard constructions every time, but you don’t have to bankrupt yourself to change that. Thanks to Masterwork Tools’ excellent OpenForge 2.0 project, you can now easily 3D print amazing scenery pieces free-of-charge, from fantastic wall sections for D&D dungeon crawls, to castle walls, gothic crypts fantastic Egyptian-style monuments and a lot more.

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • APFS in Detail: Overview

    Apple announced a new file system that will make its way into all of its OS variants (macOS, tvOS, iOS, watchOS) in the coming years. Media coverage to this point has been mostly breathless elongations of Apple’s developer documentation. With a dearth of detail I decided to attend the presentation and Q&A with the APFS team at WWDC. Dominic Giampaolo and Eric Tamura, two members of the APFS team, gave an overview to a packed room; along with other members of the team, they patiently answered questions later in the day. With those data points and some first hand usage I wanted to provide an overview and analysis both as a user of Apple-ecosystem products and as a long-time operating system and file system developer.

  • Press Eats Up ‘App’ That Helps People Search For Migrant Boats On The Meditarranean… Despite It Not Actually Doing Anything

    Apparently, last week there was some buzz in the press about a new “app” that was being offered for iPhone users, put together by the charity group Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) and Grey for Good, a group that’s associated with the ad giant Grey Group (itself a part of WPP). The idea behind the app is that it feeds users real-time satellite imagery of the Mediterranean Sea, and if you happen to see a boat full of migrants, you alert MOAS and they’ll go check it out. Many in the press ate it up because it hits all the buttons: it’s an app (ding!) that lets people feel good (ding!) by pretending they’re changing the world (ding!) on a topic of great public interest (ding!). And thus, we got a bunch of stories, though only Reuters went with the most obvious of headlines: Want to save migrants in the Mediterranean? There’s an app for that. Other reports appeared at Wired, Mashable, Huffington Post, the Evening Standard and a variety of other, smaller publications.

  • Science

    • For better recall, try a work out four hours after learning something

      To make sure you’ll be able to jog your memory quickly, you might want to go for an actual jog a little after learning something.

      Healthy volunteers that exercised four hours after learning patterns had better recall 48 hours later than those that didn’t exercise at all or exercised directly after learning. The delayed exercise may spur the release of molecules that boost the brain’s normal ability to consolidate and bank memories for long-term storage, researchers report in the journal Current Biology. If the finding holds up in further studies, it may suggest that working out a little after cramming could help bulk up your noggin.

    • Summer solstice brings longest daylight, brightest moonlight

      The longest day of the year is upon us.

      This Monday brings the summer solstice, which marks the beginning of the season and a chance to soak in copious amounts of sunshine.
      The solstice is celebrated by a variety of cultures worldwide. Every year, thousands gather at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, to rejoice the prospect of sunny summer days.

      As if this day wasn’t already a wonderful excuse to run outside, Monday will also feature a full “Strawberry” moon — the name comes from the belief that strawberry-picking season is at its peak during this time of the year, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.

  • Security

    • BusyBotNet is a Fork of Busybox with Security Tools

      Busybox provides a lightweight version of common command line utilities normally found on “big” Linux into a single binary, in order to bring them to embedded systems with limited memory and storage. As more and more embedded systems are now connected to the Internet, or as they are called nowadays the Internet of Things nodes, adding security tools, such as cryptographic utilities, could prove useful for administrators of such system, and so BusyBotNet project wsa born out of a fork of Busybox.

    • Making a Case for Security Analytics

      Being a victim of a data breach no longer results in a slap on the wrist. Instead it can lead to costly fines, job loss, physical damage and an organization’s massive loss of reputation. Case in point: Target. Following its high-profile breach in late 2013, Target suffered large losses in market valuation and paid more than $100 million in damages.

    • GoToMyPC password hack – urgent, change passwords NOW

      If you use the popular Citrix GoToMyPC remote access product for macOS, Windows, Kindle, iOS, and Android you will need to change all passwords now.

    • Web Application Defender’s Field Report: Account Takeover Campaigns Spotlight

      ATO attacks (also known as credential stuffing) use previously breached username and password pairs to automate login attempts. This data may have been previously released on public dumpsites such as Pastebin or directly obtained by attackers through web application attacks such as SQLi. The goal of the attacks is to identify valid login credential data that can then be sold to gain fraudulent access to user accounts. ATO may be considered a subset of brute force attacks, however it is an increasing threat because it is harder to identify such attacks through traditional individual account authentication errors. The Akamai Threat Research Team analyzed web login transactions for one week across our customer base to identify ATO attack campaigns.

    • Google’s security princess talks cybersecurity

      Her talk was even-keeled, informative, and included strong FOSS messaging about everyone’s vested interest in internet security and privacy. After the talk was done, I watched her take audience questions (long enough for me to take a short conference call) where she patiently and handily fielded all manner of queries from up and down the stack.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • ‘Our Anger Is Past Its Limit’: Tens of Thousands Rally Against US Bases in Okinawa

      Demonstration a reflection of years of resentment against US military footprint on island, with former Marine suspected of recent murder and rape adding fuel to fire

    • America’s Nuclear Weapons in Europe Are the Nuclear Elephant in the Room

      A little more than 60 miles from Brussels Airport, Kleine Brogel Air Base stands as one of six overseas repositories in the world where the United States still stores nuclear weapons. The existence of the bombs is officially neither confirmed nor denied, but it has been well-known for decades.

    • Undeterred: Amid Terror Attacks in Europe, US H-bombs Still Deployed There

      “A little more than 60 miles from Brussels airport,” Kleine Brogel Air Base is one of six European sites where the United States still stores active nuclear weapons, William Arkin wrote last month. The national security consultant for NBC News Investigates, Arkin warned that these bombs “evade public attention to the extent that a post-terror attack nuclear scare in Belgium can occur without the bombs even being mentioned.”

    • Syria: Change the (Dissent) Channel

      The US State Department’s “Dissent Channel” is a mechanism through which department personnel may disagree with administration policy without fear of job retribution. On June 17, Mark Landler of the New York Times revealed the existence of a recent “Dissent Channel” memo bearing the signatures of 51 diplomats and other department officials and calling for “a more militarily assertive US role in Syria [versus the Assad regime], based on the judicious use of standoff and air weapons.”

      Let me open my dissent to the dissent by invoking the late Pete Seeger: “Oh when will they ever learn?”

      The “judicious use” of US military force in the Middle East and Central Asia has made things worse, not better, for 25 years now.

    • NRA Lobbyist: Pro-Gun Control Lawmakers ‘Will Pay A Price’

      One of the nation’s top gun lobbyists thinks that the Orlando shooting had little to do with gun control, and that any politician who tries to blame the gun lobby for the tragedy will “pay the price” for it.

      Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, said on ABC’s This Week Sunday that the people of the United States have a “God-given right to defend ourselves and firearms are an effective means to doing just that.”

      “Politicians who want to divert attention away from the underlying problems and suggest that we are somehow to blame will pay a price for it,” he said.

    • A Peace Journey to Russia

      The dangers from a new Cold War between the U.S. and Russia have prompted American peace activists to reach out to the Russian people and to fellow Americans to urge a step back from the cliff, as Kathy Kelly describes.

    • The New Iron Curtain

      A foreign army consisting of 31,000 soldiers from an anti-American alliance are conducting military “exercises” a few miles from San Diego. Hundreds of tanks converge on the Rio Grande, while jets from 24 countries converge in attack formation, darting through Mexican skies.

      It isn’t hard to imagine Washington’s response.

      Yet that’s precisely what has been happening on Russia’s border with the NATO alliance, as the cold war returns. Economic sanctions aimed at sinking Russia’s fragile economy, plus a propaganda campaign designed to characterize Russian President Vladimir Putin as the second coming of Stalin – or, in Hillary Clinton’s view, Hitler – have history running in reverse. Once again, an iron curtain is descending across Europe – only this time it’s the West’s doing.

    • Neo-Nazi Group Linked to Murder of British MP Has Long Been Ignored by US Media

      The National Alliance was founded in 1974 by William Pierce, an associate of American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell and the former editor of the magazine National Socialist World. The group was a reorganization of the National Youth Alliance, itself an outgrowth of Youth for Wallace, an organization that came out of the 1968 presidential campaign of segregationist George Wallace. Pierce turned the group, in the words of the SPLC, into “the most dangerous and best organized neo-Nazi formation in America.”

    • The Roots of Trump’s Cruel Populism

      Donald Trump’s angry and ugly populism has roots going back to Jim Crow-era race-baiters and Cold War-era red-baiters, including Joe McCarthy’s adviser Roy Cohn and his disciples, write Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.

    • British Trumpism? Anti-Immigrant “Britain First” White Terrorist kills Member of Parliament

      The assassin shouted “Britain First!” as he repeatedly stabbed Jo Cox in the stomach with a hunting knife and then shot her with an old revolver several times. He also cut a 77-year-old man who unsuccessfully attempted to intervene.

      Cox, 41, and mother of two, served as a Labour member of the Mother of Parliaments from the constituency of Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire (north-central Britain).

    • Far-Right Britain First Party Distressed to Be Linked to Killer Who Shouted “Britain First”

      One day after a British lawmaker, Jo Cox, was assassinated by a constituent with a history of mental illness and support for white nationalist groups, who reportedly shouted “Britain First!” during the attack, the leaders of a fringe political party with that slogan for its name tried to dissociate themselves from the suspect by spreading misinformation about the accounts of eyewitnesses.

      In a video message posted on Britain First’s social media channels on Friday, Jayda Fransen, the party’s deputy leader, disputed evidence that its name was shouted and falsely claimed that Cox, a former aid worker who was elected to Parliament last year, was not assassinated, but killed while trying to break up a fight between two men on a street in the Yorkshire town of Birstall.

    • Death, and the referendum

      As tragedy strikes Britain’s referendum, it’s too late for Berlusconist Boris Johnson to retrospectively distance himself from Farage’s hateful campaign.

    • A Father’s War, A Son’s Toxic Inheritance

      Stephen Katz’s estranged father was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Now the Virginian-Pilot photographer wonders if that caused his own health problems.

    • Reliving Agent Orange: What The Children of Vietnam Vets Have To Say

      For the past year, ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot have examined how Agent Orange has impacted the health of Vietnam vets. We’ve written about Blue Water Navy veterans who are currently ineligible for benefits, as well as vets with bladder cancer and their struggle for compensation.

    • Know-Nothing “Diplomats” Prepare For Hillary’s War On Syria

      The U.S. is unwilling to stop the war on Syria and to settle the case at the negotiation table. It wants a 100% of its demands fulfilled, the dissolution of the Syrian government and state and the inauguration of a U.S. proxy administration in Syria.

    • Why Doesn’t Dianne Feinstein Want to Prevent Murders Like those Robert Dear Committed?

      In response to Chris Murphy’s 15 hour filibuster, Democrats will get a vote on several gun amendments to an appropriations bill, one mandating background checks for all gun purchases, another doing some kind of check to ensure the purchaser is not a known or suspected terrorist.

      [...]

      First, minor, but embarrassing, given that Feinstein is on the Senate Judiciary Committee and Ranking Member Pat Leahy is a cosponsor. This amendment doesn’t define what “investigate” means, which is a term of art for the FBI (which triggers each investigative method to which level of investigation you’re at). Given that it is intended to reach someone like Omar Mateen, it must intend to extend to “Preliminary Investigations,” which “may be opened on the basis of any ‘allegation or information’ indicative of possible criminal activity or threats to national security.” Obviously, the Mateen killing shows that someone can exhibit a whole bunch of troubling behaviors and violence yet not proceed beyond the preliminary stage (though I suspect we’ll find the FBI missed a lot of what they should have found, had they not had a preconceived notion of what terrorism looks like and an over-reliance on informants rather than traditional investigation). But in reality, a preliminary investigation is a very very low level of evidence. Yet it would take a very brave AG to approve a gun purchase for someone who had hit a preliminary stage, because if that person were to go onto kill, she would be held responsible.

    • DOJ Rushed To Link Orlando Shooter To ISIS, Now Plans To Redact What He Said During 911 Call For… Reasons

      The FBI/DOJ had no problem rushing out claims last week that Omar Mateen, the guy who killed 49 people in a rampage at a club in Orlando last weekend, had “pledged allegiance” to ISIS.

    • Sheriff confirms FBI gag order and Orlando 911 audio censorship
    • The Obama Administration’s Orwellian Censorship of Orlando Transcripts

      In George Orwell’s prescient novel about totalitarian government, 1984, the main protagonist is a censor working to rewrite history so it maintains a message that is to the approval of the party. Of course, he isn’t called a censor, he is given the much more pleasing title of clerk at the Ministry of Truth. The party instructs him to alter the records so they always reflect the party line and encourages him to insert newspeak into the records as a way of limiting the range of thought of readers. Newspeak is a language that perverts English words and grammar in a way that completely reduces the meaning.

    • Loretta Lynch: We Scrubbed The Orlando Killer’s Pledges Of Allegiance To Terror Groups In 911 Transcript
    • Todd and Others Yawn as Lynch Proclaims Mateen Transcripts Will Censor His ISIS Pledge
    • Where Did the Justice Dept. Learn to Censor Info About Violent Attacks? From the Public
    • Loretta Lynch’s censorship
    • Jorge Gutierrez and Soraya Chemaly on Orlando Massacre

      This week on CounterSpin: After the June 12 massacre of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, social and independent media were filled with grief from the LGBTQ and Latinx community, immediately combined with a refusal to allow that grief to be weaponized for use against Muslims, which corporate media were swinging into gear to do as soon as they learned the killer’s identity.

