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Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

Posted in News Roundup at 2:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Why you should buy computers with Linux preinstalled
  • Italian consumers shouldn’t have to pay for software they don’t want – Letter to Regulators

    FSFE and Italian consumer association ADUC, along with Italian group ILS, are asking regulators to take concrete steps to protect Italians from being forced to pay for software they do not want or need. Italy’s High Court ruled in September that computer vendors must reimburse customers for the price of unwanted non-free software that comes pre-installed on PCs and laptops. Today, FSFE, ADUC and ILS have sent a letter to the Italian competition authorities, calling on them to ensure that vendors will comply with the High Court’s decision, and respect the rights of their customers.

  • The Advantages of Computer Hardware Designed For Linux

    When you buy a computer with Linux pre-installed, like when you buy from Apple, you can be sure that the hardware works beautifully with your chosen operating system. OK, so the hardware may not have been designed specifically to run Linux, but the computer vendor has chosen that hardware specifically because it DOES work well with Linux — any Linux!

  • Desktop

    • Sager NP2740 Review – A Linux Powerhouse

      I was looking for something powerful to stream some games on, but also light enough that it was not going to feel like a brick next to my Chromebook. Since Linux is my OS of choice, having reasonable Linux support is also on my list of desires. Because of this I wanted to stay away from ATI graphics cards and nVidia cards with optimus.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Feature-creep will ensure that systemd stays

      Nussbaum was, no doubt, sincere in what he said. But his remedy to avoid what has become a major issue for many Debian users can only be used for so long.

    • Linus admits cocking up the Linux community

      Systemd developer Lennart Poettering recently described the Linux community as “not a friendly place to be in” with open source community mailing lists are rife with language and even stronger opinions which has descended into death threats. Torvalds, in a “fireside chat” with Intel’s Dirk Hohndel at LinuxCon Europe, insisted that “to become a kernel developer, you need to enjoy a certain amount of pain,” but also acknowledged a “metric s—load” of mistakes he wishes he could fix.

    • Video: Linux Kernel Developers Respond to Concerns About Community Culture

      Shortly after a live Q&A with Linux creator Linus Torvalds at LinuxCon and CloudOpen Europe on Wednesday, the kernel developer panel took the stage for a roundtable discussion. LWN Editor and panel moderator Jon Corbet didn’t beat around the bush; he asked the panelists to first respond to systemd developer Lennart Poettering’s controversial post in which he called the open source community “a sick place.” The developers’ responses were varied, but Linaro developer Grant Likely’s thoughts perhaps drew the most audience applause.

    • Linux developers and users should be civil while disagreeing passionately

      I’m not sure how I missed the post below by Lennart Poettering on Google+ back on October 6. Reading it as left me somewhat discombobulated since I wrote about how diverse points of view and passion make Linux stronger a few days ago. Unfortunately, I did not take into account the need for civility even in passionate disagreements, and I think I downplayed how out of hand things have gotten among some Linux developers. My apologies to my readers for not taking the issue seriously enough.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD’s Radeon R9 285 On Linux Offers Good OpenCL Performance

        In complementing this week’s Linux review of the AMD Radeon R9 285 and follow-up articles with some extra GPU scaling tests and Catalyst AI Linux benchmarks, here’s some more OpenCL R9 285 “Tonga” performance numbers under Ubuntu compared to what was shared in the original Linux review.

  • Applications

    • Proprietary

      • Corel AfterShot Pro 2.1

        Corel has updated its AfterShot Pro software to Version 2.1. Available free to registered users, the 2.1 update introduces a number of new features and enhancements including new HDR tools for Mac and Linux, support for more than 17 new raw camera profiles, an improved Highlight Recovery Tool, as well as various performance and stability enhancements. Newly supported cameras include the Canon SX50 HS, the Fujifilm X-T1, X-E1, X-E2, X-Pro1, X-M1, X100S and X20, the Nikon D4s, D3300, 1 V3, 1 J4, Coolpix P330 and Coolpix A, and the Pentax Q, 645Z and K-500.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Install PXE Server On CentOS 7
      • How to create and use Python CGI scripts
      • ffs ssl

        You search “how to set up https” on the Googs and click the first link. It takes you here which tells you how to use StartSSL, which generates the key in your browser. Whoops, your private key is now known to another server on this internet! Why do people even recommend this? It’s the worst of the worst of Javascript crypto.

    • Wine or Emulation

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt 5.4 Beta Available

        I am extremely happy to announce that Qt 5.4 Beta is now available for download. There are a lot of new and interesting things in Qt 5.4 and I will try to summarize the most important highlights in this blog post.


        Fedora KDE SIG is happy to announce that latest version of KDE Frameworks 5 have just reached stable repositories of Fedora and brand new version of KDE Plasma 5 is now available in the our Plasma 5 COPR.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Gentoo Family

      • For Gentoo Linux Initiates, Iron Penguin May Be Too Heavy

        Gentoo Linux is very easy to use provided you do not progress beyond the live session using the most recent Iron Penguin release. If you actually proceed with installing Gentoo onto a hard drive, prepare for some steep learning curves and lots of manual labor.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Leave No Trace Online or Offline with the Tails 1.2 Linux-Based OS

          Tails is, above all else, a Linux distribution and is based on Debian. It shares some of the characteristics of the Linux base, but it integrates a unique collection of applications that are available for users who want to remain anonymous.

        • Tails 1.2 has been released

          If you have a Tails USB lying on your desk somewhere it’s time to plug it in, boot to it, and upgrade it (with the built in updater of course). Yes, the team behind Tails have released version 1.2 of their incognito liveUSB distribution.

        • Elive 2.3.9 beta released

          The Elive Team is proud to announce the release of the beta version 2.3.9

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Interview: Thomas Voß of Mir

            Mir was big during the space race and it’s a big part of Canonical’s unification strategy. We talk to one of its chief architects at mission control.

          • Best YouTube Players for Ubuntu

            If you’re a geek, nerd, or a programming prodigy, a command line YouTube player will give you plenty of bragging rights. MPS-Youtube is a fabulous player that lets you search and play videos from YouTube, download them, and even view comments all using just your command line. Written in Python, the text interface is used for sifting through the videos. Then, once you’ve chosen the video you want to play, the software then hooks into mplayer or mpv to show you the video. Though this won’t work on a full sans-X11 terminal, it will surely give you the thrills of doing the latest things in a cool old school sort of way.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi time-lapse camera

      We love the Raspberry Pi camera. It’s a lovely little piece of kit that is as versatile as the Pi and it doesn’t even take up any of the USB slots. We’ve done a bit of time-lapse photography in the past but that was using a proper camera attached to the Pi – now we’re doing it with just the Pi camera and a lot less code thanks to the picamera Python module.

    • HP to shutter webOS cloud services

      The company says it’s given the few owners of webOS devices three years of service since canning the software, but that “The user count has dwindled to the point where it is no longer viable to keep the services running.”

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Tizen Developer Summit Shanghai Device Giveaways – Intel NUC / MinnowBoard MAX / Gear 2
        • Modular smartwatch runs Tizen on Edison

          A startup is prepping a modular “Blocks ” watch that runs Tizen on an Atom-based Intel Edison module, and houses modular components in the watchband links.

          Samsung’s Tizen-based Gear S, Gear 2, and Gear 2 Neo are no longer the only Tizen-based smartwatches on the planet. A startup called Blocks, inspired by the modular smartphone concept from Phonebloks and Google’s related Project Ara , has announced a modular smartwatch that runs Tizen on an Intel Edison module. The Blocks watch houses modular components in each link of the watch wristband, which can be snapped and unsnapped using plug connectors.

      • Android

        • Android Exec Says Google Will Loosen Reins on Watches, TVs and Cars Over Time

          “It’s not some Google-way-or-the-highway kind of thing,” the company’s vice president of engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer said in an interview on Tuesday. His comments came as Google rolled out Android 5.0, a.k.a. Lollipop, which is designed to power a wide range of other devices beyond the usual phones and tablets.

        • Mobile pico projector does surround sound too

          A mobile, Android A/V robot on Kickstarter called the “Keecker” offers surround sound, a pico projector, a panoramic camera, sensors, and 1TB of storage.

        • Will Android and Chrome marry?

          The WSJ reported that “Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s vice president of engineering for its Android mobile-operating system, is now also overseeing the engineering team behind Google’s Chrome operating system.” The paper believes that is a sign that Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president in charge of Android, Chrome and Apps since 2013, plans on merging the two operating systems sooner rather than later.

        • All current Nexuses, including Nexus 4 and 2012 Nexus 7, will get Lollipop

          Google’s official Android Lollipop announcement this morning originally didn’t mention some older Nexus devices—namely, the Nexus 4 and the 2012 Nexus 7. However, Google has confirmed to us that those older devices will indeed be getting Android 5.0, as will the Nexus 5, 2013 Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and the Google Play Edition devices.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source moves from accepted to expected

  • Lessons learned developing Lynis, an open source security auditing tool

    If you’ve been involved with information security for more than a decade, you’ve probably heard of Rootkit Hunter or rkhunter, a software whose primary goal is to discover malware and local exploits on Unix and Linux.

  • Events

    • Videos: LinuxCon Europe 2014

      Here’s Linus with Intel’s Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist, Dirk Hohndel on the next 12 months of the Linux kernel:

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla and Telefónica Partner to Simplify Voice and Video Calls on the Web

        Mozilla is extending its relationship with Telefonica by making it easier than ever to communicate on the Web.

        Telefónica has been an invaluable partner in helping Mozilla develop and bring Firefox OS to market with 12 devices now available in 24 countries. We’re now expanding our relationship, exploring how to simplify communications over the Web by providing people with the first global communications system built directly into a browser.

      • Mozilla’s Firefox Hello Service Brings Skype-like Features to the Browser

        For months now, Mozilla has been experimenting with streaming media and video features for Firefox. The Firefox for Android Beta 33, for example, featured a send-to-device streaming scheme that allowed users to stream videos on a mobile device to a TV or second screen.

  • SaaS/Big Data


  • Public Services/Government

    • Netherlands receives Undesa award for its approach to e-government

      Undesa’s Global e-Government Forum is one of the UN initiatives to promote e-government. The international meeting was organised for the third consecutive year, the first two having taken place in Seoul, South Korea. The forum promotes smart governance. It focusses on sustainable development, open government and network society. The organisers also aim to get countries exchange ideas and experiences.

