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10.23.14

Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

Posted in News Roundup at 5:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Container Security

    Hypervisors present a smaller attack surface than containers. This is somewhat mitigated in containers by using seccomp, selinux and restricting capabilities in order to reduce the number of kernel entry points that untrusted code can touch, but even so there is simply a greater quantity of privileged code available to untrusted apps in a container environment when compared to a hypervisor environment[1].

  • Currys/PC World (UK) Voids Warranty on Hardware If Buyer Installs GNU/Linux
  • Desktop

    • GNU/Linux Is Catching Fire On The Desktop, But It’s Not Your Daddy’s GNU/Linux

      If we thought your Dad’s GNU/Linux desktop was a threat to Wintel, ChromeOS is Armageddon. It took a decade for Wintel to ship as many PCs as ChromeOS is shipping in one year and it’s still just starting out. Wintel’s huge installed base is only 6-8 years’ production… Further, it’s not just about price.

    • ARM vs. Intel: Why chipmakers want your Chromebook’s brains

      Case in point: Samsung’s new Chromebook 2, announced Friday, which has Intel’s Bay Trail M Celeron N2840—not one of Samsung’s own Exynos dual-core ARM chips. Earlier Chromebook 2 versions shipped with ARM processors and will continue to do so, but in a briefing with PCWorld, Samsung product manager David Ng said Chromebooks are quickly trending toward Intel components. “More than 50% of Chromebooks sold these days have Intel processors,” Ng said.

    • Chromebook Sales Jump 67 Percent In Last Three Months

      Sales of Chromebook computers have soared over the past few months as manufacturers and consumer begin to embrace the low-cost portable devices, new research has found.

    • Best Chromebooks 2014

      Whether it’s because of their very affordable prices or an aversion to Windows 8′s complexity, more and more shoppers are buying Chromebooks. There are some valid reasons to choose a Chromebook over a Windows machine, including a very intuitive interface (it’s largely browser based), a lack of upgrade headaches, and less worrying about malware. And while Chromebooks have limited offline capability, there’s a growing number of apps that work without a Wi-Fi connection.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 10.4 Tentatively Planned For Early December

        Emil Velikov, the new Mesa release manager, has issued a straw-man proposal to release Mesa 10.4 in early December.

        In sticking to the three month release cadence of Mesa, Emil is proposing the Mesa 10.4 feature freeze and release candidate for 14 November with new release candidates to come weekly until the official release. Emil is tentatively thinking about the Mesa 10.4 release for 5 December.

    • Benchmarks

      • Ubuntu 14.10 XMir System Compositor Benchmarks

        With Ubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn” due for release today, here’s some benchmarks showing how the standard Unity 7 desktop on Ubuntu 14.10 is comparing to the still-experimental Unity System Compositor and using XMir for running traditional Linux OpenGL games.

        From a standard Intel Core i7 Haswell system with HD Graphics I ran benchmarks with the development snapshot of Ubuntu Utopic as of yesterday to see how well the stock Unity 7.3.1 environment is comparing to when it’s run with unity-system-compositor installed and using Mir support with XMir for running a variety of standard OpenGL benchmarks as well as some 2D X11 benchmarks.

      • What Linux Benchmarks Would You Like To See Next?

        At Phoronix.com and with the Phoronix Test Suite / OpenBenchmarking.org we’re always looking to cater to the interests of more parties and as such are interested to see what other benchmarks you’d like to see incorporated.

      • 6-Way Ubuntu 14.10 Linux Desktop Benchmarks

        In celebration of Ubuntu 14.10′s Utopic Unicorn release today, here’s some fresh benchmarks of one of the most requested topics: 2D/3D benchmarks of different desktop environments. In this article is a look at six of the popular desktop offerings found in Ubuntu 14.10.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Enlightenment’s EFL 1.12 Alpha Has Evas GL-DRM Engine, OpenGL ES 1.1 Support

      The first alpha release for the 1.12 version of the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) was released this week.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Discover the Power of Konqueror

        Many Linux users have a set of applications – browser, file manager, image viewer – that they’re loyal to. In most cases, these applications correspond to the default setup of a Linux distribution. If you’re a KDE user, you’ve probably heard of Konqueror. It’s a powerful application that has been a part of KDE for years, but it’s often unfairly neglected in favor of newer apps. Did you know you can use Konqueror not only as a file manager, but also as a web browser, PDF viewer and document editor?

      • KDAB contributions to Qt 5.4: qmllint

        One type of bug I see very often comes down to syntax errors in QML and JavaScript files. Most of the time these errors are simple typos; however, they creep in, go unnoticed by continuous integration and sometimes reach production — especially on delayed loaded components.

      • KDE Connect feature brainstorming

        In a recent informal meeting of KDE users in Seattle, Andrew Lake from the KDE Visual Design Group gave me some ideas he had for KDE Connect. Since I think that we all have a different vision and different ideas that are possible to implement on top of KDE Connect, I decided to write this post asking for your ideas, in some kind of community brainstorming.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Development of Nautilus – Popovers, port to GAction and more

        In an application that already use GAction and a normal GMenu for everything is quite easy.

        But Nautilus is not using GAction neither GMenu for its menus. Not only that, Nautilus use GtkUIManager for managing the menus and GtkActions. And not only that, Nautilus merge parts of menus along all the code.

      • Cairo-Dock / GLX-Dock 3.4 is now available

        Cairo-Dock 3.4 is finally released! One year after the 3.3 version.

        Cairo-Dock is a pretty, fast and customizable desktop interface. You can see it as a good alternative/addition to Unity, Gnome-Shell, Xfce-panel, KDE-panel, etc.

      • Cairo-Dock 3.4 Shows A Lot Of Progress, Works Toward EGL/Wayland Support
      • Most Popular Linux Desktop Environment: GNOME Shell

        Even after settling on a Linux distribution to use, you still have to decide on a desktop environment. There are tons to choose from, and last week we asked you for your favorites. Then we looked at the five best Linux desktop environments. Now we’re back to highlight your favorite, 11,000 votes later.

      • AN EARLY VIEW OF GTK+ 3.16

        We’ve had long-standing feature requests to turn scrollbars into overlayed indicators, for touch systems. An implementation of this idea has been merged now. We show traditional scrollbars when a mouse is detected, otherwise we fade in narrow, translucent indicators. The indicators are rendered on top of the content and don’t take up extra space. When you move the pointer over the indicator, it turns into a full-width scrollbar that can be used as such.

      • perf.gnome.org – introduction

        My talk at GUADEC this year was titled Continuous Performance Testing on Actual Hardware, and covered a project that I’ve been spending some time on for the last 6 months or so. I tackled this project because of accumulated frustration that we weren’t making consistent progress on performance with GNOME. For one thing, the same problems seemed to recur. For another thing, we would get anecdotal reports of performance problems that were very hard to put a finger on. Was the problem specific to some particular piece of hardware? Was it a new problem? Was it an a problems that we have already addressed? I wrote some performance tests for gnome-shell a few years ago – but running them sporadically wasn’t that useful. Running a test once doesn’t tell you how fast something should be, just how fast it is at the moment. And if you run the tests again in 6 months, even if you remember what numbers you got last time, even if you still have the same development hardware, how can you possibly figure out what what change is responsible? There will have been thousands of changes to dozens of different software modules.

      • GTK+ Lands Experimental Backend For Mir Display Server

        GTK+ apps now run not only on X11 and Wayland under Linux with native support but the mainline GTK+ Git code now also supports running Ubuntu’s Mir Display Server. That’s right, there’s now mainline Mir support in GTK for the GNOME/GTK 3.16 release.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • ROSA Desktop Fresh R4 Review: Refreshing Mandriva based KDE spin

        ROSA is a Russian company developing a variety of Linux-based solutions. Its flagship product, ROSA Desktop, is a Linux distribution featuring a highly customized KDE desktop and a number of modifications designed to enhance the user-friendliness of the working environment. The company also develops an “Enterprise Server” edition of ROSA which is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. On 9th October 2014, Ekaterina Lopukhova has announced the release of ROSA R4 “Desktop Fresh” edition, a desktop Linux distribution featuring a customized and user-friendly KDE 4.13.3 desktop: “The ROSA company is happy to present the long-awaited ROSA Desktop Fresh R4, the number 4 in the “R” lineup of the free ROSA distros with the KDE desktop as the main graphical environment. The distro presents a vast collection of games and emulators, as well as the Steam platform package along with standard suite of audio and video communications software, including the newest version of Skype. All modern video formats are supported. The distribution includes the fresh LibreOffice 4.3.1, the full TeX suite for true nerds, along with the best Linux desktop publishing, text editing and polygraphy WYSISYG software. The LAMP/C++/ development environments are waiting to be installed by true hackers.” The present version is supported for 2 years. ROSA was previously based on Mandriva but now independent like many of the formerly Mandriva based distros, e.g. PCLinuxOS, Mageia, OpenMandriva Lx (based on ROSA), to name a few. Mandriva in turn was based on Red Hat Linux and a lot of programs which work for Fedora or OpenSUSE, worked on ROSA as well.

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Review: Scientific Linux 7.0 GNOME

        It has been a while since I have done a review (almost 3 months, in fact). It has been significantly longer since I have looked at Scientific Linux (over 3 years, in fact). Given that, I figured it might be worthwhile to make this review about Scientific Linux 7.0. I’m just glad that I did it before the time elapsed for something else to come up (around 3 minutes, in fact — OK, I just made that one up to match the other statements).

      • Up the revolution! The rise of Red Hat

        One of the IT industry’s quiet successes of the last 20 years has been Red Hat (some stories say it was named for the red caps favoured by 18th and 19th century revolutionaries). In 2012 the vendor reported revenues of $1B+ for the first time and this has increased to $1.5B+ in its most recent full financial year (ending Feb 2014). 26% of Red Hat’s revenue is generated in Europe and more than 20% its 7,000 employees are based in the EU, including those at its Bruno-based development in the Czech Republic.

      • OpenShift Enterprise By Red Hat Powers The FICO Analytic Cloud For Faster, More Versatile Delivery Of Automated Business Solutions

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that FICO, the predictive analytics and decision management software company, has built and rapidly scaled the FICO® Analytic Cloud on OpenShift Enterprise, Red Hat’s award-winning private platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering.

      • openSUSE, ROSA, and Red Hat

        Today in Linux news, Jamie Watson is back with a look at the “coming attractions” of Makulu, openSUSE, and Fedora. Lifehacker has the winner of their “best desktop” survey and there are public builds of upcoming Unreal Tournament available. IT-Director.com published an article on “The rise of Red Hat” and Red Hat’s Jackie Yeaney talks marketing with Advertising Age. Blogged reviews include Scientific Linux and ROSA R4 and Make Tech Easier discovers “the power of Konqueror.”

      • Fedora

        • Contributing to the Fedora Project

          Once of the many things I do for the Fedora Project is Tagging, it’s something any one can do and it’s a quick/easy way to give back to Fedora.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • How to spot the most talented innovators

      Back in 2002, one Dutch small business with just 38 employees took part in their first of several EU-funded research projects: developing new digital services for people on the move. That “small business” was TomTom: which since 2002 has grown to over 4000 employees in 37 countries, now a globally recognised brand leader.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Linux-based smart glasses keep it stylish

          Laforge is prepping a $399 beta version of its Linux-based Icis eyewear, as well as a $549 Bold model due in 2015 that adds a camera and higher resolution.

          Relatively few of the smart eyewear products now coming to market compete directly with Google Glass as a general-purpose consumer device. Most are vertical-market helmets for industrial or field service use (Vuzix M100), or are designed for specific activities such as skiing (Recon’s Snow 2) or motorcycle riding (Skully AR-1.) Laforge Optical’s Icis stands out from the pack with its consumer focus and its foundation in embedded Linux rather than the stripped-down Android stacks used by most smart eyewear.

        • 12 Must Have Android Apps

          While some Android apps are important, some truly are must have Android apps. I’ve learned to tell the difference. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been a very happy Android fan. Being a refugee from the iOS platform, I cannot express just how much more full-featured Android is when compared to my old iPhone.

        • Feeling Scammed After Anonabox? Android-Based Project Sierra Claims To Be The Real Deal

          In the wake of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s big reveal on government spying, there’s been a concerted effort by companies big and small to try and make our lives truly private. One seemingly promising solution was Anonabox, a little plug-and-play device that routes traffic through Tor to keep our online activities anonymous. Unfortunately, we were all misled on a number of levels, prompting Kickstarter to remove the project forever. Hot on its heels is Project Sierra, a network encryption device that’s supposedly the real deal.

        • Microsoft’s Garage project releases niche apps for Android
        • Keep your conversations private with these 10 super secure messaging apps

          How do you feel when you learn that someone has been watching, reading every incoming-outgoing message from your phone and computer? Quite freaked out, probably. Millions felt the same in June 2013 when ex-NSA computer geek Edward Snowden exposed the US Government’s snooping and logging activities.

        • Android Wear gets GPS support, offline music in first major update

          Google promised that it would consistently improve Android Wear with a number of updates, and now the first major update is here. Announced today in a blog post, the update unlocks some key fitness functionality. It now supports watches with built-in GPS sensors, providing new tools to track your distance and speed independent of your phone. Additionally, with the new software, you’ll be able to pair Bluetooth headphones, and offline music playback will also be enabled. And, of course, we’re sure the Android Wear team has squashed some bugs along the way.

        • Tiny Android SBC taps quad-core A31s SoC

          Boardcon launched a 92 x 65mm “Compact A31S” SBC that runs Android 4.2.2 on a quad-core Allwinner A31s SoC backed up with 2GB of soldered RAM and 4GB flash.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Top 3 open source alternatives to Google Analytics

      Let’s start off by taking a look at the open source application that rivals Google Analytics for functions: Piwik. Piwik does most of what Google Analytics does, and chances are it packs the features that you need.

      Those features include metrics on the number of visitors hitting your site, data on where they come from (both on the web and geographically), from what pages they leave your site, and the ability to track search engine referrals. Piwik also has a number of reports and you can customize the dashboard to view the metrics that you want to see.

      To make your life easier, Piwik integrates with over 65 content management, ecommerce, and online forum systems like WordPress, Magneto, Joomla!, and vBulletin using plugins. With anything else, you just need to add a tracking code to a page on your site.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Introducing the 2015 Knight-Mozilla Fellows

        The Knight-Mozilla Fellowships bring together developers, technologists, civic hackers, and data crunchers to spend 10 months working on open source code with partner newsrooms around the world. The Fellowships are part of the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project, supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. During their fellowship year, the Fellows collaborate with journalists to build the tools news organizations need to thrive on the open web.

      • Mozilla’s Webmaker App Could Spur Firefox OS App Developers

        Mozilla continues to push ahead with its Firefox OS mobile operating system, which is arriving on phones in many markets around the world. In fact, the company has aligned its whole strategy around the mobile platform. The OS is gaining enough traction that many observers see it as eventually being competitive with iOS and Android phones, but I’ve made the point that If Firefox OS is to be a resounding success, it’s going to need a very healthy ecosystem of apps to attract users. Apps count for a lot in the mobile game.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Announcing Apache™ CloudStack™ v4.4.1

      The Apache CloudStack project announced the immediate availability of Apache CloudStack v4.4.1, the latest version of the turnkey Open Source cloud computing software platform used for creating private-, public-, and hybrid cloud environments.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 10.1-RC3 Now Available

      The third RC build of the 10.1-RELEASE release cycle is now available on the FTP servers for the amd64, armv6, i386, ia64, powerpc, powerpc64 and sparc64 architectures.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • European Greens RFC: ‘Transparency implies use of open source’

      The Greens/European Free Alliance in the European Parliament want to find out for once and for all if the use of free and open source software is essential for the democratic institution. The political group is asking for comments on a study linking the use of free software to the European Parliament’s principles of openness and right to information.

    • These 12 agencies embraced open source. Why?

      Why do government agencies turn to open source software? FutureGov has interviewed 12 senior officials to find out.

      Australia’s Chief Technology Officer, John Sheridan, has moved his country’s citizen-facing portal onto open source software, and is offering to help agencies migrate too. “Open source licence arrangements enable the development of some sort of public good, where people contribute or benefit from it,” he says.

      Other agencies clearly agree. Hong Kong’s Office of the GCIO is notably enthusiastic, with Victor Lam telling FutureGov that “We recognise the fact that it is the kind of technology [where] we need to be ahead of the curve”.

      What was their experience of migrating to open source, and how does it match with others?

    • Going Dutch: the Netherlands Shares UK’s Open Source Woes

      Not quite sure what that last bit means, but it’s nonetheless good to have news from other countries grappling with the same issues as those in the UK. The fact that similar problems are found elsewhere suggests that maybe more could be done for those seeking to introduce open source in central government to meet up and swap their experiences – both good and bad.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Why open data matters in education

        Rajan attends a school in a small village located around 140 kilometers from my hometown of Amritsar, India. Otherwise an active boy who is adept in handling numbers in the ledger book at his father’s convenience store and who loves playing flute, he falls into the depths of apathy and indifference the moment he enters his classroom. Rajan is not at fault for the abrupt change in his behavior at the school. He attends a school that has one teacher for all its students from classes starting from the first standard through the fifth standard, that has no proper infrastructure, a dilapidated library, and an obsolete teaching methodology.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Reading and Writing and Open Source

        Digital textbooks with open-licensed content — and sometimes even complete open source textbooks — are two publishing models that are starting to change the way students and teachers interact with subject material.

        The budget-busting prices of traditional printed textbooks and the ubiquity of mobile devices in schools have provided textbook authors and educational leaders with convincing reasons to give students an alternative. Textbook publishers are offering digital alternatives to traditional printed books with copyright protection against reproducing or altering their content.

      • Library hosts Open Access Week events to promote open source research

        An effort to increase immediate access to research results is in full swing at Cal State Fullerton through Open Access Week this week.

  • Programming

    • Build It! Must-Have Open Source Development Tools

      These days, there is big demand for strong web and application development skills in the job market. The good news is that there are many open source tools to help you with your web project or application, and given the costs of proprietary development environments, they can save you a lot of money. Here are many good examples of development tools and tutorials, with some unsung choices that you may not have considered.

Leftovers

  • Departing EU Digital Commissioner Warns Against ‘Analogue Europe’ Blocking Digital Innovation

    After talking about how Europe used to dominate in innovation, it’s since fallen behind both the US and Asia.

  • Facebook Files Lawsuit against Lawyers over ‘Fake’ Founder Claim

    The company this week filed charges against members of huge law firms Milberg LLP and DLA Piper for representing a man who previously claimed that he owns a major stake in Facebook. The social networking site simply stated in its complaint that those lawyers should have known better than support a ‘scam’ artist.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • BBC Accused of Rwandan Genocide Denial

      Rwanda’s parliament has accused the BBC of genocide denial, claiming their documentary film “Rwanda: The Untold Story” allegedly misinterpreted historical facts and distorted real states of affairs, BBC reported on Thursday.

    • Why the U.S. Drone War Could Last Forever

      The U.S. military’s combat mission in Afghanistan is scheduled to end this year, presumably closing the chapter there on 13 years of war. But the covert drone war in that country and neighboring Pakistan could continue long after most American troops return home, according to a White House spokesperson.

    • When only 4 per cent of those killed by US drone strikes are named members of al-Qaeda, it’s hard to trust American foreign policy

      John Kerry says all those fired at by drones in Pakistan are “confirmed terrorist targets” – but with 1,675 unnamed dead how do we know?

    • John Kerry says all those fired at by drones in Pakistan are “confirmed terrorist targets” – but with 1,675 unnamed dead how do we know?

      Responding to a question about drone strikes on BBC’s Hard Talk last year, US Secretary of State John Kerry laid out a clear message. “The only people we fire a drone at are confirmed terrorist targets at the highest level,” he said. “We don’t just fire a drone at somebody and think they’re a terrorist.”

      Earlier this month, the US completed its 400th drone strike in Pakistan, a significant milestone in the covert anti-terrorism programme that has been going since 2004 and has claimed 2379 lives, according to available figures.

    • Pakistan calls for ban on lethal autonomous weapons

      Pakistan has called for pre-emptive ban on the development of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS), known as killer robots that are capable of making their own combat decisions without human intervention, saying such devices would undermine world peace.

    • Blackwater Guards Found Guilty In 2007 Shootings In Iraq

      Four private security guards working for the Blackwater Worldwide firm who were charged in the 2007 shootings of more than 30 Iraqis have been found guilty by a federal jury.

      Nicholas Slatten was found guilty of first-degree murder, and three others — Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard — were found guilty of multiple counts of voluntary manslaughter.

    • Four Blackwater Guards Convicted of Killing 14 Unarmed Iraqis

      Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, and Dustin Heard were among the Blackwater guards riding in a convoy of armored vehicles through downtown Baghdad in September 2007 who abruptly began firing machine guns and throwing grenades at unarmed Iraqis in a busy traffic circle, killing 14 and wounding at least 17 others. During the trial, the men’s lawyers maintained they were responding to gunfire at Nisour Square and acted in self-defense, while the prosecution said the shootings were unprovoked. Jurors in Washington sided with the government, convicting Slatten of first-degree murder, a charge that carries a life sentence, and the three others of voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter, and using military firearms while committing a felony, which means they each face a mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison. All four men are military veterans.

    • ‘Killer robots’: Ex-GCHQ boss calls for drone controls

      Commercial drones could be invading the UK within 20 years, used by everyone from terrorists to burglars, an ex-GCHQ boss warns. It found the growing use of drones raises “significant safety, security and privacy concerns.”

      In a report released by the University of Birmingham Policy Commission, led by the former head of GCHQ Sir David Omand, it was found that the greater civil and military use of drones is inevitable.

    • Pentagon Says It Will Investigate Stray Arms Drop Over Syria

      The Pentagon says it will investigate a video released by the self-declared Islamic State showing its fighters purportedly rifling through crates of U.S. arms intended for Kurdish forces fighting the extremist group.

    • Ottawa shootings: a spectacular failure for Canadian intelligence

      Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, armed with a high-powered rifle, drove to Parliament Hill, left his car running, shot a ceremonial guard at the nearby National War Memorial, before heading to the seat of Canada’s democracy, where he was gunned down by the head of security for the building.

      In a room just a few metres from where the gunman fell, prime minister Stephen Harper was discussing how to respond to the increased threat of homegrown terrorism with members of his party. That response will be even more treacherous now.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • BP’s Misleading Oil Spill PR Campaign Is Now In Politico Magazine

      But Morrell’s Politico Magazine article was misleading. Wildlife in the region is still experiencing the consequences of the spill, according to a recent report from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). The NWF studied 14 species that have suffered effects from the spill, including the ongoing illness of bottlenose dolphins and a “dramatic increase” in sea turtle deaths. The report concluded that more needs to be done to speed up the region’s recovery. CBS reported of its findings: “No matter how much money is exchanged and what efforts are done, there remains no guarantee that the Gulf Coast regions will fully recover to pre-spill conditions.”

    • Officials propose making ‘South Florida’ 51st state

      A group of Southern Florida politicians are tired of being left out to sea when it comes to addressing climate change concerns for the southern part of the state.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Senator Leahy Blasts DEA For Impersonating Woman On Facebook

      Citing a case revealed by BuzzFeed News, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said it’s “appalling” that a Drug Enforcement Administration agent created a fake Facebook page using a real woman’s name and photos — without her knowledge.

