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03.18.17

Links 18/3/2017: New Stables Kernels, Wine 2.4

Posted in News Roundup at 12:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Status Introduces CommitETH – A Tool Designed to Foster Open Source Software Development

    Status is a messenger and browser to access the decentralized web of Ethereum. With the high level goals of preserving the collective right of humans to privacy, mitigating the risk of censorship, and promoting economic trade in a transparent, open manner, Status is building a community where anyone is welcome to join and contribute to the cause.

  • 18F releases open-source web design guidelines, code library

    18F, the General Services Administration’s tech incubator, has announced the release of the U.S. Web Design Standards — easy-to-implement, open source code to allow government developers to quickly create or update websites.

    Version 1.0 of the library includes guidelines for forms, typography, buttons, alerts and more to assist in the quick creation of “trustworthy, accessible and consistent digital government services” that sport a modern feel. Mobile performance-optimized and advanced components (like mapping and data visualization) are being evaluated for future builds.

  • ETSI is Bullish on the Results of Its First NFV Interoperability Tests

    The European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI) recently put on a plugtest event in Madrid, Spain, where 35 commercial and open source implementations were tested for interoperability, and it saw promising results as released in its report.

  • A Bell Labs-inspired initiative for open-source blockchain projects

    Bloq, a startup dedicated to developing enterprise-grade blockchain software, has launched an initiative to support open-source projects in the bitcoin and blockchain industry.

    The initiative, called BloqLabs, appears to be an extension of Bloq’s prior commitment to fostering the independent software projects of some of its employees.

  • Bloq’s BloqLabs to connect business & blockchain
  • Bloq Launches BloqLabs to Connect Enterprises with Open Source Blockchain Innovations
  • Docker containerd finds an open source home alongside Kubernetes

    Docker donated its containerd open source code to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which has surprised some Docker fans as it attempts to solidify a container consensus.

  • Events

    • Science Day at GMRT, Khodad 2017

      Akshat, who works at NCRA as a programmer, the standing guy on the left shared with me in January this year that this year too, we should have two stalls, foss community and mozilla India stalls next to each other. While we had the banners, we were missing stickers and flyers. Funds were and are always an issue and this year too, it would have been emptier if we didn’t get some money saved from last year minidebconf 2016 that we had in Mumbai. Our major expenses included printing stickers, stationery and flyers which came to around INR 5000/- and couple of LCD TV monitors which came for around INR 2k/- as rent. All the labour was voluntary in nature, but both me and Akshat easily spending upto 100 hours before the event. Next year, we want to raise to around INR 10-15k so we can buy 1 or 2 LCD monitors and we don’t have to think for funds for next couple of years. How will we do that I have no idea atm.

    • GUADEC 2017 on the cheap

      I’ve just booked flight and hotel for GUADEC 2017, which will be held in Manchester. André suggested that I should decide this time. We’ll be staying a wheelchair accessible (the room is slightly bigger :P) room with Easyhotel. It’s 184 GBP for 5 nights and NOT close to the venue (but not bad via public transport). Easyhotel works like a budget airline. You’ll have to pay more for WiFi, cleaning, breakfast, a remote, etc. I ignored all of these essential things which means André has to do without that as well. The paid WiFi might even be iffy, so rather use my mobile data, plus per half June that shouldn’t cost anything extra thanks to new EU regulations. Before GUADEC I might switch to another mobile phone company to get 4-5GB/month for 18 EUR/month. André will probably want to work remotely. Let’s see closer to the date what’s a good solution (share my data?).

    • Tizen Developer Conference 2017 Announced – Ready to Connect! Get Involved!

      This is the fifth time that we have seen the conference taking place, with it being held previously three times in San Francisco and once in Shenzhen. The Tizen Developer Conference (TDC) is an annual event that is the highlight of Tizen Devs calendars. Last year, the event did not take place but we saw a huge amount of Tizen content being featured as part of the Samsung Developer Conference 2016 and we expect the same to be true of this year’s event.

    • Participation at Scale15x

      A few days ago I returned -incredibly satisfied- from attending my personal 7th Southern California Linux Expo, which was the 15th edition of the event. I’ve read a thing or two about the beginning of Scale, and how it has grown by the years to become one of the largest and more important FOSS events, not only in the US but also worldwide. From my perspective I can tell that the event gets better by every year.

    • EuroBSDCon 2017 Call for Papers open

      Closing date for the CfP is April, 30th.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Some Firefox 52 Users on Linux Left Without Sound

        Many Firefox users on Linux were left without the ability to play sound in their browser after updating to Firefox 52, released last week.

        The issue at the heart of this problem is that Mozilla dropped support for ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) and is now requiring Linux users to have installed the PulseAudio library to support audio playback inside Firefox.

        ALSA is a software framework included in the Linux kernel that provides an API for sound card drivers. On the other hand, PulseAudio is a more modern sound server that’s already supported on most Linux distros, but also on FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and even macOS.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • Call for testing: OpenSSH 7.5p1

      OpenSSH 7.5p1 is almost ready for release, so we would appreciate testing on as many platforms and systems as possible. This is a bugfix release.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Gimp 2.8 Reviewed: Open-Source Photo Editor

      Although its learning curve is too steep for novices, GIMP is free and has a nice set of photo editing tools within an open-source program that should appeal to geek photographers who like to control their editing environment.

    • Gna! Software Hosting Will Shut Down

      Do you know Gna! Software Project Hosting? It’s something today similar to SourceForge, GitHub, or Savannah, a place that host many free software projects. You find many projects source codes there, along with all development stuffs (SCM, bugtrack, forum, etc.). The important thing is Gna! supports and hosts only free software projects. Yesterday (Thursday, March 17th) I came across a sad reminder that Gna! will shut down soon. Actually this plan was announced in November 2016, it said “6-months notice before saying goodbye”, so it could be this April or May 2017. I show my support to Gna! by this article and I humbly encourage you to support them too by any way you can. Big thanks and respect for Gna! for this 13 years supporting free software.

    • The GNU Toolchain Has Made Much Progress So Far In 2017

      GNU tooling updates we have seen recently include GLIBC 2.25, GDB 7.12.1, Newlib 2.5, GCC 6.3, GCC 7 nearing release, and Binutils 2.28.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Updates to the last two posts

      Someone from the FSF’s licencing department posted an official-looking thing saying they don’t believe GitHub’s new ToS to be problematic with copyleft. Well, my lawyer (not my personal one, nor for The MirOS Project, but related to another association, informally) does agree with my reading of the new ToS, and I can point out at least a clause in the GPLv1 (I really don’t have time right now) which says contrary (but does this mean the FSF generally waives the restrictions of the GPL for anything on GitHub?). I’ll eMail GitHub Legal directly and will try to continue getting this fixed (as soon as I have enough time for it) as I’ll otherwise be forced to force GitHub to remove stuff from me (but with someone else as original author) under GPL, such as… tinyirc and e3.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Principles for C programming

      In the words of Doug Gwyn, “Unix was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things”. C is a very powerful tool, but it is to be used with care and discipline. Learning this discipline is well worth the effort, because C is one of the best programming languages ever made. A disciplined C programmer will…

    • Growing Young FOSS Programmers With Help of Scratch and Al Sweigart

      If your young child is showing an interest in learning computers, an introduction to Scratch and these instructional videos by Al Sweigart might be in order.

    • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2017

      Besides the above plot, which can be difficult to parse even at full size, we offer the following numerical rankings. As will be observed, this run produced several ties which are reflected below (they are listed out here alphabetically rather than consolidated as ties because the latter approach led to misunderstandings). Note that this is actually a list of the Top 23 languages, not Top 20, because of said ties.

    • Algorithm Time Complexity and Big O Notation
    • Modern software development is cancer

      Somewhere in the past 15 years, it all went wrong.

Leftovers

  • Major Milestone in Mobile Migration: Adidas Says Goodbye to TV Advertisements… because of mobile

    Now we have another huge milestone. Adidas the sporting brand has just declared that they will end TV advertising and the primary reason is mobile. Their target audience is glued to smartphone screens and if you want to reach that audience, you have to go with that media.

    [...]

    3.3 Billion out of 3.5 Billion internet users do use mobile, and 1.8 Billion, just over half, never use a PC or tablet of any kind to access the internet.

  • What America without the NEA and NEH would look like, and why that matters

    For arts and cultural groups across the country, the four agencies – although they account for only 0.02 percent of federal spending – have long been considered crucial in supporting outreach to underserved communities between the coasts, particularly in rural areas. Proponents of the proposed cuts have said that the proposed elimination of the agencies will open the door to a freer arts market that forces artists to produce works that speak to local audiences, rather than to bureaucrats in Washington.

    But opponents of the plan say that – ironically – the elimination of the arts agencies will do most damage in some of the parts of the country that had supported Trump the most.

  • Science

    • An ancient memorization strategy might cause lasting changes to the brain

      the take-home point is that memory skills can be learned. “It shows that superior memory on that level is not something that is just inborn talent, but is something that essentially can be learned by everyone,”

    • Trump flips science the bird with new budget

      Science is clearly not a priority, as it is repeatedly targeted for cuts in every agency that funds it.

    • Trump’s Budget Would Break American Science, Today and Tomorrow

      The basics are a litany of red. Defense spending goes up 9 percent. Homeland Security goes up 7 percent. Everything else gets ground into dust, from the environment to arts and humanities to the State Department. But the really scary parts, the stuff that you really can’t come back from, are the cuts to scientific research.

    • Scientists Brace for a Lost Generation in American Research

      America’s enduring scientific greatness rests largely on the scientists of the future. And relying on private funding poses an additional problem for supporting people early in their careers. The squeeze on public funding in recent years has posed a similar concern, as young scientists are getting a smaller share of key publicly-funded research grants [...]

    • 20,000 Worldclass University Lectures Made Illegal, So We Irrevocably Mirrored Them [iophk: "publicity stunt: https://lbry.io/faq"]

      Today, the University of California at Berkeley has deleted 20,000 college lectures from its YouTube channel. Berkeley removed the videos because of a lawsuit brought by two students from another university under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

      We copied all 20,000 and are making them permanently available for free via LBRY.

    • Noise-cancelling headphones: the secret survival tool for modern life

      Heavy traffic generates noise levels of up to 85 decibels (dB), which the Health and Safety Executive deems sufficient to cause permanent hearing damage if we’re exposed to it for several hours every day. Underground trains can pass the 100dB mark when roaring around a loud corner.

    • Leaving kids in front of screens unsupervised for hours may have unpleasant consequences, parents learn

      The bedroom resentments of adolescent boys are the new mass media; they’re desperate for fraternity, they find the others, and they never get the chance to grow out of it before it’s too late. And then there are the ringleader types–older, odder men with an opportunistic talent for lurking close to both youngsters and fame, desperate for the latter but stuck with the former. We’re already too accustomed to watching them implode; eventually one of them will be cunning and consistent enough and then we’ll really be off to the races.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Which Republicans are opposing the Obamacare repeal bill?

      The House Republican bill to repeal Obamacare hangs in a delicate balance as concerned GOP lawmakers publicly come out to express their opposition to the legislation.

    • Media Find Room for ‘Trumpcare Too Progressive,’ but Not for Single-Payer – Right-wing critics of GOP health plan get near-constant media attention–while single-payer advocates’ challenges to ACA were never taken seriously

      In May 2009, at the infancy of the healthcare reform battle that led to the Affordable Care Act, a group of nurses and single-payer activists were arrested for disrupting a Senate Finance Committee meeting chaired by Sen. Max Baucus (D.–Mont.) (Democracy Now, 5/13/09). These activists had been ignored by politicians and corporate media for years (FAIR.org, 3/6/09), and hoped an arrest, or eight, would bring attention to their cause.

      Despite the efforts of the “Baucus 8,” the New York Times did not report on the event. Nor did much of the rest of the dominant media. Not even mass arrests could get the corporate media to give voice to single-payer advocates, even though their position is supported by the majority of the public (Gallup, 5/16/16).

      This is worth remembering as the media cover the GOP House’s American Health Care Act (AHCA), the plan to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare. While even eight arrests couldn’t get attention to left-wing critics of the Democrat’s milquetoast health reform plan in 2009–10, today the far right is given thousands of words in the press, and plenty of air time on television, to air its ideological opposition to the current GOP plan.

    • How a private water company brought lead to Pittsburgh’s taps

      Around the same time, the city’s water utility was laying off employees in an effort to cut costs. By the end of the year, half of the staff responsible for testing water throughout the 100,000-customer system was let go. The cuts would prove to be catastrophic. Six months later, lead levels in tap water in thousands of homes soared. The professor who had helped expose Flint, Michigan’s lead crisis took notice, “The levels in Pittsburgh are comparable to those reported in Flint.”

      The cities also share something else, involvement by the same for-profit water corporation. Pittsburgh’s layoffs happened under the watch of French corporation Veolia, who was hired to help the city’s utility save money. Veolia also oversaw a change to a cheaper chemical additive that likely caused the eventual spike in lead levels. In Flint, Veolia served a similar consulting role and failed to detect high levels of lead in the city’s water, deeming it safe.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Trump is Considering Expanding Killing Powers Abroad. The Consequences for Civilians Will be Disastrous.

      When the Obama administration put in place guidelines meant to restrain lethal drone and other killings abroad, we were concerned that they set too low a bar, and that even that low bar could easily be overturned.

      Now, our worst fears are coming to a head. According to a recent New York Times report, the Trump administration is considering weakening or withdrawing those rules, which, while flawed, are intended to limit civilian deaths and injuries. Without them, the U.S. will further unmoor itself from domestic and international law that safeguards against extrajudicial killing, and many more innocent people will die. The Trump administration has also reportedly lifted limits on the CIA carrying out drone strikes, meaning that the CIA could return to its role as a paramilitary organization killing people largely in secret.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Lost in translation: Swedish prosecutors explain bizarre delay in Assange investigation
    • How Drones Help Transparency Activists To See Things The Hungarian Government Wants To Hide

      It’s remarkable how quickly drones have become a familiar part of the modern world. Like most tools, they can be used for good and evil, but it tends to be the latter that is highlighted when it comes to drones. In the last few days, it was widely reported that President Trump has given the CIA power to launch drone strikes against suspected terrorists, in addition to being able to use the technology to locate them. Dealing death from the skies may be the most dramatic application of drones, but there are plenty of other, more benign, uses, even if they receive less attention. For example, activists in Hungary have been deploying them in a variety of innovative ways in order to bolster transparency and openness in a country where these are increasingly under threat. That’s because the country’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, is a self-confessed believer in the “illiberal state,”…

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • The Carbon Bubble is about to pop

      The post-carbon industries — from solar to electric cars — are a way for rich investors to go long on climate action, and short hydrocarbons, and they become a force against the carbon barons’ efforts to continue burning fossil fuels unchecked.

    • Next Steps in the Battle Against the Dakota Access and Keystone Pipelines

      In this edited interview, Jaffe speaks with Kandi Mossett of the Indigenous Environmental Network about the march last week and what’s next in the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline, as well as other pipeline projects. (The full interview is available in the audio above and online at TruthOut.org). Mossett is a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, which has been active in the Standing Rock protests since August.

    • Tribes Opposing Dakota Access Pipeline Turn To Appeal Court

      The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Attorney Nicole Ducheneaux on Wednesday asked the appeals court for an emergency order preventing oil through the pipeline until the appeal is resolved.

    • China, Saudi Arabia Sign $65 Billion in Cooperation Deals

      Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil producer, Aramco, is a partner with state-owned China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. in a refinery in the southeastern province of Fujian and has other Chinese projects.

  • Finance

    • How blockchain can be a force for good in the developing world

      By allowing users to conduct secure transactions with one another directly, blockchain eliminates the need for regulatory middlemen. This allows companies like Abra to save time and money by avoiding the lengthy processing periods and fees imposed by traditional money transfer services.

    • Spotify considered ending Uber partnership amid mounting scandals

      In an internal company-wide email, the company’s head of product refers to discussions the company held about ending Uber’s API access, which allows riders to control a driver’s sound system from their smartphones.

    • Breaking: Canada prevails in Eli Lilly arbitration, as tribunal dismisses NAFTA claim
    • Options for Independence

      So what do we do now with Theresa May apparently obdurate on blocking the referendum?

      It is important to realise politics are fluid. In a week’s time the situation will not be what it is today. The battle for public opinion is key. The unionist media (ie virtually all of it) are asserting continuously, as a uniform line, that opinion polls say the people of Scotland do not want a second Independence referendum in the timescale Nicola Sturgeon has set out – even though that is not true at all. The serial Tory crooks at You Gove came out with an opinion poll right on cue “showing” that support for Independence is hitting new lows. But I suspect it will not be long before evidence emerges that May’s unattractive diktat has profoundly assisted the Independence cause. That will change the game.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Don’t Let a Career Wall Street Lawyer Head the SEC

      In what is turning into a pattern for the Trump administration, yet another nominee close to Wall Street—and Goldman Sachs in particular—is on his way to being confirmed for a top post. Jay Clayton, Trump’s choice for head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, will have his confirmation hearing on March 23.

    • Trump’s Mar-a-Lago getaway could cost taxpayers more than $3 million

      The cost of flying Air Force One is more than $200,000 per flying hour, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch in 2015.

    • How much is Donald Trump’s travel and protection costing, anyway?

      What really jumped out at some people, though, was that Trump was proposing cuts to some relatively low-cost programs shortly before he prepared to fly to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. According to an analysis from Politico, that’s a trip that costs about $3 million each time — and it’s a trip that he’s made three times this year.

    • Twitter users volunteer to be Russia’s latest weapon in the information wars

      Some Twitter users are voluntarily handing control of their accounts to the UK’s Russian Embassy, which uses them to retweet the “most important” tweets of the Russian ambassador on a weekly basis.

    • Why Trump’s budget cut for arts funding will be a cultural disaster — and makes no fiscal sense

      In addition to eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, Trump’s budget will also jettison the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, according to The Washington Post. The costs of these programs equal $148 million, $445 million, $230 million, and $148 million respectively. Considering their combined total amounts to $971 million, their fiscal burden is a pittance compared to the trillions spent on defense and the military — which Trump plans on increasing.

    • Propaganda, Fake News, and Media Lies

      The expansion of public relations and propaganda (PRP) firms inside news systems in the world today has resulted in a deliberate form of news management. Maintenance of continuous news shows requires a constant and ever-entertaining supply of stimulating events and breaking news bites. Corporate media are increasingly dependent on various government agencies and PRP firms as sources of news.

      The PRP industry has experienced phenomenal growth since 2001. In 2015, three publicly traded mega PR firms—Omnicom, WPP, and Interpublic Group—together employed 214,000 people across 170 countries, collecting $35 billion in combined revenue. Not only do these firms control massive wealth, they also possess a network of connections in powerful international institutions with direct links to national governments, multi-national corporations, global policy-making bodies, and the corporate media.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Gwinnett County man deported after female genital mutilation sentence

      Khalid Adem, 41, was arrested for using scissors to mutilate the genitals of his 2-year-old daughter.

      He was deported on Monday after serving 10 years in prison.

    • Jaha’s Promise: FGM film premieres at Copenhagen film festival

      Co-director Patrick Farrelly said: “It is astonishing that FGM is not the top priority for the feminist movement, the women’s movement and the whole human rights movement. Two hundred million women and girls have been mutilated in the world today and it isn’t top of any of those agendas.”

    • Former owners of the Book Store in White Abbey Road, Bradford, apologise for “genuine human error” after claims that Qurans were put in skip

      The spokesman also criticised a “group of individuals” who arrived at the store during the afternoon of “harassing and bullying” the shop’s 80-year-old former owner, who was “not responsible for the filling of the skip”.

    • Turkey Threatens To Send Europe 15,000 Refugees A Month

      Ankara has warned it could cancel a March 2016 deal with the EU to curb the influx of refugees to the bloc, a move that came after Turkish ministers were barred from holding rallies in Europe.

    • [Old] More UK protests in support of Pakistan’s Asia Bibi

      Bibi has been in prison for over a decade after being accused of insulting Islam, a crime punishable by death under the country’s strict blasphemy laws.

      She faces death if her final appeal fails.

    • Germany unveils law with big fines for hate speech on social media

      Germany proposed a new law today to fight hate speech, threatening social media networks like Twitter and Facebook with €50 million fines.

    • The Ex-Muslim Community is Growing and Our Voices are Being Heard

      Many of these ex-Muslims were anonymous on social media, hiding their true identities for fear of being disowned by their families and the wider community. For many more there is the fear of being beaten and even death for leaving Islam and proudly shouting that they no longer believe.

    • Trouble brewing in Netherlands as Erdogan supporters win first seats in Dutch election
    • 1,500 acid attacks have been recorded in London since 2011

      A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Mirror shows that between 2011 and 2016, London had nearly 1,500 cases of the devastating crime, which burns the skin and leaves victims cowering from their injuries.

    • GOP pushes ‘economic terrorism’ bills in 18 states to discourage protests

      Republican lawmakers in at least 18 states have proposed a spate of bills making blocking streets a felony in North Carolina, allowing businesses to sue people protesting them in Michigan, and forcing Minnesota protesters pay the costs of policing.

    • ‘Throw stones at security forces for Islam’: Burhan Wani’s successor Zakir Musa urges protestors

      A top J&K officer told India Today that terrorists often try to create a smokescreen, inciting locals to target forces during operations. But, this video leaves little ambiguity on terrorist using locals to hamper counter terror operations.

    • ‘Pelt stones for Islam’: Burhan Wani’s successor incites Kashmir protestors

      The young commander in his monologue dismissed the idea of democracy while calling everyone to turn towards Islam.

    • U.S. is Regressing on Human Rights, Center for Inquiry Warns UN Human Rights Council
    • Hyderabad woman faces torture in Saudi, suffers fracture in both her legs

      My mother went to Saudi Arabia to make our lives better. She was promised 1,600 riyals a month, but the employer did not pay her even one riyal. When she asked for salary, the employer started harassing her. Unable to bear the harassment, she ran away from the employer’s house. But he brought her back to his house and pushed her from the third floor, fracturing both her legs.

    • Islamic cleric allegedly stones boy to death for rituals in Lagos
    • Teacher quits after primary school students threaten to behead her
    • What went wrong in Pakistan

      What went wrong? In an excellent new book, “Purifying the Land of the Pure,” Farahnaz Ispahani both recounts and laments Pakistan’s “descent” into what it has become today: unfree, undemocratic, intolerant and both a sponsor and victim of terrorism.

    • Truman Was Right About the CIA

      Say what you will about President Harry Truman, but at least he didn’t leave the White House a suspiciously rich man. He also actually went home, to Independence Missouri, and moved into a modest house he didn’t own. It was the same house belonging to his wife’s family where he had lived with Bess (and his mother-in-law!) decades earlier.

      Flat broke, and unwilling to accept corporate board positions or commercial endorsements, Truman sought a much-needed loan from a local Missouri bank. For several years his sole income was a $113 monthly Army pension, and only the sale of a parcel of land he inherited with his siblings prevented him from nearly “being on relief,” as Truman allegedly stated. In the 1950s, perhaps almost entirely to alleviate Truman’s embarrassing financial situation, Congress authorized a $25,000 yearly pension for ex-presidents Truman and the much-wealthier Herbert Hoover.

    • Appeals court upholds LuxLeaks whistleblower convictions

      A Luxembourg appeals court has upheld the convictions but reduced the sentences of two former PwC employees who blew the whistle on rampant tax evasion. In 2014, it was revealed that Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet passed confidential tax rulings, documenting widespread multinational tax avoidance, to journalists. The ICIJ published the documents as LuxLeaks, in a release that directly implicated the president of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker. Just this week, EU Competition Commisioner Margrethe Vestage has confirmed that the disclosures were justified.

      Deltour and Halet were convicted of theft and breaking secrecy laws, and Deltour was given a 12-months suspended prison sentence. Edouard Perrin, a journalist involved in the initial wave of disclosures, was one of the original defendants alongside the whistleblowers, but he was acquitted. All three rulings were appealed, and today an appeals court has confirmed the convictions but reduced Deltour’s suspended sentence to six months.

    • Two Courts Find That, Yes, It Was a Muslim Ban All Along

      Courts in Hawaii and Maryland ruled against the president’s executive order in another stinging rebuke of the president.

      The federal courts have dealt two more blows to President Trump’s ongoing attempt to ban Muslims from entering the United States. The two rulings, issued yesterday in separate lawsuits in Hawaii and Maryland, made clear that the president’s second Muslim ban executive order is just as unconstitutional as the first.

      The first blow came yesterday from a federal court in Hawaii. Just hours before the travel ban was scheduled to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. this morning, the court issued a ruling blocking the operative provisions of the executive order — both the ban against people from six predominantly Muslim countries and the provisions blocking refugee resettlement in the United States. The second ruling, in a case brought by the ACLU and the National Immigration Law Center on behalf of clients including the International Refugee Assistance Project and HIAS, came just before 2 a.m. from a Maryland district court. That ruling also blocked the six-country ban.

      The breadth of the Hawaii ruling means that, for now, no part of the executive order can take effect without further input from the courts.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • EU authorities demand changes from Facebook, Google, Twitter

      The Commission and European consumer protection authorities will “take action to make sure social media companies comply with EU consumer rules,” the official said.

    • Charter Tries To Tap Dance Out Of Lawsuit Over Substandard Broadband

      Last month, we noted how New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued Charter Communications for knowingly providing broadband service well below advertised speeds. After an initial first read I didn’t think much of the lawsuit (pdf), but upon closer inspection it provides some pretty damning evidence that Charter not only knowingly failed to provide decent service (and just didn’t care, since this is the uncompetitive broadband industry), but in some instances actively made connections worse for its own competitive advantage.

      The AG’s suit highlights how Charter manipulated data for a program run by the FCC to monitor consumer connection speeds. This program, co-operated by a UK outfit dubbed SamKnows, gives volunteers custom-firmware embedded routers to monitor connection quality and speed. The FCC was then using this data to name and shame ISPs that failed to deliver advertised speeds. The lawsuit highlights how Charter executives worked to intentionally deliver faster speeds to just these customers in order to trick the FCC into believing its network was performing better than it actually was.

    • California Youth in Detention and Foster Care Deserve Internet Access

      It’s 2017, and climbers can tweet from Mount Everest, astronauts can post YouTube videos from the International Space Station, and ocean explorers can live stream from the Mariana Trench. Considering the ability for technology to overcome those harsh environments, we see no reason that California can’t develop a way to ensure that youth in our state have secure and supervised access to the internet in juvenile detention and foster care programs.

      EFF is throwing its support behind A.B. 811, a California bill sponsored by Assemblymember Mike Gipson, that would establish that youth in custody have a right to “reasonable access to computer technology and the internet for the purposes of education and maintaining contact with family and supportive adults.” The bill would also establish the right of youth in foster care to have access to computers and the internet.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Daimler joins Linux’s Open Invention Network patent-protection group [iophk: "quaint but does 0 against patent trolls"]

      The OIN patent license and member cross-licenses are available royalty-free to any party that joins the OIN community.

    • Copyrights

      • From the Flying Dutchman to Piratenpartij, Pirates in The Netherlands are making Waves

        The coupling of a proportional representation electoral system and the steadfast campaigning of the Dutch Pirate Party means that there is a very real chance of seeing a Pirate elected to the Dutch Parliament (Tweede Kamer) with a second Pirate being an outside possibility.

        David A Elston, Pirate Party Acting Leader has already stated his (and our) strong support for our friends just across the sea and Mark Chapman, Pirate Party Spokesperson has previously written positively on the work of PPNL.

      • Australia’s Prime Minister Supports Expanded Safe Harbor Protections Down Under

        And that rocky road to harmonizing Australian copyright law with the EU and America is being laid by the usual entertainment industry suspects, whose objections are familiar tropes. Music and entertainment groups are complaining that offering safe harbor protections to such unworthy entities as schools and libraries, along with websites like Google and Facebook, amounts to codifying piracy. That’s silly for all the reasons you should already know, but which can be best stated as it being quite dumb, and immoral, to saddle a third party with the guilt of a pirate just because it’s an easier and more lucrative target. Because that’s all this opposition amounts to: the desire to sue a school if a student infringes copyright. Or Google. Or a museum that provides internet access. This is what the entertainment industry wants to go to bat over.

      • Piracy? RIAA Labels Asked Us to Promote Their Music, Spinrilla Says

        In addition, the hip-hop mixtape service notes that the labels, that are now suing, repeatedly reached out to them for promotions. This even happened after the lawsuit was filed last month.

03.17.17

Links 17/3/2017: ‘Guetzli’ JPEG Encoder, Updates From Munich

Posted in News Roundup at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Announcing Guetzli: A New Open Source JPEG Encoder

    At Google, we care about giving users the best possible online experience, both through our own services and products and by contributing new tools and industry standards for use by the online community. That’s why we’re excited to announce Guetzli, a new open source algorithm that creates high quality JPEG images with file sizes 35% smaller than currently available methods, enabling webmasters to create webpages that can load faster and use even less data.

  • Guetzli: Google Rolls Out A New JPEG Encoder

    Google has announced Guetzli, not a German cookie, but rather a new open-source algorithm for creating high-quality JPEGs that are 35% smaller than currently available methods.

  • Google releases open source ‘Guetzli’ JPEG encoder

    Google is one of the biggest champions of open source. Not only does the search giant use open source software in its products, but it contributes to the community too. There are many projects made open source by the company, which helps the greater good.

    Today, Google releases yet another open source project. Called “Guetzli,” it is a JPEG encoder that aims to produce even smaller image file sizes. In fact, the search giant claims a whopping 35 percent improvement over existing JPEG compression. If you are wondering why smaller file sizes are important, it is quite simple — the web. If websites can embed smaller images, users can experience faster load times while using less data.

  • How an open source Gitter could challenge Slack

    It sure sounds like a match made in dev heaven.

    Yesterday, GitLab — maker of an open source competitor to GitHub — announced it had acquired Gitter, a Slack-like chat service aimed mainly at software developers.

  • GitLab scoops up developer communication and collaboration platform Gitter
  • GitLab gets more social, buying open source developer community Gitter
  • Surprise: Only 12% of top websites are using header bidding
  • Rubicon Project Pushes for Industry-wide Adoption of Prebid.js Open Source Wrapper in Header Bidding
  • Open Source in the Enterprise: Challenges and Myths

    One of the most commonly cited challenges with open source in the enterprise is a lack of support, but Wright said that’s really more of a myth.

  • Events

    • Linux Plumbers Conference Call for Refereed Presentations

      We are pleased to announce the Call for Refereed Presentation
      Proposals for the 2017 edition of the Linux Plumbers Conference, which
      will be held in Los Angeles, CA, USA on 13-15 September in conjunction
      with The Linux Foundation Open Source Summit.

      Refereed Presentations are 45 minutes in length and should focus on a
      specific aspect of the “plumbing” in the Linux system. Examples of
      Linux plumbing include core kernel subsystems, core libraries,
      windowing systems, management tools, device support, media
      creation/playback, and so on. The best presentations are not about
      finished work, but rather problems, proposals, or proof-of-concept
      solutions that require face-to-face discussions and debate.

    • Bosch Connected Experience: Eclipse Hono and MsgFlo

      Since this is a hackathon, there is a competition on projects make in this event. To make the Hono-to-MsgFlo connectivity, and Flowhub visual programming capabilities more demoable, I ended up hacking together a quick example project — a Bosch XDK controlled air theremin.

    • Codes of Conduct

      These days, most large FLOSS communities have a “Code of Conduct”; a document that outlines the acceptable (and possibly not acceptable) behaviour that contributors to the community should or should not exhibit. By writing such a document, a community can arm itself more strongly in the fight against trolls, harassment, and other forms of antisocial behaviour that is rampant on the anonymous medium that the Internet still is.

      Writing a good code of conduct is no easy matter, however. I should know — I’ve been involved in such a process twice; once for Debian, and once for FOSDEM. While I was the primary author for the Debian code of conduct, the same is not true for the FOSDEM one; I was involved, and I did comment on a few early drafts, but the core of FOSDEM’s current code was written by another author. I had wanted to write a draft myself, but then this one arrived and I didn’t feel like I could improve it, so it remained.

    • Keynote: Building and Motivating Engineering Teams – Camille Fournier, Senior Thinker and Raconteur

      Maintaining respect is key to building a successful team, according to Camille Fournier, at the Open Source Leadership Summit in February.

    • Keynote: An Exploration of Citrix Delivery Networks by Danny Phillips
    • Growing Up Node by Trevor Livingston, HomeAway

      Trevor Livingston, principal architect at HomeAway, offers insight on how to introduce Node into companies at Node.js Interactive.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome Could Start Using Native Notifications on Linux

        Google Chrome could soon use native notifications on Linux desktops. A bug report asking for the browser to use a Linux desktop environment’s notification system was filed late last year but recently become active again. Google Chrome (and Chromium) currently use the Chrome Notification API to show alerts from websites, extensions and Chrome Apps on Windows, macOS and Linux.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Goes PulseAudio Only, Leaves ALSA Users With No Sound

        If you’re a Linux user who upgraded to Firefox 52 only to find that the browser no longer plays sound, you’re not alone.

        Firefox 52 saw release last week and it makes PulseAudio a hard dependency — meaning ALSA only desktops are no longer supported.

        Ubuntu uses PulseAudio by default (as most modern Linux distributions do) so the switch won’t affect most — but some Linux users and distros do prefer, for various reasons, to use ALSA, which is part of the Linux kernel.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.3 Office Suite Gets First Point Release with 100 Improvements

      Softpedia was informed today by The Document Foundation about the general availability of the first point release to the LibreOffice 5.3 open-source office suite for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows.

      LibreOffice 5.3.1 comes one and a half months after the release of LibreOffice 5.3, a major branch that introduced exciting new features for users of the popular office suite. These include the experimental MUFFIN user interface with a Microsoft Office-like Ribbon UI, as well as the first source release of LibreOffice Online.

