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05.22.15

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • WhyWeFOSS

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

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

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

  • Vatican library: open source for long-term preservation

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

  • Open source initiatives saving grace for many companies

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

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

  • Measuring performance the open source way

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

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

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

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

  • Events

    • Report of Libre Graphics Meeting 2015

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

    • DEVit Conf 2015 Impressions

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

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • 75 Open Source Cloud Computing Apps

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

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

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

    • Entrepreneurs Share How to Build an OpenStack-Powered Business

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

    • Cisco Bringing Group Policy to OpenStack [VIDEO]

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

    • OpenStack enables open source shift at Time Warner Cable

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

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.0 Release Notes

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

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

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

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

  • Healthcare

    • The radical potential of open source programming in healthcare

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

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

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

  • Business

  • Licensing

    • Allwinner Publishes New CedarX Open-Source Code

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

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Rig a smarthome and more hacks with TouchBoard

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

    • Open Hardware

      • The future of manufacturing will happen on your desktop

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

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

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

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

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

  • Programming

    • Java at 20: How it changed programming forever

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

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Cyberattack on University of London Computing Centre causes Moodle chaos

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

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

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

    • How I Got Here: Marcus Ranum

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

    • Google Reveals the Problem With Password Security Questions

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

      [...]

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

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

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

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

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

  • Finance

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • NSA planned Google Play hack to target Android smartphones

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

    • NSA Planned to Hijack Google App Store to Hack Smartphones

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

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

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

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

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

    • Tech companies ask Senate to pass NSA reform bill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Civil Rights

    • Gyrocopter pilot pleads not guilty

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

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

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

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

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

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

  • DRM

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

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

05.21.15

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

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

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

  • Open Source Software to Catalogue Cultural Heritage Before a Crisis

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

  • Events

    • Protocols Plugfest Europe 2015

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

    • GNOME Asia 2015

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

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

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Integrates Propietary Pocket Plugin

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

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

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • fresh breeze for LibreOffice

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

  • CMS

    • How open source disrupted the CMS market

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

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

  • Openness/Sharing

    • France wants to accelerate its reforms through open government

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

    • France will chair OGP in 2016

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

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

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

    • Open Hardware

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

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

  • Programming

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

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

    • Happy birthday Java

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

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

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

    • Africa as Battlefield

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

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Snowden Sees Some Victories, From a Distance

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

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

    • Fighting that Terminator in our Pockets

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

    • The new war on encryption is based on a lie

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

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

  • Civil Rights

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Gyrocopter pilot indicted on six charges

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

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

05.20.15

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Lee Schlesinger: No one nowadays objects to FOSS

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

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

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

  • Electronic IDs need open source tools

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

  • Events

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack: Ready for more enterprise adoption?

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

    • ​Red Hat brings Gluster to OpenStack shared file service

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

    • The OpenStack Foundation Rolls Out a Community App Catalog

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

    • MapR Reacts to Gartner Findings on Hadoop Implementation

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

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.0 Open-Source Office Suite Has Been Branched

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

  • CMS

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

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

  • Healthcare

    • The future of open source in health IT

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

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

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

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

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

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

Leftovers

  • IT Workers Report Significant Decrease in Stress Levels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Another HTTPS Vulnerability Rattles The Internet

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

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Finance

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Austerity and Neoliberalism in Greece

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

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

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

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

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

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

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • EU’s ongoing attempt to kill Net Neutrality forever

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Popcorn Time Now Streams Movies To A Browser

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

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

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

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

05.19.15

Links 19/5/2015: Linux 4.1 RC4, Thunderbird 31.7.0, OpenStack Event

Posted in News Roundup at 4:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Security

    • The Venom vulnerability: Little details bite back

      Frankly, the big objects are the easy part of security. But the tiny, insidious, and completely unforeseen vectors always seem to get us — like a tiny bit of code that was overlooked for years in OpenSSL or Bash, or to take the latest example, Venom (CVE-2015-3456), which is the hyped name given to the latest threat to virtualized infrastructures.

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

    • US Officials Leak Info About ISIS Raid More Sensitive Than Anything Snowden Ever Leaked

      Over the weekend, the US government announced that special forces soldiers entered Syria to conduct a raid that killed an alleged leader of ISIS, Abu Sayyaf. In the process, anonymous US officials leaked classified information to the New York Times that’s much more sensitive than anything Edward Snowden ever revealed, and it serves as a prime example of the government’s hypocrisy when it comes to disclosures of secret information.

    • Saudi Arabia hiring eight new executioners as part of ‘unprecedented spike’ in killings

      Saudi Arabia is advertising for eight new executioners, in a recruitment drive which leading human rights charity Amnesty International has warned is symptomatic of an “unprecedented spike” of judicial killings in the country.

      An advert for the position, posted on the country’s civil service jobs website, states that no specific qualifications are required for the brutal role which involves “executing a judgement of death” and performing amputations on those convicted of less serious crimes.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • McConnell vows to pass trade bill

      Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday vowed to pass fast-track trade legislation before the Memorial Day recess, brushing aside calls for a prolonged floor debate on amendments.

      “I want to be very clear … the Senate will finish its work on trade this week, and we will remain in session as long as it takes to do so,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Establishment Journalists Pride Themselves on Staying on the Official Rails

      Why do establishment media watchers bristle at Hersh’s using anonymity for its intended purpose–protecting whistleblowers from retaliation–while expressing no problem with the routine use of unnamed sources to allow official spokespeople to make statements on behalf of their institutions with no accountability?

      When the nameless are speaking on behalf of power, they’re in line with the official narrative: They’re on the rails. When an anonymous source is challenging power, they call that narrative into question–and go off the rails.

      Despite all evidence to the contrary, the purveyors of Iraqi WMDs, the eternal predictors of imminent Iranian nukes, the drone apologists who insist every “military-aged male” is a militant are accorded a presumption of credibility. Whereas calling into question the official story provokes not just skepticism but hostility: It’s an affront, after all, to those journalists who have the restraint, decency and good taste to stay on the rails.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • The European Commission Must Protect Fundamental Rights in the Digital Age

      The European Commission published on 6 May its strategy for 2020 and the setting up of the Digital Single Market. Several important digital issues are concerned by this agenda: from copyright to crime, from telecommunications to VAT harmonisation. While La Quadrature du Net welcomes the Commission’s engagement with these issues, it does this only with caution as previous attempts were harmful to the protection of fundamental rights.

    • Obama bans some military equipment sales to police

      President Obama has banned the sale of some kinds of military equipment to local law enforcement agencies, following widespread criticism of a paramilitary-like response to riots in a St. Louis suburb last August.

      In doing so, Obama put his stamp on the recommendations of a multi-agency federal working group that endorsed a ban on sales of some military equipment and providing more training, supervision and oversight of others.

    • Two hackers who committed suicide and no one still knows the real reason why

      Two of world’s most wanted hackers had committed suicide and no one still knows why. Aaron Swartz and Jonathan James, both hackers by profession and most wanted by the FBI have committed suicide in face of the federal investigation against their hacking crimes.

      Interested thing is both hackers were not connected to each other in any way but were being tried for hacking by the same department and the case was being overseen by the same Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Heymann. Could this have any hand in their suicides.

    • Farming unicorns

      As I write, the UK’s electioneering is in full swing and politicians of all shades are making opportunistic statements that may turn out to be signals of future policy. Notable among them was a statement by Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, who revealed that the Conservative Party would ensure under-18s were prevented from seeing adult content on the internet. He did not elaborate exactly how that would be done.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • “Making porn is fun”: The startling rise of DIY erotica

      Online pornography is a multibillion-dollar industry — 35 percent of all internet downloads are pornographic, and more than $3,000 is spent on internet porn every second. Every second! In the time it took you to read that sentence, $9,000 has been blown watching people get blown.

    • Baroness Shields to be made internet security minister

      Former Facebook Europe chief and Tech City guru to join the Government benches in the House of Lords

    • Internet.org Is Not Neutral, Not Secure, and Not the Internet

      Facebook’s Internet.org project, which offers people from developing countries free mobile access to selected websites, has been pitched as a philanthropic initiative to connect two thirds of the world who don’t yet have Internet access. We completely agree that the global digital divide should be closed. However, we question whether this is the right way to do it. As we and others have noted, there’s a real risk that the few websites that Facebook and its partners select for Internet.org (including, of course, Facebook itself) could end up becoming a ghetto for poor users instead of a stepping stone to the larger Internet.

    • Backlash Against Facebook’s Free Internet Service Grows

      On Monday, 65 advocacy organizations in 31 countries released an open letter to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg protesting Internet.org—an effort to bring free internet service to the developing world—saying the project “violates the principles of net neutrality, threatening freedom of expression, equality of opportunity, security, privacy, and innovation.”

    • Zuckerberg’s Internet.org will control what billions do online

      The fake Internet will also restrict access to local service providers struggling to get a foothold online.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Google

      • European Mobile Networks Plan To Block Ads, Not For Your Safety, But To Mess With Google

        So things just keep getting stranger and stranger online. A bunch of mobile operators are apparently planning to start automatically blocking all mobile ads. Now, for those of you who hate ads online, this might seem like a good thing, but it is not. If you want to disable ads on your own, that should be your call. In fact, as we’ve noted before, we think people on the web have every right to install their own ad blockers, and we find it ridiculous when people argue that ad blocking is some form of “theft.”

      • KitKat rebranded as ‘YouTube Break’ as part of Nestlé and Google tie-up

        Nestlé is rebranding KitKats as “YouTube Break” for a limited run of 600,000 bars in the UK.

        The Google-branded chocolate bars are the first of a series of 100 million differently-branded biscuits that will be produced as part of a new Nestlé campaign.

    • Copyrights

      • Appellate judges side with Google over anti-Muslim film that sparked Mideast violence

        In a victory for free speech advocates, appellate judges have ruled that YouTube should not have forced to take down an anti-Muslim film that sparked violence in the Middle East and death threats to actors.

