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Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

Posted in News Roundup at 12:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenDaylight Helium gets out of the gate

    OpenDaylight is an open source SDN controller. In its short lifetime, OpenDaylight has gained support from a diverse set of companies and individuals who are eager to see an open source controller serve the networking needs of traditional IT, cloud infrastructure platforms, traditional virtualization management, and fleets of containers. Cisco released the initial code in 2013 and the project now includes 41 paying members.

  • OPNFV Project Begins Planning Open Source NFV Solutions

    The Open Platform for Network Functions Virtualization (OPNFV), the collaborative partnership for advancing open source software-defined networking and data centers that the Linux Foundation announced last month, is now officially live. Here’s what it’s up to so far, and what it hopes to becomes over the coming months and years.

  • 11 open source security tools catching fire on GitHub

    The famous tenet “all bugs are shallow” is a cornerstone of open source development. Known as Linus’s Law, the idea that open code leads to more effective bug detection in one’s projects is often the first thing IT pros think of when it comes to the security upside of the open source model.

  • Jono Bacon: Open Source is Where Society Innovates

    Throughout history, social and technological progress has been the result of people working together for change. Today community is just as important and instrumental as ever – enabled by the internet and social media, said Jono Bacon, senior director of community at XPRIZE and former Ubuntu community manager, in his keynote Tuesday at LinuxCon and CloudOpen Europe in Dusseldorf.

  • Amazon Getting More Involved With Open Source

    Amazon is not resting on their laurels though. They have rapidly adopted Docker into several AWS offerings, and are constantly improving the platform.

  • Amazon Web Services Aims for More Open Source Involvement

    In 2006, Amazon was an e-commerce site building out its own IT infrastructure in order to sell more books. Now, AWS and EC2 are well-known acronyms to system administrators and developers across the globe looking to the public cloud to build and deploy web-scale applications. But how exactly did a book seller become a large cloud vendor?

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Zen Web to Join Firefox OS Phone Players in India

        Mozilla seems to be staying very focused on the low end of the smartphone market with its Firefox OS platform, despite the high-end evolution of iOS and Android. Recently, Firefox OS phones have been arriving in India, priced well under $50, and promising to put phones in the hands of users who have never had them before.

      • Zen Web to Join Firefox OS Phone Players in India

        Now, Zen Mobile has announced it will arrive in the Firefox OS market in India with a low cost mobile phone available later this month.

      • Now, Zen Mobile to launch low cost Firefox smartphone in October

        Just few weeks into the unveiling of the first Firefox OS device in the the Indian market, Mozilla announced further partnerships with popular mobile device brands and app partners in India to launch new smartphones and content services.

      • Firefox 33 Brings OpenH264 Support

        Most notable about the Firefox 33 web browser update is that it integrates OpenH264 sandboxed support via Cisco’s H.264 open-source support.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Hadoop, Trove to Take Center Stage in the OpenStack Arena

      Slowly but surely, database-as-a-service functionality has been emerging as an important component of the evolution of the OpenStack cloud computing platform. When the OpenStack Icehouse version arrived in April, the Trove database-as-a-service project was one of the under-the-hood offerings. And now, the OpenStack Juno version is slated to arrive on Oct. 16, featuring a significatnly improved version of Trove.

    • EMC Snaps Up OpenStack Startup Cloudscaling
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD


    • JIT Support Is Closer To Landing For GCC

      Since last year there’s been an initiative for an embeddable GCC JIT compiler and ambitions to mainline the JIT support with LLVM long having been promoted for its Just-In-Time compilation abilities. Now with new patches, GCC JIT is a step closer to being mainlined.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Where new European Commission leaders stand on open source

      Many policy makers at senior levels—particularly those without experience in ICT—are not expected to have a firm grasp of issues surrounding open source and open standards. Nonetheless, Ansip displayed facility on these issues during his hearing, calling for software produced by the EC to be made open source. When he was initially asked about “free software,” he responded by talking about “open source.” Although a minor point, it provides indication that he is not new to these issues.

    • Nearly all of Romania’s universities use Moodle

      The vast majority (85 percent) of Romania’s 105 universities are now using Moodle, an open source e-learning platform, reports the country’s Moodle community manager, Herman Cosmin. “They appreciate its world-wide community and the involvement of the national community.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Lulu CEO on the invention of the self-publishing business

        Lulu.com helped define modern publish-on-demand services. In my mind, they did define them; I remember printing my first photobook and sending it to Lulu to be sent back, spiral-bound. I was amazed. I had essentially put together a small markup language (DSL, or Domain Specific Language, even), processed it through a Scheme script, and spit out LaTeX that produced reasonably pretty pages that could be converted to PDF and submitted for publication. I think I bought two copies.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Vagrant

      How many times you have been hit by unit tests failing because of environment differences between you and other team members? How easy is it to build your project and have it ready for development? Vagrant provides a method for creating repeatable development environments across a range of operating systems for solving these problems. It is a thin layer that sits on top of existing technologies that allows people working on a project to reproduce development environments with a single command: vagrant up.

    • Undertaker 1.6 Works For Linux Kernel Static Pre-Processor Code Analysis

      Undertaker is a project centered around static code analysis for code with C preprocessor directives. Undertaker is based on the VAMOS and CADOS research projects and is able to analyze the preprocessor directives of the Linux kernel.

    • Self-documentation of code

      The inadequacy or lack of documentation of software is a recurring issue. This applies just as often to proprietary software as it does to free software. Documentation of code has two main purposes: to make the code readable for other programmers, and to make the code useable. Good documentation of free software is vital for users, and contributing to the documentation (or translation to a minority language) of a free software project is a good way to get involved for those who don’t know where to start, or how to program, and want to know how it’s done. The problem is a shortage of recruits.


  • Psst: border mostly secure

    For the past 10 years, Congress has tried to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. And for 10 years, Congress has failed.

    One of the biggest obstacles to passing a law has been the insistence that the U.S.-Mexico border must be secure before any bill can be considered.

    While this demand has remained constant, the border has become more and more secure over the years, undermining the argument. Data released by the Department of Homeland Security confirm the Southern border is more secure than it has been in decades.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Pakistan worried by surge in polio
    • Polio becomes ‘public health emergency’ in Pakistan as number of cases soars

      As world health officials struggle to respond to the Ebola epidemic, Pakistan has passed a grim milestone in its efforts to combat another major global health crisis: the fight against polio.

    • Polio on Rise in Northern Pakistan Following Taliban Ban on Polio Vaccinations

      In 2012, the Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups banned polio vaccinations in the North Waziristan region; vaccinations are believed by some radicals to be cover for the sterilization of Muslim children, while paranoia may also have been provoked by the phony hepatitis vaccination campaign the CIA used to gain access to Osama bin Laden’s compound before he was killed. (The doctor who helped the CIA organize the campaign is serving 23 years in prison on separate charges believed to be pretexts to punish him for aiding the U.S.)

    • Bomb kills two polio vaccinators in Mohmand Agency

      Nobody claimed responsibility for the bombing, but militants have been aggressively targeting immunisation workers across Pakistan. The militants allege polio vaccination is a cover for espionage or Western-conspiracy to sterilise Muslims. Those conspiracy theories gained further traction after the CIA recruited a local doctor to start a vaccination programme during the hunt for Osama Bin Laden which dismayed many aid and health workers.

    • Bomb blast kills two polio vaccinators

      Those conspiracy theories gained further traction after the CIA recruited a local doctor to start a vaccination programme during the hunt for Osama Bin Laden which dismayed many aid and health workers.

    • Pakistan Battling Not Only Polio, but Misinformation

      Pakistan is losing ground in the battle against polio, with the country suffering its worst outbreaks in more than a decade.

      Efforts to erase polio are hampered by suspicions that health workers are spies, following the CIA’s use of a vaccination team to track Osama bin Laden. That legacy led to two polio workers being killed Wednesday.

      Since December of 2012, militants have killed several dozen health workers involved with the Pakistan vaccination program and the police officers escorting them.

    • Polio Spreads in Pakistan

      As Ebola rages on in West Africa, Pakistan is dealing with a terrible outbreak of polio. More than 200 people have contracted the disease this year, the worst infection rate in more than a decade, The Washington Post reported this week (October 7).

      “We want to limit the virus outside of our boundaries and want to work to control it in our boundaries, but it’s certainly a very challenging situation ahead,” Ayesha Raza Farooq, the polio eradication coordinator for Pakistan’s government, told the Post.

    • Millions Missing From DEA Money-Laundering Operation

      At least $20 million went missing from money seizures by law enforcers, critical evidence was destroyed by a federal agency, a key informant was outed by a US prosecutor — contributing to her being kidnapped and nearly killed — and at the end of the day not a single narco-trafficker was prosecuted in this four-year-long DEA undercover operation gone awry.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • VeraCrypt a Worthy TrueCrypt Alternative

      If you’re reluctant to continue using TrueCrypt now that the open source encryption project has been abandoned, and you don’t want to wait for the CipherShed fork to mature, one alternative that’s well worth investigating is VeraCrypt.

      VeraCrypt is also a fork of the original TrueCrypt code, and it was launched in June 2013. IT security consultant Mounir Idrassi, who is based in France, runs the project and is its main contributor.

    • DEFCON Router Hacking Contest Reveals 15 Major Vulnerabilities

      It’s clear from the fact that the list spans many different manufacturers that the problem is not unique to any one company. It affects nearly all router makers, and a huge percentage of Internet users. And if these brand names are not familiar, that doesn’t mean you’re safe: the Actiontec Q1000, for example, is provided by Verizon Communications to its customers.

    • Too many secrets, not enough service

      The Secret Service these days is performing about as well as the Iraqi security forces have been against the Islamic State. On both fronts, the White House is saying that this time it will work better. But nothing has really changed.

    • Rep. Cummings: Many African-Americans Fear Obama Security Decreased Due To Race
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Propaganda War on Islamic State Militants

      Washington uses ISIS/ISIL/Islamic state (IS), Nusra Front, Al Qaeda and likeminded groups strategically as enemies and allies. At times, simultaneously.

      In the 1980s, CIA-recruited mujahideen fighters battled Afghanistan’s Soviet occupiers.

      Ronald Reagan called them “the moral equivalent of our founding fathers.” They’re today’s Taliban despite distinct differences between them. Longstanding US support enhanced radical Islamic strength. Extremist groups were natural Cold War allies.

    • Cubana Flight 455: Remembering the Victims of US-Supported Terrorism

      October 6th, is the 38th anniversary of the first act of terrorism against civilian aviation in the western hemisphere – the unparalleled Cubana air disaster on the coastline of Barbados on October 6, 1976 – the Barbados crime. Cubana flight 455 was hit by two C-4 explosives bombs just after the aircraft took off from the then Seawell Airport (now the Grantley Adams International Airport) in Barbados at an altitude of 18,000 feet.

    • Cuba Mourns Anniversary of Terrorist Bombing of Cubana Flight 455
    • ​Hasta siempre, Comandante! Che Guevara’s ideas flourish decades on
    • Che Guevara: The Rorschach Revolutionary
    • Branfman revealed U.S. bombing of Laos

      Fred Branfman, the first person to draw public attention to a previously unknown U.S. bombing campaign inside Laos during the Vietnam War and who later became a leading anti-war activist in Washington, has died at a medical facility in Budapest, where he had lived for several years. He was 72.

    • Larry Berman and the “Perfect Spy” (Part 1)

      At first he did not want me to write the book. He did not want anyone to write the book. Many people who knew him during the war are famous journalists like Stanley Karnow and others. They offered An $500,000 to write his memoirs. And An kept saying “No, because if I tell the secrets, too many people would be hurt”.

    • Anything that flies on anything that moves

      In transmitting President Richard Nixon’s orders for a “massive” bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, “Anything that flies on everything that moves”. As Barack Obama ignites his seventh war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger’s murderous honesty.

    • From Pol Pot to ISIS

      The Americans dropped the equivalent of five Hiroshimas on rural Cambodia during 1969-73. They levelled village after village, returning to bomb the rubble and corpses. The craters left monstrous necklaces of carnage, still visible from the air. The terror was unimaginable. A former Khmer Rouge official described how the survivors “froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. Terrified and half-crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told … That was what made it so easy for the Khmer Rouge to win the people over.”

    • Australia’s new secret police

      When Greg James QC recently launched Frank Walker’s book Maralinga on British nuclear tests in Australia, the former NSW Supreme Court judge said the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation was involved in an associated program to collect the bones of dead children without the parents’ permission.

      Jones later explained that he obtained this previously unpublished information, although not precise details, while representing military veterans exposed to radiation from the tests in 50s and 60s. However, the book provides a powerful reminder of the harm that can be done by using national security to conceal indefensible behaviour.

      Walker sets out how 22,000 bones, mostly of babies and young children, were removed from corpses as part of a secret program to examine the effects of the radiation, which the tests spread across large parts of Australia. The program, that began in 1957 and lasted 21 years, was kept secret until 2001.

    • Leon Panetta reveals nuke plan for South Korea

      The U.S. government discussed a plan with the Lee Myung-bak administration to use nuclear weapons if North Korea invaded the South, a former U.S. defense secretary and CIA director has disclosed.

    • Pittsburgh protests new round of wars

      On October 4, Pittsburgh anti-war forces braved bitter cold rain and hail to stand against a new round of wars in the Middle East. Over 50 demonstrators gathered at Schenley Plaza on University of Pittsburgh’s campus for a rally organized by ANSWER Coalition, the Anti-War Committee of the Thomas Merton Center, and many other local peace groups. Protesters connected the wars abroad to the cuts in social services at home by chanting “Money for jobs and education, not for wars and occupation!”

    • Report recommends controversial American-Iranian policy changes

      The Iran Project is a non-governmental organization seeking to dissolve American-Iranian differences.

    • Request for release of info in ’96 TWA crash denied

      The First US Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a District Court finding that the CIA was permitted to keep the material secret, under exemptions in the FOIA law.

    • Rushing to War in the Wrong Places

      Andrew Bacevich has done a tally of the number of countries in the Islamic world that, since 1980, the United States has invaded, bombed or occupied, and in which members of the American military have either killed or been killed. Syria has become the 14th such country. Several of the countries have been the scene of U.S. military operations more than once.

    • Historic museum vote exposes rift among Bay of Pigs veterans

      For nearly 30 years, the renovated Little Havana duplex off Calle Ocho has been home to artifacts and images from the failed CIA-backed attempt in 1961 by Cuban exiles to overthrow the communist regime of Fidel Castro. It has hosted international politicians, movie stars and grade school students and held memorials for the dozens who died during the Bay of Pigs invasion.

    • Stop the U.S. blockade of Cuba now!
    • The real reason it’s nearly impossible to end the Cuba embargo

      “I think we should—we should advocate for the end of the embargo” on Cuba, Hillary Clinton said in an interview this summer at the Council on Foreign Relations. “My husband tried,” she declared, “and remember, there were [behind-the-scenes] talks going on.” The way the pre-candidate for president recounts this history, Fidel Castro sabotaged that process because “the embargo is Castro’s best friend,” providing him “with an excuse for everything.” Her husband’s efforts, she said, were answered with the February 1996 shoot-down of two US civilian planes by the Cuban air force, “ensuring there would be a reaction in the Congress that would make it very difficult for any president to lift the embargo alone.”

      The history of this dramatic episode is far more complicated than Hillary Clinton portrays it. But she is correct about one thing: Should she become president, it will be far harder for her to lift the 50-year-old trade embargo against Cuba than it would have been when her husband first assumed the office. The person most responsible for that, however, is Bill Clinton.

    • Biden continues to apologize; first Turkey, now UAE

      Vice President Joe Biden apologized to the United Arab Emirates Sunday for charging that the oil-rich ally had been supporting al Qaida and other jihadi groups in Syria’s internal war, his second apology in as many days to a key participant in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State extremists.

    • VP Biden Apologizes for Telling Truth About Turkey, Saudi and ISIS
    • US Vice President Joe Biden Apologizes After Calling Sunni Allies ‘Largest Problem in Syria’

      US Vice President Joe Biden has once again got himself in hot water, this time with key Sunni allies, after blaming them for indirectly facilitating the growth of the Islamic State militants in Syria.

    • Biden’s Admission: US Allies Armed ISIS
    • During Month of Gaffes, Vice President Biden Says Something Brilliant

      Mr. Biden’s remark also reveals the arrogance of American foreign policy. By always looking for the next Jefferson or Madison we refuse to recognize that other countries may have other models or paths to follow, and that the American experience is not universal — a belief that may spring from good intentions and a generosity of spirit, but also reflects an unwillingness to accept real differences between people and countries. It is the political equivalent of believing that everybody everywhere can speak English if you just speak it loudly and slowly enough.

    • Who ‘Lost’ Iraq? The Panetta Fantasy

      A growing number of high officials in American foreign policy engage in two all-consuming pastimes. One is the relentless pursuit of power, status and acclaim. The other is striving mightily, upon leaving office, to doctor the historical record so as to airbrush their misdeeds while striking a pose of statesmanlike wisdom and skill. The unforeseen rise of IS is provoking an outbreak of the latter.

    • Netanyahu Calls US Rebuke Over Jewish Settlements ‘Un-American;’ Praises Obama for Airstrikes Against ISIS

      Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a television interview that a recent White House rebuke of Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is “against American values,” but he praised President Obama’s decision to attack ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

    • ‘US-trained ISIS militants used to reorganize Middle East’

      WE: It’s brought them to the point of war between Shia and Sunni. That certainly was not the case before 2003. There was an uneasy truce – but it was a truce. In Syria, you had Shia and Sunni living side by side, Alawites and so forth. Same in Turkey and in Iraq. And now? Look at what General Petraeus did in Iraq to create this holy war between Shia and Sunni there – with his strategic Hamlet-kind of insurgency, trainings, secret police, and what not. And now we are reaping the result. ISIS has been trained by US Special Forces in Georgia. They’ve recruited Chechens as soldiers, they trained them in secret NATO bases inside Turkey and Jordan. For the last year and a half, they have been developing what we now call ISIS (IS, ISIL or DASH) or whatever moniker you want to give it. It’s all made in Langley, Virginia (the CIA’s seat) and [by] the affiliates of Langley inside the Pentagon.

    • Opinion: Rebel effort in Syria still splintered

      The squabbling factions that make up the Syrian “moderate opposition” should get their act together. But so should the foreign nations — such as the United States, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan — that have been funding the chaotic melange of fighters inside Syria. These foreign machinations helped open the door for the terrorist Islamic State to threaten the region…

    • The Anglo-American Empire’s War of Conquest. The War on the Islamic State (ISIL) is a Lie
    • Three reasons Obama is relieved to have UK support against Isil

      With the RAF now flying combat missions over Iraq, President Obama’s national security team is breathing a little easier. After all, even as UK participation in the coalition became likely, Parliament’s August 2013 rejection of air strikes against Assad has lingered in Washington memory. The prevailing fear was that Britain could no longer be relied upon.

    • Parliament approves motion to send 600 Canadian soldiers, CF-18 jets to Iraq War against ISIS

      Harper has maintained that ground soldiers will not be deployed to the battle in an effort to limit Canadian casualties. However, the mission could be expanded to fight ISIL militants in Syria, although federal opposition parties have demanded for a new vote over any expansion of the combat mission into the neighbouring country.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • How much leverage do donors really have on climate change?

      Kim himself will be participating in a panel focused on ways to boost renewable energy and in particular the role of the aid community in limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

      But how much influence do top development donors actually have in the fight against global warming? Very little, according to Jairam Ramesh, India’s chief negotiator at the 2009 climate change conference in Copenhagen.

  • Finance

    • Los Angeles Minimum Wage Raise Process Begins

      There was confusion on Tuesday at the Los Angeles City Council meeting. Supporters of the minimum wage raise expected council members to vote on the motion to raise the minimum wage.

    • Russia and China team up to destroy the petro dollar

      Actions of the West in Eastern Europe and ongoing pressure on Russia may eventually intensify the movement to combat the petrodollar. The biggest danger to the oil currency is likely to be related to China and its plans to increase the role of the yuan in the world.

      Russia and China currently discuss the creation of a system of inter-bank transactions, which would be an analogue to the international system of bank transfers – SWIFT. This was announced by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov after talks in Beijing.

      “Yes, this idea was discussed and supported,” he said, when asked about the possible creation of an analogue to SWIFT in bank transactions between China and Russia.

      SWIFT is an international interbank information transfer and payment system. The system is also known as SWIFT-BIC (Bank Identifier Codes), BIC code, SWIFT ID or SWIFT code. The system was founded in 1973; 239 banks from 15 countries acted as co-founders.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Neo-Con Speed Dating

      The TV debates for the Westminster election will offer you a dazzling range of neo-con policies from right wing to very right wing. Conservative, Labour, Liberal or UKIP, any flavour of corporate neo-con control that you like. It is a kind of weird speed dating circle between Cameron, Clegg, Miliband and Farage.

    • CBS Evening News Offers False “He Said, She Said” Equivalence In Voter ID Report

      These types of strict voter ID laws are popular among Republican lawmakers, despite the fact that they are redundant and there is no evidence of widespread, in-person voter fraud — the type of fraud voter ID laws are designed to prevent. Nevertheless, on the October 10 edition of CBS Evening News, correspondent Chip Reid’s segment on the recent legal decisions affecting Texas and Wisconsin’s voter ID laws failed to report this simple truth about voter suppression:

    • War on Witches: Reagan Judge Denounces Myth of Voter Fraud

      Voter ID is “a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters likely to vote for the political party that does not control the state government,” federal appellate Judge Richard Posner wrote in a scorching dissent published October 10.

    • ‘Panetta Is Trying to Rewrite History’

      Just as they did with Robert Gates, White House officials are trying to avoid too much of a public spat with Leon Panetta, the latest former high-level administration insider to criticize the president, in the not unreasonable hope that the less they say, the quicker the story will go away.

      But as they seethe quietly over what they consider the Pentagon chief’s disloyalty, administration officials are also bashing him in private, distributing a long raft of statements that he made as Obama’s CIA director and later as defense secretary that sometimes appear to contradict or undermine Panetta’s claims that he argued strenuously to keep U.S. troops in Iraq after 2011 and urged a military intervention in Syria.

    • Jim Newton leaves Times

      As editor at large, he brought his experience and knowledge to the paper’s editorial board. He is also co-author of “Worthy Fights,” the new book by Leon Panetta, former defense secretary and CIA chief.

    • Non-Denial Denials: The Most Ludicrous and the Most Heinous

      Some non-denial denials come incredibly close to flat-out lies, and that one sure did. It relied on a legalistic definition of “sexual relations” that Clinton later explained did not cover repeatedly receiving oral sex from Lewinsky, because, for his part, he had no “intent to arouse or gratify” her.

    • Leading German Journalist Admits CIA ‘Bribed’ Him and Other Leaders of the Western ‘Press’

      Now that he has abandoned not just the anti-Islamic but the anti-Russian elements of traditional German culture, he no longer is welcomed among the conservative Germans who had helped him to build, and then, for decades, to advance, his successful long career as a ‘journalist,’ but which he now calls “propagandist.”

  • Privacy

    • Unity3D Games “Phone Home” With Details Of Your Hardware & Software

      A tweet sent out by the Unity engine folks earlier about their stats page mentions that all Unity games automatically send your data to them on the first launch. This is interesting and worrying.

    • National ID system described as threat to privacy

      A proposed national ID system pending approval in the House of Representatives will threaten the privacy of ordinary citizens, a party-list lawmaker warned on Wednesday.

    • With This Tiny Box, You Can Anonymize Everything You Do Online

      No tool in existence protects your anonymity on the Web better than the software Tor, which encrypts Internet traffic and bounces it through random computers around the world. But for guarding anything other than Web browsing, Tor has required a mixture of finicky technical setup and software tweaks. Now routing all your traffic through Tor may be as simple as putting a portable hardware condom on your ethernet cable.

  • Civil Rights

    • What’s Driving the Hong Kong Protests

      As a progressive, Chinese-fluent journalist who has spent years working in China and especially Hong Kong, and who has spent decades exposing the secret workings of US agencies and their network of fake NGOs in support of US empire, as well as their anti-democratic activities here in the US, I can understand why people might be suspicious, but I want to explain that Hong Kong is not Ukraine or even Venezuela or Brazil.


      I give this history to make it clear that there is a multigenerational history of struggling for and defending individual rights and of fighting for democratic rights in Hong Kong. Hong Kong people are not new to this stuff, and as an educated population with access to a world of information in their open media and wide open internet, they are not a population that is readily susceptible to the kind of manipulation and subversion practiced typically by the likes of the NED.

    • Sunflower protests about values, not fear of China: official

      Taiwan’s student-led protest against a trade-in-services agreement with China earlier this year was held to preserve values cherished in Taiwan, not out of fear of China, a Taiwanese official stated in a response to an op-ed in the United States said Tuesday.

    • Taiwan’s protests about values, not fear of China: official
    • Washington’s Ukrainian Puppet Regime Seeks NATO and EU Membership

      Despite the heightened state of tension between Russia and the West on the international stage, the Prime Minister of Ukraine – Arseny Yatsenyuk – recently called for Ukraine to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). If Ukraine was to join the alliance in the near future it would signify a further escalation in a situation that is already beginning to spiral out of control, as it would directly threaten Russia’s strategic security.

    • Guantanamo judge: No need to order MRI of accused USS Cole bomber’s brain

      CIA agents waterboarded al Nashiri and subjected him to a mock execution before his arrival at Guantanamo in 2006. He subsequently got a military medical diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder. A consultant who examined al Nashiri said the scan was necessary in order to determine how to provide him with proper health treatment at the prison.

    • Judge: Hearing to determine admissibility of terror suspect Anas al-Liby’s statements

      A federal judge on Wednesday ordered a hearing on whether to suppress statements by a Libyan terror suspect who claims he was shell-shocked from being tasered and kidnapped by Delta Force operatives and subjected to a harsh shipboard CIA interrogation.

    • Suspected Bomb Plotter Challenges CIA Detention
    • Activist from Buvajda blackmailed by authorities

      The Uzbek authorities are threatening Negmatjon Siddikov’s imprisoned son Sadyr should the activist refuse to disassociate himself with Elena Urlaeva, the head of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan (PAU).

    • ‘Who the f**k authorized this?’ Obama’s chief of staff cursed Panetta over CIA torture probe

      Former CIA Director Leon Panetta says that he was cursed at by President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff after he agreed to cooperate with the Senate’s investigation into his agency’s torture tactics in the wake of 9/11.

      In passages taken from his new book and published online by the Intercept, Panetta explains the event that triggered the outburst, which flowed from the former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, a man notorious for his profanity-laced tirades.

    • Panetta Says Rahm Emanuel Cussed Him Out for Cooperating With Torture Inquiry
    • Rosenberg letters at BU exhibition

      “I am well aware that we face many long days and difficult obstacles have to be overcome before we can really see victory,” Ethel Rosenberg wrote while behind bars in 1952, “but I’m still confident that we’ll win our freedom.” Of course, she and husband Julius , convicted in 1951 of conspiracy to commit espionage, did not win their freedom, and a year later they were executed in the electric chair.

    • US Counterterrorism Communications Center Running Public Diplomacy, Not Infowar

      The US State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) is conducting public diplomacy, not information warfare against the Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist organizations by contesting the space of digital communication and challenging extremist propaganda, the CSCC coordinator told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

      “It is 100 percent overt public diplomacy as the US government has been doing over decades. Everything we do is overt,” Alberto Fernandez told RIA Novosti when asked if he considered the CSCC mission to be information warfare. Speaking of the CSCC efforts to counter terrorist and extremist messaging on the internet, he continued, “That’s why we’re seeking to contest the space, to unnerve the adversary, to change the conversation.”


      The world of espionage and undercover operations is the realm where the state – the maker of laws – deliberately breaks its own laws in the interest of self-preservation. In this sense, it forms part of the realm that Carl Schmitt, and more recently Giorgio Agamben, have termed “the state of exception”, and that Susan Buck-Morss calls the “wild zone of power” — the zone where power is above the law. This realm has become a greater and more important part of almost all political systems over the past half century. In an age of information, the possession and guarding of secrets is more than ever crucial to political power; and in a globalized age, the complexity of multilayered cross-border interactions impels the state to develop ever-more extensive information gathering systems, to guard against multiple challenges to its authority emerging from wide range of directions.

    • Asset seizures fuel police spending

      Police agencies have used hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Americans under federal civil forfeiture law in recent years to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear. They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.

    • “It breaks my heart”: How a SWAT team upended my baby’s life — and got away with it

      A SWAT team blew a hole in my 2-year-old’s chest — and just got off scot-free. But here’s why it gets even worse

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • “Megaupload’s Imaginary Copyright Crimes Should be Dismissed”

        The U.S. Government is trying to get their hands on the assets of Kim Dotcom and his fellow defendants through a civil lawsuit, claiming that they are the proceeds of crime. Megaupload’s legal team is striking back against these allegations and informs the court that the Government’s case is built on nonexistent crimes.


Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

Posted in News Roundup at 7:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • ChromeOS Drops Support For EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 File-Systems

      For the past year Google developers have been looking at dropping support for EXT* file-systems from ChromeOS while only today it’s making the rounds on the Internet and of course Linux fans are enraged.

      While ChromeOS is based on Linux and EXT4 continues to be the most widely used Linux file-system and still is used by default on most Linux distributions, Google developers are dropping support for EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 file-systems from their ChromeOS user-interface.

    • Rebellion sees Chromium reverse plans to dump EXT filesystem

      The Chromium project decided that the EXT family of filesystems are surplus to requirements, but has bowed to pressure and signalled it is willing to reverse the decision.

    • Google Tries To Kill EXT* File-systems For ChromeOS

      Does Google want to give a fair segment of users a reason not to use ChromeOS? What were they thinking?

  • Server

    • IBM Expects Linux Integration To Work For i Shops

      It’s been said before, but maybe the time for Linux and i integration is finally drawing near.

      “We have a fundamental belief that you can’t survive in this new world of mobile, social, big data, and cloud without being able to integrate and interface into the system of record in a secure and scalable manner,” says Stephen Leonard, general manager of IBM Systems and Technology Group sales.

      IBM, with its major investment in Linux, thinks Power Systems are the best answer for making that integration and interface not only more effective, but also more cost efficient based on the existing systems of record and the data crunching performance that is being built into its hardware and software.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.18 Has PCI Support For 64-bit ARM

      Going back two years with the Linux 3.7 kernel was the initial 64-bit ARM support and now eleven kernel releases later the initial enablement is still being battened up. With Linux 3.18 there’s finally PCI support for ARM64.

    • Mailbox Framework Comes With Linux 3.18

      In the 3.18 mailbox pull request Jassi Brar explains, “A framework for Mailbox controllers and clients have been cooking for more than a year now. Everybody in the CC list had been copied on patchset revisions and most of them have made sounds of approval, though just one concrete Reviewed-by. The patchset has also been in linux-next for a couple of weeks now and no conflict has been reported. The framework has the backing of at least 5 platforms, though I can’t say if/when they upstream their drivers (some businesses have ‘changed’).”

    • Debian leader says users can continue with SysVinit

      Users of Debian GNU/Linux will be able to continue using SysVinit as their init system, despite the project having switched to systemd as the default, according to the leader of the Debian project.

    • Reiser4 Updated For Linux 3.16 With SSD Discard Support

      Over the weekend the Reiser4 file-system patches were updated for Linux 3.16.1/3.16.2 kernel support and additionally for presenting SSD discard support for the long-in-development Linux FS. This latest Reiser4 file-system work was done by Ivan Shapovalov and Edward Shishkin.

    • Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative Issues Call for Grant Proposals

      The Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), a project hosted by The Linux Foundation that enables technology companies, industry stakeholders and esteemed developers to collaboratively identify and fund critical open source projects that are in need of assistance, today issued a call for new grant proposals for open source projects seeking industry support.

    • The cruel crucible of open source development

      It was with great interest that I read Lennart Poettering’s missive on open source software development and his experiences in the field last week. There is some truth to his claims that discussions can get heated and things can be said that are perhaps uncouth and salty. Still, I can’t agree with his wholesale characterization of open source development as “sick” or “full of a**holes.”