      During these past six weeks, LibreOffice 5.3.1 received two Release Candidate (RC) development versions, which fix about 100 bugs and regressions that have been either discovered by the LibreOffice developers/contributors or reported by users from the previous version.

    • The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 5.3.1
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • NetBSD 7.1 Is Out with Support for Raspberry Pi Zero, Better Linux Compatibility

      The development team behind the BSD-based NetBSD free operating system were proud to announce the official and general availability of the NetBSD 7.1 release.

      NetBSD 7.1 entered development only two months ago, when we reported the availability of the first Release Candidate (RC) build, which brought various improvements and bug fixes. It’s the first point release to the stable NetBSD 7 series and comes with a bunch of exciting new features.

    • DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER File-System Gets Important Write Performance Boost

      Matthew Dillon has discovered an important bug in the DragonFlyBSD kernel’s VFS cluster code affecting the HAMMER file-system write performance.

      Dillon explained in the commit that landed in DragonFly last week, “A bug in the cluster code was causing HAMMER to write out 64KB buffers in 32KB overlapping segments, resulting in data being written to the media twice.”

    • DragonFlyBSD On NVMe SSDs: Samsung Good, Intel 600p Not

      DragonFlyBSD lead developer Matthew Dillon has been testing out various NVMe M.2 SSDs under his BSD operating system to see how these latest-generation storage devices perform.

    • LLD Linker Declared Ready For Production On x86_64 ELF Platforms

      LLVM developer Rui Ueyama is encouraging the “dogfeeding” of their linker, LLD, that should now be ready for production use on some platforms/architectures with this week’s LLVM 4.0 release.

      Rui Ueyama believes that the LLD linker is ready for production with ELF platforms — namely as Linux and BSDs — on at least x86_64 but the AArch64 and MIPS architecture support should be in good shape too.

    • vBSDcon 2017 CFP Open

      Verisign is hosting its 3rd vBSDcon, scheduled for September 8 – 9, 2017, in Reston, VA. A Call For Presentations is currently open and submissions are being accepted at vBSDcon.com. CFP administration is being conducted through EasyChair, which require accounts to upload submissions for consideration. Our call is open through April 30, 2017. So get your submissions in soon!

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Guile 2.2.0 released

      We are pleased to announce GNU Guile 2.2.0, the first of a new stable release series. More than 6 years in the making, Guile 2.2 includes a new optimizing compiler and high-performance register virtual machine. Compared to the old 2.0 series, real-world programs often show a speedup of 30% or more with Guile 2.2.

      Besides bringing the compiler and virtual machine, Guile 2.2 removes limitations on you and your programs by lowering memory usage, speeding up the “eval” interpreter, providing better support for multi-core programming, and last but not least, removing any fixed stack size limit. With Guile 2.2, you can recurse to your heart’s content!

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Do GitHub’s updated terms of service conflict with copyleft?

      GitHub’s updated terms caused a great deal of concern, but while they are confusing, they do not appear to be incompatible with copyleft. The Free Software Foundation (FSF), though, still recommends using other code hosting sites.

      GitHub recently updated their terms of service (ToS). Users of the site are raising many concerns over the new terms, fearing that the ToS could be incompatible with the copyleft licenses on works uploaded to GitHub. In particular, section D of the new terms, which handles rights granted to GitHub and GitHub users, makes many hackers very uncomfortable.

      Section D.4 states, “You grant us and our legal successors the right to store and display your Content and make incidental copies as necessary to render the Website and provide the Service. ” At first glance that might appear to grant permissions on your work without the concomitant protective guarantees found in copyleft licenses like the GNU General Public License (GPL). Users who care about ensuring that their software never becomes proprietary would not want to give such unconditional permission. And those uploading works that incorporate third-party copylefted code may not even be able to grant such permissions.

      But licenses like the GNU GPL already give the necessary permissions to make, use, and modify local copies of a work. Are the new GitHub ToS asking for more than that? It’s not fully clear. While the grant language could fit within the scope of the GPL, other words used in the section like “share” or “distribute” could be understood to mean something that wouldn’t line up with the GPL’s terms.

    • How to Maintain Open Source Compliance After Code Changes

      The previous article in this series covered how to establish a baseline for open source software compliance by finding exactly which open source software is already in use and under which licenses it is available. But how do you make sure that future revisions of the same product (or other products built using the initial baseline) stay compliant once the baseline is established?

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • What is the point of learning C?

      Take a look at the TIOBE Programming Community Index — an indicator of the popularity of programming languages — and you’ll see that Google’s Go and, to a lesser extent, Dart and Perl are trending up. The venerable C, however, is a language whose popularity is plummeting, according to the index.

      In a world where there is huge demand for mobile and web applications coded in higher-level languages that are easy to learn and debug and difficult to make mistakes in — at least compared to C — one might assume there’s no reason to bother with a low-level language that’s going out of fashion.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Out of the gate, health and research apps face-plant

      Tracking the effectiveness of an asthma health app created using Apple’s ResearchKit, researchers reported problems with participant selection bias, extremely low participant retention, missing data, and data security.

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • These ‘Transparency’ Bills Would Gut the EPA

      “The result of each bill will be the same—worse science at EPA and less public health protections for American citizens,” says Eddie Bernice Johnson, ranking Democrat member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. “If these bills become law, the ultimate result will be more sick Americans and more dead Americans.”

    • Secretary of State Tillerson used e-mail alias as Exxon CEO

      Attorney General Schneiderman has subpoenaed Exxon for internal documents and communications that might show the thought process behind these decisions, and he is currently tussling with the company over the documents they’ve handed over—and the ones they may not have. In a letter to the judge on the case Monday, the Attorney General’s Office said it discovered that former Exxon chairman and CEO (and current Secretary of State) Rex Tillerson used an e-mail alias of “Wayne Tracker” to communicate with other Exxon executives. Now the office wants those e-mails, too.

  • Finance

    • Uber is using in-app podcasts to dissuade Seattle drivers from unionizing

      Uber spokesperson Nathan Hambley pushed back on a story from The Wall Street Journal over the weekend that suggested Uber drivers in Seattle were forced to choose whether or not to listen to the company-produced podcasts every day before they can begin picking up riders.

      The notification remains at the bottom of the driver screen regardless of whether it is ignored, or if the podcast is listened to or not.

    • When was (or will be) the Article 50(1) decision?

      Today the Bill giving the Prime Minister the legal power to make the Article 50 notification will be given royal assent. The Bill will become an Act.

      (Contrary to popular belief, including some news outlets, the Queen does not give the royal assent in person. No monarch has done this since 1854. The elaborate process employed instead is under this 1967 Act.)

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Facebook—in hate-crime clash with MPs—claims it’s “fixed” abuse review tool
    • Crushing Free Speech (Oh, Let’s Save Democracy That Way!)

      The actions above, and the quote above, were written by an author for Slate, in justification for the students of Middlebury College, and “activists” elsewhere, using acts like violence and shouting down speakers to stop speech they personally judged as hate and/or offensive or dangerous.

      The latest specific case involved some guy named Charles Murray. I have no idea who he is, but a lot of people say he is a racist so let’s go with that. But I don’t care.

      I simply cannot believe that it is the left, or progressives, or whatever name is best, that are attacking people’s speech. I’ve written extensively about what I call “Post-Constitution America,” an era that started on 9/11 where the rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights no longer applied. I never imagined it would play out this way.

    • RSF publishes report on censorship and surveillance of journalists on World Day Against Cyber-Censorship

      Reporters Without Borders (RSF for its acronym in French) recently published the report “Censorship and surveillance of journalists: an unscrupulous business,” in which it denounces several cases of digital surveillance of journalists by both democratic and authoritarian governments around the world.

    • PM Nawaz orders removal of blasphemous content from social media

      Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that blasphemy is an unpardonable offence and directed the state machinery to find those responsible for putting blasphemous content on social media and bring them to justice without any delay.

      The National Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning the blasphemous content appearing on social media and unanimously agreed to the formation of a committee of parliamentary leaders to monitor such content.

    • Google tells army of ‘quality raters’ to flag Holocaust denial

      Google is using a 10,000-strong army of independent contractors to flag “offensive or upsetting” content, in order to ensure that queries like “did the Holocaust happen” don’t push users to misinformation, propaganda and hate speech.

      The review of search terms is being done by the company’s “quality raters”, a little-known corps of worldwide contractors that Google uses to assess the quality of its systems. The raters are given searches based on real queries to conduct, and are asked to score the results on whether they meet the needs of users.

    • Mormon Church Tries To Censor MormonLeaks Using Copyright, Streisand Effect Takes Over

      The Mormon Church has been somewhat flip-floppy when it comes to criticism against it. On the one hand, the notoriously tight-knit Church has been admirably tolerant of many attempts to parody it, including public commentary and a certain Broadway show of world renown. On the other hand, it seems the Church tends to draw a line in the sand when it comes to disseminating official church documents, even when this is done by journalists and organizations dedicated to commentary and news. In the past, the Mormon Church has attempted to utilize copyright law to have those documents removed from such sites as Wikimedia and Wikileaks, which of course resulted in the wider viewership of those same documents as news of the threats wove through the media. The Streisand Effect, it seems, offers no quarter of religious institutions.

    • Actor James Woods Now On The Receiving End Of Questionable Twitter Defamation Claim

      Remember James Woods? The Hollywood actor sued a Twitter troll for $10 million, claiming defamation, because that troll had sarcastically referred to Woods as a “cocaine addict.”

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Once Again, Senator Wyden Wants To Know How Many Americans Are Being Surveilled By The NSA

      Many people seem to forget that before Ed Snowden came along, Senator Ron Wyden was beating the drum in Congress about how the NSA was abusing Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act to spy on Americans. Here’s a story we did back in 2011 concerning Wyden raising concerns about the failure of the Director of National Intelligence to say how Section 702 was being used on Americans. Even earlier in 2011, we wrote about then Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, refusing to answer this question, saying that “it is not reasonably possible to identify the number of people located in the United States whose communications may have been reviewed.”

    • Rep. Devin Nunes’ Hypocrisy On Display In ‘Concerns’ Over NSA Surveillance

      We’ve talked about the astounding hypocrisy of Rep. Devin Nunes a few times in the past. He heads the House Intelligence Committee, which is supposed to be conducting “oversight” of the intelligence community, but has generally been a cheerleader for mass surveillance in recent years. Nunes, in fact, has regularly slammed any attempt to cut back on surveillance, to the point of actively misleading the public in making false claims about how NSA surveillance programs work. The hypocrisy became clear when Nunes flipped out following the firing/resignation of Mike Flynn as National Security Advisor, arguing that it was somehow unprecedented that an American’s phone calls with Russian officials were recorded by the intelligence community. Of course, that suggests either near total ignorance of the programs he’s supposedly in charge of overseeing, or just blatant political pandering.

      And now it’s getting worse. Reporter Katie Bo Williams got her hands on an interesting letter that Nunes, along with ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, just sent to the heads of the CIA, NSA and FBI, continuing to dig in on the whole “recorded Mike Flynn” thing. The target now is Executive Order 12333, which we’ve spoken about quite a lot. That’s the executive order signed by President Reagan, that more or less gives the intelligence community total free rein in conducting surveillance overseas. As an ex-State Department official revealed back in 2014, the vast majority of NSA surveillance actually is done under 12333, and it just uses other programs — like Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act and Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act — to fill in the gaps of what they can’t get via 12333. Executive Order 12333, for example, was used to hack into Yahoo and Google’s servers overseas, allowing the NSA to scoop up lots of info without any oversight by US courts.

    • No, Evil Hackers Aren’t After You

      I know a lot of people who worry about the CIA, NSA, DIA, and other agencies illegally spying on them. In fact, somebody I thought knew better just told me that he’s worried about Gang Stalking. Umm… okay. We’re talking about somebody who is a pretty good tile layer and all-around construction guy, but there is no conceivable reason an intelligence agency would be interested in him.

      My gang-stalked friend has been lonely lately, and he was short of work for a while so he doesn’t have much money right now. He’s almost a poster boy for low self-esteem. What if he really is being gang-stalked, whether by a government or a (dare I say it) gang? That would mean someone was taking an interest in him. And that would make him feel a lot better about himself. He might even believe he’s important.

    • There were more device searches at US border last month than all of 2015

      According to new figures released by Customs and Border Patrol, the number of electronic devices searched at the border has jumped by five times between 2015 and 2016.

    • Court Says FBI Doesn’t Have To Hand Over Its Rules For Surveilling Domestic Journalists

      A couple of years ago, the Freedom of the Press Foundation sued the DOJ over its refusal to release its secret rules governing spying on the nation’s journalists. This was prompted by revelations the FBI had used National Security Letters to obtain information on AP and Fox News journalists. The DOJ then issued new rules on the do’s and don’ts of surveilling journalists, but once again (a) redacted them into uselessness and (b) granted the FBI an NSL exception, undercutting the entire point of the recrafted rules.

      The OIG report — in which the Inspector General disputed the DOJ’s extensive redactions — still has yet to be released in a less-redacted form. Sadly, it now appears it will never be any less redacted than the unintelligible mess the DOJ handed over a few years ago. A federal judge has sided with the government, finding its investigative techniques and methods are too sensitive to be handed over to the public, much less journalists it may or may not have surveilled using NSLs.

    • City Of Tacoma To Pay $50,000 To Privacy Activist For Over-Redacting FBI’s Stingray Non-Disclosure Agreement

      In the fall of 2015, privacy activist Phil Mocek and the Center for Open Policing sued the city of Tacoma for its response to a request for Stingray documents. The documents Mocek obtained were heavily-redacted, despite there being several mostly-unredacted versions of the FBI’s Stingray non-disclosure agreement already in public circulation.

      (This would be the standard NDA the FBI appends to every Stingray purchase by local law enforcement agencies — one that says all public records requests should be forwarded to the feds and encourages locals to toss cases rather than expose Stingray use. It’s also the same contract the FBI was shocked to hear agencies were complying with after signing on the dotted line to take ownership of their new cell tower spoofers.)

      The lawsuit was filed under the state’s open records law, with Mocek challenging the Tacoma PD’s use of the “investigative records” exemption to withhold significant amounts of a mostly bog-standard nondisclosure agreement. As was noted back then, the continued withholding of this information could become costly (for taxpayers): the state’s public records law allows for fines of $500/day for violations.

    • Snowden won’t be invited to Germany after all

      In November the BGH ruled that Snowden should be invited to Berlin and that the government make preparations to ensure his safety, raising the intriguing possibility that Berlin would have to provide protection to one of the most wanted men in the US. But then the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats appealed the decision.

      But in the new ruling the court stated that the two parties would have needed the support of a quarter of MPs in the Bundestag (German parliament) to challenge the decision by the committee not to invite Snowden.

    • Great: Now your sex toys are used to spy on you and sell your private habits, too

      The makers of an Internet-connected sex toy have settled to pay a small amount to some 300,000 owners of a vibrator which was used to spy on their sex habits, which the manufacturer collected as individually identifiable data. Additionally, the bluetooth-controlled sex toy device was utterly insecure, allowing remote anonymous administration. In the mess of IoT devices spying on us, we now need to add the bedroom.

      [...]

      Maybe the most egregious thing about this story is that the vibrator maker continues to collect the private data, just with an obscure-and-opt-out privacy policy saying so.

    • WhatsApp flaw allowed hackers to hijack accounts using malware-laced images

      This gives, if exploited, hackers could potentially gain access to a user’ messages, shared files, contacts list and more.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Open letter to EU policy makers on community networks – joint press release
    • Google Fiber’s About-Face Provides Useful Lessons For A Broken Broadband Industry

      Last fall, Alphabet/Google announced that the company would be notably scaling back its Google Fiber ambitions. The company axed its CEO, laid off a small number of employees, and froze a number of anticipated fiber builds (in Portland and a few other locations). Numerous reports indicated that there were growing concerns among many executives about the high costs and slow pace of deploying fiber, so the company was considering an overall pivot to next-generation gigabit wireless while it continued building out most already-announced markets.

      While it’s hard to call this pivot a failure until we see a real wireless product, ISPs like AT&T were of course quick to suggest Google Fiber was little more than folly (ignoring that AT&T’s anti-competitive behavior played a starring role in Google Fiber’s struggles in many cities). This has contributed to an overall air of “we told you so” smugness emanating from numerous quadrants of the telecom status quo.

      That take, however, is short-sighted. One, the launch of Google Fiber put an unrelenting spotlight on the lack of broadband competition in countless markets, driving many large ISPs (like AT&T) to deploy gigabit broadband service that had previously been unheard of. Google Fiber also managed to shine a bright spotlight on the way many large ISPs use our broken legislative and regulatory systems to keep things broken, whether that’s by using utility pole beaurocracy to slow competitors’ installs, or writing awful state protectionist law hamstringing what your local town and city can do about it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Brazilian Legend Celso Amorim Recounts Negotiation For TRIPS Flexibilities

      Minister Celso Amorim of Brazil has had a significant impact on the state of global negotiations in his professional lifetime, including on global intellectual property rights.

      As his new book, Acting Globally: Memoirs of Brazil’s Assertive Foreign Policy, sets out, in the first decade of the 2000s Brazil played an assertive role in foreign policy in areas such as the Iran nuclear issue, relations in the Middle East, and the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations at the World Trade Organization.

      Amorim (see bio here) was at the centre of that, and reaching back to the early 1990s, took the lead role in negotiating the 1994 WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

    • Copyrights

      • Ed Sheeran Vs. The CopyBots: Artist Goes To Bat For Musician That Covered His Song On Facebook

        In our recent conversation about Ed Sheeran’s rise to fame, we chiefly focused on his claim that music piracy helped him be discovered by the public and his generally lax views on filesharing of his music. While that modern view on how music is consumed is refreshing, we focused less on another chief part of the equation: Ed Sheeran is really good to his fans. Between engaging with them directly via social media, having a generally congenial attitude towards them, and producing music his fans love, he’s built up quite a connection with his listeners.

      • Bill Gates And Other Major Investors Put $52.6 Million Into Site Sharing Unauthorized Copies Of Academic Papers

        As that notes, authors are typically only allowed to post certain versions of their papers — usually early ones. But most researchers don’t bother with that detail, and simply upload the final version to ResearchGate, which is probably why the recent analysis mentioned by the Tea and Velociraptors blog found so many unauthorized copies. Along with laziness, or ignorance of the niceties here, another factor driving this phenomenon may be that academics are aware that much of their work has been paid for by the public, and therefore feel the definitive results should be disseminated as widely as possible.

        Still, the contrast between ResearchGate, which has received major investments from some rather big names, and Sci-Hub, which is currently being pursued in the courts by Elsevier, is stark, given that their respective holdings turn out to be so similar. It’s another indication that the academic publishing system is broken, and that copyright is an irrelevance as far as millions of researchers are concerned.

      • MPAA and RIAA Present Plan to Recover Megaupload’s Failing Hard Drives

        [...] as time has dragged on, the condition of the hard drives has significantly deteriorated. Last year, Cogent first warned that sixteen of them have actually become unreadable.

      • BREIN Takes Usenet Provider to Supreme Court Over “Piracy Liability”

        And so, after eight years, the case is still not over yet. Whatever the outcome at the Supreme Court will be NSE will remain out of business. The company previously stated that it’s not relaunching its Usenet service.

      • Court Orders ISP to Hand Identities Behind 5,300 IP Addresses to Copyright Trolls

        An initiative, fronted by Danish law firm Njord and backed by known international copyright trolls Guardaley, made headlines when it began targeting the customers of several ISPs, including Telia, Tele2 and Bredbandsbolaget, the provider that was previously ordered to block The Pirate Bay.

03.15.17

Links 15/3/2017: Desktop GNU/Linux Praises, X.Org Server 1.19.3 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 7:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Life of free software project

    During last week I’ve noticed several interesting posts about challenges being free software maintainer. After being active in open source for 16 years I can share much of the feelings I’ve read and I can also share my dealings with the things.

    [...]

    Obviously if you can not cope with the work, let’s find more people to do the work. Unfortunately it’s not that easy. Sometimes people come by, contribute few patches, but it’s not that easy to turn them into regular contributor. You should encourage them to stay and to care about the part of the project they have touched.

    You can try to attract completely new contributors through programs as Google Summer of Code (GSoC) or Outreachy, but that has it’s own challenges as well.

    With phpMyAdmin we’re participating regularly in GSoC (we’ve only missed last year as we were not chosen by Google that year) and it indeed helps to bring new people on the board. Many of them even stay around your project (currently 3 of 5 phpMyAdmin team members are former GSoC students). But I think this approach really works only for bigger organizations.

  • Nine Funny Quotes about Free and Open Source Software

    Open source programmers are celebrated for the software they create. But they don’t often get the credit they deserve for one trait: Being funny. With that in mind, here’s a list of some of the more entertaining statements made by members of the free and open source software community.

  • 6 Operational Challenges to Using Open Source Software

    In today’s rapidly evolving markets, companies that consistently innovate, most quickly and at the least cost, will win. And, as you’ve seen in our ongoing series, using Open Source Software (OSS) enables rapid, low-cost innovation. But it can also introduce operational challenges and legal risks.

    We’re at a point now that OSS has become such a mainstream phenomenon that not using open source almost certainly places your organization at a disadvantage. So you must learn how to navigate the challenges and risks in order to remain competitive.

  • GitLab acquires software chat startup Gitter, will open-source the code

    GitLab, a startup that provides open source and premium source code repository software that people use to collaborate on software, is announcing today that it has acquired Gitter, a startup that provides chat rooms that are attached to repositories of code so that collaborators can exchange messages. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

    Gitter has popped up more and more on GitHub, which is arguably GitLab’s biggest competitor. But Gitter chat rooms are also sprinkled throughout GitLab. For example, a repository for a command-line interface (CLI) for talking on Gitter itself has a Gitter chat room.

  • GitLab Acquired The Chat App Gitter And Plans To Open Source It

    Today GitLab announced that it has acquired the chat app Gitter that many communities use for communication. Also, many Laravel sub-communities use it as well, and you can find these through the Gitter Laravel Tag

  • Events

    • Solving Monitoring in the Cloud With Prometheus

      Hundreds of companies are now using the open source Prometheus monitoring solution in production, across industries ranging from telecommunications and cloud providers to video streaming and databases.

    • An Exploration of Citrix Delivery Networks

      While many of us may be more familiar with the virtualization and remote access products from Citrix, Danny Phillips was talking about their products in the networking space during his keynote presentation at LinuxCon Europe.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Five issues that will determine the future of Internet Health [Ed: It would be awesome if not rather bitter-sweet and ironic now that Mozilla helps make the WWW less 'sanitary' with DRM]

        In January, we published our first Internet Health Report on the current state and future of the Internet. In the report, we broke down the concept of Internet health into five issues. Today, we are publishing issue briefs about each of them: online privacy and security, decentralization, openness, web literacy and digital inclusion. These issues are the building blocks to a healthy and vibrant Internet. We hope they will be a guide and resource to you.

        We live in a complex, fast moving, political environment. As policies and laws around the world change, we all need to help protect our shared global resource, the Internet. Internet health shouldn’t be a partisan issue, but rather, a cause we can all get behind. And our choices and actions will affect the future health of the Internet, for better or for worse.

  • Databases

    • [PostgreSQL] Parallel Query v2

      A recent Twitter poll asked What is your favorite upcoming feature of PostgreSQL V10? In this admittedly unscientific survey, “better parallelism” (37%) beat out “logical replication” (32%) and “native partitioning” (31%). I think it’s fruitless to argue about which of those features is actually most important; the real point is that all of those are amazing features, and PostgreSQL 10 is on track to be an amazing release. There are a number of already-committed or likely-to-be-committed features which in any other release would qualify as headline features, but in this release they’ll have to fight it out with the ones mentioned above.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Programming/Development

    • Happy IDEs of March: Which code editor do you prefer?

      Welcome to the Ides of March, or as we’d like to call it, the IDEs of March. To celebrate, we’re asking our readers to let us know which code editing tool they prefer, whether a full-fledged integrated development environment or a simple text editor. Fortunately, there are tons of open source options out there for you to choose from. Which one is your favorite?

    • There’s More to Life Than Code: How to Keep Your Team Engaged

      She found that her engineers actually were most productive when they not only felt like they were part of an engineering team, but when they felt like they were a part of the entire company. When Rent The Runway created cross-functional teams — with people from all departments working together to solve single problems — her engineers were at their happiest and most productive.

    • Teaching Children to Code

      Two experiences in my life have shaped the way I try to talk about technology. One was over ten years ago when I taught a room full of retirees, long-term unemployed, and recent immigrants basic computer skills. I realized that I could throw many of the subjects I had studied out of the window and that the best way to teach people was to give them a reason to learn. Fast forward to last year (and a subject I wrote previously on SitePoint) when I taught programming to a group of recent Syrian refugees. Again, I had to throw away much of my own learning and preconceptions and think afresh.

Leftovers

  • Best social media analytics tools 2017: Eight of the best tools for social media analytics
  • Is This The Future Of Online Publishing? Leading Chinese Social Networks Add Paid-For Content

    One of the topics that generates strong feelings in the online world is adblocking. Many users love it, but many publishers hate it. That’s a big problem, because advertising has turned into the main way of funding what appears on the Internet. As adblockers become more common, so the advertising revenue available to pay for creating articles, images, sound and video diminishes. Some want to ban adblockers, but that’s hardly a solution: forcing visitors to your site to view ads they hate is not a good way to foster a long-term business relationship. Improving ads seems a better approach, but that’s easier said than done, and may come too late now that so many people have installed adblockers.

  • Security

    • Red Hat Product Security Risk Report 2016

      At Red Hat, our dedicated Product Security team analyzes threats and vulnerabilities against all our products and provides relevant advice and updates through the Red Hat Customer Portal. Customers can rely on this expertise to help them quickly address the issues that can cause high risks and avoid wasting time or effort on those that don’t.

    • Google Eliminates Android Adfraud Botnet Chamois

      Google removed a handful of malicious apps from its Play marketplace recently that were found manipulating ad traffic, sending premium text messages, and downloading additional plugins.

    • Google deploys flamethrower on Android ad-fraud apps
    • New Linux Malware attacks AVTech IOT devices [Ed: When a Microsoft propaganda site writes about security it's not about Windows back doors but a 'Linux' thing (password)]

      A new malware that targets Linux-based Internet of Things (IoT) devices has been detected by Search-Lab, a Security research and development firm. This Linux ARM malware called as ELF_IMEIJ.A exploits a vulnerability in devices from AVTech, a surveillance technology company.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • This troubled, covert agency is responsible for trucking nuclear bombs across America each day

      The unmarked 18-wheelers ply the nation’s interstates and two-lane highways, logging 3 million miles a year hauling the most lethal cargo there is: nuclear bombs.

      The covert fleet, which shuttles warheads from missile silos, bomber bases and submarine docks to nuclear weapons labs across the country, is operated by the Office of Secure Transportation, a troubled agency within the U.S. Department of Energy so cloaked in secrecy that few people outside the government know it exists.

      The $237-million-a-year agency operates a fleet of 42 tractor-trailers, staffed by highly armed couriers, many of them veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, responsible for making sure nuclear weapons and components pass through foggy mountain passes and urban traffic jams without incident.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Recognizing the Year’s Worst in Government Transparency

      A thick fog is rolling in over Sunshine Week (March 12-18), the annual event when government transparency advocates raise awareness about the importance of access to public records. We are entering an age when officials at the highest levels seek to discredit critical reporting with “alternative facts,” “fake news” slurs, and selective access to press conferences—while making their own claims without providing much in the way to substantiate them.

      But no matter how much the pundits claim we’re entering a “post-truth” era, it is crucial we defend the idea of proof. Proof is in the bureaucratic paper trails. Proof is in the accounting ledgers, the legal memos, the audits, and the police reports. Proof is in the data. When it comes to government actions, that proof is often obtained by leveraging laws like the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state-level public records laws—except when government officials seek to ignore the rules to suppress evidence.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Scientists Are Racing to Prevent a Total Wipeout of the World’s Coral Reefs

      The world has lost roughly half its coral reefs in the last 30 years. Scientists are now scrambling to ensure that at least a fraction of these unique ecosystems survives beyond the next three decades. The health of the planet depends on it: Coral reefs support a quarter of all marine species, as well as half a billion people around the world.

      “This isn’t something that’s going to happen 100 years from now. We’re losing them right now,”

    • Scientists to EPA head: You don’t know what you’re talking about

      In sum, the letters argue that Pruitt’s statement was wrong on multiple levels. We can measure the impact of humanity on the climate, and there’s not much reasonable scientific controversy over that or the results, which clearly show humanity’s impact. Continuing the analysis is obviously critical, but there’s not much point in continuing debates that, by any reasonable standard of evidence, should have ended years ago.

  • Finance

    • Theresa May is dragging the UK under. This time Scotland must cut the rope

      Here is the question the people of Scotland will face in the next independence referendum: when England falls out of the boat like a block of concrete, do you want your foot tied to it?

      It would be foolish to deny that there are risks in leaving the United Kingdom. Scotland’s economy is weak, not least because it has failed to wean itself off North Sea oil. There are major questions, not yet resolved, about the currency it would use; its trading relationship with the rump of the UK; and its association with the European Union, which it’s likely to try to rejoin.

    • Donald Trump tax: Leaked 2005 document reveals $38m bill

      US President Donald Trump paid $38m (£31m) in tax on more than $150m (£123m) income in 2005, a leaked partial tax return shows.

    • Brexit and the new British Constitution

      The set out of a text book on the ‘British Constitution’ used to be straightforward.

      (And yes, the British do have a constitution, it just is not codified. There is a descriptive answer to the question: how is Britain constituted?)

      After the various chapters on the executive, legislature, judiciary, local government, nationalised industries, the police, and so on, there would perhaps be a short chapter on Scotland and Northern Ireland.

      Wales would have an index entry which said ‘for Wales, see Scotland and Northern Ireland‘.

    • The Disappearing Prime Minister

      I was delighted by Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement today, both the content and the manner of her making it.

      I am unsure why she put the window for the referendum as far back as autumn 2018 to spring 2019. Autumn 2018 is fine but spring 2019 is late – Nicola Sturgeon spoke of Scotland needing to declare its choice for independence before the UK actually leaves the EU or very shortly thereafter. But very shortly thereafter is too late. In diplomatic terms, a miss is a good as a mile here and in diplomatic terms at the EU, negotiating to get back in will be much harder than negotiating to remain a part of the EU.

    • Brexit and the UK Parliament

      Nothing illustrates the atrophy of Parliament more persuasively than the fact that the debates regarding the scope of parliamentary sovereignty in Miller began in the courts and affirmed a sovereignty that Parliament was unwilling or unable to claim for itself via Parliamentary process. If Parliament cannot reform itself internally as Stein Ringen calls for in openDemocracy there is a need for an extra-parliamentary movement for a codified constitution which would include the reform of the House of Lords, entrenchment of social and economic rights, a more proportional system of election and a transparent process for any citizen to raise their constitutional concerns via petitioning a constitutional court.

    • Donald Trump set to completely scrap US consumer protection agency, says man expected to lead it

      Mr Neugebauer said his meeting with Mr Trump included discussions about deregulating financial markets and gutting the CFPB.

    • Uber: the illusion of growth

      It’s no secret that Uber is haemorrhaging money.

      [...]

      Instead of Uber’s pockets being lined by the hard toil of its drivers, the company is eating through investment from venture capitalists to keep its low-fare strategy going.

    • NYT Sees Fed on Collision Course With Trump–for Doing What Trump Said to Do

      By failing to remind readers of Trump’s stance on interest rates during the campaign, the Times is doing the president two big favors. One is the pretense that his economic proposals are coherent, which they are not. The other is that they allow him to point to the Fed as a scapegoat when his promises of spectacular economic growth fail to materialize: It will be Janet Yellen’s fault, for raising interest rates like he told her to.

    • Danish shipping company uses blockchain in IBM partnership

      Maersk and IBM test out the application of blockchain technology to track and manage the paper trail of shipping containers around the world

      IBM and Danish shipping giant Maersk are using blockchain technology to digitise transactions in the global shipping industry.

    • Donald Trump Isn’t Even Pretending to Oppose Goldman Sachs Anymore

      The continuity of Wall Street’s dominant role in American politics — regardless of what party sits in power or how reviled the financial industry finds itself across the country — was perhaps never more evident than when Jake Siewert, now a Goldman Sachs spokesperson, on Tuesday praised the selection of Jim Donovan, a Goldman Sachs managing director, for the No. 2 position in the Treasury Department under Steve Mnuchin, himself a former Goldman Sachs partner.

      “Jim is smart, extraordinarily versatile, and as hard-working as they come,” Siewert gushed. “He’ll be an invaluable addition to the economic team.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Germany threatens £44m fines for social media firms that fail to remove offensive content

      The newly-announced measures will also require that the likes of Facebook, Google and Twitter delete offending material within a week, illegal material (such as posts containing racist material) within 24 hours, and run 24-hour helplines to help concerned users.

    • Germany threatens to fine social media companies €50m for hate speech and fake news

      If the measures pass into law it will require social media companies to employ staff that monitor content around the clock. Individual members of staff responsible for handling complaints could also be fined up to €5 million for failing to comply with the regulations.

    • NY Legislators Looking At Installing A Free Speech-Stomping ‘Right To Be Forgotten’

      There’s nothing like being negatively compared to Arizona (remember the short-lived “First Amendment-protected activity is against the law” bill?) to take the gloss off the latest legislative ridiculousness. A new bill in the state legislature would make New York an outlier in constitutional protections (or no, it wouldn’t, because it wouldn’t survive a constitutional challenge, but for the sake of argument…). For no conceivable reason, the bill seeks to implement a New York-located “right to be forgotten.” How that’s supposed to work out when it’s not the law in the other 49 states remains unexplained.

