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Links 10/11/2014: 2015 GNU/Linux Forecasts, Debian Shakeup

Posted in News Roundup at 3:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Acer Returns To Profitability

    Hmmm… Maybe they’ve taken my advice and gloried in the increased profits with GNU/Linux.

  • Desktop

    • Lenovo to launch low-cost Chromebook in early 2015

      Lenovo reportedly will launch Chromebook models targeting the sub-US$170 segment in early 2015, a move which will further drag down profits for notebook vendors, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.

    • Will 2015 finally be the year of the Linux desktop?

      I’m always a bit on the disinterested side when someone brings up the market share of desktop Linux. Yeah, it’s fun to kick around numbers and speculate about how doing this or that would increase the desktop market share of Linux. But in the end I don’t think it really matters much and it’s also a bit of a distraction from what really matters with Linux: making it better for the people who are already using it.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Jessie Freeze, Reviews, and Linux Outlaws Quitting

      Today in Linux news, Debian 8 is frozen and Canonical confirms an Ubuntu tablet is in the works. Two reviews landed yesterday on the Kano Linux computer, one today on Ubuntu, and another on openSUSE 13.2. Linux Australia is now censoring its mailing list and Jack Wallen says Ubuntu 14.10 was a boring release because they are in a holding pattern.

    • The Last Stand

      After more than seven years of Linux Outlaws, my co-host Dan and myself have decided to end the show. This decision has been a while in the making and it is with a heavy heart that I am commiting to finally announce it.

  • Kernel Space

    • 10 Great Quotes from LinuxCon and CloudOpen Europe Keynote Videos 2014

      There were many inspiring talks alongside the great technical content at LinuxCon, CloudOpen and Embedded Linux Conference Euorpe in Dusseldorf last month. To give you a taste, I’ve chosen a quote from each keynote that I think will get your blood pumping or pique your interest. You can watch each keynote in full, below, or on the Linux Foundation’s YouTube channel.

    • Intro to Systemd Runlevels and Service Management Commands
    • Designing user space device drivers in Linux

      Is it possible to run Linux device drivers in the user space? In the past, user space drivers were mostly used to make graphics run faster while avoiding the kernel. They increasingly became more important and the kernel is now seen as an obstacle to high server connection capacity. This is why hardware companies started to provide solutions for user space drivers.

    • New Kernel Live Patching Combines kGraft & Kpatch

      Back in February SUSE unveiled a new means of live Linux kernel patching, kGraft, compared to the existing Ksplice. One month later, Red Hat unveiled their own solution that happened to be under development at the same time, Kpatch. Since both of them have been out, both have pursued mainline interests but neither one accepted upstream yet. Now a new live kernel patching solution is out that tries to take the best of both worlds.

    • Shellshocked Linux kernel – the kernel column

      Jon Masters informs us of the kernel’s role in the latest Shellshock security vulnerability, and summarises the work in the kernel community towards a final 3.17 release

    • A ‘proprietary’ Linux would have cost $1 trillion & 8,000 person-years

      As CTO at open source Business Intelligence (BI) products company Pentaho, James Dixon is responsible for the firm’s architecture and technology roadmap.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Microsoft finally got it correct

      Some months ago, I visited a Microsoft site to see if it could identify my OS correctly. I am a Linux user and the site identified my computer as a device running Windows 8.


      Anyway, after all this time, I visited the MS site again and, to my surprise, it can now see me as a “non-windows user” :P Wow! I call that improvement!

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Franklin Weng: The strength behind open source is the strength of contributing

        Franklin is a 39 year old FOSS activist based in Taipei. He has coordinated KDE’s zh_TW translation team since 2006, and is the core developer of ezgo (Chinese), a compilation of educational software used by schools all over Taiwan. ezgo, which in its Linux installation uses KDE by default, blends more than 100 free software applications into one localized, easy to use package.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 1st June 2014
      • Is KDE 5 Ready, Repo Dark Sides, and Black Lab Linux

        Today in Linux news Chris Hoffman looks at the “hidden dark side of Linux software repositories” using Ubuntu and ownCloud as examples. Jack M. Germain test drives Black Lab Linux, an Ubuntu compatible distribution aiming for ease of use. Jos Poortvliet answers “Where is KDE 5 and when can I use it?” Phoronix is reporting on the Fedora project’s ambition to include AppData in its software and Charlene Begley has been appointed to Red Hat’s Board of Directors.

      • Where is KDE 5 and when can I use it?

        The vast majority of users, when talking about “using KDE”, are talking about the desktop. Plasma, that is. So when you ask “when will KDE 5 be ready?”, your answer will be that our brand new desktop is already at version 5.1 and making swift progress! Stability is quite good, but there’s work to do in the feature area. Distributions don’t ship it as default yet.

      • Kalzium Is a Great KDE Chemistry/Periodic Table Application

        Kalzium is a periodic table application for KDE which not only displays detailed information about elements and allows you to view the periodic table using different schemes, but also allows you to perform various calculations, plot data depending on various factors, or balance chemical equations. It is a useful educational tool which can be of great aid learning about chemical elements.

      • Gwenview Image Viewer for KDE Overview

        Although there are many image viewers for Linux, most of them are GTK-based and KDE is left behind with not so many options. Of course, there are applications like Krita or Kolourpaint, but these are image editors, not just simple viewers. Gwenview is the default image viewer in KDE, and it does its job very well. Not only it has enough features to accommodate the more demanding users (like ratings, file browser or thumbnail view), but its functionality can be extended using the KIPI plugins, a KDE set of image plugins used by applications like DigiKam as well, besides Gwenview.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 Screenshots Tour

        Ubuntu GNOME is an official flavour of Ubuntu, featuring the GNOME desktop environment. Ubuntu GNOME is a mostly pure GNOME desktop experience built from the Ubuntu repositories. Two years ago, Ubuntu GNOME has started as unofficial flavour to Ubuntu – see the release notes of 12.10 – and 6 months after that, Ubuntu GNOME has become an official flavour. So, 13.04, 13.10, 14.04 LTS and today, this is our 5th version and the 4th official one. Let’s find out more about Ubuntu GNOME 14.10

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Black Lab Linux Is GNOME 3′s Best Friend

        Black Lab Linux is a general purpose free distribution for home users and small-to-mid-sized businesses. This particular segment of the Linux OS tries to bridge free OS and preconfigured commercial hardware/software with a flexible set of options.

      • Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn : Fast and Responsive

        Xubuntu is an elegant Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, which uses the lightweight Xfce desktop environment to work, instead of the Unity desktop. Xubuntu is designed for computers with low computing resource, always guaranteeing the best performance.

    • New Releases

      • Welcome to Parsix GNU/Linux 7.0r0 Release Notes

        Parsix GNU/Linux is a live and installation DVD based on Debian. Our goal is to provide a ready to use and easy to install desktop and laptop optimized operating system based on Debian’s testing branch and the latest stable release of GNOME desktop environment. Users can easily install extra software packages from Parsix APT repositories. Our annual release cycle consists of two major and four minor versions. We have our own software repositories and build servers to build and provide all the necessary updates and missing features in Debian stable branch.

    • Screenshots

    • Ballnux/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 8.0 “Jessie” Enters Feature Freeze

        Debian developers have announced that the Debian 8.0 “Jessie” development cycle has been frozen and all the updates that will land from on now will consist only of bug fixes.

      • Joey Hess, Developer Of 18 Years With Debian Departs

        Perhaps it’s time that Debian reform it’s social contract/internal procedures to deal with dissent by better means than personal attacks on the lists or departures of key people. Democracy/fairness works but sometimes gets off the rails when conflicting groups try to have their way at the expense of others. It’s not enough just to have a mechanism to break deadlocks. It’s important to respect minorities of users as it is to respect the majority of developers. One only needs to see the USAian government to see how extremism and disrespect can go way overboard. We don’t want Debian to go that way.

      • Systemd fallout: Joey Hess quits Debian project

        The ruckus over the adoption of systemd as the default init system for Debian appears to have claimed a victim, with veteran developer Joey Hess announcing that he is leaving the project.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu, ownCloud, and a hidden dark side of Linux software repositories

            The version of ownCloud in Ubuntu’s Universe repositories is old and full of “multiple critical security vulnerabilities.” It’s no secret. The ownCloud project itself asked Ubuntu to remove it so users wouldn’t have vulnerable server software. Ubuntu suggested to ownCloud they should take over maintaining it instead. OwnCloud thought that was ridiculous—they just want to write software and not maintain it in every distribution’s repositories.

          • Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn review – No rainbows

            I am willing to extend the slight benefit of doubt to the Ubuntu family and retest on different hardware sometime in the future, as well as give Kubuntu and Xubuntu their due spin and such. But if this turns out to be legacy hardware issues so to speak, then we will be having an essay in expletives. Anyhow, skip this. Stay with Trusty, it’s awesome and stable and fun. And let’s see what the rest of the pack can do. For now, Unicorn, 0/10.

          • Details Emerge on UT One Ubuntu Linux Tablet

            Details continue to emerge on the UT One, the tablet with an Intel processor that will run on Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system. Here are the latest revelations on what will very possibly be one of the first x86-based mobile devices powered by an open source Linux distribution (yeah, Android is not really a Linux distribution).

            Rumors regarding the UT One, whose developers say they will have the hardware ready to ship by the end of this calendar year, first appeared about a week ago. Since then Canonical’s role has become clearer, even if the details of the relationship between the company and the UT One developers remain to be determined.

          • Canonical launches LXD: Secure, open-source container hypervisors

            Docker is making waves again. Just this week, Google Inc. launched its cloud-based Docker-as-a-service called “Container Engine”, which is now available on its Google Compute Engine platform. And now, not to be outdone, Canonical Ltd. is trying to put an entirely new spin on the container concept with the release of its new Linux Container Demon (LXD) project.

          • Press Reaction to Ubuntu 14.10 ‘Utopic Unicorn’

            Ubuntu 14.10 ‘Utopic Unicorn’ went public two weeks ago, giving the mainstream tech press ample time to cast a critical once over.

            As one might expect for this release, the coverage receiving it has been overwhelmingly ambivalent.

          • 20 things I did after installing Ubuntu 14.10/Ubuntu 14.04
          • Pro tip: How to easily upgrade Ubuntu 14.04 to 14.10

            Jack Wallen walks you through the process of upgrading your Ubuntu 14.04 release to 14.10.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn : Released With KDE 4.14 and KDE Plasma 5

              Kubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn was released and announced by Kubuntu team, as official ubuntu flavor based on Ubuntu 14.10 that uses the KDE desktop environment bring with new features and updates. it now ready to download and install on your computer.

              On this release Kubuntu team announce Kubuntu 14.10 with two varian, the stable KDE 4.14 (Plasma 4) running the desktop we know from ubuntu previous releases, and a tech preview of the next generation KDE Plasma 5 for early adopters.

            • Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn : Simple, Lightweight and Support for Low-end Machines

              Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn is an linux distribution derived from Ubuntu 14.10. As official ubuntu flavor that uses the lightweight LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) window manager has been released with new features and bug fixes.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rugged Linux box-PC excels at industrial fieldbuses

      Ixxat’s ruggedized “Econ 100″ DIN rail computer runs Linux on an ARM/FPGA Xilinx Zynq SoC, and supports multiple industrial Ethernet and fieldbus protocols.

    • Rugged industrial gateway runs Linux on TI Sitara

      Advantech’s rugged, industrial gateway computer runs Linux on a Sitara AM3352, and features dual gigabit Ethernet ports, WiFi, CAN, and five serial ports.

      Previous UBC-branded box computers have offered the Freescale i.MX6 system-on-chips, but for the Linux-ready “UBC-FA30,” Advantech has turned to the Texas Instruments Sitara AM3352. This low-end, Cortex-A8 Sitara AM355x SoC lacks the 3D graphics and PRU subsystems of some the other Sitara models, but can still crank it up to 1GHz, the maximum clock rate available on the UBC-FA30.

    • BeagleBoard-X15 sports dual-core Cortex-A15 Sitara

      BeagleBoard.org is prepping a “BeagleBoard-X15″ SBC that will ship in February with 2GB of RAM, dual GbE ports, eSATA, and TI’s dual-core Sitara AM5728 SoC.

    • BeagleBone cape eases access to the Sitara SoC’s PRU
    • Bullet Pi Interview

      So I’d seen The Matrix and also a BBC programme called Supernatural: The Unseen Powers Of Animals, where they shot dolphins jumping out of the water and they could just freeze time, and then spin round so you saw the water drops, and I thought that was a really amazing effect. And reading how it was done, it was with a whole array of cameras and it seemed quite simple. So I had the Raspberry Pi and a couple of cameras sat on my desk, and it was sort of like, ‘Well, if it seems that simple, then surely if we just got a whole load of Raspberry Pis and cameras – and they’re not that expensive – why shouldn’t we just be able to build it?’ It was one of those moments where you think it should work but you don’t actually know. So what I did was buy four cameras and I tried it, and that looked like it would work – it gave us a tantalising glimpse that we could do it.

    • Tiny Raspberry Pi A+ SBC goes for $20

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation launched a Model A+ with a $20 price, and a tiny 65 x 56mm footprint, 23g weight, and compact 40-pin expansion header.

    • Raspberry Pi supercapacitor micro-UPS seeks funding
    • New Raspberry Pi A+ computer gets smaller, cheaper, and therefore more awesome

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation unveiled its latest computer today, the A+, a smaller version of its previous release that costs only $20.

    • New Raspberry Pi Gets Even Smaller, Cheaper

      Home-baked computing just got a little cheaper: The next-generation Raspberry Pi A+ data processor is available now for $20.

      A step up from the original Model A, this low-cost variant comes after the summer release of the $35 Raspberry Pi B+.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • [Developer] Booting Tizen Common on Radxa Rock with Rockchip RK3188

          Our friend Leon Anavi is at it again !!!! What I mean by that vague statement is that he is porting Tizen onto another Development Board, in this case the Radxa Rock dev board that supports the Rockchip RK3188 SoC, which is a 28nm 1.8Ghz quad core ARM Cortex A9 and quad core Mali 400-mp4 GPU. It has 2GB DDR3 RAM and 8GB internal storage

      • Android

        • Smartphone Bloodbath Q3 full results Top 10 brands, OS platforms and installed base (corrected)

          So yeah no change here. Its a two-horse race that Android is totally dominating. Now for the next quarter expect the traditional ‘first full quarter of new iPhone model sales surge’ but then it again settles down. On an annual basis Android OS outsells iPhones by more than 5 to 1. Windows is dead. Blackberry is now a miniscule niche. None of the new OS platforms has yet caught on fire or behaved like a fox.


          Yeah, nothing new here either. Android keeps growing, iOS has a higher market share in installed base than new sales primarily as iPhones have a far longer use often being passed down than most smartphones but still Android installed base is well more than 3 times larger than iOS

Free Software/Open Source

  • After years of touting its cloud computing tech, Joyent open sources it
  • Joyent Clarifies its Love for Docker, and its Intent to Work With It
  • Joyent Open Sources its Central Cloud and Container Tools
  • Joyent Makes Open Source Private Cloud Container Platform Available
  • Joyent and Canonical to open source container technologies

    Joyent and Canonical are the latest cloud firms to open source their container technologies.

    Joyent, which recently raised $15m in funding, announced a container-based cloud-hosting platform that could be used as the basis for running large-scale, big-data tasks.

  • Talk with CEO of Kaleidos, new project management tool Taiga

    When I introduced Taiga on Opensource.com, the article was well received. It seemed like people were looking for a new project management system and Taiga satisfied some of the requirements in mind. As evidenced, in the first month of its existence, Taiga gained approximately 12,000 registered members, 10,000 projects, and 1000 GitHub clones. They are also seeing considerable traffic from Fortune 500 companies starting projects!

  • Rackspace offers free open source private cloud templates

    Rackspace has produced a suite of free software templates for firms to use to deploy some of the most widely used open source applications available.

  • OpenStack ROI and the Myths of Open Source

    In a panel at the OpenStack Summit here, executives from HP, Piston Cloud Computing and SwiftStack answered questions about the ROI (Return on Investment) from OpenStack.

  • eNcade Is a Portable Raspberry Pi Gaming Console That Doubles Up as a Desktop PC

    eNcade is a portable Raspberry Pi-powered gaming tablet that is currently in the works. Its makers are looking for funding on Kickstarter and they are hoping to get enough money so that they can properly start this project.

  • Raspberry Pi Annual on sale today
  • Is the business of FOSS really community software?

    For the time being, we are using the term community software for the reasons Rob talked about in his original article on the subject. An important way to think about community software is that if free software represents the ethics and open source concerns represents the technology, then community software represents the business. This is important because we need to acknowledge that business provides the resources we need to develop our communities. This is not limited to financial resources but also knowledge sharing across a broad range of disciplines including marketing, legal matters, and technical expertise. Community software is a way for those of us engaged in these activities to have a voice alongside developers and engineers.

  • Companies Are Finally Learning To Share—The Open Source Way

    What may be new is a willingness to actually engage in open source, rather than simply use it. While there is value in simply using open-source software, there’s far more value in participating in it.

  • Twitter Emojis Are Now Open Source

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, what about an emoji? The official stance: Free. Twitter has announced that after a project to make their emojis more readable on the web, it’s now making them completely open source — which means you can expect to see them in all the varied nooks and crannies of this here internet.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Turns 10, Making Reglue Stick & Outlaws Ride
      • Mozilla Delivers Firefox Developer Edition

        Mozilla has officially launched Firefox Developer Edition, billing it as “the first browser created specifically for developers.” If developers sound like a very narrowcasted audience to aim a browser at, remember that many of them complain about having to work across numerous platforms and environments and aim for disparate app stores. There are also a lot of them who work in Firefox via tools such as Firebug.

  • Databases

    • MongoDB’s Dwight Merriman: From DoubleClick to Database

      About an hour or so after Jeffrey Hammond from Forrester Research gave his keynote address at All Things Open, in which he spoke of a survey which found that three out of four programmers use open source development tools, I had the opportunity to talk with an entrepreneur developer who’s definitely sold on FOSS. “The days of closed source software are kind of over,” he says, “except for special cases.”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation sets precedents & paves new opportunities for Free Software

      The Document Foundation role is to support and grow the LibreOffice & Document Liberation project and promote Free Software and Open Standards. You will notice in this statement two key points; first, it is not directly the role of the Document Foundation to develop the LibreOffice code: the community of volunteers is in charge of that and second, the actual role of the foundation is actually to protect and cater to the community’s needs and logistics.

    • LibreOffice defends handling of spreadsheet bug

      A new version of LibreOffice’s Calc program has broken many spreadsheets, users say, and a perceived unwillingness by developers to address the problem has sparked an ill-tempered argument.

  • Education

    • Root access for students at Penn Manor

      So, what is Penn Manor doing differently? First, they’re doing everything with open source. They use Koha, Moodle, Linux, WordPress, Ubuntu, OwnCloud, SIPfoundry, and VirtualBox.

  • BSD

    • archive.org is good for old tech docs

      I saw on Undeadly a note that OpenBSD’s Ted was patching the ancient bcd program, which converts text into ASCII-art representations of punch cards. Punch cards were a technology from the 1960s and 1970s (?) that stored code or data on cardstock, with holes punched out of them. Each card held a line of text. If I recall correctly, each character was a column on the card, with as many as seven holes punched out of set of 12 possible locations. There were 40 to 80 columns on the card, according to the brand and the decade.


    • Software Freedom Conservancy and Free Software Foundation announce copyleft.org

      This new site will not only provide a venue for those who constantly update and improve the Comprehensive Tutorial, but is also now home to a collaborative community to share and improve information about copyleft licenses, especially the GNU General Public License (GPL), and best compliance practices.

    • GNU acct 6.6.2
    • We Fix the Net Assembly @ 31c3

      The “We Fix the Net” assembly” is to be the perfect place at 31c3 for all hackers to do something about replacing today’s broken Internet with secure alternatives. We hope to have some talks and panels like last year. Details will be posted here closer to the congress, for now, please contact us at wefixthenet@gnunet.org if you are interested to present your work or organize something practical.

  • Licensing

    • 3 great reasons to give away your precious tech under an open-source license

      Earlier this week, cloud provider Joyent did a surprising thing: It shared its finely tuned cloud software, SmartDataCenter, under an open-source license.

      But while it might seem like the company is giving away its high-value intellectual property at a time when Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have made the public cloud market ultra-competitive, Bryan Cantrill, the company’s chief technology officer, actually has some very smart justifications for the move, which he spelled out in a blog post.

    • Why all software needs a license

      All software developers should add a copyright license. Why? Because open source licensing is all about granting permission in advance

  • Openness/Sharing

    • New games on Linux, OpenGL graphics driver, Coco2d-x game engine, and more
    • First Open-Source Algorithm Cooperative Announced at MEMS Executive Congress US 2014
    • Open source bioinformatics data platform gets helps from student hackers

      At Era7 Bioinformatics, we are a bioinformatics company specializing in sequence analysis, knowledge management, and sequencing data interpretation. Our mission is to help our customers obtain the maximum value from their Next Generation Sequencing projects. And, Bio4j is our high-performance, cloud-enabled, graph-based, and open source bioinformatics data platform, integrating the data available in the most representative open data sources around protein information. It integrates the data available in UniProt KB (SwissProt + Trembl), Gene Ontology (GO), UniRef (50, 90, 100), RefSeq, NCBI taxonomy, and Expasy Enzyme DB. The current version has more than 2,000,000,000 relationships, 400,000,000 nodes and 1,000,000,000 properties. Bio4j provides a completely new and powerful framework for protein related information querying and management. Since it relies on a high-performance graph engine, data is stored in a way that semantically represents its own structure. On the contrary, traditional relational databases must flatten the data they represent into tables, creating artificial ids in order to connect the different tuples; which can in some cases eventually lead to domain models that have almost nothing to do with the actual structure of data.

    • Developer browser, Google open source releases, and more
    • Open Data

      • Cory Doctorow: Information Doesn’t Want To Be Free

        The technical implausibility and unintended consequences of digital locks are big problems for digital-lock makers. But we’re more interested in what digital locks do to creators and their investors, and there’s one important harm we need to discuss before we move on. Digital locks turn paying customers into pirates.


  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Richmond Voters Beat Chevron Corporate Coup d’ Etat

      In Richmond, CA, three seats on the City Council were up for election; the city also stood to elect a new mayor. Nothing unusual in this, perhaps, was it not for Chevron’s $3.1 million dollar campaign to highjack the elections, which was first revealed by journalism student and former Center for Media and Democracy reporter, Harriet Rowan in the Berkeley publication Richmond Confidential.

    • Meet Wisconsin’s Wacky New Congressman

      America, meet Glenn Grothman, Wisconsin’s newly-elected, weekend-hating Congressman who has a beef with Kwanzaa and his own explanation for the gender pay gap.

      According to Grothman, “money is more important for men.”

      The Republican state senator was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday, winning handily in Wisconsin’s gerrymandered 6th Congressional District.

      “Glenn Grothman doesn’t just drink the crazy right-wing Kool-Aid,” said Congressman Mark Pocan in 2011, when he was a state representative. “He is the one making it.”

  • Privacy

    • Silk Road, other Tor “darknet” sites may have been “decloaked” through DDoS [Updated]

      Last week’s takedown of Silk Road 2.0 wasn’t the only law enforcement strike on “darknet” illicit websites being concealed by the Tor Project’s network of anonymizing routers. A total of 410 .onion pages on at least 27 different sites, some of which sell everything from drugs to murder-for-hire assassins, were shut down as part of Operation Onymous—a joint operation between16 member nations of Europol, the FBI, and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    • Raided for hosting a Tor node? New precedent set

      Over the last 48 hours the alleged owner of Silk Road 2.0 has been arrested in San Francisco and named as Blake Benthall, a former SpaceX employee who left the firm in February. I got alerted to this event via the Tor subreddit where an eastern European (he didn’t disclose what country) said his house had been raided, two computers seized and told he is an ‘international suspect of fraud and money laundering’ and could face a maximum sentence of fourteen years in prison although no charges have been pressed at this point.

    • Biggest ever Tor raid hits 410 underground sites; 17 arrested

      Coordinated raids by law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and 16 European countries have closed hundreds of underground websites, including dozens dealing in weapons and drugs, and led to the arrest of 17 people.

    • Symposium: Mass Surveillance — When Reality Exceeds The Fiction

      As part of an exceptional event, the Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival and La Quadrature du Net partner for a symposium on mass surveillance. The largest gathering of thinkers, activists and artists – since Edward Snowden’s revelations – will take place in Portugal on the 14th, 15th and 16th of November 2014, in the Cultural Center of Belem.

    • The courts should decide how much privacy we’re entitled to – not GCHQ
    • British Spies Are Free to Target Lawyers and Journalists

      British spies have been granted the authority to secretly eavesdrop on legally privileged attorney-client communications, according to newly released documents.

      On Thursday, a series of previously classified policies confirmed for the first time that the U.K.’s top surveillance agency Government Communications Headquarters (pictured above) has advised its employees: “You may in principle target the communications of lawyers.”

    • Did the government hack a CBS journalist? Maybe. [Updated]

      Sharyl Attkisson was hacked. The computers used by the former CBS News investigative reporter were found to have been remotely accessed and tampered with, according to both a CBS-hired forensics expert and a reputable information security firm that did an analysis commissioned by Attkisson herself. Those are the facts as we know them.

    • Remember, Remember: Reflections On This Fifth Of November

      As this Fifth of November gathered more people than ever, demanding an end to surveillance and censorship and calling for civil liberties such as freedom of speech to be restored, it is adequate to reflect a bit, just as V originally did.

    • Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

      This week, and our first place comment for insightful scored pretty high on the funny side too (though not quite enough to break the top two). After it was discovered that Islamic extremists were using the YouTube copyright dispute process to get personal data on critics, Jon Renaut noted that technically this fulfills an old fearmonger prophecy:

      They keep telling us that copyright infringement helps terrorists and now look – sure enough, the laws we made them pass to stop infringement are finally doing it.

    • What Makes a Good Security Audit?

      EFF recently began a new Campaign for Secure & Usable Crypto, with the aim of encouraging the creation and use of tools and protocols that not only offer genuinely secure messaging, but are also usable in practice by the humans who are most vulnerable to dangerous surveillance, including those who are not necessarily sophisticated computer users. The first phase of this campaign is the Secure Messaging Scorecard, which aims to identify messaging systems that are on the right track from a security perspective. In subsequent phases of the campaign, we plan to delve deeper into the usability and security properties of the tools that are doing best in the Scorecard. One crucial aspect of the Scorecard and the campaign is and will be code auditing. We’ve gotten a lot of questions about the auditing column in the Scorecard, so we thought it would be good to expand on it here.

    • Berlin’s digital exiles: where tech activists go to escape the NSA

      With its strict privacy laws, Germany is the refuge of choice for those hounded by the security services. Carole Cadwalladr visits Berlin to meet Laura Poitras, the director of Edward Snowden film Citizenfour, and a growing community of surveillance refuseniks

  • Civil Rights

    • NYPD officers charged after video catches teen getting pistol whipped

      “The video speaks for itself, doesn’t it?” Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said Wednesday about a brief video recording that led to two New York Police Department cops being charged in connection to the pistol-whipping assault of a 16-year-old Brooklyn boy. The boy, who was arrested for marijuana possession, ended up with broken teeth and bruises.

      The officers charged in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Wednesday are David Afanador, 33, and Tyrane Isaac, 36, both nine-year veterans.

      The 82-second video of the teen’s August 29 beating—widely available on the Internet—was captured by a local Crown Heights business. The tape shows the boy running before eventually stopping and raising his hands, after which he is pummeled and taken to the ground.

