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This Week’s News: Civil Rights, Politics and War

Posted in News Roundup at 10:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Civil Rights

  • Suspicionless Searches at the US Border: A Growing Problem for Press Freedom

    On The Media’s coverage of the subject started when US Customs and Border Protection detained their own producer Sarah Abdurrahman, her family, and her friends for hours on their way home from Canada last year. But this week’s program expanded on her experience to document, as they put it, some of the “countless stories of inhumanizing intrusions and detentions at the border that would seem to be unconstitutional anywhere else.”

    Ms. Abdurrahman is far from the only journalist this has happened to in recent years. Huffington Post journalist Ahmed Shihab-Eldin wrote a powerful piece last month about his experiences repeatedly being detained while going over the border for the crime of having a Muslim name.


  • Drone War in Yemen: Three Killed in Latest Strike, UN Report Demands Facts on Civilian Deaths

    While United States leaders lecture Russian President Vladimir Putin on respecting sovereignty and international law by not waging a war of aggression on Ukraine, the sovereignty of Yemen continues to be undermined by US drone strikes.

    Reportedly, at least one drone strike, the first in over a month, occurred in Yemen early in the morning on March 3 or in the night on March 2. It killed three people, including an alleged al Qaeda fighter.

  • Three US Drone Strikes Kill Four ‘Suspects’ in Yemen

    A US drone strike was confirmed against the Shabwa Province of Yemen today, destroying a car and killing three people, wounding two others. All were labeled “terrorist suspects,” though none were identified.

  • Yemen: At Least 3 Killed by U.S. Drone Strike
  • How Droning American Citizens Damages Our Laws

    So far as we know, Al-Shami isn’t on the verge of a suicide bombing or self-immolation. If he dies in the coming weeks, it will likely be at the hand of another. Well, hand might be putting it strongly, since the hand that presses the button that looses the missile from the drone that kills him may be halfway across the globe. But if the bomb lands true, al-Shami will be the fifth American citizen assassinated by his government in the War on Terror.

  • Death Without Due Process

    This extrajudicial killing program should make every American queasy. Based on largely secret legal standards and entirely secret evidence, our government has killed thousands of people. At least several hundred were killed far from any battlefield. Four of the dead are Americans. Astonishingly, President Obama’s Justice Department has said the courts have no role in deciding whether the killing of U.S. citizens far from any battlefield is lawful.

  • Sacramento Veterans for Peace Anti-Drone Demonstration

    Members of the Sacramento group Veterans for Peace demonstrated quietly outside the federal courthouse in downtown Sacramento this morning ahead of an arraignment hearing for Shirley Osgood of Nevada County. She is being charged with trespassing onto Beale AFB property during an anti-drone protest.

CIA and Torture


Privacy in the UK

Russia and Ukraine

  • Lawmakers probe CIA failure in Ukraine

    There are many on both the left and right who see the CIA as a monolithic, all knowing, all powerful entity. Many overseas see the agency in more apocalyptic terms – an evil force capable of mind control and other flights of fancy.

  • CIA reportedly says Russia sees treaty as justifying Ukraine moves
  • Ukraine was coup d’état by the CIA – David Shayler

    What has occurred in Ukraine was not a popular revolution, it was a carefully orchestrated coup d’état. The “demonstrators” with the metal barricades, bullet proof vest, army helmets, weapons, shield and masks were very well organized and trained. The whole affair was orchestrated by the West in an attempt to bring Ukraine into NATO and split Russia. Mr. David Shayler a former MI5 officer spoke to the Voice of Russia on the activities of the intelligence services and on what the forces behind the scenes are doing. He says President Putin is merely protecting his country and his people and is in a strong position.

  • US ‘plotted, abetted’ ouster of Ukraine’s president: Retired CIA officer

    The Obama administration “plotted” and “abetted” the ouster of Ukraine’s Russian-backed president to install a “puppet regime,” a retired CIA officer and political activist says.

    “Never before in my 50 years in Washington has it been so clear that the United States has plotted, has aided and abetted and tried to put in the new premier or the new prime minister of the Ukraine,” said Ray McGovern.

  • Double-Think over Ukraine

    Secretary of State Kerry, who voted for George W. Bush’s Iraq invasion in 2003 and wanted to bomb Syria last year, and President Obama, who’s crossed borders regularly to kill enemies, are outraged that Russia has intervened in Ukraine, a case of double-talk and double-think, says Norman Solomon.

