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Links 13/5/2017: Neptune Plasma 5 ISO, a Shift to Free (FOSS) Databases

Posted in News Roundup at 2:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Fonts and presentations

    When you’re giving a presentation, the choice of font can matter a lot. Not just in terms of how pretty your slides look, but also in terms of whether the data you’re presenting is actually properly legible. Unfortunately, far too many fonts are appallingly bad if you’re trying to tell certain characters apart. Imagine if you’re at the back of a room, trying to read information on a slide that’s (typically) too small and (if you’re unlucky) the presenter’s speech is also unclear to you (noisy room, bad audio, different language). A good clear font is really important here.

  • Science

    • Trump’s Expected Pick for Top USDA Scientist Is Not a Scientist

      The USDA’s research section studies everything from climate change to nutrition. Under the 2008 Farm Bill, its leader is supposed to serve as the agency’s “chief scientist” and be chosen “from among distinguished scientists with specialized or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics.”

      But Sam Clovis — who, according to sources with knowledge of the appointment and members of the agriculture trade press, is President Trump’s pick to oversee the section — appears to have no such credentials.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • New Report on U.S. Ocean and Great Lakes Economy Shows Growth

      The ocean economy includes businesses dependent on ocean and Great Lakes natural resources. This essential segment of the U.S. economy also employed more than 3 million people—more than crop production, telecommunication and building construction combined—with over two thirds of those employees in the tourism and recreation sector.

    • Action Alert: NYT Misleads on Children’s Pre-Existing Conditions

      But when you read the HHS report that Pelosi was referencing, the Times‘ “factcheck” is even more deceptive. The 4 million and 17 million figures are not the low and high estimates of the government about the same phenomenon; they’re counting two separate things, and the first figure intentionally leaves out massive numbers of kids with pre-existing conditions.

    • Understanding Sea Level Rise in the Nation’s Largest Estuary

      Chesapeake Bay Sentinel Site Cooperative researchers are working towards a better understanding of how the nation’s largest estuary is changing over time due to rising sea levels. Scientists are collecting data with tide stations and other tools at sentinel sites around the Bay. Through intensive studies and long-term observations at these stations, Cooperative partners are helping to create a clearer picture of sea level and ecological changes in this region to better inform coastal decision-makers about the health of the Bay now and into the future.

    • Taking Data Further with Standards

      Imagine reading a book, written by many different authors, each working apart from the others, without guidelines, and published without edits. That book is a difficult read — it’s in 23 different languages, there’s no consistency in character names, and the story gets lost. As a reader, you have an uphill battle to get the information to tell you one cohesive story. Data is a lot like that, and that’s why data standards matter. By establishing common standards for the collection, storage, and control of data and information, data can go farther, be integrated with other data, and make “big data” research and development possible.

      For example, NOAA collects around 20 terabytes of data every day.Through the National Ocean Service, instruments are at work daily gathering physical data in the ocean, from current speed to the movement of schools of fish and much more. Hundreds of government agencies and programs generate this information to fulfill their missions and mandates, but without consistency from agency to agency, the benefits of that data are limited. In addition to federal agencies, there are hundreds more non-federal and academic researchers gathering data every day. Having open, available, comprehensive data standards that are widely implemented facilitates data sharing, and when data is shared, it maximizes the benefits of “big data”— integrated, multi-source data that yields a whole greater than its parts.

    • Sullied seasoning: Sea salts come with a dash of microplastics

      When plastic garbage makes its way to the sea, it eventually breaks down into tiny fragments that return to us in salty seasonings, Malaysian researchers report in Scientific Reports.

      In a survey of 16 sea salts from eight countries, researchers found microplastic particles lurking in all but one. In total, the researchers collected 72 particles from the salts and used micro-Raman spectroscopy to identify their components, which were mainly plastic polymers and pigments.

    • Dakota Access pipeline has first leak before it’s fully operational

      “It doesn’t give us any pleasure to say, ‘I told you so.’ But we have said from the beginning that it’s not a matter of if, but when,” the Earthjustice attorney told the Guardian on Wednesday. “Pipelines leak and they spill. It’s just what happens.”


      The company has fought in court to keep information about the status of the project confidential.

    • [Old] 220 ‘Significant’ Pipeline Spills Already This Year Exposes Troubling Safety Record

      Three major U.S. pipeline spills within the last month are just a small part of the 220 significant incidents reported so far this year—and 3,032 since 2006—that provide a stark reminder of the environmental hazards of an aging pipeline infrastructure carrying fossil fuels. The costs of these leaks since 2006 has amounted to $4.7 billion.

  • Security

    • ‘CIA malware plants Gremlins’ on Microsoft machines – WikiLeaks

      WikiLeaks has released the latest instalment in the #Vault7 series, detailing two apparent CIA malware frameworks dubbed ‘AfterMidnight’ and ‘Assassin’ which it says target the Microsoft Windows platform.

    • WannaCry ransomware used in widespread attacks all over the world

      Earlier today, our products detected and successfully blocked a large number of ransomware attacks around the world. In these attacks, data is encrypted with the extension “.WCRY” added to the filenames.

      Our analysis indicates the attack, dubbed “WannaCry”, is initiated through an SMBv2 remote code execution in Microsoft Windows. This exploit (codenamed “EternalBlue”) has been made available on the internet through the Shadowbrokers dump on April 14th, 2017 and patched by Microsoft on March 14.

    • NHS left reeling by cyber-attack: ‘We are literally unable to do any x-rays’

      Thousands of patients across England and Scotland have been in limbo after an international cyber-attack hit the NHS, with many having operations cancelled at the last minute.

      Senior medics sought to reassure patients that they could be seen in the normal way in emergencies, but others were asked to stay away if possible.

      According to one junior doctor who works in a London hospital, the attack left hospitals struggling to care for people. “However much they pretend patient safety is unaffected, it’s not true. At my hospital we are literally unable to do any x-rays, which are an essential component of emergency medicine,” the doctor told the Guardian.

    • “Worst-Ever Recorded” Ransomware Attack Strikes Over 57,000 Users Worldwide, Using NSA-Leaked Tools

      Update 4: According to experts tracking and analyzing the worm and its spread, this could be one of the worst-ever recorded attacks of its kind. The security researcher who tweets and blogs as MalwareTech told The Intercept “I’ve never seen anything like this with ransomware,” and “the last worm of this degree I can remember is Conficker.” Conficker was a notorious Windows worm first spotted in 2008; it went on to infect over nine million computers in nearly 200 countries.

    • Ransomware mess: high time for Microsoft to act [iophk: "close, it's high time to ditch Windows across the board"]

      Lets’ remember one thing: the ransomware and exploits are just the effects. The vulnerabilities in Windows are the cause.

    • NHS hospitals across the UK hit by large-scale ransomware attack

      Malware said to be spreading via Windows SMB exploit first outed in February

    • Tories cut security support for outdated NHS computers a year ago despite warnings of vulnerability to hackers

      The Government Digital Service, set up by David Cameron, decided not to extend a £5.5million one-year support deal with Microsoft for Windows XP.

    • We Wuz Warned

      The tools that are infecting computers worldwide were indeed developed by, and then leaked from, the NSA. (Thanks for nothing, spooks.) The bitcoin.com article contains tips about how to protect yourself, and links to Windows patches, if you haven’t yet been hit. Fortunately for us, the attacks seem to be focused on Windows systems; our Linux desktops are so far unscathed.

    • NSA-created cyber tool spawns global attacks — and victims include Russia

      Leaked alleged NSA hacking tools appear to be behind a massive cyberattack disrupting hospitals and companies across Europe, Asia, with Russia among the hardest-hit countries.

      But the Department of Homeland Security told POLITICO it had not confirmed any attacks in the U.S. on government targets or vital industries, such as hospitals and banks.

    • GCHQ tweeted about keeping Britain cyber-safe and it majorly backfired
    • Leaked NSA Hacking Tool On Global Ransomware Rampage [Ed: No, the problem isn't "patching" or "upgrade", the problem is Windows itself, irrespective of which version (back doors)]

      Thus, there’s some debate online about whether the “problem” here is organizations who don’t upgrade/patch or the NSA. Of course, these things are not mutually exclusive: you can reasonably blame both. Failing to update and patch your computers is a bad idea these days — especially for large organizations with IT staff who should know better.

    • An NSA-derived ransomware worm is shutting down computers worldwide
    • WCry is so mean Microsoft issues patch for 3 unsupported Windows versions [Ed: Back doors in old versions of Windows belatedly closed because Microsoft risks losing millions of useds [sic] for good]
    • Six things you need to know about IoT security
    • OpenStack Cloud Security Moves Forward

      When it comes to understanding security in the cloud and specifically security in OpenStack clouds, there are many factors to consider. In a panel session moderated by eWEEK at the OpenStack Summit in Boston, leaders from across different elements of the OpenStack security spectrum provided insight and recommendations on cloud security.

      Security is a broad term in the OpenStack context and isn’t just one single item. There is the OpenStack Security Project, which has a mission to help build tools and processes that help to secure OpenStack and its various projects. There is also the Vulnerability Management Team (VMT) that handles vulnerabilities for OpenStack project. Security in OpenStack is also reflected in various OpenStack projects, including notably Project Barbican for security key management. Finally there is just general security for cloud deployment by operators, which includes secure configuration and monitoring.

    • Intel’s Management Engine is a security hazard, and users need a way to disable it

      Since 2008, most of Intel’s CPUs have contained a tiny homunculus computer called the “Management Engine” (ME). The ME is a largely undocumented master controller for your CPU: it works with system firmware during boot and has direct access to system memory, the screen, keyboard, and network. All of the code inside the ME is secret, signed, and tightly controlled by Intel. Last week, vulnerabilities in the Active Management (AMT) module in some Management Engines have caused lots of machines with Intel CPUs to be disastrously vulnerable to remote and local attackers. While AMT can be disabled, there is presently no way to disable or limit the Management Engine in general. Intel urgently needs to provide one.

      This post will describe the nature of the vulnerabilities (thanks to Matthew Garrett for documenting them well), and the potential for similar bugs in the future. EFF believes that Intel needs to provide a minimum level of transparency and user control of the Management Engines inside our CPUs, in order to prevent this cybersecurity disaster from recurring. Unless that happens, we are concerned that it may not be appropriate to use Intel CPUs in many kinds of critical infrastructure systems.

    • ‘Accidental hero’ halts ransomware attack and warns: this is not over

      Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a user’s data, then demands payment in exchange for unlocking the data. This attack used a piece of malicious software called “WanaCrypt0r 2.0” or WannaCry, that exploits a vulnerability in Windows. Microsoft released a patch (a software update that fixes the problem) for the flaw in March, but computers that have not installed the security update remain vulnerable.

    • Vanilla Forums Open Source Software Vulnerable to RCE, Host Header Injection Vulnerability

      Popular open source forum software suffers from vulnerabilities that could let an attacker gain access to user accounts, carry out web-cache poisoning attacks, and in some instances, execute arbitrary code.

    • Vanilla Forums has a plain-flavoured zero-day

      The popular Vanilla Forums software needs patching against a remote code execution zero-day first reported to the developers in December 2016.

      Published by ExploitBox, the zero-day “can be exploited by unauthenticated remote attackers to execute arbitrary code and fully compromise the target application when combined with Host Header injection vulnerability CVE-2016-10073.”

      The problem arises because Vanilla Forums inherits a bug in PHPMailer. The mailer uses PHP’s mail() function as its default transport, as discussed by Legal Hackers here.

    • Google Fuzzing Service Uncovers 1K Bugs in Open-Source Projects

      Today’s topics include Google’s fuzzing service uncovering more than 1,000 bugs in open-source projects in five months, VMware helping Google make Chromebooks better for business; Edward Snowden advocating the need for open source and OpenStack; and Dell EMC aiming servers at data center modernization efforts.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The universal lesson of the courage of East Timor

      On May 5, John Pilger was presented with the Order of Timor-Leste by East Timor’s Ambassador to Australia, Abel Gutteras, in recognition of his reporting on East Timor under Indonesia’s brutal occupation, especially his landmark documentary film, Death of a Nation: the Timor Conspiracy. The following was Pilger’s response…

      Filming undercover in East Timor in 1993 I followed a landscape of crosses: great black crosses etched against the sky, crosses on peaks, crosses marching down the hillsides, crosses beside the road. They littered the earth and crowded the eye.

      The inscriptions on the crosses revealed the extinction of whole families, wiped out in the space of a year, a month, a day. Village after village stood as memorials.

      Kraras is one such village. Known as the “village of the widows”, the population of 287 people was murdered by Indonesian troops.

      Using a typewriter with a faded ribbon, a local priest had recorded the name, age, cause of death and date of the killing of every victim. In the last column, he identified the Indonesian battalion responsible for each murder. It was evidence of genocide.

    • Lockheed Martin-Funded Experts Agree: South Korea Needs More Lockheed Martin Missiles

      As tensions between the United States and North Korea continue to rise, one think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), has become a ubiquitous voice on the topic of missile defense, providing Official-Sounding Quotes to dozens of reporters in Western media outlets. All of these quotes speak to the urgent threat of North Korea and how important the United States’s deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system is to South Korea…

    • NPR Can’t Help Hyping North Korean Threat

      North Korea’s dictatorial government uses the threat of war as a propaganda tool against its own population—fostering loyalty to itself and its military establishment. As NPR’s own reporting (3/23/16) put it, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un “needs to establish his own legitimacy, and that means standing up to enemies.” According to Brookings’ Sheena Greitens, interviewed in that piece: “North Korea might use a range of strategies…but we should remember that they’re all aimed at the same underlying, fundamental objective: ensuring Kim’s political survival.”

      If North Korea’s warlike propaganda is so transparent, what should we think of the US media? Of course, professional journalists claim to pursue the truth, and report it in nobody’s interest but the public’s. But what if even a “serious” outlet like National Public Radio launches a flurry of fear-mongering at a word from the Pentagon? A survey of its coverage since March 8 suggests that NPR has promoted the perspective of the US government at the expense of public understanding of US/North Korean relations. The construction of foreign “threats” benefits both a national government hungry for legitimacy—and news organizations hungry for an audience.

  • Finance

    • Donald Trump Is Waging a War on Workers
    • Behind Many ‘Mom and Pop’ Bail Bonds Shops Is a Huge Insurance Corporation Out to Profit From Misery

      Every year, money bail boosts bail insurance corporations’ profits at the expense of millions of low-income people of color.

      Eleven years ago, San Diego, California, resident Melodie Henderson was arrested for assault after a minor altercation with a former coworker. Her bail was set at $50,000. This was before a judge ever laid eyes on her.

      Although she was employed, there was just no way Melodie would ever have been able to come up with the $50,000 she needed to post bail to be released while she fought her case in court. Her other option was to pay a bail bonds company a 10% nonrefundable fee, but with a $50,000 bail amount, it would be hard for her to come up with the $5,000 on her own. Of course there was third option: to sit in jail while her case moved forward, but that wasn’t an option at all. She was in her early 20s, working and going to school part time, while also taking care of her 6-year-old sister and her grandmother, who was undergoing chemotherapy. Her bail felt like punishment before she even went to trial.

    • Globalism, Neoliberalism and the Big Questions of Our Time

      Annoyingly for the neo-liberals, many of the most regulated economies in the world continue to be the most productive countries in the world. This stubborn fact is extremely frustrating for the neo-liberals, and leads them to make fools of themselves coming up with the daftest possible explanations (see Ryan Bourne above). It is also why they are desperate to destroy the French model (see Macron above).

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • WikiLeaks offers $100K for tapes of President Trump-James Comey conversations

      WikiLeaks has offered $100,000 to anyone who can send them any tapes of conversations between President Trump and former FBI director James Comey.

      The offer from the antisecrecy organization — which infamously published emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta last year — was made Friday via Twitter: “WikiLeaks offers US$100k for the Trump-Comey tapes. To increase the reward send Bitcoin to reward address.”

    • Media Are Literally Copy-and-Pasting ICE Press Releases

      Without going through every DHS and ICE press release and cross-checking them against local media reports, it’s impossible to document the scope of the problem. But with a half-dozen glaring examples in just the past few weeks alone, it appears rampant in local media. Rewriting press releases to mindlessly advance a government narrative is bad enough; literally plagiarizing government press releases in the service of the same ends is a whole new low in corporate media stenography.

    • Action Alert: Asking Questions of Government Figures Is Not a Crime

      West Virginia state police arrested Dan Heyman, a veteran reporter with Public News Service, for repeatedly asking Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price whether being a target of domestic violence would be considered a “pre-existing condition,” allowing health insurance to be denied, under the new Republican healthcare bill.

      The charge: “willful disruption of governmental processes.”

      Capitol police “decided I was just too persistent in asking this question and trying to do my job and so they arrested me,” Heyman told reporters (The Hill, 5/9/17). “First time I’ve ever been arrested for asking a question. First time I’ve ever heard of someone getting arrested for asking a question.”

    • Journalists as State Functionaries

      The media know perfectly well that the reason May needs protection from difficult questions – and even advance notice of soft ones – is that she is hopeless. Her refusal to debate Corbyn and her car crash interview with Marr illustrate that. But our servile media cover up for her by colluding in entirely fake events.

      I learn from a BBC source that in the special Question Time the BBC have organised for May in lieu of a debate, questioners will be selected in advance and May will see the questions in time to prepare.

      My observation that the Conservative platform is in its essentials identical to the BNP manifesto of 2005 has received widespread social media coverage. I simply cannot conceive that the UK can have become so right wing. Now add to that, it has become so authoritarian there is no reaction to advance vetting of journalists questions – something Vladimir Putin does not do. And very few people seem to care.

    • How a Tory Mayor spent nearly £1m on his election by bypassing spending limits

      Some rights reservedA Conservative candidate is reported to have spent nearly £1m to become the new Mayor of West Midlands. And yet campaign spending limits imposed by the Electoral Commission fall far short of that.

      Andy Street narrowly beat Labour’s Sion Simon in the hotly fought election and won despite expectations in the local elections held last week. The former businessman was managing director of John Lewis from 2007 to 2016

      This is how Street justified his spending to the BBC’s Today programme: “I haven’t spent quite a million, but I have spent a substantial amount more than my opponents and actually I think that’s OK, and I’ll tell you why. This is a very important election; a new start in democracy for this region. It is 2.5 million people and so it is absolutely appropriate. We have worked within the rules, which are that if you raise money you can spend it.”

      The rules are that candidates have a limit of around £130,000 for the final five weeks leading up to the Mayoral election.

    • Crown Prosecution Service Colludes in Tory Election Fraud

      So the Conservative Party broke electoral law, that is not in question and they have been fined for it by the Electoral Commission. But no individual may be prosecuted because Conservative Party HQ told them to do it? Their defence was that they are collectively all crooks, and this was accepted by the “independent” Crown Prosecution Service?

      On top of which, the Crown Prosecution Service also colludes with the Tory Party by repeating the lie the Tories have assiduously spread that the allegations only related to the “Battlebus”. Of course for generations every Party Leader has campaigned from a “Battlebus”, singular, and the public are familiar with it. The Tory meme then goes everyone does that, why is it illegal?

    • Kris Kobach, the ‘King of Voter Suppression,’ Will Lead Trump’s Sham Voter Fraud Commission. Be Afraid, Very Afraid.

      The ACLU’s Voting Rights Project director tells us what to watch out for from a “voting fraud commission” led by a fraud.

      President Trump signed an executive order yesterday forming a commission to investigate voter fraud and voter suppression after repeatedly claiming, without evidence, that the United States has a “major problem” with illegal voting.

      In response to the executive order, the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project immediately filed a Freedom of Information Act request demanding that the government release any “evidence” it has to support President Trump’s claims of voter fraud. Too often in our country’s history, accusations of voter fraud have been used to justify unnecessary and unconstitutional restrictions on the right to vote.

    • S.O.S. — America Needs Our Help, Time to Get to Work

      We are tearing ourselves apart. If we do not stop we will destroy our nation. You wanted a crisis? You got one.

    • Moving Forward to 2018? The Danger of Undead Hillary

      Media regularly now run stories “telling” Trump voters how bad their decision was. Many outlets unlikely to be read by Trump voters produce elaborate charts and expert commentary about how whatever Trump is doing with taxes or the economy will negatively affect voters in Red states the most. The implication is hah, hah, suckers, you voted for more jobs and you’ll get nothing! Tag-on articles also include dubious surveys showing vast numbers of Trump voters agree with statements like “Even though Trump policies will definitely kill my mother in front of my eyes, I’d still vote for him.” That’s a two-fer: you were dumb to vote for him once, Cletus, and you still won’t admit how freaking dumb you are.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • FOI request reveals a porno site suggesting a blanket ban on porno sites for the Digital Economy Bill
    • Facebook shuts down atheist and ex-Muslim groups amid claims they are being targeted by ‘fundamentalists’

      Facebook has been accused of shutting down ex-Muslim and atheist groups amid claims they were targeted by ‘fundamentalists’ who wanted them closed.

      This week the social media company temporarily closed the pages of Atheist Republic, which has more than 1.6million followers, and the Ex-Muslims of North America, liked almost 25,000 times.

      It is believed Facebook closed the groups after a flurry of complaints from people taking advantage of the company’s ‘flagging’ tools to falsely report the pages.

    • Now Canceled Crowdfunding Project Sent DMCA Notice Following Skeptical Review

      A few months back, I saw some news about a crowdfunding project on IndieGogo, called Titan Note. It was a little a cylindrical device that acted as a microphone, and the guys behind the project insisted that it could transcribe notes with fairly incredible levels of accuracy. The device got some press coverage — including a quite reasonably skeptical piece at The Verge, entitled “No way this transcription gizmo is as good as it claims to be.” There was a lot more skepticism around the project in the comments to the project as well. On top of that, the project’s marketing pitch seemed… wrong. That is, it positioned the device as a thing that you could use to “stop taking notes” in classes and meetings in order to pay better attention and learn more. But… that’s just wrong. Because the process of taking notes yourself actually helps you commit things to memory. That is, taking notes helps you pay better attention, and thus if you actually used the device the way it was advertised, you might get less out of lectures and meetings.

    • Public Access Channel Tries To Shut Down Use Of Council Meeting Video Clips; Claims They Aren’t Fair Use
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Oakland City Council Committee Advances Measure to Require Transparency and Public Process for Surveillance Tech

      On May 9, the Public Safety Committee of the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to approve a proposed “Surveillance and Community Safety Ordinance.” The measure, passed on to the Council by the city’s Privacy Advisory Commission, is modeled on a law enacted in spring 2016 by Santa Clara County and could set a new standard for municipal reforms seeking transparency, oversight, and accountability to restrain otherwise unrestrained surveillance.

      Once approved by the full Council, the ordinance will require the Oakland Police Department to seek City Council approval before adopting or deploying new surveillance technologies. The measure will also provide community members with an opportunity to comment on such proposals, and the use policies for these technologies, before the City Council makes its decisions.

    • California Senate Committee Votes Against Privacy for Our Travel Patterns

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU of California joined forces with California State Sen. Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) on Tuesday to testify in favor of S.B. 712 (text), a bill that would have allowed drivers to cover their license plates when parked in order to protect their travel patterns from private companies operating automated license plate readers (ALPRs).

      The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee heard testimony on how private ALPR companies are collecting massive amounts of data on innocent people’s driving patterns and selling it for profit. Despite learning how this data may be misused to target vulnerable communities by the federal government, a Democratic majority voted to kill the bill 5-6.

    • The Fight Against General Warrants to Hack Rages On

      The federal government thinks it should be able to use one warrant to hack into an untold number of computers located anywhere in the world. But EFF and others continue to make the case that the Fourth Amendment prohibits this type of blanket warrant. And courts are starting to listen.

      Last week, EFF pressed its case against these broad and unconstitutional warrants in arguments before a federal court of appeals in Boston, Massachusetts. As we spelled out in a brief filed earlier this year, these warrants fail to satisfy the Fourth Amendment’s basic safeguards.

    • The FCC Pretends to Support Net Neutrality and Privacy While Moving to Gut Both

      FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has proposed a plan to eliminate net neutrality and privacy for broadband subscribers. Of course, those protections are tremendously popular, so Chairman Pai and his allies have been forced to pay lip service to preserving them in “some form.” How do we know it’s just lip service? Because the plan Pai is pushing will destroy the legal foundation for net neutrality. That’s right: if Pai succeeds, the FCC won’t have the legal authority to preserve NN in just about any form. And if he’s read the case law, he knows it.

      Let’s break it down.

    • Danger Ahead: The Government’s Plan for Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Threatens Privacy, Security, and Common Sense

      Imagine if your car could send messages about its speed and movements to other cars on the road around it. That’s the dream of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which thinks of Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication technology as the leading solution for reducing accident rates in the United States. But there’s a huge problem: it’s extremely difficult to have cars “talk” to each other in a way that protects the privacy and security of the people inside them, and NHTSA’s proposal doesn’t come close to successfully addressing those issues. EFF filed public comments with both NHTSA and the FTC explaining why it needs to go back to the drawing board—and spend some serious time there—before moving forward with any V2V proposal.

    • China Is on Track to Fully Phase Out Cash [Ed: Using technology as an excuse/pretext to take away rights we once had, including anonymous payments]

      “People basically run their lives through smartphones in China,” said Ben Cavender, senior analyst at Shanghai-based China Market Research Group. “If you compare the US to China in terms of how people access the internet, China is much more heavily slanted toward smartphones. People are already spending so much time on their smartphones; it’s logical for them to have the tools they need in one place.”

    • Certain HP laptops are found recording users’ keystrokes [Ed: but only if you use Microsoft Windows]
  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • 6 Things I Learned When The Cops Raided My House By Mistake
    • No Dogs, No Indians

      Lean’s Passage to India was part of the Raj revival of the early 1980s in the UK—Salman Rushdie wrote witheringly about it in ‘Outside the Whale’. Three decades later, plus ça change. Intriguingly, in these films and TV shows, there is little on how Indians responded to this shaming provocation. The sign itself was part of colonial policy to keep Indians in their place, to remind them of their subhuman status in the machinery of empire, despite the collaborators, the clerks, the judges, the teachers, the district officers, the maharajas, as well as all the soldiers who laid down their lives in the thousands for Europe’s battles.

    • Tip of the Day: The Unfair and Imbalanced Culture of Sexual Harassment at Fox News

      Bill O’Reilly’s abrupt dismissal from Fox News in April serves as a long, hard fought victory for those who have called him out for his sexist, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, and classist rhetoric. Over the past two decades, viewers of Fox News have been subjected to O’Reilly’s histrionic tirades against women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community, among others. For some, O’Reilly’s rants tapped into the their own sexist attitudes toward minorities, while cultivating a culture of domination and discrimination in the workplace. But for many others, O’Reilly’s patriarchal, racist, and elitist denigrations of women and minorities emboldened a countercultural resistance to the “Mad Men” view of the office.

    • Big Media Need to Fight for the Right to Protest

      West Virginia state police arrested Dan Heyman, a veteran reporter with Public News Service, for repeatedly asking Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price whether being a target of domestic violence would be considered a “pre-existing condition,” allowing health insurance to be denied, under the new Republican healthcare bill (FAIR Action Alert, 5/10/17).

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • FCC Temporarily Stops Taking Net Neutrality Comments So FCC Can ‘Reflect’

      Okay, let’s be quite clear here: this is not some crazy new thing that the FCC is doing, but it’s important for members of the public to understand what’s happening. As lots of people have been commenting (some of which are fake) on the FCC’s proposed plan to rollback net neutrality, the FCC will be temporarily be shutting down the ability to comment. This is not in response to the fake comments. Nor is it in response to the site being overwhelmed — whether by John Oliver or [snort!] random DDoS attacks that no one else can see.

    • Even The Cable Lobby’s Questionable Survey Shows Most Americans Want Net Neutrality

      Meanwhile, when the survey starts asking about general principles, it actually finds strong support. One question defined net neutrality and laid out terms, saying, “Net neutrality is a set of rules which say Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T, and Verizon cannot block, throttle, or prioritize certain content on the Internet.” Knowing that, it asked, “do you support or oppose net neutrality?”

      A total of 61% of respondents indicated their support to that question; another 21% registered as unsure. A total of 18% opposed or strongly opposed neutrality when the terms were made clear. That’s a pretty clear 40-point majority supporting net neutrality.

    • The anti-net neutrality bot spamming the FCC is pulling names from leaked databases

      The Verge examined a dozen names and addresses used in the FCC spam comments that were also tied to emails in that dump. Those email addresses, when searched for in the data leak database Have I Been Pwned, all come up as matches for the RCM list, suggesting the RCM list, or a variation of the Special K list, may have been the source for many of the identities used in the comments.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Tough Mudder Threatens Local Rotary Club Over ‘Significant Use Of The Color Orange’

        While most minds will naturally recoil at the idea of a single company getting a trademark on an entire color for use in a certain marketplace, it’s a thing that exists. And it exists widely enough that even smallish entities are getting in on this game. Far from the game T-Mobile likes to play in pretending it owns all uses of the color magenta in every market, it’s becoming more common to see lesser known companies trademark base colors such as purple and yellow for their markets. If the idea that these basic colors can be locked up commercially in this way strikes you as laughable, your antennae are tuned correctly.

    • Copyrights

      • European Publishing Lobby Forces Compromise on Marrakesh Treaty

        The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled was one of the most fiercely contested treaty negotiations at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Representatives of publishers and other copyright holder groups spent years unashamedly lobbying against an instrument that would provide access to the written word to blind and other print disabled users. Despite their efforts to derail the negotiations, the treaty was finally agreed in 2013, and came into force last year.

        But that wasn’t the end of it. An important step towards the realization of the treaty’s benefits is the implementation of the treaty by the countries where the books for adaptation into accessible formats are published. It happens that a large proportion of those books, especially those in French (which is spoken in many parts of Africa) and in Spanish (spoken throughout Latin America), originate from Europe. Therefore many blind and print disabled users have eagerly awaited Europe’s implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty to unlock its many promised benefits.

      • Hold ISPs Responsible For Piracy After Brexit, Music Biz Says

        The powerful UK Music coalition, which includes the BPI and PRS, has published its 2017 manifesto. It takes a keen interest in IP issues, particularly post-Brexit. UK Music says that the UK’s departure from the EU will provide a good opportunity to clarify issues with hyperlinking and also to hold ISPs accountable for piracy.


Links 12/5/2017: Wine 2.8, Kdenlive 17.04.1, NHS Windows Syndrome

Posted in News Roundup at 5:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • CNCF Snares Four New Members for Open Source Container Orchestration

    The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) added four new members to its efforts to develop an open source-based container orchestration platform.

    The new members include Tencent Cloud, which joined as a “Gold” member; Mashape, which signed on as a “Silver” member; and Vevo and Zalando Technology, which both joined the organization as “End-User Supporters.”

  • Kubernetes: The smart person’s guide

    As containers have become more important to businesses across the globe, it was necessary to create a system that would allow containers to scale out to meet the needs of enterprise-level deployments. That’s where Kubernetes comes into play.

    Unlike Docker, Kubernetes is a very robust ecosystem. Instead of deploying a single container, Kubernetes enables you to deploy multiple containers to multiple hosts, making it ideal for larger deployments and load balancing.

  • How to do time series prediction using RNNs, TensorFlow and Cloud ML Engine

    The Estimators API in tf.contrib.learn (See tutorial here) is a very convenient way to get started using TensorFlow. The really cool thing from my perspective about the Estimators API is that using it is a very easy way to create distributed TensorFlow models. Many of the TensorFlow samples that you see floating around on the internets are not distributed — they assume that you will be running the code on a single machine. People start with such code and then are immeasurably saddened to learn that the low-level TensorFlow code doesn’t actually work on their complete dataset. They then have to do lots of work to add distributed training code around the original sample, and who wants to edit somebody else’s code?

  • TensorFlow: I want to like you, but you’re tricksy

    Occasionally a technology comes along that changes the way that people work. Docker has had a profound effect on how applications are deployed in the cloud, Hadoop changed how analysis of big data was done and the R language has disrupted the statistics market.

    And so to TensorFlow, which emerged from the Machine Learning team at the Google Brain project. Building on their experience of a system called DistBelief, TensorFlow is a second-generation framework for the implementation of machine learning at scale.

    Users described their ML models as dataflow graphs, combining a number of machine learning techniques into a single model. TensorFlow itself does nothing to reduce the learning curve found in ML (in fact it might make it steeper), but Google’s framework does enormously simplify the deployment of ML models. If you think of ML model construction as a data science then TensorFlow is a Data Engineering tool for deployment.

  • Events

    • X.Org Is Looking For An XDC2018 Host

      The X.Org Foundation is looking for interested individuals to offer bids for organizing the 2018 X.Org Developers’ Conference.

      The XDC2017 conference happening this September is taking place at the Googleplex in Mountain View and thus in the usual rotation, for the 2018 conference will ideally be trying to find a host in Europe.

    • New Continuous Development Course Now Available From The Linux Foundation
    • Webinar: Delivering the value of IoT in the retail industry

      IoT is being embraced by an increasingly diverse set of sectors and one which is reaping the benefits is the retail sector, specifically supermarkets and how they are using data in cold-chain (refrigeration) solutions. For this webinar, join Paul Edrich, CTO of IMS Evolve, who is helping major supermarket chains to manage billions of data points in real time to inform operational processes, reduce energy consumption and increase product quality.

    • Kamailio World and FSFE team visit, Tirana arrival

      This week I’ve been thrilled to be in Berlin for Kamailio World 2017, one of the highlights of the SIP, VoIP and telephony enthusiast’s calendar. It is an event that reaches far beyond Kamailio and is well attended by leaders of many of the well known free software projects in this space.

    • The Open Source Day 2017 conference coming on May 17th in Warsaw

      Nearly 1,000 attendees and several thousand viewers online participates in the annual Open Source Day conference. This Europe’s largest event dedicated to open technology has become a highlight among tech events in the country. The 10th anniversary edition will take place on May 17th at Marriott Hotel in Warsaw.

    • 6 days to SunCamp

      It will be a small event (about 20-25 people), with a more intimate atmosphere than DebConf. There will be people fixing RC bugs, preparing stuff for after the release, or just discussing with other Debian folks.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Why Quotas are Hard

      Lets say we allow the explicit allocation of quota from higher to lower. Does this mean that the parent project is reducing its own quota while creating an explicit quota for the lower project? Or does it mean that both quotas need to be enforced? If the quota for sales is set to 10, and the quota for the three node projects are all set to 10, is this legal or an error?

  • EEE

  • BSD


    • GIMP 2.8.22 Open-Source Image Editor Fixes Ancient CVE Bug from 10 Years Ago

      GIMP, the open-source, free and multi-platform image editor software, was updated today to version 2.8.22, which appears to be a bugfix release in the stable 2.8 series of the project.

    • GNU OrgaDoc Aims To Make It Easy To Copy/Sync Documents Between Computers

      But will OrgaDoc serve much of a use in 2017 when for years most multi-computer individuals have probably been using Nextcloud/ownCloud, their own web/FTP servers, or proprietary services like Google Docs and Dropbox to manage files across computers? Do you plan to use OrgaDoc or how do you keep files synced across computers? What about using the Eiffel programming language today? Let us know your thoughts in the forums. Should you want to learn more about GNU OrgaDoc, see the project site.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • A federal court has ruled that an open-source license is an enforceable contract

      When the South Korean developer of a suite of productivity apps called Hancom Office incorporated an open-source PDF interpreter called Ghostscript into its word-processing software, it was supposed to do one of two things.

