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09.09.14

Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

Posted in News Roundup at 4:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • What do you hate about Linux?

    Wow…just…wow. I was going to write a rebuttal to what the article had to say about Linux, but then I realized that sometimes you just have to stand back in awe…in complete awe!…at that kind of a train wreck of an article.

  • 5 Reasons Why I Hate GNU/Linux – Do You Hate (Love) Linux?

    I was recently being Interviewed by a company based in Mumbai (India). The person interviewing, asked me several questions and technologies, I have worked with. As per their requirements, I have worked with nearly half of the technologies they were looking for. A few of last conversation as mentioned below.

  • The personality of a Linux-loving teen

    A few years ago a middle school student walked up to me and offered to help me refurbish computers with Linux to deliver to students who don’t have a computer to use at home. (I’ve been doing that kind of digital divide work for a while.) When I saw how much he already knew, I asked him, “Did one of your parents or relatives introduce you to Linux?” He replied, “No, I taught myself a lot of open source things from the web. It’s something I’m interested in.”

  • Achieving a technological state of independence is harder than you think

    Jon ‘maddog’ Hall, President of Project Cauã and Executive Director of Linux International has called for countries to maintain technological independence by taking ownership of network construction and maintenance.

  • Desktop

    • Kinivo releases a pair of inexpensive Linux-friendly USB wireless adapters

      Nowadays, if you buy a laptop, it will have a built-in wireless card (desktops; not always). For the most part, these integrated cards work well — on Windows. You see, most manufacturers build their machines with only Windows in mind. If you only use Microsoft’s operating system, you should be golden. However, for nerds that like Linux (including myself), nonexistent or problematic wireless drivers can be an absolute nightmare.

  • Server

    • Why Did Docker Catch on Quickly and Why is it so Interesting?

      One reason Docker is interesting is that all four answers are each individually useful, but can be used in combination. This causes cross-pollination of ideas and patterns. For example, someone might start using Docker because they like the speed and portability, but find that they end up adopting the configuration and Docker hub patterns as well.

    • How Amazon Web Services Uses Linux and Open Source

      Amazon Web Services first launched in 2006 with one instance and one operating system: Amazon Linux. The cloud computing giant has since expanded to offer customers the option of running on more than 30 instance types and more than 10 operating systems, but Linux, Xen and other open source projects remain the core technologies behind AWS.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The Linux desktop-a-week review: ratpoison

      Normally, I would feel a little bad giving such a scathing review of a piece of software that someone, clearly, poured a great deal of time and dedication into, especially when that software is completely free and Open Source. But not for ratpoison. If it is possible for a small piece of software to be one man’s nemesis…I have found mine.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Akademy Award Winners 2014

        The talks weekend at Akademy finished with the traditional announcing of the Akademy Awards, our recognition of the stars of KDE. The winners are selected by those who received the award the previous year.

      • Qt 5.4 Alpha Available

        Qt 5.4 release process is ongoing and we now have the Qt 5.4 Alpha release available. As always, the Alpha is in source code only. Binary installers will be available in a few weeks with the Beta release. Features of Qt 5.4 are now frozen and in the next months the focus is in finalising and polishing functionality. To give an overview what is coming with Qt 5.4, I’ll summarise the highlights of the Qt 5.4 Alpha release.

      • Qt 5.4 Alpha Shows Off Graphics Improvements, New Qt WebEngine

        The Qt 5.4 Alpha is out today as the first development milestone in the Qt 5.4 series. Qt 5.4 Alpha features full support for Qt for WinRT, graphics improcements, Android style for Qt Quick Controls, Qt Bluetooth now supports BlueZ 5, the new Qt WebEngine is integrated and based off Chromium 37, and there’s also a new Qt WebChannel module. Other new Qt 5.4 features are covered in this earlier article.

      • Akademy 2014 Day 2 Talks
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Drawing Web content with OpenGL (ES 3.0) instanced rendering

        There is one important conclusion coming out from these experiments: The fact that a rasterizer is normally stateless makes it very inefficient to modify a single element in a scene.

      • GNOME APPS IN THREE DIMENSIONAL SPACE

        The release of GNOME 3.14 is getting closer and closer and I’m trying my best to have the a video ready for release. The manuscript is still open for revision but is at its final stages. Voice-over should finish around next week or so. And in the meantime I am testing a new workflow in Blender.

  • Distributions

    • It’s time to split Linux distros in two

      For decades, Microsoft has released completely separate operating systems for desktops and servers. They certainly share plenty of code, but you cannot turn a Windows 7 system into a Windows Server 2008 RC2 system simply installing a few packages and uninstalling others. The desktop and the server are completely different, and they are treated as such across the board.

    • Void Linux Drops Systemd & Switches To LibreSSL

      Back in June of 2013 we covered Void Linux as a new rolling-release Linux distribution built from scratch but since then we haven’t come across much Void Linux news until a few days ago when a Phoronix reader wrote in about the latest progress with this interesting Linux distribution.

    • New Releases

      • Manjaro 0.8.10 Gets Update Pack, Users Now Have the Beautiful and Light Budgie Desktop

        sManjaro 0.8.10 was released on June 9, so it’s not really an old operating system. In fact, for most people, this is quite a recent version, but the developers always make sure that they have the latest and most interesting applications installed.

      • OpenELEC 4.2 Beta 6 Is a Bleeding Edge Distro That Runs on Almost Anything

        OpenELEC, an embedded operating system built specifically to run XBMC, the open source entertainment media hub, has been upgraded to version 4.2 Beta 6.

        The OpenELEC developers are not staying idly by and now they’ve released a new version of their system, although it looks like they are no longer closely following the XBMC launches. Until now, the two seemed to be linked, at least in terms of releases, but XBMC already has a stable version out and OpenELEC is not following.

        On the other hand, XBMC is actually just a media hub and OpenELEC is an operating system, which is much more complex. It needs a lot more adjusting and there are numerous packages that need to be upgraded, fixed, and added.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo Linux 20140826 Iron Penguin Edition — open source fans, download now!

        There are so many Linux distributions to choose from. Depending on your perspective, this can be a good or bad thing. You see, for many, using Linux is about choice — you get to choose the distro, packages and environment. There is truth to this; however, many others, including myself, often wonder if the community’s efforts are too fragmented. In other words, when talent is spread thin, progress may be slowed.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Former Red Hat executive Brian Stevens lands at Google
      • In the OpenStack Race, Red Hat’s Advantage Remains Support

        Red Hat is on track to be the big winner in the OpenStack cloud computing race, at least it is according to a report from Steve Ashley of Baird Equity Research. Its abiity to cater to datacenters and its long experience dealing with the open source community are primary reasons why, according to Ashley. Ashley sees the data center market as waiting on OpenStack to mature, after which deployments will pick up in a big way.

      • How Red Hat and the open-source community are fortifying Docker

        As Docker has exploded in popularity, so too has the open-source community around it. Now, as more and more large enterprise software companies jump on the Docker bandwagon, the community is tackling some of the larger issues behind the emerging technology, namely container security.

      • Xen & Docker: Made for Each Other

        Containers and hypervisors are often seen as competing technologies – enemies even. But in reality the two technologies are complementary and increasingly used together by developers and admins. This recent Linux.com article talked about this supposed battle, noting however that developers are using Docker in traditional VMs to bolster security. Containers allow users to develop and deploy a variety of applications with incredible efficiency, while virtualization eliminates any constraints and/or exposure to outside attacks.

      • Analyst: Why Red Hat will win OpenStack

        While broad adoption is still two or three years off, Raleigh-based Red Hat is poised to be the big winner in OpenStack.

        That’s according to a new report issued today by Steve Ashley of Baird Equity Research, detailing why the cloud computing software platform is a big deal for the open source software company – even though it’s not winning the bulk of early projects.

      • Fedora

        • Where do we stand at 45 days before FUDCon Managua 2014

          Last week we had a meeting with the Universidad de Ciencias Comerciales to check logistics. We confirmed most of what was agreed at the first time.

        • Flock 2014 survey results and responses

          OpenELEC, an embedded operating system built specifically to run XBMC, the open source entertainment media hub, has been upgraded to version 4.2 Beta 6.

          The OpenELEC developers are not staying idly by and now they’ve released a new version of their system, although it looks like they are no longer closely following the XBMC launches. Until now, the two seemed to be linked, at least in terms of releases, but XBMC already has a stable version out and OpenELEC is not following.

    • Debian Family

      • FSF and Debian join forces to help free software users find the hardware they need

        The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Debian project today announced cooperation to expand and enhance h-node [1], a database to help users learn and share information about computers that work with free software operating systems.

      • FSF and Debian join forces to help free software users find the hardware they need

        The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Debian Project today announced cooperation to expand and enhance h-node, a database to help users learn and share information about computers that work with free software operating systems.

      • Debian & The FSF Launch A Linux Hardware Database

        The Free Software Foundation and Debian have hooked up to help free software users in the search for finding Linux compatible hardware… In a different approach from the other Linux compatibility lists and hardware databases, they are only promoting hardware that doesn’t require any proprietary software or firmware.

      • Understanding The Complicated Debian

        Phoronix reader Claudio Ferreira wrote in to share a very large infographic he’s made about Debian. The infographic is the result of his lecture on the Debian project and it tries to address the public difficulty in fully understanding all of the work. Covered in the “Understanding Debian” infographic is everything from its various repositories to looking at the developer count to getting involved and the yearly Debian conferences and releases.

      • Infographic of Debian
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • How the Terminal makes Ubuntu Touch worth using

            Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. Even something that seems completely inconsequential can take a project from “meh” to “awesome” with astonishing speed.

            Take Ubuntu Touch, for example.

            There is much about that system that I love. It’s mostly Open Source (with very few exceptions) and allows me to have a Debian-based Linux distro right in the palm of my hands. Being able to “sudo apt-get install” on the go is just so incredibly handy. Damn near brings a tear to my eye.

          • Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) to Get Much Better 3G Mobile Modem Support

            One of the problems with Ubuntu that seems to be mentioned quite a lot is the proper lack of support for mobile modems. This might not look like a big problem, but the mobile modems are being used on a much larger scale than 2 or 3 years ago and the rate of adoption for this kind of devices is not slowing down.

          • Ubuntu Devs Close procmail Vulnerability in All Supported Ubuntu OSes

            Canonical has released details in a security notice about a procmail vulnerability in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS operating systems that has been found and fixed.

          • Operating System U: A new Linux based OS with a firm focus on you the user and functionality over UI overhauls, hits KickStarter

            There’s isn’t probably a piece of software that is as hated as Windows 8′s Metro UI. Some seasoned Windows enthusiasts like it, but most of the normal day-to-day user had a hard time getting used to it. Operating System U is being readied with the regular user in mind, and is based on Manjaro Linux. A quick overview of the project.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • 10 things you need to know about Linux Mint 17

              Linux Mint 17 continues in a line of Linux desktop-focused releases, and in testing we found it’s become more mature than prior versions. There’s something here to please everyone. Civilians won’t hurt themselves deploying Cinnamon over Linux Mint 17. Developers will enjoy any of the versions, and the hard core will find lots to love with the LMDE versions.

            • For a sweet desktop, try Mint with Cinnamon
            • Linux Mint to Receive Folder Emblems and a Better Nemo Toolbar

              Linux Mint developers are making a real effort to improve the look of their operating system and they are integrating all sorts of new features that will make their distribution more interesting and much more attractive to new users as well.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi-powered in-car computer project shifts up a gear

      After watching classic TV shows such as Knight Rider and Street Hawk in his youth, IT professional and Raspberry Pi enthusiast Derek Knaggs was inspired to create a low-cost in-car computer using a Raspberry Pi.

    • Linux-ready modules support range of Xilinx FPGAs
    • Phones

      • Tizen SDK Updated for the Gear S

        By now, you’ve probably seen the news about the Tizen-based Gear S smartwatch that was unveiled at IFA. Aside from having a massive curved screen (for a watch, at least), it also has GSM connectivity, meaning it can truly function as a standalone device.

        If you’re an app developer and that didn’t get you excited, you should probably get someone to check your pulse (or I suppose you can have the Gear do it for you). We’ve talked in the tech industry about convergence devices for years, and this is exactly the sort of device we mean. And yes, various things have been getting cellular connectivity for years, but aside from phones, it’s really only a recent trend that companies are legitimately working to build third party app ecosystems around these devices.

      • Tizen Samsung Gear S to launch with some impressive Apps

        The Smartwatch market is certainly going to be a lucrative space for the companies that can be first to release their products, go through the lessons learnt cycle, and also be able to build a viable application ecosystem on top of it, which shouldn’t be confused with standard smartphone apps, as not all apps translate well to your wrist, and therefore you don’t need as many. No one is going to want to edit a picture on their wrist on the move, even if they can !!!

      • Ballnux

        • Diesel Black Gold brings you a new Samsung Gear S fashion device

          The Tizen Samsung Gear S is a thing of beauty and has already been adorned with Swarovski crystals, but fashion doesn’t stop there. Samsung has teamed up with Diesel Black Gold on a bracelet that will be shown off at the Spring ’15 show later on today. The Diesel Black Gold’s interpretation is said to be decidedly more downtown with an up-to-date feel. The inspiration was by the creative director Andreas Melbostad and the material of choice was Leather.

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • SECURE EMAIL PROVIDER TUTANOTA GOES OPEN SOURCE

    A number of “NSA proof” e-mail services are currently in later stages of development or private beta, but there’s one that seems to be ahead of the game: Germany-based Tutanota. The end-to-end encrypted e-mail provider announced Tuesday that they had released their source code on GitHub, claiming to be the first operational, secure e-mail application to go open source.

  • Why open source and collaboration are the future of security

    In this podcast recorded at Black Hat USA 2014, Greg Martin, CTO at ThreatStream, talks about why open source and collaboration are the key drivers of information security innovation. He raises an important question – what will happen if we don’t start actively sharing information?

  • Free and Open Source Cloud Tools Proliferate

    It has been a good week for open source cloud tools. Predictive analytics leader RapidMiner announced the introductory release of RapidMiner Cloud to make analytics more convenient as it allows users to store, manage, and deploy analytics in the cloud, with the ease of a single button. Then cloud API integration and aggregation service, Cloud Elements announced the launch of Filebrowser.io, a free, open source, cloud file browser.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OwnCloud: Fiddly but secure host-from-home sync ‘n’ share

      Phones in our pockets, tablets down our sofas, and laptops in our bags. Never have we had so many devices in our possession. It makes sense to start syncing and sharing folders and data between them – not just for the sake of convenience, but for our sanity.

      Many companies are offering to bridge the connection gap – from Apple, Google and Dropbox to dozens of smaller companies. The common theme between them all is that they host your data.

      With so many options, which one should you choose?

      Most offer roughly the same features: typically a device-side client that automatically syncs your files to the server, some means of sharing those files and integration with third-party apps. The latter is less important than it used to be now most mobile operating systems have a means to pass files between applications.

  • Education

    • Students power this open source high school

      Side alleys can certainly look dark and intimidating at first. As we prepared for our open source high school 1:1 student laptop program and a supporting student peer help desk, my team and I knew we were off the main road, without GPS. Student tech support teams are somewhat uncommon in United States high schools. On top of that, Linux and open source software rarely makes an appearance in classroom desktops, let alone on 1700 laptops that would travel with our students in school and to their homes. What wasn’t surprising is that when students are unchained from scripted curriculum and given the freedom to learn based on personal interests and passions, our kids rise to the occasion in unique and powerful ways.

  • Business

    • A newbie’s understanding of enterprise open source

      Coming from a pure belief and understanding in proprietary solutions to the open source industry, I was asking the question: why pay for something that I can get for free? I’m sure I am not the only one asking the question, says Mercia Oosthuizen, product manager at Linux Warehouse.

      After some reading, exploring and ample questioning, I came to a conclusion…

      I am going to start my explanation and understanding of enterprise open source with a personal experience. It’s non-technology-related, but that made sense to my non-technical mind.

    • Semi-Open Source

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Compiler wars: LLVM and GCC compete on speed, security

      LLVM has also recently inspired a project named Vellvm, where the design of the program and its output are both formally verified. The compiler’s input and production can then be independently proven as consistent to defend against introduced bugs. The CompCert compiler already does this, but only for C; a formally verified version of LLVM could in theory do this for any language.

    • Glibc 2.20 Has Performance Improvements, File Description Locks

      Glibc 2.20 has various s390/s390x changes, support for file description locks, various performance improvements (particularly for ARMv7 and AArch64), the removal of the AM33 port, and numerous bug and security fixes.

    • The GNU C Library version 2.20 is now available
    • Interview with GNU remotecontrol

      GNU remotecontrol is a web application serving as a management tool for reading from and writing to multiple IP enabled heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) thermostats, and other building automation devices. While various IP thermostat manufacturers have offered web portals exclusively for their users to remotely access and adjust the settings of individual thermostats, they do not provide a unified management tool for multiple thermostats. The goal of GNU remotecontrol is to provide this management tool for individuals and companies alike.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Deconstructing the open cloud, the OpenStack Trove roadmap, and more
    • Architecture student’s open source experience makes her more open minded
    • Open Access/Content

      • Open-Source Texts Take Root At Md. Colleges

        An experiment with open-source online textbooks at several Maryland universities last semester yielded promising results, and officials are preparing to expand the program this fall.

        The University System of Maryland designed the Maryland Open-Source Textbook (MOST) Initiative to evaluate the feasibility of using online materials instead of printed books to ease the cost of purchasing multiple textbooks each year.

    • Open Hardware

      • Students build smart devices and scientific instruments with Arduino

        Arduino is an open source microcontroller for prototyping electronic devices. It can be connected to a wide array of inexpensive sensors to collect data. These data can be saved to an SD card, passed back to a PC, or uploaded to the cloud for further processing. An Arduino can actuate motors, creating scientific instruments that move as well as sense. As Massimo Banzi, co-inventor of Arduino, showed in his TED talk, middle and high school students can capably create scientific instruments with Arduino. He gives examples of students who have created earthquake sensors, pH meters, and a wide variety of robots.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • ‘Pastafarian’ allowed to wear spaghetti strainer on her head in driving licence photo because it is classed as ‘religious headgear’

    A female driver in Oklahoma was allowed to pose for her driver’s license wearing a spaghetti strainer on her head because it falls under the state’s rules for religious headwear.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Mobile devices: A remote control to the Insecurity of Things

      A toilet that can track your digestive health. Home-care digital companions. Robotic furniture that helps you up and down. According to myriad predictions, the future is looking, well, futuristic for the elderly. Another estimate examines the potential of smart grids for distributing electricity, smart cities that optimize everything from utility usage to parking and traffic flow, and smart refrigerators that tell you what to buy at the grocery store and smart washers and dryers that tell customer service agents when they need repairs.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Ex-CIA chief says targeted killings key to stopping Islamic State

      A former Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is convinced that targeted killings, already employed by U.S. military forces in parts of the Middle East, are key to any U.S. strategy for confronting Islamic State militants.

    • You Can’t Stop ISIS Simply by Killing Its Leader

      The New Republic’s Graeme Wood recently made a boldly obvious declaration: the U.S. should try really, really hard to hunt down and kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State, lest his power grows into something unstoppable. Bravo to Mr. Wood for that clear statement of purpose, but does he really believe the United States isn’t already trying to do this?

    • NSA helped track Kurds for massacre in Turkey

      We now know that a massacre of 40 Kurdish workers on December 28, 2011 was accomplished with aid from the US. Tracking courtesy of NSA was revealed by Edward Snowden, and published by Der Spiegel on Sunday. PM Erdogen understands how to declare his political opponents as “terrorist’ and have them vanquished by the US.

    • Former CIA Representative: Militia in Ukraine Not Pro-Russian, but Anti-Coup

      Independence supporters in the self-proclaimed Donetsk (DPR) and Luhansk (LPR) People’s Republics are not pro-Russian separatists, but anti-coup protesters, Former CIA representative David Speedie told RIA Novosti on Monday.

      “I don’t think those folks that speak Russian, have Russian roots in east Ukraine want to separate themselves from Ukraine, I don’t think Russia wants them. They are not pro-Russia separatists, they are anti-coup, and that’s what we should call them,” Director at the US Global Engagement Program, Carnegie Council for Ethics, David Speedie said.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • What Federal Ruling Against BP Means for Oil Drilling’s Future

      More than four years after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew, killing 11 workers and causing the devastating Gulf oil spill—the worst in U.S. history—a federal judge has placed the blame squarely on BP.

      On Thursday, a judge for the U.S. District Court of Eastern Louisiana issued a ruling that BP exhibited “gross negligence” and “willful misconduct” in the lead-up to the April 2010 explosion and spill.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Inside Europe’s censorship machinery

      Three months ago, I tried hacking Google’s implementation of Europe’s “right to be forgotten.” For those of you who haven’t followed recent developments in censorship, the right to be forgotten is a European requirement that “irrelevant or outdated” information be excluded from searches about individuals. The doctrine extends even to true information that remains on the internet. And it is enforced by the search engines themselves, operating under a threat of heavy liability. That makes the rules particularly hard to determine, since they’re buried in private companies’ decisionmaking processes. So to find out how this censorship regime works in practice, I sent several takedown requests to Google’s British search engine, google.co.uk. (Europe has not yet demanded compliance from US search engines, like Google.com, but there are persistent signs that it wants to.)

  • Privacy

    • Silicon Valley’s Washington problem
    • your data

      A few thoughts reflecting on Sen. Wyden’s not quite proposal. As noted on HN there’s some question of exactly what your data is. Is it information you created (or otherwise control) or is it information about you? Is it an email you composed by typing on a keyboard or is it a log entry created by an autonomous system of whose existence you are unaware? The thornier issues of what the government can or cannot do are best deferred until this basic question is answered.

      A complete your data test would likely involve several factors, much like the fair use test does, and be decided on a case by case basis. For starters, though, we can begin by asking one question. To what extent can you describe the data? The owner of some data is likely to be the party that can describe the data (and importantly, its format) most accurately and completely. This is the tried and true Lost and Found test. “Hey, I lost my iPod.” “Can you describe it?” If the hotel concierge has a green iPod, but I tell them I lost a black iPod, it’s probably not mine.

    • Snowden will be safe in Switzerland if he testifies against NSA surveillance

      According to Swiss media, a document titled “What rules are to be followed if Edward Snowden is brought to Switzerland and then the United States makes an extradition request” exists and that in it the Swiss Attorney General stated that Snowden could be guaranteed safety if he arrives in the country to testify.

    • Tech Industry Tries Again on Surveillance Reform

      With Congress back to work in Washington this week, the technology industry is pushing senators to pass legislation that would rein in National Security Agency surveillance and make its work more transparent.

      Groups that represent Apple Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and other major tech companies on Monday urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to support an updated version of the USA Freedom Act to reform the NSA. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., released the modified bill during the last week of July, before lawmakers headed home for a five-week recess.

    • Tech industry groups ask Senate to ‘swiftly pass’ NSA curbs

      The coalition of tech industry groups say the NSA’s surveillance practices have led to an erosion of trust that was affecting their business abroad

    • Tech industry wants NSA muzzled

      The tech industry has penned a stiffly worded letter to leaders in the US Senate, to ask them to pass the USA Freedom Act which will bring to an end the collection of bulk domestic phone data by the National Security Agency. The letter is signed by the anti-software piracy group BSA, Computer and Communications Industry Association, Information Technology Industry Council, Reform Government Surveillance and the Software and Information Industry Association. It was sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Republican Leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell.

    • US tech industry steps up push on surveillance reforms
    • Google a target of Europe’s criticism of US tech dominance

      Anger over mass data collection by the US government has only amplified the concerns. Jeremie Zimmerman, a co-founder of the French Internet activist group La Quadrature du Net, said that when people told him now that they worked for Google, he says, “How do you like working for the NSA,” referring to the National Security Agency.

    • Privacy group takes Five Eyes spy pact case to Europe’s top court

      British spy agency GCHQ has rejected freedom of information requests from Privacy International regarding documents that describe the Anglophone pact, so now the activists are taking the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.

    • ‘Five Eyes’ surveillance pact should be published, Strasbourg court told

      The secret “Five Eyes” treaty that authorises intelligence sharing between the UK, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand should be published, according to an appeal lodged on Tuesday at the European court of human rights.

    • US intelligence agencies could spy on behalf of corporations: Edward Snowden leak
    • US espionage helps American corporations

      A secret 2009 report issued by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s office has indicated that U.S. spying on economic activity is done to benefit American corporations.

    • NSA Reform Will Likely Have to Wait Until After the Election
    • Bill to Curtail NSA Surveillance Likely on Hold Until After the Election
    • Congress won’t touch NSA reform until after midterms, may wait until 2015 – report
    • Report: Congress won’t shut down NSA database this year

      Despite widespread support, a bill that would put limits on widespread surveillance is unlikely to get a vote before the elections—or even after them.

      According to National Journal, the USA Freedom Act, which would essentially stop the government’s bulk collection of telephone call data, is flailing. The bill is struggling despite the fact that it won a stunning new supporter last week: Director of Intelligence James Clapper, one of the top defenders of the surveillance programs.

    • NSA Reform Will Likely Wait Until After the Election
    • NSA reform bill is on hold. Should it include retroactive immunity for Snowden?
    • States Enable Federal Collection of Biometric Data: We Can Stop It

      Fifteen states are giving drivers’ license images and data to the federal government, according to a new document released by The Intercept, providing another indication of how intertwined states governments have become with the federal surveillance state.

      According to a PrivacySOS blog post, “Documents posted by The Intercept show that 22 percent of contributions to the [Directorate of Terrorist Identities] biometric database come from domestic law enforcement agencies in the United States: 13 percent from DHS, and 9 percent from the FBI.”

    • GOP Senate challenger calls for spy court reform

      Virginia’s Republican Senate candidate Ed Gillespie wants to change the secretive spy court that approves operations at the National Security Agency.

    • A Case for Edward Snowden’s Immunity
    • Clouding the issue

      The raid and dissemination of personal images of actress Jennifer Lawrence from her iCloud account, among others, is appalling. To say people should not upload their most personal pictures to cloud storage (or anywhere else) in case it gets hacked could be said to be victim-blaming.

    • Snowden Could Testify in Switzerland
    • Fake cellphone towers may intercept phone calls and text messages

      Seventeen “fake” cellphone towers dotted across the U.S. were discovered just in the last few weeks, including two in Florida, and more are being found, according to Popular Science.

    • NSA scandal tarnishes UK cloud industry

      One in 10 UK businesses has switched cloud provider since the NSA scandal last summer, according to new research, which claims the revelations have prompted almost half of organisations to change the way they use cloud.

      The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) questioned 250 senior business and IT decision makers as part of its research, which found security is the number-one reason holding companies back from moving certain applications to the cloud.

      Data privacy and data sovereignty were the second and third-most-important issues on the minds of those surveyed, but the CIF claimed not all their worries were necessary.

    • Bush-Era Dragnet Memos Show ‘Virtually Unlimited’ Presidential Power

      The Justice Department on Friday released two legal memos written during the Bush administration justifying the National Security Agency surveillance program that spied on American citizens’ phone calls and emails shortly after the terrorist attacks in 2001, the Washington Post reports.

    • Edward Snowden Could Ditch Russia For Another Country
    • Snowden Could Testify Against NSA in Switzerland
    • Switzerland will host Edward Snowden, if he testifies against the NSA
    • Switzerland ‘could grant Edward Snowden asylum if he testifies against NSA’
    • Switzerland ‘unlikely to extradite Snowden’, if he appears for NSA testimony

      In the document, titled “What rules are to be followed if Edward Snowden is brought to Switzerland and then the United States makes an extradition request,” Switzerland’s Attorney General stated that Snowden could be guaranteed safety if he arrives in the country to testify, Sonntags Zeitung reported.

    • Snowden shouldn’t be extradited to US if he testifies about NSA spying, says Swiss gov
    • Norway MP Michael Tetzschner: ‘If Edward Snowden Wins Nobel Peace Prize, We Must Arrest Him’

      A Norwegian politician has said that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden must be arrested if he goes to Norway in the event that he wins the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.

      Snowden has been nominated for the Peace Prize as support grows for him to win the award following his release of documents which exposed the controversial US government survelliance program.

      Michael Tatzschner, MP of the Right Wing Party, told Norway’s second biggest publication Dagbladet that winning the prize would not mean that he would be exempt from arrest.

    • US espionage helps American corporations
    • US planned industrial espionage against China, Russia: report

      Though the United States claims that it does not engage in economic and industrial espionage to benefit American corporations, a secret document issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence revealed that Washington had plans to steal information from corporations in China, Russia, India and Iran, says the Intercept, a news platform established to report on the documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • Five Eyes spy pact: Transparency challenge lodged at European rights court

      The cross-border ‘Five Eyes’ agreement that authorizes the sharing of intelligence between Britain, America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand should be made transparent, according to an appeal launched at the European Court of Human Rights.

      The secret Five Eyes spy pact allegedly outlines UK security services’ collaboration with the National Security Agency (NSA) and other foreign intelligence agencies. In an effort to shed light on the agreement, Privacy International (PI) issued a legal challenge against the British government in the Strasbourg-based court. The application was filed by UK law firm Leigh Day & Co Solicitors.

    • MP urges ‘nationalization’ of Google over security fears

      A ruling party lawmaker has said he will press for Google to register a subsidiary in Russia and comply with all Russian laws after uncovering the software giant’s alleged cooperation with foreign security services.

    • Committee to Protect Journalists Launches US Anti-Surveillance Campaign

      The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is calling on the White House to support journalists’ right to gather and report the news in the digital age through a campaign published on their official website on Tuesday.

      “If journalists cannot communicate in confidence with sources, they cannot do their jobs,” the campaign said.

    • Is The U.S Government And NSA Engaging In Economic Espionage?

      One would normally associate espionage activities with Jason Bourne. However the U.S are trying hard to blur the lines between fantasy and reality. The U.S Government have repeatedly tried to distance itself from the media, public and conspiracy theorists that they engage in economic and industrial espionage. They have distanced themselves in an effort to distinguish its own spying from China’s infiltrations of Google, Nortel, and other corporate targets.

    • Freshly released GISWatch reports address surveillance

      The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and the Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (Hivos) last Thursday released the annual Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) report covering the state of digital surveillance around the globe. The 2014 collection uses the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance (“the Principles”) to frame the surveillance conversation, with a number of thematic reports reports along with reports on 59 countries.

      Thematic topics include the relevance of communications surveillance to cybersecurity and how liability for intermediaries, including search engines and social media, enables government surveillance. The compilation of reports aims to show the pervasiveness of digital surveillance and provide recommendations for addressing human rights violations.

    • The Government-Academia Complex and Big Data Religion

      This was the summer of our discontent with big data. First came the news of the Facebook experiment manipulating the emotions of almost 700,000 of its users in the name of big data “science.” Then the Guardian told us about similar studies paid for by DARPA, the advanced research arm of the Department of Defense (DoD), in which researchers communicated with “unwitting participants in order to track and study how they responded.” And new NSA-related revelations continued to pop up throughout the summer, including a Washington Post investigation revealing that ordinary Internet users far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the NSA from U.S. digital networks and Snowden telling Wired about MonsterMind, an NSA cyberwarfare program accessing virtually all private communications coming in from overseas to people in the U.S.

    • After US Cyber Revelations, China Looks Inwards – Analysis

      China polices its internet through a variety of means. It blocks western websites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and now even Google. It keeps a sharp watch and censors what appears on its Internet. The “great firewall” of China employs a variety of tactics to censor the Internet and block access to foreign content. The technique is not to block individual websites, but to scan URLs and web page content and blacklist keywords that are deemed inconvenient.

    • The camera never blinks

      Thanks to the NSA wiretapping of the Bush and Obama administrations, some version of Big Brother is indeed monitoring Americans just about any time they talk on the phone or send an email.

    • ‘Trusted Third Parties’ Add One More Link In The Supply Chain Between Your Data And Government Requests

      Just how many entities have their hands on your data when the NSA makes requests? Well, it’s not just the service providers and any number of analysts at the NSA. There’s a whole industry subset of third parties that actually handle requests, implement wiretaps, direct searches for communications/data and deliver this information to the intelligence agency.

  • Civil Rights

    • Bank clients of Middle Eastern descent want answers on closed accounts

      From Washington state to Florida, surprising letters from banks have turned up in the mailboxes of at least a dozen people.

      The message in each case: Your bank account is being closed. What frustrates the recipients is not only that they are all of Middle Eastern descent — leading them to suspect discrimination — but that the banks refused to provide the reason for kicking them out.

    • Police intelligence targets cash

      Reports on drivers, training by firm fueled law enforcement aggressiveness

    • Government Agencies Can Come After Your Paycheck If You Don’t Pay Your FOIA Fees

      The struggle to force the government to behave in a transparent fashion often runs through the FOIA process. When the government responds, it often takes out meaningful information by abusing FOIA exemptions. When the government doesn’t respond, the “free” request becomes a rather expensive trip through the nation’s courts.

    • Silk Road Discovery Not Result Of NSA Spying, Feds Say
    • FBI Lied About How it Obtained Silk Road Server Location Says Security Expert

      A security expert claims the FBI is lying about how it located the Icelandic server hosting the Silk Road underground drugs bazaar.

    • FBI reveals how it discovered the geographic location of Silk Road web servers
    • The FBI revealed how it found the Silk Road servers. Was the search legal?

      The downfall of the multibillion-dollar online drug market known as Silk Road was due to a simple programming error that allowed the FBI to glean the whereabouts of its servers. That’s according to a document filed last week by the FBI in the case against Ross Ulbricht, the suspected creator of the multibillion-dollar online drug market. Ulbricht was arrested in October in a San Francisco public library, accused of being the man behind the online nom de guerre Dread Pirate Roberts, Silk Road’s founder and operator.

    • EU-Azerbaijan: Reaffirm Commitment To Promote Democracy And Human Rights

      European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the representatives of the Civil Society in Azerbaijan on Monday in Baku to stress the importance the EU attaches to the Civil Society as a partner for the authorities in the country, as a partner for the EU as well as in the framework of the Eastern Partnership.

    • Police Muscle Up at “Urban Shield” Convention in Oakland

      Most of America first learned about the militarization of U.S. police forces when officers showed up at Ferguson, Missouri, civil rights rallies in body armor, carrying assault rifles and shields, accompanied by armored vehicles with heavy weapons.

      Although the Pentagon has doled out $4.3 billion worth of military weapons and gear to local cops over the past 15 years or so, it hadn’t quite registered with folks that the peace officers serving their communities were becoming increasingly inclined to treat them as enemies on a battlefield.

    • CIA Employed “Medieval” Torture that Brought Prisoners “to the Point of Death”

      The CIA engaged in brutal torture that brought prisoners to the brink of death, according to a report published over the weekend in the British newspaper, the Telegraph. The methods used far exceed what has been previously acknowledged by the CIA and the Bush and Obama administrations.

    • Feinstein: CIA torture report will be delayed as Democrats decide redactions

      The public release of a long-awaited US Senate report detailing the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques could be held up for weeks as the Senate Intelligence Committee and Obama administration negotiate what material can be included in the document, the committee’s chairwoman said on Monday.