  • Security and State Power

    A leading principle of international relations theory is that the state’s highest priority is to ensure security. As Cold War strategist George F. Kennan formulated the standard view, government is created “to assure order and justice internally and to provide for the common defense.”

    The proposition seems plausible, almost self-evident, until we look more closely and ask: Security for whom? For the general population? For state power itself? For dominant domestic constituencies?

  • Heard the One About Obama Denouncing a Breach of International Law?
  • Obama issues Ukraine statement from an alternative universe
  • Putin and International Law
  • The Fashion for Hypocrisy

    Hypocrisy seems to be massively in fashion. This from William Hague renders me speechless: “Be in no doubt, there will be consequences. The world cannot say it is OK to violate the sovereignty of other nations.”

    Then today we have the British Establishment at a closed event in Westminster Abbey in memory of Nelson Mandela. Prince Harry, David Cameron, all the toffs. I was never more than a footsoldier in the anti-apartheid movement, but I trudged through the rain and handed out leaflets in Dundee and Edinburgh. I suspect very few indeed of the guests at this posh memorial service did that. David Cameron was actively involved in Conservative groups which promoted precisely the opposite cause.


Ubuntu Rising: Desktops, Servers, Phones, and Beyond

Posted in News Roundup at 9:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Success Story

  • Greek kindergarten switched to Ubuntu Linux

    One kindergarten in Heliopolis, a suburb of the Greek capital Athens, has successfully made the switch to free and open source. Following a break-in and the theft of four PCs last summer, a parent of one of the children attending the kindergarten donated two refurbished PCs, running Ubuntu Linux. The two PCs are now used by the staff, mostly for emailing with the Ministry of Education. They are also used in the classrooms for playing music, showing photos and playing videos as part of every day activities.

Ed: Some clients of ours at work, large businesses in fact, are moving to Ubuntu as well, ditching Windows XP before April. Stories like the above are no longer rare. One thing they explicitly request, however, is removal of Amazon spyware.


  • Canonical Unveils Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS Beta 1
  • Linux Top 3: Linux from Scratch, Ubuntu 14.01 Beta and Arch Updates
  • Beta 1 downloads released for Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu and Ubuntu GNOME 14.04

    OMG! Ubuntu! reports that beta 1 of Kubuntu 14.04, Lubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 and Xubuntu 14.04 are available for download. Each Ubuntu spin has tweaks and new features in this release.

  • Ubuntu Developers overhaul ‘Scopes’ feature

    The Ubuntu developers are overhauling the ‘Scopes’ feature in Ubuntu. Scopes are used in Ubuntu by the Dash to get information for the user based on what the user searches. The most common of which are scopes to get lists of programs, music, videos etc. Canonical famously attracted some controversy when they introduced an Amazon scope that sent users search queries from the Dash to the Amazon site to get related products. Many users weren’t happy with their searches going to a third party site.

  • The first Ubuntu 14.04 ‘Trusty Tahr’ beta
  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS ‘Trusty Tahr’, Beta 1 preview: Convergence deferred

    Both Mir and Unity 8, (formerly known as Unity Next), are required components for convergence and for Touch apps to run on the desktop. When Canonical’s plans for convergence were first announced, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS was to use the Mir display server and the Unity 8 shell. With plans for a fully converged Ubuntu now put back to 15.04 or later, the 14.04 release will be sticking with X window server and Unity 7 for the time being.

  • Qemu 2.0 Might Arrive in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Testers Wanted
  • 14.04 LTS Now in Feature Freeze

    The archive is now in Feature Freeze as we preprare the release of 14.04 LTS in April.

  • 8 Things We Expect from Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr)

    Ubuntu 13.10 was not a spectacular release as far as Ubuntu’s history of major eye-popping changes is concerned. There were many things that could have been added to Saucy. Mir, for example, was one change many Ubuntu fanatics were waiting for. But, in favor of stability, the only thing new that the release brought to the table was Smart Scopes. Also, there were a few changes here and there, but for those who were looking for a complete ‘upgrade,’ Saucy was disappointing at its best. That’s not to say that the release was bad. In fact, it set a solid foundation for the next big release, and that is Ubuntu 14.04.

  • How to Avoid Breaking Ubuntu

    One of the things that always surprises me is how careless some folks can be when it comes to installing Ubuntu, or any distro for that matter. Usually this happens more to newer users, however this also challenges more experienced users as well.