      I think, perhaps, that Lennart has been exposed to more troublesome technical discussions and descriptions than many in this field, but not because he is an innocent target. Rather, he conducts himself in such a way that it evokes this kind of reaction. To paraphrase an old saying, “If you run into a jerk in the morning, you ran into a jerk in the morning. If you run into jerks all day long, then maybe you’re the jerk.” I think it may in part apply here.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Broadwell OpenCL Support Comes To Beignet

        Intel OpenCL Linux compute support has landed for the forthcoming Broadwell processors.

        Pushed this week by Yang Rong and other Intel OTC China staff was the initial Broadwell hardware enablement in Beignet, the Intel OpenCL Linux implementation. Beignet has been building up since the Ivy Bridge days and now in time for the debut of the first ultrabooks with Broadwell designs is the necessary GPGPU compute support.

      • Mesa 10.3.1 Point Release Now Available

        For users of Mesa stable releases rather than the exciting Git activity, there’s some new releases worth upgrading to.

      • Mesa 10.3.1

        Mesa 10.3.1 has been released. Mesa 10.3.1 is a bug fix release fixing bugs since the 10.3 release, (see below for a list of changes).

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kate’s Mascot: Kate the Woodpecker

        After the first KF 5 release, I contacted the creator of the Krita mascot Kiki and the KF 5 dragons artwork, Tyson Tan, if he would be interested in design a Kate mascot, too. He immediately agreed to help out and after some months of roundtrips, here we go!

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • The GNOME Infrastructure’s FreeIPA move behind the scenes

        A few days ago I wrote about the GNOME Infrastructure moving to FreeIPA, the post was mainly an announcement to the relevant involved parties with many informative details for contributors to properly migrate their account details off from the old authentication system to the new one. Today’s post is a follow-up to that announcement but it’s going to take into account the reasons about our choice to migrate to FreeIPA, what we found interesting and compelling about the software and why we think more projects (them being either smaller or bigger) should migrate to it. Additionally I’ll provide some details about how I performed the migration from our previous OpenLDAP setup with a step-by-step guide that will hopefully help more people to migrate the infrastructure they managed themselves.

      • GNOME Summit update

        Around 20 people got together Saturday morning and, after bagels and coffee got together in a room and collected topics that everybody was interested in working on. With Christian in attendance, gnome-builder was high on the list, but OSTree and gnome-continuous also showed up several times on the list.

  • Distributions

    • Black Lab Linux Finally Decides on GNOME, App Grid Replaces Ubuntu Software Center

      Black Lab Linux started its life as a Windows XP alternative and the developers actually made a big deal about it. Even the interface was designed in such as way that it resembled the Windows XP desktop layout, at least to some degree. They since parted ways with that kind of desktop and statement, but they are still looking for their identity.

    • SEANux – a version of Linux from the Syrian Electronic Army

      For now, consider me skeptical of SEANux. After all, back in early 2012 the so-called AnonymousOS was released, a purported new operating system from the Anonymous collective – only to reportedly be found ridden with trojan horses.

    • New Releases

    • Ballnux/SUSE

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Release notes for siduction cinnamon dev release

          We are very happy to present to you today the first integration of the cinnamon desktop environment into siduction. Cinnamon is a modern desktop based on GTK 3 with a classic look. It has been developed and published by the popular Linux Mint distribution since 2011. Recently Cinnamon version 2.2 has made it into Jessie, Debians upcoming release. A team of several Debian developers has worked on the packaging for about three months and has matured the whole set of packages. We can expect it to be functional.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu’s Unity Turns 4, Happy Birthday!

            Canonical devs and the Ubuntu community have a good reason to celebrate these days because the Unity desktop environment is now four years old.
            Unity is the default desktop environment in Ubuntu and it’s been around for four years now, although not for the desktop version of the distribution. It was first used in Ubuntu Netbook Remix, which was a flavor dedicated for Netbook use. In fact, Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.10 Maverick Meerkat was the first to adopt the new Unity desktop.

          • VirtualBox 4.3.18 Has Fixes for Unity and GNOME Shell
          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open source “Dronecode” UAV platform project launches

      The Linux Foundation launched a collaborative “Dronecode Project” aimed at creating a shared open source platform for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

      The not-for-profit Linux Foundation announced the Dronecode Project at its Embedded Linux Conference Europe in Düsseldorf today. Among the collaborative project’s first members is 3D Robotics, which is contributing technology from its widely used APM platform for UAV autopilots (formerly called “Ardupilot”). The Dronecode project will also incorporate technology from the PX4 project, led by Lorenz Meier of ETH, the Technical University of Zurich. Most APM projects either use Arduino circuitry or PX4′s open source Pixhawk hardware foundation.

    • Drone developers get big open source boost from Linux Foundation, vendors like 3D Robotics and Box

      The new “Dronecode Project” will make it easier for developers that want to build systems or tools for unmanned aircraft system to have access to a common platform.

    • Linux Foundation Does Open Source Drones

      As I’ve noted many times, one of the exciting things about open source is the way it is expanding to completely new areas. A good example of that is drones. People have a rather complicated view of drones: like most tools, they can be used for good or bad. But there’s no doubt that making the software that controls them open source is a step in the right direction, since it means that drones don’t remain the exclusive domain of big companies – or the military.

    • Announcing Dronecode: Expanding the Architecture of Participation for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

      A few months ago, I met Chris Anderson and Andy Jensen, CEO and COO of 3D Robotics, one of the leading manufacturers of commercial drones. They were interested in creating a software foundation for their open source drone projects and wanted to pattern it after the Linux Foundation. We quickly realized we could provide the collaborative and participatory infrastructure needed to advance the ecosystem, and Dronecode was born.

    • Linux Foundation plans open-source drone hit
    • Intel, SkyWard and others back open source software for aerial drones
    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android 5.0 L Update for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10: Release Date Reports

          The launch of the Android 5.0 L update for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 is right around the corner. Or at least that’s what the latest reports are indicating. Google failed to reveal when the new Android version will be released for the public, but several sources are confirming that we might get the Android 5.0 L update sooner than expected.

Free Software/Open Source

  • What’s in a name in open source?

    Decide what kind of community you like, because there are different ones. Again MySQL had a total of maybe 100 contributors over its lifespan of code, and we hired many of them into the company. That part of the community was relatively small. The community of users was enormous and still is. And the community of those who build an add-on to MySQL was enormous. You have different ways of doing them.

    Then finally, and this is perhaps the most remarkable insight I’ve made about open source licensing models and governance, it’s very much about branding. This has to do with the fact that an open source license stipulates nothing about the name. If they do that, it means the name isn’t free, it is protected by copyright.

  • Front and back-end developers should make friends

    Natalie Kozlowski is a front-end web developer at CodeGuard. She’s a self-taught coder who embraces open source and will be giving a talk about how to interact with your front-end developers at this year’s All Things Open conference in Raleigh.

  • Alfresco sends SharePoint integration open source

    Alfresco Software is contributing to the Apache Software Foundation an open source integration, named Chemistry Parts. The integration connects Microsoft SharePoint to virtually any enterprise content management (ECM) system, including Alfresco, using the open standard CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) from OASIS. The integration is contributed by Alfresco to the Apache Chemistry project, which is an open source implementation of CMIS.

  • Events/XDC

    • Recapping All The Interesting Talks Of XDC2014

      The XDC2014 conference officially ended on Friday and was followed on Saturday by X.Org developers drinking wine and cycling around Bordeaux, France. For those not in attendance that haven’t been keeping up with all of the Phoronix articles, here’s a summary.

    • FreeRDS Talked Up For X & Wayland

      The FreeRDS project was talked about at this past week’s XDC2014 conference in Bordeaux, France. FreeRDS is an open-source RDP server derived from FreeRDP.

    • XDC 2014

      KWin/Wayland 5.1 gained support for the fullscreen shell interface. My idea when adding this was to not have to implement DRM support in KWin, but (for the time being) leverage Weston. This simplifies development and allows us to move forward on a higher speed. Jason Ekstrand’s talk showed that the fullscreen shell provides more interesting aspects than our use case. The shell can also be used for use cases such as screen sharing: a compositor renders in addition to a fullscreen shell provided by a different compositor which can use it to e.g. capture a video stream or forward an rdp session. Very interesting and quite useful that we already support it and won’t have to add additional support for rdp into each compositor.

  • Databases

    • OpenStack Juno Cloud Features Trove Database-as-a-Service Updates

      The upcoming open-source OpenStack Juno cloud platform will now support more databases and database features.

      When the open-source OpenStack Icehouse platform was released in April, the Trove database-as-a-service project was one of its key new features. Fast forward six months, and the OpenStack Juno release is set to debut on Oct. 16, complete with a long list of updates and improvements to Trove.

  • Funding

    • Free Software & Money

      In fact, it is not really that money and Free Software are strange bedfellows. Not only is there nothing prohibiiting anyone to generate revenues with Free Software, it is even encouraged. We have adopted a (sane) practice for years, which is to provide binaries and source code of entire Free Software stacks for free. Reading the GPL you may notice that this is not at all something to be expected; if anything, you may sell your binaries tomorrow, and only give away your source code. The unhealthy part comes when the expectation that not only all this should be free, but that your time, expertise and your entire work should always remain free.

  • BSD


  • Openness/Sharing


  • Tennis legend reveals new details about ‘party boy’ George W. Bush’s 1976 drunken driving arrest
  • Tennis star John Newcombe tells of George W. Bush’s drink-driving arrest

    Australian tennis star John Newcombe has lifted the lid on “party boy” George W. Bush and the drink-driving revelation that clouded his 2000 US presidential election campaign.

    Bush, who served as president from 2001 to 2009, admitted to the drink-driving arrest that he kept secret for nearly 25 years just days ahead of the poll after the story broke on US networks.

    The incident occurred in 1976 near his family’s Kennebunkport summer home in Maine, and followed a night’s drinking with Wimbledon champion Newcombe, who was also in the car.

  • Details About ‘Party Boy’ George W. Bush’s Drunken Driving Incident Revealed
  • Health and Drugs

    • Abstinence costs $18 USD per month in small African country

      In the small African country of Swaziland, the government is taking actions to impose sexual abstinence, trying to keep the nation’s women virgin as long as possible.

    • Chuck Todd Calls Out Media For Helping GOP Irresponsibly Push Ebola Fears To Win Votes
    • Ebola Is Not a Weapon

      First, the virus isn’t a viable bioweapon candidate. It doesn’t spread quickly—its R0, a measure of how infectious a virus is, is about 2. That means that, in a population where everyone is at risk, each infected person will, on average, infect two more people. But because someone with Ebola is infectious only when she shows symptoms, we’ve got plenty of chances to clamp down on an outbreak in a country with a developed public health system.

    • Polio spreads in Pakistan

      While most media attention is on Ebola, polio has been spreading in Pakistan, where 200 Pakistanis have been diagnosed so far. This is greatest number of infections in more than a decade.

    • Brutal novel centers on Bob Marley, U.S. role in Jamaican crime

      But readers who can get beyond its excessive violence will find a compelling story of the Jamaican underworld and its uneasy relationship with the United States in the last quarter of the 20th century.

    • A Brief History of Seven Killings
    • Resurrecting a disgraced scribe

      If someone told you today that there was strong evidence that the Central Intelligence Agency once turned a blind eye to accusations of drug dealing by operatives it worked with, it might ring some distant, skeptical bell.

      Did that really happen? That really happened. As part of their insurgency against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, some of the CIA-backed contras made money through drug smuggling, transgressions noted in a little-noticed 1988 Senate subcommittee report.

    • ‘Messenger’ fails to tell entire tale of skullduggery

      It’s hard to know what to think about “Kill the Messenger,” and this makes it frustrating to watch. It tells the real-life story of Gary Webb, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reporter whose series on a “dark alliance” between the CIA and drug dealers made him seem on track to win a Pulitzer Prize. Then he came under attack by other papers for supposedly sloppy reporting, and his own newspaper refused to support him.

      The movie has a point of view, which is that Webb was a great reporter, that the big newspapers went after him only because he scooped them, and that his own bosses were spineless individuals, with no right to call themselves journalists. Perhaps some of this is true. Perhaps all of this is true. Who knows? Still, one gets the sense, while watching, that there had to be another side to this story.

      Here’s a case of a film that could have been better and more satisfying as a documentary. As a narrative feature, “Kill the Messenger” has no choice but to live up to the demands of drama. But what do you do with a story that must be told, that deserves to be told, but that’s not very good as a story? Alas, true stories are confined to the facts, and the facts here make for the death of drama — a movie that begins as “All the President’s Men Revisited” then shifts into the tale of a besieged fellow and his relationship with his family.

      At first things look promising, for Webb and for the movie. As a reporter in the Sacramento bureau, Webb is put on to the story of CIA involvement in drug trafficking by a mystery woman (Paz Vega) and soon finds that everyone he asks about it becomes terrified, clams up, practically runs for the hills. So he knows he is on to something.

    • Former kingpin Rick Ross talks Gary Webb’s death, C.I.A. complicity, and new doc ‘Freeway: Crack in the System’
    • Decades-old CIA crack-cocaine scandal gains new momentum

      ​Nearly two decades after a US reporter was humiliated for connecting the CIA to a drug-trafficking trade that funded the Nicaraguan Contras, important players in the scandal – which led to the journalist’s suicide – are coming forward to back his claims.

    • This Is the Real Story Behind Kill The Messenger

      In a scene from the new movie Kill the Messenger, investigative reporter Gary Webb (played by Jeremy Renner) says that he doesn’t believe in conspiracy theories. He does, however, believe in real conspiracies: “If I believe it, there’s nothing ‘theory’ about it.” The true story on which the movie is based, however, makes it clear that it’s not always obvious what’s a theory and what’s the truth.

    • Review: ‘Kill the Messenger’ revisits Gary Webb’s CIA, Contras and crack cocaine

      In a scene from the new movie Kill the Messenger, investigative reporter Gary Webb (played by Jeremy Renner) says that he doesn’t believe in conspiracy theories. He does, however, believe in real conspiracies: “If I believe it, there’s nothing ‘theory’ about it.” The true story on which the movie is based, however, makes it clear that it’s not always obvious what’s a theory and what’s the truth.

    • ‘Kill the Messenger’ tells tale of reporter’s clash with CIA

      By all appearances the 2004 death of the messenger, investigative reporter Garry Webb, from two gunshots to the head was a suicide. But before that his stories in the San Jose Mercury News linking the CIA to drug smuggling by rebels in Nicaragua and connecting it with the crack epidemic in cities here caused his professional demise.

    • Renner: Scene cuts hurt
    • ‘The New York Times’ Wants Gary Webb to Stay Dead

      New York Times, The Washington Post and, especially, the Los Angeles Times went after Webb…

    • Key Figures In CIA-Crack Cocaine Scandal Begin To Come Forward

      With the public in the U.S. and Latin America becoming increasingly skeptical of the war on drugs, key figures in a scandal that once rocked the Central Intelligence Agency are coming forward to tell their stories in a new documentary and in a series of interviews with The Huffington Post.

    • Bully Banksters and Biotech Move into Ukraine to Install GMO Business
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Former FBI and CIA officers at odds over Lockerbie/Pan Am 103 bombing

      An FBI agent who led the US investigation into the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988 has denied claims made by a former CIA officer who told Aurora News that FBI investigators did not read vital US intelligence material related to the attack.

      Robert Baer, a retired CIA Officer who was based in the Middle East, had said, “I’ve been having exchanges with the FBI Investigators and they came right out and said they didn’t read the intelligence.

      “I just find that extraordinary and then later for them to comment on the intelligence and say it’s no good; it’s amazing,” Baer said.

    • Analysis: How The CIA Got Away With Murdering Revolutionary Che Guevara

      Che Guevara’s body was uncovered from beneath a Bolivian landing strip 10 years after his death, but the truth behind how his body ended up in that secret burial location wouldn’t surface for several decades.

    • Photos capture a candid Che Guevara, who was executed in Bolivia on Oct. 9, 1967
    • Muzzled press turns cannibal in ‘Kill the Messenger’

      It’s no coincidence that one month after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Washington Post published a commentary by former President Harry Truman asserting that the Central Intelligence Agency was dangerously out of control. Instead of merely collecting data, as Truman had intended when he created the agency in 1947, the CIA was implementing its own rogue policies, which included overthrowing elected governments around the world…

    • Leon Panetta, Head of Pentagon and C.I.A. Under Obama, Says Brace for 30 Year War with ISIS

      “I vividly recall how, in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s killing, Obama partisans triumphantly declared that this would finally usher in the winding down of the War on Terror. On one superficial level, that view was understandable: it made sense if one assumes that the U.S. has been waging this war for its stated reasons and that it hopes to vanquish The Enemy and end the war.

    • Former head of CIA predicts 30-year war against ISIL
    • Suspected US drone strike kills two near Afghanistan-Pakistan border

      The CIA typically carries out such strikes in Pakistan’s tribal region and does not comment on the attacks, which have stirred anger in Pakistan over civilian casualties.

    • Billions from Iraq possibly stashed in Lebanon

      Not long after American forces defeated the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein in 2003, caravans of trucks began to arrive at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington on a regular basis, unloading an unusual cargo — pallets of shrink-wrapped $100 bills.

      The cash, withdrawn from Iraqi government accounts held in the United States, was loaded onto Air Force C-17 transport planes bound for Baghdad, where the Bush administration hoped it would provide a quick financial infusion for Iraq’s new government and the country’s battered economy.

    • Why are the media yet again playing lapdog and not watchdog on war in Iraq?

      The media has sensationalized the supposed threat from Isis even as intelligence agencies insisted that the group poses no immediate threat to the United States.

    • Why didn’t the feds stop John McCain from entering Syria? Mulshine

      I picked up my New York Times the other day and came upon an article about how federal officials are detaining Americans who are trying to fly to Syria to join the rebels there.

      Great idea. But where were they when John McCain was flying to visit with the rebels inside Syria?

      Much of the controversy over McCain’s visit there centers on whether the rebels he met were allied with the Islamic State. That’s an interesting debate and it looks like there were no direct ties. But I think a more important question is why a U.S. Senator saw fit to violate the territorial integrity of a sovereign nation to support those fighting to overthrow the government.

      Or in other words, to support terrorists. That’s certainly the way the Syrian government sees the fighters, often from foreign nations, who are fighting to overthrow the regime.

    • Turkey to Help Train and Equip Moderate Syrian Rebels

      Turkey has agreed to support a new U.S.-led effort to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels, American officials say, as Ankara backs part of the work of an international coalition, while disagreeing on goals of the military effort in Syria.

    • Media Scoundrels Wage War

      Selling war takes precedence. It’s glorified in the name of peace. It rages against one country after another. It’s official US policy.

      Media scoundrels march in lockstep. Doing so enlists public support. Famed US journalist Walter Lippmann coined the phrase “manufacture of consent.”

      It’s a euphemism for mind control. In 1917, George Creel first used it successfully to turn pacifist Americans into raging German-haters.


      The event known as the Cuban missile crisis, to many people the greatest of all Cold War crises, is a milestone in the history of the Cold War. “Generations to come,” praised Time magazine, “may well count John Kennedy’s resolve as one of the decisive moments of the 20th Century.” Yet there is perhaps no single event in recent history as contradictory and puzzling as this one.

    • Op-Ed: Kurdish ‘terrorists’ defending Kobane inspired by US anarchist

      You would never know from most mainstream news reports that the Kurds defending the Syrian border city of Kobane from the Islamic Front advance are part of the Kurdistan Worker’s party or PKK widely regarded as a terrorist organization.

    • Confronting the consequences of aerial savagery

      According to Pol Pot, his movement had consisted of “fewer than 5,000 poorly armed guerrillas uncertain about their strategy, tactics, loyalty and leaders”. Once Nixon’s and Kissinger’s B52 bombers had gone to work as part of “Operation Menu”, the west’s ultimate demon could not believe his luck.

      The Americans dropped the equivalent of five Hiroshimas on rural Cambodia during 1969-73. They levelled village after village, returning to bomb the rubble and corpses. The craters left monstrous necklaces of carnage, still visible from the air. The terror was unimaginable. A former Khmer Rouge official described how the survivors “froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. Terrified and half-crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told That was what made it so easy for the Khmer Rouge to win the people over.”

      A Finnish Government Commission of Enquiry estimated that 600,000 Cambodians died in the ensuing civil war and described the bombing as the “first stage in a decade of genocide”. What Nixon and Kissinger began, Pol Pot, their beneficiary, completed. Under their bombs, the Khmer Rouge grew to a formidable army of 200,000.

    • Biden tells truth, apologizes

      Vice President Joe Biden opened his mouth last week, let out some facts, and almost immediately had to apologize. In a speech at Harvard, Biden called out Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates for supplying unconditional aid and logistical support to Washington’s current Enemy No. 1: the organization now calling itself the Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL, as part of their attempt to overturn Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

    • Rand Paul vs current assaults on monstrous ISIS

      Early in his remarks, he explains his concerns with the methods used thus far in this particular intervention: “ISIS has grabbed up U.S., Saudi, Qatari weapons by the truckload, and we are now forced to fight against our own weapons … Reports show that the CIA, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have supplied roughly 600 tons of weapons to the militants in Syria in 2013 alone.”

    • Jonathan Greenhill of CIA For Sheikh Suleiman & Goldin Solutions For Russia

      According to Linkedin, Jonathan Greenhill is a former “Senior Operations Officer, National Clandestine Service at Central Intelligence Agency” – sounds pretty serious, huh? New FARA filings indicate that Greenhill has now been hired to lobby for Sheikh Ali Hatem al-Suleirman.

      Suleirman has been quoted by the Huffington Post as saying “The United States has empowered a bunch of crooks here in Iraq, people who used to live abroad in five-star hotels, while we were here suffering under Saddam. It was the United States that toppled Saddam, but these politicians took advantage of the confusion, they came aboard American tanks and claimed that they were the ones who defeated Saddam.”

    • How Muslims can halt extremism

      Very little was done in the organized Muslim community in northern Illinois after the FBI arrested Adel Daoud in September 2012. As his criminal case returns to the headlines because of his trial being postponed from next month until next summer, more local Muslim youth continue to make headlines for their thwarted efforts to join terrorist operations abroad. One local newspaper ran a frightening front-page headline “ISIS in Chicago.”

    • Harvard Students See US Bigger Threat than ISIL

      Students at Harvard University have put America as a bigger threat to world peace than the so-called Islamic State (or ISIL) militant group, asserting the US actions in the Middle East are the main factors leading to the growth of such groups.

    • Obama allies getting harder to find these days

      President Barack Obama is finding himself with few friends in Washington.

      His former Pentagon chief is criticizing his foreign policy. Longtime political advisers are questioning his campaign strategy. And Democrats locked in tough midterm campaigns don’t want Obama anywhere near them between now and Election Day next month.

    • Rise of the Reapers: A brief history of drones

      While at the time of writing only the US, the UK and Israel are known to have used armed drones in military operations, this is likely to change soon. Italy and France for example, began operating unarmed Reaper drones in 2011 and 2013 and are likely to begin armed operations in the near future. Many other countries are now using large and small drones for military reconnaissance and intelligence purposes and are likely to acquire or develop armed capability in the near future. While having only a relatively short history, armed drones it seems have a big future.

    • Pakistanis burn US flag in rally against drone hits

      Pakistani protesters have burned the American flag in a rally against the persisting US assassination drone strikes on Pakistan’s northwestern tribal regions.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Lawyer’s Bid for JFK Records Still on Hold

      An attorney’s bid for CIA records on the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy remains stalled, after a federal judge said Thursday that she can’t tell whether the government looked hard enough for the records.

  • Finance

    • The Obama administration’s shameful defense of Amazon’s low pay

      The president has been adamant about helping American workers, so why is he throwing his support behind Jeff Bezos?

    • Venezuela: Behind murder of revolutionary deputy

      On the morning of Oct. 2, the Bolivarian people of Venezuela awoke to the terrible news of a murder during the previous night of a young revolutionary couple. Robert Serra, 27, the youngest deputy to the National Assembly elected from the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), and his life partner Maria Herrera were stabbed to death at their home in the parish of La Pastora, a working-class neighborhood of Caracas.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Wikipedia founder to float mobile phone company

      If the rumors about Kim Jong Un being ill health – or worse – prove true, the CIA wouldn’t be the first to know about it. No spy agency in the world would.

    • Former NSA spy talks about privacy concerns online

      The former spy said people who care anything at all about their privacy should as a rule, stay away from popular consumer Internet services like Facebook, and Google and Dropbox.

    • Fake Snowden Is Russia’s Newest TV Star

      The planned Oliver Stone film about National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden—played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt—and his quest for asylum in Russia, is still being shopped around to Hollywood studios and won’t start shooting for another three months. In the meantime, however, a thinly fictionalized version of the Snowden story just premiered on Russian television as part of an eight-episode spy drama, Where the Motherland Begins. And it has a peculiar twist, which implies that since he was a child, the former NSA contractor was, in a sense, groomed by a Russian intelligence agent.

    • The Most Important US Spy Agency Is One You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

      As far as intelligence agencies go, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has remained relatively low profile—attracting neither the intrigue of, say, the CIA nor the umbrage directed toward the National Security Agency.

    • FBI Screens Interns On Their Piracy Habits

      Applicants to the FBI’s internship program will have to answer potentially tricky questions if they want to be accepted by the investigative and intelligence agency. In addition to questions relating to drug use, potential interns are required to reveal their historic downloading habits.

    • Adobe’s Half-Assed Response To Spying On All Your eBooks

      Yesterday, we mentioned the reports kicked off by Nate Hoffelder’s research that Adobe was spying on your ebook reading efforts and (even worse) sending the details as unencrypted plaintext. Adobe took its sweet time, but finally responded late last night (obnoxiously, Adobe refused to respond directly to Hoffelder at all, despite the fact that he broke the story).

    • Goldman Sachs Turns to Digital Surveillance to Catch Rogue Bankers

      Between allegations that they manipulated benchmark interest rates or wrote faulty mortgages, banks have racked up more than $170 billion in litigation costs since 2008, according to an estimate by the Macquarie Group (MQG:AU). So some financial institutions are investing in technology that can sift through millions of e-mails, instant messages, and transcripts of telephone calls to spot suspicious behavior before it explodes into a mess of lawsuits and fines.

    • Judge Rejects Defense That FBI Illegally Hacked Silk Road—On a Technicality

      Lawyers for Ross Ulbricht have spent the last two months shifting the focus from their client, charged with creating the billion-dollar drug market the Silk Road, and putting it onto the potential illegality of the FBI’s investigation. Now the judge in that case has spoken, and it’s clear she intends to put Ulbricht on trial, not the FBI.

    • NSA Has Had Agents on the Ground In China, Germany and South Korea, According to Newly Released Snowden Docs

      The National Security Agency relies on agents on the ground in China, Germany and South Korea to infiltrate and compromise networks and devices through what’s called “physical subversion,” according to documents released Friday by The Intercept.

    • Snowden: NSA carrying out ‘human intel’ ops in China

      America’s National Security Agency (NSA) has implemented programs in China using secret agents to infiltrate and compromise networks and devices through “physical subversion,” reports The Intercept, a publication of independent journalism organization First Look Media.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Government War Against Reporter James Risen

      Ever since New York Times reporter James Risen received his first subpoena from the Justice Department more than six years ago, occasional news reports have skimmed the surface of a complex story. The usual gloss depicts a conflict between top officials who want to protect classified information and a journalist who wants to protect confidential sources. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Sterling—a former undercover CIA officer now facing charges under the Espionage Act, whom the feds want Risen to identify as his source—is cast as a disgruntled ex-employee in trouble for allegedly spilling the classified beans.

    • Gen. Hayden: ‘Conflicted’ in James Risen Case

      Gen. Mike Hayden, the former National Security Agency chief, isn’t convinced that charges should be brought against a New York Times reporter who uncovered a covert military operation against Iran.

    • Feds may subpoena reporter in CIA case

      Federal prosecutors hinted Friday they still intend to subpoena a New York Times reporter to testify in a case against a former CIA agent — a move that could put them in the position of advocating for penalties against a journalist for doing his job.

    • Prosecutors reconsider Risen subpoena
    • 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.

    • What Former CIA Head Leon Panetta Says Now About Torture

      More than a decade after CIA interrogators began using “enhanced interrogation techniques” on Al-Qaeda operatives, expert opinion remains sharply divided over the efficacy—and moral justification—for using torture on terrorists. Over the years, the facts have been clouded by movies and TV shows in which torture always works and by the justifications of officials who have a stake in defending it.

    • CIA didn’t know it had Senate ‘torture’ report

      It’s a report that’s been the talk of Washington’s intelligence community for months, yet lawyers for the nation’s premier intelligence agency — the CIA — improbably maintained it didn’t have a copy.

    • CIA Director: Bin Laden body dropped into sea with 300 pounds of iron

      In a book released this week, a former CIA director and defense secretary said that the body of international terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was sent to the deep with the aid of some 300 pounds of chains.

    • Proof: CIA Uses Hollywood to Feed You Its Propaganda

      Moreover, the CIA and Disney have had a cozy relationship for a number of years. Robert Carey Broughton, Disney’s effects wizard, worked for the OSS in WWII. Disney makeup specialist John Chambers worked for the agency in the 60’s and the CIA is proud to say so. (2) (3)

    • A Murder Mystery at Guantanamo Bay

      America’s plunge into the “dark side” last decade created a hidden history of shocking brutality, including torture and homicides, that the U.S. government would prefer to keep secret, even though many of the perpetrators are out of office, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

    • Do You Appreciate Ray McGovern?

      Consortiumnews was there for you, since 1995, challenging Official Washington’s misguided “group think”…

    • Freedom and Human Rights in the UK

      Apparently, Britain has been overcome with a racist frenzy as UKIP secure their first by-election seat in Southend on Sea. Well, Southend on Sea is hardly Britain and I cannot say I am totally surprised. This is Southend we’re talking about. Besides that, the UKIP guy who got in was already a well known Tory guy before he changed sides. They’ve obviously got a lot of media coverage and this seems a bit like a fluke. Maybe I should be more worried about this. It’s hard to tell.

    • Ex-Florida Corrections Officer Convicted In Child Porn Case

      A former Florida corrections officer is facing multiple years in prison after he was convicted on several counts of possessing child porn.

    • Where’s the accountability?

      More recently, we learned that the C.I.A. spied on a Senate investigations committee. Although one senator described this espionage as “illegal” and a grave violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers, C.I.A. Director John Brennan — who indignantly denied that the C.I.A. would ever do such a thing before admitting that it did — retains his job, too.

      In the 21st century United States, accountability is for little people. Citizens who commit crimes — and many who don’t — get arrested, charged, and prosecuted (and in Baltimore, they sometimes get beaten). Government and corporate officials who commit crimes, meanwhile, rarely face consequences.

      The same is true of the nation’s financial elite. After the 2008 financial collapse, the Treasury Department rushed in to buttress the country’s financial institutions, funneling billions of dollars to Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Bank of America among others. At only one company were executives forced out and shareholders punished; and the former executive of that rescued company, A.I.G., is now suing the government for the insult.

      During the housing bubble, financial institutions committed, among other known acts: fraudulent robo-signing of mortgage documents, foreclosure fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud. No executive has been criminally prosecuted. Indeed, the settlements between banks and the Justice Department specifically granted releases for the banks’ illegal evictions and fraudulent robo-signing — in exchange for a fine, of course — thus precluding any further investigations. Shareholders pay the fines; bank executives keep their bonuses and their jobs.

    • Seat Belt Violation Greeted With Spike Strip, Smashed Window And Tasering

      Apparently afraid Jones has a gun (because why else would another gun be out), the officer approaches the vehicle with an ax and smashes the window, sending glass flying into the back seat where Mahone’s two children are sitting. Almost immediately, Jamal Jones is tasered and dragged from the vehicle.

      The seven-year-old begins crying. The fourteen-year-old continues to record with his cellphone.

      Now, it’s a lawsuit.

    • Why Hong Kong police are “celebrating” the attacks on protesters

      Thousands of protesters are enraged at the police for allegedly allowing them to be attacked last night by a mob in the commercial district of Mong Kok.

