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

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

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • 6 tips for adopting open source

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

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

  • Databricks Adds Certifications for Spark Big Data Integrators

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

  • GlobalSight shines with open source in the translation community

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

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

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

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google’s Blink WebKit Engine Fork Is Doing Great

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

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • ownCloud Enables True Universal File Access via Cloud Service

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

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

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

  • Databases

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

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

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

    • Amazon Claims New Aurora DB Engine Screams With Speed

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


    • Leaving da Camera On: Introduction and Contents

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

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

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

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

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How open source is changing our food

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

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Celebrating 10 years of Lohit fonts project

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


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Activists Arrested for Protesting Drone Killings Speak Out

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

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

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

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

    • Bombs Away: Weaponized Drones Flying High

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

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

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

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

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

    • Secret Cash Pays for U.S. Drone Mistakes

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

    • US Drone Strike, Clashes Kill 40 in Yemen

      None of them have been identified.

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

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

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

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

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Republicans vow EPA fight as Obama touts China climate deal

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

  • Finance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Britain Poised to Muzzle ‘Extremist’ Speech

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

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

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

  • Privacy

    • Twitter given junk credit rating

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

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

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

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

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

    • 6 Reasons Why You Should Quit Facebook

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

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

    • Race to revive NSA surveillance curbs before Congress handover

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

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

    • Harry Reid Moves for Senate Vote on NSA Reform

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

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

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

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

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

    • Plumbing the Depths of NSA’s Spying

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • The Mercenaries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Stalling on Surveillance Reform Could Cost the GOP

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

    • Greenwald to Share His NSA Secrets at the U

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

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

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

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

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

    • NSA Requests for Facebook Data Up By 24 Percent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • How quantum computers will undermine cryptography

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

    • New Report: Patient confidentiality broken 6 times a day

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

    • New OASIS Standard to Build Biometric Security Wonderwall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • The mass surveillance scandal fallout

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

    • US concerns about online privacy present opportunity, experts say

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

    • Art in a Time of Surveillance

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

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

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


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

    • Peak indifference-to-surveillance

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

    • How much do we care about our online privacy?

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

    • Is online privacy a lost cause?

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

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

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

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

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

    • Immigration hinders anti-terror efforts – UK police chief

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

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

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

    • How Obama Endangered Us All With Stuxnet

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

    • Germany plans early-warning defence against cyber attacks

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

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

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

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

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

  • Civil Rights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

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

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


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

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

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source assumes growing role in data center transformation

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

  • Australian news agency joins open source project

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • GraphHopper: a fast and flexible open source trip planner

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

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Lightweight Web Browser Midori Arrives with Lots of New Features

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

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Develops a Case of Selective Amnesia

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

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

      • Firefox 10th Anniversary and new Firefox

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

      • Firefox 33.1 Debuts With Security, Privacy and Developer Focus

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

      • Mozilla Launches MozVR, Moves Toward Virtual Reality

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

      • Firefox 33.0.3 Has Fixes for Conflicts with Graphics Drivers

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

      • Firefox Leans Towards the Vertical

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

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

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

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

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

    • Why MongoDB Embraces Open Source

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

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD


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

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

  • Public Services/Government

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

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

    • The US Government’s Tenuous Relationship With Open Source

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

    • Indonesia tax agency saves 90 per cent with open source

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

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

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

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

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

  • Licensing

    • How to choose an open source license

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


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

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • You don’t know Javascript, but you should

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


  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Russia — once again Public Enemy No 1

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

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Dead whale on French beach could explode

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

  • Finance

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

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

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

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

    • Global Killing of Environmentalists Rises Drastically

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

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

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

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Facebook Messenger hits 500 million users after becoming mandatory

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Senator Reid Moves Forward With NSA Reform Bill

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

  • Civil Rights

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

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

    • Brazilian police kill 11,000 people in five years

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

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

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Obama thrills left with Web fight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Obama shows the way on Net neutrality

      If you’ve been reading these parts for even a little while, you’re sure to have come across one of my many Net neutrality discussions. As tiresome as it has been to pound on the same podium over and over, it has been necessary — and President Obama’s very public statement asking that Internet service providers be classified under Title II is a major step in the fight for an open Internet.


      Of course, that didn’t stop Sen. Ted Cruz from coming out with a pants-on-head stupid comment about Net neutrality being “Obamacare for the Internet.” Making a statement that amazingly dumb in public would probably have found him signed up for forced sterilization in the 1950s. It’s this kind of blatant, arrogant, willful ignorance that undermines our democracy. But enough about the dim, let’s look at the future.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XLII

      The problems of TTIP are so many – total lack of meaningful transparency, the unnecessary inclusion of an ISDS chapter, the threat to Europe’s high standards governing health, safety, the environment, labour etc. – that the agreement’s supporters have been forced to fight back with the only thing they claim to offer: money. TTIP, they argue in multiple ways, will take us to the land of milk and honey, boost the GDP massively, and lead to lots of extra dosh for every family in the EU.

    • Copyrights

      • Dotcom Loses Lawyers – Then They Erase All History of Him

        Kim Dotcom is looking for a new legal team in New Zealand after a high-profile lawfirm withdrew its services. However, what’s especially unusual is that Simpson Grierson has not only pulled out, but is also removing all references to Dotcom and Mega from its corporate site.

      • Internet Pirates Always a Step Ahead , Aussies Say

        Almost three-quarters of Australians believe that using technical measures to end Internet piracy are doomed to fail and will only lead to higher ISP bills for consumers. Those are just two of the findings of a new survey carried out by the Communications Alliance, the industry body for the Australian telecoms industry.

      • ISP Protects Subscribers From Piracy “Fishing Expedition”

        Atlanta-based Internet provider CBeyond is protesting a DMCA subpoena from the anti-piracy monitoring outfit Rightscorp. The ISP is refusing to hand over the identities behind more than a thousand IP-addresses connected to copyright infringement while declaring Rightscorp’s efforts as a frivolous fishing expedition.

      • Copyright Holders Want Pirate Bay Blocked in Sweden

        Several major movie studios and record labels have filed a lawsuit against the Swedish ISP B2, demanding that the company blocks access to The Pirate Bay. The lawsuit, which also calls for a blockade of the streaming site Swefilmer, is the first of its kind in The Pirate Bay’s home country.


Links 11/11/2014: GNOME Trademark Dispute Settled, Mozilla Embraces Tor

Posted in News Roundup at 6:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • YOLOTD: Could 2015 Be Linux’s Big Year?

      The Year of Linux on the Desktop will come, but not in 2015, said Rodolfo Saenz. “Let’s be honest: Linux is still an ‘underground’ OS. It is still targeted for elite users. That day will come when Linux becomes a truly intuitive OS that’s good enough for the masses, but to be honest, I don’t want that day to come soon — it’s part of the OS’s charm.”

    • Chromebooks: Debunking the misconceptions

      Chromebooks are the little laptops that could. They are relatively inexpensive and have capabilities that can work for a wide range of companies and consumers.

      That’s if they are given a chance. There are some common misconceptions about Chromebooks and Chrome OS that prevent many from trying them.

    • A Pleasant Stroll Through Europe – GNU/Linux Rolls On Desktops

      Europe is a hot bed of activity with governments promoting and sharing ideas about how to implement FLOSS and GNU/Linux on clients and servers. A lot of activity is in schools where students will be introduced to FLOSS and run with it. I expect GNU/Linux to become more available and widely accepted in Europe in the next few years.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.18-rc4

      Hey, things are finally calming down. In fact, it looked *really* calm
      until yesterday, at which point some people clearly realized “hey, I
      should push my stuff to Linus so that it makes it into -rc4″, and then
      a third of all changes came in the last day, but despite that, rc4
      finally looks like things are falling into place, and we’ll get to
      stabilize this release after all.

      Here’s to hoping the trend holds…

      Things look fairly normal. A bit over half is drivers, and almost a
      third is architecture patches (arm, powerpc, mips and s390). The rest
      is a few filesystem updates (mainly XFS) and misc random stuff.

      The shortlog gives a feel for the details, and nothing looks
      particularly scary or odd.


    • diff -u: What’s New in Kernel Development

      Hardware errors are tough to code for. In some cases, they’re impossible to code for. A particular brand of hardware error is the Machine-Check Exception (MCE), which means a CPU has a problem. On Windows systems, it’s one of the causes of the Blue Screen of Death.

      Everyone wants to handle hardware errors well, because it can mean the difference between getting a little indication of what actually went wrong and getting no information at all.

    • Differential Flame Graphs
    • Graphics Stack

      • ToAruOS: A Hobby Kernel & User-Space, Runs Mesa & GCC

        ToAruOS is a hobby kernel and user-space that can form a working operating system with some common open-source third party libraries. ToAruOS has been in development for nearly four years and was born at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

      • NVIDIA NVPTX Port Added To GCC

        The NVPTX back-end has been committed to GCC 5 as part of the process for offloading support to NVIDIA graphics processors from the compiler.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • My new library: Qlogind
      • Autostart in Plasma 5
      • Last week in Krita – Week 45

        Scott Petrovic revamped the UI of the transform tools for better readability and usability, and is now heading towards changing around the brush-settings.

      • Interview with Eo Fenstalker

        I’m Andrea, better known as Eo Fenstalker anywhere that it matters. I’m a freelance artist in my 30s living in Melbourne, Australia and I primarily focus on animal and fantasy related artwork under the name Toast Weasel Illustration.


        I try and help find and report bugs as I use Krita. It can sometimes add to the difficulty level of achieving finished work when using pre-release builds, but it’s fun in its own way and I enjoy being able to contribute, even though it’s in such a minor way. I also happily allow my art to be used in promotional material for Krita.

      • KDE Gardening Love Project: KRecipes

        KRecipes has been in 2.0beta since 2010 so we decided it will be our next Love Project.

      • Q&A with Aaron Seigo: How Kolab Systems Uses Open Source and Linux

        I’ve been involved since around 2001, during which time I’ve worked on a number of areas within the community. I ended up maintaining the panels and parts of the desktop shell in KDE’s 3.x desktop and from there ended up doing the ground-up redesign of the shell we now know as Plasma.

        That introduced some radical (at the time) concepts such as device-independent UIs, strong business/UI separation, animation rich interfaces, visual integration of desktop services and visual distinction between the desktop shell and applications running in them.

        Outside of technical work, I was also president of KDE’s global non-profit foundation, KDE e.V., and oversaw improvements in how we manage intellectual property, standardizing developer sprints, rigorous reporting and more. It was during this time that I was named one of the top 50 most influential people in IT by silicon.com.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • An Everyday Linux User Review Of Ubuntu 14.10

        Ubuntu 14.10 is another nice little step forward for Ubuntu without being spectacular.

        Linux has faced many hurdles over the years such as lack of MP3 support, Flash support, hardware support, gaming, decent software, running Windows applications and recently Netflix. All of these issues can now be filed away as “used to be an issue”.

        Ubuntu is one of the more popular distributions for a reason. As Windows users love to say “It just works” and for it just does.

      • Xubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn” Review: Looks great but slightly disappointed with performance

        I think frankly the developers could have done better for Xubuntu 14.10. The previous LTS version was a better release from performance and stability aspects. Further, a support of 9 months do not do any good as well. I am a bit disappointed and this is the first XFCE spin that I won’t recommend. It gets a score of 8.2/10 from my side, which is actually much below average. If you are already using the launchpad ppa’s then except the 3.16.0 Linux kernel, you would have got all the latest stable packages in your Trusty Tahr installation already. So, I don’t see any motivation to actually use this Xubuntu release.

      • Introducing OpenMandriva 2014.1

        This version of OpenMandriva was presented mostly as a bug-fix and polish release and that shows. The operating system is stable and the interface looks friendly. For the most part, the distribution worked very well for me. OpenMandriva has a sense of polish and friendliness about it which is hard to qualify, but is certainly there. The system installer, the Control Centre and the pretty (yet traditional) desktop environment all appear to be designed to be as newcomer friendly as possible. I was especially impressed by the systemd front end. Recent experiments with Arch, openSUSE and Debian have left a bad taste in my mouth has far as systemd is concerned and OpenMandriva did a beautiful job of smoothing over the details of systemd while presenting a functional front end. During my trial I ran into two minor glitches, both with package management, but nothing that really caused me any concern.

        In recent years I think it has been too easy to think of the Mandriva-based projects as “also ran” distributions. The financial troubles Mandriva faced and the user friendly efforts of projects like Ubuntu and Mint have conspired to push Mandriva out of the spotlight. OpenMandriva 2014.1 is one of the best efforts I have seen to date to take back the “beginner friendly” crown. This distribution was easy to set up, easy to use, has a great control centre and should appeal to both novice users and power users alike. I was happy and a bit impressed with OpenMandriva 2014.1 and I recommend giving it a try.

    • New Releases

      • Q4OS 0.5.20 released

        Significant update 0.5.20 of Q4OS Desktop is out. The essential new feature is KDE4 desktop integration into Q4OS system. It is comprised of two plasma themes, converted crystalsvg icons, splash theme and original Q4OS desktop look&feel configuration. Single-command script for automatic easy installation is included. If users want to set up a complete KDE4 desktop alongside the standard Q4OS desktop, they will need to run the “kde4-install” script from the terminal. They will be able to choose the “KDE Plasma Workspace” session type option from the login screen and experience the brand-new environment. They will be able to select the classical Q4OS desktop too, of course.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Launches Linux Container Beta With Docker And Google Kubernetes Support

        Red Hat recognizes the changing face of enterprise computing involves containerization technology and to that end, they announced a Beta release of their Linux container platform called Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host.

        Containerization is a new trend that offers a more efficient and faster way to deliver applications than virtual machine technology. In a sense, it’s another step in virtualization that takes the concept and strips it down even further to produce greater resource efficiencies and faster deployment.

      • Fedora

        • Flock 2015: Rochester Institute of Technology

          After four bids (!) and much discussion to make the difficult decision between two great finalists, we’re happy to announce Rochester, NY and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) as the location for Flock 2015.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project Announces the Code Names for Debian 9 and Debian 10

        The Debian project has chosen the names of the next two versions of the operating system that are scheduled to be released in the coming years. They don’t have any glamour, but they will be easily remembered.

      • Debian 8.0 “Jessie” Final Could Arrive in February – Screenshot Tour

        Debian 8.0 “Jessie” has been in the works for quite some time and it has just entered feature freeze. Now, the Debian project leader is pushing for a release of the new operating system in under 12 weeks.

      • Systemd again? Debian drops kFreeBSD as official architecture

        The Debian GNU/Linux project has decided not to support its GNU/kFreeBSD distribution as an official release for the forthcoming version 8.0 which is better known as Jessie.

        GNU/kFreeBSD is one of the numerous Debian architectures that combines the userland of GNU/Linux with a FreeBSD kernel. Debian is the only GNU/Linux distribution that releases with anything other than a Linux kernel.

      • Re: Plan B for kfreebsd
      • More Debian and Systemd, *Ubuntu Reviews, and Fedora Confusion

        Debian and systemd top Linux news today with the latter being blamed for the loss of high profile Debian developer. Paul Venezia says Red Hat has confused Linux users with its latest Fedora moves and bloggers contemplate Debian and other forks. Adrian Bridgwater says had Linux been proprietary it would have cost $1 trillion and Michael Meeks talks OpenGL rendering in LibreOffice.

      • How could you rationally fork Debian?

        The topic of Debian forks has come up a lot recently, and as time goes on I’ve actually started considering the matter seriously: How would you fork Debian?

      • Debian 8.0 Jessie Now Under Its Feature Freeze

        Jonathan Wiltshire on the behalf of the Debian release team announced this week that Debian 8.0 “Jessie” is frozen.

      • More systemd drama as a long-time Debian developer quits

        In today’s open source roundup: Debian developer Joey Hess leaves the project after eighteen years. Plus: Is Linux gaming performance lagging behind Windows? And reviews of Ubuntu 14.10 seem to indicate that it’s a mixed bag

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch Music App Is Proof That Total Ubuntu Convergence Is Getting Closer – Gallery

            While other platforms like Windows or iOS are still working towards their convergence goal, Canonical is already there and the developers now have applications that work both on the mobile and on the desktop platform without any major modifications. One such example is the Ubuntu Touch Music App, which looks and feels native on both operating systems.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 391
          • The Ubuntu 15.04 Online Developer Summit Starts Tomorrow

            The first Ubuntu Online Developer Summit for the 15.04 Vivid Vervet kicks off on Wednesday and runs through Friday.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu Kylin 14.10 Utopic Unicorn : Adds New Features and Improve the System Stability

              Ubuntu Kylin 14.10 Utopic Unicorn is the latest version of Ubuntu Kylin based on Ubuntu 14.10 featuring with Unity desktop environment. Released and announced by Ubuntu Kylin team brings with improved stability along with newly added features which provides better user experience.

            • Kubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn – That’s better

              Kubuntu has one definite advantage. It’s predictable. Predictable in the sense that it will never give you a fully satisfying experience out of the box, and it will do its best to be controversial, bi-polar and restrained by default. You get a very good and modern system, but then it’s almost purposefully crippled by boredom, a conservative choice of programs and missing functionality. Why, oh why. It could be such a shiny star.

              Utopic Unicorn is a pretty solid release, but it does suffer from some alarming issues. The graphics stack, first and foremost. Desktop effects are also missing, and Samba printing is simply disappointing. The rest worked fine, the system was robust, there’s good evidence of polish and improvements, but then it lacks pride and color. I would say 8/10, but that’s not enough to win people’s hearts. We’ve all been there, every six months, so something new is needed. Maybe Plasma 5? Aha! Stay tuned.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Dev board runs Yocto Linux on Altera ARM+FPGA SoC

      Newark Element14′s “Lark Board” SBC runs Yocto Linux on Altera’s ARM/FPGA Cyclone V SX SoC, and offers USB Blaster II, camera, and expansion interfaces.

      The Lark Board, which sells for $940, is one of the more powerful ARM development boards you’re likely to find, at least if FPGAs are what you’re looking for. It’s designed for development of high-volume applications including automotive, medical equipment, video surveillance, and industrial control.

    • Raspberry Pi Model A+ is out now. It’s 20% cheaper, 24% shorter and consumes 45% less power
    • Raspberry Pi Model A+ on sale now at $20
    • The Making of the Ninja Sphere: a Q&A with Daniel Friedman

      Like the Ninja Block, the Ninja Sphere runs on Linux and incorporates an Arduino-compatible microcontroller. However, it switches from a BeagleBone Black SBC to a computer-on-module that offers much the same Cortex-A8-based TI Sitara processor and other circuitry. Instead of being limited to a 433MHz RF radio, the Sphere adds ZigBee, WiFi, and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and supports Z-Wave via an add-on.

    • Selecting an operating system for an embedded application

      Free OSes, in this context, do not really include Linux, as most embedded developers are likely to spend money on a supported and packaged version, so it is not really free. This section looks at some of the smaller, readily downloadable RTOSes that are quite popular.

    • Timesys Partners With GizmoSphere to Provide Embedded Linux Solution for Gizmo 2 Single-Board Computer
    • Gizmosphere focuses on graphics in open-source computer

      Open-source computers have so far lacked good graphics, but Gizmosphere’s new Gizmo 2 is an exception.

      The Gizmo 2 is an uncased single-board computer that will sell for US$199. The computer can be used to build robots, electronics with large screens, or interactive computer systems that can recognize gestures or images.

    • Linux Top 3: Raspberry Pi A+, Debian Freezes Jessie and ReactOS Polishes
    • Phones

      • Tizen

      • Android

        • Apps to Make Your Android Smartphone More Productive, Fun

          The Google Play marketplace has more than 1.3 million apps available for download to Android mobile devices, many of them available for as little as 99 cents or less. But searching through all those apps to find the ones that might be most suitable for your needs may not be so easy. The sheer mass of available apps can make many users feel overwhelmed by the choices and they don’t know where to begin. This can be especially true of the owners who just bought an Android smartphone for the first time. And there is no shortage of those because the smartphone market is growing by leaps and bounds. This slide show includes a curated list of Android apps that will serve as a good base for anyone to try out once they fire up their Android device for the first time. The list includes some consumer-focused apps, as well as those that can be used in business. To be sure, this isn’t an exhaustive list. But it’s a start because the first step to getting productive and having some fun with a new Android device is to invest in some cool apps.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source accelerating the pace of software

    Containers are fundamentally enabled by Linux. As I discussed in more detail recently, all the security hardening, performance tuning, reliability engineering, and certifications that apply to a bare metal or virtualized world still apply in the containerized one. And, in fact, the operating system arguably shoulders an even greater responsibility for tasks such as resource or security isolation than when individual operating system instances provided a degree of inherent isolation.

  • How To Use Emoji Anywhere With Twitter’s Open Source Library
  • Taiwan’s g0v: Using Open-Source Code And Communities To Engage Citizens And Make Government More Open

    The post goes on to describe g0v’s hackathons, its first conference, and the Open Political Donation Project. This brought together 9,000 volunteers to digitize 300,000 political donation records as a pointed response to Taiwan’s old Campaign Donation Act of 2004, which allowed the public access to campaign donation documents, but only as a paper copy, or in person at a government office.

  • ON.Lab Launches SDN Open Source Network Operating System (ONOS), Backed by AT&T & NTT

    The Open Networking Lab, ON.Lab, last week launched an open source SDN Open Network Operating System (ONOS) which is now available for downloads. ON.Lab is a non-profit organization founded by SDN inventors and leaders from Stanford University and UC Berkeley aimed at fostering an open source community for developing tools and platforms to realize the full potential of SDN. Tier 1 service provider partners such as AT&T and NTT Communications and several key vendors have supported the ONOS platform, including Ciena, Fujitsu, Huawei, Intel, NEC and members who are collaborating and contributing to ONOS .

  • MoD scientists publish open source code on GitHub for first time

    Defence ministry follows other government departments by publishing code for its ‘Ideaworks’ idea-sharing software

  • Ministry of Defence posts open source code to Github

    THE UK MINISTRY OF DEFENCE (MoD) has revealed that it has put a piece of code into the open source community for the first time.

  • MoD releases code to GitHub: Our Ideaworks… well sort of

    The Ministry of Defence is to consider making some of its more “sophisticated” software available online, having for the first time publicly released code onto open-source site Github.com.

  • Gluster Lead Speaks on Open Source Scale-Out Storage and OpenStack

    GlusterFS, the open source scale-out storage system Red Hat acquired in August 2012, is poised to play a key role in OpenStack and cloud computing, according to Gluster lead Dave Mcallister.

  • MEMS group looks to promote open source development

    The MEMS Industry Group (MIG) has announced the Accelerated Innovation Community (AIC), an open source algorithm cooperative intended to collaboration across the MEMS/sensors supply chain.

  • DreamHost spinout Akanda offers open source NFV for cloud providers

    Akanda Inc., a company spun out from cloud provider DreamHost, will offer an open source, Layer 3-7 virtual network functions platform for OpenStack clouds. The company is calling its technology the first production-ready open source network functions virtualization (NFV) project.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenGL rendering for LibreOffice 4.4

      Many areas of LibreOffice have been hugely improved in recent times, from the general cleanup of the code, to the huge VCL / UI layout re-work touching all of our dialogs, the significant re-work of Calc’s internals – many areas of the code have had big improvements. One area that has however sadly fallen behind is the Visual Class Libraries (VCL) rendering model – that is used to draw nearly everything in the document, and chrome around it.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Enhancing Education With FOSS

      So yeah, we occasionally run into people who have reinstalled Windows. We refuse to do it for them even if they supply a legitimate copy of Windows. Many of them have called after the switch to ask for help with virus or malware infections. We simply tell them that if they had left Linux on their child’s computer, we would not be having this discussion.

    • The Rich Landscape of Linux Education Software

      With regard to the various educational programs that are available for Linux, there are a number of different websites that are devoted entirely to promoting educational software for Linux based systems. The KDE Education Project, Schoolforge.net, and Kid’s Software for Linux are just a few of the websites that are devoted to promoting education software resources for children of all ages.

  • Business

    • SlamData announces General Availability of open source MongoDB BI solution

      SlamData, Inc., commercial developer of the SlamData open source project, announced the General Availability of their MongoDB BI/analytics solution.
      Installers for the release are available from the SlamData website, or the project can be accessed on GitHub and built from source code. The project is licensed under the AGPL V3 license.

    • 10 Open Source ERP Options

      While the ERP market is dominated by software giants like SAP and Oracle, there are plenty of open source ERP options.

  • Funding

  • BSD


  • Public Services/Government

    • Let Congress use open source, say transparency groups

      Transparency groups are recommending changes to the rules of the House of Representatives that would allow the use of open source software.