    • Dutch Parliament Urges Government to Get More Open Source and Spend Less Money

      The Dutch parliament is pushing for the use of more open source software in the country and is holding the government responsible for the failure to better implement the already existing policies.

    • Dutch Parliament urges increase of open source

      The Dutch government must increase its use of open source software, recommends the the country’s parliament. It wants to make open standards mandatory and use open source when equal to or better than proprietary solutions for all ICT projects over 5 million euro.

    • The Low Country Aims Higher

      The Netherlands, alone, has seen billions of Euros squandered each year due to failed ICT projects. It is so easy to sign a cheque and hope problems will disappear but that abstraction allows a lot of waste such as paying for permission to run computers the government owns outright. By using FLOSS a huge slice of costs is eliminated. Better management will take care of the rest but opening ICT projects to competition surely reduces costs and promotes local businesses boosting GDP and tax-revenue. ICT that is a revenue generator rather than a cost is the pot of gold for governments everywhere. ICT should not be a conveyor-belt of money flowing to M$ and “partners”. That’s not the purpose. Finding, modifying, creating and distributing information as efficiently as possible is the only valid justification for money spend on ICT.

    • Still more open source in Sweden’s Alingsås

      Strengthened by experience, the Swedish municipality of Alingsås is increasingly turning to open source solutions, announced Göran Westerlund, head of the municipal IT department. “Open source is reducing our dependence on specific ICT suppliers”, Westerlund says.

    • Open source central to e-health project Danish Syddjurs

      Open source and HL7, an open standard for healthcare IT solutions, are key elements in a tender for an e-health telemedicine project to be implemented at the Danish municipality of Syddjurs. “By using open source, we aim to encourage the development of new functionalities”, says Frederik Mølgaard Thayssen, IT project leader.

  • Openness/Sharing


  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Massive Growth in Non-Existent Crime

      It is lead news in every outlet of the mainstream media today that there is a massive increase in terrorism – as everyone can plainly see from all the bodies littering our streets.

      I can also tell you that there is a massive increase in the threat of deadly asteroids about to hit Britain and destroy us all. My unimpeachable evidence for the existence of this massive asteroid threat is my own anti-asteroid activity. I and my dedicated team have visited 268 sites this year where we thought an asteroid was about to strike. That represents a 40% increase on our activity last year and therefore the media can say a 40% increase in the asteroid threat.

  • Censorship

    • Journalists turn to Google Groups for content distribution

      The new pooling mechanism will be opened to more journalists after an evaluation period has concluded, it will be interesting to see whether the new system is able to subvert censorship attempts by the current and succeeding administrations.

  • Privacy

    • Tor Browser 4.0 is released

      This release also features an in-browser updater, and a completely reorganized bundle directory structure to make this updater possible. This means that simply extracting a 4.0 Tor Browser over a 3.6.6 Tor Browser will not work. Please also be aware that the security of the updater depends on the specific CA that issued the www.torproject.org HTTPS certificate (Digicert), and so it still must be activated manually through the Help (“?”) “about browser” menu option. Very soon, we will support both strong HTTPS site-specific certificate pinning (ticket #11955) and update package signatures (ticket #13379). Until then, we do not recommend using this updater if you need stronger security and normally verify GPG signatures.

    • F.B.I. Director to Call ‘Dark’ Devices a Hindrance to Crime Solving in a Policy Speech
  • Civil Rights

    • Terrorism Bill: The French Senate Adopts The Law Eroding Liberties

      After two days of debate, the French Senate just passed the “Terrorism” Bill [fr] on its first and only reading. While some senators have courageously fought against the intrusive provisions led by the Minister of Interior, Bernard Cazeneuve, La Quadrature du Net regrets that the truncated1 legislative debate has failed to correct the unsuitable and dangerous provisions [fr] of this text. It will be examined by a Joint Commission in the coming weeks, where it will likely be adopted without any substantial change.

    • MO ALEC Leader Says Right to Work Is Solution to Ferguson

      Yet a leader of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Missouri, House Speaker Tim Jones, says he has the solution to unrest in Ferguson: bust the unions.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • HBO goes online and it doesn’t want net neutrality

      It seems to be the beginning of the end of the cable television in the US. Yesterday entertainment giant HBO announced they will start offering Internet subscription without requiring any cable subscription.

      Today CBS, yet another leading TV network, announced their move to the Internet. The TV network launched a new video on demand and live streaming service for the CBS Television Network, called CBS All Access. The service is available immediately via a web browser, iOS or Android apps.


Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

Posted in News Roundup at 3:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • New platform for open source in SA

    A new organisation wants to promote the use of open-source software in South Africa’s public and private sectors.

    “Not using this software in South Africa is detrimental to our economy and skills development,” says Open Source Software for South Africa (OSSSA) founder Charl Botha.

    Open-source software is software that does not conform to traditional software licence models and can be used and distributed freely.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 33 Has Been Added To The Default Repositories Of Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 12.04 And Derivatives

        And it has been already added to the default repositories of Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr, Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, being available for both the two systems and their derivatives: Linux Mint 17 Qiana, Linux Mint 13 Maya, Pinguy OS 14.04, Elementary OS 0.3 Freya, Elementary OS 0.2 Luna, Deepin 2014, Peppermint Five, LXLE 14.04, Linux Lite 2.0 and others.

      • Mozilla to Disable SSL 3.0 in Firefox, Heralds “the End of SSL 3.0″

        “Another day, another vulnerability found in a critical piece of Internet infrastructure,” reported Jon Buys here on OStatic this week, as news arrived that Google has found that SSL 3.0 is vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack, which means someone could possibly snoop on secure communications between browsers and servers. The report detailing the POODLE vulnerability was published by Google last month, but is making headlines this week.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Juno Brings Big Data to the Cloud

      The 10th milestone release of the open-source cloud platform debuts with 310 new features and 3,200 bug fixes.

    • A cultural shift towards dynamic cloud environments

      Mark Hinkle is on the forefront of all things open source and cloud. He is currently responsible for Citrix efforts around Apache CloudStack, Open Daylight, Xen Project, and XenServer. At the All Things Open Conference, Mark’s Crash Course In Cloud Computing will teach how to pragmatically adopt cloud practices and gain cloud value.

    • Hortonworks Data Platform 2.2 Sharpens Focus on Enterprise Needs

      As the Strata Conference kicked off this week, Hortonworks announced its HDP 2.2 platform with general availability next month. HDP version 2.2 lets organizations adopt a modern data architecture with Hadoop YARN at the core.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • New OpenJDK 7: Update 71 with lots of fixes

      Oracle’s patch & release cycle culminated in two updates of their Java (runtime and development kit) since the last release of OpenJDK for which I provided packages. Today, we can enjoy a new IcedTea and therefore an updated OpenJDK which synchronizes to Oracle’s October security patch release (which offers Java 7 Update 71).

  • BSD

    • Linux-Turned-FreeBSD Distro Comes Up With A New Software License

      While the likes of SprezzOS as the “most beautiful and performant” Linux and OSu as the ultimate operating system have disappeared at the end of the day and are no longer providing comic relief or interesting ambitious debates to Linux users, that other distribution based on Ubuntu and then turned into a FreeBSD distribution is still standing. They’re out with an update today and have introduced their own open-source license.

    • Changes Coming For OpenBSD 5.6

      OpenBSD 5.6 is expected to be released at the start of November and with this release will come a large number of changes.

    • Quick look: PC-BSD 10.0.3

      PC-BSD 10.0.3 is based on FreeBSD 10. This release of PC-BSD includes Cinnamon 2.2.14, Chromium 37.0.2062.94, Nvidia driver 340.24, bug fixes for the AppCafe UI, support for full disk encryption, and a number of other bug fixes and improvements. You can read a full list of changes in the PC-BSD 10.0.3 release notes.

    • FreeBSD 10.1 RC2 Moves the Project Closer to Stable Release

      A new Release Candidate for FreeBSD 10.1, an operating system for x86, ARM, IA-64, PowerPC, PC-98, and UltraSPARC architectures, is now out and ready for testing. The developers are getting really close to the final versions, which should land very soon.


  • Project Releases

    • man-pages-3.75 is released

      I’ve released man-pages-3.75. The release tarball is available on kernel.org. The browsable online pages can be found on man7.org. The Git repository for man-pages is available on kernel.org.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Fallout From Munich
    • Munich sticks with Free Software

      On Tuesday, Munich’s first mayor finally reacted to an inquiry by the Green Party (in German) related to rumours regarding a possible switch back to a Windows-based desktop environment. The answer to the inquiry shows that there is no factual basis for the claims made by first mayor and second mayor. An evaluation of the IT infrastructure and -processes is underway. FSFE calls on the city council to include vendor independence as well as interoperability as factors in the investigation, since they were central reasons for Munich to switch to Free Software in the first place.


      In this manner, the employee-survey “Great Place to Work” from late 2013, used by Reiter and Schmid in their criticisms towards the Free Software used in the city, included various facets of the IT structure not related to software, ranging from hardware to support and telecommuting. It does not, however, offer any information on a possible relation of the employees’ problems with Free Software. This information is currently unavailable, as Reiter says within the answer.

    • Munich Mayor Still Wants to Find Out If Linux Is Economical

      Munich finished the transition to Linux from Windows and everything seemed to work just fine, at least until the current Mayor made a few comments about the possibility of returning to proprietary software. He has detailed some of his opinions and he appears to be a lot more moderate towards this issue.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Why Hardware Wallets are the Future (And Why They Have to Be Open Source)

      Your computer isn’t secure. Those of you reading this from your fortified Plan 9 Tor Box can stop reading here, but for the rest of you, it’s simply true. Your computer is riddled with security vulnerabilities, and so is your phone. If an attacker wants access to your machine, or if you download even one piece of software that either is or is carrying malware (see: any download from cnet.com or its ilk), you’re in an enormous amount of trouble.

    • The value of an open source dividend

      James Love, one of Managing IP’s 2014 most influential people in IP, explains why paying innovators to share knowledge, data and technology makes sense for business and society

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Khronos Adds GLUS 2.0 To The OpenGL SDK

      GLUS is short for the Graphic Library UtilitieS and is a cross-platform, cross-graphic utility library. The open-source GLUS C library provides hardware and operating system abstractions plus other functionality. GLUS isn’t limited to OpenGL but also targets the OpenGL ES and OpenVG APIs too.