      The committee had hoped to release its 600-page summary of the report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of tactics many label as “torture” before Congress left for its August recess, a target that was pushed to September as discussions continued.

    • Petition calls on Obama stop intimidation of journalists and whistleblowers

      The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the New York-based press freedom body, has launched a petition today calling on President Obama’s administration to respect journalists’ right to gather and report news.

      The petition, “Right to report in the digital age”, makes three key demands of the US government:

      It should prohibit the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organisations; it must limit prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers; and it must halt the harassment of journalists at the US border.

    • THE CALL: JOURNALISM UNDER FIRE

      The digital age has provided an abundance of new channels for journalists to access and distribute information. Yet the revelation that some journalists have been under surveillance has placed a heavy burden on the freedom of the press. This along with the distressing fact that 34 journalists, four in the last month including ISIS hostages James Foley and Steven Sotloff, have been killed this year alone, as reported by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), has exposed a current plight of the press.

    • Napolitano: It feels like 1984

      Public officials — who are supposed to be our public servants — routinely behave as if they are our masters. They reject the confines of the Constitution, they don’t believe that our rights are inalienable, and they fail to see the dangerous path down which they are leading us.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XXXVII

      In my last TTIP column, I discussed the CETA negotiations with Canada, which started before those of TTIP, but have continued in parallel with them. That’s because what happens with CETA has a massive effect on TTIP, in part because it acts as a template for the TTIP, but also because Canada’s economy is tightly integrated with that of the US in many ways, and so CETA is already a kind of shadow agreement with the US. Once again, the area where that probably matters the most is for the investor-state dispute settlement chapter included in CETA.

    • Copyrights

      • Police Ordered to Return Clones of Dotcom’s Seized Data

        The New Zealand Court of Appeal has ruled that local police must return clones of the devices that were seized from Kim Dotcom during the 2012 raid. The Court argues that Dotcom and his colleagues should be able to have access to the information in preparation for the extradition hearings.

      • BBC: ISPs Should Assume Heavy VPN Users are Pirates

        In a submission to the Australian Government on the issue of online piracy, the BBC indicates that ISPs should be obliged to monitor their customers’ activities. Service providers should become suspicious that customers could be pirating if they use VPN-style services and consume a lot of bandwidth, the BBC says.

      • Denmark’s icon… that we can’t show you

        The Little Mermaid is perhaps the most photographed attraction in the entire country, but Danish media outlets are extremely hesitant to publish a photo of the sculpture.

      • Gottfrid Svartholm Trial Starts & Ends Week in Controversy

        The hacking trial of Gottfrid Svartholm has ended its first week, but not without controversy. Today TF catches up with Kristina Svartholm on the past few days’ developments and we also reveal criticism of Danish police after information provided by a man “with a grudge” against Gottfrid was used in court.

09.08.14

Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

Posted in News Roundup at 6:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux workshop in Udupi

    The student chapter of Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE) of SMV Institute of Technology and Management conducted a two-day workshop on Linux operating system for final year Electronics and Communications students at Bantakal in Udupi district on August 22 and 23.

    Edwin, a former professor of Electronics Engineering at Spring Garden College, Philadelphia, U.S., was the resource person.

    Prof. Edwin said that Linux, which was a free operating system and free from viruses, had been adapted by more computer hardware platforms than any other operating system.

  • Munich Library Now Offers Free Ubuntu 12.04 CDs for People with Windows Systems

    The city of Munich is now providing free Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) CDs for the citizen of the city, in an effort to increase the adoption of open source software.

  • CBI demands high-end gadgets

    Use of LINUX technology at its forensic lab is also the top priority of the agency.

  • Server

    • Cloud Host Linode Adds Professional Services Support Option

      The move follows Linode’s announcement earlier this summer that it would slash cloud-hosting prices and introduce high-end hardware to its storage and computing infrastructure, which transformed the company from a cloud host focused on providing Linux-based infrastructure that would appeal to a technically savvy crowd committed to open source hardware, to one that now offers broader hosting options and is seeking to stand out from the crowd through high-end infrastructure and sophisticated support solutions.

  • Kernel Space

    • The release of 3.16 Linux Kernel – the kernel column

      As we were going to press, Linus Torvalds announced the 3.16 Linux kernel, saying “So nothing particularly exciting happened this week [since the final 3.16 Release Candidate 7 from a week prior], and 3.16 is out there.” In his announcement email, Linus noted that the timing of 3.16 was, perhaps, a little unfortunate for the impact upon the merge widow for 3.17. The “merge window” is the period of time early in a (roughly) two month kernel development cycle during which disruptive kernel changes are allowed to take place. Typically, the merge window is capped at a couple of weeks, and it immediately follows a final release (from the previous kernel development cycle). Therefore, the merge for 3.17 is open just as Linus (and others) are preparing to head to Chicago for the 2014 Kernel Summit (and LinuxCon conference). Linus says, “So we’ll see how the next merge window goes, but I’m not going to worry about it overmuch. If I end up not having time to do all the merges, I might delay things into the week of the Kernel Summit, but I’ll hope to get most of the big merging done this upcoming week before any travel takes place.”

    • 9-Way File-System Comparison With A SSD On The Linux 3.17 Kernel

      Each file-system was tested with its stock mount options on the Linux 3.17 Git kernel. No kernel modifications were made to this system under test. The new AMD FX-8370 system was used for the Linux benchmarking system in this article. All of our disk / file-system tests are facilitated by the Phoronix Test Suite.

    • Colourful ! systemd vs sysVinit Linux Cheatsheet

      There are a lot of new systemd commands available on rhel / centos 7.0 version that would replace sysvinit commands.

    • Linux 3.17-rc4 Is A Pretty Calm Release
    • Linus 3.17-rc4

      For a short while there, this week was really nice and calm, but that
      was mostly because the “linux-foundation.org” entry fell off the DNS
      universe, and my mailbox got very quiet for a few hours. The rest of
      the week looked pretty normal.

      “Pretty normal” isn’t bad, though, and I’m not complaining. There is
      nothing particularly big or scary going on – we had a quick scare
      about a stupid compat layer bug, but it seems to have been just a
      false positive and resulted in some added commentary rather than any
      real code changes.

      The diffstat is pretty reasonable, and it’s fairly spread out. We have
      the usual arch and driver updates, but there’s actually more changes
      under fs/ than under either of those. That’s largely due to just a
      late f2fs update, which I decided I couldn’t be bothered to get too
      upset about, most of it being pretty clear-cut fixes, with just a few
      cleanups mixed in.

      And really, if the f2fs changes look biggish, it’s mostly because the
      rest is pretty small.

      Let’s hope it all stays calm. I do note that neither Greg nor Davem
      ended up sending me anything for rc4, which is probably the _real_
      reason why it’s pretty calm and small.

      Linus

    • Intel’s UXA Acceleration Now Supports DisplayPort MST

      David Airlie on Sunday added support for DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (DP MST) to Intel’s X.Org driver for the UXA-accelerated code-paths.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa’s Top Contributors This Summer

        With a fresh run of GitStats over the Mesa mainline Git code-base as of this morning, the Mesa source tree is up to 1,439,880 lines of code spread across 4,298 files. There’s been 65,193 commits to Mesa, which averages out to 14 commits per active day. A total of 648 contributors have been detected within the Mesa code-base.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE PIM Newcomers

        With Akademy in full swing, we thought we’d treat you all on a conversation with a handful of newcomers to the KDE PIM team. The conversation took place both online over the last months and offline at Akademy yesterday. Let’s start with introductions, in order of their replies.

      • The Luminosity Of Free Software, Episode 20

        The time has arrived for the new series of Luminosity to start! The next episode will be this Thursday, September 11th at 18:00 UTC. As in the past, it will be recorded live on Google+ Hangouts and carried on my Youtube channel both live and for viewing later. You can also join the discussion live on #luminosity on irc.freenode.net.

      • KDE Arrives in Brno for Akademy

        Yesterday KDE contributors from around the world arrived in Brno for Akademy, our annual meeting. Over the next week, we will share ideas, discover common problems and their solutions, and rekindle offline friendships for another year. We have traveled from around the world to work on free software in the spirit of community and cooperation. This year we can celebrate the success of the last 12 months when we released major new versions of our platform—KDE Frameworks—and our desktop—Plasma 5. This work has been well received by the press and our community of users, but we know there is much more to do to keep KDE Software relevant for the years to come in a world where desktops are only one way of using computer software. We’ll be discussing and planning how to make the best desktop software for Linux and how to expand to new platforms.

      • Akademy 2014 Day 1

        Today, Akademy 2014 kicked off hard. As always, there is a lot of excitement. The first Akademy day is always overwhelming. Meeting old friends, making new ones, learning new things and sharing what you know. To keep things a simpler, we started this year with a single track in the morning, with two tracks in the afternoon. With all attendees in one room listening to 10 minute fast track presentations, there are plenty of topics to talk about during the breaks.

      • Akademy Day 0 Photo Blog
      • Akademy Day 1 Photo Blog
      • Blip.tv screencasts moved

        Blip.tv has decided to narrow its focus, and isn’t interested in hosting my screencasts any more.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • A Life Worth Living

        So here enters your protagonist. I’ve left a good job simply for the satisfaction in doing what I think is important.

        Let’s be honest. I’m terrified. This is the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. I guess that is what is so attractive to me, adrenaline junkie and all. Will I make it a year? Will I finish what I’m setting out to? Will I let everyone down? Will people hate me because they don’t agree with what I think is important? All of these questions, playing like tapes in the back of my consciousness.

        The GNOME community has always felt like home to me. Some people leave their jobs and do the start-up thing. That’s fun and all, but I’d rather just write software for my friends. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than contributing to this group of people. And like Luis said so many years ago, GNOME is about people.

      • SYSTEMD IN GNOME 3.14 AND BEYOND

        Before the start of the GNOME 3.14 cycle, Ryan Lorty announced his intention to make most GNOME modules depend on a logind-like API. The API would just implement the bits that are actually used. According to Ryan, most GNOME modules only use a selection of the logind functionality. He wanted to document exactly what we depend on and provide a minimal API. Then we could write a minimal stub implementation for e.g. FreeBSD as we’d know exactly what parts of the API we actually need. The stub would still be minimal; allow GNOME to run, but that’s it.

      • GNOME 3.14 Still Depends On ConsoleKit, More Systemd Still Planned

        Some plans for the GNOME 3.14 cycle didn’t materialize but they’re still being developed for future GNOME updates.

        For the GNOME 3.14 development cycle was a plan to make most GNOME modules depend on a systemd logind-like API that would only implement the API bits actually used by the respective pieces of GNOME software. The goal was to make this minimal API a shim between the GNOME code and logind for allowing other non-Linux platforms to write an alternative implementation against the API. The purpose of this would be for the BSDs also using GNOME to only have to write a portable implementation of the logind-derived API calls actually being used by GNOME rather than a full, drop-in replacement.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Git Bounty Wants To Help Open-Source Programmers Get Paid For Bug Fixes

    If you’re using open-source software, you’ve probably come across a bug that you want to fix but don’t have the expertise to do it yourself — and the original author isn’t all that interested in fixing it. With Git Bounty, which was dreamed up by a team of French Canadians (and one Frenchman) from Montreal at our Disrupt SF hackathon this weekend, you can incentivize open-source programmers to fix those bugs for you. Git Bounty lets you pick a bug you need fixed, set a reward and then publicize it.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Works To Sunset SHA-1 In Chrome

        Google will begin warning users when accessing HTTPS sites whose certificate chains are using SHA-1, due to this cryptographic hash algorithm being weak.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice For Android Should Be Ready For Usage Starting With February 2015

      For now, there are only a few Office suite available for the Android platform (WPS Office, Office Suite Pro, Google Docs and AndrOpen), but only AndrOpen has support for odt and ods files, and it has an ugly interface, making the software unusable.

      The LibreOffice developers have released a new daily build version, allowing the users to test the app.

    • Free Office Suites that Cut The Mustard

      Microsoft Office still dominates market share of office suites. Businesses have often rejected free Office alternatives. However, whether this will continue is uncertain. With the cost of a price plan for Microsoft Office, the average home user or small business will welcome a free alternative. Fortunately, there are some truly excellent free alternatives available for Linux (and other operating systems). Not all of the office suites featured here are released under an open source license, but they are all free to download and use without charge.

  • CMS

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD Made Progress On Their Systemd-Compatible Replacement

      This summer a student developer began work on DBus daemons that accept systemd calls and emulated their behavior with their own native calls, in order to make drop-in replacements for BSD platforms where systemd is not supported and the upstream systemd developers have no plans of supporting.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Bring the FSF to your campus!

      Software freedom and learning go hand in hand. Textbooks should be DRM-free, readily shareable, and easy to check out from the library for as long as you need them. You should be able to use whatever free operating system you choose, not forced into a contract with Microsoft (as is the case at schools like Virginia Tech). Everyone studying computer science at the college level should be able to see and learn from the code that makes their software tick. Learning is a cooperative endeavor; the tools you use to learn should promote cooperation, not proprietize human knowledge.

    • Direvent 5.0 available for download
    • GCL 2.6.11 has been released

      Greetings! The GCL team is happy to announce the release of version 2.6.11, the latest achievement in the ‘stable’ (as opposed to ‘development’) series.

    • Direvent Does Its First Release As A GNU Project

      GNU Direvent is formerly known as dircond and is a system-independent daemon that tracks file system directory changes with new additions, deletions, or modifications of files. When a file system event is detected in a pre-configured directory, the respective user-specified external program associated with that directory is signaled. This GNU Direvent daemon works on Linux along with a variety of BSD systems.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Open-source texts take root at Md. colleges

        An experiment with open-source online textbooks at several Maryland universities last semester yielded promising results, and officials are preparing to expand the program this fall.

        The University System of Maryland designed the Maryland Open-Source Textbook (MOST) Initiative to evaluate the feasibility of using online materials instead of printed books to ease the cost of purchasing multiple textbooks each year.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Sharing work is easier with an Open Document Format

      Many individuals have been using ODF for years, but the open format is also being adopted by organisations, including companies and governments.

      We often wish to share electronic documents with friends, colleagues, business or government, and the software application we use to prepare these documents will save them in a particular format.

      Any application that later loads the document will also need to be able to understand this format. If an organisation can control the format, and convince people to use it, then they can use this as a very powerful tool to create a monopoly in the market.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Why the Computer Experience is Often Poor

      The final issue is software creep. By this I mean the continual replacement of older
      software with newer software. It seems unavoidable but it’s usually unnecessary.
      How often does one need to update their word processor? I’m using abiword on
      Linux and it seems adequate for my purposes. KDE versions after 3.5.10 do not intererest
      me. In fact I’ve switched to the lighter IceWM and I’m quite happy with it.

    • Iran arrests suspected nuclear plant saboteur

      In 2010, the so-called Stuxnet virus temporarily disrupted the operation of thousands of centrifuges, key components in nuclear fuel production, at Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility. Iran says it and other computer virus attacks are part of a concerted effort by Israel, the U.S. and their allies to undermine its nuclear program through covert operations.

      The U.S. and its allies suspect Iran is covertly seeking the ability to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies such allegations, insisting its nuclear program is entirely peaceful and aimed at generating electricity and producing medical isotopes.

  • Security

    • Doubts cast over FBI ‘leaky CAPTCHA’ Silk Road rapture

      Rather than a conspiracy involving NSA wiretaps, the FBI claims the downfall of Silk Road begun with a leaky CAPTCHA.

      Responding to a request for information from former kingpin Ross Ulbricht’s defence lawyers, the Feds says the CAPTCHA left a trail from the TOR-protected Silk Road servers to the public Internet. That revealed the location of the drug marketplace, which would otherwise have remained hidden behind TOR, according to an FBI affidavit.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Atlantic Alliance’s “Holy War” against the Islamic State (ISIS): NATO’s Role in the Recruitment of Islamic Terrorists

      “They are Our Terrorists“. Without the terrorists, the “Global War on Terrorism” would fall flat.

    • Syria rebels, once hopeful of U.S. weapons, lament lack of firepower

      As the Syrian government warplane flew overhead, Malik Abu Iskandaroon ran to a storage room and grabbed a Russian-made surface-to-air missile.

      Moments later, on the roof of the three-story villa, which serves as air force headquarters for the Harakat Hazm rebel group, he squinted at the threat in the sky.

    • Tense relations between U.S. and anti-Assad Syrian rebels

      North of Aleppo, the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army is battling the Islamic State terror group over a vital supply route.

      In Washington, the Obama administration is groping for a strategy to deal with a force that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says is “beyond anything we have ever seen.”

    • CIA Drone Strikes and the Public-Authority Justification

      CIA Drone Strikes Don’t Qualify as TMA: As an initial matter, I think one part of his argument depends on a mistaken assumption regarding the meaning of TMA, and that drone strikes do indeed constitute covert action within the meaning of Title 50. The TMA exception to covert action has a complicated and often-misunderstood history, which I recount in detail in this paper (pp.592-601 especially). The concept was the subject of extensive negotiations between the White House and Congress, ultimately resulting in the following agreement. An activity that otherwise would qualify as covert action would instead count as TMA, thus avoiding the requirement of a written presidential finding and reporting to SSCI and HPSCI, if the following conditions were met.

    • Predator Drone Reportedly Spotted Over ISIS Hotbed in Syria; Airstrikes Hit ISIS Targets

      A predator drone was reportedly seen by both sides of the Syrian conflict hovering over Raqqa, Sryria, close to where U.S. special operations forces tried to rescue ISIS hostages last July.

    • Isis will not be beaten by a kneejerk reaction from the west

      Military responses as a quick fix won’t defeat the terrorists. Their ideology and influence need to be undermined

    • McGill researchers allegedly committed ethical breach in psychology study

      Researchers from the psychology departments at McGill and Carleton University allegedly breached research ethics in a study conducted in 2012 and funded by the Canadian military, according to findings released on August 28 by campus group Demilitarize McGill. The researchers, which included McGill psychology professor Donald M. Taylor and then-PhD student Michael King, failed to inform the research subjects of the funder and intended counterinsurgency applications of the research.

    • Did Israel Execute Jihadists in Gaza?

      While official investigations are stalled, The Daily Beast reveals important new details about the apparent summary execution of Palestinian combatants.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • When the push polling has to stop

      YouGov stood to have its reputation shattered if it continued to put out polls showing ten point leads for No, when Yes is very obviously headed for a majority.

    • Steve Hayes Doesn’t Remember When He Beat The Drums Of War With Syria

      Fox’s Juan Williams pointed out the increased calls for war during the September 7 edition of Fox’s Media Buzz, suggesting that media seem to consistently favor war over peace, perhaps for a ratings boost that international conflicts could bring television news. Williams noted that today’s calls seem to parallel media’s eagerness for military intervention in Syria back in 2013, over human rights abuses from the Bashar al-Assad regime.

  • Censorship

    • Turkey should prioritize freedom of speech: EU official

      Turkey should prioritize the right to freedom of speech to achieve improvement in its bid to join the European Union, according to Neelie Kroes, the vice president of the EU Commission.

      “We should take into account for membership to the European family, it is absolutely a must that freedom of speech and media are guaranteed,” she said after the three-day Internet Governance Forum (IGF) last week, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

    • INTERNET ISSUES DISCUSSED IN INTERNET UNGOVERNANCE FORUM

      The ‘Internet Ungovernance Forum’ seeking to provide a sphere for journalists and internet experts for a discussion over internet issues across the world as well as Turkey was held between Sept. 3 and Sept 4 at the main Campus of İstanbul Bilgi University.

  • Privacy

    • Fake Cellphone Towers–Sales Scam Or Real Hack?

      Whoever is running the program (detected during a CryptoPhone 500 customer’s drive between Florida and the Carolinas) remains unknown but—for once—has nothing to do with the NSA, whose digital arsenal has no need of off-the-shelf tech such as the VME Dominator. Personally, I (mostly) concur with author William Gibson’s Twittered take: “That fake cell tower story looks pretty dodgy, really.” Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean…you know.

    • Chick Wit: Don’t want your nude selfies hacked? Don’t take any!

      Everyone is buzzing with the news that there are hundreds of leaked celebrity nude selfies being posted on the Internet.

    • Meet the spooky tech companies getting rich by making NSA surveillance possible

      Wildly profitable companies like Neustar, Subsentio, and Yaana do the feds’ dirty work for them, slurping huge amounts of unconstitutionally requisitioned data out of telcos’ and ISPs’ data-centers in response to secret, sealed FISA warrants — some of them publicly traded, too, making them a perfect addition to the Gulag Wealth Fund.

    • The Gulag Wealth Fund and Toll Booths in Outer Space

      Although some ISPs have wanted to fight tooth and nail, they have not had the money to hire a top-secret cleared attorney to argue their case. Instead, they have invoked their interpretation of the First Amendment — the right to free speech — to disclose that they have received a FISA warrant, despite the secrecy and gagging clauses that come with them.

      Others, like Cbeyond, “haven’t examined simply saying ‘no’ and challenging them,” said the person with direct knowledge of the warrants served on the ISP.

    • Legal memos released on Bush-era reasons for warrantless wiretapping

      The Justice Department released two decade-old memos Friday night, offering the fullest public airing to date of the Bush administration’s legal justification for the warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ phone calls and emails – a program that began in secret after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

    • 2004 memos released on warrantless wiretaps

      The Justice Department released two decade-old memos Friday night, offering the fullest public airing to date of the Bush administration’s legal justification for the warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ phone calls and e-mails – a program that began in secret after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
      Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/20140907_2004_memos_released_on_warrantless_wiretaps.html#Ts3GzSa4CcgmpVXV.99

    • Just-Released Bush Memos Show the White House Barely Able to Justify Spying on Us
    • Obama Administration Still Keeping Much Secret About Bush’s Warrantless Wiretapping Program
    • Bush-era memos justify NSA wiretaps
    • Redactions in U.S. Memo Leave Doubts on Data Surveillance Program
    • Meet Zelda, the unlikely ‘Dear Abby’ of NSA
    • Feds say NSA “bogeyman” did not find Silk Road’s servers

      The FBI easily found the main server of the now-defunct Silk Road online drug-selling site, and didn’t need the National Security’s help, federal prosecutors said in a Friday court filing.

    • Spying on friends: strange bedfellows

      Even the smallest bit of information that is seemingly unrelated to the business at hand could one day give us a competitive advantage against our competitors. This is true for business as well as the affairs of government. Experts in the field define information gathering as nothing but a mind game: collect every possible piece of information about everything concerning your national interest. The range of information gathering covers every aspect of the concerned “target” and the target can be any individual or organization, including private citizens, heads of state, a niche technology company or a foreign government. When engaging in information gathering activities, there is only one unbreakable rule which explains the spying game: Use your wits and do not get caught, no matter what. This rule especially applies among friends.

    • Fake cell towers allow the NSA and police to keep track of you

      The Internet is abuzz with reports of mysterious devices sprinkled across America, many of them on military bases, that connect to your phone by mimicking cell phone towers and sucking up your data. There is little public information about these devices, but they are the new favorite toy of government agencies of all stripes; everyone from the National Security Agency to local police forces are using them.

    • Leaked documents shed light on US, British spying in Turkey

      America’s National Security Agency (NSA) and the British intelligence and security agency GCHQ both spied on Turkey, while helping Ankara fight Kurdish separatists, according to the secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden – the former US government contractor behind the biggest security leak in United States

    • NSA Reform Will Likely Have to Wait Until After the Election

      Legislation to reform the government’s surveillance programs looks destined for a lame-duck session of Congress—and might not get touched at all until next year.

    • Nude leaks expose need for caution

      The discussion should not revolve around preventative measures, rather, we must focus on the creepiness factor — the questions that arise regarding privacy and security. For better or for worse, the cloud is omnipresent and hoards more photos and videos than we’d like to believe. Unbeknownst to many, most cellphones store user data on cloud by default, and deleting a photo from a phone doesn’t necessarily delete it from a cloud. Especially in light of last year’s NSA scandal, the lack of public education about the cloud’s capabilities is concerning. We wonder: Who is watching? What are they looking at? Feeling the constant gaze of this anonymous eye may also have societal implications, creating an uncomfortable hyperawareness surrounding every decision made.

    • No pity for nude selfies [Letter]

      Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and the “dozens of other beautiful celebrities” who posted nude photos of themselves in digital airspace should read “No Place to Hide” by Glenn Greenwald. The book outlines how little privacy there is online and explains in detail what Edward Snowden revealed about the NSA.

    • HOW YOUR INNOCENT SMARTPHONE PASSES ON ALMOST YOUR ENTIRE LIFE TO THE SECRET SERVICE
  • Civil Rights

    • IRS says five more staffers lost emails

      The agency has told lawmakers that it found around 24,000 of Lerner’s missing emails through a similar process. Lerner, who once headed an IRS division overseeing tax-exempt groups, became the first agency official to acknowledge the IRS’s improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups in May 2013. She has since been held in contempt of Congress and has been referred to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution.

    • Exclusive: Dr. Cornel West Talks Protest, War Crimes, NDAA & Snowden [Video]

      In a wide-ranging conversation, West professed support for Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, prophesying that the NSA whistleblower will one day be vindicated and slamming the government for prosecuting the very people, like Manning, who reveal what he said are war crimes and then fail to hold the perpetrators accountable; expressed concern over the ever-growing national security state; decried drone strikes as war crimes; and conveyed his concern about the disintegration of Americans’ civil liberties under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which some have argued gives the president carte blanche to detain US citizens, sans a trial or judicial review.

    • The European Court Confirms : The CIA’s ‘Black Sites’ Operated in Poland

      The secret is officially out: CIA’s black sites operated in Poland. Earlier this summer, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a ruling confirming the existence of such prisons on Polish territory. While international human rights organizations have praised the ruling, some Polish officials and journalists are calling it unfair towards Poland. Others say the formal revelation might be an opportunity for Poland to resolve some of its current governance issues.

    • Kill the Messenger: A Crack Thriller

      Dedicated to the upcoming Gary Webb biopic, dir. by Michael Cuesta and starring Jeremy Renner. KILL THE MESSENGER comes by way of Webb’s own first-person report in his book, DARK ALLIANCE.

      Evocative of policiers such as the 1982 film starring Sissy Spacek and Jack Lemon, MISSING, and the iconic ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, KILL THE MESSENGER announces its aim right from the gate, which is perhaps its only misstep. Kill the messenger tells us too much, too soon, since we are all familiar with the Greek-tradition from which that phrase hails. Famously scripted by Shakespeare in Henry IV (1598) and later in Antony and Cleopatra (1607). Prior to that, a similar sentiment was heard in Sophocles’ Antigone: “No one loves the messenger who brings bad news.”Messengers with bad tidings from the war front breach the invisible code of conduct, where commanding officers were expected to accept and return emissaries or diplomatic envoys sent by the enemy unharmed. UnKumbaya warrior leaders, of course, never got the memo. Ancient messenger job definitions often failed to add that the job description had unexpected short-range expiry dates.

      [...]

      Most Americans wondered why all of a sudden a crack epidemic burst all over the news; now we know. It was engineered and massaged by lawless Big Feet who needed lots of do-re-mi to fund their pet contras. In the event, millions of young men and women died. Millions of minority kids spent their youths out-smoking their educations and incomes and career aspirations.

    • CIA emails expose access journalist at work

      I have mentioned before that more than 90 per cent of reporters are in some sense “access journalists” – that is, they rely on the active help of the key figures on their “beat”. Usually the people they regularly need to access are in power: crime correspondents need help from the police, much less so than criminals; diplomatic correspondents need the help of diplomats more than they need the help of drone strike victims, and so on.

    • Support Robert MacLean, Patriot Whistleblower

      Jim Murtagh, the President of the International Association of Whistleblowers (IAW), called today for increased vigilance against terrorist attacks on the thirteenth anniversary of the worst disaster in U.S. history. “The 9-11 warnings of federal air marshal Robert J. MacLean have come true. The reduction of air marshals on commercial airliners has led to increased risks to the American public from ISIS and Al Qaeda today,” Murtagh said.

    • U.S. security team from secret CIA annex: We were told to stand down in Benghazi

      In an interview ahead of the release of a new book “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi,” security contractors Kris Paronto, Mark Geist, and John Tiegen spoke publicly about the attack with Fox News. Four diplomats were killed that night, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stephens.

    • US commandos claim CIA station chief delayed Benghazi rescue [everything to distract from the real scandal]
    • Switzerland ‘won’t extradite Snowden’ in return for NSA testimony

      Switzerland has reportedly decided it will not extradite National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden to the US if he comes to testify against the NSA’s spying activities, Swiss media said.

    • Snowden to receive Swiss asylum if testifies against NSA

      US whistleblower Edward Snowden will not be deported to the United States if he travels to Switzerland to testify against his country’s National Security Agency (NSA), the SonntagsZeitung newspaper reported Monday.

    • No eternal allies or enemies, just interests

      The first step towards transparency in international relations came from Julian Assange, when he published leaked military and diplomatic secret documents from the United States on his WikiLeaks website in 2010. But the more significant step in this direction came when Edward Snowden, a contractor for the US’s National Security Agency (NSA), handed over intelligence documents to the Guardian newspaper for publication in June 2013.

    • Swiss will grant asylum if Snowden testifies on U.S. espionage

      Swiss media reports indicate Switzerland would grant asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden if he agrees to testify about foreign espionage activities within Switzerland.

    • Dianne Feinstein denounced treachery, torture and spying on Congress

      Sen. Dianne Feinstein is one of the most stalwart supporters in Congress of the National Security Agency’s sweeping surveillance activity. She’s also leading an epic constitutional showdown with the CIA over torture.

      Those closest to the California Democrat don’t see a disconnect. The longtime defense hawk takes her job of overseeing the intelligence community seriously and says the CIA shouldn’t get away with hiding its darkest secrets behind a national security shield.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Reasons why you should be using Gandi
    • Big tech companies plan “Internet Slowdown” to fight for net neutrality

      Next week, some of the biggest tech companies will lead a symbolic “Internet Slowdown” to protest the Federal Communications Commission’s network neutrality proposal.

      “Several top websites—including Etsy, Kickstarter, Foursquare, WordPress, Vimeo, reddit, Mozilla, Imgur, Meetup, Cheezburger, Namecheap, Bittorrent, Gandi.net, StartPage, BoingBoing, and Dwolla—announced that they will be joining more than 35 advocacy organizations and hundreds of thousands of activists in a day of action that will give a glimpse into what the Internet might look like if the FCC’s proposed rules go into effect,” a blog post today from the advocacy group “Fight for the Future” said.

  • DRM

    • Google, Browsers & DRM

      A recent brouhaha concerning Google comes from an item that made the rounds in the last week or so regarding older browsers and Google search. It seems that some users of older browsers have been receiving an outdated version of Google’s homepage when attempting to make a search. Evidently, Google searches made using these browsers returned results just fine, using Google’s current results page, but users needed to return to the search engine’s homepage to conduct another search. The browsers affected are primarily older versions of Opera and Safari.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • It Appears Mickey Mouse May Have Picked An Intellectual Property Fight With The Wrong Mau5

      I actually don’t think that Disney’s trademark opposition to Deadmau5′s attempt to trademark his mouse-shaped helmet thing is that crazy. Disney hasn’t gone after Deadmau5/Joel Zimmerman all these years for using it. They’re just saying “hey, maybe he shouldn’t have a registered trademark on that.” And they may have a point. Yes, the designs are different, and no, there isn’t likely to be much confusion between Deadmau5 and Mickey, but why is Deadmau5 seeking to get a registered trademark on this in the first place?

    • Trademarks

      • Disappointing That Twitter Threatened Twitpic, But Story Doesn’t Add Up

        A few days ago, Twitpic, which was the original third party service for hosting images for your tweets, announced that it was shutting down “unexpectedly” because Twitter was threatening to pull its API access if the company didn’t drop its trademark application for Twitpic — an application that had been pending since 2009. Considering that Twitpic was one of the earliest of many third party services built on top of Twitter that helped make Twitter so valuable in the early days, it’s certainly disappointing to see it go. It’s also something of a legacy reminder that Twitter has been slowly, but surely, destroying all such third party services that helped make it so popular. That’s disappointing, if not all that surprising. Platforms all too frequently end up swallowing those who rely too strongly upon them — and, these days, to be honest, there’s little reason to use Twitpic instead of Twitter’s own image hosting (or some other options as well).

    • Copyrights

09.06.14

Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 11:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-source player-tracking project kicks off

    “Coming from a scientific background, where transparency is a key part of doing repeatable research, makes me very skeptical of anything proprietary,” he said. “How can you trust the analysis if you can’t see the raw data?”

  • Open Xchange Launches Simple Email Encryption

    German developer of open source productivity software, Open Xchange, has launched an email encryption product that can secure messages with a single click.

    Called OX Guard, the new tool is an integral part of the OX App Suite – a carrier-grade cloud platform that includes OX Text, OX Spreadsheet and OX Drive, as well as email server, calendar and social network feeds.

    Open Xchange CEO Rafael Laguna told TechWeek that one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of wider adoption of encryption is complexity, so OX Guard was designed to be as simple to use as possible – users just need to click the padlock icon, set the password and their messages will be protected by AES encryption.

  • Events

    • Call for organizers: 2015 Linux Plumbers Conference

      Each year, the Linux Foundation’s Technical Advisory Board seeks an organizing committee for the annual Linux Plumbers Conference. That process has now begun for the 2015 event, which will be held during the week of August 17-21 in Seattle, Washington, alongside the LinuxCon North America event. This is your chance to put your stamp on one of our community’s most important gatherings.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • HP offers OpenStack services offerings

      So, you think OpenStack is perfect for your company’s cloud-needs, but you just discovered that finding OpenStack-savvy architects, designers, or even just administrators is like looking for the perfect New York style pizza… in San Diego.

  • CMS

    • What’s New in September for Open Source CMS

      There are plenty of free and open source content management systems (CMS). But no platform is as big or as common as WordPress. WordPress powers more than 12.7 million websites — an astounding 47.38 percent of the World Wide Web, according to BuiltWith, which monitors such things.

  • BSD

Leftovers

  • Suburban Express Wants Round 4: Re-Files Lawsuits It Had Previously Dropped

    Jeremy Leval, the Redditor who got this whole saga started after being sued and harrassed by Toeppen simply for sticking up for a foreign exchange student who a bus driver was mocking, is of course among those Toeppen is re-re-filing against. One begins to get the impression that Toeppen and Suburban Express are masochistic, getting some kind of perverse joy out of getting blasted in the media and online. I’m at a loss as to what other forces could be at work here. Though, judging by some of the other customers’ stories from those being attacked legally by Suburban Express, the simple answer may be that Toeppen is simply a jerk.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Three more to be charged for Victor Jara’s murder

      MARTYRED Chilean communist folk singer Victor Jara’s widow Joan Jara welcomed the announcement yesterday that three more people have been charged over his murder during the country’s 1973 CIA-backed military coup.