      To use Ghostscript for free, Hancom would have to adhere to its open-source license, the GNU General Public License (GPL). The GNU GPL requires that when you use GPL-licensed software to make some other software, the resulting software also has to be open-sourced with the same license if it’s released to the public. That means Hancom would have to open-source its entire suite of apps.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Why we need an open source approach to data management

      Open source communities that form around common challenges allow large groups of individuals to gain knowledge on really complicated aspects of their business and industry, expanding communal learning and continually advancing a topic along the way. Open sourcing a framework that enables data management and is supported by a community of information security professionals provides them with the tools and capabilities necessary in today’s cybersecurity environment, including:

  • Programming/Development

    • The curl user survey 2017

      If you use curl or libcurl, in any way, shape or form, please consider spending a few minutes of your precious time on this. Your input helps us understand where we are and in which direction we should go next.


  • You really should know what the Andrew File System is

    When I saw that the creators of the Andrew File System (AFS) had been named recipients of the $35K ACM Software System Award, I said to myself “That’s cool, I remember AFS from the days of companies like Sun Microsystems… just please don’t ask me to explain what the heck it is.”

    Don’t ask my colleagues either. A quick walking-around-the-office survey of a half dozen of them turned up mostly blank stares at the mention of the Andrew File System, a technology developed in the early 1980s and named after Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon. But as the Association for Computing Machinery’s award would indicate, AFS is indeed worth knowing about as a foundational technology that paved the way for widely used cloud computing techniques and applications.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Dakota Access pipeline leaks 84 gallons of crude oil before becoming fully operational
    • WHO, Stakeholders Take ‘First Step’ On Fair Pricing For Medicines

      The World Health Organization has concluded a major one-day forum on fair pricing of medicines, bringing a wide range of stakeholders together in Amsterdam and coming up with several possible actions for the way ahead. Key points of discussion included a definition of fair pricing, moving away from value-based pricing, delinkage of price from research and development costs, and greater transparency, according to participants.

    • WHO Touts Its Past Work On Improving Access To Medicines

      The World Health Organization today published an item entitled, Access to medicines: making market forces serve the poor, a chapter from its report ‘Ten years in public health 2007-2017’ of outgoing WHO Director General Margaret Chan.

      The chapter reveals that almost two billion people worldwide have no access to essential medicines, and says this lack of access to medicines is a complex problem that prevents better health. The chapter investigates the role of WHO in addressing the problem of access to safe, effective and quality-assured medicines.

    • Longest, Biggest World Health Assembly Ever Set To Open With Election, Budget Topping Agenda

      Timothy Armstrong, director of the WHO Department of Governing Bodies, gave an introduction to the WHA during a press briefing today, which ended up being largely focused on the election process and why Taiwan has not been invited this year, a first since 2009.


      Also on the agenda are: the Global Vaccine Action Plan; the preparation for the third High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases to be held in 2018; WHO engagement with non-state actors; and a potential agreement on a resolution on cancer drug, in particular prices.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The Weapons For Everybody Racket

      ​Yesterday, the topic of The Ron Paul Liberty Report program was “Arming The Kurds – A Dangerous Idea”. On the one hand, we have our NATO ally, Turkey, who we’re supposed to come to the defense of (unconstitutionally, of course). And on the other hand, there’s the Kurds, who have long been seeking autonomy from Turkey.

      President Trump has authorized the Pentagon to begin providing heavy weapons to the Kurds in Syria. But what if the Kurds turn those weapons on our ally Turkey?

      Unfortunately, this web of insanity is not new. The U.S. federal government has been arming and supporting both sides of conflicts for many decades.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • AfterMidnight

      Today, May 12th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes “AfterMidnight” and “Assassin”, two CIA malware frameworks for the Microsoft Windows platform.

      “AfterMidnight” allows operators to dynamically load and execute malware payloads on a target machine. The main controller disguises as a self-persisting Windows Service DLL and provides secure execution of “Gremlins” via a HTTPS based Listening Post (LP) system called “Octopus”. Once installed on a target machine AM will call back to a configured LP on a configurable schedule, checking to see if there is a new plan for it to execute. If there is, it downloads and stores all needed components before loading all new gremlins in memory. “Gremlins” are small AM payloads that are meant to run hidden on the target and either subvert the functionality of targeted software, survey the target (including data exfiltration) or provide internal services for other gremlins. The special payload “AlphaGremlin” even has a custom script language which allows operators to schedule custom tasks to be executed on the target machine.

      “Assassin” is a similar kind of malware; it is an automated implant that provides a simple collection platform on remote computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system. Once the tool is installed on the target, the implant is run within a Windows service process. “Assassin” (just like “AfterMidnight”) will then periodically beacon to its configured listening post(s) to request tasking and deliver results. Communication occurs over one or more transport protocols as configured before or during deployment. The “Assassin” C2 (Command and Control) and LP (Listening Post) subsystems are referred to collectively as” The Gibson” and allow operators to perform specific tasks on an infected target..

    • House Committee Head Tells Federal Agencies To Stop Handing Out Communications With Congress To FOIA Requesters

      Barack Obama promised the “most transparent administration ever,” then spent years undermining his own promise. The Trump Administration has made no such promises (other than “if you don’t like your Forever Wars, you can keep them…”) but it’s working overtime to make the faux transparency of the Obama years look like a high water mark in government accountability.

      Multiple federal agencies are no longer allowed to communicate directly with the public through social media accounts. Anything posted must be approved by administration staff. Open.gov is shut down and Trump has decided against following in his predecessor’s footsteps, refusing to release White House visitors’ logs.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • These people want you to know climate change isn’t just for liberals

      He doesn’t start with an apocalyptic description of future impacts when he talks to people about climate change, but, for some audiences, University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor of Environmental Studies Calvin DeWitt does turn to the book of Revelation. “I’ll have a white-out pen in my pocket, and I’ll have them read Revelation chapter 11, verse 18. It’s a description of the sounding of the last trumpet, as you hear in Handel’s ‘Messiah,’ and the end verse says, ‘The time has come for destroying those who destroy the Earth,’” DeWitt told me. “And so, I say, ‘I have a white-out pen here for anyone who would like to correct their Bible.’”

      DeWitt sees his faith as fundamental to, rather than in conflict with, his concern about climate change. He often finds common ground with fellow evangelicals by talking about stewardship of the wonderful natural world they have been given as a home. Put in these familiar terms, climate change seems more like an issue worthy of careful consideration.

    • In the Arctic, carbon dioxide goes down where methane comes up

      Reports of methane bubbling up from the bottom of the East Siberian Sea may have induced some climate change anxiety. In recent years, plumes of methane bubbles rising up from what was once dry permafrost have been observed off the Siberian coast. But their context was unclear. Were they a brand-new greenhouse gas release driven by climate change or were the bubbles long-time fixtures?

      Work off the coast of Svalbard provided a welcome bit of relief. Examination of similar bubble plumes off Svalbard showed that they had been present (at some rate of bubbling) for thousands of years. While estimates of the amount of methane coming out of the East Siberian Sea were surprisingly large, measurements near Svalbard showed that the methane from deeper seafloor seeps gets trapped in the water column and consumed by bacteria before it can reach the atmosphere. That helped put the Siberian activity in some global context.

  • Finance

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Ending geoblocking in the EU: One step forward, two steps back

      I consider it unacceptable for the Parliament to further limit an already unambitious Commission proposal and I remain committed to pushing for an end to the discriminatory and outdated practice of geoblocking.

    • Lawsuit Claiming Fyre Festival Sent Cease & Desist Letters To Online Critics Doesn’t Show Any Actual Evidence

      If, somehow, you’ve avoided all the news about the Fyre Festival from the past few weeks… well… you’ve been missing out. There’s a ton of coverage basically everywhere, but what was promoted as an upscale music festival on a private island in the Bahamas, complete with private flights, luxury lodging, and fine dining… turned out to be… nothing. Despite having lots of rich and famous folks (especially Instagram stars) promoting the festival for months, it eventually appears that promoting and hyping was about all that was done for the festival, rather than actually organizing stuff. The festival was “canceled” but not before a bunch of people made their way to a not-so-private island in the Bahamas (Great Exumas) and discovered… that there was effectively nothing there. There was no music festival. The “lodging” was emergency relief structures. The “fine dining” was slices of bread and cheese with some lettuce. It’s been quite a story.

    • Story About Ex-Sony Pictures Boss Magically Disappears From Gawker; His Lawyer Tells Reporters Not To Talk About It

      Can people use a bankruptcy proceeding to create a “right to be forgotten”? We already know that Europe has implemented a form of a right to be forgotten that it’s now looking to expand. However, in the US, the First Amendment has protected us against such things — even if some politicians don’t realize it.

    • MySpace Tries To Play Dead To Avoid Lawsuits

      Yes, let’s get this out of the way already, so you don’t need to make this joke in the comments: as a social network, MySpace is considered pretty damn dead already. It lost its cool many, many years ago. And I do still love to point out this 2007 article suggesting that MySpace’s dominant position in the social networking market was almost impossible to crack (that didn’t age well). But that’s not what this post is about. You see, MySpace, still does exist — you can even visit it and double their traffic for the day. Even as the punchline in bad jokes, MySpace exists and (believe it or not) Time Inc. actually owns it, having bought the company, Viant, that owned it previously.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • UK government’s draft spying powers get leaked online

      The UK government has drawn up details of its surveillance powers and put them out for a secretive consultation without letting the public know.

      The government wants to give itself the ability to monitor British people’s communications and force UK firms to include encryption backdoors in their products. Under the proposed Investigatory Powers (Technical Capability) Regulations 2017, telecoms providers must allow the government to simultaneously spy on one in 10,000 of their customers at any time.

      Telcos would also have to provide any information the government requests within one working day, and must notify Home Secretary Amber Rudd if there will be any changes to their service, including the development of new services – these will have to be built with the obligations and requirements of the technical capability notice in mind.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • US will reportedly ban carry-on laptops on all flights from Europe

      The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is said to be preparing to announce a ban on laptops in the cabins of all flights from Europe to the US.

    • An AI Will Decide Which Criminals in the UK Get Bail

      HART was trained on five years of data, including suspects’ offending history, gender, and postcode. It was let loose on actual cases in 2013, and researchers found HART’s predictions that a suspect was a low risk were accurate 98 percent of the time, while forecasts that they were high risk were accurate 88 percent of the time. However, there is no baseline data on the accuracy of human officers’ decisions to compare against.

    • Ruslan Sokolovsky Gets 3 Years In The Russian Clink For Playing Pokemon In A Church

      The better part of a year ago we discussed the story of atheist activist Ruslan Sokolovsky. Sokolovsky became something of the sequel story to the now infamous Pussy Riot debacle. Russian police detained Sokolovsky and put him on house arrest for the crime of playing Pokemon Go in a Russian church and uploading a mildly snarky video about it to YouTube. The Russian Orthodox Church was fully on board with his being detained, stating in true Christ-like fashion that the real crime was his not respecting the Church and being an atheist blogger.

    • Copenhagen imam accused of calling for killing of Jews

      Mundhir Abdallah was reported to police after being filmed citing in Arabic a hadith – a teaching of the Prophet Muhammad – considered anti-Semitic.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Cable lobby conducts survey, finds that Americans want net neutrality

      As US cable companies push to eliminate or change net neutrality rules, the industry’s primary lobby group today released the results of a survey that it says shows “strong bipartisan consensus that the government should let the Internet flourish without imposing burdensome regulations.”

      But proponents of keeping the current rules can find plenty to like in the survey conducted by NCTA—The Internet & Television Association. A strong majority of the 2,194 registered American voters in the survey support the current net neutrality rules that prohibit ISPs from blocking, throttling, or prioritizing online content in exchange for payment. While most opposed price regulation, a majority supported an approach in which regulators take action against ISPs on a case-by-case basis when consumers are harmed—the exact same approach the Federal Communications Commission uses under its existing net neutrality regime.

    • Sprint sues government over elimination of broadband price caps

      Sprint and Windstream sued the Federal Communications Commission this week over a decision that will help AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink charge higher prices for certain business Internet services.

      The FCC last month voted to eliminate price caps for the so-called Business Data Services (BDS) that are offered by incumbent phone companies throughout the country. The FCC decision to which Sprint and Windstream object only eliminated price caps in “competitive” markets, but it uses a standard that deems many local markets competitive even when there’s only one broadband provider.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Brussels Conference On Innovation, Research and Competition In EU

      An academic conference this month will explore issues related to innovation, research and competition in the European Union, addressing topics such as 5G, big data, patents and standards.

      On 29-30 May, the conference ‘Innovation, Research and Competition in the EU: The Future of Open and Collaborative Standard Setting’ will take place in Brussels, in the building of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium. The conference is organised by the Liege Competition and Innovation Institute (LCII) and Tilburg Law and Economics Centre (TILEC).

    • Trademarks

      • Bethesda’s Pete Hines Shrugs His Shoulders About Trademark Dispute With No Matter Studios

        If any single aspect of common trademark disputes has become the thing that annoys me the most about them, it’s how often the canard from trademark bullies that they have to be bullies by order of trademark law is trotted out for public consumption. You can almost set your watch to it: trademark bully does trademark bullying, public backlash ensues, trademark bully falsely explains that if it doesn’t bully it loses its trademark rights, the public usually backs off. While it would be unreasonable to expect the general public to be up on the nuances of trademark law to the degree of someone who is paid to write about it, it’s not unreasonable to smack down attempts by those who know better but who actively attempt to misinform that same general public.

    • Copyrights



Links 11/5/2017: New OpenShot, GIMP, and GNOME (3.24.2)

Posted in News Roundup at 7:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish




    Finally, I think it’s worth pointing out that Linux is not a product, it’s a community. Windows and Mac people have a hard time wrapping their heads around that. They’re used to venting frustration at Microsoft and Apple. If they do that in a Linux forum, they will most likely get flamed. It’s important to understand that attacking Linux is like attacking the entire community. Is Linux perfect? Hell no! Is there much room for improvement? Absolutely! How you present your critiques and/or ask for help makes all the difference in the world. I have found that a positive and constructive attitude goes a long, long way. I have had developers bend over backward to help me with a problem or point me to an alternative solution just because I came to them with respect and didn’t point fingers.

  • Desktop

    • Tips for picking a GNU/Linux Distribution

      Distrohopping is a term some like to use for switching from one GNU/Linux distribution to another frequently, rather than sticking to one system. I’m no stranger to this, I’ve installed nearly every major and popularly known system you’ll come across – twice.

      However, through my time trying all of these various distributions, I’ve learned a great deal and finally settled (I think) upon where I plan to stay, so I thought I’d share some tips for picking your long-term system, as well as some ideas depending on what you enjoy.

    • [Older] How To Protect Your Privacy On Linux
    • Linux: How to protect your privacy

      Privacy is an issue on many people’s minds these days, including those that run Linux on their computers. Linux has long had a strong reputation as a secure operating system, but there are still things that you can do to help protect your privacy while running Linux.

  • Server

    • ​HPE hasn’t abandoned OpenStack, releases Helion OpenStack 5.0

      If you thought HPE was getting out of the cloud business, I couldn’t blame you. In late 2015, HPE gave up on its public OpenStack-based Helion cloud. Then, early this year, all of HPE’s OpenStack developers moved over to SUSE. So, was HPE bidding the cloud, and OpenStack in particular, goodbye? Nope.

      In Boston this week at OpenStack Summit, HPE released HPE Helion OpenStack 5.0. This release Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) based cloud is built on the OpenStack Newton codebase and adheres tightly to application programming interface (API) standards and services. Since OpenStack’s open APIs are an important part of why it’s popular with so many companies, that’s no small matter.

    • Cisco Advancing Cloud Strategy With OpenStack

      The cloud is a central pillar of Cisco’s overall business efforts, and one of the leading voices for the cloud at Cisco is Lew Tucker, vice president and CTO of cloud computing. Tucker also serves as the vice chairman of the OpenStack Foundation, helping to guide the open-source cloud platform forward.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Optimizing Apps for Wearables With Enlightenment Foundation Libraries

      Developers looking to add GUIs to their embedded devices have a variety of open source and commercial options, with Qt generally leading the list. If you’re operating in severely constrained environments, however, especially for battery powered devices like wearables, the open source Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) should be given close consideration.

      At the recent Embedded Linux Conference, Cedric Bail, a long-time contributor to the Enlightenment project who works on EFL integration with Tizen at Samsung Open Source Group, discussed some of the lessons learned in optimizing wearable apps for low battery, memory, and CPU usage. Bail summarized EFL and revealed an ongoing project to improve EFL’s scene graph. However, most of the lessons are relevant to anyone optimizing for wearables on any platform (see the ELC video below).

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • GSoC: How can I improve next year?

        This year, KDE had great student engagement and a good level of commitment for all students so even if you followed all of these points, you may still have gotten a rejection email. We realize that this can be discouraging. However, we did our best to pick the students whom we think can fulfill the project’s needs, and continue along in the future as KDE developers.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.24.2 Released With A Variety Of Fixes

        GNOME 3.24.2 is now available as the second and last planned point release to the GNOME 3.24 desktop series until the GNOME 3.26 debut in September.

        As usual for GNOME point releases, GNOME 3.24.2 just includes bug/regression fixes and translation updates.

      • GNOME 3.24.2 is released

        GNOME 3.24.2 has been released. The second stable update to GNOME 3.24 brings many bug fixes and translation updates. All distributions shipping GNOME 3.24 should upgrade.

      • Install GNOME Themes – Own 26 GTK Themes with One Command

        Every now and then we let you in on some of the finest theme and icon sets because, like many other Linux users, we like to personalize our workstations. An appealing icon set, a well-thought out wallpaper, and an overall artillery of UI components go a long way to defining how well you enjoy using your computer.

        If you’re like me but are discouraged by the stress of having to download all those themes you shouldn’t be any longer because I have come across a script that will fetch you over 10 beautiful GTK themes and all you have to do is query Git to get the script and then run it.

      • Maps news

        3.24.2 was just released and right before the release a nasty crash-on-exit bug appeared. Actually, the bug has been in there ever since Maps gained the ability to show your contact´s addresses from GNOME Calendar/Evolution, but it was brought into daylight by the new version of GJS (our JavaScript engine, based on SpiderMonkey). The problem actually is that in the dispose vfunc of the ContactStore object (this is in our glue C code) we had forgotten to NULL out some pointer memebers when freeing the objects (with g_list_free and g_free) and dispose can be called multiple times and we probably got away before because GJS leaked these objects in the earlier versions. We got this bug report from Ubuntu by the way, in 17.04 the new version of GJS is already used. Thanks to Emmanuele Bassi for spotting this use-after-free bug, this is now fixed in the new version (and in master of course).

  • Distributions

    • Solus Project Gets New Website, Migrates to New Development Tracker and More

      The fast moving Solus Project that is making some waves in the Linux distribution world has some new shiny things going on. Joshua Strobl, Solus Project Communications Manager has announced them in the latest This Week In Solus.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • SUSE Academic Program Opens Door to Open Source for Students Globally
      • Release of new Image Templates Page

        What’s that? – You might ask. Just have a look yourself. Click on the newly added ‘New image’ link on the OBS front page.

      • Announcing openSUSE’s status page – status.opensuse.org

        Worried about downtimes and maintenance windows of openSUSE services that you missed because there was no information provided? ;-)

        Now is your chance to get informed about any (un-)expected downtime of any openSUSE service!

        The openSUSE Heroes team is pleased to announce that status.opensuse.org is up and running as public status page, providing you with the latest updates about our infrastructure. We tried our best to get the page mobile friendly and easy to understand. Even RSS and Atom feeds are available. A big “thank you” to the team from Cachet, the open source status page system, for developing that great tool.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Corebird Twitter Client Is Now Available as a Snap App

            Corebird, a popular GTK Twitter client for Linux, is now available to install as a Snap app. At the time of writing this is not the latest Corebird 1.5, released last week, but the older Corebird 1.4.x release.

          • Ubuntu’s Default GTK Theme Now Looks Better with GNOME Shell

            Ubuntu is working to improve the appearance of the Ubuntu Ambiance theme on GNOME Shell, adding window shadows, round corners and more.

          • Cinnamon 3.4 Released, Here’s How To Install it on Ubuntu

            Linux Mint’s Clement Lefebvre has announced the release of Cinnamon 3.4, the latest stable update to the rather popular Linux desktop environment. Better yet you can already upgrade to or install Cinnamon 3.4 on Ubuntu using a PPA — no waiting required!

          • Why language choices can be irrelevant when choosing the right IoT OS

            A couple of months ago we posted a blog inviting developers to contribute to the 3rd Eclipse Foundation IoT Developer Survey. The 2017 results are now published with a total of 713 respondents, from all over the world. The survey gives an insight into the current state of play in the making of the internet of things in 2017. As well as bigger trends about IoT adoption across various industries, the survey also provides a developer perspective on the methods they use today to build the IoT devices and solutions around us.

          • Official Ubuntu T-Shirt for ‘Zesty Zapus’ Is Now Available to Buy

            The official Ubuntu 17.04 ‘Zesty Zapus’ t-shirt is now available to buy from the Canonical store. Canonical release a new mascot tee twice a year. Each shirt bears the animal motif of the latest release on the front, and the name of the release and Ubuntu logotype on the rear.

          • Ubuntu 17.04 review: Don’t call it abandonware, per se

            Last month, it finally happened. Six years after its tumultuous switch from GNOME 2 to the homegrown Unity desktop, Canonical announced it was abandoning work on Unity. Going forward, the company will switch the default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME beginning with next year’s 18.04 LTS release. This means Canonical is also abandoning the development of the Mir display server and its unified interface of Ubuntu for phones and tablets. The company’s vision of “convergence,” as Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth termed it, has officially died.

          • What happened at Canonical

            We ask the person sitting across the table from us what it’s like to work at Canonical and they stare at their drink for a while contemplating the question: “Most companies purely want to make money,” says the Canonical employee, who we’ll call ‘DeepC’ as they want to remain anonymous. “Whereas I feel, in Canonical it’s been almost like… ‘play thing’ is the wrong word, but it’s kind of like a sandbox of ideas.”

            The exciting and sometimes frustrating Canonical sandbox has lost a lot of its buckets and spades in the last month. The company that financially backs the Ubuntu distribution, which is used by tens of millions of Linux users, is in the process of a massive transformation.


            To get to IPO, the company has decided to seek outside investment, as revealed by the Register, so within two days of the blog post, Canonical managed to run town halls explaining its IPO ambitions to staff scattered across the globe (the company has many remote workers living in over 80 countries), and announcing the departure of popular CEO, Jane Silber, and the return of Shuttleworth as chief executive officer.

          • Canonical and Qualcomm: Delivering Unprecedented Scaling

            Canonical has been one of the earliest visionary stalwarts igniting and driving early market enablement for 64-bit ARM server compute. With the commercial availability and support for Ubuntu Openstack on 64-bit ARM v8-A architecture, Canonical further accelerated the industry’s imagination for innovative platform architectures enabling the next generation of scale and automation.

          • 10 snaps written in April

            If you haven’t heard of snaps yet, they are a new way for developers to package their apps, bringing with it many advantages over the more traditional package formats such as .deb, .rpm, and others. They are secure, isolated and allow apps to be rolled back should an issue occur. Also they aim to work on any distribution or device, from IoT devices to servers, desktops to mobile devices. Snaps really are the future of Linux application packaging!

          • PCCW Global Chooses Ubuntu OpenStack and Juju

            PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider, is collaborating with Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu and CPLANE NETWORKS, the leader in multi-site OpenStack cloud orchestration, to create new cloud services for its customers.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • Record fine for firm behind nearly 100 million nuisance calls

    A company behind 99.5 million nuisance calls has been fined a record £400,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

    Keurboom Communications Ltd has been issued the ICO’s highest ever nuisance calls fine after more than 1,000 people complained about recorded – also known as automated – calls.

  • Science

    • [Old] Spontaneous Hedonic Reactions to Social Media Cues

      In conclusion, this research showed that exposure to social media cues triggers spontaneous hedonic reactions in frequent social media users. These spontaneous hedonic reactions to social media cues, in turn, appear to trigger social media cravings. Together, this might contribute to people’s difficulties in resisting desires to use social media.

  • Hardware

    • Valve Puts The Steam Controller & Steam Link Back On Sale

      For those that didn’t pick up a Steam Controller or Steam Link back during Valve’s holiday sales, they are running a Steam Hardware sale the next few days.

    • Mechanical keyboards for programmers and gamers

      Why bother making keyboards open source?

      This is a question we hear often. People all over the world use keyboards every day, for a variety of purposes. At the core of all our keyboards is the ability to easily reconfigure any key to do any action. While normal typists make do with simple macros like Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V, programmers and gamers have much more advanced needs. People that use Adobe Photoshop or Premier often have special key bindings for most of their keyboard.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Life Expectancy Can Vary By 20 Years Depending On Where You Live

      In counties with the longest life spans, people tended to live about 87 years, while people in places with the shortest life spans typically made it to only about 67, the researchers found.

      The discrepancy is equivalent to the difference between the low-income parts of the developing world and countries with high incomes, Murray notes

  • Security

    • How to protect your Google and Facebook accounts with a security key

      Google supports a format called FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F), which it helped develop. Keys are available that work over USB, Bluetooth, and NFC, so they can be used with a smartphone or tablet in addition to a PC.

    • Cisco Patches WikiLeaks Security Vulnerability Affecting Hundreds Of Devices

      Cisco has patched a critical flaw in its IOS software that affected more than 300 models of routers and switches that was discovered after WikiLeaks exposed CIA documents.

      “We’ve spoken to a few customers about it, a few enterprise clients, and thankfully it didn’t any disrupt business for us,” said one top executive from a solution provider and Cisco Gold partner who did not wished to be named. “I’m glad to know they fixed the issue. … Their devices will always be a big target for attackers because Cisco is everywhere.”

    • Microsoft makes emergency security fix

      Microsoft has released an urgent update to stop hackers taking control of computers with a single email.

      The unusual bug, in Microsoft anti-malware software such as Windows Defender, could be exploited without the recipient even opening the message.

      Researchers working for Google’s Project Zero cyber-security outfit discovered the flaw at the weekend.

      The fix has been specially pushed out hours before the software giant’s monthly Tuesday security update.

    • Google’s OSS-Fuzz Finds 1,000 Open Source Bugs

      The numbers are in, and judging by them, OSS-Fuzz, the program Google unveiled last December to continuously fuzz open source software, has been a success.

      In five months the effort has unearthed more than 1,000 bugs, a quarter of them potential security vulnerabilities, Google says.

    • Open source vulnerabilities hit VMware [Ed: Ridiculous! WMware is secret software with back doors (RSA/EMC), so why focus only on holes in a FOSS component?]

      Apache Struts 2 is an open source web application framework for developing Java applications that has been in use since 2007. The recent Apache Struts 2 vulnerability affected vCenter Server 6.0 and 6.5, vRealize Operations Manager 6.x, vRealize Hyperic Server 5.x, and versions 6.x and 7.x of the Horizon Desktop-as-a-Service Platform.

    • Samsung partners with McAfee, brings security software to the Galaxy S8, Smart TVs, and PCs [Ed: But Samsung should know adding proprietary software to Tizen and/or Android won't necessarily make these more secure]
    • To mitigate major Edge printing bug, use a Xerox copier, baffled user advises

      Beyond being breathtakingly bizarre, the bug could potentially have serious consequences for architects, engineers, lawyers, and other professionals who rely on Edge to print drawings, blueprints, legal briefs, and similarly sensitive documents. Edge is the default application for viewing PDFs on Windows 10 computers. While the errors demonstrated above happened using the “Microsoft Print to PDF” option, multiple users report similar alterations when using regular printing settings. (And besides, the print-to-PDF option is the default printing method for the Microsoft browser.) The alterations depend on several variables, including the printer selected, the settings used, and computer being used. It’s not clear how long this flaw has been active or whether it has already affected legal cases or other sensitive proceedings that use documents printed from the Internet.

    • Criminals are Now Exploiting SS7 Flaws to Hack Smartphone Two-Factor Authentication Systems
    • A Vicious Microsoft Bug Left a Billion PCs Exposed [iophk: “people are gullible: Windows was never secure in the 22 years since it added TCP/IP; for those that remember, it was not secure even before that and was plagued with malware spread by disk and NAS (then called file servers).”
    • Microsoft finally bans SHA-1 certificates in Internet Explorer, Edge [Ed: Quit pretending that Microsoft cares about security in browsers that have a baked-in back door]

      The Tuesday updates for Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge force those browsers to flag SSL/TLS certificates signed with the aging SHA-1 hashing function as insecure. The move follows similar actions by Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox earlier this year.

      Browser vendors and certificate authorities have been engaged in a coordinated effort to phase out the use of SHA-1 certificates on the web for the past few years, because the hashing function no longer provides sufficient security against spoofing.

    • Keylogger Found in Audio Driver of HP Laptops
    • Keylogger Discovered in HP Audio Driver
    • [EN] Keylogger in Hewlett-Packard Audio Driver

      Security reviews of modern Windows Active Domain infrastructures are – from our point of view – quite sobering. Therefore, we often look left and right, when, for example, examining the hardening of protection mechanisms of a workstation. Here, we often find all sorts of dangerous and ill-conceived stuff. We want to present one of these casually identified cases now, as it’s quite an interesting one: We have discovered a keylogger in an audio driver package by Hewlett-Packard.

      A keylogger is a piece of software for which the case of dual-use can rarely be claimed. This means there are very few situations where you would describe a keylogger that records all keystrokes as ‘well-intended’. A keylogger records when a key is pressed, when it is released, and whether any shift or special keys have been pressed. It is also recorded if, for example, a password is entered even if it is not displayed on the screen.

    • Microsoft rushes emergency fix for critical antivirus bug

      The critical security vulnerability in the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine affects a number of Microsoft products, including Windows Defender, Windows Intune Endpoint Protection, Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft System Center Endpoint Protection, Microsoft Forefront Security for SharePoint, Microsoft Endpoint Protection, and Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection. These tools are enabled by default in Windows 8, 8.1, 10, and Windows Server 2012.

    • Google Offers $20000 Rewards to Drive OSS-Fuzz Initiative
    • Call the fuzz, says Google, get the reward
    • How Google’s OSS-Fuzz is securing open-source software

      Google released OSS-Fuzz five months ago with a mission to make open-source projects stable, secure and reliable. Since then, the continuous fuzzing solution has found more than 1,000 bugs with 264 of them flagged as potential security bugs.

    • Google Fuzzing Service for OS Finds 1K Bugs in Five Months

      A Google-led initiative to find security vulnerabilities in popular open source projects has unearthed more than 1,000 bugs in various open source software in the five months since the effort was launched.

    • The IoT’s Scramble to Combat Botnets

      With shadowy botnet armies lurking around the globe and vigilante gray-hat actors inoculating susceptible devices, the appetite for Internet of Things security is stronger than ever.

    • Exploiting the Linux kernel via packet sockets

      Lately I’ve been spending some time fuzzing network-related Linux kernel interfaces with syzkaller. Besides the recently discovered vulnerability in DCCP sockets, I also found another one, this time in packet sockets. This post describes how the bug was discovered and how we can exploit it to escalate privileges.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • The Constitutional Rubicon of an Assange Prosecution

      If you were tuning in and out of FBI Director James Comey’s hearing before the House Intelligence Committee last Wednesday, you probably got an earful about Comey’s public statements on Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server, and you may have heard his staunch defense of Section 702 of FISA. But you might have missed the moment in which Comey and Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) threatened to topple one of the longstanding pillars of journalistic freedom.

    • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange threatens to sue Mike Rogers on ‘day one’ if he’s picked to lead FBI

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday threatened to sue former Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., on “day one” if he is chosen to replace James Comey as director of the FBI.

      There were multiple reports Thursday saying Rogers, a former FBI official and former head of the House Intelligence Committee, is in consideration to be chosen as the Trump administration’s nominee to head the FBI.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • All the Trees Will Die, and Then So Will You
    • Tunnel collapses at Hanford nuclear waste site in Washington state

      Hundreds of workers at the Department of Energy’s Hanford nuclear site in Washington state had to “take cover” Tuesday morning after the collapse of 20-foot-long portion of a tunnel used to store contaminated radioactive materials.

      The Energy Department said it activated its emergency operations protocol after reports of a “cave-in” at the 200 East Area in Hanford, a sprawling complex about 200 miles from Seattle where the government has been working to clean up radioactive materials left over from the country’s nuclear weapons program.

    • Vacant tunnel at nuclear site collapses in Washington state

      A vacant tunnel leading to a 60-year-old plutonium uranium extraction plant (called PUREX) on southeastern Washington’s Hanford Site has collapsed, according to reports. Hanford issued a warning to employees and ordered those in the vicinity to shelter in place while crews investigated the 20×20-foot cave-in above the tunnel.

    • N.C. said it still needs $929 million in aid for Hurricane Matthew. It got $6.1 million.

      The rain is done, and the flood is long over. The rest of the country moved on months ago, but North Carolina is still feeling the effects of Hurricane Matthew. Hundreds of families remain displaced, and critical infrastructure sits damaged. Its unmet need is enormous, the governor says, and they aren’t getting the money.

  • Finance

    • Manchester University job cuts ‘due to Brexit’, union claims

      The University of Manchester’s decision to cut 171 posts is due to “new government legislation and Brexit”, a union has claimed.

      The university says the job losses have to happen for it to be a world-leading institution and will offer voluntary severance wherever possible.

      But the University and College Union (UCU) said the university was in “a strong financial position”.

    • University of Manchester to axe 171 staff amid Brexit concerns

      Britain’s largest university has set out plans to axe 171 jobs, mostly academic positions in the faculties of arts, languages, biology, medicine and business.

      The University of Manchester blamed new government legislation and the prospect of Brexit as major factors threatening its future income and said it needed to “invest in our strategic priorities”.

      But the University and College Union (UCU), which represents lecturers and researchers, said Manchester’s finances were in good health and that the university was making excuses in order to implement cuts.

    • The Brexit trap that’s closing on Britons who live in Europe

      Brexit negotiations will leave UK citizens in Europe in a far worse position than EU citizens in the UK, a group of British professionals living in Germany has warned.

      There are about 100,000 Britons living in Germany. On Monday, discussions held by a group of about 50 of them in Munich focused on concerns that neither European nor British governments have fully understood the severity of the consequences of Brexit for people in their position.

      Briton David Hole, who has lived and practised law in Germany since 1993, pointed out that the fact that EU citizens in the UK will still be part of the union will put them in a significantly stronger position than their British counterparts in Europe.

    • Snapchat is losing twice as much money as it did last year

      Investors should have seen this coming. The company’s financial disclosures before its IPO revealed large and growing losses. Snap warned investors that it was unsure when, if ever, it would reach profitability. And while its user base was highly engaged, its user growth slowed to its lowest level ever in the fourth quarter of last year.