  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Fox’s The Five Distorts History On Bush Administration WMD Claims

      The hosts of Fox News’ The Five distorted the history behind the rationale for the U.S. war in Iraq by reshaping an investigative report by the New York Times.

    • Drone Strikes in Afghanistan Are Killing Civilians: They Must Not Remain Secret

      After exhaustive research and interviewing more than 50 sources Unama found 11 civilians were killed in a drone strike. Despite this compelling evidence, Isaf data shows only three civilians died.

    • Use has risen dramatically since 9/11

      In their book, Hill and Rogers dramatically recount a March 2011 drone attack in Pakistan which killed 42 people and injured 14. Though later claimed by U.S. officials to be a meeting of terrorists, what had been targeted was in fact a jirga – a consensual decision-making meeting in which the local community had gathered to discuss a dispute over a local mine.

    • Shenstone: Act of Witness against drones

      As part of the International Week of Action Against Drones, members of Pax Christi and Friends of Sabeel UK joined with staff and students from Queen’s Theological College, Birmingham, and members of Birmingham churches in an ‘Act of Witness’ outside UAV Engines, the Elbit Factory at Shenstone, near Lichfield. The Israeli owned factory manufactures the engines for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) which are used for military purposes. The group regularly meet there to protest against the use of these military drones to kill innocent people. They were also used in Israel’s recent war on Gaza, where the loss of life and devastation have shocked many throughout the world.

    • ‘Drones shouldn’t decide who lives or dies’

      University of Johannesburg law Professor Hennie Strydom on Wednesday advised against the use of programmed drones and robots during conflicts.

      “The concern is that the critical functional use of force is controlled by a computer,” he told reporters in Johannesburg.

    • SA professor warns against drone, robot attacks

      University of Johannesburg law Professor Hennie Strydom on Wednesday advised against the use of programmed drones and robots during conflicts

    • John Oliver, Ben Affleck and the Game of Drones: Part II

      As a talk show host and stand-up comedian, Bill Maher pushes the envelope to stay topical, relevant and interesting. He never issued a blanket fatwa on all Muslims, but correctly pointed out that some-if not most-of the major conflicts in the world are rooted in Islam.

    • Another Attempt to Prostitute Religion in the Service of American Hegemony

      Rather than joining this governmental initiative—which conveniently serves to blur cause-and-effect—America’s clergy and their laity should be forming a nationwide interfaith justice movement to confront the “intolerance, division, and hate” sown by our government in our name. It is our government’s violent imperialistic policies that have sown “hate” and bred militant groups like the Islamic State and blowback violence. The need for such a clergy and laity movement is painfully clear, and long overdue.

    • Comment: If drone strikes continue in Afghanistan, the lack of transparency must not

      Afghanistan is the most drone bombed country in the world. The US has been using its Predator and Reaper drones to kill people in Afghanistan since November 2001.

    • US citizen shot dead in Riyadh

      A gunman has opened fire on two American employees of a US defence contractor, killing one and wounding the other at a petrol station in Saudi Arabia’s capital.

    • War without end: 12 years of US drone strikes in Yemen

      The “Yemen model” is one of perpetual violence. The limits of what can be done in the name of “counterterrorist” action often appear boundless.

    • Yemeni sues Germany over US drone strikes

      A relative of two men killed by a US drone strike in Yemen has brought a court case against the German government, alleging it was complicit in the attack by allowing a US air base on German soil.

    • Yemeni sues German government over US drone strike
    • Drone victims sue German government for facilitating strikes in Yemen

      A Yemeni man, whose nephew and brother-in-law were killed in a 2012 drone strike, has travelled to Germany to sue the government for facilitating drone strikes of the sort in which his relatives died.

    • Yemeni man sues Germany over U.S. drone strikes
    • Yemeni man sues German gov’t over US drone strikes
    • Yemeni man sues German government over base used for US drone strikes that killed 2 relatives
    • Yemeni man sues Germany over deadly drone strike

      A Yemeni man has filed a lawsuit against Berlin for facilitating deadly assassination drone strikes carried out in his country by Washington.

      The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday by Faisal bin Ali Jaber, who claims his brother-in-law, Salim bin Ahmed Ali Jaber, and nephew, Waleed, were killed in a U.S. assassination drone strike in a Yemeni village in August 2012.

    • UK To Fly Reaper Drones Over Iraq To Battle IS

      The drone is being deployed outside Afghanistan for the first time, as the Kurds call for support in the Syrian town of Kobani.

    • Qualifying Child Labour

      Children should be in schools learning to be fit to face the big bad world when they become adults. When they are not studying, they should be playing and discovering that life can be fun too. Extreme poverty however still deprives a great many children from these privileges and pleasures of life, and no effort can be nobler than to try and end this miserable predicament. Two cheers then for the Nobel committee for bringing the focus back to fighting child labour. The last cheer we will hold back for the committee`™s unwarranted political bias in choosing to condemn only the atrocities against children by the Talibans, and not show equal concern or condemnation at the killing, maiming and terrorising of numerous other unnamed children in these same battlefields by Drone raids by the armies of the West fighting the Talibans. Malala richly deserves the award, but we also wish in commending the girl for her bravery in her fight against the savagery of the Talibans, the Nobel committee also had at least a word of condemnation against the Drone raids which have killed and terrorised indiscriminately.

    • Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satyarthi, and the four Nobel truths
    • In Malala’s hometown not everyone likes her fame

      Ahmed Hayat Yousafzai, a Birmingham-based Pakistani lawyer hailing from Swat, says that Malala’s story appears to be eyewash. “By championing the case of Malala, the West has tried to cover many of its human rights abuses, like killing and maiming scores of children and women in drone attacks in the tribal regions,” he said.

      So far, Yousafzai argues, neither the western powers nor Malala and her advisor father have spoken about hundreds of kids being killed in drone strikes.

      “What to talk of drone victims, they did not even speak about the 15-year old Aitzaz who had saved lives of hundreds of students by stopping a suicide bomber from attacking his school,” he added. Knowing about the prevailing resentment against Malala in Swat, her family members and school management feel uneasy to talk on her behalf. “It really hurts to hear people talking so critical of her.

    • Pakistan, U.S. appear once again to be cooperating on drone strikes

      A series of CIA drone strikes launched last week against Taliban insurgents in Pakistan’s northwest tribal areas provide the clearest demonstration yet that the U.S. intelligence agency and Pakistani security forces are once again cooperating on defeating the insurgents.

    • Bureau project wins bronze at Lovie awards

      Bureau project Where The Drones Strike has won bronze in the ‘Best News Website’ category at the fourth annual Lovie awards.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Swedish energy giant reveals reward wish

      UPDATED: Sweden’s state-owned energy company Vattenfall says it wants 43 billion kronor in compensation from Germany, after nuclear power provided by the firm was phased out by Angela Merkel’s government.

  • Finance

    • Governments are souring on treaties to protect foreign investors

      IF YOU wanted to convince the public that international trade agreements are a way to let multinational companies get rich at the expense of ordinary people, this is what you would do: give foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever a government passes a law to, say, discourage smoking, protect the environment or prevent a nuclear catastrophe. Yet that is precisely what thousands of trade and investment treaties over the past half century have done, through a process known as “investor-state dispute settlement”, or ISDS.

    • International trade ISDS provisions make a mockery of nation’s laws

      One of the public policy paradoxes of the past quarter-century is why the centre-left governments of advanced economies have supported trade policies that undermine the very environmental and labor protections they fight for at home. Foremost among these self-subverting policies have been the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions included in every significant trade deal the United States has signed since Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Under ISDS, foreign investors can sue a nation with which their own country has such treaty arrangements over any rules, regulations or changes in policy that they say harm their financial interests.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Fabrication in BBC Panorama’s ‘Saving Syria’s Children’

      On further viewings, however, this scene in particular is strikingly odd. The young men are quiet and mostly static until spotting the camera upon them, at which point the central figure (Mohammed Asi) raises his arm and the group instantly becomes animated and begins groaning in unison.

      Mohammed Asi begins to sway and lurch, the boy in the black vest suddenly pitches onto his side, the boy in red raises his head and peers quizzically around, while the boy in the white shirt rises effortlessly to his feet. As the camera pulls back a boy in a yellow ‘Super 9′ t-shirt rises from the floor, flailing his head and torso and rolling his eyes as a team of medics sweeps dramatically in.

    • BBC Propaganda

      Please read and consider very carefully this brilliant dissection of the BBC’s propaganda blitz on Syria, at the time when the security establishment were trying to propel us into war against Assad, before they decided it was just as profitable to have a war against Assad’s enemies. For the security establishment and arms industry, any dream will do.

    • Chuck Todd Disqualifies a Senate Candidate

      Bad campaign journalism can be bad in a lot of different ways. It can tell us, based on this or that poll, that there are “top tier” candidates deserving our attention. It can focus on “gaffes” and advertising instead of the issues. It almost always refuses to acknowledge the existence of candidates not affiliated with the two major parties.

    • Fox Attack On Obama Administration For Not Saying “Jihad” Ignores Similar Bush Policy

      Fox News’ Megyn Kelly dishonestly criticized the Obama administration for allegedly endorsing an anti-terror handbook which advises against referring to terrorists as “jihadis,” as it “emboldens them,” failing to mention that the Bush administration made a decision to stop using the word “jihadist” to describe terrorists in 2008.

  • Privacy

    • Tor Weekly News — October 15th, 2014
    • Anonymous Browsing: Open Source Tor Project Router Wins Kickstarter, Now Give One to Every American

      Anonabox is an open source networking device that you plug in to your router or modem that will anonymize all your network traffic through the Tor Project anonymity network. The Kickstarter for Anonnabox has 8,490 backers as of Wed., with $552,620 pledged against a $7,500 goal. It seems people want this product.

    • ‘Hostile to privacy’: Snowden urges internet users to get rid of Dropbox

      Edward Snowden has hit out at Dropbox and other services he says are “hostile to privacy,” urging web users to abandon unencrypted communication and adjust privacy settings to prevent governments from spying on them in increasingly intrusive ways.

      “We are no longer citizens, we no longer have leaders. We’re subjects, and we have rulers,” Snowden told The New Yorker magazine in a comprehensive hour-long interview.

    • UN Report Finds Mass Surveillance Violates International Treaties and Privacy Rights

      The United Nations’ top official for counter-terrorism and human rights (known as the “Special Rapporteur”) issued a formal report to the U.N. General Assembly today that condemns mass electronic surveillance as a clear violation of core privacy rights guaranteed by multiple treaties and conventions. “The hard truth is that the use of mass surveillance technology effectively does away with the right to privacy of communications on the Internet altogether,” the report concluded.

