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Links 21/6/2016: GNU/Linux in China’s HPC, Linux 4.7 RC4

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

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Linus Torvalds Announces Linux Kernel 4.7 Release Candidate 4, Go Test It Now

      Just a few minutes ago, Linus Torvalds announced the general availability of the fourth RC (Release Candidate) version of the upcoming Linux 4.7 kernel.

    • Linux 4.7-rc4 Kernel Released

      Linus Torvalds announced the release of the Linux 4.7-rc4 kernel on Sunday night.

      Linus explained in the announcement, “It’s been a fairly normal week, and rc4 is out. Go test. The statistics look very normal: about two thirds drivers, with the rest being half architecture updates and half ‘misc’ (small filesystem updates,. some documentation, and a smattering of patches elsewhere). The bulk of the driver updates are usb and gpu, but there’s iio, leds, platform drivers, dma etc).”

    • Graphics Stack

      • Trying The Intel Vulkan Driver On Skylake With Dota 2 + Talos Principle

        With the recent report that Intel’s Vulkan Linux driver should now work with Dota 2, I was curious to test out the game — and Talos Principle — with the latest Mesa Git code that houses this open-source “Anvil” Vulkan driver.

        With the Padoka PPA now shipping the Intel Vulkan driver by default, it’s super easy on Ubuntu-based Linux systems to fetch a Mesa Git snapshot within the past day or two that does have the Vulkan driver for Intel hardware built and enabled. So that’s what I went with for trying Mesa 12.1-dev state of the Intel Vulkan driver as of today on a Core i5 6600K “Skylake” box running Ubuntu 16.04.

      • Why The R9 290 & Other Select Radeon GPUs Are Performing Miserably On Linux 4.7

        With this weekend’s 5-Way Mesa 12.1-dev + Linux 4.7 Git Radeon Comparison and other tests I’ve done on Linux 4.7 Git with Radeon hardware, the R9 290 has regressed to the point of performing noticeably worse than other AMD GCN GPUs… Many other Phoronix readers with different Rx 200/300 graphics cards have also confirmed their graphics cards performing poorly on Linux 4.7.

      • NVIDIA Launches Tesla P100 PCI-E Card
      • Mesa Lands Support For GL_EXT_window_rectangles

        The newest OpenGL extension now supported by Mesa is GL_EXT_window_rectangles.

        GL_EXT_window_rectangles is a newer OpenGL extension and explained via the OpenGL.org registry, “this extension provides additional orthogonally aligned ‘window rectangles’ specified in window-space coordinates that restrict rasterization of all primitive types (geometry, images, paths) and framebuffer clears.”

    • Benchmarks

      • 5-Way Mesa 12.1-dev + Linux 4.7 Git Radeon Comparison

        Following the massive Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 16.04 Graphics Performance With Radeon Software, AMDGPU-PRO, AMDGPU+RadeonSI article, I immediately started work on my next article… In preparation for a hardware launch Linux testing later this month, I started testing my collection of AMD cards on Linux 4.7 and Mesa 12.1-dev. Here are some of those results if you are curious, including performance-per-Watt metrics.

        The cards tested so far this weekend on this bleeding-edge driver stack were the R9 270X, R9 285, R9 290, R7 370, and R9 Fury. Mesa 12.1-dev was from Git yesterday using the Padoka PPA and also built with LLVM 3.9 SVN. The Linux 4.7 kernel was from Git in the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA this week.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • The Qt Company Is Still Aiming To Get Qt 5.8 Out This Year

        This year has already encountered the releases of the much-delayed Qt 5.6 followed quite quickly by Qt 5.7.

      • QtWebKit Technology Preview 2
      • New Technology Preview Of QtWebKit

        There’s a new technology preview release of QtWebKit for those wanting to use this formerly retired WebKit-based module instead of the newer QtWebEngine that makes use of Chromium’s Blink engine.

        As covered earlier this month, QtWebKit has been aiming for a return by interested developers wishing to continue to leverage WebKit in Qt applications rather than moving over to Qt WebEngine. Konstantin Tokarev who has been leading the revival on QtWebKit announced the release of its second technology preview release.

      • Qt 5.7 Consolidates Open Source, Commercial Versions Under New Licensing

        The Qt Company has released a new version of its namesake C++ cross-platform app dev tool, featuring new licensing that consolidates the open source and commercial versions of its Qt for Application Development offering.

      • KDE Desktop project finally fixes 13-year-old bug

        A bug in the KDE Desktop Environment, a popular desktop for Linux users, has been fixed after 13 years, according a post from one developer for the project.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GTK’s Roadmap Updated, Here’s What Is Coming For GNOME 3.22

        This past week the GTK+ road-map was updated during the GTK hackfest with more plans for the future, on top of their new vision for GTK+ 4.0 and beyond.

        The work that remains on the GTK roadmap for the GNOME 3.22 release this fall includes the (already completed) Wayland graphics tablet support along with plans for an image viewing widget, merging GSK, an image viewing widget, moving menu placement to GDK for Mir/Wayland, cleaning up display/screen/monitor code, GtkPathBar improvements, and more.

      • Progress so far
  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Devil-Linux 1.8.0 Distro to Add Google Authenticator for PAM, Moves to SquashFS

        Devil-Linux developer Heiko Zuerker has announced that the Devil-Linux 1.8.0 operating system is now open for development, and a Release Candidate is ready for public testing.

        Devil-Linux 1.8.0 promises to be a major release with many improvements and additions, among which we can mention the use of SquashFS as the main file system, along with high compression LZ4, and a Google authenticator was added for PAM (Pluggable Authentication Module).

      • 4MRescueKit 18.0 Enters Beta, Adds Antivirus Live CD 18.0-0.99.2 & 4MParted 18.0

        Today, June 20, 4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki proudly informed Softpedia about the general availability of a Beta release of his upcoming 4MRescueKit 18.0 Live CD project.

      • NetOS 8.0.2 Arrives with Improved Support for Chromebook Pixel and Surface Pro

        Black Lab Software (PC/OpenSystems LLC) CEO Roberto J. Dohnert informs Softpedia today, June 20, 2016, about the immediate availability for download of the NetOS 8.0.2 operating system.

      • ISO Refresh 2016.06.18
      • Antergos Spins New ISOs, The Last Time Pushing 32-bit Media

        Antergos 2016.06.18 has been released as a re-spin of this Arch-based Linux distribution.

        Antergos 2016.06.18 has a number of fixes and package updates over their earlier ISOs. The fixes do include addressing some issues with UEFI and its installer.

      • Solus 1.2 Shannon Released

        We are proud to announce the release of Solus 1.2, the second minor release in the Shannon series of releases. Solus 1.2 builds upon the groundwork of 1.1 and 1.0, with continued improvements to Budgie, a huge focus on software optimizations, in addition to laying the framework for providing a performant gaming experience. Solus 1.2 furthers us on our journey to realizing the future of home computing.

      • Solus 1.2 Linux Distribution Released
      • Solus 1.2 “Shannon” Officially Released, First OS to Ship with Arc Icon Theme

        Softpedia has been informed today, June 20, 2016, by Solus Project’s Ikey Doherty, about the release and immediate availability for download of the Solus 1.2 “Shannon” operating system.

        We’ve talked a lot lately about Solus 1.2 and the fact that it is coming soon. Well, today is that day, the day when you can finally enjoy all the goodies that the great Ikey Doherty and the skillful team of developers behind the Solus Project have prepared for you during the past three months, since the release of Solus 1.1.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Slackware Family

      • Zenwalk 8.0 final release candidate – RC2

        This pre-release ISO should be at 99% the stable target, you will get latest Libreoffice 5.1.3, latest Chromium 51, Mplayer 1.3, ffmpeg 3.0.1, latest Slackware current system (many upstream packages updated) featuring the Linux kernel 4.4.13, and a new desktop layout for XFCE 4.12.

        Lately, system tools have been heavily improved to fully integrate Policykit privileges elevation features, enabling the unprivileged user to tweak many system parameters that require root ownership : you can now change your user password from the XFCE Panel by just entering your previous password, you can set the Xorg keyboard layout without root privileges, set your locale, set the login manager settings, set system clock, etc…). All these features can of course be hardened with Policykit to disallow automatic privileges elevation for users.

      • Zenwalk 8.0 Is Just Around the Corner, Final Release Candidate Out for Testing

        Zenwalk developer Jean-Philippe Guillemin has informed users of the Slackware-based operating system that the final Release Candidate (RC) milestone of the upcoming Zenwalk 8.0 release is now available for public testing.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat launches a Docker Compose rival for running containers

        Vendors are hard at work adapting their products to support the containerized workloads that are starting to appear in enterprise environments. One of the companies at the forefront of the push is Red Hat Inc., which today introduced a new native Docker management tool for Ansible, the popular automation framework it acquired last year.

        Users will now be able to deploy and define the behavior of containerized applications in the same interface where they control the other components of their infrastructure. Policies are inputted in the form of Playbooks, which can be used to perform everything from setting up an AWS instance to orchestrating multi-stage update outs. They play an analogous role to Puppet’s Modules and the Cookbooks in Chef, the two most popular configuration automation tools on the market. Red Hat says that using native functionality is more convenient than opening an external tool like Docker Compose or Dockerfile in a separate tab and constantly switching back and forth during development.

      • Red Hat Launches Ansible-Native Container Workflow Project
      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 24: Comparing Gnome, KDE Plasma, Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce, LXDE

          It is interesting to look at the gaps in this table – for example, the KDE spin doesn’t include digiKam, which seems very odd, and please don’t try to tell me that Gwenview should count as a photo management application! Why does the Cinnamon spin not have a music player? Perhaps I overlooked it… but I don’t think so. Also, even though LXDE is expected to be a lightweight distribution, the lack of any kind of PDF viewer seems rather extreme.

          So that’s the whole family — six different desktops, ranging from the most fully equipped to the most leanly stripped. They will all be available starting Tuesday, 21 July from the Fedora Downloads page. Get it while it’s hot!

        • Plex Media Server on Fedora 24 weird SELinux issue

          Recently I upgraded my Plex Media Server from Fedora 23 to Fedora 24, and upon restart my Plex Media Server service was not starting.

        • Fedora 24 and CentOS/RHEL 7 repositories

          Fedora 24 repositories have been available for quite some time now, but here is the official statement that everything should be supported out of the box.

          As part of the repository availability, I would like to say that starting from Fedora 24, the repositories are self-sustained and do not require RPMFusion to be enabled. I try to preserve compatibility between the two, so if you step into any problem just open an issue to the specific package on Github, send me an email or drop a message in the comment section of the various pages. Please note that “compatible” means that actually you shouldn’t get any conflict when installing packages, and not that I will not overwrite/obsolete the packages provided in the other repositories.

    • Debian Family

      • Security expert Appelbaum no longer part of Debian

        Well-known privacy advocate and developer Jacob Appelbaum is no longer a member of the Debian GNU/Linux project, with his status as developer having been revoked as of 18 June.

      • Go Debian!

        As some of the world knows full well by now, I’ve been noodling with Go for a few years, working through its pros, its cons, and thinking a lot about how humans use code to express thoughts and ideas. Go’s got a lot of neat use cases, suited to particular problems, and used in the right place, you can see some clear massive wins.

      • Wheezy LTS and the switch to OpenJDK 7

        Wheezy’s LTS period started a few weeks ago and the LTS team had to make an early support decision concerning the Java eco-system since Wheezy ships two Java runtime environments OpenJDK 6 and OpenJDK 7. (To be fair, there are actually three but gcj has been superseded by OpenJDK a long time ago and the latter should be preferred whenever possible.)

        OpenJDK 6 is currently maintained by Red Hat and we mostly rely on their upstream work as well as on package updates from Debian’s maintainer Matthias Klose and Tiago Stürmer Daitx from Ubuntu. We already knew that both intend to support OpenJDK 6 until April 2017 when Ubuntu 12.04 will reach its end-of-life. Thus we had basically two options, supporting OpenJDK 6 for another twelve months or dropping support right from the start. One of my first steps was to ask for feedback and advice on debian-java since supporting only one JDK seemed to be the more reasonable solution. We agreed on warning users via various channels about the intended change, especially about possible incompatibilities with OpenJDK 7. Even Andrew Haley, OpenJDK 6 project lead, participated in the discussion and confirmed that, while still supported, OpenJDK 6 security releases are “always the last in the queue when there is urgent work to be done”.

      • Weekly Report for GSoC16-week 1 and week2
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu phone is not yet ready for prime time

            Phones that run Canonical’s Ubuntu Phone operating system have been around for more than a year but given that they appear to be predominantly aimed at European markets, they are a rare sight in Australia.

            One cannot blame Canonical, the company behind the phone, for Australia is a very small market and one that tends to follow American trends.

            The first Ubuntu phones were released in February 2015 and came in for some criticism because they were under-powered, being a modified version of the Aquaris E4.5. With a 4.5-inch, 540×960 resolution display, a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek Cortex A7 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, they were not much to write home about.

          • Software radio apps are open-source on Ubuntu App Store

            Lime Micro (London, UK) has announced that Ubuntu is putting together an App Store for LimeSDR that can be accessed once the LimeSDR crowd funding campaign successfully reaches its $500,000 pledge goal. The Snappy Ubuntu App Store will ensure the software defined radio (SDR) apps developed with the LimeSDR board are downloadable and those developed by Lime remain completely open-sourced.

          • Snappy vs flatpak

            There is fierce debate brewing in the Linux community right now. Here we have two rival formats for packaging software. which one will be victorious and become the standard across all Linux desktops ? The answer in our opinion is that both will find a strong following for various reasons. Both will serve the common user, but one will reign supreme for industrial use. From as security viewpoint, at least for now, Flatpak has the advantage.

          • Linux Snap Package Format Goes Multi-Distro

            Snapcraft — the Linux package format Canonical developed for Ubuntu — now works on multiple Linux distros, including Arch, Debian, Fedora and various flavors of Ubuntu, Canonical announced last week.

            They’re being validated on CentOS, Elementary, Gentoo, Mint, OpenSUSE, OpenWrt and RHEL.

            “Distributing applications on Linux is not always easy,” said Canonical’s Manik Taneja, product manager for Snappy Ubuntu Core.

          • Goodbye to other packages (rpm & deb), Say Hello to Snaps

            Multiple Linux distributions and companies announced collaboration on the “snap” universal Linux package format, enabling a single binary package to work perfectly and securely on any Linux desktop, server, cloud or device.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • The next wave in software is open adoption software

    There’s a big shift happening in how enterprises buy and deploy software. In the last few years, open technology — software that is open to change and free to adopt — has gone from the exception to the rule for most enterprises.

  • Open source innovation is significantly impacting the IT marketplace: IDC Canada

    Open source is having a huge effect on IT operations. In fact, it has fundamentally changed the marketplace, according to David Senf, program vice president, Infrastructure Solutions Group, at IDC Canada.

  • Treasure Data Releases Latest Version of Open Source Phenomenon Fluentd, Joins the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)
  • Pentaho Labs Extends Open Source Innovation with New Docker Utilities
  • Pentaho Docker utilities: massage & pedicure for software footprints

    Pentaho has tabled a set of Docker open source utilities intended to help simplify big data analytics. Emanating from its Pentaho Labs division, this containerised open source platform is available through the Pentaho Server. So what is actually happening here?

  • Open Source Licensing for Altair’s PBS Professional Now Available
  • SourceForge Seeks a Return to Relevancy

    The new owners of SourceForge, once the primary code repository for open source projects, work to make good on a promise to restore a reputation that was tarnished by its former owners.

    It’s been about 2 1/2 years since GIMP began what became something of a mass exodus of large open source projects away from SourceForge, which at one time had been the go-to code repository for open source projects.

    The site’s reputation began to wane almost immediately after it was purchased from Geeknet in September, 2012, by Dice Holdings in a deal that included Slashdot and Freecode/Freshmeat. In July, 2013, Dice introduced DevShare, an optional profit sharing feature that included closed-source ad-supported content in the binary Windows installers and gave projects agreeing to use the feature a portion of the revenue.

  • Under new management, SourceForge moves to put badness in past

    It has been six months since the company formerly known as Dice (DHI Group) sold off Slashdot Media—the business unit that runs Slashdot and SourceForge—to BIZX, LLC, a San Diego-based digital media company. Since then, the new management has been moving to erase some of the mistakes made under the previous regime—mistakes that led to the site becoming a bit of a pariah among open source and free software developers.

    In an e-mail to Ars, Logan Abbott—the new president of Slashdot and SourceForge—said, “SourceForge was in the media a lot last year due to several transgressions, which we have addressed since the acquisition. Unfortunately, the media has thus far elected not to cover the improvements (probably because bad press is more popular).” In the conversation that followed, Abbott emphasized the transformation underway at SourceForge.

    Abbott has an uphill climb, to be sure. The shifting nature of the software development world has made repositories such as GitHub a go-to for open source projects of all sorts, while the focus on application downloads has shifted heavily toward the mobile world. But Abbott said he believes SourceForge is still “a great distribution channel,” and that developers will come back to host with the repository “when end users see us as a trusted destination once again.”

  • Can SourceForge regain credibility with Linux users and developers?
  • How cloud, open source enable new digital experience government

    Government agencies have been on the web since the 1990s, but today’s digital government strategies look very different. Far from the static sites of past years, great government sites today must be less agency-centric and more reflective of the needs of citizens and others. Sites need to be engaging, easy to navigate, available on any device and make it easier than ever for citizens, businesses and other stakeholders to access. Re-imagining digital for citizen engagement is a major investment, but the payoff is a more efficient, accessible and responsive government.

  • Open Source 2.0

    The open source movement is typically portrayed as an egalitarian response to the constraints imposed on software development by the entities that previously “controlled” software evolutions. The general principles espoused by open source, however, have a much longer history.

  • What Employers Want in an Open Source Applications Developer

    In the end, whichever method(s) you choose to brush up on or expand your skills base doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you are continuously learning and keeping current on what’s trending in tech. As a problem solver, you need to have a keen familiarity with the latest platforms and skills in order to offer up the best solutions.

  • Breathing Games Joins Open Source Initiative

    The Open Source Initiative welcomes unique community of heath care professionals and open source developers collaborating to transform breathing therapy into games.

    The Open Source Initiative® (OSI), recognized globally for promoting and protecting open source software and development communities, announced today that Breathing Games has become an affiliate member. Breathing Games is an international, multidisciplinary community working to improve the quality of health care and life expectancy for people with respiratory disease through therapeutic, science-based-and fun-games.

  • Netflix Open Sources New Machine Learning Tool

    While open source machine learning tools make headlines nearly every day now, it’s still a young science. Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix is one of the many companies that has been making extensive use of machine learning tools for years, and we’ve reported on Netflix open sourcing a series of interesting “Monkey” cloud tools that it has deployed as satellite utilities orbiting its central cloud platform.

    Now, Netflix is open sourcing a machine learning system it built to orchestrate the workflows that improve recommendations to users on what to watch next. Here are details on this tested and hardened offering.

  • Events

    • Dockercon 16 Descends on Seattle

      This particular Dockercon will be a major event, larger than any other prior Docker event anywhere in the world. But size alone isn’t what anyone should judge the success of an event about – it’s the quality of speakers and sessions that truly matter.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Containers Allow You to Browse with Separate Personas

        When it comes to browsers, you don’t see as many truly innovative features arrive as often they did years ago. Mozilla, however, has a new idea that it is testing with the Firefox browser that does qualify as innovative.

        A new Containers Feature in Firefox lets users browse with separate personas. Here are the details.

        Containers is an experimental feature in Firefox that caters to the idea that as we browse the web we take on different personas, such as shopper, reader, communicator, etc.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Databases

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 11.0 Alpha 4 Released

      The fourth alpha release of the upcoming FreeBSD 11.0 is now available for testing.

      FreeBSD 11.0 Alpha 4 ships the very latest fixes for this major BSD update. FreeBSD 11.0 is scheduled to be officially released in early September with the code freeze happening last week, the beta builds beginning in July, and release candidates in August. The FreeBSD 11.0 schedule can be found via FreeBSD.org.


  • Public Services/Government

    • Removing Barriers to the Uptake of Open Source Software

      Public sector procurement organisations such as Crown Commercial Services in the UK are guiding public sector organisations to facilitate the procurement of Open Source Software based solutions. However there is little or no guidance of how to negotiate contracts and measure the effectiveness of open source software solutions compared to proprietary solutions.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Arduino Open Source Self-Reconfigurable Modular Robot (video)

        Arduino enthusiasts and makers with access to a 3D printer might be interested in a new open source self reconfigurable modular robot that has been created and powered by an Arduino Nano development board.

        Check out the video below to see the Dtto modular robot in action, and how it can both self assemble and disassemble itself and has been built as an entry for the 2016 Hackaday Prize.

      • Masterwork Tools’ amazing collection of 3D printable open source tabletop gaming scenery

        It’s no secret that 3D printing technology provides a fantastic opportunity for spicing up your gaming nights. Nothing quite takes the fun out of an evening of tabletop gaming as fighting over the same cardboard constructions every time, but you don’t have to bankrupt yourself to change that. Thanks to Masterwork Tools’ excellent OpenForge 2.0 project, you can now easily 3D print amazing scenery pieces free-of-charge, from fantastic wall sections for D&D dungeon crawls, to castle walls, gothic crypts fantastic Egyptian-style monuments and a lot more.

  • Programming/Development


  • APFS in Detail: Overview

    Apple announced a new file system that will make its way into all of its OS variants (macOS, tvOS, iOS, watchOS) in the coming years. Media coverage to this point has been mostly breathless elongations of Apple’s developer documentation. With a dearth of detail I decided to attend the presentation and Q&A with the APFS team at WWDC. Dominic Giampaolo and Eric Tamura, two members of the APFS team, gave an overview to a packed room; along with other members of the team, they patiently answered questions later in the day. With those data points and some first hand usage I wanted to provide an overview and analysis both as a user of Apple-ecosystem products and as a long-time operating system and file system developer.

  • Press Eats Up ‘App’ That Helps People Search For Migrant Boats On The Meditarranean… Despite It Not Actually Doing Anything

    Apparently, last week there was some buzz in the press about a new “app” that was being offered for iPhone users, put together by the charity group Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) and Grey for Good, a group that’s associated with the ad giant Grey Group (itself a part of WPP). The idea behind the app is that it feeds users real-time satellite imagery of the Mediterranean Sea, and if you happen to see a boat full of migrants, you alert MOAS and they’ll go check it out. Many in the press ate it up because it hits all the buttons: it’s an app (ding!) that lets people feel good (ding!) by pretending they’re changing the world (ding!) on a topic of great public interest (ding!). And thus, we got a bunch of stories, though only Reuters went with the most obvious of headlines: Want to save migrants in the Mediterranean? There’s an app for that. Other reports appeared at Wired, Mashable, Huffington Post, the Evening Standard and a variety of other, smaller publications.

  • Science

    • For better recall, try a work out four hours after learning something

      To make sure you’ll be able to jog your memory quickly, you might want to go for an actual jog a little after learning something.

      Healthy volunteers that exercised four hours after learning patterns had better recall 48 hours later than those that didn’t exercise at all or exercised directly after learning. The delayed exercise may spur the release of molecules that boost the brain’s normal ability to consolidate and bank memories for long-term storage, researchers report in the journal Current Biology. If the finding holds up in further studies, it may suggest that working out a little after cramming could help bulk up your noggin.

    • Summer solstice brings longest daylight, brightest moonlight

      The longest day of the year is upon us.

      This Monday brings the summer solstice, which marks the beginning of the season and a chance to soak in copious amounts of sunshine.
      The solstice is celebrated by a variety of cultures worldwide. Every year, thousands gather at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, to rejoice the prospect of sunny summer days.

      As if this day wasn’t already a wonderful excuse to run outside, Monday will also feature a full “Strawberry” moon — the name comes from the belief that strawberry-picking season is at its peak during this time of the year, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.

  • Security

    • BusyBotNet is a Fork of Busybox with Security Tools

      Busybox provides a lightweight version of common command line utilities normally found on “big” Linux into a single binary, in order to bring them to embedded systems with limited memory and storage. As more and more embedded systems are now connected to the Internet, or as they are called nowadays the Internet of Things nodes, adding security tools, such as cryptographic utilities, could prove useful for administrators of such system, and so BusyBotNet project wsa born out of a fork of Busybox.

    • Making a Case for Security Analytics

      Being a victim of a data breach no longer results in a slap on the wrist. Instead it can lead to costly fines, job loss, physical damage and an organization’s massive loss of reputation. Case in point: Target. Following its high-profile breach in late 2013, Target suffered large losses in market valuation and paid more than $100 million in damages.

    • GoToMyPC password hack – urgent, change passwords NOW

      If you use the popular Citrix GoToMyPC remote access product for macOS, Windows, Kindle, iOS, and Android you will need to change all passwords now.

    • Web Application Defender’s Field Report: Account Takeover Campaigns Spotlight

      ATO attacks (also known as credential stuffing) use previously breached username and password pairs to automate login attempts. This data may have been previously released on public dumpsites such as Pastebin or directly obtained by attackers through web application attacks such as SQLi. The goal of the attacks is to identify valid login credential data that can then be sold to gain fraudulent access to user accounts. ATO may be considered a subset of brute force attacks, however it is an increasing threat because it is harder to identify such attacks through traditional individual account authentication errors. The Akamai Threat Research Team analyzed web login transactions for one week across our customer base to identify ATO attack campaigns.

    • Google’s security princess talks cybersecurity

      Her talk was even-keeled, informative, and included strong FOSS messaging about everyone’s vested interest in internet security and privacy. After the talk was done, I watched her take audience questions (long enough for me to take a short conference call) where she patiently and handily fielded all manner of queries from up and down the stack.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • ‘Our Anger Is Past Its Limit’: Tens of Thousands Rally Against US Bases in Okinawa

      Demonstration a reflection of years of resentment against US military footprint on island, with former Marine suspected of recent murder and rape adding fuel to fire

    • America’s Nuclear Weapons in Europe Are the Nuclear Elephant in the Room

      A little more than 60 miles from Brussels Airport, Kleine Brogel Air Base stands as one of six overseas repositories in the world where the United States still stores nuclear weapons. The existence of the bombs is officially neither confirmed nor denied, but it has been well-known for decades.

    • Undeterred: Amid Terror Attacks in Europe, US H-bombs Still Deployed There

      “A little more than 60 miles from Brussels airport,” Kleine Brogel Air Base is one of six European sites where the United States still stores active nuclear weapons, William Arkin wrote last month. The national security consultant for NBC News Investigates, Arkin warned that these bombs “evade public attention to the extent that a post-terror attack nuclear scare in Belgium can occur without the bombs even being mentioned.”

    • Syria: Change the (Dissent) Channel

      The US State Department’s “Dissent Channel” is a mechanism through which department personnel may disagree with administration policy without fear of job retribution. On June 17, Mark Landler of the New York Times revealed the existence of a recent “Dissent Channel” memo bearing the signatures of 51 diplomats and other department officials and calling for “a more militarily assertive US role in Syria [versus the Assad regime], based on the judicious use of standoff and air weapons.”

      Let me open my dissent to the dissent by invoking the late Pete Seeger: “Oh when will they ever learn?”

      The “judicious use” of US military force in the Middle East and Central Asia has made things worse, not better, for 25 years now.

    • NRA Lobbyist: Pro-Gun Control Lawmakers ‘Will Pay A Price’

      One of the nation’s top gun lobbyists thinks that the Orlando shooting had little to do with gun control, and that any politician who tries to blame the gun lobby for the tragedy will “pay the price” for it.

      Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, said on ABC’s This Week Sunday that the people of the United States have a “God-given right to defend ourselves and firearms are an effective means to doing just that.”

      “Politicians who want to divert attention away from the underlying problems and suggest that we are somehow to blame will pay a price for it,” he said.

    • A Peace Journey to Russia

      The dangers from a new Cold War between the U.S. and Russia have prompted American peace activists to reach out to the Russian people and to fellow Americans to urge a step back from the cliff, as Kathy Kelly describes.

    • The New Iron Curtain

      A foreign army consisting of 31,000 soldiers from an anti-American alliance are conducting military “exercises” a few miles from San Diego. Hundreds of tanks converge on the Rio Grande, while jets from 24 countries converge in attack formation, darting through Mexican skies.

      It isn’t hard to imagine Washington’s response.

      Yet that’s precisely what has been happening on Russia’s border with the NATO alliance, as the cold war returns. Economic sanctions aimed at sinking Russia’s fragile economy, plus a propaganda campaign designed to characterize Russian President Vladimir Putin as the second coming of Stalin – or, in Hillary Clinton’s view, Hitler – have history running in reverse. Once again, an iron curtain is descending across Europe – only this time it’s the West’s doing.

    • Neo-Nazi Group Linked to Murder of British MP Has Long Been Ignored by US Media

      The National Alliance was founded in 1974 by William Pierce, an associate of American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell and the former editor of the magazine National Socialist World. The group was a reorganization of the National Youth Alliance, itself an outgrowth of Youth for Wallace, an organization that came out of the 1968 presidential campaign of segregationist George Wallace. Pierce turned the group, in the words of the SPLC, into “the most dangerous and best organized neo-Nazi formation in America.”

    • The Roots of Trump’s Cruel Populism

      Donald Trump’s angry and ugly populism has roots going back to Jim Crow-era race-baiters and Cold War-era red-baiters, including Joe McCarthy’s adviser Roy Cohn and his disciples, write Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.

    • British Trumpism? Anti-Immigrant “Britain First” White Terrorist kills Member of Parliament

      The assassin shouted “Britain First!” as he repeatedly stabbed Jo Cox in the stomach with a hunting knife and then shot her with an old revolver several times. He also cut a 77-year-old man who unsuccessfully attempted to intervene.

      Cox, 41, and mother of two, served as a Labour member of the Mother of Parliaments from the constituency of Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire (north-central Britain).

    • Far-Right Britain First Party Distressed to Be Linked to Killer Who Shouted “Britain First”

      One day after a British lawmaker, Jo Cox, was assassinated by a constituent with a history of mental illness and support for white nationalist groups, who reportedly shouted “Britain First!” during the attack, the leaders of a fringe political party with that slogan for its name tried to dissociate themselves from the suspect by spreading misinformation about the accounts of eyewitnesses.

      In a video message posted on Britain First’s social media channels on Friday, Jayda Fransen, the party’s deputy leader, disputed evidence that its name was shouted and falsely claimed that Cox, a former aid worker who was elected to Parliament last year, was not assassinated, but killed while trying to break up a fight between two men on a street in the Yorkshire town of Birstall.

    • Death, and the referendum

      As tragedy strikes Britain’s referendum, it’s too late for Berlusconist Boris Johnson to retrospectively distance himself from Farage’s hateful campaign.

    • A Father’s War, A Son’s Toxic Inheritance

      Stephen Katz’s estranged father was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Now the Virginian-Pilot photographer wonders if that caused his own health problems.

    • Reliving Agent Orange: What The Children of Vietnam Vets Have To Say

      For the past year, ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot have examined how Agent Orange has impacted the health of Vietnam vets. We’ve written about Blue Water Navy veterans who are currently ineligible for benefits, as well as vets with bladder cancer and their struggle for compensation.

    • Know-Nothing “Diplomats” Prepare For Hillary’s War On Syria

      The U.S. is unwilling to stop the war on Syria and to settle the case at the negotiation table. It wants a 100% of its demands fulfilled, the dissolution of the Syrian government and state and the inauguration of a U.S. proxy administration in Syria.

    • Why Doesn’t Dianne Feinstein Want to Prevent Murders Like those Robert Dear Committed?

      In response to Chris Murphy’s 15 hour filibuster, Democrats will get a vote on several gun amendments to an appropriations bill, one mandating background checks for all gun purchases, another doing some kind of check to ensure the purchaser is not a known or suspected terrorist.


      First, minor, but embarrassing, given that Feinstein is on the Senate Judiciary Committee and Ranking Member Pat Leahy is a cosponsor. This amendment doesn’t define what “investigate” means, which is a term of art for the FBI (which triggers each investigative method to which level of investigation you’re at). Given that it is intended to reach someone like Omar Mateen, it must intend to extend to “Preliminary Investigations,” which “may be opened on the basis of any ‘allegation or information’ indicative of possible criminal activity or threats to national security.” Obviously, the Mateen killing shows that someone can exhibit a whole bunch of troubling behaviors and violence yet not proceed beyond the preliminary stage (though I suspect we’ll find the FBI missed a lot of what they should have found, had they not had a preconceived notion of what terrorism looks like and an over-reliance on informants rather than traditional investigation). But in reality, a preliminary investigation is a very very low level of evidence. Yet it would take a very brave AG to approve a gun purchase for someone who had hit a preliminary stage, because if that person were to go onto kill, she would be held responsible.

    • DOJ Rushed To Link Orlando Shooter To ISIS, Now Plans To Redact What He Said During 911 Call For… Reasons

      The FBI/DOJ had no problem rushing out claims last week that Omar Mateen, the guy who killed 49 people in a rampage at a club in Orlando last weekend, had “pledged allegiance” to ISIS.

    • Sheriff confirms FBI gag order and Orlando 911 audio censorship
    • The Obama Administration’s Orwellian Censorship of Orlando Transcripts

      In George Orwell’s prescient novel about totalitarian government, 1984, the main protagonist is a censor working to rewrite history so it maintains a message that is to the approval of the party. Of course, he isn’t called a censor, he is given the much more pleasing title of clerk at the Ministry of Truth. The party instructs him to alter the records so they always reflect the party line and encourages him to insert newspeak into the records as a way of limiting the range of thought of readers. Newspeak is a language that perverts English words and grammar in a way that completely reduces the meaning.

    • Loretta Lynch: We Scrubbed The Orlando Killer’s Pledges Of Allegiance To Terror Groups In 911 Transcript
    • Todd and Others Yawn as Lynch Proclaims Mateen Transcripts Will Censor His ISIS Pledge
    • Where Did the Justice Dept. Learn to Censor Info About Violent Attacks? From the Public
    • Loretta Lynch’s censorship
    • Jorge Gutierrez and Soraya Chemaly on Orlando Massacre

      This week on CounterSpin: After the June 12 massacre of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, social and independent media were filled with grief from the LGBTQ and Latinx community, immediately combined with a refusal to allow that grief to be weaponized for use against Muslims, which corporate media were swinging into gear to do as soon as they learned the killer’s identity.

    • Since Tuesday the Medical Examiner Has Known How Many Orlando Victims Were Killed by Cops

      As I noted in another post, on Monday, Orlando’s police chief said that it was possible that some law enforcement officers — that might include the four who initially responded to Omar Mateen or the nine SWAT team members who later did — had (accidentally) shot Pulse patrons.

    • Only Muslims Are Terrorists. It Is Now Official

      Mair is not an isolated case. Ryan McGee – who built a nail bomb to attack Muslims – and Pavlo Lapshyn – who murdered a Muslim and bombed mosques – were not charged with terrorism either. Mair, McGee and Lapshyn would all, beyond any possible shadow of a doubt, have been charged with terrorism if they were Muslims. The decision is made by the Crown Prosecution Service, which has also recently decided that Tony Blair, Jack Straw, John Scarlett, Mark Allen et all will not stand trial for extraordinary rendition and complicity in torture, despite overwhelming evidence presented by the Metropolitan Police, including my own.

    • The Sad Death of Jo Cox, and What is Terrorism?

      But the Jo Cox death has caused immediate and fierce debate as to whether it was “terrorism” or not. This follows closely a similar and interesting debate over the Orlando killings. The questions raised over Omar Mateen, who undoubtedly had mental health issues, and was himself perhaps gay, complicated the question of his motivation, beyond his own declaration of loyalty to ISIS. It is to the credit of the US political establishment that their reaction reflected this complexity, Trump aside.

    • Tensions are ratcheting up between China and the United States over maritime boundaries in Asia

      Two recent close encounters between US spy planes and Chinese jets spell trouble for relations between Washington and Beijing. The first, between a US EP-3 spy plane and two Chinese jets over the South China Sea (SCS) near China’s Hainan Island, was strikingly similar to the 2001 incident in the same area in which a Chinese jet and an EP-3 collided, resulting in the death of the Chinese pilot, the forced landing and detention of the US crew, and a tense diplomatic row. The second involved a US RC-135 plane that was closely tracked by a Chinese jet over the East China Sea (ECS).

    • World’s Largest Arms Dealers Lecture Americans on ‘Assault Weapons’

      What’s more, an International Business Times investigation found that “Under Clinton’s leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation.” Those include such rights-respecting regimes as Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

    • Gen. Breedlove, Strangelove-ian War Hawk

      Ex-NATO Commander Breedlove was so bellicose toward Russia that the Germans objected to his dangerous provocations, but he is now strutting his stuff in hopes of landing a job in a Clinton-45 administration, says Gilbert Doctorow.

    • Hate, Terror, and Collectivism Culminate in Orlando

      The massacre in Orlando has the usual political narratives all jumbled up. It was gun violence against gays. Therefore, say Hillary Clinton supporters, it validates calls for gun restrictions and anti-hate laws. Yet it was also an act of terrorism by a Muslim whose parents immigrated from Afghanistan. Therefore, say Donald Trump supporters, it validates calls for immigration restrictions and religious profiling.

    • Tomgram: Andrew Cockburn, Victory Assured on the Military’s Main Battlefield — Washington

      When it comes to Pentagon weapons systems, have you ever heard of cost “underruns”? I think not. Cost overruns? They turn out to be the unbreachable norm, as they seem to have been from time immemorial. In 1982, for example, the Pentagon announced that the cumulative cost of its 44 major weapons programs had experienced a “record” increase of $114.5 billion. Three decades later, in the spring of 2014, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that the military’s major programs to develop new weapons systems — by then 80 of them — were a cumulative half-trillion dollars over their initial estimated price tags and on average more than two years delayed. A year after, the GAO found that 47 of those programs had again increased in cost (to the cumulative tune of $27 billion) while the average time for delivering them had suffered another month’s delay (although the Pentagon itself swore otherwise).

    • Neocons Scheme for More ‘Regime Change’

      The neocons are back on the warpath, seeking to bomb the Syrian government and scheming to destabilize nuclear-armed Russia en route to another “regime change” – while ignoring the grave dangers, says James W Carden.

    • DOJ Thinks Releasing Omar Mateen’s ISIS Allegiance Claims It Released Last Week Will Revictimize the Victims

      I’ve been suggesting not only that Mateen was likely motivated for other reasons — but that FBI likely missed those cues because they were evaluating him for one and only one kind of threat, an Islamic terrorist rather than an angry violent man threat.

    • Dissent for Peace, Not More War

      Fifty-one mid-level U.S. diplomats signed a “dissent cable” calling for the U.S. military to launch air strikes against the Syrian military to tilt the civil war back in favor of the rebels, a mistake, writes ex-U.S. diplomat Ann Wright.

    • US drones hit Taliban more than terrorist networks despite end of Afghan war

      The majority of US airstrikes in Afghanistan in 2016 have been in support of ground troops including Afghan forces fighting the Taliban, rather than targeting suspected terrorists.

      An investigation by the Bureau reveals that more than 200 strikes, the majority by drones, have been conducted to defend ground forces battling a rising insurgency, despite the fact that combat missions came to an end in 2014. These strikes represent more than 60% of all US airstrikes in the country.

    • The Killing Fields: Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines

      2016, he is haunted by broken promises of solving past extrajudicial killings and preventing new ones from happening. Aquino’s performance with regard to human rights leaves much to be desired, with Human Rights Watch calling his record “disappointing due to failure to address impunity for the government’s rights violations.”

    • Now Can We Ditch the Saudis?

      Meanwhile, Haykal Bafana, a usually reliable commentator on events in Yemen, has suggested that not just the one UAE helicopter reported more broadly, but two more, have been downed in recent days, by Saudi missiles. And the UAE tweeted out yesterday that it was withdrawing from the war in Yemen.

    • The War Risk of Hillary Clinton

      Hawkish State Department officials and Official Washington’s neocons are eager for a Hillary Clinton presidency, counting on a freer hand to use U.S. military force around the world, but that future is not so clear, says Michael Brenner.

    • Who’s the Bigger Danger — Clinton or Trump?

      Donald Trump has offered some unnerving ideas about foreign policy, including a cavalier attitude toward nuclear proliferation, but Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness may represent a bigger danger of nuclear war, as Ivan Eland explains.

    • Thousands protest U.S. bases on Okinawa after Japan woman’s murder

      Tens of thousands of people gathered in sweltering heat on Japan’s Okinawa island on Sunday in one of the biggest demonstrations in two decades against U.S. military bases, following the arrest of an American suspected of murdering a local woman.

      The protest marked a new low for the United States and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in their relations with the island and threatens plans to move the U.S. Marines Futenma air station to a less populous part of the island.

