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06.28.14

Links 28/6/2014: New Wine, Steam Update

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Platforms Fuel Startup Ecosystems

    Companies face an inherent tension between being open or proprietary, but we’ve seen, again and again, that open systems can act as catalysts for entirely new businesses built on top of a popular platform.

  • SF Parking App Warned By SF City Attorney Open-Sources Its Code

    Parking app Sweetch has open-sourced its code this morning in an effort to solve the parking crisis in San Francisco. The free, open-source project, called Freetch is open to any developer willing to work on solving parking problems for the city.

    City Attorney Dennis Herrera called out Sweetch and other parking apps earlier this week in a cease-and-desist letter it sent to MonkeyParking. The letter specifically warned Sweetch and ParkModo, both of which the city believes “…similarly violate local and state law with mobile app-enabled schemes intended to illegally monetize public parking spaces.”

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • How YARN Changed Hadoop Job Scheduling

      Scheduling means different things depending on the audience. To many in the business world, scheduling is synonymous with workflow management. Workflow management is the coordinated execution of a collection of scripts or programs for a business workflow with monitoring, logging and execution guarantees built in to a WYSIWYG editor. Tools like Platform Process Manager come to mind as an example. To others, scheduling is about process or network scheduling. In the distributed computing world, scheduling means job scheduling, or more correctly, workload management.

    • Dataguise Introduces Security, Compliance Suite for Big Data Governance
  • BSD

    • Testing LLVM Clang 3.5′s Code Generation Optimizations

      or those curious about the performance of LLVM Clang in its current development form when testing the common code generation options for optimizing the performance (and in some cases size) of the resulting binaries, here’s some fresh compiler benchmarks.

      Just as some extra benchmarks for the weekend while finishing out the month, I ran some new benchmarks comparing common optimization levels for LLVM/Clang with the latest 3.5 development code as of earlier this month. The configurations tested for this article included.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

Leftovers

06.27.14

Links 27/6/2014: New Mint 17 Variant, OwnCloud 7 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 4:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux is the quiet revolution that will leave Microsoft eating dust

    But the fact is, even if you think you are bound to Windows or some other proprietary operating system, you are probably already a Linux user too. When you visit a website, the chances are that it is using an Apache2 webserver. This is free and designed to integrate with the security and operating system features of Linux. Currently more than 60% of webservers are known to be hosting via Apache.

  • Desktop

    • xGNU/Linux Is Not That Other OS, Again…

      I came across a post in a forum challenging GNU/Linux experts to find a file-manager in GNU/Linux that would allow the authour to use GNU/Linux exactly the way he uses that other OS:“1. Search selected network drives / partitions / directories for files by name using wildcards

  • Kernel Space

    • Stable kernels 3.15.2, 3.14.9, 3.10.45, and 3.4.95

      Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of four stable kernels: 3.15.2, 3.14.9, 3.10.45, and 3.4.95. As usual, they contain changes throughout the tree and users of those kernel series should upgrade.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Haswell HD Graphics Benchmarks With Linux 3.16

        While nothing was explicitly stated with regard to 3D performance changes with the numerous Intel DRM improvements for Linux 3.16, I ran some basic OpenGL benchmarks on a Intel Core i7 4790K Devil’s Canyon box with Ubuntu 14.04 to look out for any performance changes when using the latest drm-next code merged into Linux 3.16.

      • X.Org Server 1.15.2 Released
      • Sadly, Two X.Org GSoC Projects Already Failed

        At the X.Org Board of Directors’ meeting yesterday, it was confirmed about two projects already failing. “Unfortunately we had to fail two students, one that disappeared right after the program start and one who failed the mid-term evaluations.” Sadly, this isn’t too uncommon for these student open-source projects funded by Google.

    • Benchmarks

      • Mac OSX 10.10 Yosemite beta vs 10.7.5 vs Ubuntu 14.04 on Macbook Air 2011

        The new OSX will be released this fall but a Mac OSX Yosemite beta is already available online. I don’t care much about the “wow” effect around the new Apple products, so I tested this new Operative System comparing the old OSX Lion 10.7.5 and the current Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS for the stuff I care: the UNIX and the Web performance part, because I fear the upgrade OSX dilemma.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • UT Update and the Futures of Fedora and KDE
      • Randa Meetings Interview Three: Vedant Agrawal

        Thanks again for your further support of the Randa Meetings fundraising. We have now reached almost 40% of the our goal and there is still time to go. Please help even more and spread the word. If we reach our goal we can have an even more stable Kdenlive, more applications ported to KDE Frameworks 5, further progress on Phonon, a look at Amarok 3, even better KDE educational applications, a finished port of GCompris to Qt and KDE technologies, an updated KDE Book, more work on Gluon and a new and amazing KDE SDK!

      • Where are my systray icons?

        One of the features no longer available in the upcoming Plasma 5 release is the xembed based system tray (for explanation see my previous blog post). This can result in some applications missing a system tray icon, but it shouldn’t happen. There are patches around for various toolkits which will turn the xembed icon into a status notifier item. Our KDE packagers were informed back in March about the upcoming change and which patches should be applied to which components.

      • Kubuntu 14.10 Alpha 1 (Utopic Unicorn) Is Out, Users Can Test the Plasma 5 Desktop

        Kubuntu14.10 Alpha 1 (Utopic Unicorn) is based on KDE 4.13.2, but the developers are tracking the upcoming KDE Frameworks 5, which is now in the works. It’s been a long time since a Kubuntu development version didn’t integrate an unstable version of KDE, but it looks like users will still be able to test what the makers of this distro are preparing.

        “Plasma 1 is our recommended stable offering and what you get from the default download, but is now in maintenance mode. It runs the software you are familiar with and will be getting updates and bugfixes but not new features from now on.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.13.3

        I’ve done the release team duty for the GNOME 3.13.3 release this week. As I often do, I took some screenshots of new things that I’ve noticed while smoketesting.

        There is quite a bit of good new stuff in this release, starting with an rewritten and improved Adwaita theme that is now part of GTK+.

      • The GNOME 3.13.3 Changes Are Exciting
      • In praise of Jim Hall | As far as I know

        Fast forward to the present day, and Jim has conducted a set of user tests on GNOME 3.10 and 3.12, which he has analysed and presented to Jakub and me. I have started filing bugs so we can fix the usability issues he discovered. More bug reports are on their way, and we’re pushing to use Jim’s testing data to increase GNOME’s usability for the next release. (Check out the bugs if you’re interested in helping out with this!)

      • The GNOME Shell Challenge

        The mission: use GNOME Shell as the primary desktop for an entire week. Do I choose to accept it? Yes. It’s easy enough to try something for a short time and discard it in a negative manner, which has been the case for me with GNOME Shell in the past, but perhaps it can be fun to challenge yourself to try something properly and for a longer time. Or perhaps you’re a masochist! Either way, feel free to join me…

  • Distributions

    • Is Antergos Arch Linux Really Faster Than Ubuntu, Fedora?

      Frequently within the Phoronix Forums it is requested to do benchmarks with Arch Linux since its users tend to be adamant that it’s the fastest Linux distribution. In the past I’ve run benchmarks of the Arch-based Manjaro to look for speed differences as an easy and quick to deploy variant. Today the latest Arch Linux variant I am benchmarking is Antegros Linux.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Preview: Running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 In Amazon’s EC2 Cloud

        For those in need of a quick and easy place to experiment and trial Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0, which was released as stable earlier this month, it’s easy to do so within Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud. It’s running well using a Xen HVM instance and so I have run some preliminary benchmarks against SUSE Enterprise and Ubuntu Linux.

      • The curious case of why Red Hat won’t certify on HP’s OpenStack distro

        HP has the ability to run Red Hat’s distribution on its Helion OpenStack platform and welcomes a certification for it. So, why won’t Red Hat certify it on HP? At HP Discover 2014 in Las Vegas earlier this month, Saar Gillai, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for HP Cloud, joined John Furrier and Dave Vellante on theCUBE and talked about his bewilderment of why Red Hat won’t certify on HP’s platform.

      • Red Hat’s OpenStack strategy progresses with eNovance buy

        Red Hat has made a series of moves in recent months to make headway in the cloud as it once again seeks to successfully productize an open source platform.

        Red Hat Inc. has agreed to acquire Paris-based OpenStack cloud integrator eNovance. The new acquisition will help customers architect a cloud strategy, as well as set up, deploy and manage private clouds, according to the Raleigh, North Carolina-based company.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) alpha-1 released!

            The first alpha of the Utopic Unicorn (to become 14.10) has now been released!

            This alpha features images for Kubuntu, Lubuntu Ubuntu GNOME, UbuntuKylin and the Ubuntu Cloud images.

          • Ubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn” Alpha 1 Released
          • Ubuntu 14.10 Alpha 1 Flavors Officially Released

            Unlike the previous development branch for Ubuntu 14.04, fewer developers chose to participate in the first Alpha release of 14.10. This is not something to worry about and it’s likely that the second Alpha will have more exposure.

            Canonical stopped releasing Alpha versions for its operating system for some time now, and only a few of the flavors have decided to keep doing this kind of releases. Ubuntu 14.10 will only get a Beta version right before launch so, until then, users can only expect the flavors to have intermediary builds.

          • Canonical Supporting IBM POWER8 for Ubuntu Cloud, Big Data

            If Ubuntu Linux is to prove truly competitive in the OpenStack cloud and Big Data worlds, it needs to run on more than x86 hardware. And that’s what Canonical achieved this month, with the announcement of full support for IBM POWER8 machines on Ubuntu Cloud and Ubuntu Server.

          • Ubuntu’s Ties to OpenStack Bring it to IBM’s Servers and Beyond

            POWER8 is IBM’s platform for wooing enterprise users interested in Big Data and fast performance. In early June, Canonical announced the official general availability of Power8 servers running Ubuntu.

          • Linux Format 186 – Fix Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn Alpha 1 released

            The next version of Ubuntu is due out in October, but you can take an early build of the open source operating system for a test drive at any time by grabbing the latest nightly.

            Or you can try the first Alpha release of Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn. While there’s not an official Alpha build of the main branch of Ubuntu with the Unity desktop, there are builds for Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, and Ubuntu Cloud, which are all variations of Ubuntu with custom desktop environments and other features.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Smartwatch Battle: Pebble Steel vs. Galaxy Gear 2

      Before Google comes in with its own smartwatches, consumers have two mainstream devices to choose from. On one hand, there is the Galaxy Gear 2, coming from a reputed brand like Samsung and there’s Pebble Steel by Pebble Technology Corporation that gained popularity after a successful Kickstarter funding campaign for their first watch.

      When we consider the turf of wearable devices, there’s nothing much to boast of, except, of course, Google Glass. Apart from Pebble and Gear, the tech industry is impatiently waiting for the Motorola smartwatch, which will be made in collaboration with Google. The wait, however, doesn’t have to be this hard. If you are someone who wants to get their hands on a smartwatch right now, both the Pebble and the Gear 2 are excellent choices. Both have their own merits, and also their own demerits. But then, which to choose between the two? Well, that’s why we are here. In this article, we’ll be doing a quick comparison between the Pebble Steel smartwatch and the Galaxy Gear 2. Let’s see who wins.

    • Rugged, shape-shifting handheld runs Android

      Motorola Solutions unveiled a rugged, enterprise handheld that runs Android 4.1, 1D or 2D scanning, and offers a choice of brick, gun, or turret styles.

      When Motorola split into Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions back in 2011, Motorola Mobility was supposed to be the Android company and Motorola Solutions the Windows company. Yet, the latter, which produces a range of enterprise solutions including 4G wireless equipment, has done quite well with its Android-ready enterprise handhelds.

    • Raspberry Pi motion controller
    • Yocto part IV – going on a diet
    • Raspberry Pi becomes an industrial web server

      A Polish start-up company is claiming to have created the first industrial computer based on the new Raspberry Pi Compute Module.

      Techbase, said the device which it has dubbed ModBerry is designed to be used in automation and installation markets providing multi-level user access cloud management.

    • Phones

      • Flashing Tizen Common on to the Intel NUC

        Exciting times are ahead of application and platform developers with the release of Tizen Common as it has the ability to run on the Intel NUC DE3815TYKHE, which was one of the giveaways at the Tizen Developer Conference (as well as the Samsung Gear 2)

      • Android

        • Google I/O 2014 keynote shows why Android should replace Chrome OS on Chromebooks

          The keynote of Google I/O was only and only about one thing – Android. This Linux-based operating system has become the center of Google’s universe. From cars to smartwatches, it was only about Android. That makes one wonder where was the other Linux-based platform, Chrome OS, Google has been developing for a while!

          Chrome was not absent, Google did talk about Chrome OS at the event, but it was more about Android than the Chrome OS. You can see Sundar Pichai talking about Chromebook at the event, but was more about Android than Chrome OS.

        • Android apps are coming to Chromebooks
        • Android apps are coming to Chromebooks, but there’s a catch

          Google’s Sundar Pichai had a lot to share on stage the Google I/O 2014 keynote on Wednesday. Between Pichai and another half-dozen Googlers, the keynote ran for about 2.5 hours, bombarding attendees with information on new features for Android, Chrome and other initiatives. So it makes sense that some things only got a few minutes of attention, and one of items that was actually the most interesting came when Pichai said Android apps are coming Google’s Chrome OS.

        • Google will NOT discontinue its Nexus devices

          There have been rumours doing rounds suggesting the end of Google’s Nexus line of Android devices. Well, here’s some piece of ‘real’ news for those who are worried about this. Google will be launching a new Nexus device along with the release of its Android L by the end of this year.

          It is also a fact that Google is reforming the way it will be rolling out high-end Android devices. Reportedly, the search giant is progressing on a new program dubbed Android Silver, as part of which, Google will be paying big manufacturers such as Samsung, LG and Motorola to make Android smartphones according to the specifications it offers. They will then be sold via cellular carriers like AT&T and Verizon. This is expected to materialise by next year.

        • Google Gives Developers Early Access to Android L

          Android developers are getting their first look at the future with the new Android L Developer Preview edition of the mobile device operating system, which was unveiled by Google on June 25 at the Google I/O 2014 developers conference. The early preview version provides developers and users with glimpses of the evolution of Android as it approaches its seventh birthday in September 2014. Android L marks the first time that Google has ever provided early access to a development version of the OS to device and application developers, according to a June 25 post by Jamal Eason, an Android product manager, on the Android Developers Blog. The preview version, which is available for use as of today, will allow developers to explore many of the new features and capabilities of the next version of Android while providing tools to allow development and testing on the new platform, wrote Eason.

        • Android ‘L’ Keyboard, Wallpapers and Fonts available to download

Free Software/Open Source

  • Teradata Lifts the Limitations on Open Source R Analytics
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Linux 7.0 RC Uses XFS Filesystem and Has UEFI Support

      It’s been a couple of months since the latest development release for Oracle Linux, but the developers have had enough time to prepare the distro for the final release, although a precise date hasn’t been put forward.

      “It’s an exciting day for the Oracle Linux team because the Oracle Linux 7 release candidate is now available for download from Oracle Technology Network! Head on over to the OTN Oracle Linux downloads page and have a look at the Oracle Linux Beta Programs section to get it right now,” said the developers in the official announcement.

    • Oracle Linux 7 RC Released – Another RHEL 7 Clone

      Oracle is a little different – First of all, I’m not even sure what the name of the thing is. I’ve heard of OEL (Oracle Enterprise Linux), Oracle Linux, and a few other names. I think I’ll just call it OEL. OEL is a pay distro *BUT* they do offer free downloads of their install media as well as updates. Originally updates were pay-only but they opened that up a while back when they had a promotional campaign claiming they were faster with updates than CentOS (turns out they aren’t but close). I guess their business plan is you can use OEL for free and have updates… but there are some value add features (like Ksplice and Dtrace, etc) and support that cost extra. To download their iso install media you have to have an account on their system but that is cost-free and it just so happens I already had one because I’ve downloaded previous releases like OEL6.

  • Healthcare

    • Free software for healthcare facilities in need

      GNU Health is a free software tool for healthcare facilities in rural areas and developing countries, licensed under the GNU GPL. The project got its start in 2006, and at the time of my interview with Falcon, GNU Health had evolved into a health and hospital information system used by the United Nations, public hospitals and Ministries of Health in countries like Argentina, and private institutions around the globe. Today, GNU Solidario is planting their free software and health administration system into facilities in need in countries all over the world.

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 4.0 Beta 2 Released With MATE Goodness

      GhostBSD 4.0 continues moving along as the FreeBSD operating system focused around the MATE Desktop Environment.

      GhostBSD 4.0 Beta 2 was released and it features various bug-fixes and other minor improvements over the earlier development versions.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • PHP 5.5.14 Officially Released

      PHP, an HTML-embedded scripting language with syntax borrowed from C, Java, and Perl, with a couple of unique PHP-specific features thrown in, has been updated to version 5.5.14.

      The PHP 5.x branch includes a new OOP model based on the Zend Engine, a new extension for improved MySQL support, built-in native support for SQLite, and much more.

Leftovers

  • Scottish independence: Miliband raises border post prospect

    Ed Miliband has said a Labour government at Westminster would consider building border posts if Scotland voted for independence.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • How will the US react if someone made a film around a plot to assassinate a real US president?

      What is common between The Conspirator, Death of a President, JFK, The Day of the Jackal and Shooter? Full of twisted plots, these movies are based on President Assassination plots. A similar plot is bearing the wrath of the government of North Korea, which has taken serious offense to Seth Rogen’s upcoming film titled The Interview.

      The American action-comedy is about two journalists that are given the task of assassinating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and is now being called as an “act of war” by the government. The movie stars Rogen and James Franco as the two journos who are instructed by the CIA to assassinate the leader. In a statement issued by a local KCNA news agency, a spokesperson from the foreign ministry called Rogen as a “gangster filmmaker” and has asked for the ban of the film, reported AFP.

      [...]

      This makes me wonder if there are any Hollywood films that show the assassination of a real and not a fictional US President. Or are there films that revolve around the plot of murdering the current US President? However, what I do remember is that the US Army banned the sale of Medal of Honor video game as the game allowed you to play as an Al Qaeda member and attack US troops. Do you think a writer can ever dare to work on a film plot about the assassination of the current US President?

    • ISIS Cashing in on Looted Antiquities to Fuel Iraq Insurgency
    • This Sunday, a Different Kind of Iraq War Booster: Bill Clinton

      Is Clinton trying to pull this trick all over again? Who knows. But what’s clear is that proponents of the Iraq War are still the kinds of people that corporate media are seeking out as experts now. Getting pro-war Democrats to balance out the pro-war Republicans isn’t exactly a broad debate.

    • Google withdraws its robots from military contest

      Remember Schaft? The dextrous little robot that previously grabbed the top prize at DARPA’s $2 million Robotics Challenge. Google acquired the Japanese robotics firm in 2013, and reports emerged soon after that Mountain View was planning to pull its team from the DARPA robotics competition. The reason being the company is not keen on pursuing military contracts.

  • Finance

    • Millions in Poverty Get Less Coverage Than 482 Billionaires

      Poverty continues to be a pressing social problem– but it’s hardly mentioned on the network newscasts, according to a new study by the media watch group FAIR.

    • Marty Bennett

      Peter Phillips with guest host Marty Bennett Co-Chair, North Bay Jobs with Justice, examine the significance of the $15 an hour city-wide minimum wage recently approved by the City of Seattle and we will discuss the minimum wage and living wage campaigns across the SF Bay Area that are part of the national “Fight for $15″ campaign. Our guests include: Jahmese Myres, Policy Associate and Organizer, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, Gordon Mar is Executive Director of SF Jobs with Justice, Derecka Mehrens, Executive Director, Working Partnerships USA (Santa Clara County) and Paul K. Sonn, General Counsel & Program Director National Employment Law Project

    • China building World Bank rival

      Owing to its concerns over western (mainly US) dominance on the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, China is working towards establishing a global financial institution. According to two sources familiar with the matter, Beijing has proposed to other countries to double the size of the registered capital for the bank to $100bn, FT reported.

      The bank, which will be named Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has so far garnered attention from 22 countries including Middle East. Initially, the model will be focusing on a revised version of the ancient trade route that connected Europe to China- silk road.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Nigerian man is locked up after saying he is an atheist

      Campaigners call for release of 29-year-old Mubarak Bala, who lives in Kano in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north

    • The Insane Clown Posse’s lawsuit against the FBI: how does it work?

      The Department of Justice has asked a Detroit-area federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit against the department and the FBI filed by local horror-rap group the Insane Clown Posse and four of its fans, with the assistance of the ACLU. That’s a real thing that’s happening in the world we all inhabit. Here, watch ICP’s Joseph Bruce (aka Violent J) introduce the lawsuit on January 8:

    • FBI vs. ICP: Juggalos say gang designation caused harassment; Feds say document only reported trends

      U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland on Monday heard arguments on a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Insane Clown Posse and a group of fans against the FBI.

      ICP, a Detroit music duo known for explicit lyrics, face paint and a diehard following that created the “Juggalo” subculture, claim a 2011 FBI report caused their fans to be detained, questioned and harassed by law enforcement agencies across the country. (View the complaint here.)