    • Australia’s defence intelligence agency conducted secret programs to help NSA

      Australia’s defence intelligence agency has conducted secretive programs to help the US National Security Agency hack and exploit computer networks, according to documents published by the Intercept.

    • Cognitive Dissonance about the FBI and NSA at 60 Minutes

      60 Minutes, which has been harshly criticized for running puff pieces for the NSA and FBI recently, is at it again. Last night, they ran two unrelated yet completely conflicting segments—one focusing on FBI Director Jim Comey, and the other on New York Times reporter James Risen—and the cognitive dissonance displayed in the back-to-back interviews was remarkable.

    • Here are Snowden’s first emails about the NSA leaks

      Six months before the world knew the National Security Agency’s most prolific leaker of secrets as Edward Joseph Snowden, Laura Poitras knew him as Citizenfour. For months, Poitras communicated with an unknown “senior government employee” under that pseudonym via encrypted emails, as he prepared her to receive an unprecedented leak of classified documents that he would ask her to expose to the world.

    • These Are the Emails Snowden Sent to First Introduce His Epic NSA Leaks
    • GCHQ more dangerous to privacy than NSA – Snowden

      Edward Snowden has warned that Britain’s GCHQ spy agency is a bigger threat to privacy than the NSA, as it uses illegally collected information in criminal prosecutions and, unlike in the US, has relatively few constitutional checks on its activities.

      Speaking by Skype video linkup to a London festival, Snowden also emphasized why it shouldn’t be up to the citizen to justify why they need a right to privacy – something that forms the core of his beliefs and decision to go against the law.

    • NSA Documents Suggest a Close Working Relationship Between NSA, U.S. Companies
    • FBI Director: Encryption Will Lead to a ‘Very Dark Place’

      FBI Director James Comey says the spread of encryption, aided by Apple and Google’s new security measures, will lead to “a very dark place” where police might not be able to stop criminals.

      To avoid that, tech companies need to cooperate and build surveillance-friendly systems when police comes knocking at their door, Comey said on Thursday during a speech in Washington, his first major speech since becoming director last year.

    • New Zealand Cops Raided Home of Reporter Working on Snowden Documents

      Agents from New Zealand’s national police force ransacked the home of a prominent independent journalist earlier this month who was collaborating with The Intercept on stories from the NSA archive furnished by Edward Snowden. The stated purpose of the 10-hour police raid was to identify the source for allegations that the reporter, Nicky Hager, recently published in a book that caused a major political firestorm and led to the resignation of a top government minister.

      But in seizing all the paper files and electronic devices in Hager’s home, the authorities may have also taken source material concerning other unrelated stories that Hager was pursuing. Recognizing the severity of the threat posed to press freedoms from this raid, the Freedom of the Press Foundation today announced a global campaign to raise funds for Hager’s legal defense.

    • Revealed: how Whisper app tracks ‘anonymous’ users

      The company behind Whisper, the social media app that promises users anonymity and claims to be the “the safest place on the internet”, is tracking the location of its users, including some who have specifically asked not to be followed.

      The practice of monitoring the whereabouts of Whisper users – including those who have expressly opted out of geolocation services – will alarm users, who are encouraged to disclose intimate details about their private and professional lives.

    • Banks harvest callers’ voiceprints to fight fraud

      You hear it every time you phone your bank about a lost credit card or an unexpected charge. You may realize your bank is recording you, but did you know it could be taking your biometric data, too?

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • 2015 will be the year you can buy HBO content without a TV subscription

      HBO CEO Richard Plepler told investors attending a Time Warner meeting today that the company will begin offering an online-only subscription for its content in 2015. Unlike the HBO Go service that the company currently offers, a TV subscription wouldn’t be required to access shows under the new plan.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pirates Become Biggest Political Party in Local Czech Election

        The Czech Pirate Party has booked several surprise wins in the local elections. The party gathered 5.3% of the total vote in the capital city of Prague and became the biggest political party in Mariánské lázně, with 21%. As a result, there is a good chance that the city may soon have a Pirate mayor.


Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

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

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • 7 free tools every network needs

    From device discovery to visibility into systems, networks, and traffic flows, these free open source monitoring tools have you covered

  • Free Bassel Khartabil

    Apparently, working for a free and open Internet also caught the attention of the Syrian government, which sadly wasn’t as enamored with Bassel’s work as was Foreign Policy magazine. On March 15, 2012, Bassel was detained in a wave of arrests in the Mazzeh district of Damascus, Syria.

  • Proud Sponsors of the 2014 New Zealand Open Source Awards

    Catalyst are once again delighted to be the main organisers and Platinum sponsors of the awards. Don Christie, Director of Catalyst and the chair of the NZOSA judging panel states “As New Zealand’s and Australasia’s leading open source company Catalyst and our clients benefit hugely from the generosity of spirit that is represented by the open source software community. These awards are an acknowledgement of that spirit and one small way in which we can recognise and promote the open source software community in general.”

  • Women in Open Source award open for nominations
  • Five open source alternatives to popular web apps

    Remember when Sun Microsystems proclaimed that “the network is the computer”? Many people guffawed at that proclamation. What was once a clever slogan is now a reality thanks to the proliferation of web-based applications.

    Chances are you use more than a couple of web apps in your daily life—email, storage, office applications, and more. What’s great about web apps is that you can use them anywhere and with any computer or mobile device. On the other hand, with most of those apps you’re locked in a closed ecosystem. Or worse, you may be handing over the rights to your content and your files when you agree to the terms of service. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

  • Open source startup targeting DevOps-defined networking

    A software startup debuted this week proposing software-defined networking to Docker, the open source software for creating Linux application virtualization containers.

    SocketPlane was founded by former Cisco, Red Hat, HP, OpenDaylight and Dell officials. In the open source world, their names are well known: Madhu Venugopal, John Willis, Brent Salisbury and Dave Tucker.

  • SDN News: Flexible NEC Pricing, HP Cloud, Industry Predictions and More

    The above are just a sampling of this week’s SDN and NFV news, attesting to the industry interest in the emerging technologies, interest that was further evidenced by yesterday’s announcement from Dell’Oro Group that SDN datacenter sales will grow more than 65 percent this year. “With architectures ratified and production deployments under way, network security appliances and Ethernet switches will continue to comprise the majority of SDN’s impact, with SDN gaining a foothold outside of the major cloud providers,” the research firm said while hawking a for-sale report.

  • Setting the SDN Agenda

    So what are going to be the hot topics of debate this week? I’ve been here a day, sitting in on the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) workshop and chatting to a number of companies with a vested interest in SDN’s future success, and there are a number of debates likely to rage all week:

  • Events

    • Why Open Source is Replacing Open Standards

      “Companies are now as the norm using open source to shed comunity R&D, to do collective innovation, particularly at the infrastructure layer, for almost every aspect of technology, not just Linux – SDN, IOT, network functions virtualisation, cloud computing, etc. What you have seen as a result is this proliferation of organisations who facilitate that development, on a very large professional scale. That’s a permanent fixture of how the tech sector operates. We launch a new one of these about every 3 months. Next year we’ll have many many more of these type of projects.”

    • Open Networking Foundation Foresees Open-Source Software as Route to Network Standards in 2015
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 33 Has Been Officially Released. How To Install Firefox 33 On The Most Popular Linux Systems

        Also worth mentining, Firefox 33 comes with optimizations for session respore, JavaScript and HTML5 enhancements, search suggestions on either the Firefox Start (about:home) and new tab (about:newtab) pages, a new CSP (Content Security Policy) backend, support for connecting to HTTP proxy over HTTPS and new features for developers.

      • Firefox 33 gets released with Openh264

        Today Firefox 33 has been released, among it’s main features is OpenH264, an open source, Cisco provided solution for viewing H.264 content over webRTC. OpenH264 is a free H.264 codec plugin that Firefox downloads directly from Cisco. Cisco published the code to Github making it open source. Mozilla and Cisco have set up a process where the binary is verified to be built from the source on Github so that users trust the integrity of the binary that is shipped with the browser.

      • Firefox 33 Officially Released

        Mozilla has just released Firefox 33, the next iteration of the famous Internet browser. As it was to be expected, users will find an assortment of features and various changes that really make the update worthwhile.

      • Mozilla Releases Firefox 33.0 for Android, Linux, Mac, and Windows

        Mozilla has updated its Firefox browser for both mobile (Android) and desktop (Linux, Mac, Windows) platforms, bringing it to version 33.0. The update adds some new features to revamp the video streaming and viewing experience for users, apart from assorted bug fixes and performance improvements.

      • Send videos from Firefox for Android straight to your TV

        We make Firefox for Android to give you greater flexibility and control of your online life. We want you to be able to view your favorite Web content quickly and easily, no matter where you are. That’s why we’re giving you the option to send supported videos straight from the Web pages you visit in Firefox for Android to streaming-enabled TVs via connected devices like Roku and Chromecast.

      • Play Awesome Indie Games Directly in Firefox Including the Award-Winning FTL

        Today, we’re announcing a promotion with Humble Bundle, one of the real innovators in game distribution, that brings eight hugely popular Indie games including the award-winning FTL directly to Firefox users. This promotion only runs for two weeks, so jump straight into the action here!

      • Mozilla and Humble Bundle Launch Game Collection Than Runs in the Browser

        In a surprising move today, Mozilla and Humble Bundle have partnered up to provide a new collection of games, but with a twist. With the help of some new technologies, it’s now possible to play some of the new games just in the browser.

      • Play Cool Games in Firefox, and Name Your Price for Them
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • CMS

  • Healthcare

    • Liberia: The Impact of Open Source Software in the Fight Against Ebola in Liberia

      Over the years there have been several discussions and literature over the impact of open source software (OSS) on economic development. Countries, international organizations including the United Nations, the USAID, the British DFID, have all touted the benefits of open source software on economic development, especially on developing countries. Yet, in Liberia, the discourse has not been as ubiquitous and widely embraced as it has been in other countries or in the literature. While open source software has made some progress in permeating the Liberian society over the years (Mozilla Firefox, Apache Webserver, PHP, Java, MySQL), its impact has not been felt as much as it has been in recent times.

  • BSD


    • For Ada Lovelace Day, highlighting FSF sysadmin Lisa Maginnis

      Today is Ada Lovelace Day, when we share stories of women in technology and their achievements.