    • Aw Snap: Snapchat parent company’s value plummets after earnings report

      Snapchat’s parent company Snap Inc lost nearly a quarter of its value on Wednesday when its newly listed shares went into a nosedive after the company reported a $2.2bn loss and slowing growth.

    • Uber will likely need to follow same rules as taxi companies in Europe

      Uber isn’t a benign platform offering to ferry people from A to B via a simple app—it’s a transportation service and as such must comply with the relevant rules, a law adviser at Europe’s top court has said.

      In a nonbinding opinion, advocate general Maciej Szpunar concluded that “the service offered by Uber cannot be classified as an ‘information society service’.” If the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) agrees with Szpunar, Uber will face a major regulatory setback that could hobble its expansion plans.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • How To Know if The Trump-Russia Story Has Momentum

      So far, however, Trump-Russia stories have gotten a huge amount of attention for two or three days at a time before the news cycle moves on to other topics. You may catch yourself thinking that surely the story is escalating to a breaking point … only to see Trump skate his way out of the mess. I really don’t have a prediction for how this particular development will unfold, but that history is worth bearing in mind.

    • Americans are witnessing a slow-motion coup

      Despite Trump’s desperation and the mistakes he seems to make every single day, it will take enormous outrage by the citizenry, and an act of enormous political will by their representatives, to bring a halt to this this authoritarian madness. Our government belongs to us — not to him. Unless we teach him this lesson, we deserve everything he does to us with the power he has so nakedly and corruptly seized in this slow-motion coup.

    • Big business interventions leave the EU Digital Single Market with more holes than Swiss cheese

      Former Digital Commissioner Oettinger let big business interests sabotage the project of tearing down of digital borders in key areas, leaving the Digital Single Market project with more holes than Swiss cheese.

    • After Trump fired Comey, White House staff scrambled to explain why

      White House press secretary Sean Spicer wrapped up his brief interview with Fox Business from the White House grounds late Tuesday night and then disappeared into the shadows, huddling with his staff near a clump of bushes and then behind a tall hedge. To get back to his office, Spicer would have to pass a swarm of reporters wanting to know why President Trump suddenly decided to fire the FBI director.

      For more than three hours, Spicer and his staff had been scrambling to answer that question. Spicer had wanted to drop the bombshell news in an emailed statement, but it was not transmitting quickly enough, so he ended up standing in the doorway of the press office around 5:40 p.m. and shouting a statement to reporters who happened to be nearby. He then vanished, with his staff locking the door leading to his office. The press staff said that Spicer might do a briefing, then announced that he definitely wouldn’t say anything more that night. But as Democrats and Republicans began to criticize and question the firing with increasing levels of alarm, Spicer and two prominent spokeswomen were suddenly speed-walking up the White House drive to defend the president on CNN, Fox News and Fox Business.

    • Prosecutors to reveal if they’ll charge up to 30 Tory MPs with election fraud THIS WEEK

      Up to 30 Tory MPs are set to learn if they will be charged with electoral fraud this week, the Mirror has learned.

      Prosecutors are due to make an announcement on files they have received from 15 police forces before Thursday’s deadline for candidates to declare whether they will stand in the upcoming election

      A Mirror investigation revealed last March that two dozen Conservative MPs received help from battlebuses packed with party activists during the 2015 general election but failed to declare the cost.

      In a follow-up report a six weeks later, Channel 4 News identified a further handful of Tory candidates accused of similar failings.

    • Jefferson Davis: The Confederacy’s first, worst and only president

      When the city of New Orleans had a century-old memorial to Jefferson Davis torn down before daybreak Thursday, a crowd of the Confederate leader’s sympathizers stood by, chanting: “President Davis! President Davis!”

      A man adorned with rebel flags buried his face in his hand as the statue of Davis, the man who stands for the South’s lost cause, was hauled away by crane and truck.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • The UK government wants to embarrass you into not watching porn

      If you’re unfortunate enough to live in Tory Britain, you might soon have to visit a Post Office to ID yourself if you want to get down-and-dirty online.

      As you might have heard, the UK is about to have an election. One of the quirks of British democracy is that in the weeks leading up to the polls, parliament is dissolved.

    • NOW UN TOO DECIDES MEDIA IS THE ENEMY: WIPO, FAO, in unprecedented move, waive immunity to sue journalists for defamation

      On World Press Freedom Day on May 3, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on world leaders to ‘defend a free media’ and to put an end to ‘all crackdowns against journalists because a free press advances peace and justice for all.’ Yet the UN’s own senior officials are engaged in an ugly war against the media that has made a mockery of the Secretary-General’s message and the UN’s commitment to uphold Article 19 of the UN Charter that protects everyone’s right to freedom of opinion and expression.

      The heads of both the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the Rome-based Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) have taken the unprecedented step of suing journalists for defamation – a highly unusual act because the UN and its employees enjoy immunity from prosecution, which means that in order to bring a case before a national court they have to surrender this immunity – which rarely happens.

    • First Hearing In The Lawsuit Against Us, Along With Even More Filings

      As you hopefully know by now, we’re currently facing a major lawsuit, brought against us in Boston, that we consider to be an attack on our First Amendment right to report on matters of public concern. If you support journalism and support the First Amendment, please consider donating to our survival fund, which is helping us to continue reporting on a variety of important matters, including new battles over net neutrality and encryption, not to mention many other battles over freedom of expression.

      As we’ve noted, repeatedly, this case has been a huge distraction and has made it difficult for us to do the kind of work we’ve done for almost twenty years. If you wish to catch up, you can read about our initial filings in the case, including our motion to dismiss and our motion to strike under California’s anti-SLAPP law. We also made additional filings concerning Section 230 problems with some of the claims against us. In addition, in early April we filed a reply to the opposition to our filings.

    • UK Parliament Takes First Step Towards Making Google & Facebook Censor Everything

      Look, let’s just start with the basics: there are some bad people out there. Even if the majority of people are nice and well-meaning, there are always going to be some people who are not. And sometimes, those people are going to use the internet. Given that as a starting point, at the very least, you’d think we could deal with that calmly and rationally, and recognize that maybe we shouldn’t blame the tools for the fact that some not very nice people happen to use them. Unfortunately, it appears to be asking a lot these days to expect our politicians to do this. Instead, they (and many others) rush out immediately to point the fingers of blame for the fact that these “not nice” people exist, and rather than point the finger of blame at the not nice people, they point at… the internet services they use.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Culprit behind 2014 CIA hack turned out to be … the CIA

      Declassified CIA emails released to Michael Morisy show that the Agency believed that their online FOIA Reading Room had been taken down by a vicious cyberattack. Later emails admitted, however, that the attacks against the Agency’s website had been unsuccessful – and that the damage had been entirely self-inflicted.

    • BREAKING: AG Szpunar says that Uber is a transport activity, not an information society service

      Is Uber a transport activity or an information society service? Why does the answer to this matter? Why does all this matter?

      To the first question, this morning Advocate General (AG) Szpunar has provided a response in his Opinion in Asociación Profesional Élite Taxi v Uber Systems Spain, C-434/15, a reference for a preliminary ruling from Spain (Juzgado Mercantil No 3 de Barcelona).

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • [Older] Will Justin Trudeau Speak Out for Raif Badawi?
    • Portrait of Government Policy in Tanah Papua for the Last 46 Years

      According to the Coordinator of Information and Documentation of ELSAM, Ari Yurino, the transmigration program in Papua has evidently brought negative impact to the social life of Papuan natives. Due to the uneven transmigration and development program, it has caused the increase of number of migrants in Papua and the rise of horizontal conflict between the newcomers and the natives. Therefore, he said, the transmigration program must be terminated and its policy must be evaluated.

    • Jakarta’s Christian governor jailed for blasphemy against Islam

      Rights groups fear Islamist hardliners are in the ascendancy in a country where most Muslims practise a moderate form of Islam and which is home to sizeable communities of Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, and people who adhere to traditional beliefs.

    • Christian Governor in Indonesia Found Guilty of Blasphemy Against Islam

      Mr. Basuki’s 16-point defeat last month was seen as a sign of the increasing power of Islamic conservatives, who have pressed for the adoption of Islamic law, or Shariah, throughout Indonesia.


      He had been leading in the polls last year, but in September his campaign faltered when he tried to address attacks from Muslim hard-liners who argued that the Quran prohibited Muslims from voting for a non-Muslim. Mr. Basuki said those who made that argument were misleading Muslims, a statement that was interpreted by some as insulting the Quran.

    • Indonesia Islam: Governor’s blasphemy conviction divides a nation

      Mr Purnama was accused of blasphemy for comments he made during a pre-election speech in September 2016. He implied that Islamic leaders were trying to trick voters by using a verse in the Koran to argue that Muslims should not vote for a non-Muslim leader.

    • Report: Ban on laptops in planes may expand to Europe

      The Department of Homeland Security is considering expanding its ban on electronic devices on US-bound flights from certain airports, according to a report by CBS News.

      In March, the DHS banned on all devices bigger than a cell phone on US-bound flights from 10 airports located in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Terrorist groups were targeting commercial planes with “innovative methods” including “smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items,” the DHS said at the time.

    • US may extend airline laptop ban to UK, Europe

      The US is reportedly looking at extending a ban on allowing laptops into the cabins of airlines to European countries and the UK.

    • This Makes No Sense: US To Ban Laptops On All Flights From Europe

      Earlier this year we wrote about the nonsensical move by the Department of Homeland Security to ban laptops and tablets in the cabin on flights from a bunch of cities in the Middle East. The rumored reason was discoveries that terrorists had learned how to make bombs out of laptops. As we noted, this made almost no sense at all when you challenged any of the assumptions. But, never let logic and reason get in the way of a bit of inane security theater. Because now Homeland Security is about to announce that it’s now banning laptops in the cabins on all flights from Europe (it’s unclear if this will also apply on flights from the US to Europe, but it seems likely that European airports will reciprocate).

      While this does answer one of the questions raised by the original ban (“why won’t potential terrorists just fly out of other countries?”) it still raises a host of other questions. Again: why won’t this apply to flights from other countries? Or domestic flights? Or all flights? But, really, that just raises an even larger issue, which is that if you want to protect 100% of all flights 100% of the time from ever having a problem in which people might die, the answer is ground all flights and never let anyone fly anywhere ever. Problem solved. Of course, the cost of such a solution would be horrendous — which is why we don’t do it. But that’s the key issue: all of these things involve tradeoffs. All too frequently, it appears that government officials — especially those on the national security side of things — don’t care at all about the tradeoffs. They just care about blocking any possible attack no matter how unlikely or how remote the chance of such an attack might be, and without any consideration of the costs and inconveniences to everyone else. And, yes, it’s reasonable to point out that a single attack would be very, very costly as well. And there’s clearly a reason to protect heavily against attacks. But there’s still a balance.

    • U.S. to Ban Laptops in All Cabins of Flights From Europe, Officials Say

      The Department of Homeland Security plans to ban laptops in the cabins of all flights from Europe to the United States, European security officials told The Daily Beast. The announcement is expected Thursday.

      Initially a ban on laptops and tablets was applied only to U.S.-bound flights from 10 airports in North Africa and the Middle East. The ban was based on U.S. fears that terrorists have found a way to convert laptops into bombs capable of bringing down an airplane. It is unclear if the European ban will also apply to tablets.

      DHS said in a statement to The Daily Beast: “No final decisions have been made on expanding the restriction on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins; however, it is under consideration. DHS continues to evaluate the threat environment and will make changes when necessary to keep air travelers safe.”

    • Latest Attack On A Free Press: Reporter Arrested For Asking Questions To Trump Administration Officials

      Well, that’s only partially true. Obviously, the local law enforcement gets to make that decision, but there’s nothing stopping a competent public official from telling law enforcement to knock it off and to answer a few basic questions from a reporter.

      In an era where we’re hearing more and more about both attacks on a free press, as well as the need for a stronger press, these kinds of shenanigans should not be allowed. In the past, when we’ve covered police arresting reporters, the courts have come out repeatedly in favor of the reporters (that whole First Amendment thing still matters). But that’s of little use in the moment when police are dragging reporters off to jail for shouting questions outside a press conference.

    • Dan Heyman: US reporter arrested for shouting questions on healthcare

      A reporter was arrested on Tuesday night at the West Virginia Capitol for allegedly causing a disturbance by shouting questions to two Trump aides.

      Dan Heyman had asked Health Secretary Tom Price and White House adviser Kellyanne Conway about coverage under the Republican healthcare plan.

      The veteran health reporter wanted to know if domestic violence would be covered as a pre-existing condition.

      He later said he “was trying to do my job”. He nows faces a prison sentence.

      Mr Heyman, who works for the Public News Service, spoke to reporters after being released by police.

      He said that he had been following the Trump team’s entourage through the capitol building while wearing his press badge and a shirt identifying his media outlet.

    • Reporter arrested after repeatedly questioning Health secretary

      “First time I’ve ever been arrested for asking a question. First time I’ve ever heard of someone getting arrested for asking a question,” he said.

    • West Virginia journalist arrested after asking HHS Secretary Tom Price a question

      As Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price walked through a hallway Tuesday in the West Virginia state capitol, veteran reporter Dan Heyman followed alongside him, holding up his phone to Price while attempting to ask him a question.

      Heyman, a journalist with Public News Service, repeatedly asked the secretary whether domestic violence would be considered a preexisting condition under the Republican bill to overhaul the nation’s health care system, he said.

    • Women trafficked to Glasgow for sham marriages
    • Uber should lose its licence if it doesn’t improve workers’ rights, say drivers
    • Massachusetts State Police Promise Higher Standard For No-Knock Warrants; Immediately Break It

      No-knock warrants may have served a purpose when they first became a thing. It’s not as though law enforcement’s fear of evidence disappearing or a violent reaction to warrant service is completely unjustified. But no-knock warrants are being deployed extremely frequently, becoming the preferred method of warrant service any time drug sales are involved. The warrant requests are supposed to be subjected to a higher standard of review, but it’s devolved to the point where officers are requesting no-knock warrants simply because the residence they’re searching has locking doors and working toilets.

      Now, cops and citizens are being killed or injured unnecessarily, simply because the SWAT team’s armored personnel carrier seems like a waste of money if it’s not deployed every six weeks or so. The higher standard is practically nonexistent, replaced by “upon information and belief” statements that work backwards from the desired form of warrant service.

    • Ridiculous Lawsuit Looks To Hold Social Media Companies Responsible For The San Bernandino Shooting

      This hasn’t worked yet, but that’s not going to keep anyone from giving it another try. Excolo Law, representing victims of the San Bernardino attacks (and others in similar lawsuits), is suing Twitter, Facebook, and Google for [sigh] “knowingly and recklessly” supporting terrorism.

      The lawsuit, like others before it, claims the social media platforms aren’t doing enough to prevent terrorists from using them for communication, not taking down reported posts fast enough, and otherwise making the world a more dangerous place simply by offering their services.

    • FBI Releases ‘Study’ Of Law Enforcement’s Persecution Complex

      In what may be an attempt to bolster now ex-FBI director James Comey’s oft-derided “Ferguson Effect” claims, the FBI has released a “study” that gathers facts feelings from law enforcement officers around the US and attempts to build a narrative somewhere between “life is unfair” and “there’s a War on Cops.” It’s not a study. It’s an opinion poll with the word “study” appended to it.

    • CIA captive under Guantanamo’s ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ chooses to testify about conditions

      The first CIA captive subjected to what the U.S. government called “enhanced interrogation techniques” after the Sept. 11 attacks is choosing to testify about conditions inside the Guantanamo Bay detention center even if it could create legal problems for him later.

    • Judge says his Facebook post about lynching black suspect was a joke

      A Texas judge was reprimanded Monday for a Facebook comment left on a police department’s Facebook page about the arrest of a black man accused of killing a white San Antonio Police Department officer.

      “Time for a tree and a rope….”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T could be punished for unlimited data throttling after all

      AT&T has been dealt a blow in its attempt to avoid all regulatory oversight from the Federal Trade Commission, and the court decision could also play an important role in the debates over net neutrality and broadband privacy rules. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai yesterday welcomed the court decision and said it strengthens his argument that net neutrality rules should be overturned.

    • After net neutrality comment system fails, senators demand answers

      The FCC’s public comments site struggled for hours Sunday night and Monday after comedian John Oliver called on HBO viewers to write in protest of Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to eliminate the current net neutrality rules. The FCC issued a statement yesterday attributing the downtime to DDoS attacks, without mentioning the influx of comments caused by Oliver’s show.

    • FCC says it was victim of cyberattack after John Oliver show

      An FCC spokesman did not immediately respond when asked by The Hill how the agency determined it had suffered a DDoS attack.

    • A Bot Is Flooding The FCC Website With Fake Anti-Net Neutrality Comments… In Alphabetical Order

      As previously noted, the FCC has begun fielding comments on its plan to dismantle net neutrality protections. As of the writing of this post, nearly 556,000 users have left comments on the FCC’s plan to roll back the rules, which will begin in earnest with a likely 2-1 partisan vote on May 18. The lion’s share of that comment total were driven by John Oliver’s recent rant on HBO. Many others are the result of what I affectionately call “outrage-o-matic” e-mail campaigns by either net neutrality activists or think tanks that let people comment without having to expend calories on original thought.

    • The FCC Claims A DDoS Attack — Not John Oliver — Crashed Its Website. But Nobody Seems To Believe Them

      We just got done noting that the FCC’s commenting system crashed after comedian John Oliver’s latest bit on net neutrality last weekend. Given that Oliver’s first bit on net neutrality did the exact same thing, it didn’t take long before the media wires were filled with stories about how a flood of outraged net neutrality supporters had crippled FCC systems. Again.

    • Net neutrality: why the next 10 days are so important in the fight for fair internet

      US campaigners rejoiced in 2015 when ‘net neutrality’ enshrined the internet as a free and level playing field. A vote on 18 May could take it all back

    • Comcast, Charter Join Forces In Wireless, Agree Not To Compete

      For several years now, cable giants Comcast and Charter have had their eye on jumping into the wireless business. Both companies gobbled up a large amount of spectrum at the FCC’s 2008 700 MHz auction, but a few years later got cold feet after realizing that going solo in wireless would not only be incredibly expensive, but would require something called competition (gross). So in 2011, they struck a deal with Verizon Wireless, which bought the cable sector’s spectrum for $3.6 billion, in exchange for a cozy cross-promotional relationship. As an unspoken part of that relationship, Verizon Wireless has been happily driving its unwanted DSL customers to cable, where they’re often then sold Verizon Wireless service.

    • The FCC ‘Investigation’ Into Stephen Colbert Is A Complete Non-Story

      Last week comedian and “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert found himself in a little hot water after he made an oral sex joke about Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the tail end of his opening monologue. If you missed it, here’s the relevant bit (the easily-offended can skip down the page).

    • The FCC has received 128,000 identical anti-net neutrality comments

      The FCC this week has received hundreds of thousands of new comments on its proposal to dismantle net neutrality rules, and more than 128,000 of them are identical comments calling for the reversal of the Obama administration’s “power grab.” It seems likely that the influx of anti-net neutrality identical comments is coming from a bot, but the FCC hasn’t addressed the matter publicly yet.

    • Cisco And Oracle Applaud The Looming Death Of Net Neutrality

      Both Oracle and Cisco (not coincidentally major ISP vendors) have come out in full-throated support of the FCC’s plan to kill net neutrality. FCC boss Ajit Pai has been making the rounds the last few weeks in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, trying to drum up support of his attack on broadband consumer protections. Pai met with Cisco, Oracle, Facebook and Apple in a number of recent meetings, but so far only Oracle and Cisco have been willing to enthusiastically and publicly throw their corporate fealty behind Pai’s extremely-unpopular policies.

    • The FCC Is Using Garbage Lobbyist Data To Defend Its Assault On Net Neutrality

      By now it should be clear to most Techdirt readers that new FCC Boss Ajit Pai envisions a future where there’s little to no oversight of giant telecom duo/monopolies like Comcast. Pai has wasted no time making that dream a reality since taking office, having killed plans for more cable box competition, undermined FCC attempts to stop prison phone monopolies from ripping off inmate families, and paved the way for killing net neutrality. He’s made no mystery of his overarching goal: replacing functional FCC oversight of broadband providers with the policy equivalent of wet tissue paper.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Bethesda Trademark Bullying Results In Indie Game Adding A Whole Letter To Its Name, But Not Its Logo

        One of the most infuriating aspects of typical trademark disputes is how often the dire nature of the supposed infringement is ratcheted up in the threat rhetoric, while the eventual settlement reached seems laughably inconsequential. Bethesda, which has built a reputation for itself in terms of trademark bullying over its video game franchises, has been an example of this sort of thing in the past. When it decided that it owned the term “scrolls” generally after trademarking its Elder Scrolls franchise, it launched a dispute with developer Mojang over its game which was titled Scrolls. Much was made about the potential for customer confusion, except the eventual settlement allowed Mojang to keep the name for its game. One wonders why such a settlement would be agreed to by Bethesda were its original assertions remotely accurate.

    • Copyrights

      • Access Treaty for Visually Impaired Readers (Finally) Steps Forward On EU Ratification

        After prevaricating for about three years, the European Union now seems to be about to ratify a treaty lifting copyright across borders for books in special format for visually impaired people. The European Blind Union saluted the agreement as great news for millions of people with visual disabilities but warned that a provision allowing EU members to impose economic compensation on organisations representing blind persons and libraries could run counter to the benefit of the treaty.

      • Megaupload users still can’t get data back

        Megaupload, an online cyberlocker service run by Kim Dotcom, was shut down in early 2012 when Dotcom was charged with criminal copyright infringement. Dotcom’s house in New Zealand was raided, and he was arrested. But his prosecution is on hold while New Zealand continues with years of extradition hearings.

      • CJEU to rule on enforceability of German press publishers’ right

        The newly created sections 87f, 87g and 87h of the German Copyright Act provide for the exclusive right of press publishers to exploit their contents commercially for one year, thus preventing search engines and news aggregators from displaying excerpts from newspaper articles without paying a fee.

      • Landmark Usenet Piracy Verdict Stands, Despite RIAA and MPAA Protests

        The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to rehear the case Usenet provider Giganews won against Perfect 10. The decision not only comes as a disappointment to the bankrupt magazine publisher but also to the MPAA and RIAA, who warned the court that the decision is a disaster for copyright holders.


Links 10/5/2017: Mesa 17.1, Git 2.13, Qt Creator 4.3 RC1, MINIX 3.4 RC6

Posted in News Roundup at 11:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Will Anything Make Linux Obsolete?

      Remember blogging? Hell, remember magazine publishing? Shouldn’t be hard. You’re reading some now.

      Both are still around, but they’re obsolete—at least relatively. Two cases in point: my blog and Linux Journal.

      Back when blogging was a thing, in the early 2000s, about 20,000 people subscribed to RSS feeds of my original blog (1999–2007, still mothballed here). At its peak, I posted many times per day and had a strong sense of connection with my readership.

      Same went, by the way, for my postings in Linux Journal, on our website and on one of our own blogs, called IT Garage—lots of readers, lots of engagement.

      Most early bloggers were journalists by profession or avocation—good writers, basically. Some blogs turned into online pubs. BoingBoing, TechCrunch and TPM all started as blogs.

      But blogging began to wane after Twitter and Facebook showed up in 2006. After that journalism also waned, as “content generation” became the way to fill online publications. Participating in “social media” also became a requisite function for journalists still hoping to stay active online (if not also employed)

  • Server/OpenStack

    • OpenStack Summit Highlights Cloud Use Cases

      OpenStack started off as a cloud technology project and has evolved steadily over the last few years. In a marathon two and a half hour set of keynotes on the first day of the OpenStack Summit here, the OpenStack Foundation and the vendors and companies that use it talked about how they are using the cloud.

    • How the U.S. Army Is Using OpenStack to Train Cyber-Warriors

      The open-source OpenStack cloud platform is now being used to help train the next generation of cyber-warriors. At the OpenStack Summit here May 8, officers from the U.S. Army Cyber School explained how they are using OpenStack to train soldiers to fight in the cyber-domain.

      Major Julianna Rodriguez, director, and Chris Apsey, deputy director of the Cyber Technical College at the U.S. Army Cyber School, detailed their activities in a keynote as well as a late-day deep-dive technical session titled “Saving Millions and Achieving Education Freedom Through OpenStack. “

    • Why Edward Snowden loves open source

      Infamous government hacker Edward Snowden believes open source is a fundamentally better way to use technology compared to proprietary technology that he believes disempowers users.

      Snowden was interviewed at the open source cloud computing project OpenStack Summit in Boston via video from a non-descript location and spoke about his personal use of open source technology. In 2013 Snowden, then a government contractor, leaked classified information about government surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency, which brought him worldwide fame.

    • Snowden Advocates the Need for Open Source and OpenStack

      Using public cloud and proprietary software represents a “silent vulnerability” to millions of users around the world, according to National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      Snowden appeared remotely via a video link at the OpenStack Summit here May 9 in a question-and-answer keynote with OpenStack Foundation Chief Operating Officer Mark Collier. Snowden said the average user is unaware of how the internet works.

      “For most people, the internet is magic,” he said.

      According to Snowden, it’s not good enough to let people mindlessly build internet and cloud services, which is where OpenStack plays an important role. He noted that while there are for-profit alternatives in the cloud space like Amazon that do a decent job, they are fundamentally disempowering.

    • ​Snowden praises open source for protecting privacy

      Edward Snowden, the fugitive whistleblower and former NSA contractor who revealed the organization’s global hacking powers in 2013, may seem like an unlikely guest at OpenStack Summit in Boston, but his message was on target. Snowden spoke about how the public cloud and proprietary software disempower people and pry open their privacy.

    • OpenStack Aims to Enable a Composable and Cloud Native World

      OpenStack has long billed itself as an integration engine enabling organizations to plug into different technologies. At the OpenStack Summit here, Mark Collier, Executive Director of the OpenStack Foundation, explained and demonstrated in a keynote address why it’s important to embrace composable and cloud native infrastructure.

    • Why OpenStack is living on the edge

      In the early days of OpenStack, much of the media coverage seemed fixated on whether or not the project would be able to “win” the cloud computing marketplace, and which company would “win” OpenStack, as if the future of technology is a zero-sum game. The keynotes at this week’s OpenStack Summit highlight just how narrow view this is.

      What has emerged isn’t a need for a one-size-fits-all generic cloud, but instead, many competing needs across nearly every industry you can think of, for which cloud helps provide part of the answer.

  • Kernel Space

    • Btrfs Gets RAID 5/6 Fixes With Linux 4.12

      There are a number of Btrfs fixes/clean-ups for the Linux 4.12 kernel.

      Btrfs on 4.12 doesn’t have any big new features or major performance boosts, but it does notably have RAID5 and RAID6 fixes that are needed as outlined in that earlier article. So those wanting to run Btrfs on a RAID 5/6 array will definitely want to be using Linux 4.12+ once stable.

    • TEE Proposed For Merging In Linux 4.12: “Trusted” Execution Environment

      The ARM folks have requested that the TEE subsystem and OP-TEE drivers be included in Linux 4.12, the Trusted Execution Environment.

      The Trusted Execution Environment is is about communicating with a trusted OS running in a secure environment, separate from the Linux kernel itself. Of course, any time “trusted” computing is brought up in Linux/open-source there are a fair number of concerned individuals, especially in light of the recent major vulnerability in Intel AMT.

    • More Power Management Updates Head To The Linux 4.12 Kernel

      Last week was the main ACPI / power management updates for Linux 4.12 while Intel’s Rafael Wysocki has now submitted a second set of feature updates for this next version of the Linux kernel.

    • IOMMU Updates, Optimizations For Linux 4.12

      There are a number of IOMMU optimizations queued for Linux 4.12.

      Joerg Roedel submitted the IOMMU kernel updates today for Linux 4.12. Among the changes for this important component to modern systems include code optimizations to the Intel VT-d driver, IOMMU core header optimizations, Samsung Exynos IOMMU optimizations, and ARM/SMMU optimizations.

    • Linux Kernel 3.12.74 Looks to Be the Last in the Series, Move to a Newer Branch

      Linux kernel developer and maintainer Jiri Slaby announced today the release and immediate availability of what it would appear to be the last maintenance update to the Linux 3.12 kernel series.

      Linux kernel 3.12.74 is out and it looks to be the last in the series, according to its maintainer, who urges all those using the Linux 3.12 kernel branch on their GNU/Linux distributions to start considering moving to a newer LTS (Long Term Support) Linux kernel, such as Linux 3.16, Linux 4.1, Linux 4.4, or Linux4.9.

      However, if you choose to remain on this branch at least update to Linux kernel 3.12.74, which changes a total of 78 files, with 834 insertions and 524 deletions, according to the appended shortlog. Improvements are all over the places, for various architectures, drivers, filesystems, security, and the networking stack.

    • Linux 3.12.74
    • SNAS.io, Formerly OpenBMP Project, Joins The Linux Foundation’s Open Source Networking Umbrella

      We are excited to announce that SNAS.io, a project that provides network routing topologies for software-defined applications, is joining The Linux Foundation’s Networking and Orchestration umbrella. SNAS.io tackles the challenging problem of tracking and analyzing network routing topology data in real time for those who are using BGP as a control protocol, internet service providers, large enterprises, and enterprise data center networks using EVPN.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Tegra186/Parker/TX2 Support For Linux 4.12

        Olof Johansson has sent in his large set of pull requests for the ARM SoC/platform updates slated for the in-development Linux 4.12 kernel.

      • NVIDIA 381.22 Linux Driver Released With Updated Vulkan

        NVIDIA has released a new short-lived Linux binary driver update that jumps it ahead to the 381 release series.

        Available today is the NVIDIA 381.22 Linux driver as the newest GeForce/Quadro/Tesla proprietary Linux graphics driver. This first 381 Linux driver update mostly consists of bug-fixes but also has new Vulkan extensions that previously were just part of their “Vulkan beta” driver.

      • Nvidia 381.22 Video Driver Supports Newer Linux Kernels, More Vulkan Extensions

        Nvidia released today a new short-lived graphics driver for GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris operating systems on all supported architectures, bringing various bug fixes, better Vulkan support, and some other improvements.

        Probably the most fundamental change of the Nvidia 381.22 graphics driver is support for a bunch of new Vulkan extensions, thus adding an extra layer of support for Vulkan, which in these days is more and more used in popular games. However, this was only implemented for the Linux driver.

      • NVIDIA 381.22 driver released with lots of bug fixes and newer Vulkan support

        NVIDIA have released their 381.22 driver which comes with plenty of fixes, newer Vulkan support and more.

      • GeForce Experience Picks Up OpenGL/Vulkan Support, Linux Up Next?

        NVIDIA’s gaming software, GeForce Experience, now has support for OpenGL and Vulkan.

        GeForce Experience is NVIDIA’s software often paired with their Windows driver for managing game updates, analyzing GPU/CPU metrics, game setting optimizations, and recently the focus on being able to record your video game sessions as well as take screenshots with NVIDIA Ansel. Experience also allows game streaming to SHIELD devices with NVIDIA GameStream.

      • Mesa 17.1 Released, Adds RADV Vulkan Conforming Patches

        Mesa 17.1.0 is now officially available as the Q2’2017 update to this important piece to the open-source 3D Linux graphics driver stack.

        Mesa 17.1 ships with many ANV and RADV Vulkan driver fixes, the OpenGL shader cache is in place and enabled by default for RadeonSI, some work on OpenGL AZDO extensions, Ivy Bridge OpenGL 4.2 support up from GL 3.3, initial Radeon RX Vega support, some performance optimizations, and a wealth of other changes.

      • Better Driver Matching For X.Org Server 1.20

        A two-year-old patch for the X.Org Server from a NVIDIA developer has finally landed.

        The xfree86: Improved autoconfig drivers matching is now in xorg-server Git. This 100+ line patch implements a new auto configuration driver matching algorithm. The benefit is the driver matching code is made easier and also doesn’t end up adding duplicate drivers on the case of multiple GPUs.

      • GPUOpen’s CodeXL 2.3 Brings Ryzen Support, AMDGPU-PRO Compatibility

        AMD’s CodeXL utility that’s open-source under the GPUOpen umbrella for graphics profiling/debugging is up to version 2.3.

        CodeXL 2.3 adds support on Linux systems for operating with the AMDGPU-PRO hybrid driver. Other prominent features include Radeon Polaris GPU support as well as support for AMD Ryzen processors with the addition of supporting its performance counters, etc.

      • CodeAurora Continues Contributions To Freedreno’s MSM DRM Driver

        While there are still a few days left until the Linux 4.12 merge window closes and the 4.12 release candidates for the next two months, the Qualcomm-backed CodeAurora already has lined up some new code for the reverse-engineered, community-driven Freedreno MSM DRM driver for Adreno hardware.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Cinnamon 3.4 Desktop Officially Released, It’s Coming Soon to a Distro Near You

      Linux Mint project leader Clement Lefebvre was happy to announce today the official availability of the Cinnamon 3.4 desktop environment for GNU/Linux distributions.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt Creator 4.3 RC1 released

        We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.3 RC1.

        Since the Beta release we have kept ourselves busy fixing bugs, so please take this last opportunity to test and give us feedback. Take a look at the Beta release blog post or the more detailed change log for an overview of what has changed in 4.3.

      • Qt Creator 4.3 RC1 Now Available For Developers
      • Qt 5.9 To Be An LTS Release, Qt 6 Planning On Radar
      • KDE Plasma 5.9.5, Krita 3.1.3 and digiKam 5.5 Coming Soon to Kubuntu 17.04 Users

        KDE’s José Manuel Santamaría Lema is informing the Kubuntu Linux community today about the upcoming availability of a multitude of updates for various KDE technologies in the Kubuntu Backports PPA.

        It’s a known fact that Kubuntu developers are always working hard to bring you all the latest goodies as soon as they are released upstream, and it looks like Kubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) users will be treated with the KDE Plasma 5.9.5 desktop environment, which is the last in the series as KDE Plasma 5.10 is coming at the end of May.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GTK+ 3.22.13 Introduces More Wayland Improvements, Fixes for Some Memory Leaks

        While work on the major GTK+ 4 series advances at a slow pace, the GTK+ 3.22 stable branch is still being updated, and today we see the launch of yet another bugfix release, the thirteenth in the series.

        GTK+ 3.22.13 is a maintenance release that adds a month’s worth of fixes and updated translations from various contributors. The bug fixes are typically small but significant and include a memory leak fix for the Wayland display server when exporting handle, a memory leak fix for linkbutton, and a quartz backend segfault fix, which was a regression from last month’s point release, GTK+ 3.22.12.

      • WebKitGTK+ 2.16.2 Updates User Agent Quirks for New Google Login Page, YouTube

        WebKitGTK+, the open-source and full-featured port of the WebKit rendering engine to the GTK+ GUI toolkit used to build modern applications for the GNOME desktop environment was updated today to version 2.16.2.

        WebKitGTK+ 2.16.2 is just a small bugfix release that only resolves some of the issues users reported since the first maintenance update of the WebKitGTK+ 2.16 stable series. The most prominent change being improved user agent quirks to add compatibility for Google’s new login page and YouTube.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Solus – how far will it go?

