EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

10.25.16

Links 25/10/2016: Rackspace’s Praise of FOSS, Chain Chooses the GPL(v3)

Posted in News Roundup at 7:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Krita 3.1 Digital Painting App Now in Development, Promises Cool New Features

      The Krita development team announced this past weekend that a second Beta pre-release version of the upcoming Krita 3.1 point release is now available for public testing.

      The current stable release of the Krita 3.x branch is version 3.0.1, and the Krita 3.0.2 maintenance update was planned for this fall, but it looks like it gained so many cool new features and improvements that the development team decided to bump the version number to 3.1.

    • Using Twitter From the Command Line Is Actually Really Fun

      The command line remains so incredibly popular because it’s so incredibly versatile. You can do a lot in a terminal.

    • FFmpeg 3.1.5 “Laplace” Multimedia Framework Released for GNU/Linux Distributions

      The fifth maintenance update to the latest stable FFmpeg 3.1 “Laplace” open-source multimedia framework was announced the other day for GNU/Linux systems, bringing more bug fixes and improvements.

      FFmpeg 3.1.5 was released on October 22, and it’s now considered the latest stable and most FFmpeg release from the 3.1 release branch, dubbed “Laplace,” which was officially released at the end of June 2016 and currently used in almost all GNU/Linux distributions.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GTK+ 3.22.2 Deprecates APIs That Will Be Removed in GTK+ 4, Improves Win32 Theme

        Today, October 24, 2016, the GTK+ development team released the second stable maintenance update to the GTK+ 3.22 GUI (Graphical User Interface) toolkit for GNOME-based desktop environments.

        GTK+ 3.22.2 comes just two weeks after the release of GNOME 3.22.1 and in time for the upcoming GNOME 3.22.2 milestone, which will also be the last one pushed for the GNOME 3.22 series. GTK+ 3.22.2 is mostly a bugfix release, but also adds various improvements to the win32 theme and deprecates APIs (Application Programming Interface) that’ll be removed in the next major branch, GTK+ 4.

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Upgrading to Yakkety

            I UPGRADED the operating system on my MacBook Air last week and I figured I ought to do the same on my Linux desktop.

            Moving from Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) to 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) on my desktop PC was nowhere as quick and easy as it was to upgrade from OS X 10.11 to macOS 10.12, but the process was nonetheless pretty straightforward and relatively trouble-free.

            While it took less than an hour to perform the upgrade on my Mac, it took several hours to download and install the latest version of Ubuntu.

            Much has already been written about how Unity 8, the new converged interface being developed for mobile and desktop devices, again failed to make it to the latest version of Ubuntu—although a rough preview of it is built into Yakkety (just log out and choose Unity 8 in the log-in screen).

            On the surface, Ubuntu 16.10 doesn’t look very different than previous releases, and its built-in Unity 7.5 interface features just minor improvements and a few bug fixes.

            To find out what’s new about Ubuntu 16.10, you have to look inside.

          • Ubuntu 17.04 “Zesty Zapus” Is Open for Development, GCC Linaro Used for ARM Port
          • Canonical Pushes First Live Kernel Patch to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Users, Update Now
          • Ubuntu 16.10 Review

            The list of major new features in Ubuntu 16.10 is impressive and interesting, but only if you are using the server product. Very little has changed on the desktop side of things other than the included packages being slightly newer. In fact, other than touting the number of applications available as Snaps, the only desktop-focused feature in the release announcement is a developer preview of Unity 8 desktop.

            To see what the desktop version of Ubuntu 16.10 has to offer compared to the previous 16.04 LTS release, I downloaded the 1.48GB ISO and gave it a try. Below, I take a look at what is new and different. I also take a look at the Unity 8 developer preview.

          • Why is Ubuntu’s Unity 8 development taking so long?

            Canonical has included a preview version of the Unity 8 desktop in Ubuntu 16.10. But that has not stopped some Linux users from wondering why Unity 8 still hasn’t been finished.

            The topic came up in a recent post on the Linux subreddit, and folks there shared their thoughts about why Unity 8 still hasn’t been released in final form.

          • Ubuntu Snappy Core 16 Up to Release Candidate State, Raspberry Pi 3 Image Is Out

            This past weekend, Ubuntu Snappy developer Michael Vogt announced the availability of the Release Candidate (RC) development milestone of the upcoming Ubuntu Snappy Core 16 operating system.

          • Tool That Lets You Install Ubuntu Touch on Your Mobile Device Now Supports Maru

            It’s been a little over a week since we told you all about Marius Quabeck’s awesome new tool that lets you easily install the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system on your device, and it looks like the developer was quite busy adding new functionality.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Black Lab Enterprise Linux 8 Service Pack 1 Supports Rebootless Kernel Installs

              Softpedia was informed by the Black Lab Linux development team about the immediate availability of the first Service Pack (SP) of the Black Lab Enterprise Linux 8 OS.

              Based on the long-term supported Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system, Black Lab Enterprise Linux 8 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is now powered by Linux kernel 4.4.0-45.66, the same version used upstream, which is patched against the nasty “Dirty COW” bug that could have allowed a local attacker to gain administrative privileges.

              Now that Canonical is offering kernel live patch services for its Ubuntu 16.04 LTS release, Black Lab Linux developers also implemented the well-known Kspice tool for offering users rebootless kernel installs. Additionally, Black Lab Enterprise Linux 8 SP1 adds full UEFI support and the ability to install Snap packages.

              “Service Pack 1 is jam packed full of innovations and features,” reads the announcement. “Black Lab Enterprise Linux is the fastest growing Enterprise desktop Linux offering on the market today. Black Lab Enterprise Linux 8.0 SP1 is a hybrid operating system meaning you can deploy local applications that you need as well as the cloud-based applications that you want.”

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ARM/FPGA module runs Linux on Arria 10 SoC

      iWave’s rugged, Linux-friendly, 95 x 75mm “Arria 10 SoC Module” expands upon the dual-core, ARM/FPGA SoC from Altera with DDR4 and 24 transceivers.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • No One Is Buying Smartwatches Anymore

          Remember how smartwatches were supposed to be the next big thing? About that…

          The market intelligence firm IDC reported on Monday that smartwatch shipments are down 51.6 percent year-over-year for the third quarter of 2016. This is bad news for all smartwatch vendors (except maybe Garmin), but it’s especially bad for Apple, which saw shipments drop 71.6 percent, according to the IDC report

          Apple is still the overall smartwatch market leader, with an estimated 41.3-percent of the market, but IDC estimates it shipped only 1.1 million Apple Watches in Q3 2016, compared with 3.9 million in 2015. To a degree, that’s to be expected, since the new Apple Watch Series 2 came out at the tail-end of the quarter. But the news is still a blow, when you consider how huge the Apple Watch hype was just 18 months ago.

        • 10 must-have Android apps for Halloween

Free Software/Open Source

  • 3 open source time management tools

    For many people, one of the reasons they cite for using a Linux-based operating system is productivity. If you’re a power user who has tweaked your system just to your liking, and particularly if you adept at the command line, chances are you’ve realized significant gains in productivity.

    But do you have to be an extreme power user to make use of open source software’s ability to boost your productivity? Absolutely not!

  • The Rackspace State of Open Source

    As the OpenStack Summit in Barcelona kicks off, Rackspace has released a report entitled ‘The State of Open Source’. With every conference seemingly extolling the virtues of open source software, this report is timely. It manages to differentiate between enterprise open source and the wider open source software market.

  • Why digital transformation needs open source

    As if there wasn’t already ample reason for businesses to switch to open source, Forrester analysts Paul Miller and Lauren E Nelson released a report in April 2016, entitled Open Source Powers Enterprise Digital Transformation — CIOs Need To Embrace Open Source Software To Drive Change, which further drives the point.

  • Despite Security Fears, Open Source Is Fuelling Innovation and Cost Savings in UK Businesses
  • Security concerns fail to hold back UK open source success

    However, despite its increasingly common use, many (54%) still perceive external security threats to be a big barrier to adoption, that’s according to a report published by Rackspace.

    The State of Open Source study, which was conducted among IT decision makers in UK businesses with over 1,000 employees and revenues over £500m, and looks at the ways open source is being used, its benefits, but also what is holding back adoption and business concerns.

    According to the report open source has come of age with 85% using open source technology to migrate a closed source project to open source.

    Open source also isn’t just a tool for small businesses; the vast majority (90%) of large businesses are now deploying open source-based enterprise applications, with 25% being completely open source.

    The reason for the growing adoption is because of the money and time savings. Rackspace found that for each project that had been migrated to open source technology, six out of ten organisations saved on average £30,146 and reduced project lifecycle by six months.

    Greater innovation was reported by many (49%), and 46% were driven to open source because of the competitive opportunities. Additionally, just under half (45%) said that it enabled them to get products and services to market faster.

    John Engates, Chief Technology Officer at Rackspace, said: “While open source technologies have been around for many years, it is great to see that enterprise businesses are finally dipping their toes in and seeing the tangible benefits.

  • Visa’s Blockchain Bet Opens Up to Developers

    Banks and financial firms have been tinkering for the past few years with the code that powers cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, with the intention of potentially overhauling their moldering infrastructure. Now they’re preparing to release their code into the wild.

    Chain, a two-year-old startup based in San Francisco, has decided to make its platform available to the public. The company is releasing an open source version of its Chain Core software to developers, any of who as of Monday can find the source code for its proprietary blockchain, or distributed ledger, on its webpage on Github, a code-sharing website.

  • As blockchain tech takes off, Visa preps a new pilot
  • Visa intros international B2B payment service built on blockchain technology
  • Chain opens up systems to ambitious blockchain developers
  • Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) Introduces International B2B Payment Solution Built on Chain’s Blockchain Technology
  • In Milestone Release, Chain Open-Sources its Blockchain Tech
  • Visa Introduces Blockchain-based Solution for Payment Services
  • Visa’s Massive Bet On B2B Blockchain Payments
  • Chain unchains open source blockchain platform
  • Blockchain hype takes hit as Chain releases code for anyone to use

    Software developers, engineers, traders and executives can now build and test any type of application they think will help improve efficiency in their business, said Adam Ludwin, Chain’s chief executive officer. Michael Nagle.

  • Chain Releases Open-Source Version of Distributed-Ledger Platform

    Chain, a fintech company focused on blockchain solutions, released Chain Core Developer Edition, an open-source version of Chain Core, its distributed-ledger platform.

  • R3 Corda Platform Is Open Sourced to the HyperLedger Effort
  • R3 blockchain code goes open source
  • R3 to Contribute Corda Code to Hyperledger Project
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • An introduction to Mozilla’s Secure Open Source Fund

        Thanks Mark. Mozilla is a unique institution—it’s both a nonprofit mission-driven organization and a technology industry corporation. We build open source software (most notably the Firefox Web browser) and we are champions for the open Internet in technical and political fora. We’ve been a global leader on well-known policy issues like privacy and net neutrality, and we’re also very active on most of today’s big topics including copyright reform, encryption, and software vulnerabilities.

  • Programming/Development

    • What’s wrong with Git? A conceptual design analysis

      We finished up last week talking about the how to find good concepts / abstractions in a software design and what good modularization looks like. Today’s paper jumps 40+ years to look at some of those issues in a modern context and a tool that many readers of this blog will be very familiar with: Git. With many thanks to Glyn Normington for the recommendation.

      [...]

      The results of the reworking are made available in a tool called gitless, which I’ve installed on my system to try out for a few days. (Note: if you use oh-my-zsh with the git plugin then this defines an alias for gl which you’ll need to unalias). As of this paper (2013), Gitless was only just beginning as a project, but it continues to this day and tomorrow we’ll look at the 2016 paper that brings the story up to date.

      The kinds of concepts the authors are interested in are those which are essential to the design, to an understanding of the workings of the system, and hence will be apparent in the external interface of the system, as well as in the implementation.

Leftovers

  • ‘Nobody calls it Czechia’: Czech Republic’s new name fails to catch on

    With its imposing statue of the Czech patron saint and wide avenues leading toward historic Prague, Wenceslas Square should be the ideal place for defining a country’s national identity – or at least its name.

    So when the authorities decided to tamper with Czech Republic’s official branding they may have done well to road test the idea here, where national aspirations have often been asserted, and occasionally crushed, in dramatic fashion.

    Yet, six months after the shorter and supposedly punchier name of Czechia was officially adopted by the country’s leaders, citizens of the central European country of 10 million people seem in little doubt over what it should be called.

  • IT departments are the first line of defence for businesses

    “With hackers on the loose we need to secure our online defences” (Editorial, 22 October). Whilst I applaud and wholeheartedly support your point on why we must all secure our devices and agree with you that the hubris from entities in handling these issues has a large part to play, I must correct you on the picture you paint about IT departments.

    They don’t all shrug and they don’t all just say “switch it off and on again”. They are currently a lone voice in many organisations on this topic, often discounted as being alarmist (usually because the fix requires investment and no one really likes to invest in compliance type activity).

    The perception that digital is cool but technologists are boring is one of the most dangerous cultural vulnerabilities we have in many organisations. The rift between the two needs mending and the need for speed to market needs to be balanced by ensuring we are selling goods that are delivered wisely and safely.

  • MYOB demands users upgrade Microsoft software

    In a notice that has been described as unconscionable, Australian accounting software provider MYOB has sent out a notice to its users, asking them to upgrade their Microsoft Windows 7 operating systems and SQL Server database software before the end of the year.

    The company provides tax, accounting and other services to small and medium-sized businesses.

    Windows 7 has extended support from Microsoft until 14 January 2020.

    In a notice sent to users, which is also on its website, MYOB said:

    “Microsoft is making changes to the technologies that are covered under mainstream support. This will impact our ability to provide support if you are using MYOB software on those technologies.

  • Science

    • Seventy Years Ago, Humans Saw Earth from Space for the First Time

      The view of Earth from outer space has utterly transformed perspectives on our civilization, our planet, and our relationship to the universe beyond our skies. This Monday marks the 70th anniversary of the day we first saw the planet from this extraordinary, quasi-alien vantagepoint; a pivotal event that occurred on October 24, 1946, at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

      Snapped from an altitude of 65 miles by a Devry 35-millimeter motion picture camera, the black-and-white image captures the Earth’s curvature and the sweep of cloud cover over the American Southwest.

      The camera was mounted on a V-2 rocket, a Nazi-developed series of long-range ballistic missiles that Hitler had deployed against Allied targets in London, Antwerp, and Liège during World War II, resulting in the deaths of thousands of civilians.

      In the final months of the war, American forces accepted the surrender of key German rocket scientists, including Wernher von Braun, who later became the architect of the Saturn V Apollo Program rockets. These spaceflight experts immigrated to the United States in secret under Operation Paperclip, and they brought dozens of their V-2 rockets with them to help kickstart the American space program.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Horrific flesh-eating bacteria that killed man in four days expected to rise

      “It’s like something out of a horror movie,” Marcia Funk told the Daily Times of Salisbury, Maryland last week. In September, Funk watched helplessly as her husband of 46 years succumbed to an infection of flesh-eating bacteria in a mere four days.

      Michael Funk, her husband, became infected on September 11 while cleaning crab traps in the Assawoman Bay outside their Ocean City, Maryland condominium. The deadly bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus, had slipped into a small cut on his leg as he waded into the bay’s still, warm, and brackish waters—ideal breeding grounds for the bacteria. Within hours, Funk fell ill and went to a nearby hospital where a surgeon removed infected, rotting skin from his leg. But with the flesh-eating bacteria circulating in his bloodstream, his condition quickly worsened. He was flown to a trauma hospital in Baltimore where surgeons amputated his leg. Still, the lesions spread and, on September 15, he died.

      Funk’s case is among the more severe examples of V. vulnificus infections—but it still could have been worse. In July, scientists reported that a 59-year-old man showed up at a hospital with a painful ankle lesion that expanded before their eyes (see photo above). His V. vulnificus infection, caught from warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, turned deadly even faster. Within hours, his whole body was covered in lesions. A little more than 48 hours later, he was dead.

    • New study looks at the health effects of Wi-Fi

      The answer to this question is, unfortunately, ‘we don’t know’…yet. This is because most studies on people need to be longitudinal. Studying the long-term effect of radiation can only be achieved after significant time has elapsed. It should be pointed out that the general scientific consensus is that Wi-Fi is safe. Although Wi-Fi has been anecdotally linked to electromagnetic hypersensitivity, no study has proven this.
      In addition, most governments have studies on-going looking at the thermal (and sometimes non-thermal) effects of electric magnetic fields.
      Trying a different data gathering approach to those set-up by most government backed laboratories, a research group have used bacteria to assess what might be happening in the context of the modern, urbanized environment. Wherever people go there is exposure to a similar range of unlicensed radio signals from baby alarms, radio-controlled cars, cordless (DECT) phones, Bluetooth headsets, security alarms and many other things. Wi-Fi (wireless local area network) at 2.45GHz falls in the microwave band along with baby monitors and mobile phones, although the radiation level is 100,000 times less than a microwave oven.
      With the new research, scientists from the Swansea University led National Research Network (NRN) in Advanced Engineering and Materials have looked at the effects occurring at the molecular level in relation to Wi-Fi.
      In a research brief, the person leading up the review, Dr. Catrin F Williams explains: “We are adopting a ‘bottom-up’ approach. In the first instance, we want to understand what interactions are occurring at the sub-cellular or molecular level.”

  • Security

    • The internet apocalypse map hides the major vulnerability that created it

      During Friday’s massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on DNS service provider Dyn, one might be forgiven for mistaking the maps of network outages for images of some post-apocalyptic nuclear fallout. Screenshots from sites like downdetector.com showed menacingly red, fuzzy heat maps of, well, effectively just population centers of the United States experiencing serious difficulty accessing Twitter, Github, Etsy, or any of Dyn’s other high-profile clients. Aside from offering little detail and making a DDoS literally into a glowing red menace, they also obscured the reality of just how centralized a lot of internet infrastructure really is. DNS is ground zero for the uneasy tension of the internet’s presumed decentralized resilience and the reality that as of now, translating IP addresses into domain names requires some kind of centralized, hierarchical platform, and that’s probably not going to radically change anytime soon.

      Other maps provided by various business to business network infrastructure companies weren’t much more helpful. These maps seem to exist mostly to signal that the companies in question have lots of cool data and that it can be made into a flashy map — which might impress potential customers, but that doesn’t offer a ton of insights for the layperson. For example, threat intelligence company Norse’s map appears to be mostly a homage to the Matthew Broderick movie War Games: a constant barrage of DDoS attacks beaming like space invader rockets across a world map. Akamai has an impressive 3D visualization that renders traffic as points beaming into the atmosphere. And website monitoring service Pingdom offers a dot map at such a far-out zoom level that it’s essentially useless for seeking out more meaningful patterns than “outages happen in population centers, also there are a lot of outages.”

    • CoreOS Patched Against the “Dirty COW” Linux Kernel Vulnerability, Update Now
    • World’s first hack-proof router launched

      Turris Omnia router, tagged the world’s first hack-proof router, was launched yesterday at the CES Unveiled Show in Prague, Czech Republic.

      As an essential part of any home internet network, routers are rather poorly secured and protected against cyber attack. More often than not, the only security feature is the default password. With easily required internet knowledge and some skills, these routers can be hacked, providing unauthorized access to a complete internet network. From there on, anything is possible.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis

      Löfven met representatives of the royal family – King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayif and Vice Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman – on Sunday.

      “We have brought up issues such as women’s rights, the death penalty, even corporal punishment. We’re doing it in the way that we believe will have the greatest effect,” Löfven told Swedish media after the meeting.

      The absolute monarchy Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Stockholm in March 2015 after what it called “flagrant interference in internal affairs” by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström.

      The foreign minister had criticized the kingdom’s treatment of blogger Raef Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and ten years in prison for insulting Islam. “One must protest against what are nearly medieval methods” of punishment, Wallström said.

    • Sweden and Saudi Arabia — a Treacherous Romance

      Today, on October 23, a Swedish delegation consisting of key government officials, led by PM Stefan Löfvén will meet their Saudi counterparts. The delegation also includes Marcus Wallenberg and Maria Rankka, chair and vice chair of «Saudi-Swedish joint Business Council». More importantly, Marcus Wallenberg is chairman of the board of SAAB, Sweden’s most important arms manufacturer and exporter. In essence, Sweden’s top political leadership and among the most important representatives of the arms export lobby of Sweden will meet the most heinous war criminals of our time to discuss issues of common interest, such as Sweden’s role as new member of the UN Security Council, as well as (arms) business opportunities.

      To understand the current situation, a recap of the main events in the Saudi/Swedish entanglement is necessary. It dates back to at least 2005 when Sweden and Saudi Arabia concluded an agreement of «extended» defence cooperation, including the secret building of an advanced missile factory in Saudi Arabia with the assistance of Swedish expertise. The agreement was so sensitive that it was kept as a state secret, and an obscure front company was set up to hide the affair, which was nevertheless leaked to the public in 2012. The ensuing scandal killed the weapon’s factory project and lead to the resignation of the Swedish minister of defence. However, the abundant arms export from Sweden to Saudi Arabia remained «business as usual», as well as the extended defence agreement. This concludes phase one of the scandal, in Sweden denoted as the «Saudi Affair».

    • At least 58 killed as Pakistan militants storm police training centre in Quetta

      At least 58 people were killed when militants attacked a police training college near Pakistan’s south-western city of Quetta late on Monday, officials said.

      More than 100 people were also injured as commandos conducted a five-hour operation to rescue cadets who being held hostage inside the complex.

      Major General Sher Afgan, Inspector General of the Frontier Corps (FC), said after the operation had ended that six terrorists carried out the attack, three of whom were wearing suicide vests.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Climate change could spark the world’s next financial crisis, former Bank of England executive warns

      ‘You don’t need to believe in climate change, you don’t need to believe that it is man-made. You just need to believe that governments are going to do stuff and that is going to affect your business. And then it is a material risk’

    • CO2 levels mark ‘new era’ in the world’s changing climate

      Levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have surged past an important threshold and may not dip below it for “many generations”.

      The 400 parts per million benchmark was broken globally for the first time in recorded history in 2015.

      But according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), 2016 will likely be the first full year to exceed the mark.

      The high levels can be partly attributed to a strong El Niño event.

    • Testing the climate-drought-conflict connection

      Academics do not agree on the relationship between climate change and armed conflicts. Weather events driven by climate change, like droughts and extreme precipitation, might be societally destabilizing. But attempts to determine whether this connection is happening in the real world have produced ambiguous and sometimes contradictory results.

      A new study published in PNAS looks at up-to-date conflict data from 1989-2014 in Asia and Africa, examining the relationship between these events and droughts. The study finds that droughts affect the level of conflict, but only in poor societies that are dependent on agriculture.

      Drought can incite conflict because it can cause food scarcity, but is that actually happening today? To probe this relationship, the authors used geo-referenced data on armed conflict events between ethnic groups. The procedure used to link the ethnic groups to conflict behavior included consideration of how localized drought affected groups’ behavior regardless of the physical location of the fighting relative to the drought. In other words, if the group suffered a drought but ended up fighting in a region that received sufficient rain, that still counted. For this analysis, “ethnic group” was defined as discrete groups of humans with a shared culture and language living in the same geographic space.

  • Finance

    • Microsoft Hikes U.K. Prices of Enterprise Products Amid Brexit

      Microsoft Corp. will increase the price of its enterprise software and cloud offerings in the U.K. by as much as 22 percent to adjust to the falling pound in the aftermath of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

      From Jan. 1, prices of on-premises enterprise software will be hiked 13 percent, while those of cloud services will increase 22 percent, all to realign with euro-based contracts, the company said in a blog post. Consumer software or cloud products won’t be affected, Microsoft said.

      The slump of the pound since the Brexit vote has translated into a series of price hikes for consumers in the U.K. In the technology space, British consumers found out last month they’d pay as much as 16 percent more for the latest iPhone models compared to previous versions, a bigger inflation than for buyers in the U.S. or Germany.

    • Brexit: Microsoft jacks up prices, SAP sees UK growth, and Adobe doesn’t blink

      The precipitous drop in the value of the pound caused by Brexit has led to rocketing prices for Microsoft’s cloud and on-premise business services in the UK.

      From the start of next year, Microsoft’s enterprise software will be 13 percent more expensive, while enterprise cloud services will be hiked by 22 percent, the company has warned.

    • Corporate Sovereignty Helps To Bring EU-Canada Trade Deal To Brink Of Collapse

      The trade deal between the EU and Canada, known as CETA — the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement — is remarkable for the fact that it has still not been signed and ratified, even though its completion was “celebrated” over two years ago. That’s partly because of growing resistance to the inclusion of a corporate sovereignty chapter — also known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). In an attempt to head that off, the European Commission persuaded Canada to swap out vanilla ISDS for a new, “improved” version called the Investor Court System (ICS). As Techdirt noted before, this is really just putting lipstick on the pig, and doesn’t change the fact that companies are being given unique privileges to sue a country for alleged harm to their investments using special tribunals, as well as in national courts.

      CETA has faced other problems, notably from Bulgaria, Romania and Belgium. The first two said they wouldn’t sign because of Canada’s refusal to lift visa requirements for their citizens. That blackmail seems to have paid off. The Sofia Globe reports that Canada has agreed to remove the visa requirements from December 2017, and Bulgaria and Romania now say that they will sign CETA.

    • Belgium given EU ultimatum to secure Canada trade deal, but Wallonia defiant

      The European Union has given Belgium’s federal government until late on Monday to secure backing for an EU-Canada trade deal from the region of Wallonia or a planned summit to sign the pact will be cancelled.

      European Council president Donald Tusk, who chairs the collective body of the EU’s 28 national leaders, will speak to Belgian prime minister Charles Michel by late on Monday, an EU source told Reuters, so that Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau can decide whether to fly to Brussels for the signing on Thursday.

      If Michel cannot assure Tusk that Belgium will be able to let the EU sign the Ceta agreement, then Thursday’s EU-Canada summit will be postponed.

    • The truth about trade

      To keep a scorecard on TPP, TTIP, and other related trade policy measures, it’s important to keep track of four components of international economics. The first is trade in goods and services, when the US exports or imports merchandise (like coffee) or services (like shipping). The second is the movement of foreign capital, such as when General Motors opens a subsidiary to manufacture parts in Mexico. The third is offshoring of jobs, such as when Apple contracts with the Taiwanese company Foxconn to assemble iPhones in China. And the fourth are global regulatory policies such as the terms of patents and copyrights. Modern trade agreements are not just about trade; they include all four parts of the international economic system.

    • Trans-Pacific Partnership makes Australia vulnerable to court challenges, report claims

      Australia could face a growing number of expensive legal claims from foreign corporations if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) comes into force, a new report has warned.

      Dr Kyla Tienhaara, from the Australian National University, said Australia ought to learn from Canada’s experience after it signed the North America Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which came into force in 1994 and led to dozens of legal cases against Canada by US corporations.

      She said the frequency of trade-based legal cases against Canada had increased significantly since 2006, in line with the global trend of such disputes, and warned a similar thing might happen to Australia under the TPP, because it has an investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision similar to Nafta’s.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • [Old] ‘FOBs’: How Hillary’s State Dept. Gave Special Attention to ‘Friends of Bill’ After Haiti Quake

      In a series of candid email exchanges with top Clinton Foundation officials during the hours after the massive 2010 Haiti earthquake, a senior aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly gave special attention to those identified by the abbreviations “FOB” (friends of Bill Clinton) or “WJC VIPs” (William Jefferson Clinton VIPs).

      “Need you to flag when people are friends of WJC,” wrote Caitlin Klevorick, then a senior State Department official who was juggling incoming offers of assistance being funneled to the State Department by the Clinton Foundation. “Most I can probably ID but not all.”

    • State IT official repeatedly takes Fifth Amendment in Clinton email lawsuit

      A retired State Department information technology official asserted his Fifth Amendment rights more than 90 times during a deposition Monday in a civil lawsuit related to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, according to the conservative group that brought the litigation.

      In August, a federal judge ordered John Bentel — former director of the Information Resources Management staff in Secretary of State Clinton’s office — to submit to a sworn deposition in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch.

    • Reddit Exposes Hillary Clinton Staff Trying To Frame Assange As ‘Pedo’

      A Reddit investigation has directly linked a pro-Democrat Super PAC and a tech company with employees with close ties to Hillary Clinton with a smear campaign plot to falsely accuse Julian Assange of pedophilia.

      The investigation was sparked after WikiLeaks released a series of tweets on Wednesday outlining an elaborate plot by a dating website currently attempting to frame and smear Assange.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Facebook Needs to Fix Its Censorship Double Standards

      Facebook has finally accepted that its algorithms that decide whether or not a post is “acceptable” may not be that good, and has announced that over the next few weeks it will start allowing more items that people find newsworthy and significant onto Facebook, even if they violate its community standards.

      The about turn comes as the social network has in recent months come under fire for deleting posts such as the iconic Vietnam War image of anapalm-burnt Kim Phúc and a Le Monde news feature that showed an image of a cancer victim’s mammogram.

      It’s understandable that dealing with the subjective nature of historically and culturally significant images or news stories is a complex task, but it’s so far been clear that the task should not be left to computer algorithms at their current stage of intelligence. Facebook also has to deal with differing cultural norms and laws in countries around the world—another problem that is not yet best left to algorithms. On top of this, as I explained in September, Facebook must not overstep its role of a news aggregator to become a gatekeeper.

    • PINAC Director Sues Miami Beach Mayor Over Refusal To Release Social Media Blocklists

      Executive director of Photography is Not a Crime (PINAC) Grant Stern is taking Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine to court over public records request denials. As Fusion’s Ethan Chiel reports, the mayor has been busy blocking critics on both Twitter and Facebook, and Stern aims to find out just how many constituents the mayor is tuning out.

    • YouTube vs. Conservative Speech
    • THE 1ST AMENDMENT
    • Petition of 65000 Demand YouTube Remove Video Restrictions on PragerU’s Videos
    • Google/YouTube Censorship Alive and Well in Prager U Case
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • China wants to give all of its citizens a score – and their rating could affect every area of their lives

      Imagine a world where an authoritarian government monitors everything you do, amasses huge amounts of data on almost every interaction you make, and awards you a single score that measures how “trustworthy” you are.

      In this world, anything from defaulting on a loan to criticising the ruling party, from running a red light to failing to care for your parents properly, could cause you to lose points. And in this world, your score becomes the ultimate truth of who you are – determining whether you can borrow money, get your children into the best schools or travel abroad; whether you get a room in a fancy hotel, a seat in a top restaurant – or even just get a date.

      This is not the dystopian superstate of Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, in which all-knowing police stop crime before it happens. But it could be China by 2020. It is the scenario contained in China’s ambitious plans to develop a far-reaching social credit system, a plan that the Communist Party hopes will build a culture of “sincerity” and a “harmonious socialist society” where “keeping trust is glorious.”

    • From Personality To Property: Data Protection Needs Competition, Consumer Protection Law, Conference Says

      for the public sector, will go some way to protect users’ autonomy in deciding over his personal data. Provisions on data portability and transparency, coupled with considerable sanctions in case of violations, all would try to hand back some control to the users, Manon Ootvees. from the Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam, said before 40 international young researchers from fields as diversified as IP, competition and antitrust law, economy and consumer protection.

      Still data protection could not do it alone. “It might not work in the context of big data, or at least be less strong than we expect,” Ootvees said. Will people exercise the rights, will they be lured by the benefits platforms offer and how difficult will it be to proove, for example, that their personally identifiable data, spilled in aggregated versions to third party providers all over and used to construct profiles again for personalised adds or personalized pricing? “I see a lot of scepticism here,” said Ootvees.

    • Alibaba’s Jack Ma Urges China to Use Data to Combat Crime

      Chinese billionaire Jack Ma proposed that the nation’s top security bureau use big data to prevent crime, endorsing the country’s nascent effort to build unparalleled online surveillance of its billion-plus people.

    • PayPal payments and notifications are coming to Facebook Messenger [Ed: Facebook Messenger is malware on people’s phones (spying every few seconds), will soon spy on payments too]

      PayPal has been pushing to expand its reach into the consumer realm, having struck partnerships with MasterCard, Visa, Vodafone, and Alibaba, among other companies in the past few months alone. With Facebook Messenger on board, this opens PayPal up to a potential one billion users.

      Facebook first unveiled plans to expand Messenger beyond a messaging app and into a platform last year, letting retailers connect with customers on one of the world’s most popular messaging services. Retailers including Everlane and Zulily were among the first partners announced, while big-name brands such as KLM have since signed up to embrace Messenger as a platform.

    • U.S. courts: Electronic surveillance up 500 percent in D.C.-area since 2011, almost all sealed cases

      Secret law enforcement requests to conduct electronic surveillance in domestic criminal cases have surged in federal courts for Northern Virginia and the District, but only one in a thousand of the applications ever becomes public, newly released data show.

      The bare-bones release by the courts leaves unanswered how long, in what ways and for what crimes federal investigators tracked individuals’ data and whether long-running investigations result in charges.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Douglas Murray: “First They Came for Asia Bibi”

      The same week that (Humza) Yousaf was extolling the idea that Britain is a proto-Nazi state and Pakistan a potential safe-haven, the Pakistani authorities saw the latest round of the interminable and unforgivable saga of Asia Bibi. This is the woman who has been on death-row in Pakistan for no crime other than the crime of being a Christian. Bibi has been awaiting execution for five years, purely because a neighbour claimed that Bibi had insulted Mohammed during an argument.

      …While the Conservative party in Westminster is portrayed by these supposed defenders of human rights as some kind of Nazi offshoot, life is, in fact, unequalled in Britain for being good for people of any faith or background. It would be hard to find a society anywhere that has been more tolerant of mass immigration or tried to make life good for the immigrants who arrive, whatever background they are from. Pakistan, on the other hand, is a country which could hardly have a worse record on all of these matters. It is a country where racism and ethnic and religious hatred are rife. People of the “wrong” background, caste, or ethnicity experience infinitely more racism in Pakistan than in any country in Europe. Even people who are the “wrong” type of Muslim, such as Ahmadiyya Muslims, are the subject of constant and routine persecution and bigotry. The persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims is so rife in Pakistan that this July, it even spilled out onto the streets of Glasgow in the murder of an Ahmadiyyan shopkeeper, Asad Shah.

    • Pakistani policeman slaps female journalist and assaults cameraman in public (VIDEO)

      A shocking video has emerged of a policeman violently slapping a female journalist during a scuffle at a government office in Karachi.

      The officer from the Frontier Constabulary was seen arguing with Saima Kanwal from channel K-21 as she was doing a live program.

      The journalist was doing a report on the issues people face at Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) when she got into a rift with the guard after he grabbed hold of the camera man.

    • Leaked Audio: Austin Police Chief Threatens to Fire Commanders who don’t keep Officers from Abusing Citizens

      “If your heart isn’t in this job, either step down or step out,” Austin Police Chief Hubert “Art” Acevedo said to his top brass during a private meeting on August 10 where he expressed his anger over the way his cops treat minorities, urging his commanders to push new community-friendly styles of policing to their officers – or lose their jobs.

      The recording from the meeting, leaked this week by an unknown commander, reveals tension between Acevedo and a number of his 18 commanders and their subordinates as he apparently attempts to cross the thin blue line for the first time during his 9-year tenure as the Austin Police Chief.

      Acevedo can be heard in the recording calling some of his commanders out for not supporting his decision to take disciplinary action against one of his cops for shooting an unarmed black kid, which is something he hasn’t done much since landing the job as chief in 2007.

      It’s not clear which specific officers Acevedo is referring to, but he indicates details may be forthcoming.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T’s Time Warner Deal Is For Shareholders, Not You

      This weekend brought about the biggest media merger of the year: AT&T will buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion. So Batman, Tony Soprano and CNN may end up under the ownership of the largest pay-TV operator in the country.

      The news is notable for many reasons, starting with the hefty price tag. AT&T will pay a 35% premium above Time Warner’s value before reports of the merger surfaced last week. But the deal could also affect consumers who subscribe to DirecTV, surf online via AT&T’s U-verse or pay for content from Warner Brothers’ media empire.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Shadow Warrior 2 Developers: We’d Rather Spend Our Time Making A Great Game Than Worrying About Piracy

        With the time we spend discussing the scourge of DRM that has invaded the video game industry for some time, it can at times be easy to lose sight of those in the industry who understand just how pointless the whole enterprise is. There are indeed those who understand that DRM has only a minimal impact on piracy numbers, yet stands to have a profound impact on legitimate customers, making the whole thing not only pointless, but actively detrimental to the gaming business. Studios like CD Projekt Red, makers of the Witcher series, and Lab Zero Games, makers of the SkullGirls franchise, have come to the realization that focusing on DRM rather than focusing on making great games and connecting with their fans doesn’t make any sense.

        And now we can add Polish game studio Flying Wild Hog to the list of developers that get it. The makers of the recently released Shadow Warrior 2 game have indicated that it basically has zero time for DRM for its new game because it’s entirely too busy making great games and engaging with its fans. On the Steam forum, one gamer noticed that SW2 did not come with any embedded DRM, such as Denudo, and asked the studio why it wasn’t worried about piracy.

      • Police Confiscate Hundreds of Computers Over Movie Piracy Allegations

        Copyright trolling is usually handled in the civil courts but over in Poland, things are getting out of control. Police have reportedly visited hundreds of homes and seized hundreds of computers, each alleged to have shared a movie without permission. There are fears that up to 40,000 people could eventually be affected.

        During the summer, Poland became entangled in what is likely to be one of the world’s most important copyright battles. Alleged KickassTorrents founder Artem Vaulin was arrested in the country, where he continues to fight extradition to the United States.

10.24.16

Links 24/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC2

Posted in News Roundup at 8:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Distributing encryption software may break the law

    Developers, distributors, and users of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) often face a host of legal issues which they need to keep in mind. Although areas of law such as copyright, trademark, and patents are frequently discussed, these are not the only legal concerns for FOSS. One area that often escapes notice is export controls. It may come as a surprise that sharing software that performs or uses cryptographic functions on a public website could be a violation of U.S. export control law.

    Export controls is a term for the various legal rules which together have the effect of placing restrictions, conditions, or even wholesale prohibitions on certain types of export as a means to promote national security interests and foreign policy objectives. Export control has a long history in the United States that goes back to the Revolutionary War with an embargo of trade with Great Britain by the First Continental Congress. The modern United States export control regime includes the Department of State’s regulations covering export of munitions, the Treasury Department’s enforcement of United States’ foreign embargoes and sanctions regimes, and the Department of Commerce’s regulations applying to exports of “dual-use” items, i.e. items which have civil applications as well as terrorism, military, or weapons of mass destruction-related applications.

  • GitHub open-sources tool to track and preview Puppet changes

    If tweaks to your Puppet setups are causing breakage across your deployments, GitHub’s Octocatalog-diff ensures that new Puppet settings don’t wreck old ones

  • Puppet Unveils New Docker Build and Phased Deployments

    Puppet released a number of announcements today including the availability of Puppet Docker Image Build and a new version of Puppet Enterprise, which features phased deployments and situational awareness.

    In April, Puppet began helping people deploy and manage things like Docker, Kubernetes, Mesosphere, and CoreOS. Now the shift is helping people manage the services that are running on top of those environments.

  • 9 reasons not to install Nagios in your company
  • Top 5 Reasons to Love Kubernetes

    At LinuxCon Europe in Berlin I gave a talk about Kubernetes titled “Why I love Kubernetes? Top 10 reasons.” The response was great, and several folks asked me to write a blog about it. So here it is, with the first five reasons in this article and the others to follow. As a quick introduction, Kubernetes is “an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications” often referred to as a container orchestrator.

  • Website-blocking attack used open-source software

    Mirai gained notoriety after the Krebs attack because of the bandwidth it was able to generate — a record at well over 600 gigabits a second, enough to send the English text of Wikipedia three times in two seconds. Two weeks later, the source code for Mirai was posted online for free.

  • Alibaba’s Blockchain Email Repository Gains Technology from Chinese Open Source Startup

    Onchain, an open-source blockchain based in Shanghai, will provide technology for Alibaba’s first blockchain supported email evidence repository.

    Onchain allows fast re-constructions for public, permissioned (consortium) or private blockchains and will eventually enable interoperability among these modes. Its consortium chain product, the Law Chain, will provide technology for Ali Cloud, Alibaba’s computing branch.

    Ali Cloud has integrated Onchain’s Antshares blockchain technology to provide an enterprise-grade email repository. Onchain provides the bottom-layer framework for Ali Cloud, including its open-source blockchain capabilities, to enable any company to customize its own enterprise-level blockchain.

  • Events

    • CloudNativeCon Unites Leaders in Open Source, Container and Cloud Native Tech

      Today’s cloud native ecosystem is growing at an incredibly rapid pace – as new technologies are continuously introduced and current applications are ever-evolving.

      Taking the lead in bringing together the industry’s top developers, end users, and vendors, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) hosts critical components of the cloud native software stacks including Kubernetes, Prometheus, and OpenTracing and serves as a neutral home for collaboration.

      To help spread cloud native practices and technology across the world, CNCF is hosting CloudNativeCon to bring together leading contributors in cloud native applications and computing, containers, microservices, central orchestration processing, and more November 8-9 in Seattle.

    • Spark on Kubernetes at Spark Summit EU

      I’ll be speaking about Spark on Kubernetes at Spark Summit EU this week. The main thesis of my talk is that the old way of running Spark in a dedicated cluster that is shared between applications makes sense when analytics is a separate workload. However, analytics is no longer a separate workload — instead, analytics is now an essential part of long-running data-driven applications. This realization motivated my team to switch from a shared Spark cluster to multiple logical clusters that are co-scheduled with the applications that depend on them.

    • Meet Opensource.com writers, moderators, and interviewees at All Things Open
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Netflix on Firefox for Linux

        If you’re a Firefox user and you’re a little fed up with going to Google Chrome every time in order to watch Netflix on your Linux machine, the good news is since Firefox 49 landed, HTML5 DRM (through the Google Widevine CDM (Content Decryption Manager) plugin) is now supported. Services that use DRM for HTML5 media should now just work, such as Amazon Prime Video. Unfortunately, the Netflix crew haven’t ‘flicked a switch’ yet behind the scenes for Firefox on Linux, meaning if you run Netflix in the Mozilla browser at the moment, you’ll likely just come across the old Silverlight error page. But there is a workaround.

        For some reason, Netflix still expects Silverlight when it detects the user is running Firefox, despite the fact that the latest Firefox builds for Linux now support the HTML5 DRM plugin.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • AtScale Delivers Findings on BI-Plus-Hadoop

      Business intelligence is the dominant use-case for IT organizations implementing Hadoop, according to a report from the folks at AtScale. The benchmark study also shows which tools in the Haddop ecosystem are best for particular types of BI queries.

      As we’ve reported before, tools that demystify and function as useful front-ends and connectors for the open source Hadoop project are much in demand. AtScale, billed as “the first company to allow business users to do business intelligence on Hadoop,” focused its study on the strengths and weaknesses of the industry’s most popular analytical engines for Hadoop – Impala, SparkSQL, Hive and Presto.

    • Study Says OpenStack at Scale Can Produce Surprising Savings

      Revenues from OpenStack-based businesses are poised to grow by 35 percent a year to more than $5 billion by 2020, according to analysts at 451 Research. In its latest Cloud Price Index, 451 Research analyzes the costs associated with using various cloud options to determine when it becomes better value to use a self-managed private cloud instead of public or managed cloud services.

      The idea is to createa complex pricing model that takes into consideration the major factors impacting total cost of ownership (TCO), including salaries and workload requirements.The 451 study found that because of the prevalence of suitably qualified administrators, commercial private cloud offerings such as VMware and Microsoft currently offer a lower TCO when labor efficiency is below 400 virtual machines managed per engineer. But where labor efficiency is greater than this, OpenStack becomes more financially attractive. In fact, past this tipping point, all private cloud options are cheaper than both public cloud and managed private cloud options.

    • How OpenStack mentoring breaks down cultural barriers

      Victoria Martinez de la Cruz is no stranger to OpenStack’s mentorship opportunities. It’s how she got her own start in OpenStack, and now a few years later is helping to coordinate many of these opportunities herself. She is speaking on a panel on mentoring and internships later this week at OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Spain. In this interview, we catch up with Victoria to learn more about the details of what it’s like to be a part of an open source internship, as well as some helpful advice for people on both sides of the mentoring process.

  • Databases

    • IBM Power Systems solution for EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server

      The primary focus of this article is on the use, configuration, and optimization of PostgreSQL and EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server running on the IBM® Power Systems™ servers featuring the new IBM POWER8® processor technology.

      Note: The Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.2 operating system was used. The scope of this article is to provide information on how to build and set up of PostgreSQL database from open source and also install and configure EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server on an IBM Power® server for better use. EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server on IBM Power Systems running Linux® is based on the open source database, PostgreSQL, and is capable of handling a wide variety of high-transaction and heavy-reporting workloads.

  • Valgrind

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • What is the GRUB2 boot loader?

      There are various things that make up an operating system. In any operating system, one of the most critical parts is powering on the machine. During this process, the computer will execute a small program in read-only memory (ROM) to begin initiating the startup process. This small program is known by many names, but most often called a boot loader. In almost every Linux distribution, including Fedora, GRUB2 (or GRand Unified Bootloader 2) is the default boot loader. Even though it is a critical piece of the operating system, many people aren’t aware of the boot loader, all that goes into it, or how it can be customized.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Study: Administrations unaware of IT vendor lock-in

      Public policy makers in Sweden have limited insight on how IT project can lead to IT vendor lock-in, a study conducted for the Swedish Competition Authority shows. “An overwhelming majority of the IT projects conducted by schools and public sector organisations refer to specific software without considering lock-in and different possible negative consequences”, the authors conclude.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • How open access content helps fuel growth in Indian-language Wikipedias

        Mobile Internet connectivity is growing rapidly in rural India, and because most Internet users are more comfortable in their native languages, websites producing content in Indian languages are going to drive this growth. In a country like India in which only a handful of journals are available in Indian languages, open access to research and educational resources is hugely important for populating content for the various Indian language Wikipedias.

  • Programming/Development

    • Where to find the world’s best programmers

      One source of data about programmers’ skills is HackerRank, a company that poses programming challenges to a community of more than a million coders and also offers recruitment services to businesses. Using information about how successful coders from different countries are at solving problems across a wide range of domains (such as “algorithms” or “data structures” or specific languages such as C++ or Java), HackerRank’s data suggests that, overall, the best developers come from China, followed closely by Russia. Alarmingly, and perhaps unexpectedly, the United States comes in at 28th place.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Iraq parliament bans alcohol in surprise vote

      Iraq’s parliament has voted to ban the sale, import and production of alcohol in a surprise move. Proponents of the ban argue the ban is justified by the constitution, which prohibits any law contradicting Islam.

      Opponents say it violates the same constitution which guarantees the traditions of religious minorities such as Christians and have vowed to appeal against the decision.

      Those violating the law will be fined between 10 million and 25 million dinars (roughly £7,000 to £17,500).

    • Court of Appeal on Pregabalin – Pfizer still in pain, but Swiss claims re-interpreted again [Ed: Poor Pfizer "still in pain" because it cannot globally defend a monopoly that harms the poor and ill using patents]

      While this moggy was struggling to get back from Indonesia, the Court of Appeal handed down its decision in the pregabalin appeal Warner-Lambert Company LLC v Generics (UK) Ltd (t/a Mylan) & Ors [2016] EWCA Civ 1006 (13 October 2016), and finally the IPKat has managed to blog about it (the lateness by no means reflecting on the importance of the judgment).

      It is very much a judgment of three halves.