    • The Other 9/11

      Ten days after the Salvador Allende government was overthrown in a Sept. 11, 1973, coup in Chile, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jack Kubisch told the House Subcommittee on Inter-American Affairs: “Gentlemen, I wish to state as flatly and as categorically as I possibly can that we did not have advance knowledge of the coup.”

      [...]

      “Make the economy scream…”

      When the 1970 Chilean presidential election rolled around, Salvador Allende was still a major player and, despite another wave of U.S.-funded propaganda, he was elected president of South America’s longest functioning democracy on Sept. 4, 1970.

      However, he had a new and powerful enemy: Dr. Henry Kissinger.

      The 40 Committee was formed with Kissinger as chair. The goal was not only to save Chile from its irresponsible populace but to yet again stave off the Red Tide™.

      “Chile is a fairly big place, with a lot of natural resources,” explains Noam Chomsky, “but the United States wasn’t going to collapse if Chile became independent. Why were we so concerned about it? According to Kissinger, Chile was a ‘virus’ that would ‘infect’ the region.”

      At a Sept. 15, 1970, meeting called to halt the spread of infection, Kissinger and President Nixon told CIA Director Richard Helms it would be necessary to “make the [Chilean] economy scream.” While allocating at least $10 million to assist in sabotaging Allende’s presidency, outright assassination was also considered a serious and welcome option.

      The respect held by the Chilean military for the democratic process led Kissinger to pick as his first assassination target not Allende himself, but General Rene Schneider, head of the Chilean Armed Forces. Schneider, it seems, had long believed that politics and the military should remain discrete. Despite warnings from Helms that a coup might not be possible in such a stable democracy, Kissinger urged the plan to proceed.

      When the killing of Schneider only served to solidify Allende’s support, a CIA-sponsored media blitz similar to that of 1964 commenced. Citizens were faced with daily “reports” of Marxist atrocities and Soviet bases supposedly being built in Chile. U.S. threats to sever economic and military aid were also used to help cultivate a “coup climate” among those in the military. These two approaches represented the hard and soft lines outlined by Nixon and Kissinger.

    • Ethan Hawke’s ‘Good Kill’: A Searing Indictment of America’s Drone Warfare Obsession

      In Andrew Niccol’s devastating character study, Hawke plays a drone pilot who’s ordered by the CIA to off terrorists—as well as civilians—in a series of targeted strikes.

    • Irresponsibly Blaming Russia for US-Led Western Crimes

      Washington is public enemy No. 1. It’s the real evil empire. It’s a longstanding serial aggressor. Rogue Western partners share blame.

      On September 2, Wall Street Journal editors echoed the same narrative. They headlined “Deterring a European War.”

      They called this week’s NATO summit meeting “one of the most important in its 65-year

      Southeastern Ukraine’s conflict is Obama’s war. Behind the scenes US manipulation controls things. Kiev is infested with CIA and FBI operatives. Blackwater USA (now Academi) type mercenaries operate in Southeastern Ukraine. Perhaps alongside covert US special forces.

      Since conflict erupted in April, Russia went all-out for diplomatic resolution. It has no ongoing military campaign.

      It didn’t invade Ukraine. It’s not shelling cross-border. Or from inside Ukrainian territory.

      Its troops aren’t involved in fighting. It’s not out to seize Ukrainian territory. Western sources lie claiming otherwise.

    • CIA-linked Libyan General Haftar’s helicopters bomb Benghazi

      Several mysterious night bombings attacks were launched on Islamist positions in Libya while they were in the process of defeating Haftar allies there and driving them out of the city.

      Haftar claimed these attacks were joint operations with the international community.

    • Fox Changes Meaning Of “Stand Down” Order To Keep The Benghazi Hoax Alive

      After multiple investigations concluded that no “stand down” order was given to security personnel responding to the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Fox News alleged that the delay security personnel took to enlist support amounted to a “stand down” order.

      On the September 5 edition of Special Report, host Bret Baier once again hyped the asked-and-answered question from his Fox News special, “13 Hours at Benghazi,” based on the accounts of three CIA security personnel who alleged they were delayed in responding to the diplomatic facility under attack in Benghazi, Libya. Baier criticized the “semantics” used by deputy State Department spokesperson Marie Harf, who during a press briefing explained that “there was no stand-down order” but there was a short delay “for very good security reasons to get additional backup and additional weapons” for the security personnel before responding to the attack.

    • Fox’s Latest Benghazi Hoax Used As Justification For Wasteful Select Committee
    • Selling Fear and Lies to Control the Public

      The media is selling fear of beheadings to the public.

    • The Imperial Rot of Armchair Warriors

      An occasional misconception of history is the contention that geo-political outcomes are the result of rational calculation. Or put differently, local rationalities don’t always, or even most of the time, aggregate to global rationalities. The Obama administration used the CIA to organize a neo-nazi putsch in Ukraine after NATO spent the last twenty years squeezing (heavily) nuclear-armed Russia and immediately involved the IMF and Western oil company executives in Ukrainian ‘government’ affairs? At about the same time part of the Syrian ‘opposition’ that the U.S. had armed and financed morphed into IS (Islamic State) and promptly marched into Iraq to confiscate and use the weapons the U.S. had supplied leading Mr. Obama to once again bomb the country while re-committing combat troops. Given that there is no conceivable ‘good’ outcome to any of this, just what local ‘rationalities’ could be driving the serial disasters of U.S. foreign policy?

    • ISIS Atrocities and US Imperialism

      The murder, following that of James Foley last month, is a further demonstration of both the reactionary character of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the terrible consequences of a half-century of intervention in the Middle East by US imperialism.

    • How to Decode the New York Times

      So what, then, is the “more nuanced picture”? Kershner writes that the legal documents “depict the plot as more of a family affair, a local initiative organized and carried out by members of a clan in Hebron.” That was what many analysts had been saying all along, offering a very different interpretation than the one being put forth by Israel–though it was the Israeli line, not the one offered by independent analysts, that made its way into US media (FAIR Blog, 7/2/14, 7/28/14). Kershner speaks to one Israeli source who, she reports, still thinks it “was fair to blame Hamas, as an organization, for the kidnappings.” The source added that “it is still possible that we will find evidence of a direct connection.”

    • When Fox News Didn’t Blame The (GOP) President For Beheadings

      After terrorists kidnapped and beheaded two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, while releasing gruesome videos of the act, Fox News focused much of its ire on President Obama, portraying him as a source of troubling weakness.

    • Have You Watched This Airstrike in Iraq?

      CENTCOM has been helpfully posting declassified footage to YouTube for the past three weeks.

    • NZ director’s attack of the drones at Venice

      Don’t be fooled. Unmanned aerial vehicles have changed the way wars are fought, turning some forms of combat into a computer game with flesh-and-blood victims.

    • Legal basis for Iraq troop deployment called into question as days wear on

      The legal basis for the recent introduction of more than 1,000 US ground troops in Iraq was called into question on Friday, after the White House confirmed that it does not consider itself bound by time limits that usually constrain such deployments.

    • First Controversial Drone Movie Strikes, Questions U.S. Policy

      The first movie examining the morality of drone warfare has arrived and it’s sure to add fuel to the debate over the growing use of the controversial technology by the Obama administration and the concern that too many innocent civilians are being killed.

      Andrew Niccol’s Good Kill, starring Ethan Hawke as a troubled U.S. Air Force pilot grappling with the ethical consequences of attacking from afar, makes its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival Sept. 5 before playing at the Toronto Film Festival Sept. 9.

    • Epiphanies From Teju Cole

      The Nigerian-American novelist discusses the pitfalls of hashtag activism, the destructiveness of U.S. foreign policy, and that time he dreamed about meeting Obama at a Brooklyn house party.

    • The warrior and moral injury

      -One effect of the rise of remote-controlled warfare will be that moral injury will assume an increased share of war’s psychological injuries. Remote-control warriors do not suffer life-threatening duress in combat, and they don’t vicariously experience extreme stress via the experiences of individuals they know and love (such as their witnessing a fellow platoon member being shot and killed). This means they’re immune from most forms of PTSD, as this condition is currently defined. They’re also immune from Traumatic Brain Injury (unless they spill their coffee and slip on it). They’re not immune, however, from moral injury. The potential for moral injury in combat veterans will only grow as sensors on “drones” and other remote-controlled machines improve. Soon, there will be little subjective difference between a WWI infantryman bayoneting an enemy soldier and what a drone pilot/sensor operator experiences when they kill someone.

    • The Fatal Flaw in American Foreign Policy

      The American definition of “murder” in the midst of war now seems to depend upon the technical methodology for the homicide, not the deliberate intentions of the killers. Beheading is barbaric. High-tech bombing picking off individual “bad guys” is okay. In fact, US leaders claim to be conscientiously selective, though the innocent bystanders killed by drones are dismissed as “collateral damage.”

    • All God’s Children Got Drones

      The Convention’s other goal is nonproliferation. The danger here is that a “Geneva Convention” for drones may turn drone proliferation into a distraction. Yes, drone proliferation is real. We’ve already remarked that some 80 countries now have drones. And according to Medea Benjamin of CODE PINK, 10 to 15 countries are working to produce drones that can kill. Naturally, we should be concerned about this. But shouldn’t our first concern be states which already possess killer drones? Medea Benjamin writes that there have been 350 lethal drone strikes on Pakistan since 2004 which have killed from 2,500 to 3,500 people. Those strikes weren’t launched by Burundi.

    • ‘Good Kill’ meant to start debate, director says

      Ethan Hawke stars as a drone pilot near Las Vegas who has a mental breakdown while killing targets 7,000 miles away (11,000 km) in “Good Kill,” a Venice Film Festival entry shown yesterday and meant to spark debate.

    • Open thread for night owls: Los Angeles Times reporter cleared stories about CIA with the CIA
    • Emails: L.A. Times Reporter Cleared Stories with CIA, Promised Positive Coverage
    • CIA Emails Expose Access Journalist at Work
    • LA Times reporter Ken Dilanian worked with CIA to cover up drone program casualties

      A prominent national security reporter for the Los Angeles Times routinely submitted drafts and detailed summaries of his stories to CIA press handlers prior to publication, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.

      The reporter, Ken Dilanian, appears to compromise any honest representation in the stories, even submitting revised drafts to appease the CIA.

    • Ken Dilanian sent CIA drafts of stories
    • National security reporter shared drafts with CIA press office, emails reveal
    • LA Times Says It’s ‘Disappointed’ In Former Reporter Who Shared Stories With CIA
    • L.A. Times Disowns Reporter Outed as a CIA Collaborator

      Recently released emails indicate that prominent national security reporter Ken Dilanian — formerly with the Los Angeles Times, currently with the Associated Press (and from 1997-2007 the Philadelphia Inquirer) — shared stories prior to publication with CIA press office seeking their approval, according to a story up on The Intercept. Now, it is not uncommon for national security reporters to vet facts with government functionaries, but the emails indicate Dilanian went much further than that, not only sharing stories prior to publication (a big no-no in almost every newsroom) but he also entered into discussions about how the CIA could bend public opinion of drone strikes their way.

    • Ex-Tribune reporter said to have ‘collaborative’ relationship with CIA

      A website cofounded by journalist Glenn Greenwald has published emails suggesting that a former Tribune Washington bureau national security reporter submitted some of his work to CIA officials prior to publication, a practice banned by many media outlets, including Tribune.

    • Former LA Times Reporter Submitted Drafts For Approval By CIA
    • NatSec Reporter Allegedly Had ‘Closely Collaborative Relationship’ with CIA
    • The CIA’s Mop-Up Man: L.A. Times Reporter Cleared Stories With Agency Before Publication

      Email exchanges between CIA public affairs officers and Ken Dilanian, now an Associated Press intelligence reporter who previously covered the CIA for the Times, show that Dilanian enjoyed a closely collaborative relationship with the agency, explicitly promising positive news coverage and sometimes sending the press office entire story drafts for review prior to publication. In at least one instance, the CIA’s reaction appears to have led to significant changes in the story that was eventually published in the Times.

    • Roboski Villagers Condemn US Hand, but Still Hold Turkey Responsible

      For the people of Roboski it does not matter that the deadly 2011 Turkish air attack may have been due to bad US intelligence. It still does not absolve the Turkish government, whose planes killed the 34 Kurdish villagers, they said.

      “The United States shares responsibility in the massacre, but we also hold Turkey responsible because in the end it was they who bombed us,” said Ferhat Encu, who lost his 15-year-old brother in the attack.

    • Rand Paul’s Strategic Slipperiness on Foreign Policy

      As Senior Editor Jacob Sullum notes below, there has been a lot of chatter this week about the apparent flip-floppery, or at least slipperiness, of Sen. Rand Paul’s ideas about what the United States should do to the Islamic State. (In addition to Sullum’s strong critique, see Leon H. Wolf, Steve Benen, and the indefatigable Jennifer Rubin, as well as the senator himself.)

    • Anti-Interventionism and Its Discontents

      Polls showing Rand Paul as the frontrunner in the GOP presidential sweepstakes have the neocons in a lather, with their online media phalanx frantically attacking him at every opportunity. It’s kind of funny to watch: the first fusillades were aimed at labeling him an “isolationist,” while more recently they’ve pointed out how he deviates from his father’s more angular policy positions. If you can’t smear and marginalize, then there’s always the strategy of cutting him off from his base.

    • Hamas Emerges Buoyant Despite Bloodshed and Devastation in Gaza

      Ismail Haniya, the top Hamas leader in Gaza, worked the crowd in what used to be the Boura neighborhood of this battered northern border town, kissing the cheeks of elders and the foreheads of masked fighters. He waved at the women standing in front of makeshift huts next to the homes flattened in Israeli attacks, as children watched from atop concrete piles where green Hamas flags were planted as though on conquered lands.

    • Ukraine Retracts Ceasefire Claim; U.N. Says Displaced Top 1 Million

      Ukraine has retracted an earlier claim to have reached a ceasefire with Russia. The office of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko initially said he agreed with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on steps toward a ceasefire with pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. But the Kremlin then denied a ceasefire agreement, saying it is not in a position to make a deal because it’s not a party to the fighting. Ukraine has accused Russia of direct involvement in the violence amidst a recent escalation. The confusion comes as President Obama visits the former Soviet Republic of Estonia ahead of a major NATO summit in Wales. More than 2,600 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine since April, the majority by Ukrainian forces. The United Nations says more than one million people have been displaced, over a quarter of them internally.

    • Inside Jobs and Israeli Stooges: Why Is the Muslim World in Thrall to Conspiracy Theories?

      Did you know that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Isis, was trained by Mossad and the CIA? Were you aware that his real name isn’t Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai but Simon Elliot? Or that he’s a Jewish actor who was recruited by the Israelis to play the part of the world’s most wanted terrorist?

      If the messages in my email in-box and my Twitter timeline and on my Facebook page are anything to go by, plenty of Muslims are not only willing to believe this nonsensical drivel but are super-keen to share it with their friends. The bizarre claim that NSA documents released by Edward Snowden “prove” the US and Israel are behind al-Baghdadi’s actions has gone viral.

      There’s only one problem. “It’s utter BS,” Glenn Greenwald, the investigative journalist who helped break the NSA story, told me. “Snowden never said anything like that and no [NSA] documents suggest it.” Snowden’s lawyer, Ben Wizner, has called the story a hoax.

    • US Boots in Iraq and Baltics, Authorization to Attack Syria…and US Troops in Ukraine!

      The peace president is clearly on war footing. US bombs are also going off in Africa and Pakistan. No one at home is talking about NSA spying anymore. NATO has a new mission.

  • Finance

    • How to screw tech workers and get away with it

      It wasn’t only eBay that got off scandalously light for such anticompetitive collusion. In a separate class-action suit against Adobe, Apple, Google, and Intel, the four companies agreed to a collective settlement of $324 million.

      That might sound like a reasonable numbers until you do a little math. The class-action suit represented 64,000 workers, which means each would receive the munificent sum of $5,062; subtracting lawyers’ fees shrinks that amount further. Plaintiffs had sought $3 billion in damages in lost wages, which under antitrust laws could have tripled to a $9 billion reward had they won in court — $140,625 each, or about $102,780 after the lawyers’ cut.

    • Koch Operative: Raise the Wage, Totalitarianism and Terrorism Follow?

      Leaked audio from the latest Koch summit shows Charles Koch’s “intellectual sounding board,” Richard Fink, drawing a direct line between increasing the minimum wage and the rise of fascism, totalitarianism, and terrorist suicide bombers.

    • One in Four Americans With College Degrees Shouldn’t Have Bothered

      Roughly 25% of those with bachelor’s degrees in the US derive no economic benefit from their diplomas.

    • Fast food workers stage national sit-ins and walk-outs

      Fast food workers across the U.S. went on strike Thursday, staging sit-ins and walk-outs to bring attention to a years-long campaign to raise industry wages to $15 an hour and allow workers to join unions. The demonstrations spurred several arrests and the disruption of business at fast food restaurants in many major cities. Ashley Westerman reports from Washington, D.C.

    • Over 400 Arrested in National Fast-Food Workers’ Strike for Living Wage, Unionization

      More than 400 fast-food workers and their supporters have been arrested in a national day of action for a $15-an-hour minimum wage. Workers staged a one-day strike in 150 cities across the country Thursday, from Las Vegas to Chicago and Detroit, to Little Rock, Arkansas, and here in New York City.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Huffington Post And The View From Bogustan: Standing Behind Blatantly False Claims Isn’t Journalism

      Ayyadurai has waged an incredibly bizarre public relations campaign, and the more you look at it, the more bizarre it becomes. However, anyone who looks over any of the primary documentation (much of which we’ve linked to in our previous posts) can only conclude that while Ayyadurai may have independently come up with some ideas, he most certainly did not invent email. It was widely in use. The key arguments in his claim are obviously false, and prey on (1) a misunderstanding or misrepresetation of copyright law and (2) an almost fraudulent misquoting of Dave Crocker, a guy who really was heavily involved in early email efforts. Again, all of that is discussed in the earlier posts.

      What I still cannot fathom is how the Huffington Post can stand behind this “reporting.” I’ve now heard from three different HuffPost reporters on the news side who all say that they’re horrified that no one at the company has done anything about this. The only official response I got stood by the stories, but actual reporters at the company recognize that their own credibility has been absolutely destroyed by this. It’s been pointed out that the five part series is on HuffPo’s “blogging” side — which gives a platform to PR folks with no editorial oversight.

    • Huffington Post Finally Responds, Stands By Its Completely Bogus, Totally Debunked ‘History Of Email’ Series
  • Censorship

    • Harrop: Stopping the ‘spiral of silence’

      The “spiral of silence” is a theory that people hesitate to say things they believe others in their group won’t agree with. It predates the Internet age.

      Let me add that the “spiral of silence” disproportionately affects the shy, the thoughtful and the female.

      Social media were supposed to free these cooped-up opinions by offering new venues for speaking one’s piece. But this high-minded promise of a vast online town hall for pensive argument has fallen flat, according to a new report by Pew Research Center and Rutgers University.

    • Automattic Rejects Series Of Bogus Janet Jackson Takedown Attempts By Using Janet Jackson Song Titles

      As you can clearly see that’s using a photo of Jackson’s famous “wardrobe malfunction” from the Superbowl many years ago, and applying the Things Tim Howard Could Save meme to it. Marginally funny. But not copyright infringement. Not only does Jackson not hold the copyright on that image, it’s obvious fair use for whoever does hold the copyright.

    • UN holds Internet Governance Forum in a country known for digital censorship
    • ‘Hypocrite’ Turkey Holds Internet Governance Forum While Twitter Users Face Trial
    • Internet Governance Forum: A missed opportunity for human rights
    • Protecting the open internet: the Internet Governance Forum in Turkey

      Let me be clear, while Turkey has made good progress in some areas of digital development and education, and done more in recent years to integrate the Kurdish community and language into the Turkish nation, there are still too many worrying steps with regard to freedom of speech. That freedom must exist equally online and offline. Not only are around 51,000 websites blocked at the moment, but dozens of journalists are in jail or on trial: one female journalist I met, Fusun Erdogan, was sentenced to 789 years in jail!

    • Forbes Praises YouTube Censoring Steven Sotloff Beheading Video

      Following the horrific actions of ISIS/ISIL, in which the group beheaded American journalist James Foley and plastered the video in online forums like Twitter and YouTube, I argued that it is important that the American Public be given the chance to repudiate the aim of the video: paralyzing us with fear. Adding to that thought, Glenn Greenwald argued that the reason one must fight against censorship in the most egregious of speech cases is that such cases are often where the limitation of speech is legitimized. While this may not be a First Amendment consideration, since those sites are not affiliated with the government, it would be a mistake to suggest that free speech is limited as a concept to that narrow legal definition. Free and open speech is an ideal, one that is codified into law in some places, and one which enjoys a more relaxed but important status within societal norms.

    • Austrian ISPs Sued For Actually Wanting A Court Order Rather Than Just Blocking Websites Based On Entertainment Industry’s Requests

      Furthermore, the industry seems to believe that everyone else has a legal responsibility to carry out its wishes once it declares a site as bad. It thinks hosts should take down sites, search engines should stop linking to them, advertisers should block ads, registrars should pull domain names and ISPs should block access. You’d think that maybe actually adapting to new technologies and giving people more of what they want might be a more compelling strategy, but the legacy entertainment industry prefers demanding that everyone else go out of their way to protect the legacy industry’s obsolete business model, without the industry itself doing anything more than pointing at sites (often incorrectly).

    • Record Labels Issue Takedown To Take Kim Dotcom’s Album Down From His Own Site

      We’ve heard some folks claim that all these bogus takedown notices we write about are just “anomalies” rather than a pattern of abuse of the law for the purpose of censorship. And yet, there are more and more examples every day. The latest one is particularly bizarre. IFPI (the international version of the RIAA) has apparently been issuing a series of bogus takedown notices to get Kim Dotcom’s album “Good Times” taken down off of his own site, Mega. That’s… quite incredible. This does not appear to be a strange attempt to hide Dotcom’s music, but it looks to just be pure sloppiness on the part of the IFPI issuing misguided takedowns. That is, the IFPI takedown notice lists a totally different song (and it turns out this is the second time this has happened to Dotcom’s album in the past month). As short-sighted as the IFPI is, it would take an other wordly level of stupidity to directly target Dotcom’s music with a bogus takedown. Even the IFPI must know that that would backfire badly. The story that it’s an “accident” makes much more sense.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Ferguson Police Department tactics will be focus of federal investigation

      The U.S. Justice Department is getting ready to launch an investigation into the practices and training of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department, a Missouri official and a federal official told CNN.

    • Meeting at University of Michigan connects police violence to imperialist war

      Dozens of students, workers, and youth attended a meeting at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor Thursday night to discuss the significance of the August 9 police killing and subsequent repression of protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

      Titled “Military-police violence in Ferguson, Missouri: The war comes home” and hosted by the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE), the meeting took up the interconnections between increasing police brutality and attacks on living conditions and democratic rights in the US and the escalating geopolitical tensions and military predations of American imperialism internationally.

    • The Miraculous Works Of The Criminal Justice System

      So, apparently White, with his hands cuffed behind him, shot himself in the chest.

    • Authorities claim handcuffed man shot himself in the chest, ruled ‘suicide’

      Authorities claim that a man committed suicide via gunshot while handcuffed and unattended in the back of a police cruiser. However, an autopsy report states that the man — who had his handcuffed behind his back, and was already searched for weapons — was shot in the chest.

    • Ferguson Police Chief Lied About Why He Released Alleged Michael Brown Robbery Tape: Report

      Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson lied when he said he had received “many” specific requests for the videotape that allegedly shows Michael Brown robbing a convenience store, according to a new report.

      “All I did — what I did was — was release the videotape to you, because I had to,” Jackson told reporters on Aug. 15 when asked why he released the robbery footage. “I’d been sitting on it, but I — too many people put in a [Freedom of Information Act] request for that thing, and I had to release that tape to you.”

      Writing for The Blot, Matthew Keys reports that the police department did not receive any specific requests for the videotape.

      “A review of open records requests sent to the Ferguson Police Department found that no news organization, reporter or individual specifically sought the release of the surveillance tape before police distributed it on Aug. 15,” Keys writes.

    • Guy Blouin ID’d as cyclist run over by Quebec City police car

      Witness says he saw cruiser run over man twice; bicycle and police car moved from scene by officers

    • This Week in Transparency: Shenanigans at the CIA, open-source FOIA reform, and more
    • CIA Redacted ‘Off The Record, No Comment’ From Released Documents

      Over at The Intercept, there’s an article claiming that the AP’s national security reporter Ken Dilanian had a too cozy relationship with the CIA while he was at the Tribune Company. It’s an interesting read, based on pages upon pages of emails between reporters and the CIA that were released under a FOIA request. However, what caught my attention, more than the full story, was something in all of those emails, spotted by Katherine Hawkins. And it’s that, on page 363, it seems clear that the CIA, when releasing these emails, redacted the line “Off the record, no comment.” It’s rather obvious, because Dilanian immediately repeats that line right back, somewhat angrily at the ridiculousness of it.

    • Militarization, Surveillance, and Profit: How Grassroots Groups are Fighting Urban Shield

      In the San Francisco Bay Area, the answer is yes. A coalition of community groups has come together to call attention to Urban Shield, a four-day long “preparedness” exercise for law enforcement and other agencies that will take place from September 4-8. They’ve organized a week of education, including a march and demonstration outside of the event on Friday, September 5. To these community groups, Urban Shield represents state violence and political repression, not public safety.

    • You Can’t Say Something Like That And Not Do Something About It

      Amnesty International also calls attention to how wrong Obama was to characterize torture as an understandable error of judgment in the immediate wake of 9/11, by people who meant well. (“He even called us patriots!” John Rizzo, former CIA acting general counsel, kvelled afterwards.)

      By contrast, the extensive paper trail that has emerged over the years is clear: The Bush/Cheney torture regime was “a chillingly detailed, planned and resourced operation incorporating systematic unlawful and criminal conduct stretching over years.”

      If Obama really wants to prevent this from happening again some other time, Amnesty says, he needs to start by releasing the full Senate intelligence committee report on torture — not just the executive summary, but the whole thing, and without the redactions the White House proposed in early August.

      As I wrote on Wednesday, Senate intelligence committee chair Dianne Feinstein expects that she will be able to release the approximately 500-page executive summary of the 6,000-plus page report within two to four weeks — redacted, but not so redacted it isn’t “readable and understandable.”

    • New York’s Shield Law Protects Reporter From Subpoena

      Risen fought the subpoena all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the justices declined to review a lower court’s ruling affirming the subpoena’s legality. Having exhausted his options, Risen’s day of judgment may be coming soon, forcing him either to be jailed for his convictions or to tell the government what it wants to hear.

    • Holder: No Jail for NYT Reporter

      During a press conference to announce a broadened probe of the Ferguson, Mo. police department, Holder was asked whether he stood by statements he has reportedly made in private meetings insisting that Risen is not at risk of being jailed for contempt despite prosecutors’ success in defeating his legal effort to avoid testifying against his alleged source, Jeffrey Sterling.

    • Up to 2,100 Photos of US Soldiers Abusing Prisoners May Soon Be Released

      Would the release of 10-year-old detainee abuse photographs, such as one depicting US soldiers pointing a broom handle at a hooded detainee’s rectum, incite terrorist organizations and threaten national security?

      That’s a question government attorneys will have to answer next week when they explain to a federal court judge why as many as 2,100 unclassified photos of US soldiers abusing Iraqi and Afghan captives should continue to be concealed from the public.

    • UK records undermine Government’s claims over damaged CIA rendition documents

      Last month, FCO Minister Mark Simmonds told MPs that records of flights passing through Diego Garcia had suffered “water damage” as a result of “extremely heavy weather in June 2014.”

      However, weather records for Diego Garcia obtained from the FCO under Freedom of Information have cast doubt on this explanation: official logs for the island show that the total rainfall for June 2014 was just 3.25 inches (83mm). This is a low figure, considering the average annual rainfall is 102 inches (2591mm) – or 8.5 inches (216mm) per month.

      Ministers have previously admitted that Diego Garcia, part of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), was used by CIA planes carrying detainees as part of the ‘extraordinary rendition’ programme, which saw prisoners flown to countries where they could be subjected to torture. However, the UK Government has so far refused to make documents relating to such flights public.

    • Diego Garcia: Heavy Rain That ‘Destroyed’ Flight Logs in CIA Rendition Row Wasn’t So Heavy
    • Compare North Korea’s Judicial System to Gitmo

      The inmates at Guantanamo are treated no differently from the way suspects are treated in North Korea. As most everyone knows, some of the prisoners at Gitmo have been there for 12 years, without charges, trials, or even the semblance of due process of law. If they were ever to be given trials, the proceedings would be kangaroo in nature, in that the outcomes of the trials would be preordained by the president and Pentagon officials. Much of the trials would be in secret and evidence acquired by torture and hearsay evidence could be used to buttress the preordained verdict, just like in North Korea. Meanwhile, prisoners at Gitmo have been brutally tortured and have no hope of ever securing justice. It’s not surprising that many of them have gone on hunger strikes in the hopes of killing themselves.

    • What the CIA is attempting to keep under wraps
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • FCC’s Tom Wheeler Admits There Isn’t Really Broadband Competition

      The big broadband providers have all been spinning a yarn for a while now pretending that there’s widespread competition. A key partner in this has been the FCC, which for years has helped spread this myth by pushing out totally bogus broadband data. If you want a good laugh, go over to BroadbandMap.gov and type in your address — and discover a bunch of bogus claims about broadband which you really don’t have. The speeds are inflated. The services are inflated. It includes mobile data broadband, despite it being priced much, much higher and with very low caps and limits — and speeds that no one truly considers to be broadband but, that doesn’t stop the big broadband players from using that bogus data to claim there’s tons of competition.

    • The Neutered Net: Why the FCC Can’t Save the Internet

      There’s no question that Net Neutrality has been this year’s most hotly debated and passionately defended political issue regarding the internet. It has often been painted as the next no-brainer that every internet user should hop on the bandwagon in support of—the next SOPA, PIPA, or NSA scandal. Opposition to shocking revelations such to these controversies sent a shockwave through the status quo of corporate government power. It was a signpost that the millennial generation can and will rise up to resist the oppression of personal liberties—at least when the fabric of their daily lives are at risk.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Corporate Sovereignty Debate Heats Up In Australia

      As Techdirt has reported, so far corporate sovereignty has emerged as the most contentious issue in the TTIP/TAFTA negotiations. In response to the growing public concern in Europe, the European Commission held a consultation on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), although that proved largely a sham, with the desired outcome clearly signalled by the choice of questions and how they were framed. Indeed, Karel De Gucht, the EU Commissioner with overall responsibility for TTIP, even went so far as to call the unprecedented 150,000 public responses an “outright attack” — which is an interesting way to characterize democracy in action.

    • Copyrights

      • How Canada Shaped the Copyright Rules in the EU Trade Deal

        In late December 2009, Wikileaks, the website that publishes secret government information, posted a copy of the draft intellectual property chapter of the Canada – European Trade Agreement (CETA). The CETA deal was still years from completion, but the leaked document revealed that the European Union envisioned using the agreement to mandate a massive overhaul of Canadian law.

      • Leak Of Complete CETA Text Shows Canada Fought Off EU Demands For More Extreme Copyright Rules

        As we wrote back in July, it seems that the trade agreement between Canada and the EU, generally known as CETA, is finally nearing completion, after premature claims to that effect. One reason why we might believe so is that thanks to some public-spirited whistleblower(s), we now have both CETA’s main text (pdf) and the annexes (zip). This has permitted Michael Geist to perform an analysis of how the copyright provisions in CETA have evolved since the first leak of the chapter covering intellectual monopolies, posted by Wikileaks back in 2009.

      • U.S. Government Wants Kim Dotcom’s Cash and Cars

        The U.S. Government is going after Kim Dotcom’s bank accounts, cars, art and other property. In a complaint filed at a Virginia federal court the Department of Justice argues that the property of the Megaupload and its founder should be forfeited as it was obtained through criminal means.

09.05.14

Links 5/9/2014: New WordPress, Systemd Debate Continues

Posted in News Roundup at 11:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Switch to Linux part 2 – install Linux

    Once you’ve got your Linux Mint image downloaded (or other distro if you fancy using a different one), you’ll need to burn it to a spare DVD or temporarily create a bootable USB stick with it. We recommend doing the latter by using the UNetbootin software and a spare USB stick that’s at least 2GB in size. Be sure to back up any files on the USB stick before using the software though, as it will delete them otherwise.

  • How a Linux system administrator evolves from beginner to advanced professional
  • Evolution of a SysAdmin

    There is an ever-growing demand for Linux professionals, and becoming a sysadmin can be a challenging, interesting and rewarding career path. We have curated a few resources that can help you take your Linux career to the next level – regardless of your current experience level.

  • Tux Machines Ten Months Later

    It wasn’t a big surprise when Linton announced her intention to sell the site. For a while it had been obvious she wasn’t putting the time into it she once had. Since the site had started in 2004, it had been constantly maintained, with links to other sites being posted daily, if not more often. Recently, it had lost that dependability. Days, sometimes weeks, would go by without the site being updated.

  • The Wrong Way To Install GNU/Linux

    Now, the newbie does not need to create a shopping list with thousands of entries. Many of the Debian packages are libraries shared by multiple applications so start with the major applications the newbie needs: a web browser or two, an office suite or two, some graphics applications for producing drawings or editing images, some multimedia software, various utilities like file-manager, search engine (yes you can have powerful tools on your desktop), database, etc. Make a short list of a few dozen or less packages that give the newbie what he/she wants. Then consider the desktop itself. The newbie can have none at all (strange but true), simple iconified desktops, brave new world shortcut-driven searchable-everything desktops and even some combinations like several different desktops running in virtual machines… Here the possibilities are numerous but there should be some combination that suites the user. If the user like most runs a few applications routinely and has a small total number of applications ever used, a rather finite desktop like XFCE should work. It’s a lot like XP with a task bar (or not), actual menus and such. If the user is some kind of genius with a huge number of applications, too many to hide behind icons, a search-engine base might be the way to go. You just start typing the name/description of an application and you find it just like URI’s autocompletion in your browser. Then choose KDE or GNOME.

  • Fedora in local medicine shop

    They are really happy with the OS as almost no downtime for them.

  • NBC, Today Show Use Ubuntu to Illustrate Celebrity Hacking Story

    Spotting Ubuntu in the wild should be promoted to a sport and records must be set for the most interesting places where the distro has been seen. It looks like NBC and the Today Show have used Ubuntu to illustrate the nefarious practices of the hacker that release some nude pictures of various celebrities.

  • Desktop

    • Chromebooks will make the year of Linux possible: Linus Torvalds

      Chromebooks are becoming quite popular among the techie as well as non-techie crowd. Even Microsoft has started to get worried about Chromebooks and is pushing hardware partners to do a Netbook 2.0 to combat Chromebooks.

      Linus likes Chromebooks quite a lot – this is one device which may realise the dream of ‘Linux on desktop’. When asked about what can be done to move closer toward the ‘year of desktop Linux’ at DebConf, he said, “Technical people don’t tend to use Chromebooks but I think Chromebooks are kind of things that will make the year of the desktop more possible.”