      The holiday is named after a 19th-century English mathematician who is considered by many to be the first programmer. Though generations passed before her contribution was fully acknowledged, she was a pioneer both as a scientist and as a challenger of rigid gender roles. For this Ada Lovelace Day, we’re profiling Lisa Maginnis, who is the FSF’s senior systems administrator.

      As the leader of the technical team, Lisa is responsible for choosing, configuring, and maintaining the FSF’s office computers and servers. She uses extensive knowledge of hardware, networking, and electrical engineering to maintain a complex array of all-free software. An alert system sends text messages to her OpenMoko if servers have problems, and she’s no stranger to urgent after-hours trips to the office to get something back online.

    • New Autoconf Archive mirror at available github.com

      There is now a brand-new mirror of the GNU Autoconf Archive’s Git repository available at https://github.com/peti/autoconf-archive that those who enjoy this sort of thing can use to submit patches to the Archive by means of a Pull Request instead of going through Savannah’s patch tracker.

    • OpenACC 2.0 With NVIDIA PTX/CUDA Support Is Closer For GCC

      For the past year Code Sourcery / Mentor Graphics has been working with NVIDIA to bring OpenACC 2.0 support to GCC and to allow for this heterogeneous parallel programming API to be taken advantage of with NVIDIA GPUs from GCC. This work is closer to finally being realized for allowing OpenACC programs to be compiled with GCC and target NVIDIA GPUs on Linux.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Source Biotech: Fund Anti-Cancer Research and Make Drugs Cheaper at the Same Time

      This is a very cool crowdfunding campaign – you can help create a new cancer drug and at the same make it much cheaper. How? The researchers will not patent the drugs. Like polio vaccine, which was never patented, therefore it was widely available. Check out the website and the video. I loved it and made a donation of $50, because I find projects like this can change the existing paradigm in healthcare when the existing drugs are just deadly expensive. I encourage you to support the project and share it with your friends.

  • Programming

    • undertaker 1.6
    • Apple Might Be Divesting Its Stake In LLVM

      Some weeks ago on Twitter a follower had mentioned a rumor that Apple was forcing its compiler developers to focus less on general LLVM work and to basically spend their time on Apple’s new Swift project. While there’s been a general slowdown of direct Apple contributions to LLVM, there’s the latest sign today they might be divesting their interest somewhat in direct management of this open-source compiler infrastructure.


  • Polly Toynbee, Counter-Revolutionary

    I have never been a great fan of Russell Brand’s media persona, and for a revolutionary to be shacked up with Jemima Khan’s millions is perhaps some kind of extended exercise in post-modern irony as performance art. But Brand’s perception that the neo-con political parties are all the same is absolutely correct, and his is almost the only voice the media will broadcast saying it. When I have been saying precisely the same thing for a decade it is not news. News, apparently, lies not in what is said, but whether or not it is a celebrity who says it.

  • The Digital Ripple Effect

    We must acknowledge that with any evolution in communications technology, there are those seeking to corrupt, misuse and exploit channels for sinister purposes and nowhere is this more prevalent than the Web. Privacy, cyber terrorism, online security and data theft are wedged firmly into the social consciousness of many Europeans and their complexity can further deter those who lack even a basic understanding of the issues. But like any societal ill, there is a treatment.


    The company behind the FireFox browser – whose guiding principles are the promotion of openness, innovation & opportunity on the Web – run a Webmaker programme, which provides tools, events and teaching guides designed to train the informed Web creators of tomorrow. However, a more powerful byproduct of this is the building of an online/offline community, based around the processes that increase participation, accountability and crucially, trust.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • NRA’s Ted Nugent Calls For The “Evil Carcasses” Of Obama And Other Democrats In Gun Groups Pitch

      Ted Nugent called for “freedom” or the “evil carcasses” of President Obama and other progressive politicians in a Facebook post where he told followers to support the National Rifle Association and discredited gun advocate John Lott’s Crime Prevention Research Center.

    • Somerset woman guilty on 2 of 3 federal charges for NSA drone protest

      A Somerset woman and two co-defendants were acquitted on one charge but convicted on two others, albeit with reduced penalties, related to a recent drone targeting protest outside the National Security Agency office at Ft. Meade, Maryland.

      Manijeh Saba of Franklin Township, and Ellen Barfield and Marilyn Carlisle, both of Baltimore, spoke openly in court for nearly three hours, showing photographic evidence of NSA drone targeting, naming names and mourning children killed by drones, and asserting their First Amendment rights and Nuremberg justifications.

    • Local peace activist jailed

      A local peace activist is spending 90 days in a Syracuse-area jail for protesting the country’s use of drone warfare.

      Jack Gilroy of Endwell was one of 31 people arrested during an act of civil disobedience outside of the Hancock Airbase near Syracuse in April of last year.

    • Expert: Military intervention not the answer for Middle East violence

      Foreign military intervention heightens problems in the Middle East, internationally recognized expert Rami Khouri said.

    • Killing for Peace

      Since 9-11-01, the United States, by any objective assessment a globe-girdling military empire, has been sucked into an ongoing global civil war between brutal extremists (often fighting among themselves) and those, including us, they perceive as their mortal enemies. We are rightfully outraged by cruel beheadings videotaped for Internet distribution. The beheaders and suicide bombers are equally outraged by our extensive military presence in their ancestral homelands and drone attacks upon weddings.

      Meanwhile, though the government of our mighty empire can read our emails and tap our telephones, the worldwide nonviolent movement to bring about positive change somehow flies completely under its supposedly all-seeing radar screens. The peoples of the earth are overwhelmingly against war, and they want their fair share of the earth’s resources and the possibilities of democratic governance.

    • The Madness of Endless War

      Our media narrows discourse and fans the flames by only allowing U.S. citizens to see through the narrow lens of exceptionalism, polarization and violence. Fear mongers, legion in our culture, insist that adherents of ISIS are hardly human. But we should keep their humanity in our hearts even as we abhor their acts, just as we ought to abhor our own descent into torture and extra-judicial killings. People do not do what those ISIS fighters do without having been rendered desperate and callous by some painful sense of injustice. As Auden wrote, “Those to whom evil is done/do evil in return.” The question for us is how we can best respond to evil without rationalizing our own evil behavior.

    • Killer drones, killer robots

      War is becoming faceless. Warfare in general is becoming increasingly automated. There is a race to develop weapons that can be used without human intervention. Killer drones and robots are such weapons.

    • Fighting extremism with extremism

      In his speech last month to the United Nations, President Obama summoned foreign leaders to join his “campaign against extremism.” While his clarion call was spurred by beheadings by the terrorist group the Islamic State, Mr. Obama has repeatedly invoked the “extremist” threat since taking office in 2009. However, the president’s own record makes it tricky for him to pirouette as the World Savior of Moderation.


      Although Mr. Obama campaigned in 2008 criticizing the bellicosity of his predecessor, he has bombed seven nations since taking office. Mr. Obama justified pummeling Libya in 2011 so that that nation would not become “a new safe haven for extremists” — but there are far more violent terrorists there now than before the United States intervened. Mr. Obama has written himself a blank check to expand bombing in Iraq and Syria owing to extremist perils — even though the U.S. government previously covertly armed some of the same extremists it is now trying to destroy. The notion that the U.S. government is entitled to bomb foreign lands based solely on the president’s decree — regardless of congressional opposition — would have been considered extremist nonsense by earlier generations of Americans.

    • U.S. drones kill 8 in Pakistan’s tribal region as strikes surge

      At least 110 people have been killed in 16 American drone strikes in Pakistan so far this year, according to the Washington-based think tank New America Foundation, which has documented at least 2,174 deaths as a result of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004. It includes at least at least 258 civilians, but the actual figure is thought to be higher.

    • Drone supporters, opponents gather outside air base on Saturday

      Members of local VFW 917 gathered once again to support the 107th Airlift Wing drone program at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on Saturday.

      “It’s not just getting the program,”said Les Carpenter, retired Air Force. “When you get it, you have to support it.”

      He was joined by Army veterans Sgt. Major Vince Canosa, Bill McKewon, and Post Chaplain Eugene Ashley.

      “We come out once a month and then for beer and bologna sandwiches at the VFW,” Carpenter said.

      The members held signs at the station entrance: ISIS beheads with knives, we behead with tomahawks (in reference to the ballistic missile), Predators vs. Aliens, coming soon to a border near you, and KILL FOR PEACE.

    • America’s counter-terrorism lie: Waging war with secret rules, hypocrisy and worse

      Our latest bombings in the Middle East remind us of a scary truth: Here’s what the “war on terror” is really about

    • International Human Rights: -Dispelling the Myths

      There is now a growing international movement for developing an international convention on drones and similar technology.It is time that based on the evidence available we move the international system to start putting the brakes.

    • Pakistan says NATO helicopters violated its airspace

      Two gunship helicopters belonging to the NATO-led international coalition forces have violated the airspace of Pakistan, according to security officials.

      The officials quoted by local media agencies have said that the helicopters remained in the Pakistani territory for at least ten minutes.

    • Pakistan says NATO helicopters violated its airsprace
    • Pakistan, U.S. appear once again to be cooperating on drone strikes

      A series of CIA drone strikes launched last week against Taliban insurgents in Pakistan’s northwest tribal areas provide the clearest demonstration yet that the U.S. intelligence agency and Pakistani security forces are once again cooperating on defeating the insurgents.

    • Niger Is key to West Africa’s future security

      Following the lead of Ethiopia, Chad, and Djibouti, Niger has recently permitted the US and France to operate drones from an air base in its capitol, Niamey. The US military will also be establishing a second drone base in the northern desert city of Agadez, not far from the Algerian border. A major security partner of the US, Algeria’s security forces have already had success in scaling up surveillance and patrol along their border with Niger.

    • Obama’s War and the Limits of Reason

      In recent weeks, Obama has “reluctantly,” for the 7th time since taking office, begun bombing a predominantly Muslim country (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, and now Syria), testing, once again, the “limits of reason.” This begs the question: How far beyond such limits is our political-military elite willing to reach to initiate militarism in our name?

    • In the last days of ‘Operation Protective Edge’ Israel focused on its final goal — the destruction of Gaza’s professional class

      The spectacle of disproportionate force wielded against exclusively civilian targets in the heart of Gaza City had only begun.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • CBS News Sacrifices All Journalistic Integrity To Be Pure PR For CBS PrimeTime TV?