      In the first part of the judgment (up to [135]), which substantively disposes of the case, Lord Justice Floyd (with whom Lord Justic Kitchin and Lord Justice Patten agreed) upheld the decision of Mr Justice Arnold on the validity of the patent. Arnold J had considered that the claims of the patent that were alleged to be infringed were insufficient, and in particular claim 3 directed towards use of pregabalin for neuropathic pain, because the patent did not render it plausible that pregabalin would be effective at treating central neuropathic pain, only peripheral neuropathic pain. Floyd LJ agreed with Arnold J’s construction of the claims, and rejected the challenge to the finding that claim 3 was not plausible across its breadth.

  • Security

    • How your DVR was hijacked to help epic cyberattack

      Technology experts warned for years that the millions of Internet-connected “smart” devices we use every day are weak, easily hijacked and could be turned against us.

      The massive siege on Dyn, a New Hampshire-based company that monitors and routes Internet traffic, shows those ominous predictions are now a reality.

      An unknown attacker intermittently knocked many popular websites offline for hours Friday, from Amazon to Twitter and Netflix to Etsy. How the breach occurred is a cautionary tale of the how the rush to make humdrum devices “smart” while sometimes leaving out crucial security can have major consequences.

    • Find Out If One of Your Devices Helped Break the Internet

      Security experts have been warning for years that the growing number of unsecured Internet of Things devices would bring a wave of unprecedented and catastrophic cyber attacks. Just last month, a hacker publicly released malware code used in a record-breaking attack that hijacked 1.5 million internet-connected security cameras, refrigerators, and other so-called “smart” devices that were using default usernames and passwords.

      On Friday, the shit finally hit the fan.

    • Once more, with passion: Fingerprints suck as passwords

      Fingerprints aren’t authentication.

      Fingerprints are identity. They are usernames.

      Fingerprints are something public, which is why it should really bother nobody with a sense of security that the FBI used them to unlock seized phones. You’re literally leaving your fingerprints on every object you touch. That makes for an abysmally awful authentication token.

    • Strengthen cyber-security with Linux

      Using open source software is a viable and proven method of combatting cyber-crime

      It’s encouraging to read that the government understands the seriousness of the loss of $81 million dollars via the hacking of Bangladesh Bank, and that a cyber-security agency is going to be formed to prevent further disasters. Currently, information security in each government department is up to the internal IT staff of that department.

    • Canonical announces live kernel patching for Ubuntu

      Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution, has announced that it will provide a live kernel patching services for version 16.04 which was released in April.

    • Everything you know about security is wrong

      If I asked everyone to tell me what security is, what do you do about it, and why you do it. I wouldn’t get two answers that were the same. I probably wouldn’t even get two that are similar. Why is this? After recording Episode 9 of the Open Source Security Podcast I co-host, I started thinking about measuring a lot. It came up in the podcast in the context of bug bounties, which get exactly what they measure. But do they measure the right things? I don’t know the answer, nor does it really matter. It’s just important to keep this in mind as in any system, you will get exactly what you measure.

      [...]

      If you have 2000 employees, 200 systems, 4 million lines of code, and 2 security people, that’s clearly a disaster waiting to happen. If you have 20, there may be hope. I have no idea what the proper ratios should be, if you’re willing to share ratios with me I’d love to start collecting data. As I said, I don’t have scientific proof behind this, it’s just something I suspect is true.

    • Home Automation: Coping with Insecurity in the IoT

      Reading Matthew Garret’s exposés of home automation IoT devices makes most engineers think “hell no!” or “over my dead body!”. However, there’s also the siren lure that the ability to program your home, or update its settings from anywhere in the world is phenomenally useful: for instance, the outside lights in my house used to depend on two timers (located about 50m from each other). They were old, loud (to the point the neighbours used to wonder what the buzzing was when they visited) and almost always wrongly set for turning the lights on at sunset. The final precipitating factor for me was the need to replace our thermostat, whose thermistor got so eccentric it started cooling in winter; so away went all the timers and their loud noises and in came a z-wave based home automation system, and the guilty pleasure of having an IoT based home automation system. Now the lights precisely and quietly turn on at sunset and off at 23:00 (adjusting themselves for daylight savings); the thermostat is accessible from my phone, meaning I can adjust it from wherever I happen to be (including Hong Kong airport when I realised I’d forgotten to set it to energy saving mode before we went on holiday). Finally, there’s waking up at 3am to realise your wife has fallen asleep over her book again and being able to turn off her reading light from your alarm clock without having to get out of bed … Automation bliss!

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Reproducible Builds: week 78 in Stretch cycle
    • Murphy’s Law: The security version

      Since the first of the month, I’ve heard colleagues and others report each of the 10 security variants to Murphy’s Law listed below. Murphy is not only alive but has been reincarnated.

    • Easy-to-exploit rooting flaw puts Linux computers at risk [Ed: The latest CVE is very scary. It’s scary because it has a scary name, a logo, and even a dedicated Web site. Barely anything happened. Should we start assessing the severity of bugs by the investment that goes into their marketing, e.g. site, logo, and scary branding?]
    • Linux has had a huge bug for nine years
    • Linux Bug Could Cause Linux Users to be Hacked in Seconds
    • ‘Dirty Cow’ Linux Vulnerability
    • Linux & Open Source News Of The Week — “Dirty COW” In Linux, JS Foundation, Fedora on RPi And More
    • ‘Dirty COW’ flaw lets hackers gain control of Linux systems every single time
    • Linux Exploit in the Wild; Gives Any User Root Access in Less Than Five Seconds
    • An 11-year old bug is threatening the whole Linux ecosystem. Update now!
    • Linux exploit gives any user full access in five seconds [Ed: Another case of attractive headlines that mislead (need local access, locally exploitable only)]
    • Red Hat Virtualization and Security

      The usage of open source technologies has grown significantly in the public sector. In fact, according to a published memo, open source technologies allow the Department of Defense to “develop and update its software-based capabilities faster than ever, to anticipate new threats and respond to continuously changing requirements”. Cybersecurity threats are on the rise and organizations need to ensure that the software they use in their environments is safe. IT teams need the ability to quickly identify and mitigate breaches. They also need to deploy preventative measures and ensure that all stakeholders are protected.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Report: Middle East now Finland’s biggest arms export market

      The Middle East has become Finland’s most important market for arms exports. According to a new report by the think tank SaferGlobe Finland, local arms manufacturers sold some 99 million euros of mainly armoured vehicles and mortars in 2015, the bulk of it to countries outside the European Union.

    • ‘Civilization VI’ Found Religion, So I Responded With Genocide

      My glorious Roman Empire ignored religion for too long and it almost destroyed me. While I built roads, raised armies and sought trade deals with nearby city-states and rivals, my neighbor Spain kept to itself, built churches and spread the good word of Protestantism. Which was fine. As the Roman Emperor Trajan, I’d established a religion based on the worship of the mighty turtle and then forgotten about my people’s spiritual needs as I concentrated on getting tanks before my rivals.

      “Foolish Spain,” I thought. “This is a Civilization game. Glory and riches goes to the ruler who builds a spaceport or conquers their rivals. There’s no easy path to victory through the gods.” Then, almost too late, I checked the scorecard and realized Spain was about to declare victory … a religious victory.

      Civilization 6 is very different and much better than its predecessors.

    • Victory over Isis will stream live on Facebook. But defeat won’t

      Some 34 years ago, almost by accident, Britain’s ministry of defence solved the pesky problem that had laid the Pentagon low in Vietnam. What do you do about journalists running wild in your warzone? You put them on a long, slow boat to the other side of the world. You – ahem! – take control.

      And so, from Grenada to Panama to Iraq War One, journalists were locked in little boxes as far from the action as possible before (Iraq Two) being cautiously “embedded” with units they depended on to keep them safe. No freelance trips here. No unwanted questions asked. Control was still the theme of each and every fighting day.

      So what are we to make of Mosul, as Kurds and Iraqis advance on the city via 24/7 streaming on Facebook Live from Al-Jazeera, Channel 4 News and a Kurdish agency? Do we want an emoji on every blast of destruction? “Like”, “like”, “like” the carnage … Is this some sort of macabre computer game?

      You’d expect tabloid foes of Channel 4 News to have a predictable view on that – and they do. The Sun is apocalyptic as usual. But there’s a deeper, continuing theme here. As David Patrikarakos, a specialist on the use of social media in war, blogs for CNN, this battle is about more than just a military defeat of Isis: it’s also about “winning the hearts and minds of the local population” – “it becomes not just a military war, but also a narrative war, in which the latter is arguably more important”.

    • Malta plane crash: All five people on board killed as light aircraft goes down at airport in ‘take-off accident’

      A plane has crashed in Malta, killing all five people on board in the country’s worst peacetime air disaster.

      The light aircraft went down during take-off from Malta International Airport at around 7.20am local time (6.20am BST) on Monday morning.

      A witness told the Times of Malta newspaper the propeller plane suddenly tipped to its right side and “went straight down to the ground”.

    • Appeals Court Says Government Doesn’t Have To Disclose Contents Of Its Secret Terrorist Organization List

      An attempt to force the government to reveal its secret list of terrorist groups has been shot down by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals [PDF]. The Heartland Alliance Immigrant Justice Center’s FOIA request for “Tier III” terrorist groups can remain unfulfilled. [h/t Brad Heath]

      Without giving too much away (and neither the court nor the government does), “Tier III” is apparently more nebulous and fluid than tiers I and II.

    • Philippines’ Duterte ends US ties, embraces China

      During his recent visit to China, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared “it’s time to say goodbye” to the United States. The Philippine leader and Chinese President Xi Jinping are getting closer, while Washington now is ignored.

      Duterte spoke to the press in Beijing on Wednesday and his conference coincided with talks of unprecedented agreements, mainly granting the Philippines the use of Scarborough Shoal territories.

      Duterte declared in allusion to Washington, “Your stay in my country was for your own benefit. So time to say goodbye, my friend.”

      “No more American interference. No more American exercises. What for,” Duterte told the Filipino expat community in Beijing.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiLeaks, political hacks and the US election

      Is Julian Assange playing a political role, meddling with US electoral affairs, or is WikiLeaks a neutral mouthpiece?

      [...]

      Some say the revelations are valuable information for voters. Others have accused Russia of being behind the hack and argue WikiLeaks is aiding foreign interference in the elections. Julian Assange’s haven, Ecuador, has recently pulled the plug on his internet usage, claiming that interference with other countries’ electoral processes is against their policies.

      Putting aside the agendas of all the players involved, one institution comes out undeniably sullied by the publication of the emails: the US news media. While some of the emails released presented typical behaviours, with the Clinton campaign reaching out to particular publications with stories, others are more problematic.

    • Greenpeace, others sought US intervention after action by India: Wikileaks

      Environmental groups such as Greenpeace and other international NGOs working in India had sought US government intervention after their funding came under increased scrutiny of the Modi government, according to emails released by the Wikileaks.

      The emails, hacked from the email account of John Podesta, who is the chairman of the Clinton Campaign, also indicates the global funding links of these NGOs, including those environmental groups opposing a massive mining project in Australia being undertaken by the Adani Group.

    • How To Help Defend WikiLeaks

      As I said at the start, this is just one example of media spreading lies about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. It happens every day, all round the world. WikiLeaks represents a serious threat to the status quo, exposing the corruption of politicians and corporations. They are constantly targeted by journalists who choose to act as stenographers and gate-keepers of power. While these so-called journalists survive in their jobs at the mercy of the boardroom, WikiLeaks is 100% funded by people like you and me. Please help keep them strong.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • A Hotter World Is Poorer and More Violent

      What will a planet plagued by escalating climate change look like? No one really knows. But speaking at EmTech MIT 2016, Solomon Hsiang, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, presented results based on his recent analysis of economic and climate data that begin to more clearly define what the world might look like as it gets hotter.

    • Feeling Paleolithic? We’re On The Way Back In Time.

      Further south, about 40% of USAians apparently support Trump and his denial of global warming so I expect it will take another generation suffering even larger effects before real action is taken.

  • Finance

    • Tens of Thousands Protest TTIP, CETA Across Europe

      An estimated 8,000 people hit the streets in Paris, chanting against police brutality, labor reform, deportations and airport construction in Nantes that will displace dozens of farmers. The converged on the site of Nuit Debout protests, an occupation that lasted months against pro-business labor reforms and drew direct parallels with Occupy Wall Street and the Indignados.

      Tens of thousands also rallied across Spain, Belgium, Germany and other countries that will be affected by the deals.

    • Canada’s two Trump towers facing troubles

      In Vancouver, the developer of a new Trump Tower has been under pressure for months to drop the Republican presidential candidate’s name from the project. Meanwhile, the Trump Tower in Toronto is the subject of a lawsuit after facing years of controversy.

      Donald Trump’s controversial run for US president is having an impact on his businesses in Canada and knock-on effects for those who have partnered with his brand.

      The opening date for the Vancouver hotel has been delayed until 2017, well after November’s US election. A contest offering a chance to meet with the Trump family for the grand opening caused a stir.

      Across the country, the Toronto building, which opened in 2012, has been the target of a lawsuit by small investors who claim they were misled into buying into the project. Its developer, Talon Development Inc, has tried to remove the Trump name from the troubled hotel and condominium complex.

      The story is similar in other countries.

    • Bulgarian expert: CETA to lead to loss of jobs, domination of big business, and countries like Bulgaria to be most affected

      “The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is in fact a political agreement that will decrease the value of European democracy.”

      This is what economist Professor Boyan Durankev said speaking for Radio FOCUS.

      In his words, there are too serious concerns that the agreement will lead to loss of jobs, lower standards in the ecology, domination of the big business, while the countries like Bulgaria will be most affected.

    • Wallonia’s red card for CETA is a chance for the EU to be a beacon to the world

      We are at a crossroads for international trade policy. The failure of TTIP and CETA would pave the way for a fairer and more democratic world, argues Paul de Clerck.

      Paul de Clerck is the economic justice programme coordinator for Friends of the Earth Europe.

      The European Union, the world’s biggest trading bloc, is, for the second time in a matter of months, on the verge of seeing one of its mega trade deals fall into disarray.

      If the objections of several regions in Belgium are upheld, the signing of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada planned for next week will most likely be cancelled. This follows the near collapse of TTIP, the EU’s proposed agreement with the US. Rather than despairing at the state of the EU, we should see how these developments provide a unique opportunity for the EU to take the lead in shaping new trade regimes for the future that are beneficial for people and the environment.

      The opposition to CETA and TTIP has been unprecedented in the history of the EU. Concerns have been expressed by millions of people across the continent, including lawyers, academics, political parties, local authorities and virtually all sectors of civil society. Many governments have also expressed reservations on CETA. Only the Walloons, however, had the guts to show it the red card.

    • Trade Deals and the Paris Climate Agreement

      The Paris Climate Agreement is now a reality. More than 55 countries representing over 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the pact, which means the historic agreement is set to enter into force faster than was ever anticipated. As we celebrate this landmark and get ready to grapple with the next steps of how to implement it—a key topic of discussion at COP 22, the upcoming international climate conference in Marrakesh, Morocco—the U.S. Congress may soon vote on the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with 11 other countries, and the administration continues to negotiate the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Clinton’s WikiLeaks strategy: Doubt, delay, distract

      The emails are full of potential damage for Hillary Clinton. She weighed the political implications of policies. She is close to Wall Street. Her aides gathered information to discredit a woman who’d accused her husband of rape.

      So how has she so far remained largely unscathed by the unprecedented release of hacked emails? It’s one part a deliberate strategy of casting doubt on the authenticity and distracting from the content of the emails, one part fatigue by Americans who already have seen tens of thousands of Clinton’s emails and one part a whole lot of luck.

      With Clinton leading in both national polls and battleground-state surveys, the Democrat is in some ways trying to run out the clock on the election.

      The WikiLeaks emails do threaten to reinforce voter doubts about Clinton’s honesty. But her strategy – refuse to confirm the authenticity of the emails, blame Russia for the hack and say little else – has so far successfully defused the impact by avoiding any talk that would keep voters looking at the content of the messages. Her undisciplined opponent has taken care of the rest.

      “When you start explaining, you’re in trouble,” said G. Terry Madonna, the director of the Franklin & Marshall College poll in Pennsylvania. “They are handling it the best way they can. It’s about as an effective argument you can make.”

    • Donna Brazile Complains She’s Being ‘Persecuted’ Over Leak To Clinton Campaign [VIDEO]

      Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile complained during an interview on Wednesday that she is being “persecuted” by being asked questions about leaking a town hall question to the Clinton campaign.

      And during the interview, conducted on Fox News after the presidential debate, Brazile said that her interviewer, Megyn Kelly, was “like a thief” because her questions cited emails that were stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and released by Wikileaks.

      Kelly grilled Brazile, who was a CNN and ABC News contributor prior to taking over the DNC in July, about an email revealed by Wikileaks showing her providing a tip about a March 13 town hall question to the Clinton campaign.

    • Green Party’s Baraka: Obama has been ‘moral disaster’

      Voters who want to fight against racial profiling, human rights violations, war and the two-party system should cast their ballots for the Green Party, vice presidential nominee Ajamu Baraka said Tuesday.

      Baraka, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s running mate and a self-described socialist from Atlanta, spoke to about 55 people at Wayne State University in a campaign stop. A Glengariff Group poll released last week to The Detroit News and WDIV showed the Green Party ticket receiving 4.6 percent of support from 600 likely Michigan voters, trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump and Libertarian Gary Johnson.

      A Stein-Baraka presidency, he said, would be focused on using executive powers to create an “emergency jobs bill” to address inner cities and rural areas, notify the “right-wing” government in Israel “that we’re no longer going to allow for them to have unfettered freedom to expand settlements and undermine the rights to Palestinians” and reverse the attempt at regime change in Syria.

    • Your Vote For Jill Stein Is Not A Wasted Vote

      When Jill Stein ran as the Green Party’s presidential nominee in 2012, media attention to her candidacy was rare. Now, with two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in history, she has received widespread attention. There seems to be record interest in third party campaigns, including Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.

      The Nation published a debate between Socialist Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant and Nation contributor Joshua Holland.

      The editors gave Sawant’s column the negative headline—”Don’t Waste Your Vote On the Corporate Agenda—Vote for Jill Stein and the Greens”—but column does not hinge on loathing Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Rather, it makes a positive case for supporting Stein by primarily arguing the need for progressives to build an alternative to the two pro-capitalist political parties in America. It has a long-term focus on bringing about radical change.

    • Clinton Ally Aided Campaign of FBI Official’s Wife

      The political organization of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, an influential Democrat with longstanding ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, gave nearly $500,000 to the election campaign of the wife of an official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation who later helped oversee the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email use.

    • And the winner is … crony capitalism: Choosing between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is no choice at all

      It is as Bernie Sanders has foreseen it, you might say.

      With its publication of thousands of less-than-flattering emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta over the past two weeks, Wikileaks has done much to undermine Hillary Clinton in her ongoing effort to appeal to millennials who see Washington as a corrupt town where big business and big government are deeply intertwined.

      Excerpts from various six-figure speeches that Clinton made in 2013 and 2014 reveal a politician who is not only quite friendly with Wall Street in private, but somewhat resentful of the American public for constantly attacking and scapegoating big banks for the financial crisis.

      “The people who know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry,” said Clinton in one speech. Reform, she continued, “really has to come from the industry itself.” In another speech, Clinton stated that you have to have “both a public and a private position,” which has cast further doubt on her trustworthiness among young voters.

    • WikiLeaks reveals Clinton considered a Texas Republican for the Supreme Court

      Hours after conservative Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia passed away, the Clinton campaign floated a Texan as a possible replacement.

      Wallace Jefferson, a former chief justice on the Texas Supreme Court, was the subject of an email titled “Scalia replacement” written by the president of a George Soros-backed grant-making organization.

      “Remember our discussion of Wallace Jefferson, Chief Justice in Texas?” said Open Society Foundations president Chris Stone in the email.

      “Yup,” replied Clinton campaign chief John Podesta.

      The hacked email was one of thousands released by WikiLeaks in recent weeks and the authenticity of the email could not be independently confirmed. The Clinton campaign declined to confirm the authenticity of the email mentioning Jefferson.

    • TYT’s Jimmy Dore: Democrats Are Restarting The Cold War To Hide From WikiLeaks

      Jimmy Dore, host of ‘Aggressive Progressives’ on ‘The Young Turks’ network, says he is disappointed to see the Democratic Party using Russia as a scapegoat for the information revealed by WikiLeaks.

      “This is a complete distraction,” he said about the DNC’s pivot to blaming Russia for WikiLeaks. “I hate that it is the Democrats now. We now have two parties of war. And now the Democrats are saber-rattling and building up a boogie-man in Putin, instead of what they should be doing, saying we both have a common enemy: ISIS. Let’s join hands and work to defeat them. That’s not what they’re doing because it makes more political sense for the Democrats to ratchet it up, to ratchet up the Cold War, which is what they’re doing now.”

      “By the way, when the [Berlin] Wall went down, Reagan assured them that we would not expand NATO, and we’re expanding NATO,” he said. “So we are the ones right now, we are the expanders… This McCarthyism that they’re trying to smear Trump with. There’s so much, you don’t have to smear that guy. But Trump has said he wanted to work with Putin to fight ISIS, while Hillary Clinton has called for a no-fly zone in Syria, which means dead people on the ground, and boots on the ground. And who are we going to shoot down? ISIS doesn’t have any planes. That means a war with Russia. This is beating the drums for war, in fact.”

      “I’m bothered by this more than anything: A lot of people are saying that we’re closer to nuclear war now than we ever were during the Cold War,” Dore said.

    • The media — and many Democrats — need to stop attacking Jill Stein unfairly

      There is both a principled and strategic component to voting choices in presidential elections. In principle, citizens should cast their votes for whichever candidate’s views align most with their own. Strategic voting, on the other hand, includes a voter’s assessment of the probability that various voting choices will lead to desired outcomes.

      These components are related to some degree; voters are more likely to agree about which candidate to vote for if they agree in principle on which candidate is best. Yet principled and strategic voting are not the same. One might believe a third-party candidate to be optimal, for example, but still vote for a major party candidate because of the higher probability that the major party candidate will win the election.

      This decision can be a self-fulfilling prophecy —third-party candidates would be more electable if their supporters decided to vote for them — but it can also be rational, depending on how one evaluates the differences between major party candidates and the downside risk to voting for a bad nominee.

    • Wasserman Schultz Tells Sanders Protesters Dems Are ‘Completely United’

      Disgraced former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has mostly attempted to avoid the spotlight after her resignation in the wake of emails released by WikiLeaks.

      Throughout the primaries, Wasserman Schultz was viewed unfavorably by Bernie Sanders supporters for overtly favoring Hillary Clinton, despite the DNC charter stipulating her and fellow DNC staff remain neutral to ensure a fair and balanced primary election. When indefensible evidence exposed the pro-Clinton environment at the DNC that Wasserman Schultz created, she and several other top DNC leaders were forced to resign—but there were almost no repercussions or changes made as a result of these resignations.

      Instead, Clinton immediately hired Wasserman Schultz as honorary chair of the Clinton campaign’s 50-state program, while President Obama, VP Joe Biden, and other establishment Democrats made unprecedented appearances to help Wasserman Schultz survive her re-election bid to Congress. Another Clinton surrogate, Donna Brazile, was appointed interim DNC chair to take Wasserman Schultz’s place.

      [...]

      However, Sanders supporters refuse to forget Wasserman Schultz’s role in rigging the primaries, and made sure to demonstrate that they wouldn’t let her off the hook as easily as the Democratic Party had.

      Around 20 Sanders protesters showed up with signs outside the event in contrast to the 50 or 60 Clinton supporters attending the inside. A few minutes into Wasserman Schultz’s speech, the protesters interrupted her, at which point the regional organizing director for the Florida Democratic Party and former field organizer for Clinton campaign, Omar Rashid, ran up to one of the two protesters and began yelling “Hillary” while fist pumping in their face face. Other Clinton supporters joined in the “Hillary” chant. While there are several constructive ways to de-escalate an interruption by protesters, this certainly wasn’t one of them.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • NSA Says Federal Cyber Strategy Needs More NSA More Often, And On The Information Sharing Ground Floor

      The NSA doesn’t like the fact that it didn’t get a big enough slice of the tax-dollar-grabbing cyber pie. After much discussion about which agencies would oversee what aspects of the US government’s cyberwar defense systems, the NSA — despite all of its computing power and hoarded exploits — ended up with the unenviable task of protecting the home turf rather than engaging in more offensive maneuvers.

    • Taxpayer-funded grants to NZ tech firm used to build surveillance equipment for UK government

      Taxpayer-funded grants to a private New Zealand tech firm were used to build mass surveillance equipment for Britain’s largest intelligence agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

    • ‘Germany kowtowing to NSA & US to amplify spying capabilities across Europe’

      Annie Machon is a former intelligence officer for MI5, the UK Security Service, who resigned in the late 1990s to blow the whistle on the spies’ incompetence and crimes with her ex-partner, David Shayler.

    • German spy law infringing privacy rights: Expert

      The German parliament has approved a controversial legislation to tighten the oversight of the BND spy agency amid criticism that the law violates the privacy rights of people.

    • UK spy agency GCHQ paid NZ firm Endace to power Internet fiber-optic taps

      The 2013 Snowden documents revealed UK intelligence agency GCHQ to be tapping into the undersea cables that carry Internet traffic, covertly gathering vast amounts of digital comms data under a surveillance program code-named Tempora — apparently with the help of commercial partners.

      Now leaked documents obtained by The Intercept confirm GCHQ paid New Zealand-based Endace to create data capture systems to enable it to tap high speed Internet traffic.

    • The Little-Known Company That Enables Worldwide Mass Surveillance

      It was a powerful piece of technology created for an important customer. The Medusa system, named after the mythical Greek monster with snakes instead of hair, had one main purpose: to vacuum up vast quantities of internet data at an astonishing speed.

      The technology was designed by Endace, a little-known New Zealand company. And the important customer was the British electronic eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ.

      Dozens of internal documents and emails from Endace, obtained by The Intercept and reported in cooperation with Television New Zealand, reveal the firm’s key role helping governments across the world harvest vast amounts of information on people’s private emails, online chats, social media conversations, and internet browsing histories.

      The leaked files, which were provided by a source through SecureDrop, show that Endace listed a Moroccan security agency implicated in torture as one of its customers. They also indicate that the company sold its surveillance gear to more than half a dozen other government agencies, including in the United States, Israel, Denmark, Australia, Canada, Spain, and India.

    • China’s plan to organize its society relies on ‘big data’ to rate everyone

      How China tamed the Internet |This is part of a series examining the impact of China’s Great Firewall, a mechanism of Internet censorship and surveillance that affects nearly 700 million users.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Pardon the American Taliban

      In the mid-1960s a young American teacher in a small central African country became involved with a group of political rebels — former government ministers mostly — who had been active in the struggle for independence. They had fallen out with the authoritarian prime minister, objecting to his dictatorial style. The country was newly independent, hardly a year old. The men advocated democratic elections and feared that the prime minister would declare himself leader for life in a one-party state.

      Fluent in the local language, obscure because he was a teacher in a bush school, and easily able to travel in and out of the country on his United States passport, the American performed various favors for the rebels, small rescues for their families, money transfers, and in one effort drove a car over 2,000 miles on back roads to Uganda to deliver the vehicle to one of the dissidents in exile. On that visit he was asked to bring a message back to the country. He did so, without understanding its implications. It was a cryptic order to activate a plot to assassinate the intransigent prime minister.

    • Shailene Woodley: The Truth About My Arrest

      I was arrested on Oct. 10, on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a holiday where America is meant to celebrate the indigenous people of North America.

      I was in North Dakota, standing in solidarity, side-by-side with a group of over 200 water protectors, people who are fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

      People who carry a rainbow of colors on their skin. People who gathered together because they realize that if we don’t begin taking genuine steps to protect our precious resources—our soil, our water, our essential elements—we will not have a healthy or thriving planet to pass on to future generations.

    • Actor Shailene Woodley on Her Arrest, Strip Search and Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance

      At least 27 people, including Hollywood actress Shailene Woodley, were arrested during the Standoff at Standing Rock on October 10, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, while attempting to blockade the Dakota Access pipeline construction at two separate worksites. Footage of Woodley’s arrest was streamed live to roughly 40,000 viewers on her Facebook page. She was later strip-searched in jail. She says her dedication to protest with indigenous people who are at the forefront of the fight remains strong: “Every time we allow another pipeline … we are endorsing the fossil fuel industry and only prolonging the time it is going to take to switch to renewable energy.” Woodley recently starred in the new Edward Snowden film, “Snowden.” She has appeared in the TV series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and has also starred in films including “The Divergent Series” and “The Fault in Our Stars.” She received a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Alex King in “The Descendants.”

    • RIP Gavin MacFadyen, 1940-2016

      Courage founding Trustee and Centre for Investigative Journalism founder and director Gavin MacFadyen has passed away at the age of 76, after a few months of illness.

      Gavin devoted his life to independent, investigative journalism, exposing truths, challenging power and championing truthtellers at every turn. Gavin championed the rights and principles of the persecuted, even when it was controversial to do so. He supported WikiLeaks when it was targeted by US prosecutors and he cofounded Courage, to assist those most in danger for shining a light on the powerful.

    • 105 British MPs call on Obama to stop Lauri Love’s extradition

      A cross-party coalition of 105 backbench Members of Parliament have signed a letter asking US President Barack Obama to withdraw the extradition requests for British activist Lauri Love before he leaves office.

      The letter, whose initial signatories were David Burrowes MP, Barry Sheerman MP and Alistair Carmichael MP, has been signed by more than a fifth of the Parliamentarians able to do so. By convention, government ministers and their opposition shadows do not sign letters of this type, although Culture Minister Matt Hancock MP – the Love family’s local constituency MP – has also added his name to the appeal.

      The 105 signatories demonstrate strong opposition to Lauri Love’s extradition across the political spectrum. The letter has been signed by 39 Conservative MPs, 39 MPs from Labour, 22 MPs from the Scottish National Party, three Liberal Democrat MPs, Mark Durkin MP from the SDLP and Green MP Caroline Lucas.

    • UN Meeting Looks At Legally Binding Instrument On Corporations And Human Rights

      A gathering at the United Nations in Geneva this week is hearing a litany of views on a prospective legally binding international instrument to regulate within human rights law the activities of transnational corporations and other businesses. The meeting is being webcast live.

    • Judge Orders FBI To Turn Over Information On How Many People Around The World It Snagged With Its Playpen NIT

      This might be big, depending on how much of this information is passed on to the general public, rather than delivered ex parte or under seal. Joseph Cox of Vice/Motherboard was the first to snag this ruling [PDF] by a Washington district court judge ordering the FBI to turn over tons of info about the NIT it deployed in the Playpen child porn investigation.

      As we’re already aware, the NIT was deployed by the FBI in Virginia but obtained identifying information about Tor-cloaked site visitors not just all over this country, but all over the world. The motion to compel discovery asked for several details about the NIT and its deployment and most of them have been granted.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T Doubles Down on the Ampersand [Ed: zero-rating. Shame on AT&T.]

      But even beyond this ad campaign, AT&T is talking up the value of getting this and that, and on the consumer side this has its most concrete instantiation in what AT&T has done with DirecTV since the merger. This isn’t just about traditional bundling and the discounts that come with it, but about additional benefits you get when you bundle. The two main examples are the availability of unlimited data to those who bundle AT&T and DirecTV, and the zero-rating of data for DirecTV content on AT&T wireless networks. Yes, AT&T argues, you can watch DirecTV content on any device on any network, but when you watch it on the AT&T network it’s free. The specific slogan here was “All your channels on all your devices, data free when you have AT&T”.

    • AT&T’s $85 Billion Time Warner Buy Could Be An Anti-Consumer Shit Show Of Monumental Proportions

      As fixed and wireless broadband growth crawls to a halt and cord cutting begins to hammer TV numbers, incumbent telecom giants have been trying to pivot into the media and advertising game with mixed results. Verizon so far has shelled out billions to acquire aging 90s internet brands Yahoo and AOL, believing this can somehow transform the stodgy duopolist into a sexy, sleeker Facebook and Google competitor. So far these efforts to woo Millennials have been arguably underwhelming and occassionally comical, highlighting how innovation and disruption is somewhat foreign to these companies’ DNA.

      AT&T has decided to follow a similar tack, over the weekend announcing a mammoth $85 billion deal to acquire Time Warner (not to be confused with Time Warner Cable) and its media properties (CNN, HBO). AT&T was quick to proclaim that the deal would be a “perfect match of two companies with complementary strengths,” who can bring a “fresh approach to how the media and communications industry works for customers, content creators, distributors and advertisers.” The deal comes not too long after AT&T decided to spend $79 billion to acquire DirecTV, adding notable debt for the already giant company.

    • VIDEOS: AT&T to acquire Time Warner for US$85 billion in major media/comms shakeup

      Remember when AT&T was broken up in the US? Whether you do, or don’t, AT&T is on the verge of becoming the most powerful telco and media organisation in the world.

      It’s the stuff of Telstra’s dreams: a telco servicing a population of more than 300 million, with enough clout and earnings to support a US$85 billion buyout of Time Warner – and that’s after spending US$49 billion to buy DirecTV.

      Talk about relegating dumb pipes to the dustbin of history, AT&T wants to own the content, create it, serve it, charge for it and everything in between and beyond.

      Telstra’s half share of Foxtel looks like a tiny molehill against AT&T’s Everest-size mountain in comparison.

    • Dumb & Dumber Claims About Last Week’s Internet Attack (SOPA?!? Really?)

      As you know, last week, large chunks of the internet spent hours writhing on the ground and totally inaccessible thanks to a giant DDoS attack that appears to have been launched via a botnet involving insecure DVR hardware (which can’t be patched — but that’s another post for later). Of course, whenever this kind of thing happens, you know that some people on the politics side of things are going to come up with dumb responses, but there were some real whoppers on Friday. I’m going to focus on just two, because I honestly can’t decide which one of these is dumber. I’ll discuss each of them, and then you guys can vote and let us know: which of these is dumber.

      First up, we’ve got Marsha Blackburn, who is not just a member of Congress, but (incredibly) on the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, which is often considered to the subcommittee that handles internet related issues. We’ve written about her quite a few times before, highlighting her efforts to block broadband competition and gut net neutrality. She’s also argued that fair use is just a buzzword and we need stronger copyright laws. Not surprisingly, she was one of the most vocal supporters of SOPA who only finally agreed to dump the bill days after the giant online protest.

      And apparently she’s still upset about all that.

      On Friday she went on CNN to discuss a variety of things, and the first question from Wolf Blitzer was about the DDoS attacks, and her answer is the sort of nonsense word salad that is becoming all too common in politics these days, but where she appears to suggest that if we’d passed SOPA this kind of attack wouldn’t have happened. She’s not just wrong, she’s incredibly clueless.

    • Chinese Company Recalls Cameras, DVRs Used In Last Week’s Massive DDoS Attack

      For some time now, security researchers have been warning that our lackadaisical approach to Internet of Things security would soon be coming home to roost. Initially it was kind of funny to read how “smart” fridges, tea kettles and Barbie dolls did an arguably worse job than their dumb counterparts with a greater risk to privacy and security. But as we collectively realized that these devices not only created millions of new home and business attack vectors, but could also be used to wage historically-unprecedented DDoS attacks, things quickly became less amusing.

      Last week, the theoretical became very real with the massive attack on DNS provider DYN, which knocked a swath of companies and services off the internet for a large portion of Friday. In a piece discussing the attack over at Flashpoint, the security firm (which worked with Akamai to help DYN) notes that the DDoS was indeed thanks to compromised IoT devices, and the Mirai botnet malware recently released to make compromising and harnessing such devices easier than ever. But the group also notes that targeted devices included everything from cameras to…

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • IP Rights, Corporate Interests Threaten Small Farmers’ Right To Seeds, Biodiversity

      A new report by civil society groups defending the right to food and nutrition lays bare threats to seeds and biodiversity created by intellectual property rights, and calls for states to respect their human right obligations to protect small farmers’ right to seeds and food security.

    • Freedom To Utilize Genetic Resources? The Nagoya Protocol Two Years Later

      Two years ago this month, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity (“Protocol”) entered into international force. To date, 87 countries have ratified or acceded to the agreement, and that number is expected to reach 100 by the end of this year. With its entry into force, the Protocol is ushering in a new international system to govern research, development and intellectual property rights surrounding a potentially vast array of products derived from non-human genetic resources. Those products include, among others, pharmaceuticals, products of synthetic biology and biotechnology, seeds, biocides, horticultural and microbiome products, nutritionals, supplements, cosmetics, perfumes, fragrances and industrial enzymes.

    • Copyrights

      • US Copyright Office: Pallante Moved To Digital Strategy Advisor; Search On For New Register

        The United States Copyright Office Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante has changed roles to become senior advisor for digital strategy. In her place, Karyn Temple Claggett will move up to serve as acting register of copyrights while a search is conducted for the next permanent register.

        The announcement, available here, was made on 21 October by the US Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.

        A news report suggested Pallante was asked to step down and was locked out of the Library of Congress computer system on 21 October. At press time, details on that assertion were unconfirmed, but the official press release gives little indication of a problem.

      • iKeepSafe Inadvertently Gives Students a Valuable Lesson in Creators’ Rights

        In partnership with pro-copyright group Creative Future, iKeepSafe has launched a competition asking students to submit projects that promote the creation and ethical sharing of content. Whether kids will take the time to read the small print is debatable, but doing so will provide a valuable lesson in getting a fair price for creative works.

        Children and students of all kinds are some of the most valuable assets to society. After all, they’re literally the future of the planet. As a result, hundreds of groups around the world dedicate themselves to protecting their interests, from general welfare and healthcare to Internet safety.

      • US acting register of copyrights announced as Pallante takes new role

        Maria Pallante has been appointed senior adviser for digital strategy by the Librarian of Congress after serving as register of copyright since 2011, with Karyn Temple Claggett appointed acting register of copyrights

      • The new French law targeting “automated image referencing services”: does EU law allow it?

        As explained by Brad Spitz in a post published on the Kluwer Copyright Blog, “the new provisions will apply to ‘automated image search services’, which Article L.136-1 IPC defines as any online public communication service that reproduces and makes available to the public for purposes of indexing and SEO, plastic, graphic or photographic works, collected in an automated way from online public communication services (i.e. internet websites). In other words, these provisions target search engine services like Google Images.”

10.23.16

Links 23/10/2016: Alcatel’s New Android Smartphones, Another Honorary Doctorate for Stallman

Posted in News Roundup at 11:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • The basics of open source quality assurance

    Open source depends on a sustainable community to develop code rapidly, debug code effectively, and build out new features. Because community involvement is voluntary, people’s skills, levels of involvement, and time commitments can vary. Given the variable nature of these factors, along with the fact that open source often relies on a philosophy of “release early, release often,” quality assurance can be become challenging.

  • An Open Source, Self-Hosted Heroku

    Running our own Heroku… It shouldn’t be that hard, right?

    We have a small set of servers we use to run our internal applications. Nothing too complex, just monitoring, our ELK stack, Jenkins, and a few internal services.

    Given our rather modest requirements it may seem obvious that our first attempt at deployment automation, Chef, was a bit overkill for our needs. Not only that, we also wanted our engineers to be able to easily deploy applications to our servers without having to set up a Chef recipe — like the role Heroku plays in many of our client projects. We could have decided to run our internal applications on Heroku as well, but their pricing model wasn’t compatible with our relatively small-scale requirements.

  • The role of Free Software in a world that doesn’t care

    The Free Software movement is about personal and social liberties. Giving the owner and user of a computer control over it. But most people don’t see the problem with a small number of multinational mega-corporations having control over everyone’s computers. They think: “Apple and Microsoft know what they’re doing, and they do a good job, so why would I need Free Software?”

    Accepting that most people reject the Free Software message, what can the Free Software movement contribute to the world?

  • 5 Best Open Source Mobile Test Automation Tools

    There is a wide range of devices and platforms one needs to account for when developing a mobile app. An automation app for Mobile Testing can save development and testing time. Here are 5 top open source automated mobile testing frameworks to use, including the likes of Appium, Robotium, and Selendroid.

  • Could open-source coding ‘save the world’?

    Open Source Day is one of the most popular events at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. This year, a day-long open-source hackathon was devoted to participants developing open-source projects for humanitarian causes.

    Neetu Jain, product manager at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, and Daniela Dorneanu, solution developer and product trainer at Appway, joined Rebecca Knight (@knightrm), co-host of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, during the Grace Hopper event to discuss the mission of Open Source Day and the goal of the hackathon for humanity.

  • Yahoo open sources NSFW neural network porn detector

    Embattled former darling of the search wars Yahoo has open sourced its neural network porn detector software.

    The firm has explained that it is in fact tremendously difficult to automatically identifying that an image is not suitable/safe for work (NSFW).

  • Events

    • An introduction to color spaces

      The Kernel Recipes conference is, unsurprisingly, focused on kernel-related topics, but one of the potentially most useful talks given there was only marginally about the kernel. Applications that deal with the acquisition or display of video data must be aware of color spaces, but few developers really understand what color spaces are or how they work. Media subsystem maintainer Hans Verkuil sought to improve this situation with an overview of the color-space abstraction.

    • A tale of two conferences

      The “small” criterion can be a bit of a problem since it, naturally, limits the number of people who can participate in this kind of event. The Linux Plumbers Conference (now just a few weeks away) is always trying to find the right balance between size and quality of the event, and there, too, tickets tend to sell out quickly. The nice thing about an event like Kernel Recipes, though, is that it ought to be reproducible in other parts of the world. We have a ready supply of good speakers and interesting things to talk about in our community, and it doesn’t take that many speakers to make an event like this work.

      In the end, it was a privilege to be able to attend both events. Your editor’s only regret was being unable to stay in Berlin for the Embedded Linux Conference Europe the following week. Conferences are an opportunity to get a sense for what is happening in our community and to renew one’s enthusiasm and energy; both LinuxCon and Kernel Recipes succeeded on all of those fronts. A diverse community needs a diverse range of events; happily, that is just what was in store in Europe during these weeks.

    • All Things Open Next Week – MCing, Talks, and More

      I was really impressed with All Things Open last year and have subsequently become friends with the principle organizer, Todd Lewis. I loved how the team put together a show with the right balance of community and corporation, great content, exhibition and more.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Seafile and Collabora make LibreOffice Online available for Seafile Pro

      Collabora Productivity, the driving force behind putting LibreOffice in the Cloud, and Seafile, a leading open source file sharing vendor, announce the availability of Collabora Online in the newly released Seafile pro edition 6.0.

    • Office Binary Document RC4 CryptoAPI Encryption

      In LibreOffice we’ve long supported Microsoft Office’s “Office Binary Document RC4 Encryption” for decrypting xls, doc and ppt. But somewhere along the line the Microsoft Office encryption scheme was replaced by a new one, “Office Binary Document RC4 CryptoAPI Encryption”, which we didn’t support. This is what the error dialog of…

  • CMS

    • Open Source CMS Pros and Cons – a Developer’s Perspective

      The phrase “Open Source CMS” lingers in the minds and hearts of many developers. CMSes are today’s talk of the Internet, and you won’t miss the discussion in local schools and private offices either. I don’t remember for how long I have used Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS) to manage local and international websites. However, I have implemented CMS-based solutions long enough, and I can tell you from experience these tools did become the big digital craze for many professional reasons.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Eclipse Foundation Collaboration Yields Open Source Technology for Computational Science

      The gap between the computational science and open source software communities just got smaller – thanks to a collaboration among national laboratories, universities and industry.

    • PyCon India 2016

      “This is awesome!”, this was my first reaction when I boarded my first flight to Delhi. I was having trouble in finding a proper accommodation Kushal, Sayan and Chandan helped me a lot in that part, I finally got honour of bunking with Sayan , Subho and Rtnpro which I will never forget. So, I landed and directly went to JNU convention center. I met the whole Red Hat intern gang . It was fun to meet them all. I had proposed Pagure for Dev Sprint and I pulled in Vivek to do the same.

      The dev sprint started and there was no sign of Vivek or Saptak, Saptak is FOSSASIA contributor and Vivek contributes to Pagure with me. Finally it was my turn to talk about Pagure on stage , it was beautiful the experience and the energy. We got a lot of young and new contributors and we tried to guide them and make them send at least one PR. One of them was lucky enough to actually make a PR and it got readily merged.

    • Hack This: An Overdue Python Primer

      In writing the most recent Hack This (“Scrape the Web with Beautiful Soup”) I again found myself trapped between the competing causes of blog-brevity and making sure everything is totally clear for non-programmers. It’s a tough spot! Recapping every little Python (the default language of Hack This) concept is tiring for everyone, but what’s the point in the first place if no one can follow what’s going on?

      This post is then intended then as a sort of in-between edition of Hack This, covering a handful of Python features that are going to recur in pretty much every programming tutorial that we do under the Hack This name. A nice thing about Python is that it makes many things much clearer than is possible in almost any other language.

    • Why I won’t be attending Systems We Love

      Here’s one way to put it: to me, Bryan Cantrill is the opposite of another person I admire in operating systems (whom I will leave unnamed). This person makes me feel excited and welcome and safe to talk about and explore operating systems. I’ve never seen them shame or insult or put down anyone. They enthusiastically and openly talk about learning new systems concepts, even when other people think they should already know them. By doing this, they show others that it’s safe to admit that they don’t know something, which is the first step to learning new things. They are helping create the kind of culture I want in systems programming – the kind of culture promoted by Papers We Love, which Bryan cites as the inspiration for Systems We Love.

      By contrast, when I’m talking to Bryan I feel afraid, cautious, and fearful. Over the years I worked with Bryan, I watched him shame and insult hundreds of people, in public and in private, over email and in person, in papers and talks. Bryan is no Linus Torvalds – Bryan’s insults are usually subtle, insinuating, and beautifully phrased, whereas Linus’ insults tend towards the crude and direct. Even as you are blushing in shame from what Bryan just said about you, you are also admiring his vocabulary, cadence, and command of classical allusion. When I talked to Bryan about any topic, I felt like I was engaging in combat with a much stronger foe who only wanted to win, not help me learn. I always had the nagging fear that I probably wouldn’t even know how cleverly he had insulted me until hours later. I’m sure other people had more positive experiences with Bryan, but my experience matches that of many others. In summary, Bryan is supporting the status quo of the existing culture of systems programming, which is a culture of combat, humiliation, and domination.

      [...]

      He gaily recounts the time he gave a highly critical keynote speech at USENIX, bashfully links to a video praising him at a Papers We Love event, elegantly puts down most of the existing operating systems research community, and does it all while using the words “ancillary,” “verve,” and “quadrennial.” Once you know the underlying structure – a layer cake of vituperation and braggadocio, frosted with eloquence – you can see the same pattern in most of his writing and talks.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Macs are 3 times cheaper to own than Windows PCs, says IBM’s IT guy

      Fletcher Previn could be one of the funniest IBM vice presidents the company employs.

      Before achieving what he jokes as his “true life-long ambition of middle management at IBM” he worked as an intern on the “Late Show with David Letterman” and did a stint for Conan O’Brian, too, he told attendees at the Jamf tech conference.

    • You guys, I got my Ono-Sendai working again!

      I’ve had this terminal sitting under my desk gathering dust for… close to two decades, I think. This is an Ann Arbor Ambassador 60, manufactured in 1982 or 1983. It is a terminal. You probably think that word means “a GUI window that runs a command line shell in it”. You think this thing must be a computer because it looks like what computers used to look like. But it is not a computer, it is a peripheral. This object consists of a keyboard, a serial port, and a CRT screen, and that’s about it. A screen, I must emphasize, that is capable of displaying only text, and that text can be in any two colors you like, as long as those colors are green and black.