    • NYPD Commissioner Bratton vows to push against Apple, Google smartphone encryption

      Bratton says the companies’ new operating systems, which can block law enforcement access, ‘does a terrible disservice to the public.’

    • NY Police Commissioner Bill Bratton Latest To Complain About Phone Encryption

      That’s some mighty fine spin by Bratton. Something that will make a vast majority of the public’s data less susceptible to hackers’ attacks is a “disservice to the public” because in a very small number of cases, this encryption could hamper an investigation. Because some criminals might use this encryption, no one should be allowed to have it.

    • James Clapper’s Report On Progress Towards President’s Surveillance Reforms Mainly Explores Executive Branch Loopholes

      James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, has issued an interim report on the intelligence community’s minimal progress towards minimal compliance with the minimal reforms ordered by the administration last year in response to the Snowden leaks. Presidential Policy Directive 28 (PPD-28) was issued in January and Jame Clapper’s office is proud to announce that it’s still in the process of thinking about complying with the stuff the President asked them to do so many months ago.

      [...]

      The EFF asks if the NSA has ever used this reading to its own advantage. Certainly no answer is expected, but the agency has long been a fan of fluid terms and malleable definitions. Which brings us to the ultimate show of executive branch deference, albeit one that implies the administration will help the agency do the things it really wants to, Presidential Policy Directive or no.

    • Rep. Mike Rogers Now Claims Ed Snowden Should Be Charged With Murder, Because Someone Might Die

      Meanwhile, if doing things that might lead to more soldiers getting hurt or killed makes you guilty of murder, shouldn’t Rogers be talking about getting himself and other members of Congress charged with murder? After all, remember it was Congress that failed to equip soldiers with proper body armor.

    • Riding with the Stars: Passenger Privacy in the NYC Taxicab Dataset

      There has been a lot of online comment recently about a dataset released by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. It contains details about every taxi ride (yellow cabs) in New York in 2013, including the pickup and drop off times, locations, fare and tip amounts, as well as anonymized (hashed) versions of the taxi’s license and medallion numbers. It was obtained via a FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request earlier this year and has been making waves in the hacker community ever since.

      The release of this data in this unalloyed format raises several privacy concerns. The most well-documented of these deals with the hash function used to “anonymize” the license and medallion numbers. A bit of lateral thinking from one civic hacker and the data was completely de-anonymized. This data can now be used to calculate, for example, any driver’s annual income. More disquieting, though, in my opinion, is the privacy risk to passengers. With only a small amount of auxiliary knowledge, using this dataset an attacker could identify where an individual went, how much they paid, weekly habits, etc. I will demonstrate how easy this is to do in the following section.

    • Handful of Virginia police agencies sharing seized phone data

      A newly publicized document shows that five local police departments in southeastern Virginia have been secretly and automatically sharing criminal suspects’ telephone metadata and compiling it into a large database for nearly two years.

    • Bluetooth-tracking beacon programs uncovered in LA, Chicago

      Marketers are using beacons to see who sees what in their ad networks.

    • Pro-Privacy Senator Wyden on Fighting the NSA From Inside the System

      The Democrat from Oregon, who has served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence since 2001, thought he knew the nature of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities. As a committee member with a classified clearance, he received regular briefings to conduct oversight.

    • What Does the Return of the ‘Crypto Wars’ Mean for Bitcoin?

      The crypto wars have returned to the United States. Apple’s announcement of their intent to provide better encryption for their customers launched the latest battle. With this new, higher-level of encryption, iPhone users would allegedly be able to better secure their private communication data from law enforcement.

    • Q&A: Poitras on capturing history in a hotel room

      Imagine if Bob Woodward’s clandestine meetings in a Washington D.C. parking garage with Deep Throat had been documented — or, better yet, filmed by Woodward, himself.

      The analogy isn’t perfect, but that’s about the closest equivalent to Laura Poitras’ one-of-a-kind documentary “Citizenfour,” which captures former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden during his leak of NSA documents to Poitras (a documentarian and reporter) and journalist Glenn Greenwald.

    • Filming in fear: Edward Snowden as ‘Citizenfour’

      U.S. documentary maker Laura Poitras has found herself in many a risky situation in Iraq and Yemen. But she never felt in as much danger as when she was filming Edward Snowden in a Hong Kong hotel while he prepared to blow the whistle on massive secret surveillance programs run by the U.S. government.

    • Germans use password managers more

      Almost a quarter of all internet users in Germany use password manager programmes to manage the access to computers or online services, according to a recent survey conducted by technology association Bitkom.

    • State and Local Cops Running Protection Racket for Federal ‘Partners’

      The drug war not only ushered in the era of state-federal task forces, it also turned on the funding spigot. Suddenly, state and local law enforcement agencies found themselves flush with cash flowing from federal grants to fight the War on Drugs. It also flung open the door to militarizing state and local police, as the feds began arming Mayberry with tanks, body armor and automatic weapons.

    • THURSDAY: Laura Poitras on Her New Edward Snowden Documentary, “CitizenFour”
    • VIDEO TIMELINE: NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden’s Revelations on Democracy Now!

      Scroll through our video timeline to see all of our coverage of whistleblower Edward Snowden, and the reporting he fueled that exposed the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance state. See our archive of interviews with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras.

    • Untenable invasion of privacy

      Certain local police departments are stockpiling and sharing consumer cellphone data, including call logs and the contents of seized devices, under a program established nearly two years ago.

    • Why Was the NSA Chief Playing the Market?
    • Former NSA chief traded shares in commodities firms

      While he was running the National Security Agency, former director Keith Alexander owned and traded commodities firms linked to China and Russia, according to a report.

      A new report by Foreign Policy Magazine shows that Alexander’s financial disclosure forms show Alexander was involved in commodities trades that have been called an “opaque” by experts. The report, which cited forms first disclosed in Vice Magazine, noted that Alexander’s activity was cleared by ethics officials.

    • As the NSA scandal matures, outrage fizzles into business as usual

      It’s been 16 months since The Guardian published its first story on the National Security Agency’s bulk collection program, launching a series of reports that would introduce the public to cryptic terms like PRISM and Boundless Informant.

    • Why is Mark Udall — one of the Senate’s most powerful surveillance reformers — hurting for tech sector cash?

      Out in Colorado, Democrat Mark Udall, the state’s first-term U.S. senator, is finding himself financially outmatched by his Republican opponent: Rep. Cory Gardner raised some $1.3 million in the first half of this month, reports the Associated Press. Udall raised just more than half that. Udall has far less cash on hand than Gardner, too. Yet the race is quite close. Udall is polling at 43 percent to Gardner’s 46 percent, which just barely puts the Republican’s lead beyond the margin of error.

      And that presents an intriguing angle on the race for those of us who obsess over tech policy. Udall is known as one of Congress’s most vociferous advocates for reforming how government, and the National Security Agency in particular, conducts its surveillance programs. He has been for years. And changing how the NSA works is one of the technology world’s top priorities. So while Udall’s political future is up to Colorado’s voters, of course, how is it that Udall is hurting for cash when tech is one of the country’s wealthiest industries?

    • One Of The NSA’s Biggest Critics In The Senate May Lose His Seat

      In the past, we’ve noted how unfortunate it was that the Senator who fought strongest for our civil liberties in Congress, Russ Feingold, got voted out of office back in 2010 — in favor of a “Tea Party” candidate who has consistently voted in favor of the intelligence community since replacing Feingold. Since then, plenty of attention has gone to Senator Ron Wyden for picking up where Feingold left off, but with him on issues of civil liberties as it relates to the intelligence community has always been Senator Mark Udall — who has been perhaps even more vocal than Senator Wyden on these issues.

    • Can Mark Udall Win in Colorado? His Spartan-Like Get-Out-The-Vote, Ground Game Says YES!

      Mark Udall can win, but it`ll be a tough fight! I`m examining some of the sources this morning, and after a modicum of focused analysis, I believe Udall will be able to retain his senate seat. It`s a little scary when you see that Cory Gardner has a 3.8% lead over Mark Udall, according to the Real Clear Politics site (which averages the last 4 polls-those are stale bread after about 24 hours).

    • EU group: NSA’s ‘balance’ of security, privacy in surveillance sucks

      Three SURVEILLE teams of EU-funded experts studied NSA mass surveillance techniques for the purpose of a counter-terrorism investigation and basically found the surveillance ‘failed drastically in striking the correct balance between security and privacy.’

    • T-Mobile quietly hardens part of its U.S. cellular network against snooping

      Wireless carrier T-Mobile US has been quietly upgrading its network in a way that makes it harder for surveillance equipment to eavesdrop on calls and monitor texts, even on the company’s legacy system.

      [...]

      Tests by the Post in New York, Washington, and Boulder, Colorado showed that AT&T calls used the older A5/1 encryption, making them more vulnerable to interception by law enforcement officials or criminals with access to advanced surveillance technology. The tests were performed using a custom application called Darshak which was released at the Black Hat security conference in August.

    • Opinion: Transatlantic trust only goes so far

      John Kerry’s visit to Berlin 25 years after the Wall fell highlighted the crucial role transatlantic ties played earlier and can still play today. But to fulfill that promise, controversial issues can’t be glossed over.

      [...]

      In his remarks, Kerry – as has become almost customary for US officials since the NSA scandal – heaped plenty of praise on his German hosts. He extolled Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Steinmeier for their leadership not only in the Ukraine crisis and within NATO, but also for their role in all other major global issues mentioned above.

      To be sure, it is essential to keep the example of the successful and historic transatlantic cooperation that culminated in the fall of the Wall 25 years ago alive for a younger generation that did not experience it. And it is also important that the United States and Germany work together closely and responsibly on today’s global crises despite the still remaining underlying tensions over the fallout from the NSA scandal and disagreements over the transatlantic trade deal TTIP.

    • Congress Tells FBI There’s ‘Zero Chance’ Of Giving The Bureau Backdoor Access To Americans’ Cellphones
    • Congress: FBI Has “Zero Chance” Of Getting Encrypted Data

      FBI Director James B. Comey said the agency is not happy with Apple (AAPL) and Google’s (GOOG) new encryption on phones, and may have to go through legal routes to make sure the FBI can access criminals’ smartphones.

    • Police have a disconnect

      The NSA will still sweep up data en masse from every electronic platform, and law enforcement will still be able to get a warrant, provided they have probable cause, to search online records or request information from online companies.

    • Edward Snowden Receives Students for Liberty’s Highest Honor

      On Tuesday, Students for Liberty (SFL) announced its 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award will be given to former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.

      According to a statement by SFL President and Cofounder Alexander McCobin, the organization has decided to honor Snowden for “initiating a global conversation on the balance of power between governments and peoples that has led to and continues to bring about meaningful reforms to intrusive, abusive, and unjust government surveillance programs.”

    • Why Outlawing Encryption Is Wrong

      In a chilling move toward an all-knowing police state, FBI Director James Comey is making the news rounds to equate data encryption with letting child pornographers, kidnappers, and terrorists roam unchecked. The assertion: Law enforcement will have no tools to catch bad guys if encryption works as designed. So all of a sudden other advances in law enforcement technology are trumped? Let’s get real.

  • Civil Rights

    • CIA Apparently ‘Impersonated’ Senate Staffers To Gain Access To Documents On Shared Drives

      The CIA is still fighting for creative control of its most anticipated 21st century work: the Torture Report. Long before it got involved in the ongoing redaction battle, it was spying on those putting the report together, namely Senators and Senate staffers. Hands were wrung, apologies were made and it was medically determined that Sen. Dianne Feinstein doesn’t have an ironic bone in her body.

    • White House Chief Of Staff Negotiating Redaction Of CIA Torture Report

      White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough is personally negotiating how much of the Senate’s so-called torture report, a probe into the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and interrogation program, will be redacted, according to sources involved in the negotiations.

      McDonough’s leading role in the redaction discussion has raised eyebrows in the Senate, given that his position comes with a broad array of urgent responsibilities and that the Obama White House has a team of qualified national security advisers.

    • You Know Who Else Hates Everyone In Congress? Congress!

      Hating on Congress is basically a national past time here in the US. Other than a brief moment of probably misguided solidarity after September 11th, the public’s view towards Congress tends to be pretty negative, and it’s been getting worse lately. Here’s a historical look from Gallup at the public’s approval ratings of Congress.

    • Trial court allows police to use “Glomar” response to deny records requests

      In what appears to be an unprecedented decision, a New York trial court has allowed the New York Police Department (“NYPD”) to issue a “Glomar” response to a state open records request, meaning the government refuses to confirm or deny whether responsive records exist.

    • New York City Court Buys NYPD’s Claims Of ‘National Security,’ Grants It Power To ‘Glomar’ FOIL Requests

      A New York City court has given the NYPD one of the few things separating it from the “big boys” (CIA, FBI and NSA): the permission to issue “Glomar responses” (the infamous “we can neither confirm nor deny…”) to FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) requests. Like the audacity of the department itself in pursuing this additional method of keeping the public separated from public documents, the decision is unprecedented.

    • The truth about torture is Obama never wants you to find it

      The cover-up of the CIA’s secret surveillance on the US Senate Intelligence Committee is only getting deeper. As the Huffington Post’s Ali Watkins and Ryan Grim reported on Tuesday afternoon, a still-classified Inspector General report alleges CIA officials “impersonated Senate staffers in order to gain access to Senate communications and drafts of the Intelligence Committee investigation” while Senate staffers were completing their now infamous – but still somehow unreleased – report on the CIA’s Bush-era torture program.

      You would think the White House might be aghast at such revelations, given that it’s the Senate Intelligence Committee’s job to oversee the CIA. But instead of worrying about the Constitution or legal violations, all the Obama administration seems to care about is saving CIA director John Brennan’s ass. There have already been multiple calls for Brennan to resign since he lied to the public about spying on the Senate. And now the White House seems intent on siding with the CIA director beyond all reason.

    • “Pay Any Price”

      No single review or interview can do justice to Pay Any Price, the new book by James Risen that is the antithesis of what routinely passes for journalism about the “war on terror.” Instead of evasive tunnel vision, the book offers big-picture acuity, focusing on realities that are pervasive and vastly destructive.

    • The feds’ ‘truthy’ new chill on free speech

      The government is worried about speech. Big deal. Speech is none of the government’s business.

    • The ‘Hacker Wars’ Documentary Does Hacktivism No Favors

      Weisman also errs in giving too much screen time to Weev, who speaks intelligently about hacktivism in some scenes, but his main function—as far as I can tell—is to celebrate the troll’s role in internet culture. That leaves Jeremy Hammond as the one true hacktivist out of the film’s central characters.

    • US focus on naming foreign hackers gets criticized

      Is Washington spending too much of its time trying to call out countries that carry out cyber attacks?

      That’s what one top industry official argued Wednesday at a conference hosted by the Atlantic Council.

      Dmitri Alperovitch, CTO of Crowdstrike, which is accredited by the National Security Agency to respond to cyber attacks, said Congress should put more of its focus on punishing foreign entities that carry out cyber attacks, even if the government can’t pinpoint exactly who ordered the attack.

    • On Malala, mainstream media and missing the point

      Malala Yousafzai is extraordinary. She is the embodiment of the determination, fearlessness and power possessed by thousands of children in Pakistan and across the Indian subcontinent who struggle for a fair education. After being singled out and shot in the head by the Taliban two years ago, the miracle of her full recovery garnered international attention and catapulted her into the spotlight. She has always been a fierce advocate for girls’ education — only now, she has a global platform.

      [...]

      Yes, the Taliban is seriously hindering opportunities for education and progress in many areas in Pakistan, but not any more than the American drones that are taking the lives of innocent men, women and children in the same areas. The incessant bombing of Pakistan by the U.S., supposedly an intervention that is meant to aid in the counterattack, has produced the same results. Here’s the difference: The Taliban is strongly and rightfully demonized by the entire world, while Obama’s well-funded drone program continues murdering innocent people, supported by our very own tax dollars.

      Yousafzai is a champion of women’s rights and education in Pakistan, but she is also an outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy. How often do we hear about that?

    • Gaza and the Bi-Partisan War on Human Rights

      Israel’s seven weeks of attacks this summer on heavily populated civilian neighborhoods in Gaza has led to unprecedented concern among Americans who, while still broadly supportive of Israel, found the attacks to be disproportionate and unnecessary.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Italian Parliament Publishes Draft Internet Bill Of Rights

      There then follow 14 digital rights, including things like basic human rights; right to access the Net; Net neutrality; control of personal data online; protection against surveillance without the approval of a judge; right to online anonymity; and the right to be forgotten.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • International Copyright Policy Laundering and the Ongoing War on Access to Knowledge

        How is it possible that someone could face years in prison for sharing an academic paper online? How did we arrive at such extreme criminal punishments for accessing knowledge and information? Well, this has been long in the making. We got here because Big Content interests have dominated secretive, back-room copyright negotiations over several decades, resulting in laws that are increasingly restricting our speech, and our ability to comment, control, re-use, and access knowledge, culture, and the devices that we own.

      • U.S. Government Shuts Down Music Sharing Sites

        The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) appear to be continuing with Operation in Our Sites. In recent days two large music sharing sites, RockDizFile.com and RockDizMusic.com, were taken offline. Their domain names are now pointing to a prominent seizure banner.

      • Copyright Maximalists And Lobbyists Insist ‘Criminal Elements’ Are A Part Of The Copyright Reform Effort

        George Mason University — which not too long ago put out an entire book about the need for copyright reform — apparently also wants to present “the other side.” It recently held a conference entitled “Common Ground: How Intellectual Property Unites Creators and Innovators.” You might assume that this would be along the lines of the point we’ve been making for years that content creators and entrepreneurs are really on the same side, creating new content and tools that better serve the public. But it was actually a conference that appears to have only invited copyright and patent maximalists, to talk about how oppressed both of them are by efforts to reform those two bodies of law away from the maximalist positions. It was a laugh riot, I’m sure.

      • Copyright Law Stifling Free Speech And Artistic Criticism

        Pacific Standard Magazine has a really great article by Noah Berlatsky, looking at how copyright is stifling artistic criticism. Much of it focuses on a recent paper by John Tehranian, whom we’ve written about before. The paper is called Dangerous Undertakings: Sacred Texts and Copyright’s Myth of Aesthetic Neutrality — and focuses on how aesthetic judgments about the value of works almost always applies in copyright cases, which is a bit dangerous when it comes to art, criticism and free speech. Berlatsky’s piece focuses on the famous case of The Wind Done Gone, the famous “unauthorized retelling” of Gone With The Wind from the perspective of another character. The lower court said it was infringing, and the appeals court overturned it — but both were based, at least in part, on aesthetics, rather than underlying legal issues…

10.22.14

Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

Posted in News Roundup at 4:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Let’s Pay for Open Source with a Closed-Source Software Levy

    This column has often explored ways in which some of the key ideas underlying free software and open source are being applied in other fields. But that equivalence can flow in both directions: developments in fields outside the digital world may well have useful lessons for computing. A case in point is a fascinating post by James Love, Director of Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), a non-governmental organisation concerned with public health and other important issues.

    It is called “The value of an open source dividend”, and is a discussion of the problems the world of pharma faces because of the distorting effect of patents – problems it shares with the world of computing…

  • Free software hacker on open source telemetry project for OpenStack
  • Google Releases Open-Source Material Design Icon Pack

    Looking for a new set of icons? In an effort to spread the Material Design look, Google on Tuesday released a set of cool new icons that anyone can download for free. Need icons for your app, website, or just curious to see what they look like? You can head on over to Github and download the full package. There are 750 in total, and they’re protected under a CC-BY-SA Creative Commons license, which means you can use them for whatever you want.

  • Head of Open Source at Facebook opens up

    We have 200 active projects at Facebook, with 10 million lines of code. Many hundreds of engineers working on these, with over 100,000 followers and 20,000 forks.

  • Hey Apple, we’re gonna tailor Swift as open source – indie devs throw down gauntlet

    A group of independent developers have launched a project to develop a free, open source implementation of Apple’s Swift programming language.

    Dubbed Phoenix, the project is being developed under the auspices of Ind.ie, a group that claims to want to develop “consumer products that are beautiful, free, social, accessible, secure, and distributed” and that eschew business models based on “corporate surveillance.”

  • Phoenix Is Trying To Be An Open Version Of Apple’s Swift

    Apple unveiled the Swift programming language at this year’s WWDC event but sadly it’s still not clear whether Apple will “open up” the language to let it appear on non-Apple platforms. Swift is built atop LLVM and designed to be Apple’s successor to Objective-C in many regards while suppoorting C/Obj-C/Obj-C++ all within a single program. With non-Apple folks being interested in the language, it didn’t take long before an open-source project started up around it.

  • Four Simple Words to Remember on FOSS Forums

    The problem here is that this lack of civility, this absence of open-mindedness, and this departure from decent behavior scales in an enormous way in FOSS: from the new user warmed in the glow of their new-found FOSS enlightenment thinking their first distro is “the Holy Grail,” to some of those who got the ball rolling back in the day and are responsible for the world-altering digital movement in which we now find ourselves.

  • Events

    • The Share Economy is Dead, Long Live to the Share Economy!

      The so-called “shared economy” is just replacing the existing and often inefficient and/or ineffective intermediaries, with a new set of powerful intermediaries. While the companies backing all the share-central initiatives are somehow failing to see their true social potential, they introduced many people to the collaborative economy.

    • GStreamer 2014 Conference Videos Posted: Wayland, HTML5, 3D

      The GStreamer Conference 2014 took place last week in Düsseldorf alongside other Linux Foundation events. For those that missed out on being there in person, Ubicast has once again provided wonderful video recordings of each of the sessions.

  • Web Browsers

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • Configuring FreeBSD as a FreeIPA client

      A recent thread on the freeipa-users mailing list highlighted one user’s experience with setting up FreeBSD as a FreeIPA client, complete with SSSD and Sudo integration. GNU+Linux systems have ipa-client-install, but the lack of an equivalent on FreeBSD means that much of the configuration must be done manually. There is a lot of room for error, and this user encountered several “gotchas” and caveats.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Automatic Feedback Directed Optimizer Merged Into GCC

      AutoFDO is the Automatic Feedback Directed Optimizer. AutoFDO relies on the Linux kernel’s perf framework for profiling with performance counters. AutoFDO interprets the perf output and attempts to use the FDO infrastructure to produce better optimized code generation. AutoFDO according to its Google engineers is said to be noticeably faster than traditional FDO for GCC.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Norway closes its open source resource centre

      Amundsen says the centre and its board were not notified in advance of the funding cut. The plan had not been mentioned in meetings with the Ministry of Local Government and Modernization, he explains. “We’ve always told them to warn us in advance. So, their announcement came as a shock.”

      In its 2015 budget, the Norwegian government writes that its funding for Friprog had always been a start-up grant, and that the centre has had since 2007 to find alternative sources of income.

    • U.S. government releases open source gamification software

      The United States’ National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has made some of its internally-developed gamification software available for free on GitHub under the MIT free software license.

      Developers may find it useful as a tool for configuring a server to track “gamification” systems like points or badges against user accounts on apps or websites; at the very least, it offers interesting insight into how the NGA is using game design tenets in its training programs.

