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Links 21/3/2015: Alpine Linux 3.1.3, Tizen TV SDK 1.4

Posted in News Roundup at 3:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Can’t even throw code across the wall – on open sourcing existing code

    Starting a new project as open source feels like the simplest thing in the world. You just take the minimally working thing you wrote, slap on a license file, and push the repo to Github. The difficult bit is creating and maintaining a community that ensures long term continuity of the project, especially as some contributors leave and new ones enter. But getting the code out in a way that could be useful to others is easy.

  • Open Networking Acronym Soup

    During the past few years, software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) have emerged as the next big thing in networking. As a result, we’ve seen established networking standards development organizations (SDOs) such as the ITU, IETF, TMF, among others, leap on the bandwagon to address SDN and NFV.

  • Will Open Source Groups Keep Windows Open?

    The full blog can be viewed here and it includes a link to a recording of the panel discussion on Open Platform for NFV Project Inc. featuring five of its board members, including AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) ‘s Margaret Chiosi, and Hui Deng, principal staff at China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL)’s Research Institute.

  • OPNFV Bridging Open Source Communities and Telcos

    It has been a whirlwind two months since I joined OPNFV in January. I recently spent three weeks on the road getting to know our community and seeing OPNFV in a broader market context, and it’s been a great experience. Our technical committee chair Chris Price wrote about our recent Meet-up and Hackfest and the only thing I’ll add to his great summary is that I was highly impressed by the passion and collaborative attitude I witnessed during those events. It’s not always an easy thing for a diverse group of people all working for different companies to come together and form a coherent community, but we are definitely on our way.

  • California Association of Voting Officials, Latest to Join Open Source Initiative

    CAVO and OSI recognize that advances in open source development can provide citizens and governments the opportunity to ensure that everyone’s vote is counted accurately and securely without being held hostage to private vendors nor aging, outdated infrastructure. Innovation through open source development will provide communities the capacity and certainty to administer elections for this century and keep the promise of democracy, namely that your vote will always count.

  • Sirius: An Open-Source Alternative To Apple’s Siri & Google Now
  • Sirius, the open-source intelligent personal assistant set to take on Siri

    The new personal voice-activated assistant was created by developers at the university’s Clarity Labs. Unlike its commercial lock-in counterparts, Sirius is free and can be easily customised. Anyone can contribute to the open-source project via GitHub, with the code released under the BSD license making the software free both to use and to distribute. The project is supported by Google, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Science Foundation.

  • Tutanota: open source encrypted email

    Tutanota is a German open source encrypted email startup lauded as a direct alternative to Google Gmail

  • Even faster: Data at the speed of Presto ORC
  • Facebook Open Sources New Tool That Can Speed Queries

    Now, with an eye toward optimizing the performance of open source distributed SQL query engine Presto, Facebook has designed a new Optimized Row Columnar (OCR) file format reader for Presto, and it is open sourced.

  • Events

    • ApacheCon Apache Open Source Conference Will Be in Austin April 13-17

      ApacheCon North America brings developers and users together to explore issues and provide educational experiences for building open source solutions. The Apache community is among the most robust in open source with hundreds of thousands of applications deploying Apache Software Foundation (ASF) products and code contributions by more than 3,500 committers from around the world.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Juniper Adds More OpenStack Distro Support with Mirantis

      At its core, the open-source OpenStack cloud platform is a pluggable framework that enables multiple products and services to be plugged in. The OpenStack Neutron (formerly known as Quantum) project is the leading-edge networking project within OpenStack, providing a framework into which multiple SDN vendors can plug to enable agile networking services.

  • Databases

    • Transticket signs open source contract with MariaDB

      Nordic ticket giant to develop open source on chips, tickets and beer.

      Open source database technology company MariaDB has announced Nordic Transticket as its latest costumer.

      Previously with Oracle-owned MySQL, the ticketing company, a rising rival to European Ticketmaster, reached a peak in user data with 150 Gigabytes.

  • Funding


  • Licensing

    • Did VMware Flout Open Source License Terms?

      A long-standing dispute over proprietary software developers’ use of licensed open source software code ultimately could be settled in a case against VMware. “[Developer Christoph] Hellwig sees his creation being used commercially,” noted tech attorney Ray Van Dyke. “VMware feels persecuted for using a bit of free code. Now, a German jurist will make a decision sometime in the future.”

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming


  • Security

    • ​You need to apply the OpenSSL patches today, not tomorrow

      True, some operating systems, such as Red Hat Linux Enterprise (RHEL), aren’t greatly impacted by these latest problems. But if you’re using any operating system that uses OpenSSL 1.0.2 or OpenSSL versions: 1.0.1, 1.0.0 and 0.9.8, it’s another story.

    • New BIOS Implant, Vulnerability Discovery Tool to Debut at CanSecWest

      When the National Security Agency’s ANT division catalog of surveillance tools was disclosed among the myriad of Snowden revelations, its desire to implant malware into the BIOS of targeted machines was unquestionable.

    • Friday’s security updates
    • ‘Notorious’ felon was cleared for faster boarding at airports

      The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved a convicted felon who is a former member of a domestic terrorist organization for expedited airport security last year, according to a report released this week by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general.

      The report alleges that the TSA cleared the June 2014 passenger, whose name was not revealed, despite the fact that the traveler had not submitted paperwork for its PreCheck trusted passenger program. The traveler was recognized by security agents at the airport.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • This Declassified CIA Report Shows the Shaky Case for the Iraq War

      The United States began its invasion of Iraq 12 years ago. Yesterday, a previously classified Central Intelligence Agency report containing supposed proof of the country’s weapons of mass destruction was published by Jason Leopold of Vice News. Put together nine months before the start of the war, the National Intelligence Estimate spells out what the CIA knew about Iraq’s ability to produce biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. It would become the backbone of the Bush administration’s mistaken assertions that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs and posed a direct threat to the post-9/11 world.

    • Former House Intelligence Chair Mike Rogers’ Quiet Trip Through the Revolving Door

      In Congress, Rogers led efforts to pass broad new legislation to expand government and private sector surveillance. He also maintained friendly ties to the business and K Street community — relationships that may have influenced his quiet move through the revolving door.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Ecuador: Why Did It Take Sweden 1,000 Days to Agree to Question Julian Assange in Our U.K. Embassy?

      Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño responds to recent reports Swedish prosecutors will seek to question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Assange has never been charged over allegations of sexual assault, yet he has been holed up in the embassy since 2012, fearing that if he steps outside, he will be arrested and extradited to Sweden, which could lead to his extradition to the United States — which is investigating Assange over WikiLeaks publishing classified documents. “We are pleased to see the Swedish prosecutors say that they now want to take the statements from Julian Assange at our embassy,” Patiño says. “But at the same time, we are concerned that 1,000 days have gone by, 1,000 days with Julian Assange confined in our embassy, before they say that they are going to do what they should have done from day one.”

    • UK Police Deem Snowden Leak Investigation a State Secret

      British police claim a criminal investigation they launched into journalists who have reported on leaked documents from Edward Snowden has to be kept a secret due to a “possibility of increased threat of terrorist activity.”

    • Let’s Give Edward Snowden the Same Deal General Petraeus Got for Leaking Info

      General David Petraeus has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified material and will serve no jail time for his actions. Let’s give the same deal to Edward Snowden.

      True, their crimes are different: Petraeus gave classified info to his biographer and girlfriend, Paula Broadwell. Snowden gave classified info to the American people.

    • Assange To Stay in London Embassy as Long as US Pursues WikiLeaks Probe

      An attorney for Julian Assange said the WikiLeaks founder is likely to remain at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London as long as the United States pursues a criminal investigation of his organization.

    • “I Might Have Some Sensitive Files”

      On the evening of April 3, 2013, a battered blue pickup truck slowly crossed a bridge from International Falls, Minnesota, to the border station at Fort Frances, Ontario. The family inside — a clean-cut middle-aged couple and their dark-haired 28-year-old son — looked like any other vacationers heading north. The father handed over their IDs to the border guards. “We need the protection of the Canadian government under the U.N. convention against torture,” he said. “Because our son was tortured by the FBI.”


      But she believes that what she saw was true: the agrochemical company’s culpability in 13,000 deaths, the CIA’s role in the anthrax attacks. She tells more than Matt had recalled, stories that sound too incredible to be true: a report that says the CIA explored plans to put anthrax in a New Jersey bay in order to drum up support for the war. “That’s what they were going to do,” she recalls, “And I remember reading that and saying [to Matt], ‘OK, all right, I know you’re not crazy.’”

    • Clinton’s e-mail is on a hosted Exchange 2010 server, not in Chappaqua

      There’s been a lot of controversy over how Hillary Clinton apparently used a mail server running in her Chappaqua, New York, home when she started her tenure as secretary of state. But if you want to know what she’s using now, all you have to do is point your browser at it—you’ll get a login page for Outlook Web access from a Microsoft Exchange 2010 server. And so will anyone who wants to brute-force guess her e-mail password or simply take the server down with a denial-of-service attack. (This is not a suggestion that you should.)

    • Using Open Data to Fight Corruption in Greece

      Greece has been much in the news recently as the Syriza government tries to deal with the country’s massive economic problems. We hear plenty about its high-level negotiations with the EU; what we don’t hear about is the Greek government’s innovative use of openness to tackle key issues in everyday life.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Stanford Law School Covers Up SEC’s Andrew Bowden’s Embarrassing Remarks by Deep-Sixing Conference Video

      Two days ago, we wrote about a remarkable example of regulatory capture and potential corruption. SEC enforcement chief Andrew Bowden, before an industry audience at Stanford Law School, on a panel moderated by KKR board member, Stanford Law professor and former SEC commissioner Joseph Grundfest, made fawning remarks about the private equity industry. Bowden repeatedly called PE “the greatest,” and made clear that he was so awestruck by its profits and seemingly attractive investor returns that he was urging his teenaged son to seek his fortunes there. This was troubling not simply because Bowden, as the SEC’s exam chief, looked to be soliciting, on a plausibly deniable basis, employment for his child from the firms he supervises. Bowden had described widespread lawbreaking in private equity in an unusually blunt and detailed speech last May. But almost immediately, he began walking his remarks back at conferences with the industry and in interviews with private equity publications. We’d charitably assumed the change in posture was due to outside pressure, but it may actually be due in large measure to Bowden’s unduly high regard for the industry, which appears to have tarnished his judgment, badly.

    • What’s Scarier: Terrorism, or Governments Blocking Websites in its Name?

      The French Interior Ministry on Monday ordered that five websites be blocked on the grounds that they promote or advocate terrorism. “I do not want to see sites that could lead people to take up arms on the Internet,” proclaimed Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

    • “I don’t even pretend I can stop it”: 8chan’s founder talks doxing, Internet freedom

      In early January, Ars Technica reported on a swatting attempt on an Oregon home—notable in particular because the intended target no longer lived at the address in question. In the 24 hours after publication of that piece, an Ars staffer became the target of an online harassment campaign which began with the posting of private, personal information, a practice known as doxing. That doxing, just like the failed swatting attempt, originated with posts on the imageboard known as 8chan. (Users disagreed with use of “8chan” rather than spelling out “8chan users” in the headline.)

  • Privacy

    • The CIA and Signals Intelligence

      Additional Declassified Documents Describe CIA Domestic and Foreign SIGINT Activity

    • Why the Idea That a Big Cyber Attack Could Create a Huge Tech Armageddon Is Pure BS

      Over the past several years, mainstream news outlets have conveyed a litany of cyber doomsday scenarios on behalf of ostensibly credible public officials. Breathless intimations of the End Times. The stuff of Hollywood screenplays. However a recent statement by the U.S. intelligence community pours a bucket of cold water over all of this.

      It turns out that all the talk of cyber Armageddon was a load of bunkum. An elaborate propaganda campaign which only serves as a pretext to sacrifice our civil liberties and channel an ocean of cash to the defense industry.

    • UK spies target women for recruitment
    • US/UK intelligence agencies threaten Germany

      Accord­ing to journ­al­ist Glenn Gre­en­wald, Ger­man Vice Chan­cel­lor Sig­mar Gab­riel has stated that the US and UK spy agen­cies threatened to cut Ger­many out of the intelligence-sharing loop if it gave safe haven to NSA whis­tle­bower, Edward Snowden.

    • The U.S. can legally access your old emails and it wants to keep it that way

      Many people around the globe might assume these days that the U.S. government can enact some shady magic called the NSA to access any email it wants, even if that shady magic is considered by some to be illegal.

      But how many people—particularly U.S. residents—know that the American government technically has perfectly legal access to everyone’s emails, so long as it says those digital notes might be useful for an investigation and the emails are more than 180 days old?

    • Leaked Document Reveals Upcoming Biometric Experiments at US Customs

      The ​facial recognition pilot program launched last week by US Customs and Border Protection, which civil liberties advocates say could lead to new potentially privacy-invading programs, is just the first of three biometric experiments that the feds are getting ready to launch.

      The three experiments involve new controversial technologies like iris and face scanner kiosks, which CBP plans to deploy at the Mexican border, and facial recognition software, according to a leaked document obtained by Motherboard.

    • Cisco Shipping Equipment to Fake Addresses to Foil NSA Interception

      Now Cisco is taking matters into its own hands, offering to ship equipment to fake addresses in an effort to avoid NSA interception.

      I don’t think we have even begun to understand the long-term damage the NSA has done to the US tech industry.

    • Digital Rights Are For Everyone, Including Young People.

      During our four sessions, we spoke to teenage girls about how people lose control of information about themselves online. Within five minutes of the opening workshop we were getting questions about whether Facebook could read their messages, and it only got more interesting.

  • Civil Rights

    • Chicago police commander resigns in wake of Homan Square revelations

      A senior Chicago police commander in charge of a major unit operating out of the controversial Homan Square police warehouse has resigned, the Guardian has confirmed.

      The news came as attorneys for three Homan Square victims announced that they would file the first civil rights lawsuit over the facility with the aim of shutting down the complex likened by attorneys and activists to the domestic law enforcement equivalent of a CIA “black site.”

    • Petraeus Deal Cited in Sterling Leak Defense

      Attorneys for former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, who was found guilty on nine felony counts involving unauthorized disclosure of classified information, argued yesterday that the Sterling verdict should be set aside in view of the misdemeanor plea agreement that was recently offered to former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus for mishandling classified information.

      Sterling’s attorneys suggested that the disparate treatment of the two cases was attributable to improper considerations of rank and race.

    • Chelsea Manning Warned of Nuri al-Maliki’s Corruption in 2010. David Petraeus’ Subordinates Silenced Her.

      Manning would go on to leak more documents showing US complicity in Iraqi abuses, going back to 2004. None of those documents were classified more than Secret. Her efforts (in part) to alert Americans to the abuse the military chain of command in Iraq was ignoring won her a 35-year sentence in Leavenworth.

      Compare that to David Petraeus who pretends, to this day, Maliki’s corruption was not known and not knowable before the US withdrew troops in 2011, who pretends the US troops under his command did not ignore, even facilitate, Maliki’s corruption.

    • Autopsy suggests suicide in hanging of black man in Mississippi

      Preliminary results from an autopsy on the body of Otis Byrd, whose body was found hanging from a tree in rural Mississippi, strongly suggest the death was a suicide rather than foul play, a federal law enforcement official said Friday.

      “It looks like that,” said the official, who asked not to be identified because authorities are planning to make an announcement at a later news conference. But he said, “that’s where they are headed” — with a finding of suicide.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Questions, Reactions Mount for the FCC’s Net Neutrality Provisions

      The FCC’s pubication of the new Net Neutrality rules is continuing to draw a lot of analysis. Some Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate have sharply criticized the FCC order, and want Congress to pass a bill that would enact some Net Neutrality protections.

    • Does net neutrality really mean ‘net regulation?

      One of the most contentious disagreements in the net neutrality debate in the U.S. over the past year has been over whether the new rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission amount to regulation of the Internet.


Links 20/3/2015: Linux 3.12.39 LTS, GNOME Nearing Release

Posted in News Roundup at 6:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 5 Golden Rules to Live By as a New Linux User

    You have ignored persistent Linux myths and decided to give Linux a try. How do you ensure that your transition to the new OS is smooth? Stick to the following five rules and you should do just fine. It’s time to get over your fear of failing at Linux.

  • */Linux Chugs Along Everywhere

    I find interesting the weekday rates of usage. */Linux usage is growing every day of the week. Android/Linux seems to be getting more usage at home on weekends but weekday use is also growing. Chrome OS is getting more usage weekdays, perhaps at schools. It’s all good. FLOSS should be used in all ways every day of the week. Finally there is competition on retail shelves. I was in Walmart yesterday. The space left for that other OS is shrinking and sad. The notebooks appeared to have heavy black steel bars laid over them to prevent theft, as if anyone wanted them… Not one of the few working notebooks had anything useful onscreen. It was just a list of features or “welcome”… One desktop was underneath the shelves still in a box. I was the only human being near that shelf.

  • Server

    • Docker security in the future

      One of the main goals at both Red Hat and at Docker is to make this statement less true. My team at Red Hat is continuing to try to take advantage of other security mechanisms to make containers more secure. These are a few of the security features we are working at implementing and how they might affect Docker and containers in the future.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • What’s Your Desktop Environment?

      The Linux distro poll is over and we’re crunching the numbers for an article to go up later today. However, first we want to introduce our second annual Desktop Environment poll.

      It only seems fitting, somehow, that we would follow up our what’s-your-distro poll with a Linux desktop poll. After all, we see and interact with our desktop everyday — but we never “see” our operating systems — meaning most users actually have a better understanding of their desktop environment or window manager than they do with the underlying distro. So much so, that many users — especially outside of the *nix world, often think of their desktop environment as the operating system.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Help Making a Krita Master Class Possible!

        David Revoy will be teaching Krita, with a focus on concept art and the challenges of digital painting — and he’ll introduce the new features we just released with Krita 2.9! Sarah Laufer has founded her own animation studio, regularly gives Blender courses in San Jose, and is now, of course, in the Netherlands for Project Gooseberry. She will focus on animating characters. François Gastaldo is an Open Shading Language expert and that’s the topic of his master class, while François Grassard from University Paris-8 has led the transition to free tools: Krita, Blender, Natron. He will talk about his experiences, but also about camera tracking, 3D integration and particle systems.

      • KDE dinner in Berlin – April 11

        In a few weeks (April 11-12) the KDE e.V. board is going to have an in-person board meeting in Berlin.

      • Bluedevil 2.1.1 released

        This is mainly a bugfix release with two minor new features. The first one is a new page in a pairing wizard. Instead of closing the wizard when it finishes, a success page is now shown to the user to indicate device setup was completed.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.16 Release Candidate Arrives

        Frederic Peters on the behalf of the GNOME release team announced the GNOME 3.15.92 release today, which serves as the release candidate ahead of the GNOME 3.16 official release at month’s end.

      • I organize, therefore I am…. GNOME PERU FEST 2015

        The GNOME PERU FEST 2015 event took place last Friday 13th, March in Centro Cultural PetroPerú. Special thanks GNOME Foundation for sponsoring us all again, as well Fedora, Infopucp, La Bouquette, Nexsys, PetroPerú and IBM.

      • GNOME 3.16.0 newstable tarballs due (and more)
      • GNOME Control Center Gets Another Big Update Ahead of GNOME 3.16

        We’ve announced a yesterday that immediate availability for testing of the Release Candidate version of the forthcoming GNOME 3.16 desktop environment. The GNOME Control Center application has also been updated as part of this RC (Release Candidate) release of GNOME 3.16 and includes a great number of changes that we have listed for you in the next paragraphs.

      • GTK+ 3.16 Will Bring Support for HiDPI Pointer Cursors in Wayland

        The GTK+ 3.15.12 toolkit has been released recently as part of the GNOME 3.16 RC (Release Candidate) desktop environment and it introduces the last changes to be implemented in the final GTK+ 3.16.0 released, which will be distributed alongside GNOME 3.16, due for release on March 25, 2015.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Black Lab Linux MATE 6.1

        There are many different distributions that use Ubuntu as a base, but one you might not have heard of is Black Lab Linux. Black Lab Linux uses…you guessed it…a cute black labrador retriever as its mascot, and the distro itself is focused on providing a compelling and easy to use desktop version of Linux. Toward that end they’ve tried very hard to create a desktop distro that someone coming from a Mac or Windows could jump in and use, even if they are completely new to Linux.

      • Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn – No, not really

        There’s nothing functionally wrong with Lubuntu. It’s not bad. It’s simply not interesting. It’s meat without flavor, it’s a hybrid car, it’s accounting lessons at the local evening school, it’s morning news, it’s a visit to Pompei while blindfolded. There’s no excitement. You need a lean distro? Fine. Xubuntu. Problem solved. It’s that simple. LXLE does offer some small advantages over this distro, but not by a great margin. Maybe there’s a limit to how fun LXDE can really be. Alive does not mean lively.

        I liked this desktop environment in the past, but it’s stagnated. It hasn’t evolved at all, and its competitors have left it far behind. And that reflects poorly on Lubuntu, which, despite a calm and stable record of spartan behavior, has left with me an absolute zero of emotional attachment toward it. That’s not good. It’s 6/10 not good. Now, almost four years since my last Lubuntu review, that’s quite bad actually. Overall, you shouldn’t pass on this distro, and perhaps Utopic + LXDE is the perfect match for your aging hardware. But in most cases, you can happily replace it with Xubuntu, and everything will be just as fine, only far more fun. And that brings us to the end of this review. Fire away thy angry emails.

    • New Releases

      • It’s not time for Popcorn Time, and it never will be

        Both Linux and open source have come a very long way. But all of those strides could so easily be undone by the constant proliferation of tools such as Popcorn Time. And now, even a Linux distribution, ChaletOS has included Popcorn Time by default. The ChaletOS could be one of those Linux distributions anyone and everyone could use and love. After all, it offers an interface that is as close to Windows 7 as any Linux desktop has ever achieved (thanks to Xfce). Average Windows users will be right at home with an arsenal of applications that easily covers their work and personal needs. But then, the developers throw in Popcorn Time. What makes this doubly odd is that ChaletOS is hosted by Google.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • ROSA Fresh GNOME R5 is here!

        The GNOME Shell graphical design has a touch of a minimalistic ergonomics resembling some MacOS concepts. The user may easily concentrate on the job with the help of compact and ergonomcal GUI elements. Laptop users are especially encouraged to use GNOME Shell.