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The Father of Net Neutrality Returns to Do Battle With Comcast

      Fifteen years ago, he landed a marketing job with a network equipment maker called Riverstone Networks. Riverstone made network routers, among other things, and it sold many of these to Chinese internet service providers who then used them to block traffic on their networks.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Supreme Court Uses The Bizarre ‘Looks Like A Cable Duck’ Test To Outlaw Aereo

        As you may have heard, this morning, the Supreme Court effectively killed off Aereo with an unfortunate and terribly problematic 6 to 3 ruling that can be summarized simply as the “looks like a duck” test. If you’re not familiar with the history, decades back, when cable companies were first around, they started rebroadcasting network TV to cable subscribes, and the Supreme Court (rightly) ruled that this was perfectly legal. The broadcasters ran screaming and crying to Congress, who changed the law to create a retransmission setup, saying that if cable companies wanted to retransmit broadcast TV they had to pay fees. Aereo got around that by setting up a very different system — or so we thought. The majority decision, written by Stephen Breyer, really just keeps going back to the fact that Aereo looks just like what those cable companies used to do… and therefore, given that Congress changed the law to outlaw that, Congress must have meant that Aereo should be illegal as well. The majority seems to view things as a black box, ignoring everything in the box. It just says “well, to end users and to networks, this is identical to the old cable systems.” As for the very careful steps that Aereo took to comply with the law? The majority just brushes that off as meaningless.

06.26.14

Links 26/6/2014: Linux is Everywhere; A Lot of Android News

Posted in News Roundup at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Get what you paid for with open source

    That right there is the beauty of open source and the benefit of ‘paying’ with your time. We get so used to software that forces us to just deal with the menus and settings they provide that we don’t think to suggest new features when we switch to open source, but if you do you might just get what you’d paid for.

  • Cisco open sources cloud-centric block ciphers

    Cisco is open sourcing block cipher technology to, the company hopes, better protect and control traffic privacy in cloud computing systems

  • With LINCX open source SDN switch, who needs ASICs?

    This past year, Stu Bailey, founder and CTO of network management company InfoBlox, led a research team in developing a fully programmable, open source SDN switch that is not ASIC dependent. The LINCX switch runs on any off-the-shelf Linux or Xen server or on a white box switch and is not network ASIC dependent.

  • Ceph Turns 10: A Look Back

    Although many people at this point have heard Sage’s history of where Ceph came from, I am still often asked questions like “what was the original use case for Ceph?”

    So, in honor of the 10th birthday of Ceph, I thought it might be helpful (and hopefully interesting, given how much I love to hear Sage tell the story) to share Ceph’s origin story and the road to where we are today.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Education

    • Why Raspberry Pi is still the white knight of education

      Two years ago, when the Raspberry Pi launched, it was with the intention of improving IT education in the UK. Since then more powerful, better connected or cheaper boards have come onto the market, but the Pi retains its position as the white knight of ICT teaching.

      Why? Because of the community of users that has grown up around it. To find out more we travelled west to Manchester, venue for the second annual Jamboree—a festival of educators, makers and messer-abouters focussed on highlighting how engaging the Pi can be. There, we met 75% of the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s education team—Ben Nuttall, Clive Beale, and Carrie Anne Philbin—to discuss IT teaching in the UK.

  • Business

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Critique of Gedit Syntax Highlighting + PHP Color Schemes

      I’ve always liked PHP’s default syntax highlighting, that is to say the color scheme used by highlight_file(). I’ve often found myself easily grokking code examples on PHP.net when, say, looking up the parameter order for something like imageconvolution(), only to suffer some frustration once going back to Gedit.

    • Eclipse Luna Release Train Now Available

      The Eclipse Foundation is pleased to announce the availability of the Luna release, the annual release train from the Eclipse community. This year 76 projects are participating in the release that includes 61 million lines of code and was developed by over 340 Eclipse committers. This is the ninth year the Eclipse community has planned, developed, and delivered a coordinated release that allows users and adopters to update their Eclipse installations at one time.

    • Intel MIC Run-Time Offload Library Close To Entering GCC

      Intel’s MIC run-time offload library will likely be added to the GNU Compiler Collection in the very near future.

      This month the GCC steering committee approved adding Intel’s offload library to GCC that provides run-time support for their MIC architecture, which is what makes up their high-end “Xeon Phi” hardware.

Leftovers

  • The Muddle of Cameron

    Personally I am very pro-EU. But whatever your stance on the EU, the outright dishonesty of the Cameron approach must be condemned.

    I published a couple of weeks ago that Juncker does not share Barroso’s hostility to Scottish independence: as a former Prime Minister of Luxembourg he does not see the problem with small nations. The British media has been extremely keen to puff up the opposition to Scottish independence by foreign leaders. Cameron and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have invested huge diplomatic capital into persuading Barack Obama and Li Keqiang to make statements against Scottish independence, while standing next to Cameron for the cameras.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Samba Exploits Fixes in All Ubuntu Supported OSes
    • Risk of DDoS Amplification Attacks on NTP Servers Declines

      At the beginning of the year, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) warned of the dangers of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that were leveraging Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers to amplify attacks. Apparently, that warning did not fall on deaf ears, as most vulnerable NTP servers have been patched in the last six months, according to a new report from NSFOCUS.

      In December 2013, NSFOCUS found that 432,120 NTP servers around the world could potentially be leveraged in a DDoS attack. In a new analysis released today and conducted during the month of May, NSFOCUS only found 17,647 unpatched servers.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • It’s the Oil, Stupid! Insurgency and War on a Sea of Oil

      Events in Iraq are headline news everywhere, and once again, there is no mention of the issue that underlies much of the violence: control of Iraqi oil. Instead, the media is flooded with debate about, horror over, and extensive analysis of a not-exactly-brand-new terrorist threat, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). There are, in addition, elaborate discussions about the possibility of a civil war that threatens both a new round of ethnic cleansing and the collapse of the embattled government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

    • Fracking May Pollute Groundwater with More Chemicals Than Previously Thought

      It turns out that there may far more contamination from fracking than once thought. Scientists have found that the oil and gas extraction method known and hydraulic fracturing may contribute more pollutants to groundwater than previous research has suggested.

  • Finance

    • The living wage offers a better future for the UK’s one million working poor
    • NYT on Student Loan Crisis: What Crisis Is That?

      Leonhardt dismisses these concerns over debt as “scare stories.” He seems to think that the proper message to give indebted graduates is: Don’t worry, be happy.

    • Skyhook Ships 150 Open-Source Bitcoin ATMs in First Month

      Open-source bitcoin ATM manufacturer Skyhook has announced that it has shipped 150 units since its May launch, and that 70 units have been sent to customers since the beginning of June alone.

    • Congressional Candidate Loves Bitcoin, Attends Bitcoin in the Beltway

      B.J. Gulliot is a Republican running for Washington State’s 2nd Congressional district, and he wants your Bitcoin.

      Gulliot doesn’t appear to be a run-of-the-mill Republican. First off, he is a Republican in Washington State, which just legalized marijuana. He also drives the 100 % electric Nissan Leaf and loves to travel outside of the country. Not exactly the image that comes to mind when you think of the grand ole party.B.J. Gulliot is a Republican running for Washington State’s 2nd Congressional district, and he wants your Bitcoin.

      Gulliot doesn’t appear to be a run-of-the-mill Republican. First off, he is a Republican in Washington State, which just legalized marijuana. He also drives the 100 % electric Nissan Leaf and loves to travel outside of the country. Not exactly the image that comes to mind when you think of the grand ole party.

    • Obama’s Latest Betrayal of America and Americans in Favor of the Big Banks: TISA

      Professor Jane Kelsey of the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland prepared an analysis of the leak that I recommend that everyone read. She, appropriately, emphasizes that any analysis must be tentative because we have only a partial, stale draft through the whistleblower(s).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Google Search Removal Lets Europe Purify Its Past

      Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols reports on Google removing search results following a privacy ruling from the European Union and looks at the excitement in Germany for today’s match between Germany and the United States. He speaks on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

    • Obvious Child: NBC admits error over alleged censorship of abortion comedy

      US TV network concede online advert to promote Sundance hit had removed the word ‘abortion’

    • Censorship laws not needed to tackle prejudice

      On the one hand we have racism, with special legal privileges to censor offensive comment.

      On the other we have sexism and homophobia that do not enjoy the same protections.

      Yet even without them the preparedness of Australians to tackle sexism and homophobia has been on full display.

    • Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules Defendant Must Decrypt Data

      Encryption software has been enjoying a prolonged day in the sun for about the last year. Thanks to the revelations of Edward Snowden about the NSA’s seemingly limitless capabilities, security experts have been pounding the drum about the importance of encrypting not just data in transit, but information stored on laptops, phones and portable drives. But the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court put a dent in that armor on Wednesday, ruling that a criminal defendant could be compelled to decrypt the contents of his laptops.

      The case centers on a lawyer who was arrested in 2009 for allegedly participating in a mortgage fraud scheme. The defendant, Leon I. Gelfgatt, admitted to Massachusetts state police that he had done work with a company called Baylor Holdings and that he encrypted his communications and the hard drives of all of his computers. He said that he could decrypt the computers seized from his home, but refused to do so.

    • Make No Mistake, the Risen Case Is a Direct Attack on the Press

      On June 2nd, the Supreme Court rejected New York Times reporter James Risen’s appeal of a 4th Circuit decision that ruled the government can compel him to reveal his source under oath. The case, one of the most important for reporter’s privilege in decades, means that Risen has exhausted his appeals and must now either testify in the leak trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, or face jail time for being in contempt of court. Risen has admirably vowed to go to prison rather than comply.

    • Six flaws in the case against three jailed al-Jazeera journalists
  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • CIA Hit With Two New Lawsuits Over Its Hostile Response To Basic FOIA Requests

      I guess it’s no surprise that the CIA would be institutionally against things like transparency and freedom of information. However, in the last couple weeks there have been two separate lawsuits filed by well known Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) activists over the CIA’s general bad behavior in response to FOIA requests. First up is Michael Morisy and Muckrock, who have sued over a variety of failures by the CIA to adequately respond to a long list of FOIA requests that really should not be problematic at all.

    • A Brief History of the Bipartisan Erosion of Civil Liberties

      Six to 18 hours later you arrive at a military base and are water boarded, sensory deprived, and stress positioned at the very least. You are held indefinitely and without due process. Being stripped of due process can include:

      No formal charges will likely ever be filed against you.
      No right to call a lawyer, your family, or your pastor.
      No judge or magistrate will ever see you.
      No right to remain silent.

      And best of all, as the law reads, you are held, “until the end of hostilities.”

    • UN International Day In Support Of Victims Of Torture
    • Exclusive: Scapegoating the whistle-blower

      How a former CIA officer’s efforts to get Congress to investigate the rendition and torture of a CIA captive failed

    • Problems at the CIA are systemic and reflective of a total lack of leadership and initiative at its senior most level
    • CIA Told To Hand Over Torture Accounts
    • International Day Against Torture: 10 Brutal Techiques that Must be Banned [GRAPHIC CONTENT]

      Water boarding was one of the six CIA’s approved torture methods during Bush’s administration.

    • Guantánamo judge stands firm on CIA ‘black site’ order

      A military judge isn’t backing down from his order to the U.S. government to give defense lawyers details of the accused USS Cole bomber’s odyssey through the CIA’s secret prisons, but may let prosecutors shield the identities of some agents, according to people who have seen a secret Guantánamo war court order.

    • Judge upholds order demanding release of CIA torture accounts

      US government loses attempt to keep accounts of torture of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri secret

    • Exclusive: CIA Sued For Info Over Spying on Senate Torture Investigation

      Today Jason Leopold and Ryan Shapiro, commonly known as Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) warriors, upped the ante in their fight for more transparency from the CIA relating to its Bush-era torture and rendition program. Leopold, a freelance investigative journalist, and Shapiro, a researcher at MIT, have filed a lawsuit against the CIA compelling the agency to release documents about their spying on Senate lawmakers who were tasked with investigating CIA torture.

    • KFC: No Proof Worker Asked Scarred Child to Leave

      Fried chicken chain KFC said two different investigations have not found any evidence that an employee asked a 3-year-old girl and family members to leave because injuries she suffered in a pit bull mauling disturbed customers.

      KFC spokesman Rick Maynard said Tuesday the company considered the matter closed after an internal investigation by the franchise restaurant in Jackson and an independent probe. Maynard said the company would honor its commitment to donate $30,000 to help with medical bills for Victoria Wilcher.

    • Pentagon Official: The Obama Drone Kill Memo Is Out And Libertarians Were Right — It’s Murder

      On Monday, the White House memo used to justify drone attacks on U.S. citizens was released, and it appears to confirm the worst suspicions of its libertarian critics. The Obama administration had sought to keep the memo secret, and now we know why: Because there are no checks and balances; there are no classified courts. Indeed, the memo reveals that the president of the United States ordered the targeting killing of U.S. citizens overseas — in violation of their constitutional right to due process — sans any type of oversight outside of the executive.

    • Comment: On Assange anniversary, press freedom held hostage

      Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, has begun his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange and Ecuador are on record that he was willing to go to Sweden, he feared Sweden would hand him over to the United States. A US grand jury has been investigating him for four years in relation to the case against Chelsea Manning, who was convicted in July 2013 for leaking a massive trove of secret diplomatic documents to Wikileaks.

    • Maverick Filmmaker Says America Destroying The World!

      Last Saturday night I attended one of the most invigorating talks combining my two passions – politics and film – with Hollywood film legend Oliver Stone, the man behind some of the most seminal American films like JFK, Platoon, Born On The 4th of July, Salvador and On Any Given Sunday! Stone is a complete package – a great, firebrand filmmaker, a man of the world, a former Vietnam war veteran who’s turned anti-war and a fierce critic of American imperialism and exceptional ism seeped in bloodshed and killing of innocents around the world!

    • 4 Ways Your Constitutional Right to Privacy Has Been Gutted Since 9/11
    • Four Ways the Fourth Amendment Gets Shredded
    • Abu Qatada: Radical cleric acquitted on terrorism conspiracy charges by Jordan court

      His removal – which followed a treaty between Britain and Jordan guaranteeing his right to a fair and open retrial – won widespread plaudits for Theresa May, the Home Secretary.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • 6 Reasons Broadband Should Be Reclassified (& Regulated) as a Utility

      In order to restrict what you can do and where you can go online, ISPs would need to watch what you do online.

    • ‘Internet’s Own Boy’: Why Aaron Swartz’s story matters
    • Noah Swartz: My Brother Aaron Changed the Internet Forever

      So when mere months after his death Edward Snowden released his cache of internal NSA files, and we the public and the media all struggled to understand it and figure out what to do, it was hard not to miss Aaron immensely. It was a surprise of sorts seeing that I wasn’t the only one who looked to Aaron for guidance, and that I wasn’t the only one having a hard time without him. Remember when Wikipedia blacked out to protest SOPA/PIPA? A lot of people wondered why something similar didn’t happen in protest of the NSA, why something similar didn’t happen more recently in the fight for net neutrality. The answer, in large part, is because Aaron isn’t around anymore to do these things. To motivate and guide us.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Supreme Court puts Aereo out of business

        Aereo, a TV-over-the-Internet startup whose legal battles have been closely watched, has been ruled illegal by the Supreme Court today. If the company survives at all, its business model will have to change drastically, and it will have to pay fees to the television companies it has been fighting in court for more than two years.

        In a 6-3 opinion (PDF) written by Justice Stephen Breyer, Aereo was found to violate copyright law. According to the opinion, the company is the equivalent of a cable company, which must pay licensing fees when broadcasting over-the-air content. “Viewed in terms of Congress’ regulatory objectives, these behind-the-scenes technological differences do not distinguish Aereo’s system from cable systems, which do perform publicly,” reads the opinion.

      • MOVIE BOSS LOSES THE PLOT OVER ISP PIRACY LIABILITY

        The fight between a movie studio and an Australian ISP has today taken another odd turn. Village Roadshow’s co-CEO now suggests that iiNet must take responsibility for piracy in the same way a car manufacturer apparently would if one of its vehicles killed someone while being driven by a customer. Except they don’t, of course.

06.25.14

Links 25/6/2014: A Lot of Android News, Peppermint Five

Posted in News Roundup at 7:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • LinuxQuestions.org Turns Fourteen
  • Server

    • OpenStack chair: Linux at the cutting edge of the cloud

      The cloud-dominated world of modern IT is the perfect breeding ground for the spread of Linux in particular and open-source software in general, according to the man responsible for guiding one of the most important open-source projects.

    • The People Who Support Linux: Systems Engineer Teaching Himself Python

      Systems engineer Renault Ellis started using Linux five years ago when he was enrolled in a security and forensics program. He was studying IP tables and read the C Programming Language manual by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie along with Cliff Stoll’s The Cuckoo’s Egg.

      “I was hooked,” Ellis said via email. “I knew then I wanted to be a Linux Engineer.”

      Ellis is now a Senior Linux and Unix Engineer at electronics distributor Premier Farnell in Chicago, Illinois, where he creates, tests and deploys scripts in an eCommerce environment. He works with Apache and several different monitoring tools, both open source and commercial, and leads a lot of the DR (disaster recovery) and PCI (payment card industry) processes in their Unix environment.

    • Linux dominates supercomputers as never before

      For years, Linux has ruled supercomputing. So, it came as no surprise to anyone at the Linux Enterprise End-User Summit near Wall Street that once again the Top500 group found in its latest supercomputer ranking that Linux was the fastest of the fast operating systems.

      [...]

      In the latest contest, not only did Linux dominate, but Linux showed that is slowly pushing out all its competitors. In the June 2014 Top 500 supercomputer list, the top open-source operating system set a new high with 485 systems out of the fastest 500 running Linux. In other words 97 percent of the fastest computers in the world are based on Linux.

    • Linux Domination, Ubuntu Uncertainty, and Nerdy Enlightenment
    • Smooth like btrfs: Inside Facebook’s Linux-powered infrastructure

      Facebook engineer Chris Mason is unequivocal about the primacy of Linux in Facebook’s storage infrastructure.

      “If it runs on a computer, and it’s storing important data,” he said, “it’s running Linux.”

      Mason, speaking at the Linux Enterprise End-User Summit on Monday in New York, joined Facebook just six months ago in order to spearhead the social network’s move to btrfs (usually pronounced “butter eff ess.”), the Linux-based file system that he created in 2008 while working at Oracle.

    • Why Linux on Power?
  • Kernel Space

    • The OpenStack and Linux developer communities compared

      The kernel has roughly twice as fast of a release cycle as OpenStack. In the kernel’s case, there are roughly 2-3 month release cycles containing a two week merge period with six to ten week of stabilization work. OpenStack’s cycle is six months, made up by a four week planning window, 14 weeks of code merger, and six weeks dedicated to stabilization. The result? Faster releases for the kernel, but perhaps less significant changes per release.

    • Linux 3.16: Deadline I/O Scheduler Generally Leads With A SSD

      There’s been numerous requests lately for more disk I/O scheduler benchmarks on Phoronix of the Linux kernel and its various scheduler options. Given that there’s routinely just speculation and miscommunication by individuals over the best scheduler for HDDs/SSDs, here’s some fresh benchmarks for reference using the Linux 3.16 kernel.

      This early Linux 3.16 testing was just some simple and straight-forward tests I got done with a spare system I maintained access to while in Russia. Once returning to the US this week and then settling into the new Phoronix office I’ll run some more Linux 3.16 benchmarks using the latest Git snapshot at the time and use both hard drives and solid-state drives.

    • Linus Torvalds to developers: Make it personal

      “It’s not that Linux was new from a technical standpoint. It was new because it was done differently,” says Linus Torvalds in his interview with the IEEE Computer Society. “Linux made it clear how well open source works, not just from a technical standpoint, but also from a business, commercial, and community standpoint.”

    • Graphics Stack

      • Celebrating 30 Years of the X Windows System

        Where were you when you first learned about open source software? If you’re under, say, the age of 40, your answer will probably be, “Come again? I’ve always known about it!” But if you’re older, you may recall the first time you ever heard the phrase. Maybe it was when Netscape announced it was going to “open source” its Navigator Browser, or perhaps when you heard the name Richard Stallman for the first time. It may also be the case that it was some time before you really got your arms around what open software (or Stallman’s Free and Open Software) really meant in all of its various connotations – license-wise, commercial and community.

        Or maybe you got involved before the phrase “open source software” had even been coined (in 1998, by Bruce Perens and Eric S. Raymond) to describe what it was they were doing.

        That’s what happened in my case, when one day I got a call from one of the great unsung heroes of the open source movement – Bob Scheifler, of MIT. Bob is not only a wizard with code, but he did for the X Window System – the code that enabled the GUI for the then dominant non-desktop operating system (UNIX) and is still used in Linux today – what Linus Torvalds later did with Linux itself.

      • Intel Broadwell Graphics Names Revealed Via Linux Driver

        For what it’s worth, the marketing graphics product names for Intel’s upcoming Broadwell processors have been revealed.

      • Mesa 10.2.2
      • Mesa 10.1.5 & Mesa 10.2.2 Released
      • Drawing Tablet Support Being Figured Out For Wayland

        Chandler Paul has published a draft specification of wl_tablet that covers support for drawing tablets (i.e. Wacom-like tablets) to the Wayland protocol. Tablet support is already present within libinput as the common, abstracted input library but now it’s time to add the necessary support to the Wayland protocol.