        The 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal sided with Google, which owns YouTube, in its ruling Monday saying the previous decision by a three-member panel of the same court gave “short shrift” to the First Amendment and constituted prior restraint — a prohibition on free speech before it takes place.

      • Pirate Bay Helps Puts Sweden on the Map, Govt. Agency Says

        According to a government agency responsible for promoting Sweden overseas, the country has several major brands to thank when it comes to being recognized on the world stage. In addition to car makers Volvo and furniture store IKEA, interest in Sweden has been boosted thanks to the notorious Pirate Bay. But the file-sharing fun doesn’t end there.

05.18.15

Links 18/5/2015: Russia Chooses Jolla, Many New Distro Releases, Meizu Devices

Posted in News Roundup at 1:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Goodbye and Thanks

    After over seven years of publishing, this is the last column on the Open Enterprise blog. You can access all 1400 posts from the complete listing in reverse chronological order; if you want to start at the beginning you can use this page.) For my last post, I thought it might be interesting to pick out some of the key events that have taken place in open source and its related fields during that time. It’s pretty astonishing how much has happened, and how much has been achieved. As I said in one of my recent posts, free software has definitely won, but it’s certainly not finished. Thanks for sharing that amazing journey.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Expands Moat Around Extensions for the Chrome Browser

        A couple of years ago, Google declared war on extensions for the Chrome browser not hosted on the Chrome Web Store. As the Chromium blog made clear: “Many services bundle useful companion extensions, which causes Chrome to ask whether you want to install them (or not). However, bad actors have abused this mechanism, bypassing the prompt to silently install malicious extensions that override browser settings and alter the user experience in undesired ways, such as replacing the New Tab Page without approval.”

    • Mozilla

      • Developer Catchup: Rust 1.0 and Node reunification

        First up, Rust has reached version 1.0, though this is an announcement that was hardly unexpected. It has a lot to live up to given the Rust web site goes for such unloaded language as “blazingly fast, prevents nearly all segfaults, and guarantees thread safety”. The real test for Rust, at least for me, is how well Servo, Mozilla’s browser written in Rust and the application Rust was created with in mind. It seems this is the best possible test case, so…

      • Firefox 38.0.5 Beta 1 Brings Hello Improvements And Pocket Integration

        Recently, Firefox 38.0.5 Beta has been released, bringing a bunch of new features. While the first Beta version of Firefox 39 was expected, Mozilla has released a new Beta version for Firefox 38, which is unexpected and does not happen too often.

  • Funding

    • First Step

      On 27th April, 2015 with the announcement of selected students for GSoC 2015, my upcoming adventurous summer was set to begin.

  • BSD

    • DragonFlyBSD Now Supports Encrypted SWAP

      For DragonFlyBSD users out there, the swap device with the latest Git kernel can now be encrypted.

      It’s trivial with the newest DragonFlyBSD code as of this weekend to support an encrypted swap. The commit by DragonFlyBSD founder Matthew Dillon explains, “Implement crypting of the swap device. When enabled in this manner /dev/urandom is used to generate a 256-bit random key and the base device is automatically cryptsetup and mapped, making crypted swap trivial. Implement the ‘crypt’ fstab option, so swapon -a and swapoff -a work as expected for crypted swap. Again, the base device (e.g. /dev/da0s1b) should be specified. The option will automatically map it with cryptsetup and swap on the mapping.”

    • bsdtalk253 – George Neville-Neil

      An interview with George Neville-Neil about the recently published 2nd edition of The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System.

    • PC-BSD 10.1.2 Brings New PersonaCrypt Utility

      PC-BSD 10.1.2 was released today as the latest quarterly update to the FreeBSD-derived operating system.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • School: open source reduces PC troubleshooting

      Using open source in school greatly reduces the time needed to troubleshoot PCs, shows the case of the Colegio Agustinos de León (Augustinian College of León, Spain). In 2013, the school switched to using Ubuntu Linux for its desktop PCs in class rooms and offices. For teachers and staff, the amount of technical issues decreased by 63 per cent and in the school’s computer labs by 90 per cent, says Fernando Lanero, computer science teacher and head of the school’s IT department.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Azul joins Eclipse Foundation and brings open source, multiplatform Java SE to developers and the IoT

      As a Solution-level member of the Eclipse Foundation, Azul will be actively participating in the Eclipse Foundation’s IoT working group. Azul’s latest open source offering, Zulu Embedded, provides developers and manufacturers in the embedded, mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) markets with a robust, flexible open source alternative to traditional embedded Java implementations. Zulu Embedded is particularly relevant to organisations that require customisable, multiplatform, reduced-footprint, and standards compliant Java SE runtimes and development solutions. Launched in March 2015, Zulu Embedded is already installed in over 2 million devices worldwide.

Leftovers

  • Dartmouth Park residents demand night-sky darkness be protected in the neighbourhood

    House-hunters scouting north London’s most rarefied streets once had a simple wish list for their perfect home: a south-facing garden, parking space for a 4×4, room to expand into the loft. Throw in a good school and a walk to Hampstead Heath.

    But residents in Dartmouth Park now have an extra demand: pitch blackness outside their bedroom walls when the sun goes down. In fact, conservation groups have become so worried about the “quality of darkness” in their area at night that they have asked for town planners to consider how it can be protected when new home improvement applications are sent to Camden Council.

    The Dartmouth Park Conservation Area Advisory Committee, a group of local residents and conservationists who examine all homeowner planning applications for work, insists that its neighbourhood is “semi-rural”, regardless of its inner London postcode, and that the night-sky darkness must be protected.

  • Science

    • Schools that ban mobile phones see better academic results

      It is a question that keeps some parents awake at night. Should children be allowed to take mobile phones to school? Now economists claim to have an answer. For parents who want to boost their children’s academic prospects, it is no.

      The effect of banning mobile phones from school premises adds up to the equivalent of an extra week’s schooling over a pupil’s academic year, according to research by Louis-Philippe Beland and Richard Murphy, published by the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics.

  • Security

    • Chris Roberts Denies He Hacked Planes, Made Them Climb From His Seat

      Did Chris Roberts hack a plane? Possibly. Did he hack a plane such that he could gain access to critical flight systems from the comfort of his seat, and possibly even alter the plane’s movement during the flight itself? Possibly.

      The entire affair came into the public eye when Roberts sent a now-famous tweet from a United Airlines flight on April 15: “Find myself on a 737/800, lets see Box-IFE-ICE-SATCOM, ? Shall we start playing with EICAS messages? “PASS OXYGEN ON” Anyone ? :)”

      The first response to that tweet—”…aaaaaand you’re in jail. :)”—didn’t quite happen, as Roberts has yet to be charged with a crime for his alleged security probing. According to Roberts, he never connected his laptop to any Seat Electronic Box (SEB) on that specific flight, the means by which he could probe the plane’s networks and, possibly, its control systems. FBI agents, noticing that the SEBs under the seats where Roberts had been sitting showed signs of tampering, didn’t seem to believe him.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Navy whistleblower on the run after exposing alleged Trident safety failings

      The police and Royal Navy are hunting for a whistleblower who is on the run after publishing a dossier of alleged security failings on board Trident nuclear submarines.

      Able Seaman William McNeilly, 25, a newly qualified engineer, claimed that Britain’s nuclear deterrent was a “disaster waiting to happen” in a report detailing 30 alleged safety and security breaches.

      He wrote that a chronic manpower shortage meant that “it’s just a matter of time before we’re infiltrated by a psychopath or a terrorist; with this amount of people getting pushed through”.

      The Ministry of Defence has launched an investigation into the claims, published in a 19-page report titled The Secret Nuclear Threat, which it said contained a “number of subjective and unsubstantiated personal views … with which the Naval Service completely disagrees”.

    • US drone strike kills six ‘militants’ in Pakistan

      A security official said that the drone fired two missiles at a ‘hideout’.

      “Six militants were killed and two injured in the attack,” he said.

      The death toll is feared to rise as those injured in drone attacks seldom survive.

    • US Drone Strike Kills Five in North Waziristan

      Three of the five were reported to be ethnic Uzbeks, and Pakistani officials dubbed the house destroyed in the strike a “suspected Taliban compound.”

      [...]

      The US claims to have a secret “understanding” with Pakistan on such drone strikes, something that was reached back during the Musharraf junta, but the Sharif government has denied any such deals.

    • Family of Hostage Killed in Drone Strike Want Hostage Czar
    • Family of U.S. captive killed by drone backs hostage czar idea
    • Family of US Captive Killed by Drone Backs Hostage Czar

      The family of an American captive killed in a drone strike said Wednesday it would welcome the creation of a hostage czar to coordinate government efforts to free those held.

      Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., introduced legislation last week to set up a “czar,” soon after President Barack Obama apologized for a drone strike in January that accidentally killed Warren Weinstein of Maryland and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian citizen. The strike targeted an al-Qaida compound along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

    • Lawmaker introduces hostage legislation after Maryland man is killed in drone strike

      Rep John Delaney has introduced legislation that he hopes would enable the government to better coordinate its efforts to rescue Americans captured overseas.

    • ACLU calls on Obama for probes, disclosure of drone strikes which kill civilians

      The American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International and several other human rights groups are asking President Obama to begin investigating all civilian deaths and injuries resulting from U.S. counterterrorism drone strikes and to make the results of those investigations public.

    • Human rights groups urge Obama to acknowledge civilian drone strike deaths

      Following President Obama’s acknowledgement that a US drone strike killed an Italian and US citizen held in Pakistan, and his announcement of an independent investigation into the strike, a group of human rights organisations have urged the President to do the same for other US drone strikes in which civilians were killed.