    • Arch Family

      • Why you should switch to Arch Linux

        There are many different Linux distributions available, but few provide as much direct control over your computer as Arch Linux. One of our bloggers here on ITworld shares his thoughts on why he picked Arch Linux as his desktop distro, and why you might want to consider it as well.

      • Rollin’ with Arch, Hold the Popcorn, and Fav Desktop

        Arch Linux is “a lightweight and flexible Linux distribution that tries to Keep It Simple.” It’s also known as a rolling release distribution that is characterized by frequent updates rather than periodic reinstalls. Arch has remained in Distrowatch.com’s top 10 Page Hit Ranking since 2009 and was once a darling of the Linux blogosphere. Swapnil Bhartiya today posted five reasons folks should “roll with Arch Linux.” Elsewhere, Red Hat had an interesting day on Wall Street and Jack Wallen said Popcorn Time isn’t the kind of application distributions should be including. And finally, a new poll was posted to bring some fun to your Thursday evening.

    • Ballnux/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat higher on pre-earnings OTR Global upgrade
      • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) is Trading Higher on Unusual Volume for March 19
      • Barbarians At The Gate For Red Hat (RHT)

        Trade-Ideas LLC identified Red Hat ( RHT) as a “barbarian at the gate” (strong stocks crossing above resistance with today’s range greater than 200%) candidate.

      • Red Hat Adds Enterprise Mobility Options Including Expansion of FeedHenry Platform

        Open source solution provider Red Hat has announced a new emphasis on enterprise mobility, leveraging its enterprise-grade open source technologies. This focus is in response to the demand for faster and continuous development cycles that challenge traditional IT infrastructure and development methodologies. Red Hats efforts includes services that companies to become more mobile-centric and evolve in a way that supports both the agility of new mobile initiatives and stability of core IT.

      • Fedora

        • Terminal job notifications in Fedora 22 Workstation

          Fedora 22 Workstation’s GNOME 3.16 desktop makes almost everything easy using a standard point and click interface. But one of the best reasons for using it is the power you can also get in the Terminal app. There’s a world of power available through that command line. And the new Terminal job notifications keep you in touch with the command line, even if you’re doing something else.

        • Fedora 22 Alpha Server Edition Is Available for Download

          We announced last week the immediate availability for download and testing of the Fedora 22 Alpha operating system, which included the Live Workstation edition with the latest development version of the upcoming GNOME 3.16 desktop environment, and an Xfce spin that brought us the latest Xfce 4.12 desktop environment.

        • Fedora RPM: Automatic “Provides” for CMake projects packages
        • 3.19 Fedora ARM kernel status

          I’ve been a bit lazy on the ARM kernel status updates. There wasn’t one at all for 3.18 but the fact was, that while there was lots of under the hood improvements for ARM/aarch64, the new device support or improvements from a user’s point of view was positively boring so I never bothered!

        • Karma Cookies, and how to give them

          It took a while to get all the ingredients together, but we baked up a delicious batch of new Fedora Badges and they’re fresh out of the oven.

        • dnf-0.6.4-1 and hawkey-0.5.3-2 in EPEL7
        • Maria Leandro: How do you Fedora?

          I’m Maria Leandro, known also as Tatica and I work as a photographer on my own business, Tap.Pics. I work exclusively with Open Source tools, which has made my life quite interesting. I started with Linux back in 2005 and since then, I have never felt the need of change my OS. It started (like many other people), at college, and it became part of my personal and professional life. All my works have been related directly to Open Source technologies, including teaching and organizing events.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • OpenSSL warns of two high-severity bugs, but no Heartbleed

      The vulnerability was widely discussed earlier this week in social media threads such as this one. It was discovered by David Ramos of Stanford University, who agreed to withhold publishing proof-of-concept code that exploits the bug until server administrators have had time to patch the security hole. Based on today’s description of the bug, however, it likely won’t be hard for other people to independently develop exploits.

    • Latest OpenSSL Vulnerabilities Revealed; LibreSSL In Better Shape

      The latest OpenSSL security vulnerabilities were made public today with four CVEs being addressed.

    • making security sausage

      Security may be a process, not a product, but security patches are definitely a product. Some reflections on a few recent experiences making security sausage, er, patches.

      I appear to have found myself in the position of OpenBSD sausage grinder even though it’s not a great fit. It’s not in my temperament to care about yesterday’s problems after they’re fixed, nor am I enthusiastic about long term support. I mostly run current, so I don’t have much personal interest in fixing stable. Unfortunately, I wrote the tool used for signing patches which somehow turned into a responsibility for also creating the inputs to be signed. That was not the plan!

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Forgiving Al-Qaeda in Pursuit of a New Enemy

      Well, ISIS is openly committed to a policy of genocide–not only against non-Muslim minorities like the Yazidi (New York Times, 10/21/14), but against entire Shia denomination of Islam (“Shia have no medicine but the sword” is an ISIS slogan) who make up two-thirds of the population of Iraq. Thinking that that makes ISIS a bad choice to rule Iraq requires you to think of Shi’ite Muslims as human beings, I suppose.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • A Budget Response – Showy Gimmicks vs Solid Foundations

      The one thing that is supposed to be helping is the newly announced “Help to Buy ISA”. The stated aim is to support those who are saving to buy a house – but the reality is that the Government is doing nothing more than bribing people to take on excessive debt – to keep up the lending that keeps house prices unfathomably out of reach for so many.

  • Privacy

    • GCHQ’s hacking technologies go unregulated and unsupervised

      As reported in Wired, GCHQ’s development of hacking technologies is completely absent of external regulation, and their bosses at the Foreign Office lack the ability to understand what they are doing.

    • Snowden: IT workers are now the target of spies

      Spies will target IT staff with access to infrastructure and information, says NSA whistleblower in a video-link interview at CeBIT in Hannover.

    • What the ISC missed – ORG’s quick take on the ISC report

      These are our first impressions on reading the Intelligence and Security Committee’s key recommendations in its Privacy and Security Report.

    • Open Rights Group response to ISC Privacy and Security report
    • Every issue is a digital issue

      A decade ago, it was rare to hear politicians speaking about the need for a free, open Internet — and even rarer to meet one who understood what that meant. Despite the number of foot-in-mouth inanities mumbled by today’s crop of technologically ignorant pols, it was much, much worse then.

      And of course, today, every issue is a digital issue: you can’t talk about the economy, security, health or education (let alone elections) without talking about digital rights.

    • Why are digital rights important?

      Let’s take a few examples. Privacy is one of your most important rights. Yet most people tend to think of privacy as a question of private life, the choices you make about your person and the things that make you uncomfortable. In the digital world, privacy is a question of personal information, automated judgements and profiling. Many people want to know everything they can about you, because they can – or hope they can – make money out of this. GCHQ perhaps wants to know if you are a threat; and they help the NSA get to know you in case you are politically or economically interesting.

    • US Threatened Germany Over Snowden, Vice Chancellor Says

      German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel (above) said this week in Homburg that the U.S. government threatened to cease sharing intelligence with Germany if Berlin offered asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden or otherwise arranged for him to travel to that country. “They told us they would stop notifying us of plots and other intelligence matters,” Gabriel said.

      The vice chancellor delivered a speech in which he praised the journalists who worked on the Snowden archive, and then lamented the fact that Snowden was forced to seek refuge in “Vladimir Putin’s autocratic Russia” because no other nation was willing and able to protect him from threats of imprisonment by the U.S. government (I was present at the event to receive an award). That prompted an audience member to interrupt his speech and yell out: “Why don’t you bring him to Germany, then?”

    • Snowden appears at Hanover IT fair

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden took part in a debate on data security on Wednesday at the CeBIT IT trade conference, via video link from Moscow.

    • 5 Extremely Private Things Your iPhone Knows About You

      With every iPhone, iPad and iPod comes a set of densely worded documents informing you that by using these gadgets you’re giving up a ton of highly sensitive information. It’s perfectly legal for Apple to gobble up all this personal data because you’ve basically said it’s allowed to do so. Worse, you might not even realize that you have.

    • FB user fakes suicide to see how the Facebook suicide prevention tool works and lands in mental asylum

      Shane Tusch faked his suicide in an attempt to test the authenticity of Facebook suicide prevention tool and got detained for 72 hours

    • Customs downplays password plan

      Customs boss Carolyn Tremain has told MPs the department would only request travellers hand over passwords to their electronic devices if it had a reason to be suspicious about what was on them.

      The department unleashed a furore last week when it said in a discussion paper that it should be given unrestricted power to force people to divulge passwords to their smartphones and computers at the border.

    • UK government: GCHQ is permitted to break into computers anywhere in the world

      PRESSURE GROUP PRIVACY INTERNATIONAL has published a court document that it claims reveals government support for broad and alarming GCHQ surveillance powers.

      Privacy International, and others, have challenged the government on its use of surveillance technology, and the government has stoutly defended its actions on each occasion.

      Now Privacy International has published a court document relating to two court cases initiated last year against GCHQ that challenge what Privacy International claims is invasive state-sponsored hacking that was revealed by Edward Snowden.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • GOP Senator: Net Neutrality ‘Jeopardizes’ Open Internet

      Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) this week called out the FCC, saying its recently passed net neutrality rules have “the exact opposite” effect on protecting an open Internet.

      The Federal Communications Commission last month voted 3-2 in favor of reclassifying the Web as a Title II telecom service— “the strongest open Internet protections ever proposed,” according to Chairman Tom Wheeler.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Obama and Congress go off the rails trying to fast track TPP

      While we are in the midst of the current battle to end the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions here in the US, we can’t lose sight of the broader global fight being waged via the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Strategic Partnership Agreement. If you aren’t familiar with TPP, it is a multinational trade agreement being developed through a series of secret negotiations that are pushing a host of restrictions. From making the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions global, to spreading the threat of software patents around the world, to extending copyright indefinitely, these secret negotiations present a plethora of threats to user freedom.

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Party Becomes Iceland’s Most Popular Political Party

        The results of a new poll published today in Iceland indicates that the Pirate Party has just become the country’s most popular political party. According to the results, almost a quarter of all citizens would vote Pirate today. Speaking with TF, movement founder Rick Falkvinge describes the result as an “extraordinary accomplishment.”

      • The Pirate Party is now measured as the biggest political party in Iceland

        The Pirate Party now measures as the largest political party in Iceland, according to a new survey from the Icelandic market and research company MMR which regularly surveys the support for the political parties in Iceland.


Links 19/3/2015: Linux Mint Debian Edition RC, OpenSSH 6.8 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Kolab Summit 2015: Registration Open, Call for Papers

      The Kolab Collaboration Suite has been adopted by companies and governments around the world, making it one of most successful “poster children” for Free Software and Open Standards. In order to chart the next steps forward, the Kolab community is excited to announce the inaugural Kolab Summit to be held in The Hague on May 2-3, 2015.

    • FOSSASIA 2015 Highlights noticed by me
    • [Event Report] FOSSAsia – 2015
    • FOSS & Accessibility: The New Frontier

      Charlie Kravetz said he was a little nervous at SCALE 13x. Not only had his presentation slides gorped about a week ahead of the expo (he got them back together and working, of course), it was Charlie’s first time speaking in front of a group. And the message he wished to convey in his talk, “Accessibility in Software,” was an important one.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Cisco Deepens OpenStack Commitment with Deutsche Telekom

      The convergence of OpenStack-based cloud computing and the telecom industry is continuing apace. We’ve reported on Red Hat’s partnership with Telefonica to drive Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and telecommunications technology into OpenStack. And we’ve covered Canonical and Juniper Networks’ partnership to oversee co-development of a carrier-grade, OpenStack solution.

    • ApacheCon Shaping Up to Be One of the Best Events of the Year

      The Apache Software Foundation is putting together what looks like it will be one of the better open source events of the year: ApacheCon North America, to be held in Austin, Texas, April 13th – 16th. Austin is a fun place to visit, and the agenda for ApacheCon looks excellent. You can register by March 21st to take advantage of the earlybird pricing and here are more details on the event.

  • Project Releases

    • OpenSSH 6.8 released

      OpenSSH 6.8 has just been released. It will be available from the mirrors listed at http://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

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

    • OpenSSH 6.8 Brings Big Internal Code Changes

      OpenSSH 6.8 was released this morning and with this version a lot of their internal code was refactored to make OpenSSH more library-like.

    • OpenSSH 6.8
    • OpenSSH 6.8 Is a Major Release That Contains Numerous New Features and Bugfixes

      OpenSSH, the world’s most popular open-source, 100% complete SSH (Secure Shell) protocol that also includes SFTP (Secure FTP) client and server support, has been updated today, March 18, to version 6.8. This release includes a great number of new features and many bug fixes to make OpenSSH more reliable and stable than ever.

  • Licensing

    • GitHub sees support of open source licenses pay off

      When you think of GitHub, you think of open source software. Of course, just putting your code on GitHub doesn’t make it open source; you still need to explicitly choose a license for your code that allows others to use it. A new look at the number of projects on GitHub made available under open source licenses reveals that a significant number of developers aren’t doing that. However, recent efforts by GitHub to encourage project maintainers to license their code and to simplify the process appear to be bearing fruit.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Forking Bach: Opening classical music to remixes

      Today pianist Kimiko Ishizaka and MuseScore.com made their recording and score of Johann Sebastian Bach’s collection of solo keyboard music, called the Well-Tempered Clavier, available to the public domain so anyone can download and fork it.

      The project is called the Open Well-Tempered Clavier. And of the piano performance, critic Grego Applegate Edwards says, “In all the years, all the versions, I have never heard ‘Book 1′ done better than on the new recording by pianist Kimiko Ishizaka.”

    • OpenPower members reveal open source cloud tech mashups

      OpenPower Foundation members pulled the curtain back on a number of open source cloud datacentre technologies including the first commercially available OpenPower-based server, and the first open server spec that combines OpenStack, Open Compute and OpenPower architectures.

    • Open Data

      • Dutch local government financial data published

        The Open State Foundation has published the budgets and spending data of Dutch local governments for the years 2012-2013. Visitors to the openspending.nl portal can download the raw data, view the data of a specific local government, or compare the data of two governments.

    • Open Hardware

      • Arduino vs. Arduino: What We Know About The Open-Source Hardware Fork

        The original founders of Arduino—the popular programmable DIY electronics kit—appear to have had a falling out. And that might bring about what could be the world’s first open-source hardware fork, a sort of developer schism that’s much more common in the software world.


  • Science

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • Android Security Gets Better with Lollipop

      Android has been around for years, and it has seen its share of malware, even in Google’s official Play store. Although third-party security vendors had to jump in and come up with a line of defense against ill-intended apps, Google had the inspiration to introduce the Bouncer app-vetting system that kicked malicious apps out of its marketplace.

    • Solutions for Internet of Thieves

      So, almost every company do this appears to be giving ease of use priority over any real security. Besides using static keys and trusting broken SSL connections, they don’t include a way to easily update the firmware or software on these IoT devices. That means 90% of the devices will never be updated. That makes thieves happy.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Senator Cotton and Warmongers Who Do Not Learn From History

      Do you remember Iraq? How about its capital Baghdad? In the campaign to bring “Democracy” to that nation, the United States and its Western allies were able to utterly destroy that country. Now, the Kurds have their own independent region, the Shi’a control Baghdad and the south, and the Sunnis are somewhere in the northeast and eastern part of the country. Iraqi libraries have been destroyed (Baghdad library being a prime example), its monuments pulverized (the ancient city of Babylon was used as parking lots for US tanks, the national museum of Iraq was looted, and its objects can now be purchased on e-bay). Its power grids, roads, bridges, homes and much more were made extinct. The war to bring “Democracy” to Iraq has brought close to a million deaths and injuries in Iraq and an average death toll of 500 a day since 2008. The country has in a sense lost its cultural, social and moral fabric. That is why Daesh has been created and one can say a truly monstrous group, whose moral stance is unlike anything that we have seen in recent times is ravaging it. They have killed people and destroyed the cultural heritage of that region. One only has to mention the Mosul Museum which held artifacts from ancient Assyria amongst others, and the Mosul library which held the treasures of ancient Christianity in the East, which were all destroyed. According to President Bush, at the time of his tenure, about half a million Iraqis had died, and now the numbers may be closer to seven hundred thousand.

    • Corporate Media Sensationalizes ISIS Threat to US

      Although the “violent bona fides” of ISIS are “not in doubt to anyone paying attention,” Adam Johnson, writing for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, notes that, “much of the ISIS threat — namely that which targets the West — has been habitually overstated by an uncritical media.”

    • 89% of Drone Victims in Pakistan Not Identifiable as Militants
  • Transparency Reporting

    • Administration sets record for withholding government files

      The Obama administration set a record again for censoring government files or outright denying access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.

      The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn’t find documents and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy.

  • Censorship

    • French Government Starts Blocking Websites With Views The Gov’t Doesn’t Like

      We had been noting, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France, how the country that then held a giant “free speech” rally appeared to be, instead, focusing on cracking down on free speech at every opportunity. And target number one: the internet. Earlier this week, the Interior Minister of France — with no court review or adversarial process — ordered five websites to not only be blocked in France, but that anyone who visits any of the sites get redirected to a scary looking government website…

  • Privacy

    • Cisco posts kit to empty houses to dodge NSA chop shops

      The dead drop shipments help to foil a Snowden-revealed operation whereby the NSA would intercept networking kit and install backdoors before boxen reached customers.

    • Dick Cheney on the Dangers of Internet Spying

      The man who implemented an illegal dragnet admits that governments (only authoritarian ones, he suggests? or does the use of such methods make a government authoritarian?) might exert control via the Internet.

      If it weren’t for Cheney’s long history implementing just that type of monitoring (certainly on the rest of the world, and to an extent on Americans), I might think he’d been hanging around with Edward Snowden!

    • Mall of America Security Catfished Black Lives Matter Activists, Documents Show

      Documents obtained by The Intercept indicate that security staff at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota used a fake Facebook account to monitor local Black Lives Matter organizers, befriend them, and obtain their personal information and photographs without their knowledge.

      Evidence of the fake Facebook account was found in a cache of files provided by the Mall of America to Bloomington officials after a large Black Lives Matter event at the mall on December 20 protesting police brutality. The files included briefs on individual organizers, with screenshots that suggest that much of the information was captured using a Facebook account for a person named “Nikki Larson.”

    • Give Me Your Hackers, Your Journos, Your Activists Yearning To Be Only Lightly Surveilled

      Now the uninitiated reader might have formed the impression that the Tor Browser was just some sort of slick repackaging of Firefox plus some add-ons, and that you can just use the browser of your choice with a suitable proxy setup and quit your BSD.whinging. They might assume that. I used to think that long ago but then I started to look into it and realized it’s a little more involved…

    • Twitter puts trillions of tweets up for sale to data miners

      You are travelling by plane to see your newborn grandchild. As you board the aircraft, the cabin crew address you by name and congratulate you on the arrival of a bouncing baby boy. On your seat, you find a gift-wrapped blue rattle with a note from the airline.

      In Twitter data strategy chief Chris Moody’s vision of the future, companies surprising their customers like this could become an everyday occurrence – made possible because Twitter is listening.

    • Chief Information Officers Council Proposes HTTPS By Default For All Federal Government Websites

      In a long-overdue nod to both privacy and security, the administration finally moved Whitehouse.gov to HTTPS on March 9th. This followed the FTC’s March 6th move to do the same. And yet, far too many government websites operate without the additional security this provides. But that’s about to change. According to a recent post by the US government’s Chief Information Officers Council, HTTPS will (hopefully) be the new default for federal websites.

    • NY Court Orders Sheriff To Reveal Details On Stingray Mobile Phone Surveillance

      For quite some time now, we’ve been covering how various law enforcement agencies have been using “Stingray” (or similar) cell tower spoofing devices to track the public. Beyond the questionable Constitutionality of such mass surveillance techniques, what’s been really quite incredible is the level of secrecy surrounding such devices. We’ve written about how the US Marshals have “intervened” in various court cases to hide info about the use of Stingrays — and even telling local law enforcement to lie about their use of the devices. We’ve written about law enforcement officials claiming “terrorism” as the reason for needing Stingrays, but then using them for everyday law enforcement. We’ve written about the company that makes Stingrays, Harris Corp., forcing police to sign non-disclosure agreements barring them from revealing any info about their use. It also appears that Harris Corp. misled the FCC to receive approval for its mobile tower spoofing capabilities. Some police departments have even withdrawn evidence rather than talk about their use of Stingrays.

  • Civil Rights


Links 18/2/2015: Bioshock Infinite for GNU/Linux, Makulu Unity Alphas

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

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Hardware

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • FBI Pins ‘Terrorist’ Nametag On ‘Retarded Fool’ Without A ‘Pot To Piss In’

      The FBI’s preference for easily-investigated terrorism is well-documented. We’re routinely assured that all sorts of domestic surveillance tech and agency opacity is necessary to protect us from a whole host of threats, but for the most part, the terrorists “apprehended” by the FBI seem to be people who’ve had the misfortune of being “befriended” by undercover agents and/or confidential informants.

      When over 90% of the funding, idea generation, transportation and motivation comes from those saving us from terrorism, we have reason to be worried. While the FBI performs its predatory handcrafting of “extremists,” the real terrorists — who don’t need someone else to provide weapons, money and motivation — are still going about the business of terrorism.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Obama Just Officially Decided White House Emails Aren’t Subject to the Freedom of Information Act

      Civil liberties advocates are adding another strike to the Obama administration’s record on transparency: on Monday, the White House announced that it is officially ending the Freedom of Information Act obligations of its Office of Administration. That office provides broad administrative support to the White House—including the archiving of emails—and had been subject to FOIA for much of its nearly four-decade history.

    • Swedish Prosecutor in Julian Assange’s Case Retreats; US Continues Espionage Investigation

      Michael Ratner says the real threat to Assange is the continuing espionage investigation against him and Wikileaks – March 17, 2015

    • After Swedish Prosecutors Back Down, Is WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Close to Freedom?

      Today marks the 1,000th day WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has spent in political asylum inside Ecuador’s London embassy. For the first time, Swedish prosecutors have opened the door to Assange’s departure with a request to question him in London. Assange has never been charged over allegations of sexual assault, but has been holed up in the embassy since 2012, fearing a Swedish arrest warrant could lead to his extradition to the United States. We speak with Assange attorney, Michael Ratner, who says an interview with the prosecutor may result in no charges, and even if Assange were convicted of these allegations, “he has done all the time he would have to do… so the whole case is essentially a bogus way of keeping him in that embassy.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • ‘Reawakened’ faults could trigger big Okla. earthquakes

      They’ve been asleep since before the dinosaurs roamed Earth and now we’re waking them up.