      And though they won’t say it publicly, Hong Kong’s police are furious with the protesters in turn.

      A police officer with years of experience tells GlobalPost that when the news came in that student protesters were being attacked Friday by disgruntled citizens — some of the them with gang ties — police officers were “cheering.”

    • PunditFact: Fact-checking the fallout from Bill Maher’s Muslim monologue

      Daily Beast columnist and comedian Dean Obeidallah zeroed in on Maher’s quote that we referenced in our introduction, the part where Maher said women in Saudi Arabia can’t drive.

      “You can criticize Muslims,” Obeidallah said on MSNBC’s The Ed Show on Oct. 6. “It’s about doing it responsibly. Don’t pick and choose and cherry-pick facts to define us by our worst examples. … Like Saudi Arabia, women can’t drive. That’s outrageous.”

    • The last real mavericks of the Senate

      Mark Udall and Ron Wyden are taking their party to task on CIA torture — and the former might pay the price

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Cable Astroturfing Effort Comes Off Like When Your Dad Tries To Sound Like A Teenager

      In the past, we’ve covered attempts by big broadband to astroturf their way into the debate on net neutrality, and it just comes off as so obviously fake that it appears rather pitiful. The latest attempt may be even worse. While consumer advocacy groups have been able to do a great job getting people to speak up and raise their concerns about keeping the internet open, often appealing to younger folks who have always grown up with the internet, it appears that the big broadband lobbyists are now trying to fake their way into getting the same folks on their side — and it comes off about as well as when your dad tries to act like a teenager, using new slang and trying to dress accordingly, but just making a total fool of himself. ProPublica has the details of a new effort by NCTA, the big broadband lobbying trade group run by former FCC chair Michael Powell (who is a big part of the reason we’re in this mess today), called “Onward Internet.” (ProPublica calls it a telco lobbying group, but NCTA is much more about cable interests).

    • President Obama Makes Vague Meaningless Statements About Net Neutrality, Patent Reform And Copyright Reform

      President Obama was apparently in California on a campaign swing for the fall election (trying to help out some candidates and raise money) yesterday and chose to discuss the various issues that are important to folks around here… by giving generally vague and empty statements that might be important if they were actually backed up by anything.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trans-Pacific Partnership Taking on Water, May Sink

      President Obama, no doubt fixated on his legacy, would love to win ratification of a major multi-lateral trade agreement now under negotiation with 11 other Pacific Rim countries.


      As for the first problem, Obama doesn’t have trade promotion authority, or TPA, in his pocket and it’s far from certain that he’ll get it. TPA gives the president the power to submit finished free trade agreements to Congress for a simple up or down vote. Congress can’t alter the agreements in any way.

    • Free trade agreement protest march gathers hundreds in Helsinki

      Hundreds gathered to participate in a protest march against worldwide free trade agreements on Saturday in Helsinki. As of the afternoon, the demonstration had proceeded peacefully with no incidents of violence.

    • Copyrights

      • ISPs Agree Voluntary Pirate Site Blocks

        Danish ISPs have reached a ground-breaking agreement with the country’s leading anti-piracy group. In future, Rights Alliance will only need to obtain a single pirate site blocking order against one ISP and all the rest will voluntarily block the same domains.

      • Gottfrid Svartholm Hacking Trial Nears Conclusion

        The hacking trial of Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm has concluded in Denmark. The prosecution insists that by finding crumbs all over the Swede, it must have been him with his hands in the cookie jar. The defense, on the other hand, maintain that Gottfrid is being blamed for the actions of others.

      • UK IP Chief Wants Schools to Teach Copyright Ethics and Morals

        The UK’s top IP advisor has published recommendations on how today’s youth should learn to respect copyright. The document envisions a mandatory copyright curriculum for all ages, online awareness campaigns, and a copyright education program run by the BBC.


Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony’s Firefox OS Port

Posted in News Roundup at 2:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Facebook Chef Cookbooks Tasty Enough to Open Source

    Facebook has open sourced some of its community cookbooks to allow a wider world of software application developers to consider using Facebook’s Chef framework.

    Facebook decided to release these findings after designing what it calls (in somewhat grandiose terms) “a new paradigm” that lets a software engineer make any change he/she needs, to any systems he/she owns, via simple data-driven APIs (while also scaling to Facebook’s huge infrastructure and minimizing the size of the team that would have to own the system).

  • Pica8, Big Switch Look to Drive SDN on Bare-Metal Switches

    Pica8 kicked off a busy week in the increasingly competitive software-defined networking space, making moves that officials say will help fuel the adoption of Linux-based OSes on bare-metal switches.


    ONIE has been accepted by the Open Compute Project, and enables businesses to run a range of operating systems—such as Pica8′s PicOS or Cumulus Networks’ operating system—on the same switch hardware. Vendors like Pica8 and Cumulus Networks are championing the use of standards-based operating systems running on low-cost bare-metal switches as an alternative in the software-defined network (SDN) space to more expensive and complex hardware from the likes of Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks.

  • Open Source 2.0 News: Users Behind The Driving Forces For Features Changes!

    Open Source 2.0 news has a lot in store for users that will surely light up their day!

    Tech News World reported that users play major roles in the upgrade of features, functionalities, rewrites and new releases. Open Source 2.0 news alleged that its developers are trying to edge out their competitors’ dominance in the market.

  • Behind The Bullying Epidemic
  • Ben Balter: Contractors Should Tap Open Source for IT Maturity

    GitHub‘s Ben Balter urges government contractors to adopt open source products and software development practices to build on operational and cost efficiencies and ensure that information technology systems use mature code and receive continuous maintenance support.

    Balter, who works to drive government awareness for GitHub, writes in a guest post published Thursday on FedScoop that contractors can gain operational benefits as well as attract potential customers by open-sourcing software.

  • Open-Source Projects Need More Than Good Code—They Need Marketing
  • How To Get Started In Open Source
  • Events

    • Open source interest at Pinterest

      As I looked around the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing career fair (PDF) floor, I stopped by the Pinterest booth and learned that open source software plays a big role at the company. And even better, Pinterest now plays a big role in the world of open source software, too.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Wags Finger at Advertising Community

        It’s interesting to hear Mozilla taking this stance, because, after a series of kerfuffles with the Internet Advertising Bureau, the company is moving ahead with multiple initiatives that will put ads in front of Firefox browser users, including “directory tiles.”

        It was back in August of 2013 that The Internet Advertising Bureau started firing off screed after screed against Mozilla for its plans to block advertising cookies in the Firefox browser by default. The bureau even took out newspaper ads claiming that Mozilla’s claims that it had a right to help users protect their privacy was basically hogwash.

      • Sony Xperia SP Is Smaller But Faster Than Fellow Android Mid-Range Smartphone Xperia C; Now With a Firefox OS Port

        The specs and hardware of Sony Xperia SP reveal it is smaller but faster in performance than its fellow Android mid-range smartphone from the same label, Sony Xperia C. Both handsets have many similar features that they give their buyers a difficult time in choosing which smartphone to pick for their own.

        Xperia SP debuted to conquer the mid-range sphere with loads of technology from its bigger brother Xperia Z, but with a price tag friendly to the budget-conscious buyers. Shortly following Xperia SP with its own set of specs and features to bet, was Xperia C.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • What it takes to make a cloud deployment successful

      Mark Voelker is no stranger to the OpenStack community. As a technical leader at Cisco and a co-founder of the Triangle OpenStack Meetup, Mark gets to see OpenStack from a lot of different lenses.

      In this interview about his work at Cisco and his upcoming All Things Open talk, Mark shares his thoughts on where OpenStack is and where it’s heading as topics like Big Data and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) continue to emerge in the OpenStack roadmaps for many companies.

    • Third-party, open source AWS management tools offer unique benefits

      Amazon boasts a broad range of tools for managing an EC2 instance, but partners say third-party and open source tools expand on Amazon’s offerings.

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • Like The Other BSDs, DragonFlyBSD Lags Greatly Behind With Its GPU Support

      In this process they’ve found more success making DragonFlyBSD’s kernel more like Linux than trying to adapt the complex, quick-moving drivers to their code-base. “It makes more sense to change the DragonFly kernel to behave like Linux than trying to constantly keep up and change the drivers to use *BSD-specific APIs. In a way I’m porting DragonFly to the drm drivers and not the drivers to DragonFly.”


  • Project Releases

    • Redis cluster, no longer vaporware.

      Basically it is a roughly 4 years old project. This is about two thirds the whole history of the Redis project. Yet, it is only today, that I’m releasing a Release Candidate, the first one, of Redis 3.0.0, which is the first version with Cluster support.

    • RPushbullet 0.1.0 with a lot more awesome

      A new release 0.1.0 of the RPushbullet package (interfacing the neat Pushbullet service) landed on CRAN today.

  • Openness/Sharing


  • Health/Nutrition

    • CNN Implicated in Cover-Up of CDC Vaccine Fraud

      In August 2014, CNN was accused of directly participating in the media blackout of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) vaccine fraud.

    • Militarizing the Ebola Crisis

      Six months into West Africa’s Ebola crisis, the international community is finally heeding calls for substantial intervention in the region.

      On Sept. 16, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a multimillion-dollar U.S. response to the spreading contagion. The crisis, which began in March 2014, has killed over 2,600 people, an alarming figure that experts say will rise quickly if the disease is not contained.

      Mr. Obama’s announcement came on the heels of growing international impatience with what critics have called the U.S. government’s “infuriatingly” slow response to the outbreak.

      Assistance efforts have already stoked controversy, with a noticeable privilege of care being afforded to foreign healthcare workers over Africans.

    • Concerns Raised over Thomas Eric Duncan’s Treatment After He Succumbs to Ebola

      Duncan had come to the United States to marry his fiancée. He had contracted the disease in Liberia while helping a pregnant Ebola victim to the hospital. His family has voiced fears he was given inferior treatment because he is an African, not a U.S. national. Duncan, who had no health insurance, was initially sent home from a Dallas hospital, despite telling a nurse he had been to Liberia. New questions are also being raised about his treatment after he was diagnosed. Three other Ebola patients treated in the United States have received blood transfusions from survivors of the disease, but Duncan did not. There have been conflicting reports over whether one of the survivors, Dr. Kent Brantly, has a blood type that matched Duncan’s. Duncan’s fiancée, Louise Troh, was unable to see him before he died, as she was kept in isolation. In a statement, Troh said: “I trust a thorough examination will take place regarding all aspects of his care.”

  • Security

    • Friday’s security updates
    • A third-party Snapchat client has leaked tens of thousands of user photos

      Some Snapchat users are waking up to an unpleasant surprise this morning. A cache nearly 13GB of private Snapchats is now circulating through 4Chan, in a leak the users have dubbed The Snappening. Snapchat has faced security problems before, but this time the fault appears to be with a third-party app used to catalog snaps that would otherwise be deleted. While users assumed the snaps would only be visible to Snapchat HQ and the third-party app, a data breach left them circulating through the open web.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • ISIS and Western intelligence role in the Middle East
    • Report reveals Federal drones are already engaged in domestic surveillance

      The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has logged nearly 2,000 hours of drone flights over the continental U.S. on operations unrelated to immigration enforcement since 2011. This means the DHS is spying on Americans with drones, although they are not reporting precisely what they are doing or why.

    • John Pilger: The war criminals in our midst who should be in the dock with ISIS

      In transmitting President Richard Nixon’s orders for a “massive” bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, “Anything that flies on everything that moves”. As Barack Obama ignites his seventh war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger’s murderous honesty.S

    • 38 Years Ago Cubana Flight 455 Downed by CIA-Linked Terrorists

      38 years ago, on October 6, 1976, Cubana Airlines Flight 455 was downed by terrorists, only now known to be CIA operatives; experts further claim it was not the only case when CIA was sponsoring terrorists.

      “The US Government, being consistent with its stated commitment to fight terrorism, should act without double standards against those who, from US soil, have carried out terrorist acts against Cuba,” said Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to Barbados Lisette Perez, as cited by the Barbados Advocate, during the ceremony of commemorating the victims at the Cubana Monument at Paynes Bay, Barbados.

    • Women face charges for anti-drone protest near NSA facility

      Three women who protested the United States’ use of drones are now facing federal charges – and $1,300 each in fines – after being accused of trying to enter the National Security Agency’s protected property in Maryland.

    • Better Isn’t Good Enough When it Comes to War

      Barack Obama could have been worse in terms of foreign policy. Now, worse is a silly word to use when you’re talking about life and death. It’s not going to comfort survivors to know that more people died in the last war or Hellfire missile strike than in this one that killed their loved ones.

    • Everyman Theatre to give Baltimore premiere of a play ‘ripped from the headlines’

      The play’s subject matter is not likely to become dated any time soon.

    • [satire] Nobel Prize Committee’s Devastating Letter to President Barack Obama
    • The Forever-War President: Obama’s ‘Transformational’ War Powers Legacy

      In May 2013, some 11 years into the War on Terror, President Obama took a break from reviewing target sets and kill lists to deliver a much-anticipated “drone speech” at the National Defense University in Washington DC. “We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us,” Obama admonished; “we have to be mindful of James Madison’s warning that ‘No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.’”

    • From 2001 to today: The never-ending War on Terror
    • Obama commends peace prize winners
    • 5 years later, a majority of Americans agrees Obama doesn’t deserve that Nobel Prize

      Five years after a brand-new President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, a substantial majority of his fellow countrymen believe he still doesn’t deserve it and never did.

      The former state senator received the prestigious global prize in 2009 after having done little if anything to earn it.

      Since then, however, Democrat Obama has ordered two troop surges into Afghanistan, initiated an air war to successfully oust Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi, who was then executed by a mob. That country has since fallen into a lawless chaos of feuding militias and terrorist training grounds.

    • Yemen falling apart

      Yemen has been the target of the US drone programme like Pakistan and Somalia. And in revulsion at the drones, one of the slogans of the Houthis has been: “Death to America”. This strain could be seen across the Arab world and with ISIS breaking new ground and advancing in spite of US aerial bombing, the omens for the US and its allies do not seem promising.

    • Anti-drone protest: ‘Stop U.S. wars!’

      In continued resistance to escalating U.S. wars, 75 people marched and rallied at the gates of Hancock Air Force Base here on Oct. 5. The marchers came from across the region, including Buffalo, Rochester, Utica, Albany, Ithaca, Binghamton and Syracuse itself.

    • Challenging Drone Warfare in a U.S. Court

      On October 7, 2014, Kathy Kelly and Georgia Walker appeared before Judge Matt Whitworth in Jefferson City, MO, federal court on a charge of criminal trespass to a military facility. The charge was based on their participation, at Whiteman Air Force Base, in a June 1st 2014 rally protesting drone warfare. Kelly and Walker attempted to deliver a loaf of bread and a letter to the Base Commander, encouraging the commander to stop cooperating with any further usage of unmanned aerial vehicles, (drones) for surveillance and attacks.

    • Drones again

      The government has publicly disapproved of the drone programme while tacitly agreeing to it in private with the US.

    • National security state: A vast secretive empire

      Washington has developed a silent empire, a fourth branch of government alongside the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court: the national security state.

    • Henry Kissinger’s ‘World Order’: An Aggressive Reshaping of the Past

      Henry Kissinger projects the public image of a judicious elder statesman whose sweeping knowledge of history lets him rise above the petty concerns of today, in order to see what is truly in the national interest. Yet as Kissinger once said of Ronald Reagan, his knowledge of history is “tailored to support his firmly held preconceptions.” Instead of expanding his field of vision, Kissinger’s interpretation of the past becomes a set of blinders that prevent him from understanding either his country’s values or its interests. Most importantly, he cannot comprehend how fidelity to those values may advance the national interest.

    • Henry Kissinger ‘considered Cuba air strikes’ in 1976

      US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger drew up plans to “smash Cuba” with air strikes nearly 40 years ago, government papers obtained by researchers show.

    • Where Henry Kissinger’s Dark Wisdom Blinds Him

      In 1976, the Times reports, he was so “apoplectic” about Fidel Castro’s sending troops to support Communist insurgents in Angola that he wanted to, “as he said, ‘cobber the pipsqueak,” according to longtime Cuba expert Peter LeoGrande, who has co-authored a book with the relevant documents, newly declassified by the Ford Presidential Library.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • WikiLeaks crushes Google: the internet is its own value system

      Having reviewed both sides of the argument comprehensively, it has become very clear to me who is on the right side of history in the clash of ideas and ethics between Google and WikiLeaks that is the main subject addressed in Assange’s 2014 book When Google Met WikiLeaks (read my review of Assange’s book here). Without a doubt, the ethics and deeds of WikiLeaks offer a far superior value system: one that reflects the public interest best.

    • When Julian Assange went head to head with Google
    • Assange makes surveillance inquiry submission

      Julian Assange has entered Australia’s surveillance debate dismissing as “absurd” and “meaningless” government assurances that telecommunications interception is limited and subject to strict oversight.

  • Finance

    • Why ‘The Economy’ Isn’t Good News for Democrats

      The Washington Post is having some trouble figuring out why more Americans aren’t enthusiastic about the state of the economy, and why they’re not giving Barack Obama and Democratic politicians more credit for turning things around. But it’s not so hard to figure out.

    • Amazon Tax Probe: AMZN Now Facing EU Scrutiny in Luxembourg

      The EU believes that Luxembourg may have broken the law by giving Amazon special treatment. It may have been that the country offered the company lower tax rates. This isn’t illegal, but making corporate deals that aren’t available for all companies is, reports The New York Times.

  • Censorship

    • Conservatives inject ‘censorship’ into media battle: Tim Harper

      The Conservatives invoke charge of media censorship to justify a copyright law change to benefit political war rooms.

    • Capturing the News

      President Erdogan’s new style of media censorship is less brutal—and much more effective.

    • For Shame: Gannett Abuses DMCA to Take Down Political Speech

      Like clockwork, another news organization is abusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s hair-trigger take down process to stifle political commentary just when that commentary is most timely. This time it’s Gannett Co. Inc., a massive media conglomerate that owns, among many other publications, the Courier-Journal in Kentucky. The Courier-Journal’s editorial board interviewed a Democratic candidate for Senate, Alison Lundergan Grimes, and streamed the interview live. That stream included 40 uncomfortable seconds of the candidate trying desperately to avoid admitting she voted for President Obama (the president is none too popular in Kentucky). A critic posted the video clip online—and Gannett promptly took it down.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • White House Denies Report That Obama Plans to Close Guantanamo and Transfer Detainees to US
    • White House denies plans to unilaterally close Guantanamo Bay
    • Settlements or Neighborhoods? NPR Takes Netanyahu’s Side

      By law, they’re Israeli colonies, but NPR’s guest calls them ‘neighborhoods’

    • Suspects in Thai backpacker murders retract confessions, says official

      More doubts raised over forensics and statements of Burmese pair held for Hannah Witheridge and David Miller killings

    • Bill Maher Is Unusually Conservative on Islam

      As a vocal critic of religion, it comes as no surprise that Bill finds fault with Islam. Yet to many, Bill’s vociferous support of Sam Harris statement that “Islam is the mother lode of all bad ideas” is deeply troubling.

    • Karl Marlantes, author of What It Is Like to Go to War, speaks to the Weekly before his CSUMB visit.

      It was problematical even before I went. You had the feeling [President Lyndon] Johnson wasn’t telling the truth about the Gulf of Tonkin, but you couldn’t prove it. That the government was corrupt, but you couldn’t prove it. The North Vietnamese weren’t these kind people, like Jane Fonda said. You served the Constitution and if the president said go, that’s what you do. I could have gone to Sweden or Algeria. I just couldn’t have my friends over there doing the fighting.

    • The Malalas You Don’t See

      The Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban has rightly captured the world’s attention. But what about the invisible child victims of US drones?

    • “Brand Malala”: Western exploitation of a schoolgirl

      As Malala Yousafzai has told the media, that second when she was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan changed her life, (it is also changing the lives of others too), Malala has become a very marketable western commodity. My issue is not with Malala, I support and respect her wish of education for all, however (and it shames me to say this being British) I doubt she fully realizes the extent to which she is being exploited by her new “mentors” in the UK.

      There is an element of risk to all now living in Pakistan since the US led War on Terror brought internal conflict to the region but there is only special treatment for some of those affected. Why not fly out every child harmed by US drones to the west for the most up to date medical care, there are plenty for wellwishers to assist.

    • Again the Peace Prize Is Not for Peace

      The Nobel Peace Prize is required by Alfred Nobel’s will, which created it, to go to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

      The Nobel Committee insists on awarding the prize to either a leading maker of war or a person who has done some good work in an area other than peace.

      The 2014 prize has been awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay, which is not a person but two people, and they have not worked for fraternity between nations or the abolition or reduction of standing armies but for the rights of children. If the peace prize is to be a prize for random good works, then there is no reason not to give it to leading advocates for the rights of children. This is a big step up from giving it to leading makers of war. But then what of the prize for peace and the mission of ending war that Nobel included in his will in fulfillment of a promise to Bertha von Suttner?

      Malala Yousafzay became a celebrity in Western media because she was a victim of designated enemies of Western empire. Had she been a victim of the governments of Saudi Arabia or Israel or any other kingdom or dictatorship being used by Western governments, we would not have heard so much about her suffering and her noble work. Were she primarily an advocate for the children being traumatized by drone strikes in Yemen or Pakistan, she’d be virtually unknown to U.S. television audiences.

    • Somalia: Victories Over Al Shabab Are Not Bringing Peace

      Without meaning to, Western supporters of Somali security forces were even arming various militias in the country, Sheikh said. The government was paying its soldiers very little, and irregularly, too. So many of the soldiers trained by the European training mission, EUTM, defected straight to their respective clan’s militia – and some to al-Shabab – taking all their freshly acquired skills with them.

    • Drone attack kills four in Tirah Valley

      According to reports, the drone attacked hideouts of militants on the Cancharo Kandoa area of Afghanistan near Pakistan border.

    • The Activists Assad Hates Most Are Now Obama’s Problem

      For Western critics of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is the quintessential resource for documenting his regime’s mass atrocities. But as the United States undertakes direct military involvement in Syria, the monitoring group’s methodical casualty counts and network of local sources have become a double-edged sword for Barack Obama’s administration.

      No longer just a PR problem for the Assad regime and radical Syrian rebel groups, the monitoring organization has begun publishing allegations of civilian deaths at the hands of the U.S. military. And the observatory’s founder, Rami Abdul Rahman, says he’s not going to stop.

    • The Intercept’s Ryan Devereaux is No Gary Webb

      Trash is mostly what Ryan Devereaux serves up in his recent piece on investigative journalist Gary Webb.

    • Torture is wrong

      The CIA hires officers who might succeed in the midst of ambiguity — the murk of uncertainty, pressure, and the obligation to act now — but can also affirm the principles we are sworn to serve. For me — a former CIA officer who spent decades trying to reconcile the irreconcilable, who lived with the impossible task of getting it right every time when all choices were fraught with ill consequence — one truth stood out in its simple clarity: Torture is wrong. No hypothetical can gainsay that, and no circumstance can justify making an exception.

    • Check Out This FBI Memo Citing John Lennon’s “Revolutionary Activities”

      Today would have been John Lennon’s 74th(!) birthday had he not been gunned down on the sidewalk outside of The Dakota in December 1980. Before his death, his political activism and pacifism endeared him to millions, but certainly not to the United States government. Check out this May 1972 FBI memo re: “Security matter dash revolutionary activities” with notes from the deportation hearings the Nixon administration was throwing at him…


Links 9/10/2014: Free Software in Germany, Lenovo Tablets With Android

Posted in News Roundup at 2:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Synaq: open source’s e-mail kings

    Synaq’s nondescript offices near the Sandton CBD feel laid back and comfortable. A large blackboard near the entrance has scribbles all over it. These offices check all the boxes of a start-up, but this business is far too big, and a few years too old, to fall into the start-up category.

  • Open source and free software graveyard, 2014

    The good thing about open source projects getting killed off is that there always seems to be another to take its place. Here’s a look at this year’s carnage to date, including some free software and freeware.

  • Events

    • Open Source Solutions Touted at MIT as Key to the Future of Cloud Computing

      The Industry-Academia Partnership (IAP) conducted a Cloud Workshop at MIT on September 26. Speakers from industry and academia described their R&D efforts to meet the future needs of cloud computing, spanning the full scope of hardware (servers, storage and networking) and software solutions (operating systems, virtualization, cloud orchestration software, and big data analytics).

    • One Week: Three FOSS Expos

      The week after next the FOSS world will be brimming with opportunities to find out more about what’s going on in three separate shows around the country. If you are within a day’s drive of any of them — or if you are not adverse to flying — making it to one of them would be well worth the effort.

    • Multiple screens for your conference presentation

      In two weeks the All Things Open conference will be taking place in Raleigh, North Carolina. Penguins from all over will be gathering together to share ideas. And as one of the presenters this year, I started wondering, in what ways can you open source a conference presentation?

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox OS Shows Continued Global Growth

        Firefox OS is now available on three continents with 12 smartphones offered by 13 operators in 24 countries. As the only truly open mobile operating system, Firefox OS demonstrates the versatility of the Web as a platform, free of the limits and restrictions associated with proprietary mobile operating systems.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Juno Set to Advance Nova Networking

      The open-source OpenStack Juno cloud platform is set to become generally available on October 16, bringing with it a long list of new networking capabilities. The new networking features aren’t just limited to the OpenStack Neutron networking project, either. They also include new features in the OpenStack Nova compute project.

    • OpenStack is nowhere near a “solved problem”

      OpenStack has a long way to go before it reaches the nirvana state that one of its founders is claiming it has already attained.

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Antumbra Glow is a $35 open source ambient lighting solution for your PC

      Ambient lighting setups are always a good time, but in general these setups are either complex, expensive, or they don’t work with enough things to make the experience worth it. The folks at Antumbra think they have a solution with Glow, which is a $35 LED cube that uses open source software to offer ambient lighting to any desktop setup.

    • Open Source Development: Course teaches students modified coding, design

      The term “open source” refers to something that can be modified because its design is publicly accessible. Open source software is computer software with its source code made available for modification or enhancement by anyone. Projects or initiatives that utilize this type of code are those that embrace and foster open exchange, collaborative participation, fast prototyping and community development.

  • Programming

    • The D Language

      D is a general purpose systems and applications programming language. It is a high level language, but retains the ability to write high performance code and interface directly with the operating system API’s and with hardware (dlang.org).


  • Liberia justice minister quits, says president blocked investigation

    Another son, Robert Sirleaf, resigned as chairman of Liberia’s state oil company, NOCAL, and stepped down from his role as a senior advisor to his mother last year.

    Johnson Sirleaf said his resignation had nothing to do with accusations of favouritism, stating that he had simply completed his assignment to restructure NOCAL and draft a petroleum law.

  • Coverage of illumos Day 2014
  • Health/Nutrition

    • CNN Turns To Outbreak Fiction Writer For Ebola Coverage

      Medical experts further agree that it’s highly unlikely Ebola could mutate into a form that alters its mode of transmission. That type of mutation would be unprecedented according to Columbia University virologist Vincent Racaniello, who wrote: “We have been studying viruses for over 100 years, and we’ve never seen a human virus change the way it is transmitted,” and that “There is no reason to believe that Ebola virus is any different from any of the viruses that infect humans and have not changed the way that they are spread.”

    • Feeding the World

      The report exposes the many ways in which GM crops threaten the environment and farmers’ livelihood…

  • Security

    • Licensing issues unlikely to have delayed Apple Bash fix

      The likelihood that Apple delayed releasing a fix for the recent remotely exploitable vulnerability in Bash due to licensing issues is low, according to the executive director of the Free Software Foundation.


      International Dairy Queen, Inc. today confirmed that the systems of some DQ® locations and one Orange Julius® location in the U.S. had been infected with the widely-reported Backoff malware that is targeting retailers across the country. The company previously indicated that it was investigating a possible malware intrusion that may have affected some payment cards used at certain DQ locations in the U.S. Upon learning of the issue, the company conducted an extensive investigation and retained external forensic experts to help determine the facts.

    • How hackers took over my computer

      Whether you’re a nation or a citizen, cyber security is an ever-growing issue – new hacks or data breaches emerge daily, in which people’s information is exposed or leaked, from bank details to intimate photographs. But is the threat of being hacked something that you or I really need to worry about? And if someone did hack into your computer, what would they be able to do with the information they found?

      Over the summer I decided to put these questions to the test. I got in touch with an ‘ethical hacker’ called John Yeo, who works for cyber security firm Trustwave, and asked him to try and hack me.

    • HP accidentally signed malware, will revoke certificate

      An HP executive told security reporter Brian Krebs that that the certificate itself wasn’t compromised. HP Global Chief Information Security Officer Brett Wahlin said that HP had recently been alerted to the signed malware—a four-year old Windows Trojan—by Symantec. Wahlin said that it appears the malware, which had infected an HP employee’s computer, accidentally got digitally signed as part of a separate software package—and then sent a signed copy of itself back to its point of origin. Though the malware has since been distributed over the Internet while bearing HP’s certificate, Wahlin noted that the Trojan was never shipped to HP customers as part of the software package.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Kurdish leader: ‘We are resisting, despite Turkey, West’

      A desperate battle by progressive Kurdish-led resistance fighters is seeking to defend Kobanê from ISIS fundamentalist forces. Kobanê is in Rojava, or Western Kurdistan, is a predominantly Kurdish area in northern Syria that is a semi-autonomous “liberated zone” experiencing a social revolution.

    • Somerset woman faces federal charges in NSA drone killings protest

      A Somerset County woman with a history of political activism faces federal charges after attempting to enter protected National Security Agency property to protest lethal American drone attacks around the world.

      Manijeh Saba, a court interpreter, translator and long-time human rights activist from Franklin Township will appear in United States District Court in Baltimore Thursday for protesting on May 3 outside the gate of Fort Meade, MD against NSA surveillance providing targeting information for US drone attacks.

  • Finance

    • Global Capitalism’s Bouncers

      Maria lived in the United States for eighteen years. She worked multiple jobs while raising two sons, a daughter, and several grandchildren. On her way home from church one Sunday, she was stopped at a checkpoint outside her trailer park. Lacking the requisite papers to be in the country, her car was seized, and she was thrown into the merciless and well-greased US deportation mill.

      About her forced removal and subsequent separation from her family, she said, “I became so sad I could barely move.”

      Todd Miller, veteran journalist and author of Border Patrol Nation, uses Maria’s tragedy to show the incredible geographic and psychological reach of the Border Patrol and its proxy agencies — which now include local police forces who enforce immigration violations far from the border, and the first-ever state-run Border Patrol, South Carolina’s Immigration Enforcement Unit. The “border,” once a contested hot zone in the Southwest, has become a mobile vacuum, ready to disappear undocumented immigrants and devastate communities from Niagara Falls, New York to Miami, Florida.

  • Censorship

    • Censorship goes viral with Internet

      The week is highlighted by gatherings where people read from books that have been banned at one time or another. On one side, the annual event celebrates the freedom to read and the freedom of expression. On the other, it shines the spotlight on the bigger and more pervasive problem of censorship, which affects not just books but all means of expression.

    • HK backspace, backspace

      STREETS in Hong Kong have been filled with protesters calling for democratic reform and tweeting their experiences furiously. But in mainland China, people are struggling to discuss the unrest online. Censors have been poring over Weibo, China’s closely controlled version of Twitter, to scrub out even oblique references to it.

    • Bahrain: Nabeel Rajab to face trial for expressing opinion

      Index is deeply concerned that the UK government has done little to press Bahrain to improve its human rights record. Bahrain’s insistence on the prosecution of Nabeel Rajab underlines the abysmal state of free expression in that country.

    • Censorship is for the ignorant, not us

      Censorship can only perpetuate suspicion, not provide clarity.

    • Why banning Arab authors from US is censorship

      At the end of the conversation, Nasser was told that he could not board the departing plane, which in any case had already left. The faceless homeland security officer would not disclose the reason Nasser wasn’t allowed into the US.

      “Just like that?” Nasser asked. “Just like that,” the homeland security officer responded.

      Nasser’s talk was still held, via Skype. But Homeland Security did manage to prevent him from the warmth of a personal address, from speaking individually to fans of his work, and from fruitful discussions with other writers.