    • Video: In expletive-laced encounter, officer allegedly slaps man

      A Saratoga County sheriff’s sergeant was suspended after a video posted on the Internet Friday captured him allegedly slapping a young man as the deputy insisted on searching his vehicle, which had a rifle on the back seat.

      Sheriff Michael Zurlo on Saturday said he was “very disturbed” by what he saw on the video.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Leaked Documents Raise Concerns Over Chemical Dangers of TTIP

      Documents leaked in October 2014 reveal that the upcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal potentially threatens public safety by reducing the ability of the European Union (EU) to enforce safety requirements on dangerous carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting chemicals. As Nadia Prupis reports for Common Dreams, this agreement would establish a cooperative front on the part of the two powers to create common regulations under the banner of decreasing trade barriers.

    • Copyrights

      • Islamic Extremists Use YouTube’s Automated Copyright Dispute Process To Access Critics’ Personal Data

        YouTube’s infringement reporting system is — like many others around the web — fundamentally broken. Making bogus copyright claims is still an easy way to get channels shut down or to siphon ad revenue from existing videos. It can also be used as a censor — a cheap and dirty way to shut up critics or remove compromising video.

      • AVG Monitors Torrenting Habits to Advise Heavy Downloaders

        Anti-virus software can be a great help to keep viruses and malware at bay, but AVG takes its responsibilities a bit further. Avid BitTorrent users who download files at near-maximum speeds get a friendly reminder from AVG explaining that they may want to pause their downloads to improve web browsing.

      • Pirate Bay Founder Peter Sunde Released From Prison

        Former Pirate Bay spokesperson Peter Sunde is a free man again. After more than five months he was released from prison this morning. Peter is expected to take some time off to spend with family and loved ones before he continues working on making the Internet a better place.

      • BitTorrent Wins $2.2 Million Damages From “Scammer”

        BitTorrent Inc, the parent company of the popular file-sharing applications uTorrent and BitTorrent, has won $2.3 million in damages from its German namesake Bittorrent Marketing GMBH. A federal court in California branded the German company a cybersquatter and ruled that it misled BitTorrent users for financial gain.


Links 7/11/2014: War Thunder on GNU/Linux, KaOS ISO 2014.11

Posted in News Roundup at 8:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • ON.Lab, backed by AT&T and NTT, offers open source SDN operating system

    The Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab), a non-profit open source software-defined network (SDN) tool development ecosystem out of Stanford University and UC Berkeley, has unveiled an SDN Open Network Operating System (ONOS). ON.Lab ONOS community founding members include AT&T and NTT Communications, who would appear to be in line to implement ONOS in their networks in the near future.

  • Joyent open-sources its core technology

    Not all the action is happening at the OpenStack Summit in Paris. In a bold move, cloud specialist Joyent has announced it’s open-sourcing its core technology. That includes software that competes directly with OpenStack and enables high-performance use of container technology like Docker. The newly open projects enable easy management of containers at scale.

  • Look out OpenDaylight, there’s a new open source SDN controller

    ON.Lab pitches ONOS, an open source SDN controller that offers more scalability than OpenDaylight. Competition could be good and bad.

  • Sensor Fusion Goes Open-Source

    Analog Devices, Freescale, PNI Sensor Corp., and the MEMS Industry Group formed the Accelerated Innovation Community, a group dedicated to providing open-source algorithms for sensors. AIC also plans to announce an I/O standard for sensors in collaboration with the MIPI Alliance.

    Engineers shouldn’t have “to reinvent the wheel on common algorithms every time they want to add or change functionality in their product,” said Karen Lightman, executive director of the MEMS Industry Group (MIG). “Access to an open-source library of introductory algorithms fundamentally changes the development paradigm.”

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s Firefox OS readies for Africa launch

        Phones running the operating system have been gradually hitting various markets across Europe since last year, and have since been released in Brazil, India, and Asian markets too. Now the Mozilla Foundation is looking to expand Firefox OS’ reach to Africa.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Using Open Source Solutions for Cloud-Ready Big Data Management

      Information interchange has reached all new levels. Now, much more than before, organizations are relying on large data sets to help them run, quantify and grow their business. Just a few years ago, we were already working with large databases. Over the last couple of years, those demands have evolved into giga, tera, and petabytes. This data no longer resides in just one location. With cloud computing, it is truly distributed.

    • OpenStack: Distribution or service?

      OpenStack cloud technology is getting very popular, but how should your business use it: By deploying an OpenStack distribution in your servers or data center, or by using it as a service from a service provider?

  • Databases

  • BSD

    • NetBSD Gets Multi-Core Support Working For ARM

      NetBSD developers have finally managed to enable SMP support for modern ARM SoCs.

    • The NetBSD Project: ARM multiprocessor support

      Those following the source-changes mailing list closely may have noticed several evbarm kernels getting “options MULTIPROCESSOR” in the last few days. This is due to those configurations now running properly in SMP mode, thanks to work mostly done by Matt Thomas and Nick Hudson.


    • GnuPG 2.1.0 Supports ECC, Other Improvements

      GnuPG 2.1 brings support for Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC), merging of secret keys is now supported, support for PGP-2 keys has been dropped for security reasons, create/signing key improvements, improvements to handling key server pools, a new format is used for locally storing public keys, card support has been updated, X.509 certificate creation has been improved, and there’s many other enhancements.

    • New GIMP Save/Export plug-in: Saver

      The split between Save and Export that GIMP introduced in version 2.8 has been a matter of much controversy. It’s been over two years now, and people are still complaining on the gimp-users list.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Highwire publishers to pilot eLife open-source tool

        The Journal of Biological Chemistry, The Plant Cell, Journal of Lipid Research, and mBio are among the journals introducing the Lens viewing experience to readers this fall. First introduced by eLife in 2013, Lens is aimed at making reading scientific articles on-screen easier by making it possible to explore figures, figure descriptions, references, and more – without losing your place in the article text.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open hardware sensor BITalino for cool projects

        Smaller than a credit card, BITalino is a low-cost hardware and open source software toolkit, aligned with the DIY (do-it-yourself) movement. It enables anyone to create quirky and serious projects alike for wearable health tracking devices. The base kit includes sensors to measure your muscles, heart, nervous system, motion, and ambient light—and it includes a microcontroller, Bluetooth, power management module, and all the accessories needed to start working.

  • Programming


  • Security

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Media advise Dems to move to the right once more

      With the Democrats suffering substantial losses in the 2014 midterm elections, it is likely that the advice from pundits and political journalists will be the same as it always is: Move to the right.

  • Censorship

    • Lena Dunham, Meet Barbara Streisand — Have You Met?

      Lena Dunham, who apparently is famous for a HBO show I haven’t watched, has a memoir out. I don’t approve of 28-year-olds having memoirs unless and until they have been shot for advocating for the downtrodden or something, but Ms. Dunham is hardly the first to commit this minor sin.

      This weekend Ms. Dunham became very upset because some people — mostly on conservative political websites — described her memoir as a confession to sexually abusing her little sister.

    • Lena Dunham Once Again Threatens Lawsuit Over An Interpretation Of Her Book That She Doesn’t Like

      We’ve only written about Lena Dunham once before, and it was in the context of her threatening a lawsuit against Gawker for daring to publish her book proposal and comment on it, mocking Dunham. At the time, as noted, I’d never even heard of Dunham. I’ve still never seen her show, but I have seen/heard her interviewed a few times, and I don’t quite understand why there’s so much hate directed at her some of the time. She seems to have an interesting perspective on life and has turned it into a very successful TV show. Good for her. Still, this is now the second time we’ve felt the need to write about Dunham and, once again, it’s about an apparent legal threat from her, based on her book. This time it’s not about the book proposal, but the book itself, now that it’s out.

    • Roca Labs Threatens Other Sites For Writing About Its Case, Files Another Questionable Document

      Apparently, though, Roca Labs just keeps threatening people for covering the case. We’ve heard from a few others who received similar threats to the one we received, and the latest is Tracy Coenen, a fraud investigator who writes the Fraud Files blog, where she covered the Roca lawsuit, the lawsuit against a former customer and the fake implied endorsement from Alfonso Ribeiro.

  • Privacy

    • Open Rights Group: RIPA not fit for purpose

      Further evidence that the Regulatory of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) is being used to violate the rights of UK citizens was exposed today. Documents released by human rights organisation, Reprieve show that GCHQ and MI5 staff were told they could target lawyers’ communications. This undermines legal privilege that ensures communications between lawyers and their clients are confidential.

    • GCHQ are plunging into the privacy debate.

      Writing in Tuesday’s Financial Times, the new director of GCHQ Robert Hannigan, called for “greater co-operation from technology companies” to stop terrorists and criminals groups using online services as their “command-and-control networks of choice”.

    • The courts should decide how much privacy we’re entitled to – not GCHQ

      In his first public statement since becoming Director of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan yesterday described the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google and Apple as, ‘the command-and-control networks of choice for terrorists and criminals,’ and called on them to give ‘greater co-operation’ to the intelligence services. It is a surprising challenge to these companies, given how much GCHQ relies on them for our data.


      The problem is that GCHQ and the NSA don’t want personal security to get in the way of them looking at our data: they want banks of computers to check on everyone to make sure you don’t pose a threat to them. That is what bulk collection and analysis means, though they daren’t spell it out that way. Instead, they talk of “needles” being separated from “innocent hay”.

    • Facial Recognition: It’s Hide Your Face Time

      The day is rapidly approaching when every city in the U.S. will be like London is now, with surveillance cameras connected to a grid covering every cubic inch of the city, not dissimilar to what we see weekly on “Person of Interest”. Already, in London, computers connected to these cameras can detect “suspicious behavior”. Add facial recognition technology to that and it really will be like “Person of Interest”, especially in a nation that’s convinced that terrorists are hiding around every corner. The technology is sure to be abused, as law enforcement has never found a technology they didn’t overuse.

    • James Comey Again Demands Tech Companies Do As He Says And Grant The FBI Complete Access To Whatever It Wants

      And what has all this “demanding” and “doubling down” netted Comey? Nothing really. He still needs a compliant legislative body to oblige his fantasies of subservient tech companies opening wide for fat-fingered g-men.

    • FBI Director: Tech companies must unlock devices if requested by officials

      The director of the FBI on Monday doubled down on demands that Silicon Valley giants cooperate in the course of criminal investigations, saying that tech companies such as Apple and Google have to unlock cellphones, if authorities request it.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Verizon Now Pleads For Bogus Net Neutrality Rules Under 706 Promising It Won’t Sue This Time, Ignoring That Others Will Sue

      One of the points that we’ve made a few times concerning the whole net neutrality fight is that whatever rules are put in place, someone is going to sue. As we noted in that post, Verizon’s original filing on the net neutrality plan the FCC announced back in May (based on Section 706) suggested that Verizon would sue over those rules if they were put in place (in contrast to Comcast and AT&T who both said they’d be fine with rules under 706). Since then, it’s become clear that lots of other ISPs have made it clear to Verizon that it should shut up and sit tight, because its own lawsuit that kicked out the 2010 rules now seem likely to lead to much stricter laws.

      So it’s fairly amusing to see Verizon put out a blog post effectively now pleading for the May rules under 706 — rules that it didn’t initially support — now that it’s come out that the FCC is considering this new “hybrid plan.” Suddenly, according to Verizon, rules under 706 are unassailable and won’t lead to a lawsuit, while everything else will.

  • DRM

    • AT&T Still Proudly Makes Unlocking Phones Under Contract Annoying and Impossible

      One of the more interesting things unveiled at Apple’s most recent press event was the company’s AppleSIM, or universal SIM technology embedded in the iPad Air 2 that quickly allows users to switch carriers, presenting you with easy wireless broadband pricing for each carrier option. Of course, when Apple quietly announced this functionality, Verizon wasn’t listed as a supporter.

Links 6/11/2014: Ubuntu Tablet Confirmed, Compiz 0.9.12 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 12:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Avis Budget Shifts to Linux to Cut Software Costs in Half

    CIO Gerard Insall predicts major cost savings by shifting away from an IBM operating system. The move is part of a larger IT modernization program geared toward cutting costs and increasing agility at the car rental and sharing company.

  • About Linux Weekly News – 3rd November 2014

    A report in “The Inquirer” states that China has previously denounced Windows 8 as a spyware tool and would therefore be developing its own distribution called “NeoKylin”, based on Ubuntu.

  • Server

    • Google Cloud Platform Live: Introducing Container Engine, Cloud Networking and much more

      Our Partner Lounge at the SF event features Tableau, Red Hat, DataStax, MongoDB, SaltStack, Fastly and Bitnami. Bitnami announced its Launchpad for Google Cloud Platform featuring almost 100 cloud images, enabling our users to deploy common open source applications and development environments on our infrastructure in one-click. Fastly announced a new offering called Cloud Accelerator, a collaboration with Google Cloud Platform that improves content delivery and performance at the edge.

    • Google Sets Sights Squarely on Docker with New Container Engine

      A few months ago, I covered the news that Google had released Kubernetes under an open-source license, which is essentially a version of Borg, designed to harness computing power from data centers into a powerful virtual machine. It can make a difference for many cloud computing deployments, and optimizes usage of container technology. You can find the source code for Kubernetes on GitHub.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma-nm release

        I just want to inform you (those who are still running KDE 4) that we released a new version of your favorite network applet. This new release brings to you many bug fixes and should make your life easier. We really recommend to update to the new version as we, not intentionally, introduced some new issues in the previous version. Together with the new release of plasma-nm we also released our libnm-qt library which is also needed if you want to have fixes from plasma-nm properly working.

      • KDE Developer Aaron Seigo Joins Kolab Systems

        Aaron Seigo is a seasoned open source developer who leads the Plasma team at KDE. He also tried to bring a Linux-based tablet to the market through his Vivaldi project. He recently joined Kolab Systems, and we talked to him as well as Kolab CEO Georg Greve to understand what Kolab does and how Aaron, a KDE developer, will help the company.

      • KDE’s Plasma 5 Has Big Plans For 2015

        KDE’s Sebastian Kügler has written a lengthy blog post about some of the items that developers will hopefully accomplish in 2015 for Plasma 5.

      • KDE Telepathy Instant Messenger 0.9 for 14.10

        Our instant messaging application KDE Telepathy 0.9.0 has been released. Packages are avaialble for Kubuntu 14.10 and our development version Vivid.

      • NetworkManagerQt is out
      • Early announce: Qt4 removal in Jessie+1

        Qt4 has been deprecated since Qt5′s first release on December 19th 2012, that means almost two years ago!

      • Rocs KF5 Progress
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME at FSCONS14 in Gothenburg, Sweden

        I was glad to be invited to FSONCS 2014 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Remember that this is also the place for next year’s GUADEC! This year’s FSCONS was attended by around 150 people or so. I guess it was a bit less. That might not sound like a lot, but it’s a very cool event with many interesting people and talks.

      • Compiz 0.9.12 Released, Starts Porting GTK Window Decorator To GTK+ 3

        While Compiz 1.0 might never be reached given its diminishing usage these days and bleak outlook with Unity 8 being designed around Mir, Compiz 0.9.12 was released today with some minor new developments.

  • Distributions

    • 4MLinux Media Edition 10.1 Beta Features Flash Player Support Out of the Box

      4MLinux Media Edition, a special distribution with a wide set of multimedia tools and software, has advanced to version 10.1 and is now ready for download and testing.

    • Kano: The Can-Do Coding Kit for Kids of All Ages

      Kano is a computer and coding kit that is suitable for all ages. Well, to be truthful, Kano’s step-by-step instructions in the included booklets and its simplified Linux-based operating system target kids aged 6 to 14.

    • Kano Linux kit makes coding and hacking fun for kids
    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • CPLANE NETWORKS Announces Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform Certification for Dynamic Virtual Networks V1.1

        CPLANE NETWORKS, the leader in high-performance Software-Defined Networking (SDN), today announced that Dynamic Virtual Networks (DVN) V1.1 has achieved certification for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. DVN transforms static physical networks into virtualized resource pools that can be allocated on demand, significantly reducing the time and cost to deploy cloud applications.

      • Red Hat and Wipro Extend Partnership, Collaborate to Advance Enterprise OpenStack Implementations, Deliver DevOps Solutions with OpenShift
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 21 beta finally arrives

          Previously, Fedora was first and foremost a desktop distribution that also contained server elements. If all went well, the new features introduced in Fedora would eventually appear in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). This go-around, there are three Fedora spins: one for the cloud, one for the server, and one for the workstation.

        • Upgrading a Yoga 2 Pro’s SSD

          For reasons I can’t recall I have my encrypted /home *not* on a logical volume so growing it into the free space on the new disk basically just involved booting from a live USB stick, unlocking the LUKS volume, using gdisk to delete the existing partition and creating a new, larger one starting at the same offset, e2fsck, and resize2fs. If you’re going to do this yourself, you should of course back up your data first.

        • Fedora Beta Council

          No, no, we won’t have Beta Council, we’re going to have final release from beginning (although implementation details has to be sorted out). It was just a coincidence – Fedora 21 Beta was released the same day as Council elections nomination period opened. Two announcements that had to go out yesterday.

        • Fedora 21 Workstation Preview – YouTube Video

          Sometimes you can talk a subject to death and it won’t matter. So, it helps greatly for people who have no Linux experience to get a visualization of what Fedora is all about.

        • Fedora 21 Beta Is Out and It Features GNOME 3.14

          The Fedora Project has released the first Beta for Fedora 21, taking this distribution a lot closer to the final version, which should land in a little over a month.

    • Debian Family

      • My Free Software Activities in October 2014

        With the Jessie freeze approaching, I took care of packaging some new upstream releases that I wanted to get in. I started with zim 0.62, I had skipped 0.61 due to some annoying regressions. Since I had two bugs to forward, I took the opportunity to reach out to the upstream author to see if he had some important fixes to get into Jessie. This resulted in me pushing another update with 3 commits cherry picked from the upstream VCS. I also sponsored a wheezy-backports of the new version.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Drops Ubuntu 14.10 Dedicated Images for Apple Hardware

            Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) has been available for a couple of weeks and the reception has been positive for the most part, but there is one small piece of interesting information that didn’t get revealed. It looks like the Ubuntu devs don’t need to build specific images for Apple hardware…

          • Ubuntu LXD: Not a Docker replacement, a Docker enhancement

            Sometimes it seems that Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, can’t win for losing. Often accused of trying to force other open-source groups to follow their lead by keeping projects internal until they feel it’s ready to be shared with others, when Ubuntu announced its intention to build LXD, a hypervisor for containers, at the OpenStack Summit, the company was immediately accused of announcing vaporware (!); of shoving LXD down other programmers’ throats; and of trying to replace Docker.

          • Ubuntu Global And Chinese Stats

            Further, there have been millions of downloads of the new Kylin GNU/Linux based on Ubuntu so growth will likely accelerate.

          • Canonical Launches LXD Open Source Virtualization Container
          • Canonical pushes LXD, its new mysterious drug for Linux containers
          • Ubuntu’s Click Packages Might End the Linux Packaging Nightmare

            The new Click packages that are already used on the Ubunu Touch platform by Canonical are also coming to the desktop and they might be able to change the Linux packaging paradigm.

          • Canonical Confirms Involvement in Ubuntu Linux Tablet

            When news broke a few days ago about development of an Ubuntu Linux-based x86 tablet called the UT One, it seemed like Canonical was not part of the endeavor. But that’s wrong, according to information from the man behind the project, who contacted The VAR Guy this week with more details on the open source mobile device.

          • Ubuntu GNOME 14.10: Unifying the Linux desktop

            As you may know, Ubuntu 14.10 came out with about as much fanfare as growing grass. If you’re unsure why this happened, it’s simple — Ubuntu is in a state of holding because of Unity 8/Mir. Until that happens, Ubuntu version upgrades will be about bug fixes and not much more. It makes sense… why dump a bunch of time/effort into an interface that’s about to undergo a radical shit?

          • Flavours and Variants

            • elementary OS Freya Features a Beautiful Notification System

              The Linux distros have all kinds of system notification mechanisms. Some are better than others, but for the most part they function the way they should. On the other hand, some developers, like the ones from the elementary OS team, go a little bit further and they are able to provide a much better experience for the end users.

            • Linux Distros & the ‘Except When We Don’t’ Syndrome

              Each distro is, in fact, a separate Linux based operating system. Usually, a distro is designed to meet specific needs of a particular set of users. RHEL, SUSE and CentOS are designed primarily for use by businesses on servers. Mint, Ubuntu, Mageia and the like are designed for those who need productivity on the desktop and who would rather the operating system just take care of itself — probably the biggest set of users of desktop Linux. The class of distro that includes Slackware and Gentoo are for those who need to customize their systems to exactly fit their needs.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Top tips for making your Embedded Linux device secure

      The internet of things (IoT) offers endless possibilities for smart devices and their applications. So it’s no wonder that the IoT is as equally tempting to hackers, as it is to developers, keen to showcase their latest developments.

      A lack of security issues doesn’t mean you’re OK – you’re probably just not being targeted yet.

      This paper is designed to help anyone who is developing an internet-enabled Linux device for personal or business use. It highlights the main areas to consider and provides a practical checklist for developing applications for Embedded Linux.

    • eNcade Portable Raspberry Pi Gaming Console (video)

      Fancy building your very own portable Raspberry Pi gaming console? If you do then you might be interested in a new Kickstarter project called eNcade which has been created by Nicolas Wicker at Nzen Mods.

      The eNcade takes the form of a portable Raspberry Pi gaming tablet that has been designed to focus on retro gaming online with anyone anywhere. Check out the video after the jump to learn more about this unique Raspberry Pi project and how you can be one of the first to own an eNcade system.

    • Phones

      • Smartphone Operating System Market Share Visualization

        After Google’s Android started shipping in the last quarter of 2008 it took a good 2 years for the Linux kernel based OS to become market leader in the 1st quarter of 2011. Since then Android has seen the largest growth by far and reached a market share of 77.83% in the last quarter of 2013.

      • Android

        • Apple Pay fuels the growth of Google Wallet

          Apple Pay has gotten an amazing amount of press lately, and its drawn the attention of consumers to the benefits of NFC based payments. This has resulted in Google Wallet being used more than it had been previously. Ars Technica reports on the effects that Apple Pay may be having on Google Wallet.

        • Google Wallet use grows after Apple Pay launch

          NFC-based mobile payments have had a boost in recent months, possibly thanks to the launch of Apple Pay, which was announced in September. Now, a person with knowledge of the matter tells Ars that Google Wallet, which launched back in 2011 and saw tepid success in the ensuing three years, has had considerable growth in the last couple of months. According to our source, weekly transactions have increased by 50 percent, and in the recent couple of months, new users have nearly doubled compared to the previous month.

        • Google Maps gets down with the Material Design, Uber and OpenTable integration
        • Best Android Apps Created by Celebrities

          In today’s interconnected world many apps created by celebrities are usually looked down upon. And yes, many of them are really, really bad. However, some of them do stand out. Some of them are actually worth trying. So, in today’s article we’re listing some of the best applications created by celebrities:

        • This is Qualcomm’s world and we’re all just living in it

          Qualcomm is the mobile industry’s equivalent of a god: omnipotent and omnipresent, yet invisible to the naked eye. The company that was founded on the premise of building “Quality Communications” can now be found inside every major smartphone in the US. Even the fiercely independent Apple, which designs its own mobile processors, has no choice but to use Qualcomm’s LTE modems. The same is true of Samsung, whose Exynos chip is replaced by a Qualcomm Snapdragon for the US and other markets. But Qualcomm’s influence spreads much wider and deeper still.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Second Enterprise Open Source Revolution

    One of the key moments in the rise of GNU/Linux was when software companies producing their own variant of Unix realised that it made no sense for them all to work on something that was no longer providing any competitive advantage – it was simply part of the digital plumbing that had to be provided in some form. That meant they could usefully collaborate on a common platform, and differentiate themselves in other ways – higher up the software stack, or through services, for example.

  • Manchester’s start-up scene

    None of this would be possible without the benefits of Free and Open Source software. Start with the platform: Ruby-on-Rails is “a good way to get an MVP (minimum viable product) up fairly quickly, and start engaging with the customer,” Ian Moss told LU&D. Moss is founder of travel start-up 196 Destinations and, along with Capital Relations owner Coral Grainger, collates the long- running Manchester StartUpDigest newsletter.

  • Rackspace Simplifies Deployment of Open Source Applications
  • Open source offering for embedded parallel development

    Siemens is offering an open source implementation of the Multicore Association’s Multicore Task Management Application Program Interface (MTAPI) specification.

  • nogotofail: Google’s Open Source Network Traffic Security Testing Tool

    Lately, it seems that the only news we hear is what other multinational company has been hacked and how many records were accessed. We have always been security conscience, but it does appear that hackers and malware have been making us even more so lately. Unfortunately, this is neither something new, nor something that is likely to go away.

  • Open-source startups need to be first in order to succeed: Intel

    sBack in the 1990s, the technology world seemed alive with companies that had chosen to monetise an open-source project and get behind it. However, for Intel Capital vice president and managing director of services, open source, and machine to machine Lisa Lambert, the startup landscape today is quite barren, despite the number of open-source projects being higher than ever.

  • Wanna be Facebook? It just open-sourced some of its web server code. Now to find 1bn users…
  • Facebook Open-Sources Its C++ HTTP Framework/Server

    Facebook’s latest open-source code contribution to the public is Proxygen, a C++ HTTP framework with HTTP/SPDY server capabilities that it’s been using internally in place of Apache and Nginx servers.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Detecting Fraud in an OpenStack Cloud

      Securing the cloud isn’t just about protecting the network layer from external attacks; it’s also about being able to detect fraudulent activities running on the cloud. At the OpenStack Summit here, a group of researchers presented their findings on how to use the OpenStack Ceilometer project—used primarily for billing and metering of cloud usage—to detect fraud.

    • Telcos, travel, and Tapjoy as OpenStack Summit continues
  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice


      For our first magazine interview, we got some cheap flights and headed out to Kaufbeuren, an attractive Swabian city an hour’s train ride from Munich. This is where we met Florian Effenberger, Executive Director at The Document Foundation (he was chairman at the time of this interview), and Alexander Werner from the Foundation’s membership committee. This is the non-profit organisation at the heart of LibreOffice, the famous fork of OpenOffice.org now dominant in every Linux distribution. We were able to ask Florian about the split, about arguments over a new name and what wheat beer he’d recommend as a souvenir for our journey home.


    • Nominate your heroes for the Free Software Awards

      Sharing is one of free software’s key principles. People who contribute to the advancement of free software, and to society, are committed to sharing their ideas in order to create something we can all benefit from. Often, they don’t ask for anything in return. That’s why each year, the Free Software Foundation recognizes one deserving individual and one project with the Free Software Awards. Who do you think should receive the 17th annual awards?

    • [Announce] GnuPG 2.1.0 “modern” released

      GnuPG, also known as GPG, allows to encrypt and sign data…

    • OpenACC Front-Ends For C/C++ Are Moving Close For GCC 5

      Code Sourcery developers are seeking permission to land their OpenACC C/C++ front-end support inside the mainline GCC code-base.

      For the past year the developers at Code Sourcery / Mentor Graphics have been working on OpenACC 2.0 with GPU support for GCC. The GPU support is focused on NVIDIA hardware and includes a controversial NVIDIA “NVPTX” back-end for GCC that still requires NVIDIA’s closed-source Linux driver for handling this compute support. The NVPTX back-end is ready for mainline GCC and now so is the OpenACC 2.0 front-end support, or it appears.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • After criticizing it, Cisco joins Open Compute

      Cisco has joined the Open Compute Project, a Facebook-driven effort to develop open source servers and switches, 16 months after criticizing it. At that time, Cisco CEO John Chambers said OCP has “weaknesses” that Cisco can exploit.