      Long-dormant, 300-million-year-old fault lines across Oklahoma are being “reawakened” by recent small earthquakes that have been previously linked to fracking, scientists reported in a new study out this week.

  • Finance

    • If You Own a Pitchfork, You Will Grab It When You See This Chart

      This statistic provides a pretty compelling snapshot of the severity of our income gap: In 2014, Wall Street’s bonus pool was roughly double the combined earnings of all Americans working full-time jobs at minimum wage.

      That sobering tidbit came from a new Institute for Policy Studies report by Sarah Anderson, who looked at new figures from the New York State Comptroller and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average bonus for one of New York City’s 167,800 employees in the securities industry came out to $172,860—on top of an average salary of nearly $200,000. On the other side of the equation were about one million people working full time at the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

    • Protesters, police clash near new European bank HQ in Frankfurt

      Anti-capitalist protesters clashed with riot police near the new headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt on Wednesday and set fire to barricades and cars, casting a pall over the ceremonial opening of the billion-euro skyscraper.

      Nearly 90 police were injured by stones and unidentified liquids hurled by a violent minority from within the thousands-strong protest, police said. Some protesters said they were injured when police used pepper spray.

    • Germany riot targets new ECB headquarters in Frankfurt
    • George Osborne has presided over the slowest recovery in history

      “Britain is walking tall again” claimed George Osborne today, as he argued the British economy is now growing “faster than any other major advanced economy in the world”.

      However, while the pace of economic recovery has finally picked up, figures released by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) today confirmed that overall Osborne has presided over the slowest economic recovery in British history.

    • The Most Dangerous Woman in America

      Kshama Sawant, the socialist on the City Council, is up for re-election this year. Since joining the council in January of 2014 she has helped push through a gradual raising of the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Seattle. She has expanded funding for social services and blocked, along with housing advocates, an attempt by the Seattle Housing Authority to allow a rent increase of up to 400 percent. She has successfully lobbied for city money to support tent encampments and is fighting for an excise tax on millionaires. And for this she has become the bête noire of the Establishment, especially the Democratic Party.

      The corporate powers, from Seattle’s mayor to the Chamber of Commerce and the area’s Democratic Party, are determined she be defeated, and these local corporate elites have the national elites behind them. This will be one of the most important elections in the country this year. It will pit a socialist, who refuses all corporate donations—not that she would get many—and who has fearlessly championed the rights of workingmen and workingwomen, rights that are being eviscerated by the corporate machine. The elites cannot let the Sawants of the world proliferate. Corporate power is throwing everything at its disposal—including sponsorship of a rival woman candidate of color—into this election in the city’s 3rd District.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Intelligence Reform & The French Government’s Disastrous Drift on Surveillance

      The information shared today by Le Figaro regarding the upcoming French Bill on Intelligence, ahead of its presentation before the Council of ministers on Thursday 19 March, only confirms earlier concerns. While this new law was announced as an important overhaul aimed at protecting fundamental rights, the securitarian instrumentalisation of the deadly events of January is bound to lead to an incredible drift in state surveillance practices. La Quadrature du Net calls on citizens and their elected representatives to oppose this bill.

    • Why can the NSA do what it does?

      Like most technical people, I’m not impressed but very worried about the erosion of our civil rights, through the NSA spying and in other ways. And I am sure I share with others the impression that if only politicians and the general public knew more about the problem, we wouldn’t make such bad decisions.

    • Tutanota, An Open Source Encrypted Gmail Alternative, Heads Out Of Beta

      Germany based encrypted email startup, Tutanota, is taking its service out a beta next week — after a year of testing and almost 100,000 users signed up to send and receive secure email.

  • Civil Rights

    • JUSTICE FOR SALE – PART 5: Rebellious Action in a Corrupt Time

      The series collectively argues that corporate media and political rhetoric have made Americans acquiescent toward corruption in the US legal system. This piece examines the corporate media’s coverage of citizen’s resistance to corruption and abuse in the US legal system.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Lawmakers Say TPP Meetings Classified To Keep Americans in the Dark

      Democratic lawmaker says tightly-controlled briefings on Trans-Pacific Partnership deal are aimed at keeping US constituents ignorant about what’s at stake

    • What’s Going On In Obama’s Trade Meeting With Democrats? That’s Classified.

      As the Obama administration gives House Democrats a hard sell on a major controversial trade pact this week, it will be doing so under severe conditions: Any member of Congress who shares information with the public from a Wednesday briefing could be prosecuted for a crime.

    • House Democrats angry over Obama’s classified trade meeting

      House Democrats are criticizing President Obama’s administration for holding a classified briefing on trade with top administration officials, saying it’s an attempt to push a trade program in secret.

    • Copyrights

      • Parliament copyright working group too close to business say activists

        With the Digital Agenda being a key part of the Juncker commission’s drive for jobs and growth and Commissioner Oettinger promising copyright reform and an end of geo-blocking, a group of business and foundations have written to Jean-Marie Cavada MEP (ALDE, FR), the chair of the European Parliament’s Copyright Working Group demanding that he open up consultations to a wider range of stakeholders.

        New Europe has seen the letter.

        The French MEP is at odds with many parliamentarians and the European Commission, being supportive of the current scheme, which has come under sustained criticism from many quarters.


Links 17/2/2015: Fedora 22 Alpha in Focus, CentOS 7.1 Imminent

Posted in News Roundup at 5:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Asian Penguins middle school Linux club inspires community

    What are the Asian Penguins? That’s a simple question that has a complicated answer. Are they a student club? Yes. Are they a tech support group that takes care of some of our school’s computers? Partly, yes. Are they also a movement for change that challenges our students to improve people’s lives through the power of open source technology? Most definitely, yes. Simply put, the Asian Penguins are a Linux users group.

  • Another School Finds GNU/Linux Desktops Work For Them

    It quit working. It slowed down. It collected malware. It re-re-rebooted. Well, schools still find that with “7”.

  • Desktop

    • State of VoIP in Linux

      Like most people, I find myself using the same VoIP options everyone else is using. Thankfully, these days there are far more options available than what we might think. Today, I’ll look at these options and also explore up-and-coming alternatives as well.

    • Dell’s Linux PC sequel still “just works”—but it adds 4K screen and rough edges

      Almost two years ago, we closed out our review of Dell’s first Linux-powered Developer Edition laptop with some words of wisdom from my former uber-sysadmin mentor, a fellow named Rick, with whom I worked at Boeing for many, many years. Rick is now retired and living the life of an itinerant world-traveling SCUBA master, but he’s been hacking on Linux since around the time Linus first dropped the kernel on comp.os.minix. I lamented to Rick that I was having a hard time coming up with an angle or hook for the XPS 13 Developer Edition, because it all just worked—Dell got it right, and it was a great piece of kit. It was maybe even a bit boring.

  • Server

    • Docker Inc.’s Acquisitions Aim for Ease of Use and Portability

      Docker, Inc., the corporate sponsor of the popular container technology toolset, has been in the news recently for its acquisitions. Last month, Docker acquired startup SocketPlane, and said that SocketPlance could help add standard networking interfaces to Docker to make multi-container distributed apps easily portable. And Docker, Inc. has also acquired Canadian startup Kitematic and its eponymous, popular open source software tool. “The Docker experience is enhanced through Kitematic and its graphical user interface (GUI)-driven workflow that automatically installs Docker on a user’s Mac to build, ship and run Docker containers in just minutes,” says the announcement.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux ‘Code of Conduct’ is neither Code nor Conduct

      Much like the Linux kernel development process itself has evolved as a function of development, I suspect the code of conduct will be the same. That is to say it will be self-regulating without some kind of rigid system of policies.

      The simple truth is that the vast majority of Linux kernel development is done by those that work for companies. Since LKML is all in the open, and it’s clear to see who works for whom, I suspect that various corporate masters already have policies in place as well.

    • Linux Kernel Developer Work Spaces Video: Stephane Graber, LXC

      Stephane Graber is a software engineer at Canonical Ltd. where he is a project leader for LinuxContainers.org, including LXC. In this video he takes us on a tour of his home office in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and answers our questions about his work space.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux Performance Analysis: New Tools and Old Secrets

        At the last USENIX/LISA conference, I gave a talk on new Linux performance tools: my open source perf-tools collection. These use existing kernel frameworks, ftrace and perf_events, which are built in to most Linux kernel distributions by default, including the Linux cloud instances I analyze at Netflix.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Buzz Buzz!

        With the Sprint behind us and the Freeze coming up next month, the VDG has made it’s agenda for the coming weeks, and I figured I’d share some highlights I’m working on, and a couple I’m personally looking forward to.

      • Now accepting Google Summer of Code student applications

        Attention prospective Google Summer of Code students: the student applications window has begun.

      • Now accepting Google Summer of Code student applications

        If you haven’t contacted the relevant KDE subproject yet (including umbrella projects Kubuntu and Calamares) to submit your proposal for review, it is high time to do so. Take a look at our Google Summer of Code project ideas page, pick one or more of our exciting project ideas, dazzle us with your proposal and hack your way to ultimate glory this summer! A nice paycheck is also part of the deal.

      • Qt 5.5 Alpha Available

        Qt 5.5 is branched from dev and we now have the Alpha packages available. Main focus of Qt 5.5 is to polish and improve existing functionality, but as always there are also some new exciting features to talk about. With Qt 5.5, Canvas 3D is fully supported and a technology preview of long awaited Qt 3D is included. Qt 5.5 also introduces mapping support with a Qt Location technology preview. Qt 5.5 Alpha is the first step towards Qt 5.5 final release planned to be available in May.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Preview of GNOME usability results

        I have been mentoring Sanskriti Dawle as part of the GNOME Outreach Program for Women. Sanskriti has been working on a usability test of GNOME, an update from my own usability testing which I also shared at GUADEC 2014.

        I encourage you to watch Sanskriti’s blog for the final results, but I wanted to share a view into her excellent work. You might treat this as a preview of Sanskriti’s results.

      • GNOME’s Virtual Filesystem Updated for GNOME 3.16, Obsolete ObexFTP Code Removed

        The Release Candidate (RC) version of the forthcoming and anticipated GNOME 3.16 desktop environment will be released later this week, and its developers have already started uploading packages to the main FTP server for testing purposes before the final release gets out.

  • Distributions

    • Watch: MakuluLinux with the Unity Desktop

      Jacque Montague Raymer, the developer of the MakuluLinux computer operating system has published earlier today a new video on YouTube, this time showcasing an upcoming edition of its Linux distribution, MakuluLinux Unity.

    • Reviews

      • Strange Bedfellows and Linux Reviews

        Christine Hall at FOSS Force today wrote that Canonical’s deal with the devil may signal Ubuntu’s swan song topping today’s Linux news. Linux Tycoon Bryan Lunduke reviewed the Dell M3800 with Ubuntu and Jamie Watson tested six pre-release distributions. To top that off, we have four reviews and a Linux Mint Debian teaser.

      • KaOS 2015.02 Review: Delivers a Pure KDE Plasma 5.0 Desktop

        ‘KaOS’ supports 64-bit CPU architecture only, and when compared to the previous release, the ISO disc size is actually reduced by around 300MiB and now the total size is around 1.4GiB. Despite the obvious KDE Plasma & Qt 5.0 adaptation, ‘KaOS’ now uses a new installer called ‘Calamares’ which was initially added to ‘KaOS’ in last December.

      • First Impressions of Ubuntu MATE 14.10

        Ubuntu MATE is currently available in two versions. There is long term support release labelled 14.04 and a short term support release with newer software carrying the version number 14.10. I decided to try out version 14.10 for a week. The project provides release notes for the distribution. Essentially, it looks as through the project takes Ubuntu, strips away the Unity desktop and replaces it with MATE. Most applications, apart from those relating directly to configuring the MATE desktop, appear to be the same across both distributions. The version of Ubuntu MATE I downloaded is available in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds and the ISO file is 980MB in size.

      • Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 Review: Minimalist distro with superb performance

        Bodhi Linux provides options to download 32-bit, 64-bit, legacy and Chromebook version. I chose 64-bit ISO, about 612 MB in size. I created a live USB using Linux Mint Image Writer on a 4 GB USB drive. First I did a live boot on my laptop and then installed it to a 100 GB drive to understand Bodhi’s performance better.

    • New Releases

      • Evolve OS’ New Beta Brings Linux Kernel 3.19.1 and systemd 218 – Screenshot Tour

        The Evolve OS development team, through Ikey Doherty, had the pleasure of announcing earlier today the immediate availability for download and testing of a new Beta release for the upcoming Evolve OS Linux distributions. Evolve OS Beta 1.1 is now powered by Linux kernel 3.19.1 and systemd 218. In addition, this new Beta release of Evolve OS includes the GCC 4.9.2 and Clang/LLVM 3.5.0 compilers.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat 7.1 is here, CentOS 7.1 coming soon

        Serious businesses use Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and its near-twin brother CentOS for their servers. The question today for CIOs using or RHEL and CentOS is: When should they upgrade to RHEL 7.1 and/or CentOS 7.1?

        RHEL 7.1 is the first minor release of RHEL 7, which launched in June 2014. This new version adds improved development and deployment tools, enhanced interoperability and manageability, and additional security and performance features. This release, like all RHEL versions, will be supported for a 10-year life-cycle.

      • Red Hat Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Buy” from Analysts

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, December 18th. The company reported $0.42 EPS for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $455.90 million for the quarter. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.42 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Red Hat will post $1.58 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

      • Overcoming Open Source Misconceptions

        As open source has grown in popularity over recent years (both for private and commercial use), also have the number of misconceptions about open source and its use, particularly in enterprise environments.

      • Red Hat just wants to help tech hipsters and old-school programmers get along

        Now Red Hat is looking to resolve that challenge with its new company vision. On Tuesday, the company announced a new initiative for the mobile enterprise, focusing heavily on helping developers from across both ways of thinking talk to and work with each other, with better tools for building slick mobile software that also meets the needs of the business.

      • Throw your (Red) Hat into the mobile-first economy ring

        Red Hat has announced its vision to help organisations succeed in the mobile-first economy.

      • Red Hat formulates a plan for enterprise mobile apps

        Red Hat understands that developing a mobile application is not the same as building one for the desktop, which is why the company has augmented its software stack with new technologies for mobile development.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 22 Alpha LXDE Screenshot Tour

          The LXDE Spin of the Fedora Linux distribution is the last in our screenshot tours for the Alpha release of the upcoming Fedora 22 computer operating system based on the Linux kernel and various other open-source technologies.

        • Fedora 22 Alpha Cloud Edition Is a Superb Choice for Running Linux in the Cloud

          Fedora 22 Alpha was officially unveiled on March 10 and until now we gave you detailed information about each of its Spins, including screenshot tours for the Workstation (GNOME), KDE, Xfce, LXDE, and MATE/Compiz editions. It is now time to talk a little about the Cloud Edition of the upcoming Fedora 22 Alpha.

        • Linux Top 3: Fedora 22, Robolinux 7.8.3 and Makulu 8.0

          After the long delay between Fedora 20 and Fedora 21, the hope is that Fedora 22 will restore the traditional release cadence. Last week the first alpha for Fedora 22 was release, starting the countdown toward general availability in May.

        • Fedora 22 Workstation’s new notifications

          Fedora 22 Workstation will include the new GNOME 3.16 release. This release has a new notification design that’s less intrusive and easier to use.

        • Fedora GNOME Keyboard Shortcuts

          To get the very best out of the GNOME desktop environment, within Fedora, you need to learn and remember the keyboard shortcuts required to navigate the system.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Betsy past QA, going for RC

              LMDE 2 “Betsy” just got approved for an RC release. So if you could go ahead and NOT find tons of bug in it that would be great :)

            • Blueberry: Linux Mint’s new bluetooth setup tool

              Linux Mint has always been at the forefront of making elegant tools for users. Now the Linux Mint developers have come up with a better bluetooth configuration utility called Blueberry. Blueberry will ship first in Linux Mint Debian 2 before being added to other versions of Linux Mint.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MIPS Creator CI20 v Raspberry Pi 2

      Imagination Technologies is a British company that has recently entered full production of a board based on MIPS computer architecture. The single-board computer has been designed to allow developers to create applications for mobiles, gaming, Internet of Things, and wearables.

      The MIPS Creator CI20 is billed as a high-performance, fully featured Linux and Android development platform. The board includes an Ingenic JZ4780 SoC which is built around a dual-core MIPS32 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, and Imagination’s PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The Creator CI20 comes with a price tag of or £50, which is significantly more expensive than the Raspberry Pi 2. CI20 is an open platform with technical manuals, schematics and source code freely downloadable. You might be interested in my Raspberry Pi 2 review together with this article.

    • Freescale i.MX6 SoloX SoC gains embedded Linux support

      The Timesys LinuxLink tool suite now supports Freescale’s i.MX6 SoloX SoC, including support for Freescale’s MQX RTOS that runs on the SoC’s Cortex-M4 MCU.

      Timesys, which has long supported Freescale’s i.MX6 system-on-chip family with its LinuxLink embedded Linux development platform, has now added support for the new SoloX variant. Freescale’s i.MX6 SoloX combines a 1GHz Cortex-A9 core with a Cortex-M4 microcontroller unit (MCU) specializing in real-time processing. As Timesys explains it, the combination enables the SoC to “run a UI-rich OS while still benefitting from fast real-time responsiveness.”

    • Tiny SBC runs Android and Linux on Snapdragon 410

      Qualcomm’s Raspberry Pi-sized “DragonBoard 410c” SBC runs Android or Linux on the quad-core Cortex-A53 based Snapdragon 410, and offers WiFi, BT, and GPS.

      Qualcomm Inc. subsidiary Qualcomm Technologies has unveiled the second single board computer to comply with 96Boards Consumer Edition hardware specification from Linaro’s new 96Boards.org community project and standards organization. Qualcomm’s DragonBoard 410c follows 96Boards.org’s flagship, CircuitCo-built HiKey board. The HiKey, which similarly supports Android and Linux, was the world’s first 64-bit, ARMv8 hacker board. The DragonBoard 410c won’t ship until summer, so it’s unlikely to be the second. At 85 x 54mm, both SBCs are nearly identical in size to the 85 x 56mm Raspberry Pi.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Take a look at the Tizen User Interface and User Experience

          It’s now time for you to get better acquainted with the Tizen Samsung Z1 Smartphone, its User Interface (UI) and also the User Experience (UX). The Z1 benefits from running Tizen, which means it is a smooth fluid experience that can be customised to suit your specific needs.

      • Android

        • Apple Watch app development pales in comparison to Android Wear

          Android Wear consists of Android with the addition of wearable user interface (UI) extensions. It’s a complete operating system capable of autonomous app execution. The Apple Watch, on the other hand, acts more like a dumb terminal connected to an iPhone host. At this point, WatchKit apps seem to be designed for presenting and interacting with notifications.

        • A look at Android 5.1: speed, security, tweaks

          5.1 also makes many small interface changes, documented in the gallery above. Notification and volume controls have seen improvement, and the OS has been tweaked and polished all over.

          In addition, 5.1 brings built-in support for dual SIMs (previously something OEMs had to add) and HD Voice support.

          Android 5.1 is one of the smaller minor version Android updates, down there with versions 4.2 and 4.3. But it brings a few nice changes and thankfully seems to solve many of the Nexus 6 performance problems.

        • 5 Best Android Phones [March, 2015]

          Right now is a horrible time to buy a new Android phone though we realize that there are many people that simply can’t wait for the new crop of devices to arrive. With those people in mind, we take a look at what we think represent the five best Android phones money can buy during the month of March.

          Earlier this month, Samsung and HTC announced successors to the Galaxy S5 and One M9, two of the biggest smartphones from 2014. Those successors are the Samsung Galaxy S6 (and Galaxy S6 Edge) and HTC One M9. Both are set to arrive in the United States in the near future and both look like they will immediately become two of the hottest Android phones on the market. If you can wait, you should wait to weigh them against the current crop of phones.

Free Software/Open Source

  • An open source software updating tool

    Once a piece of software is installed on a user’s system, how do you keep it updated? While Linux users typically have a package management system to pull latest versions from a repository of their choice, users of other systems aren’t so lucky. We have developed an open source tool to assist in this process, based on an open source protocol from Google know as Omaha.

    Several years ago Google released an open source protocol called Omaha (otherwise known as Google Update) as a part of its Chromium project. The protocol is intended to make the updating process of complicated desktop software easier.

  • Customer Service and Open Source Software: A Budding Relationship

    In business today there is an emphasis on leveraging big data analytics in order to improve customer service. There is much to derive about consumer behavior and market trends that can all be found in the stacks of incoming data received by customer service industries such as contact centers, for example. So, how is open source software relevant to the customer service industry? As of late, many organizations are opting for open source solutions, rather than proprietary software, to augment customer service data analysis.

  • St. Paddy’s Day Special: 7 Irish open source developers

    The Republic of Ireland celebrates its national holiday St. Patrick’s Day this week, when the rivers flow green and the Guinness flows too. This small country has produced some world-reknowned open source and free software developers, and we’ve rounded up a few in honor of St. Paddy’s Day.

  • Why open source software makes sense in financial services

    Unfortunately few organizations have anticipated the influence of mobile and digital consumerization. Combined these two trends have forced many businesses, including banks and financial services companies, to rethink how they engage customers. The impact to IT is two-fold: (1) the CIO and IT are no longer the sole custodians of what systems and software, including mobile apps, the business can use; and (2) IT must is now mandated to roll-out applications faster-to-market to stay relevant to the Lines of Business. Another stark reality is that IT budgets aren’t growing proportionately to these developments. Hence, IT has to do more with what it has.

  • The Times digital team launches ‘quoteable’ image tool

    The Times and Sunday Times is following in the footsteps of Vox Media and NPR by releasing its own open-source image creation tool

  • Open source voice assistant ‘Sirius’ joins the likes of Google Now, Siri and Cortana

    A team of researchers from the University of Michigan are demonstrating the digital personal assistant in Turkey.

  • Sirius: Like Siri, but it’s open source and backed by Google
  • Open source Sirius virtual assistant gets Google funding
  • Facebook releases open source ORC reader for Presto

    Aiming to optimize performance of open source distributed SQL query engine Presto, Facebook has designed a new Optimized Row Columnar (ORC) file format reader that supports columnar reads, predicate pushdown and lazy reads.