      Look at the sustain on that phosphor. Just look at it! The video is a little long, but it’s moody.

      You plug the serial port on the back into the serial port of your mainframe, or into a modem, and boom, Thus We Go Forth Into Cyberspace.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Your groceries may be cheaper, but farmers and supermarkets feel the pain

      If you’re just a little irked that gasoline prices have edged up recently, maybe this will cheer you up: Groceries are a bargain.

      Average supermarket prices fell 2.2% in September from a year ago, the most since late 2009, and they’ve been down on an annual basis for 10 straight months, the longest such streak since 1959-60, Labor Department figures this week showed.

      But while that breakfast of eggs, toast and bacon may not be putting as big of a dent in your wallet, falling prices at the checkout are spreading hardship across the nation’s farm belt and hammering the earnings of grocery chains.

    • ‘If I could afford to leave, I would.’ In Flint, a water crisis with no end in sight.

      Even now, the people of Flint, Mich., cannot trust what flows from their taps.

      More than one year after government officials finally acknowledged that an entire city’s water system was contaminated by lead, many residents still rely on bottled water for drinking, cooking and bathing.

      Parents still worry about their kids. Promised aid has yet to arrive. In ways large and small, the crisis continues to shape daily life.

    • EPA Bows to Industry in Delay of Glyphosate Cancer Review

      However, the EPA Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) meetings were “postponed,” just four days before they were suppose to meet, after intense lobbying by the agrichemical industry, including Monsanto. The industry first fought to keep the meetings from being held at all, and argued that if they were held, several leading international experts should be excluded from participating, including “any person who has publicly expressed an opinion regarding the carcinogenicity of glyphosate.”

      As the meetings drew near, CropLife America, which represents the interests of Monsanto and other agribusinesses, specifically took issue with at least two scientists chosen for the panel, alleging the experts might be unfavorably biased against industry interests. On Oct. 12, the group sent a letter to the EPA calling for Dr. Kenneth Portier of the American Cancer Society to be more deeply scrutinized for any “pre-formed conclusions” about glyphosate. More notably, CropLife called for leading epidemiologist Dr. Peter Infante to be completely disqualified from panel participation.

      “EPA should replace Dr. Infante with an epidemiologist without such patent bias,” CropLife told the EPA. The chemical industry group said Infante was unlikely to give industry-sponsored research studies the credibility the industry believes they deserve. CropLife said Infante has testified in the past for plaintiffs in chemical exposure cases against Monsanto.

    • ‘Drug Dependence Hasn’t Been Stopped by 45 Years of the War on Drugs’

      Janine Jackson: “Police Arrest More People for Marijuana Use than for All Violent Crimes Combined” is the headline in the Washington Post. In the New York Times, it’s “Marijuana Arrests Outnumber Those for Violent Crimes, Study Finds.”

  • Security

    • Friday’s security updates
    • World’s first hack-proof Wi-Fi router with open source firmware is here

      Turris Omnia WiFi Router, the world’s first hack-proof router with open source firmware launched yesterday at the CES Unveiled Show in Prague, Czech Republic.

    • Open-source hack-proof router aims to close cyber security gap

      Routers are the gateway of every home internet network. Yet, while many computers run antivirus software, little has been done thus far to protect routers against cyber threats. A new device, described as the world’s first hack-proof router, was launched on Thursday at the CES Unveiled Show in Prague.

      The main strength of the Turris Omnia router, a spin-out of a cyber security research project by Czech Republic’s domain administrator NIC.cz, is the fact that it automatically updates and patches vulnerabilities as they become known.

    • Adding a phone number to your Google account can make it LESS secure.

      Recently, account takeovers, email hacking, and targeted phishing attacks have been all over the news. Hacks of various politicians, allegedly carried out by Russian hackers, have yielded troves of data. Despite the supposed involvement of state-sponsored agents, some hacks were not reliant on complex zero-day attacks, but involved social engineering unsuspecting victims. These kinds of attacks are increasingly likely to be used against regular people. This recently happened to a friend of mine:

      Two weeks ago, an ex-colleague (actually, my officemate at Google way back in 2002) — let’s call him Bob — had his Google account compromised while on vacation in Hawaii. With his primary email account compromised, the attacker could have:

    • “Dirty COW”, the most dangerous Linux Bug for the last 9 years

      Red Hat, the leading open source software developer firm, has revealed that Linux Kernel has been infected with a serious bug for the past 9 years. The bug has been dubbed as Dirty Cow. It is deemed dangerous because through this bug, an attacker can get write access to read-only memory.

    • Serious Dirty COW bug leaves millions of Linux users vulnerable to attack
    • Cyber attack: hackers ‘weaponised’ everyday devices with malware to mount assault

      The huge attack on global internet access, which blocked some of the world’s most popular websites, is believed to have been unleashed by hackers using common devices like webcams and digital recorders.

      Among the sites targeted on Friday were Twitter, Paypal and Spotify. All were customers of Dyn, an infrastructure company in New Hampshire in the US that acts as a switchboard for internet traffic.

      Outages were intermittent and varied by geography, but reportedly began in the eastern US before spreading to other parts of the country and Europe.

      Users complained they could not reach dozens of internet destinations, including Mashable, CNN, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Yelp and some businesses hosted by Amazon.

    • Homeland Security Is ‘Investigating All Potential Causes’ of Internet Disruptions

      Cyber attacks targeting a little known internet infrastructure company, Dyn, disrupted access to dozens of websites on Friday, preventing some users from accessing PayPal, Twitter and Spotify.

      It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the outages that began in the Eastern United States, and then spread to other parts of the country and Western Europe.

      The outages were intermittent, making it difficult to identify all the victims. But technology news site Gizmodo named some five dozen sites that were affected by the attack. They included CNN, HBO Now, Mashable, the New York Times, People.com, the Wall Street Journal and Yelp.

    • Blame the Internet of Things for Destroying the Internet Today

      A massive botnet of hacked Internet of Things devices has been implicated in the cyberattack that caused a significant internet outage on Friday.

      The botnet, which is powered by the malware known as Mirai, is in part responsible for the attack that intermittently knocked some popular websites offline, according to Level 3 Communications, one of the world’s largest internet backbone providers, and security firm Flashpoint.

      “We are seeing attacks coming from a number of different locations. We’re seeing attacks coming from an Internet of Things botnet that we identified called Mirai, also involved in this attack,” Dale Drew, chief security officer at Level 3 Communications, said on a livestream on Friday afternoon.

    • How to Understand Today’s Internet Outage in 4 Words

      A massive DDoS attack against a major DNS service likely using a botnet of IoT devices resulted in Internet issues across the eastern United States Friday, making it hard for many users to access their favorite sites.

      Phew. That’s a lot of acronyms.

    • IoT Can Never Be Fixed

      This title is a bit click baity, but it’s true, not for the reason you think. Keep reading to see why.

      If you’ve ever been involved in keeping a software product updated, I mean from the development side of things, you know it’s not a simple task. It’s nearly impossible really. The biggest problem is that even after you’ve tested it to death and gone out of your way to ensure the update is as small as possible, things break. Something always breaks.

      If you’re using a typical computer, when something breaks, you sit down in front of it, type away on the keyboard, and you fix the problem. More often than not you just roll back the update and things go back to the way they used to be.

    • Hacked Cameras, DVRs Powered Today’s Massive Internet Outage

      A massive and sustained Internet attack that has caused outages and network congestion today for a large number of Web sites was launched with the help of hacked “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices, such as CCTV video cameras and digital video recorders, new data suggests.

      Earlier today cyber criminals began training their attack cannons on Dyn, an Internet infrastructure company that provides critical technology services to some of the Internet’s top destinations. The attack began creating problems for Internet users reaching an array of sites, including Twitter, Amazon, Tumblr, Reddit, Spotify and Netflix.

    • How an army of vulnerable gadgets took down the web today

      At some point this morning, one of the US’s critical internet infrastructure players was hit with a staggering distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that has taken out huge swaths of the web. Sites like Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, Reddit, and many others — all clients of a domain registration service provider called Dyn — have suffered crippling interruptions and, in some cases, blanket outages.

      Details are now emerging about the nature of the attack. It appears the cause is what’s known as a Mirai-based IoT botnet, according to security journalist Brian Krebs, who cited cyber-threat intelligence firm Flashpoint. Dyn’s chief strategy officer Kyle Owen, who spoke with reporters this afternoon, later confirmed Flashpoint’s claim, revealing that traffic to its servers was clogged with malicious requests from tens of millions of IP addresses in what the company is calling a “very sophisticated and complex attack.”

    • Fixing the IoT isn’t going to be easy

      A large part of the internet became inaccessible today after a botnet made up of IP cameras and digital video recorders was used to DoS a major DNS provider. This highlighted a bunch of things including how maybe having all your DNS handled by a single provider is not the best of plans, but in the long run there’s no real amount of diversification that can fix this – malicious actors have control of a sufficiently large number of hosts that they could easily take out multiple providers simultaneously.

      To fix this properly we need to get rid of the compromised systems. The question is how. Many of these devices are sold by resellers who have no resources to handle any kind of recall. The manufacturer may not have any kind of legal presence in many of the countries where their products are sold. There’s no way anybody can compel a recall, and even if they could it probably wouldn’t help. If I’ve paid a contractor to install a security camera in my office, and if I get a notification that my camera is being used to take down Twitter, what do I do? Pay someone to come and take the camera down again, wait for a fixed one and pay to get that put up? That’s probably not going to happen. As long as the device carries on working, many users are going to ignore any voluntary request.

    • Indiscreet Logs: Persistent Diffie-Hellman Backdoors in TLS

      Software implementations of discrete logarithm based cryptosystems over finite fields typically make the assumption that any domain parameters they are presented with are trustworthy, i.e., the parameters implement cyclic groups where the discrete logarithm problem is assumed to be hard. An informal and widespread justification for this seemingly exists that says validating parameters at run time is too computationally expensive relative to the perceived risk of a server sabotaging the privacy of its own connection. In this paper we explore this trust assumption and examine situations where it may not always be justified.

      We conducted an investigation of discrete logarithm domain parameters in use across the Internet and discovered evidence of a multitude of potentially backdoored moduli of unknown order in TLS and STARTTLS spanning numerous countries, organizations, and protocols. Although our disclosures resulted in a number of organizations taking down suspicious parameters, we argue the potential for TLS backdoors is systematic and will persist until either until better parameter hygiene is taken up by the community, or finite field based cryptography is eliminated altogether.

    • Rigging the Election [Ed: too much Microsoft [1, 2]]

      When Dorothy discovers fraud in the land of Oz, she is told by the Wizard, “Don’t look behind the curtain.” But she does. In America, we demand truth and accountability in so many aspects of our daily lives, and yet somehow there’s little public outcry for transparency within voting, the sacred cornerstone of our democracy. For the most part, we sleep soundly under the blanket of assurances from government officials. FBI Director James Comey even attempted a spin of irony recently, noting that our “clunky” voting process actually makes wholesale rigging more difficult. However, Comey misses the bigger picture.

      [...]

      Hardly anyone uses the same computer from 12 years ago, yet large sections of the country currently vote on aging electronic systems which utilize proprietary software that cannot be publicly examined. Unverifiable technology remains deployed in 29 states – including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida – and other key battleground states, which may determine our next president. Races in these areas are not evidence based, and consequently, we cannot be certain ballots reflect voter intent. Bereft of such knowledge, how can we put faith in the legitimacy of our government?

    • How to Hack a Presidential Election
    • ‘Nice Internet You’ve Got There… You Wouldn’t Want Something To Happen To It…’

      Last month, we wrote about Bruce Schneier’s warning that certain unknown parties were carefully testing ways to take down the internet. They were doing carefully configured DDoS attacks, testing core internet infrastructure, focusing on key DNS servers. And, of course, we’ve also been talking about the rise of truly massive DDoS attacks, thanks to poorly secured Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and ancient, unpatched bugs.

    • Update Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Linux Kernel Without Rebooting With The Canonical Livepatch Service
    • Livepatch – Apply Critical Security Patches to Ubuntu Linux Kernel Without Rebooting
    • GitLab reinstates list of servers that have malware

      Willem de Groot published a list of web stores that contain malware. He first hosted this list on GitHub but it was deleted. Then he hosted it on GitLab where it was also deleted. The reason we gave him for the deletion was “GitLab views the exposure of the vulnerable systems as egregious and will not abide it.”. Willem wrote about his experience in a blog post.

    • Dirty COW — Critical Linux Kernel Flaw Being Exploited in the Wild
    • CVE-2016-5195 Found in Every Linux Version (for the Last 9 Years)
    • Explaining Dirty COW local root exploit – CVE-2016-5195
    • CVE Request: OpenSSH: Memory exhaustion issue found in OpenSSH
    • OpenSSL after Heartbleed

      Rich Salz and Tim Hudson started off their LinuxCon Europe 2016 talk by stating that April 3, 2014 shall forever be known as the “re-key the Internet date.” That, of course, was the day that the Heartbleed vulnerability in the OpenSSL library was disclosed. A lot has happened with OpenSSL since that day, to the point that, Salz said, this should be the last talk he gives that ever mentions that particular vulnerability. In the last two years, the project has recovered from Heartbleed and is now more vital than ever before.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Philippines not really severing ties with US, Duterte says

      Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has clarified his comments that seemed to call for a split from the United States, saying he was advocating a “separation of foreign policy” rather than “a severance of ties.”
      Addressing a press conference in Davao City after his return from a state visit to China, Duterte said:

      “It is not severance of ties. You say severance of ties, you cut the diplomatic relations. I cannot do that.
      “Why? It is in the best interest of my country that we maintain that relationship. Why? Because there are many Filipinos in the United States. Well, Americans of Filipino ancestry.
      “Why? Because the people of my country [are] not ready to accept. I said separation — what I was really saying was separation of a foreign policy.”

    • Jilted Muslim man killed a Dalit Hindu girl by acid attack in Nadia, West Bengal.

      It’s a tragic death of 17 year old Hindu schoolgirl, Mou Rajak on Tuesday in NRS Hospital in Kolkata after her eight day’s long struggle for life since she was admitted here for a critical care being a victim of acid attack. Her lungs were almost damaged as the acid thrown by a Muslim man Imran entered into lung through trachea.

    • Asia Bibi appeal adjourned — her death row ordeal drags on

      Release International urges Pakistan to take a stand against intimidation and release Asia Bibi, following the Supreme Court appeal setback. Release calls for courage to confront intolerance and repeal the blasphemy law. Pakistan’s Supreme Court has adjourned Asia Bibi’s appeal against her death sentence, following the decision of a leading judge to withdraw from the trial.

      Justice Muhammad Iqbal Hameed Ur Rehman stepped back from the case on the grounds that he had been a judge in the case of the Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer who was murdered for taking a stand against the blasphemy laws.

      “It seems strange to pull out on the day of the appeal,” says Paul Robinson, Chief Executive of Release International. “Surely any potential conflict would have been known in advance? What is clear is that it will take immense courage to withstand intimidation and release Asia Bibi — a fact underlined by the presence of so many riot police at the court.”

    • French police chief orders investigation after officers hold Paris protest

      The head of France’s national police force on Tuesday ordered an internal investigation after hundreds of police officers held an unauthorized protest in central Paris overnight.

      Angry police officers marched on the iconic Champs Elysées boulevard in the French capital after dark on Monday, complaining that they are understaffed and ill-equipped.

      The rebel police officers, who held the demonstration without permission or backing of their labour unions, accused Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve of grandstanding while failing to provide the resources they need to do their jobs.

    • Investigators find no evidence Muslim child was attacked on school bus

      The Wake County school system and the Cary Police Department say they haven’t found evidence that a 7-year-old Muslim student was assaulted by classmates on a school bus last week.

      Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani says his son Abdul Aziz was bullied and beaten by classmates at Weatherstone Elementary School in Cary while riding home on the bus last Friday because the first-grade student is Muslim.

      Usmani’s Facebook post, with the words “Welcome to the United States of America of Donald Trump” and a picture of Abdul Aziz’s left arm in a sling, has sparked worldwide social media and news media attention about Islamophobia.

      School and law enforcement officials say they’ve taken the allegations seriously and don’t tolerate bullying. But they say their investigations don’t confirm an assault even occurred.

    • Revealed: The UK is training Saudi pilots amid accusations of war crimes in Yemen

      The Saudi Air Force is being trained by the British Government amid accusations that it is carrying out atrocities in neighbouring Yemen, it has emerged.

      The Liberal Democrats – who uncovered the instruction being given, in both Saudi Arabia and the UK itself – described the revelation as “shameful”.

      Tom Brake, the party’s foreign affairs spokesman, called on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to end the training immediately and for much stricter controls on arms exports to the oil-rich kingdom.

    • Thousands of California soldiers forced to repay enlistment bonuses a decade after going to war

      Short of troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan a decade ago, the California National Guard enticed thousands of soldiers with bonuses of $15,000 or more to reenlist and go to war.

      Now the Pentagon is demanding the money back.

      Nearly 10,000 soldiers, many of whom served multiple combat tours, have been ordered to repay large enlistment bonuses — and slapped with interest charges, wage garnishments and tax liens if they refuse — after audits revealed widespread overpayments by the California Guard at the height of the wars last decade.

      Investigations have determined that lack of oversight allowed for widespread fraud and mismanagement by California Guard officials under pressure to meet enlistment targets.

    • Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition In A Nutshell. “Regime Change” in Russia… Putin is an Obstacle

      It has become crystal clear.

      For the record, here it is.

      She has big ambitions, which she does not spell out for fear of frightening part of the electorate, but which are perfectly understood by her closest aides and biggest donors.

      She wants to achieve regime change in Russia.

      She enjoys the support of most of the State Department and much of the Pentagon, and Congress is ready to go.

      The method: a repeat of the 1979 Brezinski ploy, which consisted of luring Moscow into Afghanistan, in order to get the Russians bogged down in their “Vietnam”. As the Russians are a much more peace-loving people, largely because of what they suffered in two World Wars, the Russian involvement in Afghanistan was very unpopular and can be seen as a cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

      This led to the temporary reign of the drunken Boris Yeltsin who – as recounted in Strobe Talbott’s memoirs – was putty in the hands of Bill Clinton. Hillary would like to renew that sort of relationship. Putin is an obstacle.

    • Hillary’s War Crime

      Muammar Gaddafi was the most progressive political leader in the world. Gaddafi used Libya’s oil wealth for the benefit of the Libyan people. He lived in a tent, a nice tent, but not in a palace, and he did not have collections of European exotic cars or any of the other paraphernalia associated with the ruling families in Saudi Arabia and the oil emirates that are Washington’s Middle Eastern allies.

      In Libya, education, medical treatment, and electricity were free. Gasoline was practically free, selling for 14 US cents per litre. Women who gave birth were supported with cash grants and couples received cash grants upon marriage. Libya’s state bank provided loans without interest and provided free startup capital to farmers.

      [...]

      Washington organized mercenaries, termed them “rebels” as in Syria, and sicced them on Libya. When it became clear that Gaddafi’s forces would prevail, Washington tricked naive and gullible Russian and Chinese governments and secured a UN no-fly zone over Libya to be enforced by NATO. The express purpose of the no-fly zone was to prevent Gaddafi from attacking civilian targets, which he was not doing. The real reason was to prevent a sovereign state from using its own air space so that the Libyan Air Force could not support the troops on the ground. Once the gullible Russians and Chinese failed to veto the Security Council’s action, the US and NATO themselves violated the resolution by using Western air power to attack Gaddafi’s forces, thus throwing the conflict to the CIA-organized mercenaries. Gaddafi was captured and brutally murdered. Ever since, Libya, formerly a prosperous and successful society, has been in chaos, which is where the Obama regime wanted it.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiLeaks urges supporters to ‘stop taking down the US internet’

      The site WikiLeaks asked its “supporters” on Friday to stop taking down the internet in the U.S. following a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that disrupted a number of major sites.

      “Mr. Assange is still alive and WikiLeaks is still publishing,” the site tweeted. “We ask supporters to stop taking down the US internet. You proved your point.”

    • Why Did WikiLeaks Tweet a Picture of Gavin MacFadyen?

      MacFadyen has a long history as a journalist who’s friendly to WikiLeaks. He was the director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism in London, an adviser to The Whistler, and focused much of his work on discussing and protecting whistleblowing activities. He even created the Julian Assange Defence Committee to raise funds to help pay for Assange’s legal expenses.

      WikiLeaks had been releasing a series of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta. Just this past week, Julian Assange’s Internet connection was cut, leading to speculation as to whether Assange is even still at the embassy. These rumors and conspiracy theories, combined with other rumors about WikiLeaks’ Twitter account itself, led to a lot of questioning about why WikiLeaks tweeted MacFadyen’s photo without an explanation.

    • George W. Bush’s White House ‘lost’ 22 million emails

      For 18 months, Republican strategists, political pundits, reporters and Americans who follow them have been pursuing Hillary Clinton’s personal email habits, and no evidence of a crime has been found. But now they at least have the skills and interest to focus on a much larger and deeper email conspiracy, one involving war, lies, a private server run by the Republican Party and contempt of Congress citations—all of it still unsolved and unpunished.

    • FOI Coalition assesses state of FOI in the first 100 days of Duterte administration

      Prof. Solomon Lumba of the UP College of Law, who is working with the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism in conducting research on FOI, reported a brief analysis on the issue of exceptions. According to Atty. Lumba, one way to simplify the plethora of exceptions included in the initial exception inventories from the Department of Justice and the Office of the Solicitor General is to group them into conceptual categories, as was done in jurisdictions such as the US and Australia.

      Lastly, Atty. Eirene Jhone E. Aguila, co-convenor of R2KRN, delivered the Coalition’s Statement on the state of FOI in President Duterte’s first 100 days in office. The Coalition acknowledges the issuance of EO No. 2 as significant step towards guaranteeing the people’s right to know, but stresses the huge amount of work left to be done, particularly: completing the People’s FOI Manuals and implementing details of EO No. 2 for each agency, clarifying the issue of exceptions, and passing a long sought-for Freedom of Information law by the Congress.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Remember When We Thought Climate Change Would Matter This Election?

      This was supposed to be the election where climate change really mattered. Only, anyone watching the presidential debates wouldn’t have a clue that 1) 2016 has been history’s hottest year on record, and 2) our future leaders give any sort of crap about it.

      Climate change was mostly ignored during the last three debates, mentioned only in passing, and never discussed directly or at length. In fact, I’m fairly sure that Americans know more about Donald Trump’s sexual proclivities than his environmental policies (hint, hint: he doesn’t have any).

      But should we really feign surprise? Surely even the most hopeful of us didn’t expect global warming to compete with jobs, the border, or national security on the campaign trail. After all, this has been an election based on political identity, and when Americans can’t even agree on whether climate change is real, what’s incentivizing our candidates to fight for it?

      Just one question, posed during a town-hall by Ken Bone, a coal industry worker, shed any sort of light on the climate agendas of our two vastly different candidates. (And even then, Bone was criticized for not asking anything of real substance, as if energy policy, which lies at the heart of our climate change catastrophe, matters less than whether a candidate is a fan or not of science.)

    • 6 Sinking Cities to Visit Before It’s Too Late

      With the growing threats due to climate change – rising sea levels, devastating storms and tidal flooding – it’s no mystery why some of the world’s most iconic cities and natural wonders are at risk. And while there’s no clear-cut answer on the rate at which many cherished places the world over will be underwater, with the impending long-term effects of climate change – including the melting polar ice cap – we have a very narrow window before there will be dramatic repercussions, says Costas Christ, Chairman of the National Geographic World Legacy Awards and sustainable travel expert. “We have a window of 10 or 20 years at most before we set in motion the temperatures that we can’t turn back,” he says.

      Happily, the outlook isn’t all bleak. Our travel choices and actions make a difference, Christ says. “What can we do as travelers? We can choose those companies that are practicing and embracing sustainability,” he explains. By rewarding companies that are substituting plastics, generating less waste, offsetting their carbon footprint, using renewable energy and supporting national parks and fragile ecosystems, among other sustainable practices, we can advance conservation efforts, travel responsibly and have a positive long-term impact. With that in mind, here are six cities starting to submerge, and expert-endorsed tips for limiting your carbon footprint and aiding conservation efforts on your next trip.

  • Finance

    • Shop steward: Yle lay-offs “just the start”

      The Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle) announced on Thursday that it plans to cut more than a third of current staff in its production unit. That will free up resources to spend more on outside acquisitions, which is a key goal of a parliamentary report published earlier this year. Employee representatives say that these lay-offs are only the beginning of an extended period of change for the company.

    • Ceta talks: EU hopes to unblock Canada trade deal

      The European Parliament president says he is optimistic that a free-trade deal between the EU and Canada can be signed soon despite last-minute obstacles.

      Objections by a Belgian region, which opposes the deal, “are for us Europeans to solve”, Martin Schulz said.

      He was speaking after meetings in Brussels with Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and the head of Belgium’s Wallonia region.

      Ms Freeland said: “It’s time for Europe to finish doing its job.”

      After seven years of negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta), talks broke down on Friday.

    • Left Alliance pushes to criminalize underpayment of wages

      The Left Alliance political party has proposed that employers found guilty of paying a wage below the lowest acceptable level agreed upon in Finland’s collective wage agreements should be subject to criminal charges.

    • Ari Berman on Rigging Elections, Dean Baker on the Debt Bogeyman

      Also on the show: Explosive entitlement spending! Runaway national debt! These are familiar bogeymen for elite media, but how much there is there? Dean Baker will join us to unpack the oft-heard media phrase “debt and entitlements,” and explain what it really means to call for cutting them. He’s co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and writes the blog Beat the Press.

    • CETA: A way out of European self-dwarfism

      Anti-CETA campaigns and mass protests have put the EU-Canada deal under constant pressure. Daniel Caspary MEP asks: What are we going to do if the European Union buries its common trade policy?

      Daniel Caspary is a German MEP and is the EPP group’s coordinator on the Committee on International Trade (INTA) in the European Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary (Chief-Whip) of the German CDU/CSU Delegation.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • WikiLeaks: Clinton-Kaine Even Lied About Timing of Veep Pick

      A conversation between Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and political consultant Erick Mullen leaked by WikiLeaks suggests that Tim Kaine — and Hillary Clinton — lied to the American people about the Virginia senator’s selection as Clinton’s running mate.

      In the email, Mullen complains to Podesta that attorney Bob Glennon “won’t stop assuring Sens Brown and Heitkamp (at dinner now) that HRC has personally told Tim Kaine he’s the veep.” The email was sent on July 15, 2015 — over one full year before the campaign’s official announcement.

      Clinton announced Kaine’s selection on July 22, 2016. The Clinton campaign behaved as if it were still sifting through possible VP picks until practically that very day. “Just got off the phone with Hillary. I’m honored to be her running mate. Can’t wait to hit the trail tomorrow in Miami!” Kaine tweeted.

    • No comment: Clinton has ‘nothing to say’ about Wikileaks email revealing $12M quid-pro-quo with Morocco’s king that an aide said was a ‘mess’ of her own making

      A stone-faced Hillary Clinton refused to comment tonight on an email a top aide sent calling a Clinton Foundation quid pro qou a ‘mess’ of the former secretary of state’s own making.

      ‘I have nothing to say about Wikileaks, other than I think we should all be concerned about what the Russians are trying to do to our election and using Wikileaks very blatantly to try to influence the outcome of the election,’ Clinton said.

      The Democratic nominee was responding to a question posed by DailyMail.com during a question and answer session with reporters riding on her campaign plane.

    • Megyn Kelly hits Donna Brazile on feeding Clinton debate question

      Interim Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile accused Megyn Kelly of “persecution” Wednesday evening when the Fox News anchor asked Brazile about an email, published by WikiLeaks, that indicated Brazile provided Hillary Clinton’s campaign with a question in advance of a CNN town hall.

      “As a Christian woman, I understand persecution, but I will not sit here and be persecuted because your information is totally false,” Brazile said during an interview conducted shortly after the third presidential debate.

      “Since I play straight up and I’ll play straight up with you, I did not receive any questions from CNN,” she said. “First of all, what information are you providing to me that will allow me to see what you’re talking about?”

      Kelly cited an email made public by WikiLeaks last week that indicated Brazile had informed high-level Clinton campaign aides that she sometimes received “questions in advance” before relaying a question about the death penalty that closely matched a question later asked during the CNN town hall. Roland Martin, a TV One host who partnered with CNN for the event, sent CNN a question containing the same language the day after Brazile sent it to the Clinton campaign.

    • Blanket Corporate Media Corruption

      It is disconcerting to be praised by a website whose next article warns of a “plague of sodomites”. Sometimes truth-telling is a difficult act because truth is a simple matter of fact; who might seek to exploit that truth is a different question. I almost certainly have little in common with the anti-gay people who chose to commend me.

      It is however incumbent on those who know truth to reveal it to the best of their ability, particularly if it contradicts an untruth being put about widely. The lie that WikiLeaks is acting as an agent of the Russian state is one that needs to be countered. Wikileaks is much more important than a mere state propaganda organisation, and needs to be protected.

      Political lying is a sad fact of modern life, but some lies are more dangerous than others. Hillary Clinton’s lies that the Podesta and Democratic National Congress email leaks are hacks by the Russian state, should be countered because they are untrue, and because their intention is to distract attention from her own corrupt abuse of power and money. But even more so because they recklessly feed in to a Russophobia which is starting to exceed Cold War levels in terms of open public abuse.

      Clinton has made no secret of her view that Obama has not been forceful enough in his dealings in Syria, and within her immediate circle she has frequently referred to the Cuban missile crisis as the precedent for how she believes Russia must be faced down. It is her intention to restore US international prestige by such a confrontation with Putin in Syria early in her Presidency, and perhaps more to the point to restore the prestige of the office of POTUS and thus enhance her chances of getting her way with a probable Republican controlled senate and congress.

      [...]

      It is worth noting that Hillary’s claim that 17 US Intelligence Agencies agree that Russia was the source of the leaks is plainly untrue. All they have said is that the leaks “are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed attacks.” Under extreme White House pressure to state that the Russians did it, that extremely weak statement was the only thing that the US Intelligence chiefs could cobble together. It is very plainly an admission there is no evidence that Russia did it, but the appalling corporate media have reported it as though it “proves” Hillary’s accusation of Russia is true.

      Bill Binney is like myself a former recipient of the Sam Adams Award – the World’s foremost whistleblowing award. Bill was the senior NSA Director who actually oversaw the design of their current mass surveillance software, and Bill has been telling anybody who will listen exactly what I have been telling – that this material was not hacked from Russia. Bill believes – and nobody has better contacts or understanding of capability than Bill – that the material was leaked from within the US intelligence services.

    • Media’s Debate Agenda: Push Russia, ISIS, Taxes; Downplay Climate, Poverty, Campaign Finance

      Russia, ISIS and taxes overwhelmed all other topics during the four presidential and vice-presidential debates, totaling 429 mentions from both candidates and questioners.

      Russia (and Putin) alone came up in the four debates 178 times, more than national debt/entitlements, Social Security, the Supreme Court, race/racism, education, abortion, drugs, poverty, LGBTQ people, climate change, campaign finance/Citizens United and the environment combined, with the latter topics totaling 164 mentions.

      Clinton’s emails were mentioned less than half as often as Trump’s tax returns (30 vs. 80 mentions), but still more than topics such as Social Security, the Supreme Court and education.

      Domestic issues that were mentioned somewhat frequently were immigration, police brutality/race, and Obamacare. Immigration is obviously a hot button issue given Trump’s calls to forcefully cleanse 11 million largely Latino immigrants from the United States.

    • Most Americans want Hillary indicted for email scandal – poll

      Over half of American voters surveyed in a recent poll disagree with the FBI’s decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton over her emails scandal.

      A survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted on October 18 and 19 by the polling company Rasmussen Reports. Voters were asked whether they agreed with the FBI’s decision not to file criminal charges against Hillary Clinton, despite acknowledging that she had been reckless and potentially exposed classified information to hostile countries. The results were released on Friday.

    • Rigged Elections Are An American Tradition

      It is an obvious fact that the oligarchic One Percent have anointed Hillary, despite her myriad problems to be President of the US. There are reports that her staff are already moving into their White House offices. This much confidence before the vote does suggest that the skids have been greased.

      The current cause celebre against Trump is his conditional statement that he might not accept the election results if they appear to have been rigged. The presstitutes immediately jumped on him for “discrediting American democracy” and for “breaking American tradition of accepting the people’s will.”

      What nonsense! Stolen elections are the American tradition. Elections are stolen at every level—state, local, and federal. Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley’s theft of the Chicago and, thereby, Illinois vote for John F. Kennedy is legendary. The Republican US Supreme Court’s theft of the 2000 presidential election from Al Gore by preventing the Florida vote recount is another legendary example. The discrepancies between exit polls and the vote count of the secretly programmed electronic voting machines that have no paper trails are also legendary.

      So what’s the big deal about Trump’s suspicion of election rigging?

    • October 2016: The Month Political Journalism Died

      On Wednesday evening during the final presidential debate of the campaign, Hell did not freeze over. Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, where climate denial plays nothing but home games, passed on the final opportunity to ask Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton about climate change.

      This presidential campaign has been a catastrophe for American democracy and for American political journalism.

      Amid the relentlessly tawdry campaign news, most Americans haven’t even noticed the absence of virtually any high-level campaign discussion of environmental issues, let alone what many have called the biggest challenge of the 21st century.

      For now.

      But I invite you to think ahead to that “oh crap” moment that awaits us all, five, ten or 25 years from now, when America looks back to reckon with our self-imposed climate silence in the debates.

      Journalism—and the memes of our day—have failed us.

      I don’t mean to condemn all journalists, or even all political journalists. This campaign has seen Pulitzer-worthy investigative work, notably by old-media giants like the New York Times and Washington Post, on both major party candidates and their respective problems with veracity and transparency. But the horse-race coverage, driven by Twitter, bluster and clickbait, has predictably left important issues in the lurch.

    • Get Ready to Ignore Donald Trump Starting on November 9, or He’ll Never Go Away

      Donald Trump’s true gift is his uncanny ability to capture the attention of the news media.

      His declaration during Wednesday night’s third and final presidential debate that he may not accept defeat in three weeks captured global headlines, once again making him the lead story in the world, even as his chances of winning are essentially vanishing.

      But this is nothing new. There are countless other examples of successful attention-getting in Trump’s past, including his crusade against the Central Park Five in 2005, and the six weeks in 2011 where he monopolized TV news with his quest to find Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

      In fact, one way to look at Trump’s run for the presidency is as an attention-getting, brand-building exercise from start to finish. And in that context, this latest twist makes even more sense: It turns his otherwise sputtering campaign into a sort of dystopian season of “The Apprentice” where viewers watch for the cliffhanger: Will Trump bow out gracefully, or will he rally his supporters to declare his loss the result of a grand conspiracy?

      Not coincidentally, a half hour before the start of Wednesday’s debate, his campaign launched #TrumpTV, a livestream on his Facebook featuring Trump surrogates — leading to speculation that this served as a sort of a beta test for a rumored Trump-helmed television network. With that network, Trump could seek to monetize a panicked support base.

      On November 9, when Trump likely loses the presidential election in a big way, the news media will face a moment of truth: Will they continue to obsessively cover him and his post-election antics? Or will they ignore him?

      They should ignore him.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • NLG and ACLU Submit FOIA and Open Records Requests to Investigate Unconstitutional Surveillance of Water Protectors at Standing Rock

      Today, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), in conjunction with the ACLU of North Dakota, sent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and North Dakota Open Records Act requests to multiple state and federal agencies in response to the surveillance and arrests of the Native-led Water Protectors attempting to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). In an affront to First Amendment rights, Water Protectors and allies have been continuously surveilled by low-flying planes, helicopters, and drones, and have had local cell phone communications jammed and possibly recorded. Dozens of local and out-of-state law enforcement have been called in, maintaining a heavily militarized presence at the site in an effort to intimidate activists and chill dissent.

    • How Could NSA Contractor Harold Martin Have Been Taking Home Classified Info For 20 Years Without NSA Noticing?

      A few weeks back, we wrote about the arrest of Harold Martin, an NSA contractor working at Booz Allen, for apparently taking “highly classified information” from the NSA and storing it electronically and physically in his home. There were a lot of questions about whether or not Martin was connected to the Shadow Brokers release of NSA hacking tools, though as more info comes out, it sounds like perhaps Martin was just found because of an investigation into Shadow Brokers, but not because he was connected to them. Soon after the arrest was made public (after being kept sealed for a little over a month), reports came out suggesting that Martin was basically a digital hoarder, but not a leaker (or a whistleblower).

    • Geofeedia, In Damage Control Mode, Issues Bogus DMCA Over Brochure Posted By Reporter

      And it’s time for yet another story of copyright being used for out and out censorship. Remember Geofeedia? That’s the creepy company that was selling its services to law enforcement agencies and school districts promising to spy on social media feeds to let law enforcement/schools know when people are planning bad stuff. After a big ACLU investigative report, basically all the major social media companies cut ties with Geofeedia, claiming that it was violating their terms of service. I’d imagine that the various law enforcement agencies and school districts who paid tens of thousands of dollars for this data may be asking for their money back.

      So what does Geofeedia do? Well, for starters, it abuses the DMCA to try to take down information. The Daily Dot’s Dell Cameron had actually written about how the Denver police spent $30k on Geofeedia back in September, a few weeks before the ACLU report dropped (nice scoop and great timing). Cameron then followed up with a detailed story following the ACLU report as well, noting that there were still plenty of other Geofeedia competitors on the market. At the end of that post, Cameron included a brochure that Geofeedia had apparently sent to a police department last year. But you can’t see it now, because (yup) Geofeedia issued a DMCA takedown to Scribd, the company that was hosting it.

    • Victory for the Exegetes Amateurs! French Surveillance Censured by Constitutional Council

      The French Constitutional Council has censored this morning the article of the 2015 French Surveillance Law on radio wave surveillance. Following a Priority Preliminary ruling on the issue of constitutionality (QPC) tabled by the Exegetes Amateurs (FDN Federation, FDN and La Quadrature du Net and the Igwan.net NGO), this is a clear victory for advocates of privacy against disproportionate surveillance promoted by Manuel Valls’ government. La Quadrature du Net is glad with this decision which effects are to be applied immediately (although regretting the extended time given to the legislator to conform to this decision in the long term) and calls on all citizens concerned with civil rights to support the tireless judicial and technical work accomplished with our friends of FDN and the FDN Federation.

    • Google’s Allo Sends The Wrong Message About Encryption

      When Google announced its new Allo messaging app, we were initially pleased to see the company responding to long-standing consumer demand for user-friendly, secure messaging. Unfortunately, it now seems that Google’s response may cause more harm than good. While Allo does expose more users to end-to-end encrypted messaging, this potential benefit is outweighed by the cost of Allo’s mixed signals about what secure messaging is and how it works. This has significance for secure messaging app developers and users beyond Google or Allo: if we want to protect all users, we must make encryption our automatic, straightforward, easy-to-use status quo.

      The new messaging app from Google offers two modes: a default mode, and an end-to-end encrypted “incognito” mode. The default mode features two new enhancements: Google Assistant, an AI virtual assistant that responds to queries and searches (like “What restaurants are nearby?”), and Smart Reply, which analyzes how a user texts and generates likely responses to the messages they receive. The machine learning that drives these features resides on Google’s servers and needs access to chat content to “learn” over time and personalize services. So, while this less secure mode is encrypted in transit, it is not encrypted end-to-end, giving Google access to the content of messages as they pass unencrypted through Google servers.

      Allo’s separate “incognito” mode provides end-to-end encryption, using a darker background to distinguish it from the default mode. Messages sent in this mode are not readable on Google’s servers, and can be set to auto-delete from your phone after a certain period of time. The Assistant and Smart Reply features, which depend on Google having access to message content, don’t work in “incognito” mode.

    • Half of All American Adults Have Pictures in Police Facial Recognition Systems

      If you’re already worried about the growth of the surveillance state, a new study may give you pause. Researchers from Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology have found that half of Americans have photos in facial recognition networks used by law enforcement around the country—and many are likely unaware of it. The resulting report notes that the study is “the most comprehensive survey to date of law enforcement face recognition and the risks that it poses to privacy, civil liberties, and civil rights.”

      Study authors Alvaro Bedoya, Jonathan Frankle and Clare Garvie queried more than 100 police departments across the nation over the course of a year to come to their conclusions. They found that more than 117 million adults—overwhelmingly law-abiding citizens of these United States—have pictures in these systems. Amassing such a large number of photos of American adults is a result of interagency collaboration. In addition to mugshot photos taken following arrests, “26 states (and potentially as many as 30) allow law enforcement to run or request searches against their databases of driver’s license and ID photos.” They also write that big-city police departments—Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles among them—are looking into real-time recognition on live street surveillance cameras, which allow “police [to] continuously scan the faces of pedestrians walking by a street surveillance camera.”

    • Using search warrants to get into fingerprint-locked phones

      A peculiar legal workaround might give federal authorities the right to access an individual’s phone data.

      Investigators in Lancaster, Calif., were granted a search warrant last May with a scope that allowed them to force anyone inside the premises at the time of search to open up their phones via fingerprint recognition, Forbes reported Sunday.

      The government argued that this did not violate the citizens’ Fifth Amendment protection against self incrimination because no actual passcode was handed over to authorities. Forbes was able to confirm with the residents of the building that the warrant was served, but the residents did not give any more details about whether their phones were successfully accessed by the investigators.

      “I was frankly a bit shocked,” said Andrew Crocker, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), when he learned about the scope of search warrant. “As far as I know, this warrant application was unprecedented.”

    • Virtual lineup: Your face is already on file

      If local police showed up at your door requesting fingerprints and DNA samples, would you passively and unquestioningly comply? Or would you ask what crime you’re suspected of committing and demand probable cause for making the request or proof of a search warrant?

      The fact is, there’s a 50 percent chance your photo is already part of a biometric database. And law enforcement agencies across the country are using facial recognition software to regularly search this “virtual lineup” with little to no regulation or limits, according to an eye-opening 150-page report, “The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America,” published this week by the Georgetown Center on Privacy & Technology.

    • Supreme Court rules that IP address allocation is personal data, but to what use?

      The European Supreme Court rules that the subscriber identity behind an IP address is personal data, making such data protected by privacy laws. However, the court rules in a very narrow context of a web site operator, and says that the protection of personal data takes second place to a so-called “legitimate objective”. This may be an important verdict for future case law, but right now, it looks rather narrow.

      The European Court of Justice, the highest court in the EU, has ruled that the information about who was allocated a certain IP address at a certain time is personal data. This is a very important key word in European legislation, which means the data’s availability and use is protected by a mountain and a half of regulations and laws.

      The case was brought to the European Court of Justice by Patrick Breyer, a Pirate Party MP in the German State Parliament of Schleswig-Holstein, who is also a lawyer. Mr. Breyer was suing the Federal Government of Germany to prevent them from storing and recording his every visit to federal authorities’ websites.

    • Google is now tracking your private, personally identifiable information from all sources possible (ie; Gmail, Chrome, DoubleClick) by default

      Since this summer, new users are now being tracked to Google’s fullest potential unless they opt-out. Google has bought many tech companies over the last few decades. One such purpose, in 2007, of DoubleClick, prompted many concerns. Google, which had the promising slogan “Do no evil,” back then, promised that they would not combine Google’s already monolithic stack of user internet browsing history data with new acquisitions such as DoubleClick. DoubleClick is an extensive ad network that is used on half of the Internet’s top 1 million most popular sites. Now, Now that DoubleClick’s data is available to Google, Google can easily build a complete profile of you, the customer. This profile could include name, search history, and keywords used in email, all of which will expressly be used to target you for advertising or handed over to the government at the drop of a rubber stamp.

    • Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking

      After we published this story, Google reached out to say that it doesn’t currently use Gmail keywords to target web ads. We’ve updated the story to reflect that.

      When Google bought the advertising network DoubleClick in 2007, Google founder Sergey Brin said that privacy would be the company’s “number one priority when we contemplate new kinds of advertising products.”

      And, for nearly a decade, Google did in fact keep DoubleClick’s massive database of web-browsing records separate by default from the names and other personally identifiable information Google has collected from Gmail and its other login accounts.

      But this summer, Google quietly erased that last privacy line in the sand – literally crossing out the lines in its privacy policy that promised to keep the two pots of data separate by default. In its place, Google substituted new language that says browsing habits “may be” combined with what the company learns from the use Gmail and other tools.

    • Argentine Soccer Club Wanted to Implant Microchips in Fans, Until They Revolted

      How do you solve a problem like blood-thirsty football hooligans? According to one Buenos Aires-based football club, just stick microchips in spectators’ arms and scan the bad apples away.

      Back in April, first division club CA Tigre proposed surgically implanting microchips—or “passion tickets,” as they called them—into fans’ bodies to expedite their access to the stadium and curb violence during games. The initiative was rejected after a brief trial period, CA Tigre informed Motherboard, and though the club wouldn’t say why, we expect public outrage had something to do with it.

      “Passion ticket allows fans to enter the stadium without anything else, just their passion for their team, and allows the club to maintain a trustworthy level of control over fans,” CA Tigre tweeted at the time to explain the initiative.

    • Internet Privacy: “You’re Only Anonymous On The Internet Because Nobody’s Tried Very Hard To Figure Out Who You Are”
  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Imprisoned Saudi blogger faces more lashes: supporters

      Imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, whose public flogging in the kingdom last year generated a global outcry, now risks a new round of lashes, a co-founder of a Canadian foundation advocating his release said on Tuesday.

      Evelyne Abitbol, who founded the Raif Badawi Foundation with Badawi’s wife, said a “reliable source” in Saudi Arabia claims he faces a new flogging after being sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and 1,000 lashes in 2014 for breaking the kingdom’s technology laws and insulting Islam.

      Saudi embassy officials in Ottawa and Saudi government officials in Riyadh were not immediately available for comment.

    • Raif Badawi: Atheist Saudi blogger faces further round of lashes, supporters say

      Saudi blogger Raif Badawi is facing a new round of lashes, according to his supporters.

      A Canadian foundation campaigning for his release said a “reliable source” in Saudi Arabia told them he faces a renewed threat of flogging.

      The 32-year-old was handed 1,000 lashes and a ten-year jail term in 2014 for insulting Islam online.

    • ‘He didn’t know the boy didn’t want to be raped’ court throws out migrant child sex charge

      When the youngster went to the showers, Amir A. allegedly followed him, pushed him into a toilet cubicle, and violently sexually assaulted him.

      Following the attack, the accused rapist returned to the pool and was practising on the diving board when police arrived, after the 10-year-old raised the alarm with the lifeguard.

      The child suffered severe anal injuries which had to be treated at a local children’s hospital, and is still plagued by serious post-traumatic stress disorder.

      In a police interview, Amir A. confessed to the crime; telling officers the incident had been “a sexual emergency”, as his wife had remained in Iraq and he “had not had sex in four months”.

    • Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament

      I have just finished giving evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament on torture and extraordinary rendition. I am dashing off now and will give a fuller account later of what I said only. But I will just say that I was very happily surprised by how genuine the committee were, by the acuity of their questioning and by what was revealed of the general trend of their thinking. I perceived no hostility at all. I rather hope, and believe I have grounds to hope, that their eventual report will contain more of both truth and wisdom than is generally expected.

    • Homeland Security Must Stop Using Private Prisons for Immigration Detention. Here’s How to Do It.

      ACLU policy paper explains why detaining fewer immigrants must be part of the plan to stop using private prisons.

      This August, the Justice Department made history when it announced that the Bureau of Prisons would curtail — and eventually end — its use of private prisons. As the Justice Department noted, this change was made possible by criminal justice reforms that reduced its prison population. Now the ACLU is releasing a policy paper that calls on the Department of Homeland Security to follow suit by reducing its detention population and then ending its own use of private prisons.