    • After Sunflower Movement, Taiwan’s g0v Uses Open Source to Open the Government

      This past March, hundreds of protestors stormed Taiwan’s parliament, the Legislative Yuan, in opposition to a pending trade deal with China. Dubbed the Sunflower Movement protests, students occupied the legislature for 17 days to demand line-by-line review of what was perceived to be a cloaked attack on Taiwan’s independence from an ever-growing China. During the protests, organizers brought in food for the occupiers, mobilized 100,000 person strong rallies, and kept the public at-large informed. This impressive act of online and in-person organizing was co-lead by an online community called g0v.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open hardware sensor BITalino for cool projects

        Smaller than a credit card, BITalino is a low-cost hardware and open source software toolkit, aligned with the DIY (do-it-yourself) movement. It enables anyone to create quirky and serious projects alike for wearable health tracking devices. The base kit includes sensors to measure your muscles, heart, nervous system, motion, and ambient light—and it includes a microcontroller, Bluetooth, power management module, and all the accessories needed to start working.

  • Programming


  • 15 addictive video game picks from the Internet Archive’s new arcade

    Yes, it’s true – the Internet Archive, stalwart home of the Wayback Machine, now has a special section for the video games of yesteryear, in the Internet Arcade. There are 902 titles available, according to the site, running on a specialized Java emulator known as JSMAME. While not all of them are working quite right yet, there’s already an impressive selection available for you to play right in your browser window. Here are some of the highlights.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Into the Abyss: The Escalating Violence Against Pakistan’s Polio Workers

      The violence drew much of its initial strength from the revelation that the CIA had used a fake Hepatitis vaccination campaign in March and April 2011 in its hunt for Osama bin Laden. The operation was widely blamed among Pakistani public health workers for fueling the violence and decreasing trust in vaccinators. As Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, a vaccine specialist at Aga Khan University in Karachi, told the New York Times in July 2012: “There could hardly have been a more stupid venture, and there was bound to be a backlash, especially for polio.”

    • ‘Kill the Messenger:’ A Shocking Story with Media Backlash

      Although it has a timely theme and good performances from an estimable cast, much of the media would prefer that you ignore “Kill the Messenger.”

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Israel accused of war crimes during campaign in Gaza

      Amnesty International has accused Israel of committing war crimes during its campaign in Gaza.

      A report released by the group on Wednesday says Israel displayed “callous indifference” launching attacks on family homes in the densely populated coastal strip and in some cases its conduct amounted to war crimes. It adds that war crimes were also committed by Palestinian militants.

    • The Slow March Back to War in Iraq

      U.S. officials are still figuring out which moderate groups—among the insurgents who’ve been fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad—it wants to bring into the battle against Islamic State. Saudi Arabia has offered to host a training camp for as many as 5,000 Syrian fighters, but the Pentagon hasn’t worked out how to transport them. Turkey has also agreed to let the U.S. train rebels on its soil. Fielding a force of two or three Syrian brigades could take two years and cost $1 billion to $2 billion annually, according to Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA Persian Gulf analyst who is at the Brookings Institution.

    • The TAPI project or the future of Afghanistan

      As a result, Brzezinski appeared to have taken the 1977 CIA memo quite seriously and so transformed Afghanistan into a perpetual battlefield in order to safeguard America’s hold over the Persian Gulf (the main transport route for oil). The US concern for the free flow of oil led to its support for the Mujahedeen who became the Taliban. And so the West’s quest for hydrocarbon advantage condemned the country to a state of unending civil war.

    • Over 400 US Drone Airstrikes in Pakistan

      Since June 2004, the United States has conducted over 400 drone airstrikes in Pakistan, with 350 of them during the Obama administration, according to a Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) report released this October.

    • Hawks Triumph in Senate; Will Push More Aggressive US Policy

      The Republicans took control of the Senate in Tuesday’s elections, but much more important than which party took control is the nature of the incoming Senators from the new ruling party.

    • NATO Wants More Troops to Counter Nonexistent Russian Threat

      NATO is a US-led killing machine. Operating globally. Prioritizing war. Deploring peace.

    • Former ‘forever prisoner’ leaves for Kuwait
    • Former ‘forever prisoner’ leaves Guantanamo for Kuwait

      Fawzi al Odah, 37, was held for nearly 13 years at Guantanamo, starting off in the crude outdoor prison of barbed wire and chain-linked fences called Camp X-Ray. He was never charged with a crime.

    • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: The populist hardliner

      The son of a blacksmith, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was born on October 28, 1956, in Garmsar, near Tehran, and holds a PhD in traffic and transport from Tehran’s University of Science and Technology, where he was a lecturer. He was not well-known when he was appointed mayor of Tehran in 2003. During his tenure, he reduced social freedoms and curtailed many of the reforms introduced by more moderate figures who ran the city before him.

    • Why Libya?

      Cockburn further notes that, after lying to fabricate the pretext for aggression, the Western governments and media outlets have fallen mysteriously silent on Libya as the country has spiraled into oblivion. The West thus again all but insists we notice that humanitarian crises play no role in drawing their attention, and that they only trumpet – or invent – human rights violations to cover Western aggression, which is carried out, Cockburn notes, “always in the interests of the country intervening.”

      The West immediately lost its feigned concern over the “human rights” violations it exaggerated or simply made up regarding Libya because they were never of concern to begin with, and the West made things much worse: the illegal US-led attack instantly killed or led to the deaths of up to hundreds of thousands.

    • Modesto Vietnam veteran shares experience with ‘moral injury’

      Phil Schmitt spent two tours of duty in Vietnam loading 750-pound bombs into Air Force planes in bases at hellholes such as Da Nang and Phu Cat.

      Most of the planes came back to be reloaded. The bombs, of course, didn’t.

      “I loaded thousands and thousands of tons of bombs,” the 67-year-old Modesto resident said. “They went somewhere.”

      But it wasn’t until the brass reassigned him to debrief the pilots after their bombing runs that he saw the real effects.

      “Now I’m looking at films of the bombs exploding,” Schmitt said. “Villages being hit. Seeing bodies on the ground. Children. The quality of those films was very good.”

      Collateral damage, long before anyone coined the term. Like so many others, he kept what he saw to himself, returning stateside when his hitch ended in 1970.

      “Later, it comes into play,” Schmitt said. “I turned to both heavy drinking and burying myself in my work. I didn’t socialize. I was isolated. I didn’t have many friends. I didn’t relate well with people outside of the military.”

    • Republican Hawks Already Have a War Plan for ISIS, Ukraine, and Obama

      The Republican victory in the 2014 midterms is less than 24 hours old. But already, the hawkish wing of the GOP is planning an ambitious battle plan to revamp American foreign policy: everything from arming Ukraine’s military to reviewing the ISIS war to investigating the U.S. intelligence community’s role in warming relations with Iran.


      You could call it the neoconservatives’ revenge or the year of the hawks. But it has produced an interesting moment in Washington, where even the dovish side of the Republican Party now acknowledges the midterms were a win for their party’s American exceptionalists.

  • Finance

    • Leaked Documents Expose Global Companies’ Secret Tax Deals in Luxembourg

      Pepsi, IKEA, AIG, Coach, Deutsche Bank, Abbott Laboratories and nearly 340 other companies have secured secret deals from Luxembourg that allowed many of them to slash their global tax bills.

    • On the phenomenon of bullshit jobs – David Graeber

      In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by century’s end, technology would have advanced sufficiently that countries like Great Britain or the United States would have achieved a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.

    • “Blood in the Water”: The Privatization of California’s Water Spells Disaster

      Governor Brown spoke last week lobbying for Proposition 1 at Stanford University on October 23rd, at a conference organized by the Stanford Wood’s Institute, whose co-director is Stanford Hoover Institute member Barton Thompson. The Stanford Hoover Institute and Bechtel (the multi-billion dollar construction company), through the funding of studies taught at Stanford, appear to be promoting the DTP and its probable use as a source of water for fracking in the possible 15 Billion barrel Monterey Shale Formation spread across central and southern California.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Journalism and Reality

      One thing that I’ve learned from my four-plus decades in journalism is that many people only like reporting that reinforces what they already believe. Facts that go off in a different direction can make them angry – and they are usually not hesitant to express their anger.

      For instance, in the 1980s, when I was covering the Nicaraguan Contra rebels for the Associated Press, many readers of AP copy, including some of my editors, shared Ronald Reagan’s enthusiasm for these “freedom fighters” whom Reagan likened to America’s Founding Fathers.

    • Mr. Bezos comes to Washington

      Amazon’s CEO now owns the paper of record in the nation’s capital

  • Censorship

    • How to Defeat Internet Censorship

      Almost 20 percent of world population is effected by Internet Censorship. In countries like North Korea less than 5% of total population have internet access and even that is heavily monitored and restricted. Internet censorship isn’t limited to oppressive regimes. For example, it is common practice for educational institutions all over the world to implement filtering of content deemed objectionable.

    • Why Facebook Just Launched Its Own ‘Dark Web’ Site

      Tor, after all, doesn’t just let users hide their identities from the sites they visit, anonymously buying drugs on the Silk Road or uploading leaked documents to news sites through the leak platform SecureDrop. It’s also designed to circumvent censorship and surveillance that occurs much closer to the user’s own connection, such as in repressive regimes like Iran or China. And since Facebook uses SSL encryption, no surveillance system watching either Facebook’s connection or the user’s local traffic should be able to match up a user’s identity with their Facebook activity.

    • Linux Australia puts curbs on mailing lists

      Linux Australia, the umbrella group for Linux user groups in the country, has imposed a censorship regime on its mailing list, with regulations that run to nearly 1000 words to govern them.

      The stated aim of the new policy, which took effect on October 22, “is to foster open dialogue and discussion on relevant forums, while providing a safe space free from undesired behaviours such as personal attack and ‘flaming’,” according to a post by the LA secretary Kathy Reid.

      In sharp contrast to the avowed open nature of the group, the policy was never put up for discussion on the LA general mailing list. The policy was developed by the office-bearers and announced as being in effect.

  • Privacy

    • GCHQ’s Robert Hannigan says tech firms ‘in denial’ on extremism

      Web giants such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp have become “command-and-control networks… for terrorists and criminals”, GCHQ’s new head has said.

    • Voice of the masses: GCHQ is upset. Does this mean we’re winning back our privacy?

      Our question this fortnight is: If the head of GCHQ is upset, does this mean we’re winning back our privacy? Is this a genuine plea for us to give up our digital rights, or is it just crocodile tears from someone who can still trace every click we make and message we send?

    • Republican 2016 Contenders Have Taken Positions on NSA Reform. Where Does Hillary Clinton Stand?

      If Hillary Clinton has a position on the government’s domestic spying, she’s doing a good job of hiding it.

      More than a year after Edward Snowden’s leaks, the former secretary of State has yet to offer a meaningful assessment of the National Security Agency’s mass-surveillance programs. She’s had plenty of chances, but in interviews, speeches, and even her new book, Clinton has repeatedly ducked the issue with vagaries and clichés.

      The possible 2016 candidate rarely discusses NSA spying unprompted. And when she does, her remarks are often couched in opaque platitudes about the need to balance privacy and national security concerns.

    • Hillary Clinton Still Refuses To Make Her Views Clear On Surveillance, And That’s A Problem

      Earlier this year, we noted that absolutely-running-for-President-while-pretending-to-think-about-it Hillary Clinton gave a stupid and vague non-answer answer to her position on government surveillance. It was the perfect politician’s answer, refusing to really take a position that could be held against her at some point in the future. Except, on important issues, refusing to answer sometimes isn’t an answer, and this is a perfect case of that. The leading contenders for the Republican nomination appear to have all made statements one way or the other, while Hillary has done everything possible not to take a position on the matter.

    • Court Says By Agreeing To AOL’s Terms Of Service, You’ve ‘Consented’ To Search By Law Enforcement

      The ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer alerts us to a district court ruling in NY that effectively says that by merely agreeing to AOL’s terms of service, you’ve waived your 4th Amendment rights. The case is the United States v. Frank DiTomasso, where DiTomasso is accused of producing child porn — with most of the evidence used against him coming from AOL. DiTomasso argues that it was obtained via an unconstitutional search in violation of the 4th Amendment, but judge Shira Scheindlin rejects that, by basically saying that AOL’s terms of service make you effectively waive any 4th Amendment right you might have in any such information.

    • Internet of Things will transform life, but experts fear for privacy and personal data

      It will help you avoid traffic jams as you travel from work to that hot new spot you’ve been dying to try out, tell you on the way about the bar’s half-price coupons and let you check your home video monitors while knocking back a few to see if your cat is clawing the couch again.

      But it also might alert your insurer if your car is weaving when you head home and report your frequent drinking to your boss.

      “It” is the Internet of Things, which promises to transform daily life, making it easier to work, travel, shop and stay healthy. Thanks to billions of connected devices – from smart toothbrushes and thermostats to commercial drones and robotic companions for the elderly – it also will end up gathering vast amounts of data that could provide insights about our sexual habits, religious beliefs, political leanings and other highly personal aspects of our lives. That creates a potentially enormous threat to our privacy – even within the sanctuary of our homes.

    • Senate’s flip could ease path to NSA reform

      The looming Republican takeover of the Senate could boost the efforts of civil libertarians and tech companies hoping to rein the National Security Agency this year.

    • Time for some recanting – NZ First

      With confirmation that American spies are working in New Zealand, by a former head of the US National Security Agency last night, there is confirmation that they are based here, says New Zealand First.

      “This proves whistle-blower Edward Snowden right again,” says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. “Mr Snowden said, while he was in New Zealand, that there were NSA facilities here, and I confirmed that I knew the location of one base.

    • Inspector General’s Report Says Accusations NSA Listened In On Military Personnel’s Phone Calls ‘Baseless,’ Hints At Other Misconduct

      The ACLU’s FOIA lawsuit over documents related to the NSA’s activities under Executive Order 12333 has knocked a few more pages out the agency’s tightly-closed fist, most of which are related to its signals intelligence programs. Included in the released documents is an 89-page Inspector General’s report on the investigation of accusations made back in 2009 by David Murfee Faulk, who alleged that NSA linguists were listening in on the phone calls of military personnel, journalists and aid workers and sharing those containing “pillow talk” with other analysts.


      Well, we have that report but we can’t actually read most of it. There’s hardly anything left but the IG clearing the NSA of the specific misconduct alleged by two NSA linguists. The IG memo lists other non-compliance issues like the dissemination of raw US persons SIGINT, as well as violations of reporting procedures and retention guidelines, but the specifics of the IG’s findings remain hidden. I would imagine a legal challenge to the massive redactions in the Inspector General’s report will be forthcoming. There’s more self-interest than security apparent in the NSA’s very selective exposures, making this exculpatory information highly conspicuous in its inclusion.

    • NSA director: We share most of the [crap] bugs we find!

      The National Security Agency (NSA) is only holding back a teeny, tiny number of code secrets, with director Admiral Mike Rogers promising the world the spook collective shares ‘most’ of the vulnerabilities it finds.

      The agency head made the remarks on his second visit to Silicon Valley since his appointment in April this year.

      Admiral Rogers told students delegates that US President Barack Obama asked the agency that it should share more of its vulnerabilities with the public.

    • Former NSA Lawyer Says Reason Blackberry Failed Was ‘Too Much Encryption’ Warns Google/Apple Not To Make Same Mistake

      There are times that I wonder if former NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker is just trolling with his various comments, because they’re so frequently out of touch with reality, even though he’s clearly an intelligent guy. His latest is to join in with the misguided attacks on Apple and Google making mobile encryption the default on iOS and Android devices, with an especially bizarre argument: protecting the privacy of your users is bad for business. Oh really?

    • Former NSA Lawyer Says BlackBerry Declined Because Encryption Isn’t a Good Business Model

      On Tuesday at Web Summit in Dublin, former NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker said that expanded encryption efforts by tech companies like Apple and Google do more to harm U.S. intelligence than they do to defend against wrongful and excessive surveillance worldwide.

    • Former NSA attorney blames Blackberry’s demise on encryption

      ​The former top lawyer to the NSA told an audience in Ireland this week that mobile phone maker Blackberry can blame a major drop in sales during the last few years on its offering of a secure product that can’t be cracked.

    • Former NSA Lawyer Says BlackBerry Declined Because of Its Encryption
    • Former NSA’s chief lawyer: BlackBerry’s encryption efforts led to its demise
    • BlackBerry’s use of encryption led to its demise, former NSA lawyer claims
    • Former NSA Official Says Apple, Google More Hostile to Western Intelligence Than China or Russia
    • Quoted: Slamming encryption by Google, Apple… and BlackBerry?
    • There Are Emerging Bipartisan Coalitions on Prison and N.S.A. Reforms

      More interesting, though, is the possibility of emerging bipartisan coalitions on sentencing and prison reform and on reform of the National Security Agency. Both are issues that have support from liberal Democrats and libertarian Republicans. Neither is so hot-button that the radio talk show/blogger wind machine on the right would go ballistic at the prospect of bills being signed by the president. There are senators on both sides of the aisle — from Al Franken and Ron Wyden to Rand Paul and Mike Lee — who could work together on both these issues.

    • This Country Is Sending the U.S. a Strong Message About NSA Surveillance

      Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff doesn’t approve of the U.S. National Security Agency’s surveillance techniques. She’s making that much clear by overseeing the construction of a $185 million overseas fiber-optic cable which will stretch across the Atlantic Ocean from Fortaleza, Brazil to Lisbon, Portugal.

    • Federal appeals court hears arguments in NSA surveillance case
    • Appeals court steps into debate over NSA program
    • Facebook received 15,433 data requests from NSA, 80.15% requests entertained

      Facebook revealed some startling numbers for those who are in favor of Internet freedom, and privacy on the Internet. At least when the prying eyes are the government or government agencies. The company revealed that requests for user data of Facebook users increased by 25% and global requests to restrict content rose by 20%.

    • Government forced to release secret policies on surveillance of lawyers

      The Government has been forced to release secret policies which show that GCHQ and MI5 have for years advised staff that they may “target the communications of lawyers,” and use legally privileged material “just like any other item of intelligence.”

      The disclosure comes in response to a case brought in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) by the al Saadi and Belhadj families, who were subjected to rendition and torture in a joint CIA-MI6 operation. Both families – assisted by legal charity Reprieve and solicitors Leigh Day – have brought litigation about the kidnappings. The families allege that, by intercepting their privileged communications with Reprieve and Leigh Day, the Government has infringed their right to a fair trial.

      Legal privilege is a central principle of British law, which protects confidential communication between a lawyer and their client. If the Government is able to access such communications, it hands itself an unfair advantage in court.

    • Cindy Cohn, digital rights freedom fighter, named EFF executive director

      Cindy Cohn, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s legal director at the forefront of trying to dismantle the National Security Agency’s domestic spying apparatus long before Edward Snowden became a household name, has been named the digital rights group’s executive director.

      Cohn’s elevation, effective in April, is part of a major management overhaul to the San Francisco-based group whose budget has blossomed from $1 million annually in 1999 to about $9 million this year, the group announced Wednesday. Cohn, who has been litigating the constitutionality of the NSA’s electronic eavesdropping since 2006, succeeds Shari Steele, the EFF’s top executive the past 14 years.

    • Destroying online freedom in the name of counter-terrorism will make the world a more dangerous place

      It is not terrorists who threaten that future of the internet, but our intelligence and security services

    • GCHQ’s flawed premise that the internet is a tool of terror

      GCHQ infiltrates all the communications in and out of the British Isles by tapping transatlantic cables. We discovered last week it has warrantless access to NSA databases, which include the data of UK citizens. GCHQ has done all this in the face of clear parliamentary opposition and in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

    • Skype, WhatsApp and more found to be worryingly insecure

      Secure communication is something we all crave online, particularly after Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations increased public interest in privacy and security. With dozens of messaging tools to choose from, many claiming to be ultra-secure, it can be difficult to know which one to choose and which one to trust. Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has published its Secure Messaging Scorecard which rates a number of apps and services according to the level of security they offer.

    • Google and Mozilla told to limit browser’s ability to watch users

      Researchers warn that web sites and apps communicating via WebRTC may have broader access to computer microphones and cameras than users realise.

    • The canary in the data mine is dead

      You already know that gobs of data about you are strewn across the Internet. The scary part is when they put it all together

    • Oliver Stone Meets With Snowden in Russia to Discuss New Film

      US film director, screenwriter and producer Oliver Stone told RIA Novosti he had met with former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in Russia to discuss a new film about the whistleblower.

      “I’ve met him [Snowden],” the film director said in an interview, when asked about the meeting to discuss Stone’s scenario for a new film about Snowden.

    • ‘Courage is contagious’: Artist campaigns for Snowden-Assange-Manning monument

      The legacies of Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Chelsea Manning will be enshrined in bronze by a sculptor who is offering a fourth empty chair alongside the trio to anyone who has the courage to side with them, stand up and change things.

      At least, that’s the plan for Italian sculptor Davide Dormino, who is looking to build life-size bronze statues of the three individuals. In a new Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that just recently went live, Dormino and project creator Vaughan Smith are asking for 100,000 pounds, or roughly $159,000, to construct these “monuments to courage.”

  • Civil Rights

    • Direct Democracy Brings Economic Justice Wins, But Watch Out for ALEC

      Minimum wage and paid sick day measures have been gaining momentum in the past year — but keep an eye out for bills promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) designed to crush that momentum and limit local control.

    • Now In Charge Of Congress, GOP Plans To Give Up Its Own Constitutional Powers To The Obama Administration

      As you’ve probably heard, the Republicans decisively took control over Congress in the election on Tuesday, and are now strategizing on exactly what plan they’ll choose to try not to mess things up too badly by the time the 2016 elections come around.

    • Student Suspended for Slicing Apple During Healthy Snacks Presentation

      Da’von Shaw, a Bedford, Ohio high school student, brought apples and craisins to school for a “healthy eating” presentation he was giving to his speech class.

    • Florida Man, 90, Arrested for Feeding Homeless People; Faces Possible Jail Time

      Arnold Abbott handed out four plates of food to homeless people in a South Florida park. Then police stopped the 90-year-old from serving up another bite.

      “An officer said, ‘Drop that plate right now — like I had a weapon,’” Abbott said.

      Abbott and two pastors in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were charged for feeding the homeless in public on Sunday, the city’s first crackdowns under a new ordinance banning public food sharing, CNN affiliate WPLG reported.

    • The CIA’s Favorite Senator Will Soon Be In Charge of CIA Oversight

      Tuesday’s Republican takeover of the Senate effectively ruined any chance of Congressional oversight of the CIA. Senator Mark Udall, who earned a score of 100 percent from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), lost his seat in Colorado. And Senator Richard Burr, with an ACLU score of 0 percent, is set to become Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), the group tasked with holding the CIA and the NSA accountable.

    • NSA critic Udall is sent packing as Republicans grab Senate
    • NSA Domestic Spying Opponents Undeterred By Mark Udall’s Loss

      Civil liberty advocates were upset on election night when Colorado Sen. Mark Udall lost to Republican Cory Gardner, but no one in the community was ready to announce changes to the NSA’s bulk-data collection program dead.

    • Mark Udall’s loss is a blow for privacy, but he can go out with a bang: ‘leak’ the CIA torture report

      The outgoing Senator and champion of civil liberties has one last chance to read the truth about American atrocities out loud, for the world to see – before it’s too late

    • The CIA And NSA Should Be Happy That Mark Udall Is Gone

      He wasn’t vocal about promoting his work on civil liberties and intelligence. But over time, astute national security wonks learned to watch him.

      His statements sometimes seemed abstract, but were often signposts pointing to something deeper. He wrote letters, he asked questions and he left hints on the public record signaling major intelligence community abuses. Many times, it was his clues that helped shake those stories loose.

    • Ex-CIA officer grabs House seat

      Former CIA officer Will Hurd on Tuesday became perhaps the first person to jump from the cybersecurity industry to Congress.

      An African-American Republican, Hurd edged out incumbent Pete Gallego (D) in Texas’ 23rd district, running mostly on his career as an undercover CIA operative, but also touting his current job as senior adviser at cybersecurity vendor FusionX.

    • Judge to probe Guantánamo’s no-Skype policy for ex-CIA prisoners

      A U.S. military medical board found he suffers Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression. Two doctors recommended the video calls with family to help him cope with it. One testified at court that he had been subjected to “physical, psychological and sexual torture.”

    • The Deep State and the Bias of Official History
    • The Truth Will Out: UK Involvement in Libyan Rendition and Torture

      Last Thursday, British judges ruled that victims of a joint MI6-CIA ‘rendition’ operation should have their day in court. When I reflect on that judgment, the first things I see in my mind’s eye are two rooms.

      One is white, stark, temporary, windowless. Fluorescent lights hang from its ceiling. The room is empty save for a woman, crying. She is chained to the wall and obviously pregnant. The woman in the white room comes from Morocco but has married a opponent of Col. Gaddafi, and for that reason is about to be plunged into terrors of which she knows nothing.

      CIA agents will come to take her from this room – their room. They will tape her to a stretcher and fly her to Libya. They will manhandle and degrade her to an extent that she will wonder, at one point, whether she has lost her child. She won’t, quite: but her baby, born shortly afterwards, will weigh just four pounds.

    • A mosque in Munich

      Everyone knows by now about U.S. backing for the mujahedeen in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union in the 1980s – Exhibit A for those shaking their heads at Washington’s foreign policy blunders in the Muslim world. Rather less widely known, at least until this book was written by former Wall Street Journal reporter Ian Johnson, was how that support had precedents at the start of the Cold War in post-World War II Europe, when U.S. and German intelligence jostled for influence over various Muslim groups as anti-communist instruments to undermine the USSR. With a cast including Nazis, the CIA, the German intelligence agency, the Muslim Brotherhood, and a host of flamboyant individual characters, the subject matter certainly makes for a spectacular title. But although Johnson’s deeply researched book often yields surprises, it is generally less sensational than its blurb might suggest. Nevertheless, it does provide lessons that remain valid about the perils of trying to co-opt hard-line Muslim groups to pursue broader Western policy goals.

    • Iran Quietly Fearful of Republican Takeover of Congress

      Iranian leaders are quietly expressing fear about the Republican takeover of Congress Tuesday night, with many conveying concerns that Tehran has lost a key bloc of U.S. Democrats who wanted to roll back economic sanctions and hand Iran a favorable nuclear deal, according to an internal CIA analysis and Farsi language reports.

      Fears about the Republican takeover of Congress have plagued Iranian leaders for weeks, according to the CIA analysis obtained by the Washington Free Beacon that outlines internal commotion in Iran over the shifting political tides in the United States.

    • Who’s In, Who’s Out: Republicans Take Over Top U.S. Foreign-Policy Committees

      Republicans have captured control of the U.S. Senate for the first time in eight years, picking up at least seven seats in the November 4 congressional elections.

      The shift means that Republicans will control the three top Senate committees dealing with U.S. foreign policy and national security: foreign relations, armed services, and intelligence.

    • Secretive court to consider Government spying on legal communications

      A court which usually sits in secret will tomorrow (6 November) consider whether the Government should be forced to release more information regarding its surveillance of legally privileged communications between lawyers and their clients.

    • A double standard on destroying evidence

      If you read the blog of Carlos Miller, you’re probably aware of dozens of incidents in which police officers have illegally confiscated citizen cellphones and deleted incriminating videos, which is not only an act of destroying evidence of possible wrongdoing but is also the unlawful destruction of someone else’s property. They rarely, if ever, face any legal consequences. (These are, of course, local infractions, not federal. But still.)