        The Live run of Solus was stable, fast and smooth. I especially liked the crispness of the fonts, windows and of all the elements.

        At the same time, if you want to use Solus Budgie as a production OS, I’d recommend you to think twice. The main show-stopper for me would be the unknown format for supported packages. It locks down the number of available applications to whatever is available in official repositories, and there are already some gaps. Of course, there are some doubtful decisions on default set of applications and default desktop items, but that’s easy to fix.

        I hope that Solus will develop further and this is not my last visit to that part of the Linux world. I hope the team will not run out of patience and resources.

    • New Releases

      • Solus Receives Better Bluetooth A2DP Audio and Scanning Support, Other Goodies

        Solus Project’s Joshua Strobl is reporting today in a new installation of the This Week In Solus (TWiS) newsletter on the latest work done by him and project leader Ikey Doherty for their beloved and very popular Solus operating system.

        Last week – like many others before it – was extremely busy for the development team behind Solus, an independently-developed GNU/Linux distribution. The team finally managed to migrate the project’s Git repositories and patch management system to the Diffusion and Differential apps of their Phabricator dev tracker tool.

        This move has many implications for the ever-growing community and package maintainers, and you can read all about it in This Week In Solus Install #44, which brings many other good news for the regular Solus user as scanning and Bluetooth A2DP audio support has been greatly improved thanks to donators and patrons.

    • Arch Family

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • SUSE Unveils OpenStack Cloud Monitoring & Supports TrilioVault

        Today at the OpenStack Summit 2017 in Boston, MA, SUSE, aside from celebrating its 25th anniversary, announced its new open source software solution that makes it simple to monitor and manage the health and performance of enterprise OpenStack cloud environments and workloads, SUSE OpenStack Cloud Monitoring. In other SUSE related news, Trilio Data, announced that its TrilioVault is Ready Certified for SUSE OpenStack Cloud.

      • Students to Enhance Multiple Open Source Projects

        Five students will spend this summer putting their coding skills into practice for openSUSE and other projects during this year’s Google Summer of Code.

        The international program that matches mentors and students funded 1,315 student projects this year for 201 open source organizations, who will benefit from the active involvement from these new developers.

        “We are excited to be selected as a mentoring organization and to mentor these talented, young GSoC students,” said Christian Bruckmayer, one of the openSUSE mentors. “This year’s projects focus on enhancing the capabilities of our open source tools, so that the benefits are shared amongst the open-source ecosystem.”

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Grml 2017.05 “Freedatensuppe” Distro Enters Development Based on Debian Stretch

          The Debian-based Grml GNU/Linux distribution designed for system administrators is once again in development after taking a long break of approximately two and a half years.

          Dubbed “Freedatensuppe,” the next major release of the operating system is versioned Grml 2017.05, and a first Release Candidate (RC) build is now available for public testing. Development of Grml 2017.05 is currently based on the Debian Testing branch, which will soon become Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch.”

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Cockpit is now just an apt install away
          • Cockpit Comes To Ubuntu, Easier Linux Server Administration

            Cockpit, the open-source project providing a pleasant web-based administrative interface to Linux systems and developed significantly by Red Hat / Fedora developers, is now officially available in Ubuntu and Debian.

            Cockpit is now available in Debian unstable as well as Ubuntu 17.04 and 17.10 repositories. Details on Cockpit coming to Ubuntu/Debian were shared today on Martin Pitt’s blog, a prominent Debian/Ubuntu developer. There is also work on getting the Cockpit packages added to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS backports, but as of writing that has yet to be completed.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Volunteers tailor Ubuntu Linux to UK’s health service

              A group of Britisch IT health care specialists have tailored the Ubuntu Linux distribution for use by the UK’s national health service (NHS) on its workstations. The alpha version of NHSbuntu was unveiled at the South West CIO Forum on 27 April.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • What is Docker’s Moby Project?

    Being an Austinite, I enjoyed having DockerCon local, and I co-authored a guide to visiting Austin in the hopes that attendees would enjoy having DockerCon in Austin as well.

    During DockerCon 2017, a few major announcements were made, including the Moby Project.

  • Verizon taps into open source, white box fervor with new CPE offering

    Verizon this week said it would begin offering x86-based servers with OpenStack software aimed at customers looking to support all manner of advanced cloud, software defined networking and network functions virtualization-based enterprises.

  • Web-based open-source program determines protein structures

    ContaMiner is a web-based, open-source program developed by a unique interdisciplinary team in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia. This program is already saving time for international researchers.

    “How much can you understand and repair a car if you don’t have a detailed picture of what is going on under the hood?” said KAUST Associate Professor Stefan Arold. “Proteins are life’s workhorses: their function and dysfunction both create life and end it. Each protein’s amino acid sequence folds into a particular 3-D structure that is required to support its function. If you want to understand, affect or engineer a protein’s function, you need to know its 3-D structure,” he explained.

  • MINIX 3.4 RC6 Released

    The release of MINIX 3.4 is inching closer with the availability now of its sixth release candidate.

    MINIX 3.4 will be the first update since MINIX 3.3 in 2014. We’ve been seeing release candidates now of MINIX 3.4 for the past year but it appears the final release is getting closer. MINIX for the uninitiated is a Unix-like microkernel-based OS started by Andrew Tanenbaum.

  • MapD tech open sources their Core Database

    MapD Technologies, a GPU-powered analytics company, has released their Core database to the open source community under the Apache 2 license, seeding a new generation of data applications. By open sourcing the MapD Core database and associated visualization libraries, they are making their analytics platform available to everyone.

  • MapD Open Sources GPU-Powered Database

    Since starting work on MapD more than five years ago while taking a database course at MIT, I had always dreamed of making the project open source. It is thus with great pleasure to announce that today our company is open sourcing the MapD Core database and associated visualization libraries, effective immediately.

  • Enterprise Open Source Programs: From Concept to Reality

    How pervasive is open source in today’s businesses? According to the 2016 Future of Open Source Survey from Black Duck and North Bridge, a mere three percent of respondents say they don’t use any open source tools or platforms.

    Leveraging open source has also become a key avenue for fostering new ideas and technologies. Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Open Source Software (2016) notes that organizations are using open source today not just for cost savings, but increasingly for innovation. With this in mind, major companies and industries are quickly building out their open source programs, and the open source community is responding.

  • Events

    • Redefining the Tech that Powers Travel

      We all know that the technology industry has been going through a period of incredible change. Rashesh Jethi, Head of Research & Development at Amadeus, began his keynote at the Open Networking Summit (ONS) with a story about how when his grandfather went to university in India, the 760-mile journey took three days and involved a camel, a ship, and a train. Contrast this to Jethi’s 2700 mile journey to ONS in 6 hours where he checked into the flight from his watch. The rapid evolution of technology is continuing to redefine the travel industry and how we approach travel.

    • DevConf Comes to India May 11-12, 2017
    • IBM Cloud Developer to Keynote Open Source Convention (OSCON) in Austin, Texas
    • LinuxFest Northwest report

      This weekend was LinuxFest Northwest 2017, and as usual I was down in Bellingham to attend it. Had a good time, again as usual. Luckily I got to do my talk first thing and get it out of the way. I’d post a link to the recording, but there doesn’t seem to be one – I’ll check with the organizers if it got lost or sometihng. In the mean time, here’s the slide deck. It was a general talk on Fedora’s past, present and future.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird’s Future Home

        The investigations on Thunderbird’s future home have concluded. The Mozilla Foundation has agreed to serve as the legal and fiscal home for the Thunderbird project, but Thunderbird will migrate off Mozilla Corporation infrastructure, separating the operational aspects of the project.

  • Databases

    • EIB provides EUR 25 million funding for MariaDB open-source database system

      The European Investment Bank (EIB), the non-profit lending institution of the European Union, will provide EUR 25 million in funding to the eponymous Finnish company behind the MariaDB open-source database system. MariaDB will use the money to expand its customer base in Europe, America and Asia, and to hire more developers in Helsinki.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice


  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Java modularity specification opposed by Red Hat, IBM is voted down

      A Java modularity specification failed to pass in a vote by Java executive committee members, leaving the future of the technology in question. The issue could hold up the planned July 27 release of Java 9, which is slated to include modularity.

      Balloting on Java Specification Request 376 was completed on Monday. The modular plan for Java, intended to make it easier to scale the platform, has been opposed by companies, including Red Hat and IBM. Red Hat, in particular, questioned many parts of the plan, including raising issues about potential application compatibility problems.

    • Java 9 faces another delay, Oracle fires back at IBM and Red Hat

      Oracle’s chief Java architect has criticised Red Hat and IBM for the companies opposition to make Java 9 modular.

      The Java Platform Module System (JPMS) a core component of Project Jigsaw, the most likely candidate for modularity in Java 9, has received opposition from both IBM and Red Hat.

      IBM have hinted that they may vote against the changes whilst Red Hat initially agreed to the coming changes. Since then Oracle Chief Java Architect Mike Reinhold has come out and said that Red Hat worked consistently to undermine any coming changes.

    • 4 Python libraries for building great command-line user interfaces

      This is the second installment in my two-part series on terminal applications with great command-line UIs. In the first article, I discussed features that make a command-line application a pure joy to use. In part two, I’ll look at how to implement those features in Python with the help of a few libraries. By the end of this article, readers should have a good understanding of how to use Prompt Toolkit, Click (Command Line Interface Creation Kit), Pygments, and Fuzzy Finder to implement an easy-to-use REPL.

    • What does SVG have to do with teaching kids to code?

      Jay Nick is a retired electrical engineer who volunteers at local schools in his community by using art as a creative way to introduce students to mathematics and coding. Reflecting on the frustrations that his own children experienced in college programming classes, he decided to use his own experience with Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) to create an approach to coding that combines principles of mathematics and art.

    • Microsoft’s .NET-mare for developers: ASP.NET Core 2.0 won’t work on Windows-only .NET

      Microsoft has made a change to its forthcoming ASP.NET Core 2.0 web framework so that it is now incompatible with the Windows-only .NET Framework, causing confusion and annoyance for some .NET developers.


  • Much ado about communication

    One of the first challenges an open source project faces is how to communicate among contributors. There are a plethora of options: forums, chat channels, issues, mailing lists, pull requests, and more. How do we choose which is the right medium to use and how do we do it right?

    Sadly and all too often, projects shy away from making a disciplined decision and instead opt for “all of the above.” This results in a fragmented community: Some people sit in Slack/Mattermost/IRC, some use the forum, some use mailing lists, some live in issues, and few read all of them.

  • Hardware

    • Making Chips Smarter

      It is no secret that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have advanced radically over the last decade, yet somewhere between better algorithms and faster processors lies the increasingly important task of engineering systems for maximum performance—and producing better results.

      The problem for now, says Nidhi Chappell, director of machine learning in the Datacenter Group at Intel, is that “AI experts spend far too much time preprocessing code and data, iterating on models and parameters, waiting for training to converge, and experimenting with deployment models. Each step along the way is either too labor-and/or compute-intensive.”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • US, EU Diverge On Medical Diagnostic Patents

      Amos and Miller argue that the disjunction between the US and European requirements for diagnostic patent eligibility hinder global patent harmonisation. While the EU does place limits on diagnostic patents, it does not prohibit them outright. Amos and Miller explain that a rejection on the same grounds of Mayo in the EU would amount to a rejection based upon lack of ‘industrial applicability’. While 30 of the patents studied had objections in the EU based upon questions of novelty, inventiveness or clarity, none had objections which corresponded to a US Mayo rejection.

      The authors acknowledge that it is not possible to completely attribute the abandonment of a patent to the receipt of a Mayo objection, but argue that the case does appear to have special importance in the fate of US diagnostic patents. They point out that prior to the decision, the US permitted more diagnostic patents than the European Patent Office in a sampling of 20 applications.

    • MSF Warns Of Threats To Public Health In Asian Trade Agreement IP Proposals

      The 18th round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement negotiations is taking place this week in Manila, Philippines. Health activists warn that Japan and South Korea are pushing for measures that go beyond international trade rules on intellectual property, including extending patent terms and data exclusivity in countries such as India, a primary source of cheaper generic medicines.

      Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF – Doctors Without Borders) in its response is urging Japan and South Korea to withdraw their proposals as it considers them as being harmful. The proposed measures would lead to a delay in generic competition and strongly increase the prices of medicines for patients all over the world, MSF said.

  • Security

    • 4 Best Practices for Web Browser Security on Your Linux Workstation

      There is no question that the web browser will be the piece of software with the largest and the most exposed attack surface on your Linux workstation. It is a tool written specifically to download and execute untrusted, frequently hostile code.

      It attempts to shield you from this danger by employing multiple mechanisms such as sandboxes and code sanitization, but they have all been previously defeated on multiple occasions. System administrators should learn to approach browsing websites as the most insecure activity you’ll engage in on any given day.

    • ‘Crazy bad’ bug in Microsoft’s Windows malware scanner can be used to install malware

      Miscreants can turn the tables on Microsoft and use its own antivirus engine against Windows users – by abusing it to install malware on vulnerable machines.

      A particularly nasty security flaw exists in Redmond’s anti-malware software, which is packaged and marketed in various forms: Windows Defender, Windows Intune Endpoint Protection, Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft System Center Endpoint Protection, Microsoft Forefront Security for SharePoint, Microsoft Endpoint Protection, and Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection. All are, at this moment, at risk. It is switched on by default in Windows 8, 8.1, 10, and Windows Server 2012.

      It is possible for hackers to craft files that are booby-trapped with malicious code, and this nasty payload is executed inadvertently and automatically by the scanner while inspecting the data. The injected code runs with administrative privileges, allowing it to gain full control of the system, install spyware, steal files, and so on.

      In other words, while Microsoft’s scanner is searching a downloaded file for malware, it can be tricked into running and installing the very sort of software nasty it’s supposed to catch and kill.

    • [Microsoft Employee:] Why your security appliance will be hacked

      I’m no world-class hacker/penetration tester, but I’ve been able to break into any organization I’ve been (legally) hired to do so in an hour or less, except for one place that took me three hours. That was on my second engagement with the customer after it had implemented many of the protections I had recommended during my first visit.

    • How the Macron campaign slowed cyberattackers
    • Cisco kills leaked CIA 0-day that let attackers commandeer 318 switch models

      As previously reported, the zero-day exploit allowed attackers to issue commands that remotely execute malicious code on 318 models of Cisco switches. The attack code was published in early March by WikiLeaks as part of its Vault7 series of leaks, which the site is billing as the largest publication of intelligence documents ever.

      The bug resides in the Cisco Cluster Management Protocol (CMP), which uses the telnet protocol to deliver signals and commands on internal networks. It stems from a failure to restrict telnet options to local communications and the incorrect processing of malformed CMP-only telnet options.

    • Open source password strength meter could help boost account security

      It’s no secret that most people are rubbish at choosing passwords — it’s something that’s proved time and time again when the annual list of common passwords is released. To help overcome the problem, and hopefully increase the security of people’s accounts, a team of researchers from the Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Chicago have created an open source password meter that provides advice about how to strengthen a password.

    • Apache OpenOffice: Not dead yet, you’ll just have to wait until mid-May for mystery security fixes
    • NIST to security admins: You’ve made passwords too hard

      Despite the fact that cybercriminals stole more than 3 billion user credentials in 2016, users don’t seem to be getting savvier about their password usage. The good news is that how we think about password security is changing as other authentication methods become more popular.

    • Google Docs Phishing Scam a Game Changer
    • What Internet-Connected War Might Look Like

      A technician hurriedly slings his backpack over his shoulders, straps on his M9 pistol, and bolts out of the transport with his squad of commandos in a hail of gunfire. As soon as his team reaches the compound, he whips out a laptop and starts deploying a rootkit to the target server, bullets whizzing overhead all the while.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Watch the video that sparked a CIA debate over psychic phenomenon

      A video produced by Stanford as part of its government funded research into psychic phenomena alleged to show Uri Geller performing various psychic and extrasensory feats. While some in the Agency were “humbled” by the film, others were quick to declare it ordinary trickery from a con artist using techniques from stage magic and mentalism. Eventually, James Randi joined the discussion with his book about Uri Geller, only to find one of the scientists involved pushing back.

    • Is WikiLeaks intelligence porn, or legitimate news?

      Much ink has been spilled on President Trump’s “bigly” disdain for the media, including his Stalinist moniker for the press: “enemy of the people.”

      Not enough, however, has been written about smaller efforts afoot at the Department of Justice and FBI that would, in a much more direct sense, imperil basic press freedoms in the United States.

      These efforts came up last week in testimony by FBI Director James Comey. Though much of the coverage focused on comments about the Clinton investigation, he touched on two other discrete issues that deserve scrutiny.

      The first is WikiLeaks — specifically reports that the DOJ is considering filing charges under the Espionage Act against the radical transparency site for releasing classified information.

    • WikiLeaks Offers to Hire James Comey After Trump Fired Him

      James Comey may have just been fired by President Donald Trump from his position as FBI Director, but he already has a new job offer from a surprising source: WikiLeaks. Shortly after he was fired, Julian Assange tweeted that he would be happy to offer Comey a new job if he wanted to continue to properly investigate the U.S. government from WikiLeaks’ D.C. office.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Spain loses first arbitration claim over cuts to renewable energy subsidies

      Spain has lost its first international arbitration process over cuts to renewable energy subsidies. The International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has rendered an award in favor of the British-based Eiser Infrastructure Limited and its affiliate Energia Solar Luxembourg, stating that the Spanish government violated Article 10 of the Energy Charter Treaty, thus depriving the company – a fund with ties to ABN Amro – of fair and equitable treatment.

    • Two-thirds of electricity in Canada now comes from renewable energy

      Two-thirds of Canada’s electricity supply now comes from renewable sources such as hydro and wind power, the National Energy Board said in a report released Tuesday.

      Renewable energy production jumped 17 per cent between 2005 and 2015. The portion of all electricity in Canada generated by renewables is now 66 per cent, up from 60 per cent a decade earlier.

      “I think people don’t understand just how much of our generation is the renewables,” said NEB chief economist Shelley Milutinovic. “Probably very few people would know Canada produces the second most hydro in the world.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Preet Bharara, Sally Yates and James Comey: Fired while investigating Donald Trump

      After President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, questions immediately arose about the President’s motivations for his dismissal — and for the recent firings of two other then-President Barack Obama-appointees who were in the middle of conducting investigations linked to Trump.

      Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Comey’s firing was part of a “deeply troubling pattern from the Trump administration,” that appears to be linked to two other high-profile dismissals.

    • USAian Political Power Modelled After Animal Farm

      Certainly Trump has committed high crimes and misdemeanours. That started before the campaign of 2016. Now, he’s doing it from the Oval Office. On the list so far: sexual harassment, bullying, racial discrimination, multiple breaches of the Constitution, and treason, facilitating Putin’s influence to affect the USAian government. The only higher power is Congress. I would bet every Democrat would support impeachment.

    • The Triumph of James Comey

      Since FBI Director James Comey has become a kind of arbiter of the political discourse – to say his pronouncements have been decisive would not, I think, be an overstatement – his appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee was much anticipated. As Hillary Clinton and her supporters continue to re-litigate the presidential election, blaming him for her defeat, how he would defend his decision to reveal that the FBI was investigating her private email server, and the possible unauthorized release of classified information, was the focus of much interest. And yet the really interesting aspects of his testimony had to do with two questions that, in a free society, would not normally be the domain of law enforcement: 1) What should be the nature of our relations with a foreign country, i.e. Russia? And 2) what is a legitimate journalistic enterprise?

    • Trump Fires FBI Director Comey

      So… not quite sure what to make of this yet, but according to the NY Times, just a little while ago, Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey (of course, just after our podcast came out talking about how Comey seemed to be hopeful the Trump administration would approve his encryption backdoor plans).

    • President Trump fires FBI Director James Comey over Clinton e-mail probe

      FBI Director James Comey was fired Tuesday by President Donald Trump over his handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal. A search has begun to replace Comey, who was appointed to the position by President Barack Obama in 2013.

      “The FBI is one of our nation’s most cherished and respected institutions, and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,” President Trump said in a statement. Comey’s removal was recommended by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Introducing Paperstorm: Drop Airborne Leaflets to Fix EU Copyright

        In the EU, outdated copyright law is threatening the health of the Internet.

        The EU’s current copyright framework — developed for a time before the Internet — can stymie innovation, preventing entrepreneurs from building on existing data or code. It can stifle creativity, making it technically illegal to create, share and remix memes and other online culture and content. And it can limit the materials that educators and nonprofits like Wikipedia depend on for teaching and learning.


Links 9/5/2017: Mesa 17.1 RC4, Coreboot 4.6, and OpenStack Summit

Posted in News Roundup at 7:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Chuwi LapBook 12.3 is a 2K Ubuntu Laptop for $329

      Chinese computer company Chuwi plan to release an Ubuntu powered laptop.

      The Chuwi LapBook 12.3 is a thin, all-metal clamshell notebook with a 12.3-inch 2K display.

      Never heard of Chuwi? Me either.

      Though the company is far from a household name it carving out a name for its self making a slate of well-received Windows 10 tablets, and 2-in-1’s — one of which even dual-boots with Android.

      And now they’re apparently turning their attention to Ubuntu.

    • Today’s bonkers bug report: Microsoft Edge can’t print numbers

      Microsoft’s Edge browser is the subject of an amusing new bug report, alleging it somehow manages to screw up printing strings of numbers.

      The report on Microsoft’s developer portal describes the issue where PDF files printed through Edge will display numbers and text incorrectly when exported.

      “Edge displays PDF correctly but printed content differs notably,” the bug notice reads. “Printed content depends on selected printer, on printer settings, and on used computer (please try a different setup if first result looks correct).”

      The report includes a pair of examples in a numbered table. The first table is sequentially numbered from 1-140. The second table, which is said to have been printed in Edge through the “print-to-PDF” function, has the boxes numbered out of sequence with the first six as “1,1,4,4,4,7″.

  • Server

    • What is Docker and why is it so darn popular?

      If you’re in data center or cloud IT circles, you’ve been hearing about containers in general and Docker in particular non-stop for a few years now. With the release of Docker 1.0 in June 2014, the buzz became a roar.

      All the noise is happening because companies are adopting Docker at a remarkable rate. At OSCon in July 2014, I ran into numerous businesses that were already moving their server applications from virtual machines (VM) to containers. Indeed, James Turnbull, Docker’s VP of services and support, told me at the conference that three of the largest banks that had been using Docker in beta were moving it into production. That’s a heck of a confident move for any 1.0 technology, but it’s almost unheard of in the safety-first financial world.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.12 I/O Scheduler Benchmarks: BFQ, Kyber, Etc

      Among the many new features for Linux 4.12 are two new I/O schedulers in mainline: the long-standing BFQ (Budget Fair Queueing) and Kyber, a new I/O scheduler developed at Facebook. Here are some initial benchmarks of these I/O schedulers on the Linux Git code as of this past week.

    • Linux Kernels 4.10.15, 4.9.27 LTS & 4.4.67 LTS Bring CIFS and Ceph Improvements

      Greg Kroah-Hartman announced a few moments ago the release and general availability of a new set of maintenance updates for the Linux 4.10, as well as the long-term supported Linux 4.9 and 4.4 kernels.

    • Linux 4.10.15
    • Linux 4.9.27
    • Linux 4.4.67
    • A Variety Of KVM Changes For Linux 4.12, Supports MIPS Hardware Virtualization

      The Kernel-based Virtual Machine changes have been submitted for the Linux 4.12 kernel merge window.

      There are plenty of KVM changes as usual for this next kernel cycle. Some of the work for KVM on ARM includes improved PMU support and virtual interrupt controller improvements. MIPS meanwhile has picked up basic support for hardware virtualization when using Imagination P5600/P6600/I6400 or Cavium Octeon III hardware.

    • Linux 3.18.52

      I’m announcing the release of the 3.18.52 kernel.

      All users of the 3.18 kernel series must upgrade.

      The updated 3.18.y git tree can be found at:
      git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-3.18.y
      and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:


    • Linux Kernel 3.18.52 Released with CIFS & F2FS Changes, Lots of Updated Drivers

      After announcing earlier today the release of the Linux 4.10.15, 4.9.27 LTS and 4.4.67 LTS kernels, Greg Kroah-Hartman also released yet another maintenance update for the Linux 3.18 kernel series.

      The Linux 3.18 branch continues to be marked as [EOL] – End of Life – on the kernel.org website, but it also continues to receive large patches that contain numerous improvements and miscellaneous bug fixes. Linux kernel 3.18.52 being the latest in the series, it changes a total of 97 files, with 741 insertions and 346 deletions, according to the appended shortlog.

    • Is Linux kernel design outdated?

      Linux has made great strides over the years, advancing far beyond where it was when it started. But one redditor recently wondered if Linux was suffering from outdated kernel design. He asked his question in the Linux subreddit and got some interesting answers.

    • f2fs for 4.12-rc1
    • F2FS Is Ready With Various Enhancements For Linux 4.12

      The latest Linux 4.12 merge window pull request worth talking about is that of the Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) updates.

    • Linux Foundation to develop tool for building blockchain business networks

      The Linux Foundation announced a new software project under its Hyperledger open consortium aimed at creating a collaboration tool for building blockchain business networks — or smart contracts — and their deployment across a distributed ledger.

      The new project, called Hyperleder Composer, is a modeling language based on JavaScript and with REST API support, that allows non-developers and developers to model their business network. The language also supports modeling of relationships and data validation rules.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Cinnamon 3.4 released!

      You probably saw the tags on github already. I’m happy to make it official and to announce the release of Cinnamon 3.4.

      I’d like to thank all the developers and designers who worked not only on Cinnamon 3.4, but in the redesign of the Spices website and the maintenance of the Cinnamon Spices themselves.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KStars 2.7.7 Released for Linux, Mac, and Windows!

        I’m glad to announce the release of KStars 2.7.7 for Linux, Mac, and Windows!

        In this release, Robert Lancaster dedicated a lot of time to improving KStars What’s Interesting Tool (WIT). It is now significantly improved and offers a rich educational experience to explore the heavens! Users can now explore many naked eye and deep sky objects, in addition to addon catalogs offered by KStars such as the Sharpless Catalog.

        Users wishing to have more fine control on what objects to observe and/or image should be using the Observation Planner that enable filtering of objects with custom constraints and limits. For casual users looking to find out what’s interesting tonight, then this tool is the optimal choice.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Evolution 3.24.2 Open-Source Email and Groupware Client Brings Many Improvements

        The GNOME Project is preparing these days to release the second and last scheduled point release for the latest GNOME 3.24 desktop environment, and some of the core components and apps are already receiving new versions.

        That’s right, we’re talking about GNOME 3.24.2, which should be out in the coming days, around the date of May 10, 2017, bringing various small enhancements and bug fixes to some of the components distributed as part of the GNOME 3.24 Stack. The Evolution email and groupware client is, again, among the first to be updated.

      • System76 Preps Consistent GNOME Experience for Their PCs Powered by Ubuntu 17.10

        System76′s CEO Carl Richell is reporting today on some of the upcoming changes the Linux hardware company plans to make in regards to the look and feel of the GNOME desktop environment shipping with the next major Ubuntu release.

        As you are very much aware by now, Canonical is moving away from their unique and gorgeous Unity user interface to the GNOME 3 desktop environment for the Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) operating system, due for release later this year on October 19, 2017.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • LinuxAndUbuntu Distro Review Of The Week Bodhi Linux

        ​Bodhi Linux is essentially one of those distributions which try to bring your old PC back to life but at the same time, tries to make it look like it is still keeping up with the latest trends in Design and Interface. And with every new release, its community is growing larger and larger. We will look at the latest release which comes with a new theme and more bug fixes (more on this later).

      • 4MLinux 21.0

        4MLinux provides a lot of software in a small package. For system maintenance it is good choice to have on hand. For multimedia, miniserver, and mystery it provides a useful selection of software, but there are other distributions that focus on only one of those tasks and do it better by being more focused. That is not to say that 4MLinux is bad, but it tries to do too many different things at once. To be completely honest, I think 4MLinux would be a stronger offering if it were 3MLinux and dropped the mystery aspect entirely. Maybe including just solitaire or some other light game to have as a diversion while maintenance tasks run and use the space freed up by removing the games to include some of the optional extension applications by default.

      • Xubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zorro – Vigorous

        Xubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus is a pretty good release. It comes with a fully functional live session, and even the installed system offers a foxy, fair and balanced experience. You have your codecs, media support, printing, great performance, stability, and whatnot.

        On the down low, the Bluetooth stack is one big disappointment, and the default looks can be improved. There were a few small issues throughout, but nothing major. What makes Xubuntu less glamorous than it should be is its brother, Kubuntu. I was so impressed with the Plasma release that I just don’t have sufficient fanboyase – that’s the enzyme that makes nerds go wild – in my noob glands to feel all giddy. It’s a case of not being able to fall in love on the account of already being taken, so to speak.

        Well, if you ignore me and my mood swings, as a standalone product, Xubuntu Zesty is a nice free offering. It’s mature, robust and fast. Battery life can be better, it sure can shine more on its own without extra pimping, and Bluetooth, we go back to Bluetooth. Anyway, as far as Ubuntu and its kin go, the spring season is a pretty good one. This one gets a very juicy 9/10. And that would be all. Off you go. Play play, test test.

    • New Releases

      • Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11 Launches with Flatpak Support, GNOME 3.18 Desktop

        PC/OpenSystems LLC and Black Lab Software are proud to announce today the release and immediate availability for download of the Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11 operating system.

        Now that netOS become Black Lab Enterprise Linux, and that the OS is free for download again, the team prepared the latest release with dozens of exciting new features and several flavors. Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11 appears to be the first stable series to ship with Black Lab Studio Linux, Black Lab Enterprise Linux for Education, and Black Lab Enterprise Linux for IoT editions.

      • ExTiX 17.5 Looks to Be the First GNU/Linux OS Shipping with Linux Kernel 4.11

        GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton is once again the first to built a Linux-based operating system powered by the latest stable kernel, and today he announced the availability of ExTiX 17.5 Build 170508 using the Linux 4.11 kernel.

        To our knowledge, ExTiX 17.5 Build 170508 looks to be the first stable, production-ready GNU/Linux distribution to ship with Linux kernel 4.11. The operating system is dubbed by the developer “The Ultimate Linux System” for a reason, and today’s release is based on packages from Debian GNU/Linux 8.7 “Jessie,” Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” and Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus).

      • Debian-Based OSMC Linux Media Center Updated with Better Raspberry Pi Support

        While we were waiting for the final Mesa 17.1.0 3D Graphics Library to hit the streets this past weekend, Collabora’s Emil Velikov is today announcing the availability of the fourth and last Release Candidate (RC) milestone.

      • Black Lab Enterprise Linux Goes Free Again as Income Comes from Hardware Sales
    • Arch Family

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Highlights of the OBS frontend development sprint

        This is the first in a series of posts in which the frontend hackers want to report to the OBS community about the progress they have made developing the web user interface and the API of the OBS. You can expect these posts to come in roughly every 2 weeks, and we very much hope you enjoy them!

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/ Linux 8.8 Released
      • Derivatives

        • Release Notes for Grml 2017.05-rc1 – codename Freedatensuppe

          Grml is a Debian based live system focusing on the needs of system administrators. This Grml release provides fresh software packages from Debian testing (AKA stretch) and is the first Grml release using systemd as its init system. As usual it also incorporates up to date hardware support and fixes known bugs from the previous Grml release.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mark Shuttleworth: Ubuntu on the Desktop Will Remain Important to Canonical

            The OpenStack Summit 2017 event kicked off today in Boston, MA, and Canonical’s CEO Mark Shuttleworth was there to discuss the upcoming plans for Ubuntu on the desktop, cloud computing, and IoT (Internet of Things).

            The Canonical and Ubuntu founder was interviewed there by theCUBE, who were very curious to know what is the state of Ubuntu Linux these days, now that Mark Shuttleworth shocked the Open Source community when he announced last month that development of the Unity interface is shut down, along with the convergence vision.

          • Mark Shuttleworth Says Ubuntu Desktop “Remains Really Important”

            Mark Shuttleworth has reiterated that the Ubuntu desktop “remains really important” to Canonical.

            He made the comments in an interview with The Cube at the OpenStack Summit 2017 taking place in the USA this week.

            Asked to describe the current state of Ubuntu following last month’s announcement that Canonical is to end investment in Ubuntu Phone, Unity 8, convergence, the Ubuntu founder admitted that Ubuntu ‘failed’ to take Ubuntu mainstream in personal computing.

          • My Current Ubuntu Desktop (And How You Can Recreate It)

            As you may have heard me mention in the latest episode of the Ubuntu Podcast, I’ve been ankle deep in GNOME extensions these past few weeks. Why? Well, like many of you I have made a preëmptive switch to GNOME Shell now that Unity is being left to the cobwebs.

          • Canonical starts IPO path

            At OpenStack Summit, Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth revealed in an interview that the recent changes in the Linux and cloud power were to ready Canonical for an IPO.

            In early April, Shuttleworth announced Ubuntu Linux was ending its ” investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell.” Ubuntu had long been a cloud power, and it’s been building its Internet of Things (IoT) reputation. Soon thereafter, Canonical CEO Jane Silber announced she was stepping down and that Shuttleworth would return as CEO.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Financial services organisations are “waking up” to finding talent through open source

    Symphony, the Google-backed chat tool touted as the “Bloomberg Killer” has the backing of the vast majority of investment banks – Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Jefferies, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Nomura and Wells Fargo have all invested – and it now has big asset managers like BlackRock and Citadel.

    While the secure cloud-based chat tool gets most of the headlines, there’s a sister, non-profit organisation called the Symphony Software Foundation, which promotes open-source software collaboration and is quietly capturing the attention of financial services organisations by uncovering coding talent. Gabriele Columbro, an executive director at the firm, says that open source development creates opportunities for developers that just wouldn’t be there otherwise.

  • Open source drives ‘composable infrastructure’

    Today’s software world is growing ever more cloudy and every more fragmented. We have myriad programming languages, numerous application platforms and services-oriented architectures (yes, but not the dusty ones of yesteryear!)


    Composable infrastructure is right for this because, for instance, not every data store is right for every customer, he pointed out. And open-source is the source of many of these parts, he said. “Google uses open source to build critical parts of our infrastructure. Google Cloud is an extension of that. Developers will build their own tools using Python or Go… programming languages we invented that are the foundation for cloud computing around containers.”

  • Open source can protect your virtualised network. Here’s how.

    Virtualisation has been a hot topic in telecommunications for nearly half a decade, and security concerns have remained an ever-present feature. This is not surprising given the extent to which NFV/SDN is transforming the industry and the many ‘known unknowns’ this entails.

    As networks migrate from hardware to software, and ‘walled gardens’ turn into much more open cloud-like architectures, so security risks increase.

    Throwing open source software development into the mix adds a further layer of complexity.

  • 3000 Reviews on the ODRS

    The Open Desktop Ratings service is a simple Flask web service that various software centers use to retrieve and submit application reviews. Today it processed the 3000th review, and I thought I should mark this occasion here. I wanted to give a huge thanks to all the people who have submitted reviews; you have made life easier for people unfamiliar with installing software much easier. There are reviews in over a hundred different languages and over 600 different applications have been reviewed.