    • Toshiba introduces a Chromebook you would crave to buy

      Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, said a few day ago that Chromebook may realise the ‘year of Linux desktop’ dream. There is no doubt that Chromebooks are fast becoming preferred choice of users; the are the best selling devices on Amazon.com.

      Now Toshiba has introduced two Chromebooks which not only look great, but also pack some good hardware. The company has announced two Chromebooks, where one is an entry-level $249 Chromebook with standard HD display the other one is kind of high end with Full HD (1920 x 1080) 13.3 incg display with IPS technology.

    • Can this free software company secure the future of Linux for the city of Munich?

      There are many solved problems in open source. Groupware is not one of them.

      How else would you explain the number of migrations that fail on average in groupware? The Swiss canton of Solothurn is just one example among many as a result of groupware vendors who have given up and transitioned to Outlook or the web to meet their needs. Kolab does things differently. For one, Outlook will never be the client for the Linux desktop. And, the web is a good answer for a lot of things, but not all.

      The city of Munich is another good case to look at; they successfully completed a Linux migration that has saved them millions of Euros. But now, the newly elected mayor and his deputy have made the news by publicly considering a migration back to Windows. To explore this further, let’s first ignore for a moment that the City Council would need to approve any change in strategy and has renewed its dedication to LiMux. Let’s also ignore the fact that the City employees do not consider it a good idea to go back to Windows.

      So, what was it that prompted LiMux to be put into question in the news?

      If you guessed that Office interoperatbility may have something to do with it, you would be right. As long as there are competing standards there will be incompatibility between the dominant vendor and the rest of the market. Document exchange remains a constant issue that is ultimately only solved at the political level. This particular problem is not technical and the UK has recently demonstrated that they will choose open documents as the standard format to deal with it.

    • Acer Chromebook 13 review

      The best Chromebooks all have one thing in common: they’re small. The most popular Chromebooks have small, low-resolution 11.6-inch displays. They may offer a low price, stellar battery life, and fast performance — but sometimes you just want a bigger computer.

  • Server

    • Cumulus Linux Partners for Open Source Networking OS

      Does the channel need an open source operating system designed to power the next-generation networking hardware that powers the cloud? The company behind Cumulus Linux thinks so, and so too, apparently, do Dell, VMware (VMW) and other partners who have endorsed Cumulus Linux through major reseller and distribution agreements recently.

    • Parallels wants to help automate, manage and secure Linux containers

      Virtualization firm Parallels Inc. is hoping to break into the world of containers with its automation, security and management software.

      Parallels told The Register that its automation and management software Virtuozzo could be useful in making containers better behave.

    • Total chooses Linux for its supercomputer

      French oil firm Total has revealed that its supercomputer is now running on a Linux Enterprise Server operating system.

      The oil giant chose the Linux Enterprise Server – provided by software company SUSE – as it was the best value for money, according to the Total’s high power computer (HPC) engineer, Diego Klahr.

      The IT deployment comes as Total looks to bolster its oil production process. In 2013, with oil and gas reserves diminishing, the Exploration and Production (Total E&P) department needed to improve how it located new oil and gas reserves.

    • Does Docker Need an Open Source Foundation?

      The open source Docker container virtualization project got started in March of 2013 and has since grown to become one of the most talked about virtualization technologies in the industry.

      Docker was started by Solomon Hykes, while Hykes was running a PaaS company known at the time as dotCloud. The dotCloud business has since been sold and Hykes is the CTO of Docker, Inc. which is the lead commercial sponsor behind Docker.

      In some cases with open source software, there is a push from the broader community for a vendor neutral foundation to help run the project. That’s not likely to be the case for Docker.

  • Kernel Space

    • Random Thoughts, Cheap Shots, Bon Mots…

      Of course, as you might expect, Linus left a wide range of debate and discussion in his verbal wake. Among the things that raised both cheers and jeers were items like packaging programs is difficult and time consuming, systemd, GPLv3, and a complaint about the way distros go about doing what they do. That and, of course, saying the Free Software Foundation is full of fanatics (of course, he backtracked and said that there are many good FSFers, but some were extreme).

    • Boycott Systemd, Messy Makulu, and Top Ten

      Systemd continues to grab headlines and today there are calls to boycott it. The Document Foundation are holding membership committee elections. Matthew Miller and Jim Whitehurst talk Fedora and Red Hat. New high-risk threats have been reported to infect Linux systems. Christine Hall says Distrowatch’s Top Ten actually contains only five distros and Softpedia.com says an old Ubuntu installer bug can still wipe your hard drive.

    • systemd, a brave new world

      After spending a while fighting with upstart, at work, I decided that systemd couldn’t be any worse and yesterday morning upgraded one of my servers to run it.

    • btrfs rebalancing
    • Graphics Stack

      • More Nouveau Re-Clocking Patches Published

        A few weeks back Roy posted improved re-clocking code for NVA3 GPUs. Today his latest set of patches work on memory re-clocking improvements for DDR2/DDR3 hardware. The patches also implement wait-for-vblank to remove flickering during memory re-clocking, improvements for reducing the downtime of PFIFO pauses, etc. These patches are prep work for the actual memory re-clocking code that he says will follow later.

      • X.Org Is Looking For Some Female Help

        The X.Org Foundation is looking for one female to fund in the months ahead to do some sort of work for the open-source project.

      • Wayland/Weston 1.6 Release Candidate 1 Is Out

        Wayland 1.6 is finally close to materializing and should be officially released later this month.

        Pekka Paalanen of Collabora has been handling Wayland 1.6 release management in the absence of Wayland founder Kristian Høgsberg. There was a Wayland 1.6 Alpha in late August while out today is Wayland 1.6 RC1 along with a release candidate to the Weston compositor.

      • Wayland and Weston 1.6 RC1 snapshot (1.5.92)
    • Benchmarks

      • More Linux Benchmarks Of The AMD FX-8370E / FX-8370 / FX-9590

        In adding some extra tests besides what was shared in our large Linux review of the new AMD FX CPUs from earlier in the week, that included a fairly big comparison of Intel and AMD CPUs, here’s some more Linux test results for just the FX-8370E, FX-8370, and FX-9590 processors.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Intermediate results of the icon tests: Elementary

      The introduction of the new Breeze icon set in KDE let us again wonder, what aspects of an icon set actually takes what impact on the usability of it. We investigated Oxygen and Tango Icons for the LibreOffice project before, but our focus then was on checking all icons of the standard tool bar. This time we focus on different icon sets and will use 13 common actions to compare them.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.14 Beta 2 Has Been Released!

        Frederic Peters has announced the release of GNOME 3.13.91, the second beta release which is a new step towards 3.14.0, scheduled to be released September 24th. This beta release updates many core applications such as: adwaita-icon-theme, Baobab, Caribou, Clutter, Clutter-gtk, Epiphany, Evince, GNOME Display Manager, glibmm, Gnome Contacts, GNOME Control Center, GNOME Desktop, GNOME Screenshot, GNOME Shell, GNOME System Monitor, grilo, GTK+, LibGWeather, Mutter, Nautilus (Files), Pango, Totem (Videos), Vala, and more.

      • GNOME 3.14 Beta 2 Released

        The second beta release to the GNOME 3.14 desktop stack due out later this month is now available.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Desktop Fragmentation Is a Feature, Not a Bug

      One of the most common expressions that you will hear in the Linux community is platform fragmentation, and it’s also one of the contra arguments that people spout when citing reasons not to get a Linux OS. I’m here to tell you why platform fragmentation is actually a good thing.

    • Netrunner – The Best Distro You’ve Barely Heard Of

      My overall conclusion with Netrunner Rolling is that there is no better Arch platformed Linux distro with KDE as the default environment out there. It just works. It gets out of the way and it gives the end user a clean, crisp and efficient desktop right out of the gate. You don’t have to know binary to get it installed, updated, and running. You don’t have to sacrifice a goat to Cthulhu (I’ve heard that comes later?) to have a pleasing KDE experience for your desktop. I keep saying this, but it just works.

    • New Releases

      • Backtrack 5 R3 Hits One Million Downloads on Softpedia

        Backtrack was a Linux distribution designed for digital forensics and penetration testing and it’s no longer maintained. In fact, this OS was so successful that it’s still being downloaded and used even today, despite the fact that it’s no longer maintained.

        Backtrack was not the only security-oriented distribution, but the wealth of applicationS provided by the developers ensured its supremacy. It remained one of the most downloaded Linux distributions for a long time, even after it wasn’t maintained anymore.

    • Screenshots

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo Linux 20140826 Iron Penguin Edition — open source fans, download now!

        There are so many Linux distributions to choose from. Depending on your perspective, this can be a good or bad thing. You see, for many, using Linux is about choice — you get to choose the distro, packages and environment. There is truth to this; however, many others, including myself, often wonder if the community’s efforts are too fragmented. In other words, when talent is spread thin, progress may be slowed.

        One distro which should not be discussed in this debate is Gentoo; it has been around for 12 years and is not some recently launched project. Hell, Google chose this distro as the base for Chrome OS, so it must be good; seriously, the search-giant’s operating system is pretty darn stable. Gentoo Linux has reached version 20140826 and it looks like a winner.

      • New Gentoo, Just Peachy, and Tuxmachines Now

        gentooA new Gentoo liveDVD was released last week featuring Linux 3.15 and KDE 4.13. Jack Wallen follows Jack Germain in tests of a new “fresh and juicy” Linux. The Reg test drives Ubuntu 14.10. And finally today, Christine Hall takes a look at my old Website, Tuxmachines.org, under its new management.

      • Gentoo Linux releases the 20140826 LiveDVD – Iron Penguin Edition
    • Red Hat Family

      • Cisco, Red Hat broaden partnership, eye integrated OpenStack systems

        Cisco and Red Hat on Thursday announced integrated systems designed for OpenStack cloud deployments.

        The companies also said they would collaborate more on OpenStack as well as Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure and Intercloud efforts.

      • OpenStack 101: Getting started with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform

        Cloud computing is enjoying a growing presence in businesses today, and according to forecasts from experts such as Gartner, uptake is only set to rise in the future.

        As organizations that haven’t already latched onto the trend look to do so, investing in the right infrastructure, technology and tools is essential. OpenStack, as a community project, is not yet ready for the enterprise ‘as-is’. However, like other popular open source community projects including Linux, there are companies, including Red Hat, that are making the community project into an enterprise Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering, enabling organizations to attain greater agility and scalability with the cloud, with the support lifecycle, vast partner ecosystem, and certified solutions portfolio that enterprise customers require.

      • Fedora

        • Matthew Miller: The Remaking of Fedora 1, 2, 3

          “If you look at Fedora over the past decade, you see sort of a decision to make it one-size-fits-all. But we are now looking at Fedora and asking, ‘what is Fedora?’ and ‘what can we make better?’ When you look at Fedora now, you can see that there was a decision to make it a desktop-only distro — so that was the focus for a while. … Over the last few years, the focus has changed.”

        • Fedora 21 Alpha to slip by one week
        • Fedora 21 Alpha Slips By Another Week

          Jaroslav Reznik of Red Hat announced today that Fedora 21 has slipped by yet another week.

          The Fedora 21 release was delayed by yet another week due to unresolved blocker bugs. In particular, there’s 8 blocker bugs right now ranging from Anaconda installer issues to theming issues. As a result, Fedora 21 Alpha will hopefully come around the 16th of September if no further delays take place. All further milestones are pushed back by an additional week.

    • Debian Family

      • The Linux Setup – Stefano Zacchiroli, Former Debian Project Leader

        Stefano is my great white whale. I’ve been trying to interview him for years, so I was very excited when he was able to make some time for this. He’s a Debian user, as you might expect from a former Debian Project Leader. Stefano also has a lot of nice things to say about GNOME Shell. And mutt users will want to check out his software list, as there’s a lot of nice Emacs integrations in there.

      • Debian PPA Utility

        Since its introduction, PPA’s are exclusively connected to Ubuntu and its derivatives (Mint, Elementary, etc …). But over time, a number of interesting projects appeared whose whole development is happening inside of PPA’s. To name few, I’m talking about TLP, Geary, Oracle Java Installer, Elementary OS and etc … Some of these projects are in WNPP without much happening for a long time, i.e: TLP

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • YES, I have ridden the UNICORN: The Ubuntu Utopic unicorn

            Ubuntu 14.10, nicknamed Utopic Unicorn, is coming in just a few months. Alpha releases have been available for some time but beta testing started last week, meaning code is generally stable enough for virtual machines and other testing scenarios.

            Ubuntu’s current release cycle means that the main Ubuntu line usually sits out the first beta and 14.10 is no exception. There is no beta 1 for Ubuntu 14.10; instead this beta consists of a number of participating “flavors,” whose betas are also now available.

          • Ubuntu Touch Can Now Be Used to Control AR Drones

            The Ubuntu Touch platform is getting closer to a release on the market and some very interesting applications are making their way into the Ubuntu Store, like this drone control app.

          • Canonical Releases Mir 0.7.0 Display Server
          • The DowNow 0.3 (Torrent Client) Is Now Available Via The Ubuntu Touch App Store

            For now, the app is still under massive development, the DowNow 0.3 click package being downloadable via either Launchpad or Ubuntu Software Center.

            There aren’t a lot of applications for Ubuntu Touch available yet,but Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth hopes that by the time the first Ubuntu Touch powered phones hit the market, the top 50 Android/iOS apps will be available for Ubuntu Touch.

          • Canonical Has Joined The Khronos Group To Contribute To The Creation Of Mir/Wayland Drivers

            For now, both Mir and Wayland are under massive development, none of them being used on desktop yet. While Mir is testable via the Ubuntu Touch Next Image, Wayland will be added to the default repositories of Fedora, but will not be used as default.

            At first, Canonical intended to use Red Hat’s Wayland on their Ubuntu Touch, but it was difficult for them to submit patches and customizations for the mobile device and so, they decided to do the work themselves and created Mir.

            Recently, Canonical has joined the Khronos Group to contribute to the creation of Mir/Wayland drivers.

          • Ubuntu Attracts Developers

            Have you ever wondered why you use the operating system you do to create programs, perhaps for other completely different operating systems? Canonical is making efforts to try to attract you to Ubuntu, even if you are targeting Android.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 5 things you need to know about the Raspberry Pi’s Epiphany web browser
    • RasPi issue 2 out now!

      Build a Raspberry Pi robot and create a game in Scratch with the latest issue of the digital RasPi magazine

    • 5 things you need to know about the Raspberry Pi’s Epiphany web browser

      Epiphany is a new web browser for the Raspberry Pi. It’s been modified to be faster, smoother and more powerful than the previous web browser, Midori, meaning it possible to watch 720p YouTube videos and browse more Javascript-heavy websites like RaspberryPi.org and RasPi.Today.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Samsung’s Tizen-Based Gear S Throws a Curve at Smartwatch Market

          Prior to this week’s IFA show in Berlin, Samsung showed off its third Tizen Linux-based smartwatch. The Gear S offers several innovations compared to the Tizen-based Gear 2 and Gear Neo smartwatches, including autonomous operation and a curved screen. The Gear S will ship in Korea in October, followed by a global launch. According to this mostly favorable CNET Gear S hands-on, there are no current plans for a U.S. launch.

        • Samsung announces Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Edge – continues to innovate in hardware

          Samsung is all set to further eat into Apple market with the introduction of Galaxy Note 4, the evolution of its Galaxy Note phatblet. It’s an evolution in a true sense as it continues to chisel out rough edges of Galaxy Note 3 while retaining the form factor and everything that’s neat about it.

          Another major announcement by Samsung was Galaxy Note Edge, which kinds of takes smartphones and tablets to the next level – bringing in the much needed innovation that’s lacking in the otherwise somehow stagnated Apple hardware.

        • Several Thousand People Use The New Rolling-Release OpenSUSE

          OpenSUSE Factory only had around 2,000 users at the end of June but by the end of August was at nearly 6,000. Meanwhile, there’s also just under 6,000 users of openSUSE Tumbleweed. The openSUSE community appears happy with these numbers and they’re still working on making openSUSE Factory a better platform for users and developers.

        • Factory: Over 6000 installations and growing!
      • Android

        • Material design comes to Chrome for Android

          Google introduced a new visual language for its products which they called ‘Material Design‘. The upcoming release of Android – Android 5.x – will be using this new visual language. According to reports Chrome OS will also be moving to ‘Material Design’. If you are not willing to take a dive and try Android L, you can now enjoy the visual design on Android with Chrome.

        • Android Continues To Gain Market Share Over Apple’s iOS In Australia

          Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, one of the most authoritative data providers on global smartphone market share, has released its latest survey findings for the three months to July.

        • Android Wear and Tizen smartwatches light up IFA

          Asus, LG, and Sony unveiled Android Wear watches, but the star of the show may be Samsung’s Tizen-based Gear S, which has 3G, WiFi, and a curved screen.

          Google’s Android-based Android Wear platform was well represented at this week’s IFA show in Berlin. New entries include LG’s round-faced G Watch R, the stylish, curved Asus ZenWatch, and a Sony SmartWatch 3, notable for running on a quad-core processor. These models join an early wave of Android Wear smartwatches including Samsung’s Gear Live, LG’s original G Watch, and Motorola/Lenovo’s round-faced Moto 360. Alcatel, meanwhile, tipped an unnamed round-faced watch with an unstated OS that is not running Android Wear.

        • Citrix ShareConnect Puts Desktop Applications on Android Tablets

          “Today’s workforce is more mobile than ever and they face two major challenges; not all data is stored in the cloud and many desktop apps are not fully functional through mobile apps,” said Jesse Lipson, vice president, Citrix, in a statement. “With ShareConnect, users can access and edit files, use industry-specific desktop apps critical to getting their work done and even use their business networks – all through a simple interface, optimized pixel by pixel for tablets.”

        • Best Android tablets (September 2014 edition)

          All of the tablets features here are very capable, powerful workhorses, and are ideal not only for home users, but also for enterprise users or those looking for a BYOD tablet. Any one of these will give you an excellent Android experience, and when combined with the right apps, will allow you to get a lot of work done when you’re away from your desk.

        • Android-x86 4.4 review – technically a distro?

          We’ve been keeping an eye on the development of Android-x86 for a little while now, with the release of 4.4 seemingly imminent for some months now. In the past we’ve managed to use dodgy hacks of Android on proper computers or an emulated version via the ADK, but this promises to be one of the first complete ports of the mobile operating system to x86.

        • Firewall detects rogue cell towers that try to intercept your calls

          Most people know to turn off GPS on their mobiles if they are bothered about being tracked however fewer people know not to leave on Wi-Fi & call service as these also can be used to track you.

        • Android Candy: Quit Thumbing Your Passwords!
        • The new Moto X could be the best Android phone ever made

          Today, Motorola announced its second-generation Moto X, the successor to the company’s rebooted flagship smartphone that was unveiled just over a year ago. Yes, the phone will simply be called Moto X again — not X+1, as some rumors had suggested — and it’ll be available for the same $499 unlocked as the original when it launches later in September (that’s for 16GB; the 32GB version runs at a $50 premium). AT&T, among others, will be offering it starting at $99 on contract.

        • How to Make the Most Out Of Pushbullet For Android and Chrome

          Since its release, Pushbullet has quickly become a favorite amongst many Android users. This free application lets you “push” any link or image to your mobile phone right from your desktop or browser. This means that you don’t have to get up and type in a link that you see on your desktop on to your smartphone.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Microsoft’s cheap assault on Android tablets is about to begin

        Microsoft is copying competitor’s models so vigorously that they should move their head quarters to China. After pushing ‘cheap’ (in terms of price and performance) Netbooks to combat Chromebooks, Microsoft is now about to flood the market with ‘cheap’ Windows tablets.

        Toshiba is going to be the first company to launch cheap 7-inch Windows tablet. The tablet will be launched at IFA tradeshow in Berlin.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Earning a living from open source software

    Nitish began sharing his stories with us on open source in May this year. Then, he wrote another one in June and July. In his first article, he explained how to write secure code using Open Web Application Security Project guidelines. Next, Nitish compared three giants in open source content management—Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress—based on these criteria: installation time and complexity, plugin and theme availability, ease of use, and customization and upgrades. Lastly (for now), Nitish shares his thoughts on Andriod’s rise to popularity in the hearts of million through open source.

  • 10 Reasons To Use Open Source Software Defined Networking [Slideshare]

    Open source software (OSS) now has a permanent role in the enterprise IT world. Gartner forecasts that open-source technology will be included in 85% of all commercial software packages by 2015 and 95% of mainstream IT organizations will leverage some element of OSS. One of the fastest growing segments within open software is Software Defined Networking (SDN), which simplifies IT network configuration and management by decoupling control from the physical network infrastructure. The SDN market is projected to surge from $360M to $3.52B in 2018.

  • Open-Xchange launches open-source OX Guard encryption tool for its mail and storage apps

    Germany’s Open-Xchange, a provider of web apps for renaming by service providers and deployment in the enterprise, has released an encryption tool called OX Guard. As around 110 million people use Open-Xchange’s apps (though they probably don’t know it), this is a reasonably big deal.

    OX Guard is designed to provide a layer of security over Open-Xchange’s email and cloud storage products, whether they’re consumed through a service provider or installed on the customer’s own servers (the software is free for non-commercial use).

  • Consumer risks of having a reseller that doesn’t offer enterprise open source products

    This message is not intended to sell you anything but more to be an “exclamation mark” in the strategy decisions being made in the consumer’s IT environment. By Russell Gill, general manager at Linux Warehouse.

    If you speak to IT professionals, Gartner etc, the majority agree that open source products are playing a larger part in the consumer’s IT environment. But here’s the conundrum: it’s more profitable for the average reseller out there to sell the proprietary product than to have their customers subscribe to enterprise open source software. Coupled with this, the resellers have to ensure that their staff are up to date with ever-changing trends and that they are able to support the IT environment.

  • New open-source file browser promises to locate docs scattered across clouds

    The browser incorporates Apache Lucene and Elasticsearch to furnish the search goodies here, said Mark Geene, Cloud Elements CEO and co-founder.

  • Open Source Developer Enhances Blue Button Integration Technology

    Open source software developer Amida, based in Washington, D.C., has released the second version of its Data Reconciliation Engine (DRE), a Blue Button-branded software component that supports the aims of the Blue Button Initiative.

  • Coreboot Lands Support For AMD’s Olive Hill+ Board

    Just days after support for AMD’s Steppe Eagle SoC landed in Coreboot, the first motherboard for this embedded G-Series SoC is now supported by mainline Coreboot.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • One Year of Release Management

        This month marks my one year anniversary contributing to the Release Management Team as a Early Feedback Community Release Manager and I was not sure how the experience would turn out at first. I have really enjoyed the last 12 months working on our Firefox Nightly release.

        At our last work week in Portland, one of the things I asked for was more responsibility surrounding our release and going hands on with more tasks and this month I will start working on our Extended Support Release (ESR) with Lukas. Additionally, One of my Q3 goals is to firm up some documentation and ideas around pathways and on boarding new contributors.

      • Mozilla Firefox 32 Has Been Released!
      • Benjamin Kerensa on Firefox OS & Internet Freedom

        According to the Mozilla Developer Network, Firefox OS is an open source mobile operating system based on Linux, open web standards and Mozilla’s Gecko technology.

        But there’s more to it that that: Firefox OS is about reinventing what mobile platforms can be, about pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the Web on mobile and about enabling entirely new segments of users to come online with their smartphone at various levels of participation, from users to developers.

      • Firefox 32 And Thunderbird 31.1 Have Been Added To The Default Repositories Of Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 12.04 And Derivatives

        Among others, Firefox 32 comes with an improved generational garbage collection, HTTP caching v2 has been enabled by default, the login metadata viewable is now viewable in the password manager, public key pinning support has been added, the number of found items in the find toolbar is now displayed, just like in Chrome, Scratchpad has received code completion and inline documentation, support for connectiong to the HTTP proxy over HTTPS has been implemented and both the Password Manager and Add-on manager have received improvements and a big number of security and bug-fixes have been implemented.

      • Your Facebook page as a Firefox OS mobile app

        Whether you are a business or community page owner, what would be better than increasing your page reachability by offering your standalone mobile app?

        Apptuter is an open source framework to help you achieve that, with minimum coding knowledge and easy to follow steps you would be able to produce your own app. The framework currently supports Facebook pages as a content source and is capable of producing apps for Firefox OS, Android, and IOS platforms.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Tender For Base Framework For An Android Version Of LibreOffice With Basic Editing Capabilities

      TDF currently plans to invest into getting LibreOffice, its free office suite, to mobile Android devices like tablets and smartphones, extending the existing desktop version of the software.

    • Microsoft is part of the problem, not the solution for Munich

      The new mayor of Munich is a self-proclaimed Microsoft fan and he wants to waste all the money that was invested in moving away from Microsoft’s vendor lock and incompatible technologies. His deputy is also a Microsoft fans so it’s not surprising that the new office of the mayor wants to bring back Microsoft technologies.

      But that will be a very dangerous move for Munich.

      Josef Schmid, teh deputy, points out two issues with LiMux – one is incompatibility with Microsoft technologies and other was increased support calls.

      Incompatibility with Microsoft products is a huge problem and it’s a problem for everyone who is using Microsoft technologies. Linux or Open Source are not the cause of the problem as Schmid says, they are victims.

      Then what is the cause?

      In a recent interview one of the directors of The Document Foundation disclosed how Microsoft users various tricks to break compatibility and that leads to people like Schmid to blame open source technologies without fully understanding where the problem lies.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 4.0 released, time to upgrade is now

      Matt Mullenweg, the founder and creator of WordPress has announced the release of version 4.0, code-named Benny. Matt says, “While 4.0 is just another number for us after 3.9 and before 4.1, we feel we’ve put a little extra polish into it. This release brings you a smoother writing and management experience we think you’ll enjoy.”

    • WordPress 4.0 “Benny”

      Version 4.0 of WordPress, named “Benny” in honor of jazz clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. While 4.0 is just another number for us after 3.9 and before 4.1, we feel we’ve put a little extra polish into it. This release brings you a smoother writing and management experience we think you’ll enjoy.

    • Trying out WordPress 4.0 on OpenStack

      While a good portion of my focus on Opensource.com is on OpenStack and related cloud technologies, my most recent background prior to joining the team here was in doing web design and development work for small businesses, nonprofits, and others who needed sites created for them quickly and easily. So while I’m a Drupal fan for a lot of things I do, the ease and simplicity of WordPress led me to use it for a number of projects.

    • WordPress 4.0 for Debian

      Yesterday WordPress released version 4.0 or “Benny” of WordPress. I have now downloaded it and packed up for Debian users.

  • Business

    • Teradata throws itself further into Hadoop with Think Big buy

      Teradata, a company that sells data-warehousing hardware and software for storing and serving corporate information, has pulled out its wallet for another big data business. Instead of buying software, as it did last month, today Teradata reached for a big data consulting company called Think Big Analytics.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • Open Source Software Licenses: Which Should You Use?

      Slowly but surely, open source software is taking over. If you don’t believe it, just look at some of the most popular tools that we all use: Firefox, WordPress, 7-Zip, MediaWiki, BitTorrent, Android, plus all of the free alternatives to paid software. But did you know that not all open source licenses are the same?

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Vote On The Open Source Local Motors Sports Car

      Last month, open source DIY automaker Local Motors launched its next big design contest, and this one has production ambitions. The goal? Create a high-performance, low-cost track racer for performance purists.

    • Three key takeaways from the 2014 Open Knowledge Festival

      I was lucky to be in Berlin Open Access Schism: Recapitulating Open So with some colleagues earlier this month for the 2014 Open Knowledge Festival and associated fringe events.

      There’s really too much to distill into a short post—from Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, making the case for “Embracing the open opportunity,” to Patrick Alley’s breathtaking accounts of how Global Witness uses information, to expose crime and corruption in countries around the world.

    • Linux certification, governments on open design principles, and more
    • Open Access/Content

      • The Open Access Schism: Recapitulating Open Source?

        As well as in free software itself, this column is interested in the ways that the ideas underlying open source are spreading far and wide. One of the earliest manifestations was in the field of academic publishing, where open access has been gaining ground steadily. It seems that the open access world has just entered the schism phase that mirrors the similar split between those espousing “free software”, and those who resolutely call it “open source.”

        This most recent development is captured in yet another brilliant contribution from the unofficial chronicler of the open access world, Richard Poynder. His blog, called “Open and Shut?”, is simply the best resource there is to find out about open access, its issues and key individuals. You could spend many days reading through the resources there, and it would be time well spent.

      • OPINION: Why Can’t OER Enjoy the Same Success as Open Source Software?

        Open Educational Resources (OER) have the capacity to extend this framework to education, provided that their proponents likewise view them as more than simply a means of lowering content costs. At the same time, one must also recognize the distinctions between the actors (hackers vs. instructors) and their products (software vs. educational materials). The achievable goal for OER by doing this is that it reshapes pedagogy as profoundly as OSS has reshaped software.

      • How being online changes how we think about the traditional research paper

        The academic paper is old—older than the steam engine, the pocket watch, the piano, and the light bulb. The first journal, Philosophical Transactions, was published on March 6, 1665. Now that doesn’t mean that the journal article format is obsolete—many inventions much older are still in wide use today. But after a third of a millennium, it’s only natural that the format needs some serious updating.

  • Programming

    • LLVM 3.5 Is Finally Available For Download

      LLVM 3.5 is now available for fans just not looking for a more liberally licensed compiler but for those dependent upon AMD’s GPU LLVM compiler back-end and the other innovative use-cases provided by the LLVM stack.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Community revolts against ISO software testing standards

      Known as ISO 29119, the standard aims to join (and in some cases replace) existing ISO software testing mandates for concepts and definitions, test processes, test documentation, test techniques and one for keyword driven testing.

      The elegantly named 29119 Software Testing standard has been created in association with the IEEE and the IEC — it is said to be an internationally agreed set of standards for software testing that can be used within any software development life cycle or organisation.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • ‘Debating’ War, Corporate Media Style

      As the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) has expanded control over territory in Iraq and Syria, a growing chorus of politicians and pundits are demanding the Obama administration take more forceful military action. ISIS’s gruesome beheadings of two American journalists have only increased those calls, leading some to compare the media frenzy to the run-up to the Iraq War.

    • NATO – An Idea Whose Time Has Gone

      Whatever modern NATO has become, a defensive alliance it is not…

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Huffington Post Doubles Down, Has MIT Professor Spread Blatant Falsehoods About Creation Of Email

      We already covered the bizarre situation in which one of the biggest names in PR has “teamed up” with the Huffington Post to write an entirely bogus “series” of stories on the “history of email” that is nothing more than a PR campaign for a liar. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai claims to have invented email. He did not. We went into great detail on this on Tuesday, so you can check out the history there.

      Despite my requests to both Huffington Post and Larry Weber (the PR guy who kicked off the “series”), neither has responded and explained if any money is changing hands here. That means either it is, and Huffington Post is violating FTC rules concerning “paid” posts, or Huffington Post just made it clear that it is willing to post pure bullshit without the slightest bit of fact checking. I’m still not sure which is worse.

    • CNN Tech Analyst Thinks 4Chan Is A Person: ‘He May Have Been A Systems Administrator’
    • David Gregory–and Other Famous Left-Wingers

      As for Gregory–”famously left-leaning” to whom? The Post doesn’t offer any specifics on that score, but that’s typical right-wing media criticism: The corporate media are full of left-wingers because we’ve said so for a long time.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Tom Newton Dunn is one in half a million

      It was revealed this week that the Met police used a RIPA request to access the telephone records of The Sun’s Political Editor, Tom Newton Dunn.

    • Nude photos, phone records, NSA data offer essential lessons for admins

      As to that NSA data, a great deal of confusion about “surveillance” seems to be floating around. In the United Kingdom, questions are being asked about all the data-gathering by the British equivalent of the NSA, GCHQ. In response, Secretary of State Theresa May has responded that “there is no programme of mass surveillance and there is no surveillance state” and labels claims that GCHQ engages in unlawful hacking as “nonsense.” Yet clearly, a lot of data is being gathered.

      GCHQ, the NSA, and probably every other intelligence agency worth the name is actively gathering data from the Internet. Everything on the Internet is transient, with different decay periods, so gathering information is a constant process. They believe everything that can be gathered without illegal action is fair game, so they gather anything and everything they can, storing it just in case.

      They are without doubt capturing and recording all and any email, instant messages, Web pages, social media traffic, and so on. Recent disclosures reveal that the NSA collects “nearly everything a user does on the Internet,” then offers analysts tools to search that data. The NSA has a variety of explanations why it’s all legally gathered.

  • Civil Rights

    • UK Police Abused Anti-Terror Law To Snoop On Journalist’s Phone Records Concerning Minor Political Spat

      Plebgate is one of those silly minor political spats in the UK involving a top UK politician who apparently got angry that police wouldn’t let him ride his bike out of the main gate at 10 Downing Street. The details really don’t matter. It’s just one of those political type stories that the press loves. But, now it’s come out that in investigating this incident, the Metropolitan Police appear to have abused an anti-terror law to obtain the phone records of journalists who reported on the story.

    • Plebgate: Met obtained phone records of Sun political editor without consent

      Police investigating the Plebgate saga obtained the telephone records of the political editor of the Sun without his consent, despite laws which entitle journalists to keep their sources confidential.

    • “Plebgate” report shows why the UK’s data retention laws are such a terrible idea
    • Militarization, Surveillance, and Profit: How Grassroots Groups are Fighting Urban Shield

      While all eyes are on the disturbing evidence of police militarization in Ferguson, are you paying attention to what’s happening with law enforcement in your own back yard?

      In the San Francisco Bay Area, the answer is yes. A coalition of community groups has come together to call attention to Urban Shield, a four-day long “preparedness” exercise for law enforcement and other agencies that will take place from September 4-8. They’ve organized a week of education, including a march and demonstration outside of the event on Friday, September 5. To these community groups, Urban Shield represents state violence and political repression, not public safety.

    • Judge Says Los Angeles Law Enforcement Doesn’t Need To Turn Over License Plate Reader Data

      Los Angeles law enforcement has been battling privacy activists seeking access to license plate data for over a year now. The plate and location data scooped up by the city’s many automatic license plate readers is considered fair game by law enforcement because visible license plates obviously don’t carry any sort of expectation of privacy.

    • NYPD sends top cops to Twitter school

      NYPD precinct commanders are going back to school to study a subject that’s second nature to any teen — using social media.