    • Mob Censorship on Campus

      In today’s political climate, there are sharp divisions of opinion over a range of issues, from health care and climate change to education and labor law. Ideally, a civil debate undertaken with mutual respect could ease tension and advance knowledge. Politics, however, often takes a very different turn.

      One of the landmark decisions of the United States Supreme Court, New York Times v. Sullivan, was decided in 1964 at the height of civil rights movement. Writing for the majority, Justice William Brennan insisted that the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech rested on “a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.” He then concluded that the First Amendment offered extensive protection to the media from defamation suits brought by private individuals—a principle that was later extended to apply to public figures as well. Defamation suits in his view could chill public debate.

    • PIO censorship in the era of Trump

      President Trump has already labeled major press outlets the “fake news media” and the “enemy of the people.” His administration has blocked major news outlets from a briefing because it didn’t like what they published.

      With that in mind, the public should understand “censorship by PIO” at the federal level: For years, in many federal agencies, staff members have been prohibited from communicating with any journalist without notifying the authorities, usually the public information officers. And they often are unable to talk without PIO guards actively monitoring them.

    • Letter: When censorship is effective

      Spicer is not a minister of propaganda; he is employed as a spokesman for our delusional president and must try to twist Trump’s wild statements into more reasonable language. His performance is painful to watch. The worst I can say about him is that he lacks personal honor.

    • Japan Foundation slammed for allowing ‘censorship’ at art exhibition (VIDEO)
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • DOJ Argues For iPhone Hack Secrecy By Contradicting Statements Made By The DOJ

      Someone’s assertions are wrong. Either the DOJ was lying when it said it would only work on certain iPhones, or it’s lying now to protect its secrecy by implying the purchased exploit is usable on other iPhones.

      The DOJ clarified last spring the exploit affected any iPhone 5c and wasn’t limited to those running iOS9. But even if that clarification is applied to its arguments in this lawsuit, this paragraph stills points to someone at the DOJ being dishonest. The counterargument that people wishing to prevent the FBI from accessing their phone’s contents could just switch to a newer iPhone still applies. And that’s the part the DOJ is calling “unvarnished speculation.”

    • NSA hacking chief’s mission impossible: Advising White House on cybersecurity

      NSA hacking crew bossman Rob Joyce is set to join US President Donald Trump’s National Security Council as a cybersecurity adviser.

      Joyce headed up the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations division, the spy agency’s elite computer exploitation squad.

    • Proposed NSA Headquarters Expansion Under Review

      The National Security Agency is proposing to expand and modernize its headquarters site at Fort Meade, Maryland.

      “For NSA/CSS to continue leading the Intelligence Community into the next 50 years with state-of-the-art technologies and productivity, its mission elements require new, centralized facilities and infrastructure,” according to a newly released Final Environmental Impact Statement for the site.

    • What is Privacy? Why is it even important for us? [Ed: What a garbled and messed up explanation of privacy]

      Privacy is not something that me or you going to read in some social media or any type of website’s Privacy Policies and then, Yah, I understood all, they are not taking any single coin from my pocket! Done! It’s more sensible and much deeper thinkable point than we can even imagine. One should understand what is privacy and even if we completely read out the Policies and Terms, doesn’t mean we are not likely to be at any risk.We should understand what we are sharing and how they can be used.

    • D.C. Circuit Court Issues Dangerous Decision for Cybersecurity: Ethiopia is Free to Spy on Americans in Their Own Homes

      The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today held that foreign governments are free to spy on, injure, or even kill Americans in their own homes–so long as they do so by remote control. The decision comes in a case called Kidane v. Ethiopia, which we filed in February 2014.

      Our client, who goes by the pseudonym Mr. Kidane, is a U.S. citizen who was born in Ethiopia and has lived here for over 30 years. In 2012 through 2013, his family home computer was attacked by malware that captured and then sent his every keystroke and Skype call to a server controlled by the Ethiopian government, likely in response to his political activity in favor of democratic reforms in Ethiopia. In a stunningly dangerous decision today, the D.C. Circuit ruled that Mr. Kidane had no legal remedy against Ethiopia for this attack, despite the fact that he was wiretapped at home in Maryland. The court held that, because the Ethiopian government hatched its plan in Ethiopia and its agents launched the attack that occurred in Maryland from outside the U.S., a law called the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) prevented U.S. courts from even hearing the case.

      The decision is extremely dangerous for cybersecurity. Under it, you have no recourse under law if a foreign government that hacks into your car and drives it off the road, targets you for a drone strike, or even sends a virus to your pacemaker, as long as the government planned the attack on foreign soil. It flies in the face of the idea that Americans should always be safe in their homes, and that safety should continue even if they speak out against foreign government activity abroad.

    • Maker of connected vibrator agrees to destroy sensitive user data

      A sex toy company has settled a class-action lawsuit filed by women who alleged that its connected vibrators collected “highly sensitive” personal information without their consent.
      [...]
      and did not admit to any wrongdoing.

    • Sex toy maker forced to pay out millions over intimate data invasion

      A class action was born, and that class action has just delivered some financial compensation.

      The lawsuit was filed in the North District of Illinois Eastern Division District Court, and the settlement is online. The courts decided that Standard Innovation should pay out $4 million Canadian dollars and should now only collect non-identifiable information.

    • These are the 17 House Representatives that introduced a bill to let telecoms sell your personal internet history

      Most Americans don’t know that telecoms and internet service providers store the internet history of their users; even more don’t know that recently introduced legislation aims to do away with privacy protections on this high value data.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Why is Erdoğan picking a fight with the EU over the Turkish referendum?
    • A man’s personal experience with corporate heartlessness
    • Are MPs now delegates rather than representatives?

      This valve is a feature of the UK’s “parliamentary democracy”.

      And, in turn, “parliamentary democracy” is a principle of the (uncodified) British constitution.

      Against this principle is now this relentless and alien doctrine of the referendum mandate.

      The 2016 referendum on EU membership was not legally binding: MPs could have legislated for this but chose not to do so. MPs instead chose for the Brexit referendum to have advisory power.

      But it is now being treated by many MPs as having total power: things are being done in the name of the “mandate”.

    • Brexit Diary – one hurdle surmounted, but another gets more awkward

      But as that obstacle to Brexit falls away, another very much came into view yesterday – not an obstacle as such to Brexit but to a ‘hard Brexit’. This, of course, was because of the the speech of the Scottish First Minister.

      This can be read here. The First Minister announced that there will be an independence referendum when the Brexit proposals become clear.

      The (intended) effect of this speech is to place UK government policy on a wire. If the outcome of Brexit is too ‘hard’ then there will be an independence referendum for Scotland which may support independence.

    • On Brexit, the SNP and Sinn Féin have been waiting and preparing the whole time

      But yesterday, the Scottish First Minister made her move.

      Now we wait for Sinn Féin’s move.

      The SNP and Sinn Féin have been watching and waiting and preparing the whole time.

      The SNP and Sinn Féin have thought hard about how to exploit this political opportunity. Only a fool would underestimate either entity.

      So soon the proper politics of Brexit will begin, with the UK government facing skilled and determined politicians taking full advantage of the power and leverage presented by the government’s policy of a ‘clean’ (ie, hard) Brexit.

      And this is all in addition to the politics of UK’s negotiations with EU27.

      The political Phoney War is coming to an end.

    • Research Shows ATF’s Bogus Stash House Stings Target Poor Minorities, Do Almost Nothing To Slow Flow Of Drugs And Guns

      The ATF’s sting operations have already drawn plenty of criticism. Not from law enforcement agencies who partner up with the ATF for easy busts or the DOJ which oversees them, but from almost everyone else, including federal judges. These stings result in government-made criminals who are led by undercover agents towards robbing fake stash houses of nonexistent drugs, cash, and weapons. The fun thing about the nonexistent drugs is it can be whatever amount ATF agents say it is. And that amount of drugs — that exists nowhere but in the imagination of federal agents — is used to determine lengths of sentences.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • New York City Sues Verizon For Fiber Optic Bait And Switch

      For years now, we’ve highlighted Verizon’s tendency to grab all manner of tax breaks and subsidies from a town or city — in exchange for fiber optic upgrades that are often never delivered. All up and down the eastern seaboard, Verizon was given the keys to the kingdom in franchise and other agreements filled with loopholes that let the telco, time and time again, promise one thing, then deliver another. And because the company enjoys immense lobbying power over regional regulators and state legislatures, Verizon has never really been held accountable for this behavior.

      New York City has been a particular point of contention. In 2008, former mayor Mike Bloomberg and Verizon signed (behind closed doors) a new franchise agreement promising “100% coverage” of FiOS across the city by 2014. As some local reporters had warned at the time (and were promptly ignored), the city’s deal with Verizon contained all manner of loopholes allowing Verizon to wiggle over, under and around its obligations. And wiggle Verizon did; a 2015 city report found huge gaps in deployment coverage — particularly in many of the less affluent, outer city boroughs.

    • USAToday Latest News Outlet To Completely Miss The Point Of Cord Cutting

      So we’ve noted a few times now how every month or so there’s a media report proclaiming that you can’t save any money via cord cutting. The logic in these reports almost always goes something like this: “Once I got done signing up for every damn streaming video service under the sun, I found that I wasn’t really saving much money over traditional cable.”

      Authors leaning on this lazy take almost always tend to forget a few things. One, the same people dictating cable TV rates dictate streaming video rates. Two, adding a dozen streaming services to exactly match your bloated, 300 channel cable subscription misses the entire point of cord cutting. The benefit of streaming is you can pick and choose the content you prefer. And yes, if you prefer a massive bundle of religious programming, horrible reality television, and infomercials, then yes — you may want to stick to paying an arm and a leg for cable.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Canadian Federal Court awards Nintendo C$12.8m in TPM first

        The Canadian Federal Court has shown it isn’t playing when it comes to copyright infringement in game industry, in the first ruling to consider technological protection measures introduced in 2012

      • Prenda May Be Dead, But Copyright Trolling Still Going Strong

        Copyright — with the help of insane $150,000 statutory damages — is still being used as a shakedown weapon, scaring people into paying up, not because of actual infringement, but because copyright trolls have learned how to use the law and the court system as a business model very similar to the one used by organized crime in certain neighbors: pay up or someone’s going to get hurt. The unfortunate “new” part of this is that the “weapon” here isn’t a baseball bat, but federal copyright law and the judicial system.

      • UK Court Grants First Live Blocking Order To Stop New Infringing Streams As Soon As They Start

        As we noted last week, one of the main copyright battlegrounds in the UK concerns the use of Kodi boxes — low-cost devices running the open source Kodi multimedia player, usually augmented with plug-ins that provide access to unauthorized content. One of the popular uses of such Kodi boxes is to watch live streams of sporting events. TorrentFreak reports on an important new court order obtained by the UK’s Football Association Premier League (FAPL) to prevent people from viewing live streams of soccer games free of charge. The problem for the FAPL is that the addresses of the servers streaming matches are often only known once the games begin. To meet that challenge, the court has granted a new kind of injunction: one that allows live blocking.

      • New UK ‘Kodi’ Piracy Blocking Injunction is a Pretty Scary Beast

        The new piracy blocking injunction obtained by the UK’s Premier League is groundbreaking on several levels, court papers have revealed. Not only did the football outfit work closely with Sky, BT and Virgin (who all have a vested interest) but the ISPs also monitored traffic from ‘pirate’ servers requested by their customers. Live blocking of streams will be possible too, with no immediate court oversight.

      • Film Distributor Creates Torrent Site Clone That Gives Away Movie Tickets To Combat Piracy

        Much of the way the movie industry looks to combat film piracy will seem familiar to readers of this site. It typically involves shakedown threat letters, games of DMCA whac-a-mole, and a paint-by-numbers approach that mostly amounts to film studios shaking their lawyers’ fists at the sky. All that produces the status quo, where piracy is still a thing, films still make gobs of money, and regular observers of it all are left scratching our heads wondering how so much noise could be made over it all.

        But I will give credit where credit is due as Costa Rican film distributor Romaly deserves some style and creativity points for its new anti-piracy tactic.

03.14.17

Links 14/3/2017: Pidgin 2.12, MariaDB 10.1.22

Posted in News Roundup at 7:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mirantis shifts again, will offer managed solutions based on open-source technologies

    Mirantis is (or, as we will see, was) known as the pure play OpenStack vendor. The company focused on offering large organizations products and services that helped them leverage the open-source, OpenStack cloud computing platform to build their own clouds for internal or external use.

    Over time, however, there has been some doubt cast upon how much of a market opportunity there is for these sort of OpenStack service providers. The OpenStack ecosystem has been the source of much angst as consolidation, rationalization and unrealized hopes and dreams too their toll.

  • Defense Digital Service open sources first project after revising strategy
  • Web Titans Have Big Influence on Data Center Networking Efforts

    Next-generation data center networking is being driven by open source hardware and software initiatives that are often led by web titans like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and LinkedIn, according to a new report from SDxCentral.

    These web companies are crucial because they can handle the processing, networking, and storage capacity required to serve millions to billions of users, according to SDxCentral’s Next Gen Data Center Networking Report. As a result, these companies and others have moved from proprietary networking devices, to open and streamlined hardware based on merchant silicon, the report says.

  • Open Source Linkerd Project Celebrates First Anniversary in Quest to Become TCP/IP of Microservices
  • Businesses that snub open source ‘will fail’

    Companies who do not use open source software will eventually go tits-up according to a top open saucy type.

    Speaking to the 2017 Google Cloud Next conference, Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin, who claimed that organisations that “don’t harvest the shared innovation” of open source “will fail”.

  • 10 open source software tools for developing IoT applications

    Initially one of the main driving forces behind this IoT revolution was the open source community whose constant experimentation, combined with accelerating technological possibilities, created many new and interesting applications. These applications range from Wi-Fi kettles to smart data analysing machines and everything in between.

    CBR lists some of the best open source software tools for IoT development.

  • Open Source and Cloud Computing: Friends or Foes?

    Are open source software and the cloud good for each other?

    At first glance, the question seems a little silly. After all, cloud computing and open source have both experienced surges in use to the point where nearly every company on the planet uses both. And many analysts suggest that neither one would have experienced their current level of growth without the other.

  • Open source in death and beyond

    Benjamin Franklin was known to say, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” There are open source solutions for completing your taxes, such as Open Tax Solver, but what about the other side of that quote? What does open source have to do with death? It’s quite a lively subject, it seems. I know you are just dying to know, so let’s dig in.

    We all experience death and it becomes a long drawn out process of paperwork and burial rituals that we hope doesn’t weigh too much on the loved ones we’ve left behind. The open source community has given this process some thought, not surprisingly. They’ve lent their mindshare towards rethinking how to deal with that final episode of life. It turns out, not only is open source great in life, but it comes in handy in death, too.

  • INL releases Civet open-source software for developers

    The Idaho National Laboratory has released a new open-source tool for software developers. The Continuous Integration, Verification, Enhancement and Testing tool, or Civet for short, is the latest INL software to be released free to the public on the lab’s GitHub website.

  • Idaho National Laboratory releases Civet open-source software for developers

    Idaho National Laboratory recently released a new open-source tool for software developers. The Continuous Integration, Verification, Enhancement and Testing tool, or Civet for short, is the latest INL software to be released free to the public on the lab’s GitHub website. INL hopes to collaborate with the public to refine this high-quality tool and to improve the productivity of software developers who use it.

  • Leti releases open-source IoT integration framework

    Under development and trials since 2010, SensiNact is a unified framework for integrating, and managing IoT devices via generic application programming interfaces (APIs).

    It enables the collection, aggregation and secure scripting of data from a wide range of communicating objects, regardless of the network communication protocol: LoRa, Sigfox, EnOcean, CoAP, HTTP, MQTT, XMPP, etc.

  • Why Releasing Open Source Software is Good For Your Company

    If you’re reading this article, it’s almost a certainty your business uses open source software. The web hosting industry is one of the foremost beneficiaries of the open source movement. Linux, GNU, MySQL, Apache, PHP, Python, and WordPress — all fruits of open source development that have been embraced by web hosting companies to build products and services. The benefits of using open source software are obvious, but what’s often not so obvious is why web hosts and solution providers should start their own open source projects.

    I’m not talking about giants like Red Hat, Google, and even Microsoft. Their motivations for creating open source projects are clear. Nor am I talking about making the occasional contribution to existing projects — most developers in the industry will make a pull request from time-to-time.

  • GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath on Open Source

    At the Computer History museum, GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath explains how GitHub has grown far beyond its original scope of being a tool just for nerds.

  • How Open-Source IoT Technology Leads to New Business: Webinar Recap
  • Timesys Expands Embedded, Open Source Service Portfolio to Address Mobile and IoT Applications on Linux or Android™
  • Events

    • Opening Up Virtual Reality Development with WebVR

      “Virtual reality (VR) is nothing new — people have been experimenting with it for decades. But only recently, we have come to terms with having commercial hardware like Oculus or HTC Vive to experience and enjoy VR content within our home,” says Rabimba Karanjai, a full-time graduate researcher and Mozilla contributor, who will be speaking about virtual reality development at the upcoming Open Networking Summit.

    • Helping PTG attendees and other developers get to the OpenStack Summit
    • Submitting a Talk To OpenStack Summit

      I haven’t written a post for some time now, been busy creating something very special which i hope to share about really soon. I usually write in this blog about technical things, and i will continue to do this after this post :) but i wanted to share some of the insights i gained both from being a returning speaker and track chair in the recent OpenStack summits.

    • Call for Proposals Now Open for Xen Project Developer and Design Summit 2017

      Do you have an interesting use case around Xen Project technology or best practices around the community? There’s a wide variety of topics we are looking for, including security, embedded environments, network function virtualization (NFV), and more. You can find all the suggested topics for presentations and panels here (make sure you select the Topics tab).

    • Akademy 2017 – Almería, Spain – 22-27 July

      This year’s Akademy will be held at the Universidad de Almería (UAL) in Almería, Spain, from July 22nd to 27th.

      The conference is expected to draw hundreds of attendees from the global KDE Community to discuss and plan the future of the Community and its technology. Many participants from the broad free and open source software community, local organizations and software companies will also attend.

      This year Akademy is being organized together with UNIA and HackLab Almería. Together they have organized various free software events including the successful PyConEs 2016

    • Boundless to Sponsor, Exhibit and Moderate Open Source Education Panel at the Upcoming AAG Annual Meeting
    • Nullcon 2017

      Jörg’s Audit +++ was placed on Wednesday and Thursday including the option to do the OPSE certification. So we spend most of Monday and Tuesday preparing the session and the infrastructure. I built the test environment in the past years. For this issue of the training I switched to OpenStack because the deployment process is faster than the old way with Ansible. In the end I was running a mixture of a classic libvirt setup and OpenStack side by side. The problem was that running Debian 3.x, CentOS 4, and an old release of pfSense doesn’t really work with a tool like OpenStack. To show old vulnerabilities and the difference to a brand-new distribution I still like to use the ancient distributions.

    • SXSW: Compassionate Disruption: Innovation and The Vatican
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • A Public-Private Partnership for Gigabit Innovation and Internet Health

        At Mozilla, we believe in a networked approach — leveraging the power of diverse people, pooled expertise and shared values.

        This was the approach we took nearly 15 years ago when we first launched Firefox. Our open-source browser was — and is — built by a global network of engineers, designers and open web advocates.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Databases

    • Relational vs. Non-Relational Databases: The Tide Is Shifting

      In an ever-changing world, the data surrounding relational and non-relational databases is no different. While there are proponents for both, it seems to be a case by case basis for which is best for a particular environment. And, with the pace of innovation, the answer can be swayed on a frequent basis. With all that being said, the numbers don’t lie, and there is evidence of a shift that is occurring.

      While most of the stalwart SQL related databases (MSSQL, Oracle RDBMS, DB2, etc.) remain stagnant, there has been a decline in interest for MySQL. Might seem surprising given the fact that one of the core components of the original LAMP stack is losing ground. How could that be the case? In essence, a lot has changed since it came into prominence. Most importantly, in my opinion, is that it was purchased by Oracle. No longer an independent entity, you have one company controlling two prominent database choices. Is it possible for Oracle to be unbiased and treat each on its own merits? Perhaps. Only the folks inside the company know the true answer to that. Whatever the answer may be, it goes without question that the momentum that MySQL once had has been subdued.

    • ScyllaDB Takes on Cassandra to Boost Efficiency, Reduce Latency

      Henrik Johansson, senior developer at Eniro, gives a glowing review of the ScyllaDB database system for its part of a microservice-based pipeline used at the Swedish search and directory assistance company where he works.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • LLVM 4.0.0 Release

      It is my pleasure to announce that LLVM 4 is now available.

    • LLVM 4.0 Released

      Hans Wennborg has announced the release of LLVM 4.0 and connected sub-projects like Clang 4.0. LLVM/Clang 4.0 is a big update to this open-source compiler infrastructure stack and also marks the change to their new versioning scheme.

      For release highlights of LLVM/Clang 4.0, see our feature overview for the advancements made to this compiler stack over the past half-year. LLVM 4.0 was supposed to ship back in February but bugs had dragged out the release until today.

    • LLVM 5.0 Should Offer Better AMD Ryzen Performance

      Since January there’s been Zen tuning in LLVM Clang with the “znver1″ flag, similar to the znver1 tuning in GCC that’s been in place since 2015. While LLVM Clang 4.0 has the initial znver1 support, it’s incomplete.

      In LLVM/Clang 4.0 and currently in SVN/Git master, znver1 is relying upon the btver1 scheduler model. Btver1 is for AMD’s Bobcat.

    • OpenBSD vmm/vmd Update (PDF)

      Mike Larkin,
      bhyvecon 2017,
      09 Mar 2017 – Tokyo, Japan

    • pfSense 2.3.3-p1 RELEASE Now Available!

      pfSense software version 2.3.3-p1 is now available! This is a maintenance/errata patch available by running an update from an existing installation and it does not have a standalone installer to download.

    • pfSense 2.3.3-p1 Is Updated to FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE-p17, Includes Security Fixes

      Rubicon Communications’ Jim Pingle is announcing the availability of the pfSense 2.3.3-p1 maintenance update to the world’s most trusted open source firewall based on BSD technologies.

      pfSense 2.3.3-p1 appears to be a small point release that includes an up-to-date base system updated to the FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE-p17 build, fixing the CVE-2016-7055, CVE-2017-3731, and CVE-2017-3732 vulnerabilities. It also includes a total of nineteen security/bug fixes, especially for cURL, which was updated to version 7.53.0 to fix CVE-2017-2629, and OpenSSL.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Pressures up and down the stack drive innovation in open-source hardware

        Technology is complex, and becoming even more so. It used to be that a company could get by with just a few smart people in their tech department. Now, creating and managing tech solutions on an enterprise scale is beyond the power of even the most talented people. As such, industry giants and smaller players alike are converging their compute, networking and storage technologies with common hardware and open standards.

      • Open-Source Prototype Turns Any Room Into a 3D Printer

        Swedish inventor Torbjørn Ludvigsen has spent the last three years developing a new kind of large-format 3D printer that can build furniture-sized objects in any room — surprisingly easily and relatively cheaply. Ludvigsen’s invention, the Hangprinter, employs a system of wires and computer-controlled pulleys anchored to the walls, floor, and ceiling. Once installed, the Hangprinter essentially uses the room itself as a casing.

Leftovers

  • An open leader’s guide to facilitating creativity

    Facilitating an event where people are looking to have a productive conversation or experience isn’t possible without preparation. You need to plan—with the understanding that nothing will happen unless you create a safe space for people to participate.

  • Does Erdogan have a right to hold rallies in Europe?
  • Turkey says all deals with EU in jeopardy if no visa liberalization
  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Parsing the GOP’s Health Insurance Statistics

      There has been a lot of noise lately about the GOP health care plan (AHCA) and the differences to the current plan (ACA or Obamacare). A lot of statistics are being misinterpreted.

      The New York Times has an excellent analysis of some of this. But to pick it apart, I want to highlight a few things:

      Many Republicans are touting the CBO’s estimate that, some years out, premiums will be 10% lower under their plan than under the ACA. However, this carries with it a lot of misleading information.

      [...]

      So, to sum up: the reason that insurance premiums under the GOP plan will rise at a slightly slower rate long-term is that the higher-risk people will be unable to afford insurance in the first place, leaving only the cheaper people to buy in.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Monday
    • How Android and iOS devices really get hacked
    • Security Expert Bruce Schneier on Regulating IoT

      With the Internet of Things already flexing its muscle and showing its potential to be a security nightmare, has the time come for governments to step into the fray and begin regulating the Internet? Security guru Bruce Schneier thinks that may be an inevitability, and says the development community might want to go ahead and start leading the way to assure that regulations aren’t put in place by people who don’t understand tech.

      “As everything turns into a computer, computer security becomes ‘everything security,’” he explained, “and there are two very important ramifications of that. The first is that everything we know about computer security becomes applicable to everything. The second is the restrictions and regulations that the real world puts on itself are going to come into our world, and I think that has profound implications for us in software and especially in open source.”

    • Ioquake3 Pushes Out Important Security Update

      All of those running ioquake3-powered games are encouraged to update their engine installation as soon as possible.

      The developers behind this popular fork of the open-source id Tech 3 engine code have pushed a “large security fix” and all users are encouraged to upgrade prior to connecting to any online servers. Unfortunately, ioquake3 currently doesn’t have any auto-update system to make it easy to roll out game engine updates.

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Reproducible Builds: week 98 in Stretch cycle
    • Audit your systems for security compliance with OpenSCAP

      SCAP stands for Security Content Automation Protocol. It is an open standard which defines methods for security policy compliance, vulnerability management and measurement etc. This article focuses on the operating system compliance part of SCAP.

      It comes originally from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to provide a way for US government agencies to audit its systems for regulatory compliance.

    • [Older] Dahua, Hikvision IoT Devices Under Siege

      “This is like a damn Hollywood hack {sic}, click on one button and you are in…”

    • NCC Group launches bounty for open source security flaw fixes

      Information assurance firm NCC Group has introduced an in-house security fix bounty scheme that rewards its consultants for fixing vulnerabilities in open source software.

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • State Department: Is America’s Oldest Cabinet Agency Trumped?

      What if it’s not incompetence? What if it is by design? What if President Donald Trump has decided American doesn’t really need a Department of State and if he can’t get away with closing it down, he can disable and defund it?

      The only problem is Trump will quickly find out he’ll have to reluctantly keep a few lights on at Foggy Bottom.

      Things do not look good for State. There were no press briefings between Trump taking office on January 20 and some irregular gatherings beginning in early March. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wasn’t seen at several White House meetings where foreign leaders were present, and has taken only two very short trips abroad. Of the 13 sets of official remarks he has given, 10 have been perfunctory messages to countries on their national days, with one speech to his own employees. Sources inside State say he is nowhere to be seen around the building, either in person or bureaucratically via tasking orders and demands for briefings.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil society urges EU institutions to stop the “censorship machine” in the copyright proposal

      EDRi has signed a joint open letter together with 27 other civil society organisations expressing concerns about European Commission’s copyright proposal. The proposal requires internet platforms to use automated upload filtering technologies. This obligation would impact negatively on free speech and democracy by building a system where citizens will face internet platforms blocking the upload of their content, even if it is a perfectly legal use of copyrighted content.

    • Telegram was the app where Iranians talked politics. Then the government caught on

      Over the years, Telegram has helped quench Iranians’ thirst for online political expression in a country where Twitter and Facebook are banned. But leading up to Iran’s presidential election in May, Telegram is now seen by some as a force that’s stifling political speech.

      That’s because in recent months Iranian security and intelligence agencies have begun arresting Telegram users and now require those who run popular Telegram channels to apply for permits — disclosing their identities.

    • Bad Libel Law Strikes Again: Silly UK Twitter Spat Results In Six Figure Payout

      For years we’ve pointed out that UK libel law, in particular, was horrible and easily abused to chill speech. Things appear to have gotten somewhat better — as some really bad cases at least made people realize that some of the more extreme issues needed to be fixed, but on the whole, UK libel law is still incredibly broad, and can and does stifle speech (and, yes, I know, the UK doesn’t have the same free speech protections as the US does — but it should). This latest case is just a good example of why the UK’s standards for libel are so problematic.

      The story involves two columnist/writers in the UK who got into a bit of a Twitter spat. Part of the problem, here, is that a lot of people have very strong emotional opinions about at least one of the parties in the lawsuit. Katie Hopkins has made a name for herself saying outrageous things and has been referred to, multiple times, as a professional troll. There are lots of people who dislike her, and certainly are quite happy to see that she’s come out the big loser in this libel dispute. But before you celebrate, the details here are important, and quite worrisome, if you support freedom of expression.

    • Russian Literature…from Censorship to Market Demand

      Literature was the first field to be affected by Russia’s political changes in the beginning of the nineties after the authorities granted liberty of expression and restricted the roles of government and factional censorship.

      These changes came in line with the Russian community’s need to read banned works of Soviet writers. Some of those writers published their books while in asylum in the West after being accused of national betrayal. At that time, Soviet citizens were banned from traveling abroad unless in special cases, which made them also crave western literature banned under the propaganda of the communist authority.

    • Enough with the ‘snowflake’ slur

      Anyone with the slightest understanding of rhetoric will know that insults are rarely persuasive. Hillary Clinton’s ‘basket of deplorables’ comment was hardly likely to endear her to wavering voters. Likewise, when decent people with genuine misgivings about the European Union were smeared as racist in the run-up to the referendum, a victory for the Leave campaign was secured.

      [...]

      It is difficult to feel anything but contempt for this kind of behaviour, coming as it does from some of the most privileged members of society. The same can be said for the Rhodes Must Fall campaign at Oxford University, where a group of students declared that the statue of the colonialist Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College made them feel ‘unsafe’, and called for the Grade II* listed building to be irrevocably changed.

    • Social Media Providers Could Face Stiff Punishment For Hate Speech, Fake News In Germany

      German Justice Minister Heiko Maas today presented draft legislation to whack social media providers for what the minister described as reluctance to take down hate speech and fake news.

      Social media providers, according to the draft, would have to take down clearly illegal content within 24 hours and illegal content in 7 days along with with any potential copies of the respective contents. All taken down content would have to be stored as evidence and users would have to be informed about the action.

    • First live blocking order granted in the UK

      Can an injunction be sought against an access provider that would require this to block access not to a website [as per the standard scenario] but rather streaming servers giving unauthorised access to copyright content? Can such an injunction consist of a ‘live’ blocking, ie a block limited to when the relevant content is being streamed?

      An application of this kind was recently and successfully made – for the first time as far as the UK is concerned – by the Football Association Premier League (FAPL, supported by other rightholders) against 6 main retail internet service providers (ISPs).

    • Temporary censorship a precaution by Wando principal

      On Thursday, March 9, a Wando High School student called the Moultrie News desperate for answers as to why a student video production had been tabled.

      Valeria Hughen, one of the anchors for Wando’s school news show, Tribe Talk, said that last week’s Tribe Talk episode had been pulled by Principal Sherry Eppelsheimer.

    • Utah Legislators Want To Outlaw Posting Of People’s Pictures And Names With The ‘Intent To Harass’

      Like many bad laws, I’m sure this bill lying on the Utah governor’s desk has its heart in the right place. But, like many bad laws, its head is completely up its ass. Eugene Volokh reports there’s Yet Another Cyberbullying Bill on the threshold of passage. Like many that have come before it, it’s full of constitutional issues and easily-abusable language.

    • Driver Sues State After Receiving Ticket For ‘Obscene’ Stick Figure Vehicle Decal

      The problem with bad laws (well, ONE problem) is they’ll need to be enforced at some point. Legislators pass laws out of fear, boredom, or a desire to look busy. They’ll pass laws to push personal agendas and closely-held beliefs. They’ll pass laws in response to bizarre tragedies so unique they can’t be found in expanded actuarial tables or at the behest of favored industry leaders. Every so often, they’ll even pass laws citizens are demanding. But far too often, they’ll just pass laws because they’re legislators and it’s right there in the job description.

    • Call for Narrower Internet Control Echoes, Despite Censorship

      The Two Sessions in Beijing offer an annual chance for delegates to China’s top legislative and advisory political assemblies to present their own policy suggestions. On March 1, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference vice-chairman Luo Fuhe issued a proposal, translated in full at CDT, for speeding up access to foreign websites. “While we agree that the monitoring and blocking of foreign websites cannot be neglected as part of government efforts to protect the nation’s peace and stability,” Luo wrote, “we must also note that many foreign sites are not political.” He complained of the scientific and economic cost of current internet controls, citing long load times for some valuable sites and the unreliable VPNs or even foreign travel to which many researchers resort. His suggested remedies included a general unblocking of academic and scientific resources, and greater clarity around remaining controls with the compilation of an authoritative list of “negative foreign sites.” Even in the case of news, he added, information should not be blocked simply because it is “contested.”

    • Will China Use Google Scholar to Rewrite History?
    • Google in talks with China to stage a comeback, says a report
    • Google Reportedly in Talks to Stage a Comeback in China
    • Nazri blasts censorship of movies, says ‘enough is enough’
    • ‘Beauty and the Beast’ face censorship in Malaysia

      The cuts come after the movie ran into trouble in Russia, which slapped an adults-only rating on the film last week following pressure by an ultra-conservative lawmaker who was pushing for a ban.

      The film’s director Bill Condon has revealed that it contains Disney’s “first exclusively gay moment”, although some critics have said the reference is extremely mild and fleeting.

    • Malaysia censors ‘gay moment’ in Beauty and the Beast
    • No Beauty and the Beast for Malaysia, even after ‘gay moment’ cut – report
    • Twitter’s censorship may be unconstitutional

      Most Americans know they can speak their mind in the public square, thanks to the First Amendment. Speech on social media, however, can be censored because private companies own those cyber spaces.

