EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Links 19/10/2016: Canonical Livepatch Service, Plasma Plans

Posted in News Roundup at 7:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux-Based Photographic Workflow on Android with Termux

    The title is a bit of a mouthful, but the basic idea is pretty simple; Instead of schlepping around a Linux machine, you can transform an Android device into a lightweight Linux-based platform for organizing, processing, and backing up photos and RAW files when you are on the move. The key ingredient of this solution is the Termux, a small open source app that combines a terminal emulator and a lightweight Linux environment. The app comes with its own software repository that has all the tools you need to set up a simplified photographic workflow. The Linux Photography book explains exactly how to can go about it, but here are a few pointers to get started.

  • Server

    • Demand compels container management vendor Rancher to create partner program
    • Rancher Labs Expands Container-Management Reach With New Partner Program
    • Rancher Labs Introduces Global Partner Network
    • Rancher Labs Launches Partner Program Around Open Source Container Management
    • WTF is a container?

      You can’t go to a developer conference today and not hear about software containers: Docker, Kubernetes, Mesos and a bunch of other names with a nautical ring to them. Microsoft, Google, Amazon and everybody else seems to have jumped on this bandwagon in the last year or so, but why is everybody so excited about this stuff?

      To understand why containers are such a big deal, let’s think about physical containers for a moment. The modern shipping industry only works as well as it does because we have standardized on a small set of shipping container sizes. Before the advent of this standard, shipping anything in bulk was a complicated, laborious process. Imagine what a hassle it would be to move some open pallet with smartphones off a ship and onto a truck, for example. Instead of ships that specialize in bringing smartphones from Asia, we can just put them all into containers and know that those will fit on every container ship.

    • Solving Enterprise Monitoring Issues with Prometheus

      Chicago-based ShuttleCloud helps developers import user contacts and email data into their applications through standard API requests. As the venture-backed startup began to acquire more customers, they needed a way to scale system monitoring to meet the terms of their service-level agreements (SLAs). They turned to Prometheus, the open source systems monitoring and alerting toolkit originally built at SoundCloud, which is now a project at the Cloud-Native Computing Foundation.

      In advance of Prometheus Day, to be held Nov. 8-9 in Seattle, we talked to Ignacio Carretero, a ShuttleCloud software engineer, about why they chose Prometheus as their monitoring tool and what advice they would give to other small businesses seeking a similar solution.

    • VMware Embraces Kubernetes in Container Push

      VMware is the latest IT vendor to support Kubernetes, the open-source container management system that Google developed.
      VMware announced on Oct. 18 at its VMworld 2016 Europe event that it is now supporting the Kubernetes container management system on the VMware Photon platform.

      Kubernetes is an open-source project that was developed by Google and today benefits from the contributions of a diverse community, including Red Hat and CoreOS. The Kubernetes project became part of the Linux Foundation’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in July 2015. The Kubernetes 1.4 release debuted on Sept. 26 with added security features.

      “We have now built a Kubernetes-as-a-service capability into Photon Platform,” Jared Rosoff, chief technologist for cloud native apps at VMware, told eWEEK.

    • CoreOS Expands Kubernetes Control With Redspread Acquisition

      The purchase of container management vendor Redspread is the container startup’s second acquisition.
      CoreOS on Oct. 17 announced the acquisition of privately held container management vendor Redspread. Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.

      Redspread got its start in the Y Combinator cyber accelerator for technology startups and was officially launched in March. Coincidentally, CoreOS was also originally part of Y Combinator, graduating in 2013. To date, CoreOS has raised $48 million in funding to help fuel its container efforts. The acquisition of Redspread is the second acquisition by CoreOS and comes more than two years after CoreOS’ acquisition of quay.io in 2014.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Plasma 5.9 Desktop Launches January 31, 2017, Next LTS Arrives August 2018

        After announcing earlier today, October 18, 2016, the release of the second maintenance update to the KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS desktop environment, KDE published the release schedule for the upcoming major versions of the project.

      • KDevelop 5.0.2 Open-Source IDE Adds Many UI Improvements, 32-bit Windows Build

        The open-source, cross-platform and free integrated development environment (IDE) software KDevelop has been updated the other day, October 17, 2016, to version 5.0.2.

      • Plasma’s road ahead

        On Monday, KDE’s Plasma team held its traditional kickoff meeting for the new development cycle. We took this opportunity to also look and plan ahead a bit further into the future. In what areas are we lacking, where do we want or need to improve? Where do we want to take Plasma in the next two years?

        Our general direction points towards professional use-cases. We want Plasma to be a solid tool, a reliable work-horse that gets out of the way, allowing to get the job done quickly and elegantly. We want it to be faster and of better quality than the competition.

      • Global Menu Support Is Coming Back to KDE Plasma 5
      • KDE Plasma Looking At Global Menu, Wayland & Mobile For 2017

        KDE Plasma developers talked this week about their plans for the new development cycle and what they want the desktop to look like moving into 2017 and further ahead into 2018.

      • KDE Plasma 5 Desktop to Become a Solid and Reliable Workhorse That Stands Out

        On October 18, 2016, long time KDE software developer Sebastian Kügler published an in-depth story about what’s coming to the KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment in the next couple of years.

        It appears that KDE’s Plasma team had their traditional kickoff meeting on Monday, October 17, to discuss the upcoming features of the next KDE Plasma 5 release, which will be versioned 5.9 and whose release schedule has been already published, as reported earlier right here on this space.

        However, the Plasma team also discussed new ways to improve the quality of the popular desktop environment, as well as make it faster, more stable and reliable than existing versions. Their aim is to bring KDE Plasma to an unprecedented level of quality that will blow the competition away.

        “Our general direction points towards professional use-cases. We want Plasma to be a solid tool, a reliable work-horse that gets out of the way, allowing to get the job done quickly and elegantly. We want it to be faster and of better quality than the competition,” said Sebastian Kügler in the blog announcement.

      • Twenty and counting: KDE marks another milestone

        Twenty years ago, a German software developer named Matthias Ettrich kicked off a project to provide Linux users with all the desktop functionality that Windows users had at the time.

        The detailed email inviting participation was sent by Ettrich on 14 October 1996. He outlined his ideas and goals and attracted plenty of interest. The K Desktop Environment project was on its way.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GStreamer Conference 2016 Videos, Vulkan Support Was Among The Talks

        The annual GStreamer Conference took place last week in Berlin alongside the Linux Foundation’s Embedded Linux Conference Europe. The videos from this multimedia open-source conference are now available.

        The folks from Ubicast have once again done a nice job recording all of the presentations from this GStreamer event. Conference talks ranged from the “stage of the union” to the state of VA-API with GStreamer, GStreamer Video Editing, dynamic pipelines, Vulkan, and more.

        When it comes to Vulkan support in GStreamer, there is work underway on vulkansink and vulkanupload elements, basic Vulkan support modeled on GStreamer’s libgstgl API, and more, but much more work is needed before it will be at the level of OpenGL support.

  • Distributions

    • Solus Enables OpenGL 4.5 for Intel Broadwell, MATE Edition Coming Along Nicely

      It’s been a great week for users of the unique and independent Solus operating system, and while you’re waiting impatiently for the Solus 1.2.1 release, we’d like to tell you a little bit about what landed in Solus during the past week.

    • Solus 1.2.1 Officially Released, First MATE Edition Now Available for Download

      Today, October 19, 2016, Softpedia was informed by the Solus Project about the official release and general availability of the long-anticipated Solus 1.2.1 release, along with the first Solus MATE Edition.

    • Solus 1.2.1 Released With Budgie Desktop Updates, Ships RADV Driver

      Version 1.2.1 of the promising Solus Linux distribution is now available and also premieres a MATE edition ISO to complement its original Budgie desktop.

    • Reviews

      • Meet Maui 1, the Slick New Hawaiian Netrunner

        Maui, the Netrunner Kubuntu replacement, is an inviting alternative. It is both new and already accomplished. The developers took a Kubuntu distro that was well-oiled but at the end of its development line to the next level.

        That should make adopting the Maui Linux distro a less risky option. Most other Linux distros are moving in the new direction of Wayland, Systemd and such. Maui’s developers are already there.

        Maui 1 is very stable and easy to use. It is a well-stocked distribution with an established library of KDE software.

    • New Releases

    • Arch Family

      • 5 Best Arch Linux Based Linux Distributions

        Arch Linux is a very popular name amongst Linux enthusiasts. It is very popular because it allows the user to tailor-make their linux distro to their taste. Arch Linux provides a solid base for you to work with, while still allowing for expansion and complete customization. ​

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Leap 42.2 Approaching with RC, Meet Maui 1

        The openSUSE project today announced the release of Leap 42.2 Release Candidate 1 with less than one month remaining before final. On the other side of town, Dustin Kirkland announced Ubuntu kernel hotfixes and the Hectic Geek reviewed recently released 16.10. Jack Germain said Maui 1 “is stable and easy to use” and Sebastian Kügler blogged on “Plasma’s road ahead.”

    • Red Hat Family

      • Senior Gains Web Development Experience at Red Hat Internship

        High Point University senior Ryan Long got a taste of his dream career during a web development and design internship at Red Hat in Raleigh.

        Long, an interactive media and game design major and computer science minor from Fort Mill, South Carolina, gained valuable experience with the IT marketing team. He worked with the company’s website, fixing broken links, inserting translations and doing quality assurance. He also provided graphic design assistance and collaborated with the video team for projects that would be incorporated into the website.

      • Video: RHS 2016 – Container Security

        Dan Walsh (of SELinux fame) gave a talk on container security at the recent Red Hat Summit 2016.

      • CLIMB Project Selects Red Hat Ceph Storage to Achieve Their Storage Needs to Support Medical Breakthroughs
      • Red Hat eye from the Ubuntu guy: Fedora – how you doin’?

        Comment Red Hat is the biggest – and one of the oldest – companies in the Linux world, but despite the difficulty of accurately measuring Linux usage figures, Ubuntu and its relatives seem to be the most popular Linux distributions. Red Hat isn’t sitting idle, though. Despite its focus on enterprise software, including virtualisation, storage and Java tools, it’s still aggressively developing its family of distros: RHEL, CentOS and Fedora.

        Fedora is the freebie community-supported version, with a short six-month release cycle, but it’s still important. Although RHEL is the flagship, it’s built from components developed and tested in Fedora. According to Fedora Project Lead Matthew Miller told this year’s Flock to Fedora conference this summer its future looks bright.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Raspberry Pi (2 and 3) support in Fedora 25 Beta!

          So support for the Raspberry Pi in Fedora has been a long time coming and yes, it’s FINALLY here with support landing just in time for Beta!

          The most asked question I’ve had for a number of years is around support of the Raspberry Pi. It’s also something I’ve been working towards for a very long time on my own time. The eagle-eye watchers would have noticed we almost got there with Fedora 24, but I got pipped at the post because I felt it wasn’t quite good enough yet. There were too many minor issues around ease of use.

        • Raspberry Pi Finally Well Supported By Fedora With 25 Beta

          While Fedora has always supported ARM/AArch64 hardware well, they’ve missed out on the whole Raspberry Pi craze even as the ARMv7 hardware has been shipping for a while and there are plenty of Pi-focused Linux distributions out there. With Fedora 25, there’s finally going to be good support for the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 devices.

        • Fedora 25 Linux OS to Officially Offer Support for Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 Devices

          Just a few moments ago, Fedora Project proudly announced that support for Raspberry Pi 2 and Raspberry Pi 3 single-board computers is finally coming to the Fedora Linux operating system.

          As you might know, the Beta of the upcoming Fedora 25 operating system has been released, and it brought numerous new GNU/Linux technologies and Open Source software projects, including but not limited to Linux kernel 4.8, GNOME 3.22 desktop environment, KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS, and LibreOffice 5.2.2. One thing was missing, though, and that’s support for ARM devices like the popular Raspberry Pi.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Refracta 8.0 – Devuan on a stick

          There are probably some people living in the world today who still haven’t heard of systemd, though I doubt that any of them read DistroWatch. More digital ink has been spilled debating the topic of init systems than any other in techie history. There is probably nothing I can say about systemd that hasn’t already been said, and no argument either for or against it that hasn’t been repeated ad nauseum. So I won’t waste this review seeking converts for The Cause™. I don’t expect the issue to be finally settled until the Sun swells up to become a red giant and evaporates the Earth.

          Geeks determined to resist the systemd juggernaut have several options. For me, the most interesting project is Devuan, a fork of Debian. I will say by way of disclosure that I have downloaded Devuan, installed it, used it for months, and like it. However, it does have a few flaws – the installer in particular needs some more work. The first beta forces you to do a network install that – depending on your Internet connection speed – can take an hour or more. This has defeated curious newbies who decide to give up long before the first boot-up prompt appeared.

          It was my search for a quick and easy way to get Devuan up and running that led me to Refracta, a unique distro that fills a niche that has long been neglected. Refracta’s existence predates the systemd wars – it was originally based on Debian 5.0, otherwise known as “Lenny.” But when Debian 8.0 “Jessie” went full systemd, Refracta moved to the Devuan camp.

          Refracta’s chief selling point is this: it’s a live image that can be quickly installed, customized, and re-installed back to live media again. So basically you can roll your own live CD, configured for your hardware and tweaked to suit your personal tastes. It is currently my favorite distro, and I’d recommend it to any Linux geek who has had a little bit of experience. A total Linux newbie might feel more comfortable with a distro that mimics Windows’ point-and-click friendliness, but once you’ve got the basics down, Refracta is easy to get used to.

          It’s also worth mentioning that even without being installed, a Refracta live CD or USB stick makes an excellent diagnostic and rescue tool. It contains quite a few command line utilities that aren’t in a default Devuan or Debian installation, including gddrescue, testdisk, smartmontools, hdparm, lm-sensors, iftop, and iptraf. I have personally used testdisk to recover data from a crashed hard drive.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 16.10 Review: Not Bad, But if You’re Happy with 16.04 LTS, Stick with it!

            After the previous 16.04 Long Term Release, Ubuntu has rolled out its latest ‘short term’ (my own naming convention for the non-LTS releases) version 16.10. Mainly, the ‘short term’ releases are only supported for 9 months and usually include software applications with their recent updates.

            When you release a new version of your operating system within every 6 months, usually there isn’t a lot of room for adding major changes. And that is the case with many GNU/Linux distributions these days, and Ubuntu 16.10 release is no exception. Since Unity is based on the user application set provided by GNOME desktop environment, according to the release notes, the underlying GNOME user applications have been upgraded to the version 3.20 at least (which is the case with the file manager — ‘files’, for instance) and some others have been upgraded to the version 3.22 which is the latest release of GNOME currently.

          • Canonical Now Offering Live Kernel Patching Services, Free for Up to Three PCs

            Today, October 18, 2016, Canonical informs us, through Dustin Kirkland, about a new interesting feature for Ubuntu Linux, which users can enable on their current installations.

          • Canonical Rolls Out Its Own Kernel Livepatching Service For Ubuntu
          • Canonical enterprise kernel livepatch service, free to Ubuntu community!
          • Hotfix Your Ubuntu Kernels with the Canonical Livepatch Service!

            Ubuntu 16.04 LTS’s 4.4 Linux kernel includes an important new security capability in Ubuntu — the ability to modify the running Linux kernel code, without rebooting, through a mechanism called kernel livepatch.

          • Ubuntu 16.10: Yakkety Yak… Unity 8′s not wack

            Canonical’s Ubuntu 16.10, codenamed “Yakkety Yak”, is nowhere near as chunky an update as 16.04 LTS was earlier this year. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing new. In fact, the firm’s second release of the year has quite a few fresh features to hold users over until the bright and shiny future of Unity 8 and Mir arrive some time next year.

            Nevertheless, it’s very odd to have what feels like a smaller update arrive with Ubuntu’s October release, which typically is the more experimental release with tons of new features being tested. This time around that’s not really the case. In what’s become a familiar refrain for Ubuntu, most of the work is happening with the still-not-quite-there Unity 8.

            Ubuntu 16.10 marks the seventh time Unity 8 has not been ready for prime time. While Unity 8 appears to be progressing – judging by developer updates and playing with pre-release versions – it is, at this point, in danger of joining Duke Nukem Forever on the great vaporware list in the sky. Still, take heart Ubuntu fans, just as Duke Nukem Forever did eventually see the light of day, it seems very likely that Unity 8 and Mir will in fact be released eventually. Perhaps even as early as 17.04. Also, I have a bridge for sale, if anyone is interested.

          • LinuxAndUbuntu Review Of Unity 8 Preview In Ubuntu 16.10

            Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak has just been released with quite a few number of new stuff and a first preview of Unity 8 desktop environment. Unity could be installed in Ubuntu 16.04 but it comes with 16.10 pre-installed. Unity 8 has been in development since 2013 and anyone who has seen or used Ubuntu phone will quickly notice the similarities and some major differences.

          • Ubuntu 16.10 targets hybrid cloud deployments, supports Unity 8 development

            Canonical, developer of Ubuntu, a distribution of Linux, released a new version of its software that targets hybrid cloud deployments. Ubuntu is often mentioned as one of the top 3 distributions of Linux when shipments are considered, depending upon which research firm one cites.

          • Ubuntu 16.10 Now Offers More than 500 Snaps, Including VLC 3.0.0 and Krita 3.0.1

            With the release of the Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) operating system, Canonical also had the pleasure of informing the community about the latest status of their Snaps universal binary packages.

          • Canonical Brings Its Ubuntu OpenStack and Ceph Offerings to 64-bit ARM Servers

            Canonical informs Softpedia about their latest collaboration with ARM, the industry’s leading supplier of microprocessor technology, to bring the company’s OpenStack and Ceph offerings to 64-bit ARM-based servers.

          • ARM, Canonical deliver Ubuntu OpenStack, Ceph to 64-bit ARMv8-A platforms
          • Canonical and ARM collaborate on OpenStack
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • NFL Teams Enjoy Giving NFL’s Social Media Policy A Giant, Hilarious Middle Finger, Using Toys

    You’ll recall that we recently commented on the NFL’s new dumb social media policy for its member teams, which outlines how much video content a team can push out as kickoff approaches (less than before), what type of video content from games teams can produce and distribute on their own (basically none), and the size of the fines if teams violate this policy (huuuuuge). The NFL has insisted elsewhere that this one-size-fits-all marketing approach has zilch to do with its precipitous ratings decline, although few believe it on this point. And, even as news of the policy has been released, the NFL itself has been inclined to push out as much of this very same content itself, centralizing its social media media control.

    So, if you’re an NFL team that doesn’t like the new policy and wants to make its fans aware of how silly it is in the most hilarious way possible, what do you do? Well, if you’re the Cleveland Browns and the Philadelphia Eagles, you push out Twitter updates to your followers that depict game highlights using plastic figurines. Here is how the Browns alerted their fans that their team had scored a touchdown.

  • Bill Belichick rants against NFL tablets: ‘I’m done’

    After the image of the New England Patriots coach slamming a Microsoft Surface tablet on the sideline in a Week 4 game against the Buffalo Bills went viral, Belichick explained Tuesday why he is fed up with the product.

  • Science

    • What is deep learning, and why should you care about it?

      Whether it’s Google’s headline-grabbing DeepMind AlphaGo victory, or Apple’s weaving of “using deep neural network technology” into iOS 10, deep learning and artificial intelligence are all the rage these days, promising to take applications to new heights in how they interact with us mere mortals.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • WHO Pandemic Influenza Advisory Group Meeting In Secret This Week

      The World Health Organization pandemic influenza framework advisory group is meeting this week, behind closed doors. A consultation is expected to take place on 20 October with stakeholders, and an information session has been organised on 21 October on the work of the advisory group, but no press is allowed in either meeting nor able to obtain any information about any aspect of the week’s events.

    • How Pharmaceutical Companies Are Keeping Americans From Doing Something The Government Says They Can Do

      The EFF’s series on “shadow regulation” continues, this time exploring how American pharmaceutical companies are keeping affordable medication out of the hands of Americans. The examination goes beyond what’s already common knowledge: that patents and regulatory capture have created a skewed marketplace that ensures healthy profit margins, rather than healthy Americans.

      But what’s not generally known is that the pharmaceutical companies have “partnered” with internet intermediaries to lock Americans out of purchasing options specifically approved by the FDA. To hear big pharmaceutical companies tell it, purchasing drugs from other countries (where the price is generally lower) is extremely dangerous, if not completely illegal. But that’s simply not true.

    • Eli Lilly Commits To Healthcare For 30 Million People In Middle-Income Countries And US By 2030 [Ed: Publicity stunt by company that got a bad name in those countries]

      Pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly today announced a stepped-up commitment to provide improved access to quality healthcare for 30 million people in resource-limited settings by 2030.

      The initiative, called Lilly 30×30, is based on a five-year, US$90 million investment in the Lilly Global Health Partnership, and aims at improving access to treatments for diabetes, cancer, and tuberculosis.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Mumbai: Two Muslim men arrested in RTI activist Bhupendra Vira murder case.

      Two Muslim men arrested in the Hindu RTI activist Bhupendra Vira murder case were remanded in police custody till October 24 by a magistrate in Mumbai today.

      The Mumbai police had arrested former Mumbai corporator Razzak Khan (78) and his son Amjad Khan (53) for their alleged involvement in the murder of the RTI activist. A 61-year-old Right to Information activist was killed in Mumbai on Saturday evening by a man who barged into his home, held a gun to his head and fired.

      Demanding their police custody, public prosecutor Ashok Medhe told the court, “The complainant (Vira’s son-in-law) in this case has alleged that they were getting repeated threats from the family of the accused. They also have a property dispute. In the past, family members of the accused had attacked Vira’s son. Police custody is required for a detailed investigation.”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Background and Documents on Attempts to Frame Assange as a Pedophile and Russias spy

      Earlier today the website DailyKos reported on a smear campaign plot to falsely accuse Julian Assange of pedophilia.

      Here is the description of the plot from Mr Assange’s legal team, the investigative report into the front company and associated correspondence. An unknown entity posing as an internet dating agency prepared an elaborate plot to falsely claim that Julian Assange received US$1M from the Russian government and a second plot to frame him sexually molesting an eight year old girl.

      The second plot includes the filing of a fabricated criminal complaint in the Bahamas, a court complaint in the UK and laundering part of the attack through the United Nations. The plot happened durring WikiLeaks’ Hillary Clinton related publications, but the plot may have its first genesis in Mr. Assange’s 16 months litigation against the UK in the UN system, which concluded February 5 (Assange won. UK and Sweden lost & US State Dept tried to pressure the WGAD according to its former Chair, Prof. Mads Andenas).

    • Ecuador curbs Assange’s internet to halt US election ‘interference’

      Ecuador has acknowledged it partly restricted internet access for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is taking refuge at its London embassy.

      It said Mr Assange had in recent weeks released material that could have an impact on the US presidential election.

      Ecuador also said its move was not the result of pressure from Washington.

      The US denied WikiLeaks accusations that it had asked Ecuador to stop the site publishing documents about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

    • WikiLeaks accuses Kerry of getting Assange off net

      WikiLeaks has said US Secretary of State John Kerry asked Ecuador to cut its leader Julian Assange’s Internet connectivity after the organisation had released the content of paid speeches that Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had given to Goldman Sachs.

      The US State Department has denied that Kerry was involved.

      The whistleblower organisation had accused Ecuador of cutting Assange’s Internet access a day earlier, saying “We can confirm Ecuador cut off Assange’s internet access Saturday, 5pm GMT, shortly after publication of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speechs.”

      On Tuesday, it released another lot of emails from the Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. None of the material released has contained any sensational disclosures.

    • Ecuador says it cut off Assange’s Internet over Clinton data dumps

      Ecuador, the nation that has granted political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the country’s London embassy, said late Tuesday it had cut off his Internet access. Ecuador says it did this because of WikiLeaks’ recent dumps of hacked e-mails surrounding Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

      “The Government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states. It does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favor any particular candidate,” the government said in a statement. “Accordingly, Ecuador has exercised its sovereign right to temporarily restrict access to some of its private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom. This temporary restriction does not prevent the WikiLeaks organization from carrying out its journalistic activities.”

    • Ecuador says it disconnected Julian Assange’s internet because of Clinton email leaks

      The government of Ecuador disconnected the internet access of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at its Embassy in London because of his site’s publishing of documents that could affect the US presidential election, the government said in a statement today.

      WikiLeaks announced early on Monday that Assange’s internet link had been severed, saying that it had “activated the appropriate contingency plans.”

      In that statement, shared by Politico reporter Eric Geller, the Ecuadorian government says it “respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states” and that it “exercised its sovereign right to temporarily restrict access to some of its private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom.”

    • Ecuador cut off Assange’s internet at U.S. request, WikiLeaks says

      Wikileaks said Tuesday that Secretary of State John Kerry asked Ecuador to stop WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, from publishing leaked emails that could disrupt peace negotiations with a guerrilla group in Colombia.

      [WikiLeaks emails show influence of Univision chairman in Clinton campaign // Internet cutoff is just the latest trouble for WikiLeaks’ Assange]

      Assange, who has been in refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London for more than four years, saw his access to the internet cut over the weekend.

  • Finance

    • Tobacco Carve-Out From ISDS Starts To Spread: Another Nail In The Coffin Of Corporate Sovereignty

      One of the last pieces of horse-trading that went on in order to conclude the TPP deal involved corporate sovereignty, aka investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), and tobacco. As we reported a year ago, a “carve-out” for tobacco was agreed, which was designed to assuage fears that tobacco companies would use TPP’s ISDS mechanism to challenge health measures like plain packs — something that Philip Morris attempted against both Australia and Uruguay.

    • EU to push through Canadian trade deal despite Belgium split

      The free trade pact between the European Union and Canada is likely to be sealed next week despite opposition from the Belgian region of Wallonia, according to European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom as quoted by AFP.

    • CETA Still Not At Finish Line As Belgian State Halts Process

      CETA, the Canada-Europe trade agreement, is still not at the finish line yet. The European Commission has all but one member state on board for the signature of the Comprehensive Economy and Trade Agreement (CETA), Slovak Economy Minister Peter Ziga said today after a meeting of the trade ministers of the EU member states.

    • Rethinking investment treaties to advance human rights

      There are over 3,000 international investment treaties worldwide, with more under negotiation. The number of investor-state arbitrations based on these treaties continues to grow. Human rights issues have emerged in several arbitrations, for example in disputes that affected water access, public health, land rights, the environment and actions favouring disadvantaged groups. Yet few investment treaties contain meaningful references to human rights, and some arbitral tribunals have proved reluctant to consider human rights arguments made by states and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Investment treaty policy needs reconfiguring in the light of human rights obligations. The UK has long been a key player in the development of the international investment regime. As the country gears up for international trade and investment negotiations in the aftermath of the ‘Brexit’ vote, there is an opportunity to show leadership by ensuring that investment policy supports human rights.

    • Surprise: Now Even Australia’s Biggest Business Organization Says It Has Doubts About TPP

      When a country’s top business association offers criticism in more or less the same terms as anti-TPP activists, maybe it’s time to think twice about ratifying a deal that still lacks any credible justification.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Green Party VP Nominee Ajama Baraka: We Must Disrupt Our Relationship to Democratic Party

      When Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein tapped Ajamu Baraka to be her running mate back in August, there were a flurry of news stories. Most tried to paint him as the anti-Obama—too radical, too intense, too left to occupy the space just a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

      All of these characterizations of Baraka amounted to attempting to insult him with compliments.

      Long a voice for oppressed people around the globe, Baraka’s presence on the Green ticket is both self-aware and forward-moving; Southern organizer, human rights activist, veteran and socialist, Baraka is strategically positioned to prove that the core of what centrist Democrats would like you to believe about the Green Party is a lie.

    • Ken Loach: BBC news manipulative and deeply political

      Director Ken Loach has taken aim at the BBC, describing its news coverage as “manipulative and deeply political” and saying it is a “rotten place for a director”.

      Prominent leftwinger Loach, who is promoting his Palme d’Or-winning film about a man’s struggle with the UK benefits system, I, Daniel Blake, said there was a need to “democratise” the corporation.

      “Diversify it so that different regions can make their own dramas. And its notion of news has got to be challenged,” he told the Radio Times.

      “The BBC is very aware of its role in shaping people’s consciousness; this is the story you should hear about, these are the people worth listening to. It’s manipulative and deeply political.”

      In response to the comments, a BBC spokeswoman said: “BBC News is independent and adheres to clear published editorial guidelines including on impartiality. The BBC is consistently rated the most trusted and accurate news provider by the majority of people in the UK.”

    • Hacked Emails Prove Coordination Between Clinton Campaign and Super PACs

      The fact that political candidates are closely coordinating with friendly Super PACs — making a mockery of a central tenet of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision — is one of the biggest open secrets in Washington.

      Super PACs are only allowed to accept unlimited contributions on the condition that the money is spent independently of specific campaigns. The Federal Election Commission hasn’t reacted for a variety of reasons, including a lack of hard evidence, vague rules, and a partisan divide among the commissioners so bitter they can’t even agree to investigate obvious crimes.

      But newly disclosed hacked campaign documents published by WikiLeaks and a hacker who calls himself Guccifer 2.0 reveal in stark terms how Hillary Clinton’s staffers made Super PACs an integral part of her presidential campaign.

    • Donald Trump Is Running Some Really Insecure Email Servers

      In what might be one of the more delicious cases of irony to ever grace a presidential election, a researcher has found that a number of email servers linked to Donald Trump’s hotel and others businesses are running horribly out of date software which receive no security patches, and are lacking other precautions for keeping hackers out.

      The findings come at a time when cybersecurity is a crucial topic in the presidential election, with hackers dumping documents from Hillary Clinton’s campaign online, and Trump and his supporters continuing to criticise Clinton’s use of a private email server.

    • Clinton campaign considered Bill Gates, Tim Cook for VP

      An email from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta released in the recent WikiLeaks dump reveals a group of potential running mates considered by Clinton’s campaign. Clinton’s vice presidential candidates, while not altogether surprising, include some vaguely interesting choices like Bill and Melinda Gates, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and General Motors CEO Mary Barra.

    • Obama: Trump should ‘stop whining’ about rigged election

      President Obama on Tuesday offered a blunt rebuke to Donald Trump’s claim the presidential election will be rigged against him: Stop whining.

      “I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes,” Obama said during a Rose Garden press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

      Trump has riled his supporters in recent days by ramping up his effort to undermine the November elections as “rigged” by the political establishment and mainstream media.

    • Donald Trump support during presidential debate was inflated by bots, professor says

      Many of the Twitter users supporting Donald Trump after the presidential debates were bots, according to a new analysis.

      More than four times as many tweets came from automated accounts that supported Mr Trump than they did backing Hillary Clinton, according to Philip Howard from the University of Oxford.

      The robot tweets helped give the appearance that Mr Trump had more support than he did, according to Professor Howard. That apparent surge in support was referenced repeatedly by Mr Trump, who claimed that despite what the official polling showed he had actually won both of the debates.

    • GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election

      Republican senators don’t want to talk about Donald Trump’s allegations of a rigged election.

      The Hill contacted the offices of all 54 Republican senators and asked them if they think the election is rigged. Thirty-four of the senators’ offices did not respond, while another three declined to comment.

      Those that did respond offered little support for the GOP nominee’s claim.

      Fifteen senators said they do not think the election is being or will be rigged.

      One, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), wants to “wait and see.”

    • Why Did Vote-Rigging Robert Creamer Visit The White House Over 200 Times During The Obama Admin

      Earlier today we wrote about a new Project Veritas undercover video that uncovered several democratic operatives openly discussing, in explicit detail, how to commit massive voter fraud. One of the operatives was a person by the name of Robert Creamer who is a co-founder of a democratic consulting firm called Democracy Partners. Within the video, an undercover journalist details a plan to register Hispanic voters illegally by having them work as contractors, to which Creamer can be heard offering support saying that “there are a couple of organizations that that’s their big trick” (see: “Rigging Elections For 50 Years” – Massive Voter Fraud Exposed By Project Veritas Part 2″).

      Unfortunately, the embarrassing video caused Creamer to subsequently resign from consulting the Hillary campaign as he issued a statement saying that he was “stepping back from my responsibilities working the [Hillary] campaign” over fears that his continued assistance would be a distraction for the campaign.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • GCHQ reacts in the best way to Oliver Stone’s description of it as “barbaric” and “ruthless” [Ed: The mouthpiece of GCHQ speaks]

      GCHQ has refused to be drawn into a war of words with Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone, who described the agency as “barbaric”.

      Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on Sunday, Stone – the director of JFK, Platoon, Wall Street and Snowden said: “GCHQ is one of the most barbaric agencies around, very cold, very smart.

      “And likely to arrest anybody at any time, on any thing on any cause. So hello!”

    • The Shadow Brokers is now crowdfunding release of NSA hacking tools
    • Hackers selling NSA hacking tools for 10000 bitcoins
    • Stolen NSA Cyberweapons Auctioned: Shadow Brokers Wants $6.3 million To Publish Hacking Tools’ Password
    • Shadow Brokers Cancel Auction of Supposed NSA Hacking Tools
    • No one wants to buy NSA’s hacking tools
    • Shadow Brokers cancel auction of alleged stolen NSA cyberweapons after no one bid anything
    • Shadow Brokers Scraps Auction, Opts for 10000 BTC Crowdfund to Release NSA Files
    • NSA hackers abandon auction, seek $6M in crowd funding
    • Granted Warrant Allowed Feds To Force Everyone At Searched Residence To Unlock Devices With Their Fingerprints
    • MI6, MI5 and GCHQ ‘unlawfully collected private data for 10 years’
    • FBI Lifts Gag Order On NSL Issued To Google… Which Doesn’t Have Much To Say About It

      In other news, Google saw an increase in FISA-ordered requests for user info, bumping it up by about 5,000 total accounts as compared to the previous reporting period.

      Hopefully, Google’s ungagged-but-still-secret NSL won’t stay secret for much longer. It would be troubling if this were to become Google’s standard policy — the announcement of gag order removals but with no further details forthcoming. Not much “transparency” in the Transparency Report, unfortunately… not if that’s how it’s going to be handled.

      True, much of the opacity is still the government’s fault: the not-at-all-useful “banding” that makes NSL numbers impossible to parse (1-499 could mean one NSL… or almost 500 in one reporting period), the gag orders that remain in place forever, etc. But private companies shouldn’t take their cues from naturally-secretive government agencies. They’re pretty much all we have to provide us with an outside, somewhat unrestricted measure of the government’s surveillance efforts.

    • Government Seeks Do-Over On Win For Microsoft And Its Overseas Data

      The DOJ wants the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to revisit the decision it handed down in July — the one that’s preventing it from forcing Microsoft to hand over data stored on its servers in Ireland. The DOJ hoped the court would read the Stored Communications Act as applying to the location of the company served with the data request, rather than the actual location of the data. The Appeals Court disagreed with the lower court’s finding — one that dragged in the Patriot Act for some reason — pointing out that the purpose of the SCA was to protect the privacy of communications, not to facilitate the government in obtaining them.

    • Security agencies collected data unlawfully, UK court rules

      British spy agencies collected data illegally for more than a decade, a court has ruled.

      The Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which investigates complaints against intelligence services, ruled on Monday that the agencies’ secretive collection and use of bulk communications data (BCD) failed to comply with human rights laws until 2015.

      The ruling is the result of a case brought by privacy campaigners Privacy International that challenged the collection and use of bulk data by security agencies GCHQ, MI5 and MI6.

    • Police should rein in facial recognition programs, says new report

      A coalition that includes the ACLU, EFF, and 50 other organizations has asked the Department of Justice to investigate how the FBI and police are using large-scale facial recognition databases in criminal investigations. The letter comes alongside a new report that claims around half of American adults are effectively part of these databases.

      The report, released by the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology, draws on both existing data and material obtained through public records requests. It notes that at least 26 states — which have been previously identified — let law enforcement scan photos from the Department of Motor Vehicles as part of investigations. Based on the number of drivers who have received licenses in each state, the study’s authors calculate that this covers 117 million adults — or 48 percent of the total adult population. The licenses aren’t part of one central index, but several databases across states.

    • The perpetual lineup: Half of US adults in a face-recognition database

      Half of American adults are in a face-recognition database, according to a Georgetown University study released Tuesday. That means there’s about 117 million adults in a law enforcement facial-recognition database, the study by Georgetown’s Center on Privacy & Technology says.

      “We are not aware of any agency that requires warrants for searches or limits them to serious crimes,” the study says.

      The report (PDF), titled “The Perpetual Line-up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America,” shows that one-fourth of the nation’s law enforcement agencies have access to face-recognition databases, and their use by those agencies is virtually unregulated.

    • Before Nixon: When JFK tapped the phone of a New York Times reporter

      President Kennedy’s order to the CIA to begin collecting intelligence on American reporters—shattering its own charter—was formalized as Project Mockingbird. In the spring of 1963, this resulted in the wiretapping of two columnists, Robert S. Allen and Paul Scott, after they allegedly revealed classified secrets. Other reporters were also monitored in this program until its end in 1965.

    • A database of the UK’s porn habits. What could possibly go wrong?

      To this end the Digital Economy Bill creates a regulator that will seek to ensure that adult content websites will verify the age of users, or face monetary penalties, or in the case of overseas sites, ask payment providers such as VISA to refuse to process UK payments for non-compliant providers.

      There are obvious problems with this, which we detail elsewhere.

      However, the worst risks are worth going into in some detail, not least from the perspective of the Bill Committee who want the Age Verification system to succeed.

    • NBC Happily Parrots The CIA’s Case For Escalating Cyber War With Russia

      As we’ve been noting there have been growing calls for the Obama Administration to publicly scold Russia for hacking the DNC, and to dole out some kind of righteous punishment for this unseemly behavior. Calls on this front have ranged from launching larger cyber offensives or even a brick and mortar military response. We’ve noted repetaedly how this is stupid for a multitude of reasons, since hacking “proof” is (if the hacker’s any good) impossible to come by, with false-flag operations consistently common.

      So while there are some very obvious problems with escalation here, the U.S. press seems pretty intent on helping the intelligence community justify doing exactly that. Enter countless outlets breathlessly passing along the idea that we simply must “retaliate” for Russia’s behavior, willfully ignoring that the United States wrote the book on nation state hacking and lacks the moral high ground. As Snowden and other whistleblowers should have made abundantly clear by now, we’ve been hacking allies, fiddling in Democratic elections, creating indiscriminately dangerous malware and worse for decades.

      Led by our bad example, we’ve cultivated a global environment in which nation state operators hack one another every second of every day to keep pace with the United States. As such, the idea that the United States is an innocent daisy that needs to “retaliate” is absurdly, indisputably false, yet this concept sits at 90% of the reporting on this subject. Case in point: eager to get the escalation ball rolling, the CIA last week used NBC to make the case for a renewed cyber-warfare campaign against Russia in the coming months…

    • StartPage decides to ditch Yahoo after data breach

      Europe-based StartPage, a search engine that focuses on user privacy has canceled its partnership with Yahoo. In an announcement made on Monday, StartPage said it will be dropping Yahoo’s aggregate search results from its metasearch platform Ixquick.eu by the end of the month.

    • Top U.S. security official returns to AU to talk cyberspace [Ed: Michael S. Rogers in latest NSA charm offensive]
    • Director of the National Security Agency and Commander of US Cyber Command to Speak at Columbus State University
    • Adm. Rogers: US ‘Working Our Way Through’ NSA-Cyber Command Split
    • Feds need clarity on cyber structures
    • Rogers: ‘We’re working our way through’ process to split NSA-CYBERCOM roles
    • Cybersecurity chief supports splitting role with NSA, but in the right way
    • Official: you can still trust the NSA [Ed: FCW with its puff pieces now...]

      t might not be as momentous as knocking down the Berlin Wall, but tearing down the barriers between Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance inside the National Security Agency is revolutionary, an NSA official in the thick of those efforts contends.

      The NSA is six weeks into “NSA21,” which the agency calls the most substantial organizational reform in its 60-year history. Announced earlier this year, NSA21′s primary change is flattening the organization and moving it from a mission-based construct to a functional model.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • 4-star general snagged for lying in Stuxnet leak probe

      The Obama administration’s anti-leak drive has netted its most serious conviction of a high-ranking government official: a guilty plea by a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to a felony charge of lying to investigators probing leaks about top secret U.S. efforts to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

      Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright appeared in federal court in Washington on Monday afternoon, speaking in a low voice as U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon accepted the former four-star general’s admission that he lied to FBI agents about his contacts with New York Times reporter David Sanger and former Newsweek reporter Daniel Klaidman.

    • Judge Rejects ‘Rioting’ Charge Against Journalist For Reporting On Protestors, But Prosecutor Still Looking For New Charges

      Last week it was announced that journalist Amy Goodman would go to North Dakota to face charges over her coverage of North Dakota oil pipeline protests that went viral. The idea that Goodman was charged with doing journalism was really ridiculous. The original charges focused on “trespassing” but once the local state’s attorney, Ladd Erickson, realized that those clearly would not stick, he changed them to rioting. When asked to defend the arrest warrant and charges by a local newspaper, Erickson displayed a complete lack of understanding of the First Amendment in saying that because Goodman’s coverage was sympathetic to the protesters, it was fine to consider her a protester too.

      Thankfully, a judge disagreed and rejected the rioting charge.

    • Judge Rejects Riot Charge Against Amy Goodman of ‘Democracy Now’ Over Pipeline Protest

      The radio journalist Amy Goodman spent the weekend with the threat of a riot charge hanging over her, arising from protests over a planned oil pipeline in North Dakota. But on Monday a judge rejected the case for lack of evidence.

      Ms. Goodman, the host and executive producer of the syndicated radio, television and web show “Democracy Now!” on Pacifica Radio, had planned to enter a not guilty plea on Monday, but District Judge John Grinsteiner declined to sign the charging document, bringing the case to a stop — at least for now.

      She and her lawyers declared victory on Monday, but Ladd Erickson, a state prosecutor who is assisting the Morton County state’s attorney’s office in the case, said other charges were possible.

    • Stepdad Goes To Police With Stepdaughter’s Sexts, Asks Them To Intervene, Is Prosecuted For Child Porn

      Sexting continues to be a thing. And, as we have covered various stories revolving around people sending pictures of their naughty bits to one another, much of the consternation in the public tends to be around children partaking in sexting. And I can see their point. While I tend to laugh at prudishness in general, it would probably be best for all involved if underage youngsters weren’t texting each other provocative pictures of themselves with reckless abandon.

      So what is a parent to do if their children are found to be doing just that? One might think that going to both the child’s school and authorities to ask for help in stopping this behavior would be in order, right? Well, for one parent in Australia, doing just that landed him a conviction for child pornography and sex offender registration, even as essentially the entire legal system acknowledged that he was just trying to be a good father.

    • Dad Asks Cops to Intervene in Daughter’s Sexting. They Arrest Him for Child Porn.

      A man who found out that his 15-year-old stepdaughter was sexting her boyfriend proceeded to download the evidence to bring it to the school and the police to ask them to intervene.

      Oh dear, readers. You know where this is heading. Intervene they did. Now the dad has been convicted on child pornography charges and placed on the sex offender registry. This, despite the judge understanding exactly why the man, Ashan Ortell, 57, held onto the images.

      “There is no suggestion of any exploitation of them by anybody,” ruled Judge Jane Patrick, over in Australia, which is becoming as daffy as the United States. “You made no attempt to conceal the images. In fact, you were so concerned that you contacted the authorities about the images.”

    • Child bride in Turkey dies after giving birth

      A child bride in Turkey has died of a brain hemorrhage after giving birth at the age of 15, local media have reported.

      The bleed thought to have killed her is believed to have been associated with going into labour at such a young age.

      Known only as Derya B, the girl was married in a religious ceremony at the age of 14.

    • Turkish child marriage film shines light on hidden abuses

      Child brides in Turkey are often raped, beaten and forced to undergo virginity tests, according to the director of a new documentary which aims to break the silence on the taboo issue.

      “Growing Up Married”, which will premiere in London on Oct. 30, examines the impact of child marriage on four women who were wed as teenagers in western Turkey.

      “When hearing some of their stories I thought to myself ‘how are you still alive?’,” filmmaker Eylem Atakav said in an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

      Globally, one third of girls in developing countries, excluding China, are married before the age of 18 and one in nine before the age of 15, according to U.N. data.

    • Vintage Photos of Bold and Modern Iranian Ladies Before the Islamic Law Took Over!

      The Islamic Republic however didn’t incline towards the Sharia Law until the late 70’s. The Iranian Revolution that took place in the year 1978 witnessed massive changes in the otherwise modern country.

      Right from their eating habits to their attire, to literature and art & culture, Iran witnessed a sudden shift in their functioning. Overtaking the Pahlavi dynasty changed the fate of the innocent Iranians forever under the rule of Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

    • Two-thirds of child refugees screened by officials found to be adults, Home Office figures show

      Nearly two-thirds of “child” refugees who officials questioned about their real age were found to be adults, Home Office documents show.

      Figures show that in the year to September 2015, 65 per cent of the child refugees who had their age disputed were found to be over 18.

      It comes after Conservative MPs raised questions about the ages of 14 refugees who were brought to the UK this week from the “Jungle” migrant camp in Calais.

      The Home Office has no way of independently verifying the age of child refugees being brought to the UK.

      Home Office documents show that if a refugee does not have a birth certificate, a Home Office screening officer can certify them as a child based on their “physical appearance” or “demeanour”.

    • Stripped, stomped and sprayed: Former police officer Yvonne Berry breaks silence on Ballarat arrest ordeal

      A woman who was captured on CCTV being stripped, stomped on and kicked in the Ballarat police cells has spoken out for the first time.

    • Finally Free: ‘Guantánamo Diary’ Author Released After 14 Years Without Charge

      After unlawfully imprisoning our client Mohamedou Ould Slahi at Guantánamo for 14 years without charge or trial, the U.S. government has finally released him. He is now home in his native Mauritania.

      We are overjoyed for Mohamedou and his loving family, who have been anxiously awaiting his return for so many years. His release brings the U.S. one man closer to ending the travesty that is Guantánamo.

    • FBI Facial Recognition Expert Helps Denver PD Arrest Wrong Man Twice For The Same Crime

      Never let it be said law enforcement won’t get their man. Even if it’s the wrong man. And even if they do it twice.

      This was Denver native Steven Talley’s first experience with the local PD.

    • ‘Fear, censorship and retaliation’: United Nations rapporteur slams Australia’s human rights record

      Australia lacks adequate protections for human rights defenders and has created “an atmosphere of fear, censorship and retaliation” among activists, according to a United Nations special rapporteur.

      Michel Forst, who released an end-of-mission statement on Tuesday after a fortnight in Australia, said he was “astonished” by numerous measures heaping “enormous pressure” on public servants, whistleblowers and ordinary citizens.

    • UN warns of ‘fear, censorship and retaliation’ in Australia

      Strict secrecy laws and harassment by government officials are creating an “atmosphere of fear” in Australia, a UN investigator warns.
      In a damning report Tuesday, United Nations special rapporteur Michel Forst said several human rights defenders had refused to meet him because of the fear of persecution.

    • Australian secrecy laws must be reviewed, says UN investigator
    • UN Calls on Australia to Re-examine Secrecy Laws
    • Australia should urgently improve whistleblower protection, UN expert says
    • UN investigator urges review of Australian secrecy laws
    • UN warns of ‘fear, censorship and retaliation’ in Australia
    • Chilling effect on rights defenders: UN
    • Chilling effect on rights defenders: UN
  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Software-Defined Networking Puts Network Managers in the Driver’s Seat

      SDNs can help organizations keep up with evolving network demands in an app-centric IT environment and give network managers much more flexibility.

    • The Open-Source Group Trying To “De-Google” The Internet

      How can we surf the web without using Google, Amazon or Facebook? French group Framasoft, which promotes the use of open-source software, offers a way.

      Under the “De-google-ify internet” initiative, the group uses decentralized software solutions to design tools that allow consumers to retake control of their data.

      Members of Framasoft are strong advocates for the digital privacy of consumers. They consider it their mission to educate people about internet freedom.

  • DRM

    • MacBook Pro to ditch traditional USB ports in favour of USB-C

      TRADITIONAL USB ports could be about to go the way of the 3.5mm headphone jack after the news that Apple’s new MacBook Pro will come with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 only.

      A report from Macotakara claimed that Apple’s upcoming MacBook Pro models will ditch traditional USB ports, Thunderbolt 2 and the company’s MagSafe charging connector.

      Instead, according to a “reliable Chinese supplier”, the 13in and 15in laptops will have USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports, so buyers will be forced to cough up £65 to hook up standard USB devices.

    • Report: Apple will introduce new Macs at October 27th event [Updated

      The most interesting new information is about the MacBook Air. The 13-inch model is said to get USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3, and those ports will replace all of the ports on the current Air—USB Type-A, Thunderbolt 2, and Magsafe 2. We don’t know how many of these ports the Air will get, but if the design stays more or less the same, it should at least get more than the one-ported MacBook. The 11-inch Air, which currently serves as Apple’s entry-level laptop, would be removed from the lineup.

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 18/10/2016: Release Candidate of Leap 42.2, Looking Ahead at GTK4

Posted in News Roundup at 11:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Best Linux Intranet Solutions

    There’s a lot of benefits to having your local communications within the confines of your office Intranet. When it comes to keeping content and communications local, there are a number of decent Linux Intranet friendly solutions to serve content to those on your network.

  • Server

    • The Ops Identity Crisis

      A big theme in the keynotes and conversation during Velocity Conf in NYC a few weeks ago was the role of ops in an “ops-less” and “server-less” world. It’s also been a big feature in discussions on twitter and in conversations I’ve had with coworkers and friends in the industry. There are several things that stand out to me in these conversations: first, that some ops engineers (sysadmins, techops, devops, and SREs) are worried that they will be phased out if developers and software engineers are responsible for the operational tasks in their systems; second, that developers and software engineers do not have the skills needed to take over responsibility for operational tasks; and third, that building reliable systems is impossible without an operations organization.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel 4.9 merge window highlights

      The 4.8 kernel was released on October 2nd. This also marked the start of the merge window for the 4.9 kernel. The merge window is the time period when kernel subsystem maintainers send their pull requests for new features to be included in the 4.9 kernel. Here are a few features pulled into the 4.9 kernel that might be of interest for Fedora users.

    • The Linux Foundation strives to unite open-source JavaScript community
    • The Linux Foundation Helps Launch the JS Foundation

      Today, the Linux Foundation announced the creation of a new entity named the JS Foundation that will serve as an umbrella project and guiding force for various open-source utilities at the heart of the JavaScript ecosystem.

      The JS Foundation’s primary mission is to help manage and fund projects, but also cultivate best practices in the JavaScript ecosystem.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Clear Linux Now Riding On Linux 4.8.1, Ships AVX2-Optimized Python

      Intel’s Clear Linux open-source operating system continues advancing as one of the less heard of but highly performant rolling-release distributions for servers, cloud, containers, and other applications.

      Clear Linux Highlights #4 was published today to make known some of the latest improvements. Some of the recent packaging changes include landing GNOME 3.22 components, adding Wayland 1.12, introducing Apache Maven, and updates to various existing packages. Some of the notable updates are using Linux 4.8.1, systemd 231, Vim 8.0, Emacs 25.1, and Node.js 6.8.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Linux Kernel 4.8 and KDE Plasma 5.8.1 Coming Soon to openSUSE Tumbleweed Users

        openSUSE Project’s Dominique Leuenberger informed the Tumbleweed community about the latest goodies that landed in the stable software repositories of the rolling release operating system during the past week.

        We’re talking here about the openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots released during the week of October 10, 2016, which brought several interesting software components which might get users of the rolling OS excited. For example, you can now enjoy the latest KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS desktop environment.

      • First openSUSE Leap 42.2 Release Candidate Adds KDE Plasma 5.8.1, GNOME Updates

        Just a few minutes ago, openSUSE Project, through Douglas DeMaio, proudly announced the availability of the first Release Candidate (RC) version of the upcoming openSUSE Leap 42.2 operating system.

      • OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 Release Candidate Published
      • Release Candidate Available for openSUSE Leap 42.2

        The openSUSE Project is pleased to announce the availability of the openSUSE Leap 42.2 Release Candidate 1 (RC1).

        Since mid-May, the project has been guiding the development of the next openSUSE community release Leap 42.2, which will be released in 29 days. The release of RC1 completes the development process for openSUSE Leap 42.2 based on source code from SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) Service Pack (SP) 2.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Why enterprises are now opting for open source software

        In March this year, Red Hat became the world’s first open source software (OSS) solutions company to cross $2 billion in revenue. The term open source implies ‘free’ access to software which developers can modify. Not many thought Red Hat would be successful when the company was founded in 1993. However, it has proved its naysayers wrong with a $14.78 billion market cap (as on September 30), $600 million revenue in Q2 FY17 and entry into the Forbes list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2016 for the fourth time. Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat’s president and CEO, and Rajesh Rege, its India MD, tell Forbes India why enterprises are now opting for open source software.

      • CentOS Linux Vagrant Boxes Gets September’s Updates and XFS File System Support

        CentOS maintainer Karanbir Singh announced the availability of updated Vagrant Box images for the CentOS Linux 7 and CentOS Linux 6 operating systems for the month of September 2016.

      • Using feedback loops for greater work satisfaction

        In August I wrote about using feedback loops in your personal life to get unstuck from unproductive habits. This month I’ll talk about some new helpful feedback loops for your workplace. I’m going to make this easy for you: Here are my top three, and they’re always good ones to start with.

      • Red Hat study shows virtualization will keep growing

        With the rise of exciting new technologies like containers, virtualization might sometimes seem like it’s old hat. But not according to Red Hat, whose latest research shows that enterprise adoption is still on the rise.

        In a new survey of over 900 enterprise information technology pros, Red Hat discovered that virtualization is still gaining traction thanks to its ability to drive server consolidation, reduce provisioning times, serve as platform for app development and deployment and save enterprises money.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • New Tool Lets You Easily Install the Ubuntu Touch OS on Your Mobile Devices

            Softpedia was just informed by Marius Quabeck from UbuntuFun.de about a new tool that lets users super easily install the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system on their devices.

            The tool is developed by Marius Quabeck himself and is called magic-device-tool. The first stable version, magic-device-tool 1.0, is now available to everyone and promises to offer a simple and easy-to-use batch tool for installing Canonical’s Ubuntu Touch mobile OS, as well as Android, Cyanogenmod, or Phoenix OS.