      • Wayland’s libinput 0.4.0 Released
      • XWayland GLAMOR & DRI3 Support Added In Mainline X.Org Server
    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Qt 5.3.1 Released

      I am happy to announce that today we released Qt 5.3.1. Qt 5.3.0 has been well received with over 500.000 downloads in the first 5 weeks of release. I believe this new patch release is even better offering many improvements over Qt 5.3.0. As a patch release, it does not add new features, but various improvements and fixes. Qt Creator version 3.1.2 also released today, is packaged into the installers. For Qt Enterprise users we are providing a fully supported Qt Quick Compiler 1.0.0, as well as updates for Data Visualization (version 1.1) and Charts (version 1.4).

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • [Calligra] My new feature- Highlight changes in the cell
      • Porting plasmate to kdevplatform

        Plasmate’s goal is to help people create/test and deploy plasma packages. Originally in KDE4 we offered a clear way on how to use the plasma tools like the embedded plasmoidviewer. But we were aware that people might not want to use plasmate and instead use the plasma tools as standalone applications like they used to before the release of plasmate so we were still offering the option of using another IDE and the plasma tools. Also for every single new feature that we added to plasmate(like the kconfigxteditor) we also provided a standalone application because we wanted to give people the option to continue use their favorite IDE and the new plasma tools. In my opinion the purpose of a software application is to make the life of its users(people) easier. For the ones who don’t use plasmate if we didn’t offer those tools as standalone applications we wouldn’t fulfill our purpose. But it can also get better

      • Linux Gaming Benchmarks With Plasma-Next, KDE Frameworks 5
      • Kdenlive at Randa

        Further integration of the refactored code. The plans to rework our codebase were first discussed in 2011. In 2012 thanks to your generous donations major parts of the code could be rewritten. However they are still not being used in a released version of Kdenlive since since then developer activity was unfortunately rather low. In Randa we want to work out a plan to continue the efforts step by step and start implementing it.

      • Neptune 4.0 Wants to Be the Best KDE-Based OS

        ZevenOS-Neptune 4.0 has been dubbed “It’s all about you” and is the first release in a new series. The last update for a Neptune Linux distribution was made all the way back in October 2013, but the developers have made some great progress since then.

        “This version is aimed for creating a fast running Linux Live System for USB Sticks and offering the best out of the box experience for hard drive installations. Therefore we developed easy to use applications like USB Installer aswell as a Persistent Creator that allows you to store changes to your system on your live usb stick.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • New icon browser tool for GTK+ developers in development

        As someone that has dabbled from time to time making small GTK applications for Fedora, one of the pain points when making an interface was just figuring out what specific icons were named, and what they looked like. My previous workflow was to open up /usr/share/icons/ in Files, and search for the icon and the icon name.

      • Touchscreen Support Added To GNOME’s Mutter On Wayland

        With today’s release of Mutter 3.13.3, GNOME on Wayland has support for touchscreen support.

        The Mutter 3.13.3 release brings touch support on Wayland along with improved behavior of window buttons with comoositor menus, updated window shadows, support for keeping windows on the preferred output and various bug fixes.

      • Whats that icon ?
      • GNOME Shell 3.13.3 Features Improved Behavior of Window Buttons

        This is the second update for GNOME Shell in the current 3.13.x development cycle, and it looks like some interesting changes have been made, although there is no major feature to be observed.

        According to the changelog, closing windows with attached modals is no longer allowed, GNOME Shell is no longer self-restarting on OpenBSD, and the behavior of window buttons with compositor menus has been improved.

        Also, a workaround has been implemented for an atspi-related performance regression, numerous smaller bugs have been fixed, and a handful of translations have been updated…

      • Help Test New Font Manager Vala/GTK3 Alpha Version

        The application is not new and you’ll find it in the Ubuntu (and Fedora, etc.) repositories but it hasn’t been updated in about 4 years. Recently, the Font Manager developer started working on a new GTK3/Vala version and he needs you to test it and post feedback.

      • GNOME’s Orca Screen Reader Receives Major Changes and Improvements

        Orca works with applications and toolkits that support the Assistive Technology Service Provider Interface (AT-SPI), which is the primary assistive technology infrastructure for Linux and Solaris.

        The developers are making some very big changes to Orca and it looks like GNOME 3.14 will feature several important new features. This is the second major overhaul done by the Orca devs, but they are not stopping here.

      • GNOME Control Center 3.13.2 Finally Gets HiDpi Support

        The GNOME Control Center allows users to configure various components of their system using a vast collection of tools. It’s the hub for all the major settings that can be done in a GNOME environment, so it’s easy to see why any update for it might be considered important.

        In fact, the GNOME Control Center didn’t see many changes in the previous GNOME 3.12 release, besides the regular updates and new features. Some changes have been made, but nothing really stood out.

      • GTK+ 3.13.3 Now Features Adwaita Theme by Default
  • Distributions

    • Black Lab Linux 5.1 Alpha Ditches Mac OS Look

      Black Lab Linux is a distribution designed for general desktop and power users that comes with a lot of applications and features. In the past, the developers tried to market this distribution as a replacement for Windows and Mac OS X systems and they even tried to make it look like those OSes.

      It turns out that users didn’t really go for that look, so the makers of Black Lab Linux had to change gears and make some important modifications. The current build of this Linux distribution looks very different from the previous editions, but that might turn out to be a good thing…

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Closes OpenSSL Regression in All Supported Ubuntu OSes

            Canonical has published details about an OpenSSL regression in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 13.10, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS operating systems.

          • NEW CINNAMON STABLE UBUNTU PPAS [UBUNTU 14.04 AND 12.04]

            If you use Ubuntu 12.04, use the second (Cool PPA below. For Ubuntu 14.04, you can use any of the two PPAs below.

            [•••]

            Tsvetko’s stable Cinnamon PPA provides the latest Cinnamon for Ubuntu 14.04 (2.2.13) and Cinnamon 2.0.14 for Ubuntu 12.04 (that’s because newer Cinnamon versions don’t work in Ubuntu 12.04) as well as all the required packages like Nemo, cinnamon-screensaver, etc.

          • Canonical: A company in dire need of a clear objective

            Who remembers the Ubuntu Netbook Edition or UNE (formerly Ubuntu Netbook Remix)? At about 2009/10, netbooks were all the rage. The technology produced, low powered, low cost, and extremely portable PCs. The netbook (and Microsoft marketing) would eventually drive hardware vendors to produce the Ultrabook. Many distribution spins were created to accommodate this netbook market and that included Ubuntu. Canonical would even work closely with Dell, to deliver a Moblin flavored distribution. As soon as it appeared, it disappeared, although all was not lost. The fundamental design for the UNE would inspire Unity.

          • My new feature- Highlight changes in the cell
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint KDE 17 review; is this the Plasma you were looking for?

              The Linux Mint team has announced the release of the Plasma Desktop edition of the popular GNU/Linux based operating system – Linux Mint KDE 17. Being a Plasma user myself, and since I keep a close eye on what this team is doing, I was obviously interested in testing it out.

            • Resurrect Your Old Computer with Emmabuntüs 1.08

              The Emmabuntüs distribution is intended to be sleek, accessible, and equitable, but above all, it’s designed for old computers.

              “It was designed to make the refurbishing of computers given to humanitarian organizations easier, especially Emmaüs communities (which is where the distribution’s name comes from), and to promote the discovery of GNU/Linux by beginners,” reads the official announcement.

            • Peppermint Five is Live
            • Peppermint Five released
            • Peppermint OS Five [screenshots]
            • An Everyday Linux User review of Lubuntu 14.04

              This is one of those reviews that should be really easy to write. Just last week I wrote an article listing 5 reasons why Lubuntu would be good for Windows XP users. Therefore with this in mind you might think that this review would list all of Lubuntu’s good points and paint a positive picture.

              Unfortunately it isn’t that simple. As far as I am concerned Lubuntu 14.04 feels like a step backwards when compared to Lubuntu 13.10.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • My first Linux based robot
    • I just got my BeagleBoard Black, now what?
    • Automation controller taps Raspberry Pi Compute Module

      Techbase has designed a Raspberry Pi Compute Module into a Linux-based “ModBerry” automation computer backed by an “iMod” cloud platform for remote control.

      The computer-on-module version of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, which began shipping this week, was anticipated by many, but perhaps nowhere so acutely as in Poland. First, we heard about A Sherlybox private cloud storage device based on the module from Polish startup Sher.ly, and now Gdansk-based industrial computer manufacturer Techbase has opened pre-orders for an automation computer called the ModBerry 500 based on the COM.

    • This is the Gear Live, Samsung’s $199 Android Wear Smartwatch

      Wearables were everywhere today at Google I/O, but there was only one truly new product announced: the Galaxy Live, Samsung’s Android Wear-running smartwatch. And we’ve had a chance to spend a few minutes playing with a demo unit — it’s only able to do a few things right now, but we have our best sense yet of what Android Wear hardware and software will look like. This is one of the key devices for Android Wear, one of the watches being given to all attendees of the conference, and at first glance it’s quite nice.

    • Tizen Samsung Z Unpacked Event – Russia July 10, 2014
    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google I/O Offers Devs Big Bonanza

          Google on Wednesday kicked off its I/O conference in San Francisco, presenting devs with a dizzying array of possibilities: a new design language for Android L; a boatload of new apps, APIs and SDKs; and expanded support for a variety of architectural and hardware configurations. “If I were a developer, I would feel real good about opportunities today,” said ABI analyst Jeff Orr.

        • Windows wars? The Android and Chrome OS Alliance

          Linux may rule in most places — supercomputers, mobile, and Wall Street to name a few — but the Windows empire has still held on to the desktop, despite Windows 8.x’s failure to grab marketshare quickly. Now there’s new hope: At Google I/O, Sundar Pichai, Google’s head of Chrome and Android, said during the opening keynote that Google will be giving Chrome OS the power to run Android apps.

        • Android TV hands-on: Google makes a new play for the living room

          Google hasn’t exactly been successful at taking over the living room — Chromecast aside, its previous efforts have failed to capture much consumer interest. However, during the I/O 2014 keynote today, the company showed that it is ready to start fresh with Android TV. It’s a new platform that combines live TV via your cable box or even an over-the-air antenna along with Android apps and services like Google Play to offer up a more simplified way to get content to your TV than the older Google TV model.

        • Android boss envious of Apple, but says open source is best

          What Pichai didn’t say was that Cook was at all wrong. Android’s variety naturally leads to issues in various areas, security being one of them. It’s also why popular chipset maker Qualcomm has come on so strongly with their Snapdragon series. Though they’ve varying degrees of prowess, Snapdragon chipsets all have the same basic security layers intact.

        • Exclusive: Sundar Pichai, Head of Google’s Android, on Apple, Samsung, and Amazon
        • Quit the madness, iOS is not more secure than Android!

          The misconception that Apple’s products are somehow more secure has carried from Macbooks to iPhones. This may sometimes be a true statement, but it’s usually due to external factors, not actual security procedures or OS advantages. Such has been found to be the case with iOS when compared to Android, according to Marble Security Labs.

        • Cyanogen Expands Team in Push for Open Android

          Cyanogen is a for-profit business built around the CyanogenMod project, which is used by hobbyists to unlock their phones in order to get quicker updates and remove the types of interfaces installed by their device maker and carrier. It offers its own flavor of Android — one designed to offer users more choice while at the same time remaining fully compatible with the official Google version.

        • Last Nexus 6 coming later this year with a 5.5-inch screen

          A source within Google tells Ausdroid that “a new Nexus phone is definitely in the works, with the big feature of the new Nexus phone tipped to be a very LG G3 sized 5.5″ screen. While the screen size matches, no mention was made of whether the resolution of the panel would be equal to the QHD display on the LG flagship.”

        • Android and New Device Types to Share Spotlight at Google I/O

          The Google I/O conference begins today, and it’s already clear from advance notice on the sessions and discussion topics that Android and new device types for Google’s platforms will share the spotlight at the event.

        • Huawei Honor 6 Review: new flagship smartphone with Kirin 920 octa-core processor

          After we’ve covered the news about the official lauching about the new flagship smartphone, the Huawei Honor 6, is now we have a review about the phone. The new Huawei Honor 6 is packs with 5 inch screen, 3GB of RAM and this is the first smartphone that powered by Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 920 octa-core processor made of four A15 cores and 4 A7 cores which Huawei thinks compares to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset.The Huawei Honor 6 has officially release in Beijing on June 24th, 2014. Before now, the Huawei Honor 6 has spread as a rumors, and now this phone is come to the market and ready to beat the other flagship smartphone, such as Samsung Galaxy S5.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Analyst Unveils Open Source Model for NFV-SDN Management

    In short, the CIMI Corp. president is essentially trying to provide a path to deployment for NFV and SDN, believing strongly that without high-level orchestration and management and an operations framework, virtualization in the telecom sector could be spinning its wheels for some time to come.

  • Use Software Defined Networking to optimize your IaaS

    Explore Software Defined Networking (SDN) — network management via software abstraction layers — as a method to enhance and optimize your Infrastructure as a Service in the areas of interoperability, user and provider expectation management, developer and administrator requirements, and effective risk mitigation.

  • 5 assistive technology open source programs

    Assistive technology software is any program or operating system feature designed to let a user with cognitive, sensory, or physical impairments use a computer system. Innovations in assistive technology software can make a huge difference in the daily lives of these people.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox and GTK+ 3

        The issue we had to solve is that GTK+ 2 and GTK+ 3 cannot be loaded in the same address space. Moving Firefox from GTK+ 2 to GTK+ 3 isn’t a problem, as only GTK+ 3 gets loaded in its address space, and everything is fine. The problem comes when you load a plugin that links to GTK+ 2, e.g. Flash. Then, GTK+ 2 and GTK+ 3 get both loaded, GTK+ detects that, and aborts to avoid bigger problems.

      • Mozilla Delivers Built-in HTML5 App Development Tool for Firefox

        If you work with web content at all, you’re probably familiar with doing debugging and content editing directly from within a browser. If you’re a Firefox user, you may also be very familiar with tools such as Firebug, which lets you do extensive debugging and development from within Firefox.

      • HDMI-stick runs Firefox OS, acts like Chromecast
      • Mozilla to cram a full web-dev IDE inside Firefox browser

        All of the major web browser vendors now ship developer tools with their products, but Mozilla is planning to go whole hog by building a full integrated development environment (IDE) for web apps right into its Firefox browser.

      • Firefox Release Engineering

        Recently, the Mozilla Release Engineering team has made numerous advances in release automation for our browser, Firefox. We have reduced the requirements for human involvement during signing and sending notices to stakeholders, and have automated many other small manual steps, because each manual step in the process is an opportunity for human error. While what we have now isn’t perfect, we’re always striving to streamline and automate our release process. Our final goal is to be able to push a button and walk away; minimal human intervention will eliminate many of the headaches and do-overs we experienced with our older part-manual, part-automated release processes. In this article, we will explore and explain the scripts and infrastructure decisions that make up the complete Firefox rapid release system, as of Firefox 10.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Deeper, Better, Farther: Growing the Community & Improving LibreOffice

      There is something truly comforting in observing vibrant communities such as the one of LibreOffice. The project is growing, not just in developers but in adoption as well: more users as well as more localizations are a visible sign inside the project. All this is not only thanks to our good name and reputation; it is because as we are well into our fourth year of existence, it is important to realize that communities scale as much as their production and communication infrastructure is able to grow and perform its duties. Two words are of peculiar importance here: Production & Communication. In a Free and Open Source Software project, these two functions are tightly connected. The project enables the software production at the same time it enables communications between its members. Conversely, you cannot have a developers, users, or QA mailing list for instance, without relying on an existing code repository of some sort, otherwise you’re only doing vapourware (and vapourware only needs a database of press contacts, but no real mailing list).

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • 5 myths about working collaboratively

      I’m a big believer in collaboration. It’s one of the main tenets of the open source way and a huge part of the design process. When done right, collaboration is about finding the right and diverse mix of people, collectively defining the problem and goals, and then collectively doing the work: researching, listening, thinking, sharing, tinkering, doing more research, more thinking, more tinkering, and more sharing until you get to a strategy that has conviction and truth.

    • Open Hardware

      • Intel Corporation (INTC) Futurist Brian David Johnson Demonstrates 3D-Printed Open Source Jimmy Robot
      • Printrbot Begins Putting Their 3D Printer Files Up on YouMagine for Free Download

        Open source, you either love the idea or you hate it. It it weren’t for the open sourcing of 3D printer files, the industry would not be nearly where it is today. It allows for individuals and companies to take someone else’s ideas and designs, improve upon them, use them, and redistribute them. When done in a truly open source manner, this creates an exponential rate of innovation, whereas there could be thousands of people improving a design, only to have a thousand more come along and do the same to their own. We’ve seen 3D printers evolve at tremendous rates over the past couple years, and a large part of the credit belongs to the open source movement that a great deal of the designers and manufacturers have supported.

      • Meet the M-One, the latest open source SLA 3D printer

        Stereolithographic 3D printers, which use light to harden liquid resin into 3D objects, are dropping in price. And their price tag will likely continue to fall after two open source printers enter the market this year, one of which went up on Kickstarter today.

  • Programming

    • Eclipse Creates Working Group for Open Source Science Research Software

      The Eclipse Foundation’s annual Release Train will be in the spotlight later this week, but first a bit of that metaphorical illumination should fall on a new Foundation project. Announced on Monday, the newly organized Eclipse Science Working Group (SWG) is being described as “a global collaboration for scientific software.” It aims to bring together groups from academia, industry and government to create open software that can be used in basic scientific research.

    • The New asyncio in Python 3.4: Servers, Protocols, and Transports

      In a previous article on the new asyncio module introduced in Python 3.4, I explained simple use of event loop functions that register, execute, and delay or cancel calls. In this article, I demonstrate more-advanced examples that explore asyncio’s support for server and client programming, protocols, and transports.

Leftovers

  • Fifteen Months Later

    Unfortunately, when you have been accused of rape — even provably falsely as I have been — there’s no way to “win”. For the rest of my life, when someone searches my name on the internet, the word “rape” will appear somewhere among the results. And that person will always wonder whether or not I was capable of such a heinous act.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Scary New Congressional Bill Would Force Medication on Some Mentally Ill People

      According to a Sunlight Foundation analysis of the NRA’s proposals a year later, “the initial fervor for increasing armed security in schools has died down” and the video game industry has “been upping its political profile with significant campaign contributions to Democratic members and a seven-figure lobbying budget”. While those two areas were stuck in the mud, “the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found that a years-long trend of diminishing budgets for mental health had reversed in 2013, citing Newtown as a key mitigating factor”. The trend spread to more than budgets: Nevada and Nebraska established programs to provide for more screening and mental health training for children. Despite successes on the state front, the NRA still struggled: a quick search of it’s press releases show it mostly playing defense on a variety of bills, and it’s NICS Reporting Improvement Act of 2013 (a direct attempt to create the “active national database” LaPierre spoke of) went nowhere.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Time on Iraq War: What Did We Do to Deserve This?

      We offered them the spirits of cooperation and liberty and the modern heart, and this is the thanks we get. It’s almost as if some people don’t appreciate being invaded.

    • An appeal to the Quartet on the Middle East to sack Tony Blair

      In reality, the invasion and occupation of Iraq had been a disaster long before the recent gains made by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The sectarian conflict responsible for much of the war’s reprehensible human cost was caused in part by the occupying forces’ division of the country’s political system along sectarian lines.

    • Paul: ISIS emboldened after US armed its allies in Syria

      Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Sunday that the Sunni militants taking over Iraq have quickly gained power because the United States armed their allies in Syria.

      “I think we have to understand first how we got here,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think one of the reasons why ISIS has been emboldened is because we have been arming their allies. We have been allied with ISIS in Syria.”

      Paul was asked whether the U.S. should shift its focus to Syria.

      “We have been fighting alongside al Qaeda, fighting alongside ISIS,” he said. “ISIS is now emboldened and in two countries. But here’s the anomaly. We’re with ISIS in Syria. We’re on the same side of the war. So, those who want to get involved to stop ISIS in Iraq are allied with ISIS in Syria. That is real contradiction to this whole policy.”

    • Judge who ordered Saddam’s death executed by ISIS
    • Gas Prices ‘Skyrocketing’? You’d Better Duck

      You’re not supposed to talk about oil and Iraq–but corporate media can’t stop talking about oil and Iraq.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • German Gold Stays in New York in Rebuff to Euro Doubters

      Surging mistrust of the euro during Europe’s debt crisis fed a campaign to bring Germany’s entire $141 billion gold reserve home from New York and London. Now, after politics shifted in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition, the government has concluded that stashing half its bullion abroad is prudent after all.

    • Judge Baugh to vandal: Get a ‘real job’ and repay victims

      A Billings judge on Monday sentenced a 21-year-old man for a 2012 vandalism spree and suggested he replace his fast-food job with a “real job” so he can better pay restitution to his victims.