      But a recent Supreme Court oral argument suggests Twitter’s practice of banning controversial right-wing pundits could be deemed illegal.

      During a Feb. 27 hearing involving the constitutionality of a state social media law, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that Twitter and Facebook had become, and even surpassed, the public square as a place for discussion and debate.

    • Facebook and Twitter should do more to combat fake news, says GCHQ [Ed: calls for censorship though it already induces self-censorship by spying on every single person]
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Can your smart home be used against you in court?

      While Amazon’s fight has been rendered moot, this case lays groundwork for some tough and important conversations to come, raising a slew of fascinating questions around the technologies. What do devices like the Echo or Google Home actually record and save? Have we, as consumers, effectively surrendered a reasonable right to privacy from corporations and the government by bringing such devices into our home?

    • Big Brothers little helpers
    • WikiLeaks dump brings CIA spying powers into the spotlight
    • Facebook cracks down on devs using data for ‘surveillance’, sort of

      Back in October ACLU, for example, revealed that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter had been passing on users personals to Geofeedia, a shady outfit that provides law enforcement with details on potential activists, or more precisely, according to ACLU, “activists of colour”.

      While Facebook has made steps to stop developers using data for such things, it’s unlikely going to get a thumbs up from the coalition, which has called on Facebook to proactively enforce the policy, rather than relying on automatic detection and reports from users when it messes up.

    • Hands-on with the jacket with Google woven in

      Once paired to a smartphone via Bluetooth, the jacket allows the wearer to control key functions with just a brush or tap of the cuff. A double tap with two fingers, for example, starts or stops music.

    • Trump’s Pick For White House Cyber Post Faces Growing Industry Distrust

      President Donald Trump picked a National Security Agency official to lead White House cybersecurity policy issues during a time when NSA surveillance powers are up for discussion and bad blood exists between the NSA and industry.

    • NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden’s Interview With The Intercept (VIDEO)
    • Snowden at SXSW: Don’t Believe Their Word Games; The NSA Collects Data on Us All
    • Edward Snowden Has Some Advice for Donald Trump About Surveillance
    • Snowden: If Trump So Concerned About Government Spying, He Should Fix It
    • The NSA’s foreign surveillance: 5 things to know

      A contentious piece of U.S. law giving the National Security Agency broad authority to spy on people overseas expires at the end of the year. Expect heated debate about the scope of U.S. surveillance law leading up to Dec. 31.

      One major issue to watch involves the way the surveillance treats communications from U.S. residents. Critics say U.S. emails, texts, and chat logs — potentially millions of them — are caught up in surveillance authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

    • Phone Searches Now Default Mode At The Border; More Searches Last Month Than In *All* Of 2015

      The Constitution — which has always been malleable when national security interests are in play — simply no longer applies at our nation’s borders. Despite the Supreme Court’s finding that cell phone searches require warrants, the DHS and CBP have interpreted this to mean it doesn’t apply to searches of devices entering/leaving the country.

      For the past 15 years, the government has won 9/10 constitutional-violation edge cases if they occurred within 100 miles of our borders — a no man’s land colloquially referred to as the “Constitution-free zone.” But the pace of device searches has increased exponentially over the last couple of years. The “border exception” is no longer viewed as an “exception” — something to be deployed only when customs officers had strong suspicions about a person or their devices. Now, it’s the rule, as NBC News reports.

    • What the CIA WikiLeaks dump tells us: Encryption works

      Documents purportedly outlining a massive CIA surveillance program suggest that CIA agents must go to great lengths to circumvent encryption they can’t break. In many cases, physical presence is required to carry off these targeted attacks.

    • Rand Paul Is Right: NSA Routinely Monitors Americans’ Communications Without Warrants

      On Sunday’s Face the Nation, Sen. Rand Paul was asked about President Trump’s accusation that President Obama ordered the NSA to wiretap his calls. The Kentucky senator expressed skepticism about the mechanics of Trump’s specific charge, saying: “I doubt that Trump was a target directly of any kind of eavesdropping.” But he then made a broader and more crucial point about how the U.S. government spies on Americans’ communications — a point that is deliberately obscured and concealed by U.S. government defenders.

    • We didn’t lose control – it was stolen

      Let me state it plainly: Google and Facebook are not allies in our fight for an equitable future – they are the enemy.

      These platform monopolies are factory farms for human beings; farming us for every gram of insight they can extract.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Feminist porn, printed for her pleasure: Meet the woman behind the all-inclusive Math magazine
    • Locals allegedly refused to perform funeral prayer for recently deceased elderly woman because she voted for Ahok
    • [Old]
      Arkansas Cops Arrest 79-Year Old Legislator who Championed Right to Record Police for Recording Police

      The two Arkansas cops who were so offended by a 79-year old legislator named John Walker who championed people’s Constitutional right to record police that they arrested him for recording a traffic stop.

    • Officers Cite Nonexistent Law In Attempt To Prevent Citizen From Filming Them During A Traffic Stop

      Fortunately for law enforcement officers (but not so much for lowly citizens), courts have routinely affirmed that officers don’t need to know the laws they’re enforcing to stay in the law enforcement business. No one expects cops to be legal scholars, but the least they could do is get a second opinion when they’re faced with a situation where applicable laws may — or just as frequently, may not — exist.

      We’ve seen nonexistent laws abused before. Most of the time, a perceived moving violation acts as the groundwork for a fishing expedition. This is fine, sayeth the courts. Other times, nonexistent laws are cited to shut down photographers or harass people otherwise minding their own business.

    • Extra Digit Accidentally Typed By Officer Turns UK Man Into A Pedophile

      What’s a few typos between you and a friend a few cops? Nothing, really. The lives they ruin will not be their own.

      UK resident Nigel Lang lost more than two years of his life to a typo. He was never jailed, but the life he lived was bereft of freedom. Thanks to the addition of a single wrong digit, Lang’s house was raided, his electronics seized, and his life’s goals rerouted.

      [...]

      It took more than a year before anyone would even entertain the idea that some error might have been made. At first, Lang, who is black, suspected this wrongful arrest might have been racially-motivated. But the IP address mistakenly entered by law enforcement was registered to his partner, who is white. He then tried to get to the bottom of why police had targeted him in the first place. If anyone wonders why so few complaints against law enforcement result in punishment, here’s part of the answer: the complaint process is unofficially discouraged by officers and staff.

    • Amos Yee said he is scared of returning to S’pore if US asylum bid fails

      With his United States asylum bid tentatively hanging in the balance post-court hearing, Singaporean not-a-boy-not-yet-a-man Amos Yee said he is afraid of being deported back to Singapore.

      The 18-year-old made this comment in a March 10 interview with The Associated Press via phone from “a Wisconsin detention center” where he is currently held.

    • [Older] Howard Root: I’m ‘not guilty,’ yes, but outraged by unjust prosecution

      You think prosecutors search for the truth? The Department of Justice rewards its prosecutors for convictions, not exonerations. The government agent who conducted our investigation said “it’s not my job to make the defense’s argument” when interviewing witnesses. A senior government lawyer publicly boasted that our case was “hand-picked” by prosecutors who “went on the offensive” because they had such a strong case. Search for the truth be damned.

    • Chatbot That Helped Beat $4 Million In Bogus Parking Tickets Now Handling Asylum Applications

      Last year, 19-year-old UK student Josh Browder released a chatbot called “DoNotPay” that assisted drivers in challenging parking tickets. It was a small program with a huge upside. The bot’s legal guidance — in the form of yes/no questions — resulted in more than $4 million in tickets being dismissed.

      Chatbots are no replacement for lawyers, but almost no one seeks legal help when dealing with parking tickets. That’s probably why law/traffic enforcement agencies feel comfortable issuing so many bogus ones. DoNotPay not only saved UK residents millions of dollars, it also proved the ticketing system was fundamentally broken. More than 64% of the 250,000 tickets challenged were overturned.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Move Over, Series Of Tubes, The Internet Is Now A Bridge Over A Creek For A Dozen People?

      Net neutrality is about how massive, giant internet access providing monopolists and duopolists want to double dip and double charge for the value provided at the endpoints, rather than being satisfied with getting paid for the value they provide in connecting the end points. The issue has nothing to do with millions of people rushing through a “pipeline” that was built for “maybe a dozen people” and somehow “ruining lawns” (?!?) while doing so. Nothing in net neutrality has anything to do with over-clogging local pipes. In fact, it allows for standard network management. And again, going back years and years and years, internet backbone experts have pointed out that there’s capacity to spare. There are no ruined lawns. There are no distraught home owners wishing to “talk a lot” to their 11 closest neighbors, dismayed that a million people are trampling their lawns.

    • Senate Democrats question FCC chair’s independence from Trump

      Pai also said he would “absolutely” operate independently of the White House, but Democrats questioned whether he will really do so in their letter Friday.

      “While you have long claimed to be an advocate for the freedom of the press and the First Amendment, your silence on the matter and refusal to take a stand against threats levied at the media is troubling given your regulatory and oversight role over the industry,” the Democrats wrote. “Moreover, such a lack of response could call into question the ongoing independence of the FCC under your watch.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • MacroSolve: Donald Trump Jr.’s favorite patent enforcer

      MacroSolve’s actions soon made it part of a longstanding debate in the tech industry over “patent trolls,” companies that do little or no business other than filing patent lawsuits. But MacroSolve management never accepted the idea that the company was a “troll,” and it said so in interviews.

      “If you enforce your rights, you’re a troll,” MacroSolve CEO Jim McGill said in a 2014 interview with Ars Technica. “If you don’t, big companies will walk all over you.”

    • [Older] Canadian Government on U.S. Special 301: We Don’t Recognize Validity of Flawed Report

      The Government of Canada does not recognize the validity of the process as the findings tend to rely predominantly on allegations from U.S. industry stakeholders rather than on objective analysis.

    • Trademarks

      • ‘Thru Dropbox’ Trademark Registrant’s ‘Bad Faith’ Litigation Results In $2 Million Fee Award To Dropbox

        Thru, Inc. made a mess of its registered trademark by allowing it to lie dormant. It registered “Thru Dropbox” but made no attempt to challenge Dropbox’s application for the term “DROPBOX” in 2009. Instead, it sat back and watched as Dropbox grabbed market share. Five years after it filed its application, the trademark was awarded to Dropbox. Only then did Thru, Inc. act, so to speak. It acted like the horrified victim of Dropbox’s motion for declaratory judgment, one that would uncontestably award the “Dropbox” registration solely to the cloud storage service. Thru countersued, claiming infringement. Bad move.

    • Copyrights

      • Australia Copyright Safe Harbour Provision Backed By Prime Minister

        In Australia, however, the situation is less certain. Due to what some believe amounts to a drafting error in Australia’s implementation of the Australia – US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA), so-called safe harbor provisions only apply to commercial Internet service providers.

        This means that while local ISPs such as Telstra receive protection from copyright infringement complaints, places like schools, universities, museums, libraries and archives do not.

      • Photocopying Textbooks Is Fair Use In India: Western Publishers Withdraw Copyright Suit Against Delhi University

        Back in September last year, Mike wrote about the remarkable court ruling in India that copyright is not inevitable, divine or a natural right. As we have been reporting since 2013, the case in question was brought by three big Western publishers against Delhi University and a photocopy shop over “course packs” — bound collections of photocopied extracts from books and journals that are sold more cheaply than the sources. Although the High Court of Delhi ruled that photocopying textbooks in this way is fair use, that was not necessarily the end of the story: the publishers might have appealed to India’s Supreme Court.

03.13.17

Links 13/3/2017: Linux 4.11 RC2, SteamVR Experiments on GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 6:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How to grow healthy open source project infrastructures

    In 2013 I joined the OpenStack Infrastructure team. In the four years I spent with the team, I learned a considerable amount about the value of hosting an infrastructure for an open source project in the open itself.

    In 2014 I gave a talk at All Things Open and was interviewed by Jason Baker about how we’d done our systems administration in the open. My involvement on this team led me to advocate for systems administrators to use revision control and learn about tools for working with a distributed team. At the OpenStack Summit in Austin in 2016, our team did a talk on navigating the open source OpenStack Infrastructure.

    The leadership of the OpenStack project in the space of open source infrastructures inevitably led us to encounter other open source projects that were similarly open sourcing their entire, or portions of, the infrastructure used in their project. In February of 2016, I launched OpenSourceInfra.org to begin tracking these infrastructures. The source for this site is hosted on GitLab, and we’ve seen a steady increase in merge proposals to add new projects over the past several months.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Surf Demystified

      Surf is a simple, lightweight browser from Suckless Tools, the same people who brought you dmenu and dwm. When compiled and configured right, Surf is incredibly robust and stable, able to handle most websites extremely well, and it has a clean and simple layout without buttons and bars to encroach on the web material you’re reading. Unfortunately, Surf is underdocumented, so most who try Surf give up after a few minutes, moving on to Firefox or Chromium or Palemoon or Midori. This web page serves as the needed documentation to make Surf a pleasure to work with.

      Surf gains a new credibility and significance now (2017), because in 2017, most browsers have declined in stability and performance, over the last several years, to the point where several of them are unusable on various distros.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • When the memory allocator works against you

        Cloning mozilla-central with git-cinnabar requires a lot of memory. Actually too much memory to fit in a 32-bits address space.

        I hadn’t optimized for memory use in the first place. For instance, git-cinnabar keeps sha-1s in memory as hex values (40 bytes) rather than raw values (20 bytes). When I wrote the initial prototype, it didn’t matter that much, and while close(ish) to the tipping point, it didn’t require more than 2GB of memory at the time.

        Time passed, and mozilla-central grew. I suspect the recent addition of several thousands of commits and files has made things worse.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Collabora Rolls Out CODE 2.0 Update

      Collabora has announced an update to their Online Development Edition 2.0 platform.

      Collabora Online Development Edition 2.0 is part of the consulting firm’s effort around improving LibreOffice Online. CODE 2.0 can be deployed via Docker for easily hosting your own online office suite. Those unfamiliar with CODE and its relation to LibreOffice Online can learn more via the project page.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • GNU Toolchain now accepting donations with the support of the Free Software Foundation

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is now accepting donations to support the GNU Toolchain, a collection of foundational freely licensed software development tools. Many pieces of software depend upon the GNU Toolchain, including the GNU/Linux family of operating systems which runs the majority of Web servers, millions of personal devices and the most advanced supercomputers.

    • SPI Inc Ended 2016 Managing 2.48 Million USD For Open-Source Projects

      For those curious, here is how much various open-source projects have in the bank.

      SPI Inc, Software in the Public Interest, is the non-profit organization serving as the organizational steward for many open-source projects from Arch Linux and Debian to recently X.Org. SPI Inc also manages the finances for smaller projects like Drizzle, GNUstep, YafaRay, HeliOS, Fluxbox, and many others. Those that somehow never heard of SPI Inc can learn more about their efforts via SPI-Inc.org.

  • BSD

    • DragonFlyBSD 4.8 Up To Release Candidate Phase

      A few hours ago, DragonFlyBSD 4.8 RC was tagged. This is a significant update with the changes to DragonFly since the 4.6 release last August. DragonFly in this time has seen improved UEFI installation support, NUMA-awareness and memory changes, updated DRM graphics driver code, expanded LibreSSL support, dropped PulseAudio, and many other changes.

    • Intel To Increase Engagement With FreeBSD, Makes $250k Donation

      Intel is going to more actively engage with the FreeBSD project and they’ve also made a hefty donation to the FreeBSD Foundation.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Health, openSUSE Pioneer Shift in Healthcare Management

      The GNU Health Project is one of many noble open-source projects and the openSUSE Project is pleased to announce it has donated 10 Raspberry Pis to help expand the use and development of the project on affordable ARM hardware.

      GNU Health, which is a non-profit, non-government organizations (NGO), delivers free open-source software for health practitioners, health institutions and governments worldwide.

  • Programming/Development

    • Favored Swift hits the charts: Now in top 10 programming languages

      In March, the Swift programming language rose to became the 10th most popular, at least by the measure of TIOBE Software.

      Open-sourced by Apple in 2015, Swift has been touted as an appealing alternative to better-established programming languages because of its safety, speed, and approachable syntax. It combines modern language features like garbage collection and type safety with readability, not to mention decent documentation.

      Swift is also ranked 10 in the PYPL Index, which derives its data from Google Trends. RedMonk’s ranking from 2016 shows Swift a bit further back in the pack.

      [...]

      Swift also happens to top GitHub’s list of programming languages being actively developed on the site (which of course omits development activity elsewhere).

Leftovers

  • [Old] Daylight Saving Time is hot garbage

    This story was originally published on March 12, 2016. It has been updated to include video but has not otherwise been edited as Daylight Saving Time remains trash.

  • EMU students: Don’t spend tuition money on new football facility [iophk: "dumbing down of USA continues"]

    “Over the course of the last several years Eastern Michigan University has been forced to make a series of incredibly tough cuts to many academic and student programs,” the student government letter said. “Meanwhile, the athletics department has enjoyed generous increases to its budget. These priorities are misplaced.”

  • [Old] Why Nothing Works Anymore

    Most of these failures don’t seem like failures, because users have so internalized their methods that they apologize for them in advance.

  • [Old] Code-Dependent: Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age

    Algorithms are often elegant and incredibly useful tools used to accomplish tasks. They are mostly invisible aids, augmenting human lives in increasingly incredible ways. However, sometimes the application of algorithms created with good intentions leads to unintended consequences. Recent news items tie to these concerns …

  • Eight major announcements at Google Cloud Next 2017: Customer wins, partnerships, machine learning and more
  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • 6 Ways Living In The Big City Is Secretly {sic} Killing You

      Research by the Center For Disease Control shows “over 40 percent of the states that reported lead test results in 2014 have higher rates of lead poisoning among children than Flint.” And the good news doesn’t stop there. According to the World Health Organization, exposure to lead causes irreversible and significant behavioral and developmental problems in children that affect them throughout their lives.

    • Americans’ sex lives have gone limp—lovemaking fell ~15% since the ’90s

      American adults reported having nine fewer romps a year in the early 2010s than they did in the late 1990s—dropping from an average of about 62 times a year between 1995 and 2000 to around 53 a year between 2010 and 2014. Researchers saw declines across ages, races, religions, education levels, employment statuses, and regions. They linked the sagging numbers to two trends: an increase in singletons over that period—who tend to have less sex than married or partnered people—plus a slow-down in the sex lives of married and coupled people. But the drivers of those trends are still unclear.

      The study is based on data from a long-standing national survey called the General Social Survey (GSS). It involves a nationally representative sample of Americans over 18 years old, surveyed most years between 1972 and 2014. The new study involved responses from 26,620 Americans.

    • Industry tracker: Bottled water overtakes pop in U.S.
    • Nestle wants more Michigan water

      some experts note that because Ice Mountain water is
      shipped out of state, it’s not returned to the water
      table

    • WHO: Environmental Pollution Kills 1.7M Children Under Five Every Year

      Environmental pollution kills more than 1 in 4 children under the age of five every year – that’s 1.7 million children worldwide.

      The World Health Organization warns these child deaths will increase dramatically if action is not taken to reduce environmental risks.

      WHO examines the impact of harmful environments on children’s health and offers solutions in two new studies, “Inheriting a Sustainable World: Atlas on Children’s Health and the Environment” and a companion report, “Don’t pollute my future! The impact of the environment on children’s health.”

      The authors agree that air pollution is the biggest killer and is responsible for 6.5 million premature deaths every year, including nearly 600,000 deaths among children under age five.

    • Up to two years for Flint to have clean water

      It could take another two years to end the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

      Mayor Karen Weaver wrote this week that the city won’t be able to treat its drinking water until August 2019.

      Flint’s drinking water contained dangerous levels of lead after the city switched its water source three years ago.

    • Flint water cost to rise as state ends subsidy

      In Flint, Michigan, residents still must use a filter to drink tap water, but the cost of that water will soon increase. The state is ending a subsidy program that reduced customers’ water bills after Flint’s water was contaminated with lead in 2014. Michigan Radio reporter Steve Carmody joins Hari Sreenivasan from Flint to discuss.

  • Security

    • Apache Struts Vulnerability Under Attack

      An easy to exploit remote code execution flaw discovered in the widely used open-source Apache Struts 2 framework has been patched, but that’s not stopping attackers from attempting to exploit vulnerable systems.

      The open-source Apache Struts 2 technology is a widely used framework component in Java applications and it’s currently under attack. The attacks follow the March 6 disclosure by the Struts project for a Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerability identified as CVE-2017-5638.

    • An insecure mess: How flawed JavaScript is turning web into a hacker’s playground

      An analysis of over 133,000 websites has found that 37 percent of them have at least one JavaScript library with a known vulnerability.

      Researchers from Northeastern University have followed up on research in 2014 that drew attention to potential security risks caused by loading outdated versions of JavaScript libraries, such as such as jQuery, and the AngularJS framework in the browser.

    • The Big Hack – the Day Cars Drove Themselves Into Walls and the Hospitals Froze

      I have decided to submit a story from the hypothetical future, published by New York Magazine 9 months ago, one that I picked while browsing whatever I missed since my last visit on Schneier on security.

    • Pennsylvania Senate Democrats resist ransom in cyberattack [iophk: "Microsoft on site to prevent defection"]

      Microsoft was doing a forensic audit to try to figure out who penetrated the network and how…

    • Security firm issues patch for another Windows 0-day

      A security firm that issued a patch for a Windows zero-day vulnerability last week has done a repeat, this time for a vulnerability that potentially allows arbitrary remote code execution in Internet Explorer 11.

    • Students to go head to head in cyber games competition [iophk: "cyber, cyber, cyber, cyber, ..."]
    • SCALE 15x Keynote: Karen Sandler – In the Scheme of Things, How Important is Software Freedom?
    • Church of England puts a stop to ransomware with Darktrace

      Attackers certainly were getting in: up until Jennings bumped into Darktrace at a trade show, the Church was being hit with ransomware attacks, as many as three or four in the space of six to eight weeks. In all instances the problem was internal – Jennings admits that IT literacy is not particularly high in the organisation – usually through a malicious email.

    • Australian start-up testing new online voting system [Ed: Another terrible idea; see Vault 7; everything has back doors. Use paper.]

      An Australian start-up that is currently testing what it says is the biggest dry run of an electronic voting system is confident that it can gradually make headway into getting its system taken up in the country.

      XO.1 is in the process of running a 24-hour stress test of its SecureVote system using the bitcoin blockchain network. The test began at 2am AEST this morning.

    • The Nintendo Switch already hacked through a known vulnerability?

      It appears that the not-so-well hidden Nintendo Switch browser shipped with a bunch of old vulnerabilities that hackers were able to leverage. Yesterday, hacker qwertyoruiop (known for Jailbreaks of multiple iOS versions, and who also contributed to the PS4 1.76 Jailbreak) posted a screenshot of what seems to be a Webkit exploit running on the Nintendo Switch.

    • Linux: fix an existing bug for 11 years in the Kernel
    • Security, Consumer Reports, and Failure

      As one can imagine there were a fair number of “they’ll get it wrong” sort of comments. They will get it wrong, at first, but that’s not a reason to pick on these guys. They’re quite brave to take this task on, it’s nearly impossible if you think about the state of security (especially consumer security). But this is how things start. There is no industry that has gone from broken to perfect in one step. It’s a long hard road when you have to deal with systemic problems in an industry. Consumer product security problems may be larger and more complex than any other industry has ever had to solve thanks to things such as globalization and how inexpensive tiny computers have become.

    • Consumer Reports to Begin Evaluating Products, Services for Privacy and Data Security

      The standard as it’s now written is a first draft. We hope that everyone from engineers to industry groups to concerned parents will get involved in shaping future versions of it. We’ve placed the standards on GitHub, a website that’s widely used by software developers to share ideas and work on group projects. Because GitHub can be hard for newcomers to navigate, we’ve also built a website that has the same information.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • ICE detainees are asking to be put in solitary confinement for their own safety

      The logs show that life inside the facilities can be so dangerous and hostile that numerous detainees have voluntarily admitted themselves to solitary confinement just to seek refuge from the general population.

    • The Coming War On China

      Peter and Mickey spend the hour looking at “The Coming War On China,” the latest film from the prolific documentarian John Pilger. The film looks at the untold history of U.S.-China relations, the Pacific military buildup by both countries, and life in China today. The first half of this week’s show presents audio excerpts from the film, then in the second half, John Pilger joins the program for an interview.

    • Dreams of ‘Winning’ Nuclear War on Russia

      Official Washington’s anti-Russian hysteria has distorted U.S. politics while also escalating risks of a nuclear war as U.S. war planners dream of “winning” a first-strike attack on Russia, reports Jonathan Marshall.

    • Assad’s Control Erodes as Warlords Gain Upper Hand

      On a cool morning, an elderly man is standing at his espresso machine on a street in eastern Aleppo. It’s shortly after 8 a.m., and this part of the city — destroyed in the war and reconquered by the regime in December — is waking up. Green grocers arrive and set out their boxes of produce on the rubble piled in front of their stores. Others are shoveling debris from the roads.

      The name of the man with the espresso machine must go unmentioned, otherwise he would soon be dead. A fire is burning in a metal drum next to his improvised coffee counter, and he is using it to periodically warm his hands. Several weeks ago, just after the neighborhood was retaken, he returned to the small workshop where he had run a motorcycle repair shop — but it was already too late. He immediately saw that someone had shot open the lock.

    • The Deep State and the Dark Arts

      We should note the importance of the media in all this storyline, albeit fictional. The dark arts of propaganda aren’t overtly mentioned, but they are the pivotal tools that will animate the destruction of Bob’s career. All sound strangely familiar? It should. It’s pretty much the script the intelligence community uses as its modus operandi when it needs to deal with an inconvenient public servant.

    • New Evidence Contradicts Pentagon’s Account of Yemen Raid, But General Closes the Case

      The Pentagon’s top Middle East commander told Congress on Thursday that he found no signs of “poor decision-making or bad judgment” in a January raid in Yemen that killed 10 children and at least six women, as well as Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens.

      “I made the determination that there was no need for an additional investigation into this particular operation,” said Gen. Joseph Votel.

      Earlier on Thursday, The Intercept published its own investigation of the raid based on eyewitnesses, including a 5-year-old who described how his mother was gunned down while trying to flee what other family members said was indiscriminate gunfire from a helicopter.

    • Rocks thrown through local pastor’s window after Zoning Board knocks down Muslim community center
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Earth’s oceans are warming 13% faster than thought, and accelerating

      One main outcome of the study is that it shows we are warming about 13% faster than we previously thought. Not only that but the warming has accelerated. The warming rate from 1992 is almost twice as great as the warming rate from 1960. Moreover, it is only since about 1990 that the warming has penetrated to depths below about 700 meters.

    • Pruitt Emails Reveal Communications with ALEC and Koch Groups

      Emails released to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) reveal close ties between Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and the fossil fuel interests that fund ALEC, including the Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity Group.

      The emails were obtained after the Center for Media and Democracy filed an open records lawsuit against Pruitt for his two-year-long failure to respond to our open records requests for his email correspondence with major fossil fuel corporations. The court ordered Pruitt to release thousands of emails which are now online and available for public inspection, but CMD is still in court seeking to obtain 1,600 pages withheld and responses to eight additional open records requests.

    • iGreenpeace to take Indonesian forestry ministry to Supreme Court over environmental data

      Greenpeace wants the ministry to release a range of data
      pertaining to the management of the country’s natural resources,
      especially in the forestry, agribusiness and mining sectors. Much of the
      data is already available as PDF and JPEG files, but Greenpeace is
      specifically seeking it in the [original] shapefile (SHP) format.

    • The climate change lawsuit the Trump administration is desperate to stop going to trial

      The lawsuit – the first of its kind – argues the federal government has violated the constitutional right of the 21 plaintiffs to a healthy climate system.

    • Standing Rock’s Next Stand

      It’s worth noting that the same afternoon officers cleared the camp, North Dakota governor Doug Burman signed into law three bills that will seriously impact future protests: they expanded criminal trespass laws, scaled up criminal penalties for rioting, and criminalized wearing masks and hoods while violating the law (though nearly everyone covers their faces and heads outdoors during the long and frigid Dakota winter).

    • Living above a century-old coal fire, Jharia residents pay the price for India’s mining ambitions
    • EPA chief clings to his own fantasy by denying overwhelming evidence on CO2 and climate change

      For years, the fossil fuel industry has worked to stir doubt about climate science, give credibility to climate deniers, and sway public opinion — much like the tobacco industry did with lung cancer. Pruitt has done the same.

    • Protesters urge LA to sever ties w/ Wells Fargo over Dakota Access Pipeline

      “We’re encouraging the city of L.A. to end their relationship with Wells Fargo and to adopt a new responsible banking ordinance that will raise a higher standard for the kind of banks that we do business with,” protester David Calvillo said.

    • Cops get warrant to search an anti-Dakota Access Pipeline Facebook page

      On February 16, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Department obtained a search warrant from the county to search the Bellingham NoDAPL Coalition’s Facebook page. In particular, the department wants “messages, photos, Videos, wall posts and Location information (IP address login)” connected to the account.

    • Poachers kill rhino for his horn at French zoo
    • Poachers intercept tagging signals to hunt down endangered animals
    • ‘Parched’ Chinese city plans to pump water from Russian lake via 1,000km pipeline [iophk: "removed from the watershed region means drained forever"]

      …facing a calamitous shortage thanks to urbanisation, over-use, wastage and pollution.

    • [Older] The Dakota Access Pipeline, Environmental Injustice, and U.S. Colonialism
    • Suppressed memo shows many failings in Corps review of Dakota Access plan

      Their data indicates that since 1996, there has been an average of over 283 such incidents per year, with total annual incidents trending upward since 2013.

    • American Indians gather in D.C. for four-day protest against Trump, Dakota Access pipeline

      Starting Tuesday, tribal members and supporters plan to camp each day on the National Mall, with teepees, a ceremonial fire, cultural workshops and speakers. Native American leaders also plan to lobby lawmakers to protect tribal rights.

      On Friday, a march of about 2 miles is planned from the Army Corps of Engineers office to the White House, where a rally is scheduled.

    • Indonesian Palm Oil’s Stranded Assets: 10 Million Football Fields
    • Indonesia’s Palm Oil Landbank Expansion Limited By Proposed Moratorium And NDPE Policies

      After 25 years of aggressive palm oil development, which saw concession areas grow from 1 million ha to 21 million ha, the Government of Indonesia is now taking steps to limit further landbank expansion. These measures come at the same time that compliance with No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) is increasingly becoming a condition for market access and that public monitoring capacities are rapidly improving. These trends increase pressures within the Indonesian palm oil industry to seek other growth strategies.

    • Water-Bombing Choppers Bound for Riau’s Forest Fires

      The National Disaster Mitigation Agency, or BNPB, will send water-bombing helicopters to Riau in Sumatra as soon as possible since dozens of fire hot spots have been detected in the province last week.

      An MI-171 helicopter, which can carry up to 5,000 liters of water, will be used to help aerial firefighters in Riau, BNPB head Willem Rampangilei said in Pekanbaru on Tuesday (28/02).

    • Satao II: One of Africa’s last giant tusker elephants is killed ‘with poison arrow’ in Kenya

      One of Kenya’s last tusker elephants has been killed by poachers, conservationists have said.

      Satao II’s body was found during a routine aerial reconnaissance by the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) near the Voi river in Tsavo East National Park, according to the Tsavo Trust, a non profit conservation group which helps manage the park.

      While the cause of death is unknown, the trust said it was “believed to be from poisoned arrow”.

    • With White House Embracing Climate Denial, Will Corporate Media Treat It as Science?

      If the public rollout of the Trump administration’s new EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, is any indication, the Earth’s climate will suffer even greater, irreversible damage during the next four years. And the corporate media’s coverage of it may only make it worse.

    • Another Sign Just Came in That Tar Sands Operations Are on Life Support

      Royal Dutch Shell announced Thursday that it is selling off the majority of its tar sands assets, as its chief executive noted dwindling “societal acceptance of the energy system as we have it.”

      Of the $7.25 billion deal with energy company Canadian Natural, Shell said in a statement that it will “sell all of its in-situ and undeveloped oil sands interests in Canada and reduce its share in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) from 60 percent to 10 percent.”

    • Zoos are prisons for animals – no one needs to see a depressed penguin in the flesh

      That a zoo in Cumbria is having its licence revoked as a result of nearly 500 animals dying there over a two-year period comes as no shock – but it still slightly surprises me that anybody thinks that we should have zoos at all. The animals always look miserable in captivity. If you don’t believe me, visit a farm park. It’s as likely as not that you will see a goat, pleading with its eyes to be euthanised, while a sign on the enclosure says: “Gerry the goat is quite the character – he often plays a game in which he looks like he has been crying for many, many hours!”

      A lot of zoos play the conservation angle, which is a rationale that has been reverse engineered. That’s not really why zoos exist. Zoos exist so that we can wander round with our children and say: “No, don’t bang the glass, Timothy, he’s getting agitated,” before going home to post on Facebook about the educational day that we have had.

      The argument that zoos have educational merit might have once seemed convincing, but there is less reason to see animals in captivity than ever before. David Attenborough’s Planet Earth shows you all the animals you could ask for in their natural habitat, with added drama and narrative arcs. We are surely only a few series away from filming inside the animals, with Attenborough using his dulcet tones to give the origin story of an elephant turd. Why, then, do we need to see them in prison?

  • Finance

    • Uber Deal Giving Drivers $1 Each Fails to Win Over Judge

      Uber Technologies Inc. failed to persuade a judge to approve a settlement offering 1.6 million California drivers an average of $1.08 each to dispense with alleged labor-code violations that their lawyer earlier claimed might have been worth billions of dollars.