    • Omar Khayyam, Orlando & Magnanville

      The last one of these three events is obviously not comparable in terms of gravity and horror with the first two. The first one is an an attack of a terrorist (no matter how mentally unstable he may be) against a gay nightclub, somebody who felt compelled to kill innocent people because of who they are. We know how radical Islam works. It’s not just the women they fear and oppress. It’s the Jews. It’s the Christians. It’s all the non-Muslims. It’s all the Muslims they don’t deem to be obedient enough to their own made-up creed and rules du jour. And of course it’s the Gays. And anybody who drinks alcohol. Anybody who has fun. Anybody who represents what they hate (in the case of the two cops, they represent France, its society and its History) . The price is never too high for them. A decerebrated scumbag cutting the throat of a woman in front of her 3 year-old child for three hours seems acceptable to them.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • A Better World Is Possible: A Father’s Day Note

      That’s why I work with Climate Parents, a group of parents and grandparents around the country taking action to help prevent catastrophic climate change so that we leave you and all kids everywhere a livable planet. And in doing that work every day, I see signs of hope emerging in so many places – the solar panels and wind turbines sprouting up like daffodils in springtime, the coal-fired power plants shutting down, the students suing governments for stronger climate action, the school boards voting to teach students the truth about climate change, the countries of the world agreeing in Paris to keep temperatures from rising to unbearable levels.

    • Exxon Sues Second Attorney General In Response To Fraud Investigation

      ExxonMobil sued a second attorney general involved in the fraud investigation against the company this week. The investigation, brought by attorneys general around the country and some environmental groups, looks into whether the oil company was hiding the truth about climate science from the public and their investors.

    • Global Warming Adds to Mideast Hot Zone

      Official Washington’s neocons hope they will finally get their wish to bomb Syria’s government, but the crisis of the Mideast – made worse by drastic climate change – won’t be solved by more war, explains Jonathan Marshall.

    • Big men on campus: The Koch brothers’ university donations are a veiled political weapon

      Through his family foundations, billionaire industrialist and conservative political mega-donor Charles Koch gave $108 million to 366 colleges and universities from 2005-14, and he’s donated millions more since then.

      Much of that money established free-market academic centers on campuses; dozens of Koch-funded centers exist, and in Arizona, where Koch’s political money helped elect GOP Gov. Doug Ducey and conservative state legislators, three centers at public schools will now receive annual state funding.

    • The Decline of the Coal Industry in One Chart

      It’s no surprise that the coal industry has received plenty of regulatory attention and its decline has been covered extensively in the press. Consider that in the “War on Coal,” EPA and the Department of Interior have combined to impose $312 billion in costs and more than 30 million paperwork burden hours. All of these burdens aren’t directed solely at the coal industry, but the Clean Power Plan, coal residuals rule, the MATS measure, and Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will impose nearly $20 billion in annual burdens on the industry. The sharp drop in natural gas prices also plays a role, declining 70 percent since 2008. However, the market cap of four of the largest coal companies was more than $35 billion in 2011. After a flurry of regulation, it’s now a smudge on the graph below, a decline of 99 percent. Behold, the steep decline of coal in one chart:

  • Finance

    • Switzerland Withdraws Application To Join EU: Only “Lunatics May Want To Join Now”

      Resentment toward the EU hit a new high yesterday when the upper house of the Swiss parliament on Wednesday followed in the footsteps of Iceland, and voted to invalidate its 1992 application to join the European Union, backing an earlier decision by the lower house. The vote comes just a week before Britain decides whether to leave the EU in a referendum. Twenty-seven members of the upper house, the Council of States, voted to cancel Switzerland’s longstanding EU application, versus just 13 senators against. Two abstained the Neue Zürcher Zeitung reported.

    • Education Department Recommends Killing Accreditor of For-profit Colleges

      U.S. Education Department staff are moving to terminate the oversight authority of embattled for-profit college accreditor, ACICS, citing “egregious” mistakes.

    • EU referendum: Baroness Sayeeda Warsi defects from Leave to Remain

      ‘Are we prepared to tell lies, to spread hate and xenophobia just to win a campaign? For me that’s a step too far’

    • Anti-EU Poster Sees Warsi Shift To Remain Camp

      A leading Conservative has defected to the Remain camp, citing Nigel Farage’s controversial anti-migrant poster as the final straw.

      Baroness Warsi, a former Foreign Office minister, had been a Brexit supporter but said she had been turned off by what she described as their spreading of “hate and xenophobia”.

      The UKIP poster she said was the final straw showed non-white migrants queuing to get into Europe under the slogan “Breaking Point”.

      She said: “That ‘breaking point’ poster really was, for me, the breaking point to say: ‘I can’t go on supporting this’.

      “Are we prepared to tell lies, to spread hate and xenophobia just to win a campaign? For me, that’s a step too far.”

      But Bernard Jenkin, a senior figure in the Leave camp, tweeted that he had not seen Baroness Warsi at a single meeting – suggesting she was not part of the campaign.

      She is not the first politician to criticise the poster.

    • EU referendum: Baroness Warsi attacks ‘lying’ Michael Gove as she quits Leave campaign

      Former Tory Party Chairman Sayeeda Warsi has condemned the “scaremongering” tactics of the campaign to leave the EU, as she became the latest high-profile figure to defect.

      Lady Warsi, who was Britain’s first Muslim cabinet minister, said she had become increasing uncomfortable with Vote Leave messaging and pointed the finger at her old colleague Michael Gove.

      Speaking on BBC Radio 4′s Today Programme, she labelled the Chief Whip’s comments on Turkey “a lie”.

    • John Oliver rails against Brexit in profane song

      Oliver’s segment on Sunday’s show questioned many of the arguments being used by proponents in favor of the U.K. leaving the European Union, calling the arguments “bulls—.”

      He said proponents of the “Leave” movement vastly overstated the amount of money Brits pay the EU. Oliver also questioned whether it would give the country greater control over immigration and whether it would actually free British companies from EU regulation.

    • Microsoft avoids £100m in UK tax

      Microsoft, one of the world’s richest companies, has avoided up to £100m a year in UK corporation tax by booking billions of pounds of sales in Ireland under a confidential deal with the British tax authorities.

    • Italy to block democratic vote on CETA for 500 million Europeans, according to leaked letter

      The Italian government has offered to block a move to give national parliaments—and hence some 500 million European citizens—a say on the CETA deal between the EU and Canada.

      The national legislatures in the 28 member states could vote on CETA, but only if all EU governments demand it. If Italy refuses to join with the other countries, the European Commission would be able to send the agreement to the Council of the European Union for approval, where a “qualified majority” would be enough for it to be passed. There would also be a vote on the agreement in the European Parliament. However, the latter would be a simple yes/no decision, with no option to make changes to CETA’s text.

      Although a standard part of the EU legislative toolkit, such yes/no votes put pressure on MEPs to accept the bad parts of a deal in order to gain the benefits. However, the European Parliament set an important precedent for saying “no” to unbalanced trade deals when it rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in 2012.

    • Brexit is a fake revolt – working-class culture is being hijacked to help the elite

      I love fake revolts of the underclass: I’m a veteran of them. At secondary school, we had a revolt in favour of the right to smoke. The football violence I witnessed in the 1970s and 80s felt like the social order turned on its head. As for the mass outpouring of solidarity with the late Princess Diana, and by implication against the entire cruel monarchic elite, in the end I chucked my bunch of flowers on the pile with the rest.

      The problem is, I also know what a real revolt looks like. The miners strike; the Arab spring; the barricade fighting around Gezi Park in Istanbul in 2013. So, to people getting ready for the mother of all revolts on Thursday, I want to point out the crucial difference between a real revolt and a fake one. The elite does not usually lead the real ones. In a real revolt, the rich and powerful usually head for the hills, terrified. Nor are the Sun and the Daily Mail usually to be found egging on a real insurrection.

      But, all over Britain, people have fallen for the scam. In the Brexit referendum, we’ve seen what happens when working-class culture gets hijacked – and when the party that is supposed to be defending working people just cannot find the language or the offer to separate a fake revolt from a real one. In many working-class communities, people are getting ready to vote leave not just as a way of telling the neoliberal elite to get stuffed. They also want to discomfort the metropolitan, liberal, university-educated salariat for good measure. For many people involved, it feels like their first ever effective political choice.

    • Goldman Sachs’ email censorship sends the wrong message

      First they took away the smoking room, and I said nothing, because I was not a smoker. But now they are coming for our email, and, comrades, we must fight back. To explain: an internal memo from Goldman Sachs has leaked, which lists all the words and phrases that should not be used in emails, unless you want to provoke an investigation from the bank’s compliance department. Swearing is out, as is the expression of strong emotion or doubt. For example, don’t whatever you do say “I am extremely worried” or “Don’t you fucking understand?” This will not go down well. The sensors will go ping, and before you know it you will be heading upstairs for one of those meetings.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • ‘Allegedly’ Disappears as Russians Blamed for DNC Hack

      Then something strange happened. Wednesday afternoon, a person or persons using the name “Gufficer 2.0” (referencing a hacker who infamously got into the Bush family emails) published online what appears to be detailed information derived from the hack. In the post, Gufficer 2.0 claimed the hack wasn’t nearly as sophisticated as CrowdStrike claimed, and wasn’t the work of hackers working for Russian intelligence.

    • No, That Donald Trump Ad Is Not Real

      This should go without saying, but the deliriously funny “Japanese Donald Trump Commercial” viewed nearly 8 million times since its release on Wednesday — in which a young woman joyfully imagines her hero, Donald Trump, becoming “World President” — is a work of satire.

    • Was the Democratic Primary Just Manipulated, or Was It Stolen?

      The debacle that was the 2016 primary season is nearly over, but the primary system itself may have destroyed faith in American democracy. Certainly it has divided the Democratic Party.

      The Internet is awash with accusations that the Democratic primary was rigged; anger, confusion, and fault-placing are running wild, and so are the online right-wing “trolls” who feed the fires of discord between the two camps of the Democratic Party through misinformation and divisive invective.

      With buyer’s remorse sweeping the GOP, election fraud lawsuits pending, millions of Bernie Sanders supporters crying foul and some vowing “Bernie or Bust,” many are even forecasting the breakup of the two-party system.

    • Bernie Sanders Calls on Progressives to Run for State and Local Office
    • The Democrats’ ‘Super-Delegate’ Mistake

      Democratic “super-delegates” – hundreds of party insiders – tilted the presidential race to Hillary Clinton though not chosen by voters, an undemocratic idea that was never intended, says Spencer Oliver who was there at the creation.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • FBI’s Facial Recognition Database Still Huge, Still Inaccurate, And DOJ Shows Zero Interest In Improving It

      The FBI’s biometric database continues to grow. Its Next Generation Identification system (NGI) is grabbing everything it can from multiple sources, compiling millions of records containing faces, tattoos, fingerprints, etc. from a blend of criminal and non-criminal databases. It went live in 2014, but without being accompanied by the Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) it promised to deliver back in 2012.

      Lawsuits and pressure from legislators finally forced the FBI to comply with government requirements. That doesn’t mean the FBI has fully complied, not even two years past the rollout. And it has no interest in doing so in the future. It’s currently fighting to have its massive database exempted from federal privacy laws.

      Much of the information we have about the FBI’s NGI database has come from outside sources. The EFF and EPIC have forced documentation out of the agency’s hands via FOIA lawsuits. And now, the Government Accountability Office (in an investigation prompted by Sen. Al Franken) is turning over more information to the public with its review of the system.

    • Judge In Playpen Case: FBI’s Warrant Is Valid, Even If Its Claims About No Privacy In IP Addresses Are Not

      Another court handling an FBI Playpen case has handed down its decision on a motion to suppress. Like other courts fielding prosecutions resulting from this massive investigation, it has found [PDF] that the FBI’s NIT (Network Investigative Technique) is invasive enough to be called a “search.” (via FourthAmendment.com)

      The FBI must have felt its NIT deployment would be considered a search. That’s why it obtained a warrant in the first place. But it’s been frantically peddling “not a search” theories as court after court has declared its warrant invalid because the searches were performed outside of the issuing magistrate’s jurisdiction.

      In this case, the issue of whether or not the NIT deployment was a search has not been disputed by either party. The court addresses it anyway because it affects the reasoning that follows.

    • Supreme Court Knocks A Little More Off The 4th Amendment; Gives Cops Another Way To Salvage Illegal Searches

      The Supreme Court hasn’t necessarily been kind to the Fourth Amendment in recent years. While it did deliver the Riley decision, which instituted a warrant requirement for searches of cellphones, it has generally continued to expand the ability of police to stop and search anyone for almost any reason.

      Its Heien decision said it was perfectly fine for police officers to remain ignorant of the laws they’re enforcing by allowing them to continue making bogus traffic stops predicated on nonexistent laws. The Rodriguez decision at least prohibits officers from artificially extending stops to bring out drug dogs or beg for consent to search a vehicle, but it doesn’t do anything to prevent the bogus stops in the first place.

    • CIA Director John Brennan Says Non-US Encryption Is ‘Theoretical’

      You would think that someone in charge of the Central Intelligence Agency would have some knowledge about what he’s discussing while at a Senate Hearing on intelligence. Perhaps not so much. CIA Director John Brennan completely incorrectly said last week that non-US encryption was “theoretical” despite there actually being hundreds of such products on the market.

    • House Leaders Politicize a Tragedy to Block Bipartisan Surveillance Reforms

      After hurdling procedural barriers, a congressional attempt to protect privacy and encryption failed on the House floor yesterday, falling short of a majority by a mere 24 votes.

      Two years ago, the House stood united across party lines, voting by a remarkable margin of 293–123 to support the same measures, which would enhance security and privacy by limiting the powers of intelligence agencies to conduct warrantless backdoor searches targeting Americans, and to undermine encryption standards and devices.

    • New Report: FBI Can Access Hundreds of Millions of Face Recognition Photos

      Today the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) finally published its exhaustive report on the FBI’s face recognition capabilities. The takeaway: FBI has access to hundreds of millions more photos than we ever thought. And the Bureau has been hiding this fact from the public—in flagrant violation of federal law and agency policy—for years.

      According to the GAO Report, FBI’s Facial Analysis, Comparison, and Evaluation (FACE) Services unit not only has access to FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) face recognition database of nearly 30 million civil and criminal mug shot photos, it also has access to the State Department’s Visa and Passport databases, the Defense Department’s biometric database, and the drivers license databases of at least 16 states. Totaling 411.9 million images, this is an unprecedented number of photographs, most of which are of Americans and foreigners who have committed no crimes.

    • ‘Hidden’ data found in 92% of interactions with UK companies

      With the EU’s GDPR coming into effect in under two years, ignorance of ‘hidden’ data could result in monstrous fines for UK companies, according to new research from Ground Labs. That research adds that such ignorance could increase risks of identity fraud with the billions of personal information residing on PCs, servers and mobile devices.

    • The Weaponising Of Social Part 2: Stomping On IOError’s Grave

      I once tried to tell Jacob Appelbaum a funny joke. He did not think it was funny.

      In fact, he was visibly mortified and uncomfortable.

      My joke was a retelling of something that had happened to me when I was still on the opposite side of the planet.

      I have a really dark, sardonic, acerbic Kiwi sense of humour, that has been sharpened by surviving everything that has been thrown at me to date.

      Unfortunately, it didn’t translate well.

      Fortunately, he didn’t make a smear website lambasting me about it.


      One of the first ‘corroborating’ public testimonies against Appelbaum was a historic claim made by Leigh Honeywell.


      So if Appelbaum supporting an alleged rapist tipped the balance for Honeywell, but then the alleged rapist turns out to be innocent, where does that leave us?

      Yet not only does Honeywell still blame Assange, she describes the allegations against him – as recently as this month – as “sexual violence“.

      Despite there being no allegation of such.

    • ​Tor Is Teaming Up With Researchers To Protect Users From FBI Hacking

      The FBI has had a fair amount of success de-anonymizing Tor users over the past few years. Despite the encryption software’s well-earned reputation as one of the best tools for online privacy, recent court cases have shown that government malware has compromised Tor users by exploiting bugs in the underlying Firefox browser—one of which was controversially provided to the FBI in 2015 by academic researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.

    • Ex-White House Officials Criticize Vague Rules Around Disclosure of Hacking Tools

      They also questioned the role of the NSA in decision making, because the inherent conflict between its two missions — to protect cybersecurity and gather intelligence — “throws into question whether [it] can serve as a neutral manager of the process.”

    • The FCC Must Update ISP Privacy Rules

      The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is collecting comments from the public about how the laws that govern consumer privacy over broadband networks should be applied. In its response, EFF has called on the FCC to ensure that the legal obligations of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to their customers are clearly established and that the agency prohibits practices that exploit the powerful position ISPs hold as gatekeepers to the internet.

    • Help Us Stop the Updates to Rule 41

      The Department of Justice is using an obscure procedure to push through a rule change that will greatly increase law enforcement’s ability to hack into computers located around the world. It’s an update to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. If Congress does nothing, this massive change will automatically go into effect on December 1.

    • House reverses course, upholds NSA phone snooping as terrorist attacks shift debate

      With the terrorist-inspired Orlando shooting fresh in their minds, House lawmakers reversed course last week and voted to uphold the government’s ability to snoop through its data when it believes American citizens are involved in terrorism — suggesting the post-Snowden wariness of the NSA has dissipated.

      The Thursday vote marked a defeat for civil libertarians, who in 2014 and 2015 won showdowns on the House floor, but whose support has dissipated as terrorist attacks in the U.S. and Europe have reshaped the debate.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • CIA Director Promises Answers on Accountability for Torture

      The CIA will give the Senate intelligence oversight committee a closed briefing on how employees were held accountable and punished for their involvement with torture, the agency’s director told lawmakers in a hearing Thursday.

    • New CIA Torture Documents Confirm Chilling Details of Khaled El-Masri’s ‘Kafka-esque’ Ordeal

      After being mistakenly abducted in Macedonia and detained in a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan, Khaled El-Masri told his interrogators that his ongoing detention was like “a Kafka novel.” A cable to CIA headquarters reported that El-Masri said he “could not possibly prove his innocence because he did not know what he was being charged with.”

    • Netanyahu’s Petty Corruption

      Many years ago I received a phone call from the Prime Minister’s office. I was told that Yitzhak Rabin wanted to see me in private.

      Rabin opened the door himself. He was alone in the residence. He led me to a comfortable seat, poured two generous glasses of whisky for me and himself and started without further ado – he abhorred small talk – “Uri, have you decided to destroy all the doves in the Labor Party?”

      My news magazine, Haolam Hazeh, was conducting a campaign against corruption and had accused two prominent Labor leaders, the new president of the Central Bank and the Minister for Housing. Both were indeed members of the moderate wing of the party.

      I explained to Rabin that in the fight against corruption I could make no exceptions for politicians who were close to my political outlook. Corruption was a cause in itself.

    • As Corruption Engulfs Brazil’s “Interim” President, Mask Has Fallen Off Protest Movement

      Momentum for the impeachment of Brazil’s democratically elected president, Dilma Rousseff, was initially driven by large, flamboyant street protests of citizens demanding her removal. Although Brazil’s dominant media endlessly glorified (and incited) these green-and-yellow-clad protests as an organic citizen movement, evidence recently emerged that protests groups were covertly funded by opposition parties. Still, there is no doubt that millions of Brazilians participated in marches demanding Rousseff’s ouster, claiming they were motivated by anger over her and her party’s corruption.

    • ‘Climate of Xenophobia’ Gripping Europe, UN Official Warns

      As more details indicate the killing of British lawmaker Jo Cox was politically motivated, the United Nations Refugee Agency head is warning of a “climate of xenophobia” gripping Europe.

      Speaking to Agence France-Presse in Tehran on Saturday, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said, “Refugees… don’t bring danger” but “flee from dangerous places.”

    • Jeffrey Sterling Completes One Year Of Unjust Prison Sentence

      Yesterday, June 16th, marked one year since Jeffrey Sterling began his 3.5 year prison sentence for divulging classified information to a New York Times journalist, a crime he did not commit. One year he was deprived of the freedom that so many of us take for granted every day; one year separated from his loving wife, his friends and his family, and one year of wasted talent as a licensed attorney, a former CIA case officer fluent in Farsi, and a successful investigator who uncovered over 32 million dollars in healthcare fraud.

    • “It’s Absolutely Stupid.” Fifth Trial Planned in Bite-Mark Murder Case

      Just weeks after a unanimous California Supreme Court threw out Bill Richards’s murder conviction, prosecutors in San Bernardino County have indicated that they will seek a fifth trial for the 66-year-old. “It’s absolutely stupid,” said Richards’s longtime defender Jan Stiglitz, a founder of the California Innocence Project, which has represented Richards since 2001.

      Richards was convicted in 1997 of killing his wife, Pamela, four years earlier. The case has long been controversial and considered a wrongful conviction based on the discredited junk science of bite-mark analysis. Indeed, prosecutors tried three times to convict Richards — including two full trials that ended in hung juries and a third that ended in a mistrial — before employing at his fourth trial the testimony of a renowned forensic dentist who claimed that an alleged bite mark found on Pamela’s hand was a definitive match to Richards’ supposedly unique lower dental pattern.

    • Seeking Justice For Tamesha Means in Court Today

      I was honored to be in court today representing Tamesha Means, a woman who was denied appropriate care during her miscarriage at a Catholic hospital. Ms. Means’s water broke when she was only 18 weeks along, and she rushed to the only hospital in her community, Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon, Michigan.

    • Senator: Red Cross Misled Congress, Refused To ‘Level With the People’ on Haiti Money

      “One of the reasons they don’t want to answer the questions is it’s very embarrassing,” says Sen. Charles Grassley, who just finished a yearlong investigation of the Red Cross.

    • Human Rights Activists Lament Loss Of Murdered British MP

      Activists and human rights workers are lamenting the loss of British Labour MP Helen Joanne “Jo” Cox, after she was was attacked and killed by a man believed to be a radical right winger with Neo-Nazi sympathies. But her loss enacts a particularly strong blow for Syrian and Palestinian activists considering her outspoken support for humanitarian issues in the Middle East.

    • Judge Doesn’t Find Much To Like In ‘Material Support For Terrorism’ Lawsuit Against Twitter

      The lawsuit against Twitter for “providing material support” to ISIS (predicated on the fact that ISIS members use Twitter to communicate) — filed in January by the widow of a man killed in an ISIS raid — is in trouble.

      Twitter filed its motion to dismiss in March, stating logically enough that the plaintiff had offered nothing more than conclusory claims about its “support” of terrorism, not to mention the fact that there was no link between Twitter and terrorist act that killed the plaintiff’s husband. On top of that, it pointed out the obvious: that Section 230 does not allow service providers to be held responsible for the actions of their users.

      As reported by Nicholas Iovino of Courthouse News Service, the presiding judge doesn’t seem too impressed by what he’s seen so far from the plaintiff.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Not Neutral on Net Neutrality: All Things Considered Considered Only One Side

      The segment opened with a strong nod to the anti-neutrality camp, describing the ruling as “a massive blow to internet service providers” and quoting Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s description of net neutrality as “Obamacare for the internet.” Then, rather than drawing directly from either the court’s written decision or FCC chair Tom Wheeler’s reaction, host Kelly McEver turned to NPR tech blogger Alina Selyukh for context and analysis.

    • Net Neutrality Ruling Finally Rights a Terrible Wrong

      “For the reasons set forth is this opinion, we deny the petitions for review.” Those were the sweetest words I’ve heard in a long while, as the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit turned down the ridiculous efforts of the big telecom companies to derail the Federal Communications Commission’s open-internet — or “net-neutrality” — rules.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Disappointing: Twitch Brings CFAA & Trademark Claim Against Bot Operators

        I think most people agree that bots that drive up viewer/follower counts on various social media systems are certainly a nuisance, but are they illegal? Amazon-owned Twitch has decided to find out. On Friday, the company filed a lawsuit against seven individuals/organizations that are in the business of selling bots. There have been similar lawsuits in the past — such as Blizzard frequently using copyright to go after cheater bots. Or even, potentially, Yelp suing people for posting fake reviews. When we wrote about the Yelp case, we noted that we were glad the company didn’t decide to try a CFAA claim, and even were somewhat concerned about the claims that it did use: including breach of contract and unfair competition.

        Unfortunately, Twitch’s lawsuit uses not just those claims, but also throws in two very questionable claims: a CFAA claim and a trademark claim. I understand why Twitch’s lawyers at Perkins Coie put that in, because that’s what you do as a lawyer: put every claim you can think of into the lawsuit. But it’s still concerning. The CFAA, of course, is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which was put in place in the 1980s in response to the movie War Games (no, really!) and is supposed to be used to punish “hackers” who break into secure computer systems. However, over the years, various individuals, governments and companies have repeatedly tried to stretch that definition to include merely breaching a terms of service.

    • Copyrights

      • Big Win for User-Generated Content Hosts in Vimeo Case

        The Second Circuit has released its long-awaited opinion in Capitol Records v. Vimeo, fully vindicating Vimeo’s positions. EFF along with a coalition of advocacy groups, submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, supporting Vimeo.

        The Second Circuit considered three important issues. First, whether a service provider could rely on the DMCA safe harbor when it came to pre-1972 sound recordings. Second, whether evidence of Vimeo employees watching certain well-known songs was enough to create “red flag” knowledge that the videos were infringing. And third, whether Vimeo was “willfully blind” to infringement occurring on its service.

        For each of these issues, the Second Circuit ruled for Vimeo.

      • KickassTorrents Becomes One Of The World’s Most Popular Websites

        Achieving a rare milestone, torrent index KickassTorrents has managed to break into the top 70 of Amazon’s web traffic tracker Alexa. KickassTorrents has become the new torrent king due to its own impressive downtime and legal troubles of The Pirate Bay.


Links 19/6/2016: Randa Over, Fedora 24 Release Soon

Posted in News Roundup at 8:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Let us test voting code, say academics

    Doubts about the accuracy of the Senate vote count remain until the Australian Electoral Commission agrees to publicly release the computer code it uses.

    That’s the view of the Australian Greens and academics who have studied vote-counting software errors.

  • Chef’s new Habitat project wants to make applications infrastructure-independent
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Vimperator interface for Firefox Part 1

        Vimperator is a plugin for Firefox that completely overhauls the GUI to behave like Vim making your mouse unneeded for most web sites. If this was not available I would be attempting to create something much like it.

      • Contextual Identities on the Web

        We all portray different characteristics of ourselves in different situations. The way I speak with my son is much different than the way I communicate with my coworkers. The things I tell my friends are different than what I tell my parents. I’m much more guarded when withdrawing money from the bank than I am when shopping at the grocery store. I have the ability to use multiple identities in multiple contexts. But when I use the web, I can’t do that very well. There is no easy way to segregate my identities such that my browsing behavior while shopping for toddler clothes doesn’t cross over to my browsing behavior while working. The Containers feature I’m about to describe attempts to solve this problem: empowering Firefox to help segregate my online identities in the same way I can segregate my real life identities.

      • Multi-process Firefox and AMO

        In Firefox 48, which reaches the release channel on August 1, 2016, mullti-process support (code name “Electrolysis”, or “e10s”) will begin rolling out to Firefox users without any add-ons installed.

      • Fix Firefox resource URI leak

        Any website can access a selection of Firefox resource files to find out more about the web browser that is used to connect to the site.

      • Baby Steps: Slowly Porting musl to Rust

        TLDR: I’m toying with writing a C standard library in Rust by porting musl-libc over function-by-function.

      • Firefox Contextual Identities

        Mozilla recently announced a new feature that is being tested in the Firefox browser called “Contextual Identities”. The idea behind this feature is that users will be able to separate different types of browsing into different identities, allowing them to protect their data with more control. The images below were all taken from the announcement page and should provide a good example of how this feature works.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Faster Rendering Appears To Be Coming For LibreOffice

      Some rendering speed improvements have been worked on recently for the LibreOffice open-source office suite and are now present in LO Git.

    • Document Liberation Project: progress so far in 2016

      If you haven’t heard of the Document Liberation Project (DLP) before, we made a short video explaining what it does and why it’s important. In summary: it supports development of software libraries to read documents from many (usually proprietary) applications. If you’ve ever opened a file generated by Apple Pages, WordPerfect or Microsoft Works in LibreOffice, you’ve benefitted from the hard work of the DLP team. And DLP libraries are used in many other prominent FOSS tools such as Inkscape and Scribus as well.

  • Funding

    • The 2016 Kickstarter

      This year’s kickstarter fundraising campaign for Krita was more nerve-wracking than the previous two editions. Although we ended up 135% funded, we were almost afraid we wouldn’t make it, around the middle. Maybe only the release of Krita 3.0 turned the campaign around. Here’s my chaotic and off-the-cuff analysis of this campaign.

  • BSD

    • BSDCan 2016 Presentations Online
    • LLVM’s Clang Is Working On Unified Offloading Support

      There’s more work going on in the CUDA/OpenMP space for the LLVM Clang compiler.

      Landing this week in Clang SVN/Git is generic offload toolchains for the concept of an offloading tool chain plus related work. The initial patch explains, “This patch is the first of a series of three that attempts to make the current support of CUDA more generic and easier to extend to other programming models, namely OpenMP.”

  • Licensing/Legal

    • The Licensing and Compliance Lab interviews Brett Smith of dtrx

      Brett Smith has been using free software since 1998. He worked in several roles at the Free Software Foundation (FSF) from 2002-2004, and then worked in its GPL Compliance Lab from 2006-2012. dtrx stands for “Do the Right Extraction:” it extracts all kinds of archive files in a consistent way, so you always get the same results no matter how the author built the archive.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Austin inadvertently promotes open-source ride-sharing

      The idea is to undermine the monopolies of companies like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb and the like with a genuinely cooperative, horizontal and P2P model directly controlled by the users themselves, and cut out the corporate middleman altogether. Advocates for this model have coined the term “Platform Cooperativism” for it (if you search the #PlatformCooperativism hashtag on Twitter, you’ll find links to a lot of great articles on it).

  • Programming/Development

    • Python 3.6 and 3.7 release cycles

      Ned Deily, who is the release manager for the upcoming Python 3.6 release and will “probably be the 3.7 release manager”, led a session at the 2016 Python Language Summit to review and discuss the release cycle for the language. There have been some changes for 3.6 compared to the 3.5 cycle and there may be opportunities to make some additional changes for 3.7 and beyond.

    • PyCharm and type hints

      A mini-theme at this year’s Python Language Summit was tools that are using the PEP 484 type hints. In the final session on that theme, Andrey Vlasovskikh, the community lead for the PyCharm IDE, described that tool’s support for type hints.

    • An introduction to pytype

      Google’s pytype tool, which uses the PEP 484 type hints for static analysis, was the subject of a presentation by one of its developers, Matthias Kramm, at the 2016 Python Language Summit. In it, he compared several different tools and their reaction to various kinds of type errors in the code. He also described pytype’s static type-inference capabilities.

    • The state of mypy

      At last year’s Python Language Summit, Guido van Rossum gave an introduction to “type hints”, which are an optional feature to allow static checkers to spot type errors in Python programs. At this year’s summit, he discussed mypy, which is one of several static type checkers for Python. It is being used by Dropbox, Van Rossum’s employer, on its large Python codebase—with good results.

    • Python’s GitHub migration and workflow changes

      Brett Cannon gave an update on the migration of Python’s repositories to GitHub and the associated workflow changes at the 2016 Python Language Summit. The goal is modernize the development process; right now that process is “old school”, which is “good or bad depending on who you ask”. After looking at the options, GitHub seemed to be the best choice for housing the repositories; PEP 512 lays out the options and rationale for those interested. LWN looked at some of the discussion surrounding the move back in December 2014.

    • 20 Most Important Programming Languages In The World

      If we make a list of the most important programming languages, we’ll come across two categories. There are many vintage programming languages that just won’t die and continue to be used in their respective field. Along with them, there are some newer programming languages that have managed to make their mark upon the tech world.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Why Europe may ban the most popular weed killer in the world

      It’s hard to find an herbicide like glyphosate. It’s cheap, highly effective, and is generally regarded as one of the safest and most environmentally benign herbicides ever discovered. But a report last year that glyphosate could cause cancer has thrown its future into jeopardy. Now the European Union faces a 30 June deadline to reapprove its use, or glyphosate will not be allowed for sale. Here’s a quick explanation of the issues.

    • TTIP talks bogged down in food standards debate

      Seemingly insurmountable differences in food standards are threatening to sink trade negotiations between the United States and the European Union. EurActiv Spain reports.

      Since 2013, the United States and the EU have been working to construct what would be the biggest trade deal in the world. But negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have got bogged down on a number of issues.

      According to Brian Kilgallen, part of the European Commission’s negotiating team, one of the major hurdles that remains to be overcome in the TTIP negotiations is the chapter dedicated to phytosanitary mesures (plant and animal health).

  • Security

    • Friday’s security updates
    • Linux Server Security: Hack and Defend by Chris Binnie
    • Intel x86 Processors Come With A Secret Backdoor That Nobody Can Fix

      A security researcher has outlined a dangerous loophole that affects the Intel CPUs that have Intel Management Engine and vPro enabled. While there’s no known exploit at the moment that uses this flaw, it can act as a powerful rootkit mechanism.

    • Teen Hacks Pentagon’s Websites, Government Thanks Him For Finding ‘Bugs’

      A teen from Washington hacked the websites of US Department of Defence. But, instead of going to prison, he was thanked by the Pentagon for the work he did. This is because he was a participant of a bug bounty program titled Hack The Pentagon.

    • June ’16 security fixes for Adobe Flash
    • Intel x86s hide another CPU that can take over your machine (you can’t audit it)

      Recent Intel x86 processors implement a secret, powerful control mechanism that runs on a separate chip that no one is allowed to audit or examine. When these are eventually compromised, they’ll expose all affected systems to nearly unkillable, undetectable rootkit attacks. I’ve made it my mission to open up this system and make free, open replacements, before it’s too late.

    • Let’s Encrypt Accidentally Spills 7,600 User Emails

      Certificate authority Let’s Encrypt accidentally disclosed the email addresses of several thousand of its users this weekend.

      Josh Aas, Executive Director for the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG), the nonprofit group that helped launch the CA, apologized for the error on Saturday. In what Let’s Encrypt dubbed a preliminary report posted shortly after it happened, Aas blamed the faux pas on a bug in the automated email system the group uses.

    • phpMyAdmin Project Successfully Completes Security Audit

      Software Freedom Conservancy congratulates its phpMyAdmin project on succesfuly completing completing a thorough security audit, as part of Mozilla’s Secure Open Source Fund. No serious issues were found in the phyMyAdmin codebase.

    • StartCom launches a new service – StartEncrypt

      StartCom, a leading global Certificate Authority (CA) and provider of trusted identity and authentication services, announces a new service – StartEncrypt today, an automatic SSL certificate issuance and installation software for your web server.

    • Venerable Conficker Worm Survives on Obsolete Legacy Systems [Ed: Microsoft Windows.]

      he 8-year-old worm continues to infect in some corners of the Internet, highlighting the difficulty in eradicating more virulent programs.
      On Oct. 23, 2008, Microsoft revealed a critical flaw that could allow an attacker to remotely compromise and infect Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 systems.

      It took only a week for the Internet’s seedier element to create the first malware based on the vulnerability. While initial attacks targeted specific companies and infected fewer than a dozen systems a day, the situation was much worse a month later when an unknown malware developer released a self-propagating worm.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Is ISIS Converting Two-Thirds of Humvees Given to Iraq Into Car Bombs?

      We may have achieved peak military-industrial complex: the U.S. is in part supplying both sides of the Iraq-Islamic State conflict and through that, creating the need for a new class of weapons to be sold as a counter measure. As arms manufacturers across our great land say, it doesn’t get any better than this.

      Islamic State militants have not only acquired a grand majority of the military Humvees gifted to and then abandoned by the Iraqi Army, they are now re-purposing them into car bombs to use against the Iraqi Army (Hint: don’t leave the keys in the car next time.*)

      Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi confirmed that 2,300 are in ISIS hands, more than two-thirds of all Humvees provided to Iraq by the U.S.

    • Dude Writes ‘ISIS Beer Funds!!!’ in Venmo Memo, Feds Impound His $42 Transfer

      Now this is one way to stop terrorism, particularly the funding of ISIS. Did the United States clamp down on Saudi Arabia funneling millions to ISIS and other Sunni terror groups? Use American military power to stop the illegal weapons trade to ISIS? Bomb the hell out of the oil wells and transit systems ISIS uses to raise hard currency?

      Hell no. The government of the United States used its full resources to steal $42 from some drunk dude who wrote “ISIS Beer Funds!!!” in the memo field on Venmo when he tried to pay back his buddy for a night out.

    • I wrote “ISIS Beer Funds!!!” in a Venmo memo and the feds detained my $42

      Telling a friend you’re paying him back for “ISIS beer funds!!!” is not a particularly good joke. I knew this as I was typing it at 2am on a Sunday, but what I did not know is that it’s an even worse joke on Venmo because the federal government will detain your $42.

    • Radical Islam’s next victim

      Failing to call Islamic terror by its name breeds more violence

    • How ISIS Weaponized the Media After Orlando

      Before Omar Mateen walked into Pulse nightclub and shot 49 of its patrons and staff to death, he was a nobody. In the hours that followed, though, he was catapulted to global infamy. When rumors of his ideological inclination first went public, observers stopped talking about him as if he was an “ordinary” mass shooter and effectively put the full force of ISIS behind him. He stopped being a mere man with a gun and was transformed, via the media and politicians, into a full-fledged ISIS operative, a human manifestation of the group’s international menace.

    • Turkish Radiohead fans attacked at listening party in Istanbul

      A group of Radiohead fans has been attacked by a mob of men carrying sticks and bottles as they held a listening party of the band’s music in Istanbul.

      The incident, which was largely captured on video, occurred on Friday night at the Velvet Indieground record store – a popular destination for Turkish and foreign music fans in the Istanbul district of Cihangir. There was at least one injury, with a picture of a person with a bloodied shirt, purportedly from the attack, posted on Twitter.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • Seventy years of exploitation: The enduring plight of California’s farm workers

      For the state’s first hundred-plus years, certain unspoken rules governed California politics. In a state where agriculture produced more wealth than any industry, the first rule was that growers held enormous power.

      Tax dollars built giant water projects that turned the Central and Imperial Valleys into some of the nation’s most productive farmland. Land ownership was concentrated in huge corporate plantation-like farms. Growers used political power to assure a steady flow of workers from one country after another—Japan, China, the Philippines, Yemen, India, and of course Mexico—to provide the labor that made the land productive.

    • The startup trying to clean up Wall Street just became an official stock exchange

      This evening the Securities and Exchange Commission approved an application by a startup called IEX to become a full-fledged stock exchange. By approving IEX, the SEC was giving its stamp of approval to one of the most high-profile challenges to the current Wall Street regime. Co-founded by a Canadian trader named Brad Katsuyama, IEX is designed to be a market free from high-frequency traders who use their speed to skim profits off the orders from ordinary citizens.

      The company, and Katsuyama in particular, rose to prominence as the stars of Michael Lewis’ best-selling book, Flash Boys. Lewis argued that modern markets were rigged, allowing high-frequency traders to pay for fast access and use that speed to front-run other traders. As a trader, Katsuyama dealt with the problem first hand. He would place a bid for a stock at a price he saw listed, and then find there were no shares available at that price. “They could detect my order at BATS, race me to the next exchange, and cancel their sell orders while buying whatever is left, then turn around and try and sell stock back to me at a higher price,” said Katsuyama.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • A journalist went to a Donald Trump rally yesterday and came back shocked. Here are his tweets

      Most coverage of Donald Trump’s rallies are about people disrupting it. But one American journalist went there and quietly observed what was going on.

      He came back shaken and scared.

      Jared Yates Sexton is a writer and political correspondent from the state of Georgia.

      Yesterday, Donald Trump held a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina. Sexton went there to cover the event, and wrote a series of tweets.

    • How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, but Still Earned Millions

      The Trump Plaza Casino and Hotel is now closed, its windows clouded over by sea salt. Only a faint outline of the gold letters spelling out T-R-U-M-P remains visible on the exterior of what was once this city’s premier casino.

      Not far away, the long-failing Trump Marina Hotel Casino was sold at a major loss five years ago and is now known as the Golden Nugget.

      At the nearly deserted eastern end of the boardwalk, the Trump Taj Mahal, now under new ownership, is all that remains of the casino empire Donald J. Trump assembled here more than a quarter-century ago. Years of neglect show: The carpets are frayed and dust-coated chandeliers dangle above the few customers there to play the penny slot machines.

      On the presidential campaign trail, Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, often boasts of his success in Atlantic City, of how he outwitted the Wall Street firms that financed his casinos and rode the value of his name to riches. A central argument of his candidacy is that he would bring the same business prowess to the Oval Office, doing for America what he did for his companies.

    • Koch Criminal Justice Reform Trojan Horse: Special Report on Reentry and Following the Money

      Charles Koch and the Koch machine continue to press for changes to federal laws to make it harder to prosecute corporate crimes, as part of criminal justice “reforms,” but the Koch-connected network is already at the trough for public funds intended to help prisoners with “reentry” into society.

    • Another Koch Criminal Justice Reform Trojan Horse: Reentry and Privatization

      As Congress considers major criminal justice reforms to address the devastating impact of gross sentencing disparities that have devastated minority communities, the Koch machine is seeking changes to the law that would benefit Koch Industries and other corporations by limiting their criminal liability, as the Center for Media and Democracy documented in 2015.

