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Links 8/5/2017: Debian GNU/Linux 8.8, Chromebook Shipments Up 38%

Posted in News Roundup at 4:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Building a “real” Linux distro

    I recently saw a post on Hacker News: “Build yourself a Linux”, a cool project that guides you through building a simple Linux system. It’s similar to Linux from Scratch in that it helps you build a simple Linux system for personal use. I’d like to supplement this with some insight into my experience with a more difficult task: building a full blown Linux distribution. The result is agunix, the “silver unix” system.

    For many years I’ve been frustrated with every distribution I’ve tried. Many of them have compelling features and design, but there’s always a catch. The popular distros are stable and portable, but cons include bloat, frequent use of GNU, systemd, and often apt. Some more niche distros generally have good points but often have some combination of GNU, an init system I don’t like, poor docs, dynamic linking, or an overall amateurish or incomplete design. Many of them are tolerable, but none have completely aligned with my desires.

    I’ve also looked at not-Linux – I have plenty of beefs with the Linux kernel. I like the BSD kernels, but I dislike the userspaces (though NetBSD is pretty good) I like the microkernel design of Minix, but it’s too unstable and has shit hardware support. plan9/9front has the most elegant kernel and userspace design ever made, but it’s not POSIX and has shit hardware support. Though none of these userspaces are for me, I intend to attempt a port of the agunix userspace to all of their kernels at some point (a KFreeBSD port is underway).

  • Desktop

    • Galago Pro on the Go: Emma’s System76 Laptop Review

      I’m so excited to talk about this little precious Galago Pro! I like to name my laptops, and nothing is more fitting for this machine (in my use case) than the name ‘Princess’ because my experience with the Galago so far has been royally spectacular. After more than a month of frequent use, I’ve found the Galago to be an excellent choice for the mobile worker. I’m frequently on a train, plane or bus, so portability is an absolute must-have for me. Although the portability is my favorite feature, I’m fond of a few other things the Galago Pro has to offer.

    • Chromebook shipments surge by 38 percent, cutting into Windows 10 PCs
  • Server

    • Why the Largest Companies in the World Count on Linux Servers

      Linux started its life in the data center as a cheaper alternative to UNIX. At the time, UNIX operating systems ruled the industry and for good reason. They were performant, fault tolerant and extremely stable. They also were very expensive and ran on very proprietary hardware. A lot of the familiar utilities and applications developed for those UNIX platforms eventually were ported over to Linux. So, once Linux ran services like Apache, it came as no surprise that Linux would usurp and replace the very same technologies that once inspired its creation. The very best part was that Linux ran on commodity x86 hardware. At the end of the day, anyone could deploy a Linux server at a fraction of the cost to deploy something from Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics (SGI) or from any other UNIX distributor.

      Fast-forward to the present, and Linux continues to maintain a strong competitive lead over other server offerings, including the very popular Microsoft Windows. But why is that the case? In order to answer that question, one first must understand what Linux is.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • ARM64 Updates For The Linux 4.12 Kernel

      The ARM64 architecture (AArch64) updates have been queued for the Linux 4.12 kernel.

    • PowerPC 64-bit To Support Up To 512TB Virtual Address Space On Linux 4.12

      While Intel is working on 5-level paging support to allow a virtual address space up to 128 PiB and physical address space of 4 PiB, the PowerPC guys are working on upping their address space capabilities too.

      With the Linux 4.12 kernel, POWER 64-bit server CPUs can now support up to 512TB of virtual address space compared to a previous limit of 128TB.

    • Staging Tree For Linux 4.12 Adds 350k Lines Of New Code

      Greg KH has submitted the staging changes for the Linux 4.12 kernel.

      Greg wrote of the staging work for 4.12, “Here is the big staging tree update for 4.12-rc1. And it’s a big one, adding about 350k new lines of crap^Wcode, mostly all in a big dump of media drivers from Intel. But there’s other new drivers in here as well, yet-another-wifi driver, new IIO drivers, and a new crypto accelerator. We also deleted a bunch of stuff, mostly in patch cleanups, but also the Android ION code has shrunk a lot, and the Android low memory killer driver was finally deleted, much to the celebration of the -mm developers.”

    • Linux’s Hyperledger Invites Community to Construction of Blockchain-Making Tool

      Hyperledger Composer, centered on Blockchain technology, has been accepted into incubation by Hyperledger’s Technical Steering Committee.

      Hyperledger Composer, which is a collaborative effort, will be a tool that will help to build Blockchain business networks.

      It’ll help in the development of smart contracts and their deployment across distributed ledgers.

    • A formal kernel memory-ordering model (part 2)
    • Device power management with the OPP library

      During the 4.6 development cycle, the operating performance points (OPP) framework gained the infrastructure to do dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) on behalf of device drivers. This helps in reducing the complexity of those drivers, which can instead focus on platform-specific details. The rest of this article discusses what has changed and how can we use it to simplify our device drivers.

      Until Linux kernel release 4.5, the OPP framework was acting as a helper library that provided a table of voltage-frequency pairs (with some additional information) for the kernel. Kernel frameworks, like cpufreq and devfreq, used these OPP tables to perform DVFS for the devices. The OPP framework creates this table dynamically via platform-specific code and statically from device-tree blobs.

    • Two new block I/O schedulers for 4.12
    • The MuQSS CPU scheduler

      The scheduler is a topic of keen interest for the desktop user; the scheduling algorithm partially determines the responsiveness of the Linux desktop as a whole. Con Kolivas maintains a series of scheduler patch sets that he has tuned considerably over the years for his own use, focusing primarily on latency reduction for a better desktop experience. In early October 2016, Kolivas updated the design of his popular desktop scheduler patch set, which he renamed MuQSS. It is an update (and a name change) from his previous scheduler, BFS, and it is designed to address scalability concerns that BFS had with an increasing number of CPUs.

    • The New Features So Far For The Linux 4.12 Kernel
    • XFS In Linux 4.12 Adds GETFSMAP Support

      The XFS file-system changes have been submitted for Linux 4.12 and includes one main feature change.

      The prominent new feature for XFS in Linux 4.12 is support for the GETFSMAP ioctl. This new ioctl has been under discussion since last year’s Linux Storage summit and is the first Linux file-system seeing mainline support for it. GETFSMAP is used for returning all known space mapping details for that file-system.

    • 2038: only 21 years away

      Sometimes it seems that things have gone relatively quiet on the year-2038 front. But time keeps moving forward, and the point in early 2038 when 32-bit time_t values can no longer represent times correctly is now less than 21 years away. That may seem like a long time, but the relatively long life cycle of many embedded systems means that some systems deployed today will still be in service when that deadline hits. One of the developers leading the effort to address this problem is Arnd Bergmann; at Linaro Connect 2017 he gave an update on where that work stands.

    • EXT4 For Linux 4.12 Gets GETFSMAP Support, Performance Improvements

      Ted Ts’o has sent in the EXT4 file-system updates targeting the Linux 4.12 kernel merge window.

      First up as a new feature for EXT4 is support for the new GETFSMAP ioctl. This comes just after XFS getting GETFSMAP support too for the Linux 4.12 kernel; see that earlier article for more details on this new capability for Linux file-systems.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE FreeBSD CI

        The next-generation of KDE CI is nearly here. Ben Cooksley from the KDE Sysadmin team has announced that it is nearly ready to go. On the FreeBSD side, Ben has done the heavy lifting on the CI side and I’ve done a little futzing around to get the build node in working order by installing system-wide dependencies.

      • KDE dinner in Berlin – 13th May

        In a few days (May 13th-14th) the KDE e.V. board will be having an in-person board meeting in Berlin.

      • LaKademy 2017: expanding horizons

        On May 1, another edition of LaKademy, the Latin American KDE Summit, came to an end. This was the 5th edition of the event, which continues to attract new people interested in being part of the community. This time we had 6 beginners, which is a great number, considering that the event itself is small, since it is not an event of talks or courses, but a concentrated one, in the contribution sprint style.

      • Plasma 5.9.5 by KDE now available in Chakra

        The Plasma 5.9.5 update provides another round of bug-fixes and translations to the 5.9 release, which will probably be the last one before 5.10 is out by the end of May.

      • KIO will get Polkit support this summer

        Hello world! For those who don’t know me, I am Chinmoy, a first year undergraduate student studying computer science at Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Technology, Bangalore, India. I am one of the 1,318 students selected for this years Google Summer of Code. I will be working with Arnav Dhamija and Elvis Angelaccio (my mentors) on the KDE project “Polkit Support in KIO”.

      • The Craft Cache

        In the last days we created a stable Craft branch which builds Qt 5.62 and KDE Frameworks 5.33.0 (KF5), and backported all important patches for the 5.33.0 release.

        This is the branch you should use when ever you want to provide an application installer. Providing builds of unstable KF5 git versions isn’t really a good practice, but was done never the less.

      • Meet the authors of WikiToLearn: Daniele Pannozzo
      • QtWebKit is coming back (part 2)
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Recipes to Receive Interface Improvements, New Recipes and Cuisines

        A few months back we took a look at the new GNOME Recipes app that’s currently in heavy development. Matthias Clasen has announced that along with a growing team of developers, some further improvements are on the way, both in terms of user experience and the selection of recipes and cuisines available.

      • Not running for Board this year

        As the other directors are aware, I’ve over-committed myself. I think I did a good job keeping up with GNOME Board issues, but it was sometimes a real stretch. And due to some budget and planning items happening at work, I’ve been busier in 2017 than I planned. I’ve missed a few Board meetings due to meeting conflicts or other issues.

      • Try Aurora-Next And Aurora-Nuevo Theme Suites, You May End Up Using Them

        Aurora-Next theme isn’t new but it’s initial release was back in early 2015 and it looked great at that time and looks even more better, there are three variants in this suite and support almost every desktop such as Unity, Gnome Shell, Xfce, Cinnamon, Mate and so on but not compatible with KDE. You can choose from Blue, Green and Red variant from this suite as per your requirements. There are three Gnome Shell themes and Cinnamon theme with every variant, the supported versions of GTK are 3.20 and up. Numix-White icons used in the following screenshots. You can use Unity Tweak Tool, Gnome-tweak-tool to change icons.

      • Make your Gnome Shell Transparent and Better with Mist Theme [PPA]

        Now a days there are much themes are in development for Gnome Shell because every new release of Gnome Shell makes old theme highly incompatible and bit difficult for creators to manage their themes for newer version of Gnome Shell. But there are still some people who are working on Gnome Shell themes. Here is one of the theme called Mist, basically this theme is inspired by the appearance of the GDM3 login manager, the main goal of this theme is to make Gnome Shell fully transparent. This means a panel that blends right into the desktop, simple flat, transparent buttons, and the bare minimum when it comes to menus and elements that overlap the work-space. This theme is compatible with Gnome Shell 3.24/3.22/3.20/3.18/3.16 and 3.14 versions, you need to enable user-themes extension in Gnome-Tweak-Tool to change Shell theme.

      • Did GNOME team just remove the transparent background option from the Terminal in 3.24?
      • GNOME Recipes App to Soon Offer More Recipes, Cuisines, and Inline Editing

        GNOME Project’s Matthias Clasen is reporting on the development of the recently introduced GNOME Recipes application, an open-source and easy-to-use program that’ll help you to discover what to cook.

        GNOME Recipes has been in development during the GNOME 3.24 cycle, with which it was first introduced to the public in its final, production-ready state. The graphical user interface of the app should be very familiar to GNOME users as it resemblance the look and feel of the GNOME Software package manager.

  • Distributions

    • Apricity OS [shuts down]

      Like all good things, Apricity OS must come to an end. It has been our privilege to develop the operating system, and to be a part of a community as great as our own. But unfortunately, we no longer have time for its required upkeep. We hope that your time using our operating system has been enjoyable, and that you continue to explore using Linux in the future. You all, our users, have made this experience incredible for us, and we cannot thank you enough for the support.

    • Arch Linux Based Apricity OS Shuts Down

      The Arch Linux based distribution, Apricity OS, has announced in an undated notice on its website that it’s shutting down. I learned the of news today when given a heads-up by a follower on Twitter.

    • Arch Linux-Based Apricity OS GNU/Linux Distribution Is Now Officially Dead

      We’re extremely sorry to inform our readers that the team of developers behind the Apricity OS has ceased the development of the Arch Linux-based operating system.

      We were the first to introduce you guys to Apricity OS about 20 months ago, on the 6th of September, 2015, and, shortly after, the GNU/Linux distro become hugely popular among those who wanted to install an Arch Linux-based operating system on their personal computer with an easy-to-use graphical interface.

    • Chakra GNU/Linux Users Get KDE Plasma 5.9.5 Desktop Environment and Wine 2.7

      The development team behind the Chakra GNU/Linux operating system, through Neofytos Kolokotronis, is reporting on the latest updates that landed in the stable software repositories of the GNU/Linux distribution.

      Chakra GNU/Linux users will be glad to learn that the latest KDE Plasma 5.9.5 desktop environment, which is the last maintenance update in the series, has landed in the repos, bringing them a great number of patches for their beloved KDE apps and utilities.

    • Reviews

      • GNU/Linux Security: A look at QubesOS

        Using GNU/Linux is by default more secure than using Microsoft Windows, this is common knowledge; however just because you use GNU/Linux, does not mean that your system is secure, and that is why some distributions have been created in order to maximize security; such as QubesOS.

        QubesOS is very different from your typical run of the mill distro, such as Ubuntu or even the more hardcore like Arch Linux and Gentoo. QubesOS runs multiple virtual machines linked together under a single user-interface, to form a container based / compartmentalized operating system.

        The purpose of this, is hypothetically speaking if an adversary were to gain remote access into your machine, they would be bound to only having access to the compartment they broke into.

      • [Video] Linux Deepin 15.4 Review – Fancier and Faster
      • [Video] Feren OS 2017.0 Review
      • [Video] Using [Snap] channels to support releases
    • New Releases

      • 4MLinux 21.2 Distro Released with Linux Kernel 4.4.63 LTS, Wi-Fi AP Improvements

        4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki is informing us today about the immediate availability of the second point release of the 4MLinux 21 GNU/Linux operating system.

        4MLinux 21.2 is yet another minor update of the independently-developed distribution, coming about five weeks after the 4MLinux 21.1 release. It’s here with a new kernel from the long-term supported Linux 4.4 series, namely Linux kernel 4.4.63 LTS, a bunch of updated packages, and better support for wireless APs that are protected with passwords.

      • OSMC’s April update is here

        OSMC’s slightly belated April update is here with a variety of improvements and fixes.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Summit 2017

        A quick recap with self reminders of session links.

        Sunday night was dinner with a couple of other instructors. Always a blast.

        Monday night was the Ansible (Red Hat Management) Social. The venue (Coppersmith) was really cool. Their description is as a vintage warehouse but it looked to me like it had once been a firehouse. The kitchen was in a pair of old food trucks welded together. And there was draft cider.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Linux getting native MP3 support, but who really cares?

          Fedora is a wonderful Linux distribution, as it is both stable and modern. One of the biggest selling points of the operating system is that is relies on truly free open source software. This means it won’t have patented or closed-source non-free packages by default. Of course, in-the-know Fedora users often added these needed packages after the fact by using third-party repositories, such as RPM Fusion.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 Officially Released with 90 Security Updates, 68 Bug Fixes

        Those of you using the Debian Stable a.k.a. Debian “Jessie” operating system series will be glad to learn that the eighth point release was just launched today, Debian GNU/Linux 8.8, with more than 150 bug fixes and security updates.

      • Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 Released
      • Updated Debian 8: 8.8 released
      • Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 “Jessie” Live & Installable ISOs Are Available to Download – Exclusive

        As reported the other day, the Debian Project launched the eighth maintenance update for the stable Debian GNU/Linux 8 “Jessie” operating system series, which brings a total of 90 security updates and more than 60 miscellaneous bug fixes.

        We promised that you’d be the first to know when Live and installation ISO images of the Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 release will be available for download, so here you go. The Debian Project just finished uploading all the Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 “Jessie” Live CDs and installation mediums for all supported hardware architectures.

      • Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 Released With Tons Of Updates And Fixes

        The Debian Project has announced the release of eight stable update of Debian 8 jessie. Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 comes with many package updates, 60+ bug fixes, and 90 security fixes. As it’s not a new major version release, the existing users who are already having all the latest security updates installed don’t need to do anything. The interested users can use the aptitude (or apt) package tool to perform the upgrade.

      • New in Debian stable Stretch: GitHub’s Icon font, fonts-octicons
      • Debian 8.8 released

        The Debian Project has launched the eighth update of its stable distribution Debian 8, codename Jessie.

        The update adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments.

      • Debianistas get Jessie mass package update

        Debian hasn’t released a new version of Jessie, but its Version 8.8 that landed over the weekend repairs more than 100 package bugs.

        As the announcement notes: “Those who frequently install updates from security.debian.org won’t have to update many packages and most updates from security.debian.org are included in this update.”

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Which email client for Ubuntu 17.10?

            An email client was once a mandatory offering for any operating system, but that may be changing. A discussion on the ubuntu-desktop mailing list explores the choices for a default email client for Ubuntu 17.10, which is due in October. One of the possibilities being considered is to not have a default email client at all.

            Jeremy Bicha raised the issue in mid-April. He noted that Ubuntu had switched from Evolution to Thunderbird in 2011 and thought it time to revisit that decision. For one thing, while an email client is useful, it may not be “useful enough to enough people to justify it being installed for everyone”. If there is to be a default email client, though, which should it be?

          • A new hope for Ubuntu Phone: The community

            Well, I have to say that Ubuntu Phone was dead for me after the Mark’s announcement a few weeks ago. I even posted the end of uNav and I switched to Android. But my post was a trigger for myself: because the community will not allow uNav to die so easily and of course, the Ubuntu Phone :) You opened my eyes mates!

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu MATE 17.10 – Default layout decisions

              Thank you to everyone who commented and voted. While the votes are useful the comments (from all the online Ubuntu MATE communities) are what have been most useful.

            • [elementary OS] Loki Updates for April

              You can now control paired Bluetooth devices (like phones!) from the sound indicator. Additionally, we now show an icon in the panel when an app is using the microphone, making it easy to see at a glance if something starts listening in.

            • [elementary OS] AppCenter Spotlight: More Beta Testers

              A couple of weeks ago I shared my AppCenter Spotlight: Beta Testers piece and got a great response. People continue to be excited to see the progress of AppCenter and how it’s coming together end-to-end.

              Since that story, I’ve been playing around with four more apps that have been added by our awesome beta testers. I think my favorite thing about AppCenter right now (besides how easy it is!) is that each new app I try seems to be unique and category-defining. When there are orders of magnitude more apps in AppCenter, these are the ones that set the bar. And so far, they’ve done a great job.

            • Lubuntu 17.04 – simple evolution

              Lubuntu 17.04 continues to deliver a nice and friendly environment for those who like a light and snappy uncomplicated experience without many graphical bells and whistles. And it still lacks a common theme for applications and their design, because LXDE is not fully a “desktop environment” per se.

              The Live session of Lubuntu 17.04 felt quick and snappy for me, which is no wonder on my new laptop.

              The only small problem I mentioned in this review was the set of default applications. But that’s easy to fix, isn’t it?

              How do you find Lubuntu 17.04 yourself?

  • Devices/Embedded

    • USB Network Gate 4.0 for Linux – an essential accessory for working with remote USB ports over network

      Do you still think that to work with a certain USB device you have to have it physically attached to your computer? In this case you haven’t heard of USB Network Gate yet! USB Network Gate is available for different platforms, which includes USB Network Gate for Linux. The latest version 4.0 allows working with any USB device even in those “seems impossible” situations when a USB device is oceans away from you.

    • 250,000 Pi Zero W units shipped and more Pi Zero distributors announced

      This week, just nine weeks after its launch, we will ship the 250,000th Pi Zero W into the market. As well as hitting that pretty impressive milestone, today we are announcing 13 new Raspberry Pi Zero distributors, so you should find it much easier to get hold of a unit.

    • SiFive Launches CPU IP Industry into the Cloud with New RISC-V Cores and an Easy Online Business Model
    • Phones

      • Android

        • Are Android devices really easier to hack? We asked the experts

          It’s hard to say how long it will be before most Android devices are running Nougat, or a later version of Android, but even then the slow pace of updates from some manufacturers and carriers will remain an issue.

        • T-UI Launcher – Turns Android Device into Linux Command Line Interface

          Are you a command line guru, or do you simply want to make your Android device unusable for friends and family, then check out T-UI Launcher app. Unix/Linux users will definitely love this.

        • Motorola Moto G4 review – Extremely refined

          In this case, I must praise both Motorola for assembling a great phone and Google for improving Android to a very high degree. In its vanilla form, it’s most palatable, and this combo just works great. And this for only about 200-odd dollars, which is about one half or even one third of what you’d pay for top-end devices, and you sure don’t get 2x or 3x more. Clean, simple, secure, fast, I only have positive attributes to share here. This from a Linux guy who loves Windows Phone and does not like mobile devices at all. Sounds mad, but that’s what it is. Now, off you go, enjoy your lives and apps and such. 9.5/10. Color me surprised, Motorola Moto G4 is an excellent product. Most recommended.

        • Millions of Android Devices Could Be Secretly Spying on Users, Researchers Claim
        • How to Get Stock Android on a Galaxy S8 Without Rooting
        • Android Pay could use your face to authenticate loyalty programs

          It’s not that hard to add points to your loyalty cards on Android Pay, but it looks like Google is mulling on an experimental feature to automate the process. 9to5google has torn the latest version of the app apart and found lines of code that hint at a feature called “Visual ID,” which authenticates your loyalty points by using facial recognition. Based on the strings the publication found, you’ll have to create a “face template” when you activate the feature. Participating stores that have Visual ID cameras installed will then confirm your identity when you walk in. Once the system determines that it’s you, and it ascertains your location using Bluetooth, Google will send them your loyalty details.

        • New Android security report is alarming, but not because of the amount of malware

          Better cooperation between Google and its major OEMs is essential to ensure that as many phones as possible are kept up to date with security patches. Most of the 3.5 million instances of malware that crop up this year will never get close enough to infect your phones, but it only takes one.

        • VAIO Launches Phone A: Snapdragon 617, 3 GB RAM, 5.5” FHD, Android
        • Why the guy who made Android is now betting on hardware

          Inside what used to be an abandoned Fry’s Electronics warehouse in Palo Alto, California, Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, and three other Silicon Valley veterans are trying their hands at one of the tech industry’s biggest challenges: building hardware.

          The four co-founded Playground Global, a startup “accelerator,” in 2015. That’s techspeak for a company that helps nurture young startups by providing support like mentorship, office space, and — in the case of Playground, which works mostly with hardware startups — machinery for prototyping.

        • Google kills Android Nougat beta – Android Oreo incoming?

          There will be no more beta-tested versions of Android Nougat software, as Google has finally killed off the beta program. Instead, we’re now hanging around for the full launch of Google’s Android O, following the release of the Developer Preview on March 21.

          Developers subscribed to the new Developer Preview are currently in ‘Preview 1’, which is basically an alpha phase. We’re not expecting to see a beta until the official Android O launch, which is likely to take place on May 17 during Google’s annual I/O developer conference.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Pros and Cons of the Free Software and Open Source Movements

    The opposition to the orthodox view is based on the liberal belief that an author has the legal (or moral) right to copyright protection and does not have a societal obligation to share what the author considers a secrets — even to the consumers of the code. This ideology opposed what it considers to be a forceful tactic on the part of GPL-like licenses to compel authors to share code they don’t otherwise want to share. They see licenses like the GPL as overreaching against their right to make money in a manner that preserves “intellectual property” rights. Since orthodox free software advocates do not believe in intellectual property rights, their licenses intentionally threaten to erode the marketplace of proprietary software. Thus, the Free Software movement is bad for those who seek to thrive in the proprietary marketplace.

  • Open-source software startups still struggling to reach escape velocity

    Two years earlier, Sun had acquired MySQL, the open-source relational database engine ranked as second only to Oracle’s as the world’s most popular database. MySQL was a potential rival to Oracle’s cash cow, and its developers feared that the database giant would starve it to death. So they took out an insurance policy, building a drop-in replacement called MariaDB that quickly flourished, capturing customers such as Google Inc. MariaDB Corp. was founded to commercialize its namesake product with a business model built on packaging, support and training.

  • Events

    • Android/Mobile microconference accepted into Linux Plumbers Conference

      The Android/Mobile microconference has been accepted for this year’s Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC), which will be held in Los Angeles, CA, US on 13-15 September in conjunction with The Linux Foundation Open Source Summit.

    • CI and Infrastructure hackfest 2017 next week

      Tomorrow I’m traveling out to Raleigh, NC for a gathering to work on CI and Infrastructure for Fedora and will be out there all next week. We will of course be around on IRC and hope to pull in remote folks that are interested in participating, but if you need us for something and can’t find anyone, please file a ticket and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

  • Web Browsers

  • CMS

    • Turmoil for Drupal

      The Drupal content management system (CMS) has been an open-source tool of choice for many web site owners for well over a decade now. Over that time, it has been overseen by its original developer, Dries Buytaert, who is often referred to as the benevolent dictator for life (BDFL) for the project. Some recent events have led a sizable contingent in the Drupal community to question his leadership, however. A request that a prominent developer leave the Drupal community, apparently over elements of his private life rather than any Drupal-related misstep, has led to something of an outcry in that community—it may well lead to a change in the governance of the project.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Open Source Firmware For Hoverboards

        2015 was two years ago, and to the surprise of many, we actually had hoverboards at the time. Of course, these weren’t Back to the Future-style hovering skateboards; they were crappy two-wheeled balancing scooters that suffered a few battery explosions and were eventually banned from domestic flights by some carriers. But oh boy, there were some funny Vines of these things.

        While the rest of the world moved on from hoverboards, [Casainho] has been working on Open Sourcing the firmware for these interesting bits of electronics and motors. Now, his work is wrapping up and he has new firmware for electric unicycles and hoverboards.

  • Programming/Development


  • Flying taxis or futuristic tunnels won’t save us from the misery of traffic
  • The BMW Addiction That Completely Destroyed This Man’s Life

    The personnel at the ER reacted swiftly.

    “They put me on a 72-hour psych hold and sent me to a psychiatric hospital, which I’ll tell you is much worse than prison. They don’t want you to leave,” Terrance told me. “If you have good insurance, they want to keep you there. So after my 72-hour hold was up, they asked me to commit myself voluntarily. And when I refused to do that, they got a judge’s order to keep me locked up.”

    Terrance felt he was being held against his will. So he came up with a plan. “I told them I was calling my insurance company and canceling my insurance.”

    They released him immediately.

  • Science

    • An alternative to lithium-ion batteries

      Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) developed the nickel-zinc (Ni-Zn) batteries in which a three-imensional Zn “sponge” replaces the powdered zinc anode, or positively charged electrode, traditionally used.

      With 3D Zn, the battery provides an energy content and rechargeability that rival lithium-ion batteries while avoiding the safety issues that continue to plague lithium.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Every Republican who voted for this abomination must be held accountable

      It is no exaggeration to say that if it were to become law, this bill would kill significant numbers of Americans. People who lose their Medicaid, don’t go to the doctor, and wind up finding out too late that they’re sick. People whose serious conditions put them up against lifetime limits or render them unable to afford what’s on offer in the high-risk pools, and are suddenly unable to get treatment.

    • Measles outbreak rages after anti-vaccine groups target vulnerable community

      Minnesota is experiencing its largest measles outbreak since the 1990s following a targeted and intense effort by anti-vaccine groups there to spread the false belief that vaccinations cause autism.

      As of Thursday, health officials reported 41 confirmed cases, nearly all unvaccinated children from a Somali immigrant community in Hennepin County. The community has for years been a target of anti-vaccine groups, aided by Andrew Wakefield, a fraudulent former physician.

    • Plain Packaging For Tobacco Products: WTO Dispute Settlement Body Allegedly Backs Australia

      According to many media this morning, citing anonymous sources, the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body has reached a decision in a dispute challenging Australia’s tobacco product plain packaging law. Australia appears to have won the case. The WTO is non-committal and says only a “confidential interim report” has been circulated. Australia is not commenting.

      The much-awaited, postponed decision by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body on the case pitting Australia against Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Indonesia has, according to sources, been delivered, apparently backing Australia’s argument that its law requiring plain packaging for tobacco does not violate any WTO rules, including those on intellectual property rights.

  • Security

    • The Intel remote vulnerability is much, much worse than you thought

      Let’s take that again: a blank password to an always-open port sidesteps every single bit of authentication and security that is otherwise present.

    • The hijacking flaw that lurked in Intel chips is worse than anyone thought

      A remote hijacking flaw that lurked in Intel chips for seven years was more severe than many people imagined, because it allowed hackers to remotely gain administrative control over huge fleets of computers without entering a password. This is according to technical analyses published Friday.

    • The enduring myth of the hacker boy-band

      If it had seemed to infosec that the magazine might’ve had to go out of its way to find such an un-diverse group of hackers … turns out, it did. Thompson’s social media post revealed that during the course of reporting the story, there was “a meeting with the woman who runs the college’s official hacking group.”

    • SS7 flaw exploited by hackers to drain customers’ bank accounts

      The weakness within the protocol has been known about since 2014, and in January, criminals exploited it to bypass the two-factor authentication method that banks use to protect unauthorised withdrawals from online accounts, German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung has reported.

    • Google phishing attack was foretold by researchers—and it may have used their code

      The “Google Docs” phishing attack that wormed its way through thousands of e-mail inboxes earlier this week exploited a threat that had been flagged earlier by at least three security researchers—one raised issues about the threat as early as October of 2011. In fact, the person or persons behind the attack may have copied the technique from a proof of concept posted by one security researcher to GitHub in February.