      The paper, “Shutting Down the Profiteers: Why and How the Department of Homeland Security Should Stop Using Private Prisons,” provides a concrete plan for how ICE can and should phase out its reliance on private prisons. The number of immigrants in detention has skyrocketed in the past two decades, and without these unnecessary detentions, there would be no need for private prison beds. The paper describes the human toll of over-detention and privatization and lays out ICE’s dangerously close relationship with the private prison industry.

    • Police Want to 3D Print a Dead Man’s Fingers to Unlock His Phone

      I’ll unpack the Constitutional issues in a bit, but first, the technology. Michigan State University professor who holds six U.S. patents for fingerprint recognition technology was asked by police to help catch a murderer. The cops scans of the victim’s fingerprints and thought that unlocking his phone might provide clues as to who killed him.

    • Police arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes — combined

      On any given day in the United States, at least 137,000 people sit behind bars on simple drug-possession charges, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch.

      Nearly two-thirds of them are in local jails. The report says that most of these jailed inmates have not been convicted of any crime: They’re sitting in a cell, awaiting a day in court, an appearance that may be months or even years off, because they can’t afford to post bail.

      “It’s been 45 years since the war on drugs was declared, and it hasn’t been a success,” lead author Tess Borden of Human Rights Watch said in an interview. “Rates of drug use are not down. Drug dependency has not stopped. Every 25 seconds, we’re arresting someone for drug use.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Harris Faulkner Suit Against Hasbro Over A Toy Hamster Ends In Settlement, Hasbro To Discontinue The Toy

      While we cover a lot of silly intellectual property disputes here, none has the potential to upend our society into a circus of hilarious litigious stupidity as much as publicity rights do. This barely-arrived form of intellectual property has been the star of all kinds of legal insanity, with one needing only to note its use by such upstanding denizens of our reality as Lindsay Lohan and the brother of Pablo Escobar. But I have to admit I had reserved a special place in my humor-heart for Harris Faulkner, the Fox News anchor that sued toy-maker Hasbro for making a a hamster figurine that shared her name. Because the sharing of a name isn’t sufficient to arise to a publicity rights violation, the IRL-non-hamster-Faulkner had to claim that the ficticious-hamster-Faulkner also borrowed from her physical likeness, an argument which her legal team actually made. As a reminder, here are images of both.

    • Trademarks

      • No One Owns Invisible Disabilities

        The purpose of registered trademarks is to protect people. When you buy a bottle of Club-Mate, the trademark affords you some certainty that what you’re buying is the product you already know and love and not that of a sneaky impostor. But when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issues overly broad or generic trademarks, those trademarks do just the opposite: they can expose us to the risk of legal bullying. One recent round of bullying over a trademark on “invisible disabilities” has shown how a bad trademark can even be used to threaten people’s right to assemble and express themselves online.

        It started in late 2015 when a group called Invisible Disability Project (IDP) applied for a trademark on its name. A lawyer representing the Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA) sent IDP a letter threatening to sue it over the use of the term “invisible disability.” (IDA had received a trademark on the term in 2013). In July 2016, IDA used Facebook’s trademark report form to have IDP’s Facebook page—the main place where IDP’s members and supporters congregate—taken down. IDA even registered the domain names invisibledisabilityproject.com and .net and directed visitors to those sites to its own website.

    • Copyrights

      • Anti-Piracy Outfits Agree to Strengthen International Cooperation

        Government officials and representatives from anti-piracy outfits from the United States, Europe and Russia met up in Brussels this week. The roundtable, “Combating Internet Piracy: International Practice”, focused on the need for international cooperation and the strengthening of copyright legislation.

        With the Internet and therefore online piracy having developed into a truly global phenomenon, anti-piracy groups everywhere are expanding their reach.

        What was once a semi-isolated affair has become a multi-agency, cross-continent operation, with governments and rights holders alike striving to share information and pool resources.

      • The Bernie Sanders of Iceland is a Pirate, a poet and possibly the country’s next leader

        Birgitta Jónsdóttir is a poet, a Web developer and a former WikiLeaks activist. She’s also founder and leader of Iceland’s Pirate Party, which has been at or near the top of polls ahead of national elections Oct. 29.

        Washington Post London Bureau Chief Griff Witte sat down with Jónsdóttir for an interview at her office in Reykjavik on Oct. 19. The following are excerpts from their conversation.

      • Cisco Develops System To Automatically Cut-Off Pirate Video Streams

        Cisco says it has developed a system to disable live pirate streams . The network equipment company says its Streaming Piracy Prevention platform utilizes third-party forensic watermarking to shut down pirate streams in real-time, without any need to send takedown notices to hosts or receive cooperation from third parties.

      • Team Prenda Loses Big Again: Told To Pay Over $650k For Bogus Defamation Lawsuit

        Welp, it looks like another bad day for Team Prenda. The law firm that went around uploading its own porn films and then shaking down people on the internet has had a bad few years in terms of courts blasting them for abusing the court system and ordering them to pay up for all sorts of awful things. Every few weeks it seems like we read about another loss for John Steele and Paul Hansmeier (the third “partner” in this mess, Paul Duffy, passed away). The latest is not only a pretty big hit, it’s also a complete “own goal” by Team Prenda. This one wasn’t in one of their crappy shakedown lawsuits where a defendant hit back. No, this was in the case where Prenda tried to sue all of its critics for defamation in both Illinois and Florida. The Florida case, filed by John Steele, was quickly dismissed once Steele realized it broke all kinds of rules. But the Illinois cases moved forward. There was some bouncing around between state and federal court, before the case was dismissed and some sanctions were added.

      • Prenda lawyers’ careers are up in smoke, but sanctions keep coming

        After a few years suing Internet users over piracy claims, the lawyers behind the Prenda law copyright-trolling operation had made millions. But beginning in 2013, they were hit with repeated sanctions from federal judges. Now, their careers are in shambles—Paul Hansmeier had his law license suspended, John Steele is facing a bar complaint, and both may be facing an FBI investigation. (A third lawyer who was involved, Paul Duffy, passed away last year.)

        Even as their scheme collapses, they continue to be hit with sanctions. This week, Hansmeier and Steele got hit with a big one. US District Judge John Darrah oversaw litigation related to one of Prenda’s most audacious moves—their defamation lawsuit against their critics. They sued Steele’s former housekeeper, Alan Cooper, and his lawyer, Paul Godfread, for accusing Steele of identity theft. For good measure, they also sued anonymous blog commenters who called Prenda attorneys “brain-dead” and “assclowns.”

10.22.16

Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

Posted in News Roundup at 11:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Puppet Rolls Out New Docker Image Builds

      Folks who are focused on container technology and virtual machines as they are implemented today might want to give a hat tip to some of the early technologies and platforms that arrived in the same arena. Among those, Puppet, which was built on the legacy of the venerable Cfengine system, was an early platform that helped automate lots of virtual machine implementations. We covered it in depth all the way back in 2008.

      Earlier this year, Puppet Labs rebranded as simply Puppet, and also named its first president and COO, Sanjay Mirchandani, who came to the company from VMware, where he was a senior vice-president. Now, at PuppetConf, the company has announced the availability of Puppet Docker Image Build, which “automates the container build process to help organizations as they define, build and deploy containers into production environments.” This new set of capabilities adds to existing Puppet functionality for installing and managing container infrastructure, including Docker, Kubernetes and Mesos, among others.

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel Has Been Working On MIPI SoundWire Support For Linux

      An Intel developer has published testing patches for providing a SoundWire bus driver within the Linux kernel, which implements the MIPI SoundWire 1.1 specification.

      For those unfamiliar with SoundWire as was I when coming across these patches, “The SoundWire protocol is a robust, scalable, low complexity, low power, low latency, two-pin (clock and data) multi-drop bus that allows for the transfer of multiple audio streams and embedded control/commands. SoundWire provides synchronization capabilities and supports both PCM and PDM, multichannel data, isochronous and asynchronous modes. SoundWire does borrow a number of concepts from existing interfaces such as HDAudio, AC97, SLIMbus, which already provide control/audio on the same wires, or legacy interfaces such as I2C/I2S, TDM, PDM.”

    • Linux Perf Gets New “C2C” Tool For False Sharing Detection

      The perf code for Linux 4.10 is set to receive a new “c2c” tool.

      The C2C tool within the perf subsystem is aimed to track down cacheline contention and has already been used by developers in tracking down false sharing of large applications, readers/writes to cachelines, and related information to assist NUMA shared-memory applications.

    • OpenTracing: Turning the Lights On for Microservices

      Those building microservices at scale understand the role and importance of distributed tracing: after all, it’s the most direct way to understand how and why complex systems misbehave. When we deployed Dapper at Google in 2005, it was like someone finally turned the lights on: everything from ordinary programming errors to broken caches to bad network hardware to unknown dependencies came into plain view.

    • Linux Foundation Spurs JavaScript Development
    • Graphics Stack

      • Radeon vs. Nouveau Open-Source Drivers On Mesa Git + Linux 4.9

        For your viewing pleasure this Friday are some open-source AMD vs. NVIDIA numbers when using the latest open-source code on each side. Linux 4.9-rc1 was used while Ubuntu 16.10 paired with the Padoka PPA led to Mesa Git as of earlier this week plus LLVM 4.0 SVN. As covered recently, there are no Nouveau driver changes for Linux 4.9 while we had hoped the boost patches would land. Thus the re-clocking is still quite poor for this open-source NVIDIA driver stack. For the Nouveau tests I manually re-clocked each graphics card to the highest performance state (0f) after first re-clocking the cards to the 0a performance state for helping some of the GPUs that otherwise fail with memory re-clocking at 0f, as Nouveau developers have expressed this is the preferred approach for testing.

      • NVIDIA 375.10 Linux Driver Released, Supports GTX 1050 Series
      • Nvidia 375.10 Beta Linux Graphics Driver Released with GeForce GTX 1050 Support

        On October 20, 2016, Nvidia published a new Beta graphics driver for the Linux platform, adding support for some new GPUs the company launched recently, as well as various improvements and bug fixes.

        The Nvidia 375.10 Beta is now available for early adopters, but we don’t recommend installing it just yet if you’re looking for a stable and reliable gaming experience, adding support for Nvidia’s recently announced Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 and GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics cards, as well as Nvidia Quadro P6000 and Nvidia Quadro P5000 GPUs.

        Another interesting change implemented in the new Beta video driver, which should hit the stable channels next month, is the addition of two new X11 configuration options, namely ForceCompositionPipeline and ForceFullCompositionPipeline, overriding the MetaMode tokens with the same names.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Open-Source Budgie Desktop Sees New Release

        The pet parakeet of the Linux world, Budgie has a new release available for download. in this post we lookout what’s new and tell you how you can get it.

      • Solus Linux Making Performance Gains With Its BLAS Configuration

        -
        Those making use of the promising Solus Linux distribution will soon find their BLAS-based workloads are faster.

        Solus developer Peter O’Connor tweeted this week that he’s found some issues with the BLAS linking on the distribution and he’s made fixes for Solus. He also mentioned that he uncovered these BLAS issues by using our Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

      • SalentOS “Luppìu” 1.0 released!

        With great pleasure the team announces the release of SalentOS “Luppìu” 1.0.

      • Slackel “Live kde” 4.14.21

        This release is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, while the 64-bit iso supports booting on UEFI systems.
        The 64-bit iso images support booting on UEFI systems.
        The 32-bit iso images support both i686 PAE SMP and i486, non-PAE capable systems.
        Iso images are isohybrid.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the Week 2016/42

        This was week 42 – The openSUSE LEAP week of the Year. It can’t be a co-incidence that the Release Candidate 1 was announced in Week 42, on the 2nd day (42.2 – European counting, we start our week on Monday, not on Sunday).

        But also in Tumbleweed things are not standing still: of course many of the things are well in line with what Leap received (like for example Plasma updates), but Tumbleweed rolls at a different pace ahead of the game.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu MATE, Not Just a Whim

              I’ve stated for years how much I dislike Ubuntu’s Unity interface. Yes, it’s become more polished through the years, but it’s just not an interface that thinks the same way I do. That’s likely because I’m old and inflexible, but nevertheless, I’ve done everything I could to avoid using Unity, which usually means switching to Xubuntu. I actually really like Xubuntu, and the Xfce interface is close enough to the GNOME 2 look, that I hardly miss the way my laptop used to look before Unity.

              I wasn’t alone in my disdain for Ubuntu’s flagship desktop manager switch, and many folks either switched to Xubuntu or moved to another Debian/Ubuntu-based distro like Linux Mint. The MATE desktop started as a hack, in fact, because GNOME 3 and Unity were such drastic changes. I never really got into MATE, however, because I thought it was going to be nothing more than a hack and eventually would be unusable due to old GNOME 2 libraries phasing out and so forth.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Renesas spins 3rd Gen automotive starter kits, adds new M3 SoC

      Renesas has launched two Linux-ready R-Car starter kits optimized for AGL and GENIVI: an R-Car H3 based “Premier” and a “Pro” with a lower-end M3 SoC.

      Later this month, Renesas will begin selling two third-generation starter kits for its 64-bit ARM-based R-Car automotive SoCs. The kits are designed for ADAS, infotainment, reconfigurable digital clusters, and integrated digital cockpits.

      The two kits are optimized for open source Linux standards like Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) and GENIVI, but they also support QNX. Earlier R-Car automotive starter kits include last year’s R-Car H2 ADAS Starter Kit, based on its earlier H2 automotive SoC.

    • Yocto driven camera design taps octa-core Snapdragon

      Qualcomm and Thundercomm unveiled a Linux-supported, 4K camera reference design with an octa-core Snapdragon 625 and video analytics software.

      Qualcomm and hardware partner Thundercomm Technology announced an IP Connected Camera reference design called the Snapdragon 625 IP Camera built around its 14nm-fabricated, octa-core Cortex-A53 Snapdragon 625 system-on-chip. This is Qualcomm’s first Connected Camera design to support Linux instead of Android.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Open Source Way

    “Open source”, in the world of IT, is program code that is meant for collaboration and open contribution. Intended to be modified and shared, because by design and spirit, it is meant for the public at large.

    It’s been said that “”open source” intimates a broader set of values—what we call “the open source way.” Open source projects, products, or initiatives embrace and celebrate principles of open exchange, collaborative participation, rapid prototyping, transparency, meritocracy, and community-oriented development.” So it is a natural conclusion that in this age of open and transparent government, that the government IT manager or technician would be one of the first to want to embrace this new role of collaborative team member within a larger community.

  • Another rift in the open source BPM market: @FlowableBPM forks from @Alfresco Activiti

    In early 2013, Camunda – at the time, a value-added Activiti consulting partner as well as a significant contributor to the open source project – created a fork from Activiti to form what is now the Camunda open source BPM platform as well as their commercial version based on the open source core.

  • Pydio, an Open Source File Sharing and Sync Solution, Out in New Version

    If you’ve followed us here at OStatic, you’ve probably seen our coverage of open source file sharing, cloud and synchronization tools. For example, we’ve covered ownCloud and Nextcloud extensively.

    Not so many people know about Pydio, though, which is out in a new version Pydio7. It’s an open source file sharing & sync solution that now has a host of new features and performance upgrades. It’s worth downloading and trying.

    Through a new partnership with Collabora Productivity (the LibreOffice Cloud provider), Pydio7 now combines file sharing, document editing and online collaboration. Users can now not only access documents online, but also co-author new content and work collaboratively.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Open-Source Innovations Driving Demand for Hadoop

      AtScale, provider of BI (Business Intelligence) on Hadoop, has released its study titled “The Business Intelligence Benchmark for SQL-on-Hadoop engines,” which is a performance test of BI workloads on Hadoop. The report also studies the strengths and weaknesses of Hive, Presto, Impala and Spark SQL, which are the most popular analytical engines for Hadoop.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • Lumina Desktop 1.1 Released

      The BSD-focused, Qt-powered Lumina Desktop Environment is out with its version 1.1 update.

      The developers behind the Lumina Desktop Environment consider it a “significant update” with both new and reworked utilities, infrastructure improvements, and other enhancements.

      Lumina 1.1 adds a pure Qt5 calculator, text editor improvements, the file manager has been completely overhauled, system application list management is much improved, and there is a range of other improvements.

  • Public Services/Government

    • EU-Fossa project submits results of code audits

      The European Commission’s ‘EU Free and Open Source Software Auditing’ project (EU-Fossa) has sent its code review results to the developers of Apache HTTP server target and KeePass. The audit results are not yet made public, however, no critical vulnerabilities were found.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • New SafariSeat wheelchairs made from bicycle parts help East Africans roam rough terrain
      • SafariSeat, an Open Source Wheelchair for Rural Offroading

        If you’re disabled in a poorly developed part of the world, even a great modern wheelchair may be next to useless. What’s needed is a more off-road design that’s made to be easy to manufacture and repair than something built for a city with sidewalks.

        SafariSeat is a newly designed open-source wheelchair that hopes to make a big impact for disabled people the world over. It uses push bars for power and has large front wheels and small rear ones to easily roll over large objects.

        In a novel move, the designers included a moving seat that shifts bit every time you push the bars to help prevent pressure sores on the butt.

      • Five 3D printing projects for Halloween

        With Halloween fast approaching I figured it was time to add some 3D printed decorations to the office. Below are some of my pictures for fun Halloween-themed prints. I tried to pick some models that demonstrate varied printing techniques.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • OOPS! Sometimes Even Linus Gets It Wrong!
    • Free tool protects PCs from master boot record attacks [Ed: UEFI has repeatedly been found to be both a detriment to security and enabler of Microsoft lock-in]

      Cisco’s Talos team has developed an open-source tool that can protect the master boot record of Windows computers from modification by ransomware and other malicious attacks.

      The tool, called MBRFilter, functions as a signed system driver and puts the disk’s sector 0 into a read-only state. It is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows versions and its source code has been published on GitHub.

      The master boot record (MBR) consists of executable code that’s stored in the first sector (sector 0) of a hard disk drive and launches the operating system’s boot loader. The MBR also contains information about the disk’s partitions and their file systems.

      Since the MBR code is executed before the OS itself, it can be abused by malware programs to increase their persistence and gain a head start before antivirus programs. Malware programs that infect the MBR to hide from antivirus programs have historically been known as bootkits — boot-level rootkits.

      Microsoft attempted to solve the bootkit problem by implementing cryptographic verification of the bootloader in Windows 8 and later. This feature is known as Secure Boot and is based on the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) — the modern BIOS.

    • DDOS Attack On Internet Infrastructure

      I hope somebody’s paying attention. There’s been another big DDOS attack, this time against the infrastructure of the Internet. It began at 7:10 a.m. EDT today against Dyn, a major DNS host, and was brought under control at 9:36 a.m. According to Gizmodo, which was the first to report the story, at least 40 sites were made unreachable to users on the US East Coast. Many of the sites affected are among the most trafficed on the web, and included CNN, Twitter, PayPal, Pinterest and Reddit to name a few. The developer community was also touched, as GitHub was also made unreachable.

      This event comes on the heels of a record breaking 620 Gbps DDOS attack about a month ago that brought down security expert Brian Krebs’ website, KrebsonSecurity. In that attack, Krebs determined the attack had been launched by botnets that primarily utilized compromised IoT devices, and was seen by some as ushering in a new era of Internet security woes.

    • This Is Why Half the Internet Shut Down Today [Update: It’s Getting Worse]

      Twitter, Spotify and Reddit, and a huge swath of other websites were down or screwed up this morning. This was happening as hackers unleashed a large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the servers of Dyn, a major DNS host. It’s probably safe to assume that the two situations are related.

    • Major DNS provider Dyn hit with DDoS attack

      Attacks against DNS provider Dyn continued into Friday afternoon. Shortly before noon, the company said it began “monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack” against its Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. The attack may also have impacted Managed DNS advanced service “with possible delays in monitoring.”

    • What We Know About Friday’s Massive East Coast Internet Outage

      Friday morning is prime time for some casual news reading, tweeting, and general Internet browsing, but you may have had some trouble accessing your usual sites and services this morning and throughout the day, from Spotify and Reddit to the New York Times and even good ol’ WIRED.com. For that, you can thank a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) that took down a big chunk of the Internet for most of the Eastern seaboard.

      This morning’s attack started around 7 am ET and was aimed at Dyn, an Internet infrastructure company headquartered in New Hampshire. That first bout was resolved after about two hours; a second attack began just before noon. Dyn reported a third wave of attacks a little after 4 pm ET. In all cases, traffic to Dyn’s Internet directory servers throughout the US—primarily on the East Coast but later on the opposite end of the country as well—was stopped by a flood of malicious requests from tens of millions of IP addresses disrupting the system. Late in the day, Dyn described the events as a “very sophisticated and complex attack.” Still ongoing, the situation is a definite reminder of the fragility of the web, and the power of the forces that aim to disrupt it.

    • Either IoT will be secure or the internet will be crippled forever

      First things first a disclaimer. I neither like nor trust the National Security Agency (NSA). I believe them to be mainly engaged in economic spying for the corporate American empire. Glenn Greenwald has clearly proven that in his book No Place to Hide. At the NSA, profit and power come first and I have no fucking clue as to how high they prioritize national security. Having said that, the NSA should hack the Internet of (insecure) Things (IoT) to death. I know Homeland Security and the FBI are investigating where the DDoS of doomsday proportions is coming from and the commentariat is already screaming RUSSIA! But it is really no secret what is enabling this clusterfuck. It’s the Mirai botnet. If you buy a “smart camera” from the Chinese company Hangzhou XiongMai Technologies and do not change the default password, it will be part of a botnet five minutes after you connect it to the internet. We were promised a future where we would have flying cars but we’re living in a future where camera’s, light-bulbs, doorbells and fridges can get you in serious trouble because your home appliances are breaking the law.

    • IoT at the Network Edge

      Fog computing, also known as fog networking, is a decentralized computing infrastructure. Computing resources and application services are distributed in logical, efficient places at any points along the connection from the data source (endpoint) to the cloud. The concept is to process data locally and then use the network for communicating with other resources for further processing and analysis. Data could be sent to a data center or a cloud service. A worthwhile reference published by Cisco is the white paper, “Fog Computing and the Internet of Things: Extend the Cloud to Where the Things Are.”

    • Canonical now offers live kernel patching for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS users

      Canonical has announced its ‘Livepatch Service’ which any user can enable on their current installations to eliminate the need for rebooting their machine after installing an update for the Linux kernel. With the release of Linux 4.0, users have been able to update their kernel packages without rebooting, however, Ubuntu will be the first distribution to offer this feature for free.

    • ​The Dirty Cow Linux bug: A silly name for a serious problem

      Dirty Cow is a silly name, but it’s a serious Linux kernel problem. According to the Red Hat bug report, “a race condition was found in the way the Linux kernel’s memory subsystem handled the copy-on-write (COW) breakage of private read-only memory mappings. An unprivileged local user could use this flaw to gain write access to otherwise read-only memory mappings and thus increase their privileges on the system.”

    • Ancient Privilege Escalation Bug Haunts Linux
    • October 21, 2016 Is Dirty COW a serious concern for Linux?
    • There is a Dirty Cow in Linux
    • Red Hat Discovers Dirty COW Archaic Linux Kernel Flaw Exploited In The Wild
    • Linux kernel bug being exploited in the wild
    • Update Linux now: Critical privilege escalation security flaw gives hackers full root access
    • Linux kernel bug: DirtyCOW “easyroot” hole and what you need to know
    • ‘Most serious’ Linux privilege-escalation bug ever discovered
    • New ‘Dirty Cow’ vulnerability threatens Linux systems
    • Serious Dirty Cow Linux Vulnerability Under Attack
    • Easy-to-exploit rooting flaw puts Linux PCs at risk
    • Linux just patched a vulnerability it’s had for 9 years
    • Dirty COW Linux vulnerability has existed for nine years
    • ‘Dirty Cow’ Linux Vulnerability Found
    • ‘Dirty Cow’ Linux Vulnerability Found After Nine Years
    • FakeFile Trojan Opens Backdoors on Linux Computers, Except openSUSE

      Malware authors are taking aim at Linux computers, more precisely desktops and not servers, with a new trojan named FakeFile, currently distributed in live attacks.

      Russian antivirus vendor Dr.Web discovered this new trojan in October. The company’s malware analysts say the trojan is spread in the form of an archived PDF, Microsoft Office, or OpenOffice file.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • [Older] US Air Force Carries Out Mock Nuclear Bomb Tests in Nevada Desert

      Two surveillance flight tests using mock B61-7 and B61-11 nuclear bombs were successfully carried out in the Nevada desert several weeks ago, according to a release last week.

      The mock bombs did not carry any nuclear devices but instead recorded information on how the bombs performed during the test runs. The tests were jointly conducted at Tonopah Test Range by the U.S. Air Force’s Global Strike Command and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

      Two B-2A Spirit stealth bombers dropped the mock bombs to “allow scientists and engineers from national laboratories to assess their performance” and they “contain no nuclear materials and are not capable of nuclear yield,” the NNSA said in a news release on Oct. 6.

    • Sweden’s unethical – and unlawful ­­– arms deals with ISIS-backing Saudis

      Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven, and with him the Swedish arms-dealer magnate Jacob Wallenberg, are travelling to Saudi Arabia in official visit. The meetings with the Saudis, as announced by the Swedish Radio, shall aim to “increase the exchange” between the two countries. [1] At the same time, the Chairman of the Defence Committee in the Swedish Parliament, Mr Allan Widman, is now demanding that Sweden should send arms to US-backed Pershmerga, integrating the US & Saudi-led coalition in Iraq. [2]

      The above-mentioned issues are not only connected in its timing, but also produced against the backdrop of the US and Saudi’s instigated Syria war aimed to depose the legitimate government of Assad, and the confrontation pursued by NATO and its political front EU against Russia. Evidence put forward in the US, among other by Senator Richard Black, show that Saudi Arabia has been financing/arming ISIS jihadists. [3] The Senator revealed also that “Saudi Arabia and Turkey formed the Army of Conquer and coordinated ISIS and Al-Qaida”. Further, emails published by WikiLeaks’ Podesta series revealed that Hillary Clinton has been fully aware – already since 2014 – of the fact that both Saudi Arabia and Qatar were financing ISIS.[3] On the other hand, the US government has claimed the responsibility for financing, training and arming so-called “moderate rebels” – the “moderate terrorists” – which together with ISIS maintain a common war against the government of Syria.

    • Philippine President’s Most Searing Insults to World Leaders

      Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is known for saying things that are quite scandalous and many would consider unsayable. However, his outspoken style and crime-fighting record is making him quite popular with many Filipinos. Here are some of his most outrageous statements.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • A Quick Logic Lesson For Confused WikiLeaks Haters

      I know the following might be difficult to grasp for all you amateur internet logicians out there, but give it the ol’ college try anyhow. (I also know there’s a strand of Ironic Twitter commentary which immediately discounts the invocation of “Logic!” as somehow inherently foolhardy, and while I’ve often found such memes funny, logic is an important field of philosophy and everyone should study it. For serious.)

      Tonight, in his infinite wisdom, Sean Hannity tweeted out an approbation of WikiLeaks.

      [...]

      Drawing attention to Hannity’s change of heart on WikiLeaks — he unsurprisingly called Chelsea Manning treasonous back in 2010 when WikiLeaks published the Iraq/Afghanistan logs and the State Department cable trove — is just the heroes’ latest attempt to show that WikiLeaks is now Bad with a capital B, after having previously been Good with a capital G. Let’s work out how their logical theorem progresses.

      Sean Hannity is Bad
      Sean Hannity likes WikiLeaks
      WikiLeaks is therefore bad

      Wow, good stuff here — the type of staggeringly incisive philosophizing that would’ve made W. V. Quine envious. I guess we should briefly “unpack” why this logic is faulty, for the edification of very desperately confused people on the internet.

      Hannity might indeed be bad with a capital B, but his being Bad doesn’t ipso facto make anything he likes Bad. For instance, Hannity may well also like dogs. I’ll be damned if dogs are Bad because Bad Hannity likes them. Please do not sully our canine friends by dint of their association with Hannity.

      Let’s go to another extreme. Genocide is not bad because Hitler did it, genocide is bad because there are all sorts of reasons that can be marshaled to prove its badness: it’s bad to kill people on account of their inborn characteristics, etc. Hitler is also bad, but his being bad is not what inherently makes genocide bad.

    • Just How Wise Is It When Marco Rubio Promises To Swear Off Factual Information From Wikileaks?

      Amidst the reporting and fervor over the email hack of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, there has been something of a recent discussion that has begun over the ethics of circulating what is in that hacked cache. Some within the media itself have worried about about reporting either too much on the hacked emails, or even at all in some cases, with still others going for a more nuanced position of encouraging the reporting of information in the public interest while leaving all the personal stuff in the emails undisclosed to whatever degree is possible.

  • Finance

    • What’s scarier than Donald Trump? Hillary Clinton’s plans to gut Social Security

      As the sun sets on Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions, a likely Hillary Clinton victory means her intent to defund Social Security may come to fruition.

      The Democratic nominee recently came under fire in revealing articles by Naked Capitalism’s Yves Smith and International Business Times’ David Sirota, for her potential plans to introduce mandatory retirement savings accounts set up to enrich Wall Street — rather than expanding Social Security.

    • CETA Talks Break Down: “It is Evident that the EU Is Incapable of Reaching an Agreement”

      International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland has walked out of talks aimed at addressing Belgian opposition to the Canada-EU Trade Agreement, stating:

      I have personally worked very hard, but it is now evident to me, evident to Canada, that the European Union is incapable of reaching an agreement – even with a country with European values such as Canada, even with a country as nice and as patient as Canada. Canada is disappointed and I personally am disappointed, but I think it’s impossible. We are returning home.

      Leaving aside the odd reference to how nice Canada is, this is remarkable language that lays bare the obvious frustration and disappointment for the government which prioritized the CETA agreement above all others. The prospect of the deal falling apart has been evident for months. I wrote in July that the agreement was in more trouble than the Canadian government would admit, noting that opposition from any national or regional government could kill CETA altogether. Canadian officials downplayed the risk, but it was obvious that CETA faced stiff opposition that would not be easy to overcome.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • WikiLeaks: Bill Clinton took home ‘expensive gifts’ from foundation donors

      Emails made public Thursday by WikiLeaks suggest Bill Clinton accepted “expensive gifts” from Clinton Global Initiative donors and kept them at his home.
      In a November 2011 email to John Podesta, currently Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, complaining of the conflicts of interest that plagued the Clinton Global Initiative, longtime confidante Doug Band mentioned that the former president had several undisclosed conflicts.

      “He is personally paid by 3 cgi sponsors [sic], gets many expensive gifts from them, some that are at home etc,” Band wrote.

      Band had recently left a position at the foundation to co-found a consulting firm called Teneo Strategies. In his email, he lamented that he had been forced to sign a disclosure form as a board member of the Clinton Global Initiative, while Bill Clinton had not.

    • Leaked Email Reveals Sady Doyle, Other Liberal Bloggers Coordinated with Clinton Campaign on Sanders Hits

      As WikiLeaks continues to leak emails from the Clinton campaign, new lights are shed on the tactics that the campaign has employed. In one such email, the Clinton campaign describes a call with several bloggers who discussed attacks that could be made against Clinton’s primary opponent Bernie Sanders related to racial and reproductive rights.

      [...]

      With Clinton’s lead in the polls solid, it’s unclear if these new leaks will do substantial damage, even if they don’t necessarily help her. After all, her opponent is degrading democracy itself by spurning the peaceful transition of presidential power.

    • WikiLeaks emails part curtain on a nearly elected Obama considering White House staff

      The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks on Thursday released a handful of Barack Obama’s emails from a period immediately before he was elected in 2008, including several that revealed names of people Obama was considering for senior roles and one that reflected care in avoiding a transition conflict with President George W. Bush.

      The emails span a period from Oct. 6, 2008, until Election Day that year, Nov. 4, and several include comments from “Barack,” who used the email address: bobama@ameritech.net.

    • No, Hillary, 17 U.S. Intelligence Agencies Did Not Say Russia Hacked Dem E-mails

      Hillary Clinton in last night’s presidential debate tried to avoid talking about the substance of the damaging WikiLeaks disclosures of DNC and Clinton campaign officials by claiming 17 U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Russia was responsible for this. After Clinton made this claim, she scolded Trump for challenging U.S. intelligence professionals who have taken an oath to help defend this country.

      What Clinton said was false and misleading. First of all, only two intelligence entities – the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – have weighed in on this issue, not 17 intelligence agencies. And what they said was ambiguous about Russian involvement.

    • WikiLeaks: Clinton Foundation Paid Women Less Than Men

      The Clinton Foundation in 2011 employed more women than men but paid them less, on average, according to a salary schedule included in an email released Friday by WikiLeaks.

      A foundation employee emailed the payroll schedule to board Chairman Bruce Lindsey and John Podesta, who currently chairs Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. It included then-Chief Operating Office and Chief of Staff Laura Graham’s salary recommendations for 2012 for rank-and-file employees.

    • Dublin school board member linked to WikiLeaks

      A local school board member, whose father is head of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, has been connected to allegations sprung from WikiLeaks.

      Megan Rouse, a Dublin school board member elected in 2014, was mentioned in the hacked email allegations that her father, John Podesta, at one time had stocks connected to a firm that had ties to Russia. Documents show that Podesta received 75,000 shares of Joule Unlimited Technologies. Podesta is Clinton’s campaign chair.

      The hacked Jan. 3, 2014 document shows that Podesta transferred more than 25,000 of these shares to Leonidio Holdings LLC, which had an address listed as Rouse’s Shannon Court home in Dublin. Rouse operates Megan Rouse Financial Planning from that same address.

    • What The WikiLeaks Emails Reveal About Branding Hillary

      Pundits all across America are poring over the Podesta emails, emails released by WikiLeaks that show the behind-the-scenes dealings of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. At the end of the day, those emails might end up containing more tasty risotto recipes than actual scandals.

      But for design lovers, there’s at least one bombshell: If not for a passionate email written by one of Coca-Cola’s chief marketing gurus, renowned design firm Pentagram could have lost Hillary Clinton as a client just two months before her logo debuted to the world.

      Reporting on leaked emails is justifiably contentious, as conversations that participants had every reason to believe were private are given scrutiny they were never meant to have. (Pentagram partner Michael Bierut, who oversaw designing the identity, declined to comment on the record when we reached out to him.) Still, we think this exchange—already, at this point, a matter of public record as part of the greater Podesta email leaks—is worth highlighting. Not just because it’s a rare glimpse behind the design process of a major political campaign, but because some of the arguments could be assigned reading in any branding class.

      The exchange in question involves Wendy Clark, a Coca-Cola marketing veteran who consulted on Hillary’s branding before becoming the North American president and CEO of the ad agency DDB Worldwide, and Joel Benenson, the chief strategist for the Clinton 2016 campaign.

    • Leaked email: Hillary Clinton told “radical environmentalists” to “get a life,” defended fracking and pipelines

      Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton condemned the “radical environmentalists” behind Bernie Sanders’ campaign, indicating they should “get a life,” according to a transcript of her comments at a September 2015 meeting with a construction union.

      Clinton also reaffirmed her support for fracking and pipelines and made it clear that her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline was a calculated political move.

      The transcript was included in an email to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta released this week in a trove of documents by the whistleblowing journalism organization WikiLeaks.

      “You know from my perspective, this is just one of these issues,” Clinton said of the Keystone XL pipeline at the meeting. “It’s symbolic and it’s not going to go away.”

      “They’re all hanging on to it,” she continued. “So you know Bernie Sanders is getting lots of support from the most radical environmentalists because he’s out there every day bashing the Keystone pipeline.”

    • WikiLeaks Reveals DNC Elevated Trump to Help Clinton

      In June 2015, Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign.

      According to an email from Marissa Astor, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook’s assistant, to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, the campaign knew Trump was going to run, and pushed his legitimacy as a candidate. WikiLeaks’ release shows that it was seen as in Clinton’s best interest to run against Trump in the general election. The memo, sent to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) also reveals the DNC and Clinton campaign were strategizing on behalf of their candidate at the very beginning of the primaries. “We think our goals mirror those of the DNC,” stated the memo, attached to the email under the title “muddying the waters.”

      The memo named Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson as wanted candidates. “We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to them seriously,” the memo noted.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom Of Expression Under Attack, Says UN Special Rapporteur

      Governments worldwide are engaging in censorship and punishing those who report or post opinions, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, says in a report on the widespread global assault on the freedom of expression to be presented to the UN General Assembly today.

    • Tripura: No magisterial-level interference in media censorship and news dissimination

      According to the video footage, Jhumu Sarkar, Barjala candidate fielded by the ruling party was seen fighting with females in drunken condition. The incident occurred at Lankamura on October 12 centering immersion of Durga idol.

      After that, the TV channel was censored in visuals for few minutes. The by-elections in Barjala seat and Khowai seat would be held on November 19. Results of the elections would be declared on November 22.

    • Blocking of RT Accounts in UK is ‘Censorship and Example of Double Standards’

      RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said Monday that the international broadcaster’s accounts had been blocked in the United Kingdom. RT UK said it had been informed by NatWest that its banking arrangements with RT were null and void.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Google’s ad tracking is as creepy as Facebook’s. Here’s how to disable it

      Google has changed the way it tracks users across the internet so that it can now link people’s personally identifiable information from Gmail, YouTube and other accounts with their browsing records across the web. The company had previously pledged to keep these two data sets separate to protect individuals’ privacy.

      As first reported by Propublica, Google quietly updated its privacy settings in June to delete a clause that said “we will not combine DoubleClick cookie information with personally identifiable information unless we have your opt-in consent”.

      DoubleClick is an advertising serving and tracking company that Google bought in 2007. DoubleClick uses web cookies to track browsing behaviour online by their IP address to deliver targeted ads. It can make a good guess about your location and habits, but it doesn’t know your true identity.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • S’pore prison to look into alleged abuse of jailed blogger Amos Yee

      Singapore prison authorities said today that investigations are being launched into allegations that jailed teenage blogger Amos Yee has been assaulted by prison inmates.

      Yee began a six-week jail term on Sept 29 after he pleaded guilty to six charges of wounding the religious feelings of Muslims and Christians, through comments made on social media.

      But on Wednesday a Facebook post from the activist group Community Action Network (CAN) said that the group had been informed that Yee had been threatened, slapped and kicked by inmates.

      In a statement to dpa, the Singapore Prisons Service confirmed they were “aware” of the allegations made by Amos Yee, emphasising that the prison is committed to inmate safety and security.

    • Actress Shailene Woodley Reveals She Was Strip-Searched After Her Arrest Protesting Dakota Pipeline

      Actress Shailene Woodley pleaded not guilty on charges related to the resistance to the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline on Wednesday. She was arrested along with 27 others in North Dakota on October 10 during actions to mark Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Woodley was strip-searched and then put in an orange jump suit in the Morton County jail, which appears to be a common practice even for low-level misdemeanor charges. Woodley told Democracy Now!, “Never did it cross my mind that while trying to protect clean water, trying to ensure a future where our children have access to an element essential for human survival, would I be strip-searched. I was just shocked.” Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chair Dave Archambault II and others have also been strip-searched after being arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience against the pipeline.

    • FBI Director: We Need More Data On Police Shootings So Law Enforcement Can ‘Change The Narrative’

      FBI Director James Comey didn’t dig into his bag of “Ferguson Effect” rhetorical devices during his comments to a law enforcement conference on Sunday, but he came close. Under that theory, the possibility of being held accountable by citizens and their recording devices has apparently been holding officers back from enforcing laws, making arrests, or otherwise earning their paychecks.

      The problem now is a lack of data, Comey claims. Law enforcement has lost control of the narrative, he stated, as if a one-sided portrayal of every police use of excessive/deadly force was somehow beneficial to the nation.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • FTC Warns AT&T Court Victory On Throttling Could Screw Consumers For Decades

      AT&T stopped selling unlimited wireless data plans back in 2011, and instead started pushing more expensive capped and metered plans. Existing unlimited users at the time were “grandfathered,” but AT&T went out of its way to make life as unpleasant as possible for these users, ranging from blocking them from using Facetime unless they subscribed to metered plans, to throttling these “unlimited” users after only consuming a few gigabytes of data. Ultimately AT&T faced a $100 million fine by the FCC (currently being contested by AT&T), and a 2014 lawsuit by the FTC for misleading consumers and dramatically changing the terms of service while users were under contract.

10.21.16

Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 10:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Top 8 Linux Distributions Of 2016

      There are quite a number of linux distribution out there and new ones are being added as the days go by. This means picking a distro amongst the lot becomes quite a difficulty. Luckily for you, I have hand-picked the best linux distributions in 2016 for you. These are the top distributions targeting very different uses and users and I bet at least one is going to appeal to you. So let’s get started.

    • Patten: How to exorcise Windows from your old computer

      You may have heard of Linux (also known as GNU/Linux), but only as something that hackers use. It has a reputation for being unwieldy and hard. That reputation is deserved … sometimes.

      But anyone can learn it. And if it’s good enough for Barbie, it should be good enough for you.

      The best part: It’s free, free, free.

      Linux is actually a kind of operating system, just as a mammal is a kind of animal. Linux systems are all similar or identical at the core (also known as the kernel). But they come in a lot of varieties, or distros. (Fun fact: Much of the Android operating system is based on Linux.)

      The hard part about Linux isn’t learning. It’s choosing.

  • Server

    • Docker: Making the Internet Programmable

      Docker, and containers in general, are hot technologies that have been getting quite a bit of attention over the past few years. Even Solomon Hykes, Founder, CTO, and Chief Product Officer at Docker started his keynote with the assumption that people attending LinuxCon Europe know that Docker does containers, so instead of focusing on what Docker does, Hykes used his time to talk about Docker’s purpose saying, “It really boils down to one small sentence. We’re trying to make the Internet programmable.”

      Hykes described this idea of making the Internet programmable with three key points. First, they are focused on building “tools of mass innovation” designed to allow people to create and innovate on a very large scale. Second, applications and cloud services are allowing the idea of the Internet as a programmable platform to be realized, and they want to make this accessible to more people. Third, they are accomplishing all of this by building the Docker stack with open standards, open infrastructure, and a development platform with commercial products on top of the stack.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.8.3

      I’m announcing the release of the 4.8.3 kernel.

      All users of the 4.8 kernel series must upgrade.

      The updated 4.8.y git tree can be found at:
      git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.8.y
      and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

      http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st…

    • Linux 4.7.9
    • Linux 4.4.26
    • Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0 Patches Updated For Linux 4.9

      Intel has updated its currently out-of-tree Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 patches for compatibility against the Linux 4.9-rc1 kernel plus made other improvements to the code.

      These patches have been worked on the past few months after Intel PR initially claimed no TBM 3.0 Linux support. The patches have gone through several public revisions but sadly didn’t make it for integration into the mainline Linux 4.9 kernel.

    • Linux 4.9 Is Showing A Performance Boost On More Systems

      Earlier this week I posted some benchmarks of a Core i7 6800K Broadwell-E system seeing performance boosts under Linux 4.9 and it turns out it’s looking more widespread than just affecting a niche system or two. When testing a more traditional Intel Haswell desktop, Linux 4.9 Git is seeing more wins over Linux 4.8 and 4.7 kernels.

      Following that earlier 4.9 Git benchmarking I set out to do a fairly large Linux kernel comparison on a Haswell system to go back three or so years worth of kernel releases. That big kernel comparison will be finished up and posted in the days ahead, but already from this Core i7 4790K Devil’s Canyon system I am seeing some performance improvements with 4.9 Git to share over 4.7.0 and 4.8.0 stock kernels…

    • Linux Foundation Welcomes JavaScript Community

      Kris Borchers, executive director of the foundation, announced the news, saying that the JavaScript Foundation aims “to support a vast array of technologies that complement projects throughout the entire JavaScript ecosystem.”

      This includes both client and server side application libraries, mobile application testing frameworks, and JavaScript engines.

      All jQuery Foundation projects will also be united within the JS Foundation including jQuery, Lodash, ESLint, Esprima, Grunt, RequireJS, jQuery UI, Globalize, Sizzle, Jed, and Dojo.

    • Kernel 4.4.25 Has Been Released
    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • How to benchmark your Linux system

        The Software Center list will also include individual tests. These can be fine to use, but they can be tedious to open and configure manually. Keep your eye out for an entry called Phoronix Test Suite, or PTS for short. The Phoronix Test Suite is a powerful program that can run a single test, or an entire battery. PTS offers some built-in suites (collection of tests), or you can design your own suite. When tests are completed, you can choose to upload the test results to openbenchmarking.org, where other users can see your results and even run the exact same tests on their PC.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Leslie Zhai Talks 20 Years of KDE in China

        In 2002, as a computer science major university student, I went to a Legal Authoried software store in Wuhan, Guangputun, and bought Redhat7 including four install CDs, three src.rpm CDs and a very exquisite user manual for only RMB 50, because other software for Windows 98 was too expensive to a univerty student! It was my first time to use KDE 3. Yes I chose KDE as my default desktop enviroment, but I tried GNOME of course. Wink Then I tried to migrate my university’s course assignment developed in Turbo C to compile with GCC. I used Konsole and VIM to edit my source code, I tried Emacs but I did not know how to make coffee with it, so I switched to VIM Wink and my teachers switched to use Redhat8 instead of Windows 98 when teaching operating system courses.

      • Choose Your Own Experience in Plasma 5.8 and beyond

        One of the key points of Plasma is while giving a simple default desktop experience, not limiting the user to that single, pre-packed one size fits all UI.

      • KDevelop 5.0.2 released for Windows and Linux

        Four weeks after the release of KDevelop 5.0.1, we are happy to announce the availability of KDevelop 5.0.2, a second stabilization release in the 5.0 series. We highly recommend to update to version 5.0.2 if you are currently using version 5.0.1 or 5.0.0.

      • Wayland improvements since Plasma 5.8 release

        Two weeks have passed since the Plasma 5.8 release and our Wayland efforts have seen quite some improvements. Some changes went into Plasma 5.8 as bug fixes, some changes are only available in master for the next release. With this blog post I want to highlight what we have improved since Plasma 5.8.

      • Wayland For KDE Plasma 5.9 Should Shape Up Quite Nicely

        Plasma 5.8 was only released at the beginning of October but already there has been a number of Wayland improvements queuing up for the next milestone, Plasma 5.9.

        KWin maintainer Martin Gräßlin wrote a blog post yesterday about some of the early Wayland changes coming for Plasma 5.9. Some of this early work for the next KDE Plasma 5 release includes resize-only borders, global shortcut handling, support for keyboard LEDs via libinput, relative pointer support, the color scheme syncing to the window decoration, window icon improvements, multi-screen improvements, panel imporvements, and more.

      • Autumn Sale in the Krita Shop
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME at Linux Install Fest

        It’s an event organized in order to help first year students install a Linux distro on their laptops (here at our uni, we work almost entirely on Linux, so we need to help those that have never used it and set up their distros🙂 ).

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Highlights of YaST development sprint 26

        One of the main reasons to adopt Scrum was to ensure we make a good use of our development resources (i.e. developers’ time and brains) focusing on things that bring more value to our users. In the past we had the feeling that many important things were always postponed because the developers were flooded by other not so important stuff. Now that feeling is gone (to a great extent) and we have a more clear and shared view of the direction of our development efforts.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Debian-Based Parsix GNU/Linux 8.15 “Nev” Gets First Test Build, Ships GNOME 3.22

          Today, October 21, 2016, the developers of the Debian-based Parsix GNU/Linux operating system proudly announced the availability for download of the first test build of the upcoming Parsix GNU/Linux 8.15 “Nev” release.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Turns 12, Happy Birthday!