      But that’s not the only part of the agenda of the billionaire Koch brothers’ network that is in play.

      Few policymakers understand the role the Koch-funded “think tanks” like the Texas Public Policy Foundation and its “Right on Crime” operation have played and are playing in the privatization of the criminal justice system, including in the area of “re-entry,” a term of art for how people who have served their sentence re-enter society.

    • Guccifer 2.0 Leak Reveals How DNC Rigged Primaries for Clinton

      Earlier this week, a lone hacker—self-dubbed Guccifer 2.0—breached DNC servers and reportedly obtained opposition research on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump. The DNC confirmed the hack and hasn’t denied the authenticity of the documents released. The Party has, however, continued to propagate that the hack was deployed by the Russian government—perhaps because the information that was released is far more revealing than just opposition research.

      Internal memos, dated May 2015—long before the first state voted in the Democratic primary—referred to Hillary Clinton as though she was already the Democratic presidential nominee. The documents leaked by Guccifer 2.0 not only illuminate the DNC’s efforts to ensure Clinton’s coronation but also reveal the strategies used to shield her from criticism on ethics, transparency and campaign finance reform—all vulnerabilities for the corrupt Establishment darling.

      Despite being under criminal investigation by the FBI and DOJ, Clinton has still managed to secure the Democratic presidential nomination. And, despite revelations from the State Department Inspector General—who reported Clinton did break federal rules, effectively debunking the defense she has echoed for over a year—Democrats still, shockingly, continued to vote for her in the remaining primary states.

      Just one of the issues Clinton panders to voters is campaign finance reform, even though she has reaped more benefits from our broken system than any other presidential candidate in American history. Clinton has received millions in dubious donations through Super-PACs by exploiting campaign finance law loopholes. Thanks to an exempt Internet clause in existing campaign finance law, the Hillary Victory Fund (a joint fundraising committee with the DNC) and Correct the Record have legally and directly coordinate with Clinton’s campaign.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Pogba’s gesture turns into media censorship matter, adds pressure

      BeIN Sports chose not to show the images on its popular post-match program L’Euro Show. The station’s head sent out an email to all staff telling them not to show the images, according to Le Parisien. The email leaked. Images came out. And suddenly the debate became not just about one player’s action, but about censorship and the free press.

    • Google Sees DMCA Notices Quadruple In Two Years

      Google is being overloaded with DMCA takedown requests. The company has seen the number of takedown notices from rightsholders quadruple over the past two years. In 2016 alone, Google is projected to process over a billion reported pirate links, most of which will be scrubbed from its search index.

    • DMCA wins big in record label lawsuit against Vimeo

      A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that service providers such as video-sharing sites like Vimeo are protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for pre-1972 musical recordings uploaded by their users.

      The record labels had sued the YouTube-like site and successfully convinced a district court judge that, because pre-1972 recordings fell under state laws and not federal copyright law, the DMCA didn’t apply. The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision and also overturned the lower court that ruled the DMCA didn’t grant so-called safe-harbor passage to service providers whose employees saw infringements on their platforms uploaded by their users.

    • 100 years ago in Spokane: War readiness and censorship

      Three National Guard companies in Spokane – along with National Guard units around the country – were mobilized and readied for war.

      Not for the war in Europe, which had been raging for two years. Instead, they were readied for service on the Mexican border, where tensions had been rising for years.

      Recently, Mexican bandits had been raiding American border towns.

      The local National Guard reservists were destined for American Lake (today’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord), where they would join other units. Then they would be dispatched along the border to prevent any further incursions.

    • Censorship and artistic freedom: An age-old battle
    • Let’s not think the audience is foolish: Anushka Sharma slams CBFC for censoring films
    • An Open Letter To CBFC Chairman Pahlaj Nihlani
  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Net Neutrality: What’s Next for FCC’s Open Internet Rules

      The FCC won a major victory over net neutrality this week, and the surprise wasn’t so much that it prevailed but that its legal win was so sweeping.

      There had been some expectation, on Wall Street, on Capitol Hill and in the legal community, that the D.C. Circuit would chip away at some of the FCC’s rules of the road for the internet. The FCC actions that looked to be under threat included extending the regulations to mobile carriers, and a “general conduct” rule which, in the words of FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, was meant to stop “new and novel threats to the internet.”

    • Net neutrality ruling keeps the Internet open to all

      The wall outlet that connects your Internet router to Comcast or Verizon is no different from the one that supples power to the living room lamp. That’s one way to look at this week’s federal court decision that wisely validated the position of the Federal Communications Commission itself: The Internet should be treated more like a utility than like an online superhighway where travelers who pay a toll get to go faster than others.

      The ruling by a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reinforced the premise of so-called net neutrality — the idea that everyone should have equal access to the Internet, whether they’re sending and receiving basic HTML images or streaming full-length HD movies. Yes, it’s a numbingly dense principle, but one that should matter to anyone who spends time online.

    • ‘Net neutrality’ explained: what this week’s US court decision means

      You may have heard something this week about a US court and net neutrality and something about the internet. Maybe it didn’t make much sense. And that’s a good thing! If we all spent our time trying to decipher the web, we’d never get around to actually using it, or creating awesome new things with it.

      That said, some debates are so important to the healthy function of the internet that they’re worth learning about in depth, and in the process grasping their implications for free speech, online commerce, educational opportunity and all the reasons that make the internet worth using in the first place.

      One of those debates reached a key turning point on Tuesday in the US when a federal appeals court said that the internet was basically like a giant telephone network and that the companies that provide it, such as Comcast and Verizon, must offer essentially the same protections to internet users that the government has required of phone companies for decades.

    • The Forrest Gump of the Internet

      It’s probably bad if all our media and communications are going through services that are controlled by profit-driven corporations.

  • DRM

    • Why I refuse to join Kindle Unlimited

      Lots of my self-pub writer friends urge me to sign on with Kindle Unlimited. They tell me I’ll make more money by making my books only available on Amazon.

      They’re probably correct… in the short term.

      But if you have only one customer, and only one sales channel, that sales channel can destroy yo without warning. And today, Amazon’s scam-fighting techniques are crushing authors guilty of only one thing: trusting Amazon as their sole customer.

    • W3C DRM working group chairman vetoes work on protecting security researchers and competition

      For a year or so, I’ve been working with the EFF to get the World Wide Web Consortium to take steps to protect security researchers and new market-entrants who run up against the DRM standard they’re incorporating into HTML5, the next version of the key web standard.

      At issue is the DMCA and its global equivalents, which impose daunting penalties on those who break DRM, even for legal reasons — whether that’s investigating privacy and security risks or making a competitive new product that does completely legal things. Once DRM is part of a full implementation of HTML5, there’s a real risk to security researchers who discover defects in browsers and want to warn users about them, and for new companies hoping to compete by offering features and products that the incumbents don’t choose to implement.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Lawyers who yanked “Happy Birthday” into public domain now sue over “This Land”

        The lawyers who successfully got “Happy Birthday” put into the public domain and then sued two months ago over “We Shall Overcome” have a new target: Woody Guthrie’s “This Land.”

        Randall Newman and his colleagues have filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against The Richmond Organization (TRO) and Ludlow Music, the two entities that also claim to own the copyright for “We Shall Overcome.”


Links 18/6/2016: KDE Plasma 5.7 Beta, Robolinux 8.5

Posted in News Roundup at 3:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • How a student in India got started with open source

    I have always been an open source enthusiast. And when I heard about the awesome community from my brother I just couldn’t wait to join in. He has always motivated me to do great things. I’m always enthusiastic to learn new things. Contributing to open source organizations, meeting amazing people and communities, and, of course, a deep interest of writing code have motivated me to join the summer training. I believe that I am able to achieve all these things after I joined the summer training and the great community DGP LUG.

  • Open Versus Closed: Addressing The IoT Standards Problem
  • Here’s how developers should choose open source components wisely [Ed: WhiteSource self promotion]

    An open source component can be inappropriate for a developer in many ways. Starting from the risks the component is exposed to, to its license policy, developers have to keep a lot of things in mind while selecting the right piece for their tech puzzle. In an exclusive conversation with TechGig.com, Rami Sass, CEO and Co-Founder of WhiteSource, shared tips for selecting right open source components with developers. Read on.

  • Open-Source Test Automation Tools and You

    There’s a shift to open-source mobile test automation tools happening today among developers and QA. And it’s not just happening in mobile testing. Many mature technology sectors are adopting lightweight, vendor-transparent tools to fulfill the need for speed and integration.

    As with many free and open-source software markets however, a plethora of tools complicates the selection process. How do you know what to spend time learning, integrating and deploying in your own environment?

  • Lack of open source support continues to pose IT challenge

    Open source software and hardware continue to infiltrate the data center, but the lack of professional support remains a top business and IT concern.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Healthcare

    • New hospital in Houston selects open source EHR vendor

      Sacred Oak Medical Center in Houston, opening in August, will use the OpenVista electronic health record system of Medsphere Systems. The inpatient behavioral health facility will open with 20 beds and plans to expand over time to 80 beds.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • pfSense 2.3.1 FreeBSD Firewall Gets New Update to Patch Web GUI Security Issues

      Chris Buechler from pfSense announced earlier today, June 16, 2016, that there’s a new maintenance update available for the pfSense 2.3.1 FreeBSD-based firewall distribution.

      pfSense 2.3.1 Update 5 (2.3.1_5) is a small bugfix release for the pfSense 2.3.1 major update announced last month, and since pfSense now lets its maintainers update only individual parts of the system, we see more and more small builds like this one, which patch the most annoying issues.

    • ART single thread performances

      ART has been the default routing table backend in OpenBSD for some months now. That means that OpenBSD 6.0 will no longer consult the 4.3 BSD reduced radix tree to perform route lookups.

      The principal motivation for adopting a new tree implementation can be explained in three letters: SMP.

      I’ll describe in a different context why and how ART is a good fit in our revamp of OpenBSD network stack. For the moment, let’s have a look at the single-thread performances of this algorithm in OpenBSD -current.

    • parallel-lib: New LLVM Suproject
    • LLVM Has New “parallel-lib” Sub-Project

      This new parallelism library is described as “[hosting] the development of libraries which are aimed at enabling parallelism in code and which are also closely tied to compiler technology. Examples of libraries suitable for hosting within the parallel-libs subproject are runtime libraries and parallel math libraries. The initial candidates for inclusion in this subproject are StreamExecutor and libomptarget which would live in the streamexecutor and libomptarget subdirectories of parallel-libs, respectively.”

  • Public Services/Government

    • GSA CTO headlines WT open source breakfast

      The use of open source software is pretty much a forgone conclusion in the federal market but we are just now starting to scratch the surface of its power to disrupt the market.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • New open source ‘GreenWeb’ to mobile battery while browsing internet

      A new, open source computer programming framework that could make the web significantly more energy efficient, allowing people to save more battery power while browsing on mobile devices, has been developed by researchers including one of Indian-origin.

      Scientists developed what they are calling “GreenWeb,” a set of web programming language extensions that enable web developers to have more flexibility and control than ever before over the energy consumption of a website.

      “Because user awareness is constantly increasing, web developers today must be conscious of energy efficiency,” said Vijay Janapa Reddi from University of Texas in the US.

    • Rumors of COBOL’s demise have been greatly exaggerated: Meet GnuCOBOL

      A recent article on Slashdot points out with some chagrin that the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Veterans Affairs in the United States still use COBOL, originally invented in 1959, based on work by the late Rear Admiral Grace Hopper. The implication is—and has been for some years in the IT community—that COBOL is a completely dead language. Not so! In 1997, the Gartner Group reported that 80% of the world’s business ran on COBOL, and surveys in 2006 and 2012 by Computerworld found that more than 60% of large financial organizations use COBOL (more, in fact, than use C++, a much newer language), and that for half of those, COBOL was used for the majority of their internal code. The COBOL standard has continued to be updated, with the most recent change being in 2014.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open standard for UK emergency services

      The United Kingdom is introducing an open standard for IT systems used by emergency services, the country’s Digital Service announced on 23 May. The ‘Multi-Agency Incident Transfer’ (MAIT) standard is to harmonise the exchange of information within the emergency responder community to streamline the flow incident information between agencies.


  • Microsoft’s Office Plans Are a Confusing Mess

    Last week, I tried to get a subscription to Microsoft Office. I expected to simply find an Office license that included what I needed for a simple price. Instead, I discovered that Microsoft’s Office licenses are infuriatingly complex, making it nearly impossible for anyone to get what they need without overspending.

  • Why LinkedIn Will Make You Hate Microsoft Word

    IF Microsoft has its way, the vast membership of LinkedIn, the business networking site with more than 433 million members, will be instantly available to you while you use Microsoft products like Outlook or Skype. How many of LinkedIn’s members do you want to consult while also using Excel or typing away in Word? Microsoft is betting it’s a lot; this is part of its rationale for its $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, announced on Monday.

    The companies’ chief executives, Satya Nadella of Microsoft and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn, explained their reasons for the deal in a PowerPoint presentation distributed to investors. In the center of a graphic titled, “A professional’s profile everywhere,” was a picture of an anonymous LinkedIn “professional” with arrows pointed outward to seven Microsoft products.

  • Microsoft buys Wand to improve chat capabilities

    Satya Nadella wasn’t kidding when he said earlier this year that he believed in using chat as a platform for computing. Microsoft just bought Wand, a chat app for iOS, to further that vision.

  • Science

    • Will We Ever Really Get Flying Cars?

      If you listen to some entrepreneurs and investors, the flying car – a longstanding staple of science fiction – is right around the corner. Working prototypes exist. At least two companies already take orders for the vehicles, with deliveries promised next year.

      The last decade has seen the introduction of practical consumer videoconferencing, voice recognition, drones, self-driving cars and many other items that once were found only in science fiction stories. It therefore might seem plausible that practical flying cars are around the corner. They aren’t. Indeed, massive safety, infrastructure and technology problems make them a near impossibility.

    • Physics test suggests cats understand gravity, Japanese researchers say

      Of all the furry ambush predators on the planet, domestic house cats — some 600 million of them — are among the most numerous. Their ancient evolutionary history does not always feel so ancient, as anyone who has lobbed a catnip mouse at a tabby or wiggled a defenseless ankle near a kitten can attest.

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Fired DEQ official pleads Fifth in Flint water probe

      The fired head of the drinking water division of the Department of Environmental Quality invoked her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination through her attorney this morning after receiving an investigative subpoena in the Flint water crisis investigation.

      Brian Morley, a Lansing attorney representing Liane Shekter-Smith, said a hearing was held Thursday morning in Wayne County Circuit Court after he objected on Shekter-Smith’s behalf to an investigative subpoena seeking her testimony in Attorney General Bill Schuette’s Flint drinking water investigation, which is headed by Royal Oak attorney Todd Flood.

    • European Council Approves First-Ever Analysis Of Drug Prices With Look At IP Rights

      The 28 European Union governments today were expected to give final approval to a first-ever plan to analyse medicines competition in Europe, with reference to drug prices, generics and biosimilars, and intellectual property rights. The final version was watered after what sources said was heavy industry lobbying, compared to a leaked version published in Intellectual Property Watch two weeks ago, but still retains some strong provisions regarding pricing and competition.

    • WHO/PAHO New Response Plan For Zika Until December 2017

      A new response plan for a strategic response to the Zika virus has been announced by the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization.

      The revised Zika Strategic Response Plan includes elements such as integrated vector management, sexual and reproductive health counselling, and health education.

    • European Council Conclusions On Steps To Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

      The 28 European Union member governments have concluded next steps for addressing antimicrobial resistance, with a strong emphasis on reducing use of antibiotics in animals, but also including a call for new business models.

      There does not appear to be a mention of price, intellectual property rights, or del-inkage of price from the cost of R&D, but there is a call for new business models as follows:

      “actively engage in initiatives and proposals to implement a new business model to bring new antibiotics to the market, including models in which investment costs or revenues are de-linked from sales volumes;”

  • Security

    • Thursday’s security updates
    • Network Security: The Unknown Unknowns

      I recently thought of the apocryphal story about the solid reliability of the IBM AS/400 systems. I’ve heard several variations on the story, but as the most common version of the story goes, an IBM service engineer shows up at a customer site one day to service an AS/400. The hapless employees have no idea what the service engineer is talking about. Eventually the system is found in a closet or even sealed in a walled off space where it had been reliably running the business for years completely forgotten and untouched. From a reliability perspective, this is a great story. From a security perspective, it is a nightmare. It represents Donald Rumsfeld’s infamous “unknown unknowns” statement regarding the lack of evidence linking the government of Iraq with the supply of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups.

    • The average cost of a data breach is now $4 million

      The average data breach cost has grown to $4 million, representing a 29 percent increase since 2013, according to the Ponemon Institute.

    • The story of a DDoS extortion attack – how one company decided to take a stand [iophk: “yet another way that cracked MS machines are big money”]

      Instead of simply ordering his company to defend itself in conventional fashion he was going to write to all 5,000 of Computop’s customers and partners telling them that on 15 June his firm’s website was likely to be hit with a DDoS attack big enough to cause everyone serious problems.

    • Mozilla Funds Open Source Code Audits

      As part of the Mozilla Open Source Support program (MOSS), the Mozilla Foundation has set up a fund dedicated to helping open source software projects eradicate code vulnerabilities.

    • Intel Hidden Management Engine – x86 Security Risk?

      So it seems the latest generation of Intel x86 CPUs have implemented a Intel hidden management engine that cannot be audited or examined. We can also assume at some point it will be compromised and security researchers are labelling this as a Ring -3 level vulnerability.

    • Smart detection for passive sniffing in the Tor-network

      If you haven’t yet read about my previous research regarding finding bad exit nodes in the Tor network you can read it here. But the tl;dr is that I sent unique passwords through every exit node in the Tor network over HTTP. This meant that is was possible for the exit node to sniff the credentials and use them to login on my fake website which I had control over.

    • Lone hacker, not Russian spies, responsible for Democratic Party breach

      RED-FACED SECURITY OUTFIT CrowdStrike has admitted that the Russian government wasn’t responsible for a hack on the Democratic Party after lone hacker Guccifer 2 claimed that he was responsible for the breach.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Islamic State committing genocide against Yazidis: U.N.

      Islamic State is committing genocide against the Yazidis in Syria and Iraq to destroy the religious community of 400,000 people through killings, sexual slavery and other crimes, United Nations investigators said on Thursday.

      Such a designation, rare under international law, would mark the first recognized genocide carried out by non-state actors, rather than a state or paramilitaries acting on its behalf.

    • Labour MP Jo Cox dies after being shot and stabbed as husband urges people to ‘fight against the hate’ that killed her

      The husband of Jo Cox urged people to “fight against the hatred” that killed his wife on Thursday night, after the Labour MP was murdered by a gunman on the steps of her constituency surgery, Robert Mendick, Gordon Rayner and Nicola Harley write.

      On a dark day for democracy, Mrs Cox, a 41-year-old mother of two, was shot three times and repeatedly stabbed by a killer screaming “Britain first”.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • TPP, TTIP don’t seem to be coming around after all – here’s why

      The two protectionist agreements masquerading as free trade agreements, TPP and TTIP, appear to be meeting serious resistance – TTIP in particular. This makes the entire coup attempt unlikely to succeed.

      As detailed in the book Information Feudalism: Who owns the Knowledge Economy?, the United States reacted to its industrial obsolescence – as accented primarily by the ascent of Toyota and the fall in Detroit of the late 1970s – by hijacking a number of global fora and attempting to push through so-called Free Trade Agreements that were little more than attempts to redefine value, production, and economy in a way that forced the rest of the world to pay rent to the United States, in order to safeguard its dominant position going forward.

    • The problems with referendums in general, and the Brexit one in particular

      The first problem comes from there never having been a need – in an objective sense – for this EU referendum.

      By “objective” I mean that there was no external reason – such as a new EU treaty or similar proposal – for a referendum to take place in June 2016.

      As such, it can be described an objectively pointless referendum.

    • Let’s drug-test the rich before approving tax deductions, US congresswoman says

      Gwen Moore to propose bill requiring tests for returns with itemized deductions of more than $150,000, in response to right’s ‘criminalization of poverty’

    • Bolivia rejects ‘offensive’ chicken donation from Bill Gates [iophk: "just as knowledgeable about chickens as anything else"]

      But Bolivia’s government, led by anti-imperialist president Evo Morales, says the South American nation already produces 197 million chickens annually, and has the capacity to export 36 million. Bolivia’s pride is justified: the country’s economy has nearly tripled in size over the last decade, with its GDP per capita jumping from $1,200 in 2006 to $3,119 in 2015. The IMF predicts that Bolivia’s economy will grow by 3.8 percent in 2016, making it the best performer in South America.

    • So Britain, are you ready to enter the United Kingdom of Ukip?

      Right now, in the Ukip bunker, there is a search going on. It is urgent. It is probably desperate. It is the search for a tone. The emotional Rolodex of Nigel Farage is being riffled through in the hope it might throw up something usable. Top presentational aides have been dispatched on a vital quest to find the outer limits of his range. The journey is unlikely to detain them very long. Yet at the most recent reckoning Farage stands a few disputed percentage points away from being acclaimed – like it or not – the most extraordinarily successful British politician of a generation. Globally, he may soon be seen as reflecting us.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Four in ten have lost confidence in media

      Almost four-tenths, or 38 per cent, of Finns have lost their confidence in the traditional media, finds a recent survey.

      “The numbers are astonishingly high: four in ten have reservations about journalistic content,” Ville Pitkänen, a researcher at Think Tank e2, reveals while shedding light on the preliminary results of the survey in his blog on Puheenvuoro.

    • Lonelygirl15: how one mysterious vlogger changed the internet

      In June 2006, a 16-year-old girl began a video blog on YouTube. Her name was Bree, she’d been lurking in the burgeoning community for a while. She was a self-described dork, she thought her hometown was really boring – “Maybe that’s why I spend so much time on my computer …”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Publication censorship of new physics ideas – a sort of pseudo-science
    • ‘A battle against censorship was never fought like this’

      Did you ever have a brush with censorship in the past and do you think it is time the Cinematograph Act, 1952, is overhauled?

      No, I have never experienced such a major censor problem with my movies before. In fact, a battle against censorship has never been fought like this before, that it became a movement. As we move ahead with time, the laws related to art and culture need to be reassessed, including the Act we have for film certification.

    • Highly-Dubious Spiritualist Making Highly-Dubious Claims Loses Highly-Dubious Defamation Lawsuit Against Critic

      Trivedi can simply stand near a bottle of water, transfer some of his powerful energy, and sell this bottled water to you at a presumably healthy markup. Among other things, the energized water can supposedly go full Lazarus on your flora.


      And, even under the complete lack of scrutiny provided by pay-for-play “scientific journals,” the studies Trivedi claims back up his miracles have nothing approaching scientific methodology contained in them. One claiming Trivedi was able to introduce bacterial mutations simply by waving his hand over some Petri dishes is deftly summed up this way by a slightly more sympathetic blogger at “Integral World.”

    • Facebook Suppresses Story Critical of Black Lives Matter; Censorship Alive and Well Despite Zuckerberg Assurances

      Last month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosted a summit with “leading conservatives” at Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif. offices, in which he sought to ease concerns about a liberal bias in the social media company’s “trending” features.

      Whether that problem has been fixed or not, it appears that Facebook is currently engaging in “viewpoint discrimination” in another way, namely in its service which allows users to “boost” a story, for which Facebook receives a fee.

    • Court Says Free Speech Rights For Prisoners Not ‘Clearly Established,’ Gives Pass To Retaliatory Actions By Officials

      While it’s true that prisoners enjoy fewer rights than Americans who’ve never been convicted of a crime, their rights are by no means nonexistent. Except in some cases… where bits and pieces of protected speech vanish into the gaps between established prison guidelines and case law directly addressing the matter.

      That’s an admittedly unclear summation of the appeals court decision finding a federal prisoner’s rights weren’t violated when he was removed from a halfway house and placed in solitary confinement in retaliation for publishing an article about his prison experience.

    • Federal Prisoner Who Blogged For HuffPost Has No First Amendment Rights, Court Rules

      A blogger who wrote for The Huffington Post while serving a federal prison sentence didn’t have a First Amendment right to publish an article critical of prison conditions, an appeals court has ruled.

      Daniel McGowan, an environmental activist whose prosecution for “eco terrorism” was the subject of an award-winning film, was finishing his seven-year term at a Brooklyn halfway house when he wrote a HuffPost blog post that contained details about a secretive prison where he had spent years in isolation.

    • Is Twitter Censoring Non-Politically Correct Viewpoints?

      The folks running Twitter may be too young to have heard of George Orwell, or perhaps they simply do not care that their new advisory council sounds frighteningly Orwellian. Either way, the brand new “Twitter Trust and Safety Council” seems like a board ready to censor comments in deference to political correctness.

      It doesn’t help that among the more than 40 organizations that make up the council, one finds such groups as the “Dangerous Speech Project,” a group with ties to the liberal John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and to financier George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

    • What happens when private limitations on freedom of speech get endorsed and expanded by government?

      The European Commission is requesting/requiring Facebook, Twitter, and others to police their networks against undesirable political opinions and bad speech. This is cause for concern on a number of levels.

      Facebook’s community standards have long banned certain topics from being discussed – quite notably, anything resembling nudity.

      This is an effect of Facebook being a child of the culture it was founded in, the United States of America. If Facebook had been built in Germany, nudity would not have been a problem at all with Facebook, but there would instead be a complete ban on anything even resembling hate speech rallies, which there i
      In this, we can observe that all cultures have their taboos and their intolerance of certain subjects. Paul Graham has an excellent essay on the matter called “What you can’t say”.

    • Banned: Film censorship has deep roots in Ky.

      Free speech comes with a price: tolerance for unpopular opinions.

      In recent weeks, the First Amendment has struggled against pressures. On college campuses, “safe zones” chill debate. Online, a proposal to combat terrorism includes hitting the internet kill – silencing all speech to fight extremism.

      These events should concern everyone. Unrestricted speech is a fundamental liberty in America, but this was not always the rule. Not long ago, Kentucky’s censors monitored the movies, editing out unpopular ideas.

    • Facebook Still Deleting Non-Offensive Posts For Being Offensive

      Another day, another example of Facebook’s attempt at applying automated morality going poorly. For a site designed for little else beyond expressive speech, I suppose some erroneous applications of any kind of puritanism would go awry. Perhaps then you might have forgiven Facebook’s mistaking a children’s illustration for man-horse-fucking, or the algorithm’s inability to recognize satire.

      But you would think that, in the wake of the tragic shooting that occurred at a nightclub in Orlando, one member of the LGBT community’s perfectly cogent and innocuous rant wouldn’t be gobbled up the by censor algorithm as being offensive. Here is the author’s tweet complaining about its removal (twice), including a screenshot of the text, so that you can get an idea of what was taken down.

    • Beyond Udta Punjab: Cinematic Masterpieces that Dodged Censorship

      The ongoing Udta Punjab controversy has fanned the debate on censorship yet again. Now everyone wants the system to be abolished, for such practices cannot exist in a liberal democracy. It’s important we realise that censorship is a tight slap on the face of creative expression, and our films only deserve to be rated, not edited by CBFC.

    • Media Monitoring Africa formally complains to Icasa about SABC ‘censorship’

      In May, Media Monitoring Africa, supported by the SOS Support Public Broadcasting Coalition and the Freedom of Expression Institute, lodged papers with the complaints compliance committee of the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) over the public broadcaster’s decision to ban coverage of violent protests.

    • SABC has until Monday to oppose Media Monitoring Africa complaint

      The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has given the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) until Monday to oppose a complaint by Media Monitoring Africa against its new broadcasting policy.

      Last month, the SABC decided it would no longer air footage of protesters destroying public property, arguing that it might encourage others to follow suit.

      Media Monitoring Africa believes this is a clear form of censorship.

      Icasa has agreed with Media Monitoring Africa, which laid the complaint two weeks ago, that the matter is urgent.

    • Harrisburg, PA Mayor Picks And Chooses Who The ‘Real’ Journalists Are

      We talk a lot around here about stories with people trying to determine what “real journalism” is. Those stories tend to veer towards the incredibly dumb, with most centering on a misunderstanding of what journalism actually means in the digital age. For a long time, journalism was an alchemy performed by a select few wizards, horded by a few outlets, which vetted and locked up their product. Today, of course, the barriers of entry to doing any kind of journalism are lower and the ability to distribute that kind of work is virtually unlimited. And, despite what you might hear from some grumpy folks who prefer the good ol’ days, it turns out that smaller websites and independent citizens can journalism really well!

      But not everybody has gotten that memo, apparently. Take Eric Papenfuse, Mayor of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He has recently, and apparently surprisingly, decided to ban anyone working for website PennLive to the weekly meetings and briefings the rest of the press is allowed to attend.

    • Company Uses DMCA to Censor and Expose Critical Blogger

      Marketing and sales company Smart Circle is using the DMCA to uncover the identity of a critical blogger. The company obtained a subpoena directed at WordPress, stating that the blogger in question violates their copyrights by publishing modified images of its key employees.

    • sFilm festival shines spotlight on human rights
    • Censorship Harms Burma’s Chance for Reconciliation
    • Christian Movie Studio Stole Plot of God’s Not Dead, Lawsuit Alleges
    • Screenwriters Accuse Christian Movie Studio Of 9th Commandment Violations Over General Script Ideas
    • A big change is happening at Reddit after its Orlando shooting fiasco
    • After Orlando, Are Social Media Sites Encroaching On Users’ Free Speech?
    • Reddit Will Adjust Algorithm To Censor Trump Supporters Following Orlando Shootings
    • Censorship laws need to be re-assessed: Kareena Kapoor Khan
  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Malaysian university investigating leaked slides claiming Islam introduced ‘manners and cleanliness’ to Hindus

      The head of one of Malaysia’s oldest universities has announced there will be a “thorough investigation” after it came under fire when a set of controversial religious education slides leaked online.

      The slides, part of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s (UTM) Islamic and Asian Civilisation Studies course, reportedly claimed Islam introduced “manners and body cleanliness” to early followers of Hinduism.

      According to Indian broadcaster NDTV, the slides also claimed Hindus consider dirt on their bodies “as part of their religious practice to achieve nirvana,” and that the early foundations of the Sikh faith came about after founder Guru Nanak combined Islam and Hinduism, something he had a “shallow understanding” of.

    • B’desh college lecturer chopped by Islamists for his remarks on Baghdadi killing!

      A group of Muslim criminals knocked on the door of Ripan’s house near the college campus around 4:30pm and started indiscriminate stabbing on him when he opened the door, said Prof Hiten Chandra Mandal, principal of the college. The style of attacks resembles with the Jamiat-ul-Mujaheedin-Bangladesh (a local operative of Islamic state in Bangladesh) method of hacking the Kaffirs as believed.

    • Australian Electoral Commission Refuses To Allow Researchers To Check E-Voting Software

      The fact that Techdirt has been writing about e-voting problems for sixteen years, and that the very first post on the topic had the headline “E-voting is Not Safe,” gives an indication of what a troubled area this is. Despite the evidence that stringent controls are still needed to avoid the risk of electoral fraud, some people seem naively to assume that e-voting is now a mature and safe technology that can be deployed without further thought.

    • Who are Britain First? Far-right group founded by a Scot distances itself from Jo Cox killing

      POLICE investigating the murder of MP Jo Cox say they are probing possible links to right-wing extremism.

      People reported that the man who targeted the mum-of-two shouted “Britain First” before launching their attack on the MP.

      Police have since detained Kilmarnock-born Thomas Mair in connection with the incident.

      Temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins of West Yorkshire Police said: “We have now confirmed that just before 1pm yesterday Jo was attacked and sustained serious injuries from both a firearm and a knife.

    • Misogyny Didn’t disappear, It Evolved.

      So, when it comes to women being accepted in The Tech World, sure it’s gotten better. A lot better. But that strong dislike for women in our field exists just under the skin of some men. They know they can no longer gain the support and the ‘at-a-boy’ slaps on the back for approaching and demeaning a woman in public. In fact, they know they well be rejected and punished for doing so. The only difference between then and now? They do it in the wee hours of the morning with bricks, knowing that they would be rebuked by their peers for assaulting a woman in public…like in The Old Days.

    • Leaflets found in Muslim school ‘describe music and dancing as acts of the devil’

      Leaflets denouncing music and dancing as ‘acts of the devil’ have been found at a Muslim faith school in Birmingham, school inspectors have warned.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Chattanooga Mayor Says City’s Gigabit Network (Which Comcast Tried To Kill) To Thank For City’s Revival

      While hardline free marketeers and incumbent ISPs often try to paint city-owned broadband networks as the pinnacle of government-sponsored disaster, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke this week credited the city utility’s gigabit broadband service as a major contributing factor for the city’s re-invention.

    • Cable TV Subscribers Still Unhappy, New Consumer Reports Survey Shows
    • Vint Cerf imagines a self archiving internet – one that could lead to a more open future

      What would a self archiving internet look like? At the recent Decentralized Web Summit hosted by the Internet Archive, Vint Cerf, one of the computer scientists hailed as a founding father of the Internet, gave a thought provoking talk on the future of the Internet. At an event where high level discussion was the norm, Vint Cerf shared his thoughts on a relatively basic concept with a very understandable goal – preserving the world’s knowledge. The Internet is the focal point of all of humanity’s knowledge, and soon it will be the focal point of all of humanity’s activity.

    • Crims set up fake companies to hoard and sell IPv4 addresses

      IPv4 addresses are now so valuable that criminals are setting up shell companies so they can apply for addresses, then resell them to users desperate to grow their networks.

      Criminals are doing so because there are no more IPv4 addresses left: the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) ran out in September 2015.

    • The Giant Zero, Part 0.x

      Back in October, my keynote at New Media Days in Copenhagen was titled “The Internet: Not Just Another Medium”. Although most of the talk was new, the core concept is was one I first presented at the Berkman Center three weeks earlier: that it helps to think of the Net as a “giant zero”. Now that I’ve given the talk twice and thought about it for a month more, I’m almost ready to make the same case in text.

    • Tim Wu Joins NY AG’s Office In Shaming ‘Abysmal’ Cable Broadband ISPs

      Last fall, we noted how New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office had launched an investigation into awful broadband service quality. In and of itself that was nothing particularly interesting (especially given Schneiderman’s history of grandstanding), though what made the inquiry of note is the office’s hiring of Tim Wu, the Columbia Law professor who first coined the term “net neutrality” back in 2002. With Wu as the AG’s “senior lawyer and special adviser,” Schneiderman sent letters to NYC area broadband incumbents Verizon, Cablevision and Time Warner Cable — questioning whether they actually deliver the speeds they advertise.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Advocate General Szpunar considers Rubik’s Cube shape mark invalid
    • DTSA: Temporary Restraining Order for Former Employer [Ed: these are anti-whistleblowing laws. Europe now has one too.]

      In one of the first written decisions based upon the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), Judge Tigar has granted Schein’s motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking former employee Jennifer Cook “from accessing, using, or sharing” allegedly stolen confidential data. Cook was a sales representative for Schein’s dental-supplies business and left to join competitor Patterson Dental. The TRO also prohibits Cook “from soliciting, contacting, or accepting business from any HSI customers assigned to her while she was employed by Plaintiff.” In addition to the standard fiduciary duty employees owe to their employer, Cook had also signed a confidentiality and non-solicitation agreement.

    • Apple Copied iPhone 6 Design From A Chinese Smartphone, China Rules
    • Beijing Regulators Block Sales Of iPhones, Claiming The Design Is Too Close To Chinese Company’s Phone

      This one was so easy to predict. For the past couple of decades, completely clueless US politicians and bureaucrats (and tech company execs) have been screaming about how China “doesn’t respect” our intellectual property. They demanded that China “get more serious” about patents and respecting IP. And for nearly a decade we’ve been warning those people to be careful what you wish for. Because, now China has massively ramped up its patent system, often by using odd incentives, but rather than helping American companies that demanded it, pretty much every patent lawsuit in China has been about a Chinese company punishing or blocking foreign competition. This is because the Chinese aren’t stupid. It’s a country that has thrived on protectionism, despite global efforts to “open up trade,” and here it realized that the West was handing them the perfect trade barrier: one that let them say they were doing what the West wanted, while giving it the perfect excuse to block out foreign competition.

      So, while clueless US and European IP bureaucrats celebrated China issuing so many patents, they totally missed that they’d actually given away everything.

    • BLOG: If iPhone sales are banned in China, we might see the end of the eBay era in the US

      For that, Apple can largely thank the general decline in the availability of injunctive relief following the Supreme Court’s decision in eBay v MercExchange. Apple’s rivals in China, however, don’t seem to have the same problems.

    • Trademarks

      • Coke defends against opposition to ‘ZERO’ trade marks

        More than one trademark practitioner has probably asked herself how soft drink giant Coca-Cola goes about protecting its various ZERO-based trade marks. A window to this question can be found in the recent ruling of the United States Patent and Trademark Office decision in connection with oppositions filed by Royal Crown Company and Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc.

      • Vice Media Settles With Indie Band ViceVersa, Showing That Trademark Bullying Totally Works

        A while back, we wrote about the hilariously bullying cease and desist notice Vice Media, a billion dollar media company, sent to ViceVersa, an un-signed punk band. At issue, according to Vice Media, was the band’s name and trademark application, both of which the media company declared would damage its own brand and confuse customers. Neither of those claims was remotely true, but they bullied in the way that only bullies can.

      • Vice Settles Trademark Dispute With Indie Band ViceVersa

        In April, Vice Media ordered an unsigned band to change its name. The company, which is reportedly worth billions of dollars, sent a cease-and-desist letter to Los Angeles trio ViceVersa arguing the band’s name and logo were too much like Vice’s. (In November, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had reportedly signed off on ViceVersa guitarist Christopher Morales’ application to trademark the band’s name.) Today, both parties reached a settlement over the trademark dispute. In a statement, ViceVersa’s lawyer wrote: “After a few weeks of negotiations, the two parties have come to an amicable agreement. Changes have been made to the band’s trademark details as registered with the USPTO, thus narrowing the scope of their services. ViceVersa will continue using their name and logo as they please and Vice Media will go about their $2.5 billion business.” Reached for comment, a Vice spokesperson said: “We’re glad this worked out for both parties, and we wish the band the best of luck.”

    • Copyrights

      • Supreme Court Makes It (Slightly) Easier To Award Attorneys’ Fees For Bogus Copyright Lawsuits

        You may recall the Kirtsaeng case that we covered a few years back, in which a student, Sudap Kirtsaeng, had been sued for copyright infringement by publishing giant John Wiley for buying English-language textbooks in Thailand (that were cheap) and then reselling them to students in the US. It was a classic arbitrage situation. Wiley insisted that this was infringing, while Kirtsaeng pointed to the First Sale doctrine, allowing people to resell physical products they’ve legally purchased, even if they include copyright-covered content. Wiley’s argument against first sale is that it only applied to content that was “legally made under this title.” Thus, since the textbooks were made in Thailand and not under US copyright law, First Sale didn’t apply. The Supreme Court, thankfully, rejected that argument 6 to 3, and said that first sale does apply. That was good.

        The case then went back to the lower courts where Kirtsaeng sought to have Wiley pay his legal fees. The lower court and the appeals court both rejected this request, arguing that the standard for assigning attorneys’ fees in copyright cases was whether or not the plaintiff bringing the case had an “objectively reasonable” argument — and noting that with 3 of the 9 Justices eventually siding with Wiley, the case was likely “objectively reasonable,” even if it failed in the end. This argument also reached the Supreme Court and on Thursday, the Justices decided to tweak the standard.

        Very similar to the case it decided earlier in the week concerning patent damages (and, in fact, it cites that case in this ruling), the Supreme Court rejects the purely “objectively reasonable” standard test as being too “rigid.” It’s pretty clear that the court thinks that lower courts should have some leeway in determining the appropriate remedies, rather than sticking to a set of strict guidelines.

      • Copyright Trolls Slammed in UK House of Lords

        Copyright trolls operating in the UK will be doing so a little less confidently this morning after being slammed in the House of Lords yesterday. Lord Lucas named and shamed several companies involved in the practice, describing them as scammers and extortionists while urging the government to take action.

      • Pirate Bay Co-Founder Must Pay Record Labels $395,000

        Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde may have thought he’d left the notorious site behind, but the legal system has other plans. The Helsinki District Court has just ordered him to pay $395,000 to record labels including Sony, Universal, Warner and EMI, after their content was shared illegally via the platform.

      • Pirate Bay Co-founder Must Pay $395,000 Fine To Record Labels, Court Orders

        A Finnish court has ordered the Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde to pay record labels a sum $395,000. This decision came after various record labels accused the torrent website of sharing their artists’ contents illegally. Even though Sunde has left the website many years ago, he continues to face numerous problems.