      District Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced Brandon Daniel Turell to 10 years in custody of the state department of corrections, with five years suspended, and ordered him to pay about $13,600 in restitution.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • US Embassy In Berlin Offering Cold, Hard Cash For People To Create Pro-TAFTA/TTIP Propaganda

      We’ve been writing about the big US/EU “free trade” agreement negotiations (which aren’t really about free trade at all), variously named TAFTA or TTIP (negotiators prefer TTIP, to avoid comparisons to NAFTA) for quite some time now. If it were really about free trade, there might be some interesting elements to it, but it’s much more about the standard issues like providing corporate sovereignty over national sovereignty, and other things like ratcheting up copyright and patent laws in secret. All this “democracy” is all done very much behind closed doors that won’t be opened until many years after the agreement is already reached.

    • Murdoch Tabloid Editor Found Guilty In UK Phone Hacking Trial

      Andy Coulson, a former editor of the now-shuttered Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid News of the World, was found guilty of conspiring to intercept communications, concluding a lengthy trial focused on criminal activity at the British paper. According to the Associated Press, fellow News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Stuart Kuttner were acquitted.

    • WSJ Upset Supreme Court Didn’t Destroy Class Action Lawsuits In Halliburton

      Contrary to right-wing media misinformation, corporate fraud on the stock market remains a real problem that class actions continue to correct through restitution and deterrence.

    • Rebekah Brooks Escapes Jail, but Questions Linger for Murdoch

      Rebekah Brooks likes to tell this story about herself. How, as a junior reporter on Rupert Murdoch’s London tabloid The Sun, she stuffed her flaming red hair under a head scarf, dressed up as a cleaner and smuggled herself into the offices of the Sun’s stablemate, The Sunday Times. When all the Times’s editorial staff had gone home, she sat herself at a computer and calmly stole their scoop.

    • The (not so) secrets of promoted Tweets and Twitter accounts

      Putting aside that the “Business Twitter” page can’t spell “someone”, in light of there being no opt out feature, I don’t know what else to do. I’m fed up with having to block these accounts. Twitter may make money from adverts, but no product that promotes its tweets gets business from me – its a point of principle. A product invades “my space” – I boycott that product. There are many other users who think the same way.

  • Privacy

    • It’s Official. SCOTUS Considers Small Cheap Computers As Computers

      The Supreme Court has just ruled that smartphones and other electronic gadgets are worthy to require search warrants to search just like real computers. Their big issue is the depth, breadth and volume of data stored on smartphones but that is just one function of a smartphone. The Supremes also mention browsing histories, and “apps”, all providing information about people to police just like other evidence.

    • ‘Get a warrant’ – Supreme Court rules against cell phone searches in ‘big win for digital privacy’

      The Supreme Court of the United States said Wednesday that police officers must have a warrant before searching the cell phone contents of an individual under arrest.

      In a unanimous ruling announced early Wednesday, the high court settled two cases surrounding instances in which law enforcement officials scoured the mobile phones of suspects in custody and then used information contained therein to pursue further charges.

    • Supreme Court limits police right to search cell phones

      The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that police officers usually need a warrant before they can search an arrested suspect’s cellphone.

    • Theresa May Calls For More Surveillance Powers

      Theresa May has used the annual Lord Mayor’s Defence and Security Lecture to call for changes to the law to give new powers of surveillance to the government. Despite the extensive coverage given to broad range of programmes revealed in by Edward Snowden, she claimed the UK’s lack of technological capability presented a “great danger”.

  • Civil Rights

    • Detroit has cut off the water supply to thousands of residents – and now activists have taken their fight to the UN

      Activists angered by the closing of water accounts for thousands of people behind in their payments have taken their fight to the United Nations.

    • App turns power button into panic button for activists at risk

      Amnesty international has launched an open-source ‘Panic Button’ app designed to help human rights activists at risk from attack, kidnap or torture.

    • A SWAT team blew a hole in my 2-year-old son (UPDATE)

      After our house burned down in Wisconsin a few months ago, my husband and I packed our four young kids and all our belongings into a gold minivan and drove to my sister-in-law’s place, just outside of Atlanta. On the back windshield, we pasted six stick figures: a dad, a mom, three young girls, and one baby boy.

    • Aaron Swartz Wanted to Change the World, Says Director

      When news broke early last year that Internet activist Aaron Swartz had been found dead, filmmaker Brian Knappenberger was already deeply immersed in the hacking and computer programming world. Fresh off the release of a documentary about the Anonymous movement, We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, the filmmaker had been following the ongoing lawsuit against Swartz, who faced charges related to illegal access of the JSTOR academic-article service.

    • Stinking Hypocrisy

      The BBC thus seeks to square the circle of supporting the release of Peter Greste and at the same time taking the British government line of supporting the Egyptian dictatorship’s elimination of its political opponents.

      The truth is that Peter Greste is only superficially the victim of an Egyptian dictator. At root he is the victim of a western foreign policy that believes the interests of Israel outweigh all other interests in the Middle East.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • European roaming charges to plummet 50 percent from 1 July

      ROAMING CHARGES across Europe will drop more than 50 percent from 1 July, as the European Union (EU) works towards eliminating roaming charges altogether.

      Following similar price cuts that took place this time last year, the European Commission (EC) announced on Tuesday that in its effort to put an end to roaming charges, prices are set to drop by “over 50 percent” from 1 July.

    • 5 Bullshit Lies Cable Companies Are Feeding You Right Now

      As you may have heard, the nation’s cable companies have suddenly found themselves cast as villains, simply because of that little “trying to kill the Internet” thing. They’re working hard to get rid of net neutrality, the basic principle that they can’t charge extra to sites or services to make them load at a non-infuriating speed. But don’t worry: In order to clear their good names, Verizon, Comcast, and their ilk are doing their best to address their customers’ concerns … by using the time-honored tradition of feeding us bullshit.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

06.24.14

Links 24/6/2014: KDE Plasma Media Center 1.3, Linux Mint 17 KDE

Posted in News Roundup at 10:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • To Get Developer Adoption Today You Have To Build a Community

    Michael Williams, BIRT Product Evangelist & Forums Manager at Actuate, outlines some key points to keep in mind for building your own open source community.

  • Cisco developing open-source block ciphers

    Cisco says it is experimenting with ciphers it claims can better protect traffic privacy in cloud systems and result in bandwidth and storage savings.

  • Cisco Releases Open Source FNR Cipher

    Cisco has released a new open-source block cipher called FNR that is designed for encrypting small chunks of data, such as MAC addresses or IP addresses. The cipher is still in the experimental stage, but Cisco has released the source code and a demo application.

  • 12 challenges for open source projects

    Open source is the combined contributions of millions of independent volunteers. This single concept brings with it a few inherent realities. In this article let’s look at a few potentially concerning points about the nature of open source contributions.

    One of the major, oft-touted benefits of open source software is the diverse, large, and ever ready army of developers contributing to the project. This can be an incredibly powerful argument when demonstrating the value of open source to a corporation. However, the larger the community and the bigger the pool of contributors the more opportunity there exists for problems or potential security risks.

  • Events

    • Where’s the money in open source?’ – limited places for exclusive event

      Open source is a growing and arguably successful strategy for making our corner of the world a better place. While altruism motivates many individuals and some companies to make things open source, others are in it for the money. On the other hand, many companies use or are forced to use open source for its perceived cost-saving value, often disregarding its risks. So what’s the business case for open source?

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • ownCloud Conf coming… And REWE offers a cheap way to get there!

      ownCloud is organizing an ownCloud conference/hackathon at the Technische Universität Berlin this August. And as Steffen Lindner shared on twitter, the German REWE supermarket is offering cheap tickets to go to Berlin from all over Germany during the event!

    • OpenStack speaking opportunities, design guide book sprint, and more
    • Cloud trends point to PaaS, open source as the future

      As the cloud market matures, customer behavior is changing and questions remain about where the true value of the technology will lie in the future.

      A group of industry professionals tackled a variety of topics as part of a panel discussion on the future of the cloud last week at a Cloud Standards Customer Council symposium. They discussed the impact of savvy customers and looked ahead at trends around burgeoning cloud services, vendor lock-in issues and the role of open source.

    • Debate: How Many Open Source Platforms Are Enough?

      “When it gets there, we will support the OpenStack API,” Mikos relented.

      Dholakia noted that CloudStack, like Eucalyptus and OpenStack, has long maintained a “compatibility layer for the Amazon API precisely because, as business folk, we follow the dollars.”

    • GoGrid CEO John Keagy Building Coalition For Open Source Cloud Orchestration Engine

      Over the last several months, GoGrid CEO John Keagy has been quietly holding meetings with partners and rivals alike to share an ambitious plan.

      His brainchild has the potential to shake up the entire cloud services industry by uniting some of its largest players around an open source project: a universal cloud orchestration engine called OpenOrchestration.org.

  • Databases

  • CMS

    • 5 Factors to Help You Choose an Open-Source CMS

      Being able to present that content effectively depends on having the right foundation for your site, and that means choosing a content management system (CMS) that will best match up with your site’s intended purpose.

  • Healthcare

    • What’s behind the success of free and open source healthcare?

      I ask more questions in this survey of free and open source healthcare developers for my thesis project: “The state of open source electronic medical records: An anthropology study.” My goal is to better understand the characteristics, motivations, and knowledge background of healthcare developers in order to determine what is behind the success of free/open source software in healthcare.

  • BSD

    • Clang Is Already Working On “Highly Experimental” C++1z Support

      With LLVM developers already having lots of C++1y / C++14 support implemented, they have begun working on “highly experimental” support for C++1z — the next major revision to the C++ programming language anticipated for release in 2017.

      C++14/C++1y should be officially released this year as a small update over C++11, for which LLVM/Clang (and GCC) already have decent support. In fact, with the current Clang 3.4 stable release all of the key C++11 functionality should be in place.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • Red Hat, Joyent, and others break down licensing barriers

      Open source is an environment where no permission is required to use the source code; the flexibility to do as you wish is already provided. The open source license creates this permissionless environment, and developers are able to gather around a source code commons to meet their individual needs without having to seek approval from anywhere. Requiring a CLA to contribute immediately obstructs this goal.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Should Everyone Learn to Code?

      “I do think that everybody should learn to code, at least on a basic level,” said Linux Rants blogger Mike Stone. “It would teach them to break down a problem into small, manageable portions and solve each of those parts logically.” It’s actually “less about the code itself than solving a problem logically,” he said. “That’s a skill that I think everybody should have.”

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Intel Expresses Interest In AMD’s Mantle API

      Intel has asked AMD about access to their Mantle technology for experimenting with this graphics API alternative to Direct3D and OpenGL.

      Intel and AMD confirmed to PCWorld that the two companies were communicating about Mantle cooperation but “[Intel] remains committed to what it calls open standards like Microsoft’s DirectX API.”

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Journalism Without Information

      I thought of that when I saw the new issue of Time magazine (6/30/14), which featured a short item on Kevin McCarthy, the new majority leader in Congress. As such, he is someone who certainly will be wielding enormous political power.

    • Scott Walker Says the Dark Money Probe Is ‘Over,’ but He’s Wrong

      The federal judge who halted the state investigation, Rudolph Randa, wrote an opinion so detached from First Amendment precedent, Wisconsin law, and the facts of the case that many legal experts believe that it will be reversed by the Seventh Circuit appellate court reviewing it. (Plus, Randa’s May 6 ruling was a preliminary ruling, not a final decision.) Other legal experts think Randa should not even be involved in the case, given that he is a regular attendee at “judicial junkets” funded by the Bradley and Koch foundations, which are closely tied to Walker and the group that filed the federal lawsuit, Wisconsin Club for Growth.

    • This Is the New Stat Facebook Should Be Worrying About

      “A solid majority of American adults say that social media have no influence at all on their purchasing decisions — suggesting that the advertising may be reaching smaller segments of the market, or that the influence on consumers is indirect or goes unnoticed,” Gallup concluded. The company said people are more likely to consult in-store displays, television commercials, mail catalogs and magazines than a brand’s Facebook or Twitter account when making a purchasing decision.

  • Censorship

    • Russia asks Twitter to block a dozen accounts

      Russia has asked Twitter to block access to a dozen accounts it deems “extremist”, the head of the country’s telecoms watchdog said, as Moscow seeks greater control over internet sites based beyond its borders.

  • Privacy

  • Rights

    • Lord Byron, Terrorist

      The dreadful violence and destruction the West has inflicted and promoted in recent years in its efforts to gain control of the mineral resources of the Middle East continues to play out. Those who see communities with which they identify abroad engaged in military conflict will always produce a small number of people going to join the fight. This is in no sense unusual, and in no sense a threat to ordinary citizens in the UK. The link to terrorism here is entirely a fiction. The unfortunate thing is that the mainstream media allows no outlet for people to mock its false assertions and point out its sinister agenda.

    • CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou Advocates for Prison Sentencing Reform in New ‘Letter from Loretto’

      Reflecting on mass incarceration in the United States, which he has experienced firsthand during his time in prison at the Federal Correctional Institution of Loretto, Pennsylvania, CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou advocates for prison sentencing reform in his latest letter from jail.

      Firedoglake has been publishing “Letters from Loretto” by Kiriakou, who was the first member of the CIA to publicly acknowledge that torture was official US policy under the George W. Bush administration. He was convicted in October 2012 after he pled guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) when he confirmed the name of an officer involved in the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation (RDI) program to a reporter. He was sentenced in January 2013, and reported to prison on February 28, 2013.

    • Back to Black: Interrogation Sites on the High Seas
    • Senate’s CIA Torture Report Awaiting Final White House Approval

      The release of a long-delayed, $40 million Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s “rendition, detention and interrogation” program during the George W. Bush administration is pending final approval from the Obama White House, Politico reported.

    • CIA report now on to White House

      The Obama administration is inching toward declassification of the Senate’s report on the CIA’s controversial interrogation techniques.

      The Central Intelligence Agency has finished redacting sensitive information from a 500-page summary of the 6,800-page report that the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to make public in April, Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in an interview Monday night.

    • The growing Police State in America
    • Police violence and law enforcement militarization in the greater borderlands

      Slightly more than three months after the police shooting of homeless camper James Boyd catapulted Albuquerque into the international spotlight, activists returned to the streets to advance their movement against police brutality.

      On a blistering Summer Solstice Day, whose blazing mid-day sky was oddly crested by a half-moon, more than 200 people marched up Central Avenue near the University of New Mexico chanting “Justice Now” and “They say justified, we say homicide!”

    • Opinion: It’s Time for Civilian Oversight of OPD

      Based on the most recent report issued by federal monitor Robert Warshaw, the Oakland Police Department will most likely require months of additional monitoring by the court — after eleven years of failure to comply with the Negotiated Settlement Agreement (NSA). No other city in the United States has required this length of time to bring its police department into compliance with a federal consent decree.

    • BRUCE: America’s expanding police state

      We all know about the scope of National Security Agency (NSA) spying. It’s fair to say at this point in our lives that the notion of privacy is all but dead and gone. However, it didn’t start there. In her book, Mrs. Chumley takes us on a ride through history, reminding us of the original intentions of the Founding Fathers versus the assault on the original design by “21st century realities.”

    • For The Last Time, Freedom Isn’t Free
    • 2014 Pioneer Award Nominations Are Now Open

      Nominations are now open for EFF’s 23rd Annual Pioneer Awards, to be presented this fall in San Francisco. EFF established the Pioneer Awards in 1992 to recognize leaders on the electronic frontier who are extending freedom and innovation in the realm of information technology. Nominations are open until midnight on Wednesday, July 2. Nominate the next Pioneer Award winner today!

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • New Open Source Firmware Encourages Wi-Fi Sharing

      The “Open Wireless Movement” was devised years ago by the EFF, Free Press, Mozilla and others to advocate for the sharing of broadband via publicly-accessible Wi-Fi hotspots. At the upcoming Hackers on Planet Earth conference, the group says they’re going to unveil new “Open Wireless Router” firmware that simplifies the process of safely and securely offering free Wi-Fi without hindering your own network.

    • What Everyone Gets Wrong in the Debate Over Net Neutrality

      The only trouble is that, here in the year 2014, complaints about a fast-lane don’t make much sense. Today, privileged companies—including Google, Facebook, and Netflix—already benefit from what are essentially internet fast lanes, and this has been the case for years. Such web giants—and others—now have direct connections to big ISPs like Comcast and Verizon, and they run dedicated computer servers deep inside these ISPs. In technical lingo, these are known as “peering connections” and “content delivery servers,” and they’re a vital part of the way the internet works.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XXX

      As well as all the varied developments I discussed in the previous TTIP update, plenty has been happening recently in the hotly-contested area of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has published another of its informative reviews of developments in the ISDS field [.pdf]. This edition is particularly welcome since it focuses on the interaction between the EU and US.

    • Copyrights

      • UK ISPs Quietly Block More Torrent Site Proxies

        Several UK Internet providers have quietly added a list of new domains to their secretive anti-piracy blocklists. TorrentFreak was able to confirm that several popular torrent site proxies were added over the past weekend. However, the blocked domains have been quickly replaced by new ones, continuing the cat-and-mouse game that never seems to end.

      • The rules for using images from the internet

        Think it’s fine use downloaded images in your own website, poster or publication? You could be breaking copyright law… We show you how to use images legally and find free images that are available for commercial use.

06.23.14

Links 23/6/2014: New Releases of Opera, MakuluLinux, Netrunner

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • ARM Revolution

    • RUSSIA FINALLY MOVING TO */LINUX

      These will, of course, run some */Linux operating system. At the rate the government replaces PCs this changeover could take years or, if they accelerate the change, just a year or two. I expect countries like China and India have the will and ability to make such changes. This is a clever move because the savings on hardware could more or less pay for the cost of changing software. The move to */Linux accelerates.

    • Feasibility of desktop on ARM cpu

      Thinkpad X60 is old, Core Duo@1.8GHz, 2GB RAM notebook. But it is still pretty usable desktop machine, as long as Gnome2 is used, number of Chromium tabs does not grow “unreasonable”, and development is not attempted there. But eats a bit too much power.

      OLPC 1.75 is ARM v7@0.8GHz, .5GB RAM. According to my tests, it should be equivalent to Core Solo@0.43GHz. Would that make an usable desktop?

    • debootstrap, olpc, and gnome
  • Kernel Space

    • Open-Source Radeon Performance Boosted By Linux 3.16

      Besides the Nouveau driver performance being faster thanks to experimental re-clocking when using the Linux 3.16 kernel, there are also performance improvements to note with some generations of AMD graphics processors.

      The changes found within Linux 3.16 to benefit the Radeon DRM graphics performance are the GPU VM optimizations and large PTE support. Separate from this performance-related work for this kernel-side open-source AMD update is also HDMI deep color support, HDMI audio clean-ups, and other bug-fixes.

    • Transferring maintainership of x86info
    • Linux 3.16-rc2 gets a Saturday evening release
    • Graphics Stack

      • Gallium3D VDPAU & XvMC Support Are Now Single Libraries

        The start of the Gallium3D “mega drivers” patches by Emil Velikov are starting to land in Mesa. First up, the patches to consolidate the Gallium3D VDPAU and XvMC support into single libraries for supporting multiple drivers.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Debugging KF5 build failures

        Those familiar with running development versions of KDE software are familiar with the idea of having to sometimes remove their whole development install directory and “start all over” in order to resolve some types of build errors.

      • NetworkManager 0.9.10 Brings Many New Features
      • Section handling progress
      • Tracklist interface for Plasma Media Center

        I have completed the MPRIS specifications Tracklist interface for PMC. Now other applications can view and control the current playlist in PMC over DBus. This was a part of my GSoC project. This interface will allow me to send commands to PMC, asking it to play a particular song in the playlist. After some changes to the Simon MPRIS plug-in, a user will be able to play a song in the current playlist by naming it. As the Simon plug-in is itself based on MPRIS specifications, it will be able to interact with any media player following the MPRIS specs.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • MakuluLinux KDE 6.0 Released !

        The Long Awaited update to the KDE Edition is now over, Stability, Speed and Beauty is what drives this edition. This Edition is a special one for me because I worked on most of it while being extremely sick to the point where I could not walk, with nothing but a bed, laptop and time on my hands I went to work on this baby and this is the result.

      • Netrunner 14 released

        The Netrunner Team today released Netrunner 14 Frontier – 32bit and 64bit versions. The release follows Kubuntus support cycle, giving it a full 5 year support life via the backport repos.

      • Netrunner 14
    • Arch Family

      • KDE 4.13.2 Is Now Available In Manjaro 0.8.10

        Manjaro 0.8.10 has received its Update-Pack 1, getting regular kernel updates and latest upstream packages. This update adds some new Gnome3 packages, latest linux kernels, drivers and many updated applications needed for performing your tasks.

        According to the official announcement available in the Manjaro blog, KF5 got updated to 4.100 version, the latest mesa 10.2.1 with a better working mhwd is included and the following kernels are supported.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Debuts ‘Orange Box’ for Ubuntu OpenStack Cloud Demos

            Canonical’s Orange Box, the portable server cluster that the company intends to use to showcase OpenStack, MAAS, Juju and other aspects of the Ubuntu Linux-based cloud, is out. Here’s what it’s all about.

            For starters, it’s important to understand what the Orange Box is not: A revenue-generating hardware product from Canonical. The company has given no indication so far that it plans to sell these devices on a large scale—although if you truly want you can buy one, for the equivalent of around $12,900, from TranquilPC Limited, the company that has the contract for manufacturing them.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu 12.04 LTS and 13.10 Updated with KDE 4.13.2

              “Packages for the release of KDE SC 4.13.2 are available for Kubuntu 12.04LTS, 13.10 and our development release. You can get them from the Kubuntu Backports PPA. Bugs in the packaging should be reported to kubuntu-ppa on Launchpad. Bugs in the software to KDE,” said the leader of the Kubuntu project, Jonathan Riddell.