    • NYPD Sending Their Best Cops To Twitter School To Learn All About Common Sense

      I’d say it’s been pretty well established at this point that the NYPD sucks at Twitter. Occasionally they get it right and engage with the public in a meaningful way, but too often NYPD officers put things on Twitter that can only serve to cause the public to question their judgement. Insensitivity, racism, and otherwise crass behavior doesn’t make the NYPD look all that good, of course, so the top brass has a solution. They’re going to review their hiring practices to make sure they’re hiring good, level-headed men and women to put on the uniform and protect the public. Hahahahaha, just kidding, they’ve decided to send some of their officers to “Twitter school” instead.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Disney tries to block Deadmau5 trademark

        The logo appears on Deadmau5′s record artwork and is the basis of the large helmet he wears during every performance. Disney began investigating the matter back in April, and it’s easy to see why — there is an obvious resemblance with the Mickey Mouse logo, and since the registration would cover classes of products from toys to BMX bikes, the entertainment giant no doubt feels the need to protect its trademark. Deadmau5 seems up for the fight, though, going by his Twitter feed.

      • Disney Officially Seeks To Block Deadmau5′s Trademark Claim

        Apparently it’s a big deadmau5 day on Techdirt. Not only do we have the story of Ferrari looking into blocking the sale of his Purrari, Disney is officially opposing his attempt to trademark his logo mousehead, which he famously wears in concert.

    • Copyrights

      • Australian Movie Studio Says Piracy Is Equivalent Of Pedophilia & Terrorism

        We’ve already mentioned how a number of comments have been submitted concerning Australian Attorney General George Brandis’ Hollywood wishlist proposal for copyright reform in Australia. There are a number of interesting comments worth reading. I was pleasantly surprised to see the normally copyright-maximalist BSA come out against the proposal, saying that it will create a real risk of “over-enforcement, punishment of lawful conduct and blocking of lawful content including critically important free speech rights.” Dr. Rebecca Giblin, who has studied these issues and other attempts to put in place similar filters (and how they’ve failed), has also put forth a very interesting comment.

      • 4chan adopts DMCA policy after nude celebrity photo postings

        In the wake of the release of stolen, intimate photos from a number of celebrities’ cell phones this past weekend on 4chan’s /b/ Web forum, the site has added something to its rules and policies—a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown policy. While 4chan previously relied on its rapid expiration of content to keep 4chan LLC and site founder Chris “moot” Poole out of trouble, the heavy scrutiny that came from the latest round of celebrity exposure has pushed the site to adopt more formal measures to avoid litigation. (Victims of photo theft could use copyright claims to seek damages from publications and websites that publish them.)

      • Record Labels Take Down Kim Dotcom’s Official Album… From Mega

        In what could be one of the most ironic anti-piracy mistakes this year, music industry group IFPI has asked Mega to take down Kim Dotcom’s very own music album Good Times. Mega was asked to remove its founder’s music twice, casting doubt over the accuracy of the record labels’ takedown efforts.

09.03.14

Links 3/9/2014: Android Gadgets, New Tails OS

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • China Plans To Oust Windows

    However, there are also good commercial reasons. Most of China’s mobile phone manufacturers make use of Android and, even if the OS is nominally free and open source, we all know that it is still very much Google’s. An OS controlled by Chinese manufacturers makes sense. What is surprising is that there have already been a number of attempts at creating a Chinese operating system – Red Flag in 2000 eventually ran out of funds and COS China Operating System was launched as an Android replacement.

  • 10 Answers To The Most Frequently Asked Linux Questions On Google

    Go to Google and type in a query. As you type you will notice that Google suggests some questions and topics for you.

    The suggestions that appear are based on the most searched for topics based on the keywords provided. There is a caviat and that is each person may receive a slightly different list based on things they have naturally searched for in the past.

    The concept of todays article is to provide answers to the most commonly asked questions using terms such as Why is Linux, What does Linux, Can Linux and Which Linux.

  • Server

    • Parallels to line up with Linux containers

      Parallels is working to bring its automation, security and management wares to the burgeoning world of Linux containerisation.

      The junior virtualiser finds itself in an interesting position vis a vis Linux containers and Docker, because it has long described its own Virtuozzo product as offering containers. But Virtuozzo is closer to conventional virtualisation than containerisation, because it wraps an operating system rather than just an application.

    • Bringing new security features to Docker

      In the first of this series on Docker security, I wrote “containers do not contain.” In this second article, I’ll cover why and what we’re doing about it.

      Docker, Red Hat, and the open source community are working together to make Docker more secure. When I look at security containers, I am looking to protect the host from the processes within the container, and I’m also looking to protect containers from each other. With Docker we are using the layered security approach, which is “the practice of combining multiple mitigating security controls to protect resources and data.”

      Basically, we want to put in as many security barriers as possible to prevent a break out. If a privileged process can break out of one containment mechanism, we want to block them with the next. With Docker, we want to take advantage of as many security mechanisms of Linux as possible.

      Luckily, with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7, we get a plethora of security features.

    • Clusterbit Developed the World’s Smallest Datacenter

      The project began in March 2014 with both co-geeks Raffi Manoian and Zohrab Tavitian who founded Clusterbit. They decided to cram 8 credit card size servers into a little box and develop an open source platform where home enthusiasts, IT professionals, Linux technicians as well as high-end users can explore new possibilities.

    • Edge-Core Networks Accelerates Open Networking with Integrated Cumulus Linux Worldwide
  • Kernel Space

    • Linux kernel developer arrested in Russia

      Dmitry Monakhov apparently jailed for public protest against Ukraine conflict.

    • Kernel Developer Arrested in Russia for Protesting Against the Invasion of Ukraine – Gallery

      It’s not a secret that Russia doesn’t like democratic protesters and this was amply demonstrated in the last few years. Now, it looks like one of the kernel developers has been arrested in Russia while he was protesting against Ukraine’s invasion.

    • Sony backs AllSeen Alliance in Internet of Stuff standards slap-fight

      Sony has cast its lot with the AllSeen Alliance in the ongoing standards squabble over the pervasive-computing future tech known as the Internet of Things (IoT).

    • Sony Joins AllSeen Internet of Things Alliance
    • Systemd Controversy Not Going Away Quietly

      If you thought the systemd argument was settled, I’m not sure you’d be correct. Paul Venezia is back on the case today saying folks are continuing to blog, thread, mailing list, and forum about their problems with systemd. Katherine Noyes noted the trend in her Blog Safari today as well. Her first example says Linux is being turned into “OS X or even Windows.”

    • New Group Calls For Boycotting Systemd

      A new project has been established that’s trying to boycott systemd and the Linux distributions utilizing systemd.

    • Fanning the Flames of the Systemd Inferno

      They say art imitates life, but it’s surprising how often the same can be said of the Linux blogs.

      Case in point: Just as the world at large is filled today with fiery strife — Gaza, Ukraine, Syria, Ferguson — so, too, is the Linux blogosphere. Of course, it’s not political, social or racial struggles tearing the FOSS community apart. Rather, the dividing issue here is none other than Systemd.

      Systemd is a topic that’s been discussed in heated terms many times before, of course — including a lively debate here in the Linux Blog Safari back in May.

    • Is systemd as bad as boycott systemd is trying to make it?

      From just a purely end-user perspective, systemd is an application that I’ve come to like a lot. And I think that its adoption by all Linux distributions will make it easier to manage Linux systems.

      But it has come under heavy criticism from some quarters – for trying to be a Swiss-army-knife-type application. One that does practically anything and everything, which the critics claim is against the UNIX/Linux philosophy of coding an application to do one thing and do it well.

    • Intel Lands More Graphics Changes For Linux 3.18

      For the Linux 3.18 kernel Intel has ready some more DRM graphics driver changes beyond the exciting work already sent into drm-next.

    • Linus Torvalds: Respect should be earned [part1 from DebConf 14]

      Linux is also one of the oldest technologies which is growing strong day by day; Linux has been around for more than two decades (23 years to be precise) and it dominates virtually every space. It’s also one of those few open source technologies which are still being lead by their creators.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Trying Intel OpenCL On Linux For Video Encoding

        Following my testing and reporting last weekend about Intel Beignet starting to provide very usable open-source OpenCL support on Linux, one of the most common requests was to next see if this Intel OpenCL Linux supprot benefits x264 encoding at all.

      • GSoC 2014 Yielded Some Improvements For Mesa/X.Org This Year

        Google’s annual Summer of Code project ended last month and I’ve been meaning to write a brief update about the work done by the student open-source developers on their X.Org-related work.

      • AMD Releases Updated Catalyst Linux Graphics Driver (v14.30)

        Those dependent upon AMD’s proprietary Linux graphics driver have a new Catalyst update to play with today.

        Launched yesterday by AMD was the Radeon R9 285 “Tonga” graphics card, a GPU that’s derived from their Tahiti GPU core. The Radeon R9 285 has a $249 price point and comes in 2GB and 4GB GDDR5 versions. Unfortunately we weren’t seeded with any Radeon R9 285 so don’t know how well this new Rx 200 series graphics card works under Linux, but they released a Catalyst update that appears to support the new hardware for Linux users.

    • Benchmarks

      • littler is faster at doing nothing!

        With yesterday’s announcement of littler 0.2.0, I kept thinking about a few not-so-frequently-asked but recurring questions about littler. And an obvious one if of course the relationship to Rscript.

        As we have pointed out before, littler preceded Rscript. Now, with Rscript being present in every R installation, it is of course by now more widely known.

      • Running Gallium3D’s LLVMpipe On The Eight-Core 5GHz CPU

        Having an eight-core CPU that can clock up to 5.0GHz (albeit having a 220 Watt TDP), curiosity got the best of me to run some quick (or slow) Gallium3D LLVMpipe tests just to see how this software fall-back driver performs.

      • GCC 5.0 Outruns LLVM 3.5 Compiler By A Bit On Core-AVX2

        In anticipation of the LLVM 3.5 release that brings a number of new compiler features — including possible performance improvements from our benchmarking done earlier today — here’s some benchmarks comparing LLVM Clang 3.5 RC3 to a recent SVN snapshot of the GCC 5.0 compiler that’s presently under development.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • INTERMEDIATE RESULTS OF THE ICON TESTS: BREEZE

        The introduction of the new Breeze icon set in KDE let us again wonder, what aspects of an icon set actually takes what impact on the usability of it. We investigated Oxygen and Tango Icons for the LibreOffice project before, but our focus then was on checking all icons of the standard tool bar. This time we focus on different icon sets and will use 13 common actions to compare them.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • The GNOME Foundation’s 2013 annual report

        The GNOME Foundation has put out its annual report for 2013 as a 24-page PDF file. “As you will see when you read this annual report, there have been a lot of great things that have happened for the GNOME Foundation during this period. Two new companies joined our advisory board, the Linux Foundation and Private Internet Access. The work funded by our accessibility campaign was completed and we ran a successful campaign for privacy. During this period, there was a fantastic Board of Directors, a dedicated Engagement team (who worked so hard to put this report together), and the conference teams (GNOME.Asia, GUADEC and the Montreal Summit) knocked it out of the park. Most importantly, we’ve had an influx of contributors, more so than I’ve seen in some time.”

      • gedit 3.14 for OS X (preview)

        If you’re reading this through planet GNOME, you’ll probably remember Ignacio talking about gedit 3 for windows. The windows port has always been difficult to maintain, especially due to gedit and its dependencies being a fast moving target, as well as the harsh build environment. Having seen his awesome work on such a difficult platform, I felt pretty bad about the general state of the OS X port of gedit.

      • Raspberry Pi gets a brand new browser
      • Epiphany Browser For Raspberry Pi (Raspbian) Got Improved HTML5 Support

        As you may know, Raspberry Pi is an ARM single-board computer with the size of a credit card, being available in three variants: model A, model B and model B+.

      • Raspberry Pi Now Has a Much Faster Web Browser

        Raspberry Pi is powered by a wealth of operating systems, but there is also an official one called Raspbian, which is based on Debian, as the name implies. The developers have now released a new web browser that should be much faster.

  • Distributions

    • Simplicity Linux 14.10 Alpha Is an OS Based on Slacko 5.9.3 and Linux kernel 3.15.4

      The developers of Simplicity Linux have based their system on Slacko 5.9.3 and they are using the 3.15.4 Linux kernel. This kernel is one of the newest available and should provide adequate hardware support for the latest devices. Also, unlike previous releases in the series, the new version covers only two flavors, Netbook and Desktop.

    • How Many Linux Distros Are On the Top Ten?

      This means, in a way, that we can say that DistroWatch’s top ten distro list only contains five unique distros.

    • New Releases

      • Tails OS 1.1.1 update fixes some major bugs

        Today, the Tails OS was updated to version 1.1.1, bringing with it some critical security patches. In this release we see Tor updated to 0.2.4.23 which tries to protect users from entities who control your first and last node and can then see who you are and where you’re going, this patch changes the rotation rates to help protect from this sort of attack.

      • Tails 1.1.1 Screenshot Tour
    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • September 2014 Issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine Released

        The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published
        by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor,
        and Assistant Editor Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the
        Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license,
        and some rights are reserved.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to Webcast Results for Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2015
      • Red Hat Named As One of World’s Most Innovative Companies

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the company has been named one of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies” by Forbes magazine. Forbes named Red Hat the 12th most innovative company on its global list, and the eighth most innovative company in North America. Red Hat was one of only two enterprise IT systems software companies recognized by Forbes.

      • Open source not just software at Red Hat

        My internship at Red Hat has not only advanced my knowledge and skills of Linux but also about the concept of open source. When I first started experimenting with Linux, I downloaded a copy of a Debian ISO to share a partition on my Windows machine. While researching Linux, the phrase “open source” would often appear on blogs, articles, and on quick “how-to” YouTube tutorials. I would soon come to realize what that term really meant.

      • Red Hat: Open source “more secure” than proprietary

        Open source technologies are “more secure” than software that is developed in a proprietary way, Red Hat’s JBoss middleware business unit general manager, Mike Piech, said in a meeting with journalists.

        On the one hand, open source software code is freely available, which means that hackers will see how to hack it. But, on the other, there is also a vast community of people working to maintain open source software security.

      • DISA awards open-source BPA to DLT

        Herndon, Virginia-based DLT solutions on Sept. 3 announced the award of a five-year blanket purchase agreement through the Defense Information Systems Agency for Red Hat enterprise software and services.

        The award comes under the Defense Department’s broader enterprise software initiative, a Pentagon plan to cut costs associated with common-use, commercial off-the-shelf software.

        The agreement, worth up to $40 million through June 2019, covers the procurement of Red Hat open-source software and services for use by DoD and intelligence agencies. DLT is a reseller of government IT software and services. The award includes Red Hat offerings for Linux, virtualization, storage and certain cloud capabilities, according to a release from DLT.

      • Fedora

        • [GNU IceCat] browser is (finally) on Fedora

          GNU Icecat will be available on Fedora updates-testing repositories for some days. That’s right time to test harshly this new web browser (really it’s not so new considering it’s a fork of Firefox) and leave a positive/negative karma or open a bug.

        • Fedora’s New Project Leader Plots What’s Next

          On June 3, Matthew Miller was named as the new Fedora Project Leader, succeeding the outgoing Robyn Bergeron. Over the last several months, Miller has settled into his role of running Red Hat’s community project and is overseeing one of the biggest changes in the project’s history.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/Linux, The Distro I Love

        Debian is more than software. It’s 1K+ developers doing stuff I don’t have to do, bringing together thousands of software packages and providing an installer and package-manager to provide a pleasant installation, management and usage experience. Debian is also democratic and open. I can see their rules, their known bugs and what they’re doing about them, just like a modern political democracy, thriving and true.

      • Why Linus Torvalds doesn’t use Ubuntu or Debian [Part 2 DebConf]

        It’s well known that Linus once tried Debian, way back in 2007, and found it hard to install. One of the attendees during the Q&A session of DebConf 2014 asked if he tried it lately. The creator of Linux replied that while he didn’t give Debian a try lately he was sure that it has become much easier to install Debian.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Releases Ubuntu Developer Tools Center, Makes It Easy To Install Android Studio And Android SDK In Ubuntu

            Canonical wants to make developers who create applications for platforms other than Ubuntu feel at home. In a recent article posted on his blog, +Didier Roche, Software Engineer at Canonical, writes: “Ubuntu loves developers and we are going to showcase it by making Ubuntu the best available developer platform!”.

          • Unity 8 and Mir Updates Show Great Progress

            Unity 8 and Mir are the technologies that are going to be the forefront of the upcoming Ubuntu releases and they are updated constantly. They are still pretty far off from a desktop implementation, but the progress made by the developers is visible.

            Canonical is now focusing all their efforts to develop a stable and shippable Ubuntu Touch image for the phones that will arrive in just a few months. This means that developers are working around the clock to fix the problems and other various bugs that plague the Ubuntu for phones operating system.

          • Ubuntu Touch: Canonical Is Focusing On The RTM Branch. The Scope Management Experience Has Been Improved

            While new features and changes are first tested on the devel branch and get moved to the stable one when they are stable enough, the RTM branch does not get new features, only security and stability fixes.

            While there is no official release date for the Ubuntu Touch powered phones, they should be released this Autumn, if everything goes as scheduled.

          • With its powerful octa-core chip and unusual display, Meizu MX4 is great – but can it “handle” Ubuntu Touch?

            Yesterday Meizu announced its latest flagship device, the MX4, and we love it. This bad boy comes with a 5.36-inch IPS display with unusual resolution of 1920 x 1152 pixels; that’s 418 PPI for those who count these sort of things.

            MediaTek’s brand-new MT6595 octa-core chip is providing the processing power needed to run things smoothly. Said SoC rocks four high-performance Cortex-A17 and four energy-efficient Cortex-A7 cores. This combo can apparently score as high as 47,000 points at the popular benchmark website AnTuTu; so yes, future owners of the MX4 will get one fast phone.

          • Ubuntu Wants to Be the Best Development Platform for Android Apps

            Canonical is looking to befriend the Android developers by becoming the development platform of choice. In this regard, the Ubuntu developers have implemented a simple way of getting the latest Android Studio (beta) and Android SDK, with all the required dependencies.

          • Canonical is Testing a Big New OpenStack Cloud Play: BootStack

            Canonical has a new spin on its OpenStack plans. The company is rolling out BootStack, which is a managed service offering currently in private beta testing. Through BootStack, Canonical wants to help customers build, support and manage OpenStack-centric clouds for a fee of $15 per server per day.

          • Canonical Releases Mir 0.7 Display Server

            While Ubuntu 14.10 is still sticking to the X.Org Server by default on the desktop, an updated version of Mir is now available for early adopters and those running the Ubuntu mobile stack.

          • Canonical BootStack Will Build & Manage Your OpenStack Cloud

            Mark Shuttleworth announced earlier this year “Your Cloud” as a paid service by Canonical to build and manage OpenStack cloud deployments. Your Cloud has turned into BootStack and is rolling forward for those that wish to have Canonical build out and manage their cloud computing environment.

            BootStack aims to “take away the pain of cloud management” by building, supporting, and managing clouds. Canonical will build a cloud for you either within your data center / premises or hosted by IBM’s Softlayer. The cloud will be built to your needs and on the hardware of your choosing.

          • BootStack – taking away the pain of cloud management

            BootStack (short for: build, operate, and optionally transfer) is the new offer from Canonical to round up its cloud offering. Utilising their experience in working with some of the world’s leading telcos and enterprises to build OpenStack clouds, Canonical experts will design and build your OpenStack cloud in predictable time and on budget. Canonical will manage the cloud for you for a fixed price, relieving you from the pain of recruiting and training OpenStack staff. When your team is ready to take over your cloud operations, Canonical will transfer it to your care. It’s the best way to get up and running quickly on OpenStack.

          • Ubuntu Touch Now Has a Torrent Client in the Ubuntu Store
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android mini-PC jumps on Cortex-A17 trend

      Tronsmart has launched an $80-and-up “Orion R28″ mini-PC that runs Android 4.4 on a quad-core, Cortex-A17 Rockchip RK3188 SoC clocked at 1.8GHz.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Sony joins the Android Wear ranks with underwhelming SmartWatch 3

          In March, Sony said it’d stick to its own smartwatch software in lieu of joining the Android Wear party with the likes of LG, Motorola, and Samsung. Today, Sony’s completely reversing that stance with the introduction of SmartWatch 3, its fifth-generation smartwatch, which has completely embraced Google’s Android Wear platform. Sony intends to add a Walkman app for music playback via a Bluetooth headset along with a remote control app for stuff you’re playing on another device. Don’t look for much more to distinguish this device on the software front.

        • Five must-have apps for Android Wear

          Android Wear devices are getting lots of attention in the media these days, and that’s definitely a good thing. But what about the software for Google’s newest mobile platform? Which apps do you need to get started using your Android Wear device? Android Police takes a look at five essential apps for Android Wear.

        • Top 5 Essential Android Wear Apps

          So you’ve just picked up an Android Wear device, but what the heck can you do with this tiny wrist computer? Sure, it pulls in notification from your phone and shows you Google Now cards, but you need some apps too. It can be a challenge to navigate the Play Store in search of the best watch apps, but we’ve been keeping a close eye on things. Here are the five apps every Android Wear device needs to have installed.

        • Android Wear will get smarter says Google

          It is hard to argue against 2014 being the year of the ‘wearables’. So far we have seen smartwatches launched by Samsung and LG which first highlighted what we can expect from the new technology.

          ASUS is also entering the smartwatch landscape with their Xen Watch which they claim to be the most good looking sub $200 watch.

        • HTC’s Nexus tablet to come with folio style case

          Over the last few months there has been massive speculation in regard to the future of the Nexus range. Some rumours highly suggest Motorola will be making the Nexus 6 (codename Shamu) while other rumours highly anticipate the Nexus 8 will be manufactured by HTC (codenames Flounder/Volantis). Of the two rumours it would seem that HTC and the Nexus 8 are a likely pairing and this was further suggested by the leaked information of the accessories to come with the Nexus 8.

        • Asus ZenWatch flaunts its stylish metal body and curved screen (pictures)

          The Asus ZenWatch is the first smartwatch using Android Wear — Google’s operating system designed specifically for watches.

        • Asus adds Zen to the Android Wear smartwatch
        • This Amazingly secure Android phone was able to discover fake cell phone towers

          We’ve always been suspicious of folks being able to snoop in on phone conversations or intercept data, but there isn’t much we can do to prove that happening or to prevent the foul act. One secure phone seems to have changed that, however.

        • Why Do Android Apps Want So Much Access to My Data?

          This week, reader Maureen noted that these apps seemed to be overreaching just a tad. Why, for example, would The Weather Channel app need access to your Device and Call information? Why would it need to know if WiFi is enabled and the names of all nearby WiFi devices?

        • With Galaxy Note 4 launch, Samsung aims to pre-empt Apple, claim innovation mantle

          Samsung on Wednesday launched its Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, a curved screen phablet, and Gear VR, a virtual reality headset, but the larger mission for the electronics giant was to claim ownership of large screen mobile devices and to position itself as an innovation leader.

          The timing of the launch event, held at the IFA conference in Berlin and New York, was hard to ignore with Apple’s iPhone 6 debut next week. Samsung was clearly trying to claim the innovation mantle as Apple finally gets around to offering a larger screen iPhone.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • webOS rises from the ashes (again) as LuneOS: open source operating system for phones and tablets

        The operating system that once powered devices like the Palm Pre and the HP TouchPad is getting another crack at life. A group of developers have taken the source code HP released a few years ago and turned it into something new(ish) called LuneOS.

        While the software is still very much a work in progress, you can now download and install the operating system on a handful of devices including the HP TouchPad tablet and Google Nexus 4 smartphone.

      • webOS Lives On As LuneOS With New Release

        Formerly known as webOS Ports, LuneOS was officially released today for letting the HP TouchPad and select Google Nexus devices re-live what’s best about webOS.

      • Open WebOS reborn in new LuneOS release

        The Open WebOS mobile Linux operating system has been renamed “LuneOS,” and is available in an “Affogato” release supporting HP’s TouchPad and LG’s Nexus 4.

        WebOS is back — yet again — in an open source “LuneOS” respin of the Open WebOS project, itself a spinoff of the proprietary WebOS. The WebOS Ports backed project, which was officially called “WebOS Ports Open WebOS,” released an Alpha 2 version in June 2013, and a year later announced its new project name based on the platform’s LunaSysMgr UI. The goal of LuneOS is “not to reach feature comparison with Android or iOS but rather building a system to satisfy basic needs in the mobile environment,” says the project.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Keep (developers) calm and carry on: How Puppet maintains open source civility

    Above all the company also has a “3 Strikes” rule for any bad actors and states that certain violations like “threatening, abusive, destructive or illegal nature will be addressed immediately and are not subject to 3 strikes.”

  • Meet The Open-Source Startup That Wants To Automate Your Next App

    This places Hashicorp right at the nexus of so-called DevOps, in which developers take on more responsibility for managing the infrastructure that hosts their applications and puts them in the hands of users. Some people view DevOps as heralding the eventual extinction of IT operations as a specialized function; Hashimoto isn’t one of them, although he does think IT suffers from a fatal lack of automation. And that’s a problem he’s trying to fix.

  • Tox aims to be an open source and secure alternative to Skype

    A group of developers have been working to make an app like Skype that isn’t owned by a large corporation and can avoid surveillance from organizations like the NSA. It’s called Tox, and while it’s still in development– its security is far from guaranteed at the moment– you can already download and try the app for Windows, OS X and Linux.

  • Tox: Open-source, P2P Skype alternative

    If you like the convenience of Skype, but you are worried about government surveillance and don’t trust Microsoft to keep you safe against it, Tox might be just the thing for you.

  • What Is Tox? Hackers Develop Secure, Private Skype Alternative

    Since Edward Snowden revealed the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs last summer, developers and tech companies like Google have been rushing to create tools that restore some semblance of security and privacy for Internet users. Tox, a Skype alternative that features instant messaging, call and video features, is the latest entry in that field.

  • The Open Source Tool That Lets You Send Encrypted Emails to Anyone

    In the wake of the mass NSA surveillance scandal sparked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, all sorts of hackers, academics, startups, and major corporations are working to build tools that let us more easily secure our email messages and other online communications.

  • Out in the Open: Take Back Your Privacy With This Open Source WhatsApp

    Private messaging apps like SnapChat and WhatsApp aren’t as private as you might think.

  • Application Awareness goes open source: Snort OpenAppID

    Cisco Sourcefire recently announced that their Snort open source IDS/IPS 2.9.7 will now support free application visibility and control, called OpenAppID. It will be fully integrated into the current Snort framework and offers a new application preprocessor and keyword ‘appid’ that can be used in any Snort rule. OpenAppID will launch with detection for over 1400+ applications, providing Snort admins with much needed awareness of the applications on their networks. The Snort application information can also be sent to 3rd party analytics or SIEM tools.

  • Events

    • Celebrate Software Freedom Day on September 20

      I am very glad to share with you that registration of the eleventh edition of Software Freedom Day has been opened since early August and you can see from our SFD event map, we already have 129 events from more than 50 countries shown in our map. As usual registration happens after you have created your event page on the wiki. We have a detail guide here for newcomers and for the others who need help, the SFD-Discuss mailing would be the best place to get prompt support.

    • Wikimania 2014 Notes – very miscellaneous
    • Learn more about open source at Software Freedom Day 2014

      The days of open source software being something that only pasty white guys living in their moms’ basements cared about are long gone. Today, the open source movement is absolutely huge, with even big companies buying into the concept thanks to the cost savings and beneficial functionality offered by increasingly competitive and polished open source options.

    • Nine Reasons to Attend Xen Project User Summit

      Some claim that the age of virtualization is now past. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. And this year’s Xen Project User Summit will highlight many of the newest advances in virtualization. If you use the Xen Project Hypervisor — or if you are simply evaluating your virtualization alternatives — join us in New York on September 15!

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 32 Debuts With Improved SSL Security

        The new open-source Mozilla browser release supports public-key pinning and fixes half a dozen vulnerabilities.

        Mozilla is out today with its Firefox 32 release, providing users of the open-source Web browser with new security fixes and features. Firefox 32 now provides support for public-key pinning, which enables enhanced security for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate authenticity.

      • Firefox 32 With New HTTP Cache Released for Android, Linux, Mac, Windows

        Mozilla has rolled out an update for its Firefox browser’s desktop and mobile platforms. The Firefox 32 for Android, Linux, Mac and Windows brings a number of additions, while fixing some major bugs and updating other features.

        As a part of the Firefox update, Mozilla introduced a new HTTP cache for both platforms. According to the company, the new cache system will deliver improved performance and easy recovery when facing crash issues.

      • Firefox 32 gets a facelift, speedboost and more security

        Firefox 32 was released the past few days and it comes with some new perspectives from a user interface standpoint, it does more caching to speed up your browsing experience(if you switch from another browser to try this release let the cache build to see improvements) and improved security regards certificates.

      • Firefox 32 Delivers Ramped-Up Security, New HTTP Cache

        Mozilla has built a notable security system into the new Firefox version 32 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The new security scheme is targeted to keep hackers from intercepting data, including data aimed at online services. The browser incorporates public key pinning, which can ensure that users are connecting to the sites they mean to connect with. Pinning allows greater control over which site certificates are deemed valid.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Mirantis Counters VMware OpenStack’s Openness

      How open is the OpenStack cloud computing distribution that VMware (VMW) recently launched? Not very, according to OpenStack vendor Mirantis, which is loudly touting its own ability to integrate its “pure-play” OpenStack distribution with VMware infrastructure while keeping the cloud open.

    • How Elizabeth Joseph Became a SysAdmin on HP’s OpenStack Infrastructure Team

      Before Elizabeth Joseph began her career as a system administrator, she was a hobbyist who attended a lot of Linux Users Group meetings in her hometown near Philadelphia. Now she’s an automation and tools engineer at HP, working on the OpenStack infrastructure team and recently co-authored the latest revision of The Official Ubuntu Book.

  • Databases

    • Oracle’s MySQL buy a ‘fiasco’ says Dovecot man Mikko Linnanmäki

      A co-founder of the widely-used IMAP server Dovecot has outlined his three rules for open source success, in terms Larry Ellison may not enjoy.

      “The first rule is don’t sell your company to Oracle if you want to keep your product alive,” he told World Hosting Day in Singapore yesterday.

      “The second rule is also don’t sell sell your company to Oracle.”

      Linnanmäki’s remarks were, of course, made in reference to Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL, a transaction he feels was a “fiasco” but has turned out “not that bad because the only one suffering is Oracle.”

  • Education

    • Open-source programming: Project initiated to help IT students

      Open source software development is a very well-coordinated and properly engineered practice on a larger scale as typically, an individual or a small group of people start work on a project. After reaching a certain maturity level, the project is floated as open-source and volunteers are invited to participate in the development effort.

  • Business

  • BSD

    • The Features To Find With The Imminent Release Of LLVM/Clang 3.5

      LLVM 3.5 is tentatively scheduled to be released tomorrow as the latest bi-annual update to the open-source compiler infrastructure along with its sub-projects like the Clang C/C++ front-end. If you haven’t been following its development closely or trying out the pre-releases, here’s a recap of some of the changes you can find with this newest release.

    • LLVM Clang 3.5 Brings Some Compiler Performance Improvements

      If all goes well, LLVM 3.5 will be released today. While we have already delivered some LLVM/Clang benchmarks of the 3.5 SVN code, over the days ahead we will be delivering more benchmarks of the updated compiler stack — including looking at its performance against the in-development GCC 5.0. For getting this latest series of compiler benchmarking at Phoronix started, here’s some fresh numbers of LLVM Clang 3.4 compared to a recent release candidate of LLVM Clang 3.5.

    • GCC 5.0 Adds DragonFlyBSD Support

      The latest addition to GCC 5′s growing list of features is official support for DragonFlyBSD on i386 and x86_64 architectures.

      Up to now a DragonFlyBSD developer had been maintaining his own out-of-tree patches that add support for the DragonFlyBSD target and complete ADA front-end support to all four major BSDs. A few months ago John Marino, the developer maintaining the patches, began working to mainline them to provide out-of-the-box support for C, C++, Objective-C, and Fortran.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • California, Texas serve as testing grounds for open-source voting technology

      “We spend $1.8 million annually on maintenance for our systems, and we can’t find another firm to do the work that’s cheaper,” he said. Los Angeles County is hoping to release an RFP for its open-source system in the next few months.

    • Open source as a philosophy for life

      Washington DC based educator and FOSS evangelist Phil Shapiro thinks that open source could be a route to a more balanced mind if mental energies are attuned correctly.

      Open source is as much a philosophy of living as it is a method of creating software argues Shapiro.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • KlearGear Apparently Healthier Than Ever, Announces Plans To Start F**cking Customers Through Amazon Fulfillment

    A new phone number appears at the bottom of the press release [(646) 810-9268] which traces back to New York City, but it’s as useless as any other phone number the company has provided. Callers are greeted with an opening spiel in French before being spoken to in English. Callers inquiring about Descoteaux’s retail holdings (Gift World, KlearGear) are asked to press “1.” Doing so results in the message “Invalid selection. Please try again.”

  • AnandTech founder Anand Shimpi retires from journalism to work at Apple

    In case you missed it over the long weekend, Anand Shimpi, founder and editor-in-chief of hardware site AnandTech, retired from his position on Saturday evening. His farewell post doesn’t mention what his next project will be, but Re/code later reported that he had been hired by Apple, a fact that Apple confirmed without divulging more specifics.

  • Orange March IS Illegal

    What is at question here is not whether it ought to be illegal to march in uniform for political objects. The fact is that plainly it is illegal. The law is not moribund – it was applied for example against Irish republicans in London in the 1980s.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Guatemala Resists ‘Monsanto Law’ Required As Part Of Trade Agreement With US

      One of the less well-known projects of the West is to convince developing countries that they need to convert traditional approaches to agriculture, which have functioned well for hundreds of years, into a system of intellectual monopolies for seeds — the implicit and patronizing message being that this is the “modern” way to do things. Last year we wrote about how this was happening in Africa, and an article on bilaterals.org reports on similar moves in Guatemala…

    • Guatemala: People reject “Monsanto Law” for threatening food security

      The controversial “Law for the Protection of New Plant Varieties,” also known as the “Monsanto Law”, has been widely rejected by Guatemalan civil society. Groups say the rules will jeopardise food security and affect the farm economy.

      On 10 June, the Congress of Guatemala approved Decree 19-2014 or the “Law for the Protection of New Plant Varieties” which led to an outpouring of criticism from various sectors of civil society.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Does the Public Want More War?

      The paper’s August 29 edition boasted the front-page headline “More Want US to Flex Muscle.” As if that militaristic tone wasn’t obvious enough, right next to it is a graphic labeled “Is Obama Tough Enough?”

    • After Project Fear, Expect Project Terror

      But I also have no doubt the establishment are not going to accept this lightly. They are not simply going to let Scotland’s people walk away with Scotland’s resources. They have yet to make serious use of their most frequent instrument of population control – the “War on Terror”.

      The scene has already been set. Cameron has already told parliament that ISIS, or the Caliphate as it calls itself (I always think it is better to call people what they call themselves, rather than some made-up name) poses a major and imminent threat to the UK. Jack Straw is back on Radio 4 saying that Britain must bomb Iraq, as though the very cause of the Caliphate was not the last time he invaded Iraq. Saudi Arabia, which funded and still funds the Caliphate, is giving warnings to the security services of planned attacks in the UK.