    • WPSeku – A Vulnerability Scanner to Find Security Issues in WordPress

      WordPress is a free and open-source, highly customizable content management system (CMS) that is being used by millions around the world to run blogs and fully functional websites. Because it is the most used CMS out there, there are so many potential WordPress security issues/vulnerabilities to be concerned about.

    • Types of DDoS Attacks

      Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS) are a favorite attack method of hackers and hacktivists, in large part due to their simplicity. We list the different types of DDoS attacks and offer resources to stop DDoS attacks.

    • Using Emoji for fingerprint verification

      The messaging app Telegram recently introduced end-to-end encrypted voice calls. As most of you probably know, encryption without verification is pretty useless since there is the risk of man-in-the-middle attacks. I don’t want to get too much into details about this. The point I want to make is, that you should verify your partners fingerprint (hash of the used key) in order to be secure.

      The interesting part of Telegrams new feature is the way they verify fingerprints. Traditionally you are presented with a String of (typically hexadecimal – 0-9,A-F) characters. In the case of Conversations the fingerprint are 64 hexadecimal characters. Telegram on the other hand introduced the way of displaying 4 out of a set of 333 emojis (1). Note that this is only used to verify that the current voice call is secure. The next call would have a different fingerprint, so keep in mind, that we are talking about two different use cases here.

      Still, how do those two methods compare? Could we use emoji in conversations to verify the fingerprint of identity keys?

    • HandBrake For Mac Mirror Server Was Compromised And Infected With PROTON Malware

      HandBrake is an open-source and free transcoder for digital video files. It makes ripping a film from a DVD to a data storage device such as NAS boxes easier. HandBrake works Linux, macOS, and Windows. A Recent version of Handbrake for Mac and possibly other downloads at the same site infected with malware. If you have downloaded HandBrake on Mac between 2/May/2017 and 06/May/2017, you need to delete the file ASAP. HandBrake infected with a new variant of OSX.PROTON malware.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Pakistani, Saudi channels beam into Kashmiri homes, stoke ‘azadi’ rage

      Over 50 Saudi and Pakistani channels, including Zakir Naik’s banned Peace TV preaching Salafist Islam, and others indulging in anti-India propaganda are running without necessary clearances via private cable networks in Kashmir.

      All this is happening under the nose of the PDP-BJP government, which even subscribes to these cable services in some of its offices and buildings.

    • Trucks Don’t Kill People; Terrorists Driving Trucks Kill People

      The latest pretend protection of us by the TSA is to ask truck rental agencies to be more vigilant about who’s renting — though anyone with an IQ over room temperature realizes that somebody could just shoot somebody who’s already driving a truck and then go murder a bunch of people.

    • Germany searches all army barracks for Nazi material

      Inspections have been ordered at every German army barracks, after Nazi-era memorabilia was found at two of them.

      The defence ministry said the command came from the inspector general of the Bundeswehr (Germany’s armed forces).

      All barracks will be searched for material linked to the Wehrmacht, the army which served Adolf Hitler.

    • North Korea detains another U.S. citizen amid rising tensions, state media reports

      North Korea claimed it detained another U.S. citizen on Sunday, stoking further discord as the two countries face their biggest tensions in years.

      The North’s state media said Kim Hak Song, who worked at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, was arrested on Saturday on charges of “hostile acts” against the country. This would bring the tally to four U.S. citizens held by the reclusive nation.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Laura Poitras on Julian Assange: ‘Admirable, Brilliant, and Flawed’

      Laura Poitras’s new film Risk opens May 5. It documents six years in the life of Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks and controversial inhabitant of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Laura Poitras received the Oscar for Best Documentary for her previous film, Citizenfour, about Edward Snowden. She also won a Pulitzer Prize in 2014, and a MacArthur “Genius” Grant in 2012. This interview has been edited and condensed.

    • The government wants Julian Assange in jail. That could hurt the rest of us.

      Lady Gaga — all in black and wearing a witch’s hat — is interviewing Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he’s been holed up for years.

      As the pop star, in a bizarre scene from a new documentary, quizzes the WikiLeaks founder about everything from his legal problems to his favorite food, Assange interrupts: “Let’s not pretend for a moment I’m a normal person.”

      Indeed, in Laura Poitras’s film about Assange, “Risk,” he comes across as neither normal nor particularly sympathetic.

      Consider: He has been accused of rape in Sweden (he says he was entrapped and had to seek asylum from extradition); he has published leaked information that has intruded into private lives; and he may have helped Russian agents try to get Donald Trump elected president.

      But everyone who cares about the free press in America needs to understand something else, too.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Could making climate change a ‘pro-life’ issue bring conservatives on board?

      The terms “pro-life” and “pro-environment” are not normally linked, but a growing number of Christian leaders insist they should be.

      Pope Francis said so in his 2015 encyclical on the environment and human ecology. Now, the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), a nondenominational organization committed to “creation care,” is promoting the argument that if you value life from its conception, you should value a clean Earth for the rest of a child’s life and for future children.

    • Newly-signed federal spending bill spares energy research for 4 months

      On Friday afternoon, President Trump signed a bipartisan spending bill negotiated in the House to fund the federal government through September 30, 2017. The bill contained funding for energy-related programs and offices that the president has called to be defunded. And, late this week, the Department of Energy (DOE) internally announced a cancellation of its grant freeze.

    • EPA chief promises to recuse himself from lawsuits, advocates for coal

      Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt sent a memo to agency employees last week saying that he would recuse himself from lawsuits that he brought against the Agency as Oklahoma Attorney General, according to Reuters. Pruitt sued the EPA more than a dozen times under the Obama Administration, challenging policy from the Clean Power Plan to the Waters of the United States rule.

  • Finance

    • Greg Palast: Trump’s tax cuts are more evidence America’s greedy billionaires have staged a political coup

      Trump’s call for massive corporate tax cuts doesn’t just revive failed Reagan-era economic policies, it’s another sign of how America’s super-rich have staged a coup.

    • NYC’s New Tech to Track Every Homeless Person in the City

      New York is facing a crisis. The city that never sleeps has become the city with the most people who have no home to sleep in. As rising rents outpace income growth across the five boroughs, some 62,000 people, nearly 40 percent of them children, live in homeless shelters—rates the city hasn’t seen since the Great Depression.

    • Justice Department opens criminal probe into Uber

      In its earlier years, the company employed cutthroat tactics against its competitor Lyft At one point, Uber employees would summon Lyft drivers and then cancel rides. Kalanick once bragged about a feature, called “God View,” which it used to track a journalist and other noteworthy individuals. He has charged into legal battles with transportation regulators and taxi drivers in cities across the world.


      The European Commission is changing its approach to trade deals after strong headwinds jeopardized agreements with the U.S. and Canada.

    • The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked

      In June 2013, a young American postgraduate called Sophie was passing through London when she called up the boss of a firm where she’d previously interned. The company, SCL Elections, went on to be bought by Robert Mercer, a secretive hedge fund billionaire, renamed Cambridge Analytica, and achieved a certain notoriety as the data analytics firm that played a role in both Trump and Brexit campaigns. But all of this was still to come. London in 2013 was still basking in the afterglow of the Olympics. Britain had not yet Brexited. The world had not yet turned.


      In Britain, we still trust our government. We respect our authorities to uphold our laws. We trust the rule of law. We believe we live in a free and fair democracy. Which is what, I believe, makes the last part of this story so profoundly unsettling.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Emmanuel Macron stresses national unity in victory speech

      French President-elect Emmanuel Macron used his victory speech on Sunday to tell supporters of his far-right opponent that he understood their anger and promised to prioritize security and social policy.

      After being attacked for a seemingly over-the-top reaction to his first round win, Macron delivered a sober speech after defeating Marine Le Pen in a runoff vote. He stressed national unity and expressed respect to Le Pen for her campaign.

    • FCC to investigate, ‘take appropriate action’ on Colbert’s Trump rant [iophk: "Trump administration bends for Big Gay"]

      “The only thing your mouth is good at is being [Russian President] Vladimir Putin’s c—k holster,” he said of Trump.

    • Authorities vow to investigate hacking attack in French presidential campaign as voting begins Sunday

      It described the leak as a “real attempt to disrupt the French presidential election” and said it would be taking all steps to find out who was behind the “unusual operation.”

    • French election: Emmanuel Macron on course to defeat Marine Le Pen

      The paper said it was impossible to check the leaked files in time before the vote and the release of the files had the clear goal of harming the validity of the ballot at a time when the main interested parties are legally forbidden from responding to the allegations.

    • Fiery Le Pen or novice Macron?

      Le Pen firmly backs the Syrian regime and distanced herself from US President Donald Trump over recent US airstrikes targeting President Bashar Assad’s regime, and she is friendly with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Macron wants international pressure on Assad and to maintain sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.

    • France heads to polls after presidential race rocked by hacking scandal

      The vote is also being seen as a test for global populism and the future of the European Union.

    • Voting begins in final round of French presidential election

      Voting is underway in the final round of France’s presidential race after a massive online dump of frontrunner Emmanuel Macron’s campaign data delivered a final dramatic twist to the country’s most bruising, divisive and significant election in decades.

      The French election watchdog warned that it could be a criminal offence to publish the tens of thousands of hacked emails and other documents – some reportedly fake – amid an electioneering blackout lasting from midnight on Friday until polls close at 8pm on Sunday.

      The hack, on which neither Macron or his opponent, far-right leader Marine Le Pen, were allowed to comment publicly, was “clearly an attempt at democratic destabilisation, like that seen during the last presidential campaign in the US,” according to his En Marche! campaign team.

    • Nils Torvalds announces bid for presidency as Swedish People’s Party candidate

      Member of the European Parliament Nils Torvalds of the Swedish People’s Party of Finland has announced his bid for the presidency.

      The Swedish People’s Party of Finland will nominate its official presidential contender in June.

      According to Torvalds, the upcoming election will define Finland’s path in an ”increasingly complicated world”. In a press release, Torvalds writes that the debate around the elections will focus on foreign and security policy, global insecurities and environmental questions.

    • ProPublica’s Homophobic Witchhunt

      ProPublica writes “Steven Munoz [above] allegedly assaulted five freshmen. His hiring at the State Department raises further questions about the Trump administration’s vetting process.” The story lists accusations of unwanted sexual touching from 2009 that first surfaced in 2012 via a leaked email, when Munoz did some work for the Rick Santorum campaign. Munoz claimed the acts were consensual. All of the information is available via Google searches; no investigative journalism is needed.

      Upshot? A South Carolina prosecutor reviewed the case and its 200 pages of evidence and declined to seek an indictment in 2013.

      Accusations and an investigation that lead to no charges. That’s it.


      If it’s that the military academy did a poor job of investigating the allegations, then write that story. If the local prosecutor failed in her responsibilities, then investigate and write that story. If you have evidence Munoz is sexually assaulting people in his political appointee job today in Washington, let’s hear it. If you can find that the Trump vetting process uncovered evidence of Munoz’ guilt and hired him anyway, let’ see that headlined.

      But if all you are doing is resurfacing old, dismissed allegations of a salacious nature in hopes of embarrassing the administration and making yourself look like The Resistance for a news cycle, then, no, you are just conducting an old-fashioned witch hunt.

      Shame on you, ProPublica, and your organization’s otherwise proud record.

    • Reporters barred from Kushner Companies’ visa-for-investment event in China

      Organizers barred journalists on Sunday from a publicly advertised event in Shanghai that offered Chinese investors the chance to get U.S. immigrant visas if they put money in a real estate project linked to the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law.

      The two-tower luxury apartment complex in New Jersey, One Journal Square, is being developed by KABR Group and the Kushner Companies, which until recently was headed by senior White House advisor Jared Kushner, the husband of Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

    • #MacronLeaks Campaign Hits Resistance

      Extreme right-wing Twitter users in the United States and France continued to attack the centrist candidate in France’s presidential election, Emmanuel Macron. On Saturday, however, it appeared they were losing ground to opponents countering their attacks with mockery and accusations of Russian involvement.

    • French election: Turnout sharply down in Le Pen-Macron battle

      Turnout in the French presidential election is so far sharply down on the past two polls as voters choose between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.

      A turnout of 65.3% was recorded at 17:00 local time (15:00 GMT) in an unpredictable campaign that has divided the country.

      The bitterly fought poll was concluding on Sunday amid massive security.

      The final polling stations close at 20:00 (18:00 GMT), with the result set to be reported immediately afterwards.

    • French election authorities warn media – and public – not to publish #MacronLeaks documents
    • The Macron Leaks Probably Came Too Late to Change the French Election
    • French election: Le Pen to be crushed by Macron, early exit polls indicates
    • Emmanuel Macron wins election to become French president

      Le Pen says she has called Emmanuel Macron to congratulate him on his victory.

    • Macron wins French presidency by decisive margin over Le Pen
    • Five reasons why Macron won the French election

      Emmanuel Macron has triggered a political earthquake in French politics.

      A year ago, he was a member of the government of one the most unpopular French presidents in history.

      Now, at 39, he has won France’s presidential election, defeating first the mainstream centre left and centre right and now the far right as well.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • NSA stops one abuse, but many remain
    • Debate brews over eavesdropping on American citizens
    • Cyber-insecurity is a gift for hackers, but it’s our own governments that create it

      The political legitimacy of democratic capitalism, that unlikely political formation that has brought us the end of history and now presents itself as the only bulwark against rightwing extremism, rests on a clear distribution of functions between governments and corporations. The former take on the role of regulating the latter in order to protect the customers from the occasional harmful effects of the otherwise beneficial business activity.

    • Former NSA executive urges public vigilance against government overreach

      Thomas Drake still thinks about waking up a free man, instead of the lifelong prison term he was promised by the government he used to work for.

      Drake woke up Wednesday in a guesthouse on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. The former senior executive of the National Security Agency spoke at the college’s annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference last week as part of his second career: the whistleblower warning the nation about the rise of mass surveillance.

    • Feds propose heightened social media vetting of visa applicants

      The US State Department is opening the public comment period for a proposal that seeks to inspect social media accounts and other data of visa applicants the government believes may pose a danger.

      The new vetting, the State Department said, likely will only impact about 0.5 percent of visa applicants per year—roughly 65,000 people. The new vetting being proposed would apply to applicants “who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities,” according to a notice in the Federal Register by the State Department.

    • Miami Judge Says Compelling Password Production Isn’t A Fifth Amendment Issue

      Another small dart has been lodged in the thigh of the Fifth Amendment by the courts. A Miami, FL federal judge has ruled that defendants in a sex video extortion case must turn over their phones’ passwords.

    • Lawyer: Cops “deliberately misled” judge who seemingly signed off on stingray

      Defense attorney Martha Boersch has strong words for federal law enforcement’s warrantless use of cell-site simulators, better known as stingrays.

      Her client, Purvis Ellis, charged with attempted murder and racketeering, was tracked down to an East Oakland apartment in January 2013 with the help of not just one stingray, but two. Prosecutors initially insisted that only one stingray was used, but as was revealed last summer, that turned out to not be the case. The Oakland Police Department’s own stingray was seemingly insufficient, so officers then called in the FBI, both times without a warrant.

    • Are we heading for a new encryption war?

      More details of how the UK’s new surveillance law will operate have been revealed, in details about the use of encryption.

      Under draft regulations to support the new Investigatory Powers Act, the government will be able to issue ‘technical capability notices’ to companies with more than 10,000 UK users to make it easier for police, spy agencies and other government bodies to access their customers’ communications.

    • Government lays out plans for real time surveillance without encryption in leaked document
    • Snooper’s Charter: What you need to know about the Investigatory Powers Act

      A leaked draft statutory instruments document has detailed how the government is seeking to compel telecommunications operators to provide real time access to named individuals’ communications within one working day under the recently passed Investigatory Powers Act. This includes encrypted messages.

      The government also asks for the capability to “provide and maintain the capability to simultaneously intercept, or obtain secondary data” from 6,500 people at any one time.

    • Google’s dominance of search ads puts it ahead of Facebook, despite the latter’s fast growth
    • Facebook wants to launch its big attack on TV next month — here’s what we know

      Facebook plans to have roughly two-dozen shows for this initial push and has greenlit multiple shows for production, according to people familiar with the discussions. They said that the social network has been looking for shows in two distinct tiers: a marquee tier for a few longer, big-budget shows that would feel at home on TV, and a lower tier for shorter, less expensive shows of around 5-10 minutes in length that refreshes every 24 hours.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Germany set to ban Turkish citizens from voting in death penalty referendum
    • Dutch work to prevent Turkish death penalty vote
    • Dutch government will on voting rights if Turkey holds death penalty vote
    • Watch a cop’s staged body cam footage made “to look like it was done in real-time“

      In the footage, provided to Ars by Cajar’s attorney, Jensen reenacts the vehicle search at a local tow yard. Jensen later texted (PDF) a local Pueblo County prosecutor telling her that the video was staged. That prosecutor then alerted her superiors, and charges against Cajar were dropped.

    • Indian village bans women from using mobile phones outside homes

      The elders’ council or khap pranchayat of a predominantly Muslim village, Madora, have set the fine as large as 21,000 rupees (around $330) on those who break the ruling.

    • Majority of men in Middle East survey believe a woman’s place is in the home
    • Dozens of speakers to attend major conference on secularism and freedom of expression

      Organisers said the event will “highlight the voices of people on the frontlines of resistance – many of them persecuted and exiled – as well as address challenges faced by activists and freethinkers, elaborate on the links between democratic politics and free expression and conscience, promote secular and rights-based alternatives, and establish priorities for collective action.”

    • Boy, 10, killed in attempted blasphemy lynching in Pakistan

      A 10-year-old boy has been killed and five other people wounded after a mob attacked a police station in an attempt to lynch a Hindu man charged with blasphemy in south-west Pakistan, officials said. It was the third major vigilante attack linked to accusations of insulting Islam in less than a month, as law enforcement agencies struggle to deal with a surge in violence.

    • [PDF] Understanding Masculinities: Results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (Images) – Middle East and North Africa

      Support for female genital mutilation is high. Some 70 per cent of men, and more than half of women, approve of the practice.

    • FGM silences a woman’s most primal voice

      The cradle of Islamic civilization is rooted in tribalism, and in many tribal communities a woman’s anatomy is viewed through the periscope of reproduction, service, and control. Contained sexuality, including through FGM, is designed to limit a woman’s sexual experience to the framework of marriage and reproduction. Destroying the clitoris means destroying a woman’s ability to fully experience and enjoy sex, including using that experience to communicate her desire and enjoyment even with her husband. She exists simply for reproductive purposes or to service the needs of her husband. What it comes down to is control; it is much easier to control someone who cannot feel. This is not acceptable. We must all stand up for the right of women in all societies to fully develop all aspects of their being.

    • Courts Save Girl, 14, Abducted and Converted to Islam

      Sumbal’s family as well as the entire Christian community in the town now live in constant fear that Ahmed could involve the family or another community member in a false case of blasphemy, a routine occurrence used against minorities in Pakistan for settling personal scores.

    • Muslim Brotherhood in Desperate Campaign in US

      He said the Brotherhood is engaged in a fight for its life, playing all its cards – including using financial support from Turkey and Qatar and the Brotherhood lobby in America – to avoid being designated as a terror organization.

    • All India Muslim Personal Law Board should be abolished for the sake of Muslims: Taslima Nasreen

      AIMPLB was forced to take this stand in the face of searing criticism from different quarters for not ending a regressive practice like triple talaq. It wants to save its credibility. So, it asks for a social boycott of people divorcing wives through pronouncement of triple talaq in a single sitting. The decision to ask for social boycott is a slap in their face as it proves that the practice is despicable. But still they don’t want to dispense with it, perpetuating misogyny in the name of religion.

    • Police Union Sues Toy Gun Maker For Not Doing Enough To Keep Cleveland Cops From Killing 12-Year-Old Boys

      In the world of law enforcement, there’s very little more ridiculous than police unions. That’s the unfortunate side effect of feeling compelled to defend every “bad apple,” no matter how rotten they are. The Cleveland police union has reached the apotheosis of law enforcement spin — this time taking the form of a lawsuit that looks like a punchline.

    • Oklahoma Governor Signs Anti-Protest Law Imposing Huge Fines on “Conspirator” Organizations

      A statute aimed at suppressing protests against oil and gas pipelines has been signed into law in Oklahoma, as a related bill advances through the state legislature. The two bills are part of a nationwide trend in anti-protest laws meant to significantly increase legal penalties for civil disobedience. The Oklahoma law signed this week is unique, however, in its broad targeting of groups “conspiring” with protesters accused of trespassing. It takes aim at environmental organizations Republicans have blamed for anti-pipeline protests that have become costly for local governments.

      The statute Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin approved Wednesday was rushed into immediate effect under a provision that declared the situation “an emergency.” It will dramatically increase penalties against protesters who trespass on property containing a “critical infrastructure facility.”

    • Man: border agents threatened to “be dicks,” take my phone if I didn’t unlock it

      As he sat in a darkened corner of a neighborhood bar, Aaron Gach, an artist and lecturer at a local art college, told Ars about what happened to him in February 2017 episode at San Francisco International Airport, where he agreed to unlock his iPhone and have it be searched by border agents rather than risk being detained and delayed further.


      After he unlocked his iPhone SE, agents took it out of sight for five to 10 minutes before giving it back and sending him on his way. Gach still has no idea why.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • It’s Not Too Late to Save Net Neutrality From a Captured FCC

      The debate over net neutrality has always been much more than a technocratic squabble over controlling Internet pipes. What it’s really about is a far larger power struggle over access to information and people’s rights to express themselves politically and creatively. It’s also about the government’s role in ensuring a level playing field and preventing corporate monopolies from abusing a socially vital infrastructure.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Paper: National Laws, UPOV, Should Be Revised To Ensure Farmers Rights

      The right of farmers to use, exchange and sell farm-saved seeds should be ensured through national laws and a revision of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), so the objectives of another United Nations international treaty on plant genetic resources can be fulfilled, a recent research paper states.

      The South Centre recently published a research paper [pdf] entitled, “Implementing farmers’ rights relating to seeds,” authored by Carlos Correa, special advisor on trade and intellectual property at the intergovernmental South Centre.

    • Trademarks

      • US Entertainment Firm Milks Croatian Concert Promoter With Trademark Rights It May Never Have Owned

        We see all kinds of dumb and frustrating examples of trademark bullying here at Techdirt. From questionable claims of infringement entirely, to the over-policing of broad or generic terms that never should have been granted trademark protection to begin with, to vice-like licensing terms that appear to be designed more to put licensees out of business rather than building any kind of long-term business model out of trademark rights. That said, at least in most of these stories the offending party has the trademark its bullying with. That may not be the case when it comes to Worldwide Entertainment Group Inc., which is being sued by a Coatian festival promoter after being milked over a trademark the promoter says Worldwide doesn’t actually have.

    • Copyrights

      • The six worst recent hypocrisies of the copyright industry

        The copyright industry has been pushing for tougher penalties since at least 1905, and against access for the public to culture and knowledge since at least 1849, when they opposed public libraries in the UK. The message from this industry has been remarkably consistent. However, the actions of this industry are as consistently hypocritical as that lobbying message. Here are some of the worst recent examples

      • Microsoft Patents Technology to Block Pirated Content, Track Repeat Offenders

        With an overview of the infringements, the hosting provider can choose to limit the sharing permissions of users, or terminate their accounts if warranted.

      • ISP Lands Supreme Court Win Over Copyright Trolls

        This is an important decision that sends an important message to the licensees and Njord Law that the rule of law can not be set aside in their eagerness to deal with illegal file-sharing.


Links 6/5/2017: Docker 17.05.0, FreeNAS 11.0 Release Candidate

Posted in News Roundup at 4:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • MyRepublic sharpens competitive edge with open source

    Like any rapidly growing business, Singaporean internet service provider (ISP) MyRepublic faced bottlenecks with its legacy infrastructure that hampered its ability to enter new markets quickly.

  • Now build your digital business with Open Source

    Enterprise digital transformation, in many ways, is a race against time. Today’s ‘connected’ consumers and technologies are evolving faster than an enterprise can adapt. The old ways of delivering digital experience ought to be replaced by more agile and all-embracing newer methods.

    Increasingly, businesses are turning to Open Source to facilitate this change, as it outperforms proprietary technologies on quality, cost, customization, and security.

  • [GSoC 2017] 3D Hardware Acceleration in Haiku

    My name is Vivek (Trac: vivek-roy, IRC: vivu). I have been selected for Google Summer of Code 2017 to work with Haiku on the project 3D Hardware Acceleration in Haiku.

    The Mesa renderer in Haiku presently ventures into software rendering. Haiku uses software for rendering frame buffers and then writes them to the graphics hardware. The goal of my project is to port Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) Driver for i915, from the Linux kernel to Haiku with the help of DragonflyBSD’s Linux Compatibility layer, so that those drivers can be later extended to add OpenGL support (Mesa3D) for hardware accelerated 3D rendering.

  • Haiku’s Plans For OpenGL Hardware Acceleration On Intel

    One of the interesting 2017 Google Summer of Code projects is a student developer attempting to enable hardware OpenGL/3D acceleration support under the BeOS-inspired Haiku OS.

  • Does open source still matter?

    The message to the thousands of participants was clear: the open source development model that brings together creators and users of software to solve business and societal problems is winning.

    From Singapore’s myResponder app that activates volunteers within the vicinity of those suffering from heart attacks to the transformation of government services in Mexico, open source software has sparked some of the world’s most inspiring innovations.

    While these open source powered initiatives are laudable, will they still accomplish their goals if the underlying technologies they are using aren’t open source?

  • Open-source tech disruptive force in computing industry, says IBM

    In today’s world, going alone has few benefits. This is doubly true in the tech industry, as companies who do their own thing don’t just have to reinvent the wheel, but also maintain it forever after. Collaboration and partnerships are key to doing effective business, and a common meeting ground for such collaboration is open-source technology, according to Jim Wasko (pictured), vice president of open systems development at IBM.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Welcome, GSoC’17 students!

      Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a global program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development during their holiday break. The Document Foundation and LibreOffice participate every year, and we are happy to announce three accepted projects aimed to improve usability.

  • Funding

    • Seneca Open Source researcher’s $1-million grant renewed for five years

      With funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Seneca Professor Chris Tyler will build on five years as an Industrial Research Chair for Colleges (IRCC) with expanded research into open source software that can run on low-energy, high-performance computers.

  • BSD

    • FreeNAS 11.0 Open-Source Storage Operating System to Be Based on FreeBSD 11

      iXsystems’ Kris Moore announced the general availability of a first Release Candidate (RC) milestone of the upcoming FreeNAS 11.0 open-source storage operating system.

      It appears that this Release Candidate is also the first public development build of FreeNAS 11.0, as the team thoroughly tested the operating system for the past several months and decided that it’s stable enough to be promoted straight to the RC state. As its version number suggests, development is currently based on the FreeBSD 11-STABLE operating system.

    • FreeNAS 11.0 Release Candidate Up For Testing
    • FreeNAS 11.0-RC now Available
    • pfSense 2.3.4 Open-Source Firewall Update Brings System Stability Improvements

      A new maintenance update was released for the pfSense 2.3.x stable series of the open-source and free firewall distribution based on the latest FreeBSD technologies.

      pfSense software version 2.3.4 comes more than two months after the pfSense 2.3.3 update, and promises to bring even more system stability improvements and bug fixes, security patches, as well as a bunch of new features. First off, this release is based on FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE-p19.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source growth in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

      Nearly half of all municipalities (960 out of 2000) in France’s former Bourgogne (Burgundy) region (now Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) are relying on open source-based services for several administrative tasks. The services are attracting many other public administrations, including schools, hospitals and government-run retirement homes.

    • Majority of towns in Wallonia now use open source

      The majority (75%) of municipalities in the Walloon region of Belgium are now using open source software and services. In the region 261 cities, towns, villages and other public administrations are using 8 open source-based solutions that are centrally managed and maintained by Intercommunale de Mutualisation Informatique et Organisationnelle (IMIO), an IT service provider set up in 2011 by the Walloon government.

    • Finland’s Oskari GIS platform aims to go global

      Oskari, the online geographic map-building tool that was originally developed by the National Land Survey of Finland, is joining the OSGeo foundation, hoping to become one of the world’s standard open source Geographic Information Solutions. “The Oskari network now includes 33 members, mostly public administrations but also 13 companies, and the software is translated into 14 languages”, said Jani Kylmäaho, head of development at the land survey.

    • Italy creates digital transformation team

      On 24 March, the government of Italy started ‘Developers Italia’ a digital government transformation team and software development community focusing on open source software development. Software solutions and software libraries are to be published on GitHub, published under the MIT licence.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Java modular battle heats up as Oracle criticizes Red Hat, IBM

      Amid a budding controversy surrounding the module system planned for Java, Oracle’s chief Java architect, Mark Reinhold, lashed out today at Red Hat and IBM’s opposition, saying the companies are simply guarding their own interests.

      In an open letter to the Java Community Process (JCP) Executive Commitee published Friday morning, Reinhold was highly critical of the two rival vendors. The current disagreement centers on Java Specification Request 376, which focuses on the module system featured as part of Project Jigsaw. Red Hat Middleware initially agreed to the goals and requirements of the JSR, but then worked consistently to undermine them, Reinhold said.

    • Oracle rethinks modular Java plan after Red Hat’s objections

      Oracle’s chief Java architect has proposed tweaks to Java’s modular plan. The revisions were said to be not in response to recent objections by Red Hat and IBM, but they do appear to address one of the concerns.

      In a post to an openjdk mailing list on Thursday, a proposal by Oracle’s Mark Reinhold, chief architect of the Java platform group, centers on an “AutomaticModuleNames” feature. He also referenced the plan on his twitter feed, tweeting, “Module names should be reverse-DNS and so automatic modules can be given stable names.” An Oracle representative said the proposal was just ongoing work on issues that continue to be under discussion and was separate from Red Hat and IBM’s issues.