      • Top EU Court Advisor Makes A Strangely Sensible (But Only Provisional) Copyright Ruling On The Lending Of eBooks

        The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the EU’s highest court, has a slightly unusual procedure for delivering its judgments. After a case has been referred to it by a national court, one of the CJEU’s top advisors, known as an Advocate General, offers a preliminary opinion. This is meant to provide guidance to the judges considering the case, and generally indicates how the CJEU will rule. But it is by no means binding, and judges have been known to go completely against the advice offered to them. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen in a copyright case currently before the EU court.

      • Libraries Should be Able to Lend eBooks, Says EU Advocate General

        The EU is one step closer to adopting a universal legal policy enabling libraries to lend ebooks. Earlier today Advocate General Maciej Szpunar published a nonbinding advisory opinion which said that libraries should be able to lend ebooks just like they do paper books.

      • E-books fair game for public libraries, says advisor to top Europe court

        Electronic books should be treated just like physical books for the purposes of lending, an advisor to Europe’s top court has said.

        Maciej Szpunar, advocate general to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), said in an opinion published (PDF) Thursday morning that public libraries should be allowed to lend e-books so long as the author is fairly compensated.

      • AG Szpunar says that time-limited e-lending is allowed under EU law and interpretation of copyright norms must evolve with technology

        Those above are – in a nutshell – the questions currently pending before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Vereniging Openbare Bibliotheken v Stichting Leenrecht, C-174/15, a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Rechtbank Den Haag (District Court of The Hague, Netherlands).

        This reference has arisen in the context of proceedings brought by the association of Dutch public libraries which, contrary to the position of Dutch government, believes that libraries should be entitled to lend electronic books included in their collections according to the principle “one copy one user”. This envisages the possibility for a library user to download an electronic copy of a work included in the collection of a library with the result that – as long as that user “has” the book – it is not possible for other library users to download a copy. Upon expiry of the e-lending period, the electronic copy downloaded by the first user becomes unusable, so that the book in question can be e-borrowed by another user.

      • Appeals Court Gives Big Loss To Record Labels In Their Quixotic Lawsuit Against Vimeo For Lipdubs

        The record labels basically will find no innovation that’s not worth suing, and so back in 2013 they sued the online video hosting/streaming site Vimeo, in part because the site had created a popular genre of videos known as “lipdubs” where people would lip sync to a song in a video. In the fall of 2013, the district court rejected most, but not all, of the record labels’ arguments about the DMCA. The labels had argued that Vimeo lost its DMCA safe harbors for a variety of reasons, including not having a reasonable repeat infringer policy (and by “reasonable” the labels claimed it had to be the same as YouTube’s), red flag knowledge, and the fact that because Vimeo lets people download videos there’s no safe harbor. The court rejected basically all of those arguments — but did leave open the possibility that red flag knowledge might apply if Vimeo employees had watched some of the videos at play in the case. There was also one very problematic part of the ruling, which is that the court said that pre-1972 sound recordings do not qualify for the DMCA’s safe harbors because of the weird quirk of copyright law history by which pre-1972 sound recordings are not actually covered by federal copyright law (but, instead, various state laws and common law).

      • Supreme Court Clarifies Copyright Attorney Fees: Reasonable Defense Not a Presumptive Excuse

        In Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons (2016), the Supreme Court has vacated the Second Circuit’s ruling denying attorney-fee awards in the copyright case – but offered a balanced opinion that places a number of limits on when fees may be awarded.

        The opinion holds the reasonableness of the losing party’s position should be a substantial factor. I.e., the more reasonable that position, the less likely that fees should be awarded. However, objective reasonableness is not the ‘controlling factor.’

      • Wikimedia: If Copyright Law Ain’t Broken, Don’t Fix It

        The organization behind Wikipedia has warned that tinkering with the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA could interfere with its already effective handling of copyright issues. Charles M. Roslof, Legal Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, says that a “takedown, staydown” system would be both expensive and likely to chill free speech.


Links 16/6/2016: Slackware Live Edition 1.1.0, Qt 5.7 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 11:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Dell XPS 13 Skylake (2016) review: A lot for a Linux user to like

    In the end I decided to put openSUSE on the laptop as it worked the best for me. I installed Arch Linux and couple of other distros in VirtualBox so I can play with them. I can run two VMs at the same time without any compromise on speed.

    As far as the laptop goes, I love it. And I’ll give it serious consideration when it comes time to replace my MacBook. The only issue that may hold me back is the lack of HiDPI support by many apps. But that will change with time.

  • Linux operating system

    Linux has grown in popularity due to its more flexible and customisable nature compared to its more popular counterparts Windows and Mac.

  • Desktop

    • Remix OS Creators Announce New Android PCs, Partnership with Android-x86 Founder

      Today, June 16, 2016, Jide Technology, the creators of the well-known Android-x86-based Remix OS, have announced an official partnership with Android-x86′s founder as well as the availability of multiple new Android PCs powered by Remix OS.

      Jide Technology has grown a lot in the last couple of years, and today they are proud to announce that the company is already capable of making partnerships with various hardware manufacturers to ship Android PCs and 2-in-1 tablets with Remix OS pre-installed. What this means is that they will thus allow users to run Google’s Android operating system on more devices as their primary desktop environment.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 12.0 3D Graphics Library to No Longer Provide a Single VAAPI Driver Backend

        Collabora’s Emil Velikov has announced the release and general availability of the third and likely the last RC (Release Candidate) build of the upcoming Mesa 12.0.0 3D Graphics Library.

        Mesa 3D Graphics Library 12.0.0 Release Candidate 3 arrives more than a week after the second RC version, bringing a total of 111 changes to most of the included graphics drivers and components. The full changelog has been attached at the end of the article just in case you’re wondering what’s new in this update.

      • Here’s my own Linux OpenGL vs Vulkan test for Dota 2, not much difference for me

        I would love to run some Windows 10 tests in comparison, but Windows wanted to update which slowed everything down, Steam kept going to a 0b/s download for Dota 2 and it’s just…so slow. I will hopefully do a Windows 10 comparison when Windows actually plays nicely. I was on it for half an hour and it only got to 40% done on updates, so it would probably take all night to do that + the tests.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt 5.7 released

        I’m very happy to announce that Qt 5.7 is now available. It’s been only 3 months since we released Qt 5.6, so one might expect a rather small release with Qt 5.7. But apart from the usual bug fixes and performance improvements, we have managed to add a whole bunch of new things to this release.

      • Qt 5.7.0 Officially Is Out
      • KDE e.V. Joins Advisory Board of The Document Foundation

        Today we are delighted to announce that KDE e.V. is joining the advisory board of The Document Foundation, the foundation backing LibreOffice and the Document Liberation Project. The Document Foundation also joins KDE e.V.’s group of advising community partners as an affiliate.

        The KDE Community has been creating Free Software since 1996 and shares a lot of values around Free Software and open document formats with The Document Foundation, and brings the experience of running a Free Software organization for almost two decades to their advisory board. Both organizations are working in the OASIS technical committee for the OpenDocument Format. We also collaborate on common aspects of development of office software, such as usability and visual design. The affiliation of KDE e.V. and The Document Foundation on an organizational level will help to move forward with the shared goal of giving end users control of their computing needs through Free Software.

      • KDE Doing a Survey for Input on our Mission
      • KDAB, Qt 3D and the Release of Qt 5.7

        Some of you may know that Qt 3D is going strong almost entirely due to the work of the KDAB team, led by Dr. Sean Harmer and Paul Lemire. You can read all about its near demise and ultimate rescue here – it’s quite a story, and started with the release of Qt 4.

        Now we are approaching another major chapter in the Qt 3D story, as Qt 5.7.0 is released along with a fully supported stable Qt 3D module. Qt 3D offers a high-level facility for 3D graphics, paving the way for making 3D content a first class citizen in Qt applications. This is big news!

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Gtk+ Versioning

        New thoughts are being expressed about Gtk+ versioning.

        There is something about numbering. Whatever. The numbering of Gtk+ versions is a problem I do not have. A problem I do not expect to have. Hence “whatever”.

        But there is also a message about stability and it is a scary one.

      • Long term support for GTK+

        The record (in terms of commit history) seems to not support your position — as much as you think everyone else is “delusional” about it, the commit log does not really lie.

        The 2.24.0 release was cut in January, 2011 — five and half years ago. No new features, no new API. Precisely what would happen with the new release plan, except that the new plan would also give a much better cadence to this behaviour.

      • Batch Renaming – Call for design ideas
      • Learning about scenario tasks

        For the internship, we have been following a schedule where we research topics about usability testing. After that “research” phase, we’ll start building our usability tests. And we are almost finished with that “research” phase.

      • GUADEC 2016

        In case you use GNOME, the GUADEC conference is also for users. In case you’re wondering if you’ll fit in: Everyone is usually super friendly. First year you go you go to see talks and maybe a few drinks (alcohol is optional). Second year you talk more with the people you met from last year. Third year onward the talks are an excuse to go and the only talks you see are the ones where the speakers asked you to please attend :P

      • Are you planning to attend LAS GNOME?

        I loved attending the GNOME Users And Developers European Conference (GUADEC). I want to go back, but travel to Europe is a bit expensive. And it’s hard to get away for such a long trip. So I’m not to make it for this year’s GUADEC.

  • Distributions

    • News about Pisi Linux

      For example, Pisi 2.0 is said to bring two features that I’ve always appreciated: a live disk (it was about time!) and an iso image writer to USB.

    • New Releases

    • Slackware Family

      • Slack Live 1.1.0, Licensing History, Reviving PCs

        The top story in Linux news today was the release of Slackware Linux 1.1.0 featuring the latest Slackware-current and Plasma 5.6.5. Elsewhere, Christopher Tozzi penned a history of Open Source licenses and the Free Software Foundation published their first in a series of licensing resource guides. Douglas DeMaio blogged some of the latest news from Tumbleweed and Swapnil Bhartiya rounded up the best lightweight distros for your older PC.

      • KDE 5_16.06 for Slackware -current

        It’s that time of the month again, where the three main software collections of the KDE community have had new releases. Time to package and release for Slackware!

      • Slackware Live Edition 1.1.0 comes with the latest Plasma5 on ISO

        ISO images for Slackware Live Edition based on the liveslak 1.1.0 scripts and using Slackware-current dated “Wed Jun 15 06:13:17 UTC 2016” are available as of now (I missed the 3rd update Pat made to slackware-current today but I think that’s acceptible). The Plasma5 variant contains the latest packages which I made publicly available earlier today.

    • Red Hat Family

      • NethServer 6.8 Officially Released, Based on the CentOS 6.8 Operating System

        Softpedia has been informed today, June 16, 2016, by Alessio Fattorini, that the final release of the NethServer 6.8 server-oriented, open-source, and free GNU/Linux operating system is now available for download.

      • 4 lessons about open organizations I learned offline

        I’m a member of two non-profits in my city. One of them is a sporting league, the other a community initiative to save a bit of land from commercial development. Both organizations are member-run. No one is paid to participate and external funding is minimal; in fact volunteers pay membership dues each year. Neither has a “CEO” or “board chair” position (other than those members arbitrarily give). These small non-profits barely have web presences—let alone a connection to the open movement.

        Traditional business models function through rigid hierarchies, while open organizations use flexible teams to ensure maximum efficiency. We often associate “open” with “online” because certain technologies seem integral to remaining flexible in diverse communities. My offline communities have taught me four lessons about the ways open organizational principles don’t necessarily rely on the digital technologies we tend to associate with them.

      • Voice of the Masses: Have you changed your mind about Systemd?

        Systemd, the “bag of bits” that originally started as an init system but has since taken over a lot of the lower-level plumbing of GNU/Linux, has a controversial history. Some distributions were quick to take it up, whereas others were more hesitant, arguing that it was subject to feature-creep and violated some long-standing Unix principles.

      • Migrate to Systemd Without a Reboot

        Yesterday I was fixing an issue with one of the servers behind kallithea-scm.org: the hook intended to propagage pushes from Our Own Kallithea to Bitbucket stopped working. Until yesterday, that server was using Debian’s flavour of System V init and djb’s dæmontools to keep things running. To make the hook asynchronous, I wrote a service to be managed to dæmontools, so that concurrency issued would be solved by it. However, I didn’t implement any timeouts, so when last week wget froze while pulling Weblate’s hook, there was nothing to interrupt it, so the hook stopped working since dæmontools thought it’s already running and wouldn’t re-trigger it. Killing wget helped, but I decided I need to do something with it to prevent the situation from happening in the future.

      • Why Red Hat chief executive Jim Whitehurst says “office gossip” is not such a bad thing in your business

        Backstabbing banter, unconfirmed fact swaps and low blows are all fair definitions of the word “gossip”.

        So workplace gossip is a HR nightmare, right?

        Not necessarily, says Red Hat chief executive Jim Whitehurst.

        “Rule of thumb when it comes to office gossip: If you have more truth telling at the water cooler than in meetings, you’ve got a problem,” Whitehurst told Business Insider.

        “You want to get to a place where people feel safe to share their thoughts, feelings, and opinions about a situation, beyond the water cooler.”

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Phabricator RPMs for RHEL, Fedora

          If you work with Phabricator, by engaging with Kolab (for example), you may be interested to know about our Infrastructure and Tools repositories.

          These contain Phabricator’s stable branches for Phabricator itself, arcanist and libphutil.

        • Fedora Cloud FAD 2016 Report

          The Fedora Cloud Working Group met on June 7 and 8 in Raleigh to work on deliverables for Fedora 25 and beyond. As it turns out, we had a really productive set of discussions and have some good ideas for the Cloud Working Group going forward.

        • Keeping Busy with Side Projects

          This doesn’t just apply to side projects. Even with my work in the Fedora Project, I bounce between projects. Some days you’ll see me spend time hacking on Infrastructure projects, helping with updates to servers, fixing services that go down randomly at 3am (I’m a night owl, so I’m up anyway). Other days you’ll see me working on the packages I maintain, keeping them updated or fixing bugs that people report on them. Other days I’ll work on Fedora’s plethora of web applications, fixing bugs or writing Haskell clients to interact with them (finding and reporting bugs as I go). Still other days you’ll see me work on the Websites team and pretend to be a designer. If I didn’t have this freedom to move around between projects, I would not have lasted very long in the Fedora community. It is this freedom to move between projects that makes Fedora so interesting to me.

    • Debian Family

      • Reproducible builds: week 59 in Stretch cycle
      • The road to debconf 2016, tourism and arts.

        I didn’t have high hopes as there obviously are many more talented peers around me who understand FOSS and Debian at a much more fundamental, philosophical as well as technical level than me. Much to my surprise though, about a month (and around two or three weeks just before the event was about to take place) I got the bursary/sponsorships for food, accommodation as well as travel. I was unsure that the remaining time was enough to get a visa hence declined that time around.

      • On discomfort and new groups
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • OnePlus 3 to Become an Unofficial Ubuntu Phone, Development Will Start Soon

            We had a quick chat today with Marius Gripsgård from UBports.com, a group of independent developers trying to port Canonical’s Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system to as many devices as possible, about an upcoming port to OnePlus 3.

            Yes, you’re reading it right, OnePlus 3 is about to become an unofficial Ubuntu Phone, as Mr. Gripsgård informs Softpedia today that he already ordered the device and will start development, porting of Ubuntu Touch, as soon as it arrives.

          • Canonical Releases Snapd 2.0.8 with Universal Snaps, New Desktop Interfaces

            On June 15, 2016, Canonical’s David Callé proudly announced the availability of an updated version of the snapd tool for Snappy Ubuntu Core and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating systems.

            snapd 2.0.8 is now live, coming one month after the release of snapd 2.0.3 to bring various improvements to the technology Canonical uses to interact with the Snappy infrastructure of Ubuntu Core, a variant of the Ubuntu Linux OS designed for embedded and IoT devices.

          • How high will Shuttleworth’s snap initiative fly?

            Over the last 12 years since he started the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution, Mark Shuttleworth, the man behind Canonical, has made many efforts to bring about what he has characterised as unity in the Linux community.

            Of course, whenever he has suggested such initiatives — like universal release schedules, for example — he has always had a vested interest in them himself. Nothing wrong with that, if the initiatives were also benefitting the Linux community at large.

            But given that he has rubbed up far too many people the wrong way, his initiatives have generally failed to gain acceptance. And his latest move, to have a single packaging format for Linux packages, something he calls snap, has already brought out opposition.

          • Developer to port Ubuntu Touch onto OnePlus

            If all goes according to the UBports team’s plans, OnePlus 3 may unofficially be powered by Ubuntu Touch. Ubuntu developer, Marius Gripsgård from UBports.com told Softpedia that they had acquired a OnePlus 3 and would soon be porting Ubuntu Touch onto it.

          • Ubuntu’s snaps come to other Linux distros
          • Ubuntu’s ‘Snap’ packages may be the future of software installation on every Linux PC
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu MATE Linux: It’s Not Rocket Science

              Granted, this was no deep dive into the belly of the beast, but it was a positive first step in introducing me to the world of Linux on a machine that was otherwise gathering dust in my closet. In comparison to how it ran with Windows XP, I was impressed with how quickly everything responded in Ubuntu MATE — though cautiously optimistic because I know that’s how it tends to go with newly installed operating systems. It’s only been a week so far since the installation, so I’ll see if it still plays nicely after being shackled to my habitually unreasonable human demands for a little longer.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Scality S3 Server Now Generally Available
  • Scality Releases Open Source S3 Server
  • Scality Releases S3 Server Open Source Version of Its S3 API
  • Migrating to Nextcloud 9
  • Chef’s open source tool lets applications automate infrastructure provisioning
  • Chef Habitat Project Embeds IT Automation Code Within Applications
  • Chef launches Habitat open source project to develop ‘application automation’
  • Chef cooks up a new open-source application automation project
  • Events

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Why you can’t win by focusing on software

      Boris Renski, co-founder and CMO of cloud computing services company Mirantis, wrote a blog post today sending a dire warning to the software industry. In his words: “numbered are the days of any company whose core business is pinned to selling licenses or subscriptions to infrastructure software bits.”

  • Databases

    • Splice Machine releases dual-engine RDBMS to open source

      Splice Machine, the startup behind a dual-engine relational database management system (RDBMS) powered by Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark, last week announced that it would release that technology to open source.

      Splice Machine uses resource isolation — separate processes and resource management for its Hadoop and Spark components — to ensure that large, complex online analytical processing (OLAP) queries don’t overwhelm time-sensitive online transaction processing (OLTP) queries. The hybrid architecture allows you to run analytical workloads and transactional workloads concurrently — a boon for use cases ranging from digital marketing to ETL acceleration, operational data lakes, data warehouse offloads, Internet of Things (IoT) applications, web, mobile and social applications and operational applications.

  • Education

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • ZFS: Apple’s New Filesystem That Wasn’t

      In the 7 years since ZFS development halted at Apple, they’ve worked on a variety of improvements in HFS and Core Storage, and hacked at at least two replacements for HFS that didn’t make it out the door. This week Apple announced their new filesystem, APFS, after 2 years in development. It’s not done; some features are still in development, and they’ve announced the ambitious goal of rolling it out to laptop, phone, watch, and tv within the next 18 months. At Sun we started ZFS in 2001. It shipped in 2005 and that was really the starting line, not the finish line. Since then I’ve shipped the ZFS Storage Appliance in 2008 and Delphix in 2010 and each has required investment in ZFS / OpenZFS to make them ready for prime time. A broadly featured, highly functional filesystem takes a long time.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open Source Software Finds its Sweet Spot in the Public Sector

      For more than sixteen years, James Passingham, Chief Technical Officer at Foehn, has pioneered the development of communication systems using open source software. Here, James explains where government policy encouraging the use of open source is bearing fruit.

      It was some four years ago, with the founding of the Government Digital Service (GDS), that open source software first came into the public sector limelight. Under the direction of Liam Maxwell, Government CTO at that time, the ‘Better for Less’ report that he co-authored set out the policies that gave government IT management the remit to pursue the advantages of two specific technologies – cloud and open source software.

    • Life cycle support also a priority for open source

      Open source software development projects and public administrations have similar concerns about software support. The two also share an approach to classify software requirements, concludes the EU-FOSSA project, a software security audit project on open source by the European Commission and the European Parliament.

    • Romania augments eProcurement portal

      Romania’s electronic procurement portal ‘e-licitatie’ now provides more information on the public procurement process, the portal announced on 8 June. Users can now find preliminary information on planned calls for tender, and can learn how to bid for national and European contracts.

    • EU eGovernment factsheet

      The European Commission published this week an update to its eGovernment factsheet. The previous version was from 2015. This factsheet update is the last in the suite of 34 covering eGovernment in Europe. The text presents an overview of the state and progress of eGovernment in Europe and at the European Commission.

      On the political level, this 2016 update casts a light on numerous strategic directions, programmes and initiatives promoted at European level in order to deliver sustainable, economic and social benefits from a Digital Single Market. One of these programmes is the freshly launched EU eGovernment Action plan 2016-2020 substantiated into 20 concrete actions. This plan strives for efficient, inclusive, user friendly and end-to-end digital public services in EU by 2020.

    • Adullact about to unveil revamped repository

      Next week, France’s platform for civil servants working on free software, Adullact, will unveil its revamped software development platform and repository. At its 6th annual congress, the association will also launch a label to highlight and reward French public administrations contributing to free software.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • A Brief History of Free and Open Source Software Licensing

      Open source software licenses may not excite people as much as open source code, but they have been just as important in keeping software free. Open source licensing as we know it today didn’t always exist, however. It evolved as programmers developed more sophisticated strategies regarding their intellectual property.

      Below is a look at the major milestones in open source licensing history. It doesn’t cover every twist and turn. That would take a book.

      But it outlines the major arc in open source licensing strategies, from the days when free software promoters disdained licenses altogether through present-day battles about software licensing and the cloud.

    • Licensing resources series: A Quick Guide to GPLv3

      One of our main goals here in the Free Software Foundation’s Licensing & Compliance Lab is education. Over the years we have created a wide breadth of tools and resources to help users and developers understand free software licenses and related legal issues. We’ve been doing this for so long that some resources, published some years ago but still very relevant, aren’t consulted as often as they could be. With all these great tools available, we thought it would be good to take some time to highlight individual resources that you may not know about. With that, we are starting a regular series of articles, each promoting a particular tool or resource to help you understand the legal side of free software.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Marty the 3D printed open-source robot for STEM education launches on Indiegogo

        The robots are coming and 3D printing is partially to blame for the impending invasion. Similar in concept but different in execution to the 3D printed WireBeings robot we covered a few months back, Marty the Robot is a being promoted through a new indiegogo campaign that’s hoping to introduce robotics to younger generations.

  • Programming/Development

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Microsoft Updates Office for iPhone with OpenDocument Format Support

      Microsoft has just rolled out a new update for its Office productivity suite on iOS devices, so iPhone and iPad users can now benefit from important additions, such as support for the OpenDocument format.

      All productivity apps included in the Office suite have been updated to version 1.22, which, according to the listings added in the App Store, comes with support for exporting a document to the OpenDocument Text (.ODT) format.

      No other change is included in the release notes, although some other bug fixes and performance improvements are very likely to be part of the update, but the addition of ODT format support for exporting is anyway a pretty important thing.


  • Admins in outcry as Microsoft fix borks Group Policy

    Microsoft’s most recent security update is causing problems with Windows Group Policy settings.

    Users on Reddit and Microsoft support forums are reporting that after the MS16-072 update was installed, changes were made in Group Policy object (GPO) settings that left previously hidden drives and devices accessible.

    “I installed windows patches last night and this morning found out that there were a number of issues with my GPOs,” writes one admin.

    “Example: desktop image would not show up, A, B, C and D drives that were meant to be hidden from users are now showing up.”

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • ‘Pharmaceutical Companies Have Pressured Doctors, Suppressed Evidence’

      In 2014, a class of drugs known as opioids were involved in more than 28,000 deaths, or 61 percent of all drug overdose deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The rate of opioid overdoses has tripled since the year 2000. Recent data show two different but related trends: an increase in so-called illicit opioid overdoses, largely due to heroin, and then this 15-year increase in overdose deaths involving prescription opioid pain relievers. Those drugs, like oxycodone and hydrocodone, or brand names like OxyContin and Vicodin, account for more than 16,000 fatal overdoses each year. The CDC says they’re comfortable using the term “epidemic” to describe the crisis.

  • Security

    • BadTunnel Bug Hijacks Network Traffic, Affects All Windows Versions

      The research of Yang Yu, founder of Tencent’s Xuanwu Lab, has helped Microsoft patch a severe security issue in its implementation of the NetBIOS protocol that affected all Windows versions ever released.

    • ‘BadTunnel’ Bugs Left Every Microsoft Windows PC Vulnerable For 20 Years [Ed: no paywall/malware in this link]

      Microsoft is today closing off a vulnerability that one Chinese researcher claims has “probably the widest impact in the history of Windows.” Every version of the Microsoft operating system going back to Windows 95 is affected, leaving anyone still running unsupported operating systems, such as XP, in danger of being surreptitiously surveilled.

      According to Yang Yu, founder of Tencent’s Xuanwu Lab, the bug can be exploited silently with a “near-perfect success rate”, as the problems lie in the design of Windows. The ultimate impact? An attacker can hijack all a target’s web use, granting the hacker “Big Brother power”, as soon as the victim opens a link or plugs in a USB stick, claimed Yu. He received $50,000 from Microsoft’s bug bounty program for uncovering the weakness, which the researcher has dubbed BadTunnel. Microsoft issued a fix today in its Patch Tuesday list of updates.

      “Even security software equipped with active defense mechanisms are not able to detect the attack,” Yu told FORBES. “Of course it is capable of execute malicious code on the target system if required.”

    • Getting Things Wrong From The Beginning…

      GNU/Linux and never had any problems with software the rest of the school year. I’ve been using GNU/Linux ever since and have had no regrets. It’s been the right way to do IT. My wife saw the light a few years ago. She was tired of years of TOOS failing every now and then and needing re-installation. Once her business started using a web application, she had no more need of TOOS, none.

    • Intel x86s hide another CPU that can take over your machine (you can’t audit it)

      Recent Intel x86 processors implement a secret, powerful control mechanism that runs on a separate chip that no one is allowed to audit or examine. When these are eventually compromised, they’ll expose all affected systems to nearly unkillable, undetectable rootkit attacks. I’ve made it my mission to open up this system and make free, open replacements, before it’s too late.

    • Hackers Show How To Hack Anyone’s Facebook Account Just By Knowing Phone Number

      By exploiting the SS7 flaw, a hacker can hack someone’s Facebook account just by knowing the associated phone number. This flaw allows a hacker to divert the OTP code to his/her own phone and use it to access the victim’s Facebook account. The security researchers, who have explained the hack in a video, advise the users to avoid adding their phone numbers to the public services.

    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • Hacking News: ISIS Twitter Accounts Hacked By Anonymous, ISIS Hacker Faces 25 Years In Prison

      An Anonymous-affiliated hacker has painted numerous ISIS Twitter accounts with gay pride messages and pictures in support of the Orlando shooting victims. On the other hand, a 21-year-old hacker has pleaded guilty to helping ISIS and he is scheduled to get a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Teaching Kids About Genocide

      Public schoolchildren in Michigan are now required to learn about the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide as part of their social studies curriculum, according to a law Governor Rick Snyder signed on Tuesday.

      While most students in Michigan no doubt learn about the Holocaust already, the new law would require teachers in public schools to spend a certain amount of time on these topics. Between eighth and 12th grades, schools must spend a combined six hours on genocide education, specifically the Holocaust—in which, during World War II, Nazi Germany killed 11 million Jews, Roma, and other ethnic minorities—and the Armenian genocide—in which Ottoman Turks killed 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1920. While Turkey denies a genocide took place, 29 countries and 45 U.S. states use the term “genocide” to refer to the killings.

    • Dalai Lama Urges Suu Kyi to Address Buddhist-Muslim Tensions

      Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has a moral responsibility to try to ease tensions between majority Buddhists and minority Rohingya Muslims, her fellow Nobel laureate, the Dalai Lama, said on Monday.

      The Tibetan spiritual leader said he had stressed the issue in meetings with Suu Kyi, who came to power in April in the newly created role of state counsellor in Myanmar’s first democratically elected government in five decades.

      “She already has the Nobel Peace Prize, a Nobel Laureate, so morally she should… make efforts to reduce this tension between the Buddhist community and Muslim community,” he told Reuters in an interview in Washington.

      “I actually told her she should speak more openly.”

      Violence between majority Buddhists and minority Muslims in recent years has cast a cloud over progress with democratic reforms in Myanmar. Rights groups have sharply criticised Suu Kyi‘s reluctance to speak out on the Rohingya‘s plight.

      The Dalai Lama said Suu Kyi, who won worldwide acclaim and a Nobel Peace Prize as a champion of democratic change in the face of military persecution, had responded to his calls by saying that the situation was “really complicated.”

    • Florida Man Falsely Connected by Fox News to Orlando Shooter Receives Death Threats

      Not long after last Sunday’s deadly shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, a news story published by Fox News suggested that the shooter, Omar Mateen, had been radicalized by his connection to a local imam.

      Citing anonymous officials, the report claimed that a man named Marcus Dwayne Robertson, also known as Abu Taubah, had been “rounded up,” along with several of his associates, in connection to the attack. The official quoted in the article, described as “a law enforcement source familiar with Robertson’s history of recruiting terrorists and inciting violence,” claimed that Mateen had been a student of Robertson’s online Islamic seminary.

    • Democrats Embrace Secretive, Flawed Terror Watchlist in Fight Against Gun Violence

      Democratic leaders came out in force on Wednesday in favor of a proposal to prohibit Americans who are on federal government terrorist watchlists from purchasing firearms. A group of Democratic senators waged a fillibuster on the Senate floor. And after presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump announced that he intends to meet with the powerful National Rifle Association to discuss a similar restriction, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton welcomed him to the cause.

    • Why Did FBI’s Multiple Informants Fail to Catch Omar Mateen in a Sting?

      Normally, when the FBI identifies a Muslim mouthing off about joining ISIS, they throw one or more informants at him, develop his trust, then have him press a button or buy a plane ticket to Syria, which they use to arrest the guy.

      That didn’t happen here. While they did record the conversations between these informants and Mateen, they never got him to do something they could arrest him for.

    • Violence Begets Violence: The Orlando Shootings and the War on Terror

      We can rail against ISIS, hate crimes, terror threats, Islamic radicalization, gun control and national security. We can blame Muslims, lax gun laws, a homophobic culture and a toxic politic environmental. We can even use the Orlando shooting as fodder for this year’s presidential campaigns.

      But until we start addressing the U.S. government’s part in creating, cultivating and abetting domestic and global terrorism – and hold agencies such as the FBI and Defense Department accountable for importing and exporting violence, breeding extremism and generating blowback, which then gets turned loose on an unsuspecting American populace – we’ll be no closer to putting an end to the violence that claimed 50 lives at an Orlando nightclub on June 12, 2016, than we were 15 years ago when nearly 3,000 individuals were killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

    • Bridging Divides of a New Cold War

      As NATO steps up military maneuvers near Russia’s borders and congressmen fume about “Russian aggression,” a delegation of Americans including former U.S. officials is looking for face-to-face ways to encourage peace, writes Ann Wright.

    • Jo Cox shooting: Eyewitnesses describe moment Labour MP shot outside constituency office

      Eyewitneses have described the moment Labour MP Jo Cox was shot outside her consitituency office in Birstall.

      Ms Cox is believed to be a in a “critical condition” and has been airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary. The Labour MP was shot while holding an advice surgery for her constituents.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiLeaks will release new Clinton emails to add to incriminating evidence, Julian Assange says, in “big year ahead”

      Julian Assange, editor-in chief of WikiLeaks, says the whistle-blowing journalism organization will soon be publishing unreleased emails from Hillary Clinton.

      Clinton, the Democratic Party presidential front-runner, has been under criminal investigation by the FBI for using a personal email account on a private server in her home that contained top-secret information.

      Assange doesn’t believe that Clinton will be indicted, but argues that the government has more than enough evidence, in both her emails and in the dealings of the Clinton Foundation, if it were truly committed to doing so.

      “We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton,” Assange said. “WikiLeaks has a very big year ahead.”

      Assange made these remarks in an interview with the British ITV network on Sunday. The host noted WikiLeaks has been “taking interest” in Clinton’s use of the private email server.

    • Authorities Arrest an IT Worker From the Panama Papers Law Firm

      When Edward Snowden went public as the NSA whistleblower in 2013, few were surprised that a system administrator was behind the spy agency’s leak. Inside administrators who hold the keys to an organization’s data kingdom are a much greater threat to security than outside hackers.

      Now it appears another technical insider may be connected to a leak at Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the heart of the massive Panama Papers scandal. A computer technician employed by Mossack Fonseca’s Geneva office was arrested this week on suspicion of removing “large amounts of data” from the law firm’s network, according to Swiss newspaper Le Temps. Le Temps reported that the worker was arrested after the law firm filed a complaint accusing him of unauthorized access and breach of trust, and of stealing a large amount of confidential data. Investigators also seized computers in the law firm’s Swiss office.

    • Air Force, Lockheed Martin Combine Forces To ‘Lose’ 100,000 Inspector General Investigations

      The Air Force says there’s no evidence of malicious intent, as far as it can tell. But there’s also no evidence of competence. Why is it that files related to oversight of a government agency have no apparent redundancy? It’s small details like these that show the government generally isn’t much interested in policing itself.

      If anything’s going to be recovered, it’s going to be Lockheed’s job, and it’s already spent a few weeks trying with little success. There may be some files stored locally at bases where investigations originated, but they’re likely to be incomplete.

      While I understand the inherent nature of bureaucracy makes it difficult to build fully-functioning systems that can handle digital migration with any sort of grace, it’s completely incomprehensible that a system containing files collected over the last decade would funnel into a single storage space with no backup. It’s one thing if this was just the Air Force’s fault.

      But this is more Lockheed’s fault — and despite its position as a favored government contractor — it’s also known for its innovation and technical prowess. Neither of those qualities are on display in this public embarrassment. And if it can’t recover the data, it’s pretty much erasing more than a decade’s-worth of government mistakes, abuse, and misconduct. And while no one’s going to say anything remotely close to this out loud, there has to be more than a few people relieved to see black marks on their permanent records suddenly converted to a useless tangle of 1s and 0s.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Indonesia Yet to learn from their mistakes: Haze & Indonesia counterparts

      Singapore cannot step further to enter Indonesia’s legal domain on the issue of forest fires because the two countries do not have an agreement in the matter, said Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar.

      “The protocol on forest fires in the Transboundary Haze Pollution Act (THPA) is a multilateral agreement, so there was never a bilateral agreement between Indonesia and Singapore, that must be remembered,” Dr Nurbaya said during a breaking of fast session with reporters on Monday (Jun 13).

      She was responding to a question about Singapore’s Transboundary Haze Pollution Act (THPA) which it passed in 2014 to go after companies that start fires or let their concessions burn.

      Indonesia has taken issue with Singapore’s attempts to act against companies responsible for the haze-causing forest fires that choked parts of Indonesia and the region. Jakarta previously objected by lodging a strong protest through its ambassador in Singapore.

      Dr Nurbaya said that she has explained to Singapore’s Foreign Minister that the THPA is controversial, and that it is being continuously discussed on the Asean’s sub-regional ministers level between Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.

    • Celebrating 10 Years of Ocean Conservation

      The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, later named Papahānaumokuākea, was established by Presidential Proclamation 8031 on June 15, 2006 using the Antiquities Act. It was created to protect an exceptional array of natural and cultural resources. It encompasses 139,797 square miles of the Pacific Ocean and is home to more than 7,000 marine species, one quarter of which are found only in the Hawaiian Archipelago.

  • Finance

    • TPP’s Corporate Sovereignty Chapter A ‘Threat To Democracy And Regulation’

      When the negotiations for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada were concluded in September 2014, the text was finally released after years of secrecy. At the time, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives put together what remains the best overall analysis of the main text’s 1598 pages, in a series of studies collectively called “Making Sense of CETA.” The same organization has now published a set of analyses looking at key aspects of TPP, entitled “What’s the big deal? Understanding the Trans-Pacific Partnership”.

      They are all worth looking at, but Techdirt readers will probably be particularly interested in one called “Foreign investor protections in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” It’s by Gus Van Harten, a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Toronto, Canada, and a well-known commentator on trade law and policy. The first part of his analysis provides a good summary of the world of corporate sovereignty, or investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) as it is more formally known. The later section looks at some new research that provides additional insight into just how bad corporate sovereignty is for those of us who are not insanely rich.

      For example, Van Harten quotes some recent work showing that 90% of ISDS fines against countries went to corporations with over $1 billion in annual revenue or to individuals with over $100 million in net wealth. Similarly, the success rate among the largest multinationals — those with turnovers of at least $10 billion — was 71% in the 48 cases they initiated, compared with a success rate for everyone else of 42%. So any claim that ISDS is equally useful to all companies, including small and medium-sized businesses, is not borne out by the facts.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • More people turning to social media for news: study

      Around half of the people in 26 countries surveyed by Reuters, including Australia, say they use social media as a source of news each week, with one in 10 saying it was their main source.

    • Social media ‘outstrips TV’ as news source for young people

      Of the 18-to-24-year-olds surveyed, 28% cited social media as their main news source, compared with 24% for TV.

    • NPR Retracts False Claim About Terror and Politics, But Doesn’t Tell Listeners the Truth

      As Husseini noted in a response on his own blog (6/15/16), the correction does little to explain the significance of Temple-Raston’s mistake: She had speculated that ISIS might intentionally attack the United States in the run-up to the November elections, possibly in order to help elect Donald Trump, since “they would be able to perhaps get more recruits because of the way he talks about Muslims.” Though noting there was no evidence that this was happening, Temple-Raston claimed that “it’s happened in the past”—which is how she led in to her false statement that “the more conservative candidate ended up winning” in the Spanish election immediately following the Madrid train station bombing.

    • Hillary Wants to Bring Back Bill. She Shouldn’t.

      Why would Hillary threaten workaday Americans with another poke in the eye from her con man spouse?

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Consumer Groups Say AT&T, Comcast Violate Privacy Law By Hoovering Up Cable Box Data Without Full User Consent

      In addition to the $21 billion made annually by cable set top box rental fees, cable companies make untold billions from monetizing the user viewing data these boxes help collect. That captive revenue alone is the driving force behind the pay TV sectors histrionic opposition to the FCC’s plan to open the sector up to third-party hardware competition. Consumer viewing and behavioral data is an immense cash cow, one the cable industry has occasionally threatened to take even further — with patents on tech that lets the cable box literally watch or listen in on American living rooms.

      While things haven’t quite reached that level of total information awareness yet, consumer groups this week filed a formal complaint with both the FTC and FCC arguing that things have gone far enough. Public Knowledge, the Center for Digital Democracy and Consumer Watchdog have filed formal privacy complaints with both the FCC and FTC saying that major cable companies routinely fail to inform consumers about the degree in which their viewing data is collected, stored and monetized via ye olde cable box.

    • An abandoned NSA Cold War spy station in Berlin has been turned into an artists’ playground

      “Go to Teufelsberg,” he replied confidently, before going on to explain that Teufelsberg is an abandoned listening post in West Berlin that the US National Security Agency (NSA) once used to intercept East Berlin and Soviet communications…

    • The Forest for the Trees

      When I first started seeking out other victims, about six months ago, I did not want to formally report any of the stories I had heard from Jake’s victims to the Tor Project or others, for two primary reasons. First, that my main motivation in this was to ensure that these behaviours stopped, and it was not clear to me that any traditional punitive “justice” measures would achieve such. Second, I feared retaliation from Jake, as well as retaliation towards any of the victims whose stories I would divulge. Multiple victims at the time expressed that they didn’t want me to tell The Tor Project, later admitting they feared retaliation to be extremely likely, as well as difficult to combat.

    • A California County Breaks New Ground for Surveillance Transparency

      Last week, a county in California encompassing much of Silicon Valley set a new standard in local surveillance transparency after months of activism by residents and allies from across the bay area. Their efforts, and the policy it enabled, suggest an overlooked strategy in the national battle to curtail unaccountable secret mass surveillance.

      While federal agencies play a controversial role in monitoring Americans, their local counterparts also conduct similar activities—not only in the context of counterterrorism, but even for the sake of routine public safety. While concerns about the militarization of local police have long united Americans across the political spectrum, the metastasis of surveillance platforms across local police departments, county sheriffs, and state highway patrols too often went largely unnoticed until recently.

    • Snowden Disclosure Prompts Backlash in Scotland

      Top government officials in Scotland are under pressure to explain their knowledge of a secretive police surveillance unit that was exposed in documents leaked by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      On Tuesday, cabinet secretary for justice Michael Matheson was grilled in the country’s parliament about the so-called Scottish Recording Centre and its previously undisclosed involvement in covert surveillance operations.

    • National Security Agency (NSA) Exploring Use Of Biomedical Device Data

      The National Security Agency (NSA) is interested in collecting information from biomedical devices for national security purposes, according to recent statements made by the agency’s deputy director, Richard Ledgett. Under- and unprotected devices in the Internet of Things (IoT), including medical devices, could be both a help and a hindrance to intelligence agencies like NSA, he said, providing them with a wealth of information and potentially exposing them to terrorist surveillance.