    • Since Tuesday the Medical Examiner Has Known How Many Orlando Victims Were Killed by Cops

      As I noted in another post, on Monday, Orlando’s police chief said that it was possible that some law enforcement officers — that might include the four who initially responded to Omar Mateen or the nine SWAT team members who later did — had (accidentally) shot Pulse patrons.

    • Only Muslims Are Terrorists. It Is Now Official

      Mair is not an isolated case. Ryan McGee – who built a nail bomb to attack Muslims – and Pavlo Lapshyn – who murdered a Muslim and bombed mosques – were not charged with terrorism either. Mair, McGee and Lapshyn would all, beyond any possible shadow of a doubt, have been charged with terrorism if they were Muslims. The decision is made by the Crown Prosecution Service, which has also recently decided that Tony Blair, Jack Straw, John Scarlett, Mark Allen et all will not stand trial for extraordinary rendition and complicity in torture, despite overwhelming evidence presented by the Metropolitan Police, including my own.

    • The Sad Death of Jo Cox, and What is Terrorism?

      But the Jo Cox death has caused immediate and fierce debate as to whether it was “terrorism” or not. This follows closely a similar and interesting debate over the Orlando killings. The questions raised over Omar Mateen, who undoubtedly had mental health issues, and was himself perhaps gay, complicated the question of his motivation, beyond his own declaration of loyalty to ISIS. It is to the credit of the US political establishment that their reaction reflected this complexity, Trump aside.

    • Tensions are ratcheting up between China and the United States over maritime boundaries in Asia

      Two recent close encounters between US spy planes and Chinese jets spell trouble for relations between Washington and Beijing. The first, between a US EP-3 spy plane and two Chinese jets over the South China Sea (SCS) near China’s Hainan Island, was strikingly similar to the 2001 incident in the same area in which a Chinese jet and an EP-3 collided, resulting in the death of the Chinese pilot, the forced landing and detention of the US crew, and a tense diplomatic row. The second involved a US RC-135 plane that was closely tracked by a Chinese jet over the East China Sea (ECS).

    • World’s Largest Arms Dealers Lecture Americans on ‘Assault Weapons’

      What’s more, an International Business Times investigation found that “Under Clinton’s leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation.” Those include such rights-respecting regimes as Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

    • Gen. Breedlove, Strangelove-ian War Hawk

      Ex-NATO Commander Breedlove was so bellicose toward Russia that the Germans objected to his dangerous provocations, but he is now strutting his stuff in hopes of landing a job in a Clinton-45 administration, says Gilbert Doctorow.

    • Hate, Terror, and Collectivism Culminate in Orlando

      The massacre in Orlando has the usual political narratives all jumbled up. It was gun violence against gays. Therefore, say Hillary Clinton supporters, it validates calls for gun restrictions and anti-hate laws. Yet it was also an act of terrorism by a Muslim whose parents immigrated from Afghanistan. Therefore, say Donald Trump supporters, it validates calls for immigration restrictions and religious profiling.

    • Tomgram: Andrew Cockburn, Victory Assured on the Military’s Main Battlefield — Washington

      When it comes to Pentagon weapons systems, have you ever heard of cost “underruns”? I think not. Cost overruns? They turn out to be the unbreachable norm, as they seem to have been from time immemorial. In 1982, for example, the Pentagon announced that the cumulative cost of its 44 major weapons programs had experienced a “record” increase of $114.5 billion. Three decades later, in the spring of 2014, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that the military’s major programs to develop new weapons systems — by then 80 of them — were a cumulative half-trillion dollars over their initial estimated price tags and on average more than two years delayed. A year after, the GAO found that 47 of those programs had again increased in cost (to the cumulative tune of $27 billion) while the average time for delivering them had suffered another month’s delay (although the Pentagon itself swore otherwise).

    • Neocons Scheme for More ‘Regime Change’

      The neocons are back on the warpath, seeking to bomb the Syrian government and scheming to destabilize nuclear-armed Russia en route to another “regime change” – while ignoring the grave dangers, says James W Carden.

    • DOJ Thinks Releasing Omar Mateen’s ISIS Allegiance Claims It Released Last Week Will Revictimize the Victims

      I’ve been suggesting not only that Mateen was likely motivated for other reasons — but that FBI likely missed those cues because they were evaluating him for one and only one kind of threat, an Islamic terrorist rather than an angry violent man threat.

    • Dissent for Peace, Not More War

      Fifty-one mid-level U.S. diplomats signed a “dissent cable” calling for the U.S. military to launch air strikes against the Syrian military to tilt the civil war back in favor of the rebels, a mistake, writes ex-U.S. diplomat Ann Wright.

    • US drones hit Taliban more than terrorist networks despite end of Afghan war

      The majority of US airstrikes in Afghanistan in 2016 have been in support of ground troops including Afghan forces fighting the Taliban, rather than targeting suspected terrorists.

      An investigation by the Bureau reveals that more than 200 strikes, the majority by drones, have been conducted to defend ground forces battling a rising insurgency, despite the fact that combat missions came to an end in 2014. These strikes represent more than 60% of all US airstrikes in the country.

    • The Killing Fields: Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines

      2016, he is haunted by broken promises of solving past extrajudicial killings and preventing new ones from happening. Aquino’s performance with regard to human rights leaves much to be desired, with Human Rights Watch calling his record “disappointing due to failure to address impunity for the government’s rights violations.”

    • Now Can We Ditch the Saudis?

      Meanwhile, Haykal Bafana, a usually reliable commentator on events in Yemen, has suggested that not just the one UAE helicopter reported more broadly, but two more, have been downed in recent days, by Saudi missiles. And the UAE tweeted out yesterday that it was withdrawing from the war in Yemen.

    • The War Risk of Hillary Clinton

      Hawkish State Department officials and Official Washington’s neocons are eager for a Hillary Clinton presidency, counting on a freer hand to use U.S. military force around the world, but that future is not so clear, says Michael Brenner.

    • Who’s the Bigger Danger — Clinton or Trump?

      Donald Trump has offered some unnerving ideas about foreign policy, including a cavalier attitude toward nuclear proliferation, but Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness may represent a bigger danger of nuclear war, as Ivan Eland explains.

    • Thousands protest U.S. bases on Okinawa after Japan woman’s murder

      Tens of thousands of people gathered in sweltering heat on Japan’s Okinawa island on Sunday in one of the biggest demonstrations in two decades against U.S. military bases, following the arrest of an American suspected of murdering a local woman.

      The protest marked a new low for the United States and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in their relations with the island and threatens plans to move the U.S. Marines Futenma air station to a less populous part of the island.

    • Omar Khayyam, Orlando & Magnanville

      The last one of these three events is obviously not comparable in terms of gravity and horror with the first two. The first one is an an attack of a terrorist (no matter how mentally unstable he may be) against a gay nightclub, somebody who felt compelled to kill innocent people because of who they are. We know how radical Islam works. It’s not just the women they fear and oppress. It’s the Jews. It’s the Christians. It’s all the non-Muslims. It’s all the Muslims they don’t deem to be obedient enough to their own made-up creed and rules du jour. And of course it’s the Gays. And anybody who drinks alcohol. Anybody who has fun. Anybody who represents what they hate (in the case of the two cops, they represent France, its society and its History) . The price is never too high for them. A decerebrated scumbag cutting the throat of a woman in front of her 3 year-old child for three hours seems acceptable to them.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • A Better World Is Possible: A Father’s Day Note

      That’s why I work with Climate Parents, a group of parents and grandparents around the country taking action to help prevent catastrophic climate change so that we leave you and all kids everywhere a livable planet. And in doing that work every day, I see signs of hope emerging in so many places – the solar panels and wind turbines sprouting up like daffodils in springtime, the coal-fired power plants shutting down, the students suing governments for stronger climate action, the school boards voting to teach students the truth about climate change, the countries of the world agreeing in Paris to keep temperatures from rising to unbearable levels.

    • Exxon Sues Second Attorney General In Response To Fraud Investigation

      ExxonMobil sued a second attorney general involved in the fraud investigation against the company this week. The investigation, brought by attorneys general around the country and some environmental groups, looks into whether the oil company was hiding the truth about climate science from the public and their investors.

    • Global Warming Adds to Mideast Hot Zone

      Official Washington’s neocons hope they will finally get their wish to bomb Syria’s government, but the crisis of the Mideast – made worse by drastic climate change – won’t be solved by more war, explains Jonathan Marshall.

    • Big men on campus: The Koch brothers’ university donations are a veiled political weapon

      Through his family foundations, billionaire industrialist and conservative political mega-donor Charles Koch gave $108 million to 366 colleges and universities from 2005-14, and he’s donated millions more since then.

      Much of that money established free-market academic centers on campuses; dozens of Koch-funded centers exist, and in Arizona, where Koch’s political money helped elect GOP Gov. Doug Ducey and conservative state legislators, three centers at public schools will now receive annual state funding.

    • The Decline of the Coal Industry in One Chart

      It’s no surprise that the coal industry has received plenty of regulatory attention and its decline has been covered extensively in the press. Consider that in the “War on Coal,” EPA and the Department of Interior have combined to impose $312 billion in costs and more than 30 million paperwork burden hours. All of these burdens aren’t directed solely at the coal industry, but the Clean Power Plan, coal residuals rule, the MATS measure, and Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will impose nearly $20 billion in annual burdens on the industry. The sharp drop in natural gas prices also plays a role, declining 70 percent since 2008. However, the market cap of four of the largest coal companies was more than $35 billion in 2011. After a flurry of regulation, it’s now a smudge on the graph below, a decline of 99 percent. Behold, the steep decline of coal in one chart:

  • Finance

    • Switzerland Withdraws Application To Join EU: Only “Lunatics May Want To Join Now”

      Resentment toward the EU hit a new high yesterday when the upper house of the Swiss parliament on Wednesday followed in the footsteps of Iceland, and voted to invalidate its 1992 application to join the European Union, backing an earlier decision by the lower house. The vote comes just a week before Britain decides whether to leave the EU in a referendum. Twenty-seven members of the upper house, the Council of States, voted to cancel Switzerland’s longstanding EU application, versus just 13 senators against. Two abstained the Neue Zürcher Zeitung reported.

    • Education Department Recommends Killing Accreditor of For-profit Colleges

      U.S. Education Department staff are moving to terminate the oversight authority of embattled for-profit college accreditor, ACICS, citing “egregious” mistakes.

    • EU referendum: Baroness Sayeeda Warsi defects from Leave to Remain

      ‘Are we prepared to tell lies, to spread hate and xenophobia just to win a campaign? For me that’s a step too far’

    • Anti-EU Poster Sees Warsi Shift To Remain Camp

      A leading Conservative has defected to the Remain camp, citing Nigel Farage’s controversial anti-migrant poster as the final straw.

      Baroness Warsi, a former Foreign Office minister, had been a Brexit supporter but said she had been turned off by what she described as their spreading of “hate and xenophobia”.

      The UKIP poster she said was the final straw showed non-white migrants queuing to get into Europe under the slogan “Breaking Point”.

      She said: “That ‘breaking point’ poster really was, for me, the breaking point to say: ‘I can’t go on supporting this’.

      “Are we prepared to tell lies, to spread hate and xenophobia just to win a campaign? For me, that’s a step too far.”

      But Bernard Jenkin, a senior figure in the Leave camp, tweeted that he had not seen Baroness Warsi at a single meeting – suggesting she was not part of the campaign.

      She is not the first politician to criticise the poster.

    • EU referendum: Baroness Warsi attacks ‘lying’ Michael Gove as she quits Leave campaign

      Former Tory Party Chairman Sayeeda Warsi has condemned the “scaremongering” tactics of the campaign to leave the EU, as she became the latest high-profile figure to defect.

      Lady Warsi, who was Britain’s first Muslim cabinet minister, said she had become increasing uncomfortable with Vote Leave messaging and pointed the finger at her old colleague Michael Gove.

      Speaking on BBC Radio 4′s Today Programme, she labelled the Chief Whip’s comments on Turkey “a lie”.

    • John Oliver rails against Brexit in profane song

      Oliver’s segment on Sunday’s show questioned many of the arguments being used by proponents in favor of the U.K. leaving the European Union, calling the arguments “bulls—.”

      He said proponents of the “Leave” movement vastly overstated the amount of money Brits pay the EU. Oliver also questioned whether it would give the country greater control over immigration and whether it would actually free British companies from EU regulation.

    • Microsoft avoids £100m in UK tax

      Microsoft, one of the world’s richest companies, has avoided up to £100m a year in UK corporation tax by booking billions of pounds of sales in Ireland under a confidential deal with the British tax authorities.

    • Italy to block democratic vote on CETA for 500 million Europeans, according to leaked letter

      The Italian government has offered to block a move to give national parliaments—and hence some 500 million European citizens—a say on the CETA deal between the EU and Canada.

      The national legislatures in the 28 member states could vote on CETA, but only if all EU governments demand it. If Italy refuses to join with the other countries, the European Commission would be able to send the agreement to the Council of the European Union for approval, where a “qualified majority” would be enough for it to be passed. There would also be a vote on the agreement in the European Parliament. However, the latter would be a simple yes/no decision, with no option to make changes to CETA’s text.