    • Declarative vs. Imperative paradigms

      At first glance you will notice that one of these remotes is dark, and the other is light. You might also notice that my photography skills are terrible. Neither of these facts is very important to the discussion at hand. Is there anything interesting that you can infer?

    • NASA wants YOU (to make its Fortran code run faster)

      NASA has teamed up with two technology crowdsourcing organizations in an effort to put some of its supercomputer code into afterburner mode. In an announcement on May 2, the director of NASA’s Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program (TACP) launched the High Performance Fast Computing Challenge, an effort to accelerate NASA’s Modern Fortran-based computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, FUN3D.

    • RcppEigen


  • Health/Nutrition

    • At FDA, TVs now turned to Fox News and can’t be switched

      Attention viewers at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Televisions will now be tuned to Fox News.

      CBS News has confirmed an email was sent to researchers at the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research responding to apparent efforts to change the channel on internal television screens. The email from “[White Oak] Digital Display” sent on Wednesday, May 3, was sent to inform the researchers of the “reason for the change from CNN to Fox.” White Oak is the name of the FDA’s campus.

    • There’s a federal law to lower drug prices—and Louisiana may just use it

      An obscure federal patent law that has been on the books for more than a century gives the government the power to drag down soaring drug prices, Kaiser Health News reports.

      Dr. Rebekah Gee, Louisiana’s health secretary, is trying to rally bipartisan support to use the law—US Code Section 1498 under Title 28—to bring down the staggering prices of patented hepatitis C drugs for the state. The price of these drugs alone could cripple the state’s budget. If she’s successful, the legal maneuver could bring down prices for all 50 states—and be used to help reduce the price of other drugs. But to get there, she’ll not only need state support but a sign-off from the Trump administration.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The CIA has a long history of helping to kill leaders around the world

      Some of the most notorious of the CIA’s operations to kill world leaders were those targeting the late Cuban president, Fidel Castro. Attempts ranged from snipers to imaginative plots worthy of spy movie fantasies, such as the famous exploding cigars and a poison-lined scuba-diving suit.

      But although the CIA attempts proved fruitless in the case of Castro, the US intelligence agency has since 1945 succeeded in deposing or killing a string of leaders elsewhere around the world – either directly or, more often, using sympathetic local military, locally hired criminals or pliant dissidents.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Green Activists Beaten While Investigating Pollution in Shandong

      Two environmental volunteers were attacked on Wednesday while attempting to investigate a possible case of industrial pollution in eastern China.

      Xiao Jiang and Zhang Wenbin, volunteers at the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation, a national environmental protection nonprofit, were followed, surrounded, and beaten by more than a dozen men. The volunteers had received a tip from a villager that a factory in Sishui County, near Jining City in Shandong province, was responsible for two large pits of waste water that had contaminated the environment.

      Xiao told Sixth Tone that when they were driving in the area, they suspected they were being followed. When they tried to turn their car around, several men on electric bikes blocked the road and attacked them when they got out of their vehicle.

  • Finance

    • The six Brexit traps that will defeat Theresa May

      “It’s yours against mine.” That’s how Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister, put it to me during our first encounter in early 2015 – referring to our respective democratic mandates.

      A little more than two years later, Theresa May is trying to arm herself with a clear democratic mandate ostensibly to bolster her negotiating position with European powerbrokers – including Schäuble – and to deliver the optimal Brexit deal.

      Already, the Brussels-based commentariat are drawing parallels: “Brits fallen for Greek fallacy that domestic vote gives you stronger position in Brussels. Other countries have voters too,” tweeted Duncan Robinson, Brussels correspondent of the Financial Times. “Yep,” tweeted back Miguel Roig, the Brussels correspondent of Spanish financial daily Expansión. “Varoufakis’ big miscalculation was to think that he was the only one in the Eurogroup with a democratic mandate.”

    • Theresa May’s Brexit Britain can no longer be considered a serious country

      For many years now the logo “Keep calm and carry on” has been a huge hit across Europe. You can find it on posters, T-shirts and mugs – both the original text as distributed in 1939, to steel the British people for the war to come, as well as many “funny” variations. The slogan’s popularity is easy to understand as it unites the most important positive stereotypes about Britain in Europe: a pragmatic and liberal island people who were on the right side in the second world war.

    • Germany proposed charging Britain for EU single market access: magazine

      German government officials have proposed giving Britain access to the European Union’s single market in return for a fee, Focus magazine said on Saturday citing a Finance Ministry report.

      The 35-page report on the potential costs of Brexit to Germany said Britain’s departure from the EU risked “serious economic and stability relevant consequences; effects in particular on the real economy.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Macron campaign emails appear to be leaked online

      A large trove of emails purporting to be from the campaign of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron was posted online late on Friday, 1-1/2 days before voters go to the polls to choose the country’s next president in a run-off with Marine Le Pen.

    • French election: Macron takes action over offshore claims

      The frontrunner in the race for the French presidency, Emmanuel Macron, has filed a lawsuit over online rumours that he has a secret bank account in the Caribbean.

      Prosecutors in Paris have opened an investigation following his complaint.

      The news came after the centrist, pro-EU candidate was regarded as having come out on top in the final TV debate ahead of Sunday’s run-off vote.

      His far-right adversary, Marine Le Pen, referred to the claims in the debate.

      He replied: “That is defamation.”

    • Macron campaign says it was the victim of ‘massive hacking’

      The political party of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron said its computer systems were hacked, after thousands of emails and electronic documents purporting to come from the campaign were posted anonymously on the internet Friday evening.

      The files had been obtained several weeks ago from the personal and work email accounts of party officials, according to a statement from Macron’s party, En Marche!, or On the Move. The file dump comes less than two days before the final round of France’s presidential race, which pits Macron against far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen.

    • Macron condemns ‘massive’ hacking attack as documents leaked

      The campaign of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron says it has been the target of a “massive hacking attack” after a trove of documents was released online.

      The campaign said that genuine files were mixed up with fake ones in order to confuse people.

      It said that it was clear the hackers wanted to undermine Mr Macron ahead of Sunday’s second round vote.

      The centrist will face off against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

    • French Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign says it has been the victim of a massive hacking operation

      French Presidential favourite Emmanuel Macron’s political movement claimed it has been the victim of “massive and co-ordinated hack”.

      A large trove of emails from the campaign were posted online. They were among around nine gigabytes of data posted by a user called EMLEAKS to Pastebin, a document-sharing site that allows anonymous posting.

      Researchers from a Japanese anti-virus firm claim the centrist politician has been targeted by Russian hackers.

    • Hours Before French Election, Macron Claims to Be Victim of Hack

      A significant leak containing tens of thousands of emails, pictures and file attachments from French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has been publicized for the world to see, roughly 36 hours before the people of France select their next president.

    • Macron team blasts ‘massive hacking attack’ on eve of vote

      The campaign team of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron on Friday confirmed it had suffered a “massive and coordinated hacking attack” after internal documents were released online, slamming an attempt at “democratic destabilisation”.

      “The files circulating were obtained several weeks ago due to the hacking of the personal and professional mailboxes of several party officials,” Macron’s En Marche! (On The Move) party said in a statement, just as campaigning officially ended ahead of Sunday’s election.

    • As bitter French campaign ends, Macron’s team hit by hack

      Far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said Friday she believes she can pull off a surprise victory in France’s high-stakes runoff Sunday, while independent front-runner Emmanuel Macron suffered a document leak that his team called a bid to throw the vote.

      In an interview with The Associated Press in the final hours of a hostile, topsy-turvy campaign, Le Pen said that win or lose, “we changed everything.” She claimed an “ideological victory” for her populist, anti-immigrant worldview in an election that could change Europe’s direction.

    • Macron’s French presidential campaign emails leaked online
    • Macron campaign blasts ‘massive hacking attack’ ahead of French presidential election

      Former economy minister Macron’s team has already complained about attempts to hack it systems during a fraught campaign, blaming Russian interests in part for the cyber attacks.

      On April 26, the team said it had been the target of a series of attempts to steal email credentials since January, but that the perpetrators had so far failed to compromise any campaign data.

    • French presidential frontrunner Macron’s emails leaked after alleged hack

      Private emails from the campaign of the leading candidate in France’s presidential election, Emmanuel Macron, have been posted online by an unknown source. The politician confirmed the leak in a statement, warning that this was, like other recent hacks, an attempt to interfere with the election and that fabricated content was mixed in with genuine emails.

    • Macron team blast ‘massive cyber attack’ ahead of French presidential election

      It accused those behind the attack of trying to destabilise Sunday’s presidential run-off, comparing it to emails leaked from Hillary Clinton’s US presidential campaign.

      “Their publication makes internal documents public but has no reason to worry us as far as the legality and conformity of the documents is concerned,” Mr Macron’s campaign said in a statement.

    • Emmanuel Macron’s campaign confirms ‘massive’ email hack days before French presidential election

      The French did invent the phrase déjà vu.

      Large troves of emails from French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron appeared to have leaked online Friday, two days before the country heads to one of its most important elections in decades.

      A user named EMLEAKS posted nine gigabytes of data to a document-sharing site, though it is unclear who is behind the breach that accessed the emails.

      The centrist Macron’s party En Marche! (Onwards!) confirmed what is said was a large-scale attack.

    • Macron’s team says it suffered ‘massive’ cyber attack

      French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign team says it has been the target of a “massive and coordinated” hacking attack.

      His campaign said in a statement late Friday night that some campaign emails and financial documents were hacked a few weeks ago and are now being circulated on social media, but that they have been mixed with false documents.

    • Macron’s French presidential campaign emails leaked online

      French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign said on Friday it had been the target of a “massive” computer hack that dumped its campaign mails online 1-1/2 days before voters go to the polls to choose between the centrist and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

    • Macron’s French Presidential Campaign Emails Leaked Online
    • Hackers emit 9GB of stolen Macron ‘emails’ two days before French presidential election

      It is not clear how much of the data dump is legit and authentic, although Team Macron reckons hackers have indeed swiped at least some of its documents and spread them on the web.

      “The En Marche! Movement has been the victim of a massive and coordinated hack this evening which has given rise to the diffusion on social media of various internal information,” the statement said.

    • The Latest: France’s election commission studies hack attack

      The commission said it would hold a meeting early Saturday to discuss the attack.

      It urged French media not to publish the documents, warning that some of them are “probably” fake.

    • France election: Macron team suffers ‘massive hacking attack’
    • French Presidential election: Emmanuel Macron’s campaign emails hacked

      French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign has complained of being the victim of a “massive and coordinated hacking attack”, a statement said.

      The socio-liberal candidate’s team issued the statement late on Friday saying the hacking has lead to the diffusion of “various internal information” on the social media, Xinhua news agency reported.

    • #MacronLeaks: Macron’s campaign hit by hacking attack

      French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign says it has been the target of a “massive” computer hack that dumped its emails online, just over 24 hours before voters go to the polls to choose between the centrist and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

      Macron’s political movement En Marche! (Onwards!) said the release of thousands of emails, accounting documents and other files was an attempt at “democratic destabilisation, like that seen during the last presidential campaign in the United States”.

    • French election probe as Macron team claims it has been the target of hackers

      France’s election campaign commission is investigating a hacking attack on presidential favourite Emmanuel Macron’s political movement and the leaking of documents online.

      The commission said it would hold a meeting early on Saturday to discuss the attack that Mr Macron’s team said was a bid to destabilise Sunday’s vote.

    • As France becomes latest target, are election hacks the new normal?

      The mass document dump looks likely to become an inevitable part of modern elections.

      After the hacking of the Democratic party in the 2016 US election and the dumping of embarrassing emails through WikiLeaks, French and German governments have been braced for similar attacks during their own elections.

    • Email dump hits French candidate Macron ahead of election

      Another political campaign has been hit by an email dump. This time, the target is French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

      On Friday, his campaign said a massive and coordinated hack had breached the email inboxes of several staffers. This came after a mysterious user named “EMLEAKS” apparently dumped the stolen data through torrent files on text storage site Pastebin.

      It’s unclear if the information in the dump is genuine. Allegedly, the dump contains a 9GB trove of emails and photos. The torrent files, which were hosted on Archive.org, are no longer available there.

    • French election commission probes Macron campaign hacking

      France’s election campaign commission is investigating a hacking attack on presidential favourite Emmanuel Macron’s political movement and the leaking of documents online.

      The commission said it would hold a meeting early on Saturday to discuss the attack that Mr Macron’s team said was a bid to destabilise Sunday’s vote.

    • France’s Macron has campaign emails leaked online one day before election

      French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign team said late on Friday that it had been the victim of a “massive and coordinated” hacking attack.

      The campaign team said in a statement that internal communications and financial documents had been hacked a few weeks ago and were now being circulated across social media at the 11th hour of one of the most dramatic presidential elections in French history. Whoever was behind the leak had sought to “seed doubt and misinformation” a day before Sunday’s final run-off vote for the French presidency.

    • French campaign watchdog examines election-eve Macron leak

      The perpetrators remain unknown. While the hack is shaking up the already head spinning campaign, it’s unclear whether the document dump would dent Macron’s large poll lead over far-right Marine Le Pen going into the vote.

    • French election probe as Macron team claims it has been the target of hackers

      The commission urged French media not to publish the documents, warning that some of them were “probably” fake.

      Under French electoral law there is a blackout on Saturday and most of Sunday on any campaigning and media coverage seen as swaying the election, to allow voters a period of reflection before casting their ballots.

    • French campaign watchdog examines election-eve Macron leak
    • French election commission probes Macron campaign hacking

      Under French electoral law there is a blackout on Saturday and most of Sunday on any campaigning and media coverage seen as swaying the election, to allow voters a period of reflection before casting their ballots.

    • French presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron target of ‘massive and coordinated’ hack

      The commission overseeing the French campaign said in a statement that it is holding a meeting early Saturday after being informed of the hack and leak.

    • Emmanuel Macron emails posted online in ‘massive’ hacking operation

      On the eve of the most consequential French presidential election in decades, the staff of the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron said late Friday that the campaign had been targeted by a “massive and coordinated” hacking operation, one with the potential to destabilize the nation’s democracy before voters go to the polls on Sunday.

    • Probe into origin of online claim that French presidential candidate Macron set up secret entity on Nevis

      French prosecutors opened a probe Thursday into a suspected attempt to tar French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron after anonymous files ricocheted across the internet suggesting he had created a shell company on the Caribbean island of Nevis, where officials said they have no record of any such entity.

    • French election watchdog launches investigation into ‘massive hacking attack’ on Emmanuel Macron

      The French election commission is investigating a hacking attack on presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, just a day before the country goes to the polls.

      The watchdog, which is due to hold a meeting about the hack later on Saturday, warned the media that republishing details of the hacked documents could be a criminal offence.

      Mr Macron’s campaign said on Friday night it had been the target of a “massive” computer hack that dumped its campaign emails online as French voters prepare to choose between the centrist politician and his far-right rival, Marine Le Pen, in the final round of the country’s presidential elections on Sunday.

    • French election: Media warned not to publish hacked Macron emails

      The media has been warned not to publish the contents of hacked emails from Emmanuel Macron’s presidential campaign.

      France’s electoral commission has said any organisations that circulate information from the leaked messages may be committing a criminal offence.

    • French election: Media warned not to publish hacked Macron emails

      The media has been warned not to publish the contents of hacked emails from Emmanuel Macron’s presidential campaign.

      France’s electoral commission has said any organisations that circulate information from the leaked messages may be committing a criminal offence.

    • Hackers hit Macron campaign with ‘massive’ attack

      The campaign team of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron says it has been the victim of a “massive and co-ordinated” hacking operation ahead of Sunday’s election.

      Around nine gigabytes of data were posted online to Pastebin, a document-sharing site that allows anonymous posting. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for releasing the files.

    • It’s now time to say: Congratulations President Macron

      There is perhaps some remote mathematical chance that France’s new elected monarch will be struck down by a meteor before he is officially inaugurated in a grand parade on the Champs Elysée on May 14th, amidst a 21-gun salute, helicopters flying overhead, the Garde Républicaine in full-dress uniform on shining horses, generals posed upright in their ceremonial 4x4s, bands playing, bunting flapping.

      Barring that, Mr President, you appear to have played a blinder, winning the keys to the Elysée in what appears to have been a stunning political insurgency, and you have done so promising to reform an immobilised French economy.

    • Polls suggest Macron set to defeat Le Pen in 2nd round of French presidential election

      Emmanuel Macron is poised to beat Marine Le Pen when French voters head to the polls in the second round of their country’s presidential election on Sunday.

      Macron, a centrist, has a wide lead in public opinion polls over the the far-right Le Pen. Macron is a 39-year-old former banker with only a few years of government experience who’s mounting his first campaign as a politician.

      His prospective victory, however, appears to pertain more to a desire by French voters to deny Le Pen the presidency rather than any strong enthusiasm for Macron.

    • French campaign watchdog examines election-eve Macron leak

      Polls consider Mr Macron the favourite going into Sunday’s runoff against far-right leader Marine Le Pen, and it’s unclear whether the document leak would sway the vote at this late stage.

    • French media rules prohibit election coverage over weekend

      At midnight on Saturday, France entered an electoral “discretionary period” that prohibits French media from quoting the presidential candidates or their supporters until polls close at 8pm Sunday.

      This period of legal prohibition on campaign communications is observed for 44 hours before every French presidential and legislative election.

      “Starting from the night before polls open, it is illegal to publish or broadcast by all means of communication any message that may be categorised as electoral propaganda,” France’s Superior Audiovisual Council, or CSA, said in a statement.

    • French media warned not to publish Friday’s hacked emails of centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron

      France’s election commission on Sunday released a statement saying that any news organization that publishes information leaked from the hacking attack targeting presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron‘s campaign could be subject to a criminal offense, France 24 reported.

    • French watchdog: Macron data mixed in with fake news in leak

      France’s election campaign commission said Saturday “a significant amount of data” has been leaked on social networks following a hacking attack on centrist Emmanuel Macron’s presidential campaign.

      The attack came 36 hours before the nation votes Sunday in a crucial presidential runoff between Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. Voting already began Saturday in France’s overseas territories and embassies abroad.

    • France fights to keep Macron email hack from distorting election

      France sought to keep a computer hack of frontrunner Emmanuel Macron’s campaign emails from influencing the outcome of the country’s presidential election with a warning on Saturday it could be a criminal offence to republish the data.

    • French election: Macron hack details ‘must not be spread’

      The French media and public have been warned not to spread details about a hacking attack on presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

      Strict election rules are now in place and breaching them could bring criminal charges, the election commission said.

      A trove of documents – said to mix genuine files with fake ones – was released online shortly before campaigning ended on Friday.

      The centrist Mr Macron faces far-right candidate Marine Le Pen on Sunday.

    • French election: Hollande vows ‘response’ to Macron hack attack

      French President François Hollande has promised to “respond” after a hacking attack targeted presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

      He gave no further details but said he knew of the risks of such attacks because they had “happened elsewhere”.

      The French media and public have been warned that spreading details of the attack would breach strict election rules and could bring criminal charges.

      The centrist Mr Macron faces far-right candidate Marine Le Pen on Sunday.

      A trove of documents – said to mix genuine files with fake ones – was released online shortly before campaigning ended on Friday.

      Mr Hollande told Agence France-Presse on a visit to a cultural centre: “We knew that there were these risks during the presidential campaign because it happened elsewhere. Nothing will go without a response.”

    • Emmanuel Macron email leaks ‘linked to Russian-backed hackers who attacked Democratic National Committee’

      Vitali Kremez, director of research with US-based cyber intelligence firm Flashpoint, said his analysis indicated that APT 28, a group tied to Russia’s GRU military intelligence directorate, was behind the leak.

    • The troubling history at the heart of the French election

      For Le Pen – the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, a convicted Holocaust denier who repeatedly has dismissed the Nazi gas chambers as a “detail of history” – the past is nothing to be ashamed of. Last month, she remarked on national television that France bore no responsibility for an infamous Paris roundup during the Holocaust, when French authorities arrested some 13,000 Jews, soon deported to their deaths.

    • Prince Trubetskoy Plans to Vote for Le Pen, Says Macron ‘Came Out of Blue’

      Prince Trubetskoy said that he would vote for right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen in the second round of French presidential election.

    • In France, strict election laws mean there’s near silence on massive campaign hack

      In France Saturday, there is near silence about 9 gigabytes of leaked documents from the campaign of presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

      The collection of emails, spending spreadsheets, and more, appeared on the internet Friday night. Yet Saturday morning, there is absolutely nothing on French TV or radio, and very little on the websites of major newspapers.

      This is due to a French law that says the day before an election should be a day of reflection. Starting at midnight Saturday and continuing until the polls close Sunday, campaigning is prohibited along with any kind of speech meant to influence the race. Hence the silence.

    • French election: ‘It’s time for a big political shake-up’

      And what of Marine’s contender, the youthful newcomer Macron? ‘I think he has the ability to be a statesman. He brings something new to this country’. He adds that, with the end of the ‘monopoly’ on French politics of the two mainstream parties, it works in Macron’s favour that he is not a member of a party. However, he says the real challenge for Macron will be gaining a majority in the parliamentary elections in June. He makes an excellent point. Whoever wins on Sunday, the presidential election is only the first hurdle.

    • French elections 2017: Polls and odds tracker

      According to recent polling by Elabe, he would take 65 per cent of the vote in a second-round run-off against Le Pen.

    • Emmanuel Macron Email Hack: France Takes Hard Line On Attack

      France took a hard line Saturday over a huge trove of documents hacked from presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron’s campaign, warning on the eve of the election that anyone spreading them could face criminal charges.

    • Hashtag Campaign: #MacronLeaks

      With less than two days to go before the final round of the French Elections, an emerging hashtag campaign, #MacronLeaks, was amplified throughout multiple social media platforms. #MacronLeaks reached 47,000 tweets in just three and a half hours after the initial tweet. This hashtag guided users to an alleged, possibly 9 GB, leak of Emmanuel Macron’s “campaign emails,” reportedly showing evidence of offshore accounts, tax evasion, and a slew of other nefarious activities.

    • U.S. Far-Right Activists Promote Hacking Attack Against Macron

      After months of trying to move the political needle in favor of Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election, American far-right activists on Saturday threw their weight behind a hacking attack against her rival, Emmanuel Macron, hoping to cast doubt on an election that is pivotal to France and the wider world.

      The efforts were the culmination of a monthslong campaign against Mr. Macron after his candidacy began to gain steam this year, with digital activists in the United States and elsewhere regularly sharing tactics, tips and tricks across the English- and French-speaking parts of the internet.

      It is unclear whether the leaked documents, which some experts say may be connected to hackers linked to Russia, will affect the outcome of the election on Sunday between Ms. Le Pen, the far-right candidate from the National Front, and Mr. Macron, an independent centrist. But the role of American far-right groups in promoting the breach online highlights their growing resolve to spread extremist messages beyond the United States.

    • French media warned not to publish Emmanuel Macron leaks

      Le Monde said it had seen part of the documents. It said the hacking attack was “clearly aimed at disturbing the current electoral process”. The paper said it would not publish the content of any pirated document before the second round vote was over and the results known at 8pm on Sunday.

      About 9GB of data was posted by a user called EMLEAKS to the document-sharing site Pastebin, which allows anonymous posting. It was not immediately clear who was responsible.

      The documents were posted as #MacronLeaks on social networks in the .eml format and linked to Pastebin. Le Monde reported that the first documents were relayed via the 4chan forum, which it said was favoured by far-right American groups and on English-language, pro-Trump Twitter accounts. They were then relayed to WikiLeaks.

    • MacronLeaks is final twist in surreal French election campaign

      Macron had already become, by far, the most targeted candidate by hackers during the campaign. In February, his movement’s computer systems were attacked by hackers based in Ukraine and needed to be shut down for several hours.

    • ‘Macronleaks’: Hackers find flaw in French cyber-fortress

      On April 25, a report by Japanese cyber-security company Trend Micro, blamed a so-called “phishing” attack targetting the Macron campaign on Russian hacking group Pawn Storm, also known as Fancy Bears, Tsar Team and APT28.

    • French Candidate Emmanuel Macron Says Campaign Has Been Hacked, Hours Before Election

      Wikileaks posted 9 gigabytes of Macron’s campaign data, which is said to include both real and fake documents. Fingers are being pointed at Russia, though the Kremlin denies involvement.

    • France warns republishing Macron’s hacked data before election could be a criminal offense

      France sought to keep a computer hack of frontrunner Emmanuel Macron’s campaign emails from influencing the outcome of the country’s presidential election with a warning on Saturday it could be a criminal offense to republish the data.

      Macron’s team said a “massive” hack had dumped emails, documents and campaign financing information online just before campaigning ended on Friday and France entered a quiet period that forbids politicians from commenting on the leak.

    • French election overshadowed by leak of hacked or fake documents from Emmanuel Macron’s campaign

      French voters will choose their next president on Sunday after a final campaign that has been scrappy, ill-tempered and overshadowed in the home run by a hacking attack.

      Just before a Friday midnight deadline that requires candidates to stop campaigning, front-runner Emmanuel Macron was hit with the leak of thousands of campaign documents — some allegedly fake — in what his team called a “massive and coordinated” attempt to upset the election.

    • There Are No “Macron Leaks” in France. Politically Motivated Hacking Is Not Whistleblowing.

      The point of the dump, then, appears to be less about providing real evidence to back up the rumors and innuendo Marine Le Pen’s supporters have been spreading about Macron for months, and more a way to reinforce the fact-free speculation the candidate herself engaged in during a televised debate this week — that her rival, a former investment banker, might be hiding something that would discredit him, like an offshore account.

    • The Latest: French cybersecurity agency to probe Macron hack
    • Fight to stop Macron hack distorting poll

      Mr Macron’s team had suggested that Russia may have had an inte
      rest in orchestrating the cyberattacks, but the Kremlin has denied any involvement.

    • French elections: France’s Hollande promises ‘response’ to Macron election hack

      French President Francois Hollande on Saturday promised a response to the hacking of centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign following the publication online of thousands of stolen emails and documents.

      “We knew that there were these risks during the presidential campaign because it happened elsewhere. Nothing will go without a response,” he told AFP during a visit of a cultural institute in Paris.

    • Twitter bots are being weaponized to spread information on the French presidential campaign hack
    • Macron is en route to the Elysée, but may find it hard to govern

      One of the most extraordinary French presidential election campaigns in recent history took a sinister final twist with claims that frontrunner Emmanuel Macron was the target of a “massive and coordinated hacking attack” just hours before polls open on Sunday.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Texas police officer charged with murder in shooting of black 15-year-old boy who was leaving party

      A Texas police officer has been charged with murder after the shooting of a black 15-year-old boy, a lawyer for the teenager’s family said.

      Jordan Edwards had left a party and was in a car moving away from the officer when he opened fire.

      A warrant has been issued authorising the arrest of former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver to face a charge of murder, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement posted on Twitter by a reporter for local television station WFAA.

    • Newly-Immigrated Muslim Women Honor Killed in Sweden

      A growing phenomenon of honor killings in Sweden is being reported among newly-arrived Muslim women. The Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet published one such report, detailing the murder of a young mother named Bina who immigrated to Sweden from Iran.

      Seven months after Bina (not her real name) arrived in Mariannelund, she was killed by her husband after she decided to separate from him and remove her hijab.

      Bina was one of six women killed in 2016 shortly after arriving in Sweden.

    • Cop fakes body cam footage, prosecutors drop drug charges

      Prosecutors in Pueblo, Colorado are dropping felony drug and weapon-possession charges after an officer involved in the case said he staged body cam footage so he could walk “the courts through” the vehicle search that led to the arrest.

      The development means that defendant Joseph Cajar, 36, won’t be prosecuted on allegations of heroin possession and of unlawful possession of a handgun. The evidence of the contraband was allegedly found during a search of Cajar’s vehicle, which was towed after he couldn’t provide an officer registration or insurance during a traffic stop. Officer Seth Jensen said he found about seven grams of heroin and a .357 Magnum in the vehicle at the tow yard. But the actual footage of the search that he produced in court was a reenactment of the search, the officer told prosecutors.

    • UK’s New ‘Digital Economy’ Law Somehow Now Gives Police The Power To Remotely Kill Phone Service

      The UK’s long-gestating Digital Economy Act has finally gone into force. The law is mainly interested in porn and pirates — two issues most of the UK public is far less interested in having subjected to intrusive regulation.

    • ‘Backdoor’ Search Of FBI Records Helps Parents Learn How Local Cops Killed Their Son

      This long Austin American-Statesman investigative report details apparent police brutality as discovered by parents who were kept in the dark by local cops about how their teenaged son actually died. It all started with their 5’4″ 110-lb. 18-year-old suffering through a bad acid trip while hanging out with friends. It ended in the hospital with their son brain-dead, on life support, and the arresting agency unwilling to say anything more than their son had suffered a “head injury.”

      To the law enforcement agency, it’s just another in-custody death. To the parents of Graham Dyer, it’s long-delayed closure to a chapter kept deliberately unfinished by the law enforcement agencies who took Dyer into custody and returned him to his parents more dead than alive.

    • Spanish Citizen Sentenced To Jail For Creating ‘Unhealthy Humoristic Environment’

      Spain is perfecting regulation no one asked for. The country’s government is in the business of determining which jokes are funny… and which punchlines should be greeted with criminal charges.