            In other words, you’ll be able to replace your mobile operating system on your device with any of the following: the latest Ubuntu Touch release, Cyanogenmod – with or without the GAPPS (Google Apps) package, the factory Android image, as well as Phoenix OS. Please note that you’ll only be able to run one of these OSes on your mobile devices.

          • Canonical Brings Ubuntu OpenStack, Ceph to ARM Servers

            Telco and enterprise customers are looking for an alternative source of silicon beyond Intel for data center silicon, Canonical officials say.
            ARM officials took a step forward in their effort to build the software ecosystem around its efforts in the data center when Canonical said that its Ubuntu OpenStack and Ceph offerings are now commercially available on servers powered by ARM’s 64-bit chip architecture.

          • Ubuntu OpenStack and Ceph Storage now available on ARM v8-A

            Unified solution will benefit majority of public cloud services, Canonical explained

            Canonical and ARM have announced a strategic partnership, making Ubuntu OpenStack and Ceph Storage now available on ARM v8-A-based enterprise solutions.

            Working together with Ubuntu certified System on Chip (SoC) partners, ODMs and OEMs, the two companies will ensure the equipment used by customers, such as servers, storage and networking products can be used with Ubuntu Advantage.

            “We have seen our Telecom and Enterprise customers start to radically depart from traditional server design to innovative platform architectures for scale-out compute and storage. In partnering with ARM we bring more innovation and platform choice to the marketplace,” Mark Baker, product manager of OpenStack at Canonical said.

          • Canonical gives Ubuntu Linux 17.04 the name ‘Zesty Zapus’ (jumping mouse)

            Linux distributions and silly names go together like peanut butter and jelly. For whatever reason, the maintainers of these operating systems seem to enjoy having fun with what they call them — some argue it is childish. Even Google — a billion dollar company — uses sugary dessert names for the Linux-based Android operating system.

            One of the most well-known Linux distributions to use funny names is Ubuntu. It famously uses the convention of an adjective and a lesser-known animal, each starting with the same letter. The letter is chosen sequentially by alphabet. For example, Ubuntu 16.10 uses the letter “Y” — “Yakkety Yak”. The next version of the operating system will use the letter “Z”. While many folks hoped for “Zebra”, that would be too obvious. Instead, Canonical has chosen “Zesty Zapus”. Don’t know what a zapus is? Neither did I. It is apparently a type of jumping mouse. The selection was not made at random, however, as the company has an explanation for the decision.

          • Upcoming Zesty Zapus, Bodhi 4 Beta 3

            Mark Shuttleworth today blogged of the “metaphorical” naming of the release has reached the end of the alphabet with 17.04′s Zesty Zapus. Apparently, a zapus is “a genus of North American jumping mice,” thanks to Wikipedia, and is the only living mammal to have 18 teeth. The genus includes three distinct subspecies and has inhabited Earth since the Pliocene. They have long tails, long back feet, yellowish-brown backs and white bellies. Zesty means “having an agreeably pungent taste,” according to the collective dictionary databases of KDict.

          • Ubuntu MATE 16.10 – quick screenshot tour

            Ubuntu MATE became an officially supported family member not so long ago. Linux notes from DarkDuck have already published a review of Ubuntu MATE 16.04.

          • Why the IoT security nightmare could be a dream for Ubuntu

            A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how the poor design of Internet of Things devices poses a serious threat to the Internet. By an interesting coincidence, security guru Bruce Schneier wrote about the same issue on the same day, albeit rather more authoritatively. Other articles on the topic continue to appear, as people begin to wake up to the seriousness of this issue.

            On Monday, I attended the opening day of Oscon in London, and listening to Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth talk about “Brilliant pebbles,” it seemed to me that he was outlining part of a possible solution to IoT’s problems. Here’s a description of his keynote…

  • Devices/Embedded

    • RPi Compute Module 3 revealed, tapped for NEC signage

      On Oct. 10, NEC Display Solutions Europe announced it would produce a series of digital signage display computers equipped with the upcoming Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, which runs Linux on the same quad-core Cortex-A53 SoC as the Raspberry Pi 3. On Oct. 14, Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading, made his own announcement of the displays, adding some more details, and today, the datasheet for the Compute Module 3 leaked online.

      Long story short: the Compute Module 3 is pin compatible with the original, but will be available in 4GB eMMC and SD-only models. There’s no pricing or close-up photo, but the module will ship by the end of the year.

    • How to fly your DIY Raspberry Pi drone

      We’ve shown you how to build your own drone, and once you’d fitted all the cables and powered up, you have been able to enjoy your first flight. However, if you’ve found that your drone has a tendency to fly off in a random direction or doesn’t seem to respond in the way that you want then we’re now going to take a look at the delicate process of connection and calibration.

      The calibration of the drone will be carried out using software called APM which enables us to calibrate the RC unit with the PXFMini autopilot module.

    • Demonstrating the Future of IoT

      Yesterday was a special day. It would be a nightmare day for most tech executive. I was a keynote speaker for OpenIoT Europe / Embedded Linux Conference from The Linux Foundation and was asked to demo IoT in front of more than a thousand [potentially multiple thousands] experts. If there is one thing software companies don’t do enough, it is sending their executives to demo their new products. I survived and it went quite well. This blog post will run through my demos but also explain how each is just a building block towards a software defined future in which home, business and industrial IoT will redefine our future. My code is on Github and where possible I will give instructions to do the demo yourself.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • App: Smart Tutor Released by Samsung for Tizen Smartphones

          A new app named Smart Tutor has been released by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and is available right now from the Tizen Store. Using the app you are able to contact Samsung customer care about your device support needs. It’s an easy, quick and safe technical support application and a good consulting tool for Samsung smartphones. You can get help from Samsung Customer Care for solve your device’s technical issues. It can be used to diagnose your device remotely in order to optimize device performance and give functional advice.

      • Android

        • Google Maps for Android can now show you nearby traffic through a one-tap shortcut
        • HTC launches virtual reality-focused Viveport M storefront for Android
        • BlackBerry Mercury, Like Pixel Phones And LG V20, Will Run Android 7.0 Nougat Out Of The Box

          BlackBerry appears to be up to speed when it comes to releasing new Android smartphones. Since releasing the PRIV and DTEK50, the Canadian company reportedly worked on a new smartphone, which is now called the DTEK60. Just this Monday, however, new information has surfaced, revealing that Apple’s former greatest rival is working on another Android hardware.

        • PBS Launches Android Tablet for Kids

          A sub-$100 Android tablet is hitting Best Buy stores in November, and its 16GB of flash storage will be prefilled with so much content you probably won’t have room to add your own.

          But it’s not all adware, as you might expect for such a cheap device. Instead, the more than 25 games and 120 video clips are educational resources from PBS Kids. Dubbed the “Playtime Pad,” the $80 tablet is a partnership between PBS and California budget electronics maker Ematic.

        • Google Pixel review: Bland, pricey, but still the best Android phone

          Welcome to the age of Google Hardware. Apparently tired of letting third-party Android OEMs serve as the stewards of Android handsets, Google has become a hardware company. (Again).

          Earlier this year Google, launched a hardware division with former Motorola President Rick Osterloh at the helm. With the high-ranking title of “Senior Vice President,” Osterloh doesn’t oversee a side project—his group is on even footing with Android, Search, YouTube, and Ads. The hardware group is so powerful inside Google that it was able to merge Nexus, Pixel, Chromecast, OnHub, ATAP, and Glass into a single business unit. The group’s coming out party was October 4, 2016, where it announced Google Home, Google Wifi, a 4K Chromecast, the Daydream VR headset, and the pair of phones we’re looking at today: the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The answer to Internet of Things madness? Open source, of course!

    “Open is always going to win,” states Ed Hemphill, CEO of WigWag, a company that hopes to make sense of the ever-expanding and ever-more-complex Internet of Things market.

    WigWag is named after the traditional flags used by the US military’s Signal Corps to communicate messages. Hemphill and his cofounder Travis McCollum both served in the Signal Corps before starting up their company in Austin, Texas.

  • What the history of open source teaches us about strategic advantage

    The free software movement started like many other movements: A group of bright, spirited people felt controlled by a greater power and rose up and took matters into their own hands.

    It’s not that different from the American Revolution. The colonists were tired of being controlled by Great Britain, so they declared their independence and started building their own system of government and military, and creating their own cultures. The revolutionaries’ methods were disorganized and improvised, but they ultimately proved to be effective. Same goes for the software revolutionaries.

  • Web Browsers

    • 7 chronic browser bugs plaguing the web

      Web browsers are amazing. If it weren’t for browsers, we wouldn’t be able to connect nearly as well with users and customers by pouring our data and documents into their desktops, tablets, and phones. Alas, all of the wonderful content delivered by the web browser makes us that much more frustrated when the rendering isn’t as elegant or bug-free as we would like.

      When it comes to developing websites, we’re as much at the mercy of browsers as we are in debt to them. Any glitch on any platform jumps out, especially when it crashes our users’ machines. And with design as such a premium for standing out or fitting in, any fat line or misapplied touch of color destroys the aesthetic experience we’ve labored to create. Even the tiniest mistake, like adding an extra pixel to the width of a line or misaligning a table by a bit, can result in a frustrating user experience, not to mention the cost of discovering, vetting, and working around it.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • 12 Top Open Source Data Analytics Apps

      For many large enterprises, open source big data analytics have become an integral part of daily business. According to a 2016 New Vantage Partners survey of executives at Fortune 1000 companies, 62.5 percent of enterprises are now running at least one big data tool or application in production. That’s nearly double the number who said the same thing in 2013. And only 5.4 percent of those surveyed had no big data plans.

      When it comes to big data analytics, open source software is the rule rather than the exception. Several of the leading tools enterprises are using are managed by the Apache Foundation, and many of the commercial tools are based at least in part on these open source solutions.

      In this slideshow, we’re featuring twelve of the top open source data analytics solutions. Some of them offer a complete end-to-end platform for big data analytics while others must be combined with other technologies. All of them are suitable for enterprise use and are among the leading tools for data analysis.

    • One CTO’s mission to boost needed OpenStack skills in future IT talent

      Virtually every employer struggles to hire people with needed tech skills. But Amrith Kumar, CTO of the OpenStack database-as-a-service company Tesora, is fighting the talent crunch in the future. He’s investing some of his time in working with college students, making sure there will be more available hires with OpenStack expertise. In an interview with The Enterprisers Project, Kumar explains why this work is so important.

    • OpenStack Summit, Barcelona: Your Guide to the Event

      The OpenStack Summit event in Barcelona is only days away, and you can still register. According to the OpenStack Foundation, approximately 6,000 attendees from 50+ countries are expected to attend the conference, taking place Oct. 25 – 28 in Barcelona.

      This event is a bi-annual gathering of OpenStack community members, technology leaders, developers and ecosystem supporters. Each year one summit event is held in North America and then one additional event rotates between Asia and Europe. Barcelona already has a packed schedule, and here is what you can expect from the event.

    • Mesosphere Embeds Marathon Container Orchestration in DC/OS

      While Marathon may not draw as much attention these days as other container orchestration technologies, work surrounding the platform continues. With the latest version of the DC/OS platform from Mesosphere, the Marathon container orchestration engine now comes baked in.

      Tal Broda, vice president of engineering for Mesosphere, says with version 1.8 of DC/OS via a new Services Feature the Marathon container orchestration engine can be more naturally invoked, with the same dashboard IT administrators employ to schedule jobs and perform other tasks. The end result is a more refined IT management experience.

    • A new kind of match-making: Speed mentoring

      My primary focus is to make contributing to the OpenStack community easier and more fun.

      I’m an upstream developer advocate for the OpenStack Foundation, and this work includes bringing new people into the community, making sure members of the community feel valued, and reducing conflict and removing roadblocks to contribution. It’s also part of my job to smooth the path for newcomers just starting to get involved in the community.

      In many cases, people looking to contribute often don’t know where to start—a mentor can point new people in the right direction and help them feel involved and engaged.

  • BSD

    • DragonFly 4.6.1 tagged

      I don’t have it uploaded yet, but DragonFly 4.6.1 is tagged. Anyone with an existing 4.6.0 or earlier system can upgrade now. Use the 4.6 release instructions if you are unsure on how to upgrade. The 4.6.1 tag commit message has all the changes.

  • Public Services/Government

    • France renews its two free software support contracts

      The French administration in charge of the public procurement, and DINSIC (the state agency in charge of the IT ) have renewed the two contracts for free software support services. Both contracts were awarded to the French free software services provider Linagora.

    • White House Open-Sources Bot Code
    • White House open sources Facebook Messenger

      The US government is looking to help other governments build bots, with the White House having shared open source code for President Obama’s Facebook Messenger bot.

      Jason Goldman, Chief Digital Officer of the White House, said in a post announcing the open source move: “we’re open-sourcing this White House technology, with the hope that other governments and developers can build similar services—and foster similar connections with their citizens— with significantly less upfront investment.”

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Linux & Open Source News Of The Week — Ubuntu 16.10, FreeBSD 11, Android 7.1, And More
    • Open Data

      • Open Data: 81% of European countries have a dedicated policy

        In 2016, 81% of countries in the European Union have a dedicated Open Data policy, up from 69% in 2015, according to a new report, “Open Data maturity in Europe 2016,” produced by Capgemini.

        Data collected from the European Open Data Portal showed that, in 2016, only five countries in the EU28+ zone had not yet deployed an Open Data policy (nine countries in 2015): Hungary, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta and Portugal.

        The report also showed signs of improvement in the involvement of European countries in Open Data. In 2016, 57% had completed what the report called their open data journey – an incremental strategy which leads to opening data. This is a 28.6% increase compared to 2015. “A majority of the EU28+ countries have successfully developed a basic approach to address Open Data,” the report stated. “Countries are also investing in understanding the impact of Open Data for their economy and society via the launch of a number of studies and interactions with civil society,” the report went on to say.

  • Programming/Development

    • More GCC Patches To Get OpenMP Offloading To NVIDIA NVPTX Working

      Fresh patches are available for GCC to get OpenMP offloading to the NVIDIA PTX ISA working for accelerating OpenMP on NVIDIA GPUs with the GNU Compiler Collection.

      Alexander Monakov has published the latest patches for GCC to provide OpenMP offloading to NVPTX, the ISA to be consumed in turn by NVIDIA’s proprietary driver. GCC NVPTX support has been ongoing for quite a while now but these are the final pieces for getting OpenMP support in place.


  • The Villains of Remote Work

    Working remotely is awesome. It’s how DNSimple operates. There’s no office, there are no working hours, there is nowhere you need to be, there’s no commute, and no line for the bathroom. You’re free to work when you want, how you want, and from wherever you want.

    Working on a small team is awesome. It’s how DNSimple operates. There are no deadlines, there are no managers, there is no disconnect between the development and the business, and no HR department. You’re free to contribute wherever it’s effective, you get to know your coworkers well, you develop your own workflow, and you’re held accountable by your commitment to your team and forward progress.

    Both core aspects of DNSimple, being a small remote team is a wonderful combination, but it’s one that opens itself up to unexpected vulnerabilities. Much like how when a superhero makes their appearance, villains inevitably follow…being part of a small team that works remotely is a superpower that draws in super-villainy.

  • Science

    • Connected cars are cash cows; low margins may have killed the Apple Car

      A pair of articles published on Monday by Bloomberg and Fast Company provide an interesting snapshot of the ongoing collision between the tech and automotive industries. In the former, Mark Gurman and Alex Webb provide a fuller exploration of Apple’s ongoing “Project Titan” than we’ve read to date. The “so secret we can’t talk about it” car R&D is believed to have been heavily scaled back—along with Apple’s vehicular ambitions.

      The once thousand-strong team has now lost hundreds of members, particularly those working on a car OS, as well as chassis and suspension design, Bloomberg reports. Perhaps Apple’s scaled-back plans were inevitable; according to Bloomberg, “Apple executives had imagined an electric car that could recognize its driver by fingerprint and autonomously navigate with the press of a button.”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • [Older] Pesticide manufacturers’ own tests reveal serious harm to honeybees

      Unpublished field trials by pesticide manufacturers show their products cause serious harm to honeybees at high levels, leading to calls from senior scientists for the companies to end the secrecy which cloaks much of their research.

      The research, conducted by Syngenta and Bayer on their neonicotinoid insecticides, were submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency and obtained by Greenpeace after a freedom of information request.

      Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used insecticides and there is clear scientific evidence that they harm bees at the levels found in fields, though only a little to date showing the pesticides harm the overall performance of colonies. Neonicotinoids were banned from use on flowering crops in the EU in 2013, despite UK opposition.

      Bees and other insects are vital for pollinating three-quarters of the world’s food crops but have been in significant decline, due to the loss of flower-rich habitats, disease and the use of pesticides.

    • CEO’s Death Stirs Debate About Chinese Techies’ 70-Hour Work Weeks

      The premature death of the 44-year-old founder of a prominent mobile health app startup has spurred a bout of soul searching in the Chinese tech community, where working long hours in the hope of making a quick fortune has become a way of life.

  • Security

    • Understanding and Securing Linux Namespaces

      Richard Guy Briggs, a kernel security engineer and Senior Software Engineer at Red Hat, talked about the current state of Kernel Audit and Linux Namespaces at the Linux Security Summit. He also shared problems plaguing containers and what might be done to address them soon.

      His insights are borne of deep experience. Briggs was an early adopter of Linux back in 1992, and has written UNIX and Linux device drivers for telecom, video and network applications and embedded devices.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • An ‘Epidemic of Graft’ – Anti-Corruption Efforts in Afghanistan Fail Hard

      The U.S. spends spends $5 billion of your tax money a year in “aid” to Afghanistan, plus billions more for the cost of the thousands of American troops and Pentagon-sponsored military contractors there.

      An “Epidemic of Graft”

      One of the (many) reasons why all that money has accomplished close to jack squat in 15 years of war is corruption. Extraordinary amounts of U.S. money simply disappears, siphoned off at high levels, passed on as bribes to suppliers and Taliban hustlers at the lower levels. It is, according to one study, an “epidemic of graft.”

    • The Story Changes: The Pentagon Is No Longer Sure Yemen Fired Missiles At A US Ship

      Last Thursday, after two consecutive missile attacks on the US Navy ship USS Mason, which allegedly were launched by Houthi rebel forces in Yemen, the US entered its latest military engagement in the middle east, when the USS Nitze launched several Tomahawk cruise missiles aimed at radar installations located by the Bab el-Mandab straight, and which enabled the launch of at least three missiles against the U.S. ship.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiLeaks Claims ‘State Actor’ Has Cut Off Assange’s Internet

      One of Julian Assange’s only ways of communicating with the outside world from within the Ecuadorian Embassy in London has been disconnected, according to WikiLeaks.

      WikiLeaks claims that a “state actor” has cut off Assange’s internet access, with the group’s Twitter account confirming on the morning of October 17 that Assange’s connection has been “intentionally severed” and contingency plans are being activated. It’s unclear what those contingency plans may be and Motherboard was unable to verify Wikileaks’ claim. The Ecuadorian Embassy also did not immediately provide Motherboard with any more information.

    • Wikileaks: a “state party” has cut off Julian Assange’s primary internet access

      Late yesterday, the @wikileaks account tweeted “Julian Assange’s internet link has been intentionally severed by a state party. We have activated the appropriate contingency plans.”

      The tweet followed some apparent “dead man’s switch” with what looked like cryptographic fingerprints or keys, which could be used to decrypt “insurance files” of leaks that had been posted in encrypted form to a server somewhere, or to verify future documents as having originated with Wikileaks.

      The “state party” could be the UK government, which exercises an extraordinary level of fine-grained control over the six major ISPs that serve the UK market (Assange is stuck in the Ecuadoran embassy in London), or it could be another government.

    • Assange net access cut after Clinton papers leaked

      The government of Ecuador has been accused of cutting off Internet access for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after the organisation released details of speeches given to Goldman Sachs by Democrat presidential contender Hillary Clinton.

      In a tweet, WikiLeaks said: “We can confirm Ecuador cut off Assange’s internet access Saturday, 5pm GMT, shortly after publication of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speechs.”

      Assange has been taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since August 2012. He has been accused of rape in Sweden and the country has said recently that it is willing to interview him in the embassy.

    • Someone has pulled the plug on Julian Assange’s internet

      BEFORE ANYONE asks whether someone has tried turning it off and on again, we will quickly get in the fact that somewhere in or around the Ecuadorian embassy someone has turned off Julian Assange’s internet connection and plunged him into a world of daytime television. And no-one is sure how or why.

      Assange has made a home for himself at the embassy, although reportedly not a very comfortable one, and may consider himself lucky to be in exile when he sees The Jeremy Kyle Show. He may even plead for a bit of time out of the office so that he can check any attics for cash.

    • Assange’s Internet “intentionally severed by state party”

      WikiLeaks announced via its Twitter account this morning that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s Internet connection had been cut off, blaming a “state party” for the outage. Assange, who has been ensconced in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since he sought asylum there over four years ago to avoid extradition, has been “detained in absentia” by the Swedish government for questioning on allegations of rape. Other lesser allegations have been dropped because they have passed the time allowed by Sweden’s statute of limitations.

    • Wikileaks: Julian Assange’s internet access ‘cut’

      Wikileaks says that Ecuador has shut down internet access for its founder Julian Assange.

      The transparency activist has sought asylum at London’s Ecuadorean embassy since 2012 to avoid extradition over sex assault allegations.

      Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Guillaume Long made no comment on the claim, saying only: “The circumstances that led to the granting of asylum remain.”

      Wikileaks has recently been releasing emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

    • These Cryptic Wikileaks Tweets Don’t Mean Julian Assange Is Dead [Update]

      In the absence of context, some users on Twitter, Reddit, and various image boards were quick to speculate that the tweets were the result of a “dead man’s switch,” triggered in the event of Julian Assange’s untimely end. Such switches do exist (both mechanically and electronically) and many speculated that all 349 gigs of the heavily-encrypted “Wikileaks insurance” from 2013 are intended for precisely that purpose.

    • What’s Going On With Julian Assange and WikiLeaks? Here Are 4 Theories [Ed: Time continues its endless, years-long attacks on Wikileaks under the guise of “coverage” or “journalism”]
    • Republicans warm up to Assange [iophk: “they are too stupid to understand WL”]

      Republicans are making common cause with an old enemy: Julian Assange.

      In 2010, prominent figures in the GOP wanted the WikiLeaks founder jailed for releasing thousands of diplomatic cables leaked by former Pvt. Chelsea Manning.

      Onetime presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said the leak “put American lives at risk.” Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said Assange had “blood on his hands” and should be “hunted down.” Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) called for the Australian anti-secrecy activist to be tried under the Espionage Act and asked if WikiLeaks could be designated as a terrorist organization.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • WWF: Finnish wildlife already feeling the burn from climate change

      WWF Finland issued a report Monday in which it outlined signs that global warming is already beginning to affect Finland. The organisation noted that ice formations on lakes and open seas last for shorter periods, while vegetation has changed and the tree line is migrating further north.

      “These changes and winter temperatures in particular have a massive impact on species that depend on snow and ice in Finland,” said WWF Finland programme manager Sampsa Vilhunen in a statement.

      According to the report, the Arctic fox has almost entirely disappeared from Finland and the snowy owl has all but shunned Finland as a nesting site, only returning occasionally. Wolverines, the Saimaa ringed seal and salmon are also suffering the effects of climate change, the NGO said.

    • The Riverkeeper: Just a Florida Man Trying to Save Waterways From Toxic Algae

      Marty Baum jumped on a friend’s boat, his phone blowing up with frantic phone calls from fishermen. Forty square miles of catfish, mullet, redfish and most other common game were dead in the water. Thousands of fish, all belly-up.

      “We went out on his boat and I cried,” Baum said. “Every little thing that required dissolved oxygen was dead.”

    • The Montreal Protocol Is the Most Successful Climate Agreement Ever

      Remember the hole in the ozone layer? If you were around in the 80s, you definitely do—it was a climate bogeyman of the time, along with acid rain, and rightfully so.

      It was in that decade that scientists confirmed that chemicals called CFCs (found in aerosol cans like hairspray and deodorant) were eating away at the ozone layer, and would produce some scary consequences, from skyrocketing skin cancer rates to damaging effects on plant life and marine ecosystems, if left unchecked.

      That realization lit a fire under scientists and, importantly, government officials. (Margaret Thatcher, who trained as a chemist, was among those spooked by it.) In 1987, almost every country in the world signed the Montreal Protocol, agreeing on a plan to phase out damaging CFCs. Consumers bought in, too, voluntarily boycotting the spray cans. As a result of this global effort to get rid of CFCs, scientists now say the ozone layer is slowly healing.

  • Finance

    • SoftBank and Saudi Arabia Partner to Form Giant Investment Fund

      SoftBank of Japan has already earned a reputation as one of the most ambitious technology companies around, unafraid to strike huge deals.

      Now the conglomerate is aiming to become one of the world’s biggest investors in tech — potentially with the help of Saudi Arabia.

      SoftBank announced on Thursday that it would form a new investment fund that could invest up to $100 billion in technology companies worldwide.

      SoftBank will invest at least $25 billion into what’s provisionally called the SoftBank Vision Fund over the next five years, while Saudi Arabia is weighing putting in at least $45 billion. They may draw in other partners who could eventually push the fund’s size to its maximum.

    • Cadbury owner paid no UK corporation tax

      The owner of Cadbury paid no corporation tax in its latest financial year, despite making a profit of £177.6m on sales of £1.73bn.

      Mondelez, the UK subsidiary of US snacks giant Kraft Foods, said its annual profit was inflated by a “one-off gain” from the sale of its coffee business, behind brands such as Douwe Egberts, for £147m last year.

      This sale was not subject to tax under UK law.

    • From laptops and cars to Cadbury and Heinz: the brands accused of exploiting Brexit to ramp up prices

      Today a Sun on Sunday investigation has unearthed an epidemic of price increases in the pipeline from firms ready to blame Brexit and the falling Pound.

      Former Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith has blasted these “Brexit bandits” as firms are already using the impact of the vote to crank up the cost of iPads, Dell laptops and our holiday cash.

      And everyday shopping items such as Cadbury chocolate, Majestic wines and Next clothes could increase too.
      A tub of Marmite on a white background

    • Andersson: “If there were no trade unions, this would be the time to invent them”

      Holmström has predicted that the age of trade unions is about to be over. He estimated last week that changes in the nature of employment will result in a decline in trade union membership and, therefore, in the inevitable disintegration of trade unions.

      “The age of trade unions is over in the sense that their societal power will decrease and their nature and role change,” he told Talouselämä on Friday.

      Andersson acknowledged that the changing nature of traditional occupations and the working life in general will also have an impact on the position and responsibilities of trade unions.

      “Having a high rate of organisation and strong trade union movement is not self-evident, but the trade union movement has to demonstrate that it can keep step with social changes and understand the problems created by the fragmentation of employment and the working life,” she said.

    • The job juggle is real. Many Americans are balancing two, even three gigs

      Many Americans who struggled to find a job several years ago are now juggling two or three.

      The number of multiple job holders hit an eight-year high in September as several forces reshape the labor market. Many workers are seeking extra income as wages are inching up. Job openings are near record levels. And the burgeoning gig economy is putting a premium on freelance work and short-term projects.

      Michael Alfaro, 49, of Coloma, Mich., toils full-time as an executive customer service representative for an appliance manufacturer. And on most evenings and some weekends, he works the late shift — 6 PM to 10 PM or 4 PM to midnight — in the electronics department of a local department store.

      Alfaro decided to take the gig last November to whittle down about $37,000 in debt, including credit card, and student and personal loans. But he also was spurred by the struggles of area retailers and other businesses to find employees.

      “It encouraged me,” he says.

      The ranks of multiple job holders jumped by 300,000 last month to 7.8 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The moonlighters represent 5.2% of all those employed, up from 4.9% in September 2015.

      Monthly data can be volatile, but the totals through the first nine months of 2016 have averaged 7.5 million, nearly 300,000 higher than the year-ago figure.

    • UK inflation rises to 1% in September

      The UK inflation rate rose to 1.0% in September, up from 0.6% in August, according to official figures.

      It is the biggest monthly rise in the cost of household items in more than two years, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

      Rising prices for clothing, overnight hotel stays and motor fuels led to the rise in the Consumer Prices Index.

      However, the ONS said there was “no explicit evidence” the lower pound was increasing prices of everyday goods.

    • Brexit is simulated in Football Manager 2017, and it’s going to make the game harder than ever

      Miles Jacobson is frank about what he is up against: “As far as I know this is the first time a computer game has tried to predict the future of a country.”

      This would always have been a busy time of year for the man in charge of Sports Interactive, the makers of the phenomenally successful Football Manager series of videogames. A new instalment is released on 4 November, but the period leading up to the 2017 edition has been made particularly complicated by the biggest political decision taken in this country since the Second World War.

      While the rest of the world waits to see how the government approaches the triggering of Article 50, Jacobson and his team have built a Brexit simulator into this year’s game, which models some of the consequences of the UK leaving Europe.

      The world outside football is not something that had previously been incorporated into Football Manager, a game so comprehensive that some clubs are now using it as a resource to help scout players. But Brexit, says Jacobson, was too big to be left out: “We usually try and keep politics out of the game because nobody wants it rammed down their throat.

    • How Trump’s Casino Bankruptcies Screwed His Workers out of Millions in Retirement Savings

      When pressed about the multiple bankruptcies at his Atlantic City casinos, Donald Trump routinely says the episodes highlight his business acumen. He made out well, he claims, at the expense only of his greedy Wall Street financiers. “These lenders aren’t babies,” he said during a Republican primary debate last fall. “These are total killers. These are not the nice, sweet little people that you think, okay?”

      Yet among those who suffered as a result of Trump’s bankruptcies were his own casino employees, who collectively lost millions of dollars in retirement savings when the company’s value plummeted.

      Trump’s company encouraged its employees to invest their retirement savings in company stock, according to a class-action lawsuit filed by employees against Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts following its 2004 bankruptcy. Then, when the stock price was near its nadir as bankruptcy loomed, the company forced the employees to sell their stock at a huge loss. More than 400 employees lost a total of more than $2 million from their retirement accounts, the lawsuit states.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • John Oliver Treated Jill Stein and Gary Johnson Like What They Are: Presidential Candidates (Video)

      In the video seen above, the “Last Week Tonight” host powerfully dismisses the idea that third party candidates are “spoilers” and expresses his understanding at the American public’s desire for alternatives to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. In an assessment of both the Libertarian and Green Party candidates aired on the HBO show on Sunday, Oliver vetted their positions and statements in a segment that contained quite a few jokes, and, admittedly, quite a bit of ridicule. Johnson came under attack for his less-than-detailed desire to rid the nation of several important government organizations while Stein was criticized for making vague comments that, in Oliver’s view, seemed to egg on conspiracy theorists.

      Yet perhaps being ridiculed by the comedian is part and parcel of running for office. In this sense, Oliver has offered the third party candidates more respect than many other pundits have, including his political comedy peers (see Samantha Bee, for example, who refused to name Stein on her show). The “Last Week Tonight” host even groups the four candidates together at the end of his monologue (something most of the rest of the media have been reluctant to do, still treating third party candidates like extras rather than main players), joking that on Nov. 8 Americans will have to choose between the lesser of four evils, not two.

      “As uncomfortable as this is, everyone has to own the floors of whoever you vote for,” says the host in his wrap-up. “Whether they are a lying, handsy, narcissistic sociopath; a hawkish, Wall-Street-friendly embodiment of everything that some people can’t stand about politics; an ill-tempered mountain molester with a radical, dangerous tax plan that even he can’t defend; or conspiracy-pandering political neophyte with no clear understanding of how governments operate …”

    • The media’s extermination of Bernie Sanders, and real reform

      All politicians love to complain about the press. They complain for good reasons and bad. They cry over frivolous slights and legitimate inquiries alike. They moan about bias. They talk to friendlies only. They manipulate reporters and squirm their way out of questions. And this all makes perfect sense, because politicians and the press are, or used to be, natural enemies.

      Conservative politicians have built their hostility toward the press into a full-blown theory of liberal media bias, a pseudosociology that is today the obsessive pursuit of certain nonprofit foundations, the subject matter of an annual crop of books, and the beating heart of a successful cable-news network. Donald Trump, the current leader of the right’s war against the media, hates this traditional foe so much that he banned a number of news outlets from attending his campaign events and has proposed measures to encourage more libel lawsuits. He does this even though he owes his prominence almost entirely to his career as a TV celebrity and to the news media’s morbid fascination with his glowering mug.

    • Green Party Candidate Jill Stein: What Global Citizens Should Know

      Hillary Clinton isn’t the only woman breaking records in this year’s election.

      Dr. Jill Stein, this year’s Green Party nominee, holds the current record for most votes ever received by a woman candidate for president of the United States in the general election.

      That’s because she also ran in 2012 as the Green Party’s nominee, and since her defeat, Stein has not slowed down.

      A physician who graduated from Harvard, Stein worked in the medical field for 25 years, until 1988, when she moved into activism. This transition was more seamless than you might expect.

    • 6 Signs That the Election is Rigged
    • Donald Trump’s rigged election is GOP’s latest headache

      It might seem as though Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is moving further away from the party that nominated him. Since he declared himself “unshackled” he’s escalated his maverick rhetoric, hammering home his claims that the November 8 election is “rigged” against him.
      Cornered by a flood of accusations of sexual assault, Trump’s Fifth Avenue headquarters has become an unlikely fort from which he’s staging a last stand against an ever-widening circle of enemies that includes not only the media and his Democrat opponent, Hillary Clinton, but much of the GOP. “100% fabricated and made up charges … may poison the minds of the American voter. FIX!” he tweeted on October 15.

    • Judicial Watch Statement on FBI Interview Document Detailing Open Source Investigation into Hillary Clinton’s Emails
    • FBI Agents Say Comey ‘Stood In The Way’ Of Clinton Email Investigation

      FBI agents say the bureau is alarmed over Director James Comey’s decision to not suggest that the Justice Department prosecute Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of classified information.

      According to an interview transcript given to The Daily Caller, provided by an intermediary who spoke to two federal agents with the bureau last Friday, agents are frustrated by Comey’s leadership.

    • Documenting Trump’s Abuse of Women

      When the news broke that Donald Trump had been caught on video in 2005 boasting that, as a celebrity, he feels free to “grab” women “by the pussy,” Harry Hurt III experienced a sense of vindication. In 1993, Hurt published “Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump,” an unauthorized biography that has long been out of print. The day the tape surfaced, he was hitting golf balls at a driving range in Sagaponack, New York, when a text message arrived from a friend: “Donald is done!”

      After Hurt watched the tape, he said, “I thought, Finally, this behavior is coming out.” But he doubted that the revelation would do any real damage to Trump’s campaign. Researching his book, in the early nineties, Hurt discovered and documented more serious instances of Trump’s mistreatment of women, yet most news outlets had declined to report on them. Even during the current campaign, Hurt said, “I’ve been a voice in the wilderness.”

    • Companies used Clinton fundraisers to lobby State Department

      The nexus among private companies, Hillary Clinton’s State Department and the Clinton family foundations is closer and more complex than even Donald Trump has claimed so far.

      While it is widely known that some companies and foreign governments gave money to the foundations, perhaps in an effort to gain favor, one of the key parts of the puzzle hasn’t been reported: At least a dozen of those same companies lobbied the State Department, using lobbyists who doubled as major Clinton campaign fundraisers.

      Those companies gave as much as $16 million to the Clinton charities. At least four of the lobbyists they hired are “Hillblazers,” the Clinton campaign’s name for supporters who have raised $100,000 or more for her current White House race. Two of the four also raised funds for Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid.

    • Private Prison Company Bankrolls Pro-Trump Super-PAC

      It’s unusual for a publicly traded corporation to donate to a super-PAC, but in August, private prison company GEO Group steered $150,000 to Rebuild America Now, a pro-Donald Trump outfit launched by the GOP nominee’s longtime friend, developer Tom Barrack.

      The timing of the GEO Group’s contribution is significant. It cut a $100,000 check to the super-PAC on August 19, the day after the Justice Department announced that it would phase out the use of private prisons. (The company’s political action committee donated $50,000 to Rebuild America Now a week before the announcement.)

      The multibillion-dollar-a-year private prison industry has been under increasing scrutiny, in part thanks to a groundbreaking investigation by Mother Jones that revealed a litany of disturbing practices at a Louisiana prison run by the Corrections Corporation of America. GEO Group is one of just three companies that operate prisons and detention centers on behalf of the federal government. It’s no surprise the company is putting its money behind Trump. While Hillary Clinton has sharply criticized private prisons, Trump has expressed support for expanding their use, and his policy proposals, including his plan to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, could be a boon for the industry. In addition to backing Trump, the company recently brought on three lobbying firms to represent its interests in Washington.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Porn in the classroom? Here’s why it makes sense

      What a cat I put among the pigeons last week by suggesting, in answer to a question about pornography at a literary festival, that it should be considered suitable for pupils to watch and analyse this material in schools. I was accused, on social media of course, of being a danger to innocent children, and, yes, I received my first online death threat.

      What, I wondered, do so-called grown-ups think our youngsters are up to when it comes to sex? The internet is the wild west of the information age, and the younger generation is far more adept than the older ones at gaining access to its more unsavoury territories.

      Teenagers will always be drawn to the raunchier aspects of whatever culture is available to them. This would once have been a copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, passed around the classroom with a giggle, disguised beneath the cover of Calculus for Beginners.

      In the 1990s there were the lads’ mags, and lots of work for any feminist mother trying to persuade her sons that the exploitation of women – putting semi-nude pictures of them on a bedroom wall – was not a good idea. That was a difficult one, because you didn’t want your kids to think sex was dirty or to make them afraid to share their interest in it with their parents. You just wanted them to know that women should never be used or objectified.

    • Posting on Facebook is now a crime under Ethiopia’s state of emergency

      A state of emergency declared in Ethiopia last week is growing more draconian by the day. Posting updates on the current status of the country, hit by anti-government protests since last November, is now a crime, the government said over the weekend.

      Watching Oromia Media Network and Ethiopian Satellite Television and Radio, outlets run by the Ethiopian diaspora supportive of the protesters, is also illegal.

      “The military command will take action on those watching and posting on these social media outlets,” Siraj Fegessa, Ethiopia’s minister of defense, said on state television. Those who violate the terms of the state of emergency risk imprisonment of three to five years.

    • Tomorrow’s Wars Will Be Livestreamed

      Hundreds of thousands of people around the world watched the start of the invasion of Mosul, a city held by ISIS in Iraq, live on Facebook and YouTube this morning.

      The most popular stream—there were several, some of which are still live—was shared by Kurdish outlet Rudaw and re-posted by outlets like the Washington Post and Channel 4 in the UK. While some viewers commented on the merits of the offensive, for others, the livestream itself was the most startling thing. As angry cartoon faces and “Wow!” emoticons floated over top of live images of war, viewers noted that it all seemed like a bit too much like a sci-fi fever dream about a war-obsessed culture.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • ]Older] United States v. Ganias and the Case for Selective Seizures of Digital Evidence

      Recent high-profile cases involving digital searches and seizures have largely focused on government access to data, from the battle over breaking strong encryption to the debates over whether a warrant is required to hack a computer or to obtain private communications from a third-party service provider. But the next big set of questions lurking in the wings revolves around what happens after law enforcement gains access to a cache of personal data: How much can they seize? What can they can search, and how? What happens to non-responsive data? What if it is evidence of another crime? A handful of courts and commentators have grappled with these questions, but the issues seem to be coming up with increasing frequency, highlighting the lack of clarity and consensus on a difficult suite of problems.

      Earlier this year, the Second Circuit waded into these waters when an en banc panel decided United States v. Ganias, a case that many observers expected to resolve a thorny Fourth Amendment question about how long the government can keep seized data that falls outside the scope of a warrant.

      Unfortunately, the opinion may do more to muddy the water than clear it. In particular, it operates on mistaken assumptions about the need to copy entire caches of data and search them off-site, suggesting that such an invasive process will often be reasonable for Fourth Amendment purposes. But a few additional facts make clear that such an approach ought to be exceedingly rare.

    • Court Finds UK Spies Unlawfully Collected Bulk Data for Over a Decade

      The UK government used its bulk collection powers, including sweeping up details on ordinary citizens’ internet usage, illegally for over a decade, according to privacy campaigners.

      On Monday, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), a court tasked with keeping tabs on the country’s surveillance powers, highlighted the intense veil of secrecy that has formed around the UK’s use of bulk powers, and the lack of oversight around those powers, in a written judgment. The judgment comes when the country is just preparing for a huge overhaul in its surveillance legislation, via the Investigatory Powers Bill, which is likely to soon become law.

    • Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America

      There is a knock on your door. It’s the police. There was a robbery in your neighborhood. They have a suspect in custody and an eyewitness. But they need your help: Will you come down to the station to stand in the line-up?

      Most people would probably answer “no.” This summer, the Government Accountability Office revealed that close to 64 million Americans do not have a say in the matter: 16 states let the FBI use face recognition technology to compare the faces of suspected criminals to their driver’s license and ID photos, creating a virtual line-up of their state residents. In this line-up, it’s not a human that points to the suspect—it’s an algorithm.

      But the FBI is only part of the story. Across the country, state and local police departments are building their own face recognition systems, many of them more advanced than the FBI’s. We know very little about these systems. We don’t know how they impact privacy and civil liberties. We don’t know how they address accuracy problems. And we don’t know how any of these systems—local, state, or federal—affect racial and ethnic minorities.

    • Telemetry, an essential part of any cloud-native app [Ed: Putting surveillance in Clown Computing (servers) advocated by this network, under the guise of "diagnostics"]

      Auditing and monitoring cloud applications are often overlooked but are perhaps some of the most important things to plan and do properly for production deployments. If you wouldn’t blindly launch a satellite into orbit with no way to monitor it, you shouldn’t do the same to your cloud application.

    • GPG Sync simplifies encryption key management

      In all the discussion about using encryption, a critical point keeps getting lost: It’s difficult to work with, and it’s even harder to deploy it at scale. Nowhere is the challenge more evident than in sending secure email.

      There are many ways to interact and collaborate — instant messaging, Slack, and so on — but email still dominates in enterprises. Even as encryption goes mainstream with secure messaging tools, more websites adopting HTTPS by default, and cloud storage services allowing easier file encryption, sending an encrypted email message is still a challenge.

    • NSA contractor accused of hoarding classified information seeks pre-trial release

      A former National Security Agency contractor accused of bringing a large volume of classified information to his home is asking to be released as the legal proceedings against him grind forward.

      Harold Martin was arrested by the FBI on Aug. 27 and has been in pretrial detention since, without objection from his lawyers. The defense strategy seemed aimed at convincing investigators that Martin meant no harm with his activities and had no intention to disclose sensitive information to anyone.

      That phase of the case seemed to come to a close Monday as Martin’s defense lawyers filed a motion in federal court asking for a hearing to discuss conditions for the computer specialist’s release.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Spy fraud

      Taxpayers are paying intelligence contractors to browse Facebook, watch porn, and commit crimes

    • Intelligence Watchdog Finds Contractor Abuses

      Last week brought news that another Booz Allen Hamilton employee was accused of improperly removing sensitive material from the National Security Agency (NSA). Harold Thomas Martin III was charged with theft of government property and unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials. The government alleges Martin took documents and digital files containing information that, if disclosed, “reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”

      It was another black eye for Booz Allen, which was NSA surveillance program whistleblower Edward Snowden’s employer. It was equally embarrassing for the U.S. intelligence community, which pays contractors like Booz Allen billions of dollars each year to help run its global operations and keep a tight lid on our country’s more sensitive secrets.

    • The Pentagon Must Stop Abusing the War Budget

      After years of claiming that the war budget has been limited to paying for the costs of foreign conflicts, the Pentagon has finally admitted that it has been using that account to pay for tens of billion of dollars in costs that have nothing to do with fighting wars. This budget shell game has been particularly egregious in recent years, as the Pentagon has sought to evade the caps on non-war spending that were imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

      The revelation was recently confirmed by Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col Eric Badger. Badger acknowledged that this year’s request for the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account – the formal term for the war budget – contains $30 billion for “enduring requirements” that have always been funded whether or not the nation was at war.

    • Pentagon Admits Half of War Spending Account Is Slush

      The Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account was originally designed to support unanticipated and difficult-to-plan costs for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. But over time—particularly to circumvent spending caps established by the Budget Control Act and subsequent budget deals—it’s become a slush fund for programs with little connection to our current war efforts. Now a new story by Tony Bertuca at Inside Defense reveals we grossly underestimated just how slushy this fund has truly become.

      The Congressional Research Service (CRS) previously found that even according to the Pentagon’s own accounting, $71 billion in OCO spending went to non-war programs from 2001 to 2014. The definition for OCO became increasingly squishy as Congress and the Pentagon sought opportunities to increase Pentagon spending to circumvent spending caps first established by the Budget Control Act. For example, in 2014 then-House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon expanded the definition of OCO to include “readiness shortfalls.”

    • Out-of-control North Dakota prosecutors still pursuing reporter Amy Goodman, even after judge dismisses riot charge

      Award-winning journalist Amy Goodman won an important victory for press freedom yesterday, but given alarming new comments made by her prosecutor, it may be short lived.

      On Monday, a judge quickly dismissed an absurd ‘riot’ charge brought against her by North Dakota authorities that stemmed from her coverage on Democracy Now of a violent attack on Dakota Access Pipeline protesters. But apparently, prosecutors don’t plan on dropping their investigation into her. They announced they may charge her again and indicated they want her unaired footage.

    • Malaysian sharia laws: Parliament to debate hudud bill that could introduce stonings and amputations in state of Kelantan

      The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party — commonly known as PAS — is pushing to introduce the proposed laws in the conservative north-eastern state, but first the bill must be passed by the Malaysian national parliament.

      Kelantan is a major stronghold for PAS, which was founded in 1951 and is among the country’s oldest and largest opposition parties.

      “Among the mandate from the people is to try to establish the Islamic system here, including the Islamic criminal law,” PAS executive council member Mohd Fadzi said.

      Kelantan’s state capital Kota Bahru is deeply religious and many of its citizens live by a strict adherence to Islam.

      At shops and supermarkets there are separate queues for males and females, while signs advising women to cover up are common outside offices and government buildings.

    • Aggravated judge tosses off robe, joins courtroom scuffle

      When McBain’s court officer went to take Larson into custody, he resisted. McBain said he was “hand fighting” the officer, Jared Schultz, then a deputized law clerk. Larson would not cooperate, tensed up and made a fist as though he was trying to fight, said Schultz, now working for the state Court of Appeals.

      There were no other officers or any sheriff’s deputies in the courtroom – they are not typically present unless there is a jailed person in court – and McBain said he assisted in getting control of Larson’s hands, arms and elbows. Schultz, a former police officer, said he was fortunate to have the judge as backup.

      Schultz said at one time he removed his Taser from its holster, but did not have to use it.

      Even when Larson was on the floor, he wouldn’t allow the officer to cuff him, said McBain, who says he was concerned about the welfare of both men.

    • Sweden’s Shaky Walk Down the Aisle of Equality

      Everything was perfect on the day of Hanna Skjutare’s wedding. On a Saturday in September the sun shone down on the rural church where the ceremony was held and Skjutare was sipping champagne and getting ready with her bridesmaids. They took a car to the church and met up with Hanna’s dad, who escorted the bride down the aisle to her groom and their toddler son.

      “That was one of the strongest memories of the whole day when my dad saw me in my wedding dress and his eyes teared up,” Skjutare explains over lunch.

    • Muslim woman who was sentenced to 40 lashes for wearing a MINISKIRT as a teenager reveals how she left Iran to forge a new life in the US as a bikini designer

      A Muslim woman who was punished for wearing a miniskirt says she’s been heavily criticised for pursuing a career as a swimwear designer.

      Tala Raassi told FEMAIL how she was sentenced to 40 lashes in her hometown of Tehran for attending a mixed party when she was 16 – but has refused to let her ordeal hold her back.

      Instead Tala moved to the States where, despite speaking no English, she carved out a career in fashion, launched her own swimwear line and has just written her first book.

    • Court: It’s entirely reasonable for police to swipe a suspicious gift card

      A US federal appeals court has found that law enforcement can, without a warrant, swipe credit cards and gift cards to reveal the information encoded on the magnetic stripe. It’s the third such federal appellate court to reach this conclusion.

      Last week, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals found in favor of the government in United States v. Turner, establishing that it was entirely reasonable for Texas police officers to scan approximately 100 gift cards found in a car that was pulled over at a traffic stop. Like the previous similar 8th Circuit case that Ars covered in June 2016, the defendants challenged the search of the gift cards as being unreasonable. (The second case was from the 3rd Circuit in July 2015, in a case known as US v. Bah.)

      In this case, after pulling over the car and running the IDs of both men, police found that there was an outstanding warrant for the passenger, Courtland Turner. When Turner was told to get out of the car and was placed in the patrol car, the officer returned to the stopped car and noticed an “opaque plastic bag partially protruding from the front passenger seat,” as if someone had tried to push it under the seat to keep it hidden.

    • Refugees being forced into ‘modern slavery’ by people traffickers before attempting deadly journey to Europe

      Refugees and migrants risking their lives in desperate attempts to reach Europe are being forced into “modern slavery” by ruthless people traffickers who are imprisoning, torturing and raping those they exploit.

      A new report has revealed the shocking scale of abuse by criminal gangs who prey on asylum seekers travelling across Africa – most commonly in Libya, which has become the main launching point for smugglers’ boats in the chaos following its civil war.

      Research by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) found that almost three quarters of migrants attempting to cross the Central Mediterranean have experienced exploitation and human trafficking.

      The group said practices occurring with “alarming scare and frequency” included forced labour, imprisonment, kidnapping, ransom and physical and sexual abuse.

    • The Last Nuremberg Prosecutor Has 3 Words Of Advice: ‘Law Not War’

      When the Nazi leadership was put on trial in Nuremberg, Germany, in the wake of World War II, the notion of an international war crimes tribunal was new and controversial.

      British Prime Minister Winston Churchill proposed a summary execution of Nazi leaders. But it was decided that trials would be more effective, and would set a precedent for prosecuting future war crimes.

      Thirteen trials were held in Nuremberg from 1945 to 1949, with multiple defendants in the cases. The prosecutor for one trial was Benjamin Ferencz, who was just 27 at the time, and it was his first trial.

      “We shall establish beyond the realm of doubt facts which, before the dark decade of the Third Reich, would have seemed incredible,” Ferencz said at the trial.

      He served as a combat soldier during the war, but as the fighting was coming to an end, Ferencz says he was assigned to Gen. George Patton’s headquarters.

      “The final assignment in the army was to go into the concentration camps as they were being liberated and collect all the evidence of the crimes for future trials,” he said.

      Ferencz, who’s now 96 and living in Florida, spoke with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep.

    • Despite a post-Snowden push for openness, report shows secret laws still abound

      The Justice Department has kept classified at least 74 opinions, memos and letters on national security issues, including interrogation, detention and surveillance, according to a report released Tuesday by the Brennan Center for Justice.

      Also still classified are between 25 and 30 significant opinions issued between 2003 and 2013 by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the secretive federal court that interprets the law governing foreign intelligence-gathering inside the United States.

      And at the State Department, 807 international agreements signed between 2004 and 2014 have not been published.

    • The New Era of Secret Law

      An unprecedented buildup of secret law has been created by the federal government since 9/11 through legal memos, court opinions, agreements with foreign nations, and more. All have been issued without public scrutiny or input — and many impact crucial decisions about the lives and liberties of U.S. citizens, from the use of torture to mass surveillance.

    • The Government’s Addiction to ‘Secret Law’

      The Central Intelligence Agency’s torture of detainees, and the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ international communications, were two of the most controversial programs our government implemented after Sept. 11. Both are now widely considered to have been illegal, even though both were authorized by official legal analyses that were withheld from the public — a phenomenon known as “secret law.”

      The notion of secret law is as counterintuitive as it is unsettling. When most of us think of law, we think of statutes passed by Congress, and we take for granted that they are public.

      Statutes, however, are only one kind of law. When the secret surveillance panel known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court, construed the Patriot Act to allow bulk collection of Americans’ phone records, that interpretation became part of the statute’s meaning. When President Obama issued procedures and standards for using lethal force against suspected terrorists overseas, agency officials were bound to follow them.

    • Former Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman pleads guilty to false statements in classified leak investigation

      A retired four-star Marine Corps general who served as the nation’s second-ranking military officer pleaded guilty Monday to a federal felony charge of lying to the FBI in a probe of a leak of classified information about a covert U.S.-Israeli cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear program.

      James E. “Hoss” Cartwright, who served as deputy chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before he retired in 2011, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon of Washington hours after the charge was announced by the office of U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein of Maryland.

      A senior Obama administration official in June 2013 acknowledged that Cartwright was the target of a Justice Department investigation into a leak to New York Times reporter David E. Sanger of details about a highly classified operation to hobble Iran’s uranium-enrichment capability through cybersabotage — an effort not acknowledged by Israel or the United States.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • 4 reasons why an accessible website is a win-win

      Why do some people choose to make a website accessible? Some people are do-gooders who, like the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), believe that “the web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, culture, location, or physical or mental ability.” And, some people do it because they are compelled by law, based on Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities act. Most federal and state institutions require that websites are accessible to people with a variety of disabilities. Though they may want to do good, their main motivation is to avoid costly legal problems.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • WIPO launches pro bono patent programme [Ed: Charm offensive from body which is attacking its very own staff]

      The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has launched a global programme aimed at helping inventors in developing countries to file patents for their inventions.

      The “first-of-its kind” programme, in cooperation with the World Economic Forum, will see patent attorneys provide pro bono help.

      Following a successful pilot effort in Colombia, the Philippines and Morocco, the Inventor Assistance Program was officially launched yesterday, October 17.


Links 17/10/2016: JS Foundation, Ubuntu 17.04 Named ‘Zesty Zapus’

Posted in News Roundup at 6:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Chromebooks: The smart person’s guide

      Chromebooks are any laptop that, under license from Google, runs the Linux kernel-based Chrome OS. Chrome OS is incredibly lightweight, drawing almost all of its interface from the Chrome browser. It also supports Chrome apps, and as of late 2016 will be the only platform to get new Chrome apps.

      Chromebooks are manufactured by a variety of vendors, such as Google, HP, Acer, Samsung, Dell, and others. They range in price from the mid $100 range to over $1,200 for the Google Pixel. Educational pricing is available as well.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.8.2

      I’m announcing the release of the 4.8.2 kernel.

      All users of the 4.8 kernel series must upgrade.