    • Human Rights Groups to Obama: Investigate All Civilian Victims of Drone Strikes

      In January, a barrage of American missiles struck a suspected Al Qaeda hideout in Pakistan. Unbeknownst to intelligence officials, however, American Warren Weinstein and Italian Giovanni Lo Porto, both kidnapped aid workers, were held hostage inside and died in the attack. Then three weeks ago, after a preliminary investigation, President Obama did something wholly unprecedented in his global war of “targeted killings”: he stepped up to a podium in the White House and apologized to Weinstein and Lo Porto’s families.

    • Yemen officials say some ground fighting after cease-fire

      There were reports of continued ground fighting in some areas, with security officials and witnesses saying fierce combat broke out about a half hour after the cease-fire began when rebels tried to storm the southern city of Dhale, firing tank shells, rockets and mortars. But no airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition battling the rebels were reported.

    • 17 Afghan Taliban militants killed in US drone strike

      At least 17 suspected Taliban members died in a US drone strike in eastern Afghanistan, sources from the police and NATO told Efe news agency on Tuesday.

    • Unknown Surveillance Drone crashes in Somalia, militants take wreckage

      Unknown drone has crashed in a remote area in South-Western Somalia as cause of the crash is still unclear, Horseed Media reports.

    • Suspected US drone crashes in Shabaab-held Somali town

      Locals in Somalia’s Burhakaba city told Anadolu Agency that the drone crashed in the nearby Bashir town earlier on Sunday.

    • Al-Shabaab claims control of US drone in Somalia

      The Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab on Sunday said it has captured a drone which fell down in the Bay region of Somalia.

      The militants said they were in possession of the drone which they claimed belonged to the United States after it came down near El Bashir village.

    • Drone warfare

      But does his death put an end to terrorism? No. In fact, ever since America’s drone campaign reached Yemen, al-Qaeda’s presence in the Arabian Peninsula has intensified, which has sparked debate concerning the counter productivity of drone warfare. The Washington Post reported a doubling of AQAP core insurgents in Yemen since the first strike in 2009. Theorists argue the reason for the amplification of terrorism in drone-affected regions stems from exacerbated anti-Americanism, which each drone strike ultimately spurs on.

    • Don’t let armed drones ease the path to conflict, US bishops warn

      In a May 11 letter to U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice, the bishops said leaders should consider the “full cost” of drone warfare.

      “Drones provoke anxiety among populations where there are targets, inflicting psychological damage on innocent civilians who live in constant fear they may be hurt or killed and listed as ‘collateral damage.’ This fear and civilian casualties feed into increasing hostility towards the United States so that many say the use of armed drones in these targeted killings is counterproductive to establishing and sustaining longer-term security relationships with countries where drones are used,” they said.

      Armed drone technology has the potential for “much harm,” the bishops continued. More countries are acquiring drones and government spending on the technology is rapidly increasing.

      Armed drones may be used excessively due to their low initial costs, the bishops warned. This risks expanding conflict zones and increasing the likelihood for war. The use of surveillance drones by China, Japan and the Philippines have worsened tensions over disputed territories.

    • India is the world’s top importer of drones

      The decision by India’s National Disaster Response Force to use drones to help Nepal map the scale of devastation caused by last month’s earthquake indicates how India has enthusiastically taken to these pilot-less aircraft — the so-called eyes in the sky.

      With 22.5 per cent the world’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imports, between 1985 and 2014, India ranks first among drone-importing nations, followed by United Kingdom and France. UAVs, or drones as they are commonly known, are pilotless aerial vehicles used for reconnaissance, surveillance, intelligence gathering and aerial combat missions.

    • India tops list of drone-importing nations

      With 22.5 percent the world’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imports, between 1985 and 2014, India ranks first among drone-importing nations, followed by United Kingdom and France. UAVs, or drones as they are commonly known, are pilotless aerial vehicles used for reconnaissance, surveillance, intelligence gathering and aerial combat missions.

    • The Drone Apologists

      Rather than make vague and contradictory statements about the success of drone strikes in eliminating the jihadi threat, journalists should concentrate on the concrete damage drones are doing to both US security and rule of law. It is necessary and natural that a nation that opposes tyranny and advocates for the rule of law would examine the danger inherent in giving the president the power to determine life and death based on questionable intelligence. But the Post confirms without a hint of indignation that signature strikes “do not require a finding that the targets pose an imminent threat to the United States, though they must still involve a judgment of ‘near certainty’ that no civilians will be killed.” In the least US citizens should demand what “near certainty” means and to whom the term “civilian” applies. The slope becomes very slippery when the president labels those targeted and all military age males collaterally killed as terrorists. A 2014 analysis conducted by The Guardian found that 41 targeted drone assassinations had led to 1,147 deaths. Contrary to limiting the terrorist problem, these numbers would indicate that terrorist ranks might be filled with those seeking revenge against arbitrary US assault.

    • Your Call: What’s driving the Obama administration’s drone policy?
    • Warren Weinstein and the law are casualties of U.S. drone war (Commentary)

      Though U.S. media didn’t make much of it, Malala made a point of emphasizing that drone strikes fuel terrorism.

    • McCain: SASC Discussing Drone-Shift Language

      Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain says the panel will include language that would shift America’s armed drone program to the Pentagon, rather than leave the matter to the full chamber.

      [...]

      “I think it should be conducted [with] oversight and administered by the Depart­ment of Defense. I don’t believe the drone program ought to be run out by the CIA,” McCain said, adding it “should be operated exclusively out of the Pentagon.”

    • Push on to transfer drone lead to Pentagon
    • Revealed: Britain has flown 301 Reaper drone missions against ISIS in Iraq, firing at least 102 missiles

      Britain’s Royal Air Force carried out 301 Reaper drone missions over Iraq between the start of UK operations against Isis last September and the end of March, firing a total of 102 Hellfire missiles on 87 separate occasions, according to new Ministry of Defence figures.

      The numbers were obtained by the Drone Wars UK organisation, which also reveals today that RAF Tornados carried out 115 strikes in Iraq during the same period.

    • Andrew Cockburn: How our drone policy backfires

      How could this be? How could the loss of capable and charismatic leaders not degrade their group? The answer may lie in a little-known study carried out in Iraq in 2007 by a small semisecret unit, the Combat Operations Intelligence Center. Targeting “high value individuals” was the principal U.S. strategy in Iraq, and the COIC analysts were interested to see whether it worked. They took the list of 200 “IED cell leaders” eliminated between June and October 2007 and looked at the results.

    • Fighting rages on in Yemen, killing 10, as humanitarian ceasefire draws to an end

      At least 10 people were killed in overnight battles between Houthis and militiamen in the Yemeni city of Taiz, residents and medical sources said on Sunday.

    • UN envoy urges extension of Yemen humanitarian truce
    • UN Yemen envoy calls for truce to be extended for 5 days

      The United Nations envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, called on a Saudi-led military coalition and the country’s warring parties to extend by five more days a ceasefire set to expire on Sunday evening.

    • 1 dead, 21 hurt as plane carrying Marines crashes in Hawaii

      HONOLULU (AP) – Smoke and fire rushed from a crash site in Hawaii after a U.S. Marine Osprey went down in a “hard landing,” killing one Marine and injuring 21 other people, some critically.

    • Deadly gun battle deepens Macedonian crisis; 22 killed

      Macedonia said on Sunday its police had wiped out a group of ethnic Albanian veterans of insurgencies in ex-Yugoslavia in a day-long gun battle that left at least 22 dead and deepened fears of instability following months of political crisis.

    • ISIS buys arms, ammo from US-supported rebels – investigative journalist

      The Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) is an enigma: most of what we know about it comes from the brutal media apparatus of the IS itself. It lets everyone see executions and war the terrorists are waging – but still, how does life go under jihadist rule? One man decided to find out for himself, spending 10 days in the ‘capital city’ of the IS and coming back alive. Today, investigative journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer tells his story to Sophie Shevardnadze.

    • Sudan unsure where downed drone came from

      Army says it shot down a reconnaissance aircraft after residents report hearing explosions near military site

    • Israel has ‘no knowledge’ of drone shot down in Sudan

      Arab media has cited the Sudanese army as saying it shot down an Israeli drone in the Valley of the Prophet whilst Israel claimed it had no knowledge of such an incident.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Recharge pools could help quench future California droughts

      THE worst recorded drought in California’s history has forced state regulators to restrict people’s water use by a quarter. In the long-run, though, climate change and limited supply mean the state must radically change the way it manages water, particularly below ground.

  • Finance

    • McConnell: Senate to pass fast-track soon

      Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Sunday that the Senate would pass legislation aimed at facilitating pending trade agreements being sought by the Obama administration.

    • Paul Ryan: Fast-track ‘gaining steam’

      Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Sunday that an effort to give President Obama the ability to fast-track trade deals his administration is currently negotiating is moving along.

      “We will have the votes. We’re doing very well. We’re gaining a lot of steam and momentum,” Ryan said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

    • Senate Reverses Course and Advances TPP Fast Track Bill

      The U.S. Senate advanced the Fast Track bill today in a rushed vote following a slew of concessions made to swing Democrats who had voted to block it earlier this week. The setback on Tuesday could have forced proponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and other secretive, anti-user trade agreements to go back to the drawing board to come up with a new bill. Unfortunately, Senate leaders were able to get around this impasse within 48 hours by agreeing to let Democrats vote on some other trade-enforcement measures first before holding the vote on Fast Track.

    • OBAMA’S DRONE ASSASSINATIONS AND TPP = TOUGH PATOOTIES, PEOPLE

      CEO Obama rules Plutocracy through fear, intimidation and secrecy.

  • Privacy

    • The Democratization of Cyberattack

      When I was working with the Guardian on the Snowden documents, the one top-secret program the NSA desperately did not want us to expose was QUANTUM. This is the NSA’s program for what is called packet injection–basically, a technology that allows the agency to hack into computers.

    • How we sold our souls – and more – to the internet giants

      From TVs that listen in on us to a doll that records your child’s questions, data collection has become both dangerously intrusive and highly profitable. Is it time for governments to act to curb online surveillance?