      Noting a push toward open source software adoption by the executive branch, the legislative branch should follow suit and allow open source code to be used and published, say recommendations (pdf) issued to the 114th Congress by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the Sunlight Foundation and the OpenGov Foundation.

    • Australian government Drupal-based CMS goes live

      GovCMS, the Australian government’s new cloud-based web content management system, has gone live on Australia.gov.au, the federal government’s chief technology officer, John Sheridan, said at a media briefing in Sydney on Tuesday. The site receives more than 2 million visitors each month, and is the first site to migrate to the platform.

      The Department of Finance has developed govCMS, an Australian government-specific distribution of the Drupal open-source content management platform, in conjunction with Acquia — a company founded by Drupal’s creator, Dries Buytaert, to provide commercial-grade support for the platform.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • TAH, An Open Source Device That Connects Anything To Your Smartphone

      With smartphone prices falling alarmingly over last few years, everyone is moving from basic phones to Smartphones and with it world of possibilities have opened up, especially when it comes to controlling various devices and gadgets directly from your smartphones.

    • Open-source atlas of the human proteome goes live

      In 2003, a team of scientists and IT engineers set out to create a map of which proteins are found in each part of the body. Now, after committing more than 1,000 man years to the project, the team has released the Human Protein Atlas, an interactive map of the proteome containing 13 million annotated images.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Bacteria Contaminated Cosmetics Quietly Pulled from Shelves

      When Vogue International pulled over 200,000 bottles of OGX Biotin and Collagen Conditioner in May 2014 due to contamination by Burkholderia cepacia, a bacteria that can cause life-threatening respiratory infections for those with weakened immune systems, the only form of notice came from the FDA website, four months after the recall. When Kutol Products Co., a company responsible for two of seven major cosmetic recalls this year, quietly pulled 4,500 units of lotion from shelves, again, no notice was found save on the FDA website. These lotions were contaminated by P. aeruginosa and P. putida, types of bacteria that can cause inflammation, pneumonia, blood infections, and even sepsis, a potentially deadly full-body inflammation.

  • Security

    • Google Open Sources Sophisticated Network Security Tool

      Google has announced an open source tool for testing network traffic security called Nogotofail. The project is now available on GitHub, and Google is inviting the community to work with it and help improve the security of networks and the Internet.

      Many people are familiar with the “HTTPS everywhere” tool, and a related Firefox add-on, which protect online security. Nogotofail is a roughly similar tool, but is more robust. Here are the details.

    • Google Releases Nogotofail Tool to Test Network Security

      The last year has produced a rogues’ gallery of vulnerabilities in transport layer security implementations and new attacks on the key protocols, from Heartbleed to the Apple gotofail flaw to the recent POODLE attack. To help developers and security researchers identify applications that are vulnerable to known SSL/TLS attacks and configuration problems, Google is releasing a tool that checks for these problems.

    • The 7 deadly sins of startup security

      For startups, user growth, product growth, virality, marketing usually goes on the top of their priority list. As part of product planning cycles, embedding information security into their product/service is the last concern for most startups.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Russian Menace Made Simple

      There is currently a major propaganda blitz by arms and security industries to convince us was are in a “new cold war”, and therefore should be spending even more ludicrous sums of money on weapons of mass destruction. Here are a few simple facts.

    • On Iran Policy, America Is Not ‘the World’

      There is not a disagreement between Iran and “the world.” A small number of countries–the United States being the most powerful one–have made a variety of claims for the past several years about Iran possibly concealing a weapons program. There is no public evidence to support the most extreme accusation, but it doesn’t seem to matter; Iran is under stiff sanctions, and US lawmakers want to hit them even harder.

    • Military Personnel Trained by the CIA Used Napalm Against Indigenous People in Brazil

      For the first time in the history of Brazil, the federal government is investigating the deaths and abuses suffered by Indigenous peoples during military dictatorship (1964-1985). The death toll may be twenty times more than previously known.

      Just as in World War II and Vietnam, napalm manufactured in the US burned the bodies of hundreds of indigenous individuals in Brazil, people without an army and without weapons. The objective was to take over their lands. Indigenous peoples in this country suffered the most from the atrocities committed during the military dictatorship (1964-1985) – with the support of the United States. For the first time in Brazil’s history, the National Truth Commission, created by the federal government in 2012 in order to investigate political crimes committed by the State during the military dictatorship, gives statistics showing that the number of indigenous individuals killed could be 20 times greater than was previously officially registered by leftist militants.

    • Bob Schieffer, George W. Bush, And The Echoes Of The Iraq War

      There was nothing especially scandalous about Schieffer’s decision to treat the former president differently than he did the sitting president, who, by definition, continues to face pressing issues and grapple with unforeseen crises. And yet, there was something noteworthy about the way Schieffer just tossed off Bush’s answers about the Iraq War and didn’t ask a single obvious follow-up question. The performance nicely captured the double standard that seems to have always existed between Bush and the Beltway press.

    • Never Too Late to Tell Old Iraq Lies

      Perhaps it is fitting that Bush would say, “When you say something as president, you better mean it”–and then say something so demonstrably false. It would have been nice for CBS to point this out.

    • Joy First: Good people must end denial, help ground drones

      As part of the Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, a group of us has been holding vigils at the gates of Volk Field Air National Guard base every month for the past three years. There they are training pilots to operate the Shadow drone, which is used overseas for surveillance and target acquisition. It is part of the program of U.S. drone warfare, responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Iran and Iraq.

    • “Killing Without Heart”

      My father’s Air Force tenure in the Strategic Air Command filled my childhood with amazing military technology. Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas featured the U-2 spy plane. The SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest jet in history, was the pride of Beale Air Force Base in California. Hampton Roads’ concentration of armed forces has meant battleships and jet engine noise as territorial background.

    • Weapons Directed by Robots, Not Humans, Raise Ethical Questions

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

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

      The test was deemed a military success. But the design of this new missile and other weapons that can pick targets on their own has stirred protests from some analysts and scientists, who fear that an ethical boundary is being crossed.

      Arms makers, they say, are taking the first steps toward developing robotic war machines that rely on software, not human instruction, to decide what to target and whom to kill. The speed at which these weapons calculate and move will make them increasingly difficult for humans to control, critics say — or to defend against.

    • Don’t Claim to Support the Troops If You Agree With Obama Sending 3,100 Soldiers to Iraq

      We’ve already learned that counterinsurgency wars aren’t conflicts that America can win.

    • Protesters target B.C. drone mission

      Protesters from across Michigan are expected Saturday to demonstrate in Battle Creek against the use of military drones.

    • Israel woman dies amid stab attacks

      Two stabbing attacks have been launched on Israelis, killing a young woman and gravely wounding a soldier.

      The woman was killed at a bus stop in the West Bank and the Israeli soldier injured in Tel Aviv, with the attacks the latest in an ongoing wave of Arab violence that has put the country on edge.

    • The Mystery of Ray McGovern’s Arrest

      Why, I asked myself, would the New York City police arrest me and put me in The Tombs overnight, simply because a security officer at the 92nd Street Y told them I was “not welcome” and should be denied entry to a talk by retired General David Petraeus? In my hand was a ticket for which I had reluctantly shelled out $50.

      I had hoped to hear the photogenic but inept Petraeus explain why the Iraqi troops, which he claimed to have trained so well, had fled northern Iraq leaving their weapons behind at the first whiff of Islamic State militants earlier this year. I even harbored some slight hope that the advertised Q & A might afford hoi polloi like me the chance to ask him a real question.

    • Drone strike kills at least four suspected militants in northwest Pakistan

      A U.S. drone strike killed at least four suspected militants in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, security officials said, the nineteenth such strike reported this year.

      The strike hit a house and a vehicle in Datta Khel area of the North Waziristan tribal area near the Afghan border, three security officials said. The Pakistani government sent a protest to the U.S. government over the strike.

    • After an errant drone strike in Yemen, a trail of secret meetings and U.S. cash

      The shadowy world of ‘condolence payments’: Did the CIA pay off victims’ families after a botched attack?


      The day Jaber and the executor were first offered the cash, they consulted with a committee of village elders. One group, Jaber said, argued against accepting the bag “because this should be public compensation,” not “secret compensation where they are trying to push this all under the carpet.” But another group, he said, argued, “‘If we don’t take it, we will lose it — and the families that have lost breadwinners are in a terrible state.’ … And the families said, ‘We really need this money.’”

      In the end, the decision reached by the village elders was to take the money.

      So the next morning the executor returned for a second meeting at the National Security Bureau. While there, he told Yahoo News in an interview, he was told by the bureau’s legal adviser that were it not for Jaber’s trip to Washington the bag of cash “wouldn’t have happened,” noting that there has been no compensation for the majority of drone strikes.

      The lawyer then asked the executor to sign two documents acknowledging receipt of the money for the deaths of the police officer and the imam “during an American airstrike,” copies of the documents show.

      But then, at the lawyer’s insistence, the executor added the words “and this compensation comes only from the National Security Bureau” — an effort, as the executor saw it, to remove the fingerprints of the U.S. government.

    • Inside the CIA’s Syrian Rebels Vetting Machine

      Nothing has come in for more mockery during the Obama administration’s halting steps into the Syrian civil war than its employment of “moderate” to describe the kind of rebels it is willing to back. In one of the more widely cited japes, The New Yorker’s resident humorist, Andy Borowitz, presented a “Moderate Syrian Application Form,” in which applicants were asked to describe themselves as either “A) Moderate, B) Very moderate, C) Crazy moderate or D) Other.”

    • Addicted to Lies: Kiev, CIA Still Pushing Fake Reports of ‘Russia Invading Ukraine’

      On Friday, the Ukrainian military’s PR machine spun-up its latest episode of the illusive “Russian Invasion”, this time accusing Moscow of dispatching a column of 32 tanks and “truckloads of Russian troops” into the country’s eastern region.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • More Establishment Hypocrisy

      Those suddenly concerned about the European Arrest Warrant in Westminster last night were notably silent when it was used against Julian Assange, with a case that had more holes in it than a condom torn by Anna Ardin, the noted CIA agent.

      Not only was the evidence against Assange not tested, the Supreme Court accepted that a Swedish prosecutor with a screaming political agenda was a “judicial authority”, despite her being neither a judge nor a court. That extraordinary ruling was itself dependent on two even more extraordinary false premises, directly stated in Lord Phillip’s judgement.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Trash Burning, Health, and Global Pollution

      In July 2014, Christine Wiedinmyer, Robert J. Yokelson, and Brian K. Gullett reported in the scholarly journal Environmental Science & Technology that unregulated trash burning around the globe is significantly increasing atmospheric pollution. Their study established the first “comprehensive and consistent” estimates for emissions of greenhouse gases, particulates, and toxic toxic compounds from open waste burning. As they report, these emissions “are not included in many current emission inventories used for chemistry and climate modeling.”

  • Privacy

    • Google’s New Open Source Privacy Effort Looks Back to the ’60s

      Google is building a new open-source tool designed to preserve privacy when analyzing large amounts of data. The company’s researchers unveiled their work at a computer security conference this week.

    • Dark net raids were ‘overblown’ by police, says Tor Project

      The impact of raids on so-called “dark net” websites has been “way overblown” by police, according to the group responsible for the Tor browser.

      Tor is a popular way of accessing the dark net – websites that are hidden from traditional search engines.

    • Dark net experts trade theories on ‘de-cloaking’ after raids

      The hidden web community has started trying to find out how services and identities were compromised after police raids led to 17 arrests.

      Last week, several high-profile sites on the so-called “hidden”, “dark” or “deep” web were seized.

      Experts are looking at techniques the authorities may have used to “de-cloak” people running services accessed through anonymisation service Tor.

    • Ontario Provincial Police Recommend Ending Anonymity on the Internet

      The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs began its hearings on Bill C-13, the lawful access/cyberbullying bill last week with an appearance from several law enforcement representatives. The Ontario Provincial Police was part of the law enforcement panel and was asked by Senator Tom McInnis, a Conservative Senator from Nova Scotia, about what other laws are needed to address cyberbullying. Scott Naylor of the OPP responded (official transcript not yet posted online):

    • Asset Forfeiture Is Just Cops Going Shopping For Stuff They Want
    • Police Use Department Wish List When Deciding Which Assets to Seize

      The practice, expanded during the war on drugs in the 1980s, has become a staple of law enforcement agencies because it helps finance their work. It is difficult to tell how much has been seized by state and local law enforcement, but under a Justice Department program, the value of assets seized has ballooned to $4.3 billion in the 2012 fiscal year from $407 million in 2001.

    • Are Apple, Google, Microsoft And Mozilla Helping Governments Carry Out Man-In-The-Middle Attacks?

      Back in September, we reported on the Chinese authorities using man-in-the-middle attacks to spy on citizens who carry out Google searches over encrypted connections. That’s done by using a fake security certificate to redirect traffic to a server where the traffic is decrypted, analyzed, and blocked if necessary.

    • Apple and Microsoft trust Chinese government to protect your communication

      Microsoft, Apple and Mozilla among others, trust CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) to protect your communications on their platforms by default, regardless of whether or not you are in China. CNNIC has implemented (and tried to mask) internet censorship, produced malware and has very bad security practices. Tech-savvy users in China have been protesting the inclusion of CNNIC as a trusted certificate authority for years. In January 2013, after Github was attacked in China, we publicly called for the the revocation of the trust certificate for CNNIC. In light of the recent spate of man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks in China, and in an effort to protect user privacy not just in China but everywhere, we again call for revocation of CNNIC Certificate Authority.

    • NSA Chief Bet Money on AT&T as It Spied on You

      The former head of the world’s biggest spy agency didn’t just oversee the collection of billions of AT&T records. He also tried to make money off its customers.

    • Keith Alexander’s Investments While At The NSA Included A Data Storage Provider For AT&T

      Keith Alexander’s financial records — sprung by Jason Leopold’s lawsuit against the NSA and explored in depth by Shane Harris — continue to point towards more questionable behavior on the part of the former NSA director.

    • Snowden: Congress needs to encrypt emails

      The communications of lawmakers and staffers on Capitol Hill are not beyond the reach of spies and hackers, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden warned on Friday.

      Without proper protections, he warned that sensitive details about upcoming bills and international deals could be unnervingly insecure.

    • In Surprise Call From Exile, Snowden Calls Out U.S. FBI Director

      “One of the most significant things that was not well understood about the events of last year was that it’s not entirely about surveillance,” said Snowden, who spoke via livestream to a conference on digital news and security held in Washington, D.C. The bespectacled former NSA contractor shot to international fame last year after revealing the government’s bulk intelligence-gathering practices.

    • German TV: Snowden says NSA also practices industrial espionage

      Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden claimed in a new interview that the U.S. agency is involved in industrial espionage.

      In the interview aired Sunday night on German public television broadcaster ARD, Snowden said if German engineering company Siemens had information that would benefit the U.S., but had nothing to do with national security needs, the National Security Agency would still use it.

    • Electronic Frontier Foundation release secure messaging scorecard to help identify the messengers you should be using

      It’s not true to say that everyone has become more wary of their communications data since we heard the news of the capabilities of the spy agencies. However many more are concerned. For those that are the EFF have released a score card outlining the most secure messaging services. On top in the chart are relative newcomers to the encryption market, Silent Phone and Silent Text. Also on top is RedPhone and Text Secure aka Signal on iOS devices. Also scoring perfect points was CryptoCat and ChatSecure + Orbot (both of them running together.)

    • ORG and Privacy International publish guidance on privacy and open government

      Open Rights Group and Privacy International have worked with the Transparency and Accountability Initiative to develop a new chapter on Privacy and Data Protection in the Open Government Guide, which will be officially launched at Open Up on November 12th.

      The new chapter provides a menu of commitments that governments could adopt in their next OGP Action Plans, each supported by standards and country examples. The ‘illustrative commitments’ are not prescriptive, but ideas that governments can adapt to local circumstances in order to enhance existing protections.

      Open Rights Group has long advocated for privacy to be addressed in this context as one of the thorny issues that will make or break the credibility of open government.

    • Where is Congress After a Summer of Proposed NSA Reform?

      Fake Fixes and Bad Bills

      Other bills suffered the same fate. In many cases, these bills were no great loss, being “fake fixes,” or bills that would either codify or expand—not fix—the current spying programs.

    • How the NSA Became a Killing Machine

      Bob Stasio never planned to become a cyber warrior. After he graduated high school, Stasio enrolled at the University at Buffalo and entered the ROTC program. He majored in mathematical physics, studying mind-bending theories of quantum mechanics and partial differential equations. The university, eager to graduate students steeped in the hard sciences, waived the major components of his core curriculum requirements, including English. Stasio never wrote a paper in his entire college career.

    • Law enforcement lost public’s trust after NSA leaks, says UK police chief

      Law enforcement agencies lost the public’s trust after disclosures on government surveillance by the whistleblower Edward Snowden and must ensure that they strike the right balance between privacy and security, the UK’s most senior police officer said on Thursday.

      Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, commissioner of the Metropolitan police in London, told a conference of senior American police chiefs that authorities must take care “post-Snowden” to use the most intrusive surveillance tools available to them “only where necessary”, or “risk losing them altogether”.

      “We need to ensure that where law enforcement accesses private communications there is a process of authorisation, oversight and governance that gets the balance right between the individual’s right to privacy and their right to be protected from serious crime,” said Hogan-Howe, whose force that takes the lead on police counter-terrorism efforts in the UK.

    • Is the NSA actually making us worse at fighting terrorism?

      The head of the British electronic spy agency GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, created a minor flap last week in an article he wrote for the Financial Times.

      In effect, Hannigan argued that more robust encryption procedures by private Internet companies were unwittingly aiding terrorists such as the Islamic State (IS) or al-Qaida, by making it harder for organizations like the NSA and GCHQ to monitor online traffic. The implication was clear: The more that our personal privacy is respected and protected, the greater the danger we will face from evildoers.

    • Leahy pulls rank on lame-duck agenda

      Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont is twisting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) arm about passing surveillance reform in the lame-duck session of Congress despite reluctance from the White House.

      Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the most senior member of the Democratic caucus, is insisting his bill, the USA Freedom Act, pass before he loses his gavel at the end of the year.

    • NSA Reform Drifts Sideways In The Senate

      According to Senate sources speaking to The Hill, the White House would prefer not to pass NSA reform in the coming lame duck Congressional session.

      Current chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy, is trying to press forward with a vote on the bill that he authored — the USA FREEDOM Act — this year. The legislation has attracted approbation from technology companies and civil groups. A bill with the same name passed the House previously, but was scorned by privacy advocates as having been neutered in its final days before its vote.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Obama backs net neutrality plan

      Open net access should be seen as a basic right that all Americans should enjoy, President Obama has said.

      He said he supported net neutrality, which means all data travels on cables with the same priority.

      There should be no paid prioritisation system that slowed services if they did not pay a fee, he added.

    • Without Greater Transparency And Meaningful Net Neutrality Rules, The Netflix Interconnection War Will Get Much, Much Uglier

      If you’ve followed the ongoing feud between Netflix and the nation’s biggest ISPs, you’ll recall that streaming performance on the nation’s four biggest ISPs (AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable) mysteriously started to go to hell earlier this year, and was only resolved once Netflix acquiesced to ISP demands to bypass transit partners and pay carriers for direct interconnection. Though the FCC has refused to include interconnection in their consideration of new net neutrality rules, we’ve noted how it’s really the edges of these networks where the biggest neutrality battles are now being waged.

    • Will an open Internet policy emerge? FCC Advisor on net neutrality

      Daniel Alvarez—Legal Advisor for Wireline, Public Safety, and Homeland Security at the FCC (Federal Communications Commission)—spoke at a forum last week with the North Carolina Technology Association about the FCC’s deliberations on a framework to “protect and promote Internet openness.”


      Over the past decade, the FCC has made a few attempts to provide guidelines or regulations that would prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking or discriminating against certain online services, especially from competitors. In January 2014, the DC Circuit court held that while the FCC generally has authority to regulate broadband pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act, the anti-blocking and anti-discrimination provisions of its Open Internet Order were Title II regulations that could not be applied to Title I services.

    • Obama trying to push FCC to enforce tough rules to ensure Net Neutrality

      For those not following net neutrality, it’s the concept where all users can access any website online at an equal speed, like we can now. However there is a subset of people who say that what we have today isn’t fair to ISPs and argue for a model where you pay more for certain services. If you look at services like Netflix, it’s what the average person uses the most and the content is bandwidth heavy. On the other hand you might have someone who never uses Netflix and other streaming services. Both of these people using the internet for one hour non-stop will have widely different data usages in that time and so some people argue for the person using more bandwidth to pay more for their service.

    • Obama wants more web regulation [anti-Net neutrality]

      Barack Obama has embraced a radical change in how the US government treats internet service, coming down on the side of consumer activists who fear slower download speeds and higher costs but angering US cable giants who say the plan would kill jobs.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Big Numbers: Google Challenges Wolfram to Open Up Math

      Sage, the free and open source analog to Wolfram Research’s Mathematica, is now SageMathCloud. Thanks to collaboration with Google’s cloud services, Sage is now in a position to draw more mathematicians to its community.


Links 10/11/2014: 2015 GNU/Linux Forecasts, Debian Shakeup

Posted in News Roundup at 3:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Acer Returns To Profitability

    Hmmm… Maybe they’ve taken my advice and gloried in the increased profits with GNU/Linux.

  • Desktop

    • Lenovo to launch low-cost Chromebook in early 2015

      Lenovo reportedly will launch Chromebook models targeting the sub-US$170 segment in early 2015, a move which will further drag down profits for notebook vendors, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.

    • Will 2015 finally be the year of the Linux desktop?

      I’m always a bit on the disinterested side when someone brings up the market share of desktop Linux. Yeah, it’s fun to kick around numbers and speculate about how doing this or that would increase the desktop market share of Linux. But in the end I don’t think it really matters much and it’s also a bit of a distraction from what really matters with Linux: making it better for the people who are already using it.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Jessie Freeze, Reviews, and Linux Outlaws Quitting

      Today in Linux news, Debian 8 is frozen and Canonical confirms an Ubuntu tablet is in the works. Two reviews landed yesterday on the Kano Linux computer, one today on Ubuntu, and another on openSUSE 13.2. Linux Australia is now censoring its mailing list and Jack Wallen says Ubuntu 14.10 was a boring release because they are in a holding pattern.

    • The Last Stand

      After more than seven years of Linux Outlaws, my co-host Dan and myself have decided to end the show. This decision has been a while in the making and it is with a heavy heart that I am commiting to finally announce it.

  • Kernel Space

    • 10 Great Quotes from LinuxCon and CloudOpen Europe Keynote Videos 2014

      There were many inspiring talks alongside the great technical content at LinuxCon, CloudOpen and Embedded Linux Conference Euorpe in Dusseldorf last month. To give you a taste, I’ve chosen a quote from each keynote that I think will get your blood pumping or pique your interest. You can watch each keynote in full, below, or on the Linux Foundation’s YouTube channel.

    • Intro to Systemd Runlevels and Service Management Commands
    • Designing user space device drivers in Linux

      Is it possible to run Linux device drivers in the user space? In the past, user space drivers were mostly used to make graphics run faster while avoiding the kernel. They increasingly became more important and the kernel is now seen as an obstacle to high server connection capacity. This is why hardware companies started to provide solutions for user space drivers.

    • New Kernel Live Patching Combines kGraft & Kpatch

      Back in February SUSE unveiled a new means of live Linux kernel patching, kGraft, compared to the existing Ksplice. One month later, Red Hat unveiled their own solution that happened to be under development at the same time, Kpatch. Since both of them have been out, both have pursued mainline interests but neither one accepted upstream yet. Now a new live kernel patching solution is out that tries to take the best of both worlds.

    • Shellshocked Linux kernel – the kernel column

      Jon Masters informs us of the kernel’s role in the latest Shellshock security vulnerability, and summarises the work in the kernel community towards a final 3.17 release

    • A ‘proprietary’ Linux would have cost $1 trillion & 8,000 person-years

      As CTO at open source Business Intelligence (BI) products company Pentaho, James Dixon is responsible for the firm’s architecture and technology roadmap.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Microsoft finally got it correct

      Some months ago, I visited a Microsoft site to see if it could identify my OS correctly. I am a Linux user and the site identified my computer as a device running Windows 8.


      Anyway, after all this time, I visited the MS site again and, to my surprise, it can now see me as a “non-windows user” :P Wow! I call that improvement!