    • Linux Kernel 4.8.2 Is Out with x86 and ARM Improvements, Updated Drivers

      Today, October 16, 2016, renowned kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman was proud to announce the general availability of the second point release to the Linux 4.8 kernel series.

      That’s right, Linux kernel 4.8.2 is here, and it arrives a little over a week from the first maintenance update. According to the appended shortlog and the diff from Linux kernel 4.8.1, the new version changes a total of 52 files, with 487 insertions and 213 deletions. Overall, the Linux 4.8.2 kernel looks pretty small in changes with the exception of some ARM and x86 improvements, and the updated drivers.

    • Linux 4.7.8
    • Linux Kernel 4.7.8 Released with x86, ARM, and PowerPC Fixes, Updated Drivers

      Immediately after announcing the second point release of the Linux 4.8 kernel series, Greg Kroah-Hartman informed the community about the immediate availability of Linux kernel 4.7.8.

    • Linux 4.4.25
    • Linux Kernel 4.4.25 LTS Is a Small Update with PowerPC, ARM, and x86 Changes

      After informing us of the release of Linux kernel 4.8.2 and Linux kernel 4.7.8, Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the twenty-fifth maintenance update to the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel series.

    • Linus Torvalds Announces the First Release Candidate of Linux Kernel 4.9

      The first Release Candidate (RC) snapshot of the Linux 4.9 kernel was announced by Linus Torvalds on October 15, 2016, which means that the merge window is now close and development was begun.

      According to Linus Torvalds, the Linux kernel 4.9 merge window was pretty big and that’s why we’re seeing the first Release Candidate build a day earlier than expected. Another reason for shipping the RC1 earlier is to not encourage kernel developers to send in last-minute pull requests.

    • The Exciting Features Of The Linux 4.9 Kernel

      This weekend was the release of Linux 4.9-rc1 to mark the end of the 4.9 kernel merge window. As such, here’s our usual feature overview recapping all of the changes to Linux 4.9 that have us excited about the next version of this open-source kernel.

      Some of the highlights include AMDGPU GCN 1.0 experimental support, memory protection keys support, mainline support for the LG Nexus 5 and Raspberry Pi Zero (along with a lot of other ARM hardware), the Greybus subsystem was added, support for vmapped stacks, and many other additions.

    • Linux Foundation whacks open JavaScript projects umbrella

      A project fostering JavaScript’s panoply of projects has been established by the Linux Foundation.

      The JS Foundation will cultivate JavaScript application and server-side projects. The thinking is to create a centre that drives broad adoption and development of JavaScript technologies and that fosters collaboration. It should help devs and tools builders make sense of the rapid pace of change.

      The focus on standardization and mentoring, JS Foundation executive director Kris Borchers told the Open Source Business Conference in London on Monday. The Linux Foundation and Node.JS will, in particular, work to advance the JavaScript language through bodies such as ECMA TC39 and the W3C.

    • StackPath Supports JavaScript Developers as Founding Member of JS Foundation
    • JavaScript Grows Up and Gets Its Own Foundation
    • Appium joins the JS Foundation
    • Linux Foundation Launches JS Foundation
    • The Linux Foundation Unites JavaScript Community for Open Web Development
    • Node-RED moves to the JS Foundation, making STEM great again, and Blockly for iOS developer preview—SD Times news digest: Oct. 17, 2016
    • The JS Foundation forms to help javascript and servers play nicer together
    • JavaScript projects regroup under a new foundation
    • The Linux Foundation takes on the JavaScript community with the JS Foundation

      The Linux Foundation is giving JavaScript projects a new home. The company announced the JS Foundation is now a Linux Foundation Project. The JS Foundation was designed to foster JavaScript applications and server-side projects by providing best practices and policies.

      “The Linux Foundation’s primary mission is to create the world’s largest shared technology investment,” said Kris Borchers, executive director of the JS Foundation. “JavaScript is an extremely important programming language, which has seen numerous open-source projects arise around it. Many of these projects are essential to the infrastructure of the Internet, so the Linux Foundation feels it is important to ensure they have structured support and neutral governance to ensure their stability, which is why the JS Foundation is being formed.”

    • Meet ‘The Other Linux Logo’, A Modern Take on Tux

      When you look at Tux, the Linux mascot, what do you see? Do you see a penguin? Do you see a project? Or do you see something that’s dated and in need of a revamp? If it’s the latter then check out a modern reinterpretation of the famous penguin notify by designer Ecogex…

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa Benchmarks Post-ReZ RadeonSI Change, Another Game Jumps Up By ~20%

        Earlier this week was a discovery of a “serious performance fix” For the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver by disabling ReZ. That change landed in Mesa Git already so I ran some before/after benchmarks.

        The discovery by AMD’s Marek Olšák was described by him as luck and the small patch to disable ReZ ended up boosting the DIRT Showdown performance by about 15%. In my before/after benchmarks, unfortunately, the game wasn’t working for me on my system with its open-source driver stack… When loading the DiRT Showdown test profile as usual via the Phoronix Test Suite, the game would end up getting hung on the loading screen. Didn’t have that problem a few months back on RadeonSI last time I tried.

    • Benchmarks

      • Dota 2 Radeon OpenGL vs. Vulkan Performance With Mesa Git, Linux 4.9-rc1

        Now that the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver has landed in Mesa Git and Linux 4.9-rc1 is out, I figured it was time for some fresh benchmarks of the Radeon Vulkan driver against the RadeonSI Gallium3D OpenGL driver. Here is the first of that new data.

        For some Sunday benchmarking fun was testing RADV Vulkan vs. RadeonSI OpenGL for Dota 2, the best Vulkan benchmark on Linux to date. In addition to looking at the latest performance results, the Phoronix Test Suite was looking at the CPU utilization in both scenarios too (by setting the MONITOR=cpu.usage environment variable). The OpenGL vs. Vulkan tests were done at a variety of resolutions.

  • Applications

    • Calamares 2.4.2 Universal Linux Installer Supports Disabling of LUKS UI Elements

      The development team behind the Calamares universal installer framework for GNU/Linux distributions announced the second update to the Calamares 2.4 stable series.

      Calamares 2.4.2 is now the latest version of the installer, and, according to release notes, it implements support for disabling LUKS (Linux Unified Key Setup) related UI (User Interface) elements, adds support for Debian-style /etc/default/keyboard configuration as an option, improves the checking of system requirements configuration, and removes the dependency of chfn in the users module.

    • 10 Top Tools for Novelists

      Writing is one of the essential skills in modern society. Being able to communicate effectively is paramount both at work and at home. It makes your thinking visible to others, and is the main way in which work, learning, and intellect is judged by others.

      At first glance, the trusty word processor might seem a good tool for a novelist. After all, in days gone by, budding authors would tap away using a typewritter, and a word processor is the modern day equivalent. Linux has some excellent word processing software such as LibreOffice. However, word processors are actually not the ideal tool for some forms of writing, particularly novel-writing. In fact, it could be said that using a word processor for novel-writing is a recipe for disaster, and actually a retrograde step from a typewritter. Word processors are a general application software that are perfect for constructing business documents, letters, batch mailings using templates, etc. However, many word processors are too obtrusive and distracting for writers. What is needed is software that helps concentrate on the content of the novel, sketch out the chapters and scenes, work out the best structure, import research, add locations, characters and objects, and so on.

    • Lighttpd 1.4.42 Brings New Modules, Rewritten Authentication Framework

      Lighttpd 1.4.42 was released this Sunday morning as the newest version of this open-source, lightweight HTTP web-server.

      Lighttpd 1.4.42 introduces some new modules including mod_deflate, mod_geoip, and mod_uploadprogress. This release also has a rewritten auth framework that affects mod_authn_ldap, mod_authn_gssapi, and mod_authn_mysql.

    • Find Files Faster with FSearch, an ‘Everything Search Engine’ for Linux

      FSearch is a promising new file search utility for the Linux desktop, inspired by the Everything Search Engine tool for Windows.

    • Released OpenStack Newton, Moving OpenStack packages to upstream Gerrit CI/CD

      OpenStack Newton was released on the Thursday 6th of October. I was able to upload nearly all of it before the week-end, though there was a bit of hick-ups still, as I forgot to upload python-fixtures 3.0.0 to unstable, and only realized it thanks to some bug reports. As this is a build time dependency, it didn’t disrupt Sid users too much, but 38 packages wouldn’t build without it. Thanks to Santiago Vila for pointing at the issue here.

      As of writing, a lot of the Newton packages didn’t migrate to Testing yet. It’s been migrating in a very messy way. I’d love to improve this process, but I’m not sure how, if not filling RC bugs against 250 packages (which would be painful to do), so they would migrate at once.

    • Rcpp now used by 800 CRAN packages

      A moment ago, Rcpp hit another milestone: 800 packages on CRAN now depend on it (as measured by Depends, Imports and LinkingTo declarations). The graph is on the left depicts the growth of Rcpp usage over time.

      The easiest way to compute this is to use the reverse_dependencies_with_maintainers() function from a helper scripts file on CRAN. This still gets one or false positives of packages declaring a dependency but not actually containing C++ code and the like. There is also a helper function revdep() in the devtools package but it includes Suggests: which does not firmly imply usage, and hence inflates the count. I have always opted for a tighter count with corrections.

    • backup.sh opensourced

      All the authors agreed to a GPLv2+ licensing, so now it’s time for backup.sh to meet the world. It does about the simplest thing you can imagine: ssh to the server and use GNU tar to tar down every filesystem that has the “dump” bit set in fstab. Every 30 days, it does a full backup; otherwise, it does an incremental backup using GNU tar’s incremental mode (which makes sure you will also get information about file deletes). It doesn’t do inter-file diffs (so if you have huge files that change only a little bit every day, you’ll get blowup), and you can’t do single-file restores without basically scanning through all the files; tar isn’t random-access. So it doesn’t do much fancy, but it works, and it sends you a nice little email every day so you can know your backup went well. (There’s also a less frequently used mode where the backed-up server encrypts the backup using GnuPG, so you don’t even need to trust the backup server.) It really takes fifteen minutes to set up, so now there’s no excuse. :-)

    • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Inklings, a lemmings-style puzzle game is now out on Linux

        Inklings [Steam, Official Site] is an indie lemmings-style puzzle game with simple visuals, guide your Inklings to safety! This game comes from a family team of developers.

        The developer told me that himself and his brother developed it, while their mother had a hand at the level paintings.

        I’ve tested it out for a bit, as the developer sent in a key and I haven’t come across any problems. It’s quite a nice game, but it is rather simplistic visually.

      • Hyper Ultra Astronautics, a fast-paced competitive local multiplayer space arena
      • Stellar Overload, the block-based adventure FPS is now on Steam

        If you remember, I recently wrote about Stellar Overload [Steam, Official Site] and did a small preview. The good news is that the game is now available on Steam with Linux support.

        While there are a lot of these block games now, Stellar Overload at least offers up some unique features. The major one being cube shaped planets to explore. I’ve found it to be way more interesting than other blocky games.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Talos’s $18K Linux Workstation, KDE 1 on Modern Metal & More…

        KDE reissues KDE 1 for modern hardware: Now you can turn your latest and greatest PC or laptop into its own “way back machine” by fixing it up with KDE 1, the release that started everything “K.” It seems that the folks at KDE wanted to come up with a special gift for their supporters to celebrate the project’s 20th birthday, which was October 14, so they went to work fixing KDE 1 so it’ll run on modern metal. It might be a little work getting it up and operating properly on your machine, but I’m sure that some will find it worth it for such a retro experience. Read all about it, complete with screenshots, on the Helio Castro website.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Nautilus 3.22.1 File Manager Improves the Batch Renaming Feature, Adds Fixes

        The popular Nautilus (Files) file manager saw its first point release for the latest 3.22 series, distributed as part of the recently announced GNOME 3.22.1 desktop environment.

        Yes, that’s right, we’re talking here about Nautilus 3.22.1, the latest, and most advanced, stable version of the file manager used in numerous GNU/Linux distributions, including the very popular Ubuntu, Fedora Workstation, openSUSE Leap and Tumbleweed, Solus, and many others.

      • gnome extensions

        In general when using Gnome I try and avoid extensions. Most of the ‘default’ setup is fine or I was able to get used to it and it works well enough. There are a few extensions I do use however for various reasons. All of these work with Wayland.

      • GNOME 3.22/KDE Plasma 5.8 release party in Brno

        Last Thursday, we organized a regular Linux Desktop Meetup in Brno and because two major desktop environments had had their releases recently we also added a release party to celebrate them.

        The meetup itself took place in the Red Hat Lab at FIT BUT (venue of GUADEC 2013) and it consisted of 4 talks. I spoke on new things in GNOME 3.22, our KDE developer Jan Grulich spoke on new things in Plasma 5.8, then Oliver Gutierrez spoke on Fleet Commander and the last talk was given by Lucie Karmova who is using Fedora as a desktop in a public organization and shared her experiences with the Linux desktop.

      • GNOME outreach flyer for local groups and events

        One of my very early contributions to GNOME was a flyer. FOSDEM 2014 was one of the first conferences I attended and with me I had brought printouts of this flyer which we handed out to people from the GNOME stand.

      • GTK4 Development Code Just Received 100+ Commits Dropping Old Stuff

        Development on the GTK+ 4.0 tool-kit continues moving along and this weekend has seen 100+ commits dropping various deprecated and outdated code.

  • Distributions

    • Top 5 Penetration Testing Linux Distributions

      There are a seemingly endless amount of Linux distros for just about every area of use. This includes pen testing, sometimes called hacking, distros. Some of you are undoubtedly familiar with, at least if you have spent any time looking around at all the distributions out there. ​

    • New Releases

      • 4MParted 20 Disk Partitioning Live CD Enters Beta Stage, Based on GParted 0.26.1

        Today, October 16, 2016, 4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki informs Softpedia about the release and immediate availability of the Beta pre-release version of the upcoming 4MParted 20.0 Live CD.

        Based on the 4MLinux 20.0 operating system, which is also in the Beta stages of development, the 4MParted 20.0 disk partitioning Live CD is built around the popular and open-source GParted 0.26.1 graphical partition editor utility, which right now is the best tool for formatting, resizing, splitting, and joining disk partitions of any type.

      • ExLight Live DVD Is Now Based on Ubuntu 16.10, Ships with Enlightenment 0.20

        Today, October 16, 2016, GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton informs Softpedia about the release and immediate availability of a new, updated version of his lightweight ExLight Live DVD distribution.

        Based on the recently released Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) and Debian GNU/Linux 8.6 “Jessie” operating systems, ExLight Live DVD Build 161016 uses Arne Exton’s special kernel 4.8.0-21-exton, which is based on Linux kernel 4.8 (also used in Ubuntu 16.10), replacing the 4.6.0-10-exlight kernel used in previous releases of ExLight.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat finds virtualization vital for enterprise despite container competition

        Containers are hot, but virtualization adoption remains on the rise within the enterprise, according to recent Red Hat research.

        The survey of more than 900 enterprise IT pros found businesses are using virtualization to drive server consolidation, decrease provisioning time, and provide infrastructure for developers to build and deploy applications.

      • Why Red Hat’s OpenShift, not OpenStack, is making waves with developers
      • Happy 15th Birthday Red Hat Product Security

        This summer marked 15 years since we founded a dedicated Product Security team for Red Hat. While we often publish information in this blog about security technologies and vulnerabilities, we rarely give an introspection into the team itself. So I’d like, if I may, to take you on a little journey through those 15 years and call out some events that mean the most to me; particularly what’s changed and what’s stayed the same. In the coming weeks some other past and present members of the team will be giving their anecdotes and opinions too. If you have a memory of working with our team we’d love to hear about it, you can add a comment here or tweet me.

      • Red Hat Names University of Dammam as the first Red Hat Academy in Saudi Arabia

        Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the University of Dammam has been signed as the first Red Hat Academy in Saudi Arabia. Starting today, the university will offer Red Hat courses and exams to up to 200 students per year, who will receive hands-on instruction, curriculum and labs, performance-based testing, and educator support.

        University of Dammam has chosen Red Hat to support its IT infrastructure and encourages students to learn in new and exciting ways. As a pre-eminent research-based institution, the University of Dammam has grown and developed through continually assessing and aiming to improve its curriculum and expand its academic capabilities across disciplines.

      • Dammam university named first Red Hat Academy in Saudi
      • Red Hat to flaunt open source technologies

        “Making true digital transformation is difficult unless organisations in the Middle East embrace central themes such as software-defined everything, hyperscale, containers and hybrid cloud,” said Lee Miles, General Manager Middle East and Africa, Red Hat. “Proprietary technology will no longer exist as a viable innovation model. Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, will participate in GITEX Technology Week where its focus will be on demonstrating how the company’s open source technologies are helping accelerate business transformation by enabling all these trends.”

      • Finance

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • How Building Strong Open Source Teams Is Like Raising Chickens

    Dr. Margaret Heffernan, in her LinuxCon North America keynote, tells an open source story that isn’t about software. It’s a story about chickens.

    If your organization is struggling to build teams that work well together, and it feels more like The Hunger Games than a smoothly functioning team, let the tale of the two chicken flocks show you the open source way. Dr. Heffernan tells how a reseacher used two flocks of laying hens to study how to breed more productive egg-layers. One was an average, nothing special flock, just ordinary hens. The other flock was composed of super-chickens, hens who were highly productive egg layers. The researcher bred only the most productive of the super-chickens, and did no selective breeding in the first flock.

  • Keynote: Beyond Measure: The True Power and Skill of Collaboration by Dr. Margaret Heffernan
  • Meet Hubot: The DevOps chat bot
  • Google Delivers its own Open Source Report Card

    In recent months, Google has open sourced a slew of useful tools, many of them tested and hardened in-house. They include machine learning applications, 3D visualization tools and more. Now, in a move that should be followed by other companies, Google has announced the ‘Open Source Report Card.’

    “Today we’re sharing our first Open Source Report Card, highlighting our most popular projects, sharing a few statistics and detailing some of the projects we’ve released in 2016. We’ve open sourced over 20 million lines of code to date and you can find a listing of some of our best known project releases on our website,” said Josh Simmons, from Google’s Open Source Programs Office.

  • IBM i Open Source Roadmap Finds Perl

    Support for open source development on IBM i has been a big deal for the Technology Refresh program. Just last week, with the latest TR announcement, support for Perl was added along with support for the current version of Node.js, which is v6. In previous TRs, we have seen support for programming languages like Ruby and Python, plus tools such as the GNU Compiler Collection and Git. The PHP language, the Eclipse integrated development environment, and the Apache web server are pre-TR open source advancements.

    Compared to Node.js, Python, Ruby, and PHP, there’s not much happening in terms of new application development in Perl. It was once one of the big three–Perl, Python, and PHP–recalled consultant Alan Seiden, after I emailed him to discuss open source support on i. Seiden, a PHP subject matter expert, was quick to note PHP originally was a macro language over Perl scripts in the days before PHP was rewritten in C. Perl scripts are under the covers for a ton of open source software.

  • Events

    • How a healthy developer conference budget can provide a big ROI for organizations

      At OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Emily Hugenbruch, John Arwe, and Ji Chen will give a talk called How to lose clients and alienate coworkers: Lessons learned on an OpenStack enterprise journey. In a recent email interview, Emily, an Advisory Software Engineer and z/VM OpenStack Community Liaison at IBM, discusses the transition developers from proprietary backgrounds must make when they move onto open source projects, and she explains the big ROI on sending developers to conferences.

    • Event report: PyCon India 2016

      This time instead of per day report, I will try to write about things happened during PyCon India. This time we had the conference at JNU, in Delhi. It was nice to be back at JNU after such a long time. The other plus point was about the chance to meet ilug-delhi again.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome Remote Desktop 53 adds remote sound support [APK Download]

        Chrome Remote Desktop is a rather obscure Google product, but that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. Once the desktop application is installed, you can control it from any Android device, iOS device, or computer (with Chrome). In my testing, it actually works extremely well, often with a lower latency than popular remote access applications like TeamViewer.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • OpenBGPD Large Communities

      Back in the early days of The Internet, when routers rode dinosaurs to work and nerds weren’t cool, we wanted to signal to our network neighbours certain information about routes. To be fair, we still do. But, back then everyone had 16 bit ASNs, so there was a simple concept called ‘communities’. This was a 32bit opaque value, that was traditionally split into two 16bit values. Conveniently, we were able to encode an “us” and a “them”, and perform actions based on what our neighbours told us.


      OpenBGPD in OpenBSD -current has support for Large Communities, and this will be available in the 6.1 release and later.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Dutch govt ordered to use open standards for comms from 2017

      Government bodies in the Netherlands will have to use open technology standards for communications after next year, following a vote by the nation’s parliament.

      The requirement for open document standards has already been adopted by the Netherlands Senate, but a motion by Member of Parliament Astrid Oosenbrug has now unified the policy. She said the lower house would be the first government body to standardize around the use of Open Document Format (ODF).

      “We should set the right example,” she said. “Ironically, lower house published the adopted law on its website by providing a download link to a document in a proprietary format.”

      As part of the new legislation, the government will also promote the use of open source code across government and the private sector. Michiel Leenaars, head of the Dutch Internet Society, welcomed the move.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • PHP 8.0 Likely To Have A New JIT Engine

      Zend has begun developing a new JIT (Just-In-Time) Engine for PHP and is expecting it will likely be ready for PHP 8.0.

      PHP 8.0 is still out in the distance with PHP 7.1 being what’s under development now for release in the weeks ahead while PHP8 is much further down the road. However, Zend has already begun work on a new JIT for PHP that they hope will be able to “deliver some useful results” for the next major PHP version.

    • Top software and the programming language in which they are written

      BackRub (Google’s first incarnation) was written in Java and Python. Now, Google’s front end is written in C and C++ and its famous crawlers (Spyders) were written in Python. However, the crawler kept crashing, and indexes got stale with old information, therefore Google developed a new crawler (capable of incremental index updates) written in C++.

    • ALLVM: Forthcoming Project to Ship All Software As LLVM IR

      Interest is growing around shipping software as LLVM IR and will be discussed at this year’s LLVM Developers’ Meeting.

      Various parties have been investigating using LLVM IR as the medium for shipping software while doing the final conversion on the host for execution. The aim would be to provide greater performance, security, and other benefits by the distributed software being LLVM IR.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • VK9: Still Pursuing Direct3D 9 Over Vulkan

      VK9 is the project formerly known as SchaeferGL as an open-source project implementing Direct3D 9 over Vulkan.

      It’s been a few months since originally writing about this open-source project and fortunately pleased this week to see its development continuing, albeit now under the name VK9. The developer, Christopher Schaefer, recently passed his “third milestone” with getting to the point where the geometry is correctly being passed to the render pipeline, texture loading is beginning to work, etc.


  • Annual Survey of American Fears Released — 2016 Edition

    The 2016 survey shows that the top 10 things Americans fear the most are:

    Corruption of government officials (same top fear as 2015)
    Terrorist attacks
    Not having enough money for the future
    Being a victim of terror
    Government restrictions on firearms and ammunition (new)
    People I love dying
    Economic or financial collapse
    Identity theft
    People I love becoming seriously ill
    The Affordable Health Care Act/”Obamacare”

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • 55 Civil Society Groups Ask US Government To Allow Export Of Affordable Version Of Prostate Cancer Drug Xtandi

      A range of 55 civil society organisations from around the world today sent a letter asking the United States Department of Health and Human Services to accept an offer from a Canadian generics company, Biolyse Pharma, to manufacture and export high-priced cancer drug Xtandi to countries with a per capita income of less than one-third that of the United States.

      The groups included Knowledge Ecology International, Public Citizen, Oxfam, NAACP, cancer and HIV/AIDS groups and “a host of other social justice, faith, patient, and consumer groups,” as described by KEI in a release.

    • EFF Co-Founder Announces Benefit Concert to Pay His Medical Bills

      Barlow’s family describes the last 18 months as a “medical incarceration” with “a dizzying array of medical events and complications” that has depleted his savings and insurance benefits. They’ve also set up a site for donations from “his fellow innovators, artists, cowboys, and partners-in-crime, to help us provide the quality of care necessary for Barlow’s recovery.”

    • The DEA Backs Off Its Kratom Ban…For Now

      The internet exploded in September when America’s Drug Enforcement Agency announced it would outlaw kratom—a mildly popular plant native to Southeast Asia. The DEA claimed the plant should be a Schedule I substance and join the ranks of heroin, Ecstasy and marijuana as a chemical with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

      Kratom is one of those weird, understudied substances headshops sell alongside salvia and fly agaric mushrooms. And much like any drug, kratom’s effects vary widely based on the user, the dose and the setting.

      Some fans describe a stimulant effect at low doses, others claim a high dose mimics opiates (a claim with some scientific backing) while still others can gobble up the powdered plant with no high whatsoever. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the drug, which is a big reason the DEA shouldn’t ban it. Marking a chemical Schedule I makes it incredibly hard to do any kind of scientific study.

    • Here’s How California Would Spend Its Expected $1 Billion in Marijuana Tax Revenue

      The Nov. 8 election can’t come quickly enough for some people — especially for supporters of California’s recreational marijuana legalization initiative, Prop 64.

      Prop 64 would legalize recreational cannabis for adults aged 21 and up and impose a 15% sales tax at the retail level on consumers. Additionally, growers would be subject to a $9.25 per ounce tax on marijuana flowers, and a $2.75 per ounce tax on cannabis leaves, at the wholesale level. If approved, cannabis research firm New Frontier estimates that marijuana sales in California could jump from $2.76 billion in 2015 (solely from medical cannabis) to $6.46 billion by 2020. This more than doubling in sales could lead to the state of California collecting more than $1 billion in annual tax and licensing revenue as a result.

      Early indications would suggest that Prop 64 has a good chance of passing. Nationally, Gallup puts support for marijuana in its poll at 58%, and two recent California polls from the Public Policy Institute and Field Poll/Institute for Government Studies found identical support levels for Prop 64 at 60%.

      With an approval looking likely, it’s time to consider how California plans to spend this new source of revenue.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • NyaDrop exploiting Internet of Things insecurity to infect Linux devices with malware

      A Linux threat known as NyaDrop is exploiting a lack of security in Internet of Things (IoT) devices to infect them with malware.

      A NyaDrop attack begins with the threat attempting to brute force the default login credentials of internet-exposed IoT device running Linux. It does so by running through its list of stored usernames and passwords, a collection which is no doubt similar to that of the Mirai botnet.

    • Smart cities: 5 security areas CIO should watch

      New worms designed to attach to IoT devices will emerge − and they could wreck more havoc given the extended reach of the new converged networks.

      Conficker is an example of a worm that spread on PC’s in 2008 and is still persistent and prevalent in 2016.

      Likewise, worms and viruses that can propagate from device to device can be expected to emerge – particularly with mobile and the Android operating system.

      Embedded worms will spread by leveraging and exploiting vulnerabilities in the growing IoT and mobile attack surface. The largest botnet FortiGuard labs has witnessed is in the range of 15 million PCs.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • US and Russia headed for new cold war

      Since the 1940s, every newly elected United States president has been confronted with the same foreign policy predicament: how to deal with a Russia which on some subjects could be a partner, but in almost all others remained an unbending strategic competitor.

      And so will be the case with whoever takes over the White House from Jan 20 next year: she or he will grapple with the same problem no fewer than 13 previous US leaders faced.

      But this time, the stakes are higher than they have been in decades. For Russia’s unprecedented meddling in the US electoral process presents the American authorities with an immediate challenge to which they have to provide a robust riposte. And there are few viable options apart from greater confrontation between Russia and the US. The future relationship between the two powers looks grim, the grimmest it has been in almost half a century.

    • Putin to Kremlin journalists: US is watching you
    • In Somalia, U.S. Escalates a Shadow War

      The Obama administration has intensified a clandestine war in Somalia over the past year, using Special Operations troops, airstrikes, private contractors and African allies in an escalating campaign against Islamist militants in the anarchic Horn of Africa nation.

      Hundreds of American troops now rotate through makeshift bases in Somalia, the largest military presence since the United States pulled out of the country after the “Black Hawk Down” battle in 1993.

      The Somalia campaign, as it is described by American and African officials and international monitors of the Somali conflict, is partly designed to avoid repeating that debacle, which led to the deaths of 18 American soldiers. But it carries enormous risks — including more American casualties, botched airstrikes that kill civilians and the potential for the United States to be drawn even more deeply into a troubled country that so far has stymied all efforts to fix it.

    • Imams in Germany brainwashed Berlin bomb attack plotter Jaber Albakr, says brother

      Jaber Albakr, the 22-year-old Syrian refugee recently arrested in Leipzig, Germany for planning a terror attack on Berlin, was radicalised by religious preachers, or imams, his brother has said. It is said that Albakr was linked to the Islamic State (Isis) in Syria, but his brother neither confirmed, nor denied the allegations.

      Jaber was arrested earlier in the week on suspicion of plotting to bomb a Berlin airport, but he killed himself in prison two days later.

      Alaa Albakr said his brother began showing signs of radicalisation while in Germany, where he was a refugee. “Last year he started posting jihadi videos and songs,” Alaa told Reuters over phone from the village of Sa’sa’ near Damascus.

      Alaa added that although Jaber started appearing to have been inspired by jihadists, considering his Facebook posts, he never thought his brother would indulge in violence. He also said that he failed to understand why his brother would have wanted to attack a country that had given shelter to thousands of fleeing Syrians, including himself.

    • ‘My Sister Is 16, They Married Her To 7 Men’: ISIS Crimes Against Women

      A handcuffed man sits on a dirty couch in a small room. The walls are painted a sickly, pale yellow that is even less appealing in the harsh fluorescent lighting. Two fighters and an officer clad in green camouflage stand by, watching.

      The prisoner is in his mid- to late 30s, relatively fair-skinned for an Iraqi, with curly auburn hair and light brown eyes. According to the Peshmerga, the fighting force of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), he was the leader of an Islamic State intelligence unit. His jailers explain that the prisoner was responsible for interrogating people in Islamic State-held territory, trying to gather information and root out any internal dissent.

      I purposefully twirl a piece of my hair around my index finger. I am aware that the prisoner, as a member of an organization that insists on the complete submission of women, is likely fighting back fury at the sight of an unveiled woman looking at him without fear.

    • RSS root BJP leader hacked to death in Jihadi style in Bengaluru. City on Communal Fire.

      A RSS root – BJP Local Leader aged about 42-years was murdered in full public view on Sunday afternoon, right in the heart of Bengaluru city near Commercial Street, in a brazen attack that sent shivers down the spine of onlookers.

      Shops in Commercial street were forced to down shutters after RSS and BJP workers held protests on the streets, following which riot control police were deployed in the area.

      Rudresh R, a resident of Shivajinagar, was on his way home in the afternoon at about 1.30 after attending an event of the RSS, when the assailant on a bike attacked him with a knife near a Hindu temple on Kamaraj road. The attacker, who was riding pillion, slit Rudresh’s throat from behind in a copybook ISIS style, witnesses told the police.

    • Narendra Modi labels Pakistan ‘mothership of terrorism’

      In a barely concealed reference to Pakistan, the Indian prime minister accused his country’s neighbour of promoting terrorism. “Tragically the mothership of terrorism is a country in India’s neighbourhood,” Modi told a gathering in India of the heads of governments of the Brics countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

      “Terror modules around the world are linked to this mothership,” he said. “This country shelters not just terrorists. It nurtures a mindset. A mindset that loudly proclaims that terrorism is justified for political gains. It is a mindset we strongly condemn. And against which we as Brics need to stand and act together. Brics must speak in one voice against this threat.”

      Sunday’s meeting in the Indian state of Goa was attended by the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and the president of China, Xi Jinping.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Clinton WikiLeaks Update: Leaked Emails Show Hillary Told Climate Change Activists To ‘Get A Life’

      At a meeting with environmentalists last year in which they probed Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on renouncing fossil fuels, the former secretary of state dismissed the activists saying they should “get a life.” The revelation came about when WikiLeaks dumped more emails from the accounts of Clinton aide John Podesta on Saturday.

      A section of Clinton’s meeting with the building trades union in September last year was made public Saturday where she said she defended natural gas and fracking “under the right circumstances.” The meeting occurred at a time when she was fighting a challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

      “Bernie Sanders is getting lots of support from the most radical environmentalists because he’s out there every day bashing the Keystone pipeline. And, you know, I’m not into it for that,” Clinton said at the meeting, according to transcripts. “My view is, I want to defend natural gas. I want to defend repairing and building the pipelines we need to fuel our economy. I want to defend fracking under the right circumstances.”

    • Forest Fires Still Persist in Siak and Meranti

      Tera and Aqua satellites are monitoring five hot spots as the signs of forest and land fires in Riau.

      “Hot spots were observed at 4 o’clock,” Head of Pekanbaru Metorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Sugarin said on Saturday (15/10).

      Sugarin mentioned that hot spots were observed in Pelalawan, Meranti, Siak, Downstream Rokan, and Upstream Indragiri, one in each area.

      Out of the detected five spots, two hot spots are confirmed to have a raging fire, which are in Siak and Meranti.

      The fire swept about 50 hectares of fire and land in Telesung and Tanjung Kedabu villages in Meranti.

    • How the changing weather affects our health

      Two months ago, I strained my neck. It’s better, but I now notice that every time it gets cold, I feel tingling all down my arm. I started joking that I had become one of those people who could “tell when it’s about to rain” because my joints hurt. Then I wondered: how does changing weather affect our health?

      Turns out, it’s not just that we’re more likely to get sick when the weather turns cold. Lots of health issues are associated with the changing of the seasons.

      First, there may be some truth to the old wives’ tale that old injuries can “tell” when it’s about to rain. As far back as 400 BC, people were complaining that the changing weather made their joints hurt, according to a paper on the relationship between weather and pain.

  • Finance

    • D.C. Hivemind Mulls How Clinton Can Pass Huge Corporate Tax Cut

      Treating the whole voting thing as a formality, serious political players are now pondering how exactly President Hillary Clinton can pass what Sen. Elizabeth Warren has called “a giant wet kiss for tax dodgers.”

      This discussion isn’t happening on television, where normal people would hear about it. Or on Reddit, where people would freak out about it. To the degree it’s taking place in public at all, it surfaces in elite publications, where only elites are paying attention.

      For instance, Peter Orszag, a top Obama economic official before he left to cash in with Citigroup, just wrote an op-ed in the Financial Times on how to make the wet kiss happen.

    • Boris Johnson takes waffling to world-beating levels

      Imagine a past where Britain ruled the world. Imagine a world where Britain no longer had to kowtow to the jackboot of the EU. Boris Johnson can do both, and he wanted to share his vision with the foreign affairs committee. “I was having lunch somewhere in the Gulf with this sheikh the other day,” he confided. And what the sheikh had told him was that the region was fed up with being abandoned to the French and was longing for some good old-fashioned colonial rule.

      “People want more Britain, not less,” he said, donning a pith helmet, “and that’s what I am going to give them. Now that we are about to be liberated from the EU, there will be no corner of the globe from which the union jack does not fly.”

    • Flash Crash trader Navinder Sarao loses US extradition appeal

      The London trader accused of spoofing the US financial markets will be extradited to stand trial in the States after losing his final appeal.

      Navinder Sarao, a 37-year-old from Hounslow, has been fighting the US authorities’ bid to extradite him since he was arrested at his home in April 2015.

      He has been charged with 22 offences that come with a maximum sentence of 380 years in total. His trading strategies, run from his bedroom in his parents’ home, generated $40m (£32m) in profits, prosecutors allege.

    • Retailers are finally realizing that starting Black Friday on Thanksgiving is a terrible idea

      Retailers have officially lost the so-called “war on Thanksgiving.”

      An increasing number of retailers are closing on Thanksgiving Day this year in response to backlash against the trend of starting Black Friday sales a day early.

      CBL & Associates, the operator of 89 regional malls and shopping centers, announced it would close 73 of its locations on Thanksgiving Day and not open until 6 a.m. on Black Friday, CNBC reported. Last year, the mall operator opened at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Stein, Green Party running mate to campaign in Michigan

      Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka are scheduled to make campaign stops in Michigan this month, the Michigan coordinator for Stein’s campaign said Thursday.

      LuAnne Kozma said Stein will make a public campaign stop at 2 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Redford Theatre in Detroit before heading to Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti for a 6 p.m. event at the Bowen Field House. Both events are free.

    • Judge Nap: New FBI Docs Show ‘Bribe Offer’ to Agents in Hillary Email Probe

      Judge Andrew Napolitano said this morning that newly-released FBI documents show evidence of a bribe being offered by a senior State Department official to FBI agents.

      Patrick F. Kennedy, the undersecretary of state for management, is reported to have pressured FBI agents to change the classification on sensitive documents found on Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

      The new revelations were contained in just-released FBI interview summaries from the Clinton email investigation.

    • Journalists shower Hillary Clinton with campaign cash

      New Yorker television critic Emily Nussbaum, a newly minted Pulitzer Prize winner, spent the Republican National Convention pen-pricking presidential nominee Donald Trump as a misogynist shyster running an “ugly and xenophobic campaign.”

      What Nussbaum didn’t disclose in her dispatches: she contributed $250 to Democrat Hillary Clinton in April.

      On the nation’s left coast, Les Waldron, an Emmy Award-winning assignment editor at television station KFMB, the CBS affiliate in San Diego, swung right in July, shooting $28 to Trump.

      And Carole Simpson, a former ABC “World News Tonight” anchor who in 1992 became the first African-American woman to moderate a presidential debate, is not moderate about her personal politics: the current Emerson College distinguished journalist-in-residence and regular TV news guest has given Clinton $2,800.

    • Pressure Cited Against Marking Clinton E-Mails Classified

      A State Department team responsible for determining which records should be kept secret felt “immense pressure” not to label any of about 300 e-mails found on Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server as classified, according to interview summaries released by the FBI.

      Officials from the State Department’s Information Programs and Services office began a review in March 2015 of 296 e-mails that were set to be turned over to a House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

      “IPS felt immense pressure to complete the review quickly and not label anything as classified,” according to interview notes from a State Department official whose name was redacted from the FBI summary.

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday released 100 pages of redacted interview notes, known as 302s, the latest batch of summaries made public from its inquiry into Clinton’s use of private e-mail for official business while secretary of state. She has called using the private system a “mistake,” but her Republican opponent Donald Trump has said it’s a crime and told her in the second presidential debate that “you’d be in jail” if he wins on Nov. 8.

    • The Press Buries Hillary Clinton’s Sins

      If average voters turned on the TV for five minutes this week, chances are they know that Donald Trump made lewd remarks a decade ago and now stands accused of groping women.

      But even if average voters had the TV on 24/7, they still probably haven’t heard the news about Hillary Clinton: That the nation now has proof of pretty much everything she has been accused of.

    • The Clinton Foundation left a toxic legacy in Colombia

      Hillary Clinton has long said she is “very proud” of the Clinton Foundation’s work, but many of its beneficiaries in Colombia wonder why.

      Since Bill Clinton established the foundation in the late 1990s, with help over the years from Hillary and daughter Chelsea, the nonprofit “global philanthropic empire” has raised roughly $2 billion from foreign governments and various wealthy donors to tackle global development and health problems. While intense media scrutiny has focused on the foundation’s donations and its use of that money – partly because of the wealth of available information on its vast financial intake – little sustained attention has been dedicated to its accomplishments on the ground.

    • Glenn Greenwald: WikiLeaks Emails Clearly Show Serious Media Impropriety

      Glenn Greenwald joined Brian Stelter on CNN this morning to discuss the “serious impropriety” between the media and Team Clinton, as shown in the WikiLeaks emails.

      Greenwald, who personally doesn’t agree with WikiLeaks’ “dump everything” approach to transparency, still thinks not only is it ethical to report on the leaks, but it would be “incredibly unethical” if journalists didn’t.

      Stelter asked if anything shows serious “media collusion.” Greenwald said that while there’s some normal back-and-forth communications there people might be exaggerating, there is “serious impropriety” in there. And while on CNN, he cited as his chief example the mess that Donna Brazile and CNN have gotten into over an apparently-leaked town hall question to Team Clinton.

    • Stein addresses immigration, police issues, Middle East

      An overflow crowd of about more than 300 cheered for Green Party candidate Jill Stein as she spoke about various topics, including immigration, U.S. policy in the Middle East and people killed by police during a rally at Cafe Mayapan in South El Paso.

      “Don’t be fooled by the lesser evil. Don’t think for a moment that you have to drink that Kool-Aid,” Stein said.

      There is a need for a third party because of the influence by big money donors over the Republican and Democratic parties, said Stein who took shots at Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump and Libertarian Gary Johnson.

      Stein’s visit was the first to El Paso by a candidate for president during the current election season. Election Day is Nov. 8.

    • New WikiLeaks emails show influence of Univision chairman in Clinton campaign

      The clashes between presidential candidate Donald Trump and the Spanish-language Univision television network began within days of Trump’s announcement last year that he was seeking the Republican nomination.

      Now, a series of emails pirated from the Democratic National Committee and published in the past week by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks show that within days of Trump’s June 16, 2015, announcement of his candidacy, Univision’s chairman, Haim Saban, was urging the Clinton campaign to take a tougher stance on Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.

      “Haim thinks we are underreacting to Trump/Hispanics. Thinks we can get something by standing up for Latinos or attacking R’s (Republicans) for not condemning,” Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta wrote July 3, 2015, in an email to other Clinton staffers.

    • Fears mount on Trump’s ‘rigged election’ rhetoric

      Donald Trump is laying the groundwork to lose on Nov. 8, refuse to concede the election, and teeter the country into an unprecedented crisis of faith in government. Republicans and Democrats, in Washington and beyond, fear that the aftermath of the 2016 election will create a festering infection in the already deep and lasting wound that the campaign is leaving on America.

      And, they say, only Republican leaders who speak up will have any chance of stopping it.

      “Polls close, but can you believe I lost large numbers of women voters based on made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED. Media rigging election!” Trump tweeted Sunday morning in response to the latest round of numbers showing him behind.

    • Report: Tech investor Peter Thiel will donate $1.25M to Trump campaign

      Silicon Valley heavyweight Peter Thiel will soon cement his place as one of Donald Trump’s biggest financial supporters. The New York Times reported last night that the billionaire venture capitalist, who co-founded PayPal, will donate $1.25 million to Trump’s Presidential campaign.

      According to the report, part of the money will go to a pro-Trump Super PAC, while some will go directly to the campaign. Thiel declined to comment on the donation, which was sourced to “a person close to” Thiel.

      Saying that Trump’s support in Silicon Valley is slim would be an understatement. Thiel, who spoke at the Republican National Convention in July, is practically the only high-profile tech personality who has come out in support of Trump.

    • The growing list of women who have stepped forward to accuse Trump of touching them inappropriately

      Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper at the second presidential debate on Oct. 9 that he had never touched women without their consent. The comment came after The Washington Post published a video of Trump bragging to “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush in 2005 that he could kiss and grope women without their permission because he was a celebrity.

      “Have you ever done those things?” Cooper asked at the debate. “I will tell you: No, I have not,” Trump responded.

      Since then, a series of women have come forward to accuse Trump of inappropriately touching or kissing them without their permission. Trump has denied the allegations. In a Saturday morning tweet, he called them “100% fabricated and made-up charges, pushed strongly by the media and the Clinton Campaign,” warning that they “may poison the minds of the American Voter.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • BBFC Appointed Censorship Role Over Websites, Porn, Adult Content

      The British Board of Film Classification has been appointed arbiter over adult content viewed by U.K., citizens via the internet. This comes after the BBFC signed an agreement with the U.K., government for the 2016 Digital Economy Bill, where the appointment of arbitration was granted to the classification board.

      The news was reported recently by Xbiz.com after the bill was weighed in on by the U.K., Parliament in a recent committee hearing that you can view over on the official Parliament website. The article explains that the BBFC will be monitoring local and foreign sites that may contain content for those 18 years of age and older, and will ensure that these sites have appropriate age gates for accessing said content.

    • ‘Maybe I said something wrong’: Putin mocks US surveillance during presser power blackout
    • The NSA’s Far Reach? Power Fails After Putin ‘Said Something Wrong’ (VIDEO)
    • Internet censorship: making the hidden visible

      Despite being founded on ideals of freedom and openness, censorship on the internet is rampant, with more than 60 countries engaging in some form of state-sponsored censorship. A research project at the University of Cambridge is aiming to uncover the scale of this censorship, and to understand how it affects users and publishers of information.

    • Flying the Isis flag is legal, Sweden declares

      Flying the Isis flag in Sweden is not illegal and cannot be considered an incitement to racial hatred, according to a Swedish prosecutor.

      A 23-year-old man from Laholm has avoided prosecution after he allegedly posted a picture of himself with the Isis flag as his Facebook profile photo.

      The photo was reported to the police in March and the men was investigated for incitement to racial hatred. The man, originally from Syria, denied the charges.

      He said he is not a supporter of Isis and claimed the flag has been used as a symbol of Islam for hundreds of years and then abused by Isis, his defence attorney Bjorn Nilsson told the Swedish newspaper Hallandsposten.

    • Germany threatens Facebook with hate speech law

      The threat from Volker Kauder, a key member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, follows a similar warning by Justice Minister Heiko Maas, in a growing sign of German politicians’ frustration with such websites.

      “The time for round-tables is over. I’ve run out of patience,” said Volker Kauder, chairman of the Christian Democratic Union’s parliamentary group.

      Facebook and Twitter have seen a rise in anti-migrant commentary in Europe’s biggest economy, as public misgivings grow in some corners over the almost 900,000 asylum seekers who arrived last year.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • ACLU Dumps Docs On Social Media Monitoring Firm Geofeedia; Social Media Platforms Respond By Dumping Geofeedia

      Surveilling citizens engaged in First Amendment-protected activity? That’s just how Geofeedia rolls.

      Records obtained by the ACLU show the private company pitched its “firehose” connection to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as a way to monitor the situation in Ferguson (during the 2014 protests) and “stay one step ahead of the rioters.”

      Geofeedia itself didn’t do anything illegal. It simply provided a one-stop shop for social media monitoring of public posts. It’s the way it was pitched that was a problem. Rather than sell it as a way to keep law enforcement informed of criminal activity, its sales team highlighted its usefulness in monitoring protestors and other First Amendment activity.

      The documents the ACLU obtained show the company paid these three social media services for “firehose” attachments — beefed-up API calls that allowed Geofeedia to access more public posts faster than law enforcement could do on its own.

    • Two More Courts Find In Favor Of The FBI And Its NIT Warrant; No Suppression Granted

      Two more rulings on suppression motions in FBI Playpen cases have been handed down. (h/t Riana Pfefferkorn) The ruling [PDF] in Tennessee agrees with the defendant that the FBI’s NIT warrant exceeded Rule 41 jurisdiction limits. The following quotes are from the more substantive “Report and Recommendation” [PDF] by the magistrate judge, which has been adopted by the court overseeing the criminal trial.

    • UK surveillance agencies illegally kept data on British citizens’ communications, spying court finds
    • UK security agencies unlawfully collected data for 17 years, court rules

      British security agencies have secretly and unlawfully collected massive volumes of confidential personal data, including financial information, on citizens for more than a decade, senior judges have ruled.

      The investigatory powers tribunal, which is the only court that hears complaints against MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, said the security services operated an illegal regime to collect vast amounts of communications data, tracking individual phone and web use and other confidential personal information, without adequate safeguards or supervision for 17 years.

      Privacy campaigners described the ruling as “one of the most significant indictments of the secret use of the government’s mass surveillance powers” since Edward Snowden first began exposing the extent of British and American state digital surveillance of citizens in 2013.

      The tribunal said the regime governing the collection of bulk communications data (BCD) – the who, where, when and what of personal phone and web communications – failed to comply with article 8 protecting the right to privacy of the European convention of human rights (ECHR) between 1998, when it started, and 4 November 2015, when it was made public.

    • UK Tribunal Says Spy Agencies Illegally Collected Communications Data In Bulk For More Than A Decade

      This ruling comes at a particularly opportune time — just as the UK government is putting the finishing touches on another investigatory powers bill: the so-called Snooper’s Charter. But not necessarily because this will deter GCHQ from further bulk data collections. In fact, the ruling may give pro-surveillance politicians a better idea of how to make future collections stand up to legal challenges.

      On the other hand, the tribunal’s examination of the case uncovered some interesting statements by agency insiders who rather presciently noted the press would have a field day if information about the programs were ever made public. (The statement also shows the agency was prepared to head off backlash by questioning the media’s truthiness.)

    • Hillary Clinton’s Staff Recognize She Doesn’t Understand Encryption And Is Supporting ‘The Impossible’

      Teddy Goff, a political strategist and the digital director for Obama for America during the 2012 campaign, responds, calling it “a solid B/B+” and suggests that someone tell Clinton never to use the Manhattan Project line again. He also highlights the point that Ben Scott had raised a month earlier, and that it was clear that Clinton did not understand, that there is open source encryption out there that anyone can use already, and any attempt to backdoor proprietary encryption won’t stop anyone from using those other solutions. Finally, he suggests that having “pledged not to mandate backdoors” will be useful going forward.

    • CIA threatens cyber attacks against Russia [Ed: corrected URL]
    • Unicorn Wrangling 101: What is a Backdoor?

      There is an obviously bolted-on piece of code whose sole purpose is to provide some type of access (remote or otherwise) to an attacker. This is your traditional backdoor, it could come in the form of an extra program or app that is installed that allows a bad guy to function on the system. This is usually considered real-time remote access – many of your traditional rootkits fit into this category – but it could allow for special access if the bad guy is holding the device in their hands. Of course the more obvious the backdoor, the easier it is to spot, and the more likely forensics could trace back and identify the attacker.

    • Self-destructing messages don’t protect against the recipient – that was never the point

      This week, Signal finally introduced self-destructing messages. Regrettably, many seem to miss the point of what they’re for. The point of a self-destructing message is not to protect against the recipient, it’s to protect the message from being read by somebody else than the recipient much later if the device is lost, seized, or otherwise compromised.

      Signal has long been the go-to secure messaging for privacy activists – for long enough that I used to recommend it as TextSecure and RedPhone, before it merged to one app and changed names to Signal. The one lacking feature has been self-destructing messages, which is why I used Telegram in the most sensitive of environments, despite Telegram’s encryption being significantly weaker and not entirely best practice.

      But as of last week, Signal finally added self-destructing messages. Unfortunately, most people seem to be missing the point as to their immense value, and even the Signal pages talk of “data hygiene” and a way to “keep message history tidy”, as if the self-destruct was mostly about not cluttering your phone memory with old messages.

    • Even Clinton’s Aides Think She’s Wrong About Encryption

      As someone who has had the privilege of their emails being a part of the massive Wikileaks dump culled from the personal email account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta, the Democratic nominee’s position on information security is a subject near and dear to my heart. Unfortunately, the very fact that hack happened and the emails contained so much sensitive info is pretty strong evidence that the Clinton campaign’s infosec policies are—how should I put this—not good. Or to put it another way, they are bad.

      But you don’t have to take my word for it: as the leaked emails show, even Clinton’s top tech policy advisors cringed when she started talking crypto at the Democratic debate last December.

      Things took a turn for the worse for Clinton when the debate moderator Martha Raddatz asked Clinton about her opinion on that pesky new “terrorist tool” known as encryption. In response to Raddatz’s question about whether she would make a law that would force Apple CEO Tim Cook to make a key enabling government access to encrypted information, Clinton said she “would not want to go to that point.”

      She probably should have left it at that, but instead she continued on, envisioning a “Manhattan-like project” that would see government and industry partnering to create back doors allowing access to encrypted info. What this secure encryption standard that has fundamental insecurities built into it would look like is left a mystery, however.

    • Feds Walk Into A Building. Demand Everyone’s Fingerprints To Open Phones

      In what’s believed to be an unprecedented attempt to bypass the security of Apple iPhones, or any smartphone that uses fingerprints to unlock, California’s top cops asked to enter a residence and force anyone inside to use their biometric information to open their mobile devices.

      FORBES found a court filing, dated May 9 2016, in which the Department of Justice sought to search a Lancaster, California, property. But there was a more remarkable aspect of the search, as pointed out in the memorandum: “authorization to depress the fingerprints and thumbprints of every person who is located at the SUBJECT PREMISES during the execution of the search and who is reasonably believed by law enforcement to be the user of a fingerprint sensor-enabled device that is located at the SUBJECT PREMISES and falls within the scope of the warrant.” The warrant was not available to the public, nor were other documents related to the case.

      According to the memorandum, signed off by U.S. attorney for the Central District of California Eileen Decker, the government asked for even more than just fingerprints: “While the government does not know ahead of time the identity of every digital device or fingerprint (or indeed, every other piece of evidence) that it will find in the search, it has demonstrated probable cause that evidence may exist at the search location, and needs the ability to gain access to those devices and maintain that access to search them. For that reason, the warrant authorizes the seizure of ‘passwords, encryption keys, and other access devices that may be necessary to access the device,’” the document read.

    • Freed From Gag Order, Google Reveals It Received Secret FBI Subpoena

      Google revealed Wednesday it had been released from an FBI gag order that came with a secret demand for its customers’ personal information.

      The FBI secret subpoena, known as a national security letter, does not require a court approval. Investigators simply need to clear a low internal bar demonstrating that the information is “relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”

      The national security letter issued to Google was mentioned without fanfare in Google’s latest bi-annual transparency report, which includes information on government requests for data the company received from around the world in the first half of 2016.

      Google received the secret subpoena in first half of 2015, according to the report.

      An accompanying blog post titled “Building on Surveillance Reform,” also identified new countries that made requests — Algeria, Belarus, and Saudi Arabia among them — and reveals that Google saw an increase in requests made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

    • GCHQ branded as “barbaric” by Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone at Cheltenham Literature Festival

      Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone launched an extraordinary attack on GCHQ while appearing at the Cheltenham Literature Festival tonight.

      The JFK, Platoon and Wall Street director was speaking in the Town Hall to promote a book, The Oliver Stone Experience, about his many award-winning movies.

      And after a bit of joking along the lines of ‘GCHQ is listening’ from host Mark Lawson, Stone said:”GCHQ is one of the most barbaric agencies around, very cold, very smart.

      “And likely to arrest anybody at any time, on any thing on any cause. So hello!”


      He then referenced how editors from The Guardian destroyed computers used to store leaked documents from Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency whistleblower while being watch by GCHQ staff.

    • Yahoo Email Surveillance: the Next Front in the Fight Against Mass Surveillance

      In a bombshell published today, Reuters is reporting that, in 2015, Yahoo complied with an order it received from the U.S. government to search all of its users’ incoming emails, in real time.