    • Use privacy software if you want to be safe from Facebook, warns watchdog

      A Belgian watchdog has urged all Internet users to download privacy software specifically to shield themselves from Facebook’s grasp.

      The social network has been under fire for the ways in which it tracks user and non-user behaviour online, without consent, most recently becoming the target of a Europe-wide lawsuit headed up by activist Max Schrems.

    • UK government quietly rewrites hacking laws to give GCHQ immunity

      The UK government has quietly passed new legislation that exempts GCHQ, police, and other intelligence officers from prosecution for hacking into computers and mobile phones.

      While major or controversial legislative changes usually go through normal parliamentary process (i.e. democratic debate) before being passed into law, in this case an amendment to the Computer Misuse Act was snuck in under the radar as secondary legislation. According to Privacy International, “It appears no regulators, commissioners responsible for overseeing the intelligence agencies, the Information Commissioner’s Office, industry, NGOs or the public were notified or consulted about the proposed legislative changes… There was no public debate.”

      Privacy International also suggests that the change to the law was in direct response to a complaint that it filed last year. In May 2014, Privacy International and seven communications providers filed a complaint with the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), asserting that GCHQ’s hacking activities were unlawful under the Computer Misuse Act.

  • Civil Rights

    • Pop-Tart gun bill set for Nevada Senate vote next week

      Students could bring a small toy gun to school, point their finger like a gun or — yes — even brandish “a partially consumed pastry or other food item to simulate a firearm” under a bill that has two steps to go before becoming law in Nevada.

    • Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi sentenced to death

      An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced former President Mohammed Morsi and 120 others to death for a mass prison break in 2011 that saw Hosni Mubarak, who was president at that time, being ousted from power. Most of the others accused in the case were tried in absentia. The next hearing of the case was set for June 2, with Judge Shaaban el-Shami’s decision being referred to the country’s Grand Mufti for a non-binding opinion. Morsi, the first democratically elected President of the country, was removed from power by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in July 2013.

    • Jerusalem Day March to Pass Through Muslim Quarter

      The Israeli Supreme Court ruled that an annual march to celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem, scheduled for May 17, can proceed as planned despite fears of anti-Arab violence. At the same time, the justices said the police must arrest and indict anyone who shouts racist slogans. Two dovish Israeli organizations had petitioned the court, asking them to change the route of the march, which celebrates Israel’s “reunification” and annexation of east Jerusalem in 1967. In past years there has been nationalistic violence and most Palestinians are forced to close their shops and stay inside their homes. Last year, clashes broke out when masked Palestinian youths attacked police officers with stones and then barricaded themselves inside the al-Aqsa mosque. Israel says that east Jerusalem is part of its united capital, while Palestinians say that east Jerusalem must be the future capital of a Palestinian state.

    • Will Israel Charge Soldiers In Gaza Civilian Deaths?

      By the end of July during last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip, more than 3,000 Palestinians crowded into a United Nations-run elementary school in Jabaliya, a northern Gaza town. They had moved there for temporary shelter after the Israeli military warned them to leave their homes.

      An hour before dawn on July 30, explosions shook the classrooms and the courtyard, all packed with people.

      Mahmoud Jaser was camped outside with his sons.

      “We were sleeping when the attack started. As we woke up, it got worse,” he said.

      Shrapnel hit Jaser in the back. Three of his sons were also hurt. About 100 people were injured overall. Almost 20 were killed.

    • US admits must ‘do better’ on police practices

      The United States acknowledged before the UN Monday that it has not done enough to uphold civil rights laws, following a string of recent killings of unarmed black men by police.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • China, Russia Seek New Internet World Order

      China and Russia have made little attempt to hide their geopolitical ambitions. Militarily, each has asserted a right to terrain not recognized as theirs. Economically, the two have designs on gaining a greater foothold in the world marketplace, Western roadblocks be damned.

      And while an unprecedented pact not to deploy network hackers against each other may prove largely symbolic, it’s yet another glaring sign of the two countries’ shared desire to shake up a world order largely dominated by the U.S. since the end of World War II.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA Complained So We Seized Your Funds, PayPal Says

        Developers considering adding a torrent search engine to their portfolio should proceed with caution, especially if they value their income streams. Following a complaint from the MPAA one developer is now facing a six month wait for PayPal to unfreeze thousands in funds, the vast majority related to other projects.

      • RIAA Cuts More Jobs, Awards Bonuses to Execs

        The RIAA continues to reduce its workforce, which has been slashed in half in just five years. According to the organization’s latest tax return the RIAA now employs 55 people. The group’s top three executives account for a quarter of all salaries paid, including several sizable bonuses.

05.17.15

Links 17/5/2015: NuTyX Saravane 15.05, Panasonic and Firefox OS

Posted in News Roundup at 11:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Because Personal Drones Aren’t Subject To Enough Ridiculous Rules, A Graffiti Artist Uses His To Tag A Six-Story Billboard

    Drones are a problem. The FAA has subjected private drone use to all sorts of ridiculous stipulations. Law enforcement agencies seem to feel drone operation should be left to the pros, and are suddenly sprouting privacy concerns whenever a citizen flies one over something of theirs. Our nation’s three-letter agencies want to be able to deploy drones almost anywhere without oversight, even though they’ve proven to be much less efficient than boots on the ground. Then, of course, there are those piloted by the CIA — the kind that kill foreigners (and the occasional American) with almost no oversight, and what oversight there is has “bought in.”

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Pentagon Takes Charge
    • Interactive graphic: Drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan over time
    • Is US Drone Warfare Here to Stay?

      In the mean time, strikes are expanding in other regions of the world: they fly from Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, just north of the Horn of Africa, to strike Yemen and Somalia.

    • Former CIA official claims agency botched call on Arab Spring – new book

      The Central Intelligence Agency failed to anticipate the Arab Spring uprisings and then erroneously believed those revolts would hamper Al-Qaeda’s strength in the region, according to a new book by a former deputy director of the CIA.

    • New push to give Pentagon the lead on drone strikes
    • Family of man killed by U.S. drone strike backs ‘hostage czar’

      The family of an American captive killed in a drone strike said Wednesday it would welcome the creation of a hostage czar to coordinate government efforts to free those held.

    • US to transition control of ‘secret’ drone strikes from CIA to Pentagon after hostage mishap

      The deaths of an Italian and an American in a covert CIA drone strike in Pakistan — and the rhetorical contortions required of the president when he informed the world — have breathed new urgency into a long-stalled plan to give the Pentagon primacy over targeted killing of terrorists overseas.

    • Moving the Drone Program from the CIA to the Pentagon Won’t Improve Transparency

      Generals aren’t better than spooks when it comes to reporting civilian casualties.

    • ANALYSIS Counting the cost of US drones: Local wars killing local people

      As the Bureau revealed recently, the accidental killing of American Warren Weinstein and Italian Giorgio Lo Porto by the CIA in January now means at least 38 Westerners have been killed by covert US drones in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

    • Searching for Hostages Isn’t CIA’s Top Priority, Insiders Say
    • Who’s in charge? Nobody

      Today, as a 38-year veteran of the U.S. Senate, I can’t tell who is running our wars.

    • The Mass Torture of Obama’s Drone Strikes

      In Pakistan alone, drone attacks have killed between 400 and 1,000 civilians and over 100 children.

    • We Need a Full, Transparent Review of the US Targeted Killing Program

      But to the families of hundreds of Pakistani and Yemeni victims of US drone strikes, the United States has offered only silence. President Obama stated that he decided to release information about the January strike because “the Weinstein and Lo Porto families deserve to know the truth.” They certainly do. And so do Yemeni and Pakistani families who have lost their loved ones and who thus far have been denied even simple acknowledgment. The contrast is glaring, unfair, and likely to increase the already strong anti-American sentiment the lethal force program has caused abroad.

    • Did America’s drone strikes lose Yemen?

      Earlier this year, the U.S. announced a new policy for drone exports, purportedly part of a broader effort to work with other countries to “shape international standards” on the use of drones and compel recipient states “to use these systems in accordance with international law.” But, as “Death by Drone” shows, the U.S. drone program is fundamentally flawed and should not be perpetuated. The Obama administration’s recent admissions that its drone strikes killed its own citizens only underscore this fact.

    • Quick Takes: Drone Strikes

      Without transparency, there is no accountability. The facts validate this. According to CNN, the Obama administration has become famous for launching “signature strikes.” These drone attacks choose targets merely based on patterns of suspicious behavior by a group of men, rather than identification of a particular militant. That is our government’s current criteria for sending a drone strike, and it is alarmingly flexible.

    • Obama’s Drone War: Indiscriminate Killing and Selective Apology

      I wish Obama regretted,apologised, and mourned the deaths of thousands of non-Western victims of U.S. drone attacks, duly compensated the family members of the dead, and the severely maimed victims in Pakistan and elsewhere. Distressingly, Obama’s only regret was U.S. drone attackers didn’t know the presence of Weinstein and Le Porto at the al Qaeda camp in the first place. His regret implies, had the attackers been aware of Weinstein’s and Le Porto’s presence at the camp, they would have definitely called a halt to the attack. Conversely, there’s altogether a different strategy for U.S. drone attacks. The attackers don’t bother to know if there are innocent Pakistani, Afghan or Yemeni women, children and elderly in and around their targets.

    • Two US Citizens Released by E Ukraine Militia Have Links to CIA – DPR Head

      Two US citizens released by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DPR) forces in eastern Ukraine are linked to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko said Saturday.

    • Shared battlefield goals trump ideology among Syria rebels – for now

      Hardline Islamists fighting side-by-side with groups backed by the United States have made gains in northern Syria in recent weeks while showing rare unity, which some fear may be short-lived.

      An Islamist alliance calling itself Army of Fatah, a reference to the conquests that spread Islam across the Middle East from the seventh century, has seized northwestern towns including the provincial capital Idlib from government forces.