  • MapD Open Sources High-Speed GPU-Powered Database
  • MapD Technologies Open Sources Lightning-Fast GPU-Powered Database
  • MapD’s GPU-powered database is now open source

    As announced in a press release and blog post, the core database and its “associated visualization libraries” are available under the Apache 2.0 license. But enterprise-level features like the high availability, LDAP, ODBC, and horizontal scaling functionality—many of which debuted in the 3.0 version released earlier this month—will be kept close to the chest.

  • Sprint, Intel Join Forces on C3PO 5G User Plane Open Source Project

    SAN JOSE, California —Although it’s not May 4, the annual day of celebration to honor the iconic “Star Wars” movie, it still seems fitting to talk about Sprint’s new open source project, called C3PO. Last week at the 2017 NFV World Congress, Sprint revealed it’s working with Intel on the open source project the companies believe will result in a more flexible and scalable 5G control plane. C3PO stands for CUPS [control and user plane separation] for packet optimization.

  • Dell EMC’s newest switches will come with its open network OS

    Dell’s drive into open networking accelerated on Monday with the announcement of the first switches to ship with OS10, the company’s network operating system that’s based on open source.

    At Dell EMC World in Las Vegas, the company introduced two data-center switches running OS10 Enterprise Edition, an enhanced version of the open-source OS that Dell announced early last year.

    The software is based on technologies from the Linux Foundation and the Open Compute Project and is already available through an extended beta to customers who already have hardware. The Enterprise Edition is a complete software platform, including Dell’s networking stack, but its open-source foundation means it can be extended with third-party software, said Jeff Baher, Dell EMC’s executive director, networking.

  • Events

    • 3 Developers Explain Why They Attend ApacheCon

      ApacheCon North America is right around the corner. Everyone is looking forward to this year’s event May 16-18 in Miami. There’s plenty new to see, hear, and do this year but that’s not the only attraction for developers.

      The annual conference of The Apache Software Foundation is where users and contributors meet face-to-face to collaborate on the next generation of cloud, Internet, and Big Data tech. The Apache community is huge and has upwards of 4500 committers. There is ample opportunity to meet MVPs and project heroes plus swap war stories with fellow developers in the trenches.

    • Excited about oSC17? Volunteer to experience another aspect of it!

      oSC17 is just around the corner, and if you want to be part of making it awesome you can now sign up to become a volunteer!

      Volunteers are invaluable to conferences, and they play a major role in creating a pleasant conference atmosphere for attendees.

    • Visiting Kamailio World (Sold Out) and OSCAL’17

      Kamailio World features a range of talks about developing and using SIP and telephony applications and offers many opportunities for SIP developers, WebRTC developers, network operators and users to interact. Wednesday, at midday, there is a Dangerous Demos session where cutting edge innovations will make their first (and potentially last) appearance.


      On Saturday I’ll be giving a workshop about the Debian Hams project and Software Defined Radio. On Sunday I’ll give a talk about Free Real-time Communications (RTC) and the alternatives to systems like Skype, Whatsapp, Viber and Facebook.

    • OpenStack Summit: The Golden (Channel) Age Of Open Source

      Some of us remember when running any production workload on Linux was considered living dangerously. My, have times changed. Last week, I spent some time at the largest-yet Red Hat Summit, along with about 6,000 other attendees. All three big public cloud vendors had booths on the expo floor — in fact, Microsoft was a platinum sponsor. Cisco, HPE, IBM, Juniper, Oracle and other household names jockeyed for attention with the likes of Big Switch, Black Duck and NuoDB.

    • OPNFV Membership Grows as Community Hosts OPNFV Open Source Day at OpenStack Summit

      OpenStack Summit — The OPNFV Project, an open source project that facilitates the development and evolution of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) components across various open source ecosystems through integration, deployment, and testing, today announced China SDN/NFV Industry Alliance, a 50+-member alliance focused on increasing the readiness of SDN/NFV, and Netscout, a leading provider of business assurance, have joined the project.

    • Bursary applications for DebConf17 are closing in 48 hours!

      This is a final reminder: if you intend to apply for a DebConf17 bursary and have not yet done so, please proceed as soon as possible.

      Bursary applications for DebConf17 will be accepted until May 10th at 23:59 UTC. Applications submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

    • OpenStack Summit Emphasizes Emerging Deployment Models

      The OpenStack Summit kicked off here today with multiple announcements and an emphasis on the evolution of the cloud deployment model.

      Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation, said during his keynote that there has been a 44 percent year-over-year increase in the volume of OpenStack deployments, with OpenStack now running on more than 5 million compute cores around the world.

    • OpenStack Foundation slams claims open source cloud platform’s days are numbered

      The OpenStack Foundation is on a mission to clear up a number of misconceptions about the open source cloud platform, particularly those pertaining to its often predicted demise.

    • OpenStack Summit: All the biggest news from Red Hat to Rackspace & Dell EMC
    • Submission deadline for LPC refereed track proposals extended

      The deadline for submitting refereed track proposals for the 2017 Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC) has been extended until May 13. “The refereed track will have 50-minute presentations on a specific aspect of Linux “plumbing” (e.g. core libraries, media creation/playback, display managers, init systems, kernel APIs/ABIs, etc.) that are chosen by the LPC committee to be given during all three days of the conference.” LPC will be held September 13-15 in Los Angeles, CA.

  • Databases

    • MariaDB raises $27.3 mln

      The European Investment Bank (EIB) announced a EUR 25m funding of MariaDB, the company behind the fastest growing Open Source database, to support the company’s next stage of growth and database innovation. This EIB operation is guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a key element of the European Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe, aiming at reviving investment in strategic projects around Europe.

    • MariaDB Raises €25m in Funding

      MariaDB, a Menlo Park, California-based provider of the MariaDB open source database, raised €25m in funding.

      The European Investment Bank (EIB) provided the funding, which is guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

    • EIB backs open source database MariaDB with €25m

      The European Investment Bank (EIB) has given €25 million in funding to open source database provider, MariaDB.

      This investment has been offered in order for MariaDB to increase its global client base as part of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a long term plan drafted by the European Commission.

    • Open Source database developer MariaDB picks up $27M from the EIB

      As open source database architecture continues to grow in popularity, one of the bigger developers in the area has picked up some funding to target the opportunity.

    • Open source database MariaDB secures €25m EIB funding

      The European Investment Bank likes what it sees in MariaDB, putting €25m into the open source database for expected growth in the coming years.

      The European Investment Bank’s (EIB) activities throughout the EU have proved quite interesting in recent years.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Announcement of LibreOffice 5.2.7

      The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 5.2.7, the seventh minor release of the LibreOffice 5.2 family, targeted to enterprises and individual users in production environments.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Microsoft contributing Open-Source OPC UA stack [Ed: Microsoft openwashing of .NET, which is NOT "Open Source" but at best Open Core]
    • Nuanced Déjà Vu in Microsoft’s Desktop Monopoly

      When I was in late high school, which was in the early days of this blog, I had recently switched to Linux and was essentially an evangelist, singing its praises and loudly cursing the misdeeds of Microsoft with respect to the desktop market; many of my blog posts at that time were in that vein. In the nearly 8 years since then, I, my blog, Linux, Microsoft, and the consumer device market have all evolved and matured: I’ve become less evangelistic and more realistic about many things (or so I’d like to think), my blog has correspondingly shifted focus in various ways, Linux distributions have become less of a “wild west” than they were 8 years ago and have gained more support for popular things like proprietary video drivers and game platforms like Steam, Microsoft has been more open about supporting free and open-source software initiatives, and the consumer device market has shifted much more toward mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets which are very different from the desktops, laptops, and netbooks of 8 years ago (the latter of which doesn’t really exist anymore as it once did). That said, I recently read a post on Slashdot (original article by Brian Fagioli of Betanews) about how Microsoft is locking the configuration settings for changing the default browser (Microsoft Edge) and search engine (Bing) choices in Windows 10 S, which is its version of Microsoft Windows 10 designed for lower-end hardware used in schools. For the sake of old times, I thought it might be nice to post about it, but hopefully with a bit more nuance than what I was capable of 8 years ago (and with the benefit of having seen the last 8 years of intervening technological development).


      Overall, I don’t think Microsoft really has the leverage to ensure total dominance of its own web browser that it did 16 years ago. Too many ordinary consumers have moved onto other browsers and other platforms entirely. The default browser issue will only affect the rare cases of opening specific locally-hosted HTML and similar files, so for all other cases, users can put their preferred browser shortcut on the main screen or menu of Microsoft Windows 10. While it certainly pays to be vigilant about anticompetitive behavior and trends toward proprietary software, I don’t see a need to hyperventilate like I might have 8 years ago.

    • Verizon unlocks the power of open source and virtualization with the addition of new whitebox options to its universal CPE offer
    • Dell EMC must adapt or die in open-source and cloud-dominated world, say analysts
  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • 8 ways to get started with open source hardware

        Alan Kay, famed computer scientist, once said, “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.” I’d argue that’s as true today as it was in 1982 when he said it. However, what’s changed between then and now is that hardware has gotten faster, smaller, and most importantly: cheaper. it’s now possible to buy a full computer for $5.

        With big companies driving down prices for their own products, it’s grown a manufacturing ecosystem capable of producing production-grade hardware that’s cheap enough and accessible enough that it is now within reach of normal individuals. This accessibility and affordability are helping drive things like crowdfunding and the maker movement, but they’re also giving way to more individuals being able to participate in open source through open source hardware.

  • Programming/Development

    • Oracle fires Java warning at IBM and Red Hat

      Oracle has hit out at IBM and Red Hat Middleware for their continued opposition to its proposed plan to make Java modular.

      Mark Reinhold, Oracle’s Java Platform chief, has called IBM’s position on the Java 9 Module System (JPMS) “disappointing”, “surprising” and a threat to Java.

      IBM has suggested it will vote against the JPMS JSR that Reinhold leads – JSR 376. The result for the Community vote on JPMS is due to be announced on June 8.

    • Falcon: A New, Faster JIT Compiler For Java/JVM

      Last week Azul Systems released a new version of its Zing runtime for Java. With the new version of Zing comes a new JIT compiler dubbed “Falcon” for offering faster Java performance.

    • The IDAR Graph

      UML (Unified Modeling Language)6 is the de facto standard for representing object-oriented designs. It does a fine job of recording designs, but it has a severe problem: its diagrams don’t convey what humans need to know, making them hard to understand. This is why most software developers use UML only when forced to.1

      For example, the UML diagrams in figures 1 and 2 portray the embedded software in a fax machine. While these diagrams are attractive, they don’t even tell you which objects control which others. Which object is the topmost controller over this fax machine? You don’t know. Which object(s) control the Modem object? You don’t know.


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • [Old] Intel ME: The Way of Static Analysis
    • CloudLinux 7 and CloudLinux 6 Users Get New Kernel That Patches CVE-2017-7895

      CloudLinux’s Mykola Naugolnyi announced today the availability of new stable kernels for the CloudLinux 7, CloudLinux 6, and CloudLinux 6 Hybrid operating systems.

      The updated kernel is available for download right now from the production repository of the CloudLinux 7, CloudLinux 6 Hybrid, and CloudLinux 6 operating systems, versioned 3.10.0-427.36.1.lve1.4.47. It replaces kernel 3.10.0-427.36.1.lve1.4.44 on CloudLinux 7 and Hybrid, as well as kernel 2.6.32-673.26.1.lve1.4.25 on CloudLinux 6.

    • Mac users installing popular DVD ripper get nasty backdoor instead

      Hackers compromised a download server for a popular DVD-ripping software named HandBrake and used it to push stealthy malware that stole victims’ password keychains, password vaults, and possibly the master credentials that decrypted them, security researchers said Monday.

    • Google’s Fuzz bot exposes over 1,000 open-source bugs

      Google’s OSS-Fuzz bug-hunting robot has been hard at work, and in recent months, over 1,000 bugs have been exposed.

      According to Chrome Security engineers Oliver Chang and Abhishek Arya, software engineer Kostya Serebryany and Google Security program manager Josh Armour, the OSS-Fuzz bot has been scouring the web over the past five months in the pursuit of security vulnerabilities which can be exploited.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Tunisian Media Activist Interrogated Over Sources of Leaked Documents

      Tunisian media and human rights activist Sami Ben Gharbia was interrogated for six hours on May 3 by Tunisian authorities who asked him about his role in the release of the presidency’s action plan on a controversial economic reconciliation draft law.

      Upon his arrival at the Central Investigation Brigade of the National Guard in L’Aouina, Ben Gharbia was primarily questioned about the source of the Presidency of the Republic’s leaked action plan lobbying in the law’s favor. He was also questioned extensively about the inner workings of Nawaat, the Tunisian independent media and transparency NGO that he co-founded in 2004.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Facebook employs ex-political aides to help campaigns target voters

      On Monday, the company confirmed it employed staff, “whose role it is to help politicians and governments make good use of Facebook”.`

    • NPR Attempts To Undermine WikiLeaks’ Credibility With Deliberate, Brazen Lie

      As if we needed another reason to want the legacy media to die screaming all alone in an ill-reputed nursing home, National Public Radio has just added one more to the planet-sized pile. NPR, which just Wednesday released an anti-WikiLeaks attack editorial disguised as a movie review, has made a deliberate attempt to tarnish WikiLeaks’ 100% perfect record of authentic and accurately-vetted releases by going out of its way to report that the publishing organization had posted nine gigabytes of partially inauthentic documents.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Austrian court rules Facebook must delete ‘hate postings’

      The case – brought by Austria’s Green party over insults to its leader – has international ramifications as the court ruled the postings must be deleted across the platform and not just in Austria, a point that had been left open in an initial ruling.

    • Dear Europe: Please Don’t Kill Free Speech In The Name Of ‘Privacy Protection’

      About a year and a half ago, we wrote about how the new European “General Data Protection Regulation” (GDPR) was potentially very problematic for free speech. That is, well-meaning “data protection” folks wrote up the GDPR, but it appears they did so with little thought towards what the impact might be on free speech. So, specifcally, when they include something like a right to “erasure” for certain information, you can understand, from a privacy standpoint why people may want certain data and information to be deleted from certain databases. But bring that over to the open web, rather than private databases, and you’re talking about a censorship tool around a “right to be forgotten” system.

      To deal with this kind of potential problem, rather than doing the smart thing and fixing and clarifying the GDPR, Europe has left things up to each member country to try to sort things out on their own, and to explore how to set their own data protection rules in a manner that will obey the GDPR but also avoid stomping out free expression. Unfortunately, it’s unclear that many of the states are taking that balancing act very seriously. The UK quietly put up a comments request with all answers due by this Wednesday (and, of course, by the time this all gets sorted out, who’s to say if the UK will even still be in the EU… but…).

    • The UK has now entered a draconian era of porn prohibition

      Helen Lovejoy’s signature Simpsons line can now be used to accurately summarise the latest developments to the government’s Digital Economy Bill. The proposed legislation, which was first introduced to Parliament in July, has always aimed to enforce age verification on pornographic websites so that they cannot be accessed by children under the age of 18. On Sunday, however, new measures were announced; all websites that do not implement age verification will be banned in the UK.

      “The government is committed to keeping children safe from harmful pornographic content online and that is exactly what we are doing,” said Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. “Only adults should be allowed to view such content.” The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has been appointed to enforce these measures.

    • Cloudflare changes abuse policy but refuses to “censor the Internet”

      Network operator Cloudflare came under fire last week from ProPublica, which wrote a lengthy article arguing that the Internet company “helps serve up hate on the Web.” According to ProPublica, Cloudflare does this by providing service to any website operator and failing to provide anonymity to people who complain about racist or otherwise abusive online content.

      In response, Cloudflare has changed its abuse-reporting system to allow for anonymous complaints. But the company says it still has no intention of taking steps that it says would effectively censor the Internet.

    • China’s New Online Encyclopedia Aims To Surpass Wikipedia, And To ‘Guide And Lead’ The Public

      China certainly has the resources to complete this huge project by 2018, its planned launch date. And once those 300,000 entries are available to “guide and lead the public,” it’s hard not to think that accessing the rival Wikipedia will be made so hard that most people will give up trying, and stick with the new Chinese Encyclopedia. At that point, the Chinese authorities will indeed have created a “Great Wall of culture” to complement that Great Firewall of China, both designed to keep out all those inconvenient ideas.

    • Facebook takes to newspapers to teach UK users how to spot “fake news”
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Why Did the Government Search an Artist’s iPhone at the Border?
    • How I Learned to (Mostly) Love Private Internet Access

      I’ve renewed my subscription to Private Internet Access, and intend to continue using the service indefinitely.

    • DHS Boss Drums Up Fear Using The FBI’s Useless Terrorism Investigation Stats

      The problem with swearing on a stack of FBI statements is these assertions are completely meaningless. The FBI’s a well-oiled terrorist-crafting machine at this point, so it can come up with whatever number of ISIS-linked plots is needed to further the agenda of multiple government agencies.

      As for “open terrorism investigations,” it would be much more helpful if the FBI didn’t term nearly everything it does an “investigation,” even when there’s nothing worth investigating. As we’ve covered here before, there are a few different types of investigations the FBI engages in, starting with something that looks a whole lot like an investigation (in terms of information the FBI can obtain), but really isn’t. These “investigations” are called assessments, and it takes almost nothing at all to get one of these underway. Emily Hockett and Michael German of Just Security explain how the guidelines for assessments changed radically after the passage of the FISA Amendments Act in 2008.

    • How to prevent your data from being searched at the US border

      During the past two years, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has targeted ever larger numbers of travelers’ smartphones and laptops for searches as they cross the border into the country.

      U.S. courts have generally upheld a so-called border search exception to the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, allowing CBP to search electronic devices without a court-ordered warrant. In April, a group of lawmakers introduced legislation to require warrants to search devices owned by U.S. citizens and other legal residents, but for now, the law allows for warrantless device searches.

    • Supreme Court asked to rule if cops need warrant for cell-site data

      On Thursday, the Supreme Court will meet privately to discuss the controversial privacy question of whether the authorities need a court warrant to force mobile phone companies to divulge their customers’ cell site data. This data shows where you were (according to a cell tower) and when you made a call. This information can paint a canvas of one’s whereabouts, yet it’s not constitutionally protected material because it’s viewed as an ordinary business record held by the telcos. Courts have largely interpreted this to mean that the authorities can get the data without probable-cause court warrants.

    • Facebook is abusive. It’s time to divorce it

      Every relationship has its rough edges, places where actions scrape, and through constant repetition, rub raw. Those tender spots can heal if left alone and if the parties are wiling to listen. But where the irritation continues, this raw spot becomes a wound that never closes, forcing a choice between continuing pain and a painful separation.

      It all began so promisingly with Facebook. Back in 2007 it presented itself as the social calendar of America’s elite universities. That Ivy League allure made it irresistible to the students at America’s second-and-third-tier colleges, so as Facebook lowered its velvet rope, millions, then tens of millions crowded in.


      Yet Netscape (and Microsoft, which eventually triumphed against the upstart) never provided the server infrastructure to host those pages – a skill far beyond the average Web surfer. So the promise of a Web built by everyone for everyone got lost in the rush to a commercial Web favouring browsing and buying over creating and sharing.

      When Facebook came along, offering a free and easy-to-use outlet for a decade’s pent-up demand to share, of course we leapt at it, signing on the dotted line without bothering to read the fine print. The devil’s in those details.


      People have to be convinced of the need to change before they’ll move on. But if what we know now is insufficient to inspire a transition away from Facebook, what will it take?

      Someone I know recently packed all of his earthly belongings into his sedan, then shared the photo. Sixteen years of marriage had ended, and he had to begin again. Although he felt sad and lonely, things could not go on as they had, and he took this for a new beginning, a time to heal old wounds. We can change, he seemed to be saying. We just have to be willing to try.

    • Using your personal data is now second nature for politicians

      Politicians and electioneers are betting big that at this general election, your data is going to be more important than ever when it comes to swaying your vote in their favour.

      We are undoubtedly well into the “big data” age. The amount of information we create and make available about our daily lives is growing exponentially. Businesses, governments and other organisations are becoming increasingly adept at analysing it to learn about us, predict our behaviour and sell us things.

    • Actually, Congress Did Undermine Our Internet Privacy Rights

      Don’t listen to the telecom lobby. Congress’ vote to repeal the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) broadband privacy rules has a profound impact on your online privacy rights.

      According to those who supported the repeal, the rules never took effect (they were scheduled to do so throughout 2017), so the repeal doesn’t change anything. You hear it from the likes of AT&T as well as lawmakers like Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), the author of the legislation who was asked about it at a recent town hall. You are hearing it now in state legislatures that are working diligently to fix the gap Congress created.

      But that argument is meant to distract you from the real issue – you had a legal right to privacy from your broadband provider, and when Congress repealed the broadband privacy rules using the Congressional Review Act (CRA), Congress diminished that right and may have hamstrung the FCC from enforcing it in the future.

    • EFF, Sen. Anderson Sponsor California License Plate Privacy Legislation

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Sen. Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) have introduced a California bill to protect drivers’ privacy by allowing them to cover their license plates while parked to avoid being photographed by automated license plate readers (ALPRs).

      The legislation will be considered by the California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on Tuesday, May 9, 2017. EFF Investigative Researcher Dave Maass will testify as a witness in support of the bill.

    • California: Let’s End Unchecked Police Surveillance

      Police should not have unilateral power to decide which privacy invasions are in the public interest.

    • California cop union opposes new bill that would thwart license plate readers

      If the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a San Diego-based Republican state senator have their way, it will soon become legal for Californians to cover their license plates while parked, as a way to thwart automated license plate readers.

      Those devices, now commonly in use by law enforcement nationwide, can capture license plates at a very high rate of speed, as well as record the GPS location, date, and time that a particular plate is seen. Those plates are then run against a “hot list” of stolen or wanted cars, and a cop is then alerted to the presence of any vehicle with match on that list.

    • Community Control of Police Spy Tech in Oakland

      Oakland could become the next community in California to adopt an open and rigorous vetting process for police surveillance technology.

      All too often, government executives unilaterally decide to adopt powerful new surveillance technologies that invade our privacy, chill our free speech, and unfairly burden communities of color. These intrusive and proliferating tools of street-level surveillance include drones, cell-site simulators, surveillance cameras, and automated license plate readers.

    • Analyzing a counter intelligence cyber operation: How Macron just changed cyber security forever

      Remember: We don’t know much at this stage, so this post has a lot of assumptions.

    • Egypt could start ‘charging people to use Facebook’ as part of restrictive anti-terror bill

      Two separate bills submitted to parliament last month include measures such as linking accounts to users’ national identification numbers to create a user database, charging registration fees when signing up for accounts, and establishing an Egypt-only Facebook-style platform.

    • Using Ultrasonic Beacons to Track Users
    • [Older] US to seek social media details from certain visa applicants

      The department, in a notice published Thursday in the Federal Register, said it was seeking public comment on the requirement. But it also said it is requesting a temporary go-ahead from the White House budget office so the plan can take effect for 180 days, beginning May 18, regardless of those comments.


      Affected applicants would have to provide their social media handles and platforms used during the previous five years, and divulge all phone numbers and email addresses used during that period. U.S. consular officials would not seek social media passwords, and would not try to breach any privacy controls on applicants’ accounts, according to the department’s notice.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • US device searches at borders ignite resistance
    • Christian governor of Jakarta found guilty of blasphemy for saying Muslims should vote for him

      Governor ‘Ahok’ Purnama had said people were being deceived if they believed the Quran forbids Muslims from voting for non-Muslims

    • [Older] Nigeria, Italy partner on human trafficking – Envoy

      The Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Fulvio Rustico, says his country is ready to partner with Nigeria to combat the menace of human trafficking.

    • Trudeau must help Saudi blogger Raif Badawi: Amnesty

      In an open letter released on Wednesday, the human rights group said Ottawa must “renew and intensify efforts” to push Riyadh to free Badawi, who was arrested almost five years ago, on 17 June 2012.

    • Iran minister warns Saudi Arabia after ‘battle’ comments: Tasnim
    • Prosecutor says defendants in genital mutilation case also committed sex crime

      The trio is charged with multiple crimes stemming from violation of that law, as well as claims they made false statement and attempted to tamper with witnesses during the investigation.

    • Rave hospitality, but Indonesia fails West Papua with media freedom hypocrisy

      As director of the Pacific Media Centre taking part in the Southeast Asian Consultative Roundtable on a Special Mechanism for the Protection of Safety of Journalists, I raised a plenary question about the “silence” over West Papua violations and got an informative answer from Atnike Sigiro of Forum Asia.

      But then back to the silence.

    • Public Defenders Continue To Fight Back Against California’s Broken Case Management Software

      In California, the future of criminal case management is now. But the future appears to be broken, and “now” is looking much worse than the recent past. Odyssey is the state’s buggy new case management software — one that’s been keeping people from being released, putting people with dismissed charges in jail, and otherwise making the criminal justice system even more horrible than usual. Tyler Technologies, the creator of the software, has called this transition “challenging.” (It’s also called this rolling cockup a “transition,” so…)


      At this point, being booked in Alameda County is to be forcibly subjected to a malfunctioning criminal justice slot machine. Maybe it will pay off for a few people, but the odds are still on the house. A system that’s already largely broken doesn’t need assistance from outside vendors’ buggy software.

    • The Incarceration of Japanese-Americans 75 Years Ago Reminds Us That Our Freedoms Are Fragile

      Seventy-five years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. While the order avoided naming any particular ethnic group, the president and his advisers intended it to target Japanese-Americans. Military officials “evacuated” Americans of Japanese ancestry to “relocation centers.” One hundred and twenty thousand men, women, and children had just days to divest themselves of all they owned — their homes, farms, and businesses — and take only what they could carry to far-flung prison camps from Arkansas to California. For years afterward, people like my grandmother Bette Takei (née Sato), were forced to live behind barbed wire, under the gaze of armed guards.

    • ‘Throw her in!’ Shocking moment an elderly woman is body slammed to the ground and hurled into a swimming pool along with her dog after she asked rowdy teens to turn down the noise

      A shocking video shows a man body slamming an elderly woman to the ground before hurling her into a swimming pool.

      The unidentified woman, who was walking her two dogs, appeared to be asking a group of pool party-goers to turn down their music.

      As she approaches the group of people, who are believed to be in their late teens or early 20s, a woman is heard in the background yelling: ‘Throw her in!’

    • Taser/Axon Separating Defense Lawyers From Body Camera Footage With License Agreements

      Taser Inc.’s quiet takeover of evidence generation and storage — through extensive body camera offerings — was put on public display when the company rebranded as Axon. The company was willing to give away cameras in exchange for something far more lucrative: software licensing and footage access fees in perpetuity.

      Axon even nailed down a choice URL: Evidence.com. This is the portal to law enforcement body camera footage stored in Axon’s cloud — the real moneymaker for Axon. The cameras are just the gateway drug.


      The EULA may be boilerplate, but the situation is anything but normal. Horowitz doesn’t care much for the fact that Axon’s storage of court records and discovery documents is controlled solely by Axon by forcing users to waive a great deal of their rights in exchange for access.

    • House Subcommittee Passes Police-Protecting ‘Thin Blue Line’ Bill

      There’s no shortage of existing laws protecting law enforcement officers. So, of course, there’s no shortage of new legislation being introduced to further protect a well-protected subset of government employees. Using a nonexistent “War on Cops” as impetus, legislators all over the nation are submitting bills designed to make harming a cop more of a crime than harming anyone else.

      This isn’t just happening at the state level. Last year, Colorado representative Ken Buck introduced a federal “Blue Lives Matter” law, which would have turned attacks on cops into “hate crimes.” The bill is a ridiculous extension of protection to officers who aren’t in any more danger than they were a decade ago, histrionic statements by various federal officials notwithstanding.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • John Oliver tackles net neutrality again, crashes FCC comments site—again

      Comedian John Oliver has once again asked his viewers to fight on behalf of net neutrality, and the Federal Communications Commission website wasn’t able to handle the immediate influx of angry comments.

      On HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Oliver yesterday announced a new URL, gofccyourself.com, that redirects to the FCC proposal to eliminate net neutrality rules. (Clicking “Express” is the easiest way to submit a comment.) The comments website promptly crashed, making it difficult or impossible to file comments last night and this morning. The comments site has started working, but only intermittently.

    • A John Oliver Net Neutrality Rant Has Crippled The FCC Website A Second Time

      Back in 2014, you might recall that John Oliver’s HBO show “Last Week tonight” aired an outstanding piece on net neutrality. In it, Oliver compared then FCC boss Tom Wheeler to a dingo, explained why a neutral internet was important, and trashed much of the flimsy logic giant ISPs like Comcast use to consistently justify anti-competitive behavior. The piece was so immensely successful at explaining an incredibly complicated and relatively wonky subject, it drove a record number of annoyed consumers to the FCC commenting website — where they demanded the FCC step up and defend the open internet.

    • Net neutrality protestors leave messages on doors in FCC chairman’s neighborhood

      On Sunday, protesters from the Protect Our Internet campaign went around Pai’s neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia, and distributed door hangers at nearby homes, prompting people to be aware of their neighbor’s efforts to limit internet freedom. The flyers feature a black-and-white photo of Pai, along with a short description of the chairman’s background and how his proposal would roll back open internet rules.

    • John Oliver pleads with viewers to revive net neutrality fight

      The net neutrality fight is unfortunately back, and just as he did three years ago, comedian John Oliver has devoted a segment of his show Last Week Tonight to call out the importance of the open internet and encourage viewers to comment on the new proposed rules.

    • Ajit Pai on whether your comments on net neutrality could change the FCC’s mind about repealing Title II: “We have an open mind”
    • Comcast and Charter agree not to compete against each other in wireless

      It’s no secret that big cable companies don’t like to compete against each other, as it’s more profitable to be the only company in town than to build networks in places already dominated by another cable provider.

    • Oracle backs FCC’s net neutrality rollback

      Oracle voiced support on Friday for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai’s controversial plan to roll back the agency’s net neutrality rules.

    • Why the Next 10 Days Are Critical to the Internet’s Future

      The February 2015 milestone was a major victory for those who believe the Internet is a global public resource that belongs to all users, not select corporations. The order meant individuals were free to say, watch and make what they want online, without meddling or interference from Internet service providers. It was good news for business owners, web developers, entrepreneurs and anyone who streams, clicks and creates content online.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • NO, Kodi Users Are Not Risking Ten Years in Prison

        UK tabloids including The Mirror, Daily Mail, The Sun and The Express are reporting that people watching Kodi streams risk ten years in jail. Despite that being a false claim spawned from a click-bait agenda, dozens of other publications sadly followed up by reporting the same ‘news’. Today, the Sunday Express upped the stakes by reporting that TorrentFreak readers could be going to prison too.

      • The WIPO Broadcasting Treaty Would be a Body Blow for Online Video

        This week EFF is in Geneva, at the Thirty-Fourth session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), to oppose a Broadcasting Treaty that could limit the use of video online. Ahead of this meeting, word was that delegations would be pushing hard to have a diplomatic conference to finalize the treaty scheduled at WIPO’s October Assembly. In combination with initial uncertainty about whether the new United States administration would be maintaining its opposition to a diplomatic conference, we knew that it was important for EFF to be there to speak up for users.

        The Broadcasting Treaty proposal simply doesn’t make sense. It proposes to create a new layer of rights over material that has been broadcast over the air or over cable, in addition to any underlying copyrights over such material. Such rights would increase the cost and complexity of licensing broadcast content for use online, and create new and artificial barriers to the reuse of material that isn’t protected by copyright at all, such as governmental and public domain works.

      • Trump administration to Supreme Court: Don’t hear EFF “Dancing Baby” case

        The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “Dancing Baby” copyright case has been going on for nearly a decade now in one way or another, and its last stop will be the US Supreme Court.

        On Thursday, though, the US solicitor general and the US Copyright Office recommended against the court taking the case. That increases the chances the 9th Circuit ruling from last year, which was a mixed bag from EFF’s point of view, will stand and remain law.

        “The court of appeals correctly held that liability under the DMCA requires actual knowledge or willful blindness,” state the government lawyers in their brief (PDF).

      • Appeals Court Won’t Help Megaupload User to Get His Files Back

        The Appeals Court has denied a request from former Megaupload user Kyle Goodwin to intervene on his behalf. The sports videographer has been trying to get his files back for years and hoped to force a decision from the District Court, but this has proven unsuccessful. As a result, his files will remain under lock and key.

      • US Court Orders Registries to Seize Control of ‘Pirate’ Domains

        One of the tactics employed by ABS-CBN is targeting the domains of ‘pirate’ sites. On several occasions, the TV outfit has found courts willing to step in with ex parte orders, based on allegations of copyright and trademark infringement.


Links 8/5/2017: Debian GNU/Linux 8.8, Chromebook Shipments Up 38%

Posted in News Roundup at 4:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Building a “real” Linux distro

    I recently saw a post on Hacker News: “Build yourself a Linux”, a cool project that guides you through building a simple Linux system. It’s similar to Linux from Scratch in that it helps you build a simple Linux system for personal use. I’d like to supplement this with some insight into my experience with a more difficult task: building a full blown Linux distribution. The result is agunix, the “silver unix” system.

    For many years I’ve been frustrated with every distribution I’ve tried. Many of them have compelling features and design, but there’s always a catch. The popular distros are stable and portable, but cons include bloat, frequent use of GNU, systemd, and often apt. Some more niche distros generally have good points but often have some combination of GNU, an init system I don’t like, poor docs, dynamic linking, or an overall amateurish or incomplete design. Many of them are tolerable, but none have completely aligned with my desires.

    I’ve also looked at not-Linux – I have plenty of beefs with the Linux kernel. I like the BSD kernels, but I dislike the userspaces (though NetBSD is pretty good) I like the microkernel design of Minix, but it’s too unstable and has shit hardware support. plan9/9front has the most elegant kernel and userspace design ever made, but it’s not POSIX and has shit hardware support. Though none of these userspaces are for me, I intend to attempt a port of the agunix userspace to all of their kernels at some point (a KFreeBSD port is underway).

  • Desktop

    • Galago Pro on the Go: Emma’s System76 Laptop Review

      I’m so excited to talk about this little precious Galago Pro! I like to name my laptops, and nothing is more fitting for this machine (in my use case) than the name ‘Princess’ because my experience with the Galago so far has been royally spectacular. After more than a month of frequent use, I’ve found the Galago to be an excellent choice for the mobile worker. I’m frequently on a train, plane or bus, so portability is an absolute must-have for me. Although the portability is my favorite feature, I’m fond of a few other things the Galago Pro has to offer.

    • Chromebook shipments surge by 38 percent, cutting into Windows 10 PCs
  • Server

    • Why the Largest Companies in the World Count on Linux Servers

      Linux started its life in the data center as a cheaper alternative to UNIX. At the time, UNIX operating systems ruled the industry and for good reason. They were performant, fault tolerant and extremely stable. They also were very expensive and ran on very proprietary hardware. A lot of the familiar utilities and applications developed for those UNIX platforms eventually were ported over to Linux. So, once Linux ran services like Apache, it came as no surprise that Linux would usurp and replace the very same technologies that once inspired its creation. The very best part was that Linux ran on commodity x86 hardware. At the end of the day, anyone could deploy a Linux server at a fraction of the cost to deploy something from Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics (SGI) or from any other UNIX distributor.