    • Why Microsoft Wanted LinkedIn

      LinkedIn, for its part, has been struggling; in February, its stock dropped more than forty per cent in a single day, after it announced a forecast that fell far short of what analysts had expected. The company’s C.E.O., Jeff Weiner, has blamed its recent troubles largely on a broader economic slowdown; LinkedIn’s business model relies on charging employers and employees for premium services, like sending messages to strangers, and when the economy isn’t thriving headhunters and workers tend not to be as willing to pay for connections. But the dominance of Facebook, among other big rivals, has also made it harder for LinkedIn, whose ad business competes with Facebook’s, to survive as an independent company. As Nicholas Lemann wrote in a Profile, last year, of the LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, “Silicon Valley is obsessed with ‘scale,’ and LinkedIn is, as yet, insufficiently enormous.” On Monday, Weiner acknowledged as much. “Imagine a world where we’re no longer looking up at Tech Titans such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, and wondering what it would be like to operate at their extraordinary scale—because we’re one of them,” he wrote.

    • FBI Sues To Block Disclosure Of Surveillance Cameras Locations Because It Would Violate The Privacy Of Those Surveilled

      Another injunction request has been filed in response to a Phil Mocek public records request pertaining to Seattle’s power utility. This time, Mocek and MuckRock (through which Mocek’s requests have been routed) are not named as defendants. It’s only the city of Seattle and its public utility (Seattle City Light) being named as defendants, but Mocek’s public records request is specified in the federal court filing [PDF]. (h/t Mike Scarcella)

      This time, the plaintiff isn’t a multinational corporation. It’s the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The nexus for the FBI’s attempt to block further disclosures to Mocek (and other requesters like local new station KIRO) is its remora-esque relationship with Seattle’s public utility. After a long paragraph utilizing terms like “tradecraft,” “concealments,” and “advanced electronic surveillance,” we finally get to the real reason the FBI wants the court to keep the city of Seattle from handing out any more public utility documents to requesters.

    • House eyes new chance to reform surveillance
    • House to Vote on Curbing NSA Surveillance in Wake of Orlando
    • Privacy Advocates Aim to Use Defense Spending Bill to Protect Encryption
    • House Intel Boss, Rep. Devin Nunes, Lying To Congress About Attempt To Stop Encryption Backdoors
    • Congressman Cites Orlando Tragedy as Reason to Fight Surveillance Reform

      The head of the House Intelligence Committee is hand-delivering a letter to colleagues on Capitol Hill, demanding they not restrict the FBI’s surveillance power — and citing the recent mass shooting in Orlando as justification. The letter opposes a proposed amendment that would put an end to FBI “backdoor” searches of an NSA database of foreign intelligence without judicial oversight.

      “The national security threats to the United States and its allies are greater today than at any point since 9/11. To keep Americans safe, our intelligence community needs to fully employ every tool available to it,” Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., wrote in the letter obtained by The Intercept, cosigned with Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga.

    • Government Surveillance Can’t Prevent Attacks Like Orlando. We Shouldn’t Expand It Now.

      There’s much that’s depressingly familiar about the news coming out of Orlando, where Omar Mateen committed the worst mass shooting of its kind in U.S. history: the heartbreaking images and stories of survivors and the relatives of those gunned down; the almost immediate offering of empty platitudes by politicians conspiring to do nothing about yet another bloodbath carried out with a high-powered weapon; the just-as-immediate resort to naked bigotry by the ignorant and the unscrupulous; the eagerness to declare the shooter in some way associated with foreign terror threats before the bodies of the dead are cold.

    • Inside the GCHQ doughnut, code breakers face up to our encrypted future [Ed: puff piece.]
  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • ‘Ferguson Effect’ is a plausible reason for spike in violent US crime, study says [Trevor Timm: "If the police are too afraid to do their job due to transparency and public scrutiny, isn't that the police's fault?"]

      A new justice department-funded study concludes that a version of the so-called “Ferguson Effect” is a “plausible” explanation for the spike in violent crime seen in most of the country’s largest cities in 2015, but cautions that more research is still needed.

      The study, released by the National Institute of Justice on Wednesday, suggests three possible drivers for the more than 16% spike in homicide from 2014 to 2015 in 56 of the nation’s largest cities. But based on the timing of the increase, University of Missouri St Louis criminologist Richard Rosenfeld concluded, there is “stronger support” for some version of the Ferguson Effect hypothesis than its alternatives.

    • Dozens of news orgs demand DOJ release its secret rules for targeting journalists with secret National Security Letters

      Freedom of the Press Foundation recently filed a huge brief in the organization’s case demanding that the Justice Department release its secret rules for targeting journalists with National Security Letters. And in related news, a coalition of 37 news organizations – including the New York Times, The Associated Press, USA Today, Buzzfeed, and tons more – filed an amicus brief in support of the Freedom of the Press Foundation case, demanding that the Department of Justice do the same.

    • Dozens of news orgs demand DOJ release its secret rules for targeting journalists with National Security Letters

      A coalition of thirty-seven of news organizations—including the New York Times, the Associated Press, NPR, USA Today, and Buzzfeed—filed a legal brief over the weekend in support of Freedom of the Press Foundation’s case demanding that the Justice Department release its secret rules for targeting journalists with National Security Letters (NSLs).

    • CIA Files Show Prisoner Waterboarded 83 Times Would Have Cooperated Before Torture

      A cache of declassified documents has revealed new details about the CIA’s torture program. Among other findings, the records show a prisoner who was waterboarded 83 times was likely willing to cooperate with interrogators before the torture. The account from medical personnel who helped with the first waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah deals a major blow to the CIA’s insistence it gained crucial information through torture.

    • CIA Releases New and Gruesome Details on Its Torture Program

      The CIA released 50 new documents yesterday relating to its post-9/11 torture and rendition program. Despite the many disclosures that have come in the course of our decade-long fight to reveal the details of the program, the new revelations still have the capacity to shock.

    • New CIA Documents Reveal More Horrors of President Bush’s Torture Program

      The CIA on Tuesday released dozens of documents detailing its torture and rendition program under the Bush administration, from the horrific treatment of detainees to the agency’s 2002 plan to ask the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) not to prosecute interrogators.

      The heavily redacted trove of more than 50 documents was published in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by the ACLU last year, which sought records referenced in the U.S. Senate’s damning report on the CIA’s program—commonly referred to as the torture report—released in December 2014.

    • New York Lawmakers Race to Toughen Oversight of Nurses and Other Professionals

      Spurred by concerns about problem nurses, New York lawmakers are racing to pass legislation to toughen oversight of more than 50 types of licensed professionals in the state.

      Earlier this month, Senate and Assembly committees unanimously passed bills that would allow the state Education Department to suspend licenses more swiftly and compel more reporting of criminal convictions and misconduct. A ProPublica investigation published in April found New York lagged behind other states in these regards, citing examples of nurses who retained their licenses even after being charged with or convicted of violent crimes.

    • It’s Not Me, It’s You: Tips for Strong Relationships With Sources

      Later this week, many of the nation’s best investigative journalists will be gathering in New Orleans for the annual Investigative Reporters & Editors conference. They’ll swap ideas, learn new skills and hopefully return to their hometowns to dig with renewed fervor. Full disclosure: I serve on the board of IRE, so can be totally unbiased in saying that I think the organization is the best resource in the universe for investigative reporters.

    • British Politics Descends Into Nativism and Farce, and Trump Hasn’t Even Arrived Yet

      With just over a week to go before Britons vote on whether or not to leave the European Union, the campaign for “independence” from the EU has turned farcical and deeply nasty, with nationalists relying heavily on anti-immigrant hysteria and racism to make their case.

      And it turns out that Donald Trump has chosen next Friday, June 24 — the day the referendum votes will be counted — to visit his mother’s ancestral homeland, Scotland. Trump’s avowed purpose is to celebrate the reopening of a golf resort he owns there, but the timing suggests he may be hoping to be on hand to cheer the success of a reactionary political movement based on the same sort of appeals to nativism and xenophobia that have served him so well in America.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Safari 10 dumps Flash, Java, Silverlight, QuickTime in the trash

      Apple has taken its turn at the hammer, and added its own i-Nail to the coffin of Flash.

      Over at the Webkit blog, Ricky Mondello of the Safari team writes that Safari 10, due in the northern fall, will “behave as though common legacy plug-ins on users’ Macs are not installed”.

      Instead, it will try to default to HTML5 for content like video, and Safari will not ship with an exception list. If a site only offers Flash, the user will have to explicitly switch it on for that site and add it to their own exceptio

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Citigroup Sues AT&T For Saying ‘Thanks’ To Customers

        Whenver we discuss a particularly egregious case of trademark abuse, usually centered around the trademarking of some insanely common word or phrase, there’s always at least one instance of “that joke” in the comments. You know the joke I’m talking about: well, I’ll just trademark X and sue everyone, where X=super-common word or phrase. For example: “I’ll just trademark “trademark” and sue anyone who uses a trademark!”, or, “I’ll just trademark “the” and sue everyone who uses it!” These jokes play on the common problem of generic terms being granted trademarks, but of course they are examples so ridiculous that it couldn’t happen for those specific words and terms. Still, to our lovely commenters, we say, “Thank you.”

      • Citigroup trademarks “THANKYOU” and sues AT&T for thanking clients

        Who knew? Banking giant Citigroup has trademarked “THANKYOU” and is now suing technology giant AT&T for how it says thanks to its own loyal customers. This is “unlawful conduct” amounting to wanton trademark infringement, Citigroup claims in its federal lawsuit.

        Here is a copy (PDF) of the trademark certificates and trademark applications connected to what Citigroup is calling its “THANKYOU Marks.”

    • Copyrights

      • ISP Association Nominates Copyright Troll As ‘Internet Villain’

        The UK’s trade association for providers of Internet services have nominated a notorious copyright troll for the much coveted title of “Internet Villain of the Year”. ISPA UK, which counts the major ISPs and Google as members, shortlisted TCYK LLC for its “speculative invoicing” campaign against Internet account holders.

      • EFF, Public Citizen Enter Legal Battle That Started With Defamation But Is Somehow Now All About Copyright

        Copyright is supposed to be a limited-use protection for creative works. The “limited” part went away with endless term extensions and auto-copyright for any creation attached to a “fixed medium.” These days, copyright is the magical cure-all that doesn’t actually cure anything. It’s a weapon to be wielded dishonestly and inelegantly against the ignorant, in hopes of limiting speech to only what IP abusers like.


Links 15/6/2016: Saving Old Chromebooks, PCLinuxOS With Trinity

Posted in News Roundup at 4:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Give New Life to Old PCs with Linux

    Do you have some old hardware collecting dust in the basement, attic, or garage? Don’t let it go to waste just because it’s not powerful enough to run modern operating systems. Linux can breathe new life into such machines. I have revived many old PCs in this way. For example, I use one as my main file server, another as a family laptop in the living room for quick browsing, and third one as a media center in the kids’ room. Additionally, I have donated two revived laptops to a cause.

    So, don’t let good hardware die of old age.

  • Desktop

    • Liberating Crippled Chromebooks

      This seems like a great idea for anyone already confident in their use of GNU/Linux. Liberate the Chromebook from the straight-jacket of Chrome OS. It is a GNU/Linux OS but anchored to the browser. This procedure should permit full use of the hardware to run general applications. Amen.

  • Server

    • 3 Reasons IBM Participates in Linux Foundation Projects

      It’s impressive that IBM was founded more than a century ago with decades of research, technologies, and products behind it. But even more impressive is that the company continues to evolve and embrace emerging technologies. It’s done so, in part, due to its continued involvement with Linux and open source through The Linux Foundation.

      “IBM has a long history with The Linux Foundation,” says Todd Moore, VP of Open Technology at IBM. “We’ve been one of the bedrock members of The Linux Foundation since its inception.” And, more generally, says Moore, “We have a long history of doing open source projects throughout many communities.”

    • A Shared History & Mission with The Linux Foundation: Todd Moore, IBM
    • ON.Lab releases latest ONOS SDN platform

      The Open Network Lab’s Open Network Operating System project unveiled its seventh release targeting a software-defined networking operating system, dubbed “Goldeneye.”

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Dispatches from the GTK+ hackfest

        A quick update from the GTK+ hackfest. I don’t really want to talk about the versioning discussion, except for two points:

        First, I want to apologize to Allison for encouraging her to post about this – I really didn’t anticipate the amount of uninformed, unreasonable and hateful reactions that we received.

  • Distributions

    • New Linux Lite Is a Powerhouse Distro in Disguise

      Linux Lite 3.0 offers a great deal of flexibility and usability for both recent Microsoft Windows expatriots and seasoned Linux users. A new user application puts all of the needed information for using the distro in one spot. Just click on the topic and automatically view the information in a Web browser display.

      All of the system controls and settings are located in the Settings option within the main menu display. Windows users will find a close similarity to the Control Panel in that OS. Even recent Linux newcomers will not need much exploring or head-scratching to navigate their way around Linux Lite.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Day in the life of a Fedora Packager

          Ever wondered what it’s like being involved with the Fedora Project? There are many different roles and types of people that help make Fedora what it is. One common form of contributing is packaging. This is when someone takes software, “packages” it in the RPM format, and publishes the RPM to the Fedora repositories. There’s some steps along the way to being a packager. In this article, Fedora packager James Hogarth, responsible for ownCloud, Certbot (formerly LetsEncrypt), and more, details a day in the life of what it’s like being a Fedora Packager.

        • Fedora Wallpaper

          For some a computer wallpaper is not thought about and the default wallpaper stays for the live of their computer, others they like to pick a soothing scene of peace and serenity. At time I like The Serenity, but I usually like to rotate my wallpaper on a semi-monthly basis. While search the web for a new wallpaper I stumbled across a Legends of Zelda Logo wallpaper that I liked the look of. Not a fan of the Legend of Zelda I wanted to do something similar for Fedora.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi Zero: Hands-on with the Zero4U 4-Port USB Hub

      In browsing around the UUGear web page I saw that they have a variety of other boards, such as a 7-port USB Hub designed for the “standard-sized” Raspberry Pi models and an acrylic case to fit that assembly.

      One last thing. There have been a number of comments about two things that some people think the Raspberry Pi is “missing” – a real-time clock and a complete power-off at shutdown capability. UUGear offers another board called the Witty Pi which incorporates both of those. They also have an acrylic case for this assembly, and even a larger case for the Pi, 7-port USB Hub and Witty Pi all together. Good stuff.

    • Putting the ‘Micro’ Into Microservices With Raspberry Pi

      I decided to really put the ‘micro’ into ‘microservices’, so I prepared a system of Raspberry Pis and pcDuinos. WebSphere Liberty is so lightweight that it can easily run on a Pi, and it’s so small and cheap that I can easily build up a collection of computers. I called it the ‘data center in a handbag.’ Because each machine really is a machine, the topology is more obvious.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • How to manage Smart Storage on your Nextbit Robin Android device

          If you’ve purchased an unlocked Nextbit Robin, you’ll want to take advantage of the impressive Smart Storage feature. Jack Wallen shows you how.

        • New Android ransomware targets smart TVs
        • Android N 7.0 review – hands on, how to get it, best features, release date, name

          Bucking its usual trend, Google has been treating us to Developer Preview versions of its next mobile operating system, Android N. While its name is still yet to be officially decided, following Google I/O you’re now able to try out Developer Preview 3, which Google is describing as the first beta-quality candidate.

          As such, if you were sat on the fence as to whether or not to try it out on your main phone or tablet, now might be the time to jump in and get among the Beta fun. If you’re already on the Beta, an OTA update should be rolling out to get you to the latest version. If you’re looking to do a fresh install, instructions are below.

        • Android inventor Andy Rubin thinks the future of smartphones might be a single AI

          Andy Rubin, who co-founded Android and jump-started Google’s robotics efforts, imagines a future where artificial intelligence is so powerful that it powers every connected device. Speaking at Bloomberg’s Tech Conference in San Francisco today, Rubin said a combination of quantum computing and AI advancements could yield a conscious intelligence that would underpin every piece of technology. “If you have computing that is as powerful as this could be, you might only need one,” Rubin says. “It might not be something you carry around; it just has to be conscious.”

        • Hyve Mobility announces Buzz and Storm smartphones with pure Android

          Hyve Mobility, a new technology startup has announced its first two smartphones. The Buzz and Storm smartphones will run pure Android.

          Hyve Buzz and Storm smartphones run stock Android 5.1 Lollipop, although an Android Marshmallow update is being promised soon.

          The focus here is not the devices itself, but the pure Android experience. However, apart from pure Android, Hyve Mobility’s Buzz and Storm are just like any other smartphone in the market.

        • Android continues market share gains around the world as Apple’s iPhone slips

          Thanks to the growing wave of first-time smartphone buyers, Android is expanding its market share lead over Apple’s iOS.

          That conclusion was part of Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s latest smartphone report.

          Kantar found that for the three months ending April 2016, Android grabbed 76 percent of smartphone sales in Europe’s five largest markets, up 5.8 percent from the 70.2 percent it had for the same three months a year ago. (Those five markets: Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.)

Free Software/Open Source

  • A History of Open Source Fonts

    With the advent of free software for non-programmers, users ran into a licensing dilemma in a world of proprietary fonts.

    Most Linux users soon hear of the influence of the GNU General Public License (GPL) in the development of free software. However, fewer have heard of the influence of the SIL Font License, although it is as important for design as the GPL has been for software. Just as the GPL is responsible for the development of free software, so the SIL Font License has enabled the rise of the free font movement, making Linux a practical choice for designers and artists. Today, it is the most popular free license for fonts, although few know its story.

  • Events

    • How My Trip to SELF Turned Into a Nightmare

      Our writer goes to the Queen City of Charlotte, North Carolina for the SouthEast LinuxFest. Instead of having a good time, however, the trip turned into a nightmare — but the fault lies with Econo Lodge, not with SELF.

      What a great time I had during the day I spent at this year’s SouthEast LinuxFest. Those of you who read Friday’s Week-in-Review know that I had planned to stick around for the full three days of festivities at my favorite community oriented Linux and open source conference on the East Coast, but alas that wasn’t meant to be. But what a blast I had during the day I was there.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Healthcare

    • Leeds and Ripple pick Lockheed Martin to help build open source digital care record

      It added that Lockheed Martin will help support the work that is underway in Leeds for the benefit of frontline health and care staff. Leeds, which has the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) – soon to be renamed NHS Digital – based in the city, as well as the second largest teaching hospital in Europe, is regarded as one of the best cities for health and well being. At the same time, facing continuing austerity, the city council sees its role as one of leadership, facilitation and commissioning.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)


    • GnuTLS 3.5.1

      Released GnuTLS 3.5.1 a feature update release in the next stable branche.

  • Public Services/Government

    • European colleges share SMEs open source training

      Tertiary education institutes (hochschule and university college) and ICT training specialists from across Europe are creating a course to train students to help small and medium-sized enterprises select and use open source cloud services. The course will be tested on Spanish and British exchange students working for SMEs in the two countries.

  • Programming/Development

    • Top 100 Most Popular Programming Languages Of 2016

      You might be familiarized with the top programming languages like C++, Java, Python, JavaScript etc., but there exists a vast pool of programming languages that you need to know about. All these languages have different strengths and applications that should be studied before learning them. Here, we are sharing a list of the top 100 most popular programming languages of 2016.

    • What cognitive linguistics can teach developers

      Chris Prather never metaphor he didn’t like.

      That’s what he tells developers, at any rate. And on stage at SouthEast LinuxFest in Charlotte, NC, Prather explained how a deep understanding of metaphor—and the critical role it plays in cognitive function—can improve an open source software developer’s work. He delivered his presentation, “I Never Metaphor I Didn’t Like: How Cognitive Linguistics Can Help You Be A (More) Bad-ass Developer,” last Friday.

      Metaphors “are more than just flowery language, even though that’s how they’re taught to us in gradeschool and college,” said Prather, CEO of Tamarou, a boutique Perl development shop.


  • This USB adapter is Microsoft’s final admission that Kinect failed

    Microsoft had a bold vision for its Xbox One console that involved its Kinect accessory. While the Kinect for Xbox 360 was one of the most popular game console accessories of all time, a bundled Kinect with the Xbox One introduced a $100 price premium over the PS4 competition. Despite switching course and unbundling the Kinect, Microsoft hasn’t recovered yet in the games console battle, with reports suggesting it has sold 20 million Xbox One consoles vs. Sony’s 40 million PS4 shipments.

  • Science

    • On Agent Orange, VA Weighs Politics and Cost Along With Science

      Last year, a group of federal scientists was debating whether as many as 2,100 Air Force veterans should qualify for cash benefits for ailments they claimed stemmed from flying aircraft contaminated by Agent Orange.

      An outside panel of experts had already determined that the scientific evidence showed the vets were likely exposed to the toxic herbicide.

      The scientists within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs agreed the airmen had a strong case. But they had a more calculated concern: If the VA doled out cash to these veterans, others might want it too, according to an internal document obtained by ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot.

  • Security

    • Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump [Ed: Microsoft Windows again]

      Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.

    • Bears in the Midst: Intrusion into the Democratic National Committee

      The COZY BEAR intrusion relied primarily on the SeaDaddy implant developed in Python and compiled with py2exe and another Powershell backdoor with persistence accomplished via Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) system, which allowed the adversary to launch malicious code automatically after a specified period of system uptime or on a specific schedule. The Powershell backdoor is ingenious in its simplicity and power. It consists of a single obfuscated command setup to run persistently, such as…

    • Big data will fix internet security … eventually [Ed: Microsoft’s Grimes says mass surveillance (‘big data’) will fix Internet security eventually]

      I’ve always thought that improved computer security controls would “fix” the internet and stop persistent criminality — turns out it might be big data analytics instead.

    • Symantec dons a Blue Coat [Ed: two evil companies are now one]

      Symantec will pay US$4.65 billion in an all-cash deal to buy privately-held Blue Coat to ramp up its enterprise security offerings.

    • How A Student Fooled 17,000 Coders Into Running His ‘Sketchy’ Programming Code

      Using the typosquatting technique, a German college student tricked more than 17,000 people from cybersecurity and programming community into clicking his fake software packages. More than half the time his code ran with administrative rights, affecting government and military organizations.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • 4 people shot in downtown Oakland, 1 fatally

      Four people were shot in downtown Oakland early Tuesday evening — leaving one dead, according to police.

    • Drawing Wrong Lessons from Orlando

      America’s mass shootings, especially those linked to Islamic terrorism like the slaughter in Orlando, Florida, prompt a reflex of responses, but some reactions are particularly unhelpful, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Mitch McConnell Says He May Be ‘Open’ to Post-Orlando Gun Control

      Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says he be may be “open” to placing new gun controls on law-abiding citizens following the terror attack on Pulse Orlando.

      According to CBS News’s Steven Portnoy, McConnell has a meeting with FBI director James Comey and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Wednesday. Portnoy Tweeted that McConnell has signaled he may be willing to consider new gun controls after that meeting.

    • Your One-Size-Fits-All American Mass Slaughter Article

      We American value efficiency. We like to “get to it.” So why do we have to write and read pretty much the same articles, and do the same stuff, every time another mass slaughter occurs?

      So to help out, here’s your one-size-fits-all article. I hope you bookmark it, and refer back to it when the next act takes place. And a request– for those commenting, please try and keep your remarks as generic as possible as well in the spirit of things.

    • Orlando Mass Shooting Not Deadliest in American History

      To call it that is to forget the last hundred years of U.S. history of mass violence fueled by racial hatred and homophobia. Although precise numbers of deaths are impossible to specify, at least 100 African Americans were killed in East S​t.​ Louis, Ill., in one bloody night in July 1917; anywhere from 55 to 300 blacks were massacred in Tulsa​, Okla.,​ in 16 hours in June 1921; and dozens more were killed in Rosewood, Fla., in January 1923. And of course, more recently, 32 died in the 1973 bombing of the UpStairs Lounge, a gay bar in New Orleans.

    • Muhammad Ali’s True Patriotism

      Muhammad Ali angered much of America by declaring “I ain’t got no quarrel with the Vietcong” and refusing to fight in Vietnam, but his principled stand was vindicated by history and is a lesson for today, says Ivan Eland.

    • How the FBI’s Pursue-Every-Lead Policy Allowed the Orlando Shooting

      The FBI first discovered Omar Mateen, the man who would kill 49 and injure more than 50 others at a gay nightclub, when he boasted of a friendship with terrorists.

      Mateen told one of his co-workers at a private security firm in 2013 that he knew Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Mateen’s co-worker reported that information to the FBI.

    • What the FBI Was Doing Instead of Catching the Orlando Shooter

      After the most recent mass shooting in Orlando, Florida – the worst in U.S. history – one might ask how the FBI was able to investigate the perpetrator, twice, without deciding to take any further action. This question is further confounded by the fact the perpetrator was, according to his wife, an abusive, unstable man suffering from bipolar disorder.

    • Despite Orlando Killer’s Desire to Glorify ISIS, Discussion Moves on to His Sexuality

      As the first details about the massacre in Orlando trickled out on Sunday, Ali H. Soufan, a former counterterrorism agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, watched the media coverage unfold in a familiar way.

      Soufan, who now runs a consulting firm, told The Intercept that before it became known that the killer, in a call to the police during the attack, had dedicated his rampage to the leader of the Islamic State militant group, news reports focused on the timing and location of the shooting spree. An attack on an LGBT club during a month dedicated to expressing pride in that community — and the gunman’s personal profile — seemed strongly suggestive of a hate crime.

    • Orlando Shooting – RT Interview
    • When Media Learned Killer’s Ethnicity, Then They Knew to Call It ‘Terrorism’

      News coverage over the past 48 hours of the Orlando nightclub attacks has shown how corporate media use specific vocabulary to manipulate public perceptions and perpetuate harmful stereotypes and xenophobia.

      In the early hours of June 12, as reports poured in about a shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, news outlets were reluctant to characterize the incident beyond calling it an act of violence.

    • Orlando Shooter Wasn’t the First Murderer Employed By Global Mercenary Firm

      The man who shot over 100 people and killed 49 in an Orlando nightclub Saturday worked at a retirement home as a security guard for G4S – a giant, often controversial global contracting corporation that provides mercenary forces, prison guards and security services. G4S is one of the world’s largest private security companies, with more than 620,000 employees and a presence in over 100 countries.

    • Post-Orlando Demagoguery Described as Trump’s Most Horrifying to Date

      “A man on TV is trying to make political capital out of the mass murder of innocent people.”

      “This is the scariest political speech I have ever seen in America.”

      “As a woman, and daughter of immigrants with an Arabic last name, this is probably the most frightening Trump speech I’ve heard.”

      Those were just a sampling of responses to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s fear-mongering and fallacy-ridden speech, delivered Monday afternoon in New Hampshire as a response to the mass shooting in Orlando.

    • Queer Muslims exist – and we are in mourning too

      A strange thing happened a few months ago. I got a news alert that my photo project, Just Me and Allah, which documents queer Muslims and their diverse experiences, had been mentioned in a major LGBT magazine website.

      I didn’t recall having done an interview with them, so I clicked on the article. The piece was about a 17-year-old Muslim girl in North Dakota allegedly having had a gun pointed at her head by her father after he discovered that she was a lesbian. In the piece, I was cited as proof of the existence of pro-LGBT Muslims – as if that were an anomaly. I wondered whether some random LGBT Christian would’ve been mentioned had the story involved an evangelical father and his daughter.

    • Euro 2016: Police fire tear gas at fans in Lille

      Tear gas has been used against football fans in Lille amid reports of renewed clashes at Euro 2016.

      It has not been been made clear which team’s fans were involved. England and Wales fans have been gathering in Lille ahead of their match in nearby Lens.

      Russian and Slovakian supporters are also in Lille, after their match at the city’s Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

      There are also reports that hundreds of England fans have been surrounded by riot police in the city’s main square.

    • End of Ceasefire in Syria: Aleppo on Fire

      On June 9, the defense ministers of Russia, Syria and Iran met in Tehran to discuss counter-terrorism activities and security initiatives that would prevent jihadists from conducting wider operations in the region. Russian Defense Ministry statement said the talks were focused on «priority measures in reinforcing the cooperation» in the fight with Islamic State (IS) and al-Nusra terrorist groups.

    • China says Dalai Lama-Obama meeting will damage bilateral ties

      China has lodged diplomatic representations with the United States over a planned meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama at the White House on Wednesday saying it would damage Chinese-U.S. ties, the Foreign Ministry said.

      China considers the exiled Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader a dangerous separatist, and ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular briefing the meeting would encourage “separatist forces”.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Indonesia hits back at Singapore in latest haze row

      Indonesia insisted Monday Singapore cannot take legal action against its citizens over the haze that choked Southeast Asia last year after the city-state sought to question the director of an Indonesian company.

      Forest fires in Indonesia produced acrid smog that shrouded Singapore, Malaysia and other parts of the region for weeks, pushing air quality to unhealthy levels, causing many to fall ill and disrupting air travel.

      The blazes are an annual occurrence during the dry season as land is cleared using slash-and-burn methods but they were the worst for years in 2015, with Singapore particularly angered at what it said was Jakarta’s failure to take action.

      Tempers have frayed again after Singapore last month attempted to call in the director of an Indonesian company suspected of being linked to the haze for questioning, Singaporean media reported, citing the National Environment Agency.

    • Why is this liberal congresswoman spreading anti-solar arguments?

      With the home solar panel industry and the electric utility industry at war, you might expect a liberal Democratic congresswoman from New York City to support the solar side. But that’s not what happened recently when Rep. Yvette Clarke decided to wade into this fight. Instead, she signed her name to a letter apparently written by utility lobbyists that warns about the risk of solar companies duping consumers.

      The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is holding a workshop on June 21 to learn about the booming rooftop solar market and how it’s affecting consumers. There are concerns on both pro- and anti-solar sides: The solar industry is hoping that the FTC will look into what they consider to be anti-competitive practices by the electric utility industry, intended to stymie the growth of solar. The utilities hope to prod the FTC to investigate allegedly unscrupulous solar companies, in the name of protecting consumers.

    • World’s Banks Driving Climate Chaos with Hundreds of Billions in Extreme Energy Financing

      Turning their backs on climate science and the consensus of governments and civil society across the globe, the world’s biggest banks are dangerously advancing the climate crisis by pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the world’s most polluting fossil fuel industries, according to a new report published Tuesday.

  • Finance

    • Rolls-Royce says Brexit will heighten investment risk

      Engineering giant Rolls Royce has written to employees saying it wants the UK to stay in the European Union.

      Brexit would “limit any company’s ability to plan and budget for the future,” the firm said.

      Meanwhile, the CBI has said a vote to Leave would “put British businesses out in the cold”.

      But Leave campaigners said the CBI does not represent British business and is “the voice of Brussels”.

    • NYT Dismisses Social Programs, Routine in Much of the World, as ‘Unsustainable’

      And as his candidacy’s political purpose became clearer, corporate media criticism of his intention to stay in the race has become sharper. After the June 7 primaries, when it became mathematically impossible for Sanders to win a majority of the pledged delegates, much of the media circled the wagons, insisting Sanders drop out in the interest of “party unity” and “stopping Trump”—something Sanders himself has pledged to work toward.


      With this one sentence, the New York Times not only embraced a right-wing canard that’s been peddled by everyone from the Wall Street Journal to the neoliberal Urban Institute, it also contradicted its previous editorial stance on the issue. In 2013, the Times (9/29/13) presented universal healthcare as a widespread standard that the US ought to meet…


      One major change was in the official policy position of the Democratic Party. While universal healthcare was once a broad goal of putative liberals, the Democrats’ soon-to-be leader, Hillary Clinton, says that single-payer healthcare will “never, ever happen.” New York Times Clinton partisan and leading center-left economist Paul Krugman insisted in January that single-payer was “a distraction.” Adam Gaffney of the New Republic wrote in March, “Republicans are no longer afraid of the menace of single-payer, for a perfectly good reason: The mainstream of the Democratic Party has largely abandoned it.”

    • Bankers win big on UK referendum ballot

      The financial sector has used the threat of Brexit via the UK referendum on EU membership to promote its deregulatory agenda since 2013, according to a new study (1) by Corporate Europe Observatory.

      “How Cameron’s referendum delivered victories to Big Finance” tells the story of how, from the day a ballot on UK membership was first announced by David Cameron three years ago, the financial sector has sought and won significant lobbying victories thanks to a complicit UK government and EU efforts to keep the City of London happy.

      The appointment of Jonathan Hill as European commissioner for financial services, the deregulation agenda of the so-called “Capital Markets Union”, the impending roll-backs on rules to protect against financial instability, and special decision-making privileges for the UK should the interests of banks come under attack, are all highlighted as the key triumphs of the sector and its allies in the UK government since the prospect of Brexit was raised as a serious possibility.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Sanders: End of Voting Does Not Mean End of Political Revolution

      Bernie Sanders held a press conference on Tuesday calling for reform of the Democratic party—starting with the ouster of Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz—and said he would remain in the presidential race until the end.

      Speaking ahead of a planned meeting with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Sanders said, “The time is now—in fact, the time is long overdue, for a fundamental transformation of the Democratic party.”

    • A Campaign Based on Conspiracy Theory

      Conspiracy theories – suspicions without evidence – have become a bane of modern life, but Donald Trump seeks to make them a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, as Todd Gitlin describes.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Bryan Lim’s threat should be treated more seriously than Amos Yee’s

      While I do not ascribe to any of his points of views, I view him as nothing more than a teenager trying to find his way in the world. As a fellow citizen, I am of the opinion that we should nurture his intelligence rather than alienate him. It is painfully obvious that he isn’t some kind of violent criminal. Nor has he incited anyone to violence. All he has done is mouthed off on religion and the late Mr Lee. Now, I am not suggesting that he is a respectful child. But since when has disrespect become a crime?

    • Peter Thiel’s Gawker-Killing Lawyer Now Issuing Bogus Defamation Threats Over Story On Donald Trump’s Hair

      Earlier this week we noted that Peter Thiel’s legal vendetta against Gawker went way beyond just the Hulk Hogan case. In fact, it appeared that Thiel not only paid the lawyer, Charles Harder, to set up his own legal practice (without revealing to Holder who was really paying the bills), but basically sought to help pay the bills of lots of folks pushing legal claims on Gawker, no matter how tenuous. That included a questionable labor dispute (where even the plaintiff said he felt used by the lawyer) and a weird defamation case in which the court easily tossed out the defamation claim against Gawker, but the plaintiff, Meanith Huon, settled the claim against Above The Law (where his argument was marginally stronger), but appealed the ruling against Gawker, telling the court that he wasn’t concerned about the appeal because he was “getting support from Hulk Hogan’s lawyers in California.” The deeper you look at the Huon case, the more ridiculous it seems.


      We see these kinds of notices all the time, and know that you absolutely can republish such threat letters without fear of actual infringement, but as Gawker’s reporter rightly notes, doing so might only give Harder yet another opportunity to pile on a questionable lawsuit. After some consideration, however, Gawker changed its mind and posted the letter. It’s as ridiculous as you’d expect. It lists out 19 specific statements from the original article, which it claims are false and defamatory. At the very least, that’s more advanced than most purely bogus threats that don’t highlight exact statements.

      Still, the key statements that Harder claims are defamatory are taken directly from other lawsuits against Ivari, and there’s what’s known as fair reporting privilege, which allows you to quote what’s found in a lawsuit and not be liable as if you’d said it yourself. Many of the other statements are minor issues that hardly rise to the level of defamation in any sense of the term, let alone hitting the necessary standards of being done recklessly with malicious intent, as would be necessary for a defamation claim to succeed. Incredibly, in the very first item, Harder even changes a word to misrepresent what Gawker’s article said.

    • Donald Trump revokes Washington Post press credentials

      Donald Trump says he is “revoking” the Washington Post’s press access at his campaign events because the newspaper is “phony and dishonest.”

      In a Facebook post, the presumptive GOP nominee attributed the decision to the newspaper’s “incredibly inaccurate coverage” of him.

    • Google’s Arbitrary Morality Police Threaten Us Yet Again; Media Sites Probably Shouldn’t Use Google Ads

      Two years ago, we wrote about a ridiculous situation in which the morality police who work for Google’s AdSense team threatened to kill our account because they saw that their ads were being displayed on this page, which has a story (from 2012) about a publicity rights claim involving a music video using footage of a porn star without her permission. The story was quite clearly about the intellectual property issues at play, but the AdSense team insisted that since the still image displayed from the embedded video showed a (clothed) woman pole dancing, it violated their policies on “adult or mature content.” We protested and AdSense rejected our protest, insisting that the still image of the pole dancing violated their policies. Never mind the fact that the same exact video was hosted on Google-owned YouTube where it had Google’s ads enabled…

      For what it’s worth, this happened just months after we had started using Google AdSense, after representatives from that team put together a big effort to get us switch from the other ad provider we’d been using at the time.

    • Censorship in cinema

      ‘Udta Punjab’ is in the news for the wrong reasons. After a wrung-out battle with the CBFC, the film is set to hit the screens soon. Here is a quiz on other such movies that have run into trouble due to their content.

    • Sadiq Khan’s ‘unrealistic body’ ads ban nothing more than censorship – advertising’s loss will be PR’s gain

      For two short years, before I wormed my way into PR, I worked as a personal trainer – and, slight dip since starting a business aside – still like to look after myself.

      What does that have to do with anything? Well, some of you will have read that, from next month, London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan is moving to ban ads promoting an ‘unhealthy’ or ‘unrealistic’ body image from appearing on London’s transport network – and I’d like to look at this logically, knowing what I know and having worked with hundreds of people of all shapes and sizes.

      As per an election promise, Khan’s going to issue a total ban on ad campaigns that could “pressurise people” (don’t get me started on pressurise – since when was ‘pressure’ not good enough?) to conform to idealised body standards.

      In his statement, Khan said that he was going after the kind of advertising that can demean people and make them feel ashamed of their bodies – noting, as the father of two teenage girls, that women were often particularly affected by this.

    • Twitter, Facebook & Google Sued For ‘Material Support For Terrorism’ Over Paris Attacks

      It’s an understandable reaction to tragedy. When faced with the unthinkable — like the death of a loved one in a terrorist attack — people tend to make bad decisions. We saw this recently when the widow of a man killed in an ISIS raid sued Twitter for “providing material support to terrorists.” Twitter’s involvement was nothing more than the unavoidable outcome of providing a social media platform: it was (and is) used by terrorist organizations to communicate and recruit new members.

      That doesn’t mean Twitter somehow supports terrorism, though. Like most social media platforms, Twitter proactively works to eliminate accounts linked with terrorists. But there’s only so much that can be done when all that’s needed to create an account is an email address.

      As difficult as it may be to accept, platforms like Twitter, Facebook, etc. are not the problem. Like any, mostly-open social platform, they can be used by terrible people to do terrible things. But they are not responsible for individual users’ actions, nor should they be expected to assume this responsibility.

    • Myanmar censors ban movie at human rights film festival
    • Paving the Way for Peace in Burma
    • Myanmar scraps screening of film critical of military’s excesses during its 49-year rule
    • Twilight Over Burma: Myanmar censors pull film from festival
    • New Govt, Old Censorship Laws: Film About Shan Prince Banned as Threat to ‘Ethnic Unity’
    • Filmmakers reel after human rights festival motion picture ban
    • Myanmar scraps screening of film critical of military’s past
    • ‘Twilight Over Burma’ Eclipsed by Censorship Board

      “Twilight Over Burma,” a film about the real-life story of an Austrian woman, Inge Sargent, who became royalty when she married Sao Kya Seng, an ethnic Shan prince, was banned from premiering in Burma at the annual Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival that started on Tuesday. A film censorship board member told The Irrawaddy that the film was under review because it could allegedly damage ethnic unity in the country.

    • In China, it’s a cat and mouse game between censors and internet activists
    • Russia and China seek media control
    • China takes its authoritarian ways to the Internet
    • ASNE condemns Trump’s attempt at press censorship
    • Editorial: The slippery slope of censorship under Trump
    • Censorship attempts must end
    • Post Reporter at Trump Rally Despite ‘Ban’
    • Donald Trump’s ban on news outlets should alarm voters (Your letters)
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • John Cornyn Wants to Pass Law Letting FBI Collect Information on Omar Mateen It Already Collected

      The bodies from Sunday’s Orlando massacre are not yet buried, but that hasn’t stopped John Cornyn from trying to use their deaths to expand surveillance that would not have stopped the attack.

      Cornyn told reporters yesterday he will use the attack to push to include Electronic Communications Transaction Records in the things FBI can obtain with a National Security Letter.

    • Encryption and human rights: La Quadrature du Net takes part in a UN conference

      La Quadrature du Net is participating at the panel “Encryption and Human Rights” organised at the United Nations by the Committee Justice and Peace of the Dominican Order. This conference will talk about the right to encryption and to privacy in a time where in Europe, those rights are at regularly at risk. The video of this conference will be available on the Mediakit of La Quadrature du Net.