      The alliance, which includes al-Qaeda’s wing in Syria, known as the Nusra Front, and another hardline militant group, the Ahrar al-Sham movement, is edging closer to the coastal province of Latakia, President Bashar al-Assad’s stronghold.

    • CIA-Backed, ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrians … Now Openly Working with Al-Qaeda

      As if “coordinating” with al-Qaeda is functionally different from “aligning” with al-Qaeda.

    • His Brother’s Keeper

      The Dalai Lama’s older brother deeply regrets accepting CIA aid. It ‘contributed to the complete destruction of Tibetan culture.’

    • Macedonian Opposition Uses CIA and Soros Funds to Hire 2,000 Violent Thugs for Sunday Protest
    • SCF: CIA and Soros NGO Finance SDSM and Destabilization of Macedonia

      What occurred in Macedonia was a classic disinformation ploy to mire the democratically-elected government in a bogus political scandal. The ploy is directly from the CIA playbook and it is now being carried out against Presidents Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina, Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, and Michelle Bachelet of Chile. All face financial scandals cooked up by the CIA and its owned and operated media in the three nations.

    • CIA warns Washington about possible new Balkan Wars – report

      If the United States, after the terrorist attacks in Kumanovo, continue with the policy of unconditional support for the Albanians and if the EU continues to tacitly pass over the revival of the “Greater Albania” project, it could lead to the formation of the Orthodox Alliance of Serbia, Greece, Macedonia and Bulgaria, perhaps even the third Balkan War, writes Serbian daily “Kurir”, quoting “Informer”.

    • Documents: Green Beret Who Sought Job At CIA Confessed To Murder

      On September 14, 2011, the CIA sent an alarming message to the Pentagon: a decorated U.S. special operations commando admitted during a job interview with the agency to hunting down and killing “an unknown, unarmed” Afghan man.

    • Report: Green Beret confessed to killing Afghan during CIA interview

      Special Forces Maj. Mathew Golsteyn was stripped of a Silver Star for valor after the Army investigated the alleged 2011 confession.

    • Army weighs if ex-Green Beret hero should be dismissed
    • Case against former Green Beret accused of murder is delayed because of CIA ties

      The hearing for a former Green Beret soldier accused of murder by the Army has been delayed in part because of the same organization that brought him scrutiny in the first place: the CIA.

    • Pope Francis Explains To Children How War Profiteers Never Want Peace

      Pope Francis did not mince words when he told a group of children gathered at the Vatican that some people will never want peace because they profit off of war.

      “Some powerful people earn their living off making weapons,” the pope said, in a translation provided by Rome Reports. “For this reason, many people do not want peace.”

      He also called the weapons business an “industry of death,” according to Catholic Herald.

      The pontiff spoke in front of roughly 7,000 children at the Vatican on Monday, in a visit sponsored by the Fabbrica della pace (“Peace Factory”), a non-governmental organization that operates educational programming in primary schools with the purpose of promoting cross-cultural understanding.

    • Jeb Bush’s “gaffe”: A revealing comment on the Iraq war

      On Tuesday, Bush phoned into the Sean Hannity program on Fox to begin the process of retraction and correction, claiming that he had “interpreted the question wrong, I guess.” He added, “I was talking about, given what people knew then.” When Hannity repeated Kelly’s question about the 2003 invasion, Bush stalled, saying, “That’s a hypothetical.”

    • The Phony ‘Bad Intel’ Defense on Iraq

      Jeb Bush’s stumbling start to his presidential bid has refocused attention on Official Washington’s favorite excuse for the illegal, aggressive and disastrous war in Iraq – that it was just a case of “bad intelligence.” But that isn’t what the real history shows, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern recalls.

    • Robert Gates: Jeb Bush should have been prepared for Iraq question
    • Jeb Bush: How serious is his Iraq War flub?

      It took Jeb Bush nearly a week to settle on an answer about the Iraq War. Many Republicans worry about what this says regarding his presidential campaign skills.

    • Things In Politico That Make Me Want To Guzzle Chateau Petrus

      In which we learn that the CIA would have preferred to have tortured one guy to death.

    • Operation Gladio: The Untold Story of the Unholy Alliance Between the Vatican, the CIA, and the Mafia

      Williams quotes FBI whistle blower Sibel Edmonds who said, “Between 1996 and 2002, we, the United States, planned, financed, and helped execute every major terrorist incident by Chechen rebels (and the Mujahideen) against Russia. Between 1996 and 20002, we, the United States, planned, financed, and helped execute every single uprising and terror related scheme in Xinjiang (aka East Turkistan and Uyhurstan). Between 1996 and 2002, we, the United States, planned and carried out at least two assassination schemes against pro-Russian officials in Azerbaijan.”

    • Documentary is a searing indictment of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan

      Drone is a searing indictment of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, which between 2004 and 2013 killed as many as 200 children, compared with 49 high-profile militants – and as many as 3,646 people in total, according to the film. One horrifying tactic described in the documentary is a double wave of bombing: After the first strike kills and injures people on the ground, rescuers who flock to the scene to help are bombed by a second attack. This has resulted in a reluctance to help the injured, who cry out for help for hours because nobody goes to help them, the film explains.

    • Papering Over Extra-Judicial Killings

      The Obama administration, like its predecessor, holds that the “exceptional” U.S. has the right to enter other countries to kill “terrorists,” but it would never tolerate, say, Cuba targeting CIA-trained terrorists harbored in Miami, one of many double standards posing as international law, as Coleen Rowley notes.

    • After betrayal comes hope for a better future

      On Oct. 22, 1963, the Supreme Court upheld a death penalty ruling for Hwang on charges of spying for the North. On Dec.14, Hwang was executed by a firing squad. A reporter who covered the Ministry of Defense watched the execution in order to quell suspicions that Park had sneaked Hwang out of the country.

    • Debate targets Ukraine: who’s to blame for this tragedy?
    • Deadly discrimination

      FATA is an area where the media cannot go and research …

    • Zoe Kravitz talks drones and Hollywood’s racism

      There’s something to be said about choosing to go to war for your country and having to leave your family. You go and you get dirty and you get bloody and you sacrifice yourself. People really think about what they’re doing in those situations. There’s a human contact. You have to look into the person’s eyes you’ve just killed and understand what it means. And when that’s taken away, it’s scary, because the human aspect of war — and war is human instinct, I believe — is gone.

    • The drone war is supposed to kill al-Qaeda leaders. It’s killing way more than just them.

      Council on Foreign Relations fellow Micah Zenko dug up a 2011 assessment, from Pentagon official Michael Vickers, that there were “perhaps four important Qaeda leaders left in Pakistan, and 10 to 20 leaders over all in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.”

    • Inside Muse’s ‘Drones’ Strike: Matt Bellamy on High-Concept LP
    • Muse’s Matt Bellamy: ‘I always perceived Obama as a likeable guy, but he makes kill decisions’
    • U.S. domestic drone debate: Supported abroad, suppressed at home

      The problem with Obama’s overemphasis on the use of drones for counterterrorism is that it does nothing to address the underlying political problems that allow terrorist organizations to flourish. Because the United States is forced to partner with local governments – many of them authoritarian or military-led regimes – to gain access to sovereign airspace in order to carry out drone strikes, its ability to then pressure its allies to make necessary political reforms is seriously limited.

    • To count or not to count
    • When It Comes to Drone Body Counts, Whose Body Counts?

      From Vietnam to Pakistan, the business of counting deaths by American hands has never been simple math.

    • Counting the Dead in the Age of Drone Terrorism
    • Legality of Drone Warfare or Illegality of Drone Assassination? Let a Real Debate Begin!

      The bottom line is that all law, but most importantly international law, which is sometimes called “soft law” due to its lack of formalized international police enforcement, derives its legitimacy and power from principles of reciprocity and equality, not from the double standards that Harold Koh, John Yoo and other war enablers have worked at legalizing inside and outside our government. International legal principles must therefore not only be rooted in universal Kantian ethics but must also be efficacious and pragmatic, not counterproductive as more and more research is showing is the case with US drone assassination policy that serves to promote and increase terrorism worldwide. To stand the test of time regardless of evolving technology, international law must “work” from all participants’ standpoints, not just those nations which view themselves as most militarily powerful at the moment. Unfortunately the Nuremberg Principle has largely been forgotten that wars of aggression, aka wars of choice, are the supreme crime because they encompass and lead to all other war crimes, regardless of whether utilizing low end box cutters or high end drone and satellite technology.

    • Protecting American Citizens From Drones

      No doubt the military will claim that dropping ordnance from drones is more accurate than bombing from bombers, bombers that the military claimed during World War Two were accurate enough to drop a bomb into a pickle barrel. While it is true that drones are often more accurate than bombers, the drone program has been sold on it ability to minimize “collateral damage,” a euphemism for unintended deaths near the target that would be called manslaughter if a citizen did it.

    • The Military Industrial Complex behind the never-Ending War on Terror (4-4)

      In other words, when it came to counting, civil society rode to the rescue, though the impact of the figures produced has remained limited indeed in this country. In some ways, the only body count of any sort that has made an impression here in recent years has been sniper Chris Kyle’s 160 confirmed Iraqi “kills” that played such a part in the publicity for the blockbuster movie American Sniper.

    • Drone Deaths v. Broken Windows

      The outrage of Baltimore residents after the fatal police abuse of Freddie Gray spilled over into ugly rioting, drawing media condemnation and public disapproval. But a different attitude prevails toward U.S. drone assassinations around the world despite many civilian deaths, a contradiction addressed by Nat Parry.