      Fast-forward to the present, and Linux continues to maintain a strong competitive lead over other server offerings, including the very popular Microsoft Windows. But why is that the case? In order to answer that question, one first must understand what Linux is.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • ARM64 Updates For The Linux 4.12 Kernel

      The ARM64 architecture (AArch64) updates have been queued for the Linux 4.12 kernel.

    • PowerPC 64-bit To Support Up To 512TB Virtual Address Space On Linux 4.12

      While Intel is working on 5-level paging support to allow a virtual address space up to 128 PiB and physical address space of 4 PiB, the PowerPC guys are working on upping their address space capabilities too.

      With the Linux 4.12 kernel, POWER 64-bit server CPUs can now support up to 512TB of virtual address space compared to a previous limit of 128TB.

    • Staging Tree For Linux 4.12 Adds 350k Lines Of New Code

      Greg KH has submitted the staging changes for the Linux 4.12 kernel.

      Greg wrote of the staging work for 4.12, “Here is the big staging tree update for 4.12-rc1. And it’s a big one, adding about 350k new lines of crap^Wcode, mostly all in a big dump of media drivers from Intel. But there’s other new drivers in here as well, yet-another-wifi driver, new IIO drivers, and a new crypto accelerator. We also deleted a bunch of stuff, mostly in patch cleanups, but also the Android ION code has shrunk a lot, and the Android low memory killer driver was finally deleted, much to the celebration of the -mm developers.”

    • Linux’s Hyperledger Invites Community to Construction of Blockchain-Making Tool

      Hyperledger Composer, centered on Blockchain technology, has been accepted into incubation by Hyperledger’s Technical Steering Committee.

      Hyperledger Composer, which is a collaborative effort, will be a tool that will help to build Blockchain business networks.

      It’ll help in the development of smart contracts and their deployment across distributed ledgers.

    • A formal kernel memory-ordering model (part 2)
    • Device power management with the OPP library

      During the 4.6 development cycle, the operating performance points (OPP) framework gained the infrastructure to do dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) on behalf of device drivers. This helps in reducing the complexity of those drivers, which can instead focus on platform-specific details. The rest of this article discusses what has changed and how can we use it to simplify our device drivers.

      Until Linux kernel release 4.5, the OPP framework was acting as a helper library that provided a table of voltage-frequency pairs (with some additional information) for the kernel. Kernel frameworks, like cpufreq and devfreq, used these OPP tables to perform DVFS for the devices. The OPP framework creates this table dynamically via platform-specific code and statically from device-tree blobs.

    • Two new block I/O schedulers for 4.12
    • The MuQSS CPU scheduler

      The scheduler is a topic of keen interest for the desktop user; the scheduling algorithm partially determines the responsiveness of the Linux desktop as a whole. Con Kolivas maintains a series of scheduler patch sets that he has tuned considerably over the years for his own use, focusing primarily on latency reduction for a better desktop experience. In early October 2016, Kolivas updated the design of his popular desktop scheduler patch set, which he renamed MuQSS. It is an update (and a name change) from his previous scheduler, BFS, and it is designed to address scalability concerns that BFS had with an increasing number of CPUs.

    • The New Features So Far For The Linux 4.12 Kernel
    • XFS In Linux 4.12 Adds GETFSMAP Support

      The XFS file-system changes have been submitted for Linux 4.12 and includes one main feature change.

      The prominent new feature for XFS in Linux 4.12 is support for the GETFSMAP ioctl. This new ioctl has been under discussion since last year’s Linux Storage summit and is the first Linux file-system seeing mainline support for it. GETFSMAP is used for returning all known space mapping details for that file-system.

    • 2038: only 21 years away

      Sometimes it seems that things have gone relatively quiet on the year-2038 front. But time keeps moving forward, and the point in early 2038 when 32-bit time_t values can no longer represent times correctly is now less than 21 years away. That may seem like a long time, but the relatively long life cycle of many embedded systems means that some systems deployed today will still be in service when that deadline hits. One of the developers leading the effort to address this problem is Arnd Bergmann; at Linaro Connect 2017 he gave an update on where that work stands.

    • EXT4 For Linux 4.12 Gets GETFSMAP Support, Performance Improvements

      Ted Ts’o has sent in the EXT4 file-system updates targeting the Linux 4.12 kernel merge window.

      First up as a new feature for EXT4 is support for the new GETFSMAP ioctl. This comes just after XFS getting GETFSMAP support too for the Linux 4.12 kernel; see that earlier article for more details on this new capability for Linux file-systems.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE FreeBSD CI

        The next-generation of KDE CI is nearly here. Ben Cooksley from the KDE Sysadmin team has announced that it is nearly ready to go. On the FreeBSD side, Ben has done the heavy lifting on the CI side and I’ve done a little futzing around to get the build node in working order by installing system-wide dependencies.

      • KDE dinner in Berlin – 13th May

        In a few days (May 13th-14th) the KDE e.V. board will be having an in-person board meeting in Berlin.

      • LaKademy 2017: expanding horizons

        On May 1, another edition of LaKademy, the Latin American KDE Summit, came to an end. This was the 5th edition of the event, which continues to attract new people interested in being part of the community. This time we had 6 beginners, which is a great number, considering that the event itself is small, since it is not an event of talks or courses, but a concentrated one, in the contribution sprint style.

      • Plasma 5.9.5 by KDE now available in Chakra

        The Plasma 5.9.5 update provides another round of bug-fixes and translations to the 5.9 release, which will probably be the last one before 5.10 is out by the end of May.

      • KIO will get Polkit support this summer

        Hello world! For those who don’t know me, I am Chinmoy, a first year undergraduate student studying computer science at Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Technology, Bangalore, India. I am one of the 1,318 students selected for this years Google Summer of Code. I will be working with Arnav Dhamija and Elvis Angelaccio (my mentors) on the KDE project “Polkit Support in KIO”.

      • The Craft Cache

        In the last days we created a stable Craft branch which builds Qt 5.62 and KDE Frameworks 5.33.0 (KF5), and backported all important patches for the 5.33.0 release.

        This is the branch you should use when ever you want to provide an application installer. Providing builds of unstable KF5 git versions isn’t really a good practice, but was done never the less.

      • Meet the authors of WikiToLearn: Daniele Pannozzo
      • QtWebKit is coming back (part 2)
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Recipes to Receive Interface Improvements, New Recipes and Cuisines

        A few months back we took a look at the new GNOME Recipes app that’s currently in heavy development. Matthias Clasen has announced that along with a growing team of developers, some further improvements are on the way, both in terms of user experience and the selection of recipes and cuisines available.

      • Not running for Board this year

        As the other directors are aware, I’ve over-committed myself. I think I did a good job keeping up with GNOME Board issues, but it was sometimes a real stretch. And due to some budget and planning items happening at work, I’ve been busier in 2017 than I planned. I’ve missed a few Board meetings due to meeting conflicts or other issues.

      • Try Aurora-Next And Aurora-Nuevo Theme Suites, You May End Up Using Them

        Aurora-Next theme isn’t new but it’s initial release was back in early 2015 and it looked great at that time and looks even more better, there are three variants in this suite and support almost every desktop such as Unity, Gnome Shell, Xfce, Cinnamon, Mate and so on but not compatible with KDE. You can choose from Blue, Green and Red variant from this suite as per your requirements. There are three Gnome Shell themes and Cinnamon theme with every variant, the supported versions of GTK are 3.20 and up. Numix-White icons used in the following screenshots. You can use Unity Tweak Tool, Gnome-tweak-tool to change icons.

      • Make your Gnome Shell Transparent and Better with Mist Theme [PPA]

        Now a days there are much themes are in development for Gnome Shell because every new release of Gnome Shell makes old theme highly incompatible and bit difficult for creators to manage their themes for newer version of Gnome Shell. But there are still some people who are working on Gnome Shell themes. Here is one of the theme called Mist, basically this theme is inspired by the appearance of the GDM3 login manager, the main goal of this theme is to make Gnome Shell fully transparent. This means a panel that blends right into the desktop, simple flat, transparent buttons, and the bare minimum when it comes to menus and elements that overlap the work-space. This theme is compatible with Gnome Shell 3.24/3.22/3.20/3.18/3.16 and 3.14 versions, you need to enable user-themes extension in Gnome-Tweak-Tool to change Shell theme.

      • Did GNOME team just remove the transparent background option from the Terminal in 3.24?
      • GNOME Recipes App to Soon Offer More Recipes, Cuisines, and Inline Editing

        GNOME Project’s Matthias Clasen is reporting on the development of the recently introduced GNOME Recipes application, an open-source and easy-to-use program that’ll help you to discover what to cook.

        GNOME Recipes has been in development during the GNOME 3.24 cycle, with which it was first introduced to the public in its final, production-ready state. The graphical user interface of the app should be very familiar to GNOME users as it resemblance the look and feel of the GNOME Software package manager.

  • Distributions

    • Apricity OS [shuts down]

      Like all good things, Apricity OS must come to an end. It has been our privilege to develop the operating system, and to be a part of a community as great as our own. But unfortunately, we no longer have time for its required upkeep. We hope that your time using our operating system has been enjoyable, and that you continue to explore using Linux in the future. You all, our users, have made this experience incredible for us, and we cannot thank you enough for the support.

    • Arch Linux Based Apricity OS Shuts Down

      The Arch Linux based distribution, Apricity OS, has announced in an undated notice on its website that it’s shutting down. I learned the of news today when given a heads-up by a follower on Twitter.

    • Arch Linux-Based Apricity OS GNU/Linux Distribution Is Now Officially Dead

      We’re extremely sorry to inform our readers that the team of developers behind the Apricity OS has ceased the development of the Arch Linux-based operating system.

      We were the first to introduce you guys to Apricity OS about 20 months ago, on the 6th of September, 2015, and, shortly after, the GNU/Linux distro become hugely popular among those who wanted to install an Arch Linux-based operating system on their personal computer with an easy-to-use graphical interface.

    • Chakra GNU/Linux Users Get KDE Plasma 5.9.5 Desktop Environment and Wine 2.7

      The development team behind the Chakra GNU/Linux operating system, through Neofytos Kolokotronis, is reporting on the latest updates that landed in the stable software repositories of the GNU/Linux distribution.

      Chakra GNU/Linux users will be glad to learn that the latest KDE Plasma 5.9.5 desktop environment, which is the last maintenance update in the series, has landed in the repos, bringing them a great number of patches for their beloved KDE apps and utilities.

    • Reviews

      • GNU/Linux Security: A look at QubesOS

        Using GNU/Linux is by default more secure than using Microsoft Windows, this is common knowledge; however just because you use GNU/Linux, does not mean that your system is secure, and that is why some distributions have been created in order to maximize security; such as QubesOS.

        QubesOS is very different from your typical run of the mill distro, such as Ubuntu or even the more hardcore like Arch Linux and Gentoo. QubesOS runs multiple virtual machines linked together under a single user-interface, to form a container based / compartmentalized operating system.

        The purpose of this, is hypothetically speaking if an adversary were to gain remote access into your machine, they would be bound to only having access to the compartment they broke into.

      • [Video] Linux Deepin 15.4 Review – Fancier and Faster
      • [Video] Feren OS 2017.0 Review
      • [Video] Using [Snap] channels to support releases
    • New Releases

      • 4MLinux 21.2 Distro Released with Linux Kernel 4.4.63 LTS, Wi-Fi AP Improvements

        4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki is informing us today about the immediate availability of the second point release of the 4MLinux 21 GNU/Linux operating system.

        4MLinux 21.2 is yet another minor update of the independently-developed distribution, coming about five weeks after the 4MLinux 21.1 release. It’s here with a new kernel from the long-term supported Linux 4.4 series, namely Linux kernel 4.4.63 LTS, a bunch of updated packages, and better support for wireless APs that are protected with passwords.

      • OSMC’s April update is here

        OSMC’s slightly belated April update is here with a variety of improvements and fixes.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Summit 2017

        A quick recap with self reminders of session links.

        Sunday night was dinner with a couple of other instructors. Always a blast.

        Monday night was the Ansible (Red Hat Management) Social. The venue (Coppersmith) was really cool. Their description is as a vintage warehouse but it looked to me like it had once been a firehouse. The kitchen was in a pair of old food trucks welded together. And there was draft cider.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Linux getting native MP3 support, but who really cares?

          Fedora is a wonderful Linux distribution, as it is both stable and modern. One of the biggest selling points of the operating system is that is relies on truly free open source software. This means it won’t have patented or closed-source non-free packages by default. Of course, in-the-know Fedora users often added these needed packages after the fact by using third-party repositories, such as RPM Fusion.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 Officially Released with 90 Security Updates, 68 Bug Fixes

        Those of you using the Debian Stable a.k.a. Debian “Jessie” operating system series will be glad to learn that the eighth point release was just launched today, Debian GNU/Linux 8.8, with more than 150 bug fixes and security updates.

      • Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 Released
      • Updated Debian 8: 8.8 released
      • Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 “Jessie” Live & Installable ISOs Are Available to Download – Exclusive

        As reported the other day, the Debian Project launched the eighth maintenance update for the stable Debian GNU/Linux 8 “Jessie” operating system series, which brings a total of 90 security updates and more than 60 miscellaneous bug fixes.

        We promised that you’d be the first to know when Live and installation ISO images of the Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 release will be available for download, so here you go. The Debian Project just finished uploading all the Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 “Jessie” Live CDs and installation mediums for all supported hardware architectures.

      • Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 Released With Tons Of Updates And Fixes

        The Debian Project has announced the release of eight stable update of Debian 8 jessie. Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 comes with many package updates, 60+ bug fixes, and 90 security fixes. As it’s not a new major version release, the existing users who are already having all the latest security updates installed don’t need to do anything. The interested users can use the aptitude (or apt) package tool to perform the upgrade.

      • New in Debian stable Stretch: GitHub’s Icon font, fonts-octicons
      • Debian 8.8 released

        The Debian Project has launched the eighth update of its stable distribution Debian 8, codename Jessie.

        The update adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments.

      • Debianistas get Jessie mass package update

        Debian hasn’t released a new version of Jessie, but its Version 8.8 that landed over the weekend repairs more than 100 package bugs.

        As the announcement notes: “Those who frequently install updates from security.debian.org won’t have to update many packages and most updates from security.debian.org are included in this update.”

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Which email client for Ubuntu 17.10?

            An email client was once a mandatory offering for any operating system, but that may be changing. A discussion on the ubuntu-desktop mailing list explores the choices for a default email client for Ubuntu 17.10, which is due in October. One of the possibilities being considered is to not have a default email client at all.

            Jeremy Bicha raised the issue in mid-April. He noted that Ubuntu had switched from Evolution to Thunderbird in 2011 and thought it time to revisit that decision. For one thing, while an email client is useful, it may not be “useful enough to enough people to justify it being installed for everyone”. If there is to be a default email client, though, which should it be?

          • A new hope for Ubuntu Phone: The community

            Well, I have to say that Ubuntu Phone was dead for me after the Mark’s announcement a few weeks ago. I even posted the end of uNav and I switched to Android. But my post was a trigger for myself: because the community will not allow uNav to die so easily and of course, the Ubuntu Phone :) You opened my eyes mates!

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu MATE 17.10 – Default layout decisions

              Thank you to everyone who commented and voted. While the votes are useful the comments (from all the online Ubuntu MATE communities) are what have been most useful.

            • [elementary OS] Loki Updates for April

              You can now control paired Bluetooth devices (like phones!) from the sound indicator. Additionally, we now show an icon in the panel when an app is using the microphone, making it easy to see at a glance if something starts listening in.

            • [elementary OS] AppCenter Spotlight: More Beta Testers

              A couple of weeks ago I shared my AppCenter Spotlight: Beta Testers piece and got a great response. People continue to be excited to see the progress of AppCenter and how it’s coming together end-to-end.

              Since that story, I’ve been playing around with four more apps that have been added by our awesome beta testers. I think my favorite thing about AppCenter right now (besides how easy it is!) is that each new app I try seems to be unique and category-defining. When there are orders of magnitude more apps in AppCenter, these are the ones that set the bar. And so far, they’ve done a great job.

            • Lubuntu 17.04 – simple evolution

              Lubuntu 17.04 continues to deliver a nice and friendly environment for those who like a light and snappy uncomplicated experience without many graphical bells and whistles. And it still lacks a common theme for applications and their design, because LXDE is not fully a “desktop environment” per se.

              The Live session of Lubuntu 17.04 felt quick and snappy for me, which is no wonder on my new laptop.

              The only small problem I mentioned in this review was the set of default applications. But that’s easy to fix, isn’t it?

              How do you find Lubuntu 17.04 yourself?

  • Devices/Embedded

    • USB Network Gate 4.0 for Linux – an essential accessory for working with remote USB ports over network

      Do you still think that to work with a certain USB device you have to have it physically attached to your computer? In this case you haven’t heard of USB Network Gate yet! USB Network Gate is available for different platforms, which includes USB Network Gate for Linux. The latest version 4.0 allows working with any USB device even in those “seems impossible” situations when a USB device is oceans away from you.

    • 250,000 Pi Zero W units shipped and more Pi Zero distributors announced

      This week, just nine weeks after its launch, we will ship the 250,000th Pi Zero W into the market. As well as hitting that pretty impressive milestone, today we are announcing 13 new Raspberry Pi Zero distributors, so you should find it much easier to get hold of a unit.

    • SiFive Launches CPU IP Industry into the Cloud with New RISC-V Cores and an Easy Online Business Model
    • Phones

      • Android

        • Are Android devices really easier to hack? We asked the experts

          It’s hard to say how long it will be before most Android devices are running Nougat, or a later version of Android, but even then the slow pace of updates from some manufacturers and carriers will remain an issue.

        • T-UI Launcher – Turns Android Device into Linux Command Line Interface

          Are you a command line guru, or do you simply want to make your Android device unusable for friends and family, then check out T-UI Launcher app. Unix/Linux users will definitely love this.

        • Motorola Moto G4 review – Extremely refined

          In this case, I must praise both Motorola for assembling a great phone and Google for improving Android to a very high degree. In its vanilla form, it’s most palatable, and this combo just works great. And this for only about 200-odd dollars, which is about one half or even one third of what you’d pay for top-end devices, and you sure don’t get 2x or 3x more. Clean, simple, secure, fast, I only have positive attributes to share here. This from a Linux guy who loves Windows Phone and does not like mobile devices at all. Sounds mad, but that’s what it is. Now, off you go, enjoy your lives and apps and such. 9.5/10. Color me surprised, Motorola Moto G4 is an excellent product. Most recommended.

        • Millions of Android Devices Could Be Secretly Spying on Users, Researchers Claim
        • How to Get Stock Android on a Galaxy S8 Without Rooting
        • Android Pay could use your face to authenticate loyalty programs

          It’s not that hard to add points to your loyalty cards on Android Pay, but it looks like Google is mulling on an experimental feature to automate the process. 9to5google has torn the latest version of the app apart and found lines of code that hint at a feature called “Visual ID,” which authenticates your loyalty points by using facial recognition. Based on the strings the publication found, you’ll have to create a “face template” when you activate the feature. Participating stores that have Visual ID cameras installed will then confirm your identity when you walk in. Once the system determines that it’s you, and it ascertains your location using Bluetooth, Google will send them your loyalty details.

        • New Android security report is alarming, but not because of the amount of malware

          Better cooperation between Google and its major OEMs is essential to ensure that as many phones as possible are kept up to date with security patches. Most of the 3.5 million instances of malware that crop up this year will never get close enough to infect your phones, but it only takes one.

        • VAIO Launches Phone A: Snapdragon 617, 3 GB RAM, 5.5” FHD, Android
        • Why the guy who made Android is now betting on hardware

          Inside what used to be an abandoned Fry’s Electronics warehouse in Palo Alto, California, Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, and three other Silicon Valley veterans are trying their hands at one of the tech industry’s biggest challenges: building hardware.

          The four co-founded Playground Global, a startup “accelerator,” in 2015. That’s techspeak for a company that helps nurture young startups by providing support like mentorship, office space, and — in the case of Playground, which works mostly with hardware startups — machinery for prototyping.

        • Google kills Android Nougat beta – Android Oreo incoming?

          There will be no more beta-tested versions of Android Nougat software, as Google has finally killed off the beta program. Instead, we’re now hanging around for the full launch of Google’s Android O, following the release of the Developer Preview on March 21.

          Developers subscribed to the new Developer Preview are currently in ‘Preview 1’, which is basically an alpha phase. We’re not expecting to see a beta until the official Android O launch, which is likely to take place on May 17 during Google’s annual I/O developer conference.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Pros and Cons of the Free Software and Open Source Movements

    The opposition to the orthodox view is based on the liberal belief that an author has the legal (or moral) right to copyright protection and does not have a societal obligation to share what the author considers a secrets — even to the consumers of the code. This ideology opposed what it considers to be a forceful tactic on the part of GPL-like licenses to compel authors to share code they don’t otherwise want to share. They see licenses like the GPL as overreaching against their right to make money in a manner that preserves “intellectual property” rights. Since orthodox free software advocates do not believe in intellectual property rights, their licenses intentionally threaten to erode the marketplace of proprietary software. Thus, the Free Software movement is bad for those who seek to thrive in the proprietary marketplace.

  • Open-source software startups still struggling to reach escape velocity

    Two years earlier, Sun had acquired MySQL, the open-source relational database engine ranked as second only to Oracle’s as the world’s most popular database. MySQL was a potential rival to Oracle’s cash cow, and its developers feared that the database giant would starve it to death. So they took out an insurance policy, building a drop-in replacement called MariaDB that quickly flourished, capturing customers such as Google Inc. MariaDB Corp. was founded to commercialize its namesake product with a business model built on packaging, support and training.

  • Events

    • Android/Mobile microconference accepted into Linux Plumbers Conference

      The Android/Mobile microconference has been accepted for this year’s Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC), which will be held in Los Angeles, CA, US on 13-15 September in conjunction with The Linux Foundation Open Source Summit.

    • CI and Infrastructure hackfest 2017 next week

      Tomorrow I’m traveling out to Raleigh, NC for a gathering to work on CI and Infrastructure for Fedora and will be out there all next week. We will of course be around on IRC and hope to pull in remote folks that are interested in participating, but if you need us for something and can’t find anyone, please file a ticket and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

  • Web Browsers

  • CMS

    • Turmoil for Drupal

      The Drupal content management system (CMS) has been an open-source tool of choice for many web site owners for well over a decade now. Over that time, it has been overseen by its original developer, Dries Buytaert, who is often referred to as the benevolent dictator for life (BDFL) for the project. Some recent events have led a sizable contingent in the Drupal community to question his leadership, however. A request that a prominent developer leave the Drupal community, apparently over elements of his private life rather than any Drupal-related misstep, has led to something of an outcry in that community—it may well lead to a change in the governance of the project.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Open Source Firmware For Hoverboards

        2015 was two years ago, and to the surprise of many, we actually had hoverboards at the time. Of course, these weren’t Back to the Future-style hovering skateboards; they were crappy two-wheeled balancing scooters that suffered a few battery explosions and were eventually banned from domestic flights by some carriers. But oh boy, there were some funny Vines of these things.

        While the rest of the world moved on from hoverboards, [Casainho] has been working on Open Sourcing the firmware for these interesting bits of electronics and motors. Now, his work is wrapping up and he has new firmware for electric unicycles and hoverboards.

  • Programming/Development


  • Flying taxis or futuristic tunnels won’t save us from the misery of traffic
  • The BMW Addiction That Completely Destroyed This Man’s Life

    The personnel at the ER reacted swiftly.

    “They put me on a 72-hour psych hold and sent me to a psychiatric hospital, which I’ll tell you is much worse than prison. They don’t want you to leave,” Terrance told me. “If you have good insurance, they want to keep you there. So after my 72-hour hold was up, they asked me to commit myself voluntarily. And when I refused to do that, they got a judge’s order to keep me locked up.”

    Terrance felt he was being held against his will. So he came up with a plan. “I told them I was calling my insurance company and canceling my insurance.”

    They released him immediately.

  • Science

    • An alternative to lithium-ion batteries

      Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) developed the nickel-zinc (Ni-Zn) batteries in which a three-imensional Zn “sponge” replaces the powdered zinc anode, or positively charged electrode, traditionally used.

      With 3D Zn, the battery provides an energy content and rechargeability that rival lithium-ion batteries while avoiding the safety issues that continue to plague lithium.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Every Republican who voted for this abomination must be held accountable

      It is no exaggeration to say that if it were to become law, this bill would kill significant numbers of Americans. People who lose their Medicaid, don’t go to the doctor, and wind up finding out too late that they’re sick. People whose serious conditions put them up against lifetime limits or render them unable to afford what’s on offer in the high-risk pools, and are suddenly unable to get treatment.

    • Measles outbreak rages after anti-vaccine groups target vulnerable community

      Minnesota is experiencing its largest measles outbreak since the 1990s following a targeted and intense effort by anti-vaccine groups there to spread the false belief that vaccinations cause autism.

      As of Thursday, health officials reported 41 confirmed cases, nearly all unvaccinated children from a Somali immigrant community in Hennepin County. The community has for years been a target of anti-vaccine groups, aided by Andrew Wakefield, a fraudulent former physician.

    • Plain Packaging For Tobacco Products: WTO Dispute Settlement Body Allegedly Backs Australia

      According to many media this morning, citing anonymous sources, the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body has reached a decision in a dispute challenging Australia’s tobacco product plain packaging law. Australia appears to have won the case. The WTO is non-committal and says only a “confidential interim report” has been circulated. Australia is not commenting.

      The much-awaited, postponed decision by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body on the case pitting Australia against Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Indonesia has, according to sources, been delivered, apparently backing Australia’s argument that its law requiring plain packaging for tobacco does not violate any WTO rules, including those on intellectual property rights.

  • Security

    • The Intel remote vulnerability is much, much worse than you thought

      Let’s take that again: a blank password to an always-open port sidesteps every single bit of authentication and security that is otherwise present.

    • The hijacking flaw that lurked in Intel chips is worse than anyone thought

      A remote hijacking flaw that lurked in Intel chips for seven years was more severe than many people imagined, because it allowed hackers to remotely gain administrative control over huge fleets of computers without entering a password. This is according to technical analyses published Friday.

    • The enduring myth of the hacker boy-band

      If it had seemed to infosec that the magazine might’ve had to go out of its way to find such an un-diverse group of hackers … turns out, it did. Thompson’s social media post revealed that during the course of reporting the story, there was “a meeting with the woman who runs the college’s official hacking group.”

    • SS7 flaw exploited by hackers to drain customers’ bank accounts

      The weakness within the protocol has been known about since 2014, and in January, criminals exploited it to bypass the two-factor authentication method that banks use to protect unauthorised withdrawals from online accounts, German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung has reported.

    • Google phishing attack was foretold by researchers—and it may have used their code

      The “Google Docs” phishing attack that wormed its way through thousands of e-mail inboxes earlier this week exploited a threat that had been flagged earlier by at least three security researchers—one raised issues about the threat as early as October of 2011. In fact, the person or persons behind the attack may have copied the technique from a proof of concept posted by one security researcher to GitHub in February.

    • WPSeku – A Vulnerability Scanner to Find Security Issues in WordPress

      WordPress is a free and open-source, highly customizable content management system (CMS) that is being used by millions around the world to run blogs and fully functional websites. Because it is the most used CMS out there, there are so many potential WordPress security issues/vulnerabilities to be concerned about.

    • Types of DDoS Attacks

      Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS) are a favorite attack method of hackers and hacktivists, in large part due to their simplicity. We list the different types of DDoS attacks and offer resources to stop DDoS attacks.

    • Using Emoji for fingerprint verification

      The messaging app Telegram recently introduced end-to-end encrypted voice calls. As most of you probably know, encryption without verification is pretty useless since there is the risk of man-in-the-middle attacks. I don’t want to get too much into details about this. The point I want to make is, that you should verify your partners fingerprint (hash of the used key) in order to be secure.

      The interesting part of Telegrams new feature is the way they verify fingerprints. Traditionally you are presented with a String of (typically hexadecimal – 0-9,A-F) characters. In the case of Conversations the fingerprint are 64 hexadecimal characters. Telegram on the other hand introduced the way of displaying 4 out of a set of 333 emojis (1). Note that this is only used to verify that the current voice call is secure. The next call would have a different fingerprint, so keep in mind, that we are talking about two different use cases here.

      Still, how do those two methods compare? Could we use emoji in conversations to verify the fingerprint of identity keys?

    • HandBrake For Mac Mirror Server Was Compromised And Infected With PROTON Malware

      HandBrake is an open-source and free transcoder for digital video files. It makes ripping a film from a DVD to a data storage device such as NAS boxes easier. HandBrake works Linux, macOS, and Windows. A Recent version of Handbrake for Mac and possibly other downloads at the same site infected with malware. If you have downloaded HandBrake on Mac between 2/May/2017 and 06/May/2017, you need to delete the file ASAP. HandBrake infected with a new variant of OSX.PROTON malware.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Pakistani, Saudi channels beam into Kashmiri homes, stoke ‘azadi’ rage

      Over 50 Saudi and Pakistani channels, including Zakir Naik’s banned Peace TV preaching Salafist Islam, and others indulging in anti-India propaganda are running without necessary clearances via private cable networks in Kashmir.

      All this is happening under the nose of the PDP-BJP government, which even subscribes to these cable services in some of its offices and buildings.

    • Trucks Don’t Kill People; Terrorists Driving Trucks Kill People

      The latest pretend protection of us by the TSA is to ask truck rental agencies to be more vigilant about who’s renting — though anyone with an IQ over room temperature realizes that somebody could just shoot somebody who’s already driving a truck and then go murder a bunch of people.

    • Germany searches all army barracks for Nazi material

      Inspections have been ordered at every German army barracks, after Nazi-era memorabilia was found at two of them.

      The defence ministry said the command came from the inspector general of the Bundeswehr (Germany’s armed forces).

      All barracks will be searched for material linked to the Wehrmacht, the army which served Adolf Hitler.

    • North Korea detains another U.S. citizen amid rising tensions, state media reports

      North Korea claimed it detained another U.S. citizen on Sunday, stoking further discord as the two countries face their biggest tensions in years.

      The North’s state media said Kim Hak Song, who worked at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, was arrested on Saturday on charges of “hostile acts” against the country. This would bring the tally to four U.S. citizens held by the reclusive nation.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Laura Poitras on Julian Assange: ‘Admirable, Brilliant, and Flawed’

      Laura Poitras’s new film Risk opens May 5. It documents six years in the life of Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks and controversial inhabitant of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Laura Poitras received the Oscar for Best Documentary for her previous film, Citizenfour, about Edward Snowden. She also won a Pulitzer Prize in 2014, and a MacArthur “Genius” Grant in 2012. This interview has been edited and condensed.

    • The government wants Julian Assange in jail. That could hurt the rest of us.

      Lady Gaga — all in black and wearing a witch’s hat — is interviewing Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he’s been holed up for years.

      As the pop star, in a bizarre scene from a new documentary, quizzes the WikiLeaks founder about everything from his legal problems to his favorite food, Assange interrupts: “Let’s not pretend for a moment I’m a normal person.”

      Indeed, in Laura Poitras’s film about Assange, “Risk,” he comes across as neither normal nor particularly sympathetic.

      Consider: He has been accused of rape in Sweden (he says he was entrapped and had to seek asylum from extradition); he has published leaked information that has intruded into private lives; and he may have helped Russian agents try to get Donald Trump elected president.

      But everyone who cares about the free press in America needs to understand something else, too.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Could making climate change a ‘pro-life’ issue bring conservatives on board?

      The terms “pro-life” and “pro-environment” are not normally linked, but a growing number of Christian leaders insist they should be.

      Pope Francis said so in his 2015 encyclical on the environment and human ecology. Now, the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), a nondenominational organization committed to “creation care,” is promoting the argument that if you value life from its conception, you should value a clean Earth for the rest of a child’s life and for future children.

    • Newly-signed federal spending bill spares energy research for 4 months

      On Friday afternoon, President Trump signed a bipartisan spending bill negotiated in the House to fund the federal government through September 30, 2017. The bill contained funding for energy-related programs and offices that the president has called to be defunded. And, late this week, the Department of Energy (DOE) internally announced a cancellation of its grant freeze.

    • EPA chief promises to recuse himself from lawsuits, advocates for coal

      Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt sent a memo to agency employees last week saying that he would recuse himself from lawsuits that he brought against the Agency as Oklahoma Attorney General, according to Reuters. Pruitt sued the EPA more than a dozen times under the Obama Administration, challenging policy from the Clean Power Plan to the Waters of the United States rule.

  • Finance

    • Greg Palast: Trump’s tax cuts are more evidence America’s greedy billionaires have staged a political coup

      Trump’s call for massive corporate tax cuts doesn’t just revive failed Reagan-era economic policies, it’s another sign of how America’s super-rich have staged a coup.

    • NYC’s New Tech to Track Every Homeless Person in the City

      New York is facing a crisis. The city that never sleeps has become the city with the most people who have no home to sleep in. As rising rents outpace income growth across the five boroughs, some 62,000 people, nearly 40 percent of them children, live in homeless shelters—rates the city hasn’t seen since the Great Depression.

    • Justice Department opens criminal probe into Uber

      In its earlier years, the company employed cutthroat tactics against its competitor Lyft At one point, Uber employees would summon Lyft drivers and then cancel rides. Kalanick once bragged about a feature, called “God View,” which it used to track a journalist and other noteworthy individuals. He has charged into legal battles with transportation regulators and taxi drivers in cities across the world.


      The European Commission is changing its approach to trade deals after strong headwinds jeopardized agreements with the U.S. and Canada.

    • The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked

      In June 2013, a young American postgraduate called Sophie was passing through London when she called up the boss of a firm where she’d previously interned. The company, SCL Elections, went on to be bought by Robert Mercer, a secretive hedge fund billionaire, renamed Cambridge Analytica, and achieved a certain notoriety as the data analytics firm that played a role in both Trump and Brexit campaigns. But all of this was still to come. London in 2013 was still basking in the afterglow of the Olympics. Britain had not yet Brexited. The world had not yet turned.


      In Britain, we still trust our government. We respect our authorities to uphold our laws. We trust the rule of law. We believe we live in a free and fair democracy. Which is what, I believe, makes the last part of this story so profoundly unsettling.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Emmanuel Macron stresses national unity in victory speech

      French President-elect Emmanuel Macron used his victory speech on Sunday to tell supporters of his far-right opponent that he understood their anger and promised to prioritize security and social policy.

      After being attacked for a seemingly over-the-top reaction to his first round win, Macron delivered a sober speech after defeating Marine Le Pen in a runoff vote. He stressed national unity and expressed respect to Le Pen for her campaign.

    • FCC to investigate, ‘take appropriate action’ on Colbert’s Trump rant [iophk: "Trump administration bends for Big Gay"]

      “The only thing your mouth is good at is being [Russian President] Vladimir Putin’s c—k holster,” he said of Trump.