      There’s still much that we don’t know at this point, but if the report is accurate, it represents a new—and dangerous—expansion of the government’s mass surveillance techniques.

      This isn’t the first time the U.S. government has been caught conducting unconstitutional mass surveillance of Internet communications in real time. The NSA’s Upstream surveillance program—the program at the heart of our ongoing lawsuit Jewel v. NSA—bears some resemblance to the surveillance technique described in the Reuters report. In both cases, the government compels providers to scan the contents of communications as they pass through the providers’ networks, searching the full contents of the communications for targeted “selectors,” such as email addresses, phone numbers, or malware “cybersignatures.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Wikileaks Activates “Contingency Plans” After Unknown “State Party” Cuts Julian Assange’s Internet Connection

      There was little actual detail, aside from a subsequent tweet in which WikiLeaks called on the public to support it by donating.

      Previously on Sunday, there was concern about Assange’s well-being when Wikileaks tweeted out what some suggested were the “dead man keys” that are allegedly the encryption codes for highly damaging secret documents to be uneviled in the case of Assange’s death.


      Even former outspoken Trump advisor Roger Stone got involved tweeting that “John Kerry has threatened the Ecuadorian President with “grave consequences for Equador” if Assange is not silenced” adding that “Reports the Brits storm the Ecuadorian Embassy tonite while Kerry demands the UK revoke their diplomatic status so Assange can be seized.”

    • WikiLeaks Just DUMPED EVERYTHING – This is HUGE – Historic Activity by Wikileaks – Read and Share before it is taken down!

      It appears Wikileaks has signalled all operatives to take measures to protect themselves. Guccifer 2.0 has indicated he is ready for the next release. Looks like Podesta 10 is still coming, but possibly just late.

      Also developing story, RT Media’s Bank Accounts Closed in the UK (Suspected close ties to Wikileaks? or Propaganda we don’t know, will start new article on that story soon.)

    • RT: NatWest to close Russian channel’s UK bank accounts

      NatWest bank has frozen the accounts of Russia’s state-run broadcaster RT, its editor-in-chief says.

      Margarita Simonyan tweeted: “They’ve closed our accounts in Britain. All our accounts. ‘The decision is not subject to review.’ Praise be to freedom of speech!”

      An MP from Russia’s ruling party has said the country’s Parliament will “demand an explanation” from the UK.

      RT says the bank gave no explanation for its decision.

      It said the entire Royal Bank of Scotland Group, of which NatWest is part, was refusing to service RT.

    • Former general charged with false statements in leak probe

      Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright has been charged with making false statements during a federal investigation into a leak of classified information, the Justice Department announced Monday.

      Cartwright, a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, falsely told investigators that he was not the source of classified information contained in a book by New York Times journalist David Sanger, according to charging documents unsealed by prosecutors.

      Neither the book nor the classified subject is identified in court papers. But Sanger has written in his book, “Confront and Conceal,” about a covert cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear facilities and the use of a computer virus called Stuxnet to temporarily disable centrifuges that the Iranians were using to enrich uranium.

      The charging documents also say Cartwright misled prosecutors about classified information shared with another journalist, Daniel Klaidman.

      The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland announced the case on Monday.

    • Ex-Joint Chiefs vice chairman charged with lying in leak investigation

      Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright, the former Joint Chiefs vice chairman, has been charged with making false statements in an investigation into the leaking of classified information about Iran’s nuclear program.

      Cartwright, who also led the U.S. Strategic Command and was known to have a close relationship with President Barack Obama, was the subject of a federal investigation into the leaking of details of a reported joint U.S.-Israeli cyberattack targeting Iran’s nuclear program.

    • ‘Obama’s General’ Charged With Leaking Classified Info to Journalists

      Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright, once considered one of President Obama’s favorite generals, has been charged with lying to federal investigators about revealing classified information to two journalists, including a New York Times reporter who wrote about a highly-classified U.S. cyberattack against Iran’s nuclear program.

      Cartwright is due in a Washington, D.C., courtroom at 3 PM, where he can be expected to plead guilty to one count of making false statements as described in a so-called criminal information filed with the court on Thursday. Such documents are prepared with a defendant’s knowledge and cooperation.

      The charges weren’t exactly a surprise. Cartwright has known for more than three years that he was the target of an investigation into who leaked details about the so-called Stuxnet computer virus, which the United States used to destroy centrifuges inside an Iranian nuclear enrichment facility in 2008 and 2009.

      But notably, Cartwright who previously served as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is the only person to have been charged with leaking information about the highly classified program, even though it’s clear from various books and articles that he wasn’t the only source of information about it. Times reporter David Sanger revealed the operation and wrote about it extensively in his book, Confront and Conceal.

    • Protest winds down at Morton County Courthouse

      Police officers arrested one person as a protest winds down outside the Morton County Courthouse after a judge dismissed a complaint against Democracy Now journalist Amy Goodman, who reported on a clash between pipeline protesters and private security in September.

      Police ordered about 200 people to stay out of the road. Officers with batons were lined up outside the courthouse. As protesters left, some thanked officers.

      Goodman’s attorney, Tom Dickson told the crowd Judge John Grinsteiner did not find probable cause in a riot charge against Goodman. The case was dismissed.

    • Prosecutors Changing Charges Against Reporter To ‘Rioting’ Because Her Coverage Was Sympathetic To Protestors

      On Friday, we wrote about the ridiculous arrest warrant for reporter Amy Goodman for reporting on the protests over the North Dakota oil pipeline. At the time, the charges against Goodman were apparently for trespassing, but late on Friday, the state’s attorney alerted Goodman’s lawyer that they were now actually trying to charge her with rioting. Say what?

    • Breaking: ND Prosecutor Seeks “Riot” Charges Against Amy Goodman For Reporting On Pipeline Protest
    • Democracy Now reporter to return to state to face charges

      A journalist facing criminal charges after reporting on a clash between private security and protesters at a Dakota Access Pipeline protest will return to North Dakota within the next week to face the accusations, said Tom Dickson, the Bismarck-based attorney representing Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now.

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 16/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC1, Wine 1.9.21

Posted in News Roundup at 11:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • NFV trends and open source SDN work with OpenDaylight

    Open source continues to gain momentum and is said to remain central to ongoing development and deployment of NFV and SDN for telecommunication operators

    The open source community remains active in bolstering support for the telecommunication market’s move towards network virtualization platforms using software-defined networking and network functions virtualization.

    In the past month alone, new platform iterations from the Open Platform for NFV project with its Colorado release; fellow Linux Foundation organization OpenDaylight with its Boron SDN platform; and the Open Networking Laboratory’s Open Network Operating System Project with its SDN-focused Hummingbird platform.

  • Google releases Open Source Report Card — does the company deserve an A+?

    The future of computing is open source. While there is still room for closed source software, more and more companies are going the open route. Major players such as Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook are all contributing to the open source community. Google in particular is a huge proponent of open source. Heck, two of the company’s operating systems — Chrome OS and Android — are Linux distributions.

    Today, the search giant announces the ‘Open Source Report Card’. This is essentially a report that explains the details of its open source projects. Google is undoubtedly a major open source contributor, but the question is, what grade should the company get?

    “Today we’re sharing our first Open Source Report Card, highlighting our most popular projects, sharing a few statistics and detailing some of the projects we’ve released in 2016. We’ve open sourced over 20 million lines of code to date and you can find a listing of some of our best known project releases on our website”, says Josh Simmons, Open Source Programs Office.

  • My FOSS Journey and Why I am applying for a Toptal Scholarship

    When I graduated from my high school in India, our class had an almost 50-50 ratio of boys-to-girls. My graduating class in one of India’s premier engineering institutions had less than 10%. It was even more interesting to see that there were more than 20% girls enrolled in Bachelors in Design (which offered courses like Product Design, Human Computer Interaction and User Experience Research) while there were none in Mechanical Engineering since the last three graduating classes. Was it that Design was considered a relatively non-technical course ? While I have never been openly discouraged from pursuing a career in technology – a predominantly male-populated field – there has always been an unconscious bias even from within my family. When I wanted to apply for a degree course in Mechanical Engineering, I was asked to take some more time to think about my future – was gently nudged towards more female-friendly engineering fields like Computer Science which wouldn’t involve as much strenuous physical effort. Was it even sublte experiences like this which had contributed towards the gender gap ? This feeling of being an ‘outsider’ in a predominantly male field never left till I started contributing to Open Source.

    I first learnt about Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) via Outreachy, a program designed to increase participation of minorities in FOSS. I liked the fact that the program had no knowledge prerequisites so that anyone interested in contributing to FOSS could be a part of it.

  • Hello fans and followers of open source voting in San Francisco!

    The Open Source Initiative works with a variety of organizations to promote the adoption of open source software throughout government. San Francisco Elections Commissioner Chris Jerdonek provides the OSI with a breakdown of the latest happening with San Francisco’s efforts to develop and certify the country’s first open source voting system!

  • Events

    • Announcing Google Code-in 2016 and Google Summer of Code 2017

      One of the goals of the Open Source Programs Office is to encourage more people to contribute to open source software. One way we achieve that goal is through our student programs, Google Summer of Code (for university students) and Google Code-in (for pre-university students).

      Over 15,000 students from more than 100 countries have worked with 23,000 mentors and contributed to 560+ open source projects, so we’re excited to announce the next round of these programs.

  • Databases

    • MySQL 8.0: The end of MyISAM

      This blog discusses the gradual end of MyISAM in MySQL.

      The story that started 20 years ago is coming to its end. I’m talking about the old MyISAM storage engine that was the only storage provided by MySQL in 1995, and was available in MySQL for 20+ years. Actually, part of my job as a MySQL consultant for 10+ years was to discover MyISAM tables and advise customers how to convert those to InnoDB.

    • Devs Await Open Source Word After Commercial RethinkDB Effort Fails

      With the company behind the RethinkDB project having failed and its engineering team scooped up by Stripe, Big Data developers are awaiting further word on plans to continue it as fully open source.

      Although failing to achieve commercial success, the RethinkDB database was lauded by many developers for its different approach and solid technology on developer-oriented social sites such as Hacker News and Reddit.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • First LibreOffice 5.3 BugHunting Session

      LibreOffice is approaching the 5.3 release season with the first bug hunting session, on Friday, October 21, 2016. Tests will be performed on the Alpha version of LibreOffice 5.3, which will be available on the pre-releases server (http://dev-builds.libreoffice.org/pre-releases/) a few days before the event. Builds will be available for Linux (DEB and RPM), MacOS and Windows, and will run in parallel with the actual installation.

  • CMS

    • When it Comes to Open CMS Solutions, Take a Test Drive First

      Datamation is out with an extensive evaluation of which open source content management systems (CMS) really stand out, which is a topic near and dear to us here at OStatic. Our site runs on Drupal, which powers many sites around the web, but there are key differences between CMS offerings, and if you’re looking for the right solution, we have some good resources for you.

      The Datamation story provides a nice overview of the open CMS space, but here are some of out favorite ways to go about evaluating which is the right CMS for you.

      Marking a true renaissance for tools that can help anyone run a top-notch website or manage content in the cloud, open source content management systems (CMS) have come of age. You’re probably familiar with some of the big names in this arena, including Drupal (which Ostatic is based on) and Joomla. As we noted in this post, selecting a CMS to build around can be a complicated process, since the publishing tools provided are hardly the only issue.

  • Microsoft and Openwashing

  • Public Services/Government

    • The White House open sources President Obama’s Facebook Messenger bot

      The White House today shared open source code for President Obama’s Facebook Messenger bot to help other governments build their own bots.

      The White House says it’s sharing the code “with the hope that other governments and developers can build similar services — and foster similar connections with their citizens — with significantly less upfront investment,” according to a post published today by chief digital officer for the White House Jason Goldman.

      In August, the White House launched a Facebook Messenger bot to receive messages from American citizens. The messages are read alongside letters and other communique sent to the president.

      The open source Drupal module for the president’s bot is available to download on Github.

      “While Drupal may not be the platform others would immediately consider for building a bot, this new White House module will allow non-developers to create bot interactions (with customized language and workflows), and empower other governments and agencies who already use Drupal to power their digital experiences,” Goldman said on the White House website today.

    • Obama’s Facebook Messenger Bot Is Now “Open Source” And Available On GitHub
    • Why the White House is open-sourcing its chatbot code
    • White House open-sources chatbot
    • White House encourages local governments to embrace chatbots
    • Governments favor open source, Google releases 3 new projects, and more news: Russia and the Netherlands propose moves to open source

      For years now, governments throughout Europe have been enthusiastically adopting open source software. Their main reasons for doing so have been to lower costs and to be able to modify the software to suit their needs. Governments in Russia and the Netherlands are following that trend, but for divergent reasons.

      The Russian Duma announced earlier this month that it’s drafting a law to give preference to open source over proprietary software. Specifically, “the law will require local agencies to give preference to open source software and justify any purchases of proprietary software.” In an interview with Bloomberg News, Duma official Andrey Chernogorov cites security as a major driver behind this shift. Much of the government’s IT infrastructure is based on proprietary, foreign-made platforms, and Chernogorov said that the Russian government is “seeking to close this loophole for state purchases, as it causes security risks.”

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • Senate supports open-source initiatives

        The ASWSU Senate passed a resolution to support the Office of the Provost’s open education initiatives at its meeting on Wednesday. The resolution supports the use of the OpenStax program to provide textbooks created with open-source material.

        This does not force professors to use a book that does not perfectly line up with their curriculum because they can freely edit and update the source material, said Sen. Matthew Morrow, author of the resolution.

        Researchers and professors collaborate to create open-source textbooks for students at other universities to use. Morrow said they are targeting UCORE courses because open-source textbooks are currently less suitable for upper-level classes.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

  • Programming/Development

    • TFW an obituary you wrote five years ago goes viral

      This is not a new phenomenon. Social media snap-posts have killed off celebrities hundreds of times before their actual deaths (to the point where some have required websites to constantly fact-check their mortality). Facebook is full of years-late “RIP” posts. The Internet may never forget, but the humans who use it have become increasingly absent-minded.

      It wasn’t even just my story that went viral—a similar Guardian story also resurfaced, probably because of the same “memories” feature on Facebook or some other social media feature that dredges up old content. Still, there was something personally unsettling about having words I had written in tribute of “dmr”—a man whom I credited personally for making my early exposure to computing and its potential possible—suddenly resurface five years later.

      The first few times I spotted Twitter acting up, I thanked people for resurfacing the story after so much time. But reading the post again—partially to make sure I hadn’t somehow written another tribute subconsciously from my perch at my dad’s bedside—was affecting in ways I didn’t expect. Maybe I got emotional because I was in a hospital room with my father, who was recovering from an other-than-routine knee replacement surgery, and I had spent the day before sitting in a surgical waiting room.

    • Tracing HTTP request latency in Go with OpenTracing
    • How it feels to learn JavaScript in 2016
    • Why should students learn to write code?

      There are lots of efforts underway to get students (young and old) to learn to write code. There are far-reaching efforts, like the Hour of Code, and plenty of smaller, more focused projects, such as the Design and Technology Academy (part of Northeast ISD here in San Antonio, Texas). These are excellent programs that enrich the education of many students.


  • Smartphones are “contaminating” family life, study suggests

    Parents, which do you respond to first – your ring tone or your toddler’s crying?

    Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets can be distracting from child-rearing, upending family routines and fueling stress in the home, a small, new study finds.

    Incoming communication from work, friends and the world at large is “contaminating” family mealtime, bedtime and playtime, said study lead author Dr. Jenny Radesky. She’s an assistant professor of developmental behavioral pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School.

    Her comments stem from her team’s study involving interviews with 35 parents and caregivers of young children in the Boston area.

  • Science

    • FCC CIO encourages creative problem solving in IT through compassionate leadership

      When speaking with Dr. David Bray, senior executive and CIO of the U.S. Federal Communication Commission, he is always quick to assign all the credit for achievements within his organization to his team of interdisciplinary change agents – from a successful move to the cloud, to saving millions on a legacy technology upgrade.

      Bray is firm in his belief that if digital C-Suite leaders aren’t first and foremost inspiring people to be creative problem solvers, their organizations simply won’t be able to move with the speed or the resiliency necessary to survive in the fast-paced digital world. Further, he says that leading a team of diverse change agents who are intrinsically motivated takes a unique approach. We touched base with Bray to learn more.

    • Opinion: Stop Submitting Papers

      PIXABAY, STARTUPSTOCKPHOTOSI woke up to three requests for review, and two papers to handle as a subject editor. It is unusual, but it happens. I declined to do all the reviews. This is not sustainable.

      Over the last six months, I kept informal track of the reviews I received, both as an author and as a subject editor. In the overwhelming majority of papers, about half of the “major” points were actually not major, but things that improve the paper because the reviewers see it from a different perspective.

      This is burdening the peer review process for very little return (because these comments, important as they may be, do not make the paper more correct or more robust).

      Here is what we should do: stop submitting papers to journals.

      Wait, what? No, I mean it. We should write our draft, go over it with our coauthors, and then put it on a preprint server. And wait. Some reasonable amount of time. A year, maybe. After a year, when we had the opportunity to share this paper with colleagues, then we can submit it.

    • Winner of the Norwegian Digitalisation Prize 2016, Deichmanske Public Library in Oslo

      A movie that shows that putting the user at the hub and thinking untraditionally makes exctiting things happen.

    • Status digitalisation in the Norwegian Public Sector
    • Digitalisation for Renewing, Simplifying and Improving the Norwegian Public Sector
  • Hardware

    • AMD x86 Zen Architecture Will Implement Game Changing Encryption Features Such as SME, SEV and HW Based SHA – Not Present In SkyLake or KabyLake

      Today I will be talking about a very disruptive feature that will be present in AMD’s upcoming compute architecture. Disruptive is probably the most misused word in the history of technology and I do not use it casually. While the readers of this site consist primarily of technology enthusiasts, for whom this news may not mean much. From a company like AMD’s standpoint, a vast majority of revenue will come from the Enterprise segment. For Enterprise users, data security is a very important consideration and on that front AMD Zen will be introducing some very significant advanced encryption features, such as SME and SEV. These features are not present in any competing Intel architecture.

  • Security

    • Friday’s security advisories
    • Metasploit eyeing Linux and usability improvements; iOS support uncertain

      Engineers at Rapid7, which owns the popular Metasploit penetration testing tool, are preparing a variety of enhancements for the ramp-up to version 5.0 in 2017.

      Metasploit evolved in 2003, Rapid7 acquired it from the original developers in 2009, and fourth-generation software debuted in 2011. Metasploit Pro is currently in version 4.2 and costs several thousand dollars for a license; Metasploit Framework currently in version 4.12.33 is open source, officials explained.

    • Self-Checkout Skimmers Go Bluetooth

      This blog has featured several stories about payment card skimming devices designed to be placed over top of credit card terminals in self-checkout lanes at grocery stores and other retailers. Many readers have asked for more details about the electronics that power these so-called “overlay” skimmers. Here’s a look at one overlay skimmer equipped with Bluetooth technology that allows thieves to snarf swiped card data and PINs wirelessly using nothing more than a mobile phone.

      The rather crude video below shows a Bluetooth enabled overlay skimmer crafted to be slipped directly over top of Ingenico iSC250 credit card terminals. These Ingenico terminals are widely used at countless U.S. based merchants; earlier this year I wrote about Ingenico overlay skimmers being found in self-checkout lanes at some WalMart locations.

    • 10-year-old OpenSSH vulnerability caught up in IoT DDoS attacks [iophk: "not an actual ssh problem despite the parrots"]

      THE THREAT WRANGLERS AT Akamai have come up with something new for us to worry about, except that it isn’t so much new as a decade old.

      An OpenSSH vulnerability is being used to fuel distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on the bloody Internet of Things (IoT).

      DDoS attacks are a constant pain, but attacks on the IoT are relatively new. A combination of the two would be a problem, unless you are the kind of company that makes its business discovering this kind of thing.

      “Researchers at Akamai have been monitoring the growth of attacks leveraging IoT devices,” said Eric Kobrin, director of adversarial resilience at Akamai, in a blog post about the SSHowDowN Proxy.

    • a single byte write opened a root execution exploit

      As one of the maintainers of the c-ares project I’m receiving mails for suspected security problems in c-ares and this was such a one. In this case, the email with said subject came from an individual who had reported a ChromeOS exploit to Google.

      It turned out that this particular c-ares flaw was one important step in a sequence of necessary procedures that when followed could let the user execute code on ChromeOS from JavaScript – as the root user. I suspect that is pretty much the worst possible exploit of ChromeOS that can be done. I presume the reporter will get a fair amount of bug bounty reward for this.

    • Parrot Security 3.2 “CyberSloop” Ethical Hacking OS Is Out with Linux Kernel 4.7

      Today, October 15, 2016, the ParrotSec team unleashed the second point release to the Debian-based Parrot Security 3.x GNU/Linux distribution designed for ethical hackers and security researchers.

    • Parrot Security 3.2 “CyberSloop” Ethical Hacking OS With Linux Kernel 4.7 Released
    • Alpine edge has switched to libressl

      We decided to replace openssl with libressl because we believe it is a better library. While OpenSSL is trying to fix the broken code, libressl has simply removed it.

    • German nuclear plant infected with computer viruses, operator says

      A nuclear power plant in Germany has been found to be infected with computer viruses, but they appear not to have posed a threat to the facility’s operations because it is isolated from the internet, the station’s operator said on Monday.

      The Gundremmingen plant, located about 120 km northwest of Munich, is run by the German utility RWE.

      The viruses, which include “W32.Ramnit” and “Conficker”, were discovered at Gundremmingen’s B unit in a computer system retrofitted in 2008 with data visualisation software associated with equipment for moving nuclear fuel rods, RWE said.

    • The Slashdot Interview With Security Expert Mikko Hypponen: ‘Backupception’

      Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer at security firm F-Secure, has answered a range of your questions. Read on to find his insight on the kind of security awareness training we need, whether anti-virus products are relevant anymore, and whether we have already lost the battle to bad guys. Bonus: his take on whether or not you should take backups of your data.

    • SourceClear Brings Secure Continuous Delivery to the Developer Workflow [Ed: I don’t trust them; they’re Microsoft connected with a negative track record]
    • Serious security: Three changes that could turn the tide on hackers

      The state of tech security is currently so dire that it feels like anything you have ever stored on a computer, or a company or government has ever stored about you, has already been hacked into by somebody.

    • Crypto needs more transparency, researchers warn

      Researchers with at the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA) and the University of Pennsylvania have called for security standards-setters to publish the seeds for the prime numbers on which their standards rely.

      The boffins also demonstrated again that 1,024-bit primes can no longer be considered secure, by publishing an attack using “special number field sieve” (SNFS) mathematics to show that an attacker could create a prime that looks secure, but isn’t.

      Since the research is bound to get conspiracists over-excited, it’s worth noting: their paper doesn’t claim that any of the cryptographic primes it mentions have been back-doored, only that they can no longer be considered secure.

      “There are opaque, standardised 1024-bit and 2048-bit primes in wide use today that cannot be properly verified”, the paper states.

      Joshua Fried and Nadia Heninger (University of Pennsylvania) worked with Pierrick Gaudry and Emmanuel Thomé (INRIA at the University of Lorraine on the paper, here.

      They call for 2,048-bit keys to be based on “standardised primes” using published seeds, because too many crypto schemes don’t provide any way to verify that the seeds aren’t somehow back-doored.

    • Is Let’s Encrypt the Largest Certificate Authority on the Web?

      By the time you read this, Let’s Encrypt will have issued its 12 millionth certificate, of which 6 million are active and unexpired. With these milestones, Let’s Encrypt now appears to us to be the the Internet’s largest certificate authority—but a recent analysis by W3Techs said we were only the third largest. So in this post we investigate: how big is Let’s Encrypt, really?

  • Defence/Aggression

    • U.S. Enters Yemen War Directly for the First Time With Attack on Houthis

      When the Houthis fired on the U.S.S. Mason earlier this week, sailors were able to deploy countermeasures and the ship was not damaged.

      The Department of Defense issued a statement describing the U.S. attack as a series of “limited self-defense strikes,” but promised to “respond to any further threat” to U.S. ships “as appropriate.”

      “The intent of our strikes were to deter future attacks and to reduce the risk to U.S. and other vessels,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said Thursday. “We are prepared to respond if necessary to any future missile launches.”

      The U.S. Navy tweeted a video of the destroyer U.S.S. Nitze launching cruise missiles, captioning it with the hashtag “#Yemen” — commonly used by activists to draw attention to the humanitarian catastrophe.

    • Biden vows US will retaliate against Russia for hacks

      Vice President Biden is vowing the U.S. will retaliate against Russia for its alleged hacking of American political groups.

      “We’re sending a message,” Biden said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that will air Sunday.

      Biden did not detail the type of response the U.S. is preparing but said Russian President Vladimir Putin will “know it” when it happens.

      “It will be at the time of our choosing,” he added. “And under the circumstances that have the greatest impact.”

      The vice president is the highest-ranking member of the Obama administration who has pledged a response to Russia for its alleged hacking.

      His comments come a week after the administration took the unprecedented step of publicly blaming Moscow for hacking the computer systems of political organizations with the goal of influencing the outcome of the November elections.

      The Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the hacks of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and campaign officials were authorized by senior Kremlin officials.

    • The Left’s Fatal Dismissal of Islamic Imperialism

      There is a general dearth of leftist discourse critical of Islamism in the English speaking West. In fact, the dominant leftist discourse in that regard is characterized by a mixture of portraying Islam as the ultimate victim and Islamism as a force of resistance to, or at least an excusable reaction to, Western policies. Meanwhile, millions of people throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) continue to struggle against the rising wave of Islamism on a daily basis in the absence of acknowledgement or support from the Western left.

      For the colonized peoples of the MENA region such as Amazighs, Assyro-Chaldeans, Copts, Nubis, Kurds, and Yezidis, Islamic imperialism is the most serious threat to their very existence. One would hope that the situation of these peoples would form the foundational parameters of the international left’s outlook on the MENA region. However, it is far more often the right in the West that takes issue with the genocidal campaigns waged against these peoples.

    • Hiding US Role in Yemen Slaughter So Bombing Can Be Sold as ‘Self-Defense’

      To hear US corporate media tell it, the US was dragged into a brand new war on Wednesday.

      US destroyers in the Gulf of Aden launched airstrikes against Houthi rebels, a Shia insurgent group currently withstanding a massive bombing campaign from a Saudi-led coalition in a year-and-half conflict between largely Shia rebels and the Saudi-backed Sunni government in Yemen. The Pentagon insisted that cruise missiles had been fired onto the USS Mason on Sunday and Wednesday from Houthi-controlled territory, and called the airstrikes a “limited self-defense” response.

      Needless to say, US media followed the Pentagon’s lead. The fact that the United States has been literally fueling Saudi warplanes for 18 months while selling weapons and providing intelligence support to the Gulf monarchy—acts which even the US State Department believes could expose the US to war crimes prosecution—was either downplayed or ignored. Nor did media recall the US’s long history of drone warfare in Yemen, where the military and CIA have been carrying out long-range assassinations since 2002, killing more than 500 people, including at least 65 civilians.


      Why are American ships in those waters? Why are Tomahawk missiles “flying”? The conflict is never explained; it’s only brought up so that Maddow can warn that the GOP nominee could make things worse. Of course, it isn’t Trump who backed the Saudis in an air campaign that’s left thousands dead, but Obama—and it’s Hillary Clinton who as secretary of State enthusiastically pushed to sell warplanes to Riyadh (The Intercept, 2/22/16). But such facts would messy up the election-season narrative.

      Maddow, like the other reports, used the loaded modifier “Iran-backed” to describe the Houthis (even though experts and Pentagon officials think Iran’s support is overblown). This is a stark asymmetry, considering that none of the reports referred to the Yemeni government as “US-backed” or “Saudi-backed.” She also said that the Navy blamed the attacks on the Houthis, when the Pentagon only claims the missiles came from rebel territory, and could very well be from other allied groups (New York Times, 10/13/16).

      Not only is the US’s backing of Saudi Arabia omitted from all these reports, the word “Saudi” isn’t uttered in any of them. The viewer is given the impression that the war, aside from Iranian meddling, is an entirely internal affair—when it actually involves over 15 different countries, mostly Sunni monarchies propping up the Yemeni government—and that the rebels just randomly decided to pick a fight with the largest military in the history of the world.

      The Houthis, for their part, vehemently deny having carried out the attack on the Mason, and there is no publicly available evidence it was them or allied forces. It should be noted, however, that Houthi forces took credit for sinking a United Arab Emirates supply ship two weeks earlier.

      As is often the case with war, the issue of “first blood”—or who started the fighting—gets muddied. Governments naturally want global audiences and their own citizens to view their actions as defensive—a necessary response to aggression, not aggression itself. US corporate media are aiding this official spin in their reporting on the US bombing of Yemen.

    • Regime Change In The Philippines

      When will the neoconservative chant begin: “Duterte must go”? Or will the CIA assassinate him?

      President Rodrigo Duterte has indicated that he intends a more independent foreign policy. He has announced upcoming visits to China and Russia, and his foreign minister has declared that it is time for the Philippines to end its subservience to Washington. In this sense, regime change has already occurred.

      Duterte has suspended military maneuvers with the US. His defense minister said that the Philippines can get along without US military aid and prefers cooperation over conflict with China.

    • I Support a No-Fly Zone in Syria – A Real One that Applies to NATO Too

      When the neo-cons in the UK parliament and the serial warmonger Hillary Clinton call for a “no-fly zone” they actually mean the opposite. They mean that NATO should be given untrammelled access to the airspace to carry out mass bombings – but that nobody else should.

      We saw it in Libya. The argument goes like this. NATO aircraft need to enforce the no-fly zone. To do this in safety, they need to attack and destroy any ground to air weapons capabilities on the ground. That does not just include surface to air missiles, both carriage mounted and hand held, but anything that can be pointed upwards and fired. They need to take out by more bombing any stores that may house such weapons. They need to take out any radar installations, including civilian ones, that may pinpoint NATO aircraft. They need to destroy any runways and hangars, including civilian ones. They need to destroy by bombing all military command and control centres, including those in built up areas. They need to destroy the infrastructure on which air defence relies, including electricity generation and water supply, including civilian assets.

      I am not exaggerating. That really is the doctrine of NATO for enforcing a “no fly zone”, as previously witnessed in Iraq and Libya. It really was NATO aircraft which did to the beautiful Mediterranean town of Sirte the destruction which you see in that picture – in order to enforce a no-fly zone. Enforcement of the no-fly zone was the only authorisation NATO had for the massive bombing campaign on Libya which enabled regime change, which enabled rival jihadist militias to take over the country. They showed their gratitude by murdering the US Ambassador. The failure of central government led to Libya becoming the operating site from which a number now in the hundreds of thousands of boat refugees have crossed to Europe.

    • How Much Will Brexit Add to the Cost of Trident and Hinkley Point?

      The spectacular and continuing fall in the value of the pound will add over £50 billion to the cost of Trident. Yes, bits of steel are being welded together in the UK, but the steel is imported and so is the missile technology.

      Similarly, Hinkley Point will be in trouble. The Chinese and French are to build it against guarantees of income from future energy prices fixed at double the cost of current wholesale electricity. But the hard currency value of that income has now been slashed. I do not know the precise details of the contracts, but the French and Chinese not being stupid, my guess is that their income from it is set in a proper stable currency not in sterling. Which means that electricity prices to the British consumer will have to not just double as planned, but go up 50% again, to cover the diminished value of sterling.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Pamela Anderson reveals fears for Wikileaks’ Julian Assange on Embassy visit

      Pamela Anderson has revealed her fears over Julian Assange’s health after visiting him at the Ecuadorian Embassy.

      The former Playboy model said the WikiLeaks founder was doing “really well” but expressed concern for him and his family.

      The Australian has been living in the embassy for over four years and has been granted political asylum by Ecuador.

      He is due to be questioned over a sex allegation in Sweden – which he denies. Mr Assange believes that if he goes to Sweden he will be extradited to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • As She Campaigns With Al Gore, New Emails Show Hillary Told Environmentalists to ‘Get a Life’

      Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s relationship with the environmental movement has never exactly been the epitome of cordiality. At a campaign event in March, she blew up at a Greenpeace activist who asked her about her relationship with fossil fuel companies. Annoyed at the young woman’s question, she angrily pointed her finger at her and said she was “sick!” of the Bernie Sanders campaign lying about her. Now, thanks to WikiLeaks, we have proof that Clinton outright mocked green activists in her speeches to trade unions.

    • Greenland Is Very Mad About the Toxic Waste the US Left Buried Under Its Ice

      Greenland isn’t happy about being treated as a dumping ground for abandoned US military bases established at the height of the Cold War—and in a newspaper editorial, it’s calling on Denmark to deal with the mess left behind by the Americans, since the Danish long ago took responsibility for them. This editorial notes that, after decades, Greenland is “losing its patience.”

      One of the abandoned bases, called Camp Century, is full of nasty chemicals and some radioactive material, as Motherboard previously reported.

      At Camp Century, which was built in 1959, soldiers called “Iceworms” practiced deployment of missiles against Russia and literally lived inside the ice. When the US decommissioned the base in the 1960s, the military left basically everything behind, thinking that its waste would stay locked up in the Greenland ice sheet forever.

      Well, climate change has made that unlikely. Melting ice threatens to expose all kinds of toxic debris in decades to come, and Greenland wants it cleaned up, now.

    • Climate change: ‘Monumental’ deal to cut HFCs, fastest growing greenhouse gases

      More than 150 countries have reached a deal described as “monumental” to phase out gases that are making global warming worse.

      Hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) are widely used in fridges, air conditioning and aerosol sprays.

      Delegates meeting in Rwanda accepted a complex amendment to the Montreal Protocol that will see richer countries cut back their HFC use from 2019.

      But some critics say the compromise may have less impact than expected.

    • Nations, Fighting Powerful Refrigerant That Warms Planet, Reach Landmark Deal

      Negotiators from more than 170 countries on Saturday reached a legally binding accord to counter climate change by cutting the worldwide use of a powerful planet-warming chemical used in air-conditioners and refrigerators.

      The talks in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, did not draw the same spotlight as the climate change accord forged in Paris last year. But the outcome could have an equal or even greater impact on efforts to slow the heating of the planet.

      President Obama called the deal “an ambitious and far-reaching solution to this looming crisis.”

    • Bernie Sanders Just Asked President Obama to Halt the Dakota Access Pipeline

      The Dakota Access pipeline currently hangs in a state of uncertainty. On October 9, a federal appeals court dismissed the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s request for a permanent injunction to stop to the project. Meanwhile, Obama administration officials continue to stall; one day after the court ruling, the departments of Justice, Interior, and the Army issued a joint statement refusing to authorize construction along part of the proposed route.

      And while a federal review of the permitting process began this week, a handful of Senate Democrats, led by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, have now penned a powerful letter to President Barack Obama, calling on him to suspend all construction permits for the project and to order a full environmental impact statement. Check it out below.

    • NOAA Collects Aerial Imagery in Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

      From October 7-10, 2016, the National Geodetic Survey collected damage assessment imagery for more than 1,200 square miles in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. The aerial imagery was collected in specific areas identified by FEMA and the National Weather Service.

    • ‘All the Warning Signs Are There, Loud and Clear’ – CounterSpin interview with Dahr Jamail on climate disruption

      New research on attitudes to climate change suggests that people believe they are entitled to their own facts on the matter, even as scientific evidence points one way, only one way, and every day more urgently. Corporate media bear some responsibility: years of matching every piece of evidence with some statement of doubt or denial, years of placing scientific consensus alongside politicians’ folkloric ideas as though they merited the same sort of attention.

  • Finance

    • The Tax Code for the Ultra-Rich vs. the One for Everyone Else

      The revelation of details from Donald Trump’s 1995 state tax returns created exactly the political firestorm that it merited. Before they came to light, the Republican presidential candidate’s flimsy excuses for not releasing his returns produced two lines of speculation: Either he wasn’t as rich as he claimed, or he wasn’t paying any taxes. Trump’s colossal $916 million loss in 1995 partially confirmed both theories, with opponents portraying him as a bumbling businessman who exploits tax loopholes to shift his losses onto ordinary taxpayers.

      When it comes to tax policy, however, Trump’s tax returns are a distraction that crowds out more important issues. In The New York Times, the columnist James Stewart outlined how to prevent Trump’s particular form of tax avoidance: Shorten the period in which losses can be used to offset income, limit the deduction for depreciation, and so on. These are perfectly good solutions—to a minor issue. The poster child for the problems of the tax code isn’t Donald Trump; it’s Warren Buffett.

    • Why For-Profit Education Fails

      Earlier this year, LeapFrog Enterprises, the educational-entertainment business, sold itself for $1 a share. The deal came several months after LeapFrog received a warning from the New York Stock Exchange that it would be delisted if the value of its stock did not improve, a disappointing end to the public life of a company that had the best-performing IPO of 2002.

      LeapFrog was one of the very last remaining of the dozens of investments made by Michael Milken through his ambitiously named Knowledge Universe. Founded in 1996 by Milken and his brother, Lowell, with the software giant Oracle’s CEO, Larry Ellison, as a silent partner, Knowledge Universe aspired to transform education. Its founders intended it to become, in Milken’s phrase, “the pre-eminent for-profit education and training company,” serving the world’s needs “from cradle to grave.”

    • The battle of Hastings: What’s behind the Netflix CEO’s fight to charterize public schools?

      Silicon Valley electrical engineer Brett Bymaster was optimistic when Rocketship Education, a non-profit charter school chain, began building its flagship Mateo Sheedy elementary school next to his San Jose home in 2007. He and his family lived in a lower-income community, so he figured the new approach could help local kids. “I didn’t know anything about charter schools, so I thought it was a good thing,” he said.

      But the more he learned about Rocketship and charter schools, which receive government funding but operate independently of local school boards, the more concerned he became. He was struck by the school’s cramped quarters: over 600 students on a one-acre campus, compared to the 9.2 acres per 450 students recommended for elementary schools by the California Department of Education. All those students meant big classes; last year Mateo Sheedy had one teacher for every 34 students, more than the maximum allowed for traditional elementary schools under state law.

      The teacher deficit seemed to be compensated for with screen time: Thanks to its so-called “blended learning” approach, Rocketship kindergarteners were spending 80 to 90 minutes a day in front of computers in a school learning lab, nearly the daily maximum screen time recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. And when the kids weren’t in front of computers, they seemed to be getting disciplined throughout their extra-long school days. Bymaster says he’d constantly see teachers yelling at students. “It’s a military-style environment,” noted Bymaster, who spearheaded a 2013 lawsuit that caused Rocketship to scrap one of its planned San Jose schools. “It’s really a kill-and-drill kind of school.”

    • On TTIP, CETA, free trade and a free and open Internet

      I’m a free marketeer. I believe that free trade would be hugely beneficial for all.

      I also believe in a free and open Internet. Especially as it provides a level playing field on which entrepreneurs from all over the world can join a global market, 24/7.

      And I’m not at all happy with politicians and bureaucrats trying to force me to choose between the two.

      The CETA (EU-Canada) and TTIP (EU-US) trade agreements are problematic. CETA will undermine Europeans right to data protection and privacy online. The same goes for TTIP, which also might contain intellectual property regulations undermining the principle that Internet service providers are not responsible for what their customers are up to in their cables (the mere conduit principle). That would have huge implications, leading to a strictly controlled Internet where everything you are up to must be approved in advance. When it comes to TTIP, we still have no comprehensive information about what is going to be included or not when it comes to IP – as negotiations are carried out behind closed doors.

      Also, the ISDS mechanism in these trade agreements will make a much needed and long overdue copyright reform impossible.

    • CETA puts the protection of our privacy and personal data at risk

      We are constantly sharing parts of our lives on the internet. We feel free to do this because we believe that we can still preserve some privacy and remain in control of what we share. Governments have a moral and legal duty to protect our privacy, prevent abuses and preserve a climate of trust. This is done through laws. Nowadays, our online privacy and the protection of our personal information are threatened in “creative” ways. One of these ways can be found in the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union. Unlike traditional “trade agreements”, CETA goes far beyond trade, touching upon privacy and data protection, as well as other fundamental rights.

      Fifteen years ago, the European Union formally recognised that Canada offered EU citizens an adequate level of protection of their privacy and personal information, and this permitted EU data to be exported to Canada without additional restrictions. However, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) has recently clarified in the Schrems case that this means that non-EU countries must provide not just “adequate” but essentially equivalent protection as the EU does.

    • Boris Johnson’s ‘secret’ case against Brexit

      Boris Johnson thought Britain should stay in the European Union to avoid worsening “geostrategic anxiety” and a potential break-up of the United Kingdom, according to a “secret,” unpublished newspaper column by the foreign secretary.

      Johnson, the former mayor of London, was the figurehead for the Leave campaign in the run-up to the June 23 Brexit vote, but had flirted with supporting the other side earlier in the year.

    • Aide Planted Anti-Bank Comments in One Paid Clinton Speech to Throw Reporters Off the Scent

      A top aide calculatingly inserted a passage critical of the financial industry into one of Hillary Clinton’s many highly-paid speeches to big banks, “precisely for the purpose of having something we could show people if ever asked what she was saying behind closed doors for two years to all those fat cats,” he wrote in an email posted by Wikileaks.

      In late November 2015, campaign speechwriter Dan Schwerin wrote an email to other top aides floating the idea of leaking that passage, which had come in a speech Clinton gave to Deutsche Bank in October 2014 in return for $260,000.

      “I wrote her a long riff about economic fairness and how the financial industry has lost its way,” for that purpose, Schwerin wrote. “Perhaps at some point there will be value in sharing this with a reporter and getting a story written. Upside would be that when people say she’s too close to Wall Street and has taken too much money from bankers, we can point to evidence that she wasn’t afraid to speak truth to power.”

      Another email, from among the thousands posted by Wikileaks over the past week from Hillary Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta’s Gmail account, shows how panicked members of the Clinton campaign intervened at the last minute to cancel a paid Bill Clinton speech to Morgan Stanley because it was timed too close to the launch of her campaign — against the initial wishes of the candidate herself.

      In the passage that Schwerin wanted to leak from Clinton’s speech to Deutsche Bank, she quoted Chicago Mercantile Exchange president Terry Duffy warning that “some Wall Streeters can too easily slip into regarding their work as a kind of moneymaking game divorced from the concerns of Main Street.”

      In his email to his fellow aides, however, Schwerin recognized that the press response might not be entirely in the campaign’s favor. “Downside would be that we could then be pushed to release transcripts from all her paid speeches, which would be less helpful (although probably not disastrous). In the end, I’m not sure this is worth doing, but wanted to flag it so you know it’s out there.”

    • As the Spirit of Enoch Powell Presides Over England, Scotland Must Leave the Union Now

      I am genuinely stunned that, following the competitive racism-fest that was the Tory Party conference, the Tories have gone up in the opinion polls.

      I quite admit my judgement was completely wrong. I was feeling happily that the Tories had finally overreached themselves, and the implications of employers drawing up lists of foreign employees, or primary schools writing to parents demanding birth certificates, would be met with popular revulsion from the inherently decent British people.

      Well, I was wrong. Racism pays, at least in England. After their Conference the Tories are up to 43%. The Tories and UKIP combined are up to 54%. I am afraid it is intellectually dishonest to avoid the grim truth. At present, you cannot be too racist for popular English taste. The underlying theme of the Labour Party conference was Blairite calls for Labour to join in the mood of xenophobia. Of the existence of that mood there can now be no doubt.

    • I am Warming to Nicola

      The BBC spin on Nicola Sturgeon’s speech was that actually it was a move further back from Indyref2. It can be interpreted that way. In effect she was saying that leaving the EU is perhaps not a “material change” triggering Indyref2, only hard Brexit would be a “material change”. On this reading, as given by Brian Taylor of the BBC, the publishing of a draft Indyref bill is simply a sop to placate the SNP troops in the hall.

      But I am satisfied that Nicola has in fact deliberately set conditions for Scotland to remain in the Union which she knows Theresa May will under no circumstances meet. Barring continued full access for Scotland to the single market, which simply cannot happen if England leaves it, then she insists that not only must the powers held by Brussels come to Scotland (eg fisheries) but that Scotland must control its own immigration policy and run its own foreign relations.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Leaked Podesta emails address Obama polling in 2008, executive privilege

      Emails leaked from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s private email account Friday by WikiLeaks addressed using executive privilege to keep the emails between Hillary Clinton and President Obama from being released, a 2008 survey testing reaction to then-Sen. Obama’s Muslim father and use of cocaine, and a suggestion from former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholme on how to take Clinton out of the “bubble.”

    • Roaming Charges: a Wikileak is a Terrible Thing to Waste

      + I’ve spent the week greedily consuming the treats offered up by Wikileaks’s excavation of John Podesta’s inbox. Each day presents juicy new revelations of the venality of the Clinton campaign. In total, the Podesta files provide the most intimate and unadulterated look at how politics really works in late-capitalist America since the release of the Nixon tapes.

      + There’s a big difference, though. With Nixon, the stakes seemed greater, the banter more Machiavellian, the plots and counter-plots darker and more cynical.

      + The Podesta email tranches show the inner mechanics of a much more mundane, petty and banal political machine. Instead of shaping a campaign around an ideological movement, the Clinton operation resembles the packaging of a political mutual fund, a balanced, low-risk portfolio of financial interests, captive NGOs and dependent demographic sectors.

      + The red meat in the emails can be found in the disclosures of the internal rivalries, self-aggrandizement and sycophancy of hired guns and consultants, especially as they gravitate toward Podesta, whose chilly presence looms behind the scenes like the ghost of Thomas Cromwell.

    • Latest Wikileaks Releases Boost Case for DNC Class Action Lawsuit

      Shortly after the Democratic Primaries, attorneys Jared Beck and Elizabeth Beck, Harvard and Yale Law School graduates, filed a class action lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee and disgraced former DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, for the millions of Bernie Sanders supporters they allegedly suppressed and silenced. The latest Wikileaks releases of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s emails has revealed further evidence that the scales were heavily tipped in favor of Hillary Clinton by both the DNC and the mainstream media.

      “The latest documents provided by Wikileaks confirm and add considerable detail to what prior leaks have disclosed: that the DNC was actively working to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign while colluding with the Hillary Clinton campaign behind the scenes,” Jared Beck told the Observer. “This is further evidence in support of our lawsuit, which seeks to hold the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz accountable under the law for their failure to ensure a fair and neutral presidential nominating process.”

      The latest leaks include evidence current DNC interim chair Donna Brazile forwarded the Clinton campaign information about the Sanders campaign while she served as DNC vice chair and was obligated to remain neutral per the DNC Charter. Brazile also tipped off the Clinton campaign to a planned question on the death penalty the day before a Democratic town hall on CNN. “As soon as the nomination is wrapped up, I will be your biggest surrogate,” Brazile wrote to Podesta in a January 2016 email.

    • From liberal beacon to a prop for Trump: what has happened to WikiLeaks?

      How did WikiLeaks go from darling of the liberal left and scourge of American imperialism to apparent tool of Donald Trump’s divisive, incendiary presidential campaign?

      Thursday brought another WikiLeaks dump of nearly 2,000 emails hacked from the Hillary Clinton campaign, allegedly by Russians. As usual, they were inside-the-beltway gossip rather than game-changing: the campaign tried to push back the Illinois primary, believing it would make life harder for moderate Republicans.

      That has not stopped Trump trying to make hay from the leaked emails and deflect attention from allegations of sexual harassment against him. “Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “So dishonest! Rigged system!”

    • Want to Know Julian Assange’s Endgame? He Told You a Decade Ago

      Amid a seemingly incessant deluge of leaks and hacks, Washington, DC staffers have learned to imagine how even the most benign email would look a week later on the homepage of a secret-spilling outfit like WikiLeaks or DCLeaks. In many cases, they’ve stopped emailing altogether, deleted accounts, and reconsidered dumbphones. Julian Assange—or at least, a ten-years-younger and more innocent Assange—would say he’s already won.

      After another week of Clinton-related emails roiling this election, the political world has been left to scrub their inboxes, watch their private correspondences be picked over in public, and psychoanalyze WikiLeaks’ inscrutable founder. Once they’re done sterilizing their online lives, they might want to turn to an essay Assange wrote ten years ago, laying out the endgame of his leaking strategy long before he became one of the most controversial figures on the Internet.

    • WikiLeaks Sources Face Serious Charges Following CIA, FBI, DHS Hacks

      Two North Carolina men were arrested in September for their alleged roles in a hacking group responsible for breaching the email accounts of CIA Director John Brennan, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper — and providing the contents to WikiLeaks.

    • David Crosby: America is no longer a democracy

      At three o’clock in the morning on the day we talk, David Crosby woke from a sound sleep and wrote a song. He’ll be the first one to tell you that wasn’t the case years ago when he was touring huge venues with Crosby, Stills and Nash and CSNY in between bouts of his public struggles with drugs, alcohol and prison (he was jailed for five months in 1986 for on weapons and drugs charges).

      But with Lighthouse, a new album due this month, Crosby continues the hot streak he started in 2014 with Croz, his first solo album in 20 years. As a founding member of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills and Nash – and one of the finest voices of his generation – Crosby could well be sitting on his laurels. But the stunning material on Lighthouse, which is focused squarely on his vocals and guitar, suggest he is more creatively engaged than he has been since his much younger days.

    • Warnings of conspiracy stoke anger among Trump faithful

      In an arena normally reserved for ice hockey, the Donald Trump crowd was on edge.

      Some wore shirts with slogans like “[Expletive] Your Feelings” or, in reference to the female Democratic nominee, “Trump that Bitch.” Others had buckets of popcorn, ready for the show. When the media entourage entered, thousands erupted in boos.

      Anger and hostility were the most overwhelming sentiments at a Trump rally in Cincinnati last week, a deep sense of frustration, an us-versus-them mentality, and a belief that they are part of an unstoppable and underestimated movement. Unlike many in the country, however, these hard-core Trump followers do not believe the real estate mogul’s misfortunes are of his own making.

    • Transcripts of Clinton’s Wall Street talks released in new Wikileaks dump

      U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s full remarks to several Wall Street audiences appeared to become public on Saturday when the controversial transparency group Wikileaks dumped its latest batch of hacked emails.

      The documents showed comments by Clinton during question-and-answer sessions with Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and Tim O’Neill, the bank’s head of investment management, at three separate events in 2013 in Arizona, New York and South Carolina.

      Some excerpts of Clinton’s speeches had already been released. For more than a week, Wikileaks has published in stages what it says are hacked emails from the account of John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman.

      Clinton’s campaign has declined to verify the emails. Goldman Sachs did not immediately provide any comment on Saturday.

    • Donald Trump’s Son & Campaign Manager Both Tweet Obviously Fake Story

      It’s no secret that there’s been a huge number of totally fake news websites popping up in the past few years. Apparently, it’s a fun and profitable venture. While some of the fake news sites come up with generic names, like National Report, Hot Global, The Valley Report and Associated Media Coverage, some of the most successful fake news sites just make use of the big well-known broadcaster websites… and just get a .co domain: using nbc.com.co or abcnews.com.co. Some of the hoax stories are really well done — and, yes, even we’ve been fooled, though in our defense, the fake story we fell for… was so believable it became true just months later. But, of course, we’re just a bunch of random bloggers, not a Presidential campaign.

      The Trump campaign, on the other hand, should know better. Amusingly, of course, this week we’ve talked about the Trump campaign’s willingness to fall for hoaxes, but they seemed to take it up a notch this week. I first noticed it when I saw Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway tweet an obviously fake story, claiming that an anti-Trump protestor was really paid by the Clinton campaign.

    • How One Young Black Man Supporting Trump Massively Skews The LA Times Presidential Poll

      Let’s jump right into this, because this post is going to be a bit on the wonky side. It’s presidential silly season, as we have said before, and this iteration of it is particularly bad, like a dumpster fire that suddenly has a thousand gallons of gasoline dropped onto it from a crop-duster flown by a blind zombie. Which, of course, makes it quite fascinating to watch for those of us with an independent persuasion. Chiefly interesting for myself is watching how the polls shift and change with each landmark on this sad, sad journey. It makes poll aggregating groups, such as the excellent Project FiveThirtyEight, quite useful in getting a ten-thousand foot view as to how the public is reacting to the news of the day.

      But sites like that obviously rely on individual polls in order to generate their aggregate outlooks, which makes understanding, at least at a high level, just how these political polls get their results interesting as well. And, if you watch these things like I do, you have probably been curious about one particular poll, the U.S.C. Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Daybreak poll, commonly shortened to the USC/LAT poll, which has consistently put out results on the Presidential race that differ significantly from other major polls. That difference has generally amounted to wider support for Donald Trump in the race, with specific differences in support for Trump among certain demographics. To the credit of those that run the poll, they have been exceptionally transparent about how they generate their numbers, which led the New York Times to dig in and try to figure out the reason for the skewed results. It seems an answer was found and it’s gloriously absurd.

    • Speaker Paul Ryan Tries to Change the Topic

      One day after Donald Trump spoke to a crowd of 20,000 in Cincinnati, Speaker Paul Ryan spoke to a group of about 100 undergraduates, 50 reporters and a phalanx of cameras on the “Failures of Liberal Progressivism” in a heavily controlled and scripted event in Madison on Friday.

      The students were members of the College Republicans of UW-Madison, a student group led by Gov. Scott Walker’s son Alex Walker.

      Acknowledging that the election has taken “a dark turn,” Ryan quickly pivoted to his hallmark message of fiscal austerity and his Better.GOP site, a website and policy plan first unveiled in June.


      The invitation-only speaking engagement and managed “Q&A” at the Madison Masonic Center Foundation followed a tumultuous week for Ryan which began last Friday with the release of an Access Hollywood audio tape in which Trump brags about his ability to grope women. When you’re a star, “they let you do anything,” said Trump.

      The following day, Ryan rescinded Trump’s invitation to his annual “Fall Fest” in his congressional district. But Ryan was booed and heckled by some of Trump’s grassroots supporters and even called a “traitor,” according to news accounts. On Monday, Ryan said in a conference call with House Republicans that he will no longer defend Trump, nor campaign for him, over the objections of some.

    • Trump, Victim Shaming, Coincidences and Some Questions About the New York Times

      Did none of the many, many Republican primary candidates do any opposition research about Trump during the months and months of the primary season? Given the apparent accessibility of Trump sexual assault material, how was none of this found by Trump’s earlier opponents, who were certainly digging for dirt? A Ted Cruz or a Marco Rubio could have knocked Trump out of the race in April with half this information.