    • American Support for Drone Strikes Plummets When Innocent US Civilians Killed

      US policymakers need to know the answer to a simple question about American attitudes toward drones. Does the widely-reported strong public support for drone strikes drop off when confronted with the reality of civilian casualties? Of course those policymakers are not alone in their need for such information. Advocacy groups and others would also benefit from knowing whether—and to what degree—American attitudes are contingent on such aspects of drone warfare. Disappointingly, most of the time and money spent on opinion polls asks only generic questions about Americans’ attitudes toward drone strikes against terrorists. These surveys fail to seek information about public attitudes in the face of drone operations that, in reality, often cause civilian deaths.

    • Civilian Casualties, Drones, Airstrikes and the Perils of Policy

      Last week, the Daily Beast breathlessly reported an “exclusive” story, alleging that Department of Defense officials admitted that anti-ISIS airstrikes had killed what the Beast characterized as “innocents.”

    • Exclusive: Pentagon Admits Anti-ISIS Strikes Killed Civilians
    • Pentagon Admits that Airstrikes against ISIS Led to Civilian Deaths; Group Claims Victims Include 31 Children, 19 Women

      Officials at the Pentagon have claimed that the bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria against ISIS has been precise and accurate. However, an internal military investigation claimed civilians were caught in the crossfire.

    • Mr. Obama: Who Apologizes For the Other Drone Victims?

      A little over a week ago, a somber President Obama delivered early morning remarks on the tragic deaths of Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto, two hostages who were accidentally killed by U.S. drone strikes in the tribal regions of Pakistan. It was a rare moment for several reasons: the President openly acknowledged the loss of these men through a covert program, and he took personal responsibility for all of our counter terrorism operations, including these recent ones. But as he offered condolences to the families of Weinstein and Lo Porto, and promised a thorough review of intelligence failures, the President opened himself up to criticism of an unmanned aerial program that has killed thousands – including thousands of civilians according to some reports – in a host of countries.

    • The Tyranny of One Man’s Opinion

      President Barack Obama has rejected not only the theory but also the practice of due process by his use of drones launched by the CIA to kill Americans and others overseas. The use of the CIA to do the killing is particularly troubling and has aroused the criticism of senators as disparate in their views as Rand Paul and John McCain, both of whom have argued that the CIA’s job is to steal and keep secrets and the military’s job is to further national security by using force; and their roles should not be confused or conflated, because the laws governing each are different.

    • When states kill: individuals pay ultimate price of geopolitical strife

      We are also living in an era when technology allows states to use unmanned drones to kill alleged terrorists and, in the process, maims or kills civilians. According to data from human rights group Reprieve, analysed by the Guardian in 2014, US drone strikes that attempted to kill 41 men resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1147 people, including children, mainly in Pakistan but also in Yemen.

    • Defense of drones reads like Pentagon press conference

      Robby Rothfeld’s April 30 defense of drone bombings was surprising and alarming. He starts by assuring us that he has devoted his lifetime to nonviolence, so we can feel OK about what’s coming. We should stay on guard, however. His rationalizations are thoroughly unoriginal: a) we are at war, b) this is the best way to prosecute the war because b1) drones are accurate and kill only bad guys, and b2) fewer of our people will be endangered. And by the way, if you only knew all the secret stuff, you’d be on board.

    • U.S. excuses its civilian casualties, but not Israel’s

      This is not a “gotcha” column. But before reviewing American drone and airstrike policy, it is not inappropriate to remind the president and company that hubris is an unattractive trait.

      Last summer, as Israel was defending itself from Hamas rockets fired at its civilian population often from within the civilian population of Gaza, the White House was vehement in its criticism of Israel. A White House spokesman called Palestinian casualties, “totally unacceptable and totally indefensible.”

    • When the Government Kills

      If the U.S. was wrong about what Israel was doing, what about what the U.S. was doing? And specifically, what it was doing to American citizens?

    • A Debate Over How Long Democracy Can Wage Battles in Shadows
    • Israeli veterans say permissive rules of engagement fueled Gaza carnage

      The war last summer between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead and reduced vast areas to rubble. On Monday, a group of Israeli veterans released sobering testimony from fellow soldiers that suggests permissive rules of engagement coupled with indiscriminate artillery fire contributed to the mass destruction and high numbers of civilian casualties in the coastal enclave.

    • The IDF’s New Tactics

      Several months ago, a young woman working in Kibbutz Dorot’s carrot fields noticed a piece of paper lying on the ground with a short inscription in Arabic. It looked like a treasure map. She put it in her pocket. Some time later, she gave it to her friend Avihai, who works for Breaking the Silence, an organisation of military veterans who collect testimony from Israeli soldiers to provide a record of everyday life in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Avihai was in the middle of interviewing soldiers about their experiences during Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip last summer. He recognised the piece of paper as a leaflet that had been dropped by an Israeli plane above Palestinian neighbourhoods in the northern part of the Strip; the wind had blown it six miles from its intended landing point.

      The leaflet helps explain why 70 per cent of the 2220 Palestinians killed during the war were civilians. The red line on the map traces a route from a bright blue area labelled Beit Lahia, a Palestinian town of 60,000 inhabitants at the north edge of the Strip, and moves south through Muaskar Jabalia to Jabalia city.

    • The Day After
    • Israeli veterans allege gross misconduct during Gaza war
    • Michael Jansen: The waning Intifada
    • EU is keeping Tripoli in the dark about military action, says Libya’s UN ambassador

      Libya has said it is deeply alarmed over EU proposals to take military action against the smugglers responsible for despatching tens of thousands of desperate migrants across the Mediterranean.

    • ‘NYT’ plays shameless propagandist for Israel’s threats to kill Lebanese civilians

      Israel is preparing for another war that kills masses of civilians– and it’s preparing its propaganda campaign early with the New York Times happy to help.

    • Should we use our special operations troops as assassins? Is it right, or even smart?

      I believe if we continue on this path our special operations forces will be seen as villains, as is the CIA today. Ultimately the US too will be judged by the means used to enforce our policies, not just as the policies themselves. We pride ourselves on being the exceptional nation, the exceptional City on a Hill of Matthew 5:14), the one those on the Mayflower hoped to build. The world might hold us to the standard we set for ourselves, and which we have for long boasted about — and see us as just more global gangsters.

    • State-sanctioned killing

      Two issues have dominated the national public discourse in Australia over recent weeks, both of which relate to different manifestations of state-sanctioned killing. The first involved a sometimes highly charged discussion of the impending execution of two Australian citizens in Indonesia for their roles in a drug importation syndicate called the Bali 9, and the legal and moral foundations for capital punishment. In pleading for the commutation of the death penalty in the Bali 9 case the Australian Government enunciated its implacable opposition to capital punishment.

    • Saudis Drop US-Made Cluster Bombs in Criminal War on Yemen

      Costa Rica condemns Saudi Arabia’s dropping US-made cluster bombs on Yemen, in defiance of international law, including the Convention on Cluster Munitions that specifically outlaws the development, production, distribution, stockpiling, and use of cluster munitions, including the cluster bombs the Saudis have used since March 26 in their uncontested air attack on Yemen with an estimated 215 jet fighters from nine countries. (The Saudis are also bombing people in Syria and Iraq.)

    • Techno-Financial Capital and Genocide of the Poorest of the Poor

      Today, the Euro-American powers actively support the absolutist regime of Saudi Arabia as it bombs and slaughters thousands of Yemeni civilians and resistance fighters. Yemen is the poorest country in the Gulf region.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Ex-CIA chiefs scold New York Times for outing secret officers

      A group of 20 former leaders of the CIA issued a scathing criticism of The New York Times on Monday for “outing” the identities of three top officials whose names had largely been a secret.

    • 20 Ex-C.I.A. Officials Fault The Times

      In a recent interview in the Lawfare blog discussing his decision to publish the names of three undercover Central Intelligence Agency officers, Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, defended the decision on the grounds that the benefits of public accountability outweigh the risk to these officers.

    • 20 Senior Former CIA Officials Criticize NYT For Publishing Names of Covert Operatives

      Twenty senior former CIA officials—including every CIA Director (including DCIs) dating back to William Webster (1987-91)—wrote a letter to the NYT to take issue with NYT Executive Editor Dean Baquet’s defense (in this interview on Lawfare) of his decision to publish the names of the three covert CIA operatives in a story a few weeks ago.

    • Court won’t reveal money details of CIA ‘torture’ program

      A federal judge has rejected a journalist’s lawsuit seeking to reveal more financial details about the CIA’s detention and interrogation program for terror suspects.

    • CIA didn’t forcibly drug war-on-terror detainees before interrogations, says CIA

      VICE News has obtained and published 39 pages of redacted documents from the CIA that shed new light on the treatment of CIA detainees after 9/11.

    • CIA Investigation Minimizes Use of Drugs on Rendition & Black Site Detainees

      The documents were released to Jason Leopold at VICE News, who posted a comprehensive article examining them earlier today. Leopold and I have previously written on the subject of drugging prisoners, and examined an earlier Department of Defense IG report on the subject a few years ago, as well as the use of mefloquine at Guantanamo, about which more below.

    • CIA Drugging of 9/11 Detainees and Jeb Too Dumb to Run
    • Did the CIA Drug Detainees for Information in the War on Terror?

      But newly declassified documents obtained by VICE show that the CIA conducted its own investigation prior to the Senate’s. Despite claims of those held in black site prisons who reported being forced to take “mind-altering” substances, the CIA would not confirm these claims.

    • CIA reorganizes — again. What could go wrong?

      But mixing and mingling analysts and operations officers as a general proposition is a terrible idea. Operations officers are charged with carrying out government policy on the ground; analysts are supposed to be sifting through intelligence to figure out if policy is working. When the analysts get too close to policy, they’re likely to be seduced by it, to ignore signs that it’s gone off the tracks.