  • Facebook Makes Open Source Networking a Reality
  • Events

    • Open Source and the Rise of as-a-Service Businesses

      If we can accept for the sake of argument that this is not a unique adjustment of Oracle’s, but a pattern replicating itself across a wide range of businesses and industries, there are many questions to be answered about what the impacts will be to the industry around it. Of all of these questions, however, none is perhaps as important as the one I have discussed with members of the Eclipse and Linux Foundations over the past few weeks: what does the shift towards as-a-service businesses mean for open source? Is it good or bad for open source software in general?

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Seamonkey review: Firefox’s lightweight hyper-functional cousin

        Seamonkey has an interesting history, in that it is both older and younger than Firefox. Older, because originally it was built from Mozilla Suite code (for those of you that don’t know, Mozilla Application Suite is the parent of Firefox, and was originally built from the code of Netscape Navigator which was open-sourced in 1998).

        Seamonkey is also younger than Firefox in that Seamonkey’s first version, 1.0, was not released until 2006, 2 years after Firefox 1.0. Quite a few people are not even aware of the existence of Seamonkey or the Mozilla Suite, thinking that Firefox was the successor to Netscape Navigator, created deliberately to enact their vendetta against Microsoft for their monopolistic practices that killed Netscape. But glorious fantasies aside, Mozilla Application Suite was the real successor.

      • Students create open source, cross-platform memory scanning tool

        The Masche project, started in mid-2014 as part of Mozilla’s Winter of Security (MWOS) program whose goal is to involve students in building security tools, has been executed by students Agustin Martinez Suñé, Marco Vanotti, Nahuel Lascano, Patricio Palladino, aided by Professor Alejandro Furfaro, and advised by Julien Vehent, one of the members of Mozilla’s Operations Security team.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.4.2 Release Candidate 1 Is Now Available for Download

      A new development version for the next maintenance release of the acclaimed LibreOffice 4.4 office suite has been announced today, bringing a wide range of enhancements and bugfixes that improve the overall stability of the software on all supported operating systems, including GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows.

  • Education

    • Let’s build open source tensor libraries for data science

      Data scientists frequently find themselves dealing with high-dimensional feature spaces. As an example, text mining usually involves vocabularies comprised of 10,000+ different words. Many analytic problems involve linear algebra, particularly 2D matrix factorization techniques, for which several open source implementations are available. Anyone working on implementing machine learning algorithms ends up needing a good library for matrix analysis and operations.

  • Funding


    • The GNU Manifesto Turns Thirty

      Richard Stallman, who published his manifesto in March of 1985, has been known to say that, “with software, either the users control the program, or the program controls the users.”

  • Project Releases

    • ownCloud Client 1.8.0 Released

      Today, we’re happy to release the best ownCloud Desktop Client ever to our community and users! It is ownCloud Client 1.8.0 and it will push syncing with ownCloud to a new level of performance, stability and convenience.

  • Licensing

    • VMware, SFC trade barbs over GPL code infringement lawsuit

      A war of words has ensued since Linux kernel developer Christoph Hellwig and the Software Freedom Conservancy filed a lawsuit against VMware over GPLv2 compliance in the company’s ESXi line of enterprise hypervisor operating system products.

    • VMware denies violating Linux open source license

      Filings from the Free Software Conservancy (FSC) in Hamburg, Germany accused the company of failing to release the source code for the open source products that is included with ESXi, following a three-year dispute over the matter.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Apple ResearchKit: Is New Open-Source Software For Sales Or The Greater Good Of Health Care?

      For medical researchers, the tens of thousands of people who recently signed up to participate in studies on asthma, Parkinson’s disease, and other medical conditions by using Apple’s ResearchKit marked a watershed moment in research. Researchers hailed the possibilities brought by the new open-source software framework designed to aid medical studies, all from the screen of the iPhone, with vastly expanded participant pools, more rapid data collection, and better information overall.

    • Open Data

      • We need open data to become the new open source

        The open source movement is one of the most powerful forces pushing technology forward. It’s easy to forget that not long ago, startups had to raise tons of money from VCs to license Oracle or a web server. Today any tiny startup has access to the best tools in the world.


  • Security

    • Security in Three Ds: Detect, Decide and Deny

      Whenever a server is accessible via the Internet, it’s a safe bet that hackers will be trying to access it. Just look at the SSH logs for any server you use, and you’ll surely find lots of “authentication failure” lines, originating from IPs that have nothing to do with you or your business. Brute-force attempts (such as “dictionary attacks”) try different passwords over and over to try to get into your box, and there’s always a chance that they eventually will succeed. Thus, it’s a good idea to apply these “three Ds” for your security: detect intruder attempts, decide when they’ve gone “over the top” (past what would be acceptable for honest-to-goodness typing mistakes), and deny them access at least for a (longish!) while.

    • LibreSSL 2.1.5 Released
    • OpenSSL vulnerabilities coming on the 19th
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Jihadi John and MI5

      First up is the now-notorious press con­fer­ence hos­ted by the cam­paign­ing group, Cage, in which the Research Dir­ector, Asim Qure­shi , claimed that MI5 har­ass­ment of Emwazi was the reason for his rad­ic­al­isa­tion. Emwazi had com­plained to Cage and appar­ently the Met­ro­pol­itan Police that over the last six years MI5 had approached him and was pres­sur­ising him to work as an agent for them. Accord­ing to Cage, this har­ass­ment lead to Emwazi’s radicalisation.

    • Man with alleged links to Canada helped a dozen cross into Syria: reports

      A Syrian man arrested in Turkey last month for allegedly helping three British schoolgirls join Islamic State militants told police he was in touch with Canadian officials as far back as 2013 and had helped a dozen other people cross into Syria, according to Turkish media reports.

      Turkey’s Foreign Minister revealed last week that police had arrested the man, who he said had been working for another country’s foreign intelligence service. Mevluet Cavuolu would not name the country in question but said it’s part of the U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State extremists and is not the United States nor a member in the European Union.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Facebook updates guidelines: To ban or not to ban?

      Facebook has updated its community guidelines to make what can and cannot be shared on the social network crystal clear.

    • Islamist Websites in Turkey Manage to Evade Strict Internet Censorship

      The websites of an atheist association, the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a Kurdish separatist organization are blocked to Turkish Internet users. But many sites that promote extreme Islamist messages — even some that are outright sympathetic to the Islamic State, the militant organization that has marauded through Iraq and Syria — escape Turkey’s censors.

      A hallmark of the decade-long leadership of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his Islamist Justice and Development Party, or A.K.P., has been a crackdown on freedom of expression. Yet what Turkey chooses to censor reflects the Islamist values of the government, critics say. With the rise of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, this dynamic has been set in sharp relief, highlighting the deep divide between Turkey and its Western allies in the fight against the militants.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Universal Music Hijacks YouTube Videos of Indie Artist

        Universal Music Group has hijacked several YouTube videos of Bjorn Lynne, an independent musician from Norway. The world’s largest music corporation is now running advertisements on videos of music tracks Lynne created, and is refusing to correct the mistake.

      • Internet Providers Win Court Case Over “Pirate Tax”

        Belgian Internet providers have won their court case against music group SABAM, which had demanded a 3.4 percent cut of all subscriber fees to compensate artists. The court ruled that ISPs are a mere conduit and can’t be taxed as a public broadcast medium.

Links 17/3/2015: Linux 4.0 RC4, Calligra and Krita 2.9.1 Released

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

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Effektif Open Sources BPM Software with an Emphasis on Developers
  • Open Source Software Fuels a Revolution in Data Science

    It’s hard to downplay the influence of open source software on the spectacular rise of data science. From my perspective as a technology consultant, open source isn’t just an interesting aspect of the data science revolution; it’s absolutely critical.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Apache Software Foundation Launches HBase Version 1.0 for Sifting Data

      The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is on a roll thus far in 2015, advancing many open source projects that are making a difference in the cloud and on the Big Data scene. Recently, we covered the advancement of Apache Drill to a top-level project. It is billed as “the world’s first schema-free SQL query engine that delivers real-time insights by removing the constraint of building and maintaining schemas before data can be analyzed.” We’ve also covered Apache Spark, an open source data analytics cluster computing framework originally developed in the AMPLab at UC Berkeley

      Now, also on the data front, the ASF has announced the availability of Apache HBase v1.0, a distributed, scalable, database for Apache Hadoop and HDFS.

    • Mirantis, Google Team Up on Kubernetes and OpenStack Integration

      Mirantis, focused on OpenStack, has announced a new initiative that integrates Kubernetes with OpenStack, letting developers deploy containers on OpenStack in what the company claims takes only minutes. The integration gives developers immediate access to Kubernetes clusters with Docker containers without needing to set up infrastructure. According to Mirantis, developers will be able to seamlessly move entire environments between OpenStack private clouds and public clouds that support Kubernetes, such as Google Cloud Platform.

    • The Different Facets of OpenStack HA

      Last October, I wrote about a particular aspect of providing HA for workloads running on OpenStack. The HA problem space for OpenStack is much more broad than what was addressed there. There has been a lot of work around HA for the OpenStack services themselves. The problems for OpenStack services seem to be pretty well understood. There are reference architectures with detailed instructions available from vendors and distributions that have been integrated into deployment tools. The upstream OpenStack project also has an HA guide that covers this topic.

    • Cloudformation and Eucalyptus

      Eucalyptus officially released support for AWS Cloudformation back in 4.0.0 but with the latest release of Eucalyptus i.e. 4.1.0 this support is now out of tech preview mode. What this means for the cloud users is that they can use Cloudformation just like they use it on AWS and get official support from Eucalyptus for it. Yes our support is not just paid support but we have a very extensive community to help you get started or solve your problems.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OnlyOffice Another Free Office Suite for Linux (Complete Selfhost Office Solution – OwnCloud Compatible)

      Nowadays company employees are often dispersed across the globe and collaboration tools turn out to be of current importance in achieving shared goals. OnlyOffice is a platform for small and medium business that enables teams to manage projects, customer relations and documents in one place. Linux users can take advantage of open source version and start to collaborate on projects hosted safely on their own servers. ONLYOFFICE is a cloud business service that enables you to manage projects, customer relations and documents in one place.

  • BSD

    • Pruning and Polishing: Keeping OpenBSD Modern

      Owing to its historic roots as a derivative of the original Berkeley Systems Distribution (BSD), OpenBSD includes a great deal of old code. Many files bear copyright notices from the year 1980, and in some cases, even older. Although not explicitly stated as a project goal, keeping OpenBSD modern is an important part of satisfying other goals, such as portability and correctness.


    • A plan for Multi-Byte Unicode Character Support in GNU coreutils

      coreutils is the project that implements about 100 of the most well known and used utilities on any GNU/Linux system. These utilities are used interactively, or extensively in other programs and scripts, and are integral to the standard Linux server distros used today. Originally these utilities were implemented only considering ASCII or sometimes implicitly other unibyte character sets, but many of the assumptions break down in the presence of multi-byte encodings. As time has gone on this has become more of an issue as this graph representing the rise of UTF-8 use on the web indicates.

    • Userops: Deployment for the People

      Why the name “userops”? As you may have guessed, this is a pun on the term “devops”; the idea is that we also care about configuration management and deployability, but we aim for a different audience. Devops, as the name implies, focuses on liberating developers in the world of deployment, particularly developers who have to deploy a large number of machines for $LARGE_CORPORATION at their job. Userops, on the other hand, aims at liberating users in the world of deployment. You shouldn’t have to be a developer to take advantage of network freedoms and run network-oriented free software. After all, the free software world generally agrees that it makes sense that users of desktop software should not have to be developers, and that “user freedom” takes priority over “developer freedom”… the freedom of $LARGE_CORPORATION, while not something we object to, is not really our primary concern. (Though of course, if we build solutions that are good enough for end-users, corporations will probably adopt them, and that is fine! It just isn’t our focus.)

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • German Greens ask Foreign Affairs to amend way

      The Greens in the German parliament want the Foreign Ministry to revert back to open source software solutions on its workstations. The ministry in 2010 abandoned its open source desktop strategy, pressured by staffers struggling with interoperability problems. The Greens are now asking the ministry to justify the proprietary licence costs it has made since then.

    • Feds look to developers to improve big data, open source projects

      The vision behind the open source and big data initiatives underway in the federal government is far more ambitious than just a series of technology projects, but aims to further transparency, citizen engagement and achieve a major shift in agency culture.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Apple’s Open-Source ‘ResearchKit’ And The Future Of Medical Research
    • Why aren’t governments as transparent as they could be?

      In the quarter century since its creation, the Web has been a printing press and broadcast studio for millions of people whose voices would otherwise have been heard by only a few close friends. It opened a whole new world of sharing, and today nearly three-quarters of all Americans say digital technologies have improved their ability to share their ideas and creations with others, according to a 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center.

    • Charting the OpenStack galaxy, under the hood at TryStack, and more
    • PSI Directive: transposition ends in July 2015

      The Commission has helped Member States to transpose the directive with the publication of a series of guidelines, he added. “Open access is now mainstream,” he said, adding that the Commission was engaged in a policy of openness within the Digital Single Market program.

    • Open Data

      • Open Data: national company register data now freely accessible

        Information about French companies, collected and centralised by InfoGreffe, will now be freely accessible. French Members of Parliament have voted in favour of article 19 of the draft Loi Macron (named after Emmanuel Macron, Minister of Economic Affairs, who supports the law). The article, which states that InfoGreffe information will now be available as Open Data, was approved in February.

    • Open Access/Content

      • How does your state use open educational resources?

        The price of textbooks continues to be a cost barrier for postsecondary students, even though some states are making notable efforts to bring those costs down. Open Educational Resources are an emerging policy option as states, postsecondary systems and institutions consider how to best develop libraries and collections of OERs

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • My IDE needs a makeover

      Gnome Terminal is good enough for my needs. I do have a problem of too many terminal windows… I have tried Terminator (a tiling single-window / multiple-tabs terminal). However during development the things I use shell for, should be part of the IDE directly: changing projects, opening/closing/navigating/creating files, invoking build, invoking debug, “refactoring” (sed). I think I do want to try out a pull-down terminal for temporal look-ups together with a tiling “main” terminal. Or ideally ditch it all together. Emacs does provide multiple terminals, but when I did that I ended up with “inception” -> launching an instance of emacs, inside the terminal, inside emacs…

    • Google’s Go language is off to a great start, but still has work ahead

      Go, a Google-developed open source language intended to focus on simplicity and efficiency, has been getting a lot of attention lately. Launched late in 2009, the statically typed language is perhaps best known for its use in the development of the red-hot Docker container platform. “Go was born out of frustration with existing languages and environments for systems programming,” a FAQ on Go reads.

    • Why Drat? A Guest Post by Steven Pav

      To get some idea of what I mean by this, suppose you are a happy consumer of R packages, but want access to, say, the latest, greatest releases of my distribution package, sadist.

    • Taking maintainership of dolt

      For those who don’t know, dolt is a wrapper and replacement for libtool on sane systems that don’t need it at all. It was created some years ago by Josh Triplett to overcome the slowness of libtool.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open ICT standards fundamental for small ICT firms

      Government use of open ICT standards are fundamental for smaller ICT companies and for innovation in society, concludes Professor Björn Lundell of the University of Skövde (Sweden), following a three-year research project. “Open standards promote a healthy, competitive market.”


  • Health/Nutrition

    • The biggest privatisation in NHS history: why we had to blow the whistle

      I’m not a journalist, but as of this morning I know what it feels like to be part of the biggest leak in NHS history.

      Published on openDemocracy, the memorandum of information for the £700m sell-off of Staffordshire cancer services is now available for the 800,000 directly affected and 3 million indirectly affected patients to read online.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • What we can learn from the day the US burned to death 100,000 women and children

      March 9, 2015 marked the seventieth anniversary of the American firebombing of Tokyo, World War II’s deadliest day.

      More people died that night from napalm bombs than in the atomic strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But few in the United States are aware that the attack even took place.

    • Venezuela Threatens U-S National Security?

      What’s behind the Obama Administration’s recent imposition of sanctions against Venezuelan officials, and its claim that Venezuela threatens U-S national security? Gloria La Riva and Roger Harris address this question.

    • How the FBI Created a Terrorist

      IN THE VIDEO, Sami Osmakac is tall and gaunt, with jutting cheekbones and a scraggly beard. He sits cross-legged on the maroon carpet of the hotel room, wearing white cotton socks and pants that rise up his legs to reveal his thin, pale ankles. An AK-47 leans against the closet door behind him. What appears to be a suicide vest is strapped to his body. In his right hand is a pistol.


      Osmakac was the target of an elaborately orchestrated FBI sting that involved a paid informant, as well as FBI agents and support staff working on the setup for more than three months. The FBI provided all of the weapons seen in Osmakac’s martyrdom video. The bureau also gave Osmakac the car bomb he allegedly planned to detonate, and even money for a taxi so he could get to where the FBI needed him to go. Osmakac was a deeply disturbed young man, according to several of the psychiatrists and psychologists who examined him before trial. He became a “terrorist” only after the FBI provided the means, opportunity and final prodding necessary to make him one.

    • Tom Cotton Seems Confused About The Basic Geography Of Iran

      Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) stood by his decision Sunday to send a letter on a burgeoning nuclear deal directly to Iranian leaders. He insisted on Face the Nation that “Iran’s leaders need to hear the message loud and clear” that an Obama-brokered deal might not last past the end of his administration without congressional approval, despite a stern letter from the White House Sunday night urging senators to hold off on congressional intervention.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • State Department says most officials’ emails were not auto-archived until last month

      The State Department said Friday it was unable to automatically archive the emails of most of its senior officials until last month, which could mean potential problems for historical record-keeping amid criticism of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use of a private email server while in office.

    • State Dept. Shuts Down Email After Cyber Attack

      The State Department shut down large parts of its unclassified email system today in a final attempt to rid it of malware believed to have been inserted by Russian hackers in what has become one of the most serious cyber intrusions in the department’s history, U.S. officials told ABC News.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Vanuatu Blames Global Warming as Cyclone Causes Nation’s Worst Climate Disaster in Recent Memory

      About half the population of the South Pacific Island state of Vanuatu has been left homeless by a devastating category 5 cyclone that flattened buildings and washed away roads and bridges. Aid agencies say Cyclone Pam killed at least eight people, with the death toll expected to rise as rescuers reach more far-flung areas. Vanuatu has a population of about 250,000 and is made up of more than 80 islands. Disaster relief officials and relief workers are still trying to establish contact with remote islands that bore the brunt of winds of more than 185 miles per hour. We are joined by Alex Mathieson, former Vanuatu country director for the aid group Oxfam.

    • WaPo Can Find Climate Denial Embarrassment Closer to Home

      Will isn’t the only prominent climate change denier given a prestigious soapbox by the Post.

    • UK’s first ‘poo bus’ goes into regular service

      Britain’s first “poo bus”, which runs on human and household waste, goes into regular service this month.

      Powered by biomethane gas, the Bio-Bus will use waste from more than 32,000 households along its 15-mile route.

    • Politics Is Poisoning NASA’s Ability to Do What It Needs to Do

      When Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was made head of the Senate committee in charge of NASA’s funding, I (and many others) were appalled. Cruz is a science denier, flatly claiming global warming isn’t happening.

      This is an issue, since many of NASA’s missions are directly focused on examining the amount, extent, and impact of that warming. And rightly so.

  • Finance

    • The Long Story Behind Gigaom’s Sudden Demise

      Gigaom’s investors are still hopeful that the company has value, and are continuing to shop it: The sales pitch is that the site itself still generates traffic and ad revenue, and the company’s events business could still draw attendees and sponsors. Some people affiliated with Gigaom believe that Time Inc., International Data Group and O’Reilly Media are all looking at the property. All three companies declined to comment.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • What Was Missing From Coverage of Netanyahu’s Speech

      Another striking omission from these articles, about a speech in which Netanyahu talked about Iran’s “aggression in the region and in the world,” were words like “Palestine,” “Palestinian,” “occupation” or “Gaza”; none of these came up in any of the five articles. USA Today headlined its piece “Netanyahu: Stop Iran’s ‘March of Conquest’”–as though it were Iran, not Israel, that has conquered, occupied and in some cases annexed its neighbors’ territory.

  • Privacy

    • FBI’s Plan to Expand Hacking Power Advances Despite Privacy Fears

      A judicial advisory panel Monday quietly approved a rule change that will broaden the FBI’s hacking authority despite fears raised by Google that the amended language represents a “monumental” constitutional concern.

      The Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules voted 11-1 to modify an arcane federal rule to allow judges more flexibility in how they approve search warrants for electronic data, according to a Justice Department spokesman.

    • Online privacy nihilism runs rampant in US, survey says

      A majority of Americans have not altered their online behavior in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations detailing widespread US government electronic surveillance activities, according to a Pew Research Center survey published Monday.

    • Private Companies Continue To Amass Millions Of License Plate Photos, Hold Onto The Data Forever

      Vigilant Solutions’ automatic license plate readers are everywhere, even places where you wouldn’t expect them. Like, mounted on private companies’ vehicles. This isn’t new. BetaBoston investigated the private ALPR growth industry early last year. Unfortunately, there’s been very little good news to report since then. In fact, there still isn’t.

    • Hertz Puts Video Cameras Inside Its Rental Cars, Has ‘No Current Plans’ To Use Them

      According to the Fusion article, Hertz doesn’t seem to be telling anyone about the camera, on the grounds that the company doesn’t plan to use it, and so there’s nothing for customers to know. But if and when it does announce its presence, there will be precisely the problem Techdirt mentioned last week: that people in front of it would naturally be worried they were being spied upon — even if assured to the contrary — and would start constraining their speech and behavior.

    • Hertz puts cameras in its rental cars, says it has no plans to use them

      This week I got an angry email from a friend who had just rented a car from Hertz: “Did you know Hertz is putting cameras in rental cars!? This is bullsh*t. I wonder if it says they can tape me in my Hertz contract.”

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Our Shiny New Net Neutrality Rules Won’t Be Worth Squat If The FCC Isn’t Willing To Act

      While the FCC’s new net neutrality rules are certainly a step in the right direction for consumers, it’s aggressively premature to uncork the champagne. There are still ISP lawsuits waiting in the wings, not to mention the fact that a 2016 party shift (and subsequent FCC leadership change) could very quickly dismantle ten years of grassroots activism in the blink of an eye. And then there are the rules themselves and the FCC’s dedication to them; as noted last week, it’s difficult to know just how useful the new Title II-based rules are going to be until we see precisely what the FCC defines as actionable behavior.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Members of the European Parliament must support the Reda Report on copyright reform!