    • How to keep Uber from becoming a terrifying monopoly

      Uber is having a terrible spell of bad press. First came the #DeleteUber campaign, in which hundreds of thousands of users deleted their accounts after the company undermined a pro-refugee protest among taxi cab drivers at JFK airport in New York City. Then came harrowing allegations, which Uber denies, about a culture of grotesque sexism and sexual harassment from a former female Uber engineer. Then Google sued Uber for alleged patent infringement as part of its driverless car program. Then Uber CEO Travis Kalanick had to apologize after getting caught on video fighting with a driver. Most recently, The New York Times reported the company uses a tool called “Greyball” to prevent local politicians and regulators from collecting data on its service. Outrage against the company has reached a fever pitch.

    • Uber’s Silicon Valley Employees May Be Looking to Jump Ship
    • Will the TPP Live on in NAFTA and RCEP?

      The collapse of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was the worst defeat suffered by big content since we killed SOPA and PIPA five years ago. But our opponents are persistent, well-funded, and stealthy, and we can’t expect them to give up that easily. So, just as they have continued to push for SOPA-like Internet censorship mechanisms in various other fora, so too we have been keeping a watchful eye for the recycling of TPP proposals into other trade negotiations. It hasn’t taken long for that to happen.

    • ‘The millennial side hustle,’ not stable job, is the new reality for university grads

      Even though economic indicators that track employment reveal a trend toward more precarious jobs, Ellis-Hale says most of her students don’t see that as their future. She didn’t either, but that’s how things turned out.

    • Old world squanders opportunity to tame bitcoin a little

      The American SEC, which oversees financial institutions, has rejected a bid to create a traditional trading fund (an ETF) based on bitcoin.

      [...]

      It should be noted that other similar constructs, with non-American names, exist elsewhere since some time ago. For example, bitcoin is already traded as a security like this on the Stockholm Nasdaq exchange, where it was first to launch.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • There Really Was A Liberal Media Bubble
    • Trump and Brexit hurt Hungary, says liberal presidential candidate

      Donald Trump’s election and the prospect of Brexit have weakened democracy and civil society in Hungary just as campaigners are fighting against a rising tide of authoritarianism, the liberal candidate for the country’s presidential election has said.

      László Majtényi said the psychological impact of Trump’s arrival in the White House represented a greater setback for civil groups in Hungary and other former communist eastern European countries than it did in the US, where he said democracy was probably robust enough to survive.

    • Senators to White House: How Will Kushner Avoid Overlap Between Business Empire and Government Work?

      Two senators and a congressman are pressing the White House to disclose exactly how Jared Kushner will comply with conflict of interest laws.

      Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., sent a letter to the Trump administration Wednesday, prompted by our recent story that detailed how Kushner, a top aide to President Trump, is keeping parts of his family real-estate empire.

    • Democrats Now Demonize the Same Russia Policies that Obama Long Championed

      One of the most bizarre aspects of the all-consuming Russia frenzy is the Democrats’ fixation on changes to the RNC platform concerning U.S. arming of Ukraine. The controversy began in July when the Washington Post reported that “the Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces.”

    • Over 19,300 arrested in China for telecom frauds
    • Nigel Farage visits Ecuadorian Embassy, home of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

      Farage went to the embassy Thursday morning and stayed
      for roughly 40 minutes, leaving around noon, according to a report by
      BuzzFeed. When a reporter from the site confronted Farage, he claimed
      that he didn’t remember why he had been at the embassy.

    • Sessions asks 46 Obama-era US attorneys to resign
    • Meet the Hundreds of Officials Trump Has Quietly Installed Across the Government

      around 520 staffers were being hired for the beachhead
      {sic} teams.”

      [...]

      The list is striking for how many former lobbyists it
      contains

    • Purple America Has All But Disappeared

      Of the nation’s 3,113 counties (or county equivalents),
      just 303 were decided by single-digit margins — less than 10 percent. In
      contrast, 1,096 counties fit that description in 1992, even though that
      election featured a wider national spread.

    • Geert Wilders labels Turkey’s President Erdogan a ‘dictator’ as he steps back in front of the cameras

      Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu was
      planning to campaign in the Netherlands to encourage Dutch-Turkish dual
      nationals to vote in an April referendum to expand Mr Erdogan’s powers.

    • Erdoğan accuses Germany of ‘Nazi practices’ over blocked political rallies

      The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has lashed out at Germany for blocking several rallies on its soil in the run-up to a referendum in Turkey, likening its stance to Nazi practices.

      “Your practices are not different from the Nazi practices of the past,” he said of Germany at a women’s rally in Istanbul before the referendum on changes to the constitution that would bolster his powers as president.

      “I thought it’s been a long time since Germany left [Nazi practices]. We are mistaken,” he added.

    • George W. Bush Now on Right Side of Press Corps’s Nostalgia Machine

      As numerous commentators in independent media pointed out, Bush’s record in the White House should hardly be whitewashed. The Trump policies and ideologies Bush criticized were often ones his own administration had winked at or openly promoted.

      This type of post-presidency image rehabilitation is nothing new in American politics; US news media have been massaging the images of Oval Office alumni for decades. Last-guy normalization is used as a cudgel to cajole or shame the current president into adapting or rejecting any number of political policies or priorities.

    • ‘We Are Conditioned by Mass Media to Choose Up Sides’ – CounterSpin interview with Norman Solomon on Trump and Russia
    • During his political rise, Stephen K. Bannon was a man with no fixed address

      In the three years before he became Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon lived as a virtual nomad in a quest to build a populist political insurgency.

      No presidential adviser in recent memory has followed such a mysterious, peripatetic path to the White House. It was as though he was a man with no fixed address.

    • The U.S. Government Did Not Revoke Khizr Khan’s ‘Travel Privileges’

      You remember Khizr Khan (above), the guy who used his soldier son, killed in Iraq, as a prop at the Democratic National Convention to criticize Trump’s immigration policy and help elect Hillary Clinton? Well, like all good Americans, Khan exploited his exploitation into a minor media career. He was booked to talk in Canada by a speaker’s bureau called Ramsey Talks. A decent gig — tickets ran $89 a seat.

    • Ten Things the Media Will Get Wrong About Trump’s New Executive Order on Immigration

      As Trump issues a revised Executive Order on immigration, the media is almost certain to get many things wrong in its reporting; they did with the earlier order in late January. After 24 years of doing visa and immigration work for the Department of State,

      Short version: most of what people will be very upset about this week has been U.S. policy for some time and is actually unrelated to the Trump Executive Order.

    • NY Daily News: Broken Windows ‘Works,’ and if It Hurts Immigrants–‘Too Bad’

      Unfortunately, New York–area newspapers haven’t been kind enough to return the love of demonstrators, whose defense of Trump’s media enemies is grounded in opposition to Trump and his ideas. Take the New York Daily News editorial board, which recently (3/6/17) professed its affection instead for “Broken Windows,” a controversial policing strategy that has been at the heart of a national debate around policing (FAIR.org, 7/3/16)—and which is now being cited as a backdoor channel for deportations, even in liberal cities like the Big Apple (FAIR.org, 3/1/17).

      This isn’t the first time the editorial board has jumped to defend aggressive policing tactics. The News has, to its credit, offered apologies (8/8/16) for being wrong in the past for its gloomy predictions (“City at Risk,” 8/13/13) that a 2013 federal ruling against the NYPD over its Stop and Frisk program would lead the city “back toward the ravages of lawlessness and bloodshed.” Apparently not the type of news organization to take an error as an opportunity to reflect and approach public policy more carefully, the editorial board’s latest position makes a claim it can’t back up: “Broken Windows Works and Don’t Undo It.”

    • Trump’s Talk and Anti-Semitic Acts

      Many of these threatening calls turn out to be “unprecedented” in that they used “sophisticated voice masking technology.” They also warned of bombs made with specific types of explosives. Now, white supremacist organizations with military and security professionals among their members would, plausibly, have the technology and weapons experience used in these incidents. Of course, that does not prove they are responsible, but it does put them on what must be a rather short list of possibles.

      In this regard, President Trump’s response to this affair is a curious one. In a recent press conference, he vehemently declared that “I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life. [And also] the least racist person.” Then, later, he suggested that recent anti-Semitic acts were “false flag” operations coming from his “political opponents.” In other words, Trump, and his close advisers too, are suggesting that the culprits are “Democrats” who are trying to make the President and his supporters “look bad.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Google eyes remote content controls for parents in YouTube Kids app

      Currently, any content restrictions need to be made in the app itself, but this new feature will seemingly let parents manage their child’s search and content settings and block videos from their own device. That means if you’re at work and your child is with a babysitter, you’ll presumably be able to see what they’re watching and shut it down if you don’t think it’s appropriate.

    • Tim Berners-Lee calls for tighter regulation of online political advertising
    • £24,000 for a tweet? What a dark day for free speech

      And so Monroe sued. Over. A. Tweet. Someone needs to get a life, pronto. Incredibly – or not, given how skewed and authoritarian the libel laws are – she won. Today the court ordered Hopkins to pay £24,000 in damages.

    • Jack Monroe wins Katie Hopkins libel tweet case

      Food blogger Jack Monroe has won £24,000 damages, plus legal costs, in a libel action against columnist Katie Hopkins after a row over two tweets.

    • Facebook is still failing to remove images of child exploitation, investigation reveals

      A BBC investigation has revealed that Facebook users are continuing to exchange sexualized images of children through online groups, and the social network has come under criticism for failing to remove the obscene content. Of the 100 images that the BBC reported, Facebook removed only 18, saying that the remaining 82 did not violate its community standards. After the news organization alerted Facebook to the content, the company reported the journalists to police and cancelled an interview scheduled for last week, the BBC reports.

      Facebook said it would improve its moderation systems after a 2016 BBC investigation showed that pedophiles were exchanging child pornography through secret groups. The BBC followed up by flagging 100 images using Facebook’s “report” button. The images included photos of minors in sexualized poses, groups where users posted stolen photos of children, and pages that were created for men interested in such content. Another image showed a comment asking for child pornography under a video of child abuse.

      [...]

      According to the BBC, Facebook agreed to an interview about the matter last week, on the condition that the news outlet provide examples of content that was reported and not taken down. After the BBC provided the material, Facebook reported the journalists to the UK’s National Crime Agency.

    • BBC Tells Facebook About Child Porn on the Network, Facebook Reports BBC to Police

      The BBC has been investigating secret child porn rings on Facebook for years. And last week a representative from Facebook, Simon Milner, finally agreed to sit down for an interview about moderation tools on the network. There was just one condition: Facebook asked that the BBC reporters send the company images that they’d found on Facebook’s secret groups that the BBC would like to discuss.

      The BBC journalists sent Facebook the images they had flagged from private Facebook groups. And not only did Facebook cancel the interview, the company reported the journalists to the police.

    • Data Firm Says ‘Secret Sauce’ Aided Trump; Many Scoff [iophk: “every last person who fed data into FB is part of the problem”

      …warn of a blizzard of high-tech, Facebook-optimized propaganda aimed at the American public, controlled by the people behind the alt-right hub Breitbart News…

    • Oil Company Files Bogus Libel Lawsuit Over ‘Substantially True’ Facebook Comment By Local Activist

      Company [allegedly] does bad stuff. Gets busted. Someone points it out online. Company sues commenter for pointing out facts because details are slightly off. That’s just how oil company SG Interests rolls apparently.

      Popehat’s Ken White has caught another case — a First Amendment-rustling libel lawsuit filed in hopes of shutting a critic up. The Popehat Signal hasn’t been lit, but the defendant does have a legal fund supporters can contribute to as he goes up against a presumably very well-funded opponent.

      The comment that started the whole thing actually quotes a DOJ press release, so there’s a substantial amount of factual basis for the commenter’s allegations — even if the allegations aren’t completely on the nose in terms of the company’s settlement with the feds.

      An article about the Bureau of Land Management’s cancellation of oil leases appearing on a local news site drew the attention of Peter Kolbenschlag, an activist and PR strategist. The comment SGI is suing over claims the company was fined for collusion and bid rigging.

    • Censorship at Middlebury College

      Serbian experts were not being invited to present their side. Self-described pseudo-intellectual “experts” on the Balkans who weren’t even from Yugoslavia (and in many cases had not even visited the region) were instead regurgitating US State Department agitprop to demonize the Serbian people. And there were so many of them: dermatologist (!) Philip Cohen MD, NYT columnist Anthony Lewis, journalist (later US ambassador to the UN) Samantha Power, “historian” and journalist Noel Malcolm, columnist Georgie Anne Geyer etc. etc. etc., who were giving biased/distorted presentations at esteemed academic institutions against the Serbs and advocating military action against them with little or no counterpoint. We tried in vain to challenge their distorted arguments only to find hostile conference organizers who would allow maybe a two minute response – and it had to be in the form of a question (for an hour long talk) – if we were lucky – and then shut us down once they saw that we were disrupting their carefully constructed web of distorted “information.”

    • No censorship

      On Thursday, Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan threatened to block all social media websites that hosted blasphemous content against Islam. He emphasised that the government would go to any extent in blocking such sites if they refused to cooperate. Nisar’s statement came soon after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered to remove blasphemous content from digital media.

    • Trump Didn’t Teach Foreign Regimes to Cry ‘Fake News’–Corporate Media Did

      The general thesis of these pieces is that by taking the otherwise useful term “fake news” and haphazardly ascribing it to any media he didn’t like, Trump had opened the floodgates for “authoritarian governments” to do just that, thus watering down the “fake news” label and providing cover to oppressive regimes worldwide to do the same.

    • Why is Melanie Phillips Mainstream Acceptable?

      I have often pointed to Melanie Phillips to illustrate the fact that while left wing radical thought is excluded from mainstream media, you can be as completely mad, raving off the wall right wing as you wish, and yet still get invited onto every BBC panel or discussion series in existence. She still justifies the Iraq War. She thought Saddam did indeed have those WMDs and they were hidden in secret underground chambers underneath the Euphrates.

      Less harmlessly, Phillips employs hate speech and was praised by Anders Breivik. Sweeping anti-Muslim Phrases such as “the Islamic enemies of civilisation” come easily to her.

    • China’s internet censorship under fire – but proposal against controls gets … censored

      Calls by members of China’s legislature and itstop advisory body for the mainland to allow more open access to the internet have increased this year, amid mounting frustration.

      During this month’s meetings of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) – annual events more commonly referred to as the “two sessions” – deputies and delegates criticised the central government’s tightening of internet restrictions, despite political sensitivities ahead of a key Communist Party meeting this autumn.

    • Milo Yianoppoulos’ Own Speech Hurt him More than Censorship Ever Could

      Stopping Milo from speaking is what gave him the bizarrely subservient cult like support which he commands. It stopped his voice from becoming hoarse and him running out of opposition or ridiculous stances to take. Milo’s own messages, often a little vapid and designed to be reviled by the minorities and those who defend them, became slowly dwarfed by opposition to those on campuses who decided that he should not have the right to speech.

    • Is Google another step closer to being unblocked in China?
    • Google in talks with China to stage a comeback, says Report
    • Google is all set to enter China, after a seven year gap following disagreements over censorship rules
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Why Won’t Trump Declassify Evidence of Obama’s Wiretap? Sean Spicer’s Response Makes No Sense.

      For the past several weeks I’ve been asking the Trump White House (and nudging other reporters to ask) a simple question:

      Since presidents have the power to declassify anything, will President Trump use this power to make public any evidence that exists of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including whether former President Obama ordered a wiretap on Trump Tower?

    • Digital Privacy at the U.S Border: A New How-To Guide from EFF

      Increasingly frequent and invasive searches at the U.S. border have raised questions for those of us who want to protect the private data on our computers, phones, and other digital devices. A new guide released today by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) gives travelers the facts they need in order to prepare for border crossings while protecting their digital information.

      “Digital Privacy at the U.S. Border” helps everyone do a risk assessment, evaluating personal factors like immigration status, travel history, and the sensitivity of the data you are carrying. Depending on which devices come with you on your trip, your gadgets can include information like your client files for work, your political leanings and those of your friends, and even your tax return. Assessing your risk factors helps you choose a path to proactively protect yourself, which might mean leaving some devices at home, moving some information off of your devices and into the cloud, and using encryption. EFF’s guide also explains why some protections, like fingerprint locking of a phone, are less secure than other methods.

    • Expert Panel Explores Tech Policy at the White House
    • Want To Know About Racially Motivated Policing? Ask Literally Any Person of Color in Milwaukee

      Racial profiling in Milwaukee is an unofficial standard that negatively affects multiple generations of people.

      Racial profiling in Milwaukee is as common to Black men as manhood itself.

      I’m a lifelong Milwaukeean and a Black man. Born at the old Mount Sinai, raised in the Rufus King and Sherman Park neighborhoods, I’m a unicorn — a Black man between 14 and 40 years old who does not have a felony, misdemeanor, or record of any kind. I’m the exception to a rule that should have long ceased to exist.

      Since 2012, over half of Milwaukee’s Black men in their 30s are, or have been, locked up. I won’t go into the horrible details of socioeconomic and political disenfranchisement, but let’s just say we started from the bottom, and, for a lot of people, we’re still there.

      Being Black in Milwaukee means having the constant specter of police haunting your life.

    • I was a Muslim Teen Under NYPD Surveillance. But Now I Have More Hope Than Ever.

      I sued the biggest police department in the country in a stand for my community. My fight is just beginning.

      When I was 20 years old, I sued the largest police force in the country over its blanket surveillance of countless New York Muslims — me among them.

      The decision to join the lawsuit was a difficult one, to say the least. I was terrified that going public about my experience would open me up to suspicion and backlash from my community and beyond, and that my budding academic and professional career could be damaged forever.

    • Secret Court Orders Aren’t Blank Checks for General Electronic Searches

      Agents were authorized by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (“FISC”) to search for evidence that Gartenlaub was spying for the Chinese government. There’s only one problem with that theory: the government has never publicly produced any evidence to support it. Nevertheless, Gartenlaub now sits in jail. Not for spying, but because the FBI’s forensic search of his hard drives turned up roughly 100 files containing child pornography, buried among thousands of other files, saved on an external hard drive.

    • Hey CIA, You Held On To Security Flaw Information—But Now It’s Out. That’s Not How It Should Work

      The worst thing that could happen is for users to lose faith in encryption-enabled tools and stop using them. The releases do reaffirm that users should make sure they are using the most current version of the apps on their devices. And vendors should move quickly to patch these flaws to protect users from both government and criminal attackers.

    • EFF Applauds Amazon For Pushing Back on Request for Echo Data

      The number of Internet-enabled sensors in homes across the country is steadily increasing. These sensors are collecting personal information about what’s going on inside the home, and they are doing so in a volume and detail never before possible. The law, of course, has not kept up. There are no rules specifically designed for law enforcement access to data collected from in-home personal assistants or other devices that record what’s going on inside the home, even though the home is considered the heart of Fourth Amendment protection. That’s why it’s critical that companies push back on requests via currently existing rules for data collected via these new in-home devices.[1] EFF applauds Amazon for doing just that—pushing back on a law enforcement request for in-home recordings from its Echo device.

    • Consumers are wary of smart homes that know too much

      Nearly two-thirds of consumers are worried about home IoT devices listening in on their conversations, according to a Gartner survey released Monday.

      Those jitters aren’t too surprising after recent news items about TV announcers inadvertently activating viewers’ Amazon Echos, or about data from digital assistants being used as evidence in criminal trials. But privacy concerns are just one hurdle smart homes still have to overcome, according to the survey.

      In fact, Gartner found that most consumers don’t feel they need what smart homes offer. Consumer IoT is still in an early-adopter phase, Gartner concluded from the online survey, which was conducted in the second half of last year in the U.S., U.K., and Australia. Nearly 10,000 people responded.

    • Facebook Doesn’t Understand German, at Least Not in Court

      A German lawsuit over a photo showing a Syrian refugee with Chancellor Angela Merkel has put Facebook Inc.’s hate-speech policies under scrutiny. But the high-profile case has also shed light on complaints that the company tries to avoid and delay lawsuits in the country.

    • Big Brother Capitalism Strikes Back

      In classic capitalist fantasy, the “private” marketplace is a land of liberty and the state is a dungeon of oppression. Modern social democrats have tended to invert the formula, upholding the state as a force for social protection against the tyranny of the capitalist market.

      [...]

      The common worker and citizen faces a double whammy under the U.S. profit system. She must rent out her critical life energy – her labor power – and subject herself to the despotic, exploitative (surplus value-extracting) direction of “free” market-ruling capital to obtain the means of exchange required to obtain basic life necessities sold on the market by capital. To make matters worse, she must contend with a government that functions not so much to protect her and the broader community from capital (including capital as employer) as to deepen capital’s political, social, and market power over and against her, other workers, and the common good.

    • Smartphones, PCs and TVs: the everyday devices targeted by the CIA

      The trove of information on alleged CIA hacking tools released by Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks organisation, which reveals that the agency maintains the capability to hack consumer devices, will raise many questions for users and technology companies alike.

      Everyday consumer devices including smartphones running iOS and Android operating systems, Windows and Mac computers, and even smart TVs made by manufacturers such as Samsung have all been targeted by the CIA.

    • Smart bulbs that work with Amazon’s Alexa

      What’s cooler than turning on your lights with your smartphone? Turning on your lights hands free, using just your voice. Smart lighting control is one of the best features that Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based digital assistant, has to offer. Fortunately, the barrier to entry into the home of the future is extremely low. We’ll show you everything you need to be able to do enjoy this wonderful convenience.

      First up, you’ll need an Alexa-compatible device. Amazon offers several: The Echo Dot is the least expensive at just $50, and it’s the one we recommend for most people. You can also summon Alexa from some Amazon Fire TV devices, including the 4K Amazon Fire TV. Amazon also allows third-party manufacturers to tap into its Alexa Voice Service with their own devices (such products were all over the CES show floor earlier this year).

    • Vault 7: Ecuador poll runoff has influenced date of dump

      The prospect of Ecuador expelling WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange from its London embassy after its elections are decided appears to have played a role in the organisation deciding to dump Vault 7, a massive trove of CIA documents, overnight.

    • Buzzfeed Caught By Wikileaks Falsifying Information About Response To Vault 7 Release

      In the wake of Wikileaks’ Vault 7 revelations, Buzzfeed has been caught by Wikileaks publishing false claims purportedly made by Apple that it had “patched the vulnerabilities mentioned in the Wikileaks dump of CIA cyber tools.” Wikileaks tweeted that Apple had not fixed any newly discovered vulnerabilities, labelling the claim “fake news.”

    • Despite Stream Of Leaks Exposing Tremendous Gov’t Surveillance Capabilities, James Comey Still Complaining About ‘Going Dark’
    • Proposed Bill Would Let You ‘Hack Back’ [Ed: When clueless politicians who don't grasp how difficult attribution can be (see Vault 7 for examples) come up with bills]

      This should put a smile on the lips of anyone who’s spending the day hardening servers against the Apache Struts vulnerability that’s being exploited all over the place. There’s a congressman who wants victims of computer attacks to be able to return the favor and hack back.

    • Amazon shares data with Arkansas prosecutor in murder case

      Amazon dropped its fight against a subpoena issued in an Arkansas murder case after the defendant said he wouldn’t mind if the technology giant shared information that may have been gathered by an Amazon Echo smart speaker.

    • [Old] Facebook = Spyware : Facebook as a Giant Database about Users
    • Fitbit tracks your steps; now it wants to chart your Zs, too

      Fitbits already track how much sleep people get and use sensors to measure periods of being awake or restless while in bed. Now, using a built-in heart-rate monitor, the devices will break sleep into clinically defined stages.

    • The House GOP is pushing a bill that would let employers demand workers’ genetic test results

      There is a big exception, however: As long as employers make providing genetic information “voluntary,” they can ask employees for it. Under the House bill, none of the protections for health and genetic information provided by GINA or the disabilities law would apply to workplace wellness programs as long as they complied with the ACA’s very limited requirements for the programs. As a result, employers could demand that employees undergo genetic testing and health screenings.

      [...]

      They sometimes sell the health information they collect from employees.

    • Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is heaven — for spies
    • Inspector Gadget: CIA-Infected Smartphones ‘Help Spy on Their Hosts’
    • Windows 10 users complain about intrusive new OneDrive adverts

      The adverts pop up while a user is trying to manage files in a dedicated pane at the top of the Quick Access view within File Explorer, and are part of what Microsoft calls “sync provider notifications”.

      This is not the first time Microsoft has displayed ads within its Windows operating system.

    • Microsoft is adding ‘adverts’ for OneDrive in Windows 10′s File Explorer
    • Microsoft now puts ads in Windows 10 File Explorer, because of course

      The ad appears as a banner at the top of File Explorer, reminding you that OneDrive and Office 365 can be had for a mere $6.99 per month. You can take Microsoft up on the offer or dismiss it. It may just reappear at a later date, though. Some users reported seeing this a few months ago, but the incidence has ticked upward in the last week or so. This is not the first time Microsoft has crammed ads into the Windows UI …

    • Geohot’s new automated-driving device can only be redeemed by coughing up data

      Hotz said that his company’s new business plan revolves around aggregating driving data from users across the world—in particular, combining GPS and camera footage to accurately map and track car a huge swath of driving patterns—and then eventually making that data available as part of a service that will be called “Comma Premium.”

    • Smart meters can overbill by 582% [Ed: Even worse, they're spying machines inside people's homes, totally for "dumb" people]

      A team from the University of Twente and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences have published a paper demonstrating gross overbillings by smart energy meters, ranging from -32% to +582% of actual power consumption.

    • [tor-relays] “wubthecaptain1″ relay a year later, or why
      running a Tor exit at home is discouraged

      A year and a month later, I suppose it’s a good time to
      share the
      experiences of running “wubthecaptain1″ [1] exit relay from a
      residential IP-address.

    • Want to chat securely? Here’s what to look for in an app
    • If the government won’t protect your online privacy, you’ll have to do so yourself
    • TheDigitalStandard

      The Digital Standard is an ambitious, community-led effort to build a framework to test and rate products and services on the basis of privacy, security, and data practices.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • How the ACLU is training protesters in the ‘resistance’ movement

      A town hall-style event hosted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), dubbed “The Resistance Training,” aimed to encourage organized protest and educate attendees on their rights as protesters. In a series of speeches, ACLU leaders and other guests spoke of the importance of resisting policies that threaten the civil liberties of marginalized groups and outlined various ways to take action.

    • Ending The Battle For Carry-On Space And ThePlane-Boarding Ugliness It Leads To
    • TSA’s new “pat-downs” are so invasive, airports are pre-emptively warning cops to expect sexual assault claims

      If the TSA thinks that you’re suspicious — or if you opt out of the “optional” full-body scanner — you get a junk-touching “secondary screening” in which the screeners “pat you down” by rubbing the backs of their hands on your genitals and other “sensitive areas” (they can be pretty rough — a screener at ORD once punched me in the balls to retaliate for me asking him not to rest the tub containing my bags on top of my unprotected laptop).

      But it’s about to get much worse. Under new TSA rules, screeners will be able to lovingly cup and fondle your genitals and “sensitive areas” during a secondary search. The new guidelines call for searches so invasive, local TSA outposts have been told to notify local cops to expect accusations of sexual assault from fliers.

    • Bali won`t cover up statues for Saudi king

      Indonesia’s Hindu resort island of Bali on Wednesday
      defended a decision not to cover up any of its ubiquitous statues of
      deities and semi-naked women during a visit by the Saudi
      king.

    • Indonesia jails leaders of ‘deviant sect’ for blasphemy

      An Indonesian court has jailed three leaders of a group
      that Islamic clerics had called a deviant religious organization for up
      to five years for blasphemy, sparking condemnation from human rights
      groups over the targeting of minorities.

      The now disbanded Gafatar hit the headlines after dozens of people, who
      had been reported missing by relatives, were believed to have joined.
      Last year, hundreds of members had to be evacuated from their West
      Kalimantan base after being attacked by residents who opposed their
      beliefs.

    • MSU banning whiteboards due to bullying

      The ban is limited to hanging whiteboards on dorm doors;
      students
      will still be permitted to use the items inside their
      rooms.

    • Couple arrested in the United Arab Emirates for ‘having sex outside marriage’

      The South African man and his Ukranian fiancee were
      reportedly arrested after a doctor in Abu Dhabi who treated Ms Nohai for
      stomach cramps discovered she was pregnant.

    • Upgrade your jail cell – for a price

      … allowing some defendants to avoid the region’s notoriously dangerous county jails has long rankled some in law enforcement who believe it runs counter to the spirit of equal justice.

      The region’s pay-to-stay jails took in nearly $7 million from the programs from 2011 through 2015, according to revenue figures provided by the cities. In attracting paying customers, some cities openly tout their facilities as safer, cleaner and with more modern amenities.

    • Indonesian Buddhists caned under sharia for first time
    • Hadi’s bill will affect non-Muslims, says Kelantan lawyer

      … events showed that shariah laws were being imposed on non-Muslim citizens in the PAS-led state.

      For example, she said a non-Muslim owner of a watch shop had been fined for displaying a poster of Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai with her hair uncovered.

    • On This ‘Day Without a Woman,’ Don’t Leave Women Oppressed by Sharia Law Behind

      International Women’s Day should be a day to raise our voices on behalf of women with no recourse to protect their rights. Yet I doubt Wednesday’s protesters will wave placards condemning the religious and cultural framework for women’s oppression under Sharia law. As a moral and legal code, Sharia law is demeaning and degrading to women. It requires women to be placed under the care of male guardians; it views a woman’s testimony in court as worth half that of a man’s; and it permits a husband to beat his wife. It’s not only women’s legal and sexual freedoms that are curtailed under Sharia but their economic freedoms as well. Women generally inherit half of the amount that men inherit, and their male guardian must consent to their choosing education, work, or travel.

    • I was tortured beyond limits: Pakistani blogger Ahmad Waqass Goraya

      From 2013 to 2016, almost 14 bloggers and writers were killed in Bangladesh by the Islamist groups.

    • Rebels with a cause: Africa’s whistleblowers need urgent protection

      Not just in Africa but worldwide, citizens are becoming aware of the dark and oppressive political, economic and financial powers being exercised over their daily lives. Thanks to the revelations of whistleblowers, we can better fight back.

    • ’93% of Pakistani women experience sexual violence’

      … 93% women experience some form of sexual violence in public places in their lifetime.

      This was stated by founder of Madadgaar National Helpline 1098 and national commissioner for children, Zia Ahmed Awan, while quoting the statistics of international organisations during a press conference at their office on Tuesday.

    • Imams to be told to preach in English at mosques

      Debate about whether imams, who lead prayers at mosques, should use English has been making headlines for more than a decade. A survey of 300 mosques in 2007 found that just 8 per cent of imams were born in the UK and only 6 per cent of them spoke English as a first language.

    • How the UK police can coerce journalists into surrendering photographs

      That’s what it had all been about. I don’t believe the Fiscal had ever wanted to seize my cameras or computer, he just wanted the threat of it to use as a bartering tool: The police couldn’t legally force me to hand over the photos but if I didn’t do so then they would execute the warrant and put me out of business.

      [...]

      As for the warrant, it remains active, with no time limit.

    • Police arrest 11 in riot at central Swedish school: report

      Eleven people were arrested after a violent brawl at a school in Hallsberg in central Sweden where masked youths threw stones and glass bottles at police and reporters, national TV reported on Monday.

    • Nine on trial for honour killing and abduction
    • Carson compares slaves to immigrants coming to ‘a land of dreams and opportunity’

      Ben Carson compared slaves to immigrants seeking a better life in his first official address Monday as Housing and Urban Development secretary, setting off an uproar on social media.

    • Ben Carson incorrectly suggests African slaves were ‘immigrants’ to US

      Housing and Urban Development secretary portrayed enslaved people’s forced migration to Americas as journey to ‘land of dreams and opportunity’ in speech

    • India will be home to world’s largest Muslim population by 2050, but is the country ready for the change?

      India is already a Sharia-compliant State in many respects, notably on the issues of marriage, divorce, inheritance and a host of religious institutions as well as a large number of madrassas funded by the secular Indian State.

    • VHP calls for equal population policy to check Jihad and demographic imbalance.
    • World Must Formulate Muslim Population Policies to Restrict Islamic Growth.

      …if the projected report of Pew Research Center becomes true…

    • [Old] Fermi paradox
    • Pakistan considers social media ban due to blasphemous content online

      Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui also wants people found to have posted blasphemous content online to have their names added to the Exit Control List, thereby prohibiting them from leaving the country.

      The blasphemous pages are being removed with the help of Facebook officials.

    • Muslim’s trial for ‘glorifying terrorism’ moved because it falls during Ramadan
    • Attack Against Minorities: Hindu Woman Killed In Pakistan

      According to South Asia Partnership-Pakistan, a local human rights group in Pakistan, Muslim men are take away and forcibly convert about thousand girls — mostly from Hindu community, almost each year.

    • Software results in mistaken arrests, jail time? No fix needed, says judge

      However, since then, the public defender’s office has filed approximately 2,000 motions informing the court that, due to its reportedly imperfect software, many of its clients have been forced to serve unnecessary jail time, be improperly arrested, or even wrongly registered as sex offenders. As recently as this month, the Portland Press Herald reported that courts in Maine had recently hired Tyler amidst similar complaints nationwide.

    • Austrian govt criticises headscarf advice for Muslim women

      Austrian government officials are criticizing a recommendation by the country’s Islamic leaders that Muslim women wear a headscarf with the onset of puberty.

      Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, who also is the country’s integration minister, says the stance is “an attack on the freedom and self-determination of women.” State Secretary Maria Duzdar says such restrictions on the freedom of women are “unacceptable.”

    • Trafficked and abused: Indonesia’s Middle East maid ban backfires

      Dian Permata Sari was determined to escape when she was brought to the maid recruitment office in Saudi Arabia for the sixth time and paraded in front of potential employers alongside 14 other women.