      A few years ago, jokes of the “too soon” variety were met with calls for social media censorship. The assassination of a member of the People’s Party was met with the usual interactions: a mix of genuine condolences and mockery. The assassinated official wasn’t universally loved, having voted herself a 13% pay raise while simultaneously supporting a 12% budget cut to programs she didn’t care for.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Ted Cruz Doubles Down On Being Wrong: Pushes Yet Another Net Neutrality Killing Bill

      Eager to ignore the broad, bipartisan support net neutrality enjoys, nine GOP Senators this week introduced legislation that would kill the FCC’s net neutrality rules. Senator Mike Lee’s “Restoring Internet Freedom Act” would prohibit the FCC from classifying ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act and “from imposing certain regulations on providers of such service.” In other words, it’s a parallel attempt to kill net neutrality in Congress while FCC boss Ajit Pai tries to kill the rules via FCC process.

    • Plan to kill municipal broadband fails in state legislature

      Plan to kill municipal broadband fails in state legislature

    • Maine The Latest State To Try And Let Giant Broadband Providers Write Shitty, Protectionist State Law

      One of (several) reasons why American broadband is so uncompetitive is the fact that we continue to let giant broadband mono/duopolies quite literally write awful state telecom law. As we’ve long noted, more than twenty different states have passed laws making it difficult to impossible for towns and cities to improve their local broadband networks — even in instances when the entrenched duopoly refuses to. Many of these laws even ban towns and cities from entering into public/private partnerships with the likes of Google Fiber. It’s pure protectionism.

    • AT&T Takes Heat For Avoiding Broadband Upgrades For Poor Areas

      So we’ve noted for years now how giant broadband ISPs have made a 20-year career out of taking taxpayer money, subsidies and other perks in exchange for broadband networks they only partially deliver. When it comes time to hold these large ISPs feet to the fire, well-lobbied lawmakers and revolving door regulators pretty consistently do their best to ensure accountability never happens. Obviously this is just one of numerous problems leading to a lack of broadband competition in the United States, where two-thirds of homes lack access to more than one ISP at speeds of 25 Mbps.

    • Verizon’s gigabit upgrade pricing still makes almost no sense
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Sad Raiders Fans Fail To Keep Team In Oakland By Squatting On Trademark

        It was way back in the early part of 2016 that the rumors came out that the Oakland Raiders football team would be moving to a new home city. Fans were understandably upset and voiced their displeasure in a variety of ways, but the dumbest of those ways certainly must have been Lane Blue’s attempt to trademark the team name in conjunction with all of the different potential landing cities the team was rumored to be moving to, including the “Las Vegas Raiders.” Lane wasn’t the only sad Raiders fan to attempt this, it seems, as we now see reporting on his and other trademark applications being denied for obvious reasons.


Links 5/5/2017: Nvidia 375.66 Linux Driver, GStreamer 1.12, KDE’s 2016 Report

Posted in News Roundup at 7:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • In the Depths of the Cloud, Open Source and Proprietary Leviathans Fight to the Death

    When I look at the computers used by the enterprise open source people, I see a lot of Mac screens, with only a scattering of Linux and…. what’s that other operating system? Oh, right. Windows. Yep, It’s still out there, and there are people using it to develop enterprise-level open source applications.

    And here’s question number two, which I’ll leave up to you to answer: Are Red Hat and The Linux Foundation doing the right thing by concentrating on Linux in the enterprise or are they abandoning their traditional user base and strongest supporters, a move that will spell eventual doom for them?

  • Verizon Open Source White Box ‘Coming Soon,’ VP Says

    Hakl would not disclose which vendors’ technologies would be included but said it will be a “mix of traditional and non-traditional suppliers.”

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

    • The evolution of OpenStack

      Mark Collier has been involved with OpenStack since the beginning, first at Rackspace where the project emerged as a joint partnership with NASA, and soon after as a co-founder and now Chief Operating Officer of the OpenStack Foundation.

      I had the opportunity to speak with Mark a few weeks ago to hear more about what we can expect as OpenStack continues to evolve: from how it is developed, to what it can do, to how it is used. Here’s what he shared with me.

    • Dell EMC targets telecom market with OpenStack solutions for scaling applications

      Dell’s acquisition of EMC may have jump-started the hardware titan’s enterprise cloud efforts, but it was open source development platforms that helped pave Dell’s path to customers in new markets, including telecommunications. Many of Dell’s customers were vocal about wanting some sort of open-source cloud platform on which to build those enterprise solutions, said Armughan Ahmad (pictured), senior vice president and general manager of solutions and alliances at Dell EMC.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Making open source pay

      Often the discussion around open source veers towards issues around quality control, but the discussion at the roundtable is clear that the issue with software of any kind is less around the software itself than the checks and balances put in place by the vendors concerned.

      Lee comments that inside SUSE, there are rigourous checks and balances before any software makes it out the doors. This is backed up by Fischer, who comments that no CIO would allow software to be deployed without it meeting the required risk and compliance criteria.

    • Exciting GSoC 2017 Projects: Vulkan Software Renderer, Kodi On Wayland, Much More
  • BSD

    • pfSense 2.3.4 RELEASE Now Available!

      We are happy to announce the release of pfSense® software version 2.3.4!

      This is a maintenance release in the 2.3.x series, bringing stability and bug fixes, fixes for a few security issues, and a handful of new features. The full list of changes is on the 2.3.4 New Features and Changes page, including a list of FreeBSD and internal security advisories addressed by this release.

      This release includes fixes for 24 bugs and 11 Features.

    • Quassel with SSL and private CA on FreeBSD

      I spent some time improving the state of encyption on my domains (i.e. finally setting up https), and while I was at it, figured that I would switch from ssh+screen+irssi to Quassel. The FreeBSD packages for Quassel support SSL (TLS) by default, and there’s some brief instructions for setting that up as part of the pkg-message. However, I have a slightly different setup: for my in-house network, I have my own little root CA for my SSL certificates, and I wanted to use that. So for my quasselcore running on quassel.local.net, I wanted to have a certificate issued for that host, and used by quasselcore.


    • Intel’s Clear Linux Switches Over To GCC 7 Compiler

      Just two days ago GCC 7.1 was released as the first stable release of GCC 7 as the annual update to this GNU code compiler. If you are looking for a Linux rolling-release distribution already using GCC 7 by default, Intel’s open-source Clear Linux appears to be one of the first.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Locked in by choice: why the city of Rome is championing open source software

      Five years after the European Union adopted a policy designed to free public bodies in Europe from proprietary software, government authorities across Europe are deeply dependent on Microsoft software and services.

      However, some government agencies have managed to migrate to open source alternatives. Their projects are often difficult, temporary, and, carried out under the radar, in an attempt to escape lobbying both from Microsoft and other parts of government.

      Rome is one of Europe’s cities advocating open source as a better alternative to Microsoft. City councilor, Flavia Marzano, argues that open source should start on the desktop with open source alternatives to Microsoft Office.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Court Upholds Enforceability of Open Source Licenses

      The District Court for the Northern District of California recently issued an opinion that is being hailed as a victory for open source software. In this case, the court denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging violation of an open source software license, paving the way for further action enforcing the conditions of the GNU General Public License (“GPL”).

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Data

      • 3 big open data trends in the United States

        The open data community got a surprising piece of news when the Trump Administration recently announced that it would no longer be supporting the Open.whitehouse.gov’s Open Data portal. (Open data is the idea that certain data should be freely viewable and usuable without controls.) Their argument is that the information is duplicative and is either already available online or will soon be made available elsewhere.

        The administration also has no plans to continue the practice of making White House visitor logs available to the greater public, a procedure began by the Obama administration. Those records will be kept private for at least five years after Trump leaves office.

  • Programming/Development


  • Twitter Down: Website and App Not Working as Social Network Topples Over

    The problems come amid the UK’s local election and the aftermath of the Republican’s healthcare vote, among other news events.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • India’s Silicon Valley Is Dying of Thirst. Your City May Be Next

      Bangalore has a problem: It is running out of water, fast. Cities all over the world, from those in the American West to nearly every major Indian metropolis, have been struggling with drought and water deficits in recent years. But Banga­lore is an extreme case. Last summer, a professor from the Indian Institute of Science declared that the city will be unlivable by 2020. He later backed off his prediction of the exact time of death—but even so, says P. N. Ravindra, an official at the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, “the projections are relatively correct. Our groundwater levels are approaching zero.”

    • Judge rejects religious claim in genital cutting case; locks up couple

      Woodward argued that the defendants knew they were engaging in illegal activity, and did it anyway for years, starting as early as 2005. And they went to great lengths to cover up what they did, she said.

    • WHO Members Urged To Support Resolution Delinking Cancer Drug Prices From R&D Costs [Ed: This should say patents and not R&D, which is just a stupid euphemism unhinged from the reality]

      A group of civil society organisations and health experts have sent a letter to delegates to this month’s annual World Health Assembly urging support for a study on the delinkage of the costs of research and development from the prices of cancer medicines. Member states reportedly met on the issue today and are still undecided.

    • WHO Project To Prequalify Biosimilar Cancer Medicines Aims At Increased Affordability

      The World Health Organization announced today that it will launch a pilot project in 2017 for prequalifying cancer biosimilar medicines, with the intent of lowering prices on some of the most expensive cancer treatments.

      Biosimilars are medicines very similar to the original biotherapeutics, which are pharmaceutical products derived from biological and living sources. They are often “speciality drugs,” highly effective in treating medical conditions for which no other treatments are available, in particular cancer, and chronic diseases such as diabetes. However those medicines are also highly priced, according to the WHO.

    • The “pro-life” party has become the party of death: New research on why Republicans hate poor and sick people

      On Thursday, Republicans in the House of Representatives will attempt to force through a health care “reform” bill that is likely to leave millions of Americans without health insurance, especially those who suffer from chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. It has been estimated that if the Republican Party is successful in eliminating the Affordable Care Act that at least 43,000 Americans a year will die from lack of adequate health care.

    • These are all the people the Republican health care bill will hurt

      The Congressional Budget Office estimated in March that 24 million people would lose health insurance if the AHCA were to pass, and the changes made to the bill in the ensuing two months have only made it less generous and more likely to jeopardize coverage. And because the bill substantially weakens regulations for both individual and employer plans, millions of people who still get insurance will see the extent of their coverage shrink, and see themselves forced to pay out of pocket for expensive procedures that would otherwise be covered.

  • Security

    • Taming the Open Source Beast With an Effective Application Security Testing Program
    • TLS/SSL Explained: TLS/SSL Terminology and Basics

      In Part 1 this series we asked, What is TLS/SSL? In this part in the series, we will be describing some of the TLS/SSL terminologies.

      Before diving deeper into TLS, let’s first have a look at the very basics of SSL/TLS. Understanding the following will help you gain a better understanding of the topics discussed and analyzed later on.

    • Google Docs users hit by phishing scam
    • Google Was Warned About This Week’s Mass Phishing Email Attack Six Years Ago

      For almost six years, Google knew about the exact technique that someone used to trick around one million people into giving away access to their Google accounts to hackers on Wednesday. Even more worrisome: other hackers might have known about this technique as well.

    • Mobile phone security’s been busted for years, and now 2-factor auth is busted too [iophk: "now we are reminded that a phone never was a second authentication factor"]

      SS7 is now confirmed to be exploited in the wild, with crooks taking big scores through it.

    • We Were Warned About Flaws in the Mobile Data Backbone for Years. Now 2FA Is Screwed.

      But on Wednesday, German newspaper The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that financially-motivated hackers {sic} had used those flaws to help drain bank accounts.

    • Mac malware: Coming soon to a computer near you

      In fact, the number of malware attacks on Apple’s operating system skyrocketed by 744 percent in 2016. Despite this, most people still believe that Macs don’t get viruses. Add to this the fact that, despite the seeming ubiquity of Apple’s products, the company’s user base is still growing. There are nearly 100 million Apple users worldwide, myself included.

    • IT meltdown forces Barts Health NHS Trust to cancel hundreds of appointments

      Earlier thsi year, Barts Health admitted that it has fallen victim to a “ransomware virus attack,” likely because it’s PCs are still running Microsoft’s now-defunct Windows [...]

    • CII Project Advances Linux Kernel Security as Firm Ends Free Patches

      There has been some public discussion in the last week regarding the decision by Open Source Security Inc. and the creators of the Grsecurity® patches for the Linux kernel to cease making these patches freely available to users who are not paid subscribers to their service. While we at the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) would have preferred them to keep these patches freely available, the decision is absolutely theirs to make.

      From the point of view of the CII, we would much rather have security capabilities such as those offered by Grsecurity® in the main upstream kernel rather than available as a patch that needs to be applied by the user. That said, we fully understand that there is a lot of work involved in upstreaming extensive patches such as these and we will not criticise the Grsecurity® team for not doing so. Instead we will continue to support work to make the kernel as secure as possible.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Uzbekistan says uncovering militants daily among returning migrants

      Uzbekistan’s police routinely uncover militant Islamists among Uzbek migrants returning home and plan to expose those who remain abroad via social networks, Interior Minister Abdusalom Azizov said on Tuesday.

    • Afghanistan Video Game: You Win with ‘Hearts and Minds’ Points (Seriously)

      I suppose it had to come to this, perhaps the intersection of absurdity and unreality expressed through a video game as the only true way to capture the essence of America’s 15 year+ was in Afghanistan.

      I must stress this is a real game. It is not satire or a joke. The game plays you in the role of supreme commander of everything U.S. in Afghanistan and requires you to democratize the country. You do this by bombing the sh*t out of stuff, meeting with elders, pulling out “intelligence” and reconstruction cards, and accomplishing tasks like bringing fresh water to some village to pull it away from Taliban control. There are also drones you control, lots of drones.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Laura Poitras: The Many Contradictions of Julian Assange

      The new film by Laura Poitras, Risk, profiles Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks.

    • You Can Be a Feminist and Support Julian Assange

      In an interview with Newsweek publicizing her new film Risk—which concerns Julian Assange and WikiLeaks—Laura Poitras explained that after opening the documentary at the Cannes Film Festival last year, she had re-edited it to look at the “culture of sexism that exists not only within the hacker community but in other communities.”

      Although I am a member of Assange’s legal team, Poitras’ lawyers declined to permit any of us to view the reviewed version of the film, so I cannot comment on whether she accomplished her aims.

    • Archimedes

      Today, May 5th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes “Archimedes”, a tool used by the CIA to attack a computer inside a Local Area Network (LAN), usually used in offices. It allows the re-directing of traffic from the target computer inside the LAN through a computer infected with this malware and controlled by the CIA. This technique is used by the CIA to redirect the target’s computers web browser to an exploitation server while appearing as a normal browsing session.

  • Finance

    • Flint puts 8,000 people on notice for tax liens for unpaid water bills

      Thousands of people in Flint are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure if they don’t pay up on their water bills. After recently putting out shut-off notices the city is now back to threatening tax liens on people’s homes.

      “I got scared, for probably the first time since this all started this actually scared me,” said Melissa Mays, who is a mother and water activist who lives in Flint.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Trump to visit Israel, Saudi Arabia, Vatican in first foreign trip
    • What Will Kill Neoliberalism?

      So what will bring about the end of neoliberalism—the left? the right? the incompetence of the professional political class?—and, when it’s gone, what will replace it? We asked five of our favorite minds for their views on the direction we urgently need to go next.

    • Another Trump conflict of interest

      President Trump invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to the White House. Besides the fact that Duterte is known for unleashing a campaign of extrajudicial killings of drug traffickers and users, he also named the Trump Organization’s partner in its Manila real-estate property his top trade envoy.

    • Theresa May Goes the Full Farage

      Theresa May’s breathtaking claim that the EU is interfering in the general election has moved the Brexit negotiations to a whole new level of confrontation. Those who think that international negotiations on future trade relations are best conducted in an atmosphere of extreme mutual hostility, are nonsensical.

      Good deals come from good relationships.

      It is also extraordinary that May appears to be staking out her appeal exclusively on UKIP territory. I am quite sure she is following her own, natural, very right wing instincts. But by taking this aggressively right wing position, she is opening up a flank to the Liberal Democrats and severely endangering her prospects in Scotland, where UKIP never achieved anything like the traction it did in England. She also seems to be calculating that the ordinary Brexit voters take an extreme view and would welcome an absolute dust-up with the EU, irrespective of its long term effects on the UK.


      Finally, she claims that all this has been timed to affect the result of the general election. That is the weirdest claim of all.

      The Downing St dinner at which May made a fool of herself was an initiative by May. She issued the invitation and she dictated the timing. It was not vicious foreign enemies who are all out to get her. She may be forgiven for being aggrieved that the poor opinions of her were leaked to the press. But anyone who knows anything about the EU knows that everything leaks, all the time. In general it is a very open institution. The Commission has in any case to report progress in the negotiations regularly to the European Parliament.

    • Hamilton Says: Trump’s State Department is an Agency Without Agency

      It hasn’t been a good 100 days for the U.S. Department of State. Like the musical Hamilton’s orphaned title character, called out in song for being a “Founding Father without a father,” State is now something of an agency without agency.

      Not much of substance seems to be happening at Foggy Bottom. America’s top-level foreign policy tasks remain, but someone else – Jared Kushner? H.R. McMaster? – is tending to many of them. The bad news includes President Donald Trump’s hope of slashing State’s budget, with no sign of objection from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Half the positions in the agency’s organizational chart are vacant or occupied by acting officials.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Leaked: The UK’s secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

      The UK government has secretly drawn up more details of its new bulk surveillance powers – awarding itself the ability to monitor Brits’ live communications, and insert encryption backdoors by the backdoor.

      In its draft technical capability notices paper [PDF], all communications companies – including phone networks and ISPs – will be obliged to provide real-time access to the full content of any named individual within one working day, as well as any “secondary data” relating to that person.

      That includes encrypted content – which means that UK organizations will not be allowed to introduce true end-to-end encryption of their users’ data but will be legally required to introduce a backdoor to their systems so the authorities can read any and all communications.

      In addition, comms providers will be required to make bulk surveillance possible by introducing systems that can provide real-time interception of 1 in 10,000 of its customers. Or in other words, the UK government will be able to simultaneously spy on 6,500 folks in Blighty at any given moment.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Net neutrality views by mid-July, spectrum pricing by December: Trai’s Sharma

      The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will come out with its recommendations on net neutrality by the first half of July and on spectrum pricing for auctions, by December.

    • Now that HTTPS is almost everywhere, what about IPv6?

      Let’s Encrypt launched April 12, 2016 with the intent to support and encourage sites to enable HTTPS everywhere (sometimes referred to as SSL everywhere even though the web is steadily moving toward TLS as the preferred protocol). As of the end of February 2017, EFF (who launched the effort) estimates that half the web is now encrypted. Now certainly not all of that is attributable to EFF and Let’s Encrypt. After all, I have data from well before that date that indicates a majority of F5 customers enabled HTTPS on client-facing services, in the 70% range. So clearly folks were supporting HTTPS before EFF launched its efforts, but given the significant number of certificates* it has issued the effort is not without measurable success.

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 4/5/2017: 250,000th Raspberry Pi Zero W, New Man Pages Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenIndiana Hipster 2017.04 is here
  • OpenIndiana Hipster 2017.04 Adds USB 3.0 Support

    The OpenIndiana crew maintaining this open-source Solaris/Illumos operating system is out with their first release of 2017 and it comes with new features and updated packages.

    First of all, OpenIndiana Hipster 2017.04 is their first release adding support for USB 3.0 devices. In addition to the long overdue USB3 support, their Intel kernel mode-setting driver ported from the Linux kernel was reworked and should now work for most Intel graphics hardware.

  • OpenIndiana 2017.04 Operating System Integrates Support for USB 3.0 Devices

    Alexander Pyhalov from the OpenIndiana project, an open-source, community-driven illumos Solaris operating system that continues the vision of OpenSolaris, announced today, May 3, 2017, the release of OpenIndiana Hipster 2017.04.

    OpenIndiana 2017.04 represents a new major update to the “Hipster” series of the distribution, implementing various new features and updating several core components and applications. The most prominent change of this release being the integration of support for USB 3.0 devices.

  • Bareflank Hypervisor 1.1 Brings Windows Support

    Bareflank 1.1 is now available as the newest release of this open-source lightweight hypervisor written in C++.

    Bareflank 1.1 introduces its own new build system catered towards its needs, adds Windows 8.1/10 OS support, openSUSE 42.2 support, VMM isolation capabilities, multi-core support, VMCall support, the VMM can now be cross-compiled using LLVM/Clang, various SSE and AVX optimizations, and testing improvements.

  • Events

  • Databases

  • BSD


    • GRUB 2.03 Begins Development

      With GRUB 2.02 released after five years in development, this GNU bootloader code has now been bumped for GRUB 2.03 as development begins with new features.

      As of today, the version in Git master is now GRUB 2.03 for marking the new development cycle in the eventual road to GRUB 2.04. Since the version bump to GRUB 2.03 a few hours ago, a number of patches have begun landing that were queued until the 2.02 release.

    • GCC 7.1 Released With New Features — Marks 30th Anniversary Of GCC 1.0

      GNU’s Jakub Jelinek has announced the release of GCC 7.1, which is the first stable release of GCC 7. This major release also marks the 30th anniversary of first stable GCC release. Talking about the new features, there’s experimental C++17 support, improvements in optimizers, emitted diagnostics, and Address Sanitizer, etc. You can download GCC 7.1 compiler from GNU servers.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Is The GPL Really Declining? [Ed: Remember all those lies from Black Duck that’s paid by and comes from Microsoft?]

      At the huge FOSDEM developer meetup in Brussels in early February, I attended a panel where speakers discussed whether the use of “permissive” open source licenses like the Apache License is now outstripping use of “viral” licenses, such as the GPL. The discussion was spirited, with advocates associated with the Free Software Foundation pushing back on the assertion the GPL is “dying”.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • New Open Source Project Enlists Students To Find Cures For Neglected Diseases

      The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) has launched a collaborative project with five universities in India, United Kingdom, and the United States to help with the research on a debilitating neglected disease.

      According to a DNDi’s press release, the project named “the Open Synthesis Network (OSN)” includes 25 undergraduate and master’s students in chemistry from the participating universities, expected to work on improving chemical compounds for the neglected disease visceral leishmaniasis.

      Visceral leishmaniasis is a potentially fatal disease which is characterised by irregular bouts of fever, substantial weight loss, swelling of the spleen and liver, and anaemia, according to the World Health Organization.

    • New open source project engages universities in neglected diseases drug discovery
    • Imperial students collaborate on drug discovery for neglected diseases

      Chemistry students are making compounds that may help treat diseases thanks to an open collaboration with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative.

      The Open Synthesis Network (OSN) is a partnership between the non-profit research and development organisation Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and five universities from the UK, US and India.

    • Open Data

      • Mapillary opens up 25k street-level images to train automotive AI systems

        As more companies wade into the business of building artificial intelligence systems to help you drive (or do the driving for you), a startup founded by an ex-Apple computer vision specialist is open sourcing a huge dataset that can help them on their road to autonomy.

        Mapillary, a Swedish startup backed by Sequoia, Atomico and others that has built a database of 130 million images through crowdsourcing — think open-source Street View — is releasing a free dataset of 25,000 street-level images from 190 countries, with pixel-level annotations that can be used to train automotive AI systems.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Aaron Louis Technology to launch first open-source 3D printer with closed loop motor on Kickstarter

        As the 3D printer market becomes more and more inundated with machines at a range of different price points, and as previously advanced features are now the standard for most 3D printers, it is getting more and more difficult for smaller manufacturers to find a niche. That doesn’t seem to have been the case for Aaron Louis Technology, however. It is soon to launch a crowdfunding campaign for its OP1720 and CL1720 3D printers, the latter of which is one of the first available open-source machines to offer a closed loop motor control system.


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • Serverless Security implications—from infra to OWASP
    • Xen hypervisor faces third highly critical VM escape bug in 10 months

      The Xen paravirtualization mode is proving to be a constant source of serious vulnerabilities, allowing attackers to escape from virtual machines

    • Security like it’s 2005!

      The 2017 world has a solution to these problems. Use the cloud. Stuff as a Service is without question the way to solve these problems because it makes them go away. There are plenty who will naysay public cloud citing various breeches, companies leaking data, companies selling data, and plenty of other problems. The cloud isn’t magic, but it lets you trade a lot of horrible problems for “slightly bad”. I guarantee the problems with the cloud are substantially better than letting most people try to run their own infrastructure. I see this a bit like airplane vs automobile crashes. There are magnitudes more deaths by automobile every year, but it’s the airplane crashes that really get the attention. It’s much much safer to fly than to drive, just as it’s much much safer to use services than to manage your own infrastructure.

    • Security Sessions: Why CSOs should care about machine learning
    • Reproducible builds folks: Reproducing R packages
    • Hacker Extortion Attempt Falls Flat Because Netflix Actually Competes With Piracy

      A hacking group calling itself TheDarkOverlord (TDO) has tried, and failed (so far) to extort Netflix and several other companies after stumbling onto a server of unreleased content. TDO was apparently able to compromise the servers of an audio post-production company by the name of Larson Studios. Among the content acquired from the hackers were ten episodes of the as-yet-unreleased new season of the popular Netflix show “Orange is the New Black,” which isn’t supposed to see full release until June. Outside of some free advertising in the news media and some wasted calories, the group’s efforts don’t appear to have culminated in much.

    • Free search engine tool hunts down malware-infected computers

      Internet search engine Shodan provides enterprise security teams a wealth of information about open ports on servers and other internet-connected devices. Now, as part of a partnership with threat intelligence company Recorded Future, security analysts and researchers can work with Shodan to uncover systems manipulated to control malware-infected devices.

    • Report says 135m Indian govt payment card details leaked

      “Based on the numbers available on the websites looked at, the estimated number of Aadhaar numbers leaked through these four portals could be around 130-135 million and the number of bank accounts numbers leaked at around 100 million from the specific portals we looked at,” the report said.

    • Reproducible builds folks: Reproducible Builds: week 105 in Stretch cycle

      On April 26th Chris Lamb gave a talk at foss-north 2017 in Gothenburg, Sweden on Reproducible Builds.

    • Don’t trust OAuth: Why the “Google Docs” worm was so convincing [iophk: "benefits of The Cloud (tm) and of not-using native distributed file systems"]

      The interesting thing about this worm was just how convincing it was. The e-mail was great—it used the exact same language as a Google Docs sharing e-mail and the exact same “Open” button. Clicking on the link brought up an authentic Google log-in page, served up from Google’s servers. Then you were presented a real Google OAuth permissions page, also from Google’s servers. The trick was that the app claiming to be “Google Docs” wasn’t really Google Docs. The screen showed a third-party app with the name “Google Docs” and a profile picture that matched the Google Docs logo.

    • Thieves drain 2fa-protected bank accounts by abusing SS7 routing protocol

      The unidentified attackers exploited weaknesses in Signalling System No. 7, a telephony signaling language that more than 800 telecommunications companies around the world use to ensure their networks interoperate. SS7, as the protocol is known, makes it possible for a person in one country to send text messages to someone in another country. It also allows phone calls to go uninterrupted when the caller is traveling on a train.

    • All your Googles are belong to us: Look out for the Google Docs phishing worm
    • Don’t click that Google Docs link! Gmail hijack mail spreads like wildfire
  • Defence/Aggression

    • Why Do North Koreans Hate Us? One Reason — They Remember the Korean War.

      It’s a question that has bewildered Americans again and again in the wake of 9/11, in reference to the Arab and Muslim worlds. These days, however, it’s a question increasingly asked about the reclusive North Koreans.

      Let’s be clear: there is no doubt that the citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) both fear and loathe the United States. Paranoia, resentment and a crude anti-Americanism have been nurtured inside the Hermit Kingdom for decades. Children are taught to hate Americans in school while adults mark a “Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism Month” every year (it’s in June, in case you were wondering).

      North Korean officials make wild threats against the United States while the regime, led by the brutal and sadistic Kim Jong-un, pumps out fake news in the form of self-serving propaganda, on an industrial scale. In the DPRK, anti-American hatred is a commodity never in short supply.

    • India must be cautious, the China-Pakistan corridor has a geopolitical subtext
    • Devon student guilty of planting homemade bomb on London tube

      A student from Devon has been found guilty of planting a homemade bomb filled with ball bearings on the tube, after a jury rejected his claim that it was meant to be a prank.

      Damon Smith, 20, pleaded guilty to perpetrating a bomb hoax but said he intended the device to work as a smoke bomb to stop the train “for a bit of fun”. He pleaded not guilty to possession of an explosive substance with intent, contrary to the 1883 Explosive Substances Act. He decided not to give evidence at the trial.

      Smith has Asperger syndrome and took a keen interest in weapons, which might have been connected to his condition, a jury at the Old Bailey in London heard during his five-day trial. He was also interested in gambling and Islam, and had collected photos of extremists, including the ringleader of the 2015 Paris attacks.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Comey Says Only Reason Assange Not ‘Apprehended Yet’: He’s Out of Reach

      Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, FBI director James Comey said that while he wouldn’t “confirm whether or not there are charges” pending against the WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange, the reason he “hasn’t been apprehended is because he’s inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London.”

      While speculation has long been that the U.S. government has a sealed indictment against Assange, the government refuses to openly say whether or not criminal charges exist against the man whose media organization has published troves of classified material, much of which has exposed secrets that paint the global superpower—and many of its top political leaders—in a negative light.

    • FBI chief knows ‘intelligence porn’ when he sees it, and it’s WikiLeaks

      FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday that the radical transparency group WikiLeaks should not be considered a legitimate journalistic organization because it trafficked in “intelligence porn” and sought to damage the United States.

      “There’s nothing that even smells journalistic about some of this conduct,” Comey told a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    • Comey slams WikiLeaks as ‘intelligence porn’

      FBI Director James Comey slammed WikiLeaks as “intelligence porn” on Wednesday, accusing the anti-secrecy group of serving as a conduit for Russian and other foreign intelligence agencies to publish stolen information intended to damage the United States.

      Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey was asked why the United States had not charged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with a crime. Comey said he had to be careful with his answer, because he did not want to confirm whether there were charges pending against Assange, but then responded: “He hasn’t been apprehended because he is inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.”

    • Tear up detention order: Assange lawyer

      Julian Assange’s lawyer has asked a Swedish court to rescind a detention order against the WikiLeaks founder over an alleged rape and allow him to go to Ecuador to be safe from extradition to the US.

      Assange, 45, has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, after taking refuge there to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape, which he denies.

      He fears Sweden will in turn hand him over to the US to face prosecution over WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest information leaks in US history.

    • Courage marks World Press Freedom Day

      Wednesday 3 May marks World Press Freedom Day, amid a growing consensus that press freedoms are at risk internationally. Since 1993, the UNESCO-initiatied event has been used to draw attention to threats to free expression. The past year journalists have found themselves at severe risk in many countries, with the situation in Turkey, Syria and Azerbaijan being particularly acute.

    • WikiLeaks’ Assange to Clinton: ‘Blame yourself’ for election loss

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Hillary Clinton on Wednesday to blame herself for losing the 2016 presidential election.

      Assange sent a tweet Wednesday pushing back on Clinton a day after she blamed the anti-secrecy organization in part for her election loss.

    • [Older] US steps up campaign against Julian Assange

      On Thursday, CNN reported, citing unnamed US officials, that the Trump Justice Department has prepared charges against Assange based on supposed “proof” that WikiLeaks actively assisted former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in releasing classified documents exposing the agency’s vast and illegal spying operations.

      At a press conference on Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions indirectly gave credence to the report, saying, “We’ve already begun stepping up our efforts [against leakers] and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Greens call for emergency intervention into air pollution crisis

      The Green Party is calling for an emergency intervention into the air pollution crisis ahead of the publication of the Government’s draft air quality plan [1].

      Jonathan Bartley, Green Party co-leader, spoke at an assembly at a London school this morning and called on the Government to clean up the UK’s filthy air, which is linked to 40,000 early deaths every year.

  • Finance

    • Tim Cook says Apple is investing $1 billion in US manufacturing [iophk: "anything to avoid US taxes apparently"]

      “It’s $1 billion of our US money, which we have to borrow to get. That’s another whole topic…”

    • Apple joins ‘Made in America’ trend with $1 billion fund to promote U.S. manufacturing [iophk: "how about paying some US taxes from time to time?"]

      In a Wednesday interview with Jim Cramer on CNBC’s Mad Money, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple is creating a fund to promote advanced manufacturing in the United States, and seeding it with $1 billion to start.

    • Brexit: This is what having no leverage looks like

      For nearly a year now the British government has been acting like a drunk man in a bar trying to start a fight with a guy twice his size. Whenever one of his sober friends tells him to maybe tone it down a little, he shouts at him to shut up. Whenever they say he’s in no fit state for this, he starts pushing them around and calling them names. But now the time for mouthing off is over and he has to actually fight.

      Britain isn’t powerless. On a good day, it’s actually pretty strong. It is towards the bottom of the top tier of countries. It has a big market, big security spend and a willingness to use it, it has huge reserves of soft power and long-nurtured diplomatic influence. It has key global alliances, not least with the US. It has a seat on the Security Council, nuclear weapons, is in the G7, is well regarded at the WTO. It is part of the cultural life of almost every single person on this planet, whether it’s because they watch Downton Abbey, or follow the Premier League, or listen to the Rolling Stones. It punches above its weight, as it always has done.

    • Czech government to resign amid finance minister row

      Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka announced the resignation of his government after a row with Finance Minister Andrej Babiš, local media reported Tuesday.

      Sobotka, who has been leading the country’s coalition government since 2014, said it was not possible for him to continue to bear responsibility for Babiš, leader of the centrist ANO party.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • FBI’s Comey says he is “mildly nauseous” to think he influenced election

      FBI Director James Comey told a Senate panel on Wednesday that it would have been “catastrophic” for the bureau to not have disclosed in October, just 11 days before the presidential election, that the agency was revisiting the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal.

    • Trudeau backer endorses Gina Miller’s tactical voting campaign

      The founder of a strategic voting initiative that helped propel Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party into office in Canada believes Gina Miller’s campaign for tactical voting in the UK election has a “great chance” of blunting Theresa May’s bid to consolidate power.

      Hisham Abdel-Rahman has already been in touch with Miller’s Best for Britain team, which launched its campaign last week with a £300,000 war chest raised through crowdfunding.

      “I would absolutely love to be involved and to come to Britain and help Gina. We’ve had one conversation already and I believe if the progressives get their act together they have a great chance,” said Abdel-Rahman, who is an IT consultant and self-confessed “political junkie”.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Mounting Privacy Problems In Europe For Facebook’s Acquisition Of WhatsApp

      When it comes to online privacy, the European data protection authorities tend to be quite interventionist as they try to police the movement of personal data within and out of the EU. The concerns over the Safe Harbor and Privacy Shield frameworks are one manifestation of this. Another is the increasing EU scrutiny of Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp.

    • Facebook Reports More Than Half Of Gov’t Demands For Content And Data Come With Gag Orders Attached

      US government requests for Facebook data are up, according to the company’s latest biennial transparency report. Total requests jumped from 23,000 to 26,000, as compared to the first six months of 2016. Overall, it’s an increase of about 12,000 requests over 2015′s total.

      At this point, Facebook is fielding about 1,000 more requests a month as compared to 2015. While there’s not a whole lot of detail in the presented data, the social media platform is now able to report something it hadn’t been able to do before the passage of the USA Freedom Act. Both of the 2016 reports now show what percentage of data requests come with a gag order attached.

    • Back to the roots: FidoNet

      A FidoNet system (node) usually consists of a mailer that does the exchange with other systems, a tosser that “routes” the mail to the recipients, and a reader with which you can finally read and write messages to others. Back in the old days I ran my mailbox on my Amiga 3000 with a Zyxel U-1496E+ modem, later with an ISDN card called ISDN-Master. The software used was first TrapDoor as mailer and TrapToss as a tosser. Later replaced by GMS Mailer as a mailer and MailManager as a tosser and reader.


      Yes, FidoNet is maybe outdated technology, but it’s still alive and I would like to get a FidoNet node running again. Are there any other FidoNet nodes running on Debian and give assistance in setting up? There are maybe some fully integrated solutions like MysticBBS, but I’m unsure about those.

    • At Senate Hearing, Comey Hints At Expanded NSL Powers And Encryption Backdoors

      James Comey testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee today where he faced an oddly-unified bipartisan group of senators irritated with the FBI (but for different reasons). Most senators took a large amount of the their time during the first round of questions to not actually ask questions, but to express their displeasure with the Clinton email investigation and the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation.

      The opening statements varied depending on the party of the senator addressing James Comey. Comey had very few answers about various Trump-related investigations (which are still ongoing), but made the most of his opening statement by dodging the questions and making a sales pitch for the renewal of Section 702 — the statute permitting the NSA’s internet data/communications collection the FBI makes frequent use of.

      According to Comey, the 702 collection is essential to national security. Possibly true. But not so essential that concerns about Fourth Amendment violations should be swept aside. This was only one of the sales pitches Comey managed to squeeze in during questioning.

    • US Intelligence “transparency report” reveals breadth of surveillance by NSA, others

      A report issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) yesterday provides a sobering set of statistics on the breadth and depth of US intelligence surveillance of targets both overseas and within the United States. Even after steps were taken to reduce the collection of phone call metadata—ending bulk collection of phone company records and limiting collection to specific requests against records held by telecommunications providers—the National Security Agency collected over 151 million phone call records while tracking only 42 targets.

    • NSA still collecting Americans’ phone call data
    • NSA called out for continued tracking of millions of phone records
    • Obama’s team ‘asked for NSA secrets on more than 30,000 Americans in 2016 and circulated 6,000 intelligence reports WITHOUT removing their names’

      Barack Obama’s team used NSA technology to examine data gathered on tens of thousands of Americans abroad during the election, it has emerged.

    • Russia Tries To Deliver The Killing Blow To VPN Use

      Last year Russia passed a new surveillance bill that promised to bring greater security to the country. As is par for the course for these types of bills, the legislation did the exact opposite by not only mandating new encryption backdoors, but by also imposing harsh new data-retention requirements on ISPs and VPN providers. As a result, some VPN providers like Private Internet Access wound up leaving the country after finding their entire function eroded and having some of their servers seized. The end result? Russia’s pledge to shore up security wound up making everybody in the country notably less secure.

      And now Russia appears poised to dramatically up the ante.

    • Florida judge rules that compelling a suspect to reveal smartphone pin passcodes doesn’t violate the Fifth Amendment

      A Florida judge has granted a motion to compel two suspects in an ongoing case to reveal their smartphone passcodes. Prosecutors were granted a motion to compel two defendants to give up their smartphone pin passcodes to search for evidence related to an extortion allegedly carried out by a couple, Victor and Voigt. The two devices in question are an iPhone and a Blackberry. The suspects’ attorneys argued that passwords are protected as testimonial content by the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution.

      Judge rules that passcodes aren’t protected by the Fifth Amendment

    • Sextortion suspect must unlock her seized iPhone, judge rules

      A Miami-Dade county judge has ruled that two defendants in a sextortion case must provide police with the passwords to their respective iPhones so authorities can unlock the devices and execute a search warrant.

      Whether or not courts can force individuals to give up passwords to their locked computers or phones is not a settled matter. In essence, the question it boils down to is: “Is giving up a password testimonial, and therefore in violation of the Fifth Amendment? Or is it more like being asked to give up a key to a safety deposit box?”

      “For me, this is like turning over a key to a safety deposit box,” said Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Charles Johnson, who ruled from the bench during a Wednesday hearing, according to the Miami Herald.

    • This tool shows the political parties targeting you on Facebook

      The Google Chrome browser extension can scan users’ Facebook profiles and tell them the political parties that are advertising to them the most.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Don’t Get Fooled: The Plan Is To Kill Net Neutrality While Pretending It’s Being Protected

      Back in February, we had former top FCC staffer Gigi Sohn on our podcast and she laid out the likely strategy of Ajit Pai and Congress to kill net neutrality while pretending that they were protecting net neutrality. And so far, it’s played out exactly according to plan. Each move, though, seems to be getting reported by most of the tech press as if it’s some sort of surprise or unexpected move. It’s not. There’s a script and it’s being followed almost exactly. So, as a reminder, let’s go through the exact script:

    • RIP About.com: A Look at the Tumultuous Life of a Web Legend

      About.com didn’t die of natural causes. It was killed by its CEO despite still being profitable. The story of why it had to die in order for this new thing to be born tells you a lot about the way the internet has changed since its earliest days.

    • Examining Decentralized Social Networks

      “Social networks” have been around a lot longer than many folks realize. My own first experience was a “bulletin board system” back in the 80’s using a dial-up modem where you registered on a computer and could interact with, and send messages to other users on that system. This expanded into more mainstream email accounts and ushered in the era of AOL, CompuServe and others. These spun off into other community-based web sites which launched ideas into larger and larger platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and so on.

      These platforms are “centralized” in the sense that there is only one entity responsible for your account access, and managing access to any content you choose to upload and share privately or publicly on their platform. Many users aren’t crazy at the idea of large entities controlling access to their content, which has resulting in many viral ownership claims that get recycled from time to time. It’s a valid concern, especially when the platform isn’t 100% clear on how they’ll use your content for additional monetization efforts.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Game Maker Sues Milwaukee Over Permit Requirement To Make Augmented Reality Games

      One of the great stories in unintentional consequences in technology in the past few years has been Pokemon Go. The augmented reality game application has resulted in all kinds of legal action and consequences, including New York declaring playing it to be a sex offender parole violation, lawsuits stemming from players of the game wandering onto private property and annoying the residents there, and even the DOD releasing guidelines for safe Pokemon hunting.

    • Enlisting Government Help To Protect Your Trade Secrets [Ed: When government helps corporations with secrecy]

      Most businesses think protecting their intellectual property is their own responsibility, and it is. But what about when your intellectual property rights are violated by an evildoer? Who are you going to call?

    • The MP3 Format is now Patent Free [iophk: "still sucks compared to Ogg and the others, but at least now it is unencumbered"]

      MP3 decoding was already free and got recently included in Fedora. But now, encoding is also free according to Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS: “On April 23, 2017, Technicolor’s mp3 licensing program for certain mp3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated.” The Wikipedia MP3 article confirms that.

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright infringement now punishable with up to 10 years in jail

        While the overzealous new rules were keenly disputed by the Open Rights Group (ORG) when a draft of the bill was published last year, the government refused to soften its approach.

        As a result, in theory it’s now possible for copyright holders to pursue criminal cases for an infringer of any size [...]

      • Copyright Troll Sends DMCA Notices Targeting Anti-Troll Websites & Lawyers

        We talk a lot around here about the many problems with the copyright trolling industry. Those problems take several forms, but they can be best globalized as a problem of the copyright troll’s basic business model. These groups claim to tackle piracy in defense of the content creators with whom they contract, but they do so not by spear-fishing confirmed infringers with sound evidence, but rather they cast as wide a net as possible based on flimsy evidence at best, all in the hopes of producing enough settlement money from scared recipients to make some coin. This bird-shot approach, to further mix my hunting analogies, inevitably creates serious collateral damage and exposes how poorly constrained the technology used to identify infringement is to reality.


Links 3/5/2017: Wine Staging 2.7, Nextcloud 12 Beta, GCC 7.1, LibreSSL 2.5.4 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • 3 steps to secure, open source DevOps

    Nobody really writes their own code anymore, right? We go out to GitHub, download some libraries, avoid recreating unnecessary wheels, and package those wheels together along with our own glue to create new software. Then we download a half dozen front-end frameworks to make it all pretty and responsive and we’re off the races. In my review of apps, both in my company and others, I’ve found that more than 90% of the code that makes up an app these days is something we borrowed, not wrote ourselves.

    Most of us scan our own code for flaws with static analysis tools, but what about all the stuff we didn’t write? How do we know what’s actually there? Once you find out what’s in there, what actions do you take to either clean it up or keep it fresh? How do you avoid getting pwned because you let a nasty in the backdoor with that whiz-bang library that does the really cool thing you couldn’t live without?

  • Open Source Test Suite Adds to Broad Toolset for Heterogeneous System Architecture Development

    The HSA Foundation through its member companies and universities has also released many additional projects which are all available on the Foundation’s GitHub site…

  • Nextcloud 12 Hits Beta, Introduces Push Notifications and Many Cool New Features

    The Nextcloud development team announced today the release and immediate availability of the Beta build of the project’s next major milestone, Nextcloud 12.

    A lot of goodies are about to hit Nextcloud 12 in the coming weeks, but those who can’t wait until then to get their hands on the cool new features implemented so far can fetch the Beta milestone right now from the usual places and discover that it introduces push notifications that notify you instantly of shares, comments, calls, etc.. Client support should also be available in the final release.

  • BitPay enters open source blockchain security development agreement with Bitmain

    Atlanta-based bitcoin payments provider BitPay announced today that it has entered into a multi-million dollar development agreement with China-based Bitmain Technologies, the foremost provider of the “mining” hardware used to secure blockchains. Over the course of its multi-year agreement with new customer Bitmain, BitPay will create advanced open source software for the miners, mining pools and full node operators which maintain and secure blockchain transactions.

  • IBM Open Sources their API Microgateway

    IBM has recently announced that they’ve open sourced their API Microgateway. This means that any developer/business can now take advantage of this software in their own computing projects at no cost.

    An API gateway is a software layer between one to many API services and their consumer applications. The purpose of this software is to provide a variety of common services useful for all APIs. Examples of such services are security, rate limit, and change management tooling. IBM’s Microgateway is written in Node.js and utilizes the Swagger 2.0 spec. The open sourcing of this software is a huge boon to the development community as API gateways from major corporations such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, etc. are usually licensed. The IBM Microgateway is not to be confused with IBM’s DataPower Gateway, which is a different Enterprise solution which has a greater emphasis on security.

  • Deep Information Sciences Goes Open Source, Relaunches as Deep Software Foundation
  • Events

    • Disruptive Collaboration: The Next Generation of Network Software and Hardware

      About 10 years ago, mobile networks began experiencing massive increases in demand with the launch of the iPhone and the introduction of other smart phones. In a keynote at the Open Networking Summit, Andre Fuetsch, President AT&T Labs and CTO, AT&T says that the demand increased over 250,000% in the past 10 years. What AT&T quickly realized was the hardware-centric approach they’d been taking for decades wasn’t going to be enough, and they believed that shifting to software was their best bet to meet this accelerating demand. However, individual companies working alone tend to build similar solutions and duplicate effort, so AT&T isn’t doing this alone. They are collaborating together with other companies in a consolidated effort around ONAP, Open Network Automation Platform.

    • Catch Up With The Linux Foundation at OpenStack Summit in Boston

      The Linux Foundation will be at OpenStack Summit in Boston — one of the largest open cloud infrastructure events in the world — with many conference sessions, intensive training courses, giveaways, and a chance to win a free OpenStack training course or a Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit.

    • OpenStack Charms in Boston
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Containers Feature Now Lets You Assign Websites to Specific Containers

        Have you heard about Firefox containers? Until today neither had I. But this neat experimental feature recently picked up a neat new feature, so it feels like a good time to mention it. Firefox Containers Firefox containers is an experimental feature that let you segment tabs in to separate silos while you browse.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • How will OpenStack find the next generation of leaders?

      OpenStack has evolved over the past several years to serve as the de facto standard for open source cloud computing. But what makes an open source project deserving of a superlative?

      Recently, the various groups that govern OpenStack—the Technical Committee, User Committee, Board of Directors, and the staff of the OpenStack Foundation—gathered to have a conversation about the future of the project and assess its health. To begin, they took some time to analyze the status of the current community. Is it growing or shrinking? Is it sufficiently diverse? And is it cultivating the next generation of technical and non-technical leaders who will keep the project evolving and adapting to tomorrow’s challenges?

    • Economic realities make open platforms a part of the future
    • Does OpenStack have an advantage over proprietary cloud solutions?

      The intent behind Rackspace Inc. and NASA’s OpenStack project was to build a community around the first fully open-source cloud platform towards the creation of cloud infrastructure. At the time in 2010, development resources were split between both public and private cloud solutions, pitting OpenStack against market giants like Amazon Web Services with their own proprietary solutions.

      But today, while Rackspace still supports the OpenStack public cloud with innovations and seemingly endless scalability, the focus for the company has shifted to primarily work with private cloud solutions because that’s where they have seen the most growth, according to Bryan Thompson, general manager, OpenStack Private Cloud, at Rackspace.

    • A tale of two networks: Open-source, 5G race toward a connected world

      Day one of Red Hat Summit in Boston, Massachusetts, brought together major open-source contributors in a keynote address to discuss how open-source collaboration and the 5G network are combining to manifest a hyper-connected world.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice crash reporting – An update

      Nearly a year ago I wrote a blog post describing the LibreOffice crash reporting setup and how the crash reporting code works. Since then we have released two minor versions with the crash reporter enabled (5.2 and 5.3) including many bug fix releases and release candidates. According to the crash reporting server a total of 27 versions are recognized and it is time to list some of the statistics surrounding the crash reporter.

  • Education

    • Evolving with Open Source Software at the iSchool

      I’d been using primarily Linux and open source software for only 4 months when I started at Syracuse University. I started with Linux Mint, a distro (slang for distribution or operating system) focused on easing the transition to Linux. It does this by pre-installing necessary open source software alternatives for the average user – i.e. GIMP image editor, Banshee, and VLC media players, Firefox web browser, and LibreOffice, and Mozilla Thunderbird email client.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • What it’s like to report in one of the world’s deadliest places for journalists

      Since 2000, 124 journalists have been killed in Mexico, according to the National Human Rights Commission, the government’s independent watchdog. Article 19, a nonprofit that advocates for media protections in Mexico, recorded 426 threats or attacks against the press last year, including beatings and torture.

      Only Syria and Afghanistan surpassed Mexico in the number of journalists killed in 2016, according to Reporters Without Borders.

    • Calls for safety of Indonesian, West Papuan journalists to be prioritised

      There were 78 violent attacks on journalists in 2016, up from 42 attacks in 2015 and 40 in 2014. The AJI found only a few attackers from those 78 attacks had been brought to justice.

    • URGENT: 200 West Papuans arrested, stabbed, 26 tortured, journalist attacked; all 2 days before World Press Freedom Day
    • Morning star rising

      Ever since Indonesian troops first marched into West Papua in 1961, the government has sought to tighten its grip on this resource-rich, lushly forested territory. This has involved military occupation – at least 15,000 troops are stationed in West Papua1, making it one of the most militarized zones in Southeast Asia – and also the transmigration of Indonesians into West Papua. In several key regions, the Indigenous population is now outnumbered by Indonesian settlers. ‘In 1999, Indonesia had set up just nine regencies [local administrative areas] within West Papua,’ says Octovianus (Octo) Mote, Secretary-General of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). ‘Today, they have 43, and are planning to expand to 73, each with its own police stations and military base. This is all to accommodate new settlers and further outnumber our people. The kind of colonial history that took Western powers many years to carry out is happening here at high speed.’


      Dissent is often met with violence and arbitrary arrest. According to Jason Macleod of the University of Sydney: ‘Acts of state violence occur all over West Papua and are carried out by all parts of the security forces. [Human rights violations] include killing, torture, sexual assault and deprivation of liberty.’

    • Lenovo Expands Commitment to Open Source [Ed: but excludes GNU/Linux, then censors people who talk about it]
    • Datto Hires Open Source Expert Markus Rex [Ed: Markus Rex left Novell and then ownCloud. The press release foolishly cites this FUD source, Black Duck.]
    • Why Some Enterprises Don’t Do Open Source [Ed: talking points from the likes of Black Duck basically]

      As everyone knows, the code for open source software (OSS) is made available with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change and distribute the software to anyone for any purpose. OSS is typically developed in a collaborative public manner, relying on the intelligence and creativity of crowdsourcing to create platforms, applications and infrastructure that in many cases rivals that of its proprietary, closed-source cousin.

      While smaller companies can quickly adopt open source products, many larger enterprises are laggards due to structural constraints. Though a group within an enterprise may use an open source solution, the tools rarely end up being deployed enterprise-wide because open source solutions are built to solve a specific problem for a specific line of business. If another line of business struggles with the same problem, they can’t simply adopt the same solution – they need to spend time setting up initial configurations and establishing the right IT support mechanisms. Bottom line: most large enterprises don’t do open source.

    • Think open source is a meritocracy? It is, but only if no one knows you’re a woman [Ed: FOSS basher Liam Tung (there's track record) plays along with the misleading headlines. It's not a FOSS issue, it's a programming/CS issue. If anything, FOSS has made it easier to see women's contributions and analyse these, highlighting an issue proprietary software hides.]
    • Study Finds Gender Bias in Open Source Community [Ed: No similar stories/studies about proprietary software where the same problems prevail.]
    • Airbnb acquired its React Native partner Deco Software, Deco IDE goes open source [Ed: one problem is, React isn't quote FOSS. There is a patent sting.]
    • Black Duck Hub Open Source Security and Management Solution Integrated with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform [Ed: here they go again, doing the usual.]
  • BSD

    • Tab completion in OpenBSD’s ksh

      One of the features OpenBSD’s ksh shares with its more popular friends is user definable completions! Something that sets it apart, however, is the simplicity of these completions.


    • GnuBee: Personal blobfree NAS/Cloud server for hackers

      GnuBee is a personal NAS (Network Attached Storage) cloud server that is currently being funded on crowdsupply. It is a low-cost, low-power, NAS device that runs GNU/Linux and it is claimed to be based on free, libre, and open source software. No proprietary drivers needed to use GnuBee.

    • GCC 7.1 Released

      We are proud to announce the next, major release of the GNU Compiler Collection, 7.1. This year we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the first GCC beta release and this month we will celebrate 30 years since the GCC 1.0 release.

    • GCC 7.1 Compiler Released

      The GNU Compiler Collection 7 (GCC 7) stable release is now available with today’s announcement of GCC 7.1.

      GCC 7.1 features experimental support for all of the C++17 draft, various performance improvements, improved debugging/diagnostics, optimization work, various hardware-specific improvements, OpenMP 4.5 offloading to NVIDIA PTX, and much more. More details in Changes To Find With The Upcoming Release Of GCC 7.

    • GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) 7.1 Released to Celebrate 30 Years Since GCC 1.0

      Jakub Jelinek happily reports today, May 2, 2017, for the GCC project on the general availability of GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) 7.1.0, the latest and most advanced release of the open-source and free compiler for the GNU system.

    • GCC 7.1 Released
  • Programming/Development

    • Learn how to fix a Django bug from beginning to end

      For those who are starting to code and want to make open source software, sometimes starting is hard. The idea of contributing with that fancy and wonderful library that you love can sound a little bit scary. Lucky for us, many of those libraries have room for whoever is willing to start. They also give us the support that we need. Pretty sweet, right?



Links 2/5/2017: Qt 5.9 Beta 3, Slackel 7.0 “Live Openbox”

Posted in News Roundup at 7:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Five Reasons for Enterprise Use of Open Source

    If there is anyplace in the enterprise where the use of open source software is still a hard sell, it’s going to be with management. By now, most workers and managers in IT departments are already sold on open source, and deploy it whenever they can — if they’re allowed to do so.

    Even in this day and age, sometimes they’re not. This is partly because management is often resistant to change, with the attitude that what isn’t broken doesn’t need fixing. Or it might be because in a dog-eat-dog business environment, where buying and selling rules the day, it might be difficult to understand using software that’s neither bought nor sold. You know, if it’s free it can’t be good and all that…

  • The great open-source software debate: Does this model have a future?

    It sounds like a good idea in concept: Outsource costly software development and testing operations to a community of skilled developers who work for free.

    Then take the fruits of their labors and package it up with other add-ons and extensions – also created by other people for free – and sell it to enterprises that can’t be bothered with all the hassle of configuration, installation and support. Undercut your competition’s prices by 90 percent and still make money because your development costs are near zero. Rinse and repeat in other product categories.

  • Rockbox 3.14 Open-Source Jukebox Firmware Released After 4 Years of Development

    Rockbox, an open-source project providing a complete, feature-rich replacement for the proprietary software of numerous digital audio players, putting users in charge of the device, reaches version 3.14 after many years in development.

  • Nextcloud is about collaboration

    Today the Nextcloud community released the Nextcloud 12 beta. The final release will be out later this month. This is a major new step forward. And it is also an interesting release because we are entering a new area for the product.
    At the beginning, 7 years ago the focus was clearly file sync and share. Of course this term did not exist at the time or at least I didn’ know it. The task was to syncronize file between all your devices and share it with others.

  • Nextcloud 12 Beta Released, Focuses On Collaboration Possibilities
  • Events

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD vmm hypervisor: Part 2

      As good as the OpenBSD documentation is (and vmm/vmd/vmctl are no exception) I had to do a lot of fumbling around, and asking on the misc@ mailing list to really get to the point where I understand this stuff as well as I do. These are my notes so far.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Danish OS2 community for open source is professionalising

      OS2, an open source community open to all Danish public agencies, is in the middle of a professionalisation process. “Over the last year, our focus has been on governance,” says Business Manager Rasmus Frey. “We decided on a new organisation and government model at the general assembly last year. This allows us to support projects and products throughout their entire lifecycles, taking them through the various stages of becoming mature open-source projects — to the benefit of the many.”

    • Citizen: ‘Madrid should study switch to open source’

      The city of Madrid (Spain) should do a feasibility study to see if it can switch to free and open source software, one of its citizens has proposed on Consul, the city’s eParticipation portal.

    • Paris social housing reuses Madrid eParticipation portal

      Paris’ public housing agency Régie Immobilière de la Ville de Paris (RIVP) is reusing Consul, the eParticipation portal built by the city of Madrid, available as open source software. RIVP, a city-owned agency, is using the software to gather input on 10 of its social housing projects across the city.

  • Programming/Development

    • PGI Community Edition

      PGI Community Edition includes a no-cost license to a recent release of the PGI Fortran, C and C++ compilers and tools for multicore CPUs and NVIDIA Tesla GPUs, including all OpenACC, OpenMP and CUDA Fortran features. The PGI Community Edition enables development of performance-portable HPC applications with uniform source code across the most widely used parallel processors and systems.

    • PGI 2017 v17.4 Compiler Released

      Yesterday marked an updated release of a community edition build for the NVIDIA-owned PGI code compiler that focuses on code compilation for CPU and GPU execution.


  • Science

    • A Closer Look at the ‘Learning’ Aspect of Machine Learning

      The goal of Machine Learning is to combine existing data with a predefined algorithm like linear regression to minimize the gap between actual and the predicted values. In our scenario, based on 10 rows, we assumed that the salary increase is $1,800. But what if Stack Overflow pays better for developers with 10+ years of experience? If it adds $2,200 per each year after crossing 10 years of experience, our assumptions go haywire. Our formula is hardwired to consider $1,800 as the delta which will break the algorithm when we input anything above 10. This scenario emphasizes the need for additional data. For ML, the more the data, the better the accuracy. This is one of the reasons why public cloud providers are luring customers to bring their data to their respective platforms.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Secure Boot booted from Debian 9 ‘Stretch’

      Debian’s release team has decided to postpone its implementation of Secure Boot.

      In a release update from last week, release team member Jonathan Wiltshire wrote that “At a recent team meeting, we decided that support for Secure Boot in the forthcoming Debian 9 ‘stretch” would no longer be a blocker to release. The likely, although not certain outcome is that stretch will not have Secure Boot support.’