        On 23 and 24 March 2015, you will examine the proposed amendements to the report of MEP Julia Reda on the reform of the directive on copyright. More than 500 amendements have been tabled, the large majority of which aim at emptying it from its substance. Julia Reda’s draft report responds to the aspirations expressed by a large number of citizens: they wish to access, to share and t more widely culture and knowledge in the digital environment. La Quadrature du Net calls the MEPs of the JURI commission to preserve the progress in this report and in particular those that strenghten the positive rights of individuals in culture.

      • URGENT! The Positive Reform Of Copyright Is Being Pirated In The European Parliament!

        Julia Reda, German Pirate Party MEP, has presented a report promoting a series of measures to harmonise some aspects of copyright.

      • Cultural industries unite against copyright reform

        France’s cultural industries have shown their determination to fight European copyright reform plans. A parallel movement among members of the European Parliament hopes to have the Electronic Commerce Directive re-examined as part of the reform package. EurActiv France reports.

      • Piracy Is Just Another Copyright Industry Scapegoat

        History repeats itself. Unlicensed home manufacturing of copies was never the cause of the copyright industry’s business problems; they created those all on their own. It’s not the first time they’ve appointed a scapegoat for their own failures to get public funding, either.

      • U.S. Net Neutrality Has a Massive Copyright Loophole

        After years of debating U.S. Internet subscribers now have Government regulated Net Neutrality. A huge step forward according to some, but the full order released a few days ago reveals some worrying caveats. While the rules prevent paid prioritization, they do very little to prevent BitTorrent blocking, the very issue that got the net neutrality debate started.

      • Peter Sunde: File Sharing is Politics, Propaganda and Control

        In the beginning of The Pirate Bay’s history the site was in Swedish. It was made by Swedes for their community. Other countries had their own file sharing sites but they got shut down.


Links 15/3/2015: Linux Lite 2.4, OpenELEC 5.0.6

Posted in News Roundup at 10:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Build your own Siri: An open-source digital assistant
  • Build Your Own Open-Source Digital Assistant
  • Researchers just built a free, open-source version of Siri

    Major tech companies like Apple and Microsoft have been able to provide millions of people with personal digital assistants on mobile devices, allowing people to do things like set alarms or get answers to questions simply by speaking. Now, other companies can implement their own versions, using new open-source software called Sirius — an allusion, of course, to Apple’s Siri.

  • Open Source: A Cross-Industry Hero

    Open source code is no longer exclusively used by eager web developers in the tech industry. In fact, global industries that serve the healthcare, education, and government markets are now experiencing the benefits of open source code as well. Once they become familiar with the specifics of open source software license management, non-technology businesses are easily able to improve industry specific practices in new, innovative ways.

  • HP Takes Reseller Role for New Line of Open Source Networking Equipment

    In a move that starkly reflects not only the changing market landscape for networking equipment but also HP’s willingness to adapt to new realities, the vendor will collaborate with Taiwan-based Accton Technology to develop and manufacture open networking switches and Cumulus Networks will provide the Linux-based networking operating system to drive the hardware.

  • Storify Founders Leave For Open Source, Baby

    They’re passing the reins to several original Storify members, who will keep the service running. Herman’s plan is to focus on raising his newborn son, while Damman will build out his open-source whisteblowing tool Tipbox.

  • OPNFV Summit to Showcase Open Source Networking Functions Virtualization

    OPNFV, the open source collaboration for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), is extending its reach with the launch of a new conference, the OPNFV Summit, which project leaders hope will bring together networking companies, service providers and open source developers.

  • OPNFV schedules first event in push to foster an open source NFV platform

    The network virtualization revolution is set to gain a new event as the Open Platform Network Function Virtualization Project announced plans to host its first OPNFV Summit Nov. 11-12.

  • Renault-Nissan goes open source with GENIVI for infotainment

    Automotive industry group, the GENIVI Alliance, announced that Renault and Nissan will launch a new joint program to deliver a In-vehicle Infotainment IVI system based on software GENIVI software for low-to-mid and high-class Renault and Nissan vehicles globally and will be supplied by Robert Bosch GmbH.

  • Midokura Pushes Open Source SDN Forward

    Midokura is out this week with its Midokura Enterprise MidoNet (MEM) 1.8 SDN release, which is based on the open-source MidoNet 2015.01 milestone.

  • Bringing Telcos Into Open Source Culture

    I recently attended the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. There was a kick-off panel on the opening day and then a couple of days of working group style presentations around OPNFV. The work comes under the sponsorship of the Linux Foundation and hopes to establish a carrier-grade, integrated, open source reference platform that industry peers will build together to advance the evolution of Network Function Virtualization. (You can also read the ETSI definition of NFV). There’s a really good description of the intended work and architecture on the OPNFV site.

  • Engineers Bring A New Open-Source Siri To Life
  • Huawei looks to open source to build SDN ecosystem

    Collaboration with ONOS and ONF is aimed at accelerating the commercialisation of the SDN ecosystem.

  • An Open Source Drone Camera You Can Modify With Apps

    The company, called Percepto, is currently raising funds on Indiegogo. Percepto will offer a camera that can be mounted to your existing drone. You can then download apps to your mobile phone that can interact with the camera in different ways.

  • Why open source works

    Trying to explain why open source works, you can of course point to the Cathedral and the Bazaar by Erik. But the kernel development process shows it happening ‘in real time’, every day, and that’s a major reason why I so enjoy reading the weekly LWN.

  • Create a Self-Destructing Website With This Open Source Code

    Former head of product at Flickr and Bitly, Matt Rothenberg recently caused an internet hubbub with his Unindexed project. The communal website continuously searched for itself on Google for 22 days, at which point, upon finding itself, spontaneously combusted.

  • 1010data Intros Integration with Open Source R

    Company says its R1010 package gives data scientists a collection of statistical functions and a massively parallel Big Data discovery platform.

  • Pinterest Shoots ‘Pinball’ Into Open Source

    Pinterest announced yesterday that it’s making the workflow management software it developed to manage big data pipelines, called Pinball, available as open source. Now anybody can use the same technology that Pinterest uses to manage the flow of work on Hadoop and other cluster resources.

  • 4 reasons CIOs should give open source a second look

    Seeking out open source solutions is second nature for Red Hat IT. It’s in our DNA, and it’s what we believe in. And while our passion for open source is shared with many IT leaders, I still encounter CIOs who cite concerns about security, intellectual property, talent, and existing vendor relationships as reasons they aren’t comfortable with open source solutions. Here’s what I say when I hear IT leaders identify these as barriers:

  • Jenkins CI Open Source Project Passes 100,000 Active Users Worldwide

    The Jenkins CI community, which is made up of practitioners using open source Jenkins, has announced the Jenkins CI open source project has passed the 100,000 active user mark worldwide becoming one of the largest install bases of any open source continuous integration and continuous delivery platform.

  • Visio.M Automotive Service Bus goes open source

    Up to 80 different systems putter around in many cars. The complexity has come to a limit. Within the “Visio.M” research project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research with a total of 7.1 million euro, scientists at the Technische Universität München have developed a two-tier IT system that reduces this complexity drastically. Now the researchers put their ‘Automotive Service Bus’ under an open-source license.

  • Events

    • Keen on meeting up with us in Copenhagen?

      The Varnish Software series 2015 is off to a great start and next stop is wonderful Copenhagen. To respond to last year’s popularity of the series in Scandinavia we decided Copenhagen would be one of the first cities we’d visit.

    • Open Source Promotion Event at Toc H

      The main events include an Opensource Olympiad (coding contest + open source quiz), Hardware Project competition and App Idea contest. Three workshops on – Mozilla Webmaker, Python and How to be a Maker (Arduino/Raspberry Pi based Development) will also be organised.

    • Kernel Developers Summarize Linux Storage Filesystem and Memory Management Summit

      A group of three Linux kernel developers kicked off the Linux Foundation Vault storage conference on Wednesday morning by hashing out proposed changes to the kernel and the stack from the Linux Storage Filesystem and Memory Management Summit (FS&MM), which took place earlier in the week.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • What eBay’s latest open-source project means for Hadoop

      The last few months have seen eBay Inc. move from the sidelines of the open-source analytics ecosystem into the heart of the action with the introduction of two projects that push the envelope on large-scale data science. The pivot mirrors a broader shift in the ecosystem that the most recent of the additions accelerates.

    • Mirantis & Google on Kubernetes & OpenStack

      Mirantis is a firm that calls itself a “pure-play” OpenStack company.

    • ownCloud Offers Support Subscriptions for its Open Source Community Edition

      With the rise of cloud computing, ownCloud has been getting a lot of attention for its flexibility, and because interest in private clouds is on the rise. There is a huge community of contributors surrounding the open source version of ownCloud, and ownCloud Inc. continues to serve enterprise users.

    • HP Refreshes Helion with Eucalyptus and an OpenStack Update

      It was all the way back in 2008 when OStatic broke the story about a cloud computing project at U.C. Santa Barbara called Eucalyptus, and recently we visited with Rich Wolski, the original UCSB Professor behind the cloud platform, for an interview. Fast-forward to today, and Eucalyptus Systems is under the wing of mighty Hewlett-Packard.

    • Getting started with big data doesn’t have to be expensive

      Analytics and big data are top strategic priorities for many CIOs, and rightfully so. Most organizations are sitting on a goldmine of data, but they have not begun to mine it to uncover the real transformative value. Unfortunately, many IT leaders remain on the sidelines because they think investing in analytics would be too costly.

    • Elasticsearch Changes Its Name, Enjoys An Amazing Open Source Ride And Hopes To Avoid Mistakes

      Elasticsearch is an open source search and analytics engine created by Shay Banon back in 2010. The solution uses a common interface and can be used to provide scalable search and is itself based on the Apache Lucene project which is a free open source information retrieval software library. Since starting the open source initiative, Banon’s Elasticsearch company has gone on to raise almost $105 million. Perhaps more importantly than the money they’ve raised however is the traction the project has seen – Elasticsearch sees some 700,000-800,000 downloads per months and has been downloaded 20 million times since the inception of the project.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Purdue expands use of open-source software, cuts costs

      Purdue, in its perpetual quest to cut corners and save money, is working to expand its use of open-source software, potentially saving students upward of $1 million.

      The software, developed by Michigan State University in 1992, is called the Learning Online Network with Computer-Assisted Personalized Approach, or more commonly known, LON-CAPA.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

    • Q&A: raw engineering on how open source ‘changed the world’

      Kurt: The concept of open source software has changed the world. Our platform wouldn’t exist in its current form without open source software. Every day, different components of our products run on Nginx, Node.js, Docker, MongoDB and many other open source technologies. Open source is very important to what we do.

  • Funding

    • Google Shrinks List of GSoC Open Source Organizations

      The list of mentoring organisations for Google Summer of Code 2015 has some surprising omissions. The Linux Foundation and Mozilla are among those missing from the list of just 137 open source organisations.

    • Open-Source Database Firm MariaDB Raises $3.4M from Russia’s Runa Capital

      Open-source database company MariaDB, has raised $3.4 million from Russia’s Runa Capital. In October 2013, the firm had secured $20 million in Series B round. Till date, including this round, the company has received a total capital of $31.9 million.

    • An Open Source Investment Realizes Sizable Results

      An open source project is getting significant investment from a major American corporation.

      Believe it or not Walmart, the mega retailer, has spent more than $2 million on the Hapi project, which is a “rich framework for building applications and services” that “enables developers to focus on writing reusable application logic instead of spending time building infrastructure” according to its website.

  • BSD


  • Public Services/Government

    • Open Source: More eyes, fewer vulnerabilities, greater security

      Future posts will dive deep into open source and its relationship to autonomous devices, but first, let’s take a few paragraphs to level-set why open source might be an ideal option. First, full disclosure: I’m an advocate of open source software, so I’ve seen proof that a community of shared ideas and projects that can be modified, improved, and distributed freely can be a better way to develop technology. Being able to see the code, learn from it, ask questions, and offer improvements is the open source way.

      While it might seem counterintuitive, open does not mean less secure. In fact, the opposite is often true. Because the development process is collaborative, bugs, flaws, and vulnerabilities can be found sooner, and more often, and fixed more quickly. By granting access to the code, more people can work to solve issues. It’s been said about open source that “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” More eyes and greater transparency can lead to fewer vulnerabilities and greater security.

      As with any system, it’s important to only use well-maintained projects and to patch regularly to safe-guard against vulnerabilities. We’re all aware that hazards may linger in even the best of code. The fact is, in any system, open or closed, vulnerabilities exist and may actually be exploited by those with knowledge of their existence. It just seems logical that, with open source transparency, it’s likely to be more difficult to exploit something while everyone is watching.

  • Licensing

    • Open Source Licensing and Community Intent

      Christoph Hellwig, supported by Software Freedom Conservancy (Conservancy), has initiated a lawsuit in Germany against VMware for alleged violations of the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2, an OSI approved license. If you aren’t following the case yet, it’s worth starting with the statements published by Conservancy, the Free Software Foundation, and VMware.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • After Open Source, Open Access, Open Data And The Rest, Here Comes The Open Jihad
    • The Open Jihad
    • The Open-Source Spies of World War II – War is Boring

      The open-source intelligence analysts of World War II had a huge advantage unavailable to their predecessors in previous wars thanks to the changing media landscape of the 1930s and ’40s.

    • Open source Mini-Farm Grow Box allows gardeners to grow greens in the home

      Food Rising has created a couple of videos to walk makers through the home build process and the print files needed to produce the necessary 3D-printable parts using a t-glase filament-compatible printer are freely available for download at Food Rising’s website, though pre-build systems are also being offered for sale. The non-profit is also raising funds to donate systems to 250 schools across the United States.

    • Open-source scientific research comes to Brazil

      Open-access research into drug discovery has arrived in South America, with a ground-breaking collaboration between leading scientists in North America, Europe and Brazil to provide completely free and open research results to the world.

    • Open-source health apps

      In the past, this has been expensive to do. Anyone wishing to create apps for the task would have had to hire a costly team of coders. But that has now changed. This week Apple—in an announcement a little more sotto voce than that of its watch—introduced the world to a suite of software called the ResearchKit, which will make it possible to create scientific apps that work with its mobile devices more easily and cheaply. The ResearchKit is “open source”, meaning anyone who wants to will be able to use it to design data-collecting apps that take advantage of the features of those devices. Because it is open source, people will be able to customise and share code, which will encourage innovation.

    • Should Open Source Intelligence Be Used For Policy Making?

      Last summer, we wrote about the rise of open journalism, whereby people take publicly-available information, typically on social networks, to extract important details that other, more official sources either overlook or try to hide. Since then, one of the pioneers of that approach, Eliot Higgins, has used crowdfunding to set up a site called “Bellingcat”, dedicated to applying these techniques. Principal themes there include the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17), and the civil war in Syria.

    • Open Source Control Tower for Drones, by 3D Robotics
    • Opening firmware source code (vhdl)

      Hope this will help for enthusiasts and developers to deeply understand hardware part of DVB card.

    • Open Source Drug Discovery and Universal Medicine

      How often have you taken a prescription drug during the last year to treat an illness? Did you pause to ponder what you would do if you had not had access to the drug? Or did you perhaps consider how long it took the drug to be developed, and how long it will be possible to use it for? In the case of antibiotics, there is a real fear that many well-known drugs will cease to be effective against bacterial infections as the bacteria adapt ‘around’ the drug. What about if you are in a developing country, in a remote area, or on the way to Mars — how would you get that new drug? Also, what about the promise of personal medicine? Soon we are going to know more and more about our individual medical needs, driven by personal data arising from personal genomics as well as the promise of cheap sensors that record our motion, behavior, vital signs, bio-chemical markers and so on.

    • Open-Source Robotic Arm Now Within Reach

      For anyone looking for a capable robotic arm for automation of an industrial process, education, or just a giant helping hand for a really big soldering project, most options available can easily break the bank. [Mads Hobye] and the rest of the folks at FabLab RUC have tackled this problem, and have come up with a very capable, inexpensive, and open-source industrial arm robot that can easily be made by anyone.

    • 3 ways to increase transparency in your IT group

      If you’re looking to increase openness and transparency in your IT organization, chart a deliberate course. That’s particularly important if you join a company where IT is a four-letter word and hasn’t been set up to deliver. I knew I had my work cut out for me when I arrived at the American Cancer Society and our president said to me, “Half your job is going to be rehabbing the image of IT, and the other 100 percent is going to be delivering a world-class IT organization.”

    • Internet of Anything: An Open-Source Smart Home You Control

      Smart homes could make our lives easier. But they could also end up being a real pain. Devices from competing companies might not want to talk to each other. Your gadgets might collect personal data and sell it to advertisers without you knowing about it it. The company you bought your hardware or software could close down, rending the product you shelled out big bucks for practically useless. Your whole house could become a botnet.

    • Open Data

      • Open Data Platform Looms Large on the Hadoop Scene

        While it’s not on everybody’s radar just yet, the Open Data Platform, recently announced by Pivotal, is shaping up to be, well, pivotal in the Hadoop and Big Data market. Meanwhile, here have been a lot of rumblings about how Pivotal itself is radically shifting its Hadoop strategy.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Rutgers-Camden students pushing for free, open source textbooks

        Rutgers-Camden senior Moira Cahill tapes a note to a poster board, recording the amount one of her fellow students spent on textbooks this semester. Cahill is a member of the campus chapter of NJPIRG, which was advocating an open source alternative for textbooks in the school’s student center, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. (Staff photo by Jason Laday | South Jersey Times)

      • MassPIRG report urges expanded use of open-source textbooks

        Four years into a campus initiative aimed at reducing textbook costs by making course material available for free online, University of Massachusetts students and staff are pushing for more faculty to use this option.

      • UMass students, librarians want more faculty to use open source textbooks to save students money

        About 65 percent of college students don’t buy textbooks because of cost, said Matt Magalhaes, the affordable textbook campaign coordinator for MassPirg at the University of Massachusetts.

        Textbooks can cost students $1,200 a year.

      • Code for India launches free, open source educational portal

        Yes, we can Google every question, search every bit of information by the click of a button. But if you are looking for a structured learning experience from experts and certified instructors, for instance, to learning the basics of engineering or simply a complete awareness course on Ebola, you now have a one-stop destination.

    • Open Hardware

      • Why use open hardware in the classroom?

        Over the past few years we’ve seen an explosion of “open” models, which emerged as a result of several different factors. The general motivation behind this movement includes the ability for the free sharing of resources and tools in an effort to promote economic efficiency by improving access to a much wider group of stakeholders.

      • HP Does Open Hardware with New Cloudline Servers

        It was only summer of last year when HP began making a lot of noise about its commitment to cloud computing overall, and the OpenStack platform in particular. Now, the company is moving its cloud strategy into high gear. It announced the HP Helion brand in 2014, and pledged to commit $1 billion over the next two years on products and services surrounding OpenStack, under Helion’s branded umbrella.

      • The Project Ara of Tablets Has Arrived, It’s Called the Click ARM One

        You probably heard of Google’s Project Ara endeavor, which aims to allow users to build modular smartphones, based on their own preferences and needs.

      • PiBook — A Wirelessly Powered/Charged Open Source 3D Printed Computer – Powered by Raspberry Pi 2

        Recently, we did a story on an engineer who had 3D printed a wirelessly powered Tesla desk lamp. Created by David Choi, it was able to be powered without any wires connecting it to the source. It was quite the clever creation, and Choi received a lot of positive feedback on his design.

  • Programming


  • How to turn your old phone into a basic PC for cheap

    Your old smartphone has a greater destiny than your junk drawer. Believe it or not, you can turn it into, say, a mini-PC or media streamer. Assuming it packs both USB On The Go support (OTG) and a Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) compatible port, there’s a ton of additional functionality lurking under that its hood. Heck, you can even use a smartphone with a broken screen for this.

  • Open Letter to Mr. Cook (Apple Computers)

    As long as you stick to closed source software, DRM, restrictive licences and patent laws to maximise your profits, you heavily contribute to inequality and powerlessness around the globe.

  • Science

  • Security

    • OpenSSL Set For Major Security Audit

      A team of security consultants is set to undertake a major independent audit of OpenSSL as part of a multi-million dollar initiative by the Linux Foundation to improve the security and stability of core open source projects.

    • Critical remote code execution flaw patched in Samba
    • On Security in OpenDaylight

      It’s now been a bit more than two months since OpenDaylight dealt with the the “netdump” vulnerability reported in August. The good news then was that we fixed the vulnerability and we were able to fix it and ship a new release of ODL with the fix in four days once we knew about the vulnerability. I want to echo Dave Meyer’s comments in saying just how impressive that is and how well the OpenDaylight community comes together when something needs to be done. The list is much longer than this, but in particular, Robert Varga and David Jorm were absolutely critical in pushing things through quickly and efficiently.

    • Glitch in Dropbox SDK for Android Links Apps to Attacker’s Cloud Storage

      A vulnerability found in Dropbox SDK for Android can be exploited by an attacker to cause apps using the software development kit for Dropbox synchronization to upload the data to an unauthorized account.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • C.I.A. Cash Ended Up in Coffers of Al Qaeda

      In the spring of 2010, Afghan officials struck a deal to free an Afghan diplomat held hostage by Al Qaeda. But the price was steep — $5 million — and senior security officials were scrambling to come up with the money.

    • CIA Money Landed in Al Qaeda’s Hands: Report

      About $1 million of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s money, given to a secret Afghan government fund in 2010, ended up in al Qaeda’s possession after it was used to pay part of a ransom for a diplomat kidnapped by the terror group, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

    • ‘Didn’t know they watch Fox in Russia’: Defiant ‘kill Russians’ US ex-general insists he told ‘truth’

      Seemingly unfazed by the outrage his comments on Fox Business Channel have caused, the former US general who thinks the only solution to the Ukraine conflict is to “start killing Russians” has defended his stance, again speaking to Fox.

    • Venezuela, the Latest ‘National Security Threat’

      And how exactly is poor Venezuela, a nation of 29 million, with a small military upon which it spends just 1% of GDP, one of the lowest rates in the world (the US spends 4.5% of GDP on its own bloated military), a threat to the US?

      Well, according to the new executive order, some of Venezuela’s leading officials have “criminalized political dissent” and are corrupt. That’s about it. There’s nothing in there about Venezuela threatening military action against the US, or promoting terrorism, or threatening Americans.