      Similar question; did no media investigate Trump’s background during his 18 months of candidacy?

      Coincidences happen, just not as often as we’d like to believe. Was any of the timing of any of this indeed coincidental, given much of this information was never reported for decades but is now front paged a few weeks before the election? I am well-aware of the reasons a woman might choose not to report an attack for many years. I am sometimes a bit more skeptical when after 30 years, during which Trump was in the media spotlight, and then another 18 months of Trump as a leading candidate, the accusations emerge only weeks before the election, timed nearly to the day with bookended presidential debates.

      And the big one.

      What process did the New York Times pursue before it decided to print the stories of the two initial Trump accusers? How did the Times vett their stories? If I were to walk into the Times’ newsroom today and report that either Trump or Hillary had inappropriately touched me in 1979, what process would unfold at the Times before my statement was published?

      I’m not being a smartass. I am not “victim shaming.” I do not believe asking these questions, especially the procedural questions about how the Times conducted its journalism, amounts to victim shaming. This is politics. No one is saying they are suing Trump, or engaged in a criminal case against him. It is at this point pure politics.

    • Russia, Terror and Taxes Dominate Debates; Climate, Poverty, Abortion Barely Mentioned

      A review of topics mentioned and questions asked in the first three presidential/vice-presidential debates shows a significant emphasis on Russia, terrorism and taxes—pushing aside most other issues, including climate change, abortion, education, campaign finance and LGBTQ rights.

      The total mentions of Russia and Putin—the number of times the words were said by either candidates or moderators—was 137. For ISIS and “terrorism” combined, it was 101. “Taxes” were mentioned 171 times—94 times in the context of tax policy, 77 times in regard to Donald Trump’s unwillingness to release his tax returns.

      In contrast, “climate change” (or “global warming”)—widely recognized as the biggest existential threat facing humanity—has only been mentioned three times. All three mentions were by Hillary Clinton, made in passing.

      “Poverty” (and “the poor”), “drugs,” “abortion” (with “right to choose” and “pro-life”) and “environment” have each been mentioned less than 10 times. LGBTQ issues (“LGBT,” “gay,” “trans,” “marriage equality”) were brought up in passing three times—once for the sole purpose of criticizing Russia. “Campaign finance” and/or Citizens United was brought up once by Clinton.

      The NSA (along with “privacy” and “surveillance”) and Native Americans have not been mentioned onstage once.

      In the first three debates, Russia and Putin have been mentioned more than the TPP, trade, race, guns, Social Security, the Supreme Court, education, student debt, poverty, drugs, abortion, climate change, LGBTQ issues and the environment combined, with 137 vs. 132 mentions.

    • Engage In Sex, Not War

      During the sexual scandals of Bill Clinton—the “bimbo eruptions” as Hillary called them—the Democrats and progressive opinion ruled out a person’s sex life as a political factor. Now suddenly nothing more than juvenile locker room banter without the actual sex has become the determinant of political unfitness.

      Where did the 11-year old recording of locker room talk between Donald Trump and Billy Bush come from? Who recorded it and kept it for 11 years for what purpose? Why was it released the day prior to the second debate between Trump and Hillary? Was the recording an illegal violation of privacy? What became of the woman who recorded Monica Lewinsky’s confession to her of sex with Bill Clinton? Wasn’t she prosecuted for wiretaping or some such offense? Why was Billy Bush, the relative of two US presidents, suspended from his TV show because of a private conversation with Trump?

    • The Donald Lives!

      The press had to cover it. Then the women marched into the auditorium at Washington University to watch Hillary Clinton defend her behavior toward them after their encounters with Bill.

      As the moderators and Hillary Clinton scrambled to refocus on Trump’s comments of a decade ago, Trump brought it back to Bill’s criminal misconduct against women, his lying about it, and Hillary’s aiding and abetting of the First Predator.

    • After the Republic

      Electing either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump cannot change that trajectory.


      Because it is difficult to imagine a Trump presidency even thinking about something so monumental as replacing an entire ruling elite, much less leading his constituency to accomplishing it, electing Trump is unlikely to result in a forceful turn away from the country’s current direction. Continuing pretty much on the current trajectory under the same class will further fuel revolutionary sentiments in the land all by itself. Inevitable disappointment with Trump is sure to add to them.

    • Blaming Millennials for Their Elders’ Trump Attraction

      Mahken, Stern and Boot all argue that declining civic education standards—a popular target of neoliberal criticism—gave rise to the ignorant population that bred Trump. There’s one basic problem with this premise: It doesn’t make any sense.

      If Trump’s support were tethered to declining education standards, the younger someone is (e.g. the more recently they were educated), the more likely they would be to vote Trump. But Trump’s voters trend overwhelmingly older: He’s most popular with voters 65 and over, least popular with those under 30

      The two most recent examples of this argument, by Stern and Boot, are textbook think piece sophistry: They begin with a superficially appealing premise designed to flatter the reader (people are dumber, therefore Trump; but not you, you’re smart) and throw out some data points, pivot to a conclusion that doesn’t follow and hope no one notices. While Boot doesn’t use the word Millennial, it’s the logical implication of what’s he’s advancing. (His examples supporting his claim that people are getting more stupid are all relatively recent.)

    • Dear Clinton Team: We Noticed You Might Need Some Email Security Tips

      There is probably no one more acutely aware of the importance of good cybersecurity right now than Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, whose emails have been laid bare by WikiLeaks, are being mined for news by journalists (including at The Intercept), and are available for anyone with internet access to read.

      So as a public service to Podesta and everyone else on Clinton’s staff, here are some email security tips that could have saved you from getting hacked, and might help you in the future.

    • White House Brief: Things to Know about Jill Stein

      This isn’t Stein’s first foray into presidential politics. She ran on the Green Party line in 2012, failing to crack 500,000 votes or generate any significant spotlight. She thinks this time could be different, thanks to Sanders. Stein wasted no time swooping in on his political revolution, campaigning in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention and rallying throngs of angry Sanders’ supporters outside of the convention hall when the Vermont senator conceded the nod to Hillary Clinton.

      Stein’s running on a platform of erasing all existing student debt, mobilizing what she calls a wartime effort to switch the United States to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 and disengaging from foreign wars that she says the United States has no business being in. She’s offering a dark view of the future, saying both Republicans and Democrats are leading the country into imminent disaster.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • CPJ calls on Thailand to not censor news during royal transition

      The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Thailand’s military government to lift a blanket censorship order on television news broadcasters imposed in the wake of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death yesterday.

      According to local news reports, all television news channels including foreign broadcasters were blocked and replaced with Royal Household Bureau footage eulogizing the Thai king. Local media were also barred from using Facebook live indefinitely, according to reports. Bhumibol, the world’s longest-serving monarch at the time of his death, reigned for 70 consecutive years.

    • Thai TV flicks back to colour, subdued, after king’s death

      Thai television flicked back to colour today – but with orders to keep it subdued – as the government lifted a black-and-white rule imposed out of respect for the country’s late king.

      All channels, including international satellite networks, have been replaced with prepared state media programmes praising revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death, who died Thursday after a 70-year reign.

    • 12 unspoken censorship rules for Bollywood, if it still wants to make movies

      The following are the unspoken censorship rules that Bollywood must follow if it still wants to make movies.

      1. Even if the Government of India issues visas to Pakistan talent you will not make films with them. You must understand that the government of India is not bothered about how our jawans are dying in the border fire but you, as a proud Indian, should be.

      2. Even if the Central Board of Film Certification clears your film, it can still be censored by political parties. The CBFC does not have people of any merit. They can only determine the length of the kiss in a film. It is our political parties who really know how to protect the value, culture and integrity of India.

    • Kashmir, Dylan, censorship hog limelight

      Sleepy Kasauli town reverberated with the sights and sounds of authors, intellectuals and actors as the three-day Khushwant Singh Literature Festival-2016 got underway on Friday.

      Apart from a number of panel discussions, the day also saw Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh declaring the Khushwant Singh trail open.

      One of the highlights of the day was the panel consisting of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, author and journalist Rahul Pandita and author and historian Dilip Simeon talking about the crisis in Kashmir with the topic being “Kashmir: Cry the Beloved Country.”

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Police Around the Country Regularly Abuse Law Enforcement Databases

      For more than a year, EFF has been investigating how police in California misuse the state’s law enforcement database with little oversight from officials. An investigation published by the Associated Press today shows that abuse of law enforcement systems is a nationwide problem.

      The AP’s investigation analyzed records from all 50 states and three dozen of the country’s largest cities. The reporters found that officers have routinely used law enforcement and driver databases to stalk ex-partners, dig up dirt on their neighbors, and even spy on celebrities and journalists.

    • [Old] Why the Warrant to Hack in the Playpen Case Was an Unconstitutional General Warrant

      Warrants are often considered the basic building block of the Fourth Amendment. Whenever the government seeks to engage in a search or seizure, it must first get a warrant, unless a narrow exception applies. In a previous post, we explained the significance of the Fourth Amendment “events”—several searches and seizures—that occurred each time the government employed its malware against visitors to Playpen.

      But simply calling something a warrant doesn’t make it a constitutionally valid warrant. In fact, the “immediate evils” that motivated the drafters of the Bill of Rights were “general warrants,” also known as “writs of assistance,” which gave British officials broad discretion to search nearly everyone and everything for evidence of customs violations. In the words of colonial lawyer James Otis, general warrants “annihilate” the “freedom of one’s house” and place “the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer.”

    • What Yahoo’s NSA Surveillance Means for Email Privacy

      This is a terrible precedent and ushers in a new era of global mass surveillance. It means that US tech companies that serve billions of users around the world can now be forced to act as extensions of the US surveillance apparatus. The problem extends well beyond Yahoo. As was reported earlier, Yahoo did not fight the secret directive because Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and the Yahoo legal team did not believe that they could successfully resist the directive.

      We believe that Yahoo’s assessment is correct. If it was possible to fight the directive, Yahoo certainly would have done so since they previously fought against secret FISA court orders in 2008. It does not make sense that US surveillance agencies would serve Yahoo Mail with such an order but ignore Gmail, the world’s largest email provider, or Outlook. There is no doubt that the secret surveillance software is also present in Gmail and Outlook, or at least there is nothing preventing Gmail and Outlook from being forced to comply with a similar directive in the future. From a legal perspective, there is nothing that makes Yahoo particularly vulnerable, or Google particularly invulnerable.

    • CIA threatens cyber attacks against Russia

      The CIA was recently reported to have issued the threat of cyber attacks against the Russian leadership, in retaliation for alleged and unsubstantiated claims that Russia is trying to influence the American elections.

    • Five EFF Tools to Help You Protect Yourself Online

      Do you get creeped out when an ad eerily related to your recent Internet activity seems to follow you around the web? Do you ever wonder why you sometimes see a green lock with “https” in your address bar, and other times just plain “http”? EFF’s team of technologists and computer scientists can help. We engineer solutions to these problems of sneaky tracking, inconsistent encryption, and more. Our projects are released under free and open source licenses like the GNU General Public License or Creative Commons licenses, and we make them freely available to as many users as possible. Where users face threats to their free expression, privacy, and security online, EFF’s technology projects are there to defend them.

    • How a Facial Recognition Mismatch Can Ruin Your Life

      It was just after sundown when a man knocked on Steve Talley’s door in south Denver. The man claimed to have hit Talley’s silver Jeep Cherokee and asked him to assess the damage. So Talley, wearing boxers and a tank top, went outside to take a look.

      Seconds later, he was knocked to the pavement outside his house. Flash bang grenades detonated, temporarily blinding and deafening him. Three men dressed in black jackets, goggles, and helmets repeatedly hit him with batons and the butts of their guns. He remembers one of the men telling him, “So you like to fuck with my brothers in blue!” while another stood on his face and cracked two of his teeth. “You’ve got the wrong guy,” he remembers shouting. “You guys are crazy.”

    • Hillary Clinton’s Encryption Proposal Was “Impossible,” Said Top Adviser

      Hillary Clinton’s advisers recognized that her policy position on encryption was problematic, with one writing that it was tantamount to insisting that there was “‘some way’ to do the impossible.”

      Instead, according to campaign emails released by Wikileaks, they suggested that the campaign signal its willingness to use “malware” or “super code breaking by the NSA” to get around encryption.

      In the wake of the Paris attacks in November, Clinton called for “Silicon Valley not to view government as its adversary,” and called for “our best minds in the private sector to work with our best minds in the public sector to develop solutions that will both keep us safe and protect our privacy.”

      When asked during a debate in December whether she would legally compel companies to build a backdoor into their products to give law enforcement access to unencrypted communications, Clinton responded “I would not want to go to that point.”

      But she then called for a “Manhattan-like project” to develop secure communication while allowing the government to read messages.

      Cryptography experts overwhelmingly agree that backdoors inevitably undermine the security of strong encryption, making the two essentially incompatible.

    • Researchers Ask Court To Unseal Documents Related To Technical Assistance Requests And Electronic Surveillance Warrants

      This has the makings of a movement along the lines of the highly-unofficial “Magistrates Revolt.” More efforts are being made more frequently to push federal courts out of their default secrecy mode. The government prefers to do a lot of its work under the cover of judicial darkness, asking for dockets and documents to be sealed in a large percentage of its criminal cases.

      Just in the last month, we’ve seen the ACLU petition the court to unseal dockets related to the FBI’s takedown of Freedom Hosting using a Tor exploit and Judge Beryl Howell grant FOIA enthusiast Jason Leopold’s request to have a large number of 2012 pen register cases unsealed.

      Now, we have researchers Jennifer Granick and Riana Pfefferkorn petitioning [PDF] the Northern District of California court to unseal documents related to “technical assistance” cases — like the one involving the DOJ’s attempted use of an All Writs Order to force Apple to crack open a phone for it.

    • ‘NITE Team 4′ Announced, Seeks Crowd Funding – Screens & Trailer

      You play as a new recruit in the covert hacking cell, Network Intelligence & Technical Evaluation (NITE) Team 4. Engaged in cyberwarfare with black hat groups and hostile states, you will be in a struggle to penetrate highly secure targets. Your job is to use the STINGER hacking system to infiltrate hardened computer networks and coordinate strike teams on the ground to carry out missions that feature real espionage tradecraft terminology taken straight from leaked NSA documents.

    • New Story-Driven, TSW Inspired Sim Game Announced

      Alice & Smith have announced a new story-driven military hacking simulation game based on The Secret World. Called NITE Team 4, the game is based on both strategy and RPG elements with an emphasis and base on NSA top secret documents in the real world. A Kickstarter project has started and is already fully funded.

    • Military hacking RPG NITE Team 4 blends real NSA documents with gamified espionage

      In a world where hacking groups are a powerful tool in clandestine political warfare, we sure don’t exploit that rich fictional seam much in games. NITE Team 4, a currently funded Kickstarter title, looks to breach into that world and create an RPG out of what lies within.

    • Appeal Court Revives Lawyer’s Lawsuit Against The NSA’s Email Dragnet

      Another lawsuit against the NSA has been revived. Previously dismissed by a district court for lack of standing, attorney Elliott Schuchardt’s suit against the NSA for its domestic surveillance has been remanded back to the court that tossed it.

      Like several other surveillance lawsuits, Schuchardt’s springs from the Snowden leaks. Unlike some of the others, it doesn’t focus on the NSA’s phone metadata collection — the subject of the first Snowden leak. Instead, his challenges the constitutionality of the NSA’s Section 702 collection. With this program, the NSA apparently collects not just metadata on electronic communications, but also the content.

    • Even NSA BFF Verizon Thinks Warrantless Location Data Collection May Have Gone Too Far

      You’d be hard pressed to find companies more bone-grafted to the nation’s intelligence gathering apparatus than AT&T and Verizon. So much so that it’s often difficult to determine where the government ends, and where the telecom duopoly begins. From Mark Klein highlighting how AT&T was giving the NSA live access to every shred of data that touched the AT&T network, to Snowden’s revelation of Verizon’s handover of customer metadata, these are companies that were not only eager to tap dance around privacy and surveillance law, but actively mocked companies that actually stood up for consumer privacy.

      That’s why it’s notable to see one of Verizon’s top lawyers, Craig Silliman, penning an op-ed over at Bloomberg implying that location data hoovering has jumped the shark. Silliman details the problems arising in the age of location data collection, and specifically how four recent district courts have ruled that law enforcement can get location data without a warrant. These rulings relied on the “third-party doctrine,” or the argument that consumers lose privacy protections to this information if they’re willing to share it with a third party — aka Verizon.

    • Top German court rejects lawmakers’ request for NSA targets [Ed: same as below]
    • Top German court rejects lawmakers’ request for NSA targets

      Germany’s top court has rejected German lawmakers’ demands for access to a secret list of U.S. eavesdropping targets.

      Parliament’s intelligence oversight panel, known as the G 10 committee, had asked the Constitutional Court to force the German government to hand over the list. It contains “selectors” — such as phone numbers and email addresses — that the U.S. National Security Agency wants allies to monitor.

      Following ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks in 2013, German media reported that the targets included officials and companies in Germany and other European countries.

    • Salesforce CEO has “walked away” from deal with beleaguered Twitter

      In the wake of Salesforce’s CEO publicly saying Friday that his company would not buy Twitter, the popular social network’s stock price has dropped more than six percent as of this writing.

      “In this case we’ve walked away. It wasn’t the right fit for us,” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told the Financial Times.

      For months, rumors have swirled that numerous tech giants, ranging from Apple to Google, would snap up the San Francisco startup, which has lost nearly $2 billion from 2011 through 2015.

      Twitter has had a hard time attracting new users, which, in turn, has resulted in flat or slow growth.

    • After being outed for massive hack and installing an NSA “rootkit,” Yahoo cancels earnings call

      What do you do if your ailing internet giant has been outed for losing, and then keeping silent about, 500 million user accounts, then letting American spy agencies install a rootkit on its mail service, possibly scuttling its impending, hail-mary acquisition by a risk-averse, old economy phone company? Just cancel your investor call and with it, any chance of awkward, on-the-record questions.

    • DOJ: Microsoft Email Ruling Leaves Evidence Out of Authorities’ Hands

      In July, a court ruled that Microsoft did not have to provide the Department of Justice with the emails of a criminal suspect stored in Ireland. The case reportedly revolves around Gary Davis, who is charged with being a staff member of the dark web marketplace Silk Road.

      That ruling was seen as a victory for privacy and civil liberties campaigners. But the DOJ is not giving up. On Thursday, government attorneys filed a petition asking for the case to be reheard.

      The July ruling, “is significantly limiting an essential investigative tool used thousands of times a year, harming important criminal investigations around the country, and causing confusion and chaos among providers as they struggle to determine how to comply,” the DOJ writes in its petition, filed in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and sent to Motherboard by DOJ spokesperson Peter Carr.

    • Verizon reportedly wants $1 billion discount on Yahoo

      Verizon may not have bailed out of its deal to purchase Yahoo for $4.8 billion, but amid a growing case of bad news at the search engine company, the telecommunications giant is reportedly pushing to reduce the acquisition price by $1 billion.

      According to the New York Post, AOL chief Tim Armstrong, who runs the Verizon subsidiary that would be the umbrella company for Yahoo, is “getting cold feet.” Sources tell the publication that he’s “pretty upset about the lack of disclosure and he’s saying can we get out of this or can we reduce the price?”

      Yahoo is currently embroiled in two scandals, one of which involves hackers illegally accessing 500 million account. Members of the U.S. Congress have called upon the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate Yahoo’s disclosures in light of the hacking. The other issue involves Yahoo’s apparent compliance with U.S. intelligence agencies in secretly scanning customer emails, especially years after the Snowden revelations.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Amy Goodman Is Facing Prison for Reporting on the Dakota Access Pipeline. That Should Scare Us All.

      This Monday afternoon, as the sun hits its peak over Mandan, North Dakota, the award-winning journalist, and host of Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman will walk into the Morton County–Mandan Combined Law Enforcement and Corrections Center and turn herself in to the local authorities. Her crime: good, unflinching journalism.

    • Why Is North Dakota Arresting Journalists For Doing Journalism?

      Two years ago, we wrote about the ridiculousness of police arresting reporters for reporting in Ferguson, Missouri, even though courts had told police to knock it off. Even more ridiculous is that those reporters were eventually charged, leading to a ridiculous settlement earlier this year.

      And yet… arresting journalists for doing journalism continues to be a thing. As you probably know, there have been a bunch of protests in North Dakota lately concerning the Dakota Access Pipeline. Back in September, after covering the protests and having some of her videos of an attack on the protestors go viral, famed Democracy Now reporter Amy Goodman found out an arrest warrant had been issued for her. It’s pretty clear that this arrest warrant was solely because of the coverage reflecting poorly on officials.

      On Thursday, Goodman said that she’ll surrender to authorities next week. As Democracy Now points out, the criminal complaint against her is so transparently unconstitutional and so transparently about intimidating reporters, that it actually notes that “Amy Goodman can be seen on the video identifying herself and interviewing protesters about their involvement in the protest.” Right. That’s called journalism. Goodman was basically arrested for doing journalism that the powers-that-be dislike.

    • Outrageous! Felony Charges Given to Journalist Filming Anti-Pipeline Protest

      Many of you may have read my post on EcoWatch this morning, and already know that Deia Schlosberg, the producer of my new climate change documentary, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change, was arrested Tuesday in Walhalla, North Dakota, for filming a protest against a pipeline bringing Canadian tar sands oil into the U.S.

    • The New Federal Safety Guidelines For Self-Driving Cars Are Too Vague… And States Are Already Making Them Mandatory

      The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earned plaudits from across the tech sphere for its recently released safety guidelines for self-driving cars.

      With the NHTSA looking to offer guidance to this emerging industry, the agency issued a set of rules that largely just asks manufacturers to report on how they were following the guidelines. The 15-point checklist is vague in quite a few details, but that isn’t necessarily a tremendous problem so long as the standards remain voluntary, which they purport to be. To many, this approach struck a good overall balance between oversight and flexibility.

      Regulatory ambiguity can, however, turn out to be a real nightmare with standards that are mandatory. Vague rules can leave even the best-intentioned firms at a loss as to how to proceed. Given how much of a premium consumer confidence will be in a market as revolutionary and potentially transformative as autonomous vehicles, it’s crucial that manufacturers comply with whatever standards the federal government promulgates.

    • My Secret Evidence to Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee

      I have been considering my appearance before the Committee.

      As you will know, there has been very substantial doubt in the human rights community about the good faith of your committee’s inquiry. I have been prepared to give the benefit of the doubt and offer to cooperate.

      However if the committee really are genuine, they should wish me to be able to prepare and give the best evidence that I am able to do. There is no doubt that something went very wrong in terms of the UK government’s collusion with overseas torture programmes. The Feinstein report made plain that the CIA was very wrong in what it did, and your committee know very well that the CIA was sharing with SIS the intelligence obtained by torture. The British government has settled with large payments cases where the British government was involved more actively.

    • Structural Racism and Human-Rights

      In the first half-hour, author and professor Carol Anderson rejoins the Project Censored Show to discuss structural racism in the US, especially in the context of the presidential campaign. In the second half of the program, human-rights activists Hector Aristizabal and Isabel Garcia speak about conditions on the US-Mexico border, and how multiple US administrations have enforced border policies that bring death to many immigrants. They also discuss the Border Convergence taking place October 7 – 10.

    • A Missed Chance to Put Discriminatory Policing on Campaign Agenda

      But only a few—like Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post (10/7/16), Steven Holmes at CNN (10/7/16)—reminded us of Trump’s full-page screed in the New York Times, calling uncryptically for the young men to be executed and demanding an end to “our continuous pandering to the criminal population.” Trump’s CNN statement indicates that he would still support executing people whom the courts have found innocent. But no one withdrew their support or demanded an apology, and the comments were pushed off the page just hours later by the unearthing of tape of Trump joking about sexual assault.

      Those abhorrent remarks deserve the attention; but as The Intercept‘s Liliana Segura (10/11/16) noted, Trump’s comments on the Central Park Five also have wider repercussion. The ugly truth, she writes, is that his attitude is all too common in district attorneys’ offices. Prosecutors routinely defend the convictions of innocent people even after exoneration, and often block efforts to test for such evidence as DNA in the first place. When convictions are overturned, DAs often refuse to drop charges, dragging out the legal fight and forcing people found innocent to live under constant threat of re-imprisonment.

      Governors play a role—like Mike Pence, who recently refused to grant pardon to a man in Indiana, exonerated with DNA evidence after 10 years in prison. (Pence’s office said he refused to consider granting a pardon “out of respect for the judicial process.”)

      Hillary Clinton has shown more concern about wrongful convictions, but, Segura notes, she still supports the death penalty. And while in theory one might support executions while opposing killing innocent people, reality—preeminently, the exoneration of more than 150 death row prisoners to date — shows these positions are irreconcilable.

    • UK Torture Secrets Will Remain Secret

      The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has agreed that I shall be able to review Top Secret and other classified documents which contain the evidence of UK complicity in torture and my attempts to stop it, before giving evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament. But under conditions which make plain the determination that the dirtiest of secrets will remain firmly shut away. Given that parliament actually defers to the FCO over what can and cannot be done, the entire pointlessness of the Intelligence and Security Committee Inquiry is starkly revealed.

      Gareth Peirce as my counsel is not to be allowed in to any of my evidence where anything secret is being discussed – which is 100% of it. I think that really says everything about the “Inquiry” that you need to know.

    • For Black Men, Running Is a Reasonable Reaction to Police Harassment and Racial Profiling, Concludes Massachusetts’ Supreme Court

      The justices found that it’s reasonable for Black men to run from police because of the indignity of stop and frisk.

      In 2004, University of Virginia football player Marquis Weeks returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. After the game he described how he did it: “That was just instinct,” Weeks said with a laugh. “Kind of like running from the cops, I guess you could say.”

      It’s funny until it isn’t. The “instinct” exists for a reason. Black and brown people have been running from people with badges for generations, going all the way back to the days of the slave catchers, who were predecessors of modern-day police.

      Despite his obvious speed, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court caught up with Mr. Weeks this month. The court found that the facts of the case, including that the young Black male suspect tried to avoid the police, did not justify a stop and search of the young man.

    • Report: Every 25 Seconds, Cops Arrest Someone for Drug Possession

      The war on drugs may have failed, but it certainly hasn’t ended: Every 25 seconds in the U.S., someone is arrested for drug possession.

      Arrests for the possession and personal use of drugs are boosting the ranks of the incarcerated at astonishing rates — with 137,000 people behind bars for drugs on any given day, and 1.25 million every year. Possession of even tiny quantities of illicit drugs is criminalized in every state, a felony in most, and the No. 1 cause of all arrests nationwide. And while marijuana is now legal in a handful of states and decriminalized in others, in 2015 police nationwide made over 547,000 arrests for simple marijuana possession — more than for all categories of violent crime combined. These arrests are feeding people into a criminal justice system that’s rife with inefficiencies, abuse, and racism, and compounding drug users’ substance abuse with the lifelong impact of a criminal record.

      The staggering numbers, detailed in a report released today by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union, shed new light on the colossal impact of the criminalization of drug use, as well as on the discriminatory impact of its enforcement. These laws have done nothing to stem the public health problem of drug addiction and in the process have destroyed countless lives and cost incalculable amounts of public resources in arrests, prosecution, and incarceration, the report charges.

      Nearly half a century after it was first launched by President Nixon, the war on drugs has been widely recognized to have been a failure, yet little of substance has been done to reverse its course and the catastrophic damage it continues to inflict. In fact, while piecemeal approaches to fixing some of its symptoms — like sentencing reform, marijuana reclassification, and some discussion of police abuse — have by now been embraced within mainstream politics, the drug war’s founding policy, the criminalization of the personal use and possession of drugs, has rarely been questioned.

    • Drawing Representative Districts

      FOR MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY, “one person, one vote” has been essential to American representative democracy. Key to preserving equal representation is redistricting, occurring most broadly every 10 years. The decennial census records population changes, which states must reflect in legislative districts to make the democratic process fair.

      But in many states this is a highly partisan process that is not always fair or in voters’ interests, says Laughlin McDonald, ACLU special counsel, who has fought voter suppression for decades. “Somewhere down the line they may consider the interest of the voters, but that’s not really what drives the process,” he says.

      Without Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, states are now free, without federal oversight, to make election-related changes that could adversely affect racial and language minorities.

    • It Is Time to Get Real About School Policinga

      Interactions between young people and police don’t occur just on the streets of America — they’re happening in our nation’s K-12 schools, too. Increasingly police have become “embedded” in schools, in many cases working there full-time. Many are considered school staff and have daily authority over students, even in situations that have traditionally been seen as everyday disciplinary matters.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • The World Trade Organization Sets its Eyes on the Internet

      This week, EFF has been at the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s annual Public Forum. Best known to the general public as the locus of anti-globalization protests at its 1999 Ministerial Conference, it’s ironic that the WTO is today the most open and transparent of trade negotiation bodies—an honor it holds mainly because of how closed and opaque the trade negotiations conducted outside the WTO are, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), or on its margins, the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).

      This year’s Public Forum, although notionally focusing on inclusive trade, has featured unprecedented interest in digital trade, with dozens of sessions dealing with this topic. Just a few of them, including the workshop “Boundaries and Best Practices for Inclusive Digital Trade” organized by EFF, have been summarized by the Geneva Internet Platform (you can also read slides from some of our workshop’s presentations below).

  • DRM

    • Amazon launches new ‘Music Unlimited’ service, starting at $4/month for use on just one Echo [Ed: DRM. Avoid.]

      Would you pay a few extra bucks a month to turn your smart home speaker into an intelligent, unlimited jukebox? Amazon is betting people will.

      The company on Wednesday is launching a new subscription music service, Amazon Music Unlimited, that starts at $3.99 a month for a library of tens of millions of songs. That’s less than half the cost of Apple Music, Spotify Premium and other competing music services.

    • Studio Ghibli’s first TV series getting English dub courtesy of Amazon

      Famed animation studio Studio Ghibli launched its first TV series, Ronja the Robber’s Daughter, in 2014, and fans’ wait for an official Western version is now coming to an end, thanks to Amazon.

      After the series’ 26-episode run wrapped, the studio began shopping an English-language version to various international channels and distributors. That shopping apparently concluded this week, as Amazon confirmed via a Friday press release that Ronja’s dub will debut exclusively on Amazon Video in the US, UK, Germany, Austria, and Japan. The news didn’t include a release date, but it did confirm one familiar voice joining the Ronja cast: Gillian Anderson, whose voice previously appeared in famed Ghibli film Princess Mononoke.

    • …And Here Come The Device-Restricted Music Subscriptions

      And so we enter a world with yet another means of fragmenting digital music services and making them way, way less appealing. At least they were decent enough to drop the price — but now that the floodgates are open, it’s entirely possible such heavily limited subscriptions will eventually become the new baseline, and truly open subscriptions that can be played anywhere (one of the biggest advantages of digital music) will morph into an expensive luxury. The key difference between this and our speculation about Apple limited output devices is that the restriction happens further upstream, with the subscription only being piped to one specific device — and if that device is an Echo Dot, there’s even still an analog jack so it can be plugged into just about anything else. But the next step — a subscription on a general purpose device like a phone with music that is artificially limited to only be output through certain devices, thanks to the DRM capabilities of digital-only connectors — feels slightly and worryingly closer to reality. And what will this accomplish? Nothing more than ensuring legal digital music continues to suck in unnecessary ways.

      The grand, omnipresent and incorrect assumption about music piracy is that it’s primarily motivated by price, and the desire to get content without paying. It’s not and it never has been: it’s motivated by restrictions, and the desire to easily access a wide variety of content how, when and where you choose. It’s about music being free, but not free as in beer.

      And so, naturally, the legacy music industry has sought out almost every opportunity to add restrictions and limitations to their digital offerings. Disruptive innovators like Spotify and Pandora fight an ongoing uphill battle to secure the necessary rights to offer something more open and appealing, and the massive digital retailers — Apple, Google and Amazon — drift around in between: aware and capable of the type of technological innovation necessary to make digital music services appealing, and armed with the money and clout to secure better licensing deals from rightsholders, but also prone (to varying degrees) to following in those rightsholders’ restrictive footsteps in order to fulfill their own dreams of total control and a captive audience. Amazon isn’t banking on people who are out searching for a digital music service deciding to go with the absurdly limited $4 option — it’s targeting existing Echo customers who might see it as a cheap add-on for some extra music around the house. It wants to upgrade those Echo users into Prime subscribers if they aren’t already (for even more music, since the services are weirdly fragmented from each other), and eventually turn new Echo-only music subscribers into fully dedicated Amazon Music customers. Instead of making it really, really easy to sign up for a music subscription that gives you everything you want on every device you own, it’s ensuring there are plenty of different ways for people to pay up for a tiny slice of that experience.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Lawmakers Warned That 10 Year Sentences Could Apply to File-Sharers

        The UK is currently forming new legislation that will harmonize sentences for offline and online piracy. While the theoretical 10-year maximum sentence is supposed to target only large-scale pirates, this week MPs were warned that wording in the Digital Economy Bill is not tight enough to exclude file-sharers.

      • Company Offers “Fraudulent” and Deceptive Copyright Registrations

        A ring of misleading websites is charging people to pay for copyright registrations in the UK, Australia and elsewhere, even though it’s a free and automatic right. In India, where there’s also an official registration office, the authorities are taking legal action to stop the “fraudulent” operation.


        Interestingly the Indian Copyright Office has now become the center of a rights dispute itself. As it turns out, the website copyright.in is offering ‘unofficial’ copyright registrations to Indians as well.

        The website in question offer users “anteriority proof for their copyrights” in 164 countries, charging roughly $10 for a copyright registration.

      • AllMyVideos.net to Shut Down, No Longer Profitable

        Video-hosting service AllMyVideos.net has announced that it will shut down its website next weekend. The operator says that it’s no longer profitable to host videos due to a lack of revenue and encourages users to back up their files before it’s too late.


Links 14/10/2016: 20th Birthday for KDE, Apache OpenOffice 4.1.3

Posted in News Roundup at 6:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Google offers baseball bat and some chains with which to hit open source software

    For a while now, Google’s Chrome team has had a fuzzing tool to help them find bugs in the browser before bounty hunters do. Now, Mountain View has decided the same techniques can be applied to open source software in general.

    The company’s emitted the first generalised version of its OSS-fuzz software at GitHub.

    A quick primer: fuzzing involves sending random data at a piece of software to crash it and capturing the conditions at the time of the crash.

    Chrome’s in-process fuzzing is described in this blog post, in which security engineer Max Moroz introduced libFuzzer.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Bringing the Power of the Internet to the Next Billion and Beyond

        At Mozilla, we believe the Internet is most powerful when anyone – regardless of gender, income, or geography – can participate equally. However the digital divide remains a clear and persistent reality. Today more than 4 billion people are still not online, according to the World Economic Forum. That is greater than 55% of the global population. Some, who live in poor or rural areas, lack the infrastructure. Fast wired and wireless connectivity only reaches 30% of rural areas. Other people don’t connect because they don’t believe there is enough relevant digital content in their language. Women are also less likely to access and use the Internet; only 37% access the Internet versus 59% of men, according to surveys by the World Wide Web Foundation.

        Access alone, however, is not sufficient. Pre-selected content and walled gardens powered by specific providers subvert the participatory and democratic nature of the Internet that makes it such a powerful platform. Mitchell Baker coined the term equal rating in a 2015 blog post. Mozilla successfully took part in shaping pro-net neutrality legislation in the US, Europe and India. Today, Mozilla’s Open Innovation Team wants to inject practical, action-oriented, new thinking into these efforts.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • 14 facts about Newton, OpenStack’s 14th release

      Last week the OpenStack community celebrated its 14th release, Newton. Packed with new features, fixes, and improvements, Newton offers substantial upgrades in a number of areas. The official software project page includes more detailed information about the specific changes with individual components.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Apache OpenOffice 4.1.3 released

      12 October 2016 – Apache OpenOffice, the leading Open Source office document productivity suite, announced today Apache OpenOffice 4.1.3, now available in 41 languages on Windows, OS X and Linux.

      Apache OpenOffice 4.1.3 is a maintenance release incorporating important bug fixes, security fixes, updated dictionaries, and build fixes. All users of Apache OpenOffice 4.1.2 or earlier are advised to upgrade.

  • BSD


    • Friday ‘Skeleton GNU’ Directory IRC meetup: October 14th

      Participate in supporting the FSD by adding new entries and updating existing ones. We will be on IRC in the #fsf channel on freenode.

      Tens of thousands of people visit directory.fsf.org each month to discover free software. Each entry in the Directory contains a wealth of useful information, from basic category and descriptions, to providing detailed info about version control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing info that has been carefully checked by FSF staff and trained volunteers.

      While the FSD has been and continues to be a great resource to the world over the past decade, it has the potential of being a resource of even greater value. But it needs your help!

      This week we’re the ‘Skeleton GNU’ looking to beef up bares bones entries with more information. While even the most skeletal entry can be useful, the best ones have robust description, links to documentation and other resources. We’ll be looking for entries with minimal information, adding as much as we can and making sure they’re up to date.

  • Public Services/Government

    • “Netherlands lagging in transition to open government”

      The Dutch government is not doing enough to further its transition to an open government. It should step up its ambition in this area and start working on implementation. This was the main message from a meeting that the Standing Parliamentary Committee of the Interior had last month with the substitute Minister of the Interior Stef Blok on the National Action Plan Open Government 2016-2017 and the National Open Data Agenda (NODA).

    • US federal source code repository about to be launched

      The portal will serve as a software repository, i.e. a catalogue of all software the US government is procuring or building, and as a central place from which to disseminate a collection of tools, best practices, and schemas to help government agencies implement the policy. That makes this initiative closely related to the objectives of the Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR) project of the European Commission, of which the publication of this news article is a part too.

      The source code for the code.gov portal itself has been made available under a Creative Commons Zero licence, thereby donating the code to the public domain. The public is invited to contribute to its (further) development.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Digital Republic Bill Uses Crowdsourcing To Promote Data Protection, Net Neutrality And Openness In France

      As the population of Internet users ages, this is likely to become a major issue. It’s good to see France tackling it head-on with the Digital Republic Bill — one of the few countries to do so. The proposed law now passes to the French Senate, but is unlikely to undergo any major modifications there, not least because it has already been subject to unusually wide consultation thanks to the innovative approach used in drawing it up.

  • Programming/Development

    • GCC 7 & Clang Are Nearing Full C++1z/C++17 Support

      While C++17 hasn’t even been officially released yet, this specification also known as C++1z, has nearly all of the expected features implemented in the GCC 7 and Clang compiler releases.

      C++17/C++1z features had begun landing in the GNU Compiler Collection since GCC 5 while some functionality even dates back to GCC 4.8, but the GCC 7 SVN/Git code implements a majority of the new language features. Support for inline variables was the latest feature to be added while many other new language features were previously added to GCC 7 development that’s been open since April.

    • Taking PHP Seriously

      Slack uses PHP for most of its server-side application logic, which is an unusual choice these days. Why did we choose to build a new project in this language? Should you?

      Most programmers who have only casually used PHP know two things about it: that it is a bad language, which they would never use if given the choice; and that some of the most extraordinarily successful projects in history use it. This is not quite a contradiction, but it should make us curious. Did Facebook, Wikipedia, WordPress, Etsy, Baidu, Box, and more recently Slack all succeed in spite of using PHP? Would they all have been better off expressing their application in Ruby? Erlang? Haskell?

      Perhaps not. PHP-the-language has many flaws, which undoubtedly have slowed these efforts down, but PHP-the-environment has virtues which more than compensate for those flaws. And the options for improving on PHP’s language-level flaws are pretty impressive. On the balance, PHP provides better support for building, changing, and operating a successful project than competing environments. I would start a new project in PHP today, with a reservation or two, but zero apologies.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Celebrating open standards around the world

      Today, October 14, is World Standards Day, an event reminding us both of the importance of standards in our day-to-day lives, and recognizing the efforts of the countless individuals and organizations around the globe who are working to create and promote these standards.


  • Hardware

    • VMS will be ready to run on x86 in 2019!

      VMS Software Inc (VSI), which became the custodian of the venerable OpenVMS in 2014, is getting close to its Holy Grail of running the OS on x86.

      HP had decided that the operating system it inherited from DEC was end-of-life back in 2013, but in 2014 signed over an exclusive licence to VSI.

      At that time, the company’s CEO Duane Harris said VSI’s “passion for taking OpenVMS into future decades” would see it ported to Itanium and then x86 architectures.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • FDA: Homeopathic teething gels may have killed 10 babies, sickened 400

      To practice homeopathy, one must master the skill of diluting things in water—an awe inspiring talent, no doubt.

      At its core, homeopathy is based on the idea that “like cures like,” and remedies are made by watering down selected poisons that cause or mimic the disease being treated. Practitioners must at least dilute those poisons until they’re safe for consumption, but often dilute them to the point that only plain water remains. Tossing aside the pesky rules of physics and chemistry, believers argue that water molecules have “memory.” Those liquefied ghosts of poisons can cure a wide range of ailments, from allergic reactions to HIV/AIDS, they say.

      Though Ars has previously pointed out that this pseudoscience is clearly a “therapeutic dead-end,” providing a placebo effect at best, Americans still spent $2.9 billion on them in 2007. Some may argue that such spending on expensive placebo water is harmless. But the discussion changes dramatically when federal regulators catch homeopaths that aren’t so skilled at the art of dilution.

    • Grand jury investigation sought over Snyder legal fees for Flint

      A former chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party has asked the Ingham County Circuit Court to appoint a one-person grand jury to investigate Gov. Rick Snyder charging taxpayers for his criminal defense legal fees related to the Flint drinking water crisis.

      Snyder’s office says the contract in dispute — a $2-million contract with Warner Norcross of Grand Rapids — is lawful because the legal advice relates to actions Snyder took in his official capacity as governor.

      Mark Brewer held news conferences in Lansing and Flint on Wednesday to announce he had filed a complaint Tuesday against Snyder on behalf of Flint resident Keri Webber, arising from the lead contamination of that city’s drinking water.

    • Swedish coffee culture: How to take a fika

      Autumn marks the end of Sweden’s brief but glorious summer, yet it’s still a great time to visit. Despite the notoriously fickle weather, moody skies provide an excellent excuse for hanging indoors, indulging in the Swedish tradition of a coffee break called fika. Along with its Scandinavian neighbors, Sweden is among the world’s top coffee consumers per capita, far exceeding the USA.

      All this coffee sipping has served to refine Sweden’s café culture, with traditional baked goods like cinnamon buns and cookies, perfectly matched to a fresh cup. The country even boasts a town devoted to the art of “taking a fika” or going “to fika.” (They use the word as both a noun and a verb).

      Fika does not have a literal English translation; rather, it’s a concept of getting a coffee, having it with cake or cookies, enjoying it with friends or co-workers, and chatting about topics other than work. It’s about breaking mentally and physically from the day-to-day grind and socializing with one’s community. Americans have their version, too: stand up, walk over to the Keurig, push a button, and return to the desk with a paper cup. Not in Sweden. You’d get the death stare for failing to give proper pause and appreciation for your food, drink and each other. Fika is so ingrained in the population, some believe the government decreed that companies allow employees a certain number of breaks per day. (Like recent internet chatter over the advent of the six-hour working day, this seems to be urban legend, too.)

  • Security

    • Thursday’s security updates
    • Guile security vulnerability w/ listening on localhost + port
    • Akamai Finds Longtime Security Flaw in 2 Million Devices

      It’s well known that the Internet of Things is woefully insecure, but the most shameful and frustrating part is that some of the vulnerabilities that are currently being exploited could have been eradicated years ago. Now evidence of how these bugs are being used in attacks is calling attention to security holes that are long overdue to be plugged.

      New research released this week from the content delivery network Akamai takes a closer look at how hackers are abusing weaknesses in a cryptographic protocol to commandeer millions of ordinary connected devices—routers, cable modems, satellite TV equipment, and DVRs—and then coordinate them to mount attacks. After analyzing IP address data from its Cloud Security Intelligence platform, Akamai estimates that more than 2 million devices have been compromised by this type of hack, which it calls SSHowDowN. The company also says that at least 11 of its customers—in industries like financial services, retail, hospitality, and gaming—have been targets of this attack.

      The exploited protocol, called Secure Shell (SSH), is commonly used to facilitate remote system access and can be implemented robustly. But many IoT manufacturers either don’t incorporate it or are oblivious to the best practices for SSH when setting up default configurations on their devices. As makers scramble to bring their products to market, these oversights sow widespread insecurity in the foundation of the Internet of Things.

    • IoT Devices as Proxies for Cybercrime

      However, WPS also may expose routers to easy compromise. Read more about this vulnerability here. If your router is among those listed as vulnerable, see if you can disable WPS from the router’s administration page. If you’re not sure whether it can be, or if you’d like to see whether your router maker has shipped an update to fix the WPS problem on their hardware, check this spreadsheet.

      Finally, the hardware inside consumer routers is controlled by software known as “firmware,” and occasionally the companies that make these products ship updates for their firmware to correct security and stability issues. When you’re logged in to the administrative panel, if your router prompts you to update the firmware, it’s a good idea to take care of that at some point. If and when you decide to take this step, please be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter: Failing to do so could leave you with an oversized and expensive paperweight.

      Personally, I never run the stock firmware that ships with these devices. Over the years, I’ve replaced the firmware in various routers I purchased with an open source alternative, such as DD-WRT (my favorite) or Tomato. These flavors generally are more secure and offer a much broader array of options and configurations. Again, though, before you embark on swapping out your router’s stock firmware with an open source alternative, take the time to research whether your router model is compatible, and that you understand and carefully observe all of the instructions involved in updating the firmware.

      Since October is officially National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it probably makes sense to note that the above tips on router security come directly from a piece I wrote a while back called Tools for a Safer PC, which includes a number of other suggestions to help beef up your personal and network security.

    • Microsoft says hackers have exploited zero-days in Windows 10′s Edge, Office, IE; issues fix

      Microsoft’s October Patch Tuesday fixes dozens of critical flaws, among them five affecting Internet Explorer, Edge, and Office that have already been under attack.

      Tuesday’s update addresses 49 vulnerabilities within 10 security bulletins. Five bulletins are rated as critical and concern remote code execution vulnerabilities affecting Edge, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash Player, Office, Windows, and Skype for Business.

      According to Microsoft, there were four so-called zero-day flaws, or previously unknown bugs that were being exploited in the wild. However, none has been publicly disclosed before now.

      All these bugs serve as a reminder for users to be cautious when clicking on links or opening attachments from unknown sources.

    • Like it or not, here are ALL your October Microsoft patches

      Redmond kicks off the era of the force-fed security update


      Microsoft is kicking off a controversial new security program this month by packaging all of its security updates into a single payload.

      The October security release introduces Redmond’s new policy of bundling all security bulletins as one download. While more convenient for end users, who now get just one bundle, the move will irk many administrators, who had preferred to individually test and apply each patch to avoid compatibility problems.

    • A New Linux Trojan Called NyaDrop Threatens the IoT Landscape

      The Krebs DDoS attacks have proven that the IoT landscape is a fertile ground that can breed huge botnets capable of launching massive DDoS assaults. As such, it should be to no surprise that malware authors are now focusing their efforts on this sector and putting out new threats in the hopes of building the next Mirai botnet.

    • Amazon resets recycled user passwords out of precaution
    • Amazon Password Resets
    • As Amazon uncovers login credential list online, does controversial GCHQ password advice still stand?
  • Defence/Aggression

    • WikiLeaks reveals Hillary Clinton said US could ‘ring China with missile defense’

      Hillary Clinton privately said the US would “ring China with missile defense” if the Chinese government failed to curb North Korea’s nuclear program, a potential hint at how the former secretary of state would act if elected president.

      Clinton’s remarks were revealed by WikiLeaks in a hack of the Clinton campaign chairman’s personal account. The emails include a document excerpting Clinton’s private speech transcripts, which she has refused to release.

      A section on China features several issues in which Clinton said she confronted the Chinese while leading the US State Department.

    • Qatar gave Bill Clinton $1MILLION for his family’s foundation as a birthday present in 2012, WikiLeaks reveal

      Qatar, an Islamist state in the Persian gulf, gave former President Bill Clinton $1million for his birthday in 2012, according to emails released by WikiLeaks.

      According to a message that was released in the leak of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails this week, Ami Desai, director of foreign policy for the Clinton Foundation, told several other staffers about the check.

      ‘[Qatar] Would like to see WJC “for five minutes” in NYC, to present $1 million check that Qatar promised for WJC’s birthday in 2011,’ Desai wrote. p

    • How Saudi Arabia spreads extremism — Medea Benjamin on the U.S. alliance and Yemen war

      Salon’s Ben Norton sat down with Medea Benjamin, the activist, author and co-founder of the peace group CODEPINK, to discuss her new book “Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection.”

      Benjamin discusses the hypocrisy of the U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy that brutally represses internal dissent and refuses to grant basic rights to women.

      Saudi Arabia spreads its extremist state ideology known as Wahhabism throughout the world. Benjamin notes that ISIS shares a similar fundamentalist ideology. As Salon has previously reported, recently released emails from former secretary of state Hillary Clinton show that, according to U.S. intelligence sources, the monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar have supported the Islamic State.

    • King of Thailand dead: World’s longest reigning monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej dies aged 88

      The world’s longest-reigning monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, has died aged 88, the palace has confirmed.

      The palace said the King passed away peacefully on Thursday at Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital after a 70-year reign.

      Bhumibol Adulyadej became king in 1946 and was revered in Thailand as a demigod. He anchored the South-east Asian country through violent upheavals at home and communist revolutions next door, as well as a period of rapid development.

    • 5 Time Bombs Our Grandparents Planted (Are About To Go Off)

      All of human history has been one gigantic, ruinous circle jerk, with Mother Nature crouching awkwardly in the center. Previous generations accidentally ruined the entire planet, and it was up to us to fix their many environmental blunders. Now that we’ve learned from their mistakes and put them behind us, we can finally begin the long, slow process of healing. But the problem with putting something behind you is that it’s the perfect position for that thing to kick you in the ass when you’re not looking.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiTweaks

      The article was based on a 10 October 2016 piece penned by Eichenwald which went viral and has since been significantly edited. Daily News Bin asserted that Eichenwald “proved” the inauthenticity of “Podesta Emails” in his article, but what his piece actually claimed was that the Russian news outlet Sputnik had (deliberately) misreported the content of a leaked e-mail, and that Donald Trump’s repetition of that misreporting proved he was sourcing information fed to him by Russian propaganda outlets attempting to manipulate the 2016 election in Trump’s favor.

    • Hacked WikiLeaks emails show concerns about Clinton candidacy, email server

      WikiLeaks released yet another batch of hacked emails from inside Hillary Clinton’s campaign Wednesday, and with them came another round of embarrassing headlines and new glimpses of internal anxiety over the candidate’s weaknesses.

      Republican Donald Trump and his allies seized on the emails, which reveal comments by an aide about Catholics, a line from a paid speech in which Clinton might be seen as playing down the threat of terrorism and an internal dispute over potential conflicts of interest posed by the Clinton Foundation.

      The drip-drip-drip of damaging attention is likely to continue. WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy organization, began releasing new messages last Friday from the personal email account of Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, and has promised to issue tens of thousands more.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • [Older] Bees Added To U.S. Endangered Species List For 1st Time

      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has given endangered status to seven species of yellow-faced bees native to the islands. These are “the first bees in the country to be protected under the Endangered Species Act,” according to the Xerces Society, which advocated for the new designation.

    • New pictures show Great Barrier Reef is not repairing itself as it should

      New images of the Great Barrier Reef have revealed the extent of the damage climate change has caused to the coral.

      The world’s largest reef system, which stretches for over 1,400 miles off the coast of Australia, has been severely affected by rising water temperatures.

      In May, researchers found more than a third of corals in central and northern parts of the reef had been killed and 93 per cent of individual reefs had been affected by a condition known as coral bleaching, where too warm water causes corals to expel algae living in their tissue and turn completely white. Corals depend on a symbiotic relationship with algae-like single cell protozoa, so when these are expelled they stop growing and often die.

  • Finance

    • Data Reveals the American Dream Is Alive and Well—in Canada

      If Donald Trump is to be believed, the so-called American dream—the one where you can start at the bottom of life’s proverbial ladder and wind up at the top—is dead. But take a closer look at the data: the story’s much more nuanced than that. Turns out that whether the American dream is dead or alive depends a whole lot on where you live.

      For instance, the American dream is alive and well—in Canada.

      Raj Chetty, an economist at Stanford University who studies economic mobility, described the American dream’s geography today at the White House Frontiers Conference, inspired by WIRED’s November issue guest-edited by Barack Obama. Chetty studies people’s movements up and down the economic pyramid and compares their trajectories to where they grew up. And in one way, he’s found that Trump is right. The United States is one of the toughest places to achieve economic mobility.

    • MPs urge ministers to ‘get a grip’ in midst of Southern strike woes

      MPs have attacked the government’s handling of rail franchises, saying passengers have been let down badly.

      A Transport Select Committee report cited the “woeful” experience of Southern passengers, who have faced months of industrial action and staff shortages.

      Ministers were urged to “get a grip” on monitoring rail franchise agreements.

      The Department for Transport (DfT) said improving Southern services was a priority for the government.

      The RMT union, which is locked in a bitter dispute with the rail operator over the future role of conductors, said the report was an indictment of the failure of rail privatisation.

      It was published as Southern timetables returned to normal after a three-day strike by union members.

      A further 11 days of strikes are planned before Christmas.

      Southern’s owners, Govia Thameslink Rail (GTR) said the report covered many issues already in the public domain.

    • Finance Ministry mulls further corporate tax cuts [iophk: "it's not working so do it more!"]

      The Finnish government is considering a further reduction in corporate tax rates. Three years ago, the previous administration attempted to boost business competitiveness by dropping the rate from 24.5 percent to 20 percent. Although the move would take a big bite out of government’s tax take, it hopes that a dynamic effect on the corporate sector will make up for the losses.

    • Barroso ‘Goldman Sachs’ petition handed to EU officials

      A petition started by EU employees against former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso with more than 150,000 signatures has been handed to officials in Brussels.

      They want action to be taken against Barroso for joining Goldman Sachs, a bank that helped Greece hide the true extent of its budget deficit and sold toxic subprime mortgage products in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

      The petition says he should be stripped of his EU pension and other perks awarded to former leaders of the institution.

      Officials who signed the petition have called Barroso’s appointment to the US investment bank as “a gift for eurosceptics.”