      The truth is that everybody who has ever carried out an actual Islamic terror attack in the UK (of which there have been very few indeed) has stated that they did so because of British bombings and invasions of Muslim countries – a fact which is very plainly true. The notion that the way to stop this is to bomb or invade Muslim countries is quite incredible.

    • The Pentagon’s Strategy for World Domination: Full Spectrum Dominance, from Asia to Africa

      In May 2000 the Washington Post published an article called “For Pentagon, Asia Moving to Forefront.” The article stated that, “The Pentagon is looking at Asia as the most likely arena for future military conflict, or at least competition.” The article said the US would double its military presence in the region and essentially attempt to manage China.

      The Pentagon has become the primary resource extraction service for corporate capital. Whether it is Caspian Sea oil and natural gas, rare earth minerals found in Africa, Libya’s oil deposits, or Venezuelan oil, the US’s increasingly high-tech military is on the case.

    • The Case for Kill Switches in Military Weaponry

      This summer the insurgent group ISIS captured the Iraqi city of Mosul—and along with it, three army divisions’ worth of U.S.-supplied equipment from the Iraqi army, including Humvees, helicopters, antiaircraft cannons and M1 Abrams tanks. ISIS staged a parade with its new weapons and then deployed them to capture the strategic Mosul Dam from outgunned Kurdish defenders. The U.S. began conducting air strikes and rearming the Kurds to even the score against its own weaponry. As a result, even more weapons have been added to the conflict, and local arms bazaars have reportedly seen an influx of supply.

    • Midday Roundup: Deconstructing Putin’s scary statement on Kiev

      Look out, Kiev. Russian President Vladimir Putin is so misunderstood. A Kremlin spokesman said today that EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso took Putin’s recent comments about the fighting in Ukraine out of context. According to Barroso, as quoted in an Italian newspaper, Putin told him, “If I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks.” The Kremlin says those comments had a completely different meaning when Putin said them. Russian officials also accuse Barroso of a breach of confidentiality for sharing the contents of a private conversation. Did Putin really expect him to stay quiet about the possible expansion of the Russian “incursion” into Ukraine? Despite what appears to be a direct threat, European leaders remain flummoxed about what to do with Putin. They can’t live with him, but they just can’t live without his natural gas.

    • US hopes to reduce EU gas dependence on Russia

      The U.S. hopes, by including energy in a trade agreement, to reduce European dependence on Russian gas just as relations between Russia and the West are more fraught than since the days of the Cold War, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

    • Russia and NATO square off over Ukraine

      Moscow’s surprise declaration of a shift in its military doctrine over Ukraine has come just ahead of a NATO summit in Wales.

    • Obama’s Paralyzed Presidency

      The U.S. super rich are outraged by Obama’s hesitancy to wage war overseas.

    • Saudi arrests 88 in ‘anti-terrorism’ drive

      Saudi Arabia said yesterday it had arrested 88 men suspected of being parts of an Al Qaeda cell that was plotting attacks inside and outside the kingdom.

      The interior ministry did not give any details about the alleged plots, but said 59 of the men arrested had previously served prison sentences for similar offences.

    • Israel shows evidence Hamas used Gaza schools for rocket fire

      The Israeli military has provided its most detailed assessment yet of the conduct and impact of the Gaza war, including photographs indicating that militants stored and fired rockets from schools and a breakdown of the toll inflicted on Hamas.

      In a briefing at its headquarters in Tel Aviv, the Israel Defense Forces presented a minute picture of the structure and capability of Hamas and other militant groups operating in Gaza, an effort to explain the severity of the threat Israel faced and justify Israel’s heavy tank shelling and air strikes during the 50-day conflict — tactics that drew international criticism.

    • US drones strike 390 times since ’04

      The London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism has reported that with only one CIA drone attack in Pakistan in August 2014 the drone strike casualty rate for August was less than half that of July’s casualty rate.

    • First US drone strike in seven months hits Somalia

      A US drone strike hit Somalia, the first in seven months, in an attack aimed at killing al Shabaab leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane (below).

      The attack killed “six al Shabaab officers” but it is not clear if Godane was among them, said Abdullahi Abukar, executive director of the Somali Human Rights Association (SOHRA).

    • The arrogance of warmongers: Pacifism for the 21st century

      Much of what we today see as reasons to wage wars is in fact caused by wars. The atrocities of the Islamic State, a phenomenon that would not be possible without the Syrian Civil War and the American invasion of Iraq, is of course the prime contemporary example of this. A good runner-up is the reasons given for assassinating people with drones. Generating a worse situation than the status quo by engaging in an activity that is bad in itself is the risk. Improving the status quo is the potential gain. If we assume that the sizes of how much worse the situation can get and of how much better they can get are the same, the probability that we will see the gains must be commensurate with the evils of the war. In all other cases, waging a war cannot be justified on consequentialist grounds.

    • Ahmed Godane Survives Drone Attack-source

      Mareeg.com-According to media reports, the overall leader of Alshabaab Ahmed Godane survived the drone attack of last night.

    • US Kills Several in Strike on Somalia: Unknown if Target Was Hit

      The Pentagon confirmed an attack on Somalia yesterday, but offered no details until this morning, confirming it was a drone attack with several Hellfire missiles fired along the southern Somali coast. Perhaps even more interesting, President Obama is said not to have given specific authorization for the attack.

    • Somalia: Shabaab leader’s fate remains unclear

      US forces have carried out air strikes against senior members of Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab rebels, with casualties reported but uncertainty hanging over the fate of the group’s leader, officials said on Tuesday.

      Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby confirmed that the attack was aimed at the group’s leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, also referred to as Abu-Zubayr, and that the bombs definitely hit the meeting of Shabaab chiefs.

    • Al Shabaab denies leader killed in US drone strike

      Al Shabaab militant group has denied that its leader Abu Zubeyr, whose real name is Ahmed Abdi Godane, was killed in the convoy hit by US drone strike on Tuesday but confirmed that their convoy come under attack.

    • U.S. ‘80% sure’ it killed Al Shabab’s top leader in an air strike
    • US Bombs Somalia In Drone Attack

      Pentagon admits US airstrikes took place, but says details on operations will only be released to public “as and when appropriate”.

    • AFRICOM Conducts Operation In Somalia
    • Details scarce on US operation in Somalia

      A member of al-Shabaab said its leader was traveling in one of two vehicles hit by the strike but would not say if the leader was among those who were killed.

    • US set to open 2nd drone base in Niger, expand operations in Africa

      The Pentagon is preparing to open a drone base in one of the remotest places on Earth: an ancient caravan crossroads in the middle of the Sahara.

      After months of negotiations, the government of Niger, a landlocked West African nation, has authorized the U.S. military to fly unarmed drones from the mud-walled desert city of Agadez, according to Nigerien and U.S. officials.

    • Drone stricken families hit by PTSD

      There is no end in sight for the drone strikes carried out in Marib, Abyan, Shabwa, Al-Bayda, Hadramout, and Dhamar governorates. In fact, it is said that the number of civilian casualties is still on the rise. In most cases the repercussions to families affected by the unmanned planes go beyond the loss of lives, often leaving them clueless, traumatized, and desperate for answers.

      Meqdad Toiaman’s father was killed in a drone strike in Marib governorate in 2011. His death was a big blow to the family, both emotionally and economically. Toiaman, 18, found himself in a peculiar situation, suddenly having to bear the burden of financial responsibilities.

      Although the attack took place three years ago, the psychological damage it fraught on Toiaman and his family exceeds their personal loss.

    • The Zero-Sum Game of Perpetual War

      Readers with a morbid sense of curiosity can visit a web site called NukeMap that allows visitors to witness the devastation caused by nuclear weapons of varying yields on a city of their choosing[i]. Herman Kahn, who was an armchair theorist from RAND during the Cold War, insisted that nuclear war was winnable[ii]. But a few hours with NukeMap will disprove Kahn’s folly and the baleful smiley face that he tried to slap over human extinction.

      [...]

      Such men often go unnoticed because they tend to exercise power discreetly, standing behind a veil of propaganda[ix]. For instance Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Steve Coll has called ExxonMobil an “invisible company” thanks to a disciplined and well-funded public relations division[x]. This underscores the fact that the narratives put forth by the press are under the influence of an extensive subversion apparatus that CIA officer Frank Wisner referred to as the Mighty Wurlitzer[xi]. Powerful groups build consensus behind closed doors and then, as Chomsky and Herman explain, coax the rest of society along by manufacturing consent[xii]. Thus enabling what’s known as democratic elitism.

    • HRW: ISIL Using Cluster Bombs

      The New York-based group, citing reports from local Kurdish officials and photographic evidence, said ISIL fighters had used cluster bombs on July 12 and August 14, AFP reported.

      They were deployed in fighting around the town of Ayn al-Arab in Aleppo province, near the border with Turkey, in clashes between the Takfiri group and local Kurdish fighters.

    • ISIS is America’s New Terror Brand

      Endless Propaganda Fuels “War on Terror”

    • Obama pledges to send more aircraft and military to Estonia

      After Estonia’s request, Barack Obama said the US would send more air force units and aircraft to the country, as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization continues to amass on Russia’s border.

      The American leader, in a one-day visit to Estonia, emphasized NATO’s commitment to a rapid-response force, as well as enlarging the military bloc’s footprint at Estonia’s Amari Air Base.

    • NATO now versus then

      In the mid-1980s, Western Europe had good reason to fear the military might of the Soviet Union and its allies in the Warsaw Pact.

    • The Invasions That Dare Not Speak Their Name

      Last week, I wrote about the rhetorical contortions the Russian government and its rebel allies have employed to discuss the increasingly obvious and blatant presence of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. While the Ukrainian government is describing Russia’s actions as “undisguised aggression,” the Kremlin still hasn’t publicly acknowledged any Russian military presence across the border. President Vladimir Putin, though, may be a bit more brazen in private. According to a leaked report today, he told the president of the European commission that his forces could easily conquer Kiev if he wanted them to.

    • Warning to the World: Washington and its NATO & EU Vassals are Insane — Paul Craig Roberts

      Herbert E. Meyer, a nutcase who was a special assistant to the CIA director for a period during the Reagan administration, has penned an article calling for Russian President Putin’s assassination. If we have “ to get him out of the Kremlin feet-first with a bullet hole in the back of his head, that would be okay with us.” http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/08/how_to_solve_the_putin_problem.html

      As the crazed Meyer illiustrates, the insanity that Washington has released upon the world knows no restraint. Jose Manual Barroso, installed as Washington’s puppet as European Commission President, misrepresented his recent confidential telephone conversation with Russia’s President Putin by telling the media that Putin issued a threat: “If I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks.”

      Clearly, Putin did not issue a threat. A threat would be inconsistent with Putin’s entire unprovocative approach to the strategic threat that Washington and its NATO puppets have brought to Russia in Ukraine. Russia’s permanent representative to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, said that if Barroso’s lie stands, Russia will make public the full recording of the conversation

    • U.S. troops are (probably) already in Iraq fighting ISIS

      I don’t care for the phrase. Never did. Wearing boots is what combat forces do in certain circumstances. Using it as synecdoche for “troops in harm’s way” warps the scope of what the U.S. military does. It may also give the Pentagon an easy out, because certain forces wear sneakers, not boots.

    • 11 Tripoli Planes Still Missing, Sparks 9/11 Concerns

      Over the last month, Libya has been spiraling out of control, as terrorist gains and attacks have intensified. As of August, the US embassy in Tripoli was overrun. The Inquisitr reported that a local militia group stormed the compound and took control.

    • Bring back the draft to make clear the cost of war

      When the draft was ended in 1973, it became all too easy for American presidents to intervene militarily anywhere without the kind of public scrutiny and opposition that developed after the Vietnam War destroyed thousands of young lives in an endless, unwinnable conflict.

    • North Korea threatens Britain over ‘mud-slinging’ Channel 4 thriller focusing on Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons programme

      North Korea has threatened to cut diplomatic ties if a forthcoming Channel 4 drama focusing on their nuclear weapons programme is allowed to air.

      The country has branded political thriller Opposite Number a “slanderous, conspiratorial charade based on a sheer lie” and insisted through its state media that the British government ensure it is “dumped without delay”.

      London’s Foreign and Commonwealth office remains unbothered by the demand, explaining that Channel 4 is responsible for its own programming schedule.

    • North Korean military warns UK over Channel 4 drama
    • North Korea Drama a “Slanderous Farce” Says… North Korea

      A forthcoming drama about North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme has been criticised by the regime before it’s even been broadcast, with an NK spokesman saying that “hooligans and rogues under the guise of artistes” are disrespecting the country.

    • North Korea Slams New UK TV Series About Nuclear Program
    • N. Korea slams UK TV show on its nukes as ‘hideous farce’
    • “At this point, no plan for war is a good plan for America.”

      One man thinks Americans should have had enough by now of hawks and chicken hawks drum beating for President Obama to get America into yet another war, this time against Isis or the Russians in the Ukraine or perhaps invading Syria.

    • America’s War Hawks Back in Flight

      With America’s government-and-media war hawks back in full flight – preparing to swoop down on Syria as well as Iraq – wiser heads might reflect on the chaos that previous adventures have caused, as Danny Schechter recalls.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The Annual Slaughter Begins in Taiji, but the Japanese Are Shunning Dolphin Meat

      The annual dolphin hunt at the cove in Taiji, Japan, began on Monday. For the next six months, hundreds of dolphins will be rounded up and killed, their meat sold in stores and restaurants in Japan and other countries. But butchered dolphins are becoming scarcer on the Japanese market, which is good not only for the dolphins but for public health.

  • Finance

    • Participation: Of Whom, By Whom, For Whom?

      2.1 Spooky Business: Corporate Espionage against Nonprofit Organizations, a report by Washington DC-based Center for Corporate Policy (CCP), reveals the “amazing” world of corporate espionage on a global-scale: Giant corporations engaging private spy agencies to smash activism. Like a public-private partnership (P-P-P), the catchword in vogue, government intelligence agencies are collaborating in the surveillance-espionage “enterprise” that targets activists and organizations active in the areas of social justice, public interests, safe food, environment, consumer rights, animal rights, insecticide-pesticide reform, opposition to war, nursing home reform, gun and arms control. With extensive evidence collected from sources that include government documents the report exposes a “mine” of chilling facts:

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Why Is Huffington Post Running A Multi-Part Series To Promote The Lies Of A Guy Who Pretended To Invent Email?

      I thought this story had ended a few years ago. Back in 2012, we wrote about how The Washington Post and some other big name media outlets were claiming that a guy named V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai had “invented email” in 1978. The problem was that it wasn’t even close to true and relied on a number of total misconceptions about email, software and copyright law. Ayyadurai and some of his friends have continued to play up the claim that he “invented” email, but it simply was never true, and it’s reaching a level that seems truly bizarre. Ayyadurai may have done some interesting things, but his continued false insistence that he invented email is reaching really questionable levels. And, now it’s gone absolutely nutty, with the Huffington Post running a multi-part series (up to five separate articles so far — all done in the past 10 days) all playing up misleading claims saying that Ayyadurai invented email, even though even a basic understanding of the history shows he did not.

    • The Wash. Post’s Resident Scott Walker Cheerleader

      Former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen, who has a financial relationship with Gov. Scott Walker, is using his Washington Post column to lavish praise on the Wisconsin Republican and help position him for a 2016 presidential run.

    • Leaked Audio Suggests Koch’s AFP Violated Law During Walker Recall

      Leaked audio from an invite-only Koch donor summit highlighted the role of the billionaire brothers in boosting Scott Walker in Wisconsin — and suggests that David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity Foundation may have violated its charitable status during the state’s 2012 recall elections.

    • Chuck Todd’s Theory of Politics

      The upshot was that being in the middle is what wins, and that Obama has had trouble when he’s leaned too far to the left. So that’s good politics, then–when Democrats move further to the right to meet Republicans in some mythical, pundit-approved “center.” But there’s a real chance that some people aren’t confused–they actually don’t like politics, or at least they don’t care much for politicians. And some critics of political journalism actually think that it should hold powerful people to account. That is very much at odds with viewing politics as a sport where the athletes just aren’t performing particularly well. That’s where Chuck Todd is coming from.

  • Censorship

    • Netizens call out Turkey for prosecuting Twitter users while hosting UN net forum

      Twitter users are questioning Turkey’s hosting of this year’s Internet Governance Forum (link is external) despite its controversial internet policies.

      Amnesty International highlighted the country’s prosecution (link is external) of more than 20 Turkish citizens for social media posts. They’re standing trial for allegedly “inciting riots” (link is external) by retweeting information about the 2013 Gezi protests. “It’s astounding to see Turkish authorities plough on with the prosecution of Twitter critics, even as they host a discussion on internet governance where human rights are a key theme,” said (link is external) Amnesty’s Deputy Director of Global Issues.

    • Ares Rights Wants Ecuador Journalists To Stop Talking About Ares Rights’ Censorious Abuse of Copyright

      The Ares Rights saga is… bizarre. So, they’ve summoned Barbra Streisand to sing their song. After substantial attention to the firm’s abuse of copyright law to censor political dissidents (and, er, international oil conglomerates), Ares Rights has deployed a DMCA (copyright) takedown notice against an Ecuadorian news outlet targeting their coverage of Ares Rights’ censorious abuse of copyright.

    • Ares Rights, Notorious DMCA Abusers For The Ecuadorian Gov’t, Now Sending DMCA Notices On Stories About Ares Rights

      We still hear from copyright system supporters who insist that copyright is never used as a censorship tool. And yet… we’ve written a few times about a Spanish firm named Ares Rights that works with the Ecuadorian government and others to seek to censor critical content by totally abusing the DMCA process. However, it appears to have stepped things up a notch in the ridiculous category, now seeking to abuse the DMCA even further to censor stories about its own censorship-by-DMCA. It gets a bit recursive.

    • UK Culture Secretary: Search Engines Must Magically Stop Piracy Or Else!

      You’d think that after years and years of pointless banter along these lines that people in power would understand just how ridiculous they sound when they try to blame search engines for infringement. TorrentFreak points out that the UK’s Culture Secretary Sajid Javid gave a barn raising speech to folks from the British recording industry. It starts out with the usual political fluff about just how important the recording industry is and how much money the government is forking over to the industry in questionable subsidies. And, apparently Javid has no qualms directly admitting to accepting favors (bribes?) from the industry. Specifically he tells a “joke” about now his kids thing he’s cool, because he can get hot concert tickets (“my new-found ability to get tickets for the Capital FM Summertime Ball, or Sam Smith at Somerset House!”), whereas in his previous job no one was rushing to give him such favors. It’s a joke, but it’s pretty telling.

    • UK Govt. Warns Google, Microsoft & Yahoo Over Piracy

      UK Culture Secretary Sajid Javid says that the government has warned Google, Microsoft and Yahoo over the issue of online piracy. In an address to the BPI’s AGM in London yesterday, Javid said that if the search engines don’t stop referring people to pirate sites, the government will take a legislative approach.

    • Iranian Grand Ayatollah Issues Fatwa Against ‘Immoral’ High-Speed Internet Connections

      Iran continues to battle the Internet, recognizing the fact that an unfiltered exchange of ideas (some of them admittedly often horrifically bad) tends to undermine repressive regimes. While the President and the Minister of Communications have stressed that higher-speed connections (and less censorship) are useful to Iran’s citizens, many others in the government feel that increasing speeds means giving up lots and lots of control.

    • Grand Ayatollah Issues Fatwa Stating High Speed Internet is against Sharia

      A Grand Ayatollah in Iran has determined that access to high-speed and 3G Internet is “against Sharia” and “against moral standards.” In answer to a question published on his website, Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi, one of the country’s highest clerical authorities, issued a fatwa, stating “All third generation [3G] and high-speed internet services, prior to realization of the required conditions for the National Information Network [Iran’s government-controlled and censored Internet which is under development], is against Sharia [and] against moral and human standards.”

    • Google just banned our new Android app before it even launched

      This post is about more than our new app, Disconnect Mobile, being arbitrarily removed by Google from the Play Store Tuesday, five days after it went live and prior to doing any PR announcement. This post is really about Google’s disregard for user privacy and security, their ability to arbitrarily and unilaterally ban any app from the world’s dominant mobile operating system (78% of total smartphones run Android), and the importance of alternative Android distribution platforms that support privacy and security.

    • Google Bans Disconnect.me App From Play Store Based On Vague Guidelines

      So it’s quite disappointing that Google has chosen to pull Disconnect.me’s new app from the Android store based only on a very vague and broad “prohibition” in its terms of service, saying that you can’t offer an app that “interferes with” other services. The email Google sent doesn’t provide many details, other than saying that the Disconnect.me app “interferes with or accesses another service or product in an unauthorized manner.”

    • In The Fappening’s Wake, 4chan Intros DMCA Policy

      After doing without an element needed for safe harbor protection, 4chan has just introduced an official DMCA policy. The decision comes in the wake of the celebrity photo leak known as The Fappening and 4chan users’ connections to it. In the meantime, the leaked image library has clocked a million torrent downloads.

  • Privacy

    • Apple Is Totally Screwed

      But a much larger crisis looms – everyone, and I mean everyone, now knows that everything private they’ve done with their iPhone, if they use iCloud, is not only vulnerable, but extremely vulnerable.

      The Next Web says that a tool that allows brute force attacks against the Find My iPhone service gives hackers a way in to iCloud.

      That may or may not be what’s actually going on. Hacker Nik Cubrilovic, for example, says it isn’t slowing people down from accessing new accounts…

    • You Can’t Be Fired For ‘Liking’ A Colleague Calling Your Bosses ‘Assholes’ On Facebook

      A couple of years ago, we wrote about a rather troubling legal ruling in which a court declared that Facebook “likes” aren’t a First Amendment protected expression. The ruling made little sense. It involved some employees of a local sheriff getting fired after “liking” the Facebook profile of the sheriff’s opponent in the next election. Thankfully, that key part was overturned on appeal, with the 4th Circuit appeals court ruling that Facebook likes absolutely could be protected speech. Now, facing a somewhat similar issue, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has similarly concluded that a Facebook like can be a form of “concerted protected activity” for which you cannot be fired.

    • Protecting And Sharing Linked Data With Virtuoso

      Last time we saw how to share files and folders stored in the Virtuoso DAV system. Today we will protect and share data stored in Virtuoso’s Triple Store – we will share RDF data.

    • Download MEGAsync For Linux Desktops (MEGA.co.nz Linux Sync Client)
    • Law Enforcement Agencies Scramble For Pricey Cell Tower Spoofer Upgrades As Older Networks Are Shut Down
    • How Hackable Are Your Security Questions?

      All kinds of ways? I was intrigued. So I clicked on the Gizmodo link and found….two suggestions. The first is two-step authentication, which is a fine idea for anyone with a cell phone. The second is encrypting all your data. But like it or not, this is much too hard for most people to implement. There’s just no way it’s going to become widespread anytime in the near future.

    • Decrypting Google’s HTTPS Security Carrot

      In the meantime, SEOs are left to ponder the consequences of Google’s adding HTTPS encryption to its approximately 200 search ranking signals. It’s eerily reminiscent of the company’s move a while back to add the speed at which web pages load to its algorithmic bag of tricks. After all, how do security and speed relate to content authority and relevance.

    • NSA Surveillance: Supreme Court Could Debate Data Collection Program After ACLU Lawsuit

      The U.S. Supreme Court could soon be asked to decide the constitutionality of the federal government’s massive data collection of phone records after two lawsuits challenging the National Security Agency’s controversial surveillance program have begun to inch forward in federal circuit court for the first time. The American Civil Liberties Union and other privacy rights groups have denounced the NSA’s data collection program, first revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden last summer.

    • NSA Spying News: Federal Court To Rule For First Time On NSA Surveillance Program In ACLU Lawsuit
    • Appeals Court Hears Arguments on NSA Tracking Program
    • Federal appeals court questions NSA surveillance efforts
    • Debate on NSA’s Collection of Americans’ Phone Records

      In July 2013, the program was publicized after NSA’s contractor Edward Snowden leaked the NSA documents. As soon as the program was revealed, the ACLU challenged its legality and constitutionality.

    • Who is putting up ‘interceptor’ cell towers? The mystery deepens

      Mysterious “interceptor” cell towers in the USA are grabbing phone calls — but they’re not part of the phone networks. And, two experts told VentureBeat today, the towers don’t appear to be projects of the National Security Agency (NSA).

    • Mystery fake cellphone towers discovered across America

      Fake mobile phone ‘towers’ dotted across the US could be listening in on unsuspecting smartphone users according to recent reports. And — tin foil hats on, everyone — nobody knows who’s behind them.

    • Mystery of fake US mobile phone towers capable of tapping smartphones
    • The American Delusion: Distracted, Diverted and Insulated from the Grim Reality of the Police State

      Caught up in the uproar over this year’s latest hullabaloo—militarized police in Ferguson, tanks on Main Street and ISIS—Americans have not only largely forgotten last year’s hullabaloo over the NSA and government surveillance but are generally foggy about everything that has happened in between.

    • Truland trustee seeks to relinquish claim to massive NSA data center project

      The trustee overseeing Reston-based Truland Group Inc.’s bankruptcy wants to abandon its claim to millions of dollars it might be owed for building a massive data center in Utah, a mostly unpaid project that appears to have led in large measure to the firm’s abrupt shutdown and subsequent Chapter 7 filing in July.

    • Can You Trust the Car of the Future?

      Big Brother is watching just about everywhere you go and soon you won’t be able to drive away from the electronic surveillance. GM says it’s about to launch cars that detect distracted driving.

      KTRH Car Pro Show host Jerry Reynolds agrees it’s the next step toward the driverless car of the future.

      “As long as they don’t store the information somewhere like currently they do with the black boxes it’s probably okay.”

      We can trust the NSA, right? Reynolds says it’s great technology, but he doesn’t need it.

    • NO ALLY SPY AGENCY, BRITISH EXPERTS SAY

      Richard Aldrich, an academic at Warwick University’s Politics and International Relations Department, echoed an official’s remark from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that there is no allied intelligence, only intelligence on allied countries.Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) regarding the latest allegations that the U.S. intelligence service NSA and the U.K. intelligence agency GCHQ are keeping tabs on Turkey, Alrich said, “Your closest ally may not share your political and economic interests.

    • Gerhard Schindler: Germany’s Spymaster

      Schindler wants an agency befitting Germany’s position.

    • No regrets from Germany for spying claims

      Germany shows no sign of regret over the electronic spying claims, with a senior German official saying it would not be surprising if they learn that Germany is also being spied on by the Turkish government in a similar way.

    • Spying Among Allies Now Normal, German Experts Say

      The recent revelations of US, British and German surveillance of NATO ally Turkey sparks debate about relations among friendly nations.

    • EDITORIAL: When a fed trolls for trouble online

      A court convicts a cybersecurity director for child pornography

    • Google’s upcoming trans-Pacific cable ripe for NSA intercepts

      The National Security Agency is no doubt licking their lips over the potential intelligence trove of Google’s proposed fiber optic cable, which will span the Pacific Ocean from the U.S. to Japan.

      As a former NSA official told VentureBeat, “Easy to tap for sure. If its US to JP, then no need to tap in the middle obviously, just look behind the big red door :)… if its a win would depend on what its replacing, if anything.”

    • Brandis warns against future Snowdens and Mannings

      Australian government agencies will be required to implement stringent new security policies, to monitor public servants in order to protect the government against the ‘insidious enemy’ of the ‘trusted insiders’ leaking sensitive information to the public.

    • Two Privacy Bills Move as Congress Returns From Vacation

      After all its hard work this year Congress is almost done with its summer recess. Lawmakers are due back Sept. 8 and have much to tackle. Two bills are of paramount importance to EFF: one—the USA FREEDOM Act—must be passed by Congress, while the other—the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA)—must be killed.

    • Well, was it the US intercepting the official crypto phones?

      I think the interception of these crypto phones is the biggest security scandal of the republic; but we are blatantly forgetting and are being forced to forget about it.

    • Stuff That Matters

      We do have some degree of privacy on our computers and hard drives when they are disconnected from the Net and through public key cryptography when we communicate with each other through the Net. But both are primitive stuff—the cyber equivalents of cave dwellings and sneaking about at night wearing bear skins.

    • US Cold War Covert Civilian Agent Program Targeting Soviet Union Exposed

      During the Cold War, the United States recruited and trained civilian Alaskans as part of a covert network designed to collect intelligence in preparation for a Russian invasion, the AP reported.

      “The military believes that it would be an airborne invasion involving bombing and the dropping of paratroopers,” one FBI memo said of the expected Russian attack, according to the AP. Expected targets were the cities of Nome, Fairbanks, Anchorage and Seward.

    • Despite billions spent on intelligence, we know very little

      The U.S. spends billions on intelligence, yet we always seem to be surprised by events in the world. George W. Bush told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and CIA Director George Tenet backed up this assessment. In fact, Iraq had no such weapons.

    • Short-term pragmatism in Bali

      Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa and his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop have signed a long awaited document entitled, “Code of Conduct on Espionage”.

    • Resisting the Surveillance State in Germany

      On Saturday, August 30, more than 6000 people took to the streets of Berlin, Germany to protest against intelligence agencies’ mass surveillance produced by Weltnetz.tv

    • Secret surveillance weapons don’t belong in police arsenals

      Law enforcement ought to be using state-of-the-art digital and communications tools: The more traps for catching crooks, the better. But it shouldn’t shroud its weapons in multiple layers of secrecy.

      The Tacoma Police Department has been far too secretive in deploying Stingray, a powerful electronic surveillance and tracking device frequently used in federal investigations.

      The technology – broadly known as cell site simulators – could be described as a microcosm of the National Security Agency’s continental-scale data-mining. It tracks cell phones, which normally exchange signals with commercial towers. Stingray diverts those transmissions into the device, allowing police to capture and analyze them.

    • Are Phony Cell Towers Intercepting Your Calls? (Video)

      Les Goldsmith, the CEO of ESD America, recently claimed that his CryptoPhone 500 found 17 different fake cell towers known as “interceptors” in the U.S. during July.

      According to Popular Science, these “interceptors” can trick cell phones into connecting and then eavesdrop on calls or texts, and add spyware to phones.

      “Interceptor use in the U.S. is much higher than people had anticipated,” Goldsmith told Popular Science. “One of our customers took a road trip from Florida to North Carolina and he found 8 different interceptors on that trip. We even found one at South Point Casino in Las Vegas.”

    • Don’t excuse NSA’s wrongdoing [Letter]

      Gary Sullivan’s commentary defending the actions of the National Security Agency is full of faulty arguments (“Too much of a good thing,” Aug. 27). First of all, the Fourth Amendment is the law and was established at the time of this country’s founding. No one needs to “get out and vote” in order to be protected by it from government spying.

    • NSA Docs Reveal US Hand In Tracking And Killing Kurdish Separatists

      Turkish government is ‘both partner and target’ for US spying, Der Spiegel and Intercept jointly report.

    • NSA Provided Turkey With Intelligence To Kill Kurdish Rebels
    • Remember Iraq? Former US intel officers warn Merkel against NATO images of Ukraine
    • Has the U.S. Targeted Nuclear-Armed Russia with Regime Change?

      In 1957, the U.S. and British governments planned regime change in Syria … because it was drifting too close to the Soviet Union.

      20 years ago, influential U.S. government officials decided to effect regime change throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The countries targeted were “old Soviet regimes”.

    • Ex US Intel Warn Merkel: Careful with Kiev & NATO’s Dubious ‘Evidence’ on Russia

      Alarmed at the anti-Russian hysteria sweeping Washington, and the specter of a new Cold War, U.S. intelligence veterans one of whom is none other than William Binney, the former senior NSA crypto-mathematician who back in March 2012 blew the whistle on the NSA’s spying programs more than a year before Edward Snowden, took the unusual step of sending the following memo dated August 30 to German Chancellor Merkel challenging the reliability of Ukrainian and U.S. media claims about a Russian “invasion.”

    • Group of Former US Intel Officials Urge Merkel to Reject Politicized Intelligence

      A group of former U.S. Intelligence officials including William Binny, the first whistleblower to report on the NSA’s mass surveillance, has sent an open letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, warning her of the risks of Ukrainian NATO membership and of the dangers of faulty intelligence resulting in an escalation of the conflict, as published on the website Antiwar.org

    • EU Taking Harder Look At $19B Facebook-WhatsApp Deal

      There’s also the more general underlying concern about US tech companies’ dominance of European consumer services, against the backdrop of the NSA spying scandal. All these things could mean mean a rocky road ahead for the $19 billion deal. The US Federal Trade Commission approved the acquisition earlier this year with some privacy caveats and warnings.

    • US refuses to comment on alleged spying on Turkey

      The United States government has refused to respond to claims that it spied on Turkey made based on documents from the archive of US whistleblower Edward Snowden seen by German magazine Der Spiegel.

    • Why We Should Encrypt Everyone’s Email

      Ladar Levison is the owner of the encrypted email startup Lavabit. After Edward Snowden’s NSA document leaks last summer, Levison rebuffed government demands to hand over the email service’s private encryption keys—opting to shut it down instead. He spoke with Popular Mechanics about his new project Dark Mail, online privacy, and how encrypting our email helps disassemble today’s unconstitutional surveillance networks.

  • Civil Rights

    • Government vs. Constitution

      The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups recently filed a lawsuit accusing the federal government of, among other lapses, denying due process to mothers with children detained at the border and interfering with their efforts to get legal advice to guide them in appearances before immigration judges.

    • Saudi Arabia beheads 3 Syrian drug traffickers

      Three Syrians convicted of drug trafficking were executed by the sword in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, the interior ministry announced.

    • A Shared Culture of Conflict of Interest

      Elite media don’t see Human Rights Watch’s closeness to power as a problem

      [...]

      Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth arrived at the function, which also hosted the leaders of Microsoft, Boeing, Goldman Sachs, JP-Morgan Chase and Disney. (The administration also aimed to “press China to open its markets to goods made by American companies,” reported the Times.)

    • Ferguson Debacle Results In Armored Vehicles Being Removed From Two California Police Departments

      Today’s militarized policeman often feels naked without the protection of mine-resistant vehicles, despite very little evidence that such vehicles are necessary to handle the deadly (or is it?) rigors of police work. Citizens, however, aren’t so sure they like seeing their law enforcement officers rolling out like they’re keeping the peace in the middle of Baghdad.

    • Citing unsettling Ferguson images, Davis to return armored vehicle

      Davis, Calif., city officials have directed the police department to return a surplus U.S. military armored vehicle to the federal government after residents, citing images seen during protests in Ferguson, Mo., expressed fears of militarization.

    • Digby on Tasers, Guns and the Next Wave of Police Militarization

      Ten days after a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, killed Michael Brown another young African-American man was shot dead a few miles away in St. Louis.

      The circumstances around the death of Kajieme Powell were markedly different from those in Ferguson. Powell, who may have suffered from mental health issues, had a knife, and shouted, “Shoot me now… kill me now,” at responding officers.