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Franklin Weng: The strength behind open source is the strength of contributing

        Franklin is a 39 year old FOSS activist based in Taipei. He has coordinated KDE’s zh_TW translation team since 2006, and is the core developer of ezgo (Chinese), a compilation of educational software used by schools all over Taiwan. ezgo, which in its Linux installation uses KDE by default, blends more than 100 free software applications into one localized, easy to use package.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 1st June 2014
      • Is KDE 5 Ready, Repo Dark Sides, and Black Lab Linux

        Today in Linux news Chris Hoffman looks at the “hidden dark side of Linux software repositories” using Ubuntu and ownCloud as examples. Jack M. Germain test drives Black Lab Linux, an Ubuntu compatible distribution aiming for ease of use. Jos Poortvliet answers “Where is KDE 5 and when can I use it?” Phoronix is reporting on the Fedora project’s ambition to include AppData in its software and Charlene Begley has been appointed to Red Hat’s Board of Directors.

      • Where is KDE 5 and when can I use it?

        The vast majority of users, when talking about “using KDE”, are talking about the desktop. Plasma, that is. So when you ask “when will KDE 5 be ready?”, your answer will be that our brand new desktop is already at version 5.1 and making swift progress! Stability is quite good, but there’s work to do in the feature area. Distributions don’t ship it as default yet.

      • Kalzium Is a Great KDE Chemistry/Periodic Table Application

        Kalzium is a periodic table application for KDE which not only displays detailed information about elements and allows you to view the periodic table using different schemes, but also allows you to perform various calculations, plot data depending on various factors, or balance chemical equations. It is a useful educational tool which can be of great aid learning about chemical elements.

      • Gwenview Image Viewer for KDE Overview

        Although there are many image viewers for Linux, most of them are GTK-based and KDE is left behind with not so many options. Of course, there are applications like Krita or Kolourpaint, but these are image editors, not just simple viewers. Gwenview is the default image viewer in KDE, and it does its job very well. Not only it has enough features to accommodate the more demanding users (like ratings, file browser or thumbnail view), but its functionality can be extended using the KIPI plugins, a KDE set of image plugins used by applications like DigiKam as well, besides Gwenview.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 Screenshots Tour

        Ubuntu GNOME is an official flavour of Ubuntu, featuring the GNOME desktop environment. Ubuntu GNOME is a mostly pure GNOME desktop experience built from the Ubuntu repositories. Two years ago, Ubuntu GNOME has started as unofficial flavour to Ubuntu – see the release notes of 12.10 – and 6 months after that, Ubuntu GNOME has become an official flavour. So, 13.04, 13.10, 14.04 LTS and today, this is our 5th version and the 4th official one. Let’s find out more about Ubuntu GNOME 14.10

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Black Lab Linux Is GNOME 3′s Best Friend

        Black Lab Linux is a general purpose free distribution for home users and small-to-mid-sized businesses. This particular segment of the Linux OS tries to bridge free OS and preconfigured commercial hardware/software with a flexible set of options.

      • Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn : Fast and Responsive

        Xubuntu is an elegant Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, which uses the lightweight Xfce desktop environment to work, instead of the Unity desktop. Xubuntu is designed for computers with low computing resource, always guaranteeing the best performance.

    • New Releases

      • Welcome to Parsix GNU/Linux 7.0r0 Release Notes

        Parsix GNU/Linux is a live and installation DVD based on Debian. Our goal is to provide a ready to use and easy to install desktop and laptop optimized operating system based on Debian’s testing branch and the latest stable release of GNOME desktop environment. Users can easily install extra software packages from Parsix APT repositories. Our annual release cycle consists of two major and four minor versions. We have our own software repositories and build servers to build and provide all the necessary updates and missing features in Debian stable branch.

    • Screenshots

    • Ballnux/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 8.0 “Jessie” Enters Feature Freeze

        Debian developers have announced that the Debian 8.0 “Jessie” development cycle has been frozen and all the updates that will land from on now will consist only of bug fixes.

      • Joey Hess, Developer Of 18 Years With Debian Departs

        Perhaps it’s time that Debian reform it’s social contract/internal procedures to deal with dissent by better means than personal attacks on the lists or departures of key people. Democracy/fairness works but sometimes gets off the rails when conflicting groups try to have their way at the expense of others. It’s not enough just to have a mechanism to break deadlocks. It’s important to respect minorities of users as it is to respect the majority of developers. One only needs to see the USAian government to see how extremism and disrespect can go way overboard. We don’t want Debian to go that way.

      • Systemd fallout: Joey Hess quits Debian project

        The ruckus over the adoption of systemd as the default init system for Debian appears to have claimed a victim, with veteran developer Joey Hess announcing that he is leaving the project.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu, ownCloud, and a hidden dark side of Linux software repositories

            The version of ownCloud in Ubuntu’s Universe repositories is old and full of “multiple critical security vulnerabilities.” It’s no secret. The ownCloud project itself asked Ubuntu to remove it so users wouldn’t have vulnerable server software. Ubuntu suggested to ownCloud they should take over maintaining it instead. OwnCloud thought that was ridiculous—they just want to write software and not maintain it in every distribution’s repositories.

          • Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn review – No rainbows

            I am willing to extend the slight benefit of doubt to the Ubuntu family and retest on different hardware sometime in the future, as well as give Kubuntu and Xubuntu their due spin and such. But if this turns out to be legacy hardware issues so to speak, then we will be having an essay in expletives. Anyhow, skip this. Stay with Trusty, it’s awesome and stable and fun. And let’s see what the rest of the pack can do. For now, Unicorn, 0/10.

          • Details Emerge on UT One Ubuntu Linux Tablet

            Details continue to emerge on the UT One, the tablet with an Intel processor that will run on Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system. Here are the latest revelations on what will very possibly be one of the first x86-based mobile devices powered by an open source Linux distribution (yeah, Android is not really a Linux distribution).

            Rumors regarding the UT One, whose developers say they will have the hardware ready to ship by the end of this calendar year, first appeared about a week ago. Since then Canonical’s role has become clearer, even if the details of the relationship between the company and the UT One developers remain to be determined.

          • Canonical launches LXD: Secure, open-source container hypervisors

            Docker is making waves again. Just this week, Google Inc. launched its cloud-based Docker-as-a-service called “Container Engine”, which is now available on its Google Compute Engine platform. And now, not to be outdone, Canonical Ltd. is trying to put an entirely new spin on the container concept with the release of its new Linux Container Demon (LXD) project.

          • Press Reaction to Ubuntu 14.10 ‘Utopic Unicorn’

            Ubuntu 14.10 ‘Utopic Unicorn’ went public two weeks ago, giving the mainstream tech press ample time to cast a critical once over.

            As one might expect for this release, the coverage receiving it has been overwhelmingly ambivalent.

          • 20 things I did after installing Ubuntu 14.10/Ubuntu 14.04
          • Pro tip: How to easily upgrade Ubuntu 14.04 to 14.10

            Jack Wallen walks you through the process of upgrading your Ubuntu 14.04 release to 14.10.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn : Released With KDE 4.14 and KDE Plasma 5

              Kubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn was released and announced by Kubuntu team, as official ubuntu flavor based on Ubuntu 14.10 that uses the KDE desktop environment bring with new features and updates. it now ready to download and install on your computer.

              On this release Kubuntu team announce Kubuntu 14.10 with two varian, the stable KDE 4.14 (Plasma 4) running the desktop we know from ubuntu previous releases, and a tech preview of the next generation KDE Plasma 5 for early adopters.

            • Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn : Simple, Lightweight and Support for Low-end Machines

              Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn is an linux distribution derived from Ubuntu 14.10. As official ubuntu flavor that uses the lightweight LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) window manager has been released with new features and bug fixes.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rugged Linux box-PC excels at industrial fieldbuses

      Ixxat’s ruggedized “Econ 100″ DIN rail computer runs Linux on an ARM/FPGA Xilinx Zynq SoC, and supports multiple industrial Ethernet and fieldbus protocols.

    • Rugged industrial gateway runs Linux on TI Sitara

      Advantech’s rugged, industrial gateway computer runs Linux on a Sitara AM3352, and features dual gigabit Ethernet ports, WiFi, CAN, and five serial ports.

      Previous UBC-branded box computers have offered the Freescale i.MX6 system-on-chips, but for the Linux-ready “UBC-FA30,” Advantech has turned to the Texas Instruments Sitara AM3352. This low-end, Cortex-A8 Sitara AM355x SoC lacks the 3D graphics and PRU subsystems of some the other Sitara models, but can still crank it up to 1GHz, the maximum clock rate available on the UBC-FA30.

    • BeagleBoard-X15 sports dual-core Cortex-A15 Sitara

      BeagleBoard.org is prepping a “BeagleBoard-X15″ SBC that will ship in February with 2GB of RAM, dual GbE ports, eSATA, and TI’s dual-core Sitara AM5728 SoC.

    • BeagleBone cape eases access to the Sitara SoC’s PRU
    • Bullet Pi Interview

      So I’d seen The Matrix and also a BBC programme called Supernatural: The Unseen Powers Of Animals, where they shot dolphins jumping out of the water and they could just freeze time, and then spin round so you saw the water drops, and I thought that was a really amazing effect. And reading how it was done, it was with a whole array of cameras and it seemed quite simple. So I had the Raspberry Pi and a couple of cameras sat on my desk, and it was sort of like, ‘Well, if it seems that simple, then surely if we just got a whole load of Raspberry Pis and cameras – and they’re not that expensive – why shouldn’t we just be able to build it?’ It was one of those moments where you think it should work but you don’t actually know. So what I did was buy four cameras and I tried it, and that looked like it would work – it gave us a tantalising glimpse that we could do it.

    • Tiny Raspberry Pi A+ SBC goes for $20

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation launched a Model A+ with a $20 price, and a tiny 65 x 56mm footprint, 23g weight, and compact 40-pin expansion header.

    • Raspberry Pi supercapacitor micro-UPS seeks funding
    • New Raspberry Pi A+ computer gets smaller, cheaper, and therefore more awesome

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation unveiled its latest computer today, the A+, a smaller version of its previous release that costs only $20.

    • New Raspberry Pi Gets Even Smaller, Cheaper

      Home-baked computing just got a little cheaper: The next-generation Raspberry Pi A+ data processor is available now for $20.

      A step up from the original Model A, this low-cost variant comes after the summer release of the $35 Raspberry Pi B+.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • [Developer] Booting Tizen Common on Radxa Rock with Rockchip RK3188

          Our friend Leon Anavi is at it again !!!! What I mean by that vague statement is that he is porting Tizen onto another Development Board, in this case the Radxa Rock dev board that supports the Rockchip RK3188 SoC, which is a 28nm 1.8Ghz quad core ARM Cortex A9 and quad core Mali 400-mp4 GPU. It has 2GB DDR3 RAM and 8GB internal storage

      • Android

        • Smartphone Bloodbath Q3 full results Top 10 brands, OS platforms and installed base (corrected)

          So yeah no change here. Its a two-horse race that Android is totally dominating. Now for the next quarter expect the traditional ‘first full quarter of new iPhone model sales surge’ but then it again settles down. On an annual basis Android OS outsells iPhones by more than 5 to 1. Windows is dead. Blackberry is now a miniscule niche. None of the new OS platforms has yet caught on fire or behaved like a fox.


          Yeah, nothing new here either. Android keeps growing, iOS has a higher market share in installed base than new sales primarily as iPhones have a far longer use often being passed down than most smartphones but still Android installed base is well more than 3 times larger than iOS

Free Software/Open Source

  • After years of touting its cloud computing tech, Joyent open sources it
  • Joyent Clarifies its Love for Docker, and its Intent to Work With It
  • Joyent Open Sources its Central Cloud and Container Tools
  • Joyent Makes Open Source Private Cloud Container Platform Available
  • Joyent and Canonical to open source container technologies

    Joyent and Canonical are the latest cloud firms to open source their container technologies.

    Joyent, which recently raised $15m in funding, announced a container-based cloud-hosting platform that could be used as the basis for running large-scale, big-data tasks.

  • Talk with CEO of Kaleidos, new project management tool Taiga

    When I introduced Taiga on Opensource.com, the article was well received. It seemed like people were looking for a new project management system and Taiga satisfied some of the requirements in mind. As evidenced, in the first month of its existence, Taiga gained approximately 12,000 registered members, 10,000 projects, and 1000 GitHub clones. They are also seeing considerable traffic from Fortune 500 companies starting projects!

  • Rackspace offers free open source private cloud templates

    Rackspace has produced a suite of free software templates for firms to use to deploy some of the most widely used open source applications available.

  • OpenStack ROI and the Myths of Open Source

    In a panel at the OpenStack Summit here, executives from HP, Piston Cloud Computing and SwiftStack answered questions about the ROI (Return on Investment) from OpenStack.

  • eNcade Is a Portable Raspberry Pi Gaming Console That Doubles Up as a Desktop PC

    eNcade is a portable Raspberry Pi-powered gaming tablet that is currently in the works. Its makers are looking for funding on Kickstarter and they are hoping to get enough money so that they can properly start this project.

  • Raspberry Pi Annual on sale today
  • Is the business of FOSS really community software?

    For the time being, we are using the term community software for the reasons Rob talked about in his original article on the subject. An important way to think about community software is that if free software represents the ethics and open source concerns represents the technology, then community software represents the business. This is important because we need to acknowledge that business provides the resources we need to develop our communities. This is not limited to financial resources but also knowledge sharing across a broad range of disciplines including marketing, legal matters, and technical expertise. Community software is a way for those of us engaged in these activities to have a voice alongside developers and engineers.

  • Companies Are Finally Learning To Share—The Open Source Way

    What may be new is a willingness to actually engage in open source, rather than simply use it. While there is value in simply using open-source software, there’s far more value in participating in it.

  • Twitter Emojis Are Now Open Source

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, what about an emoji? The official stance: Free. Twitter has announced that after a project to make their emojis more readable on the web, it’s now making them completely open source — which means you can expect to see them in all the varied nooks and crannies of this here internet.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Turns 10, Making Reglue Stick & Outlaws Ride
      • Mozilla Delivers Firefox Developer Edition

        Mozilla has officially launched Firefox Developer Edition, billing it as “the first browser created specifically for developers.” If developers sound like a very narrowcasted audience to aim a browser at, remember that many of them complain about having to work across numerous platforms and environments and aim for disparate app stores. There are also a lot of them who work in Firefox via tools such as Firebug.

  • Databases

    • MongoDB’s Dwight Merriman: From DoubleClick to Database

      About an hour or so after Jeffrey Hammond from Forrester Research gave his keynote address at All Things Open, in which he spoke of a survey which found that three out of four programmers use open source development tools, I had the opportunity to talk with an entrepreneur developer who’s definitely sold on FOSS. “The days of closed source software are kind of over,” he says, “except for special cases.”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation sets precedents & paves new opportunities for Free Software

      The Document Foundation role is to support and grow the LibreOffice & Document Liberation project and promote Free Software and Open Standards. You will notice in this statement two key points; first, it is not directly the role of the Document Foundation to develop the LibreOffice code: the community of volunteers is in charge of that and second, the actual role of the foundation is actually to protect and cater to the community’s needs and logistics.

    • LibreOffice defends handling of spreadsheet bug

      A new version of LibreOffice’s Calc program has broken many spreadsheets, users say, and a perceived unwillingness by developers to address the problem has sparked an ill-tempered argument.

  • Education

    • Root access for students at Penn Manor

      So, what is Penn Manor doing differently? First, they’re doing everything with open source. They use Koha, Moodle, Linux, WordPress, Ubuntu, OwnCloud, SIPfoundry, and VirtualBox.

  • BSD

    • archive.org is good for old tech docs

      I saw on Undeadly a note that OpenBSD’s Ted was patching the ancient bcd program, which converts text into ASCII-art representations of punch cards. Punch cards were a technology from the 1960s and 1970s (?) that stored code or data on cardstock, with holes punched out of them. Each card held a line of text. If I recall correctly, each character was a column on the card, with as many as seven holes punched out of set of 12 possible locations. There were 40 to 80 columns on the card, according to the brand and the decade.


    • Software Freedom Conservancy and Free Software Foundation announce copyleft.org

      This new site will not only provide a venue for those who constantly update and improve the Comprehensive Tutorial, but is also now home to a collaborative community to share and improve information about copyleft licenses, especially the GNU General Public License (GPL), and best compliance practices.

    • GNU acct 6.6.2
    • We Fix the Net Assembly @ 31c3

      The “We Fix the Net” assembly” is to be the perfect place at 31c3 for all hackers to do something about replacing today’s broken Internet with secure alternatives. We hope to have some talks and panels like last year. Details will be posted here closer to the congress, for now, please contact us at wefixthenet@gnunet.org if you are interested to present your work or organize something practical.

  • Licensing

    • 3 great reasons to give away your precious tech under an open-source license

      Earlier this week, cloud provider Joyent did a surprising thing: It shared its finely tuned cloud software, SmartDataCenter, under an open-source license.

      But while it might seem like the company is giving away its high-value intellectual property at a time when Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have made the public cloud market ultra-competitive, Bryan Cantrill, the company’s chief technology officer, actually has some very smart justifications for the move, which he spelled out in a blog post.

    • Why all software needs a license

      All software developers should add a copyright license. Why? Because open source licensing is all about granting permission in advance

  • Openness/Sharing

    • New games on Linux, OpenGL graphics driver, Coco2d-x game engine, and more
    • First Open-Source Algorithm Cooperative Announced at MEMS Executive Congress US 2014
    • Open source bioinformatics data platform gets helps from student hackers

      At Era7 Bioinformatics, we are a bioinformatics company specializing in sequence analysis, knowledge management, and sequencing data interpretation. Our mission is to help our customers obtain the maximum value from their Next Generation Sequencing projects. And, Bio4j is our high-performance, cloud-enabled, graph-based, and open source bioinformatics data platform, integrating the data available in the most representative open data sources around protein information. It integrates the data available in UniProt KB (SwissProt + Trembl), Gene Ontology (GO), UniRef (50, 90, 100), RefSeq, NCBI taxonomy, and Expasy Enzyme DB. The current version has more than 2,000,000,000 relationships, 400,000,000 nodes and 1,000,000,000 properties. Bio4j provides a completely new and powerful framework for protein related information querying and management. Since it relies on a high-performance graph engine, data is stored in a way that semantically represents its own structure. On the contrary, traditional relational databases must flatten the data they represent into tables, creating artificial ids in order to connect the different tuples; which can in some cases eventually lead to domain models that have almost nothing to do with the actual structure of data.

    • Developer browser, Google open source releases, and more
    • Open Data

      • Cory Doctorow: Information Doesn’t Want To Be Free

        The technical implausibility and unintended consequences of digital locks are big problems for digital-lock makers. But we’re more interested in what digital locks do to creators and their investors, and there’s one important harm we need to discuss before we move on. Digital locks turn paying customers into pirates.


  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Richmond Voters Beat Chevron Corporate Coup d’ Etat

      In Richmond, CA, three seats on the City Council were up for election; the city also stood to elect a new mayor. Nothing unusual in this, perhaps, was it not for Chevron’s $3.1 million dollar campaign to highjack the elections, which was first revealed by journalism student and former Center for Media and Democracy reporter, Harriet Rowan in the Berkeley publication Richmond Confidential.

    • Meet Wisconsin’s Wacky New Congressman

      America, meet Glenn Grothman, Wisconsin’s newly-elected, weekend-hating Congressman who has a beef with Kwanzaa and his own explanation for the gender pay gap.

      According to Grothman, “money is more important for men.”

      The Republican state senator was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday, winning handily in Wisconsin’s gerrymandered 6th Congressional District.

      “Glenn Grothman doesn’t just drink the crazy right-wing Kool-Aid,” said Congressman Mark Pocan in 2011, when he was a state representative. “He is the one making it.”

  • Privacy

    • Silk Road, other Tor “darknet” sites may have been “decloaked” through DDoS [Updated]

      Last week’s takedown of Silk Road 2.0 wasn’t the only law enforcement strike on “darknet” illicit websites being concealed by the Tor Project’s network of anonymizing routers. A total of 410 .onion pages on at least 27 different sites, some of which sell everything from drugs to murder-for-hire assassins, were shut down as part of Operation Onymous—a joint operation between16 member nations of Europol, the FBI, and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    • Raided for hosting a Tor node? New precedent set

      Over the last 48 hours the alleged owner of Silk Road 2.0 has been arrested in San Francisco and named as Blake Benthall, a former SpaceX employee who left the firm in February. I got alerted to this event via the Tor subreddit where an eastern European (he didn’t disclose what country) said his house had been raided, two computers seized and told he is an ‘international suspect of fraud and money laundering’ and could face a maximum sentence of fourteen years in prison although no charges have been pressed at this point.

    • Biggest ever Tor raid hits 410 underground sites; 17 arrested

      Coordinated raids by law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and 16 European countries have closed hundreds of underground websites, including dozens dealing in weapons and drugs, and led to the arrest of 17 people.

    • Symposium: Mass Surveillance — When Reality Exceeds The Fiction

      As part of an exceptional event, the Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival and La Quadrature du Net partner for a symposium on mass surveillance. The largest gathering of thinkers, activists and artists – since Edward Snowden’s revelations – will take place in Portugal on the 14th, 15th and 16th of November 2014, in the Cultural Center of Belem.

    • The courts should decide how much privacy we’re entitled to – not GCHQ
    • British Spies Are Free to Target Lawyers and Journalists

      British spies have been granted the authority to secretly eavesdrop on legally privileged attorney-client communications, according to newly released documents.

      On Thursday, a series of previously classified policies confirmed for the first time that the U.K.’s top surveillance agency Government Communications Headquarters (pictured above) has advised its employees: “You may in principle target the communications of lawyers.”

    • Did the government hack a CBS journalist? Maybe. [Updated]

      Sharyl Attkisson was hacked. The computers used by the former CBS News investigative reporter were found to have been remotely accessed and tampered with, according to both a CBS-hired forensics expert and a reputable information security firm that did an analysis commissioned by Attkisson herself. Those are the facts as we know them.

    • Remember, Remember: Reflections On This Fifth Of November

      As this Fifth of November gathered more people than ever, demanding an end to surveillance and censorship and calling for civil liberties such as freedom of speech to be restored, it is adequate to reflect a bit, just as V originally did.

    • Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

      This week, and our first place comment for insightful scored pretty high on the funny side too (though not quite enough to break the top two). After it was discovered that Islamic extremists were using the YouTube copyright dispute process to get personal data on critics, Jon Renaut noted that technically this fulfills an old fearmonger prophecy:

      They keep telling us that copyright infringement helps terrorists and now look – sure enough, the laws we made them pass to stop infringement are finally doing it.

    • What Makes a Good Security Audit?

      EFF recently began a new Campaign for Secure & Usable Crypto, with the aim of encouraging the creation and use of tools and protocols that not only offer genuinely secure messaging, but are also usable in practice by the humans who are most vulnerable to dangerous surveillance, including those who are not necessarily sophisticated computer users. The first phase of this campaign is the Secure Messaging Scorecard, which aims to identify messaging systems that are on the right track from a security perspective. In subsequent phases of the campaign, we plan to delve deeper into the usability and security properties of the tools that are doing best in the Scorecard. One crucial aspect of the Scorecard and the campaign is and will be code auditing. We’ve gotten a lot of questions about the auditing column in the Scorecard, so we thought it would be good to expand on it here.

    • Berlin’s digital exiles: where tech activists go to escape the NSA

      With its strict privacy laws, Germany is the refuge of choice for those hounded by the security services. Carole Cadwalladr visits Berlin to meet Laura Poitras, the director of Edward Snowden film Citizenfour, and a growing community of surveillance refuseniks

  • Civil Rights

    • NYPD officers charged after video catches teen getting pistol whipped

      “The video speaks for itself, doesn’t it?” Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said Wednesday about a brief video recording that led to two New York Police Department cops being charged in connection to the pistol-whipping assault of a 16-year-old Brooklyn boy. The boy, who was arrested for marijuana possession, ended up with broken teeth and bruises.

      The officers charged in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Wednesday are David Afanador, 33, and Tyrane Isaac, 36, both nine-year veterans.

      The 82-second video of the teen’s August 29 beating—widely available on the Internet—was captured by a local Crown Heights business. The tape shows the boy running before eventually stopping and raising his hands, after which he is pummeled and taken to the ground.

    • Video: In expletive-laced encounter, officer allegedly slaps man

      A Saratoga County sheriff’s sergeant was suspended after a video posted on the Internet Friday captured him allegedly slapping a young man as the deputy insisted on searching his vehicle, which had a rifle on the back seat.