            Today, October 20, 2016, is Ubuntu’s birthday! Its 12th anniversary since the release of the first Ubuntu version, namely Ubuntu 4.10 (Warty Warthog), which was originally announced by Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth on the 20th of October 2004.

          • Celebrating 12 years of Ubuntu

            Founder Mark Shuttleworth announced the first public release of Ubuntu – version 4.10, or “Warty Warthog” – on Oct. 20, 2004. The idea behind what would become the most recognizable and widely used Linux distributions ever was simple – create a Linux operating system that anybody could use. Here’s a look back at Ubuntu’s history.

          • Happy 12th Birthday, Ubuntu!

            Yup, it’s twelve years to the day since Mark Shuttleworth sat down to tap out the first Ubuntu release announcement and herald in an era of “Linux for human beings”.

          • A Slice of Ubuntu

            The de facto standard for Raspberry Pi operating systems is Raspbian–a Debian based distribution specifically for the diminutive computer. Of course, you have multiple choices and there might not be one best choice for every situation. It did catch our eye, however, that the RaspEX project released a workable Ubunutu 16.10 release for the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3.

            RaspEX is a full Linux Desktop system with LXDE (a lightweight desktop environment) and many other useful programs. Firefox, Samba, and VNC4Server are present. You can use the Ubuntu repositories to install anything else you want. The system uses kernel 4.4.21. You can see a review of a much older version of RaspEX in the video below.

          • Download Ubuntu Yakkety Yak 16.10 wallpaper

            The Yakkety Yak 16.10 is released and now you can download the new wallpaper by clicking here. It’s the latest part of the set for the Ubuntu 2016 releases following Xenial Xerus. You can read about our wallpaper visual design process here.

          • Live kernel patching from Canonical now available for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

            We are delighted to announce the availability of a new service for Ubuntu which any user can enable on their current installations – the Canonical Livepatch Service.

            This new live kernel patching service can be used on any Ubuntu 16.04 LTS system (using the generic Linux 4.4 kernel) to minimise unplanned downtime and maintain the highest levels of security.

          • How to enable free ‘Canonical Livepatch Service’ for Linux kernel live-patching on Ubuntu

            Linux 4.0 introduced a wonderful feature for those that need insane up-time — the ability to patch the kernel without rebooting the machine. While this is vital for servers, it can be beneficial to workstation users too. Believe it or not, some home users covet long up-time simply for fun — bragging rights, and such.

            If you are an Ubuntu 16.04 LTS user (with generic Linux kernel 4.4) and you want to take advantage of this exciting feature, I have good news — it is now conveniently available for free! Unfortunately, this all-new Canonical Livepatch Service does have a catch — it is limited to three machines per user. Of course, home users can register as many email addresses as they want, so it is easy to get more if needed. Businesses can pay for additional machines through Ubuntu Advantage. Want to give it a go? Read on.

            “Since the release of the Linux 4.0 kernel about 18 months ago, users have been able to patch and update their kernel packages without rebooting. However, until now, no other Linux distribution has offered this feature for free to their users. That changes today with the release of the Canonical Livepatch Service”, says Tom Callway, Director of Cloud Marketing, Canonical.

          • KernelCare Is Another Alternative To Canonical’s Ubuntu Live Kernel Patching

            Earlier this week Canonical announced their Kernel Livepatching Service for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS users. Canonical’s service is free for under three systems while another alternative for Ubuntu Linux users interested in a commercial service is CloudLinux’s KernelCare.

            The folks from CloudLinux wrote in to remind us of their kernel patching solution, which they’ve been offering since 2014 and believe is a superior solution to Canonical’s service. KernelCare isn’t limited to just Ubuntu 16.04 but also works with Ubuntu 14.04 and other distributions such as CentOS/RHEL, Debian, and other enterprise Linux distributions.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Exclusive: Blockchain platform developed by banks to be open-source

    A blockchain platform developed by a group that includes more than 70 of the world’s biggest financial institutions is making its code publicly available, in what could become the industry standard for the nascent technology.

    The Corda platform has been developed by a consortium brought together by New-York-based financial technology company R3. It represents the biggest shared effort among banks, insurers, fund managers and other players to work on using blockchain technology in the financial markets.

  • European banks risk lagging Wall Street in blockchain race
  • Report: R3′s Banking Blockchain Software is Going Open Source
  • Major Banks Take First Steps Towards Creating Industry Standards For Blockchain Technology
  • ‘Disputive’ blockchain technology set to be co-opted by banks
  • Google’s Open Source Report Card Highlights Game-Changing Contributions

    Ask people about Google’s relationship to open source, and many of them will point to Android and Chrome OS — both very successful operating systems and both based on Linux. Android, in particular, remains one of the biggest home runs in open source history. But, as Josh Simmons from Google’s Open Source Programs Office will tell you, Google also contributes a slew of useful open source tools and programs to the community each year. Now, Google has issued its very first “Open Source Report Card,” as announced by Simmons on the Google Open Source Blog.

    “We’re sharing our first Open Source Report Card, highlighting our most popular projects, sharing a few statistics and detailing some of the projects we’ve released in 2016. We’ve open sourced over 20 million lines of code to date and you can find a listing of some of our best known project releases on our website,” said Simmons.

  • Events

    • LatinoWare

      Yesterday, Wednesday 19 oct, was the first day of LatinoWare thirteen edition hosted in the city of Foz do Iguaçu in Parana state with presence of 5155 participants and temperature of 36ºC. Currently this is the biggest event of free software in Brazil.

    • Attending a FUDcon LATAM 2016

      From my experience I will share my days at FUDcon 2016 held on Puno last week. There were 3 core days, and 2 more days to visit around.

    • FOSDEM Desktops DevRoom 2016 all for Participation

      FOSDEM is one of the largest (5,000+ hackers!) gatherings of Free Software contributors in the world and happens each February in Brussels (Belgium, Europe).

      Once again, one of the tracks will be the Desktops DevRoom (formerly known as “CrossDesktop DevRoom”), which will host Desktop-related talks.

      We are now inviting proposals for talks about Free/Libre/Open-source Software on the topics of Desktop development, Desktop applications and interoperability amongst Desktop Environments. This is a unique opportunity to show novel ideas and developments to a wide technical audience.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Nino Vranešič: Open Source Advocate and Mozilla Rep in Slovenia

        “My name is Nino Vranešič and I am connecting IT and Society,” is what Nino says about himself on LinkedIn. The video is a little hard to understand in places due to language differences and (we think) a slow or low-bandwidth connection between the U.S.-based Zoom servers and Eastern Europe, a problem that crops up now and then in video conversation and VOIP phone calls with people in that part of the world, no matter what service you choose. But Vranešič is worth a little extra effort to hear, because it’s great to learn that open source is being used in lots of government agencies, not only in Slovenia but all over Europe. And aside from this, Vranešič himself is a tres cool dude who is an ardent open source volunteer (“Mozilla Rep” is an unpaid volunteer position), and I hope I have a chance to meet him F2F next time he comes to a conference in Florida — and maybe you’ll have a chance to meet him if he comes to a conference near you.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Mirantis and NTT Com Double Down on OpenStack

      Mirantis continues to drive forward with new partnerships focused on the OpenStack cloud computing platform. The company and NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com) have announced that they will partner to offer fully managed Private OpenStack as a service in NTT Com Enterprise Cloud and its data center services across the globe. NTT Com, in becoming Mirantis’ first data center services partner, says it will offer Mirantis Managed OpenStack on NTT Com Enterprise Cloud’s Metal-as-a-Service.

    • Using metrics effectively in OpenStack development

      At the OpenStack summit taking place this month in Barcelona, Ildikó Váncsa will be speaking on metrics in her talk Metrics: Friends or Enemies? She will discuss OpenStack metrics and how they can be used in software development processes, both for the individual developer and manager.

      I caught up with Ildikó before her talk to learn more about how metrics in OpenStack help guide developers and companies, and how they also drive evolution of the OpenStack community itself.

  • Databases

    • MySQL and database programming for beginners

      Dave Stokes has been using MySQL for more than 15 years and has served as its community manager since 2010. At All Things Open this year, he’ll give a talk about database programming for newbies with MySQL.

      In this interview, he previews his talk and shares a few helpful resources, required skills, and common problems MySQL beginners run into.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Nadella’s trust talk is just so much hot air

      Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella appears to have an incredibly short memory. Else he would be the last person who talks about trust being the most pressing issue in tech in our times.

      Over the last year, we have been treated to a variety of cheap tricks by Microsoft, attempting to hoodwink Windows users left, right and centre in order to get them to upgrade to Windows 10. After that, talking about trust sounds odd. Very odd.

      Microsoft does not have the best reputation among tech companies. It is known for predatory practices, for being convicted as a monopolist, and in recent times has been trying to cultivate a softer image as a company that is not as rapacious as it once was.

      That has, in large measure, come about as its influence and rank in the world of computing have both slipped, with other companies like Apple, Facebook and Google coming to dominate.

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source where possible in Polish Gdańsk

      The city of Gdańsk, Poland’s sixth largest city, is using open source software applications where possible. Open source is called an ‘important element’ in the Operational Programmes, made public in August. This document describes the tasks and activities set out by the city to achieve the goals it defined in the Gdańsk 2030 Plus Development Strategy.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Ranking the Web With Radical Transparency

      Ranking every URL on the web in a transparent and reproducible way is a core concept of the Common Search project, says Sylvain Zimmer, who will be speaking at the upcoming Apache: Big Data Europe conference in Seville, Spain.

      The web has become a critical resource for humanity, and search engines are its arbiters, Zimmer says. However, the only search engines currently available are for-profit entities, so the Common Search project is creating a nonprofit engine that is open, transparent, and independent.

      We spoke with Zimmer, who founded Jamendo, dotConferences, and Common Search, to learn more about why nonprofit search engines are important, why Apache Spark is such a great match for the job, and some of the challenges the project faces.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • What You Should Know About Ken Bone

    Photoshops, memes, witty comments, retweets, offhanded references … and now, for some reason, his sexual fetishes are making national news.

  • Come On Elon! Tesla Stupidly Bans Owners From Using Self-Driving Teslas For Uber

    We’ve talked a lot about the end of ownership society, in which companies are increasingly using copyright and other laws to effectively end ownership — where they put in place restrictions on the things you thought you bought. This is bad for a whole variety of reasons, and now it’s especially disappointing to see that Tesla appears to be jumping on the bandwagon as well. The company is releasing its latest, much more high powered, version of autonomous self-driving car technology — but has put in place a clause that bars Tesla owners from using the self-driving car for any competing car hailing service, like Uber or Lyft. This is not for safety/liability reasons, but because Tesla is also trying to build an Uber competitor.

    We wrote about this a few months ago, and actually think it’s a pretty cool idea. Part of the point is that it effectively will make Tesla ownership cheaper for those who want it, because they can lease it out for use at times when they’re not using it. So your car can make money for you while you work or sleep or whatever. That’s a cool idea.

  • Science

    • Artificial intelligence could be the greatest disaster in human history

      Stephen Hawking has warned artificial intelligence could be the greatest disaster in human history if it is not properly managed.

      The world famous physicist said AI could bring about serious peril in the creation of powerful autonomous weapons and novel ways for those in power to oppress and control the masses.

      Hawking suggested AI could be the last event in the history of our civilisation if humanity did not learn to cope with the risks it posed.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • UNICEF Tender Allows Gavi To Supply Vaccines For Millions Of Children

      Gavi, the vaccine alliance, announced yesterday that a UNICEF pentavalent vaccine tender will secure sufficient supplies for the next three years to protect millions of children in Gavi-supported and transitioning countries.

      According to a Gavi press release, pentavalent vaccine will be accessible from a broad base of manufacturers at less than US$1: half this year’s average price.

      Pentavalent vaccine protects against five major infections in one shot: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), according to Gavi.

    • Flint Water Panel Calls for New Emergency Management Rules

      Michigan should consider abandoning its one-person emergency management structure and instead install a team of three experts when deficit-ridden municipalities and school districts fall under state control, according to a report released Wednesday by a legislative committee that investigated Flint’s lead-tainted water crisis.

      Nine current or former government workers have been criminally charged since doctors detected elevated levels of lead in some children due to the discolored and smelly water supply in the impoverished city of nearly 100,000.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Thursday
    • More information about Dirty COW (aka CVE-2016-5195)

      The security hole fixed in the stable kernels released today has been dubbed Dirty COW (CVE-2016-5195) by a site devoted to the kernel privilege escalation vulnerability. There is some indication that it is being exploited in the wild. Ars Technica has some additional information. The Red Hat bugzilla entry and advisory are worth looking at as well.

    • New Debian Linux Kernel Update Addresses “Dirty COW” Bug, Three Security Issues
    • CVE-2016-5195

      My prior post showed my research from earlier in the year at the 2016 Linux Security Summit on kernel security flaw lifetimes. Now that CVE-2016-5195 is public, here are updated graphs and statistics. Due to their rarity, the Critical bug average has now jumped from 3.3 years to 5.2 years. There aren’t many, but, as I mentioned, they still exist, whether you know about them or not. CVE-2016-5195 was sitting on everyone’s machine when I gave my LSS talk, and there are still other flaws on all our Linux machines right now. (And, I should note, this problem is not unique to Linux.) Dealing with knowing that there are always going to be bugs present requires proactive kernel self-protection (to minimize the effects of possible flaws) and vendors dedicated to updating their devices regularly and quickly (to keep the exposure window minimized once a flaw is widely known).

    • “Most serious” Linux privilege-escalation bug ever is under active exploit (updated)

      While CVE-2016-5195, as the bug is cataloged, amounts to a mere privilege-escalation vulnerability rather than a more serious code-execution vulnerability, there are several reasons many researchers are taking it extremely seriously. For one thing, it’s not hard to develop exploits that work reliably. For another, the flaw is located in a section of the Linux kernel that’s a part of virtually every distribution of the open-source OS released for almost a decade. What’s more, researchers have discovered attack code that indicates the vulnerability is being actively and maliciously exploited in the wild.

    • Linux Kernels 4.8.3, 4.7.9 & 4.4.26 LTS Out to Patch “Dirty COW” Security Flaw

      Today, October 20, 2016, Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman announced three new maintenance updates for the Linux 4.8, 4.7, and 4.4 LTS kernel series, patching a major security vulnerability.

      Known as “Dirty COW,” the Linux kernel vulnerability documented at CVE-2016-5195 is, in fact, a nasty bug that could have allowed local users to write to any file they can read. The worst part is that the security flaw was present in various Linux kernel builds since at least the Linux 2.6.x series, which reached end of life in February this year.

    • Canonical Patches Ancient “Dirty COW” Kernel Bug in All Supported Ubuntu OSes

      As reported earlier, three new Linux kernel maintenance releases arrived for various Linux-based operating systems, patching a critical and ancient bug popularly known as “Dirty COW.”

      We already told you that the kernel vulnerability could be used by a local attacker to run programs as an administrator, and it looks like it also affects all supported Ubuntu releases, including Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin), as well as all of their official or unofficial derivatives running the same kernel builds.

    • Linux users urged to protect against ‘Dirty COW’ security flaw

      Organisations and individuals have been urged to patch Linux servers immediately or risk falling victim to exploits for a Linux kernel security flaw dubbed ‘Dirty COW’.

      This follows a warning from open source software vendor Red Hat that the flaw is being exploited in the wild.

      Phil Oester, the Linux security researcher who uncovered the flaw, explained to V3 that the exploit is easy to execute and will almost certainly become more widely used.

      “The exploit in the wild is trivial to execute, never fails and has probably been around for years – the version I obtained was compiled with gcc 4.8,” he said.

    • Dirty Cow, Ubuntu @ 12, Save a Penguin

      Dirty Cow is a local privilege vulnerability that can allow one to gain root access. Specifically, “race condition was found in the way the Linux kernel’s memory subsystem handled the copy-on-write (COW) breakage of private read-only memory mappings. An unprivileged local user could use this flaw to gain write access to otherwise read-only memory mappings and thus increase their privileges on the system.” Linus signed off and pushed the patch to git a few days ago and distributions are currently updating their products. This is considered a critical bug and users are encouraged to update as soon as possible because researchers have found code in the wild to exploit it. Worse still, the exploit leaves little or no trace of being compromised. So, keep an eye on your update applets or security advisories over the next few days. Since this bug has been in existence for so long, Kees Cook had to revise his critical bug lifetime average from 3.3 to 5.2 years, while the overall average for all bugs increased only slightly.

    • Hackers Hit U.S. Senate GOP Committee

      The national news media has been consumed of late with reports of Russian hackers breaking into networks of the Democratic National Committee. Lest the Republicans feel left out of all the excitement, a report this past week out of The Netherlands suggests Russian hackers have for the past six months been siphoning credit card data from visitors to the Web storefront of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).

      [...]

      Dataflow markets itself as an “offshore” hosting provider with presences in Belize and The Seychelles. Dataflow has long been advertised on Russian-language cybercrime forums as an offshore haven that offers so-called “bulletproof hosting,” a phrase used to describe hosting firms that court all manner of sites that most legitimate hosting firms shun, including those that knowingly host spam and phishing sites as well as malicious software.

      De Groot published a list of the sites currently present at Dataflow. The list speaks for itself as a collection of badness, including quite a number of Russian-language sites selling synthetic drugs and stolen credit card data.

      According to De Groot, other sites that were retrofitted with the malware included e-commerce sites for the shoe maker Converse as well as the automaker Audi, although he says those sites and the NRSC’s have been scrubbed of the malicious software since his report was published.

      But De Groot said the hackers behind this scheme are continuing to find new sites to compromise.

      “Last Monday my scans found about 5,900 hacked sites,” he said. “When I did another scan two days later, I found about 340 of those had been fixed, but that another 170 were newly compromised.”

    • Thoughts on the BTB Paper

      The Branch Target Buffer (BTB) whitepaper presents some interesting information. It details potential side-channel attacks by utilizing timing attacks against the branch prediction hardware present in Intel Haswell processors. The article does not mention Intel processors later than Haswell, such as Broadwell or Skylake.

      Side-channel attacks are always interesting and fun. Indeed, the authors have stumbled into areas that need more research. Their research can be applicable in certain circumstances.

      As a side-note, KASLR in general is rather weak and can be considered a waste of time[1]. The discussion why is outside the scope of this article.

    • Donald Trump running insecure email servers

      In addition, Beaumont said he’d found that emails from the Trump Organization failed to support two-factor authentication. That’s particularly bad because the Trump Organization’s web-based email access page relies on an outdated March 2015 build of Microsoft Exchange 2007, he says. “Windows Server 2003, IIS 6 and Exchange 2003 went end of life years ago. There are no security fixes. They don’t have basics down,” the UK based researcher concludes.

    • Video: Endgame, Live from Grace Hopper 2016 [Ed: covers voting security]

      Andrea Limbago is interviewed by the CUBE at the Grace Hoper Celebration 2016 conference. She covers a number of interesting topics and I thought it was worth sharing. Enjoy!

    • Stable Linux Kernel Updates Roll Out To Address “Dirty COW” CVE
    • Dirty COW explained: Get a moooo-ve on and patch Linux root hole [Ed: If there was no branding, logo and Web site would it be news?]
    • Dirty COW: Linux kernel security flaw bypasses antivirus software
    • Warnings over Dirty Cow Linux bug [Ed: BBC found something negative to say about Linux so even a local privilege-escalation bug is “news”]
    • ‘Dirty Cow’ Linux vulnerability found after nine years [Ed: Wow, finally. The Guardian covers “Linux”… Couldn’t get the BBC and The Gurdian to cover Linux even when this kernel turned 25, but some old bug is major news? Shame. Both publications are Bill Gates-funded.]
    • “Dirty COW” Is The Most Dangerous Linux Privilege-escalation Bug Ever, Experts Say
    • Attackers exploit ancient ‘Dirty COW’ kernel flaw [Ed: My assessment: A CVE hyped up as “Dirty COW” is a lot more hype and fear-mongering than it ought to be. Pure marketing almost…]
    • Dirty COW Linux vulnerability – what you need to know
    • A serious Linux privilege-escalation bug has been in the wild for nine years
    • Linux Kernel Zero-Day CVE-2016-5195 Patched After Being Deployed in Live Attacks
    • ‘Dirty COW’ Linux kernel security vulnerability being exploited in the wild, warns Red Hat
    • The NyaDrop Trojan for Linux-running IoT Devices
    • Flaw resides in BTB helps bypass ASLR
    • Thoughts on the BTB Paper

      Though the attack might have some merits with regards to KASLR, the attack on ASLR is completely debunked. The authors of the paper didn’t release any supporting code or steps for independent analysis and verification. The results, therefore, cannot be trusted until the authors fully open source their work and the work is validated by trusted and independent third parties.

    • Spreading the DDoS Disease and Selling the Cure

      Earlier this month a hacker released the source code for Mirai, a malware strain that was used to launch a historically large 620 Gbps denial-of-service attack against this site in September. That attack came in apparent retribution for a story here which directly preceded the arrest of two Israeli men for allegedly running an online attack for hire service called vDOS. Turns out, the site where the Mirai source code was leaked had some very interesting things in common with the place vDOS called home.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Channel 4 News defends Facebook live stream of battle for Mosul

      Channel 4 News has defended its decision to live stream a conflict for the first time amid concerns over the dangers of watching the battle for Mosul on a Facebook live feed.

      The publicly owned broadcaster joined other TV stations including Al-Jazeera and Rudaw, the Kurdish news agency that provided the content, to live stream the advance of Iraqi troops and Kurdish fighters into Mosul, Islamic State’s last major stronghold in Iraq.

      Watched more than 500,000 times by lunchtime on Tuesday, the Channel 4 News feed prompted a mixed response with several users questioning the appropriateness of “liking” and pasting emojis on scenes of potential devastation.

    • US marines to establish Norway ‘base’ by January

      The US Marine Corps is to establish a new base in northern Norway as early as January, as Nato forces work to improve their ability respond rapidly to potential Russian aggression
      Maj. Gen. Niel E. Nelson, commander of US Marine Forces in Europe and Africa, told US broadcaster CNN that the new marine base was under discussion with the Norwegian government.

      “We enjoy a very close relationship with the Norwegian Armed Forces and a limited rotational presence in Norway would certainly enhance this relationship and our ability to operate together,” he said in a statement

    • Let’s Rethink What ‘Leadership’ Means in Foreign Policy

      As a retired lieutenant colonel for the U.S. Army, I want to be positive. Even when I’ve identified major conceptual and practical failures in the conduct of American foreign and military policy, I’ve suggested alternatives that could improve the situation. But when looking at the state of our foreign policy in this moment, and given how entrenched the foreign-policy elite in Washington has become, a rational optimism is getting more and more difficult to find.

      In practice, the current administration tries to keep a lid on problems by applying limited military power—at least regarding troop levels—over large sections of the globe. These military operations are tactical in nature, designed to achieve small-scale results, without the consideration of how or even whether they support some larger strategic objective.

    • Agencies Found to Be Ignoring IGs to the Tune of $87 Billion

      Federal agencies are wasting $87 billion by failing to implement more than 15,000 inspector general recommendations, according to a new report released by Republican senators.

      Many of the proposals have been floated for more than 10 years, wrote Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, in their findings. The lawmakers and their staffs compiled the data over the last year from 72 different inspectors general at federal agencies governmentwide, and issued the final document without Democratic input.

    • Washington’s foreign policy elite breaks with Obama over Syrian bloodshed

      There is one corner of Washington where Donald Trump’s scorched-earth presidential campaign is treated as a mere distraction and where bipartisanship reigns. In the rarefied world of the Washington foreign policy establishment, President Obama’s departure from the White House — and the possible return of a more conventional and hawkish Hillary Clinton — is being met with quiet relief.

      The Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the groundwork for a more assertive American foreign policy, via a flurry of reports shaped by officials who are likely to play senior roles in a potential Clinton White House.

    • Clinton’s “Incredibly Dangerous” Nuclear Brinkmanship

      Rowley, a former FBI special agent and division counsel whose May 2002 memo to the FBI Director exposed some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures was named one of TIME magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002. She said today: “Clinton is engaging in incredibly dangerous brinkmanship with a nuclear superpower but at the same time, trying to lull the public into complacency about the danger she intends to place them in. Last night, she again pledged she would, after being elected, institute a ‘no-fly zone’ and ‘safe zones’ over Syria but she evaded answering the debate moderator’s direct question as to whether she would give the order to shoot down Russian aircraft over Syria. Her evasive response was directly at odds with the recent assessment of General Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in testimony to Congress (as well as earlier assessments from former Chief Martin Dempsey and other top generals) that establishing a ‘no-fly zone’ would almost certainly mean war with Syria (and Russia).

      “In addition, Clinton mischaracterized what the intelligence agencies are saying about the emails to/from her campaign chief of staff, John Podesta, that are being put out by WikiLeaks. She claimed they have come from ‘the highest levels of the Russian government, clearly, from Putin himself, in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election.’

      “In fact, a carefully crafted statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (James Clapper) was far less definitive, stating: ‘The recent disclosures … are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.’ It’s also worth noting that this was not the conclusion of a National Intelligence Estimate, merely a statement from the ODNI and Department of Homeland Security.” [Note: Because of an editing error by IPA staff, this news release originally quoted the line from the ODNI statement: “However, we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian Government.” But that sentence was referring to “scanning and probing of … election-related systems” — not to the recent WikiLeaks disclosures. IPA regrets the error.]

      ELIZABETH MURRAY, emurray404[at]aol.com, @elizabethmurra
      Murray served as deputy national intelligence officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career in the U.S. government, where she specialized in Middle Eastern political and media analysis. See her page at Consortium News, including “How U.S. Propaganda Fuels New Cold War” and “Seeking a Debate on ‘Regime Change’ Wars.”

    • ‘Time to say goodbye to US,’ Philippines’ Duterte proclaims on historic China visit

      It’s “time to say goodbye” to the United States, said Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on a visit to China, where he and President Xi Jinping are turning the recently-frosty tide with bilateral agreements, while Washington now gets the cold shoulder.

      Duterte spoke to the press in Beijing on Wednesday, on the eve of talks with Xi. There was scant information about what was to come on Thursday, but Duterte’s conference coincided with talk of unprecedented agreements being written up – particularly the granting to the Philippines the use of Scarborough Shoal territories – a disputed resource-rich area in the South China Sea.

    • ‘The Promise:’ The Armenian Genocide Epic Kirk Kerkorian Spent a Fortune to Make

      “The Promise,” a sweeping historical romance starring Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale, is the kind of movie epic they just don’t make anymore. It’s a throwback to David Lean’s “Doctor Zhivago” and Warren Beatty’s “Reds,” movies that transposed big, emotional stories against a sprawling canvas, and tugged at the heartstrings while dealing with thorny political periods.

    • Finland: Russian propaganda questioning our validity risks destabilising country

      Finnish government communications chief Markku Mantila said his officials had observed a barrage of state-sponsored media attacks ahead of the country’s celebrations marking 100 years of independence from Russia

    • Pakistan bans Bollywood and Indian television as Kashmir dispute spills over into entertainment industry

      Pakistan is banning Bollywood films and all Indian programmes and music across the country’s television and radio networks amid heightened tensions with its neighbour in the disputed Kashmir region.

      The two countries have exchanged cross-border fire in recent weeks, after India blamed Pakistani forces for raid on one of its army bases that left 18 soldiers dead last month and responded with “surgical strikes”.

      Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, vowed that the attack would “not go unpunished”, while his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif denied his country’s forces were involved and condemned “the unprovoked and naked aggression of Indian forces”.

      The escalation has provoked international alarm, spilling over into the world of entertainment and celebrity in both countries.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • 4chan, Anonymous working to get Julian Assange working internet

      It’s been a rough week for WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange, who’s cooped up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London with no internet and, possibly, poisonous vegan meals trying to kill him.

      But members of 4chan and Anonymous are rallying together to get Assange the Wi-Fi he needs so that a good samaritan can stop reading him everything off of the internet.

      The plan, per a report by The Next Web, is called “Operation Hot Pockets” and involves members of the notorious internet gathering around the embassy, in shifts, to create wireless hotspots so Assange can, once again, access the internet to leak emails, update his Friendster account, and do whatever else he needs to do (Instacart?).

    • WikiLeaks claims sham U.S. firm is trying to smear Assange

      The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks is claiming that an elaborate and somewhat wacky smear campaign has targeted the group’s founder, Julian Assange, to paint him as a pedophile and Russian client.

      WikiLeaks said the smear efforts, which it’s outlined in tweets and a series of documents over the past two days, include a sham offer from the Russian government to pay Assange $1 million to promote a women’s dating site and a separate scheme to link Assange to a criminal case in the Bahamas.

      The assertions are the latest twist in events that have kept Assange and WikiLeaks at center stage of the presidential campaign. The smears come as WikiLeaks releases tens thousands of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and from the personal email account of campaign chairman John Podesta.

    • ‘We wouldn’t not publish Trump documents or suppress them, but we can only work with what we’ve got’

      Last Sunday, Sarah Harrison stayed up to watch the second US presidential election debate between Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican rival Donald Trump. The organisation she works for, WikiLeaks, got a special mention at the showdown.

      “Our intelligence community just came out and said, in the last few days, that the Kremlin… are directing attacks, are hacking American accounts to influence the election,” Clinton said. “WikiLeaks is part of that, as are other sites.”

      It’s an accusation that rankles a little bit with Harrison.

      “This sort of attack keeps coming against us,” she says. “She [Hillary Clinton] is basically saying that the US intelligence community has confirmed this. But in their statements they have used vague language like ‘it’s the sort of thing we’ve come to expect from the Russians’. There’s no proof it comes from the Russians. We operate on the basis of source anonymity. We don’t comment on sourcing.”

    • Former CIA Employee Sues Agency Over Its Refusal To Provide Documents In Electronic Form

      The CIA is still causing problems for Jeffrey Scudder. Scudder used to work for the CIA. He was forced out of the agency after making a FOIA request for “historical documents of long-dormant conflicts and operations” while still employed there. Perhaps the agency thought only citizens outside of the agency should be making FOIA requests. Or maybe it thought Scudder was engaged in a particularly labyrinthine plot to exfiltrate declassified documents out of the agency. Whatever its thought process, it resulted in an FBI raid of Scudder’s house, the seizure of his electronics, and the end of his career.

      Unfortunately for the CIA, this has given Scudder more time to file FOIA requests and sue the agency when it responds in increasingly ridiculous ways. Scudder has already tangled with the CIA over its refusal to join the 20th century (never mind the current one) when turning over responsive documents. His last major request to the agency asked for “softcopy” — i.e., not paper — copies of 419 articles from the CIA’s “Studies in Intelligence.”

      The CIA told him it had no way of providing him documents in the format he asked for. Instead, it claimed it only had one way to comply with the request: the stupidest, most circuitous way.

    • The Wikileaks Story Is Even More Dramatic Thanks to This Composer’s Auto-Tuned Opera

      In early 2010, a US Army intelligence analyst stationed in Iraq sent three quarters of a million military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks, a non-profit founded by Julian Assange dedicated to sharing official documents “alleging government and corporate misconduct,” according to their website. Private Bradley Manning, the analyst behind the biggest intelligence leak in US history, then confessed to his deed in an online chat with a known hacker named Adrian Lamo. In May of 2010, Lamo reported the confession to US Army counterintelligence, the chat logs were published by Wired.com, and by July of 2013, Private Manning had been charged by the US government with 22 offenses, including “aiding the enemy.” After pleading guilty to 10 of the charges and the trial finished on August 21st in 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

    • This Is Huge: New Project Releases All Current (Non-Confidential) Congressional Research Service Reports

      Going back nearly a decade, we’ve been talking about the ridiculousness of Congress refusing to publicly release reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS). As we’ve discussed many times, CRS is an in-house think tank for Congress that is both famously non-partisan and actually really good at what they do. CRS reports tend to be really useful and highly credible (which is part of the reason why Congress isn’t a fan of letting them out into the public). Of course, as works of the federal government, CRS reports are in the public domain, but the way it’s always worked is that the reports are released only to members of Congress. These include both general reports on topics that are released to every member of Congress, or specific research tasked by a member for the CRS to investigate and create a new report. The members who receive the reports are able to release them to the public, and some do, but the vast majority of CRS work remains hidden from public view. For the most part, both CRS and Congress have resisted any attempt to change this. Going back decades, they’ve put together a mostly ridiculous list of reasons opposing plans to more widely distribute CRS reports.

      Some members of Congress keep introducing bills to make these public domain CRS reports actually available to the public. We’ve written about such attempts in 2011, 2012, 2015 and earlier this year. And each time they get shot down, often for completely ridiculous reasons, including the belief that making these reports public will somehow hurt CRS’s ability to continue to do good, non-partisan research.

      At times, different organizations and groups have taken up the cause themselves. Back in 2009, Wikileaks hit the jackpot and released nearly 7,000 such CRS reports. Steve Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists has been posting CRS reports to a public archive for quite some time. There’s also Antoine McGrath’s CRSReports.com and some other sites that all create archives of CRS reports that they’ve been able to collect from various sources.

    • Agents of influence: How reporters have been “weaponized” by leaks

      Since June, some entity has been releasing e-mails and electronic documents obtained via network intrusions and credential thefts of politicians and political party employees. Some of the releases have appeared on sites believed to be associated with Russian intelligence operations; others have appeared on Wikileaks. On occasion, the leaker has also engaged journalists directly, trying to have them publish information drawn from these documents—sometimes successfully, other times not.

      The US government has pinned at least some of the blame for these leaks on Russia. This has led some observers to argue that WikiLeaks and Russian intelligence agencies are “weaponizing” the media. This is what national security circles refer to as an “influence operation,” using reporters as tools to give credibility and cover to a narrative driven by another nation-state. The argument is that by willingly accepting leaked data, journalists have (wittingly or not) aided the leaker’s cause. As such, they have become an “agent of influence.”

    • Agent of Influence 2.0

      An agent of influence is a particular type of agent used by an agency to deliver information (or a narrative) they hope will sway public opinion. There are three types of agent of influence:

      Controlled Agent — an agent under the direct control of an agency

      Trusted Contact — someone who is aware that they are being fed data by an agency; who is also looking to advance the same/similar agenda, but is not directly under the control of the agency

      Unwitting Agent — sometimes called a “useful idiot,” these agents are not aware of their role as conduits of data for an agency

      The primary role for an agent of influence is to add credibility to the narrative / data that the agency is attempting to get out and help influence the public.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • World’s mammals being eaten into extinction, report warns

      Hundreds of mammal species – from chimpanzees to hippos to bats – are being eaten into extinction by people, according to the first global assessment of the impact of human hunting.

      Bushmeat has long been a traditional source of food for many rural people, but as roads have been driven into remote areas, large-scale commercial hunting is leaving forests and other habitats devoid of wildlife.

      The scientists behind the new analysis warned that, without action, the wiping out of these species could lead to the collapse of the food security of hundreds of millions of people reliant on bushmeat for survival.

      The work comes against the backdrop of the natural world undergoing the greatest mass extinction since a giant meteorite strike wiped out the dinosaurs 65m years ago, with species vanishing far more rapidly than the long term rate, driven by the destruction and invasion of wild areas by humans and their livestock and hunting.

    • Norway nature group calls for limits to tourist hikers

      Norway’s leading hiking group has called for limits to the huge number of tourists hiking to Pulpit’s Rock and other attractions.
      Lasse Heimdal, leader of Friluftsliv, an umbrella organisation for those engaged hiking and other outdoor pursuits, said there was a risk that the huge spike in tourists seen in recent years would damage the most popular sites.

      He argued that was “urgent that we now take measures to ensure that outdoor life is safeguarded”.

      “If the large loads might damage nature, the authorities are obliged to impose countermeasures,” he told NRK. “Limiting access can be one of the measures.”

    • Greenland is Melting

      Not long ago, I attended a memorial service on top of the Greenland ice sheet for a man I did not know. The service was an intimate affair, with only four people present. I worried that I might be regarded as an interloper and thought about stepping away. But I was clipped onto a rope, and, in any case, I wanted to be there.

      The service was for a NASA scientist named Alberto Behar. Behar, who worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, might be described as a twenty-first-century explorer. He didn’t go to uncharted places; he sent probes to them. Some of the machines he built went all the way to Mars; they are orbiting the planet today or trundling across its surface on the Curiosity rover. Other Behar designs were deployed on Earth, at the poles. In Antarctica, Behar devised a special video camera to capture the first images ever taken inside an ice stream. In Greenland, he once sent a flock of rubber ducks hurtling down a mile-long ice shaft known as a moulin. Each duck bore a label, offering, in Greenlandic, English, and Danish, a reward for its return. At least two made it through.

      When Behar died, in January, 2015—he crashed his single-engine plane onto the streets of Los Angeles—he was at work on another probe. This one, dubbed a drifter, looked like a toolbox wearing a life preserver. It was intended to measure the flow of meltwater streams. These so-called supraglacial rivers are difficult to approach, since their banks are made of ice. They are often lined with cracks, and usually they end by plunging down an ice shaft. The drifter would float along, like a duck, collecting and transmitting data, so that, by the time it reached a moulin and was sucked in, it would have served its purpose.

  • Finance

    • Saudi Arabia’s $17.5 Billion Bond Sale Draws Investors

      Banks and investors flocked to buy Saudi Arabia’s first global bonds, a milestone in the giant oil producer’s efforts to diversify its economy and embrace global financial markets.

    • Iain Macwhirter: Panic! We’re led by a Dad’s Army of Brexiter buffoons

      The vote to leave the EU has been widely interpreted as a cry of anguish, predominantly from the dispossessed in non-metropolitan England: white working class people, typically in the north, who feel they have been left behind by globalisation, rising inequality, casualisation and low pay.

      It is a cruel irony, therefore, that it is these people, the ones at the bottom of the social heap, who stand to be worst hit by the emerging post-Brexit economy. There have been howls of anguish from financiers in the City of London, who are demanding a special deal in the EU, and, since money talks, they’ll probably get one. But the first casualties, as The Herald reported yesterday, will be low-income families caught in the vice of rising living costs and benefit cuts who stand to lose £360 a year. As we know, most of the working-age benefit claimants are actually in work and their income had already been squeezed by 10 per cent since the 2008 crash.

    • CETA – new documents and declarations (as of 19 October)

      Several documents have been transmitted to the Walloon parliament, including these.

      Again, nothing clear about the legal weight of these documents. Interesting to see how many of them are unilateral declarations of the Commission or of the Council or even of one member state, which means they did not convince Canada to make those joint statements, which makes them even weaker than the joint interpretative declaration that has already wiedly been criticised. Indeed, even a joint interpretative declaration cannot solve the concerns that have been expressed.

    • Citizens’ Summit Contra CETA: It’s Not Only Wallonia

      With the vote on the European Union-Canada trade agreement (CETA) on the agenda once more at the upcoming EU Council meeting tomorrow the representatives of European and Canadian cities and regions gathered at Brussels today for a “CETA Citizens’ Summit.” Gerardo Pisarello, vice mayor of the city of Barcelona, said that cities like his see CETA as a barrier to their plans to remunicipalize water and energy services and the attempts “to open up public procurement to small companies and cooperatives.”

    • Power company drags Guatemala back to ICSID

      The case is the second ICSID claim to be filed against Colombia. The first, by mining company Glencore International, was filed earlier this year. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is acting for the claimants in the two cases and also defended Guatemala in its dispute with TECO, though so far the state has not instructed counsel for the resubmitted claim.

      Last week, another ICSID tribunal issued a decision on rectification in a dispute between Philip Morris and Uruguay, making only minor corrections to an award issued earlier this year, which had held the state’s tobacco control regulations were not in breach of an investment treaty.

    • TTIP: the impact on the Greek democracy, economy and society

      The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), belongs to the “new generation”of trade agreements. Together with Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is one of the most important forthcoming steps for the wide-ranging transformation of the bourgeois society and capitalism.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • WikiLeaks poisons Hillary’s relationship with left

      Donald Trump is pointing to a stream of hacked emails as proof that Hillary Clinton would be a compromised president, but a surprising number of progressives are drawing similar conclusions — albeit for a totally different reasons.

      Some of the left’s most influential voices and groups are taking offense at the way they and their causes were discussed behind their backs by Clinton and some of her closest advisers in the emails, which swipe liberal heroes and causes as “puritanical,” “pompous”, “naive”, “radical” and “dumb,” calling some “freaks,” who need to “get a life.”

    • Jill Stein op-ed: Break the blackout on political competition in America

      A voter revolt is brewing in America. People are fed up, and they should be. The super rich are destroying our economy, sending our jobs overseas and making our planet uninhabitable. But instead of offering real solutions, the two-party system has produced the two most disliked and distrusted candidates in history.

      In a Fox News poll from Sept. 30, 57 percent of voters said their choice in the presidential election is motivated primarily not by enthusiasm, but by fear of the other candidate. Democrats and Republicans have lost ground to independents, now the largest voting block. Meanwhile, an incredible 57 percent of Americans polled recently by Gallup say the Democratic and Republican parties have failed and we need a new major party. In short, the American people are ready for real competition to the two-party system.

      As I travel the country, I hear disgust with both parties, especially among young people. They see a political establishment that is unwilling or unable to tackle the dead-end economy, crushing student debt, endless expanding wars, growing climate crisis and injustice in our legal and immigration systems. They see Donald Trump as an ignorant, bigoted predator and Hillary Clinton as an untrustworthy insider with a troubling record. The Green Party’s message makes sense to many because Greens have the freedom, as the only national party that doesn’t take corporate money, to speak out for fair, common-sense solutions that establishment politicians won’t touch.

    • Op Ed: Investigative Journalism is Not Dead

      Okay, so, I wasn’t going to submit these here because I’ve really had quite enough of politics for the year but it seems the mainstream media are having an absolute blackout on anything critical of Hillary, to the point of CNN has both coincidentally lost a sitting congressman’s satellite feed immediately after mentioning wikileaks and tried to tell their viewers that even reading the wikileaks emails is illegal.

      These two videos by Project Veritas Action, apparently with more to come, are the result of a year or so of actual investigative journalism and deserve coverage somewhere though. I don’t personally care at all if you like Hillary or not but it’s always better to know the truth than to stick your head in the sand, so here they are.

    • If You’re Ever Dissed in a Hacked Email, Try to Respond Like Larry Lessig

      Lawrence Lessig is a professor at Harvard Law School, a leading advocate for campaign finance reform, and short-lived presidential candidate.

      He was also, in the view of the Clinton campaign, circa August 2015, a “smug,” “pompous,” loathsome guy whom a reasonable person might wish “to kick the shit out of on Twitter.”

    • Jill Stein offers third party perspective on final debate

      The final debate of the 2016 Presidential Election was a terse one, with more jabs than a UFC event. While the debate only featured the two mainstream candidates, Jill Stein used Facebook Live to communicate the Green Party’s goals for the country and politics.

      While the mainstream debates mostly focused on which candidate is more corrupt politically and morally, Jill Stein’s Facebook Live event drew 12,500 viewers who were excited to hear of an alternative to the two-party system. Leaving Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to mudsling and name-call, Stein wanted to focus on the need for a three-party system and offering alternatives to the corporate-backed political system.

    • Green Party V.P. candidate makes visit to Muskegon, hopes for support

      Green Party vice-presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka visited Muskegon, and his stop was not at a college campus or a coffee shop but the Michigan Department of Corrections campus.

      Baraka visited Wednesday, Oct. 19, with prison inmate Rev. Edward Pinkney, who is serving time at the prison for a conviction on an election law forgery charge.

      “For him to be given a 30-month sentence allegedly for changing some signatures on a voter card that is outrageous,” Baraka said.

      Baraka has a message to voters looking for a home this election cycle: “We say you only have one choice and that is to support the Green Party. Don’t let fear undermine your commitment to principal.”

    • Green Party Candidate Jill Stein Rips John Oliver’s ‘Deceptive Attack’

      “Coming from someone who made a stunt of buying and canceling medical debt on his show, and who claims to want alternatives to the failed two-party system, this disingenuous attack on the idea of canceling student debt is both puzzling and hypocritical,” Stein’s campaign said in a statement. “It was beyond disappointing to see that our responses were completely ignored. The same tired, misleading attack lines were trotted out, and Oliver chose to misrepresent our campaign on the lone substantive issue that he addressed: our plan to cancel student debt.”

      In Sunday’s episode, Oliver said Stein’s plan to eliminate student debt relies on an economic method called quantitative easing, which is essentially the printing of new money. The problem, Oliver said, is that the Federal Reserve doesn’t have the jurisdiction of the president. “It’s basically akin to saying, ‘I’ll make us energy independent by ordering the Post Office to invade Canada,’” Oliver said. “No, Jill. That’s impractical, it’s a terrible idea, and you don’t seem to understand anything about it.”

    • Jill Stein Pitches a Green Foreign Policy

      On The Gist, Green Party candidate Jill Stein lays out her foreign policy. She debates Mike Pesca about Hillary Clinton, Yemen, and America’s use of force. Stein believes the United States is closer to nuclear war than ever, including the Cold War. She explains how de-escalating nuclear tensions with Russia should take priority, and how neither of the major party candidates is up to the job. This year marks Stein’s second run for the presidency.

    • Why These Americans Refuse to Vote

      In Nevada, residents are afforded a luxury not enjoyed by any other Americans: When they trudge to the polls next month, they’ll have the chance to check a box that reads, “None of These Candidates.” Nevada voters are statutorily entitled to signal their discontent with the entire array of presidential contenders before them by saying “screw it” and selecting that particular option. And it’s not a joke—this ultimate “F you!” has actually won various Nevada state primary elections in the past.

      One can only guess what percentage of voters would choose “none” were the option available nationwide, but there are some clues it’d find sizable traction: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the two most despised major party nominees in modern electoral history. But outside Nevada, there’s no way to formally register your across-the-board disillusionment with the political system that produced them: You’ve got to pick Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or one of the third-party also-rans. (Or you could write somebody in, such as Fred Flintstone or LeBron James.)

    • Green Party’s Jill Stein on “Donald Trump’s Psychosis and Hillary Clinton’s Distortions”

      After Wednesday’s debate, Democracy Now! spoke to Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential nominee. She and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson were excluded from the debate under stringent rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties.

    • A Tale of Three Foundations
    • Donald Trump Just Lost, But So Did American Democracy

      Trump called Clinton a liar, a “nasty woman” and someone who should have “never been allowed to run” because she is a crook.

    • Presidential Conflicts of Interest, and More from CRS

      “Does federal law require the President to relinquish control of his or her business interests?” That question is considered in a new analysis from the Congressional Research Service.

      The short answer appears to be No. “There is no current legal requirement that would compel the President to relinquish financial interests because of a conflict of interest.”

      There are, however, certain legal disclosure requirements that apply to candidates for the Presidency. It is those requirements that are “the principal method of regulation of potential conflicts of interests for elected officials such as the President.”

    • Natasha Stoynoff’s account of Trump sexual assault now backed by 6 witnesses

      Former People magazine contributor Natasha Stoynoff recently went public with her claim that she was sexually assaulted by the GOP Presidential Nominee, Donald Trump.

      Trump and his paid toadies on the campaign trail mocked Stoynoff, and questioned her motives. There were no witnesses, Trump said, adding, “She lies! Look at her, I don’t think so.”

      A totally normal thing for an innocent man to say when accused of sexual assault.

      “We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat,” she wrote.

      Six people have now come forward to corroborate Stoynoff’s account.

      She wasn’t lying, they say. It happened. And it happened just like she said it happened.

    • Revealed: 6 People Who Corroborate Natasha Stoynoff’s Story of Being Attacked by Donald Trump

      Six colleagues and close friends who corroborate former PEOPLE writer Natasha Stoynoff’s account of being attacked by Donald Trump in 2005 are now coming forward. Among them is a friend who was with Stoynoff when she ran into Melania Trump later in N.Y.C.