Desktop Graphics

  • Ubuntu Will Not Enable Open-Source VDPAU Support

    This morning I wrote about Mesa 10.1 likely going into Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, but if you were hoping this means Ubuntu will enable VDPAU driver support for open-source hardware-accelerated video decoding, that improvement to video playback isn’t going to happen with the official Ubuntu Mesa/Gallium3D driver packages.

  • Ubuntu Wallpapers, Fedora 20 Tour, and Linux Rules!

    What started out as quite the slow news day turned out to be deceptively interesting. OMG!Ubuntu! has picked out five of the best community submissions for Ubuntu 14.04 wallpapers and Chema Martin posted a “visual tour” of Fedora 20. Bruce Byfield looks at why proprietary software isn’t ported to Linux. Jack Wallen says Linux rules because it behaves “exactly how the user wants.” Tonight’s news also includes an announcement from the Free Software Foundation, Red Hat world’s records, and the games to look forward to in 2014!

Local Menus


  • Ubuntu 12.04 vs. 14.04 LTS Benchmarks On Amazon’s EC2 Cloud
  • ‘Sons of Solaris’ Joyent welcome Ubuntu into their cloud

    The deal was announced on Thursday and means that developers who want to run Ubuntu on Joyent’s advanced SmartOS-based infrastructure can now do with greater confidence in getting regular updates from Canonical, and performance guarantees.

  • When it comes to cloud and scale out, Ubuntu has the winning model

    So, the basic values of of Ubuntu Server: freely available, provide developers access to the latest technology through a regular cadence of releases and optimise for cloud and scale out have been in place for years. Both adoption and revenue confirm it is the right strategy long term. Enterprises are evolving and starting to adopt Ubuntu and the model of restricting access to bits unless money is paid is now drawing to a close. Others are begrudgingly starting to accept this and trying to evolve their business models to compete with the momentum of Ubuntu.

  • Shuttleworth and MySQL

    Oracle has done plenty to hurt the FLOSS community.

  • Shuttleworth says Ubuntu is sticking with MySQL

    One major reason why Ubuntu is sticking with Oracle’s MySQL is that Oracle made the effort to get MySQL 5.6 to work properly with Debian and Ubuntu. Yngve Svendsen, Oracle’s Director of MySQL Engineering Services, apologized in a blog posting for Oracle’s neglect of some Linux distributions in the past. Svendsen wrote, “We closed a gaping hole in our distribution on Linux.”

  • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server Receives Yet Another Kernel Update

    Canonical has released an important kernel update for its still supported Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) Server operating system, fixing five vulnerabilities discovered in the upstream Linux kernel 2.6.32 packages by various developers and kernel hackers.

Mobile Hardware


  • Ubuntu mobile maps: open maps on an open platform

    Today at Mobile World Congress we showed off Mapbox support for Ubuntu Mobile with direct Mapbox.js integration into any HTML5 Ubuntu Mobile app. Developers can design totally custom maps and integrate them into their apps in minutes and even get access to native features like the camera and the accelerometer using Cordova (previously known as PhoneGap). Across all web, mobile and desktop experiences on Ubuntu an app will look exactly the same. If you have ever added a Mapbox map to a website, you’re ready to start developing for Ubuntu Mobile using HTML5.

  • AND brings its mapping and location services to Ubuntu

    AND brings its mapping and location services to Ubuntu with an easy to use mobile application providing detailed local information and high granular map data. For the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona AND developed a map viewer with the proprietary AND navigation maps of Europe to start to showing the capabilities of AND for Ubuntu on phones.

Not Just Phones

News About Lesser Known Desktop Environments

Posted in News Roundup at 9:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


  • What’s the best Linux desktop environment for me?

    When you install a Linux distribution, a set of programs comes along with it. It’s easy to add and delete elements of the programs that don’t fit with your needs, but what about altering the look and feel of the distribution to suit you? The key is to add a second desktop environment or window manager.


  • MATE 1.8 is finally released

    It took the developers nearly a year but their work on the familiar, yet ambitious, MATE desktop is finally stable and available for everyone to use. MATE is a complete desktop environment that was forked from the Gnome Project (Gnome 2 to be exact) nearly 2 years ago. The decision to fork came at a time when a significant amount of Gnome 2 users were displeased with Gnome 3, the next major iteration and core of the Gnome Project.