      “We were made to stand in a line while the employers pick the maid they like, it was like shopping for goods,” said the 19-year-old Indonesian woman.

    • In Women’s Strike, Media Miss a Moment to Look in Mirror

      March 8 was International Women’s Day, this year marked by a Women’s Strike—a coordinated day of action, not limited to work stoppage, that organizers said was intended to highlight how women’s work, contributions and humanity continue to be undervalued.

      With an avowed misogynist in the White House, the day got more media attention than it usually does. We saw stories about events around the world and interviews with participants. Some women-focused websites offered no new content as a show of support; we’re told MTV‘s nearly all-female social media staff stayed out, and the network turned its logo upside down, making the M a W. And, the Washington Times (3/8/17) reports, women anchors on MSNBC and CNN “showed their leftist leanings by wearing red.”

    • In a First, the Trump Administration Moves to Invoke Secrecy Claims in Torture Lawsuit

      As a landmark case surrounding the CIA’s Bush-era torture program approaches its trial date, the government is seeking to block the release of certain information it claims must be kept secret. Yet unlike previous cases in which the government successfully blocked torture lawsuits from moving ahead, even the government’s new claims make clear this case can go forward and CIA torture survivors should finally have their day in court.

    • The upsurge of xenophobic nationalism – threat, and opportunity

      The 2008 financial crisis opened up a window of opportunity for challengers to the political status quo: there was the Icelandic pots and pans revolution, the Greek anti-austerity movement, and the Spanish 15-M movement – eventually leading to the emergence of parties such as the Pirate Party, Syriza and Podemos. There were also actors clearly on the other side of the ideological spectrum: PEGIDA and the AfD in Germany, Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, People’s Party in Denmark, the National Front in France, and the Freedom Party in Austria, among others. Of course, one should also add UKIP and its successful Brexit campaign to the list, as well as the election of Donald Trump in the US – and with it, the reinvigoration of the North American ‘alt-right’.

      The argument that the 2008 economic crisis and its (mis)management is to blame for the rise in these movements does go a long way in accounting for the turmoil. But the extent of this, and exactly how, remains unclear.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • If Trump Fans Love Freedom, They Should Love Net Neutrality

      But equating the two gets both wrong. The FCC adopted the Fairness Doctrine in 1949 to require that broadcasters present both sides of news stories. The end of that rule in 1987 enabled the rise of right-wing talk radio shows such as the The Rush Limbaugh Show. But unlike the Fairness Doctrine, the FCC’s net neutrality rules don’t dictate what content websites or apps can or can’t publish. Quite the opposite: Instead of insisting that carriers include specific points of view, it bans them from excluding any legal content subscribers may wish to access. Net neutrality and the Fairness Doctrine are comparable only because of their FCC origins. But the “neutrality” of “net neutrality” hardly requires a politically neutral point of view.

    • Verizon Wireless wades right back into the net neutrality debate with Fios deal
    • 25 years since first email attachment

      It is 25 years since the invention of Mime, or Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions – the system that made it possible to send attachments.

    • Trump renominates FCC Chair Ajit Pai for another five-year term

      President Donald Trump has renominated Ajit Pai to serve another term at the Federal Communications Commission, Axios reported today. The move requires Senate approval, but it is basically a formality that ensures Pai will remain on the commission throughout Trump’s four-year term as president.

      Pai’s term on the FCC technically expired in June 2016, but the FCC’s rules allow him to stay until the end of 2017 even if he isn’t confirmed by the Senate for another term. The president doesn’t need Senate approval to elevate an existing commissioner to the chairmanship, so Trump was able to appoint Pai chairman of the commission in January. If the Senate approves the renomination, Pai would have a new five-year term with the beginning date retroactive to July 1, 2016.

    • Net neutrality hurts health care and helps porn, Republican senator claims
    • The tale of the fight for transparency in the EU Internet
      Forum

      Its actors: something of a “secret society” consisting of
      almost exclusively US internet companies (Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter,
      Google and Ask.fm), government officials and law enforcement agencies.

      Its modus operandi: meetings behind closed doors to discuss undefined
      “terrorist material” and badly defined “hate speech”, creating pressure
      on industry to monitor and censor online communications without any
      accountability for the outcome.

    • ICANN’s Special Privileges for Trademark Owners are The.Worst

      If gaining control of hundreds of Internet domains that resemble your business name at a single stroke sounds like a trademark lawyer’s wet dream, you may be surprised to learn that this is just one of the special powers that brand owners have under a little-known ICANN mechanism, the Trademark Clearinghouse. A letter released today by twenty-one law professors and practitioners exposes this and other privileges that ICANN bestows on brand owners, and sounds an urgent note of caution to the ICANN working group that is currently reviewing these special powers.

      One of the flaws in ICANN’s complex multi-stakeholder structure is the deference paid to private commercial interests. Within ICANN’s Generic Names Supporting Organization (which is responsible for developing policy for most Internet domains), there are no fewer than five separate constituency groups representing commercial interests, and only two representing the interests of non-commercial and not-for-profit interests. One of the commercial constituencies is the influential and well-funded Intellectual Property Constituency, which promotes the interests of trademark and copyright holders within ICANN.

  • DRM

    • A right to repair: why Nebraska farmers are taking on John Deere and Apple

      There are corn and soy fields as far as the eye can see around Kyle Schwarting’s home in Ceresco, Nebraska. The 36-year-old farmer lives on a small plot of land peppered with large agricultural machines including tractors, planters and a combine harvester.

      Parked up in front of his house is a bright red 27-ton Case tractor which has tracks instead of wheels. It’s worth about $250,000, and there’s a problem with it: an in-cab alarm sounds at ten-minute intervals to alert him to a faulty hydraulic connector he never needs to use.

    • [Old] RFC 3271 : The Internet is for Everyone [iophk: “ban DRM and those promoting it”

      Internet is for everyone – but it won’t be if we are not responsible
      in its use and mindful of the rights of others who share its wealth.
      Let us dedicate ourselves to the responsible use of this new medium
      and to the proposition that with the freedoms the Internet enables
      comes a commensurate responsibility to use these powerful enablers
      with care and consideration. For those who choose to abuse these
      privileges, let us dedicate ourselves to developing the necessary
      tools to combat the abuse and punish the abuser.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Google Tries to Run Uber Off the Road—in Court

      According to the injunction, Waymo wants Judge William Alsup, who’s overseeing this case, to first compel Uber to hand over those 14,000 allegedly lifted documents. This will be the easiest get for Waymo, says Reichman, though Alsup may decide to keep them until the case is resolved. Second, Waymo lawyers want the judge to force Uber to stop using the circuit board and lidar sensor systems, given that the tech is the alleged product of stolen trade secrets. Third, they want the judge to temporarily prevent Uber from using any tech derived from Waymo’s patents, too.

    • Alphabet’s Waymo asks judge to block Uber from using self-driving car secrets

      Brown says Levandowski downloaded the files, which total 9.7GB of material, including 2GB of LIDAR subdirectories, in December 2015. LIDAR is a laser-guided sensor used to map the 3D environment, a key element in autonomous driving. Levandowski left Google in January 2016 to form Otto, a self-driving truck startup. In August 2016, Otto was acquired by Uber for $680 million. Uber then launched a public test of its self-driving cars in Pittsburgh in September.

    • Copyrights

      • Leaked Report Slams European Link Tax and Upload Filtering Plans

        Earlier this week we explained how the tide is turning against the European Commission’s proposal for Internet platforms to adopt new compulsory copyright filters as part of its upcoming Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. As we explained, users and even the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) have criticized the Commission’s proposal, which could stifle online expression, hinder competition, and suppress legal uses of copyrighted content, like creating and sharing Internet memes.

      • #STEMPiratenPartij – With 1 week till polling day, let’s support the Dutch Pirates

        The way in which the Dutch voting system works with Proportional Representation across the country means that you are trying to get your message spread as far and wide across the country as a whole – there is no ‘targetting’ of very local areas as we have in the UK. It means that a digital social media campaign has the potential to be very effective as you are trying to reach as many people as possible, but requires that people actually follow through and cast a vote for you, rather than just hit ‘Like’ on Twitter.

      • EU Internet Advocates Launch Campaign to Stop Dangerous Copyright Filtering Proposal

        In the wake of the European Commission’s dangerous proposal to require user-generated content platforms to filter user uploads for copyright infringement, European digital rights advocates are calling on Internet users throughout Europe to stand up for freedom of expression online by urging their MEP (Member of European Parliament) to stop the #CensorshipMachine and “save the meme.”

        Last year, the European Commission released a proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, Article 13 of which would require all online service providers that “store and provide to the public access to large amounts of works or other subject-matter uploaded by their users” to reach agreements with rights holders to keep allegedly infringing content off their sites – including by implementing content filtering technologies.

      • UK Govt Refuses to Back Down Over Criminalization of File-Sharers

        As part of the Digital Economy Bill winding its way through parliament, there will be a harmonization of penalties for offline infringements with those carried out online. With up to ten years imprisonment on the table, the Open Rights Group asked for a threshold to be put in place, to separate petty and serious offenders. Sadly the government doesn’t appear to be interested.

      • It’s finally over: Mastermind behind Prenda Law porn trolls pleads guilty

        One of the attorneys behind the Prenda Law “copyright trolling” scheme has pleaded guilty to federal charges of fraud and money laundering.

        After years of denial, John Steele admitted Monday that he and co-defendant Paul Hansmeier made more than $6 million by threatening Internet users with copyright lawsuits.

        It’s perfectly legal to sue Internet pirates—but not the way Steele did it. Steele and Hansmeier set up “sham entities” to get copyrights to pornographic movies, “some of which they filmed themselves,” according to the Department of Justice’s statement on the plea. Steele and Hansmeier then uploaded those movies to file-sharing websites such as The Pirate Bay and then sued the people who downloaded the content.

      • Canada Rejects Flawed and One-Sided “Piracy” Claims From US Govt.

        “Canada does not recognize the validity of the Special 301 and considers the process and the Report to be flawed,” the Government memo reads.

        “The Report fails to employ a clear methodology and the findings tend to rely on industry allegations rather than empirical evidence and objective analysis.”

      • UK Court Dismisses Case Against Torrent Site Proxy Operator [iophk: “why don’t they use any of those resources to fight spam? It costs 20 billion to 50 billion USD per year? It’s even trackable by just following the money.”

        More than two-and-a-half years ago, City of London Police arrested a man for operating several reverse proxies for torrent sites, including The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents. Facing counts of money laundering and fraud, the operator risked a hefty prison sentence, but it didn’t go that far. Nottingham Crown Court has dismissed the case, and police opted not to appeal the verdict.

      • KickassTorrents Defense Fights Extradition and Human Rights Violations

        Last week a Polish court ruled that Artem Vaulin, the alleged owner of KickassTorrents, can be extradited to the United States.

      • Canada Says It Won’t Attend Special 301 Hearing Because USTR Prefers Industry Allegations To Facts And Data

        The US Trade Representative’s annual Special 301 Report repeatedly points out how other countries are “failing” US IP industries by not doing enough to prevent piracy. The “name and shame” approach hasn’t done much to curb piracy, although it has generated a few pressure points to leverage during trade negotiations.

        Countries appear to be tiring of the annual shaming. Michael Geist reports the Canadian government has issued a rebuttal ahead of this year’s Special 301 hearing.

      • New Automated DMCA Notices Hit Movie Pirates With $300 Fines

        The company is operated by lawyer Carl Crowell, who is best known for his work with various notorious copyright trolls.

        [...]

        These ties appear to be still intact

03.11.17

Links 11/3/2017: PiCluster 1.6, GXml 0.14, No More Fedora Alpha Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 5:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Vs. Commercial BI Software [Ed: False dichotomy right from the get-go (headline). FOSS can definitely be - and often is - commercial]
  • GAPID: Google Has A New Graphics Debugger For Vulkan & OpenGL ES

    GAPID is short for the Graphics API Debugger and is a new open-source project out of Google.

    Adding to the list of available open-source debuggers is GAPID. GAPID allows inspecting, tweaking, and replaying calls to OpenGL ES and Vulkan. GAPID is primarily geared for debugging GLES/VLK Android applications but the user-interface runs on Windows, Linux, and macOS. The tracer is able to run on those host operating systems as well as Android.

  • Bouncing Back To Private Clouds With OpenStack

    There is an adage, not quite yet old, suggesting that compute is free but storage is not. Perhaps a more accurate and, as far as public clouds are concerned, apt adaptation of this saying might be that computing and storage are free, and so are inbound networking within a region, but moving data across regions in a public cloud is brutally expensive, and it is even more costly spanning regions.

  • Blockchain for Supply Chain: Enormous Potential Down the Road
  • Open source project management can be risky business[Ed: Correction to this article; Netflix not "openly developed." DRM and proprietary.]

    Our digital lives are powered by programming philosophers who choose to develop their code out in the open.

    All programs begin with lines of instruction. When ready for execution these lines of instruction are converted to a binary format that the computer can execute. Open source programs are programs where the human readable code is accessible to anyone. This philosophy of openness and freedom has allowed these projects to impact the lives of everyone.

    The Linux kernel is the core of all Android devices, and nearly a third of all Internet traffic rides on just one openly developed project, Netflix. (Read the excellent article in Time magazine about this.) How does the choice of using open source software as part of a project plan affect the amount and type of risk to a project within an organization?

  • Teradata open sources Kylo data lake management software
  • Teradata debuts open-source Kylo to Quickly Build, manage data pipelines
  • Teradata debuts IntelliCloud to blend data and analytic software as a service with expanded deployment choice
  • HTC Will Open Source Full-Body Tracking For Vive With Tracker

    Speaking to UploadVR at MWC, Alvin Graylin, President of Vive in China, said that HTC had been working on a “similar system” for full body tracking in its China research lab, and would be open sourcing it for all developers to implement into their experiences for free.

  • Social Commerce: Encouraging African Start-ups To Lean On Open Source

    The internet is evolving and there is a lot of excitement because no one is quite sure what it will look like in the next five years. However one thing that is sure about its evolution is that it will keep getting more social.

    Open Source software is currently being leveraged on by developers across the globe not just for blogging and publishing but also for designing feature rich and secure internal process systems and enterprise resource tools.

    Social commerce is a one of this new concepts which is relatively new especially in the Africa web space hence the need to train start-ups on how to tap into and fully explore this new innovation.

  • Klaxon, an open-source tool from The Marshall Project, helps journalists track newsworthy changes to websites

    The Marshall Project, a non-profit news organisation that covers the criminal justice system in the United States, has developed a free and open-source tool that allows reporters and editors to track websites of interest and receive notifications via Slack or email when newsworthy changes happen.

  • How open source has taken over our lives

    The next time you play Uncharted 4 on PlayStation 4, The Legend of Zelda on Nintendo Switch, or tell Alexa to turn the lights off, bear in mind it’s all running on open source.

  • Your freedoms are eroding as technology becomes more closed

    We’re not doing a good job of keeping the Internet and related technologies as open and egalitarian as they used to be, allowing a dangerous oligopoly to reemerge. How can we reverse the trend? And by we, I actually mean you.

  • Senlin for VMware Integrated OpenStack brings open source up to speed

    The Senlin clustering service delivers a one-two punch, enabling developer productivity while proving VMware’s commitment to improving open source technology.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • Open Source Couchbase Mobile Now Scales on Demand

      The open source Couchbase Mobile platform comprises: the Couchbase Lite NoSQL embedded database for mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) devices; the Couchbase Server that stores and manages data in the cloud; and the Couchbase Sync Gateway that synchronizes data between the two.

  • CMS

    • Making Drupal upgrades easy forever

      After a lot of discussion among the Drupal core committers and developers, and studying projects like Symfony, we believe that the advantages of Drupal’s minor upgrade model (e.g. from Drupal 8.2 to Drupal 8.3) can be translated to major upgrades (e.g. from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9). We see a way to keep innovating while providing a smooth upgrade path and learning curve from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • Booting FreeBSD 11 with NVMe and ZFS on AMD Ryzen

      We recently took one of our test systems and tried an experiment: could we boot FreeBSD 11 from a NVMe SSD using ZFS root file system using AMD Ryzen. At STH we have many FreeBSD users and developers so when there is a new hardware class out, we tend to try it in FreeBSD and sometimes popular FreeBSD appliance OSes such as pfSense and FreeNAS. You can see an example with our Knights Landing Xeon Phi x200 system booting FreeBSD OSes. In our recent testing with AMD Ryzen we found major installers with the latest CentOS 7.3 and also had issues with Ubuntu crashing using current LTS image kernels. We wanted to see how FreeBSD would fare given it normally lags in terms of hardware support.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • VMware becomes gold member of Linux Foundation: And what about the GPL?

      As we can read in recent news, VMware has become a gold member of the Linux foundation. That causes – to say the least – very mixed feelings to me.

      One thing to keep in mind: The Linux Foundation is an industry association, it exists to act in the joint interest of it’s paying members. It is not a charity, and it does not act for the public good. I know and respect that, while some people sometimes appear to be confused about its function.

      However, allowing an entity like VMware to join, despite their many years long disrespect for the most basic principles of the FOSS Community (such as: Following the GPL and its copyleft principle), really is hard to understand and accept.

      I wouldn’t have any issue if VMware would (prior to joining LF) have said: Ok, we had some bad policies in the past, but now we fully comply with the license of the Linux kernel, and we release all derivative/collective works in source code. This would be a positive spin: Acknowledge past issues, resolve the issues, become clean and then publicly underlining your support of Linux by (among other things) joining the Linux Foundation. I’m not one to hold grudges against people who accept their past mistakes, fix the presence and then move on. But no, they haven’t fixed any issues.

      They are having one of the worst track records in terms of intentional GPL compliance issues for many years, showing outright disrespect for Linux, the GPL and ultimately the rights of the Linux developers, not resolving those issues and at the same time joining the Linux Foundation? What kind of message sends that?

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Data

      • Inertia Slows Evolution For Open Scientists

        It is still a long way to a new generation of “open scientists”, German open data researcher Christian Heise found out in his just-published PhD thesis. Heise not only investigated drivers and barriers for what he expects to be an evolution from open access to open science by theory and a survey of over 1100 scientists. He tried the concept open science the hard way, opening up the writing of his thesis paper on the net.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Open Source textbooks could save students a bundle

        As the cost of college has skyrocketed, students and parents could soon get relief on expensive textbooks under the Textbook Cost Savings Act of 2017 that would provide funding to develop free open source learning materials.

        “The state is moving rapidly towards free textbooks online,” said the bill’s sponsor Sen. Jim Rosapepe, D-Prince George’s, in an interview. “If the bill passes it will be state policy that we want to move in that direction as much as possible.”

      • Mathematics for Computer Science: a free, CC-licensed MIT textbook

        This is indeed an up-to-the-minute text [PDF], dated Mar 7, 2017. It’s written by Googler/MIT prof Eric Lehman, MIT/Akamai scientist F Thomson Leighton and MIT AI researcher Albert R Meyer, as a companion to their Mathematics for Computer Science open course.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • The Open Source Toolkit – meet the Channel Editors

        The Open Source Toolkit features articles and online projects describing hardware and software that can be used in a research and/or science education setting across different fields, from basic to applied research. The Channel Editors aim to showcase how Open Source tools can lead to innovation, democratisation and increased reproducibility.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Vulkan 1.0.43 Adds Two New Extensions

      The Khronos Group has done a Friday evening update to the Vulkan 1.0 API specification.

      Vulkan 1.0.43 includes a number of GitHub and internal-Khronos issues around document clarifications and other minor behavior differences.

Leftovers

  • An obituary: The National Endowment for the Arts, 52, of unnatural causes

    But the NEA will also be remembered as the agency that created arts councils in every state and most cities; that spread the professionalization of arts organizations throughout America; and that generated important new fields, such as art therapy for war victims; creative place making and the rebirth of cities; research into economics, mental health, inequality and aging, among many; and whose leaders persuaded private funders of the value of artists and the arts.

  • Microsoft: Users Locked Out of Accounts Tuesday

    Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) was hit with an outage early Tuesday morning that prevented users from accessing a host of applications and services including Xbox, Skype and Outlook. Many Microsoft customers in Western Europe and the Eastern U.S. were greeted with a message that their account wasn’t active when they tried to log on.

    Users complaining at website DownDector.com about Outlook.com reached in the thousands, reported Reuters. Meanwhile the hashtag #hotmail was trending on Twitter in the U.K. Microsoft confirmed the problem, saying in an Xbox Live message it was working to resolve the issues as quickly as possible. Microsoft Account Services, which also includes Office 365, the Windows Store and a host of other apps came back up around 9:30 a.m. EST Tuesday at which time Microsoft alerted users.

  • Microsoft is putting OneDrive ads in Windows 10’s File Explorer

    Microsoft has made a bad habit of introducing ads here and there throughout Windows, and now people are starting to notice them showing up in another spot: inside File Explorer.

    People have reported seeing notifications to sign up for OneDrive — Microsoft’s cloud storage service — at the top of the Quick Access screen that comes up when you open a new File Explorer window.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Budget 2017: Philip Hammond accused of back-door NHS privatisation by funding ‘shady’ reform plans

      Philip Hammond has promised the NHS will receive £425m in government investment over the next three years – but the way these funds are allocated could in fact lead to further NHS privatisation, campaigners have warned.

    • The Truth About the GOP Health-Care Plan
    • Biosimilars and generics as “rip-offs”: when the facts may not matter

      The interviewee pointed out that while “biosimilar” and “generic” products differ, they are close enough in their underlying characteristics. Other than that, he did not challenge her characterization of them as a “rip-off”. For a listener who paid close attention to the interview, the take-away was clear– biosimilar and generic products are undesirable. It seems to this Kat that the IP community should be concerned about the level of understanding of IP embodied in this brief interview exchange. Remember that Bloomberg is a large, business-oriented media empire. As such, one might expect an appreciation of the complexity of the subject, especially from the perspective of the various stakeholders involved.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Friday
    • Reproducible Builds: week 97 in Stretch cycle
    • Linux says open source more secure than closed, responds to Wikileaks’ claims

      Apple has already released a statement that said the vulnerabilities have already been fixed. Google too has responded to the issue. Linux just released a statement assuring the users that its being open source is safer for most people. The idea is that open source software communities continue to work on securing systems.

    • MAC randomization: A massive failure that leaves iPhones, Android mobes open to tracking

      To protect mobile devices from being tracked as they move through Wi-Fi-rich environments, there’s a technique known as MAC address randomization. This replaces the number that uniquely identifies a device’s wireless hardware with randomly generated values.

      In theory, this prevents scumbags from tracking devices from network to network, and by extension the individuals using them, because the devices in question call out to these nearby networks using different hardware identifiers.

    • Open source security and ‘hacking robots before skynet’ [Ed: Let's pretend proprietary software is secure and robust, and has zero back doors (we cannot see)]

      In this case, the devices were used to form a botnet and attack other systems, conducting a denial of service attack that made Twitter, Etsy, and other popular sites unavailable to users. This was inconvenient to users, and likely cost revenue for Dyn customers. It was almost certainly costly for Dyn.

    • Payments Giant Verifone Investigating Breach

      Verifone circled back post-publication with the following update to their statement: “According to the forensic information to-date, the cyber attempt was limited to controllers at approximately two dozen gas stations, and occurred over a short time frame. We believe that no other merchants were targeted and the integrity of our networks and merchants’ payment terminals remain secure and fully operational.”

    • Terabytes of Government Data Copied [iophk: "they need to publish via bittorrent more often to take out the single point of failure; they need to learn to use torrents from day one of their research"]
    • Millions of websites still using vulnerable SHA-1 certificate

      At least 21 percent of all public websites are using insecure SHA-1 certificates – past the migration deadline and after Google researchers demonstrated a real-world collision attack. And this is without taking into account private or closed networks that also might be using the hash.

    • Widespread Bug Bounty Program Could Help Harden Open Source Security

      One company is adding to its bug bounty program efforts by offering its professional services to the open source community for free. HackerOne’s platform, known as HackerOne Community Edition, will help open source software teams create a comprehensive approach to vulnerability management, including a bug bounty program.

    • Consumer Reports Proposes Open Source Security Standard To Keep The Internet Of Things From Sucking

      Thanks to a laundry list of lazy companies, everything from your Barbie doll to your tea kettle is now hackable. Worse, these devices are now being quickly incorporated into some of the largest botnets ever built, resulting in some of the most devastating DDoS attacks the internet has ever seen. In short: thanks to “internet of things” companies that prioritized profits over consumer privacy and the safety of the internet, we’re now facing a security and privacy dumpster fire that many experts believe will, sooner or later, result in mass human fatalities.

      Hoping to, you know, help prevent that, the folks at Consumer Reports this week unveiled a new open source digital consumer-protection standard that safeguards consumers’ security and privacy in the internet-of-broken things era. According to the non-profit’s explanation of the new standard, it’s working with privacy software firm Disconnect, non-profit privacy research firm Ranking Digital Rights (RDR), and nonprofit software security-testing organization Cyber Independent Testing Lab (CITL) on the new effort, which it acknowledges is early and requires public and expert assistance.

    • Researchers warn augmented mobile and open source = malware opportunity [Ed: Well, and proprietary is never a malware ramp (sarcasm)]

      ESET researchers warn that augments mobile applications plus open source platforms like Google’s open could be a recipe for clever malware to come, in a recent security post.

      Currently, Google only requires developers to make a onetime payment of $25 and within 24 hours they can have an application in the Google Play Store compared to Apple which requires a yearly license which costs more than $100 and a vetting period of up to two weeks.

    • Operation Rosehub patches Java vulnerabilities in open source projects

      Google employees recently completed Operation Rosehub, a grass roots effort that patches a set of serious Java vulnerabilities in thousands of open source projects.

    • [Video] CPU Backdoors Could Allow Government Spying
    • Moving Git past SHA-1 [Ed: no longer behind LWN paywall]

      The SHA-1 hash algorithm has been known for at least a decade to be weak; while no generated hash collisions had been reported, it was assumed that this would happen before too long. On February 23, Google announced that it had succeeded at this task. While the technique used is computationally expensive, this event has clarified what most developers have known for some time: it is time to move away from SHA-1. While the migration has essentially been completed in some areas (SSL certificates, for example), there are still important places where it is heavily used, including at the core of the Git source-code management system. Unsurprisingly, the long-simmering discussion in the Git community on moving away from SHA-1 is now at a full boil.

    • Linux kernel: CVE-2017-2636: local privilege escalation flaw in n_hdlc
    • Spammergate: The Fall of an Empire
  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • NSA Tries To Stonewall Jason Leopold’s Requests Because He’s A ‘FOIA Terrorist’ Who’s Paid To ‘Deluge Agencies’ With Requests

      Journalist Jason Leopold (currently in residence at Buzzfeed) has been given the nickname “FOIA terrorist” for his numerous requests and almost as numerous FOIA lawsuits. The government has taken notice of Leopold’s activity. The Pentagon once offered Leopold a stack of documents in exchange for him leaving it alone. (He declined.) The FBI played keepaway with James Comey talking points, telling Leopold they were all exempt from disclosure. This obviously wasn’t true, as these same talking points had been handed over to Mike Masnick by the agency months prior to the bogus denial it gave Leopold.

      Now, it’s the NSA using Leopold’s “FOIA terrorist” nickname against him. (This is weird because eederal employees gave Leopold the “terrorist” nickname. He didn’t come up with it himself.) In Leopold’s ongoing FOIA lawsuit against the agency, the NSA has asked for an “Open America” stay. What this would do is push Leopold’s request back in line with the others the NSA has received. The agency argues that Leopold’s decision to file a lawsuit over the agency’s lack of a timely response shouldn’t give his request precedence over FOIA requests that arrived before his did.

      The agency points out its FOIA workload has increased significantly since “a former NSA contractor began a series of unprecedented, unauthorized, and unlawful disclosures” in 2013. The agency still processes thousands of FOIA requests a year, but it’s unable to keep up with the increase in FOIA traffic.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • 5 Reasons Why The Middle Class Doesn’t Understand Poverty
    • Uber will stop ‘greyballing’ government regulators

      The post did not acknowledge any wrongdoing or improper behavior on the part of the Uber or its employees for developing and using the Greyball program.

    • Why women in tech aren’t surprised by the Uber saga

      But, again, simply boosting your numbers is one thing. Promoting women to the next level is another. Treating women like equal humans, including them in important meetings and events, and letting them establish new rules is another. Not talking down to them is another. Appropriately responding to complaints — while understanding that a complaint is not “complaining” — is another. Not assuming they’re “less technical” is another. Not assuming they’re doing less work because they also have a family, is another.

    • Exclusive: Carl Icahn responds to ‘witch hunt’ complaint [iophk: "Microsoft lobbyist and Microsoft activist"]
    • Uber driver charged with raping passenger in Virginia Beach

      An Uber driver appeared in court on Tuesday after he was charged with raping a female passenger in one of the city’s Oceanfront neighborhoods over the weekend.

    • What Happens if You’re Too Poor to Pay Bail?

      Bail is a $14 billion-a-year business with its own trade association—the American Bail Coalition or ABC—made up of national bail-insurance companies who underwrite the bonds and take a cut. This group lobbies hard for the policies that make it money and it shows. Before ABC began lobbying, in 1990, commercial, for-profit bail accounted for just 23 percent of pretrial releases, while release on recognizance accounted for 40 percent. Today, only 23 percent of those let go before trial are released on recognizance, while 49 percent must purchase commercial bail.

    • Chocolate price hike if Brexit deal fails, warns Mars

      Chocolate prices could rise if the UK does not secure a trade deal post-Brexit, according to Mars’ top boss.

      Fiona Dawson, global president for Mars, said the absence of a deal with EU member states would see tariffs of up to 30% for the industry.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • A Dangerous California Bill Would Leave Students and Teachers Vulnerable to Intrusive Government Searches

      A dangerous bill in California would make it easy for the government to search the cell phones and online accounts of students and teachers. A.B. 165 rips away crucial protections for the more than 6-million Californians who work at and attend our public schools. Under the proposed law, anyone acting “for or on the behalf of” a public school—whether that’s the police or school officials—could search through student, teacher, and possibly even parent digital data without a court issuing a warrant or any other outside oversight.

    • The Internet of Microphones

      So the CIA has tools to snoop on you via your TV and your Echo is testifying in a murder case and yet people are still buying connected devices with microphones in and why are they doing that the world is on fire surely this is terrible?

      You’re right that the world is terrible, but this isn’t really a contributing factor to it. There’s a few reasons why. The first is that there’s really not any indication that the CIA and MI5 ever turned this into an actual deployable exploit. The development reports[1] describe a project that still didn’t know what would happen to their exploit over firmware updates and a “fake off” mode that left a lit LED which wouldn’t be there if the TV were actually off, so there’s a potential for failed updates and people noticing that there’s something wrong. It’s certainly possible that development continued and it was turned into a polished and usable exploit, but it really just comes across as a bunch of nerds wanting to show off a neat demo.

    • Civil Liberties Groups Point Out More Reasons Why The ‘Privacy Shield’ Framework For Transatlantic Data Flows Is At Risk

      Earlier this year, we wrote about growing concerns that President Trump’s executive order stripping those who are not US citizens of certain rights under the Privacy Act could have major consequences for transatlantic data flows. Now two leading civil liberties groups — the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) — have sent a joint letter to the EU’s Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, and other leading members of the European Commission and Parliament, urging the EU to re-examine the Privacy Shield agreement, which regulates transatlantic data flows, as well as the US-EU umbrella agreement, a data protection framework for EU-US law enforcement cooperation. The joint letter calls on European politicians to take into account what the ACLU and HRW delicately term “changed circumstances” — essentially, the arrival of Donald Trump and his new agenda.

    • Edward Snowden: Three families who helped shelter former NSA agent seek asylum in Canada
    • Families Who Sheltered Snowden Seek Asylum In Canada
    • Refugees who sheltered Edward Snowden seek Canada asylum
    • World Day Against Cyber-Censorship

      The Internet has been key to providing a voice for those who have been ignored by the traditional media streams. While those groups have been able to enjoy free expression and an exchange of ideas. Yet around the world, governments are trying to limit individuals access to the web.

    • RSF protests over ‘unscrupulous’ censorship, surveillance of journos

      On World Day Against Cyber-Censorship, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released a report denouncing the readiness with which leading internet companies submit to the demands of authoritarian regimes in order to profit.

      RSF is also concerned about the many cases of online surveillance of journalists and calls for the creation of binding international regulatory mechanisms.

      The trade, plied by companies with expertise in cyber-surveillance, is lucrative but dubious.

    • Court Tells Cops They Can’t Use GPS Data Gathered After Suspect They Were Tracking Sold The Vehicle

      This might be laziness. Or ineptness. Or just another indicator of how much citizens’ rights mean to their public servants. Whatever it is, it’s definitely not good policing. A drug bust that fortuitously rolled into the lap of the Colorado Springs Police Department has now rolled back out of it, thanks to a Colorado federal court. (via Brad Heath)

      Here’s the story. The PD suspected someone known as “S.B.” to be engaged in drug trafficking. S.B. owned a white BMW that was apparently used during drug deals. Detectives obtained a warrant to place a GPS locator on the car and track its location for 60 days.

      Three weeks after the tracking device was placed on the vehicle, detectives noticed the car’s rims had been removed and a “For Sale” sign placed in its window. A couple of weeks after that, the car’s location data shifted dramatically. It was no longer spending a great deal of time parked in S.B.’s driveway. It was spending a majority of its time at a new address — one with no association to S.B. and the location data previously obtained.

    • Ex-aides: Trump has long been worried about recorded calls

      As a real estate mogul and reality TV star — well before he alleged on Twitter that former President Barack Obama wiretapped his phones during the campaign — Trump expressed regular concern that his phone lines were not secure, according to three former Trump Organization executives.