    • South America Rejects US Aggressions on Venezuela

      Venezuela received strong backing from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) Saturday afternoon, at an emergency summit addressing the recent aggressions from US President Barack Obama.

    • Long before drones, the US tried to automate warfare during the Vietnam War

      Fleets of assorted aircraft were deployed to circle day and night and relay radio signals from the sensors back to Nakhon Phanom, a military base on the west bank of the Mekong River in northeast Thailand that was so secret it officially did not exist.

      The base hosted a whole variety of unacknowledged “black” activities, but at its heart, behind additional layers of razor wire and guard posts, sat an enormous air-conditioned building, the largest in Southeast Asia, that was home to Task Force Alpha, the “brain” of the automated battlefield.

    • Nevada Protesters Say American Drones Are Killing Innocents

      A protest is underway near Creech Air Force Base northwest of Las Vegas. It’s centered on allegations that the United States Air Force is operating an anti-terrorism drone program that is killing innocent civilians.

    • Why robots will be granted a license to kill, in Japan and everywhere else

      A while back I attended a robot expo in Tokyo. It was actually kind of depressing.

      Robots are supposed to be sexy, but much of the technology on display was for old people — you know, intelligent dolls that sense when a dementia patient is trying to get out of bed, engaging them in simple conversation long enough for a human helper to arrive — that sort of thing. Even the cool stuff like powered exoskeletons was being marketed as a way to help young people lift invalid octogenarians into the tub.

    • Drone attack in Yemen kills suspected al Qaeda militants: sources
    • Why Are Drone Pilots Quitting In Huge Numbers?

      The U.S. drone war across much of the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa is in crisis and not because civilians are dying or the target list for that war or the right to wage it just about anywhere on the planet are in question in Washington. Something far more basic is at stake: drone pilots are quitting in record numbers.

    • Endangered ‘Nintendo Warriors’: America’s Drone War Could Be In MAJOR Trouble

      New reports indicate that America’s reliance on drone warfare in the Middle East could be in jeopardy, but not for legal reasons.

      It’s not politics or ethical investigations that are the latest threat, but the simple fact that drone operators are calling it quits in record numbers. Plagued by the trauma of civilian deaths and a heavy workload, drone operators are quitting faster than they can be replaced, and the Air Force is at a loss on what to do, TomDispatch reports.

      Currently, about 1,000 drone pilots work in the program, but the Air Force would ideally like to have 1,700. This goal has proven difficult to accomplish, though, since for every 180 pilots that graduate from training annually, 240 quit.

    • Drone pilot trauma should be studied
    • A chilling new post-traumatic stress disorder: Why drone pilots are quitting in record numbers

      A raft of data suggest our remote-controlled war games are taking a steep psychological toll on their players

    • Drone war pilots desert in droves

      THE US drone war across much of the Middle East and parts of Africa is in crisis — and not because civilians are dying, or the target list for that war or the right to wage it are in question in Washington. Something basic is at stake: drone pilots are quitting in record numbers.

    • Republicans are crossing a dangerous new line: sabotaging US foreign policy

      Throughout Barack Obama’s presidency, Republicans in Congress have deployed a strategy that has worked remarkably well for them: oppose, obstruct, and sabotage the Obama administration at every turn.

      “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, then the Senate minority leader, said in 2010.

    • US to send Ukraine small drones and armoured Humvees

      White House concerned that Russian-backed separatists are violating cease-fire agreements in eastern Ukraine and keeping out international monitors

    • CIA Drone Campaign Demonstrates Need For Greater Intelligence Oversight, Accountability

      A year ago SISMEC pointed out that, although most of the victims of U.S. drone strikes have ostensibly been “militants,” the White House definition of “militant” is extremely vague (generally, any fighting-aged male). Moreover, the purpose of the program isn’t to target any and all possible combatants, but instead to eliminate high-value targets from international terror organizations who pose a substantial threat to the U.S. homeland. So the best measure of the “hit-rate” of the drone program wouldn’t be to compare the number of civilian casualties v. militants, but instead to ask how many of the total dead were the sort of high-value enemies the program is supposed to be targeting. If we approach the question from this angle, the hit-rate of the drone campaign is abysmal, despite the fact that most of its victims have been “militants.”

    • US Accused of Disastrous Drone Raid Which Left 44 Philippine Commandos Dead

      A United States drone was flying overhead as the Philippine military conducted a raid against alleged Islamic militants in an operation that ended with 44 police commandos dead in a field, according to reports.

    • American Drone Operators Are Quitting in Record Numbers

      An internal Air Force memo reveals that the US military’s drone wars are in major trouble.

    • The al Qaeda Files: Bin Laden Documents Reveal a Struggling Organization
    • Documents Seized at Bin Laden Killing Reveal al-Qaida Strategy

      Totaling more than 150 documents, the cache of correspondence is only the second batch of bin Laden letters released by the government. Offered up in evidence by U.S. attorneys in the Brooklyn trial of Abid Naseer, a Pakistani alleged to have been involved in al-Qaida bombing attacks in Manchester, England, in 2008 and ’09, the letters provide an insight into what life was like for bin Laden as he hid out while U.S. forces were trying to locate and kill him.

    • 34 Arrested while Protesting Drone Killing at Creech AFB

      A five-day anti-drone protest at Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nevada, last week culminated in a massive blockade on Friday of the two gates leading into the base, repeatedly blocking traffic for an extended time during the early morning commute. Over 150 activists from at least 18 states participated. Thirty-four were arrested and charged with trespassing or blocking the roadway into Creech AFB, the most critical U.S. armed drone base in the country.

    • Dozens Arrested in Protest to End Drone Warfare and Protect Soldiers’ Mental Health
    • While drones did not introduce targeted assassinations, 9/11 and new technologies have pushed the boundaries of the tactic’s acceptability.

      State-led assassinations are not a novelty in international affairs; they have been with us from medieval to modern times. What is significantly different today however is the systematic basis in which assassination is delivered from above the clouds via Predator drones. As a method targeted killing was supposed to be left on a dusty shelf, and revisited only during dire security crises when other means of changing the course of events have been fully exhausted. Instead, compiling kill-lists and striking specific individuals has evolved into a routine monthly event – a trademark US policy praised by the political elites and accepted by the American people.

    • Drone Theory: Provocative investigation on military drones

      The Americans turned an instrument of surveillance into a weapon, and they have become a hallmark of Barack Obama’s presidency. Yet the talk of “precision” is deeply problematic

    • Why domestic drones stir more debate than ones used in warfighting abroad

      John Kaag, coauthor of ‘Drone Warfare,’ says a ‘disturbing mix of provincialism and exceptionalism’ is the reason why Americans are more concerned about domestic drone usage than military drones used in targeted killing abroad.

    • RAAF wants $300m for attack drones

      The Australian government will spend $300 million to purchase several unmanned ‘Reaper’ drones from the US if the Defence Force case for the unmanned vehicles is accepted.

    • Death from above: Australia gets in on the drone strike game

      Australia has decided to follow the United States down the path of armed drones, capable of killing people across the world at the touch of a button.

    • Remember, Kill Chain

      Drone operators are not in immediate contact with the real world, literally, thanks to the phenomenon known as latency…

    • From soldier to peace activist: Russell Brown’s story

      By 1967, Brown was out of the Marines. Two years later, he joined Vietnam Veterans against the War. Brown said that, years later, his partner Cat recognized that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

      In 2002, the United States was preparing to go to war against Afghanistan, which caused Brown to feel anxiety. “I was very stressed out. I was working the graveyard shift in the post office. One night, I was seeing double. I tried to go outside but never made it.” Brown had suffered a stroke. After being taken to the Buffalo Veterans Administration Medical Center, Brown learned that he had a congenital hole in his heart. In addition, his blood pressure was very high. After recovering from his stroke, Brown worked at lowering his blood pressure by walking three miles quickly every day, he explained.

      One of the reasons that Brown chose to protest against UAVs is that “drone pilots get post- traumatic stress disorder. They hunt and kill people by day and then, in the evening, they go home to their families,” Brown said.

      Brown talked about the plans for the 107th Airlift Wing of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station’s mission to change from C-130 planes to MQ-9 Reaper UAVs.

    • A Blueprint for Ending War

      The goal of this document is to gather into one place, in the briefest form possible, everything one needs to know to work toward an end to war by replacing it with an Alternative Global Security System in contrast to the failed system of national security.

    • Drone warfare: life on the new frontline
    • Firms see drone sales in Gulf surging after U.S. eases export policy

      U.S. drone makers are expecting a surge in sales of military and civilian drones to Gulf states after the State Department eased export rules last week, industry executives said on Tuesday.

      U.S. aerospace and arms companies have been pressing the U.S. government for years to ease restrictions on foreign sales of unmanned aerial vehicles – UAVs or drones – arguing that other countries such as Israel are overtaking them.

    • Killing Rights

      I began by asking when is it ever right to kill, and I answered that this is a question we would put to the state in which we have granted God-like powers. Yet, if the state, which is little more than men and women like ourselves after all, is granted the power’s of divinity how can mere mortals be trusted to wield the lightning?

    • Loving America Means Letting It Go to War

      This deeply false dichotomy between supporting terrorists or agreeing with any and all US foreign policy was one that the Bush administration leaned on in tough times. Nearly 14 years after 9/11, and 12 years since the war in Iraq started, the hamfistedness of the propaganda already feels a little anachronistic. But that’s only because so many people now agree that the war was bad. We’ve had mushy liberal pundits from Jonathan Chait to Ezra Klein offering their decade-later self-flagellation. And we’ve marveled that otherwise smart people like the late Christopher Hitchens, or unrepentant comic book villains such as former Vice President Dick Cheney continued to defend the war long after it had gone out of fashion.

    • Gary Olson: Is it worthwhile to send U.S. troops to fight Islamic State?

      First, why have elements within Saudi Arabia’s ruling elite provided financial backing to ISIS?

      Alastair Crooke, a British expert on political Islam, believes part of the answer is that ISIS ideology is virtually identical to the worldview embraced by many Saudis. In 1741, the Ibn Saud clan joined forces with Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of an especially fanatical version of Islam. Together, they brutally gained control over most of the Arabian Peninsula and judged all non-Wahhabist Muslims as apostates. In 1932, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia declared itself a nation with Wahhabist Islam as the state religion. Today, Saudi sources spend more than $100 billion promoting the Wahhabist brand within the Islamic world.

    • Why Obama’s Hopes of Decapitating the Islamic State Won’t Work

      Nevertheless, the mystique of “high value targeting,” especially when inflicted by supposedly unerring precision weapons or super-elite Special Forces commandos, isn’t going to go away any time soon. The public loves it of course, which comes as no surprise given our steady diet of Hollywood promotion in movies like Zero Dark 30, Lone Survivor, American Sniper. But so do our leaders, and they ought to know better. Decades of experience indicate that striking at enemy leadership in expectation of significant beneficial effect invariably leads not only to disappointment, but also to unexpectedly unpleasant consequences.

    • The Islamic State’s Atrocities—and Ours

      Drone attacks are no less violent or disturbing than the murder of Damiens. But they’ve been placed in a different context that makes them palatable to a majority of Americans (though not to most of the world). They’re not public spectacles. They are the natural extension of an omnipresent surveillance system. And they’re embedded in the rule of law (or so their supporters claim).

    • Kuwait reopens Yemen embassy in Aden, instead of Sanaa

      The three Gulf countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE shut their embassies in Sanaa earlier this month

    • Amid Gains in Tikrit, Iraqi Forces Accused of War Crimes

      Iraqi officials say they are close to victory in an Iranian-backed offensive to reclaim the city of Tikrit from the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Iraqi forces and Shiite militias have reclaimed swaths of the city without the aid of U.S. airstrikes. The gains come as ABC News reports Iraqi military units trained and armed by the United States are under investigation by the Iraqi government for war crimes. Videos and photos on social media appear to show militia members and soldiers from elite units massacring and torturing civilians and displaying severed heads.

    • Afghan War Is Over, but U.S. Drone Strikes Continue

      The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ), a U.K.-based nonprofit, has been documenting U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan since the beginning of this year. On Tuesday, the group reported five confirmed airstrikes that have killed between 35 and 44 people in 2015.

    • Drone attack case: Are thousands of Pakistani children being martyred insects, says IHC

      Islamabad High Court (IHC) has summoned IG Police Islamabad Tahir Alam today due to non registration of murder case against CIA chief and legal counsel under court’s orders in respect of two persons killed in drone attack in Mir Ali at South Waziristan in 2010.

      Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui has remarked “ thousands of Pakistani children are being martyred and no one sheds tears. Are they insects that no one is there to raise voice in their support.

      He further remarked “ if murder case of two persons killed in drone strike is not registered under court’s orders then contempt of court proceedings will be initiated against the IG Police Islamabad. The court job is to protect life and property of citizens.

      Mir Ali drone attack case came up for hearing in IHC Tuesday Advocate Mirza Shahzad Akbar and Zahoor Elahi appeared on behalf of the petitioner in the court.

    • Drone attacks case adjourned indefinitely

      The government through its report filed in the court has taken the plea that the matter of registration of murder case of two persons against the former chief station CIA and legal counsel, involves legal complications as it can affect Pakistan ties with foreign countries.

    • Secret CIA payments to Afghan officials used to free diplomat held hostage by Al Qaeda, funded group’s weapons stockpile: report

      Al Qaeda stockpiled weapons using covert CIA cash funneled to the murderous terrorist group by Afghan officials as part of a $5 million ransom for a hostage diplomat.

    • US Hides Civilian Casualties From Drone Strikes in Mid East- Anti-War Group

      Co-founder of CODEPINK anti-war organization Medea Benjamin said that the US government had been hiding the civilian casualties caused by the drone strikes in the Middle East, Somalia and Afghanistan.

    • CIA Director Describes How the U.S. Outsources Terror Interrogations

      In rare remarks about a sensitive issue, the director of the CIA confirmed today that the U.S. government works with foreign intelligence agencies to capture and jointly interrogate suspected terrorists.

    • ‘New York Times’: CIA paid ransom to al-Qaeda
    • CIA money from secret fund ended up in hands of al-Qaida – report
    • US CIA chief says social media ’greatly amplifies’ terror threat

      SoCIAl media and other technology are making it increasingly difficult to combat militants who are using such modern resources to share information and conduct operations, the head of the US Central Intelligence Agency said on Friday.

    • CIA chief: Social media hampers fight against ‘terror’

      Social media and other technology are making it increasingly difficult to combat “extremists” who are using such modern resources to share information and conduct operations, the head of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has said.

    • The CIA and America’s Presidents

      The CIA now is so firmly entrenched and so immensely well financed – much of it off the books, including everything from secret budget items to peddling drugs and weapons – that it is all but impossible for a president to oppose it the way Kennedy did. Obama, who has proved himself a fairly weak character from the start, certainly has given the CIA anything it wants. The dirty business of ISIS in Syria and Iraq is one project. The coup in Ukraine is another. The pushing of NATO’s face right against Russia’s borders is still another. Several attempted coups in Venezuela are still more. And the creation of a drone air force for extrajudicial killing in half a dozen countries is yet another. They don’t resemble projects we would expect from a smiley-faced, intelligent man who sometimes wore sandals and refused to wear a flag pin on his lapel during his first election campaign.

    • Russian Ex-Cop Gets 15 Years for Treason in CIA Spy Rock Case
    • EXCLUSIVE: New American-Russian spy crisis as Kremlin jails policeman for 15 years for ‘spying for CIA’ by handing over nuclear secrets in return for 37,000 euros concealed in fake rock

      This is the first picture of a Russian policeman jailed for 15 years for handing over Kremlin secrets to the CIA.

      Roman Ushakov, 33, from Krasnoyarsk, was found guilty of high treason for allegedly receiving 37,000 euros from his American handlers – hidden in a ‘fake rock’.

      The police major confessed to flying to Britain and other foreign countries to meet US agents after making contact with them via a CIA website.

    • CIA Whistleblower Facing 100 Years In Prison

      President Barack Obama has repeatedly promised to protect whistleblowers from prosecution and punishment, even though he has used the Espionage Act more than all previous administrations.

    • Ecuador Alerts Public to CIA Actions Across the Continent

      The Foreign Ministry is backing a new book outlining CIA actions in Ecuador to raise public awareness of interventions committed by the organization.

    • Ecuador Government Publishes Book about CIA Intervention in its Country

      The government of Ecuador wants its citizens to know all about the dirty tricks that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) engaged in during the 1960s in their country. To this end, the Ecuador Foreign Ministry has published and distributed copies of the book The CIA Case Against Latin America (pdf), written by Philip Agee, Jaime Galarza Zavala and Francisco Herrera Arauz.

      Agee is a former CIA officer who exposed the spy agency’s clandestine operations in Latin America from 1960 to 1968 in his own book, Inside the Company: CIA Diary, published in 1975.

    • CIA Papers Suggest Murder of Ecuador’s Former President

      Newly revealed documents show that the Ecuadorean military was part of Operation Condor.

      After reviewing declassified CIA documents, the Ecuador’s Attorney General Galo Chiriboga revealed Wednesday that former Ecuadorean President Jaime Roldos could have been murdered, a theory that has surrounded the 34-year old case.

      President Roldos was the first democratically elected president after Ecuador’s last military dictatorship, which lasted from 1976 to 1979.

      Chiriboga made his claim after reviewing several CIA documents that show the Ecuadorean army participated in the Operation Condor, during the 1970s and 1980s.

    • CIA sought to mislead IAEA on Iran’s nuclear program

      Newly declassified CIA documents show that the United States tried to mislead the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about Iran’s nuclear energy program through the provision of doctored evidence.

    • CIA’s Nuke Sting May Prompt New UN Review for Iran Nuclear Program

      Evidence emerging from a CIA leak case could change the outcome of United Nations’ assessments of Iran’s nuclear program, Bloomberg reported Friday.

    • U.S. Syria strategy falters with collapse of rebel group

      The Hazzm movement was once central to a covert CIA operation to arm Syrian rebels, but the group’s collapse last week underlines the failure of efforts to unify Arab and Western support for mainstream insurgents fighting the Syrian military.

    • Putin: Nuclear Weapons Were Readied During Ukraine Crisis

      In recorded comments made for a documentary of the accession of Crimea into the Russian Federation, President Vladimir Putin revealed that he had been readying Russia’s nuclear arms during the height of the Ukraine crisis.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Julian Assange appeals to Sweden’s supreme court over arrest warrant

      Julian Assange is taking his appeal to Sweden’s highest court in a final attempt to persuade a Swedish judge that the arrest warrant against him should be lifted.

    • Swedish Court May Have Led to End of Assange Impasse

      Police monitoring of the Ecuadorean embassy in London all these years has cost “millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money,” Pilger noted.

      While many have speculated whether the recent developments in Sweden would break the stalemate, Ratner said that Washington would play more of a role in his client’s fate.

      “Sweden is not Julian Assange’s problem,” he said. “His problem is the United States.”

    • Will Matt DeHart be the next victim of the war on leaks?

      The case of Matt DeHart, a former U.S. drone pilot turned hacktivist, is as strange as it is disturbing. The 29-year-old was recently denied asylum in Canada, having fled there with his family after — he claims — he was drugged and tortured by agents of the FBI, who accused him of espionage and child pornography.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Reclamation Announces Initial Water Supply Allocation for Central Valley Project

      Unfortunately, many agricultural water contractors may face a second year of receiving no water from the project – an unprecedented situation. In addition, reduced amounts of water are expected to be available from the CVP for urban uses, although Reclamation anticipates having adequate supplies to provide for unmet health and safety needs for these water users.

    • Climate Change Denier on Fossil Fuel Payroll

      Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, a solar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), received significant funding from energy companies while publishing studies that suggested solar activity, rather than human-generated greenhouse gasses, was causing dramatic shifts in global climate. Soon, whose work is frequently cited by conservative politicians to support their skepticism of the human role in climate change, accepted more than $1.2 million from fossil-fuel companies over the past decade, according to documents obtained by environmental group Greenpeace under the Freedom of Information Act. During that same period, Soon failed to disclose any the financial conflicts of interests to publishers of his scientific studies, violating journals’ ethical guidelines in several cases, The New York Times reported.

    • Network TV Continues Giving Climate Change Cold Shoulder

      FAIR examined ABC, CBS and NBC transcripts from January 25 (as the Northeast’s first blizzard approached) through March 4, looking at all mentions of cold, snow and ice. Over the same time period, we studied coverage of heat, warmth and drought across the West and Pacific Northwest.

  • Finance

    • The Case to Reinstate the Bank of Canada

      For over three years the Committee for Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER), an organization of Canadian citizens, has battled in court to return Canada’s Central Bank. The Bank of Canada’s initial purpose according to its charter was making interest free loans to municipal, provincial, and federal governments for “human capital” expenditures (education, health, other social services) and /or infrastructure expenditures. Yet for the past four decades it has acted as an interest-gathering agent for private global banking firms.

    • WaPo Lets Slip Why Dollar Is Over-Valued

      Regular readers of my blog Beat the Press know that the over-valuation of the dollar is one of my pet themes. There are two big issues with the over-valuation.

      The first is macroeconomic: An over-valued dollar makes US goods and services less competitive internationally. If the dollar is over-valued by 20 percent against other currencies, then it has the same impact as if we were to impose a 20 percent tariff on all our exports and give a 20 percent subsidy on imported goods. Needless to say, this leads to a much larger trade deficit than would be the case if the currency were not over-valued.

    • Robert Samuelson’s ‘Golden Age’ Mythology

      Finally, the story of the “Big Scare” doesn’t quite fit the data either. Saving as a share of disposable income is now lower than at any point except the peaks of the stock and housing bubbles. By the measure of how much consumers are spending, they do not appear scared. Similarly, the investment share of GDP is back to its level of 2005-06, a period in which firms were not obviously scared.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Reddit imposes ban on non-consensual sexual content

      If you want to post naked pictures or videos of people on Reddit without their consent, you only have a couple of weeks to do so. As of March, the site is imposing a ban on content of an explicit nature that the subject has not given permission to be posted.

    • No sex on Blogger please, we’re Google

      Blogger users risk having their blogs removed from public listings if they feature graphic nudity or explicit content. Starting on March 23, any Blogger blog found to contain offending pictures or videos will be converted into a private blog that can only be seen by the owner and those, erm, explicitly invited to see it.