      Although a standard part of the EU legislative toolkit, such yes/no votes put pressure on MEPs to accept the bad parts of a deal in order to gain the benefits. However, the European Parliament set an important precedent for saying “no” to unbalanced trade deals when it rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in 2012.

    • Brexit is a fake revolt – working-class culture is being hijacked to help the elite

      I love fake revolts of the underclass: I’m a veteran of them. At secondary school, we had a revolt in favour of the right to smoke. The football violence I witnessed in the 1970s and 80s felt like the social order turned on its head. As for the mass outpouring of solidarity with the late Princess Diana, and by implication against the entire cruel monarchic elite, in the end I chucked my bunch of flowers on the pile with the rest.

      The problem is, I also know what a real revolt looks like. The miners strike; the Arab spring; the barricade fighting around Gezi Park in Istanbul in 2013. So, to people getting ready for the mother of all revolts on Thursday, I want to point out the crucial difference between a real revolt and a fake one. The elite does not usually lead the real ones. In a real revolt, the rich and powerful usually head for the hills, terrified. Nor are the Sun and the Daily Mail usually to be found egging on a real insurrection.

      But, all over Britain, people have fallen for the scam. In the Brexit referendum, we’ve seen what happens when working-class culture gets hijacked – and when the party that is supposed to be defending working people just cannot find the language or the offer to separate a fake revolt from a real one. In many working-class communities, people are getting ready to vote leave not just as a way of telling the neoliberal elite to get stuffed. They also want to discomfort the metropolitan, liberal, university-educated salariat for good measure. For many people involved, it feels like their first ever effective political choice.

    • Goldman Sachs’ email censorship sends the wrong message

      First they took away the smoking room, and I said nothing, because I was not a smoker. But now they are coming for our email, and, comrades, we must fight back. To explain: an internal memo from Goldman Sachs has leaked, which lists all the words and phrases that should not be used in emails, unless you want to provoke an investigation from the bank’s compliance department. Swearing is out, as is the expression of strong emotion or doubt. For example, don’t whatever you do say “I am extremely worried” or “Don’t you fucking understand?” This will not go down well. The sensors will go ping, and before you know it you will be heading upstairs for one of those meetings.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • ‘Allegedly’ Disappears as Russians Blamed for DNC Hack

      Then something strange happened. Wednesday afternoon, a person or persons using the name “Gufficer 2.0” (referencing a hacker who infamously got into the Bush family emails) published online what appears to be detailed information derived from the hack. In the post, Gufficer 2.0 claimed the hack wasn’t nearly as sophisticated as CrowdStrike claimed, and wasn’t the work of hackers working for Russian intelligence.

    • No, That Donald Trump Ad Is Not Real

      This should go without saying, but the deliriously funny “Japanese Donald Trump Commercial” viewed nearly 8 million times since its release on Wednesday — in which a young woman joyfully imagines her hero, Donald Trump, becoming “World President” — is a work of satire.

    • Was the Democratic Primary Just Manipulated, or Was It Stolen?

      The debacle that was the 2016 primary season is nearly over, but the primary system itself may have destroyed faith in American democracy. Certainly it has divided the Democratic Party.

      The Internet is awash with accusations that the Democratic primary was rigged; anger, confusion, and fault-placing are running wild, and so are the online right-wing “trolls” who feed the fires of discord between the two camps of the Democratic Party through misinformation and divisive invective.

      With buyer’s remorse sweeping the GOP, election fraud lawsuits pending, millions of Bernie Sanders supporters crying foul and some vowing “Bernie or Bust,” many are even forecasting the breakup of the two-party system.

    • Bernie Sanders Calls on Progressives to Run for State and Local Office
    • The Democrats’ ‘Super-Delegate’ Mistake

      Democratic “super-delegates” – hundreds of party insiders – tilted the presidential race to Hillary Clinton though not chosen by voters, an undemocratic idea that was never intended, says Spencer Oliver who was there at the creation.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • FBI’s Facial Recognition Database Still Huge, Still Inaccurate, And DOJ Shows Zero Interest In Improving It

      The FBI’s biometric database continues to grow. Its Next Generation Identification system (NGI) is grabbing everything it can from multiple sources, compiling millions of records containing faces, tattoos, fingerprints, etc. from a blend of criminal and non-criminal databases. It went live in 2014, but without being accompanied by the Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) it promised to deliver back in 2012.

      Lawsuits and pressure from legislators finally forced the FBI to comply with government requirements. That doesn’t mean the FBI has fully complied, not even two years past the rollout. And it has no interest in doing so in the future. It’s currently fighting to have its massive database exempted from federal privacy laws.

      Much of the information we have about the FBI’s NGI database has come from outside sources. The EFF and EPIC have forced documentation out of the agency’s hands via FOIA lawsuits. And now, the Government Accountability Office (in an investigation prompted by Sen. Al Franken) is turning over more information to the public with its review of the system.

    • Judge In Playpen Case: FBI’s Warrant Is Valid, Even If Its Claims About No Privacy In IP Addresses Are Not

      Another court handling an FBI Playpen case has handed down its decision on a motion to suppress. Like other courts fielding prosecutions resulting from this massive investigation, it has found [PDF] that the FBI’s NIT (Network Investigative Technique) is invasive enough to be called a “search.” (via FourthAmendment.com)

      The FBI must have felt its NIT deployment would be considered a search. That’s why it obtained a warrant in the first place. But it’s been frantically peddling “not a search” theories as court after court has declared its warrant invalid because the searches were performed outside of the issuing magistrate’s jurisdiction.

      In this case, the issue of whether or not the NIT deployment was a search has not been disputed by either party. The court addresses it anyway because it affects the reasoning that follows.

    • Supreme Court Knocks A Little More Off The 4th Amendment; Gives Cops Another Way To Salvage Illegal Searches

      The Supreme Court hasn’t necessarily been kind to the Fourth Amendment in recent years. While it did deliver the Riley decision, which instituted a warrant requirement for searches of cellphones, it has generally continued to expand the ability of police to stop and search anyone for almost any reason.

      Its Heien decision said it was perfectly fine for police officers to remain ignorant of the laws they’re enforcing by allowing them to continue making bogus traffic stops predicated on nonexistent laws. The Rodriguez decision at least prohibits officers from artificially extending stops to bring out drug dogs or beg for consent to search a vehicle, but it doesn’t do anything to prevent the bogus stops in the first place.

    • CIA Director John Brennan Says Non-US Encryption Is ‘Theoretical’

      You would think that someone in charge of the Central Intelligence Agency would have some knowledge about what he’s discussing while at a Senate Hearing on intelligence. Perhaps not so much. CIA Director John Brennan completely incorrectly said last week that non-US encryption was “theoretical” despite there actually being hundreds of such products on the market.

    • House Leaders Politicize a Tragedy to Block Bipartisan Surveillance Reforms

      After hurdling procedural barriers, a congressional attempt to protect privacy and encryption failed on the House floor yesterday, falling short of a majority by a mere 24 votes.

      Two years ago, the House stood united across party lines, voting by a remarkable margin of 293–123 to support the same measures, which would enhance security and privacy by limiting the powers of intelligence agencies to conduct warrantless backdoor searches targeting Americans, and to undermine encryption standards and devices.

    • New Report: FBI Can Access Hundreds of Millions of Face Recognition Photos

      Today the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) finally published its exhaustive report on the FBI’s face recognition capabilities. The takeaway: FBI has access to hundreds of millions more photos than we ever thought. And the Bureau has been hiding this fact from the public—in flagrant violation of federal law and agency policy—for years.

      According to the GAO Report, FBI’s Facial Analysis, Comparison, and Evaluation (FACE) Services unit not only has access to FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) face recognition database of nearly 30 million civil and criminal mug shot photos, it also has access to the State Department’s Visa and Passport databases, the Defense Department’s biometric database, and the drivers license databases of at least 16 states. Totaling 411.9 million images, this is an unprecedented number of photographs, most of which are of Americans and foreigners who have committed no crimes.

    • ‘Hidden’ data found in 92% of interactions with UK companies

      With the EU’s GDPR coming into effect in under two years, ignorance of ‘hidden’ data could result in monstrous fines for UK companies, according to new research from Ground Labs. That research adds that such ignorance could increase risks of identity fraud with the billions of personal information residing on PCs, servers and mobile devices.

    • The Weaponising Of Social Part 2: Stomping On IOError’s Grave

      I once tried to tell Jacob Appelbaum a funny joke. He did not think it was funny.

      In fact, he was visibly mortified and uncomfortable.

      My joke was a retelling of something that had happened to me when I was still on the opposite side of the planet.

      I have a really dark, sardonic, acerbic Kiwi sense of humour, that has been sharpened by surviving everything that has been thrown at me to date.

      Unfortunately, it didn’t translate well.

      Fortunately, he didn’t make a smear website lambasting me about it.

      [...]

      One of the first ‘corroborating’ public testimonies against Appelbaum was a historic claim made by Leigh Honeywell.

      [...]

      So if Appelbaum supporting an alleged rapist tipped the balance for Honeywell, but then the alleged rapist turns out to be innocent, where does that leave us?

      Yet not only does Honeywell still blame Assange, she describes the allegations against him – as recently as this month – as “sexual violence“.

      Despite there being no allegation of such.

    • ​Tor Is Teaming Up With Researchers To Protect Users From FBI Hacking

      The FBI has had a fair amount of success de-anonymizing Tor users over the past few years. Despite the encryption software’s well-earned reputation as one of the best tools for online privacy, recent court cases have shown that government malware has compromised Tor users by exploiting bugs in the underlying Firefox browser—one of which was controversially provided to the FBI in 2015 by academic researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.

    • Ex-White House Officials Criticize Vague Rules Around Disclosure of Hacking Tools

      They also questioned the role of the NSA in decision making, because the inherent conflict between its two missions — to protect cybersecurity and gather intelligence — “throws into question whether [it] can serve as a neutral manager of the process.”

    • The FCC Must Update ISP Privacy Rules

      The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is collecting comments from the public about how the laws that govern consumer privacy over broadband networks should be applied. In its response, EFF has called on the FCC to ensure that the legal obligations of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to their customers are clearly established and that the agency prohibits practices that exploit the powerful position ISPs hold as gatekeepers to the internet.

    • Help Us Stop the Updates to Rule 41

      The Department of Justice is using an obscure procedure to push through a rule change that will greatly increase law enforcement’s ability to hack into computers located around the world. It’s an update to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. If Congress does nothing, this massive change will automatically go into effect on December 1.

    • House reverses course, upholds NSA phone snooping as terrorist attacks shift debate

      With the terrorist-inspired Orlando shooting fresh in their minds, House lawmakers reversed course last week and voted to uphold the government’s ability to snoop through its data when it believes American citizens are involved in terrorism — suggesting the post-Snowden wariness of the NSA has dissipated.

      The Thursday vote marked a defeat for civil libertarians, who in 2014 and 2015 won showdowns on the House floor, but whose support has dissipated as terrorist attacks in the U.S. and Europe have reshaped the debate.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • CIA Director Promises Answers on Accountability for Torture

      The CIA will give the Senate intelligence oversight committee a closed briefing on how employees were held accountable and punished for their involvement with torture, the agency’s director told lawmakers in a hearing Thursday.

    • New CIA Torture Documents Confirm Chilling Details of Khaled El-Masri’s ‘Kafka-esque’ Ordeal

      After being mistakenly abducted in Macedonia and detained in a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan, Khaled El-Masri told his interrogators that his ongoing detention was like “a Kafka novel.” A cable to CIA headquarters reported that El-Masri said he “could not possibly prove his innocence because he did not know what he was being charged with.”

    • Netanyahu’s Petty Corruption

      Many years ago I received a phone call from the Prime Minister’s office. I was told that Yitzhak Rabin wanted to see me in private.

      Rabin opened the door himself. He was alone in the residence. He led me to a comfortable seat, poured two generous glasses of whisky for me and himself and started without further ado – he abhorred small talk – “Uri, have you decided to destroy all the doves in the Labor Party?”

      My news magazine, Haolam Hazeh, was conducting a campaign against corruption and had accused two prominent Labor leaders, the new president of the Central Bank and the Minister for Housing. Both were indeed members of the moderate wing of the party.

      I explained to Rabin that in the fight against corruption I could make no exceptions for politicians who were close to my political outlook. Corruption was a cause in itself.

    • As Corruption Engulfs Brazil’s “Interim” President, Mask Has Fallen Off Protest Movement

      Momentum for the impeachment of Brazil’s democratically elected president, Dilma Rousseff, was initially driven by large, flamboyant street protests of citizens demanding her removal. Although Brazil’s dominant media endlessly glorified (and incited) these green-and-yellow-clad protests as an organic citizen movement, evidence recently emerged that protests groups were covertly funded by opposition parties. Still, there is no doubt that millions of Brazilians participated in marches demanding Rousseff’s ouster, claiming they were motivated by anger over her and her party’s corruption.

    • ‘Climate of Xenophobia’ Gripping Europe, UN Official Warns

      As more details indicate the killing of British lawmaker Jo Cox was politically motivated, the United Nations Refugee Agency head is warning of a “climate of xenophobia” gripping Europe.

      Speaking to Agence France-Presse in Tehran on Saturday, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said, “Refugees… don’t bring danger” but “flee from dangerous places.”