      Amid the Barroso uproar, former Commissioner Neelie Kroes was found to be listed as a director of an offshore fund in Bahamas during her tenure in Brussels.

      There is no suggestion either have done anything illegal, but it underlines the blurry EU ethics rules.

    • EU staff blocked from delivering Barroso petition

      The European Commission has refused to accept a petition drafted by EU employees urging it to end the “revolving door” between its top management and big business.

      The appeal was launched after former commission president Jose Manuel Barroso landed a top job at US investment bank Goldman Sachs, and has now been signed by 152,000 people.

    • The Most Important WikiLeaks Revelation Isn’t About Hillary Clinton

      The most important revelation in the WikiLeaks dump of John Podesta’s emails has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton. The messages go all the way back to 2008, when Podesta served as co-chair of President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team. And a month before the election, the key staffing for that future administration was almost entirely in place, revealing that some of the most crucial decisions an administration can make occur well before a vote has been cast.

      Michael Froman, who is now U.S. trade representative but at the time was an executive at Citigroup, wrote an email to Podesta on October 6, 2008, with the subject “Lists.” Froman used a Citigroup email address. He attached three documents: a list of women for top administration jobs, a list of non-white candidates, and a sample outline of 31 cabinet-level positions and who would fill them. “The lists will continue to grow,” Froman wrote to Podesta, “but these are the names to date that seem to be coming up as recommended by various sources for senior level jobs.”

      The cabinet list ended up being almost entirely on the money. It correctly identified Eric Holder for the Justice Department, Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security, Robert Gates for Defense, Rahm Emanuel for chief of staff, Peter Orszag for the Office of Management and Budget, Arne Duncan for Education, Eric Shinseki for Veterans Affairs, Kathleen Sebelius for Health and Human Services, Melody Barnes for the Domestic Policy Council, and more. For the Treasury, three possibilities were on the list: Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, and Timothy Geithner.

    • WikiLeaks: Clinton Called Common Core a ‘Political Failure’ in Speech

      Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called the Common Core State Standards a “political failure” in a speech to an education technology company, according to excerpts published by WikiLeaks earlier this week.

      And in the same speech, Clinton expressed skepticism that most politicians actually will be able to exert a lot of influence on K-12 policy.

      Clinton gave the speech about the common core to Knewton, an adaptive-learning company, in 2014, according to the document posted by WikiLeaks, an organization that published information the group says points to government and corporate misconduct. The Clinton campaign has not confirmed the authenticity of the speech excerpts and other material posted by WikiLeaks, and has charged that hackers linked to the Russian government illegally obtained the material related to Clinton and the campaign. We reached out to Knewton to see if it would confirm that Clinton delivered the speech excerpts published by WikiLeaks, and we’ll update this post if we hear back.

    • Austerity Fan Olli Rehn Appointed to Bank of Finland Board

      Olli Rehn was named to the board of the Bank of Finland, putting the former chief advocate of European austerity on track for a spot in the decision-making body of the European Central Bank.

      The 54-year-old, who was the EU’s economic and monetary affairs commissioner before becoming economy minister in Finland, will take up his new position on Feb. 1, 2017, the Helsinki-based Parliamentary Supervisory Council said in a statement. Marja Nykanen, the current deputy director general of Finland’s Financial Supervisory Authority, was also appointed to the board for a five year term.

      As board member of Finland’s central bank, Rehn will be able to shape the Nordic country’s stance on ECB monetary policy. He will also be in a good position to replace Bank of Finland Governor Erkki Liikanen after his second and final seven-year term expires, in 2018.

    • Ex-EU economic chief Rehn chosen for Finnish central bank board

      Oct 14 Finland’s Olli Rehn, the former top economic official of the European Union, has been selected for a board seat at the Bank of Finland, a move which means he must resign from the country’s government, the central bank’s supervisory council said.

      Rehn is currently Finland’s minister of economic affairs.

    • “Ahtisaari and Holmsröm seem to have an elitist view of labour markets”

      Peace Prize Laureate Martti Ahtisaari has warned that the stubbornness of trade unions has become a threat to the welfare state.

      Heikki Taimio, a senior researcher at the Labour Institute for Economic Research (PT), has pointed out that both of the two recent Nobel Prize Laureates from Finland, Martti Ahtisaari and Bengt Holmström, have, on the one hand, expressed their support for the welfare state and, on the other, criticised the trade union movement.

      Taimio points out that studies conducted in several countries have found a link between income inequality and declining trade union membership.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Media Bias And The Death Of Intellectual Honesty, Doubling Down

      Yesterday we wrote about the bizarre story of Newsweek reporter Kurt Eichenwald completely overselling his story about Trump repeating some misinformation that was printed by a Russian news site. I won’t replay the whole thing, but the short version: WikiLeaks released a cache of Clinton campaign boss John Podesta’s emails. In them was an email from Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal, with a link and text of an Eichenwald piece. Some people — first on Twitter, apparently, and then in an article on the Russian site Sputnik News — misrepresented the email in two ways. First, they took a single sentence of the long article out of context and second, they attributed that one sentence to Blumenthal instead of Eichenwald. Then, Donald Trump, at a rally, repeated the false claim that Blumenthal had said this. Again, there is a story here: Trump is willing to repeat false information from sketchy sources (whether Twitter or a Russian news organization). That’s interesting (though, perhaps not a new revelation).

      But Eichenwald massively oversold the piece, with a massive tweetstorm repeatedly suggesting that it proved a connection between Russia and the Trump campaign — even falsely claiming that “only” the Russians and Trump had the same info, despite it being public on WikiLeaks. He also kept claiming that this showed the email was “manipulated.” Except it wasn’t. It was just misrepresented, perhaps on purpose, or perhaps just being oversold by those in search of a good story — just like Eichenwald did. Eichenwald had also suggested that this proved WikiLeaks was connected to the Russians as well, though it appears he’s since deleted those tweets.

    • Libertarians and Greens Can Win—Even If They Lose

      Gary Johnson and Jill Stein have a difficult task—though this election year it might be easier than most. The trick for third parties in American politics is convincing voters that they aren’t “wasting” ballots by supporting the Libertarian or Green Party candidate, since neither will make it to the White House.

    • 8 Less Known Trump Stories That’d Derail Any Other Campaign

      During an election cycle in which the Republican nominee has urged voters to check out a nonexistent sex tape, accused Mexico of sending us rapists, slyly hinted that Second Amendment fans should “handle” his opponent (with their guns), and — oh yeah — admitted to being a zealous “pussy”-grabber, it’s easy to forget that those horrific moments were only the tip of the shit-stained iceberg that’s been the Trump campaign. Funny story: Trump’s own staff wanted to hire a private investigator to get a heads up on this stuff ahead of time, and Trump was too cheap / arrogant / busy planning his next gaffes to pay for it.

    • A Modest Proposal for an Immodest Campaign
  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Blogger Amos Yee starts serving 6-week jail term

      Blogger Amos Yee on Thursday (Oct 13) surrendered himself at the State Courts to begin serving a six-week jail term – his second prison sentence for wounding religious feelings.

      The 17-year-old was sentenced two weeks ago, on Sept 29, but was allowed to defer his jail term.

      He had pleaded guilty to eight charges – two for failing to turn up at a police station and six for intending to wound the feelings of Muslims and/or Christians.

      On July 6 last year, Yee was given four weeks’ jail for making remarks that were derogatory and offensive to Christians in an online video and for uploading an obscene image on his blog.

      But he was released the same day as the punishment was backdated to include his time in remand. He had spent about 50 days in prison after repeatedly breaching bail conditions.

    • Beijing said Facebook and Google are welcome back to China as long as they “respect China’s laws”

      Will Facebook and Google come back to China? The Chinese government says they can, as long as they “respect China’s laws.”

      Yesterday at a press conference held in preparation for the upcoming World Internet Conference, a Bloomberg reporter asked Ren Xianliang, deputy director of the Cyberspace Administration of China (which oversees internet governance) if the government would permit the two American internet giants to re-enter China. Both companies still have business-facing services in China, but Google effectively closed its consumer-facing search engine there in 2010, and authorities have blocked Facebook’s social network since 2009.

    • Charles Harder Sends Ridiculous Threat Letter To People On Behalf Of Melania Trump

      Oh Charles Harder. You just keep supplying more and more fodder for Techdirt stories. You may remember Harder as the lawyer thrust into the public realm after Peter Thiel allegedly bankrolled him to start a new law firm with a focus on taking on any lawsuit that might help bring down Gawker. Having succeeded in bringing down Gawker through dubious lawsuits, Harder has moved on (well, not entirely) to bigger fish, including Roger Ailes and Melania Trump.

      And while Donald Trump has been focusing his defamation threats mostly on the NY Times, Melania and Harder have decided to focus on People Magazine. As you probably have heard by now, among the fairly long list of articles that came out on Wednesday and Thursday involving women saying that Donald Trump sexually assaulted (or engaged in other sketchy behavior) was a really disturbing story at People Magazine, where People writer Natasha Stoynoff wrote about Trump pushing her against the wall and kissing her, while she was there to interview both Donald and Melania. In fact, Stoynoff claims that the assault happened during a break in the interview with the couple, while a pregnant Melania had gone upstairs to change.

      Some people had been asking how Melania had been reacting to this story, which (unlike many of the other accusations) much more closely involved her, in that it took place while she was in the home and happened to a reporter who was writing a story on the couple. Well, now we know. Melania tweeted out a retraction demand to People written by Charles Harder. And it’s even more ridiculous that Harder’s usual threat letters. The crux of it is that Melania denies a few unimportant side details of the article around Stoynoff’s claim that she ran into Melania a year or so later, after she’d left the Trump beat (because of Trump’s actions).

    • As Donald Trump Ramps Up Threats To Sue Newspapers, A Reminder Of Why We Need Free Speech Protections

      Just last week, we discussed Donald Trump’s ridiculous and almost instinctual reaction to threaten to sue the media any time they write something about him that he dislikes. That’s now how defamation law works, and Trump should know since he’s sued for defamation a few times in the past, and lost. Of course, Trump has also flat out admitted that he sometimes sues for defamation just to cost opponents money, which is the classic definition of a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) lawsuit.

      This is all quite relevant today, seeing as a whole bunch of stories broke in the past 24 hours or so about Trump, mainly focusing on claims by women of (frankly) horrific things he’s accused of doing to them (and, again, we’re not a political site, and I’d really, really appreciate it if the comments on this post don’t go down a political path, even if I know such a request is unlikely to be respected). Trump and his lawyers immediately started threatening to sue. The main target so far is the NY Times, which published the first major story, focusing on the allegations of two women.

    • Academic freedom lecture explores ‘the right to be forgotten’

      Personal privacy and free expression in the online world often are seen as competing interests, but they are not incompatible and actually work together, according to a leading scholar and advocate in electronic privacy law.

      Marc Rotenberg, president and chief executive officer of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, made that case Thursday when he delivered the 26th annual University Senate Davis, Markert, Nickerson Lecture on Academic and Intellectual Freedom.

      “My view has always been that privacy and freedom of expression are deeply intertwined, that you can’t actually have true intellectual freedom without the ability to protect privacy,” said Rotenberg, who also is a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center.

      Acknowledging his view is controversial, he walked his audience in the Law School’s Honigman Auditorium through the details of a 2014 case before the European Court of Justice — Google vs. Spain, which Rotenberg referred to as “the right to be forgotten.”

      In that case, a Spanish citizen had filed for bankruptcy and subsequently paid off his debts, but not before the bankruptcy was reported in a local newspaper. Many years later, after the paper’s archives had been digitized online, the man asked that the information be removed, arguing it was no longer relevant.

    • Love, language and censorship – the bittersweet appeal of Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons
    • Good-time Censorship of Language and Your Brain

      En.M.Wikipedia.org: “Orwell explains that the Party [State] could not protect its iron power without degrading its people with constant propaganda. Yet knowledge of this brutal deception, even within the Inner Party itself, could lead to the implosion of the State. Although Nineteen Eighty-Four is most famous for the Party’s pervasive surveillance of everyday life, this control means that the population…including the ruling elite – could be controlled and manipulated merely through the alteration of everyday thought and language. Newspeak is the method for controlling thought through language; doublethink is the method of directly controlling thought.”

      With the shockingly apparent “dumbing down” of Americans everywhere—from so-called, university ‘stoonts’, to uneducated, or de-educated, street rioters, the usable, traditional language is reduced, corrupted, and replaced.

    • Gitmo Judge Approves Retroactive Censorship of Open-court Hearings

      The 9/11 trial judge has ruled that government censors can retroactively seal public war court testimony, saying state secrets sometimes slip through Camp Justice’s special national security screening system.

      In doing so, Army Col. James L. Pohl, the judge, rejected a challenge brought last year by 17 news organizations to a Pentagon transcript of an Oct. 30, 2015, hearing that blacked out swaths of open-court testimony.

      “Given the scope of classified information involved in this case, occasional unintentional disclosure of classified information during commission proceedings is inevitable. Spillage, however, does not equal declassification,” Pohl wrote in a 12-page ruling. It was dated Oct. 3 but recently made public on the Pentagon war court website.

      At issue was five hours of uncontested open-court testimony by a Colorado National Guard soldier about restrictions on using female guards in the 9/11 case. Reporters, Sept. 11 families and other members of the public heard a soldier called “Staff Sgt. Jinx” testify on a 40-second audio delay designed to let the judge or a court security officer mute the sound if anyone spilled national security secrets.

    • Liberals decry arts censorship

      Opposition politicians Thursday heaped blistering criticism on President Park Geun-hye and her ruling camp over the allegation that the presidential office created a blacklist of dissenting artists to deny them state support.

      Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, whose supporters in art circles were allegedly included in the blacklist, urged the National Assembly to investigate the scandal, saying that if found to be true, President Park should be impeached.

      “I can’t tolerate it anymore. If the same thing had happened in western democracies, their Cabinet would have stepped down,” said Park on his Facebook account. “It reminded me of Watergate. It is the epitome of power abuse.”

      The main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea’s former leader Moon Jae-in joined the criticism, denouncing the scandal as something that makes the government “feel ashamed” and shows “how ignorant” the Park administration has been about cultural affairs.

    • Sultan al-Qassemi: Arab artists are key amid censorship

      UAE-based commentator says artists are key in absence of civil society, free media and political parties in Arab world.

      “To Be Continued,” a 2009 video installation by the Palestinian artist Sharif Waked, features a young, handsome fighter sitting at a table with an assault rifle and a book. Behind him, a flag adorned in Quranic text and images of two guns is pinned to the wall.

      The scene is reminiscent of dozens of videos to emerge in recent years of fighters who recite their will or deliver a political message before an attack. But listen carefully. He is reading a familiar tale, not declarations of war. Played by the Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri, the fighter reads an excerpt from One Thousand and One Nights.

      As the story goes, queen Scheherazade spent each night recounting the folk tales to her husband, who planned to execute her the following morning. To prolong her life, she broke off the story each night before it ends. By depicting the “living martyr” as Scheherazade, Waked jolts the viewer into questioning the dominant narrative of the moment of sacrifice.

      The artwork, acquired last year by the Guggenheim Museum, was one of around 60 pieces discussed by Sultan al-Qassemi at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar’s capital on Thursday.

    • YouTube censoring videos from conservative group

      In the latest example of bias against conservatives, YouTube is censoring videos from conservative group PragerU by placing them on “restricted mode.”

      The category, which is applied to videos that may contain “potentially objectionable content,” was applied to 21 PragerU videos, the group announced on its Facebook page on Tuesday.

      The group has created a petition to get YouTube to stop the censorship, and has already received more than 20,000 signatures. The 21 videos account for 10 percent of PragerU’s video collection, and include videos asking: “Are the Police Racist?” “Are 1 in 5 Women Raped at College?” and “Is America Racist?”

      PragerU, or Prager University, is the brainchild of radio host Dennis Prager, and offers short, five-minute videos about a range of topics presented from a Judeo-Christian and conservative perspective. The videos use slick graphics and statistics to summarize complex issues such as racism and foreign policy.

    • Is YouTube censoring Prager University?
    • Why Is YouTube Censoring 21 Educational Videos From PragerU?
    • YouTube Has Blacklisted Dozens of Educational Videos From Conservative PragerU
    • Group Claims YouTube Is Restricting PragerU Educational Videos
    • When fascism comes to America
    • The absurd face of China’s censorship: Bookstore tears out Taiwan page from Webster’s
    • The absurd face of China’s censorship: Bookstore tears out Taiwan page from dictionaries
    • Strict censorship: Pakistan bans Christian TV channels, hits religious freedom in country
    • Pakistan bans 11 Christian TV channels in ‘sweeping attack on religious freedom’
    • Pakistan Bans 11 Christian TV Stations, Leaving Believers With No Media Presence
    • Pakistan Steps Up Persecution With Ban On 11 Christian TV Stations
    • Christian TV networks in Pakistan ordered to close over lack of permits
    • Pakistani archbishop says Christians fight persecution with dialogue
    • Changing Faces of Censorship
    • Free-speech panelists say college campuses need dialogue
    • ‘The K2′ Called Out By Censorship Board For Controversial Scenes; Series Still Going Strong With Higher Weekend Ratings
    • Is Censorship Curbing Innovation In Southeast Asia?

      The outlook of the Southeast Asian startup market so far in 2016 is best described as “evolving”.

    • The demonisation of Louis Smith: This is how a de facto blasphemy law works

      The castigation of a British gymnast for ‘mocking Islam’ is illustrative of a troubling return of blasphemy, argues Stephen Evans.

      If you’ve been following the hounding of British Olympic gymnast Louis Smith this week, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that blasphemy laws were abolished in England back in 2008.

      The very public castigation of the British gymnast is illustrative of the troubling return of blasphemy. As the former Strictly Come Dancing winner has discovered – and to his immense cost – Britain’s bourgeoning ‘culture of offence’ is ensuring that any action deemed likely to offend religious sensibilities, but particularly Muslim sensibilities, is strictly taboo.

      The ‘offending’ footage, published by The Sun shows him with fellow gymnast Luke Carson drunkenly goofing around yelling “Allahu Akbar” and mocking aspects of Islamic belief.

      Condemnation came swiftly from Mohammed Shafiq, the chief executive of the Ramadan Foundation, who asserted “our faith is not to be mocked” and called on Smith to “apologise immediately”.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Facebook shuts down ads for an entire country

      The social network said it has turned off ads in Thailand following the death of the country’s deeply revered king. It’s the first time Facebook has imposed an ad blackout for a whole country.

      King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 70-year reign came to an end on Thursday when he died at the age of 88. Facebook (FB, Tech30) said in a post that removing ads is “a cultural custom” during the mourning period.

      It admitted that it doesn’t yet know how long Thailand will be mourning the king, whose unifying appeal stretched across Thai society.

    • Tor Project and Mozilla Making It Harder for Malware to Unmask Users

      Generally, the Tor network provides a high level of protection and anonymity for its users. So much so that law enforcement agencies, instead of attacking the network itself, have opted to hack individual users’ computers, or end-points. This way, investigators have learned Tor users’ IP addresses.

      But the Tor Project, the nonprofit that maintains the Tor software, and the team behind Mozilla’s Firefox, have quietly been working on improvements that, they say, should make such attacks more difficult. By tweaking how the browser connects to the Tor network, malware designed to unmask users may have a harder time doing so.

      “We’re at the stage right now where we have created the basic tools and we’re working on putting them together to realize the security benefits,” Richard Barnes, Firefox Security Lead, told Motherboard in an email.

      As Barnes explained, the Tor Browser is basically made up of two parts: a modified version of Firefox, and the Tor proxy, which routes the browser’s traffic into the Tor network. Usually, the Firefox part also has network access, as it needs this to talk to the proxy.

    • Open Sorcerers: Can you rid us of Emperor Zuck?

      Back in the dot com heyday, around 1999 and 2000, Linux and open source conferences were huge events: they were packed and brimming with excitement. There was optimism, new initiatives in every conceivable direction, and anything seemed possible. Move over, Grandad: everything traditional was going to be up-ended by open source.

      The logic that innovation gets “sedimented” (the great buzzword of the day) into open protocols and code was very seductive at the time. (“Sedimented” really meant “copied”, but has a geological flavour to make it look inevitable, like a natural element.)

      Some of us wanted to believe it – but we couldn’t put aside a few nagging doubts. There was no shortage of talent, but we wondered how you’d motivate a developer to do the really boring stuff like write and maintain whatever-the-open-source-equivalent-of-SAP would be. Bug-fixing is tedious on sexy software – who’d want to do it for dull commercial data processing? Not only was the whatever-the-open-source-equivalent-of-SAP not there, but nobody in the room knew what it was.

    • EFF’s Challenge Of NSL Gag Orders Reaches The Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals

      In a rather quick turnaround, the EFF has had its brief [PDF] it filed under seal in September unsealed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The brief challenges the FBI’s use of gag orders with its National Security Letters — the administrative subpoenas the FBI issues to recipients without having to run them by a judge.

      Unfortunately, the brief has been heavily redacted and both the appellee and appellant remain undisclosed. The filing challenges NSL gag orders, claiming them to be unconstitutional infringements on the First Amendment. The EFF is arguing on behalf of its redacted clients, both “electronic communications providers.”

      Beyond preventing the providers from informing the FBI’s targets that their communications/data are being turned over to the government, the EFF points out that the gag orders have been stopping them from discussing these limitations with Congress — even to the point of correcting bad information given to legislators by the FBI itself.

    • No Matter Who’s Elected, Surveillance Powers And Programs Unlikely To Be Scaled Back

      The Times is far too kind to Clinton. (No one really needs to rehash Trump’s inability to form coherent sentences when discussing policy…) Clinton may be more measured, but what she has discussed suggests a return to form when Obama exits office. A return to GEORGE W. BUSH form, really — basically another 4-8 years of post-2001 fear-based legislating, like her predecessor engaged in.

      After the attack in Orlando, Clinton joined Trump in calling for expanded watchlists and denial of Constitutional rights to those placed on them. She has occasionally hinted at vague surveillance reform, but has also made it clear Snowden should hop on the next plane home and spend some time in prison. She has also suggested tech companies partner with the government to create backdoors in encryption — but in an imaginary “safe” way that won’t threaten their customers’ security. And she’s made it clear that deploying the military is a perfectly acceptable response to state-led cyberattacks.

      Either way the election goes, the surveillance business will remain as usual. This is troubling, due to the fact that Section 702 — which authorizes the NSA’s internet backbone-based surveillance dragnet PRISM — is up for renewal at the end of next year. With recent revelations about Yahoo’s very proactive surveillance assistance generating some interesting questions about what the NSA can or can’t do under this authority, it would be nice to have someone in the White House that would amplify these concerns, rather than help drown them out.

    • Verizon Wants $1 Billion Discount After Yahoo Scandals, Still Fancies Itself The New Google

      With wireless and fixed-line broadband growth slowing, Verizon has been steadily expanding into new growth territories to try and please insatiable investors. So far, that apparently includes buying failed 90s internet brands like Yahoo and AOL in the belief that it can somehow become a Millennial advertising juggernaut. Except that hasn’t been going particularly well, as the stodgy old telco realizes that it’s kind of hard to innovate when you’ve spent the last thirty years bumbling about as a government-pampered telecom monopoly almost solely focused on turf protection.

    • New GCHQ unit: Psst, breached biz bods. We won’t rat you out to the ICO

      The new National Cyber Security Centre is pitching itself to CEOs as a friendly government organisation which won’t get the regulators involved after data breaches.

      Those gathered this morning on the 18th floor of 125 London Wall heard one of the NCSC’s deputy directors address CEOs on how they should lead their businesses’ recovery from cyber attacks—and it was primarily by contacting NCSC, a part of GCHQ.

      Peter Yapp, the deputy director for the incident management directorate, explained how his role worked: “If something [regarding a cyber incident and your company] breaks in the press, I’ll get a call from someone in government,” he said, and he would be expected to explain what the incident meant.

      “If you haven’t phoned me and told me about it, I will phone you,” stated Yapp.

      “It is worth telling me about the most serious incidents,” he told his audience, acknowledging that these were difficult to define, before comforting them: “We do not tell the ICO what you tell us.”

    • Scotland Yard, Terrorism, and Encryption: How wording of charges contain hidden layers designed to shape public opinion

      Several people objected to the claim that “Scotland Yard says HTTPS is terrorism” by asserting that Scotland Yard is following the law to the letter. Maybe they are, but that wasn’t the point of the rather harsh (and admittedly oversummarizing) headline the other day – the point is that the terrorism case discussed has very nasty undertones that need to be understood, addressed, and countered. This is best understood through examples from other times.

      Two days ago, I posted about Scotland Yard’s case against an alleged terrorist, and how part of the terrorism charges were for the act of “developing an encrypted version of a blog site”, which sounds like publishing a WordPress over HTTPS. It probably is publishing a WordPress over HTTPS, but even if it weren’t, those charges could easily describe that act going forward, once this case is settled.

    • Police Use Surveillance Tool to Scan Social Media, A.C.L.U. Says

      A Chicago company has marketed a tool using text, photos and videos gleaned from major social media companies to aid law enforcement surveillance of protesters, civil liberties activists say.

      The company, called Geofeedia, used data from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as nine other social media networks, to let users search for social media content in a specific location, as opposed to searching by words or hashtags that would be less likely to reveal an exact location.

      Geofeedia marketed its abilities to law enforcement agencies and has signed up more than 500 such clients, according to an email obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union. In one document posted by the organization, as part of a report released on Tuesday, the company appears to point to how officials in Baltimore, with Geofeedia’s help, were able to monitor and respond to the violent protests that broke out after Freddie Gray died in police custody in April 2015.

    • US start-up Geofeedia ‘allowed police to track protesters’

      Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have revoked access to their data to an analytics firm accused of selling information that allowed US police to track activists and protesters.

      The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Chicago-based Geofeedia had allowed police to “sneak in through a side door” to monitor protests.

      Geofeedia said it was committed to the principles of personal privacy.

      It comes amid growing concern about government access to social media.

      ACLU said Geofeedia had been marketing its services to police agencies to help track activists using location data and social media posts.

      The group said it had seen internal documents in which Geofeedia said that it “covered Ferguson/Mike Brown nationally with great success,” referring to protests which erupted in 2014 after an unarmed African-American man was shot dead by police.

      “The ACLU of California has obtained records showing that Twitter, Facebook and Instagram provided user data access to Geofeedia, a developer of a social media monitoring product that we have seen marketed to law enforcement as a tool to monitor activists and protesters,” the group said in a statement.

      “We know for a fact that in Oakland [California] and Baltimore [Maryland], law enforcement has used Geofeedia to monitor protests.”

    • Your Social Media Fingerprint

      Without your consent most major web platforms leak whether you are logged in. This allows any website to detect on which platforms you’re signed up. Since there are lots of platforms with specific demographics an attacker could reason about your personality, too.

    • Verizon expresses doubts about Yahoo! deal

      Yahoo! has said it is confident about its value after Verizon expressed doubts that the deal to acquire the search pioneer could collapse in the face of the data breach that saw 500 million accounts exposed.

      On Thursday, Verizon’s general counsel Craig Silliman told a group of reporters that the data breach could trigger a clause in the US$4.83 billion deal that would allow his employer to back out.

      This clause says Verizon can pull out if a new event “reasonably can be expected to have a material adverse effect on the business, assets, properties, results of operation or financial condition of the business”.

      Yahoo! said in a statement: “We are confident in Yahoo!’s value and we continue to work toward integration with Verizon.”

    • The Attention Merchants: a deep dive into the origins of the surveillance economy

      Tim Wu is a multiple threat: the originator of the term “net neutrality”; a copyfighting lawyer who cares about creator’s rights; a fair use theorist; Zephyr Teachout’s running mate in the NY gubernatorial race; an anti-monopolist who joined the NY Attorney General and used open source to catch Time Warner in the act; a lifelong deep nerd who was outraged by the persecution of Aaron Swartz, and the author of one of the seminal books on telcoms policy and human rights.

      Now, he’s back with his best book yet: The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads, an erudite, energizing, outraging, funny and thorough history of one of humanity’s core undertakings — getting other people to care about stuff that matters to you.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Documentary Filmmaker Faces Up to 45 Years in Prison for Covering Pipeline Protest

      In the same week that activist and celebrity Shailene Woodley was arrested while protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, a documentary producer was arrested at yet another pipeline protest and charged with conspiracy.

      Deia Schlosberg, producer of the 2016 film “How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change,” was following the actions of activists in North Dakota who were protesting against a pipeline. Both activists and documentarian Schlosberg were arrested by police and charged with conspiracy to commit theft of property and services.

      Protesters were attempting to take matters into their own hands and planned to physically stop the flow of crude oil through valve stations at five locations on Tuesday. Schlosberg attended the event in order to document the protest – something a journalist often does.

      The filmmaker continues to be held in jail and all three arrested appeared in court on Thursday for a bond hearing. None were bailed and they all remain in police custody.

    • Asia Bibi blasphemy appeal adjourned in Pakistan as judge pulls out

      The long-awaited final appeal of a Christian woman sentenced to death under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws has been adjourned after a judge said he could not hear the case.

      Justice Muhammad Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman, one of three judges who met amid heightened security in Islamabad to hear the appeal, said he could not rule on whether Asia Bibi’s 2010 conviction for insulting the prophet Muhammad should stand because of his involvement in a related case.

      The supreme court judge said he had overseen the appeal hearing of Mumtaz Qadri who was convicted of murdering Salmaan Taseer, a leading liberal politician who had campaigned for Bibi to be released.

      Bibi’s laywer, Saif-ul-Mulook, said it would probably take weeks or months for a replacement judge to be found and for the appeal to be rescheduled.

      Bibi was accused of blasphemy after rowing with two Muslim women in her village in Punjab in 2009. The lawyer said the case against her was weak, not least because the testimony of the women was contradicted by other witnesses and did not meet the high standard of proof demanded by Islamic law.

    • Pakistan delays Christian woman’s blasphemy appeal after judge steps down

      Pakistan’s Supreme Court delayed an appeal into the infamous blasphemy case against Asia Bibi, the Christian mother on death row, on Thursday after one of the judges stepped down.

      Security was beefed up in Islamabad with police and troops stationed across the capital as the court readied to hear a final appeal in the case of Asia Bibi, who has been on death row since 2010. Observers had warned of “tremendous” repercussions in the case.

      But one of the three-judge bench, Justice Iqbal Hameed ur Rehman, told the court he had to recuse himself, claiming a conflict of interest.

      “I was a part of the bench that was hearing the case of Salmaan Taseer, and this case is related to that,” he told the court, which was overflowing with journalists, lawyers, activists and clerics.

    • Dr. Walter Rodney: Revolutionary Intellectual, Socialist, Pan-Africanist and Historian

      Walter Rodney demonstrated that it is not inevitable for intellectuals to perpetuate exploitation. They have the option of committing “class suicide.”

    • Journalist Amy Goodman to Turn Herself in to North Dakota Authorities

      October 13, 2016 – Award-winning journalist Amy Goodman, charged with criminal trespassing for filming an attack on Native American-led pipeline protesters, will turn herself in to North Dakota authorities on October 17.

      Amy Goodman will surrender to authorities at the Morton County–Mandan Combined Law Enforcement and Corrections Center at 8:15 a.m. local time (CDT).

    • Documentary Filmmaker Faces Up to 45 Years in Prison for Covering Pipeline Protest

      In the same week that activist and celebrity Shailene Woodley was arrested while protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, a documentary producer was arrested at yet another pipeline protest and charged with conspiracy.

      Deia Schlosberg, producer of the 2016 film “How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change,” was following the actions of activists in North Dakota who were protesting against a pipeline. Both activists and documentarian Schlosberg were arrested by police and charged with conspiracy to commit theft of property and services.

      Protesters were attempting to take matters into their own hands and planned to physically stop the flow of crude oil through valve stations at five locations on Tuesday. Schlosberg attended the event in order to document the protest – something a journalist often does.

    • North Dakota needs to immediately drop its outrageous charges against journalist Amy Goodman

      Award-winning journalist and the host of Democracy Now, Amy Goodman, has been facing an outrageous arrest warrant in North Dakota for “criminal trespass” since early September—the result of her merely doing her job as a reporter and covering police violence against oil pipeline protesters in North Dakota.

      Today, she announced she would return to the state in order to turn herself in and contest the charges on Monday.

      “I will go back to North Dakota to fight this charge,” she said. “It is a clear violation of the First Amendment,” said Goodman. “I was doing my job as a journalist, covering a violent attack on Native American protesters.”

    • North Dakota must drop outrageous charges against journalist Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now”

      Today, she announced she would return to the state in order to turn herself in and contest the charges on Monday.

      “I will go back to North Dakota to fight this charge,” she said. “It is a clear violation of the First Amendment,” said Goodman. “I was doing my job as a journalist, covering a violent attack on Native American protesters.”

    • Filmmaker Arrested At Pipeline Protest Facing 45 Years In Felony Charges

      documentarian arrested while filming an oil pipeline protest on Tuesday has been charged with three felony conspiracy charges ― and could face decades in prison if convicted.

      Deia Schlosberg, the producer of the upcoming documentary “How to Let Go of the World and Love All Things Climate Can’t Change,” was detained while filming a protest against TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline in Walhalla, North Dakota. Activists at the event, associated with the group Climate Direct Action, shut down the pipeline, which carries oil from Canadian tar sands to the U.S, for about seven hours.

      Two of the protestors, Michael Foster and Samuel Jessup, were also charged and Schlosberg’s equipment and footage from the event was confiscated. Schlosberg said shortly after being released on bond that she couldn’t comment on her arrest until she spoke to a lawyer.

      She has been charged with three felonies: conspiracy to theft of property, conspiracy to theft of services and conspiracy to tampering with or damaging a public service. Together, the charges carry 45 years in maximum prison sentences.

    • How Not to Think About Drone Policy

      Today, The Oklahoman published an editorial that serves as a good example of how not to think about drone policy. According to The Oklahoman editorial board, a proposed drone weaponization ban was a solution in search of a problem, and concerns regarding privacy are based on unjustifiable fears. This attitude ignores the state of drone technology and disregards the fact that drones should prompt us to re-think privacy protections.

    • How Soon Before Armed Drones Are Overhead in America? Time Now.

      Protocols exist allowing the president to select American citizens, without a whit of due process, for drone killing.

      Only overseas, he says, but you can almost see the fingers crossed behind his back. Wouldn’t an awful lot of well-meaning Americans have supported an aerial drone killing in San Bernardino, or at the Pulse club in Orlando? Didn’t many support using a robot to blow up a suspect in Dallas?

      How soon before armed drones are over our heads?

    • Judge Tears Apart Law Enforcement’s Ridiculous Assertions About ‘Suspicious’ Behavior

      This opinion — written by Texas appeals court judge Brian Quinn — is a breath of fresh air for those of us who have watched as courts have continually deferred to law enforcement officers and their declarations that nearly everything drivers do — or DON’T do — is “suspicious.”

      It’s also a slap in the face of those same law enforcement officers — the ones who use their “experience and training” to find nearly any action, or lack thereof, to be supportive of a warrantless search.

    • High court overturns lifetime bans for Trojan horse teachers

      The high court has thrown out the lifetime bans imposed by the Department for Education on two teachers caught up in the Trojan horse controversy.

      The decision is a latest setback for the DfE in its handling of allegations of Islamic influence at Park View secondary school in Birmingham dating back to 2014, and may hinder disciplinary hearings against others still under way.

      In Birmingham’s high court the judge, Stephen Phillips, overturned the ban imposed against two former Park View teachers, Inamulhaq Anwar and Akeel Ahmed, on the grounds of “serious procedural impropriety”, because of the DfE’s failure to reveal evidence used in other cases to the pair.

      The two teachers were appealing against findings of unacceptable professional conduct by a disciplinary panel of the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), and their lifetime bans from teaching which were imposed by the education secretary earlier this year.

    • How Iran’s war on internet freedom saw a web developer branded a paedophile and jailed for life

      October 4 marked eight years since the life of Iranian web developer Saeed Malekpour turned into a nightmare. Saeed Malekpour is a graduate of Iran’s prestigious Sharif University, and a permanent Canadian resident who was pursuing a PhD in Canada.

      On that day in 2008, while visiting Iran to see his sick father, Saeed was snatched from a Tehran street in broad daylight and stuffed into the back of a car. He was blindfolded, beaten, and then taken to a detention centre to be brutally tortured both physically and psychologically. His torturers said they wouldn’t stop torturing him until he “confessed”. The bizarre crime he was asked to confess to? “Running a network of porn sites”.

      Saeed had no idea what they were talking about, or why they would accuse him – in particular – of such a thing. He was unfortunate enough to be a freelance web developer and open-source programmer in 2008 – the same year in which the blogging scene peaked in Iran, and the same year the Iranian regime decided to “fight back” against the right of Iranians for free expression, by creating their own “cyber army”.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Facebook plans to extend Free Basics internet service to Americans – report

      Facebook is planning to extend its controversial Free Basics service, which offers a free but limited internet access to people who don’t have it, to the US.

      The social networking company has been in talks with the White House and wireless carriers about introducing the program in a way that doesn’t attract the criticism and regulatory scrutiny it has faced elsewhere, according to a report in the Washington Post.

      Free Basics, which started life as Internet.org, is an app that provides users with access to Facebook-curated online services, such as news, employment and health education. These services are “zero-rated”, which means that users don’t get charged for the data.

      The company intended to provide a means for the world’s poorest people to access the benefits of the internet without having to pay for expensive data plans, but it attracted criticism for cherry-picking websites instead of giving people unfettered access to the web.

      Proponents of net neutrality, who say that internet service providers should not get to pick and choose which online services count against data caps because it gives an unfair advantage to those that are zero-rated. Free Basics was banned in India under net neutrality rules following a 11-month public debate – an expensive blow for Facebook.

    • Dutch net neutrality law goes too far say critics

      The Dutch Senate has passed the revised Net Neutrality Law as part of an amendment to the country’s Telecommunications Act. The strict new law seeks to ensure that telcos and ISPs treat all internet traffic equally and cannot favour one internet app or service over another. Opponents, however, say the legislation, which was approved by the lower house of parliament in May this year, is overly severe and is out of line with the EU’s own open internet standards.

      Afke Schaart, Vice President Europe at mobile industry body the GSMA, commented: ‘We are greatly disappointed with the outcome of today’s vote. We believe that the Dutch Net Neutrality Law goes far beyond the intent of the EU regulation. We therefore call on the European Commission to ensure the harmonised implementation of Europe’s Open Internet rules.’ The GSMA says the tighter laws in the Netherlands will ‘hinder development of innovative services and consumer choice’.

    • Verizon Punishes Techs That Try To Repair DSL Customers It No Longer Wants

      For decades Verizon has enjoyed billions in tax breaks and subsidies in exchange for fiber optic upgrades the telco either partially or never actually deploys. Now, for the last half decade or so, the telco has been trying to hang up on these unwanted, un-upgraded DSL customers entirely as it shifts its focus to more profitable (read: usage capped) wireless service. Well, that and buying up old and uninteresting 90s internet brands in a quest to become the next media and advertising juggernaut (note: it’s not going all that well).

      While it’s understandable that Verizon executives want to migrate to higher-growth sectors, there’s a few problems. Most of these networks were built on the backs of taxpayers, and the “burdensome regulations” governing them exist in many instances to ensure nobody can unceremoniously disconnect phone service from the elderly. And Verizon has been far from ethical as it tries to back away from networks that should have been upgraded years ago, even going so far as to refuse to repair them after natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy.

      Pennsylvania is one of several states where Verizon nabbed billions in subsidies, didn’t do all that much with it, and now wants to just walk away from frustrated broadband customers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • A close look at survey methodology for proof of acquired distinctiveness

        The grounds for the German Federal Court of Justice’s decision in the Sparkassen Group/Banco Santander dispute over the validity of Sparkassen’s colour mark “red” (HSK 13) for financial services, namely retail banking, have been published last week. The 46-page judgment takes a very close look at the proper methodology of consumer surveys designed to prove acquired distinctiveness. Since no less than four surveys were submitted by the parties, two by each side, the Court had a wealth of material to work with.

    • Copyrights

      • Who’s On (The) Second (Circuit)… And Why Are They Screwing Up Copyright Law?

        So, last year, we wrote about the ridiculous situation in which the heirs of Abbott and Costello had sued for copyright infringement over a broadway play, Hand to God. In that play, which is a dark drama, and not a comedy, about a puppeteer, there’s a scene in which the puppeteer performs a bit of the famous “Who’s On First?” routine with puppets. The district court wasted little time in dumping the lawsuit. As we detailed in our first post, the copyright issues here were already somewhat complex for a variety of reasons. The short version is that (1) lots of comedy teams performed the same basic act before Abbott & Costello, and (2) the “copyright” is not actually for the whole routine, but rather two separate performances in two separate movies, where Abbott & Costello did (different) versions of the act. It is true that Universal Pictures transferred whatever copyright interest it might have in those two scenes to the heirs of Abbott & Costello in 1984, but it was never clear what copyright they could actually claim in those particular scenes & whether or not it had been properly registered and renewed.

        The district court sided with the producers of Hand to God based on fair use, skipping over the more thorny question of whether or not there was a copyright at all. Basically, the court (correctly) noted at the motion to dismiss stage that it needed to interpret things in the most favorable manner to the plaintiff, and thus it would just assume that the copyrights were valid, and said that even if the copyrights were valid, fair use would lead the case to be dismissed.

      • US Chamber Of Commerce Complains About People ‘Pirating’ The Presidential Debate

        The US Chamber of Commerce is somewhat infamous for its dishonest and misleading claims about copyright, which are often so ridiculous as to be laughable.

      • NATO Chief Sounds Alarm Over Netflix Deal With iPic
      • Theater Association Boss Reminds Theater Owners, Netflix To Stay In Their Own Lanes

        There’s probably a tad more defensiveness than usual in NATO’s statement. Now that there’s a group containing respected directors and producers backing a day-and-date release startup, the “threat” is more substantial than a few streaming providers whose libraries have been stripped to nearly nothing by major studios over the last few years.

        Theaters aren’t going to go away completely. Under-performers who can’t offer an experience worth leaving the house for will fall by the wayside, but day-and-date releases will only slightly hasten their demise. If there were more experimentation, everyone involved might find new ways to make money. But as long as people like Fithian are in charge, nothing will move forward. It a small roll out of Netflix films to theaters — solely for the purpose of allowing the streaming company to get some entries in the Oscar race — results in these sorts of statements, any chance of studios and theaters moving on from traditional windowed releases is still a long way off.

      • Insanely Popular YouTuber KSI Goes F****ing Ballistic at Movie Pirates

        One of the most popular YouTubers on the planet has launched a prolonged, four-letter word-laden attack on fans who pirated his movie. Olajide “JJ” Olatunji, Jr., aka KSI, went off the deep end after people started tweeting him links of Laid in America on torrent sites. Trouble is, KSI is also a pirate.

      • RIAA: CloudFlare Shields Pirates and Frustrates Blocking Efforts

        The RIAA has submitted its most recent overview of “notorious markets” to the U.S. Government. As usual, the music industry group lists various torrent sites, download portals and stream ripping sites as direct threats. In addition, it points out that these sites are becoming harder to take enforcement action against, since they increasingly use CloudFlare.


Links 13/10/2016: Major Ubuntu and OpenSUSE Releases

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

GNOME bluefish



  • They Said Nobody in Jordan Knew About Linux but They Were Wrong

    In this story, “Roblimo” takes us back to 2002, to an open source conference in a country where the common belief was that “nobody knew anything about Linux.” Boy, were they in for a surprise.

    In December, 2002, I gave the keynote speech at an open source conference in Amman, Jordan. It was a tense time in that part of the world. Not long before I was there, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAISD) chief in Amman was assassinated. Anti-U.S. demonstrations had been shut down by Jordan’s armed forces earlier in the year. King Abdullah II was still new in the job and did not yet have as certain a hand on the helm as his father, Hussein (amateur radio call JY1) did during previous decades. To make things even more fun, the country was flooded with refugees from Iraq, and rumors were rife that the U.S. would soon go to war with Saddam Hussein over 9/11. Or something. Of course, the war rumors turned out to be true.

  • 7 Mistakes New Linux Users Make

    Changing operating systems is a big step for anybody — all the more so because many users are uncertain about exactly what an operating system is.

    However, switching from Windows to Linux is especially hard. The two operating systems have different assumptions and priorities, as well as different ways of doing things. As a result, it is easy for new Linux users to wind up confused because the expectations they have developed using Windows no longer apply.

  • Distribute And Win

    There are many instances, both in nature and business, of the virtues of distributed systems as compared to monolithic systems. One of the most obvious is the rise of open-source software, as argued persuasively by Eric Raymond in The Cathedral and the Bazaar (available online).

    He argues that “cathedrals” (hierarchical, well-organised companies which are the western norm, e.g., IBM, Microsoft) will in the long run be defeated by “bazaars” (loosely federated groups of workers).

    In the context of operating systems (the software that controls devices), and specifically of the UNIX and Linux systems (which is what Eric was focusing on), this prophecy has largely come true. Microsoft, so dominant in the last century, has now lost its monopoly.

  • Linux And Its Impact On Modern IT Infrastructure

    Linux came into existence 25 years ago, but since then, it has been on the path of evolution, and has crept into the modern IT infrastructure like little else. What started as a rebellion movement of sorts, has now become the backbone of enterprise grade computing for sometime now, and been behind the success stories of more than a few enterprises.

    To gauge the historical link of Linux with enterprise servers, Senior Solutions Architect at Red Hat Martin Percival’s words come to mind, who said “Linux was regarded as an alternative to proprietary Unix. But RHEL switched it to becoming an alternative to Windows Server.” However, when the 90’s came around, computing was to be turned on it’s head, when the consumer segment, more so with PCs, began to take off, even with the famous separation of Microsoft and IBM. While Windows 3.x became a sort of industry standard, IBM’s own OS/OS 2 didn’t create so much of an impression.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Carriers Embrace Trial & Error Approach as NFV Becomes Real

      Telcos kicked off the SDN World Congress here with boasts about how un-telco-like they’ve become, influenced by software-defined infrastructure and the world of virtualization.

      Specifically, they’re starting to adopt software’s “agile” philosophy by being willing to proceed in small steps, rather than waiting for technology to be fully baked.

    • How to stay relevant in the DevOps era: A SysAdmin’s survival guide [Ed: How to stay relevant in the [stupid buzzword] era: rewrite the CV with silly buzzwords like DevOps]

      The merging of development and operations to speed product delivery, or DevOps, is all about agility, automation and information sharing. In DevOps, servers are often treated like cattle”that can be easily replaced, rather than individual pets”to be nurtured.

    • Fear Makes The Wolf Look Bigger

      DevOps is based on 3 key pillars: People, Process and Automation. I believe their importance to a business should be considered in that order.

    • TNS Guide to Serverless Technologies: The Best of FaaS and BaaS

      Like the terms “microservices” and “containers” before it, “serverless” is a loaded word. Countless blogs have argued about the meaning or importance.

      The first, obvious statement everyone makes is that, yes, there are servers or hardware of some sort somewhere in the system. But the point of “serverless” is not that servers aren’t used; it’s just that developers and administrators do not have to think about them.

      Serverless architectures refer to applications that significantly depend on third-party services. “Such architectures remove the need for the traditional ‘always on’ server system sitting behind an application,” said software developer Mike Roberts, in an article on Martin Fowler’s site. Inserting serverless technologies into systems can reduce the complexity that needs to be managed, and could also potentially save money.

    • One Day Is a Lifetime in Container Years

      The average life span of a container is short and getting shorter. While some organizations use containers as replacements for virtual machines, many are using them increasingly for elastic compute resources, with life spans measured in hours or even minutes. Containers allow an organization to treat the individual servers providing a service as disposable units, to be shut down or spun up on a whim when traffic or behavior dictates.

      Since the value of an individual container is low, and startup time is short, a company can be far more aggressive about its scaling policies, allowing the container service to scale both up and down faster. Since new containers can be spun up on the order of seconds or sub seconds instead of minutes, they also allow an organization to scale down further than would previously have provided sufficient available overhead to manage traffic spikes. Finally, if a service is advanced enough to have automated monitoring and self-healing, a minuscule perturbation in container behavior might be sufficient to cause the misbehaving instance to be destroyed and a new container started in its place.

      At container speeds, behavior and traffic monitoring happens too quickly for humans to process and react. By the time an event is triaged, assigned, and investigated, the container will be gone. Security and retention policies need to be set correctly from the time the container is spawned. Is this workload allowed to run in this location? Are rules set up to manage the arbitration between security policies and SLAs?

  • Kernel Space

    • The Open Source SDN Distro That Keeps Microsoft’s WiFi Secure

      Dr. Bithika Khargharia, a principal solutions architect at Extreme Networks and director of product and community management at the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), then elaborated on the new approach by discussing a project called Atrium Enterprise. Atrium Enterprise is an open source SDN distribution that’s ODL-based and has an integrated unified communications and collaboration application. It runs on Atrium partner hardware according to Khargharia.

    • Blockchain Adoption Faster Than Expected

      A study released last week by IBM indicates that blockchain adoption by financial institutions is on the rise and beating expectations. This is good news for IBM, which is betting big on the database technology that was brought to prominence by Bitcoin. Yesterday, Big Blue announced that it has made its Watson-powered blockchain service available to enterprise customers.

      For its study, IBM’s Institute for Business Value teamed with the Economist Intelligence Unit to survey 200 banks spread through 16 countries about “their experience and expectations with blockchains.” The study found that 15 percent of the banks surveyed plan to implement commercial blockchain solutions in 2017.

    • Cloud Native Computing Foundation Adds OpenTracing Project

      The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) today officially announced that the open-source OpenTracing project has been accepted as a hosted project.

    • System calls again

      And speaking of searching — there is filter box now. You can type syscall name (or part of it) there and have table filtered. Same can be done with system call number as well. You used Valgrind and it said that has no idea how to handle syscall 145? Just enter number and you see that it is getresuid(), nfsservctl(), readv(), sched_getscheduler(), setreuid() or setrlimit() — depends which architecture you are testing.

    • UBIFS Supports OverlayFS In Linux 4.9, Readying UBI For MLC Support

      The UBI/UBIFS pull request for the Linux 4.9 kernel for those interested in the Unsorted Block Image tech on Linux.

      First up, for those running UBIFS on raw flash memory, there is now OverlayFS support. OverlayFS, as a reminder, provides a union mount for other file-systems. O_TMPFILE, RENAME_WHITEOUT/EXCHANGE are now supported by UBIFS for handling OverlayFS.

    • KThread Improvements Coming To Linux 4.9

      Andrew Morton’s pull request for Linux 4.9 has landed some improvements for kernel threads.

      For the kthread code in Linux 4.9 there is an API cleanup, a new kthread_create_worker() call (and kthread_create_worker_on_cpu()) to hide implementation details, kthread_destroy_worker() as an easier way to end a worker, support for delayed kthreads, better support for freezable kthread workers, and related kthread work.

    • Linus Torvalds: “Linux Kernel 5.0 Will Be Released When We Hit 6 Million Git Objects”

      Linux creator Linus Torvalds has shared the news that we are half-way between Linux 4.0 and 5.0 as the Git object database has crossed the 5 million object mark. Some of you might be knowing that major version transition happens at every two million objects in the database. So, after 1 more million Git objects, we can expect the release of Linux kernel 5.0 in 2017.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • How to make animated videos with Krita

        There are lots of different kinds of animation: hand-drawn, stop motion, cut-out, 3D, rotoscoping, pixilation, machinima, ASCII, and probably more. Animation isn’t easy, by any means; it’s a complex process requiring patience and dedication, but the good news is open source supplies plenty of high-quality animation tools.

        Over the next three months I’ll highlight three open source applications that are reliable, stable, and efficient in enabling users to create animated movies of their own. I’ll concentrate on three of the most essential disciplines in animation: hand-drawn cel animation, digitally tweened animation, and stop motion. Although the tools are fairly specific to the task, these principles apply to other styles of animation as well.

        You can read about some of the more technical details about animation in Animation Basics by Nikhil Sukul.

      • Kdenlive 16.08.2 Open-Source Video Editor Released with Over 35 Improvements

        Today, October 13, 2016, Kdenlive developer Farid Abdelnour announced the release and immediate availability of the second maintenance update to the Kdenlive 16.08 open-source video editor software project.

        Distributed as part of the soon-to-be-released KDE Applications 16.08.2 software suite for the latest KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS desktop environment, Kdenlive 16.08.2 is here five weeks after the release of the previous maintenance version with no less than 36 improvements and bug fixes, addressing keyframe, UI, workflow, compilation, and proxy clip rendering related issues reported by users.

      • Qt 5.6.2 Toolkit Officially Released with Almost 900 Improvements and Bug Fixes

        Today, October 12, 2016, the Qt Company, through Tuukka Turunen, announced the general availability of the second maintenance release to the long-term supported Qt 5.6 open-source and cross-platform GUI toolkit.

        Qt 5.6.2 is here four months after the release of the first maintenance version, Qt 5.6.1, bringing approximately 900 improvements and bug fixes to keep Qt 5.6 a stable and reliable release for Qt application developers on GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

        “This is the second patch release to the long-term supported Qt 5.6, and there will still be more patch releases to come. While a patch release does not bring new features, it contains security fixes, error corrections and general improvements,” says Tuukka Turunen in today’s announcement.

      • KDE Applications 16.08.2 Released for KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS with over 30 Bug Fixes

        As expected, KDE announced today, October 13, 2016, the general availability of the second point release of their KDE Applications 16.08 software suite for the latest KDE Plasma 5 desktop environments.

        That’s right, we’re talking about KDE Applications 16.08.2, which comes five weeks after the first maintenance update, promising to address over 30 issues and annoyances that have been reported by users since KDE Applications 16.08.1, which launched last month on the 8th of September.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.22 Desktop Environment Gets Its First Point Release, Brings Improvements

        As expected, today, October 12, 2016, GNOME 3.22.1 has been announced by GNOME developer Frederic Peters as the first point release of the stable GNOME 3.22 desktop environment for GNU/Linux operating systems.

      • GNOME 3.22.1 Released

        For those on rolling-release distributions that tend to wait until the first point release before upgrading your desktop environment, GNOME 3.22.1 is now available as the first update since last month’s GNOME 3.22 debut.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open-spec COM version of Chip SBC sells for $16

      The Next Thing unveiled a $16 COM version of the Chip SBC called the Chip Pro, plus a dev kit and a $6 SiP version of the Allwinner R8 SoC called the GR8.