  • Privacy

    • Former NSA Head Says You Can Avoid Government Spying By Using This One Simple Trick

      Former NSA head Keith Alexander — the original Million Dollar (a month) Man and premier cybersecurity consultant to the banking industry — is taking his years of expertise (and several mysteriously non-public patents) on the road, speaking at whatever venue will have him.


      This advice is less than useless. Those who actively seek contact with terrorists likely know to stay clear of surveilled channels. Those who aren’t seeking contact have their data (and sometimes communications) agnostically hoovered up by the US government’s various surveillance and investigatory arms.

    • PRISM: Don’t talk to terrorists if you want privacy, says ex-NSA director
    • Ex-NSA director defends PRISM and warns not to talk to terrorists

      EX-NSA DIRECTOR Keith Alexander has defended the PRISM programme he oversaw, and has warned that if members of the public speak to terrorists they are likely to be a target for the agency.

    • House chairman calls for NSA reform in Senate after election

      “When the Senate returns in November, it must pass the USA Freedom Act in order to protect Americans’ civil liberties and to ensure that American tech companies can begin to rebuild trust with their customers and flourish in the global economy,” he said in a statement.

    • To Stop NSA Spying, Look for Solutions Outside of Washington DC

      When it comes to political activism in America, it almost all focuses within the 202 area code. But over the last few years, it’s become clear we cannot count on Washington D.C. to rein in its own surveillance programs.

      We need a different approach that engages activists and concerned Americans outside of the Beltway.

    • NSA: List of official leaks to the media is classified
    • NSA Mind-Bender: We Won’t Tell You What Info We Already Leaked to the Media

      Longtime reporters who cover the NSA know that any time we ask the obstinate spy agency for information, we’re probably going to hit a brick wall. But who would have thought that trying to obtain information about information the agency has already given us would lead to the same wall?

    • NSA: Even the Secrets We Tell You Are Too Secret For You To Know About

      It’s an assertion that defies common sense but speaks volumes about how the U.S. intelligence complex dodges accountability: The National Security Agency is arguing that even the secrets it has intentionally disclosed to reporters are still so secret that disclosing their disclosure threatens national security.

    • NSA Claims Notifications to Congress About Authorized Leaks of Intelligence Are ‘Top Secret’

      Secrecy News submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on March 10, 2014, for “a copy of any notifications to Congress transmitted in the past 12 months concerning authorized public disclosures of intelligence information.”

    • Report on Disclosures to the Media is Classified

      A report to Congress on authorized disclosures of classified intelligence to the media — not unauthorized disclosures — is classified and is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, the National Security Agency said.

    • The NSA Wants to Recruit Teen Hackers for Good

      Does your 13-year-old need something to do next summer? Here’s a novel idea: Send her to a special cybersecurity camp run by the NSA.

      The beleaguered agency’s new program tries to catch the youngest computer-savvy recruits and inculcate loyalty before they become exposed to the libertarian ideals of Reddit or read the manifestos of Aaron Swartz.

    • How The NSA Plans To Recruit Your Teenagers

      Kids across America no longer have to wait until college to plan on being a part of the National Security Agency. In fact, they could start preparing for their NSA careers as early as age 13.

      The NSA has begun sponsoring cybersecurity camps for middle and high school students, agency recruiter Steven LaFountain told CNBC’s Eamon Javers in a recent interview. Six prototype camps launched this past summer, and the NSA hopes to eventually have a presence in schools in all 50 states.

    • Big data seeks the higher ground on privacy

      Against a backdrop of Snowden/NSA revelations and growing consumer concern about massive data breaches on the Internet, participants in the gathering (which was organized and hosted by Intel) seemed to echo a common refrain: written privacy policies aren’t getting the job done. “There’s a huge gap between a company’s privacy policy and what happens in systems,” said Danny Weitzner, co-founder of TrustLayers and the former Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy in the White House.

    • They Fight Surveillance – And You Can Too

      Call it “privacy nihilism.” Whether you’re reading about the latest security breaches across the Net, or the jaw-dropping details of the latest NSA leak, or you’re explaining the importance of crypto to your blank-faced family, or struggling to stop your own government’s plans on burning your right to privacy, it’s sometimes easy to just throw up your hands in despair and give it all up.

    • Twitter sues FBI, Justice Department to release NSA request data

      Twitter is suing the FBI and the Department of Justice to be able to release more information about government surveillance of its users.

      The social media company filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco to publish its full “transparency report,” which documents government requests for user information. Twitter published a surveillance report in July but couldn’t include the exact number of national security requests it received because Internet companies are prohibited from disclosing that information, even if they didn’t get any requests.

    • Wyden: Surveillance is a ‘Clear and Present Danger’ to the Digital Economy

      The pervasive dragnet surveillance of Americans revealed by the Edward Snowden documents has caused serious damage to the trust that enterprises and citizens had in the United States government and unless that trust is repaired, it could have serious effects on the Internet economy, a panel of prominent technology executives said.

    • In Silicon Valley, senator calls for ending American “digital dragnet”

      Speaking at the gym at the high school where he used to play basketball in the 1960s, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) gave a dire warning to a group of students and locals on Wednesday about the effects of government spying on Silicon Valley: “There is a clear and present danger to the Internet economy.”

    • Highlights From Sen. Ron Wyden’s Roundtable on ‘The Impact of Mass Surveillance on the Digital Economy’
    • Some Recent NSA Debates

      Here’s one that took place a couple of weeks ago at Georgetown on “The NSA, Privacy & the Global Internet: Perspectives on EO 12333.” Participants included law professors Nathan Sales, Laura Donohue, DNI General Counsel Bob Litt, and former State Department official John Tyre.

    • Edward Snowden: whistleblower, criminal … Nobel Peace Prize winner?

      Experts say ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden is a favorite for the Nobel Peace Prize, set to be announced Friday. But such a decision would cause huge complications for Norway with one of its closest allies, the US.

    • Edward Snowden, Pope Francis tipped for Nobel

      The race for the Nobel peace prize, to be announced on Friday, has rarely been as open or unpredictable, experts say, with the pope and Edward Snowden tipped as possible winners. Snowden, the former intelligence analyst who revealed the extent of US global eavesdropping, was one of the joint winners of the “alternative Nobel peace prize” in September. A hero to some and a traitor to others, he would be a highly controversial choice for the 878,000-euro ($1.11-million) award. The Pakistani girls’ education campaigner Malala Yousafzai who was also a favourite in 2013 is also said to be in the running along with Pope Francis for his defence of the poor, and a Japanese pacifist group.

    • Edward Snowden to speak at Observer Ideas festival

      NSA whistleblower Snowden will talk via videolink from Moscow this weekend about the future of privacy, surveillance technology and democratic oversight

    • Snowden to Make UK Public Appearance Via Video Link From Moscow: Reports

      The NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is expected to make a public appearance in a UK event this Sunday, speaking via video link from Moscow, The Guardian reported on Thursday.

      “I’m tired of people endlessly rehashing the history of Mr Snowden’s revelations, and I’m sure he is too,” the Observer technology columnist John Naughton, who will lead the discussion with Snowden, was quoted as saying.

    • Crypto wars redux: why the FBI’s desire to unlock your private life must be resisted

      In 1995, the US government tried – and failed – to categorise encryption as a weapon. Today, the same lines are being drawn and the same tactics repeated as the FBI wants to do the same. Here’s why they are wrong, and why they must fail again

    • Can we trust the government to monitor surveillance?

      The USA Freedom Act certainly has its shortcomings, but it is important to weigh the options, consider the effects of not passing this measure and realize that in a sea of unsure government options, this is truly the best choice we have.

    • This Is How the Feds Illegally Obtain Evidence of a Crime and Lie About It in Court

      NSA documents released by Edward Snowden show that the feds seriously deceived Congress and the courts in an effort to spy upon all of us and to use the gathered materials in criminal prosecutions, even though they told federal judges they would not. Among the more nefarious procedures the feds have engaged in is something called “parallel reconstruction.” This procedure seeks to hide the true and original source of information about a criminal defendant when it was obtained unlawfully.

    • GCHQ wants to become more transparent, claims web pioneer

      Sir Tim Berners-Lee, widely-recognised as the inventor of the World Wide Web, has claimed that the UK’s electronic surveillance and oversight body GCHQ is trying to become more transparent on spying.

    • Assange accuses Australian govt of ‘misrepresenting nature of interception’

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has challenged assurances by the Australian government that communications interception in the country was a matter of “strict oversight.”

    • Execs: NSA spying hurts economy

      Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and other Silicon Valley executives say controversial government spying programs are undercutting the Internet economy and want Congress to step up stalled reform.


      Schmidt and executives from Facebook Inc, Microsoft Corp. and other firms said revelations of extensive NSA surveillance are prompting governments in Europe and elsewhere to consider laws requiring that their citizens’ online data be stored within their national borders.

    • NSA internal watchdog defends agency’s privacy practices
    • National Security Entrepreneurs Create Cyber Insurance

      At the Government Accountability Project (GAP), we began working with whistleblowers in the wake of Washington’s Watergate scandal, an episode that showed what our public officials were capable of when left to their own devices. In the years since then, as the U.S. adopted sweeping privatization and deregulation policies, GAP has come to provide legal help to whistleblowers from both public agencies and private firms.

      When the first whistleblowers from the National Security Agency (NSA) came forward — before Edward Snowden — they reported not only violations of privacy and the Constitution, but fraud. After all, NSA cyberspying, cyberattacking and cyberdefending are largely done by private companies which are, by the way, paid lavishly. We can’t be sure exactly how lavishly, because although we’re the people paying them, we have no right to know what we’re paying for. It’s the black budget; it’s secret.

    • UK crime chief wants even more powers to snoop NSA-style

      It has been said that we are living in a post-NSA world. What this really amounts to is that we are now slightly more aware of the level of snooping that has been going on in the background for many years. There has been widespread outrage at the revelations made by Edward Snowden, and there have been similar concerns raised outside of the US. In the UK, the FBI-like National Crime Agency, wants greater powers to monitor emails and phone calls — and it wants the public to agree to this.

      Director General of the NCA, Keith Bristow, spoke with the Guardian and said that the biggest threats to public safety are to be found online. He said that more powers to monitor online data is needed, and suggested that public resistance to this was down to the fact that he had thus far failed to properly explain why such powers are needed.

    • [Op-Ed] Policing With Consent Would Require Throwing Away Our Freedoms

      Alarmingly, Keith Bristow, Director of the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), also known as Britain’s FBI, made a call to the public on Monday to obtain their consent to increase the surveillance capabilities of the state, and thus reduce their digital freedoms in return for more robust protections from organized cybercrime and terrorism.

    • Internet spies greatest threat to freedom: poll

      Foreign intelligence agencies and private companies collecting personal data online are the greatest threats to freedom in Germany, according to an annual poll.

    • UK Police Abuse Of Anti-Terrorist Snooping Powers To Reveal Journalists’ Sources Leads To Widespread Calls For Reform
    • How police hacked Mail on Sunday phone: Officers used anti-terror laws to track down judge-protected source who exposed Chris Huhne’s speeding points fraud
    • What’s happened since Beijing’s hacker unit was exposed? Nothing

      Chinese hacker unit PLA 61398 is hacking US companies harder than ever after bilateral talks between Beijing and Washington were interrupted by Snowden leaks, according to Mandiant boss Kevin Mandia.

    • ‘Unjustified fabrication of facts’: China slams US over FBI’s hacking claims

      Beijing has lashed out at an allegation by FBI Director that Chinese hackers were guilty of causing billions of dollars of damage to the US economy. China accused the US of using such statements “to divert attention” from its own massive cyber-spying.

    • DOJ In Silk Road Case: The FBI Doesn’t Need Warrants To Hack Foreign Servers
    • US says it can hack into foreign-based servers without warrants
    • No Warrant Needed To Hack Into Websites Outside Of The Country, U.S. Government Claims

      The U.S. Justice Department said in a federal court filing on Monday that the government has the legal authority to hack into servers outside of the country without a warrant.

      The claim came as part of the ongoing trial of the alleged operator of the Silk Road illicit drug website. The suspect, Ross Ulbricht, claimed that the government’s explanation for how they located the server of the anonymous website was “implausible,” claiming that it’s possible the FBI may have instead unlawfully colluded with the NSA to hack into the site – a technique known as parallel construction.

    • Parallel Construction: Your Local Police Working with NSA Surveillance

      Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA intercepts huge amounts of electronic data warrantlessly without our permission. However, that is not the only way the surveillance state violates our rights. The NSA uses other underhanded schemes behind-the-scenes to exploit us. One of them is known as ‘parallel construction.’

    • VIDEO: Yes, Mass Collection of U.S. Phone Records Violates the Constitution

      I’m honored to be here to discuss the mass collection of Americans’ phone records by the NSA. Before getting into that program, though, it’s critical to recognize that this debate is not just about phone records, and it is not just about the NSA. This is a debate about the kind of society we want to live in. Do we want to live in a country in which the government routinely spies on hundreds of millions of people who have done absolutely nothing wrong? Or do we want to be true to the vision of our nation’s founders, who believed that the government should — as a general matter — leave us alone unless it has cause to invade our privacy. I think our founders got it right, and I hope you’ll agree, which is why you should vote for the resolution: Mass collection of our phone records violates the Fourth Amendment.

    • NSA Mission Creep: It’s For The Children

      In the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s, and numerous other credible whistleblowers‘ irrefutable revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies are capturing and indefinitely storing millions of innocent Americans’ phone calls, emails, internet transactions, and even movements and whereabouts at any given time—Apple and other tech companies are rightfully responding to their customers’ demands for enhanced encryption to protect their privacy rights.

    • How Coca-Cola, Nissan and Kraft mine selfies for ‘invisible’ insight

      Brands are slowly finding ways to make sense of image-based social networks such as Instagram and Tumblr, mining user photos for insight into how their products are used.

      The rise of the ‘visual economy’ poses several challenges for marketers. One is understanding how consumers like to share post-production edits of their lives. Another challenge for brands is finding a way to participate in that activity with authenticity. And the final one is how to parse this visual data for insight.

    • In The U.S., The Feds Are A Bigger Threat To Your Phone Than Malware

      The bad news is that Americans are at far greater risk of having their phones hacked by their government than by Russian malware hackers.

    • The greatest myth about phones is that you are in control

      Consider, however, the reality of your relationship with your phone. First of all, it knows everything about you. It reads all your emails, sees all your pictures, learns your favorite websites, and even remembers the unsent texts you draft in the middle of the night. It tracks where you’ve been and when, who you’ve talked to and for how long — and if you have a particularly smart new phone, it also knows your resting heart rate and level of physical activity. The jobs that NSA and KGB spies would train for decades to master are now being handled by the little computer in your pocket. In its spare time. As a sideline entertainment. And what do you know about your phone, other than the megapixels of its camera or the gigabytes of its storage?

    • The most important national-security secrets case you’ve never heard of

      Your phone records, your credit-card bills, your internet trail – the government has the power to summon it all on-demand, without telling you. Until now

    • Google chief on NSA: ‘We’re going to end up breaking the Internet’

      The integrity of the Internet could be at risk if Congress does not act to rein in the National Security Agency, Google head Eric Schmidt warned on Wednesday.

  • Civil Rights

    • Former NYPD Chief Ray Kelly Still Trying To Sell His Post-Stop-And-Frisk Apocalypse But The Stats Aren’t Backing Him Up

      Former NYPD police chief Ray Kelly is still telling his stop-and-frisk story to whoever will listen. The story is — and always has been — that if the NYPC isn’t allowed to make hundreds of thousands of unconstitutional stops every year, the city will slide back into lawlessness. The supporting evidence offered for this pending apocalypse never added up. Kelly claimed stop-and-frisk kept guns off the street but statistics maintained by the NYPD itself showed that the difference between stop-and-frisk-free 2003 and 2012′s 500,000+ stops was a grand total of 96 guns — a difference of .02%.

    • John Oliver Takes On The US Government’s Legalized Theft Programs, Asset Seizure And Civil Asset Forfeiture

      “Last Week Tonight’s” John Oliver is again taking an entertaining swing at a subject that has made its way into Techdirt’s pages: asset seizure and forfeiture. Going beyond the “robbery at badgepoint” (Cory Doctorow’s term) to civil asset forfeiture (in which the government files suit against property that is presumed guilty of criminal ties), Oliver is his usual entertaining self while still managing to highlight the obscene depths these programs — started with the intent of breaking up criminal enterprises and returning assets to those defrauded, etc. — have sunk, thanks to the perversion of incentives.

    • Police investigate potential “terroristic” threat at Snow College

      “Lets just say, homecoming this weekend is gonna go out with a bang,” it read, according to a statement from the Utah attorney general’s office.

      The bulletin has since been deleted from the site, but still can be found through a Google search. It continued: “And the football game is gonna be one no one is ever gonna forget.”

    • College Student Posts Something That Sort Of Sounds Like A Threat; Law Enforcement, Mild Panic Ensue

      Presumably, the student was fully cleared of any potential wrongdoing and mocked gently for his use of the phrase “going out with a bang” by an officer drawing the shape of square with his opposing index fingers.

    • Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate

      The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 is to be awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Obama: I want the FCC to ban paid Internet fast lanes

      President Barack Obama yesterday said he is still “unequivocally committed to net neutrality” and that he wants the Federal Communications Commission to issue rules that prevent Internet service providers from creating paid fast lanes.

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 8/10/2014: A Lot of Linux+AMD News, New ROSA Desktop Is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 1:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

  • Server

    • IBM Power Systems Includes Unix and Linux [VIDEO]

      IBM is aiming to re-invent itself in a new hardware era where it no longer sells x86 based servers. IBM sold off its x86 server business to Lenovo in a $2.3 billion deal that officially closed on October 1.

      Doug Balog is the General Manager of Power Systems within IBM’s System and Technology Group and it’s his job to advance the Power server market position in the new non-x86 era at IBM.

      As contrast to the x86 business, which was largely about Linux, IBM’s Power business includes two other operating systems. IBM Power runs and supports both the AIX Unix as well as the IBM i operating system that was originally known as AS/400.

    • StorPool – A Toolkit for Cloud Application Providers

      It might be tempting to write off StorPool. They are, after all, not really ready for the enterprise, at least in terms of compatibility and interface. But for online application and cloud providers, StorPool sounds exactly like what they want from a storage solution. These organizations are often Linux only, don’t want to deal with a graphical interface, and want the flexibility to scale the way they need to scale at any moment in time.

    • How open source technology is being deployed in science

      Given the transparent and collaborative nature of open source, it is no wonder that the technology is widely used all around the world. Countless organizations and industries have benefited immensely from open source software — with science and engineering among the sectors driving the charge.

      In an industry that heavily relies on technology and innovation, the deployment of open source initiatives in the scientific field should come as no surprise. In fact, CERN, one of the most revered names in the world of science, extensively uses open source software — here’s why.

    • What’s CoreOS? An existential threat to Linux vendors

      While sometimes dismissed as the newest entrant in the “just enough operating system” pageant, CoreOS threatens to displace incumbent Linux distributions with a minimalist approach that seeks to emulate how Google and other Web companies manage distributed systems. CoreOS uses Docker to handle the addition and management of applications and services on a system.

      Indeed, by changing the very definition of the Linux distribution, CoreOS is an “existential threat” to Red Hat, Canonical, and Suse, according to some suggestions. The question for Red Hat in particular will be whether it can embrace this new way of delivering Linux while keeping its revenue model alive.

  • Kernel Space

    • No interest in Poettering’s problems, says Torvalds

      Linux creator Linus Torvalds has indicated that he has no interest in the problems faced by chief systemd developer Lennart Poettering that led to the latter blaming Torvalds for the negative feedback he (Poettering) has faced.

    • Linux Foundation Expands International Membership

      Altera, Chelsio Communications, DataCentred, Imagination Technologies, and Travelping Are Latest Companies to Support Linux


      About The Linux Foundation The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux and collaborative software development. Founded in 2000, the organization sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and promotes, protects and advances the Linux operating system and collaborative software development by marshaling the resources of its members and the open source community. The Linux Foundation provides a neutral forum for collaboration and education by hosting Collaborative Projects, Linux conferences, including LinuxCon, and generating original research and content that advances the understanding of Linux and collaborative software development. More information can be found at http://www.linuxfoundation.org.

    • F2FS File-System Gets Even Better With Linux 3.18

      The Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) has been running well in our latest SSD benchmarks but with the forthcoming Linux 3.18 kernel it’s going to be in even better shape.

    • Kernel 3.17 and kdbus – the kernel column

      Linus Torvalds announced the first release candidate 3.17 kernel (RC1) just ahead of this year’s Kernel Summit. Noting that he would be travelling (and thus not able to keep up with a massive influx of patches), he had closed the “merge window” (the period of time during which disruptive churn is allowed in any kernel development cycle) for 3.17 one day early. He also noted that, typically of northern hemisphere summers, this merge window had been “slightly smaller than the last few ones”. New features pulled into 3.17-rc1 were spread all over the kernel. They include the getrandom() system call, and support for the “memfd” and “file sealing” features needed for kdbus.

    • Meet Linux kernel 3.17′s best new features: Xbox One controller support, laptop ‘free fall’ protection, and more

      New versions of the Linux kernel will eventually make their way into all sorts of other devices, too. A new Linux kernel means improvements for Chromebooks, Android devices, network routers, and any number of other embedded devices.

    • Linux 3.18 To Add Support For Firmware Core Dumps To User-Space

      Added to the driver core interface is a new device coredump class. This new generic kernel interface can be used for dumping firmware “core dumps” to user-space over sysfs. This is primarily intended for wireless and graphics drivers (among other potential drivers of hardware that deal a lot with firmware blobs) to implement so they can dump their hardware firmware state to assist in debugging complicated issues where it could be within the firmware code.

    • Current Status: Adoption of ZFS as Backend File System for Lustre

      In this video from the LAD’14 Conference in Reims, Gabriele Paciucci from Intel presents: Current Status of the Adoption of ZFS as Backend File System for Lustre.

    • Graphics Stack (Mostly AMD)

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Time to Replace XFCE?

      According to my sources, the last stable release of XFCE was about two years ago. By anyone’s time line, that is a long time between stable releases. Bundle this issue with its apparent inability to play nicely with GTK3 friendly items and instead sticking to its older GTK roots. And others users have pointed out that the perceived GTK3 issues are largely with various desktop themes and the “fault” is to be directed at the GNOME project. Long story short, it’s a debate showing few signs of being resolved anytime soon.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • BEST DISTRO 2014

      Is your current Linux distribution really the best in town, or are you missing something even better?

    • ROSA Desktop Fresh R4 Is a Different and Fun KDE Experience

      ROSA Desktop Fresh R4 is the fourth in the series and uses one of the latest KDE versions. It’s a distribution that aims to please a lot of users, even the ones who come from a Windows ecosystem.

      The previous version of this distribution was released back in April, so the developers had a lot of time to improve upon the operating system. That doesn’t mean that ROSA changed too much. From a design point of view it’s still pretty much the same, but many of the included packages have been updated.

    • New Releases

      • Alpine 3.0.5 released

        The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.0.5 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

        This is a bugfix release of the v3.0 musl based branch. This release is based on the 3.14.20 kernel which has some critical security fixes.

      • SparkyLinux 3.5.1 E19 is out

        SparkyLinux 3.5.1 “Annagerman” Enlightenment 19 is ready to go.

        Not so long ago, just three years I started my adventure with Enlightenment and Ubuntu.
        At the beginning the name of the system was ue17r (Ubuntu E17 Remix) and it was far away from the current version of SparkyLinux. ue17r was a kind of experiment and I was trying to prove (myself) that a man such me, non-programmer, is able to do something what theoretically shouldn’t does.

    • Red Hat Family

      • The Source of Vulnerabilities, How Red Hat finds out about vulnerabilities.

        Red Hat Product Security track lots of data about every vulnerability affecting every Red Hat product. We make all this data available on our Measurement page and from time to time write various blog posts and reports about interesting metrics or trends.

      • Apprenda extends PaaS with JBoss support, takes aim at Red Hat

        Private Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) vendor Apprenda Inc. has just added support for the popular JBoss and Apache Tomcat web servers, a move which translates to deeper support for more Java applications.

      • Fedora

        • Simply view system logs in Fedora 21 Workstation

          Fedora 21 Workstation (which is currently in alpha), contains a neat new application for quickly viewing and searching the logs of your system. It places all the system logs in a simple to use interface without having to dig through the filesystem or use a command line tool. This new application, simply called Logs should be installed by default on your Fedora 21 install and can be found in the Activities overview by simply searching for “Logs”.

        • GNOME on Wayland in Fedora 21

          Fedora 21 will come with GNOME 3.14, which already runs reasonably well on Wayland. Want to find out? It’s super easy to try it out! Let’s take a look at how to run GNOME on Wayland in Fedora 21, what already works, and what is yet to be finished.

        • The Limitations Of Wayland On Fedora 21

          Following last month’s release of Fedora 21 Alpha I played around with the GNOME Wayland session and shared my thoughts and ran some XWayland benchmarks. The Fedora Project Magazine has also now put the Fedora 21 gnome-session-wayland-session through its paces and delivered a brief write-up. In their write-up they cover a partial list of applications known to break under Wayland some shortcomings. They also do a brief overview of the Wayland architecture and other facts, if you’ve been living under a rock the past few years, or just not reading enough Phoronix.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • UbuTricks 14.10.08 Released

            UbuTricks 14.10.08 has been released. This version arrives with 10 new added programs (two games and eight apps), a new version numbering system which follows the year.month.day scheme, and several other bug fixes and improvements.

          • Canonical Offers OpenStack and Ubuntu Cloud Training in Paris

            Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, has added a new offering to its training and education initiatives. This fall, the company is introducing a five-day OpenStack cloud computing training program, which it no doubt hopes will help generate expertise and familiarity with Ubuntu-friendly OpenStack distributions.

          • Meizu MX4 Pro caught in the wild running Ubuntu

            We can’t wait for the day to see the very first Ubuntu-powered smartphone hitting the market. Canonical — which makes the popular Linux distribution — has been experimenting with few different Nexus devices but none of these were ready for prime time.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • AllSeen to Shine a Light on Internet of Things

      The IoT consortium has formed a working group that will develop an open standard for smart lighting.
      The AllSeen Alliance, one of several industry consortiums developing open standards for the Internet of things, is turning its attention to lights in homes and businesses.

    • Pocket-sized mobile touchscreen web server runs Tizen

      A mobile personal web server called “The Egg” runs Tizen on an Intel Atom and features a 12-hour battery, a 2.4-inch touchscreen, and up to 256GB of storage.

    • Linux based touch-panel DAQ system includes GUI software

      Lascar launched a Linux-based DAQ system with a 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen, an ARM9-based Freescale i.MX283 SoC, and a free GUI program.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • openSUSE 13.2 RC1 is now out, hands on

          openSUSE 13.2 RC1 is baked and ready to serve!. This previous Beta release was a blast with almost 10.000 downloads. The community responded to the call and we had lot of eyes looking for bugs in openSUSE 13.2 Beta1. Many of them have been already squashed and openSUSE 13.2 Release Candidate 1 is here to prove it.

        • openSUSE 13.2 RC1 Is Out & Still Riding On Btrfs
        • openSUSE 13.2 first release candidate is out for testing

          It’s that time of the year when Linux users get to upgrade their systems – for free of cost, of course. All major distributions are slated for upgrade in the coming weeks including openSUSE (check out our dedicated openSUSE sub-magazine), Ubuntu and Fedora.

        • Samsung Gear S SmartWatch goes on Pre-order with confirmed price in the UK

          We have all been waiting for the Tizen Samsung Gear S to be launched and it looks like unlocked-mobiles will be the first UK online retailer to begin pre-orders with a confirmed price. They are expecting to have Stock on the 24th October, and will have the Gear S retailing for £334.98 inc VAT.

      • Android

        • Nearly half of all Android devices are still vulnerable to two serious browser exploits

          Around 45 percent of Android devices have a browser that is vulnerable to two serious security issues, but some countries have a considerably larger percentage of affected users than others, according to data from mobile security firm Lookout.

          The two security issues were discovered over the past month by a security researcher named Rafay Baloch and were described as a privacy disaster by other researchers. They allow an attacker to bypass a core security boundary, called the same-origin policy (SOP), that exists in all browsers.

        • Hands-on with iRobot’s Android-based robot controller: pictures

          iRobot on Thursday unveiled a new controller for its unmanned bomb disposal and discovery robots, an app that runs on every Android tablet.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Behind the scenes with CTO Michael DeHaan of Ansible

    He gives an idea of what the Ansible open source community is all about, including the rewards and challenges of working with users who also happen to be talented developers. He answers this and more, like what he’d work on if he could just add one more hour to the day.

  • Enterprise Adoption of Open Source Practices is On the Rise

    GitHub last month reported that the number of government employees using the code sharing platform had tripled in the past year, to reach more than 10,000 users from 500 organizations. The accompanying graph (re-published here with permission) shows a steep adoption curve that perfectly illustrates a larger trend toward government use of open source practices and workflows over the past five years.

  • What’s Driving Open Source 2.0?

    It is not necessarily a requirement to have clouds built on an open source component, but there is no denying the prevalence and significance of open source staples such as Linux, MySQL, PostgreSQL or Apache Web Server in cloud environments. Open source software can help smooth the transition to DevOps if people are familiar with its tenets, such as collaboration, communication and transparency.

  • Keys to turn your open source project into a business

    Broadly speaking, there are two types of open source software. The free software, which has a reciprocity requirement in it. Open source software which doesn’t.

    We can have debates about the merits of those two groups for the whole evening. I think both of them are needed and it depends on the usage and the purpose of your project.

  • Advice for front-end developers from Adrian Pomilio of Teradata

    Prior to the All Things Open conference in Raleigh this year, I asked Adrian Pomilio, UI developer at Teradata, a few questions about the session he’ll deliver, his favorite open source tools, and recent trends in UI/UX technology relevant to open source world.

  • 10 Steps To Overcome Your Fear Of Using Open Source Software

    If you’re going to rely on some OSS, get in touch with the developers of those projects. Most OSS developers are quite community-oriented and usually helpful. In case your senior executives, regulatory, or QA folks have questions, you’ll be able to answer them easily if you’re in touch with the original developers. Also, if you need changes, some developers will likely be available for hire for making changes or helping with validation.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • COWL, a New Web Privacy Tool, to Arrive for Chrome and Firefox

      A group of researchers is making news for building a new web privacy system for the Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers that more efficiently handles JavaScript code among other tasks. In a paper introduced this week in conjunction with the Proceedings of the 11th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation, the researchers reported that 59 per cent of the biggest one million websites, and 77 per cent of the top 10,000 websites, incorporate jQuery, a tool that has been preyed on by hackers.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Look what I did to fix Mozilla

        When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. In my case, I have a 3D printer, and every problem is an opportunity to stare at the hypnotic movements of the extruder.

      • Is This How Mozilla Could Change the World?

        As my post last week indicated, I’m increasingly sceptical of Mozilla’s role as the key defender of the open Web, largely because of its decision to embrace DRM. Even as a purveyor of fine Web browsers, things don’t look so rosy. Two years ago, its global market share was fairly stable around 20%; a year ago, that slipped to around 19%; today, it’s slumped to 14%. Meanwhile, Google’s Chrome has overtaken Firefox as the number two browser, and holds around 21% of the market. Obviously, these figures are to be taken with a serious grain of salt, but I think the trend is real. So, given these developments, the obvious question that needs to be answered is: where exactly does Mozilla’s future lie?

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • A Big Community Mobilizes Around NFV and OpenStack

      As September ended, the Linux Foundation announced the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) Project, a group comprised primarily of telecom operators working across open source projects and vendors to implement Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) within their organizations. News has also steadily arrived from Red Hat about its work to drive Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and telecommunications technology into OpenStack.

    • OpenStack Juno Races to Completion as RC2s are Released

      The open-source OpenStack cloud platform is *almost* at its next major release, known as Juno — but first there all the release candidates.