    • Jeffrey Sterling Completes One Year Of Unjust Prison Sentence

      Yesterday, June 16th, marked one year since Jeffrey Sterling began his 3.5 year prison sentence for divulging classified information to a New York Times journalist, a crime he did not commit. One year he was deprived of the freedom that so many of us take for granted every day; one year separated from his loving wife, his friends and his family, and one year of wasted talent as a licensed attorney, a former CIA case officer fluent in Farsi, and a successful investigator who uncovered over 32 million dollars in healthcare fraud.

    • “It’s Absolutely Stupid.” Fifth Trial Planned in Bite-Mark Murder Case

      Just weeks after a unanimous California Supreme Court threw out Bill Richards’s murder conviction, prosecutors in San Bernardino County have indicated that they will seek a fifth trial for the 66-year-old. “It’s absolutely stupid,” said Richards’s longtime defender Jan Stiglitz, a founder of the California Innocence Project, which has represented Richards since 2001.

      Richards was convicted in 1997 of killing his wife, Pamela, four years earlier. The case has long been controversial and considered a wrongful conviction based on the discredited junk science of bite-mark analysis. Indeed, prosecutors tried three times to convict Richards — including two full trials that ended in hung juries and a third that ended in a mistrial — before employing at his fourth trial the testimony of a renowned forensic dentist who claimed that an alleged bite mark found on Pamela’s hand was a definitive match to Richards’ supposedly unique lower dental pattern.

    • Seeking Justice For Tamesha Means in Court Today

      I was honored to be in court today representing Tamesha Means, a woman who was denied appropriate care during her miscarriage at a Catholic hospital. Ms. Means’s water broke when she was only 18 weeks along, and she rushed to the only hospital in her community, Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon, Michigan.

    • Senator: Red Cross Misled Congress, Refused To ‘Level With the People’ on Haiti Money

      “One of the reasons they don’t want to answer the questions is it’s very embarrassing,” says Sen. Charles Grassley, who just finished a yearlong investigation of the Red Cross.

    • Human Rights Activists Lament Loss Of Murdered British MP

      Activists and human rights workers are lamenting the loss of British Labour MP Helen Joanne “Jo” Cox, after she was was attacked and killed by a man believed to be a radical right winger with Neo-Nazi sympathies. But her loss enacts a particularly strong blow for Syrian and Palestinian activists considering her outspoken support for humanitarian issues in the Middle East.

    • Judge Doesn’t Find Much To Like In ‘Material Support For Terrorism’ Lawsuit Against Twitter

      The lawsuit against Twitter for “providing material support” to ISIS (predicated on the fact that ISIS members use Twitter to communicate) — filed in January by the widow of a man killed in an ISIS raid — is in trouble.

      Twitter filed its motion to dismiss in March, stating logically enough that the plaintiff had offered nothing more than conclusory claims about its “support” of terrorism, not to mention the fact that there was no link between Twitter and terrorist act that killed the plaintiff’s husband. On top of that, it pointed out the obvious: that Section 230 does not allow service providers to be held responsible for the actions of their users.

      As reported by Nicholas Iovino of Courthouse News Service, the presiding judge doesn’t seem too impressed by what he’s seen so far from the plaintiff.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Not Neutral on Net Neutrality: All Things Considered Considered Only One Side

      The segment opened with a strong nod to the anti-neutrality camp, describing the ruling as “a massive blow to internet service providers” and quoting Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s description of net neutrality as “Obamacare for the internet.” Then, rather than drawing directly from either the court’s written decision or FCC chair Tom Wheeler’s reaction, host Kelly McEver turned to NPR tech blogger Alina Selyukh for context and analysis.

    • Net Neutrality Ruling Finally Rights a Terrible Wrong

      “For the reasons set forth is this opinion, we deny the petitions for review.” Those were the sweetest words I’ve heard in a long while, as the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit turned down the ridiculous efforts of the big telecom companies to derail the Federal Communications Commission’s open-internet — or “net-neutrality” — rules.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Disappointing: Twitch Brings CFAA & Trademark Claim Against Bot Operators

        I think most people agree that bots that drive up viewer/follower counts on various social media systems are certainly a nuisance, but are they illegal? Amazon-owned Twitch has decided to find out. On Friday, the company filed a lawsuit against seven individuals/organizations that are in the business of selling bots. There have been similar lawsuits in the past — such as Blizzard frequently using copyright to go after cheater bots. Or even, potentially, Yelp suing people for posting fake reviews. When we wrote about the Yelp case, we noted that we were glad the company didn’t decide to try a CFAA claim, and even were somewhat concerned about the claims that it did use: including breach of contract and unfair competition.

        Unfortunately, Twitch’s lawsuit uses not just those claims, but also throws in two very questionable claims: a CFAA claim and a trademark claim. I understand why Twitch’s lawyers at Perkins Coie put that in, because that’s what you do as a lawyer: put every claim you can think of into the lawsuit. But it’s still concerning. The CFAA, of course, is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which was put in place in the 1980s in response to the movie War Games (no, really!) and is supposed to be used to punish “hackers” who break into secure computer systems. However, over the years, various individuals, governments and companies have repeatedly tried to stretch that definition to include merely breaching a terms of service.

    • Copyrights

      • Big Win for User-Generated Content Hosts in Vimeo Case

        The Second Circuit has released its long-awaited opinion in Capitol Records v. Vimeo, fully vindicating Vimeo’s positions. EFF along with a coalition of advocacy groups, submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, supporting Vimeo.

        The Second Circuit considered three important issues. First, whether a service provider could rely on the DMCA safe harbor when it came to pre-1972 sound recordings. Second, whether evidence of Vimeo employees watching certain well-known songs was enough to create “red flag” knowledge that the videos were infringing. And third, whether Vimeo was “willfully blind” to infringement occurring on its service.

        For each of these issues, the Second Circuit ruled for Vimeo.

      • KickassTorrents Becomes One Of The World’s Most Popular Websites

        Achieving a rare milestone, torrent index KickassTorrents has managed to break into the top 70 of Amazon’s web traffic tracker Alexa. KickassTorrents has become the new torrent king due to its own impressive downtime and legal troubles of The Pirate Bay.

06.19.16

Links 19/6/2016: Randa Over, Fedora 24 Release Soon

Posted in News Roundup at 8:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Let us test voting code, say academics

    Doubts about the accuracy of the Senate vote count remain until the Australian Electoral Commission agrees to publicly release the computer code it uses.

    That’s the view of the Australian Greens and academics who have studied vote-counting software errors.

  • Chef’s new Habitat project wants to make applications infrastructure-independent
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Vimperator interface for Firefox Part 1

        Vimperator is a plugin for Firefox that completely overhauls the GUI to behave like Vim making your mouse unneeded for most web sites. If this was not available I would be attempting to create something much like it.

      • Contextual Identities on the Web

        We all portray different characteristics of ourselves in different situations. The way I speak with my son is much different than the way I communicate with my coworkers. The things I tell my friends are different than what I tell my parents. I’m much more guarded when withdrawing money from the bank than I am when shopping at the grocery store. I have the ability to use multiple identities in multiple contexts. But when I use the web, I can’t do that very well. There is no easy way to segregate my identities such that my browsing behavior while shopping for toddler clothes doesn’t cross over to my browsing behavior while working. The Containers feature I’m about to describe attempts to solve this problem: empowering Firefox to help segregate my online identities in the same way I can segregate my real life identities.

      • Multi-process Firefox and AMO

        In Firefox 48, which reaches the release channel on August 1, 2016, mullti-process support (code name “Electrolysis”, or “e10s”) will begin rolling out to Firefox users without any add-ons installed.

      • Fix Firefox resource URI leak

        Any website can access a selection of Firefox resource files to find out more about the web browser that is used to connect to the site.

      • Baby Steps: Slowly Porting musl to Rust

        TLDR: I’m toying with writing a C standard library in Rust by porting musl-libc over function-by-function.

      • Firefox Contextual Identities

        Mozilla recently announced a new feature that is being tested in the Firefox browser called “Contextual Identities”. The idea behind this feature is that users will be able to separate different types of browsing into different identities, allowing them to protect their data with more control. The images below were all taken from the announcement page and should provide a good example of how this feature works.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Faster Rendering Appears To Be Coming For LibreOffice

      Some rendering speed improvements have been worked on recently for the LibreOffice open-source office suite and are now present in LO Git.

    • Document Liberation Project: progress so far in 2016

      If you haven’t heard of the Document Liberation Project (DLP) before, we made a short video explaining what it does and why it’s important. In summary: it supports development of software libraries to read documents from many (usually proprietary) applications. If you’ve ever opened a file generated by Apple Pages, WordPerfect or Microsoft Works in LibreOffice, you’ve benefitted from the hard work of the DLP team. And DLP libraries are used in many other prominent FOSS tools such as Inkscape and Scribus as well.

  • Funding

    • The 2016 Kickstarter

      This year’s kickstarter fundraising campaign for Krita was more nerve-wracking than the previous two editions. Although we ended up 135% funded, we were almost afraid we wouldn’t make it, around the middle. Maybe only the release of Krita 3.0 turned the campaign around. Here’s my chaotic and off-the-cuff analysis of this campaign.

  • BSD

    • BSDCan 2016 Presentations Online
    • LLVM’s Clang Is Working On Unified Offloading Support

      There’s more work going on in the CUDA/OpenMP space for the LLVM Clang compiler.

      Landing this week in Clang SVN/Git is generic offload toolchains for the concept of an offloading tool chain plus related work. The initial patch explains, “This patch is the first of a series of three that attempts to make the current support of CUDA more generic and easier to extend to other programming models, namely OpenMP.”

  • Licensing/Legal

    • The Licensing and Compliance Lab interviews Brett Smith of dtrx

      Brett Smith has been using free software since 1998. He worked in several roles at the Free Software Foundation (FSF) from 2002-2004, and then worked in its GPL Compliance Lab from 2006-2012. dtrx stands for “Do the Right Extraction:” it extracts all kinds of archive files in a consistent way, so you always get the same results no matter how the author built the archive.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Austin inadvertently promotes open-source ride-sharing

      The idea is to undermine the monopolies of companies like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb and the like with a genuinely cooperative, horizontal and P2P model directly controlled by the users themselves, and cut out the corporate middleman altogether. Advocates for this model have coined the term “Platform Cooperativism” for it (if you search the #PlatformCooperativism hashtag on Twitter, you’ll find links to a lot of great articles on it).

  • Programming/Development

    • Python 3.6 and 3.7 release cycles

      Ned Deily, who is the release manager for the upcoming Python 3.6 release and will “probably be the 3.7 release manager”, led a session at the 2016 Python Language Summit to review and discuss the release cycle for the language. There have been some changes for 3.6 compared to the 3.5 cycle and there may be opportunities to make some additional changes for 3.7 and beyond.

    • PyCharm and type hints

      A mini-theme at this year’s Python Language Summit was tools that are using the PEP 484 type hints. In the final session on that theme, Andrey Vlasovskikh, the community lead for the PyCharm IDE, described that tool’s support for type hints.

    • An introduction to pytype

      Google’s pytype tool, which uses the PEP 484 type hints for static analysis, was the subject of a presentation by one of its developers, Matthias Kramm, at the 2016 Python Language Summit. In it, he compared several different tools and their reaction to various kinds of type errors in the code. He also described pytype’s static type-inference capabilities.

    • The state of mypy

      At last year’s Python Language Summit, Guido van Rossum gave an introduction to “type hints”, which are an optional feature to allow static checkers to spot type errors in Python programs. At this year’s summit, he discussed mypy, which is one of several static type checkers for Python. It is being used by Dropbox, Van Rossum’s employer, on its large Python codebase—with good results.

    • Python’s GitHub migration and workflow changes

      Brett Cannon gave an update on the migration of Python’s repositories to GitHub and the associated workflow changes at the 2016 Python Language Summit. The goal is modernize the development process; right now that process is “old school”, which is “good or bad depending on who you ask”. After looking at the options, GitHub seemed to be the best choice for housing the repositories; PEP 512 lays out the options and rationale for those interested. LWN looked at some of the discussion surrounding the move back in December 2014.

    • 20 Most Important Programming Languages In The World

      If we make a list of the most important programming languages, we’ll come across two categories. There are many vintage programming languages that just won’t die and continue to be used in their respective field. Along with them, there are some newer programming languages that have managed to make their mark upon the tech world.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Why Europe may ban the most popular weed killer in the world

      It’s hard to find an herbicide like glyphosate. It’s cheap, highly effective, and is generally regarded as one of the safest and most environmentally benign herbicides ever discovered. But a report last year that glyphosate could cause cancer has thrown its future into jeopardy. Now the European Union faces a 30 June deadline to reapprove its use, or glyphosate will not be allowed for sale. Here’s a quick explanation of the issues.

    • TTIP talks bogged down in food standards debate

      Seemingly insurmountable differences in food standards are threatening to sink trade negotiations between the United States and the European Union. EurActiv Spain reports.

      Since 2013, the United States and the EU have been working to construct what would be the biggest trade deal in the world. But negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have got bogged down on a number of issues.

      According to Brian Kilgallen, part of the European Commission’s negotiating team, one of the major hurdles that remains to be overcome in the TTIP negotiations is the chapter dedicated to phytosanitary mesures (plant and animal health).

  • Security

    • Friday’s security updates
    • Linux Server Security: Hack and Defend by Chris Binnie
    • Intel x86 Processors Come With A Secret Backdoor That Nobody Can Fix

      A security researcher has outlined a dangerous loophole that affects the Intel CPUs that have Intel Management Engine and vPro enabled. While there’s no known exploit at the moment that uses this flaw, it can act as a powerful rootkit mechanism.