      That possibility is more dangerous than ever because the CIA is more involved in carrying out policy than ever. When the agency’s 2013 budget leaked, it showed the CIA is now spending more money on covert action programs than on collecting human intelligence. Another sign of the times: Earlier this year, the CIA’s top paramilitary officer was named chief of its spying branch.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Creepy Ads Use Litterbugs’ DNA to Shame Them Publicly

      In the case of Hong Kong’s Face Of Litter campaign, the creative team teamed up with Parabon Nanolabs, a company out of Virginia that has developed a method to construct digital portraits from small traces of DNA. Parabon began developing this technology more than five years ago in tandem with the Department of Defense, mostly to use as a tool in criminal investigations.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Former CIA Director Porter Goss Registers to Lobby for Turkey
    • Former CIA Boss Goss Hired to Lobby for the Turkish Government
    • Turkey hires ex-CIA director to lobby US Congress
    • Charter School “Flexibility” Linked to Major Failures; $3.3+ Billion in Taxes Spent (Part 3)

      The “accountability” criterion was added in 2010 following Obama’s reauthorization of ESEA. after which Secretary Arne Duncan pledged in a blueprint on school choice that charter schools receiving funding under the program would now be held to even higher standards of accountability than traditional public schools.

      [...]

      For decades, a small group of millionaires and billionaires, like the Koch Brothers, have backed a legislative agenda to privatize public education in America. Lobbying groups funded by them, like the corporate bill mill ALEC (the “American Legislative Exchange Council”), have been pushing states to create and expand charter schools outside of the authority of the state public school agencies and local school boards, confining the state to limited oversight of whether authorizers have adequate policies, not over how charters spend tax dollars.

    • WATCH: How the CIA Helped Make “Zero Dark Thirty”

      Behind the scenes, the CIA secretly worked with the filmmakers, and the movie portrayed the agency’s controversial “enhanced interrogation techniques” — widely described as torture — as a key to uncovering information that led to the finding and killing of bin Laden.

    • CIA-embedded Hollywood liars and their lies

      Zero Dark Thirty, written by Mark Boal and directed by Kathryn Bigelow, was a detestable work for many reasons. The film, released in December 2012 to much critical acclaim, was promoted as the true story of the decade-long hunt for Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, assassinated by the US military in Pakistan in May 2011.

      [...]

      Hersh points out in his lengthy piece that bin Laden was not living secretly at the time of his killing in a well-guarded hideout, as depicted in the film, but “had been a prisoner of the ISI [Pakistani intelligence service] at the Abbottabad compound since 2006.” He further explains “that the CIA did not learn of bin Laden’s whereabouts by tracking his couriers, as the White House has claimed since May 2011 [seconded by Zero Dark Thirty], but from a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer [a “walk-in”!] who betrayed the secret in return for much of the $25 million reward offered by the US.”

      So there was no intense debate at CIA headquarters as to whether bin Laden was actually living at the location in question, an important sequence in Bigelow’s film. In the face of rather wishy-washy superiors, Maya boldly insists it is a “100 percent” certainty that the house’s mysterious resident is indeed the al Qaeda leader. In actual fact, Pakistani officials had acknowledged to their American counterparts he was there in Abbottabad (“less than two miles from the Pakistan Military Academy,” and “another mile or so away” from “a Pakistani army combat battalion headquarters,” observes Hersh) and even handed over a DNA sample to prove the point.

      Nor was there a deadly shoot-out at the compound. The Pakistani military and intelligence deliberately stood down and let the US Navy Seal team do its dirty work. “An ISI liaison officer flying with the Seals guided them into the darkened house and up a staircase to bin Laden’s quarters,” writes Hersh. Bin Laden was unguarded and unarmed, living on the third floor of the “shabby” house “in a cell with bars on the window and barbed wire on the roof.”

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Belgian privacy bods slam Facebook for its ‘disregard’ of EU laws

      THE SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook come under fire yet again from the Belgian Privacy Commission, which has critcised the website’s “disregard” for European law.

      Documents seen by The INQUIRER show that the Belgian Privacy Commission warned Facebook on Friday that it’s “make or break” time for the company to respect the private lives of internet users.

    • The CEO and the CIA

      Hayden called up the CEO of Hewlett Packard, Carly Fiorina. “HP made precisely the equipment we needed, and we needed in bulk,” says Robert Deitz, who was general counsel at the NSA from 1998 to 2006. Deitz recalls that a tractor-trailer full of HP servers and other equipment was on the Washington, D.C. Beltway, en route to retailers, at the very moment Hayden called. Fiorina instructed her team to postpone the retailer delivery and have the driver stop. An NSA police car met up with the tractor-trailer and the truck proceeded, with an armed escort, to NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland.

    • Does Carly Fiorina have foreign policy cred?

      In 2007, then-CIA Director Michael Hayden was wrestling with a pressing question, one that would rattle the secretive organization long after his tenure: How, he wondered, could the U.S. spy agency continue to fulfill its mission in a society that increasingly demanded more transparency and public accountability?

    • Judge: Arpaio’s Attorney Must Consult CIA On Paid Informant’s Data Dump

      The revelation that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio hired computer consultant Dennis Montgomery to investigate an alleged conspiracy by the Central Intelligence Agency is creating ripples in the contempt of court case against the sheriff.

      On Friday, United States District Court Judge Murray Snow instructed the sheriff’s attorney to contact the chief counsel for the CIA to apprise them the sheriff’s office could be in possession of CIA data.

      During the first round of the contempt hearing in April, Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan gave a few cryptic details about why the sheriff’s office had hired Montgomery as a paid informant.

      Sheridan said Montgomery “had information that the CIA hacked into individual bank accounts.” The chief deputy testified he believed there were 50,000 Maricopa County residents impacted.

    • NSA/CIA whistleblower Dennis Montgomery intervenes and files motion to disqualify federal judge G. Murray Snow in Arpaio contempt trial

      The pleadings explain the basis for the disqualification and are supported by the sworn declaration of renowned ethics professor and expert Ronald Rotunda. Caught in the judge’s “crossfire” of his “contempt” for Sheriff Joe Arpaio is whistleblower Dennis Montgomery, whose due process, attorney/client privileges, work product and intellectual property rights have been violated.

  • Civil Rights

05.16.15

Links 16/5/2015: MAME Free Software. Rust 1.0, New Wine

Posted in News Roundup at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • MAME is going open source to be a ‘learning tool for developers’

    The folks who maintain MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) are aiming to make the project completely open source in order to expand both its pool of supporters and its utility to developers and historians.

    This is notable because MAME is seen to be the premier emulator for arcade games, and the volunteers who maintain it have done laudable work to preserve artifacts of the game industry in a playable state.

  • MAME going open-source

    Given the scale of MAME, built over nearly two decades by so many contributors, accomplishing a change in licensing is a project in itself. One contributor reports that the licensing proposed is “BSD3 for core files and BSD3,GPL2 or LGPL2 for drivers/emulators”

  • Popular arcade game emulator MAME is going open source

    Unlike most vintage console or computer games, arcade games can be both difficult to find and expensive to buy, so many arcade fans use emulators to create their own homebrewed arcade systems. The Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME) has become the most popular emulator for gamers who want to play classic arcade games in their home, and now the team behind MAME has decided to make the emulator completely open source.

  • CommunityCube: Open-source, Privacy First Server

    CommunityCube is a plug-and-play open source, small server designed to build a cooperative, fair internet where users’ privacy and rights are protected. It was originally conceived of in 2013, inspired by the Edward Snowden disclosures, when the founders recognized the need for a consumer-level product to protect privacy and anonymity.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Announcing Rust 1.0

        Today we are very proud to announce the 1.0 release of Rust, a new programming language aiming to make it easier to build reliable, efficient systems. Rust combines low-level control over performance with high-level convenience and safety guarantees. Better yet, it achieves these goals without requiring a garbage collector or runtime, making it possible to use Rust libraries as a “drop-in replacement” for C. If you’d like to experiment with Rust, the “Getting Started” section of the Rust book is your best bet (if you prefer to use an e-reader, Pascal Hertleif maintains unofficial e-book versions as well).

      • Mozilla-backed Rust language stabilizes at version 1.0

        New programming languages come and go. Most of them remain nothing more than academic toys or niche novelties. Rust, development of which is sponsored by Mozilla, might be one of the exceptions. The new language reached the 1.0 milestone today, marking the point at which its feature set is stabilized and developers can start to use it without having to worry too much about their code getting broken by a major change.

      • Rust 1.0 Language Officially Released
      • Firefox 38.0.5 Beta Arrives with Proprietary Pocket Integration

        Firefox 38.0.5 Beta was just released by Mozilla, and it bring a few new features that should really surprise users of this Internet browser.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Rackspace: Expect more of a leadership role in OpenStack community

      In this Q&A, Rackspace’s Private Cloud VP and GM discusses the state of the OpenStack community and the company’s plan to strengthen its role in it.

    • Your Very Own Cloud: Get There with ownCloud

      ownCloud has been getting a lot of attention for its flexibility, and because interest in private clouds is on the rise. You can move beyond what services such as Dropbox and Box offer by leveraging ownCloud, and you don’t have to have your files sitting on servers that you don’t choose, governed by people you don’t know. Here are our latest updated resources for getting going with ownCloud, literally in minutes.

  • Business

    • Zarafa in Movement: A Short Story about Communication, Sharing and No Outlook

      Earlier this year, we from Zarafa, have informed our ecosystem about the direction of Zarafa’s future product development. It was one, very long newsletter where we showed how we see the world of communication & sharing. Most people only remembered one thing, though: Zarafa stops Outlook. In some cases, people felt like the world has come to an end. Of course, we understand such emotions. But of course, such a big decision is not made overnight. I would like to take a moment to explain how our discontinuation of the Zarafa MAPI client is only one part of our mission to create an open source communication & sharing platform.

    • Openwashing

  • Project Releases

    • Wine Announcement

      The Wine development release 1.7.43 is now available.

      What’s new in this release (see below for details):
      - Improved support for Shell Browser windows.
      - Some more API Sets libraries.
      - Read/write operations support with built-in devices.
      - Major Catalan translation update.
      - Support for WoW64 mode on ARM64.
      - Various bug fixes.