      The Next Thing, which gave us the $9-and-up Chip SBC and Chip-based PocketChip handheld computer, has unveiled a $16, open-spec computer-on-module version of the Chip called the Chip Pro. The Chip Pro measures 45 x 30mm compared to 60 x 40mm for the Chip. The Pro has half the RAM of the Chip with 256MB DDR3, and only 512MB NAND flash instead of 4GB NAND, but it retains the onboard WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2.

    • Linux-based smart home hubs advance into AI
    • Smart Linux Home Hubs Mix IoT with AI

      Industrial, rather than home, applications will likely dominate the Internet of Things (IoT) market in the years to come. Yet, in the early going, the home automation market has had the greatest visibility. And it hasn’t always been pretty.

      Despite steady growth, retail sales have yet to achieve inflated expectations. Too many companies promised and failed to deliver interoperability with a growing catalog of often buggy smart home products. The lack of essential applications, complex installation, and in many cases, high prices, have also conspired against the segment.

      Yet the smart home segment appears to be rebounding with the help of maturing technology and IoT interoperability standards. There is particular interest in connecting voice-enabled AI assistants with the smart home in products such as Amazon’s Echo. Google recently announced Google Home, a major competitor to Alexa. These are being joined by open source Linux smart home voice agents like Mycroft, Silk, and ZOE (see below).

    • COM Express Type 7 module has dual 10GbE and 32 PCIe lanes

      Congatec unveiled the “Conga-B7XD,” one of the first COM Express Type 7 modules, featuring Intel “Broadwell” CPUs, 2x 10GbE Ethernet, and 32x PCI lanes.

    • Pixel Takes Raspbian to the Next Level

      A couple of weeks ago, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced they had tuned up the look and feel of Raspbian. The new buzzword created to help bring about the message that the UI had changed was dubbed “Pixel,” which stands for “Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight.” While I’m not completely sold on trying to make Pixel stand for something, what I am completely sold on is what it has brought to the table for the Raspberry Pi. With Pixel, Raspbian has the look and feel of an elegant OS and I’m beyond happy that they have put this together for the Raspberry Pi community. I’ve tried out Pixel for the past week and here’s my take to date.

    • Build a Spooky Halloween Music-Light Show with Raspberry Pi and Linux

      My son just turned 4, and he is super-excited about Halloween and zombies. So I planned to create a haunted house-like experience for him. The biggest challenge was to get audio-visual effects. I wanted spooky music synchronized with well-placed lighting.

      Instead of buying some expensive Halloween decorations, I wanted to build them myself. I also wanted to be able to control the lights over the network. I looked around and didn’t find the perfect solution, so I did what DIY people do best: I picked and chose different pieces to create what I needed.

      In this tutorial, I am going to share how you can build a board with Raspberry Pi and open source software that synchronizes music with lights for less than $20. You can place this board inside a plastic pumpkin decoration, for example, or attach LEDs to props and create spooky displays for Halloween. Be creative!

    • PocketCHIP Shipping In Mass Next Month – Makes Fun $69 Debian Linux Handheld

      It’s been a few months since Next Thing Co’s C.H.I.P. computer was successfully funded on Kickstarter as “the world’s first $9 computer” along with the PocketCHIP, a C.H.I.P. powered, battery-backed handheld with physical keyboard. Next Thing Co shipped to their backers over the summer whole in November they expects to begin shipping mass production orders on the CHIP and PocketCHIP. Over the past few weeks I’ve been playing with these low-cost ARM devices.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Huawei Teases Honor S1 smartwatch, No mention of Android Wear

          Huawei is currently teasing their new smartwatch which is to be released under the Honor brand named as the Honor S1. The Chinese manufacturer has an event scheduled for October 18 at which we expect the S1 to be unveiled. But could it be running Tizen ? Huawei are already known as stating they will not release anymore Android wear smartwatches for the remainder of this year, so this leaves either Tizen or some other proprietary OS. According to a report in the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper Huawei are currently working with Samsung to deploy the Tizen operating system in its next smartwatches.

        • Game: Gully Cricket 2016 for all Tizen Smartphones

          Hey cricket fans, Games2win brings the popular Indian gully Cricket game on mobiles for the first time and now it is on the Tizen Store. Play 85 different matches in real Indian gullies (name for an alleyway). Break neighbor’s window panes and car windshields, hit passing auto rickshaws and knock down the milkman in order to get an extra reward. Select your favorite team combination in order for you to win all matches. 3 game modes are available: Arcade Mode, Tournament Mode and Gully Ka Raja mode.

        • Game: Bubble Bash Bubble Struggle is available in Tizen Store

          The DadStudio team have added their best bubble shooting game, named “Bubble Bash Bubble Struggle”, to the Tizen store. The game promises to be one of the best bubble shooter games that has spectacular graphics and great music that is simple to operate.

        • Samsung’s 14nm wearable SoC debuts on Gear 3 watch

          Samsung unveiled a 14nm, dual Cortex-A53 “Exynos 7 Dual 7270” SoC with built-in LTE, which runs Tizen Linux on its new Gear S3 watch.

          Samsung may be suffering through one of the worst months in its history, culminating with this week’s recall of the exploding Galaxy Note 7, but the company is so diverse it can also produce some feel-good news at the same time. This week, Samsung Electronics announced the beginning of mass production of a new wearables system-on-chip called the Exynos 7 Dual 7270. Billed as the first wearables-oriented SoC fabricated with a 14-nanometer (nm) FinFET process, the Exynos 7 Dual 7270 will first appear later this year in its Gear 3 smartwatches (see farther below).

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • StormCrawler: An Open Source SDK for Building Web Crawlers with ApacheStorm

    StormCrawler (SC) is an open source SDK for building distributed web crawlers with Apache Storm. The project is under Apache license v2 and consists of a collection of reusable resources and components, written mostly in Java. It is used for scraping data from web pages, indexing with search engines or archiving, and can run on a single machine or an entire Storm cluster with exactly the same code and a minimal number of resources to implement.

  • Study: ‘Open source coders more aware of security’

    Developers of open source software are generally more aware of code security issues than developers working for the European institutions, according to a study for the European Commission and European Parliament. Developers working for the European institutions have more tools available for management and testing of code security, but using them is not yet a standard practice.

  • Begin Broadcasting with a Powerful Open Source Media Platform

    But what a lot of people don’t realize is that that it’s definitely not just a media player. You can use it to stream and broadcast video, podcasts and other media content, and that includes streaming content to mobile devices of all kinds. Some organizations are integrating these streaming features with their networks and cloud deployments, embracing shared multimedia content. Here is our collection of guides for streaming with VLC, including guides for integrating it with your organization’s publishing strategy. This newly updated collection has been expanded to include some very valuable new, free documentation.

  • AT&T (T) to Unveil ECOMP in Open Source Industry in 1Q17

    U.S. telecom giant AT&T Inc. T is moving ahead with plans to introduce its Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy (ECOMP) virtualization platform in the open source industry in the first quarter of 2017. In relation to this, the company announced that it will release all 8.5 million lines of code for ECOMP. AT&T further claims that it has plans to standardize ECOMP as one of the best automated platforms for managing virtual network functions and other software-centric network operations in the telecom industry.

    Earlier in Sep 2016, AT&T and French telecom Orange S.A. ORAN had teamed up on open source initiatives in order to accelerate the standardization of software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV). In relation to this, AT&T declared Orange as its first telecom partner to test its open-source Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management, and Policy (ECOMP) platform.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

  • SaaS/Back End

    • OpenStack Newton promises better resiliency, scalability and security

      OpenStack has released the latest edition of its popular open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud: Newton. With broad industry support from more than 200 vendors — including Cisco, Dell, HP Enterprise, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Rackspace, Red Hat, SUSE and VMware — this version should quickly see wide deployment.

      This release features numerous new features. Perhaps the most important is simply making OpenStack easier to use. OpenStack is powerful, but it’s notoriously hard to master. While OpenStack classes are becoming more common, even with help, mastering OpenStack isn’t easy.

    • Lessons learned as an OpenStack Day organizer
    • Recognizing OpenStack Cloud Contributors–Including Those Who Don’t Code

      Although it is still a very young cloud computing platform, each week there is more evidence of how entrenched OpenStack has become in enterprises and even in smaller companies. In fact, just this week, we reported on findings that show OpenStack adoption in the telecom industry to be widespread.

      Contributors are a big part of what has driven OpenStack’s success, and as the OpenStack Summit approaches, there are several new initiatives being put in place to serve up recognition for meaningful contributors. Notably, the recognition is going to partially go to those who actually contribute code, but there will also be recognition of other forms of giving to OpenStack.

    • Veritas to Showcase Software-Defined Storage at OpenStack Summit

      With the OpenStack Summit event in Barcelona rapidly approaching, news is already arriving on some important new technologies in the OpenStack ecosystem. Veritas Technologies announced that it will showcase two of its software-defined storage solutions—HyperScale for OpenStack and Veritas Access—at the summit.

      With OpenStack quickly gaining traction as an open source software platform of choice for public and private clouds, storage management and support for enterprise production workloads is becoming critical for many enterprises.

  • Funding

    • How to Find Funding for an Open Source Project

      Ask people how to find funding for a technology project, and many of them will point to crowdsourcing sites. After all, the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, the Pebble smartwatch, and even the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer were launched after their inventors collectively raised millions of dollars from contributors. If you happen to have an open source project that you want to get funded, what are some of your options?

  • BSD

    • vmm enabled

      With a small commit, OpenBSD now has a hypervisor and virtualization in-tree. This has been a lot of hard work by Mike Larkin, Reyk Flöter, and many others.

      VMM requires certain hardware features (Intel Nehalem or later, and virtualization enabled in the BIOS) in order to provide VM services, and currently only supports OpenBSD guests.


    • GNU Guile 2.0.13 released [security fixes]

      We’ve just released a new version of GNU Guile, version 2.0.13, which is a security release for Guile (see the original announcement).

      This handles a significant security vulnerability affecting the live REPL, CVE-2016-8606. Due to the nature of this bug, Guile applications themselves in general aren’t vulnerable, but Guile developers are. Arbitrary Scheme code may be used to attack your system in this scenario. (A more minor security issue is also addressed, CVE-2016-8605.)

      There is also a lesson here that applies beyond Guile: the presumption that “localhost” is only accessible by local users can’t be guaranteed by modern operating system environments. If you are looking to provide local-execution-only, we recommend using Unix domain sockets or named pipes. Don’t rely on localhost plus some port.

    • Free Software Directory meeting recap for October 7th, 2016
    • The Free Software Foundation seeks nominations for the 19th annual Free Software Awards

      This award is presented annually by FSF president Richard Stallman to an individual who has made a great contribution to the progress and development of free software, through activities that accord with the spirit of free software.

      Individuals who describe their projects as “open” instead of “free” are eligible nonetheless, provided the software is in fact free/libre.

      Last year, Werner Koch was recognized with the Award for the Advancement of Free Software for his work on GnuPG, the de facto tool for encrypted communication. Koch joined a prestigious list of previous winners including Sébastien Jodogne, Matthew Garrett, Dr. Fernando Perez, Yukihiro Matsumoto, Rob Savoye, John Gilmore, Wietse Venema, Harald Welte, Ted Ts’o, Andrew Tridgell, Theo de Raadt, Alan Cox, Larry Lessig, Guido van Rossum, Brian Paul, Miguel de Icaza, and Larry Wall.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NL Parliament makes open standards mandatory

      The use of open standards will be made mandatory for public administrations. A law proposal by MP Astrid Oosenbrug was adopted by the Parliament’s lower house yesterday. According to the MP, the open standards requirement will be one of several changes to the country’s administrative law, introduced next year. “The minister has earlier agreed to make open standards mandatory”, she said. “The parliament is making sure this actually happens.”

      The first public administration that should improve its use of open standards, is the Parliament’s lower house itself, MP Oosenbrug said. “Ironically, lower house published the adopted law on its website by providing a download link to a document in a proprietary format.”

    • France adds source code to list of documents covered by freedom of information laws

      French freedom of information law now treats source code as disclosable in the same way as other government records.

      The new “Digital Republic” law took effect Saturday, with its publication in France’s Official Journal.

      It adds source code to the long list of government document types that must be released in certain circumstances: dossiers, reports, studies, minutes, transcripts, statistics, instructions, memoranda, ministerial replies, correspondence, opinions, forecasts and decisions.

      But it also adds a new exception to existing rules on access to administrative documents and reuse of public information, giving officials plenty of reasons to refuse to release code on demand.

      These rules already allow officials to block the publication of documents they believe threaten national security, foreign policy, personal safety, or matters before court or under police investigation, among things.

      Now they can oppose publication if they believe it threatens the security of government information systems.

    • Midi-Pyrenees French Region remains committed to Free Software

      “Free software is one of three pillars of our digital strategy”, has confirmed Nadia Pellefigue, the vice-president of the regional council of the Midi-Pyrenees (South-West of France).

      “Free software and open source will help the regional industry and employment, because it can mobilise people”, Nadia Pellefigue said. “Public procurement has been spurred but there is still room for improvements”, she added. Cost savings, meaningful local jobs and lower dependencies on foreign firms are the three advantages of free software she listed.

      Ms Pellefigue was one of the officials at the Rencontres Régionales du Logiciel Libre (RRLL), which took place in Toulouse in October.

      Read more

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Data

      • CMPD launches ‘Open Source Data’ page to share police info with public

        Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police announced Wednesday the launch of its “Open Source Data” page on the department’s website.

        Police say the information source is a step forward in how they share information with the public and is an “opportunity for even greater accountability and transparency” with the Charlotte community. The department faced criticism in the wake of the Keith Scott shooting as protesters said CMPD should have been more transparent during their investigation of the incident.

  • Programming/Development

    • 50 tips for improving your software development game

      How do you keep improving as a software engineer? Some pieces of advice are valid no matter your experience level, but often the advice will depend on where you are in your career.

      If you’re a beginner, the best advice is to simply learn your language, frameworks, and tools top to bottom and gain more experience with a variety of different projects.

      If you’re an experienced software developer, you should constantly try to find new ways to optimize your code for readability, performance, and maintainability, and then practice making well-reasoned decisions about where to focus time and resources in your code—whether it’s testing, performance optimization, or other technical debt.


  • poll on mac 10.12 is broken

    When Mac OS X first launched they did so without an existing poll function. They later added poll() in Mac OS X 10.3, but we quickly discovered that it was broken (it returned a non-zero value when asked to wait for nothing) so in the curl project we added a check in configure for that and subsequently avoided using poll() in all OS X versions to and including Mac OS 10.8 (Darwin 12). The code would instead switch to the alternative solution based on select() for these platforms.

    With the release of Mac OS X 10.9 “Mavericks” in October 2013, Apple had fixed their poll() implementation and we’ve built libcurl to use it since with no issues at all. The configure script picks the correct underlying function to use.

  • How to ask why at work without upsetting anyone
  • Health/Nutrition

    • Gorilla escapes from enclosure at London Zoo

      According to the zoo’s website there are at least seven gorillas living in its Gorilla Kingdom.

      Among them is Kumbuka, a western lowland silverback, who arrived at ZSL London Zoo in early 2013 from Paignton Zoo in Devon.

      Others include Zaire, who came to London Zoo in 1984 after being born in Jersey Zoo, Mjukuu and her daughter Alika, “teenager” Effie, and Gernot, the latest addition who was born in November last year to Effie and Kumbuka.

    • ‘A famine unlike any we have ever seen’

      They survived Boko Haram. Now many of them are on the brink of starvation.

      Across the northeastern corner of this country, more than 3 million people displaced and isolated by the militants are facing one of the world’s biggest humanitarian disasters. Every day, more children are dying because there isn’t enough food. Curable illnesses are killing others. Even polio has returned.

      About a million and a half of the victims have fled the Islamist extremists and are living in makeshift camps, bombed-out buildings and host communities, receiving minimal supplies from international organizations. An additional 2 million people, according to the United Nations, are still inaccessible because of the Boko Haram fighters, who control their villages or patrol the surrounding areas.

    • Flint resident seeks grand jury probe of Gov. Snyder

      A Flint resident is requesting a one-person grand jury to investigate whether Gov. Rick Snyder committed criminal misconduct in office by using public funds to hire private attorneys representing him in criminal probes of the city’s water contamination crisis.

      Attorney Mark Brewer, former chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, filed a complaint late Tuesday in Ingham County Circuit Court on behalf of Keri Webber, who said members of her family have suffered health complications from lead exposure and Legionnaires’ disease.

      Webber told The Detroit News she is “appalled” that taxpayers are being forced to fund the governor’s legal team while Flint residents pay medical bills and still cannot drink their municipal water without a filter. She personally uses only bottled water.

    • Big soda is buying off big health orgs to keep profits and Americans fat

      Under the guise of sweet charitable giving, soda makers are handing out millions to big name health organizations so that the groups stay quiet about health issues that threaten to slim down drink profits—not to mention Americans themselves—a new study suggests.

      Between 2011 and 2015, Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo sponsored 96 national health organizations, including the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, and the American Society for Nutrition, researchers report in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. Meanwhile, lobbyists for the beverage makers successfully campaigned against nearly 20 proposed state and federal regulations aimed at protecting public health, such as improvements to nutrition labeling and soda taxes.

      The pop makers’ efforts to defeat public health policies casts doubt on the sincerity of their charitable giving to health groups. But the sponsorships alone are concerning, according to the study authors, Daniel Aaron and Michael Siegel of Boston University. Earlier studies have found that “sponsorships of health organizations can have a nefarious impact on public health,” they wrote, noting the efforts of Big Tobacco decades ago. Sponsors may directly or indirectly—through feelings of indebtedness—get an organization to take on their interests. As such, the Federal Trade Commission considers sponsorships a marketing tool. All in all, Aaron and Siegel conclude that the soda sponsorships “are likely to serve marketing functions, such as to dampen health groups’ support of legislation that would reduce soda consumption and improve soda companies’ public image,” they wrote.

    • DEA reverses decision on kratom; drug stays legal for now

      The Drug Enforcement Administration is withdrawing its plan to ban the opioid-like herbal drug kratom—at least for now—according to a preliminary withdrawal notice posted today.

      The notice, which will appear in the Federal Registry Thursday, nixes the agency’s emergency decision in late August to list kratom as a Schedule I Controlled Substance, the most restrictive category that also includes heroin and LSD. The DEA deemed the plant’s use an urgent threat to public health—based on concern that it could be abused and addictive—and set the date for a ban as early as September 30. But the abrupt plan drew intense backlash from public health experts, lawmakers, and thousands of devoted users, who argue that the currently unregulated herbal supplement treats chronic pain and prevents deadly opioid addictions.

      After the initial notice, kratom advocates swiftly organized protests, collected more than 140,000 petition signatures, and convinced more than 50 Congress members to sign letters urging the DEA to reverse course. One of the letters highlighted the ongoing, federally funded research looking at using kratom for opioid withdrawal. That research would likely be shut down by a Schedule I listing.

    • Netherlands may extend assisted dying to those who feel ‘life is complete’

      The Dutch government intends to draft a law that would legalise assisted suicide for people who feel they have “completed life” but are not necessarily terminally ill.

      The Netherlands was the first country to legalise euthanasia, in 2002, but only for patients who were considered to be suffering unbearable pain with no hope of a cure.

      But in a letter to parliament on Wednesday, the health and justice ministers said that people who “have a well-considered opinion that their life is complete, must, under strict and careful criteria, be allowed to finish that life in a manner dignified for them”.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • Just Too Much Administration – Breaking JEA, PowerShell’s New Security Barrier

      Just Enough Administration (JEA) is a new Windows 10/Server 2016 feature to create granular least privilege policies by granting specific administrative privileges to users, defined by built-in and script-defined PowerShell cmdlets. Microsoft’s documentation claimed JEA was a security boundary so effective you did not need to worry about an attacker stealing and misusing the credentials of a JEA user.

      But every JEA role capability example I found Microsoft had published had vulnerabilities that could be exploited to obtain complete system administrative rights, most of them immediately, reliably, and without requiring any special configuration. I find it hard to believe most custom role capabilities created by system administrators in the wild are going to be more secure than these, given the track record of the functionally similar features in Linux, the non-obvious nature of vulnerabilities, and the importance of dangerous cmdlets to routine system troubleshooting and maintenance.

      I recommended Microsoft invert what their JEA articles and documentation said about security. Instead of leading with statements that JEA was a security barrier, users with JEA rights should not be considered administrators, and their credentials do not need to be protected like real administrators with a note that this may not be the case if you are not careful; Microsoft’s JEA documentation should lead with statements that JEA should not be treated like a security barrier and users with JEA rights and their credentials should be tightly controlled exactly like normal administrators unless the role capabilities have been strictly audited by security professionals. Additionally, the README files and comments of their example role capabilities should start with stern reminders of this.

    • Thousands of internet-connected devices are a security disaster in the making

      The first problem: many IoT devices, like those cameras, are consumer-oriented, which means their owners don’t have a security-conscious IT department. “Individuals do not have the purchasing power of a large corporation,” says John Dickson, principal of Denim Group, “so they cannot demand security features or privacy protections that a large corporation can of an a product or software vendor.”

      PC Pitstop Vice President of Cyber Security Dodi Glenn points out that many IoT purchasers neglect basic security measures, failing to change passwords from obvious defaults. And even if they did want to secure their devices, there are limits to what they can do: “You can’t secure these devices with antivirus applications.”

    • A SSHowDowN in security: IoT devices enslaved through 12 year old flaw

      In what researchers call the “Internet of Unpatchable Things,” a 12-year-old security flaw is being exploited by attackers in a recent spate of SSHowDowN Proxy attacks.

      The Internet of Things (IoT) is an emerging market full of Wi-Fi and networked devices including routers, home security systems, and lighting products. While the idea of making your home more efficient and automating processes is an appealing one, unfortunately, vendors en masse are considering security as an afterthought for thousands of devices now in our homes, leaving our data vulnerable.

    • Microsoft was unable to meaningfully improve the software

      Documents in a class-action lawsuit against Ford and its original MyFord Touch in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system reveal that the company’s engineers and even its top executive were frustrated with the problematic technology.

      The documents from the 2013 lawsuit show Ford engineers believed the IVI, which was powered by the SYNC operating system launched in 2010, might be “unsaleable” and even described a later upgrade as a “polished turd,” according to a report in the Detroit News, which was confirmed by Computerworld.

      The SYNC OS was originally powered by Microsoft software. Microsoft continued releasing software revisions it knew were defective, according to the lawsuit.

      “In the spring of 2011, Ford hired Microsoft to oversee revisions, and hopefully the improvement, of the [software]. But … Microsoft was unable to meaningfully improve the software, and Ford continued releasing revised software that it knew was still defective,” the lawsuit states.

      Last week, a U.S. District Court judge certified the case as a class action.

    • Senator wants nationwide, all-mail voting to counter election hacks

      “It’s not a question of if you’re going to get hacked—it’s when you’re going to get hacked.”

      Those were the words of Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam as he sought to assure investors last week that the company is still interested in purchasing Yahoo despite the massive data breach of Yahoo consumer accounts.

      Whether McAdam’s words ring true for the hodgepodge of election systems across the US is anybody’s guess. But in the wake of the Obama administration’s announcement that the Russian government directed hacks on the Democratic National Committee and other institutions to influence US elections, a senator from Oregon says the nation should conduct its elections like his home state does: all-mail voting.

    • SourceClear Adds Atlassian Stack to Its Open Source Security Platform

      Open source security company SourceClear said it is integrating Atlassian’s suite of developer tools including Bitbucket Pipelines, JIRA Server, JIRA Cloud, and Bamboo into the company’s open source platform. The integration will result in automated security checks being a part of the developer workflow before they ship code.

    • Why You Should Seriously Care About SSH User Keys

      A recent film chronicled the downfall of the US subprime home loan market, and its parallels to the current state of Secure Shell (SSH) protocol and SSH user keys were astonishing.

    • 5900 online stores found skimming [analysis]

      Online card skimming is up 69% since Nov 2015


      In short: hackers gain access to a store’s source code using various unpatched software flaws. Once a store is under control of a perpetrator, a (Javascript) wiretap is installed that funnels live payment data to an off-shore collection server (mostly in Russia). This wiretap operates transparently for customers and the merchant. Skimmed credit cards are then sold on the dark web for the going rate of $30 per card .

  • Defence/Aggression

    • U.S. Spent $14.6 Million Taxpayer Dollars on Failed Hospital in Afghanistan

      The war in Afghanistan is ready to enter its 16th year (if it was a kid it’s be ready to start driving) and by most definitions is pretty much a bust.

      Despite that, both mainstream candidates have made it clear in public statements they intend to continue pouring money — and lives — into that suppurating sore of American foreign policy. Despite that, there has been no mention of the war in two debates.

      Anyway, while we worry a lot about who call who naughty names in the final presidential debate, can you check around where you live and let me know if your town could use a new hospital, all paid for by someone else’s tax dollars, you know, free to you? ‘Cause that’s the deal Afghanistan got from the USG, only even that turned into a clusterfutz when no one paid much attention to how the facility was thrown together.

    • 5 Shady Things The USSR Did That You Can’t Even Exaggerate

      Can you believe that both poor people and petty criminals had the unbelievable gall to exist in 1930s Russia? If people were to see all those undesirables, why, they might think that communism wasn’t actually a perfect utopia. Something had to be done, and seeing as Soylent Green hadn’t yet been invented, Stalin decided on the next best thing: Cannibal Island.

      Anyone who tried to escape was hunted for sport by the soldiers. There were no shelters or animals on the island, little vegetation, and absolutely no food. It didn’t take long for the prisoners to start eating the dead, and then helping the living become the dead a bit faster so they could eat them too. Here’s a detailed account of a girl stranded on the island who suffered this very fate, but you shouldn’t read it without first looking at pictures of kittens for an hour.

    • Yemen war: ‘My children are starving to death’

      In a shantytown in a deserted area of Yemen’s al-Tohaita district, six-year-old Ahmed Abdullah Ali and his 13 siblings often go to sleep hungry.

      The effects of malnutrition have been the most dramatic on young Ahmed, whose small, frail body looks much younger than his age.

      “I get 500 Yemeni rials [$2] per day, and I have 14 children, so I can hardly provide them with bread, tea and goat’s milk to drink,” the boy’s father, Abdullah Ali, told Al Jazeera.

      “They are suffering from malnutrition. Always, they need food.”

      Many residents of this sparsely populated area, located in the western Hodeidah province, earn some income by breeding animals, but it is not enough to make a living.

    • Obama Promises ‘Proportional’ Response To Russian Hacking, Ignores That We Started The Fight

      Again though, the very idea that the United States would be “responding” is fundamentally incorrect. We’ve been engaged in nation state hacking and election fiddling for decades, happily hacking the planet for almost as long as the internet has existed. We use submarines as underwater hacking platforms, the U.S. government and its laundry list of contractors routinely hacking and fiddling with international elections and destroying reputations when and if it’s convenient to our global business interests. Our behavior in 1970s South America giving tech support to Operation Condor is the dictionary definition of villainy.

      Yet somehow, once countries began hacking us back, we responded with indignant and hypocritical pouting and hand-wringing. But the reality is we are not some unique, special snowflake on the moral high ground in this equation: we’ve historically been the bully, and nationalism all too often blinds us to this fact. Long a nation driven to war by the weakest of supporting evidence, hacking presents those in power with a wonderful, nebulous new enemy, useful in justifying awful legislation, increased domestic surveillance authority, and any other bad idea that can be shoe-horned into the “because… cybersecurity” narrative.

      And as we’re witnessing in great detail, hacking has played a starring role in this nightmarish election, with Donald Trump giving every indication he intends to only ramp up nation state hacking as a core tenet of his idiocracy, and Hillary Clinton lumping Russia, hackers, and WikiLeaks into one giant, amorphous and villainous amoeba to help distract us from what leaked information might actually say about the sorry state of the republic.

    • The long history of the U.S. interfering with elections elsewhere

      One of the more alarming narratives of the 2016 U.S. election campaign is that of the Kremlin’s apparent meddling. Last week, the United States formally accused the Russian government of stealing and disclosing emails from the Democratic National Committee and the individual accounts of prominent Washington insiders.

      The hacks, in part leaked by WikiLeaks, have led to loud declarations that Moscow is eager for the victory of Republican nominee Donald Trump, whose rhetoric has unsettled Washington’s traditional European allies and even thrown the future of NATO — Russia’s bête noire — into doubt.

      Leading Russian officials have balked at the Obama administration’s claim. In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed the suggestion of interference as “ridiculous,” though he said it was “flattering” that Washington would point the finger at Moscow. At a time of pronounced regional tensions in the Middle East and elsewhere, there’s no love lost between Kremlin officials and their American counterparts.

      To be sure, there’s a much larger context behind today’s bluster. As my colleague Andrew Roth notes, whatever their government’s alleged actions in 2016, Russia’s leaders enjoy casting aspersions on the American democratic process. And, in recent years, they have also bristled at perceived U.S. meddling in the politics of countries on Russia’s borders, most notably in Ukraine.

    • Hillary Clinton Acknowledges Saudi Terror Financing in Hacked Email, Hinting at Tougher Approach

      Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have maintained their alliance for seven decades despite disagreements over oil prices, Israel, and, more recently, the Obama administration’s rapprochement with Iran.

      Judging by a 2014 email purportedly written by Hillary Clinton to John Podesta, her current campaign chairman, and published by WikiLeaks, there have been serious tensions over Saudi Arabia’s role in the Syria conflict as well. In the midst of a nine-point overview of U.S. strategy in the Middle East, Clinton wrote:

      “… we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

      Clinton’s private comments differ from the public line taken by members of the Obama administration. Speaking at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York, John Brennan, the director of the CIA, recently called the Saudis “among our very best counterterrorism partners globally.” Last month, Obama, who long ago referred to Saudi Arabia as a “so-called” ally, acted to protect the Saudi government from litigation by vetoing the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which would allow 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government for damages in U.S. federal court. Congress overturned Obama’s veto, leaving the door open for Saudi Arabia to be named as a defendant in future lawsuits.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Questioning of Julian Assange by Swedish authorities postponed

      The questioning of Julian Assange by Swedish prosecutors at the Ecuadorean embassy in London has been postponed until mid-November.

      Ecuador’s attorney general said on Wednesday that the long-awaited interview, due to take place on Monday, would be delayed until 14 November to ensure that Assange’s legal team could attend.

      Assange has been confined to the embassy since June 2012, when he sought and was granted asylum by Ecuador. He is wanted for questioning by Sweden over an allegation of rape in August 2010, which he denies. The Australian WikiLeaks founder has said he fears he could be transferred to the US to face potential espionage charges arising from WikiLeaks’ publishing activities.

    • The State Department Has Taken Over Three Years On A FOIA Request About How Long It Takes To Process FOIA Requests

      Back in 2013, a young Shawn Musgrave filed a FOIA request with the State Department for its cables regarding former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. To his surprise, he was given an estimated completion date (ECD) of December 2015 — a full 18 months of processing time.

      Curious about where the agency got that oddly specific number from — and with plenty of time on his hands — Shawn filed a follow-up request for any documentation outlining State’s methodology for estimating FOIA completion dates. This is on August 5th, 2013, and he gets an acknowledgement back August 8th, just three days later.

    • On WikiLeaks, Journalism, and Privacy: Reporting on the Podesta Archive is an Easy Call

      For years, WikiLeaks has been publishing massive troves of documents online – usually taken without authorization from powerful institutions and then given to the group to publish – while news outlets report on their relevant content. In some instances, these news outlets work in direct partnership with WikiLeaks – as the New York Times and the Guardian, among others, did when jointly publishing the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and U.S. diplomatic cables – while other times media outlets simply review the archives published by WikiLeaks and then report on what they deem newsworthy.

      WikiLeaks has always been somewhat controversial but reaction has greatly intensified this year because many of their most significant leaks have had an impact on the U.S. presidential election and, in particular, have focused on Democrats. As a result, Republicans who long vilified them as a grave national security threat have become their biggest fans (“I love WikiLeaks,” Donald Trump gushed last night, even though he previously called for Edward Snowden to be executed), while Democrats who cheered them for their mass leaks about Bush-era war crimes now scorn them as an evil espionage tool of the Kremlin.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • A Mega-Drought Is Coming to America’s Southwest

      Between 1545 and 1548, an epidemic swept through the indigenous people of Mexico that is unlike anything else described in the medical literature. People bled from their face while suffering high fevers, black tongue, vertigo, and severe abdominal pain. Large nodules sometimes appeared behind their ears, which then spread to cover the rest of their face. After several days of hemorrhage, most who had been infected died.

      The disease was named cocoliztli, after the Nahautl word for “pest.” By contemporary population estimates, cocoliztli killed 15 million people in the 1540s alone—about 80 percent of the local population. On a demographic basis, it was worse than either the Black Death or the Plague of Justinian. For several centuries, its origin remained a mystery.

    • What if nature, like corporations, had the rights of a person?

      In recent years, the US supreme court has solidified the concept of corporate personhood. Following rulings in such cases as Hobby Lobby and Citizens United, US law has established that companies are, like people, entitled to certain rights and protections.

      But that’s not the only instance of extending legal rights to nonhuman entities. New Zealand took a radically different approach in 2014 with the Te Urewera Act which granted an 821-square-mile forest the legal status of a person. The forest is sacred to the Tūhoe people, an indigenous group of the Maori. For them Te Urewera is an ancient and ancestral homeland that breathes life into their culture. The forest is also a living ancestor. The Te Urewera Act concludes that “Te Urewera has an identity in and of itself” and thus must be its own entity with “all the rights, powers, duties, and liabilities of a legal person”. Te Urewera holds title to itself.

      Although this legal approach is unique to New Zealand, the underlying reason for it is not. Over the last 15 years I have documented similar cultural expressions by Native Americans about their traditional, sacred places. As an anthropologist, this research has often pushed me to search for an answer to the profound question: What does it mean for nature to be a person?

      A majestic mountain sits not far north-west of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Like a low triangle, with long gentle slopes, Mount Taylor is clothed in rich forests that appear a velvety charcoal-blue from the distance. Its bald summit, more than 11,000 feet high, is often blanketed in snow – a reminder of the blessing of water, when seen from the blazing desert below.

  • Finance

    • Outsourced IT workers ask Feinstein for help, get form letter in return

      A University of California IT employee whose job is being outsourced to India recently wrote Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) for help.

      Feinstein’s office sent back a letter addressing manufacturing job losses, not IT, and offered the worker no assistance.

      The employee is part of a group of 50 IT workers and another 30 contractors facing layoffs after the university hired an offshore outsourcing firm. The firm, India-based HCL, won a contract to manage infrastructure services.

      That contract is worth about $50 million over five years and can be leveraged by other university campuses — meaning they could also bring in HCL if they so choose.

      The affected IT employees, who work at the school’s San Francisco (UCSF) campus, are slated to lose their jobs in February and say they will be training foreign replacements.

    • What Wells Fargo knew

      A Wells Fargo bank manager tried to warn the head of the company’s regional banking unit of an improperly created customer account in January 2006, five years earlier than the bank has said its board first learned of abuses at its branches.

      In recent months, the discovery of as many as 2 million improperly created accounts has widened into a public scandal for Wells Fargo, one of the country’s largest banks by assets. Some lawmakers, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Roger Williams of Texas, have called for CEO John Stumpf to step down. A letter written in 2005 and obtained by VICE News details unethical practices that occurred at Washington state branches of the bank, suggesting the conduct began years before previously understood.

    • Ex-Wells Fargo worker: Intimidation included no bathroom breaks

      Harassment, intimidation, even bathroom breaks denied. That’s some of the “unconscionable behavior” a former Wells Fargo worker drove five hours to confront a bank executive about.

      Nathan Todd Davis said at a California State Assembly hearing on the Wells Fargo (WFC) fake account scandal that he filed 50 ethics complaints during his decade of working at Wells Fargo — but nothing was ever done.

      “I’ve been harassed, intimidated, written up and denied bathroom breaks,” said Davis, who drove 350 miles from his home in Lodi, California, to speak at the hearing.

    • Ericsson shares in free fall on stock market

      Ericsson shares, which have lost more than half their value in the last 18 months, plunged around 16-18 percent shortly after trading opened in Stockholm, as the company’s warning that its third-quarter profits would significicantly miss target sent shockwaves through the Swedish business community.

      “The forecasts and expectations on Ericsson ahead of the report were low, really low. That they would surprise on the negative side, that comes as a big surprise to me. Especially that it is by so much,” Joakim Bornold, savings economist at Nordnet, told the TT newswire.

      Sales sunk 14 percent between July and September compared to the same period a year earlier, to 51.1 billion kronor ($5.8 billion), Ericsson said in a statement on Wednesday morning.

      Operating income is expected to be 300 million kronor for the third quarter, compared to 5.1 billion in the third quarter of 2015, it said, citing poor demand in developing markets.

    • Facebook tells IRS it won’t pay billions over Irish tax maneuver

      Apple isn’t alone in taking advantage of the US tax system. Facebook also established an overseas subsidiary in Ireland largely for tax purposes—using what is known as the “Double Irish” technique—and named Dublin its base for business outside North America. But the Internal Revenue Service claims Facebook undervalued the move, and the IRS wants the California company to pay $1.7 million in taxes, plus interest, for the year 2010 and possibly subsequent years—an amount that Facebook says could reach billions.

      Facebook, however, told the IRS late Tuesday in a court filing that it shouldn’t have to pay. It’s a tax fight likely to fuel the debate over tax loopholes, which have become a hot-button topic in the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

      The social-networking site asked a US Tax Court to reverse the IRS’ conclusion that Facebook undervalued property when it was transferred to Facebook Ireland Holdings Ltd. Not including intellectual property, Facebook assumed a value of roughly $5.8 billion; the IRS claimed nearly $14 billion.

    • The four tensions of Brexit

      The story of Brexit can be set out as four tensions.

      How these tensions are resolved (or not resolved) will determine how (and if) Brexit plays out.

    • German trade bodies back Angela Merkel’s tough stance over Brexit

      Two of the largest German trade associations have come out in support of Angela Merkel taking a firm stance during negotiations over Britain’s exit from the EU, even if it comes at a short-term cost.

      Speaking at a briefing in Brussels, the presidents of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) and the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH) said that granting Britain an opt-out from the four freedoms – free movement of goods, services, capital and persons – could amount to the “beginning of the end” of the single market.

      “You cannot say: ‘I take part on three counts but not on the fourth,’” said the DIHK’s Eric Schweitzer. Untangling the unity of the four freedoms, he argued, “creates the risk that the whole of Europe would fall apart”.

      “The economic consequences would be dramatic. The single market has played an important part in us having growth and prosperity in Europe.”

      Hans Peter Wollseifer, the president of the ZDH, said he agreed with his counterpart from an economic point of view, but warned that the rest of Europe should not let the UK “drift off too far”. The EU had to learn from Brexit, Wollseifer said, and “maybe be a bit more restrained in passing laws and regulations that affect even the smallest business”.

    • Why the Article 50 case may be the most important constitutional case for a generation

      13th October 2016

      Today at the High Court in London the hearing begins of the challenge to the government about whether it can trigger Article 50 instead of Parliament.

      The case is not about whether Article 50 is triggered or not. The case is instead about who makes the decision. Is the decision to be made by the government or by Parliament?

      As a matter of law, the answer is not clear.

      There are outstanding lawyers who in good faith disagree.

      Because there is no exact precedent, the arguments on both sides draw on first principles.

      Nobody can predict with certainty which way the court will go.

      And whichever way the court goes, there will (no doubt) be a “leap-frog” appeal to the Supreme Court, where the case will probably be joined to the similar Northern Irish case (which also covers the Good Friday Agreement). I understand the Scottish government may also intervene at the appeal stage.

      The Supreme Court hearing may take place as early as December, and so this may be over by Christmas. We may know before the end of the year whether, as a matter of domestic law, it is for the government or Parliament to decide.

    • Hacked Emails Show Hillary Clinton Repeatedly Praised Wal-Mart in Paid Speeches

      When a group of labor activists demanded in 2014 that Hillary Clinton use her influence with Wal-Mart — where she sat on the board of directors for six years — to raise workers’ wages, Clinton’s top aides turned to Wal-Mart’s former top lobbyist for advice on how to respond.

      And in a series of highly paid appearances after leaving the State Department, Clinton praised the company’s practices and spoke fondly of its founder in speeches that were kept secret from the public.

      Wal-Mart, America’s largest private employer, has become a top target of progressives because of its aggressive union-busting and notoriously low wages and lack of benefits. But emails documenting a continued warm relationship between Clinton and the massive retailer are among thousands posted by Wikileaks over the past week from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s gmail account.

      One emailed document is an 80-page list prepared by Clinton’s own research department, detailing the most potentially damaging quotes from the secret speeches. The last four pages are devoted to Wal-Mart.

    • German High Court Paves Way For Government To Sign CETA, Hands Down Conditions

      The German Constitutional Court in a fast-track decision today rejected the granting of emergency injunctions against a German signature of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) of Europe with Canada.

      Four groups with a total of close to 200,000 people (2 BvR 1368/16, 2 BvR 1444/16, 2 BvR 1823/16, 2 BvR 1482/16, 2 BvE 3/16) (English version here) had appealed to the highest German court to stop their government from signing the free trade deal with Canada at a meeting of the European Council of trade ministers on 18 October.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Physically Attacked by Donald Trump – a PEOPLE Writer’s Own Harrowing Story

      In December 2005, PEOPLE writer Natasha Stoynoff went to Mar-a-Lago to interview Donald and Melania Trump. What she says happened next left her badly shaken. Reached for comment, a spokeswoman for Trump said, “This never happened. There is no merit or veracity to this fabricated story.” What follows is Stoynoff’s account.

      “Just for the record,” Anderson Cooper asked Donald Trump, during the presidential debate last Sunday, “are you saying … that you did not actually kiss women without (their) consent?”

      “I have not,” Trump insisted.

      I remember it differently.

      In the early 2000s, I was assigned the Trump beat for PEOPLE magazine. For years I reported on all things Donald.

      I tracked his hit show The Apprentice, attended his wedding to Melania Knauss and roamed the halls of his lavish Trump Tower abode. Melania was kind and sweet during our many chats, and Donald was as bombastic and entertaining as you would expect. We had a very friendly, professional relationship.

      Then, in December 2005, around the time Trump had his now infamous conversation with Billy Bush, I traveled to Mar-a-Lago to interview the couple for a first-wedding-anniversary feature story.

    • Official Who Developed Superdelegate System Offered Clinton Campaign Plan To Dupe Sanders Supporters

      Mark Siegel, a former Democratic Party official, played a key role in drafting the superdelegate provisions, which the party adopted in response to what happened with George McGovern at the 1972 convention. In a Clinton campaign email released by WikiLeaks, he offers the campaign a plan to dupe Bernie Sanders supporters into feeling like they “won” a major superdelegate “reform” at the Democratic National Convention.

      As Siegel highlights, the Democratic Party establishment went against the liberal wing of the party and added party officials. The Democratic National Committee voted on delegate selection rules and made themselves “automatic delegates.”

      “Bernie and his people have been bitching about super delegates and the huge percentage that have come out for Hillary,” Siegel writes. “Since the original idea was to bring our elected officials to the convention ex-officio, because of the offices and the constituencies they represent, why not throw Bernie a bone and reduce the super delegates in the future to the original draft of members of the House and Senate, governors and big city mayors, eliminating the DNC members who are not state chairs or vice-chairs?”

    • Clinton answers written questions under penalty of perjury in email lawsuit

      Hillary Clinton submitted formal answers under penalty of perjury on Thursday about her use of a private email server, saying 20 times that she did not recall the requested information or related discussions, while also asserting that no one ever warned her that the practice could run afoul of laws on preserving federal records.

      “Secretary Clinton states that she does not recall being advised, cautioned, or warned, she does not recall that it was ever suggested to her, and she does not recall participating in any communication, conversation, or meeting in which it was discussed that her use of a clintonemail.com e-mail account to conduct official State Department business conflicted with or violated federal recordkeeping laws,” lawyers for Clinton wrote.

    • If Trump leaks are OK and Clinton leaks aren’t, there’s a problem

      The 2016 presidential campaign isn’t turning out to be the Facebook election, as some people have dubbed it. More than anything else, it’s now the Election Dominated By Leaks.

      In the final month of the race, the Clinton and Trump campaigns’ main attack points now revolve around several major leaks that have put their opposing candidate on the defensive. Both campaigns or their supporters have been actively encouraging leaks about the other side, while claiming leaks involving them are either illegitimate or illegal.

      Either way, it’s yet another example of why leaks are very much in the public interest when they can expose how presidential candidates act behind closed doors – and the motivations of the leakers shouldn’t prevent news organizations from reporting on them.

    • What the WikiLeaks Emails Say About Clinton

      “There is no other Donald Trump,” Hillary Clinton likes to say about her opponent. “This is it.”

      The events of the last two weeks—Trump’s two debate performances, the release of his bawdy comments about women in a 2005 video clip, his lashing out against Republicans who are deserting him—have proven Clinton correct on that count.

      But the leak of thousands of hacked email exchanges among Clinton’s top advisers suggest the same can be said about her—at least in her role as a public figure. They capture a candidate, and a campaign, that seems in private exactly as cautious, calculating, and politically flexible as they appeared to be in public. The Clinton campaign underestimated and then fretted about rival candidate Bernie Sanders, worried about Joe Biden entering the primary race and Elizabeth Warren endorsing her opponent, plotted endlessly about managing Clinton’s image in the press, took advantage of its close ties to the Obama administration and the hierarchy of the Democratic Party, and took public positions to the left of comments Clinton herself made during private paid speeches to Wall Street firms.

    • Before Campaign Ever Launched, Clinton Planned To Support TPP If Elected

      An email published by WikiLeaks from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign shows staff carefully tailored her remarks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and fast-track negotiating authority for the trade deal so she could eventually support them if elected president.

      The email comes from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s account, which he says was hacked.

      In March 2015, before she officially launched her campaign, Dan Schwerin, who is a director of speechwriting, sent out a draft letter of planned remarks on trade.

      “The idea here is to use this to lay out her thinking on TPA & TPP ahead of action on the Hill and a joint letter by all the former secretaries of state and defense,” Schwerin stated. “This draft assumes that she’s ultimately going to support both TPA and TPP.”

      “It focuses on what needs to happen to produce a positive result with TPP, and casts support for TPA [fast-track] as one of those steps. It also says that we should walk away if the final agreement doesn’t meet the test of creating more jobs than it displaces, helping the middle class, and strengthening our national security,” Schwerin added.

      Schwerin maintained the remarks spoke directly to “prominent concerns” of labor and Democrats on Capitol Hill, including concerns expressed by Senator Elizabeth Warren.

    • Donald Trump was accused of sexual harassment, assault, or inappropriate behavior 11 times in the past 24 hours

      It was a long Wednesday for Donald Trump. Oct. 12 started off with a revelation from a former Miss Teen USA that Donald Trump would walk in on the show’s teenage contestants while they were changing (something he had actually bragged about doing to Howard Stern), included a series of sexual assault accusations from several different women, and ended with a cringe-worthy video of him joking about dating a young girl.

      These are not the first times Trump has been accused of sexual harassment, assault, or inappropriate behavior.

    • More allegations, questionable Trump comments on women surface

      As Republican nominee Donald Trump’s campaign tries to move past a recently released 2005 tape of his lewd remarks about women, more video of similar comments made by Trump is surfacing.

      In an “Entertainment Tonight” Christmas feature in 1992, Trump looked at a group of young girls and said he would be dating one of them in ten years. At the time, Trump would have been 46 years old.

    • FBI Source: Majority Of Staff On Clinton Case Wanted Her Prosecuted

      The decision at the FBI to not prosecute Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of classified information was solely from the top down, a source told Fox News.

      “No trial level attorney agreed, no agent working the case agreed, with the decision not to prosecute — it was a top-down decision,” said the source who is described as an official close to the Clinton case.

    • “High agitated” Trump shouts at NYT reporter asking him about sex assault claims: “You are a disgusting human being”

      Jessica Leeds, 74, a retired businesswoman, says Trump sexually assaulted her on a plane flight in the early 1980s, forcing her to change seats: “He was like an octopus,” she said. “His hands were everywhere.”

      Rachel Crooks, then a 22-year-old receptionist working in Trump Tower, says he forced a kiss on her in 2005: “It was so inappropriate,” Ms. Crooks recalled in an interview. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”

    • Two Women Say Donald Trump Touched Them Inappropriately

      Donald J. Trump was emphatic in the second presidential debate: Yes, he had boasted about kissing women without permission and grabbing their genitals. But he had never actually done those things, he said.

      “No,” he declared under questioning on Sunday evening, “I have not.”

      At that moment, sitting at home in Manhattan, Jessica Leeds, 74, felt he was lying to her face. “I wanted to punch the screen,” she said in an interview in her apartment.

      More than three decades ago, when she was a traveling businesswoman at a paper company, Ms. Leeds said, she sat beside Mr. Trump in the first-class cabin of a flight to New York. They had never met before.

      About 45 minutes after takeoff, she recalled, Mr. Trump lifted the armrest and began to touch her.

    • Democrats Say WikiLeaks Is a Russian Front, U.S. Intelligence Isn’t So Sure

      The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee are publicly accusing WikiLeaks of being a front for the Russian government and an ally in efforts to help elect Donald Trump, but U.S. intelligence officials aren’t so sure.

      On Monday, Clinton’s spokesman called WikiLeaks “a propaganda arm” of the Kremlin and accused the site’s founder, Julian Assange, of “colluding with [the] Russian government to help Trump” by leaking embarrassing emails taken from the Democratic National Committee and from the account of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. That statement went further than an assessment by U.S. intelligence agencies and the Homeland Security Department last week that stopped short of explicitly naming WikiLeaks as a Russian agent. (It also made no mention of Trump or his campaign.)

      Then, on Tuesday, the interim chair of the DNC tied WikiLeaks to an ongoing campaign to meddle with the U.S. elections. “Our Intelligence Community has made it clear that the Russian government is responsible for the cyberattacks aimed at interfering with our election, and that WikiLeaks is part of that effort,” Donna Brazile said in a statement.

    • WikiLeaks pumps out Clinton emails

      WikiLeaks is trying to take an active role in the presidential election, even as federal intelligence officials are openly speculating that the group has become a mouthpiece for the Russian government.

      The anti-secrecy organization on Tuesday released its third cache of material allegedly stolen from the email account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

    • Clinton campaign dubs WikiLeaks ‘Russian propaganda’ after latest hack

      Hillary Clinton’s campaign fired back on Tuesday as WikiLeaks released a new tranche of hacked emails from the account of its chairman, John Podesta, dubbing the website a “propaganda arm of the Russian government” seeking to help elect the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

      The latest batch of more than 2,000 emails, disclosed on Monday, offered a glimpse into the inner workings of the Clinton campaign. They included insights on multiple fronts, such as a lack of preparedness for Bernie Sanders’ insurgent campaign, concerns raised by Chelsea Clinton over potential conflicts of interest for the family’s foundation, and efforts by aides on how to best frame the former secretary of state’s second bid for the White House.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Upload Filtering Mandate Would Shred European Copyright Safe Harbor
    • The Weird Facebook Politics of Dakota Pipeline Protests

      Yesterday, on Indigenous People’s Day, a group of 27 protesters was arrested at a Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) site in North Dakota. One of these people was actress Shailene Woodley, who is known for her role in Divergent, as well as for being a general celebrity.

      Protesters and the Standing Rock Sioux tribe have been peacefully opposing the pipeline over land and water risks, as well as its disturbance of sacred sites. Last month, a federal judge overturned the tribe’s request for an injunction to halt the crude oil pipeline’s construction.

    • Facebook deactivates mother’s account after she posts photo of her breastfeeding stranger’s child

      Facebook disabled a mother’s account after she posted a photo of her breastfeeding a stranger’s child with her own.

      Rebecca Wanosik, from Missouri, uploaded the picture online showing how she helped a mother she had never met after recieving a text message from a friend.

      The baby in question had only ever been breast fed and was refusing a bottle after her mother had been hospitalised.

    • Facebook has repeatedly trended fake news since firing its human editors

      The Megyn Kelly incident was supposed to be an anomaly. An unfortunate one-off. A bit of (very public, embarrassing) bad luck. But in the six weeks since Facebook revamped its Trending system — and a hoax about the Fox News Channel star subsequently trended — the site has repeatedly promoted “news” stories that are actually works of fiction.

      As part of a larger audit of Facebook’s Trending topics, the Intersect logged every news story that trended across four accounts during the workdays from Aug. 31 to Sept. 22. During that time, we uncovered five trending stories that were indisputably fake and three that were profoundly inaccurate. On top of that, we found that news releases, blog posts from sites such as Medium and links to online stores such as iTunes regularly trended. Facebook declined to comment about Trending on the record.

      “I’m not at all surprised how many fake stories have trended,” one former member of the team that used to oversee Trending told the Post. “It was beyond predictable by anyone who spent time with the actual functionality of the product, not just the code.” (The team member, who had signed a nondisclosure agreement with Facebook, spoke on the condition of anonymity.)

    • Facebook still has a nipple problem

      Facebook has come under criticism for censoring a news article on mammograms due to an image of a woman’s exposed breast. The company apologized for removing the post and restored it late Tuesday, though the incident adds to an ongoing controversy over a moderation policy that some have described as sexist.

      The article, published Tuesday by Les Décodeurs, a data-focused website run by the French newspaper Le Monde, reported on a recent government initiative to overhaul mammogram screening in France. Its lead image showed a woman undergoing a mammogram, with one of her nipples exposed. Facebook removed the article shortly after it was posted to Les Décodeurs’ page, apparently because the image of a nipple violated the company’s community standards.

    • We must have the freedom to mock Islam

      How did mocking Islam become the great speechcrime of our times? Louis Smith, the gymnast, is the latest to fall foul of the weird new rule against ridiculing Islam. A leaked video shows Smith laughing as his fellow gymnast, Luke Carson, pretends to pray and chants ‘Allahu Akbar’. Smith says something derogatory about the belief in ‘60 virgins’ (he means 72 virgins). Following a firestorm online, and the launch of an investigation by British Gymnastics, Smith has engaged in some pretty tragic contrition. He says he is ‘deeply sorry’ for the ‘deep offence’ he caused. He’s now basically on his knees for real, praying for pity, begging for forgiveness from the guardians of what may be thought and said.