    • OpenStack Interoperability Testing, Certification Gain Significance

      Although it is only four years old, the OpenStack cloud computing project is already having a profound impact on the plumbing and architecture of many data centers. Yesterday, I reported on how Network functions virtualization (NFV) is becoming synonymous with OpenStack, and how NFV and OpenStack could effectively rip out the proprietary infrastructure found in network deployments at many organizations.

  • Databases

    • Why I switched from Postgres to MongoDB, then to Neo4j

      When you’re about to start a project and are trying to make a decision on the what applications to use, one way to proceed is to find out what other people have to say about the available options, especially from others with first-hand experience with those available options.

    • Altiscale Releases SQL-on-Hadoop Cloud Storage Service

      What does it take to prepare SQL database storage for the Big Data age? Altiscale believes the answer is SQL-on-Hadoop as a service delivered through the cloud, which it has introduced through a new solution that it says is the first to make Hadoop File System (HDFS) data accessible through SQL interfaces.

  • CMS

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Froont builds open-source community around responsive prototyping tool

        After browsing through all the flashing lights and shiny colors in Dribbble, casual admirers might come to the conclusion that web design is a unique bespoke process. But looking closer you can see some motifs with two columns here, or a grid layout there. When it comes down to layouts, it makes sense to at least have a solid foundation as a starting point rather than coding all the layout and responsiveness yourself.

  • Funding

    • ‘Hello World’ Indiegogo Fundraiser Reaches Goal

      Now that the needed money has been raised, the brothers Nielsen can get to work evolving the quality of their product. As Jared said back in September, “Our production value continues to improve with each video and tutorial we create. ‘Superusers: The Legendary GNU/LINUX Show’ is leagues ahead of our first episode, ‘What is a Robot?’ The ten computer science videos proposed in our Indiegogo campaign will only be better. We will focus on improving our script writing, fine-tuning the balance of education and entertainment, incorporating more animations, and refining our audio/visual production techniques.”

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Former Valve/VOGL Dev: OpenGL Next Could Take 3+ Years

      Rich Geldreich, one of the original Valve Linux team members who started work on their VOGL OpenGL debugger, thinks it will take three years or more before the next-generation OpenGL materializes for users.

      Geldreich sadly left Valve earlier this year without disclosing his reasons at the time. It turns out he’s now relocating back to Dallas, Texas and will be working for a start-up. The former Valve and former Microsoft developer has written his first blog post in a while and made a few interesting remarks:


  • Science

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Imperial spins and our media

      Regular US drone strikes are back, killing people on Pakistani territory. The mother of all terrorists says it is targeting the terrorists but by now we should be wise enough to know that she’s up to something else. At a time when the Pak Armed Forces are successfully eliminating terrorists from the very area being droned, what axe is the meddlesome superpower trying to grind? Is it leveling the ground for introducing its new and deadlier ISIS offspring into Pakistan via Afghanistan?

    • A Thirty-Year War—If Americans Will Have It

      Leon Panetta, former director of the CIA and secretary of defense, says that defeating our enemies in the Middle East and North Africa “is going to take a long time.” How long? “I think we’re looking at kind of a thirty-year war,” Panetta predicts.

      Whether the United States will be involved in this war for thirty years is an open question. But the notion that such a lengthy war is necessary is nonsense.

    • US drone strikes kill 23 in North Waziristan

      At least 23 people were killed and several others injured in three US drone strikes during last 36 hours in North Waziristan’s tribal region. In the latest attack, six people were killed and 11 injured when a US drone fired two missiles on militant Commander Mustaqeem’s centre in Kandghar area of Shawal on Wednesday.

    • John Oliver, Ben Affleck and the Game of Drones

      In President Obama’s six years in office, he’s ordered about eight times as many drone strikes as his predecessor did in eight years in office. Apparently, not everyone thinks that’s a good thing.

    • Latest U.S. Drone Strike Kills 4 in Pakistan

      A U.S. drone strike in Pakistan has reportedly killed at least four people. The victims were described as suspected militants in North Waziristan. At least 25 people have died this week in a series of U.S. strikes in tribal areas along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.

    • Fifth consecutive US drone attack in last five days

      At least four people were killed and two others injured in a US drone attack in the North Waziristan tribal region, security sources said.

      Sources said that the drone fired missiles targeting a vehicle in the Loman area of Dattakhel Tehsil. Today’s strike is the fifth consecutive drone attack in the last five days, as the US-led drone campaign targets suspected militants and their hideouts in restive North and South Waziristan.

    • Age of empire

      There is certainly at least one way America is exceptional

      The U.S. Empire today is the largest in world history with 1,100 military bases and outposts spreading over the globe, dwarfing the Alexander, Roman, Ottoman, Hapsburg, Spanish and British empires of yesteryear.

      President Obama has urged Americans to shift attention to Asia but surreptitiously has increased militarism in Africa from A to Z (Algeria to Zambia). Africa swarms with U.S. military.

    • Plane and simple

      The Obama administration has overseen an eightfold increase in the number of attacks flown by unmanned aerial vehicles or “drones.” These small, pilotless aircraft have become popular with the U.S. Air Force for their ability to take on dangerous missions deep inside hostile territory while keeping American servicemen out of harm’s way. Yet the American drone program has also come under harsh scrutiny by human rights groups.


      I’m all for productive discussion of the covert war against terrorism in the Middle East. As we talk, however, remember to keep the focus on the real problem: an endless war against a nameless foe without concrete objectives. Don’t jump to conclusions just because some of our planes don’t have pilots in them.

    • The Ben Affleck-Bill Maher-Sam Harris dispute: Anti-Muslim bigotry and American imperialist policy

      The dispute that occurred on the October 3 edition of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” between Maher and author Sam Harris, on the one hand, and prominent actor Ben Affleck, on the other, was revealing. In particular, it helped clarify the relationship between anti-Muslim bigotry, the “identity politics” of the affluent middle class and defense of American imperialist policy in the Middle East.


      Affleck heatedly responded that those positions were “gross” and “racist.” He commented, “It’s like saying ‘you shifty Jew.’” When Harris went on to claim that “Islam is the mother lode of bad ideas,” Affleck responded, quite legitimately, “That’s an ugly thing to say.”

      The actor continued, “How about the more than a billion people who aren’t fanatical, who don’t punish women, who just want to go to school, have some sandwiches… and don’t do any of the things that you’re saying all Muslims [do]?… [It’s] stereotyping.”

    • US Drone Strikes in Pakistan Kill 23 Over Four Days

      Those days also seem to be over, as another US drone strike tore through Datta Khel, North Waziristan today killing two more people. It was the fifth distinct US strike against Waziristan in just four days.

    • Imran sees general elections in 2015

      Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Tuesday night that he was sure of general elections in the year 2015. “Elections will be held early next year. Nothing can stop ‘Naya (new) Pakistan’ from coming into being,” said Imran Khan while talking to a private TV channel. Elections would be announced in a month or two, Imran Khan added.

    • Drone strikes kill 17 in NWA during Eid holidays

      The Central Intelligence Agency carried out four drone strikes against suspected militants in the North Waziristan Agency during the Eidul Azha holidays, killing 17 persons and causing injuries to several others.

    • US drones mark Eid by killing 23 in NWA
    • Challenging Drone Warfare in a U.S. Court

      On October 7, 2014, Kathy Kelly and Georgia Walker appeared before Judge Matt Whitworth in Jefferson City, MO, federal court on a charge of criminal trespass to a military facility. The charge was based on their participation, at Whiteman Air Force Base, in a June 1st 2014 rally protesting drone warfare. Kelly and Walker attempted to deliver a loaf of bread and a letter to the Base Commander, encouraging the commander to stop cooperating with any further usage of unmanned aerial vehicles, (drones) for surveillance and attacks.

    • UK-Israel trade hits record high despite Gaza carnage

      UK trade relations with Israel between January and August 2014 are reported to have reached record levels, despite worldwide public outrage against the IDF’s recent military assault on Gaza.

    • Obama’s “Strict” Standards on Civilian Deaths That Never Were

      A report published last Tuesday claims that President Barack Obama’s once-strict standards regarding civilian deaths have fallen by the wayside, as US forces intensify air strikes against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq.

      What is most troubling about this specific report is that it conveys the notion that President Obama’s civilian-death standards were, at one time, tight or even “strict.”

    • National Review Online Thanks ISIS for Beheadings

      In an article for National Review Online, anti-Muslim activist David Horowitz described the benefits to conservatives of the recent beheadings carried out by the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS).


      Horowitz is a former member of the New Left who, since his political conversion, has made a career out of alleging liberal bias on college campuses and accusing anyone who is not overtly Islamophobic of being in league with terrorists. The Southern Poverty Law Center described Horowitz as “the godfather of the modern anti-Muslim movement.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Rolling Stone Report Rocks Koch Industries

      A recent Rolling Stone article documenting Koch Industries’ “lucrative blend of pollution, speculation, law-bending and self-righteousness” over the last few decades has sparked a string of personal attacks on the reporter, Tim Dickinson, by “KochFacts.com” and a point-by-point rebuttal from Rolling Stone.

    • Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire

      Together, Charles and David Koch control one of the world’s largest fortunes, which they are using to buy up our political system. But what they don’t want you to know is how they made all that money

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Should Everything in the World Be Facing the Internet?

      On Monday, I was pleased to see that Robert X. Cringely shares my thoughts. In an article well worth reading on Forbes, he writes: “Here’s the simple truth: it makes no sense, none, nada, for a bank to send financial transactions over the public Internet. It makes no sense for a bank or any other company to build gateways between their private networks and the public Internet. If a company PC connects to both the corporate network and the Internet, then the corporate network is vulnerable.”

      No kidding.

      Again, retailers are being hit for billions of dollars, almost daily it seems; our military defenses are being constantly prodded and breached by foreign governments; and our infrastructure is a sitting duck waiting to be exploited. It’s time we realize that not everything needs to be online.

  • Civil Rights

    • Bill O’Reilly, Bill Maher and Islamophobia

      So support for sharia law might not be all that revealing. But for Bill O’Reilly, it’s a chance to draw the conclusions you wish to draw about Muslims. The Pew poll also makes clear that Muslims do not “think their religion should dictate what happens in society.” Most who support sharia law think it should apply only to Muslims, and Pew notes that “most Muslims around the world express support for democracy, and most say it is a good thing when others are very free to practice their religion.”

    • America Must End Its Paranoid War on Hackers

      He tells me that he used to log on for his LulzSec romps using his school Internet account so it wasn’t a surprise that he got caught. It was a surprise that it took them so long. He recounts for me the day he got busted, waking up in his bed in Galway, Ireland surrounded by policemen with machine guns. He closed his eyes and tried to go back to sleep; it was so surreal he assumed it must be a bad dream.

    • SWAT Team Raids House And Kills Homeowner Because Criminal Who Burglarized The House Told Them To

      Which seems plausible. Less than 48 hours had passed and Hooks would have had no idea he was on the receiving end of a drug task force “investigation.” The word “investigation” receives the scariest of scare quotes, considering it mostly consisted of a multiple felon trying to explain away the gun, scale and meth in his possession. If the suspect had claimed he didn’t rob Hooks’ house, the police wouldn’t have believed him. But when this same suspect starts blabbering about finding meth during his robbery, the cops are all ears, as though he were Abraham Lincoln himself, swearing on a stack of Bibles.

      How do we know all of this is bullshit? Because the police spent almost as much time searching Hooks’ house — nearly two days — as it did between the point Hooks’ house was invaded the first time (by confessed burglar Rodney Garrett) and the second time (by the SWAT team).

    • Another Person Shot by Police Near Ferguson, Protests Swelling (Watch Live)
    • Video shows officer using stun gun

      A cellphone video released Tuesday shows police in Indiana breaking a car window and using a stun gun on a man after police stopped the driver for not wearing a seat belt.

    • Breaking 43 Years of Silence, the Last FBI Burglar Tells the Story of Her Years in the Underground

      It was clear to Judi Feingold what she should do after she and seven other people broke into an FBI office near Philadelphia in 1971, removed every file and then anonymously distributed them to two members of Congress and three journalists:

      Get out of town.

      She took drastic steps. Remaining in Philadelphia seemed dangerous, so she left town and headed west, moved into the underground and lived under an assumed name, moving from place to place west of the Rockies for years, owning only a sleeping bag and what she could carry in her knapsack. As she was about to detach herself from her past geography and her personal connections, she called her parents and told them she had committed a nonviolent direct action “and was possibly being pursued by the federal government. I told them I could not be in touch by phone, and I would do my best to let them know how I was, but not where I was.”

  • DRM

    • Adobe’s e-book reader sends your reading logs back to Adobe—in plain text [Updated]

      Digital Editions even tracks which pages you’ve read. It might break a New Jersey Law.

    • Adobe is Spying on Users, Collecting Data on Their eBook Libraries

      Adobe has just given us a graphic demonstration of how not to handle security and privacy issues.

      A hacker acquaintance of mine has tipped me to a huge security and privacy violation on the part of Adobe. That anonymous acquaintance was examining Adobe’s DRm for educational purposes when they noticed that Digital Editions 4, the newest version of Adobe’s Epub app, seemed to be sending an awful lot of data to Adobe’s servers.

    • Adobe Digital Editions 4 Spies on Users – Because of DRM

      This column has written many times about the deep flaws of Digital Rights Management (DRM) – or “Digital Restrictions Management” as Richard Stallman rightly calls it – and the ridiculous laws that have been passed to “protect” it. What these effectively do is place copyright above basic rights – not just in the realm of copyright, but even in areas like privacy. Yesterday, another example of the folly of using DRM’d products came to light.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Human Rights No, Corporate Rights Yes?

      Much has been made over the last few weeks about the desires of the Prime Minister to leave the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Cameron has said he wants to bring more powers back to London, because he doesn’t like the way it ‘hands power’ off – powers we British have given to that court more than 60 years ago. Most notably, he doesn’t like the way it often deals with his right wing agenda of disenfranchising people, and creeping towards a police state, but seems to be championing the way with misinformation.

    • Copyrights

      • A Unilateral Declaration of the Digital Human Rights Dangerously Mistakes Personal Data and Creative Work

        More specifically, Article 5 of the Declaration poses that “any use of the data as a creative work” is subject to prior consent of the individual. Such a formulation completely ignores the fundamental role of the public domain as well as the exceptions and limitations to copyright, which are all essential in balancing and preserving the system.

      • Why Are We Letting Critical Infrastructure Get Regulated By A Cartoon Industry?

        It’s now been 20 years since the Internet went mainstream. Today, every single aspect of private life, business, and civic society depends on a functioning net. Without it, you’re basically in exile from society.

        In some countries, coding is now the most common profession. All growth sectors are heavily technology-dependent, which always means that the net is at underpinning all of it. All celebrated entrepreneurs have built super-scaling businesses enabled by the net. We also shop for food online, we date online, we build things together online.

        It stands clear that the net is by far the most critical piece of infrastructure existing today. Not only does it build all future jobs, growth, economy, and entrepreneurship; we also exercise all our civil liberties, civic duties, and spend a lot of our social activities on this infrastructure. It’s more important than any other piece of infrastructure in society. We can do without the phone network, without cable TV, even without paved roads when we have the net.

      • Google Adds Custom Search Box For The Pirate Bay, and Others

        Google’s new and improved sitelinks section has introduced a novel feature that could prove unintentionally popular with Pirate Bay fans. Alongside the same feature for other sites, the search engine now displays a custom Pirate Bay search box complete with related AutoComplete suggestions. Needless to say, copyright holders are not going to be happy with these latest improvements.

      • Finland Wants to Kill Crowdsourced Copyright Law

        The future of copyright amendments crowdsourced by the Finnish public appear to be in doubt. The citizen-drafted proposals, which received 50,000 signatures, seek to decriminalize file-sharing, but Finland’s Education and Culture Committee now wants to reject the historic initiative.


Links 8/10/2014: Gummersbach Moves to GNU/Linux, Docker Acquires Koality, KDE Frameworks 5.3

Posted in News Roundup at 5:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • About Linux Weekly News – 6th October 2014
  • Desktop

    • Kano’s DIY computer teaches kids to code, and now it’s available to everyone

      Kano, the runaway Kickstarter success that raised $1.52 million on a promise to teach kids how to code and assemble a Raspberry Pi-based computer, is now widely available to the public. Priced at $149.99, the kit includes everything you need to get started — other than a display, which you’ll need to provide yourself. (An HDMI cord comes in the box.) But beyond that, it’s all there: the Raspberry Pi, a custom-made Bluetooth keyboard with built-in trackpad, the plastic case that holds this mini-computer together, and plenty of stickers and colorful options for customizing your Kano. The first of two illustrated guides walks younger users through piecing Kano together, and most everything in the kit is color coded to make setup a breeze for all ages. The second book will teach you how to start using the Kano OS software, which comes preloaded on an SD card that plugs into the Raspberry Pi.

    • Chromebooks come closer to Android, get MTP support

      Google has pushed an update for the stable channel of its Chrome OS, bringing MTP support to all Chrome OS devices, excluding Chromeboxes. MTP support means you can now plug your Android devices to your Chromebooks and transfer files between devices. The update also adds a set of features that enhances touch screen accessibility.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • MSI: Update Your BIOS From The Linux Desktop

      Now that the MSI X99S SLI PLUS is running great on Linux, I’ve been working with the company towards some other Linux improvements along with some other interesting Linux hardware reviews to come thanks to our renewed cooperation. One of the items I’ve been voicing has been regarding better supporting Linux users with regard to a smoother BIOS/UEFI update process. Well, there is a utility they support for updating your MSI motherboard BIOS from the Linux desktop!

    • Many ACPI & Power Management Changes For Linux 3.18 Kernel

      Rafael Wysocki sent out his first aligned set of changes of ACPI core and power management changes he’s planning on volleying over to Linus Torvalds for the Linux 3.18 kernel merge window.

    • Linux Foundation certifications are taking off

      According to a study conducted earlier this year by Dice, the tech career site, 93 percent of hiring managers are looking to employ Linux professionals. If you want one of those jobs, a great way to increase your chances is to go to human resources with one of the Linux Foundation’s new certifications as a Certified SysAdmin (LFCS) or Certified Engineer (LFCE).

    • Systemd Dev Slams FOSS Culture

      The open source community is “quite a sick place to be in,” Red Hat engineer and Systemd developer Lennart Poettering said Monday in a post on Google+.

    • Everyone Has Different Views On The “Open-Source Community”

      Meanwhile, Michael Hall of the Ubuntu camp wrote a post entitled the open-source community is wonderful. Hall says the community isn’t perfect but it’s still wonderful. He cites that mono-culture is dangerous, good people are humans too, and to love the whole rather than parts. “There are some annoying, obnoxious people in our family. There are good people who are sometimes annoying and obnoxious. But neither of those truths changes the fact that we are still a part of an amazing, inspiring, wonderful community of open source contributors and enthusiasts.”

    • Poettering Fallout, GamingOnLinux Shake-up, and Replacing Xfce
    • 64-bit ARM Kernel Gets Closer To Building Under LLVM With Linux 3.18

      The ARM64 changes for the Linux 3.18 merge window were sent in and include an eBPF JIT compiler for ARM64, a CPU suspend back-end for the PSCI firmware interface, EFI stub improvements, and a code clean-up to allow partially building the kernel with LLVM.

      Via the LLVMLinux initiative has been work to build the Linux kernel with Clang for its faster build times, lower memory usage, static analysis capabilities, and for making the kernel’s code more portable across compilers. The Clang compiler for x86 and ARM is generally in good shape for being able to build the Linux kernel but there’s still patches that haven’t yet been mainlined for the kernel side. For more information you can read Building The Linux Kernel With LLVM’s Clang Yields Comparable Performance. The good news is that for Linux 3.18 the 64-bit ARM code is closer to being Clang-compatible from mainline.

    • 5 Exciting New Features in Linux 3.17

      Though he had at one point been hoping for an early release, Linus Torvalds unleashed version 3.17 of the Linux kernel on Sunday, thereby sticking to the “normal” schedule after all.

      “The past week was fairly calm, and so I have no qualms about releasing 3.17 on the normal schedule (as opposed to the optimistic ‘maybe I can release it one week early’ schedule that was not to be),” Torvalds wrote in the official announcement.

    • Systemd 217 Will Introduce Its New “Consoled” User Console Daemon

      Back in August I wrote about systemd working to create a new user-space VT solution that could eventually succeed the Linux kernel’s VT support. With the upcoming systemd 217 release, the terminal is present.

    • Linux 3.18 Improves FocalTech, Razer Sabertooth & Other Input Devices

      Highlights of the Linux 3.18 input changes include a TI haptics/vibrator drv260x driver (DRV2667) written by Texas Instruments themselves, the Xpad driver can now properly identify the Razer Sabertooth game controller, support for detecting FocalTech PS/2 touch-pads, a haptic driver for the max77693, and other changes. The PID/VID mappings for the Razer Sabertooth make it recognize as an Xbox 360 controller rather than generic Xbox controller.

    • Xbox One Controller Now Works On Linux (Without Vibration)
    • USB Sees Many Changes For Linux 3.18 Kernel

      Greg Kroah-Hartman sent in pull requests on Tuesday for the various kernel subsystems he maintains. The USB changes as he put it are “lots of little changes in here, all over the place”, per his mailing list post.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • Apprenda extends PaaS with JBoss support, takes aim at Red Hat

        Private Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) vendor Apprenda Inc. has just added support for the popular JBoss and Apache Tomcat web servers, a move which translates to deeper support for more Java applications.

      • Nominations Open for Red Hat Innovation Awards 2015
      • Fedora

        • Whats new with Fedora Badges

          It has been a while since we had a badge post, with getting ready for Fedora 21, Shellshock and getting planning started for Flock 2015, things have been very busy around the community.

          I wanted to first highlight some of the new badges that are in a series. We all know about Wiki Editing. Helping out on a page or helping clean up old info out of pages counts as an edit.

        • Fedora Council, Flock 2015, Workstation, F21 @ Rackspace, and Better Rawhide

          Fedora is a big project, and it’s hard to keep up with everything that goes on. This series highlights interesting happenings in five different areas every week. It isn’t comprehensive news coverage — just quick summaries with links to each. Here are the five things for October 7th, 2014:

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Untangle Next Generation (NG) Firewall Is Now Based on Debian “Wheezy”

          Users might know this distribution by its old name, which was the Untangle gateway. The name changed a while ago into Untangle Next Generation (NG) Firewall, but the system has remained true to its roots. It’s now based on Debian “Wheezy” and it’s using the 3.2.0 branch of the kernel.

        • Meizu MX4 with Ubuntu Touch makes an appearance

          Images of Meizu MX4 running Ubuntu Touch made the rounds online. By default, the high-end Chinese smartphone runs Android-based Flyme OS.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Touch Smartphone to be Released Before 2015

            Ubuntu will finally enter the ocean of mobile operating systems with its Ubuntu Touch, before the end of the year. So as Meizu and Canonical announced their partnership earlier this year, we know that the first phone powered by the Ubuntu Touch will be Meizu’s MX4 model.

          • Meizu MX4 Pro May Give New Life To Ubuntu Touch

            After a few rumors that Meizu may be using Ubuntu Touch as its “stunning new OS,” there seems to be some confirmation that the rumors are real after what appears to be a Meizu MX4 Pro device was spotted in the wild running Ubuntu touch.

          • Mark Shuttleworth, The State and Ubuntu 2.0

            Shuttleworth’s Ubuntu is an open source software with limited proprietary components, meaning that users are encouraged to upload it, improve it, upload those improvements, and make the world—or, rather, the computer—a better place. Once, back when these things were discussed by men with nicotine-stained fingers and furtive eyes, open source promised to be the keystone in a shared economy ushered in by the digital revolution. Open source too often fell in a paradoxical grey zone—software created by a billionaire who lives on an island of money is not exactly the stuff of utopian dreams. But that shouldn’t detract from the fact that it once offered very real possibilities. Sadly, the digital revolution was thoroughly co-opted by non-visionaries like Bill Gates, a man so boring he made a fucking office out of pixels, and those who helped turn the Internet into a one-click shopping mall.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • AllSeen Lights Up IoT Networking World

      The Internet of Thing (IoT) isn’t just about connected refrigerators and toasters sending you email. It’s about lighting, too. Today the AllSeen Alliance announced the formation of a new Connected Lighting Working Group that is tasked with building out a framework for network-enabled lighting.

    • Open IoT alliance to tackle smart, connected LEDs

      The open source AllSeen Alliance, which is standardizing IoT built around Qualcomm’s AllJoyn platform, has launched a Connected Lighting Working Group.

      The Linux Foundation announced the AllSeen Alliance last December to promote Qualcomm’s cross-platform AllJoyn open source project for Internet of Things interoperability. Since then, the Allseen Alliance has launched a number of working groups, the latest of which is a Connected Lighting Working Group.

    • COM runs Linux on quad-core Marvell Armada XP SoC

      Pactron announced a Linux-based “Sherwood” COM Express Module and hardware development kit built around Marvell’s Armada XP SoC featuring four ARMv7 cores.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Tizen Samsung Gear S brings the Opera Mini browser to your wrist

          Opera Mini has the ability to shrink a webpage down to an amazing 10% of its original size, and can hopefully reformat it for a 2″ display. Users also get The Smart Page, which gives users all their social updates and the latest news on one screen. We also get website shortcuts as large buttons and Private browsing which removes any trace of the web pages visited on your wearable device.

        • [Wallpapers] Samsung Gear 2 / Gear 2 Neo and Galaxy Backgrounds Vol 28

          Here are this weeks wallpapers for your enjoyment for your Samsung Gear / Gear 2 / Neo Smartwatches. They are mainly abstract and Avatar (from the movie) ones.

        • How to Flash your Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch to Tizen, using Kies software

          If your a Samsung Galaxy Gear owner that is still running the old outdated Android OS, then its time for you to move with the times and get Tizen running on your wrist companion. Below is a step by step instructional guide (created by JaysDMC) on how you can safely flash your Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch to Tizen, using the Samsung Kies application.

        • Samsung Gear 2 Smartwatch gets cloned in China, Smartwatch LX36

          The Tizen Samsung Gear 2 has certainly been out for a while now, but it seems that it has more admirers than we initially thought. The Gear 2 is so good that they have actually started copying it in China, model Smartwatch LX36.

      • Android

        • Top 10 Android games for this Fall

          There always comes a time when you just need to take a break and chill out, so that you can get rid of all the accumulated stress of the day. In those moments, I choose to play a game on my Android phone, because it takes up less time than playing Metro 2033 on the PC and because I can jump right back into my daily routine after a 15 minute break. What’s always hard when it comes to these breaks is to choose an Android game that is actually fun and doesn’t make me close the app after two levels. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of 10 Android games that I consider the best ones I’ve stumbled across recently. Enjoy your breaks!

        • HTC Nexus 9 With Android L ‘Lollipop’ Release Date October 16? FCC Documents Leaked, Device Imminent

          The HTC Nexus 9 will be shipped with Android L “Lollipop” soon, according to reports. The device was just passed through the FCC, so the official unveiling is imminent.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source has already won in the Information age

    Open source has already won the enterprise, and we’ll continue to see use cases expanding into new environments, according to Red Hat, Inc. CIO Lee Congdon. During a live interview at this week’s Splunk conference, Congdon explains the reasons behind open source’s enterprise victory. he feels open source is best suited for the enterprise, highlighting that as communities come together, people manage to solve their business issues, support each other, and gain recognition from peers and vendors.

  • Six of the Best Open Source Data Mining Tools

    Along with the transition to an app-based world comes the exponential growth of data. However, most of the data is unstructured and hence it takes a process and method to extract useful information from the data and transform it into understandable and usable form. This is where data mining comes into picture. Plenty of tools are available for data mining tasks using artificial intelligence, machine learning and other techniques to extract data.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Consolidation and Breakups May Loom in the OpenStack Arena
    • What Network Function Virtualization means for OpenStack and open source

      Last week’s launch of OPNFV is a good opportunity to think about a simmering debate in the OpenStack developer community for a while now—what exactly does NFV (Network Function Virtualization) have to do with OpenStack, and is it a good thing?

      My own “journey” on this started exactly one year ago today when I visited a local Red Hat partner to talk about OpenStack and, towards the end of our Q&A, I was asked something like “will OpenStack support NFV?” I’d never heard of the term and, when the general idea was explained, I gave a less than coherent version of “OpenStack implements an elastic cloud for cattle; this sounds like pets. Sorry.” After the meeting, the person who asked the question forwarded me an NFV whitepaper from October 2012 and, glancing through it, most of it went right over my head and I didn’t see what it had to do with OpenStack.

  • Databases

    • SUSE, MariaDB and IBM team up to tame Big Data

      SUSE and MariaDB (the company formerly known as SkySQL!) officially teamed up today, joining forces with IBM Power Systems, in a partnership that promises to expand the Linux application ecosystem. According to sources at SUSE, customers will now be able to run a wider variety of applications on Power8, increasing both flexibility and choice while working within existing IT infrastructure. More options is ALWAYS a good thing!

  • Funding

    • Google Announces 2014-2015 Dates for Student Centered Open Source Code Programs

      AH Google Logo Colored 1.6Each year Google facilitates contests and mentorships to help students from all over the world gain valuable experience in the field of open source code development. Google has recently revealed some of the information regarding their upcoming Code-In and Summer of Code events. The Code-In will begin this upcoming December and last until mid- January. The Summer of Code will begin in May of 2015 and last until August. According to their official statement regarding these programs, Google states that “we are passionate about introducing students to open source software development. Since 2005, the Open Source Programs team at Google has worked with over 10,000 students and over 485 open source projects in a variety of fields to create more code for us all.”


  • Project Releases

    • Announce: OpenSSH 6.7 released

      OpenSSH is a 100% complete SSH protocol version 1.3, 1.5 and 2.0 implementation and includes sftp client and server support.

    • OpenSSH 6.7 Released With Significant Improvements
    • Blender 2.72 Brings Cycles Volume Rendering To The GPU

      Blender 2.72 brings the pie menus feature for menu items spread radially around the mouse, animation improvements within its editor, a “face split by edges” tool, a new workflow for texture painting, a new “sun beams” simulation, game development improvements, freestyle non-photorealistic rendering improvements, and a ton of other new features. There’s also many new add-ons like a new DXF importer, new game publishing features, and much more.

    • Blender 2.72

      The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.72

  • Public Services/Government

    • German City Gummersbach Drops Windows XP and Gets SUSE with a MATE Desktop

      Germany is now at the forefront on open source because many cities in this country are either considering the switch to Linux or they have already finished this process. Now, the German city of Gummersbach is reporting that the administration is now almost exclusively running on Linux systems.

    • Another German Town Comes Out Of The Closet
    • Gummersbach completes switch to open source

      The German town of Gummersbach announced that this summer it has completed its switch to Linux PCs, retiring a decade-old proprietary operating system no longer supported by the IT vendor. The migration has saved the town a five-figure sum, and Gummersbach expects a further reduction of IT costs, a combination of savings on proprietary licences and lower hardware costs.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Coding is fun! Europe Code Week is back

      The first ever Europe Code Week took place last year and was largely an experiment to test things out. Opensource.com covered it in an interview with Julie Cullen, the Irish Ambassador, asking her what activities were planned in her home country. This year, Europe Code Week has even more activities planned, over 1000 and counting! To get more insight on the event, I interviewed Alja Isakovic, one of the Young Advisors and organizers for the Europe Code Week program. In this interview, she shares some of last year’s successes and tells us what people can look forward to this year.

    • Understanding HHVM’s Compilation Process & Bytecode

      For those into compilers, bytecodes, and low-level programming or just wanting to know why Facebook’s HHVM project tends to be so much faster for PHP than PHP itself, here’s a great article.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Audio: Gary Webb on ‘Dark Alliance,’ CIA and Drugs

      Webb’s reporting for the San Jose Mercury News cast a harsh light on the links between the CIA-backed Contras in Nicaragua and drug trafficking in the United States, particularly the crack cocaine boom of the 1980s.

    • The Ghost in the GMO Machine

      The bodies and minds of children living on the Hawaiian island of Kaua‘i are being threatened by exposure to chlorpyrifos, a synthetic insecticide that is heavily sprayed on fields located near their homes and schools.