            • elementary OS Changes Its Codename from Isis to Freya

              Many users have raised this issue in the last few weeks and the elementary OS developers were forced to abandon the Isis codename in order to make sure that people don’t make any connections.

              “elementary obviously has no ties to the militant group known as ISIS – and we don’t think people will get us confused – but we want to both recognize the ongoing turmoil and choose a less controversial name. Freya is a Norse goddess of love and beauty. As we push our design forward, a goddess associated with beauty makes a lot of sense. And evoking the powerful emotion of love is always a good thing!” said the devs on their Google+ account.

            • Elementary OS “Isis” Is Now Freya
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Stroke and gestures now on Raspberry Pi touch screen

      The PiTFT is one of our favourite little things for the Raspberry Pi, making it much more portable than it naturally is and opening it up to many more cool projects than you could do before. The one thing it did lack was proper, modern touch screen controls such as swiping and gesture but this has now been added thanks to Xstroke.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Is a code of conduct vital to the success of an open source community?

    Late last month, the Debian project voted to adopt a community code of conduct, a set of guidelines for acceptable participation in its official communication channels. Members agreed to abide by the following principles:

    Be respectful
    Assume good faith
    Be collaborative
    Try to be concise
    Be open

  • Steps to diversity in your open source group

    Coraline Ehmke has developed apps for the web for 20 years. In that time, she’s learned a lot about open source culture and what makes a community of contributors tick. At the Great Wide Open conference this year, Coraline gave a talk about diversity in open source.

  • Jenkins User Conference – Boston [Event Report]
  • Review: Open source proxy servers are capable, but a bit rough around the edges

    Providing a common gateway for web services, caching web requests or providing anonymity are some of the ways organizations use proxy servers. Commercial proxy products, especially cloud offerings, are plentiful, but we wondered if open source or free products could provide enterprise-grade proxy services.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox OS Chromecast-like device leaks online

        Not long after it was revealed that Mozilla was working on adding support for Google’s Chromecast in their mobile iterations of the Firefox browser, it appears that they are also creating a device of their own, with functions similar to the Chromecast. The device, which was created by an unknown hardware manufacturer, looks similar to a Chromecast dongle and runs Firefox OS, according to tweets from Christian Heilmann, a “Mozilla Developer Evangelist“. He describes the device as a “fully open TV casting prototype”, which is pretty much the Chromecast, but more open.

      • Mozilla at Open Source Bridge

        This week Open Source Bridge will kick off in Portland and I’m extremely excited that Mozilla will once again be sponsoring this wonderful event. This will also mark my second year attending.

      • Mozilla develops open-source streaming dongle
      • Mozilla puts a development environment into the browser with WebIDE

        Mozilla cites two major advantages of using WebIDE as compared with developing apps for competing platforms. In-browser development tools are already familiar to the enormous number of Web developers that exist, so using them for application development minimizes the number of new tools and new skills that must be learned.

        Second, they’re extremely lightweight as development tools go. The substantial size of downloading tools such as Xcode or Visual Studio, in addition to the cost of developer licenses on other platforms, can limit their appeal and usability, especially in emerging markets. Putting the tools into the browser means that Mozilla’s reach is near universal.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Codescaling Catchup

      I’ve been doing some work with Eclipse Orion, a web-centric IDE with some interesting attributes, so I was interested to see news of forthcoming language support enhancements coming in Orion 6.0. Lots of interesting bits like syntax highlighting that brings in Arduino files, new documentation generators, the ability to use all the tooling while the JavaScript is embedded in HTML, better tunable JavaScript validation with new rules and so on… worth checking out.

Leftovers

  • Man who wore colander on his head for gun licence photo says it is part of Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s religion

    AN Adelaide man who had his gun licence photo taken with a colander on his head says it is significant to his religion — the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster — and he should not have had to undertake a psychological test.

  • Hardware

  • Security

    • Syrian Electronic Army hacks Reuters

      Reuters, the international news agency, was reportedly been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army – a hacking group who support the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and attack news organizations.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Prosecutor details 14 killings in Blackwater trial

      In a recitation of death and destruction, a federal prosecutor on Tuesday chronicled for a jury the alleged conduct of four Blackwater security guards accused of killing 14 Iraqis and wounding 18 others in downtown Baghdad nearly seven years ago.

      In opening statements at the trial of the four guards, Assistant U.S. Attorney T. Patrick Martin said some of the victims were “simply trying to get out” of the way of gunfire from Blackwater guards. “Fourteen died, 18 injured. For what?” he said.

    • Fournier: Obama Lies as Bad as Bush

      In a review of a new book by a journalist who claims George Bush lied to the country in the run up to the Iraq war, National Journal columnist Ron Fournier insists that Obama has been just as bad as Bush with his constant stream of lies to the country.

    • Crashes mount as military flies more drones in U.S.

      Shortly after the day’s final bell rang and hundreds of youngsters ran outside Lickdale Elementary School with their book bags and lunchboxes, a military drone fell from the sky.

    • Death at Five Times the Speed of Sound
    • Western intervention in Iraq will be a gift to Isis

      Whether it’s bombs or boots that are sent to stop them, the fallout will provide the militants with dangerously effective propaganda for their cause

    • ‘Stop saying ‘uh-oh’ while you’re flying’: Drone crash pilot quotes unveiled

      Drones are often called unmanned aircraft. But there is a lot of human drama when they crash. Drone pilots and other crew members swear, scream and yell at their remote-control video screens when the aircraft fly out of control. Those moments are often captured by audio recorders in ground control stations.

    • Israeli youngster killed in blast on border with Syria
    • Israel strikes Syrian military targets in retaliation for deadly attack

      The Israeli military struck Syrian army positions in the Golan Heights overnight Sunday in retaliation for an attack earlier in the day that killed an Israeli teen and injured three other people.

      Fighter jets fired missiles at nine targets on the Syrian side of the border, including military command posts and firing positions. An artillery unit that uses high-precision Tamuz missiles was also employed in the strike, the military said in a statement. It confirmed direct hits.

    • Has drone campaign in Pakistan been revived?

      For the first time in nearly six months, U.S. drone strikes hit Pakistan’s tribal region three times in less than a week, killing at least 20 militants with suspected ties to the Haqqani network.

      The hiatus was the longest pause in the controversial CIA program since 2006, and the drones’ sudden return begs the questions: Why now? And is this the beginning of a renewed drone campaign in Pakistan?

    • Iraq and the Persistence of American Hegemony

      With ‘official’ America debating how to respond to what at present appears to be a Saudi-Iranian proxy war in Iraq the question both within and outside of the US is: why do America and the Americans have any say in the matter? The last quarter century of US engagement in Iraq has been a series of military and geopolitical blunders with catastrophic consequences across the Middle East. The answer of course, as it was with the mis-sold invasions of 1990 and 2003, is Operation Iraqi Liberation, oil. The dim hubris of Bush / Cheney / Rumsfeld / Rice that broke ‘Iraq’ into sectarian factions has been met by leading Democrats with claims that the war was ‘mismanaged’ and that Iraq remains of some vaguely specified ‘vital interest.’ The moral, ethical and societal sickness that has US President Obama now sending murder robots (drones) and additional troops to force the will of ‘official’ Washington onto what remains of the national government of Iraq misses that it was this very same will that caused the social / political catastrophe now claimed to be in need of rectification.

    • Shaw details Cleburne links to JFK assassination

      Shaw argues that evidence available, evidence gone missing and discrepancies simply don’t add up to the official story that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone that day.

    • FORMER TOP CIA OFFICIAL REVEALS GULEN RELATIONS

      Speaking to the BBC on Friday , former top CIA official, Graham Fuller, admitted that he wrote a reference letter for the Gülen movement leader, Fethullah Gülen, after the FBI resisted granting him permanent residency status between 2006 to 2010.

      The former top official and Middle East expert, yet claimed that there was no relation between the Gülen movement and CIA, during the BBC interview on his newly released book “Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East.”

    • UN hears testimony that contradicts Cuban account of dissident’s death

      The United Nations Human Rights Council, currently sitting in Geneva, has heard testimony from leaders of the Venezuela protest movement and from the survivor of the car crash that killed Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá.

      The hearings on human rights in Venezuela and Cuba, was organized by a coalition of NGO’s as an official event inside the Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 17.

    • Iraq, ISIS and intervention: Just what is going on?

      A high Israeli official was quoted recently saying it was Iran’s influence that is most dangerous in the region, not that of ISIS. Of course, that should tell us a great deal. In this part of the world, Israel’s views count for far more than those of all the other countries put together, at least, so far as the United States’ government is concerned, the ridiculous lopsidedness in that reflecting the best Congress campaign funding can buy.

    • Kurds say they warned MI6, CIA about ISIL

      Five months ago, a Kurdish intelligence “asset” walked into a base and said he had information to hand over.

      The capture by jihadists the month before of two Sunni cities in western Iraq was just the beginning, he said. There would soon be a major onslaught on Sunni territories.

    • Britain and US ‘neglected alert to Iraq jihadist takeover’
    • CIA trained ISIL in Jordan: Report

      A new report says the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants were trained by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Jordan more than two years ago.

    • American Senator: US arming ISIL terrorists

      Senator Rand Paul said the US government has been arming ISIS militants in Syria and funding its allies.

    • Don Obama, Capo di Tutti Capi

      Indeed, Mafia Dons have learned the hard way after RICO not to give clear cut instructions to their operatives. Obama, our Capo Di Tutti Capi, has learned his lesson well. He lets his capos — heads of the IRS, DOJ, CIA, know how to proceed with vague injunctions that set the tone.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • [April] Why US fracking companies are licking their lips over Ukraine

      From climate change to Crimea, the natural gas industry is supreme at exploiting crisis for private gain – what I call the shock doctrine

    • Crude Awakening: 37 years of oil spills in Alberta

      Timelapse: All spills of crude oil crude bitumen and synthetic crude in Alberta each year from 1975-2012. Each dot is one spill; dot size does not indicate spill size. Source: Energy Resources Conservation Board

      Alberta’s had an average of two crude oil spills a day, every day for the past 37 years.

      That makes 28,666 crude oil spills in total, plus another 31,453 spills of just about any other substance you can think of putting in a pipeline – from salt water to liquid petroleum.

  • Finance

    • Tens of thousands march in London against cuts in public and welfare services

      An estimated 50,000 people marched through London, including supporters of Stop the War, CND and other peace groups who called for warfare spending to be cut and not welfare services.

    • Revealed: Asian slave labour producing prawns for supermarkets in US, UK

      Slaves forced to work for no pay for years at a time under threat of extreme violence are being used in Asia in the production of seafood sold by major US, British and other European retailers, the Guardian can reveal.

    • The Pakistani women behind the official FIFA World Cup balls make $182 per year each

      She has no idea who Lionel Messi is and her home country isn’t even playing, but Pakistani mother-of-five Gulshan Bibi can’t wait for the World Cup – because she helped make the balls.

    • It’s Official: The Boomerang Kids Won’t Leave – NYTimes.com

      The NY Times, in It’s Official: The Boomerang Kids Won’t Leave, explores the trend of increasing numbers of young people continuing to live with their parents after college.

      The article notes that one in five people in their 20s and early 30s currently lives with parents, and 60 percent of all young adults receive financial support from parents. In the prior generation, only one in 10 young adults moved back home and few received financial support.

      The common explanation for the change is that young people had the misfortune of growing up during several unfortunate and overlapping economic trends.

      Today, almost 45 percent of 25-year-olds, have outstanding loans, with an average debt above $20,000, and more than half of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, causing them to make substandard wages in jobs that don’t require a college degree.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Dropcam acquired by Google owned Nest

      Dropcam, a San Francisco based home surveillance company has on their official blog post revealed that they have been acquired by Nest. Nest, a Google owned company, confirmed on their blog the acquisition and also the fact that this acquisition will not change anything for either of the companies’ immediate future, as both Nest products as well as the Dropcam products will be available to customers without any change. The deal went down for $555 million.

    • A history of the federal government’s ‘lost’ e-mails

      A watchdog group this week called on Congress to investigate federal record-keeping practices to determine why the government has repeatedly lost e-mails that could shed light on alleged wrongdoing.

    • Mass Surveillance in Britain

      European officials have often acted as though excessive government surveillance was solely an American problem. The recent release of a legal statement from a senior British counterterrorism official, Charles Farr, shows that the United States government is certainly not alone in justifying such practices.

    • The Majority Has Spoken: Email Privacy Reform Possible Right Now

      Yesterday, Reps Reps. Ron Desantis (R-Fla.) and Cedric Richmond (D-La.) became the 217th and 218th members of the House to sign on to the Email Privacy Act. More than half of the 435 members of the House of Representatives now formally support updating the outdated law governing the privacy of our electronic communications and requiring police to get a warrant before they read our emails, look at our online photo albums, or view our texts. Among those 218 members who have endorsed reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) are 136 Republicans – more than half of the members of the majority party.

    • Vulturization: ‘Privacy’ is fightin’ words to cloud touters – they get angry

      Being as these folks stand up OpenStack, I also took the time to find out what it’s like to work with the community and whether it’s really as much of a pain to work with as everyone claims.

    • Snowden’s year in Russia: From airport hideout to mystery location
    • Snowden collects documents to extend asylum on one-year anniversary of stay in Russia
    • A ‘Cool War’?

      With the revelations of Edward Snowden, Beijing has fittingly dismissed the nuanced American distinction. Snowden revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has infiltrated into Huawei Technologies, a hi-tech Chinese multinational company. A recent Foreign Policy article confirmed that an elite NSA ultra-secret China hacking group “successfully penetrated” Chinese computers and its telecommunication industry for the past 15 years.

    • Matt Robinson: General public must oversee our overseers

      Take for example a situation happening across the United States, but most recently exemplified in a records request in Florida. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a public records request with a police department in Sarasota, Fla., for information on a surveillance tool called “Stingray,” which is used by law enforcement agencies across the country to mass collect data.

    • Sirota: US government at war with itself over civil liberties
    • Glenn Greenwald expands exposure of privacy violators

      “We’re working on that story now,” said Greenwald, who grew up in New York and lives in Rio de Janeiro with his longtime partner, David Miranda. “It’s highly likely it will be out before the end of the month. It will be reporting on the people the NSA is targeting domestically.”

    • 4 July: Annual Independence FROM America demo at NSA Menwith Hill

      Join the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (CAAB) at the main entrance to NSA Menwith Hill, HG1 4QZ, on Friday 4 July from 5pm to 9pm for the annual “Independence FROM America” demonstration.

    • PM makes off-the-record visit to NSA

      Prime Minister John Key took a secret trip to the NSA spy agency while he was in Washington last week.

      It is not surprising that he went — he made the same trip the last time he was in Washington in 2011.

      This time, it was left off the published schedule of meetings that is handed out to the news media. Last time, it was declared.

    • US spying: Who do you believe? Snowden or Key?

      The results of a Stuff Ipsos poll released last week shows 71.6 per cent of Kiwis believe United States spy agencies are gathering data on New Zealanders and 61.8 per cent of those people do not support the US being able to do so.

    • Key’s off-the-record visit to controversial spy HQ

      Prime Minister John Key took a secret trip to the NSA spy agency while he was in Washington last week.

      It is not surprising that he went — he made the same trip the last time he was in Washington in 2011.

    • NSA Hurting Millennials’ Way of Life

      Millennials are criticized for broadcasting too many intimate details of our everyday lives online. We readily publish what we had for lunch, when we went to the gym, relationship status updates, and more. Things more senior generations might deem “TMI” are standard online chatter for us; however, there is a method to the madness. Global connectivity has enabled us to open new lines of communication with people across town, across the country, and across the world. We see value in being able to speak freely, giving us access to new ideas and cultures through comparing the human experience, hemisphere to hemisphere.

    • Redeeming NIST’s Reputation

      Bill Would Ban NSA from Undermining NIST Crypto Standards

    • Encrypted Email Service ProtonMail Soars Past $160,000 Campaign Goal
    • Walsh: Federal government has no right to spy on Americans
    • NSA mixing rule of law with cloak-and-dagger spy world – expert
    • US Funds “Terror Studies” to Dissect and Neutralize Social Movements

      The U.S. Department of Defense is immersed in studies about…people like you. The Pentagon wants to know why folks who don’t themselves engage in violence to overthrow the prevailing order become, what the military calls, “supporters of political violence.” And by that they mean, everyone who opposes U.S military policy in the world, or the repressive policies of U.S. allies and proxies, or who opposes the racially repressive U.S. criminal justice system, or who wants to push the One Percent off their economic and political pedestals so they can’t lord it over the rest of us. (I’m sure you recognize yourself somewhere in that list.)

    • ‘Double standards’: Apple implements MAC anti-tracking technique used by Aaron Swartz

      Apple is going to implement random MAC addresses technology in its iOS8 devices, an anonymity-granting technique which late computer prodigy Aaron Swartz was accused of using to carry out his infamous MIT hack.

      Swartz, who faced criminal prosecution on charges of mass downloading academic documents and articles, was also accused of using MAC (Media Access Control) spoofing address technology to gain access to MIT’s subscription database.

    • New Eavesdropping Equipment Sucks All Data Off Your Phone

      In a Capitol Hill hearing room two summers ago, privacy activist Christopher Soghoian organized a stunning demonstration of some new police surveillance technology. A small group of congressional staffers were handed “clean” cellphones and invited to start calling each other while, off to the side, a Berkeley communications researcher named Kurtis Heimerl turned on his gear. After a few minutes, Soghoian told the staffers to hang up—and then Heimerl played back their conversations. Not only that, the two men told the staffers, the digital eavesdropping equipment was capable of sucking all the data from their phones—emails, contact files, music, videos—whatever was on them.

    • Can you spy on a phone when it is turned off?
    • Snowden Gets German Fritz Bauer Award for Exposing US Intelligence

      Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has been awarded the Fritz Bauer Prize of the German Humanist Union, a prominent civil rights organization, for exposing the controversial surveillance practices of the NSA and its accomplices.

    • Little reform since Snowden spilled the beans

      A year has passed since the American former intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden began revealing the massive scope of Internet surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency.

      His disclosures have elicited public outrage and sharp rebukes from close U.S. allies like Germany, upending rosy assumptions about how free and secure the Internet and telecommunications networks really are.

      Single-handedly Snowden has changed how people regard their phones, tablets and laptops, and sparked a public debate about the protection of personal data.

    • More Foreign Governments Provide NSA with Support for Global Data Surveillance

      The National Security Agency’s (NSA) reach of spying on worldwide communications is even broader than previously reported, according to new information leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      In addition to working with allied spy agencies in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, the NSA has partnered with other, unnamed foreign governments to access enormous volumes of emails, phone calls and Internet data.

  • Civil Rights

    • Parliament is sexist, masculine and out of date, say British women

      A poll about attitudes to Westminster on the influential parenting website Mumsnet has revealed startling levels of disillusionment with a male-dominated political system

    • sRepressing World Cup Protests — A Booming Business for Brazil

      On June 12, Brazilian police fired tear gas on a group of 50 unarmed marchers blocking a highway leading to the World Cup arena in São Paulo. On June 15 in Rio de Janeiro another 200 marchers faced floods of tear gas and stun grenades in their approach to Maracana stadium. Armed with an arsenal of less lethal weapons and employing tactics imported from U.S. SWAT teams in the early 2000s, police clad in riot gear are deploying forceful tactics, wielding batons and releasing chemical agents at close range. In Brazil, this style of protest policing is not only a common form of political control, but also a booming business.

    • Total US Tab Tops $5.2 Billion For Guantanamo Prison

      The cost for this year, $454.1 million to operate, staff and build at the prison complex, comes from a report by the Defense Department’s Office of the Comptroller.

    • The USS Guantanamo

      No way, no how will President Obama send a terrorist to Guantanamo Bay. But how about a few weeks on a Navy warship to chat with U.S. interrogators without a Miranda warning? Welcome aboard the President’s floating not-so-secret prison.

    • Iraqis Are Not ‘Abstractions’

      When I saw the Washington Post’s banner headline, “U.S. sees risk in Iraq airstrikes,” I thought, “doesn’t that say it all.” The Post apparently didn’t deem it newsworthy to publish a story headlined: “Iraqis see risk in U.S. airstrikes.” Then, in an accompanying article, authors Gregg Jaffe and Kevin Maurer observed nonchalantly that “Iraq and the Iraqi people remain something of an abstraction,” a point that drove me to distraction.

    • Iraq’s Next PM? Ahmed Chalabi, Chief Peddler of False WMDs, Meets US Officials as Maliki Falters

      Pressure is mounting on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to form a less sectarian government or to resign. A representative of the influential Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called for the creation of what he described as a new “effective” government. On Thursday, The New York Times revealed the U.S. ambassador in Iraq, Robert Beecroft, and the State Department’s top official in Iraq, Brett McGurk, recently met with the controversial Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi, who has been described as a potential candidate to replace al-Maliki. Chalabi is the former head of the Iraqi National Congress, a CIA-funded Iraqi exile group that strongly pushed for the 2003 U.S. invasion. The INC helped drum up pre-war claims that Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction and had links to al-Qaeda. The group provided bogus intelligence to the Bush administration, U.S. lawmakers and journalists. We are joined by Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor for Harper’s Magazine.