      Right to encryption is one of the essential condition to the existence of the right to privacy and to freedom of speech.

      Individuals and civil society are regularly subject to intrusions and restrictions of those rights by State, when those are asked to respect privacy of their citizens. The development of mass surveillance technologies and their legalisation in the name of the fight against terrorism act as a barrier to the application of those rights and seriously infringe a large number of civil liberties. Encryption has increasingly become a major breaking point and appear as a essential barrier against the demolition of our liberties in the digital era.

    • One Creepy Word Captures the NSA’s Culture of Secrecy

      A bill reforming the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is on its way to the president right now. It makes clearer the presumption of disclosure and centralizes requests for information from the feds. The Obama White House has arguably the worst record of finding records following FOIA requests of any administration, according to the AP. One advantage to keeping records locked up is that it helps to remove any sense that lower echelon public servants close to a given issue have doubts about political leaders’ chosen course of action.


      One word in one document has been bugging us ever since: “corporate.”

      An NSA writer used the word in a newsletter story about its Legislative Affairs and Intelligence Security Issues office. That office watches budgets, answers questions from elected officials and vets all communication between NSA staff and Congress. As the newsletter article put it, if a staffer needs to communicate with a legislator, the office “will assist you in analyzing the request, providing background and context to the responsible action office, and reviewing the responses to ensure that they meet the five Cs (candid, complete, correct, consistent and corporate) for dealing with Congress.”

    • Why LinkedIn and Microsoft Isn’t Crazy [Ed: Calling people "dataset", along the lines of "assets" or "products".]
    • Microsoft buys LinkedIn: the value of data

      By acquiring the world’s largest professional social network, Microsoft gets immediate access to data from more than 433 million LinkedIn members. Microsoft fills out the “social graph” and “interests” circles.

    • Microsoft to Acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 Billion

      At the same time, I expect that many free tech advocates will begin abandoning LinkedIn as much as possible as soon as the site begins to push users to take advantage of features requiring the use of Microsoft products, if not before. As one member of an email list I’m on commented upon hearing the news, “Anybody recommend a good alternative to LinkedIn?”

    • You don’t need a Linkedin account

      In recent years, Linkedin has perceivably become a rather important part of the modern business world. People use this social network to search for jobs, advertise jobs, and get their own work-related resume out there into the spotlight. Which is why I always get a funny look when people ask me to add them on Linkedin, and I tell them, I don’t have one.

      The same why I told you why you should not be using Facebook back in 2010, and the arguments still hold valid, I would like to tell you why you might want to entertain the idea of not having a business profile on a social media site, and why this could actually be good for your career. To wit, let us philosophize.

    • Dropbox CEO Pushes Toward Profitability in a ‘Post-Unicorn Era’

      Since attaining a $10 billion valuation from investors in 2014, Dropbox Inc. has become a symbol of unicorn startup exuberance. But several shareholders have recently written down the value of their investments in the cloud storage company while it cut costs and focused on generating more revenue.

    • Tuesday’s papers: Finland’s surveillance plans, Metro expansion boss under fire, Finnish director’s Chinese fantasy

      A working group on cyber security has submitted a list of proposals to Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, aimed to improve Finland’s cyber surveillance, according to newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

      The proposals, drawn up by a joint group from the Ministry of the Interior, the Security Intelligence Service, the National Bureau of Investigation and a police task force, include the recruitment of 101 new cyber crime police officers.

      According to the paper group also suggests changing laws to broaden law enforcement’s capabilities of monitoring telephone communications.

      Additionally, the group proposes increased training in computer crime of police.

      The group’s report also point out laws on the books that they say hampers police work, the paper writes.

      The report states that even though identity theft was criminalised in Finland last autumn, the majority of cases are never reported to the police and many cases that are reported are often left unresolved.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Alabama Cop Snatches Camera from Man Recording Police Station to Prevent Terrorism

      Fearing a terrorist plot, an Alabama police officer snatched a camera from a man who was video recording a police station from across the street, turning the man’s camera off to keep it from recording.

      However, the man had a back-up body camera that was live streaming.

      “I don’t care about your First Amendment rights,” said the Wetumpka police officer, who has been identified as Charles Shannon.

      “I don’t know if you’re a terrorist or not, trying to film our building.”

    • Alabama Cops Retaliate Against Citizen Journalist After PINAC Readers Call Flood Police Department (Updated II)

      One day after PINAC posted a video showing an Alabama cop snatching a camera from a man recording a police station, sparking a call flood from hundreds of angry readers, that same police department retaliated by having the man arrested on felony charges.

      Wetumpka police claim that Keith Golden aka Bama Cameradisrupted their emergency phone lines by posting their non-emergency phone number in his video, which we then reposted in our article.

    • British Islamic scholar faces ban from Australia for preaching ‘death is the sentence’ for homosexuality

      Farrokh Sekaleshfar preached in Orlando in March but no evidence he influenced Omar Mateen who killed 49 people in a gay nightclub in Orlando

    • Killing Homosexuals Is Not ISIS Law, It Is Muslim Law

      Various reports indicate that the death toll from the jihadist attack overnight at a popular gay club in Orlando may exceed 50 people, with more than 50 others wounded. The terrorist’s identity has been reported: He is Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old American citizen and devout Muslim from Fort Pierce, Fla., the son of immigrants from Afghanistan.

    • Clement Freud, My Part in his Downfall

      It is hard to know what to make of Freud owning a holiday villa close to where Madeleine McCann disappeared. Clement was apparently not in Portugal at the time. When you add in the fact that the McCanns’ sleazy “spokesman”, Clarence Mitchell, works for Freud’s son Matthew, the coincidences do add up. I am not jumping to any conclusions at present. But I found the following fascinating.

    • CIA Lied about Leaking to Screw David Passaro and Protect Bush and Tenet

      In the SSCI Torture Report, it has two references to how press people were leaking details of the the torture program to the press even while lawyers were claiming that the program was top secret. In this document, someone notes “our Glomar fig leaf is getting pretty thin.” In this one, a lawyer admits the declaration he had just written “about the secrecy of the interrogation program” was “a work of fiction.”

    • CIA Finally Declassifies “Gloves Come Off” Memorandum of Notification Reference

      The title was part of some smart CYA on the part of George Tenet. When things started to go south with the torture program in 2003, he wrote this document, ostensibly putting order to the torture program, but also making it clear the whole thing operated on Presidential authority. (The document, which should have been released to David Passaro in his criminal trial for torturing a detainee who subsequently died, was withheld, which prevented him from pointing out anything he did, he did with Presidential approval, so Tenet’s CYA didn’t help him at all.)

    • The Senate’s Popular Sentencing Reform Bill Would Sort Prisoners By ‘Risk Score’

      At a time when Democrats and Republicans in Congress can’t agree on just about anything, there is one issue that unites them: the urgent need for criminal justice reform.

      A Senate bill on the issue has attracted an impressive 37 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act has gained support from figures as politically diverse as the Koch brothers and President Obama for its goals of reforming mandatory minimum sentences, reducing prison populations, and rehabilitating prisoners.

    • 7 Questions With EFF’s New Criminal Defense Staff Attorney Stephanie Lacambra

      EFF’s team of fearless lawyers defends your rights on the frontlines of technology and the law, from police stops on the street to arguments in the courtroom to the halls of government where policies are ground out. EFF’s latest hire, Criminal Defense Staff Attorney Stephanie Lacambra, is a fierce and accomplished public defender who will lend her unique expertise to our ongoing and emerging battles against law enforcement and prosecutorial overreach.

      I sat down with Stephanie to learn more about her story up until now and where she hopes this new endeavor will take her.

    • America’s Gestapo – The FBI’s Reign of Terror

      We discuss the seemingly-inexorable transformation of the USA into a police state

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Court Backs Rules Treating Internet as Utility, Not Luxury
    • U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Full
    • Obama’s Web Rules Upheld in Win for Google, Loss for AT&T
    • After net neutrality loss, ISPs get ready to take case to Supreme Court
    • Net Neutrality Won Big Today, But Don’t Celebrate Just Yet
    • Net Neutrality Rules Upheld: Go Team Internet!

      In a crucial win for Internet users, today a federal appeals court upheld [PDF] clear net neutrality rules that will let us all use and enjoy the Internet without unfair interference from Internet service providers. The rules will keep providers from blocking or slowing traffic, or speeding up traffic for those who pay.

      Last year, EFF and other advocacy groups, along with millions of Americans, called on the FCC to do its part to defend Internet expression and innovation. We urged them to adopt focused rules based on a legal framework that would finally stand up to the inevitable legal challenge, but also limit their own authority in order to help prevent a future FCC from abusing its regulatory power. The FCC responded with an Open Internet Order that largely did just that.

    • The Cable Industry Trots Out Mitch McConnell To Fight Against Cable Box Competition

      We’ve been talking for weeks about how the cable industry has dramatically ramped up lobbying in an attempt to kill the FCC’s plan to bring some competition to the set top box market. The cable industry opposes the idea for two reasons: competition would dramatically reduce the $21 billion the sector makes each year off of rental fees, but the flood of new, cheaper boxes would also likely direct users — historically locked behind cable’s walled gardens — to a huge variety of streaming video alternatives.

      But the cable industry can’t just come out and admit that they’re terrified of competition — so they’ve been attacking the FCC’s plan with a two pronged approach. One, pay for an absolute torrent of hysterically-misleading editorials that claim set top competition will hurt consumers, scare the children, ramp up piracy, and knock the planet off of its orbital axis. The other prong of their attack involves a lobbying mainstay: throwing money at politicians to take positions they don’t have the slightest actual understanding of.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • EU Trade Secrets Directive to come into force on 5 July 2016 [Ed: anti-whistleblowers law in Europe]
    • UN Development Agency Issues Guidelines For Pharmaceutical Patent Examiners

      A new set of guidelines for pharmaceutical patent examination has been published by the United Nations Development Programme that seek to help reduce poor quality patents and ensure efficient market entry of generic products.

      The guidelines, written by a well-known advocate of access to medicines, aim at advising patent examiners in assessing the patentability requirements of applications relating to pharmaceutical products and processes.

    • Generics, Biosimilars Makers Join Global Medical Harmonisation Body

      Doors to a global medical harmonisation organisation opened to the generic and biosimilar industry, which described it as an historical moment for them. The industry will now be able to sit on the assembly of the international body that joins regulators and the pharmaceutical industry.

      At issue is the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH). According to a press release, the ICH‘s General Assembly today approved the International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (IGBA) as an ICH assembly member. ICH is a Geneva-based organisation that brings together regulatory authorities and the pharmaceutical industry.

    • Panels Brainstorm Ideas On Innovation And Drug Access

      The quest of balance between encouraging medical innovation and the imperative of broad access to medicines has so far been elusive. Two Harvard University programmes jointly organised a workshop this week with the aim of encouraging a conversation between global health actors and see if some “outside the box” thinking is possible.

    • Trademarks

      • The Metaphorical Trademark “Bully”: A Problem?

        Many have tried to answer the question of whether there is a trademark bullying problem–also known as trademark enforcement abuse. First, there have been anecdotal accounts of trademark holders making overreaching claims against persons or entities with less resources. In the United States, these claims are particularly troublesome when First Amendment values, such as free speech, are implicated or when fair competition may be threatened. One of the first trademark “bully” accounts that received substantial attention involved Monster Energy drinks and its enforcement of its trademark against a small brewery offering a beer called, “Vermonster.” However, my favorite trademark “bully” story involves Louis Vuitton who sent a cease and desist letter to the IP student group at University of Pennsylvania Law School directing them to stop using some of Louis Vuitton’s trademarks in an advertisement for a law school symposium. Anecdotal examples abound.

    • Copyrights

      • Ruling From EU’s Top Court Confirms Copyright Levies Are A Ridiculous, Unworkable Mess

        It’s really not clear how that could be done in practice. Maybe by allocating a tiny tax rebate to companies by way of “reimbursement” for the copyright levy payment made from the state budget. But that would add yet another layer of complexity to the tax system, hardly a welcome outcome. It would be far simpler just to get rid of the unwieldy and anachronistic copyright levy system altogether. It’s time to recognize that everybody has a fundamental right to make copies of stuff they own, and that the “fair compensation” for doing that is a big, fat nothing.

      • BREIN Wants Usenet Providers to Expose Prolific Uploaders

        The Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN is going after two anonymous Usenet uploaders, who shared more than 2,000 books in total. The group requested the personal details of the users from their providers, but they refused to hand them over citing privacy concerns. As a result, BREIN is now taking the matter to court.

Links 15/6/2016: Git 2.9, Habitat

Posted in News Roundup at 3:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • 7 Free Operating Systems Not Based on Linux, Windows or OS X

    Microsoft’s recent decision to offer FreeBSD images in the Azure cloud is a reminder that GNU/Linux is not the only game in town when it comes to alternative operating systems.

    Here’s a look at lesser-known operating systems. Some are serious, production-quality systems. Others are whimsical or half-baked platforms. All present alternative options for people who want to experiment with something other than Windows, Mac OS X or Linux.

  • The new world order for open-source and commercial software

    We have been living through another cold war. Not geo-political — digital. Open-source software versus commercial software has long been on the brink of going nuclear, fought in the shadows with enormous stakes and conflicting ideologies. But suddenly… perestroika! The wall quietly fell. It did not end in absolute victory, or a stalemate; convergence is a more apt term.

  • Open Source Wins: Now What?

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is inviting open source developers to write and contribute code to The Machine project, an effort to juice up its ambitious plan to reinvent computing. During my reporting on that news I had the opportunity to talk with a real veteran of the Open Source Wars. (Not officially a thing, I know, but it should be.)

  • Nextcloud 9 Available, Enterprise Functionality to be Open Source

    Well ahead of the early July promise, today Nextcloud makes available Nextcloud 9. With this release we also announce to release all enterprise functionality as open source. Building on top of the open source ownCloud core and adding functionality and fixes, this release provides a solid base for users to migrate to. All enterprise functionality users and customers need will be made available over the coming weeks, fully developed in the open and under the AGPL license.

  • Jos Poortvliet: On Open Source, forking and collaboration: Nextcloud 9 is here!
  • Nextcloud releases ownCloud fork ahead of schedule

    When Frank Karlitschek, co-founder and former CTO of ownCloud, forked ownCloud into Nextcloud , I expected it to do well. I didn’t expect it to have its first major release less than two weeks after the company opened its doors. Well, the first Nextcloud release is out now.

  • Nextcloud 9 Released, All Enterprise Features To Be Opened Up

    Less than two weeks after ownCloud was forked into Nextcloud, the project today did their version 9 release.

  • Open Source SLA Printer Software Slices from the Browser

    Resin-based SLA printers need a different slicing algorithm from “normal” melted-plastic printers. Following their latest hackathon, [Matt Keeter] and [Martin Galese] from Formlabs have polished off an open source slicer, and this one runs in your browser. It’s Javascript, so you can go test it out on their webpage.

    Figuring out whether or not the voxel is inside or outside the model at every layer is harder for SLA printers, which have to take explicit account of the interior “empty” space inside the model. [Matt] and [Martin]’s software calculates this on the fly as the software is slicing. To do this, [Matt] devised a clever algorithm that leverages existing hardware to quickly accumulate the inside-or-out state of voxels during the slicing.

  • Capital One Taps Open-Source, Cloud, Big Data for Advantage in Banking

    Capital One is one of the nation’s largest banks. It started as a credit card company, really as a startup in the late 1980s. Its founder, Richard Fairbank, is still its CEO today. Fairbank’s idea was to build a better financial services company by using information and data to make better decisions and build better products and services for customers—making Capital One an early “big data” company. The company launched around the notion of an information-based strategy, which in that era was a pretty novel concept.

  • Scality launches single-server open source software for S3-compliant storage

    News this morning from storage vendor Scality that the company is announcing the general availability of its S3 Server Software. The offering is an open source version of Scality’s S3 API and allows developers to code to Amazon Web Services’ S3 storage API on a local machine.

    Packaged as a Docker container (what else!) the idea is that developers can local build applications that thereafter can be deployed on premises, on AWS or some combination of the above.

  • Scality Announces the S3 Server Open Source Software
  • Scality unveils open source Scality S3 Server
  • For Scality’s RING, ’6′ is magic number
  • 21 Inc. Creates Open Source Library For Machine-Payable Web

    21 Inc. has made its software free, ‘turning any computer into a bitcoin computer’, the company announced on Medium. Once a computer has installed the software, the user can get bitcoin using any device nearly anywhere without a bank account or credit cards.

  • Events

    • Seattle GNU/Linux Conference 2016 to Take Place November 11-12 in Seattle, USA

      There’s an upcoming GNU/Linux conference for those living in the Seattle area, and it promises to be a starting point for anyone interested in switching to a free and open source operating system for their personal computers.

    • Flow is a mental state of intense focus for programming

      Open Source Bridge is an annual conference focused on building open source community and citizenship through four days of technical talks, hacking sessions, and collaboration opportunities. Prior to this year’s event, I caught up with one of the speakers, Lindsey Bieda, who will give a talk called Hardware, Hula Hoops, and Flow.

    • LFNW – wrapup

      The conference overall drew nearly 2,000 open-source enthusiasts, setting yet another record for the event! All the openSUSE sessions were well attended, and that gave our team some excellent feedback for future sessions. We were pleasantly suprised to find that “Q&A with openSUSE board members (plus another guy)” was a standing-room-only event, with the audience providing plenty of thoughtful questions for us to answer. “Make the Leap from Dev to Production with openSUSE Leap“, co-presented by Richard Brown and James Mason, provided a thoughtful developer-oriented talk to another full room. Richard also showed some cross-distribution love for openSUSE tooling, co-presenting “openQA – Avoiding Disasters of Biblical Proportions” with Fedora’s Adam Williamson.

    • Forum – GNU Hackers’ Meeting (Rennes, France)
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Expanding Mozilla’s Boards

        In a post earlier this month, I mentioned the importance of building a network of people who can help us identify and recruit potential Board level contributors and senior advisors. We are also currently working to expand both the Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation Boards.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Tesora and Mirantis Partner on Easily Deployed DBaaS Solution

      As the OpenStack cloud computing arena grows, a whole ecosystem of tools is growing along with it. Tesora, familiar to many as the leading contributor to the OpenStack Trove open source project, has focused very heavily on Database-as-a-Service tools for OpenStack deployments.

      Now, Tesora has announced a promising partnership with OpenStack heavy-hitter Miranti

    • Tesora Positions OpenStack Trove Database-as-a-Service for the Future

      Ken Rugg, CEO of Tesora, discusses the latest innovations in the OpenStack Trove project and what’s coming in the Newton release cycle.

      The OpenStack Mitaka release debuted back in April of this year and with it came a series of updated open source projects, including the Trove database-as-a-service effort.

  • Habitat

  • Cost

    • The cost of free software

      The change from using a dedicated build server to running builds in a virtual machine probably will not change much for Slax users, but the post does highlight a common thread I have been seeing in recent years. Many open source projects are regularly in need of funding. Back in 2009, the OpenBSD project reported it was in “dire need” of infrastructure upgrades and needed funds. This call for donations was echoed by the OpenBSD team again around the end of 2013 which resulted in a lot of public attention and, ultimately, more money flowing into the project. More recently, the HardenedBSD project has asked for help maintaining the infrastructure of the security-oriented project. Last year the NTPD project, a critical piece of software for most Internet-connected computers, was almost abandoned due to a lack of funding. The previous year, OpenSSL’s Heartbleed bug highlighted how little support the critical security software had been receiving from its many users.

  • Healthcare

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • LLVM’s Clang Begins Better Supporting Musl Libc

      Patches are landing in LLVM Clang to improve the compiler’s support for musl libc as an alternative to glibc on Linux-based systems.

      LLVM has added Musl to the triple and work in Clang to enable the compiler to support targets such as x86_64-pc-linux-musl for building binaries against this alternative libc implementation. The later patch explains, “This make it easy for clang to work on some musl-based systems like Alpine Linux and certain flavors of Gentoo.”

  • Public Services/Government

    • Gains of government software repositories are many

      Repositories for software and services developed by and for public administrations have multiple advantages, emphasises Elena Muñoz Salinero, head of Spain’s technology transfer centre (Centro de Transferencia de Technologica, CTT). Repositories make it easier to find suitable solutions, reduce costs, and let users share best practices.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Source Bionics Promise: Affordably Make Lives Better

      We already know that open source gives us better and more secure software. But with the advent of 3D printing, the open source model shows even more meaningful promise in areas like open source bionics.

    • Make things ’til you make it at the Blowing Things Up Lab

      Recently while reading a tweet from the Blowing Things Up Lab, I learned about Emily Daub, a maker and college student who designed a running shirt that helps runners be more visible to motorists—my daughter is a runner so this sounds like a great idea to me.

      The shirt is photosensitive which cause the light intensity of the fabric to change in ambient light. According to Emily Daub, “If you run at night, this is for you. This lights up as it gets darker outside on two independent photocells and no microcontroller!” In this interview, I ask Emily more about this fantastic invention.

      Fun fact: Blowing Things Up (BTU) lab is located at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where Emily is a student of Alicia Gibb’s, the executive director of the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA), who I wrote about last year and contributed to our 2015 Open Source Yearbook.

    • Open Data

      • Government commits to Open Contracting Data Standard

        New Open Government National Action Plan includes Crown Commercial Service in lead role and further developments of GOV.UK

        The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is to implement a standard for open data in contracting later this year as a first step towards its wider use in government.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Razer unveils new Open Source Virtual Reality headset

        Gaming hardware and peripheral maker Razer Inc has announced the new HDK2, a VR device that is part of its Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) initiative, whose goal is “to create a universal open source VR ecosystem for technologies across different brands and companies.”

        The new headset is still considered a developer kit that is not ready for mass production, but at $400, it offers a number of high end features that put it on par with its much more expensive competition, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. HDK2 offers a 2160 x 1200 dual display resolution, which is 1080 X 1200 for each eye. It also offers a frame rate or 90 frames per second, as well as a front-facing infrared camera and a number of other features.

  • Programming/Development

    • The Python Kids Club

      An 11-year-old asks her grandfather how computer games are made and he tells her they’re created by programmers “using complex mathematical code.” The next thing he knows, she’s learning Python on her own, and getting her chums involved too.

    • The Quest to Make Code Work Like Biology Just Took A Big Step

      In the early 1970s, at Silicon Valley’s Xerox PARC, Alan Kay envisioned computer software as something akin to a biological system, a vast collection of small cells that could communicate via simple messages. Each cell would perform its own discrete task. But in communicating with the rest, it would form a more complex whole. “This is an almost foolproof way of operating,” Kay once told me. Computer programmers could build something large by focusing on something small. That’s a simpler task, and in the end, the thing you build is stronger and more efficient.


  • EU referendum: The Sun urges readers to vote Leave as Rupert Murdoch applies pressure

    Political commentator Robert Peston sums up reaction: ‘Rupert Murdoch does not typically back the loser – and this is his call’


    Both the latter two papers – owned respectively by Mr Murdoch and billionaire brothers Sir David and Frederick Barclay – have arguably shown support for the Leave campaigns as led by right-wingers Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, John Whittingdale and others.

  • Amazon faces $350K fine for shipping dangerous goods

    Amazon faces a $350,000 fine from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration after shipping a corrosive chemical by air, in violation of federal law. It’s the 25th time the company has been found to violate hazardous chemical shipping regulations in two and a half years.

  • Reuters to scale down Chinese language news site, editorial staff to be redeployed

    News wire Thomson Reuters is to scale down its Chinese-language news site, according to an internal email obtained by HKFP on Tuesday.

    “We are reorganizing our Beijing editorial consumer operation to deploy more translation and editing resources to our professional news products from Reuters.cn,” the email from Digital Executive Editor Dan Colarusso said.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Survey: In Locking Down Security, Applications May Be the Biggest Concern

      Security is likely to rise to the top for many enterprises, and these concerns could have an impact on which kinds of applications enterprises end up trusting. All the data rolling in points to the fact that application security concerns are significantly rising at enterprises, not falling.

    • Clueless s’kiddies using exploit kits are behind ransomware surge

      Releases of new ransomware grew 24 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2016 as relatively low-skilled criminals continued to harness exploit kits for slinging file-encrypting malware at their marks.

      The latest quarterly study by Intel Security also revealed that Mac OS malware grew quickly in Q1, primarily due to an increase in VSearch adware. Mobile malware also increased 17 per cent quarter-over-quarter in Q1 2016.

    • New report shows the NSA used Word Macros, considered a security risk

      Two new reports out by The Hill and Vice are both showing that the NSA used programmable Word Macro shortcuts, which are considered a potential security risk by Microsoft.

    • Russia mulls bug bounty to harden govt software

      Local media report deputy Communications Minister Aleksei Sokolov is discussing a possible bug bounty with the Russian tech sector.

      The implications of such a bounty are being considered including staffing requirements for bug triage and validation, and the need to find a way to force developers to develop and apply patches for affected software.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Man ‘claiming allegiance to IS group’ stabs French policeman to death

      A man who claimed allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group stabbed a senior French police officer to death on Monday night before he was killed in a dramatic police operation, officials have said.

    • Ex-NSA Official: Orlando Attack Part of Wave of Mass Killings

      The slaughter of 49 people in a night club in Orlando in the US state of Florida is another expression of the growing problem of mass violence in American society that cannot solely be attributed to Islamic extremism, NSA whistleblower Mark Klein told Sputnik.

    • We Talked To ISIS Citizens: What You Won’t Hear In The News
    • Masked Russian hooligans attack England and Wales fans as more violence flares in Lille

      The ugly scenes came just hours after Uefa bosses warned Russia would be kicked out of the tournament if the violence continued.

      England fans came under attack following the 1-1 draw at the Stade Velodrome, with images showing Russian thugs chasing supporters inside the stadium.

      Uefa said Russia have been given a suspended disqualification from the tournament and a 150,000 euro (£120,000) fine after the crowd disorder.

    • Given Orlando, Has the US Government Been Adequately Protecting the Public?

      Going back in time, the U.S. government inadvertently created al Qaeda by encouraging, funding, and arming radical Islamist fighters against the Soviet Union in faraway Afghanistan during the 1980s. After the 9/11 attacks by that group, the U.S. government, by conducting an unrelated invasion of Iraq, then unintentionally created an even more brutal group called al Qaeda in Iraq, which pledged allegiance to the main al Qaeda group in Pakistan, and eventually morphed into the even more vicious ISIS. ISIS then took over large parts of Iraq and Syria, but began to attack Western targets only after a U.S.-led coalition began bombing the group in those countries.

    • Commenting on Orlando, NPR Terrorism Reporter Reverses Political Lesson of Madrid Blast

      Shortly before noon on Sunday (6/12/16), during NPR’s national coverage of the horrific shooting in Orlando, NPR “counter-terrorism correspondent” Dina Temple-Raston made a critical false claim that deserves an on-air correction.

    • MH-17 Probe Trusts Torture-Implicated Ukraine

      The floundering inquiry into who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014 has relied heavily on a Ukrainian intelligence agency that recently stopped U.N. investigators from probing its alleged role in torture, reports Robert Parry.

    • Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Call for Bombing ISIS After Orlando Shooting That ISIS Didn’t Direct

      Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump reacted to the Orlando shooting with evidence that they can agree on at least one thing: bombing people. Both candidates called for an escalation of the U.S.-led bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

      “We have generals that feel we can win this thing so fast and so strong, but we have to be furious for a short period of time, and we’re not doing it!” Trump complained on Fox & Friends Monday morning.

    • What Did FBI Do with Evidence that Mateen Was a Closeted Gay Man?
    • Orlando Killer Worked Inside the Global Security System

      The Orlando mass murderer, Omar Mateen, worked for G4S, one of the largest private security employers in the world. G4S has some 625,000 employees spanning five continents in more than 120 countries. As a private security company it provides services for both governments as well as corporations. Some of its well-known contractors are with the British Government, the United States, Israel, Australia and many more. G4S providers a range of services in the areas of corrections, policing, and security of important facilities. In the corporate sector it has worked with such well-known companies such as Chrysler, Amtrak, Apple, and the Bank of America.

    • Wikileaks will publish ‘enough evidence’ to indict Hillary Clinton, warns Assange

      Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange warns more information will be published about Hillary Clinton, enough to indict her if the US government is courageous enough to do so, in what he predicts will be “a very big year” for the whistleblowing website.

      Expressing concerns in an ITV interview about the Democratic presidential candidate, who he claims is monitoring him, Assange described Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump as an “unpredictable phenomenon”, but predictably, given their divergent political views, didn’t say if he preferred the billionaire to be president.

      He was not asked if he supported Green Party candidate Jill Stein, even though she said she would immediately pardon Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning if elected.

    • Pushing the Doomsday Clock to Midnight

      As the U.S. and NATO mount provocative military maneuvers on Russia’s border, the West is oblivious to how these threatening gestures ratchet up prospects of thermonuclear war that could extinguish civilization, says Gilbert Doctorow.

    • Clinton Discussed Top Secret CIA Drone Info, Approved Drone Strikes, Via Her Blackberry

      A new report in the Wall Street Journal reveals emails in which then-Secretary of State Clinton approved CIA drone assassinations in Pakistan from her unsecured Blackberry.

    • Emails in Clinton Probe Dealt With Planned Drone Strikes

      Some vaguely worded messages from U.S. diplomats in Pakistan and Washington used a less-secure communications system

    • AQ to CIA: You Are the Empire, and We Are Luke and Han

      The Force Awakens didn’t deal with the fact that the US has become (if it wasn’t already, in 1977) The Empire; the movie shied away from contemplating that fact.

    • Alligator drags away toddler into water at Disney hotel, police say

      A search is on to find a 2-year-old boy who was attacked by an alligator and dragged away at a Disney hotel near Orlando, authorities said.

      The incident happened while the family relaxed at a sandy area near the Seven Seas Lagoon on the property.

      The child was “wading just in the water along the lake’s edge at the time that the alligator attacked,” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said.

    • Alligator drags two-year-old boy into lagoon at Disney World resort in Florida

      The boy’s father saw the animal – reportedly between 4-7ft long – take his son, and entered the water to wrestle him from its jaws.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Finance

    • Corporate Sovereignty Finally Enters The Political Mainstream

      Techdirt has been writing about investor-state-dispute settlement (ISDS), aka corporate sovereignty, for more than three years now. During that time, we’ve published well over a hundred articles on the topic. Increasing numbers of people have become aware of the threat that ISDS represents to democracy because of the privileged access it grants companies to a parallel legal system. Now, it seems, it’s beginning to enter the political mainstream around the world.


      In other words, this is yet another “ratchet” clause that ensures changes only ever move in one direction — to the benefit of companies, and against the interests of the public. It’s yet another reason never to include corporate sovereignty chapters in these so-called trade deals.

    • Labor pledges to review trade deals that let companies sue Australia

      Labor is promising to review three of the major free trade agreements signed by the Abbott and Turnbull governments in the hope of removing a controversial clause that allows foreign corporations to sue the Australian government.

    • Hundreds of jobs at risk as Stockmann announces further cuts

      The department store chain announced it is beginning negotiations with unions over plans to cut 380 non-sales jobs from its payroll. Although profits grew this year, acting CEO Lauri Veijalainen said the group’s sales performance has not met expectations.

    • Seven reasons blockchain isn’t ready for mainstream deployment

      A lead analyst at Forrester shares her views on blockchain technology, the risks it poses to enterprise customers and how they can eventually reap the rewards of the distributed ledger technology.

      As more and more companies invest in the much-hyped blockchain technology, outside observers could be forgiven for thinking that the technology has arrived. The potential for the distributed ledger to transform key business processes has been spoken about but, like any cutting edge technology, blockchain comes with risks for businesses.

    • We Must Understand Corporate Power to Fight It

      The aims of the corporate state are, given the looming collapse of the ecosystem, as deadly, maybe more so, as the acts of mass genocide carried out by the Nazis and Stalin’s Soviet Union.

      The reach and effectiveness of corporate propaganda dwarfs even the huge effort undertaken by Adolf Hitler and Stalin. The layers of deception are sophisticated and effective. News is state propaganda. Elaborate spectacles and forms of entertainment, all of which ignore reality or pretend the fiction of liberty and progress is real, distract the masses.

      Education is indoctrination. Ersatz intellectuals, along with technocrats and specialists, who are obedient to neoliberal and imperial state doctrine, use their academic credentials and erudition to deceive the public.

    • Hillary Clinton’s Paperback Memoir Deletes Inconvenient Support Of TPP That Was In The Hard Cover Version

      I’ve seen plenty of nonfiction books that add some amount of content in the process from the original hard cover release to the eventual paperback release. But apparently Hillary Clinton went the other direction and conveniently excised all of the stuff about her support of the TPP. It’s no secret that, while facing a considerable challenge from Bernie Sanders in the primary contest, Clinton’s views of the TPP flip flopped from supporting it to being against it. She did try to explain away the flip flop by saying that it was about the details, but still, if you’re going to actually change your position, you should own it. Instead, it looks like Clinton and her campaign are simply trying to rewrite history. The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) first noticed a series of big changes in the paperback edition of Clinton’s book, including excising the support of the TPP — such as two full pages about a conference in El Salvador where she spoke in favor of the agreement.

    • Cracks emerging in plurilateral talks for TiSA

      Cracks are finally emerging in the grossly imbalanced, plurilateral talks on a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) being pursued by 23 countries, after the European Union and several other members voiced concern about the overall quality of the latest revised offers and the exclusion of Mode 4, maritime transport, and sub-federal categories among other sectors, several trade envoys told the SUNS.

    • Unmasked: Corporate rights in the renewed Mexico-EU FTA

      The EU and Mexico launch negotiations for a ‘modernised’ Free Trade Agreement. A key feature is the investment protection chapter which grants major multinational companies in Mexico and the EU the exclusive right to challenge democratic decisions taken by States, even when they were taken in the public interest. The report outlines six reasons of major concern.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Sanders’ Success: Democratic Socialism Goes Mainstream

      A January 2016 poll of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa found that 43 percent described themselves as “socialist.” Fully 56 percent of registered Democrats, including 52 percent of Clinton supporters, view socialism favorably according to a recent NY Times/CBS News poll.

    • Trump Implicitly Suggests That His DOJ Would Take Down Amazon For Antitrust

      There was a fair bit of coverage on Monday of the news that the Donald Trump campaign had removed the press credentials from the Washington Post because the campaign was upset with the Washington Post’s coverage of the campaign. While it got a lot of attention, it was quickly pointed out that Trump has revoked or barred at least six other news outlets from receiving press passes, including Politico, the Huffington Post, the National Review, Buzzfeed and the Daily Beast. This issue is being discussed in lots of media circles. But what interested me much more was buried deeper in the full two paragraph statement that the Trump campaign later released. It included a weird and basically confused attack on Jeff Bezos, that again raises some serious questions about how Trump may use the Presidency to “settle scores.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Court Tells Cops They Can’t Seize Luggage And Send It Hundreds Of Miles Away In Hopes Of Generating Probable Cause

      There’s no universal law enforcement “best practices” for searches and seizures, but simply respecting the Fourth Amendment would seem to be a good base guideline. However, that baseline is rarely used. Far too often, searches and seizures seem to be officers seeing what they can get away with — and expecting the legal system to assist in applying “good faith” to unconstitutional searches after the fact.

      Ethan Moore landed at the Dillingham, Alaska airport, where he was met by two police officers. According to the officers, informants claimed Moore was transporting marijuana. They seized his luggage and took it to the local police station while they sought a search warrant.

    • Turkey plans to release MILLIONS of migrants if the EU doesn’t grant it visa-free travel

      TURKEY is threatening to release “millions” more migrants from refugee camps if Britain does not grant more than one million Turks visa-free travel, leaked documents have sensationally claimed.

    • The Real Reason Why Oakland’s Police Chief Was Fired

      At this morning’s press conference announcing the departure of Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent, Mayor Libby Schaaf and City Administrator Sabrina Landreth told a room full of reporters that Whent was resigning for “personal reasons.” The mayor said it had nothing to do with a scandal involving rookie police officers who sexually exploited a minor, or the suspicious death of a police officer’s wife and his subsequent suicide.

    • Home Office refuses to reveal whether women in Yarl’s Wood have been raped in case it ‘damages the commercial interests’ of companies

      The Home Office is refusing to reveal how many detainees have been sexually assaulted or raped inside Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire in case the information becoming public knowledge harms the “commercial interests” of private companies that are involved in running it, The Independent can reveal.

    • When cybersecurity research leads to jail time

      At 6:30am on Tuesday, May 24, someone began banging on the front door of Justin Shafer’s home in North Richland Hills, Texas. When Shafer and his wife answered the door, they found a dozen FBI agents with guns drawn. Shafer, 36, still in his boxer shorts, was allegedly handcuffed, according to a Daily Dot report. The agents seized all of Shafer’s computers and digital devices, and pushed him into a car.

    • CAIR Responds To Pulse Massacre By Ejecting Reporter From Press Conference

      The most prominent advocacy group for orthodox radical Islam in the United States threatened Friday to have a Breitbart reporter arrested if he did not leave its soon-to-start public press conference about the bloody Pulse massacre of at least 50 gay Americans by an American Muslim.

    • HIPAA Privacy Regulations Didn’t Need to Be Waived After Orlando. Here’s Why They Were Anyway

      Update: On Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services said it had not waived HIPAA in Orlando after all because it was not necessary—the mayor’s original remarks were the result of some miscommunication. WIRED’s original story, about why a HIPAA waiver would not have been necessary, is below.

    • Apple fights bids to make product repairs cheaper

      But the Cupertino giant does not always come down on the side of those who use its products as is evident from its attempts to block bids by US states to make repair of Apple devices cheaper.

      According to a published report, Apple is fighting “right to repair” amendments being considered by the US states of Minnesota, Nebraska, Massachusetts and New York.

      Given the difficulty in gaining access to the innards of most current Apple devices, these amendments would make it mandatory for Apple to provide unofficial repair shops with the necessary information needed to fix broken devices.

    • Saudi Arabia, UN Black Lists and Manipulating Human Rights

      It is such cases that give the United Nations a bad name. And if heads and decay say something about the rest of the body, Ban Ki-Moon says all too much in his role as UN Secretary General. Always inconspicuous, barely visible in the global media, his presence scarcely warrants a footnote. This has been a point of much relief for various powers who have tended to see the UN as a parking space for ceremony and manipulation rather than concrete policy.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • House Attacks Net Neutrality, Cable Box Reform With Sneaky Budget Rider

      As we’ve noted a few times, there’s really only two ways the telecom sector can successfully destroy U.S. net neutrality rules. Broadband providers could prevail on part or all of their multi-headed lawsuit against the FCC, a decision on which is expected any day now. Or the rules could be dismantled by the next President, who could repopulate the FCC with the usual assortment of revolving-door sector sycophants, reverting the agency back to its more consistent, historical role as a dumbly nodding enabler of broadband sector dysfunction.

      Every other attempt to kill the rules is just politicians barking loudly for their campaign contribution dinners — though that’s not to say the barking doesn’t get very loud from time to time.

      The latest example is the House Appropriations Committee’s 29-17 vote to approve an FCC appropriations bill (pdf), part of a larger Financial Services Bill determining the 2017 budgets for multiple agencies. The bill was passed last week with amendment language intended to hobble the FCC’s net neutrality rules — and its quest to bring competition to the cable set top box. More specifically, the bill prohibits the FCC from enforcing its net neutrality rules until the ongoing court case is settled. But it also would relegate the FCC’s attempt to bring competition to the cable box to committee purgatory.

    • Appeals Court Fully Upholds FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules

      After months of anticipation on all sides, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has upheld the FCC’s Open Internet Order, a notably huge win for net neutrality advocates. The full court ruling (pdf) supports the FCC’s arguments across the board, including the FCC’s decision to classify internet providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act. That’s not only big for net neutrality, but it solidifies the FCC’s authority as it looks to move forward on other pro-consumer initiatives such as the exploration of some relatively basic new privacy protections for broadband users.

      Historically the DC Appeals court has been a mixed bag for the FCC, but in this instance the court declared the FCC’s neutrality protections rest on solid legal ground from beginning to end, dismantling arguments by the likes of US Telecom, AT&T, and advocacy groups like TechFreedom from stem to stern. That includes industry attempts to prevent the rules from being applied to wireless networks (a split decision whereby fixed-line services were covered by wireless was not was something that had worried many telecom sector consumer advocates).

    • Cable Industry Proclaims More Competition ‘Hurts Consumers’ & ‘Damages Economic Efficiency’

      As part of the conditions attached to Charter’s $79 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, the FCC imposed a requirement that Charter expand broadband service to another two million locations, one million of which must already be served by an ISP delivering speeds of 25 Mbps or greater. Unfortunately these kinds of conditions historically don’t mean much; merger broadband expansion promises are almost always volunteered by the ISPs themselves, who already planned the expansion regardless of their merger plans.

    • Hypermedia: How the WWW fell short

      The web we have works incredibly well. Its feature set has enabled users to write billions of web pages. The technology is standardised and there are many mature implementations.

      HTML is still a medium where some things are easy and some things are not. We should not lose sight of how HTML will affect how we communicate. Instead, we should pillage the ideas of the past to make the best use of our content today.