  • Security

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • WI Attorney General’s Latest Attack on Transparency Reeks of Partisanship

      Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s refusal to defend the Government Accountability Board in a federal lawsuit challenging the investigation into Governor Scott Walker and his allies is a reversal of his office’s earlier position, could have grave implications for openness in the state, and undermines the GAB’s role in enforcing the state’s campaign finance laws. It isn’t the first time that Van Hollen has put politics above government transparency.

    • FCC Putting Comcast/Time Warner Cable Investigation On Hold

      On Friday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission said that it has extended its time to file responses and oppositions for the Comcast/Time Warner merger from October 8 to October 29. This is due to a motion filed by DISH Network, which said that Comcast didn’t fully respond to the Commission’s Request to Responses and Oppositions.

  • Privacy

    • ORG responds to calls by National Crime Agency for greater surveillance powers

      ‘Open Rights Group welcomes any public debate about the surveillance of our personal communications by the police and intelligence services but so far the government seems intent on simply increasing its powers to allow unchecked whole population profiling. To tackle terrorism and serious crime, we need need targeted surveillance that is authorised by judges not politicians, as well as proper democratic oversight to ensure that powers are not abused.’

    • Twitter sues U.S. government over limits on ability to disclose surveillance orders

      Twitter, the world’s largest microblogging platform, on Tuesday sued the U.S. government, alleging that the Justice Department’s restrictions on what the company can say publicly about the government’s national security requests for user data violate the firm’s First Amendment rights.

    • Data and Goliath: Digital surveillance and what you can do about it

      Data and Goliath is the title of a soon-to-be published book by Bruce Schneier, a well-known figure in cryptography and currently the Chief Technology Officer of Co3 Systems, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center, and a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

  • Civil Rights

    • Hillary Clinton Loses

      No, I’m not making a prediction. She hasn’t lost the nomination battle for 2016, not yet anyway. However what she did do today, or what I should more accurately say, is she lost my respect. Back in 2011, at a speech she, in her capacity as Secretary of State, was giving for international internet freedom, a worthy cause. During the speech, Ray McGovern, a retired CIA agent who became a political activist against the wars fought in our name in the Middle east, stood up and tuned his back on her, a silent form of protest. For that he was arrested for disorderly conduct.


Links 7/10/2014: CAINE 6.0, PC-BSD 10.0.3

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

GNOME bluefish



  • Breakthrough in Wireless Technology…Or Not

    Exactly three weeks ago today I caught myself before hitting the “share” button on my Google Plus stream. My intent was to complain about some thing or another. I believe it was an out loud groan about a USB wireless device not working out of the box with Linux. I think I was going to triangulate on Broadcom’s insistence on making wireless a real headache.

    And yeah, it doesn’t take that much to get a Broadcom chip working in most cases. Unless you are installing Linux at a friend’s house or another place that doesn’t have a wired connection. Then you’re pretty much sunk. The popup says that the wireless will work once you connect to the package manager. Uh, what if I am not located near a wired connection? That’s kinda why I wanted to connect to the web anyway you friggin’ ijit.

  • Desktop

    • 5 powerful things you didn’t know Chromebooks could do

      This last feature isn’t for the novice users that just buy Chromebooks for their simplicity. But this is World Beyond Windows, where I tout the benefits of Linux, so I can’t leave it out.

      Flip the developer mode switch (it’s in software now, but it used to be a hardware switch) and you can get full access to your Chromebook’s internals. You can install a full desktop Linux system (like Ubuntu) alongside your Chrome OS system. Flip over to the Linux system when you want to do some work with traditional desktop apps and powerful terminal commands.

    • Acer Chromebook 13 (FHD): Initial impressions

      The performance of the device is about acceptable (unfortunately, I do not have any comparison in this device class). Even when typing this blog post in the visual wordpress editor, I notice some sluggishness. Opening the app launcher or loading the new tab page while music is playing makes the music stop for or skip a few ms (20-50ms if I had to guess). Running a benchmark in parallel or browsing does not usually cause this stuttering, though.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation: Certification More Popular But Tough to Get

      The Linux Foundation’s “Introduction to Linux” MOOC on edX has enjoyed impressive popularity since launching in the summer. And the organization’s Certification Program for open source engineers, which went live in August, is also rising in stature, according to data the Foundation has made available.

    • Linux 3.18 Gets Better Wacom Tablet & Sony Controller Support
    • Many ACPI & Power Management Changes For Linux 3.18 Kernel

      Rafael Wysocki sent out his first aligned set of changes of ACPI core and power management changes he’s planning on volleying over to Linus Torvalds for the Linux 3.18 kernel merge window.

    • Linux 3.17 is Getting ready for the Year 2038

      The Linux 3.17 kernel is the fifth major kernel release so far in 2014 and among its features is a fix for a flaw that wouldn’t actually impact Linux for another 24 years.

    • What’s New in Kernel Development

      Kernel configuration has become more and more complex through the years with the proliferation of new drivers, new hardware and specific behaviors that might be needed for particular uses. It has reached about 3,000 config options, and that number will only increase.

      Jean Delvare recently pointed out that a lot of those config options were relevant only to particular hardware, and yet the config system presented them to users who didn’t have that hardware. This seemed like a bug to him, and he suggested that maintainers begin requiring proper hardware dependencies for all config options.

    • Lennart Poettering’s Linus Torvalds rant

      Linus Torvalds, Linux’s creator and leader, is known for his sometimes frank and vulgar language on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML). He doesn’t suffer programming fools gladly. For him, his management style works. Not everyone is happy about it and Lennart Poettering, a Red Hat engineer and one of the creators of the controversial systemd system and service replacement for Unix and Linux’s sysvinit daemon, has called out Torvalds for his salty attitude in a public Google+ post.

    • Linux systemd dev says open source is ‘SICK’, kernel community ‘awful’

      Lennart Poettering, creator of the systemd system management software for Linux, says the open-source world is “quite a sick place to be in.”

      He also said the Linux development community is “awful” – and he pins the blame for that on Linux supremo Linus Torvalds.

    • Bitter Poettering, LibreOffice at 4, and Linux Tidbits

      The systemd fallout is getting to creator Lennart Poettering, who is sounding quite disillusioned. Sean Michael Kerner scored an interview with The Document Foundation’s Italo Vignoli on the future of LibreOffice. Jesse Smith reviewed PC-BSD 10.0.3 in today’s Distrowatch Weekly and Paul Venezia imagines Linux servers as “transient processes and services.” And finally today, we have several Linux distribution tidbits to report.

    • Lennart Poettering On The Open-Source Community: A Sick Place To Be In

      With Lennart spearheading projects like systemd and PulseAudio that have ruffled the feathers of some users, Lennart is no stranger to controversy but today wrote about how “the Open Source community is full of assholes, and I probably more than most others am one of their most favourite targets. I get hate mail for hacking on Open Source.” He also claims to receive hate mail from people who want him to stop developing and how reportedly there’s even a Bitcoin collection for people trying to hire a hitman for him.

    • Stable kernel updates

      Greg KH has released stable kernels 3.16.4, 3.14.20, and 3.10.56.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA vs. AMD 2D Linux Drivers: Catalyst Is Getting Quite Good At 2D

        Our latest Linux graphics driver benchmarks are taking a look at the binary NVIDIA and AMD Catalyst drivers using the latest versions while running on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. It’s been a while since last time we closely compared the two proprietary GPU drivers with 2D workloads on an array of graphics cards so these results should be definitely interesting.

      • AMD Adds Native Object Code Support To Clover/Radeon: Big Performance Win

        Tom Stellard announced his latest OpenCL-related improvements to the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver.

        Announced this afternoon by Tom Stellard are patches that add support to Gallium3D’s Clover — the OpenCL state tracker — for compiling compute kernels into native object code. These native object code binaries from Clover are then accepted by the R600g and RadeonSI Gallium3D drivers.

      • NVIDIA vs. AMD 2D Linux Drivers: Catalyst Is Getting Quite Good At 2D

        Our latest Linux graphics driver benchmarks are taking a look at the binary NVIDIA and AMD Catalyst drivers using the latest versions while running on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. It’s been a while since last time we closely compared the two proprietary GPU drivers with 2D workloads on an array of graphics cards so these results should be definitely interesting.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The Linux Desktop-a-week review: Cinnamon

      In the end, I like Cinnamon. It’s high-quality, beautiful, and the team that works on it should be incredibly proud of what they’ve done. I just can’t imagine the scenario in which I’d use it over something else.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Just Say No

        Instead, GNOME, which breaks most of the traditional “desktop” meme, has returned to being the default. Newbies will need their hands held just to start something up. Single-CD installations are dead. That hammers much of the emerging “market” for GNU/Linux where CDs and even electricity and networks are in short supply. Of course, one can install XFCE4 instead of GNOME but the user has to take charge, something newbies may find intimidating.

        Just say “No!”. Uncheck GNOME. Check XFCE in the “tasksel” page of the installer or use APT to install XFCE4 after you boot your system. You can do it. You have the power.

      • GNOME 3.14 Gives a Well-Known Interface a New Lease on Life

        Recently, the GNOME Project announced the release of GNOME 3.14. Since it’s arrival it has drawn some attention for its enhanced application development platform and some compelling new features. Some people in the open source community view GNOME as a project that lost its way, but the new version is actually being heralded as a big comeback for a project that has made the Linux desktop friendlier to use for many users.

      • GNOME Boston Summit 2014

        GNOME Summit is a three-day hackfest for GNOME developers and contributors. It is not primarily aimed at users or new contributors, but if you want to jump right into the deep end, it’s a fantastic way to meet everyone and get involved. Unlike traditional conferences, the Boston Summit is all about getting developers together and getting things done. While there are some non-hacking sessions, they are geared heavily towards many-to-many, interactive discussion and planning, rather than one-to-many presentations.

      • The GNOME Infrastructure is now powered by FreeIPA!

        The GNOME Infrastructure is now powered by Red Hat’s FreeIPA which bundles several FOSS softwares into one big “bundle” all surrounded by an easy and intuitive web UI that will help users update their account information on their own without the need of the Accounts Team or any other administrative entity. Users will also find two custom fields on their “Overview” page, these being “Foundation Member since” and “Last Renewed on date”. As you may have understood already we finally managed to migrate the Foundation membership database into LDAP itself to store the information we want once and for all. As a side note it might be possible that some users that were Foundation members in the past won’t find any detail stored on the Foundation fields outlined above. That is actually expected as we were able to migrate all the current and old Foundation members that had an LDAP account registered at the time of the migration. If that’s your case and you still would like the information to be stored on the new setup please get in contact with the Membership Committee at stating so.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • ownCloud, Red Hat Partner on Open Source Storage

        ownCloud Inc. and Red Hat (RHT) say they can deliver open source storage with lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and better compliance standards through a partnership that combines Red Hat Storage Server 3 with ownCloud’s file syncing and sharing platform.

      • China’s Inspur Forms Linux Partnership With Red Hat

        Chinese technology company Inspur and American open source manufacturer Red Hat have reached a strategic deal to combine Red Hat’s latest-generation enterprise operating system Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 with Inspur’s X86 platform products.

        According to the agreement, Inspur and Red Hat will become OEM partners. The OEM partner designation is the highest partner rank for Red Hat and Inspur will enjoy the best prices and the highest priority technical support. Other financial terms of the deal were not released.

      • Making Red Hat Enterprise Linux manageable with Red Hat Satellite 6

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux is one of these open source infrastructure solutions, and offers the benefits of open source with the capabilities expected from modern IT infrastructure. To make management even easier, enterprises can utilize Red Hat Satellite to handle life-cycle and systems management.

      • Diversity is a crucial component of meritocracy

        This year’s keynote speaker at the annual All Things Open conference is Red Hat’s DeLisa Alexander, executive VP and head of Red Hat’s human resources operations. DeLisa is not only in a professional position to comment on gender and diversity in open source and tech but has also personally campaigned for inclusiveness in the workplace to produce better outcomes for everybody.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Might End Up Disabling Delta RPMs By Default

          Going back to 2009 with Fedora 11 has been delta RPM support to enable support with Yum for these packages that just contain the differences between one installed RPM version to the next version. With Fedora frequently pushing down new packages, delta RPMs have allowed those in bandwidth-constrained environments to more easily download updates since the file sizes of the deltas tend to be significantly smaller than full RPMs. Additionally, it’s placed less of a burden on the Fedora infrastructure by having less disk space and bandwidth requirements. However, with DNF it looks like Fedora could revert to going back to full RPMs for distribution of updates.

        • Fedora To Replace Bash With Either Dash Or Mksh As The Default, Non-Interactive Shell?

          This being said, one of the Fedora developers have asked on the mailing lists whether Debian’s dash or Android’s mksh would be a safer alternative, as the future system’s default, non-interactive shell.

        • Fedora 23 Might Adopt Btrfs as Default

          Fedora 21 hasn’t been released just yet, but the developers are already making plans for subsequent releases that will be made in the future. Right now, they are looking for a possible implementation of the Btrfs file system instead of the current Ext4.

        • The pain of trying to install a .deb package on Fedora using Alien

          During my search for a good Markdown text editor for Linux, I came across a few that had binary installation only for Debian and Ubuntu distributions. See The search for a usable Markdown editor for my Linux desktop.

          Because my main Linux desktop is powered for Fedora, I decided to find an alternate method of installing those applications other than compiling them from source. Call it a lazy approach, but sometimes you have to find shortcuts.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 8.0 Beta 2

        Debian comes with over 20,000 packages (precompiled software that is bundled up in a nice format for easy installation on your machine) – all of it free. It’s a bit like a tower. At the base is the kernel. On top of that are all the basic tools.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Users don’t want Ubuntu 14.10

            What is also interesting that some people still plan to install Ubuntu 14.10 even though they are not waiting for that release. And, vice versa, some people are waiting for Utopic Unicorn release, but do not plan the installation.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • The right fit? 4 open source projects evaluated

    In the guide, I wrote about doing your research by casting a wide net, then evaluating yourself (your skills, your goals, and your time). In this evaluation to find the right fit, I looked at my motivations and skills, made a list of goals, and named a few target projects. Because this isn’t my first rodeo, I take a good, hard look at my track record. What can I learn from the ones that didn’t stick to find the one that will? I notice patterns I can avoid and see how they line up against my new list of goals and skills. Then, I evaluate four open source projects and their communities to see if they might be a good fit. See the winner at the end!

  • 9 things to look for in an open-source project

    Not all open-source projects are created equal. There are plenty that have not been touched in years — heck, I probably wrote a few of them. If you’re going to rely on a community-contributed open-source project, you’ll want to ensure the code is up to your standards and that the community will continue to support it throughout the project’s life cycle.

  • The Importance of Being FOSS

    It’s a fact of life in virtually every community that there will be countless daily distractions — news announcements, controversies, squabbles — that take up the majority of our time and energy, leaving little for the big picture.

    The Linux community is no exception.

    That’s why it was such a relief to see a post over at Linux.com recently that struck directly to the core of all that is FOSS and offered a reminder as to what it’s really all about.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Web Browsers for Linux

      Here is an overview of nine web browsers for Linux. Does not include terminal-based ones.

    • Mozilla

      • Testing a $35 Firefox OS phone—how bad could it be?

        You’ve got it pretty good, you know that? While you’re sitting there using your Internet-enabled device to read about some other Internet-enabled device, it’s easy to forget that the majority of people doesn’t have any access to the Internet at all. The “World Wide” Web is actually not that worldwide—only about one-third of the population is online. That’s 4.8 billion people out there with no way to get to the Internet.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The inside track on Oracle’s open-source strategy

      “NoSQL is definitely a component of Big Data and is part of the strategy of storing and managing very fast but simple operations over simple data,” Seglau explained to hosts Jeff Kelly and Jeff Frick. Oracle’s namesake relational system has a notoriously difficult time handling that kind of unstructured information, a critical gap that leaves the vendor little choice but to embrace the new paradigm of enterprise data management.

    • LibreOffice at 4: How the OpenOffice Fork is Forging Ahead

      The Document Foundation has been able to attract contributions to LibreOffice from AMD and Intel as well as governments, including Saudi Arabia and France. Donations are the primary source of revenue for The Document Foundation and Vignoli said that the donations have been growing steadily over the years. That funding has enabled The Document Foundation to hire three full-time people and two part-time people, as well as supporting continuing developer efforts around LibreOffice.


      One of the main areas of growth for LibreOffice is in competitive migrations away from other office suites, including Microsoft’s Office. While The Document Foundation would like to see more people use LibreOffice, the plan is not for all users to totally abandon Microsoft Office.

      “The objective is not to eradicate Microsoft Office from companies,” Vignoli said. “The concept of migration is about giving an alternative to companies.” – See more at: http://www.eweek.com/enterprise-apps/libreoffice-at-4-how-the-openoffice-fork-is-forging-ahead.html#sthash.Jp29EQC7.dpuf

  • CMS

    • WordPress Foundation Becomes an Open Source Initiative® Affiliate Member

      The Open Source Initiative ® (OSI), the premiere organization that promotes and protects open source, announced today that the WordPress Foundation (WordPress) has joined the OSI as an Affiliate Member. The WordPress Foundation’s mission, to democratize publishing through open source, has elevated WordPress to not only a globally recognized content management tool, but a vibrant community encompassing the ideals of open source software development, and advocacy for the adherence to the Open Source Definition. Its affiliation with OSI helps enhance and sustain the open software development community, while ensuring that millions of individuals, organizations and businesses can cost-effectively communicate online using a robust set of content management capabilities.

  • BSD

    • Ten Year Old “Critical” Bug Discovered In OpenBSD

      While OpenBSD generally prides itself on being a secure, open-source operating system and focusing more on code corectness and security rather than flashy features, it turns out a potential security bug has been living within OpenBSD for the past decade.

    • PC-BSD 10.0.3: An alternative to desktop Linux distros?

      Linux is a terrific desktop operating system but sometimes it can be fun to use something else, particularly if you have the personality of a distrohopper. PC-BSD is one alternative that’s worth considering since it’s based on FreeBSD. DistroWatch has a review of PC-BSD 10.0.3 and finds that it compares well to most desktop Linux distributions.

    • First impressions of PC-BSD 10.0.3

      All in all, I am impressed with what the PC-BSD team has managed to deliver with their 10.0.3 release. The project has taken on additional polish with the last few releases. The graphical front ends look nicer, some bugs I spotted in previous releases (especially with Life Preserver) have been fixed and the way ZFS integrates with the other PC-BSD tools was very useful to me. There are a lot of great features in this release I would love to see ported to Linux and there were no serious problems during my trial, beyond the video driver issue I was able to work around. I definitely recommend giving PC-BSD a try, it offers a great deal of power in an attractive package.


    • GNU’s Data Recovery Tool Updated With New Options

      GNU ddrescue, an open-source data recovery tool that copies data from one file / block device to another while rescuing the good portions of data in case of read errors, is out with a new version.

    • GNU ddrescue 1.19 released

      I am pleased to announce the release of GNU ddrescue 1.19.

      GNU ddrescue is a data recovery tool. It copies data from one file or block device (hard disc, cdrom, etc) to another, trying to rescue the good parts first in case of read errors.

  • Project Releases

    • man-pages-3.74 is released

      I’ve released man-pages-3.74. 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

    • GSA CIO: Platform Reuse, Open Source Among Guiding IT Principles

      Platform reuse and open source technology are guiding IT principles being championed by GSA’s CIO, Sonny Hashimi. The agency’s new IT integration policy requires all new projects that are undertaken within GSA to follow several IT principles. For example, GSA must consider the reuse of its existing platforms before any new investments are contemplated.

    • Uganda Takes on Free and Open Source Software

      On this historic Wednesday, the Government was interfacing with the IT community to discuss among others the draft FOSS and Open Standards Policy and the National FOSS Strategy. This is the very reason that made it indeed historic, finally FOSS has arrived. While a few other African countries make mention of FOSS in their ICT related policies, one can hardly identify those that have come up with specific policies and strategies addressing FOSS. South Africa and now Uganda are going the extra mile to take the bull by the horn with the hope that others may follow.

  • Openness/Sharing


  • Mick Cash interview: Disillusioned with Labour, RMT union chief plots a new party for the left

    The north London headquarters of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union is replete with history.

    When the executive meets, just across the corridor from Mick Cash’s office, they sit around a table where, more than a century ago, union leaders made the decision to found the Labour Party.

  • The Purpose of Politics

    That is, nothing to do with their beliefs, just trying to save their jobs. Exactly like the Westminster Labour establishment in Scotland.

  • 18 dead after illegal Indonesian gold mine collapses

    At least 18 people, including 16 men and two women, have lost their lives after an illegal mine collapsed in Indonesia’s Borneo island.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Qatar and Saudi Arabia ‘have ignited time bomb by funding global spread of radical Islam’

      Qatar and Saudi Arabia have ignited a “time bomb” by funding the global spread of radical Islam, according to a former commander of British forces in Iraq.

      General Jonathan Shaw, who retired as Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff in 2012, told The Telegraph that Qatar and Saudi Arabia were primarily responsible for the rise of the extremist Islam that inspires Isil terrorists.

      The two Gulf states have spent billions of dollars on promoting a militant and proselytising interpretation of their faith derived from Abdul Wahhab, an eighteenth century scholar, and based on the Salaf, or the original followers of the Prophet.

    • Moazzam Begg offered help over hostage release

      Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg offered to intervene to help secure the release of British hostage Alan Henning, he has told the BBC.

      Mr Begg, 46, said he thought he knew who had been holding the aid worker but said the government rejected his offer.

      He said Mr Henning’s friends had sought his help and he had told the government he was going to intervene regardless.

    • US drone strikes kill eight militants in Pakistan

      At least eight militants were killed today when a US drone fired four missiles on a Taliban compound in Pakistan’s volatile North Waziristan tribal region, the second such incident in the area in 24 hours.

    • U.S. Drones Strike Pakistan for 3rd Day

      On Tuesday, a U.S. drone strike hit a suspected militant training camp in northwest Pakistan, in an attack that intelligence officials say killed six and wounded nine. It marked the third U.S. drone strike on Pakistan in three days, after 2014 began with a six-month hiatus of strikes against terror cells in the country. Five suspected militants were killed in a strike Monday and another five in a strike Sunday. All three were in the Shawal area of South Waziristan. The U.S. had halted drone strikes in the first half of the year at the behest of Pakistan while it attempted, but failed, to negotiate a deal with the Taliban. Pakistan is dealing with unrest in other areas, as well. Its tenuous relationship with India has also flared up over Kashmir. In the worst attacks since their 2003 ceasefire, there have been casualties on both sides, with nine civilians dead in total.

    • Is there no other way?

      The difficulty seems to be that addressing the issues which drive people to violence and terror is more complex and demanding than simply bombing them. Rather than listening to grievances and struggling to address them, the choice is made to send in drones. They don’t risk American lives and they keep the war far from America’s shores.

    • North Waziristan: 19 killed in three drone strikes during last 36 hours

      At least nineteen people have been killed while several others injured in three US drone strikes during last 36 hours in North Waziristan tribal region, Dunya News reported on Tuesday.

      In the latest attack, six people were killed and 11 injured when a U.S. drone fired two missiles on militant commander Mustaqeem’s centre in Kandghar area of Shawal today.

    • Drones and Everything After

      Late one afternoon in December, a drone armed with Hellfire missiles was flying low over the Yemeni desert, an audible buzzing presence, tracking a ­convoy of cars and trucks that were caterpillaring along a route between villages. Within the convoy were the members of two large families, escorting a bride from a wedding celebration in her own village to another in her groom’s, and though they noticed the drone, its presence was not unusual. Then, while the group was stopped because of a flat tire, the noise from the drone grew louder, as if a decision had been reached, and it began to discharge missiles. Several men jumped from the fourth truck before it was destroyed, but as they fled the drone seemed to track them across the sand, and fired again, according to Al Jazeera America. An older sheikh ran from his car and found his son, dead and bloodied, pierced by flying shrapnel in his face, neck, and chest. Twelve men were killed. They were farmers, shepherds, and migrant laborers, mostly. U.S. government officials would say later that the target had been a militant, affiliated with Al Qaeda, who managed to escape the attack. A report by Human Rights Watch suggested that he might never have been there at all.

    • Anti-drone activists, limited to ‘Free Speech Zone’ at Hancock Air Base, protest without incident

      A group of about 50 anti-drone activists cordoned off by barriers protested without any arrests or incidents Sunday afternoon.

      The protesters, led by Upstate Drone Action and the Syracuse Peace Council, obtained a permit from the town of DeWitt, which allowed them to demonstrate for about two and a half hours starting at 1 p.m. The protest was part of a Global Action Day against the use of drones for surveillance and killing.

    • As Canada debates ISIS mission, U.S. already weighing potential civilian casualties

      As Canada’s Parliament prepares to vote this week on expanding military involvement in the Middle East, the U.S. political system has already moved on to the next difficult conversation — about civilian casualties.

    • The war on terrorism can only be ended morally

      So, why shouldn’t the United States torture suspected terrorists, rain hellfire missiles into Middle Eastern villages aimed at terror targets or use mass domestic surveillance to gather intelligence? Well, even if you have no sympathy for those who support terrorism, there are both blatant, moral and strategic flaws in these policies that not only violate the very principles that our great nation was founded on, but further perpetuate the seemingly never ending war on terror.

    • Why Air Strikes Against ISIS Will Fail

      War is a dirty, unforgiving business. It is not rendered clean by remote deployments and orders executed at a distance from seemingly safe areas. It takes lives, inflicts unspeakable harm, and rarely brings smiles to those who suffer it. But the members of the US-led coalition currently involved in striking Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq would have you think otherwise. They give the impression that clean distances are golden, and air strikes will have their intended “degrading” effect. Therein lies the message about the false salvation of machinery – the technological panacea that rarely does what it is meant to.

      The notion that air power would win the day has been something of a fetish for enthusiasts, both of the prophetic and practising sort. It prophetically concerned H. G. Wells in The War in the Air (1908). It enraptured Britain’s blood lusting Air Marshal Arthur “Bomber” Harris during World War II, who believed in characteristically delusional fashion that his death sowing fleets won the war in exclusive fashion. Curtis “Demon” Le May fronted as the US equivalent, instrumental behind the striking of sixty-four Japanese cities between March and August 1945 that killed around 330,000 people. The doctrinal holy water, however, came from the font of the US Strategic Bombing Survey.

    • Fighting the Hopelessness Machine

      Jeremy Scahill and Glen Greenwald’s report Death by Metadata reveals that US drone strikes in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen and are mostly targeted using phone metadata obtained by the NSA, with very little human intelligence (of either sort) involved. The result is pretty much what one would expect. “Real terrorists” who know they’re targets change phones and SIM cards regularly to avoid detection, while victims of strikes often include random bystanders and uninvolved users of the same phone. This situation will only get worse for the NSA as word of Scahill and Greenwald’s report spreads and more people start taking appropriate precautions.

    • Kenyan forces kill 22 ‘al-Shabaab’ fighters in southern Somalia

      Kenya’s military has confirmed that its soldiers have killed 22 ‘al-Shabaab’ militants and disrupted logistical base in Bula Gadud in southern Somalia.

    • Kenyan Forces Kill 22 Al-Shabaab Fighters In Southern Somalia
    • Hamas has resumed rocket manufacture, says top IDF officer

      Hamas has resumed rocket manufacturing in Gaza, the head of the Israeli Air Force’s Air Defense Command said.

    • Egypt army kills 16 militants in North Sinai

      Egypt’s army killed 16 militants from the Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis jihadist group early Tuesday as it continues its operation to rein in extremists in the restive Sinai Peninsula, Aswat Masriya reported.

    • Critical thinking the first casualty of war

      Not only are we not getting satisfactory answers about the new conflict in Iraq — no one is even asking the right questions.

    • Eric Holder: A mixed legacy at best

      Ironically, while Holder scored on the civil rights front, he failed on the civil liberties front. His Justice Department authorized the use of drones to kill American citizens on foreign soil without a fair trial. His Justice Department has also defended the National Security Agency’s wholesale collection of phone data on millions of Americans accused of no crimes.

    • The Late Triumph of the Bush-Bin Laden Dance

      The terrorist group known as ISIS or ISIL has committed some atrocious acts, beheadings or throat slittings of innocent Westerners from the United States, Britain and France. This suddenly prompted a change in public opinion in these three countries, which now support air strikes on the facilities or oil rigs controlled by this spin-off of al-Qaeda. In the United States, a strong majority of Americans opposed strikes on Syria in 2013 and now supports them – even though they are illegal and will prove ineffective.

      The politics of emotion have won and abolished the lessons that the failure of the war on terror should have taught leaders, citizens and all kinds of political decision makers. France, which famously opposed the war in Iraq in 2003, is now in the forefront, at least the rhetorical forefront, of this new misguided war. This war could push the whole world into a Huntington corner and ignite a “clash of civilizations” which did not exist before the Soviet and American forays into Afghanistan.

    • Documenting the Next Generation of Drone Pilots

      During the 2010 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Barack Obama told the Jonas Brothers to stay away from his daughters. “I’ve got two words for you,” he said, cueing up the punchline: “Predator drones. You’ll never see it coming.” The crowd burst into hysterics.

      Back then, flying death machines that kill innocent people were a lot of laughs. Nowadays, it’s unlikely the president’s joke would get the same response. The Obama administration has launched eight times more drone attacks in the past five years than Bush did throughout his entire presidency, the deaths of civilians in drone strikes are frequently publicized, and in late 2012 the world became aware of “double taps,” which involve two attacks in quick succession, ensuring the slaughter of friends and family trying to rescue their loved ones from the bomb site.

    • The Law of Futility: Air Strikes Against the Islamic State
    • Dangers of weaponized heavens need attention

      Perhaps you are among many who give little thought to a growing arms race arising from the proliferation of military hardware in space overhead. The US Strategic Command is strengthening US space dominance over the entire world through satellites that control our so-called missile defense system, drones that kill by remote control, laser weapons that could destroy other nation’s satellites and the possible placement of nuclear weapons in space. There are dangers that space clutter from a war in space could make space impenetrable in the future eliminating the benefits space provides us.

    • Ethical and methodological issues in assessing drones’ civilian impacts in Pakistan

      Since 2004, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has conducted 379 armed drone strikes against presumed terrorists living in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which is comprised of several so-called tribal agencies and governed by a colonial-era legal dispensation that effectively renders the citizens of the FATA second-class citizens. While drone strikes have occurred in all agencies, the vast majority of them have taken place in the two agencies of FATA known as North and South Waziristan. Because international media cannot travel to FATA legally and because the U.S. government refuses to speak about the covert program, most reports rely upon the often conflicting claims made by militant groups or parts of the Pakistani government. What is known is that American drone strikes have killed innocent persons in Pakistan (and elsewhere where drones are used). What remains unknown — and perhaps unknowable — is how many of the persons killed in U.S. drone strikes are in fact innocent civilians.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • California drought worries pool industry

      California swimming pool companies just regaining their financial footing after the recession are now facing a new challenge: a devastating drought that has put the state’s ubiquitous backyard pools under the microscope.

      More than three dozen water agencies and local cities are cracking down on water use in swimming pools with rules that range from requiring a pool cover to prevent evaporation to banning residents from draining and refilling older ones that need repairs.

    • Dog Days of Yulin – Part 1

      Animal rights activists across China and the rest of the globe have increasingly condemned the Dog Meat Festival, calling for an immediate stop to eating man’s best friend. They say the dog meat trade is illegal, unregulated, and cruel. Many claim that numerous dogs that end up in cooking pots are stolen pets or diseased strays.

  • Finance

    • Argentina passes law to establish debt audit commission

      Argentina has legislated to create a commission to investigate the origin of the country’s debt, dating back to the military dictatorship of 1976 to 1983. The law states that once the commission has been established, it will report within 180 days. Campaigners in Argentina have been calling for a public audit into the debt, to discover if any loans were odious or illegitimate, and hence should not be paid. It is not yet clear when the commission will be established.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Justices in Walker Criminal Probe Face Conflicts of Interest

      The Wisconsin Supreme Court could decide the future of the criminal investigation into Governor Scott Walker and independent electoral groups, but some of the justices are faced with a significant conflict of interest: two of the groups under investigation have been the dominant spenders in Wisconsin Supreme Court elections in recent years, spending over $10 million to elect the Court’s Republican majority.