    • Authorities vow to investigate hacking attack in French presidential campaign as voting begins Sunday

      It described the leak as a “real attempt to disrupt the French presidential election” and said it would be taking all steps to find out who was behind the “unusual operation.”

    • French election: Emmanuel Macron on course to defeat Marine Le Pen

      The paper said it was impossible to check the leaked files in time before the vote and the release of the files had the clear goal of harming the validity of the ballot at a time when the main interested parties are legally forbidden from responding to the allegations.

    • Fiery Le Pen or novice Macron?

      Le Pen firmly backs the Syrian regime and distanced herself from US President Donald Trump over recent US airstrikes targeting President Bashar Assad’s regime, and she is friendly with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Macron wants international pressure on Assad and to maintain sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.

    • France heads to polls after presidential race rocked by hacking scandal

      The vote is also being seen as a test for global populism and the future of the European Union.

    • Voting begins in final round of French presidential election

      Voting is underway in the final round of France’s presidential race after a massive online dump of frontrunner Emmanuel Macron’s campaign data delivered a final dramatic twist to the country’s most bruising, divisive and significant election in decades.

      The French election watchdog warned that it could be a criminal offence to publish the tens of thousands of hacked emails and other documents – some reportedly fake – amid an electioneering blackout lasting from midnight on Friday until polls close at 8pm on Sunday.

      The hack, on which neither Macron or his opponent, far-right leader Marine Le Pen, were allowed to comment publicly, was “clearly an attempt at democratic destabilisation, like that seen during the last presidential campaign in the US,” according to his En Marche! campaign team.

    • Nils Torvalds announces bid for presidency as Swedish People’s Party candidate

      Member of the European Parliament Nils Torvalds of the Swedish People’s Party of Finland has announced his bid for the presidency.

      The Swedish People’s Party of Finland will nominate its official presidential contender in June.

      According to Torvalds, the upcoming election will define Finland’s path in an ”increasingly complicated world”. In a press release, Torvalds writes that the debate around the elections will focus on foreign and security policy, global insecurities and environmental questions.

    • ProPublica’s Homophobic Witchhunt

      ProPublica writes “Steven Munoz [above] allegedly assaulted five freshmen. His hiring at the State Department raises further questions about the Trump administration’s vetting process.” The story lists accusations of unwanted sexual touching from 2009 that first surfaced in 2012 via a leaked email, when Munoz did some work for the Rick Santorum campaign. Munoz claimed the acts were consensual. All of the information is available via Google searches; no investigative journalism is needed.

      Upshot? A South Carolina prosecutor reviewed the case and its 200 pages of evidence and declined to seek an indictment in 2013.

      Accusations and an investigation that lead to no charges. That’s it.


      If it’s that the military academy did a poor job of investigating the allegations, then write that story. If the local prosecutor failed in her responsibilities, then investigate and write that story. If you have evidence Munoz is sexually assaulting people in his political appointee job today in Washington, let’s hear it. If you can find that the Trump vetting process uncovered evidence of Munoz’ guilt and hired him anyway, let’ see that headlined.

      But if all you are doing is resurfacing old, dismissed allegations of a salacious nature in hopes of embarrassing the administration and making yourself look like The Resistance for a news cycle, then, no, you are just conducting an old-fashioned witch hunt.

      Shame on you, ProPublica, and your organization’s otherwise proud record.

    • Reporters barred from Kushner Companies’ visa-for-investment event in China

      Organizers barred journalists on Sunday from a publicly advertised event in Shanghai that offered Chinese investors the chance to get U.S. immigrant visas if they put money in a real estate project linked to the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law.

      The two-tower luxury apartment complex in New Jersey, One Journal Square, is being developed by KABR Group and the Kushner Companies, which until recently was headed by senior White House advisor Jared Kushner, the husband of Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

    • #MacronLeaks Campaign Hits Resistance

      Extreme right-wing Twitter users in the United States and France continued to attack the centrist candidate in France’s presidential election, Emmanuel Macron. On Saturday, however, it appeared they were losing ground to opponents countering their attacks with mockery and accusations of Russian involvement.

    • French election: Turnout sharply down in Le Pen-Macron battle

      Turnout in the French presidential election is so far sharply down on the past two polls as voters choose between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.

      A turnout of 65.3% was recorded at 17:00 local time (15:00 GMT) in an unpredictable campaign that has divided the country.

      The bitterly fought poll was concluding on Sunday amid massive security.

      The final polling stations close at 20:00 (18:00 GMT), with the result set to be reported immediately afterwards.

    • French election authorities warn media – and public – not to publish #MacronLeaks documents
    • The Macron Leaks Probably Came Too Late to Change the French Election
    • French election: Le Pen to be crushed by Macron, early exit polls indicates
    • Emmanuel Macron wins election to become French president

      Le Pen says she has called Emmanuel Macron to congratulate him on his victory.

    • Macron wins French presidency by decisive margin over Le Pen
    • Five reasons why Macron won the French election

      Emmanuel Macron has triggered a political earthquake in French politics.

      A year ago, he was a member of the government of one the most unpopular French presidents in history.

      Now, at 39, he has won France’s presidential election, defeating first the mainstream centre left and centre right and now the far right as well.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • NSA stops one abuse, but many remain
    • Debate brews over eavesdropping on American citizens
    • Cyber-insecurity is a gift for hackers, but it’s our own governments that create it

      The political legitimacy of democratic capitalism, that unlikely political formation that has brought us the end of history and now presents itself as the only bulwark against rightwing extremism, rests on a clear distribution of functions between governments and corporations. The former take on the role of regulating the latter in order to protect the customers from the occasional harmful effects of the otherwise beneficial business activity.

    • Former NSA executive urges public vigilance against government overreach

      Thomas Drake still thinks about waking up a free man, instead of the lifelong prison term he was promised by the government he used to work for.

      Drake woke up Wednesday in a guesthouse on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. The former senior executive of the National Security Agency spoke at the college’s annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference last week as part of his second career: the whistleblower warning the nation about the rise of mass surveillance.

    • Feds propose heightened social media vetting of visa applicants

      The US State Department is opening the public comment period for a proposal that seeks to inspect social media accounts and other data of visa applicants the government believes may pose a danger.

      The new vetting, the State Department said, likely will only impact about 0.5 percent of visa applicants per year—roughly 65,000 people. The new vetting being proposed would apply to applicants “who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities,” according to a notice in the Federal Register by the State Department.

    • Miami Judge Says Compelling Password Production Isn’t A Fifth Amendment Issue

      Another small dart has been lodged in the thigh of the Fifth Amendment by the courts. A Miami, FL federal judge has ruled that defendants in a sex video extortion case must turn over their phones’ passwords.

    • Lawyer: Cops “deliberately misled” judge who seemingly signed off on stingray

      Defense attorney Martha Boersch has strong words for federal law enforcement’s warrantless use of cell-site simulators, better known as stingrays.

      Her client, Purvis Ellis, charged with attempted murder and racketeering, was tracked down to an East Oakland apartment in January 2013 with the help of not just one stingray, but two. Prosecutors initially insisted that only one stingray was used, but as was revealed last summer, that turned out to not be the case. The Oakland Police Department’s own stingray was seemingly insufficient, so officers then called in the FBI, both times without a warrant.

    • Are we heading for a new encryption war?

      More details of how the UK’s new surveillance law will operate have been revealed, in details about the use of encryption.

      Under draft regulations to support the new Investigatory Powers Act, the government will be able to issue ‘technical capability notices’ to companies with more than 10,000 UK users to make it easier for police, spy agencies and other government bodies to access their customers’ communications.

    • Government lays out plans for real time surveillance without encryption in leaked document
    • Snooper’s Charter: What you need to know about the Investigatory Powers Act

      A leaked draft statutory instruments document has detailed how the government is seeking to compel telecommunications operators to provide real time access to named individuals’ communications within one working day under the recently passed Investigatory Powers Act. This includes encrypted messages.

      The government also asks for the capability to “provide and maintain the capability to simultaneously intercept, or obtain secondary data” from 6,500 people at any one time.

    • Google’s dominance of search ads puts it ahead of Facebook, despite the latter’s fast growth
    • Facebook wants to launch its big attack on TV next month — here’s what we know

      Facebook plans to have roughly two-dozen shows for this initial push and has greenlit multiple shows for production, according to people familiar with the discussions. They said that the social network has been looking for shows in two distinct tiers: a marquee tier for a few longer, big-budget shows that would feel at home on TV, and a lower tier for shorter, less expensive shows of around 5-10 minutes in length that refreshes every 24 hours.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Germany set to ban Turkish citizens from voting in death penalty referendum
    • Dutch work to prevent Turkish death penalty vote
    • Dutch government will on voting rights if Turkey holds death penalty vote
    • Watch a cop’s staged body cam footage made “to look like it was done in real-time“

      In the footage, provided to Ars by Cajar’s attorney, Jensen reenacts the vehicle search at a local tow yard. Jensen later texted (PDF) a local Pueblo County prosecutor telling her that the video was staged. That prosecutor then alerted her superiors, and charges against Cajar were dropped.

    • Indian village bans women from using mobile phones outside homes

      The elders’ council or khap pranchayat of a predominantly Muslim village, Madora, have set the fine as large as 21,000 rupees (around $330) on those who break the ruling.

    • Majority of men in Middle East survey believe a woman’s place is in the home
    • Dozens of speakers to attend major conference on secularism and freedom of expression

      Organisers said the event will “highlight the voices of people on the frontlines of resistance – many of them persecuted and exiled – as well as address challenges faced by activists and freethinkers, elaborate on the links between democratic politics and free expression and conscience, promote secular and rights-based alternatives, and establish priorities for collective action.”

    • Boy, 10, killed in attempted blasphemy lynching in Pakistan

      A 10-year-old boy has been killed and five other people wounded after a mob attacked a police station in an attempt to lynch a Hindu man charged with blasphemy in south-west Pakistan, officials said. It was the third major vigilante attack linked to accusations of insulting Islam in less than a month, as law enforcement agencies struggle to deal with a surge in violence.

    • [PDF] Understanding Masculinities: Results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (Images) – Middle East and North Africa

      Support for female genital mutilation is high. Some 70 per cent of men, and more than half of women, approve of the practice.

    • FGM silences a woman’s most primal voice

      The cradle of Islamic civilization is rooted in tribalism, and in many tribal communities a woman’s anatomy is viewed through the periscope of reproduction, service, and control. Contained sexuality, including through FGM, is designed to limit a woman’s sexual experience to the framework of marriage and reproduction. Destroying the clitoris means destroying a woman’s ability to fully experience and enjoy sex, including using that experience to communicate her desire and enjoyment even with her husband. She exists simply for reproductive purposes or to service the needs of her husband. What it comes down to is control; it is much easier to control someone who cannot feel. This is not acceptable. We must all stand up for the right of women in all societies to fully develop all aspects of their being.

    • Courts Save Girl, 14, Abducted and Converted to Islam

      Sumbal’s family as well as the entire Christian community in the town now live in constant fear that Ahmed could involve the family or another community member in a false case of blasphemy, a routine occurrence used against minorities in Pakistan for settling personal scores.

    • Muslim Brotherhood in Desperate Campaign in US

      He said the Brotherhood is engaged in a fight for its life, playing all its cards – including using financial support from Turkey and Qatar and the Brotherhood lobby in America – to avoid being designated as a terror organization.

    • All India Muslim Personal Law Board should be abolished for the sake of Muslims: Taslima Nasreen

      AIMPLB was forced to take this stand in the face of searing criticism from different quarters for not ending a regressive practice like triple talaq. It wants to save its credibility. So, it asks for a social boycott of people divorcing wives through pronouncement of triple talaq in a single sitting. The decision to ask for social boycott is a slap in their face as it proves that the practice is despicable. But still they don’t want to dispense with it, perpetuating misogyny in the name of religion.

    • Police Union Sues Toy Gun Maker For Not Doing Enough To Keep Cleveland Cops From Killing 12-Year-Old Boys

      In the world of law enforcement, there’s very little more ridiculous than police unions. That’s the unfortunate side effect of feeling compelled to defend every “bad apple,” no matter how rotten they are. The Cleveland police union has reached the apotheosis of law enforcement spin — this time taking the form of a lawsuit that looks like a punchline.

    • Oklahoma Governor Signs Anti-Protest Law Imposing Huge Fines on “Conspirator” Organizations

      A statute aimed at suppressing protests against oil and gas pipelines has been signed into law in Oklahoma, as a related bill advances through the state legislature. The two bills are part of a nationwide trend in anti-protest laws meant to significantly increase legal penalties for civil disobedience. The Oklahoma law signed this week is unique, however, in its broad targeting of groups “conspiring” with protesters accused of trespassing. It takes aim at environmental organizations Republicans have blamed for anti-pipeline protests that have become costly for local governments.

      The statute Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin approved Wednesday was rushed into immediate effect under a provision that declared the situation “an emergency.” It will dramatically increase penalties against protesters who trespass on property containing a “critical infrastructure facility.”

    • Man: border agents threatened to “be dicks,” take my phone if I didn’t unlock it

      As he sat in a darkened corner of a neighborhood bar, Aaron Gach, an artist and lecturer at a local art college, told Ars about what happened to him in February 2017 episode at San Francisco International Airport, where he agreed to unlock his iPhone and have it be searched by border agents rather than risk being detained and delayed further.


      After he unlocked his iPhone SE, agents took it out of sight for five to 10 minutes before giving it back and sending him on his way. Gach still has no idea why.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • It’s Not Too Late to Save Net Neutrality From a Captured FCC

      The debate over net neutrality has always been much more than a technocratic squabble over controlling Internet pipes. What it’s really about is a far larger power struggle over access to information and people’s rights to express themselves politically and creatively. It’s also about the government’s role in ensuring a level playing field and preventing corporate monopolies from abusing a socially vital infrastructure.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Paper: National Laws, UPOV, Should Be Revised To Ensure Farmers Rights

      The right of farmers to use, exchange and sell farm-saved seeds should be ensured through national laws and a revision of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), so the objectives of another United Nations international treaty on plant genetic resources can be fulfilled, a recent research paper states.

      The South Centre recently published a research paper [pdf] entitled, “Implementing farmers’ rights relating to seeds,” authored by Carlos Correa, special advisor on trade and intellectual property at the intergovernmental South Centre.

    • Trademarks

      • US Entertainment Firm Milks Croatian Concert Promoter With Trademark Rights It May Never Have Owned

        We see all kinds of dumb and frustrating examples of trademark bullying here at Techdirt. From questionable claims of infringement entirely, to the over-policing of broad or generic terms that never should have been granted trademark protection to begin with, to vice-like licensing terms that appear to be designed more to put licensees out of business rather than building any kind of long-term business model out of trademark rights. That said, at least in most of these stories the offending party has the trademark its bullying with. That may not be the case when it comes to Worldwide Entertainment Group Inc., which is being sued by a Coatian festival promoter after being milked over a trademark the promoter says Worldwide doesn’t actually have.

    • Copyrights

      • The six worst recent hypocrisies of the copyright industry

        The copyright industry has been pushing for tougher penalties since at least 1905, and against access for the public to culture and knowledge since at least 1849, when they opposed public libraries in the UK. The message from this industry has been remarkably consistent. However, the actions of this industry are as consistently hypocritical as that lobbying message. Here are some of the worst recent examples

      • Microsoft Patents Technology to Block Pirated Content, Track Repeat Offenders

        With an overview of the infringements, the hosting provider can choose to limit the sharing permissions of users, or terminate their accounts if warranted.

      • ISP Lands Supreme Court Win Over Copyright Trolls

        This is an important decision that sends an important message to the licensees and Njord Law that the rule of law can not be set aside in their eagerness to deal with illegal file-sharing.


Links 6/5/2017: Docker 17.05.0, FreeNAS 11.0 Release Candidate

Posted in News Roundup at 4:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • MyRepublic sharpens competitive edge with open source

    Like any rapidly growing business, Singaporean internet service provider (ISP) MyRepublic faced bottlenecks with its legacy infrastructure that hampered its ability to enter new markets quickly.

  • Now build your digital business with Open Source

    Enterprise digital transformation, in many ways, is a race against time. Today’s ‘connected’ consumers and technologies are evolving faster than an enterprise can adapt. The old ways of delivering digital experience ought to be replaced by more agile and all-embracing newer methods.

    Increasingly, businesses are turning to Open Source to facilitate this change, as it outperforms proprietary technologies on quality, cost, customization, and security.

  • [GSoC 2017] 3D Hardware Acceleration in Haiku

    My name is Vivek (Trac: vivek-roy, IRC: vivu). I have been selected for Google Summer of Code 2017 to work with Haiku on the project 3D Hardware Acceleration in Haiku.

    The Mesa renderer in Haiku presently ventures into software rendering. Haiku uses software for rendering frame buffers and then writes them to the graphics hardware. The goal of my project is to port Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) Driver for i915, from the Linux kernel to Haiku with the help of DragonflyBSD’s Linux Compatibility layer, so that those drivers can be later extended to add OpenGL support (Mesa3D) for hardware accelerated 3D rendering.

  • Haiku’s Plans For OpenGL Hardware Acceleration On Intel

    One of the interesting 2017 Google Summer of Code projects is a student developer attempting to enable hardware OpenGL/3D acceleration support under the BeOS-inspired Haiku OS.

  • Does open source still matter?

    The message to the thousands of participants was clear: the open source development model that brings together creators and users of software to solve business and societal problems is winning.

    From Singapore’s myResponder app that activates volunteers within the vicinity of those suffering from heart attacks to the transformation of government services in Mexico, open source software has sparked some of the world’s most inspiring innovations.

    While these open source powered initiatives are laudable, will they still accomplish their goals if the underlying technologies they are using aren’t open source?

  • Open-source tech disruptive force in computing industry, says IBM

    In today’s world, going alone has few benefits. This is doubly true in the tech industry, as companies who do their own thing don’t just have to reinvent the wheel, but also maintain it forever after. Collaboration and partnerships are key to doing effective business, and a common meeting ground for such collaboration is open-source technology, according to Jim Wasko (pictured), vice president of open systems development at IBM.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Welcome, GSoC’17 students!

      Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a global program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development during their holiday break. The Document Foundation and LibreOffice participate every year, and we are happy to announce three accepted projects aimed to improve usability.

  • Funding

    • Seneca Open Source researcher’s $1-million grant renewed for five years

      With funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Seneca Professor Chris Tyler will build on five years as an Industrial Research Chair for Colleges (IRCC) with expanded research into open source software that can run on low-energy, high-performance computers.

  • BSD

    • FreeNAS 11.0 Open-Source Storage Operating System to Be Based on FreeBSD 11

      iXsystems’ Kris Moore announced the general availability of a first Release Candidate (RC) milestone of the upcoming FreeNAS 11.0 open-source storage operating system.

      It appears that this Release Candidate is also the first public development build of FreeNAS 11.0, as the team thoroughly tested the operating system for the past several months and decided that it’s stable enough to be promoted straight to the RC state. As its version number suggests, development is currently based on the FreeBSD 11-STABLE operating system.

    • FreeNAS 11.0 Release Candidate Up For Testing
    • FreeNAS 11.0-RC now Available
    • pfSense 2.3.4 Open-Source Firewall Update Brings System Stability Improvements

      A new maintenance update was released for the pfSense 2.3.x stable series of the open-source and free firewall distribution based on the latest FreeBSD technologies.

      pfSense software version 2.3.4 comes more than two months after the pfSense 2.3.3 update, and promises to bring even more system stability improvements and bug fixes, security patches, as well as a bunch of new features. First off, this release is based on FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE-p19.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source growth in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

      Nearly half of all municipalities (960 out of 2000) in France’s former Bourgogne (Burgundy) region (now Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) are relying on open source-based services for several administrative tasks. The services are attracting many other public administrations, including schools, hospitals and government-run retirement homes.

    • Majority of towns in Wallonia now use open source

      The majority (75%) of municipalities in the Walloon region of Belgium are now using open source software and services. In the region 261 cities, towns, villages and other public administrations are using 8 open source-based solutions that are centrally managed and maintained by Intercommunale de Mutualisation Informatique et Organisationnelle (IMIO), an IT service provider set up in 2011 by the Walloon government.

    • Finland’s Oskari GIS platform aims to go global

      Oskari, the online geographic map-building tool that was originally developed by the National Land Survey of Finland, is joining the OSGeo foundation, hoping to become one of the world’s standard open source Geographic Information Solutions. “The Oskari network now includes 33 members, mostly public administrations but also 13 companies, and the software is translated into 14 languages”, said Jani Kylmäaho, head of development at the land survey.

    • Italy creates digital transformation team

      On 24 March, the government of Italy started ‘Developers Italia’ a digital government transformation team and software development community focusing on open source software development. Software solutions and software libraries are to be published on GitHub, published under the MIT licence.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Java modular battle heats up as Oracle criticizes Red Hat, IBM

      Amid a budding controversy surrounding the module system planned for Java, Oracle’s chief Java architect, Mark Reinhold, lashed out today at Red Hat and IBM’s opposition, saying the companies are simply guarding their own interests.

      In an open letter to the Java Community Process (JCP) Executive Commitee published Friday morning, Reinhold was highly critical of the two rival vendors. The current disagreement centers on Java Specification Request 376, which focuses on the module system featured as part of Project Jigsaw. Red Hat Middleware initially agreed to the goals and requirements of the JSR, but then worked consistently to undermine them, Reinhold said.

    • Oracle rethinks modular Java plan after Red Hat’s objections

      Oracle’s chief Java architect has proposed tweaks to Java’s modular plan. The revisions were said to be not in response to recent objections by Red Hat and IBM, but they do appear to address one of the concerns.

      In a post to an openjdk mailing list on Thursday, a proposal by Oracle’s Mark Reinhold, chief architect of the Java platform group, centers on an “AutomaticModuleNames” feature. He also referenced the plan on his twitter feed, tweeting, “Module names should be reverse-DNS and so automatic modules can be given stable names.” An Oracle representative said the proposal was just ongoing work on issues that continue to be under discussion and was separate from Red Hat and IBM’s issues.

    • Declarative vs. Imperative paradigms

      At first glance you will notice that one of these remotes is dark, and the other is light. You might also notice that my photography skills are terrible. Neither of these facts is very important to the discussion at hand. Is there anything interesting that you can infer?

    • NASA wants YOU (to make its Fortran code run faster)

      NASA has teamed up with two technology crowdsourcing organizations in an effort to put some of its supercomputer code into afterburner mode. In an announcement on May 2, the director of NASA’s Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program (TACP) launched the High Performance Fast Computing Challenge, an effort to accelerate NASA’s Modern Fortran-based computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, FUN3D.

    • RcppEigen


  • Health/Nutrition

    • At FDA, TVs now turned to Fox News and can’t be switched

      Attention viewers at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Televisions will now be tuned to Fox News.

      CBS News has confirmed an email was sent to researchers at the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research responding to apparent efforts to change the channel on internal television screens. The email from “[White Oak] Digital Display” sent on Wednesday, May 3, was sent to inform the researchers of the “reason for the change from CNN to Fox.” White Oak is the name of the FDA’s campus.

    • There’s a federal law to lower drug prices—and Louisiana may just use it

      An obscure federal patent law that has been on the books for more than a century gives the government the power to drag down soaring drug prices, Kaiser Health News reports.

      Dr. Rebekah Gee, Louisiana’s health secretary, is trying to rally bipartisan support to use the law—US Code Section 1498 under Title 28—to bring down the staggering prices of patented hepatitis C drugs for the state. The price of these drugs alone could cripple the state’s budget. If she’s successful, the legal maneuver could bring down prices for all 50 states—and be used to help reduce the price of other drugs. But to get there, she’ll not only need state support but a sign-off from the Trump administration.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The CIA has a long history of helping to kill leaders around the world

      Some of the most notorious of the CIA’s operations to kill world leaders were those targeting the late Cuban president, Fidel Castro. Attempts ranged from snipers to imaginative plots worthy of spy movie fantasies, such as the famous exploding cigars and a poison-lined scuba-diving suit.

      But although the CIA attempts proved fruitless in the case of Castro, the US intelligence agency has since 1945 succeeded in deposing or killing a string of leaders elsewhere around the world – either directly or, more often, using sympathetic local military, locally hired criminals or pliant dissidents.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Green Activists Beaten While Investigating Pollution in Shandong

      Two environmental volunteers were attacked on Wednesday while attempting to investigate a possible case of industrial pollution in eastern China.

      Xiao Jiang and Zhang Wenbin, volunteers at the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation, a national environmental protection nonprofit, were followed, surrounded, and beaten by more than a dozen men. The volunteers had received a tip from a villager that a factory in Sishui County, near Jining City in Shandong province, was responsible for two large pits of waste water that had contaminated the environment.

      Xiao told Sixth Tone that when they were driving in the area, they suspected they were being followed. When they tried to turn their car around, several men on electric bikes blocked the road and attacked them when they got out of their vehicle.

  • Finance

    • The six Brexit traps that will defeat Theresa May

      “It’s yours against mine.” That’s how Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister, put it to me during our first encounter in early 2015 – referring to our respective democratic mandates.

      A little more than two years later, Theresa May is trying to arm herself with a clear democratic mandate ostensibly to bolster her negotiating position with European powerbrokers – including Schäuble – and to deliver the optimal Brexit deal.

      Already, the Brussels-based commentariat are drawing parallels: “Brits fallen for Greek fallacy that domestic vote gives you stronger position in Brussels. Other countries have voters too,” tweeted Duncan Robinson, Brussels correspondent of the Financial Times. “Yep,” tweeted back Miguel Roig, the Brussels correspondent of Spanish financial daily Expansión. “Varoufakis’ big miscalculation was to think that he was the only one in the Eurogroup with a democratic mandate.”

    • Theresa May’s Brexit Britain can no longer be considered a serious country

      For many years now the logo “Keep calm and carry on” has been a huge hit across Europe. You can find it on posters, T-shirts and mugs – both the original text as distributed in 1939, to steel the British people for the war to come, as well as many “funny” variations. The slogan’s popularity is easy to understand as it unites the most important positive stereotypes about Britain in Europe: a pragmatic and liberal island people who were on the right side in the second world war.

    • Germany proposed charging Britain for EU single market access: magazine

      German government officials have proposed giving Britain access to the European Union’s single market in return for a fee, Focus magazine said on Saturday citing a Finance Ministry report.

      The 35-page report on the potential costs of Brexit to Germany said Britain’s departure from the EU risked “serious economic and stability relevant consequences; effects in particular on the real economy.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Macron campaign emails appear to be leaked online

      A large trove of emails purporting to be from the campaign of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron was posted online late on Friday, 1-1/2 days before voters go to the polls to choose the country’s next president in a run-off with Marine Le Pen.

    • French election: Macron takes action over offshore claims

      The frontrunner in the race for the French presidency, Emmanuel Macron, has filed a lawsuit over online rumours that he has a secret bank account in the Caribbean.

      Prosecutors in Paris have opened an investigation following his complaint.

      The news came after the centrist, pro-EU candidate was regarded as having come out on top in the final TV debate ahead of Sunday’s run-off vote.

      His far-right adversary, Marine Le Pen, referred to the claims in the debate.

      He replied: “That is defamation.”

    • Macron campaign says it was the victim of ‘massive hacking’

      The political party of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron said its computer systems were hacked, after thousands of emails and electronic documents purporting to come from the campaign were posted anonymously on the internet Friday evening.

      The files had been obtained several weeks ago from the personal and work email accounts of party officials, according to a statement from Macron’s party, En Marche!, or On the Move. The file dump comes less than two days before the final round of France’s presidential race, which pits Macron against far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen.

    • Macron condemns ‘massive’ hacking attack as documents leaked

      The campaign of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron says it has been the target of a “massive hacking attack” after a trove of documents was released online.

      The campaign said that genuine files were mixed up with fake ones in order to confuse people.

      It said that it was clear the hackers wanted to undermine Mr Macron ahead of Sunday’s second round vote.

      The centrist will face off against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

    • French Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign says it has been the victim of a massive hacking operation

      French Presidential favourite Emmanuel Macron’s political movement claimed it has been the victim of “massive and co-ordinated hack”.

      A large trove of emails from the campaign were posted online. They were among around nine gigabytes of data posted by a user called EMLEAKS to Pastebin, a document-sharing site that allows anonymous posting.

      Researchers from a Japanese anti-virus firm claim the centrist politician has been targeted by Russian hackers.

    • Hours Before French Election, Macron Claims to Be Victim of Hack

      A significant leak containing tens of thousands of emails, pictures and file attachments from French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has been publicized for the world to see, roughly 36 hours before the people of France select their next president.

    • Macron team blasts ‘massive hacking attack’ on eve of vote

      The campaign team of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron on Friday confirmed it had suffered a “massive and coordinated hacking attack” after internal documents were released online, slamming an attempt at “democratic destabilisation”.

      “The files circulating were obtained several weeks ago due to the hacking of the personal and professional mailboxes of several party officials,” Macron’s En Marche! (On The Move) party said in a statement, just as campaigning officially ended ahead of Sunday’s election.

    • As bitter French campaign ends, Macron’s team hit by hack

      Far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said Friday she believes she can pull off a surprise victory in France’s high-stakes runoff Sunday, while independent front-runner Emmanuel Macron suffered a document leak that his team called a bid to throw the vote.

      In an interview with The Associated Press in the final hours of a hostile, topsy-turvy campaign, Le Pen said that win or lose, “we changed everything.” She claimed an “ideological victory” for her populist, anti-immigrant worldview in an election that could change Europe’s direction.

    • Macron’s French presidential campaign emails leaked online
    • Macron campaign blasts ‘massive hacking attack’ ahead of French presidential election

      Former economy minister Macron’s team has already complained about attempts to hack it systems during a fraught campaign, blaming Russian interests in part for the cyber attacks.

      On April 26, the team said it had been the target of a series of attempts to steal email credentials since January, but that the perpetrators had so far failed to compromise any campaign data.

    • French presidential frontrunner Macron’s emails leaked after alleged hack

      Private emails from the campaign of the leading candidate in France’s presidential election, Emmanuel Macron, have been posted online by an unknown source. The politician confirmed the leak in a statement, warning that this was, like other recent hacks, an attempt to interfere with the election and that fabricated content was mixed in with genuine emails.

    • Macron team blast ‘massive cyber attack’ ahead of French presidential election

      It accused those behind the attack of trying to destabilise Sunday’s presidential run-off, comparing it to emails leaked from Hillary Clinton’s US presidential campaign.

      “Their publication makes internal documents public but has no reason to worry us as far as the legality and conformity of the documents is concerned,” Mr Macron’s campaign said in a statement.

    • Emmanuel Macron’s campaign confirms ‘massive’ email hack days before French presidential election

      The French did invent the phrase déjà vu.

      Large troves of emails from French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron appeared to have leaked online Friday, two days before the country heads to one of its most important elections in decades.

      A user named EMLEAKS posted nine gigabytes of data to a document-sharing site, though it is unclear who is behind the breach that accessed the emails.

      The centrist Macron’s party En Marche! (Onwards!) confirmed what is said was a large-scale attack.

    • Macron’s team says it suffered ‘massive’ cyber attack

      French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign team says it has been the target of a “massive and coordinated” hacking attack.

      His campaign said in a statement late Friday night that some campaign emails and financial documents were hacked a few weeks ago and are now being circulated on social media, but that they have been mixed with false documents.

    • Macron’s French presidential campaign emails leaked online

      French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign said on Friday it had been the target of a “massive” computer hack that dumped its campaign mails online 1-1/2 days before voters go to the polls to choose between the centrist and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

    • Macron’s French Presidential Campaign Emails Leaked Online
    • Hackers emit 9GB of stolen Macron ‘emails’ two days before French presidential election

      It is not clear how much of the data dump is legit and authentic, although Team Macron reckons hackers have indeed swiped at least some of its documents and spread them on the web.

      “The En Marche! Movement has been the victim of a massive and coordinated hack this evening which has given rise to the diffusion on social media of various internal information,” the statement said.

    • The Latest: France’s election commission studies hack attack

      The commission said it would hold a meeting early Saturday to discuss the attack.

      It urged French media not to publish the documents, warning that some of them are “probably” fake.

    • France election: Macron team suffers ‘massive hacking attack’
    • French Presidential election: Emmanuel Macron’s campaign emails hacked

      French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign has complained of being the victim of a “massive and coordinated hacking attack”, a statement said.

      The socio-liberal candidate’s team issued the statement late on Friday saying the hacking has lead to the diffusion of “various internal information” on the social media, Xinhua news agency reported.

    • #MacronLeaks: Macron’s campaign hit by hacking attack

      French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign says it has been the target of a “massive” computer hack that dumped its emails online, just over 24 hours before voters go to the polls to choose between the centrist and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

      Macron’s political movement En Marche! (Onwards!) said the release of thousands of emails, accounting documents and other files was an attempt at “democratic destabilisation, like that seen during the last presidential campaign in the United States”.

    • French election probe as Macron team claims it has been the target of hackers

      France’s election campaign commission is investigating a hacking attack on presidential favourite Emmanuel Macron’s political movement and the leaking of documents online.

      The commission said it would hold a meeting early on Saturday to discuss the attack that Mr Macron’s team said was a bid to destabilise Sunday’s vote.

    • As France becomes latest target, are election hacks the new normal?

      The mass document dump looks likely to become an inevitable part of modern elections.

      After the hacking of the Democratic party in the 2016 US election and the dumping of embarrassing emails through WikiLeaks, French and German governments have been braced for similar attacks during their own elections.

    • Email dump hits French candidate Macron ahead of election

      Another political campaign has been hit by an email dump. This time, the target is French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

      On Friday, his campaign said a massive and coordinated hack had breached the email inboxes of several staffers. This came after a mysterious user named “EMLEAKS” apparently dumped the stolen data through torrent files on text storage site Pastebin.

      It’s unclear if the information in the dump is genuine. Allegedly, the dump contains a 9GB trove of emails and photos. The torrent files, which were hosted on Archive.org, are no longer available there.

    • French election commission probes Macron campaign hacking

      France’s election campaign commission is investigating a hacking attack on presidential favourite Emmanuel Macron’s political movement and the leaking of documents online.

      The commission said it would hold a meeting early on Saturday to discuss the attack that Mr Macron’s team said was a bid to destabilise Sunday’s vote.

    • France’s Macron has campaign emails leaked online one day before election

      French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign team said late on Friday that it had been the victim of a “massive and coordinated” hacking attack.

      The campaign team said in a statement that internal communications and financial documents had been hacked a few weeks ago and were now being circulated across social media at the 11th hour of one of the most dramatic presidential elections in French history. Whoever was behind the leak had sought to “seed doubt and misinformation” a day before Sunday’s final run-off vote for the French presidency.

    • French campaign watchdog examines election-eve Macron leak

      The perpetrators remain unknown. While the hack is shaking up the already head spinning campaign, it’s unclear whether the document dump would dent Macron’s large poll lead over far-right Marine Le Pen going into the vote.

    • French election probe as Macron team claims it has been the target of hackers

      The commission urged French media not to publish the documents, warning that some of them were “probably” fake.