    • New Hollywood assassination film raises hackles in North Korea

      The Interview, a new action comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, has elicited choice comments from North Korea for showing the “desperation” of American society. Due out in October, the film tells the tale of two US journalists who are given the opportunity to interview North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, then recruited by the CIA to assassinate him.

    • Rekindle ties with Arab League, Rogers says

06.22.14

Links 22/6/2014: New Linux RC, FreeBSD RC

Posted in News Roundup at 2:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Will Carriers Step Up to Open Challenge?

    Telecom service providers are being asked in multiple ways to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to supporting open source software and technology in the move to virtualization.

    The most obvious move those willing to embrace openness will make is joining the new open source project — called Open Platform for NFV, or OPN — that a number of telecom operators associated with the ETSI Network Functions Virtualization Industry Specification Group are setting up with the Linux Foundation , already home to OpenDaylight . (See Is Open Source the New De Facto Standard?)

  • Google Chrome PDF Engine is now Open Source
  • Google open sources PDF rendering
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla is Working on a Firefox OS-powered Streaming Stick à la Chromecast

        Mozilla took the world by surprised when it announced that it was developing a Firefox operating system that would be used for mobile phones, especially in developing markets. Now, there are already a few devices out there, but it seems that this isn’t the last step for the company whose name is still associated with the famous web browsers.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • ForgeRock Raises $30M for Open-Source Identity-Relationship Tech

      ForgeRock’s $30 million capital injection will help the company drive adoption of identity-relationship management technology.

    • OpenStack by the numbers

      Haven given that warning, I still think there’s good value in project statistics. They say something about trajectory, and when used in conjunction with solid knowledge of why the numbers are what they are, they can tell a good bit about comparative success. And they can be inspiring. “Look what we’ve done” you can say to your community, as you provide them with the raw data about what they’ve created. They can also say something about the relative participation in a project, as with Chuck Dubuque’s look at how to gauge the contributions of the various corporate contributors to OpenStack.

    • OpenStack: What It Is, What It Does

      OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage and networking resources throughout a data center, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface. In general, it is an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) operating system for building and managing cloud computing platforms for public, private and hybrid clouds.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Are there too many computers in the classroom?

      I could not disagree more with Dvorak. One of the things I always hated when I was in school was having to sit in a classroom and listen to a teacher drone on endlessly about a subject. It felt like it was taking forever for them to get to the point and present the information. Really, I remember doodling on my notebook while the teacher went on and on in what seemed like an endless monologue about whatever.

      Maybe that was just my perception at the time (I graduated high school back in 1987), but I would much rather have had faster access to all of the course information rather than waiting for the teacher to regurgitate it verbally to me. Oral communication in person is such a slow and ponderous way to transfer information compared to what you can do with today’s computers and tablets.

  • Healthcare

    • Some patients are eager to share their personal data

      While many researchers encounter no privacy-based barriers to releasing data, those working with human participants, such as doctors, psychologists, and geneticists, have a difficult problem to surmount. How do they reconcile their desire to share data, allowing their analyses and conclusions to be verified, with the need to protect participant privacy? It’s a dilemma we’ve talked about before on the blog (see: Open Data and IRBs, Privacy and Open Data). A new project, Open Humans, seeks to resolve the issue by finding patients who are willing—even eager—to share their personal data.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC Allowed To Add Offloading Library To Code-Base

      The GCC steering committee has ruled on allowing a foreign library for compute offloading into the GNU Compiler Collection.

      The first library in question is the poorly named “liboffload”, which handles offloading work to Intel’s high-end Xeon Phi compute cards. Permission was needed from the GCC steering committee for introducing a foreign library plus that there’s some GPLv2.1 header files and new sources.

    • Democracy and Software Freedom

      It is striking that, despite talking a lot about freedom, and often being interested in the question of who controls power, these five criteria might as well be (Athenian) Greek to most free software communities and participants- the question of liberty begins and ends with source code, and has nothing to say about organizational structure and decision-making – critical questions serious philosophers always address.

      Our licensing, of course, means that in theory points #4 and #5 are satisfied, but saying “you can submit a patch” is, for most people, roughly as satisfying as saying “you could buy a TV ad” to an American voter concerned about the impact of wealth on our elections. Yes, we all have the theoretical option to buy a TV ad/edit our code, but for most voters/users of software that option will always remain theoretical. We’re probably even further from satisfying #1, #2, and #3 in most projects, though one could see the Ada Initiative and GNOME OPW as attempts to deal with some aspects of #1, #3, and #4

    • Staying free – should GCC allow non-free plug ins?

      To this extent, the argument between LLVM and GCC is a retread of the historic differences between GNU/Linux and the BSDs, between ‘open source’ and free software. Open source developers allow the code to be reused in any context, free or proprietary. Free software is restrictive in that it insists that the code, and any modifications to the code, must remain free in perpetuity. Advocates of free software would argue that the integrity of copyleft licensing has been instrumental in the spread of GCC, and has taken Linux and free software into places it would not otherwise have reached, and that free software cannot be bought or corrupted by commercial or corporate interests. Open source advocates argue that open source is more free because the user has no restrictions and can do what he or she likes, including developing closed source versions of the code.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • PHP 5.6 Is Nearly Ready For Release, RC1 Is Out

      PHP 5.6 is on track for its official release this summer as a major update to PHP5 while those looking to do some pre-production testing, RC1 is now available.

    • Replacing freecode: a proposal

      Web frameworks have gotten much more powerful since the original Freshmeat was built 17 years ago; today, I think building a replacement wouldn’t be a huge project. It is not, however, something I am willing to try to do alone. Whether or not this goes forward will depend on how many people are willing to step up and join me. I figure we need a team of about three core co-developers, at least one of whom needs to have some prior expertise at whatever framework we end up using.

    • ESR Mulls Replacing freecode

      The concept is interesting. Distros do a lot of similar things as does Sourceforge, GitHub and Distrowatch. A site specializing in distributing release-announcements could have a niche. On the one hand, with the millions of projects that might use the service, the site might be too busy to be useful. On the other hand, a good search engine might make the site scale well. Perhaps Google could provide the searching function.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • After 47 years in print, Computerworld finally goes digital-only
  • Happy Midsummer Solstice! with A Kopimist Gospel

    Today is the Midsummer Solstice, which has been celebrated as a holy day by most religions throughout human history. and is also recognized by science as one of the four special days in the solar year.

    Kopimism is one of Sweden’s newest religions. On or about the winter solstice of 2011, the Swedish authority Kammarkollegiet — blessed be its name! — officially recognized by Kopimism as a religion, just like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and others.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • American ‘Healthcare’ Exceptionalism: Highest Costs, Worst Care
    • The measles crisis

      Suspicion increased when Dr Shakeel Afridi was revealed to have been running a fake hepatitis vaccination programme for the CIA to help in its search for Osama bin Laden. Now with deaths that can be linked to a vaccine, and that too a vaccine purchased from India, our public health goals will be that much harder to achieve. Those responsible for the deaths should of course be held responsible but it will now become very difficult to contain the damage they have caused.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The New Ground-Based Defense Missiles Cost $40 Billion We Could Use For A Lot of Other Things. Oh, and They Don’t Work.

      A decade after it was declared operational for bogus political reasons – “you just needed to build them” – the $40 billion Ground-based Midcourse Defense System, or GMD, “cannot be relied on,” says a blistering report from the L.A. Times. It has an “abysmal” record: It has failed more tests than it has passed, has “performed less well than people had hoped,” has been hyped by U.S. officials who claimed it was more reliable than it was, has failed tests far less stringent than real-life scenarios would be, and over time has continued to perform worse, not better, despite years of tinkering, failing five of its last eight tests. It was also designed for a threat that likely doesn’t exist, or in the immortal words of Charles Pierce, “not to defend ourselves against missiles but, rather, as a platform for international dick-waving.” Oh yes, and members of Congress – the guys who battled over how much to cut food stamps – want a bunch more.

    • Why Bush and Blair Should Be Prosecuted for War Crimes

      Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair recently stated that air strikes and drones should be used once again on Iraq to stem recent gains by extremists in that country. Mr. Blair is oblivious of the responsibility he shares with former U.S. president George W. Bush on account of one of the most serious breaches of international law in recent times. The prosecution of Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush, along the lines of similar trials conducted in Argentina, Chile and Peru, is the only fitting response to such careless remarks.

    • S.Korean Soldier Said to Kill 5 Comrades at Border

      All able-bodied South Korean men must serve about two years in the military under a conscription system aimed at countering aggression from North Korea.

    • Washington Digest: House declines to put its foot down on Iraq

      “We must not let history repeat itself,” Lee said. “Calls to be dragged back into a war in Iraq must be rejected.”

    • Rolling Back the Clock? –Progressive Style?

      In 1981, my first professor in political science, the late Dr. Charles Benjamin, explained that roll-back-the-clock was the plan of the new Ronald Reagan administration in terms of American foreign policy. We had just come out of the Carter era–the only time that USA presidential leadership had sincerely tried to put the CIA and NSA leadership in their societal places (subservient to the executive branch and constitution) and had unveiled a practicing Human-Rights policy that would support popular people’s rebellions against dictators around the globe. During the Carter term, from Central America to the Middle East, the USA foreign policy had allowed people’s movements to have their day in the sun.

    • What Megyn Kelly Should Have Asked Dick Cheney

      The former vice president got his comeuppance on Fox News last Wednesday, producing a minor news story.

      Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz had published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal advocating renewed U.S. military involvement in Ira to prevent a seizure of power by the al-Qaeda spin-off ISIS (or ISIL) and opining, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

      Citing this comment, Fox anchor Megyn Kelly unexpectedly snapped, “But time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well sir.” She referred specifically the false accusation about weapons of mass destruction used to sell the Iraq War. A flustered Cheney fumbled his interrogator’s name (“Reagan, um, Megyn”) before declaring, “You’ve got to go back and look at the track record.” (As though Megyn were doing something other than precisely that.) “We inherited a situation where there was no doubt in anybody’s mind about the extent of Saddam’s involvement in weapons of mass destruction. … Saddam Hussein had a track record that nearly everybody agreed to.”

      In other words, the unfortunately mistaken but universal belief in Saddam’s WMD preceded the Bush-Cheney administration, was part of its heritage but in no way its invention. Everybody was honestly mistaken. Thus he utterly rejects personal responsibility for crediting, promoting it, and using it to justify a war he badly wanted.

    • Rand Paul Defends Obama Against Dick Cheney

      “Do you think Dick Cheney is a credible critic of this president?” host David Gregory asked Paul, quoting from Cheney’s op-ed in which Cheney wrote, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

    • Utah is where Army learns to fly drones better

      Two types of drones — the MQ-1C Gray Eagle and the RQ-7 Shadow — began flying in tandem with the Apaches. The drones’ cameras and sensors transmit the intelligence to the Apache crew — showing it what lies over the hill so the Apaches don’t have to expose themselves to find a target to attack or don’t fly into an ambush.

    • Drone strikes more right than wrong, Key says

      New Zealand has no issue with US drones striking terrorists in Iraq, PM John Key told TV1′s Q+A this morning.

      “They sometimes go wrong and that’s a great tragedy.

      “On balance of benefit, are they more often right than they’re wrong? I think the answer is ‘yes’,” he said following a meeting with US President Barack Obama.

    • No consensus on ‘targeted’ military action in Iraq

      President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that the United States is “prepared to take targeted and precise military action” in Iraq if the situation on the ground requires it. The president added that if he decides to take military action in Iraq, he would consult with Congress and world leaders.

    • Iraq veterans now wonder if all their sacrifices were for naught

      Mike Dizmang thinks about the Iraqi children who shook his hand and smiled when he told them that all would be OK in the end.

    • The Drone Memo Cometh

      In response to consolidated lawsuits filed by the ACLU and The New York Times, the Second Circuit recently ordered the Obama administration to disclose (with redactions) one of the legal memos authorizing the government’s premeditated killing of Anwar al-Aulaqi, an American citizen. The government has challenged certain aspects of the court’s decision, apparently with some degree of success (more on that below), and it has managed to defer the release of the memo by two months. To its credit, though, the court appears unwilling to allow the government to delay the release of the memo indefinitely. If the court holds to a plan it set forth ten days ago, it will publish the memo itself this coming week.

    • US aid of f $96 million approved for Pakistan
    • The crisis of ISIS in Iraq: was America the midwife?

      Communities Digital News published a report outlining strong circumstantial evidence that arms transferred from the Special Mission Compound in Benghazi before the attack on September 11, 2012, ended up in Syria and are now being used against the Iraq government. Media reports and Pentagon / State Department statements have confirmed that U.S. weapons are being deployed by ISIS in Iraq.

      More disturbing information is emerging to bookend these revelations. The United States probably trained elements of the ISIS militia, which has accounted for the deaths of hundreds of civilians in Syria and now in Iraq.

    • Why The MSM Is Such A Farce

      hen again one only has to remember the MSM basically cheering on the the preemptive illegal invasion and all the breathless bullshit emanating from “embedded” journalists to see how effing useless they are.

    • Isis threat justifies greater surveillance powers in UK, says Liam Fox
    • John Prescott: I’m proud to have served with you Tony but we DID cause Iraq mess

      The Sunday Mirror columnist and former Deputy Prime Minister says it’s time to learn from the past and leave Iraq and its neighbours to sort out this mess

    • The Iraq Surge ‘Worked’ All Over Again

      Treating “the US troop surge worked” argument as a fact, as Engel is doing, is very dangerous–since it logically suggests that it is only the presence of US troops that can keep Iraq safe. That is a recipe for a never-ending war.

    • Iraq blowback: Isis rise manufactured by insatiable oil addiction
    • Iraq and Your Gas Tank

      When it comes to US foreign policy and warmaking in the Middle East, you’re not supposed to talk about oil. To suggest it plays a serious role in US decision-making is to invite taunting about conspiracy theories.

    • Russia Reignites The Proxy War: Putin Offers “Complete Support” To Iraq Prime Minister Scorned By Obama

      It was the bolded text that was of biggest interest because as we noted the next day, when discussing the next steps for ISIS, we said that “One wonders how long until the mercenary force finds its latest major backer, because for all the western, US-led intervention, both Russia and China are oddly missing from the scene. We expect that to change soon.”

    • Where Is the Accountability on Iraq?

      Can someone explain to me why the media still solicit advice about the crisis in Iraq from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)? Or Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)? How many times does the Beltway hawk caucus get to be wrong before we recognize that maybe, just maybe, its members don’t know what they’re talking about?

    • Capitalism’s Bullets in Latin America: Invisible Empires, State Power and 21st Century Colonialism

      “Soccer, metaphor for war, at times turns into real war,” wrote Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano. For many people in Brazil, a war has indeed broken out surrounding the current World Cup. Poor communities have been displaced by stadiums and related infrastructure for the event, the high level of security has increased police violence, and the enormous economic costs of the World Cup are seen by many as a blow against the rights of the country’s most impoverished people. As a result of these controversies, the international sports event has been met with wide-spread protests.

    • Assange Urges Ecuador to Counteract Massive U.S. Spying

      The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, felt that despite being a small nation, Ecuador can pursue the cessation of US mass espionage against its citizens, according to an interview published here today.
      The Australian publisher and journalist considered that Ecuador can pass laws to mandate that companies providing services within the country use audited industrial standard encryption by default.

      In an interview with the El Telegrafo, Assange said the best model for small nations like Ecuador is the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, which aimed to make Iceland into a competitive jurisdiction among the market of jurisdictions for companies wishing to provide internet services.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • The Teaching Class

      Teaching college is no longer a middle-class job, and everyone paying tuition should care.

    • Spain’s new king sworn in amid anti-monarchy rally (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

      ​Several people have been detained at an anti-monarchy protest near Madrid’s heavily guarded central square following the coronation of Felipe VI as Spain’s new king.

    • BBC and press ignore massive demonstration against austerity in London

      It seems the BBC are capable of tracking down a single Scot in Brazil who cheered a goal against England but fail to notice 50,000 demonstrating on their doorstep.

    • Miami Sues Banking Giant Over Predatory Mortgages

      The city of Miami on Friday filed a lawsuit in a federal court against JPMorgan Chase & Co., accusing the banking giant of a pattern of discriminatory loan practices “since at least 2004″ which sparked foreclosures and violated the U.S. Fair Housing Act.

      “JPMorgan has engaged in a continuous pattern and practice of mortgage discrimination in Miami since at least 2004 by imposing different terms or conditions on a discriminatory and legally prohibited basis,” Bloomberg reports lawyers for Miami as saying in the complaint.

    • Tens of thousands march in London against coalition’s austerity measures

      Tens of thousands of people marched through central London on Saturday afternoon in protest at austerity measures introduced by the coalition government. The demonstrators gathered before the Houses of Parliament, where they were addressed by speakers, including comedians Russell Brand and Mark Steel.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Koching of America — and of PBS

      A few months back the filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin got some bad news. The PBS funding that they had counted on to complete their documentary on campaign financing was being withdrawn. This setback came not long after PBS took the unusual step of warning David Koch (of right-wing billionaire donors “the Koch Brothers” fame) that he had been negatively portrayed in another of the networks documentaries, and giving them a chance to respond.

    • Fox Covers Up a Benghazi Story

      So why no mention of the suspect’s stated motive now? Fox News has aired more than 2,000 segments on the Benghazi attacks. Like other right-wing media with the Benghazi bug, Fox News claims that the White House deceived the public by not immediately branding the incident an Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist attack, but instead claimed that it was a spontaneous reaction to the notorious internet video. The motive for the deception, goes the theory, was the White House’s desire not to remind voters that Al-Qaeda was still active two months before a US presidential elections (e.g., Special Report, 5/14/13.)

      Indeed, the conspiracy-mongering got so out of control at one point that the Republicans, with Fox News at their backs, attempted to turn a State Department email mentioning that the anti-Muslim Internet video had caused incidents at a number of US embassies into a smoking gun–evidence, they said, that State Department was trying to repeat inaccurate talking points to be used on Sunday morning chat shows (e.g., Kelly File, 5/1/14). They were ultimately unsuccessful, as more level-headed media corrected the record (e.g., Slate, 4/30/14).

    • How Fox News Has A Conversation About Islam
    • Steve Wozniak wants you to support Mayday.US and get money out of politics

      Apple co-founder, nerd legend, and all-round Good Guy Steve Wozniak has recorded an excellent video explaining why he’s supporting Larry Lessig’s Mayday.US super PAC, which is raising $5M to elect lawmakers who’ll promise to vote to abolish super PACs and effect major campaign finance reform.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • No answer yet on how many elected politicians have been monitored by police’s domestic extremism unit

      Two Green Party politicians have criticised police chiefs who recorded their political activities on a secret database that tracks ‘domestic extremists’

    • US demotes Thailand and Qatar for abysmal human trafficking records
    • Sign the petition to provide reparations to the Chicago Police torture survivors
    • Guildford Four’s Gerry Conlon dies of cancer in Belfast, aged 60

      Belfast man who was wrongly jailed for 15 years devoted his life after release to campaigning for justice

    • How the CIA Stole ‘Dr. Zhivago’

      As The Zhivago Affair reveals, Feltrinelli was not the novel’s only publisher: The CIA played a central role in promoting and disseminating Pasternak’s novel. “The CIA, as it happened, loved literature,” Finn and Couvee write, and the agency was involved in the shipment of some one million books behind the Iron Curtain, including Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Nabokov’s Pnin. It became an urgent American agenda to place Doctor Zhivago in the hands of Russian readers. At a 1958 exposition in Brussels, attended by many Soviet visitors, the Vatican pavilion gave out free copies of Zhivago. In the words of a CIA memo, “this book has great propaganda value.”

    • Benghazi suspect faces US criminal court
    • Daphne Eviatar: Sending Benghazi suspect to Gitmo would be obstruction of justice
    • Kangaroo courts and guns on the table: The week in quotes

      Activist Margaretta D’Arcy made a strong presentation to an Oireachtas committee on the use of Irish airspace and Shannon Airport by, in particular, the US Military and CIA.

    • Revealed: Police investigate evidence that six CIA torture flights landed in Scotland

      POLICE are investigating evidence that a CIA jet landed in Glasgow after carrying 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to a secret torture prison in Poland.

      And the Sunday Mail can reveal that elite detectives are also probing five other stopovers in Scotland, which researchers suspect were part of CIA “rendition circuits” to move terror suspects between secret jails and torture sites.

    • Risen’s Petition Denied

      According to sources however, Eric Holder has declared, “As long as I’m attorney general, no reporter will go to jail for doing his job.”

    • UK government urged to prevent US use of Diego Garcia for renditions

      Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee has called on the UK Government to restrict the use by the US of Diego Garcia, a British overseas territory, for renditions.

    • Miracles, secrecy and Obama

      To make matters worse, agencies can’t deal with the explosion in electronic information. The CIA is believed to generate 1 petabyte of classified records every 18 months, or the equivalent of 20 million four-drawer filing cabinets of documents.

    • Canadian woman who stopped car on highway to save ducklings found guilty of causing two deaths

      25-year-old Emma Czornobaj stopped her car on the left lane of a highway near Montreal in 2010 after spotting a group of stray ducklings on the road. A motorcyclist and his daughter were killed after slamming into her car.