    • ‘I am Charlie’ exhibit forced to close in Helsinki

      In all three cases, the building owners had asked to have the show closed because of safety worries – particularly following last week’s attacks in Copenhagen.

      On Tuesday the organisers are meeting to decide where to go from here.

      The director of Library 10 told the paper that the building’s owners and police are studying the security issues surrounding the show, and that it may still be possible for it to re-open at the library.

      The exhibit includes work by 10 leading Finnish cartoonists, including well-known names such as Pertti Jarla and Milla Paloniemi.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Fort Lauderdale police officer caught on camera slapping homeless man

      A homeless man is speaking up after an officer responded violently to his request to use a restroom Sunday.

      A witness caught the incident on a cellphone camera. In the footage, the man, Bruce Laclair, is seen walking near a Downtown Fort Lauderdale bus station. An off-duty Fort Lauderdale Police officer, Victor Ramirez, trails Laclair while putting on rubber gloves. “I’m not [expletive] around with you. Don’t [expletive] touch me,” Ramirez is heard yelling while pointing at Laclair.

    • Study After Study Shows The DHS Has An Intense Morale Problem That Can Apparently Only Be Solved By Study After Study

      The DHS is in the (relatively) newly-minted business of securing the homeland against all comers — mostly terrorists of the foreign and domestic varieties. Whether it’s done out of paranoia or just the overwhelming need to look busy every time the national budget nears a vote, the DHS has gone overboard in its assessments of potential threats. The shorter of the two lists it has compiled by this point would be titled “Not Terrorists.” Over the years, the DHS has conjectured that terrorists are hiding in food trucks, using hotel side entrances, exercising their First Amendment rights, possibly years away from graduating high school… etc.

    • Prison Phone Companies Have Found Yet Another Way to Squeeze Families for Cash

      On a chilly Sunday evening in December, a smattering of parents and small children trickled into a graffiti-covered concrete building on the grounds of the DC Jail. It was the last day to visit with prisoners before Christmas Eve, and some of the visitors were wearing Santa hats or bearing presents. The only thing missing was inmates. Three years ago, Washington, DC, eliminated in-person visitation for the roughly 1,800 residents of its jails and installed 54 video-conferencing screens in this building across the parking lot from the detention facility. The screens were installed, at no expense to taxpayers, by a Virginia-based company called Global Tel*Link (GTL), which had scored a lucrative contract for the facility’s phone service.

    • The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden ‘black site’

      The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

    • The Guardian Details The Horrors Of Chicago Police’s ‘CIA-Style Black Site’

      The practices undertaken at the Homan facility are alleged to include detaining people without documenting their arrest, beatings, keeping detainees shackled for hours at a time, refusing attorneys for detainees access to the facility, and detaining people while refusing them legal counsel for up to a full day. These practices, by the way, weren’t reserved for the mature, but were happily visited upon minors, because when you’re going to go evil there is no point in half-assing it. Do these types of practices sound familiar to you? Would it help if the detainees were in orange jumpsuits and had the tan of a Cuban sun upon their skin? You get the point.

    • Battlefield: Hardline – is it a problem to play war as a cop?

      A helicopter swoops over a palatial mansion as armed gunmen burst in, jamming cartridges into their shotguns, preparing for an epic firefight. Pretty soon bullets are tearing up the interior as bodies crash through glass walls, and grenades pass the camera in slow-motion arcs. Quickly, the action cuts to a high-speed car chase, with vehicles plummeting along LA’s iconic storm drains. The shooting never stops.

    • The Rise and Fall of RedBook, the Site That Sex Workers Couldn’t Live Without

      Until last summer, pretty much anyone buying or selling sex in the San Francisco Bay Area used myRedBook.com. For more than a decade, the site commonly referred to as RedBook served as a vast catalog of carnal services, a mashup of Craigslist, Yelp, and Usenet where sex workers and hundreds of thousands of their customers could connect, converse, and make arrangements for commercial sex. RedBook tapped into the persistent, age-old, bottomless appetite for prostitution and made it safer and more civilized. The site was efficient, well stocked, and probably too successful for its own good.

    • Voting Rights Shall Not Overcome NYT Reporting Like This

      Actually, if we shall not overcome partisan rancor, it will be because of reporting like this, which duplicates and does not investigate the claims made about voting reform. Will voter ID and restrictions on early voting “help prevent voter fraud,” or is such fraud “nearly nonexistent”? The Times can’t say, but can only say what others say, as if there were no objective reality that the paper could report on directly.

    • ‘Freedom in jeopardy’: Thousands rally across Canada against new anti-terror law

      Thousands of demonstrators have united across Canada to take action against proposed anti-terrorism legislation known as Bill C-51, which would expand the powers of police and the nation’s spy agency, especially when it comes to detaining terror suspects.

    • JUSTICE FOR SALE – PART 4: Corruption and Abuse, the Remnants of Greed

      This is the fourth article (PART1, PART2, PART3) in a five-part series examining the US legal system. The series collectively argues that corporate media and political rhetoric have made Americans acquiescent toward corruption in the US legal system. This piece uses Coalinga State Hospital in California to illuminate the corruption that is taking place inside the justice system’s institutions.

    • Senate Torture Report: An Exception In CIA Oversight

      In February 2009, the Senate intelligence committee gathered in a soundproof room to learn the stomach-churning details of the brutal interrogations the CIA conducted with its first important al-Qaida prisoners.

      Committee aides distributed a report based on a review of messages to CIA headquarters from two of the agency’s secret overseas jails. Included was a 25-page chart with a minute-by-minute description of 17 days during which the first detainee, Abu Zubaydah, was kept awake, slammed into walls, shackled in stress positions, stuffed for hours into a small box and waterboarded to the point of unconsciousness.

    • Drone Theory by Grégoire Chamayou, review: ‘highly readable’

      The dream of flight, even from its earliest days, was shadowed by the desire for power. Before the First World War, in 1911, the Italians were dropping bombs out of early wooden aircraft on north African villages. In the Twenties, the British sought to control ungovernable desert dwellers in their Middle East territories by hurling explosives from biplanes. Today’s objections to drones – crewless aircraft piloted via computers, and used to fire missiles – are to do with the fact that they swerve any liberal sense of justice. Their technology may be astounding, but the fear and outrage they evoke is more than 100 years old.

    • Bush White House’s Repeated Torture Denials Led CIA Torturers to Seek Repeated Reassurances

      The Bush administration was so adamant in its public statements against torture that CIA officials repeatedly sought reassurances that the White House officials who had given them permission to torture in the first place hadn’t changed their minds.

      In a July 29, 2003, White House meeting that included Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, CIA Director George Tenet went so far as to ask the White House “to cease stating that US Government practices were ‘humane.’” He was assured they would.

    • CIA spy ‘fired for falling in love with undercover colleague 21 years his junior’ sues agency for $25 million
    • Spy: CIA Kept Me From My Soulmate

      On January 5, 2010, the chief of the CIA’s secretive paramilitary operations division accused one of the agency’s elite undercover operatives of financial shenanigans and getting too friendly with a female colleague.

    • Chelsea Manning: Prosecute the CIA’s torturers

      Newly minted Guardian columnist Chelsea Manning, the Army whistleblower currently serving a 35-year sentence for divulging classified military documents to WikiLeaks, argues in a new column that the officers behind the Central Intelligence Agency’s post-9/11 torture and detention program must be held criminally accountable, contending that U.S. intelligence personnel were complicit in a torture regime that was “unethical and morally wrong,” as well as “very illegal.”

    • John Brennan and Restructuring the CIA
    • The CIA’s torturers and the leaders who approved their actions must face the law

      Successful intelligence gathering through interrogation and other forms of human interaction by conventional means can be – and more often than not are – very successful. But, even though interrogation by less conventional methods might get glorified in popular culture – in television dramas like Law and Order: Criminal Intent, 24 and The Closer and movies like Zero Dark Thirty – torture and the mistreatment of detainees in the custody of intelligence personnel is, was and shall continue to be unethical and morally wrong. Under US law, torture and mistreatment of detainees is also very illegal.

    • Paying for torture

      The CIA tortured suspected terrorists on Polish soil.

    • ‘No parliament support’: Lithuania drops CIA prison inquiry

      The Lithuanian legislature decided against a new inquiry into a secret US torture facility in the country, despite a damning US Senate report released three months ago which indicated its existence.

    • Lithuania says will not renew CIA prison parliamentary enquiry

      Lithuania’s parliament will not hold another parliamentary inquiry into alleged CIA prisons in the Baltic country after the U.S. Senate published a report on torture, the speaker of the parliament said on Friday.

    • Lithuanian Parliament Refuses to Pursue Investigations into CIA Black Sites

      The Lithuanian Seimas will not renew a parliamentary inquiry into alleged CIA prisons, despite evidence in a US Senate Report suggesting that the Baltic nation kept a secret prison.

    • CIA attempted to contact Hamas despite official US ban, spy cables reveal

      The CIA tried to gain access to Hamas through backchannels despite a US government ban on contact with the Palestinian Islamist movement, the spy cables show.

    • ‘Spy Cables’ Reveal the CIA ‘Desperate’ to Contact Hamas

      The leaked cables show that Obama threatened the Palestinian president because the PLO was seeking to upgrade its U.N. status.

    • CIA asked South Africa for help contacting Hamas: leaked files

      According to the Al-Jazeera report, a Central Intelligence Agency agent was “desperate” to make contact with Hamas in 2012, according to intelligence files leaked to Al-Jazeera.

      Al-Jazeera reported that the US listed Hamas as a terrorist organisation and had no contact with the group officially.

    • Film About Psychologists Behind CIA’s Torture Techniques In Works At HBO

      The December release of the U.S. Senate Select Intelligence Committee’s so-called “torture report” shocked the nation with the gruesome accounts of extreme interrogation tactics employed by the CIA in the war on terror.

    • CIA scandal that got lost amid our obsession with Monica Lewinsky: Kill the Messenger is reminiscent of All The President’s Men, writes BRIAN VINER

      A powerful political thriller in many ways reminiscent of All The President’s Men, Alan J. Pakula’s 1976 film about the Watergate conspiracy, Kill The Messenger tells the true story of a dogged investigative reporter for an unfashionable Californian newspaper, who uncovered what he called a ‘dark alliance’ between the CIA, Nicaraguan rebels and cocaine traffickers.

    • US Government Classifies Term “America’s Battle Lab’ in War on Terror” in Pentagon Report

      The Department of Defense, after consultation with the CIA, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Defense Intelligence Agency, has released via Mandatory Declassification Request an early Pentagon study of intelligence operations at Guantanamo (along with accompanying slide presentation). It is very heavily redacted, with whole pages blanked out.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • The White House Doesn’t Want You to Know the TPP’s Looming Effects on U.S. Copyright Laws

      As the White House doubles down on its attempt to pass legislation to fast track secret trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, their oft-repeated refrain about these deals’ digital copyright enforcement provisions is that these policies would not alter U.S. law.

    • Congress’s Copyright Review Should Strengthen Fair Use—Or At Least Do No Harm

      The Internet is celebrating Fair Use Week, and it’s a great time to look at what Congress might do this year to help or hurt the fair use rights of artists, innovators, and citizens. After nearly two years of U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearings and vigorous conversations within government, industry, and the public, it seems like we might see some real proposals. But other than a few insiders, nobody knows for sure whether major changes to copyright law are coming this year, and what they might be.

    • Trade Agreements Should Protect An Open Internet, Not Kill It

      For a few years now, we’ve been writing about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, and how we’re quite concerned by many aspects of it. In particular, we’re quite concerned about the intellectual property provisions — which leaks have shown are tremendously problematic — as well as the corporate sovereignty provisions, which negotiators like to call “investor state dispute settlement” (ISDS) because it sounds so boring. Of course, the biggest concern of all is that these deals are negotiated in total secrecy, with the various negotiators refusing to reveal the agreed upon text until it’s a done deal and the public is unable to comment on it or suggest changes and fixes.

    • Copyrights

      • Apparently The Best Way To Decrease Movie Piracy Is To Get Rid Of The Oscars

        As you may have heard, last night was the Oscars — Hollywood’s favorite back-patting celebration. However, as a recent study found, films that were nominated for Oscars saw the number of unauthorized downloads and streams surge, as people wanted to make sure they had seen these celebrated films. Films like American Sniper and Selma saw a massive increase in unauthorized downloads after being nominated. The company that did this study, Irdeto, argues that these unauthorized downloads represent a major loss for the films’ producers — but it seems like there’s another explanation: the MPAA really ought to be targeting the Oscars for encouraging infringement.


Links 14/2/2015: End of Google Code, Split of Google+

Posted in News Roundup at 9:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • New Role At WiPro

    I’ve news. Starting today, I will be working full time in a new role. I’m now a Director at the global consulting firm WiPro in their Open Source practice, advising both customers and implementation teams on open source issues concerning software selection, community engagement, license compliance and more. You’ll find me at a variety of conferences and events, and I’ll continue to write for InfoWorld and others.

  • SageTV to go open source (four years after Google acquired the media center/DVR software)

    SageTV was a cross-platform media center application and digital video recorder tool for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. I say “was” because Google acquired the company in 2011 and used the technology for its Google Fiber TV service.

  • 4 tips for breaking into an open source community

    My two biggest dreams growing up were to be either a firefighter or a space explorer. Though I didn’t get to do either of those things, I satisfy the former via being a volunteer in prevention with Cal Fire, California’s state fire department, and the latter by reading everything I can get my hands on about space—both fiction and non-fiction.

  • 3 key elements that define every open source project

    Open source has come a long way in the past 30 years and is entering the consciousness of most modern cultures. When thinking of open source projects, people categorize them several ways: governance structure, type of product platform, programming language, utility, technical details (language written in), industry sponsored or fully independent, and more.

  • 5 ways to answer questions the open source way

    Are we, as a group, more interested in enforcing a specific set of behaviors, or are we more interested in fostering a culture of respect, collaboration, and participation? To view interlocutors as “offenders” ensures the former. I’m much more interested in the latter.

  • Why open source works

    Trying to explain why open source works, you can of course point to the Cathedral and the Bazaar by Erik. But the kernel development process shows it happening ‘in real time’, every day, and that’s a major reason why I so enjoy reading the weekly LWN.

  • 5 ways to answer questions the open source way

    Eric Raymond’s How to Ask Questions the Smart Way was published in 2001 and has been very popular ever since. It gets referenced on my local Linux User Group mailing list with some frequency (usually alongside an admonishment to stop top-posting). To be sure, it contains a lot of good advice for how to perform research, how to frame a question, and what salient information is generally a minimum required to solicit help.

  • Algorithmia aims to be the open source app store for algorithms and APIs

    A startup fresh out of private beta offers a three-way intersection between machine learning, the API economy, and open source developers’ need to monetize their creations.

    Algorithmia, which launched privately last year, allows users to build algorithms, make them available as a Web service, and monetize them.

    The service can be used in two basic ways: either by calling algorithms available in the system via its REST API (with examples provided), or by writing and submitting the algorithms to be used. Each algorithm has its own interactive console page, so they can be tried out directly on the Web without needing to write and implement code. Many of the algorithms are original creations; others are implementations of existing software, such as a tokenizer based on Apache OpenNLP.

  • Google is using Microsoft’s TypeScript to build Angular 2, its open source mobile development platform
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Releases Open Source Masche Forensics Tool

        Mozilla has released an open source memory forensics tool that some college students designed and built during the company’s recent Winter of Security event.

        The new tool, known as Masche, is designed specifically for investigating server memory and has the advantage of being able to scan running processes without causing any problems with the machine. Masche runs on Linux, OS X and Windows and Mozilla has posted the code on GitHub.

      • Mozilla Firefox 36 Adds HTTP/2 Support, Pinned Tile Syncing, and More

        Mozilla, in the latest version of its Firefox browser has introduced support for the newly finalised HTTP/2 network protocol along with other features. Firefox 36 is currently only available for Windows, OS X, and Linux desktop systems.

      • WebRTC requires Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) starting in Firefox 38

        Today, we are announcing that Firefox 38 will take further measures to secure users’ communications by removing support in WebRTC for all DTLS cipher suites that do not support forward secrecy. For developers: if you have a WebRTC application or server that doesn’t support PFS ciphers, you will need to update your code.

      • Unreal Engine 4.7 Binary Release Includes HTML5 Export

        With the launch of Unreal Engine 4.7, Epic Games has added the ability to export to HTML5 as a regular part of their Windows binary engine releases. One of the world’s most advanced game engines is one step closer to delivering truly amazing content right in your browser. With this addition, developers will be able to create content in Unreal Engine 4.7, immediately compile it to the Web, and launch it in their browser of choice with the click of a button.

      • Firefox 36 Gains HTTP/2 Support, Fixes Critical Vulnerabilities

        Mozilla’s Firefox 36 debuts with support for HTTP/2 protocol as well as 17 security advisories for vulnerabilities that have been patched in the open-source browser.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Apache Tajo Update Offers Open, Relational Big Data Warehousing Solution

      Now here is an interesting open source project that has been flying under the radar: The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), which stewards more than 350 open source projects and initiatives, announced the availability of Apache Tajo v0.10.0, the latest version of the advanced open data warehousing system in Apache Hadoop.

  • Databases

    • An open source database for realtime applications

      To learn more about RethinkDB, we caught up with Slava Akhmechet. Akhmechet is the founder of RethinkDB, the company with the same name as the open source project. Before founding RethinkDB, he was a systems engineer in the financial industry, working on scaling custom database systems. He is currently a PhD student on leave from a program in Computational Neuroscience at Stony Brook University.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • ‘Utterly unusable’ MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

      Stross is a long-time Linux user who only uses Word because the publishing industry expects he will. But he’s not alone in loathing the necessity to do so: fellow UK science fiction writer Alastair Reynolds says the application “drives me to distraction.”

    • Review: LibreOffice 4.4 raises the bar

      The developers behind LibreOffice, the free and open source productivity suite forked from OpenOffice, have sweated and bled to advance the toolkit over the past couple of years. The effort has paid off: It’s a no-brainer to recommend LibreOffice over OpenOffice, thanks to Libre’s consistent release schedule and the increasingly polished quality of the product.

      Now for the bigger question: Can you recommend LibreOffice in the same breath as Microsoft Office? The short answer: Maybe. To its credit, LibreOffice 4.4 handles old- and new-school Microsoft Office documents better than ever before — no small feat considering how prohibitively complex such documents can be. If you plan on using LibreOffice as a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Office, know that document compatibility is still a roll of the dice — but with each revision LibreOffice is improving the odds.

  • CMS

    • New Joomla release warrants second look for CMS deployments

      Joomla! is a highly-extendable content management system (CMS) licensed under the GNU GPL written in PHP that readily scales from small websites to large projects. Joomla was designed with extensibility in mind — a wide variety of extensions are available for the needs of the audience. Importantly, Joomla can be easily adapted to a wide variety of use cases, including as for a corporate intranet, as an e-commerce platform, or for web presence and information, as is the case for the Guggenheim Museum website, which runs on Joomla.

  • Business

    • Open-Source Solutions As A Business Model

      Increased interest in privacy issues – particularly in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region – is driving interest in new software security solutions. This has combined with a change in attitude towards open-source solutions to create an opportunity for businesses.

    • Why Every Company Should Be Thinking Open-Source, But Many Still Aren’t
    • Why we ditched our legacy framework for Symfony

      If eZ Systems isn’t a name you’re familiar with, allow us to introduce ourselves: eZ is a commercial open source software vendor. We provide a content management system (CMS) and platform known as eZ Publish, which will soon be known as eZ Platform. eZ serves as a foundation for digital businesses, providing value-added solutions on top of our open source CMS platform.

  • Funding

    • Why Open Source Freeriding is a Good Idea

      Are you cheating if you download open source software without paying for it? Recently, Linux distribution elementaryOS angered users by implying that you are — an opinion that is hardly new, but no more valid than the last dozen times anyone voiced it.

  • BSD


    • GNU ccd2cue 0.4 released
    • GNU Guile-SDL 0.5.2 available

      GNU Guile-SDL is Guile plus SDL. Simple, no?

    • The Boundary Between Hardware And Software

      Running free gate patterns on FPGAs could potentially be a useful method for making digital devices that are free at the circuit level. However, to make FPGAs usable in the free world, we need free development tools for them. The obstacle is that the format of the gate pattern file that gets loaded into the FPGA is secret. Until recently there was no model of FPGA for which those files could be produced without nonfree (proprietary) tools.

    • Watch Your Freedom (Because Apple’s Not)

      At Apple’s “Spring Forward” press event on Monday, March 9, the electronics company expounded upon its plans to release a smartwatch and revealed updates to its MacBook computer line, among other announcements. Underneath their focus on “innovation” and “design,” however, Apple CEO Tim Cook and other participating speakers neglected to address growing concerns about the proprietary software and Digital Restrictions Management technologies distributed with its products and services, which only serve to extend the company’s oppression of computer users and their freedoms.

    • GNU Guix recruits for GSoC

      This year again Guix participates in the Google Summer of Code under the umbrella of the GNU Project.

    • GNU ccd2cue 0.5 released
    • March 2015, “Community Choice” Project of the Month – GnuCash

      For our March “Community Choice” Project of the Month, the community elected GnuCash, an easy-to-use personal and small-business finance manager with a checkbook like appearance. The GnuCash team shared their thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction.

  • Project Releases

    • Kodi (XBMC Media Center) 14.2 RC1 Released with a Bunch of Fixes

      The Kodi development team has announced the immediate availability for download and testing of the RC (Release Candidate) version of the upcoming Kodi 14.2 media center software for GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iOS, Apple TV, and Raspberry Pi. This release brings a bunch of fixes that aim to improve the stability of the application on all supported platforms.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Greens Put German Foreign Affairs On The Hot Seat Over FLOSS
    • German Greens ask Foreign Affairs to amend way

      The Greens in the German parliament want the Foreign Ministry to revert back to open source software solutions on its workstations. The ministry in 2010 abandoned its open source desktop strategy, pressured by staffers struggling with interoperability problems. The Greens are now asking the ministry to justify the proprietary licence costs it has made since then.

    • Should governments develop their own software?

      Is the alternative that every government agency bear the cost and effort of writing its own software? Clearly this doesn’t make much sense either. As often happens when an economic arrangement becomes impaired over time, cutting out the middleman solves the problem—the middleman here being for-profit enterprises that manage the production and costs of vital software systems.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Vapor Contributes Open Data Center Runtime Environment to Open Compute Project

      At the Open Compute Project Summit this week, startup Vapor announced a new open-source specification designed to help manage data center environments.