    • Munich’s return to proprietary desktop would cost millions

      The move to Linux and other open source solutions has helped the city save some 11 million euro over the past years, Reiter writes. He points to a 2012 report by the city’s IT department. Their cost comparison includes savings on proprietary licences for operating system and office productivity tools and on PC hardware.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Digital government, openness and open cloud — new cornerstones of democracy

      For us, an open cloud embraces a wide range of open source languages, databases and services. This is why we support thousands of open source technologies and open standards. Industry, open communities and government need to work together to develop the open source code and open standards needed to reach the goal of fluid interoperability.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Open access platform to save the Odia Indian language

        In February 2014, the Government of India declared the South Asian language Odia as the 6th classical language of India which is one among 22 scheduled languages of India and has a literary heritage of more than 5,000 years. There are documents for more than 3,500 years, and the rest are undocumented oral histories. The native Odia speakers became hopeful of getting a lot of language related projects implemented to grow the lineage of this long literary heritage and see the language used and spoken globally, not just in literature but in computer and mobile games, interactive computer applications and in other digital media—and to reach the masses as a communicative language.

    • Open Hardware

      • Take Control With Open Source Hardware

        “Open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design. The hardware’s source, the design from which it is made, is available in the preferred format for making modifications to it. Ideally, open source hardware uses readily-available components and materials, standard processes, open infrastructure, unrestricted content, and open-source design tools to maximize the ability of individuals to make and use hardware. Open source hardware gives people the freedom to control their technology while sharing knowledge and encouraging commerce through the open exchange of designs.”

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • US-Backed Ukraine Army Used Cluster Bombs Against Its Own People: Reports

      The Ukraine Army, backed by both the U.S. and NATO throughout its military campaign against rebel factions in eastern regions of the country over recent months, appears to have fired cluster munitions on the city of Donetsk earlier this month, according to a Human Rights Watch investigation and independent reporting by the New York Times.

    • Bowen’s friend was George W. Bush, and the job was to investigate corruption and waste in Iraq

      Bowen’s friend was George W. Bush, and the job was to investigate corruption and waste in Iraq, where his buddy George had launched a misguided and very costly war, as well as an effort to reconstruct that country’s fractured economy. The watchdog soon learned that Air Force transport planes had been airlifting whole pallets of shrink-wrapped $100 bills from the U.S. to Baghdad – totaling some $14 billion!

    • Send Books Not Drones: Malala Yousafzai On Nobel Win, Continuing Fight For Girls’ Education

      While confident beyond her years in front of a crowd Yousafzai’s journey began a long way from the city of brotherly (and sisterly) love’s massive convention center. She was born in 1997 in Mingora, a district in northwest Pakistan. Her father ran a local school and held the locally radical belief that girls should be educated too. Even though Malala’s mother is illiterate her father consults her before making any decisions. This has helped the eldest of their three children and only daughter feel emboldened. Of course, it helps that Malala is smart. She thrives in school and has always been motivated by competition with her classmates.

      [...]

      A drone attack may kill two or three terrorists but it will not kill terrorism. If the drones continue terrorism will spread.

    • Drones and domination

      Words like ‘precision’, ‘necessity’, ‘cure’ and ‘excision’ dominated the semantics of the drone project. The drones were operated from several oceans away, everyone knew, but some trust could be put in the American superpower’s ability to know of threats and to eliminate them from the hapless and diseased soil of its ally.

      [...]

      The bureau’s project, Naming the Dead, collects available data on the people killed by drone attacks (to the extent it is made available). As per these statistics, they say that of 2,379 people killed, only 704 have been named, and only 295 of the total named have been reported to be members of some armed group. Only 84 (4pc) have actually been identified as members of Al Qaeda. Furthermore, nearly 30pc of those killed by drone attacks were not linked to any militant group at all.

    • On Killing Trayvons

      A movement is coalescing around reforming police procedures and taking away their military weapons.

    • My Father Was Killed By A Computer, Says 7 Year Old Afghan Child

      As Imal grew up, he kept asking his mother where his father was. His mother finally told Imal that his father had been killed by a drone when he was still a baby.

    • ‘Cleansing the stock’ and other ways governments talk about human beings

      Those who kill for a living employ similar terms. Israeli military commanders described the massacre of 2,100 Palestinians, most of whom were civilians (including 500 children), in Gaza this summer as “mowing the lawn”. It’s not original. Seeking to justify Barack Obama’s drone war in Pakistan (which has so far killed 2,300 people, only 4% of whom have since been named as members of al-Qaida), Obama’s counter-terrorism adviser Bruce Riedel explained that “you’ve got to mow the lawn all the time. The minute you stop mowing, the grass is going to grow back.” The director of the CIA, John Brennan, claimed that with “surgical precision” his drones “eliminate the cancerous tumour called an al-Qaida terrorist while limiting damage to the tissue around it”. Those who operate the drones describe their victims as bug splats.

    • U.S. Jewish lawyer to Hamas goes on anti-Israel Twitter tirade
    • Terror Suspects’ Lawyer Stanley Cohen Rants Before Prison Sentence
    • Better A Hundred Palestinians Killed Than One Israeli Soldier

      For years now, Israel has been appearing in world media mainly as a country that occupies the Palestinian lands. Press photos of Israelis almost always show heavily armed and armored soldiers confronting protesting Palestinians, often children. Few of these pictures have had an immediate dramatic impact, but the cumulative, incremental effect should not have been underestimated.

    • Women Against War quilts target US drones

      Four six-by-six quilts are on display for the next month throughout the Capital District as part of an exhibit to make the general public aware of military drones and their civilian casualties.

      The quilt squares represent dozens of drone casualties, said Maureen Aumand with Women Against War, which is sponsoring the local exhibition currently in the concourse of Empire State Plaza. There are 144 squares in the quilts.

    • Violence kills a child every five minutes, says UN

      One child dies every five minutes as a result of violence, but only a minority die in war zones, according to a report by the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF.

    • Being the ‘indispensable nation’ is killing American democracy

      President Barack Obama, scorned by his Republican critics as an “isolationist” who wants to “withdraw from the world,” is waging the longest war in U.S. history in Afghanistan, boasts of toppling the Muammar Gaddafi regime in Libya, launches airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State and picks targets for drones to attack in as many as eight countries, while dispatching planes to the Russian border in reaction to its machinations in Ukraine, and a fleet to the South China Sea as the conflict over control of islands and waters escalates between China and its neighbors.

      [...]

      But endless war undermines the Constitution.

    • British drone operators could be breaking international law, says former GCHQ chief

      British military and intelligence personnel working at US Air Force bases on the controversial drones programme could be at risk of breaking international law, according to a new report from the former director of GCHQ.

      Washington’s “remotely piloted aircraft” (RPA) programme has killed terrorists and civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, drawing the condemnation of human rights organisations.

    • We Can’t Properly Debate Drone Casualties Without Knowing The Names of Those Killed

      The most important question to ask of the Global War on Terror should be the most simple to answer. Instead, it is a perennial shadow cast over US counter-terror operations since 9/11.

      We still don’t know, and still must ask: Who exactly is the enemy?

      [...]

      The Bureau found that fewer than 4 percent of the people killed by drone fire in Pakistan have been identified by available records as named members of al Qaeda. This doesn’t mean, to be sure, that only 4 percent of drone deaths were named members of al Qaeda. Rather, of the killed individuals identified using a variety of sources, only 4 percent matched with already named al Qaeda members. The Bureau spent more than a year looking into 2,379 deaths, using multiple sources including “both Pakistani government records leaked to the Bureau, and hundreds of open source reports in English, Pashtun, and Urdu.”

    • Afghanistan Déjà Vu?

      If we are to learn anything from the attempt to remake Iraq and promote democracy through methods that emphasize brute force, more war is not the answer for Afghanistan. It is time to put US intellectual and material resources into developing another way.

    • America’s Policy: War Now, Justifications Later

      In the counterterrorism realm, “imminence” is the magic word these days. The government need only utter it to hand itself a virtual license to kill.

      Understanding how language can be marshaled for controversial and even bloody purposes requires the ear of a linguist and the mind of a contracts lawyer.

      But the time to go back to school is now—with “imminence” seemingly exploding everywhere.

      In the past few years, the term has been invoked again and again in reference to the thousands targeted by the United States drone program. And it pops up just about every time the U.S. plans another drone attack or military commitment.

    • Analysts criticize US-led airstrikes against Iraqi troops

      According to a security source in Baghdad, an Iraqi General among with eight soldiers were killed on Sunday after an army patrol from the Baghdad Operations Command was targeted in a US bombing in Duwayliba, west of the capital.

    • US Seeks to Avoid Civilian Casualties During Drone Strikes: White House

      New statistics were released on October 16 by the UK Bureau of Investigative Journalism, claiming that fewer than 4 percent of the victims of US drone strikes in Pakistan had been identified as members of Al Qaeda. A greater number of casualties were described as militants, but with little corroborating evidence.

    • Only 4% Of Drone Victims In Pakistan Named As al-Qaeda Members
    • Pakistan-US: Death From The Skies – Analysis

      The present series of drone attacks, which raised the death toll to 35 within a week, concentrated around areas where Pakistan is presently conducting the military Operation Zarb-e-Azb, launched on June 15, 2014, in the aftermath of the attack on Karachi Airport on June 8-9, 2014. At least 33 persons, including all ten attackers, were killed in the Karachi attack. Operation Zarb-e-Azb has, according to Pakistan Army sources, thus far killed more than 1,200 terrorists and 86 soldiers (no independent verification of fatalities of identities of those killed is available, as media access to the areas of conflict if severely limited).

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Panetta clashed with CIA over memoir

      Former CIA director Leon Panetta clashed with the agency over the contents of his recently published memoir and allowed his publisher to begin editing and making copies of the book before he had received final approval from the CIA, according to former U.S. officials and others familiar with the project.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • A New Way to Silence Mumia Abu-Jamal

      This is not the first time there has been an attempt to silence Abu-Jamal. In 1994, NPR abruptly cancelled plans to air commentaries by him it had commissioned to air on All Things Considered.

      And the fact that Democracy Now! is covering this story now brings to mind what happened in 1997, when the show was set to begin airing a series of Abu-Jamal commentaries. The radio station at Philadelphia’s Temple University, KRTI, abruptly canceled its contract with Pacifica and Democracy Now! (Extra!Update, 4/97) right before the pieces were to air.

      In both cases, there were questions raised about what kinds of pressure were brought to bear on the media outlets. The controversy over NPR led lawmakers like Sen. Bob Dole to muse about the need for “closer oversight.” In the case of KRTI, there were suggestions that state funding could be at risk.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • A ‘Worthless and Whiny’ Attack on a Genuine Journalistic Hero

      Since the release of the film Kill the Messenger, there has been renewed focus on Webb’s story, which documented how CIA-linked drug traffickers were supplying US drug dealers with cheap cocaine that helped fuel the crack epidemic in the 1980s. For the Post, this means it’s time to argue once again that Webb got the story wrong.

    • Hardly an ennobling choice

      There are many like Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan whom the West chose to ignore

    • Understanding And Defeating Resurgent Fascism

      Usually, fascism is described as a form of authoritarian nationalism in which a dictator has complete power and violently suppresses opposition and criticism while emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and racism. (If you want to read a 14 point characterization of fascism, see Professor Lawrence Britt’s ‘Fascism Anyone?‘

    • Movie ‘The Hacker Wars’ proves we are under U.S. government surveillance

      Weisman’s new documentary, “The Hacker Wars,” is frightening and a must-see. Why? Because the movie makes clear that we Americans should be screaming at our government for trampling our rights. Aside from spying on us, they are punishing those who exercise their right to free speech. The U.S. Constitution is becoming a bad joke. The U.S. government is arresting people left and right for telling the truth.

      NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake makes a powerful statement in the film, “The United States has unchained from the constitution, this is an alien form of government.”

    • The CIA’s Role In Australia’s Coup: RIP Gough Whitlam

      Though you would never know it from reading The New York Times obit of former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, who passed away yesterday at the age of 98, the CIA likely played a central role in the effective coup that removed Whitlam from office in 1975. In today’s post Snowden world, it wouldn’t shock anyone perhaps–but it’s important to remember that the spying, dishonesty, illegality and crimes perpetuated by the government’s intelligence agencies, usually at the behest of the White House, stretch back decades. Two key words are missing from the obit: Pine Gap.

    • Charging Snowden With…Murder? Really?

      So far the Justice Department has not charged Snowden with murder, or even hinted in that direction. Pursuing a murder count would raise the stakes significantly, both for the United States and, naturally, Snowden himself. It’s also totally unclear what basis, if any, Rogers may have for suggesting this. Who exactly is Snowden supposed to have killed, when, and where? If Rogers has any grounds—factual or legal—for this rather dramatic statement, he should make them clear.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • U.S. Control of ICANN Likely Ending

      Now, significant change is in the air. That contract expires in September, 2015. NTIA said in March that it may move ICANN to multinational stewardship. The details aren’t set yet, but needless to say, the matter is steeped in controversy. The group held a meeting, ICANN 51, last week in Los Angeles.

    • Bloomberg Host Calls Out Telecom CEO On Net Neutrality Stance

      Bloomberg TV co-host Cory Johnson called out the hypocrisy of activist telecommunications investor Jeff Pulver who misleadingly stoked fears that proponents of net neutrality advocate for regulations that would hamper telecommunications innovations in. Johnson pointed out that without an open internet, the CEO might have been unable to create his own business.

10.21.14

Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why Contribute to an Enterprise Open Source Project?

    It would be difficult to find a better example of the former scenario than the OpenDaylight project. With a focus on software-defined networking and network functions virtualization, OpenDaylight launched in April 2013 as a collaborative open source project hosted by The Linux Foundation. Since then, it’s taken off like a rocket.

  • Events

    • Asia’s Largest Convention on Open Source is Back

      The much-awaited convention on open source technology, Open Source India, fondly known as OSI Days, is back and registration for passes has begun. The 11th edition of Open Source India will be held at the NIMHANS Convention Center, Bengaluru from 7th to 8th November, 2014.

    • A Seat at the Big Kids’ Table at Ohio LinuxFest

      Ohio LinuxFest isn’t just another excuse to travel. It’s a means for us to fulfill ourselves, and to get honest, tangible feedback for what we do and for what others are doing. It’s a place where ideas are sounded, bent, crumpled and turned until they either come out of the crucible perfect…or useless.

      That’s what our gatherings are about.

      They are about excitement and promise. They​ are about making sure the next generation has a real chance to put the first human footprint on Mars. They are a chance to insure they have the tools and the curiosity to take something apart and then make it better. This next generation will cure diabetes; they will make cancer an inconvenience and not a death sentence.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Juno is out, Debian (and Ubuntu Trusty ports) packages ready

      This is just a quick announce: Debian packages for Juno are out. In fact, they were ready the day of the release, on the 16th of October. I uploaded it all (to Experimental) the same day, literally a few hours after the final released was git tagged. But I had no time to announce it.

    • How OpenStack powers the research at CERN

      OpenStack has been in a production environment at CERN for more than a year. One of the people that has been key to implementing the OpenStack infrastructure is Tim Bell. He is responsible for the CERN IT Operating Systems and Infrastructure group which provides a set of services to CERN users from email, web, operating systems, and the Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud based on OpenStack.

    • Creating scalable, intelligent storage solutions with OpenStack

      Managing complexity and the sheer volume of storage requirements within the corporate environment today is one of the greatest challenges facing IT departments. The growth of business data and the insatiable demand for storage has been a catalyst for developing a new approach to enterprise storage in the cloud.

  • Funding

    • Mirantis Pulls Down Huge $100 Million Funding for OpenStack Efforts

      Mirantis, which has steadily remained a nimble player in the OpenStack cloud computing arena, has just nailed down a massive $100 million Series B funding round led by Insight Venture Partners. The financing is being billed as the largest Series B open source investment in history.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open source baby robots – a moonshot project

      In his TEDx Talk Fabricating open-source baby robots, Oudeyer explains that scientists also use fabrication to build new knowledge of the world around us. Scientists build large scale aquariums to understand ocean behavior and construct large computer simulations to understand spiral galaxies.

    • Democracy And FLOSS

      How can you have transparency with non-Free software running the system when you can’t see the code? How can there be accountability with non-Free software when you can’t see the code? These things are about more than source code, but to really start being accountable and transparent, the code has to be trusted by everyone. Only opening the code can do that. Free Software is also about the rights of the user of the software. Non-Free software always restricts what a user can do with his own hardware and how a user uses the software on his hardware and the information therein. FLOSS acknowledges the ownership of the hardware and data. For real democracy, governments and citizens should use Free Software, FLOSS, Free/Libre Open Source Software. Nothing else will do.

    • Open Access/Content

      • 5 open access journals for open source enthusiasts

        The ever rising cost of academic journals is a major burden for researchers. Academic libraries cannot always keep up with increases in subscription fees causing libraries to drop journals from their collection. This makes it harder for students and professors to quickly and easily access the information they need. Inter-library loan requests are an option but they do take time. Even if it only takes a few days to fill an inter-library loan request, that is still time wasted for a researcher that has a deadline. While there is no single, quick fix to the problem with the academic journal prices, there is a movement applying the open source way to academic research in an attempt to solve the problem—the open access movement.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Facebook’s Hack Language Making Progress To Advance PHP

      Earlier this year Facebook launched the Hack language powered by their HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) and being based off PHP. Good progress is being made on enhancing the language with interest in the project continuing to grow inside and outside of Facebook.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Malayalam opentype specification – part 1

      This post is a promised followup from last November documenting intricacies of opentype specification for Indic languages, specifically for Malayalam. There is an initiative to document similar details in the IndicFontbook, this series might make its way into it. You need a Malayalam unicode font supporting traditional orthography to correctly display most of the examples described in this article, some can be obtained from here.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Mac Mini receives lower repair score than 2012 model after iFixit teardown

      THE IFIXIT TECHNICIANS have torn open the 2012 Apple Mac Mini and given it a lower repairability score than the previous generation of just six out of 10.

      The 2012 Mac Mini was awarded eight out of 10 by the iFixit handymen, but the updated model received two fewer points because the machine cannot have its RAM upgraded as the unit is soldered fast to the logic board inside.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • When ‘Washington Is Broken’ Isn’t the Story

      There’s no real reason to think that the US Surgeon General could do much to calm people’s irrational fears about Ebola. Nonetheless, the wall-to-wall coverage of Ebola on TV news has served as a reminder that the country does not currently have one, thanks to so-far successful efforts to block the nomination of Vivek Murthy. But explaining his nomination as a problem of “Washington dysfunction” misses the point.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Athens v Munich: why homelessness hits rich cities as hard as poor ones

      In Athens, it’s caused by an economy in crisis; in Munich, by an economy that’s booming. The result, though, is the same – a worsening homeless problem that doesn’t reflect a city’s wealth

      [...]

      Through seven years of deep recession, Greece’s GDP has sunk by a quarter. The official unemployment rate here is 27%, including 52% of under-25s. That means some 180,000 (probably many more) of Athens’ 670,000 residents – and maybe more than 1 million of the 4 million-odd people who live in the greater Athens urban area – are now without work.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Spending for ALEC Member Tillis Breaks All Records in NC Senate Race

      The Koch brothers’ new Super PAC, Freedom Partners Action Fund (FPAF) — launched this summer — has announced a huge new seven-figure ad buy attacking Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC). The ad buy makes the North Carolina Senate race between Hagan and Republican state Speaker of the House Thom Tillis all-time number one in outside spending, at $55.7 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).

      Spending is on track to surpass $100 million, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Nearly $8 million was spent there (in party and non-party independent spending) just in the last week, according to the Campaign Finance Institute.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • How Edward Snowden Changed Journalism

      “Citizenfour,” the new documentary about Edward Snowden, by Laura Poitras, is, among other things, a work of journalism about journalism. It opens with quotations from correspondence between Poitras and a new source who identifies himself only as Citizenfour. This source turns out to be Snowden. Soon, Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, at the time a columnist for the Guardian, travel to Hong Kong to meet Snowden in a hotel room.

    • Apple May Want To Protect Your Phone Data From Snooping, But It’s Snarfing Up Your Local Desktop Searches

      So, Apple got plenty of kudos from security and privacy folks in deciding to encrypt mobile phone data, but over on the desktop side, apparently the message hasn’t quite gotten through. Instead, it appears that the latest Mac operation system has the company automatically sending all of your desktop searches back to Apple. These aren’t internet searches, but just what you’re searching for locally.

    • Apple’s Mac computers can automatically collect your location information

      Apple has begun automatically collecting the locations of users and the queries they type when searching for files with the newest Mac operating system, a function that has provoked backlash for a company that portrays itself as a leader on privacy.

    • Australian spookhaus busted for warrantless tap of own phones

      Australia’s Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (AIGIS) has found that the nation’s Australian Security and Intelligence Agency (ASIO) spied on itself in contravention of local laws.

    • FBI Wants To Know If Applicants Have Been Downloading Unauthorized Content

      Earlier this year, FBI Director James Comey suggested that the FBI might consider backing off its policy of refusing to hire anyone who has used marijuana in order to find competent computer folks who can deal with online crimes. After some backlash (and some support) for those statements, Comey quickly backed down, claiming it was all just a joke.

    • Everybody Knows FBI Director James Comey Is Wrong About Encryption, Even The FBI

      FBI Director James Comey is apparently a likable guy, but if he’s going to attack encryption, it might help if he actually understood it better than, say, the editorial board of the Washington Post, who recently argued against “backdoors” in technology, and for a magical “golden key” — as if the two were somehow different. We wrote a quick take on Comey’s Brooking’s talk last week, but the deeper you dive into his talk the more and more evident it is that he not only doesn’t quite understand the issues he’s talking about, but that he doesn’t even seem to understand when his own statements conflict with each other.

    • FBI Director Continues His Attack On Technology, Privacy And Encryption
    • New Zealand Police Raid Home Of Reporter Who Embarrassed Gov’t Officials & Was Working On Snowden Documents

      Over at The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher note that Hager was also working with them on some Snowden documents as they concerned what was happening in New Zealand. As you may recall, right before the election, Greenwald had used some Snowden documents to show that Prime Minister Key had lied about mass surveillance — leading Key to petulantly lash out with ad hominems at Greenwald, referring to him as a “loser.” Greenwald made it clear that they would likely be revealing more about New Zealand’s activities — and now wonders if that might be another reason why Hager was raided, once the government figured out who Greenwald was working with.

    • Police in Washington, DC Are Using the Secretive ‘Stingray’ Cell Phone Tracking Tool

      Back in 2003, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in Washington, DC was awarded a $260,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to purchase surveillance technology called Stingray — a contraption the size of a suitcase that simulates a cell phone tower and intercepts mobile phone calls and text messages.

    • Chinese government launches man-in-middle attack against iCloud

      GreatFire.org, a group that monitors censorship by the Chinese government’s national firewall system (often referred to as the “Great Firewall”), reports that China is using the system as part of a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack on users of Apple’s iCloud service within the country. The attacks come as Apple begins the official rollout of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus on the Chinese mainland.

    • Who’s Lying About Whisper?