    • House Democrats To Obama: ‘Secret Law Is A Threat To Democracy’

      Joining forces with a group of privacy organizations and former White House officials, four House Democrats sent a letter to President Barack Obama over the weekend urging him to declassify all legal opinions and interpretations involving a controversial executive order used to justify government surveillance.

    • Obama Faces Calls to Reform Reagan-Era Mass Surveillance Order
    • ‘Secret law is a threat to democracy,’ Dems warn in letter to Obama
    • Why the Deep State always Wins

      Against this backdrop it’s no wonder that recent developments in the Ukraine have been known to cause night terrors. Your author can vouch for this. Last week there was an earthquake in the Bay Area and at the outset I woke up mistaking it for a shock wave from sub-megaton warhead hitting Silicon Valley.

      One could posit that what’s happening in Eastern Europe offers a look-see into the nature of the groups that are calling the shots in the United States. Do they care that their destabilization program in Ukraine provokes a nuclear-armed country or enables neo-Nazis to assume vital positions in government?3 So far almost 2,600 civilians have been killed in the ongoing humanitarian crisis.4 While the corporate press does its best to create the impression of a “shining city upon a hill” which aims to “spread democracy” and conduct “humanitarian intervention,”5 a different sort of world power is clearly visible to those who look carefully.

    • Senate Torture Report Will Be Public in 2 to 4 Weeks, Says Feinstein

      Senate intelligence committee chair Dianne Feinstein expects the executive summary of her staff’s long-awaited report on the torture of American detainees to be ready for public release before the end of September, she said in an unaired segment of her “Meet the Press” interview this weekend (starts at 10:25 of the video).

      The torture report, which was five years in the making, was sent to the White House for declassification in April. But the exhaustive redactions that Obama administration officials sent back in early August included such things as the elimination of pseudonyms, apparently to make the report too confusing to follow, and the blacking out of copious supporting evidence, such as proof that information derived from torture actually came from other intelligence sources.

    • Nerves fray over timing of CIA interrogation report’s release
    • US military lawyer resigns from Army over Guantanamo show trial

      On August 26, Wright, a US military lawyer also resigned from the Army in protest at what he called the “show trial” of Mohammed being held by the US at Guantanamo Bay. Wright also accused the US of not providing due process and of “abhorrent leadership” on human rights at the Guantanamo facility.

      Wright has been in the US army since 2005 and served over a year in Iraq. He has been on Mohammed’s defense team for three years. Wright resigned after he was given a choice between leaving the army and leaving the defense team in order to complete a graduate course so he would qualify for promotion from Captain to Major. Wright claims it would be unethical to follow the order.

    • Army Lawyer for Alleged 9/11 Mastermind Resigns

      An Army lawyer assigned to defend Khalid Sheikh Mohammed at Guantanamo Bay has resigned his commission after being told he was being pulled from the case to attend a graduate program required for promotion.

      Maj. Jason Wright, one of a team of lawyers defending Mohammed, resigned Aug. 26 from the Army, National Public Radio and others have reported.

      Wright joined the Army in 2005, and for almost three years, he served on Mohammed’s defense team.

      The Army had instructed him to leave the team in order to complete the course. He refused, saying it would have been unethical for him to leave the team.

    • There is no free pass for a free press

      New York Times reporter James Risen may soon have to decide whether to testify in a criminal trial or go to jail for contempt of court.

    • Saudi Arabia faces big challenges

      The kingdom’s many critics argue that Saudi Arabia itself helped spread the toxic virus by bankrolling Islamist rebels and their extremist Salafist Muslim ideology.

    • Angolan Solidarity Association Denounces Anti-Cuba Subversion

      The Angola-Cuba Friendship Association (ASAC) today denounced the U.S. government”s plans to promote subversion and destabilize the revolutionary process in Cuba.

    • Did Brennan dodge a bullet?

      CIA Director John Brennan might have dodged a bullet over his agency’s potentially unconstitutional snooping on the Senate, but critics insist his reprieve is only temporary.

      Calls for the spy leader to resign after the CIA admitted that officials spied on the Senate have lost steam in recent weeks, since lawmakers left town for a five-week summer recess.

      November’s midterm elections and crises from Syria to Ukraine could distract Congress from forcing the director to offer a public mea culpa in the short term.

    • Need to rein in CIA

      Dysfunction in Congress can damage the country in many ways, but none may be as serious as a failure to fill its role in the system of checks and balances set up by the U.S. Constitution. When Congress heads back to Washington after the August recess, members of the Senate face a serious test on whether they can assert control over the U.S. intelligence agencies.

    • United States’ shameful behavior: Suppresses release of torture photographs

      Under the Protected National Security Document Act, enacted by the Obama administration in 2009 to cover the period September 2001 through January 2009, the United States Government has prohibited the release of photographs depicting ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ – Torture – administered on enemy combatants taken into custody abroad by the U.S. military and/or its allied forces.

    • The CIA Spies on the U.S. Senate – is no one safe from spying?

      The CIA’s admission that they lied for several months when accused of doing what they did, as well as their apology to the senators to whom they had spied on, does not make their actions acceptable.

    • David Sarasohn: Senate has had enough of CIA snooping

      Unlike his close ally in pursuing intelligence abuses, Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, Ron Wyden has not yet called for CIA Director John Brennan to quit or be fired. But speaking about the agency in Oregon this month, the senior senator from Oregon used the D.C. magic words:

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Most comments warned FCC against ‘fast lanes’

      About two-thirds of people commenting on potential new rules for the Internet warned regulators not to allow “fast lanes” online, according to an analysis of hundreds of thousands of the filings.

    • What can we learn from 800,000 public comments on the FCC’s net neutrality plan?

      At least 200 comments came from law firms, on behalf of themselves or their clients.

    • ‘U.S. monopoly over Internet must go’

      Today, China and Russia are capable of challenging U.S. dominance. Despite being a strong commercial power, China has not deployed Internet technology across the world. The Chinese have good infrastructure but they use U.S. Domain Naming System, which is a basic component of the functioning of the Internet. One good thing is because they use the Chinese language for domain registration, it limits access to outsiders in some way.

      India too is a big country. It helps that it is not an authoritarian country and has many languages. It should make the most of its regional languages, but with regard to technology itself, India has to tread more carefully in developing independent capabilities in this area.

  • DRM

    • Ferrari ‘DRM:’ Don’t Screw With Our Logos And We’ll Let You Know If It’s OK To Sell Your Car

      We’ve covered a lot of stories dealing with the Right of First Sale being undermined by digital goods being sold as licenses, rather than products. It’s much more rare to find the Right of First Sale being yanked away from paying customers who have purchased physical products. But it happens. You’d think shelling out a quarter-million dollars would allow you to do what you please with your purchase.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Prosecution presents case in hacker trial

        The trial of Pirate Bay co-founder Gottrid Svartholm Warg and his Danish co-defendant began with an almost immediate delay followed by the surprise showing of a hitherto unseen video of the hacker known as anakata.

      • Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

        The largest hacking case in Danish history began in confusion on Tuesday, after lawyers representing Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg accused the prosecution of “unreasonable” tactics.

      • Blunders By Convicted ‘Fast And Furious 6′ Cammer Made It Easy To Track Him Down

        In other words, these high-profile wins for the copyright industry are not the result of the police making use of surveillance powers, or of clever sleuthing by organizations like FACT. Rather, they are the direct and largely predictable result of the arrogance and stupidity displayed by those breaking the law.

      • City Of London Police Issue Vague, Idiotic Warning To Registrars That They’re Engaged In Criminal Behavior Because It Says So

        This was mentioned briefly in our recent post about EasyDNS changing how it deals with online pharmacies, but it’s still dealing with bizarre requests from the City of London Police. As we’ve been detailing, the City of London Police seem to think that (1) their job is to protect the business model of the legacy entertainment industry and (2) that they can do this globally, despite actually just representing one-square mile and (3) that they can do this entirely based on their own say so, rather than any actual court ruling. It started last year when the City of London Police started ordering registrars to transfer domains to the police based entirely on their say so, rather than any sort of due process/trial that found the sites guilty of violating a law. The police wanted the domains to point to sites that the legacy entertainment industry approved of, which makes you wonder why the police are working on behalf of one particular industry and acting as an ad campaign for them.

09.02.14

Links 2/9/2014: GNU/Linux in BBC, Calls Against systemd

Posted in News Roundup at 7:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux @ About.com

    During the past month I have been in discussions with a number of people at about.com.

    I have been provided with the opportunity of writing articles on the linux.about.com subsite and I am in full control of all the content that will appear on that site.

  • Best Linux and Web-Based Alternatives to Final Draft

    As far as writing screenplays is concerned, Hollywood has only one standard: Final Draft. For years, much like Microsoft’s monopoly with Windows, the software had no big competitors. From big Hollywood directors like Spielberg to small independent studios, everyone considered Final Draft the gold standard of screenwriting software. In many ways, it still enjoys the same monopoly; however, the stronghold it had over the screenwriting industry isn’t the same as before. With its high price, clunky UI, and lots of persistent bugs, Final Draft is slowly being taken over by lesser-known tools in this huge shift that is happening in the screenwriting industry.

  • Mindshare-Momentum For FLOSS

    That’s the reason I got away 15 years ago. It’s too bad the world has endured so much harm all these years before coming to its senses. The world now sees that FLOSS works. Just about everyone has used Android/Linux and knows it works. Just about everyone has used web applications running on GNU/Linux and knows it works. The poor souls still using that other OS are locked in miserable dark damp cells peering at a vibrant world outside.

  • You have your Windows in my Linux

    Although there are those who think the systemd debate has been decided in favor of systemd, the exceedingly loud protests on message boards, forums, and the posts I wrote over the past two weeks would indicate otherwise. I’ve seen many declarations of victory for systemd, now that Red Hat has forced it into the enterprise with the release of RHEL 7. I don’t think it’s that easy.

  • Windows XP: Your upgrade experiences

    I think more media attention needs to be brought to Linux [an open-source operating system] nowadays. I’ve tried many platforms and have found Lubuntu in particular to be a very sophisticated and extremely lightweight operating system. Even on computers with as little as 512MB of RAM the system boots, runs programs and shuts down like a bullet.

  • Eventually Revolution Is the Easier Route To Escape An Oppressive System

    The FUD doesn’t work. The world sees M$ as the cancer, not GNU/Linux and FLOSS. The world sees Android/Linux systems working smoothly for more folks and at lower cost and complexity. The world sees that depending on M$ for anything in IT is difficult, expensive and a nightmare waiting to happen.

    The result is that consumers are switching to Android/Linux and governments, businesses and large organizations are switching to GNU/Linux, in droves. Governments are banning M$’s standards and protocols. The OS itself is next. Already huge segments of humanity know that a web browser and the Internet will do a lot of what they want done. There’s just no need for a lot of what M$ offers and it’s more efficient to go elsewhere for software. Enter FLOSS, the most efficient means of creating and distributing software. It’s time is now.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux kernel developer Dmitry Monakhov arrested for protesting Ukraine invasion

      Linux kernel developer Dmitry Monakhov was detained for 15 days for disobeying a police officer on Saturday. The debacle came about when Monakhov decided to protest the recent invasion into Ukraine by Russian armed forces.

      This was not the first incident of aggression towards Monakhov. During a rally in July of 2013 he was reported to have been beaten in one of the police vans most likely for participating in expressing his discontent with Putin’s policies regarding human rights.

      According to Monakhov’s tweet the day before his most recent run in with the authorities, he announced, “I am a Russian. Not cattle. Not a killer. And it is not the occupier. I am ashamed that my president Putin. At 9.00 I go to Manezhku [Manezh Square] against the war.” after this tweet, pictures surfaced a day later of four Russian policeman arresting him.

    • Overturning The Distro

      One idea is that they will choose a single file-system, btrfs, and use some of its features/complexity to standardize the GNU/Linux file-system, versioning of software, production, distribution and installation of software. They seem to want to turn the GNU/Linux PC into something more like Android so that developers will have a standard target and more control over the run-time environment.

    • boycott systemd

      systemd0 is a replacement for the sysvinit daemon used in GNU/Linux and Unix systems, originally authored by Lennart Poettering of Red Hat. It represents a monumental increase in complexity, an abhorrent and violent slap in the face to the Unix philosophy, and its inherent domineering and viral nature turns it into something akin to a “second kernel” that is spreading all across the Linux ecosystem.

    • The Companies That Support Linux: SanDisk Advances Storage Industry

      A growing dependency on digital data has spurred new interest in flash storage technologies along with cloud-based services and storage. With the broadest portfolio of flash-memory based solutions in the industry, SanDisk is on the leading edge of this transformation, with Linux and open source at the heart of its innovation. By working with hundreds of open source projects in compute, storage, and networking, SanDisk can help enable software stacks to take advantage of flash’s behavior and performance, says Nithya Ruff, director of the SanDisk Open Source Strategy Office.

    • Sony Joins AllSeen Internet of Things Alliance

      The Linux Foundation’s Allseen Alliance has a new member today. Sony has announced that it is joining AllSeen in a bid to bolster its Internet of Things (IoT) presence.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Marek Lands Radeon Gallium3D HyperZ Improvements

        Well known open-source Radeon driver developer Marek Olšák has landed a number of commits today inside mainline Mesa Git for improving the state of HyperZ for AMD hardware, a feature that remains disabled by default for the open-source Radeon Linux driver due to stability and artifact issues.

    • Benchmarks

      • Ondemand vs. Performance CPU Governing For AMD FX CPUs On Linux 3.17

        In the tests shared yesterday of looking at the AMD FX-9590 CPU on Linux and other CPU benchmarks from this weekend, some Phoronix readers raised concerns about the CPU scaling governor differences between the AMD and Intel hardware. The AMD FX CPUs continue to use the CPUfreq driver by default to handle their scaling while modern Intel CPUs have the new Intel P-State driver. Beyond the Intel-specific P-State vs. CPUfreq, the AMD CPUs generally default to using the “ondemand” governor while with Intel desktop CPUs on P-State it generally ends up with the “performance” mode. Some Phoronix readers found performance vs. ondemand differences to be unfair, but for AMD FX CPUs, there isn’t much of a difference in our common CPU torture test benchmarks found in the Phoronix Test Suite.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Thank You Akademy 2014 Sponsors

        Akademy is a non-commercial event, free of charge for all who want to attend. Generous sponsor support helps make Akademy possible. Most of the Akademy budget goes towards travel support for KDE community members from all over the world, contributors who would not be able to attend the conference otherwise. The wide diversity of attendees is essential to the success of the annual in-person Akademy conference. Many thanks to Akademy 2014 sponsors.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Neptune 4.1 Release

        We are proud to announce the first maintenance release of version 4 Neptune 4.1.

        This release fixes some bugs in the installer, bluetooth, plasma & systemd and also provides updated software.

        KDE Applications & Platform 4.14 was packed in with a new kernel 3.14.13. We added the bfq (budget fair) I/O scheduler to improve desktop responsiveness even on heavy disk I/O usage.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Camera Pi – How Raspberry Pi can see

      Robots provided with autonomous operation capabilities and, particularly, those sporting sense organs similar to the human ones, have always tickled the fancy of science fiction writers and screenwriters.

      As always happens, from a certain point in history, even official science has started to deal with the subject, at first with the so-called “strong theses”, whose objective was to reproduce, to substitute, the capabilities that are typical of humans.

    • Phones

      • Who’s to blame when products fail?

        Recently a major publication house published an article about how the Tizen smartphone “flopped – and open source is to blame” [1]. If you did read the article, however, you found that even the author did not really believe open source was “to blame.” The author blamed the companies behind the projects for a lack of commitment to the use of Open Source, which created a lack of follow-through and (given the number of alternative closed and partially open operating systems they could use) the final use of either Android or Microsoft instead. Of course, this headline particularly infuriated me because even iOS is based on FreeBSD, and both Android and Firefox OS use kernels “based on” Linux. So, “Open Source Failed”?

      • Android

        • Google Sends Invites for September 15 India Event; Android One Launch Likely
        • 7 Things You Can Do With The Xposed Framework on a Rooted Android Phone or Tablet

          The Xposed Framework is a way to make system-level changes to your Android operating system without installing a custom ROM. All you need is root access. Here’s a look at what you can actually do with the Xposed Framework.

          You’ll find all of these modules listed in the Xposed Framework itself. Install the Xposed Framework, open it, and use the Modules search to browse, search, and install modules.

        • Make Firefox for Android Yours: Switch Languages Easily, Customize Home Screens and Clear History

          Now, you can make Firefox for Android your own in any of 55 languages, regardless of the language you originally downloaded your favorite browser in. With the new language switching feature, you can easily choose between and set a language without restarting your browser. You can switch between all of the languages Firefox for Android offers regardless of the locales supported by your Android device. Today, we have added Armenian, Basque, Fulah, Icelandic, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh language support to the languages Firefox for Android offered before.

        • Android 4.4 mini-PC packs 64-bit quad-core Atom punch

          Minix is prepping a sub-$150 mini-PC running Android 4.4 on a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735F and featuring WiFi, Bluetooth, IR, Ethernet, and USB connectivity.

          Intel’s Atom Z37x5 system-on-chip, the second generation of its 22nm Z3000 (Bay-Trail-T) family, is beginning to appear in Android- and Windows-ready tablets such as the Toshiba Excite Go, as well as a “Sharks Cove” single board computer from Intel and Microsoft. Now we’re starting to see mini-PCs built on the tablet-focused SoC. Last week Zotac unveiled a tiny Zbox P1320 Pico computer that ships with Windows 8.1, and now Minix is prepping a Minix “Neo Z64″ miniPC for those who would prefer to run Android 4.4.

        • Google’s sub-$100 ‘Android One’ devices said to be unveiled on September 15

          Devices will land in the sub-$100 price range, making them highly desirable in the emerging markets, not limited to Brazil, India, China, and Russia — so-called BRIC nations.

        • Google plans multiple Android Wear updates as Apple’s wearable looms

          Google’s first update to Android Wear is coming this week, and several more will follow it before the end of the year as Google moves to quickly iterate on its new wearable software platform. In an interview with CNET, two leading Android engineers lay out what we should expect to see in some future updates. This first one sounds as though it may not be much — just some navigation and voice control improvements — but a few useful features are coming down the road. That includes Google officially beginning to support custom watch faces from third-party developers: some developers have already figured out how to build them, but Google is working on a toolkit for developers that will allow watch faces to easily be made. Google previously teased details of this in a Google+ post.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source for slow food and small farms

    Looking at the challenges—and opportunities—of FarmBot, I’m reminded a bit of the factors that played into the origin of the world’s first open source company, Cygnus. That history traces back to 1987, the year that Richard Stallman released version 1.0 of the GNU C compiler. At that time, compiler ports cost millions of dollars and took years to deliver. I was very interested in writing compilers, but I saw no prospect for doing so because (1) there were very few compiler companies in the world, and (2) they employed a very small number of people—most of whom were famous for having written the few compilers I’d ever heard of. Who would hire somebody with no commercial compiler experience to work on something so rare and valuable?

  • Top 4 open source invoicing tools for freelancers and small businesses

    Small business owners and freelancers put a lot of work into their businesses. They do that not only because they’re passionate about what they do, but they also have the goal of getting paid.

  • Healthdirect Australia sees value in open source for security solution

    Commonwealth and state/territory government funded public company, Healthdirect Australia, has used open source software to build an identity and access management (IAM) solution.

    The IAM solution allows users to have one identity across all of its websites and applications. For example, users can sign in using their Facebook, LinkedIn or Gmail account.

  • For 50 percent of developers, open source is a 9-to-5 job

    As much as we may like the myth of the hobbyist developer, no one codes for free anymore. Well, not quite “no one,” but according to Dirk Riehle’s recent academic research, at least half of all open-source software is written by paid developers during work hours. And if Linux is any indicator, the percentage of 9-to-5 open-source development is only going to increase over time.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Some Mac Users to Be Boxed Out By Chrome

        As we’ve been reporting, Google is embracing the 64-bit future with its Chrome browser, having just elevated the 64-bit version of Chrome for Windows to its stable Beta distribution channel, while also elevating Chrome for Mac OS X’s 64-bit version to Canary and Dev builds. In some ways, 64-bit versions of Chrome represent a game of catch-up for Google, because Mozilla has offered 64-bit versions of Firefox for Mac OS X and Linux for a long time.

      • Opera 24 Released With Tab Preview for Linux, Mac and Windows

        Opera Software on Tuesday announced the latest version of its browser for Linux, Mac and Windows – Opera 24. The browser introduces the tab preview feature, and the company alongside announced the milestone support for 1,000 extensions for the first time since it shifted to the Chromium engine.

        With Opera 24, the company introduced tab previews – aimed at helping users figure out what a tab contains just by hovering their mouse over it. The new feature gives an inside preview of the opened tab upfront in the form of the most recent snapshot of the site.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox 32 Surfaces With HTML5, Developer Changes

        If you checkout the Mozilla FTP servers tonight the official 32.0 builds have surfaced for the Firefox web-browser.

      • Firefox 32 Stable Has Been Released + Installation Instructions For The Most Popular Linux Systems

        Among others, Firefox 32 comes with an improved generational garbage collection, HTTP caching v2 has been enabled by default, the login metadata viewable is now viewable in the password manager, public key pinning support has been added, the number of found items in the find toolbar is now displayed, just like in Chrome, Scratchpad has received code completion and inline documentation, support for connectiong to the HTTP proxy over HTTPS has been implemented and both the Password Manager and Add-on manager have received improvements and a big number of security and bug-fixes have been implemented.

      • Mozilla’s $33 Firefox OS Phone Draws Notice in India

        Mozilla recently announced that the first smartphone running its Firefox OS mobile operating system is now on sale in India, following earlier reports that a low-cost phone would arrive there in July. One of the big surprises with the Cloud FX phones is that, while the rumor mill had set the price at $50, these phones are actually priced at a rock-bottom $33. In India’s fast-growing mobile market, that could put phones in the hands of many new users and help Firefox OS become entrenched.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Manila project Approved for Incubation

      The first time I ever heard of the Manila project was at the recent OpenStack Atlanta summit. I had planned to sit in on the Manila session, but the room was overflowing and I wasn’t allowed in, which was very disappointing.

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 4 preview

      GhostBSD is a desktop distribution that’s based on FreeBSD. The project started out with support for several desktop environments (Gnome, Mate, XFCE, LXDE, and Openbox), but has since become a MATE-only distribution.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Folks Still Working On Their “FreeDink” Game

      GNU FreeDink is still going on as an GPL-licensed portable and improved upon version of the Dink Smallwood game engine.

      Dink Smallwood is the Zelda-like RPG game title from the late 90′s that still has a small following of gamers. GNU FreeDink meanwhile is an official GNU project that frees up the title to more platforms. The GNU FreeDink engine runs the original game and its mods while supporting multiple platforms and supporting newer technologies like SDL from what was originally available when the game was originally developed. This GNU project also frees up the sound/music replacements with other assets via the freedink-data component. The game also avoids MP3 files in favor of Ogg Vorbis audio.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Sharing work is easier with an Open Document Format

      We often wish to share electronic documents with friends, colleagues, business or government, and the software application we use to prepare these documents will save them in a particular format.

      Any application that later loads the document will also need to be able to understand this format. If an organisation can control the format, and convince people to use it, then they can use this as a very powerful tool to create a monopoly in the market.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • AMD Launches New FX CPUs, Cuts Prices On Existing Processors

      AMD today is rolling out three new FX-Series processors (the FX-8320E, FX-8370E, and FX-8370) while cutting prices on their existing Vishera AM3+ FX processors. AMD sent over the new FX-8370 and FX-8370E CPUs last week to Phoronix (the FX-8320E is still forthcoming) so we are here with the rundown on the Linux performance of these new FX CPUs compared to a wide variety of other Intel and AMD Linux systems with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Nude photos leak in massive celebrity iCloud hack

      Nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kim Kardashian and Rihanna, among others, leaked online Sunday in what appears to be a massive celebrity hacking scandal. The racy photos surfaced online Sunday and had the Internet buzzing.

      A representative for Lawrence has since confirmed the images are real.

      “This is a flagrant violation of privacy,” the actress’ spokesperson said in a statement. “The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”

    • Naked celebrity hack: security experts focus on iCloud backup theory
    • Apple Investigating Reports of iCloud Vulnerabilities

      Initial media reports suggested that the hacks stemmed from individual accounts on iCloud, an online service to store photos, music and other data from Apple devices.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we’re nearing collapse

      The 1972 book Limits to Growth, which predicted our civilisation would probably collapse some time this century, has been criticised as doomsday fantasy since it was published. Back in 2002, self-styled environmental expert Bjorn Lomborg consigned it to the “dustbin of history”.

      It doesn’t belong there. Research from the University of Melbourne has found the book’s forecasts are accurate, 40 years on. If we continue to track in line with the book’s scenario, expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon.

  • Censorship

    • Indonesian student faces hearing over ‘Yogyakarta is stupid’ social media post

      n Indonesian student, who could be jailed for comments posted on social media, is facing an ethical hearing at her university.

      An Indonesian student, who could be jailed for comments posted on social media, is facing an ethical hearing at her university today.

      Postgraduate law student Florence Sihombing, 26, was arrested on Monday after a message she sent to friends on social media went viral.

      In her post, Ms Sihombing called the central Java city of Yogyakarta “poor, stupid and uneducated”.

  • Privacy

    • The Times of India just instituted a bizarre Twitter and Facebook policy

      Hundreds of journalists working at the Times of India and its sister publications have received a peculiar request from their employer: hand over your Twitter and Facebook passwords and let us post for you.

    • Indian Media Giant’s New Policy For Employees: Hand Over Your Social Media Passwords
    • No to police drones [Letter]

      Regarding your recent editorial on drones, while there may be benefits of using unmanned aerial vehicles in less populated areas, I oppose providing Baltimore City police with drones for any purpose (“Eyes in the sky,” Aug. 28).

      Drone manufacturers and operators hope to create thousands of jobs and earn billions of dollars with this technology. But as with any quasi-military device there is a need for civilian oversight. It’s time the City Council takes up the matter.

    • Cities scramble to upgrade “stingray” tracking as end of 2G network looms

      Documents released last week by the City of Oakland reveal that it is one of a handful of American jurisdictions attempting to upgrade an existing cellular surveillance system, commonly known as a stingray.

      The Oakland Police Department, the nearby Fremont Police Department, and the Alameda County District Attorney jointly applied for a grant from the Department of Homeland Security to “obtain a state-of-the-art cell phone tracking system,” the records show.

    • Surveillance, where do you draw the line?

      The Don’t Spy On Us campaign is coming to the Labour party conference in Manchester and asking the question “Surveillance, where do you draw the line?”

  • Civil Rights

    • Cameron poised to unveil powers making it “easier to take people’s passports away”

      David Cameron will make a statement to the House of Commons later today on proposals for new legislation which will “make it easier to take people’s passports away“.

      This comes after a fortnight during which senior Tory, Labour and UKIP figures, as well as the Met police commissioner and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, spoke in favour of increasing the government’s ability to remove the passports of those with British citizenship who go abroad to fight with extremist groups.

    • Coalition to propose new powers to stop citizens returning to UK

      The Coalition is proposing new discretionary powers to stop terror suspects returning to the UK, David Cameron announced today.

      The move is designed to thwart court challenges to Home Office attempts to remove passports of suspected terrorists while they are abroad.

      In a wide ranging Commons statement responding to crises in Ukraine and the Middle East as well as an increased terror threat at home, the prime minister also unveiled plans to give border police temporary powers to seize the passports of those who they suspect are travelling abroad to fight with terrorist groups.

    • Homeland Security was built to fend off terrorists. Why’s it so busy arming cops to fight average Americans?

      From Ferguson’s military police to loaning drones and tracking your every move, the agency’s expensive, violent sinkhole of bureaucracy needs reform – now

    • ’60s activist Tom Hayden to donate papers, FBI file to U-M

      One of the leading activists of the 1960s and beyond will house his papers, including his extensive FBI file, at the University of Michigan.

      The collection of Tom Hayden’s papers will be open to the public, starting in the middle of September.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • UK Police Make Third ‘Pirate’ Streaming Arrest

        The UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit arrested a man yesterday believed to have operated streaming sites that provided illegal access to subscription-only sports TV services. The arrest marks the third carried out by PIPCU in the streaming sector.

09.01.14

Links 1/9/2014: Poettering on systemd, ITNews on DBMSs

Posted in News Roundup at 4:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Ten Linux Desktops Showing Just How Far Behind Mac OS X and Windows Designs Are

    Linux doesn’t have any kind of PR, and in the collective mind of the people, there is still an impression that Linux users spend their time inside the terminal and in dreary desktops. In fact, most of the current Linux desktops are much better than anything made by Apple of Microsoft.

  • Lennart Poettering Talks Up His New Linux Vision That Involves Btrfs

    Lennart Poettering of systemd and PulseAudio fame has published a lengthy blog post that shares his vision for how he wishes to change how Linux software systems are put together to address a wide variety of issues. The Btrfs file-system and systemd play big roles with his new vision.

  • Revisiting How We Put Together Linux Systems

    Of course, we are developers of the systemd project. Implementing this scheme is not just a job for the systemd developers. This is a reinvention how distributions work, and hence needs great support from the distributions. We really hope we can trigger some interest by publishing this proposal now, to get the distributions on board. This after all is explicitly not supposed to be a solution for one specific project and one specific vendor product, we care about making this open, and solving it for the generic case, without cutting corners.

  • Desktop

    • Linux has run out of time – I looked into the trap, Jim

      Is Word better than LibreOffice Writer or is LibreOffice Writer better than Word? Is Android better than Apple? Were Nirvana better than Pearl Jam? Which were better “The Beatles” or “The Rolling Stones”?

      Microsoft Word has a lot of flaws that people seem to gloss over. Bullets and numbering for instance are just random. The fonts change, the numbering changes, the indentation changes and for no apparent reason.

      The Microsoft ribbon bars have surely just been added to sell training courses because there is no way they are better than menus, toolbars and keyboard shortcuts. Everything we have been used to for 20 years all switched around for no seemingly good reason. I don’t like it when my local supermarket rearranges all the shelves for no apparent reason either. If you want a ribbon bar then there is always Kingsoft Office.

  • Server

    • Matching databases to Linux distros

      Relational database management systems (RDBMSs) aren’t the sort of thing to get most folk out of bed in the morning – unless, of course, you happen to think they’re one of the most brilliant concepts ever dreamed up.

      These days you can’t sneeze without someone turning it into a table value in a database somewhere – and in combination with the freely available Linux operating system, there’s no end to them.

      Most Linux distros make it almost trivial to add popular DBMSs to your system, such as MySQL and MariaDB, by bundling them in for free in their online app stores. But how do you tell which combination – which Linux distro and which DBMS – will give you the best performance?

      This week we’ve revved up the Labs servers to ask the question: what level of performance do you get from OS repository-sourced DBMSs?

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.17-rc3

      I’m back to the usual Sunday release schedule, and -rc3 is out there
      now. As expected, it is larger than rc2, since people are clearly
      getting back from their Kernel Summit travels etc. But happily, it’s
      not *much* larger than rc2 was, and there’s nothing particularly odd
      going on, so I’m going to just ignore the whole “it’s summer”
      argument, and hope that things are just going that well.

      Please don’t prove me wrong,

      Linus

    • Linux 3.17-rc3 Kernel Released Back On Schedule

      Linus Torvalds is back to his rhythm of releasing new kernel release candidates on Sundays.

      After Linux 3.17-rc2 was released last Monday to celebrate 23 years of Linux, Torvalds is now back in Portland and doing his Sunday release rhythm.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 10.3 release candidate 2

        Mesa 10.3 release candidate 2 is now available for testing. The current plan of record is to have an additional release candidate each Friday until the 10.3 release on Friday, September 12th.

        The tag in the GIT repository for Mesa 10.3-rc2 is ‘mesa-10.3-rc2′. I have verified that the tag is in the correct place in the tree.

      • Mesa 10.3 RC2 Arrives Via Its New Release Manager
      • Nouveau X.Org Driver Released With DRI3+Present, Maxwell, GLAMOR

        The Nouveau development community released the xf86-video-nouveau 1.0.11 driver update to kick off the start of September. While you wouldn’t guess it from the version number, this driver update is actually very significant and introduces a lot of new functionality and other improvements.

    • Benchmarks

      • Preview: AMD’s FX-9590 Eight-Core At Up To 5.0GHz On Linux

        Since last year AMD’s had the FX-9590 as the top-end Vishera CPU that can top out at 5.0GHz with its Turbo Frequency, but initially this processor was only available to OEM system builds. Over time the OEM version of the FX-9590 became available to consumers while earlier this summer AMD launched a retail version of the FX-9590 that included the eight-core CPU with a closed-loop water cooling solution. Today we’re reviewing this highest-end Vishera CPU to see how it compares to other AMD and Intel processors on Ubuntu Linux.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • AMBIANCE & RADIANCE COLORS THEMES UPDATED WITH XFCE FIXES

      Quick update for Ambiance & Radiance Colors fans: the theme pack was updated (version 14.04.6) today with quite a few Xfce fixes such as: fixed window borders on non-Debian distros, fixed Xfce GTK3 indicator background and more.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Personal clones on KDE infrastructure

        I’m doing a little work on Tupi – the 2D animation application that joined the KDE community some months back — so that it builds on FreeBSD (the C++ code is wonderful, but the build system is qonf, which is not).

        This has led me to the maze of git documentation on KDE’s infrastructure, and I’m taking notes so I don’t forget what I did. It’s also part of one of the things-to-do-at-Akademy on my list: talk to the techbase people to find out what the status and intentions are.

      • THE AWESOMELY EPIC GUIDE TO KDE

        Desktops on Linux. They’re a concept completely alien to users of other operating systems because they never having to think about them. Desktops must feel like the abstract idea of time to the Amondawa tribe, a thought that doesn’t have any use until you’re in a different environment. But here it is – on Linux you don’t have to use the graphical environment lurking beneath your mouse cursor. You can change it for something completely different. If you don’t like windows, switch to xmonad. If you like full-screen apps, try Gnome. And if you’re after the most powerful and configurable point-and-click desktop, there’s KDE.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Try GNOME 3.14 Beta 1 with Wayland Without Installing Anything

        GNOME is working to implement official Wayland support for the upcoming 3.14 release and they seem to be more than half way there. It’s difficult to test the new GNOME 3.14 Beta updates that have been made until now, especially with the Wayland integration, but a Reddit user posted a short and easy-to-follow tutorial in this regard.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Black Lab Linux 5.1 Released

        Today we are pleased to release the next in the 5 series of Black Lab Linux. Black Lab Linux 5.1 contains many updates, new features and enhancements to the Black Lab Linux distribution.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debconf Wrapup

        Debconf14 started with a Meet and Greet before the Welcome Talk. I got to meet people and find out what they do for Debian. I also got to meet other GSoC students that I had only previously interacted with online. During the Meet and Greet I also met one of my mentors for GSoC, Zack. Later in the conference I met another of my mentors, Piotr. Previously I only interacted with Zack and Piotr online.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The Curious Case of Raspberry Pi Consumerism

      I find the attitude of many within the Raspberry Pi community to be strange and offensive.