    • Do We Need a More Open, Private, “Decentralized” Internet?

      Is it time to rebuild the Web? That’s what Tim Berners-Lee and other Internet pioneers are now saying in response to concerns about censorship, electronic spying and excessive centralization on the Web.

      Last week, Berners-Lee, the guy who played a leading role in creating the Web in 1989, held a conference with other computer scientists in San Francisco at the Decentralized Web Summit. Attendees also included the likes of Mitchell Baker, head of Mozilla, and Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Concussion Protocol: Can You Tell The Difference Between Soda And One Half Of A Football Team?

        There are a surprising number of really dumb trademark disputes involving professional sports, what with athletes jumping at the chance to trademark their nicknames and phrases, and that really dumb 12th Man thing. But even this cynical writer was taken aback at the news that Dr. Pepper had stepped in to block the Denver Broncos from trademarking the term “Orange Crush”, the nickname for the team’s defensive squad spanning nearly half a century.

      • Company opposes Broncos’ bid to trademark ‘Orange Crush’

        The Denver Broncos might have had the Orange Crush defense, but the team shouldn’t be allowed to trademark the term, at least according to Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which owns the Crush soda brand, whose most popular flavor is orange.

    • Copyrights

      • Europe Is About To Create A Link Tax: Time To Speak Out Against It

        We’ve written plenty of times about ridiculous European plans to create a so-called “snippet tax” which is more officially referred to as “ancillary rights” (and is really just about creating a tax on Google). The basic concept is that some old school newspapers are so lazy and have so failed to adapt to the internet — and so want to blame Google for their own failures — that they want to tax any aggregator (e.g., Google) that links to their works with a snippet, that doesn’t pay for the privilege of sending those publishers traffic. As you may remember, Germany has been pushing for such a thing for many, many years, and Austria has been exploring it as well. But perhaps the most attention grabbing move was the one in Spain, which not only included a snippet tax, but made it mandatory. That is, even if you wanted Google News to link to you for free, you couldn’t get that. In response, Google took the nuclear option and shut down Google News in Spain. A study showed that this law has actually done much to harm Spanish publishers, but the EU pushes on, ridiculously.

      • Film Producer Wants ISPs Prosecuted Over Widespread Piracy

        Dutch film producer Klaas de Jong has filed a police report against four local ISPs, holding them accountable for tens of millions of euros in piracy related losses. The producer says that the ISPs are responsible for the actions of pirating subscribers, since they fail to block torrent sites and other download portals.


Links 13/6/2016: Linux 4.7 RC3, Samsung’s Tizen Focus

Posted in News Roundup at 5:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Whistleblower: EPA Officials Covered Up Toxic Fracking Emissions for Years

      Why has the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to take adequate action against disastrous, climate-warming methane emissions from the fracking industry?

      An environmental watchdog alleges that the answer may be a years-long, systematic cover-up of the true data surrounding these toxic emissions.

      That cover-up, the group says, was at the hands of at least one EPA researcher who accepted payments from the oil and gas industry.

  • Security

    • Deception Cybersecurity Pioneer illusive networks Adds Linux and Advanced Forensics in Latest Release
    • San Antonio’s Infocyte Takes Cybersecurity Threat Hunting to Linux
    • Lieberman Software Provides Security Automation at Scale for Linux

      Lieberman Software Corporation is advancing the security of the Linux enterprise by keeping the privileged attack surface in constant motion on Linux systems. The announcement was made at the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit, where the company is exhibiting this week in booth #719.

    • Mozilla launches fund to vet open-source software

      More and more, developers are using open source tools when building applications and online services because it allows users to openly share and collaborate on code. Because it encourages crowdsourcing and collaboration, open source has opened the doors for amateurs and professionals alike to make better software faster than ever before.

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Outdated authentication practices create an opportunity for threat hunter Infocyte

      “Having Linux allows us to look at web servers, for instance. If you’re going to bypass the biometrics, you’re going to need to get into that system itself,” Gerritz says. “That’s where we come in, is finding people who have inserted themselves under that authentication layer.”

    • Cable Sees NFV Enhancing Network Security

      Network functions virtualization is all the rage because of the money it can save, and because of the network flexibility it helps afford, but the cable industry is enthused about NFV for yet another, less publicized benefit: the potential NFV creates for improving network security.

    • IoT Consensus – A Solution Suggestion to the ‘Baskets of Remote’ Problem by Benedikt Herudek

      Bitcoin is able to integrate and have endpoints (in Bitcoin terminology ‘wallets’ and ‘miners’) seamlessly talk to each other in a large and dynamic network. Devices and their protocols do not have the ability to seamlessly communicate with other devices. This presentation will try to show where Bitcoin and the underlying Blockchain and Consenus Technology can offer an innovative approach to integrating members of a large and dynamic network.

    • Ready to form Voltron! why security is like a giant robot make of lions

      Due to various conversations about security this week, Voltron came up in the context of security. This is sort of a strange topic, but it makes sense when we ponder modern day security. If you talk to anyone, there is generally one thing they push as a solution for a problem. This is no different for security technologies. There is always one thing that will fix your problems. In reality this is never the case. Good security is about putting a number of technologies together to create something bigger and better than any one thing can do by itself.

    • Email Address Disclosures, Preliminary Report, June 11 2016

      On June 11 2016 (UTC), we started sending an email to all active subscribers who provided an email address, informing them of an update to our subscriber agreement. This was done via an automated system which contained a bug that mistakenly prepended between 0 and 7,618 other email addresses to the body of the email. The result was that recipients could see the email addresses of other recipients. The problem was noticed and the system was stopped after 7,618 out of approximately 383,000 emails (1.9%) were sent. Each email mistakenly contained the email addresses from the emails sent prior to it, so earlier emails contained fewer addresses than later ones.

    • Universities Become New Target for Ransomware Attacks [iophk: "Calgary has no excuse, given the particular tech activity headquartered specifically in their town. Some top Univ executives need firing +fines for having allowed Microsoft into their infrastructure."]

      This week the University of Calgary in Canada admitted paying C$20,000 (€13,900) to a hacker to regain access to files stored in 600 computers, after it suffered a ransomware attack compromising over 9,000 email accounts. In order to receive the keys, the school paid the equivalent of C$20,000 in Bitcoins.

    • Blue Coat to Sell Itself to Symantec, Abandoning I.P.O. Plans

      Blue Coat Systems seemed poised to begin life as a public company, after selling itself to a private equity firm last year.

      Now, the cybersecurity software company plans to sell itself to Symantec instead.

      Blue Coat said late on Sunday that it would sell itself to Symantec for $4.65 billion. As part of the deal, Blue Coat’s chief executive, Greg Clark, will take over as the chief executive of the combined security software maker.

      To help finance the transaction, Blue Coat’s existing majority investor, Bain Capital, will invest an additional $750 million in the deal. The private equity firm Silver Lake, which invested $500 million in Symantec in February, will invest an additional $500 million.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The Chinese Hackers in the Back Office

      At the N.S.A., Mr. Falkowitz had worked with teams that detected North Korean missile launches. Much of that early work was done with satellites that would look for sudden heat blasts.

      Eventually, Mr. Falkowitz’s team tried a more proactive approach. If they could hack the computers that controlled the missile launch systems, they could glean launch schedules. Area 1 is now taking a similar approach to digital attacks, tapping into the attackers’ launchpads, as it were, rather than waiting for them to attack.

      Hackers don’t just press a big red “attack” button one day. They do reconnaissance, scout out employees on LinkedIn, draft carefully worded emails to trick unsuspecting employees to open them and click on links or email attachments that will try to launch malicious attacks.

      Once they persuade a target to click — and 91 percent of attacks start this way, according to Trend Micro, the security firm — it takes time to crawl through a victim’s network to find something worth taking. Then they have to pull that data off the network. The process can take weeks, months, even years and leaves a digital trail.

    • Before Nightclub Shooting, FBI Pursued Questionable Florida “Terror” Suspects

      The attack on a gay club in Orlando in which 50 people were killed and more than 50 wounded — now the largest mass shooting in U.S. history — demonstrates how potential threats are escaping the FBI’s vast counterterrorism dragnet.

      While it’s unclear whether gunman Omar Mateen’s inspiration was hatred of gays, the Islamic State, or something else, attackers like him are the intended targets of the FBI’s post-9/11 prevention program. Federal law enforcement’s top priority today is to stop the attacker of tomorrow.

      But Mateen’s mass shooting is an example of how dangerous men slip past the FBI’s watch while federal agents focus on targets of questionable capacity.

    • Orlando Pulse Open Thread

      There is so much we need to fix in this country: the guns, the homophobia. But I fear we’re most likely to just throw more policing in the mix, rather than addressing the underlying issues.

    • Omar Mateen and Rightwing Homophobia: Hate Crime or Domestic Terrorism

      US law enforcement is at least initially categorizing the horrific Orlando shootings as “domestic terrorism.”

      I don’t think it probably was terrorism in any useful sense of the term.

    • The Orlando Horror

      Terrorism is a reality – but endless war is not the answer

    • Recent Events in Honduras

      This week’s program looks at recent events in Honduras, including the 2009 coup, the 2012 killing of four villagers by a joint US-Honduran patrol at Ahuas, and the March 2016 assassination of indigenous environmental campaigner Berta Caceres. The guests examine some of the underlying institutions and circumstances there, including the heavily militarized Honduran police, the US “drug war,” and US willingness to use drug trafficking accusations to bring down critics of the country’s ruling party.

    • Hillary Clinton’s ‘Entangled’ Foreign Policy

      Besides bashing Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton offered few specifics in her big foreign policy speech which stressed the value of “friends.” But those “entangling alliances” helped create today’s global chaos, writes Daniel Lazare.

    • Gun Industry Describes Mass Shootings Like Orlando as a “Big Opportunity”

      In recent corporate presentations, leading gun makers celebrated the fact that consumers bought more firearms because of the December terrorist attack in San Bernardino. And, prior to the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando on Saturday night, executives were telling investors to expect another big bump — because of the upcoming elections.

      The surge in sales after mass shootings, as we’ve reported, is nothing new: Mass shootings lead to talk of gun control; the National Rifle Association — the gun advocacy group funded significantly by gun and ammunition manufacturers — uses its influence in Congress to block any legislative action; but gun owners, irrationally terrified that the government will restrict or ban firearms, rush out to buy more guns and ammo.

    • Donald Trump Calls Obama Complicit in Orlando Shooting, Escalating Years of Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

      Donald Trump’s first response to the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando was to congratulate himself “for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.”

      His second response was to accuse President Obama of complicity.

      “Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” Trump told Fox News early Monday. “There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on. … He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands — it’s one or the other and either one is unacceptable.”

    • As FBI Was Rolling Up Ibragim Todashev and Friends in Orlando, Omar Mateen Claimed a Tie

      Described as a tie to the brothers behind the Marathon killing, the claim is just wacky. But perhaps not as much when you consider the close FBI focus on Orlando’s Muslim community. The FBI killed Todashev in May of 2013, and started rounding up and deporting his friends shortly thereafter.

    • Stop Exploiting LGBT Issues to Demonize Islam and Justify Anti-Muslim Policies

      In the late 1990s, Eric Rudolph – raised Catholic and affiliated for a time with a Christian Identity sect – bombed abortion clinics and a gay bar, insisting they were venues of immorality and evil. Last July, an Orthodox Jewish Israeli attacked the marchers in the Jerusalem LGBT pride parade, stabbing six of them, and one of them, a teenager, died of her wounds; justifying his attacks by appealing to Talmudic punishments for homosexuality, he had just been released from a 10-year prison term for doing the same in 2005. Yesterday, a Christian pastor from Arizona, Steven Anderson, praised the slaughter of 49 people in an Orlando LGBT club on the ground that “homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts” and are “pedophiles.”

    • Was Orlando Shooter’s Domestic Violence History a Missed Warning Sign?

      The ex-wife of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen described him as a volatile and violent spouse who abused steroids and beat her during their brief marriage. “He started abusing me physically, very often, and not allowing me to speak to my family, keeping me hostage from them,” Yusufiy told reporters gathered in front of her home yesterday. After four months of marriage, Yusufiy was physically rescued from Mateen by her parents and, she said, filed a police report about his abusive treatment.

    • America’s Many Mideast Blunders

      Official Washington’s neocon foreign policy establishment looks forward to more “regime change” wars in the Mideast and more “blank checks” for Israel, but ex-Ambassador Chas W. Freeman Jr. sees such actions as a continued march of folly.

    • Globalization and the American Dream

      Implicit in all the rhetoric promoting globalization is the premise that the rest of the world can and should be brought up to the standard of living of the West, and America in particular. For much of the world the American Dream – though a constantly moving target – is globalization’s ultimate endpoint.

    • A Tale of Two Terrorists

      Nearly 15 years since its fiery debut, Bush’s “War on Terror” has somehow (and for some time now, too) been banalized into the humdrum of Obama’s permanent war; in light of this, as terrorism continues to simultaneously deviate from and reflect social norms, it seems entirely fitting that the two people vying for the presidency of the United States should be terrorists themselves.

    • Campaign 2016’s Brave New World

      As the U.S. election shapes up as a battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the prospect for the public hearing anything approaching a truthful exchange of ideas appears hopeless, writes David Marks.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Newly Released Clinton Email Was Marked Classified When It Hit Clinton’s Unclassified Server

      When her use of an unclassified email server first broke in March 2015, Hillary Clinton’s earliest statements were that no classified information was sent or received.

      She quickly changed her standard reply to say nothing sent or received was marked classified at the time. As recently as Wednesday of last week, she told reporters, “nothing that I sent or received was marked classified. And nothing has been demonstrated to contradict that. So it is the fact. It was the fact when I first said it. It is the fact that I’m saying it now.”

      (The statement is itself an outright lie. Some information — the names of CIA undercover personnel, imminent drone strikes, details on U.S. NSA sources and methods, for example — is inherently classified and does not need to be marked to restate that. In addition, many suspected classified documents that were marked as such were simply retyped minus the marker when they were sent to Hillary. Leaving the marker off does not “declassify” information, and is in fact a national security crime.)

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Ten Degrees Above Average, Alaska is Having Its Hottest Year Since Records Began

      Like the rest of the world, Alaska has been unusually hot this year—and it’s about to get hotter.

      That’s according to the most recent data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as Climate Central reported.

      Between March and May of this year, the meteorological spring, the entire state has been about 10 degrees hotter than normal, with an average temperature of 32°F.

      “That may sound cold,” Climate Central noted, “but warmth is a relative term. That temperature handily beat the previous record hot spring of 1998 by 2°F (1°C), according to NOAA.”

    • Mobilizing for COP21

      Tom Goldtooth is a Diné and Dakota environmental activist based in Minnesota. He has worked on environmental justice issues with tribal governments since the 1980s, and is widely respected as a grassroots leader throughout North America. In addition to serving as Executive Director of Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), he is a founder of the Durban Group for Climate Justice, co-founder of Climate Justice NOW!, co-founder of the U.S. based Environmental Justice Climate Change Initiative, and a regular policy advisor to indigenous communities. In 2010, he was honored by the Sierra Club and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as a “Green Hero of Color.” Last year, just weeks before COP21, he was awarded the Gandhi Peace Award, bestowed upon leaders who strive for world peace.

    • Nuclear ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ Is a Real Threat to New York, But the Feds Don’t Seem to Care

      A little more than a year ago, a transformer fire and oil spill reminded the world that Indian Point, an aging nuclear power plant, sits only about 45 miles north of midtown Manhattan. Later it was revealed that the fire was caused by a short circuit due to insulation failure in a high-voltage coil in the transformer.

    • Revealed: New evidence shows palm oil giant flouting rules to prevent Indonesian forest fires

      One of the world’s largest producers of palm oil appears to have defied instructions from the Indonesian government to stop practices that could cause a repeat of the extreme forest and peat fires of 2015, a new investigation has revealed.

      In November last year, the Ministry of Environment prohibited the palm oil industry from planting commercial crops on already burned land and instructed companies to ensure primary canals are blocked to prevent land being drained.

      Evidence unearthed by a Greenpeace Indonesia field investigation in April suggests that IOI has in fact violated these new rules.

    • Peabody Coal Bankruptcy Reveals Climate Denial Network Funding

      Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal company, has provided funds to a network of individuals, scientists, non-profits and political organizations espousing climate change denial and opposition to efforts to tackle climate change, according to newly available documents reviewed by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD/PRWatch).

      The recipients of funding from Peabody Energy were made public in the company’s recent bankruptcy filings.

    • Revealed: How This Coal Giant Became Treasury Dept. for Climate Denialists

      Peabody Energy, the largest coal producer in the U.S., funded dozens of groups spreading skepticism about climate change, according to new figures that reportedly surprised even environmental advocates with their scale.

      A Guardian analysis of the company’s filings reveal that Peabody gave money to at least two dozen companies including trade associations, lobbying groups, conservative think tanks, and other organizations that campaigned against climate science and fought President Barack Obama’s plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Now THAT’s going to make you saddle sore! Hundreds of cyclists ride naked through London in protest against car culture
  • Finance

    • Walmart Canada to stop accepting Visa cards due to ‘unacceptably high’ fees

      Walmart says it intends to join the list of retailers in Canada that don’t accept Visa cards, citing high fees for transactions. It’s a move one retail analyst has said will cause “pain on all sides.”

      All credit cards charge fees to retailers, which generally are between one per cent and 2.5 per cent of the cost what’s being sold. The fees vary depending on the type of card the customer is using — cash-back and premium cards generally have higher fees — and the type of retailer they’re shopping at.

    • EU referendum: Gordon Brown urges Labour voters to stay in

      Former PM Gordon Brown is to tell Labour voters they have the “most to gain” if the UK stays in the European Union, as the party seeks to rally its supporters behind the Remain campaign.

      In a speech later, he will say the EU can deliver policies close to their concerns including tackling corporate tax avoidance and creating jobs.

      Mr Brown will make what he is calling the “positive” case for staying in.

    • Left-Wing Party In Spain Borrows Ikea Style to Promote Anti-Austerity Manifesto

      The Spanish anti-austerity political party Podemos has an interesting idea to make its new platform the “most-read manifesto ever produced”: put it in the form of an Ikea catalog.

      Across pages of photographs depicting the party’s leaders relaxing or working in their sun-dappled homes, Podemos outlines its proposals (pdf) on key political issues, covering familiar ground with plans to reduce unemployment and increase taxes on the wealthy.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Going Global: Bernie Sanders’s Challenge

      As Bernie Sanders ponders his next step, he could fall in line behind the Clinton bandwagon or break free and take his critique of economic injustice to a global stage, starting with a challenge to Brazil’s pro-corruption coup, writes Sam Husseini.

    • How Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Others Used Social Media to Reframe News of Orlando Shooting

      As news updates rolled in about Sunday’s shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, politicians, public figures, activists and journalists took to Facebook and Twitter to send out unfiltered statements about the significance of the massacre.

      For prominent politicians in and seeking office, the shooting represented an obligation to comment as well as a challenge, as the tragedy touched on several highly charged issues and themes in the public sphere, including but not limited to: LGBTQ rights, homophobia, Islamophobia, gun control and terrorism.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Embarrassed German intelligence official trying to discredit Snowden

      German intelligence mandarin Hans-Georg Maassen of the Verfassungsschutz has told the Bundestag’s NSA committee that it is “highly plausible” that whistleblower Edward Snowden is a Russian spy.

      Obviously, it is very hard if at all possible to know if anyone is a Russian spy. There are even speculations about Chancellor Merkel (who is of East-German descent). But speculations are just speculations.

    • DOJ Warns Calexico Police: Fix Institutional Problems Before Adopting Surveillance Tech

      Law enforcement agencies should not expand their electronic surveillance capabilities until they have addressed core problems of corruption, incompetence, poor oversight, and inadequate training.

      Echoing concerns long raised by EFF, that’s the message the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sent the Calexico Police Department (CPD) following a years-long investigation into alleged corruption by officers.

    • NSA interested in exploiting internet-connected medical devices, spying on IoT

      The NSA has new tricks up its sleeve, looking for ways to exploit the Internet of Things and connected biomedical devices like pacemakers in order to monitor targets and collect foreign intelligence.

      At the Defense One Tech Summit on Friday, NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett said, “We’re looking at it sort of theoretically from a research point of view right now.”

      If that involves hackers from the NSA’s Office of Tailored Access Operations (TAO), then it’s practically a done deal when you consider the wide range of devices previously pwned and listed in the ANT division catalog of exploits. It surely wouldn’t be too difficult for the group, since IoT and wireless medical devices are notoriously insecure.

      Ledgett, according to The Intercept, claimed surveillance via biomedical devices might be “a niche kind of thing … a tool in the toolbox.” He reminded the audience that there are easier ways for the NSA to spy on targets.

    • NSA targets the Internet of Things as a new data source

      The Internet of Things (IoT) may be the US National Security Agency’s next potential target for spying and collecting data according to a comment made by its deputy director at a recent military technology conference.

      During the conference, which was held in Washington DC on 10 June, deputy director of the NSA Richard Ledgett said that the agency is considering potential ways it could collect data from internet-connected devices such as smart appliances and pacemakers. According to the Intercept, he said: “We’re looking at it sort of theoretically from a research point of view right now.” IoT technology has yet to become truly mainstream and as such the NSA exploring ways it could utilise this new wave of devices to collect information is in line with the agency’s past activities.

    • Snowden leak reveals Scottish links to GCHQ spy programme
    • Snowden exposes mass surveillance in Scotland by “unknown” government agency
    • Politicians and researchers raise questions over secret Scottish surveillance system
    • Apple vs FBI: NSA reveals why it couldn’t hack San Bernardino iPhone
    • NSA Explains Why It Couldn’t Hack San Bernardino iPhone
    • Could FBI Again Struggle To Get Access To Orlando Terrorist’s Phone?
    • BlackBerry hands over user data to help police ‘kick ass,’ insider says

      A specialized unit inside mobile firm BlackBerry has for years enthusiastically helped intercept user data — including BBM messages — to help in hundreds of police investigations in dozens of countries, a CBC News investigation reveals.

      CBC News has gained a rare glimpse inside the struggling smartphone maker’s Public Safety Operations team, which at one point numbered 15 people, and has long kept its handling of warrants and police requests for taps on user information confidential.

    • BlackBerry: We’re Here To Kick Ass And Sell Out Users To Law Enforcement. And We’re (Almost) All Out Of Users.

      Back in mid-April, it was discovered that Canadian law enforcement (along with Dutch authorities) had the ability to intercept and decrypt BlackBerry messages. This level of access suggested the company had turned over its encryption key to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. BlackBerry has only one encryption key for most customers — which it maintains control of. Enterprise users, however, can set their own key, which cuts BlackBerry out of the loop completely.

      BlackBerry CEO John Chen — despite publicly criticizing Apple for locking law enforcement out of its phone with default encryption — refused to provide specifics on this apparent breach of his customers’ trust. Instead, he offered a non-denial denial, stating that BlackBerry stood by its “lawful access principles.”

    • US government asks to join key EU Facebook privacy case brought by Schrems

      The US government has asked to be joined as a party in the Irish High Court case between the Austrian privacy activist and lawyer Max Schrems, and the social network Facebook. In a press release, Schrems called this “an unusual move.”

      He told Ars that there are no documents relating to the “amicus curiae”—friend of the court—request yet. “The US government simply appeared via a barrister at the first (administrative) hearing today,” he said. “They will be able to file the documents until the 22nd.”

      Schrems speculated that the US government has made this move because it wanted to defend its surveillance laws before the European Courts. “I think this move will be very interesting,” he told Ars. “The US has previously maintained that we all misunderstood US surveillance.”

    • Now, please focus on Tor and its future

      Having seen the Swedish and the German Pirate Parties going down in flames after infighting, I can recognize some sort of underlying tone in the Tor dispute. Conflicts in tech-oriented communities often tend to spiral out of control and reason.

    • Snowden: Scotland has its own NSA conducting mass surveillance of phone and internet activity

      Documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal that Scottish authorities have been engaged in gathering data about phone and internet usage in much the same way as the NSA and GCHQ.

    • Secret police phone tap unit was run by Strathclyde Police
  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Experts, scientists urge Kerala govt to include IPR in curriculum

      Now, the IPR experts and scientists have submitted a representation to the new Kerala government to include IPR in the educational curriculum from the school level and to set up an IPR Academy. Thiruvananthapuram: Since the last seven years, a proposal to set up an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Academy in Kerala remains only on paper. IP literacy is still very low even after two decades since we signed the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) at World Trade Organisation. “The proposal to include it in educational curriculum and to set up an IPR Academy will be taken forward by the new government and a clear picture on its modalities will emerge soon,” he said. IPR is already an optional subject for Law students in Kerala.

    • Why you just can’t have a one-size-fits-all IPR policy

      The National IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) policy was released on May 11. This 38-page document will give directions to the government to promote ‘creative and innovative India’. Questions have been raised in some quarters about the need for a new policy now, as extensive legislation has been passed amending patent, copyright, trademark and design laws. Was the report released because of the Prime Minister’s US trip? Will it play into the pharmaceutical lobby?

    • Alongside UN Commitments To End AIDS, Event On Access Brings Tears, Vision

      Last week, United Nations members agreed on a political declaration on ending AIDS by 2030, with some new and old commitments. Alongside the 8-10 June High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, a side event looked at issues of access and got into intellectual property rights issues.

    • Myriad Genetics Refuses To Accept That People Have A Right To Access Their Own DNA Sequences

      One of the biggest victories on the patent front was when the US Supreme Court finally ruled that naturally-occurring DNA cannot be patented. The company involved in this case, Myriad Genetics, didn’t give up at this point, but tried to claim that despite this ruling, its patents on genetic testing were still valid. Fortunately, the courts disagreed, and struck down those patents too.

    • Love IP enforcement? Come to Brussels next week for the Commission’s IP Enforcement Conference!

      The AmeriKat currently has a four dedicated IP passions – SPCs, the UPC, trade secrets and remedies. Luckily for her 2016 has so far been an exciting year for all four. In particular, IP remedies in Europe is undergoing a potential renaissance in the form of the Commission’s Consultation on the IP Enforcement Directive (2004/48/EC) which closed on 15 April 2016 (see here).

    • Copyrights

      • “Piracy Monitoring Outfit Uses Flawed Tracking Technology”

        Every day anti-piracy outfits monitor millions of unauthorized BitTorrent transfers. Among other things, the data collected is used to sent stark warnings to alleged pirates. However, according to a torrent site owner the tracking methods of these companies are not all foolproof.

      • Neil Young Onstage: ‘F–k You, Donald Trump’

        In a lengthy Facebook post, Neil Young cleared the air about how he feels about Donald Trump using his songs: “YOUNG CONTINUES TO DENY TRUMP PERMISSION TO USE HIS MUSIC,” the rocker wrote, attaching a short clip of him yelling “Fuck you, Donald Trump” onstage.

      • Not The Onion: Morocco Bans Sharing Newspapers To Protect Publisher Business Models

        It’s no surprise that traditional newspaper publishing is a struggling business. That’s been the case for a long time, leading to a variety of silly proposals to try to prop up their failing businesses. There’s been talk of changing copyright law to ban linking to or paraphrasing newspaper articles online. There’s been a lot of focus on somehow harming search engines, as if they’re the problem that newspapers face. There have been proposals to create a special version of the hot news doctrine to stop search engines from linking to stories. And, of course, over in the EU there’s been a years-long push to “tax” links, which was so broad in Spain that Google News shut down in that country. That law, designed to protect newspapers, actually harmed them.

        However, I don’t think any proposal we’ve seen is crazier than what’s happening in Morocco, where apparently newspaper publishers are lashing out at anything they can think to blame in response to decreasing revenue — including people in cafes sharing newspapers with others. And thus, a compliant government has now banned the practice. No one’s putting any spin on this other than “OMG, newspapers are making less money, and let’s ‘protect’ them.”

      • Pure Bullshit: AMC Threatens Huge Fan Community With Copyright Claim Over ‘Spoiler’ Predictions

        What’s up, Hollywood TV people? Hey, could you do everyone a favor and maybe stop being complete assholes to your biggest fans — and especially completely abusing copyright law to harass and bully those people? Almost exactly a month ago we wrote about HBO abusing the DMCA process to go after people who were predicting what would happen in Game of Thrones, accusing them of violating copyright law in accurately predicting what would happen in the future. As we noted, that’s not at all how copyright law works, but apparently AMC took a look at what HBO was doing and said “hey, let’s do that too.”

      • EU digital copyright consultation: Last chance to have your voice heard

        An important EU public consultation on copyright closes on Wednesday. As well as the official consultation page from the European Commission, there is an easy-to-use site set up by the Copyright for Creativity group that aims to facilitate the process by explaining what the questions really mean. It takes only a few minutes to complete, and automates the entire submission process. There are versions in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Polish.

        The consultation offers a rare chance for members of the public to help shape the EU’s future digital copyright policy in two areas that are highly relevant for Ars readers. The first is the idea of placing a “Google tax” on snippets. More formally called a “neighbouring right” or “ancillary copyright,” it would allow publishers to demand payment from search engines and content aggregators when the latter include short snippets that link to the original text. As Ars explained last year, the approach has been tried in Spain and Germany with disastrous results—a powerful argument not to extend it across the whole of the EU, as the European Commission is still considering.


Links 12/6/2016: Chromebooks EoL, Android N Release Date

Posted in News Roundup at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Splice Machine Opens Sources Its Hadoop and Spark Powered RDBMS
  • Splice Machine moves to open source; seeks contributors, mentors, sponsors and champions support latest move
  • Splice Machine Offering Open Source Version of its Platform
  • Getting started with ReactOS

    ReactOS is a relatively new open source operating system that resembles the looks of Windows NT and aims to offer similar levels of functionality and application compatibility. Featuring a wine-based user mode, this system doesn’t use any of the Unix architecture, but is a rewrite of the NT architecture from scratch, with its very own FAT32 implementation, and completely free of legal implications. That said, this is not yet another Linux distro, but a unique Windows-like system that is a part of the free software world. This quick guide aims at users who want an easy to use, open source replacement for their Windows system.

  • [OwnCloud] Revolutionizing the Cloud
  • ownCloud Inc. Closes Doors Following NextCloud Announcement

    Owncloud GmbH released an official statement last week, detailing their thoughts and feelings on Frank Karlitschek’s new service, NextCloud, and announced the closing of ownCloud Inc. They cite the Launch of Karlitschek’s new product and the “poached” devs as causes for the shuttering of the Massachusetts incorporated organization, just 12 hours after the NextCloud announcement. The report also details the formation of the “ownCloud Foundation,” an effort to strengthen the community despite the corporation’s closure.

  • Events

    • LaKademy 2016

      This year we celebrated the fourth LaKademy conference and for my luck it happened in the city I live in, Rio de Janeiro :-) The reason for that is because I have not had much time for contributing to KDE as I used to have. The fact that the event happened in Rio saved me a lot o time and sure I wouldn’t miss it for nothing hehe.

    • foss-north follow-up

      The time to summarize the foss-north event has come. I’d like to start by thanking everyone – speakers, sponsors and visitors – you all made it a great event!

      After the event I sent out a questionnaire which made for some interesting reading. About 30% of the visitors have replied to the questions, so I feel that the input is fairly representative.

    • SeaGL opens 2016 call for participation

      The Seattle GNU/Linux Conference (we like to call it SeaGL) has opened its call for participation for the 2016 event.

      SeaGL welcomes speakers of all backgrounds and levels of experience—even if you’ve never spoken at a technical conference. If you’re excited about GNU/Linux technologies or free and open source software, we want to hear your ideas.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome 53 Should Be Blazing Fast

        Chrome 52 Beta may have just been released, but I’m already looking forward to Chrome 53 for very significant performance improvements!

        Google engineers have been using the Motion Mark web benchmark for making some improvements to the Chrome GPU pipeline. They’ve made around a 47% improvement in the speed of Chrome for these common benchmarks while for some particular tests they are multiple times faster.

    • Mozilla

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta and PGCon 2016

      PostgreSQL’s annual developer conference, PGCon, took place in May, which made it a good place to get a look at the new PostgreSQL features coming in version 9.6. The first 9.6 beta was released just the week before and several contributors demonstrated key changes at the conference in Ottawa. For many users, this was the first time to see the finished versions of features that had been under development for months or years.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Tender for a Infrastructure and System Administrator (#201606-01)

      The Document Foundation (TDF), the charitable entity behind the world’s leading free office suite LibreOffice, seeks a Infrastructure and System Administrator to start work as soon as possible. The role is scheduled for 40 hours a week. The work time is flexible and work happens from the applicant’s home office, which can be located anywhere in the world.

      Our infrastructure is based on 4 large hypervisors with about 50 virtual machines running on them. In addition there are several bare-metal machines, additional backup servers, externally hosted virtual machines and services, split across three data centers and connected via dynamic routing.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • pkgsrc 50th release interviews – Jonathan Perkin

      The pkgsrc team has prepared the 50th release of their package management system, with the 2016Q1 version. It’s infrequent event, as the 100th release will be held after 50 quarters.

      The NetBSD team has prepared series of interviews with the authors. The next one is with Jonathan Perkin, a developer in the Joyent team.

    • FreeBSD on Microsoft Azure [iophk: "It's just a one hour, non-technical sales pitch from a marketeer. BSDCan used to be a technical conference. The selection committee really failed on this one."]

    • GNU Make 4.2.1 Released!

      GNU Make 4.2.1, a bug-fix release for GNU Make 4.2, has been released and is available in the usual locations.

    • GNU Radio for Space (and Aircraft)

      The people behind the satellite, GomSpace, has a complete parser for the ADS-B data beacons and [destevez] has it rolled into a GNU Radio module. There’s a good representation of captured data on a map in [destevez’s] blog post. If you want something less interactive, you can see a static map of all collected data. If you want to try your hand at picking up GOMX-3, you can hear it transmitting in the video below.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Raspberry Pi on big list of single-board computers, new router chips to comply with FCC rules, and more news
    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Alternative To x86, ARM Architectures?

        Support grows for RISC-V open-source instruction set architecture.

      • Secure Hardware and Open Source

        A few weeks ago Yubico published an interesting piece on their security architecture illustrating conflicts between Open Source and Secure Hardware. While we agree on the most important points raised in this article (basically that Secure Elements are a critical part of a security architecture to provide protection against physical attacks and device interdiction), we’d like to offer our perspective on how we’re trying to improve the status quo.

      • Open Source Cloud Chamber

        If you didn’t have a cloud chamber, you can build your own thanks to the open source plans from [M. Bindhammer]. The chamber uses alcohol, a high voltage supply, and a line laser. It isn’t quite the dry ice chamber you might have seen in the Sears Christmas catalog. A petri dish provides a clear observation port.

  • Programming/Development

    • The 2016 Python Language Summit
    • Gilectomy

      Python’s (in)famous global interpreter lock (GIL), which effectively serializes multi-threaded access to the interpreter (thus hampering concurrency using threads), has long been seen as something that Python could do without. But there are both technical and political hurdles to clear before the GIL can be removed. Larry Hastings presented his thoughts and progress on doing a “gilectomy” to the CPython interpreter at the 2016 Python Language Summit.

    • Twisted and Python 3
    • The future of the Python ssl module

      The opening session at the 2016 Python Language Summit concerned the ssl module in the standard library. Cory Benfield and Christian Heimes described some of the problems that the module suffers from and discussed some plans for making things better.

    • How To Code Like The Top Programmers At NASA — 10 Critical Rules

      Do you know how top programmers write mission-critical code at NASA? To make such code clearer, safer, and easier to understand, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has laid 10 rules for developing software.


  • It Took 33 Years For Someone to Find the Easter Egg in This Apple II Game

    Gumball, a game released in 1983 for the Apple II and other early PCs, was never all that popular. For 33 years, it held a secret that was discovered this week by anonymous crackers who not only hacked their way through incredibly advanced copyright protection, but also became the first people to discover an Easter Egg hidden by the game’s creator, Robert A. Cook. Best of all? Cook congratulated them Friday for their work.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Congress approves bill updating chemical safety oversight

      The bill would update the Toxic Substances Control Act amid complaints that its 40-year-old provisions hobble the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from effectively regulating chemicals, including those ranging from asbestos and flame retardants to everyday household products.

    • Thanks to Bipartisanship, a “Witches’ Brew of Unregulated Chemicals” Still Threatens Consumers

      U.S. lawmakers have just passed legislation to finally update how toxic chemicals are regulated, but, according to watchdog groups, the changes to “the worst environmental law on the books” still leave consumers at risk.

      The House voted to update the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) last month, and the Senate passed the measure Tuesday in a voice vote.

    • Exclusive: Studies find ‘super bacteria’ in Rio’s Olympic venues, top beaches
    • EPA Proposed New Emergency Limits For Radioactive Drinking Water, And They Don’t Look Good

      New and higher radioactivity limits for drinking water tainted in the case of a nuclear emergency were put forward by the Environmental Protection Agency this week, a move that environmental organizations are calling “egregious.”

      “The upshot really is that the [nuclear] industry really wants to be able to release more radioactivity and not be responsible for it,” Diane D’Arrigo, a project director at the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, told ThinkProgress. “This is really a big loss.”

      On Monday, the EPA proposed new guidelines for radiological emergencies — like a nuclear meltdown or a dirty bomb, a weapon that combines conventional explosives such as dynamite with radioactive material. During a radiological emergency, radioactive material could be released into the rivers, lakes, and streams used by public water suppliers. EPA is proposing non-regulatory guidance that authorities can use “to protect residents from experiencing the harmful effects from radiation in drinking water following an emergency.” Guidelines influence radioactive limits that trigger safety measures like local water use restrictions or deploying alternative water supplies. The EPA calls these guidelines the Protective Action Guide, or PAG.

    • Why the Environmental Working Group Isn’t Backing the Toxic Chemicals Compromise

      Most chemicals used in everything from cleaners to candy bars have never been reviewed by either the EPA or the FDA. This measure won’t change that.

    • How We Can Prepare For A ‘Superbug’ Resistant To All Our Antibiotics

      Last month, a strain of bacteria resistant to “last-resort” antibiotics appeared in the United States for the first time. Luckily, doctors were able to kill the bacterium, but public health officials warned that one day a “superbug” resistant to all our antibiotics could emerge.

    • Air Force has lost 100,000 inspector general records

      The Air Force announced on Friday that it has lost thousands of records belonging to the service’s inspector general due to a database crash.

      “We estimate we’ve lost information for 100,000 cases dating back to 2004,” Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told The Hill in an email.

      “The database crashed and there is no data,” Stefanek said. “At this time we don’t have any evidence of malicious intent.”

      The database, called the Automated Case Tracking System (ACTS), holds all records related to IG complaints, investigations, appeals andFreedom of Information Act requests.

    • Air Force IG Data Corrupted

      ​Data related to USAF Inspector General investigations have been lost, the Air Force said Friday. The service discovered Monday the data stored in the IG’s Automated Case Tracking System database were corrupted, spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in a statement. The service is investigating the cause and attempting to recover the lost data. The database stores records related to IG complaints, investigations, and appeals along with FOIA requests. It is also used to track congressional inquiries. Senior official data are held separately. Stefanek noted the immediate impact of the loss is being assessed, but the service is “experiencing significant delays in the processing of inspector general and congressional constituency inquiries.”

  • Security

    • EFF’s Badge Hack Pageant Returns to DEF CON

      We are proud to announce the return of EFF’s Badge Hack Pageant at the 24th annual DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas. EFF invites all DEF CON attendees to stretch their creative skills by reinventing past conference badges as practical, artful, and over-the-top objects of their choosing. The numerous 2015 pageant entries included a crocheted badge cozy, a quadcopter, counterfeit badges, a human baby, a breathalyzer, a dazzling array of LED shows, and more than one hand-made record player that would make MacGyver weep. We encourage you to join us and contribute something whether you are a crafter, a beginner, or a hardware hacking wizard. It’s a great summer project so get started now and enjoy a great show!

    • @Deray’s Twitter Hack Reminds Us Even Two-Factor Isn’t Enough

      This has been the week of Twitter hacks, from Mark Zuckerberg to a trove of millions of passwords dumped online to, most recently, Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson.

    • System calls for memory protection keys

      “Memory protection keys” are an Intel processor feature that is making its first appearance in Skylake server CPUs. They are a user-controllable, coarse-grained protection mechanism, allowing a program to deny certain types of access to ranges of memory. LWN last looked at kernel support for memory protection keys (or “pkeys”) at the end of 2015. The system-call interface is now deemed to be in its final form, and there is a push to stage it for merging during the 4.8 development cycle. So the time seems right for a look at how this feature will be used on Linux systems.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Israel’s Willingness to ‘Negotiate’ With Egypt

      Gold’s conference was about the French peace initiative concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

      I have a lurking suspicion – it is still lurking around – that this is not really a French initiative, but a camouflaged American one.

      It arouses the fury of the Israeli government, and no American president can do that if he wants – himself or his party – to be reelected.