    • Teen Hacks Pentagon’s Websites, Government Thanks Him For Finding ‘Bugs’

      A teen from Washington hacked the websites of US Department of Defence. But, instead of going to prison, he was thanked by the Pentagon for the work he did. This is because he was a participant of a bug bounty program titled Hack The Pentagon.

    • June ’16 security fixes for Adobe Flash
    • Intel x86s hide another CPU that can take over your machine (you can’t audit it)

      Recent Intel x86 processors implement a secret, powerful control mechanism that runs on a separate chip that no one is allowed to audit or examine. When these are eventually compromised, they’ll expose all affected systems to nearly unkillable, undetectable rootkit attacks. I’ve made it my mission to open up this system and make free, open replacements, before it’s too late.

    • Let’s Encrypt Accidentally Spills 7,600 User Emails

      Certificate authority Let’s Encrypt accidentally disclosed the email addresses of several thousand of its users this weekend.

      Josh Aas, Executive Director for the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG), the nonprofit group that helped launch the CA, apologized for the error on Saturday. In what Let’s Encrypt dubbed a preliminary report posted shortly after it happened, Aas blamed the faux pas on a bug in the automated email system the group uses.

    • phpMyAdmin Project Successfully Completes Security Audit

      Software Freedom Conservancy congratulates its phpMyAdmin project on succesfuly completing completing a thorough security audit, as part of Mozilla’s Secure Open Source Fund. No serious issues were found in the phyMyAdmin codebase.

    • StartCom launches a new service – StartEncrypt

      StartCom, a leading global Certificate Authority (CA) and provider of trusted identity and authentication services, announces a new service – StartEncrypt today, an automatic SSL certificate issuance and installation software for your web server.

    • Venerable Conficker Worm Survives on Obsolete Legacy Systems [Ed: Microsoft Windows.]

      he 8-year-old worm continues to infect in some corners of the Internet, highlighting the difficulty in eradicating more virulent programs.
      On Oct. 23, 2008, Microsoft revealed a critical flaw that could allow an attacker to remotely compromise and infect Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 systems.

      It took only a week for the Internet’s seedier element to create the first malware based on the vulnerability. While initial attacks targeted specific companies and infected fewer than a dozen systems a day, the situation was much worse a month later when an unknown malware developer released a self-propagating worm.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Is ISIS Converting Two-Thirds of Humvees Given to Iraq Into Car Bombs?

      We may have achieved peak military-industrial complex: the U.S. is in part supplying both sides of the Iraq-Islamic State conflict and through that, creating the need for a new class of weapons to be sold as a counter measure. As arms manufacturers across our great land say, it doesn’t get any better than this.

      Islamic State militants have not only acquired a grand majority of the military Humvees gifted to and then abandoned by the Iraqi Army, they are now re-purposing them into car bombs to use against the Iraqi Army (Hint: don’t leave the keys in the car next time.*)

      Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi confirmed that 2,300 are in ISIS hands, more than two-thirds of all Humvees provided to Iraq by the U.S.

    • Dude Writes ‘ISIS Beer Funds!!!’ in Venmo Memo, Feds Impound His $42 Transfer

      Now this is one way to stop terrorism, particularly the funding of ISIS. Did the United States clamp down on Saudi Arabia funneling millions to ISIS and other Sunni terror groups? Use American military power to stop the illegal weapons trade to ISIS? Bomb the hell out of the oil wells and transit systems ISIS uses to raise hard currency?

      Hell no. The government of the United States used its full resources to steal $42 from some drunk dude who wrote “ISIS Beer Funds!!!” in the memo field on Venmo when he tried to pay back his buddy for a night out.

    • I wrote “ISIS Beer Funds!!!” in a Venmo memo and the feds detained my $42

      Telling a friend you’re paying him back for “ISIS beer funds!!!” is not a particularly good joke. I knew this as I was typing it at 2am on a Sunday, but what I did not know is that it’s an even worse joke on Venmo because the federal government will detain your $42.

    • Radical Islam’s next victim

      Failing to call Islamic terror by its name breeds more violence

    • How ISIS Weaponized the Media After Orlando

      Before Omar Mateen walked into Pulse nightclub and shot 49 of its patrons and staff to death, he was a nobody. In the hours that followed, though, he was catapulted to global infamy. When rumors of his ideological inclination first went public, observers stopped talking about him as if he was an “ordinary” mass shooter and effectively put the full force of ISIS behind him. He stopped being a mere man with a gun and was transformed, via the media and politicians, into a full-fledged ISIS operative, a human manifestation of the group’s international menace.

    • Turkish Radiohead fans attacked at listening party in Istanbul

      A group of Radiohead fans has been attacked by a mob of men carrying sticks and bottles as they held a listening party of the band’s music in Istanbul.

      The incident, which was largely captured on video, occurred on Friday night at the Velvet Indieground record store – a popular destination for Turkish and foreign music fans in the Istanbul district of Cihangir. There was at least one injury, with a picture of a person with a bloodied shirt, purportedly from the attack, posted on Twitter.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • Seventy years of exploitation: The enduring plight of California’s farm workers

      For the state’s first hundred-plus years, certain unspoken rules governed California politics. In a state where agriculture produced more wealth than any industry, the first rule was that growers held enormous power.

      Tax dollars built giant water projects that turned the Central and Imperial Valleys into some of the nation’s most productive farmland. Land ownership was concentrated in huge corporate plantation-like farms. Growers used political power to assure a steady flow of workers from one country after another—Japan, China, the Philippines, Yemen, India, and of course Mexico—to provide the labor that made the land productive.

    • The startup trying to clean up Wall Street just became an official stock exchange

      This evening the Securities and Exchange Commission approved an application by a startup called IEX to become a full-fledged stock exchange. By approving IEX, the SEC was giving its stamp of approval to one of the most high-profile challenges to the current Wall Street regime. Co-founded by a Canadian trader named Brad Katsuyama, IEX is designed to be a market free from high-frequency traders who use their speed to skim profits off the orders from ordinary citizens.

      The company, and Katsuyama in particular, rose to prominence as the stars of Michael Lewis’ best-selling book, Flash Boys. Lewis argued that modern markets were rigged, allowing high-frequency traders to pay for fast access and use that speed to front-run other traders. As a trader, Katsuyama dealt with the problem first hand. He would place a bid for a stock at a price he saw listed, and then find there were no shares available at that price. “They could detect my order at BATS, race me to the next exchange, and cancel their sell orders while buying whatever is left, then turn around and try and sell stock back to me at a higher price,” said Katsuyama.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • A journalist went to a Donald Trump rally yesterday and came back shocked. Here are his tweets

      Most coverage of Donald Trump’s rallies are about people disrupting it. But one American journalist went there and quietly observed what was going on.

      He came back shaken and scared.

      Jared Yates Sexton is a writer and political correspondent from the state of Georgia.

      Yesterday, Donald Trump held a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina. Sexton went there to cover the event, and wrote a series of tweets.

    • How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, but Still Earned Millions

      The Trump Plaza Casino and Hotel is now closed, its windows clouded over by sea salt. Only a faint outline of the gold letters spelling out T-R-U-M-P remains visible on the exterior of what was once this city’s premier casino.

      Not far away, the long-failing Trump Marina Hotel Casino was sold at a major loss five years ago and is now known as the Golden Nugget.

      At the nearly deserted eastern end of the boardwalk, the Trump Taj Mahal, now under new ownership, is all that remains of the casino empire Donald J. Trump assembled here more than a quarter-century ago. Years of neglect show: The carpets are frayed and dust-coated chandeliers dangle above the few customers there to play the penny slot machines.

      On the presidential campaign trail, Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, often boasts of his success in Atlantic City, of how he outwitted the Wall Street firms that financed his casinos and rode the value of his name to riches. A central argument of his candidacy is that he would bring the same business prowess to the Oval Office, doing for America what he did for his companies.

    • Koch Criminal Justice Reform Trojan Horse: Special Report on Reentry and Following the Money

      Charles Koch and the Koch machine continue to press for changes to federal laws to make it harder to prosecute corporate crimes, as part of criminal justice “reforms,” but the Koch-connected network is already at the trough for public funds intended to help prisoners with “reentry” into society.

    • Another Koch Criminal Justice Reform Trojan Horse: Reentry and Privatization

      As Congress considers major criminal justice reforms to address the devastating impact of gross sentencing disparities that have devastated minority communities, the Koch machine is seeking changes to the law that would benefit Koch Industries and other corporations by limiting their criminal liability, as the Center for Media and Democracy documented in 2015.

      But that’s not the only part of the agenda of the billionaire Koch brothers’ network that is in play.

      Few policymakers understand the role the Koch-funded “think tanks” like the Texas Public Policy Foundation and its “Right on Crime” operation have played and are playing in the privatization of the criminal justice system, including in the area of “re-entry,” a term of art for how people who have served their sentence re-enter society.

    • Guccifer 2.0 Leak Reveals How DNC Rigged Primaries for Clinton

      Earlier this week, a lone hacker—self-dubbed Guccifer 2.0—breached DNC servers and reportedly obtained opposition research on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump. The DNC confirmed the hack and hasn’t denied the authenticity of the documents released. The Party has, however, continued to propagate that the hack was deployed by the Russian government—perhaps because the information that was released is far more revealing than just opposition research.

      Internal memos, dated May 2015—long before the first state voted in the Democratic primary—referred to Hillary Clinton as though she was already the Democratic presidential nominee. The documents leaked by Guccifer 2.0 not only illuminate the DNC’s efforts to ensure Clinton’s coronation but also reveal the strategies used to shield her from criticism on ethics, transparency and campaign finance reform—all vulnerabilities for the corrupt Establishment darling.

      Despite being under criminal investigation by the FBI and DOJ, Clinton has still managed to secure the Democratic presidential nomination. And, despite revelations from the State Department Inspector General—who reported Clinton did break federal rules, effectively debunking the defense she has echoed for over a year—Democrats still, shockingly, continued to vote for her in the remaining primary states.

      Just one of the issues Clinton panders to voters is campaign finance reform, even though she has reaped more benefits from our broken system than any other presidential candidate in American history. Clinton has received millions in dubious donations through Super-PACs by exploiting campaign finance law loopholes. Thanks to an exempt Internet clause in existing campaign finance law, the Hillary Victory Fund (a joint fundraising committee with the DNC) and Correct the Record have legally and directly coordinate with Clinton’s campaign.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Pogba’s gesture turns into media censorship matter, adds pressure

      BeIN Sports chose not to show the images on its popular post-match program L’Euro Show. The station’s head sent out an email to all staff telling them not to show the images, according to Le Parisien. The email leaked. Images came out. And suddenly the debate became not just about one player’s action, but about censorship and the free press.

    • Google Sees DMCA Notices Quadruple In Two Years

      Google is being overloaded with DMCA takedown requests. The company has seen the number of takedown notices from rightsholders quadruple over the past two years. In 2016 alone, Google is projected to process over a billion reported pirate links, most of which will be scrubbed from its search index.

    • DMCA wins big in record label lawsuit against Vimeo

      A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that service providers such as video-sharing sites like Vimeo are protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for pre-1972 musical recordings uploaded by their users.

      The record labels had sued the YouTube-like site and successfully convinced a district court judge that, because pre-1972 recordings fell under state laws and not federal copyright law, the DMCA didn’t apply. The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision and also overturned the lower court that ruled the DMCA didn’t grant so-called safe-harbor passage to service providers whose employees saw infringements on their platforms uploaded by their users.

    • 100 years ago in Spokane: War readiness and censorship

      Three National Guard companies in Spokane – along with National Guard units around the country – were mobilized and readied for war.

      Not for the war in Europe, which had been raging for two years. Instead, they were readied for service on the Mexican border, where tensions had been rising for years.

      Recently, Mexican bandits had been raiding American border towns.

      The local National Guard reservists were destined for American Lake (today’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord), where they would join other units. Then they would be dispatched along the border to prevent any further incursions.

    • Censorship and artistic freedom: An age-old battle
    • Let’s not think the audience is foolish: Anushka Sharma slams CBFC for censoring films
    • An Open Letter To CBFC Chairman Pahlaj Nihlani
  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Net Neutrality: What’s Next for FCC’s Open Internet Rules

      The FCC won a major victory over net neutrality this week, and the surprise wasn’t so much that it prevailed but that its legal win was so sweeping.

      There had been some expectation, on Wall Street, on Capitol Hill and in the legal community, that the D.C. Circuit would chip away at some of the FCC’s rules of the road for the internet. The FCC actions that looked to be under threat included extending the regulations to mobile carriers, and a “general conduct” rule which, in the words of FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, was meant to stop “new and novel threats to the internet.”

    • Net neutrality ruling keeps the Internet open to all

      The wall outlet that connects your Internet router to Comcast or Verizon is no different from the one that supples power to the living room lamp. That’s one way to look at this week’s federal court decision that wisely validated the position of the Federal Communications Commission itself: The Internet should be treated more like a utility than like an online superhighway where travelers who pay a toll get to go faster than others.

      The ruling by a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reinforced the premise of so-called net neutrality — the idea that everyone should have equal access to the Internet, whether they’re sending and receiving basic HTML images or streaming full-length HD movies. Yes, it’s a numbingly dense principle, but one that should matter to anyone who spends time online.