      The wife of the Republican nominee denies meeting Stoynoff after the attack, but Stoynoff’s friend Liza Herz remembers being there during the chance meeting.

      “They chatted in a friendly way,” Herz, who met Stoynoff in college, says. “And what struck me most was that Melania was carrying a child and wearing heels.”

      Stoynoff’s story, which made national news when it broke last week and is reprinted in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, describes a run-in with Trump when she was covering him and pregnant wife Melania on assignment for PEOPLE in December 2005.

    • Michael Moore quietly made a Donald Trump movie. “TrumpLand” opens this week.

      Filmmaker Michael Moore has an “October surprise” for America: A stealthily and quickly made movie about the presidential campaign of GOP nominee and accused serial sexual predator Donald Trump.

    • What Michael Moore Understands About Hillary Clinton

      “Michael Moore in TrumpLand” isn’t quite the film that I expected it to be, and that’s all to the good. Moore is, of course, a genius of political satire, deploying his persona—as a populist socialist skeptic with a superb sense of humor and a chess player’s skill at media positioning—to deeply humane ends that are mainly detached from practicality, policy, and practical politics. The very idea of the new film—a recording of Moore’s one-man show from the stage of a theatre in a small, predominantly Republican town in Ohio—runs the risk of self-parody, being a feature-length lampooning of Trump, laid out with meticulously researched facts set forth with the sublime derision of which Moore is a master. It would have been a highly saleable version of preaching to the converted.

    • Final Debate Review: One President vs One Petulant Child

      So the last Trump vs Hillary debate is done. It will be remembered as the debate where Trump put himself and his personal acceptance ahead of the opinion of 200 million voters. I think this will damage him more than any other third debate ever, and will bring on a wave of condemnation by Republicans and more un-endorsements. I think he will walk that statement back, soon, and may be forced to Apple-igize or non-apologize for it.

    • Clinton Campaign Makes Wildly Inconsistent Claims About Emails Published By WikiLeaks

      Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign contends the publication of emails from the campaign are part of a Russian plot. It believes raising the issue of Russia’s alleged involvement is enough to avoid discussion of the contents of emails. However, the campaign has been inconsistent in appearances on cable news networks.

      Multiple individuals explicitly insist there are doctored or forged emails to dodge questions. Some of these people had their email exchanges published by WikiLeaks. Yet no member of the Clinton campaign can name a single example of a forgery.

      Representatives of the Clinton campaign back away from talking points and answer questions about the emails if they can make a point that may be useful to the campaign about Donald Trump or Clinton’s progressive credentials. But when hosts of news programs ask questions they do not want to answer, they repeat a set of talking points; in particular, how Republican Senator Marco Rubio said this shows the Russians are trying to rig the election and people should stop talking about the emails.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Police mass face recognition in the US will net innocent people

      Live in the US? There’s a 50:50 chance that you’re in a police face recognition database, according to a report from the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law in Washington DC. The findings suggest that about a quarter of all police departments in the US have access to face recognition technology.

      That police are using face recognition technology is not a problem in itself. In a world with a camera in every pocket, they would be daft not to. But face recognition can be used far more broadly than fingerprint recognition, which means it carries a higher risk of tagging innocent people.

      Fingerprints are difficult to work with. Prints from known criminals can only be gathered in controlled environments at police stations, and dusting for prints is so time consuming that it is only done at relevant crime scenes. This narrows down the number of people in the sights of any one investigation.

      It’s much easier to build huge databases of identified photographs. The majority of the 117 million faces in the police datasets come from state driving licenses and ID cards. And when trying to solve a crime, gathering faces is as easy as pointing a camera at the street. People attending protests, visiting their church, or just walking by can all have their faces “dusted” without ever knowing it.

    • UK first to bring surveillance under rule of law, says former GCHQ director [Ed: So the spies broke the law for many years and our government will pardon them and legalise the crime]

      Former GCHQ head David Omand says the UK will be the first country in Europe to legislate to regulate digital intelligence and put it under judicial supervision with judicial review

    • NSA Can Access More Phone Data Than Ever

      One of the reforms designed to rein in the surveillance authorities of the National Security Agency has perhaps inadvertently solved a technical problem for the spy outfit and granted it potential access to much more data than before, a former top official told ABC News.

      Before the signing of the USA Freedom Act in June 2015, one of the NSA’s most controversial programs was the mass collection of telephonic metadata from millions of Americans — the information about calls, including the telephone numbers involved, the time and the duration but not the calls’ content — under a broad interpretation of the Patriot Act’s Section 215. From this large “haystack,” as officials have called it, NSA analysts could get approval to run queries on specific numbers purportedly linked to international terrorism investigations.

    • NSA, GCHQ and even Donald Trump are all after your data

      As production and usage of data keeps growing globally, it’s worth remembering that the US government wants access to your information and will use warrants, decryption or hacking to get to it.

      That’s not news and the US government has many tools in its box. Many had already heard of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (aka the Patriot Act) as the means by which the FBI would get access to data. Then the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act took centre stage (although the original version of this actually predated the Patriot Act by a couple of decades) following the Snowden revelations that the NSA had access to data on a massive scale.

      If Donald Trump gets elected as president, he might introduce more snooping powers. As part of his election campaign, he has already issued some tough statements which seem likely to rebalance powers in favour of the US government and away from the tech industry.

    • Local Superior Court Judge Says DEA’s Wiretap Warrant Factory Perfectly Legal

      Over the past several years, the DEA has run hundreds of wiretap warrants through a single county judge’s court after getting them approved by whoever happened to be in the local district attorney’s office when agents need one signed. The latter part of this process runs contrary to statutes enacted specifically to prevent abuse of wiretap warrants by the federal agencies.

      The approval process, which had been streamlined to eliminate any possible roadblocks to the DEA’s deployment of wiretaps all over the country, was considered by the DOJ to be far enough outside legal boundaries as to make the warrants questionable, if not legally “toxic.”

      The district attorney who was supposed to personally approve these wiretap warrants never did. Former Riverside County district attorney Paul Zellerbach delegated this task to anyone but himself. Because of this, some of the warrants have been challenged in court, leading to the DOJ stepping in to salvage wiretaps its lawyers had previously instructed DEA agents to keep out of federal courts.

    • New Research Blames Insiders, Not North Korea, for Sony Hack

      Growing evidence suggests it was not North Korea.

      A leading cyber security firm says it has evidence that contradicts the government’s allegation that North Korea was behind the debilitating cyber attacks against Sony Pictures.

      Researchers from the firm Norse told Security Ledger, an independent security news website, that they believe that a group of six individuals orchestrated the hack, including at least one former employee who was laid off in company-wide restructuring in May.

    • “I’ve seen pretty much all your tech secrets”

      Government prosecutors intend to file charges under the Espionage Act against a former NSA contractor who was arrested in August and charged with stealing a massive trove of top-secret intelligence documents.

      In court papers filed Thursday [you can read them below], the government said Navy veteran Harold T. Martin III stole 50,000 gigabytes of data over the course of two decades, which far exceeds the number of documents Edward Snowden took from the NSA and leaked to journalists. (One gigabyte can store about 10,000 pages.)

      Prosecutors say Martin, who had been a contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton — the same company that employed Snowden at the time of his leak — is a national security threat and a flight risk, and must remain behind bars until a trial in his case begins next year. Earlier this week, Martin’s attorneys requested a court hearing to determine if he could be released pending trial; the hearing is scheduled to take place Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Maryland.

      In the court papers, the government for the first time characterized the documents that Martin allegedly stole, which prosecutors said lay bare a “course of felonious conduct that is breathtaking in its longevity and scale.” According to the government, in addition to numerous digital media devices the FBI seized from Martin, there were also “hard-copy documents that were seized from various locations during the search that comprise six full bankers’ boxes worth of documents.”

    • Trove of Stolen Data Is Said to Include Top-Secret U.S. Hacking Tools

      Investigators pursuing what they believe to be the largest case of mishandling classified documents in United States history have found that the huge trove of stolen documents in the possession of a National Security Agency contractor included top-secret N.S.A. hacking tools that two months ago were offered for sale on the internet.

      They have been hunting for electronic clues that could link those cybertools — computer code posted online for auction by an anonymous group calling itself the Shadow Brokers — to the home computers of the contractor, Harold T. Martin III, who was arrested in late August on charges of theft of government property and mishandling of classified information.

      But so far, the investigators have been frustrated in their attempt to prove that Mr. Martin deliberately leaked or sold the hacking tools to the Shadow Brokers or, alternatively, that someone hacked into his computer or otherwise took them without his knowledge. While they have found some forensic clues that he might be the source, the evidence is not conclusive, according to a dozen officials who have been involved in or have been briefed on the investigation.

    • Feds seized 50TB of data from NSA contractor suspected of theft

      In a new Thursday court filing, federal prosecutors expanded their accusations against a former National Security Agency contractor. Federal investigators seized at least 50 terabytes of data from Harold Thomas Martin III, at least some of which was “national defense information.” If all of this data was indeed classified, it would be the largest such heist from the NSA, far larger than what former contractor Edward Snowden took.

      Prosecutors also said that Martin should remain locked up and noted that he will soon be charged with violations of the Espionage Act. That law, which dates back nearly a century, is the same law that was used to charge Chelsea Manning and Snowden, among others. If convicted, violators can face the death penalty.

      United States Attorney Rod Rosenstein and two other prosecutors laid out new details in the case against Martin, whose arrest only became public earlier this month. Martin had been a contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton and possessed a top-secret clearance.

      The new filing states that Martin also took “six full bankers’ boxes” worth of paper documents, many which were marked “Secret” or “Top Secret.” The documents date from between 1996 through 2016.

    • Cops Monitoring Social Media Is Much More Than Just Collecting Tweets

      It’s not just your friends following you on Facebook or Twitter. The cops are, too.

      Law enforcement agencies around the world have used social media monitoring software to keep tabs on populations en masse, sweeping up their posts and tweets, giving police a bird’s-eye view of what, say, Twitter users are broadcasting in a specific area, or about a particular topic. Tweeting from an Olympic stadium? Sharing a post with a hashtag supporting Black Lives Matter? Police may be watching that, in real time.

      On the face of it, you might not have a problem with cops reading public social media posts or tweets: individuals presumably took the decision to put the information out there themselves. But law enforcement’s monitoring of social media is not that simple.

      “Social media monitoring is so much more than it first appears. Programs to monitor social media are rarely about manual review of public information,” Amie Stepanovich, US policy manager at activist group Access Now, told Motherboard in a Twitter message.

    • DNA testing for jobs may be on its way, warns Gartner

      It is illegal today to use DNA testing for employment, but as science advances its understanding of genes that correlate to certain desirable traits — such as leadership and intelligence — business may want this information.

      People seeking leadership roles in business, or even those in search of funding for a start-up, may volunteer their DNA test results to demonstrate that they have the right aptitude, leadership capabilities and intelligence for the job.

      This may sound farfetched, but it’s possible based on the direction of the science, according to Gartner analysts David Furlonger and Stephen Smith, who presented their research at the firm’s Symposium IT/xpo here. This research is called “maverick” in Gartner parlance, meaning it has a somewhat low probability and is still years out, but its potential is nonetheless worrisome to the authors.

    • How to endorse a political candidate on Facebook and lose friends forever
    • How to find out what Facebook knows about you

      Close to the top of this page you’ll see a section called “Interests” with a whole lot of tiles. Each tile represents an interest, and Facebook organizes your interests under a variety of categories including sports, news, entertainments, people, and technology.

      All you have to do is go through this list. If you see something that shouldn’t belong—or you’d rather not have belong—just click the “X” that appears in the upper-right corner of the tile when you hover over it with your mouse. This should remove or at least reduce any ads you see related to that content.

      Perhaps the most interesting section for most of us right now is the “Lifestyle and culture” section, which houses political interests. For me, personally, this area was way off. It said I had liked pages related to political parties I don’t support.

      My best guess as to how this happened is that in the last few weeks I’ve liked a bunch of articles criticizing the other side. Do that enough times and one particular candidate’s name comes up more than the other’s, and (perhaps) an association is made between you and the side you disagree with.

    • Email/Web footer – For the NSA….

      I responded to a spam message from my credit union, asking to be removed from their mailing list for things not directly related to my current account status using my standard Live.com email which has for at least 10 years now contained a footer labeled for the NSA which contains dozens of keywords sure to get you scanned. Well it finally worked… 2 days later the Yuma PD responded to my door and questioned me regarding the text of the footer which was reported to them by my credit union as a terrorist bomb threat. 2 Yuma PD marked cars and an unmarked vehicle containing a ‘detective’ arrived, rang the door bell and asked to speak to me, they wanted in the house badly but I chose to speak to them on the front porch. They had a copy of the email and were as they termed it just following up on a complaint lodged by the AEA credit union. The detective asked some rather pointed questions and tried real hard to get me to admit that the footer was really a threat but seemed rather embarrassed at his presence and went away after apparently I turned out to have valid ID and wasn’t brown. The patrol officers openly laughed with me at the over reaction and accepted a bottle of water on their way out. I am debating wearing a turban to the credit union to close my account out and demanding cash in lieu of a cashiers check, but given the state I am in and the gun carry laws that might be too much. I’ll report back if I don’t end up in Gitmo.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Denmark: Muslims stage organised attack against teenagers for being “American”

      The below story also shows how little security Danes (and American tourists) have, now because the police is overwhelmed by Muslim crime and terror.

    • Segregated Housing For Black Students At Cal State LA

      Welcome to the indoctrination station.

      Martin Luther King, please report to the front desk. You’re being brought to trial on charges of microaggressions for this “content of their character” microaggression.

    • Uh, America’s Take On The Salem Witch Trials Is Really Weird

      Imagine someone accusing you of a crime so ridiculous that the crime itself isn’t a real thing, like “French-kissing a pink elephant while enjoying free healthcare and a living wage.” And before you can even figure out how to mount a reasonable defense, you and a dozen other people in your community are dead, swinging from a hanging tree while the rest of the town pats themselves on the back for sending the pink-elephant-kissers back to Hell where they belong.

      Now imagine that a few hundred years have passed, and instead of mourning the terrible crime committed against you, everyone in town dresses up as a cartoon version of you and encourages tourists to buy trinkets that minimize and celebrate your death.

      Got all of that? Cool, you’ve basically pictured what’s happened in Salem, Massachusetts. This town is famous for witches and witch trials, which is another way of saying “mob hysteria which resulted in the murder of over 20 people.” Instead of solemnly remembering their dark past with humility, Salem has gone a different route — specifically, the route populated with merchandise and Ferris wheels.

    • Imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi faces more lashes: supporters

      Imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, whose public flogging in the kingdom in 2015 generated global outcry, now risks a new round of lashes, a co-founder of a Canadian foundation advocating for his release said on Tuesday.

      Evelyne Abitbol, who founded the Raif Badawi Foundation with Badawi’s wife, said a “reliable source” in Saudi Arabia claims he faces a new flogging after being sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and 1000 lashes in 2014 for breaking the kingdom’s technology laws and insulting Islam.

    • Outrage over actor Rahama Sadau’s hug highlights Nigeria’s divisions

      She is a hugely popular actor. He is a hugely popular rapper. But when Rahama Sadau and ClassiQ briefly touched in a music video released this month in northern Nigeria, their fleeting embrace set off a storm of controversy that has revealed the deep divides in the country.

      Sadau, 22, found herself lambasted by conservative commentators and banned from working in the predominantly Muslim north of Nigeria.

      “Rahama has been banned for life from acting … This is as a result of her recent immoral appearance in a certain video song where she appeared … hugging and cuddling,” said Salisu Mohammed, the head of the Motion Picture Practitioner’s Association of Nigeria, based in Kano state.

      The actor apologised for any offence she might have caused but called for a “more forgiving and tolerant” attitude.

      The northern Hausa-language film industry is only one part of the vast Nigerian movie business. Dubbed “Nollywood”, but divided along linguistic and cultural lines, it claims to be the second largest in the world, producing 2,000 films a year. Only Bollywood, the Indian film industry, which has been a huge influence on its Nigerian counterpart, produces more.

    • Muslim leader jailed for life after hiring hitman to kill mosque rival

      A Muslim leader has been jailed for life after hiring a hitman to execute his rival in cold blood following a bitter dispute over control of a controversial mosque.

      Khalid Rashad, 63, a Muslim convert, is the brother of Liz Mitchell, the lead singer in the 1970s band Boney M, famous for disco hits such as Rivers of Babylon, Rasputin and Daddy Cool.

      She appeared as a character witness in his trial, held in January this year, explaining how they had grown up in a large Christian family in Jamaica.

      The case can finally be reported at the end of a second trial in which Rashad was convicted of possessing military-grade plastic explosives and rounds of ammunition at his home, yards from Wembley stadium.

      In the first case, Abdul Hadi Arwani, 48, was found slumped in the driver’s seat of his VW Passat in a street in Wembley, north London, with the engine still running and bullet wounds in his chest in April last year.

      There was speculation that the preacher could have been murdered by a Syrian hitman when it emerged that he had been a vocal opponent of the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

    • Journalist Charged in North Dakota with Rioting; Case is Dismissed

      Amy Goodman, host of the New York City-based leftist news programme Democracy Now! was charged with criminal trespass by the North Dakota state’s attorney (prosecutor). The charge was changed to riot, then was dismissed due to lack of evidence when Goodman appeared in court on Monday. The charges stemmed from her presence at a protest in September against construction of the Dakota Access (Bakken) oil pipeline, after the protest was reported on her show.

    • Christian refugees persecuted by Muslim asylum seekers in German shelters – survey

      Christian asylum seekers as well as members of other religious minority groups living in refugee shelters across Germany face systematic persecution from both Muslim refugees and Muslim staff, a recently published survey shows.

      As many as 743 Christian refugees and 10 Yazidis living in refugee centers in various German states have reported religiously motivated attacks between February and September 2016, a survey conducted by several charitable NGOs says, stressing that collected data should be “considered … as the tip of the iceberg,” as “there are a high number of unreported cases.”

      Fifty-six percent of the affected refugees said that they were subjected to violent assaults and were beaten up while 42 percent of them said that they or their family members received death threats both from fellow refugees and Muslim staff, including volunteers and security personnel working at the centers.

    • Teat Scares Airlines: TSA Still Humiliates Nursing Mothers

      The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) still can’t identify an obvious breast pump used by women who are breastfeeding. According Hawaiian media, a mom was asked to prove her breast pump was real at the Lihue Airport.

      Agents told her she couldn’t take the pump on the plane because the bottles inside were empty. Interestingly, the same thing happened to Kossack Jesselyn Radack 8 years ago for the opposite reason: the bottles were full.

      This is not just a one-off. This is what occurs with measures intended to make people feel secure while doing nothing to actually improve security.

      Radack was on the No-Fly List, so maybe that’s why her breasts are more suspicious. But what the Hawaiian woman experienced is eerily similar and degrading as what Radack went through.

    • Arrested Backpage Execs Ask Kamala Harris To Drop Bogus Case She Herself Has Admitted She Has No Authority To Bring

      A few weeks ago, we wrote about the absolutely ridiculous and unconstitutional charges brought by California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against the online classified site Backpage.com. We focused on the fact that Section 230 clearly protects Backpage from such a lawsuit, and went into detail on the ridiculousness of Harris’ “investigator” using the fact that Backpage itself actually worked with him to track down, remove, and block ads for prostitution as some sort of evidence of wrongdoing.

      The execs are now hitting back — as they should. They’ve asked the court to dump the case with a detailed and thorough filing. It highlights that the charges violate the First Amendment, Section 230 of the CDA and, at an even more basic level, the complaint doesn’t even satisfy the requirements for “pimping,” which is what they’re charged with.

    • By stealing from innocents, Chicago PD amassed tens of millions in a secret black budget for surveillance gear

      Since 2009, the Chicago Police Department has seized $72M worth of property from people who were not convicted of any crime, through the discredited civil forfeiture process, keeping $48M worth of the gains (the rest went to the Cook County prosecutor’s office and the Illinois State Police) in an off-the-books, unreported slush fund that it used to buy secret surveillance gear.

      Civil forfeiture is widely considered to be an invitation to abuse and exploitation, and Chicago’s system is especially pernicious, as the police get to keep the proceeds from seizure, and do not have to disclose or account for the money.

      The full scope of the program was revealed in late September by the Chicago Reader, who worked with Muckrock and the Lucy Parsons Lab to file public records requests that yielded more than 1,000 pages’ worth of CPD documents.

    • URGENT CALL: ask your MP to sign letter to Obama

      One week ago Lauri Love’s case was raised at Prime Minister’s Questions by David Burrowes MP. Lauri’s case, and the inadequacy of Theresa May’s forum bar, is now firmly on the Parliamentary agenda.

      David Burrowes is one of a cross-party group of MPs who are now campaigning for Lauri in Parliament. Along with Labour’s Barry Sheerman and Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael, he has written a letter to President Obama, asking for the extradition warrant to be withdrawn.

    • Iran arrests Baquer Namazi, father of imprisoned American businessman

      Six weeks after freeing U.S. citizens in a prisoner swap with the United States, Iran appears to have arrested yet another man whom Washington may take an interest in seeing freed.

      Baquer Namazi, 80, is the father of American businessman Siamak Namazi, who was detained in October and was not part of last month’s exchange. Before his father’s arrest, he was the last confirmed U.S. prisoner still being held in Iran.

      Baquer Namazi, a former UNICEF official, was arrested on Monday, his wife Effie Namazi said on Facebook. He is an Iranian-American.

      “I must share the shocking and sad news that Baquer was arrested in Tehran late evening of 22 February 2016 and as far as I have been told by those who took him taken to Evin prison,” she wrote. “Now both my innocent son Siamak and my Baquer are in prison for no reason. This is a nightmare I can’t describe.”

    • Muslims call for Norway minister to resign after pork post

      Norwegian Muslims have called on the country’s integration minister to step down after she said that immigrants should adapt to a culture of pork, alcohol and no face-veils.

      Sylvi Listhaug, a minister appointed by the anti-immigrant Progress Party, caused outrage on Monday when she made an incendiary post on the eve of an national integration conference.

      “I think those who come to Norway need to adapt to our society. Here we eat pork, drink alcohol and show our face. You must abide by the values, laws and regulations that are in Norway when you come here,” she wrote in a post that was ‘liked’ by 20,000 people.

    • Supporters of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi fear flogging set to resume

      Supporters of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi are sounding the alarm that his flogging could soon resume.

      The Montreal-based foundation that bears Badawi’s name said this week it has it on good authority his punishment will begin again.

      The information comes from a “private source” who is the same person who informed Badawi’s family in Canada about the first series of lashes in January 2015.

      Evelyne Abitbol, the foundation’s executive director, conceded Tuesday it isn’t known for sure if or when the lashes will resume. Nonetheless, the organization found the information credible enough to convey it publicly.

      “We believe this information is right because it came from the same source,” Abitbol said. “We thought: If we don’t do anything and he is flogged, we would not be happy about not alerting the international community.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • How the Web Became Unreadable

      It’s been getting harder for me to read things on my phone and my laptop. I’ve caught myself squinting and holding the screen closer to my face. I’ve worried that my eyesight is starting to go.

      These hurdles have made me grumpier over time, but what pushed me over the edge was when Google’s App Engine console — a page that, as a developer, I use daily — changed its text from legible to illegible. Text that was once crisp and dark was suddenly lightened to a pallid gray. Though age has indeed taken its toll on my eyesight, it turns out that I was suffering from a design trend.

      There’s a widespread movement in design circles to reduce the contrast between text and background, making type harder to read. Apple is guilty. Google is, too. So is Twitter.

      Typography may not seem like a crucial design element, but it is. One of the reasons the web has become the default way that we access information is that it makes that information broadly available to everyone. “The power of the Web is in its universality,” wrote Tim Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web consortium. “Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”

    • Time’s Running Out for the FCC on Set-Top Reform, Privacy and Zero-Rating

      Dozens of leading public interest groups on Monday urged the Federal Communications Commission to swiftly approve new consumer protection policies aimed at promoting competition in the video marketplace, increasing online privacy, and ensuring internet openness.

      In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and his colleagues, the groups asked the agency to take action on two of the most important issues facing US telecom regulators: Rules that would save consumers billions of dollars annually by breaking the cable industry’s stranglehold on the video “set-top box” market, and tough new policies designed to protect consumers from broadband industry privacy abuses.

      The public interest coalition is also urging the FCC to crack down on the controversial practice of “zero-rating,” in which internet providers exempt certain online services from monthly data caps. Open internet groups say such schemes violate net neutrality, the principle that all content on the internet should be equally accessible, because they favor certain services by giving consumers an economic incentive to use them over rival offerings.

    • Oversight Transition Isn’t Giving Away the Internet, But Won’t Fix ICANN’s Problems

      At midnight last Saturday morning, Washington DC time, oversight over the performance of ICANN’s IANA functions—notably its maintenance of the root zone database of the Internet’s domain name system (DNS)—passed from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to ICANN’s global multi-stakeholder community.

      Despite several weeks of heated discussion within the United States, we haven’t commented much on this transition. That’s because there has not been much to say: the talking points over ICANN have been mostly a product of American party politics (and the election season) rather than a debate on a substantive technical or policy issue. The outcome was unlikely to affect Internet users much one way or the other. Now that the transfer of oversight has gone through, life will go on pretty much as it did before, with the exception that a broader group of people will have the formal responsibility of ensuring that the DNS root zone is being administered according to community-developed policies. New accountability measures have been put in place by ICANN as a condition of the transition, which will give this community some extra teeth to make sure that it stays on the straight and narrow.

    • Vox Seems Kind Of Upset That We’re Building Gigabit Networks With Bandwidth To Spare

      If you want to see why broadband in the United States still stinks, your first stop should be to examine the state level protectionist laws used to stifle competition across countless markets. But despite the lobbyist stranglehold over state legislatures, we’re still seeing some impressive progress when it comes to the deployment of gigabit fiber networks. Google Fiber continues to slowly but surely expand its footprint, and we’re seeing the rise of numerous other piecemeal gigabit solutions, whether coming from the likes of Tucows or municipal broadband deployments in cities like Chattanooga, Tennessee.

      To be clear, the “gigabit revolution” is certainly a bit overhyped. The vast majority still can’t get this caliber of service, and the obsession with the mighty gigabit does tend to obscure a potentially more important conversation about broadband prices and the often glaring lack of real competitive options. But by and large most people can agree that gigabit fiber builds are a good thing in an era when most users can still only obtain DSL at circa 2002 speeds and prices, and two-thirds of homes lack access to speeds greater than 25 Mbps from more than one provider (aka a broken monopoly).

    • FCC Fines T-Mobile For Abusing The Definition Of ‘Unlimited’ Data

      For the better part of the last decade, wireless carriers have had an often vicious, adversarial relationship with the dictionary. More specifically, they’ve struggled repeatedly with the definition of the word “unlimited,” often pitching data services that proclaim to be unlimited, only to saddle users with onerous, often confusing restrictions. For the last decade, regulators have tried to cure them of this behavior, from Verizon paying $1 million to New York’s Attorney General in 2007, to the FCC fining AT&T $100 million last year.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • China’s Manufacturers Now Producing Copies Before Original Products Are Even Launched

      Techdirt has written a number of articles tracking how China is moving beyond its traditional counterfeit imitation culture to one of collaborative innovation, as exemplified by “gongkai”. An article on the Quartz site provides a useful update on this world, concentrating on developments in Shenzhen, generally regarded as China’s hardware equivalent of Silicon Valley.

    • Comments Received On South African IP Framework; Action Seen In Early 2017

      The invitation by the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to intellectual property stakeholders to comment on its recently released IP Consultative Framework has reignited calls for the department to come clean on the status of the national draft IP policy.

    • US, India Trade Ministers Agree List Of IP Enforcement Actions For India

      United States Trade Representative Michael Froman and Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman met in Delhi today and discussed various bilateral issues including intellectual property rights. Based on the release from the meeting, it appears much of the IP focus was on tasks for India to do to better protect IP rights.

    • Copyrights

      • Skittles Photographer Actually Sues Trump Campaign Over Infringement

        A few weeks ago, we wrote about how David Kittos was threatening the Trump campaign with a copyright infringement lawsuit after Donald Trump Jr. tweeted out a really dumb image involving a bowl of Skittles and a ridiculous statement about refugees.

      • Megaupload User Fears Complete Data Loss, Asks Court For Help

        Millions of users lost access to their personal files when Megaupload was raided, and after nearly half a decade they are still stashed away in a Virginia warehouse. Former Megaupload user Kyle Goodwin has been trying to get his files back for years. This week he urged the court to take action, fearing that his data may soon be lost forever.

      • Our new brochure is finally here!

        After countless hours of work our new brochure “Ancillary Copyright for press publishers – Background and key issues” has arrived! It is easy to read and answers all relevant questions regarding an Ancillary Copyright for press publishers (AC). You can download it here for free.

        Much has happened in the past years. The first part of the paper reconstructs the development from the first discussions in Germany back in 2009 over the implementation in Germany and Spain with its consequences to Günther Oettinger’s current plans to introduce an AC at European level.

10.20.16

Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

Posted in News Roundup at 6:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • ‘Why Use Linux?’ Answered In 3 Short Words

      This post is not a typical post. I’m not going to change your life, or teach you a new trick. Instead I’m going to drag you down the rabbit hole…

      I had to Google a rather dry grammatical enquiry from my sister earlier. See, she’s in the process of going back to college to study nursing and has become fastidious about punctuation in the process.

      She turned to me because her iPhone did not, in her words, ‘give the correct answer’.

    • How does Linux need to change to achieve the ‘year of the Linux desktop?’

      The year of the Linux desktop has long been the unicorn of the open source movement. People have looked for it for quite a long time, but nobody’s ever seen it. But hope springs eternal, and for some the quest for the year of the Linux desktop goes on.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux kernel bugs: we add them in and then take years to get them out

      Kees Cook is a Google techie and security researcher whose interests include the Linux Kernel Self Protection Project.

      The idea of “self-protection” doesn’t mean giving up on trying to create secure code in the first place, of course.

      It may sound like an irony, but I’m happy to accept that writing secure code requires that you simultaneously write code that is predicated on insecurity.

    • storaged – next evolution step of udisks2

      What do you think about the above goals? Do you think GNU/Linux distributions should and will adopt storaged as a replacement for *udisks2″? Would you like your favorite distribution to do so? Or do you see a really bumpy road ahead? Please tell us what you think in the comments and if you know about somebody who should read this post and participate in the broader discussion, don’t forget to let them know and send them the link!

    • Ten Years of KVM

      We recently celebrated 25 years of Linux on the 25th anniversary of the famous email Linus sent to announce the start of the Linux project. Going by the same yardstick, today marks the 10th anniversary of the KVM project — Avi Kivity first announced the project on the 19th Oct, 2006 by this posting on LKML…

    • Linux Foundation Certified Engineer: Karthikeyan Ramaswamy

      Linux was part of my academics. I was introduced to Linux at the Anna University Bioinformatics Lab by my Professor Gautam Pennathur. After that introduction, I became truly interested in Linux and open source when I was doing my final year project with Professor Nagasuma Chandra in the bioinformatics department, Indian Institute of Science. It was an incredible journey with the different flavors of Linux as well as the scripting and programming languages. After learning about the history of Linux and open source software movement, I become an Individual supporter of The Linux Foundation and an Annual Associate Member of the Free Software Foundation.

    • Linux 4.9 Is Showing Some Performance Improvements On A Core i7 6800K

      Now that Linux 4.9-rc1 is out, it’s onward to testing this new Linux kernel on the dozens of test systems at Phoronix. With some early testing on a Core i7 6800K Broadwell-E box, there are some promising improvements.

    • Linux 4.10 To Expose EFI Framebuffer Configuration

      While Linux 4.9-rc1 was only released this past weekend, the EFI subsystem changes are already being staged for the next kernel cycle.

      One of the EFI changes catching my attention for Linux 4.10 is that the EFI frame-buffer configuration will be exposed. This will allow for localized status strings during firmware updates.

    • Features You Won’t Find In The Linux 4.9 Mainline Kernel

      While there are many new features in Linux 4.9, there is some functionality we’ve been looking forward to that sadly isn’t yet in the mainline kernel tree.

    • Blockchain technology can help save the lives of millions of refugees by giving them a verified identity

      What if you had no proof of who you are? What would you do when the bank manager asked for ID when you tried to open an account or when the hospital asked for your documentation?

      You wouldn’t be able to function, at least not easily. Billions face this problem internationally, but now blockchain technology is helping those with no paper proof of existence get the same services as those with “official” identification.

    • Open Networking Foundation and ON.Lab Merge

      As Software Defined Networking (SDN) has matured from just being a theoretical concept to a production reality, consolidation is now happening in SDN advocacy efforts as well. Today the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and ON.Lab announced that they would be merging, bringing the two groups’ SDN efforts under one umbrella organization.

      [...]

      There is also a connection between ONF and the Linux Foundation, with the ONOS and CORD projects led by ON.Lab. Parulkar said that with the ONF merger, the ONOS and CORD boards and governance will continue unchanged and they will continue to be Linux Foundation Collaborative projects.

    • ONF to Merge With On.Lab

      The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is merging with On.Lab, creating one entity that will curate standards such as OpenFlow while developing software projects such as ONOS and the Central Office Re-Imagined as a Datacenter (CORD).

    • SDN groups shack-up to promote standards, open software development
    • ON.Lab and ONF to combine open source SDN efforts
    • SDN Champions ONF & ON.Lab Tie the Knot
    • ONF, ON.Labs to Merge
    • ONF will merge with ON.Lab to advance SDN adoption
    • Linux Kernel 3.12.65 LTS Released with Updated Wireless Drivers, PowerPC Fixes

      It’s been only two weeks since the release of the Linux 3.12.64 LTS kernel maintenance version, and today’s Linux kernel 3.12.65 LTS update attempts to add various improvements, updated drivers, as well as patch some of the bugs reported by users. According to the appended shortlog and diff from Linux kernel 3.12.64 LTS, a total of 80 files were changed, with 516 insertions and 283 deletions in Linux kernel 3.12.65 LTS.

      “I’m announcing the release of the 3.12.65 kernel. All users of the 3.12 kernel series must upgrade,” said Jiri Slaby. “The updated 3.12.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-3.12.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git;a=summary.”

    • Systemd – Progress Through Complexity

      A play on the Audi slogan: Vorsprung Durch Technik. Except we’re going to talk about something that is clearly not progress. Systemd. Roughly 6 years ago, Systemd came to life as the new, event-based init mechanism, designed to replicate the old serialized System V thingie. Today, it is the reality in most distributions, for better or worse. Mostly the latter.

      Why would you oppose progress, one may say. To that end, we need to define progress. It is merely the state of something being newer, AKA newer is always better, or the fact it offers superior functionality that was missing in the old technology? After all, System V is 33 years old, so the new stuff ought to be smarter. The topic of my article today is to tell you a story of how I went about fixing a broken Fedora 24 system – powered by systemd of course, and why, at the end of, my conclusion was one of pain and defeat.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Open Build Service in Debian needs YOU! ☞
      • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, September 2016

        Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

      • Derivatives

        • RaspEX Project Now Lets You Run Ubuntu 16.10 on Raspberry Pi 3 and 2, with LXDE

          Today, October 19, 2016, GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton informed us about the immediate availability of a new build of his RaspEX project, which brings the latest Ubuntu OS to Raspberry Pi users.

        • Why Security Distributions Use Debian

          What do distributions like Qube OS, Subgraph, Tails, and Whonix have in common? Besides an emphasis on security and privacy, all of them are Debian derivatives — and, probably, this common origin is not accidental.

          At first, this trend seems curious. After all, other distributions ranging from Slackware and Gentoo to Arch Linux all emphasize security and privacy in their selection of tools. In particular, Fedora’s SE Linux can be so restrictive that some users would rather disable it than learn how to configure it. By contrast, while Debian carries many standard security and privacy tools, it has seldom emphasized them.

          Similarly, Debian’s main branch consists of only free and open source software, its contrib and non-free branches not being official parts of the distribution. With many security experts favoring the announcement of vulnerabilities and exploit code rather than relying on security through obscurity, the way that many pieces of proprietary software do, this transparency has obvious appeal.

          Yet although the advantage of free software to security and privacy is that the code can be examined for backdoors and malware, this advantage is hardly unique to Debian. To one or degree another, it is shared by all Linux distributions.

        • Why Use Linux, Systemd Complications, Debian’s Security

          Why do so many security focused distributions choose Debian as their base? Bruce Byfield detailed several reasons beginning with Debian’s transparency in dealing with security issues and its free and Open Source commitment. But primarily, “security and privacy are built into Debian policy and procedure.” Keeping out intruders is better than trying to expel them he said. And finally, Byfield believes stability trumps “newness” everyday of the week especially since “newer packages are more apt to have vulnerabilities than older.”

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Apache on Ubuntu Linux For Beginners: Part 2

            You must set up your Apache web server to use SSL, so that your site URL is https:// and not http://. Sure, there are exceptions, such as test servers and lone LAN servers that only you and your cat use.

            But any Internet-accessible web server absolutely needs SSL; there is no downside to encrypting your server traffic, and it’s pretty easy to set up. For LAN servers it may not be as essential; think about who uses it, and how easy it is to sniff LAN traffic.

          • Live kernel patches for Ubuntu

            Kernel live patching enables runtime correction of critical security
            issues in your kernel without rebooting. It’s the best way to ensure
            that machines are safe at the kernel level, while guaranteeing uptime,
            especially for container hosts where a single machine may be running
            thousands of different workloads.

            We’re very pleased to announce that this new enterprise, commercial
            service from Canonical will also be available free of charge to the
            Ubuntu community.

            The Canonical Livepatch Service is an authenticated, encrypted, signed
            stream of livepatch kernel modules for Ubuntu servers, virtual
            machines and desktops.

          • Canonical Ltd.’s Ubuntu Core

            Canonical Ltd.’s “Snappy” Ubuntu Core, a stripped-down version of Ubuntu designed for autonomous machines, devices and other internet-connected digital things, has gained significant traction in the chipset/semiconductor market recently.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • London Zoo escaped gorilla ‘drank five litres of undiluted squash’ during escape

    A gorilla that sparked an emergency after breaking out of its enclosure at London Zoo opened and drank five litres of undiluted blackcurrant squash during his escape, the Zoological Society of London has revealed.

    Members of the public and staff at the zoo were locked into buildings and ordered not to leave certain areas after Kumbuka, an adult silverback gorilla, made his escape on Thursday.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Does Hillary Have The Temperment To Have Her Finger On The Nuclear Button?

      If these reports are true, at this time of heightened tensions between Washington and the two other major nuclear powers, it would be extremely dangerous to have in the White House a person susceptible to uncontrollable rage, especially a person who would be staffed with neoconservative warmongers. A vote for Hillary could be a vote for nuclear war and the end of life on earth.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Ecuador Cut Off Assange’s Access to the Internet – So This Man Is Reading It to Him

      After WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s internet service was cut off by the Ecuadorian embassy where he is holed up, one man sought to bring the internet back for the cloistered Queenslander.

      Armed with a bullhorn and a sign that reads “Julian Assange’s Personal Internet Service,” Canadian comedian Bobby Mair has been standing outside the embassy shouting the news of the day to Assange.

    • Ecuador confirms it cut off Assange’s internet over Clinton emails

      The Ecuadorian government confirmed Tuesday that it cut off WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s internet connection because of his anti-secrecy platform’s publication of emails allegedly stolen from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

      “The Government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states. It does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favor any particular candidate,” Ecuador said in a statement.

      “Accordingly, Ecuador has exercised its sovereign right to temporarily restrict access to some of its private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom.”

      The emails are believed to have been stolen by the Russian government, and their release has been widely seen as a deliberate attempt to meddle in the U.S. election — although some Republicans have lauded their publication.

    • Assange’s Fate

      ​The saga of Julian Assange seems to be drawing to a climax – one that will decide the fate of this historic whistleblower who, for years, has been a giant thorn in the side of governments everywhere.

      His role in exposing the machinations of the US government over the years earned him the plaudits of liberals – until the Bush era ended, and he started exposing the crimes of the Obama administration and – most pointedly – the hypocrisy and venality of Hillary Clinton and her journalistic camarilla. Now we see right-wing figures like Sean Hannity and – yes! – Donald Trump praising and defending him, while the ostensible liberals take up the cry of the Clinton campaign that he’s a “pawn of the Kremlin” and a “rapist.” Even Glenn Greenwald, formerly a comrade-in-arms, who together with Assange helped Edward Snowden evade the not-so-loving arms of Uncle Sam, has lately sought to distance himself from the founder of WikiLeaks (over the value of “curation”). Nice timing, Glenn!

    • CNN Tells Viewers It’s Illegal For Them To Read Wikileaks Document Dumps. CNN Is Wrong

      I cut the cord years ago, so the only time I stumble into cable “news” coverage is usually at the gym or airport. And time and time again I’m struck by how the empty prattle is more in line with dystopian satire than anything resembling actual news reporting or intellectual analysis. Even when these channels feature live breaking news stories, you’d be hard pressed to find a reporter willing to call up a source and confirm details of what’s happening, resulting in something that’s more akin to industrialized speculation than the polished news product of multi-billion-dollar media empires.

    • A Peculiar Coincidence

      Today, Swedish prosecutors were meant to question Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy, something for which the Assange legal team has been pressing for years. They believe that once this step has been taken, prosecutors will no longer be able to keep from the scrutiny of Swedish courts the fact that there is no viable evidence whatsoever to back up the ludicrous allegations which have been made.

      Frustratingly, Swedish prosecutors cancelled the interview last week, with no explanation given. Anyone would think they do not wish the investigation to progress… Then this same day Assange’s internet access is cut, WikiLeaks say by a state actor. To add to this string of coincidence, at the same time Russia Today has its bank accounts frozen by the Royal Bank of Scotland, again without explanation

      This series of events are all aimed at those who seek to counter the neo-con narrative pumped out by the state and corporate media. It could be coincidence, but it looks like co-ordinated clampdown to me.

    • ‘Nothing to See Here’ Is Pundit Takeaway on DNC Leaks

      Hillary Clinton’s campaign emails have been trickling in for the past week. The leaks—along with previous DNC emails—provide intimate details about the inner workings of the campaign that may well soon elect the most powerful person on Earth.

      The response from some journalists has been to analyse, dissect and find the most newsworthy bits. For others, the reaction has been to dismiss and downplay, turning the often cynical meatgrinder of American politics into a snooze barely worthy of discussion.

    • How to Really Really Upset the Foreign Office and Security Services

      I left Julian after midnight. He is fit, well, sharp and in good spirits. WikiLeaks never reveals or comments upon its sources, but as I published before a fortnight ago, I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is not any Russian state actor or proxy that gave the Democratic National Committee and Podesta material to WikiLeaks. The claim is nonsense. Journalists are also publishing that these were obtained by “hacking” with no evidence that this was the method used to obtain them.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • High-Selectivity Electrochemical Conversion of CO2 to Ethanol using a Copper Nanoparticle/N-Doped Graphene Electrode

      Though carbon dioxide is a waste product of combustion, it can also be a potential feedstock for the production of fine and commodity organic chemicals provided that an efficient means to convert it to useful organic synthons can be developed. Herein we report a common element, nanostructured catalyst for the direct electrochemical conversion of CO2 to ethanol with high Faradaic efficiency (63 % at −1.2 V vs RHE) and high selectivity (84 %) that operates in water and at ambient temperature and pressure. Lacking noble metals or other rare or expensive materials, the catalyst is comprised of Cu nanoparticles on a highly textured, N-doped carbon nanospike film. Electrochemical analysis and density functional theory (DFT) calculations suggest a preliminary mechanism in which active sites on the Cu nanoparticles and the carbon nanospikes work in tandem to control the electrochemical reduction of carbon monoxide dimer to alcohol.

    • This Could Be Important, A Means To Readily Convert CO2 To Ethanol Electrically
    • October 2016: North Carolina Flooding

      From October 11-16, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) collected imagery of areas in North Carolina to help assess damage caused by river flooding due to heavy rains from the now-dissipated Matthew. The aerial imagery was collected in specific areas identified by FEMA and the National Weather Service.

    • ‘How Do We Get to a Conversation in This Country About Climate?’

      That a holiday honoring a man responsible for the murder, enslavement and exploitation of indigenous people should be occasion for the arrest of Native Americans acting in defense of water, land and life is not mere symbolism. The celebration of Christopher Columbus in US history books and culture is increasingly denounced, not only because of his devastating cruelty, but because of the way the fable erases the Taino people, legitimizing their oppression with an implicit view of history as the story of the winners.

    • The Debates Are Over, and No One Asked About Climate Change

      From campaign finance reform to gun violence to poverty to education to LGBTQ rights, lots of important subjects were ignored by corporate media debate moderators in the presidential (and vice-presidential) debates. All of these topics are urgent and deserve a spotlight on the national stage. But one topic stands out as a non-factor: climate change.

      Climate change—or, more accurately, climate disruption—is the greatest existential threat of our time. It threatens the economy, national security and health, exacerbates poverty and racism, and threatens to undermine or compound virtually all other issues discussed on the stage tonight.

  • Finance

    • Bradley Birkenfeld on Corporate Crime in the USA

      And it is telling that he invited some of the nation’s top whistleblowers — including John Kiriakou who spent two years in prison — to be his guests.

      One of the ironies that was not lost on anyone in the room is that increasingly, it’s not corporate executives but whistleblowers who are doing jail time.

      Birkenfeld himself blew the whistle on his employer, the giant Swiss bank UBS, where the rich and famous stashed their millions in numbered accounts to evade U.S. tax authorities.

      Guess who went to jail?

      Birkenfeld.

    • I Won $104 Million for Blowing the Whistle on My Company—But Somehow I Was the Only One Who Went to Jail

      Bradley C. Birkenfeld, 51, blew the whistle on the Swiss bank UBS for helping Americans avoid paying taxes, leading to about $15 billion in recovered tax money, fines and penalties. He spent two and a half years in prison, but he later was awarded $104 million by the I.R.S. for his role in exposing the scheme.

    • The government has finally come up with a plan for Brexit and it’s seriously worrying

      Speaking at a trade fair on Tuesday evening, the environment secretary Andrea Leadsom outlined Britain’s plans for Brexit.

      Prior to the referendum there was no plan for Brexit.

      Turns out they weren’t bluffing.

      Then Brexit meant Brexit.

      [...]

      According to an official press release, the goverment believes there could £185 million worth of exports to Japan “through demand for classic British products like tea, jam and biscuits and new opportunities for British beef.”

      These predictions are ‘export wins’, meaning exports which would probably not have occurred without government support.

      Leadsom was unveiling her department’s ‘International Action Plan for Food and Drink’, at a fair in Paris, France. Home of jam, and bourbons.

    • After CETA: the EU trade agreements that are in the pipeline

      EU countries are considering signing the free trade agreement with Canada this month, but the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) is far from the only deal the EU is working on. Various deals are being negotiated all over the globe, but they can only enter into force if the European Parliament approves them. Read on for an overview of negotiations in progress and a discussion of how it works.

    • ISDS Alone Makes TPP Unacceptable
    • What Are The NAFTA and TPP Trump and Clinton Fought About in the Debate?

      The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which went into force in 1994, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is still pending ratification in the U.S. and elsewhere, are international trade agreements.

      Trump is unambiguously, totally, absolutely, hugely opposed to both deals and any others in the future. He has held that position from Day One.

      Clinton, less so. NAFTA was pushed through by Bill, and Hillary continues to defend it. As Secretary of State she strongly advocated for the TPP. She continued that advocacy during the first part of her campaign, right up until Bernie Sanders started to score points against her by opposing it. Hillary then shifted to also opposing it. No one knows what her stance will be if she is elected.