    • ‘Cash cow’ spy cars to be banned

      The “overzealous” use of spy cars by councils to issue parking fines will be reined in as the government seeks a better deal for the High Street.

    • Telling Folk Heroes From Monsters

      Even if hackers like Mr. Swartz are still a problem for us to reconcile in real life, maybe it is in the movies, with their capacity to empathize with the outré, their ability to present difficult, morally prismatic antiheroes, that we can properly come to terms with them. Especially now, in a world so vividly shaped by complex agents of change like Mr. Assange and Edward J. Snowden, we may need movies to help us comprehend our shades of gray.

    • Immigration And Mindless Partisanship – OpEd

      Many news articles have reported record deportations under Obama, while his anti-immigration critics have argued that a sensitivity to novelties in classification expose a president lax on border enforcement. Adjusting for all this, it appears that the truth is somewhere in the middle: Overall, the Obama administration has conducted deportation policies qualitatively similar to the last administration’s. Whether one concludes a slight decline or increase, the more important fact is that there has been no radical shift since he took office, and certainly not one toward liberalization. Obama’s proposal for reform last year was in fact quite reminiscent of Bush’s plan. Although conservatives tended to find Bush too liberal on immigration, a June 2007 poll showed that 45 percent of Republicans favored their president on these policies, down from 61 percent just a few months before.

    • Brazilian police criticised over raid on protest camp

      Several people were injured by rubber bullets and teargas canisters in Tuesday’s dawn attack by police on a tent community occupying a historic wharf known as Cais José Estelita.

    • Police say they have not counted how many politicians they have been monitoring

      It seems as though we may never know how many elected politicians have been monitored by the police’s ‘domestic extremism’ unit.

      And the reason? Police say that they have not counted how many there are.

      In response to a freedom of information request from the Guardian, Scotland Yard said that the national ‘domestic extremism’ unit “has not conducted any research to count how many elected politicians are currently recorded in any way in its files.”

    • Iran’s morality police: patrolling the streets by stealth

      President Rouhani vowed to rein them in, but they are still in force quietly keeping check on Tehran’s dress code

    • Groups Appeal to UN for ‘Humanity’ as Detroit Shuts Off Water to Thousands

      ‘By denying water service to thousands, Detroit is violating the human right to water.’

    • Brutal Repression Of Anti-FIFA & World Cup Protests in Brazil: at least 109 Arrested, countless Wounded

      Clashes in São Paulo ongoing, activists erected barricades and police have begun trying to disperse them with gas bombs. Protestors trashed a high-class car dealership and a bank on their way to the barricades, the cops could not keep up.

    • Spain: Piss Off The New King, Get Arrested For Displaying Anti-Monarchy Flags

      At least 5 people were arrested by the Spanish police for displaying flags for the Republic during the crowning ceremony of an imposed king aimed to reboot the fading support for the monarchy.

      Since 2008, it is legal to carry flags in support of the republic in Spain, but police arrested old people, young people, parents in front of their kids, intimidated and abused dozens for speaking against the king on the streets, or for wearing anti-monarchy signs. The ones who shouted ”¡Viva la República!” (Long live the Republic), during the ceremony, were arrested on the spot, officials said that it was for the crime of “opposing resistance to the authorities“.

    • Report: California Illegally Sterilized Dozens of Female Inmates

      Last year, the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) accused California of sterilizing over 140 female inmates between 2006 and 2010 without required state approvals.

      One doctor, James Heinrich, was responsible for the two-thirds of the tubal ligation referrals during that period from the biggest offender, Valley State prison.

      Asked by CIR about his startling record, Heinrich justified the money spent sterilizing inmates by claiming it was minimal “compared to what you save in welfare paying for these unwanted children—as they procreated more.” He has since been barred from future prison work.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The EFF wants to improve your privacy by making your Wi-Fi public

      Conventional wisdom dictates that to maintain your security and privacy, you should encrypt your Wi-Fi network. But what if the conventional wisdom is wrong? The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) argues that partially opening up your home Wi-Fi network could actually enhance your privacy, and is working on a tool to make it easier to do so.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XXIX

      Since the text itself is pretty dry, WikiLeaks has asked one of the world’s top experts on these trade agreements, Professor Jane Kelsey of the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, New Zealand, to provide a commentary. I strongly recommend reading her analysis, since it explains what all those innocuous-sounding phrases really mean. Here is her summary of what the new leak tells us…

    • Copyrights

      • Dotcom’s Disruptive Music Service First to Support FLAC Streaming

        After several years of development, Kim Dotcom’s much-anticipated music streaming platform Baboom is gearing up for its public release. Baboom aims to disrupt the music industry by closing the bridge between artists and fans. This includes a higher revenue share for artists and free music streaming in a lossless format for fans.

      • EU Commission Set to Unveil New Anti-Piracy Action Plans

        The EU Commission will next week announce new strategies for dealing with online piracy and counterfeiting. These non-legislative measures will include an EU action plan aimed at fighting IP infringement, plus a strategy to protect and enforce IP rights in third countries. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the aim is to “follow the money”.

      • Digital Content Online Should Be Free, Children Say

        A new survey of young children and adults has found consensus on what should be charged for content online. In both groups, 49% said that people should be able to download content they want for free, with a quarter of 16-24 year olds stating that file-sharing was the only way they could afford to obtain it.

06.21.14

Links 21/6/2014: Russia Dumps x86/Wintel, Steam Summer Sale is On

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 10:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-Source Tool Aimed At Propelling Honeypots Into the Mainstream

    Researchers have built a free open-source honeypot software program aimed at propelling the hacker decoys into security weapons for everyday organizations.

  • Google investing $50 million to get girls to code

    Google conducted research to determine why girls are opting out of learning how to code? As a result Google found that most girls decide before they even enter college whether they want to learn to code—so the Tech-world must win them over them at a young age. They also found that there were four major factors that determined whether girls opted into computer science: social encouragement, self-perception, academic exposure and career perception. According to recent studies less than 1 percent of high school girls express interest in majoring in computer science.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla working on a WordPress, Disqus competitor?
      • ​How to Try Firefox OS Apps on Android

        Android: Mozilla is best known for its web browser, but the company also produces Firefox OS for a limited number of handsets. With a little sideways thinking, though, you can try some of its apps in Android.

        Much like Google Chrome, Firefox supports webapps—the OS and apps are built with the same technology—and this is how you can bring Firefox OS to Android. Apps work like browser extensions, so they take up very little room making them ideal for older devices or those with limited storage. Download a copy of Firefox for Android from the Google Play Store, or update your existing copy to 29 or above.

        Fire up Firefox and visit the Firefox Marketplace, the Firefox version of Google Play or the Chrome Web Store. Take a browse through the Marketplace and tap an app that takes your fancy. Just as with regular Android apps, Firefox OS apps let you know about the permissions they need, and you have to accept this before you install anything.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • It’s time to stop the open-on-open violence in cloud computing

      A Structure conference panel discussing the state of open source cloud computing agreed that open source clouds need to get easier to use, but not on much else.

    • LeaseWeb Offers CloudStack-based Flat-Fee Private Cloud Service
    • Why I Built OwnCloud and Made It Open Source

      There I was, 4 years ago (this past January) at CampKDE in San Diego, giving a talk on data privacy, warning the audience about the risks to their privacy from cloud vendors – in particular, Dropbox. So, build it yourself they said. Sure, I’ve built things in the past, so sure, I’ll do it. And there is where I started my odyssey, first, to protect myself, my friends and my colleagues from the snooping of governments, and other bad guys, and later – as I saw the worldwide interest grow – to build a real and successful project.

      I had to decide a few things before I got started of course, including what it is I wanted ownCloud to do, what development platform to use, how I wanted to structure ownCloud, and of course, to name it ownCloud.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.3 RC1 Get Multiple DOCX Improvements
    • LibreOffice 4.2.5 Released with Fixes from 800 Contributors

      The Document Foundation has announced that the final version for LibreOffice 4.2.5 has been released for all the available platforms, including Linux.

      This is just a maintenance release for the 4.2.x branch, but users of this particular version should consider upgrading nonetheless. The developers have squashed numerous bugs for this release and that can be easily observed from the changelog,

      LibreOffice 4.2.5 is now the most advanced build available from The Document Foundation, but the developers maintain a number of other branches as well. Users will be able to find the 4.1.6, 4.2.3, and 4.2.4 downloads on the official website…

  • BSD

Leftovers

  • After Forty-Seven Years, Computerworld, Tech Publishing’s Elder Statesman, is a Print Publication No More

    The news comes three months after the passing of Pat McGovern, who started IDG in 1964 as a research firm and put out Computerworld with a tiny staff in its earliest days. It’s sad to think of IDG losing its founder and flagship print publication so close together, but in a way, it’s also fitting.

  • Maybe it’s time to consider a Gross Domestic Happiness Index

    Just for fun, I checked to see which countries are the wealthiest in the world, based on a ranking of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. According to the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA’s) World Factbook, the crown goes to energy-rich Qatar, where GDP per capita last year stood at more than $102,000 US.

    Rounding out the list of top-10 richest nations are Liechenstein, Macau, Bermuda, Monaco, Luxembourg, Singapore, Jersey, Norway, and the Falkland Islands.

    Paraguay ranked a lowly 143rd, with a GDP per capita of just $6,800 per person in 2013. In fact, most of the happiest countries according to the Gallup poll results failed to crack the top-100 list of the world’s wealthiest nations, based on the CIA’s data.

  • Hardware

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Reflections on Fascism

      Iraq is back, as in blowback: this replaces Ukraine for the moment, America always on the lookout for a situation which can be turned, because of US policy in the first place, into a source of provocation. Iraq, our intervention guaranteed internal civil war, here, with the gains of ISIS, a chance to return in some form, concentrated drone attacks, rather than so-called “boots on the ground,” possibly to inflame the entire region, itself destabilized for obvious reasons (protection of Israel and the continued plight of the Palestinians). As Spinney and Polk wrote in CounterPunch, contradiction plagues American policy, in this case, turning to Iran for help against ISIS while threatening Iran for some time with severe military and economic punishment. How Obama and Kerry can keep straight faces is one for the annals of war.

    • The Redrawing of the Map of the Middle East Begins with the Destruction of Iraq

      The US is playing all sides of this exploding conflict, towards larger US/NATO objectives.

      The invading force, ISIS, is a creation of the US CIA and oil-soaked US allies Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.It is an Al-Qaeda front. Al-Qaeda has been the military-intelligence arm of the CIA since the Cold War. ISIS is the Anglo-American empire’s leading military-intelligence army in its ongoing war against Syria.

    • Amerika’s “Third Crusade” In Iraq Is Having Trouble …

      Back in the early 2004, comedian Dave Chappelle produced a masterpiece entitled “Black Bush” – a comedic mockumentary of the events leading up to (and immediately following) the United States’ “second crusade” in Iraq, led by former president George W. Bush.

      [...]

      Now they’re our allies or something … sort of like al-Qaeda (who we were supporting in Syria) is now our enemy in Iraq.

    • Is Obama’s new Iraq strategy just a cover for expanding his secret war?

      At the White House on Thursday afternoon, the American president outlined an everything-but-the-war strategy that was classic Barack Obama: his press briefing offered perhaps a telling signal about his own expansive version of the Global War on Terror, while still managing to be subtly evasive about what he might actually do in Iraq.

      The US military will be increasing surveillance, Obama said, preparing to send military “advisers” to Iraq and urging, not so subtly, for a political shift away from Nouri al-Maliki’s government. He did not, of course, answer the question on everyone’s minds about how America plans to deal with the Iraq crisis: Will Obama engage in fighting to stabilize the country?

    • Pakistan condemns drone strike in North Waziristan

      Six suspected militants were killed in a drone strike in Miranshah Tehsil in North Waziristan, Pakistan, local tribesmen and Pakistani intelligence sources not authorized to speak to media told CNN on Wednesday.

      The drone struck a house and a pickup truck in the Daraga Mandi area of Miranshah, they said.

    • More than 400 US military drones lost in crashes: report
    • Dick Cheney Should be Rotting in The Hague, Not Writing Editorials

      This should be obvious to pretty everyone by now, but apparently the Wall Street Journal didn’t get the message. Today, the paper published an editorial by Cheney and his daughter Liz in which the former Vice President blasts the “collapsing Obama doctrine” of foreign policy.”

    • The U.N. Says 257 civilians Have Been Killed in East Ukraine but Refuses to Condemn the Ongoing Bombardment

      According to a recent report by the U.N. 356 people have been killed in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Of these 257 were civilians, 86 were Ukrainian military. If these numbers are accurate it would mean that only 13 separatists have been killed so far (I find that hard to believe). The real death toll is likely higher than this.

    • CNN Brings Back Those Who Were Wrong on Iraq

      TV coverage of the current Iraq crisis looks a lot like 2003, when pro-war pundits, former generals and hawkish politicians dominated the debate. CNN’s Situation Room, hosted by Wolf Blitzer, illustrates how TV has returned to that narrow, pro-government discussion of Iraq.

    • Bertrand Russell Society Calls for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and Supports Lawsuit

      The Bertrand Russell Society held its 41st annual conference at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario on June 13-15, 2014. Dozens of academics, students, and Russell admirers from five countries and eight US states attended the conference, which featured presentations on various aspects of Russell’s diverse interests and works, including his work in logic and philosophy, and his political writing and activism. Bertrand Russell was one of the twentieth century’s most important and influential philosophers and public intellectuals. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, and he was a founder and early leader of the nuclear disarmament movement.

    • Obama Prepares for Drone War in Iraq

      President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that he will send 300 Green Beret Army special operations soldiers to Iraq. They will be detailed to Iraqi National Army Headquarters and brigade HQs and their primary task will apparently be intelligence-gathering and helping with the Iraqi National Army response to the advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL). Likely the intelligence-gathering in turn is intended to allow the deployment in Iraq of American drones. At the moment, the US has no good intelligence on the basis of which to fly the drones.

    • Iraq strategy: Obama, Congress leaders meeting

      Obama has ruled out returning combat troops to Iraq in order to quell the insurgency. However, he has notified Congress that up to 275 armed U.S. forces are being positioned in and around Iraq to provide support and security for U.S. interests.

    • Best Case Against Attacking Iraq? The Last Attack On Iraq

      As the latest reporting from both Baghdad and Washington, D.C. reveal diplomatic machinations paving the way for possible U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, increasing numbers of people are asking President Obama—and the American people—to look at the repeated and failed policy of military intervention in the region as the best argument against making the same mistake yet again.

    • Local Christians unite to protest for peace

      Critics claim these drone strikes have killed thousands of innocent civilians, including children.

    • Pentagon crashed more than 400 military drones
    • 400 drones crashed since 2001, six in Pakistan

      More than 400 large US military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001, a record of calamity that exposes the potential dangers of throwing open American skies to drone traffic, according to a year-long Washington Post investigation.

    • Military drones fall from the sky

      The unmanned military planes have slammed into homes, farms, runways and a transport plane in midair.

    • Drones crash with alarming frequency

      Commercial drone flights are set to become a widespread reality in the United States, starting next year, under a 2012 law passed by Congress. Drone flights by law enforcement agencies and the military, which occur on a limited basis, are projected to surge.

    • Report: Over 400 Military Drones Have Crashed Since 2001
  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Criminal Justice Media’s ‘Twisted’ Coverage

      Khan strayed from most media coverage around New York’s “biggest gang raid ever” by writing about the people living in the housing projects at the heart of the early-morning 400+ officer raid (complete with helicopters and riot gear), and by including voices of residents critical of it. The initial New York Times story (6/4/14) included only official accounts. The Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post (6/4/14) printed Facebook quotes of some of the teenagers indicted (an apparent attempt to prove their guilt in the court of public opinion–a guilt assumed by the headline’s flat assertion about “Rival Gangs Arrested”), as well as quotes from the Manhattan district attorney and residents offering comments supportive of the end to alleged violence–if not the raid itself.

      [...]

      It’s of course this type of media objectivity that allows for authorities to dominate public discourse through the virtual invisibility of criticism. Their heightened voice, made possible by the media’s willingness to become echo chambers for them, point to a relationship where the line between media and the state is blurred.

  • Censorship

    • Laziness Is Censoring the Internet

      Every time a government attempts to censor the Internet and block access to websites, advocates of Web freedom ritually respond that the effort is useless: Technology will beat police action every time. It’s true — but only to the extent that people are interested in resisting. Most aren’t, which is why governments have not stopped messing with site blockages and other Web restrictions.

      A few days ago, Iraq blocked the social networks, as beleaguered governments sometimes do, believing it would cut off activists from each other and stop them from organizing. Immediately, traffic to Tor, the anonymous network supported by volunteers throughout the world, rocketed…

    • Twitter ends censorship of ‘blasphemous’ tweets after #TwitterTheocracy campaign
    • Government of [CENSORED] censors cyberbullying docs

      The Star has obtained documents related to the Conservatives’ controversial Internet surveillance bill that have been heavily censored — even blocking out the “Canada” in “Government of Canada.”

  • Privacy

    • Don’t panic about Facebook outages, the NSA has your back

      Yet they don’t seem to think about what they lose when Facebook hands that personal data over to the NSA, or to any other security or intelligence authorities, such as GCHQ in the UK.

    • EU judgement on Facebook to take over a year

      Any EU-level judgement on a case filed against Facebook for its alleged involvement in helping the Americans snoop on millions of people is likely to take over a year.

    • The case that might cripple FacebookThe case that might cripple Facebook
    • Top 10 Reasons Why Corporate Social Media is Not Your Friend, and Dark Social Media Is

      Facebook currently limits the number of your “friends” who can see your posts to about 7 or 8%. What? You thought that “friends” list was yours? It’s not. It’s theirs. And think about it, if you had a thousand friends, and 25 of them, that’s 2.5% posted 3 or 4 times a day, another 25 posted once a day, and a hundred posted once a week, that would be at least 150 daily posts for you to comb through, leaving little room for Facebook to insert ads and promoted content which customers have paid for into your news feed.

    • The German Government has reportedly tightened tender rules for sensitive public IT contracts

      The German Government has reportedly tightened the rules for awarding sensitive public IT contracts, following whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations regarding the US National Security Agency’s (“NSA”) mass surveillance activities.

    • Opinion: Where is Europe’s outrage?

      One year ago, Europeans were livid when Edward Snowden revealed NSA mass surveillance of European citizens. Now that new documents show most EU countries are in cahoots with the NSA, the public remains mostly mum.

    • House votes 293-123 to cut funding for NSA spying on Americans
    • EU states let NSA tap data cables, Danish media say
    • Danes tapped Norway data for NSA: Information

      Denmark’s Defence Intelligence Service (DDIS) is intercepting data sent through fibre cables from Norway, according to newly published documents leaked from the US’s National Security Agency (NSA)

    • NSA Working With Denmark, Germany To Access ‘Three Terabits Of Data Per Second’ From Overseas Cables

      Another set of leaked NSA documents has been posted in a team effort by The Intercept and Danish newspaper Dagbladet. This one deals with the NSA’s RAMPART-A program, a surveillance effort that depends on the cooperation of involved countries to be successful. As the NSA has always made an effort to point out, its interception of foreign communications is both completely legal and the sort of thing people would expect a national security agency to be doing.

    • NSA uses 33 countries to intercept web traffic – Snowden Files
    • UK urged to give Germany access to RAF base that ‘helped spy on Merkel’

      The UK needs to grant Germany access to RAF Croughton military base which reportedly hosts a joint CIA/NSA unit, a Labor MP told British PM David Cameron, urging him to help the German federal investigation of the phone tapping of Angela Merkel.

    • Scenes of the NSA Are Watching Over the London Underground

      Paglen’s latest work, a site-specific piece for the London Underground stop, is a huge photographic panorama that depicts the area surrounding Menwith Hill, an RAF base used by the NSA. At first glance, the landscape is idyllic and unmistakably British, with luscious green fields and a smattering of stone cottages. But lurking on the horizon are a series of white bubbles; a rare but tell-tale physical sign of the secretive surveillance conducted by the security agency.

    • ZOMG! The FBI commissioned this WTF list of netspeak
    • British gov’t reportedly intercepting conversations from Facebook, Twitter, and Google

      The British government is reportedly intercepting communications from social networks, emails and text messages even when there is no suspicion of wrongdoing. According to a report from Privacy International, British spy agencies have been monitoring the Facebook and Twitter activity of every Internet user in the country. Authorities are also said to be collecting data on people’s web searches and emails.

    • How did ‘don’t mess with the money’ become the NSA’s motto?

      So why doesn’t the NSA start watching Wall Street’s agents of financial terror? Why don’t its snoops look into every nook and cranny of our economy where investment bankers, hedge fund managers, private equity kingpins, and derivative wheeler-dealers are trading inside information and rigging markets, milking mergers and nuking jobs, all the while stuffing multiple millions (or billions) in their pockets?

    • House Votes to Defund NSA ‘Backdoor’ Searches
    • House unexpectedly votes to stop warrantless NSA searches

      In what’s being billed as a momentum boost for anti-surveillance advocates, the US House of Representative on Thursday approved an amendment that significantly reigns in warrantless searches on Americans’ communication records.