    • ‘Net neutrality’ explained: what this week’s US court decision means

      You may have heard something this week about a US court and net neutrality and something about the internet. Maybe it didn’t make much sense. And that’s a good thing! If we all spent our time trying to decipher the web, we’d never get around to actually using it, or creating awesome new things with it.

      That said, some debates are so important to the healthy function of the internet that they’re worth learning about in depth, and in the process grasping their implications for free speech, online commerce, educational opportunity and all the reasons that make the internet worth using in the first place.

      One of those debates reached a key turning point on Tuesday in the US when a federal appeals court said that the internet was basically like a giant telephone network and that the companies that provide it, such as Comcast and Verizon, must offer essentially the same protections to internet users that the government has required of phone companies for decades.

    • The Forrest Gump of the Internet

      It’s probably bad if all our media and communications are going through services that are controlled by profit-driven corporations.

  • DRM

    • Why I refuse to join Kindle Unlimited

      Lots of my self-pub writer friends urge me to sign on with Kindle Unlimited. They tell me I’ll make more money by making my books only available on Amazon.

      They’re probably correct… in the short term.

      But if you have only one customer, and only one sales channel, that sales channel can destroy yo without warning. And today, Amazon’s scam-fighting techniques are crushing authors guilty of only one thing: trusting Amazon as their sole customer.

    • W3C DRM working group chairman vetoes work on protecting security researchers and competition

      For a year or so, I’ve been working with the EFF to get the World Wide Web Consortium to take steps to protect security researchers and new market-entrants who run up against the DRM standard they’re incorporating into HTML5, the next version of the key web standard.

      At issue is the DMCA and its global equivalents, which impose daunting penalties on those who break DRM, even for legal reasons — whether that’s investigating privacy and security risks or making a competitive new product that does completely legal things. Once DRM is part of a full implementation of HTML5, there’s a real risk to security researchers who discover defects in browsers and want to warn users about them, and for new companies hoping to compete by offering features and products that the incumbents don’t choose to implement.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Lawyers who yanked “Happy Birthday” into public domain now sue over “This Land”

        The lawyers who successfully got “Happy Birthday” put into the public domain and then sued two months ago over “We Shall Overcome” have a new target: Woody Guthrie’s “This Land.”

        Randall Newman and his colleagues have filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against The Richmond Organization (TRO) and Ludlow Music, the two entities that also claim to own the copyright for “We Shall Overcome.”

06.18.16

Links 18/6/2016: KDE Plasma 5.7 Beta, Robolinux 8.5

Posted in News Roundup at 3:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How a student in India got started with open source

    I have always been an open source enthusiast. And when I heard about the awesome community from my brother I just couldn’t wait to join in. He has always motivated me to do great things. I’m always enthusiastic to learn new things. Contributing to open source organizations, meeting amazing people and communities, and, of course, a deep interest of writing code have motivated me to join the summer training. I believe that I am able to achieve all these things after I joined the summer training and the great community DGP LUG.

  • Open Versus Closed: Addressing The IoT Standards Problem
  • Here’s how developers should choose open source components wisely [Ed: WhiteSource self promotion]

    An open source component can be inappropriate for a developer in many ways. Starting from the risks the component is exposed to, to its license policy, developers have to keep a lot of things in mind while selecting the right piece for their tech puzzle. In an exclusive conversation with TechGig.com, Rami Sass, CEO and Co-Founder of WhiteSource, shared tips for selecting right open source components with developers. Read on.

  • Open-Source Test Automation Tools and You

    There’s a shift to open-source mobile test automation tools happening today among developers and QA. And it’s not just happening in mobile testing. Many mature technology sectors are adopting lightweight, vendor-transparent tools to fulfill the need for speed and integration.

    As with many free and open-source software markets however, a plethora of tools complicates the selection process. How do you know what to spend time learning, integrating and deploying in your own environment?

  • Lack of open source support continues to pose IT challenge

    Open source software and hardware continue to infiltrate the data center, but the lack of professional support remains a top business and IT concern.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Healthcare

    • New hospital in Houston selects open source EHR vendor

      Sacred Oak Medical Center in Houston, opening in August, will use the OpenVista electronic health record system of Medsphere Systems. The inpatient behavioral health facility will open with 20 beds and plans to expand over time to 80 beds.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • pfSense 2.3.1 FreeBSD Firewall Gets New Update to Patch Web GUI Security Issues

      Chris Buechler from pfSense announced earlier today, June 16, 2016, that there’s a new maintenance update available for the pfSense 2.3.1 FreeBSD-based firewall distribution.

      pfSense 2.3.1 Update 5 (2.3.1_5) is a small bugfix release for the pfSense 2.3.1 major update announced last month, and since pfSense now lets its maintainers update only individual parts of the system, we see more and more small builds like this one, which patch the most annoying issues.

    • ART single thread performances

      ART has been the default routing table backend in OpenBSD for some months now. That means that OpenBSD 6.0 will no longer consult the 4.3 BSD reduced radix tree to perform route lookups.

      The principal motivation for adopting a new tree implementation can be explained in three letters: SMP.

      I’ll describe in a different context why and how ART is a good fit in our revamp of OpenBSD network stack. For the moment, let’s have a look at the single-thread performances of this algorithm in OpenBSD -current.

    • parallel-lib: New LLVM Suproject
    • LLVM Has New “parallel-lib” Sub-Project

      This new parallelism library is described as “[hosting] the development of libraries which are aimed at enabling parallelism in code and which are also closely tied to compiler technology. Examples of libraries suitable for hosting within the parallel-libs subproject are runtime libraries and parallel math libraries. The initial candidates for inclusion in this subproject are StreamExecutor and libomptarget which would live in the streamexecutor and libomptarget subdirectories of parallel-libs, respectively.”

  • Public Services/Government

    • GSA CTO headlines WT open source breakfast

      The use of open source software is pretty much a forgone conclusion in the federal market but we are just now starting to scratch the surface of its power to disrupt the market.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • New open source ‘GreenWeb’ to mobile battery while browsing internet

      A new, open source computer programming framework that could make the web significantly more energy efficient, allowing people to save more battery power while browsing on mobile devices, has been developed by researchers including one of Indian-origin.

      Scientists developed what they are calling “GreenWeb,” a set of web programming language extensions that enable web developers to have more flexibility and control than ever before over the energy consumption of a website.

      “Because user awareness is constantly increasing, web developers today must be conscious of energy efficiency,” said Vijay Janapa Reddi from University of Texas in the US.

    • Rumors of COBOL’s demise have been greatly exaggerated: Meet GnuCOBOL

      A recent article on Slashdot points out with some chagrin that the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Veterans Affairs in the United States still use COBOL, originally invented in 1959, based on work by the late Rear Admiral Grace Hopper. The implication is—and has been for some years in the IT community—that COBOL is a completely dead language. Not so! In 1997, the Gartner Group reported that 80% of the world’s business ran on COBOL, and surveys in 2006 and 2012 by Computerworld found that more than 60% of large financial organizations use COBOL (more, in fact, than use C++, a much newer language), and that for half of those, COBOL was used for the majority of their internal code. The COBOL standard has continued to be updated, with the most recent change being in 2014.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open standard for UK emergency services

      The United Kingdom is introducing an open standard for IT systems used by emergency services, the country’s Digital Service announced on 23 May. The ‘Multi-Agency Incident Transfer’ (MAIT) standard is to harmonise the exchange of information within the emergency responder community to streamline the flow incident information between agencies.

Leftovers

  • Microsoft’s Office Plans Are a Confusing Mess

    Last week, I tried to get a subscription to Microsoft Office. I expected to simply find an Office license that included what I needed for a simple price. Instead, I discovered that Microsoft’s Office licenses are infuriatingly complex, making it nearly impossible for anyone to get what they need without overspending.

  • Why LinkedIn Will Make You Hate Microsoft Word

    IF Microsoft has its way, the vast membership of LinkedIn, the business networking site with more than 433 million members, will be instantly available to you while you use Microsoft products like Outlook or Skype. How many of LinkedIn’s members do you want to consult while also using Excel or typing away in Word? Microsoft is betting it’s a lot; this is part of its rationale for its $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, announced on Monday.

    The companies’ chief executives, Satya Nadella of Microsoft and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn, explained their reasons for the deal in a PowerPoint presentation distributed to investors. In the center of a graphic titled, “A professional’s profile everywhere,” was a picture of an anonymous LinkedIn “professional” with arrows pointed outward to seven Microsoft products.

  • Microsoft buys Wand to improve chat capabilities

    Satya Nadella wasn’t kidding when he said earlier this year that he believed in using chat as a platform for computing. Microsoft just bought Wand, a chat app for iOS, to further that vision.

  • Science

    • Will We Ever Really Get Flying Cars?

      If you listen to some entrepreneurs and investors, the flying car – a longstanding staple of science fiction – is right around the corner. Working prototypes exist. At least two companies already take orders for the vehicles, with deliveries promised next year.

      The last decade has seen the introduction of practical consumer videoconferencing, voice recognition, drones, self-driving cars and many other items that once were found only in science fiction stories. It therefore might seem plausible that practical flying cars are around the corner. They aren’t. Indeed, massive safety, infrastructure and technology problems make them a near impossibility.

    • Physics test suggests cats understand gravity, Japanese researchers say

      Of all the furry ambush predators on the planet, domestic house cats — some 600 million of them — are among the most numerous. Their ancient evolutionary history does not always feel so ancient, as anyone who has lobbed a catnip mouse at a tabby or wiggled a defenseless ankle near a kitten can attest.

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Fired DEQ official pleads Fifth in Flint water probe

      The fired head of the drinking water division of the Department of Environmental Quality invoked her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination through her attorney this morning after receiving an investigative subpoena in the Flint water crisis investigation.

      Brian Morley, a Lansing attorney representing Liane Shekter-Smith, said a hearing was held Thursday morning in Wayne County Circuit Court after he objected on Shekter-Smith’s behalf to an investigative subpoena seeking her testimony in Attorney General Bill Schuette’s Flint drinking water investigation, which is headed by Royal Oak attorney Todd Flood.

    • European Council Approves First-Ever Analysis Of Drug Prices With Look At IP Rights

      The 28 European Union governments today were expected to give final approval to a first-ever plan to analyse medicines competition in Europe, with reference to drug prices, generics and biosimilars, and intellectual property rights. The final version was watered after what sources said was heavy industry lobbying, compared to a leaked version published in Intellectual Property Watch two weeks ago, but still retains some strong provisions regarding pricing and competition.

    • WHO/PAHO New Response Plan For Zika Until December 2017

      A new response plan for a strategic response to the Zika virus has been announced by the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization.

      The revised Zika Strategic Response Plan includes elements such as integrated vector management, sexual and reproductive health counselling, and health education.

    • European Council Conclusions On Steps To Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

      The 28 European Union member governments have concluded next steps for addressing antimicrobial resistance, with a strong emphasis on reducing use of antibiotics in animals, but also including a call for new business models.

      There does not appear to be a mention of price, intellectual property rights, or del-inkage of price from the cost of R&D, but there is a call for new business models as follows:

      “actively engage in initiatives and proposals to implement a new business model to bring new antibiotics to the market, including models in which investment costs or revenues are de-linked from sales volumes;”

  • Security

    • Thursday’s security updates
    • Network Security: The Unknown Unknowns

      I recently thought of the apocryphal story about the solid reliability of the IBM AS/400 systems. I’ve heard several variations on the story, but as the most common version of the story goes, an IBM service engineer shows up at a customer site one day to service an AS/400. The hapless employees have no idea what the service engineer is talking about. Eventually the system is found in a closet or even sealed in a walled off space where it had been reliably running the business for years completely forgotten and untouched. From a reliability perspective, this is a great story. From a security perspective, it is a nightmare. It represents Donald Rumsfeld’s infamous “unknown unknowns” statement regarding the lack of evidence linking the government of Iraq with the supply of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups.

    • The average cost of a data breach is now $4 million

      The average data breach cost has grown to $4 million, representing a 29 percent increase since 2013, according to the Ponemon Institute.

    • The story of a DDoS extortion attack – how one company decided to take a stand [iophk: “yet another way that cracked MS machines are big money”]

      Instead of simply ordering his company to defend itself in conventional fashion he was going to write to all 5,000 of Computop’s customers and partners telling them that on 15 June his firm’s website was likely to be hit with a DDoS attack big enough to cause everyone serious problems.

    • Mozilla Funds Open Source Code Audits

      As part of the Mozilla Open Source Support program (MOSS), the Mozilla Foundation has set up a fund dedicated to helping open source software projects eradicate code vulnerabilities.

    • Intel Hidden Management Engine – x86 Security Risk?

      So it seems the latest generation of Intel x86 CPUs have implemented a Intel hidden management engine that cannot be audited or examined. We can also assume at some point it will be compromised and security researchers are labelling this as a Ring -3 level vulnerability.

    • Smart detection for passive sniffing in the Tor-network

      If you haven’t yet read about my previous research regarding finding bad exit nodes in the Tor network you can read it here. But the tl;dr is that I sent unique passwords through every exit node in the Tor network over HTTP. This meant that is was possible for the exit node to sniff the credentials and use them to login on my fake website which I had control over.

    • Lone hacker, not Russian spies, responsible for Democratic Party breach

      RED-FACED SECURITY OUTFIT CrowdStrike has admitted that the Russian government wasn’t responsible for a hack on the Democratic Party after lone hacker Guccifer 2 claimed that he was responsible for the breach.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Islamic State committing genocide against Yazidis: U.N.