      Sheriff Michael Zurlo on Saturday said he was “very disturbed” by what he saw on the video.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Leaked Documents Raise Concerns Over Chemical Dangers of TTIP

      Documents leaked in October 2014 reveal that the upcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal potentially threatens public safety by reducing the ability of the European Union (EU) to enforce safety requirements on dangerous carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting chemicals. As Nadia Prupis reports for Common Dreams, this agreement would establish a cooperative front on the part of the two powers to create common regulations under the banner of decreasing trade barriers.

    • Copyrights

      • Islamic Extremists Use YouTube’s Automated Copyright Dispute Process To Access Critics’ Personal Data

        YouTube’s infringement reporting system is — like many others around the web — fundamentally broken. Making bogus copyright claims is still an easy way to get channels shut down or to siphon ad revenue from existing videos. It can also be used as a censor — a cheap and dirty way to shut up critics or remove compromising video.

      • AVG Monitors Torrenting Habits to Advise Heavy Downloaders

        Anti-virus software can be a great help to keep viruses and malware at bay, but AVG takes its responsibilities a bit further. Avid BitTorrent users who download files at near-maximum speeds get a friendly reminder from AVG explaining that they may want to pause their downloads to improve web browsing.

      • Pirate Bay Founder Peter Sunde Released From Prison

        Former Pirate Bay spokesperson Peter Sunde is a free man again. After more than five months he was released from prison this morning. Peter is expected to take some time off to spend with family and loved ones before he continues working on making the Internet a better place.

      • BitTorrent Wins $2.2 Million Damages From “Scammer”

        BitTorrent Inc, the parent company of the popular file-sharing applications uTorrent and BitTorrent, has won $2.3 million in damages from its German namesake Bittorrent Marketing GMBH. A federal court in California branded the German company a cybersquatter and ruled that it misled BitTorrent users for financial gain.


Links 7/11/2014: War Thunder on GNU/Linux, KaOS ISO 2014.11

Posted in News Roundup at 8:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • ON.Lab, backed by AT&T and NTT, offers open source SDN operating system

    The Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab), a non-profit open source software-defined network (SDN) tool development ecosystem out of Stanford University and UC Berkeley, has unveiled an SDN Open Network Operating System (ONOS). ON.Lab ONOS community founding members include AT&T and NTT Communications, who would appear to be in line to implement ONOS in their networks in the near future.

  • Joyent open-sources its core technology

    Not all the action is happening at the OpenStack Summit in Paris. In a bold move, cloud specialist Joyent has announced it’s open-sourcing its core technology. That includes software that competes directly with OpenStack and enables high-performance use of container technology like Docker. The newly open projects enable easy management of containers at scale.

  • Look out OpenDaylight, there’s a new open source SDN controller

    ON.Lab pitches ONOS, an open source SDN controller that offers more scalability than OpenDaylight. Competition could be good and bad.

  • Sensor Fusion Goes Open-Source

    Analog Devices, Freescale, PNI Sensor Corp., and the MEMS Industry Group formed the Accelerated Innovation Community, a group dedicated to providing open-source algorithms for sensors. AIC also plans to announce an I/O standard for sensors in collaboration with the MIPI Alliance.

    Engineers shouldn’t have “to reinvent the wheel on common algorithms every time they want to add or change functionality in their product,” said Karen Lightman, executive director of the MEMS Industry Group (MIG). “Access to an open-source library of introductory algorithms fundamentally changes the development paradigm.”

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s Firefox OS readies for Africa launch

        Phones running the operating system have been gradually hitting various markets across Europe since last year, and have since been released in Brazil, India, and Asian markets too. Now the Mozilla Foundation is looking to expand Firefox OS’ reach to Africa.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Using Open Source Solutions for Cloud-Ready Big Data Management

      Information interchange has reached all new levels. Now, much more than before, organizations are relying on large data sets to help them run, quantify and grow their business. Just a few years ago, we were already working with large databases. Over the last couple of years, those demands have evolved into giga, tera, and petabytes. This data no longer resides in just one location. With cloud computing, it is truly distributed.

    • OpenStack: Distribution or service?

      OpenStack cloud technology is getting very popular, but how should your business use it: By deploying an OpenStack distribution in your servers or data center, or by using it as a service from a service provider?

  • Databases

  • BSD

    • NetBSD Gets Multi-Core Support Working For ARM

      NetBSD developers have finally managed to enable SMP support for modern ARM SoCs.

    • The NetBSD Project: ARM multiprocessor support

      Those following the source-changes mailing list closely may have noticed several evbarm kernels getting “options MULTIPROCESSOR” in the last few days. This is due to those configurations now running properly in SMP mode, thanks to work mostly done by Matt Thomas and Nick Hudson.


    • GnuPG 2.1.0 Supports ECC, Other Improvements

      GnuPG 2.1 brings support for Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC), merging of secret keys is now supported, support for PGP-2 keys has been dropped for security reasons, create/signing key improvements, improvements to handling key server pools, a new format is used for locally storing public keys, card support has been updated, X.509 certificate creation has been improved, and there’s many other enhancements.

    • New GIMP Save/Export plug-in: Saver

      The split between Save and Export that GIMP introduced in version 2.8 has been a matter of much controversy. It’s been over two years now, and people are still complaining on the gimp-users list.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Highwire publishers to pilot eLife open-source tool

        The Journal of Biological Chemistry, The Plant Cell, Journal of Lipid Research, and mBio are among the journals introducing the Lens viewing experience to readers this fall. First introduced by eLife in 2013, Lens is aimed at making reading scientific articles on-screen easier by making it possible to explore figures, figure descriptions, references, and more – without losing your place in the article text.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open hardware sensor BITalino for cool projects

        Smaller than a credit card, BITalino is a low-cost hardware and open source software toolkit, aligned with the DIY (do-it-yourself) movement. It enables anyone to create quirky and serious projects alike for wearable health tracking devices. The base kit includes sensors to measure your muscles, heart, nervous system, motion, and ambient light—and it includes a microcontroller, Bluetooth, power management module, and all the accessories needed to start working.

  • Programming


  • Security

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Media advise Dems to move to the right once more

      With the Democrats suffering substantial losses in the 2014 midterm elections, it is likely that the advice from pundits and political journalists will be the same as it always is: Move to the right.

  • Censorship

    • Lena Dunham, Meet Barbara Streisand — Have You Met?

      Lena Dunham, who apparently is famous for a HBO show I haven’t watched, has a memoir out. I don’t approve of 28-year-olds having memoirs unless and until they have been shot for advocating for the downtrodden or something, but Ms. Dunham is hardly the first to commit this minor sin.

      This weekend Ms. Dunham became very upset because some people — mostly on conservative political websites — described her memoir as a confession to sexually abusing her little sister.

    • Lena Dunham Once Again Threatens Lawsuit Over An Interpretation Of Her Book That She Doesn’t Like

      We’ve only written about Lena Dunham once before, and it was in the context of her threatening a lawsuit against Gawker for daring to publish her book proposal and comment on it, mocking Dunham. At the time, as noted, I’d never even heard of Dunham. I’ve still never seen her show, but I have seen/heard her interviewed a few times, and I don’t quite understand why there’s so much hate directed at her some of the time. She seems to have an interesting perspective on life and has turned it into a very successful TV show. Good for her. Still, this is now the second time we’ve felt the need to write about Dunham and, once again, it’s about an apparent legal threat from her, based on her book. This time it’s not about the book proposal, but the book itself, now that it’s out.

    • Roca Labs Threatens Other Sites For Writing About Its Case, Files Another Questionable Document

      Apparently, though, Roca Labs just keeps threatening people for covering the case. We’ve heard from a few others who received similar threats to the one we received, and the latest is Tracy Coenen, a fraud investigator who writes the Fraud Files blog, where she covered the Roca lawsuit, the lawsuit against a former customer and the fake implied endorsement from Alfonso Ribeiro.

  • Privacy

    • Open Rights Group: RIPA not fit for purpose

      Further evidence that the Regulatory of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) is being used to violate the rights of UK citizens was exposed today. Documents released by human rights organisation, Reprieve show that GCHQ and MI5 staff were told they could target lawyers’ communications. This undermines legal privilege that ensures communications between lawyers and their clients are confidential.

    • GCHQ are plunging into the privacy debate.

      Writing in Tuesday’s Financial Times, the new director of GCHQ Robert Hannigan, called for “greater co-operation from technology companies” to stop terrorists and criminals groups using online services as their “command-and-control networks of choice”.

    • The courts should decide how much privacy we’re entitled to – not GCHQ

      In his first public statement since becoming Director of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan yesterday described the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google and Apple as, ‘the command-and-control networks of choice for terrorists and criminals,’ and called on them to give ‘greater co-operation’ to the intelligence services. It is a surprising challenge to these companies, given how much GCHQ relies on them for our data.


      The problem is that GCHQ and the NSA don’t want personal security to get in the way of them looking at our data: they want banks of computers to check on everyone to make sure you don’t pose a threat to them. That is what bulk collection and analysis means, though they daren’t spell it out that way. Instead, they talk of “needles” being separated from “innocent hay”.

    • Facial Recognition: It’s Hide Your Face Time

      The day is rapidly approaching when every city in the U.S. will be like London is now, with surveillance cameras connected to a grid covering every cubic inch of the city, not dissimilar to what we see weekly on “Person of Interest”. Already, in London, computers connected to these cameras can detect “suspicious behavior”. Add facial recognition technology to that and it really will be like “Person of Interest”, especially in a nation that’s convinced that terrorists are hiding around every corner. The technology is sure to be abused, as law enforcement has never found a technology they didn’t overuse.

    • James Comey Again Demands Tech Companies Do As He Says And Grant The FBI Complete Access To Whatever It Wants

      And what has all this “demanding” and “doubling down” netted Comey? Nothing really. He still needs a compliant legislative body to oblige his fantasies of subservient tech companies opening wide for fat-fingered g-men.

    • FBI Director: Tech companies must unlock devices if requested by officials

      The director of the FBI on Monday doubled down on demands that Silicon Valley giants cooperate in the course of criminal investigations, saying that tech companies such as Apple and Google have to unlock cellphones, if authorities request it.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Verizon Now Pleads For Bogus Net Neutrality Rules Under 706 Promising It Won’t Sue This Time, Ignoring That Others Will Sue

      One of the points that we’ve made a few times concerning the whole net neutrality fight is that whatever rules are put in place, someone is going to sue. As we noted in that post, Verizon’s original filing on the net neutrality plan the FCC announced back in May (based on Section 706) suggested that Verizon would sue over those rules if they were put in place (in contrast to Comcast and AT&T who both said they’d be fine with rules under 706). Since then, it’s become clear that lots of other ISPs have made it clear to Verizon that it should shut up and sit tight, because its own lawsuit that kicked out the 2010 rules now seem likely to lead to much stricter laws.

      So it’s fairly amusing to see Verizon put out a blog post effectively now pleading for the May rules under 706 — rules that it didn’t initially support — now that it’s come out that the FCC is considering this new “hybrid plan.” Suddenly, according to Verizon, rules under 706 are unassailable and won’t lead to a lawsuit, while everything else will.

  • DRM

    • AT&T Still Proudly Makes Unlocking Phones Under Contract Annoying and Impossible

      One of the more interesting things unveiled at Apple’s most recent press event was the company’s AppleSIM, or universal SIM technology embedded in the iPad Air 2 that quickly allows users to switch carriers, presenting you with easy wireless broadband pricing for each carrier option. Of course, when Apple quietly announced this functionality, Verizon wasn’t listed as a supporter.

Links 6/11/2014: Ubuntu Tablet Confirmed, Compiz 0.9.12 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 12:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Avis Budget Shifts to Linux to Cut Software Costs in Half

    CIO Gerard Insall predicts major cost savings by shifting away from an IBM operating system. The move is part of a larger IT modernization program geared toward cutting costs and increasing agility at the car rental and sharing company.

  • About Linux Weekly News – 3rd November 2014

    A report in “The Inquirer” states that China has previously denounced Windows 8 as a spyware tool and would therefore be developing its own distribution called “NeoKylin”, based on Ubuntu.

  • Server

    • Google Cloud Platform Live: Introducing Container Engine, Cloud Networking and much more

      Our Partner Lounge at the SF event features Tableau, Red Hat, DataStax, MongoDB, SaltStack, Fastly and Bitnami. Bitnami announced its Launchpad for Google Cloud Platform featuring almost 100 cloud images, enabling our users to deploy common open source applications and development environments on our infrastructure in one-click. Fastly announced a new offering called Cloud Accelerator, a collaboration with Google Cloud Platform that improves content delivery and performance at the edge.

    • Google Sets Sights Squarely on Docker with New Container Engine

      A few months ago, I covered the news that Google had released Kubernetes under an open-source license, which is essentially a version of Borg, designed to harness computing power from data centers into a powerful virtual machine. It can make a difference for many cloud computing deployments, and optimizes usage of container technology. You can find the source code for Kubernetes on GitHub.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma-nm release

        I just want to inform you (those who are still running KDE 4) that we released a new version of your favorite network applet. This new release brings to you many bug fixes and should make your life easier. We really recommend to update to the new version as we, not intentionally, introduced some new issues in the previous version. Together with the new release of plasma-nm we also released our libnm-qt library which is also needed if you want to have fixes from plasma-nm properly working.

      • KDE Developer Aaron Seigo Joins Kolab Systems

        Aaron Seigo is a seasoned open source developer who leads the Plasma team at KDE. He also tried to bring a Linux-based tablet to the market through his Vivaldi project. He recently joined Kolab Systems, and we talked to him as well as Kolab CEO Georg Greve to understand what Kolab does and how Aaron, a KDE developer, will help the company.

      • KDE’s Plasma 5 Has Big Plans For 2015

        KDE’s Sebastian Kügler has written a lengthy blog post about some of the items that developers will hopefully accomplish in 2015 for Plasma 5.

      • KDE Telepathy Instant Messenger 0.9 for 14.10

        Our instant messaging application KDE Telepathy 0.9.0 has been released. Packages are avaialble for Kubuntu 14.10 and our development version Vivid.

      • NetworkManagerQt is out
      • Early announce: Qt4 removal in Jessie+1

        Qt4 has been deprecated since Qt5′s first release on December 19th 2012, that means almost two years ago!

      • Rocs KF5 Progress
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME at FSCONS14 in Gothenburg, Sweden

        I was glad to be invited to FSONCS 2014 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Remember that this is also the place for next year’s GUADEC! This year’s FSCONS was attended by around 150 people or so. I guess it was a bit less. That might not sound like a lot, but it’s a very cool event with many interesting people and talks.

      • Compiz 0.9.12 Released, Starts Porting GTK Window Decorator To GTK+ 3

        While Compiz 1.0 might never be reached given its diminishing usage these days and bleak outlook with Unity 8 being designed around Mir, Compiz 0.9.12 was released today with some minor new developments.

  • Distributions

    • 4MLinux Media Edition 10.1 Beta Features Flash Player Support Out of the Box

      4MLinux Media Edition, a special distribution with a wide set of multimedia tools and software, has advanced to version 10.1 and is now ready for download and testing.

    • Kano: The Can-Do Coding Kit for Kids of All Ages

      Kano is a computer and coding kit that is suitable for all ages. Well, to be truthful, Kano’s step-by-step instructions in the included booklets and its simplified Linux-based operating system target kids aged 6 to 14.

    • Kano Linux kit makes coding and hacking fun for kids
    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • CPLANE NETWORKS Announces Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform Certification for Dynamic Virtual Networks V1.1

        CPLANE NETWORKS, the leader in high-performance Software-Defined Networking (SDN), today announced that Dynamic Virtual Networks (DVN) V1.1 has achieved certification for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. DVN transforms static physical networks into virtualized resource pools that can be allocated on demand, significantly reducing the time and cost to deploy cloud applications.

      • Red Hat and Wipro Extend Partnership, Collaborate to Advance Enterprise OpenStack Implementations, Deliver DevOps Solutions with OpenShift
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 21 beta finally arrives

          Previously, Fedora was first and foremost a desktop distribution that also contained server elements. If all went well, the new features introduced in Fedora would eventually appear in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). This go-around, there are three Fedora spins: one for the cloud, one for the server, and one for the workstation.

        • Upgrading a Yoga 2 Pro’s SSD

          For reasons I can’t recall I have my encrypted /home *not* on a logical volume so growing it into the free space on the new disk basically just involved booting from a live USB stick, unlocking the LUKS volume, using gdisk to delete the existing partition and creating a new, larger one starting at the same offset, e2fsck, and resize2fs. If you’re going to do this yourself, you should of course back up your data first.

        • Fedora Beta Council

          No, no, we won’t have Beta Council, we’re going to have final release from beginning (although implementation details has to be sorted out). It was just a coincidence – Fedora 21 Beta was released the same day as Council elections nomination period opened. Two announcements that had to go out yesterday.

        • Fedora 21 Workstation Preview – YouTube Video

          Sometimes you can talk a subject to death and it won’t matter. So, it helps greatly for people who have no Linux experience to get a visualization of what Fedora is all about.

        • Fedora 21 Beta Is Out and It Features GNOME 3.14

          The Fedora Project has released the first Beta for Fedora 21, taking this distribution a lot closer to the final version, which should land in a little over a month.

    • Debian Family

      • My Free Software Activities in October 2014

        With the Jessie freeze approaching, I took care of packaging some new upstream releases that I wanted to get in. I started with zim 0.62, I had skipped 0.61 due to some annoying regressions. Since I had two bugs to forward, I took the opportunity to reach out to the upstream author to see if he had some important fixes to get into Jessie. This resulted in me pushing another update with 3 commits cherry picked from the upstream VCS. I also sponsored a wheezy-backports of the new version.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Drops Ubuntu 14.10 Dedicated Images for Apple Hardware

            Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) has been available for a couple of weeks and the reception has been positive for the most part, but there is one small piece of interesting information that didn’t get revealed. It looks like the Ubuntu devs don’t need to build specific images for Apple hardware…

          • Ubuntu LXD: Not a Docker replacement, a Docker enhancement

            Sometimes it seems that Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, can’t win for losing. Often accused of trying to force other open-source groups to follow their lead by keeping projects internal until they feel it’s ready to be shared with others, when Ubuntu announced its intention to build LXD, a hypervisor for containers, at the OpenStack Summit, the company was immediately accused of announcing vaporware (!); of shoving LXD down other programmers’ throats; and of trying to replace Docker.

          • Ubuntu Global And Chinese Stats

            Further, there have been millions of downloads of the new Kylin GNU/Linux based on Ubuntu so growth will likely accelerate.

          • Canonical Launches LXD Open Source Virtualization Container
          • Canonical pushes LXD, its new mysterious drug for Linux containers
          • Ubuntu’s Click Packages Might End the Linux Packaging Nightmare

            The new Click packages that are already used on the Ubunu Touch platform by Canonical are also coming to the desktop and they might be able to change the Linux packaging paradigm.

          • Canonical Confirms Involvement in Ubuntu Linux Tablet

            When news broke a few days ago about development of an Ubuntu Linux-based x86 tablet called the UT One, it seemed like Canonical was not part of the endeavor. But that’s wrong, according to information from the man behind the project, who contacted The VAR Guy this week with more details on the open source mobile device.

          • Ubuntu GNOME 14.10: Unifying the Linux desktop

            As you may know, Ubuntu 14.10 came out with about as much fanfare as growing grass. If you’re unsure why this happened, it’s simple — Ubuntu is in a state of holding because of Unity 8/Mir. Until that happens, Ubuntu version upgrades will be about bug fixes and not much more. It makes sense… why dump a bunch of time/effort into an interface that’s about to undergo a radical shit?

          • Flavours and Variants

            • elementary OS Freya Features a Beautiful Notification System

              The Linux distros have all kinds of system notification mechanisms. Some are better than others, but for the most part they function the way they should. On the other hand, some developers, like the ones from the elementary OS team, go a little bit further and they are able to provide a much better experience for the end users.

            • Linux Distros & the ‘Except When We Don’t’ Syndrome

              Each distro is, in fact, a separate Linux based operating system. Usually, a distro is designed to meet specific needs of a particular set of users. RHEL, SUSE and CentOS are designed primarily for use by businesses on servers. Mint, Ubuntu, Mageia and the like are designed for those who need productivity on the desktop and who would rather the operating system just take care of itself — probably the biggest set of users of desktop Linux. The class of distro that includes Slackware and Gentoo are for those who need to customize their systems to exactly fit their needs.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Top tips for making your Embedded Linux device secure

      The internet of things (IoT) offers endless possibilities for smart devices and their applications. So it’s no wonder that the IoT is as equally tempting to hackers, as it is to developers, keen to showcase their latest developments.

      A lack of security issues doesn’t mean you’re OK – you’re probably just not being targeted yet.

      This paper is designed to help anyone who is developing an internet-enabled Linux device for personal or business use. It highlights the main areas to consider and provides a practical checklist for developing applications for Embedded Linux.

    • eNcade Portable Raspberry Pi Gaming Console (video)

      Fancy building your very own portable Raspberry Pi gaming console? If you do then you might be interested in a new Kickstarter project called eNcade which has been created by Nicolas Wicker at Nzen Mods.

      The eNcade takes the form of a portable Raspberry Pi gaming tablet that has been designed to focus on retro gaming online with anyone anywhere. Check out the video after the jump to learn more about this unique Raspberry Pi project and how you can be one of the first to own an eNcade system.

    • Phones

      • Smartphone Operating System Market Share Visualization

        After Google’s Android started shipping in the last quarter of 2008 it took a good 2 years for the Linux kernel based OS to become market leader in the 1st quarter of 2011. Since then Android has seen the largest growth by far and reached a market share of 77.83% in the last quarter of 2013.

      • Android

        • Apple Pay fuels the growth of Google Wallet

          Apple Pay has gotten an amazing amount of press lately, and its drawn the attention of consumers to the benefits of NFC based payments. This has resulted in Google Wallet being used more than it had been previously. Ars Technica reports on the effects that Apple Pay may be having on Google Wallet.

        • Google Wallet use grows after Apple Pay launch

          NFC-based mobile payments have had a boost in recent months, possibly thanks to the launch of Apple Pay, which was announced in September. Now, a person with knowledge of the matter tells Ars that Google Wallet, which launched back in 2011 and saw tepid success in the ensuing three years, has had considerable growth in the last couple of months. According to our source, weekly transactions have increased by 50 percent, and in the recent couple of months, new users have nearly doubled compared to the previous month.

        • Google Maps gets down with the Material Design, Uber and OpenTable integration
        • Best Android Apps Created by Celebrities

          In today’s interconnected world many apps created by celebrities are usually looked down upon. And yes, many of them are really, really bad. However, some of them do stand out. Some of them are actually worth trying. So, in today’s article we’re listing some of the best applications created by celebrities:

        • This is Qualcomm’s world and we’re all just living in it

          Qualcomm is the mobile industry’s equivalent of a god: omnipotent and omnipresent, yet invisible to the naked eye. The company that was founded on the premise of building “Quality Communications” can now be found inside every major smartphone in the US. Even the fiercely independent Apple, which designs its own mobile processors, has no choice but to use Qualcomm’s LTE modems. The same is true of Samsung, whose Exynos chip is replaced by a Qualcomm Snapdragon for the US and other markets. But Qualcomm’s influence spreads much wider and deeper still.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Second Enterprise Open Source Revolution

    One of the key moments in the rise of GNU/Linux was when software companies producing their own variant of Unix realised that it made no sense for them all to work on something that was no longer providing any competitive advantage – it was simply part of the digital plumbing that had to be provided in some form. That meant they could usefully collaborate on a common platform, and differentiate themselves in other ways – higher up the software stack, or through services, for example.

  • Manchester’s start-up scene

    None of this would be possible without the benefits of Free and Open Source software. Start with the platform: Ruby-on-Rails is “a good way to get an MVP (minimum viable product) up fairly quickly, and start engaging with the customer,” Ian Moss told LU&D. Moss is founder of travel start-up 196 Destinations and, along with Capital Relations owner Coral Grainger, collates the long- running Manchester StartUpDigest newsletter.

  • Rackspace Simplifies Deployment of Open Source Applications
  • Open source offering for embedded parallel development

    Siemens is offering an open source implementation of the Multicore Association’s Multicore Task Management Application Program Interface (MTAPI) specification.

  • nogotofail: Google’s Open Source Network Traffic Security Testing Tool

    Lately, it seems that the only news we hear is what other multinational company has been hacked and how many records were accessed. We have always been security conscience, but it does appear that hackers and malware have been making us even more so lately. Unfortunately, this is neither something new, nor something that is likely to go away.