      Point is, when a federal law enforcement agency wants to charge you with something, it can probably find a way to do it. If you make it more difficult for it to do so by destroying evidence, intentionally or not, the agency will get you for that, too, or at least instead. Yet somehow when it comes to finding a way to charge federal officials and law enforcement officers who destroy evidence, those vague laws seem to get pretty specific, and broad laws seem to narrow. (Currently, Sarbanes-Oxley doesn’t apply to government agencies, though as noted, other laws do.)

    • Democracy in the hands of idiots. Part III

      Okay world, that ritualistic, vacuous exercise in futile optimism, known as an “election” in America, is over, and the idiots again have spoken.

      But how could they not? After all, the entire concept of “democracy” in America’s corrupt, two-party system is nothing more than a farcical illusion, and the extent of this corruption has only been magnified by the Koch brothers controlled majority on the United States Supreme Court, who, in recent rulings, gave billionaires and corporations unbridled power to buy politicians of their choice.

      In previous Pravda.Ru articles, I have argued that history is nothing more than a pendulum incessantly swinging back and forth between overreaction and regret, and the recent elections in America have vividly confirmed this thesis.

    • Election Night Wasn’t a GOP Victory, It Was a Democratic Rout

      As a constitutional scholar, he had promised to restore respect for the law to the presidency, and instead has made end runs around every law imaginable, refusing to prosecute the war criminals of the Bush/Cheney presidency, the CIA, and the military, refusing to prosecute the FBI for violating the Patriot Act, refusing to prosecute the bankers whose crimes brought the US and the global economy to a grinding halt and left the US crippled going on six years now.

    • Mom of slain Ferguson youth taking case to the UN Committee

      When an event such as the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri gets media attention, it gets that attention all over the world.

      People from London to Sydney are given a media’s perspective on what happens, and they are allowed to make their own judgments. But now the parents of Michael Brown have decided that the international media stage is not enough. They are taking their case to the United Nations.

      Michael Brown’s mother and father, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown, Sr., are using a website called FergusontoGeneva.org to raise funds to fly to Geneva and speak before the U.N.’s Committee Against Torture.

      African American writer Allen B. West asks why this kind of move is even necessary and wonders what the Brown family hopes to accomplish. It is a question that resonates with the families of police officers who have watched their loved ones get gunned down by street criminals, but with no response from the American people.

      The choice to speak before the U.N.’s Committee Against Torture is probably not a random decision. The United Nations has recently turned up the heat on President Obama to release the report on CIA torture, a document relating to the treatment of prisoners taken since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde: ‘In prison, you become brain-dead’

        The Västervik prison is as ugly as its surroundings are beautiful. Located a stone’s throw from the water in Gertrudsvik, a few hours drive south of Stockholm, its pale concrete walls rise high above the summer homes and wooden jetties dotting the coastline. Tall steel fences encircle the building, topped with heavy loops of razor-sharp barbed wire.

      • Germany’s Top Publisher Admits Its Web Traffic Plummeted Without Google; Wants Politicians To ‘Take Action’

        A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about the decision by German publishers to grant Google a “free license” to post snippets — a humiliating climbdown from their earlier position that Google should pay for the privilege of sending them traffic.

      • Australians’ Stored Metadata Could Be Used In Any Civil Case, Including Against Copyright Infringement

        It was bad enough when the Australian government announced that it was joining the growing club of countries that would be retaining huge swathes of its citizens’ metadata. But now people are beginning to realize that once that store of metadata exists it not only can, but probably will, be used for many other purposes that have nothing to do with the avowed aim of fighting terrorism.

      • Australian Federal Police: We Could Use Metadata To Prosecute Pirates

        Worried that your metadata could be used to prosecute you in a piracy case? You should be: the Australian Federal Police Commissioner thinks that metadata could be very helpful to prosecute pirates. Updated with comments from Attorney General George Brandis.

      • Swedish Police in Bangkok to Detain Pirate Bay Founder

        Following his arrest in Thailand on Monday, local authorities are already preparing Fredrik Neij’s deportation from the country. The Pirate Bay founder is currently en route to the Thai capital Bangkok where he will be met by Swedish police who will escort him back to Scandinavia. A 10 month prison sentence awaits.

      • Petition for Freeing “Standards” for Public Use

        Mr Carl Malamud, on behalf of Public.Resource.Org, along with 7 others including Mr Sam Pitroda, Dr Sushant Sinha, Prof Dhrubajyoti Sen, Prof T.I.Eldho, Mr Srinivas Kodali, Dr Vinton G. Cerf and myself, submitted the petition to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution petitioning for the free availability of Indian Standards to the public. Given that the Standards appear to be Edicts of the Government, and that tremendous public benefit that would accrue by such free availability of Standards, and along with the facts that BIS has already digitized all the Standards, and Public.Resource.Org has already put together the necessary online architecture and value-add to facilitate free distribution of these Standards, the petition asks that the ministry helps make these Standards available and accessible to the public, or in the alternative, to modify its current copyright policy so as to allow for this free availability and accessibility of these Standards.

      • Carl Malamud’s Public.Resource.Org Joins Effort To Make Pay-Walled Indian Standards Freely Available

        Techdirt has been covering for some time Carl Malamud’s project to open source the “operating system of society” by placing digital versions of US laws, codes and regulations on the site Public Resource. But of course, the logic of allowing the public to be able to read all the laws and regulations that govern them applies outside the US just as much. And so it’s perhaps no surprise that Malamud has joined with other campaigners (including Vint Cerf) in petitioning the Indian government to allow that country’s standards to be made freely available to the public in the same way.

      • EFF Fights for Common Sense, Again, in DMCA Rulemaking

        The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed six exemption requests with the U.S. Copyright Office today, part of the elaborate, every-three-year process to right the wrongs put in place by the Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). EFF’s requests received crucial assistance from the Organization for Transformative Works, the NYU Technology Law & Policy Clinic, attorney Marcia Hofmann, and former EFF intern Kendra Albert.

      • Latest EFF DMCA Exemption Requests Include The Right to Tinker With and Maintain Unsupported Video Games

        As we’ve noted more than a few times, we live in an era where the products you think you own can be disabled, crippled or held hostage on a whim. That’s been particularly apparent when it comes to video game consoles and software, with an increasing array of titles relying on server connectivity not only for multi-player content, but also for DRM authentication in order to play single player titles. The former was an issue earlier this year when Nintendo announced that the company would be killing online functionality for a wide variety of Wii and DS titles, some of which were only a year or two old. The latter was an issue with Blizzard’s Diablo 3, EA’s latest incarnation of SimCity, and a growing number of other games.

      • UK opens access to 91 million orphan works

        A new licensing scheme launched today could give wider access to at least 91 million culturally valuable creative works.

      • UK Launches Orphan Work Licensing Scheme, Misses Huge Opportunity To Make It Much Better

        Orphan works, that huge collection of older creations which are out of circulation and have no obvious owners, are more rightly called “hostage works,” since they remain uselessly locked away by rigid and outdated copyright laws. Even when the issue is recognized by society, lobbyists hold so much sway over the political process that legislation crafted to “solve” the orphan works problem is often worse than useless.


Links 5/11/2014: Pisi Linux 1.1 KDE, Nexus 9

Posted in News Roundup at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Hands-on with the Kano: The Linux kit that wants to help kids love coding

    Kano, a small British start up with strong Israeli ties, set out to make the inside workings of a modern computer accessible to children again. The idea behind the project is get kids coding and hacking themselves, and was inspired by one of the founders’ seven-year-old cousin who wanted to build a computer and wondered if it could be made as easy as playing with Lego.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE at LISA 2014 – Seattle, November 12 and 13
      • digiKam Recipes 4.1.1 Released

        Another month, another digiKam Recipes update. This version features the updated and expanded Edit Photos with the Levels and Curves Adjustment Tools recipe which now covers the powerful curves tool.

      • Diving into Plasma’s 2015

        In terms of user demographic, we’re almost certain to see one thing happening with the new Plasma 5 UI, as distros start to ship it by default, this is what these new users are going to see. Not everybody in this group of users is interested in how cool the technology stack lines up, they just want to get their work done and certainly not feel impeded in their daily workflows. This is the target group which we’ve been focusing our work on in months since summer, since the release of Plasma 5.0. Wider group of users sounds pretty abstract, so let’s take some numbers: While Plasma 5 is run by a group of people already, the number of users who get it via Linux distributions is much larger than the group of early adopters. This means by the end of next year, Plasma 5 will be in the hands of millions of users, probably around 10 million, and increasing. (This is interpolated from an estimation of Plasma users in the tens of millions, with the technology adaption lifecycle taken as base.)

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Pisi Linux 1.1 KDE

        Pisi Linux has continued its activities after 1.0 and we reached our second stable version 1.1. This version resulting from intensive studies; strong, stable, comfortable to use, safe and so fast. The strength of the structure to prevent damage to your system uses hardware safely to the end. Also in this release, along with many innovations were offered to us.

    • Screenshots

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • openSUSE 13.2 and Fedora 21 Beta Released

        The top stories today were the releases of openSUSE 13.2 and Fedora 21 Beta. WRAL looks at Red Hat at 20 and Matt Hartley guides folks to Ubuntu laptops. The openSUSE Tumbleweed/Factory merger is complete and a migration guide has been posted. Other tidbits include OpenBSD replacing OpenSSL with LibreSSL and The Register joking about a character on The Code named Sgt L. Torvalds.

    • Slackware Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • The Perfect Business Desktop – CentOS 7

        This tutorial shows how you can set up CentOS 7 desktop. The CentOS 7 have high quality of desktop environment which is fully suited for day to day business needs of a corporate culture. I will also show some of the specific features from Thunderbird which makes the day to day business use easier.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch RTM Gets Major Update – Video Tour

            A new Ubuntu Touch RTM version has been released and the developers have made a number of important fixes, not to mention all the improvements that have been made to the backend.

          • Ubuntu MATE 14.10 Utopic Unicorn : Lightweight and Configurable

            “Ubuntu MATE is a stable, easy-to-use operating system with a configurable desktop environment. Ideal for those who want the most out of their desktops, laptops and netbooks and prefer a traditional desktop metaphor. With modest hardware requirements it is suitable for modern workstations and older hardware alike.” About ubuntu MATE

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Trisquel 7.0 LTS Belenos released

              If you haven’t used Trisquel before then be sure to read the Trisquel FAQ. There’s also a Trisquel discussion forum if you need assistance, and a Trisquel subreddit on Reddit if you want to connect with fellow Trisquel users there.

              You can download Trisquel right now in 32-bit or 64-bit versions. You can also choose between the main version, which uses GNOME as the desktop, and a lighter version called Trisquel Mini that uses LXDE instead of GNOME. There’s even a smaller version for kids called Trisquel Sugar Toast.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • ReactOS Finally Supports Reading NTFS Volumes

    Pierre Schweitzer of ReactOS shared, “ReactOS now supports reading files from NTFS volume. This was a long awaited feature people were asking for.” A new ReactOS ISO re-spin is now available containing this support.

  • Obsidian supports OSSSA in driving open source

    Open source software specialist Obsidian Systems has been listed as an official supporter of the Open Source Software for South Africa (OSSSA) organisation, and has joined a growing network of supporters and collaborators championing the value of OS in trade, industry and government.

  • A debate on open source of virtual currency

    With the popularization of knowledge on the online virtual money, more and more virtual money are produced. Since the Bitcoin made the Web money in fashion and gained global attention, the virtual money after Bitcoin were called “Copycat Coins”. While these virtual money use different names merely to differentiate with Bitcoin, like the different names of currencies in the real world, such as the US dollar, the Euro, etc.

  • ON.Lab Unveils Open-Source SDN OS

    The ONOS initiative joins other open-source efforts like OpenDaylight and ONF in trying to accelerate adoption of SDN and NFV.

    A nonprofit group led by some of the earliest developers of software-defined networking next month will make available an open operating system for the industry, the latest effort to bring the open-source model into the SDN world.

  • Events

    • Eskimo conserves resources with igloo applications

      The face of web development has changed. No longer does the term dredge up images of a lonely hacker in a basement—nowadays, everyone from business executives to schoolchildren enjoy learning how to code. This is, in part, thanks to the development of increasingly easier to use boilerplate tools. The goal of these tools is to enable coders to build rapid Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) in an organized and reliable, yet creative, fashion.


      In the GitHub repository, the user will find all the necessary information to begin developing their own fast MVP: installation files, examples, templates, file an issue feature, contributors, and license type. Eskimo: You’ll want to get snowed in.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data


    • GNU Tools Cauldron 2014 videos posted online

      Presentation videos from GNU Tools Cauldron 2014 have now been posted online. The conference, which this year was held from July 18 – 20, 2014 in Cambridge, England at the University of Cambridge, featured nearly thirty presentations on tools in the GNU toolchain including GCC, the GNU Compiler Collection, and GDB, the GNU Project Debugger. Developers shared tutorials and insights in addition to discussing development plans for various projects within the GNU toolchain.

    • GNU LibreJS 6.0.5 released

      There’s a new version of LibreJS.

  • Openness/Sharing


  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • UAV policy from across the pond (pro-drones)

      While the United States remains tightly caught in the grip of mid-term madness, and will continue to writhe and lash about until 8 November 2016, the United Kingdom is looking beyond short-term, cheap, and policy-free political fodder. It has taken a stab at addressing longer-term ethical, legal, social, political and economic issues – such as the consequences raised by use of what the UK calls Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs) or drones.

    • Primary Sources: New Documents on US Citizen Killed in CIA Drone Strike

      The latest batch of heavily redacted investigative files reveal that the bureau had grown increasingly concerned over Khan’s anti-American screeds posted to his blog and determined he was a serious threat.

    • Yemen: U.S. Drone Strikes Kill Up to 20 People

      While recent attention has focused on the U.S. wars in Iraq and Syria, the United States has continued its covert bombardment of supposed militants in Yemen and Pakistan.

    • China develops anti-drone laser system

      Engineers in China have successfully developed a laser weapon able to shoot down low-flying, slow-moving drones, according to the country’s state media on Tuesday.

    • China Has Unveiled a New Laser System to Shoot Down Drones
    • District Court Orders Release Of Another DOJ Drone-Killing Memo, Cites [REDACTED] In Support

      New York’s Southern District Court — which has been hosting (along with the Second Circuit Appeals Court) the ACLU and New York Times’ long-running, concurrent FOIA lawsuits against the government over its drone killing memos — has reached a partial decision on some of the embattled documents.

      The court’s decision was actually delivered on Sept. 30th, but its conclusion and order have spent the last month under seal while the government applied its redactions. An accompanying memo from the presiding judge [pdf link] notes that the court isn’t buying all the government’s redaction arguments.

    • Ukraine Elections Bring Society Closer to Brink of all Out War and Economic Collapse

      The parliamentary elections in Ukraine has been lavished with praise by Western politicians and the mainstream media as confirmation of the country’s turn towards democracy and a rejection of Putin’s evil Russian empire. What the media drones and corporate politicians won’t tell you is that these elections represent a disaster for the ordinary people of Ukraine.

    • U.S. Accuses ‘Russia-Backed’ Separatists of Firing at OSCE Drone

      European security watchdog OSCE said numerous anti-aircraft rounds were fired at one of its drones monitoring a shaky truce in eastern Ukraine, and the United States blamed pro-Russian rebels for Sunday’s incident.

      The unmanned aerial vehicle — deployed to help monitor the cease-fire between government forces and separatists — was not hit and it later landed safely, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, said Monday

    • Pakistan sees highest drone barrage in a month since October 2011

      Nine drone strikes were recorded in October, the most strikes in a month since October 2011, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

    • US Navy Cancels Port Calls Amid Philippine Anger Over Killing

      The US Navy has canceled visits to the Philippine port of Subic amid public anger over accusations that a US Marine killed a Filipino on the city’s outskirts, officials said Monday.

      Foreign Department spokesman Charles Jose said the visits of three US ships to Subic this month had been canceled, while the head of the Subic freeport said nine such visits scheduled for this year had been called off.

    • Does New Zealand have its own secret court?

      Thanks to Edward Snowden, there has been an enormous amount of news about the US intelligence community and the court – the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Court (FISA) – that governs it. Following the stunning revelations that FISA approved the wiretapping of millions of US domestic phone calls, the court is now viewed as a ‘almost a parallel Supreme Court,’ whose decisions are made ‘with almost no public scrutiny.’

      Despite New Zealand’s deep involvement in the Five Eyes network, and the revelations that a surveillance warrant was held on New Zealander Daryl Jones who was later killed in a US drone strike in Yemen, there has been no discussion or examination of the role of the Commissioner of Warrants who issues surveillance warrants to the GCSB and NZSIS. The decisions of that office remain entirely opaque, creating a body of law that is not subject to challenge in any public forum.

    • Peace groups plan drone protest at Battle Creek Air National Guard on Saturday
    • Father and daughter arrested protesting world’s most hated weapon

      There was the anthrax letters shell game, Blackwater, Halliburton and pallets of money that disappeared much like Iraqi treasure. The greed and slaughter continued with Obama, presidential ordered secret assassinations, the NSA, telecoms, banks and other corporations conspiring against and committing crimes against US Citizens and the Militarization of the every day cop.

      But it is the drone strike that makes Americans the most hated people and nation on Earth. It is a cowardly act that disregards whatever rules of war that ever existed in the however misguided “honor” of men. These bombs not only have killed children, teenagers, mothers, fathers grandparents, neighbors and entire wedding parties; they have created a level of anxiety and fear across vast regions. Mentally they are a torture of mass destruction. The pictures, eye witness accounts and journalist verifications on the ground are infinitely more believable than ANY White House in my lifetime.

    • New tapes show Israel’s attack on USS Liberty was deliberate

      The translated words of Israeli commanders and Israeli pilots from tapes can be heard, numerous times, as confirming the identity of the Liberty as “American.” The tapes include a timeline in the background which fixes the times of transmissions, and establishes that confirmation was made before and during the attack. In 2004 the Jerusalem Post published a transcript of Israeli radio transmissions on that day, critical parts of which match the transmissions in the tape obtained by the film-maker, Richard Belfield.

    • The Deep State Plots the 1980 Defeat of Jimmy Carter

      How do Wall Street, oil companies and the shadow government agencies like the CIA and NSA really shape the global political order?

      That’s the question author Peter Dale Scott examines in his forthcoming book “The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil and the Attack on U.S. Democracy,” due out on Nov. 12. Scott, a professor emeritus of English at Berkeley and former Canadian diplomat, is considered the father of “deep politics”—the study of hidden permanent institutions and interests whose influence on the political realm transcends the elected.

    • The Empire of Chaos and the War on Drugs

      President Putin’s recent Valdai Speech contained a striking phrase about the counter-productive nature of much of US foreign policy: “We sometimes get the impression that our colleagues and friends are constantly fighting the consequences of their own policies, throw all their effort into addressing the risks they themselves have created, and pay an ever-greater price.”

      President Putin was referring to terrorism, but an equally valid example of the same point is the so-called “War on Drugs” that the US announced in 1971 and which it has been waging with no success ever since.

    • Noam Chomsky calls US ‘world’s leading terrorist state’

      The United States is the “world’s leading terrorist state,” based on its deadly, CIA-run operations in the likes of Nicaragua and Cuba, according to new op-ed by historian and social philosopher Noam Chomsky.

      In a new piece posted at Truthout.org, Chomsky pointed to the Central Intelligence Agency’s classified review of its own efforts to arm insurgencies across the globe in its 67-year history. As RT previously reported, the CIA conducted the effectiveness analyses while the Obama administration contemplated arming rebels fighting against President Bashar Assad’s forces in Syria.

    • The Leading Terrorist State
    • Noam Chomsky Slams The US For Being the Greatest Terrorist State That Has Fostered Violence and Aggression

      In TruthOut, Chomsky described the Central Intelligence Agency’s classified review of its attempts to arm insurgencies across the world in its 67-year history. RT News reported that the CIA conducted the “effectiveness analyses” but the Obama government armed rebels fighting President Bashar Assad’s Syrian forces.

    • Hagel’s Syria Memo

      Let’s imagine a world in which the military-industrial complex controlled by the 1%, so mired in dishonesty and responsible for so much suffering, is decisively overthrown. It shouldn’t take thirty years to topple it.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • The Pierre Omidyar Insurgency

      Omidyar was an admirer of Obama’s right up to the moment the Snowden story broke, and many people who know him well, the types you might meet at CGI, struggle to explain his sudden turn toward confrontation. “He’s a very serious and public-spirited person,” says General Wesley Clark, who has been friendly with Omidyar since he raised money for his 2004 presidential campaign. Clark has publicly dismissed concerns about NSA surveillance and told me he couldn’t really explain why Omidyar was so agitated. Omidyar is mellow by nature; he lives in Hawaii and is a devotee of Buddhism. “He’s not this hard-core, radical maverick,” Greenwald says. “Back before this all happened, he just seemed like the normal, average, amicable billionaire.” Omidyar has communicated little about his motivations beyond a handful of abstruse public statements. He remains a remote and somewhat mysterious figure, even to his collaborators.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Global warming’s early victims: Watch live as polar bears wait for sea ice to form

      We’re approaching the end of an era for the polar bears of Canada’s Western Hudson Bay – or, in the more straightforward way of putting it, we’re approaching the end of the polar bears, period. Typically, as the weather turns cold and sea ice forms, the region’s bears migrate out onto the bay, where they spend the winter filling up on enough seals to last them through the ice-free summer months. But that sea ice has been tending to melt earlier and earlier each spring, and to form later and later each fall. This year, like every year, the bears are ready to get moving. But so far the Hudson Bay, which used to be traversable by as early as November 8, remains largely ice-free.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • ABC Campaign Coverage–or GOP Campaign Commercial?

      ABC-ERNST-2The right-wing Media Research Center released a study (10/22/14) slamming the evening newscasts for not giving the midterm election much airtime. It has a partisan interest here; the group wants more attention paid to the Republicans’ impending victories. ABC World News, it said, was notable for having nothing on the election over the study period.

    • You Will Be Amazed at How Much Influence You Can Have,” Billionaire Pours $9.5M Into MO Elections

      Rex Sinquefield, who has been described as a “new American oligarch,” has reported spending almost $9.5 million on Missouri state politics in 2014 alone, bringing Sinquefield’s total spending in the state to nearly $41 million since 2006.

      “If you get involved at the local level with the route I described, you will be amazed at how much influence you can have,” Sinquefield told his business school alumni earlier this year.

    • How the CIA brought Animal Farm to the screen

      The truth about the CIA’s involvement was kept hidden for 20 years until, in 1974, Everette Howard Hunt revealed the story in his book Undercover: Memoirs of an American Secret Agent. In January 1950, when Orwell died at the age of 46, New Yorker Hunt had been part of the CIA’s Psychological Warfare Workshop and he had been sent to obtain the screen rights to Animal Farm from Orwell’s widow Sonia. Some people believe that Hunt exaggerated his own role in sealing the deal – he supposedly promised Mrs Orwell that he would arrange for her to meet her favourite star, Clark Gable – but he was certainly involved in getting the film off the ground.

    • Facebook Boosts News Feeds of Top 100 Media Outlets in Secret Political Experiment

      What is the point of a social network that doesn’t share your content with friends and followers? Oh, yeah, for profit, government spying, emotional experiments and now, political manipulation.

      Since they went public, Facebook has been playing with their algorithms to prevent “viral” content from occurring naturally in favor of charging users to show content to their followers. This profit-seeking strategy destroyed the only thing that made Facebook useful. Now it seems to serve as little more than an oversized telephone or IM app. But underneath, in the shadows, it’s still so much more than that.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Virginia Police Departments Have Been Collaborating On An Ad Hoc, Secret Phone Record Database

      Do you ever get the feeling that some law enforcement agencies just do whatever the hell they want? In most areas, this is the exception rather than the rule. In Virginia, however, that ratio seems to be reversed. Last year, an ACLU FOIA request uncovered the Virginia State Police’s wholesale harvesting of license plates from political rallies.

    • Here’s Hoping Judge Ignores The Nutty Plaintiff With An Important Case On NSA Surveillance Of Business Records

      Many of us were excited, 11 months ago, when District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled that the NSA’s bulk collection of phone metadata was unconstitutional. This was the first program revealed via the documents from Ed Snowden, and it involved the US using Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, approved by the FISA Court with little explanation (until much later) to say that it’s okay to request all phone records from Verizon. What had been often mentioned as a brief aside, is the fact that the plaintiff in the case, Larry Klayman is a bit of a conspiracy-theorist nutjob.

    • US National Security Agency probably has your Windows Bitlocker recovery keys

      Cryptome highlight that the Windows FAQs on drive encryption says that a recovery key for your encrypted device is uploaded to your SkyDrive (now named OneDrive) account to make sure that you have a means of logging into your device should you forget your password. This would be a reasonable expectation as the encryption was passively turn on, however it goes on to remind us that Microsoft’s SkyDrive/OneDrive was a target/collaborator of the NSA’s PRISM program which means tha NSA have keys to decrypt your computer.

    • The Senate just lost one of its most prominent critics of the NSA and CIA

      Colorado Sen. Mark Udall lost his seat on Tuesday, the Associated Press is projecting. He lost a hard-fought race against Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner.

      The candidates sparred over a variety of the issues, from Obamacare to birth control. But the biggest impact of Udall’s defeat could be on civil liberties.

    • With Udall’s defeat, NSA reformers lose an ally on the inside

      With Colorado Sen. Mark Udall’s defeat Tuesday night, the Senate will lose one of its most vocal, most active and most powerfully positioned advocates for dialing back the intelligence community’s surveillance powers.

    • Judges Skeptical NSA Spying Violates Privacy Rights

      In reviewing a post-Snowden case Tuesday, an appeals court questioned whether the government’s bulk collection of phone records needs to be reined in.

    • NSA Metadata Collection Case in Court Today

      A case challenging the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) metadata collection efforts against United States citizens made its way into an appellate court today, where lawyer and opponent of domestic spying Larry Klayman was grilled by a three-judge panel. At issue is the collection of metadata in a massive program run by the National Security Agency known as PRISM, which was first revealed to the public by Edward Snowden.

    • Embattled NSA under fire in court

      Critics of the National Security Agency’s most embattled program harshly condemned the spying in a top appeals court on Tuesday.

      Judges, however, seemed largely skeptical of their claims that the spy agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records was unconstitutional.

      Instead, they seemed to express a desire to reverse a lower court ruling nearly one year ago that called the NSA program “almost Orwellian.”

    • Anti-NSA ruling in jeopardy
    • Privacy advocates urge appeals court to halt NSA phone collection
    • Appeals court to weigh NSA phone data program
    • Oral Arguments In Lawsuit Against NSA Focus on Plaintiffs’ Standing
    • Judges weigh NSA’s sweep of phone numbers
    • Appeals court steps into debate over NSA surveillance program
    • Appeals Court Hears NSA Mass Surveillance Arguments
    • 4th Amendment Fight Against NSA Continues
    • House Dem calls for undiluted NSA reforms
    • Appellate Judge Panel Seen Hostile to Anti-NSA Ruling

      The December ruling that the NSA telephone surveillance program was unconstitutional looks to be in serious jeopardy, as the US Appellate Court challenge to the ruling has drawn a three-judge panel that seems extremely hostile to the idea of limiting federal surveillance powers.

    • Brazil’s New Underwater Data Cable to Portugal Is Still Likely Not NSA-Proof

      Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s remarks at an October campaign event, in which she said a new underwater data cable being built from Brazil to Portugal would be made by Brazilian companies to protect it from US “espionage,” were widely seen as a slam on the US National Security Agency’s spying tactics.