  • Enlightenment’s Elementary, EFL 1.9 Beta 2

    After a fast development cycle and the 1.9 alphas just starting recently and seeing the first betas just days ago, 1.9.0 beta 2 is now available for the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) core and also a second beta of Elementary.

  • 1.9.0-beta1 pre-release

    We are ready for our first beta release for the upcoming 1.9 release cycle. Please give it a good testing. Since alpha1 we received to many fixes to list them all. Full NEWS will be ready for the final 1.9 release.

  • Enlightenment 1.9 Beta 1 Is Now Out In The Wild

    Just one week after the Enlightenment 1.9 alpha series surfaced, the 1.9.0-beta1 pre-release is now available for users of the lightweight Enlightenment window manager / desktop.


  • LXDE’s LXPanel Gets Enhanced, Now Uses Libfm

    Xfce4′s panel was improved this weekend and released in its 4.11 development form but that’s not the only lightweight Linux desktop receiving some attention; LXDE’s LXPanel has also been flagged as a new development version.


  • Xfce4′s Panel Gets A New Development Release

    Xfce4-panel 4.11.0 is a development release leading to Xfce 4.12 and it has an improved task-list for multi-monitor handling, fixes transparency issues with GTK3+ plug-ins, a configure flag for enabling the GTK3 mode of the Xfce4 panel library, the middle-click action is now configurable, support for time-zone selection within the Xfce4 panel clock, a calendar pop-up for the clock, and other changes.

Linux News: 3.14 RC5, LTSI v3.10, kGraft…

Posted in News Roundup at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kernel Releases

  • Linux 3.14-rc5
  • The Hectic Pace Of Linux Kernel Development

    That’s pretty good support. I’ve had very little breakage despite the hectic pace of updates. I was taking ~30 minutes almost weekely to build a kernel with a configuration similar to that in the Debian kernel. That was a bit onerous so I did a “make localmodconfig” Create a config based on current config and loaded modules (lsmod). Disables any module option that is not needed for the loaded modules.”

  • LTSI v3.10 is Now Released

    Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI) Kernel Maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman this week released LTSI-3.10.

    This latest version, released on Feb. 24, has brought more than 2,500 additional patches on top of the 3.10 Stable Kernel maintained by the kernel community.


  • SUSE Labs Director Talks Live Kernel Patching with kGraft

    The code, set to be released in March, doesn’t patch kernel code in-place but rather uses an ftrace-like approach to replace whole functions in the Linux kernel with fixed variants, said Pavlik. SUSE then plans to submit it to the Linux kernel community for upstream integration.


  • AMD updates driver and programming tools roadmap for supporting HSA features in Kaveri

    Today AMD is expected to release a beta driver for Windows that exposes some shared memory extensions to OpenCL. Currently, AMD ships an OpenCL 1.2 implementation for Kaveri. OpenCL 1.2 standard by itself does not really expose shared memory features properly but OpenCL 2.0 will have more robust support. AMD does not have a full OpenCL 2.0 driver yet, but today they will be providing some of the 2.0 functionality as extensions in their current OpenCL 1.2 driver. I don’t have the details on the exact extensions supported, and I will update the article when I do.

  • [Systemd] Formalizing Backports

    Zbigniew and Colin have now set up a new git repo with a “stable” branch where these are backported to selected versions, to share some work between the distributions which happen to stabilize on these versions.

  • AMD Launches Catalyst 14.2 Beta Drivers; Talks Linux

    AMD’s Catalyst 14.2 beta drivers are now available. AMD is also making changes to the X.ORG ‘radeon’ repository.

  • Likely Radeon Gallium3D Regression On Linux 3.14 + Mesa 10.2
  • Radeon Gallium3D Performance Gets Close To Catalyst On Ubuntu 14.04

    With the open-source graphics driver stack found in the forthcoming release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Mesa 10.1 + Linux 3.13), the performance of the community-developed Radeon Gallium3D driver is now close to that of the official AMD Catalyst driver for recent generations of Radeon graphics cards. In several OpenGL tests the “RadeonSI” driver can even run 80% the speed of AMD’s official Catalyst Linux driver.


  • Intel Works On RandR Implementation For Wayland’s Weston

    The latest work by Intel employees on Wayland is adding an RandR protocol, similar to the X RandR protocol, to the Weston compositor.