  • Open-source startups need to be first in order to succeed: Intel

    sBack in the 1990s, the technology world seemed alive with companies that had chosen to monetise an open-source project and get behind it. However, for Intel Capital vice president and managing director of services, open source, and machine to machine Lisa Lambert, the startup landscape today is quite barren, despite the number of open-source projects being higher than ever.

  • Wanna be Facebook? It just open-sourced some of its web server code. Now to find 1bn users…
  • Facebook Open-Sources Its C++ HTTP Framework/Server

    Facebook’s latest open-source code contribution to the public is Proxygen, a C++ HTTP framework with HTTP/SPDY server capabilities that it’s been using internally in place of Apache and Nginx servers.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Detecting Fraud in an OpenStack Cloud

      Securing the cloud isn’t just about protecting the network layer from external attacks; it’s also about being able to detect fraudulent activities running on the cloud. At the OpenStack Summit here, a group of researchers presented their findings on how to use the OpenStack Ceilometer project—used primarily for billing and metering of cloud usage—to detect fraud.

    • Telcos, travel, and Tapjoy as OpenStack Summit continues
  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice


      For our first magazine interview, we got some cheap flights and headed out to Kaufbeuren, an attractive Swabian city an hour’s train ride from Munich. This is where we met Florian Effenberger, Executive Director at The Document Foundation (he was chairman at the time of this interview), and Alexander Werner from the Foundation’s membership committee. This is the non-profit organisation at the heart of LibreOffice, the famous fork of OpenOffice.org now dominant in every Linux distribution. We were able to ask Florian about the split, about arguments over a new name and what wheat beer he’d recommend as a souvenir for our journey home.


    • Nominate your heroes for the Free Software Awards

      Sharing is one of free software’s key principles. People who contribute to the advancement of free software, and to society, are committed to sharing their ideas in order to create something we can all benefit from. Often, they don’t ask for anything in return. That’s why each year, the Free Software Foundation recognizes one deserving individual and one project with the Free Software Awards. Who do you think should receive the 17th annual awards?

    • [Announce] GnuPG 2.1.0 “modern” released

      GnuPG, also known as GPG, allows to encrypt and sign data…

    • OpenACC Front-Ends For C/C++ Are Moving Close For GCC 5

      Code Sourcery developers are seeking permission to land their OpenACC C/C++ front-end support inside the mainline GCC code-base.

      For the past year the developers at Code Sourcery / Mentor Graphics have been working on OpenACC 2.0 with GPU support for GCC. The GPU support is focused on NVIDIA hardware and includes a controversial NVIDIA “NVPTX” back-end for GCC that still requires NVIDIA’s closed-source Linux driver for handling this compute support. The NVPTX back-end is ready for mainline GCC and now so is the OpenACC 2.0 front-end support, or it appears.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • After criticizing it, Cisco joins Open Compute

      Cisco has joined the Open Compute Project, a Facebook-driven effort to develop open source servers and switches, 16 months after criticizing it. At that time, Cisco CEO John Chambers said OCP has “weaknesses” that Cisco can exploit.

    • After Sunflower Movement, Taiwan’s g0v Uses Open Source to Open the Government

      This past March, hundreds of protestors stormed Taiwan’s parliament, the Legislative Yuan, in opposition to a pending trade deal with China. Dubbed the Sunflower Movement protests, students occupied the legislature for 17 days to demand line-by-line review of what was perceived to be a cloaked attack on Taiwan’s independence from an ever-growing China. During the protests, organizers brought in food for the occupiers, mobilized 100,000 person strong rallies, and kept the public at-large informed. This impressive act of online and in-person organizing was co-lead by an online community called g0v.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open hardware sensor BITalino for cool projects

        Smaller than a credit card, BITalino is a low-cost hardware and open source software toolkit, aligned with the DIY (do-it-yourself) movement. It enables anyone to create quirky and serious projects alike for wearable health tracking devices. The base kit includes sensors to measure your muscles, heart, nervous system, motion, and ambient light—and it includes a microcontroller, Bluetooth, power management module, and all the accessories needed to start working.

  • Programming


  • 15 addictive video game picks from the Internet Archive’s new arcade

    Yes, it’s true – the Internet Archive, stalwart home of the Wayback Machine, now has a special section for the video games of yesteryear, in the Internet Arcade. There are 902 titles available, according to the site, running on a specialized Java emulator known as JSMAME. While not all of them are working quite right yet, there’s already an impressive selection available for you to play right in your browser window. Here are some of the highlights.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Into the Abyss: The Escalating Violence Against Pakistan’s Polio Workers

      The violence drew much of its initial strength from the revelation that the CIA had used a fake Hepatitis vaccination campaign in March and April 2011 in its hunt for Osama bin Laden. The operation was widely blamed among Pakistani public health workers for fueling the violence and decreasing trust in vaccinators. As Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, a vaccine specialist at Aga Khan University in Karachi, told the New York Times in July 2012: “There could hardly have been a more stupid venture, and there was bound to be a backlash, especially for polio.”

    • ‘Kill the Messenger:’ A Shocking Story with Media Backlash

      Although it has a timely theme and good performances from an estimable cast, much of the media would prefer that you ignore “Kill the Messenger.”

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Israel accused of war crimes during campaign in Gaza

      Amnesty International has accused Israel of committing war crimes during its campaign in Gaza.

      A report released by the group on Wednesday says Israel displayed “callous indifference” launching attacks on family homes in the densely populated coastal strip and in some cases its conduct amounted to war crimes. It adds that war crimes were also committed by Palestinian militants.

    • The Slow March Back to War in Iraq

      U.S. officials are still figuring out which moderate groups—among the insurgents who’ve been fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad—it wants to bring into the battle against Islamic State. Saudi Arabia has offered to host a training camp for as many as 5,000 Syrian fighters, but the Pentagon hasn’t worked out how to transport them. Turkey has also agreed to let the U.S. train rebels on its soil. Fielding a force of two or three Syrian brigades could take two years and cost $1 billion to $2 billion annually, according to Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA Persian Gulf analyst who is at the Brookings Institution.

    • The TAPI project or the future of Afghanistan

      As a result, Brzezinski appeared to have taken the 1977 CIA memo quite seriously and so transformed Afghanistan into a perpetual battlefield in order to safeguard America’s hold over the Persian Gulf (the main transport route for oil). The US concern for the free flow of oil led to its support for the Mujahedeen who became the Taliban. And so the West’s quest for hydrocarbon advantage condemned the country to a state of unending civil war.

    • Over 400 US Drone Airstrikes in Pakistan

      Since June 2004, the United States has conducted over 400 drone airstrikes in Pakistan, with 350 of them during the Obama administration, according to a Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) report released this October.

    • Hawks Triumph in Senate; Will Push More Aggressive US Policy

      The Republicans took control of the Senate in Tuesday’s elections, but much more important than which party took control is the nature of the incoming Senators from the new ruling party.

    • NATO Wants More Troops to Counter Nonexistent Russian Threat

      NATO is a US-led killing machine. Operating globally. Prioritizing war. Deploring peace.

    • Former ‘forever prisoner’ leaves for Kuwait
    • Former ‘forever prisoner’ leaves Guantanamo for Kuwait

      Fawzi al Odah, 37, was held for nearly 13 years at Guantanamo, starting off in the crude outdoor prison of barbed wire and chain-linked fences called Camp X-Ray. He was never charged with a crime.

    • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: The populist hardliner

      The son of a blacksmith, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was born on October 28, 1956, in Garmsar, near Tehran, and holds a PhD in traffic and transport from Tehran’s University of Science and Technology, where he was a lecturer. He was not well-known when he was appointed mayor of Tehran in 2003. During his tenure, he reduced social freedoms and curtailed many of the reforms introduced by more moderate figures who ran the city before him.

    • Why Libya?

      Cockburn further notes that, after lying to fabricate the pretext for aggression, the Western governments and media outlets have fallen mysteriously silent on Libya as the country has spiraled into oblivion. The West thus again all but insists we notice that humanitarian crises play no role in drawing their attention, and that they only trumpet – or invent – human rights violations to cover Western aggression, which is carried out, Cockburn notes, “always in the interests of the country intervening.”

      The West immediately lost its feigned concern over the “human rights” violations it exaggerated or simply made up regarding Libya because they were never of concern to begin with, and the West made things much worse: the illegal US-led attack instantly killed or led to the deaths of up to hundreds of thousands.

    • Modesto Vietnam veteran shares experience with ‘moral injury’

      Phil Schmitt spent two tours of duty in Vietnam loading 750-pound bombs into Air Force planes in bases at hellholes such as Da Nang and Phu Cat.

      Most of the planes came back to be reloaded. The bombs, of course, didn’t.

      “I loaded thousands and thousands of tons of bombs,” the 67-year-old Modesto resident said. “They went somewhere.”

      But it wasn’t until the brass reassigned him to debrief the pilots after their bombing runs that he saw the real effects.

      “Now I’m looking at films of the bombs exploding,” Schmitt said. “Villages being hit. Seeing bodies on the ground. Children. The quality of those films was very good.”

      Collateral damage, long before anyone coined the term. Like so many others, he kept what he saw to himself, returning stateside when his hitch ended in 1970.

      “Later, it comes into play,” Schmitt said. “I turned to both heavy drinking and burying myself in my work. I didn’t socialize. I was isolated. I didn’t have many friends. I didn’t relate well with people outside of the military.”

    • Republican Hawks Already Have a War Plan for ISIS, Ukraine, and Obama

      The Republican victory in the 2014 midterms is less than 24 hours old. But already, the hawkish wing of the GOP is planning an ambitious battle plan to revamp American foreign policy: everything from arming Ukraine’s military to reviewing the ISIS war to investigating the U.S. intelligence community’s role in warming relations with Iran.


      You could call it the neoconservatives’ revenge or the year of the hawks. But it has produced an interesting moment in Washington, where even the dovish side of the Republican Party now acknowledges the midterms were a win for their party’s American exceptionalists.

  • Finance

    • Leaked Documents Expose Global Companies’ Secret Tax Deals in Luxembourg

      Pepsi, IKEA, AIG, Coach, Deutsche Bank, Abbott Laboratories and nearly 340 other companies have secured secret deals from Luxembourg that allowed many of them to slash their global tax bills.

    • On the phenomenon of bullshit jobs – David Graeber

      In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by century’s end, technology would have advanced sufficiently that countries like Great Britain or the United States would have achieved a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.

    • “Blood in the Water”: The Privatization of California’s Water Spells Disaster

      Governor Brown spoke last week lobbying for Proposition 1 at Stanford University on October 23rd, at a conference organized by the Stanford Wood’s Institute, whose co-director is Stanford Hoover Institute member Barton Thompson. The Stanford Hoover Institute and Bechtel (the multi-billion dollar construction company), through the funding of studies taught at Stanford, appear to be promoting the DTP and its probable use as a source of water for fracking in the possible 15 Billion barrel Monterey Shale Formation spread across central and southern California.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Journalism and Reality

      One thing that I’ve learned from my four-plus decades in journalism is that many people only like reporting that reinforces what they already believe. Facts that go off in a different direction can make them angry – and they are usually not hesitant to express their anger.

      For instance, in the 1980s, when I was covering the Nicaraguan Contra rebels for the Associated Press, many readers of AP copy, including some of my editors, shared Ronald Reagan’s enthusiasm for these “freedom fighters” whom Reagan likened to America’s Founding Fathers.

    • Mr. Bezos comes to Washington

      Amazon’s CEO now owns the paper of record in the nation’s capital

  • Censorship

    • How to Defeat Internet Censorship

      Almost 20 percent of world population is effected by Internet Censorship. In countries like North Korea less than 5% of total population have internet access and even that is heavily monitored and restricted. Internet censorship isn’t limited to oppressive regimes. For example, it is common practice for educational institutions all over the world to implement filtering of content deemed objectionable.

    • Why Facebook Just Launched Its Own ‘Dark Web’ Site

      Tor, after all, doesn’t just let users hide their identities from the sites they visit, anonymously buying drugs on the Silk Road or uploading leaked documents to news sites through the leak platform SecureDrop. It’s also designed to circumvent censorship and surveillance that occurs much closer to the user’s own connection, such as in repressive regimes like Iran or China. And since Facebook uses SSL encryption, no surveillance system watching either Facebook’s connection or the user’s local traffic should be able to match up a user’s identity with their Facebook activity.

    • Linux Australia puts curbs on mailing lists

      Linux Australia, the umbrella group for Linux user groups in the country, has imposed a censorship regime on its mailing list, with regulations that run to nearly 1000 words to govern them.

      The stated aim of the new policy, which took effect on October 22, “is to foster open dialogue and discussion on relevant forums, while providing a safe space free from undesired behaviours such as personal attack and ‘flaming’,” according to a post by the LA secretary Kathy Reid.

      In sharp contrast to the avowed open nature of the group, the policy was never put up for discussion on the LA general mailing list. The policy was developed by the office-bearers and announced as being in effect.

  • Privacy

    • GCHQ’s Robert Hannigan says tech firms ‘in denial’ on extremism

      Web giants such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp have become “command-and-control networks… for terrorists and criminals”, GCHQ’s new head has said.

    • Voice of the masses: GCHQ is upset. Does this mean we’re winning back our privacy?

      Our question this fortnight is: If the head of GCHQ is upset, does this mean we’re winning back our privacy? Is this a genuine plea for us to give up our digital rights, or is it just crocodile tears from someone who can still trace every click we make and message we send?

    • Republican 2016 Contenders Have Taken Positions on NSA Reform. Where Does Hillary Clinton Stand?

      If Hillary Clinton has a position on the government’s domestic spying, she’s doing a good job of hiding it.

      More than a year after Edward Snowden’s leaks, the former secretary of State has yet to offer a meaningful assessment of the National Security Agency’s mass-surveillance programs. She’s had plenty of chances, but in interviews, speeches, and even her new book, Clinton has repeatedly ducked the issue with vagaries and clichés.

      The possible 2016 candidate rarely discusses NSA spying unprompted. And when she does, her remarks are often couched in opaque platitudes about the need to balance privacy and national security concerns.

    • Hillary Clinton Still Refuses To Make Her Views Clear On Surveillance, And That’s A Problem

      Earlier this year, we noted that absolutely-running-for-President-while-pretending-to-think-about-it Hillary Clinton gave a stupid and vague non-answer answer to her position on government surveillance. It was the perfect politician’s answer, refusing to really take a position that could be held against her at some point in the future. Except, on important issues, refusing to answer sometimes isn’t an answer, and this is a perfect case of that. The leading contenders for the Republican nomination appear to have all made statements one way or the other, while Hillary has done everything possible not to take a position on the matter.

    • Court Says By Agreeing To AOL’s Terms Of Service, You’ve ‘Consented’ To Search By Law Enforcement

      The ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer alerts us to a district court ruling in NY that effectively says that by merely agreeing to AOL’s terms of service, you’ve waived your 4th Amendment rights. The case is the United States v. Frank DiTomasso, where DiTomasso is accused of producing child porn — with most of the evidence used against him coming from AOL. DiTomasso argues that it was obtained via an unconstitutional search in violation of the 4th Amendment, but judge Shira Scheindlin rejects that, by basically saying that AOL’s terms of service make you effectively waive any 4th Amendment right you might have in any such information.

    • Internet of Things will transform life, but experts fear for privacy and personal data

      It will help you avoid traffic jams as you travel from work to that hot new spot you’ve been dying to try out, tell you on the way about the bar’s half-price coupons and let you check your home video monitors while knocking back a few to see if your cat is clawing the couch again.

      But it also might alert your insurer if your car is weaving when you head home and report your frequent drinking to your boss.

      “It” is the Internet of Things, which promises to transform daily life, making it easier to work, travel, shop and stay healthy. Thanks to billions of connected devices – from smart toothbrushes and thermostats to commercial drones and robotic companions for the elderly – it also will end up gathering vast amounts of data that could provide insights about our sexual habits, religious beliefs, political leanings and other highly personal aspects of our lives. That creates a potentially enormous threat to our privacy – even within the sanctuary of our homes.

    • Senate’s flip could ease path to NSA reform

      The looming Republican takeover of the Senate could boost the efforts of civil libertarians and tech companies hoping to rein the National Security Agency this year.

    • Time for some recanting – NZ First

      With confirmation that American spies are working in New Zealand, by a former head of the US National Security Agency last night, there is confirmation that they are based here, says New Zealand First.

      “This proves whistle-blower Edward Snowden right again,” says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. “Mr Snowden said, while he was in New Zealand, that there were NSA facilities here, and I confirmed that I knew the location of one base.

    • Inspector General’s Report Says Accusations NSA Listened In On Military Personnel’s Phone Calls ‘Baseless,’ Hints At Other Misconduct

      The ACLU’s FOIA lawsuit over documents related to the NSA’s activities under Executive Order 12333 has knocked a few more pages out the agency’s tightly-closed fist, most of which are related to its signals intelligence programs. Included in the released documents is an 89-page Inspector General’s report on the investigation of accusations made back in 2009 by David Murfee Faulk, who alleged that NSA linguists were listening in on the phone calls of military personnel, journalists and aid workers and sharing those containing “pillow talk” with other analysts.


      Well, we have that report but we can’t actually read most of it. There’s hardly anything left but the IG clearing the NSA of the specific misconduct alleged by two NSA linguists. The IG memo lists other non-compliance issues like the dissemination of raw US persons SIGINT, as well as violations of reporting procedures and retention guidelines, but the specifics of the IG’s findings remain hidden. I would imagine a legal challenge to the massive redactions in the Inspector General’s report will be forthcoming. There’s more self-interest than security apparent in the NSA’s very selective exposures, making this exculpatory information highly conspicuous in its inclusion.

    • NSA director: We share most of the [crap] bugs we find!

      The National Security Agency (NSA) is only holding back a teeny, tiny number of code secrets, with director Admiral Mike Rogers promising the world the spook collective shares ‘most’ of the vulnerabilities it finds.

      The agency head made the remarks on his second visit to Silicon Valley since his appointment in April this year.

      Admiral Rogers told students delegates that US President Barack Obama asked the agency that it should share more of its vulnerabilities with the public.

    • Former NSA Lawyer Says Reason Blackberry Failed Was ‘Too Much Encryption’ Warns Google/Apple Not To Make Same Mistake

      There are times that I wonder if former NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker is just trolling with his various comments, because they’re so frequently out of touch with reality, even though he’s clearly an intelligent guy. His latest is to join in with the misguided attacks on Apple and Google making mobile encryption the default on iOS and Android devices, with an especially bizarre argument: protecting the privacy of your users is bad for business. Oh really?

    • Former NSA Lawyer Says BlackBerry Declined Because Encryption Isn’t a Good Business Model

      On Tuesday at Web Summit in Dublin, former NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker said that expanded encryption efforts by tech companies like Apple and Google do more to harm U.S. intelligence than they do to defend against wrongful and excessive surveillance worldwide.

    • Former NSA attorney blames Blackberry’s demise on encryption

      ​The former top lawyer to the NSA told an audience in Ireland this week that mobile phone maker Blackberry can blame a major drop in sales during the last few years on its offering of a secure product that can’t be cracked.

    • Former NSA Lawyer Says BlackBerry Declined Because of Its Encryption
    • Former NSA’s chief lawyer: BlackBerry’s encryption efforts led to its demise
    • BlackBerry’s use of encryption led to its demise, former NSA lawyer claims
    • Former NSA Official Says Apple, Google More Hostile to Western Intelligence Than China or Russia
    • Quoted: Slamming encryption by Google, Apple… and BlackBerry?
    • There Are Emerging Bipartisan Coalitions on Prison and N.S.A. Reforms

      More interesting, though, is the possibility of emerging bipartisan coalitions on sentencing and prison reform and on reform of the National Security Agency. Both are issues that have support from liberal Democrats and libertarian Republicans. Neither is so hot-button that the radio talk show/blogger wind machine on the right would go ballistic at the prospect of bills being signed by the president. There are senators on both sides of the aisle — from Al Franken and Ron Wyden to Rand Paul and Mike Lee — who could work together on both these issues.

    • This Country Is Sending the U.S. a Strong Message About NSA Surveillance

      Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff doesn’t approve of the U.S. National Security Agency’s surveillance techniques. She’s making that much clear by overseeing the construction of a $185 million overseas fiber-optic cable which will stretch across the Atlantic Ocean from Fortaleza, Brazil to Lisbon, Portugal.

    • Federal appeals court hears arguments in NSA surveillance case
    • Appeals court steps into debate over NSA program
    • Facebook received 15,433 data requests from NSA, 80.15% requests entertained

      Facebook revealed some startling numbers for those who are in favor of Internet freedom, and privacy on the Internet. At least when the prying eyes are the government or government agencies. The company revealed that requests for user data of Facebook users increased by 25% and global requests to restrict content rose by 20%.

    • Government forced to release secret policies on surveillance of lawyers

      The Government has been forced to release secret policies which show that GCHQ and MI5 have for years advised staff that they may “target the communications of lawyers,” and use legally privileged material “just like any other item of intelligence.”

      The disclosure comes in response to a case brought in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) by the al Saadi and Belhadj families, who were subjected to rendition and torture in a joint CIA-MI6 operation. Both families – assisted by legal charity Reprieve and solicitors Leigh Day – have brought litigation about the kidnappings. The families allege that, by intercepting their privileged communications with Reprieve and Leigh Day, the Government has infringed their right to a fair trial.

      Legal privilege is a central principle of British law, which protects confidential communication between a lawyer and their client. If the Government is able to access such communications, it hands itself an unfair advantage in court.

    • Cindy Cohn, digital rights freedom fighter, named EFF executive director

      Cindy Cohn, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s legal director at the forefront of trying to dismantle the National Security Agency’s domestic spying apparatus long before Edward Snowden became a household name, has been named the digital rights group’s executive director.

      Cohn’s elevation, effective in April, is part of a major management overhaul to the San Francisco-based group whose budget has blossomed from $1 million annually in 1999 to about $9 million this year, the group announced Wednesday. Cohn, who has been litigating the constitutionality of the NSA’s electronic eavesdropping since 2006, succeeds Shari Steele, the EFF’s top executive the past 14 years.

    • Destroying online freedom in the name of counter-terrorism will make the world a more dangerous place

      It is not terrorists who threaten that future of the internet, but our intelligence and security services

    • GCHQ’s flawed premise that the internet is a tool of terror

      GCHQ infiltrates all the communications in and out of the British Isles by tapping transatlantic cables. We discovered last week it has warrantless access to NSA databases, which include the data of UK citizens. GCHQ has done all this in the face of clear parliamentary opposition and in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

    • Skype, WhatsApp and more found to be worryingly insecure

      Secure communication is something we all crave online, particularly after Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations increased public interest in privacy and security. With dozens of messaging tools to choose from, many claiming to be ultra-secure, it can be difficult to know which one to choose and which one to trust. Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has published its Secure Messaging Scorecard which rates a number of apps and services according to the level of security they offer.

    • Google and Mozilla told to limit browser’s ability to watch users

      Researchers warn that web sites and apps communicating via WebRTC may have broader access to computer microphones and cameras than users realise.

    • The canary in the data mine is dead

      You already know that gobs of data about you are strewn across the Internet. The scary part is when they put it all together

    • Oliver Stone Meets With Snowden in Russia to Discuss New Film

      US film director, screenwriter and producer Oliver Stone told RIA Novosti he had met with former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in Russia to discuss a new film about the whistleblower.

      “I’ve met him [Snowden],” the film director said in an interview, when asked about the meeting to discuss Stone’s scenario for a new film about Snowden.

    • ‘Courage is contagious’: Artist campaigns for Snowden-Assange-Manning monument

      The legacies of Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Chelsea Manning will be enshrined in bronze by a sculptor who is offering a fourth empty chair alongside the trio to anyone who has the courage to side with them, stand up and change things.

      At least, that’s the plan for Italian sculptor Davide Dormino, who is looking to build life-size bronze statues of the three individuals. In a new Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that just recently went live, Dormino and project creator Vaughan Smith are asking for 100,000 pounds, or roughly $159,000, to construct these “monuments to courage.”

  • Civil Rights

    • Direct Democracy Brings Economic Justice Wins, But Watch Out for ALEC

      Minimum wage and paid sick day measures have been gaining momentum in the past year — but keep an eye out for bills promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) designed to crush that momentum and limit local control.

    • Now In Charge Of Congress, GOP Plans To Give Up Its Own Constitutional Powers To The Obama Administration

      As you’ve probably heard, the Republicans decisively took control over Congress in the election on Tuesday, and are now strategizing on exactly what plan they’ll choose to try not to mess things up too badly by the time the 2016 elections come around.

    • Student Suspended for Slicing Apple During Healthy Snacks Presentation

      Da’von Shaw, a Bedford, Ohio high school student, brought apples and craisins to school for a “healthy eating” presentation he was giving to his speech class.