    • Connect globally, educate openly: Open Education Week 2015

      Open Education Week (OEW) is an annual, global event and will take place this year from March 9-13, 2015. The event aims to raise awareness and celebrate achievements of the global Open Education Movement.

    • A new home for OpenStack user groups, DBaaS as a stack of pancakes, and more
    • Apple releases ResearchKit, Linux adopts a code of conflict, and more
    • OpenSpecimen streamlines management of biospecimen data

      Access to high-quality human biospecimens such as blood, saliva, plasma, DNA, and RNA is integral to developing a better understanding of diseases and advancing molecular technologies, clinical trial research, personalized medicine research, and clinical practice.

    • Open Data

      • WANdisco Joins Hadoop Open Data Platform Alliance

        Recently, we’ve been covering the Open Data Platform, recently announced by Pivotal, which is shaping up to be very influential in the Hadoop and Big Data market. Now, WANdisco, a provider of continuous-availability software for global enterprises working with Big Data, has announced that it has joined the Open Data Platform (ODP) Initiative. WANdisco has patented technology that enables Hadoop availability across data centers that can be very far apart, while also securing data.

      • What open data really means for government

        I recently attended the Triangle Open Data Day (TODD) conference at North Carolina State’s campus in Raleigh, an event sponsored by Code for America. On the surface, the open data movement is about getting local, state, and federal government to publish data in a way that citizens can use it. This means publishing reports, spreadsheets, and other documentation online — and it scales to mean publishing data sets with APIs, so applications all over the place can build upon and extend those data sets.

    • Open Hardware

      • What’s in a name: The battle for the soul of Arduino

        That was the question many Italians were asking recently when reports appeared in local media that Massimo Banzi, co-founder and high-profile figurehead for the popular open hardware project, was stepping down from managing the initiative. The lead was to be taken by Federico Musto, CEO of Dog Hunter, an Internet of Things company that had previously contributed to Yun, a family of wi-fi products that combine Arduino and Linux.

  • Programming


  • ​BitTorrent Sync 2.0: For all your business file-sharing needs

    There are endless ways to share files between devices. Some of them are complex, ftp and Network File System (NFS). Some, such as Apple Bonjour and Windows Homegroup, work with only a few operating systems. Still others, like Dropbox and Google Drive, require you to use a cloud. Then, there’s BitTorrent Sync 2.0, which is easy to use, works with most devices, and doesn’t use a cloud.

  • Why Google+ is splitting into photos and streams
  • Google+ officially splits into Photos and Streams
  • The death of Google+

    So I got up very early this morning after suffering through the night with a new oral sleep apnea appliance. I haven’t gotten much sleep so I’m a bit bleary-eyed as I write this post. Anyway, I checked my email as I usually do and found a note from a friend mentioning that something had happened to Google+.

  • Why CTOs must design for developers right from the start

    In today’s integrated world, no software can stand on its own. So CTOs need to create APIs right from the start — and consider developers as they would end users. That advice comes from Uri Sarid, CTO at MuleSoft, which helps organizations connect data, applications, and devices. In this interview, he shares his thoughts on the importance of interoperability.

  • Science

  • Hardware

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Cyberweapons Have No Allegiance

      …NSA has worked to ensure that anyone can use packet injection to hack into computers.

    • #AskHamas Twitter campaign backfires on Gaza group

      Initiative by Palestinian terror organization to ‘introduce itself to the world’ met with mockery

    • American social media companies wage war on ISIS

      On Sunday, an image circulated showing Islamic State supporters allegedly threatening Jack Dorsey, a founder of Twitter, in retaliation for the social network engaging an escalating war against the militant group.

    • Funny How Russian Propaganda, US Free Press Produce Exact Same Mood Swings

      The “anti-Western anger” has been “fed by the powerful antagonism on Russian federal television channels” since “Putin cranked up the volume after protest movements in late 2011 and 2012, which he blamed on the State Department.”


      Funny thing, though–the anti-American sentiment in Russia is pretty much a mirror image of anti-Russian sentiment in the United States, which has likewise risen to record heights since polling began roughly 25 years ago.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Julian Assange case: Sweden U-turn on questioning

      Swedish prosecutors have offered to travel to London to question Wikileaks founder Julian Assange over sex assault allegations.

      Prosecutors had previously insisted on questioning Mr Assange in Sweden, after seeking his arrest in 2010.

      Mr Assange denies the assault claims and has been living at the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012.

    • Swedish Prosecutor Opts to Interview Julian Assange in London

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has spent nearly three years in an Ecuadorian embassy in London in an effort to avoid both charges from the United States regarding the dissemination of classified information as well as a nearly five-year investigation that alleges Assange committed sex crimes in Sweden. With the statue of limitations in the latter case set to expire this August, Swedish prosecutors hope to travel to London to interview Assange in the near future in a last-ditch effort to decide whether to pursue charges.

    • The George W. Bush email scandal the media has conveniently forgotten

      Even for a Republican White House that was badly stumbling through George W. Bush’s sixth year in office, the revelation on April 12, 2007 was shocking. Responding to congressional demands for emails in connection with its investigation into the partisan firing of eight U.S. attorneys, the White House announced that as many as five million emails, covering a two-year span, had been lost.

    • Most Agencies Falling Short on Mandate for Online Records

      Audit checked 165 federal offices, found only 67 with updated and populated online libraries; Some 17 “E-Star” agencies disprove common excuses of cost and disability compliance

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Gov. Rick Scott’s ban on climate change term extended to other state agencies

      No one told Bart Bibler not to use the terms “climate change” and “global warming” during his six months on the job at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

      Then, on March 4, he walked into a Florida Coastal Managers Forum, a teleconference with representatives from other state agencies.

    • Senator Whitehouse Exposes ALEC Climate Change Denial

      This week, US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), took to the Senate floor to call upon America to “wake up” to the damaging effects of climate change denial and the fossil fuel industry funding received by groups that promote it, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the corporate bill mill that has been pushing a destructive agenda of climate change denial.

    • Getting Media to Take Climate Threats Seriously? There’s a Snowball’s Chance

      Inhofe (R-Ok.), who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee, took to the Senate floor recently to try to debunk what he called the “hysteria on global warming” by holding a snowball. While the Washington Post editorialized that the performance was a “national embarrassment”–despite the paper having columnists on staff who make similarly absurd arguments (FAIR Blog, 3/3/15)–NBC’s Meet the Press (3/1/15) had a different reaction to Inhofe’s performance.

    • Roundup Found In 75% of Air and Rain Samples, Gov. Study Finds

      A study conducted by US Geological Survey scientists found traces of the Monsanto Corporation’s Roundup herbicide in 75% of rain and air samples tested. The study, “Pesticides in Mississippi air and rain: A comparison between 1995 and 2007,” appeared in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, in 2014.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • China wants Silicon Valley’s encryption keys: Good business, or get out?

      China wants the encryption keys from U.S. technology companies as part of a counter-terrorism law. The draft law leaves U.S. tech giants with two options: Play ball or get out.

    • Meet the free encryption app that promises to put your privacy first

      The Cryptocat developer’s new team aims to get easy file and message encryption into everyone’s hands, which could give Gmail and Dropbox (and the NSA) a run for their money.

    • Silent Circle targets enterprise users with ‘world first’ privacy ecosystem

      Encrypted communications provider Silent Circle has raised approximately $50 million in a funding round aimed at pushing the company forward in the enterprise market.

    • Privacy defending Blackphone 2 and Blackphone tablet announced

      Silent Circle, the Swiss manufacturer of the super-secret Blackphone, has announced a second in its line of secure handsets for the masses along with a seven-inch tablet running its own PrivatOS 1.1 and a suite of new apps for business.

    • Hacked Fridges Aren’t the Internet of Things’ Biggest Worry

      As we start to connect more and more of the things in our lives to the web—from our cars to our to thermostats to our barbecue grills—it’s hard not to worry about those things being hacked. No one wants their toaster to become a spambot, after all.

    • Disappointing: Google Not Yet Requiring Phone Makers To Encrypt By Default

      Well, this is disappointing. Back in September, we were happy to see both Apple and Google announced that their mobile platforms would be encrypted by default (for local storage, not for data transmissions), which has kicked off something of a new round of Crypto Wars, as law enforcement types have shoved each other aside to spread as much possible FUD about the “dangers” of mobile encryption (ignoring that they also recommend mobile encryption to keep your data safe).

    • Jolla Partners To Build Secure Version Of Its Sailfish Mobile OS

      Another security-focused development in the European mobile space: Finnish mobile startup Jolla, which develops the Sailfish mobile OS and its own brand mobile hardware, has just announced it will be partnering to create a “security hardened” version of the platform, called Sailfish Secure.

    • MWC: Jolla pitches Sailfish Secure OS as Europe’s only safe mobile option

      FINNISH MOBILE PHONE FIRM Jolla is working with partners to bring a toughened version of its Sailfish OS to a range of hardware.

    • Thought Komodia/Superfish Bug Was Really, Really Bad? It’s Much, Much Worse!

      With each passing day, it appears that new revelations come out, detailing how the Komodia/Superfish malware is even worse than originally expected. If you don’t recall, last week it came out that Lenovo was installing a bit of software called “Superfish” as a default bloatware on a bunch of its “consumer” laptops. The software tried to pop up useful alternative shopping results for images. But in order to work on HTTPS-encrypted sites, Superfish made use of a nasty (and horribly implemented) “SSL hijacker” from Komodia, which installed a self-signed root certificate that basically allowed anyone to issue totally fake security certificates for any encrypted connection, enabling very easy man-in-the-middle attacks. Among the many, many, many stupid things about the way Komodia worked, was that it used the same certificate on each installation of Superfish, and it had an easily cracked password: “komodia” which was true on apparently every product that used Komodia. And researchers have discovered that a whole bunch of products use Komodia, putting a ton of people at risk. People have discovered at least 12 products that make use of Komodia.

    • AT&T’s $30 ‘Don’t Be Snooped On’ Fee Is Even Worse Than Everybody Thought

      Last week we noted that while AT&T has been trying to match Google Fiber pricing in small portions of several markets, it has been busily doing it in a very AT&T fashion. While the company is offering a $70, 1 Gbps service in some locations, the fine print indicates that users can only get that price point if they agree to AT&T’s Internet Preferences snoopvertising program. That program uses deep packet inspection to track your online behavior down to the second — and if you want to opt out, that $70 1 Gbps broadband connection quickly becomes significantly more expensive.

    • Why I’ve Chosen To Go With Private Internet Access

      Some people have noticed I’m writing for a VPN service, and having my regular commentary on liberties presented by that VPN service: by Private Internet Access VPN. Seeing my previous stance on advertising, I think it merits some explanation why I’m choosing to associate with a service brand.

    • The Orwellian Re-Branding of “Mass Surveillance” as Merely “Bulk Collection”

      Just as the Bush administration and the U.S. media re-labelled “torture” with the Orwellian euphemism “enhanced interrogation techniques” to make it more palatable, the governments and media of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance are now attempting to re-brand “mass surveillance” as “bulk collection” in order to make it less menacing (and less illegal). In the past several weeks, this is the clearly coordinated theme that has arisen in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as the last defense against the Snowden revelations, as those governments seek to further enhance their surveillance and detention powers under the guise of terrorism.

    • UK surveillance legislation not fit for purpose, lacks transparency.
    • We Now Know The NSA And GCHQ Have Subverted Most (All?) Of The Digital World: So Why Can’t We See Any Benefits?

      First, that the recent attempts by politicians to demonize strong encryption look like an attempt to cover up the fact that most digital systems are already vulnerable using one or more of the techniques that have been revealed over the last year or two. That is, the NSA and GCHQ can probably access most digital content stored or transmitted in any way — either because the encryption itself or the end-points have been compromised. Even standalone strong encryption systems like PGP — thought still to be immune to direct attacks — can be circumvented by breaking into the systems on which they are used.

      Perhaps the dark hints that encryption could be banned or backdoored are simply part of a cynical ploy to present such an appalling vision of what could happen, that we gladly accept anything less extreme without complaint. In fact, the authorities have no intention of attempting anything so stupid — it would put all online business at risk — because they don’t need to: they already have methods to access everything anyway.

    • Twitter starts tracking phone numbers to prevent its worst users from creating new accounts

      Weeks after The Verge published internal memos from Twitter CEO Dick Costolo in which he said “we suck at dealing with abuse,” the company is rolling out new tools to reduce harassment on the service. Under the changes, users who receive temporary bans may have to verify an email address or a phone number to resume using Twitter. (Other users can be banned permanently.) Email addresses are relatively easy to obtain, but phone numbers are harder — and by checking phone numbers against a list of banned users, Twitter could be able to keep more abusers and harassers from creating accounts.

    • Senator Asks FCC To Explain Its Involvement In The Proliferation Of Stingray Devices

      Despite the feds’ best efforts to keep IMSI catchers (Stingray devices, colloquially and almost certainly to the dismay of manufacturer Harris Corporation, as they head to becoming the kleenex of surveillance tech) a secret, there’s still enough information leaking out around the edges of the FBI’s non-disclosure agreements to provoke public discussion.

    • Facebook’s Colonies

      But aside from ideals and growth markets, the report highlights a tension inherent to the question of access: When Facebook sets sail to disconnected markets, what version of the internet will it bring?

    • Evidence Copy Of ‘CitizenFour’ Needs To Be ‘Locked Up’ Claims Plaintiff Suing Snowden, Filmmakers For Billions

      The billion-dollar lawsuit against the producers of the Edward Snowden documentary CitizenFour rolls on, gradually unraveling as it does. Since we last covered the story (where the United States of America was added as an involuntary plaintiff — a plaintiff since forcibly removed by the court), a lot has happened. For one, CitizenFour won an Oscar for Best Documentary, something that can’t be sitting too well with Horace Edwards and his legal representation, which sought to have the film removed from consideration during the early days of this lawsuit.

    • Report Says UK Citizens Must Give Up Right To Privacy Because ‘Terrorism’, Reveals Huge Secret Government Databases

      And that’s it: basically, the ISC is saying that all that is needed is a bit of a legal tidying-up. In terms of more detailed recommendations, the report suggests that the abuse of interception powers should be made a criminal offense — currently it isn’t — and that a new category of metadata called “Communications Data Plus”, which includes things like Web addresses, needs slightly greater protection than “traditional” telephone metadata.

  • Civil Rights

    • John Brennan’s Careful Dodge of Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Abuses

      In his appearance as the Council on Foreign Relations today, a woman with Human Rights Watch listed (starting at 56:30) a number of abuses our “partners” in the fight against ISIL engage in, including,

      The ABC report of egregious abuses committed by some of Iraq’s elite military units
      Iraqi militias carrying out ISIS like atrocities
      Beheadings and violent attacks on journalists in Saudi Arabia

      She then asked, “How do you think Iraqi Sunni civilians should distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys in this circumstance”?

    • NYPD caught red-handed sanitizing police brutality Wikipedia entries

      This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen nefarious alterations to Wikipedia entries, and it won’t be the last. But the disclosure of NYPD’s entries by Capital New York come as the Justice Department announced a national initiative for “building community trust and justice” with the nation’s policing agencies.

    • Edits to Wikipedia pages on Bell, Garner, Diallo traced to 1 Police Plaza
    • Consumers unaware that EU rule offers 2-year product guarantee

      A little-known EU law could force vendors to stand behind their products for up to two years — instead of the one year warranty typically offered. Each year the Finnish consumer authority receives thousands of complaints about warranties for electronic devices.

    • Wyoming Governor Vetoes Asset Forfeiture Bill, Because Asset Forfeiture ‘Is Right’

      With the abuses of asset forfeiture being loudly publicized, there has (finally) been some legislative pushback against these abusive programs. Wyoming’s legislators — hoping to institute asset forfeiture reform — ran into pushback themselves from the state’s governor, who vetoed the popular bill (which passed out of the Senate with an 80-9 vote) when it hit his desk.

    • U.S. Govt Files For Default Judgment on Dotcom’s Cash and Cars

      After a U.S. court ruled that Kim Dotcom is not entitled to contest the forfeiture of his assets because he is a “fugitive” facing extradition, the government has just tightened the noose. In a filing before the same court yesterday, the U.S. requested a default judgment to seize the assets of Dotcom, his co-defendants, and their Megaupload empire.

    • Judge John Facciola On Today’s Law Enforcement: I’d Go Weeks Without Seeing A Warrant For Anything ‘Tactile’

      We lost one of the “good guys” when Magistrate Judge John Facciola retired late last year. Facciola was a leading figure in the small — but important — “Magistrates’ Revolt” that emerged in the wake of the Snowden leaks. Multiple times the government approached Facciola for a signature on overly-broad warrants seeking the entire contents of a phone or an email account, only to find the judge unwilling to help it pack for its fishing trip.

    • Floridians, Help Us Stop Your State From Outlawing Anonymous Websites

      Floridians, we need your help to stop a dangerous anti-anonymity bill. This week, the Florida state legislature is considering a bill that would make it illegal to run any website or service anonymously, if the site fits a vague category of “disseminat[ing]” “commercial” recordings or videos—even the site owner’s own work. Outlawing anonymous speech raises a serious First Amendment problem, and laws like this one have been abused by police and the entertainment industry.

    • Are Your Devices Hardwired For Betrayal?

      It’s an interesting time to be a computer security researcher. Last week, Kaspersky Lab released a report about a new family of malware from an entity they called “The Equation Group”. The report demonstrated for the first time that firmware-based attacks, previously only demonstrated in lab settings, have been used in the wild by malware authors. This should serve as a wake up call to security professionals and the hardware industry in general: firmware-based attacks are real and their numbers will only increase. If we don’t address this issue now, we risk facing disastrous consequences.

    • American atheist blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh

      A prominent American blogger of Bangladeshi origin has been hacked to death with machetes by unidentified assailants in Dhaka, after he allegedly received threats from Islamists.

      The body of Avijit Roy, founder of the Mukto-Mona (Free-mind) blog site – which champions liberal secular writing in the Muslim-majority nation – was found covered in blood after an attack that also left his wife critically wounded.

    • But for the video…

      He was not only arrested, he was also charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor. A prior drug charge on his record meant he was potentially looking at decades in prison. Seven witnesses backed up the police account that Dendinger had assaulted Cassard.

    • Why Is This Man Still in Jail?

      Philadelphia cops put Tony Wright away for a brutal crime he didn’t commit. DNA tests have exonerated him.

    • Investigative Journalists Chart Redacted Histories of Guantánamo Detainees

      Less than one quarter of the 119 detainees named in the US Senate Intelligence Committee 2014 report on the CIA’s secret torture program are actually housed at the Guantánamo Bay military prison.

      Research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism recognized just 36 individuals originally sent to Guantánamo after CIA interrogations. Of these, 29 remain as of January 2015.

    • LAPD, Media Rush to Judge Skid Row Victim While Insisting Public ‘Not Rush to Judge’

      A phone video of a homeless man who goes by the name Africa being shot and killed by the LAPD went viral Sunday night. The video was raw, the outrage on display from those watching the killing unfold in real time, palpable.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP: Transatlantic trade deal text leaked to BBC

      A leaked draft of what the European Union wants excluded from a new trade deal with the United States has been obtained by the BBC.

      The document describes itself as the EU’s “initial offer” in negotiations over the transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP).

    • Congress Is Poised to Introduce a Bill to Fast Track TPP so It’s Time to Act Now

      The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks are stalling while the White House assures its trading partners that this secret trade agreement won’t be amended when it comes back to Congress for ratification after the President signs the deal. That’s why the Executive is scrambling to get its allies in Congress to pass Fast Track. If they succeed, the U.S. Trade Representative can block remaining opportunities for the examination of the TPP’s provisions by lawmakers who could ensure that this secret deal does not contain expansive copyright rules that would lock the U.S. into broken copyright rules that are already in bad need of reform.

    • Copyrights

      • Reminder: Fair Use Is A Right — And Not ‘An Exception’ Or ‘A Defense’

        This week is Fair Use Week, according to the Association of Research Libraries, and that’s as good a time as any to remind everyone that it’s wrong to refer to fair as merely a “limitation or exception” to copyright law — or merely a defense to infringement. It is a right that is protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has regularly referred to “fair use” as a “safeguard” of the First Amendment, allowing copyright law to be compatible with the First Amendment. As such, it seems bizarre that fair use is not seen as the default, rather than the other way around. If we are to protect the First Amendment, and not allow for speech to be stifled, at the very least, we need a greater recognition of the importance of fair use in guaranteeing that the First Amendment’s principles of free speech are allowed to thrive.

      • US Court Rules That Kim Dotcom Is A ‘Fugitive’ And Thus DOJ Can Take His Money

        Back in November, the DOJ argued that it should get to keep all of Kim Dotcom’s money and stuff because he’s a “fugitive”, which is a bizarre and ridiculous way to portray Kim Dotcom, who has been going through a long and protracted legal process over his potential extradition from New Zealand (though he’s offered to come to the US willingly if the government lets him mount a real defense by releasing his money). Dotcom’s lawyers told the court that it’s ridiculous to call him a fugitive, but it appears that Judge Liam O’Grady didn’t buy it.

      • Paypal Cuts Off Mega Because It Actually Keeps Your Files Secret
      • Under U.S. Pressure, PayPal Nukes Mega For Encrypting Files

        After coming under intense pressure PayPal has closed the account of cloud-storage service Mega. According to the company, SOPA proponent Senator Patrick Leahy personally pressured Visa and Mastercard who in turn called on PayPal to terminate the account. Bizarrely, Mega’s encryption is being cited as a key problem.

      • ‘Destitute’ Kim Dotcom Begs High Court For Millions

        Kim Dotcom was in court today pleading for access to his seized assets. A reportedly “destitute” Dotcom asked for the release of US$152,000 a month for living expenses and as much as US$3m for legal fees. The Megaupload founder said if funds aren’t forthcoming, living in a mansion may no longer be an option.

      • Copyright Monopoly Fraudsters Need To Go To Jail With Heavy Damages

        It shouldn’t even be controversial. If you’re lying about holding a copyright monopoly to something, you’re infringing on that work’s distribution, and should suffer the same penalties as any other infringer does today.

      • People make politics: The Pirate Party on why it’s crowdsourcing its manifesto

        THE PIRATE PARTY UK is steadily increasing its position in the political spectrum, aided perhaps by the actions and behaviour of the big three parties.

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