  • Intel Broadwell Gets A Temporary DRM Branch

    For distribution vendors or those fortunate to have early access to Intel’s forthcoming Broadwell processors, there’s a temporary DRM kernel driver branch that provides new features and changes over what’s currently found in the upstream Linux kernel or the drm-intel development branch.


Graphics Stack



GNOME News: GNOME 3.12, Wayland, Numix, GTK+…

Posted in News Roundup at 8:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz



  • A wayland status update
  • Wayland Still To Be A “Tech Preview” In GNOME 3.12

    While a lot of headway has been made during the GNOME 3.10 and 3.12 development cycles for allowing the GNOME Shell and rest of the desktop run natively on Wayland without a hard dependency on X11, it was decided that enabling the Wayland support by default will not happen now until at least GNOME 3.14. GNOME 3.12 will still work as a very reasonable Wayland tech preview, but there’s some unfinished tasks to be addressed.

  • Gnome 3.12 won’t offer full support for Wayland

    Gnome developers have been debating the full support for Wayland in 3.12 for a while. They at one point even considered delaying the Gnome release to keep the development in sync with Wayland. Finally, developers have decided to keep Wayland in ‘preview’ mode as there is still a lot of work to be done.


  • Gnome Revisited? Numix Project Announces OS and Shell

    The Numix Project recently unveiled plans to release their own Operating System and Desktop Shell for the Linux kernel. Previously the project enjoyed success with their set of extensions for the Gnome 3 desktop. The custom desktop shell Numix has built and arranged is full of colorful and rich icons, something lacking from a default Gnome 3 instance. Collaboration with Nitrux S.A. is also in effect, propelling this interesting project forward in full force. There are some though who previously criticized the project as “yet another Gnome clone,” but it is yet to be seen the full extent of what this announcement will bring. Numix promises the unrevealed portions to be quite good, describing them as ”rad.” I must be getting old, but I digress. The desktop shell the project team is aiming for a professionally designed and clean look. Notable areas include an intellihide dock at the bottom, allowing dragging to other workspaces a breeze. Not much else is known at the moment, but updates should soon be revealed. I have doubts as to what else Numix will do to truly different itself from the pack, aside from clean looking text and icons. Regardless, I give them the benefit of the doubt until I see their final product. If the good looking mockups are any indication, we may very well see a fine looking end result.



  • GTK+ 3.11.7 Uses New Wayland Methods

    GTK+ 3.11.7 has been released for this week’s GNOME 3.12 Beta.

    GTK+ 3.11.7 isn’t too exciting with it already being late into the 3.12 release cycle, but on the Wayland front it makes use of the new xdg-shell ping and xfg-shell focus methods.

    The listing of the GTK+ tool-kit changes for this new development release can be found via this Git tag.

  • Meld 3.11.0 Has Been Ported to GTK+ 3

    Kai Willadsen had the pleasure of announcing today, February 23, that the Meld visual diff and merge tool reached version 3.11.0, a release that includes many new features and improvements.

  • GNOME’s GTK+ Gains Google CloudPrint Support

    CloudPrint is the Google web service for users to share their printers and having a “Print to File” menu item that is basically the same as “Save to Google Drive.” This GTK+ CloudPrint support works with GNOME-Online-Accounts for gaining access to your Google account and is able to discover printers, obtain printer details, and submit print jobs.


  • GNOME Sanity, FAQ, and Gaming Options

    Today’s newsfeeds were bountiful indeed. Muktware is running a comparison of gaming option for us Linux users. The Register tested GNOME 3.12 and says it’s looking sensible and sane. And Gary Newell has tried to answer the eternal question: “Is Linux right for me?” Today’s post also includes several extras to keep you busy through the weekend too.

  • Silly Names, GNOME Wayland, & SUSE Growth


News Roundup: Rights and Politics

Posted in News Roundup at 11:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Today’s headlines, including Ukraine analysis, the return of drone strikes, and views from Venezuela




  • Tom Hayden on the crisis in Venezuela

    The American Congress and public are becoming used to street protests overthrowing elected governments regardless of the issue of national sovereignty. “Humanitarian intervention” in the affairs of other nations means willfully ignoring sovereignty where egregious human rights abuses are at stake and no negotiations are possible. The argument is somewhat attractive up to the point where it revives the Law of the Jungle. In the case of Venezuela, not only sovereignty but representative democracy are at stake, in a region which only recently began to shed the US-supported rule of oligarchs and generals.