      At times he talked about possible listening devices and worried that he was being monitored, two executives said. In other times, he was doing the monitoring. One of the executives said Trump occasionally taped his own phone conversations using an old-school tape recorder, although Trump once denied this.

    • Former NSA Senior Analyst Blasts Obama and Bush for Enabling Deep State Crisis

      Former NSA senior analyst J. Kirk Wiebe, a 32-year veteran of the agency who received the NSA’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award, criticized the deep state enabled by the Bush and Obama administrations. “Over a decade and a half ago, the NSA Four (Bill Binney, Ed Loomis, Tom Drake, and myself), together with House Intelligence Committee Senior Staffer Diane Roark pleaded for a surveillance system that protected the innocent, in order to prevent the destruction of individual privacy guaranteed us all by the U.S. Constitution. Nobody listened. No one cared. No one took corrective action,” he wrote. “Today, we see unfolding before our very eyes a constitutional crisis of monumental proportions, one that threatens the very foundations of our nation’s system of governance. People hidden in the bowels of the United States Intelligence Community are leaking classified information taken from the private phone calls of innocent people—people who have not been accused of committing any crime—to the press for purely political reasons, reasons that include an attempt to take down our duly elected administration.” Had the concerns of whistleblowers from high ranking positions and Edward Snowden been addressed, the U.S. wouldn’t be faced with an impending crisis because the intelligence community lacks appropriate oversight.

    • Congressman Introduces Bill That Would Allow People And Companies To ‘Hack Back’ After Attacks

      Probably not the best idea, but it’s something some legislators and private companies have been looking to do for years: hack back. Now there’s very, very, very nascent federal legislation in the works that would give hacking victims a chance to jab a stick in the hornet’s nest or work on their attribution theories or whatever.

    • Republicans Starting to Think the NSA Has Too Much Surveillance Power

      Republicans have long supported the sweeping surveillance capabilities of the NSA and have insisted they’re vitally important to national security. But with their man Trump caught up in multiple scandals that may involve intelligence services targeting his communications, privacy is suddenly a top priority.

    • US spies still won’t tell Congress the number of Americans caught in dragnet

      In 2013, a National Security Agency contractor named Edward Snowden revealed US surveillance programs that involved the massive and warrantless gathering of Americans’ electronic communications. Two of the programs, called Upstream and Prism, are allowed under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. That section expires at year’s end, and President Donald Trump’s administration, like his predecessor’s administration, wants the law renewed so those snooping programs can continue.

      That said, even as the administration seeks renewal of the programs, Congress and the public have been left in the dark regarding questions surrounding how many Americans’ electronic communications have been ensnared under the programs. Congress won’t be told in a classified setting either, despite repeated requests.

    • Congress again pushing NSA to reveal number of Americans under surveillance

      With the legislation that effectively legalizes the National Security Agency mass surveillance programs Prism and Upstream set to expire at the end of 2017, Congress is once again asking for numbers on how many Americans have been surveilled. Just as it has for the past six years, though, the NSA isn’t playing ball.

    • After NSA hacking exposé, CIA staffers asked where Equation Group went wrong

      Two days after researchers exposed a National Security Agency-tied hacking group that operated in secret for more than a decade, CIA hackers convened an online discussion aimed at preventing the same kind of unwelcome attention. The thread, according to a document WikiLeaks published Tuesday, was titled “What did Equation do wrong, and how can we avoid doing the same?”

    • The CIA Document Dump Isn’t Exactly Snowden 2.0. Here’s Why [Ed: NPR is trying to belittle Wikileaks' Vault 7 without even knowing 99% of the material yet to be released]
    • EFF to Court: Forcing Someone to Unlock and Decrypt Their Phone Violates the Constitution

      The police cannot force you to tell them the passcode for your phone. Forcing you to turn over or type in your passcode violates the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination—the privilege that allows people to “plead the Fifth” to avoid handing the government evidence it could use against them. And if you have a phone that’s encrypted by default (which we hope you do), forcing you to type in your passcode to unlock the device means forcing you to decrypt your phone, too. That forced translation—of unintelligible information to intelligible—also violates the Fifth Amendment.

    • Wikileaks Vault 7: CIA’s Operations Security Apocalypse

      Unlike most of the public, my initial reaction to Wikileaks release of documents detailing CIA’s cyber-spying was not one of shock at CIA’s vast hacking capabilities. As a former intelligence officer, I was not surprised by the breadth of CIA’s capabilities, what shocked me, was the depth of CIA’s counterespionage incompetence. I was aware of existing gaps in CIA’s Operations Security (OPSEC), but I had never dreamt CIA security was so broken we would witness a counterespionage failure of this scope, one that places Edward Snowden in the Junior Varsity league of intelligence leaks, and renders Bradley Manning almost inconsequential by comparison. But on March 7, 2017, the unimaginable happened as Wikileaks began publishing details of CIA’s cyber-spying capabilities, a stunning acquisition by Julian Assange.

      [...]

      It would be misleading to say I did not see the potential for a counterespionage disaster of biblical proportions brewing at CIA, in part because as a CIA Whistleblower, I have unintentionally become part of CIA’s OPSEC failure narrative. I have witnessed CIA treat OPSEC with a disdain that is remarkable for an agency considered paranoid about OPSEC by many in the Intelligence Community, who are on the outside looking in. I was once one of those people looking in at CIA from the outside, as an analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), from 2006 until I transferred to CIA in the summer of 2009. DIA taught me OPSEC. From my initial training in DIA’s “Tomorrow’s Intelligence Professionals” to my deployment to Iraq with The Joint Special Operations Command, I learned good OPSEC could mean the difference between life and death. I also witnessed what I perceived to be the paranoia of CIA analysts, who refused to share intelligence with DIA and others in military intelligence. I mistakenly thought the behavior of CIA analysts was indicative of CIA’s strong OPSEC culture. I naively assumed CIA’s OPSEC posture was much stronger than what we had at DIA and in the military community. At the time, I had no idea CIA took a laxer approach to OPSEC than DIA. I did not understand that the pushback I had experienced during my deployment to Iraq was simply bureaucratic game playing by CIA analysts who cared more about preserving their diminishing position in the intelligence community than seriously countering terrorism.

    • WikiLeaks’ ‘Vault 7′: How did the CIA manage to get into our smartphones?

      Should we be worried about the CIA’s cyber hacks? How did the spy agency manage to get into our cellphones? On Tech 24 this week, we tell you everything you need to know about “Vault 7″, the code name for the 9,000 secret documents WikiLeaks has just made public. Plus, we test the K’able Key by the innovative French startup PKparis. It’s a flash drive that will boost your iPhone and iPad.

    • Assange accuses CIA of “historic act of devastating incompetence”

      Assange said he had been contacted by a malware researcher who believed that his Apple Macintosh computer was infected by the QuarkMatter malware described in the CIA documents (it’s an implant that infects the EFI partition of a Mac’s storage device). Based on the documents leaked by Assange and WikiLeaks, that implant was still largely a work in progress. “It lools like not only is [the CIA arsenal] being spread around contractors and former American computer hackers for hire, but now maybe around the black market or being used by these American hackers who sometimes, you know cross both sides of the fence—they’re called grey hats—for attacking others,” Assange said.

      Assange also noted that while WikiLeaks was not yet publishing the tools themselves, he and WikiLeaks would share the exploits with the targeted companies in order to help them protect against attacks. Assange then accused the CIA of covering up the leak and causing damage to those companies with what he claimed was “what appears to be the largest arsenal of Trojans and viruses in the world, that attacks most of the systems that journalists, people in government, politicians, CEOs, and average people use.”

    • John F. Kennedy And Bernie Sanders Both Called For Abolishing The CIA

      On Tuesday, Wikileaks published a batch of internal CIA documents to its site that exposed the breadth and scope of the Central Intelligence Agency’s spying and hacking operations. The documents suggest that the CIA has at its disposal a sophisticated set of tools for spying on people using their smartphones, computers, and even their smart TVs manufactured by companies like Samsung. The documents are still being combed through by researchers, but the result of the leak is already leading to a growing chorus of Americans who believe the CIA serves no useful purpose and deserves to be dismantled immediately.

    • C.I.A. Scrambles to Contain Damage From WikiLeaks Documents
    • WikiLeaks Releases Trove of Alleged C.I.A. Hacking Documents

      In one revelation that may especially trouble the tech world if confirmed, WikiLeaks said that the C.I.A. and allied intelligence services have managed to compromise both Apple and Android smartphones, allowing their officers to bypass the encryption on popular services such as Signal, WhatsApp and Telegram. According to WikiLeaks, government hackers can penetrate smartphones and collect “audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.”

    • Governments should be protecting our online privacy, not destroying it

      Governments should be safeguarding the digital privacy and security of their citizens, but these alleged actions by the CIA do just the opposite. Weaponising everyday products such as TVs and smartphones – and failing to disclose vulnerabilities to manufacturers – is dangerous and short-sighted. It puts people around the world at risk of attack from hackers and repressive regimes, and this leak itself shows just how likely such tools are to spread beyond the organisation that developed them.

    • Five Questions About the Latest WikiLeaks Release

      How much have private companies compromised themselves and their customers? Based on the files, some service providers and equipment manufacturers seem to know a certain amount about what is going on.

    • London cops use an insecure mail-server that lets third parties intercept mail in transit

      If you were to send me an email at x@met.police.uk it looks as it if would be sent in with no level of encryption, which is surprising as most organisations these days use TLS, and send email over HTTPS by default,

    • These 24 Senators introduced a bill to let telecoms sell your private internet history

      A new bill coming before Senate aims to completely dismantle the FCC’s ability to enact data security or online privacy protections for consumers under the powers of the Congressional Review Act. Senate Joint Resolution (S.J.Res 34) was introduced by Arizona Senator Jeff Flake and cosponsored by 23 other Senators. Its goal is to remove all the hard-earned net neutrality regulations gained to protect your internet history from advertisers and and worse. Specifically, the FCC had been able to prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from spying on your internet history, and selling what they gathered, without express permission.

    • Once again, the tinfoil hats were wrong: reality is way worse than they claimed

      The CIA has deliberately “inserted”, whatever that means in detail, its own coders into all major US tech manufacturers. (This is not unlike the US accuses China of doing – with Huawei routers being a prime example.)

      More to the point, the CIA is alleged to have turned every Windows PC into a potential remote spy tool, with the ability to activate backdoors on demand, including via Windows Update. (This has – or should have – diplomatic implications: any government that doesn’t like a foreign power having remote switches into its administration should have migrated from Windows when this ability was even suspected.)

    • The Feds Would Rather Drop a Child Porn Case Than Give Up a Tor Exploit

      The Department of Justice filed a motion in Washington State federal court on Friday to dismiss its indictment against a child porn site. It wasn’t for lack of evidence; it was because the FBI didn’t want to disclose details of a hacking tool to the defense as part of discovery. Evidence in United States v. Jay Michaud hinged at least in part on information federal investigators had gathered by exploiting a vulnerability in the Tor anonymity network.

    • Nest reportedly planning a cheaper smart thermostat for “under $200”
  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Mr. Erdogan’s Jaw-Dropping Hypocrisy

      He has jailed tens of thousands of people, shuttered more than 150 media companies and called a referendum in April to enlarge his powers. Yet when local authorities in Germany, for security reasons, barred two Turkish ministers from campaigning on his behalf among Turks living in Germany, Mr. Erdogan exploded, accusing Germany of Nazi practices and knowing nothing about democracy.

    • Rep. John Bennett has lengthy response to backlash over ‘hateful’ questionnaire

      It should be noted that the above information only represents a SMALL fraction of the evidence demonstrating CAIR is a Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood entity.

    • [Old] Chapter 1: Beliefs About Sharia
    • Kerala Muslim fanatic wants acid poured on woman’s face if ‘she barks against Islam’
    • Girls in Senegal’s Islamic schools prey to abuse while boys beg on streets – activists

      … children, known as talibe, are forced to beg by teachers, called marabouts, who beat them if they fail to bring in some 2,000 CFA francs ($3) per day, according to rights groups such as Human Rights Watch (HRW)

    • Uber’s ‘hustle-oriented’ culture becomes a black mark on employees’ résumés

      If you did well in that environment upholding those values, I probably don’t want to work with you.

    • [Older] Slavoj Zizek: We Must Rise from the Ashes of Liberal Democracy

      An old anti-Communist leftist once told me the only good thing about Stalin was that he really scared the big Western powers, and one could say the same about Trump: The good thing about him is that he really scares liberals.

      After World War II, Western powers responded to the Soviet threat by focusing on their own shortcomings, which led them to develop the welfare state. Will today’s left-liberals be able to do something similar?

    • My husband, in prison for supporting human rights in Saudi Arabia

      He taught me that a person is born free and that it is up to him or her to live in freedom or die trying to achieve it. Slavery has no place in his life except when it comes to serving God, the one and only. Now, he lives in freedom even though he is behind bars with his colleagues Abdullah al-Hamid, Mohammad al-Qahtani and many other activists imprisoned purely for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

    • British girls are being sold as child brides like I was, says women’s rights campaigner

      When Gabriella Gillespie was six her father killed her mother; when she was 13 he took her and her sisters to his native Yemen and sold them as child brides.

      Her 17-year-old sister Issy killed herself on her wedding night rather than marry the man in his 60s to whom she had been promised.

    • NHS figures show how female genital mutilation is affecting Luton

      Across the whole of England, 2,332 attendances for female genital mutilation were recorded during the last quarter of 2016. These attendances included 1,268 women or girls whose cases were newly recorded.

    • Met Police still don’t know where FGM is happening after 32 years without a conviction

      Inspector Allen Davis’s comments came as the NHS revealed there were nearly 5,500 new FGM cases reported to hospitals, clinics and GPs in 2016.

      No one has ever been convicted of carrying out female genital mutilation in the UK despite it being illegal in the country since 1985.

    • Over 7,000 FGM cases recorded in the UK in 2016 – but no convictions since 1985

      Since 1985, when FGM became illegal in the UK, there has only been one attempt at a prosecution and not a single person has been convicted.

      [...]

      Davis added that the recorded number of cases were just the “tip of the iceberg”.

    • Supreme Court Won’t Hear Case, But Justice Thomas Questions Constitutionality Of Asset Forfeiture

      We’ve been writing about the sheer insanity of asset forfeiture for many, many years. If you happen to have missed it, civil asset forfeiture is the process by which the government can just take your stuff by arguing that it must have been the proceeds of criminal activity. They literally file a lawsuit against your stuff, not you. And, here’s the real kicker: in most places, they never have to file any lawsuits about the actual crime, let alone get a conviction. They just get to take your stuff, say that it must have been the proceeds of a crime, and unless you go through the insanely expensive and burdensome process of demanding it back, they effectively get to walk off with your stuff. Law enforcement has literally referred to the process as going shopping. Most people who understand what’s going on recognize that it’s just state-sponsored theft.

    • This Is What It’s Like To Be Wrongly Accused Of Being A Paedophile Because Of A Typo By Police

      On a Saturday morning in July 2011, Nigel Lang, then aged 44, was at home in Sheffield with his partner and their 2-year-old son when there was a knock at the door.

      He opened it to find a man and two women standing there, one of whom asked if he lived at the address. When he said he did, the three strangers pushed past him and one of the women, who identified herself as a police officer, told Lang and his partner he was going to be arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

      He knew he was innocent but was powerless to prevent what happened next, as over the coming days, weeks, months, and years, through absolutely no fault of his own, events took place that would cost him his health and his career, and put serious strain on his relationships with those he loved the most.

      Lang described the arrest, and what followed, as “the most horrendous and horrific time of my life.”

      What makes Lang’s ordeal all the more shocking, BuzzFeed News can now reveal, is that his wrongful arrest, and all the consequences of it, stemmed from what police called a “typing error”.

      [...]

      But it would take years, and drawn-out legal processes, to get answers about why this had happened to him, to force police to admit their mistake, and even longer to begin to get his and his family’s lives back on track.

      Police paid Lang £60,000 in compensation last autumn after settling out of court, two years after they finally said sorry and removed the wrongful arrest from his record.

    • Teen blogger seeking US asylum fears return to Singapore

      A teenage blogger awaiting a Chicago immigration judge’s ruling on his asylum request to stay in the United States said Friday that he’s afraid of returning home to Singapore, where he was jailed after posting scathing blog posts about the government.

    • Blogger Yee fears persecution if returned by US to Singapore

      A teenage blogger awaiting a Chicago immigration judge’s ruling on his asylum request to stay in the United States said Friday that he’s afraid of returning home to Singapore, where he was jailed after posting scathing blog posts about the government.

    • Teen blogger seeking US asylum fears return to Singapore
    • New Accountability Add-On Triggers Cameras When Police Officers Unholster Their Guns

      Taser, the company, gets a lot of cop love because of its titular product, which is deployed (too) frequently to subdue arrestees. It probably doesn’t get as much love for its body cameras, especially since it’s already wired one line to sync footage with Taser deployment.

      [...]

      What it won’t do is prevent cops from “fixing it in post.” As long as officers have access to uploaded/stored footage, there’s always a chance the recording will be deleted, altered, or made useless. True accountability can’t be achieved with a holster add-on. It has to start at the bottom and be enforced by the top.

    • ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Laws Continue To Be Introduced Around The Nation

      How much do “Blue Lives” matter? More than non-Blue Lives, apparently, given the national legislative enthusiasm for generating stupid, easily-abused, redundant legislation.

      Louisiana — one of the few states where legislators have agreed to extend greater protections to an incredibly-protected group — has already seen its newly-minted “Blue Lives Matter” law abused by law enforcement. It’s been abused so badly that even law enforcement’s best friend — local prosecutors — has refused to pursue charges under the statute.

      But most state legislatures have yet to entertain this ridiculous idea to its illogical conclusion. As Julia Craven reports for Huffington Post, fourteen states have floated “Blue Lives Matter” laws — a total of 32 legislative trial balloons.

      The good news is most of these have gone nowhere. The data compiled by Craven shows a majority of these have died shortly after introduction — most likely due to them being both (a) bad laws and (b) redundant. All 50 states already have some sort of sentencing enhancement on the books for perpetrators of violent acts against law enforcement officers. Trying to twist legislation meant to protect underprivileged groups to include some of the most privileged members of our society hasn’t found much support beyond police unions and others similarly self-interested.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Senators push FCC to keep its net neutrality rules

      The U.S. Federal Communications Commission should reverse course and keep the net neutrality rules it passed just two years ago, several Democratic senators said Wednesday.

    • Trump’s FCC chairman says he won’t just do what Trump tells him to
    • NY State AG’s Lawsuit Against ISP Shows Why We Need Net Neutrality Protections

      Back in 2013, a couple of Internet pranksters who were fed up with Time Warner Cable’s (TWC) dismal customer service released a parody video and website that asked, “What Can We [TWC] do Worse?” In response, the company launched an aggressive takedown campaign against the parodists. But thanks to the New York Attorney General (AG) Eric Schneiderman, we now know exactly what Time Warner Cable did “do worse.”

    • In Dodging FCC Review, AT&T’s Time Warner Mega-Merger Just Got Much Easier Under Trump

      There are about 100 AT&T lobbyists currently making the rounds in Washington, trying to convince regulators and the press that the deal will provide an incredible boon to consumers. The folks who actually try to protect consumers aren’t so sure, arguing that a larger combined company could make it harder than ever for streaming competitors to license the content they need to compete with AT&T (and its own streaming service, DirecTV Now). And that’s before you even get to the fact that AT&T’s using usage caps to give its own services an unfair leg up in the market (aka zero rating).

    • The Googler known as the ‘father of the internet’ defends an institution that’s at risk under the Trump administration

      President Donald Trump’s new Federal Communications Commission chairman, Ajit Pai, has wasted no time in setting an agenda that could wind down the open internet as we know it.

      In a presentation at the Google Cloud Next conference today, Google Chief Internet Evangelist and “father of the internet” Vint Cerf didn’t mention Trump or Pai by name — but he clearly addressed what he sees as the dangers of such an agenda, and defended the institution of the open internet.

      “The guys who started Google didn’t have to get permission to start the service, they just put it up,” says Cerf. “It’s permissionless innovation.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • China Busily Approving ‘Trump’ Trademarks With Stunning Speed

        Last month, we discussed the stark reversal by the Chinese government in the matter of many trademarks for President Trump’s businesses. In that post, we tried to tackle the question of whether China’s sudden approval for a “Trump” trademark on construction services was a violation of the emoluments clause. How you answer this question tends to fall along political fault lines, which is unfortunate. Notably, those that did not find a violation by the trademark approval often suggested that this was one trademark that had been in dispute for years, long before Trump began his campaign for the presidency. Is one single trademark being granted to a sitting President that claims to no longer control his business directly really going to amount to a constitutional violation? Many didn’t think so.

    • Copyrights

      • FOIA Uncovers Part of U.K. Shadow Regulation on Search Engines and Copyright

        Last month we wrote about the adoption of a new secret agreement between copyright holders and the major search engines, brokered by the U.K. Intellectual Property Office, aimed at making websites associated with copyright infringement less visible in search results. Since the agreement wasn’t publicly available, we simultaneously issued a request under the U.K.’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), asking for a copy of the text. Today we received it.

      • EU Parliament Dumps Link Tax, Invites News Publishers To Sue If They Think Google’s Making Them Broke

        Last summer, Mike reported the EU Commission was about to institute a “link tax” on news snippets. In essence, the tax would have punished search engines for sending traffic TO news sites. Not only is that part of it a stupid, backwards idea, but previous attempts by European countries to institute link/Google taxes were abject failures, resulting in Google refusing to list taxed news articles in its search results.

        Readers were invited to comment on the proposed tax. It’s not clear whether those comments were heard above the overly-confident dull roar of industry lobbyists, but whatever the turning point was, the link tax idea is dead. What’s being offered to publishers is something completely different: an opportunity to sue Google, et al for supposed infringement.

      • Important Ruling On Perennially-Problematic Creative Commons Non-Commercial License

        Techdirt has been warning about the problems with the Creative Commons Non-Commercial License (CC NC) for many, many years. Last September, Mike wrote about an important case involving the CC NC license, brought by Great Minds, an educational non-profit organization, against FedEx, the shipping giant. Copy shops owned by FedEx photocopied some of Great Minds’ works on behalf of school districts. The material had been released by Great Minds under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license — that is, the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

      • Aussie Film Distributor That Pledged To End Movie Release Delays To Combat Piracy Delays Movies Anyway

        Back in 2014, much was made about piracy in Australia, specifically whether Aussies using VPN services to get the American flavor of Netflix should be more heavily combatted and how release windows for movies in Australia were pushing the public to pirate the film instead of waiting for it. While much of the conversation about Netflix was unfortunate, we did see some positive signs about release windows coming from distributors in Australia. One distributor, Village Roadshow, even had its CEO admit how badly a delayed-release window had boned them when it came to the wildly popular The Lego Movie.

      • Ed Sheeran: Piracy Is What Made Me

        We all know by now the music industry’s mantra that piracy kills artists. Well, not kills kills, but kills their musical careers before they could even really begin, so destructive is the dissemination of free music amongst the public. After all, if the public doesn’t pay for every last instance of every last bit of music, how in the world could musical artists ever make a living? This mantra is one that tends to be applied universally to the concept of free music by the industry, with zero in the way of nuanced discussions about potential business models that might work for some, or many, artists.

      • European Parliament poised to reject EU copyright expansion plans

        Politico Europe published a draft report [paywalled] by Therese Comodini Cachia (EPP), the Member of the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee responsible for the Parliament’s reaction to the Commission’s copyright reform proposal.

      • Silicon Valley bites back via Europe’s copyright reform

        Silicon Valley has pushed back hard against Europe’s copyright reforms in the forthcoming response from the European Parliament’s rapporteur, a full draft of which has been seen by The Register.

        Politico published a partial draft of the European Parliament’s response to the Commission’s proposals – only the odd pages – earlier this week, but the version we’ve seen is complete and up to date. The report by MEP Therese Comodini Cachia will form the basis of the Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee’s reform of the rules on copyright in Europe in the digital age.

        Comodini guts many of the proposals that would oblige major platforms to be more market- and content-friendly in Europe, and the response attempts to allow technology companies greater scope over using Europeans’ content and data. One Brussels expert described Comodini’s 73 proposed amendments as a “coup for Google”.

      • It’s official: Prenda copyright trolls made their own porn, seeded on Pirate Bay

        One of the more incredible allegations about Prenda Law—the porn copyright-trolling operation that sued people for downloading movies online—was that the lawyers behind it might have created and uploaded some of the porn in question simply as a way to catch more offenders.

03.09.17

Links 9/3/2017: Mesa 17.1.0 Plan, Atom 1.15, virt-manager 1.4.1

Posted in News Roundup at 11:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Teradata releases data lake platform to open source

    Teradata today released its data lake management software platform to the open source community. The project aims to help organizations address common challenges in data lake implementation, including skill shortages for engineers and administrators, learning and implementing governance best practices and driving data lake adoption beyond engineers.

    Teradata is offering the new open source Kylo project under the Apache 2.0 license, and plans to offer services and support for the platform.

  • Forrester Wave Report Highlights The Clear Prominence Of Open Source

    The security industry is recognizing the importance open source has within enterprise applications and ultimately security, according to Forrester research. The Forrester Wave: Software Composition Analysis, Q1 2017 focused on Software Composition Analysis (SCA) and found developers use open source components as their foundation and highlights how security pros are turning to SCA tools to reduce risks.

    The six leading providers, according to Forrester, are Black Duck Software, Flexera Software, Sonatype, Synopsys, Veracode, and WhiteSource Software. The report researched, analyzed, and scored each provider to see how each one measures up to help security professionals make the right choices for their organizations.

  • Why Open Collaboration Is Crucial for Blockchain Tech

    The one-year-old Hyperledger Project has already come a long way in making the innovative blockchain technology used in Bitcoin a viable option for secure business transactions. That was the clear message from Christopher Ferris in his keynote at the Open Source Leadership Summit in February.

    Ferris, the CTO of open technology at IBM and member of Hyperledger’s leadership, said Hyperledger and blockchain technology could be enormously successful in private enterprise securing and verifying rapid, high value, and highly private transactions. Additionally, the collaborative open source foundation is nearing release of its production-ready distributed ledger code base, Fabric.

  • Keynote: State of Blockchain – Christopher Ferris, Distinguished Engineer

    The Hyperledger project has come a long way in making the innovative blockchain technology used in Bitcoin a viable option for secure business transactions; hear more from Christopher Ferris in this keynote at the Open Source Leadership Summit.

  • Open source: Free as in beer, puppy… or mattress? [Ed: This longtime Microsoft propagandist (Branscombe) didn’t get the memo that her masters pretend to love FOSS? The old “puppy” attack recycled?]

    When open source first started to become mainstream in the 90s, there was a good deal of debate about what ‘free software’ meant.

    It wasn’t just about something you didn’t have to pay for, went the philosophy, it was also about being able to see the source code to understand what was going on, and to make your own changes.

  • How to make money from open source software

    Talk about starting a business based on open source software and the conversation will inevitably shift to Red Hat. That’s because the Linux vendor is a shining example of a company that’s making money from an open source product. But how easy is it really to establish an open source startup that makes money? For every success story like Red Hat there are companies like Cyanogen that fail to thrive and projects that are abandoned.

    It’s tempting to believe that the Red Hat business model, which is based around selling subscriptions for support to a maintained and tested version of Linux (or a closely related model that offers consultancy and customization to an open source software solution as well support and maintenance), is the most viable way to make money from open source software. But Sam Myers, a principal at Balderton Capital, a technology venture capital company, says that most open source startups are unlikely to succeed using these business models.

  • The grueling emotional labor of an open source maintainer

    Nolan Lawson is burning up the free/open source web with an essay called What it feels like to be an open-source maintainer, where he describes the contradictory and negative experiences of trying to please hundreds of people who are just trying to get his code to work, where the more emotional and technical work he does to make them happy, the more he ends up with.

  • Introduction to gRPC

    The hot new buzz in tech is gRPC. It is a super-fast, super-efficient Remote Procedure Call (RPC) system that will make your microservices talk to each other at lightspeed, or at least that’s what people say. So this article will take a quick look at what it is, and how or when it can fit into your services.

  • Open source technology in enterprise

    With many organisations having moved to more open source adoption, more than 90% admit there are potential or hidden costs in doing so.

    Up to half admit to not taking the different costs of open source into account in their decision-making, such as training, recruiting and replacing employees with essential data science skills.

    [...]

    What is clear are that many organisations see clear benefits from open source and many are already deploying these solutions, with plans to grow their use of open source.

    Respondents listed a number of customer benefits. Almost half believe it can help bring opportunities in terms of a wider range and more personalised products and services. Around four in 10 feel it can help with faster resolution of problems.

  • Events

    • The Linux Foundation Announces Keynotes and Sessions for Apache: Big Data
    • The Linux Foundation Announces Full Agenda for ApacheCon™ 2017
    • Apache Conferences, BarCamps, and MeetUps

      The Apache Software Foundation, in conjunction with our friends at the Linux Foundation events team, are proud to announce the schedule for ApacheCon North America – http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/apachecon-north-america/program/schedule – and Apache Big Data North America – http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/apache-big-data-north-america/program/schedule

    • SCaLE 15x

      This year was the 15th Annual SCaLE (Southern California Linux Expo) event where I was fortunate enough to both attend and speak at. While this is the 15th year of the, now very well known, conference; it was in fact my first time to attend. I spent majority of my time floating between working the Fedora, Red Hat, and OpenShift booths there in the Expo Hall. I had originally planned to spend more time at the Fedora booth than I did, but the OpenShift crew ended up short staffed because of unexpected travel issues of some of their team members so I filled in the best I could. As expected the interest in containers is at full tilt and people were very interested to see what is going on with OpenShift as it is a Kubernetes distribution with advanced features beyond core Kubernetes, and Kubernetes is easily the most popular container orchestration platform around right now. The Project Atomic Community manager, Josh Berkus was kind enough to lend his Sub-Atomic Cluster (Described in this two-part blog series: Part 1, Part 2) to the booth efforts and that made for some very engaging demos of what OpenShift can accomplish (even though the conference network left something to be desired, but this is nothing new). Over all I think we were able to provide event goers a solid booth destination in their Expo Hall travels.

    • #LinuxPlaya 2017, the Fedora and GNOME fest at the beach!

      Last Saturday in Lima, Peru, a group of students and, Fedora and GNOME lovers have celebrated the event called #LinuxPlaya.

    • The presence of Fedora and GNOME at DevAcademy

      Today, I have been interviewed by Lennon Shimokawa (Founder of DevAcademy) to talk about the Free Software situation in Peru and how to get involved in the GNOME and Fedora project since you are interested to do it! This was the preamble for this season:

    • Call for Speakers: DevNet Create, May 23-24, 2017 in San Francisco

      Do you love to code? Are you a trailblazer in secure app development, IoT or bot app development? Want to share your microservices or container success story? If so, DevNet Create wants you as a speaker at its first annual event May 23-24, 2017, in San Francisco.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Open Source adoption in Education Sector: Interview with Patrick Masson from OSI

      With the perceived growth of FLOSS deployments in the world’s education sector, we wanted to try to confirm our intuition. What better way of doing so than going directly to the source. In this instance, we reached out to Patrick Masson, Director and General Manager at Open Source Initiative (OSI). He was kind enough to put a lot of time and effort into answering questions in this area. He provides plenty of reasons to confirm our initial thoughts. Please enjoy reading through the immense amount of information Patrick provided to us.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Netfilter in GSoC 2017

      Great news! The Netfilter project has been elected by Google to be a mentoring organization in this year Google Summer of Code program. Following the pattern of the last years, Google seems to realise and support the importance of this software project in the Linux ecosystem.

    • Over 200 Open Source Orgs Mentoring GSoC 2017

      The list of mentoring organizations for this year’s Google Summer of Code has been posted and there’s a record number of them. The list includes large and well known projects together with smaller and less familiar ones.

  • BSD

    • LLVM 4.0 Compiler Stack Is Getting Prepped For Release

      The LLVM compiler infrastructure stack and Clang C/C++ compiler front-end will see their version 4.0 release within the next few days.

      LLVM/Clang 4.0 has dragged on due to unresolved blockers compared to their targeted release date about two weeks ago, but the good news now that after the additional release candidates, the bugs have been resolved.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Should the U.S. Army Have Its Own Open Source License?

      This question has generated many pixels’ worth of traffic on the OSI License discuss email list. This post is just a brief summary of a little of the discussion, which has been going on for some weeks and shows no sign of slowing down.

      There are currently 80 Open Sourse Initiative-approved open source licenses. It’s nice that the Army (I’m a veteran) wants to not only write software licensed as open source, but OSI-approved open source software. (Go Army!)

      But does the Army really need its own special OS license? Should the Air Force have a different one? Will the Navy want a Coastal Combat Open Source License, along with a separate Blue Water Open Source License? That might sound far-fetched, but Mozilla has three separate open source licenses, Microsoft has two, and Canada’s province of Québec also has three. So why shouldn’t the U.S. Department of Defense have a whole slew of open source licenses?

      There are five different GPL licenses alone, and I assure you that even the Coast Guard dwarfs the Free Software Foundation in both personnel and resources.

    • US Department of Defense Launches code.mil Open Source Effort

      While the US DoD has long utilized open source software as a basic component for development of both classified and unclassified software, this new effort is unique in that it seeks to provide transparent sharing of unclassified software that was developed under DoD contracts.

    • Indian State of Kerala Saves $58 Million Each Year By Using Free And Open Source Software

      In Kerala, IT became a compulsory subject in 2003. It was followed by the phased adoption of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in 2005. This was done to replace the proprietary software.

  • Licensing/Legal

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Open Source Firmware For A Cheap Programmable Power Supply

        A few months ago, someone clued us in on a neat little programmable power supply from the usual Chinese retailers. The DPS5005 is a programmable power supply that takes power from a big AC to DC wall wart and turns it into a tiny bench-top power supply. You can pick one of these things up for about thirty bucks, so if you already have a sufficiently large AC to DC converter you can build a nice 250 Watt power supply on the cheap.