      The denials are strong, but 1 & 2 above can’t both be true. That means someone is lying, and based on what I’ve seen so far, and looking at who has what incentives, that someone is Whisper.

      The additional information about Whisper working with the Department of Defense, and likely the Chinese government, are also huge stories on their own.

    • RT interview about GCHQ

      Here is my recent inter­view on RT dis­cuss­ing the UK listen­ing post, GCHQ, its pros­ti­tu­tion to America’s NSA, and the fail­ure of oversight…

  • Civil Rights

    • FF Launches Updated Know Your Rights Guide

      If the police come knocking at your door, the constitution offers you some protection. But the constitution is just a piece of paper—if you don’t know how to assert your rights. And even if you do assert your rights…what happens next? That answer may seem complicated, but protecting yourself is simple if you know your rights.

    • Know Your Rights
    • Police Officer Blames Everyone Else But Police Officers For The Public’s General Distrust Of Law Enforcement

      The cop who always laid a few extra licks on an “uncooperative” arrestee still does so… only there’s a good chance the punches/baton swings/taser bursts have been captured on “tape.” The cop who always performed a little extracurricular searching during routine traffic stops continues to do so… only now he’s being served with civil rights lawsuits and the dashcam recording of his illegal efforts is splashed all over the news thanks to the plaintiff’s lawyer.

      If the public no longer implicitly trusts the police to be the “good guys,” the problem isn’t the public. It’s the cops who take money from citizens just because local laws say they can. It’s the multiple agencies who feel the only way to handle the drug problem is as violently as possible. It’s cops who shoot people’s pets, rather than allow the animals’ owners to restrain them. It’s officers who constantly “fear for their lives” endangering the lives of citizens around them with careless use of deadly force. This is what’s changed the public’s perception of law enforcement. Sure, some of it may be based on bad info and careless hyperbole, but a majority of the damage done to the reputation of law enforcement has been inflicted by the officers themselves.

    • Parents May Be Liable for What Their Kids Post on Facebook, Court Rules

      Parents can be held liable for what their kids post on Facebook , a Georgia appellate court ruled in a decision that lawyers said marked a legal precedent on the issue of parental responsibility over their children’s online activity.

      The Georgia Court of Appeals ruled that the parents of a seventh-grade student may be negligent for failing to get their son to delete a fake Facebook profile that allegedly defamed a female classmate.

    • Dangerous Rulings: Georgia Court Says Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook
    • Cops Won’t Help You: 7 Things I Saw as a Real Slasher Victim

      Maksim Gelman, noted crack addict and man-about-town, flipped out in February of 2011 and stabbed his stepfather to death over an argument about a Lexus. During the next 28 hours he would fatally stab two more people (a woman he had a crush on and her mom), kill a fourth by running him down with a car, and wound several more innocent New Yorkers via random stabbings.

      [...]

      We still weren’t moving. The cops told me it was because there were other officers on the tracks so they’d had to cut the power. But, again, none of them came near me to render first aid. The only guy who did was a passenger named Alfred Douglas. He stuck his bare hand on the biggest wound, on my head, and staunched the bleeding. Eventually, somebody gave him napkins. I’m not sure how much those helped, but I am sure Alfred saved my life.

    • How to Drive a Colleague to His Grave and Sleep Easy at Night

      Walter Pincus, the Washington Post’s long-time CIA correspondent–he makes it clear to Grim that he doesn’t appreciate it when people refer to him as a “CIA stooge”–knows quite a bit more about drug-trafficking and Latin America, enough that he knows how to greet charges that CIA assets were running drugs–not with denial, but with a blithe shrug…

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Google Continues To Try To Appease Hollywood, Though It Is Unlikely To Ever Be Enough

        But, here’s the thing: as we said when Google first came out with this report, it will never be enough for the legacy guys in Hollywood. That’s because they incorrectly blame Google for their own inability to adapt to the changing market. They blame their diminishing revenue on Google, and even as Google makes it harder and harder to find unauthorized content, that revenue isn’t going to come back… so they’ll still blame Google. But Google was never the problem. The legacy entertainment industry and its political supporters will continue to point to search results that don’t exist and search terms that are never used as some sort of “proof” because that’s what they do. Rather than adapt, they really just want Google to do things for them. And for whatever reason, Google is doing more and more… and it’s unlikely to ever please the likes of James Murdoch, because Google “not doing things” was never the real problem.

10.20.14

Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

Posted in News Roundup at 6:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Samsung and Intel Stay Committed to Chromebooks

      Samsung has announced its new Chromebook 2, a good looking model that joins a slew of new Chromebooks arriving in the market. With the holiday season approaching, it’s looking like portable computers running Chrome OS and featuring very low price points will be very big sellers.

  • Server

    • The Companies That Support Linux: DataCentred

      Companies are increasingly turning to cloud services to build and deliver their applications, but those that want to use an open source cloud may find it more difficult to set up and maintain. Service-providers such as UK-based DataCentred can more efficiently set up an enterprise cloud using open source software, at scale.

  • Kernel Space

    • EXT4 In Linux 3.18 Has Clean-ups, Bug Fixes

      With Linux 3.18-rc1 having came one week early, the EXT4 file-system pull request didn’t end up landing until today. However, the EXT4 changes aren’t overly exciting for the 3.18 merge window.

    • Kernel prepatch 3.18-rc1
    • Linux Kernel Working Towards GNU11/C11 Compatibility

      For now it looks like the Linux kernel is going to explicitly declare itself as using the GNU89 dialect of the C89 standard but over time the code is being made to compile under C11.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA’s NVPTX Support For GCC Is Close To Being Merged

        The NVPTX back-end code for GCC that’s going to allow OpenACC 2.0 offloading support for NVIDIA GPUs with GCC is close to materializing within the mainline code-base.

      • LIBINPUT INTEGRATION IN KWIN/WAYLAND

        Today I pushed my outstanding branch to get libinput support into kwin_wayland. Libinput is a very important part for the work to get a full Wayland session in Plasma which means we reached a very important milestone. As the name suggests it allows us to process input events directly. KWin needs to forward the input events to the currently active application(s) and also interpret them before any other application gets them. E.g. if there is a global shortcut KWin should intercept it and not send it to an application.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • Ex-Microsoft man takes up arms for Red Hat’s open-cloud crusade

        So where does Red Hat turn? Microsoft – that’s where.

        Red Hat in September hired Harry Mower as senior director, developer programs and evangelism.

        Mower has been an evangelist and outreach manager for Microsoft since 2006, on media, telecoms and entertainment. His job, to expand uptake and adoption of Microsoft technologies.

      • Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst on the impact of cloud and mobile

        So I asked Whitehurst if the cloud had already won the war for IT infrastructure, but he gave me a more nuanced response than I expected: “I think there’s a new architecture combining computing and storage in an easily managed centralized data center,” he said. “Scaling out that architecture… That’s clearly winning.”

        “What’s less clear,” he continued, “is whether the traditional enterprise-owned-and-managed data center on premise will serve that, or will it be the public cloud or something in between? That’s still far from resolved.”

      • Red Hat Collaborates With SAP to Deploy Mobile Data Management Cartridge for SAP® SQL Anywhere on OpenShift
      • Cloudera and Red Hat Forge Big Data Alliance

        Cloudera, the leader in enterprise analytic data management powered by Apache Hadoop, and Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced an alliance to deliver joint enterprise software solutions including data integration and application development tools, and data platforms. By integrating a broad range of products and technologies, Cloudera and Red Hat will help customers harness the fast changing big data life cycle with open, secure and agile solutions.

      • Fedora

        • Rejuvenate your Fedora desktop with Moka

          Moka started as a single Linux desktop icon theme, but over time it has gradually evolved into an entire project & brand identity that provides quality designs to people. Moka is about personalization and its goal is to provide an assortment of style options to allow you to customize your experience.

    • Debian Family

      • Users/Developers Threatening Fork Of Debian GNU/Linux
      • “Fork Debian” Project Aims to Put Pressure on Debian Community and Systemd Adoption

        The Debian project decided to adopt systemd a while ago and ditch the upstart counterpart. The decision was very controversial and it’s still contested by some users. Now, a new proposition has been made, to fork Debian into something that doesn’t have systemd.

      • Debian 7.7 Is Out with Security Fixes

        The Debian project project has announced that Debian 7.7 “Wheezy” is now out and available for download. This is the regular maintenance update, but it packs quite a few important fixes.

      • Debian 7.7 Released With Various Bug-Fixes
      • Updated Debian 7: 7.7 released

        The Debian project is pleased to announce the seventh update of its stable distribution Debian 7 (codename “wheezy”). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available.

      • Derivatives

        • Elive Is an Interesting Debian-Based Distro with a Beautiful Enlightenment Desktop

          Elive, a Linux distribution based on Debian which uses the Enlightenment desktop environment to provide a unique user experience, has just reached version 2.3.9 Beta and it’s ready for testing.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • UNITY PRIVACY INDICATOR 0.4 RELEASED WITH NEW PRIVACY SETTINGS

            For those not familiar with Privacy Indicator, this is an Ubuntu AppIndicator especially created for Unity, which allows you to control various privacy aspects.

            Until this release, the indicator could be used to enable / disable Dash online search results and Zeitgeist logging (and also clear the Zeitgeist log), clear recently used files (which show up in the Nautilus or Nemo “Recent” sidebar item for instance) and to show or hide your real name on the Unity panel.

          • V is for Vivid

            Release week! Already! I wouldn’t call Trusty ‘vintage’ just yet, but Utopic is poised to leap into the torrent stream. We’ve all managed to land our final touches to *buntu and are excited to bring the next wave of newness to users around the world. Glad to see the unicorn theme went down well, judging from the various desktops I see on G+.

            And so it’s time to open the vatic floodgates and invite your thoughts and contributions to our soon-to-be-opened iteration next. Our ventrous quest to put GNU as you love it on phones is bearing fruit, with final touches to the first image in a new era of convergence in computing. From tiny devices to personal computers of all shapes and sizes to the ventose vistas of cloud computing, our goal is to make a platform that is useful, versal and widely used.

          • Ubuntu 15.04 Codename Announced: Vivid Vervet

            The development codename of an Ubuntu release takes the form “Adjective Animal”. Initially these weren’t in alphabetic order – until Dapper DRAKE (6.06).

          • Ubuntu 15.04 Is Codenamed After A Monkey: Vivid Vervet
          • Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet due in 2015

            Canonical plans to release Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn on Friday, October 25th. The following week work will begin on the next major update to the open source operating system.

          • Ubuntu 15.04 Is Called Vivid Vervet
          • Happy Birthday Ubuntu!

            Today is Ubuntu’s ten year anniversary. Scott did a wonderful job summarizing many of those early years and his own experience, and while I won’t be as articulate as him, I wanted to share a few thoughts on my experience too.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-optimized IP core promises 4200 DMIPS

      Synopsis announced an “HS38″ version of its Linux-focused DesignWare ARC core IP with a new ARCv2 ISA and support for 2.2GHz, 4200 DMIPS speeds at 28nm.

      Synopsis acquired its Linux-optimized line of DesignWare ARC 32-bit RISC/DSP cores when it bought semiconductor IP vendor Virage Logic back in 2010 shortly after Virage acquired ARC International. Since then Synopsis has released several DesignWare ARC HS processor designs, most recently with the HS36.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • FOSS and the Fear Factor

    “Clickbait” is also the term Google+ blogger Alessandro Ebersol chose to describe the Bloomberg account.

    “I could not see the point the author was trying to make, except sensationalism and views,” he told Linux Girl.

    “The author is wrong,” Ebersol charged. “He should educate himself on the topic. The flaws are results of lack of funding, and too many corporations taking advantage of free software and giving nothing back.”

    Moreover, “I still believe that a piece of code that can be studied and checked by many is far more secure than a piece made by a few,” Google+ blogger Gonzalo Velasco C. chimed in.

    “All the rumors that FLOSS is as weak as proprietary software are only FUD — period,” he said. “It is even more sad when it comes from private companies that drink in the FLOSS fountain.”

  • Discourse

    Discourse is an open-source project, hosted at GitHub (see Resources), licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 2. It is backed by Atwood’s company, which has the fantastic name of Civilized Discourse Construction Kit, Inc., and it aims to profit through installing and supporting Discourse.

  • Events

    • We’re Hosting an OpenDaylight HackFest in Japan

      The OpenDaylight Project has quickly grown to become a global community, with more than 250 contributors working to advance open SDN and NFV from all corners of the world. This includes 11 ambassadors worldwide and OpenDaylight User Groups in six cities across three countries. We are excited to host our first OpenDaylight HackFest in Japan in less than two weeks, and the good news is that it’s free to attend.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Chief Architect of Cloudera on growth of Hadoop

      Doug Cutting is founder of numerous successful open source projects, including Lucene and Hadoop, and currently the chief architect at Cloudera and sits on the Board of the Apache Software Foundation.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Is Oracle’s Cloud Strategy Really Open, Or Are Doors Locking?

      Oracle recently made its Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux distribution generally available, and has been loudly beating the war drums on the OpenStack front. As I recently noted, It seems inevitable that there will soon be an OpenStack market shakeout soon, and big players like Oracle and HP may remain standing as that happens, especially in light of their experience supporting enterprise customers.

    • Free and Open Source Electronic Signature in Costa Rica

      The LibreOffice component designed by the University of Costa Rica (UCR) is similar to similar software enhancements currently used for electronic signatures in other countries.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • The Inherent Dishonesty Inside Open Source

        Then there is so-called ‘openwashing’ i.e. providing trace elements of open source somewhere on a business model so that a company can attest to and demonstrate its philanthropic side. Purists argue that there is a big difference between opening your data and making it available; the open source list of besmirching malpractice is a long one.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Following GCC, Clang Looks To Default To C11

      Earlier this month I wrote about GCC 5 looking to default to GNU11/C11 over GNU89 for its GCC 5 release. That change ended up landing in SVN so the GNU Compiler Collection is finally providing C11 support by default. Last week the LLVM/Clang developers began discussing a similar move.

    • October 2014 GNU Toolchain Update

      The optimization works more effectively with link time optimization enabled. The optimization is similar to the ICF optimization performed by the GOLD linker, but it works at a different level and it may find equivalences that GOLD misses.

    • Emacs 24.4 Has Built-In Web Browser, Improved Multi-Monitor Support

      A new release of Emacs is out today and it’s quite a big update with new functionality for this popular and extensible text editor.

    • Emacs 24.4 released

      Version 24.4 of the Emacs text editor is now available.

  • Programming

    • EU Code Week – more than just coding, more than just a week

      Last week was the second ever EU code week. With over 3000 events across the EU and beyond, this was by far the most successful such event ever. But more importantly: it meant hundreds of thousands of children and adults have tried this out for the first time – and realised it is creative, rewarding and fun. Hundreds of thousands have had their first taste of a new opportunity. Hundreds of thousands have learned it’s not just for guys, and not just for geeks. Hundreds of thousands have started on a new life skill – one that could empower and open doors for the rest of their lives.

    • LLVM Gets Bindings For Google’s Go

      Another feature for the upcoming LLVM 3.6 release are bindings for Google’s Go programming language.

    • PHP 5.6.2 and 5.4.34 Update for Critical Security Flaws

      PHP is widely deployed across the Internet and is the language used to power much of the world’s leading Content Management Systems (CMS) and blogs (including this one).

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • US Army withheld promise from Germany that Ebola virus wouldn’t be weaponized

      The United States has withheld assurances from Germany that the Ebola virus – among other related diseases – would not be weaponized in the event of Germany exporting it to the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases.

      German MFA Deputy Head of Division for Export Control Markus Klinger provided a paper to the US consulate’s Economics Office (Econoff), “seeking additional assurances related to a proposed export of extremely dangerous pathogens.”

      Germany subsequently made two follow-up requests and clarifications to the Army, according to the unclassified Wikileaks cable.

    • FLASHBACK: When Conservative Media Didn’t Care Bush’s Bird Flu Czar Had No Medical Experience

      Fox News continues to lead the conservative attack on Ron Klain, whom President Obama appointed as the administration’s Ebola coordinator, termed by some a “czar,” to help direct the government’s response to the rare virus and its arrival in Dallas, Texas.

  • Security

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Idaho officer’s pay cut after he shot pet dog

      A northern Idaho police officer who shot a pet dog has had his pay reduced by $3.15 to $31.02 per hour.

    • Official Sources May Be the Only Sources

      New York Times investigative reporter James Risen is taking a stand. Despite being hounded by both the Bush and Obama administrations to reveal his sources, he has vowed to go to jail rather than abandon his pledge of confidentiality.

    • FedEx Ground Says Its Drivers Aren’t Employees. The Courts Will Decide

      Five days a week for 10 years, Agostino Scalercio left his house before 6 a.m., drove to a depot to pick up a truck, and worked a 10-hour shift delivering packages in San Diego. He first worked for Roadway Package System, a national delivery company whose founders included former United Parcel Service (UPS) managers, and continued driving trucks when FedEx (FDX) bought RPS in 1998. FedEx Ground assigned Scalercio a service area. The company, he says, had strict standards about delivery times, the drivers’ grooming, truck maintenance, and deadlines for handing in paperwork, and deducted money from his pay to cover the cost of his uniform, truck washings, and the scanner used to log shipments.

    • President Of Israel Says Israel Is A ‘Sick Society’

      But one voice echoing popular global sentiment is surprising – the President of Israel. Israel President Reuven Rivlin says Israel has become a “sick society” that lacks human decency and is unable to engage in dialogue with Arabs due to racial animosity and prejudice – a rather stunning indictment by a head of state of his own country.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • What is net neutrality all about?

      Waiting in line can feel like a sacred responsibility, with each line member poised to prevent cutting and ensure fairness. Other times, cutting is just part of the game, like when you’re at the airport and have to wait for every platinum, gold, and silver club member to board before taking your seat.

      “Net neutrality” is about what kind of lines we should have on the Internet. Supporters of net neutrality think all online information should be treated equally — no cutting. Opponents argue that fast lanes and priority access would actually make the Internet better.

    • The Future of the Internet – 20 Years Ago

      Netscape Navigator was released 20 years ago today. Thank you to everyone who supported us at Netscape & built the Web with us then and now!

      That was posted by a certain Marc Andreessen. You probably know him as a successful venture capitalist, but before that, he was one of the people who helped popularise the Web. He did that by creating the Mosaic browser back in 1993 – first for Unix, and later for the Apple Macintosh and Windows (version 3.1). Mosaic was written at the University of Illinois, and was freely available for non-commercial use. But once the appeal of a graphical Web browser became evident, it was natural for people to start to think about turning it into a business.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Kim Dotcom Must Reveal Everything He Owns to Hollywood

        Kim Dotcom has failed in a bid to keep his personal finances a secret from Hollywood. They will now be revealed to the studios, but the public will remain in the dark. In a separate High Court ruling, Dotcom was refused a judicial review after being denied access to documents to assist with his extradition battle.

      • Illegal Copying Has Always Created Jobs, Growth, And Prosperity

        Throughout history, those who have copied the most have also always been the most prosperous, and for that reason. Bans on copying, like the copyright and patent monopolies, are just plain industrial protectionism.

Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

Posted in News Roundup at 8:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • IBM Tweaks Power-Linux Discount Deal In Europe

      IBM has made it pretty clear that it wants more Power Systems customers to adopt Linux for certain parts of their workloads in addition to selling more Power8 systems to customers with Linux workloads that might otherwise buy X86 systems. IBM’s European unit is actually doing something about it to try to push Linux.

    • Sharing Power Systems: An IBM i And Linux Story

      If you want to have a conversation with IBM’s Doug Balog about i on Power, be prepared for Linux on Power to be part of the discussion. The two are inseparable when you’re the person running the Power Systems business, which, by the way, is exactly what Balog does. The reason i and Linux are inseparable is because they are each very good at different things and they need one another to be good at everything.

    • OVH taps open source Power8 architecture, OpenStack for cloud platform

      Hosting provider OVH has launched a cloud service based on IBM’s Power8 processor architecture, an open source architecture tailored specifically for big data applications, and OpenStack.

      OVH, which serves 700,000 customers from 17 datacentres globally, said it wanted to provide a robust public cloud service tuned for database workloads and has tapped a combination of IBM and OpenStack-based technologies in this pursuit.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.18-rc1

      So when I released 3.17, I said that I’d extend the merge window to
      three weeks due to travel.

      I clearly lied.

      Because here we are, the usual two weeks later, and I’ve already
      pushed out 3.18-rc1.

      What happened is that not only did I merge actively despite travels -
      I was out of communication just for a couple of days (almost, but not
      entirely, due to flights – the hotel in DÃsseldorf lost all internet
      for a day too). But perhaps more importantly, people seem to have
      aggressively sent in their pull requests, because rc1 contains more
      than linux-next did a couple of days after 3.17.. So holding it up
      another week just seems pointless.

      That said, I realize that people might have taken my statements at
      face value, and planned with that in mind. I hate it when I get pull
      requests really late in the merge window, but having closed it as per
      the regular schedule, I also understand that somebody might have
      planned on sending their pull request a bit later. It’s ok. Grovel a
      bit, and explain what’s up, and you can almost certainly guilt me into
      taking stuff.

      Also, maybe I just missed something due to jetlag (hmm. yes, let’s
      call it “jetlag”, that sounds so much better than “core incompetence
      and bad planning”), so if you feel unfairly overlooked, send me a note
      explaining how I’ve unfairly wronged you.

      There is also at least one pull request that I am hoping to get asap
      and planning on still pulling, ie I’m very much still hoping to get
      overlayfs finally merged. But there were a few last-minute questions
      from Al. Assuming that all works out, that’s an expected late pull.
      Not worth holding up the rc1 release for one known straggler, though.

      So there you have it. The merge window is closed, but with room for
      excuses and possible missed requests. As usual, the shortlog is much
      too big to post (core stats: roughly 74% drivers, 10% architecture
      updates, the rest networking, filesystems, core kernel, documentation,
      include files, tool updates…), and the appended is my “mergelog”
      which as usual credits the people I pulled from, which is not at all
      necessarily the same as the people writing the code.

      Go forth and test,

      Linus

    • Linus Torvalds Releases Linux Kernel 3.18 RC1 a Week Early

      Linus Torvalds has surprised everyone and launched Linux kernel 3.18 RC1 ahead of time. A new development cycle has started and it will take a few weeks to see what some of the major features added are.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Five Best Linux Desktop Environments

      Whether you’re customizing your Linux install or choosing a distro to go with, one of your many options is the desktop environment you use. There are tons to choose from, all with different benefits and features. There may be no one single best, but this week we’re looking at five of them, based on your nominations.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Upcoming KDE Applications 14.12 release prep

        In preparing for the upcoming releases of KDE Applications 14.12 (2014 Month 12) I realized the other day that we have an interesting situation. For Qt4 based applications there’s libkdeedu which contains the kvtml parsing and manipulating code and also a handful of .kvtml files that KAnagram and KHangMan use to get their word lists.

      • Marble Atlas Review – Alternative to Google Earth

        Marble is a 3D virtual globe application which features various map views, Internet services integration for geographical and meteorological data, satellite views, routes suggestions, plugins.

      • KDE Telepathy 0.9.0 Released

        Today we released the 0.9 series of KDE Telepathy, a multiprotocol instant messaging client for Plasma.