    • Manufacturing Consent – Pakistani Style

      The Left is ignored, and the Right is pampered. The critical, thoughtful professional of yesteryear has been replaced by the savvy networker who conforms to all the rules and regulations of the well-oiled machine that is the modern media corporation.

      Public media in the United States, while having an appearance of neutrality, is actually a tool of powerful groups representing establishment interests. Years ago, Herman and Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent showed, using example after example, just how this happens. At times it could be a bit subtle – effective media engineering may require a dash of contrary opinion just to make it sound even-handed.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Journalists and their sources require privacy. But so does everyone else

      The police’s use of RIPA (the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) to access journalists’ phone records came under attack this weekend from the Lib Dems, the Sun newspaper, Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee, and the Government’s Interception of Communications Commissioner.

    • EPIC Sues CIA For Release Of Senate Spying Report

      The CIA’s spying on Senate staff members during the compilation of the “Torture Report” (last seen delayed until late October) provoked some righteous (but hypocritical) indignation from political figures who were otherwise fans of government surveillance of American citizens. Dianne Feinstein’s dismay may have been genuine, but it was also completely tone-deaf.

      CIA director John Brennan said no spying occurred while also admitting some spying had occurred. Further details revealed by an Inspector General’s investigation noted that spying continued after Brennan finally told everyone to knock it off, using a classified “hacking tool” to peer into Senate staffers’ email accounts.

    • Law Enforcement Still Defending ComputerCOP: Says They’ll Keep Distributing It Until After Someone’s Been Hurt

      It appears that the police and other law enforcement folks who spent department money on the awful ComputerCOP spyware simply can’t admit that they were handing out software that made kids less safe. Instead, they’re sticking by their decision to do so. Given that the company personalized the software in the name of local law enforcement, and pitched it as the “perfect election and fundraising tool,” you can understand their reticence to actually admit that they’ve been making kids a hell of a lot less safe. We already discussed San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis defending the software, even while issuing an “alert” telling parents how to disable the keylogging feature. Even more bizarre was the response of Limestone County, Alabama, Sheriff Mike Blakely, who simply questioned EFF’s credibility in revealing the dangerous nature of the software.

    • FBI Director: The Internet Is The Most Dangerous Parking Lot Imagineable

      FBI Director James Comey was on 60 Minutes on Sunday, in a segment that will continue next week as well. Apparently next week is when we’ll find out his views on mobile encryption and whether or not the FBI is spying on all of us, but this week, he gave us a tiny hint towards the end of the segment, in which he discusses why the internet is so dangerous.

    • Another 60 Minutes Puff Piece

      Based on its legacy, the CBS show 60 Minutes is still sometimes thought of as the remaining place in TV news where tough investigative journalism has a home. But lately, they’ve been doing something else.

    • Washington Post’s Clueless Editorial On Phone Encryption: No Backdoors, But How About A Magical ‘Golden Key’?
    • Documents Released In Silk Road Case Add More Evidence To The ‘Parallel Construction’ Theory
    • Silk Road Lawyers Poke Holes in FBI’s Story

      New court documents released this week by the U.S. government in its case against the alleged ringleader of the Silk Road online black market and drug bazaar suggest that the feds may have some ‘splaining to do.

    • U.K police used anti-terrorism laws to spy on journalists

      British police are to be forced to disclose their use of anti-terror legislation to investigate journalists as part of a new investigation by the U.K.’s top interception official.

      After the Mail on Sunday revealed this weekend that British police had used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA)—a piece of legislation designed for combatting terrorism—in order to uncover one of the newspaper’s sources for a report implicating a government minister in perverting the course of justice, acting Interception of Communications Commissioner Sir Paul Kennedy announced on Oct. 6 an enquiry into the use of RIPA against journalists throughout the U.K.

  • Civil Rights

    • Nicky Hager’s house raided by police
    • Hate crimes against Muslims spike: We must face up to normalized Islamophobia

      Over the course of the last few years Islamophobia has alarmingly risen throughout the world. The roots of the problem can be traced back to 9/11, which to this day, is still constantly evoked by political leaders to justify murderous foreign policy.

      Countless human beings, including many Muslims, have been killed by Western bombs in the years following 9/11.All of this was done of course, in the name of making the world a safer place.

    • Bad Information Leads to Worse Police Raids

      David Hooks’s death reads like a boilerplate tale of a police raid gone wrong. Around 11 PM on September 24, deputies from the Laurens County, Georgia, sheriff’s department stormed their way into his house looking, they say, for meth. A reported 16 shots later, the 59-year-old was dead, and naturally there are conflicting accounts about what happened. The cops claim Hooks brandished his shotgun at them when they came in; Hooks’s family’s lawyer says that the raid victim’s wife, Teresa, had seen cops in hoods lurking around the house and was worried they were robbers (the home had been burglarized only a couple nights before) and Hooks was merely worried about defending his property. No drugs or anything illegal was found in the home, according to the lawyer.

    • A cop may be following you everywhere

      The crackdown on protesters after the police shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, highlighted that more and more, police departments possess sophisticated weapons and equipment originally designed for the battlefield. Federal anti-terrorism funding is a major driver of this trend, but once police departments have this equipment they use it — even if it’s not against terrorists.

      What few people understand is that police increasingly make use of sophisticated surveillance equipment as well. NSA-style mass surveillance technologies are making it possible for local police departments to gather information on each and every one of us, on a scale never before been possible.

  • DRM

    • Apple Facing Trial Over Whether Its Use Of DRM Violated Antitrust Laws

      When Apple first launched the iTunes store for music, it had DRM deeply embedded in it. According to reports around the time, this DRM was a key part of allowing Apple to get into the business of selling music. The labels demanded strong DRM. It didn’t take long for most people to recognize how the labels’ own demands for DRM actually gave Apple tremendous leverage over the record labels by basically handing the market over to Apple while making it that much more difficult for a competitor to jump into the space. While, years later, Apple and the labels finally ditched the DRM on music, one of Apple’s competitors, Real Networks had tried to hack its way around Apple’s DRM, which was called FairPlay, with its own DRM, called Harmony, that more or less reverse engineered Apple’s DRM. Apple responded by changing things so that Real’s music wouldn’t work on iPods (yes, this was back in the day of iPods). Real adjusted… and Apple broke it again.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XXXIX

      As previous updates – and many economists – have pointed out, the huge economic gains claimed for TTIP are largely illusory. The 119bn euros boost for the EU not only turns out to be under the most optimistic assumptions, clearly impossible to obtain now given the growing resistance to TTIP’s de-regulation, but refers to 2027, and is the difference between an EU economy with TTIP and without. That means the claimed 0.5% GDP boost is actually a ten-year cumulative figure, and amounts to the rather less impressive 0.05% extra GDP on average – in mathematical terms, indistinguishable from zero given the very approximate nature of the models used to make these predictions.


Links 6/10/2014: Linux 3.17, OpenELEC 4.2.1, FreeBSD 10.1 RC1, Debian 8.0 Beta 2 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 9:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • With This Many Linux Games On Steam, You Could Almost Drop Windows

      It didn’t happen overnight, but Steam’s catalogue of Linux games has grown significantly over the last few years, no doubt helped by the release Value’s Debian-powered SteamOS. Abandoning Windows for the open source platform was once the quickest way to gaming frustration, be it a lack of native ports or wrestling with the likes of Wine or other virtualisation option, but with almost 700 working titles available, the variety is certainly there.

  • Server

    • How thin? Imagine the Linux server as a process

      Lately I’ve been causing a ruckus among readers who appear to have a very narrow view of Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. My main point has been that we need a streamlined, finely tailored Linux server distro that better supports what server instances are becoming: transient, highly specialized bundles of processes and services. At some point, beyond Linux containers and cloud-scale server instances, we hit on the concept of server as process.

    • ARM and TSMC unveil roadmap for 64-bit ARM-based processors on 10nm FinFET process

      ARM and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) have announced a new multi-year agreement that will deliver ARMv8-A processor IP optimized for TSMC 10nm FinFET process technology. Because of the success in scaling from 20nm SoC to 16nm FinFET, ARM and TSMC have decided to collaborate again for 10FinFET. This early pathfinding work will provide valuable learning to enable physical design IP and methodologies in support of customers to tape-out 10nm FinFET designs as early as the fourth quarter of 2015.

    • ARMed And Dangerous To Monopoly

      It gets even better. ARM and its “partners” are drawing a bead on 10nm which will make ARMed processors even less expensive to produce/operate. This will allow even more processors to be sold for tiny gadgets, mobile gadgets, personal computers and yes, servers and HPC. Of course Intel can do this too, reclaiming some performance leads but Intel will have to go head to head on price/performance, the antithesis of monopoly.

  • Kernel Space

    • Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV) Joined by AT&T, China Mobile, NTT, Telecom Italia, Vodafone, Orange, Sprint & Vendors

      AT&T, Brocade, China Mobile, Cisco, Dell, Ericsson, HP, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Juniper Networks, NEC, Nokia Networks, NTT DOCOMO, Red Hat, Telecom Italia and Vodafone are the platinum-level founding members of Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNVF), a newly established carrier-grade, integrated, open source reference platform by Linux Foundation intended to accelerate the introduction of new products and services using NFV.

    • Linux kernel 3.17 is released with some nifty new features

      Other updates that are included with the release include support for the Radeon R9 290 GPU family in the open-source AMD Linux driver. In addition, the open-source NVIDIA driver has received several improvements.

    • Linux 3.17 Kernel Released With Many Great Features

      After a calm week when Linux 3.17 was extended by one week, Linus Torvalds happily released the Linux 3.17 kernel a few minutes ago. Linux 3.17 is out in all of its glory and due to Torvalds’ travel schedule the Linux 3.18 merge window will be open for about three weeks.

    • Linux 3.17
    • Graphics Stack

      • Freedreno Gallium3D Is Passing 90%+ Of Piglit Tests

        In addition to doing the xf86-video-freedreno 1.3.0 release this weekend, Rob Clark also took the opportunity to write a lengthy blog post on the progress made for the open-source, reverse-engineered Linux graphics driver stack for Qualcomm’s Adreno graphics hardware. The few contributors involved have done a stunning job over the past few months to implement much of OpenGL 3 for this ARM graphics driver and make other improvements — all without the support or backing of Qualcomm.

      • Freedreno Update

        A number of people have recently asked what is new with freedreno. It had been a while since posting an update.. and, well, not everyone watches mesa commit logs for fun, or watches #freedreno on freenode, so it seemed like time for another semi-irregular freedreno blog post.

      • NVIDIA Linux 2D Benchmarks With The GeForce GTX 980

        Last week having done the GeForce GTX 980 Linux review with a ton of OpenGL benchmarks followed by GTX 980 OpenCL benchmarks and yesterday even running some updated NVIDIA VDPAU Linux benchmarks, next up for this high-end Maxwell graphics processor are some 2D performance benchmarks using NVIDIA’s binary blob.

      • NVIDIA VDPAU Performance With The GeForce GTX 980

        Now having done the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Linux review with plenty of OpenGL benchmarks and yesterday running a bunch of GTX 980 OpenCL benchmarks, for your Sunday morning viewing are now some Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU) results for a range of NVIDIA GPUs.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Open Source GNOME 3 Desktop Environment Wins Back Fans

        Is there still a future for GNOME 3, the open source Linux desktop that was once massively popular, yet in recent years has seen its preponderance wane in favor of alternatives such as Xfce and Canonical’s Unity? Recent indicators say yes.

        Full disclosure: I should was an avid GNOME user in the days of GNOME 2, the dead-simple yet elegant desktop environment that powered many Linux desktops for the better part of a decade. But when the GNOME developers switched their focus to the next generation of the platform, GNOME 3, circa 2011, I jumped ship, mostly because I couldn’t make sense of GNOME Shell, the developers’ attempt to discard everything users have learned to expect from the desktop-computer experience over the last 30 years and impose a radically new metaphor of user interaction in its place.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat scales up Storage Server 3 with support for Hadoop

        Red Hat has revamped its Storage Server platform, adding support for the Hadoop framework and the ability to scale up to support larger volumes of data.

      • Red Hat Storage Server 3 Advances File Storage and Apache Hadoop Big Data Services

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), a leading provider of open source solutions, has announced the availability of the newest major release of Red Hat Storage Server, a leading open software-defined storage solution for scale-out file storage. The advanced capabilities in Red Hat Storage 3 are well-suited for data-intensive enterprise workloads including big data, operational analytics and enterprise file sharing and collaboration. With its proven and validated workload solutions, Red Hat Storage Server 3 enables enterprises to curate enterprise data to increase responsiveness, control costs and improve operational efficiency.

      • Open source as second nature to this project leader

        Heiko Rupp, a contributor to Opensource.com and Principal Software Engineer and Project Lead for the RHQ project at Red Hat, shares with us in this Community Spotlight the hardware he wishes were more open in his life. Heiko also gives a glimpse into his day-to-day on the RHQ-Project, an enterprise management solution for JBoss middleware projects and other server-side applications.

      • Fedora

        • Btrfs Won’t Likely Replace EXT4 As The Default Until Fedora 23

          Josef Bacik commented this Sunday morning, “My plan is to push for F23, I’m still wrapping up some balance bugs and some other issues we’ve found at work and then this will be my next priority. Suse benefits from having a narrow ‘supported’ criteria, like only use it with lots of space and don’t use any of the RAID stuff, plus they have two kernel guys on it and Dave Sterba who is now in charge of btrfs-progs. Fedora unfortunately has me who has Facebook work to do and Eric [Sandeen] who is a professional [file-system] juggler. We will get there, and when we do it will be less painful than its going to be for Suse since they will have fixed it all for us.”

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 8.0 Beta 2 “Jessie” Released with GNOME as Default

        The Debian Installer Team has announced that Debian Installer Jessie Beta 2 is out and ready for download. This latest version brings some very interesting changes for Jessie and a ton of improvements.

        The Debian installer is always launched first, so if you want to test the latest Debian 8 version, you will have to install it. There is no Live CD, which means that you will need to have a lot of patience. From what we’ve seen so far, Debian Jessie Beta 2 was worth the wait.

      • Debian Installer Preps For 8.0 Jessie With Beta 2 Release

        Significant about the Debian Installer Jessie Beta 2 is that it defaults again to using the GNOME desktop environment over Xfce and there’s currently initial support for the ARM64 and PowerPC64el architectures with the Debian installer. This Jessie beta 2 update also has console setup changes, hardware detection improvements, and a number of other changes.

      • Debian Installer Jessie Beta 2 release
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • The Ubuntu 14.10 Upgrade: What to do

            The first thing you need to know is that Ubuntu 14.10 is almost exactly like 14.04. There are virtually no visible meaningful differences as far as I can tell. So if you are using Ubuntu and are sticking with Ubuntu, don’t expect pretty fireworks. This will not be an exciting upgrade.

          • Meizu: Ubuntu Touch Landing On Meizu MX4 In December

            Meizu’s MX4 flagship has been launched at the beginning of last month and the device is selling like hotcakes. People around the world have ordered (and many of them already received) Meizu’s flagship. It seems like Meizu will soon get an interesting software offering. Meizu, Bq and Canonical announced their partnership a while ago and it was just a matter of time before we see Ubuntu on Meizu, that’s at least what everyone was guessing at the time.

          • UbuTricks

            UbuTricks is a Zenity-based, graphical script with a simple interface. Although early in development, its aim is to create a simple, graphical way of installing updated applications in Ubuntu 14.04 and future releases.

          • The Ubuntu Touch RTM #3 Image Got Better support for Secure Connections and Updates For The Dialer, Messaging And Adress Book Apps

            While the first Ubuntu Touch RTM (release to manufacturing) image has been made available a few weeks ago, the Ubuntu Touch RTM #3 image has been recently released, bringing better user feedback for secure connections has been implemented, the developer mode has been enhanced, and fixes for the dialer, messaging, address-book, the ofono packages have been added and the Mir display server and QtMir packages have been updated.

          • Ubuntu MATE 14.10 Will Be Available With Two Desktop Layouts: One Providing GNOME2 Experience And One Mimicking Windows XP

            hile Canonical is focusing a lot on developing Ubuntu Touch and taking the Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Mobile systems closer to convergence, the Ubuntu Mate version may convince many users to switch to Ubuntu.

            Ubuntu Mate 14.10 will be using MATE 1.8.1 as default and will contain some special optimizations for Ubuntu, optimizations that are not available if you only install the classical Mate version on Ubuntu.

          • Jono Bacon: How to Build Exponential Open Source Communities

            Open source projects live and die by their communities. Cultivating that core group of developers, administrators, users and other contributors who work together to improve the code base is no easy task, even for experienced community managers. There are some tried-and-true methods to follow, however, pioneered by some of the best open source communities around.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 17.1 to Let Users Choose the Login Screen Design

              Most of the Linux operating systems usually choose a specific design for the login window and stick with it. Developers rarely let users choose details about the login window, and at most they only allow them to modify the background.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pi Vessel Mini PC Based On Raspberry Pi Platform Running Linux (video)

      German developers have this week launched a new mini PC called the Pi Vessel, which as the name suggests is based on the Raspberry Pi platform and comes supplied running a version of the versatile Linux operating system.

      The Pi Vessel has been created to provide a complete mini PC package and offers a fully enclosed Pi minicomputer using the Raspberry Pi a model B+ computer encased in an aluminium outer casing.

    • Phones

      • Top 4 Alternatives for iOS and Android – Firefox, Ubuntu, Tizen and Sailfish

        Firefox OS was developed by Mozilla and it made its appearance in 2012, but it was released one year later for smartphones and tablets, following to be used on smart TVs as well. It was built on HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, which means that the websites are treated as applications and the HTML5 apps are communicating with the phone’s hardware through Web APIs. This makes it unique, but it’s not just a browser that runs on a Linux-based OS. Even the camera or the dialer are considered applications, and every website that is ran in the form of an app is accessed through Gecko engine. For now, the devices that can support Fire OS are Keon and Peak by Geeksphone.

      • Android

        • Google Launches Closed Version of Open Source Android

          So in an attempt to stem the flow of phone manufactures using the free version of Android, Google have developed Android One, which is essentially a premium version of Android which Google itself will run and maintain. It is essentially a light weight version of the original with less customization options which manufactures will be able to install and forget about because Google will take care of the maintenance.

        • SureMote Makes Your Android Phone a Remote For Any Wi-Fi Device You Own

          SureMote controls appliances through the infrared blaster on newer Android phones (there’s no iOS version yet, so iPhone fans need to hold on to their Blu-Ray clickers for now). It was developed by Israeli company Tekoia and already has thousands of devices connected. It’s a strong start, though the app will need to continue growing its list of compatible devices to be a true approximation of a universal remote.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Markdown throwdown: what happens when FOSS software gets corporate backing?

    Markdown is a Perl script that converts plain text into Web-ready HTML; it’s also a shorthand syntax for writing HTML tags without needing to write the actual HTML. Markdown has been around for a decade now, but it hasn’t seen an update in all that time—nearly unheard of for a piece of software. In that light, the fact that Markdown continues to work at all is somewhat amazing.

  • Bringing Open Source to Scientific Research

    I already knew that academia is behind the curve when it comes to IT, from my non-tech part time job at a local university library. For starters, there’s the overreliance on Windows. Then there’s the use of poorly designed proprietary products when perfectly acceptable GPL solutions exist — not to mention the look of scorn and fright coming from the IT people whenever the term “free and open source” is uttered within their hearing.

  • Operating systems war story: How feminism helped me solve one of file systems’ oldest conundrums

    I was working on another human-centered file system feature, union mounts, when I heard that a friend of mine had been groped at an open source conference for the third time in one year. While I loved my file systems work, I felt like stopping sexual harassment and assault of women in open source was more urgent, and that I was uniquely qualified to work on it. (I myself had been groped by another Linux storage developer.) So I quit my job as a Linux kernel developer and co-founded the Ada Initiative, whose mission is supporting women in open technology and culture. Unfortunately, as a result of my work, several more Linux storage developers came out publicly in favor of harassment and assault.

  • Stanford dropout returns to teach open-source startup class

    Nine years ago, Sam Altman was a Stanford University computer science student. And then he dropped out to start a startup.

    This year, he’s returned to campus — not to finish his degree, but to teach a class called “How to Start a Startup.”

    Altman, whose mobile location startup Loopt eventually sold for a cool $43.4 million, is now 29 years old and the president of Y Combinator, an accelerator that provides seed funding and guidance to fledgling startups. He launched the class to make the wealth of knowledge Y Combinator gives to a select group of startups more publicly available — not only by giving it to a class of 300 Stanford students but to everyone.

  • Elasticsearch director tells us how the magic happens

    I was introduced to open source nearly 15 years ago by a friend when I asked him what that foot thing was bouncing around on his screen saver. He then explained what GNOME was and what open source software was. I was hooked immediately; the philosophy and methodology made perfect sense to me. It took awhile for it to become the focus of my career, but it’s been an incredibly rewarding path.

  • Indians on open source honour roll

    Sayan Chowdhury couldn’t believe his name would be etched on the wall of fame along with other Mozillians. The Mozilla Monument outside the company’s office in San Francisco recognizes contributors who’ve helped the maker of the Firefox browser and other products keep the internet alive, open and accessible. Chowdhury is one among the 5,000-odd Mozilla volunteers doing his bit for the love of code.

  • Databases

  • CMS

    • Moodle will always be an open source project

      In 2001, Moodle was launched as an online solution for educators to freely adopt as a tool to reach and engage students in the learning experience within their own websites. Today, Moodle’s design and evolution continues to achieve this goal as a free and open source learning platform with clear pedagogical principles, adopted by over 50 million users in pretty much every country that has computers.

  • BSD


    • GNU Make 4.1 released!

      The next stable version of GNU make, version 4.1, has been released and is available for download from http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/make/

    • GCC Has A Call For Help To Improve Diagnostics

      Manuel explained, “GCC diagnostics have steadily improved in recent releases. In addition to the myriad of bugs fixed per release, every release had at least one major improvement in diagnostics. Unfortunately, the number of people contributing to this effort is very limited and we are more and more busy with other obligations. We need new blood and we need help. It has never been easier to contribute to GCC than nowadays. There are many ways you can help and there are tasks for every level of skill and time commitment.”

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Canadian firm develops ‘open source’ hydroponics system

      A Canadian 3D printing company has devised a hydroponics system which it calls 3Dponics, using some parts which are printed on a 3D printer and others which are commonly available.

    • Open Data

      • OpenStreetMap as infrastructure – a localgov map?

        The Moabi project is reusing the tools of the OpenStreetMap project to map natural resource use in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is an example of what Mikel Maron (from the Moabi project) and Elizabeth McCartney (from the US Geological Survey) called ‘OpenStreetMap as Infrastructure’ in their recent talk at State of the Map US. ie taking the OpenStreetMap tool-chain and applying them to new problems.

  • Programming


  • Apple completely loses the plot, revokes Computer Bild magazine accreditation over #bendgate video

    Obviously Apple is very keen to only supply review units and grant event accreditation only to medias that are guaranteed to heap praise on its products and wouldn’t bother investigating any potential issues with it.

  • Science

  • Health/Drug War

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Vast Majority of Americans Believe We’ll Use Combat Troops in Iraq. Of Course They Do.

      The vast majority of Americans—some 72 percent, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted in late September—say they believe that the United States will end up using ground troops to combat ISIS in Iraq.

      In other words, they don’t believe the multiple explicit promises that President Obama has made to the contrary since he first announced the start of this conflict in August.

    • You break it, you own it: American misadventures in the Middle East

      US intelligence services seem to have a knack for seeing what isn’t there – Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and endless communist plots in an earlier era – while missing what is. The CIA famously failed to spot the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union but it has also missed the pretty conspicuous warning signs of looming catastrophes where benign American action could have saved a lot of lives, such as the genocide in Rwanda two decades ago.

    • Political risk is now a growth industry in its own right

      Brandishing colour-coded maps and complex scoring systems and boasting an array of top-level government contacts, political risk consultancies can charge large sums for their analysis and reports.

    • Can bombs end it all

      It should be obvious by now that if such bombing campaigns have an effect, it is to make things much worse. What western leaders portray as valiant efforts to rid the world of evil forces such as ISIL just don’t play the same way in the region. In Iraq, for instance, western military intervention is viewed as support for the authoritarian, sectarian and West-approved leadership, whose persecution and air strikes are so bad that many Sunnis are prepared to put up with ISIL, for now, as preferable.

    • Washington’s Secret Agendas

      One might think that by now even Americans would have caught on to the constant stream of false alarms that Washington sounds in order to deceive the people into supporting its hidden agendas.


      The American public fell for the lies told about Gaddafi in Libya. The formerly stable and prosperous country is now in chaos.

    • Iraq air-strikes: In the war against Isis, we have much more powerful weapons than bombs

      Waging war abroad won’t stop the long-term spread of extremism, but tackling it in our schools and mosques will

    • The US Government Won’t Give Peace a Chance

      Indeed, going further back in history, the United States grew from 13 former colonies into a vast nation based on the European model of colonial conquest: Wage brutal war on the indigenous population with the goal of annihilation.

      The nation that prides itself on declaring its independence from a colonial empire actually adapted the colonial model of expansion, both domestically and as an international military interventionist.

    • Learn the lessons of history: Oppose the threat of world war

      American bombs had killed 36 civilians in the first days of the Syrian campaign.

    • Fact-checking the war comparisons between Obama and Bush
    • Stephen Colbert mocks Fox News over Obama-Bush comparisons
    • Conservative Media Blames Rise of Islamic State On Long Debunked Claim That Obama “Missed” Intelligence Briefings

      Conservative media is dubiously claiming that the rise of the Islamic State is due in part to President Obama skipping scheduled daily intelligence briefings. The basis of this claim is a misleading interpretation of how intelligence briefings are received by the White House that was debunked two years ago.

    • Obama skipped most of his daily intelligence briefings – Govt Accountability Institute
    • ‘US wars in Mideast – only excuse for $ trillion military budget’

      The purpose of the US campaign against the Islamic State is to provide grounds for the trillion dollar annual military budget Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during the Reagan administration, told RT.

    • Why the Showdown with Islamic Extremists Is the War the Pentagon Was Hoping For
    • Bureau project shortlisted for Amnesty and Lovie awards

      The Bureau’s drones team has been shortlisted for two awards: an Amnesty Media Award for digital innovation and a Lovie Award for best news website.

    • US & Russia Re-Arming for a New Cold War

      The U.S. and Russia are sinking billions into nuclear-capable bombers, missiles, and submarines. Another round of “Mutually Assured Destruction,” anyone?

    • Lavrov: US Base Their Statements on Ukraine on Unverified Facts or Framing-Up
    • Operation Gladio: NATO’s Secret Armies

      This fascinating new study shows how the CIA and the British secret service, in collaboration with the military alliance NATO and European military secret services, set up a network of clandestine anti-communist armies in Western Europe after World War II.

    • ‘Join the invisible to make the impossible’: Israel’s Mossad now recruits agents online

      Israeli intelligence has given up to modern trends and introduced an online questionnaire for would-be spies. Unlike the businesslike CIA or MI5 web draft campaigns, Israelis are luring volunteers with mystery halo always shrouding Mossad’s activities.

    • Want to work for the CIA to kill ISIS terrorists? Try an internship with the National Clandestine Service
    • Egypt’s pain: Paralysis vs. people power in the land of the Pyramids

      When the CIA’s ex-Cairo station chief Miles Copeland penned his book ‘The Game of Nations’ in 1969, readers were shocked to discover the huge resources spent by Washington stage-managing the post-war politics of the Middle East and Egypt in particular.

    • Will New Film, ‘Colonia,’ Starring Emma Watson, Address U.S. Role in Chile?

      This could get awkward. A new film, “Colonia,” starring Emma Watson (@emwatson) and Daniel Bruhl, depicts events that transpired during the 1973 Chilean military coup. Will it touch on things the United States might or might not have done during that time frame?

      The United States, in 2000, admitted to some indirect involvement in the coup, which led to the ascension of dictator Augusto Pinochet. But the CIA has not gone so far as saying it was involved directly. That led to a peculiar exchange when President Obama went to Chile in 2009.

    • US Interference in Bolivia to be Revealed in New Documentary

      The documentary is called “USA Invasion: History of American Intervention in Bolivia”, covering the relationship between North America and Bolivia from 1920 until recent times.

      A documentary series that implicated Bolivian opposition candidates with United States agencies and neoliberal policies will be released on Friday, which is less than two weeks before the general elections.

    • Terror in Latin America and the Caribbean

      Cuban national hero José Martí referred to land lying between the Rio Grande River and the Straits of Magellan as “Our America.” In an essay with that title published in 1892, Martí evoked the Rio Grande boundary as a divide between peoples with their own history, culture and future and an industrializing, crass civilization to the north promising no good.

      Indeed, U.S. agents or proxies would soon be sewing grief and despair. Early in the 20th century they launched military incursions. Subsequently less blatant interventions left terror in their wake. Anniversaries in September and October – a season of sorrow in Our America – recall murder and mayhem. One asks: Can international solidarity prevent victims? Who in North America, epicenter of terrorist plotting, will take on that job?

    • Chamber of Commerce of Cuba renews licenses to foreign companies
    • Warren of conspiracies: Kennedy’s assassination

      The committee was formed in the mid-1970s in the wake of the Watergate scandal and subsequent revelations about CIA activities, including information about the agency’s anti-Castro efforts not divulged to the Warren Commission.

      Its conclusion was stunning, though tempered by its choice of language: Kennedy “was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy”, but investigators were unable to identify a second gunman or the extent of the conspiracy. The committee ruled out the Cuban and Soviet governments, as well as the Secret Service, FBI and CIA; it didn’t rule out the possible involvement of individual members of organised crime or anti-Castro Cuban groups.

    • Cuban Exile Militant Claims CIA Meeting With Oswald Before JFK Killing

      A former Cuban exile anti-Castro militant told a conference audience Sept. 26 in a blockbuster revelation that he saw accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald with their mutual CIA handler six weeks before the killing and there would have been no anti-Castro movement in Cuba without the CIA funding.

    • Records: Kissinger made plans to attack Cuba
    • Kissinger wanted to smash Cuba in 1976 for its intervention in Angola

      US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger drew up plans to “smash Cuba” with air strikes nearly 40 years ago, government papers obtained by researchers show. He was angered by Cuba’s 1976 military intervention in Angola and was considering retaliation if Cuban forces were deployed elsewhere in Africa.

    • Fred Grimm: About Henry’s plan to bomb Cuba

      Except it wasn’t just Cuba that was intervening in Angola. China, the Soviet Union and the U.S. were messing about. Zaire (as the Democratic Republic of Congo was called under the terrible, autocratic reign of Mobutu Sese Seko) was trying to steal the oil province of Cabinda from Angola. And South Africa had invaded, worried that a leftie Angola might undermine apartheid and give upstart Namibians unwelcome notions about independence.

    • Kissinger’s Plan to Bomb Cuba (Video)

      In the new book, “Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana,” authors Peter Kornbluh and William LeoGrande use recently declassified documents to expose the secret history of dialogue between the United States and Cuba.

    • Kissinger Wanted to Attack Cuba in 1976
    • Secret History of U.S.-Cuba Ties Reveals Henry Kissinger Plan to Bomb Havana for Fighting Apartheid

      In the new book, “Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana,” authors Peter Kornbluh and William LeoGrande use recently declassified documents to expose the secret history of dialogue between the United States and Cuba. Among the revelations are details of how then-U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger considered launching airstrikes against Cuba after Fidel Castro sent troops to support independence fighters in Angola in 1976. In the years that followed, top-secret U.S. emissaries, including former President Jimmy Carter and Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez, worked to normalize relations with Cuba. The book’s release comes as Cuban leader Raúl Castro is set to participate for the first time in next year’s Summit of the Americas in Panama. Cuba recently denounced the Obama administration for extending the more than 50-year embargo for another year in a little-noticed move in September.

    • The Reporter Behind the Unveiling Scoops that Brought Down CIA

      The Secret Service did not disclose this amount of information. Also, after the hearing, Leonnig brought to light President Obama‘s elevator ride with an armed felon who was acting strange.