      We’ve written a few times now about Walter O’Brien, the claimed inspiration for the CBS primetime TV show Scorpion. As our reporting has shown, a very large number of the claims about O’Brien’s life simply don’t check out when you look into the details, and in many cases appear to be flat out false. As we’ve said repeatedly — though people keep bringing this up — we don’t care at all about Hollywood folks exaggerating a “based on a true story” claim. What concerns us is (1) the journalistic integrity of those engaged in promoting the false claims about Walter O’Brien for the sake of a TV show and (2) the fact that O’Brien has been using this to promote his own business, which may lead people to giving money to him under questionable pretenses. Each time I write about him, more people who have known him in the past come out of the woodwork to repeat the same claims: nice enough guy, but always massively exaggerating nearly everything.

    • WSJ Vilifies Efforts To Increase Corporate Political Transparency As “Partisan Agitprop”

      The Wall Street Journal is dismissing efforts to convince corporations to be more transparent about their political contributions as “partisan agitprop,” despite the fact that the conservative justices of the Supreme Court reaffirmed the need for such transparency in 2010′s Citizens United decision.

    • Randa Redux: Federal Judge OK’s Dark Money Coordination in WI

      Wisconsin candidates can now coordinate with “dark money” nonprofits that accept secret, unlimited donations and run sham “issue ads,” under a ruling from the same federal judge who blocked the criminal coordination investigation into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker earlier this year.

    • ISIS in Texas?! ABC Fails an Easy Factcheck

      The thing about factchecking is that the person making a claim actually has to have evidence that what they’re saying is true; if they can’t produce any, then there’s not much left to say. Honestly believing that something false is true, or a spokesperson insisting that a lawmaker stands by a claim, doesn’t actually matter. But ABC manages to cloud up an issue that should be crystal clear.

    • “Kill the Messenger’’ is the kind of movie that gives newspaper editors bad dreams

      The three most influential papers in the country at the time — the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and the Washington Post — apparently were embarrassed by critics who accused them of missing the story and reacted by devoting resources to essentially knock it down.

  • Censorship

    • How Australia’s New ‘Anti-Terror’ Censorship Law Could Cover Up Botched Intelligence Operations

      As we reported a few weeks ago, Australia has passed a dreadful “anti-terror” law that not only allows the authorities to monitor the entire Internet in that country with a single warrant, but also threatens 10 years of jail time for anyone who “recklessly” discloses information that relates to a “special intelligence operation.” But what exactly will that mean in practice? Elizabeth Oshea, writing in the Overland journal, has put together a great article fleshing things out.

    • The new ASIO laws: some examples to consider

      The parliament has passed legislation that permits the Attorney General to authorise certain activities of ASIO and affiliates as ‘special intelligence operations’. We can only assume that ASIO will seek such authorisation when its operatives plan to break the criminal or civil law – the whole point of authorising an operation as a special intelligence operation is that participants will be immune from the consequences of their unlawfulness. It will also be a criminal act to disclose information about these operations.

  • Privacy

    • Silk Road Judge Won’t Examine FBI’s Warrantless Server Hacking; Dismisses Suppression Motion On ‘Privacy Interest’ Technicality

      Judge Katherine Forrest has shot down Ross Ulbricht’s defense team’s motion to suppress evidence it claims was acquired illegally by the FBI. The FBI asserted in its response to the motion that Ulbricht had expressed no privacy interest in the alleged Silk Road servers located in Iceland. The FBI further claimed that it needed no legal permission (i.e., a warrant) to hack foreign servers during criminal investigations.

    • TTIP’s threat to our privacy and culture

      TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) is a trade agreement currently being negotiated behind closed doors between the United States and the European Union. The agreement is supposed to “increase trade and investment” but there are significant concerns around its potential negative impact on democracy, the rule of law, innovation, culture and privacy.

    • Press coverage from Don’t Spy On Us event
    • Anonabox bundles OpenWrt with Tor for anonymous Web browsing
    • Anonabox Promises Total Online Anonymity That’s Easy, Open Source, and Cheap

      Nobody likes giving up their privacy. But as much as we complain about it, relatively few of us are willing to put time, money, or effort into consistently protecting our privacy online. And it’s not like it’s that hard, relatively speaking: the Tor Project offers excellent, free software that lets you browse the Internet in complete anonymity, if you use it properly. With Tor, data you send over the Internet are encrypted and stripped of any identifying information (namely, your IP address) before reaching their destination. It’s one of the most reliable methods that you can use to protect your identity online. However, it does take some amount of experience to use, along with a conscious decision to choose security over convenience. If that sounds like too much work (and it sure sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it?), the Anonabox could be exactly what you need.

    • Tiny $51 Tor router runs OpenWRT Linux

      A Kickstarter project called “Anonabox” offers a tiny Tor router for anonymous Internet use, running OpenWRT Linux on a MediaTek MT7620n WiFi chipset.

      The Anonabox is a “completely open source and open hardware” networking device that provides anonymous Internet access and encryption, says Chico, Calif.-based project leader August Germar on the Anonabox Kickstarter page. The device has already blasted past Germar’s $7,500 funding goal, which was intended to “help us move out of our garage, into full production.” With the $340,000 the Anonabox has garnered so far, Germar should be able to afford some nicer digs, indeed.

    • Edward Snowden’s girlfriend living with him in Moscow, film reveals

      She was still in Hawaii when news broke from Hong Kong that he was the whistleblower. Days earlier, authorities, suspicious about his prolonged absence from work, had visited their home.

      On her blog, subtitled, ‘Adventures of a world-travelling, pole-dancing superhero,’ she wrote that she felt “sick, exhausted and carrying the weight of the world”. Shortly afterwards, she took the blog down.

      The two appear to have been together since at least 2009, living part of the time near Baltimore before moving to Hawaii in 2012.

    • Silk Road Judge Won’t Examine FBI’s Warrantless Server Hacking; Dismisses Suppression Motion On ‘Privacy Interest’ Technicality
    • NSA Finally Releases Keith Alexander’s Financial Disclosure Documents; National Security Remains Uncompromised

      The CIA and Office of the Director of National Intelligence both complied. Keith Alexander, via the NSA’s refusal to turn over the documents, is the lone holdout.

    • Edward Snowden: It was worth it

      NSA leaker Edward Snowden on Saturday defended his disclosure of reams of classified information and said his actions were worth fleeing his seemingly idyllic life in Hawaii and ending up in hiding in Russia, where he was joined by his girlfriend in July.

    • After allegations that the service was hacked, Dropbox blames unrelated services

      News that Dropbox credentials had been obtained and leaked by an unknown attacker spread on Reddit yesterday, just days after Edward Snowden advised people to ditch Dropbox, Google and Facebook. Dropbox quickly reacted to the the allegations that it had lost the data and said that 3rd parties were responsible for losing the users data, unrelated to Dropbox.

    • Grooming Students for A Lifetime of Surveillance

      The same technologists who protest against the NSA’s metadata collection programs are the ones profiting the most from the widespread surveillance of students.

    • Privacy International files criminal complaint on behalf of Bahraini activists targeted by spyware FinFisher

      Privacy International today has made a criminal complaint to the National Cyber Crime Unit of the National Crime Agency, urging the immediate investigation of the unlawful surveillance of three Bahraini activists living in the UK by Bahraini authorities using the intrusive malware FinFisher supplied by British company Gamma.

    • Privacy International Files Criminal Complaint Against FinFisher Spyware Company

      Techdirt has been reporting on the disturbing rise in the use of malware by governments around the world to spy on citizens. One name that keeps cropping up in this context is the FinFisher suite of spyware products from the British company Gamma. Its code was discovered masquerading as a Malay-language version of Mozilla Firefox, and is now at the center of a complaint filed in the UK…

  • Civil Rights

    • Vladimir Putin is no saint, but G20 is a club full of sinners

      Among its least savoury members is a feudal state that regularly murders people. Saudi Arabia beheads individuals for the crime of sorcery, among other things. Don’t try to hold a church service there unless it’s of the approved variety – the Saudis officially go in for a medieval, hard-line interpretation of Islam. It’s the country that won’t even let women drive cars. Adultery? Compared with Saudi Arabia, Russia is a bastion of democracy, a beacon of equality, a paragon of human rights.

    • Being Malala

      Recipients of humanitarian awards often invite controversy. In Pakistan, religious and political identities are valued more than the contributions of such recipients. Malala Yousafzai may have the Nobel Peace Prize, but she remains the target of criticism from Pakistani conservatives and also many ‘progressives’.

    • Sanctifying Malala: The Nobel Prize and Moral Alibis

      Those getting it will always be marred by the contradictions any peace prize suggests. The greatest of all remains the fact that the dynamite guru – Alfred Nobel himself – did as much for the cause of war as he decided his profits would supposedly do for peace. Peace was a sentimental afterthought. Many winners of the prize have since kept this legacy alive: that of war maker turned peace maker; a fair share of hypocrisy, with a good share of feigned sincerity.

    • Missing Malala’s Message of Peace: Drones Fuel Terrorism

      On October 10, Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai–who received worldwide attention after being attacked by the Taliban for her advocacy for girls’ education–was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi. Yousafzai’s work on educational equity is well-known. But less well-known is what she said to Barack Obama about how his wars were undermining the fight against terrorism.

    • Nobel for Malala and Kailash

      Malala has not restricted her struggle to sending girls to school. She has stood up for children killed in drone attacks and has expressed her determination to get the prime ministers of India and Pakistan to sit together in dialogue. When meeting with President Obama, she spoke against war and militarization. Perhaps if the Nobel committee had awarded Malala for her anti-war spirit, it would have delivered a strong message to the war-torn world in keeping with the spirit of Sir Alfred Nobel.

    • The (Socialist) Malala Yousafzai the US Media Doesn’t Quote

      Now that Malala Yousafzai has won her hard-earned and well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize, she and her amazing, tragic story is back in the spotlight. Per usual, nevertheless, the corporate media has taken this positive development and exploited it, in the service of US imperialism.

    • The Malala you won’t hear about

      Ben Norton describes how U.S. news outlets have selectively reported only the aspects of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai they want you to see.

    • This Year’s Nobel Peace Prize Winners Are Radicals

      It has been suggested that the recipients of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize are “safe choices” because they advocate for the rights of children and for the fair and respectful treatment of girls and women. Advocacy for an end to child labor, for universal education, for strong trade unions, for economic justice and social democracy, and for an end to war and violence should not be controversial.