      Meanwhile, the Obama administration is still hoping to force TPP through a lame duck Congress following the election. Hillary would then be free to shrug her shoulders come January and claim the TPP is not her responsibility.

    • Halloween Comes Early as Bloomberg Tries to Scare Kids With Debt Monster

      Bloomberg (10/14/16) decided to get into the Halloween spirit by warning our kids about the national debt. The piece is headlined “A Child Born Today Comes Into the World With More Debt Than You.” Bloomberg was going to headline the piece, “Kids Worried That Universe Is Closer to Destruction Than When Parents Were Born,” but they decided it would be too scary.

    • ‘Real Estate Investors Should Be Treated Like Any Other Businessmen’

      In case you somehow managed to miss it, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump acknowledged in the most recent debate that, for at least some period of time, he paid no federal income tax, explaining, characteristically, “That makes me smart.”

      The statement revealed nothing we didn’t know about Trump, but it did raise a few questions for some folks about taxes—who pays what and why. Richard Phillips is senior policy analyst at Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. He joins us by phone from Washington, DC.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Jill Stein: Democrats Govern by Fear—That Alone Should Cost Them Your Vote

      Despite running a national campaign with an established political party, you were excluded from the presidential debates this year, but you’re scheduled to appear alongside Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in a Democracy Now! special debate segment later this week. What do you expect from the candidates?

      Jill Stein: Truthfully, I don’t expect much that is different from the prior two debates. We’ve had a very enthusiastic response to our forcing real issues and real answers into the debate. There’s a dire need for real discussion here, and the events of even the last week underscore that, now that we have been involved in an exchange of missiles with Yemen. The war is getting bigger and still there is no real discussion of this war, certainly not between Donald and Hillary. Their discussion of the war in the last debate amounted to the question of when exactly did Donald Trump take his various positions about Iraq?

    • Jill Stein Rips John Oliver for ‘Disingenuous Attack’ on Student Loan Debt Plan

      Jill Stein is firing back at John Oliver after the “Last Week Tonight” host criticized Stein’s plan to cancel student loan debt.

      “Coming from someone who made a stunt of buying and canceling medical debt on his show, and who claims to want alternatives to the failed two-party system, this disingenuous attack on the idea of cancelling student debt is both puzzling and hypocritical,” Stein’s campaign said in a statement.

      In the segment, Oliver said that Steins’s plan involved the use of a process called quantitative easing, in which more money is printed and put into circulation.

    • Green Party: Don’t Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils

      Ajamu Baraka is running for Vice President alongside Doctor Jill Stein. He made a campaign stop at Wayne State University Tuesday.

      Baraka says now is a critical time for the Green Party to campaign aggressively.

      “When do we draw a line in the sand and build a real alternative to corporate power? When do we oppose the agenda and the interest of the one percent? 2016 is the time to go ahead and make that change,” Baraka says.

      Baraka says polls show that citizens are disgusted with both major party options for president.

    • Green Party VP hopeful in Detroit: Time to “break two-party monopoly”

      It’s time to reject the “politics of fear,” and embrace third-party alternatives in American politics.

      That was the message Ajamu Baraka had for an audience at Detroit’s Wayne State University on Tuesday.

      Baraka, a longtime political activist who founded the U.S. Human Rights Network, is the Green Party candidate for vice president. He and running mate Jill Stein will appear on the ballot in 45 states, including Michigan.

      Baraka says he and Stein represent an opportunity to “break the two-party monopoly” on government.

    • Where the ‘Bernie or Bust’ movement ends up

      When YahNé Ndgo went to the first presidential debate at Hofstra University, on Long Island, she had a lot on her mind. She had to pack for a couple weeks of appearances and travel along the West Coast. She wanted to buy her 19-year-old daughter some groceries, and maybe even cook some dinner. She hoped they’d have some time to spend together in her hometown, Philadelphia, before Ndgo had to leave on an early morning flight to Arizona.

      Ndgo wasn’t afraid of getting arrested for protesting the exclusion of Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein from the debate, but she just didn’t have the time.

    • The Internet’s Best Rebuttals to John Oliver’s Attack On Jill Stein

      If you have at least one outspoken Hillary supporting friend on your Facebook, chances are you saw a video of John Oliver’s latest hit piece on Jill Stein and Gary Johnson (who we don’t specifically cover in this article. However, his scandals are a lot less terrifying than the two “major party” candidates.)

    • WikiLeaks Just Dropped Bombshell About Hillary’s Health… The Truth, REVEALED!

      WikiLeaks has been Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare for months, but they just dropped the biggest bombshell yet: They have released emails which confirm just how serious Hillary Clinton’s debilitating health issues are.

      First we learned, Hillary Clinton reached out to the NFL Commissioner in 2012 to ask for advice about dealing with her “cracked head” and head injuries.

      But the details are even worse than that. It has been confirmed that the State Department staff, under Hillary Clinton, was told to research new drugs to treat Parkinson’s disease.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • ACLU Wants 23 Secret Surveillance Laws Made Public
    • Trove of Stolen Data Is Said to Include Top-Secret US Hacking Tools
    • NSA official calls for new federal cyber structure
    • Feds need clarity on cyber structures
    • The US Needs One Cyber Defense Agency—Not Three, a Top NSA Official Says
    • NSA: Hackers find an easy path to U.S. systems
    • NSA deputy proposes dedicated U.S. cybersecurity team
    • NSA: No zero days used in last two years

      It is hard to believe that not one single zero-day exploit – or a previously undisclosed vulnerability – has been used against the United States in the last 24 months, and even harder that that fact could be viewed as a negative. But according to Curtis Dukes, deputy national manager for national security systems at the NSA, adversaries did not need to use such exploits, instead taking advantage of poor security and poorly patched systems.

    • Intelligence Contractors Being Paid Millions To Surf The Web, Sext With Teens, Have Affairs With Co-Workers

      There’s way too much fraud, misconduct, and criminal activity in these reports to fully cover here. The 264 pages [PDF] released to Leopold and Vice as the result of an FOIA lawsuit detail extramarital affairs involving supervisors and subordinates, unapproved telecommuting by contractors handling sensitive documents, and page after page of attendance fraud.

      Multiple cases are included, most involving hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars of unearned wages. The intelligence community has the big budget and all the manpower it wants, but it apparently doesn’t have enough actual work to keep them all busy. Contractors have charged taxpayers for hours they never worked, running personal errands, moonlighting as university instructors, and tending their Farmville crops.

      This is the direct result of the community’s “collect it all” attitude. If some is good, more is better, and while budgets and staffing expand exponentially, lots and lots of tax dollars are spent paying contractors who aren’t doing anything and plenty of other contractors engaged in IC busywork that contributes nothing to the nation’s security and safety.

    • Racial Disparities in Police ‘Stingray’ Surveillance, Mapped

      Louise Goldsberry, a Florida nurse, was washing dishes when she looked outside her window and saw a man pointing a gun at her face. Goldsberry screamed, dropped to the floor, and crawled to her bedroom to get her revolver. A standoff ensued with the gunman—who turned out to be an agent with the U.S. Marshals’ fugitive division.

      Goldsberry, who had no connection to a suspect that police were looking for, eventually surrendered and was later released. Police claimed that they raided her apartment because they had a “tip” about the apartment complex. But, according to Slate, the reason the “tip” was so broad was because the police had obtained only the approximate location of the suspect’s phone—using a “Stingray” phone tracker, a little-understood surveillance device that has quietly spread from the world of national security into that of domestic law enforcement.

    • Ex-NSA head suggests US also hacks political parties

      Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden on Tuesday implied that the United States, too, has hacked foreign political parties.

      The difference between the U.S.’s actions and Russia in the 2016 presidential election, Hayden said, was that “once they got that information, they weaponized it.”

      But up until they weaponized information, Hayden said their actions were par for the course.

      “I have to admit my definition of what the Russians did [in hacking the Democratic National Committee] is, unfortunately, honorable state espionage,” Hayden said during an on-stage interview at the Heritage Foundation.

    • Snowden: the IT analyst turned whistleblower who exposed mass surveillance

      Essentially, this is the tale of an idealistic patriot motivated solely by the common good. He enlists to serve his country and, when the gruelling army regime leads to broken legs and an administrative discharge, he joins the CIA. An unethical field mission in Geneva leads him to resign, only to join the NSA as an infrastructure analyst.

    • NSA’s post-Edward Snowden reforms fall short

      When Edward Snowden swiped a trove of classified information from the National Security Agency and released it to journalists, he exposed deep flaws in the way America’s intelligence community secures its most sensitive computer data. The NSA and the federal government embarked on reforms meant to never allow a breach as devastating and extensive as Snowden’s to happen again.

      Those reforms included overhauling the way Washington conducts background checks on people given access to classified information, a new task force to create and enforce security rules for agencies that handle sensitive data, and cutbacks in the number of employees allowed access to top secret material. Booz Allen Hamilton, the consulting firm that employed Snowden and the recipient of billions of dollars in contracts with the U.S. intelligence community, last year teamed up with Raytheon to create a service that records an employee’s activity on his or her computer screen.

    • Yahoo accused of scanning emails for US government

      The American Civil Liberties Union, Edward Snowden and others criticized Yahoo after an unverified report released Tuesday claimed the company scanned all of its users’ emails for the National Security Agency.

      [...]

      Amnesty International also dashed off a disapproving statement regarding the company.

      “If true, this news will greatly undermine trust in the internet,” said Sherif Elsayed-Ali, head of technology and human rights at the organization.

    • Businesses cooperate with government mass surveillance at their peril, says Edward Snowden

      Resisting government mass surveillance isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s good for business, whistleblower Edward Snowden told a Toronto cybersecurity conference Tuesday.

      Speaking via video link to the annual Canadian industry event SecTor, Snowden brought up the recent revelation that Yahoo! Inc. had agreed to scan customer’s emails for U.S. intelligence. Yahoo also recently disclosed its email accounts were hacked in 2014 and Verizon Communications Inc. has since announced it is attempting to renegotiate its US$4.8 billion agreement to buy the company.

    • Edward Snowden talks privacy, surveillance at Valley cybersecurity conference

      Some call Edward Snowden a hero, while others call him a traitor.

      The whistleblower and former intelligence officer helped launch a global debate on privacy after revealing the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs in 2013.

      Snowden talked with CyberScout employees and customers via Skype at the Scottsdale company’s fourth annual Privacy Xchange Forum Monday afternoon at the Boulders Resort in Carefree.

    • The Echo Chamber: On Snowden

      Without Snowden and others like him, we would be completely unaware as to how our government is spying on us. But was he in the right? Who gets to decide what is leak-worthy? And how much should our government be spying on us and the world around us? These questions are for you to decide. I just hope that you’ve enjoyed some time outside of The Echo Chamber.

    • Imagine if Donald Trump Controlled the NSA

      When Edward Snowden first came forward in 2013 as the leaker of the biggest trove of National Security Agency secrets ever spilled, he ended his first interview by noting that his greatest concern was about the agency’s future. He feared that a less scrupulous commander-in-chief would take charge of the executive branch and with it, the most highly resourced surveillance agency in the world, ready to be exploited in new and troubling ways. “There will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it,” Snowden warned. “And it will be turnkey tyranny.”

      Three years later, America has watched Donald Trump praise foreign dictators from Kim Jong Un to Vladimir Putin, vow to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate his opponent, Hillary Clinton, if he’s elected, and call for Russian hackers to dig up Clinton’s emails. “I wish I had that power,” he later said in a campaign speech. “Man, that would be power.” If that statement didn’t sufficiently reveal Trump’s lust for surveillance capabilities, he reportedly listened in on phone calls between staff and guests at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach in the mid-2000s. As Trump and Clinton prepare for their final debate tonight—this time focused on national security—NSA alumni as well as critics are concerned that Trump may be exactly the turnkey tyrant Snowden had in mind.

    • Appeals Court Affirms NSA Surveillance Can Be Used To Investigate Domestic Criminal Suspects

      The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals confirms what’s already known about the NSA’s domestic surveillance: it’s not just for terrorism.

      The NSA collections — done in the FBI’s name — are supposed to only gather info related to international terrorism. But that requirement has been phased out. The NSA “tips” a certain amount of data to the FBI for its own use and it has been shown in the past to do the same for the DEA, which it then instructs to obscure the origin of its info.

      An opinion [PDF] just released by the Appeals Court, says basically the same thing: although the NSA’s surveillance is supposed to be used to sniff out terrorists, there’s nothing in the law that prevents it from using its collections to go after criminals.

    • ACLU takes on Fisa court over secret decisions on surveillance laws

      The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging a secret court to effectively turn its back on deciding the meaning of a broad swath of surveillance and cybersecurity laws without public disclosure.

      A motion the ACLU is filing on Wednesday before the controversial foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court, a panel that operates in secret, argues that the first amendment requires the release of numerous classified decisions between 2001 and 2015 that have established a legal foundation for expanding the government’s surveillance activities.

      Among the Fisa court opinions sought is an interpretation of the seminal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 that many suspect will shed light on a reported Yahoo program to scan vast amounts of users’ emails.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • TSA staffer claims retaliation in do-nothing jobs

      A Transportation Security Administration worker is urging criminal charges against the head of the agency for assigning him do-nothing jobs after he won reinstatement to the job he lost as a whistle-blower.

      TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger told Congress that Robert MacLean, a former air marshal who flew undercover and was armed to thwart terrorists, has received substantive assignments since he was reinstated in the decade-long personnel conflict that reached the Supreme Court.

      MacLean was fired in April 2006 for disclosing years earlier to MSNBC that TSA planned to reduce air marshals on overnight flights. TSA charged that he revealed secret information.

      But MacLean fought the dismissal all the way to the Supreme Court, where justices ruled in January 2015 that his disclosures weren’t “specifically prohibited by law.” TSA reinstated him in May 2015 rather than continue the dispute at the Merit Systems Protection Board.

    • Turkey Becomes Brazil: Orders Victim To Pay For Costs Of Trial After Police Blinded Him

      If George Orwell’s “1984″ has become a how-to manual for the modern surveillance state, Terry Gilliam’s dystopian satire “Brazil,” released in 1985, is surely the film of the book (one of the possible titles considered for the film was “1984 ½”). Amongst its many brilliant and disturbing moments, there’s the following dialog from an interview of Mr. Helpmann, the Deputy Minister of Information…

    • Kyrgyz tourist wounded in Gezi protests ordered to pay debt to Turkish state

      A Kyrgyz tourist who was wounded during the Gezi Park protests has been ordered to pay a total of 151 Turkish Liras to the Turkish state even though his injuries were caused by state police.

      Shavkatbek Saipov, 30, filed a complaint against the police, claiming that he lost his eye after a gas canister hit his face, but the court rejected his claims and ordered him to pay 151 liras as “the cost of trial.”

    • Documents Show Chicago PD Secretly Using Forfeiture Funds To Buy Surveillance Equipment

      The Chicago Reader has put together a massive, must-read investigation into the Chicago Police Department’s secret budget. The Chicago PD has — for years now — used the spoils of its asset forfeiture program to obtain surveillance equipment like Stingrays. This discretionary spending is done off the city’s books, allowing the CPD to avoid anything that might prevent it from acquiring surveillance tech — like meddling city legislators… or the public itself.

    • FBI, CBP Join Forces To Turn Airports Into Informant Recruiting Centers

      The FBI and CBP have been using the nation’s borders as recruiting stations for informants. This phrasing makes it sound a lot more voluntary than it actually is. The Intercept has obtained documents showing how these two agencies work together to pressure foreign visitors into basically becoming spies for the United States.

    • Revealed: The FBI’s Secret Methods for Recruiting Informants at the Border

      Think about arriving at the airport from a foreign country. You are tired from a long flight, anxious about your baggage, and thinking about meeting your family in the arrivals area. You may not have seen them in years. Perhaps it is your first time in the United States. Perhaps you do not speak English well. Perhaps you plan to ask for asylum. Perhaps you are coming from a country where interactions with people in uniform generally involve bribery, intimidation, or worse.

      The FBI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection work closely together to turn these vulnerabilities into opportunities for gathering intelligence, according to government documents obtained by The Intercept. CBP assists the FBI in its efforts to target travelers entering the country as potential informants, feeding the bureau passenger lists and pulling people aside for lengthy interrogations in order to gather intelligence from them on the FBI’s behalf, the documents show. In one briefing, CBP bills itself as the “GO TO agency in the Law Enforcement world when it comes to identifying individuals of either source or lead potential.”

      When the FBI wants to find informants that fit a certain profile — say, men of Pakistani origin between the ages of 18 and 35 — it has at its fingertips a wealth of data from government agencies like CBP.

    • Highland Clearances

      Deporting children who have only ever known Scotland is ludicrous. Fairly well the entire community of Laggan has written in support of the Zielsdorfs. Both Jason and Christy have Scottish ancestry.

    • The Ugliest Face of Unionism

      Cohen’s fury that a member of his neo-con clique should be denigrated, leads him to deny the existence of the most extreme misogyny imaginable. It also leads him to make the laughable assertion that the SNP control the media in Scotland. In Scotland the BBC, STV and 80% of the newspapers are viciously anti-SNP. Plainly that is not enough for Cohen. He hates the SNP for providing an alternative to unionism, he hates Corbyn for providing an alternative to neo-liberalism, and he hates the idea of anybody criticising the neo-con cheerleaders. His pathology is simple enough. But why does the Spectator pay him for it?

    • Charges Dropped Against Amy Goodman–No Thanks to Corporate Media

      Few corporate media journalists took note of a fellow reporter being charged with trespass for doing her job (FAIR.0rg, 9/15/16). When the prosecutor upped the ante by trying to build a criminal charge based on his perception of a reporter’s point of view, this still did not provoke much attention—let alone outcry—from outlets whose lucrative commercial enterprises are dependent on the protection of the First Amendment.

    • North Dakota’s War on 1st Amendment Goes From Bad to Worse

      Both sets of charges relate to Goodman’s coverage of protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline project, which is opposed by a Native American–led coalition that is concerned about its threat to sacred and historic sites, North Dakota’s water resources and the planet’s climate. While accusing a journalist of trespassing for covering a breaking story of vital public interest is a clear threat to freedom of the press (FAIR.org, 9/15/16), a riot charge would be even worse, because it would attempt to criminalize Goodman’s point of view as a reporter.

    • Dutch woman raped on vacation receives ‘lenient’ suspended sentence from Qatari court for ‘adultery’

      A Dutch woman who reported being drugged and raped while on vacation in Doha was sentenced to a one-year suspended jail term by a Qatari court for having “illicit sex.” She had been held in custody since March.

      On Monday, a Qatari court sentenced a 22-year-old Dutch woman, known as Laura, to a one-year suspended sentence and fined her 3,000 riyals ($824) for having “extramarital sex.” The woman will be deported once she pays the fine, according to the court’s decision.

      While on vacation in Qatar in March, Laura went out for drinks at an upmarket nightclub in Doha before being taken to an unknown place where she said she was sexually assaulted.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Comcast Sued For Misleading Fees It Claims Are Just Its Way Of Being ‘Transparent’

      In addition to vanilla price hikes and usage caps and overage penalties, ISPs have spent the last few years borrowing a tactic from the banking industry to covertly jack up the advertised price of broadband service: the completely nonsensical hidden fee. From CenturyLink’s $2 per month “Internet Cost Recovery Fee” to Fairpoint’s $3 per month “Broadband Cost Recovery Fee,” such fees usually just hide some of the cost of doing business below the line, letting an ISP advertise one price, then charge something quite different at the end of the month.

    • Vox Joins Growing Chorus Of Outlets Weirdly Crapping On Cord Cutting

      For a few years now there’s been a lazy trend among reporters analyzing “cord cutting,” or the practice of leaving legacy cable TV for streaming alternatives. Usually the narrative goes something like this “cord cutting is (stupid/failing/irrelevant/on the ropes) because users need to subscribe to multiple streaming video services to get the same amount of content they used to get with cable.” Despite these stories popping up pretty much constantly these reports miss a few key points, the biggest being that nobody wants to duplicate the 300 channels of bullshit that comprises the traditional cable bundle.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • International report – Supreme Court to review exclusion of disparaging marks from federal trademark registration

        On September 29 2016 the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Lee v Tam. In so doing, the Supreme Court agreed to review a decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit which held that the statutory prohibition on disparaging marks from federal trademark registration was unconstitutional.

        The trademark application at issue in Lee was for the mark THE SLANTS. The applicant was Simon Shiao Tam, a member of Asian American rock band The Slants. The mark was refused registration under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which prohibits the registration of a mark that consists of “immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt or disrepute”. The mark was alleged to be likely to be disparaging to persons of Asian descent. After the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board affirmed the examiner’s rejection of the mark, the applicant appealed to the Federal Circuit. On rehearing en banc, the issue before the Federal Circuit was whether the Lanham Act’s prohibition of disparaging marks burdens private speech in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

    • Copyrights

      • International report – Illegal hyperlinks: the final decision

        Is posting a hyperlink to a work which is protected by copyright allowed? The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has now said yes – and no.

        Since 2012 Sanoma and shockblog GeenStijl.nl have faced each other in court. GeenStijl had posted links on its website to unpublished photos from Playboy, a Sanoma publication. Sanoma claimed that GeenStijl violated its copyright. With the ECJ’s ruling, this long-running case is now approaching a final decision.

10.19.16

Links 19/10/2016: Canonical Livepatch Service, Plasma Plans

Posted in News Roundup at 7:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux-Based Photographic Workflow on Android with Termux

    The title is a bit of a mouthful, but the basic idea is pretty simple; Instead of schlepping around a Linux machine, you can transform an Android device into a lightweight Linux-based platform for organizing, processing, and backing up photos and RAW files when you are on the move. The key ingredient of this solution is the Termux, a small open source app that combines a terminal emulator and a lightweight Linux environment. The app comes with its own software repository that has all the tools you need to set up a simplified photographic workflow. The Linux Photography book explains exactly how to can go about it, but here are a few pointers to get started.

  • Server

    • Demand compels container management vendor Rancher to create partner program
    • Rancher Labs Expands Container-Management Reach With New Partner Program
    • Rancher Labs Introduces Global Partner Network
    • Rancher Labs Launches Partner Program Around Open Source Container Management
    • WTF is a container?

      You can’t go to a developer conference today and not hear about software containers: Docker, Kubernetes, Mesos and a bunch of other names with a nautical ring to them. Microsoft, Google, Amazon and everybody else seems to have jumped on this bandwagon in the last year or so, but why is everybody so excited about this stuff?

      To understand why containers are such a big deal, let’s think about physical containers for a moment. The modern shipping industry only works as well as it does because we have standardized on a small set of shipping container sizes. Before the advent of this standard, shipping anything in bulk was a complicated, laborious process. Imagine what a hassle it would be to move some open pallet with smartphones off a ship and onto a truck, for example. Instead of ships that specialize in bringing smartphones from Asia, we can just put them all into containers and know that those will fit on every container ship.

    • Solving Enterprise Monitoring Issues with Prometheus

      Chicago-based ShuttleCloud helps developers import user contacts and email data into their applications through standard API requests. As the venture-backed startup began to acquire more customers, they needed a way to scale system monitoring to meet the terms of their service-level agreements (SLAs). They turned to Prometheus, the open source systems monitoring and alerting toolkit originally built at SoundCloud, which is now a project at the Cloud-Native Computing Foundation.

      In advance of Prometheus Day, to be held Nov. 8-9 in Seattle, we talked to Ignacio Carretero, a ShuttleCloud software engineer, about why they chose Prometheus as their monitoring tool and what advice they would give to other small businesses seeking a similar solution.

    • VMware Embraces Kubernetes in Container Push

      VMware is the latest IT vendor to support Kubernetes, the open-source container management system that Google developed.
      VMware announced on Oct. 18 at its VMworld 2016 Europe event that it is now supporting the Kubernetes container management system on the VMware Photon platform.

      Kubernetes is an open-source project that was developed by Google and today benefits from the contributions of a diverse community, including Red Hat and CoreOS. The Kubernetes project became part of the Linux Foundation’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in July 2015. The Kubernetes 1.4 release debuted on Sept. 26 with added security features.

      “We have now built a Kubernetes-as-a-service capability into Photon Platform,” Jared Rosoff, chief technologist for cloud native apps at VMware, told eWEEK.

    • CoreOS Expands Kubernetes Control With Redspread Acquisition

      The purchase of container management vendor Redspread is the container startup’s second acquisition.
      CoreOS on Oct. 17 announced the acquisition of privately held container management vendor Redspread. Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.

      Redspread got its start in the Y Combinator cyber accelerator for technology startups and was officially launched in March. Coincidentally, CoreOS was also originally part of Y Combinator, graduating in 2013. To date, CoreOS has raised $48 million in funding to help fuel its container efforts. The acquisition of Redspread is the second acquisition by CoreOS and comes more than two years after CoreOS’ acquisition of quay.io in 2014.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Plasma 5.9 Desktop Launches January 31, 2017, Next LTS Arrives August 2018

        After announcing earlier today, October 18, 2016, the release of the second maintenance update to the KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS desktop environment, KDE published the release schedule for the upcoming major versions of the project.

      • KDevelop 5.0.2 Open-Source IDE Adds Many UI Improvements, 32-bit Windows Build

        The open-source, cross-platform and free integrated development environment (IDE) software KDevelop has been updated the other day, October 17, 2016, to version 5.0.2.

      • Plasma’s road ahead

        On Monday, KDE’s Plasma team held its traditional kickoff meeting for the new development cycle. We took this opportunity to also look and plan ahead a bit further into the future. In what areas are we lacking, where do we want or need to improve? Where do we want to take Plasma in the next two years?

        Our general direction points towards professional use-cases. We want Plasma to be a solid tool, a reliable work-horse that gets out of the way, allowing to get the job done quickly and elegantly. We want it to be faster and of better quality than the competition.

      • Global Menu Support Is Coming Back to KDE Plasma 5
      • KDE Plasma Looking At Global Menu, Wayland & Mobile For 2017

        KDE Plasma developers talked this week about their plans for the new development cycle and what they want the desktop to look like moving into 2017 and further ahead into 2018.

      • KDE Plasma 5 Desktop to Become a Solid and Reliable Workhorse That Stands Out

        On October 18, 2016, long time KDE software developer Sebastian Kügler published an in-depth story about what’s coming to the KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment in the next couple of years.

        It appears that KDE’s Plasma team had their traditional kickoff meeting on Monday, October 17, to discuss the upcoming features of the next KDE Plasma 5 release, which will be versioned 5.9 and whose release schedule has been already published, as reported earlier right here on this space.

        However, the Plasma team also discussed new ways to improve the quality of the popular desktop environment, as well as make it faster, more stable and reliable than existing versions. Their aim is to bring KDE Plasma to an unprecedented level of quality that will blow the competition away.

        “Our general direction points towards professional use-cases. We want Plasma to be a solid tool, a reliable work-horse that gets out of the way, allowing to get the job done quickly and elegantly. We want it to be faster and of better quality than the competition,” said Sebastian Kügler in the blog announcement.

      • Twenty and counting: KDE marks another milestone

        Twenty years ago, a German software developer named Matthias Ettrich kicked off a project to provide Linux users with all the desktop functionality that Windows users had at the time.

        The detailed email inviting participation was sent by Ettrich on 14 October 1996. He outlined his ideas and goals and attracted plenty of interest. The K Desktop Environment project was on its way.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GStreamer Conference 2016 Videos, Vulkan Support Was Among The Talks

        The annual GStreamer Conference took place last week in Berlin alongside the Linux Foundation’s Embedded Linux Conference Europe. The videos from this multimedia open-source conference are now available.

        The folks from Ubicast have once again done a nice job recording all of the presentations from this GStreamer event. Conference talks ranged from the “stage of the union” to the state of VA-API with GStreamer, GStreamer Video Editing, dynamic pipelines, Vulkan, and more.

        When it comes to Vulkan support in GStreamer, there is work underway on vulkansink and vulkanupload elements, basic Vulkan support modeled on GStreamer’s libgstgl API, and more, but much more work is needed before it will be at the level of OpenGL support.

  • Distributions

    • Solus Enables OpenGL 4.5 for Intel Broadwell, MATE Edition Coming Along Nicely

      It’s been a great week for users of the unique and independent Solus operating system, and while you’re waiting impatiently for the Solus 1.2.1 release, we’d like to tell you a little bit about what landed in Solus during the past week.

    • Solus 1.2.1 Officially Released, First MATE Edition Now Available for Download

      Today, October 19, 2016, Softpedia was informed by the Solus Project about the official release and general availability of the long-anticipated Solus 1.2.1 release, along with the first Solus MATE Edition.

    • Solus 1.2.1 Released With Budgie Desktop Updates, Ships RADV Driver

      Version 1.2.1 of the promising Solus Linux distribution is now available and also premieres a MATE edition ISO to complement its original Budgie desktop.

    • Reviews

      • Meet Maui 1, the Slick New Hawaiian Netrunner

        Maui, the Netrunner Kubuntu replacement, is an inviting alternative. It is both new and already accomplished. The developers took a Kubuntu distro that was well-oiled but at the end of its development line to the next level.

        That should make adopting the Maui Linux distro a less risky option. Most other Linux distros are moving in the new direction of Wayland, Systemd and such. Maui’s developers are already there.

        Maui 1 is very stable and easy to use. It is a well-stocked distribution with an established library of KDE software.

    • New Releases

    • Arch Family

      • 5 Best Arch Linux Based Linux Distributions

        Arch Linux is a very popular name amongst Linux enthusiasts. It is very popular because it allows the user to tailor-make their linux distro to their taste. Arch Linux provides a solid base for you to work with, while still allowing for expansion and complete customization. ​

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Leap 42.2 Approaching with RC, Meet Maui 1

        The openSUSE project today announced the release of Leap 42.2 Release Candidate 1 with less than one month remaining before final. On the other side of town, Dustin Kirkland announced Ubuntu kernel hotfixes and the Hectic Geek reviewed recently released 16.10. Jack Germain said Maui 1 “is stable and easy to use” and Sebastian Kügler blogged on “Plasma’s road ahead.”

    • Red Hat Family

      • Senior Gains Web Development Experience at Red Hat Internship

        High Point University senior Ryan Long got a taste of his dream career during a web development and design internship at Red Hat in Raleigh.

        Long, an interactive media and game design major and computer science minor from Fort Mill, South Carolina, gained valuable experience with the IT marketing team. He worked with the company’s website, fixing broken links, inserting translations and doing quality assurance. He also provided graphic design assistance and collaborated with the video team for projects that would be incorporated into the website.

      • Video: RHS 2016 – Container Security

        Dan Walsh (of SELinux fame) gave a talk on container security at the recent Red Hat Summit 2016.

      • CLIMB Project Selects Red Hat Ceph Storage to Achieve Their Storage Needs to Support Medical Breakthroughs
      • Red Hat eye from the Ubuntu guy: Fedora – how you doin’?

        Comment Red Hat is the biggest – and one of the oldest – companies in the Linux world, but despite the difficulty of accurately measuring Linux usage figures, Ubuntu and its relatives seem to be the most popular Linux distributions. Red Hat isn’t sitting idle, though. Despite its focus on enterprise software, including virtualisation, storage and Java tools, it’s still aggressively developing its family of distros: RHEL, CentOS and Fedora.

        Fedora is the freebie community-supported version, with a short six-month release cycle, but it’s still important. Although RHEL is the flagship, it’s built from components developed and tested in Fedora. According to Fedora Project Lead Matthew Miller told this year’s Flock to Fedora conference this summer its future looks bright.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Raspberry Pi (2 and 3) support in Fedora 25 Beta!

          So support for the Raspberry Pi in Fedora has been a long time coming and yes, it’s FINALLY here with support landing just in time for Beta!

          The most asked question I’ve had for a number of years is around support of the Raspberry Pi. It’s also something I’ve been working towards for a very long time on my own time. The eagle-eye watchers would have noticed we almost got there with Fedora 24, but I got pipped at the post because I felt it wasn’t quite good enough yet. There were too many minor issues around ease of use.

        • Raspberry Pi Finally Well Supported By Fedora With 25 Beta

          While Fedora has always supported ARM/AArch64 hardware well, they’ve missed out on the whole Raspberry Pi craze even as the ARMv7 hardware has been shipping for a while and there are plenty of Pi-focused Linux distributions out there. With Fedora 25, there’s finally going to be good support for the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 devices.

        • Fedora 25 Linux OS to Officially Offer Support for Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 Devices

          Just a few moments ago, Fedora Project proudly announced that support for Raspberry Pi 2 and Raspberry Pi 3 single-board computers is finally coming to the Fedora Linux operating system.

          As you might know, the Beta of the upcoming Fedora 25 operating system has been released, and it brought numerous new GNU/Linux technologies and Open Source software projects, including but not limited to Linux kernel 4.8, GNOME 3.22 desktop environment, KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS, and LibreOffice 5.2.2. One thing was missing, though, and that’s support for ARM devices like the popular Raspberry Pi.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Refracta 8.0 – Devuan on a stick

          There are probably some people living in the world today who still haven’t heard of systemd, though I doubt that any of them read DistroWatch. More digital ink has been spilled debating the topic of init systems than any other in techie history. There is probably nothing I can say about systemd that hasn’t already been said, and no argument either for or against it that hasn’t been repeated ad nauseum. So I won’t waste this review seeking converts for The Cause™. I don’t expect the issue to be finally settled until the Sun swells up to become a red giant and evaporates the Earth.

          Geeks determined to resist the systemd juggernaut have several options. For me, the most interesting project is Devuan, a fork of Debian. I will say by way of disclosure that I have downloaded Devuan, installed it, used it for months, and like it. However, it does have a few flaws – the installer in particular needs some more work. The first beta forces you to do a network install that – depending on your Internet connection speed – can take an hour or more. This has defeated curious newbies who decide to give up long before the first boot-up prompt appeared.

          It was my search for a quick and easy way to get Devuan up and running that led me to Refracta, a unique distro that fills a niche that has long been neglected. Refracta’s existence predates the systemd wars – it was originally based on Debian 5.0, otherwise known as “Lenny.” But when Debian 8.0 “Jessie” went full systemd, Refracta moved to the Devuan camp.

          Refracta’s chief selling point is this: it’s a live image that can be quickly installed, customized, and re-installed back to live media again. So basically you can roll your own live CD, configured for your hardware and tweaked to suit your personal tastes. It is currently my favorite distro, and I’d recommend it to any Linux geek who has had a little bit of experience. A total Linux newbie might feel more comfortable with a distro that mimics Windows’ point-and-click friendliness, but once you’ve got the basics down, Refracta is easy to get used to.

          It’s also worth mentioning that even without being installed, a Refracta live CD or USB stick makes an excellent diagnostic and rescue tool. It contains quite a few command line utilities that aren’t in a default Devuan or Debian installation, including gddrescue, testdisk, smartmontools, hdparm, lm-sensors, iftop, and iptraf. I have personally used testdisk to recover data from a crashed hard drive.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 16.10 Review: Not Bad, But if You’re Happy with 16.04 LTS, Stick with it!

            After the previous 16.04 Long Term Release, Ubuntu has rolled out its latest ‘short term’ (my own naming convention for the non-LTS releases) version 16.10. Mainly, the ‘short term’ releases are only supported for 9 months and usually include software applications with their recent updates.

            When you release a new version of your operating system within every 6 months, usually there isn’t a lot of room for adding major changes. And that is the case with many GNU/Linux distributions these days, and Ubuntu 16.10 release is no exception. Since Unity is based on the user application set provided by GNOME desktop environment, according to the release notes, the underlying GNOME user applications have been upgraded to the version 3.20 at least (which is the case with the file manager — ‘files’, for instance) and some others have been upgraded to the version 3.22 which is the latest release of GNOME currently.

          • Canonical Now Offering Live Kernel Patching Services, Free for Up to Three PCs

            Today, October 18, 2016, Canonical informs us, through Dustin Kirkland, about a new interesting feature for Ubuntu Linux, which users can enable on their current installations.

          • Canonical Rolls Out Its Own Kernel Livepatching Service For Ubuntu
          • Canonical enterprise kernel livepatch service, free to Ubuntu community!
          • Hotfix Your Ubuntu Kernels with the Canonical Livepatch Service!

            Ubuntu 16.04 LTS’s 4.4 Linux kernel includes an important new security capability in Ubuntu — the ability to modify the running Linux kernel code, without rebooting, through a mechanism called kernel livepatch.

          • Ubuntu 16.10: Yakkety Yak… Unity 8′s not wack

            Canonical’s Ubuntu 16.10, codenamed “Yakkety Yak”, is nowhere near as chunky an update as 16.04 LTS was earlier this year. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing new. In fact, the firm’s second release of the year has quite a few fresh features to hold users over until the bright and shiny future of Unity 8 and Mir arrive some time next year.

            Nevertheless, it’s very odd to have what feels like a smaller update arrive with Ubuntu’s October release, which typically is the more experimental release with tons of new features being tested. This time around that’s not really the case. In what’s become a familiar refrain for Ubuntu, most of the work is happening with the still-not-quite-there Unity 8.

            Ubuntu 16.10 marks the seventh time Unity 8 has not been ready for prime time. While Unity 8 appears to be progressing – judging by developer updates and playing with pre-release versions – it is, at this point, in danger of joining Duke Nukem Forever on the great vaporware list in the sky. Still, take heart Ubuntu fans, just as Duke Nukem Forever did eventually see the light of day, it seems very likely that Unity 8 and Mir will in fact be released eventually. Perhaps even as early as 17.04. Also, I have a bridge for sale, if anyone is interested.

          • LinuxAndUbuntu Review Of Unity 8 Preview In Ubuntu 16.10

            Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak has just been released with quite a few number of new stuff and a first preview of Unity 8 desktop environment. Unity could be installed in Ubuntu 16.04 but it comes with 16.10 pre-installed. Unity 8 has been in development since 2013 and anyone who has seen or used Ubuntu phone will quickly notice the similarities and some major differences.

          • Ubuntu 16.10 targets hybrid cloud deployments, supports Unity 8 development

            Canonical, developer of Ubuntu, a distribution of Linux, released a new version of its software that targets hybrid cloud deployments. Ubuntu is often mentioned as one of the top 3 distributions of Linux when shipments are considered, depending upon which research firm one cites.

          • Ubuntu 16.10 Now Offers More than 500 Snaps, Including VLC 3.0.0 and Krita 3.0.1

            With the release of the Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) operating system, Canonical also had the pleasure of informing the community about the latest status of their Snaps universal binary packages.

          • Canonical Brings Its Ubuntu OpenStack and Ceph Offerings to 64-bit ARM Servers

            Canonical informs Softpedia about their latest collaboration with ARM, the industry’s leading supplier of microprocessor technology, to bring the company’s OpenStack and Ceph offerings to 64-bit ARM-based servers.

          • ARM, Canonical deliver Ubuntu OpenStack, Ceph to 64-bit ARMv8-A platforms
          • Canonical and ARM collaborate on OpenStack
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • NFL Teams Enjoy Giving NFL’s Social Media Policy A Giant, Hilarious Middle Finger, Using Toys

    You’ll recall that we recently commented on the NFL’s new dumb social media policy for its member teams, which outlines how much video content a team can push out as kickoff approaches (less than before), what type of video content from games teams can produce and distribute on their own (basically none), and the size of the fines if teams violate this policy (huuuuuge). The NFL has insisted elsewhere that this one-size-fits-all marketing approach has zilch to do with its precipitous ratings decline, although few believe it on this point. And, even as news of the policy has been released, the NFL itself has been inclined to push out as much of this very same content itself, centralizing its social media media control.

    So, if you’re an NFL team that doesn’t like the new policy and wants to make its fans aware of how silly it is in the most hilarious way possible, what do you do? Well, if you’re the Cleveland Browns and the Philadelphia Eagles, you push out Twitter updates to your followers that depict game highlights using plastic figurines. Here is how the Browns alerted their fans that their team had scored a touchdown.

  • Bill Belichick rants against NFL tablets: ‘I’m done’

    After the image of the New England Patriots coach slamming a Microsoft Surface tablet on the sideline in a Week 4 game against the Buffalo Bills went viral, Belichick explained Tuesday why he is fed up with the product.

  • Science

    • What is deep learning, and why should you care about it?

      Whether it’s Google’s headline-grabbing DeepMind AlphaGo victory, or Apple’s weaving of “using deep neural network technology” into iOS 10, deep learning and artificial intelligence are all the rage these days, promising to take applications to new heights in how they interact with us mere mortals.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • WHO Pandemic Influenza Advisory Group Meeting In Secret This Week

      The World Health Organization pandemic influenza framework advisory group is meeting this week, behind closed doors. A consultation is expected to take place on 20 October with stakeholders, and an information session has been organised on 21 October on the work of the advisory group, but no press is allowed in either meeting nor able to obtain any information about any aspect of the week’s events.

    • How Pharmaceutical Companies Are Keeping Americans From Doing Something The Government Says They Can Do

      The EFF’s series on “shadow regulation” continues, this time exploring how American pharmaceutical companies are keeping affordable medication out of the hands of Americans. The examination goes beyond what’s already common knowledge: that patents and regulatory capture have created a skewed marketplace that ensures healthy profit margins, rather than healthy Americans.

      But what’s not generally known is that the pharmaceutical companies have “partnered” with internet intermediaries to lock Americans out of purchasing options specifically approved by the FDA. To hear big pharmaceutical companies tell it, purchasing drugs from other countries (where the price is generally lower) is extremely dangerous, if not completely illegal. But that’s simply not true.

    • Eli Lilly Commits To Healthcare For 30 Million People In Middle-Income Countries And US By 2030 [Ed: Publicity stunt by company that got a bad name in those countries]

      Pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly today announced a stepped-up commitment to provide improved access to quality healthcare for 30 million people in resource-limited settings by 2030.

      The initiative, called Lilly 30×30, is based on a five-year, US$90 million investment in the Lilly Global Health Partnership, and aims at improving access to treatments for diabetes, cancer, and tuberculosis.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Mumbai: Two Muslim men arrested in RTI activist Bhupendra Vira murder case.

      Two Muslim men arrested in the Hindu RTI activist Bhupendra Vira murder case were remanded in police custody till October 24 by a magistrate in Mumbai today.

      The Mumbai police had arrested former Mumbai corporator Razzak Khan (78) and his son Amjad Khan (53) for their alleged involvement in the murder of the RTI activist. A 61-year-old Right to Information activist was killed in Mumbai on Saturday evening by a man who barged into his home, held a gun to his head and fired.

      Demanding their police custody, public prosecutor Ashok Medhe told the court, “The complainant (Vira’s son-in-law) in this case has alleged that they were getting repeated threats from the family of the accused. They also have a property dispute. In the past, family members of the accused had attacked Vira’s son. Police custody is required for a detailed investigation.”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Background and Documents on Attempts to Frame Assange as a Pedophile and Russias spy

      Earlier today the website DailyKos reported on a smear campaign plot to falsely accuse Julian Assange of pedophilia.

      Here is the description of the plot from Mr Assange’s legal team, the investigative report into the front company and associated correspondence. An unknown entity posing as an internet dating agency prepared an elaborate plot to falsely claim that Julian Assange received US$1M from the Russian government and a second plot to frame him sexually molesting an eight year old girl.

      The second plot includes the filing of a fabricated criminal complaint in the Bahamas, a court complaint in the UK and laundering part of the attack through the United Nations. The plot happened durring WikiLeaks’ Hillary Clinton related publications, but the plot may have its first genesis in Mr. Assange’s 16 months litigation against the UK in the UN system, which concluded February 5 (Assange won. UK and Sweden lost & US State Dept tried to pressure the WGAD according to its former Chair, Prof. Mads Andenas).

    • Ecuador curbs Assange’s internet to halt US election ‘interference’

      Ecuador has acknowledged it partly restricted internet access for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is taking refuge at its London embassy.

      It said Mr Assange had in recent weeks released material that could have an impact on the US presidential election.

      Ecuador also said its move was not the result of pressure from Washington.

      The US denied WikiLeaks accusations that it had asked Ecuador to stop the site publishing documents about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

    • WikiLeaks accuses Kerry of getting Assange off net

      WikiLeaks has said US Secretary of State John Kerry asked Ecuador to cut its leader Julian Assange’s Internet connectivity after the organisation had released the content of paid speeches that Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had given to Goldman Sachs.

      The US State Department has denied that Kerry was involved.

      The whistleblower organisation had accused Ecuador of cutting Assange’s Internet access a day earlier, saying “We can confirm Ecuador cut off Assange’s internet access Saturday, 5pm GMT, shortly after publication of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speechs.”

      On Tuesday, it released another lot of emails from the Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. None of the material released has contained any sensational disclosures.

    • Ecuador says it cut off Assange’s Internet over Clinton data dumps

      Ecuador, the nation that has granted political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the country’s London embassy, said late Tuesday it had cut off his Internet access. Ecuador says it did this because of WikiLeaks’ recent dumps of hacked e-mails surrounding Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

      “The Government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states. It does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favor any particular candidate,” the government said in a statement. “Accordingly, Ecuador has exercised its sovereign right to temporarily restrict access to some of its private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom. This temporary restriction does not prevent the WikiLeaks organization from carrying out its journalistic activities.”

    • Ecuador says it disconnected Julian Assange’s internet because of Clinton email leaks

      The government of Ecuador disconnected the internet access of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at its Embassy in London because of his site’s publishing of documents that could affect the US presidential election, the government said in a statement today.

      WikiLeaks announced early on Monday that Assange’s internet link had been severed, saying that it had “activated the appropriate contingency plans.”

      In that statement, shared by Politico reporter Eric Geller, the Ecuadorian government says it “respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states” and that it “exercised its sovereign right to temporarily restrict access to some of its private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom.”

    • Ecuador cut off Assange’s internet at U.S. request, WikiLeaks says

      Wikileaks said Tuesday that Secretary of State John Kerry asked Ecuador to stop WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, from publishing leaked emails that could disrupt peace negotiations with a guerrilla group in Colombia.

      [WikiLeaks emails show influence of Univision chairman in Clinton campaign // Internet cutoff is just the latest trouble for WikiLeaks’ Assange]

      Assange, who has been in refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London for more than four years, saw his access to the internet cut over the weekend.

  • Finance

    • Tobacco Carve-Out From ISDS Starts To Spread: Another Nail In The Coffin Of Corporate Sovereignty

      One of the last pieces of horse-trading that went on in order to conclude the TPP deal involved corporate sovereignty, aka investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), and tobacco. As we reported a year ago, a “carve-out” for tobacco was agreed, which was designed to assuage fears that tobacco companies would use TPP’s ISDS mechanism to challenge health measures like plain packs — something that Philip Morris attempted against both Australia and Uruguay.

    • EU to push through Canadian trade deal despite Belgium split

      The free trade pact between the European Union and Canada is likely to be sealed next week despite opposition from the Belgian region of Wallonia, according to European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom as quoted by AFP.

    • CETA Still Not At Finish Line As Belgian State Halts Process

      CETA, the Canada-Europe trade agreement, is still not at the finish line yet. The European Commission has all but one member state on board for the signature of the Comprehensive Economy and Trade Agreement (CETA), Slovak Economy Minister Peter Ziga said today after a meeting of the trade ministers of the EU member states.

    • Rethinking investment treaties to advance human rights

      There are over 3,000 international investment treaties worldwide, with more under negotiation. The number of investor-state arbitrations based on these treaties continues to grow. Human rights issues have emerged in several arbitrations, for example in disputes that affected water access, public health, land rights, the environment and actions favouring disadvantaged groups. Yet few investment treaties contain meaningful references to human rights, and some arbitral tribunals have proved reluctant to consider human rights arguments made by states and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Investment treaty policy needs reconfiguring in the light of human rights obligations. The UK has long been a key player in the development of the international investment regime. As the country gears up for international trade and investment negotiations in the aftermath of the ‘Brexit’ vote, there is an opportunity to show leadership by ensuring that investment policy supports human rights.