      Leonnig “…has been on the beleaguered agency’s tail for years: She reported in 2012 that a dozen agents solicited prostitutes while traveling with the president,” Yahoo! said.

    • Former CIA director’s undoing was quick as support vanished

      Pierson’s undoing was not telling the president about a Sept. 16 incident in Atlanta in which President Barack Obama rode an elevator with an armed security contractor during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two White House officials said. The armed contractor’s proximity to Obama violated the agency’s security protocols.

    • For Julia Pierson, No Face-to-Face Meeting With Obama
    • Op-Ed: In Libya attacks hit CIA-linked Haftar’s air base in Benghazi

      After being driven out of most of Benghazi CIA-linked Khalifa Haftar and his allies are holed up in the key Benina air base on the outskirts of Benghazi.

    • US headed for ‘China Syndrome’ meltdown in Syria

      Usually, Washington starts scapegoating its spies after its wars have failed to achieve their objectives – as happened in Iraq, when the natives failed to greet the American invaders with bottomless gratitude, and in Vietnam, where the awesome U.S. war machine slaughtered three million people but still could not subdue a Third World country’s quest for independence.

      But President Obama has essentially inaugurated his bombing campaign in Syria with an admission of past “mistakes,” telling 60 Minutes that the CIA “underestimated” the strength of ISIS. What Obama’s admission actually shows is that the real U.S. mission in Syria – the three-year proxy war to overthrow the government of Bashar Assad – is already a failure.


      As far as the public knows, there is no money attached to the bill. The Saudi government has already volunteered to train and contribute funds to approved Syrian rebel groups. According to an expert from Foreign Policy Magazine, the CIA has already been training Syrian fighters at a base in Jordan for a long time. Understandably, the efforts have not started to pay off yet. Obviously there is a broad range of people fighting against the regime in Damascus. One of them has gained strength more rapidly than the others – ISIS. Well, who are these militants? Where do they come from? According to the BBC, the group was first established in Iraq as a derivation of al-Qaida in Iraq.

    • A serial intervener, after all

      America’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate president, Barack Obama, who helped turn Libya into a failed state by toppling ruler Moammar Gadhafi, has started a new war in Syria and Iraq even as the U.S. remains embroiled in the Afghanistan war. Obama’s air war in Syria — his presidency’s seventh military campaign in a Muslim nation and the one likely to consume his remaining term in office — raises troubling questions about its objectives and his own adherence to the rule of law.

    • US targets Syria infrastructure rather than militants: Sabrosky

      Alan Sabrosky (Ph.D, University of Michigan) made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Tuesday while commenting on Washington-led coalition airstrikes in Syria that began last week.

    • The mess in Afghanistan
    • Afghanistan Signs Pact Allowing 10,000 U.S. Troops to Remain
    • As US-Afghanistan Sign Troop Deal, CIA-Backed Warlord Behind Massacre of 2,000 POWs Sworn-In as VP

      Afghanistan has inaugurated its first new president in a decade, swearing in Ashraf Ghani to head a power-sharing government. Joining him on stage Monday was Abdul Rashid Dostum, Afghanistan’s new vice president. Dostum is one of Afghanistan’s most notorious warlords, once described by Ghani himself as a “known killer.” Dostum’s rise to the vice presidency comes despite his involvement in a 2001 massacre that killed up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners of war. The victims were allegedly shot to death or suffocated in sealed metal truck containers after they surrendered to Dostum and the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance. The dead prisoners — some of whom had been tortured — were then buried in the northern Afghan desert. Dostum, who was on the CIA payroll, has been widely accused of orchestrating the massacre and tampering with evidence of the mass killing. For more than a decade, human rights groups have called on the United States to conduct a full investigation into the massacre including the role of U.S. special forces and CIA operatives. We speak to Jamie Doran, director of the 2002 documentary “Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death,” and Susannah Sirkin, director of international policy at Physicians for Human Rights, the group that discovered the site of the mass graves of the Taliban POWs.

    • Glenn Greenwald: U.S. manufactured militant threat as pretext to bomb Syria

      In an extensive new report, The Intercept questions whether the much-hyped Khorasan Group actually exists

    • How the U.S. Concocted a Terror Threat to Justify Syria Strikes, and the Corporate Media Went Along

      As the U.S. expands military operations in Syria, we look at the Khorasan group, the shadowy militant organization the Obama administration has invoked to help justify the strikes. One month ago, no one had heard of Khorasan, but now U.S. officials say it poses an imminent threat to the United States. As the strikes on Syria began, U.S. officials said Khorasan was “nearing the execution phase” of an attack on the United States or Europe, most likely an attempt to blow up a commercial plane in flight. We are joined by Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept, whose new article with Glenn Greenwald is “The Khorasan Group: Anatomy of a Fake Terror Threat to Justify Bombing Syria.”

    • MSM Support Brazen Lawlessness

      Media scoundrels cheerlead them. They regurgitate Big Lies doing so. Last week’s headlines featured a so-called Khorasan Group.

      It’s more fiction than fact. It’s fake. Irresponsible fear-mongering gets people to believe otherwise.

      Posing a threat to Europe and America’s heartland, it’s claimed. Truth is polar opposite.

    • A coherent strategy for the Middle East

      The ranks of the Islamic State jihadists are already full of “moderate rebels” previously trained, equipped and funded by U.S. Special Forces and the CIA. So much for the State Department and CIA’s vetting process, particularly when these militias have shown a capability to shift allegiances on a daily, if not more frequent, basis. The fact of the matter is that the main beneficiaries of our attacks on the Islamic State will be the Iranian proxies in Damascus and Baghdad.

    • Has the ISIS Crisis Pushed the CIA into Bed with Hezbollah?

      A few months ago, a former top CIA operative applied for a Lebanese visa to do some work in Beirut for an oil company. While he was waiting for approval, a package arrived at his client’s office. Inside was a full dossier on his CIA career. “It included things on where I had served, well back into 1990s,” said Charles Faddis, who ran the CIA’s covert action program in Kurdistan during the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, among other top assignments. “It had details on my travels to Israel and Lebanon—years ago.”

    • Americans: Who’s Your Enemy Now?

      What the U.S. government doesn’t want the world to focus on is the fact that the CIA was very active in supplying Libyan rebels with support to take down Gaddafi. Unfortunately, in an effort to take out one enemy of freedom, the CIA got in bed with another — many of the Libyan rebels included Al-Qaeda backed jihadists who were also Al-Qaeda in Iraq. (1)

    • Who’s to Blame for ISIS ‘Surprise’?

      For several years, Official Washington blinded itself to the growing radicalism of the Syrian opposition, all the better to portray the Assad regime as the “bad guys” and the rebels as the “good guys.” Now, everyone is pointing fingers about the ISIS “surprise,” as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

    • Eyes Finally Open to Syrian Realities

      For the past three years, Official Washington has viewed the Syrian civil war as “white-hatted” rebels against “black-hatted” President Assad, but finally some of the “gray-hatted” reality is breaking through, though perhaps too late, Robert Parry reports.

    • US airstrikes launched amid intelligence vacuum

      Human rights groups also say coalition airstrikes in both countries have killed as many as two dozen civilians. U.S. officials say they can’t rule out civilian deaths but haven’t confirmed any.

    • Civilian casualty standard eased in Iraq, Syria

      Warren acknowledged that the Pentagon could not say for sure that every person killed in the bombing of Iraq and Syria has been a combatant.

    • Activists still selling peace, but is public still buying?

      The activists assured me their message was still relevant — that America’s foreign policy remains one of “war-making,” as longtime protestor Greg Giogio put it — and it seems they were right.

    • Cornel West: Obama Administration Is a ‘Drone Presidency’

      Famed public intellectual Cornel West, whose new book Black Prophetic Fire is a re-examination of key black political figures through a different lens, was initially a big supporter of Barack Obama and appeared with him during his first presidential campaign. But in 2012, West says he didn’t even vote. “I couldn’t vote for a war criminal,” he said, calling Obama’s administration a “drone presidency.”

    • Cornel West: Obama ‘Paternalistic’ to Young Black Men, but ‘Subservient’ to Wall Street

      Cornel West has been one of President Obama‘s biggest liberal critics, both on race and foreign policy, and in a new video for TIME, West says that Obama has a very “paternalistic” way of speaking when he addresses young black men.

    • The Civil Rights Leader Cornel West Thinks You Should Know About

      Cornel West — acclaimed thinker and activist — sat down to talk with Belinda Luscombe about his new book, Black Prophetic Fire. The book, which he wrote with Christa Buschendorf, looks at the work of six leaders from African-American history. But, as is pointed out in the video above, those six leaders aren’t all equally well known: the book moves from the most famous Civil Rights names, W.E.B. DuBois and Martin Luther King, Jr., to a name that may be unfamiliar to those not versed in the subject.

    • Fred Branfman, who exposed secret U.S. bombing of Laos, dies at 72

      Fred Branfman, the first person to draw public attention to a previously unknown U.S. bombing campaign inside Laos during the Vietnam War and who later became a leading antiwar activist in Washington, died Sept. 24 at a medical facility in Budapest, where he had lived for several years. He was 72.

    • Jordan on high alert for possible IS retaliation

      Many rumors are circulating in Amman about alleged terror threats to shopping malls and other public places in response to news that the kingdom’s air force has joined the US-led coalition in targeting Islamic State (IS) positions in Syria.

    • Opinion: Did US intelligence truly underestimate ISIS?

      While US President Barack Obama has said his country’s intelligence services underestimated the strength of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Saudi Interior Minister Prince Muhammad Bin Naif said: “We know that ISIS was not randomly formed but rather sponsored by states and organizations that employ all their resources and ill intentions in backing ISIS.” How can we interpret this?

    • ISIS Threat: Let’s Refuse to Be Scared

      Late in the 20th century, state terror was a routine instrument of policy, both domestically and internationally. The Phoenix Program in South Vietnam was a CIA-sponsored assassination campaign against suspected Communist leaders on the village level. Chile’s dictator Pinochet waged state terror against leftists and even blew up a Chilean exile in Washington, D.C. Ronald Reagan funded the Nicaraguan contras, who murdered schoolteachers, while the CIA laid mines in Nicaraguan harbours. South Africa’s apartheid regime carried out state terror against African National Congress members both domestically and in other African countries.

    • Last Days in Vietnam: Rory Kennedy Looks at the Fall of Saigon
    • Chaos and Tragedy in a “Post-War” Zone: Last Days in Vietnam

      Next April will be the 40th anniversary of the operation. Watching the film made me think again of the all the follow-on effects and long-term consequences of any war. It made me think also of the refugees who came to the U.S. and of their accomplishments. In 2009, Commander Hung B. Le, son of a Vietnamese navy officer and rescued by the USS Barbour County (LST-1195) at sea after the air evacuation ended, commanded the USS Lassen (DDG-82) as she sailed into Da Nang. Maj. Bung Lee and his family, now retired Rear Admiral Chambers and Commander Vern Jumper, the USS Midway’s Air Boss who managed the flight deck that hectic day, attended the 35th anniversary celebration held on the Midway, now a museum in San Diego. Recently, Brigadier General Viet Luong, whose family left Vietnam in the “black operation” the day before the official evacuation, became the U.S. Army’s first Vietnamese general officer.

    • Biden apologizes to Erdogan in phone call

      US Vice President Joe Biden apologized Saturday to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was angry over comments in which Biden said Erdogan had admitted that Turkey had made mistakes by allowing foreign fighters to cross into Syria.

    • Biden: Turks, Saudis, UAE funded and armed Al Nusra and Al Qaeda

      When Joe Biden gets candid, he really lets rip. The US vice president, speaking at the John F. Kennedy Jr Forum at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, on Thursday told his audience – point blank – that America’s Sunni allies are responsible for funding and arming Al Qaeda-type extremists in Syria.

    • Peace prize pundit bets on Article 9 guardians to win Nobel

      A Nobel Peace Prize observer with a relatively unsuccessful betting record speculates that the Japanese people who uphold war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution are most likely to be chosen the winner of this year’s award, which is to be announced this week.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • When WikiLeaks cold-called Hillary Clinton

      In a trailer advertising WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s new book, When Google Met WikiLeaks, the never-before-seen clip (below) shows WikiLeaks editor Sarah Harrison phoning the State Department’s front desk and asking to speak with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “It’s an emergency,” Assange prompts Harrison to say, passing a notecard across the table.

    • Wikileaks accuses intelligence watchdog of misleading Senate inquiry

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has accused an Australian government agency of giving misleading evidence to a parliamentary inquiry.

    • The CIA Still Redacts How Much It Paid for PCs in 1987
    • CIA: Cost of Personal Computer in 1987 is a Secret
    • The Dissenter [reposted from here, "Inspector General Claims to Have Found No ‘Instances’ Where CIA Over-Classified Secrets")

      Also, the CIA "chose not to evaluate declassification actions" in this report but provided "no explanation for that decision." In other words, it did not bother to inspect whether it is appropriately declassifying information that should not be kept secret.

      All the recommendations in the inspector general report are censored. They all address how the CIA can better mark information that the agency classifies and for some unclear reason that is sensitive information that if released would help the terrorists win.

    • CIA Doesn't Think It's Keeping Too Many Secrets

      In a September 2013 report, the CIA's inspector general could find "no instances" of over-classification. The report, obtained Wednesday by The Huffington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, was based on a sample of CIA intelligence reports.

      The report was produced in response to a federal law meant to reduce over-classification. In January, the CIA refused to release the report to HuffPost until after it underwent a review process.

    • CIA Asks to Destroy Email of Non-Senior Agency Officials

      The Central Intelligence Agency has asked for authority to destroy email messages sent by non-senior officials of the Agency. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has tentatively approved the proposal.

    • CIA gets permission to destroy certain emails

      The CIA asked the National Archives and Records Administration In August if it could destroy certain employee emails, according to an NARA appraisal obtained by the Federation of American Scientists.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Pacific Islands Facing ‘Existential Threats’

      Taking to the General Assembly podium today, Vanuatu’s Prime Minister, Joe Natuman said that as a Pacific small Island developing State (SIDS), his country was confronted with unique development challenges, which needed to be addressed by the UN and international community.

    • On final day of UN Assembly, small island nations discuss climate change, economics

      Noting that small island developing nations must speak with one voice at the global level, representatives of those countries today pressed for international economic partnerships and efforts to combat climate change, on the final day of the annual General Assembly debate in New York.

      The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade for Barbados urged the international community to make provisions for countries which are both small island developing nations and highly-indebted middle income countries.

    • Neil Young and Willie Nelson Protest Keystone Pipeline in American Heartland

      Harvest the Hope, a concert on the farm of Art and Helen Tanderup in Neligh, Nebraska, right on the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline, was many things: a musical tour de force starring Neil Young and Willie Nelson; an anti-pipeline message to President Obama whose election graphic formed the O of "Hope" on the stage banner, the word itself Obama campaign terminology; an artistic call to activism designed by artists Richard Vollaire and John Quigley whose crop design "Heartland No KXL" was plowed by farmer Tanderup into his corn field as he followed Quigley's direction, in an image spanning the size of 80 football fields; and "The day the idea of the Keystone Pipleline died" as pronounced by thousands of attendees who stood in rows like the corn and chanted in call and response with Quigley.

    • Dead water reserves can't quench Sao Paulo's thirst

      Four months after Sao Paulo's state water utility Sabesp spent 80 million reais (26.3 million euros) to tap so-called dead reserves in its shrinking reservoirs, water supplies for South America's biggest metropolis are even worse than they were before.

      Brazil's worst drought in eight decades has turned most of Cantareira, the four-lake complex that supplies half of greater Sao Paulo's 20 million residents, into a dried-up bed of cracked earth. What's left are sediment-filled pools in the centre — the dead reserves — that were previously untappable until Sabesp built 3 kilometres of pipes to drain the water.

      The manoeuvre bought Sabesp some time by boosting drinking supplies by 182.5 billion litres to almost 27 per cent of Cantareira's capacity. Sabesp, formally Cia. de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo, expected the water to last until reservoirs are refreshed by summer rains that typically run from October through March.

  • Finance

    • Has Neoliberalism Turned Us All Into Psychopaths?

      We tend to perceive our identities as stable and largely separate from outside forces. But over decades of research and therapeutic practice, I have become convinced that economic change is having a profound effect not only on our values but also on our personalities. Thirty years of neoliberalism, free-market forces and privatization have taken their toll, as relentless pressure to achieve has become normative. If you’re skeptical, I put this simple statement to you: meritocratic neoliberalism favors certain personality traits and penalizes others.

    • Convicted former U.S. congressman James Traficant dies

      He claimed the government had tried to frame him because of his criticism of the FBI, CIA and Internal Revenue Service.

    • Flamboyant U.S. congressman James Traficant served time for bribery

      He claimed the government had tried to frame him because of his criticism of the FBI, CIA and IRS. During the two-month trial, he did a curbside interview on live network TV outside the courthouse each morning and then went inside to challenge U.S. District Judge Lesley Brooks Wells, who tried to dissuade Mr. Traficant from representing himself.

    • James Traficant Jr., flamboyant former congressman from Ohio, dies at 73

      In Washington, he barreled through the House in rumpled sports coats and loud shirts. Traficant fashioned himself as a maverick populist, spending much of his career railing against foreign aid and various government agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service and the CIA.

      “Lying, thieving, stealing nincompoops” is how he once described the latter.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Scalia has a secrecy problem: Hiding and hypocrisy at the Supreme Court

      The court plays a growing activist role in our politics and lives -- yet all nine justices hide in the shadows

    • The Surprising Power of Subtitles

      Evangelists aren't the only ones who have long recognized the virtues of cross-lingual engagement. By the end of World War II, the U.S.-funded Voice of America radio network was producing more than 1,000 different programs for worldwide broadcast in over 40 languages. In the late 1950s, the CIA had thousands of copies of a Russian-language edition of Doctor Zhivago printed, which it then surreptitiously distributed to Soviet citizens.

    • Cuomo’s terrorism card game

      He jets to Afghanistan and announces a new commitment to address threats. Honest awakening or election-year opportunism?

    • TV show makes fun of ISIS propaganda
    • Iraqi comedy show mocks Islamic State propaganda
    • Propaganda to fight back with IS TV satire

      As Iraqi forces struggle to pin back the Islamic State group on the ground, Baghdad is taking its war against the jihadists to the airwaves with a television comedy series.

      The usually elusive Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi features prominently in the show, whose promoters argue that ridiculing the jihadist supremo can help dent his aura of almost supernatural villainy.

  • Censorship

    • How Liberals Became the New Book Banners

      Before last week’s Banned Book Week recedes much farther in the rearview mirror, let’s pause for a moment to note this curious fact: Some of those who oppose censorship also support it.

    • The deplorable censorship of the installation Exhibit B at the Barbican

      There was once a telling advertisement for Guinness that went: “I’ve never tried it because I don’t like it.” This super-intelligent cautionary jingle was adopted as the touchstone for his case by Dr Kehinde Andrews in his Head to Head with one of Exhibit B’s actors, Stella Odunlami (New Review).

    • Censorship in 'New Turkey' out of control, media groups show

      This past week, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government shut down a critical news site, censored an article written by a columnist and launched an investigation into another news portal.

    • Turkey’s Erdoğan Says He Is 'Increasingly Against the Internet Every Day'

      Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lined himself up against a powerful enemy today, when he voiced his growing opposition to the world wide web.

    • AP History class standards spark fight over patriotism and censorship

      When the College Board established new national standards for Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, conservative members of the school board in Jefferson County, Colorado, called for changes to their local curriculum to promote patriotism and the free enterprise system and discourage civil disorder. Hari Sreenivasan reports on the ensuing protests against censorship by students.

    • Egypt Seizes Newspapers to Censor an Article

      The Egyptian authorities on Wednesday confiscated all the copies of one of the country’s largest private newspapers in order to censor an article, just days after President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi vowed in an American television interview that there was “no limitation on freedom of expression in Egypt.”

    • Internet in Iran: A Daily Struggle Against Censorship

      It is estimated that Iranian authorities block access to more than 5 million webpages, including popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube; in addition to porn sites, bank webpages, and any media considered hostile to Iran.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Ray McGovern

      Today’s Project Censored Show presents a speech given by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern. After his retirement from the CIA, McGovern founded “Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity,” and has criticized US spy agencies for their lawbreaking, and subservience to the agendas of politicians. He spoke in Santa Rosa, California on September 24, 2014, at an event co-sponsored by Project Censored.

    • Ray McGovern Triumphs Over State Department
    • Ex-Spy Vindicated After Protesting Hillary

      McGovern is a changed man. He started out in the Army, then he worked for the CIA from the Kennedy administration up through the first Bush presidency, preparing the president’s daily intel brief. He was a hell of a spy. McGovern began to see the evil of much of the government’s work, and has since become an outspoken critic of the intelligence world and an advocate for free speech. He speaks on behalf of people like Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

    • Detention orders obtained before anti-terrorism raids were carried out

      This may be the first time that Australian anti-terrorism powers have been used in detention of suspects without charge

    • Scores of students still missing after ambush by Mexican police and gunmen

      At least six people killed and at least 20 students ‘disappeared’ by police in Iguala believed to be controlled by drug cartel

    • Mexican women pay high price for country’s rigid abortion laws

      Mexico has some of the strictest abortion laws in the world, and women can find themselves criminalised even after miscarriage

    • US envoy warns against press censorship

      South Africa has to be wary of attempts to censor the media, such as SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s recent suggestion that journalists be licensed, US ambassador Patrick Gaspard said on Tuesday.

    • Washington Times Settles With DHS in Case Involving Improper Seizure

      When the Department of Homeland Security illegally seized notes from Washington Times reporter Audrey Hudson in 2013, the Times and the reporter took the DHS to court. A settlement has now been reached that includes a review of training for the DHS’ Coast Guard criminal investigators.

    • Student Journalism Conference Features Lovejoy Award Recipient

      Risen, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times investigative reporter who faces possible jail time for refusing to reveal confidential sources, will receive Colby’s Lovejoy Award for courageous journalism and give a formal address at 5:30 p.m. in Lorimer Chapel. The public is invited to the panel discussion and the convocation.

    • NY Journalist Wins Lovejoy Award

      A New York Times reporter who faced the prospect of jail for refusing to reveal a CIA source of classified information is recipient of this year’s Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award.

    • Colby College honors journalist James Risen

      The New York Times journalist who’s receiving this year’s Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for courageous journalism has faced down the prospect of jail for refusing to reveal a CIA source of classified information.

      The Justice Department is trying to force reporter James Risen to testify at the trial of a former CIA officer accused of leaking classified information. Risen used an unidentified source for his reports about a botched CIA effort to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

    • [Western media:] Russian state television says Britain and US provoked Hong Kong protests

      Accusations from pro-Kremlin media reflect Russia’s growing ties with China after US and EU sanctions

    • More Washington Lies. Hong Kong, ISIS, Ebola, Afghanistan …

      Whatever is occurring in Hong Kong, it bears no relation to what is being reported about it in the Western print and TV media. These reports spin the protests as a conflict between the demand for democracy and a tyrannical Chinese government

      Ming Chun Tang in the alternative media CounterPunch says that the protests are against the neoliberal economic policies that are destroying the prospects of everyone but the one percent. In other words, the protests are akin to the American occupy movement.

    • The Skinny on Hong Kong’s Occupy Central Movement

      I have been watching the Occupy Central Movement with some detachment (some are also calling it the Umbrella Movement, since protestors sport umbrellas against the tropical sun and afternoon showers). The rubber stamp, Ministry of Truth-Western mainstream media is kowtowing to the Washington-London-Paris consensus, declaring that Occupy Central is hungering for Western style “democracy”, that it is bigger than Hong Kong. It all sounds so predictably deja vu. Knowing that free-wheeling Hong Kong is gladly letting CIA front NGO National Endowment for Democracy operate on its soil, is all we need to know. The main “non” governmental organizations (NGOs) that do the CIA’s bidding around the world are…

    • US State Dept Funding and Occupy Central, the Ties that Bind

      We Fully Support A People’s Movement In Hong Kong. As we explain further details about ‘Occupy Central’, it is the intention of this article to help the students and Hong Kongese people who are fighting for the future of Hong Kong make informed decisions on who they join in coalitions with and choose for Chief Executive when they achieve True Universal Sufferage.

    • Ships Passing in the Night

      (This Chinese peninsula) became a colony of the British Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). As a result of the negotiations and the 1984 agreement between China and Britain, Hong Kong was handed over to the People’s Republic of China and became its first Special Administrative Region on 1 July 1997, under the principle of “one country, two systems”. The educational system followed the British English model until 2009, and Hong Kong’s independent judiciary functions under the common law framework.[15][16] The constitutional document drafted by the Chinese side before the handover based on the terms enshrined in the Joint Declaration,[17] governs its political system, and stipulates that Hong Kong shall have a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign relations and military defense.[18][19] Although it has a multi-party system, a minority controls 30 out of 70 seats of its legislature. Hong Kong has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world but also the highest income inequality among advanced economies.[5][tag]

    • Libeling a democracy movement: Accusing Hong Kong Activists of Being Tools of US Policy is Both Ignorant and Dangerous

      A number of progressive and left-leaning writers in the US have jumped on a report by Wikileaks that the neo-con dominated National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and various other US-government linked organizations with a history of subversion and sowing discord abroad are operating in Hong Kong and on that basis are making the leap of “logic” that the democracy protests in Hong Kong must therefore be a creation of US policy-makers.

    • Beyond 935 Lies

      Charles Lewis’ book, 935 Lies, would make a fine introduction to reality for anyone who believes the U.S. government usually means well or corporations tend to tell the truth in the free market. And it would make an excellent introduction to the decline and fall of the corporate media. Even if these topics aren’t new to you, this book has something to add and retells the familiar quite well.

      The familiar topics include the Gulf of Tonkin, the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, the civil rights movement, U.S. aggression and CIA overthrows, Pinochet, Iran-Contra, lying tobacco companies, and Edward R. Murrow. Lewis brings insight to these and other topics, and if he doesn’t document that things were better before the 1960s, he does establish that horrible things have been getting worse since, and are now much more poorly reported on.

    • Top German Editor: CIA Bribing Journalists

      Members of the German media are paid by the CIA in return for spinning the news in a way that supports US interests, and some German outlets are nothing more than PR appendages of NATO, according to a new book by Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany’s largest newspapers.

    • German Journalist Reveals That The CIA Has Compromised The Western Media

      A German journalist reveals in his new bestseller that Western Media is paid by the CIA to print propaganda instead of the news.

    • CIA and US military use of Shannon Airport examined by Oireachtas Petitions Committee

      AN OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE visited Shannon Airport this week to look at concerns by human rights group Shannonwatch about its use by US military aircraft in contravention of Irish neutrality and its possible use by the CIA for illegal renditions.

    • Joint Oireachtas Committee to visit Shannon
    • CIA Mum Regarding Surveillance of U.S. Senate

      The Electronic Privacy Information Center sued the CIA for records on the agency’s spying on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee’s computer network.

      The complaint recounts events leading up to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., accusing the CIA of secretly removing documents from the Intelligence Committee, searching its computers and trying to intimidate congressional investigators.

      The Committee has been investigating the CIA’s detention and interrogation program.

    • Majority Say Brennan Violated Checks and Balances, and Must Go

      The Public Policy robo-poll of 898 registered voters was commissioned by the Constitution Project, a highly-respected non-partisan group that has been active in calling attention to the lack of accountability for the torture of detainees during the last administration.

      The poll found overwhelming public support for release of a long-completed report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The report is said to disclose abuse that was more brutal, systematic and widespread than generally recognized, and to expose a pattern of deceit in the Bush administration’s descriptions of the program to Congress and the public.

      But despite having been completed in December 2012, the report remains inaccessible to the public. Most recently, the White House and the CIA have proposed redactions that Senate intelligence committee chair Dianne Feinstein said effectively undermine its key findings.

    • Former ambassador calls Roberts ‘congenital liar’ complicit in torture scandal
    • Pat Roberts, Congenital Liar

      Make no mistake: Torture is not “enhanced interrogation,” but a war crime under the Geneva Conventions written at the direction of the U.S. since World War II when Japanese officials were executed for the offense.

    • Will There Be a Backlash Against Torture?

      The Senate intelligence committee hopes to release soon a redacted summary of its 6,300-page report on the CIA’s interrogational torture program. As we wait, the committee is wrangling with the CIA over redactions that the CIA is demanding. So it is an opportune moment to think about how the public might react to the report.

    • Poll shows strong support for releasing Senate torture report

      An overwhelming bipartisan majority of Americans thinks that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence should make public its comprehensive report on the CIA’s detention and torture of terrorism suspects after 9/11, according to a new poll released today by The Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal watchdog group based in Washington, D.C.

    • Controversial former militia leader puts himself forward as Libya’s savior

      He claims that he was “abducted by the CIA” with his then-pregnant wife a decade ago, in Thailand, then transited through the UK-controlled island Diego Garcia and handed over to the Gadhafi regime.

    • Former Military and Intelligence Officials Condemn U.S. Torture Regime

      On October 1, 2014, Human Rights First released the following letter, signed by over a dozen former military and intelligence officials, categorically condemning the U.S. torture regime – calling it illegal, ineffective and counterproductive. As the Senate Intelligence Committee gears up to release portions of its CIA torture report, the Government Accountability Project commends the efforts of these and other former military and intelligence officials, without whom the public would still be in the dark about the United States’ torture program. National security whistleblowers have a long and notable history of exposing the crimes and human rights abuses the United States has committed in the name of national security, including torture. By bringing these abuses to light, national security whistleblowers play a vital role in ensuring that the United States never commits these terrible acts again.

    • CIA sued over Senate spying

      A Washington-based privacy organization is suing the CIA to obtain details about how it spied on Senate staffers.

      The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to obtain the agency inspector general’s report on the spying incident, it announced on Thursday.

    • Crackdown on terrorism threatens civil liberties

      President Obama’s “war on terrorism,” spurred by the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), poses a potential threat to American civil liberties. Under mounting pressure to eliminate an increasing number of security threats, national security professionals may be tempted to overlook boundaries in the name of national security.

    • MI5 ‘gave green light to Moazzam Begg trip to Syria’

      Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg said he was effectively given a “green light” to go to Syria by MI5 before being detained on terror charges on his return.

    • Did John F. Kennedy’s death Impact You?

      This last weekend the AARC Conference drew over 200 to the Bethesda Hyatt Regency on the 50 th anniversary of the Warren Report. Kennedy’s violent death in 1963 shocked Americans, undermining public trust.

    • CoE: Human organ trafficking trials outside Kosovo

      The Council of the European Union decided on Monday to mandate EULEX to support the judicial proceedings relocated from Kosovo that arise from the investigation by the EU Special Investigative Task Force (SITF) into the allegations contained in prosecutor Dick Marty’s Council of Europe (CoE) report on the human organ trafficking in Kosovo and Albania in 1999.

    • Vecer: Yugoslavian army used to test chemical weapon in Macedonia
    • Dirty Politics: Police raid Nicky Hager’s home

      Dirty Politics author Nicky Hager has had his home raided by police searching for the hacker Rawshark.

      In a 10-hour search of his house, Hager said computers and papers were seized in what appeared to be an attempt to discover the identity of the person who provided information used in the Dirty Politics book.

    • ‘Criminals are at work in refugee homes’

      A photo appearing to show a refugee being abused at a home for asylum seekers has caused outrage in Germany. The photo has been compared to those from Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. Police are now investigating six cases of abuse at three different centres.

    • Criminal Guards Under Investigation for Abusing Refugees in Asylum Centres

      German police are investigating reports that guards at three asylum centres in North Rhine-Westphalia have been abusing the refugees interned in the centres. Photos released showing the abuse have been compared to Abu-Ghraib, whilst a colleague has told German media that the group of guards were nicknamed “the SS”, The Local has reported.

    • Justice in America. Falling Short of the Mark: The Eric Holder Dossier

      Holder, for that reason, leaves the rule of law in something of a tattered state, and his successor is not likely to do much of a restoration work. This, suggests Ryan Cooper, may be as much a matter of personal flaw as systemic problem.[4] Truly, an altogether illustrative statement about the Obama administration.

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