    • Nabila Rehman: The Other Girl Who Deserves a Nobel Prize

      Is the global world in oblivion when it comes to Nabila because her story puts a face to what we often call ‘war victims’? Are we too insensitive to see the consequences of war and refuse to acknowledge the fact that these civilians are not even given the basic right to live, forget everything else. “When I hear that they are going after people who have done wrong to America, then what have I done wrong to them? What did my grandmother do wrong to them? I didn’t do anything wrong,” said Nabeela in her testimony. Well, no one has bothered to answer that question.

    • The other Pakistani girl: Malala got the Nobel peace prize; here’s why Nabila won’t

      Last week, the Nobel Peace Prize committee announced two winners: Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai and India’s Kailash Satyarthi for their struggle for the rights of children. While for most Indians K Satyarthi’s name was a bit of a mystery, Malala was already a widely known international figure, her personal story documented on magazine covers around the world.

    • A tale of two Pakistani girls: Malala Yousafzai and Nabila Rehman

      We all know about Pakistan’s braveheart Malala Yousafzai — the girl who defied Taliban and stood up for education and rights of girls in war ridden Pakistan. Recently, Malala received Nobel Peace Prize for her bravery alongwith Kailash Satyarthi and her ‘AWorldAtSchool’ campaign has received record number of petitions. But, do we know about Nabila Rehman — the girl who lost her grandmother due to a drone attack while her sisters were injured. Her only question to US senators being, ‘What was our fault’ which was largely ignored by most of the politicians.

    • We can learn more from Malala Yousafzai’s youthful wisdom than Obama’s messages

      A year ago, Malala met President Obama, who is himself a Nobel Peace Prize winner from 2009, and in another act of boldness, she told him that his drone policy was fueling terrorism.

      “Instead of soldiers, send books. Instead of sending weapons, send pens,” she said.

    • Again the Peace Prize Not for Peace

      The Nobel Peace Prize is required by Alfred Nobel’s will, which created it, to go to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” The Nobel Committee insists on awarding the prize to either a leading maker of war or a person who has done some good work in an area other than peace.

    • Somalia: The security situation remains fragile

      Al-Shabaab militants, who only two years ago controlled a broad swathe of Somalia, have been retreating from more than 20,000 advancing AMISOM troops as well as Somali government soldiers, whom the German army is helping to train. In early September a US drone killed al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane.

    • Montreal spends $110,000 on private lawyers to fight challenge to anti-protest bylaw

      As the city of Montreal tightens its belt-buckle and is cutting budgets, two Montrealers who are challenging the city’s regulations around demonstrations are questioning the amount of resources the city is putting in to defend the bylaws.

      “It seems like there is room for austerity measures around everything except repression,” said Julien Villeneuve, better-known as Anarchopanda, in an interview.

    • NYPD Officer Takes Cash From Man During Stop-And-Frisk; Pepper Sprays Him When He Asks To Have It Returned

      Apparently it’s OK to take money from uncharged individuals during stop-and-frisks as long as it’s: a) not very much money, and b) it’s vouchered at the station.

      What went unaddressed was the officer’s use of pepper spray to shut up both Joye and his sister, who were both asking for the return of the money taken by Montemarano.

    • Video Shows Cop Stealing Man’s Money, Then Pepper Spraying Him

      An NYPD officer stands accused of stealing more than $1,000 in cash from a Brooklyn man during a police stop.

      In a video obtained by the New York Times, an unnamed officer forces 35-year-old Lamard Joye against a fence surrounding a Coney Island basketball court and removes what appears to be a handful of cash from Joye’s pocket at the six-second mark.

    • Secret Courts – A silent start

      There are 2 major issues with the existence of secret courts. Firstly, it removes one of the fundamental tenets of the right to a fair trial – that the trial be conducted in public. As recently as 2011 in a landmark hearing (Al Rawi) the Supreme Court of the UK upheld the principle of open justice. The removal of this openness means that the accused can either never hear evidence which helps to convict them, removing them of the ability to accurately refute that evidence; or alternatively it means that they too are restricted from talking about certain aspects of the trial in public meaning that even if found to be innocent, they have restrictions placed on their freedom of speech.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Street Demonstrations In 21 European Countries Held To Protest Against TAFTA/TTIP; Another ACTA Revolt Brewing?

      Last month, the European Commission refused to accept a request to allow an official EU-wide petition called a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) to take place. This was a curiously maladroit move by the Commission: it would have been easy to allow the petition against TAFTA/TTIP and CETA to proceed, thank the organizers once it was completed, file it away somewhere and then ignore it. Instead, by refusing to allow it to take place, the European Commission has highlighted in a dramatic manner the deeply undemocratic way in which so-called trade agreements are conducted.

    • Copyrights

      • Teen Pirates Pay For Movies More Often Than Non-Pirates

        A new study carried out in Australia has found that most 12-17 year-old teens are not online pirates, with around 74% abstaining from the habit. However, those that do consume illegally tend to buy, rent and visit the movies more often than their non-pirating counterparts.

      • Police Drop Charges Against Industrial-Scale ‘Pirate’

        A raid and subsequent arrest hailed by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit as one of their most significant yet has taken an unexpected twist. After being accused of masterminding an “industrial scale” sports streaming operation, a UK man has had all of the charges against him dropped.

      • City Of London Police Drove 200 Miles To Arrest And Jail ‘Industrial’ Level Pirate… Only To Have Case Fall Apart And All Charges Dropped

        We’ve certainly questioned the efforts by the City of London Police to set themselves up as the legacy entertainment industry’s private police force. Over the past year or so, the police operation (which, yes, represents just one square mile of London, but a square mile with lots of big important businesses), has demonstrated that it will be extremely aggressive, not in fighting criminal wrongdoing, but in protecting the private business interests of some legacy companies, often with little to no legal basis. It also appears that the City of London’s famed Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) is not particularly technology savvy, and seems to just accept what big record labels, movie studios and the like tell it.

      • European Court Of Justice To Consider Legal Ramifications Of Offering Open WiFi

        Lawyer Martin Husovec has a post detailing an important case that has been referred to the EU Court of Justice, which could have a tremendous impact on legal liability for those who offer open WiFi in the European Union.


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

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

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenDaylight Helium gets out of the gate

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

  • OPNFV Project Begins Planning Open Source NFV Solutions

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

  • 11 open source security tools catching fire on GitHub

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

  • Jono Bacon: Open Source is Where Society Innovates

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

  • Amazon Getting More Involved With Open Source

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

  • Amazon Web Services Aims for More Open Source Involvement

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

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Zen Web to Join Firefox OS Phone Players in India

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

      • Zen Web to Join Firefox OS Phone Players in India

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

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

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

      • Firefox 33 Brings OpenH264 Support

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

  • SaaS/Big Data

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

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

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

  • BSD


    • JIT Support Is Closer To Landing For GCC

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

  • Public Services/Government

    • Where new European Commission leaders stand on open source

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

    • Nearly all of Romania’s universities use Moodle

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

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

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

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

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Vagrant

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

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

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

    • Self-documentation of code

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


  • Psst: border mostly secure

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

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

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

  • Health/Nutrition

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

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

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

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

    • Bomb kills two polio vaccinators in Mohmand Agency

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

    • Bomb blast kills two polio vaccinators

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

    • Pakistan Battling Not Only Polio, but Misinformation

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

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

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

    • Polio Spreads in Pakistan

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

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

    • Millions Missing From DEA Money-Laundering Operation

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

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • VeraCrypt a Worthy TrueCrypt Alternative

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

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

    • DEFCON Router Hacking Contest Reveals 15 Major Vulnerabilities

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

    • Too many secrets, not enough service

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

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

    • Propaganda War on Islamic State Militants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Anything that flies on anything that moves

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

    • From Pol Pot to ISIS

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

    • Australia’s new secret police

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

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

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

    • Leon Panetta reveals nuke plan for South Korea

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

    • Pittsburgh protests new round of wars

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

    • Report recommends controversial American-Iranian policy changes

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

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

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

    • Rushing to War in the Wrong Places

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

    • Historic museum vote exposes rift among Bay of Pigs veterans

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

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

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

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

    • Biden continues to apologize; first Turkey, now UAE

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

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

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

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

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

    • Who ‘Lost’ Iraq? The Panetta Fantasy

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

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

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

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

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

    • Opinion: Rebel effort in Syria still splintered

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

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

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

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

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

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

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

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

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

  • Finance

    • Los Angeles Minimum Wage Raise Process Begins

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

    • Russia and China team up to destroy the petro dollar

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

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

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

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

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Neo-Con Speed Dating

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

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

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

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

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

    • ‘Panetta Is Trying to Rewrite History’

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

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

    • Jim Newton leaves Times

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

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

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

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

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

  • Privacy

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

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

    • National ID system described as threat to privacy

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

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

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

  • Civil Rights

    • What’s Driving the Hong Kong Protests

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • US Counterterrorism Communications Center Running Public Diplomacy, Not Infowar

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

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


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

    • Asset seizures fuel police spending

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

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

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

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

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

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


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

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

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

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

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

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

    • Rebellion sees Chromium reverse plans to dump EXT filesystem

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

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

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

  • Server

    • IBM Expects Linux Integration To Work For i Shops

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

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

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

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.18 Has PCI Support For 64-bit ARM

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

    • Mailbox Framework Comes With Linux 3.18

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

    • Debian leader says users can continue with SysVinit

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

    • Reiser4 Updated For Linux 3.16 With SSD Discard Support

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

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

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

    • The cruel crucible of open source development

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

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

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Broadwell OpenCL Support Comes To Beignet

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

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

      • Mesa 10.3.1 Point Release Now Available

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

      • Mesa 10.3.1

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

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kate’s Mascot: Kate the Woodpecker

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

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • The GNOME Infrastructure’s FreeIPA move behind the scenes

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

      • GNOME Summit update

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

  • Distributions

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

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

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

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

    • New Releases

    • Ballnux/SUSE

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Release notes for siduction cinnamon dev release

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

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu’s Unity Turns 4, Happy Birthday!

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

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

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open source “Dronecode” UAV platform project launches

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

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

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

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

    • Linux Foundation Does Open Source Drones

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

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

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

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

      • Android

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

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

Free Software/Open Source

  • What’s in a name in open source?