    • Florida Man, 90, Arrested for Feeding Homeless People; Faces Possible Jail Time

      Arnold Abbott handed out four plates of food to homeless people in a South Florida park. Then police stopped the 90-year-old from serving up another bite.

      “An officer said, ‘Drop that plate right now — like I had a weapon,’” Abbott said.

      Abbott and two pastors in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were charged for feeding the homeless in public on Sunday, the city’s first crackdowns under a new ordinance banning public food sharing, CNN affiliate WPLG reported.

    • The CIA’s Favorite Senator Will Soon Be In Charge of CIA Oversight

      Tuesday’s Republican takeover of the Senate effectively ruined any chance of Congressional oversight of the CIA. Senator Mark Udall, who earned a score of 100 percent from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), lost his seat in Colorado. And Senator Richard Burr, with an ACLU score of 0 percent, is set to become Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), the group tasked with holding the CIA and the NSA accountable.

    • NSA critic Udall is sent packing as Republicans grab Senate
    • NSA Domestic Spying Opponents Undeterred By Mark Udall’s Loss

      Civil liberty advocates were upset on election night when Colorado Sen. Mark Udall lost to Republican Cory Gardner, but no one in the community was ready to announce changes to the NSA’s bulk-data collection program dead.

    • Mark Udall’s loss is a blow for privacy, but he can go out with a bang: ‘leak’ the CIA torture report

      The outgoing Senator and champion of civil liberties has one last chance to read the truth about American atrocities out loud, for the world to see – before it’s too late

    • The CIA And NSA Should Be Happy That Mark Udall Is Gone

      He wasn’t vocal about promoting his work on civil liberties and intelligence. But over time, astute national security wonks learned to watch him.

      His statements sometimes seemed abstract, but were often signposts pointing to something deeper. He wrote letters, he asked questions and he left hints on the public record signaling major intelligence community abuses. Many times, it was his clues that helped shake those stories loose.

    • Ex-CIA officer grabs House seat

      Former CIA officer Will Hurd on Tuesday became perhaps the first person to jump from the cybersecurity industry to Congress.

      An African-American Republican, Hurd edged out incumbent Pete Gallego (D) in Texas’ 23rd district, running mostly on his career as an undercover CIA operative, but also touting his current job as senior adviser at cybersecurity vendor FusionX.

    • Judge to probe Guantánamo’s no-Skype policy for ex-CIA prisoners

      A U.S. military medical board found he suffers Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression. Two doctors recommended the video calls with family to help him cope with it. One testified at court that he had been subjected to “physical, psychological and sexual torture.”

    • The Deep State and the Bias of Official History
    • The Truth Will Out: UK Involvement in Libyan Rendition and Torture

      Last Thursday, British judges ruled that victims of a joint MI6-CIA ‘rendition’ operation should have their day in court. When I reflect on that judgment, the first things I see in my mind’s eye are two rooms.

      One is white, stark, temporary, windowless. Fluorescent lights hang from its ceiling. The room is empty save for a woman, crying. She is chained to the wall and obviously pregnant. The woman in the white room comes from Morocco but has married a opponent of Col. Gaddafi, and for that reason is about to be plunged into terrors of which she knows nothing.

      CIA agents will come to take her from this room – their room. They will tape her to a stretcher and fly her to Libya. They will manhandle and degrade her to an extent that she will wonder, at one point, whether she has lost her child. She won’t, quite: but her baby, born shortly afterwards, will weigh just four pounds.

    • A mosque in Munich

      Everyone knows by now about U.S. backing for the mujahedeen in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union in the 1980s – Exhibit A for those shaking their heads at Washington’s foreign policy blunders in the Muslim world. Rather less widely known, at least until this book was written by former Wall Street Journal reporter Ian Johnson, was how that support had precedents at the start of the Cold War in post-World War II Europe, when U.S. and German intelligence jostled for influence over various Muslim groups as anti-communist instruments to undermine the USSR. With a cast including Nazis, the CIA, the German intelligence agency, the Muslim Brotherhood, and a host of flamboyant individual characters, the subject matter certainly makes for a spectacular title. But although Johnson’s deeply researched book often yields surprises, it is generally less sensational than its blurb might suggest. Nevertheless, it does provide lessons that remain valid about the perils of trying to co-opt hard-line Muslim groups to pursue broader Western policy goals.

    • Iran Quietly Fearful of Republican Takeover of Congress

      Iranian leaders are quietly expressing fear about the Republican takeover of Congress Tuesday night, with many conveying concerns that Tehran has lost a key bloc of U.S. Democrats who wanted to roll back economic sanctions and hand Iran a favorable nuclear deal, according to an internal CIA analysis and Farsi language reports.

      Fears about the Republican takeover of Congress have plagued Iranian leaders for weeks, according to the CIA analysis obtained by the Washington Free Beacon that outlines internal commotion in Iran over the shifting political tides in the United States.

    • Who’s In, Who’s Out: Republicans Take Over Top U.S. Foreign-Policy Committees

      Republicans have captured control of the U.S. Senate for the first time in eight years, picking up at least seven seats in the November 4 congressional elections.

      The shift means that Republicans will control the three top Senate committees dealing with U.S. foreign policy and national security: foreign relations, armed services, and intelligence.

    • Secretive court to consider Government spying on legal communications

      A court which usually sits in secret will tomorrow (6 November) consider whether the Government should be forced to release more information regarding its surveillance of legally privileged communications between lawyers and their clients.

    • A double standard on destroying evidence

      If you read the blog of Carlos Miller, you’re probably aware of dozens of incidents in which police officers have illegally confiscated citizen cellphones and deleted incriminating videos, which is not only an act of destroying evidence of possible wrongdoing but is also the unlawful destruction of someone else’s property. They rarely, if ever, face any legal consequences. (These are, of course, local infractions, not federal. But still.)


      Point is, when a federal law enforcement agency wants to charge you with something, it can probably find a way to do it. If you make it more difficult for it to do so by destroying evidence, intentionally or not, the agency will get you for that, too, or at least instead. Yet somehow when it comes to finding a way to charge federal officials and law enforcement officers who destroy evidence, those vague laws seem to get pretty specific, and broad laws seem to narrow. (Currently, Sarbanes-Oxley doesn’t apply to government agencies, though as noted, other laws do.)

    • Democracy in the hands of idiots. Part III

      Okay world, that ritualistic, vacuous exercise in futile optimism, known as an “election” in America, is over, and the idiots again have spoken.

      But how could they not? After all, the entire concept of “democracy” in America’s corrupt, two-party system is nothing more than a farcical illusion, and the extent of this corruption has only been magnified by the Koch brothers controlled majority on the United States Supreme Court, who, in recent rulings, gave billionaires and corporations unbridled power to buy politicians of their choice.

      In previous Pravda.Ru articles, I have argued that history is nothing more than a pendulum incessantly swinging back and forth between overreaction and regret, and the recent elections in America have vividly confirmed this thesis.

    • Election Night Wasn’t a GOP Victory, It Was a Democratic Rout

      As a constitutional scholar, he had promised to restore respect for the law to the presidency, and instead has made end runs around every law imaginable, refusing to prosecute the war criminals of the Bush/Cheney presidency, the CIA, and the military, refusing to prosecute the FBI for violating the Patriot Act, refusing to prosecute the bankers whose crimes brought the US and the global economy to a grinding halt and left the US crippled going on six years now.

    • Mom of slain Ferguson youth taking case to the UN Committee

      When an event such as the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri gets media attention, it gets that attention all over the world.

      People from London to Sydney are given a media’s perspective on what happens, and they are allowed to make their own judgments. But now the parents of Michael Brown have decided that the international media stage is not enough. They are taking their case to the United Nations.

      Michael Brown’s mother and father, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown, Sr., are using a website called FergusontoGeneva.org to raise funds to fly to Geneva and speak before the U.N.’s Committee Against Torture.

      African American writer Allen B. West asks why this kind of move is even necessary and wonders what the Brown family hopes to accomplish. It is a question that resonates with the families of police officers who have watched their loved ones get gunned down by street criminals, but with no response from the American people.

      The choice to speak before the U.N.’s Committee Against Torture is probably not a random decision. The United Nations has recently turned up the heat on President Obama to release the report on CIA torture, a document relating to the treatment of prisoners taken since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde: ‘In prison, you become brain-dead’

        The Västervik prison is as ugly as its surroundings are beautiful. Located a stone’s throw from the water in Gertrudsvik, a few hours drive south of Stockholm, its pale concrete walls rise high above the summer homes and wooden jetties dotting the coastline. Tall steel fences encircle the building, topped with heavy loops of razor-sharp barbed wire.

      • Germany’s Top Publisher Admits Its Web Traffic Plummeted Without Google; Wants Politicians To ‘Take Action’

        A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about the decision by German publishers to grant Google a “free license” to post snippets — a humiliating climbdown from their earlier position that Google should pay for the privilege of sending them traffic.

      • Australians’ Stored Metadata Could Be Used In Any Civil Case, Including Against Copyright Infringement

        It was bad enough when the Australian government announced that it was joining the growing club of countries that would be retaining huge swathes of its citizens’ metadata. But now people are beginning to realize that once that store of metadata exists it not only can, but probably will, be used for many other purposes that have nothing to do with the avowed aim of fighting terrorism.

      • Australian Federal Police: We Could Use Metadata To Prosecute Pirates

        Worried that your metadata could be used to prosecute you in a piracy case? You should be: the Australian Federal Police Commissioner thinks that metadata could be very helpful to prosecute pirates. Updated with comments from Attorney General George Brandis.

      • Swedish Police in Bangkok to Detain Pirate Bay Founder

        Following his arrest in Thailand on Monday, local authorities are already preparing Fredrik Neij’s deportation from the country. The Pirate Bay founder is currently en route to the Thai capital Bangkok where he will be met by Swedish police who will escort him back to Scandinavia. A 10 month prison sentence awaits.

      • Petition for Freeing “Standards” for Public Use

        Mr Carl Malamud, on behalf of Public.Resource.Org, along with 7 others including Mr Sam Pitroda, Dr Sushant Sinha, Prof Dhrubajyoti Sen, Prof T.I.Eldho, Mr Srinivas Kodali, Dr Vinton G. Cerf and myself, submitted the petition to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution petitioning for the free availability of Indian Standards to the public. Given that the Standards appear to be Edicts of the Government, and that tremendous public benefit that would accrue by such free availability of Standards, and along with the facts that BIS has already digitized all the Standards, and Public.Resource.Org has already put together the necessary online architecture and value-add to facilitate free distribution of these Standards, the petition asks that the ministry helps make these Standards available and accessible to the public, or in the alternative, to modify its current copyright policy so as to allow for this free availability and accessibility of these Standards.

      • Carl Malamud’s Public.Resource.Org Joins Effort To Make Pay-Walled Indian Standards Freely Available

        Techdirt has been covering for some time Carl Malamud’s project to open source the “operating system of society” by placing digital versions of US laws, codes and regulations on the site Public Resource. But of course, the logic of allowing the public to be able to read all the laws and regulations that govern them applies outside the US just as much. And so it’s perhaps no surprise that Malamud has joined with other campaigners (including Vint Cerf) in petitioning the Indian government to allow that country’s standards to be made freely available to the public in the same way.

      • EFF Fights for Common Sense, Again, in DMCA Rulemaking

        The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed six exemption requests with the U.S. Copyright Office today, part of the elaborate, every-three-year process to right the wrongs put in place by the Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). EFF’s requests received crucial assistance from the Organization for Transformative Works, the NYU Technology Law & Policy Clinic, attorney Marcia Hofmann, and former EFF intern Kendra Albert.

      • Latest EFF DMCA Exemption Requests Include The Right to Tinker With and Maintain Unsupported Video Games

        As we’ve noted more than a few times, we live in an era where the products you think you own can be disabled, crippled or held hostage on a whim. That’s been particularly apparent when it comes to video game consoles and software, with an increasing array of titles relying on server connectivity not only for multi-player content, but also for DRM authentication in order to play single player titles. The former was an issue earlier this year when Nintendo announced that the company would be killing online functionality for a wide variety of Wii and DS titles, some of which were only a year or two old. The latter was an issue with Blizzard’s Diablo 3, EA’s latest incarnation of SimCity, and a growing number of other games.

      • UK opens access to 91 million orphan works

        A new licensing scheme launched today could give wider access to at least 91 million culturally valuable creative works.

      • UK Launches Orphan Work Licensing Scheme, Misses Huge Opportunity To Make It Much Better

        Orphan works, that huge collection of older creations which are out of circulation and have no obvious owners, are more rightly called “hostage works,” since they remain uselessly locked away by rigid and outdated copyright laws. Even when the issue is recognized by society, lobbyists hold so much sway over the political process that legislation crafted to “solve” the orphan works problem is often worse than useless.


Links 5/11/2014: Pisi Linux 1.1 KDE, Nexus 9

Posted in News Roundup at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Hands-on with the Kano: The Linux kit that wants to help kids love coding

    Kano, a small British start up with strong Israeli ties, set out to make the inside workings of a modern computer accessible to children again. The idea behind the project is get kids coding and hacking themselves, and was inspired by one of the founders’ seven-year-old cousin who wanted to build a computer and wondered if it could be made as easy as playing with Lego.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE at LISA 2014 – Seattle, November 12 and 13
      • digiKam Recipes 4.1.1 Released

        Another month, another digiKam Recipes update. This version features the updated and expanded Edit Photos with the Levels and Curves Adjustment Tools recipe which now covers the powerful curves tool.

      • Diving into Plasma’s 2015

        In terms of user demographic, we’re almost certain to see one thing happening with the new Plasma 5 UI, as distros start to ship it by default, this is what these new users are going to see. Not everybody in this group of users is interested in how cool the technology stack lines up, they just want to get their work done and certainly not feel impeded in their daily workflows. This is the target group which we’ve been focusing our work on in months since summer, since the release of Plasma 5.0. Wider group of users sounds pretty abstract, so let’s take some numbers: While Plasma 5 is run by a group of people already, the number of users who get it via Linux distributions is much larger than the group of early adopters. This means by the end of next year, Plasma 5 will be in the hands of millions of users, probably around 10 million, and increasing. (This is interpolated from an estimation of Plasma users in the tens of millions, with the technology adaption lifecycle taken as base.)

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Pisi Linux 1.1 KDE

        Pisi Linux has continued its activities after 1.0 and we reached our second stable version 1.1. This version resulting from intensive studies; strong, stable, comfortable to use, safe and so fast. The strength of the structure to prevent damage to your system uses hardware safely to the end. Also in this release, along with many innovations were offered to us.

    • Screenshots

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • openSUSE 13.2 and Fedora 21 Beta Released

        The top stories today were the releases of openSUSE 13.2 and Fedora 21 Beta. WRAL looks at Red Hat at 20 and Matt Hartley guides folks to Ubuntu laptops. The openSUSE Tumbleweed/Factory merger is complete and a migration guide has been posted. Other tidbits include OpenBSD replacing OpenSSL with LibreSSL and The Register joking about a character on The Code named Sgt L. Torvalds.

    • Slackware Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • The Perfect Business Desktop – CentOS 7

        This tutorial shows how you can set up CentOS 7 desktop. The CentOS 7 have high quality of desktop environment which is fully suited for day to day business needs of a corporate culture. I will also show some of the specific features from Thunderbird which makes the day to day business use easier.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch RTM Gets Major Update – Video Tour

            A new Ubuntu Touch RTM version has been released and the developers have made a number of important fixes, not to mention all the improvements that have been made to the backend.

          • Ubuntu MATE 14.10 Utopic Unicorn : Lightweight and Configurable

            “Ubuntu MATE is a stable, easy-to-use operating system with a configurable desktop environment. Ideal for those who want the most out of their desktops, laptops and netbooks and prefer a traditional desktop metaphor. With modest hardware requirements it is suitable for modern workstations and older hardware alike.” About ubuntu MATE

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Trisquel 7.0 LTS Belenos released

              If you haven’t used Trisquel before then be sure to read the Trisquel FAQ. There’s also a Trisquel discussion forum if you need assistance, and a Trisquel subreddit on Reddit if you want to connect with fellow Trisquel users there.

              You can download Trisquel right now in 32-bit or 64-bit versions. You can also choose between the main version, which uses GNOME as the desktop, and a lighter version called Trisquel Mini that uses LXDE instead of GNOME. There’s even a smaller version for kids called Trisquel Sugar Toast.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • ReactOS Finally Supports Reading NTFS Volumes

    Pierre Schweitzer of ReactOS shared, “ReactOS now supports reading files from NTFS volume. This was a long awaited feature people were asking for.” A new ReactOS ISO re-spin is now available containing this support.

  • Obsidian supports OSSSA in driving open source

    Open source software specialist Obsidian Systems has been listed as an official supporter of the Open Source Software for South Africa (OSSSA) organisation, and has joined a growing network of supporters and collaborators championing the value of OS in trade, industry and government.

  • A debate on open source of virtual currency

    With the popularization of knowledge on the online virtual money, more and more virtual money are produced. Since the Bitcoin made the Web money in fashion and gained global attention, the virtual money after Bitcoin were called “Copycat Coins”. While these virtual money use different names merely to differentiate with Bitcoin, like the different names of currencies in the real world, such as the US dollar, the Euro, etc.

  • ON.Lab Unveils Open-Source SDN OS

    The ONOS initiative joins other open-source efforts like OpenDaylight and ONF in trying to accelerate adoption of SDN and NFV.

    A nonprofit group led by some of the earliest developers of software-defined networking next month will make available an open operating system for the industry, the latest effort to bring the open-source model into the SDN world.

  • Events

    • Eskimo conserves resources with igloo applications

      The face of web development has changed. No longer does the term dredge up images of a lonely hacker in a basement—nowadays, everyone from business executives to schoolchildren enjoy learning how to code. This is, in part, thanks to the development of increasingly easier to use boilerplate tools. The goal of these tools is to enable coders to build rapid Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) in an organized and reliable, yet creative, fashion.


      In the GitHub repository, the user will find all the necessary information to begin developing their own fast MVP: installation files, examples, templates, file an issue feature, contributors, and license type. Eskimo: You’ll want to get snowed in.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data


    • GNU Tools Cauldron 2014 videos posted online

      Presentation videos from GNU Tools Cauldron 2014 have now been posted online. The conference, which this year was held from July 18 – 20, 2014 in Cambridge, England at the University of Cambridge, featured nearly thirty presentations on tools in the GNU toolchain including GCC, the GNU Compiler Collection, and GDB, the GNU Project Debugger. Developers shared tutorials and insights in addition to discussing development plans for various projects within the GNU toolchain.

    • GNU LibreJS 6.0.5 released

      There’s a new version of LibreJS.

  • Openness/Sharing


  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • UAV policy from across the pond (pro-drones)

      While the United States remains tightly caught in the grip of mid-term madness, and will continue to writhe and lash about until 8 November 2016, the United Kingdom is looking beyond short-term, cheap, and policy-free political fodder. It has taken a stab at addressing longer-term ethical, legal, social, political and economic issues – such as the consequences raised by use of what the UK calls Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs) or drones.

    • Primary Sources: New Documents on US Citizen Killed in CIA Drone Strike

      The latest batch of heavily redacted investigative files reveal that the bureau had grown increasingly concerned over Khan’s anti-American screeds posted to his blog and determined he was a serious threat.

    • Yemen: U.S. Drone Strikes Kill Up to 20 People

      While recent attention has focused on the U.S. wars in Iraq and Syria, the United States has continued its covert bombardment of supposed militants in Yemen and Pakistan.

    • China develops anti-drone laser system

      Engineers in China have successfully developed a laser weapon able to shoot down low-flying, slow-moving drones, according to the country’s state media on Tuesday.

    • China Has Unveiled a New Laser System to Shoot Down Drones
    • District Court Orders Release Of Another DOJ Drone-Killing Memo, Cites [REDACTED] In Support

      New York’s Southern District Court — which has been hosting (along with the Second Circuit Appeals Court) the ACLU and New York Times’ long-running, concurrent FOIA lawsuits against the government over its drone killing memos — has reached a partial decision on some of the embattled documents.

      The court’s decision was actually delivered on Sept. 30th, but its conclusion and order have spent the last month under seal while the government applied its redactions. An accompanying memo from the presiding judge [pdf link] notes that the court isn’t buying all the government’s redaction arguments.

    • Ukraine Elections Bring Society Closer to Brink of all Out War and Economic Collapse

      The parliamentary elections in Ukraine has been lavished with praise by Western politicians and the mainstream media as confirmation of the country’s turn towards democracy and a rejection of Putin’s evil Russian empire. What the media drones and corporate politicians won’t tell you is that these elections represent a disaster for the ordinary people of Ukraine.

    • U.S. Accuses ‘Russia-Backed’ Separatists of Firing at OSCE Drone

      European security watchdog OSCE said numerous anti-aircraft rounds were fired at one of its drones monitoring a shaky truce in eastern Ukraine, and the United States blamed pro-Russian rebels for Sunday’s incident.

      The unmanned aerial vehicle — deployed to help monitor the cease-fire between government forces and separatists — was not hit and it later landed safely, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, said Monday

    • Pakistan sees highest drone barrage in a month since October 2011

      Nine drone strikes were recorded in October, the most strikes in a month since October 2011, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

    • US Navy Cancels Port Calls Amid Philippine Anger Over Killing

      The US Navy has canceled visits to the Philippine port of Subic amid public anger over accusations that a US Marine killed a Filipino on the city’s outskirts, officials said Monday.

      Foreign Department spokesman Charles Jose said the visits of three US ships to Subic this month had been canceled, while the head of the Subic freeport said nine such visits scheduled for this year had been called off.

    • Does New Zealand have its own secret court?

      Thanks to Edward Snowden, there has been an enormous amount of news about the US intelligence community and the court – the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Court (FISA) – that governs it. Following the stunning revelations that FISA approved the wiretapping of millions of US domestic phone calls, the court is now viewed as a ‘almost a parallel Supreme Court,’ whose decisions are made ‘with almost no public scrutiny.’

      Despite New Zealand’s deep involvement in the Five Eyes network, and the revelations that a surveillance warrant was held on New Zealander Daryl Jones who was later killed in a US drone strike in Yemen, there has been no discussion or examination of the role of the Commissioner of Warrants who issues surveillance warrants to the GCSB and NZSIS. The decisions of that office remain entirely opaque, creating a body of law that is not subject to challenge in any public forum.

    • Peace groups plan drone protest at Battle Creek Air National Guard on Saturday
    • Father and daughter arrested protesting world’s most hated weapon

      There was the anthrax letters shell game, Blackwater, Halliburton and pallets of money that disappeared much like Iraqi treasure. The greed and slaughter continued with Obama, presidential ordered secret assassinations, the NSA, telecoms, banks and other corporations conspiring against and committing crimes against US Citizens and the Militarization of the every day cop.

      But it is the drone strike that makes Americans the most hated people and nation on Earth. It is a cowardly act that disregards whatever rules of war that ever existed in the however misguided “honor” of men. These bombs not only have killed children, teenagers, mothers, fathers grandparents, neighbors and entire wedding parties; they have created a level of anxiety and fear across vast regions. Mentally they are a torture of mass destruction. The pictures, eye witness accounts and journalist verifications on the ground are infinitely more believable than ANY White House in my lifetime.

    • New tapes show Israel’s attack on USS Liberty was deliberate

      The translated words of Israeli commanders and Israeli pilots from tapes can be heard, numerous times, as confirming the identity of the Liberty as “American.” The tapes include a timeline in the background which fixes the times of transmissions, and establishes that confirmation was made before and during the attack. In 2004 the Jerusalem Post published a transcript of Israeli radio transmissions on that day, critical parts of which match the transmissions in the tape obtained by the film-maker, Richard Belfield.

    • The Deep State Plots the 1980 Defeat of Jimmy Carter

      How do Wall Street, oil companies and the shadow government agencies like the CIA and NSA really shape the global political order?

      That’s the question author Peter Dale Scott examines in his forthcoming book “The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil and the Attack on U.S. Democracy,” due out on Nov. 12. Scott, a professor emeritus of English at Berkeley and former Canadian diplomat, is considered the father of “deep politics”—the study of hidden permanent institutions and interests whose influence on the political realm transcends the elected.

    • The Empire of Chaos and the War on Drugs

      President Putin’s recent Valdai Speech contained a striking phrase about the counter-productive nature of much of US foreign policy: “We sometimes get the impression that our colleagues and friends are constantly fighting the consequences of their own policies, throw all their effort into addressing the risks they themselves have created, and pay an ever-greater price.”