  • Venezuelan Open Source Software Communities Condemn Media Manipulation

    In any case, we want to remind the owners of the business known as Zello.com that Venezuela is a sovereign and independent nation, and just as they are obliged to work with law enforcement agencies in the US when their network is used by someone to commit crimes, they should work together with the Venezuelan government to block the network of terrorists issuing messages that encourage violence and endanger the lives of Venezuelan citizens.

    Why should Venezuela allow any foreign company to break our laws and promote terrorism with impunity, especially at a time that are actively destabilizing our political and economic system? What would you do if a known terrorist who lives outside the United States used the network to promote aggression against the lives of public officials and promote terrorist attacks in your country? What would the US government do, or any other country do, if a group of people used a Venezuelan company to encourage US citizens to make weapons to attack and kill others, and try to destabilize and overthrow their government?


    We repudiate the negative mainstreaming efforts underway by international media against Venezuela, and we exhort them to better inform themselves about the facts. We exhort the free software, hardware, knowledge and culture community around the world to research what’s really happening in our country and urgently ask the end of violent attacks by Venezuelan right wing factions, pushed and promoted by the US government.

  • In the TV spy show ‘The Americans,’ the CIA has to approve the scripts

    On the FX show The Americans, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys play Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, a typical suburban couple in the 1980s. Two kids, nice house, they run a travel agency together. They’re also spies for the Soviet Union, moles sent to live among us. And their kids have no idea.


  • VIDEO: Bruce Schneier on the NSA

    When it comes to domestic surveillance and metadata collection, Schneier firmly believes that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is the right agency to handle that data. He noted that the FBI already has domestic security capabilities and is responsible for the national fingerprint database. “The FBI is where we have laws and we have transparency,” Schenier said.

  • Brazil, EU Take Pride In Temporarily Avoiding The NSA With New Joint Undersea Cable Run

    To pretend the NSA lacks the ability to simply tap this new cable run, nab that same data at any of a million interconnection points, or just get it handed to them by other intelligence agencies is perhaps either naive, a bit of political salesmanship for the project, or both. Still, it’s another instance of how the NSA revelations have significantly tarnished international/U.S. relations, resulting in a large number of countries making it a point of pride to avoid using U.S. technology. That’s not going to be particularly great for U.S. industry, and we’re likely only just seeing the tip of the iceberg.

  • NSA revelations may let jailed terrorists challenge their convictions
  • DOJ Still Ducking Scrutiny After Misleading Supreme Court on Surveillance

    Our recent history shows that we cannot rely solely on the government’s word, even if it is operating in good faith. The lack of transparency about this obvious misrepresentation is cause for concern. Was this alleged oversight confined to Section 702, one of many controversial surveillance authorities? Or is that merely the tip of the iceberg? Lawyers have an ethical obligation to speak with candor to tribunals, especially when representing the government. Amazingly, Verrilli has managed to remain silent throughout this controversy. It’s past time we heard from him directly.

  • Anti-NSA services on the rise: Encryption technology to leave no data trail for spying

    The National Security Agency’s snooping on email traffic and phone records has prompted a cottage industry in products meant to keep spies out of their customers’ business.

    Among the companies promoting devices at this year’s RSA technology-security conference in San Francisco, which attracts thousands of corporate executives, is Silent Circle. The company said its Blackphone, which is based on the Android operating system, will leave no unshielded records of calls, text messages or data storage for spies to obtain and mine.

  • NSA in the bluff as it tries to cover data truth

    The American security agency has claimed it’s not been collecting personal information of phone and internet users, but the Yahoo revelations have exposed the violation of individual privacy

  • Even Trade Talks Are Not Safe From Spying – OpEd

    A couple of weeks ago, it was revealed that American and Australian spy agencies had been monitoring the law firm Mayer Brown while it was representing the Indonesian government in trade talks with the United States. The revelation made it clear that those two governments, and probably many others, have not limited themselves to spying on terrorist groups and other criminal enterprises, but have extended their activities to include trade discussions.

  • An end to warrantless email searches?

    Legislation in the House that would end the warrantless searches of email records is gaining steam.

    Privacy advocates had grown frustrated in recent months as Senate legislation that would curtail the email powers of law enforcement was thrown off track amid revelations about National Security Agency surveillance.


Civil Rights

  • ‘Trigger-happy’ Israeli army and police use reckless force in the West Bank
  • The Challenges of a Digital World to our Security & Liberty, Yvette Cooper MP

    British Labour Party remains the party of Internet spying and censorship. They gave us RIPA, they gave us DEA, and they want to do it again.