      I first discovered this odd phenomenon (odd because it contradicts the ethos of the project’s academic foundations) back when it first started, as many within the Raspberry Pi community took an extremely hostile attitude toward academic freedom, apparently in defence of various parties’ highly dubious intellectual monopolies (Broadcom and MPEG-LA, for example).

      I pointed out the irony and hypocrisy of their attitude at the time, explaining that they were more than happy to leech Free (as in freedom) Software for their own benefit, but then balked at the prospect of freely sharing the results, and in particular this contradicted their stated academic goal of facilitating better computer education in UK schools, an environment that rightly demands open access to knowledge.

    • A web browser for the Raspberry Pi

      Since the first beta release we have made huge improvements; now the browser is more responsive, it’s faster, and videos work much better (the first beta could play 640×360 videos at 0.5fps, now we can play 25fps 1280×720 videos smoothly). Some web sites are still a bit slow (if they are heavy on the JavaScript side), but there’s not much we can do for web sites that, even on my laptop with an Intel Core i7, use 100% of one of the cores for more than ten seconds.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • The Trouble With Android

          At my house we have a second generation Nexus 7. I don’t use it at all, but my roommate depends on it. Again, it’s a beautiful OS, stable and easy to use, but it’s all about selling things. In fact, you can’t even enter the app store without going through a screen that nags you to make a deposit in case you find an app you want to buy — and a way of saying “no thanks, I’m just looking for free apps” isn’t as obvious as it should be.

          Like the Internet, Android is primarily a marketing tool designed by Google, which is primarily a marketing company.

        • Android Build Support Improved For Libdrm

          Emil Velikov, the new Mesa release manager, just landed a large set of libdrm patches for improving the open-source graphics drivers for Android.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 tips on migrating to open-source software

    Open source is not just for Linux. Yes, you’ll certainly find a much larger selection of open-source software for the Linux platform, but both Windows and Apple also enjoy a good number of titles. Regardless of what Free Open Source Software (FOSS) you need to use, you might not always find it the most natural evolution — especially when you’ve spent the whole of your career using proprietary software. The thing is, a lot of open-source software has matured to the point where it rivals (and sometimes bests) its proprietary counterpart.

  • Tech kingpins: Your kit would be tastier with a spot of open source

    Of course, I’m not just aiming this blogpost at EMC, I’d also like to see IBM take this approach with GPFS. The open-source products are beginning to be good enough for many, certainly outside of some core performance requirements. Ceph, for example, is really beginning to pick up some momentum, especially now that RedHat has bought Inktank.

  • Events

    • A free culture event in Pakistan

      With regards to the open source community in Pakistan, the situation is analogous to that on Wikipedia. Outside of a core group of members of Mozilla Pakistan and Linux Pakistan, the majority of internet users are not familiar with the free culture and open movements. This, in all likelihood, is due to a lack of widespread awareness of the movements.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 38 Beta Brings New Guest Mode and Easier Incognito Mode Switching

        The developers have explained that the user switching feature has been redesigned and it will make changing profiles and into the incognito mode a lot simple. They have also added a new experimental Guest mode, a new experimental UI for Chrome supervised users has been implemented, and numerous under-the-hood changes have been made for stability and performance.

    • Mozilla

      • Indian Firefox OS phones start at $33

        Intex and Spice launched the first Firefox OS phones in India using a low-cost Spreadtrum design: the $33 Intex Cloud FX and the $38 Spice Fire One Mi-FX 1.

      • Mozilla Firefox 32 Officially Released

        It’s been a little over a month since the previous Firefox stable release and the developers have now pushed a new major update to users. This latest iteration of Firefox brings just a few major features for regular users, but it excels in other areas like better HTML 5 support.

      • Mozilla Improving Security Processes After Exposing Developer Data

        Users of the Mozilla Developer Network and Bugzilla testing system are advised to update their passwords after a pair of data disclosures were reported in August.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • On my way to the LiboCon 2014!

      There are many, many interesting talks this year, and I cannot resist to remind you of the two talks I’ll be giving, even though Italo and I will also be on the deck for a few talks about LibreOffice marketing especially on Wednesday.

  • BSD

    • PfSense 2.1.5 Is a Free and Powerful FreeBSD-Based Firewall Operating System

      PfSense is a free network firewall distribution based on the FreeBSD, it comes with a custom kernel, and a few quite powerful applications that should make its users’ life a lot easier. Most of the firewall distros are Linux-based, but PfSense is a little bit different and is using FreeBSD. Regular users won’t feel anything out of the ordinary, but it’s an interesting choice for the base.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Code for Germany project launches

      Each OK Lab is a source of a great variety of projects, tackling different social issues and topics. For example, the OK Lab in Hamburg has a strong focus on urban development, and has created a map which shows the distribution of playgrounds in the city. An app from the OK Lab Heilbronn depicts the quality of tap water by region, and another from the OK Lab Cologne helps users find the closest defibrillator in their area. One more of our favorite developments is called “Kleiner Spatz”, which translates to “Little Sparrow,” and helps parents to find free child care in their city.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Sports fan lobbyist fights NFL blackouts, taxpayer-funded stadiums, and Comcast

    Since 1973, the National Football League has prevented local TV stations from broadcasting games when tickets aren’t sold out—and Federal Communications Commission rules enable this decidedly fan-unfriendly policy. The rules are finally close to being overturned, and if they are you can thank David Goodfriend.

    Founder of the Sports Fans Coalition, Goodfriend is an attorney and lobbyist with years of experience in government and private industry. He was a Clinton Administration official, a Congressional staffer, legal advisor at the FCC, and executive at Dish Network. The Sports Fans Coalition teamed with four consumer advocacy organizations in 2011 to petition the FCC to stop supporting the NFL’s blackout regime.

  • Silence to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of last ever passenger pigeon

    Conservationists will fall silent at noon today to mark the hundredth anniversary of the death of Martha, the last ever passenger pigeon – just as a new project is set up to bring the species back from the dead.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Ecuador: WikiLeaks cables show US how used ‘democracy promotion’ to push corporate interests

      Ecuador’s pro-US neoliberal president Lucio Gutierrez was ousted in 2005. Since then, relations between Ecuador and the United States have deteriorated, with the Andean nation’s increasing rejection of US hegemony.

      The government of Rafael Correa, first elected in 2006, has broken from the neoliberal doctrines Washington has imposed on Latin America. It has embraced regional integration, moving closer to its neighbours and further away from the US.

      Diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks show how hard the US fought to control Ecuador’s future post-Gutierrez.

      They show a key element of US efforts to control Ecuador’s political and economic direction in the post-Gutierrez years was the US Embassy’s “democracy promotion” activity.

      So-called “democracy promotion” came to prominence as a method for maintaining US hegemony in the 1980s.

    • The New Terrorism

      We had the first proof of this strategy with the decryp­ted mil­it­ary film “Col­lat­eral Murder”, where heli­copter pilots shot up some Reu­ters journ­al­ists and civil­ians in Iraq in 2007. That was bad enough — but the cover-up stank. For years the Pentagon denied all know­ledge of this atro­cious war crime, and it was only after Wikileaks released the inform­a­tion, provided by the brave whis­tleblower Chelsea Man­ning, that the fam­il­ies and the inter­na­tional com­munity learned the truth. Yet it is Man­ning, not the war crim­in­als, who is serving a 35 year sen­tence in a US prison.

      Worse, by sheer scale at least, are the ongo­ing, wide-ranging unmanned drone attacks across the Middle East and Cent­ral Asia, as cata­logued by the Bur­eau of Invest­ig­at­ive Journ­al­ism in the UK. Many thou­sands of inno­cents have been murdered in these attacks, with the US jus­ti­fy­ing the strikes as killing “mil­it­ants” — ie any male over the age of 14. The US is mur­der­ing chil­dren, fam­il­ies, wed­ding parties and vil­lage coun­cils with impunity.

    • The game-changer in global conflicts

      IN THE last 10 years armed unmanned aerial vehicles — drones — have been operated to kill individuals in at least seven countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Their use is changing the way war is conventionally waged.

    • Fighting erupts between Syrian army, rebels on Golan Heights

      Heavy fighting between Syrian army forces and rebels erupted on the Golan Heights on Monday, a Reuters photographer said, but it was unclear if either of the two sides had gained an advantage to control a key frontier crossing.

      Rebels of al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front have been battling the Syrian army in the area and have wrested control of the crossing at Quneitra, which is operated by the United Nations.

      Persistent small arms fire and explosions from mortar shells and other munitions could be heard on the Israeli-controlled side of the frontier of the strategic plateau, the photographer reported.

      At least one tank belonging to the Syrian army loyal to President Bashar al-Assad was also involved and rebels could be seen a few meters (yards) away from the frontier fence.

      On Sunday, Israel’s military said it shot down a drone that flew from Syria into Israeli-controlled airspace over the Golan.

    • Israel downs drone from Syria over occupied Golan: army
    • UN withdrawal and Syria drone point to new order in Golan

      After four decades, UN supervision on the Syrian border is about to end and Assad’s military is being replaced by more hostile forces.

    • Taking Yemen from bad to worse

      Recent months have witnessed worrying developments in the realm of news media in Yemen. On June 11, the Yemen Today TV Channel was shut down by Presidential Guards on President Hadi’s order following the channel’s coverage of the demonstrations and riots in Sana’a that same day.

    • China reacts guardedly to Narendra Modi’s expansionist remark

      China today reacted guardedly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks of “expansionist” tendency among some countries, saying it is not clear what was he referring to and recalled his earlier comments that India and China are strategic partners.

      “We have noted relevant information about Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Japan. You just mentioned comments made by him I don’t know what is he referring to,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a media briefing here when asked about Modi’s remarks made during his ongoing visit to Japan.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Danish Police Arrest Sea Shepherd Team Trying to Stop Faroe Islands Whale Slaughter

      The Royal Danish Navy arrested 14 volunteers from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society on Saturday for trying to intervene in the slaughter of 33 pilot whales in the Faroe Islands, a protectorate of Denmark.

      A team of six Sea Shepherd volunteers spotted a pod of pilot whales from shore on Sandoy Island in the remote North Atlantic archipelago on Saturday and alerted Sea Shepherd’s small flotilla of boats, which has been patrolling the icy waters for nearly three months. Sea Shepherd has been trying to stop the annual Faroese whale hunt known as grindadráp, or grind.

    • Sea Shepherd crew members released

      A total of 14 volunteer crew members of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s pilot whale defence campaign Operation GrindStop 2014 arrested on Saturday in the Faroe Islands today have been released.

      As of Sunday morning, all 14 Sea Shepherd crew have been released. The six volunteers from the land team must return to court tomorrow, Monday, September 1. The eight members of the boat team have been told to return to court on September 25. Postponing the court date until that time allows the police to hold the three Sea Shepherd boats until the end of September, as they are being held for “evidence.” All video and still camera data cards were removed by police and are still being held. Sea Shepherd attorneys are working to have them returned as well.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • New Docs Undermine Walker’s Statements on Criminal Probe

      Despite claims that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is not a “target” in the state’s criminal campaign finance probe, newly-released documents demonstrate that prosecutors are indeed looking at potentially criminal activity by the first-term governor and 2016 presidential hopeful.

      The latest round of documents released in Wisconsin’s “John Doe” investigation shine new light on the stalled inquiry into alleged illegal coordination between Walker’s campaign and outside political groups like Wisconsin Club for Growth (WiCFG) during the 2011-2012 recall elections.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

08.31.14

Links 31/8/2014: Linux 3.12.27, Akademy 2014

Posted in News Roundup at 4:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • AMD Steppe Eagle Flys To Coreboot

    Steppe Eagle is the codename for AMD’s new embedded G-Series SoC that arrived this summer. Steppe Eagle boasts a TDP as little as five Watts and is a big upgrade over earlier G-Series hardware. The Steppe Eagle SoC features GCN-based Radeon graphics while the CPU is Jaguar-based and similar to Kabini. As of today, basic support for these latest-generation AMD embedded SoCs can be found within mainline Coreboot. This Coreboot tooling was done by Sage Electronic Engineering, the firm responsible for much of AMD’s involvement in Coreboot.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome Beta adds easy account switching

        Recently Google made switching accounts on their various web and mobile services much easier. Signing in between multiple accounts in the Chrome browser however was somewhat a pain because the option becomes tucked away in settings after the first run sign-in, and because all extensions are re-installed/reloaded every time an account is connected to Chrome.

      • Balllon: a must have Chrome extension
    • Openness/Sharing

    • Standards/Consortia

      • 10 tips for easier collaboration between office suites

        Yes, you are likely using the Microsoft formats for your documents. However, they don’t always follow OpenDocument Format (ODF) standards. Instead of opting for the proprietary Microsoft formats, switch over to one that’s welcomed by nearly all office suites: ODF. You’ll find a much more seamless collaboration process and fewer gotchas when moving between office suites. The only platform that can have a bit of trouble with this format is Android. The one Android office suite that works well with ODF is OfficeSuite 7 Pro.

    Leftovers

    • Respected Medical Journal Sold To Scammers Willing To Publish Anything… For A Fee

      There are reports of such gibberish papers flooding academia, sometimes in attempts to highlight how lax publishers are, and what a giant scam all of this is.

    • Recruiting From Competitors Isn’t Sabotage: Overstating The Uber/Lyft Fight

      The Verge got a lot of attention yesterday for its story on “Uber’s playbook for sabotaging Lyft.” If you follow the space at all, you know that there have been stories making the rounds for months claiming that people working for Uber were scheduling competitors’ rides and then cancelling them, thereby tying up competitors’ systems. Uber has hit back saying that the reverse is actually true, and that Lyft has called up and cancelled Uber rides.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Hillary Clinton is Just Plain Wrong on GMOs

        In her June 25 keynote address to the BIO International Convention in San Diego, Calif., Hillary Clinton voiced strong support for genetic engineering and genetically engineered crops. She earned a standing ovation that day by stating that the biotech industry suffers from a public perception problem and that it just needs “a better vocabulary” in order to persuade GMO skeptics who don’t understand “the facts” about genetic engineering.

        And then Hillary proceeded to get the facts wrong.

        Why does it matter what Hillary, who holds no public office and has not (yet) declared her candidacy for president, says or believes about genetic engineering and genetically modified crops and foods?

        It doesn’t—unless she throws her hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination. And then it matters not just what her position is on GMOs, not just how deep her financial ties to the biotech industry run, not just how much she distorts the facts about the “promise” of biotech crops.

    • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

      • Gamm Theatre season opener looks at lone pilot operating killer drones

        Then three years ago, after looking into the facts surrounding unmanned aircraft, he sat down to put his thoughts on paper and came up with “Grounded,” a one-woman play about a fighter pilot assigned to operate drones in the Nevada desert.

      • International Human Rights: Dispelling The Myths

        Yet, some have argued that human rights are western concepts and not eastern and therefore not in keeping with our culture. If one studies human rights in detail as scholars such as Chandra Muzaffer in Malaysia and Abdullah An’aim in Sudan have done, one can immediately see that they are basically rooted in the concept of human dignity which is present in all the world’s religious and ethical traditions. In the past they were expressed in religious or ethical terms within religious texts, traditional laws and practices.

      • Obama linked to financial support for Hamas

        Seeking $1.5 billion in compensatory damages as well as punitive damages, it accuses the global figures of “laundering U.S. dollars” to Hamas, which is officially designated by the U.S. government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

      • HOW THE NSA HELPED TURKEY KILL KURDISH REBELS

        But in true “Spy v. Spy” fashion, Turkey is itself is the target of intense surveillance even as it cooperates closely with the U.S.— one NSA document describes the country bluntly as both a “partner and target.” The very politicians, military officials, and intelligence agency officials with whom U.S. officials work closely when conducting actions against the PKK are also considered legitimate spying targets by the NSA. To that end, in addition to the official SUSLAT liaison office and the intelligence workers it has cleared with the Turkish authorities, the U.S. has two secret branch offices, operating Special Collection Service listening stations in both Istanbul and the capital city of Ankara.

        The degree to which the NSA surveils its partner is made clear in the National Intelligence Priorities Framework (NIPF), a document establishing U.S. intelligence priorities. Updated and presented to the president every six months, the NIPF shows a country’s “standing” from the perspective of the U.S. In the April 2013 edition, Turkey is listed as one of the countries most frequently targeted by Washington for surveillance, with U.S. intelligence services tasked with collecting data in 19 different areas of interest.

      • Exclusive: U.S. may use secrets act to stop suit against Iran sanctions group
      • Iran Sanctions: US Plays a Dirty Game

        On Friday, the US government announced the imposition of a new round of sanctions on over 25 Iranian individuals and companies, including shipping firms, oil companies, airlines and six banks despite the fact that Iran and the six world powers Russia, China, France, Britain and the US and Germany are in the process of talks with the intention of resolving the West’s nuclear standoff with Iran.

      • Is America’s Second Contractors’ War Drawing Near?

        Four years ago this Sunday, President Barack Obama declared the end of the Iraq war. So much of that fight and our current involvement in the Middle East is carried out by a privatized military. Here’s why that matters

      • Libya’s ‘Regime Change’ Chaos

        America’s war hawks, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were thrilled by the Libyan “regime change” engineered through a U.S.- European bombing campaign in 2011. But now with Libya torn by civil war and Arab powers intervening, the “victory” has a bitter aftertaste, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

      • Reflections On The Illegal And Unconstitutional In Chilean History

        As Chile nears its 41st anniversary since the U.S.-backed military dictatorship toppled Salvador Allende’s government, the country remains incarcerated within a complex historical memory framework. Grappling with dictatorial restrictions enforced through the constitution, the ramifications of Augusto Pinochet’s macabre era, from 1973 to 1990, are evident in various struggles — from the ongoing endeavor to uncover the fate of Chile’s disappeared population, to protests calling for the termination of an education system that favors those of privilege.

      • Former British army officials now training ISIS militants in Iraq, Syria: MI6, CIA

        A report has revealed that British intelligence agency MI6 and America’s Central Investigative Agency (CIA) have intercepted conversations on mobile phones, e-mails that show that several former British Army officials have joined the ranks of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

      • CIA Analyst: US War Plan Involves Syria, Turkey, Jordan

        Washington should establish a new Syrian army in order to fight both the Islamic State and Bashar al-Assad, allowing the US to end the Syrian war “on its own terms,” believes Kenneth M. Pollack, a former CIA intelligence analyst and Senior Fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

      • Letter: Many Obama policies started with Bush

        Luckily this is the “Opinion” page and the letters submitted don’t require the use of actual facts, otherwise we wouldn’t have the pleasure of getting in our morning laugh while reading Thomas Hanley’s letters.

        Tom states that I was only able to list one positive accomplishment for Bush’s time in office. Apparently four out of the five that I listed were easily dismissed by your ingenious arguments, you know, ones like this: “A simple fact check and he would have discovered that the old right-wing lie that Bush’s use of torture led to Bin Laden has been soundly debunked.”

      • The military coup that almost was (and maybe is)

        Richard Nixon’s legacy is more alive and well than it should be

      • “Russian Invasion” – Screaming ‘Wolf!’ Strategy of Deception. Lies Repeated Umpteen Times. What is the Endgame?

        “Russian Invasion” – How long is screaming ‘Wolf!’ having an impact on Western public opinion? – Until Full Spectrum Dominance has been attained?

      • Kill Putin?

        We’re not sure how we missed this (the internet is kinda big) but earlier this week InfoWars picked up on a column published back on August 4 by former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative Herbert E. Meyer.

      • Destabilizing Russia, A Nuclear Power: Is the U.S. Trying to Implement “Regime Change” in Russia?

        America Has Undertaken Regime Change In Many Countries Before

        In 1957, the U.S. and British governments planned regime change in Syria … because it was drifting too close to the Soviet Union.

        20 years ago, influential U.S. government officials decided to effect regime change throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The countries targeted were “old Soviet regimes”.

        The U.S. has, of course, already carried out regime change in Guatemala, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Chile, Haiti and many other countries. The U.S. was also instrumental in the recent regime change in Ukraine.

      • THE COLD WAR HOAX

        Most books and articles about the CIA mention the Agency’s first two successful covert operations: the overthrowing of Premier Mossadegh of Iran in 1953 and the overthrowing of President Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954. Some of them spare a few paragraphs to mention the CIA’s alleged first mistake: its failure to predict the Bogotazo riots. But there is more about the Bogotazo affair than the CIA, Fidel Castro, and his CFR masters want us to know.

      • Ten ways you can tell if Russia has invaded Ukraine or not

        Armed with this list, you too should be able to determine whether or not Russia has invaded Ukraine last Thursday.

      • Ukraine Claims ‘Thousands’ of Russian Troops Invaded, Offers No Evidence
      • The true story of Mark Paslawsky, the ‘only’ American fighter with Kiev forces

        On Tuesday, August 20, a US army veteran named Mark Paslawsky was killed during a battle in Ilovyask, near Donetsk, which is currently held by anti-Kiev rebels.

        Fighting on the side of pro-government forces, the American had sprung to prominence because of his Twitter feed (@BruceSpringnote), often sharply critical of Ukrainian politicians, and a fawning video interview with Vice News’ Simon Ostrovsky shortly before his death.

      • America’s Gamble: Wealth, War and Power. “Russian Roulette” and the Drive To Nuclear Armageddon?

        Washington and NATO are providing personnel, mercenary forces and advice to help the Ukraine government bomb, kill, maim and drive out those who are demanding autonomy from the US puppet regime in Kiev [4]. Washington and its proxy forces in Ukraine are ‘ethnically cleansing’ the mainly Russian speaking separatists in the east, with up to one million having fled across the border into Russia [5].

        Yet it is Washington that accused Moscow of invading Ukraine, based on flimsy or no evidence at all. Washington has accused Moscow of having a hand in the downing of a commercially airliner based on no evidence at all. As a result of this invisible Russian ‘aggression’, Washington has slapped sanctions on Moscow, which are hurting Europe more they are hurting the US [6]. But that’s the point: to de-link Europe’s economy from Russia in terms of trade and energy and weaken Europe to ensure it remains dependent on Washington.

      • Protesters Don’t Want Drone Command Center In Montco

        With a replica drone in front and crosses with the names of those killed in military drone strikes at their feet, a little more than a dozen protesters begged for the government not to bring a drone command center to Montgomery county.

      • Jihadi Rebels Abduct UN Observers Along Israeli Border
      • Egypt jihadist group claims beheading of four men in Sinai
      • Egyptian Jihadists Behead ‘Mossad Spies’ in Gruesome Video
      • Sinai Jihadist Group Claims It Beheaded Four Men
      • Two more decapitated bodies found in North Sinai

        Sinai locals find again decapitated bodies of two young men who have been abducted amid continuous unrest in the peninsula

      • Egypt militants post beheading video

        An al-Qaida-inspired militant group in Egypt has posted an online video showing the beheading of four men in the Sinai Peninsula accused of spying for Israel, whose bodies were found earlier this month.

        The Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group, whose name means Champions of Jerusalem in Arabic, posted a 30-minute video showing detailed confessions of the four men. The four said that in exchange for money they helped Israel target the group’s members with drone strikes in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

      • Egypt jihadist group claims beheading of four Israel spies
      • Radical Islamists in Egypt Post Gruesome Video of Barbaric Executions — Why It’s Being Called a ‘First’
      • Australia’s collateral damage in the US drone program

        In the last few years there has been a hotly contested global debate about the civilian impact of the U.S. drone strike program and its moral and legal justifications. Despite being geographically part of Asia (where the majority of drone strikes took place) and politically aligned with the west (states responsible for the strikes), until now the global debate went largely unnoticed in Australia.

        The death of two Australians has led to a new reality Down Under – there is now an increasing public debate about whether the U.S-Australian intelligence sharing alliance has fairly been used as cover for Australia’s secret involvement in the controversial U.S. targeted killing program. The debate has raised concerns that Australia’s democratic institutions and rule of law could be collateral damage in the US drone program.

      • Marketing Death: How US Is Using Foley and McCain to Sell War

        Another American citizen has been killed in Syria in the past week, albeit under completely different circumstances. Douglas McAuthur McCain was killed by ‘Free Syrian Army’ militants during a gunfight while fighting for Islamic State (IS), becoming the first American Islamist to die in Syria. This comes as the world is still reeling from the beheading of reporter James Foley, which was first broadcast last week. The deaths of Foley and McCain back-to-back provide the US with different justifications for the same objective – the bombing of Syria.

      • Texas megachurch pastor uses drones to spread his message
      • A Texas megachurch is preaching the gospel of drones

        Imagine that there’s a powerful, invisible force hovering above you in the sky. It sees everything, controls everything—you can keep no secrets from it. If it wanted to, it could kill you instantly.

      • Man charged with murder says he didn’t know his dogs could kill

        Dressed in a navy button-down shirt and black slacks, Jackson said he had never encouraged his dogs to fight with each other or with people and that he played with them in a joyful manner. “They have a loving side to them,” he said.

      • Justifying the Kill

        Most British police, for example, do not carry firearms at all. In England and Wales over a 12-month period ending March 2013, there were only three incidents during which police had to discharge their guns. You would think the U.S. would be interested in what might help us move in a similar direction.

      • Islamic Jihad fighters parade after Gaza war

        Thousands of Islamic Jihad fighters paraded in Gaza City Friday, in a defiant show of force three days after a ceasefire ending a bloody war between Israel and Gaza militants.

      • BT faces further investigation over link to US drone network

        The UK government is set to reopen a complaint against BT after a Computer Weekly investigation found evidence suggesting the telecoms giant provided communication links that support controversial US drone strikes.

        BT has consistently denied the allegations, originally made in a complaint by legal charity Reprieve in 2013, that it had breached international rules on corporate social responsibility by taking a contract to supply a fibre-optic connection between a US military communications centre in the UK and a base in North Africa that has been linked to controversial drone strikes.

      • ​Cable collaborator: BT accused of aiding US drone strikes
      • BT accused of supplying cable system for US drone strikes

        Human rights groups Reprieve has asked the UK government to again investigate whether BT supplied high-speed fibre cable for US drones, after the surface of new evidence, the Guardian reported. The group alleges that the USD 23 million fibre-optic circuit built by BT in 2012 was installed to facilitate air strikes in Yemen and Somalia by US air force drones. The military internet cable reportedly connects US air force facilities in Northamptonshire to a base for unmanned craft in Djibouti.

      • BT alleged to have supplied high-speed fibre-optic cable to aid US drone strikes

        BT says $23m circuit linking US hub with base for unmanned craft in Djibouti is general purpose, not a special military system

      • UK Government urged to act on fresh evidence of BT drones link

        The British government is being asked to reopen an investigation into BT, after new evidence appeared to link the company to illegal US drone strikes and the mass government surveillance used to select their targets.

      • Cease-Fire Holds in Gaza

        In war, nobody wants to be the last to die. In Gaza, it was the chief of the electric company’s maintenance division and his deputy. In Israel, it was a pair of volunteers working a security detail on their kibbutz.

        The four deaths on Tuesday, hours before an open-ended cease-fire began between Israel and Hamas, reflected the often indiscriminate, opaque and lethal nature of a conflict that dragged on for 50 days and more than 2,100 deaths, only to end where it began, with a truce deal that is essentially a retread of the one signed in 2012 after the last Gaza war.

      • We have to defeat Islamism on the battleground of ideas

        In the minds of many, the American-led “War on Terror” arrived at a major turning point when it caught and killed the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011. His death followed a highly effective, though somewhat controversial, drone campaign that successfully eliminated many senior al-Qaeda members who were holed up in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Although there were no post-Iraq War style “Mission accomplished” banners being brandished, these developments were supposed to usher in a new era in which global jihadism was much less of a threat, and the US could retreat from the Middle East and South Asia and be slightly less concerned about it.

      • My Turn: The true cost of the ‘war on terror’

        As 51 million refugees are forced to flee their homes, it’s time to examine the connection between the history of our failed foreign policies and the exploding refugee crisis. It’s time to stop the killing. The world as had enough of U.S. plunder.

      • Qatar says ready to rebuild war-battered Gaza

        Qatar, a key backer of Palestinian militant group Hamas, hailed the Gaza ceasefire accord and offered to help rebuild the enclave battered by seven weeks of Israeli bombardment, AFP reported.

      • Gaza gravediggers unwittingly dig their own graves

        Cemeteries are becoming the most dangerous places in Gaza.

        The Israeli military has targeted both of Gaza’s primary burial grounds on six occasions over the past week, alleging that they’d received intelligence that rockets were being launched from the areas.

      • CIA acted to shape Portugal’s post-revolutionary political scene
    • Transparency Reporting

    • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Finance

      • Bitcoin Entrepreneur Charlie Shrem to Plead to Unlicensed Money Transmission

        Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of the digital currency to users of illicit online marketplace Silk Road, his lawyer said Friday.

      • When Whites Just Don’t Get It

        MANY white Americans say they are fed up with the coverage of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. A plurality of whites in a recent Pew survey said that the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.

        Bill O’Reilly of Fox News reflected that weariness, saying: “All you hear is grievance, grievance, grievance, money, money, money.”

        Indeed, a 2011 study by scholars at Harvard and Tufts found that whites, on average, believed that anti-white racism was a bigger problem than anti-black racism.

        Yes, you read that right!

        [...]

        • The net worth of the average black household in the United States is $6,314, compared with $110,500 for the average white household, according to 2011 census data. The gap has worsened in the last decade, and the United States now has a greater wealth gap by race than South Africa did during apartheid. (Whites in America on average own almost 18 times as much as blacks; in South Africa in 1970, the ratio was about 15 times.)

    • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

      • Rick Perry serves up red meat at Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity summit

        Texas Gov. Rick Perry, in a Friday afternoon speech that sounded a lot like presidential red meat, accused President Barack Obama of overstepping his constitutional authority and abdicating national defense at home and abroad.

      • Government-Funded Writing Careers

        It turns out the CIA may have been pursuing a global propaganda strategy through its affiliation with the Paris-based Congress for Cultural Freedom, an organization meant to perform cultural guerrilla warfare against communism. Among recipients of the CCF’s money were a number of hip intellectual magazines throughout Africa, where people like Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong’o wrote. When Soyinka was later jailed, the CCF paid his bail.

      • Hong Kong media baron denies CIA connection

        Mr Lai, a colourful self-made billionaire, is one of the most vocal critics in Hong Kong of the Chinese government. He recently came under the spotlight after leaked emails showed he had given money to anti-Beijing lawmakers in Hong Kong and to help pro-democracy group Occupy Central.

    • Censorship

      • Censorship will not consign Jihadism to the dustbin of history

        Our government’s lunge for censorship suggests a fear among both officialdom and elected representatives that our society cannot defend itself against bad ideas

      • Moscow may ban anti-Russian films from cinemas in new censorship threat

        Russian culture committee threatens to outlaw movies that show the country and its citizens in a ‘primitive and silly way’

      • My Scotland

        Yesterday the licensing man from Dundee Council went down the taxi ranks ordering saltires and yes stickers removed from the taxis. (would he have ordered No stickers removed as well? We can never be sure as there weren’t any.)

      • Lizard Squad Twitter taken down

        Update: After the Lizard Squad Twitter account was down for a couple of hours, it’s now back in business. It’s not clear what happened, but it’s back up now with tweets flowing.

        The Lizard Squad Twitter account has been taken down within the last hour and heading to the twitter.com/LizardSquad url only reveals an Account Suspended message. It is not clear if anyone in particular requested the profile to be taken offline, or if this was Twitter themselves, but the person behind this account reached almost 52,000 followers this week after taking PSN down along with outages like Twitch.

      • Arbitrary and capricious

        OVER 1.3 billion people, nearly the population of China, are now active Facebook users. That means a whopping 18% of the world’s population logs on to the site at least once a month. The social network is the largest community ever: a place where ideas, stories, images and perspectives are communicated instantly and widely across national, geographical and ideological boundaries.

      • Is it censorship or shying away from tough topics? The on-going debate on the role of social media
      • Snap-shots and tolerance

        The fact that Americans and Russians are taking opposite sides over the conflict in Ukraine is not just a matter of cultural sympathies or a geopolitical grudge match over the cold war. It is also, as Lilia Shevtsova writes in the American Interest, a conflict between the world’s liberal democracies and a new and adaptive form of capitalist authoritarianism. In other words, it’s a conflict between the kinds of countries where foreign athletes can openly express support for an increasingly unfriendly power, and those where even soldiers’ mothers’ committees may face crackdowns if they dare to criticise the government. As tensions between Washington and Moscow grow sharper, Mr Ovechkin may find that American fans are angered by his apparent support for the other side. Athletes are celebrities, and celebrities cannot publicly express their political opinions without affecting their brand. But Mr Ovechkin lives in a country where his position will not earn him any sort of official censorship.

      • WeChat Accounts Suspended By Tencent Due To New Censorship Rules In China
      • Deleting posts ‘not censorship’

        And the Facebook page – where scores had vented their frustrations – was wiped and frozen to prevent people thinking it was a way to reach the helpdesk, according to operations director Peter Lowes.

    • Privacy

    • Civil Rights

    • Internet/Net Neutrality

      • Comcast To Regulators: Data Caps? These? Nooo! These Are Just… Fuzzy Friendly Flexible Consumption Plans For Friends

        A few weeks ago, Verizon Wireless introduced a new bandwidth throttling plan and tried to claim it wasn’t throttling at all, but rather “network optimization,” and now Ars Technica has the story of how Comcast is trying to spin its data caps as not being data caps at all. Instead, they’re “flexible data consumption plans.” Because flexible is fun. Of course, their definition of flexible may be different from yours and mine, because they’re only “flexible” on Comcast’s side in determining just what the caps are. Once you go over those “flexible” plans, you’ll certainly be paying more. Just like a data cap. But, Comcast insists, it’s no data cap.

      • Champion Of The People: Verizon Complains Exigent Circumstances Order Inadequate For Info Requested; Hands Over Info Anyway

        Given how often major telcos and wireless service providers have willingly provided intelligence and law enforcement agencies with way more than they’ve asked for, the following shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

        The back story is this: In July 2008, an FBI agent had his gun and cellphone stolen from his “official” vehicle. The search for the missing items involved Verizon. In an application for a court order authorizing the release of cell site location info, it’s noted that the service provider performed the most futile of gestures on behalf of itself.

    • Intellectual Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • More evidence GCSB sharing New Zealanders’ data
        • Can Key rule out that GCSB is sharing NZ’s data?
        • Dotcom’s Moment of Truth could backfire on his party and the left

          On September 15, five days before the end of an already extraordinary election campaign, Internet Party founder and funder Kim Dotcom will host an evening at the Auckland Town Hall that he says will discredit John Key and ensure National’s defeat.

          Announcing the event that he calls The Moment of Truth in early July, Dotcom said he would reveal “my evidence around the political interference and my evidence that John Key lied”. Two weeks later he announced he had hired Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, who led coverage of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks, to be guest of honour. He told One News the event would cover “a lot of interesting things that will make our Prime Minister look pretty dull”, including alleged evidence Key knew of Dotcom earlier than the day before the 2012 raid of his mansion.

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