        Amongst the many bugfixes the following features are worth highlighting.

      • What do you require from KTracks?

        In the last posting we presented the vision of KTracks, the KDE tool to track GPS based activities, and discussed personas (the target users) and scenarios in which it is applied.

      • DigiKam 4.4.0 Review & Ubuntu Installation

        It’s been a while since I had a look at DigiKam, and even though I’m not much into using a specialized application for organizing and keeping track of photos, I decided to have a look at the state of this popular and feature-complete photo manager for KDE.

      • Calligra Gemini – now also for Linux :)

        Some people may remember earlier this year when Krita Gemini became (to my knowledge) the first open source software to become greenlit on Steam. For those who don’t, yeah, that really happened Wink Krita Gemini was a project created in cooperation between the KDE community’s Calligra team, the little software consultancy KO GmbH, and a large semiconductor manufacturer named Intel, who had some devices they needed to be able to show off. Krita Gemini is available on the Steam store, though not yet for Linux (as it turns out, Steam packaging for Linux is even more awkward than building stand-alone installers for Windows, an odd sort of situation for us used to sensible package managers)

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Parsix OS Is an Interesting GNOME and Debian 7.0 “Whezzy” Blend

        The Parsix operating system uses only the GNOME and Debian packages from the stable branches. The developers aim to provide a complete and bug free Linux distribution, at least as much as humanly possible. The fact that the OS is based on Debian “Wheezy” helps a lot, especially because it’s now a Long Term release and it comes with all the latest security updates.

    • Slackware Family

      • Porteus 3.1 RC1 Is a Bleeding Edge Slackaware-Based Distro with Linux Kernel 3.17

        Porteus is a special operating system that is designed to be very fast and feature all kind of bleeding edge features. It’s also optimized to run from all sorts of mediums, not just hard disks. It’s built on Slackware and it’s extremely small, a characteristic that is determined by the fact that it’s always loaded completely in the memory.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6

        Red Hat has reached version 6.6 of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This latest version comes nearly four years after the launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 in 2010. It enhances system performance, administration, and virtualization functions whether operating on bare metal, building out your virtual infrastructure, or using the open hybrid cloud.

      • oVirt 3.5 Rolls Out

        This past week was the KVM Forum, a three-day event in Düsseldorf that brought together the entire KVM community, which included oVirt users and developers. The October 16th oVirt Workshop, a free-of-charge event co-located with the KVM Forum, focused on the oVirt datacenter platform and its use in business and academic worlds.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Tails 1.2 : Video Review and Screenshot Tours

          Tails 1.2 is released and announced by Tails developers bring with new feature and improvement. As we know, Tails is a live linux distribution based on debian and focused to preserve your privacy and anonymity. It helps you to use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship almost anywhere you go and on any computer but leaving no trace unless you ask it to explicitly.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Meizu MX4 Pro Spotter Running Ubuntu Touch

            For now, we don’t know which device will be running Ubuntu Touch, but due to the fact that Meizu MX4 Pro has been postponed to November, it may be it. The MX4 Pro uses a 5.4 inch display with 1536 x 2560 resilution, a 20 MPX rear camera + a 13 MPX front camera, a Samsung octa-core Exynos 5430 CPU and 3 GB of RAM.

          • Ubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn” Arrives in a Few Days

            When Ubuntu hits the Final Freeze point the developers stop pushing updates and changes, and everyone focuses on the major bugs and problems that haven’t been fixed yet. An exception can be made if something really terrible happens, but that wasn’t the case until now and it’s unlikely to occur.

            Now, Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) is scheduled to arrive on October 23, this Thursday. Users will be offered the chance to upgrade their systems, but this is an intermediary release and it’s not likely that many users will take this step. The Ubuntu LTS release was just six months ago and not too many users are going to exchange the five years of support for 14.04 with just nine months for 14.10.

          • Ubuntu Turns 10, Happy Birthday!

            Mark Shuttleworth announced Ubuntu 4.10 “The Warty Warthog Release” on October 20, 2004. It’s hard to believe that a decade has passed since then, but we are now getting ready for Ubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn.”

          • It has been 10 years since Ubuntu 4.10. Happy Birthday Ubuntu!
  • Devices/Embedded

    • OpenTAC – an automation lab in a box

      I’ve previously covered running LAVA on ARM devices, now that the packages are in Debian. I’ve also covered setting up the home lab, including the difficulty in obtaining the PDU and relying on another machine to provide USB serial converters with inherent problems of needing power to keep the same devices assigned to the same ser2net ports.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Twitter Client Talon (Classic) Reaches Its Token Limit, Unpublished From Play Store And Going Open Source

    Twitter imposes a limit of 100,000 authorization tokens per app, which has resulted in the untimely death of apps like Falcon Pro in the past. According to Talon dev Luke Klinker, he has been planning for this event, and that’s one of the reasons Talon Plus was developed as a separate app and not just an update to the original one. It now has its own set of 100,000 tokens to run through until it too dies at the cruel hands of Twitter’s API.

  • Free Software is Europe’s second chance

    While Free Software was not born in Europe, the relative disadvantage of the European I.T. sector compared to the U.S. can be greatly mitigated by enabling Free and Open Source Software models across the I.T. ecosystem and the industries increasignly relying on software as one of their core components. It is important to realize that the objective of building a Europe-based I.T. industry as strong or as rich as the U.S. one is a delusion. You cannot turn back the time, and the circumstances that led to the booming of the U.S. I.T. sector cannot be replicated entirely. I am aware the European Commission was sold on the idea that somehow we could replicate America’s crazy software patent system and that somehow this would strengthen our economy. I am curious to see where that will end, but I’m very pessimistic in that regard.

  • Events

    • Organizer Confirms Both POSSCON and ‘Great Wide Open’ in 2015

      This year IT-oLogy, the organization behind the annual POSSCON conference in Columbia, South Carolina, cancelled the event in order to focus on launching the Great Wide Open (GWO) conference in Atlanta. At the time, some expressed fear that this might signal the end of the Palmetto State event, that Great Wide Open actually meant a move and new name for the conference. At the same time, others were speculating that GWO would be a one-off event, essentially making it a one year move by POSSCON to Atlanta, which would then return to its native home in Columbia, which is where IT-oLogy is headquartered.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Hello Not Working and Mozilla Claims the Bug is Invalid

        Mozilla announced the Firefox 34 Beta release on October 17 and a key highlight is the new Firefox Hello feature. Firefox Hello is supposed to enable users to simply use the browser to be able to call each other.

      • Firefox 34 Beta Allows Video and Audio Calls to Google Chrome and Opera Users

        Mozilla is out with a new Firefox version, but this time it’s the first Beta for the new 34 branch. If you think that this is yet another boring release, you better think again because it comes with some cool features.

      • On a quest for a new logo and open design at Mozilla

        Sean Martell understands this. As Art Director for Mozilla, he’s one part of a team behind Mozilla’s visual design. Lately, he’s been involved in redesigning Mozilla’s iconic logos. Instead of working behind closed doors, Martell and his colleagues have opened up the design process to get the help of the wider Mozilla community.

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

    • littler 0.2.1

      The main change are a few updates and extensions to the examples provided along with littler. Several of those continue to make use of the wonderful docopt package by Edwin de Jonge. Carl Boettiger and I are making good use of these littler examples, particularly to install directly from CRAN or GitHub, in our Rocker builds of R for Docker (about which we should have a bit more to blog soon too).

    • Enca 1.16

      As a first tiny project in this HackWeek, Enca 1.16 has been just released. It mostly brings small code cleanups and missing aliases for languages, but fixes also some minor bugs found by Coverity Scan.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Science

    • 35 Years Ago Today, Spreadsheets Were Invented

      On this day in 1979, a computer program called VisiCalc first shipped for the Apple II platform, marking the birth of the spreadsheet, a now-ubiquitous tool used to compile everything from grocery lists to Fortune 500 company accounts.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Authorization to Use Military Force and the Demise of the US Senate

      If any of the mainstream media are to be believed, you would think that the future of the country, the very foundation of our Republic and what’s left of its democracy hung by a thread on the results of the upcoming 2014 Congressional election, especially Republican control of the Senate.

    • The Ukraine, As We Know It, Is Gone Forever
    • You mean the ’30-year war?’

      His remark borders on pathological. To say nothing of its being diplomatically irresponsible and its potential to inflame the determination of extremists. Consider, too, what Panetta crassly disregards — the effect of his words on the morale of the tens of millions of people in the Middle East who yearn for a more peaceful future.

    • Civilians in Pakistan Become Victims of US’s War on Terror

      A new report published by the UK Bureau of Investigative Journalism demonstrates that more than one thousand innocent people in Pakistan appeared to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, becoming victims of the US’s latest war on terror, Alice Slater, New York Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation told RIA Novosti.

    • ‘Only 84 of 2,379 killed by drones were Qaeda terrorists’

      The CIA drones strikes in Pakistan have killed as many as 2,379 people since 2004, but only 84 of the victims have been named al Qaeda terrorists, a report has revealed.

    • Only 84 of 2,379 US drone attacks victims in Pakistan confirmed Al-Qaeda militants – report
    • Good War and Bad Peace: Perpetual War and the Erosion of Liberty

      There is no mention, however, of the fact that perhaps it is the drone war and the armed intervention by the U.S. military or paramilitary (CIA, for example) that is fomenting this hatred and is propelling the drive to savage anything American.

    • The poison pens of Washington – memoirs by former US Secretaries of Defence and directors of CIA

      Here in the US, you write a memoir. Those penned by the former (or just as likely by a ghost writer) are almost invariably tedious, as trite and unreadable as the average campaign manifesto. But when it comes to retrospectives by the great and good, then even a president should fasten his seat belt. Just like Barack Obama right now.

    • “Hundreds of thousands of Iranian fighters” prepared to fight ISIL to the death if so ordered

      The Commander of Iran’s Basij (volunteer) forces Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi said “hundreds of thousands of Iranian fighters stand ready to be dispatched to the battlefields in the region to fight against the terrorists and Takfiri groups, especially ISIL “, according to Fars news agency. “Furthermore they will fight to the death if so ordered”, the general added.

    • Birth of ISIS, ISIL linked to 2003 Iraq war

      Kashmir Watch is reproducing its 2003 article in which the editor has observed that Iraq War will escalate the situation to many countries and involve Arab fighters to join Al Qaeda network which is nowadays shaped as IS, ISIL or ISIS.

    • The lack of transparency in drone attacks

      Afghanistan is the most drone bombed country in the world. The US has been using its Predator and Reaper drones to kill people in Afghanistan since November 2001.

    • What Went Wrong

      The American-led invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is proving to be a failure.

    • 13 Years of Permanent War: Unite Peace and Climate Movements

      This month of October presents us with 13 years of permanent war for profit or, as the warmongers call it, the “war against terror”. This “operation” is killing and maiming millions of people especially in the oil rich Middle East. Simultaneously these Juggernaut nations “of the willing” are choking Mother Earth to death—polluting the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil that spawns our food, and eradicating millions of species.

    • Guelph-based political commentator facing firearms charges

      Several online news sources have reported that Garrow is a former CIA agent with access to top-level military officials. Many of Garrow’s claims are related to information he says is derived from these unnamed sources, whose anonymity he has sworn to protect.

    • Global Humanity in Search of Peace, Not War

      We, as Americans, need to ask ourselves what all this is about? Why is our government so provocative toward Islam, Russia, China, Iran? What purpose, whose purpose is being served? Certainly not ours…………Where do we go from here? If not to nuclear destruction, Americans must wake up. Football games, porn, and shopping malls are one thing. Survival of human life is another. Washington, that is, “representative government,” consists only of a few powerful vested interests. These private interests, not the American people, control the US government. That is why nothing that the US government does benefits the American people.

    • Islamic State: Britain’s top diplomat says endgame is regime change in Syria
    • Report: US Airstrikes in Syria ‘Kill 10 Civilians’

      Double standard? US claims charges of civilian deaths in Syria are unfounded, claims avoiding deaths ‘not done in the history of warfare.’

    • McCain: US Must Use Ground Troops and Strike at Assad

      Republican Senator John McCain has changed his position on the Islamic State forces, which he is reported to have formerly believed should be armed and trained by the US.

      ​SenatorMcCain has called for the UnitedStates to launch war on SyrianPresident Bashar al-Assad and to launch ground troops against Islamic State group.

    • Classified Internal CIA Study Shows that Its Covert Arming of Foreign Forces Is Often Ineffective
    • CIA Report: Arming Rebels, Without Support, Rarely Works
    • CIA Study: Arming rebels seldom works
    • C.I.A. Study of Covert Aid Fueled Skepticism About Helping Syrian Rebels

      The Central Intelligence Agency has run guns to insurgencies across the world during its 67-year history — from Angola to Nicaragua to Cuba. The continuing C.I.A. effort to train Syrian rebels is just the latest example of an American president becoming enticed by the prospect of using the spy agency to covertly arm and train rebel groups.

    • CIA Report: The CIA Is Fucking Useless
    • CIA Study: Arming Syrian Rebels Won’t Work; Obama Does It Anyway
    • CIA classified review: Covertly arming insurgents doesn’t work
    • CIA Presence in Syria to Support Extremists Denounced
    • CIA Study: Arming Rebels Rarely Works
    • CIA’s Own Study Finds Intervention Is Ineffective
    • CIA study critical of aid to rebels
    • CIA Says Its Often Not Effective to Arm Rebels
    • Syria: What Might Have Been

      The Obama administration, like its predecessors, has used strategic leaks to the press to buttress arguments in which officials are (theoretically) hamstrung by secrecy laws. Usually the Obama administration has done so in order to look tougher than critics give the president credit for being, but in today’s New York Times they’ve taken the opposite tack: a leak designed to support the president’s instinctive caution on Syria. Unfortunately for Obama, the attempt to spin his Syria policy merely reveals just how little the president understands about military strategy and the Middle East.

    • Arming Rebels Doesn’t Work
    • Turkey Decides to Hit Kurdish Rebels Instead of ISIS

      Airstrikes target the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and not the Islamist militants fighting for control of Kobani, a Kurdish city in Syria near the Turkish border

    • ISIS: Turkey Bombs Kurdish Rebels and Not Islamic State, Turkey’s President Calls PKK and ISIS ‘The Same’
    • Turkey lets US strike Islamic State from its bases
    • Former bin Laden Hunter Says Islamic State Needs US To Intervene

      In recent media appearances, ex-chief of the CIA’s bin Laden unit, Michael Scheuer, came out strongly against the latest American military campaign in Iraq. Echoing past criticisms, thoroughly voiced in his books Through Our Enemies Eyes, Marching Toward Hell, and Imperial Hubris, Scheuer offers a case against the new Iraq intervention based on his 20+ years of experience as a US intelligence officer, as well as an intimate and detailed knowledge of Islamic extremism.

      In Scheuer’s view, another US military intervention in the Middle East against groups such as the Islamic State (IS) will not meet its stated objectives, and will fall into the same errors made in past operations of a similar character. Continuing this policy, he says, will only help to motivate and radicalize Muslims the world over, and will provide exactly the impetus IS needs to step up their drive to establish a long-sought Islamic caliphate in the Levant region.

    • “Arming the Rebels” Has Pretty Much Never Worked
    • CIA: When We Arm Rebels, It Almost Never Works
    • CIA Report: Giving Rebels Weapons Without Direct Support Rarely Helps
    • CIA report says lessons to be learned from Nicaragua and Cuba when dealing with Syria
    • Obama’s Effort to Train Syrian Rebels to Fight ISIS Won’t Work: CIA
    • Does Arming Rebels Ever Work?
    • C.I.A. Study of Covert Aid Fueled Skepticism About Helping Syrian Rebels
    • 3 Bloody Reasons the CIA Should Stop Secretly Arming Rebels Around the World

      In a still-classified internal review, the CIA detailed how its previous efforts to covertly arm and train insurgents around the world were rarely successful. The report strongly suggests the agency’s 67-year history of clandestine operations should inform the Obama administration’s not-so-secret efforts to vet and create a Syrian rebel force to fight the Islamic State and the military of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    • CIA warned arming Syrian “rebels” unlikely to succeed
    • CIA Admits That Funding Rebels Doesn’t Work

      The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) gave us the term blowback, and then spent their career encouraging it with foreign interventions. Now, the CIA has found that another one of their habits doesn’t lead to good effects in the real world.

    • Building a new Syrian army would cost billions, report says

      Analysis gives insight into what U.S. President Barack Obama’s long-term game plan could be in regards to Syria and the Islamic State.

      [...]

      But few specific details have been released on how the $500 million will be spent. Earlier this week, the New York Times reported on a still-classified CIA review that said arming and training rebels rarely works, which makes Pollack’s analysis even more relevant.

    • America’s Jihad

      It is apt to recall the present Jihad bogeyman arose from the Mujahideen, which was formed by the CIA as a guerrilla force against the Russians in Afghanistan. The “clash of civilizations,” as neocon historians refer to the “war on terrorism,” was a contrivance; not the result of an inexorable historical law. By the end of the First World War much goodwill existed between the Entente and the Arabs who had fought together against the Ottoman Empire, with the expectation that the Arab states would achieve independence, thanks to the heroic efforts of T. E. Lawrence and the Arabic fighters. Their guerrilla war against the Turks had been crucial to the war effort, although subsequently besmirched by Zionist propagandists.[1] Thanks to Zionist machinations, the Entente had spoken with a forked tongue to the Arabs while making a contrary promise to the Zionists to back a Jewish state in Palestine in return for Jewish influence supporting the Entente cause, by then in a predicament, in the USA. The result was the Balfour Declaration and the needless prolongation of the war[2] so that the Zionists and the messianists could get their nose poked into Palestine until such time as being able to dump themselves en masse after the Second World War.

    • Pentagon denies reports Islamic State has chemical weapons

      On Wednesday, the New York Times published an article about chemical weapons disposal in Iraq, noting that IS militants now control Al Muthanna, a former Iraqi chemical weapons manufacturing complex south of Samarra.

    • Israel’s ‘Moral Hazard’ in Gaza

      The passage in the British House of Commons of a resolution favoring recognition of a Palestinian state, coming on the heels of the Swedish government’s announcement of its intention to extend such recognition, is the latest indicator of European disgust with Israeli policies.

    • Panetta Sparks Debate Over U.S. Nuclear Strike on North Korea
    • US was ‘prepared to use nuclear weapons against North Korea’ if troops crossed border

      The US was prepared to use nuclear weapons if North Korean forces crossed the border into South Korea, the former CIA Director and Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has claimed in his memoir.

    • ‘US-led air assault against IS to solve America’s economic problem’

      The US-led air assault against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is just to “serve the US’ own interest” and “solve America’s economic problem”, a Syrian official said here Thursday.

      A Syrian diplomat, who declined to be named, alleged that America “takes money from Saudi Arabia” for every strike against the IS, which have failed to yield any tangible result so far.

      Terming the brutal jihadist group Islamic State as a “creation” of the US, the official said the IS “gets support” from Turkey, and described Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan as the “caliph” of the Al Qaeda-inspired group that has beheaded two American journalists and two British nationals so far.

    • Op-Ed: Egyptian planes reportedly bomb Islamists in Benghazi

      According to some reports, Egyptian warplanes are bombing Islamist positions in the eastern city of Benghazi that is under the control of an umbrella group of Islamist militias. CIA-linked General Haftar sill controls the airport on the outskirts.

    • Op-Ed: Libyan clashes continues as UN seeks a ceasefire agreement
    • Obama’s Dumb War

      If Barack Obama owes his presidency to one thing, it was the good sense he had back in 2002 to call the Iraq War what it was: “dumb.”

      Now, with scarcely a whisper of debate, Obama has become the fourth consecutive US president to bomb Iraq — and in fact has outdone his predecessors by spreading the war to Islamic State targets in Syria as well. With the Pentagon predicting that this latest conflict could rage for three years or longer, Obama is now poised to leave behind a Middle East quagmire that closely resembles the one he was elected to end.

    • Bashing Obama To Make Way for Hillary

      Three years ago, during the height of the Occupy movement, I was ejected from a Congressional hearing for allegedly “assaulting” Leon Panetta, then Secretary of Defense and former Director of the CIA. He was testifying to the House Armed Services Committee about “lessons learned by the Department of Defense over the preceding decade.” I jumped out of my audience seat to tell him that young people were paying the price of those “lessons,” and we were sick of the government funding war instead of education. The baseless assault charges against me were ultimately dropped.

    • Risen Doubts Book Will Provoke Leak Probe

      A new book from The New York Times journalist says a Lebanon bunker may store nearly $2 billion in loot.

    • Billions set aside for post-Saddam Iraq turns up in Lebanese bunker

      Stuart Bowen, who investigated corruption in Iraq, says US and Iraqi governments ignored appeals to recover money

    • Iraq: US Official Tracks Missing Money To Lebanon
    • Missing Iraqi Cash Ended in Lebanon Bunker, report
    • US official: ‘$1.6bn in stolen Iraqi funds hidden in Lebanese bunker’

      More than $1.6 billion in Iraqi funds had been stolen and moved to a bunker in rural Lebanon for safekeeping, the former Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen told James Risen, investigative journalist for the New York Times.

    • Greed, Power, and Endless War
    • For James Risen, a Struggle That Never Ends

      Readers of this blog may know that I’m particularly interested in the situation involving James Risen, a Times investigative reporter who is at risk of going to jail to protect a confidential source from his 2006 book, “State of War.”

    • A war on truth?

      A new book by New York Times veteran national security reporter James Risen provides a partial answer. According to Risen, the United States has pursued destructive self-defeating policies which have led the world astray.

      U.S.-led post-9/11 policy has been irrational because it is driven by a constant state of fear which has distorted perceptions and priorities. Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War is important reading for those who believe we must question the narrative set forth by government powerbrokers and amplified by the mainstream media.

      Perhaps the greatest cost of anti-terror mania has been its erosion of press freedoms and a generalized chilling effect on speech. Democracy 101 teaches that good governance requires vigorous and robust open debate so that people may make well-informed and well-reasoned choices.

    • Speed Read: James Risen Indicts The War On Terror’s Costly Follies

      In his new book, ‘Pay Any Price,’ reporter James Risen reports how billions were lost and American rights were infringed when the government went to war on terror.

    • Shameful Side of the War on Terror

      In “Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War,” James Risen, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for The New York Times, sets out to portray the many seamy sides of the war on terror during the past 13 years.

      Those willing to overlook his occasionally lumpy prose will be rewarded with a memorable chronicle of the long-range consequences of the panicky reaction of top American officials to the Sept. 11 attacks, from lost billions in taxpayer dollars to the lost life of a former torturer and the smashed dreams of an intelligence whistle-blower.

    • James Risen Subpoena Faces New Review

      The Justice Department is using new guidelines to reconsider whether to demand testimony from New York Times reporter James Risen in connection with a leak case against a former CIA officer, a federal prosecutor said Friday.

    • Hawkish PM Stephen Harper And Party Vote To Authorizes Air Strikes In Iraq

      Canada’s hawkish PM Stephen Harper and his Conservative majority voted this week to authorize airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIS) militant group in Iraq, which according to many reports were initially trained by the American CIA and are getting their weapons from another western ally Saudi Arabia, begging the question who is really responsible for ISIS’s sudden rise of extremism.