    • Intel Confirms Vulnerability In Intel AMT/ME

      Many of you already have expressed your displeasure over Intel’s Active Management Technology (AMT) and Management Engine (ME) for various reasons in the past and now it’s been disclosed that for years there has been a vulnerability in this business-oriented feature that could open your Intel systems up to attackers.

      Intel Active Management Technology, Intel Small Business Technology, and Intel Standard Manageability are subject to a hole allowing an unprivileged attacker to gain control of the management features for these products. The issue was made public today via INTEL-SA-00075.

    • Intel Active Management Technology, Intel Small Business Technology, and Intel Standard Manageability Escalation of Privilege
    • Intel patches remote code-execution bug that lurked in chips for 10 years

      Remote management features that have shipped with Intel processors for almost a decade contain a critical flaw that gives attackers full control over the computers that run on vulnerable networks. That’s according to an an advisory published Monday afternoon by Intel.

      Intel has released a patch for the vulnerability, which resides in the chipmaker’s Active Management Technology, Intel Small Business Technology, and Intel Standard Manageability. Business customers who buy computers running vPro processors use those services to remotely administer large fleets of computers. The bug doesn’t affect chips running on consumer PCs. The chipmaker has rated the vulnerability critical and is recommending vulnerable customers install a firmware patch.

    • Intel’s remote AMT vulnerablity

      Intel chipsets for some years have included a Management Engine, a small microprocessor that runs independently of the main CPU and operating system. Various pieces of software run on the ME, ranging from code to handle media DRM to an implementation of a TPM. AMT is another piece of software running on the ME, albeit one that takes advantage of a wide range of ME features.

    • On reCAPTCHA Dread

      I wanted to read Matthew Garrett’s post on Intel’s remote AMT vulnerability, but since I’m using Private Internet Access, Cloudflare has gated it behind reCAPTCHA. reCAPTCHA is much, much harder than it used to be. Although there seem to be a couple of other variants, nowadays you’re generally expected to identify squares that contain street signs and squares that contain mountains. Now either the answer key is regularly wrong, or I just don’t know what street signs and mountains are. You’d think the former… but there actually is a good degree of ambiguity in selecting which squares to tag. Do I only tag all the squares that contain the signage-portion of the sign, or do I also tag the squares containing the signpost? (The former seems to work better, in my experience.) What if only a little bit of the sign extends into a particular square? (Jury’s out.) What if there are very distant signs in the background of the image, with many big signs in the foreground: should the distant signs be tagged too? And what constitutes a mountain anyway? Most of the “mountains” I see in the reCAPTCHA images look more like impressive hills to me. My guess is that reCAPTCHA wants me to tag any bit of elevated land as a mountain, but who knows, really.

    • Remote security exploit in all 2008+ Intel platforms

      The short version is that every Intel platform with AMT, ISM, and SBT from Nehalem in 2008 to Kaby Lake in 2017 has a remotely exploitable security hole in the ME (Management Engine) not CPU firmware. If this isn’t scary enough news, even if your machine doesn’t have SMT, ISM, or SBT provisioned, it is still vulnerable, just not over the network. For the moment. From what SemiAccurate gathers, there is literally no Intel box made in the last 9+ years that isn’t at risk. This is somewhere between nightmarish and apocalyptic.

    • Vulnerability hits Intel enterprise PCs going back 10 years
    • 6 signs enterprise security is getting better [Ed: This Microsoft employee will not want to say it, but shift away from Windows contributes to security]
    • Welsh Linux Mint terror nerd jailed for 8 years [Ed: For second time in one week El Reg links Linux Mint to terror even though it could just as well be (often is) Windows. Next time, when El Reg writes an article about terrorists and they are Windows users, will it point that out in the headline? And if not, why not?]
  • Defence/Aggression

    • War: Missing from Public Response to Trump, but Urgent
    • Tony Blair says it’s hard to be hated [iophk: "he could clear the air by voluntarily turning himself over to The Hague for war crimes trial"]

      Tony Blair has admitted he finds it hard to be hated by some people. The former Prime Minister, who swept to power on a surge of popularity 20 years ago, also insisted the image of him concentrating on making money around the world since he left office in 2007 was wrong.

      Asked how he felt about being considered toxic by some and hated by others, Mr Blair told GQ magazine: “Yep, it’s hard. It’s all about coming to terms with the fact that when you’re running for power you can be all things to all people.

    • U.S. Signals Possible Airstrikes in Somalia by Asking Aid Groups for Their Locations

      U.S. officials this week requested the geographic coordinates of aid groups working in Somalia, according to a document obtained by The Intercept — a move that could indicate an escalation of military action against the Shabab. The notice to NGOs comes a month after President Trump declared portions of the country an “area of active hostilities,” giving the military wider scope to launch strikes that could potentially kill more civilians.

      “Due to the need for increased operational security in Somalia, and based on best practices in other complex emergencies, humanitarian and development organizations may want to provide information about their fixed locations in Somalia for deconfliction,” states the letter, written by USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and intended for “all international and local humanitarian and development organizations with operations in Somalia.” Aid groups have an extensive presence in Somalia, where the government declared a state of disaster in February due to crippling drought and food shortages.

    • The Risk of Brushing Aside Intelligence

      The mainstream U.S. media, which knows President Trump disdains facts, accepted his claims about the April 4 Syrian chemical incident without question and ignored doubts of intelligence analysts, a dilemma that Lawrence Davidson addresses.

    • Giving Peace a Chance in Korea

      As the Trump administration rattles the sabers over North Korea and its nuclear-weapons program, peace advocates are countering with warnings about the grave dangers if war breaks out on the peninsula and expressions of hope if fresh thinking about peace and reconciliation can prevail.

      “If we are ever going to build the critical mass of an anti-war movement with a U.S. social movement,” said Christine Ahn, the former executive director of the Korea Policy Institute and currently the International Coordinator of Women Cross DMZ, “we have to fight together now, to put an end to this saber rattling, and potential first strike that the U.S. may conduct on North Korea.”

    • Meet Britain’s Nuclear Nutcase: Defense Secretary Micheal Fallon

      Michael Fallon’s recent claim that Britain under Theresa May’s leadership would be willing to launch a preemptive nuclear strike confirms what many suspected – namely that the British people are being ruled by a clutch of certifiable fanatics who will get us all destroyed unless they can be reined in, and soon. The Defence Secretary’s stupendously stupid statement came in the same week that the BBC’s Andrew Marr asked Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn in an interview if there were any circumstances in which he would launch nuclear weapons?

      Both taken together suggest that the moral sickness that has long pervaded the country’s privately educated elite, when it comes to unleashing wars against poor countries abroad and attacking poor people at home, has progressed into the realms of actual insanity. Have we seriously now entered an age when nuclear weapons are considered anything other than an abomination that no civilized country or non-sociopathic human being would ever contemplate using for more than a second?

    • Trump sends US Troops to Patrol Turkish-Syrian Border as Ankara Threatens US Allies

      So Trump had to order US military personnel up to the Turkish-Syrian border to put themselves between the Turkish troops and the Syrian YPG. The US military is now protecting the YPG with its own bodies, from a NATO ally.

    • How can we explain radicalisation among Central Asia’s migrants?

      While few Central Asians have joined the Taliban and other Islamists in Afghanistan, many more have gone to join the so-called Islamic State. Estimates vary widely, reflecting the difficulty of tracking recruits who cross multiple borders, but perhaps somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 Central Asian citizens have travelled to Syria and Iraq in the past five years. Central Asian militants were involved in the June 2016 Ataturk airport attack and January 2017 nightclub attack, both in Istanbul. Central Asians have certainly grabbed headlines with attacks in recent months. But these are not the first signs that global jihadism is spreading to Central Asia.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Coal Miners’ Futures in Renewable Energy

      President Trump has scored political points by touting coal-mining jobs, but he could create more real jobs in coal country by recognizing the potential for renewable-energy jobs, says Jonathan Marshall.

    • American climate refugees could flee inland

      If humans go on burning ever greater volumes of fossil fuel, then dramatic rises in sea levels could turn 13 million US citizens into climate refugees and send them fleeing inland – many of them to Atlanta, Houston and Phoenix.

      This latest study, in Nature Climate Change, builds on an earlier assessment of what could happen in 319 American coastal counties if sea levels rise 1.8 metres by 2100.

    • Donald Trump Is Slashing Programs Linking Climate Change to U.S. National Security

      Over the last several decades, top government officials and even military brass have come to view climate change as a national security issue. Under President Barack Obama, the notion was codified through recognition of the link by the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Department, the State Department, and the National Intelligence Council. Now, President Donald Trump, with nearly all the government’s climate change work in his crosshairs, is poised to dramatically scale back environmental security programs — perhaps eliminating many entirely — through dramatic budget cuts.

    • Berta Cáceres’ Sister Speaks Out About the Ongoing Assassinations of Land Defenders in Honduras

      The People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C., also called attention to the perilous climate for environmental justice activists worldwide, where an increasing number of land and water defenders are being murdered for their organizing efforts. During the march, we spoke with Neery Carrillo, the sister of murdered Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres.

    • California driving the energy storage market through groundbreaking legislation: new case study

      The Climate Group has published a new case study assessing how California is implementing innovative legislation to drive the energy storage market and support the state’s ambitious climate targets.

      The case study is part of The Climate Group’s Energy Transition Platform – a global initiative supporting highly industrialized sub-national governments in accelerating the low carbon transition. It addresses California’s strategy to support the uptake of emerging energy storage technologies and provide market security to investors and suppliers through a procurement target for utilities.

  • Finance

    • Organising against the gig economy: lessons from Latin America?

      Workers in the so-called ‘gig economy’ face heightening conditions of precarity and exploitation. From delivery couriers to taxi drivers, this series has shown that conditions of work are increasingly deleterious and show little sign of improvement.

      To combat this, innovative new strategies of organisation and mobilisation have been developed. New, and more direct, tactics of trade union struggle have been at the heart of successful disputes led by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain in London and via spontaneous strikes by Uber drivers and others across the USA, the UK, France, and beyond.


      Third, where Uber and Lyft – the two dominant ride-sharing companies of the gig economy – have sought to establish themselves in major cities –in Argentina and Brazil, for example – a combination of worker protest and regulation has contained their ambition.

    • Britain’s complacency over Brexit will end in humiliation

      Most countries think they are special, but few have ever allowed their sense of exceptionalism to damage their interests in the way Britain is doing. British politicians, business leaders and newspaper editors are remarkably confident that Britain will flourish outside the EU. While both France and Germany sometimes bridle at the EU, neither seriously thinks that the EU diminishes their ability to pursue their interests. There is no justification for British over-confidence. The UK needs the EU as much as the Germans or French do.

    • Trust in our own strength: the African Movement of Working Children and Youth in Senegal

      From 18 February to 2 March 2017, a group from Germany travelled to Senegal to learn, among other things, about the African Movement of Working Children and Youth. It met with grassroots groups in Saint-Louis and Thiès and had the opportunity to talk extensively with delegates on the aims, activities, and experiences of the movement. The movement is active in 27 countries in Africa and has almost one million members. It has been officially recognised as representing the interests of working children and youth, and is accredited as an observer organisation by the African Union.

    • Apple’s cash reserves swell to $250bn

      In January, Apple said reserves had increased by $8.5bn to $246bn. More than $230bn was parked at offshore subsidiaries, the biggest overseas holdings of any non-financial company.

    • Apple has a record $250 billion in the bank

      When it reports its quarterly financial results on Tuesday, Apple will likely have a quarter-trillion dollars in cash in the bank.


      Some 93 percent of the company’s cash and other liquid assets are kept overseas.

    • A simple people’s Brexit plan can replace May’s flawed strategy

      What galaxy are you in? That’s the real question posed by this election and one our political system is not designed to answer.

      After a disastrous dinner at Downing Street last week, Jean-Claude Juncker briefed Angela Merkel that Theresa May was in a “different galaxy” to those negotiating on behalf of the EU27.

      May expects Britain to leave Europe while paying nothing; she expects her threat to walk away without an agreement to achieve a trade deal as good as single-market membership; she expects the talks to remain secret. Juncker gently explained that all these expectations were illusory. He warned that the British prime minister was “deluding herself” and that there is now more than a 50% chance that Britain will crash out of Europe without a deal in place.

    • Returning to the Roots of Case Farms’ Workforce

      For 25 years, Mayans from an isolated string of villages in the northwestern highlands of Guatemala have made their way to blue-collar towns in Ohio and North Carolina to work in Case Farms chicken plants. The unusual migration began after a Case Farms human resources manager recruited a group of Guatemalan civil war refugees who’d been working in the orange groves and tomato fields around Indiantown, Florida.

    • Sold for Parts

      By late afternoon, the smell from the Case Farms chicken plant in Canton, Ohio, is like a pungent fog, drifting over a highway lined with dollar stores and auto parts shops. When the stink is at its ripest, it means that the day’s 180,000 chickens have been slaughtered, drained of blood, stripped of feathers and carved into pieces — and it’s time for workers like Osiel López Pérez to clean up. On April 7, 2015, Osiel put on bulky rubber boots and a white hard hat, and trained a pressurized hose on the plant’s stainless steel machines, blasting off the leftover grease, meat and blood.

    • The latest polls show most people think Brexit was a mistake. This could be a turning point

      When Theresa May called her opportunistic general election, she claimed that the public was getting behind Brexit. She just needed an endorsement from voters to stop the rotters in Westminster from denying the will of the people.

      May’s assertion was always patently ridiculous, as her opponents were swift to point out. She secured a thumping majority in the Commons for her Article 50 bill – a profoundly undemocratic piece of legislation that is the nearest this country has seen to an Enabling Act – in the House of Commons.

    • Is the Philippines really the best country for female social entrepreneurs?

      But is the Philippines the best country in the world for female social entrepreneurs?

      That was the conclusion of a 2016 study by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Deutsche Bank and the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network. It ranked the Philippines first, followed by Russia and Norway.

      Also in the top ten were Malaysia, China, Thailand, Hong Kong and Indonesia. The study suggested that women in Asia succeed as social entrepreneurs because there is “a fairer playing field and higher drive to put compassion over valuation.”

    • Tennessee’s Billionaire Governor Works With His Corporate Buddies to Privatize Government Jobs

      Tennessee’s state government has inked a sweetheart deal with a company linked to the state’s billionaire governor to privatize thousands of facilities and management jobs at colleges, prisons, and other public buildings.

      It’s being touted by some officials in other states as a model for the nation.

      The $330 million, five-year contract covers custodial services, groundskeeping, and repair and maintenance work. Government officials say that each public facility can choose to only partially comply, or opt out, keeping their employees on the public payroll. “If they’re happy with business as usual, there’s nothing to do,” said Michelle Martin, a spokeswoman for the office that issued the contract.

      But Gov. Bill Haslam has been adamant about the need to outsource state jobs. And any facility considering outsourcing will no longer be able to seek quotes from a variety of bidders. Their only choice, according to a master contract signed last Friday, will be to hire Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), the world’s largest facilities management firm. Under a process called “vested outsourcing,” JLL actually helped write the contract.

    • UK’s Brexit plan poses a risk to nuclear industry – lawmakers

      Britain’s plan to leave the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) when it exits the European Union will severely hinder nuclear trade and research, and threaten power supplies, a UK parliamentary committee said in a report on Tuesday.

      The government says Britain must leave Euratom as part of its goal to end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice when the country leaves the EU.

      Euratom is the EU’s framework for nuclear energy safety and development, establishing a European market for goods and services and compliance with international safeguards to control the use of uranium and plutonium.

    • Time to Recall a Progressive ‘Truly Great’ First 100 Days

      Franklin Roosevelt’s first “Hundred Days” of 1933, in which the newly-elected president and a Democratic-controlled Congress confronted the ravages of the Great Depression by enacting an unprecedented roster of 15 major new laws, have haunted the egomaniacal Donald Trump – and his own first 100 days as president have fascinated the media. While Trump in his own inimical way has been both dismissing the significance of the first 100 days and hyping the greatness of his own presidential performance in the course of those days, journalists and pundits have been keeping scorecards on him. But no consensus has emerged.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • How ‘Russiagate’ Got So Much Momentum

      One of the most promising progressives to arrive in Congress this year, Rep. Jamie Raskin from the Maryland suburbs of D.C., promptly drank what might be called the “Klinton Kremlin Kool-Aid.” His official website features an article about a town-hall meeting that quotes him describing Trump as a “hoax perpetrated by the Russians on the United States of America.”

      Like hundreds of other Democrats on Capitol Hill, Raskin is on message with talking points from the party leadership. That came across in an email that he recently sent to supporters for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser. It said: “We pull the curtain back further each day on the Russian Connection, forcing National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to resign, Attorney General Sessions to recuse, and America to reflect on who’s calling the shots in Washington.”

      You might think that Wall Street, big banks, hugely funded lobbyists, fat-check campaign contributors, the fossil fuel industry, insurance companies, military contractors and the like are calling the shots in Washington. Maybe you didn’t get the memo.

    • Twitter Says It Would Love World Leaders to Use It Like Trump
    • White House ethics office ‘not consulted’ on plans to make Ivanka Trump presidential adviser

      The US Office of Government Ethics has said it was not consulted by the White House about plans to make Ivanka Trump a formal adviser to the president.

      This contradicts statements from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who said on 21 March that Ms Trump was working “in consultation with the Office of Government Ethics” in her transition to the new role.

    • Try seeing if you can tell the difference between dictators’ palaces and Trump’s own home
    • Turkey Purges 4,000 More Officials, and Blocks Wikipedia

      A total of 3,974 civil servants were fired on Saturday from several ministries and judicial bodies, and 45 civil society groups and health clinics were shut down, according to a decree published in Turkey’s official gazette.

    • Trump invites Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines’ murderous authoritarian leader, to the White House: Why should we be surprised?

      The Philippine president has compared himself to Hitler and vowed to kill 3 million people. Now he’s Trump’s BFF.

    • Murdochs’ TV Deal in Britain Hinges on 3 Words: ‘Fit and Proper’

      For most of the last 10 years, the Murdoch family, which controls 21st Century Fox, has wanted one thing for its global media empire above all else: the complete ownership of the popular and highly profitable Sky satellite and cable network.

      Sky is the dominant pay television system here, a hub for Premier League soccer, movies, and networks like Fox News, MTV and Zee Punjabi. It was Rupert Murdoch who founded Sky, and 21st Century Fox already owns part of it.

    • Orange Is The New Black, Black Lives Matter, and Project Censored Student Researchers

      The program begins with a discussion of how TV depicts female inmates; is “Orange Is The New Black” a step forward in public understanding? Next, what’s happened to media coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement since Donald Trump took office? Finally on the program, three Project Censored student researchers at San Francisco State University describe their projects, as well as a concept called “constructive media literacy.”

    • Historian Timothy Snyder: “It’s pretty much inevitable” that Trump will try to stage a coup and overthrow democracy

      American democracy is in crisis. The election of Donald Trump feels like a state of emergency made normal.

      Trump has threatened violence against his political enemies. He has made clear he does not believe in the norms and traditions of American democracy — unless they serve his interests. Trump and his advisers consider a free press to be enemies of his regime. Trump repeatedly lies and has a profoundly estranged relationship with empirical reality. He uses obvious and naked racism, nativism and bigotry to mobilize his voters and to disparage entire groups of people such as Latinos and Muslims.

    • Barack Obama Is Using His Presidency to Cash In, But Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter Refused
    • Drinking the Russia-gate Kool-Aid

      Russia-gate, the Democrats’ over-the-top attempt to blame the Kremlin for Hillary Clinton’s disastrous campaign, has become the party’s go-to excuse to avoid confronting how it lost touch with average Americans, says Norman Solomon.

    • Le Pen Promotes Holocaust Denier and Plans to Ban Kosher Butchers and Yarmulkes

      France’s Jewish community is watching the second round of this year’s presidential election with profound unease, as Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front has unveiled plans to ban the ritual slaughter of animals for kosher and halal meat and promoted a deputy who has been accused of praising an infamous Holocaust denier.

      Le Pen temporarily stepped aside this week as the leader of the extreme nationalist party founded by her Holocaust-denying father, Jean-Marie, as part of an effort to present a more moderate face in the general election.

      That attempt was immediately spoiled, however, by the revelation that the former associate of her father she put in charge of the party, Jean-François Jalkh, told a scholar in 2000 that he did not accept evidence that the Nazis used the pesticide Zyklon B to murder Jews in the death camps.

    • The lamentable tri-color

      In these times of renewed nationalism, it is notable that three cultural and political icons – all in flux – also claim the same choices in their national flags: red, white and blue. But the trio of colors share a far deeper narrative than just positions on the chromatic spectrum. Red Republicans have taken dubious control of all three branches of the US government, white ultra-nationalists are threatening to overwhelm the rationale of the French Revolution, and Britons have become increasingly blue after digging themselves the virtual grave of Brexit.

    • Why French progressives should vote for Macron

      It is perhaps the single-most important failure of progressives across Europe since the outbreak of the 2008 financial crisis and Brussels’ blundering crush of the Athens Spring in 2015 – an utter inability to come together and present a solid front, and a sensible, non-sectarian agenda, against the xenophobic and toxic nationalistic forces tearing apart the European Union.

      While the urgency to once and for all overcome such a failure to unite should have become painfully obvious after the Brexit and Trump experiences of 2016, the latest wakeup call to European progressives after the first round of the French presidential election may also go ignored along with another missed opportunity for progressives to come together.

      Regardless, we must try.

    • Marine Le Pen Can Win, if She Campaigns “à la Trump,” Her Father Says

      Despite that dramatic falling out, the elder Le Pen voted for his daughter in the first round of France’s presidential election, along with 7,679,492 others, and proudly called her achievement in advancing to the May 7th run-off against Emmanuel Macron, the former economy minister, “the culmination of a 45-year political battle” for the party he started in 1972.

      Now Jean-Marie Le Pen is eager to offer his daughter some advice, whether she wants it or not: to win, she needs to drop the facade of moderation and “campaign à la Trump,” by channeling the anger of disaffected working-class voters who have abandoned mainstream parties for the far-left as well as the far-right.

    • Donald Trump’s Failing Presidency

      The 100-day mark may be an artificial measuring stick for a U.S. president. Obviously much can happen in the remaining 1,361 days of a four-year term. But Donald Trump’s decisions in his first three months in office have put him on an almost irreversible path to failure.

    • 100 Days of Deconstruction: Part 3

      Trump promised to be a transformational leader. It wasn’t an idle threat. He has assembled an unprecedented governmental wrecking crew. This is the third installment on Trump’s unique combination of kleptocracy and kakistocracy that is reshaping America in ways that most of voters won’t like.

    • The Authoritarian President

      So what is he?

      An authoritarian.


      An authoritarian would instead assail judges who rule against him, as Trump has done repeatedly. He’d also threaten to hobble the offending courts, as Trump did last week in urging that the 9th Circuit (where many of these decisions have originated) be broken up.

      Likewise, an authoritarian has no patience for normal legislative rules – designed, as they are in a democracy, to create opportunities for deliberation.

      Which is why Trump told Mitch McConnell to use the “nuclear option” against the time-honored Senate filibuster, in order to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

    • Reign of Idiots

      The idiots know only one word—“more.” They are unencumbered by common sense. They hoard wealth and resources until workers cannot make a living and the infrastructure collapses. They live in privileged compounds where they eat chocolate cake and order missile strikes. They see the state as a projection of their vanity. The Roman, Mayan, French, Habsburg, Ottoman, Romanov, Wilhelmine, Pahlavi and Soviet dynasties crumbled because the whims and obsessions of ruling idiots were law.

      Donald Trump is the face of our collective idiocy. He is what lies behind the mask of our professed civility and rationality—a sputtering, narcissistic, bloodthirsty megalomaniac. He wields armies and fleets against the wretched of the earth, blithely ignores the catastrophic human misery caused by global warming, pillages on behalf of global oligarchs and at night sits slack-jawed in front of a television set before opening his “beautiful” Twitter account. He is our version of the Roman emperor Nero, who allocated vast state expenditures to attain magical powers, the Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang, who funded repeated expeditions to a mythical island of immortals to bring back the potion that would give him eternal life, and a decayed Russian royalty that sat around reading tarot cards and attending séances as their nation was decimated by war and revolution brewed in the streets.

    • Donald Trump Fails on Currency With China, but Wins on Daughter’s Trademarks

      Everyone understands that when you go into a negotiation you have to make trade-offs. No one expects to get everything on their wish list. For this reason, no one should have been surprised that Donald Trump wasn’t able to run the table when he met with China’s President Xi Jinping last month, but they might be surprised at what he apparently gave up.

      A central theme of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was that our trade negotiators were stupid and that they had negotiated rotten trade deals. He claimed this was the cause of the country’s $500 billion-plus trade deficit (a bit less than 3 percent of GDP).

    • Trump’s First 100 Days Show That US Families Are His Last Priority

      The first 100 days of Trump’s administration have been an unending assault on democracy and our communities: from stacking his cabinet with people committed to dismantling the very agencies they lead, to travel bans and deportations. Among these attacks, Trump has outlined a budget that was nothing short of a declaration of war on our families. When I think about what lies ahead, I worry most about the health and safety of our families.

    • Inequality: Trump’s Challenge, Trump’s Failure?

      Ten days later, Trump issued an executive ordered cutting U.S. vehicle fuel-efficiency standards put in place by the Obama administration. It was a victory for the auto industry and – like his order promoting “clean” coal – strengthening his anti-environmental stance.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Courts Must Allow Online Platforms to Defend Their Users’ Free Speech Rights, EFF Tells Court

      Online platforms must be allowed to assert their anonymous users’ First Amendment rights in court, EFF argued in a brief filed Monday in a California appellate court.

      The case, Yelp v. Superior Court, concerns whether online review website Yelp has the legal right to appear in court and make arguments on behalf of its users.

      Courts across the country have increasingly recognized that online platforms do have the right to argue for their users’ free speech rights, particularly when private litigants or government officials seek to learn the speakers’ identities.

    • Africa: Gender Censorship a Glaring Reality

      Journalists’ safety especially women journalists is becoming a serious problem that is effectively silencing them leading to self-censorship and even some women leaving the profession. It is however saddening that in many instances these threats remain unreported and are not taken seriously.

    • Repression 2.0: An Updated Global Censorship

      Censorship tactics have become more complex, posing new challenges for journalists and non-journalists alike, a new report finds.

      In its annual “Attacks on the Press” report, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has documented a range of censorship cases from around the world and revealed a new world of media repression.

      “[Censorship] is definitely becoming more sophisticated and complex and is occurring at a variety of levels,” CPJ’s Advocacy Director Courtney Radsch told IPS.

    • Spicer Confirms White House Actively Planning Attack on Press Freedoms

      White House press secretary Sean Spicer confirmed Monday that the Trump administration is actively—and in his words “substantively”—reviewing the nation’s libel laws as it explores ways it could more easily sidestep First Amendment protections and target press coverage or news stories it deems objectionable.

    • Attacks On the Press: The New Face of Censorship

      Censorship tactics have become more complex, posing new challenges for journalists and non-journalists alike, a new report finds.

      In its annual “Attacks on the Press” report, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has documented a range of censorship cases from around the world and revealed a new world of media repression.

      “[Censorship] is definitely becoming more sophisticated and complex and is occurring at a variety of levels,” CPJ’s Advocacy Director Courtney Radsch told IPS.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Australian Mandatory Data Retention Abused Just Weeks After Rules Are Put In Place

      We’ve been talking about Australian politicians’ odd obsession with passing ever more draconian data retention rules for years now. As you may recall, the politicians pushing for this appeared to have absolutely no clue what it actually entailed. Just a few months ago, we wrote about reports about how Australia’s data retention laws had been abused to spy on journalists and their sources. While some parts of the law went into effect a year and a half ago, it appears some parts just went into effect a few weeks ago. These new rules require every ISP to retain metadata on all online communications for at least two years. And… it took just about two weeks before the Australian Federal Police (AFP) were forced to admit that it had used the info to spy on journalists (again). They insist this was a mistake, of course.

    • A VPN will not save you from government surveillance

      Late on Friday afternoon, the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police waltzed out in front of the microphones and admitted that his agency had misused the metadata that the nation’s telecommunication companies are forced to store.

      It was a stunning admission. The nation had barely made it a fortnight since the deadline for telcos to have their data retention systems in place had passed, yet here was the AFP self-reporting an event that saw an officer in breach of the metadata laws, and despite years of preparation and interaction with metadata, placed the blame on “human error”.

    • NSA Ends Upstream “About” Data Collection [Ed: Should say that NSA and its ilk claim so, which means it’s not a fact. The reality may be very different.]
    • Hearing Wednesday: EFF Argues Against Massive Government Hacking in ‘Playpen’ Case

      On Wednesday, May 3, at 9:30 am, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will argue that an FBI search warrant used to hack thousands of computers around the world was unconstitutional.

      The hearing in U.S. v. Levin at the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit stems from one of the many cases arising from a controversial investigation into “Playpen,” a child pornography website. The precedent set by the Playpen prosecutions is likely to impact the digital privacy rights of Internet users for years to come.

    • Cybersecurity for the People: How to Keep Your Chats Truly Private With Signal [Ed: Not good advice from Micah Lee. He's ignoring Vault 7 -- Signal compromised through phones (all have back doors).]
    • The Internet of Things Needs a Code of Ethics

      The Internet of Things, as it’s called, is also lacking a critical ethical framework, argues Francine Berman, a computer-science professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a longtime expert on computer infrastructure. Together with Vint Cerf, an engineer considered one of the fathers of the internet, Berman wrote an article in the journal Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery about the need for an ethical system.

      I spoke to her about ethical design, and how to balance individual privacy with the potential for social good of connected devices that share data with one another.