      Islamic State is committing genocide against the Yazidis in Syria and Iraq to destroy the religious community of 400,000 people through killings, sexual slavery and other crimes, United Nations investigators said on Thursday.

      Such a designation, rare under international law, would mark the first recognized genocide carried out by non-state actors, rather than a state or paramilitaries acting on its behalf.

    • Labour MP Jo Cox dies after being shot and stabbed as husband urges people to ‘fight against the hate’ that killed her

      The husband of Jo Cox urged people to “fight against the hatred” that killed his wife on Thursday night, after the Labour MP was murdered by a gunman on the steps of her constituency surgery, Robert Mendick, Gordon Rayner and Nicola Harley write.

      On a dark day for democracy, Mrs Cox, a 41-year-old mother of two, was shot three times and repeatedly stabbed by a killer screaming “Britain first”.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • TPP, TTIP don’t seem to be coming around after all – here’s why

      The two protectionist agreements masquerading as free trade agreements, TPP and TTIP, appear to be meeting serious resistance – TTIP in particular. This makes the entire coup attempt unlikely to succeed.

      As detailed in the book Information Feudalism: Who owns the Knowledge Economy?, the United States reacted to its industrial obsolescence – as accented primarily by the ascent of Toyota and the fall in Detroit of the late 1970s – by hijacking a number of global fora and attempting to push through so-called Free Trade Agreements that were little more than attempts to redefine value, production, and economy in a way that forced the rest of the world to pay rent to the United States, in order to safeguard its dominant position going forward.

    • The problems with referendums in general, and the Brexit one in particular

      The first problem comes from there never having been a need – in an objective sense – for this EU referendum.

      By “objective” I mean that there was no external reason – such as a new EU treaty or similar proposal – for a referendum to take place in June 2016.

      As such, it can be described an objectively pointless referendum.

    • Let’s drug-test the rich before approving tax deductions, US congresswoman says

      Gwen Moore to propose bill requiring tests for returns with itemized deductions of more than $150,000, in response to right’s ‘criminalization of poverty’

    • Bolivia rejects ‘offensive’ chicken donation from Bill Gates [iophk: "just as knowledgeable about chickens as anything else"]

      But Bolivia’s government, led by anti-imperialist president Evo Morales, says the South American nation already produces 197 million chickens annually, and has the capacity to export 36 million. Bolivia’s pride is justified: the country’s economy has nearly tripled in size over the last decade, with its GDP per capita jumping from $1,200 in 2006 to $3,119 in 2015. The IMF predicts that Bolivia’s economy will grow by 3.8 percent in 2016, making it the best performer in South America.

    • So Britain, are you ready to enter the United Kingdom of Ukip?

      Right now, in the Ukip bunker, there is a search going on. It is urgent. It is probably desperate. It is the search for a tone. The emotional Rolodex of Nigel Farage is being riffled through in the hope it might throw up something usable. Top presentational aides have been dispatched on a vital quest to find the outer limits of his range. The journey is unlikely to detain them very long. Yet at the most recent reckoning Farage stands a few disputed percentage points away from being acclaimed – like it or not – the most extraordinarily successful British politician of a generation. Globally, he may soon be seen as reflecting us.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Four in ten have lost confidence in media

      Almost four-tenths, or 38 per cent, of Finns have lost their confidence in the traditional media, finds a recent survey.

      “The numbers are astonishingly high: four in ten have reservations about journalistic content,” Ville Pitkänen, a researcher at Think Tank e2, reveals while shedding light on the preliminary results of the survey in his blog on Puheenvuoro.

    • Lonelygirl15: how one mysterious vlogger changed the internet

      In June 2006, a 16-year-old girl began a video blog on YouTube. Her name was Bree, she’d been lurking in the burgeoning community for a while. She was a self-described dork, she thought her hometown was really boring – “Maybe that’s why I spend so much time on my computer …”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Publication censorship of new physics ideas – a sort of pseudo-science
    • ‘A battle against censorship was never fought like this’

      Did you ever have a brush with censorship in the past and do you think it is time the Cinematograph Act, 1952, is overhauled?

      No, I have never experienced such a major censor problem with my movies before. In fact, a battle against censorship has never been fought like this before, that it became a movement. As we move ahead with time, the laws related to art and culture need to be reassessed, including the Act we have for film certification.

    • Highly-Dubious Spiritualist Making Highly-Dubious Claims Loses Highly-Dubious Defamation Lawsuit Against Critic

      Trivedi can simply stand near a bottle of water, transfer some of his powerful energy, and sell this bottled water to you at a presumably healthy markup. Among other things, the energized water can supposedly go full Lazarus on your flora.

      [...]

      And, even under the complete lack of scrutiny provided by pay-for-play “scientific journals,” the studies Trivedi claims back up his miracles have nothing approaching scientific methodology contained in them. One claiming Trivedi was able to introduce bacterial mutations simply by waving his hand over some Petri dishes is deftly summed up this way by a slightly more sympathetic blogger at “Integral World.”

    • Facebook Suppresses Story Critical of Black Lives Matter; Censorship Alive and Well Despite Zuckerberg Assurances

      Last month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosted a summit with “leading conservatives” at Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif. offices, in which he sought to ease concerns about a liberal bias in the social media company’s “trending” features.

      Whether that problem has been fixed or not, it appears that Facebook is currently engaging in “viewpoint discrimination” in another way, namely in its service which allows users to “boost” a story, for which Facebook receives a fee.

    • Court Says Free Speech Rights For Prisoners Not ‘Clearly Established,’ Gives Pass To Retaliatory Actions By Officials

      While it’s true that prisoners enjoy fewer rights than Americans who’ve never been convicted of a crime, their rights are by no means nonexistent. Except in some cases… where bits and pieces of protected speech vanish into the gaps between established prison guidelines and case law directly addressing the matter.

      That’s an admittedly unclear summation of the appeals court decision finding a federal prisoner’s rights weren’t violated when he was removed from a halfway house and placed in solitary confinement in retaliation for publishing an article about his prison experience.

    • Federal Prisoner Who Blogged For HuffPost Has No First Amendment Rights, Court Rules

      A blogger who wrote for The Huffington Post while serving a federal prison sentence didn’t have a First Amendment right to publish an article critical of prison conditions, an appeals court has ruled.

      Daniel McGowan, an environmental activist whose prosecution for “eco terrorism” was the subject of an award-winning film, was finishing his seven-year term at a Brooklyn halfway house when he wrote a HuffPost blog post that contained details about a secretive prison where he had spent years in isolation.

    • Is Twitter Censoring Non-Politically Correct Viewpoints?

      The folks running Twitter may be too young to have heard of George Orwell, or perhaps they simply do not care that their new advisory council sounds frighteningly Orwellian. Either way, the brand new “Twitter Trust and Safety Council” seems like a board ready to censor comments in deference to political correctness.

      It doesn’t help that among the more than 40 organizations that make up the council, one finds such groups as the “Dangerous Speech Project,” a group with ties to the liberal John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and to financier George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

    • What happens when private limitations on freedom of speech get endorsed and expanded by government?

      The European Commission is requesting/requiring Facebook, Twitter, and others to police their networks against undesirable political opinions and bad speech. This is cause for concern on a number of levels.

      Facebook’s community standards have long banned certain topics from being discussed – quite notably, anything resembling nudity.

      This is an effect of Facebook being a child of the culture it was founded in, the United States of America. If Facebook had been built in Germany, nudity would not have been a problem at all with Facebook, but there would instead be a complete ban on anything even resembling hate speech rallies, which there i
      In this, we can observe that all cultures have their taboos and their intolerance of certain subjects. Paul Graham has an excellent essay on the matter called “What you can’t say”.

    • Banned: Film censorship has deep roots in Ky.

      Free speech comes with a price: tolerance for unpopular opinions.

      In recent weeks, the First Amendment has struggled against pressures. On college campuses, “safe zones” chill debate. Online, a proposal to combat terrorism includes hitting the internet kill – silencing all speech to fight extremism.

      These events should concern everyone. Unrestricted speech is a fundamental liberty in America, but this was not always the rule. Not long ago, Kentucky’s censors monitored the movies, editing out unpopular ideas.

    • Facebook Still Deleting Non-Offensive Posts For Being Offensive

      Another day, another example of Facebook’s attempt at applying automated morality going poorly. For a site designed for little else beyond expressive speech, I suppose some erroneous applications of any kind of puritanism would go awry. Perhaps then you might have forgiven Facebook’s mistaking a children’s illustration for man-horse-fucking, or the algorithm’s inability to recognize satire.

      But you would think that, in the wake of the tragic shooting that occurred at a nightclub in Orlando, one member of the LGBT community’s perfectly cogent and innocuous rant wouldn’t be gobbled up the by censor algorithm as being offensive. Here is the author’s tweet complaining about its removal (twice), including a screenshot of the text, so that you can get an idea of what was taken down.

    • Beyond Udta Punjab: Cinematic Masterpieces that Dodged Censorship

      The ongoing Udta Punjab controversy has fanned the debate on censorship yet again. Now everyone wants the system to be abolished, for such practices cannot exist in a liberal democracy. It’s important we realise that censorship is a tight slap on the face of creative expression, and our films only deserve to be rated, not edited by CBFC.

    • Media Monitoring Africa formally complains to Icasa about SABC ‘censorship’

      In May, Media Monitoring Africa, supported by the SOS Support Public Broadcasting Coalition and the Freedom of Expression Institute, lodged papers with the complaints compliance committee of the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) over the public broadcaster’s decision to ban coverage of violent protests.

    • SABC has until Monday to oppose Media Monitoring Africa complaint

      The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has given the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) until Monday to oppose a complaint by Media Monitoring Africa against its new broadcasting policy.

      Last month, the SABC decided it would no longer air footage of protesters destroying public property, arguing that it might encourage others to follow suit.

      Media Monitoring Africa believes this is a clear form of censorship.

      Icasa has agreed with Media Monitoring Africa, which laid the complaint two weeks ago, that the matter is urgent.

    • Harrisburg, PA Mayor Picks And Chooses Who The ‘Real’ Journalists Are

      We talk a lot around here about stories with people trying to determine what “real journalism” is. Those stories tend to veer towards the incredibly dumb, with most centering on a misunderstanding of what journalism actually means in the digital age. For a long time, journalism was an alchemy performed by a select few wizards, horded by a few outlets, which vetted and locked up their product. Today, of course, the barriers of entry to doing any kind of journalism are lower and the ability to distribute that kind of work is virtually unlimited. And, despite what you might hear from some grumpy folks who prefer the good ol’ days, it turns out that smaller websites and independent citizens can journalism really well!

      But not everybody has gotten that memo, apparently. Take Eric Papenfuse, Mayor of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He has recently, and apparently surprisingly, decided to ban anyone working for website PennLive to the weekly meetings and briefings the rest of the press is allowed to attend.

    • Company Uses DMCA to Censor and Expose Critical Blogger

      Marketing and sales company Smart Circle is using the DMCA to uncover the identity of a critical blogger. The company obtained a subpoena directed at WordPress, stating that the blogger in question violates their copyrights by publishing modified images of its key employees.

    • sFilm festival shines spotlight on human rights
    • Censorship Harms Burma’s Chance for Reconciliation
    • Christian Movie Studio Stole Plot of God’s Not Dead, Lawsuit Alleges
    • Screenwriters Accuse Christian Movie Studio Of 9th Commandment Violations Over General Script Ideas
    • A big change is happening at Reddit after its Orlando shooting fiasco
    • After Orlando, Are Social Media Sites Encroaching On Users’ Free Speech?
    • Reddit Will Adjust Algorithm To Censor Trump Supporters Following Orlando Shootings
    • Censorship laws need to be re-assessed: Kareena Kapoor Khan
  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Malaysian university investigating leaked slides claiming Islam introduced ‘manners and cleanliness’ to Hindus

      The head of one of Malaysia’s oldest universities has announced there will be a “thorough investigation” after it came under fire when a set of controversial religious education slides leaked online.

      The slides, part of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s (UTM) Islamic and Asian Civilisation Studies course, reportedly claimed Islam introduced “manners and body cleanliness” to early followers of Hinduism.

      According to Indian broadcaster NDTV, the slides also claimed Hindus consider dirt on their bodies “as part of their religious practice to achieve nirvana,” and that the early foundations of the Sikh faith came about after founder Guru Nanak combined Islam and Hinduism, something he had a “shallow understanding” of.

    • B’desh college lecturer chopped by Islamists for his remarks on Baghdadi killing!

      A group of Muslim criminals knocked on the door of Ripan’s house near the college campus around 4:30pm and started indiscriminate stabbing on him when he opened the door, said Prof Hiten Chandra Mandal, principal of the college. The style of attacks resembles with the Jamiat-ul-Mujaheedin-Bangladesh (a local operative of Islamic state in Bangladesh) method of hacking the Kaffirs as believed.

    • Australian Electoral Commission Refuses To Allow Researchers To Check E-Voting Software

      The fact that Techdirt has been writing about e-voting problems for sixteen years, and that the very first post on the topic had the headline “E-voting is Not Safe,” gives an indication of what a troubled area this is. Despite the evidence that stringent controls are still needed to avoid the risk of electoral fraud, some people seem naively to assume that e-voting is now a mature and safe technology that can be deployed without further thought.

    • Who are Britain First? Far-right group founded by a Scot distances itself from Jo Cox killing

      POLICE investigating the murder of MP Jo Cox say they are probing possible links to right-wing extremism.