      The response to Smith’s silly video has been so mad you’d be forgiven for thinking he’d been caught snorting coke or hanging with prostitutes. But all he did was have an innocent laugh at the expense of a global religion. He made light fun of a faith system. That’s not allowed anymore? This was a ‘shock video’, yells the press, as if it were a sex tape. Angry tweeters want Adidas and Kellogg’s to stop using Smith in their ads, as if he’d been exposed as a violent criminal. In truth, he has simply been revealed as having an opinion — a jokey opinion, he insists — about a religion. He faces public ridicule and potential punishment for taking the mick out of a belief system. Whatever happened to the right to blaspheme?

      Smith’s travails confirm the authoritarian impulse behind the desire to stamp out Islamophobia. Campaigners against Islamophobia insist they simply want to protect Muslims from harassment, which is a noble goal. But in truth they often seem concerned with protecting Islam from ridicule. Indeed, Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadan Foundation, says Smith must ‘apologise immediately’ (he did) because ‘our faith is not to be mocked, our faith is to be celebrated’. Excuse me? Mr Shafiq, and a great many other people, should acquaint themselves with the principle of freedom of speech, which absolutely includes the right to mock faiths. Including Islam.

    • Why RedHack challenges Turkey’s political establishment

      In their 20 years of operation, the hacktivist group RedHack has pulled off many high-profile breaches, such as leaking documents from Turkish National Police, penetrating the Turkish army’s Commando Brigade, wiping out electricity bills in protest of a power plant, and defacing milk companies that delivered tainted milk in primary schools.

      But most of their activities go unreported in Turkey’s censored media, which aims to hide the government corruption and incapacity RedHack often reveals.

      The news about their latest leak, a 17GB email archive from Turkey’s Energy Minister and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, is sharing the same fate—this time with the Turkish government’s expanded online censorship powers.

    • Facebook is under fire for censorship again, this time for blocking an image of a mammogram

      Facebook just can’t help itself.

      Less than a month after facing backlash over its censorship of the Vietnam War’s iconic “Napalm Girl” image, the social media giant is now under fire for removing an article published by Les Décodeurs, a data-focused website affiliated with French newspaper Le Monde. The story, about the French government’s efforts to overhaul mammogram-screening in the country, included a lead image of an exposed female breast. The nipple in the photograph apparently violated Facebook’s nudity policy.

    • Europe’s Brilliant Strategy to Defeat ISIS Is…Censorship?

      Let us leave aside for the moment the fact that social media and the internet mean that newspapers trying to control the flow of information on such a topic is utterly futile. Such suggestions are gross insults to ordinary people and demonstrate a remarkable arrogance. They assume that the regular man or woman on the street cannot be trusted with reality; that they are incapable of reading the newspaper (even one as sober as Le Monde) without being whipped up into a frenzy of xenophobia and anti-Muslim feeling.

    • Grabbing Tr**p by the Pussy: Censorship in the Media

      Since the video of Donald Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women was released, news organizations have been questioning whether they should publish exactly what he said word for word, obscenity for obscenity. Ultimately, the words he used and how he used them were newsworthy and news organizations should not water down what he said to avoid publishing profanity.

      Organizations like the New York Times, CNN, Politico, Reuters and NBC News all decided against censoring “pussy,” “bitch,” “tits,” or “fuck.” Other organizations, like the LA Times, decided to use substitute words like “crotch” or “genitals” instead. Some organizations decided to put a dashes in place of most letters of the word. The Washington Post, who broke the story, decided to use the hyphen method. The New York Times who, although it did not initially censor the story, is now using the hyphen too.

    • PINAC’s Executive Director Sues Miami Beach Mayor over Social Media Censorship

      Like most politicians, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine campaigned on a platform of promising better transparency to his constituents.

      And like most politicians, he proved to be a liar.

      But unlike most politicians, he is being sued over his broken promise.

    • Australia Senate lifts media censorship rules after 25 years

      The Australian Senate on Thursday lifted tough censorship rules on media coverage of its sessions at the urging of a senator who himself was recently snapped snoozing in the chamber.

      Independent lawmaker Derryn Hinch, who is a former journalist, was caught napping by a photographer in the Senate in August when it sat for the first time after July elections.

      The extraordinary restrictions on press photographers working in the Senate have banned such candid and unflattering pictures for the past 25 years. Senators can be snapped only when they stand to speak.

    • Photography censorship in the Senate lifted after 25-year battle
    • Senate scraps archaic photography ban following 25-year fight for transparency
    • Guantánamo judge approves retroactive censorship of open-court hearings
    • Still A Bad Idea: Gawker Exploring Lawsuit Against Peter Thiel
    • Gawker Looking Into Lawsuit Against Peter Thiel
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Bangladesh Introduces ‘Smart’ National Identity Cards

      The NID cards replace existing laminated cards used by the Election Commission, but they have many other functions. Banking, passport details, driving licenses, trade licenses, tax payments, and share trading are among the 22 other services that can be accessed through the cards, with more to follow. The cards will also be associated with an individual’s mobile phone SIM card.

    • Bangladesh Brings In Nationwide Digital Identity Cards Linking Biometrics To Mobile Phone Numbers

      Sadly, it seems that governments in India and Bangladesh are too excited by the prospect of the “efficiencies” such a digital identity framework could in theory offer — to say nothing of the unmatched surveillance possibilities — to worry much about tiresome practical details like the system not working properly for vast swathes of their people.

    • Step aside, Snowden: new theft on the rise
    • What can government contractors do to stop insider threats?
    • NSA contractor thought to have taken classified material the old-fashioned way
    • NSA Contractor Busted In Alleged Theft of Secret Documents
    • What are U.S. officials saying about a potential NSA-CYBERCOM split?

      A number of lawmakers on Capitol Hill are vehemently opposed to severing the dual-hat position between the director of the National Security Agency and commander of US Cyber Command.

      What are the prospects that the NSA and CYBERCOM will split in the final months of President Barack Obama’s final term?

    • Google and Facebook are building the fastest trans-Pacific cable yet

      Google and Facebook are teaming up to build a 120 Terabits per second (Tbps) submarine cable that will connect Los Angeles with Hong Kong. The two companies are working with Pacific Light Data Communication — a wholly owned subsidiary of China Soft Power Technology that’s relatively new to the sub-sea cable game.

      Once the new 12,800 km cable is at full capacity, it’ll be the highest-capacity trans-Pacific cable yet. Until now, that record was held by the FASTER cable, which Google also has a stake in.

    • Examining Yahoo’s nightmare vision of ‘smart’ billboards

      On October 6th, when the company frankly had bigger PR problems to worry about, Yahoo filed a patent application for a smart billboard – a poster hoarding which proposes using an array of privacy-invading tools to deliver targeted ads to passers-by or motorists.

      Anyone who has seen the 2002 SF epic Minority Report will find the concept familiar, and perhaps rather chilling – in it we see the central protagonist trying to blend into a shopping mall while ‘smart’ advertisements call out to him by name, in a public context where no anonymity is available.

      The billboard proposed is very smart indeed – a real-world analogue of the very personalised ad-targeting which has become so controversial in the past couple of years, yet with no analogous technological remedy, such as adblocking software provides online. The systems envisaged would use an array of data-exploiting techniques and technologies to personalise the ambient advertising experience, including cell-tower location data, facial recognition, and vehicle and license-plate recognition. The scheme proposes many sensors, including drone-based cameras, to facilitate this level of targeting.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Iranian child bride to be executed within days after ‘grossly unfair trial’

      Amnesty International has urged the Iranian authorities to halt the execution of a 22-year-old woman accused of murdering her husband at the age of 17.

      Zeinab Sekaanvand is due to be executed by hanging as soon as Thursday 13 October, after what Amnesty International has described as a “grossly unfair trial”.

      Ms Sekaanvand was arrested on February 2012 for the murder of her husband, whom she married at the age of 15.

    • European jails are ‘breeding ground’ for militants warns report

      Europe’s prisons have become a “breeding ground” for Islamic State and Al-Qaeda militants, with a report finding almost two thirds of European “jihadists” were previously involved in violent crime.

      The report, released by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at London’s King’s College, warned of the development of a “new crime-terror nexus” in which criminal networks in prisons and in communities gave way to recruitment into militant groups. Prisons, in particular, are a major hub for such groups.

      “Prison is becoming important as a place where a lot of networking happens,” said Peter Neumann, director of the ICSR and co-author of the report.

      “Given the recent surge in terrorism-related arrests and convictions… we are convinced that prisons will become more – rather than less – significant as breeding grounds for the jihadist movement.”

      The generation who have gone to join IS is, in contrast to previous generations, heavily drawn in Europe from criminal backgrounds. The report, which is drawn from profiles of 79 recent European militants found that 57 percent of them had previously been incarcerated and that 65 percent had been involved in violent crime.

      This contrasts with previous generations of Islamic militants who were recruited from religious establishments or universities and often came from relatively well-established middle-class families.

    • Self-Driving Mercedes Will Prioritize Occupant Safety Over Pedestrians

      The technology is new, but the moral conundrum isn’t: A self-driving car identifies a group of children running into the road. There is no time to stop. To swerve around them would drive the car into a speeding truck on one side or over a cliff on the other, bringing certain death to anybody inside.

      To anyone pushing for a future for autonomous cars, this question has become the elephant in the room, argued over incessantly by lawyers, regulators, and ethicists; it has even been at the center of a human study by Science. Happy to have their names kept in the background of the life-or-death drama, most carmakers have let Google take the lead while making passing reference to ongoing research, investigations, or discussions.

    • After A Sensitive Story, A Pakistani Journalist Is Barred From Leaving

      Cyril Almeida has a reputation for being one of Pakistan’s most astute political observers. His columns for the venerable English-language Dawn newspaper are widely read by South Asia-watchers. More than 100,000 people follow him on Twitter.

      So it was inevitable that the decision by the Pakistani government to ban him from leaving the country would be met with widespread indignation.

    • Finalists named for EU’s Sakharov Prize

      Last year’s winner was Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.

    • University Of Michigan Gets Lost In The Tall SJW Weeds

      The University of Michigan, my alma mater, will spend $85 million on “diversity” efforts over the next five years, including a disturbing cultural sensitivity program that will monitor students’ progress in being indoctrinated.

    • Asia Bibi blasphemy case to be heard by Pakistan supreme court

      The most notorious cases involving Pakistan’s blasphemy laws will be heard by the country’s supreme court on Thursday in a legal showdown that lawyers hope will spare the life of a poor Christian woman and curb future convictions.

      Asia Bibi was sentenced to death in 2010 for allegedly insulting the prophet Muhammad following a bad-tempered argument with Muslim women in Itanwali, the small village in Punjab where she used to live.

      She became a touchstone for liberals and Islamists alike after her case was linked to the assassination in January 2011 of Salmaan Taseer, then governor of Punjab.

    • The Social Media Revolution to Save Asia Bibi – Abolish Blasphemy Laws

      72 hours remain until Asia Bibi’s final appeal to overcome her death sentence for blasphemy in Pakistan. It is imperative that people act now! You can help save this innocent woman by simply posting on social media. I know that for many this assertion sounds far-fetched, but it is a fact. A 2012 study published in the journal Nature, “A 61-Million-Person Experiment in Social Influence and Political Mobilization,” tested the idea that voting behaviour can be significantly influenced by messages on Facebook. Further, The Centre for European Studies released a publication entitled, ‘Social Media – The New Power of Political Influence’, in which the authors demonstrated the power of social media on global politics, evincing the dramatic impact of social media on the 2008 US presidential election, the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, among various other global events. Social media’s power to influence governmental decision making may also be implied by the efforts of certain governments to limit its citizens access to it. During Obama’s visit to Vietnam in May of this year (2016), the Vietnamese government blocked its citizen’s access to Facebook in a bid to silence human rights activists who might have embarrassed the government. It should come as no surprise that Pakistan was ranked the 10th worst country for internet censorship in 2014 by Freedom House. In their report they stated:

    • Iranian vice president faces calls to resign over claims she shook hands with male politician

      Iranians have called for their vice president to stand down after it was wrongly claimed she had shaken hands with a male politician.

      State broadcasters indicated Masoumeh Ebtekar had shaken hands with a male minister at a meeting, triggering a furore.

      Instead, she met German female environment minister, Barbara Hendriks, who was wearing a suit and had short hair.

    • Pigs can’t fly – Qantas bans pork on in-flight menu to respect Islam

      QANTAS has removed pork from its in-flight menu on flights to and from Europe as a result of its partnership with Middle Eastern airline Emirates.

      No food containing pork or pork products will be served on those flights – which now has a stopover in Dubai – because it is strictly forbidden in Islam and is considered “unholy”.

      All meals offered on the route in first, business and economy classes will also be prepared without alcohol in keeping with the Islamic religion. A note on the Qantas menus on flights in and out of Dubai states that the meals do not contain pork products or alcohol. The airline has also introduced a mezze plate offering traditional Middle Eastern fare in its upper classes and has Arabic translations after in-flight announcements.

    • Attorney, family rebuke DA’s decision in tasing death

      The attorneys representing the family of Chase Sherman criticized the Coweta district attorney’s decision not to press charges in Sherman’s death at a press conference held Wednesday.

      Attorney Chris Stewart called it “one of the most horrible decisions” he had ever seen a district attorney make.

    • Car Attacks in Denmark Spread ‘Like an Infection’

      The arsonists appear to operate with little deference to class, equally at ease scorching a shiny new BMW or Mercedes as they are setting a battered old van ablaze.

      And they almost always follow a pattern — smashing a window and dousing the interior of the vehicle with gasoline before setting it on fire.

      At least 185 cars have been set ablaze in Copenhagen, the Danish capital, so far this year, the police say, with a sudden and mysterious increase over the past two months or so, when about 80 automobiles were burned.


      Even after the Danish police arrested a 21-year-old man in August in relation to the arson, cars continued to burn. Mr. Moller Jensen said that both of the men who were arrested came from a working-class neighborhood in Amager, a Danish island. Playing down the idea that the burnings could be related to immigration, he said that one suspect was an ethnic Dane, while the other was not.

      Mr. Moller Jensen said the car burning may have spread from neighboring Sweden, where more than 70 cars have been burned in the city of Malmo since early July. Dozens of cars have also been set on fire in Stockholm, and Goteborg, on the west coast of the country. Car burning has become such a scourge there that the Swedish authorities have turned to drones to try to catch the arsonists.

    • “Do Not Resist”: The Police Militarization Documentary Everyone Should See

      On a sunny afternoon last summer, Craig Atkinson, a New York City-based filmmaker, stood in a front yard in South Carolina surrounded by several heavily armed police officers.

      The officers, members of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department tactical team, were descending on a modest one-story house looking for drugs and guns. The team smashed through the windows of the home with iron pikes, then stormed the front door with rifles raised.

      Inside, they found a terrified family of four, including an infant. As the family members were pulled outside, Atkinson’s camera captured a scene that plays out with startling regularity in cities and towns across the country, one of many included in his new documentary, “Do Not Resist,” an examination of police militarization in the United States.

    • Turkish Prisons Are Filled With Professors — Like My Father

      A Turkish professor who was my father’s colleague and frequently visited our house is now incapable of counting right amount of money to pay for a bottle of water at a prison canteen. He is traumatized as a result of days of harsh treatment during the interrogation. He is sharing a prison cell with my father, longtime friends, in western Turkey.

      My father, a professor at Sakarya University for 16 years, is among nearly 2,500 academics who were dismissed and arrested in connection to the failed coup attempt on July 15. He would have never imagined that police would storm our house, just several days after the failed plot, and take him into custody. He was asked endless questions in 10 days under detention, for hours every day — questions that he has no answers for. He was rounded up just four days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a state of emergency rule that allows anyone to be detained up to 30 days without any charges. Turkey suspended European Convention on Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and there is no due process in a country that is still seeking to become a member of the European Union.

    • Hate crimes soared after EU referendum, Home Office figures confirm

      The number of hate crimes leaped by 41% in the month after the vote to leave the European Union, new Home Office statistics confirm.

      A daily breakdown of the hate crime offences reported to the police showed the number of incidents doubled in the days after the referendum. The level peaked at 207 incidents on 1 July, twice as many as before the vote, when the level was already unusually high.

      In July, there were 5,468 hate crimes – 41% higher than July 2015. A Home Office report on the data noted that the “sharp increase” in hate crime was not replicated in equivalent offences at the time.

    • After Torture, Ex-Detainee Is Still Captive of ‘The Darkness’

      At first, the Americans seemed confused about Suleiman Abdullah Salim. They apparently had been expecting a light-skinned Arab, and instead at a small airport outside Mogadishu that day in March 2003, they had been handed a dark-skinned African.

      “They said, ‘You changed your face,’” Mr. Salim, a Tanzanian, recalled the American men telling him when he arrived. “They said: ‘You are Yemeni. You changed your face.’”

      That was the beginning of Mr. Salim’s strange ordeal in United States custody. It has been 13 years since he was tortured in a secret prison in Afghanistan run by the Central Intelligence Agency, a place he calls “The Darkness.” It has been eight years since he was released — no charges, no explanations — back into the world.

      Even after so much time, Mr. Salim, 45, is struggling to move on. Suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress, according to a medical assessment, he is withdrawn and wary. He cannot talk about his experiences with his wife, who he says worries that the Americans will come back to snatch him. He is fearful of drawing too much attention at home in Stone Town in Zanzibar, Tanzania, concerned that his neighbors will think he is an American spy.

    • Ethiopia has finally admitted to the deaths of more than 500 anti-government protestors

      After almost a year of anti-government protests, Ethiopia on Tuesday (Oct. 11) admitted that the death toll from police crackdowns and deadly stampedes could exceed more than 500 people. The admission came a few days after the government declared a country-wide six-month state of emergency, and blamed external forces for trying to break up the nation of over 100 million people.

      Hailemariam Desalegn, the country’s prime minister, said that the death toll in Oromia region had been at least 170, while another 120 died in Amhara since the demonstrations began. But “when you add it up it could be more than 500,” he said. Activists and opposition groups have disputed these numbers in the past, arguing that more people died when security officers dispersed demonstrations.

    • Study Says Body Cameras Can Reduce Force Usage… But Only If Officers Turn Them On

      A couple of months ago, a study was released claiming to show a link between body camera use and a rise in shootings by officers. The small increase in shootings in 2015 — an increase that wasn’t shown in 2013 and 2014 — could be nothing more than a normal deviation, but it was portrayed by the authors as something a bit more sinister.


      Accountability tools are only as good as the departments deploying them. Very few officers are punished for treating their cameras as optional — something that only needs to be activated when capturing interactions that are innocuous or show the officers in their best light.

      It’s a persistent problem that predates body cameras. Dash cams and body mics are still routinely disabled by officers even though these two recording methods have been in use for dozens of years. Officers who haven’t been punished for thwarting these accountability tools aren’t going to change their ways just because the camera is now on their body. And more recent additions to the workforce aren’t going to need much time on the job to figure out that failing to capture footage of use of force incidents will have almost zero effect on their careers.

      Obviously, it would be impossible to remove all control from officers wearing cameras. But there are steps that can be taken to reduce the number of times use of force incidents occur without anyone “seeing” them. In edge cases, the lack of footage — especially if everything else that day was captured without difficulty — should weigh heavily against officers when investigating use of force incidents. If an officer has the capability to capture footage of a disputed incident but doesn’t, the burden of proof should shift to the officer, rather than the person making the complaint.

      If police departments don’t want to see themselves targeted with more possibly frivolous complaints and lawsuits, they need to ensure officers whose cameras routinely “malfunction” or aren’t activated are held accountable for their refusal to maintain a record of their interactions with citizens. Law enforcement’s history with older forms of recording technology is exactly spotless. Granting officers the benefit of a doubt with body cams is nothing more than the extension of unearned trust — a gift law enforcement agencies seem to give themselves repeatedly.

    • Court Says Deleting Browser History To ‘Avoid Embarrassment’ Isn’t Destruction Of Evidence

      The court found that the documents central to the lawsuit were not affected by Moyse’s actions. They were available through Dropbox accounts and forensic examiners found no evidence Moyse had ever transferred the documents to his personal Dropbox account. In addition, they found the last time he accessed his account predated his work on the disputed documents.

      As for Moyse, his attempt to keep his access of porn sites under wraps backfired. He may have been cleared of evidence spoliation accusations, but his personal web browsing habits still made it into the public record — albeit without the excruciating level of detail that would have been present if he hadn’t thought to scrub his browsing history before turning over the computer.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • A decentralized web would give power back to the people online

      Recently, Google launched a video calling tool (yes, another one). Google Hangouts has been sidelined to Enterprise, and Google Duo is supposed to be the next big thing in video calling.

      So now we have Skype from Microsoft, Facetime from Apple, and Google with Duo. Each big company has its own equivalent service, each stuck in its own bubble. These services may be great, but they aren’t exactly what we imagined during the dream years when the internet was being built.

      The original purpose of the web and internet, if you recall, was to build a common neutral network which everyone can participate in equally for the betterment of humanity. Fortunately, there is an emerging movement to bring the web back to this vision and it even involves some of the key figures from the birth of the web. It’s called the Decentralised Web or Web 3.0, and it describes an emerging trend to build services on the internet which do not depend on any single “central” organisation to function.

    • Facebook Wants To Bring Controversial Zero Rated ‘Free Basics’ Service To The States

      Last year the Indian government forged new net neutrality rules that shut down Facebook’s “Free Basics” service, which provided a Facebook-curated “light” version of the internet — for free. And while Facebook consistently claimed its program was simply altruistic, critics (including Facebook content partners) consistently claimed that Facebook’s concept gave the company too much power, potentially harmed free speech, undermined the open nature of the Internet, and provided a new, centralized repository of user data for hackers, governments and intelligence agencies.

      In short, India joined Japan, The Netherlands, Chile, Norway, and Slovenia in banning zero rating entirely, based on the idea that cap exemption gives some companies and content a leg up, and unfairly distorts the inherently level internet playing field. It doesn’t really matter if you’re actually altruistic or just pretending to be altruistic (to oh, say, lay a branding foundation to corner the content market in developing countries in 30 years); the practice dramatically shifts access to the internet in a potentially devastating fashion that provides preferential treatment to the biggest carriers and companies.

    • Facebook is talking to the White House about giving you ‘free’ Internet. Here’s why that may be controversial.

      Facebook has been in talks for months with U.S. government officials and wireless carriers with an eye toward unveiling an American version of an app that has caused controversy abroad, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

      The social media giant is trying to determine how to roll out its program, known as Free Basics, in the United States without triggering the regulatory scrutiny that effectively killed a version of the app in India earlier this year. If Facebook succeeds with its U.S. agenda for Free Basics — which has not been previously reported — it would mark a major victory for the company as it seeks to connect millions more to the Web, and to its own platform.

  • DRM

    • Netflix Now Only Has 31 Movies from IMDB’s Top 250 List

      My wife and I popped a bottle of wine on a Friday night last month. It was movie night in our house, which typically means surfing the iTunes movie catalog on our Apple TV until we find something that’s rent-worthy.

      There was plenty to pick from, but nothing that grabbed our attention. Maybe next month. Our next stop? The Netflix app.

      But we noticed Netflix’s movie selection is rather… bare? Uninteresting? My wife actually said, “I haven’t heard of any of these movies. Aren’t there any good movies on here?”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Appeal dismissed in pregabalin patent case

      The England & Wales Court of Appeal has upheld Mr Justice Arnold’s finding that key claims of Warner-Lambert’s patent for Lyrica are invalid for insufficiency. The judgment also reiginites the debate over the scope of second medical use patents

    • Copyrights

      • Backup copies of software can’t be re-sold, rules top EU court

        The initial buyer of software that comes with an unlimited user licence may resell that copy and the licence, Europe’s top court has ruled—however, where the original physical medium has been damaged, destroyed, or lost, a tangible backup copy mustn’t be sold in its place.

        The case considered by the the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) concerned two Latvian nationals, who were alleged to have sold thousands of copies of Microsoft products in an online marketplace in 2004.

        The court said: “It is estimated that they sold more than 3,000 copies of programs and the material damage caused to Microsoft by the activities of Mr Ranks and Mr Vasiļevičs has been evaluated at €265,514.”

        The criminal law division of the Riga regional court in Latvia, which is hearing the case, asked the CJEU for its opinion on a specific issue that had arisen: whether the acquirer of a backup copy of a program, stored on a non-original medium, could re-sell that copy if the original had been damaged, and the initial acquirer no longer possessed or used the program.

      • A Weekend Full Of The NFL Violating Its Own Social Media Video Content Rules

        Ok, so what do we make of this? Well, as with many things to do with the NFL, the takeaways are both good and bad. The good is that the NFL clearly understands that video content blackouts are a thing of the past and that such content is a great driver for ratings, and not the opposite. But the bad is that the NFL seems to think that a top-down approach to controlling such content is the best approach to targeting viewers.

        And that’s just dumb. Not only dumb, in fact, but demonstrably silly. As I mentioned in the original post, the markets that host NFL teams are wildly diverse, from major markets like New York and Chicago — and now Los Angeles –, to relatively tiny markets like Green Bay and Charlotte. A one-size-fits-all marketing approach never made sense for NFL teams, but before the days of digital media there wasn’t a great deal in terms of diversity that could be achieved. But in the social media age? Marketing can be targeted and approached in a way tailored to specific fan-bases and markets. Why in the world would the NFL think that it had a better handle than each individual team, all of which employ their own social media managers, as to how to best drive viewership and attendance?

      • CJEU clarifies copyright exhaustion in Microsoft case

        The acquirer of a copy of a computer program may not provide their legitimate back-up copy to a new acquirer without the copyright holder’s permission, the CJEU has ruled


        Article 4 of the Directive grants the copyright holder the right to do or authorise permanent or temporary reproduction of a computer program. But it provides that the first sale in the EU of a copy of a computer program exhausts the distribution right, except for the right to control further rental of the program or a copy.

      • Tell the Copyright Office: Copyright Law Shouldn’t Punish Research and Repair

        After eighteen years, we may finally see real reform to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s unconstitutional pro-DRM provisions. But we need your help.

        In enacting the “anti-circumvention” provisions of the DMCA, Congress ostensibly intended to stop copyright “pirates” from defeating DRM and other content access or copy restrictions on copyrighted works and to ban the “black box” devices intended for that purpose. In practice, the DMCA anti-circumvention provisions haven’t had much impact on unauthorized sharing of copyrighted content. Instead, they’ve hampered lawful creativity, innovation, competition, security, and privacy.

        In the past few years, there’s been a growing movement to reform the law. As locked-down copyrighted software shows up in more and more devices, from phones to refrigerators to tractors, more and more people are realizing how important it is to be able to break those locks, for all kinds of legitimate reasons. If you can’t tinker with it, repair it, or peek under the hood, then you don’t really own it—someone else does, and their interests will take precedence over yours.

      • New Anti-Piracy Unit Takes Over UK Anti-Camming Operations

        Those thinking about camming movies in a UK cinema have a fresh adversary to contend with. A new anti-piracy unit called the Film Content Protection Agency has just been launched with a mission to prevent people recording first-run movies. Unfortunately, the unit is already citing misleading legal information on its website.

      • Torrent admin spared jail as Swedish court baulks at industry demands

        A COURT IN SWEDEN has taken a less than heavy line on the administrator of a popular torrent site by resisting prosecution demands for a jail sentence and handing out community service and a fine instead.

        It’s a big fine at kr1.7m (about £157,000), and a large amount of the unnamed admin of the SwePiracy site’s time will now be spent clearing up canal banks and jet spraying graffiti, but it is not jail.

        TorrentFreak reported that the 25-year-old was found in charge of the local piracy site and ended up in a lot of trouble with an anti-piracy group that used to be called Antipiratbyrån but is now called the Rights Alliance.


Links 12/10/2016: Ansible Galaxy is Free Software, FreeBSD 11 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 1:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • The 5 most common support issues for open source developers

    What is the number one factor that software developers consider when choosing which open source software packages to use? A recent survey conducted by Rogue Wave Software says support. What is the second most important factor? Who will carry the burden of providing that support.

    Between developers, a dedicated internal open source software (OSS) support team, an internal IT department, and contractors (or an OSS support vendor) an unsurprising 67% of developers in the survey said they are expected to be responsible for support. We also analyzed 34,000 internal support requests to glean additional insights.

  • MOD Duo: Building an open source guitar stomp box

    Some time ago the MOD Duo jumped onto my radar. In a nutshell, it is a guitar stomp box that comes loaded with different effects and sounds. Instead of buying the multitude of guitar pedals that many musicians string together in complex, if somewhat beautiful ways, the MOD Duo negates all that. It is a single box and what’s more, it is powered by open source.

  • 27 Open Source DevOps Tools In 7 Easy Bites

    I recently wrote an article featuring 25 DevOps vendors worth watching. However, in the world of DevOps, there are an awful lot of good tools that don’t really have a vendor attached, and I thought it was time to give the open source tools their due.

    While I wrote that there are tools that don’t have vendors, there are vendors that are attached to some of these open source tools. Those vendors provide development support, along with, in some cases, customer support and even proprietary versions of some of the tools that exist alongside their open source cousins. As long as there was an open source version that wasn’t “crippleware,” it was eligible for the cut.

  • Apache Milagro: A New Security System for the Future of the Web

    With 25 billion new devices set to hit the Internet by 2025, the need for a better worldwide cryptosystem for securing information is paramount. That’s why the Apache Milagro project is currently incubating at the Apache Software Foundation. It’s a collaboration between MIRACL and Nippon Telegram and Telegraph (NTT), and Brian Spector, MIRACL CEO and Co-Founder, discussed the project in his keynote at ApacheCon in May.

    Spector said the project was born in a bar on the back of a napkin after a brainstorm about how one would rebuild Internet security from the ground up. That sounds like a lot of work, but Spector believes it’s absolutely necessary: the future of the Web is going to be very different from the past.

  • Flanders to publish soil erosion monitoring tool

    The new method, now used by 5 soil erosion specialists, is based on well-known open source Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools, including the data viewing tool QGis and the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library. “QGis is the perfect platform for building GIS applications”, Huybrechts said at the FOSS4G 2016 conference in Bonn last August. “It’s open source, it is supported by a great community and it comes with a collection of tools and toolkits.”

  • DE radiation protection agency overcomes lock-in

    Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz, BfS) is taking steps to rid itself of IT vendor lock-in. Within the next few years, it plans to have replaced its legacy proprietary analysis and reporting tools by modern, open source-based tools. Moreover, the new system, which is being tested, will improve the geographic information capabilities, and will lower costs significantly.

    The radiation protection agency was in set up in 1989, three years after the catastrophic nuclear accident in Chernobyl. Its main task is to protect population and environment from damages due to radiation.

    To help with decision-making and with generating of reports, the BfS’ crisis unit has for years been using a customised, proprietary software solution. This ‘Integrated Measuring and Information System’ (IMIS) lets BfS make sense of the data generated by some 1800 radiation measuring stations across the country. IMIS continuously monitors the environment and is able to detect small changes in radioactivity. Its results are merged, evaluated, refined and presented in well-arranged documents.

  • Pieter Alexander Hintjens: 3 December 1962 – 4 October 2016

    After a long and painful illness, a battle with cancer over the last six years, my brother has died in Brussels, aged only 53.

    My love for him has always been the adoring, muted kind that looked up to the light he shone, that basked in his enthusiasm and tried, and failed, to keep up with the thousand-and-one ideas he gave voice and form to. Many of his passions were beyond my comprehension but very real, nevertheless. As a computer programmer, writer of internet protocols and founder of on-line communities, his interests went way over my head. As an author, latterly, we connected and I was able to collaborate with him on one of his books – The Psychopath Code – an involvement for which I am profoundly grateful: Not only has this particular book helped me to navigate a few tricky moments in my own life, but the understanding we shared was like coming home.

    I can’t begin to do justice to my brother’s legacy as a professional innovator, thinker, and networker. Pieter was one of these rare people totally unafraid to take chances, to think not just outside the box but into the next universe. How he maintained his enthusiasm and energy, where his inspiration came from, I shall not know in this lifetime.

    His death last Tuesday has opened up a hole in my life, a tear in the fabric of my normal. Poignantly – and painfully – it is only as his legacy becomes clearer that I notice the loss of his quiet, determined contribution in my life. Always, in the background, he encouraged me, supporting my modest hopes for an ordinary life: my ambitions to study, to write, to marry and have a child. In all these attempts he was unwaveringly supportive, while seeking so little from me in return. Of course, elder brothers are looked up to, and often expected to take the lead. But lately, in these last few years, while he faced pain and uncertainty – about which he has written so candidly on his blog – while he battled fear and the shadows of disappointment with his trademark wry humour, he faced these challenges fearlessly and with a fiery determination that is frankly awe-inspiring.

  • Software AG Launches Open Source Internet of Things Analytics Kit

    Software AG (Frankfurt TecDAX: SOW) has significantly expanded the capabilities of its Apama Community Edition with a new Internet of Things (IoT) Analytics Kit, provided free of charge as Open Source Software under the Apache License, v2.0, along with the ability to run on Raspberry Pi. A different version of Apama Community Edition is also now available as a re-distributable runtime.

  • PhatWare Releases WritePad Handwriting Recognition Engine as Open Source

    PhatWare Corporation, a leading professional software and application developer, is pleased to announce that the entire source code of its award-winning, multilingual WritePad handwriting recognition engine is now available under GPL v.3 license.

  • Events

    • Announcing Google Code-in 2016 and Google Summer of Code 2017

      The Google Open Source Programs Office has announced Google Code-in 2016 and Google Summer of Code 2017. Google Code-in is for students from 13-17 years of age who would like to explore open source. “Students will find opportunities to learn and get hands on experience with tasks from a range of categories. This structure allows students to stretch themselves as they take on increasingly more challenging tasks.” Students will begin on November 28.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Maker Party 2016: Stand Up for a Better Internet

        Each year, Mozilla hosts a global celebration to inspire learning and making online. Individuals from around the world are invited. It’s an opportunity for artists to connect with educators; for activists to trade ideas with coders; and for entrepreneurs to chat with makers.

        This year, we’re coming together with that same spirit, and also with a mission: To challenge outdated copyright laws in the European Union. EU copyright laws are at odds with learning and making online. Their restrictive nature undermines creativity, imagination, and free expression across the continent. Mozilla’s Denelle Dixon-Thayer wrote about the details in her recent blog post.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Cloudera Accelerates Portfolio of Self-Paced Big Data Training Courses
    • Survey Finds OpenStack Deeply Entrenched in the Telecom Space

      What percentage of players in the telecom industry now consider the OpenStack cloud platform to be essential or important to their success? According to a survey commissioned by the OpenStack Foundation, a whopping 85.8 percent of them do. That is more hard evidence that we are seeing actual deployments take the place of evaluation when it comes to OpenStack in the enterprise.

      The survey was executed by Heavy Reading and received 113 responses from representatives of telecom companies around the world: 54 percent from the US, 14.2 percent from Europe, 11.5 percent from the Asia Pacific region, 8.9 percent each from Central/South America and Canada; and 2.7 percent from the Middle East. Here are more of the key findings.

    • Recognizing active user contributors to OpenStack

      Within the OpenStack community, there are countless people conducting tests, maintaining infrastructure, writing documentation, organizing community events, providing feedback, helping with project promotion, and countless other roles that may or may not show up under the traditional list of contributors. Since a fundamental tenant of OpenStack is that much of the project’s governance comes from its active contributors, finding a way to expand the types of contributions that are “officially” recognized is an important step in bringing everyone’s voice to the table.

    • How to succeed as a remote documentation contributor in OpenStack

      Alexandra Settle, an information developer at Rackspace, will be speaking at OpenStack Summit in Barcelona. Alexandra is a core reviewer for OpenStack manuals, also working on the OpenStack Ansible and Swift project documentation, and serves as a mentor in documentation for the Outreachy project. She’s been interested in information technology since high school and is a fan of Fedora Linux. She began her career as an intern at Red Hat and after spending years using Windows machines, and love the ease of use and functionality that came with using Linux.

  • Databases

    • Couchbase and the future of NoSQL databases

      Well, I’ve built and led developer communities for 10+ years at Sun, Oracle, and Red Hat, so I have experience in leading crossfunctional teams to develop and execute strategy, planning, and execution of content, and marketing campaigns and programs. I’ve also led engineering teams at Sun, and I’m a founding member of the Java EE team.

      At Couchbase, a developer advocate helps developers become effective users of a technology, product, API, or platform. This can be done by sharing knowledge about the product using the medium where developers typically hangout. Some of the more common channels include blogs, articles, webinars, and presentations at conferences and meetups. Answering questions on forums and Stack Overflow, conversations on social media, and seeking contributors for open source projects are some other typical activities that a developer advocate performs on a regular basis.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Facebook Yarn’s for your JavaScript package

      Facebook, working with Exponent, Google, and Tilde, has released software to improve the JavaScript development experience, which can use all the help it can get.

      Yarn, introduced on Tuesday under a BSD license and without the patent clause that terminates Facebook’s React license for those involved in patent litigation against the company, is an alternative npm client. It’s not to be confused with Apache Hadoop YARN (Yet Another Resource Negotiator), which is cluster management software.

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • Russia’s Preference for Open-Source to Hurt U.S. Tech Stocks

      Amid rising political tensions with the U.S., Russia is planning to further lower its usage of licensed software from IT giants like International Business Machines Corp IBM , Microsoft Corporation MSFT , SAP AG SAP and Oracle Corporation ORCL .

      Per Bloomberg, “The State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, is drafting a bill to restrict government agencies from buying licensed software, giving preference to open-source software.”

      The proposed law is an addition to an already existing federal law that came into effect on Jan 1, 2016, which restricts the use of foreign software in the public sector, if there is a domestic version available.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Paediatric Cancer Drug Being Developed Entirely In The Open

      The Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) has posted a Malaria Box, containing over 400 compounds that might be effective against malaria to almost 200 research groups in two years. It’s an open science project, because the only stipulation is that information is deposited in the public domain (and therefore cannot be patented).

      GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s Open Lab project, the Tres Cantos Medicines Development Campus near Madrid, Spain, enables visiting scientists to use GSK’s high-tech facilities to research neglected diseases such as malaria and TB.

      Even Bill Gates has tweeted that open-source collaboration between scientists could become a drug discovery catalyst.

      Now, one scientist is embarking upon a virtual pharmaceutical company that will develop a paediatric cancer drug in the open.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Shendy: A Low Cost Arsenic Detector for Drinking Water

        If you are designing life-saving tech to help refugees living in refugee camps, you’re probably not going to design a proprietary product, because doing so would be tantamount to signing the death warrant of a percentage of the refugee camp residents. Open source is how the most number of refugees can be helped. In that vein, learn about an initiative to design a low-cost. open source arsenic detector for use in ensuring safe drinking water in refugee camps.

  • Programming/Development

    • The State Of JavaScript

      Depending on who you ask, right now JavaScript is either turning into a modern, reliable language, or a bloated, overly complex dependency hell. Or maybe both?

      What’s more, there’s just so many options: Do you use React or Angular 2? Do you really need Webpack? And what’s this month’s recommended way of dealing with CSS?

    • A Javascript journey with only six characters

      Javascript is a weird and wonderful language that lets us write some crazy code that’s still valid. It tries to help us out by converting things to particular types based on how we treat them.

      If we add a string to something, it’ll assume we want it in text form, so it’ll convert it to a string for us.

      If we add a plus or minus prefix to something, it’ll assume we want its numerical representation, and will convert the string to a number for us, if possible.

    • rra-c-util 6.1
    • remctl 3.13

      remctl is a client and server that forms a very simple remote RPC system, normally authenticated with Kerberos, although including a remctl-shell variant that works over ssh.

    • Vala and Reproducibility

      This will help build process to avoid call valac in order to generate C source code, VAPI and GIR files from your Vala sources.

      Because C source is distributed with a release’s tarball, any Vala project could be binary reproducible from sources.

      In order to produce development packages, you should distribute VAPI and GIR files, along with .h ones. They should be included in your tarball, to avoid valac produce them.

    • Fuck You Startup World

      Fuck your crazy work hours. Nobody gives a fuck that Elon musk is working 100 hours a week, and Marissa Mayer pulling it to 130 hour work week while still breastfeeding her newborns. You’re not Elon Musk , you ain’t Marissa Mayer, you’re not going to get to space, and you won’t build the next Space X. Do me a favor, put your fucking Mac away and go play with your kids.


      Fuck you startups with your extravagant parties and crazy off-site events that cost way too much money, you’re supposed to buy some fucking servers instead! Fuck spending money on ping pong tables that no one ever uses, fucking music rooms, nap rooms, meditation rooms, stress-free rooms, and pilates rooms. Fuck your ridiculous incentives that you give, too. Fuck your unlimited vacation policy, it’s fucking bullshit. We all know that your employees will take less time off.

    • Nailing Down Architectural Principles

      Software architecture needs to be documented. There are plenty of fancy templates, notations, and tools for this. But I’ve come to prefer PowerPoint with no backing template. I’m talking good old white-background slides. These are way easier to create than actual text documents. There are no messy worries over complete sentences. Freedom from grammatical tyranny! For a technical audience, concision and lack of boilerplate is a good thing. A nice mix of text, tables and diagrams gets the point across just fine. As a plus, this is naturally presentable — you don’t need a separate deck to describe your architecture when the deck is the reference document to begin with. As the architecture evolves, the slides evolve.


  • Amazon Wants to Get College Students Addicted to Prime

    Vincent Wang needed new jeans and a coat just before classes began this semester at the University of California, Davis, where he studies nutrition. Rather than trek several miles off campus to the nearest Target or Walmart, he ordered the clothes from Amazon.com Inc. and retrieved them from new Amazon pickup lockers right next to the university store that sells Aggies T-shirts and hoodies.

    Wang, 21, is one of millions of students who have taken advantage of Amazon Prime Student, which offers all the benefits of a regular Prime membership — quick delivery, music and video streaming and free online photo storage — for $50 a year, half the regular price. Amazon’s strategy echoes the one used for decades on college campuses by the credit card companies: snag young consumers early and, with artful promotions, try to make them loyal for life.

  • Science

    • Barack Obama: America will take the giant leap to Mars

      One of my earliest memories is sitting on my grandfather’s shoulders, waving a flag as our astronauts returned to Hawaii. This was years before we’d set foot on the moon. Decades before we’d land a rover on Mars. A generation before photos from the International Space Station would show up in our social media feeds.
      I still have the same sense of wonder about our space program that I did as a child. It represents an essential part of our character — curiosity and exploration, innovation and ingenuity, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and doing it before anybody else. The space race we won not only contributed immeasurably important technological and medical advances, but it also inspired a new generation of scientists and engineers with the right stuff to keep America on the cutting edge.

    • Technology Brings Peace, Not Peril

      Peres’ vision stands in stark contrast to Lord Jonathan Sacks’ dystopian commentary calling computers and radical Islamists the “two dangers” of this century, defeated only by “an insistence on the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life.”

      On the contrary, I believe innovation and technology will help defeat terrorists and sustain and enhance human life.

      Innovation and technology have extended our lives – most children born in the early 1900s didn’t live past the age of 50, but the average U.S. lifespan is now almost 79 years. Artificial intelligence is helping doctors make complex diagnoses. 3D printing is producing low-cost prosthetics for children and those who otherwise couldn’t afford care. Drones are delivering blood and emergency medicine in developing countries. The rabbi should explain his point that “Every new technology…benefits the few at the cost of the many” to the paraplegic patients learning how to walk thanks to virtual reality.

      While Sacks decries the idea of self-driving cars, this innovation can save tens of thousands of lives a year in the U.S. alone. More than 35,000 people died on our roads last year, and the federal government estimates over 90 percent of crashes are caused by human error. Eliminating the great majority of automobile deaths and serious injuries would certainly meet Sacks’ goal of preserving “the sanctity of human life.”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Long-lasting Wages of Neglect: Flint Residents Plagued Again by Water Crisis

      One year since a public health emergency was declared in Flint due to lead-contaminated water, the struggle continues for residents of the hard-hit city. The most recent issue they’re facing is an outbreak of shigellosis, a highly contagious bacterial infection that is transmitted through the accidental ingestion of infected fecal material and causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain.

      Matt Karwowski, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC, says, “There is definitely some question about whether changes in hand-washing and hygiene practices may be playing a role. People in Flint have been concerned about the safety of their water supply, and that may be playing a role in their hygiene practices.”

    • Antitrust Suit Alleges Pharma Company Rubbished Its Own Product In Order To Stave Off Competition From Generics

      Techdirt has written a number of stories about how Big Pharma is never content with the patent bargain — that, in return for a time-limited, government-enforced intellectual monopoly, products will afterwards enter the public domain. Instead, companies have come up with various schemes to extend the life of that monopoly — and thus to cheat the public of the low-cost generic versions of the drug in question that should have appeared. The Daily Beast points to an antitrust lawsuit brought by 35 states and the District of Columbia against the makers of Suboxone, a prescription drug used to treat opioid addiction, over the alleged use of one such scheme, known as “product hopping”.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Crash: how computers are setting us up for disaster

      When a sleepy Marc Dubois walked into the cockpit of his own aeroplane, he was confronted with a scene of confusion. The plane was shaking so violently that it was hard to read the instruments. An alarm was alternating between a chirruping trill and an automated voice: “STALL STALL STALL.” His junior co-pilots were at the controls. In a calm tone, Captain Dubois asked: “What’s happening?”

      Co-pilot David Robert’s answer was less calm. “We completely lost control of the aeroplane, and we don’t understand anything! We tried everything!”

      The crew were, in fact, in control of the aeroplane. One simple course of action could have ended the crisis they were facing, and they had not tried it. But David Robert was right on one count: he didn’t understand what was happening.

      As William Langewiesche, a writer and professional pilot, described in an article for Vanity Fair in October 2014, Air France Flight 447 had begun straightforwardly enough – an on-time take-off from Rio de Janeiro at 7.29pm on 31 May 2009, bound for Paris. With hindsight, the three pilots had their vulnerabilities. Pierre-Cédric Bonin, 32, was young and inexperienced. David Robert, 37, had more experience but he had recently become an Air France manager and no longer flew full-time. Captain Marc Dubois, 58, had experience aplenty but he had been touring Rio with an off-duty flight attendant. It was later reported that he had only had an hour’s sleep.

      Fortunately, given these potential fragilities, the crew were in charge of one of the most advanced planes in the world, an Airbus 330, legendarily smooth and easy to fly. Like any other modern aircraft, the A330 has an autopilot to keep the plane flying on a programmed route, but it also has a much more sophisticated automation system called fly-by-wire. A traditional aeroplane gives the pilot direct control of the flaps on the plane – its rudder, elevators and ailerons. This means the pilot has plenty of latitude to make mistakes. Fly-by-wire is smoother and safer. It inserts itself between the pilot, with all his or her faults, and the plane’s mechanics. A tactful translator between human and machine, it observes the pilot tugging on the controls, figures out how the pilot wanted the plane to move and executes that manoeuvre perfectly. It will turn a clumsy movement into a graceful one.

    • Canonical Patches New Linux Kernel Vulnerabilities in All Supported Ubuntu OSes

      Today, October 11, 2016, Canonical published several security advisories to inform Ubuntu users about new Linux kernel updates for their supported operating systems.

      Four new kernel vulnerabilities are affecting Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) or later versions, and three the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) series of operating systems. They are also affecting the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS for Raspberry Pi 2 kernel.

      The first security flaw is an unbounded recursion in Linux kernel’s VLAN and TEB Generic Receive Offload (GRO) processing implementations, which could have allowed a remote attacker to crash the system through a denial of service or cause a stack corruption. It was discovered by Vladimír Beneš and affects Ubuntu 16.04 and 14.04.

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Systemd and Ubuntu users urged to update to patch Linux flaws

      Linux users should beware of a recently discovered systemd vulnerability that could shut down a system using a command short enough to send in a tweet and Ubuntu users should update to new Linux kernel patches affecting supported operating systems.

      SSLMate founder and Linux administrator Andrew Ayer spotted the bug which has the potential to kill a number of critical commands while making others unstable, according to Betanews.

    • Microsoft: No More Pick-and-Choose Patching

      Adobe and Microsoft today each issued updates to fix critical security flaws in their products. Adobe’s got fixes for Acrobat and Flash Player ready. Microsoft’s patch bundle for October includes fixes for at least five separate “zero-day” vulnerabilities — dangerous flaws that attackers were already exploiting prior to today’s patch release. Also notable this month is that Microsoft is changing how it deploys security updates, removing the ability for Windows users to pick and choose which individual patches to install.

    • Ministry of Defence CIO – defending the data assets of the nation

      An interesting example of knowing what is actually important, such as being ‘secure’ does not mean pulling up drawbridges and never talking. It does seem possible that the MoD has lesson it can teach industry in building security defences in depth, using a wide range of tools, that then map onto the future world of mobile and cloud infrastructures.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • New Clinton email reveals direct support for ISIS from two powerful Western allies

      A new Hillary Clinton email published by WikiLeaks as part of the ongoing release of hacked campaign files confirms that Daesh (Isis/Isil) has state backing. And from powerful Western allies, no less.

      Anti-terrorism analysts have long seen Daesh as a non-state-affiliated actor which grew out of an al-Qaeda insurgency in Iraq (and later Syria). But the email sent by Clinton herself (dated 27 September 2014) shows there’s much more to the story.

    • Russkies at the Doorstep

      In a year noted for crude political discourse, eagerly serialized in the mainstream media, the MSM are themselves bellowing anti-Russian rhetoric, conspiracy theory, and fear-mongering. Of the two “evil of two lessers” contenders, Trump is the one who regularly gets hammered, justifiably in the case of his anti-Muslim and other racist and sexist slurs, while Clinton gets a pass, even an A+, for her repeated verbal assaults on Russia and its president, even as she reeks of class hostility toward Trump supporters.

      During the McCarthy era, the most perverse propaganda was about Russians hiding under beds; during the new cold war, it’s about Russians inside every telephone, computer, email, and website, while linking Putin to everything, says Guardian contributor Trevor Timm, “from Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn, Greece, and Spain.” It’s hard to reconcile mainstream bogeymania with the missing media attention to the massive Big Brother spying on US citizens, the moral transgressions of which are lately presented in Oliver Stone’s humanizing portrait, “Snowden.”

      The quite literal femme fatale (without the alluring charm) has quite a deadly track record in the Middle East, but the MSM, which tout Clinton’s compassion for children and concern for human rights don’t bother to note her criminal record in the destruction of Libya and support for repressive Arab dictators, her backing of the coup in Honduras, or her threats to make war on Russia and destabilize and destroy yet another Arab country, Syria. Netanyahu is her favorite foreign statesman, while Trump is attacked for not being sufficiently obsequious toward the butcher of Gaza. MSM “debate” hosts never think to ask the right questions, such as why has she supported assaults on the main enemies of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain: Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Iran, and Syria? Like her underworld counterpart, Willie Sutton, she’d have to say it’s because that’s where the money is. Despite his many crackpot ideas, Trump is more pragmatic, less neocon, about US intentions in the Middle East. Just take the oil, he says, and forget about regime change.

      Clinton’s eponymous Foundation is built on millions of dollars of generous payola from “too big to jail” financiers along with feudalistic Qatar, the UAE, Oman, and the head chopping capital, Saudi Arabia. Bahrain gave a mere $100 thousand to the Foundation but $32 million to another money laundering operation, the Clinton Global Initiative. Syria, Iran, and Russia didn’t pay the bribes and are paying the price. The MSM choose not press her on the issue. Wikileaks has become the newspaper of record.

    • US government warned last year that selling arms to Saudi Arabia could ‘implicate it in war crimes’

      Officials within the Obama administration raised concerns over a 2015 $1.3billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, citing worries that the Saudi military did not have the ability to intervene in Yemen without harming civilians, an investigation from Reuters has found.

      Full scale civil war between the Western and Saudi-backed government and Houthi rebels broke out early last year. More than 10,000 people have been killed in the fighting, the UN estimates, and three million displaced from their homes. Saudi-led air strikes on the rebel-held city of Sanaa since March 2015 have killed thousands of civilians.

      According to emails, documents and interviews with several current and former officials familiar with the discussions, the US government’s lawyers ultimately did not reach a conclusion on whether supplying arms for the Saudi campaign could make the US a ‘co-belligerent’ in the conflict under international law.

    • Pentagon Confronts a New Threat From ISIS: Exploding Drones

      Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State in northern Iraq last week shot down a small drone the size of a model airplane. They believed it was like the dozens of drones the terrorist organization had been flying for reconnaissance in the area, and they transported it back to their outpost to examine it.

      But as they were taking it apart, it blew up, killing two Kurdish fighters in what is believed to be one of the first times the Islamic State has successfully used a drone with explosives to kill troops on the battlefield.

      In the last month, the Islamic State has tried to use small drones to launch attacks at least two other times, prompting American commanders in Iraq to issue a warning to forces fighting the group to treat any type of small flying aircraft as a potential explosive device.

    • Photos Show Fragments of U.S. Bombs at Site of Yemen Funeral Massacre

      Fragments of what appear to be U.S.-made bombs have been found at the scene of one of the most horrific civilian massacres of Saudi Arabia’s 18-month air campaign in Yemen.

      Aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition on Saturday bombed a community hall in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital city, where thousands of people had gathered for a funeral for Sheikh Ali al-Rawishan, the father of the rebel-appointed interior minister. The aircraft struck the hall four times, killing more than 140 people and wounding 525. One local health official described the aftermath as “a lake of blood.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • EU draws fire for allowing ‘overfishing’ of Baltic cod

      European Union ministers have agreed to cuts in Baltic cod catch quotas for next year that fall well short of calls by scientists worried about the stock’s eventual collapse.

      The fisheries ministers agreed overnight Monday to reduce catches of western Baltic cod by 56 percent in 2017, despite calls by scientists for a 90-percent cut they say is needed to sustain stocks in Danish and German waters.

      EU fisheries commissioner Karmenu Vellu said the commission, the bloc’s executive, had proposed a reduction of 88 percent “to bring back the stock to sustainability as soon as possible,” but had to accept a compromise to reach a deal among all member states.

      Listening to the potential impacts on the different fishing fleets, Vellu said: “I have accepted a lower reduction that is still well above the lower limit of the scientific advice.”

    • Danish cod quotas slashed … but not enough, says environmental group

      Denmark’s environmental and food minister Esben Lunde Larsen has just completed tough negotiations in Luxembourg on next year’s fishing quotas in the Baltic Sea.

      Danish cod fisheries were hit hard, but not as hard as the EU Commission had originally planned.

      The EU Commission had originally envisaged a reduction of cod quotas in the western Baltic Sea of 88 percent. Larsen managed to negotiate that down to a reduction of 56 percent. In the eastern Baltic, the EU or