    • Venezuela’s Struggle to Survive

      Amid a reassertion of U.S.-backed neoliberal policies in Latin America, Venezuela’s socialist government totters at a tipping point, beset by a severe economic crisis, but Lisa Sullivan sees a ground-up struggle of Venezuelans to survive.

    • The Art of the Patriotic Con

      Military veterans are one of the most conned groups in America. Their exploitation resumed in full force with the 9/11 attacks against America. Those attacks allowed the George W. Bush administration to ramp up patriotic fever, justify launching a “global war on terrorism,” and continue the American empire’s capitalistic attempts to control other countries’ rulers and resources – which imperialism actually had provided the motivation for the 9/11 attacks. Bush himself conscripted the role of “President” into that of “Commander-in-Chief,” and with it the militarization of America was in full swing. Politicians, mainstream media, Hollywood, professional and college sporting programs, businesses, community institutions, and even religious groups accommodated, celebrated and worshipped the military uniform – with the American flag visible on the lapels of politicians and sportscasters. Shortly after the illegal, falsely-based invasion of defenseless Iraq in 2003, even a small hospital in New Hampshire displayed American flags and patriotic signs, such as “Support the Troops.” The patriotic con, which is undermining America’s morality and security, is now deeply ingrained in the status quo and readily seen in the 2016 presidential campaign.

    • S. Korean Villagers Sued for Anti-Base Protests

      The South Korean Navy filed a civil lawsuit against 116 individual anti-base protesters and five groups including the Gangjeong Village Association demanding $3 million in compensation for alleged construction delays caused by protests over the past eight years.

    • Trillions Spent on Violence as World Continues Downwards Spiral Away From Peace

      The global spiral downwards towards less peace continues, the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) finds.

      The findings are laid out in the think tank’s latest Global Peace Index (GPI), now in its 10th edition, released Wednesday. It ranks 163 states and territories based on 23 indicators covering domestic and international conflict, societal safety and security, and a country’s militarization.

      Book-ending the 2016 index (pdf) are Iceland, ranking as the most peaceful country, and Syria, which ranks dead last. The United States comes in at 103, just behind Uganda and Guinea, while the UK comes in much further ahead at 47.

    • The Nuclear Codes Come With Big Challenges For Clinton Or Trump

      Whatever your take on the presidential race, Tuesday’s primary results make it all but certain that, come January, President Obama will hand over the keys to the White House — and the nuclear codes — to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

      Both presumptive nominees have expressed deep concern about the nuclear threat. With more than 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world, rising tensions among nuclear-armed countries, extravagant investment in a new generation of these weapons, and the evolving specter of nuclear terrorism — the risks of a catastrophe are reaching unprecedented heights. It’s little wonder the Doomsday Clock hovers at three minutes to midnight.

    • Hillary Clinton on Gaddafi: We Came, We Saw, He Died
    • Hillary’s Victory and Next to Last Hurrah

      Everybody knew that the awful day would come when the Queen of Chaos, the Empress of Ineptitude, would become the Democratic Party’s “presumptive” nominee.

      It did last Tuesday. Wall Streeters, Cold Warriors, “humanitarian” interveners, Zionist settler supporters, and other assorted miscreants can now rejoice!

      Add to that list those who think that, at last, little girls can grow up thinking that the “glass ceiling” is gone – as if it wasn’t already by 1984, when Walter Mondale selected Geraldine Ferraro to run as his Vice President.

    • School Days and Grenade Launchers

      Come on, they aren’t tanks, they’re armored rescue vehicles. And the, uh, grenade launchers would only be used to launch teargas canisters. When necessary. And the M-16s? Standard police issue.

    • Hillary Clinton’s State Department Let South Sudan Use Child Soldiers

      Hillary Clinton spent years vowing to defend the rights of children worldwide, but under her leadership the State Department played a central role in allowing rebel forces in southern Sudan to use child soldiers in defiance of a 2008 law forbidding it, reports Nick Turse at The Intercept.

      The law is called the Child Soldiers Prevention Act, or CSPA, and after South Sudan’s independence, in 2011 the White House issued annual waivers that kept taxpayer dollars flowing its way despite its use of child soldiers.

    • US Bullying Canada to Pursue Anti-Russian Foreign Policy

      As the world is faced with numerous crises requiring cooperation between the US and Russia – Syria, Ukraine, and international terrorism to name just three – Washington just can’t help its Russophobic ways.

      Most recently, former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul expressed his extreme displeasure (dare I say revulsion) at the idea that the Canadian Government, and specifically its Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion, could possibly make the independent decision to not follow the diktats of Washington in adopting a Canadian version of the Magnitsky Act, a piece of proposed legislation which would have severe repercussions for the Russia-Canada relationship. McFaul, a staunch anti-Putin crusader whose time as ambassador was marred by countless failures and embarrassing public blunders, went so far as to cast doubt on the commitment to human rights of Mr. Dion and the Canadian Government.

    • Orlando nightclub shooting: Around 20 dead after ‘terror attack’ at Florida gay club
  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • State Department Emails Reveal How Unqualified Clinton Donor Was Named to Intelligence Board

      Emails recently released by the State Department give more information on how a securities trader and big-money Clinton donor was appointed by her office to the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB), a group that advises the Secretary of State on nuclear weapons and other security issues.

      According to the State Department’s own website, members are “national security experts with scientific, military, diplomatic, and political backgrounds.” The current members show a lot of generals, ambassadors and academics.

      So it seemed odd to ABC News that Clinton felt that Rajiv K. Fernando, above, qualified for the group, since his background is in high-frequency stock trading and Internet “ventures.” He has donated heavily both to the Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton’s two presidential campaigns, and the Obama campaigns.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Activists Deliver 90,000+ Petitions Calling on DNC to Add Fracking Ban to Party Platform
    • Tens of Thousands Demand DNC Add National Fracking Ban to Party Platform

      Climate activists on Wednesday delivered more than 90,000 petitions to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) demanding that the party’s 2016 platform include a nationwide ban on fracking.

      As the DNC convened in Washington, D.C. for its open forum on shaping the platform, activists with Food & Water Watch, 350.org, Honor the Earth, and other groups handed over the appeals and said officials must acknowledge the harm that fracking has caused the environment.

    • Light Pollution Hides Milky Way From 80 Percent Of North Americans, Atlas Shows

      The luminous glow of light pollution prevents nearly 80 percent of people in North America from seeing the Milky Way in the night sky.

      That’s according to a new atlas of artificial night sky brightness that found our home galaxy is now hidden from more than one-third of humanity.

    • Norway adopts world’s first zero deforestation policy: What does that mean?

      Norway announced a zero deforestation policy in its procurement of goods, two years after making a pledge with Germany and Britain to ‘promote national commitments that encourage deforestation free supply chains.’

    • Dead Zone In Gulf Of Mexico As Large As Connecticut?

      The Dead Zone that grows annually in the Gulf of Mexico could stretch to over an area the size of Connecticut, according to new predictions. In all, this area of the Gulf where little life can exist will cover near 5,900 square miles.

      The hypoxic zones are created because of the runoff of agricultural waste into waterways. Phosphorus and nitrogen from fertilizers and waste from livestock can rob regions of water bodies of their oxygen. As a result, plants and animals in the area are unable to take in the vital element, and die of suffocation.

      Although the size of the dead zone may sound large, the predicted area is about average for the summer season, researchers contend.

    • Planting Corn, Not Pipelines

      During the early stages of resistance against the Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska, an unlikely alliance of farmers, ranchers, environmentalists and Native Americans held a spiritual gathering at the farm of Art Tanderup. While gathered in a tepee during a cold night, Mekasi Horinek of the Ponca Nation had a vision: they should plant the newly revitalized Ponca Nation sacred corn along the proposed route of the pipeline.

      The planting of this seed not only offered a life-affirming resistance to the pipeline, but it also represented a return of the corn to this land after a 137-year absence. Mekasi’s great-grandfather had walked across this very farm at the age of eight when white settlers drove the tribe from Nebraska and forced them to relocate to Oklahoma on a 600-mile trail of tears. Allowed to take with them only what they could carry, the natives to this land had to leave behind their newly planted crop of corn and thus lose a precious link to their heritage.

    • Before #ExxonKnew, Industry Hid Perils of Smog with #SmokeAndFumes

      Years before Big Oil began sowing doubt about the science of climate change and fighting efforts to cut dangerous emissions, the fossil fuel industry sought to muddle the research around smog, according to an investigation published this week by InsideClimate News.

      The revelations—from one of the first news outlets to expose ExxonMobil’s climate deception—are based on hundreds of industry speeches, articles, reports, and oral histories that span the last 70 years, many of them gathered by the Boston-based Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and dozens unearthed by InsideClimate News (ICN) in the Library of Congress and other archives.

  • Finance

    • Who is afraid of the urban poor?

      In Egypt, both the ruling elites and the urban middle class cling to the military regime, in the hope that they will be protected from a seemingly inevitable tide of social unrest.

    • ‘Huge Win’ for Workers as DC Council Approves $15 Minimum Wage

      Heralding a new victory for the Fight for $15 movement, lawmakers in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday unanimously approved a measure to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, which Mayor Muriel Bowser has promised to sign.

      Beyond 2020, the minimum wage will rise with inflation. “When I see how much it costs to live in Washington, D.C.—and that cost is only going up—we know that it takes more money for every household to be able to afford to live,” Bowser said during a news conference following the vote.

    • PETER HITCHENS: The British people have risen at last – and we’re about to unleash chaos

      I think we are about to have the most serious constitutional crisis since the Abdication of King Edward VIII. I suppose we had better try to enjoy it.

      If – as I think we will – we vote to leave the EU on June 23, a democratically elected Parliament, which wants to stay, will confront a force as great as itself – a national vote, equally democratic, which wants to quit. Are we about to find out what actually happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?

      I am genuinely unsure how this will work out. I hope it will only destroy our two dead political parties, stiffened corpses that have long propped each other up with the aid of BBC endorsement and ill-gotten money.

    • How Low Would We Go for TPP?

      The Trans-Pacific Partnership, the huge new 12-country trade deal, raises the question: How low would we go to get the next NAFTA-style deal?

      The basic idea of a trade deal is that we will lower our tariffs, you will lower your tariffs, and trade goes up. That would be a trade deal.

      TPP is much more than that. The tariff schedules in TPP are not controversial. Really, TPP will not pass or fail based on the tariff schedule.

      Rather, the rules in TPP are very controversial because the rules define power relationships, and those power relationships determine who will take the gains from globalization.

    • In Paul Ryan’s District, a Community Struggling

      In Racine, Wisconsin, it is clear that a community was abandoned.

      On either side of Memorial Drive, one after another, are relics of better days: massive brick factories now closed, sprawling warehouses deserted, empty lots, boarded-up buildings. Rusted water towers and aged smokestacks rise from industrial rooftops, like sentries standing guard long after they served their duty. Racine Steel Casings, Case Tractors, Sealed Air, Jacobsen Textron, Golden Books, Young Radiator—once-great employers, all gone, but not forgotten by locals.

    • Nightly Newscasts Have Virtually Ignored Poverty in 2016. Here’s Why.

      One in two Americans will experience poverty or near poverty during their working years. But you wouldn’t know that from watching the news.

      Nightly news broadcasts on the three major television networks barely mentioned the 47 million Americans living in poverty in the first quarter of 2016. According to a new report from Media Matters for America, NBC Nightly News ran just two segments on the topic in the first three months of this year. What’s worse, ABC and CBS failed to cover the issue entirely.

    • The paradox of true sovereignty points to Remain

      The EU provides a means to exercise more control of international capitalism.

    • U.S. Elites: the Original Gangsters

      Donald Trump is at home in the underworld. Tom Robbins writes that the de facto GOP nominee “has encountered a steady stream of mob-tainted offers that he apparently couldn’t refuse” in his decades in business. He “worked with mob-controlled companies and unions” while building his empire, the Washington Post reports.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Winning by Destroying: Trump and Gingrich

      Playing the game well or honorably is irrelevant.

    • Democrats Will Learn All the Wrong Lessons From Brush With Bernie

      This was no ordinary primary race, not a contest between warring factions within the party establishment, á la Obama-Clinton in ’08 or even Gore-Bradley in ’00. This was a barely quelled revolt that ought to have sent shock waves up and down the party, especially since the Vote of No Confidence overwhelmingly came from the next generation of voters. Yet editorialists mostly drew the opposite conclusion.

    • Did Big Media Do in Sanders?

      Many Bernie Sanders backers feel that the mainstream media did its best to marginalize the Vermont senator’s campaign and clear the way for Hillary Clinton’s coronation – and they’re not all wrong, says Neal Gabler.

    • After SCOTUS Gutted Voting Rights, An Explosion of Democratic Suppression

      State and local threats to voting rights have exploded in the three years since the U.S. Supreme Court attacked a critical constitutional protection for minority voters, despite overwhelming evidence of discrimination, a new report by the NAACP reveals.

      Democracy Diminished (pdf), released by the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF), looks at disenfranchisement around the country since the Supreme Court effectively blocked Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act—which requires certain jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination against voters to submit proposed voting changes to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) or a federal court in Washington, D.C. for pre-clearance—in its 2013 ruling on Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder.

    • This Feminist is #Still Sanders

      I write as a feminist, a well-seasoned historian of American women, and a die-hard supporter of Bernie Sanders. Long-time colleagues disparage my loyalty to the Sanders campaign and chastise me, along with him, for not celebrating Hillary Clinton’s landmark achievement as the first woman to become the presumptive nominee of a major political party. I’m betraying my feminist principles, they suggest. Moreover, I’m denying the historical significance of Clinton’s victory, they pointedly add. Against this tide, I’m holding fast to my principles on both accounts. Both feminism and the historical moment weigh heavily in my decision.

    • Obama Endorses Clinton, As Sanders Vows To Fight On for Progressive Future

      After an hour-long meeting with President Barack Obama on Thursday afternoon, Bernie Sanders spoke briefly to reporters outside the White House pledging that his campaign will continue the “political revolution” and encouraged his supporters not to give up on the key issues that have raised their political passions.

      Just minutes later, the Hillary Clinton campaign released a video of Obama offering his official endorsement of the former secretary of state.

      Those speculating that Sanders might concede after rival Hillary Clinton won the California primary on Tuesday, clearing the path for her to take the Democratic nomination, were proven wrong. Even as Sanders warned of the “disaster” of a Donald Trump presidency and vowed to work tirelessly to defeat the Republicans’ presumptive nominee, Sanders promised to fight for the ideals of his own campaign through to the end—including the Democratic National Committee (DNC) convention in July.

    • The Republican Party Just Crashed and Burned in California

      Fifty years ago, California was a reasonably Republican state—with a Republican named Reagan on his way to being elected governor, two Republican senators representing the state in Washington, and the pieces in place to back the GOP nominees in the next six presidential elections. Republicans did not always win California, but they had the upper hand. From 1952 to 1988, only one Democratic presidential candidate won the state—and that was Lyndon Johnson, in the Democratic landslide year of 1964.

    • New era of journalism: People against the gatekeepers

      What does the post-mainstream era hold for journalism? Can censorship exist in an era of total access to information? Where does freedom of expression begin and where does it end?

      These were just three of the important questions addressed at the “New Era of Journalism” conference held in Moscow this week, an event which brought together leading journalists from 32 countries and also featured a video link up with Wikileaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

      Opening the proceedings, Dmitry Kiselev, Director General of the Rossiya Segodnya news organization, said that since 2001 the US had interfered with and destroyed a number of countries around the world with wars and interventions based on lies. These lies, such as the blatantly false claim that Iraq had WMDs which could be launched within 45 minutes, were promoted by US State Department/NATO-friendly news channels and other media as proven facts which they clearly were not.

      Actually, the US policy predates the terrorist attacks on New York, as citizens of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, who were bombed by NATO for 78 days and nights in 1999, would testify. The most drastic form of censorship was imposed in that conflict too, when Serbian state television (RTS), was bombed and 16 employees killed. But it was the “humanitarian crusaders” of a US-led military alliance doing the killing, so there were no ‘Ja sam Jelica’ or ‘Ja sam Branislav’ marches of solidarity in western capitals. It seems it’s ok to kill media workers if it’s “our side” that does it. Then the victims are “unpeople”.

    • As Establishment Lines Up Behind Clinton, Calls Resound to ‘Let it Bern’

      The Democratic elite may be lining up behind Hillary Clinton, but for those who have been galvanized by Bernie Sanders’ populist campaign, the call for a political revolution burns brightly still.

      Even as she endorsed Clinton on Thursday night, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) lauded Sanders’ integrity and primary achievements—and recognized the grassroots army inspired by his candidacy.

      “I take my cue on every part of this from Bernie himself,” Warren told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “I also think that what Bernie Sanders did was just powerfully important. He ran a campaign from the heart, and he ran a campaign where he took those issues and he really thrust them into the spotlight. He brought millions of people into the political process, millions into the Democratic Party, and for me, that’s what it’s all about.”

    • Zephyr Teachout’s Push for Reform

      I sit next to a thirtyish man named Shawn and a sixtyish woman named Tanya. Tanya supports Teachout because “she understands that the structure of the system is the problem.” Shawn clutches Teachout’s 2014 book, Corruption in America, which castigates the modern Supreme Court’s campaign finance rulings.

    • Two Bigots Running for US President

      It’s easy to spot Donald Trump’s crude bigotry but harder to detect Hillary Clinton’s more subtle variety since it pertains mostly to Palestinians and people pressuring Israel to respect Palestinian rights, explains Lawrence Davidson.

    • Comcast-Funded Website Plugs Comcast-Owned TV Show Promoting Comcast-Backed Trade Pact

      The promotion of the TPP is a recurring staple at Vox, which frequently publishes articles that happened to dovetail with the interests of their major investor, Comcast—a corporation that spends large sums trying to convince members of Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership…

    • Donald Trump Has No Platform. Paul Ryan Isn’t Helping.

      House Speaker Paul Ryan spent the past week announcing policy plans designed to fill the void left by the party’s presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, who has virtually no detailed policy proposals save for outrageous propositions like building a giant wall on the U.S.-Mexico border at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer.

    • Despite Historic Achievement, Feminists Grapple with Clinton’s Deeply Troubling Record

      There is no doubt that history was made Tuesday night after Hillary Clinton swept California, all but sealing her fate as the first woman to become a major party nominee for president.

      Even before polls closed in the Golden State, the former secretary of state celebrated the moment at a Brooklyn rally, telling her supporters, “Thanks to you we’ve reached a milestone: the first time in our nation’s history that a woman will be a major party’s nominee.”

      “Yes, there are still ceilings to break for women, men, for all of us, but don’t let anyone tell you that great things can’t happen in America,” she said after premiering a stirring video that highlighted some of the women who fought for equality and liberation.

    • How the Media Manipulated the Democratic Primary

      Though it might not always seem like it, the news media is composed of human beings. Humans aren’t, can’t be, and possibly shouldn’t be, objective. Still, there’s a reasonable expectation among consumers of political news that journalists of all political stripes strive to be as objective as possible.

      At their minimum, media outlets ought to be straightforward about their biases.

      They certainly shouldn’t have, or appear to have, their thumbs on the scales.

      Unfortunately, all too often, it appears that the political system is rigged – and that the major media companies play an important role in gaming the system. That’s what has happened throughout this year’s Democratic primaries, in which the vast majority of corporate media outlets appear to have been in the bag for Hillary Clinton, the establishment candidate, against self-described “democratic socialist” insurgent Bernie Sanders.

    • Where are the Missing California Primary Votes?

      Richmond California is a refinery town in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is also where there is a diverse working class community with a strong Richmond Progressive Alliance which previously elected a Green Party Mayor. Bernie Sanders visited the city and actively supported the populist movement in February 2014 making it likely that Bernie Sanders would receive strong support in Richmond.

    • ‘We Will Never Give Up’: A Note of Thanks to Bernie Sanders

      Regardless of what you decide to do now, you have ignited a movement that will fight onward. We will fight to put more progressives into the House and Senate. We will fight at the state level. We will organize for the 2020 presidential election.

    • America’s voting system is broken. It’s time to overhaul it

      There’s no debate at this point that Hillary Clinton has won the popular vote and the delegate count to win the Democratic primary. But even Clinton supporters should agree that our supposedly “democratic” system for picking nominees for president is terribly broken and should be dramatically overhauled.

      It’s not just Bernie Sanders’ campaign that should (and has) argued that the voting system in this country is “rigged”. Virtually every major campaign in both parties griped about how the other was winning at some point during this campaign, and along the way almost all of them were right.

      First, there are the delegates themselves – the “representatives” that voters “choose” to express their interests at the party conventions (but sometimes don’t have to comply). Each state has its own rules for how delegates are allocated, and they are almost always ridiculously complicated. In both parties, delegate counts regularly do not match up to the percentage of votes candidates received in the primaries. For example, as Fusion’s Felix Salmon demonstrated in March, Trump had dramatically more delegates than his percentage of the Republican vote at that point, and Sanders had dramatically fewer delegates than his percentage on the Democratic side.

    • AP’s Clinton ‘Victory’ Story Breaches Journalism Ethics and Public Trust

      The Associated Press’ early crowning of Hillary Clinton as the “presumptive” Democratic presidential nominee thrust a news organization into the middle of the political process with a story that suddenly, and without enough explanation, emerged from the mysterious methods of today’s journalism.

      The story was not just a scoop. It fed the hostility and cynicism of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ fervent supporters. Now it will complicate Clinton’s efforts to build a united campaign against Donald Trump following her big and conclusive primary victories Tuesday night. And it possibly influenced voters before the primaries in California, New Jersey and New Mexico. Why vote if you already know the score?

      Clinton reached the 2,383 mark Tuesday with the help of the superdelegates. You might say that makes the AP story yesterday’s news. But it’s not. The story raised major questions about today’s journalism and its impact on the political process.

    • Green Party Seeks 2016 Ballot Access in all 50 States: an Interview with Rick Lass

      On June 5th, the Nevada Green Party and the Jill Stein for President 2016 campaign filed petitions to qualify for the Nevada ballot in November. Stein thanked all those who helped collect signatures, including Bernie Sanders’ supporters who were alienated by Nevada’s controversial nominating convention.

      The Nevada Green Party was required to file 5,431 signatures. They filed 8,300 which will now be verified by county clerks and then sent to the Nevada Secretary of State. Nevada Greens and the Stein campaign believe that number ensures qualification even after some number of signatures have been invalidated by clerks comparing them to the voter rolls.

    • Bernie Sanders Calls Meeting at His Home in Vermont Sunday to Discuss Campaign’s Future

      Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to get together Sunday night in his hometown of Burlington, Vt., with a couple of dozen of his closest supporters, an aide announced Friday.

      Sanders is spending the weekend in his Vermont home-base but is booked to appear on several Washington-based TV news shows on Sunday morning.

    • Did the Press Take Down Bernie Sanders?

      Earlier this week, even before Hillary Clinton’s primary victory in California assured her the Democratic presidential nomination, the Associated Press had already declared her the presumptive nominee. Bernie Sanders and his supporters were sore, and they had a right to be.

      Although the AP defended its decision, saying that Clinton’s crossing the delegate threshold was news and they had an obligation to report it when they did (the day before the clinching primaries) the timing and the circumstances were suspicious. It appears that AP had been hounding superdelegates to reveal their preferences, and blasting that headline just before those primaries threatened either to depress Sanders’ vote or Hillary’s or both because the contest was now for all intents and purposes over.

      Sanders has never been much of a media fan. Last October, Mother Jones reported that way back in 1979, he wrote in Vermont’s Vanguard Press, an alternative newspaper, that “with considerable forethought [TV capitalists] are attempting to create a nation of morons who will faithfully go out and buy this or that product, vote for this or that candidate and faithfully work for their employers for as low a wage as possible.” He said TV was America’s “drug.” On another occasion, he took a 60 Minutes crew to the AP office in Burlington and, in a bit of turnabout, began interrogating their reporters. So perhaps the AP’s announcement this week was a bit of long-simmering retribution.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • House Poised to Advance Privacy and Defend Encryption…If Allowed to Vote

      A bipartisan group of House members are preparing to introduce measures widely supported by their colleagues that would reign in NSA domestic surveillance and protect encryption. But a change in procedure adopted by the House leadership may deny the House a chance to even consider their proposal.

      Based on their successful amendments to the House Defense Appropriations bill two years ago, Representatives Thomas Massie (R-KY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Ted Poe (R-TX) aim to reintroduce measures backed by civil liberties organizations and activists as amendments to the Defense Appropriations bill currently moving through the House.

      By prohibiting backdoor searches and preventing the NSA and CIA from undermining encryption devices and standards, their proposals would represent a significant step forward in the ongoing battle to secure privacy and security in the face of ongoing unconstitutional surveillance documented in 2013 by Edward Snowden.

    • Texas A&M Cybersecurity Center receives recognition from NSA, Homeland Security
    • Scots police had access to GCHQ spy programme

      Top secret documents revealing that Scots police forces had access to a GCHQ spy programme collecting information on people’s communications, movements and use of social media, are published today by The Ferret.

      The newly released classified documents came from US whistle-blower Edward Snowden and reveal that a previously unknown surveillance unit called the Scottish Recording Centre (SRC) was given access to a classified GCHQ project called MILKWHITE.

      The SRC was a police project that allowed Scottish forces to access metadata for information about people’s phone calls and emails.

      MILKWHITE was also storing data on people’s usage of smartphone apps such as WhatsApp and Viber and instant messenger services such as Jabber.

      GCHQ’s definition of metadata is broad and includes location data that can be used to track people’s movements, login passwords and website browsing histories.

    • Facebook: Install ‘Moments’ or Lose Your Synchronized Photos

      If you don’t use Facebook’s Moments app, the social network is looking to incentive you a bit to check it out—though, perhaps incentivize is the wrong word. The company is essentially threatening that your synchronized pictures are going to the digital recycling bin unless you download the Moments app, which isn’t leaving some users very thrilled.

    • The RCMP Surveilled Thousands of Innocent Canadians for a Decade

      The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has been using mass surveillance devices known as IMSI catchers, in public, for a decade. In that time, the police have indiscriminately surveilled potentially thousands of Canadians without their knowledge, and stored that information for later use.

      Motherboard and VICE News obtained more than 3,000 pages of court documents that were produced as part of a case centering around a 2010 RCMP drug bust that unveiled a Montreal mafia slaying, codenamed Project Clemenza. Thanks to these documents, Canadians are finally getting a peek into the RCMP’s use of mobile device identifiers—the police’s term for IMSI catchers. On Friday, some of the men who pleaded guilty in the case that sprang from Clemenza are being sentenced in a Quebec court.

    • NSA reveals why it couldn’t hack the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone 5c

      One of the more surprising aspects regarding the locked iPhone 5c involved in the San Bernardino terrorist attack of 2015 was that the FBI was unable to unlock the device by themselves. What’s more, we would later find out that even the NSA — who the FBI asked for assistance — lacked the requisite tools to unlock the device, a somewhat startling fact given all we know about the NSA’s activities and expertise.

      Speaking at a conference on military technology this past Friday, NSA deputy director Richard Ledgett addressed the topic and explained why the NSA was unable to access Syed Farook’s iPhone 5c. And as it turns out, it’s not necessarily that the task was beyond the NSA’s capabilities. Rather, the iPhone 5c wasn’t a sufficiently popular device that would have warranted the NSA’s attention in the first place. In other words, the iPhone 5c was never on the NSA’s radar because the people it had an interest in tracking and spying on were using other devices.

    • The NSA wants to monitor pacemakers and other medical devices

      Still, it’s both wild and disconcerting to think that something as critical as a pacemaker could be monitored by a hacker. The NSA doesn’t plan to stop at that, either. Perhaps less surprising is Ledgett’s broader suggestion that the NSA is interested in using information from any internet-connected device.

    • Why the NSA and other spies will love the Internet of Things

      It’s no surprise that the U.S. National Security Agency and presumably other spy agencies around the world are investigating how they might take advantage of the new generation of Internet-connected devices in homes and offices for spying purposes.

      What is surprising is how willing Richard Ledgett, the NSA’s deputy director, was to talk about it in remarks at a conference in Washington on Friday. “As my job is to penetrate other people’s networks, complexity is my friend,” he said of the growing mass of common household and office items that are increasingly likely to be logged in to a nearby Wi-Fi network. “The first time you update the software, you introduce vulnerabilities — or variables, rather. It’s a good place to be in a penetration point of view.”

    • Campaigners’ concern at mass surveillance by secret services
    • Exclusive: Edward Snowden leaks reveal secret Scottish spy system

      SECRET REPORTS leaked by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden have revealed how UK mass surveillance of phone and internet activity was accessed by Scottish police forces.

      The documents confirm that a little-known policing body called the Scottish Recording Centre (SRC) was given access to information logs that includes millions of communications data including phone activity, internet histories, and social media behaviour on Facebook.

    • Senator Tells Funny J. Edgar Hoover Story to Warn Against Expanded FBI Surveillance Power

      Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., warned colleagues Thursday to think hard before expanding FBI surveillance powers, sharing a cautionary tale about his own experiences with former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • “We Can Assassinate You at Any Time” — Journalists Face Abduction and Murder in South Sudan

      Hakim was home alone with his two dogs, relaxing one night in March, when his cellphone rang. The man on the other end of the line asked a simple question: “Do you know that we can assassinate you at any time?”

      In seconds, the line went dead.

    • BREXIT: the R is for Racism

      B in Brexit stands for Boris and his overweening ambition. But R is for Racism, the method through which Vote Leave aims to achieve the political upset of the century.

    • U.N. Chief Admits He Removed Saudi Arabia From Child-Killer List Due to Extortion

      U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon publicly acknowledged Thursday that he removed the Saudi-led coalition currently bombing Yemen from a blacklist of child killers — 72 hours after it was published — due to a financial threat to defund United Nations programs.

      The secretary-general didn’t name the source of the threat, but news reports have indicated it came directly from the Saudi government.

    • Our Immigration Policies Are Ridiculous

      Doubling down on border enforcement is as ineffective as it is inhumane.

    • NYPD Officers Arrest And Punch Rapper For Hanging Out In Brooklyn Bridge Park

      Levar McDonald, also known as the as web comedian and rapper The Levar Show, was arrested in the Brooklyn Bridge Park in an escalating series of events that ended with him on the ground under a pile of New York Police Department (NYPD) officers.

      Bystander video footage of part of the encounter shows a police officer standing close to McDonald and demanding to see McDonald’s ID, to which McDonald repeatedly responds, level-voiced, “don’t put your hands on me,” and says, “I’m not doing nothing wrong.” McDonald tells an agitated crowd that he left the park when an officer told him to.

    • A Year After Cops Fired 44 Rounds at Keith Davis, His Case Still Raises Questions About Justice in Baltimore

      Between 2006 and Gray’s death in 2015, 67 people were killed in encounters with Baltimore police, according to the Baltimore Sun. Only two of the police officers involved in those killings were charged with a crime. Following Gray’s death, the Department of Justice opened an investigation into the Baltimore Police Department, focusing on its use of force, including deadly force, and its pattern of discriminatory policing. The police commissioner was fired, the city’s officials engaged in a public exercise of soul searching, and police reform became the talk of the town.

    • WTFUK

      The first time I visited the UK, the young immigrations officer at LHR was very inquisitive about this old friend I was going to meet while I was in London for a conference: Who was he? Where did he live? What was our relationship? My awkward answers and copious fear sweating must have been unsatisfactory, for she waved me over to the Corral of Shame to join other suspicious characters while she had a chat with a man I can only assume was her supervisor.

    • Cover up during Ramadan, Kelantan mufti tells non-Muslims

      The Kelantan Mufti today urged non-Muslims to dress conservatively throughout the fasting month of Ramadan as provocative attire could be haram for surrounding Muslims.

      Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad explained that while non-Muslims have the freedom to dress however they liked, they should be “considerate” and dress appropriately to prevent Muslims from forfeiting their fast.

      “They (non-Muslims) should respect Muslims and dress appropriately.

      “It is not wrong for them to dress how they like but they must be considerate because when Muslims, particularly men, bump into them at public places, it is considered haram,” he was quoted as saying to local daily New Straits Times.

    • What happened to Hindus in Kashmir in 1990s is happening again in UP’s Kairana – Read this shocking story

      Kairana (Uttar Pradesh): At a time when the Central government is mulling to award citizenship to Hindu migrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh, there are reports that the community is being to forced to migrate from a city in Uttar Pradesh.

    • DEA Wants Inside Your Medical Records to Fight the War on Drugs

      The feds are fighting to look at millions of private files without a warrant, including those of two transgender men who are taking testosterone.

      Marlon Jones was arrested for taking legal painkillers, prescribed to him by a doctor, after a double knee replacement.

      Jones, an assistant fire chief of Utah’s Unified Fire Authority, was snared in a dragnet pulled through the state’s program to monitor prescription drugs after someone stole morphine from an ambulance in 2012. To find the missing morphine, cops used their unrestricted access to the state’s Prescription Drug Monitor Program database to look at the private medical records of nearly 500 emergency services personnel—without a warrant.

    • Sky News urged to drop footage of girl undergoing FGM

      Activists against female genital mutilation have urged Sky News to drop a segment which they say will show a girl as she undergoes the cutting in Somalia, saying it is tantamount to filming child abuse.

      Leyla Hussein, who co-founded anti-FGM campaign Daughters of Eve, said she was asked to appear on Sky News for an interview after a filmed segment about the prevalence of FGM in Somalia and Puntland, an autonomous state in Somalia’s north-east.

    • De-Incarceration, a Different Drum So Needed

      Along with VCNV companions, I’m part of a 150 mile walk from Chicago to Thomson, IL, a small town in Northwest IL where the U.S. Bureau of Prisons is setting up an Administrative Maximum prison, also known as a Supermax. Prison laborers from U.S. minimum security prisons now labor to turn what once was an Illinois state prison into a federal supermax detention facility with 1900 cells that will confine prisoners for 23 hours of every day.

    • UN Admits Extortion Behind Removal of Saudi Arabia From Child Killer Blacklist

      U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon admitted Thursday Saudi Arabia had been removed from a blacklist for maiming and killing children as a result of unnamed sources’ threats to defund United Nations programs. In plain language, an unknown entity used extortion to force the U.N. to reverse an important move toward ensuring the safety of children.

      According to an as-yet unsubstantiated report from Foreign Policy, that threat came directly from the Saudi government — though immediately after the report blacklisting the Saudi-led coalition went public, the kingdom vociferously denounced its placement, and was removed within 72 hours — perhaps lending an air of credibility to the allegation.

    • ‘We were caged and treated like animals’: Jamie Vardy’s wife Rebekah tells of ‘horrific’ treatment by French police as she was TEAR-GASSED on her way to England-Russia game

      Rebekah wrote: ‘That has to be up there with the worst experience EVER at an away game!

      ‘Teargassed for no reason, caged and treated like animals! Shocking!

      ‘I witnessed this with my own eyes! I can’t comment on things I didn’t see but what I got caught up in was horrific and uncalled for!

      ‘And this happened before the game even kicked off!’

    • Jamie Vardy’s wife Rebekah ‘tear-gassed’ during Russia vs England Euro 2016 violence

      Rebekah Vardy, the wife of England footballer Jamie Vardy, has revealed how she was caught up in a tear gas attack during the violence around Saturday’s Euro 2016 match between England and Russia.

      French, English and Russian football fans caused violent scenes in Marseilles, which carried on into Sunday morning.

    • North Carolina Asks Court to Keep Anti-Transgender Provisions of HB2 in Effect

      In court documents filed yesterday, North Carolina and the University of North Carolina system argued that the state’s law banning transgender people from public restrooms matching their gender identity should remain in effect while a legal challenge proceeds in federal court. The law, House Bill 2, also removes legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and others.

    • My Night with Muhammad Ali

      Muhammad Ali was then out on bail for dodging the draft. He had been stripped of his heavyweight title, banishing him from the ring, and he needed money for his legal fees. The Champ was touring college campuses across America, lecturing mostly white students about his Muslim faith and the sins of racism at home and war abroad.

    • Nevada’s Largest Paper Used To Support Marijuana Legalization. Then Sheldon Adelson Bought It.

      Last summer, the Las Vegas Review-Journal published an editorial proclaiming that the paper’s editorial page “has long supporting the decriminalizing, regulating and taxing the sale of currently illegal drugs,” including marijuana. It was on record as supporting an effort to legalize marijuana in the state that will go before voters this November, and as recently as late last year called for all presidential candidates to champion “removing marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.”

    • Groundbreaking UN Decision: Ireland’s Abortion Ban Is Cruel and Inhumane

      Ireland’s restrictive ban on abortions subjected a woman to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment and should be ended, a groundbreaking decision from a United Nations committee states.

      The findings from the Geneva-based Human Rights Committee are based on the case of Amanda Mellet, who was denied access to an abortion in 2011. In November 2013, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a complaint on her behalf.

    • Four Navajos Sue The Mormon Church Over Sex Abuse

      A member of the Navajo Nation filed a lawsuit this week against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) for inadequately protecting him from sexual and physical abuse he allegedly experienced during his participation in a Mormon foster program for Native American children. He is the fourth Navajo in recent months to sue the Mormon church for its neglectful oversight during the program—and more victims may still come forward.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Yes, Getting The US Government Out Of ‘Managing’ Internet Domain Governance Is A Good Thing
    • Locking the Web Open: Dispatches from Morning One of the Decentralized Web Summit

      “The current Web is not private or censorship-free.” That matter-of-fact bug report provides the reason for the first ever Decentralized Web Summit, taking place this week at the Internet Archive in San Francisco. EFF is participating in the festivities, and whether you’re following along in person, on the live stream, or online, we hope these highlights can bring a bit more of the conversation to you.

      The day started with a kickoff by Wendy Hanamura, Director of Partnerships at the Internet Archive, welcoming all of the “great builders of the next decentralized web.” She then handed the stage to Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation.

    • Values, Governance, and What Comes Next: Afternoon Sessions at the Decentralized Web Summit

      The afternoon session of the Decentralized Web Summit started with a rousing call to action by EFF’s own Cory Doctorow, who started by talking about…Oreos. More specifically: if you want to lose weight, you start by throwing away your bag of Oreos, so that when it’s been a long day and you’re exhausted and you’re craving a snack, they’re not there to tempt you. This is what’s called a “Ulysses Pact,” something you do when you’re strong and at your best, so that you can avoid giving in to temptation and compromise when you’re at your worst.

    • Cloudflare: Making the internet a little bit faster – for a select group of people

      When I wrote my previous article on Cloudflare, and how it craps all over my daily internet browsing and possibly millions of others, most of the responses I got was skepticism with a healthy dose of justification. Either, it’s my fault for being born and living in a country which is not on the favorable IP blocks for Cloudflare (read Developed Nations). Or it’s the Website owner’s fault for not turning firewall rules to essentially off. Who in their right might would turn firewall essentially off? Firewall is a good thing, right?

    • The fight over the Internet is a fight over the Power of Narrative, just like with the printing press

      The fight over the Internet has happened before, almost step by step, with the fight over the printing press 550 years ago. As the Catholic Church lost its power to interpret reality, it attacked any usage of the new copying technology, up to and including the death penalty. What it is, is a fight over the power to tell the narrative – the ability to tell others what reality looks like, and powerful institutions of today are fighting for their survival as they’re losing this ability and becoming irrelevant and obsolete.

      VPNs, Tor, encryption, surveillance – it’s all part of a much bigger picture about a fight over the Power of Narrative.

      I sometimes ask people to imagine how they would act if they could write all the world’s news for a week, and all of it would be unquestionably accepted as true. This is the Power of Narrative, the ability to sort true from false for other people. If they could change people’s perception of themselves in any way imaginable and never have it questioned, what would they write?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Judge: Failing Megaupload Servers Should Be Repaired, Not Copied

        Last month Megaupload’s former hosting company Cogent raised alarm bells about failing hard drives, which contain crucial evidence. Responding to this threat the MPAA and RIAA asked the court’s permission to copy the data, but this has now been denied. Instead, Judge O’Grady went with Megaupload’s proposal to simply repair the drives while keeping them stored at Cogent.

      • Watch The President Use Fair Use To Support A Trade Deal That Undermines Fair Use

        Lots of people are talking about the fact that President Obama went on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday night to “slow jam the news” and play up a bunch of his accomplishments while stumping for the TPP agreement.

      • Ripoff Report Doesn’t Own the Copyright in Users’ Posts, But Neither Does This Guy Suing Them For Infringement

        People who don’t like what’s said about them on the Internet can’t bypass important protections for online speech by demanding the copyright to objectionable comments, EFF argues in a new amicus brief filed together with Public Citizen and Harvard’s Cyberlaw Clinic. The underlying case, now before the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, implicates key principles for online free speech and the rights of those who use online speech platforms.

      • Reject Europe’s Plans To Tax Links and Platforms

        A European Commission proposal to give new copyright-like veto powers to publishers could prevent quotation and linking from news articles without permission and payment. The Copyright for Creativity coalition (of which EFF is a member) has put together an easy survey and answering guide to guide you through the process of submitting your views before the consultation for this “link tax” proposal winds up on 15 June.

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