      People reported that the man who targeted the mum-of-two shouted “Britain First” before launching their attack on the MP.

      Police have since detained Kilmarnock-born Thomas Mair in connection with the incident.

      Temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins of West Yorkshire Police said: “We have now confirmed that just before 1pm yesterday Jo was attacked and sustained serious injuries from both a firearm and a knife.

    • Misogyny Didn’t disappear, It Evolved.

      So, when it comes to women being accepted in The Tech World, sure it’s gotten better. A lot better. But that strong dislike for women in our field exists just under the skin of some men. They know they can no longer gain the support and the ‘at-a-boy’ slaps on the back for approaching and demeaning a woman in public. In fact, they know they well be rejected and punished for doing so. The only difference between then and now? They do it in the wee hours of the morning with bricks, knowing that they would be rebuked by their peers for assaulting a woman in public…like in The Old Days.

    • Leaflets found in Muslim school ‘describe music and dancing as acts of the devil’

      Leaflets denouncing music and dancing as ‘acts of the devil’ have been found at a Muslim faith school in Birmingham, school inspectors have warned.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Chattanooga Mayor Says City’s Gigabit Network (Which Comcast Tried To Kill) To Thank For City’s Revival

      While hardline free marketeers and incumbent ISPs often try to paint city-owned broadband networks as the pinnacle of government-sponsored disaster, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke this week credited the city utility’s gigabit broadband service as a major contributing factor for the city’s re-invention.

    • Cable TV Subscribers Still Unhappy, New Consumer Reports Survey Shows
    • Vint Cerf imagines a self archiving internet – one that could lead to a more open future

      What would a self archiving internet look like? At the recent Decentralized Web Summit hosted by the Internet Archive, Vint Cerf, one of the computer scientists hailed as a founding father of the Internet, gave a thought provoking talk on the future of the Internet. At an event where high level discussion was the norm, Vint Cerf shared his thoughts on a relatively basic concept with a very understandable goal – preserving the world’s knowledge. The Internet is the focal point of all of humanity’s knowledge, and soon it will be the focal point of all of humanity’s activity.

    • Crims set up fake companies to hoard and sell IPv4 addresses

      IPv4 addresses are now so valuable that criminals are setting up shell companies so they can apply for addresses, then resell them to users desperate to grow their networks.

      Criminals are doing so because there are no more IPv4 addresses left: the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) ran out in September 2015.

    • The Giant Zero, Part 0.x

      Back in October, my keynote at New Media Days in Copenhagen was titled “The Internet: Not Just Another Medium”. Although most of the talk was new, the core concept is was one I first presented at the Berkman Center three weeks earlier: that it helps to think of the Net as a “giant zero”. Now that I’ve given the talk twice and thought about it for a month more, I’m almost ready to make the same case in text.

    • Tim Wu Joins NY AG’s Office In Shaming ‘Abysmal’ Cable Broadband ISPs

      Last fall, we noted how New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office had launched an investigation into awful broadband service quality. In and of itself that was nothing particularly interesting (especially given Schneiderman’s history of grandstanding), though what made the inquiry of note is the office’s hiring of Tim Wu, the Columbia Law professor who first coined the term “net neutrality” back in 2002. With Wu as the AG’s “senior lawyer and special adviser,” Schneiderman sent letters to NYC area broadband incumbents Verizon, Cablevision and Time Warner Cable — questioning whether they actually deliver the speeds they advertise.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Advocate General Szpunar considers Rubik’s Cube shape mark invalid
    • DTSA: Temporary Restraining Order for Former Employer [Ed: these are anti-whistleblowing laws. Europe now has one too.]

      In one of the first written decisions based upon the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), Judge Tigar has granted Schein’s motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking former employee Jennifer Cook “from accessing, using, or sharing” allegedly stolen confidential data. Cook was a sales representative for Schein’s dental-supplies business and left to join competitor Patterson Dental. The TRO also prohibits Cook “from soliciting, contacting, or accepting business from any HSI customers assigned to her while she was employed by Plaintiff.” In addition to the standard fiduciary duty employees owe to their employer, Cook had also signed a confidentiality and non-solicitation agreement.

    • Apple Copied iPhone 6 Design From A Chinese Smartphone, China Rules
    • Beijing Regulators Block Sales Of iPhones, Claiming The Design Is Too Close To Chinese Company’s Phone

      This one was so easy to predict. For the past couple of decades, completely clueless US politicians and bureaucrats (and tech company execs) have been screaming about how China “doesn’t respect” our intellectual property. They demanded that China “get more serious” about patents and respecting IP. And for nearly a decade we’ve been warning those people to be careful what you wish for. Because, now China has massively ramped up its patent system, often by using odd incentives, but rather than helping American companies that demanded it, pretty much every patent lawsuit in China has been about a Chinese company punishing or blocking foreign competition. This is because the Chinese aren’t stupid. It’s a country that has thrived on protectionism, despite global efforts to “open up trade,” and here it realized that the West was handing them the perfect trade barrier: one that let them say they were doing what the West wanted, while giving it the perfect excuse to block out foreign competition.

      So, while clueless US and European IP bureaucrats celebrated China issuing so many patents, they totally missed that they’d actually given away everything.

    • BLOG: If iPhone sales are banned in China, we might see the end of the eBay era in the US

      For that, Apple can largely thank the general decline in the availability of injunctive relief following the Supreme Court’s decision in eBay v MercExchange. Apple’s rivals in China, however, don’t seem to have the same problems.

    • Trademarks

      • Coke defends against opposition to ‘ZERO’ trade marks

        More than one trademark practitioner has probably asked herself how soft drink giant Coca-Cola goes about protecting its various ZERO-based trade marks. A window to this question can be found in the recent ruling of the United States Patent and Trademark Office decision in connection with oppositions filed by Royal Crown Company and Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc.

      • Vice Media Settles With Indie Band ViceVersa, Showing That Trademark Bullying Totally Works

        A while back, we wrote about the hilariously bullying cease and desist notice Vice Media, a billion dollar media company, sent to ViceVersa, an un-signed punk band. At issue, according to Vice Media, was the band’s name and trademark application, both of which the media company declared would damage its own brand and confuse customers. Neither of those claims was remotely true, but they bullied in the way that only bullies can.

      • Vice Settles Trademark Dispute With Indie Band ViceVersa

        In April, Vice Media ordered an unsigned band to change its name. The company, which is reportedly worth billions of dollars, sent a cease-and-desist letter to Los Angeles trio ViceVersa arguing the band’s name and logo were too much like Vice’s. (In November, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had reportedly signed off on ViceVersa guitarist Christopher Morales’ application to trademark the band’s name.) Today, both parties reached a settlement over the trademark dispute. In a statement, ViceVersa’s lawyer wrote: “After a few weeks of negotiations, the two parties have come to an amicable agreement. Changes have been made to the band’s trademark details as registered with the USPTO, thus narrowing the scope of their services. ViceVersa will continue using their name and logo as they please and Vice Media will go about their $2.5 billion business.” Reached for comment, a Vice spokesperson said: “We’re glad this worked out for both parties, and we wish the band the best of luck.”

    • Copyrights

      • Supreme Court Makes It (Slightly) Easier To Award Attorneys’ Fees For Bogus Copyright Lawsuits

        You may recall the Kirtsaeng case that we covered a few years back, in which a student, Sudap Kirtsaeng, had been sued for copyright infringement by publishing giant John Wiley for buying English-language textbooks in Thailand (that were cheap) and then reselling them to students in the US. It was a classic arbitrage situation. Wiley insisted that this was infringing, while Kirtsaeng pointed to the First Sale doctrine, allowing people to resell physical products they’ve legally purchased, even if they include copyright-covered content. Wiley’s argument against first sale is that it only applied to content that was “legally made under this title.” Thus, since the textbooks were made in Thailand and not under US copyright law, First Sale didn’t apply. The Supreme Court, thankfully, rejected that argument 6 to 3, and said that first sale does apply. That was good.

        The case then went back to the lower courts where Kirtsaeng sought to have Wiley pay his legal fees. The lower court and the appeals court both rejected this request, arguing that the standard for assigning attorneys’ fees in copyright cases was whether or not the plaintiff bringing the case had an “objectively reasonable” argument — and noting that with 3 of the 9 Justices eventually siding with Wiley, the case was likely “objectively reasonable,” even if it failed in the end. This argument also reached the Supreme Court and on Thursday, the Justices decided to tweak the standard.

        Very similar to the case it decided earlier in the week concerning patent damages (and, in fact, it cites that case in this ruling), the Supreme Court rejects the purely “objectively reasonable” standard test as being too “rigid.” It’s pretty clear that the court thinks that lower courts should have some leeway in determining the appropriate remedies, rather than sticking to a set of strict guidelines.

      • Copyright Trolls Slammed in UK House of Lords

        Copyright trolls operating in the UK will be doing so a little less confidently this morning after being slammed in the House of Lords yesterday. Lord Lucas named and shamed several companies involved in the practice, describing them as scammers and extortionists while urging the government to take action.

      • Pirate Bay Co-Founder Must Pay Record Labels $395,000

        Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde may have thought he’d left the notorious site behind, but the legal system has other plans. The Helsinki District Court has just ordered him to pay $395,000 to record labels including Sony, Universal, Warner and EMI, after their content was shared illegally via the platform.

      • Pirate Bay Co-founder Must Pay $395,000 Fine To Record Labels, Court Orders

        A Finnish court has ordered the Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde to pay record labels a sum $395,000. This decision came after various record labels accused the torrent website of sharing their artists’ contents illegally. Even though Sunde has left the website many years ago, he continues to face numerous problems.

      • Top EU Court Advisor Makes A Strangely Sensible (But Only Provisional) Copyright Ruling On The Lending Of eBooks

        The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the EU’s highest court, has a slightly unusual procedure for delivering its judgments. After a case has been referred to it by a national court, one of the CJEU’s top advisors, known as an Advocate General, offers a preliminary opinion. This is meant to provide guidance to the judges considering the case, and generally indicates how the CJEU will rule. But it is by no means binding, and judges have been known to go completely against the advice offered to them. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen in a copyright case currently before the EU court.

      • Libraries Should be Able to Lend eBooks, Says EU Advocate General

        The EU is one step closer to adopting a universal legal policy enabling libraries to lend ebooks. Earlier today Advocate General Maciej Szpunar published a nonbinding advisory opinion which said that libraries should be able to lend ebooks just like they do paper books.

      • E-books fair game for public libraries, says advisor to top Europe court

        Electronic books should be treated just like physical books for the purposes of lending, an advisor to Europe’s top court has said.

        Maciej Szpunar, advocate general to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), said in an opinion published (PDF) Thursday morning that public libraries should be allowed to lend e-books so long as the author is fairly compensated.

      • AG Szpunar says that time-limited e-lending is allowed under EU law and interpretation of copyright norms must evolve with technology

        Those above are – in a nutshell – the questions currently pending before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Vereniging Openbare Bibliotheken v Stichting Leenrecht, C-174/15, a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Rechtbank Den Haag (District Court of The Hague, Netherlands).

        This reference has arisen in the context of proceedings brought by the association of Dutch public libraries which, contrary to the position of Dutch government, believes that libraries should be entitled to lend electronic books included in their collections according to the principle “one copy one user”. This envisages the possibility for a library user to download an electronic copy of a work included in the collection of a library with the result that – as long as that user “has” the book – it is not possible for other library users to download a copy. Upon expiry of the e-lending period, the electronic copy downloaded by the first user becomes unusable, so that the book in question can be e-borrowed by another user.

      • Appeals Court Gives Big Loss To Record Labels In Their Quixotic Lawsuit Against Vimeo For Lipdubs

        The record labels basically will find no innovation that’s not worth suing, and so back in 2013 they sued the online video hosting/streaming site Vimeo, in part because the site had created a popular genre of videos known as “lipdubs” where people would lip sync to a song in a video. In the fall of 2013, the district court rejected most, but not all, of the record labels’ arguments about the DMCA. The labels had argued that Vimeo lost its DMCA safe harbors for a variety of reasons, including not having a reasonable repeat infringer policy (and by “reasonable” the labels claimed it had to be the same as YouTube’s), red flag knowledge, and the fact that because Vimeo lets people download videos there’s no safe harbor. The court rejected basically all of those arguments — but did leave open the possibility that red flag knowledge might apply if Vimeo employees had watched some of the videos at play in the case. There was also one very problematic part of the ruling, which is that the court said that pre-1972 sound recordings do not qualify for the DMCA’s safe harbors because of the weird quirk of copyright law history by which pre-1972 sound recordings are not actually covered by federal copyright law (but, instead, various state laws and common law).

      • Supreme Court Clarifies Copyright Attorney Fees: Reasonable Defense Not a Presumptive Excuse

        In Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons (2016), the Supreme Court has vacated the Second Circuit’s ruling denying attorney-fee awards in the copyright case – but offered a balanced opinion that places a number of limits on when fees may be awarded.

        The opinion holds the reasonableness of the losing party’s position should be a substantial factor. I.e., the more reasonable that position, the less likely that fees should be awarded. However, objective reasonableness is not the ‘controlling factor.’

      • Wikimedia: If Copyright Law Ain’t Broken, Don’t Fix It

        The organization behind Wikipedia has warned that tinkering with the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA could interfere with its already effective handling of copyright issues. Charles M. Roslof, Legal Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, says that a “takedown, staydown” system would be both expensive and likely to chill free speech.

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