    • Blackwater Founder Wants Mercenaries to Fight ISIS War

      The Islamic State (ISIS) is massacring people in the strategic town of Kobani along the Syrian-Turkish border, indicating that American airstrikes on the terrorist group were not effective. Big-named pundits like Bill O’Reilly and Steven Colbert have been arguing about whether mercenaries should fight America’s war against the Islamic State (ISIS). Now, the ex-chief of the mercenary company formerly known as Blackwater has waded into the debate, and (no surprise) he says absolutely they should.

    • How One Man’s Illness May Have Changed The Course Of Middle Eastern History

      His illness might have made the Shah more willing to abdicate the throne, which he did in early 1979. The author raises the possibility that the cancer may have made the Shah’s decision-making more erratic while sapping his will to cling to power. He may have been “able to give only part of his energy to fighting for Iran’s life, since he was fighting for his own.”

    • The Man Behind “Unmanned”

      I’m not a military strategist, but I knew from common sense that it was not possible for drone strikes to target terrorists with pinpoint accuracy and avoid killing innocent people. The idea that there was some magical piece of weaponry that was going to solve all of our problems got my antennae up immediately.

    • War By Remote-Control

      Attacks by US drones have often been presented as forensic, however, only one in 25 victims in Pakistan have been identifiably associated with al-Qaeda. There have been about 400 US drone attacks in Pakistan. Secret CIA documents recording the identity, rank and affiliation of people targeted and killed in strikes in 2006-08 and 2010-11 were leaked to the McClatchy news agency in April last year. Hundreds of those killed were identified simply as Afghan or Pakistani fighters, or as “unknown”. Of these killed, only 2% might be top commanders. Its not like the Pakistani government is oblivious to these attacks. In the past the US has used its drones to kill militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas in exchange for Pakistani help in targeting al-Qaeda members. In 2013 the New York Times reported that the first known US drone strike in Pakistan, on 17 June 2004, had been part of a secret deal to gain access to Pakistani airspace. The CIA agreed to kill the target, Nek Mohammed, in exchange for permission for its drones to go after US enemies.

    • Florida activists resist Raytheon

      On October 17, activists organized to speak out against the defense contractor Raytheon, which recently received a $251.1 million contract to provide the U.S. Navy with Tomahawk cruise missiles for the following year. The Tomahawk cruise missile has been an integral part of the Obama administration’s military strategy due to its ability to kill large numbers of alleged combatants from faraway distances, without requiring “boots on the ground.” Florida is no stranger to the military-industrial complex. Raytheon, General Dynamics, Honeywell, and Lockheed Martin can all be found within Pinellas County alone.

    • With US-led air strikes on Isis intensifying, it’s a good time to be an arms giant like Lockheed Martin

      Last month American warships fired $65.8m worth of Tomahawk missiles within just 24 hours of each other

    • Anti-war protesters return to engine factory in Shenstone

      Around 100 anti-war protesters held a demonstration at a military engine factory in Staffordshire they claim is supplying weapons to Israel.

    • Gaza and the Bipartisan War on Human Rights

      During and after Israel’s war on Gaza, bipartisan congressional majorities have worked to undermine war crimes investigations by the United Nations and human rights groups

    • If we must have a hugely invasive national security state, let’s at least listen to it

      I am no fan of America’s national-security state, which continues to grow steadily larger, more intrusive, and increasingly dismissive of civil liberties. The NSA has removed all expectations of privacy in digital communications, and the TSA is, at best, inept security theater. The Department of Homeland Security’s “If you see something, say something” campaign imagines a terrorist around every corner, while the CIA is busy spying on Congress and torturing away the rule of law.

    • Shaping the Vietnam Narrative

      Controlling the narrative is a key tool for propagandists who realize that how people understand a foreign conflict goes a long way toward determining their support or opposition. So, the U.S. government’s sanitizing of the Vietnam War is not just about history, but the present, as Marjorie Cohn writes.

    • Who Supported the Khmer Rouge?

      According to journalist Elizabeth Becker, U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski “himself claims that he concocted the idea of persuading Thailand to cooperate fully with China in its efforts to rebuild the Khmer Rouge.” Brzezinski said, “I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot. I encouraged the Thai to help the D.K. [Khmer Rouge government-in-exile of Democratic Kampuchea]. The question was how to help the Cambodian people. Pol Pot was an abomination. We could never support him, but China could.” In fact, U.S. support went well beyond encouraging others to rebuild the Khmer Rouge.

    • No, Chemical Weapons in Iraq Do Not Prove That Bush Was Right to Invade

      Bush’s approval ratings, which peaked at 70% during the March 2003 invasion, had plummeted to 48% by the time the CIA weighed in. The Administration could have used an example of, “Look, we were right!” But rather than tout the discovery of remnants chemical weapons from the 1980s, the Pentagon went to extreme lengths to cover it up. The harm these weapons posed to U.S. troops was unanticipated and the injuries they were suffering were an embarrassment.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The Man Who Tricked Chemtrails Conspiracy Theorists

      On October 1, Chris Bovey—a 41-year-old from Devon, England—thought he’d troll the chemtrails camp. During a flight from Buenos Aires to the UK, his plane had to make an emergency landing in São Paulo and dumped excess fuel to lighten the load. Since he had a window seat, Chris decided to film all the liquid being sprayed out of the wing next to him.

      Touching down, he uploaded the video with a caption that suggested it could be evidence of chemtrails, hoping to mess with a couple of friends who he knew might fall for it. The video now has 1.1 million views, nearly 20,000 shares, and dozens of comments telling viewers to “wake the F up,” or accusing naysayers of being “stupid paid shills.”

      He then claimed (falsely) that he’d been detained at Heathrow upon arrival, been interrogated by the authorities, and had his phone confiscated. That riled everyone up even more, with “conspiraloon” (Chris’s term) website NeonNettle.com picking up the story and reporting it as evidence of chemtrails.

    • Sao Paulo could go dry in mid-November

      Dilma Pena, chief executive of the state-run water utility, told the city council Thursday that supplies are guaranteed only until mid-November unless it can tap the last of the water in its Cantareira reservoir. The four-lake complex that supplies half of Sao Paulo has already been drained of 96 percent of its water capacity amid Brazil’s worst drought in eight decades. Regulators have so far refused to allow Cia. de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo, known as Sabesp, to use the rest on concern it’s mismanaging supplies.

    • Oil prices are at a 4 year-low now but assuming that they will continue to fall is risky business

      Oil prices have been falling for a while now and have touched a four-year low. As per the data published by the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell, the price of the Indian basket of crude oil touched $ 82.83 per barrel on October 16, 2014.

  • Finance

    • Ending a 36 year, 17+ Trillion Dollar U.S. Government Ponzi Scheme
    • The Tory message to disabled people: you’re just not worth it

      Lord Freud’s comments on the minimum wage articulates what we already know – that this government sees disabled people as less than human

    • How a Hong Kong Newspaper Became an Occupy Movement Flashpoint

      To the anti-Occupy protesters, Apple Daily has become a sort of avatar for everything they dislike about the movement – and particularly for the charge that the Occupy protests are sponsored by nefarious foreign forces. On Chinese social media sites, Apply Daily founder Jimmy Lai Chee-ying is rumored to have ties to the CIA, and to be funneling CIA funds to the Occupy protestors. In an interview with South China Morning Post, Lai dismissed the idea that he is personally influencing the movement. Lai said that he had not donated any money to the founders of the Occupy Central movement, although he has donated to pro-democracy politicians in the past and is friends with several of them.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

      The people we elect aren’t the ones calling the shots, says Tufts University’s Michael Glennon

    • Twitter – You’ll like it because we say you will.

      I’ve a policy of blocking any user who promotes their Tweets. Looks like I’ll be blocking the random strangers too. I think Twitter, like other online services will quickly realise that users have a plethora of other options open to them. Social media is transient and the next FB or Twitter is just around the corner (as well as the plethora of options already available). Having these type of “features” is no bad thing, but take away people’s ability to remove them and you’ll find your user-base looking elsewhere.

    • Our Exclusive Interview with German Editor Turned CIA Whistleblower

      Fascinating details emerge. Leading US-funded think-tanks and German secret service are accessories. Attempted suppression by legal threats. Blackout in German media.

    • German journo: European media writing pro-US stories under CIA pressure (VIDEO)

      German journalist and editor Udo Ulfkotte says he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, adding that noncompliance ran the risk of being fired. Ulfkotte made the revelations during interviews with RT and Russia Insider.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • NSA Documents Suggest a Close Working Relationship Between NSA, U.S. Companies

      The documents, published last week by The Intercept, describe “contractual relationships” between the NSA and U.S. companies, as well as the fact that the NSA has “under cover” spies working at or with some U.S. companies.

    • The NSA’s Moonlighting Problem
    • Peter Carey: ‘Privacy should be a human right, but we’ve been tricked out of it – it’s easy to give information away. It is sort of evil’

      Double Booker winner Peter Carey was always unimpressed by the decision to open the prize up to American authors. “I find it unimaginable that the Pulitzer or the National Book award would ever open their prizes up to Britons and Australians,” he says. The “old Booker” had a “particular cultural flavour”, he adds. “I think there was, and there is, a real Commonwealth culture. It’s different. America doesn’t really feel to be a part of that.” As for this year’s America-expanded award, Carey was rooting for the eventual winner, and fellow Australian, Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North – “a serious guy who can really write”.

    • How cloud computing – and other new technology – could lead to the destruction of humanity

      It isn’t just about cloud computing, though, but big data and other emerging technologies too. Big data is the name given to a new breed of analytic technologies, which can take disparate bits and bytes of data in order to make links that conventional analytic software cannot – something that will dovetail well with neuromorphic computing. And it can do this in real-time, as well – there’s no need to extract existing alpha-numeric information from an operational database into a separate system, it can do it in seconds, on-the-fly.

    • Mark Udall Touts NSA Reform (and Dings Obama) in Bid to Save Senate Seat

      Sen. Mark Udall is reminding Colorado voters that he opposes the government’s mass spy apparatus, and that he’s willing to take on President Obama as he endeavors to pull it back.

    • Edward Snowden talks privacy in the golden age of signal communication (VIDEO)

      Government whistleblower and former system administrator for the CIA, Edward Snowden, gave an extended virtual interview over the weekend at the New Yorker Festival about his current situation and why he chose to reveal certain government secrets that changed the way we think about privacy in America. During his hour-long chat with Jane Mayer of The New Yorker Snowden advised those who really want to protect their privacy will want to stop using such services as Dropbox, Google and Facebook. He also said to search for “encrypted communication services” because they “enforce your rights.” He gave a few examples such as SpiderOak instead of Dropbox, and alternative phone services like Silent Circle and RedPhone. He covers a lot more ground as well.

    • President Nixon offered to illegally wiretap Mayor John Lindsay for Gov. Nelson Rockefeller: report

      A new biography of Rockefeller, ‘On His Own Terms,’ by Richard Norton Smith reports the proposal, which is based on previously undisclosed material.

    • Police departments using private funds to buy spy tech originally developed for the CIA

      In 2007, as it pushed to build a state-of-the-art surveillance facility, the Los Angeles Police Department cast an acquisitive eye on software being developed by Palantir, a startup funded in part by the Central Intelligence Agency’s venture capital arm.

    • WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Fears Ecuadorian Embassy in London is Bugged: Reports

      The founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange has fears that the embassy of Ecuador in London, where he has been staying since 2012, is under auditory surveillance, Daily Mail reported.

      Julian Assange “is most likely under auditory surveillance,” WikiLeaks founder’s lawyers said in a statement filed in the Court of Appeal in Sweden on Friday, the newspaped said. Assange’s lawyers also added that his confinement in the embassy is a “deprivation of liberty.”

    • Kickstarter Suspends Anonabox Security Appliance Project

      The Anonabox episode serves to highlight the simple fact that there is a great hunger in the marketplace for easily deployed privacy solutions.

    • Tomgram: Laura Poitras and Tom Engelhardt, The Snowden Reboot

      In these years, as power drained from Congress, an increasingly imperial White House has launched various wars (redefined by its lawyers as anything but), as well as a global assassination campaign in which the White House has its own “kill list” and the president himself decides on global hits. Then, without regard for national sovereignty or the fact that someone is an American citizen (and upon the secret invocation of legal mumbo-jumbo), the drones are sent off to do the necessary killing.

    • New York Times: Snowden-Boosting Documentary Causing Headaches for ‘Hollywood Obama Backers’
    • Secrecy policy doesn’t make sense

      The government has become the arbiter of who gets information and who doesn’t.

    • Subjecting press freedom to the spook of national security

      The conditions under which journalists work are becoming more dangerous as governments around the world clamp down on their freedom in the guise oaf safeguarding national security, writes TITUS MBUYA

    • Secure Email and Cloud Alternatives to Gmail and Dropbox

      While there is no denying that end-to-end encryption beefs up security and helps protect data from being snooped by third parties, it’s definitely not a silver bullet that can guarantee a completely secure way to communicate on the Internet. That said, it’s always a good idea to go for services that offer an extra layer of security because after all it’s likely you’ll use them for storing and sending sensitive data like your own personal information.

    • “Mistaken U.S. practices” discourage China to resume cyber-security talks

      The ongoing cyber-war between USA and China has gone more intense. Reportedly, top Chinese diplomat in his statement to John Kerry, US Secretary of State, said that owing to “mistaken U.S. practices”, it would be difficult resuming cyber-security cooperation between USA and China.

    • Decentralize to Protect Your Rights

      Writing in her ground-breaking book, History of the American Revolution, Mercy Otis Warren – known as the Muse of the Revolution – asked why people were so willing to obey the government and answers that it is supineness, fear of resisting, and the long habit of obedience.

    • Surveillance Reform Theater

      The concept of a secret golden key for authorities is a zombie idea from the 1990s. I’m talking about what’s known in cryptographic circles as “key escrow.” Under key escrow vendors create a built-in decryption password (also known as a decryption key) that’s held in escrow. When law enforcement agents supply a court order they can acquire the corresponding decryption key.

    • Top NSA critic could lose seat

      Critics of the government’s spy agencies are worried that Colorado’s hotly contested Senate race could end the public career of one of their best allies in Congress.

    • Fed-backed Twitter study draws fire

      Commissioner Ajit Pai — one of two Republicans on the five-member commission — warned in a Washington Post op-ed on Saturday about a National Science Foundation study of people’s communications on Twitter, which he said amounted to government monitoring of people’s speech.

    • ‘What they fear is light’ — Greenwald tells the Snowden story

      Glenn Greenwald’s No Place To Hide is not just a thrilling account of the award-winning journalist’s “cloak-and-dagger” encounter with National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, but a clinical and impassioned analysis of the danger posed by the US’s vast surveillance state.

      Greenwald, no tech-head, nearly blew his opportunity for the dramatic scoop because of his delays in installing a computer encryption program for communication with Snowden, until guided mouse-click by mouse-click by the whistleblower.

    • Did PH and the US gang up on Carlos Bulosan?

      Last year, the scholars wrote about the files they obtained that showed the FBI had its eye on Bulosan between 1946 and 1956.

      The FBI ultimately determined Bulosan was not a member of the Communist Party.

    • The governmnt & freedom

      Since 2001, Comey’s agents have written more than half a million of their own search warrants and their targets don’t even know what was done to them. He will argue that if the evidence from these agent-written warrants is not used in court, there is no harm to the unknowing victim and, hence, no foul. Yet the Constitution was written to keep the government from interfering with our natural rights even when it does so in secret — because no government violation of inalienable rights is harmless.

    • Lawmakers probing NSA face German secrecy hurdles

      German lawmakers probing the NSA following Edward Snowden’s revelations have hit a hurdle: their own government.

      Officials have refused to hand over dozens of German intelligence documents detailing the extent to which the country’s spy agencies cooperated with their U.S. counterparts.

    • Russia founds Snowden media prize

      The media community has founded the first prize in the sphere of mass communications, naming it after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

  • Civil Rights

    • Obama Could Reaffirm a Bush-Era Reading of a Treaty on Torture
    • What’s Holding Up Release Of The CIA ‘Torture Report’?
    • Tortured Libyans allege UK spied on legal talks

      Lawyers for two Libyan men, rendered and tortured with alleged British complicity, have demanded the government publish secret policies detailing when the communications of lawyers and journalists may have been intercepted.

      The issue emerged during a legal claim against the government by Abdel Hakim Belhaj and Sami Al-Saadi. Both men and their families were kidnapped and returned to Libya to face punishment in 2004, following years of anti-regime activity.

    • Blowing the Whistle on CIA Torture from Beyond the Grave

      In the fall of 2006, Nathaniel Raymond, a researcher with the advocacy group Physicians for Human Rights, got a call from a man professing to be a CIA contractor. Scott Gerwehr was a behavioral science researcher who specialized in “deception detection,” or figuring out when someone was lying. Gerwehr told Raymond “practically in the first five minutes” that he had been at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo in the summer of 2006, but had left after his suggestion to install video-recording equipment in detainee interrogation rooms was rejected. “He said, ‘I wouldn’t operate at a facility that didn’t tape. It protects the interrogators and it protects the detainees,’” Raymond recalls.

    • Senate Report Ignores Bush Administration’s Role in CIA’s Torture Program

      A Senate Intelligence Committee (SIC) report on the CIA and the “enhanced interrogation” methods used in the Iraq War fails to place any blame on George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, or the administration’s top lawyers, reported McClatchy.

    • U.S. Senate inquiry into harsh CIA tactics sidesteps Bush role
    • Senate refuses to blame Bush, senior aides in CIA torture investigation

      A classified US Senate probe into the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and interrogation program does not evaluate the role of former President George W. Bush or top administration officials in approving abuses including torture, according to a new report.

    • Bush, Obama ‘complicit’ in CIA torture program: Eric Draitser

      Draitser also argued that the US is not simply a country with a president and it is the head of an Imperial system that justifies torture, genocide, and war.

    • Obama could follow Bush-era reading of torture treaty

      When the Bush administration revealed in 2005 that it was secretly interpreting a treaty ban on “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” as not applying to CIA and military prisons overseas, President Barack Obama, then a newly elected Democratic senator from Illinois, joined in a bipartisan protest.

      Obama supported legislation to make it clear that U.S. officials were legally barred from using cruelty anywhere in the world. And in a Senate speech, he said enacting such a statute “acknowledges and confirms existing obligations” under the treaty, the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

    • 25 years ago: US role exposed in failed Panamanian coup

      On October 13, 1989, US President George H.W. Bush repeated a call for the overthrow of the regime of Gen. Manuel Noriega in Panama. Ten days earlier, on October 3, a coup attempt against Noriega ended in disaster, resulting in the roundup of scores of “rebels” and execution of many of the leaders. For months, Bush had been publicly urging Panamanian military forces to overthrow Noriega, declaring in May, “I would love to see them get him out.”

    • An undocumented history

      The United States has had a long standing tradition of intervention in Guatemala. In 1954, the U.S. government aided the overthrow of the democratically elected Guatemalan President, Jacobo Arbenz . Arbenz had confiscated a large portion of land belonging to the United Fruit Company that was not being cultivated, offering the company the amount they had declared on their taxes . The company, with support from the U.S. State Department, countered with a figure more than 13 times that amount .

    • End America’s perverse embargo against Cuba
    • Jesse Jackson Says It’s Time for US to End Cuban Embargo

      The Rev. Jesse Jackson has called for an end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States on Cuba over the last 52 years, in an op-ed published on Tuesday by the Chicago Sun-Times.

      “The implacable opposition of the U.S. government to Cuba’s presence in hemispheric meetings has practically offended all our neighbors,” said Jackson, who acknowledged that this policy of strangulation against the Caribbean island has operated to isolate Washington.

    • End America’s perverse embargo against Cuba
    • The Economic War on Cuba: Western Media Remains Silent as Obama Extends U.S. Embargo
    • Jesse Jackson Describes U.S. Policy against Cuba as Cold and Old-Fashioned War

      U.S. Reverend Jesse Jackson called to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba over the last 52 years, as published on Tuesday by the Web site of the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper.

      “The implacable opposition of the U.S. government to Cuba’s presence in hemispheric meetings has practically offended all our neighbors,” underlined Jackson, who acknowledged that this policy of strangulation against the Caribbean island has contributed to isolate Washington.

      Jackson, a prominent civil rights activist and a Baptist pastor, who was a candidate to the presidential primaries of the Democrat Party in 1984 and 1988, assured that the blockade against Cuba should have been lifted decades ago.

    • Stop The US Blockade Of Cuba Now – OpEd

      And for the last 52 years, U.S. imperialism has maintained this blockade, this economic war against the government and the people of Cuba.

      Why? Because since the 1959 Revolution, the people of Cuba have shown the world, particularly the people of Latin America and Africa, that despite being a small country; despite a legacy of cruel, colonial rule; despite one dictator after another ruling with an iron grip to serve U.S. corporations; despite racism so powerful that the last of those dictators, who was Black, could not even go onto the U.S. hotel’s beaches — despite all of that, an organized people led by determined revolutionaries could break U.S. imperialism’s grip.

    • CIA Never Makes Mistakes, Only Coups

      The USA Governor (Presidential Envoy) Paul Premier to Iraq after the invasion of 2003 said in an interview with the Arabia TV Satellite lately that the CIA never mistakes. This in our view is the biggest lie ever broadcasted to the world by any American official. Although lies are part and parcel of the USA foreign and even internal policies strategies for decades but to lie shamelessly in the face of the whole world shows the degree of ignorance of the USA past and present officials.

    • My Last Talk with Gary Webb

      His Dark Alliance series was attacked not for what it said

    • CIA-backed war against Nicaragua, integrity of U.S. media subject of new film
    • WPost’s Slimy Assault on Gary Webb

      Jeff Leen, the Washington Post’s assistant managing editor for investigations, begins his renewed attack on the late Gary Webb’s Contra-cocaine reporting with a falsehood.

      Leen insists that there is a journalism dictum that “an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof.” But Leen must know that it is not true. Many extraordinary claims, such as assertions in 2002-03 that Iraq was hiding arsenals of WMDs, were published as flat-fact without “extraordinary proof” or any real evidence at all, including by Leen’s colleagues at the Washington Post.

      A different rule actually governs American journalism — that journalists need “extraordinary proof” if a story puts the U.S. government or an “ally” in a negative light but pretty much anything goes when criticizing an “enemy.”

    • The CIA and the art of the ‘un-cover-up’

      In late 1996, John Deutch, at the time director of the CIA, traveled to a town meeting in South Central Los Angeles to confront a community outraged by charges that the Agency had been complicit in the importing of cocaine into California in the 1980s. Amid heated exchanges, Deutch publicly pledged an internal investigation by the CIA’s inspector general that would “leave no stone unturned.”
      blockquote

    • Fiction review: ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings,’ by Marlon James

      A Brief History of Seven Killings explores the possibility that the assassination attempt was part of the CIA’s destabilization campaign against Jamaica’s socialist-leaning government. The novel consists of first-person vignettes from more than 20 characters. These include a dead politician, a CIA station chief and rival gang leaders. Marley fades into the background, a foil for the others’ actions.