    • Will Tom Cotton Be the New Face of Surveillance Reform Opposition in the Senate?

      House Republican Tom Cotton looks set to defeat Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor in Arkansas and take over his seat in the United States Senate. If this happens, it is a distinct possibility that Cotton will become one of the most vocal opponents of any efforts to reform surveillance and constrain the National Security Agency or any other government agency’s power.

    • Hacking Team Defends Spyware, Attacks Researchers’ Methods

      Privacy advocates and anti-surveillance activists have been taking a close look at the way that some vendors of so-called lawful intercept and surveillance software and hardware systems conduct their business and which customers and governments they sell their wares to. Now, some of those vendors–and the customers they work with–are mounting their own criticisms of the researchers and their tactics.


      Hacking Team is an Italian company that develops and sells surveillance equipment and spyware to government clients.

    • Rogers downplays NSA moonlighting controversy

      Earlier this month the NSA was forced to launch an internal review of the practice after Reuters published a story detailing how the agency allowed Patrick Dowd, the NSA’s chief technical officer, to work 20 hours per week for IronNet Cybersecurity Inc., a private cybersecurity firm founded by former NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander. The company reportedly charges financial institutions up to $1 million per month for cybersecurity services based on technology patents Alexander developed while he was employed as NSA director. Under pressure, Alexander terminated the agreement with Dowd last week.

    • You’ve been permacookied and don’t even know it

      I’ve long warned that no one is truly anonymous on the Internet. Tor guarantees anonymous downloads about as much as naming your hacking collective “Anonymous” guarantees you won’t be arrested. Those private snaps on your smartphone? If anyone cares to see them, they can be stolen and posted publicly. Repeat after me: When you use the Internet, anonymity is not a feature.

    • Cell carrier was weakest link in hack of Google, Instagram accounts

      If you think the two-factor authentication offered by Google and other cloud services will keep your account out of the hands of an attacker, think again. One developer found out this weekend the hard way; Google’s account protection scheme can be bypassed by going after something most people would consider an even harder target—the user’s cell phone account.

    • The Government is in Pursuit of a Less Secure Internet

      A government proposal to change the rules for obtaining search warrants risks making all of us more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

      The FBI wants to be able to infect computers with malware when it doesn’t know where exactly they’re located. The implications for computer security, and for constitutional limits on the government’s search powers, are drastic.

      The Department of Justice is asking a judicial committee to amend Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which generally permits magistrate judges to issue search warrants to the government only for searches within their judicial district. The government wants to lift the geographical limitation to allow it to conduct electronic surveillance of devices whose locations are unknown.

    • Dropbox’s Drew Houston Responds To Snowden’s Privacy Criticism: It’s A Trade-Off

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden sparked controversy when he advised consumers (twice) to “get rid of Dropbox” if they want to protect their privacy. Today, Drew Houston, CEO of the cloud storage startup, responded to the accusations. People can do more to encrypt their data, he admitted, but It’s “a trade-off between usability/convenience and security,” he said. “We offer people choice.”

    • Police misuse of Ripa powers to spy on journalists is systemic, MPs told

      The National Union of Journalists has told parliament that police misuse of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to snoop on journalists and their sources is “systemic and institutionalised” and is doing “irreparable damage” to the industry.

      Michelle Stanistreet, the NUJ’s general secretary, told the home affairs select committee that police were routinely bypassing the need for judicial scrutiny to discover journalistic sources by using Ripa to go through phone records and other data.

    • How mobiles can hack our most sensitive data

      The data can be picked up by a mobile phone up to 23 feet away and then transmitted over Wi-Fi or a cellular network to an attacker’s command-and-control server. The victim’s own mobile phone can be used to receive and transmit the stolen data, or an attacker lurking outside an office or lab can use his own phone to pick up the transmission.

    • Activist lawyer takes NSA surveillance case to federal appeals court

      A conservative gadfly lawyer who has made a career of skewering Democratic administrations is taking his battle against the National Security Agency’s telephone surveillance programme to a federal appeals court.

    • Ex-NSA chief invested heavily in tech firm tied to AT&T

      As questions continue to be raised about the legality concerning the National Security Agency’s vast surveillance apparatus, the NSA’s ex spy chief is now coming under attack for ties he had to a tech company while in office.

      A report published on Monday this week by Shane Harris at the Daily Beast revealed that Gen. Keith Alexander, the recently retired head of the NSA, bought and sold tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of stock in a firm called Synchronoss Technologies Inc. while he ran the United States’ intelligence gathering agency.

    • ACLU on Executive Order 12333: NSA may be laughing at your sex tape

      Snowden told The Guardian that when some NSA analysts intercept photos of a sexual nature, they cannot pass up the temptation to pass the images around. He witnessed this privacy invasion “numerous” times and called the occurrences “routine enough” to be considered “fringe benefits of surveillance positions.”

    • Pizza delivery man for Senate: Delete all the NSA’s files

      Haugh is just as absolutist when it comes to ending foreign wars and bringing home troops from far-off outposts. Not only does he advocate stopping the current air strikes against ISIL and other extremist groups in Iraq and Syria, but he’s also quick to draw a connection between winding down wars and removing prohibitions on recreational drug use.

    • Former NSA lawyer: the cyberwar is between tech firms and the US government

      The battle over encryption of consumer internet users’ data has pitched US technology companies against the US government itself, former NSA general counsel Stewart Baker said on Tuesday.

  • Civil Rights

    • No prospect of NYT journalist testifying at ex-CIA officer’s trial, prosecutors say

      In a motion filed in US district court in Alexandria, Virginia, prosecutors say attorneys for the journalist James Risen have told them that, even if subpoenaed, Risen will refuse to provide any substantive testimony at the pending trial of the former CIA operative Jeffrey Sterling.

    • Prosecutors Say There’s Still No Deal In Place With James Risen

      Federal prosecutors said Monday they have no deal in place with a New York Times reporter whose testimony they want as they prosecute a former CIA officer accused of leaking classified information.

      In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, prosecutors say attorneys for journalist James Risen have told them that, even if subpoenaed, Risen will refuse to provide any substantive testimony at the pending trial of former CIA operative Jeffrey Sterling.

    • Reporter still refusing to testify in CIA Iran leak case

      ALEXANDRIA, Virginia — Federal prosecutors said Monday they have no deal in place with a New York Times reporter whose testimony they want as they prosecute a former CIA officer accused of leaking classified information about covert operations against Iran.

    • Prosecutors: No deal with reporter on leak case

      Federal prosecutors say they have no deal in place with a New York Times reporter whose testimony they want as they prosecute a former CIA officer accused of leaking sensitive information.

      In a motion filed Monday in federal court in Alexandria, prosecutors say attorneys for journalist James Risen have told them that, even if subpoenaed, Risen will refuse to provide any substantive testimony at the pending trial of former CIA operative Jeffrey Sterling.

    • The CIA in Texas

      Even the documented account by James Risen of the White House orchestrated plot in the wake of 9/11 to circumvent (indeed, ignore) legal restrictions on domestic wire-tapping has not crossed the threshold of public attention.

    • War. Torture. The NSA. And Jerusalem? The American president’s addiction to king-like power must end

      President Bush signed the bill into law, but – this being George W Bush, who saw his office as above the law on issues from going to war to torturing during an endless war and even spying on his own citizens – he also issued an adjoining statement expressing his view that the statute is an unconstitutional encroachment on presidential power. The Obama administration has taken the same position, in reasserting the White House’s official neutrality as to which sovereign controls Jerusalem – and in resisting the power for Congress to keep the president’s power in check.

    • Ex-CIA officer unseats Dem Rep. Gallego
    • Wyden: CIA Demand To Black Out Torture Report Details Would Be Unprecedented

      The Central Intelligence Agency’s call to black out all pseudonyms from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture would be unprecedented – and represents an unacceptable effort to obscure key facts, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said last week.

    • You know who else won the 2014 election? The CIA.

      With Republicans taking control of the Senate, there’s a good chance the CIA won’t be held accountable for its crimes during the Bush era

    • Milwaukee Students Disrupt CIA Recruitment on Campus

      On Oct. 29, students led by Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES) and Progressive Students of Milwaukee (PSM) disrupted a CIA recruitment event held on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus.

      The CIA is a defender of U.S. corporate interests against democratic people’s movements. Protest organizers say that for more than 60 years, the CIA has assassinated foreign leaders and civilians around the globe, systematically tortured, trained assassins to kill both US and foreign civilians, facilitated weapons and drug trafficking by terrorists and paramilitaries, influenced foreign elections with money and murder, and lied to congress about its activities.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • No Compromise: FCC Should Reject Risky, Confusing “Hybrid” Net Neutrality

      Back in May the Federal Communications Commission proposed flawed “net neutrality” rules that would effectively bless the creation of Internet “slow lanes.” After months of netroots protests the FCC is now reportedly considering a new “hybrid” proposal. EFF is deeply concerned, however, that this “compromise” risks too much, for too little.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Attention Kim Kardashian: You Can’t Sue Another Woman For Having A Big Ass And An Instagram Account

      Let’s pretend for a moment that for-some-reason-a-celebrity Kim Kardashian reads Techdirt. Someone needs to let her know that lawsuits and lawyers are not for temper tantrums over threats to your own celebrity. I’d have thought she’d have previously learned this lesson after Old Navy staved off the lawsuit she filed because the clothing company had the gall to hire a brunette woman for one of their commercials. It would appear not, now that she’s reportedly investigating whether or not she can sue a woman named Jen Selter for “copying” Kim’s poses (bwah?) and having a big ass.

    • Does Kim Kardashian have her eye on your bottom?

      To Los Angeles, where Lost in Showbiz learns that a landmark court case may be brewing. It derives this knowledge from a feature in leading legal periodical Closer magazine, headlined KIM KARDASHIAN FUMES OVER BOTTOM “COPYCAT”. We won’t go into too much detail here, because quite frankly, reading the whole article made Lost in Showbiz worry that civilisation as we know it is doomed and that brimstone is going to start raining from the sky any minute. Suffice to say, the general thrust is that Kim Kardashian is angry at a woman the piece refers to as “internet bottom sensation” Jen Selter. Selter has been posting photographs of her large buttocks on Instagram, an activity Kardashian apparently feels is an unacceptable infringement upon her very raison d’etre: one of the gangplanks of Kim Kardashian’s global celebrity being her nonpareil ability to take photographs of her own large buttocks with a cameraphone. “Kim thinks Jen copies all her poses … she is fuming as she feels her curvy bum is one of her most unique selling points and feels that Jen is just trying to cash in.”

    • EFF asks for the right to revive “abandoned” online games

      While playing the original versions of classic games on aging original hardware can sometimes be difficult, it’s at least typically possible. That’s not the case for many online games, which are functionally inoperable once the developer or publisher decides to shut down the official servers that provide the only way for players to communicate with each other. Unofficial hobbyist projects that try to create new servers for these abandoned games could run afoul of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and its ban on “the circumvention of access control technologies.”

    • Why We’re Just Now Getting the 1960s Batman TV Show on DVD

      In 1998, a man named John Stacks formed a company, Johnny Resin, that sold model kits to a niche audience. His specialty was a line of sculpts bearing the likenesses of actors from 1966′s Batman television series: Adam West, Burt Ward, and an assortment of villains, all in costume.

    • To Nobody’s Surprise, Australian “Terrorism” Law May Be Used for Copyright Enforcement

      As we foreshadowed, a new law requiring mandatory data retention by ISPs was introduced into the Australian federal parliament last week. In the few days since then, there have been claims and counter-claims about whether data obtained under the new law would be limited to use in fighting major crimes (such as terrorism, as the government originally claimed), or if it could be used to target citizens who download and share files online.

      The current party line, from flip-flopping Attorney-General George Brandis (whom some may remember from this train-wreck interview in which he attempted to define “metadata”) is that the new laws “can’t be and they won’t be” used to prosecute file sharers, because copyright infringement is only a civil offense.

    • Copyrights

      • Dutch Parliament Wants Popup Warnings on Pirate Sites

        A majority of the Dutch Parliament has backed a proposal to target online piracy through warning popups on “pirate” sites. The warnings should inform Internet users that they’re breaking the law, while pointing out what the legal alternatives are. The opposition characterizes the plan as “stupid” and notes there are better ways to deal with the issue.

      • German Police Raid 121 Homes in Massive Pirate Site Crackdown

        Four hundred police officers raided 121 homes today in a crackdown on the popular linking site Boerse.bz. The homes are believed to be connected to active uploaders of the site but no arrests have been made. The Boerse.bz website itself switched to a new provider but remains online.


Links 4/11/2014: Trisquel 7.0 LTS, Fedora 21 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 4:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Sorry, Windows Fans, but Can You Run 100 Apps at Once and Still Use the PC?

    Linux distributions are always heralded as the most secure operating systems and Windows is usually left in the dust, but it’s good to know that it can also perform much better in other areas, like application and memory management.

  • Server

    • HarrisData Supports Linux with new ‘AppsInHD’ Platform

      IBM i ERP software developer HarrisData recently unveiled AppsInHD, a new platform that will serve as the foundation for the company’s future Web-based, loosely coupled, REST-enabled applications. The new “mashup” AppsInHD apps will run on IBM i as well as Linux.

    • November 2014 Issue of Linux Journal: System Administration

      Every time I write a Bash script or schedule a cron job, I worry about the day I’ll star in my very own IT version of a Folger’s commercial. Instead of “secretly replacing coffee with Folger’s Instant Crystals”, however, I worry I’ll be replaced by an automation framework and a few crafty FOR loops. If you’ve ever had nightmares like that, you’re in the right place. The truth is, the need for system administrators isn’t going down—it’s just that our job function is shifting a little. If you stay current, and resolve to be a lifelong learner, system administration is as incredible as it’s always been. (And far better than instant coffee! Yuck!) This month, we focus on system administration. It keeps us all relevant, all informed and most important, we should all learn a little something along the way.

    • CoreOS: A lean, mean virtualization machine

      CoreOS is a slimmed-down Linux distribution designed for easy creation of lots of OS instances. We like the concept.

      CoreOS uses Docker to deploy applications in virtual containers; it also features a management communications bus, and group instance management.

      Rackspace, Amazon Web Services (AWS), GoogleComputeEngine (GCE), and Brightbox are early cloud compute providers compatible with CoreOS and with specific deployment capacity for CoreOS. We tried Rackspace and AWS, and also some local “fleet” deployments.

    • Linux Distributors Are All Over the Cloud

      Two of the major Linux distributors, Red Hat Inc. and SUSE, appear to believe that becoming the dominant supplier of cloud services and technology will allow them to continue to battle mainframes, Windows and single-vendor Unix in both corporate and services provider datacenters. Both of these suppliers have made recent announcements based on cloud-related products and services. Let’s take a look at what they’re doing.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • bsdtalk246 – Playing with tor

      Looking forward to attending MeetBSD in California this weekend. Still working on finding a new /home for all my stuff, but thank you all who have offered suggestions and hosting.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD’s Windows Catalyst Driver Remains Largely Faster Than Linux Drivers

        With last week having delivered our latest Linux vs. Windows NVIDIA benchmarks where we found that the NVIDIA Linux driver can outperform the Windows 8.1 driver with OpenGL workloads, the tables have turned to looking at the AMD Windows vs. Linux performance using the latest code. In this Ubuntu 14.10 vs. Windows 8.1 comparison, the open-source Radeon driver on Linux is also being tested against the Catalyst drivers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • K3b 2.0.3 released

        I don’t have access to k3b.org so can’t update the news there, shows why the Manifesto is such an important thing.

      • K3b 2.0.3 Released After Over 3 Years

        K3b 2.0.3 has been released earlier today, bringing a number of bug fixes and improvements to this burning application. This is the first incremental release since 2011, after over three years in which everything was quiet regarding the development of K3b.

  • Distributions

    • 10 best Linux distros: which one is right for you?

      Choice and flexibility are the hallmarks of a Linux distribution, and by extension the Linux ecosystem. With the proprietary Windows and OS X, you’re stuck with the system as designed and can’t make changes no matter how unpleasant you may find the experience. Linux distributions are free of such limitations.

      Each distro has the Linux kernel at its core, but builds on top of that with its own selection of other components, depending on the target audience of the distro. Most Linux users switch between distros until they finally find the one that best suits their needs. However, for new and inexperienced users, the choice of hundreds of distros, with seemingly little to distinguish them, can seem challenging to say the least.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • openSUSE 13.2: green light to freedom!

        This is the first release after the change in the openSUSE development mode, with a much shorter stabilization phase thanks to the extensive testing done in a daily basis in the rolling distribution used now as a base for openSUSE stable releases. The perfect balance between innovation and stability with the great level of freedom of choice that openSUSE users are used to.

      • openSUSE 13.2 Officially Released, Uses Btrfs As Default

        After one year of development and a change in their development practices, openSUSE 13.2 was officially released this morning.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Linux at 20: Recalling ‘Halloween’ release that was no trick

        Twenty years ago [on Oct. 30, 1994], the world had their first glimpse of the operating system that would eventually evolve into Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Marc Ewing’s “Halloween” release of Red Hat Linux. In the mid-90s, Linux was not the juggernaut that it is today, instead the domain of hobbyists and hackers. Red Hat Linux “Halloween,” however, forever changed the game, showing not only the growing demand for Linux but also that you could actually make money in open source.

      • Fedora

        • Too Many Forks, the Right Distro, and Reason for Fedora

          Today in Linux news the community tackles the “too many forks” question. Jack Wallen has how to find the right distro for the job and Mayank Sharma updated his “10 best Linux distros” article. Danny Stieben has five reasons to look forward to Fedora 21 and Bryan Lunduke looks at ChromeOS in his latest desktop-a-week review.

        • 5 Brilliant Reasons To Look Forward To Fedora 21

          Fedora 21 is well on its way to being released in early December, and it brings with it a ton of goodies! Plus, since Fedora is known for being a cutting-edge distribution, there will be a lot of interesting software and technologies that you’ll get to use. Since Fedora moves so fast, it’s important to have these new releases.

        • Announcing the release of Fedora 21 Beta!
        • Fedora 21 beta released
        • Announcing the release of Fedora 21 Beta!
        • Fedora 21 Beta Makes It Out Following Delays

          Fedora 21 is now available in beta form following its latest delays. Fedora 21 is still hoped for in official form next month and continues to be shaping up to potentially the best Fedora release ever.

        • Fedora 21 rolls three versions of Linux into one OS

          Following hints earlier in the year, a beta of Red Hat Fedora Linux 21 has finally arrived in three incarnations: Cloud, Server, and Workstation. Fedora 21 also provides the first public glimpse of Project Atomic, Red Hat’s initiative to produce a Linux distribution optimized as a Docker container host.

          Users who have deployed Fedora in the past as a workstation environment can turn to the appropriately named Fedora 21 Workstation. In addition to updates of all previously included software, the new version features a technology preview of the Wayland display server, an improvement on the X.org display server currently used by Linux distributions. Workstation also includes the Dev Assistant tool to provide developers with a fast way to instantiate project environments.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Hackable drone controller runs Linux

      Gizmo for You has gone to Indiegogo to ask for $600 for a modular, Linux based “Open Source Remote Control” for UAVs and other remote-controlled craft.

    • Tiny $269 3D resin printer runs Linux on Raspberry Pi

      The $269 iBox Nano, billed as the “world’s smallest, cheapest 3D resin printer,” offers WiFi and 328 Micron resolution, and runs Linux on a Raspberry Pi.

      The Raspberry Pi has been used as a computer interface device for 3D printers, as well as a calibration add-on, but as far as we know the iBox Nano is the first 3D printer in which Linux is running the show internally. Last month, an engineering student named Owen Jeffreys showed a video of a Raspberry Pi-based 3D printer project, but the project has yet to be completed (see farther below). Meanwhile, the only other commercial 3D printers we know of that run Linux are the three MakerBot Replicator models announced earlier this year.

    • Phones

      • Mobile Linux Distros Keep on Morphing

        Legitimate questions have been raised as to whether Linux platforms designed for smartphones are as good as a tailored embedded Linux stack built from scratch. Yet, so far experiments outside the mobile realm have proven fairly successful. Over the last week, we saw how several of these platforms, including Firefox OS, Tizen, Ubuntu, and WebOS, are spreading out to new device types.

        First, Mozilla revealed a Firefox OS port to the Raspberry Pi that it hopes will rival Raspbian. Also last week, Samsung showed off a Tizen-based smart TV prototype, as well as a new camera. In addition, specs for the first Ubuntu Touch-enabled tablet were floated on the web, and earlier last month, LG hinted at an upcoming WebOS smartwatch.

      • Tizen

      • Android

        • Nexus 9 Review: A Powerful Tablet…for Android Die-Hards Only

          The Nexus 7 formula wasn’t broken, but Google went and fixed it anyway. The Nexus 7 tablet has been discontinued, and the Nexus 9 is the replacement.

        • Android market share may have hit its peak
        • 5 Android apps that are already redesigned for Android 5.0 Lollipop

          Android is about to complete its metamorphosis into an operating system with not just cohesive design, but stunning good looks. Android 5.0 Lollipop looks great, but that says nothing of the apps. It’s up to developers to get their apps updated using the new material design guidelines with bolder colors, layered UI elements, and floating action buttons. It’ll probably take a while for everyone to get on-board, but some developers have already done the work to create beautiful materialized apps. Here are five of the best.

        • Get Gmail 5.0 for Android right now

          Anticipating the Material makeover for one of Google’s most beloved apps? The wait is over, and here’s how to get a copy for your Android device.

        • Android Lollipop rolls out across smartphones, tablets

          Ready for the latest and greatest Android release? Android 5 “Lollipop” is rolling out over-the-air to select smartphones and tablets now.

          The new Android software, which features the new Material Design, is already on the recently released Nexus 6 and 9. It’s also now on its way to the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (both first and second generation), and Nexus 10. It will also be showing up on ” Google Play Edition” devices. These include the Moto G and HTC One M8.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Can Open Source Help Solve Unemployment?

    Put simply, getting involved in an open source project is a great way for anyone to show that they can contribute in a meaningful way, work well with others, and develop skills and experience that can be directly transferred to a work environment.

  • ‘Albania hospitals should switch to open source’

    The government of Albania should benefit from using free and open source for managing the country’s hospitals and health clinics, says Gjergj Sheldija. The ICT consultant is implementing Care2x, an open source Hospital Information System (HIS) for the Mother Teresa Hospital in Tirana.

  • Our connected future: an interview with NASA’s first CTO, Chris C. Kemp

    Chris C. Kemp is the Chief Strategy Officer of Nebula, Inc., a leading cloud computing and IaaS provider which helps enterprises deploy and manage OpenStack-based private clouds. Previously to founding Nebula, Chris served as NASA’s first CTO where he cofounded the OpenStack project.

  • Adobe launches its open source text editor Brackets out of beta, releases CSS extraction tool

    Today Adobe announced the 1.0 release of Brackets, the company’s open source text editor designed for developers who work with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

  • Google releases open source Nogotofail network traffic security testing tool

    Google today introduced a new tool for testing network traffic security called Nogotofail. The company has released it as an open source project available on GitHub, meaning anyone can use it, contribute new features, provide support for more platforms, and do anything else with the end goal of helping to improve the security of the Internet.

  • ON.Lab Intros Open Source SDN OS

    The Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab), a non-profit organization founded by SDN inventors and leaders from Stanford University and UC Berkeley, today introduced the open source SDN Open Network Operating System (ONOS).

  • ON.Lab aims to disrupt with SDN Open Source Network Operating System
  • PLUMgrid Incorporates Third Party Open Source SDN Functions for Ease of SDN/NFV Deployments

    PLUMgrid, a leading innovator of virtual network infrastructure for OpenStack clouds, has announced that it has incorporated third party open source SDN functions from partners or community-built open source software modules on its PLUMgrid Platform to provide a single service insertion architecture that simplifies and accelerates the adoption of virtual network services. PLUMgrid Platform helps enterprises and service providers to create and manage L2-L7 virtual network services.

  • How the connection mechanics work inside the Internet of Things

    TIBCO StreamBase now supports a wide range of open source connectors enabling customers to connect, understand and act upon the data processed from the Internet of Things.

  • Scality Announces the World’s First Open Source REST-based Interface for Block-based Applications
  • Events

    • Chillin’ With the Community at OLF

      We are not referred to as “The Linux Community” out of hand. Yes, we can be a loud community. We are often an argumentative community, coloring outside of the lines into larger reaches of the Internet. But we are a community nonetheless. We’re people like Alan Dacey, who stops what he’s doing to write a script to solve a vexing problem for Reglue. People like Clem Lefebvre, who’s devoted to creating a safe and fantastic Linux environment in which to work.

    • HP, Wind River and Others Join Paris OpenStack News Cycle

      As I covered yesterday, this week the OpenStack Summit is taking place in Paris, and there is already a lot of related news flowing out of the event. Internap, which provides Internet infrastructure services, has stated that it is expanding its OpenStack-powered AgileCLOUD public cloud footprint to Amsterdam, and Amysta has announced the release of its billing system for OpenStack, which is essentially a revenue management platform.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • PLUMgrid widens OpenStack support

      It has been a busy seven days for PLUMgrid. Last week it announced the availability of its Open Networking Suite (ONS) 2.0 for OpenStack. Today, as the OpenStack Summit opens in Paris, it has made three new announcements. The first two around the availability of ONS 2.0 on different OpenStack distributions and the third that it is adopting Docker containers to speed up the delivery of SDN and NFV components.

    • Akanda Debuts Open Source NFV Platform

      Akanda, a start-up incubated with DreamHost since 2012, launched out of stealth mode to deliver an open source Network Function Virtualization (NFV) platform for cloud service providers. The platform is already in use by 500+ tenants at Dreamhost and supporting 1,000s of VMs in its cloud compute service. DreamHost is now spinning-off the solution into Akanda, a start-up whose mission will be to accelerate open source NFV for cloud operators.

    • Midokura Brings MidoNet SDN for OpenStack to Open Source

      Until today, Midokura’s flagship MidoNet network virtualization Software Defined Network (SDN) platform was a closed piece of proprietary code. That is now changing, as Midokura announced today at the OpenStack Summit in Paris that it is open sourcing the core pieces of its MidoNet platform.

    • OpenStack and the Mysteries of the Universe

      OpenStack has emerged in the last four years to be one of the leading ways that enterprises can leverage their server capacity to build cloud infrastructure. OpenStack is also being used with great impact at CERN, quite literally helping to unlock the mysteries of the universe.

  • CMS

  • Business

    • SDN company goes open source

      Midokura giving its product away to fill OpenStack gap

    • An open source ERP system built to self-implement

      Why someone would start a new open source ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) project, is the question that people ask me again and again. If I had known what it takes, I might not have done it! But I did not know that in 2006 when I started to write my own ERP in Python and MySQL.


      Our biggest satisfaction will be when a whole bunch of small, local, innovative organizations across the world gets access to tools that will help them compete with large, global, and inefficient corporations—creating a level playing field that will leave our world a little bit more fair.

    • Barclays and CommBank explore open source collaboration pact

      Barclays Bank is to work with Commonwealth Bank of Australia on the development of open source tools for analysing large data sets in an effort to break free from the tyranny of vendor licensing fees.

  • BSD


    • Technological Neutrality and Free Software

      Technological neutrality is the principle that the state should not impose preferences for or against specific kinds of technology. For example, there should not be a rule that specifies whether state agencies should use solid state memory or magnetic disks, or whether they should use GNU/Linux or BSD. Rather, the agency should let bidders propose any acceptable technology as part of their solutions, and choose the best/cheapest offer by the usual rules.