      President Putin was referring to terrorism, but an equally valid example of the same point is the so-called “War on Drugs” that the US announced in 1971 and which it has been waging with no success ever since.

    • Noam Chomsky calls US ‘world’s leading terrorist state’

      The United States is the “world’s leading terrorist state,” based on its deadly, CIA-run operations in the likes of Nicaragua and Cuba, according to new op-ed by historian and social philosopher Noam Chomsky.

      In a new piece posted at Truthout.org, Chomsky pointed to the Central Intelligence Agency’s classified review of its own efforts to arm insurgencies across the globe in its 67-year history. As RT previously reported, the CIA conducted the effectiveness analyses while the Obama administration contemplated arming rebels fighting against President Bashar Assad’s forces in Syria.

    • The Leading Terrorist State
    • Noam Chomsky Slams The US For Being the Greatest Terrorist State That Has Fostered Violence and Aggression

      In TruthOut, Chomsky described the Central Intelligence Agency’s classified review of its attempts to arm insurgencies across the world in its 67-year history. RT News reported that the CIA conducted the “effectiveness analyses” but the Obama government armed rebels fighting President Bashar Assad’s Syrian forces.

    • Hagel’s Syria Memo

      Let’s imagine a world in which the military-industrial complex controlled by the 1%, so mired in dishonesty and responsible for so much suffering, is decisively overthrown. It shouldn’t take thirty years to topple it.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • The Pierre Omidyar Insurgency

      Omidyar was an admirer of Obama’s right up to the moment the Snowden story broke, and many people who know him well, the types you might meet at CGI, struggle to explain his sudden turn toward confrontation. “He’s a very serious and public-spirited person,” says General Wesley Clark, who has been friendly with Omidyar since he raised money for his 2004 presidential campaign. Clark has publicly dismissed concerns about NSA surveillance and told me he couldn’t really explain why Omidyar was so agitated. Omidyar is mellow by nature; he lives in Hawaii and is a devotee of Buddhism. “He’s not this hard-core, radical maverick,” Greenwald says. “Back before this all happened, he just seemed like the normal, average, amicable billionaire.” Omidyar has communicated little about his motivations beyond a handful of abstruse public statements. He remains a remote and somewhat mysterious figure, even to his collaborators.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Global warming’s early victims: Watch live as polar bears wait for sea ice to form

      We’re approaching the end of an era for the polar bears of Canada’s Western Hudson Bay – or, in the more straightforward way of putting it, we’re approaching the end of the polar bears, period. Typically, as the weather turns cold and sea ice forms, the region’s bears migrate out onto the bay, where they spend the winter filling up on enough seals to last them through the ice-free summer months. But that sea ice has been tending to melt earlier and earlier each spring, and to form later and later each fall. This year, like every year, the bears are ready to get moving. But so far the Hudson Bay, which used to be traversable by as early as November 8, remains largely ice-free.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • ABC Campaign Coverage–or GOP Campaign Commercial?

      ABC-ERNST-2The right-wing Media Research Center released a study (10/22/14) slamming the evening newscasts for not giving the midterm election much airtime. It has a partisan interest here; the group wants more attention paid to the Republicans’ impending victories. ABC World News, it said, was notable for having nothing on the election over the study period.

    • You Will Be Amazed at How Much Influence You Can Have,” Billionaire Pours $9.5M Into MO Elections

      Rex Sinquefield, who has been described as a “new American oligarch,” has reported spending almost $9.5 million on Missouri state politics in 2014 alone, bringing Sinquefield’s total spending in the state to nearly $41 million since 2006.

      “If you get involved at the local level with the route I described, you will be amazed at how much influence you can have,” Sinquefield told his business school alumni earlier this year.

    • How the CIA brought Animal Farm to the screen

      The truth about the CIA’s involvement was kept hidden for 20 years until, in 1974, Everette Howard Hunt revealed the story in his book Undercover: Memoirs of an American Secret Agent. In January 1950, when Orwell died at the age of 46, New Yorker Hunt had been part of the CIA’s Psychological Warfare Workshop and he had been sent to obtain the screen rights to Animal Farm from Orwell’s widow Sonia. Some people believe that Hunt exaggerated his own role in sealing the deal – he supposedly promised Mrs Orwell that he would arrange for her to meet her favourite star, Clark Gable – but he was certainly involved in getting the film off the ground.

    • Facebook Boosts News Feeds of Top 100 Media Outlets in Secret Political Experiment

      What is the point of a social network that doesn’t share your content with friends and followers? Oh, yeah, for profit, government spying, emotional experiments and now, political manipulation.

      Since they went public, Facebook has been playing with their algorithms to prevent “viral” content from occurring naturally in favor of charging users to show content to their followers. This profit-seeking strategy destroyed the only thing that made Facebook useful. Now it seems to serve as little more than an oversized telephone or IM app. But underneath, in the shadows, it’s still so much more than that.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Virginia Police Departments Have Been Collaborating On An Ad Hoc, Secret Phone Record Database

      Do you ever get the feeling that some law enforcement agencies just do whatever the hell they want? In most areas, this is the exception rather than the rule. In Virginia, however, that ratio seems to be reversed. Last year, an ACLU FOIA request uncovered the Virginia State Police’s wholesale harvesting of license plates from political rallies.

    • Here’s Hoping Judge Ignores The Nutty Plaintiff With An Important Case On NSA Surveillance Of Business Records

      Many of us were excited, 11 months ago, when District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled that the NSA’s bulk collection of phone metadata was unconstitutional. This was the first program revealed via the documents from Ed Snowden, and it involved the US using Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, approved by the FISA Court with little explanation (until much later) to say that it’s okay to request all phone records from Verizon. What had been often mentioned as a brief aside, is the fact that the plaintiff in the case, Larry Klayman is a bit of a conspiracy-theorist nutjob.

    • US National Security Agency probably has your Windows Bitlocker recovery keys

      Cryptome highlight that the Windows FAQs on drive encryption says that a recovery key for your encrypted device is uploaded to your SkyDrive (now named OneDrive) account to make sure that you have a means of logging into your device should you forget your password. This would be a reasonable expectation as the encryption was passively turn on, however it goes on to remind us that Microsoft’s SkyDrive/OneDrive was a target/collaborator of the NSA’s PRISM program which means tha NSA have keys to decrypt your computer.

    • The Senate just lost one of its most prominent critics of the NSA and CIA

      Colorado Sen. Mark Udall lost his seat on Tuesday, the Associated Press is projecting. He lost a hard-fought race against Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner.

      The candidates sparred over a variety of the issues, from Obamacare to birth control. But the biggest impact of Udall’s defeat could be on civil liberties.

    • With Udall’s defeat, NSA reformers lose an ally on the inside

      With Colorado Sen. Mark Udall’s defeat Tuesday night, the Senate will lose one of its most vocal, most active and most powerfully positioned advocates for dialing back the intelligence community’s surveillance powers.

    • Judges Skeptical NSA Spying Violates Privacy Rights

      In reviewing a post-Snowden case Tuesday, an appeals court questioned whether the government’s bulk collection of phone records needs to be reined in.

    • NSA Metadata Collection Case in Court Today

      A case challenging the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) metadata collection efforts against United States citizens made its way into an appellate court today, where lawyer and opponent of domestic spying Larry Klayman was grilled by a three-judge panel. At issue is the collection of metadata in a massive program run by the National Security Agency known as PRISM, which was first revealed to the public by Edward Snowden.

    • Embattled NSA under fire in court

      Critics of the National Security Agency’s most embattled program harshly condemned the spying in a top appeals court on Tuesday.

      Judges, however, seemed largely skeptical of their claims that the spy agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records was unconstitutional.

      Instead, they seemed to express a desire to reverse a lower court ruling nearly one year ago that called the NSA program “almost Orwellian.”

    • Anti-NSA ruling in jeopardy
    • Privacy advocates urge appeals court to halt NSA phone collection
    • Appeals court to weigh NSA phone data program
    • Oral Arguments In Lawsuit Against NSA Focus on Plaintiffs’ Standing
    • Judges weigh NSA’s sweep of phone numbers
    • Appeals court steps into debate over NSA surveillance program
    • Appeals Court Hears NSA Mass Surveillance Arguments
    • 4th Amendment Fight Against NSA Continues
    • House Dem calls for undiluted NSA reforms
    • Appellate Judge Panel Seen Hostile to Anti-NSA Ruling

      The December ruling that the NSA telephone surveillance program was unconstitutional looks to be in serious jeopardy, as the US Appellate Court challenge to the ruling has drawn a three-judge panel that seems extremely hostile to the idea of limiting federal surveillance powers.

    • Brazil’s New Underwater Data Cable to Portugal Is Still Likely Not NSA-Proof

      Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s remarks at an October campaign event, in which she said a new underwater data cable being built from Brazil to Portugal would be made by Brazilian companies to protect it from US “espionage,” were widely seen as a slam on the US National Security Agency’s spying tactics.

    • Will Tom Cotton Be the New Face of Surveillance Reform Opposition in the Senate?

      House Republican Tom Cotton looks set to defeat Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor in Arkansas and take over his seat in the United States Senate. If this happens, it is a distinct possibility that Cotton will become one of the most vocal opponents of any efforts to reform surveillance and constrain the National Security Agency or any other government agency’s power.

    • Hacking Team Defends Spyware, Attacks Researchers’ Methods

      Privacy advocates and anti-surveillance activists have been taking a close look at the way that some vendors of so-called lawful intercept and surveillance software and hardware systems conduct their business and which customers and governments they sell their wares to. Now, some of those vendors–and the customers they work with–are mounting their own criticisms of the researchers and their tactics.


      Hacking Team is an Italian company that develops and sells surveillance equipment and spyware to government clients.

    • Rogers downplays NSA moonlighting controversy

      Earlier this month the NSA was forced to launch an internal review of the practice after Reuters published a story detailing how the agency allowed Patrick Dowd, the NSA’s chief technical officer, to work 20 hours per week for IronNet Cybersecurity Inc., a private cybersecurity firm founded by former NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander. The company reportedly charges financial institutions up to $1 million per month for cybersecurity services based on technology patents Alexander developed while he was employed as NSA director. Under pressure, Alexander terminated the agreement with Dowd last week.

    • You’ve been permacookied and don’t even know it

      I’ve long warned that no one is truly anonymous on the Internet. Tor guarantees anonymous downloads about as much as naming your hacking collective “Anonymous” guarantees you won’t be arrested. Those private snaps on your smartphone? If anyone cares to see them, they can be stolen and posted publicly. Repeat after me: When you use the Internet, anonymity is not a feature.

    • Cell carrier was weakest link in hack of Google, Instagram accounts

      If you think the two-factor authentication offered by Google and other cloud services will keep your account out of the hands of an attacker, think again. One developer found out this weekend the hard way; Google’s account protection scheme can be bypassed by going after something most people would consider an even harder target—the user’s cell phone account.

    • The Government is in Pursuit of a Less Secure Internet

      A government proposal to change the rules for obtaining search warrants risks making all of us more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

      The FBI wants to be able to infect computers with malware when it doesn’t know where exactly they’re located. The implications for computer security, and for constitutional limits on the government’s search powers, are drastic.

      The Department of Justice is asking a judicial committee to amend Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which generally permits magistrate judges to issue search warrants to the government only for searches within their judicial district. The government wants to lift the geographical limitation to allow it to conduct electronic surveillance of devices whose locations are unknown.

    • Dropbox’s Drew Houston Responds To Snowden’s Privacy Criticism: It’s A Trade-Off

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden sparked controversy when he advised consumers (twice) to “get rid of Dropbox” if they want to protect their privacy. Today, Drew Houston, CEO of the cloud storage startup, responded to the accusations. People can do more to encrypt their data, he admitted, but It’s “a trade-off between usability/convenience and security,” he said. “We offer people choice.”

    • Police misuse of Ripa powers to spy on journalists is systemic, MPs told

      The National Union of Journalists has told parliament that police misuse of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to snoop on journalists and their sources is “systemic and institutionalised” and is doing “irreparable damage” to the industry.

      Michelle Stanistreet, the NUJ’s general secretary, told the home affairs select committee that police were routinely bypassing the need for judicial scrutiny to discover journalistic sources by using Ripa to go through phone records and other data.

    • How mobiles can hack our most sensitive data

      The data can be picked up by a mobile phone up to 23 feet away and then transmitted over Wi-Fi or a cellular network to an attacker’s command-and-control server. The victim’s own mobile phone can be used to receive and transmit the stolen data, or an attacker lurking outside an office or lab can use his own phone to pick up the transmission.

    • Activist lawyer takes NSA surveillance case to federal appeals court

      A conservative gadfly lawyer who has made a career of skewering Democratic administrations is taking his battle against the National Security Agency’s telephone surveillance programme to a federal appeals court.

    • Ex-NSA chief invested heavily in tech firm tied to AT&T

      As questions continue to be raised about the legality concerning the National Security Agency’s vast surveillance apparatus, the NSA’s ex spy chief is now coming under attack for ties he had to a tech company while in office.

      A report published on Monday this week by Shane Harris at the Daily Beast revealed that Gen. Keith Alexander, the recently retired head of the NSA, bought and sold tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of stock in a firm called Synchronoss Technologies Inc. while he ran the United States’ intelligence gathering agency.

    • ACLU on Executive Order 12333: NSA may be laughing at your sex tape

      Snowden told The Guardian that when some NSA analysts intercept photos of a sexual nature, they cannot pass up the temptation to pass the images around. He witnessed this privacy invasion “numerous” times and called the occurrences “routine enough” to be considered “fringe benefits of surveillance positions.”

    • Pizza delivery man for Senate: Delete all the NSA’s files

      Haugh is just as absolutist when it comes to ending foreign wars and bringing home troops from far-off outposts. Not only does he advocate stopping the current air strikes against ISIL and other extremist groups in Iraq and Syria, but he’s also quick to draw a connection between winding down wars and removing prohibitions on recreational drug use.

    • Former NSA lawyer: the cyberwar is between tech firms and the US government

      The battle over encryption of consumer internet users’ data has pitched US technology companies against the US government itself, former NSA general counsel Stewart Baker said on Tuesday.

  • Civil Rights

    • No prospect of NYT journalist testifying at ex-CIA officer’s trial, prosecutors say

      In a motion filed in US district court in Alexandria, Virginia, prosecutors say attorneys for the journalist James Risen have told them that, even if subpoenaed, Risen will refuse to provide any substantive testimony at the pending trial of the former CIA operative Jeffrey Sterling.

    • Prosecutors Say There’s Still No Deal In Place With James Risen

      Federal prosecutors said Monday they have no deal in place with a New York Times reporter whose testimony they want as they prosecute a former CIA officer accused of leaking classified information.

      In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, prosecutors say attorneys for journalist James Risen have told them that, even if subpoenaed, Risen will refuse to provide any substantive testimony at the pending trial of former CIA operative Jeffrey Sterling.

    • Reporter still refusing to testify in CIA Iran leak case

      ALEXANDRIA, Virginia — Federal prosecutors said Monday they have no deal in place with a New York Times reporter whose testimony they want as they prosecute a former CIA officer accused of leaking classified information about covert operations against Iran.

    • Prosecutors: No deal with reporter on leak case

      Federal prosecutors say they have no deal in place with a New York Times reporter whose testimony they want as they prosecute a former CIA officer accused of leaking sensitive information.

      In a motion filed Monday in federal court in Alexandria, prosecutors say attorneys for journalist James Risen have told them that, even if subpoenaed, Risen will refuse to provide any substantive testimony at the pending trial of former CIA operative Jeffrey Sterling.

    • The CIA in Texas

      Even the documented account by James Risen of the White House orchestrated plot in the wake of 9/11 to circumvent (indeed, ignore) legal restrictions on domestic wire-tapping has not crossed the threshold of public attention.

    • War. Torture. The NSA. And Jerusalem? The American president’s addiction to king-like power must end

      President Bush signed the bill into law, but – this being George W Bush, who saw his office as above the law on issues from going to war to torturing during an endless war and even spying on his own citizens – he also issued an adjoining statement expressing his view that the statute is an unconstitutional encroachment on presidential power. The Obama administration has taken the same position, in reasserting the White House’s official neutrality as to which sovereign controls Jerusalem – and in resisting the power for Congress to keep the president’s power in check.

    • Ex-CIA officer unseats Dem Rep. Gallego
    • Wyden: CIA Demand To Black Out Torture Report Details Would Be Unprecedented

      The Central Intelligence Agency’s call to black out all pseudonyms from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture would be unprecedented – and represents an unacceptable effort to obscure key facts, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said last week.

    • You know who else won the 2014 election? The CIA.

      With Republicans taking control of the Senate, there’s a good chance the CIA won’t be held accountable for its crimes during the Bush era

    • Milwaukee Students Disrupt CIA Recruitment on Campus

      On Oct. 29, students led by Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES) and Progressive Students of Milwaukee (PSM) disrupted a CIA recruitment event held on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus.

      The CIA is a defender of U.S. corporate interests against democratic people’s movements. Protest organizers say that for more than 60 years, the CIA has assassinated foreign leaders and civilians around the globe, systematically tortured, trained assassins to kill both US and foreign civilians, facilitated weapons and drug trafficking by terrorists and paramilitaries, influenced foreign elections with money and murder, and lied to congress about its activities.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • No Compromise: FCC Should Reject Risky, Confusing “Hybrid” Net Neutrality

      Back in May the Federal Communications Commission proposed flawed “net neutrality” rules that would effectively bless the creation of Internet “slow lanes.” After months of netroots protests the FCC is now reportedly considering a new “hybrid” proposal. EFF is deeply concerned, however, that this “compromise” risks too much, for too little.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Attention Kim Kardashian: You Can’t Sue Another Woman For Having A Big Ass And An Instagram Account

      Let’s pretend for a moment that for-some-reason-a-celebrity Kim Kardashian reads Techdirt. Someone needs to let her know that lawsuits and lawyers are not for temper tantrums over threats to your own celebrity. I’d have thought she’d have previously learned this lesson after Old Navy staved off the lawsuit she filed because the clothing company had the gall to hire a brunette woman for one of their commercials. It would appear not, now that she’s reportedly investigating whether or not she can sue a woman named Jen Selter for “copying” Kim’s poses (bwah?) and having a big ass.

    • Does Kim Kardashian have her eye on your bottom?

      To Los Angeles, where Lost in Showbiz learns that a landmark court case may be brewing. It derives this knowledge from a feature in leading legal periodical Closer magazine, headlined KIM KARDASHIAN FUMES OVER BOTTOM “COPYCAT”. We won’t go into too much detail here, because quite frankly, reading the whole article made Lost in Showbiz worry that civilisation as we know it is doomed and that brimstone is going to start raining from the sky any minute. Suffice to say, the general thrust is that Kim Kardashian is angry at a woman the piece refers to as “internet bottom sensation” Jen Selter. Selter has been posting photographs of her large buttocks on Instagram, an activity Kardashian apparently feels is an unacceptable infringement upon her very raison d’etre: one of the gangplanks of Kim Kardashian’s global celebrity being her nonpareil ability to take photographs of her own large buttocks with a cameraphone. “Kim thinks Jen copies all her poses … she is fuming as she feels her curvy bum is one of her most unique selling points and feels that Jen is just trying to cash in.”

    • EFF asks for the right to revive “abandoned” online games

      While playing the original versions of classic games on aging original hardware can sometimes be difficult, it’s at least typically possible. That’s not the case for many online games, which are functionally inoperable once the developer or publisher decides to shut down the official servers that provide the only way for players to communicate with each other. Unofficial hobbyist projects that try to create new servers for these abandoned games could run afoul of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and its ban on “the circumvention of access control technologies.”

    • Why We’re Just Now Getting the 1960s Batman TV Show on DVD

      In 1998, a man named John Stacks formed a company, Johnny Resin, that sold model kits to a niche audience. His specialty was a line of sculpts bearing the likenesses of actors from 1966′s Batman television series: Adam West, Burt Ward, and an assortment of villains, all in costume.

    • To Nobody’s Surprise, Australian “Terrorism” Law May Be Used for Copyright Enforcement

      As we foreshadowed, a new law requiring mandatory data retention by ISPs was introduced into the Australian federal parliament last week. In the few days since then, there have been claims and counter-claims about whether data obtained under the new law would be limited to use in fighting major crimes (such as terrorism, as the government originally claimed), or if it could be used to target citizens who download and share files online.

      The current party line, from flip-flopping Attorney-General George Brandis (whom some may remember from this train-wreck interview in which he attempted to define “metadata”) is that the new laws “can’t be and they won’t be” used to prosecute file sharers, because copyright infringement is only a civil offense.

    • Copyrights

      • Dutch Parliament Wants Popup Warnings on Pirate Sites

        A majority of the Dutch Parliament has backed a proposal to target online piracy through warning popups on “pirate” sites. The warnings should inform Internet users that they’re breaking the law, while pointing out what the legal alternatives are. The opposition characterizes the plan as “stupid” and notes there are better ways to deal with the issue.

      • German Police Raid 121 Homes in Massive Pirate Site Crackdown

        Four hundred police officers raided 121 homes today in a crackdown on the popular linking site Boerse.bz. The homes are believed to be connected to active uploaders of the site but no arrests have been made. The Boerse.bz website itself switched to a new provider but remains online.


Links 4/11/2014: Trisquel 7.0 LTS, Fedora 21 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 4:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Sorry, Windows Fans, but Can You Run 100 Apps at Once and Still Use the PC?

    Linux distributions are always heralded as the most secure operating systems and Windows is usually left in the dust, but it’s good to know that it can also perform much better in other areas, like application and memory management.

  • Server

    • HarrisData Supports Linux with new ‘AppsInHD’ Platform

      IBM i ERP software developer HarrisData recently unveiled AppsInHD, a new platform that will serve as the foundation for the company’s future Web-based, loosely coupled, REST-enabled applications. The new “mashup” AppsInHD apps will run on IBM i as well as Linux.

    • November 2014 Issue of Linux Journal: System Administration

      Every time I write a Bash script or schedule a cron job, I worry about the day I’ll star in my very own IT version of a Folger’s commercial. Instead of “secretly replacing coffee with Folger’s Instant Crystals”, however, I worry I’ll be replaced by an automation framework and a few crafty FOR loops. If you’ve ever had nightmares like that, you’re in the right place. The truth is, the need for system administrators isn’t going down—it’s just that our job function is shifting a little. If you stay current, and resolve to be a lifelong learner, system administration is as incredible as it’s always been. (And far better than instant coffee! Yuck!) This month, we focus on system administration. It keeps us all relevant, all informed and most important, we should all learn a little something along the way.

    • CoreOS: A lean, mean virtualization machine

      CoreOS is a slimmed-down Linux distribution designed for easy creation of lots of OS instances. We like the concept.

      CoreOS uses Docker to deploy applications in virtual containers; it also features a management communications bus, and group instance management.

      Rackspace, Amazon Web Services (AWS), GoogleComputeEngine (GCE), and Brightbox are early cloud compute providers compatible with CoreOS and with specific deployment capacity for CoreOS. We tried Rackspace and AWS, and also some local “fleet” deployments.

    • Linux Distributors Are All Over the Cloud

      Two of the major Linux distributors, Red Hat Inc. and SUSE, appear to believe that becoming the dominant supplier of cloud services and technology will allow them to continue to battle mainframes, Windows and single-vendor Unix in both corporate and services provider datacenters. Both of these suppliers have made recent announcements based on cloud-related products and services. Let’s take a look at what they’re doing.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • bsdtalk246 – Playing with tor

      Looking forward to attending MeetBSD in California this weekend. Still working on finding a new /home for all my stuff, but thank you all who have offered suggestions and hosting.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD’s Windows Catalyst Driver Remains Largely Faster Than Linux Drivers

        With last week having delivered our latest Linux vs. Windows NVIDIA benchmarks where we found that the NVIDIA Linux driver can outperform the Windows 8.1 driver with OpenGL workloads, the tables have turned to looking at the AMD Windows vs. Linux performance using the latest code. In this Ubuntu 14.10 vs. Windows 8.1 comparison, the open-source Radeon driver on Linux is also being tested against the Catalyst drivers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • K3b 2.0.3 released

        I don’t have access to k3b.org so can’t update the news there, shows why the Manifesto is such an important thing.

      • K3b 2.0.3 Released After Over 3 Years

        K3b 2.0.3 has been released earlier today, bringing a number of bug fixes and improvements to this burning application. This is the first incremental release since 2011, after over three years in which everything was quiet regarding the development of K3b.

  • Distributions

    • 10 best Linux distros: which one is right for you?