    • The alternative to neo-liberalism ― Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj

      The countries comprising the ‘Triad’ 9 (especially its Anglo-Saxon core – Triad is a term used by Samir Amin to refer to the US, Western Europe and Japan) would be extremely unhappy with us for setting a bad example to other countries and regions. If we move decisively against neo-liberalism, then it would be extremely naïve of us to assume they would not respond as they responded

      to Iran in the early 1950s (the CIA engineered a coup to displace Mohammad Mossadegh, the democratically elected, widely popular Prime Minster of Iran who had the “temerity” to nationalise Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP). Mossadegh was replaced by the Shah of Iran. The emergence of conservative militant Islam in West Asia is due in large part to continual attempts by the US and Britain to undermine and displace progressive secular leaders who attempted to wrest back control of their country’s resources that has been monopolised by these colonial/imperialist powers),

      to Cuba since 1960,

      to Chile in 1973 (the CIA sponsored a coup that deposed President Salvador Allende after months of economic sanctions – refusal to buy Chilean copper, and a boss’ strike. President Allende died of gunshot wounds in his Presidential Palace on 11 September 1973, the day of the coup. Tens of thousands of leftists and labour activists were butchered by Augusto Pinochet’s regime in the subsequent weeks)

      and to Afghanistan in the 1970s (the CIA worked with Pakistani intelligence to create a militant Islamic response against the left-leaning governments that replaced the Afghan monarchy in 1973. This eventually morphed into the Taliban).

      We have to factor in the probability that members of the Triad would promote racial and religious sectarianism to sabotage our efforts to build a society based on a different model.

    • Answers sought on CIA role in ‘78 JFK probe

      In the end, the House Select Committee on Assassinations reported in 1978 that it believed the assassination was probably the result of a conspiracy, although it couldn’t prove that, and its conclusions are disputed by many researchers.

    • Was RFK a JFK Conspiracy Theorist?

      What did the attorney general know, and when did he know it?

    • Jackie Kennedy believed Lyndon Johnson killed JFK

      It has been widely reported that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, widow of President John F. Kennedy, shared with family members she was certain that Kennedy’s Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson, arranged to have her husband murdered.

      Soon that conclusion will be heard in the late First Lady’s own words, because audio tapes, recorded of discussions with historian and close family associate, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., between March and June 1964, will be released and excerpts featured on an upcoming ABC News program in November marking the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas.

    • Book Review: ‘The Hidden Hand: A Brief History of the CIA’

      Whoa! This implies that the world’s best interests are those of the U.S.; that the CIA with all its predispositions and preconceptions could actually improve the situation; which ignores the fact that the CIA, among other U.S. institutions, helped create many if not most of these “armed insurrectionists” in the first place. It makes one wonder why they do not know very much about them, as they were convenient at the time, but then allowed to disappear from the radar so that in the future they could become another valuable convenient evil ‘other’ that the U.S. and the CIA had to do battle with.

    • Giving terror events less frightening names may ease fears

      Acts of terror are primarily intended to 1) degrade trust by a people in the ability of their government to defend and protect them and 2) deliver blows to the economy and bleed critical resources into protecting against attacks.

    • US Defense Secretary Panetta’s memoirs reveal poor judgment

      Leon Panetta, after twenty months as U.S. Secretary of Defense and before that two years as director of the CIA, has brought forth memoirs. The volume is blunt in criticizing others, including President Barack Obama. This imitates Robert Gates, Panetta’s immediate predecessor at the Pentagon.

      Cabinet members, including defense secretaries, have published memoirs but not while the administration in which they served was still in power. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also brought out a book. However, her committee document is more diplomatic, calculating and careful in distancing herself from the president while simultaneously expressing loyalty.

    • Yemen unravels

      President Barack Obama cited Yemen as a model for U.S. operations against the Islamic State last month, not long after he told an interviewer that the intervention in Libya was his greatest foreign policy regret. In fact, the two countries offer similar lessons in the deficiencies of Obama’s strategy. By backing local forces with airpower in Libya, the United States and its allies were able to overthrow a murderous regime — but, as Obama acknowledged, the failure to assist with building a state afterward has facilitated Libya’s collapse into chaos.

    • New Evidence Links CIA to APA’s “War on Terror” Ethics

      New information may soon be revealed by the Senate Intelligence Committee’s yet-to-be-released report on the CIA’s post-9/11 abusive and torturous detention and interrogation operations. But what already has been clear for a long time – through reports from journalists, independent task forces, congressional investigations, and other documents – is that psychologists and other health professionals were directly involved in brutalizing “war on terror” prisoners in U.S. custody. Of particular note, contract psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen have been identified as the architects of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which included waterboarding, stress positions, exposure to extreme cold, sensory and sleep deprivation, and isolation.

    • The Absurd Illusions of a Shining City on a Hill

      The average natural born citizen in any country is continuously indoctrinated into the national culture starting about the time they begin understanding the meaning of words. There’s one country in particular where reality is staring the public in the face, but the truth has been grossly distorted for decades by government, and mass media, bias and propaganda. If the citizens would suddenly see the truth, instead of what they’ve been conditioned to believe, they would find themselves in a strange and bizarre foreign land that’s contrary in many ways to their personal beliefs regarding home. For those who experience this sudden revelation, as soon as the truth is realized, it’s likely to provoke a profound and immediate sense of disbelief. Like emergency room personnel making insensitive jokes, laughter at some point becomes a self-defense mechanism for offsetting continuous parades of the absurd realities and outright horrors. This is all happening while the general population takes great pride in having a capitalist-democracy as their social-economic model for the stated purposes of providing equal rights, freedom, justice for all, and an all-inclusive participation in the political system. While in all truth, the capitalist-democracy in question has been corrupted directly by the legislation in place and the collective society’s inability to keep the system working for its stated and intended purposes.

    • U.S. denial of soldiers’ injuries is outrageous

      IN A POWERFUL and Pulitzer-worthy scoop, the New York Times has just revealed a new outrage upon America’s sense of decency–by catching government officials in the act of breaking faith with the men and women who volunteered to fight for us in faraway lands.

    • Washington Week on Human Rights: October 14, 2014

      KERRY TO CAIRO Secretary of State John Kerry is in Cairo today to participate in an international conference of 50 nations pledging $5 billion to rebuild the Gaza Strip. He met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday to press the former military leader to adopt greater democratic reforms. Last week, Human Rights First urged Secretary Kerry to publicly raise concern over the Egyptian government’s ongoing human rights abuses during his visit and to leave no doubt that the United States expects the Egyptian government to end its widespread and counterproductive human rights violations. Instances of violence and terrorism in Egypt have increased since President Sisi took power and began a violent crackdown on political opponents, fueling radicalization and shutting down avenues for peaceful political dissent. and several other advocacy organizations signed a letter organized by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) that was sent to officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security. According to reports from detainees, workers have allegedly taken mothers from their cells in the middle of the night to engage in sexual acts and have groped women in front of children. An ICE spokesperson said that the department has a zero tolerance for all forms of sexual abuse or assault and that the accusations will be investigated.

    • Should she have declined the Nobel Peace Prize?

      To be fair to her, Malala did not ask for the Nobel Peace Prize, nor did she lobby for it. In all probability, her handlers did, because for them, it was the crowning glory of the agenda they have been pursuing through her ever since she was whisked away from Pakistan. Intelligent as she is, I wonder if the thought has ever occurred to her for even a moment that she is being exploited.

    • Malala becomes lightning rod for anger over neglect of her hometown
    • Our Opinion: Standing up for the children

      When the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Malala Yousafzai, most people stood up and applauded the decision. Here was a young woman who faced down the Taliban by going to school everyday and received a bullet in the head for her efforts. Since recovering from the 2012 attack that nearly took her life, Yousafzai has been a tireless advocate for the rights of girls and women.

    • THE CONTROVERTIAL NOBEL PRIZE FOR PEACE

      George Galloway, a renowned British politician says, ‘If Malala had been murdered in a US drone strike, the UK media would never have told you her name.’ Someone commenting upon the Nobel Prize awarded to Malala said, ‘If Malala is blessed with the Nobel Prize just because the Taliban tried to murder her, an award must also be given to Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi.’ Abeer was a 14-year-old Iraqi girl. She was gang raped by five U.S. Army soldiers and killed in her house in Yusufiyah (Iraq) in 2006. She was raped and murdered after her parents and six-year-old sister Hadeel Qasim Hamza were killed.

    • The other Pakistani girl: Malala got the Nobel peace prize; here is why Nabila won’t

      Last week, the Nobel Peace Prize committee announced two winners: Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai and India’s Kailash Satyarthi for their struggle for the rights of children. While for most Indians K Satyarthi’s name was a bit of a mystery, Malala was already a widely known international figure, her personal story documented on magazine covers around the world.

    • Why not Malala?… By Faiza
    • America’s fear

      The collective effect of these and other fears is debilitating. The powerful can-do optimism that has helped drive this country to almost incomprehensible successes is sapped by the anxiety of suspecting that America can’t quite get it done anymore.

    • Controversial town hall meeting on Islam to be held in Edmond

      Alton Nolen, who was fired before the alleged attack, was charged with the crime and Blair told KOCO he feels Nolen’s recent conversion to Islam should not be overlooked.

    • Temple University symposium to focus on role music played in slavery’s underground railroad

      A symposium at Temple University will focus on the role music played in the underground railroad that was used to help American slaves escape the South for northern states or Canada.

      The Rev. Joe Williams, pastor of Mount Airy United Fellowship church, explains that some that some songs still sung by churchgoers today actually contained coded messages for slaves, KYW-TV reported Sunday.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • Nintendo Bricks Wii U Consoles Unless Owners Agree To New EULA

      Nintendo: it protects what it believes it owns with great vigor. The company has rarely missed an opportunity to make sure that other people are not allowed to alter or mess with the stuff Nintendo insists is Nintendo’s. In an apparent effort to maximize the irony combo-meter, Nintendo also has been known to make sure that customers don’t mess with or alter the properties those customers actually own, such as online support for games that Nintendo decided to alter long after purchase… just because.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • SCMP.com page views double after paywall lowered for Occupy Central coverage

        Hong Kong English-language newspaper the South China Morning Post has reported a large spike in traffic to its website, scmp.com, since it lowered its paywall to give readers free access to its coverage of the Occupy Central protests.

        Page views have increased by 110 per cent from 28 September, the first day of the protests, until 17 October, compared to the preceding three weeks. Unique users have jumped 45 per cent over the same time period, the paper told Mumbrella.

      • Led Zeppelin loses first court battle in “Stairway to Heaven” lawsuit

        Led Zeppelin lost the first court battle in a lawsuit that alleges the legendary British band stole parts of the iconic song “Stairway to Heaven.”

        The suit, filed in June by the heirs of Randy Craig Wolfe or “Randy California,” founding member of the band Spirit, was filed in Pennsylvania. “Under what’s known as the ‘effects test,’” Billboard explained, “Michael Skidmore, the trustee for the Wolfe trust (and evidently, a Massachusetts resident), can bring his action in Pennsylvania if he alleges an intentional tort, the plaintiff felt the brunt of the harm there, and the defendants aimed their conduct there.”

        The band filed a motion to have the suit dismissed because they are all British and have no ties to Pennsylvania. Unfortunately for Led Zeppelin, “U.S. District Court Judge Juan Sánchez has now denied the motion to dismiss or transfer without prejudice,” The Hollywood Reporter stated. However, the judge gave no specific reasoning.

        The lawsuit’s defendants include Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and their music companies.

        There is an oft-told story surrounding the writing of “Stairway to Heaven,” holed up in a cabin in Wales.

10.18.14

Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

Posted in News Roundup at 7:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

Posted in News Roundup at 2:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Why you should buy computers with Linux preinstalled
  • Italian consumers shouldn’t have to pay for software they don’t want – Letter to Regulators

    FSFE and Italian consumer association ADUC, along with Italian group ILS, are asking regulators to take concrete steps to protect Italians from being forced to pay for software they do not want or need. Italy’s High Court ruled in September that computer vendors must reimburse customers for the price of unwanted non-free software that comes pre-installed on PCs and laptops. Today, FSFE, ADUC and ILS have sent a letter to the Italian competition authorities, calling on them to ensure that vendors will comply with the High Court’s decision, and respect the rights of their customers.

  • The Advantages of Computer Hardware Designed For Linux

    When you buy a computer with Linux pre-installed, like when you buy from Apple, you can be sure that the hardware works beautifully with your chosen operating system. OK, so the hardware may not have been designed specifically to run Linux, but the computer vendor has chosen that hardware specifically because it DOES work well with Linux — any Linux!

  • Desktop

    • Sager NP2740 Review – A Linux Powerhouse

      I was looking for something powerful to stream some games on, but also light enough that it was not going to feel like a brick next to my Chromebook. Since Linux is my OS of choice, having reasonable Linux support is also on my list of desires. Because of this I wanted to stay away from ATI graphics cards and nVidia cards with optimus.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Feature-creep will ensure that systemd stays

      Nussbaum was, no doubt, sincere in what he said. But his remedy to avoid what has become a major issue for many Debian users can only be used for so long.

    • Linus admits cocking up the Linux community

      Systemd developer Lennart Poettering recently described the Linux community as “not a friendly place to be in” with open source community mailing lists are rife with language and even stronger opinions which has descended into death threats. Torvalds, in a “fireside chat” with Intel’s Dirk Hohndel at LinuxCon Europe, insisted that “to become a kernel developer, you need to enjoy a certain amount of pain,” but also acknowledged a “metric s—load” of mistakes he wishes he could fix.

    • Video: Linux Kernel Developers Respond to Concerns About Community Culture

      Shortly after a live Q&A with Linux creator Linus Torvalds at LinuxCon and CloudOpen Europe on Wednesday, the kernel developer panel took the stage for a roundtable discussion. LWN Editor and panel moderator Jon Corbet didn’t beat around the bush; he asked the panelists to first respond to systemd developer Lennart Poettering’s controversial post in which he called the open source community “a sick place.” The developers’ responses were varied, but Linaro developer Grant Likely’s thoughts perhaps drew the most audience applause.

    • Linux developers and users should be civil while disagreeing passionately

      I’m not sure how I missed the post below by Lennart Poettering on Google+ back on October 6. Reading it as left me somewhat discombobulated since I wrote about how diverse points of view and passion make Linux stronger a few days ago. Unfortunately, I did not take into account the need for civility even in passionate disagreements, and I think I downplayed how out of hand things have gotten among some Linux developers. My apologies to my readers for not taking the issue seriously enough.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD’s Radeon R9 285 On Linux Offers Good OpenCL Performance

        In complementing this week’s Linux review of the AMD Radeon R9 285 and follow-up articles with some extra GPU scaling tests and Catalyst AI Linux benchmarks, here’s some more OpenCL R9 285 “Tonga” performance numbers under Ubuntu compared to what was shared in the original Linux review.

  • Applications

    • Proprietary

      • Corel AfterShot Pro 2.1

        Corel has updated its AfterShot Pro software to Version 2.1. Available free to registered users, the 2.1 update introduces a number of new features and enhancements including new HDR tools for Mac and Linux, support for more than 17 new raw camera profiles, an improved Highlight Recovery Tool, as well as various performance and stability enhancements. Newly supported cameras include the Canon SX50 HS, the Fujifilm X-T1, X-E1, X-E2, X-Pro1, X-M1, X100S and X20, the Nikon D4s, D3300, 1 V3, 1 J4, Coolpix P330 and Coolpix A, and the Pentax Q, 645Z and K-500.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Install PXE Server On CentOS 7
      • How to create and use Python CGI scripts
      • ffs ssl

        You search “how to set up https” on the Googs and click the first link. It takes you here which tells you how to use StartSSL, which generates the key in your browser. Whoops, your private key is now known to another server on this internet! Why do people even recommend this? It’s the worst of the worst of Javascript crypto.

    • Wine or Emulation

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt 5.4 Beta Available

        I am extremely happy to announce that Qt 5.4 Beta is now available for download. There are a lot of new and interesting things in Qt 5.4 and I will try to summarize the most important highlights in this blog post.

      • KDE FRAMEWORKS 5.3 AND KDE PLASMA 5.1 FOR FEDORA ARE READY!

        Fedora KDE SIG is happy to announce that latest version of KDE Frameworks 5 have just reached stable repositories of Fedora and brand new version of KDE Plasma 5 is now available in the our Plasma 5 COPR.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Gentoo Family

      • For Gentoo Linux Initiates, Iron Penguin May Be Too Heavy

        Gentoo Linux is very easy to use provided you do not progress beyond the live session using the most recent Iron Penguin release. If you actually proceed with installing Gentoo onto a hard drive, prepare for some steep learning curves and lots of manual labor.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Leave No Trace Online or Offline with the Tails 1.2 Linux-Based OS

          Tails is, above all else, a Linux distribution and is based on Debian. It shares some of the characteristics of the Linux base, but it integrates a unique collection of applications that are available for users who want to remain anonymous.

        • Tails 1.2 has been released

          If you have a Tails USB lying on your desk somewhere it’s time to plug it in, boot to it, and upgrade it (with the built in updater of course). Yes, the team behind Tails have released version 1.2 of their incognito liveUSB distribution.

        • Elive 2.3.9 beta released

          The Elive Team is proud to announce the release of the beta version 2.3.9

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Interview: Thomas Voß of Mir

            Mir was big during the space race and it’s a big part of Canonical’s unification strategy. We talk to one of its chief architects at mission control.

          • Best YouTube Players for Ubuntu

            If you’re a geek, nerd, or a programming prodigy, a command line YouTube player will give you plenty of bragging rights. MPS-Youtube is a fabulous player that lets you search and play videos from YouTube, download them, and even view comments all using just your command line. Written in Python, the text interface is used for sifting through the videos. Then, once you’ve chosen the video you want to play, the software then hooks into mplayer or mpv to show you the video. Though this won’t work on a full sans-X11 terminal, it will surely give you the thrills of doing the latest things in a cool old school sort of way.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi time-lapse camera

      We love the Raspberry Pi camera. It’s a lovely little piece of kit that is as versatile as the Pi and it doesn’t even take up any of the USB slots. We’ve done a bit of time-lapse photography in the past but that was using a proper camera attached to the Pi – now we’re doing it with just the Pi camera and a lot less code thanks to the picamera Python module.

    • HP to shutter webOS cloud services

      The company says it’s given the few owners of webOS devices three years of service since canning the software, but that “The user count has dwindled to the point where it is no longer viable to keep the services running.”

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Tizen Developer Summit Shanghai Device Giveaways – Intel NUC / MinnowBoard MAX / Gear 2
        • Modular smartwatch runs Tizen on Edison

          A startup is prepping a modular “Blocks ” watch that runs Tizen on an Atom-based Intel Edison module, and houses modular components in the watchband links.

          Samsung’s Tizen-based Gear S, Gear 2, and Gear 2 Neo are no longer the only Tizen-based smartwatches on the planet. A startup called Blocks, inspired by the modular smartphone concept from Phonebloks and Google’s related Project Ara , has announced a modular smartwatch that runs Tizen on an Intel Edison module. The Blocks watch houses modular components in each link of the watch wristband, which can be snapped and unsnapped using plug connectors.

      • Android

        • Android Exec Says Google Will Loosen Reins on Watches, TVs and Cars Over Time

          “It’s not some Google-way-or-the-highway kind of thing,” the company’s vice president of engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer said in an interview on Tuesday. His comments came as Google rolled out Android 5.0, a.k.a. Lollipop, which is designed to power a wide range of other devices beyond the usual phones and tablets.

        • Mobile pico projector does surround sound too

          A mobile, Android A/V robot on Kickstarter called the “Keecker” offers surround sound, a pico projector, a panoramic camera, sensors, and 1TB of storage.

        • Will Android and Chrome marry?

          The WSJ reported that “Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s vice president of engineering for its Android mobile-operating system, is now also overseeing the engineering team behind Google’s Chrome operating system.” The paper believes that is a sign that Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president in charge of Android, Chrome and Apps since 2013, plans on merging the two operating systems sooner rather than later.

        • All current Nexuses, including Nexus 4 and 2012 Nexus 7, will get Lollipop

          Google’s official Android Lollipop announcement this morning originally didn’t mention some older Nexus devices—namely, the Nexus 4 and the 2012 Nexus 7. However, Google has confirmed to us that those older devices will indeed be getting Android 5.0, as will the Nexus 5, 2013 Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and the Google Play Edition devices.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source moves from accepted to expected

  • Lessons learned developing Lynis, an open source security auditing tool

    If you’ve been involved with information security for more than a decade, you’ve probably heard of Rootkit Hunter or rkhunter, a software whose primary goal is to discover malware and local exploits on Unix and Linux.

  • Events

    • Videos: LinuxCon Europe 2014

      Here’s Linus with Intel’s Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist, Dirk Hohndel on the next 12 months of the Linux kernel:

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla and Telefónica Partner to Simplify Voice and Video Calls on the Web

        Mozilla is extending its relationship with Telefonica by making it easier than ever to communicate on the Web.

        Telefónica has been an invaluable partner in helping Mozilla develop and bring Firefox OS to market with 12 devices now available in 24 countries. We’re now expanding our relationship, exploring how to simplify communications over the Web by providing people with the first global communications system built directly into a browser.

      • Mozilla’s Firefox Hello Service Brings Skype-like Features to the Browser

        For months now, Mozilla has been experimenting with streaming media and video features for Firefox. The Firefox for Android Beta 33, for example, featured a send-to-device streaming scheme that allowed users to stream videos on a mobile device to a TV or second screen.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Netherlands receives Undesa award for its approach to e-government

      Undesa’s Global e-Government Forum is one of the UN initiatives to promote e-government. The international meeting was organised for the third consecutive year, the first two having taken place in Seoul, South Korea. The forum promotes smart governance. It focusses on sustainable development, open government and network society. The organisers also aim to get countries exchange ideas and experiences.

    • Dutch Parliament Urges Government to Get More Open Source and Spend Less Money

      The Dutch parliament is pushing for the use of more open source software in the country and is holding the government responsible for the failure to better implement the already existing policies.

    • Dutch Parliament urges increase of open source

      The Dutch government must increase its use of open source software, recommends the the country’s parliament. It wants to make open standards mandatory and use open source when equal to or better than proprietary solutions for all ICT projects over 5 million euro.

    • The Low Country Aims Higher

      The Netherlands, alone, has seen billions of Euros squandered each year due to failed ICT projects. It is so easy to sign a cheque and hope problems will disappear but that abstraction allows a lot of waste such as paying for permission to run computers the government owns outright. By using FLOSS a huge slice of costs is eliminated. Better management will take care of the rest but opening ICT projects to competition surely reduces costs and promotes local businesses boosting GDP and tax-revenue. ICT that is a revenue generator rather than a cost is the pot of gold for governments everywhere. ICT should not be a conveyor-belt of money flowing to M$ and “partners”. That’s not the purpose. Finding, modifying, creating and distributing information as efficiently as possible is the only valid justification for money spend on ICT.

    • Still more open source in Sweden’s Alingsås

      Strengthened by experience, the Swedish municipality of Alingsås is increasingly turning to open source solutions, announced Göran Westerlund, head of the municipal IT department. “Open source is reducing our dependence on specific ICT suppliers”, Westerlund says.