    • NSA Halts Some of Its Email Surveillance
    • NSA Statements On ‘About’ Collection Shutdown Contradict PCLOB’s Findings

      The impact the dropping of the “about” collection will have on the NSA’s upstream harvesting will either be massive or minimal, depending on who you ask.

    • What Don’t You Want the NSA to Know About You?

      For years, U.S. government surveillance of innocent Americans has been a topic of heated debate, especially for those in the tech community.

      With Congress gearing up for a fight over the 2017 reauthorization of a surveillance authority that lets the NSA spy on innocent Americans without a warrant—Section 702, enacted as part of the FISA Amendments Act—that debate is sure to rage on in the coming months.

      So we sent a reporter to the RSA Conference in San Francisco, California in February to ask one simple question: What don’t you want the NSA to know about you?

    • Facebook told advertisers it can identify teens feeling ‘insecure’ and ‘worthless’ [iophk: "predatory"]

      Leaked documents said to describe how the social network shares psychological insights on young people with advertisers

    • Facebook studied teenagers’ posts to find when they were emotionally vulnerable

      A leaked document revealed how the company was able to establish if users as young as 14 were feeling “worthless”, “insecure” or “anxious”.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Louisiana DA’s Office Used Fake Subpoenas For Decades To Trick People Into Talking To Prosecutors

      If defense lawyers did this, you can bet the local prosecutor’s office would be there in an instant to file charges. But since it’s a prosecutor’s office doing it, local prosecutors see nothing wrong with lying to witnesses to obtain testimony. Charles Maldonado of The Lens looks into the unethical practices of the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office.

    • Prosecutors: Inmate’s water cut off for 7 days before he died of dehydration

      Milwaukee County Jail staff cut off an inmate’s access to water for seven days straight before he died of dehydration, and the man was too mentally unstable to ask for help as he slowly died, prosecutors said Monday at the beginning of an inquest.

      The statements from prosecutors are the first official account validating what inmates previously told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about Terrill Thomas’ access to water in his cell. In prior interviews, the inmates said they begged jail staff to help Thomas as he grew weak without water.

    • Lawsuit: Woman Shackled While Giving Birth at Milwaukee Jail

      A woman is suing the Milwaukee County jail, alleging that deputies refused to unchain her while she was giving birth because of a jail policy requiring inmates to remain shackled while they’re hospitalized, regardless of the circumstances.

      The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks class-action status, claiming at least 40 other women experienced similar circumstances at the jail since 2011.

      The sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to the lawsuit, but generally the county can’t comment on pending litigation.

    • Demonstrating America’s Need for Immigrants

      President Trump has pushed for the expulsion of millions of undocumented immigrants, but they are pushing back by using May 1 to demonstrate the importance of their hard work, reports Dennis J Bernstein.


      he Bracero Program, as it was dubbed back in 1942, an agreement between the United States and Mexico, to provide workers, Mexican workers, to the United States. Not only to work in agriculture, but to work in an important industry–the railroad industry–throughout the United States. Some 3 million to 4 million Mexican immigrant guest workers, contracted workers, were brought into the United States to work in these industries. And that program lasted from 1942 to 1964.

    • Bahrain: “Undeclared Martial Law”

      Clashes after the death of a young Bahraini after being shot outside the home of the Shiite leader in Bahrain on March 25, 2017. NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images. All rights reserved.Six years ago, New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof described his experience of being detained during the aftermath of Bahrain’s Arab Spring protests as a glimpse “through a haze of tear gas, [at] hints of a police state.”

    • Supreme Court Recognizes Discrimination Hurts Entire Cities

      An important ruling handed down by the Supreme Court today recognizes that when banks systematically discriminate against their customers, entire communities and cities are harmed.

      Today’s decision rejects the claims of banks that racial discrimination against a city’s residents has no impact on the city itself. The lawsuit stems from the recent foreclosure crisis, and was brought by the city of Miami, which was hit particularly hard. As in other cities across America, neighborhoods where people of color live were disproportionately devastated. That can be largely attributed to the fact that Black and Latino homeowners received more expensive mortgages than their similarly creditworthy white counterparts.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Too little, too late? FCC wins net neutrality court case

      If the Federal Communications Commission still intended to enforce net neutrality rules, a court decision issued today would have qualified as great news at the commission.

      The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied the broadband industry’s petition for a rehearing of a case that upheld net neutrality rules last year. A three-judge panel ruled 2-1 in favor of the FCC in June 2016, but ISPs wanted an en banc review in front of all of the court’s judges. The request for an en banc review was denied in the order issued today.

    • Appeals court won’t rehear a challenge to net neutrality rules

      Five broadband trade groups, including USTelecom and CTIA, as well as AT&T, CenturyLink and other providers, challenged the rules.

    • Too little, too late? FCC wins net neutrality court case

      The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied the broadband industry’s petition for a rehearing of a case that upheld net neutrality rules last year. A three-judge panel ruled 2-1 in favor of the FCC in June 2016, but ISPs wanted an en banc review in front of all of the court’s judges. The request for an en banc review was denied in the order issued today.

    • Federal court lets net neutrality regulations stand

      The victory for net neutrality supporters comes just days after FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that he is starting proceedings to repeal the rules, and could set the stage for a Supreme Court showdown.

    • Limitations of ISP Data Pollution Tools

      Republicans in Congress recently voted to repeal the FCC’s broadband privacy rules. As a result, your Internet provider may be able to sell sensitive information like your browsing history or app usage to advertisers, insurance companies, and more, all without your consent. In response, Internet users have been asking what they can do to protect their own data from this creepy, non-consensual tracking by Internet providers—for example, directing their Internet traffic through a VPN or Tor. One idea to combat this that’s recently gotten a lot of traction among privacy-conscious users is data pollution tools: software that fills your browsing history with visits to random websites in order to add “noise” to the browsing data that your Internet provider is collecting.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Update on WIPO

      Following Council’s request that the FICSA membership be provided updates relative to staff-management relations in some of the more troubling organizations, we would like to provide you with the attached document published yesterday by a lawyer who is currently defending a Geneva-based journalist who had reported on the relatively recent FICSA/CCISUA organized demonstration against the WIPO Director General.

      The document states that the Swiss Ambassador who this time lent his name to the WIPO Director General’s criminal complaint, is the same Ambassador who had allegedly helped the WIPO Director General when WIPO staff members’ stolen personal effects were illegally transmitted to a Swiss laboratory for DNA analysis several years ago, without the staff members’ knowledge and consent. An OIOS investigation was blocked due to the Swiss/Geneva authorities’ refusal to cooperate with the OIOS investigators.

    • Copyrights

      • Post-TPP Special 301 Report Shows How Little Has Changed

        Last Friday the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released the 2017 edition of its Special 301 Report [PDF], which the USTR issues each year to “name and shame” other countries that the U.S. claims should be doing more to protect and enforce their copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. Most of these demands exceed those countries’ legal obligations, which makes the Special 301 Report an instrument of political rhetoric, rather than a document with any international legal status.

        Last year’s Special 301 Report included 45 references to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was at the time soon expected to become the jewel in the USTR’s crown. This year, following the TPP’s humiliating defeat, it is not mentioned in the Special 301 Report even once. Indeed, not only has the TPP been expunged from the text as if it never happened at all, but the USTR has also finally ceased touting the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), another dead IP treaty that it had nonetheless included as a supposed global standard in its previous Special 301 Reports.

      • Chinese Government and Hollywood Launch Snoop-and-Censor Copyright Filter

        Two weeks ago the Copyright Society of China (also known as the China Copyright Association) launched its new 12426 Copyright Monitoring Center, which is dedicated to scanning the Chinese Internet for evidence of copyright infringement. This frightening panopticon is said to be able to monitor video, music and images found on “mainstream audio and video sites and graphic portals, small and medium vertical websites, community platforms, cloud and P2P sites, SmartTV, external set-top boxes, aggregation apps, and so on.”

      • Chris Dodd ‘Stepping Down’ From MPAA

        It appears that Chris Dodd’s reign atop the MPAA is coming to an end. As you may recall, he took the job in 2011 to become the head of the MPAA — directly contrasting a statement he’d made just months earlier that he’d never become a lobbyist. Dodd’s first move was to preside over the MPAA’s first legislative Titanic. After years of easily passing every copyright law it wanted, Dodd helped turn a slam dunk, easy-to-pass SOPA/PIPA into a huge disaster that has consistently scared Congress away from making any substantial copyright law changes. And, yes, it was Dodd’s failed leadership that was a big part of the problem.

      • 10 Years in Jail For Internet Pirates Now Reality in the UK

        Having received royal assent before the weekend, the UK’s Digital Economy Bill is now law. As a result, Internet file-sharers can be jailed for up to ten years, if they knowingly make infringing content available to the public while exposing a copyright owner to even a risk of loss.

      • Canada and Switzerland Remain on US ‘Pirate Watchlist’ Under President Trump

        The Office of the United States Trade Representative has published its yearly Special 301 Report, highlighting countries that fail to live up to U.S copyright protection standards. Effective enforcement of IP {sic} rights is a core issue for the Trump administration, which keeps Canada and Switzerland among the two dozen countries that are on the ‘Watch List.’


Links 1/5/2017: Krita 3.1.3, feren OS 2017.0, Android Widens Gap Over Windows

Posted in News Roundup at 3:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Get functional! 5 open source frameworks for serverless computing

    Sometimes all you need is a single function. That’s the idea behind serverless computing, where individual functions spin up on demand, perform a minimal piece of work (serve as an API endpoint, return static content, and so on), and shut down. It’s cheap, it uses minimal resources, and it has little management overhead.

    Most of what we currently identify as serverless computing kicked off with AWS Lambda, later joined by similar services on Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and IBM Bluemix. But there’s a healthy complement of open source serverless architectures available—not only facilitators for the serverless frameworks on a particular cloud, but full-blown methods to deploy serverless frameworks on the cloud or hardware of your choosing.

  • The next big challenge for open source: rich collaboration software

    The file sync and share movement started over a decade ago, led by the likes of Dropbox, Google Drive, and others, and became popular very fast. The killer feature was having all your files available on all your devices. No more forgetting to bring that important document to a meeting, emailing files, or handling multiple USB sticks. Files were always there when you needed them! That its growth happened with the start of the smartphone age made file sync and share even more useful.

    But its popularity wasn’t just about having access to your own files on all your devices: it also made sharing easier, enabling a new level of working together. No longer emailing documents, no longer being unsure whether your colleague’s feedback came on the latest version of your draft, no longer fixing errors that were already fixed.

  • Linux foundation specification for open software supply chain compliance

    The Linux Foundation has used its news chain to unveil the OpenChain Specification 1.1 and an accompanying Online Self-Certification service.

    The technology is positioned as a means for organisations to ensure consistent compliance management processes in what is being called the open source software supply chain.

  • Wrapping things up

    At the end of this month, after six-and-a-half years working there, I’ll be leaving the Dutch Association of Audiological Centres (FENAC) where I’ve been working as developer. I’ll be switching to Free Software-related projects, which I’ll write about around june 1st.

  • Women programmers face bias, say N.C. State researchers
  • Study finds gender bias in open-source programming [Ed: Gender bias exists everywhere, including programming, and it's not a FOSS phenomenon]s
  • Study suggests gender bias exists in open-source programming [Ed: not just FOSS]
  • Events

    • Join The Linux Foundation at OSCON for Booth Swag, Project Updates, and More
    • Introducing the Forum at OpenStack Summit Boston

      If you are joining the thousands of OpenStack enthusiasts as we converge on Boston for the OpenStack Summit (May 8-11), don’t be surprised if someone asks you, “Where is the Design Summit?”

      This year, nary a Design Summit sign will be found. That’s because the Design Summit is no more. True to the ever-evolving, continuously improving nature of open source projects, the OpenStack community is trying something new. The Design Summit has been reorganized and split into two separate events: the Forum and the Project Teams Gathering (PTG).

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The May 2017 Month of LibreOffice begins!

      Yes, a new Month of LibreOffice begins today, crediting contributions all across the project. This time we’re giving away real printed stickers for your laptop, desktop PC or other kit! If you help the LibreOffice community in various ways, we’ll add your name to a wiki page and then, at the end of the month, you’ll be able to claim your sticker. It’ll look like this:

  • Programming/Development

    • SPIR-V Support For LLVM Is Moving Forward

      While the original SPIR intermediate representation from the Khronos Group was derived from LLVM IR, SPIR-V that’s used by OpenCL 2.1+ and Vulkan is not. But there is still work underway on being able to translate from LLVM IR into a SPIR-V back-end.


  • Science

    • EPA purges climate change information as part of “Website Updates”

      On Friday, the Trump administration removed all of the EPA’s climate information from the agency’s website. In its place was this announcement: “We are currently updating our website to reflect EPA’s priorities under the leadership of President Trump and Administrator Pruitt.”

      The official EPA announcement of the changes says they’re needed to “reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt.” Removing them, according to the EPA spokesman, was needed to “prevent confusion.”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • New R&D Funding Model For TB, Antimicrobial Resistance

      The World Health Organization Bulletin this month has an article about the need for new models of research and development for tuberculosis and antimicrobial resistance. The article describes a new funding framework called the 3P Project.


      The project’s funding model will ensure that a new regimen is affordable and accessible to all those in need.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Wall Street Firm Paying Obama $400,000 Faced Internal Controversy After Pocketing Huge 9/11 Settlement

      Barack Obama will deliver a speech this September at a swanky healthcare conference for investors run by Cantor Fitzgerald. As Fox Business News first reported on Monday, the firm is paying him $400,000.

      The ensuing criticism of Obama for cashing in on his presidency has been thunderous – but has overlooked exactly whose money he is taking.

      Cantor Fitzgerald, a major Wall Street brokerage house, lost 658 of its 960 employees when the World Trade Center was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. But when it settled a long-running lawsuit against American Airlines for $135 million in 2013, the proceeds didn’t go to the families of the dead.

    • Nooooooooooooooo! Iraq Asks U.S. for Marshall Plan Reconstruction Funds

      Iraq’s Foreign Minister this week asked the United States to develop a financial plan for the reconstruction of the country after ISIS, similar to a program developed for Western Europe after the Second World War.

      In discussions with Special Presidential Envoy to the Coalition Brett McGurk, Ibrahim al-Jaafari stressed the need for “collective support from the international community to contribute to the reconstruction of infrastructure after the defeat of terrorism.” Jaafari suggested “the adoption of a project similar to the Marshall Plan which contributed to rebuilding Germany after the Second World War.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • How a Professional Climate Change Denier Discovered the Lies and Decided to Fight for Science

      The hardest part of reversing the warming of the planet may be convincing climate change skeptics of the need to do so. Although scientists who study the issue overwhelming agree that the earth is undergoing rapid and profound climate changes due to the burning of fossil fuels, a minority of the public remains stubbornly resistant to that fact. With temperatures rising and ice caps melting — and that small minority in control of both Congress and the White House — there seems no project more urgent than persuading climate deniers to reconsider their views. So we reached out to Jerry Taylor, whose job as director of the Niskanen Center involves turning climate skeptics into climate activists.

      It might seem like an impossible transition, except that Taylor, who used to be staff director for the energy and environment task force at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and vice president of the Cato Institute, made it himself.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • No, President Trump Isn’t Ditching The First Amendment, But He Is Undermining Free Speech

      Did you hear the story this weekend about how Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus went on TV and said that the administration is “looking at” changing libel laws or amending the 1st Amendment of the Constitution? You probably did. It’s dumb and wrong and it makes no sense, but that doesn’t mean that the President isn’t already doing great harm to free speech. But first, let’s cover Priebus’s nonsensical comments.

    • Social media firms must face heavy fines over extremist content – MPs

      Social media companies are putting profit before safety and should face fines of tens of millions of pounds for failing to remove extremist and hate crime material promptly from their websites, MPs have said.

      The largest and richest technology firms are “shamefully far” from taking action to tackle illegal and dangerous content, according to a report by the Commons home affairs committee.

      The inquiry, launched last year following the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox by a far-right gunman, concludes that social media multinationals are more concerned with commercial risks than public protection. Swift action is taken to remove content found to infringe copyright rules, the MPs note, but a “laissez-faire” approach is adopted when it involves hateful or illegal content.

    • ORG response to Home Affairs Committee report on hate speech and Internet companies

      Open Rights Group has responded to an inquiry by the Commons Home Affairs committee, which calls for Internet companies to do more to take down hate speech and illegal content.

    • Automated censorship is not the answer to extremism
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Who Has Your Back in Brazil? Second Annual Report Shows Telecom Privacy Slowly Improving

      Today InternetLab, Brazil’s leading digital rights organization, released their 2017 report on local telecommunications companies, and how they treat their customer’s private information. Brazil’s “Quem defende seus dados?” (“Who Defends Your Data?”) seeks to encourage companies to compete for users by showing who will stand up for their customer privacy and data protection. That is why InternetLab, one of the leading independent research centers on Internet policy in Brazil, has evaluated key Brazilian telecommunications companies’ policies to assess their commitment to user privacy when the government comes calling for their users’ personal data.

      This report is part of a continent-wide initiative by South America’s leading digital rights groups to shine a light on Internet privacy practices in the region, based on EFF’s annual Who Has Your Back report. (Last week both Paraguay’s TEDIC and Chile’s Derechos Digitales published reports, and digital rights groups in Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina will be releasing similar studies soon.)

    • No Gathering Social Media Handles from Chinese Visitors

      EFF has joined a coalition effort, led by Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), to oppose the federal government’s proposal to scrutinize the social media activities of Chinese visitors. Specifically, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seeks to ask certain visa applicants from China to disclose the existence of their social media accounts and the identifiers or handles associated with those accounts.

      Last year, EFF opposed a similar CBP proposal concerning foreign visitors from countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). CBP finalized this proposal in December 2016.

    • NSA ends collection of digital communications about foreign targets
    • Privacy issues help end NSA spying programme

      This let it grab the phone calls and messages of US citizens which mentioned or otherwise involved people outside the US it was keeping an eye on.

    • The NSA’s 702 Shutdown Is Good News, But There Are A Whole Lot Of Caveats

      The surprising shutdown of the NSA’s email harvesting program — one that operated “upstream” and grabbed not just communications to and from surveillance targets, but also those “about” surveillance targets — is good news. Considering the NSA had done nothing but abuse this specific privilege, the shutdown is a welcome surprise. But it’s not great news, for a variety of reasons.

      First, the shutdown arrives on the heels of a yearlong denial of surveillance requests by the FISA court. This indicates the NSA was either still abusing its collection or the court no longer felt the program was Constitutional, at least not the way the NSA was running it. The shutdown seems to reflect the NSA’s inability or unwillingness to shift towards more targeted surveillance methods — ones that won’t sweep up lots of US persons’ communications inadvertently.

    • Facebook helped advertisers target teens who feel “worthless”

      Facebook’s secretive advertising practices became a little more public on Monday thanks to a leak out of the company’s Australian office. This 23-page document, discovered by The Australian, details in particular how Facebook executives promote advertising campaigns that exploit Facebook users’ emotional states—and how these are aimed at users as young as 14 years old.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Trump Targets Undocumented Families, Not Felons, in First 100 Days

      Jeff Sessions’s first visit to the U.S.-Mexico border as attorney general kicked off with a ride in a Black Hawk helicopter. It began just after sunrise at the Davis-Monthan airbase outside Tucson, Arizona, and ended in Nogales, where he delivered a blistering address in which he vowed to take the “fight” to the criminal elements that have turned border communities into “war zones.” The performance was repeated a week later in El Paso, Texas. This time around, Sessions was accompanied by John Kelly, the retired Marine general turned Department of Homeland Security secretary overseeing the nation’s top immigration enforcement agencies. “This is ground zero,” Sessions said. “This is the front lines and this is where we’re making our stand.”

      The display was typical of the Trump camp. From the moment he launched his campaign, Trump put a radically reimagined vision of immigration enforcement at the center of his agenda — one that emphasized a wall across the southern border and, at times, the removal of every undocumented immigrant in the country. The justification always had something to do with the tremendous, unprecedented threat emanating from the border and from immigrants. Now that Trump’s 100th day in office is nearly here, the nation has had a glimpse of the president’s response.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Verizon’s bizarre claim that the FCC isn’t killing net neutrality rules

      No major Internet service provider has done more to prevent implementation of net neutrality rules in the US than Verizon. After years of fighting the rules in courts of law and public opinion, Verizon is about to get what it wants as the Federal Communications Commission—now led by a former Verizon lawyer—prepares to eliminate the rules and the legal authority that allows them to be enforced.

    • Comcast Under Fire For Using Bullshit Fees To Covertly Raise Rates

      For several years now cable and broadband providers have been using hidden fees to covertly jack up their advertised rates. These fees, which utilize a rotating crop of bullshit names, help these companies falsely advertise one rate, then sock the consumer with a significantly higher-rate post sale (often when locked into a long-term contract). The practice also allows the company to falsely claim they’re not raising rates on consumers. They omit that they’re talking about the above the line rate being charged, implying that anything below the line (where real fees like taxes are levied) is outside of their control.

      For example, for several years now, CenturyLink has been charging its broadband customers an “internet cost recovery fee,” which the company’s website insists “helps defray costs associated with building and maintaining CenturyLink’s High-Speed Internet broadband network” (that’s what the full bill is supposed to be for). Comcast and other cable companies have similarly begun charging users a “broadcast TV fee,” which simply takes a portion of the costs of programming, and hides it below the line. The names differ but the goal’s the same: falsely advertise one rate, then charge consumers with a higher price.

  • DRM

    • Cory Doctorow dreams of a DRM-free utopia – so he’s suing the US government to get it

      Cory Doctorow fears for the future. Rising inequality, political instability and technological surveillance are merging to create a world, he says, in which “there are disasters – and those disasters are human-made”.

      Most sci-fi writers might use this insight to create a dystopia, but Doctorow, 45, has been creating something more optimistic. His new novel Walkaway shows how catastrophes can create “the first days of a better nation”.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Register of Copyrights Bill Passes the House, We’re Gearing Up to Fight it in the Senate

        The U.S. House of Representatives today voted 378 to 48 to pass a controversial bill that would make the Register of Copyrights a presidential appointee. H.R. 1695, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017, will effectively strip the Librarian of Congress of oversight over the Register, and is likely to increase industry influence over an already highly politicized office. The bill does nothing to improve the functioning of the Copyright Office, nor to fix any of the serious problems with copyright law, including its excessive and unpredictable penalties.

      • Homeowner’s House Burns Down, He Tries To Rebuild… But Facing Copyright Threats From Original Builder

        It seems that this spring really is the time for obscure copyright disputes with odd connections to the US’s weak-kneed compliance with the Berne Convention on copyright. We’ve already written a few times about the moral rights claim by the guy who created the giant “Wall St. Bull” statue, as well as a lawsuit against a Wall St. church for moving a 9/11 memorial — both of which reference VARA, the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990. VARA was passed as part of the US’s slapdash attempt to pretend it complied with the Berne Convention, a document that was created in 1886, and which the US took over 100 years to even pretend to comply with. VARA wasn’t the only such move in 1990. That very same year, Congress also passed the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act of 1990, or AWCPA.

      • Australian ISPs to block KickassTorrents

        TPG, Telstra, Optus and Foxtel as well as the companies’ subsidiaries, such as iiNet and Internode, will be obliged to block their customers from accessing BitTorrent site Kickass Torrents under a Federal Court injunction handed down today.

        The site-blocking injunction is the third successful application lodged by copyright holders under anti-piracy legislation passed in 2015.

        ARIA members Universal Music Australia, Warner Music Australia, Sony Music Entertainment Australia and J Albert & Son, along with APRA AMCOS, last year brought the application for injunction. The application has been coordinated with the aid of Music Rights Australia.

Links 1/5/2017: Linux 4.11, Linux Mint 18.2 Plans

Posted in News Roundup at 3:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Microsoft Demise

    • Yep, it’s dead: Microsoft phone revenue fell to $5m last quarter, from $1.4bn two years ago

      Today, as Microsoft published its earnings report for Q3 FY2017, it revealed that its “Phone revenue declined $730 million”. Based on its earlier financial disclosures, that means the company’s phone hardware revenue fell to just $5 million for the entire quarter ending March 31, 2017.

    • Microsoft hires former FTC commissioner [Ed: it helps to have connections to shield you from the law when you break it...]

      Former Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner Julie Brill is joining Microsoft to head its privacy lobbying department, the company announced Friday.

  • Server

    • Containers running Containers

      Some genuinely exciting news piqued my interest at this year’s DockerCon, that being the new Operating System (OS), LinuxKit, which was announced and is immediately on offer from the undisputed heavyweight container company, Docker.

      The behemoth has announced a flexible, extensible Operating System where system services run inside containers for portability. You might be surprised to hear that even includes the Docker runtime daemon itself.


      As the powerhouse that is Docker continues to grow arms and legs there’s no doubt whatsoever that these giant-sized leaps in the direction of solid progress will benefit users and other software projects alike.

    • Bare-metal Kubernetes

      A few years ago, I attended my first Linux conference, DevConf 2014. Many of the speakers talked about containers and how wonderful they were, and my interest was piqued, but I’ve never really had an opportunity to use them.

      As the sysadmin for a school, there just isn’t much need for the scalability provided for by containers. Our internal web site runs on a single VM, and the short downtimes required for system updates and upgrades are not a problem, especially if I plan them for the weekends. On the flip side, having something that we can use to spin up web services quickly isn’t a bad idea, so, over the last few months, I’ve been experimenting with Kubernetes.

    • Docker loves AtCore

      Today I’m going to talk about Docker. I may have been laying around a draft about my start on Docker world, but probably will be below some web dust by now in my drafts…

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Wants the Future of Automotive Software to Be Open Source

      Automotive companies are increasing the connectivity of their cars. In the process, they’re all developing their own automotive software. Linux thinks that its open source software, AGL, will unify the industry. Will the cars of the future speak Linux?

    • Linux Kernel 4.11 Officially Released, Adds Support for Intel Gemini Lake SoCs

      As expected, Linus Torvalds proudly announced today, April 30, 2017, the general availability of the final release of the Linux 4.11 kernel, a major update that adds numerous improvements and new features.

      Linux kernel 4.11 has been in development for the past two months, since very early March, when the first Release Candidate arrived for public testing. Eight RCs later, we’re now able to download and compile the final release of Linux 4.11 on our favorite GNU/Linux distributions and enjoy its new features.

    • Linux 4.11

      So after that extra week with an rc8, things were pretty calm, and I’m much happier releasing a final 4.11 now.

      We still had various smaller fixes the last week, but nothing that made me go “hmm..”. Shortlog appended for people who want to peruse the details, but it’s a mix all over, with about half being drivers (networking dominates, but some sound fixlets too), with the rest being soem arch updates, generic networking, and filesystem (nfs[d]) fixes. But it’s all really small, which is what I like to see the last week of the release cycle.

    • Linux 4.11 Kernel Officially Released

      Linus Torvalds has announced the Linux 4.11 stable kernel release as anticipated.

    • Rejoice, for Linux 4.11 has been delivered!

      Linus Torvalds has given the world version 4.11 of the Linux kernel.

      “So after that extra week with an rc8, things were pretty calm,” Torvalds posted to the Linux Kernel Mailing List, adding “I’m much happier releasing a final 4.11 now.

      So what do we get this time around? Among other things, Linux is now better at hot-swapping solid state disks and can now do journaling on RAID 4/5/6 volumes. While we’re talking storage, there’s also support for the OPAL self-encrypting disk drive standard.

    • The 4.11 kernel has been released
    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE PIM update now available for Zesty Zapus 17.04

        As explained in our call for testing post, we missed by a whisker getting updated PIM 16.12.3 (kontact, kmail, akregator, kgpg etc..) into Zesty for release day, and we believe it is important that our users have access to this significant update.

        Therefore packages for PIM 16.12.3 release are now available in the Kubuntu backports PPAs.

  • Distributions

    • [Video] Manjaro 17.0 KDE Edition – See What’s New

      Manjaro 17.0 KDE is the latest release of Manjaro Linux. This release brings new KDE Plasma 5.9.x as desktop environment include the most of KDE applications 16.12 and KDE Frameworks 5.32.

    • Make your own NES Classic Edition with Lakka 2.0 LibreELEC Linux distro and Raspberry Pi

      The NES Classic Edition is a very fun nostalgia-based gaming console. As someone who grew up with Nintendo, I knew I wanted the mini system as soon as it was announced. A family member was able to score me one on launch day, and I’ve been very happy with it. Unfortunately, other people have not been so lucky. Supply was very limited and it has since been discontinued. If you do not already have it, you are sort of out of luck without paying high prices on eBay or Craigslist.

      If you are only looking to replay the NES games of your youth, and you are OK with doing it in an unofficial way, emulation is another route. In fact, if you’d rather not play these games on your PC, you can instead use a Linux-based operating system and a Raspberry Pi (or other devices) hooked to a television. One such distro is Lakka, which just reached version 2.0. It is arguably better than an NES Classic Edition as it can also play games from other systems, such as SNES, Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64, PlayStation 1, and many more.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Crazy Awesome KDE Plasma Desktop Bluetooth Audio on openSUSE

        I often hear complains of Bluetooth on Linux and how it just doesn’t work well. I scratch my head as I just don’t understand the problem because I just cannot relate at all. Bluetooth in Linux has been a breeze! I don’t know if it is universally this easy with KDE Plasma or the way openSUSE packages it all together but of any Bluetooth enabled device I have ever used, KDE Plasma on openSUSE does it right.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu founder retakes the CEO throne, many employees gone

            Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonincal has once again returned to his positition of CEO, as Jane Silber, the previous CEO now heads to the Board of Directors; and big changes happen to the staff lineup as a result.