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

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

  • Front and back-end developers should make friends

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

  • Alfresco sends SharePoint integration open source

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

  • Events/XDC

    • Recapping All The Interesting Talks Of XDC2014

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

    • FreeRDS Talked Up For X & Wayland

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

    • XDC 2014

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

  • Databases

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

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

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

  • Funding

    • Free Software & Money

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

  • BSD


  • Openness/Sharing


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Polio spreads in Pakistan

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • ‘Messenger’ fails to tell entire tale of skullduggery

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • This Is the Real Story Behind Kill The Messenger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Billions from Iraq possibly stashed in Lebanon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Turkey to Help Train and Equip Moderate Syrian Rebels

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

    • Media Scoundrels Wage War

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

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

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


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

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

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

    • Confronting the consequences of aerial savagery

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

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

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

    • Biden tells truth, apologizes

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

    • Rand Paul vs current assaults on monstrous ISIS

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

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

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

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

    • How Muslims can halt extremism

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

    • Harvard Students See US Bigger Threat than ISIL

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

    • Obama allies getting harder to find these days

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

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

    • Rise of the Reapers: A brief history of drones

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

    • Pakistanis burn US flag in rally against drone hits

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

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Lawyer’s Bid for JFK Records Still on Hold

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

  • Finance

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

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

    • Venezuela: Behind murder of revolutionary deputy

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

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Wikipedia founder to float mobile phone company

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

    • Former NSA spy talks about privacy concerns online

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

    • Fake Snowden Is Russia’s Newest TV Star

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

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

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

    • FBI Screens Interns On Their Piracy Habits

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

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

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

    • Goldman Sachs Turns to Digital Surveillance to Catch Rogue Bankers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Civil Rights

    • The Government War Against Reporter James Risen

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

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

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

    • Feds may subpoena reporter in CIA case

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

    • Prosecutors reconsider Risen subpoena
    • James Risen subpoena faces new review

      The Justice Department is using new guidelines to reconsider whether to demand testimony from New York Times reporter James Risen in connection with a leak case against a former CIA officer, a federal prosecutor said Friday.

    • What Former CIA Head Leon Panetta Says Now About Torture

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

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

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

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

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

    • Proof: CIA Uses Hollywood to Feed You Its Propaganda

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

    • A Murder Mystery at Guantanamo Bay

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

    • Do You Appreciate Ray McGovern?

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

    • Freedom and Human Rights in the UK

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

    • Ex-Florida Corrections Officer Convicted In Child Porn Case

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

    • Where’s the accountability?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Now, it’s a lawsuit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • The last real mavericks of the Senate

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

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

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

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

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

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trans-Pacific Partnership Taking on Water, May Sink

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


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

    • Free trade agreement protest march gathers hundreds in Helsinki

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

    • Copyrights

      • ISPs Agree Voluntary Pirate Site Blocks

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

      • Gottfrid Svartholm Hacking Trial Nears Conclusion

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

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

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


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

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

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Facebook Chef Cookbooks Tasty Enough to Open Source

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Open source interest at Pinterest

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

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Wags Finger at Advertising Community

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

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

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

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

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

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • What it takes to make a cloud deployment successful

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

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

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

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

  • Funding

  • BSD

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

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


  • Project Releases

    • Redis cluster, no longer vaporware.

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

    • RPushbullet 0.1.0 with a lot more awesome

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

  • Openness/Sharing


  • Health/Nutrition

    • CNN Implicated in Cover-Up of CDC Vaccine Fraud

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

    • Militarizing the Ebola Crisis

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Security

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

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

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Yemen falling apart

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

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

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

    • Challenging Drone Warfare in a U.S. Court

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

    • Drones again

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

    • National security state: A vast secretive empire

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

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

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

    • Henry Kissinger ‘considered Cuba air strikes’ in 1976

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

    • Where Henry Kissinger’s Dark Wisdom Blinds Him

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

  • Transparency Reporting

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

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

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

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

  • Finance

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

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

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

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

  • Censorship

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

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

    • Capturing the News

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

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

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

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

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

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

    • Suspects in Thai backpacker murders retract confessions, says official

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

    • Bill Maher Is Unusually Conservative on Islam

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

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

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

    • The Malalas You Don’t See

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

    • “Brand Malala”: Western exploitation of a schoolgirl

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

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

    • Again the Peace Prize Is Not for Peace

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

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

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

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

    • Somalia: Victories Over Al Shabab Are Not Bringing Peace

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

    • Drone attack kills four in Tirah Valley

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

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

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

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

    • The Intercept’s Ryan Devereaux is No Gary Webb

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

    • Torture is wrong

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

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

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


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

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

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Synaq: open source’s e-mail kings

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

  • Open source and free software graveyard, 2014

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

  • Events

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

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

    • One Week: Three FOSS Expos

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

    • Multiple screens for your conference presentation

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

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox OS Shows Continued Global Growth

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

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Juno Set to Advance Nova Networking

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

    • OpenStack is nowhere near a “solved problem”

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

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

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

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

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

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

  • Programming

    • The D Language

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


  • Liberia justice minister quits, says president blocked investigation

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

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

  • Coverage of illumos Day 2014
  • Health/Nutrition

    • CNN Turns To Outbreak Fiction Writer For Ebola Coverage

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

    • Feeding the World

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

  • Security

    • Licensing issues unlikely to have delayed Apple Bash fix

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


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

    • How hackers took over my computer

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

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

    • HP accidentally signed malware, will revoke certificate

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

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

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

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

    • Somerset woman faces federal charges in NSA drone killings protest

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

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

  • Finance

    • Global Capitalism’s Bouncers

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

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

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

  • Censorship

    • Censorship goes viral with Internet

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

    • HK backspace, backspace

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

    • Bahrain: Nabeel Rajab to face trial for expressing opinion

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

    • Censorship is for the ignorant, not us

      Censorship can only perpetuate suspicion, not provide clarity.

    • Why banning Arab authors from US is censorship

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

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

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

  • Privacy

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

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


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

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

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

    • House chairman calls for NSA reform in Senate after election

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Report on Disclosures to the Media is Classified

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

    • The NSA Wants to Recruit Teen Hackers for Good

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

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

    • How The NSA Plans To Recruit Your Teenagers

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

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

    • Big data seeks the higher ground on privacy

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

    • They Fight Surveillance – And You Can Too

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Edward Snowden, Pope Francis tipped for Nobel

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

    • Edward Snowden to speak at Observer Ideas festival

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Can we trust the government to monitor surveillance?

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

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

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

    • GCHQ wants to become more transparent, claims web pioneer

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

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

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

    • Execs: NSA spying hurts economy

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Internet spies greatest threat to freedom: poll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Parallel Construction: Your Local Police Working with NSA Surveillance

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

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

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

    • NSA Mission Creep: It’s For The Children

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Civil Rights

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

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

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

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

    • Police investigate potential “terroristic” threat at Snow College

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

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

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

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

    • Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate

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

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

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

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies


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

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

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

  • Server

    • IBM Power Systems Includes Unix and Linux [VIDEO]

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

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

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

    • StorPool – A Toolkit for Cloud Application Providers

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

    • How open source technology is being deployed in science

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

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

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

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

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

  • Kernel Space

    • No interest in Poettering’s problems, says Torvalds

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

    • Linux Foundation Expands International Membership

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


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

    • F2FS File-System Gets Even Better With Linux 3.18

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

    • Kernel 3.17 and kdbus – the kernel column

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Graphics Stack (Mostly AMD)

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Time to Replace XFCE?

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

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • BEST DISTRO 2014

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

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

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

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

    • New Releases

      • Alpine 3.0.5 released

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

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

      • SparkyLinux 3.5.1 E19 is out

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

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

    • Red Hat Family

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

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

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

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

      • Fedora

        • Simply view system logs in Fedora 21 Workstation

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

        • GNOME on Wayland in Fedora 21

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

        • The Limitations Of Wayland On Fedora 21

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

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • UbuTricks 14.10.08 Released

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

          • Canonical Offers OpenStack and Ubuntu Cloud Training in Paris

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

          • Meizu MX4 Pro caught in the wild running Ubuntu

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

  • Devices/Embedded

    • AllSeen to Shine a Light on Internet of Things

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

    • Pocket-sized mobile touchscreen web server runs Tizen

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

    • Linux based touch-panel DAQ system includes GUI software

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

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • openSUSE 13.2 RC1 is now out, hands on

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

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

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

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

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

      • Android

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

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

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

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

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

Free Software/Open Source

  • Behind the scenes with CTO Michael DeHaan of Ansible

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

  • Enterprise Adoption of Open Source Practices is On the Rise

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

  • What’s Driving Open Source 2.0?

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

  • Keys to turn your open source project into a business

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

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

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

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Look what I did to fix Mozilla

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

      • Is This How Mozilla Could Change the World?

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

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • A Big Community Mobilizes Around NFV and OpenStack

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

    • OpenStack Juno Races to Completion as RC2s are Released

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

    • OpenStack Interoperability Testing, Certification Gain Significance

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

  • Databases

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

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

    • Altiscale Releases SQL-on-Hadoop Cloud Storage Service

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

  • CMS

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Froont builds open-source community around responsive prototyping tool

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

  • Funding

    • ‘Hello World’ Indiegogo Fundraiser Reaches Goal

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

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

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

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

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


  • Science

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Imperial spins and our media

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

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

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

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

    • US drone strikes kill 23 in North Waziristan

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

    • John Oliver, Ben Affleck and the Game of Drones

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

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

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

    • Fifth consecutive US drone attack in last five days

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

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

    • Age of empire

      There is certainly at least one way America is exceptional

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

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

    • Plane and simple

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


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

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

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


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

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

    • US Drone Strikes in Pakistan Kill 23 Over Four Days

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

    • Imran sees general elections in 2015

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

    • Drone strikes kill 17 in NWA during Eid holidays

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

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

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

    • UK-Israel trade hits record high despite Gaza carnage

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

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

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

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

    • National Review Online Thanks ISIS for Beheadings

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


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

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Rolling Stone Report Rocks Koch Industries

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

    • Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire

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

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Should Everything in the World Be Facing the Internet?

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

      No kidding.

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

  • Civil Rights

    • Bill O’Reilly, Bill Maher and Islamophobia

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

    • America Must End Its Paranoid War on Hackers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Get out of town.

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

  • DRM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Human Rights No, Corporate Rights Yes?

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

    • Copyrights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Finland Wants to Kill Crowdsourced Copyright Law

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

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