    • Here’s how the NSA snoops on India

      According to these documents, India is an “Approved SIGINT partner” with the NSA. SIGINT is a common term used in intelligence circles that stands for signals Intelligence, and refers to capturing of communication between two people. Decrypting of messages, traffic analysis etc are also part of SIGINT. The agency then taps these SIGINT partnerships for creating two major programs called RAMPART-A and WINDSTOP for collecting data in transit between the source and the servers, as opposed to collecting data from each Internet company (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo) separately. Considering WINDSTOP only partners with second parties, primarily the UK, to access communications into and out of Europe and Middle East, third-party partner like India should fall under RAMPART-A.

    • Can you spy on a phone when it is turned off?

      Whether you consider Edward Snowden a traitor or a patriot, before he hit the news most people didn’t give much thought to government spying on everyday citizens. During a recent interview, he said that the NSA has the ability to spy on your smartphone, even if it’s turned off.

    • Spook Rebuke

      Keep in mind what the NSA is up to. This goes well beyond a sniffer program scanning Karachi-bound text messages for “Death to the Great Satan! Allahu Akbar!” The NSA has been intercepting laptop computers being shipped to customers in order to install software bugs in them, redirecting Web traffic to install malware on computers, installing agents in video games, and generally behaving like an implausible villain in a Robert Ludlum novel. It is using the flimsiest rationales to extend its surveillance to domestic targets. The toothless USA Freedom Bill passed by the House last month was intended to curtail some of this, but would have relatively little practical effect even if it were to become law, its enforcement protocols being remarkably loosey-goosey. The bipartisan amendment put forth by Kentucky’s Thomas Massie (R.) and California’s Zoe Lofgren (D.) passed 293 to 123, and would impose funding restrictions as well as implement a specific ban on any agency effort “to mandate or request that a person redesign its product or service to facilitate” surveillance.

    • NSA helps foreign governments conduct mass surveillance at home

      A new release of Snowden’s leaked NSA docs detail RAMPART-A, through which the NSA gives foreign governments the ability to conduct mass surveillance against their own populations in exchange for NSA access to their communications. RAMPART-A, is spread across 13 sites, accesses three terabytes/second from 70 cables and networks. It cost US taxpayers $170M between 2011 and 2013, allocated through the NSA’s “black budget.”

    • Senator Wyden Congratulates House on Bipartisan Vote to Ban Backdoor Searches
    • House backs limits on government spying
    • New leaks show Germany’s collusion with NSA

      Several new Snowden-leaked documents show how closely Germany’s intelligence agencies work with the NSA. But did the German government deliberately soften laws protecting privacy to make life easier for them?

    • Even The NSA Likes Final Fantasy

      Documents published earlier this week by German magazine Der Spiegel reveal that one of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs in Germany was named “WILDCHOCOBO.”

    • WILDCHOCOBO: Evidence of Final Fantasy fans at the NSA?
    • Germany opens criminal probe into spying operations by NSA

      Germany’s lead federal prosecutor has opened a criminal probe into espionage operations by the National Security Agency (NSA) of the nation’s leadership; especially the allegation of NSA’s spying against German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    • House passes measure aimed at NSA snooping

      The House on Friday passed a defense spending bill with an amendment that would bar the National Security Agency from conducting warrantless searches of its databases for Americans’ communications records.

    • Court Approves NSA Gathering of Phone Metadata for Three More Months

      U.S. intelligence officials disclosed late Friday that the Obama administration has received approval from a special federal court to continue the National Security Agency’s collection of telephone metadata for another three months.

    • US lawmakers pass bill to curb NSA
    • House votes to expand protections against NSA
    • European Union’s Highest Court To Consider PRISM’s Impact On EU Data Protection Laws
    • Edward Snowden won’t meet with German officials in Moscow
    • Edward Snowden rejects German plans for meeting in Moscow
    • Digital Rights Activist Hails House Vote on Bill Limiting NSA Surveillance

      In an unusual show of bipartisan unity, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a funding bill Friday with an amendment, co-sponsored by San Jose Democrat Zoe Lofgren, that would limit the surveillance powers of the National Security Agency.

    • “Politically Explosive” Docs Show How NSA Wiretaps Earth
    • Fisa court grants extension of licence for bulk collection of US phone records
    • Macedonia gave permission to NSA to spy on citizens?

      The United States has made top-secret deals with more than 30 third-party countries so that the National Security Agency can tap into fiber optic cables carrying internet data in those parts of the world, new leaks reveal.

    • U.S. Government at War With Itself Over Civil Liberties

      Over the past year, the United States government has been in the news a lot for its efforts to undermine the Internet’s basic privacy and security protocols.

      There were the Edward Snowden revelations about the National Security Agency sweeping up metadata, paying contractors to embed backdoors into their security technologies, hacking various private accounts of network administrators and developing malware to infect computers.

    • Another US spying problem in Latin America: The DEA

      Rousseff summed it all up rather succinctly in a blunt speech at the United Nations last September, denouncing “a situation of grave violation of human rights and of civil liberties; of invasion and capture of confidential information concerning corporate activities, and especially of disrespect to national sovereignty.”

    • Canadians Don’t Trust the Harper Government’s New Cyberbullying Bill

      Canadians were largely unmoved by the Edward Snowden leaks and the disclosure of mass surveillance programs like PRISM, with few showing any serious worries about domestic government surveillance in a poll by Abacus Data in June 2013. But now a new poll by Forum Research suggests Canadians are growing suspicious of the latest Conservative cyberbullying bill C-13, with most rejecting a piece of legislation many think is more about beefing up government surveillance powers than protecting teens from bullies.

    • Cops hid use of phone tracking tech in court documents at feds’ request

      ACLU uncovers e-mails regarding Stingray devices borrowed from US Marshals Service.

    • Stingray Documents Show Law Enforcement Using ‘Terrorism’ To Obtain Equipment To Fight Regular Crime

      Scott Ainslie at MuckRock has pried loose a few more Stingray documents with a FOIA request. What was requested were contractual documents, which seem to be something law enforcement agencies feel more comfortable with releasing. Anything pertaining to the actual use of Stingray devices still remains heavily shrouded, thanks in no small part to the intercession of the federal government.

    • Lawyers, locals react to WPD’s surveillance device

      The Wilmington Police Department has surveillance equipment called Stingray. It turns your phone into a tracking device, giving law enforcement crucial information on where you are. But it might violate your rights.

    • Glenn Greenwald On Why Privacy Is Vital, Even If You ‘Have Nothing To Hide’

      Journalist Glenn Greenwald defended the value of digital privacy and slammed those who dismiss its importance during a stop on his national book tour Thursday.

      “We all need places where we can go to explore without the judgmental eyes of other people being cast upon us,” he said. “Only in a realm where we’re not being watched can we really test the limits of who we want to be. It’s really in the private realm where dissent, creativity and personal exploration lie.”

      He said that people who downplay the importance of privacy typically say, “I have nothing to hide.” But, he added, those people aren’t willing to publish their social media and email passwords.

    • US House Votes To Cut Funding For NSA Spying On American Citizens

      Even when the government conducts secret activities, those ventures have to be funded, and a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives last night took a swipe at the NSA’s domestic spying practices by cutting some of its funding.

    • Tell a lie, remove the gear: How the NSA covers up when cable taps are found

      On March 14, 2013, an SSO weekly briefing included a note regarding such a discovery. The unit had been informed two days earlier that “the access point for WHARPDRIVE was discovered by commercial consortium personnel. Witting partner personnel have removed the evidence and a plausible cover story was provided. All collection has ceased.”

      According to Der Spiegel, Wharpdrive was a fiber-optic cable tap (underseas fiber is often laid by consortia of companies, so it’s possible this took place at an onshore landing point for such a cable). Employees from one of the companies involved—though not the company that had a relationship with NSA and the German intelligence agency BND—apparently noticed some unusual gear and commented on it. In response, the company involved with the NSA (“witting partner personnel”) removed the tap and made up a story to explain what the gear in question had been doing.

    • The NSA in Germany: Snowden’s Documents Available for Download

      In Edward Snowden’s archive on NSA spying activities around the world, there are numerous documents pertaining to the agency’s operations in Germany and its cooperation with German agencies. SPIEGEL is publishing 53 of them, available as PDF files.

    • Interview with Ex-Stasi Agent: ‘The Scope of NSA Surveillance Surprised Me’

      During the Cold War, West Germany’s foreign intelligence service cooperated closely with the NSA. Klaus Eichner, an agent with the East German Stasi, monitored it at the time, and now he tells SPIEGEL what he knew about the collaboration.

    • Watchdog urges EU leaders to shield citizens from snooping

      European Union countries need stricter controls to protect citizens from spying, a top data protection official said on Thursday, a warning that may rekindle a debate about snooping before an EU summit next week.

    • NSA Reform Gathers Momentum In Congress After Late-Night Vote

      After a somewhat desultory year of little to no change, reform of the United States surveillance state appears to have finally found momentum.

      Recently the USA FREEDOM Act was gutted and rammed through the House, and two funding amendments that would have cut monies for forced backdoors and certain government searches failed.

      Last night, however, the House passed a single amendment to the military funding bill that did what the two failed amendments had attempted. At once, a large House majority had taken an unambiguous stand against certain parts of the government’s surveillance activities.

    • Congress wants NSA reform after all. Obama and the Senate need to pass it

      An overwhelming House vote to cut funds for back doors into your private life sets up a summer surveillance fight: will the Senate stand up before the White House shuts it down?

    • Reps. Goodlatte And Ruppersberger Admit That NSA Is Warrantlessly Spying On Americans’ Communications

      We’ve already written about the surprising, but encouraging, vote late last night to defund backdoor searches by the NSA. But it’s worth looking at some of the floor debate on the amendment last night — in particular the push against the amendment from Reps. Goodlatte and Ruppersberger, who both appear to flat out admit that the NSA does warrantless spying on Americans’ communications, in direct contrast to earlier claims. The reasons for these two to argue against the amendment are clear. Goodlatte was the guy who negotiated the “deal” with the White House and the House Intelligence Committee to completely water down the USA Freedom Act, and he knows that this amendment puts some of the substance that he stripped out right back in. Ruppersberger, of course, represents the district where the NSA is headquartered, and is the ranking member for the House Intelligence Committee. His loyalty to the NSA over the American public has always been clear. But to have them basically admit that the NSA does warrantless spying on Americans is quite impressive.

    • 38 Civil Liberties and Public Interest Organizations Call on Congress to Pass Real NSA Reform

      A bipartisan coalition of 38 civil liberties and public interest organizations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, sent a letter to Congress yesterday that draws a line in the sand on NSA reform. The coalition made it clear that it cannot support the watered-down version of the USA FREEDOM Act passed in the House of Representatives without significant changes to the legislation, and outlined clear steps that Congress can take to address problems with the bill.

    • Amash spokesman: ‘Congress is clued in’ on NSA spying programs with passage of bipartisan proposal
    • House Votes To Defund Warrantless Communications Searches

      The House voted 293 to 123 late Thursday to approve amendments to a Defense appropriations bill (HR 4670) that would defund warrantless seraches of NSA-collected communications and prevent the NSA and CIA from requiring products have “back doors” that allow them to more easily conduct searches.

    • More Than $116K Has Been Raised in 3 Days for NSA-Proof Encrypted Email

      Roughly three days ago, an Indiegogo surfaced promising “to protect people around the world from the mass surveillance that is currently being perpetrated by governments and corporations around the world.” More than $116,000 has already been raised, and that’s without the viral guidance of media attention.

    • Inflation? Only If You Look At Food, Water, Gas, Electricity And Everything Else

      Anyone that has to regularly pay for food, water, gas, electricity or anything else knows that inflation is too high. In fact, if inflation was calculated the same way that it was back in 1980, the inflation rate would be close to 10 percent right now.

    • The Supreme Court is about to decide what police can do with your phone

      Within the next week, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to decide on a pair of cases that will have major implications for the over 91 percent of Americans who carry a cellphone. At issue is the question of whether police officers are legally allowed to search through the contents of someone’s phone—that is to say, much of a person’s private life—without first obtaining a warrant.

    • The NSA’s big problem, explained by the NSA

      Amongst the new trove of classified documents released by Der Speigel is a rather academic discussion, in the NSA’s own foreign affairs journal, about the differences between American signals intelligence collection and German signals intelligence collection.

      One passage in particular stands out, as it highlights how the Germans give far more weight to privacy than the NSA does.

    • How to Keep Public Support for Spying

      A poll suggests intelligence agencies could benefit from some controlled leaks.

    • Senators should take Snowden’s lead, shine light on NSA

      Former federal government contract worker Edward Snowden’s disclosures of virtually limitless surveillance of American citizens by the National Security Agency corroborated the late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis’ wisdom that sunshine is said to be the best of disinfectants.

  • Civil Rights

    • New Meme: Liberty Movement More Dangerous Than Al-Qaida

      Is the liberty movement more dangerous than al-Qaida? CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen thinks so.

    • How many Palestinians will die in the search for missing Israeli youths?

      Mustafa Aslan died on Friday afternoon after being shot in the head by an Israeli soldier at Qalandiya refugee camp near Ramallah a few hours previously. He was 22-years-old.

      Mustafa is the third Palestinian victim of the Israeli authorities’ ‘search’ for three teenagers – two Israeli and one US-Israeli – who went missing on 12 June after leaving the illegal Israeli settlement bloc of Gush Etzion near Hebron.

    • Japan Brought an End to Gun Violence by Doing What The U.S. Won’t

      Let’s say it all together now: The United States has a problem with guns.

      Since the horrifying Sandy Hook tragedy of 2012, there have been 74 school shootings and 17,042 gun deaths.

      To the frustration of many Americans, a stalled debate stands in the way of solving our gun violence problem, even though the solution is staring us in the face. The Onion captured this feeling perfectly with one of its headlines last month: “‘No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.”

    • Supreme Court Sides With Whistleblower In Retaliation Case

      In a case over retaliation against a public employee who was fired after testifying about corruption, the Supreme Court says the man gave testimony as a concerned citizen and should not have been punished. The decision was unanimous, overturning lower courts.

    • Let’s have a day off from ‘joy’ of technology

      TECHNOLOGY saves stress. Except when it adds stress. Supermarket self-checkout machines may look inviting enough, but were, in fact, inspired by medieval devices of torture.

    • Flying drones, quad-copters in SA: legal or illegal?

      The issue of whether it is legal or illegal to fly radio-controlled and unmanned aircraft in South Africa is a complex one involving three different organisations.

      As things stand today, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has no regulations to govern what it calls Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS’s), which means it is illegal to fly unmanned drones in South Africa.

    • EXISTENCE OR NONEXISTENCE: CIA’s Linguistic Somersault Takes to the Sky

      This past Memorial Day weekend, New Yorkers who happened to look up may have seen the words EXISTENCE OR NONEXISTENCE appear across the skyline in synchronized bursts of white smoke.

      The seemingly spontaneous event was a project of mine called Severe Clear. It was inspired by a letter the CIA sent the ACLU rejecting their Freedom of Information Act request for documents relating to the U.S. government’s classified drone program. The letter reiterates the now familiar Glomar response, stating that the agency can “neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence” of records responsive to the request.

    • G.I. Joe creator made Osama bin Laden action figure for CIA
    • CIA, G.I. Joe inventor made ‘demon’ bin Laden dolls
    • CIA Created ‘Demonic’ Osama Bin Laden Toy to Scare Afghan Children

      The CIA secretly developed a “demonic” Osama bin Laden action figure to scare Pakistani and Afghan children and undermine public support for the al-Qaida figurehead, it has emerged.

    • The State of the Fourth State in the State

      What the journalists’ body asked for from other newspapers was a form of censorship: self-censorship. George Orwell has written about the damages of self-censorship in any democratic society. The first priority of journalists is to unearth the truth and if they start exercising self censorship than truth is going to be the first casualty.

    • David Usborne: President, press and prejudice: it’s America

      At a conference in New York in March, Risen said the Obama administration has shown itself to be “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation”. By then his case had reached the Supreme Court, where the Justices declined to intervene.

    • Another View: Journalist shield law critical to democracy

      The letter was sent to Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a few days after the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of James Risen, a New York Times reporter who has been contesting a subpoena requiring him to testify at the upcoming trial of a former CIA agent.

      The agent, Jeffrey Sterling, is accused of revealing classified information about a failed CIA plan to compromise Iran’s nuclear program, an operation described in a book by Risen.

    • Media seeks Guantanamo force-feeding videos
    • Status of CIA Detention and Interrogation Program Declassification (updated)

      In the meantime, Senator Feinstein, Chair of the SSCI, has stated that the Director of National Intelligence has assured her that the declassification of the SSCI’s executive summary and findings and conclusions will be completed by early next month, ideally before July 4. If this is still the case, it is not necessarily inconsistent with the CIA’s status reports filed today. Presumably the Executive branch will be finished with its declassification review of the SSCI’s documents before it turns to the two ancillary documents (the CIA response and the Panetta Report), and will then deliver the declassified versions of the executive summary and findings and conclusions to the SSCI, which could decide to publish them before August 29. The period between early July and August 29 would also give the SSCI and the Executive branch eight weeks or so to negotiate over any possible disagreements about the scope of the declassification.

    • Here Are Some Of The Most Bizarre Ideas From The CIA

      In the 1950s, the CIA produced a pornographic film starring an actor made up to resemble Indonesian President Sukarno. The idea was to discredit Sukarno in the eyes of his countrymen, according to the 1976 memoir of a CIA officer, Joseph Burkholder Smith, as the Indonesian leader was viewed as insufficiently pro-West at the time.

    • America Is Also “Ripe For Regime Change”

      There’s been a lot of talk coming out of Washington, D.C. lately about the need for “regime change” in Iraq – which is particularly ironic when you consider the current regime was hand-picked by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during an American military invasion that cost trillions of dollars and thousands of lives.

    • Why The World Should Care About The War Against Guatemalan Women

      Biden’s visit, though, only serves to highlight the historical role the U.S. has played in prompting some of the problems seen today in Guatemala. In 1954, the C.I.A. helped organize a coup to oust a popular leader and install a right-wing dictator who plunged the country into a 36-year civil war. Effects of the war, which Amnesty International and many other groups label a genocide of the Mayan people, are still felt today and contribute greatly to Guatemala’s current problems.

    • The assassin’s guide to Western ‘democracy’

      We live in an age now where the Western media has been virtually subsumed by banking and military interests. If “our side’s” dirty deeds are kept out of the news, and the latest “bogeyman” kept in, then today’s war profiteers can get away with whatever they want. “Defensive” NATO with its proxy armies and “deniable” private military contractors sponsoring butchery across the globe has become a Napoleon with nukes, bringing the day ever closer when these wonder-weapons might again be used in anger.

    • Pentagon Funds “Cold War-Style” Science Study to Track Political Protest in America

      The controversial program called Project Camelot had been operational nearly a decade into the Vietnam war, as the Special Operations Research Office (SORO) located at American University had received millions in funding from the US Army to conduct a six country study on civil unrest. The current social science program directed by Minerva and the Department of Defense (DoD), appears to have also partnered with some of the most well-known universities in the United States by studying the behavior of peaceful activism and how political ideology shapes protest movements in the world at large.

    • Did CIA Smear a Former Operative to Cover Up a Bad Firing?

      And now a former CIA operative may get a day in court to add to that peculiar lore. On Friday a federal trial judge in Washington, D.C. could rule on a discovery motion by “Peter B.,” a former CIA officer who contends that the spy agency fired him without due process and then badmouthed him, scuttling his chances for a job with a CIA contractor.

    • Is it right to jail someone for being offensive on Facebook or Twitter?

      Jake Newsome was jailed last week for posting offensive comments online. His is the latest in a string of cases that have led to prison terms, raising concern that free speech may be under threat from over-zealous prosecutors

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Senate Is Officially Considering a CISPA Clone

        The Senate Intelligence Committee is moving forward with its Cybersecurity Information Protection Act—a problematic, potentially civil liberties-killing piece of legislation that looks just like the CISPA bill the internet fought so hard to kill last year—and the year before that.

        CIPA, written by Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) will be considered by the committee next week, according to Feinstein.

      • The German war against the link

        Half the major publishers in Germany have started a process of arbitration — which, no doubt, will lead to suits — to demand that Google pay them for quoting from and thus linking to their content. And now we know how much they think they deserve: 11% of Google’s revenue related to their snippets. From their government filing, they want a cut of “gross sales, including foreign sales” that come “directly and indirectly from making excerpts from online newspapers and magazines public.” [All these links are in German.]

      • That Story You’ve Read About YouTube ‘Blocking’ Indie Artists… Yeah, That’s Not Accurate

        As you may have heard, there’s been some hubbub this week about claims that YouTube is going to remove some videos from indie musicians/labels who don’t agree to the contract terms for YouTube’s upcoming music subscription service. Ellen Huet, over at Forbes, has a good article explaining how this isn’t as dire as some are making it out to be, but the more I’m digging into it, it seems even less than that. There’s no doubt that this is a royalty dispute, with some indie labels upset about the basic terms that Google is offering, but, if you haven’t noticed, the complaints seem to be coming from the same folks who complain about the royalty rates of every single online music service. There are some people who will just never be satisfied. Furthermore, the deeper you dig into this, it becomes quite clear that any artist who wants to have their videos on YouTube can continue to do that.

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