      Under French electoral law there is a blackout on Saturday and most of Sunday on any campaigning and media coverage seen as swaying the election, to allow voters a period of reflection before casting their ballots.

    • French campaign watchdog examines election-eve Macron leak
    • French election commission probes Macron campaign hacking

      Under French electoral law there is a blackout on Saturday and most of Sunday on any campaigning and media coverage seen as swaying the election, to allow voters a period of reflection before casting their ballots.

    • French presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron target of ‘massive and coordinated’ hack

      The commission overseeing the French campaign said in a statement that it is holding a meeting early Saturday after being informed of the hack and leak.

    • Emmanuel Macron emails posted online in ‘massive’ hacking operation

      On the eve of the most consequential French presidential election in decades, the staff of the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron said late Friday that the campaign had been targeted by a “massive and coordinated” hacking operation, one with the potential to destabilize the nation’s democracy before voters go to the polls on Sunday.

    • Probe into origin of online claim that French presidential candidate Macron set up secret entity on Nevis

      French prosecutors opened a probe Thursday into a suspected attempt to tar French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron after anonymous files ricocheted across the internet suggesting he had created a shell company on the Caribbean island of Nevis, where officials said they have no record of any such entity.

    • French election watchdog launches investigation into ‘massive hacking attack’ on Emmanuel Macron

      The French election commission is investigating a hacking attack on presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, just a day before the country goes to the polls.

      The watchdog, which is due to hold a meeting about the hack later on Saturday, warned the media that republishing details of the hacked documents could be a criminal offence.

      Mr Macron’s campaign said on Friday night it had been the target of a “massive” computer hack that dumped its campaign emails online as French voters prepare to choose between the centrist politician and his far-right rival, Marine Le Pen, in the final round of the country’s presidential elections on Sunday.

    • French election: Media warned not to publish hacked Macron emails

      The media has been warned not to publish the contents of hacked emails from Emmanuel Macron’s presidential campaign.

      France’s electoral commission has said any organisations that circulate information from the leaked messages may be committing a criminal offence.

    • French election: Media warned not to publish hacked Macron emails

      The media has been warned not to publish the contents of hacked emails from Emmanuel Macron’s presidential campaign.

      France’s electoral commission has said any organisations that circulate information from the leaked messages may be committing a criminal offence.

    • Hackers hit Macron campaign with ‘massive’ attack

      The campaign team of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron says it has been the victim of a “massive and co-ordinated” hacking operation ahead of Sunday’s election.

      Around nine gigabytes of data were posted online to Pastebin, a document-sharing site that allows anonymous posting. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for releasing the files.

    • It’s now time to say: Congratulations President Macron

      There is perhaps some remote mathematical chance that France’s new elected monarch will be struck down by a meteor before he is officially inaugurated in a grand parade on the Champs Elysée on May 14th, amidst a 21-gun salute, helicopters flying overhead, the Garde Républicaine in full-dress uniform on shining horses, generals posed upright in their ceremonial 4x4s, bands playing, bunting flapping.

      Barring that, Mr President, you appear to have played a blinder, winning the keys to the Elysée in what appears to have been a stunning political insurgency, and you have done so promising to reform an immobilised French economy.

    • Polls suggest Macron set to defeat Le Pen in 2nd round of French presidential election

      Emmanuel Macron is poised to beat Marine Le Pen when French voters head to the polls in the second round of their country’s presidential election on Sunday.

      Macron, a centrist, has a wide lead in public opinion polls over the the far-right Le Pen. Macron is a 39-year-old former banker with only a few years of government experience who’s mounting his first campaign as a politician.

      His prospective victory, however, appears to pertain more to a desire by French voters to deny Le Pen the presidency rather than any strong enthusiasm for Macron.

    • French campaign watchdog examines election-eve Macron leak

      Polls consider Mr Macron the favourite going into Sunday’s runoff against far-right leader Marine Le Pen, and it’s unclear whether the document leak would sway the vote at this late stage.

    • French media rules prohibit election coverage over weekend

      At midnight on Saturday, France entered an electoral “discretionary period” that prohibits French media from quoting the presidential candidates or their supporters until polls close at 8pm Sunday.

      This period of legal prohibition on campaign communications is observed for 44 hours before every French presidential and legislative election.

      “Starting from the night before polls open, it is illegal to publish or broadcast by all means of communication any message that may be categorised as electoral propaganda,” France’s Superior Audiovisual Council, or CSA, said in a statement.

    • French media warned not to publish Friday’s hacked emails of centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron

      France’s election commission on Sunday released a statement saying that any news organization that publishes information leaked from the hacking attack targeting presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron‘s campaign could be subject to a criminal offense, France 24 reported.

    • French watchdog: Macron data mixed in with fake news in leak

      France’s election campaign commission said Saturday “a significant amount of data” has been leaked on social networks following a hacking attack on centrist Emmanuel Macron’s presidential campaign.

      The attack came 36 hours before the nation votes Sunday in a crucial presidential runoff between Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. Voting already began Saturday in France’s overseas territories and embassies abroad.

    • France fights to keep Macron email hack from distorting election

      France sought to keep a computer hack of frontrunner Emmanuel Macron’s campaign emails from influencing the outcome of the country’s presidential election with a warning on Saturday it could be a criminal offence to republish the data.

    • French election: Macron hack details ‘must not be spread’

      The French media and public have been warned not to spread details about a hacking attack on presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

      Strict election rules are now in place and breaching them could bring criminal charges, the election commission said.

      A trove of documents – said to mix genuine files with fake ones – was released online shortly before campaigning ended on Friday.

      The centrist Mr Macron faces far-right candidate Marine Le Pen on Sunday.

    • French election: Hollande vows ‘response’ to Macron hack attack

      French President François Hollande has promised to “respond” after a hacking attack targeted presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

      He gave no further details but said he knew of the risks of such attacks because they had “happened elsewhere”.

      The French media and public have been warned that spreading details of the attack would breach strict election rules and could bring criminal charges.

      The centrist Mr Macron faces far-right candidate Marine Le Pen on Sunday.

      A trove of documents – said to mix genuine files with fake ones – was released online shortly before campaigning ended on Friday.

      Mr Hollande told Agence France-Presse on a visit to a cultural centre: “We knew that there were these risks during the presidential campaign because it happened elsewhere. Nothing will go without a response.”

    • Emmanuel Macron email leaks ‘linked to Russian-backed hackers who attacked Democratic National Committee’

      Vitali Kremez, director of research with US-based cyber intelligence firm Flashpoint, said his analysis indicated that APT 28, a group tied to Russia’s GRU military intelligence directorate, was behind the leak.

    • The troubling history at the heart of the French election

      For Le Pen – the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, a convicted Holocaust denier who repeatedly has dismissed the Nazi gas chambers as a “detail of history” – the past is nothing to be ashamed of. Last month, she remarked on national television that France bore no responsibility for an infamous Paris roundup during the Holocaust, when French authorities arrested some 13,000 Jews, soon deported to their deaths.

    • Prince Trubetskoy Plans to Vote for Le Pen, Says Macron ‘Came Out of Blue’

      Prince Trubetskoy said that he would vote for right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen in the second round of French presidential election.

    • In France, strict election laws mean there’s near silence on massive campaign hack

      In France Saturday, there is near silence about 9 gigabytes of leaked documents from the campaign of presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

      The collection of emails, spending spreadsheets, and more, appeared on the internet Friday night. Yet Saturday morning, there is absolutely nothing on French TV or radio, and very little on the websites of major newspapers.

      This is due to a French law that says the day before an election should be a day of reflection. Starting at midnight Saturday and continuing until the polls close Sunday, campaigning is prohibited along with any kind of speech meant to influence the race. Hence the silence.

    • French election: ‘It’s time for a big political shake-up’

      And what of Marine’s contender, the youthful newcomer Macron? ‘I think he has the ability to be a statesman. He brings something new to this country’. He adds that, with the end of the ‘monopoly’ on French politics of the two mainstream parties, it works in Macron’s favour that he is not a member of a party. However, he says the real challenge for Macron will be gaining a majority in the parliamentary elections in June. He makes an excellent point. Whoever wins on Sunday, the presidential election is only the first hurdle.

    • French elections 2017: Polls and odds tracker

      According to recent polling by Elabe, he would take 65 per cent of the vote in a second-round run-off against Le Pen.

    • Emmanuel Macron Email Hack: France Takes Hard Line On Attack

      France took a hard line Saturday over a huge trove of documents hacked from presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron’s campaign, warning on the eve of the election that anyone spreading them could face criminal charges.

    • Hashtag Campaign: #MacronLeaks

      With less than two days to go before the final round of the French Elections, an emerging hashtag campaign, #MacronLeaks, was amplified throughout multiple social media platforms. #MacronLeaks reached 47,000 tweets in just three and a half hours after the initial tweet. This hashtag guided users to an alleged, possibly 9 GB, leak of Emmanuel Macron’s “campaign emails,” reportedly showing evidence of offshore accounts, tax evasion, and a slew of other nefarious activities.

    • U.S. Far-Right Activists Promote Hacking Attack Against Macron

      After months of trying to move the political needle in favor of Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election, American far-right activists on Saturday threw their weight behind a hacking attack against her rival, Emmanuel Macron, hoping to cast doubt on an election that is pivotal to France and the wider world.

      The efforts were the culmination of a monthslong campaign against Mr. Macron after his candidacy began to gain steam this year, with digital activists in the United States and elsewhere regularly sharing tactics, tips and tricks across the English- and French-speaking parts of the internet.

      It is unclear whether the leaked documents, which some experts say may be connected to hackers linked to Russia, will affect the outcome of the election on Sunday between Ms. Le Pen, the far-right candidate from the National Front, and Mr. Macron, an independent centrist. But the role of American far-right groups in promoting the breach online highlights their growing resolve to spread extremist messages beyond the United States.

    • French media warned not to publish Emmanuel Macron leaks

      Le Monde said it had seen part of the documents. It said the hacking attack was “clearly aimed at disturbing the current electoral process”. The paper said it would not publish the content of any pirated document before the second round vote was over and the results known at 8pm on Sunday.

      About 9GB of data was posted by a user called EMLEAKS to the document-sharing site Pastebin, which allows anonymous posting. It was not immediately clear who was responsible.

      The documents were posted as #MacronLeaks on social networks in the .eml format and linked to Pastebin. Le Monde reported that the first documents were relayed via the 4chan forum, which it said was favoured by far-right American groups and on English-language, pro-Trump Twitter accounts. They were then relayed to WikiLeaks.

    • MacronLeaks is final twist in surreal French election campaign

      Macron had already become, by far, the most targeted candidate by hackers during the campaign. In February, his movement’s computer systems were attacked by hackers based in Ukraine and needed to be shut down for several hours.

    • ‘Macronleaks’: Hackers find flaw in French cyber-fortress

      On April 25, a report by Japanese cyber-security company Trend Micro, blamed a so-called “phishing” attack targetting the Macron campaign on Russian hacking group Pawn Storm, also known as Fancy Bears, Tsar Team and APT28.

    • French Candidate Emmanuel Macron Says Campaign Has Been Hacked, Hours Before Election

      Wikileaks posted 9 gigabytes of Macron’s campaign data, which is said to include both real and fake documents. Fingers are being pointed at Russia, though the Kremlin denies involvement.

    • France warns republishing Macron’s hacked data before election could be a criminal offense

      France sought to keep a computer hack of frontrunner Emmanuel Macron’s campaign emails from influencing the outcome of the country’s presidential election with a warning on Saturday it could be a criminal offense to republish the data.

      Macron’s team said a “massive” hack had dumped emails, documents and campaign financing information online just before campaigning ended on Friday and France entered a quiet period that forbids politicians from commenting on the leak.

    • French election overshadowed by leak of hacked or fake documents from Emmanuel Macron’s campaign

      French voters will choose their next president on Sunday after a final campaign that has been scrappy, ill-tempered and overshadowed in the home run by a hacking attack.

      Just before a Friday midnight deadline that requires candidates to stop campaigning, front-runner Emmanuel Macron was hit with the leak of thousands of campaign documents — some allegedly fake — in what his team called a “massive and coordinated” attempt to upset the election.

    • There Are No “Macron Leaks” in France. Politically Motivated Hacking Is Not Whistleblowing.

      The point of the dump, then, appears to be less about providing real evidence to back up the rumors and innuendo Marine Le Pen’s supporters have been spreading about Macron for months, and more a way to reinforce the fact-free speculation the candidate herself engaged in during a televised debate this week — that her rival, a former investment banker, might be hiding something that would discredit him, like an offshore account.

    • The Latest: French cybersecurity agency to probe Macron hack
    • Fight to stop Macron hack distorting poll

      Mr Macron’s team had suggested that Russia may have had an inte
      rest in orchestrating the cyberattacks, but the Kremlin has denied any involvement.

    • French elections: France’s Hollande promises ‘response’ to Macron election hack

      French President Francois Hollande on Saturday promised a response to the hacking of centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign following the publication online of thousands of stolen emails and documents.

      “We knew that there were these risks during the presidential campaign because it happened elsewhere. Nothing will go without a response,” he told AFP during a visit of a cultural institute in Paris.

    • Twitter bots are being weaponized to spread information on the French presidential campaign hack
    • Macron is en route to the Elysée, but may find it hard to govern

      One of the most extraordinary French presidential election campaigns in recent history took a sinister final twist with claims that frontrunner Emmanuel Macron was the target of a “massive and coordinated hacking attack” just hours before polls open on Sunday.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Texas police officer charged with murder in shooting of black 15-year-old boy who was leaving party

      A Texas police officer has been charged with murder after the shooting of a black 15-year-old boy, a lawyer for the teenager’s family said.

      Jordan Edwards had left a party and was in a car moving away from the officer when he opened fire.

      A warrant has been issued authorising the arrest of former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver to face a charge of murder, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement posted on Twitter by a reporter for local television station WFAA.

    • Newly-Immigrated Muslim Women Honor Killed in Sweden

      A growing phenomenon of honor killings in Sweden is being reported among newly-arrived Muslim women. The Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet published one such report, detailing the murder of a young mother named Bina who immigrated to Sweden from Iran.

      Seven months after Bina (not her real name) arrived in Mariannelund, she was killed by her husband after she decided to separate from him and remove her hijab.

      Bina was one of six women killed in 2016 shortly after arriving in Sweden.

    • Cop fakes body cam footage, prosecutors drop drug charges

      Prosecutors in Pueblo, Colorado are dropping felony drug and weapon-possession charges after an officer involved in the case said he staged body cam footage so he could walk “the courts through” the vehicle search that led to the arrest.

      The development means that defendant Joseph Cajar, 36, won’t be prosecuted on allegations of heroin possession and of unlawful possession of a handgun. The evidence of the contraband was allegedly found during a search of Cajar’s vehicle, which was towed after he couldn’t provide an officer registration or insurance during a traffic stop. Officer Seth Jensen said he found about seven grams of heroin and a .357 Magnum in the vehicle at the tow yard. But the actual footage of the search that he produced in court was a reenactment of the search, the officer told prosecutors.

    • UK’s New ‘Digital Economy’ Law Somehow Now Gives Police The Power To Remotely Kill Phone Service

      The UK’s long-gestating Digital Economy Act has finally gone into force. The law is mainly interested in porn and pirates — two issues most of the UK public is far less interested in having subjected to intrusive regulation.

    • ‘Backdoor’ Search Of FBI Records Helps Parents Learn How Local Cops Killed Their Son

      This long Austin American-Statesman investigative report details apparent police brutality as discovered by parents who were kept in the dark by local cops about how their teenaged son actually died. It all started with their 5’4″ 110-lb. 18-year-old suffering through a bad acid trip while hanging out with friends. It ended in the hospital with their son brain-dead, on life support, and the arresting agency unwilling to say anything more than their son had suffered a “head injury.”

      To the law enforcement agency, it’s just another in-custody death. To the parents of Graham Dyer, it’s long-delayed closure to a chapter kept deliberately unfinished by the law enforcement agencies who took Dyer into custody and returned him to his parents more dead than alive.

    • Spanish Citizen Sentenced To Jail For Creating ‘Unhealthy Humoristic Environment’

      Spain is perfecting regulation no one asked for. The country’s government is in the business of determining which jokes are funny… and which punchlines should be greeted with criminal charges.

      A few years ago, jokes of the “too soon” variety were met with calls for social media censorship. The assassination of a member of the People’s Party was met with the usual interactions: a mix of genuine condolences and mockery. The assassinated official wasn’t universally loved, having voted herself a 13% pay raise while simultaneously supporting a 12% budget cut to programs she didn’t care for.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Ted Cruz Doubles Down On Being Wrong: Pushes Yet Another Net Neutrality Killing Bill

      Eager to ignore the broad, bipartisan support net neutrality enjoys, nine GOP Senators this week introduced legislation that would kill the FCC’s net neutrality rules. Senator Mike Lee’s “Restoring Internet Freedom Act” would prohibit the FCC from classifying ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act and “from imposing certain regulations on providers of such service.” In other words, it’s a parallel attempt to kill net neutrality in Congress while FCC boss Ajit Pai tries to kill the rules via FCC process.

    • Plan to kill municipal broadband fails in state legislature

      Plan to kill municipal broadband fails in state legislature

    • Maine The Latest State To Try And Let Giant Broadband Providers Write Shitty, Protectionist State Law

      One of (several) reasons why American broadband is so uncompetitive is the fact that we continue to let giant broadband mono/duopolies quite literally write awful state telecom law. As we’ve long noted, more than twenty different states have passed laws making it difficult to impossible for towns and cities to improve their local broadband networks — even in instances when the entrenched duopoly refuses to. Many of these laws even ban towns and cities from entering into public/private partnerships with the likes of Google Fiber. It’s pure protectionism.

    • AT&T Takes Heat For Avoiding Broadband Upgrades For Poor Areas

      So we’ve noted for years now how giant broadband ISPs have made a 20-year career out of taking taxpayer money, subsidies and other perks in exchange for broadband networks they only partially deliver. When it comes time to hold these large ISPs feet to the fire, well-lobbied lawmakers and revolving door regulators pretty consistently do their best to ensure accountability never happens. Obviously this is just one of numerous problems leading to a lack of broadband competition in the United States, where two-thirds of homes lack access to more than one ISP at speeds of 25 Mbps.

    • Verizon’s gigabit upgrade pricing still makes almost no sense
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Sad Raiders Fans Fail To Keep Team In Oakland By Squatting On Trademark

        It was way back in the early part of 2016 that the rumors came out that the Oakland Raiders football team would be moving to a new home city. Fans were understandably upset and voiced their displeasure in a variety of ways, but the dumbest of those ways certainly must have been Lane Blue’s attempt to trademark the team name in conjunction with all of the different potential landing cities the team was rumored to be moving to, including the “Las Vegas Raiders.” Lane wasn’t the only sad Raiders fan to attempt this, it seems, as we now see reporting on his and other trademark applications being denied for obvious reasons.


Links 5/5/2017: Nvidia 375.66 Linux Driver, GStreamer 1.12, KDE’s 2016 Report

Posted in News Roundup at 7:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • In the Depths of the Cloud, Open Source and Proprietary Leviathans Fight to the Death

    When I look at the computers used by the enterprise open source people, I see a lot of Mac screens, with only a scattering of Linux and…. what’s that other operating system? Oh, right. Windows. Yep, It’s still out there, and there are people using it to develop enterprise-level open source applications.

    And here’s question number two, which I’ll leave up to you to answer: Are Red Hat and The Linux Foundation doing the right thing by concentrating on Linux in the enterprise or are they abandoning their traditional user base and strongest supporters, a move that will spell eventual doom for them?

  • Verizon Open Source White Box ‘Coming Soon,’ VP Says

    Hakl would not disclose which vendors’ technologies would be included but said it will be a “mix of traditional and non-traditional suppliers.”

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

    • The evolution of OpenStack

      Mark Collier has been involved with OpenStack since the beginning, first at Rackspace where the project emerged as a joint partnership with NASA, and soon after as a co-founder and now Chief Operating Officer of the OpenStack Foundation.

      I had the opportunity to speak with Mark a few weeks ago to hear more about what we can expect as OpenStack continues to evolve: from how it is developed, to what it can do, to how it is used. Here’s what he shared with me.

    • Dell EMC targets telecom market with OpenStack solutions for scaling applications

      Dell’s acquisition of EMC may have jump-started the hardware titan’s enterprise cloud efforts, but it was open source development platforms that helped pave Dell’s path to customers in new markets, including telecommunications. Many of Dell’s customers were vocal about wanting some sort of open-source cloud platform on which to build those enterprise solutions, said Armughan Ahmad (pictured), senior vice president and general manager of solutions and alliances at Dell EMC.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Making open source pay

      Often the discussion around open source veers towards issues around quality control, but the discussion at the roundtable is clear that the issue with software of any kind is less around the software itself than the checks and balances put in place by the vendors concerned.

      Lee comments that inside SUSE, there are rigourous checks and balances before any software makes it out the doors. This is backed up by Fischer, who comments that no CIO would allow software to be deployed without it meeting the required risk and compliance criteria.

    • Exciting GSoC 2017 Projects: Vulkan Software Renderer, Kodi On Wayland, Much More
  • BSD

    • pfSense 2.3.4 RELEASE Now Available!

      We are happy to announce the release of pfSense® software version 2.3.4!

      This is a maintenance release in the 2.3.x series, bringing stability and bug fixes, fixes for a few security issues, and a handful of new features. The full list of changes is on the 2.3.4 New Features and Changes page, including a list of FreeBSD and internal security advisories addressed by this release.

      This release includes fixes for 24 bugs and 11 Features.

    • Quassel with SSL and private CA on FreeBSD

      I spent some time improving the state of encyption on my domains (i.e. finally setting up https), and while I was at it, figured that I would switch from ssh+screen+irssi to Quassel. The FreeBSD packages for Quassel support SSL (TLS) by default, and there’s some brief instructions for setting that up as part of the pkg-message. However, I have a slightly different setup: for my in-house network, I have my own little root CA for my SSL certificates, and I wanted to use that. So for my quasselcore running on quassel.local.net, I wanted to have a certificate issued for that host, and used by quasselcore.


    • Intel’s Clear Linux Switches Over To GCC 7 Compiler

      Just two days ago GCC 7.1 was released as the first stable release of GCC 7 as the annual update to this GNU code compiler. If you are looking for a Linux rolling-release distribution already using GCC 7 by default, Intel’s open-source Clear Linux appears to be one of the first.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Locked in by choice: why the city of Rome is championing open source software

      Five years after the European Union adopted a policy designed to free public bodies in Europe from proprietary software, government authorities across Europe are deeply dependent on Microsoft software and services.

      However, some government agencies have managed to migrate to open source alternatives. Their projects are often difficult, temporary, and, carried out under the radar, in an attempt to escape lobbying both from Microsoft and other parts of government.

      Rome is one of Europe’s cities advocating open source as a better alternative to Microsoft. City councilor, Flavia Marzano, argues that open source should start on the desktop with open source alternatives to Microsoft Office.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Court Upholds Enforceability of Open Source Licenses

      The District Court for the Northern District of California recently issued an opinion that is being hailed as a victory for open source software. In this case, the court denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging violation of an open source software license, paving the way for further action enforcing the conditions of the GNU General Public License (“GPL”).

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Data

      • 3 big open data trends in the United States

        The open data community got a surprising piece of news when the Trump Administration recently announced that it would no longer be supporting the Open.whitehouse.gov’s Open Data portal. (Open data is the idea that certain data should be freely viewable and usuable without controls.) Their argument is that the information is duplicative and is either already available online or will soon be made available elsewhere.

        The administration also has no plans to continue the practice of making White House visitor logs available to the greater public, a procedure began by the Obama administration. Those records will be kept private for at least five years after Trump leaves office.

  • Programming/Development


  • Twitter Down: Website and App Not Working as Social Network Topples Over

    The problems come amid the UK’s local election and the aftermath of the Republican’s healthcare vote, among other news events.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • India’s Silicon Valley Is Dying of Thirst. Your City May Be Next

      Bangalore has a problem: It is running out of water, fast. Cities all over the world, from those in the American West to nearly every major Indian metropolis, have been struggling with drought and water deficits in recent years. But Banga­lore is an extreme case. Last summer, a professor from the Indian Institute of Science declared that the city will be unlivable by 2020. He later backed off his prediction of the exact time of death—but even so, says P. N. Ravindra, an official at the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, “the projections are relatively correct. Our groundwater levels are approaching zero.”

    • Judge rejects religious claim in genital cutting case; locks up couple

      Woodward argued that the defendants knew they were engaging in illegal activity, and did it anyway for years, starting as early as 2005. And they went to great lengths to cover up what they did, she said.

    • WHO Members Urged To Support Resolution Delinking Cancer Drug Prices From R&D Costs [Ed: This should say patents and not R&D, which is just a stupid euphemism unhinged from the reality]

      A group of civil society organisations and health experts have sent a letter to delegates to this month’s annual World Health Assembly urging support for a study on the delinkage of the costs of research and development from the prices of cancer medicines. Member states reportedly met on the issue today and are still undecided.

    • WHO Project To Prequalify Biosimilar Cancer Medicines Aims At Increased Affordability

      The World Health Organization announced today that it will launch a pilot project in 2017 for prequalifying cancer biosimilar medicines, with the intent of lowering prices on some of the most expensive cancer treatments.

      Biosimilars are medicines very similar to the original biotherapeutics, which are pharmaceutical products derived from biological and living sources. They are often “speciality drugs,” highly effective in treating medical conditions for which no other treatments are available, in particular cancer, and chronic diseases such as diabetes. However those medicines are also highly priced, according to the WHO.

    • The “pro-life” party has become the party of death: New research on why Republicans hate poor and sick people

      On Thursday, Republicans in the House of Representatives will attempt to force through a health care “reform” bill that is likely to leave millions of Americans without health insurance, especially those who suffer from chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. It has been estimated that if the Republican Party is successful in eliminating the Affordable Care Act that at least 43,000 Americans a year will die from lack of adequate health care.

    • These are all the people the Republican health care bill will hurt

      The Congressional Budget Office estimated in March that 24 million people would lose health insurance if the AHCA were to pass, and the changes made to the bill in the ensuing two months have only made it less generous and more likely to jeopardize coverage. And because the bill substantially weakens regulations for both individual and employer plans, millions of people who still get insurance will see the extent of their coverage shrink, and see themselves forced to pay out of pocket for expensive procedures that would otherwise be covered.

  • Security

    • Taming the Open Source Beast With an Effective Application Security Testing Program
    • TLS/SSL Explained: TLS/SSL Terminology and Basics

      In Part 1 this series we asked, What is TLS/SSL? In this part in the series, we will be describing some of the TLS/SSL terminologies.

      Before diving deeper into TLS, let’s first have a look at the very basics of SSL/TLS. Understanding the following will help you gain a better understanding of the topics discussed and analyzed later on.

    • Google Docs users hit by phishing scam
    • Google Was Warned About This Week’s Mass Phishing Email Attack Six Years Ago

      For almost six years, Google knew about the exact technique that someone used to trick around one million people into giving away access to their Google accounts to hackers on Wednesday. Even more worrisome: other hackers might have known about this technique as well.

    • Mobile phone security’s been busted for years, and now 2-factor auth is busted too [iophk: "now we are reminded that a phone never was a second authentication factor"]

      SS7 is now confirmed to be exploited in the wild, with crooks taking big scores through it.

    • We Were Warned About Flaws in the Mobile Data Backbone for Years. Now 2FA Is Screwed.

      But on Wednesday, German newspaper The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that financially-motivated hackers {sic} had used those flaws to help drain bank accounts.

    • Mac malware: Coming soon to a computer near you

      In fact, the number of malware attacks on Apple’s operating system skyrocketed by 744 percent in 2016. Despite this, most people still believe that Macs don’t get viruses. Add to this the fact that, despite the seeming ubiquity of Apple’s products, the company’s user base is still growing. There are nearly 100 million Apple users worldwide, myself included.

    • IT meltdown forces Barts Health NHS Trust to cancel hundreds of appointments

      Earlier thsi year, Barts Health admitted that it has fallen victim to a “ransomware virus attack,” likely because it’s PCs are still running Microsoft’s now-defunct Windows [...]

    • CII Project Advances Linux Kernel Security as Firm Ends Free Patches

      There has been some public discussion in the last week regarding the decision by Open Source Security Inc. and the creators of the Grsecurity® patches for the Linux kernel to cease making these patches freely available to users who are not paid subscribers to their service. While we at the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) would have preferred them to keep these patches freely available, the decision is absolutely theirs to make.

      From the point of view of the CII, we would much rather have security capabilities such as those offered by Grsecurity® in the main upstream kernel rather than available as a patch that needs to be applied by the user. That said, we fully understand that there is a lot of work involved in upstreaming extensive patches such as these and we will not criticise the Grsecurity® team for not doing so. Instead we will continue to support work to make the kernel as secure as possible.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Uzbekistan says uncovering militants daily among returning migrants

      Uzbekistan’s police routinely uncover militant Islamists among Uzbek migrants returning home and plan to expose those who remain abroad via social networks, Interior Minister Abdusalom Azizov said on Tuesday.

    • Afghanistan Video Game: You Win with ‘Hearts and Minds’ Points (Seriously)

      I suppose it had to come to this, perhaps the intersection of absurdity and unreality expressed through a video game as the only true way to capture the essence of America’s 15 year+ was in Afghanistan.

      I must stress this is a real game. It is not satire or a joke. The game plays you in the role of supreme commander of everything U.S. in Afghanistan and requires you to democratize the country. You do this by bombing the sh*t out of stuff, meeting with elders, pulling out “intelligence” and reconstruction cards, and accomplishing tasks like bringing fresh water to some village to pull it away from Taliban control. There are also drones you control, lots of drones.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Laura Poitras: The Many Contradictions of Julian Assange

      The new film by Laura Poitras, Risk, profiles Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks.

    • You Can Be a Feminist and Support Julian Assange

      In an interview with Newsweek publicizing her new film Risk—which concerns Julian Assange and WikiLeaks—Laura Poitras explained that after opening the documentary at the Cannes Film Festival last year, she had re-edited it to look at the “culture of sexism that exists not only within the hacker community but in other communities.”

      Although I am a member of Assange’s legal team, Poitras’ lawyers declined to permit any of us to view the reviewed version of the film, so I cannot comment on whether she accomplished her aims.

    • Archimedes

      Today, May 5th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes “Archimedes”, a tool used by the CIA to attack a computer inside a Local Area Network (LAN), usually used in offices. It allows the re-directing of traffic from the target computer inside the LAN through a computer infected with this malware and controlled by the CIA. This technique is used by the CIA to redirect the target’s computers web browser to an exploitation server while appearing as a normal browsing session.

  • Finance

    • Flint puts 8,000 people on notice for tax liens for unpaid water bills

      Thousands of people in Flint are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure if they don’t pay up on their water bills. After recently putting out shut-off notices the city is now back to threatening tax liens on people’s homes.

      “I got scared, for probably the first time since this all started this actually scared me,” said Melissa Mays, who is a mother and water activist who lives in Flint.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Trump to visit Israel, Saudi Arabia, Vatican in first foreign trip
    • What Will Kill Neoliberalism?

      So what will bring about the end of neoliberalism—the left? the right? the incompetence of the professional political class?—and, when it’s gone, what will replace it? We asked five of our favorite minds for their views on the direction we urgently need to go next.

    • Another Trump conflict of interest

      President Trump invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to the White House. Besides the fact that Duterte is known for unleashing a campaign of extrajudicial killings of drug traffickers and users, he also named the Trump Organization’s partner in its Manila real-estate property his top trade envoy.

    • Theresa May Goes the Full Farage

      Theresa May’s breathtaking claim that the EU is interfering in the general election has moved the Brexit negotiations to a whole new level of confrontation. Those who think that international negotiations on future trade relations are best conducted in an atmosphere of extreme mutual hostility, are nonsensical.

      Good deals come from good relationships.

      It is also extraordinary that May appears to be staking out her appeal exclusively on UKIP territory. I am quite sure she is following her own, natural, very right wing instincts. But by taking this aggressively right wing position, she is opening up a flank to the Liberal Democrats and severely endangering her prospects in Scotland, where UKIP never achieved anything like the traction it did in England. She also seems to be calculating that the ordinary Brexit voters take an extreme view and would welcome an absolute dust-up with the EU, irrespective of its long term effects on the UK.


      Finally, she claims that all this has been timed to affect the result of the general election. That is the weirdest claim of all.

      The Downing St dinner at which May made a fool of herself was an initiative by May. She issued the invitation and she dictated the timing. It was not vicious foreign enemies who are all out to get her. She may be forgiven for being aggrieved that the poor opinions of her were leaked to the press. But anyone who knows anything about the EU knows that everything leaks, all the time. In general it is a very open institution. The Commission has in any case to report progress in the negotiations regularly to the European Parliament.

    • Hamilton Says: Trump’s State Department is an Agency Without Agency

      It hasn’t been a good 100 days for the U.S. Department of State. Like the musical Hamilton’s orphaned title character, called out in song for being a “Founding Father without a father,” State is now something of an agency without agency.

      Not much of substance seems to be happening at Foggy Bottom. America’s top-level foreign policy tasks remain, but someone else – Jared Kushner? H.R. McMaster? – is tending to many of them. The bad news includes President Donald Trump’s hope of slashing State’s budget, with no sign of objection from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Half the positions in the agency’s organizational chart are vacant or occupied by acting officials.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Leaked: The UK’s secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

      The UK government has secretly drawn up more details of its new bulk surveillance powers – awarding itself the ability to monitor Brits’ live communications, and insert encryption backdoors by the backdoor.

      In its draft technical capability notices paper [PDF], all communications companies – including phone networks and ISPs – will be obliged to provide real-time access to the full content of any named individual within one working day, as well as any “secondary data” relating to that person.

      That includes encrypted content – which means that UK organizations will not be allowed to introduce true end-to-end encryption of their users’ data but will be legally required to introduce a backdoor to their systems so the authorities can read any and all communications.

      In addition, comms providers will be required to make bulk surveillance possible by introducing systems that can provide real-time interception of 1 in 10,000 of its customers. Or in other words, the UK government will be able to simultaneously spy on 6,500 folks in Blighty at any given moment.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Net neutrality views by mid-July, spectrum pricing by December: Trai’s Sharma

      The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will come out with its recommendations on net neutrality by the first half of July and on spectrum pricing for auctions, by December.

    • Now that HTTPS is almost everywhere, what about IPv6?

      Let’s Encrypt launched April 12, 2016 with the intent to support and encourage sites to enable HTTPS everywhere (sometimes referred to as SSL everywhere even though the web is steadily moving toward TLS as the preferred protocol). As of the end of February 2017, EFF (who launched the effort) estimates that half the web is now encrypted. Now certainly not all of that is attributable to EFF and Let’s Encrypt. After all, I have data from well before that date that indicates a majority of F5 customers enabled HTTPS on client-facing services, in the 70% range. So clearly folks were supporting HTTPS before EFF launched its efforts, but given the significant number of certificates* it has issued the effort is not without measurable success.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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