      Choice and flexibility are the hallmarks of a Linux distribution, and by extension the Linux ecosystem. With the proprietary Windows and OS X, you’re stuck with the system as designed and can’t make changes no matter how unpleasant you may find the experience. Linux distributions are free of such limitations.

      Each distro has the Linux kernel at its core, but builds on top of that with its own selection of other components, depending on the target audience of the distro. Most Linux users switch between distros until they finally find the one that best suits their needs. However, for new and inexperienced users, the choice of hundreds of distros, with seemingly little to distinguish them, can seem challenging to say the least.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • openSUSE 13.2: green light to freedom!

        This is the first release after the change in the openSUSE development mode, with a much shorter stabilization phase thanks to the extensive testing done in a daily basis in the rolling distribution used now as a base for openSUSE stable releases. The perfect balance between innovation and stability with the great level of freedom of choice that openSUSE users are used to.

      • openSUSE 13.2 Officially Released, Uses Btrfs As Default

        After one year of development and a change in their development practices, openSUSE 13.2 was officially released this morning.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Linux at 20: Recalling ‘Halloween’ release that was no trick

        Twenty years ago [on Oct. 30, 1994], the world had their first glimpse of the operating system that would eventually evolve into Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Marc Ewing’s “Halloween” release of Red Hat Linux. In the mid-90s, Linux was not the juggernaut that it is today, instead the domain of hobbyists and hackers. Red Hat Linux “Halloween,” however, forever changed the game, showing not only the growing demand for Linux but also that you could actually make money in open source.

      • Fedora

        • Too Many Forks, the Right Distro, and Reason for Fedora

          Today in Linux news the community tackles the “too many forks” question. Jack Wallen has how to find the right distro for the job and Mayank Sharma updated his “10 best Linux distros” article. Danny Stieben has five reasons to look forward to Fedora 21 and Bryan Lunduke looks at ChromeOS in his latest desktop-a-week review.

        • 5 Brilliant Reasons To Look Forward To Fedora 21

          Fedora 21 is well on its way to being released in early December, and it brings with it a ton of goodies! Plus, since Fedora is known for being a cutting-edge distribution, there will be a lot of interesting software and technologies that you’ll get to use. Since Fedora moves so fast, it’s important to have these new releases.

        • Announcing the release of Fedora 21 Beta!
        • Fedora 21 beta released
        • Announcing the release of Fedora 21 Beta!
        • Fedora 21 Beta Makes It Out Following Delays

          Fedora 21 is now available in beta form following its latest delays. Fedora 21 is still hoped for in official form next month and continues to be shaping up to potentially the best Fedora release ever.

        • Fedora 21 rolls three versions of Linux into one OS

          Following hints earlier in the year, a beta of Red Hat Fedora Linux 21 has finally arrived in three incarnations: Cloud, Server, and Workstation. Fedora 21 also provides the first public glimpse of Project Atomic, Red Hat’s initiative to produce a Linux distribution optimized as a Docker container host.

          Users who have deployed Fedora in the past as a workstation environment can turn to the appropriately named Fedora 21 Workstation. In addition to updates of all previously included software, the new version features a technology preview of the Wayland display server, an improvement on the X.org display server currently used by Linux distributions. Workstation also includes the Dev Assistant tool to provide developers with a fast way to instantiate project environments.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Hackable drone controller runs Linux

      Gizmo for You has gone to Indiegogo to ask for $600 for a modular, Linux based “Open Source Remote Control” for UAVs and other remote-controlled craft.

    • Tiny $269 3D resin printer runs Linux on Raspberry Pi

      The $269 iBox Nano, billed as the “world’s smallest, cheapest 3D resin printer,” offers WiFi and 328 Micron resolution, and runs Linux on a Raspberry Pi.

      The Raspberry Pi has been used as a computer interface device for 3D printers, as well as a calibration add-on, but as far as we know the iBox Nano is the first 3D printer in which Linux is running the show internally. Last month, an engineering student named Owen Jeffreys showed a video of a Raspberry Pi-based 3D printer project, but the project has yet to be completed (see farther below). Meanwhile, the only other commercial 3D printers we know of that run Linux are the three MakerBot Replicator models announced earlier this year.

    • Phones

      • Mobile Linux Distros Keep on Morphing

        Legitimate questions have been raised as to whether Linux platforms designed for smartphones are as good as a tailored embedded Linux stack built from scratch. Yet, so far experiments outside the mobile realm have proven fairly successful. Over the last week, we saw how several of these platforms, including Firefox OS, Tizen, Ubuntu, and WebOS, are spreading out to new device types.

        First, Mozilla revealed a Firefox OS port to the Raspberry Pi that it hopes will rival Raspbian. Also last week, Samsung showed off a Tizen-based smart TV prototype, as well as a new camera. In addition, specs for the first Ubuntu Touch-enabled tablet were floated on the web, and earlier last month, LG hinted at an upcoming WebOS smartwatch.

      • Tizen

      • Android

        • Nexus 9 Review: A Powerful Tablet…for Android Die-Hards Only

          The Nexus 7 formula wasn’t broken, but Google went and fixed it anyway. The Nexus 7 tablet has been discontinued, and the Nexus 9 is the replacement.

        • Android market share may have hit its peak
        • 5 Android apps that are already redesigned for Android 5.0 Lollipop

          Android is about to complete its metamorphosis into an operating system with not just cohesive design, but stunning good looks. Android 5.0 Lollipop looks great, but that says nothing of the apps. It’s up to developers to get their apps updated using the new material design guidelines with bolder colors, layered UI elements, and floating action buttons. It’ll probably take a while for everyone to get on-board, but some developers have already done the work to create beautiful materialized apps. Here are five of the best.

        • Get Gmail 5.0 for Android right now

          Anticipating the Material makeover for one of Google’s most beloved apps? The wait is over, and here’s how to get a copy for your Android device.

        • Android Lollipop rolls out across smartphones, tablets

          Ready for the latest and greatest Android release? Android 5 “Lollipop” is rolling out over-the-air to select smartphones and tablets now.

          The new Android software, which features the new Material Design, is already on the recently released Nexus 6 and 9. It’s also now on its way to the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (both first and second generation), and Nexus 10. It will also be showing up on ” Google Play Edition” devices. These include the Moto G and HTC One M8.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Can Open Source Help Solve Unemployment?

    Put simply, getting involved in an open source project is a great way for anyone to show that they can contribute in a meaningful way, work well with others, and develop skills and experience that can be directly transferred to a work environment.

  • ‘Albania hospitals should switch to open source’

    The government of Albania should benefit from using free and open source for managing the country’s hospitals and health clinics, says Gjergj Sheldija. The ICT consultant is implementing Care2x, an open source Hospital Information System (HIS) for the Mother Teresa Hospital in Tirana.

  • Our connected future: an interview with NASA’s first CTO, Chris C. Kemp

    Chris C. Kemp is the Chief Strategy Officer of Nebula, Inc., a leading cloud computing and IaaS provider which helps enterprises deploy and manage OpenStack-based private clouds. Previously to founding Nebula, Chris served as NASA’s first CTO where he cofounded the OpenStack project.

  • Adobe launches its open source text editor Brackets out of beta, releases CSS extraction tool

    Today Adobe announced the 1.0 release of Brackets, the company’s open source text editor designed for developers who work with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

  • Google releases open source Nogotofail network traffic security testing tool

    Google today introduced a new tool for testing network traffic security called Nogotofail. The company has released it as an open source project available on GitHub, meaning anyone can use it, contribute new features, provide support for more platforms, and do anything else with the end goal of helping to improve the security of the Internet.

  • ON.Lab Intros Open Source SDN OS

    The Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab), a non-profit organization founded by SDN inventors and leaders from Stanford University and UC Berkeley, today introduced the open source SDN Open Network Operating System (ONOS).

  • ON.Lab aims to disrupt with SDN Open Source Network Operating System
  • PLUMgrid Incorporates Third Party Open Source SDN Functions for Ease of SDN/NFV Deployments

    PLUMgrid, a leading innovator of virtual network infrastructure for OpenStack clouds, has announced that it has incorporated third party open source SDN functions from partners or community-built open source software modules on its PLUMgrid Platform to provide a single service insertion architecture that simplifies and accelerates the adoption of virtual network services. PLUMgrid Platform helps enterprises and service providers to create and manage L2-L7 virtual network services.

  • How the connection mechanics work inside the Internet of Things

    TIBCO StreamBase now supports a wide range of open source connectors enabling customers to connect, understand and act upon the data processed from the Internet of Things.

  • Scality Announces the World’s First Open Source REST-based Interface for Block-based Applications
  • Events

    • Chillin’ With the Community at OLF

      We are not referred to as “The Linux Community” out of hand. Yes, we can be a loud community. We are often an argumentative community, coloring outside of the lines into larger reaches of the Internet. But we are a community nonetheless. We’re people like Alan Dacey, who stops what he’s doing to write a script to solve a vexing problem for Reglue. People like Clem Lefebvre, who’s devoted to creating a safe and fantastic Linux environment in which to work.

    • HP, Wind River and Others Join Paris OpenStack News Cycle

      As I covered yesterday, this week the OpenStack Summit is taking place in Paris, and there is already a lot of related news flowing out of the event. Internap, which provides Internet infrastructure services, has stated that it is expanding its OpenStack-powered AgileCLOUD public cloud footprint to Amsterdam, and Amysta has announced the release of its billing system for OpenStack, which is essentially a revenue management platform.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • PLUMgrid widens OpenStack support

      It has been a busy seven days for PLUMgrid. Last week it announced the availability of its Open Networking Suite (ONS) 2.0 for OpenStack. Today, as the OpenStack Summit opens in Paris, it has made three new announcements. The first two around the availability of ONS 2.0 on different OpenStack distributions and the third that it is adopting Docker containers to speed up the delivery of SDN and NFV components.

    • Akanda Debuts Open Source NFV Platform

      Akanda, a start-up incubated with DreamHost since 2012, launched out of stealth mode to deliver an open source Network Function Virtualization (NFV) platform for cloud service providers. The platform is already in use by 500+ tenants at Dreamhost and supporting 1,000s of VMs in its cloud compute service. DreamHost is now spinning-off the solution into Akanda, a start-up whose mission will be to accelerate open source NFV for cloud operators.

    • Midokura Brings MidoNet SDN for OpenStack to Open Source

      Until today, Midokura’s flagship MidoNet network virtualization Software Defined Network (SDN) platform was a closed piece of proprietary code. That is now changing, as Midokura announced today at the OpenStack Summit in Paris that it is open sourcing the core pieces of its MidoNet platform.

    • OpenStack and the Mysteries of the Universe

      OpenStack has emerged in the last four years to be one of the leading ways that enterprises can leverage their server capacity to build cloud infrastructure. OpenStack is also being used with great impact at CERN, quite literally helping to unlock the mysteries of the universe.

  • CMS

  • Business

    • SDN company goes open source

      Midokura giving its product away to fill OpenStack gap

    • An open source ERP system built to self-implement

      Why someone would start a new open source ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) project, is the question that people ask me again and again. If I had known what it takes, I might not have done it! But I did not know that in 2006 when I started to write my own ERP in Python and MySQL.


      Our biggest satisfaction will be when a whole bunch of small, local, innovative organizations across the world gets access to tools that will help them compete with large, global, and inefficient corporations—creating a level playing field that will leave our world a little bit more fair.

    • Barclays and CommBank explore open source collaboration pact

      Barclays Bank is to work with Commonwealth Bank of Australia on the development of open source tools for analysing large data sets in an effort to break free from the tyranny of vendor licensing fees.

  • BSD


    • Technological Neutrality and Free Software

      Technological neutrality is the principle that the state should not impose preferences for or against specific kinds of technology. For example, there should not be a rule that specifies whether state agencies should use solid state memory or magnetic disks, or whether they should use GNU/Linux or BSD. Rather, the agency should let bidders propose any acceptable technology as part of their solutions, and choose the best/cheapest offer by the usual rules.

      The principle of technological neutrality is valid, but it has limits. Some kinds of technology are harmful; they may pollute air or water, encourage antibiotic resistance, abuse their users, abuse the workers that make them, or cause massive unemployment. These should be taxed, regulated, discouraged, or even banned.

      The principle of technological neutrality applies only to purely technical decisions. It is not “ethical neutrality” or “social neutrality”; it does not apply to decisions about ethical and social issues—such as the choice between free software and proprietary software.

    • GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry: 25 new GNU releases!
    • Free software groups hopeful for new Commission

      Free software advocacy groups are hopeful that the incoming European Commission will advance the use and development of this type of software solution in public administration.

    • Videos from the GNU Tools Cauldron

      The GNU Tools Cauldron, a conference on the low-level toolchain (GCC, glibc, GDB, etc.) was held last July. There is now a full set of videos from the event available for your viewing pleasure.

  • Public Services/Government

    • DOD Considering Open Source EHR System

      Last month, PwC announced it intended to offer a bid for the Department of Defense (DOD) Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM) EHR contract. The DOD is searching for a contractor to replace the existing Military Health System (MHS) which currently has more than 9.7 million active duty, retired, and dependent beneficiaries.

    • An open source tool to share data from Europe’s libraries and museums

      The treasures of Europe’s rich history are carefully documented and stored in our many libraries, archives and museums. However, although our history is intricately interconnected, our repositories don’t necessarily have the technology to effectively link and share their content. Museums and libraries often have their own data codification and representation methods which means that the information may not accessible to web search engines and to other institutions.

  • Licensing

  • Programming

    • Entering the Golden Age of Open Source

      The message is clear, there’s never been a better time to write code for a living. Programmers aren’t just coding applications anymore, they are coding networks, data centers, and continuous integration systems. Infrastructure that used to require an up-front investment of millions is available to start out on for free, with a logical, understandable API to access and consume their resources. And behind it all, open source software is powering the new generation.

    • Super-villains of C sought for WORLD CONQUEST plan

      If you think like a super-villain, laugh like an anti-hero, and can write code, it’s time to polish off the cackle, sharpen up the brain, get extra coffee, and start working on your entry to the Underhanded C contest.

      The 7th Underhanded C contest seeks, like its predecessors, code that is “readable, clear, innocent and straightforward as possible”, but with the twist that “it must fail to perform its apparent function”.

    • Improving JavaScript: Google throws AtScript into the mix

      Google’s Miško Hevery, co-inventor of the popular AngularJS framework, has announced a new project to improve JavaScript by adding type annotations and other features.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML5 Gets Promoted to a Standard

      The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced that it is promoting the HTML5 specification to Recommendation status, that highest level of approval, which effectively pushes HTML5 to the level of a web standard.

    • Departments lack common targets for implementing open-document standards

      The standard called the Open Document Format (ODF) was chosen by the government in July 2014 to standardise document formats across the public sector, with PDF and HTML also approved for viewing files.

      In September 2014, government departments were told to publish their implementation plans, which are expected to trickle through over the coming month.


  • Security

    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • Why The UK Desperately Needs 200,000 IT Security Specialists

      The UK’s lack of available talent with the right cyber security skills presents a very real danger to British businesses, according to a London-based cyber security specialist recruiter.

      Responding to recent reports by EY and the office of the Minister for Universities and Science, Cornucopia IT Resourcing, warned that the unless the deficit in the number of available cyber security professionals is addressed, British businesses will remain the target of cyber attacks.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • CNN Host: Climate Change Is Undeniable, So Here’s a Denier

      He introduced it as “a story you will see nowhere else this morning.” That story is that one of the founders of the Weather Channel, retired TV weather forecaster John Coleman, thinks “climate change is a hoax.” And saying so got him invited on Fox News.


      The current CEO of the Weather Channel arrives next to affirm the channel’s statement that it disagrees with Coleman. And, since the discussion mostly skipped over challenging any of Coleman’s rhetoric, one could actually argue that there wasn’t much of a debate at all.

    • Traffic noise can threaten birds’ survival

      Young birds attempting to call for their parents over man-made noises are inadvertently attracting predators, research finds

  • Finance

    • A Debate on Open Source of Virtual Currency

      With the popularization of knowledge on the online virtual money, more and more virtual money are produced. Since the Bitcoin made the Web money in fashion and gained global attention, the virtual money after Bitcoin were called “Copycat Coins”. While these virtual money use different names merely to differentiate with Bitcoin, like the different names of currencies in the real world, such as the US dollar, the Euro, etc.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Pianist asks The Washington Post to remove a concert review under the E.U.’s ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling

      The pianist Dejan Lazic, like many artists and performers, is occasionally the subject of bad reviews. Also like other artists, he reads those reviews. And disagrees with them. And gripes over them, sometimes.

      But because Lazic lives in Europe, where in May the European Union ruled that individuals have a “right to be forgotten” online, he decided to take the griping one step further: On Oct. 30, he sent The Washington Post a request to remove a 2010 review by Post classical music critic Anne Midgette that – he claims — has marred the first page of his Google results for years.

  • Privacy

    • Open Rights Group response to GCHQ Director’s claim that tech companies are aiding terrorists

      Open Rights Group has responded to an FT comment piece by the Director of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, in which he calls for “greater co-operation from technology companies’, who are in his words, “the command and control networks of choice” for terrorists.

    • New GCHQ Boss Blames Tech Industry For ‘Facilitating Murder’ And Being Terrorists’ ‘Command-And-Control’ Center

      So, we weren’t too impressed with previous GCHQ (the UK equivalent of the NSA) boss, Sir Iain Lobban, who insisted that GCHQ didn’t do “mass surveillance” so long as you defined “mass” and “surveillance” the way he does (and not the way the English language does). This statement was made just days before it was revealed that the GCHQ (contrary to its own claims) gets access to NSA data without a warrant.

    • GCHQ: Going from Bad to Worse

      Some of the most disturbing revelations to emerge from Edward Snowden’s leaks are that the UK’s GCHQ is involved in spying on all the Internet traffic as it enters and leaves this country, and that it is jointly responsible for undermining basic cryptographic methods that keep communications private – and which make e-commerce possible. All of this without any kind of legal justification, just Jesuitical casuistry that largely turns on contorted interpretations of laws and stretched definitions of key concepts.

    • Reaction to comments made by the new head of GCHQ

      Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “It is wholly wrong to state that internet companies are failing to assist in investigations.

    • GCHQ Chief Criticises Tech Firms

      In an unusual step the new head of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, has written an article accusing technology companies of aiding terrorism and failing to help with investigations. The article is entirely vague in its criticisms of the tech companies, giving little detail of what information GCHQ is failing to receive from the tech companies.

    • Facebook Creates .Onion Site; Now Accessible Via Tor Network
    • Verizon Injecting Perma-Cookies to Track Mobile Customers, Bypassing Privacy Controls

      Verizon users might want to start looking for another provider. In an effort to better serve advertisers, Verizon Wireless has been silently modifying its users’ web traffic on its network to inject a cookie-like tracker. This tracker, included in an HTTP header called X-UIDH, is sent to every unencrypted website a Verizon customer visits from a mobile device. It allows third-party advertisers and websites to assemble a deep, permanent profile of visitors’ web browsing habits without their consent.

    • Facebook’s Ability To Influence The Election

      As the article notes, Facebook had experimented with “I’m Voting” or “I’m a Voter” buttons on its site to see if that would encourage friends to vote, but its civic engagement tactics have gone much further than that.

    • Will The CIA Treat Amazon’s Cloud The Same Way It Treated Drives It Shared With The Senate?

      The US intelligence community’s $600 million cloud computing deal with Amazon was finalized roughly a year ago, but recent revelations about the CIA’s behavior in shared virtual spaces is raising questions about the government’s move to virtual computing.

    • Amazon-CIA $600 Million Deal Facing Scrutiny: “What’s the CIA Doing on Amazon’s Cloud?”

      A billboard challenging Amazon to fully disclose the terms of its $600 million contract to provide cloud computing services for the Central Intelligence Agency has been unveiled at a busy intersection near Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.

    • In Klayman v. Obama, EFF Explains Why Metadata Matters and the Third-Party Doctrine Doesn’t

      How can the US government possibly claim that its collection of the phone records of millions of innocent Americans is legal? It relies mainly on two arguments: first, that no one can have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their metadata and second, that the outcome is controlled by the so-called “third party doctrine,” which says that no one has an expectation of privacy in information they convey to a third party (such as telephone numbers dialed). We expect the government to press both of these arguments on November 4, before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. We look forward to responding.

    • Feinstein floats privacy changes to cyber bill

      Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Tuesday said she is prepared to make changes to her cybersecurity bill to assuage privacy concerns.

    • Congress Wants To Push Dangerous Cybersecurity Bill After The Election, Says US Economy Depends On It

      Reports are coming out that Congress is looking to push forward with bad cybersecurity legislation after the election, but before the new Congress takes over in January. We’ve discussed the bill in question, CISA, before. The main idea behind it is to immunize companies from liability if they share certain information with the government. Supporters of the bill note that the information sharing is entirely voluntary, but by taking away the liability it also makes it a lot more likely that companies will choose to give information to the government, and it’s not yet clear why the government really needs that information. But the FUD levels are high, with Senator Saxby Chambliss actually suggesting the entire economy is at stake here…

    • Court Tells US Gov’t That ‘State Secrets’ Isn’t A Magic Wand They Can Wave To Make Embarrassing Cases Go Away

      Earlier this year, we wrote about the case of Gulet Mohamed, a US citizen who was put on the no fly list and ran into some issues in the Middle East because of that (and by “issues” we mean he was beaten by Kuwaiti officials for wanting to fly home to Virginia). The DOJ was making some nutty arguments, including claiming that the whole case should be thrown out because “state secrets.” This is the usual claim in these kinds of cases. Back in August we noted that the judge, Anthony Trenga, was skeptical of this argument, asking for the DOJ to provide a lot more info to back up its claims (in that post we also noted that the DOJ wanted to pretend that the leaked guidelines for how the no fly list works hadn’t been leaked).

      Now the judge has ruled officially and rejected the DOJ’s argument, saying that they can’t just claim “state secrets” and walk away.

    • Big Bad Data

      Like its successors, such as PRISM, Trailblazer was all about collecting everything it could from everywhere it could. “At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata”, Bill tells us, “are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.” At the very least, revelations by Bill and other sources (such as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning) make it clear that the Fourth Amendment no longer protects American citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. In the era of Big Data everywhere, it’s reasonable to grab all of it.

  • Civil Rights

    • Feds Gearing Up To Try, One More Time, To Force James Risen To Reveal His Source

      Last week, we noted that Attorney General Eric Holder was hinting that the DOJ was near “a resolution” with reporter James Risen — the NY Times reporter who the DOJ has been harassing and trying to force to give up sources. In a recent interview, Risen makes the rather compelling case, that this effort by the DOJ was never about actually solving any sort of crime (the DOJ knows who did the leak), but rather about totally discrediting and/or punishing Risen for some of his other investigative reports. If the DOJ can undermine the ability of Risen to protect sources, he loses many sources.

    • Sharia law or gay marriage critics would be branded ‘extremists’ under Tory plans, atheists and Christians warn

      Anyone who criticises Sharia law or gay marriage could be branded an “extremist” under sweeping new powers planned by the Conservatives to combat terrorism, an alliance of leading atheists and Christians fear.

      Theresa May, the Home Secretary, unveiled plans last month for so-called Extremism Disruption Orders, which would allow judges to ban people deemed extremists from broadcasting, protesting in certain places or even posting messages on Facebook or Twitter without permission.

    • Texas police officer caught on video: ‘Go ahead, call the cops. They can’t un-rape you.’

      In the video embedded below, two Austin, Texas police officers were accidentally recorded by a dashboard camera having what they thought was a private conversation.

      After a brief back-and-forth between the two men about a minor collision they handled earlier in the day and other matters, an attractive woman walks by.

      “Look at that girl over there,” one officer says.

    • Infringing Panties So Important To DHS, That It Intimidated Print Shop Owner Into Warrantless Search

      A few more details have emerged concerning the Dept. of Homeland Security’s daring daylight raid of a Kansas City lingerie shop. Our long, dark national nightmare ended just before Game 1 of the World Series when Peregrine Honig’s custom-made Royals-related underwear was seized by gun-toting DHS agents. The crime? Presumably trademark infringement (the government’s panty raiders specifically pointed out the joining of the letters K and C as problematic), although everyone involved (including the DHS super troopers) keeps referring to it as a “copyright” issue.

    • Police In Ferguson Set Up No-Fly Zone Solely To Keep Journalists Out, According To FAA Audio Recordings

      A few more details have come to light on the police state experiment conducted in Ferguson, MO over the past couple of months. Despite repeated denials that continued all the way up until October 31st, the real reason for the FAA’s no-fly zone over Ferguson has been revealed.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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