      The principle of technological neutrality is valid, but it has limits. Some kinds of technology are harmful; they may pollute air or water, encourage antibiotic resistance, abuse their users, abuse the workers that make them, or cause massive unemployment. These should be taxed, regulated, discouraged, or even banned.

      The principle of technological neutrality applies only to purely technical decisions. It is not “ethical neutrality” or “social neutrality”; it does not apply to decisions about ethical and social issues—such as the choice between free software and proprietary software.

    • GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry: 25 new GNU releases!
    • Free software groups hopeful for new Commission

      Free software advocacy groups are hopeful that the incoming European Commission will advance the use and development of this type of software solution in public administration.

    • Videos from the GNU Tools Cauldron

      The GNU Tools Cauldron, a conference on the low-level toolchain (GCC, glibc, GDB, etc.) was held last July. There is now a full set of videos from the event available for your viewing pleasure.

  • Public Services/Government

    • DOD Considering Open Source EHR System

      Last month, PwC announced it intended to offer a bid for the Department of Defense (DOD) Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM) EHR contract. The DOD is searching for a contractor to replace the existing Military Health System (MHS) which currently has more than 9.7 million active duty, retired, and dependent beneficiaries.

    • An open source tool to share data from Europe’s libraries and museums

      The treasures of Europe’s rich history are carefully documented and stored in our many libraries, archives and museums. However, although our history is intricately interconnected, our repositories don’t necessarily have the technology to effectively link and share their content. Museums and libraries often have their own data codification and representation methods which means that the information may not accessible to web search engines and to other institutions.

  • Licensing

  • Programming

    • Entering the Golden Age of Open Source

      The message is clear, there’s never been a better time to write code for a living. Programmers aren’t just coding applications anymore, they are coding networks, data centers, and continuous integration systems. Infrastructure that used to require an up-front investment of millions is available to start out on for free, with a logical, understandable API to access and consume their resources. And behind it all, open source software is powering the new generation.

    • Super-villains of C sought for WORLD CONQUEST plan

      If you think like a super-villain, laugh like an anti-hero, and can write code, it’s time to polish off the cackle, sharpen up the brain, get extra coffee, and start working on your entry to the Underhanded C contest.

      The 7th Underhanded C contest seeks, like its predecessors, code that is “readable, clear, innocent and straightforward as possible”, but with the twist that “it must fail to perform its apparent function”.

    • Improving JavaScript: Google throws AtScript into the mix

      Google’s Miško Hevery, co-inventor of the popular AngularJS framework, has announced a new project to improve JavaScript by adding type annotations and other features.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML5 Gets Promoted to a Standard

      The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced that it is promoting the HTML5 specification to Recommendation status, that highest level of approval, which effectively pushes HTML5 to the level of a web standard.

    • Departments lack common targets for implementing open-document standards

      The standard called the Open Document Format (ODF) was chosen by the government in July 2014 to standardise document formats across the public sector, with PDF and HTML also approved for viewing files.

      In September 2014, government departments were told to publish their implementation plans, which are expected to trickle through over the coming month.


  • Security

    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • Why The UK Desperately Needs 200,000 IT Security Specialists

      The UK’s lack of available talent with the right cyber security skills presents a very real danger to British businesses, according to a London-based cyber security specialist recruiter.

      Responding to recent reports by EY and the office of the Minister for Universities and Science, Cornucopia IT Resourcing, warned that the unless the deficit in the number of available cyber security professionals is addressed, British businesses will remain the target of cyber attacks.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • CNN Host: Climate Change Is Undeniable, So Here’s a Denier

      He introduced it as “a story you will see nowhere else this morning.” That story is that one of the founders of the Weather Channel, retired TV weather forecaster John Coleman, thinks “climate change is a hoax.” And saying so got him invited on Fox News.


      The current CEO of the Weather Channel arrives next to affirm the channel’s statement that it disagrees with Coleman. And, since the discussion mostly skipped over challenging any of Coleman’s rhetoric, one could actually argue that there wasn’t much of a debate at all.

    • Traffic noise can threaten birds’ survival

      Young birds attempting to call for their parents over man-made noises are inadvertently attracting predators, research finds

  • Finance

    • A Debate on Open Source of Virtual Currency

      With the popularization of knowledge on the online virtual money, more and more virtual money are produced. Since the Bitcoin made the Web money in fashion and gained global attention, the virtual money after Bitcoin were called “Copycat Coins”. While these virtual money use different names merely to differentiate with Bitcoin, like the different names of currencies in the real world, such as the US dollar, the Euro, etc.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Pianist asks The Washington Post to remove a concert review under the E.U.’s ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling

      The pianist Dejan Lazic, like many artists and performers, is occasionally the subject of bad reviews. Also like other artists, he reads those reviews. And disagrees with them. And gripes over them, sometimes.

      But because Lazic lives in Europe, where in May the European Union ruled that individuals have a “right to be forgotten” online, he decided to take the griping one step further: On Oct. 30, he sent The Washington Post a request to remove a 2010 review by Post classical music critic Anne Midgette that – he claims — has marred the first page of his Google results for years.

  • Privacy

    • Open Rights Group response to GCHQ Director’s claim that tech companies are aiding terrorists

      Open Rights Group has responded to an FT comment piece by the Director of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, in which he calls for “greater co-operation from technology companies’, who are in his words, “the command and control networks of choice” for terrorists.

    • New GCHQ Boss Blames Tech Industry For ‘Facilitating Murder’ And Being Terrorists’ ‘Command-And-Control’ Center

      So, we weren’t too impressed with previous GCHQ (the UK equivalent of the NSA) boss, Sir Iain Lobban, who insisted that GCHQ didn’t do “mass surveillance” so long as you defined “mass” and “surveillance” the way he does (and not the way the English language does). This statement was made just days before it was revealed that the GCHQ (contrary to its own claims) gets access to NSA data without a warrant.

    • GCHQ: Going from Bad to Worse

      Some of the most disturbing revelations to emerge from Edward Snowden’s leaks are that the UK’s GCHQ is involved in spying on all the Internet traffic as it enters and leaves this country, and that it is jointly responsible for undermining basic cryptographic methods that keep communications private – and which make e-commerce possible. All of this without any kind of legal justification, just Jesuitical casuistry that largely turns on contorted interpretations of laws and stretched definitions of key concepts.

    • Reaction to comments made by the new head of GCHQ

      Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “It is wholly wrong to state that internet companies are failing to assist in investigations.

    • GCHQ Chief Criticises Tech Firms

      In an unusual step the new head of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, has written an article accusing technology companies of aiding terrorism and failing to help with investigations. The article is entirely vague in its criticisms of the tech companies, giving little detail of what information GCHQ is failing to receive from the tech companies.

    • Facebook Creates .Onion Site; Now Accessible Via Tor Network
    • Verizon Injecting Perma-Cookies to Track Mobile Customers, Bypassing Privacy Controls

      Verizon users might want to start looking for another provider. In an effort to better serve advertisers, Verizon Wireless has been silently modifying its users’ web traffic on its network to inject a cookie-like tracker. This tracker, included in an HTTP header called X-UIDH, is sent to every unencrypted website a Verizon customer visits from a mobile device. It allows third-party advertisers and websites to assemble a deep, permanent profile of visitors’ web browsing habits without their consent.

    • Facebook’s Ability To Influence The Election

      As the article notes, Facebook had experimented with “I’m Voting” or “I’m a Voter” buttons on its site to see if that would encourage friends to vote, but its civic engagement tactics have gone much further than that.

    • Will The CIA Treat Amazon’s Cloud The Same Way It Treated Drives It Shared With The Senate?

      The US intelligence community’s $600 million cloud computing deal with Amazon was finalized roughly a year ago, but recent revelations about the CIA’s behavior in shared virtual spaces is raising questions about the government’s move to virtual computing.

    • Amazon-CIA $600 Million Deal Facing Scrutiny: “What’s the CIA Doing on Amazon’s Cloud?”

      A billboard challenging Amazon to fully disclose the terms of its $600 million contract to provide cloud computing services for the Central Intelligence Agency has been unveiled at a busy intersection near Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.

    • In Klayman v. Obama, EFF Explains Why Metadata Matters and the Third-Party Doctrine Doesn’t

      How can the US government possibly claim that its collection of the phone records of millions of innocent Americans is legal? It relies mainly on two arguments: first, that no one can have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their metadata and second, that the outcome is controlled by the so-called “third party doctrine,” which says that no one has an expectation of privacy in information they convey to a third party (such as telephone numbers dialed). We expect the government to press both of these arguments on November 4, before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. We look forward to responding.

    • Feinstein floats privacy changes to cyber bill

      Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Tuesday said she is prepared to make changes to her cybersecurity bill to assuage privacy concerns.

    • Congress Wants To Push Dangerous Cybersecurity Bill After The Election, Says US Economy Depends On It

      Reports are coming out that Congress is looking to push forward with bad cybersecurity legislation after the election, but before the new Congress takes over in January. We’ve discussed the bill in question, CISA, before. The main idea behind it is to immunize companies from liability if they share certain information with the government. Supporters of the bill note that the information sharing is entirely voluntary, but by taking away the liability it also makes it a lot more likely that companies will choose to give information to the government, and it’s not yet clear why the government really needs that information. But the FUD levels are high, with Senator Saxby Chambliss actually suggesting the entire economy is at stake here…

    • Court Tells US Gov’t That ‘State Secrets’ Isn’t A Magic Wand They Can Wave To Make Embarrassing Cases Go Away

      Earlier this year, we wrote about the case of Gulet Mohamed, a US citizen who was put on the no fly list and ran into some issues in the Middle East because of that (and by “issues” we mean he was beaten by Kuwaiti officials for wanting to fly home to Virginia). The DOJ was making some nutty arguments, including claiming that the whole case should be thrown out because “state secrets.” This is the usual claim in these kinds of cases. Back in August we noted that the judge, Anthony Trenga, was skeptical of this argument, asking for the DOJ to provide a lot more info to back up its claims (in that post we also noted that the DOJ wanted to pretend that the leaked guidelines for how the no fly list works hadn’t been leaked).

      Now the judge has ruled officially and rejected the DOJ’s argument, saying that they can’t just claim “state secrets” and walk away.

    • Big Bad Data

      Like its successors, such as PRISM, Trailblazer was all about collecting everything it could from everywhere it could. “At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata”, Bill tells us, “are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.” At the very least, revelations by Bill and other sources (such as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning) make it clear that the Fourth Amendment no longer protects American citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. In the era of Big Data everywhere, it’s reasonable to grab all of it.

  • Civil Rights

    • Feds Gearing Up To Try, One More Time, To Force James Risen To Reveal His Source

      Last week, we noted that Attorney General Eric Holder was hinting that the DOJ was near “a resolution” with reporter James Risen — the NY Times reporter who the DOJ has been harassing and trying to force to give up sources. In a recent interview, Risen makes the rather compelling case, that this effort by the DOJ was never about actually solving any sort of crime (the DOJ knows who did the leak), but rather about totally discrediting and/or punishing Risen for some of his other investigative reports. If the DOJ can undermine the ability of Risen to protect sources, he loses many sources.

    • Sharia law or gay marriage critics would be branded ‘extremists’ under Tory plans, atheists and Christians warn

      Anyone who criticises Sharia law or gay marriage could be branded an “extremist” under sweeping new powers planned by the Conservatives to combat terrorism, an alliance of leading atheists and Christians fear.

      Theresa May, the Home Secretary, unveiled plans last month for so-called Extremism Disruption Orders, which would allow judges to ban people deemed extremists from broadcasting, protesting in certain places or even posting messages on Facebook or Twitter without permission.

    • Texas police officer caught on video: ‘Go ahead, call the cops. They can’t un-rape you.’

      In the video embedded below, two Austin, Texas police officers were accidentally recorded by a dashboard camera having what they thought was a private conversation.

      After a brief back-and-forth between the two men about a minor collision they handled earlier in the day and other matters, an attractive woman walks by.

      “Look at that girl over there,” one officer says.

    • Infringing Panties So Important To DHS, That It Intimidated Print Shop Owner Into Warrantless Search

      A few more details have emerged concerning the Dept. of Homeland Security’s daring daylight raid of a Kansas City lingerie shop. Our long, dark national nightmare ended just before Game 1 of the World Series when Peregrine Honig’s custom-made Royals-related underwear was seized by gun-toting DHS agents. The crime? Presumably trademark infringement (the government’s panty raiders specifically pointed out the joining of the letters K and C as problematic), although everyone involved (including the DHS super troopers) keeps referring to it as a “copyright” issue.

    • Police In Ferguson Set Up No-Fly Zone Solely To Keep Journalists Out, According To FAA Audio Recordings

      A few more details have come to light on the police state experiment conducted in Ferguson, MO over the past couple of months. Despite repeated denials that continued all the way up until October 31st, the real reason for the FAA’s no-fly zone over Ferguson has been revealed.

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 3/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC3, OpenStack Event

Posted in News Roundup at 4:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Video: Ken Starks & Ruth Suehle’s Keynotes at OLF

    Here at FOSS Force we’re proud to be associated with Ken Starks. We’re proud because of the great articles he writes advocating Linux. We’re also extremely proud that he was chosen to be a keynote speaker at this year’s Ohio LinuxFest. But most of all, we’re proud because of his big heart, which he expresses through his work through Reglue, the nonprofit he founded in 2005 to give Linux computers, and training on how to use them, to financially disadvantaged school children in and around the Austin, Texas area where he lives.

  • Desktop

    • Homegrown developers look to unseat Microsoft’s dominant OS

      After tinkering with the term “de-Microsofting,” Ni Guangnan decided instead to go with “de-Windowsify.” “We call this a de-Windowsifying movement,” he said.

      Speaking last Saturday at a temporary office in a residential neighborhood in Zhongguancun, Beijing’s answer to Silicon Valley, the 75-year-old computer science professor and member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering talked about his ambitious project to bring together all of China’s homegrown operating system (OS) developers in an alliance to replace Microsoft Windows in one to two years.

    • Attacking Lock-in In China
    • The Linux desktop-a-week review: ChromeOS

      This is not a review of ChromeOS. Nor is it a discussion of the viability of using a Chromebook as your primary computer.

      No, sir. We’re simply going to be looking at ChromeOS as a Desktop Environment from a usability perspective, and how it compares to the other Linux Desktop Environments I have reviewed in my “Desktop-a-week” series thus far.

  • Server

    • POWER ON!

      I’m really excited to have joined the OpenPOWER Foundation as an individual member (The first Ubuntu member even) just yesterday. I have already started contributing to projects and joined a workgroup of the foundation where I hope to offer my experience around software and hardware.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Habemus Maintainer!

        14 years ago, I started creating an image viewer. Back then it felt like a good project to get started with graphical application development for my newly installed Linux system. Little did I know… In 14 years Gwenview went through one toolkit change (GTK+1.2 to Qt2/KDE2), got ported to Qt3/KDE3, moved from SourceForge CVS to KDE Extragear, got ported to Qt4/KDE4, became the default image viewer of KDE4 and finally got ported to Qt5/KF5.


        You may be aware I spend most of my free time these days on some other project. I am not completely out of Qt and KDE development however: I have a number of small side projects, many of them Qt-based, to which I want to give a bit more visibility. Stay tuned for more announcements.

      • DWD – an FAQ for questions around the Web

        DWDs are not CSDs, and all theming and drawing is handled by the window manager and decoration. In addition, applications only export the structure of their widgets, they do not pre-draw or draw the widgets themselves. Applications would have little or no say in how their decorations look, just like traditional SSDs.

      • More Information On The KDE Dynamic Window Decoration Plans

        Published last month were the plans by KDE developers to create Dynamic Window Decorations (DWD) as a hybrid between client-side and server-side decorations. Here’s more information on this concept for improving window decorations.

      • Display Managers In Plasma 5

        The last blog posts about KDM/LightDM/SDDM/WhateverDM left things a bit on an exciting cliffhanger so I’ve been asked a few times what the current state is.

        The short summary is we recommend SDDM as the display manager for Plasma 5.

      • SDDM Is The Recommended Display Manager Of KDE Plasma 5

        SDDM has a relatively short history but is a lightweight, QML-based display manager. The first SDDM release was just in March of 2013. Besides interest from KDE developers, SDDM is also supported by the Hawaii/Maui desktop project.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Cinnamon 2.4 Released In Beta Form

        The Cinnamon 2.4 Desktop Environment is now out ahead of its official debut with Linux Mint 17.1 later this month.

      • Cinnamon 2.4

        On behalf of the team and all the developers who contributed to this build, I am proud to announce the release of Cinnamon 2.4!

        This new version will be featured in Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” planned for the end of November and in LMDE 2 “Betsy” planned for Spring 2015.

        Here’s a quick overview of some of the new things in Cinnamon 2.4.

      • Preview of Cinnamon 2.4. Features desktop slideshow

        A preview release of what will become Cinnamon 2.4 is now available for testing. The stable version will ship with Linux Mint 17.1, which will be released at the end of the month, but if you’re willing to take it for a spin and report any bugs you find, you can upgrade to it now.

      • Cinnamon 2.4 Brings A Smoother Experience, Improved Settings

        Cinnamon 2.4 was released recently and it comes with improved settings, a redesigned toolbar for Nemo along with various other changes which bring a smoother overall experience.

  • Distributions

    • How to Find the Best Linux Distribution for a Specific Task

      If you’re looking for a Linux distribution to handle a specific (even niche) task, there most certainly is a distribution ready to serve. From routers to desktops, from servers to multi-media…there’s a Linux for everything.

    • New Releases

      • Neptune 4.2 Release

        We are proud to announce the release of Neptune 4.2. This service release comes with a brand new kernel 3.16.3 (+bfq I/O Scheduler) which includes many driver updates and improvements in power saving functions. Our improved installer now offers you to install on uefi capable PCs and brings in a new option which allows you to disable sudo for your user during installation.

      • XBoard/Winboard 4.8.0 released

        XBoard is a graphical user interface for chess in all its major forms, including international chess, xiangqi (Chinese chess), shogi Japanese chess) and Makruk. Many variations of chess are also supported.

    • Screenshots

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • Orchestrating Docker Containers on openSUSE

        A couple of weeks ago the 11th edition of SUSE’s hackweek took place. This year I decided to spend this time to look into the different orchestration and service discovery tools build around Docker.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure Version 5 Adds Advanced Systems Management for OpenStack Private Clouds

        Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure Version 5, featuring the powerful systems management capabilities of Red Hat Satellite. Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure is a comprehensive solution that supports organizations on their journey from traditional datacenter virtualization to OpenStack-powered clouds. With Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure Version 5, users can now manage their virtualization and OpenStack environments simultaneously, via a single platform.

      • Duke, Red Hat top donors to Economic Development Partnership of NC

        Five companies contributed a combined $440,000 to help get the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina off the ground.

      • Red Hat releases Cloud Infrastructure version 5, expands Wipro partnership

        Red Hat has launched version 5 of its Cloud Infrastructure package, which is intended for organizations that want to dabble in both OpenStack and traditional data center virtualization simultaneously.

        Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure (RHCI) version 5 debuted on Monday at the OpenStack Summit in Paris. As before, it bundles the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack infrastructure-as-a-service platform with the company’s virtualization platform and CloudForms, its tool for managing hybrid cloud setups.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Elive 2.4.0 Beta Is a Combination of Debian and Enlightenment

        The developers have been hopping from one Beta version to another and it seems that it might take them forever to get to the final version, but they want to make sure that everything will work as it should for the users that will eventually try it.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Is an Intel Tablet with Ubuntu Linux OS in the Works?

            Lately, almost all of the headlines about Ubuntu Linux and Canonical have involved the cloud. But open source fans dreaming of an Ubuntu-powered Intel (INTC) x86 tablet may reason for excitement, if reports are accurate that the UT One Linux tablet will ship by this December.

          • Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn review: deceptively simple

            For an operating system named after a magical creature, the release might strike some of you as somewhat overwhelmingly similar to the previous release, Trusty.

            It’s the same creepy default wallpaper (if there is a difference I failed to notice it), the Amazon icon remains firmly conspicuous in the launcher despite protests and there is the same old universal purple shade.

          • Certified Ubuntu images coming to Google Cloud Platform

            Mobile advertising and social data tied up like ribbons to holiday tech story packages are starting to fall like autumn leaves, but the cloud will partially hover over the spotlight for the first half of the month.

          • Ubuntu Community Will Resist the Switch to Unity 8

            Ubuntu developers are working to bring the new Unity 8 to the desktop flavor of the distribution and it will take a while, but users are not really mentally prepared for the change. It will be different from Unity 7, which is the version currently in use, and not many people will be happy.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open Source Remote Control lets you pilot just about any drone

      Drones and other remotely piloted vehicles are inherently limited by their controls; you frequently have to switch controllers when you switch vehicles, and you can usually forget about customization. You might not have to worry if the Open Source Remote Control (OSRC) project gets off the ground, however. The long-in-development peripheral uses a mix of modular hardware and Linux-based software that lets you steer just about any unmanned machine. On top of a programmable interface, you can swap in new wireless modules and shoulder switches to either accommodate new drones or improve existing controls. You can also attach a 4.8-inch touchscreen module (typically for a first-person view), use cellular networks or even share one vehicle between multiple operators — handy if you’re at a flying club or shooting a movie.

    • Free courseware posted for Yocto on BeagleBone

      Free Electrons has posted free training materials on building an embedded Linux project using Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded on a BeagleBone Black.

      The Linux Foundation’s Yocto Project has been largely supported and influenced by Intel, but it has long since evolved into a phenomenon of its own that is as at home on ARM, PowerPC, and MIPS targets as it is on x86. In fact, for its latest training course on Yocto Project and the associated OpenEmbedded build environment, Free Electrons turned to the ARM-based BeagleBone Black single board computer as the target device. The course shows how to boot root filesystems built with the Yocto Project, as well as run and debug the custom applications compiled with it.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop may make bloatware a thing of the past

          Buying a phone from service providers is one of the things we dread the most. If you want a good deal on a new Android phone, you usually have to sign a two-year contract. But the issues don’t stop there; carrier-branded phones never get software updates as fast as unlocked phones do, and they are always weighed down with additional software that no one really cares about. We wouldn’t complain much about bloatware if service providers only included the apps you need to manage your account or check your visual voicemail, but most phones have anywhere from 5 to 20 additional apps (most of which are available through Google Play) pre-installed into the system partition, making it impossible to uninstall them.

        • How Will Google Respond as Android’s Market Share Peaks?

          For the quarter that ended in September, Apple held 12 percent market share, while Windows Phone and BlackBerry commanded 3 percent and 1 percent.

        • Google’s Android Begins to Top Out

          Android ran 84% of smartphones shipped globally in the third quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics, down slightly from 85% in the second quarter.

Free Software/Open Source


  • Hardware

    • Intel paying up after allegedly ‘manipulating’ benchmarks 15 years ago

      Once upon a time, Intel’s processors didn’t dominate AMD. In fact, AMD’s Athlon processors were mighty competitive, enough so that Intel allegedly “manipulated” its Pentium 4 benchmark scores in the early 2000s to mask the performance gap. Intel denies those claims, but nevertheless, you’re probably feeling pretty taken advantage of right now.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Syrian rebels armed and trained by US surrender to al-Qaeda

      Two of the main rebel groups receiving weapons from the United States to fight both the regime and jihadist groups in Syria have surrendered to al-Qaeda.

      The US and its allies were relying on Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front to become part of a ground force that would attack the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

      For the last six months the Hazm movement, and the SRF through them, had been receiving heavy weapons from the US-led coalition, including GRAD rockets and TOW anti-tank missiles.

    • Addicted to Intervention

      American consciousness by capturing the Iraqi cities of Tikrit and Mosul in June, many US elites blamed a lack of US intervention. The US should have kept troops in Iraq, they said, and intervened in Syria’s civil war. This analysis, coming from both conservatives and liberals, went virtually unchallenged by journalists whose response to the latest US wars has been a depressing replay of the coverage of more than a decade ago. Few lessons seem to have been learned.

    • Drone-Strike Feminism

      Using the oppression of women to sell another Iraq War

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The Climate-Change Solution No One Will Talk About

      The equation seems fairly simple: The more the world’s population rises, the greater the strain on dwindling resources and the greater the impact on the environment.

      The solution? Well, that’s a little trickier to talk about.

      Public-health discussions will regularly include mentions of voluntary family planning as a way to reduce unwanted pregnancies and births. But, said Jason Bremner of the Population Reference Bureau, those policies can also pay dividends for the environment.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Megadonations Follow Randa Ruling in Wisconsin

      A hole in Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws opened by federal judge Rudolph Randa in September is being exploited by out-of-state billionaires like Sheldon Adelson, blowing open the floodgates to huge checks for the state’s gubernatorial candidates in the final weeks and days of this hotly-contested race.

    • Koch-Tied Group Urges Stoners Not to Vote for Mary Burke

      The Koch-backed American Future Fund is running a series of web-only ads urging Wisconsin stoners not to vote for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke, but instead to support the Libertarian Party candidate, Robert Burke.

    • Direct Democracy Tackles Fracking, GMOs, Pesticides on Election Day

      These ballot measures reflect “model” legislation pushed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), as the Center for Media and Democracy, which publishes PRWatch, has reported.

    • Stonewalled: Sharyl Attkisson’s Failed Attempt To Rehabilitate Her Bogus Reporting

      Attkisson resigned this year after two decades at CBS and promptly launched a media tour attacking her former employer for supposedly protecting the Obama administration from her reporting. Her new book has been published and promoted by conservative interests, who clearly see this narrative as a confirmation of their worldview that the “liberal” media is biased against them.

    • The ALEC Problem Is Even Worse Than John Oliver Thinks

      HBO’s John Oliver did what many others in the media have not by shining a spotlight on the shadowy influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). But ALEC’s latest initiative, which has its sights set on molding county and municipal governments, has deeper aspirations than even Oliver’s show explored — and has been almost entirely ignored by the media.

  • Censorship

    • Moscow’s fringe ‘Doc’ theatre faces ‘censorship’ with eviction

      Russia has been discouraging public celebrations of Halloween as part of a campaign against western influence.

      But that did not stop Teatr.Doc from staging a bitingly satirical “Night of the Living Dead” on Friday night in what may be one of the last ever productions at the tiny basement theatre in central Moscow famous for innovative and uncompromising work.

      In a move that has shaken the international theatrical community, the Moscow authorities have ordered Teatr.Doc to vacate the basement on grounds that it had violated property regulations.

    • Catherine Rampell: Theater censorship is alive and well

      The community leaders of Maiden, it turns out — to one vignette in particular. Remember that scene with the falling-down gag? There’s no sex, or kissing, or even allusions to lust. But the gravity-prone characters are both men, which was incendiary enough to lead the principal to cancel the production, citing “sexually explicit overtones and multiple sexual innuendoes.”

    • Anti-Censorship Play Receives Surprise Approval From Lebanon’s Censors

      A play that examines Lebanon’s censorship system has been approved by the country’s office in charge of artistic permits, a decision that could point towards a more open future for the country’s writers and performers.

    • Jerry Springer creator Richard Thomas hits out at censorship in the arts

      Jerry Springer the Opera creator Richard Thomas has become the latest industry figure to speak out about the importance of freedom of speech within the arts, claiming organisations funded by the taxpayer have a particular responsibility to take risks.

    • ‘Anarcho-Capitalist’ Stefan Molyneux Sued For Abusing The DMCA

      A few months ago, we wrote about the strange saga of self-described “anarcho-capitalist” Stefan Molyneux more or less admitting that he and a colleague named Michael DeMarco had filed questionable DMCA notices in response to some critical YouTube videos. DeMarco and Molyneux defended the use of the DMCA by arguing that the videos involved doxxing some Molyneux supporters.