            In a blog bost by Sibler, she says, “I originally agreed to be CEO for 5 years and we’ve extended my tenure as CEO by a couple of years already. We’ve been preparing for a transition for some time by strengthening the executive leadership team and maturing every aspect of the company, and earlier this year Mark and I decided that now is the time to effect this transition.”

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Some Of The Features Coming To Linux Mint’s Cinnamon 3.4 Desktop

              In the latest monthly progress report on Linux Mint, some of the upcoming changes for the GNOME3-forked Cinnamon Desktop Environment were shared.

            • Monthly News – April 2017

              Many thanks to all the people who donated to us and who help to fund our project. Donations are down to about 60% of what they were last year, but they’re still quite high. In the first trimesters of 2015, 2016 and 2017 we respectively received $23k, $40k and $25k. Our development team has gotten bigger and our budget is being extended to include some administrators and designers. Other figures and metrics indicate we’re growing so this probably just reflects an exceptional year for donations in 2016.

            • Linux Mint Is Adopting LightDM as its Login Manager

              Linux Mint is adopting the LightDM display manager to handle and authenticate user sessions.

              Revealing plans in its latest monthly update, Mint says it will formally drop the MDM Display Manager (MDM) in favour of LightDM with Mint 18.2, release date for which is as-yet unknown.

              The popular Ubuntu-based Linux distribution mooted a possible switch earlier this year, noting that it had a key feature MDM lacks (guest sessions), and has become something of a standard across distributions.

            • Linux Mint 13 support ends, LMDE to get MATE 1.18 soon, big changes heading to Cinnamon

              The news from the Linux Mint team was quite interesting this week. First up, Linux Mint 13 has officially hit EOL (end of life), so you really do need to upgrade.

              LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) is set to get the MATE desktop version 1.18 “this week” and they have ported mintMenu over to GTK3, since the rest of MATE is now using GTK3 too it makes sense.

            • Linux Mint 18.2 to Be Dubbed “Sonya,” Will Come with Cinnamon 3.4, LightDM

              Today being the last day of April, Linux Mint leader Clement Lefebvre published the monthly newsletter of the project to inform the community about what’s coming for the popular, Ubuntu-based distribution in May.

              The developer starts by warning those who still use the Linux Mint 13 “Maya” release that it reached end of life as it was based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin), which also reached end of life on April 28, 2017. Therefore, Linux Mint 13 will no longer receive security updates so you must upgrade to a newer release.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • FLOSS Activities April 2017
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Now Supported By Coreboot

    For those with a first-generation Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop, it’s now supported by mainline Coreboot.

  • Haiku OS Is Stepping Closer To Its Beta

    The open-source Haiku operating system still maintaining compatibility with BeOS is nearing its first beta milestone.

    Haiku OS developers have been working on network improvements, a variety of driver fixes, user-interface modifications, and more.

  • Events

    • Flisol Panama 2017

      Flisol this year was organized by Jose Reyes and Luis Manuel part of the new organization force in Panama, it was great to see all new generation of Fedora Panama members organizing events. While those are the faces at the events there are others working with them which make the team work.

      For a while my activity has been watching new people organizing, and doing the events, which is a really good thing, we need to refresh and recharge, plus we need to see new people in charge, it has been fun looking at Abdel playing the role of the elderly of the group couching and advising the young new generation of Fedora and Free Software fellows.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Nightly marks Legacy Add-ons

        The most recent version of Firefox Nightly, the browser’s cutting edge version, highlights the add-ons that are not WebExtensions with the Legacy tag.

        One of the concerns that Firefox users who run one or multiple add-ons in the browser have currently is whether their add-ons will make the cut when Firefox 57 comes along.

  • BSD

    • TrueOS 2017-02-22

      TrueOS, which was formerly named PC-BSD, is a FreeBSD-based operating system. TrueOS is a rolling release platform which is based on FreeBSD’s “CURRENT” branch, providing TrueOS with the latest drivers and features from FreeBSD. Apart from the name change, TrueOS has deviated from the old PC-BSD project in a number of ways. The system installer is now more streamlined (and I will touch on that later) and TrueOS is a rolling release platform while PC-BSD defaulted to point releases. Another change is PC-BSD used to allow the user to customize which software was installed at boot time, including the desktop environment. The TrueOS project now selects a minimal amount of software for the user and defaults to using the Lumina desktop environment.

      Not everything has changed. TrueOS still features many of the same utilities PC-BSD offered, including encrypted removable media, like USB thumb drives, as well as ZFS boot environments. The project, under the new name, still supplies two editions we can download: a Desktop edition and a Server edition. Both editions run on 64-bit x86 computers exclusively. I will be focusing on TrueOS’s Desktop offering in this review. The Desktop edition is available through a 2.3GB download. Unlike most Linux distributions, TrueOS offers different downloads depending on whether we intend to copy the installation image to USB or DVD media.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • IU should use open-source textbooks

        The end of the semester brings a lot of reminders to students: Grades are coming, everyone has to pack for home and students have to sell back overpriced textbooks for a fraction of what they paid.

        The last one always feels like a kick in the gut.

        In this generation, the cost of college is astronomical. There are plenty of ways that the government and your high school can help you get aid, but sometimes this doesn’t cover the cost of textbooks.

  • Programming/Development

    • Easiest package registration
    • git-pbuilder 1.48

      Not clear that anyone gets this from my web site instead of just using the version included in git-buildpackage, but just in case, this release syncs up the version with patches already applied to git-buildpackage (thank you, Guido!).


  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Water Protectors from Polluted Communities Lead People’s Climate March

      Thousands of people will gather in Washington, D.C., Saturday for a march to demand action on climate change and rejecting the Trump administration’s promise to overturn or scale back the federal efforts on climate. The People’s Climate March comes one day after President Donald Trump announced yet another executive giveaway to the fossil fuel industry, an order that will begin a legally contentious attempt to cancel President Barack Obama’s bans on offshore drilling in the Arctic and off the Atlantic coast. The order could eventually open for drilling additional new waters in the Gulf of Mexico, or even in the Pacific, where hardly any new drilling has taken place since a massive spill coated beaches in the 1960s and helped launch the environmental movement.

    • On 3-year anniversary, change is slow for Flint [iophk: "emergency manager == unelected, political appointee"]

      Ananich said one of his top priorities on the policy front would be to get rid of the emergency-manager law.

    • 3 Years After Lead Crisis, Flint Residents Still Need Water Filters

      Flint, Mich., switched drinking water sources 3 years ago. It’ll be 3 more years before the city can replace 18,000 underground water pipes. Residents must use filters to reduce lead exposure.

    • Treating river water would not have prevented Flint crisis, DEQ official says

      He argued that raw Flint River water is not actually as corrosive a source as has been portrayed, but that in-system factors like the main breaks and fluctuations of plant operation as Flint workers grappled with early indications of water quality issues elevated the corrosivity in treated water, thus compounding a “complicated puzzle” of factors affecting the water in Flint’s system.

  • Security

    • Security fail is people

      The other day I ran across someone trying to keep their locker secured by using a combination lock. As you can see in the picture, the lock is on the handle of the locker, not on the loop that actually locks the door. When I saw this I had a good chuckle, took a picture, and put out a snarky tweet. I then started to think about this quite a bit. Is this the user’s fault or is this bad design? I’m going to blame bad design on this one. It’s easy to blame users, we do it often, but I think in most instances, the problem is the design, not the user. If nothing is ever our fault, we will never improve anything. I suspect this is part of the problem we see across the cybersecurity universe.

    • Free software activities in April 2017

      Whilst anyone can inspect the source code of free software for malicious flaws, most software is distributed pre-compiled to end users.

      The motivation behind the Reproducible Builds effort is to permit verification that no flaws have been introduced — either maliciously or accidentally — during this compilation process by promising identical results are always generated from a given source, thus allowing multiple third-parties to come to a consensus on whether a build was compromised.

    • Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) End of Life reached on April 28, 2017

      This is a follow-up to the End of Life warning sent last month to confirm that as of today (April 28, 2017), Ubuntu 12.04 is no longer generally supported. No more package updates will be accepted to the 12.04 primary archive, and it will be copied for archival to old-releases.ubuntu.com in the coming weeks.

    • OpenSSH Removes SSHv1 Support

      Dropping support for SSHv1 and associated ciphers that were either suspected to or known to be broken has been planned for several releases, and has been eagerly anticipated by many in the OpenBSD camp.

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • The March to Save the Planet

      Saturday’s Peoples Climate March brought together activists from indigenous resistance groups to Black Lives Matter to the Boy Scouts, all demanding: Act now.

    • Poisoning the River of Grass

      Construction of a new natural gas project in Florida, the Sabal Trail pipeline, is nearing completion as the Trump administration threatens to eliminate federal Everglades restoration and water protection programs. The pipeline will transfer natural gas from a pipeline hub in Alabama to a hub in Central Florida. From there another pipeline, the Southeast Connection, scheduled to finish construction in 2019, will bring the gas to new power plants in South Florida. The Everglades region will become the end of the line for gas extracted via hydraulic fracturing as far north as Pennsylvania.

      “In our time of need she hid us, she provided us shelter, she provided us food, and she protected us,” said Betty Osceola, a member of the Miccosukee tribe, referring to the Everglades. “Now it’s our turn to protect her. That’s why our tribe does what we do.”

    • Trump’s Next Most Dangerous Possibility

      With the wide path of destruction that Donald Trump has been cutting — in which the damage is affecting matters ranging from principles of nondiscrimination to ethical integrity of government officials to reliable health care for Americans — it is easy to lose sight of what ultimately would be the most consequential destruction of all: the damage to a habitable planet.

  • Finance

    • Cities Seek Deliverance From the E-Commerce Boom

      Pick any other major city or metropolitan area in the U.S., and the situation’s probably the same: a massive surge in deliveries to residential dwellings, one that’s outstripping deliveries to commercial establishments and creating a traffic nightmare.


      While truck traffic currently represents about 7 percent of urban traffic in American cities, it bears a disproportionate congestion cost of $28 billion, or about 17 percent of the total U.S. congestion costs, in wasted hours and gas. Cities, struggling to keep up with the deluge of delivery drivers, are seeing their curb space and streets overtaken by double-parked vehicles, to say nothing of the bonus pollution and roadwear produced thanks to a surfeit of Amazon Prime orders.

    • The examples that show May is not “getting on with the job” on Brexit

      The UK prime minister Theresa May often uses the phrase “getting on with the job” in respect of her government’s approach to Brexit.

      This in turn is part of her supposed “strong and stable” leadership.

      Rhetoric, of course, is one thing.

      But there are at least three ways in which May’s government has not got on with the job with Brexit and wasted precious time instead.

    • The Gospel According To May

      I have seen nobody make the obvious rejoinder. Under the Tories the wealthiest 1% have the greatest percentage of national income in modern political history. That is why they pay more tax. But due to tax avoidance, it remains the case that the wealthiest pay a lower percentage of their income in tax than any other group. There is no chance that this obvious reply will be given to Theresa May by an interviewer, or that Adam Boulton will start proclaiming it on the airwaves.

    • ‘Quiet No More’: Hundreds of Thousands Ready to Strike on May Day

      Hundreds of thousands of immigrants and allies are expected to strike and protest on Monday, taking part in what organizers are hoping will be the largest national strike since the May Day demonstrations of 2006.

      “I definitely think this is going to be one of the biggest May Day marches,” Kent Wong, executive director of the UCLA Labor Center, told The Nation, which noted that “[t]he turbulent Trump era and draconian attacks on immigrant communities all but guarantee a bigger and more passionate turnout than usual this year.”

    • Brazil Paralyzed by Nationwide Strike, Driven by a Familiar Global Dynamic of Elite Corruption and Impunity

      Just over one year ago, Brazil’s elected president, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached — ostensibly due to budgetary lawbreaking — and replaced with her centrist vice president, Michel Temer. Since then, virtually every aspect of the nation’s political and economic crisis — especially corruption — has worsened.

      Temer’s approval ratings have collapsed to single digits. His closest political allies — the same officials who engineered Dilma’s impeachment and installed him in the presidency — recently became the official targets of a sprawling criminal investigation. The president himself has been implicated by new revelations, saved only by the legal immunity he enjoys. It’s almost impossible to imagine a presidency imploding more completely and rapidly than the unelected one imposed by elites on the Brazilian population in the wake of Dilma’s impeachment.

    • Marissa Mayer won’t be running Yahoo once Verizon deal closes

      But if Mayer is officially done with Yahoo, she won’t be leaving empty handed. Mayer will walk away with $186 million.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Mark Zuckerberg surprises Ohio family with impromptu dinner visit

      The Facebook founder has made it his mission to visit all 50 states this year, a statesmanlike-tour that some have interpreted as evidence he is planning a presidential run.

    • Donald Trump slams ‘archaic’ US constitution that is ‘really bad’ for the country

      Donald Trump has blamed the US constitution for the problems he has encountered during his first 100 days in office.

      In an interview with Fox News to mark the milestone, the Republican called the system of checks and balances on power “archaic”.

      “It’s a very rough system,” he said. “It’s an archaic system … It’s really a bad thing for the country.”

    • Donald Trump invites controversial Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to White House

      Mr Duterte’s spokesman says the US President called and expressed Washington’s commitment to their treaty alliance and his interest in developing “a warm, working relationship” with Mr Duterte.

    • Trump did not clear Duterte invitation with State Department: report

      “By essentially endorsing Duterte’s murderous war on drugs, Trump is now morally complicit in future killings,” John Sifton of Human Rights Watch told the Times.

    • Trump’s ‘Very Friendly’ Talk With Duterte Stuns Aides and Critics Alike

      Now, the administration is bracing for an avalanche of criticism from human rights groups. Two senior officials said they expected the State Department and the National Security Council, both of which were caught off guard by the invitation, to raise objections internally.

    • 100 Days of Media Hoping for a New, Improved Trump

      Nearly 100 days into the Trump presidency, corporate media are still struggling to reckon with the man that occupies the White House. An administration so proudly reckless in its actions and so brazenly detached from the truth has routinely overwhelmed political reporters whose accountability muscles have atrophied. And from cable news panels to newspaper op-ed pages, Trump’s aberrant behavior has so traumatized the media establishment that it often seems to operate in a state of collective shock.

      This disconnect with the White House, however, presents a fundamental problem for elite pundits. Their “serious” stature and editorial relevance—their livelihoods, in other words—rest upon their proximity to and influence on power. Normalizing and currying favor with power—no matter how abnormal or extreme—is an occupational hazard.

    • Slandering Populism: a Chilling Media Habit

      I imagine I’m not the only political and media observer sickened by the dominant (“mainstream”) corporate media’s habitual reference to xenophobic, right-wing, white-nationalist, and neo-fascist politicians like Donald Trump, Geert Wilders, Nigel Farage, and Marine Le Pen as “populists.” Populism properly understood is about popular and democratic opposition to the rule of the money power – to the reign of concentrated wealth. It emerged from radical farmers’ fight for social and economic justice and democracy against the plutocracy of the nation’s Robber Baron capitalists during the late 19th century.

    • The Neoliberal or the Fascist? What Should French Progressives Do?

      Between two evils, which one should the Left choose? The answer seems deceivingly straightforward: how could a left-leaning voter choose the Front National? But Emmanuel Macron’s arrogance and incompetence are not helpful. On Tuesday, he went on television to request no less than a “vote of adhesion” against Le Pen.

      Despite being the candidate of the political and economic establishment, the former banker is not surfing a wave of popular support. An Opinionway poll carried out after Sunday’s vote shows that 54% of people who cast their vote for Macron, voted tactically. The truth is that the former economy minister has no solid constituency backing him, and no real popularity.

    • Mélenchon, Hero to France’s Far-Left, Will Not Vote for Le Pen, But Won’t Endorse Macron

      The leader of a far-left movement who won nearly 20 percent of the vote in the first round of France’s presidential election, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, told his seven million voters in a YouTube address on Friday that he would not tell them how to vote in the final-round run-off next weekend.

      As for himself, Mélenchon said that he would cast a ballot, and that it would not be for Marine Le Pen, the candidate of the far-right National Front, who courted his voters in a video of her own on Friday. But Mélenchon also refused to say, like the leaders of other parties across the political spectrum — and celebrities including the French soccer legend Zinedine Zidane — that he would vote for Le Pen’s centrist rival, the former banker Emmanuel Macron, to stop the far-right from gaining power.

    • Why I Fear and Loathe Trump Even More Now Than On Election Day

      Long before Hillary Clinton was parachuted into New York State to become its Senator, I was certain that she was a disaster waiting to happen. Nothing that has happened in the years since has disabused me of that belief. Now that the Democratic Party has taken up her reckless anti-Russia campaign with a degree of enthusiasm that only sore losers in denial can muster, I am more convinced than ever that I was right.

      For a variety of reasons that I have discussed many times on this site and elsewhere and that I will not go back over now, I opposed lesser evil voting in the 2016 presidential contest. I am as confident now as I ever was that this was the right thing to do. In elections for President, it almost always is.

      Nevertheless, I had no doubt that of the two god-awful choices voters faced, Trump was worse. I never gave this much thought, however, because it seemed inconceivable that any Democrat, even one with a proven record of failing at everything she does, could lose to such a buffoon.

      The conventional wisdom has it that Hillary is a “pragmatist,” who has been around the block a dozen times and who knows how to get things done. I, along with many others who had been paying attention, knew better. I knew that as a First Lady she was no prize, that she had done a lackluster job as a Senator, and that, as Barack Obama’s first term Secretary of State, she brought chaos, destruction, misery and death to every geopolitically significant project the two of them undertook.

    • Comparing Tweeting Trump and Silent Cal

      No wonder Trump admires Vladimir Putin so much: They are the Midas and Ali Baba of autocracy. But conservatives they are not, unless to conservatives greed has become the coin of the realm.

      One more thing: President Trump doesn’t sleep much at night, reportedly getting about five hours of shut-eye (obviously, the cause is not a guilty conscience). President Coolidge loved to sleep, as much as twelve hours at a time. When he awoke from a White House nap he often would ask his butler, “Is the country still there?”

      He meant it as a joke. Today, the question isn’t funny.

    • Government Has Allowed Corporations to Be More Powerful Than the State

      The corporation has become more powerful than the state because the state has allowed it to happen. Over decades, by both Democrats and Republicans, unaccountability has become normalised, barely opposed by politicians or the media class. In Disaster Capitalism, I investigate the role of Western and indigenous private contractors in Afghanistan since 2001. They have left a trail of destruction and killed countless civilians. Barely anybody has been held to account, fuelling the insurgency still engulfing the country. President Trump may widen the war there but his chances of success are negligible.

    • British PM May sees lead over Labour fall by 10 points in a week: YouGov

      Britain’s governing Conservative party has seen its lead narrow considerably over the last week, a poll by YouGov showed on Sunday, the third poll of the weekend to show the party’s advantage over the opposition shrink.

      British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative party was set to garner 44 percent of the vote, the poll for the Sunday Times showed, still a commanding 13 point lead over Labour, who polled at 31 percent.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • The NSA Says It Is Ending One of Its Most Controversial Spying Practices, But It Could Be Resurrected if Congress Doesn’t Act Now

      The NSA indicated today that it will halt one of its most controversial spying practices, related to its surveillance of virtually all text-based communications entering or exiting the United States. If true, this is a significant step forward in the fight to restrict the NSA’s wildly expansive spying powers. But, unless Congress codifies this restriction, there is a risk that this practice will be resumed. Moreover, the NSA’s change still leaves in place a warrantless surveillance regime that sweeps up countless Americans and must be reformed.

    • No, the NSA Has NOT Stopped Spying On Americans’ Emails

      Binney responded:

      Short answer, NO.

      This is a farce given the bulk continuous domestic data collection and storage from the Upstream programs: Fairview, Stormbrew and Blarney. [Here’s background on Fairview/Stormbrew/Blarney.]

      This FAA 702 [Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] has been a charade from the beginning. [Specifically, the NSA is spying on all Americans under Executive Order 12333, and only talking about Section 702 to confuse people as to what they’re doing.]

      It was a way to make people/congress/judiciary think that they were trying to conform to the law.

      And, by spreading false information, which our useless MSM fail to challenge, it’s a way of subverting our republic – all done in secret with only a few people in the know of what really is going on.

      Meanwhile in the background, NSA through program “Muscular” was unilaterally tapping the fiber lines between Google and Yahoo and others data centers; so that when they backed up their data between centers, NSA got it all and the companies did not even know that was happening.

      Absolutely nothing has changed.

    • Henrietta Lacks’ Story Is a Powerful Lesson That Patients Deserve Full Control of Their Genetic Data

      In 1951, doctors harvested cells from Henrietta Lacks while she was receiving treatment for cervical cancer and discovered that her cells had an amazing capacity to reproduce. “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” which aired last weekend on HBO and is based on the book of the same name, tells the dramatic story of how scientists used the “HeLa” cells in research for decades without the knowledge of her family.

      Because of the book and film, the story of the Lacks family’s fight to understand and influence how Henrietta’s cells are used is finally getting the attention it deserves. But echoes of what she went through exist to this day, as I learned when navigating my own family history of cancer.

    • Access Now and EFF Condemn the Arrest of Tor Node Operator Dmitry Bogatov in Russia

      On April 6, Russian math instructor Dmitry Bogatov was arrested in Moscow and charged with “preparing to organize mass disorder” and making “public calls for terrorist activity” due to a gross misunderstanding about the operation of the Tor internet anonymization service. Bogatov is accused of authoring a series of online posts published to the sysadmins.ru discussion platform on March 29 under the username “Ayrat Bashirov.” One post called for protesters to attend an unsanctioned, anonymously organized demonstration on April 2 with “rags, bottles, gas, turpentine, styrofoam, and acetone.” Another post linked to the music video for Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” described by investigators as “a video recording with insubordination to the legal demands of the police, and mass disorder.”

    • Adobe Puts an End to Indefinite Gag Order

      This is important work by Adobe. Gag orders almost always violate the First Amendment; they prevent service providers from notifying users that the government is requesting their sensitive data and from being transparent about surveillance in general. And yet, providers receive indefinite gags with frustrating frequency. In most contexts, the government must do little to justify these gags and instead relies on rote invocations of national security and the sanctity of investigations.

    • How to get Google Assistant on your Windows, Mac, or Linux Machine [Ed: Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft now compete over whose bugging devices will harvest the most data, cross-platform too]

      Google Assistant is Google’s answer to Amazon’s Alexa smart home assistant. Initially only available with limited functionality in the Google Allo application, Google Assistant later rolled out with the Google Home and Pixel smartphones to bring the full power of Google’s assistant to consumers.

    • Socially Online — Vodafone partners with SaveLIFE Foundation; Google’s travel app ‘Trips’ gets new features [Ed: Bugging devices are "features focused on safety and help during driving"]
    • Google Assistant Latest Update: AI Chatbot SDK Helps Anyone Discover Creativity From Within [Ed: Google bugs that listen to us 24/7 is "Discover Creativity From Within"]
    • EFA calls for ‘universal’ metadata warrants

      EFA noted AFP commissioner Andrew Colvin’s assertion that “the police officers investigating the leak did not realise they were required to obtain a warrant to access the journalist’s metadata” but described the officers’ lack of awareness of that requirement as “inexcusable.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • ‘Jihadists were going to burn it all’: the amazing story of Timbuktu’s book smugglers

      In 2012, tens of thousands of artefacts from the golden age of Timbuktu were at risk in Mali’s civil war. This exclusive extract describes the race to save them from the flames – and how lethal attacks could still threaten the town’s treasures.

    • Sean Mercer: Rhys Jones killer ‘turned to Islam for easier life’ [iophk: "prisons as incubators"]

      “So he did what most other people do in the tough jails, he converted to Islam.

      “Then the trouble went away because it’s the Muslims who run the big Category A jails.”

    • Taser Will Use Police Body Camera Videos “to Anticipate Criminal Activity”
    • Western democracy needs a new narrative

      Those of us who have worked with scenarios know that one of the reasons why they can create such a powerful platform for dialogue and transformation is that they are stories. We experience stories through our imaginations, not just through our logical minds, so we partly help create them as we listen to them. We are in them. We watch the imaginary movie and supply details that may not have been in the original. We respond emotionally to a fiction just as we do to a fact-based story. And our ideals of a better future are embedded in stories that embody our values.

      The idea of democracy is in crisis. Western democracies themselves are not appreciably weaker or poorer, but their voters are discontent and express that anger by leaning towards candidates whose style, at least, seems to challenge the Enlightenment ideals on which democracy was founded. “Come let us reason together” seems a very weak prologue to action these days.

    • David Ignatius’ 15 Years of Running Spin for Saudi Regime

      Last week, in “A Young Prince Is Reimagining Saudi Arabia. Can He Make His Vision Come True?,” Washington Post foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius (4/20/17) wrote what read like a press release for the Saudi regime. What’s more, he’s written the same article several times before. For almost 15 years, Ignatius has been breathlessly updating US readers on the token, meaningless public relations gestures that the Saudi regime—and, by extension, Ignatius—refer to as “reforms.”

      Ignatius columns on Saudi Arabia break down roughly into two groups: straight reporting mixed with spin and concern trolling, and outright press releases documenting the dictatorship’s spectacular reforms.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Craig Aaron and Malkia Cyril on Net Neutrality, Kyle Wiens on Copyright Overreaching

      This week on CounterSpin: FCC chair Ajit Pai has announced his plans to gut net neutrality; the former Verizon lawyer and Jeff Sessions staffer declared his intentions at a private event in DC. So the victory activists fought for—having broadband recognized as a public utility like the telephone, and not some sort of corporate gift—is in jeopardy. What does this mean for all of us who rely on an open internet, and in particular for communities of color, for whom the web’s relatively even playing field is crucial for communication and organizing? We’ve addressed this issue many times on the show. We’ll do a backgrounder on how we got here and what’s at stake with two of the leaders of the fight, Craig Aaron president of Free Press and Malkia Cyril, executive director of the Center for Media Justice.

    • Tell FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: Startups Depend on Net Neutrality

      Startups, entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators, and incubators are signing onto a letter urging Trump’s FCC Chairman Ajit Pai not to undermine the FCC’s net neutrality rules.

    • EFF and Allies Write to Congress: FCC Chairman Pai’s Network Neutrality Plan Unworkable

      So far, media outlets have reported that Chairman Pai intends to surrender the legal authority the FCC holds over cable and telephone companies. All the FCC apparently wants in exchange is empty promises from the industry to not end Internet freedom while relying on the Federal Trade Commission to protect users. Our letter to Congress details why that plan, as reported, will fail to protect an open Internet and how placing all of their eggs in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) basket invites the industry to game the system and avoiding any meaningful accountability.

    • The FCC Wants to Eliminate Net Neutrality Protections. We Can’t Let That Happen.

      But Pai can’t reverse the will of millions of Internet users without giving us a chance to weigh in – directly and through our representatives. The FCC’s net neutrality rules are crucial for the Internet – they help make sure that ISPs run their networks in ways that are fair to users and innovators alike. Without those protections, ISPs can abuse their position as gatekeepers to the broader Internet to further cement their monopolies, hurting Internet users, content providers, nonprofits and small businesses in the process. We don’t need to look back very far to see the kind of harmful practices ISPs can get up to without effective oversight. We can’t let the FCC trade the desperately-needed rules of road we fought so hard to put in place for empty promises. It’s time to tell Congress: Don’t let the FCC surrender the Internet!

    • FCC Announces Plan to Abandon Net Neutrality and ISP Privacy

      Rolling back the FCC’s Open Internet Order would mean losing the only rules that meaningfully prevent ISPs from taking advantage of their control over your Internet connection to shape your Internet experience and the market for services and devices that rely on that Internet connection. Since most Americans have only one option for broadband service, ISPs would have unchecked power to extract tolls from you and from businesses that wish to reach you. While the big incumbents like Facebook and Netflix might be able to pay those tolls, the next Facebook or Netflix would have a very hard time competing. Investors hesitate to fund startups that can be held for ransom by someone like an ISP. And the situation is even more dire for nonprofits like schools, libraries, educational sites, and political groups.

  • DRM

    • Real books are back. E-book sales plunge nearly 20%

      “E-readers, which was once a promising category, saw its sales peak in 2011. Its success was short-lived, as it spiraled downwards within a year with the entry of tablets,” Euromonitor said in a research note.

      According to the Pew Research Center, 65% of Americans reported reading a printed book in the past year, compared to only 28% who read an e-book.

      A quarter of the population hadn’t read a book of any kind, whether in print, electronic or audio form.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Helsinki City Museum opens photo archives to the public [iophk: "plagued with JS but a big step in the right direction, in principle"]

        Helsinki City Museum has made over 45,000 photos from the city dating back to the 1840s available for browsing and free credited use via a new online service.

      • Another Lawsuit Tries To Force An ISP Into Being A Copyright Cop

        The issue in both cases is whether and when a home broadband provider should cut off a customer’s Internet service when someone using that service is accused of copyright infringement. The legal hook for this controversy is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Section 512, which protects ISPs and other Internet intermediaries against the risk of massive copyright penalties stemming from a customer’s copyright infringement. But to get the protection of Section 512, an ISP has to terminate “subscribers and account holders … who are repeat infringers” in “appropriate circumstances.”

      • EFF Asks Appeals Court to Break Through Five-Year Logjam in Megaupload Case

        The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), on behalf of its client Kyle Goodwin, is asking a federal appeals court to break through the five-year logjam in the Megaupload.com case, and help lawful users who are still waiting for the return of their photos, videos, and other personal files after the government seized Megaupload’s servers.

        Megaupload was a popular cloud-storage site when the FBI shut it down in January of 2012 looking for evidence of copyright infringement. Agents seized all of Megaupload’s assets during their search, locking out customers from their accounts. Goodwin, a sports videographer, lost access to video files containing months of his professional work.

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