    My Labour MP, Meg Hillier, is the architect of the plan to issue national ID cards and voted for the Digital Economy Act. She’s in a safe seat, so voting against her is a fairly meaningless act, but I plan on doing so.

    With Tories and Labour both committed to a digital agenda built on ubiquitous surveillance and unaccountable censorship, we could really do with a decent alternative.

    Once, I believed that might be the Libdems, but their party leadership whipped them to vote for (seriously) a system of secret courts.

Animal Rights

Links 3/3/2014: Games

Posted in News Roundup at 8:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • Valve Games On AMD Foss Drivers

    Hey Linux gamers, got some good news for the AMD users . It’s pretty common knowledge Nvidia users get some good drivers at the trade-off of binary blob drivers (or not, depending on your ethics) and that AMD are often left in the dust, but how can open source drivers change that?

  • Planetary Annihilation Now In Gamma Phase With Major Patch, New GOL Video For You
  • Door Kickers Squad-Based Strategy Releases Alpha 9
  • Steam Family Sharing now open to public

    The announcement came over the Steam Community Boards, where it was announced that the Family Sharing feature is now available to the general public. Through this feature, a single user can share his/her entire Steam Library with up to five family members over ten different devices. Once the members are authorized, they can play any or all of the game through their own accounts. The achievements, saves and other related records achieved by the gamer will be tied to the gamer’s individual account using cloud saves.

  • Steam Hardware Survey Changes, Now Split Per-Platform

    Something to note is that it doesn’t show the lesser represented distro’s, I for example use Manjaro which isn’t shown.

    So, to look back on January Linux was actually on 1.34%, not 1.11%!

  • February 2014 Steam Hardware Survey Shows Linux At 1.3%

    According to the latest figures published by Valve for their “Steam Hardware Survey”, they put the percent of Linux gamers on Steam at 1.30%.

  • Many Linux Games To Look Forward To In 2014

    So Linux has a lot of games now, with plenty more still to come this year as it’s early days yet, but I have decided to list a few you really need to keep an eye on. Since we post so much news nowadays I feel that it is a good time to reflect on what we have still yet to come, so you don’t get lost in a sea of Linux games.

  • GOL Cast: Catching Phantoms And Poltergeists In GhostControl Inc.
  • Nothing To Hide, A Game Of Anti-Stealth & It’s Open Source

    I have tested the game and it runs really well on Manjaro, it’s very odd, but the premise is really funny. I love how it all looks like status updates on a social networking site.

  • Linux Gamers Have More Choices Than Ever

    After a number of years of remaining woefully behind other platforms, Linux is starting to be a gaming platform to take seriously. Late last year, I covered comments from Lars Gustavsson, a creative director for EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE), the Electronic Arts studio that does the Battlefield series, on the topic of Linux games. He had told Polygon that DICE would love to delve into Linux games, and that what Linux really needs is a “killer game.” Now, as 2014 is underway, Linux gamers actually have a lot of good choices.

  • Do Linux gamers have too many options now?

    My feeling is that the answer is clearly no, and frankly it’s very refreshing for Linux gamers to have different options at all. I remember the days when it was very hard to find games for Linux and I’d never want to go back to that. Ever. It was a miserable time if you used Linux and wanted to play games.

  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall now available on PC, Mac and Linux

    Shadowrun Returns today receives its first full-length campaign expansion with Shadowrun: Dragonfall from developer Harebrained Schemes. A 12+ hour campaign set in the city of Berlin awaits with new features.

  • Portal 2 released for Linux

    Today, a beta version of Portal 2, one of the most successful game titles poduced by Valve and generally one of the most successful computer games, has been released for Linux. While the first Portal has been available on Linux for a year now, Valve was working on other titles for Linux, like Left 4 Dead 2, Dota 2 or the new game consoles “Steam machines”, before releasing Portal 2 for Linux.

  • Cricket Audio now available for Linux

    Cricket Audio allows app developers to quickly add sound to their apps with just a few lines of code. It can play sounds directly from memory with low latency, or stream them from storage media, and is designed specifically for mobile games, with highly optimized code and low, predictable memory usage. It also works on Windows, OS X, and now Linux, so it can be integrated into authoring tools.

Links 3/3/2014: Applications

Posted in News Roundup at 8:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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