    • Cleveland Plain Dealer Owner Demands Takedown Of Unflattering Video Featuring Candidate It Endorsed In Governor’s Race
    • Northeast Ohio Media Group threatens website for posting editorial board video clip

      The Northeast Ohio Media Group last week posted a video of Ohio Gov. John Kasich and challenger Ed FitzGerald meeting with the editorial board, then took it down without explanation and replaced it with an audio recording.

    • Chelsea Handler Slams Instagram for Removing Her Topless Photo

      Instagram did take the photo down, as per their guidelines, prompting this response from Handler: “If a man posts a photo of his nipples, it’s ok, but not a woman? Are we in 1825?”

      After her first photo was removed, Handler reposted the pic again only for Instagram to remove it again.

    • As Facebook reinstates banned breastfeeding photograph, FEMAIL asks: Is there one rule for celebrity mothers and another for normal women?

      Earlier this week, actress Alyssa Milano posted a tender snap on her Instagram page of herself breastfeeding her one-month-old baby girl Elizabella.

      The 41-year-old was the picture of maternal bliss in the black and white snap, joining the many other proud celebrity mothers who have chosen to share the intimate moment with friends and fans through social media.

      The responses to this, like most A-list breastfeeding photographs, has been overwhelming positive. One follower wrote: ‘Such a beautiful photo! Thank you for sharing this sweet moment with us, and thank you for helping to normalize breastfeeding!’

    • Instagram feed to feature 15 second video-ads

      Instagram a popular social networking service that allows users to share photos and videos will now support video advertisements also. The company has reportedly allowed a few advertisers including Disney, Banana Republic, Lancome, Activision and CW to run a 15 second ad video.

    • Senator Wyden Attacks CIA Redaction Demands As ‘Unprecedented’

      It’s well known that CIA’s been stalling over the release of the officially declassified 480 page “executive summary” of the 6,300 page CIA torture report, put together by staffers of the Senate Intelligence Committee over many years at a cost of $40 million. It’s known that the report is somewhat devastating to the CIA and the CIA isn’t happy about it (at all). Originally, the CIA suggested redactions that made the report incomprehensible, even as James Clapper said it was “just 15%” that was redacted.

    • If GOP Takes Senate Next Week, Expect The CIA Torture Report To Disappear

      We’ve heard some mumbling about one of the main reasons that the CIA has been dragging its feet on declassifying the executive summary of the CIA torture report that the Senate Intelligence Committee put together: it knows there’s a decent chance that the Republicans will win the Senate next week, and suddenly the report may disappear from view. As you may recall, the Intelligence Committee (with support from GOP Senators) voted to declassify the 480 page executive summary of the 6,300 page report (which the Senate spent $40 million putting together). Multiple leaks concerning the report have suggested that it’s devastating and details how terrible the CIA’s torture program was, how it was completely ineffective and how the CIA lied about it all.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Hungary internet tax cancelled after mass protests

      Hungary has decided to shelve a proposed tax on internet data traffic after mass protests against the plan.

      “This tax in its current form cannot be introduced,” Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday.

    • After Protests Continue, Hungary Dumps Stupid Internet Tax Idea

      Earlier this week, we wrote about widespread demonstrations against a monumentally stupid plan by the Hungarian government to tax internet usage on a per-gigabyte-downloaded plan. The protests caused the government to “modify” the plan and put a cap on how much tax would be charged, but that seemed to do little to stop the complaints — and thus, the government is shelving the plan entirely, with Prime Minister Viktor Orban announcing that the “tax in its current form cannot be introduced.” Of course, that leaves open the possibility of it coming back in “another” form. But perhaps Orban is learning not to take on the internet.

    • FCC Tests The Waters On A ‘Hybrid’ Net Neutrality Solution That Almost Everyone Hates

      Gautham Nagesh at the Wall Street Journal (who was also the first to reveal many of the details of Tom Wheeler’s original net neutrality proposal) had a story last night confirming the buzz over the last few weeks that Wheeler is now exploring a new set of “hybrid” net neutrality rules that appear, on their face, to take parts of the plans that consumer groups want and parts of what the broadband players want… and comes out, in the end, with a plan that almost no one wants. There is something to the old saying that a good compromise leaves everyone a little unhappy, but it appears that the rules being contemplated right now might leave nearly everyone really unhappy. It’s not clear that’s a good result.

    • MPAA Lobbies Lawmakers on Internet Tax and Net Neutrality

      Every year the MPAA spends millions of dollars in Washington to guarantee their anti-piracy interests are secured. In the most recent quarter the Hollywood group added several of its topics to the agenda of U.S. lawmakers, including Internet tax and net neutrality.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright Monopoly Enforcement Gets To Trump Human Rights, Yet Again

        Australia’s administration has introduced a Data Retention bill, learning nothing from the court rulings that declare the practice to be in violation of fundamental rights. They plan to log everybody’s correspondence and movements – with the idea of using that data to enforce the copyright monopoly.

      • Embedding Is Not Copyright Infringement, EU Court Rules
      • Europe’s New Digital Commissioner Explores Imposing An EU-Wide ‘Google Tax’

        When Google is taking intellectual works from within the EU and using them, then the EU has to protect those works and demand a tax from Google.

        Coming from the person who is charged with reforming European copyright, this does not augur well. If Oettinger really thinks that such a tax is the way forward for copyright in the digital age, he is evidently as clueless about the Internet as everyone feared he was, after telling the European Parliament that celebrities storing nude pictures online are stupid.

      • Spain Passes Much-Debated Intellectual Property Law

        After more than a year in the works, Spain passed on Thursday its Intellectual Property Law, with its hotly debated, so-called Google tax that allows for fines on aggregators that show snippets of content without paying for it.

      • Spain Passes Copyright Law; Demands Payment For Snippets And Linking To Infringing Content

        Apparently ignoring just how badly this worked out for publishers in Germany, the Spanish Parliament has passed a law to fine aggregators and search engines for using snippets or linking to infringing content. As plenty of folks have described, the bill is clearly just a Google tax. As we had discussed, the proposed bill would be a disaster for digital commons/open access projects. There had been some thought that the proposed bill might be delayed because of a referral to the EU Court of Justice on a related issue, but apparently that didn’t happen. Either way, it looks like the bill kept the ridiculous “inalienable right” to being paid for snippets — meaning that Creative Commons-type licenses may not even be allowed, and people won’t even be allowed to offer up their content for free. That’s ridiculous.


Links 2/11/2014: Dual-screen Android, OpenBSD 5.6 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Jonathan Moneymaker on Altamira’s Open Source Push and $1B Air Force Intell Contract Spot

    ExecutiveBiz: Where can Open Source help agencies manage some of those budget challenges?

    Jonathan Moneymaker: In our National Security market Open Source is an idea whose time has come. Gone are the days of questions around quality, scalability, or security. The value is really in speed and flexibility. In many cases deploying open source solutions enable us to start at a 80-90% or higher solution then integrate or customize that framework to a specific mission set that is able to adapt as fast as the threats our customers are combatting.

    In terms of scalability or security, we designed in parallel to our customer’s roadmaps building on Accumulo, the AWS infrastructure and ensuring capabilities such as our big data and visualization platform, Lumify, are fully ICITE compliant. By doing so, it gives our customers the speed to mission required and every dollar spent goes directly into mission capability delivering budgetary relief that they have been looking for from costly traditional proprietary licensing models.

  • 450,000 open source big data connector customers served

    TIBCO stages its annual global convention next week – what used to be called TUCON is now called TIBCO NOW.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Convirture Adds OpenStack Cloud Backup Tool

      A lot of people back up their data to the cloud. But how do you back up the cloud itself? Convirture, the company that until now has specialized in cloud and virtualization management solutions, hopes to answer this question with a new backup and disaster recovery solution for the OpenStack open source cloud operating system running on the KVM hypverisor.

    • Mirantis Previews OpenStack Juno Cloud Platform

      Mirantis, the “pure-play” OpenStack vendor, is gearing up for the release of version 6.0 of its open source cloud computing platform, which will be based on OpenStack Juno and include the latest Hadoop big data and network functions virtualization (NFV) features, the company said in details of the new release.

  • CMS

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD 5.6 Released

      We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 5.6. This is our 36th release on CD-ROM (and 37th via FTP/HTTP). We remain proud of OpenBSD’s record of more than ten years with only two remote holes in the default install.


    • Free-software pioneer says it’s all about liberty

      When it comes to code that runs a computer or a program, Richard Stallman believes it should be free.

      Not only at no cost to the user, but unshackled and independent. To Stallman, it is a matter of liberty, not price.

      “We say free software as in ‘free speech’ not ‘free beer,’” Stallman said.

      The computer programmer and activist shared his views, which earned him the MacArthur “Genius Grant,” during a presentation at Weber State University on Thursday.

    • GCC’s JIT Compiler Support Moves A Step Closer To Mainline

      Red Hat’s David Malcolm remains committed to landing his just-in-time (JIT) compiler support for GCC.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open Source Project Could Replace Traditional Passports With Bitcoin Tech

      To those who are only marginally familiar with bitcoin, the world’s leading digital cryptocurrency, the idea of adapting the tech into a type of globally accessible passport may seem odd. But Christopher Ellis, a hacker that specializes in privacy and decentralized security, sees them as a natural fit.

    • DoD EHR Contract: Open Source Vs. Commercial

      VistA is the electronic health records system created by the Veterans Administration, which became open source because as the result of taxpayer funded work it was covered under the Freedom of Information Act and was obtained by outside companies seeking to leverage it for their own projects. The VA and the DoD flirted with using VistA as part of a common open source EHR that would cover members of the military from the first day of active duty into their lives as veterans. But whether because of organizational or technical reasons, that joint technical project broke down.


  • Fall of the Berlin Wall 25th Anniversary: Pictorial History of the Wall and Famous Escapes

    This year sees the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. From 1961 to 1989, the city of Berlin was divided by the most visible sign of the Cold War: a barrier more than 140km (87 miles) long.

  • Poppy seller burned in aerosol attack in Manchester

    A 15-year-old Army cadet who was selling poppies for Remembrance Day suffered burns to his face in an attack with a lit aerosol can.

    The boy, who was wearing his uniform, was at a bus stop near Manchester Art Gallery at 18:00 GMT on Saturday when he was attacked.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression


      Once again making open mockery of the territorial integrity of Pakistan , the American CIA operated planes struck in the North Waziristan agency Thursday morning killing at least four people. The foreign office has strongly condemned the fresh drone hit in NWA where the Pakistan Army led security forces are already conducting an effective surgery against the insurgents for the last more than four months and made substantial gains in curbing the terrorism. Unconfirmed reports say those kill in Thursday’s missiles hit, include two foreign militants.

    • Why Are We Still Waiting for Answers on Drones?

      Mamana’s son, Rafiq ur Rehman, is a 39-year-old primary-school teacher. He and his two children, Zubair, 13, and Nabila, 9, were the first family members of a U.S. drone strike victim ever to speak to Members of Congress. Rafiq explained that he and his family were educators, not terrorists. He wanted to know why his family was targeted by the U.S. military. Zubair, a teenager, recalled how he “watched a U.S. drone kill my grandmother.” He described why he now fears blue skies: “Because drones do not fly when the skies are gray.” Nabila was picking okra with her grandmother for a religious holiday meal, when day became night. “I saw from the sky a drone and I hear a dum-dum noise. Everything was dark and I couldn’t see anything, but I heard a scream.”

    • GROUNDED Tells Compelling Story of Drone Pilot

      The lesson for me from the play and the quilts is that there are many different victims of drone warfare – and that it’s time for the US to reconsider this policy. Congress needs to reassert its control over US war-making and insist on ending this drone program. Of those who speak for us in Congress, Senator Schumer is only one who has not acted to demand that Congress be the decider over what is now becoming an undeclared and endless war policy – in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen.

    • US intervention via drone attacks condemned

      Islamabad- Pakistan has strongly condemned the recent US drone attack in South Waziristan.

    • Matters of jurisdiction: High court seeks petitioner’s assistance in case against drone strikes

      The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday directed a petitioner to help it determine whether the judiciary had the authority to deliberate on a case against US drone strikes. The court issued these instructions in light of a Supreme Court judgment last year which declared the apex court could not decide on matters of foreign affairs.

    • Drones, Pakistan’s worst kept secret

      The current surge in drone strikes in FATA has reignited the infamous ‘drone debate’ and ‘Pakistan’s tacit agreement’ on intelligence sharing with the United States.

    • Pakistan terms US drone strike ‘unnecessary’

      Drone attacks are widely unpopular across Pakistan and the country has opposed the strikes several times in past considering it a violation of their territorial sovereignty. (end) sbk.ibi

    • My Daughter and I Were Arrested Today By Military Police Guarding Worlds Most Hated Weapon

      It was a familiar and warm exchange of greetings and spirited talk. The small group of activists I was with had called out to the military gate guards with a question concerning the spider web like substance that seemed to be everywhere around the base; on cars, vegetation telephone poles, fences, floating in the air and across the land. Men with sidearms and radios in camo fatigues approached us.

      It was just then getting dark with the officer-in-charge and us each on our legal side of the white line that marked base property and certain arrest should we cross it. With U2s and fighter jets flying around overhead, the officer in charge cheerfully insisted we were looking at spider webs. He then asked if we intended to cross the line at which we answered “not tonight”

    • WATCH: Anti-drone protest held at a Gwynedd airfield

      Peace protesters placed photographs of children injured in drone attacks in the Middle East on the fence of a Gwynedd airfield.

      Cymdeithas y Cymod (Fellowship of Reconciliation) members were responding to news that Llanbedr Airfield will start flight tests of Remotely Piloted Aircraft or drones in early 2015.

      Around 25 people took part in the protest yesterday.

      Peace campaigner Anna Jane Evans said: “We are worried Wales is being used more and more as a practice ground for killing.

    • Naming The Dead: One Group’s Struggle To Record Deaths From U.S. Drone Strikes In Pakistan

      Last year, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London embarked upon an ambitious effort to record the names of people reportedly killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. The project, called Naming the Dead, aims to acknowledge those who have lost their lives in the strikes and to create more transparency about a counterterrorism program shrouded in secrecy.

      The CIA has conducted hundreds of drone strikes targeting militants in Pakistan’s tribal regions since June 2004. U.S. officials have lauded the program for its effectiveness and precision, and it has become an essential pillar of the administration’s counterterrorism policy. Yet despite promises by President Barack Obama to make the program more transparent and apply the highest possible standards to avoid civilian casualties, the administration has, so far, continued its secretive practices.

    • Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Arrested While Trying to Attend David Petraeus Event in New York

      Former CIA analyst and activist Ray McGovern was arrested as he attempted to attend an event in New York City featuring former CIA director and retired military general, David Petraeus. He was charged with resisting arrest, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

    • Former CIA Agent, Peace Activist Ray McGovern Arrested And ‘Brutalized’ By NYPD

      Ray McGovern, a retired CIA agent turned peace activist, was arrested by the New York Police Department before McGovern could attend a speech by David Petraeus. Witnesses say McGovern was “yelling in pain” as he was being detained.

      Former CIA director David Petraeus, retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel John Nagl, and author Max Boot were slated to give a speech on American Foreign Policy at the 92nd Street Y on the Upper East Side in New York. The anti-war group “The World Can’t Wait” said McGovern was arrested “at protest of speech.”

    • Former CIA analyst arrested after trying to crash event with David Petraeus

      A former CIA analyst turned anti-war activist was arrested right after attempting to crash a discussion about foreign policy with retired Army Gen. and former CIA Director David Petraeus — even although he claims he purchased the $45 ticket. Ray McGovern,…

    • The Nazis Next Door: Eric Lichtblau on How the CIA & FBI Secretly Sheltered Nazi War Criminals

      Investigative reporter Eric Lichtblau’s new book unveils the secret history of how the United States became a safe haven for thousands of Nazi war criminals. Many of them were brought here after World War II by the CIA and got support from then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Lichtblau first broke the story in 2010, based on newly declassified documents. Now, after interviews with dozens of agents for the first time, he has published his new book, “The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men.”

    • US to train and arm Syrian rebels, despite CIA report that the method seldom works
    • Amazon-CIA Partnership Critics Launch Ad Campaign, Includes Billboard In Front Of Amazon HQ

      Amazon’s $600 million contract with the CIA related to cloud computing services has caused alarm throughout the civil liberties community. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed raising concern that the CIA could be using its access to Amazon’s massive data to conduct intelligence work rather than simply storing data. In light of the ongoing domestic spying scandal regarding the NSA, fewer and fewer people are willing to take government assurances on protecting the public’s privacy.

    • Contras and Drugs, Three Decades Later

      Thus began the Iran-Contra scandal. The Contras were an irregular military formation put together by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1981 to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government of Nicaragua. The war they provoked caused tens of thousands of deaths and devastating damage to Nicaragua’s economy.

    • Feds get subpoenas in CIA leak case

      Federal prosecutors obtained 100 blank subpoenas last week for use in the upcoming trial of a CIA officer accused of leaking top-secret information to New York Times reporter James Risen.

      The move clears the way for the Justice Department to proceed with a new review of whether Risen should be subpoenaed to testify at the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, the CIA employee accused of disclosing details of a CIA effort to set back Iran’s nuclear program.

    • Ex-CIA Officer Writes Book on Assassinations, Gets Threat on His Life

      Former CIA operative Bob Baer’s newest book on assassinations hasn’t even been released yet, and he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” federal officials have already told him there’s a threat on his life.

      Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.Newsmax.com/Newsfront/CIA-Book-Bob-Baer-FBI/2014/10/27/id/603354/#ixzz3HvRbCqLm
      Urgent: Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote Here Now!

    • Of men and mercenaries

      Be it war, counterterrorism, securing Africa’s natural resources or fighting ebola, this former US Navy SEAL, now a billionaire, is the ultimate Mr Fix-It when it comes to the world of what used to be known as mercenarism.

      Today, that word, “mercenarism”, with its dogs-of-war and soldiers-of-fortune connotations, is frowned upon by the likes of men like Prince, who much prefer the less lurid acronym of PMSCs – private military and security companies – to describe their line of business.

    • Transparency for thee, but not for me?

      While Attorney General Eric Holder is calling for the Senate and the Obama Administration to lay bare the alleged abuse of detainees in Central Intelligence Agency custody, his Justice Department is going to unusual lengths to impose a complete black-out on details about the investigations he supervised into those same incidents.

    • Gormley: What we know about transparency and torture

      For politicians, “Transparency and accountability!” is one of those uncommonly generous and dark-horse-sympathetic political slogans: the kind that parties of any ideology can plagiarize but that underdogs can most easily claim as their own (at least while they remain underdogs).

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • USA Today: Still Not Too Late to Attack Gary Webb

      The chatter around Kill the Messenger, the film based on the life of investigative reporter Gary Webb, has mostly faded. But this week USA Today ran a column that mangled the basic facts of Webb’s reporting.

    • Facebook Wants You to Vote on Tuesday. Here’s How It Messed With Your Feed in 2012.

      Yet the process by which Facebook has developed this tool—what the firm calls the “voter megaphone”—has not been very transparent, raising questions about its use and Facebook’s ability to influence elections. Moreover, while Facebook has been developing and promoting this tool, it has also been quietly conducting experiments on how the company’s actions can affect the voting behavior of its users.

      In particular, Facebook has studied how changes in the news feed seen by its users—the constant drip-drip-drip of information shared by friends that is heart of their Facebook experience—can affect their level of interest in politics and their likelihood of voting. For one such experiment, conducted in the three months prior to Election Day in 2012, Facebook increased the amount of hard news stories at the top of the feeds of 1.9 million users. According to one Facebook data scientist, that change—which users were not alerted to—measurably increased civic engagement and voter turnout.

    • CMD Asks for Federal Criminal Investigation of Wisconsin Club for Growth

      The Center for Media and Democracy has asked Wisconsin’s U.S. Attorneys to investigate Wisconsin Club for Growth for allegedly making false statements on tax filings and conspiring to defraud the United States, federal crimes arising from WiCFG claiming to spend $0 in political activity in 2011 and 2012 while spending almost $20 million influencing elections.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Ex-spy teaching espionage at A&M’s Bush school

      Tenet had a request from former President George H.W. Bush, who served as CIA director from 1976 to 1977. Olson says Bush was always a “strong advocate” of intelligence, and wanted it to be taught at A&M’s new school of government and public service that bore his name. Olson’s move to Marquette was two weeks away, but the idea of “helping build a program of intelligence and national security” was too appealing, he said.

    • UK court backs security ban on anonymised telephone calls system

      A UK court has upheld the Government’s right to ban commercial marketing of a money-saving telephone service on security grounds because it could provide anonymity for callers. The service uses “GSM gateways” that can reduce call charges by rerouting calls through mobile phone SIM cards – but it also allows users to make anonymous calls, potentially avoiding government surveillance.

      The Court of Appeal refused to award companies damages for a government licensing system that in effect bans the GSM gateway services they offered and largely halted their business.

    • What We Can Learn From The Adobe E-Reader Mess

      Earlier this month we wrote about potential malicious behavior in Adobe’s e-reader software, “Digital Editions.” There were several independent reports claiming that Adobe’s software was sending back to Adobe–in the clear–a list of books read in the software. There were also independent reports that the program was sending back lists of books on an attached e-reader, even if those books had never been opened in ADE itself – in other words, collecting information not just about the book you are reading now, but your electronic library.

    • Facebook, hidden services, and https certs

      In terms of both design and security, hidden services still need some love. We have plans for improved designs (see Tor proposal 224) but we don’t have enough funding and developers to make it happen. We’ve been talking to some Facebook engineers this week about hidden service reliability and scalability, and we’re excited that Facebook is thinking of putting development effort into helping improve hidden services.

    • Taunton Students Suspended After Posing With Airsoft Rifles On Facebook

      Two high school students in Taunton have been suspended after they posted a photo of themselves holding Airsoft rifles. Thousands of people have leapt to their defense online, but their school isn’t backing down.

      The Airsoft rifles look dangerous, but they shoot plastic pellets. Tito Velez, 15, often competes with a team as a hobby.

    • NSA Phone Surveillance Faces Fresh Court Test

      The National Security Agency’s collection of Americans’ phone records will face a fresh test this coming week when a Washington, D.C., appeals-court panel hears arguments over the surveillance program.

    • Brazil Builds Internet Cable To Portugal To Avoid NSA Surveillance

      Brazil is building a cable across the Atlantic to escape the reach of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). The move is one of many ways the Brazilian government is breaking ties with American technology companies — but it won’t come cheap.

    • Obama congratulates Brazil president (and NSA critic)
    • Focus on NSA Surveillance Limits Turns to Courts

      While Congress mulls how to curtail the NSA’s collection of Americans’ telephone records, impatient civil liberties groups are looking to legal challenges already underway in the courts to limit government surveillance powers.

    • U.S. Rep. Holt discusses NSA spying, Ebola quarantine at ACLU forum in Princeton

      With little more than two months before he closes the book on a 16-year Congressional career, U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12th Dist.) discussed the challenges in store when it comes to preserving civil liberties in the 21st century.

    • In NSA Bills, the Devil Is in the Details

      This is a longstanding issue that’s been brought up by lots of people lots of times. It’s not some minor subtlety. If the government decides to look for “all calls from the 213 area code,” that’s not necessarily bulk collection even though it would amass millions of records. It would be up to a judge to decide.


      If and when we get close to Congress actually considering bills to rein in the NSA—about which I’m only modestly optimistic in the first place—this is going to be a key thing to keep an eye on. As the ACLU and the EFF and others keep reminding us, reining in the NSA isn’t a simple matter of “ending” their bulk collection program. The devil is truly in the details, and tiny changes in wording can literally mean the difference between something that works and something that’s useless. Or maybe even worse than useless. As Pohlman points out, if you choose the right words, the NSA could end up having a freer hand than they do today. This is something to pay close attention to.

    • Before the NSA, there was the USPS

      That man, Leslie James Pickering, is a bookstore owner in Buffalo. More than a decade ago, however, Pickering was formerly a spokesman for the Earth Liberation Front, an environmental group deemed “eco-terrorists” by the FBI—and the presumed cause of his surveillance.

    • Fascism, American-Style

      On November 4, 1952 the NSA was created by a Presidential Executive Order signed by then president Harry Truman. Earlier that year, in January 1952, Truman’s state of the union address focused on the Korean War, the global Soviet-Communist threat, the “Iran oil situation”, and the need to increase the production of US military equipment for use by American forces, and for transfer to Western European Allies. Truman called on Americans to seek guidance in the God of Peace even as a brutal shadow war was being waged by the United States to eliminate popularly elected “leftist” governments.

    • Pentagon’s plans for a spy service to rival the CIA have been pared back

      The Pentagon has scaled back its plan to assemble an overseas spy service that could have rivaled the CIA in size, backing away from a project that faced opposition from lawmakers who questioned its purpose and cost, current and former U.S. officials said.

    • Does the CIA want Republicans to win the midterms?

      Will we ever see the Senate’s 6,000 page report on CIA torture without someone leaking it? A leak always been the most likely resolution for the transparency-seeking public, but, in this case, it’s increasingly looking like the only one.

    • If the Republicans Win Big on Tuesday, So Will the CIA
    • You’ll Probably Never Know Why The CIA Spied On The Senate

      The document is known as the “Panetta Review,” and senators contend it backs up damning conclusions in their still-classified report on the CIA’s post-9/11 enhanced interrogation program. Senate investigators uncovered the internal CIA document in their years-long probe, and the agency was so concerned that it alleged the investigators had broken the law in obtaining the review. CIA agents, in turn, searched Senate computers.

    • EFF files brief in response to Jewel v. NSA opposition

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a new brief in response to a government opposition against a summary judgment motion.

    • Obama appeals ruling on NSA disclosure

      Not satisfied with a Bay Area judge’s ruling that allowed the government to withhold a series of documents about its telephone surveillance program, the Obama administration filed an appeal Monday over the one document that the judge ordered disclosed.

    • The NSA’s culture of paternalism must be fixed

      Not only did this explanation finally clarify what had previously been to me a very confusing idea, it also confirmed what I had already come to suspect: namely, that high-ranking officials from the NSA possess a paternalistic and condescending attitude toward the American people. The fundamental premise of Hayden’s argument is that the American people are like children, who must not only be protected from external threats, but also from themselves.

    • Former NSA Official Warns Companies Against Cyber-Retaliation or ‘Hacking Back’

      Private companies should not use the law of talion, taking revenge over the entities, which are suspected to be hacking them, warned Joel Brenner, a former senior counsel at the NSA and and head of US counterintelligence under the Director of National Intelligence.

    • Does Hillary Clinton Oppose NSA Spying? Nobody Knows (Except Maybe the NSA)

      National Journal raises an interesting question about the presumed candidacy of Hillary Clinton: Where does she fall on NSA spying and the mass surveillance state?

    • Members of the Deep State exchange high-fives, celebrating our passivity

      On 6 June 2013 the Guardian and Washington Post published the first in the latest round of revelations about the NSA’s surveillance programs. Amidst the outpouring of brave rhetoric about the need to change, I predicted that nothing would happen. Rather, our passivity would encourage the leaders of the national security state (aka the Deep State). After 17 months it’s clear I was right

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Mobile Providers: No One Has Complained* About Our Service, So Net Neutrality Shouldn’t Apply To Us

      As we’ve pointed out in the past, the wireless providers, led by lobbying group CTIA, are desperate not to have the FCC include wireless broadband in whatever new net neutrality/open internet rules it releases. However, Tom Wheeler has been hinting that he’s had enough of wireless providers screwing over the American public. The head of CTIA, Meredith Attwell Baker (famous for jumping from an FCC commissioner job to head Comcast lobbyist just months after she approved Comcast’s merger with NBC Universal), has written an absolutely hilarious opinion piece at Wireless Week insisting that everyone loves their wireless providers, so there’s no need whatsoever to apply any net neutrality rules.