    • Open source central to e-health project Danish Syddjurs

      Open source and HL7, an open standard for healthcare IT solutions, are key elements in a tender for an e-health telemedicine project to be implemented at the Danish municipality of Syddjurs. “By using open source, we aim to encourage the development of new functionalities”, says Frederik Mølgaard Thayssen, IT project leader.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Massive Growth in Non-Existent Crime

      It is lead news in every outlet of the mainstream media today that there is a massive increase in terrorism – as everyone can plainly see from all the bodies littering our streets.

      I can also tell you that there is a massive increase in the threat of deadly asteroids about to hit Britain and destroy us all. My unimpeachable evidence for the existence of this massive asteroid threat is my own anti-asteroid activity. I and my dedicated team have visited 268 sites this year where we thought an asteroid was about to strike. That represents a 40% increase on our activity last year and therefore the media can say a 40% increase in the asteroid threat.

  • Censorship

    • Journalists turn to Google Groups for content distribution

      The new pooling mechanism will be opened to more journalists after an evaluation period has concluded, it will be interesting to see whether the new system is able to subvert censorship attempts by the current and succeeding administrations.

  • Privacy

    • Tor Browser 4.0 is released

      This release also features an in-browser updater, and a completely reorganized bundle directory structure to make this updater possible. This means that simply extracting a 4.0 Tor Browser over a 3.6.6 Tor Browser will not work. Please also be aware that the security of the updater depends on the specific CA that issued the www.torproject.org HTTPS certificate (Digicert), and so it still must be activated manually through the Help (“?”) “about browser” menu option. Very soon, we will support both strong HTTPS site-specific certificate pinning (ticket #11955) and update package signatures (ticket #13379). Until then, we do not recommend using this updater if you need stronger security and normally verify GPG signatures.

    • F.B.I. Director to Call ‘Dark’ Devices a Hindrance to Crime Solving in a Policy Speech
  • Civil Rights

    • Terrorism Bill: The French Senate Adopts The Law Eroding Liberties

      After two days of debate, the French Senate just passed the “Terrorism” Bill [fr] on its first and only reading. While some senators have courageously fought against the intrusive provisions led by the Minister of Interior, Bernard Cazeneuve, La Quadrature du Net regrets that the truncated1 legislative debate has failed to correct the unsuitable and dangerous provisions [fr] of this text. It will be examined by a Joint Commission in the coming weeks, where it will likely be adopted without any substantial change.

    • MO ALEC Leader Says Right to Work Is Solution to Ferguson

      Yet a leader of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Missouri, House Speaker Tim Jones, says he has the solution to unrest in Ferguson: bust the unions.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • HBO goes online and it doesn’t want net neutrality

      It seems to be the beginning of the end of the cable television in the US. Yesterday entertainment giant HBO announced they will start offering Internet subscription without requiring any cable subscription.

      Today CBS, yet another leading TV network, announced their move to the Internet. The TV network launched a new video on demand and live streaming service for the CBS Television Network, called CBS All Access. The service is available immediately via a web browser, iOS or Android apps.

10.16.14

Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

Posted in News Roundup at 3:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • New platform for open source in SA

    A new organisation wants to promote the use of open-source software in South Africa’s public and private sectors.

    “Not using this software in South Africa is detrimental to our economy and skills development,” says Open Source Software for South Africa (OSSSA) founder Charl Botha.

    Open-source software is software that does not conform to traditional software licence models and can be used and distributed freely.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 33 Has Been Added To The Default Repositories Of Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 12.04 And Derivatives

        And it has been already added to the default repositories of Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr, Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, being available for both the two systems and their derivatives: Linux Mint 17 Qiana, Linux Mint 13 Maya, Pinguy OS 14.04, Elementary OS 0.3 Freya, Elementary OS 0.2 Luna, Deepin 2014, Peppermint Five, LXLE 14.04, Linux Lite 2.0 and others.

      • Mozilla to Disable SSL 3.0 in Firefox, Heralds “the End of SSL 3.0″

        “Another day, another vulnerability found in a critical piece of Internet infrastructure,” reported Jon Buys here on OStatic this week, as news arrived that Google has found that SSL 3.0 is vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack, which means someone could possibly snoop on secure communications between browsers and servers. The report detailing the POODLE vulnerability was published by Google last month, but is making headlines this week.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Juno Brings Big Data to the Cloud

      The 10th milestone release of the open-source cloud platform debuts with 310 new features and 3,200 bug fixes.

    • A cultural shift towards dynamic cloud environments

      Mark Hinkle is on the forefront of all things open source and cloud. He is currently responsible for Citrix efforts around Apache CloudStack, Open Daylight, Xen Project, and XenServer. At the All Things Open Conference, Mark’s Crash Course In Cloud Computing will teach how to pragmatically adopt cloud practices and gain cloud value.

    • Hortonworks Data Platform 2.2 Sharpens Focus on Enterprise Needs

      As the Strata Conference kicked off this week, Hortonworks announced its HDP 2.2 platform with general availability next month. HDP version 2.2 lets organizations adopt a modern data architecture with Hadoop YARN at the core.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • New OpenJDK 7: Update 71 with lots of fixes

      Oracle’s patch & release cycle culminated in two updates of their Java (runtime and development kit) since the last release of OpenJDK for which I provided packages. Today, we can enjoy a new IcedTea and therefore an updated OpenJDK which synchronizes to Oracle’s October security patch release (which offers Java 7 Update 71).

  • BSD

    • Linux-Turned-FreeBSD Distro Comes Up With A New Software License

      While the likes of SprezzOS as the “most beautiful and performant” Linux and OSu as the ultimate operating system have disappeared at the end of the day and are no longer providing comic relief or interesting ambitious debates to Linux users, that other distribution based on Ubuntu and then turned into a FreeBSD distribution is still standing. They’re out with an update today and have introduced their own open-source license.

    • Changes Coming For OpenBSD 5.6

      OpenBSD 5.6 is expected to be released at the start of November and with this release will come a large number of changes.

    • Quick look: PC-BSD 10.0.3

      PC-BSD 10.0.3 is based on FreeBSD 10. This release of PC-BSD includes Cinnamon 2.2.14, Chromium 37.0.2062.94, Nvidia driver 340.24, bug fixes for the AppCafe UI, support for full disk encryption, and a number of other bug fixes and improvements. You can read a full list of changes in the PC-BSD 10.0.3 release notes.

    • FreeBSD 10.1 RC2 Moves the Project Closer to Stable Release

      A new Release Candidate for FreeBSD 10.1, an operating system for x86, ARM, IA-64, PowerPC, PC-98, and UltraSPARC architectures, is now out and ready for testing. The developers are getting really close to the final versions, which should land very soon.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • man-pages-3.75 is released

      I’ve released man-pages-3.75. The release tarball is available on kernel.org. The browsable online pages can be found on man7.org. The Git repository for man-pages is available on kernel.org.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Fallout From Munich
    • Munich sticks with Free Software

      On Tuesday, Munich’s first mayor finally reacted to an inquiry by the Green Party (in German) related to rumours regarding a possible switch back to a Windows-based desktop environment. The answer to the inquiry shows that there is no factual basis for the claims made by first mayor and second mayor. An evaluation of the IT infrastructure and -processes is underway. FSFE calls on the city council to include vendor independence as well as interoperability as factors in the investigation, since they were central reasons for Munich to switch to Free Software in the first place.

      [...]

      In this manner, the employee-survey “Great Place to Work” from late 2013, used by Reiter and Schmid in their criticisms towards the Free Software used in the city, included various facets of the IT structure not related to software, ranging from hardware to support and telecommuting. It does not, however, offer any information on a possible relation of the employees’ problems with Free Software. This information is currently unavailable, as Reiter says within the answer.

    • Munich Mayor Still Wants to Find Out If Linux Is Economical

      Munich finished the transition to Linux from Windows and everything seemed to work just fine, at least until the current Mayor made a few comments about the possibility of returning to proprietary software. He has detailed some of his opinions and he appears to be a lot more moderate towards this issue.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Why Hardware Wallets are the Future (And Why They Have to Be Open Source)

      Your computer isn’t secure. Those of you reading this from your fortified Plan 9 Tor Box can stop reading here, but for the rest of you, it’s simply true. Your computer is riddled with security vulnerabilities, and so is your phone. If an attacker wants access to your machine, or if you download even one piece of software that either is or is carrying malware (see: any download from cnet.com or its ilk), you’re in an enormous amount of trouble.

    • The value of an open source dividend

      James Love, one of Managing IP’s 2014 most influential people in IP, explains why paying innovators to share knowledge, data and technology makes sense for business and society

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Khronos Adds GLUS 2.0 To The OpenGL SDK

      GLUS is short for the Graphic Library UtilitieS and is a cross-platform, cross-graphic utility library. The open-source GLUS C library provides hardware and operating system abstractions plus other functionality. GLUS isn’t limited to OpenGL but also targets the OpenGL ES and OpenVG APIs too.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Fox’s The Five Distorts History On Bush Administration WMD Claims

      The hosts of Fox News’ The Five distorted the history behind the rationale for the U.S. war in Iraq by reshaping an investigative report by the New York Times.

    • Drone Strikes in Afghanistan Are Killing Civilians: They Must Not Remain Secret

      After exhaustive research and interviewing more than 50 sources Unama found 11 civilians were killed in a drone strike. Despite this compelling evidence, Isaf data shows only three civilians died.

    • Use has risen dramatically since 9/11

      In their book, Hill and Rogers dramatically recount a March 2011 drone attack in Pakistan which killed 42 people and injured 14. Though later claimed by U.S. officials to be a meeting of terrorists, what had been targeted was in fact a jirga – a consensual decision-making meeting in which the local community had gathered to discuss a dispute over a local mine.

    • Shenstone: Act of Witness against drones

      As part of the International Week of Action Against Drones, members of Pax Christi and Friends of Sabeel UK joined with staff and students from Queen’s Theological College, Birmingham, and members of Birmingham churches in an ‘Act of Witness’ outside UAV Engines, the Elbit Factory at Shenstone, near Lichfield. The Israeli owned factory manufactures the engines for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) which are used for military purposes. The group regularly meet there to protest against the use of these military drones to kill innocent people. They were also used in Israel’s recent war on Gaza, where the loss of life and devastation have shocked many throughout the world.

    • ‘Drones shouldn’t decide who lives or dies’

      University of Johannesburg law Professor Hennie Strydom on Wednesday advised against the use of programmed drones and robots during conflicts.

      “The concern is that the critical functional use of force is controlled by a computer,” he told reporters in Johannesburg.

    • SA professor warns against drone, robot attacks

      University of Johannesburg law Professor Hennie Strydom on Wednesday advised against the use of programmed drones and robots during conflicts

    • John Oliver, Ben Affleck and the Game of Drones: Part II

      As a talk show host and stand-up comedian, Bill Maher pushes the envelope to stay topical, relevant and interesting. He never issued a blanket fatwa on all Muslims, but correctly pointed out that some-if not most-of the major conflicts in the world are rooted in Islam.

    • Another Attempt to Prostitute Religion in the Service of American Hegemony

      Rather than joining this governmental initiative—which conveniently serves to blur cause-and-effect—America’s clergy and their laity should be forming a nationwide interfaith justice movement to confront the “intolerance, division, and hate” sown by our government in our name. It is our government’s violent imperialistic policies that have sown “hate” and bred militant groups like the Islamic State and blowback violence. The need for such a clergy and laity movement is painfully clear, and long overdue.

    • Comment: If drone strikes continue in Afghanistan, the lack of transparency must not

      Afghanistan is the most drone bombed country in the world. The US has been using its Predator and Reaper drones to kill people in Afghanistan since November 2001.

    • US citizen shot dead in Riyadh

      A gunman has opened fire on two American employees of a US defence contractor, killing one and wounding the other at a petrol station in Saudi Arabia’s capital.

    • War without end: 12 years of US drone strikes in Yemen

      The “Yemen model” is one of perpetual violence. The limits of what can be done in the name of “counterterrorist” action often appear boundless.

    • Yemeni sues Germany over US drone strikes

      A relative of two men killed by a US drone strike in Yemen has brought a court case against the German government, alleging it was complicit in the attack by allowing a US air base on German soil.

    • Yemeni sues German government over US drone strike
    • Drone victims sue German government for facilitating strikes in Yemen

      A Yemeni man, whose nephew and brother-in-law were killed in a 2012 drone strike, has travelled to Germany to sue the government for facilitating drone strikes of the sort in which his relatives died.

    • Yemeni man sues Germany over U.S. drone strikes
    • Yemeni man sues German gov’t over US drone strikes
    • Yemeni man sues German government over base used for US drone strikes that killed 2 relatives
    • Yemeni man sues Germany over deadly drone strike

      A Yemeni man has filed a lawsuit against Berlin for facilitating deadly assassination drone strikes carried out in his country by Washington.

      The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday by Faisal bin Ali Jaber, who claims his brother-in-law, Salim bin Ahmed Ali Jaber, and nephew, Waleed, were killed in a U.S. assassination drone strike in a Yemeni village in August 2012.

    • UK To Fly Reaper Drones Over Iraq To Battle IS

      The drone is being deployed outside Afghanistan for the first time, as the Kurds call for support in the Syrian town of Kobani.

    • Qualifying Child Labour

      Children should be in schools learning to be fit to face the big bad world when they become adults. When they are not studying, they should be playing and discovering that life can be fun too. Extreme poverty however still deprives a great many children from these privileges and pleasures of life, and no effort can be nobler than to try and end this miserable predicament. Two cheers then for the Nobel committee for bringing the focus back to fighting child labour. The last cheer we will hold back for the committee`™s unwarranted political bias in choosing to condemn only the atrocities against children by the Talibans, and not show equal concern or condemnation at the killing, maiming and terrorising of numerous other unnamed children in these same battlefields by Drone raids by the armies of the West fighting the Talibans. Malala richly deserves the award, but we also wish in commending the girl for her bravery in her fight against the savagery of the Talibans, the Nobel committee also had at least a word of condemnation against the Drone raids which have killed and terrorised indiscriminately.

    • Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satyarthi, and the four Nobel truths
    • In Malala’s hometown not everyone likes her fame

      Ahmed Hayat Yousafzai, a Birmingham-based Pakistani lawyer hailing from Swat, says that Malala’s story appears to be eyewash. “By championing the case of Malala, the West has tried to cover many of its human rights abuses, like killing and maiming scores of children and women in drone attacks in the tribal regions,” he said.

      So far, Yousafzai argues, neither the western powers nor Malala and her advisor father have spoken about hundreds of kids being killed in drone strikes.

      “What to talk of drone victims, they did not even speak about the 15-year old Aitzaz who had saved lives of hundreds of students by stopping a suicide bomber from attacking his school,” he added. Knowing about the prevailing resentment against Malala in Swat, her family members and school management feel uneasy to talk on her behalf. “It really hurts to hear people talking so critical of her.

    • Pakistan, U.S. appear once again to be cooperating on drone strikes

      A series of CIA drone strikes launched last week against Taliban insurgents in Pakistan’s northwest tribal areas provide the clearest demonstration yet that the U.S. intelligence agency and Pakistani security forces are once again cooperating on defeating the insurgents.

    • Bureau project wins bronze at Lovie awards

      Bureau project Where The Drones Strike has won bronze in the ‘Best News Website’ category at the fourth annual Lovie awards.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Swedish energy giant reveals reward wish

      UPDATED: Sweden’s state-owned energy company Vattenfall says it wants 43 billion kronor in compensation from Germany, after nuclear power provided by the firm was phased out by Angela Merkel’s government.

  • Finance

    • Governments are souring on treaties to protect foreign investors

      IF YOU wanted to convince the public that international trade agreements are a way to let multinational companies get rich at the expense of ordinary people, this is what you would do: give foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever a government passes a law to, say, discourage smoking, protect the environment or prevent a nuclear catastrophe. Yet that is precisely what thousands of trade and investment treaties over the past half century have done, through a process known as “investor-state dispute settlement”, or ISDS.

    • International trade ISDS provisions make a mockery of nation’s laws

      One of the public policy paradoxes of the past quarter-century is why the centre-left governments of advanced economies have supported trade policies that undermine the very environmental and labor protections they fight for at home. Foremost among these self-subverting policies have been the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions included in every significant trade deal the United States has signed since Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Under ISDS, foreign investors can sue a nation with which their own country has such treaty arrangements over any rules, regulations or changes in policy that they say harm their financial interests.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Fabrication in BBC Panorama’s ‘Saving Syria’s Children’

      On further viewings, however, this scene in particular is strikingly odd. The young men are quiet and mostly static until spotting the camera upon them, at which point the central figure (Mohammed Asi) raises his arm and the group instantly becomes animated and begins groaning in unison.

      Mohammed Asi begins to sway and lurch, the boy in the black vest suddenly pitches onto his side, the boy in red raises his head and peers quizzically around, while the boy in the white shirt rises effortlessly to his feet. As the camera pulls back a boy in a yellow ‘Super 9′ t-shirt rises from the floor, flailing his head and torso and rolling his eyes as a team of medics sweeps dramatically in.

    • BBC Propaganda

      Please read and consider very carefully this brilliant dissection of the BBC’s propaganda blitz on Syria, at the time when the security establishment were trying to propel us into war against Assad, before they decided it was just as profitable to have a war against Assad’s enemies. For the security establishment and arms industry, any dream will do.

    • Chuck Todd Disqualifies a Senate Candidate

      Bad campaign journalism can be bad in a lot of different ways. It can tell us, based on this or that poll, that there are “top tier” candidates deserving our attention. It can focus on “gaffes” and advertising instead of the issues. It almost always refuses to acknowledge the existence of candidates not affiliated with the two major parties.

    • Fox Attack On Obama Administration For Not Saying “Jihad” Ignores Similar Bush Policy

      Fox News’ Megyn Kelly dishonestly criticized the Obama administration for allegedly endorsing an anti-terror handbook which advises against referring to terrorists as “jihadis,” as it “emboldens them,” failing to mention that the Bush administration made a decision to stop using the word “jihadist” to describe terrorists in 2008.

  • Privacy

    • Tor Weekly News — October 15th, 2014
    • Anonymous Browsing: Open Source Tor Project Router Wins Kickstarter, Now Give One to Every American

      Anonabox is an open source networking device that you plug in to your router or modem that will anonymize all your network traffic through the Tor Project anonymity network. The Kickstarter for Anonnabox has 8,490 backers as of Wed., with $552,620 pledged against a $7,500 goal. It seems people want this product.

    • ‘Hostile to privacy’: Snowden urges internet users to get rid of Dropbox

      Edward Snowden has hit out at Dropbox and other services he says are “hostile to privacy,” urging web users to abandon unencrypted communication and adjust privacy settings to prevent governments from spying on them in increasingly intrusive ways.

      “We are no longer citizens, we no longer have leaders. We’re subjects, and we have rulers,” Snowden told The New Yorker magazine in a comprehensive hour-long interview.

    • UN Report Finds Mass Surveillance Violates International Treaties and Privacy Rights

      The United Nations’ top official for counter-terrorism and human rights (known as the “Special Rapporteur”) issued a formal report to the U.N. General Assembly today that condemns mass electronic surveillance as a clear violation of core privacy rights guaranteed by multiple treaties and conventions. “The hard truth is that the use of mass surveillance technology effectively does away with the right to privacy of communications on the Internet altogether,” the report concluded.

    • Australia’s defence intelligence agency conducted secret programs to help NSA

      Australia’s defence intelligence agency has conducted secretive programs to help the US National Security Agency hack and exploit computer networks, according to documents published by the Intercept.

    • Cognitive Dissonance about the FBI and NSA at 60 Minutes

      60 Minutes, which has been harshly criticized for running puff pieces for the NSA and FBI recently, is at it again. Last night, they ran two unrelated yet completely conflicting segments—one focusing on FBI Director Jim Comey, and the other on New York Times reporter James Risen—and the cognitive dissonance displayed in the back-to-back interviews was remarkable.

    • Here are Snowden’s first emails about the NSA leaks

      Six months before the world knew the National Security Agency’s most prolific leaker of secrets as Edward Joseph Snowden, Laura Poitras knew him as Citizenfour. For months, Poitras communicated with an unknown “senior government employee” under that pseudonym via encrypted emails, as he prepared her to receive an unprecedented leak of classified documents that he would ask her to expose to the world.

    • These Are the Emails Snowden Sent to First Introduce His Epic NSA Leaks
    • GCHQ more dangerous to privacy than NSA – Snowden

      Edward Snowden has warned that Britain’s GCHQ spy agency is a bigger threat to privacy than the NSA, as it uses illegally collected information in criminal prosecutions and, unlike in the US, has relatively few constitutional checks on its activities.

      Speaking by Skype video linkup to a London festival, Snowden also emphasized why it shouldn’t be up to the citizen to justify why they need a right to privacy – something that forms the core of his beliefs and decision to go against the law.

    • NSA Documents Suggest a Close Working Relationship Between NSA, U.S. Companies
    • FBI Director: Encryption Will Lead to a ‘Very Dark Place’

      FBI Director James Comey says the spread of encryption, aided by Apple and Google’s new security measures, will lead to “a very dark place” where police might not be able to stop criminals.

      To avoid that, tech companies need to cooperate and build surveillance-friendly systems when police comes knocking at their door, Comey said on Thursday during a speech in Washington, his first major speech since becoming director last year.

    • New Zealand Cops Raided Home of Reporter Working on Snowden Documents

      Agents from New Zealand’s national police force ransacked the home of a prominent independent journalist earlier this month who was collaborating with The Intercept on stories from the NSA archive furnished by Edward Snowden. The stated purpose of the 10-hour police raid was to identify the source for allegations that the reporter, Nicky Hager, recently published in a book that caused a major political firestorm and led to the resignation of a top government minister.

      But in seizing all the paper files and electronic devices in Hager’s home, the authorities may have also taken source material concerning other unrelated stories that Hager was pursuing. Recognizing the severity of the threat posed to press freedoms from this raid, the Freedom of the Press Foundation today announced a global campaign to raise funds for Hager’s legal defense.

    • Revealed: how Whisper app tracks ‘anonymous’ users

      The company behind Whisper, the social media app that promises users anonymity and claims to be the “the safest place on the internet”, is tracking the location of its users, including some who have specifically asked not to be followed.

      The practice of monitoring the whereabouts of Whisper users – including those who have expressly opted out of geolocation services – will alarm users, who are encouraged to disclose intimate details about their private and professional lives.

    • Banks harvest callers’ voiceprints to fight fraud

      You hear it every time you phone your bank about a lost credit card or an unexpected charge. You may realize your bank is recording you, but did you know it could be taking your biometric data, too?

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • 2015 will be the year you can buy HBO content without a TV subscription

      HBO CEO Richard Plepler told investors attending a Time Warner meeting today that the company will begin offering an online-only subscription for its content in 2015. Unlike the HBO Go service that the company currently offers, a TV subscription wouldn’t be required to access shows under the new plan.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pirates Become Biggest Political Party in Local Czech Election

        The Czech Pirate Party has booked several surprise wins in the local elections. The party gathered 5.3% of the total vote in the capital city of Prague and became the biggest political party in Mariánské lázně, with 21%. As a result, there is a good chance that the city may soon have a Pirate mayor.

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