    • Wine 1.7.43 Works On Desktop Shell Window Support
    • Wine 1.7.43 Improves Windows Explorer Functionality

      Wine developers have announced that a new version of the application has been made available and is now available for download. It’s full of interesting features and numerous fixes.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Autodesk’s Ember Goes Open Source

        It’s one thing to claim a commitment to an open source philosophy, and another altogether to build an open source business. MakerBot ran afoul of the maker community as they accused the company of shifting away from an open source business model. There was much gnashing of teeth directed at Bre Pettis.

  • Programming

    • LLVM’s Clang Adds Support For ARM/AArch64 v8.1a

      ARM v8.1a is a revision to ARM’s AArch64 64-bit architecture. ARMv8.1-A is a backwards-compatible revision to the ARMv8.0 architecture while native ARMv8.1-A hardware is expected by late 2015.

Leftovers

05.15.15

Links 15/5/2015: GNOME 3.16.2, GNU Guix 0.8.2

Posted in News Roundup at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Top tips for finding free software

    Instead of MS Office, try LibreOffice, which contains a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation software and much more. It borrows its design heavily from older versions of Office so it should be familiar. Even better, it can open and save Microsoft Office documents, and with each release it gets faster and more Office compatible.

  • Open-source and EMC (code)

    EMC’s commitment to open-source is changing the way the company does business — but it can be hard for such a large, established company to become accepted in that space. Brian Gracely, senior director of EMC {code}, is helping the company make that transition. While talking with theCUBE during EMC World 2015, Gracely laid out an overview of his work.

  • Handing On The Baton

    As a result, the Board unanimously elected Allison Randal as its new President yesterday. She is a fantastic choice, with long experience at the heart of the free and open source movement as well as in the business use of open source at all scales. She’s been chairing the ongoing in-person Board meeting and continuing the move towards an OSI that enables people to make things better in open source as well as stewarding licenses.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • DefCore, project management, and the future of OpenStack

      Rob Hirschfeld has been involved with OpenStack since before the project was even officially formed, and so he brings a rich perspective as to the project’s history, its organization, and where it may be headed next. Recently, he has focused primarily on the physical infrastructure automation space, working with an an enterprise version of OpenCrowbar, an “API-driven metal” project which started as an OpenStack installer and moved to a generic workload underlay.

    • Oracle Refines Big Data Focus with New Hadoop Analytics Tools

      This week researchers at Gartner threw cold water on the notion that everyone everywhere is adopting Hadoop, the open source framework for culling fresh insights from large data stores. Their latest study showed that Hadoop is presenting difficulties for some enterprise users, and found that there are not enough trained Hadoop experts.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • How to put the R programming language to work

      We tend to think of programming languages as general purpose, able to deliver any kind of application given enough time and enough code. But sometimes you want a language focused on solving one class of problem as efficiently as possible — think SQL for database programming.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Auto industry first to get wireless charging open standard

      One of the most eagerly anticipated mobile device innovations is widespread application of wire-free inductive charging. Nobody will miss lugging power bricks around, looking for outlets to plug them in, and fumbling with cable connectors with attendant potential for port damage through extended or rough use. Along with the obvious convenience and non-mechanical connectivity’s durability are the minimal likelihood of corrosion with all electronics enclosed and protected from water or oxygen in the atmosphere, enhanced safety for medical implants enabling recharging/powering through the skin rather than penetrating wires creating opportunity for infection, and non radiative energy transfer.

Leftovers

  • The Circus of UKIP – on a TV near you!

    The Circus of UKIP has parked up in town and election or not its show rumbles on.

  • Science

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • ‘Wrong as Often as Right’ Is Good Enough When Reporting on an Official Enemy

      So the sensational stuff in the article is what local South Korean journalists said they were told by South Korean intelligence about that country’s bitter rivals. But South Korean intelligence is a reliable source, right?

      Well, no—not according to the Post. In the article’s eighth paragraph, the reporters note: “The NIS report could not be independently verified. NIS’s claims turn out to be wrong as often as they are right.”

      Is it really the Washington Post‘s policy to base stories on claims that are “wrong as often as they are right”?

    • Migrant crisis: EU plan to strike Libya networks could include ground forces

      European plans for a military campaign to smash the migrant smuggling networks operating out of Libya include options for ground forces on Libyan territory.

      The 19-page strategy paper for the mission, obtained by the Guardian, focuses on an air and naval campaign in the Mediterranean and in Libyan territorial waters, subject to United Nations blessing. But it adds that ground operations in Libya may also be needed to destroy the smugglers’ vessels and assets, such as fuel dumps.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Bee Survey: Lower Winter Losses, Higher Summer Losses, Increased Total Annual Losses

      Losses of managed honey bee colonies were 23.1 percent for the 2014-2015 winter but summer losses exceeded winter numbers for the first time, making annual losses for the year 42.1 percent, according to preliminary results of the annual survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership (http://beeinformed.org), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Apiary Inspectors of America.

    • AP, Review-Journal Miss Jeb Bush’s Yucca Mountain Flip-Flop

      Speaking in Nevada on May 13, Bush told a group of reporters that Yucca Mountain will not likely become the permanent storage location for the nation’s nuclear waste. The Associated Press story quoted Bush saying the project “stalled out” and reported that he “said the waste dump shouldn’t be ‘forced down the throat’ of anyone.” And according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Bush also said “we need to move to a system where the communities and states want it.”

  • Finance

    • Some of David Brooks’ Best Friends Are Progressives–So Long as They Don’t Scare the Wealthy

      Clinton also strengthened and lengthened copyright and patent monopolies. These are forms of government intervention in the market that have the same effect on the price of drugs and other protected items as tariffs of several thousand percent. In the case of drugs, the costs are not only economic, but also felt in the form of bad health outcomes from mismarketed drugs by companies trying to maximize their patent rents.

      And the federal government directly intervenes to redistribute income upward when the Federal Reserve Board raises interest rates to slow job creation, keeping workers at the middle and bottom of the income distribution from getting enough bargaining power to raise their wages.

      In these areas and others, David Brooks’ center-right politicians, as well as “opportunity” progressives, are every bit as willing to use the government to intervene in the market as people like Warren and de Blasio. The difference is that the politicians Brooks admires want to use the government to redistribute income upward, while Warren and de Blasio want to ensure that people at the middle and bottom get their share of the gains from economic growth. (Their agenda is laid out in more detail in this report from the Roosevelt Institute.)

    • URGENT: Senate backtracks on TPP fasttrack — call Congress to oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership

      Just days after the Senate rejected the Obama administration’s bid to fast-track the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership, they’ve backtracked, and now they’re getting ready to rush fast-track through.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Lack of Oversight of Charter Schools Designed as a Plus; $3.3+ Billion Spent (Part 2)

      “The waste of taxpayer money—none of us can feel good about,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services and Education just last month.

      Yet, he is calling for a 48% increase in the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) quarter-billion-dollar-a-year ($253.2 million) program designed to create, expand, and replicate charter schools—an initiative repeatedly criticized by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for suspected waste and inadequate financial controls.

  • Privacy

    • Internet.org Expands to Malawi Amidst India Backlash

      Facebook’s Internet.org project this week expanded into Malawi, bringing free Web services to subscribers of Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) and Airtel Malwai.

    • Privacy groups baulk at US government’s ‘fake’ surveillance reform

      US RIGHTS AND PRIVACY GROUPS have reacted quickly to oppose the recently passed US Freedom Act, and asked Congress to reconsider and ensure that bulk data collection is prevented and that personal privacy is preserved.

    • Facebook’s Quest To Absorb The Internet

      Facebook never wants you to leave, so it’s swallowing up where you might try to go. A few years back, its News Feed brimmed with links to content hosted elsewhere. News articles, YouTube clips, business websites, ads for ecommerce stores.

    • Federal Appeals Court Rules NSA Spying Illegal

      A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of billions of U.S. phone records is illegal, dealing a startling blow to the program just as Congress is weighing reforms to the government’s expansive surveillance authorities.

    • France passes new surveillance law in wake of Charlie Hebdo attack

      The French parliament has overwhelmingly approved sweeping new surveillance powers in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris in January that killed 17 people at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery in Paris.

    • USA Freedom Act Passes House, Codifying Bulk Collection For First Time, Critics Say

      After only one hour of floor debate, and no allowed amendments, the House of Representatives today passed legislation that seeks to address the NSA’s controversial surveillance of American communications. However, opponents believe it may give brand new authorization to the U.S. government to conduct domestic dragnets.

    • Tor Cloud Shut Down Amid Lack of Support

      The Tor Project has shuttered its cloud proxy service citing security vulnerabilities, usability bugs and a lack of resources.

      Tor offers its users the capacity to surf the Web anonymously, bouncing traffic through a series of relay servers so that no observer at any point can tell where that user’s traffic is traveling to or coming from. The Tor Cloud Project essentially offered a platform for creating network bridges within Amazon’s Elastic Cloud Compute in order for users to evade censorship.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Why net neutrality rules have angered some small Internet providers

      Giant Internet service providers are roaring mad about new net neutrality rules and the reclassification of broadband as a common carrier service. Reaction among small ISPs is more diverse, but some of them say they will be saddled with legal costs so high that it will prevent them from upgrading equipment that provides Internet service to small towns and rural areas.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Why streaming services will not end piracy

        With the arrival of Netflix in Australia, there have been suggestions that people no longer have a valid reason to indulge in unauthorised downloading of movies. Such reasoning is short on logic.

      • Mega Rolls Out Legal Heavyweights to Refute Piracy Claims

        Mega.co.nz has today published an independent report which refutes claims that the site is a piracy haven. The analysis, carried out by Olswang, an international law firm that previously worked with the UK government on copyright issues, concludes that claims in a 2014 NetNames report have “no factual basis whatsoever.”

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