    • Does the FCC really not get it about the Internet?

      [I am posting below a short essay by my friend and colleague Brett Frischmann of Cardozo Law School concerning the “net neutrality” rules now being considered by the FCC. I’ve stayed largely away from the whole net neutrality debate over the years — too much inside [FCC] baseball for my taste — but Brett’s been in the middle of it for some time, and I think he draws attention below to a simple, but very profound, problem at the heart of the approach the agency is taking: the distinction it is drawing between “edge providers” (suppliers of content) and “end users” (recipients of content). One can hardly imagine a more inappropriate distinction one could draw on the Internet that we now have, so much of whose power has come from its “end-to-end” design: all senders are recipients, all recipients are senders, and all IP addresses are equal. But I’ll let Brett fill in more of the details./DGP]

    • FCC chief set for panto horse net neutrality settlement

      THE NET NEUTRALITY DEBATE looks set to be settled soon with a neither-fish-nor-flesh solution designed to appease everyone and please no one.

      According to sources close to Tim Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and chief architect of the deal that no one wants except the cable industry, the Shill in Chief is expected to announce that the FCC will take on greater responsibility for broadband management.

    • Net Neutrality May Extend Phone Regulations to Broadband

      Public advocacy groups said they are making progress in talks with U.S. regulators to apply utility-style rules to ensure broadband providers treat Web traffic fairly.

      “The baseline of what we can expect has gone up,” Chris Riley, senior policy engineer with browser maker Mozilla, said in a blog post yesterday. Likely outcomes are that the Federal Communications Commission will use powers crafted last century for telephone companies to devise net neutrality rules, he said.

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 31/10/2014: Rubin Leaves Google, Neelie Kroes Ends EU Career

Posted in News Roundup at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Sad News! ;-)

    So, XP is dead, “7” is dying, “8” is a zombie, and “10” is vapourware with nowhere to call home. M$ continues layoffs. POOF! It all falls down. In the meantime Google and the OEMs will crank out many millions of ChromeBooks. Canonical, Linpus, RedHat, Suse… and the OEMs will crank out many millions of GNU/Linux PCs. Several OEMs will crank out many millions of GNU/Linux thin clients. Android/Linux will reverberate with another billion or so units of small cheap computers(tablets, smartphones). This looks like good news to me.

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Desktop Linux users beware: the boss thinks you need to be managed

      Desktop Linux users beware: IT has noticed you and decided it;s time you were properly managed.

      So says VMware, which yesterday at its vForum event in China let it be know that it will deliver a desktop virtualisation (VDI) solution for Linux desktops.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Window and Desktop Switcher moved to Look’n’Feel Package

        Today we did an important change in how KWin will distribute its assets in the upcoming 5.2 release. When we started our thoughts about the Look’n’Feel Package and how we want to have meta themes for the complete Plasma workspace we also wanted to have this for the Window and Desktop switcher provided by KWin. So the structure of the Look’n’Feel Package already has all the pieces for including the Window and Desktop Switcher, but it was not used. Now we finally addressed this for the 5.2 release and moved the default switcher into the Look’n’Feel Package and KWin can locate the switchers from the Look’n’Feel Package.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GTK+ 3.16′s New GtkGLArea Widget Gets Improved

        Earlier this month GTK+ 3.16 development code gained native OpenGL support. This GTK+ OpenGL support involved adding support for wrapping an OpenGL context for native windows with GLX on X11 and EGL on Wayland to use OpenGL to paint everything. A GtkGLArea widget was also added for providing OpenGL drawing access within GTK+ applications. The GtkGLArea has already seen some more improvements to better GTK’s OpenGL support.

      • Recent improvements in libnice

        For the past several months, Olivier Crête and I have been working on a project using libnice at Collabora, which is now coming to a close. Through the project we’ve managed to add a number of large, new features to libnice, and implement hundreds (no exaggeration) of cleanups and bug fixes. All of this work was done upstream, and is available in libnice 0.1.8, released recently! GLib has also gained a number of networking fixes, API additions and documentation improvements.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Quick Look: Puppy Linux 6.0

        Puppy Linux 6.0 is a lightweight Linux distribution that can easily be run off a USB stick, SD card or live disc. This version has been dubbed “Tahrpup” by the Puppy Linux developers, and it is based on Ubuntu 14.04. It also uses Linux kernel 3.14.20.

      • Security-Minded Qubes OS Will Satisfy Your Yen for Xen

        It has advanced far beyond the primitive proof of concept demonstrated more than four years ago. Release 2 (beta), which arrived in late September, is a powerful desktop OS.

        Qubes succeeds in seamless integrating security by isolation into the user experience. However, comparing Qubes to a typical Linux distro is akin to comparing the Linux OS to Unix.

    • New Releases

      • Black Lab Education Desktop 6.0.1 to Be Supported Until 2022

        There are numerous Linux distributions that are oriented towards education, but you can never have too many in a domain such as this one. It’s based on the Black Lab Professional Desktop, which is a very good and powerful solution. Interestingly enough, Black Lab Linux is actually based on Ubuntu, and the latest one uses the 14.04.1 base (Trusty Tahr).

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Atom-based Ubuntu Touch tablet specs leaked

            Specs have been leaked for a 10.1-inch Ubuntu Touch tablet called “UT One” that runs on an Intel Atom Z3735D SoC, with shipments expected in December.

          • The Wide World of Canonical

            I thought perhaps it was a one-off mistake made by a marketing department flunky who perhaps had too much Red Bull while writing a press release. Being the responsible company that Canonical/Ubuntu is, and being the good FOSS community member that it portrays itself to be, I assumed they’d fix the error right away and make sure that ludicrous hyperbole was not the order of the day.
            Would that be asking too much?

            Perhaps. Sadly, a company that claims to be a FOSS leader can’t be bothered with getting simple facts correct. An ad on LinkedIn posted a week ago today makes the same claim for a job in London. You can click on the photo to the right and read, “It is used by over 20 million people in 240 countries in 80 languages.”

          • NVIDIA’s Linux Driver On Ubuntu 14.10 Can Deliver Better OpenGL Performance Than Windows 8.1

            The same Intel Core i7 4770K system used for yesterday’s Windows vs. Linux graphics benchmarks were used when benchmarking the GeForce GTX 780 Ti, 970, and 980 graphics cards. Windows 8.1 Pro x64 had all available system updates at the time and was running the NVIDIA 344.48 WHQL binary driver that was their latest release at the time of testing. When running Ubuntu 14.10 x86_64 on the system with its Linux 3.16 kernel, the NVIDIA 343.22 driver was used. The 343.22 driver was the latest publicly available proprietary Linux driver at the time of testing and their first to support the GTX 970/980 under Linux. All of the same hardware was used under each operating system and each OS was with its software default settings as were the driver settings.

          • The First Vivid-Based Ubuntu Touch Image Has Been Released

            As I have previously announced, the Ubuntu Touch development branch is based on Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet, while the Ubuntu RTM branch is still using Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn as code base, because it has already received stability improvements and will by default on the first Ubuntu powered Meizu phone. Currently, all the new features are implemented on the Ubuntu-Devel branch, the RTM one receiving only fixes.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux accessory adds web access to dumb cameras

      Lumera Labs is aiming to Kickstarter an open source Linux camera attachment for one-click transfers to the cloud via WiFi, plus GPS tagging, HDR, and 3D.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

      • Android

        • Google’s surprise Nexus 6 preorders anger some Android users

          The Nexus 6 is Google’s biggest phone, and judging by the initial reaction from Android users, it may end up being its best-selling phone ever. Creating the Nexus 6 was a bold move by Google and it has resulted in pandemonium as Google’s initial supplies of the phone were quickly depleted by enthusiastic buyers. However, Google gave no warning about Nexus 6 preorders and that has angered some Android users who tried to buy it.

        • Nexus 6 Pre-Orders Were A Joke

          Today, the Nexus 6 went up for pre-order on the Google Play Store for a grand total of five minutes by my count. No warning, no announcements, no broadcasts from the Nexus Twitter account, no excitement from Sundar Pichai or any other Android leaders, nothing. I, like many of you, had no idea that pre-orders had even started. And by the time I tried to go order, it was too late. Sold out, gone. Nexus 4 all over again.

        • Download APKs From Google Play To Your Computer With Google Play Downloader

          Google Play Downloader is a simple open source application which can be used to download APKs from Google Play to your computer.

        • Android creator Andy Rubin is leaving Google

          The move is, perhaps, not a total surprise. Last March, Rubin left the Android group and was replaced by Sundar Pichai. His latest project, as detailed in a lengthy New York Times report in December, was creating robots for a project outside of the company’s Google X lab, something that dovetailed with Google’s shopping spree of robotics companies. In 2012, there were also rumors abound that Rubin planned to leave for a stealth-mode startup called CloudCar, though they were vehemently denied.

Free Software/Open Source

  • We All Work For Open Source Companies Now

    But here’s another, equally salient fact: Every company on the planet must embrace open source to varying degrees, including vendors that make their money selling proprietary software or services.

  • New Projects from the Ever-Protean World of Open Source

    In my previous column, I pointed out that free software was now so successful, and in so many fields, that people might wonder whether there’s anything left to do. The question was rhetorical, of course, of course: the ingenuity of the open source community means that people there will always find new and exciting projects. And not just the big one that I suggested of baking strong crypto into all our communication tools. There are countless other novel uses for open source, as these three very different examples below indicate.

  • Events

    • Ohio LinuxFest 2014 – A Look At Tomorrow

      I went to the Ohio Linux Fest this year to give the closing keynote address to somewhere around 300 folks. And trust me…this will show up later so you’ll know what I mean…the last two minutes of my keynote were the best part. Wait for it…soon.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Simplifying application development in the cloud

      Everett is also a core contributor to the Apache jclouds project, an open source tool designed to make it easier for developers to build applications which are able to reap the benefits of cloud computing while being agnostic to which cloud infrastructure project lies underneath.

    • PLUMgrid Delivers Suite of Tools for OpenStack Clouds

      This week, PLUMgrid, which specializes in virtual network infrastructure for OpenStack cloud deployments, announced the availability of its Open Networking Suite (ONS) version 2.0 with expanded support for OpenStack distributions and network functions. The company claims that “PLUMgrid ONS for OpenStack is the industry’s first software-only virtual networking suite that provides terabits of scale out performance, production-grade resiliency, and secure multi-tenancy for businesses to build agile cloud networks.”

  • CMS

    • Boycott Linux, Fedora Beta a Go, and Drupal Yikes

      The top story tonight is a highly critical flaw in Drupal 7 that may have allowed a lot of compromised websites. At tonight’s Go/No-Go meeting, Fedora 21 Beta was approved for next week. The folks at ROSA have released an LXDE version and LibreOffices 4.3.3 and 4.2.7 were released. Red Hat Software Collections 1.2 was released and Jack Wallen looks at the “science behind Ubuntu Unity’s popularity.”

    • Drupal Hack & WordPress Users

      The current situation being faced by Drupal users is evidence of just how determined the black hats are in their quest to find vulnerable sites and exploit them. According to Drupal, “Automated attacks began compromising Drupal 7 websites that were not patched or updated to Drupal 7.32 within hours of the announcement of” the vulnerability. On any site on any platform, paying attention to security is just as important as paying attention to content.

    • What you need to know about the Drupal vulnerability CVE-2014-3704

      For those that fall into the affected category we’re looking at 264,265 live sites that are currently running Drupal version 7, as a CMS at least, as of this writing. The advisory outlining this problem was originally posted on October 15th, 2014. Within 7 hours there were multiple exploits circulating in the wild. A safe assumption that if you are running an affected version that you were compromised unless you managed to have your site updated or patched before Oct 15th, 11pm UTC.

    • Drupal Users Had Seven Hours to Patch or Be Hacked

      Whenever a security exploit is fixed, users are advised to patch quickly to reduce the risk of attack. In the case of a recent open-source Drupal content management system (CMS) vulnerability, the window in which users needed to patch before being exploited has been quantified as being only seven hours.

  • Healthcare

    • How to train your doctor… to use open source

      The federal hospitals are running a system that was released in to the public domain called VistA, written in MUMPS. This is the same language that the $100 million software is written in! Except there is a huge difference in price. OSEHRA was founded to protect this software.


  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Go 1.4 Beta Release Brings Big Runtime Changes

      Google’s Go language implementation is now in beta for the upcoming 1.4 major release.

      Go 1.4 is bringing Android ARM support, NaCL on ARM support, big changes to the Go runtime, minor performance improvements, changes to Go’s existing libraries, and a ton of other improvements.

    • Rocker: Run R in Docker containers

      Rocker is hosted on GitHub, with three containers already available in the repository – r-base, r-devel and rstudio. The last container (rstudio) provides R and an instance of RStudio Server. RStudio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for R.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • W3C Declares HTML5 Standard Complete

      More than four years ago, Steve Jobs declared war on Flash and heralded HTML5 as the way to go. You could be forgiven if you thought the HTML5 standard — the follow-up to 1997’s HTML 4 — has long been set in stone, given that developers, browser vendors and the press have been talking about it for years now. In reality, however, HTML5 was still in flux — until today. The W3C today published its Recommendation of HTML5 — the final version of the standard after years of adding features and making changes to it.


  • Farewell from Neelie Kroes

    Today is my last day in office at the European Commission.

    Over the years, I have met a lot of people – people who have inspired, encouraged, and energised.

    In fact over 5 years in digital policy there have almost been too many to thank. But that is what I would like to today.

  • Security

    • Google Accounts Now Support Security Keys

      People who use Gmail and other Google services now have an extra layer of security available when logging into Google accounts. The company today incorporated into these services the open Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) standard, a physical USB-based second factor sign-in component that only works after verifying the login site is truly a Google site.

    • Friday’s security updates
    • More Failures Of The Wintel Monopoly

      Of course, this damage could have been mitigated by promptly patching when M$ releases their “Patch Tuesday” updates or sooner in an emergency. That’s the point. Consumers are not IT-people. They don’t know about this stuff. They just know about the speed and convenience of PCs on the web. That other OS is supposed to be “easy to use” but that’s just PR in the ads. It’s also easy to lose all security, have the system slow to a halt or crash. Sometimes, M$ gets it wrong and the patches don’t work. Consumers eventually buy another machine or take the box in for repairs to get it working again.


      Of course, one should patch GNU/Linux systems too, but they do very well unpatched. The great beauty of GNU/Linux for consumers is that there are hundreds of distros and the typical malware-artist can’t hack them all simultaneously whereas “the monopoly” is a single big fat target. So, better code, fewer malwares and diversity all work together to protect consumers whereas the salesmen running M$ seek to make life “easy” for both consumers and malware-writers. I choose freedom. I use Debian GNU/Linux.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Ottawa Shootings — my RT interview

      Yes­ter­day I was asked to do an inter­view on RT in the imme­di­ate after­math of the Ott­awa shoot­ings. As I said, there needs to be a full forensic invest­ig­a­tion, and I would hope that the gov­ern­ment does not use this ter­rible crime as a pre­text for yet fur­ther erosion of con­sti­tu­tional rights and civil liber­ties. Calm heads and the rule of law need to pre­vail.

    • The war on drugs funds terrorism

      Here is a short excerpt from a panel dis­cus­sion I took part in after the Lon­don première of the new cult anti-prohibition film, “The Cul­ture High”. This is an amaz­ing film that pulls together so many big issues around the failed global 50 year policy of the war on drugs. I ser­i­ously recom­mend watch­ing it.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • ALEC Tampers with Wisconsin Constitution

      On November 4, Wisconsin voters will decide if the state constitution should be amended to require that “revenues generated by use of the state transportation system be deposited into a transportation fund administered by a department of transportation for the exclusive purpose of funding Wisconsin’s transportation systems and to prohibit any transfers or lapses from this fund.” The ballot measure reflects model legislation pushed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that is intended to prioritize road funding over all other types of transportation spending.

    • Media Cry Foul When Democrats Talk About Race

      epublicans are accusing Democrats of race-baiting? It sounds like the Times’ Jeremy Peters is making that accusation–isn’t that what “race-baiting” means, to “play on fears” with “racially charged messages”?

    • Rick Berman Exposed in New Audio; Hear His Tactics against Environmentalists and Workers Rights

      Rick Berman, the king of corporate front groups and propaganda, has been caught on tape detailing his attacks on public interest groups in the labor and environmental movements, including on efforts to increase the minimum wage for workers.

      As noted in a new story by Eric Lipton at The New York Times, Berman met with energy company executives at the posh Broadmoor Hotel earlier this year to raise money from them to attack groups representing citizens concerned about clean water, clean air, and the future of the planet. But Berman’s “win ugly” tactics apparently did not persuade all of his prospective clients for his lucrative business of creating tax-exempt non-profit front groups that then contract with his for-profit PR firm to give corporations cover for his attacks on their opponents. The way Berman profits from this arrangement has spawned a legal complaint to the IRS.

      An audio tape of Berman and his associate, Jack Hubbard, has been provided by a person at the Broadmoor event to the Center for Media and Democracy, which publishes PRWatch and has long tracked Berman’s deceptive PR operations.

    • Journalists need a point of view if they want to stay relevant

      If extreme polarization is now an enduring feature of American politics — not just a bug — how does that change the game for journalists? I have some ideas, but mainly I want to put that question on the table. “Conflict makes news,” it is often said. But when gridlock becomes the norm the conflicts are endless, infinite, predictable and just plain dull: in a way, the opposite of news. This dynamic has already ruined the Sunday talk shows. Who can stand that spectacle anymore?

    • How Facebook Could End Up Controlling Everything You Watch and Read Online

      How many of you are reading this because of a link you clicked on Facebook? In the online publishing industry (which WIRED obviously is part of), Facebook’s influence on site traffic—and therefore ad revenue—is difficult to overstate. Over the past year especially, “the homepage is dead” has become a standard line among media pundits. And more than anything else, it’s Facebook that killed it.

      Given that links appear to be more clickable when shared on Facebook, online publishers have scrambled to become savvy gamers of Facebook’s News Feed, seeking to divine the secret rules that push some stories higher than others. But all this genuflection at the altar of Facebook’s algorithms may be but a prelude to a more fundamental shift in how content is produced, shared, and consumed online. Instead of going to all this trouble to get people to click a link on Facebook that takes them somewhere else, the future of Internet content may be a world in which no video, article, or cat GIF gallery lives outside of Facebook at all.

  • Censorship

    • BBC refuses to include Green party in general election TV leader debates

      The BBC has rejected a demand from the Green party to be included in the proposed TV leader election debates, saying that it, unlike Ukip, has not demonstrated any substantial increase in support.

      The broadcasters have proposed three debates, one including Ukip, the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservatives, a second involving the Lib Dems, Labour and the Conservatives, and finally one between Ed Miliband and David Cameron.

      The Green Party was infuriated that they had been excluded and won support in online petitions.

  • Privacy

    • GCHQ views data without a warrant, government admits

      British intelligence services can access raw material collected in bulk by the NSA and other foreign spy agencies without a warrant, the government has confirmed for the first time.

      GCHQ’s secret “arrangements” for accessing bulk material are revealed in documents submitted to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the UK surveillance watchdog, in response to a joint legal challenge by Privacy International, Liberty and Amnesty International. The legal action was launched in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations published by the Guardian and other news organisations last year.

    • More RIPA Revelations

      Yet more evidence has come to light to show that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) is woefully out of date.

      It has been revealed that GCHQ, has the ability to request large amounts of un-analysed communications from foreign intelligence agencies without first obtaining a warrant. The documents, obtained in the course of a case brought before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), show that the use of a warrant was not necessary if it is “not technically feasible” for GCHQ to obtain one.

    • Sony Xperia devices are sendng your data to China

      If you are using a Sony Xperia device running either Android 4.4.2 or 4.4.4 it’s advised (by me) that you install a custom ROM on your device. Several reports have appeared online that the stock firmware on these devices contains Baidu spyware that is discreetly sending data back to servers in China, you do not need to have installed any software on your phone as it’s bundled into the firmware.

    • Congress Still Has No Idea How Much the NSA Spies on Americans

      Adequate oversight is impossible when even diligent members of the Senate Intelligence Committee can’t get basic facts about surveillance.

    • 49 Orgs Call on Congress to Restore Whistleblower Rights for Intelligence Contractors

      Congress should quickly restore whistleblower rights for government contractors who work in the intelligence community (IC), 49 ideologically diverse organizations and the Make It Safe Coalition told lawmakers in a letter today.

    • Liberty exposes secret links between GCHQ and the NSA
    • The NSA Scandal May Have Just Gotten Even Worse

      The National Security Agency might not have only collected personal information belonging to millions of Americans. It may very well have shared it too – with at least one foreign government.

      A report released yesterday by the U.K.-based human rights organization Liberty reveals Britain’s intelligence agencies can access information which the NSA has already collected whenever and wherever it wants – and without a warrant.

    • Brazil-to-Portugal Cable Shapes Up as Anti-NSA Case Study

      Brazil is planning a $185 million project to lay fiber-optic cable across the Atlantic Ocean, which could entail buying gear from multiple vendors. What it won’t need: U.S.-made technology.

    • Brazil greenlights $200m internet cable to Europe in bid to outfox NSA

      Brazil is moving ahead with plans to build an “anti-NSA” internet cable to Europe, even though it won’t make the slightest difference to spying efforts.

      Francisco Ziober Filho, president of state-run telecoms company Telebras, announced earlier this week that the company will form a joint venture with Spain’s IslaLink to run the submarine connection between Fortaleza at the northern tip of Brazil and Lisbon, Portugal. Filho also strongly suggested that the cable will not include any equipment from US manufacturers – take that, NSA.

      Despite the rhetoric, however, one expert in cable infrastructure told The Register that not only does the cable not make economic sense but it amounts to little more than “a $185m propaganda statement” on the part of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff.

    • How NSA Director Wants to Build an IoT Security Coalition

      Admiral Michael Rogers is preparing a coalition of government, military and commercial interests to fight a global cyber war if necessary.

    • NSA chief calls for more “permeable” barrier between state and tech corporations

      In two speeches this month, US National Security Agency (NSA) Director Admiral Mike Rogers called for a further integration between the NSA and major technology and communications companies.

    • National Journal: NSA Outsources Surveillance of Americans to British Intelligence
    • A Secret Policy Lets the UK Suck Up Any Bulk NSA Data It Wants
    • Court: UK spies get bulk access to U.S.’s NSA data
    • GCHQ Can Access Raw Data From NSA Without a Warrant, Secret Policies Disclose
    • Comforting the NSA and Afflicting Its Dissenters

      No serious defense of the surveillance state can ignores its anti-democratic abuses, its lawbreaking, and its record of punishing whistleblowers.

    • FBI Seeks New Powers To Hack And Spy

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is seeking more powers to hack into a suspect computer no matter where it is located, and carry out surveillance.

    • New NSA Documents Shine More Light into Black Box of Executive Order 12333

      Today, we’re releasing a new set of documents concerning Executive Order 12333 that we — alongside the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic at Yale Law School — obtained in an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. EO 12333 hasn’t received much public attention to date, but the government’s prior disclosures in our suit have shown that the executive order in fact governs most of the NSA’s surveillance. In the NSA’s own words, EO 12333 is “the primary source of the NSA’s foreign intelligence-gathering authority.”

    • Cricket Revealed As Mobile ISP That Was Blocking Encrypted Emails

      A few weeks ago, we wrote about how VPN company Golden Frog had quietly revealed in an FCC filing that an unnamed mobile broadband provider had been (even more) quietly blocking people from sending encrypted emails — basically blocking users from making use of STARTTLS encryption. The Washington Post has now revealed that the mobile operator in question was Cricket — a subsidiary of AT&T, and that it stopped blocking such encryption a few days after our post was published.

    • Mobile ISP Cricket was thwarting encrypted emails, researchers find

      Some customers of popular prepaid-mobile company Cricket were unable to send or receive encrypted e-mails for many months, according to security researchers, raising concerns that consumers may find that protecting their privacy is not always in their hands.

    • Swedish regulator orders ISP to retain customer data despite death of EU directive

      The Swedish Telecoms Regulator PTS has threatened Kista-based ISP Bahnhof to continue storing records of its customer communications, even though the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled the 2006 Data Retention Directive invalid [PDF] in April of this year.

    • Vermont’s Automatic License Plate Readers: 7.9 Million Plates Captured, Five Crimes Solved

      The sales pitch for automatic license plate readers is how great they are at helping cops solve crimes. From hunting down stolen cars to tracking pedophiles across jurisdictions, ALPRs supposedly make policing a breeze by gathering millions of time/date/location records every single day and making it all available to any law enforcement agency willing to buy the software and pay the licensing fees.

    • License Plate Scanners Raise Privacy Concerns, But Do They Help Police?

      Over the past five years, law enforcement agencies in Vermont have invested more than $1 million in technology that gathers millions of data points every year about the whereabouts of vehicles across the state.

    • Amazon-CIA $600 Million Deal Facing Scrutiny: “What’s the CIA Doing on Amazon’s Cloud?”

      A billboard challenging Amazon to fully disclose the terms of its $600 million contract to provide cloud computing services for the Central Intelligence Agency has been unveiled at a busy intersection near Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.

    • FBI’s Use Of ‘Sneak And Peek’ Warrants Still Steadily Increasing, Still Has Nearly Nothing To Do With Fighting Terrorism

      Another tool supposedly “crucial” to the War on Terror is just another lowly footsoldier in the War on Drugs. Some long-delayed reports on Section 213 “sneak and peek” warrants have finally been released by the US government, providing more detail on the constantly-expanding use of delayed-notification warrants by the FBI.

    • Government Authority Intended for Terrorism is Used for Other Purposes

      The Patriot Act continues to wreak its havoc on civil liberties. Section 213 was included in the Patriot Act over the protests of privacy advocates and granted law enforcement the power to conduct a search while delaying notice to the suspect of the search. Known as a “sneak and peek” warrant, law enforcement was adamant Section 213 was needed to protect against terrorism. But the latest government report detailing the numbers of “sneak and peek” warrants reveals that out of a total of over 11,000 sneak and peek requests, only 51 were used for terrorism. Yet again, terrorism concerns appear to be trampling our civil liberties.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • New Zealand’s Trade Minister Admits They Keep TPP Documents Secret To Avoid ‘Public Debate’

      A couple years ago, then US Trade Representative Ron Kirk explained why the negotiating text of trade agreements like the TPP needed to be kept secret: because if the public debated it, the agreement probably wouldn’t be approved. He used, as an example, a failed trade agreement where the text had been public. Beyond the “small sample size” problem of this explanation, the much more troubling aspect is the obvious question of recognizing that if public debate would kill the agreement, perhaps it’s the agreement that’s the problem and not the public.

    • Response to EU Ombudsman’s Consultation on TTIP Transparency

      The EU Ombudsman is running a consultation on how to improve the transparency of the TTIP negotiations. This shouldn’t be hard, since there is currently vanishingly small openness about these secret talks.

    • Trademarks

      • Pizzeria Attempts To Trademark The Flavor Of Pizza. Yes, Seriously.

        Trademark, while generally one of the better forms of intellectual property as used in practice and in purpose, can certainly still be abused. It can also fall victim to an ever-growing ownership culture that seems to have invaded the American mind like some kind of brain-eating amoeba. And that’s how we’ve arrived here today, a day in which I get to tell you about how there is currently a trademark dispute over the flavor of pizza.

    • Copyrights

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