        [Johan] picked up one of these tiny programmable power supplies. His overall impression was positive, but like so many cheap products on AliExpress, there wasn’t a whole lot of polish to the interface. Additionally, the DPS5005 lacked the ability to be controlled over a serial port or WiFi.

  • Programming/Development

    • Secrets of Maintainable Codebases

      You should write maintainable code. I assume people have told you this, at some point. The admonishment is as obligatory as it is vague. So, I’m sure, when you heard this, you didn’t react effusively with, “oh, good idea — thanks!”

      If you take to the internet, you won’t need to venture far to find essays, lists, and stack exchange questions on the subject. As you can see, software developers frequently offer opinions on this particular topic. And I present no exception; I have little doubt that you could find posts about this on my own blog.

    • Facebook Brings HHVM To ARM 64-bit

      It looks like Facebook could be exploring more from ARM servers in their data centers as they have now brought their HHVM PHP implementation to AArch64.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • Google leads ‘guerilla patching’ of big vulnerability in open source projects

      Google has revealed its emergency patching efforts to fix a widespread and “pernicious” software vulnerability that affected thousands of open source projects in 2015.

      Referred to as “Mad Gadget” by Google (aka the Java “Apache Commons Collections Deserialization Vulnerability” CVE 2015-6420), the flaw was first highlighted by FoxGlove Security in November of that year, months after the first proof-of-concept code garnered almost zero attention.

    • Microsoft and Samsung react to Vault 7 CIA leaks — Google, Linux Foundation and others remain silent

      The Vault 7 document and code cache released yesterday by WikiLeaks revealed that many big software companies were being actively exploited by the CIA. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and even Linux were all named as having vulnerabilities that could be used for surveillance.

    • Vault 7 fallout: Linux Foundation says it’s “not surprising” Linux is targeted [Ed: “NSA Asked Linus Torvalds To Install Backdoors Into GNU/Linux”]

      In the wake of WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 CIA leaks, Apple has been quick to point out that vulnerabilities mentioned in the documents have already been addressed. Microsoft and Samsung have said they are “looking into” things, and now the Linux Foundation has spoken out.

      Nicko van Someren, Chief Technology Officer at The Linux Foundation says that while it is “not surprising” that Linux would find itself a target, the open source project has a very fast release cycle, meaning that kernel updates are released every few days to address issues that are found.

    • The Linux Foundation responds to Wikileaks’ CIA hacking revelations

      THE LINUX FOUNDATION has become the latest firm to responded to the revelations that its products have been compromised by the CIA.

      Wikileaks on Tuesday published 8,761 documents dubbed ‘Year Zero’, the first part in a series of leaks on the agency that Wikileaks has dubbed ‘Vault 7′.

      The whistleblowing foundation claims the document dump reveals full details of the CIA’s ‘global covert hacking program’, including ‘weaponised exploits’ used against operating systems including Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows and “even Samsung TVs, which are turned into cover microphones”.

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Hardening the LSM API

      The Linux Security Modules (LSM) API provides security hooks for all security-relevant access control operations within the kernel. It’s a pluggable API, allowing different security models to be configured during compilation, and selected at boot time. LSM has provided enough flexibility to implement several major access control schemes, including SELinux, AppArmor, and Smack.

    • Hackers exploit Apache Struts vulnerability to compromise corporate web servers
    • Critical vulnerability under “massive” attack imperils high-impact sites

      The code-execution bug resides in the Apache Struts 2 Web application framework and is trivial to exploit. Although maintainers of the open source project patched the vulnerability on Monday, it remains under attack by hackers who are exploiting it to inject commands of their choice into Struts servers that have yet to install the update, researchers are warning. Making matters worse, at least two working exploits are publicly available.

    • How Safe Are Blockchains? It Depends.

      Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology underlying bitcoin, may prove to be far more valuable than the currency it supports. But it’s only as valuable as it is secure. As we begin to put distributed ledger technology into practice, it’s important to make sure that the initial conditions we’re setting up aren’t setting us up for security issues later on.

    • Three Overlooked Lessons about Container Security

      Last week was an exciting week for me — I’ve just joined container security specialists Aqua Security and spent a couple of days in Tel Aviv getting to know the team and the product. I’m sure I’m learning things that might be obvious to the seasoned security veteran, but perhaps aren’t so obvious to the rest of us! Here are three aspects I found interesting and hope you will too, even if you’ve never really thought about the security of your containerized deployment before:

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Death in al Ghayil

      On January 29, 5-year-old Sinan al Ameri was asleep with his mother, his aunt, and 12 other children in a one-room stone hut typical of poor rural villages in the highlands of Yemen. A little after 1 a.m., the women and children awoke to the sound of a gunfight erupting a few hundred feet away. Roughly 30 members of Navy SEAL Team 6 were storming the eastern hillside of the remote settlement.

      [...]

      His mother’s body was found in the early light of dawn, the front of her head split open. The baby was wounded but alive. Sinan’s mother was one of at least six women killed in the raid, the first counterterrorism operation of the Trump administration, which also left 10 children under the age of 13 dead. “She was hit by the plane. The American plane,” explained Sinan. “She’s in heaven now,” he added with a shy smile, seemingly unaware of the enormity of what he had witnessed or, as yet, the impact of his loss. “Dog Trump,” declared Nesma, turning to the other women in the room for agreement. “Yes, the dog Trump,” they agreed.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Energy Star Wars

      Trump’s budget would get rid of Energy Star.

      The government labeling program for energy-efficient appliances and consumer products is on the chopping block as the president tries to slash spending so he can steer $54 billion more a year to the military.

      About 18,000 companies and other organizations are Energy Star partners, voluntarily putting the label on their products that meet efficiency guidelines. That helps consumers identify products that use less energy and thus cost them less to run, and it helps companies market those products.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • How the CIA’s Hacking Hoard Makes Everyone Less Secure

      When WikiLeaks yesterday released a trove of documents purporting to show how the CIA hacks everything from smartphones to PCs to smart televisions, the agency’s already shadowy reputation gained a new dimension. But if you’re an average American, rather than Edward Snowden or an ISIS jihadi, the real danger clarified by that leak wasn’t that someone in Langley is watching you through your hotel room’s TV. It’s the rest of the hacker world that the CIA has inadvertently empowered.

      As security researchers and policy analysts dig through the latest WikiLeaks documents, the sheer number of hacking tools the CIA has apparently hoarded for exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities—secret inroads that tech firms haven’t patched—stands out most. If the US intelligence community knows about them, that leaves open the possibility that criminal and foreign state hackers do as well.

    • CIA Listed BlackBerry’s Car Software as Possible Target

      BlackBerry Ltd.’s QNX automotive software, used in more than 60 million cars, was listed as a potential target for the Central Intelligence Agency to hack, according to documents released by WikiLeaks.

      CIA meeting notes mention QNX as one of several “potential mission areas” for the organization’s Embedded Devices Branch. The same branch also worked with U.K. spy agencies to develop tools to break into Apple iPhones, Google’s Android system and Samsung smart TVs, according to some of the 8,761 documents WikiLeaks posted Tuesday.

    • China blasts CIA after WikiLeaks reveals extent of agency’s hacking abilities

      WikiLeaks’ publication of documents detailing the CIA’s vast hacking prowess prompted a rebuke from China’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday over concerns surrounding the security risks caused by the agency’s ability to crack the world’s most widely-used electronic devices.

      Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he was concerned when at asked at a press conference Thursday about Beijing’s response to the latest WikiLeaks release — a cache of documents indicating the CIA can compromise an array of popular tech products, including many made and sold in China.

    • Open Rights Group calls for control of spies’ use of zero-days

      Wikileaks’ publication of documents detailing CIA hacking tools has prompted calls for government to control spy agencies’ use of vulnerabilities in widely used hardware and software

      A digital rights group has called on government to regulate the way their intelligence agencies hoard and use vulnerabilities that affect devices owned by millions of ordinary people.

    • WikiLeaks’ #Vault7 is ‘millennials’ fault says former CIA, NSA chief Hayden

      Michael Hayden, former director of both the CIA and NSA, has blamed the recent WikiLeaks #Vault7 CIA release on millennials, citing Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden as examples of the younger generation having no loyalty or sense of secrecy.

    • Former NSA deputy director says Snowden should make his case in court

      Edward Snowden, a former employee of the US National Security Agency (NSA), who disclosed electronic spying methods used by the US secret services, should have an opportunity to make his case in court, former NSA Deputy Director Chris Inglis told TASS on the sidelines of the World Cyber Security Congress in London.

    • CIA Leaks Unsurprisingly Show The Internet Of Broken Things Is A Spy’s Best Friend

      So if you’ve spent any amount of time around here, you probably already know that the security and privacy standards surrounding the internet of (broken) things sit somewhere between high comedy and dogshit. Whether it’s your refrigerator leaking your gmail credentials or your children’s toys leaking kids’ conversations, putting a microphone and camera on everything that isn’t nailed down — then connecting those devices to the internet without thinking about security and privacy — hasn’t been quite the revolution we were promised.

      [...]

      Again, this might be less of a threat if TV vendors actually took user privacy seriously, utilized system settings that made device functionality transparent, or made it easy to disable functionality of dubious value on demand. But like the rest of the Internet of Things industry, companies were so hyped to use connectivity to hoover up private user data non-transparently, their ethical apathy left the door wide open to intruders (state sponsored or otherwise).

    • CIA and MI5 hacking our “Internet of Things”

      Yet again Wikileaks has come good by exposing just how much we are being spied upon in this brave new digital world – the Vault 7 release has provided the proof for what many of us already knew/suspected – that our smart gadgets are little spy devices.

    • Apple, Samsung and Microsoft react to Wikileaks’ CIA dump

      Several of the tech firms whose products have been allegedly compromised by the CIA have given their first reactions to the claims.

      Wikileaks published thousands of documents said to detail the US spy agency’s hacking tools on Tuesday.

      They included allegations the CIA had developed ways to listen in on smartphone and smart TV microphones.

    • China expresses concern at revelations in Wikileaks dump of hacked CIA data

      China expressed concern on Thursday over revelations in a trove of data released by Wikileaks purporting to show that the CIA can hack all manner of devices, including those made by Chinese companies.

      Dozens of firms rushed to contain the damage from possible security weak points following the anti-secrecy organization’s revelations, although some said they needed more details of what the U.S. intelligence agency was up to.

      Widely-used routers from Silicon Valley-based Cisco (CSCO.O) were listed as targets, as were those supplied by Chinese vendors Huawei [HWT.UL] and ZTE (000063.SZ) and Taiwan supplier Zyxel for their devices used in China and Pakistan.

    • How does it feel to be wiretapped, when you should be doing the wiretapping…

      So the new president in the United States of America claim to be surprised to discover that he was wiretapped during the election before he was elected president. He even claim this must be illegal. Well, doh, if it is one thing the confirmations from Snowden documented, it is that the entire population in USA is wiretapped, one way or another. Of course the president candidates were wiretapped, alongside the senators, judges and the rest of the people in USA.

      [...]

      What I find most sad in this story is how Norwegian journalists present it. In a news reports the other day in the radio from the Norwegian National broadcasting Company (NRK), I heard the journalist claim that ‘the FBI denies any wiretapping’, while the reality is that ‘the FBI denies any illegal wiretapping’. There is a fundamental and important difference, and it make me sad that the journalists are unable to grasp it.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Senator Thune Begins Pushing A ‘Net Neutrality’ Bill That’s Likely To Kill Net Neutrality

      While Trump, the GOP and new FCC boss Ajit Pai really want to kill net neutrality protections for AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, it likely won’t happen at the FCC. As it stands, rolling back the rules via the same FCC process that birthed them would require showing the courts that things have dramatically changed since the FCC’s major court win last year. Such a process would also involve another lengthy public comment period, during which the record-setting four million public comments filed during the rule creation could appear diminutive.

      So if you’re an ISP lobbyist looking to kill net neutrality rules, how do you accomplish this without causing a massive public shitstorm? Why you table a bill that pretends to save and protect net neutrality, while wording it to do the exact opposite, of course!

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • UK Intellectual Property Office Refuses Beer Brewery’s Request To Block Trademark Application For Whisky

        For as long as I’ve spent time screaming about trademark issues in the alcohol industry in these here pages, I’ve repeatedly made the point that trademark laws the world over should be more nuanced when it comes to defining competitive marketplaces. The alcohol industries are perfect examples of this, with a fairly discerning customer base that is quite capable of knowing the difference between a beer and a single-malt whisky, or a bottle of wine, or the horror upon humanity that is sangria. But too many governing IP offices and courts take the lazy route of lumping these micro-markets into a macro-market for the purposes of claiming competition in trademark disputes.

        But the courts don’t always get this question wrong. Some, in fact, do bother to take the time to weigh the sophistication of the likely buyers of products within a marketplace when rendering a decision on a trademark dispute. And that seems to have been at least in part at play in a recent decision to allow a trademark to proceed for a whisky brand despite the objection raised by a beer brewer.

      • Wolfgang Puck Battles Elon Musk’s Brother Over Trademark Rights For ‘The Kitchen’ In Restaurant Industry

        Generic terms that are allowed trademark protection are the bane of those that still believe trademark law serves a useful function. For the law to work as intended, to protect the public’s ability to know what they’re buying and from whom they are buying it, trademarks need to be both unique and identifying. When the USPTO instead allows for laughably broad terms or words to be trademarked, it steals from trademark proponents the argument of utility.

    • Copyrights

      • Won’t Have Perfect 10′s Silly Lawsuits Setting Precedent Anymore: Judge Appoints Receiver For Perfect 10′s Assets

        We’ve written a ton about Perfect 10 over the years. As we’ve noted, while the company officially styled itself as a porn magazine company, it was an early form of copyright troll, focusing on suing basically every large company imaginable for being somehow kinda partially related to any of Perfect 10′s pictures showing up online. As such, Perfect 10 was astoundingly useful in setting some really fantastic and useful precedents concerning intermediary liability protections, and making sure that third parties and platforms weren’t held liable for copyright infringement.

      • Politico publishes (part of) draft copyright report by MEP Comodini Cachia

        I have only seen part of the newly worded Recital 38, but MEP Comodini Cachia proposes to clarify that the obligation of online service providers to conlcude licensing agreements with rightholders only arises when they are “actively and directly involved in the making available of user uploaded content and where this activity is not of a mere technical, automatic and passive nature”.

      • UK Local Government Confirms Surprising EU Position That Viewing Pirated Streams Probably Isn’t Illegal

        A couple of years ago, the MPAA was freaking out about a piece of free software called Popcorn Time. Even though it was hugely popular as a result of its ease of use — and access to large numbers of infringing copies of films — it had a serious weakness. Since Popcorn Time was basically a BitTorrent client with an integrated media player, it was often possible to track down people who were using it. That fact, and the increasingly heavy-handed legal action taken against some sites that only had a vague connection with the Popcorn Time software, led to people moving on to more discreet alternatives that are based on direct streaming. One of the most popular today is Kodi, which describes itself as a “software media center for playing videos, music, pictures, games, and more.” Like Popcorn time, it is also open source, but it does not include a BitTorrent client

03.08.17

Links 8/3/2017: Manjaro 17.0 Released, Firefox 52 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 12:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Shaping the Culture of Open Source Companies

    With all of the discussion about source code contributions in open source, sometimes we don’t spend enough time talking about the culture. In her keynote at LinuxCon Europe, Stormy Peters points out that when we say the word “culture,” we sometimes think only about diversity or hiring more women, but culture means more than that. Culture is about how we work, how we think, and how we interact with each other.

  • Keynote: The Double Helix of Open Source Software & Companies by Stormy Peters
  • The Promise of Blockchain Is a World Without Middlemen

    The blockchain is a revolution that builds on another technical revolution so old that only the more experienced among us remember it: the invention of the database. First created at IBM in 1970, the importance of these relational databases to our everyday lives today cannot be overstated. Literally every aspect of our civilization is now dependent on this abstraction for storing and retrieving data. And now the blockchain is about to revolutionize databases, which will in turn revolutionize literally every aspect of our civilization.

  • Open Source Linkerd Project Celebrates First Anniversary in Quest to Become the TCP/IP of Microservices

    uoyant, the commercial entity behind the open source Linkerd project, today announced the one year anniversary of the project. Since launching in February 2016 with the mission to make microservices reliable at scale, Linkerd has rapidly gained adoption in the cloud-native community and has served over 100 billion production requests in companies around the world.

  • Hedge Funds Opt for Open Source and AI Goes ‘Fintech’

    It makes sense for large technology companies like Google and Microsoft to open source AI and machine learning solutions because they have overlapping vertical interests in providing vast cloud services. These come into play when a certain machine learning library becomes popular and users deploy it on the cloud and so forth. It is less clear why financial services companies, which play a much more directly correlated zero sum game, would open up code that they paid the engineering team to create.

  • SK Telecom CTO Discusses The Future of Software-Defined Networking in the Telco Industry

    As more people access the Internet from their mobile devices, mobile operators must adapt their networks to accommodate skyrocketing data use and new traffic patterns. To do so, they’re turning to the same principles of software-defined networking (SDN) already finding success in the data center.

  • Does your open source project need a president?

    Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Linux Foundation Open Source Leadership Summit. The event was stacked with many of the people I consider mentors, friends, and definitely leaders in the various open source and free software communities that I participate in.

    I was able to observe the CNCF Technical Oversight Committee meeting while there, and was impressed at the way they worked toward consensus where possible. It reminded me of the OpenStack Technical Committee in its make-up of well-spoken technical individuals who care about their users and stand up for the technical excellence of their foundations’ activities.

  • Why Using Open Source Software Helps Companies Stay Flexible and Innovate

    Companies that use Open Source Software (OSS) find that it offers the most flexibility of any third-party software alternative. You are, for example, never locked into a vendor, their costs, their buying structures, or their re-distribution terms. Open Source enables vendor independence.

    In addition, using OSS speeds development, lowers costs, and keeps companies on the cutting edge of technology by facilitating innovation. Open source communities provide a low-cost medium for incubation and testing of new capabilities. While open source ecosystems direct ownership and accountability back to the development teams.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Microsoft’s browsers are shedding users as they jump to Chrome [Ed: And Net Applications is Microsoft-connected, too]

        If you’ve jumped from using a Microsoft browser to Chrome in the last couple years, you’re far from alone. People are deserting built-in browsers at record rates, and Microsoft is taking the brunt of the damage, according to analytics firm Net Applications.

    • Mozilla

      • A $2 Million Prize for Building a More Accessible Internet

        The Internet can help a young girl in Chicago’s South Side learn how to write JavaScript. It can also keep citizens connected during a time of crisis or disaster.

        But only if the Internet works as intended.

        The Internet should be a public resource open and accessible to all. And, it is to many. But many people still lack reliable, affordable Internet access. And the underlying network itself is increasingly centralized, relying on infrastructure provided by a tiny handful of companies. We don’t have a failsafe if the infrastructure these companies offer is blocked or goes down.

        These are significant issues. Mozilla and the National Science Foundation are committed to finding solutions by supporting bright people and big ideas across the U.S.

      • Firefox 52: Introducing Web Assembly, CSS Grid and the Grid Inspector

        It is definitely an exciting time in the evolution of the web with the adoption of new standards, performance gains, better features for designers, and new tooling. Firefox 52 represents the fruition of a number of features that have been in progress for several years. While many of these will continue to evolve and improve, there’s plenty to celebrate in today’s release of Firefox.

      • Firefox 52 Released With WebAssembly Support, Security Fixes, CSS Grid

        Mozilla has rolled out Firefox 52.0 as the latest version of their open-source, cross-platform web browser.

      • Lots new in Firefox, including “game-changing” support for WebAssembly

        Today’s release of Firefox introduces great new features, making the browser more powerful, convenient, and secure across all your devices.

      • Firefox 52 Released With WebAssembly Support, Removes NPAPI Plugins Other Than Flash (Java, Silverlight)

        Firefox 52 was released today and it includes two major changes: support for WebAssembly and the removal of support for NPAPI (Netscape Plugin API) plugins like Silverlight, Java, and others, with the exception of Flash.

      • Mozilla Firefox 52.0 Lands in All Supported Ubuntu Linux OSes, Update Now

        Canonical announced a few moments ago that the recently released Mozilla Firefox 52.0 web browser landed in the stable software repositories of all supported Ubuntu Linux operating systems.

      • Final Firefox version with Windows XP, plugin support released today
      • Firefox 52 Brings WebAssembly and Security fixes

        Mozilla patches Firefox for 28 different vulnerabilities, with seven rated as having critical impact.

        Mozilla released Firefox 52 on March 7, providing users of the open-source web browser with new features as well well as patches for 28 security vulnerabilities. The Firefox 52 release is the second major milestone release of Firefox in 2017 so far, following the Firefox 51 milestone that debuted on Jan. 24.

      • Firefox 52 Released with WebAssembly Support, Enhanced Sync

        Mozilla Firefox 52 has been released and is now available to download. Among new features in Firefox 52 is support for WebAssembly. Mozilla describes this as “an emerging standard that brings near-native performance to Web-based games, apps, and software libraries without the use of plugins.”

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Understanding the Economics of OpenStack

      As anyone involved with managing an OpenStack deployment quickly learns, cost savings and elimination of time-consuming tasks are among the biggest benefits that the cloud platform provides. However, leaders at many OpenStack-focused organizations, including Canonical, believe that the business technology arena is under such tremendous pressure to keep up as Software-as-a-Service, containers, and cloud platforms proliferate, that the true economics of OpenStack are misunderstood. Simply put, a lot of people involved with OpenStack don’t fully understand what they can get out of the platform and the ecosystem of tools surrounding it.

    • Working for a mission, not a boss

      I had a brilliant opportunity to interview Suresh V. Shankar, founder of Crayon, at Slush Singapore 2016. At the conference, he spoke about his experience—and the difficulties he faced—as an entrepreneur. He also talked about how he overcame them.

  • CMS

    • Next version of Joinup in DrupalCamp Transylvania

      The ongoing software development for the next version of Joinup, the European Commission’s digital government collaboration platform, is one of the key presentations at DrupalCamp Transylvania, which takes place from 31 March to 2 April in Tîrgu Mureș (Romania). The talk will focus on the new semantic database storage solution for the next Joinup version.

  • Education

    • German schools turn to open source cloud eLearning

      Schools and vocational colleges in Cologne, Aachen, Essen and other towns are using open source-based cloud eLearning and collaboration software. The cloud service, Ucloud4schools, is based on the NextCloud open source cloud services solution.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Free Software Directory meeting recap for March 3rd, 2017

      This week we returned to clearing the backlog of approved entries. During the meeting we were joined by a developer looking to discuss the licensing of their software developed under contract with an institution of higher learning. The issue of license compatibility came up and we talked about how GPLv2 or later can upgrade to GPLv3. All the while we plugged away at the backlog getting it to drop somewhat over the course of the meeting.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Albanian open source advocates target elections

      Free and open source software advocates in Albania are going to ask candidates in the June parliamentary elections about their plans for free software. The campaign will be kicked off by Open Labs later this month. The free software advocacy group will aggregate questions and answers on their campaign website.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Establishing a Clean Software Baseline for Open Source License Compliance

      One of a company’s first challenges when starting an open source compliance program is to find exactly which open source software is already in use and under which licenses it is available.

      This initial auditing process is often described as establishing a clean compliance baseline for your product or software portfolio. This is an intensive activity over a period of time that can extend for months, depending on how soon you started the compliance activities in parallel to the development activities.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Build a smart garden with these 3 DIY Arduino projects

        With warmer weather around the corner here in the US, it’s time for gardeners to start making plans for spring and summer. For the more technically minded among us, it’s also a good time to start working on DIY projects that can keep things running smoothly. As it turns out, projects based around the Arduino open hardware development board are an excellent place to start. In this article, I’ve rounded up three cool Arduino-based projects that take your garden to the next level.

  • Programming/Development

    • RVowpalWabbit 0.0.9

      The RVowpalWabbit package update is the third of four upgrades requested by CRAN, following RcppSMC 0.1.5 and RcppGSL 0.3.2.

    • RProtoBuf 0.4.9

      RProtoBuf provides R bindings for the Google Protocol Buffers (“Protobuf”) data encoding and serialization library used and released by Google, and deployed as a language and operating-system agnostic protocol by numerous projects.

Leftovers

  • The Problem with “Content”

    Back in the early ’00s, John Perry Barlow said “I didn’t start hearing about ‘content’ until the container business felt threatened.” Linux Journal was one of those containers—so was every other magazine, newspaper and broadcast station. Today, those containers are bobbing around in an ocean of “content” on the internet. Worse, the stuff inside the containers, which we used to call “editorial”, is now a breed of “content” too.

    In the old days, editorial lived on one side of a “Chinese wall” between itself and the publishing side of a newspaper or magazine. The same went for the programming and advertising sides of a commercial broadcast station or network. The wall was transparent, meaning it was possible for a writer, a photographer, a newscaster or a performing artist to see what funded the operation, but the ethical thing was to ignore what happened on the other side of that wall. Which was easy to do, because everything on the other side of that wall was somebody else’s job.

    Today that wall has been destroyed by the imperatives of “content production”, which is the new job of journalists and everybody else devoted to “generating content” in maximum volumes, all the better to attract “programmatic” advertising.

  • Take a Look at Bluetooth 5
  • Hardware

    • Patriot Torch: Trying A $30 SSD On Linux

      Recently I ran out of spare SSDs and needed one for one of my test systems where the I/O storage capacity or performance wasn’t important, so I decided to try out the Patriot Torch 60GB SSD that can be had for about $33 USD.

      The Patriot Torch 60GB SATA 3.0 SSD has a Phison SSD controller with 16nm MLC NAND flash memory.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Put down the coffee, stop slacking your app chaps or whatever – and patch WordPress

      The 4.7.3 update comes just days after WordPress admins were alerted to a separate security crisis in NextGEN Gallery, a WordPress plugin vulnerable to SQL injection attacks.

    • WordPress 4.7.3 Updates for Six Security Issues

      The open-source WordPress blogging and content management system fixes six vulnerabilities, including three Cross Site Scripting flaws.

      The open-source WordPress blogging and content management system (CMS) released a new incremental version on March 6, providing users with six new security patches and 39 bug fixes. The new WordPress 4.7.3 update is the third security update for WordPress so far in 2017, following the 4.7.2 update on Jan. 26 and the 4.7.1 update on Jan. 12.

    • New Stable CloudLinux 7 Kernel Update Released to Patch Multiple Security Issues

      CloudLinux’s Mykola Naugolnyi announced today, March 7, 2017, the immediate availability of a new stable kernel update for the CloudLinux 7 operating system series.

      The updated CloudLinux 7 kernel was bumped to version 3.10.0-427.36.1.lve1.4.39 and is here to address a bunch of security vulnerabilities discovered recently. First of all, you should know that this new kernel replaces the 3.10.0-427.18.2.lve1.4.38 build that many of you have installed, and can be downloaded from CloudLinux’s stable repository.

    • Frankfurt used as remote hacking base for the CIA: WikiLeaks

      WikiLeaks documents reveal CIA agents were given cover identities and diplomatic passports to enter the country. The base was used to develop hacking tools as part of the CIA’s massive digital arsenal.

    • Wikileaks reveals how CIA is targeting your iPhone, Android, and smart TV

      Wikileaks just dropped a massive collection of information detailing how the US government is attacking the devices that many of us use every single day in an effort to gain intel for its own purposes. Tactics for breaching iPhones, iPads, Android devices, PCs, routers, and even smart TVs are included in the leak, which has some serious privacy and security implications if even a fraction of it proves to be accurate.

    • WikiLeaks publishes massive trove of CIA spying files in ‘Vault 7′ release

      WikiLeaks has published a huge trove of what appear to be CIA spying secrets.

      The files are the most comprehensive release of US spying files ever made public, according to Julian Assange. In all, there are 8,761 documents that account for “the entire hacking capacity of the CIA”, Mr Assange claimed in a release, and the trove is just the first of a series of “Vault 7″ leaks.

      Already, the files include far more pages than the Snowden files that exposed the vast hacking power of the NSA and other agencies.

    • Wikileaks posts alleged trove of CIA hacking tools
    • WikiLeaks’ CIA document dump shows agency can compromise Android, TVs

      WikiLeaks has released more than 8,700 documents it says come from the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence, with some of the leaks saying the agency had 24 “weaponized” and previously undisclosed exploits for the Android operating system as of 2016.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed

      Today, Tuesday 7 March 2017, WikiLeaks begins its new series of leaks on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Code-named “Vault 7″ by WikiLeaks, it is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.

      The first full part of the series, “Year Zero”, comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina. It follows an introductory disclosure last month of CIA targeting French political parties and candidates in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election.

      Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized “zero day” exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA. The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Automated platform filtering: La Quadrature sends its arguments to MEPs

      The draft of the new European copyright directive has been presented in september 2016. For now, the work in progress in the european Parliament and mobilisations by concerned people and organisations are multiplying. People pay great attention to the two articles that La Quadrature du Net pointed in september : Article 11 about ancillary copyright for press publishers, and Article 13 about the use of effective content recognition technologies for content platforms.
      La Quadrature du Net publishes today its positions about Article 13, that have been fed by discussions and workshops with creators, legal experts and more globally with common users of digital culture. These positions are also send to the Members of the European Parliament to feed the work done in the Committees. The preliminary work carried out by the European Parliament Committtees show that, contrary to what one might think, nothing is locked and many subjects remain open in the copyright dossier. Articles 11 and 13 are subject to various discussions and some proposals by MEPs show that they pay attention to the evolution of use.

    • China’s film censorship paradox: restricted content, unrestricted access
    • China’s New Film Ratings Don’t Cut Out the Censors
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Revelations Illustrate Aggressive CIA Hacking, Sloppy Security Of Smart Services

      Thought about buying a smart phone, smart TV, smart car? – think twice. Wikileaks today (7 March) released over 8,000 documents illustrating hacking activities of the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA. In what has been described by some commentators as a bigger leak than the Snowden revelations about the National Security Agency in 2013, the whistleblower platform allowed a glimpse into the CIA hacking into smart TVs and smartphones and presented a list of zero day vulnerabilities found, bought and sometimes shared with colleagues in other agencies, including British colleagues. Wikileaks announced that today’s leak was the “Year Zero” tranche of the much bigger “Vault 7” project: more redacted details from the documents and much more documents will be published.

    • German Judge Fines Father Because He Didn’t Tell His Kid Not To Engage In Piracy

      Time for German parents to have “The Talk” with their kids. Unprotected sexual activity is probably fine. But casual seeding? That’s a problem.

      TorrentFreak reports that a German court has decided to hold a parent responsible for his child’s infringing activity. This doesn’t have much to do with the rightsholder being unable to extract fines from a minor, but rather a perceived parenting failure.

    • CIA Leak Shows Mobile Phones Vulnerable, Not Encryption

      But the details don’t seem to show that those apps are compromised, so much as that Android and iOS devices are compromised. It’s always been true that if someone can get into your phone, the encryption scheme you use doesn’t matter, because they can just pull keystrokes or grab data before you encrypt it — in the same way that someone looking over your shoulder can read your messages as well. That’s not a fault of the encryption or the app, but of the environment in which you’re using the app itself.

    • Vizio Fails To Dodge Class Action Over Its Spying ‘Smart’ Televisions

      So if you hadn’t been paying attention, most of the “smart” products you buy are anything but intelligent when it comes to your privacy and security. Whether it’s your refrigerator leaking your gmail credentials or your new webcam being hacked in minutes for use in massive new DDoS attacks, the so-called “smart” home is actually quite idiotic. So-called smart-televisions have been particularly problematic, whether that has involved companies failing to encrypt sensitive data, to removing features if you refuse to have your daily viewing habits measured and monetized.

      Last month Vizio joined this not-so-distinguished club when it was discovered that the company’s TVs had been spying on users for the last several years. Vizio’s $2.2 million settlement with the FTC indicates that the company at no time thought it might be a good idea to inform customers this was happening. The snooping was part of a supposed “Smart Interactivity” feature deployed in 2014 that claimed to provide users with programming recommendations, but never actually did so. In short, it wasn’t so much what Vizio was doing, it was the fact the company tried to bullshit its way around it.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Body Cameras Used By UK Local Government To Catch People Dropping Litter And Walking Dogs

      We’ve just written about the use of body cameras in UK schools. One reason these trials are taking place is probably because the technology is now relatively cheap, which lowers previous barriers to deploying it. So it should perhaps come as no surprise to learn from a new report from Big Brother Watch that body cameras are also widely used by UK local government departments (pdf).

  • DRM

    • Industry, and Apple, opposing “right to repair” laws

      Ahead of a 2010 decision by federal regulators to legalize mobile phone jailbreaking, Apple had cautioned US Copyright Office officials that doing so would have “potentially catastrophic” (PDF) consequences because hackers wielding jailbroken iPhones might take down the nation’s mobile phone networks.

    • Canadian Court Chips Away At Anti-Circumvention Exceptions In Massive Win For Nintendo

      The first major ruling [PDF] by a Canadian court applying the country’s anti-circumvention laws has been handed down and it’s not good news. The law provides for a few exceptions to its broad restrictions on bypassing technological protection mechanisms (TPMs), but as the court sees it, any anti-circumvention process that might lead to infringement violates the statute.

      Not that the courts have done a great job interpreting the law to this point. In 2015, a Canadian judge ruled that simply asking for a copy of a paywalled article was illegal circumvention. The lawsuit at hand — reported by Michael Geist — isn’t a great test case for exploring the outer limits of the anti-circumvention law. But the conclusions reached have severely negative implications for others not quite so entangled in facilitating infringement.

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