    • Surprise: Now Even Australia’s Biggest Business Organization Says It Has Doubts About TPP

      When a country’s top business association offers criticism in more or less the same terms as anti-TPP activists, maybe it’s time to think twice about ratifying a deal that still lacks any credible justification.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Green Party VP Nominee Ajama Baraka: We Must Disrupt Our Relationship to Democratic Party

      When Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein tapped Ajamu Baraka to be her running mate back in August, there were a flurry of news stories. Most tried to paint him as the anti-Obama—too radical, too intense, too left to occupy the space just a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

      All of these characterizations of Baraka amounted to attempting to insult him with compliments.

      Long a voice for oppressed people around the globe, Baraka’s presence on the Green ticket is both self-aware and forward-moving; Southern organizer, human rights activist, veteran and socialist, Baraka is strategically positioned to prove that the core of what centrist Democrats would like you to believe about the Green Party is a lie.

    • Ken Loach: BBC news manipulative and deeply political

      Director Ken Loach has taken aim at the BBC, describing its news coverage as “manipulative and deeply political” and saying it is a “rotten place for a director”.

      Prominent leftwinger Loach, who is promoting his Palme d’Or-winning film about a man’s struggle with the UK benefits system, I, Daniel Blake, said there was a need to “democratise” the corporation.

      “Diversify it so that different regions can make their own dramas. And its notion of news has got to be challenged,” he told the Radio Times.

      “The BBC is very aware of its role in shaping people’s consciousness; this is the story you should hear about, these are the people worth listening to. It’s manipulative and deeply political.”

      In response to the comments, a BBC spokeswoman said: “BBC News is independent and adheres to clear published editorial guidelines including on impartiality. The BBC is consistently rated the most trusted and accurate news provider by the majority of people in the UK.”

    • Hacked Emails Prove Coordination Between Clinton Campaign and Super PACs

      The fact that political candidates are closely coordinating with friendly Super PACs — making a mockery of a central tenet of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision — is one of the biggest open secrets in Washington.

      Super PACs are only allowed to accept unlimited contributions on the condition that the money is spent independently of specific campaigns. The Federal Election Commission hasn’t reacted for a variety of reasons, including a lack of hard evidence, vague rules, and a partisan divide among the commissioners so bitter they can’t even agree to investigate obvious crimes.

      But newly disclosed hacked campaign documents published by WikiLeaks and a hacker who calls himself Guccifer 2.0 reveal in stark terms how Hillary Clinton’s staffers made Super PACs an integral part of her presidential campaign.

    • Donald Trump Is Running Some Really Insecure Email Servers

      In what might be one of the more delicious cases of irony to ever grace a presidential election, a researcher has found that a number of email servers linked to Donald Trump’s hotel and others businesses are running horribly out of date software which receive no security patches, and are lacking other precautions for keeping hackers out.

      The findings come at a time when cybersecurity is a crucial topic in the presidential election, with hackers dumping documents from Hillary Clinton’s campaign online, and Trump and his supporters continuing to criticise Clinton’s use of a private email server.

    • Clinton campaign considered Bill Gates, Tim Cook for VP

      An email from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta released in the recent WikiLeaks dump reveals a group of potential running mates considered by Clinton’s campaign. Clinton’s vice presidential candidates, while not altogether surprising, include some vaguely interesting choices like Bill and Melinda Gates, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and General Motors CEO Mary Barra.

    • Obama: Trump should ‘stop whining’ about rigged election

      President Obama on Tuesday offered a blunt rebuke to Donald Trump’s claim the presidential election will be rigged against him: Stop whining.

      “I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes,” Obama said during a Rose Garden press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

      Trump has riled his supporters in recent days by ramping up his effort to undermine the November elections as “rigged” by the political establishment and mainstream media.

    • Donald Trump support during presidential debate was inflated by bots, professor says

      Many of the Twitter users supporting Donald Trump after the presidential debates were bots, according to a new analysis.

      More than four times as many tweets came from automated accounts that supported Mr Trump than they did backing Hillary Clinton, according to Philip Howard from the University of Oxford.

      The robot tweets helped give the appearance that Mr Trump had more support than he did, according to Professor Howard. That apparent surge in support was referenced repeatedly by Mr Trump, who claimed that despite what the official polling showed he had actually won both of the debates.

    • GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election

      Republican senators don’t want to talk about Donald Trump’s allegations of a rigged election.

      The Hill contacted the offices of all 54 Republican senators and asked them if they think the election is rigged. Thirty-four of the senators’ offices did not respond, while another three declined to comment.

      Those that did respond offered little support for the GOP nominee’s claim.

      Fifteen senators said they do not think the election is being or will be rigged.

      One, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), wants to “wait and see.”

    • Why Did Vote-Rigging Robert Creamer Visit The White House Over 200 Times During The Obama Admin

      Earlier today we wrote about a new Project Veritas undercover video that uncovered several democratic operatives openly discussing, in explicit detail, how to commit massive voter fraud. One of the operatives was a person by the name of Robert Creamer who is a co-founder of a democratic consulting firm called Democracy Partners. Within the video, an undercover journalist details a plan to register Hispanic voters illegally by having them work as contractors, to which Creamer can be heard offering support saying that “there are a couple of organizations that that’s their big trick” (see: “Rigging Elections For 50 Years” – Massive Voter Fraud Exposed By Project Veritas Part 2″).

      Unfortunately, the embarrassing video caused Creamer to subsequently resign from consulting the Hillary campaign as he issued a statement saying that he was “stepping back from my responsibilities working the [Hillary] campaign” over fears that his continued assistance would be a distraction for the campaign.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • GCHQ reacts in the best way to Oliver Stone’s description of it as “barbaric” and “ruthless” [Ed: The mouthpiece of GCHQ speaks]

      GCHQ has refused to be drawn into a war of words with Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone, who described the agency as “barbaric”.

      Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on Sunday, Stone – the director of JFK, Platoon, Wall Street and Snowden said: “GCHQ is one of the most barbaric agencies around, very cold, very smart.

      “And likely to arrest anybody at any time, on any thing on any cause. So hello!”

    • The Shadow Brokers is now crowdfunding release of NSA hacking tools
    • Hackers selling NSA hacking tools for 10000 bitcoins
    • Stolen NSA Cyberweapons Auctioned: Shadow Brokers Wants $6.3 million To Publish Hacking Tools’ Password
    • Shadow Brokers Cancel Auction of Supposed NSA Hacking Tools
    • No one wants to buy NSA’s hacking tools
    • Shadow Brokers cancel auction of alleged stolen NSA cyberweapons after no one bid anything
    • Shadow Brokers Scraps Auction, Opts for 10000 BTC Crowdfund to Release NSA Files
    • NSA hackers abandon auction, seek $6M in crowd funding
    • Granted Warrant Allowed Feds To Force Everyone At Searched Residence To Unlock Devices With Their Fingerprints
    • MI6, MI5 and GCHQ ‘unlawfully collected private data for 10 years’
    • FBI Lifts Gag Order On NSL Issued To Google… Which Doesn’t Have Much To Say About It

      In other news, Google saw an increase in FISA-ordered requests for user info, bumping it up by about 5,000 total accounts as compared to the previous reporting period.

      Hopefully, Google’s ungagged-but-still-secret NSL won’t stay secret for much longer. It would be troubling if this were to become Google’s standard policy — the announcement of gag order removals but with no further details forthcoming. Not much “transparency” in the Transparency Report, unfortunately… not if that’s how it’s going to be handled.

      True, much of the opacity is still the government’s fault: the not-at-all-useful “banding” that makes NSL numbers impossible to parse (1-499 could mean one NSL… or almost 500 in one reporting period), the gag orders that remain in place forever, etc. But private companies shouldn’t take their cues from naturally-secretive government agencies. They’re pretty much all we have to provide us with an outside, somewhat unrestricted measure of the government’s surveillance efforts.

    • Government Seeks Do-Over On Win For Microsoft And Its Overseas Data

      The DOJ wants the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to revisit the decision it handed down in July — the one that’s preventing it from forcing Microsoft to hand over data stored on its servers in Ireland. The DOJ hoped the court would read the Stored Communications Act as applying to the location of the company served with the data request, rather than the actual location of the data. The Appeals Court disagreed with the lower court’s finding — one that dragged in the Patriot Act for some reason — pointing out that the purpose of the SCA was to protect the privacy of communications, not to facilitate the government in obtaining them.

    • Security agencies collected data unlawfully, UK court rules

      British spy agencies collected data illegally for more than a decade, a court has ruled.

      The Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which investigates complaints against intelligence services, ruled on Monday that the agencies’ secretive collection and use of bulk communications data (BCD) failed to comply with human rights laws until 2015.

      The ruling is the result of a case brought by privacy campaigners Privacy International that challenged the collection and use of bulk data by security agencies GCHQ, MI5 and MI6.

    • Police should rein in facial recognition programs, says new report

      A coalition that includes the ACLU, EFF, and 50 other organizations has asked the Department of Justice to investigate how the FBI and police are using large-scale facial recognition databases in criminal investigations. The letter comes alongside a new report that claims around half of American adults are effectively part of these databases.

      The report, released by the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology, draws on both existing data and material obtained through public records requests. It notes that at least 26 states — which have been previously identified — let law enforcement scan photos from the Department of Motor Vehicles as part of investigations. Based on the number of drivers who have received licenses in each state, the study’s authors calculate that this covers 117 million adults — or 48 percent of the total adult population. The licenses aren’t part of one central index, but several databases across states.

    • The perpetual lineup: Half of US adults in a face-recognition database

      Half of American adults are in a face-recognition database, according to a Georgetown University study released Tuesday. That means there’s about 117 million adults in a law enforcement facial-recognition database, the study by Georgetown’s Center on Privacy & Technology says.

      “We are not aware of any agency that requires warrants for searches or limits them to serious crimes,” the study says.

      The report (PDF), titled “The Perpetual Line-up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America,” shows that one-fourth of the nation’s law enforcement agencies have access to face-recognition databases, and their use by those agencies is virtually unregulated.

    • Before Nixon: When JFK tapped the phone of a New York Times reporter

      President Kennedy’s order to the CIA to begin collecting intelligence on American reporters—shattering its own charter—was formalized as Project Mockingbird. In the spring of 1963, this resulted in the wiretapping of two columnists, Robert S. Allen and Paul Scott, after they allegedly revealed classified secrets. Other reporters were also monitored in this program until its end in 1965.

    • A database of the UK’s porn habits. What could possibly go wrong?

      To this end the Digital Economy Bill creates a regulator that will seek to ensure that adult content websites will verify the age of users, or face monetary penalties, or in the case of overseas sites, ask payment providers such as VISA to refuse to process UK payments for non-compliant providers.

      There are obvious problems with this, which we detail elsewhere.

      However, the worst risks are worth going into in some detail, not least from the perspective of the Bill Committee who want the Age Verification system to succeed.

    • NBC Happily Parrots The CIA’s Case For Escalating Cyber War With Russia

      As we’ve been noting there have been growing calls for the Obama Administration to publicly scold Russia for hacking the DNC, and to dole out some kind of righteous punishment for this unseemly behavior. Calls on this front have ranged from launching larger cyber offensives or even a brick and mortar military response. We’ve noted repetaedly how this is stupid for a multitude of reasons, since hacking “proof” is (if the hacker’s any good) impossible to come by, with false-flag operations consistently common.

      So while there are some very obvious problems with escalation here, the U.S. press seems pretty intent on helping the intelligence community justify doing exactly that. Enter countless outlets breathlessly passing along the idea that we simply must “retaliate” for Russia’s behavior, willfully ignoring that the United States wrote the book on nation state hacking and lacks the moral high ground. As Snowden and other whistleblowers should have made abundantly clear by now, we’ve been hacking allies, fiddling in Democratic elections, creating indiscriminately dangerous malware and worse for decades.

      Led by our bad example, we’ve cultivated a global environment in which nation state operators hack one another every second of every day to keep pace with the United States. As such, the idea that the United States is an innocent daisy that needs to “retaliate” is absurdly, indisputably false, yet this concept sits at 90% of the reporting on this subject. Case in point: eager to get the escalation ball rolling, the CIA last week used NBC to make the case for a renewed cyber-warfare campaign against Russia in the coming months…

    • StartPage decides to ditch Yahoo after data breach

      Europe-based StartPage, a search engine that focuses on user privacy has canceled its partnership with Yahoo. In an announcement made on Monday, StartPage said it will be dropping Yahoo’s aggregate search results from its metasearch platform Ixquick.eu by the end of the month.

    • Top U.S. security official returns to AU to talk cyberspace [Ed: Michael S. Rogers in latest NSA charm offensive]
    • Director of the National Security Agency and Commander of US Cyber Command to Speak at Columbus State University
    • Adm. Rogers: US ‘Working Our Way Through’ NSA-Cyber Command Split
    • Feds need clarity on cyber structures
    • Rogers: ‘We’re working our way through’ process to split NSA-CYBERCOM roles
    • Cybersecurity chief supports splitting role with NSA, but in the right way
    • Official: you can still trust the NSA [Ed: FCW with its puff pieces now...]

      t might not be as momentous as knocking down the Berlin Wall, but tearing down the barriers between Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance inside the National Security Agency is revolutionary, an NSA official in the thick of those efforts contends.

      The NSA is six weeks into “NSA21,” which the agency calls the most substantial organizational reform in its 60-year history. Announced earlier this year, NSA21′s primary change is flattening the organization and moving it from a mission-based construct to a functional model.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • 4-star general snagged for lying in Stuxnet leak probe

      The Obama administration’s anti-leak drive has netted its most serious conviction of a high-ranking government official: a guilty plea by a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to a felony charge of lying to investigators probing leaks about top secret U.S. efforts to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

      Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright appeared in federal court in Washington on Monday afternoon, speaking in a low voice as U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon accepted the former four-star general’s admission that he lied to FBI agents about his contacts with New York Times reporter David Sanger and former Newsweek reporter Daniel Klaidman.

    • Judge Rejects ‘Rioting’ Charge Against Journalist For Reporting On Protestors, But Prosecutor Still Looking For New Charges

      Last week it was announced that journalist Amy Goodman would go to North Dakota to face charges over her coverage of North Dakota oil pipeline protests that went viral. The idea that Goodman was charged with doing journalism was really ridiculous. The original charges focused on “trespassing” but once the local state’s attorney, Ladd Erickson, realized that those clearly would not stick, he changed them to rioting. When asked to defend the arrest warrant and charges by a local newspaper, Erickson displayed a complete lack of understanding of the First Amendment in saying that because Goodman’s coverage was sympathetic to the protesters, it was fine to consider her a protester too.

      Thankfully, a judge disagreed and rejected the rioting charge.

    • Judge Rejects Riot Charge Against Amy Goodman of ‘Democracy Now’ Over Pipeline Protest

      The radio journalist Amy Goodman spent the weekend with the threat of a riot charge hanging over her, arising from protests over a planned oil pipeline in North Dakota. But on Monday a judge rejected the case for lack of evidence.

      Ms. Goodman, the host and executive producer of the syndicated radio, television and web show “Democracy Now!” on Pacifica Radio, had planned to enter a not guilty plea on Monday, but District Judge John Grinsteiner declined to sign the charging document, bringing the case to a stop — at least for now.

      She and her lawyers declared victory on Monday, but Ladd Erickson, a state prosecutor who is assisting the Morton County state’s attorney’s office in the case, said other charges were possible.

    • Stepdad Goes To Police With Stepdaughter’s Sexts, Asks Them To Intervene, Is Prosecuted For Child Porn

      Sexting continues to be a thing. And, as we have covered various stories revolving around people sending pictures of their naughty bits to one another, much of the consternation in the public tends to be around children partaking in sexting. And I can see their point. While I tend to laugh at prudishness in general, it would probably be best for all involved if underage youngsters weren’t texting each other provocative pictures of themselves with reckless abandon.

      So what is a parent to do if their children are found to be doing just that? One might think that going to both the child’s school and authorities to ask for help in stopping this behavior would be in order, right? Well, for one parent in Australia, doing just that landed him a conviction for child pornography and sex offender registration, even as essentially the entire legal system acknowledged that he was just trying to be a good father.

    • Dad Asks Cops to Intervene in Daughter’s Sexting. They Arrest Him for Child Porn.

      A man who found out that his 15-year-old stepdaughter was sexting her boyfriend proceeded to download the evidence to bring it to the school and the police to ask them to intervene.

      Oh dear, readers. You know where this is heading. Intervene they did. Now the dad has been convicted on child pornography charges and placed on the sex offender registry. This, despite the judge understanding exactly why the man, Ashan Ortell, 57, held onto the images.

      “There is no suggestion of any exploitation of them by anybody,” ruled Judge Jane Patrick, over in Australia, which is becoming as daffy as the United States. “You made no attempt to conceal the images. In fact, you were so concerned that you contacted the authorities about the images.”

    • Child bride in Turkey dies after giving birth

      A child bride in Turkey has died of a brain hemorrhage after giving birth at the age of 15, local media have reported.

      The bleed thought to have killed her is believed to have been associated with going into labour at such a young age.

      Known only as Derya B, the girl was married in a religious ceremony at the age of 14.

    • Turkish child marriage film shines light on hidden abuses

      Child brides in Turkey are often raped, beaten and forced to undergo virginity tests, according to the director of a new documentary which aims to break the silence on the taboo issue.

      “Growing Up Married”, which will premiere in London on Oct. 30, examines the impact of child marriage on four women who were wed as teenagers in western Turkey.

      “When hearing some of their stories I thought to myself ‘how are you still alive?’,” filmmaker Eylem Atakav said in an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

      Globally, one third of girls in developing countries, excluding China, are married before the age of 18 and one in nine before the age of 15, according to U.N. data.

    • Vintage Photos of Bold and Modern Iranian Ladies Before the Islamic Law Took Over!

      The Islamic Republic however didn’t incline towards the Sharia Law until the late 70’s. The Iranian Revolution that took place in the year 1978 witnessed massive changes in the otherwise modern country.

      Right from their eating habits to their attire, to literature and art & culture, Iran witnessed a sudden shift in their functioning. Overtaking the Pahlavi dynasty changed the fate of the innocent Iranians forever under the rule of Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

    • Two-thirds of child refugees screened by officials found to be adults, Home Office figures show

      Nearly two-thirds of “child” refugees who officials questioned about their real age were found to be adults, Home Office documents show.

      Figures show that in the year to September 2015, 65 per cent of the child refugees who had their age disputed were found to be over 18.

      It comes after Conservative MPs raised questions about the ages of 14 refugees who were brought to the UK this week from the “Jungle” migrant camp in Calais.

      The Home Office has no way of independently verifying the age of child refugees being brought to the UK.

      Home Office documents show that if a refugee does not have a birth certificate, a Home Office screening officer can certify them as a child based on their “physical appearance” or “demeanour”.

    • Stripped, stomped and sprayed: Former police officer Yvonne Berry breaks silence on Ballarat arrest ordeal

      A woman who was captured on CCTV being stripped, stomped on and kicked in the Ballarat police cells has spoken out for the first time.

    • Finally Free: ‘Guantánamo Diary’ Author Released After 14 Years Without Charge

      After unlawfully imprisoning our client Mohamedou Ould Slahi at Guantánamo for 14 years without charge or trial, the U.S. government has finally released him. He is now home in his native Mauritania.

      We are overjoyed for Mohamedou and his loving family, who have been anxiously awaiting his return for so many years. His release brings the U.S. one man closer to ending the travesty that is Guantánamo.

    • FBI Facial Recognition Expert Helps Denver PD Arrest Wrong Man Twice For The Same Crime

      Never let it be said law enforcement won’t get their man. Even if it’s the wrong man. And even if they do it twice.

      This was Denver native Steven Talley’s first experience with the local PD.

    • ‘Fear, censorship and retaliation’: United Nations rapporteur slams Australia’s human rights record

      Australia lacks adequate protections for human rights defenders and has created “an atmosphere of fear, censorship and retaliation” among activists, according to a United Nations special rapporteur.

      Michel Forst, who released an end-of-mission statement on Tuesday after a fortnight in Australia, said he was “astonished” by numerous measures heaping “enormous pressure” on public servants, whistleblowers and ordinary citizens.

    • UN warns of ‘fear, censorship and retaliation’ in Australia

      Strict secrecy laws and harassment by government officials are creating an “atmosphere of fear” in Australia, a UN investigator warns.
      In a damning report Tuesday, United Nations special rapporteur Michel Forst said several human rights defenders had refused to meet him because of the fear of persecution.

    • Australian secrecy laws must be reviewed, says UN investigator
    • UN Calls on Australia to Re-examine Secrecy Laws
    • Australia should urgently improve whistleblower protection, UN expert says
    • UN investigator urges review of Australian secrecy laws
    • UN warns of ‘fear, censorship and retaliation’ in Australia
    • Chilling effect on rights defenders: UN
    • Chilling effect on rights defenders: UN
  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Software-Defined Networking Puts Network Managers in the Driver’s Seat

      SDNs can help organizations keep up with evolving network demands in an app-centric IT environment and give network managers much more flexibility.

    • The Open-Source Group Trying To “De-Google” The Internet

      How can we surf the web without using Google, Amazon or Facebook? French group Framasoft, which promotes the use of open-source software, offers a way.

      Under the “De-google-ify internet” initiative, the group uses decentralized software solutions to design tools that allow consumers to retake control of their data.

      Members of Framasoft are strong advocates for the digital privacy of consumers. They consider it their mission to educate people about internet freedom.

  • DRM

    • MacBook Pro to ditch traditional USB ports in favour of USB-C

      TRADITIONAL USB ports could be about to go the way of the 3.5mm headphone jack after the news that Apple’s new MacBook Pro will come with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 only.

      A report from Macotakara claimed that Apple’s upcoming MacBook Pro models will ditch traditional USB ports, Thunderbolt 2 and the company’s MagSafe charging connector.

      Instead, according to a “reliable Chinese supplier”, the 13in and 15in laptops will have USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports, so buyers will be forced to cough up £65 to hook up standard USB devices.

    • Report: Apple will introduce new Macs at October 27th event [Updated

      The most interesting new information is about the MacBook Air. The 13-inch model is said to get USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3, and those ports will replace all of the ports on the current Air—USB Type-A, Thunderbolt 2, and Magsafe 2. We don’t know how many of these ports the Air will get, but if the design stays more or less the same, it should at least get more than the one-ported MacBook. The 11-inch Air, which currently serves as Apple’s entry-level laptop, would be removed from the lineup.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

10.18.16

Links 18/10/2016: Release Candidate of Leap 42.2, Looking Ahead at GTK4

Posted in News Roundup at 11:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Best Linux Intranet Solutions

    There’s a lot of benefits to having your local communications within the confines of your office Intranet. When it comes to keeping content and communications local, there are a number of decent Linux Intranet friendly solutions to serve content to those on your network.

  • Server

    • The Ops Identity Crisis

      A big theme in the keynotes and conversation during Velocity Conf in NYC a few weeks ago was the role of ops in an “ops-less” and “server-less” world. It’s also been a big feature in discussions on twitter and in conversations I’ve had with coworkers and friends in the industry. There are several things that stand out to me in these conversations: first, that some ops engineers (sysadmins, techops, devops, and SREs) are worried that they will be phased out if developers and software engineers are responsible for the operational tasks in their systems; second, that developers and software engineers do not have the skills needed to take over responsibility for operational tasks; and third, that building reliable systems is impossible without an operations organization.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel 4.9 merge window highlights

      The 4.8 kernel was released on October 2nd. This also marked the start of the merge window for the 4.9 kernel. The merge window is the time period when kernel subsystem maintainers send their pull requests for new features to be included in the 4.9 kernel. Here are a few features pulled into the 4.9 kernel that might be of interest for Fedora users.

    • The Linux Foundation strives to unite open-source JavaScript community
    • The Linux Foundation Helps Launch the JS Foundation

      Today, the Linux Foundation announced the creation of a new entity named the JS Foundation that will serve as an umbrella project and guiding force for various open-source utilities at the heart of the JavaScript ecosystem.

      The JS Foundation’s primary mission is to help manage and fund projects, but also cultivate best practices in the JavaScript ecosystem.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Clear Linux Now Riding On Linux 4.8.1, Ships AVX2-Optimized Python

      Intel’s Clear Linux open-source operating system continues advancing as one of the less heard of but highly performant rolling-release distributions for servers, cloud, containers, and other applications.

      Clear Linux Highlights #4 was published today to make known some of the latest improvements. Some of the recent packaging changes include landing GNOME 3.22 components, adding Wayland 1.12, introducing Apache Maven, and updates to various existing packages. Some of the notable updates are using Linux 4.8.1, systemd 231, Vim 8.0, Emacs 25.1, and Node.js 6.8.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Linux Kernel 4.8 and KDE Plasma 5.8.1 Coming Soon to openSUSE Tumbleweed Users

        openSUSE Project’s Dominique Leuenberger informed the Tumbleweed community about the latest goodies that landed in the stable software repositories of the rolling release operating system during the past week.

        We’re talking here about the openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots released during the week of October 10, 2016, which brought several interesting software components which might get users of the rolling OS excited. For example, you can now enjoy the latest KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS desktop environment.

      • First openSUSE Leap 42.2 Release Candidate Adds KDE Plasma 5.8.1, GNOME Updates

        Just a few minutes ago, openSUSE Project, through Douglas DeMaio, proudly announced the availability of the first Release Candidate (RC) version of the upcoming openSUSE Leap 42.2 operating system.

      • OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 Release Candidate Published
      • Release Candidate Available for openSUSE Leap 42.2

        The openSUSE Project is pleased to announce the availability of the openSUSE Leap 42.2 Release Candidate 1 (RC1).

        Since mid-May, the project has been guiding the development of the next openSUSE community release Leap 42.2, which will be released in 29 days. The release of RC1 completes the development process for openSUSE Leap 42.2 based on source code from SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) Service Pack (SP) 2.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Why enterprises are now opting for open source software

        In March this year, Red Hat became the world’s first open source software (OSS) solutions company to cross $2 billion in revenue. The term open source implies ‘free’ access to software which developers can modify. Not many thought Red Hat would be successful when the company was founded in 1993. However, it has proved its naysayers wrong with a $14.78 billion market cap (as on September 30), $600 million revenue in Q2 FY17 and entry into the Forbes list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2016 for the fourth time. Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat’s president and CEO, and Rajesh Rege, its India MD, tell Forbes India why enterprises are now opting for open source software.

      • CentOS Linux Vagrant Boxes Gets September’s Updates and XFS File System Support

        CentOS maintainer Karanbir Singh announced the availability of updated Vagrant Box images for the CentOS Linux 7 and CentOS Linux 6 operating systems for the month of September 2016.

      • Using feedback loops for greater work satisfaction

        In August I wrote about using feedback loops in your personal life to get unstuck from unproductive habits. This month I’ll talk about some new helpful feedback loops for your workplace. I’m going to make this easy for you: Here are my top three, and they’re always good ones to start with.

      • Red Hat study shows virtualization will keep growing

        With the rise of exciting new technologies like containers, virtualization might sometimes seem like it’s old hat. But not according to Red Hat, whose latest research shows that enterprise adoption is still on the rise.

        In a new survey of over 900 enterprise information technology pros, Red Hat discovered that virtualization is still gaining traction thanks to its ability to drive server consolidation, reduce provisioning times, serve as platform for app development and deployment and save enterprises money.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • New Tool Lets You Easily Install the Ubuntu Touch OS on Your Mobile Devices

            Softpedia was just informed by Marius Quabeck from UbuntuFun.de about a new tool that lets users super easily install the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system on their devices.

            The tool is developed by Marius Quabeck himself and is called magic-device-tool. The first stable version, magic-device-tool 1.0, is now available to everyone and promises to offer a simple and easy-to-use batch tool for installing Canonical’s Ubuntu Touch mobile OS, as well as Android, Cyanogenmod, or Phoenix OS.

            In other words, you’ll be able to replace your mobile operating system on your device with any of the following: the latest Ubuntu Touch release, Cyanogenmod – with or without the GAPPS (Google Apps) package, the factory Android image, as well as Phoenix OS. Please note that you’ll only be able to run one of these OSes on your mobile devices.

          • Canonical Brings Ubuntu OpenStack, Ceph to ARM Servers

            Telco and enterprise customers are looking for an alternative source of silicon beyond Intel for data center silicon, Canonical officials say.
            ARM officials took a step forward in their effort to build the software ecosystem around its efforts in the data center when Canonical said that its Ubuntu OpenStack and Ceph offerings are now commercially available on servers powered by ARM’s 64-bit chip architecture.

          • Ubuntu OpenStack and Ceph Storage now available on ARM v8-A

            Unified solution will benefit majority of public cloud services, Canonical explained

            Canonical and ARM have announced a strategic partnership, making Ubuntu OpenStack and Ceph Storage now available on ARM v8-A-based enterprise solutions.

            Working together with Ubuntu certified System on Chip (SoC) partners, ODMs and OEMs, the two companies will ensure the equipment used by customers, such as servers, storage and networking products can be used with Ubuntu Advantage.

            “We have seen our Telecom and Enterprise customers start to radically depart from traditional server design to innovative platform architectures for scale-out compute and storage. In partnering with ARM we bring more innovation and platform choice to the marketplace,” Mark Baker, product manager of OpenStack at Canonical said.

          • Canonical gives Ubuntu Linux 17.04 the name ‘Zesty Zapus’ (jumping mouse)

            Linux distributions and silly names go together like peanut butter and jelly. For whatever reason, the maintainers of these operating systems seem to enjoy having fun with what they call them — some argue it is childish. Even Google — a billion dollar company — uses sugary dessert names for the Linux-based Android operating system.

            One of the most well-known Linux distributions to use funny names is Ubuntu. It famously uses the convention of an adjective and a lesser-known animal, each starting with the same letter. The letter is chosen sequentially by alphabet. For example, Ubuntu 16.10 uses the letter “Y” — “Yakkety Yak”. The next version of the operating system will use the letter “Z”. While many folks hoped for “Zebra”, that would be too obvious. Instead, Canonical has chosen “Zesty Zapus”. Don’t know what a zapus is? Neither did I. It is apparently a type of jumping mouse. The selection was not made at random, however, as the company has an explanation for the decision.

          • Upcoming Zesty Zapus, Bodhi 4 Beta 3

            Mark Shuttleworth today blogged of the “metaphorical” naming of the release has reached the end of the alphabet with 17.04′s Zesty Zapus. Apparently, a zapus is “a genus of North American jumping mice,” thanks to Wikipedia, and is the only living mammal to have 18 teeth. The genus includes three distinct subspecies and has inhabited Earth since the Pliocene. They have long tails, long back feet, yellowish-brown backs and white bellies. Zesty means “having an agreeably pungent taste,” according to the collective dictionary databases of KDict.

          • Ubuntu MATE 16.10 – quick screenshot tour

            Ubuntu MATE became an officially supported family member not so long ago. Linux notes from DarkDuck have already published a review of Ubuntu MATE 16.04.

          • Why the IoT security nightmare could be a dream for Ubuntu

            A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how the poor design of Internet of Things devices poses a serious threat to the Internet. By an interesting coincidence, security guru Bruce Schneier wrote about the same issue on the same day, albeit rather more authoritatively. Other articles on the topic continue to appear, as people begin to wake up to the seriousness of this issue.

            On Monday, I attended the opening day of Oscon in London, and listening to Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth talk about “Brilliant pebbles,” it seemed to me that he was outlining part of a possible solution to IoT’s problems. Here’s a description of his keynote…

  • Devices/Embedded

    • RPi Compute Module 3 revealed, tapped for NEC signage

      On Oct. 10, NEC Display Solutions Europe announced it would produce a series of digital signage display computers equipped with the upcoming Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, which runs Linux on the same quad-core Cortex-A53 SoC as the Raspberry Pi 3. On Oct. 14, Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading, made his own announcement of the displays, adding some more details, and today, the datasheet for the Compute Module 3 leaked online.

      Long story short: the Compute Module 3 is pin compatible with the original, but will be available in 4GB eMMC and SD-only models. There’s no pricing or close-up photo, but the module will ship by the end of the year.

    • How to fly your DIY Raspberry Pi drone

      We’ve shown you how to build your own drone, and once you’d fitted all the cables and powered up, you have been able to enjoy your first flight. However, if you’ve found that your drone has a tendency to fly off in a random direction or doesn’t seem to respond in the way that you want then we’re now going to take a look at the delicate process of connection and calibration.

      The calibration of the drone will be carried out using software called APM which enables us to calibrate the RC unit with the PXFMini autopilot module.

    • Demonstrating the Future of IoT

      Yesterday was a special day. It would be a nightmare day for most tech executive. I was a keynote speaker for OpenIoT Europe / Embedded Linux Conference from The Linux Foundation and was asked to demo IoT in front of more than a thousand [potentially multiple thousands] experts. If there is one thing software companies don’t do enough, it is sending their executives to demo their new products. I survived and it went quite well. This blog post will run through my demos but also explain how each is just a building block towards a software defined future in which home, business and industrial IoT will redefine our future. My code is on Github and where possible I will give instructions to do the demo yourself.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • App: Smart Tutor Released by Samsung for Tizen Smartphones

          A new app named Smart Tutor has been released by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and is available right now from the Tizen Store. Using the app you are able to contact Samsung customer care about your device support needs. It’s an easy, quick and safe technical support application and a good consulting tool for Samsung smartphones. You can get help from Samsung Customer Care for solve your device’s technical issues. It can be used to diagnose your device remotely in order to optimize device performance and give functional advice.

      • Android

        • Google Maps for Android can now show you nearby traffic through a one-tap shortcut
        • HTC launches virtual reality-focused Viveport M storefront for Android
        • BlackBerry Mercury, Like Pixel Phones And LG V20, Will Run Android 7.0 Nougat Out Of The Box

          BlackBerry appears to be up to speed when it comes to releasing new Android smartphones. Since releasing the PRIV and DTEK50, the Canadian company reportedly worked on a new smartphone, which is now called the DTEK60. Just this Monday, however, new information has surfaced, revealing that Apple’s former greatest rival is working on another Android hardware.

        • PBS Launches Android Tablet for Kids

          A sub-$100 Android tablet is hitting Best Buy stores in November, and its 16GB of flash storage will be prefilled with so much content you probably won’t have room to add your own.

          But it’s not all adware, as you might expect for such a cheap device. Instead, the more than 25 games and 120 video clips are educational resources from PBS Kids. Dubbed the “Playtime Pad,” the $80 tablet is a partnership between PBS and California budget electronics maker Ematic.

        • Google Pixel review: Bland, pricey, but still the best Android phone

          Welcome to the age of Google Hardware. Apparently tired of letting third-party Android OEMs serve as the stewards of Android handsets, Google has become a hardware company. (Again).

          Earlier this year Google, launched a hardware division with former Motorola President Rick Osterloh at the helm. With the high-ranking title of “Senior Vice President,” Osterloh doesn’t oversee a side project—his group is on even footing with Android, Search, YouTube, and Ads. The hardware group is so powerful inside Google that it was able to merge Nexus, Pixel, Chromecast, OnHub, ATAP, and Glass into a single business unit. The group’s coming out party was October 4, 2016, where it announced Google Home, Google Wifi, a 4K Chromecast, the Daydream VR headset, and the pair of phones we’re looking at today: the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The answer to Internet of Things madness? Open source, of course!

    “Open is always going to win,” states Ed Hemphill, CEO of WigWag, a company that hopes to make sense of the ever-expanding and ever-more-complex Internet of Things market.

    WigWag is named after the traditional flags used by the US military’s Signal Corps to communicate messages. Hemphill and his cofounder Travis McCollum both served in the Signal Corps before starting up their company in Austin, Texas.

  • What the history of open source teaches us about strategic advantage

    The free software movement started like many other movements: A group of bright, spirited people felt controlled by a greater power and rose up and took matters into their own hands.

    It’s not that different from the American Revolution. The colonists were tired of being controlled by Great Britain, so they declared their independence and started building their own system of government and military, and creating their own cultures. The revolutionaries’ methods were disorganized and improvised, but they ultimately proved to be effective. Same goes for the software revolutionaries.

  • Web Browsers

    • 7 chronic browser bugs plaguing the web

      Web browsers are amazing. If it weren’t for browsers, we wouldn’t be able to connect nearly as well with users and customers by pouring our data and documents into their desktops, tablets, and phones. Alas, all of the wonderful content delivered by the web browser makes us that much more frustrated when the rendering isn’t as elegant or bug-free as we would like.

      When it comes to developing websites, we’re as much at the mercy of browsers as we are in debt to them. Any glitch on any platform jumps out, especially when it crashes our users’ machines. And with design as such a premium for standing out or fitting in, any fat line or misapplied touch of color destroys the aesthetic experience we’ve labored to create. Even the tiniest mistake, like adding an extra pixel to the width of a line or misaligning a table by a bit, can result in a frustrating user experience, not to mention the cost of discovering, vetting, and working around it.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • 12 Top Open Source Data Analytics Apps

      For many large enterprises, open source big data analytics have become an integral part of daily business. According to a 2016 New Vantage Partners survey of executives at Fortune 1000 companies, 62.5 percent of enterprises are now running at least one big data tool or application in production. That’s nearly double the number who said the same thing in 2013. And only 5.4 percent of those surveyed had no big data plans.

      When it comes to big data analytics, open source software is the rule rather than the exception. Several of the leading tools enterprises are using are managed by the Apache Foundation, and many of the commercial tools are based at least in part on these open source solutions.

      In this slideshow, we’re featuring twelve of the top open source data analytics solutions. Some of them offer a complete end-to-end platform for big data analytics while others must be combined with other technologies. All of them are suitable for enterprise use and are among the leading tools for data analysis.

    • One CTO’s mission to boost needed OpenStack skills in future IT talent

      Virtually every employer struggles to hire people with needed tech skills. But Amrith Kumar, CTO of the OpenStack database-as-a-service company Tesora, is fighting the talent crunch in the future. He’s investing some of his time in working with college students, making sure there will be more available hires with OpenStack expertise. In an interview with The Enterprisers Project, Kumar explains why this work is so important.

    • OpenStack Summit, Barcelona: Your Guide to the Event

      The OpenStack Summit event in Barcelona is only days away, and you can still register. According to the OpenStack Foundation, approximately 6,000 attendees from 50+ countries are expected to attend the conference, taking place Oct. 25 – 28 in Barcelona.

      This event is a bi-annual gathering of OpenStack community members, technology leaders, developers and ecosystem supporters. Each year one summit event is held in North America and then one additional event rotates between Asia and Europe. Barcelona already has a packed schedule, and here is what you can expect from the event.

    • Mesosphere Embeds Marathon Container Orchestration in DC/OS

      While Marathon may not draw as much attention these days as other container orchestration technologies, work surrounding the platform continues. With the latest version of the DC/OS platform from Mesosphere, the Marathon container orchestration engine now comes baked in.

      Tal Broda, vice president of engineering for Mesosphere, says with version 1.8 of DC/OS via a new Services Feature the Marathon container orchestration engine can be more naturally invoked, with the same dashboard IT administrators employ to schedule jobs and perform other tasks. The end result is a more refined IT management experience.

    • A new kind of match-making: Speed mentoring

      My primary focus is to make contributing to the OpenStack community easier and more fun.

      I’m an upstream developer advocate for the OpenStack Foundation, and this work includes bringing new people into the community, making sure members of the community feel valued, and reducing conflict and removing roadblocks to contribution. It’s also part of my job to smooth the path for newcomers just starting to get involved in the community.

      In many cases, people looking to contribute often don’t know where to start—a mentor can point new people in the right direction and help them feel involved and engaged.

  • BSD

    • DragonFly 4.6.1 tagged

      I don’t have it uploaded yet, but DragonFly 4.6.1 is tagged. Anyone with an existing 4.6.0 or earlier system can upgrade now. Use the 4.6 release instructions if you are unsure on how to upgrade. The 4.6.1 tag commit message has all the changes.

  • Public Services/Government

    • France renews its two free software support contracts

      The French administration in charge of the public procurement, and DINSIC (the state agency in charge of the IT ) have renewed the two contracts for free software support services. Both contracts were awarded to the French free software services provider Linagora.

    • White House Open-Sources Bot Code
    • White House open sources Facebook Messenger

      The US government is looking to help other governments build bots, with the White House having shared open source code for President Obama’s Facebook Messenger bot.

      Jason Goldman, Chief Digital Officer of the White House, said in a post announcing the open source move: “we’re open-sourcing this White House technology, with the hope that other governments and developers can build similar services—and foster similar connections with their citizens— with significantly less upfront investment.”

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Linux & Open Source News Of The Week — Ubuntu 16.10, FreeBSD 11, Android 7.1, And More
    • Open Data

      • Open Data: 81% of European countries have a dedicated policy

        In 2016, 81% of countries in the European Union have a dedicated Open Data policy, up from 69% in 2015, according to a new report, “Open Data maturity in Europe 2016,” produced by Capgemini.

        Data collected from the European Open Data Portal showed that, in 2016, only five countries in the EU28+ zone had not yet deployed an Open Data policy (nine countries in 2015): Hungary, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta and Portugal.

        The report also showed signs of improvement in the involvement of European countries in Open Data. In 2016, 57% had completed what the report called their open data journey – an incremental strategy which leads to opening data. This is a 28.6% increase compared to 2015. “A majority of the EU28+ countries have successfully developed a basic approach to address Open Data,” the report stated. “Countries are also investing in understanding the impact of Open Data for their economy and society via the launch of a number of studies and interactions with civil society,” the report went on to say.

  • Programming/Development

    • More GCC Patches To Get OpenMP Offloading To NVIDIA NVPTX Working

      Fresh patches are available for GCC to get OpenMP offloading to the NVIDIA PTX ISA working for accelerating OpenMP on NVIDIA GPUs with the GNU Compiler Collection.

      Alexander Monakov has published the latest patches for GCC to provide OpenMP offloading to NVPTX, the ISA to be consumed in turn by NVIDIA’s proprietary driver. GCC NVPTX support has been ongoing for quite a while now but these are the final pieces for getting OpenMP support in place.

Leftovers

  • The Villains of Remote Work

    Working remotely is awesome. It’s how DNSimple operates. There’s no office, there are no working hours, there is nowhere you need to be, there’s no commute, and no line for the bathroom. You’re free to work when you want, how you want, and from wherever you want.

    Working on a small team is awesome. It’s how DNSimple operates. There are no deadlines, there are no managers, there is no disconnect between the development and the business, and no HR department. You’re free to contribute wherever it’s effective, you get to know your coworkers well, you develop your own workflow, and you’re held accountable by your commitment to your team and forward progress.

    Both core aspects of DNSimple, being a small remote team is a wonderful combination, but it’s one that opens itself up to unexpected vulnerabilities. Much like how when a superhero makes their appearance, villains inevitably follow…being part of a small team that works remotely is a superpower that draws in super-villainy.

  • Science

    • Connected cars are cash cows; low margins may have killed the Apple Car

      A pair of articles published on Monday by Bloomberg and Fast Company provide an interesting snapshot of the ongoing collision between the tech and automotive industries. In the former, Mark Gurman and Alex Webb provide a fuller exploration of Apple’s ongoing “Project Titan” than we’ve read to date. The “so secret we can’t talk about it” car R&D is believed to have been heavily scaled back—along with Apple’s vehicular ambitions.

      The once thousand-strong team has now lost hundreds of members, particularly those working on a car OS, as well as chassis and suspension design, Bloomberg reports. Perhaps Apple’s scaled-back plans were inevitable; according to Bloomberg, “Apple executives had imagined an electric car that could recognize its driver by fingerprint and autonomously navigate with the press of a button.”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • [Older] Pesticide manufacturers’ own tests reveal serious harm to honeybees

      Unpublished field trials by pesticide manufacturers show their products cause serious harm to honeybees at high levels, leading to calls from senior scientists for the companies to end the secrecy which cloaks much of their research.

      The research, conducted by Syngenta and Bayer on their neonicotinoid insecticides, were submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency and obtained by Greenpeace after a freedom of information request.

      Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used insecticides and there is clear scientific evidence that they harm bees at the levels found in fields, though only a little to date showing the pesticides harm the overall performance of colonies. Neonicotinoids were banned from use on flowering crops in the EU in 2013, despite UK opposition.

      Bees and other insects are vital for pollinating three-quarters of the world’s food crops but have been in significant decline, due to the loss of flower-rich habitats, disease and the use of pesticides.

    • CEO’s Death Stirs Debate About Chinese Techies’ 70-Hour Work Weeks

      The premature death of the 44-year-old founder of a prominent mobile health app startup has spurred a bout of soul searching in the Chinese tech community, where working long hours in the hope of making a quick fortune has become a way of life.

  • Security

    • Understanding and Securing Linux Namespaces

      Richard Guy Briggs, a kernel security engineer and Senior Software Engineer at Red Hat, talked about the current state of Kernel Audit and Linux Namespaces at the Linux Security Summit. He also shared problems plaguing containers and what might be done to address them soon.

      His insights are borne of deep experience. Briggs was an early adopter of Linux back in 1992, and has written UNIX and Linux device drivers for telecom, video and network applications and embedded devices.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • An ‘Epidemic of Graft’ – Anti-Corruption Efforts in Afghanistan Fail Hard

      The U.S. spends spends $5 billion of your tax money a year in “aid” to Afghanistan, plus billions more for the cost of the thousands of American troops and Pentagon-sponsored military contractors there.

      An “Epidemic of Graft”

      One of the (many) reasons why all that money has accomplished close to jack squat in 15 years of war is corruption. Extraordinary amounts of U.S. money simply disappears, siphoned off at high levels, passed on as bribes to suppliers and Taliban hustlers at the lower levels. It is, according to one study, an “epidemic of graft.”

    • The Story Changes: The Pentagon Is No Longer Sure Yemen Fired Missiles At A US Ship

      Last Thursday, after two consecutive missile attacks on the US Navy ship USS Mason, which allegedly were launched by Houthi rebel forces in Yemen, the US entered its latest military engagement in the middle east, when the USS Nitze launched several Tomahawk cruise missiles aimed at radar installations located by the Bab el-Mandab straight, and which enabled the launch of at least three missiles against the U.S. ship.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiLeaks Claims ‘State Actor’ Has Cut Off Assange’s Internet

      One of Julian Assange’s only ways of communicating with the outside world from within the Ecuadorian Embassy in London has been disconnected, according to WikiLeaks.

      WikiLeaks claims that a “state actor” has cut off Assange’s internet access, with the group’s Twitter account confirming on the morning of October 17 that Assange’s connection has been “intentionally severed” and contingency plans are being activated. It’s unclear what those contingency plans may be and Motherboard was unable to verify Wikileaks’ claim. The Ecuadorian Embassy also did not immediately provide Motherboard with any more information.

    • Wikileaks: a “state party” has cut off Julian Assange’s primary internet access

      Late yesterday, the @wikileaks account tweeted “Julian Assange’s internet link has been intentionally severed by a state party. We have activated the appropriate contingency plans.”

      The tweet followed some apparent “dead man’s switch” with what looked like cryptographic fingerprints or keys, which could be used to decrypt “insurance files” of leaks that had been posted in encrypted form to a server somewhere, or to verify future documents as having originated with Wikileaks.

      The “state party” could be the UK government, which exercises an extraordinary level of fine-grained control over the six major ISPs that serve the UK market (Assange is stuck in the Ecuadoran embassy in London), or it could be another government.

    • Assange net access cut after Clinton papers leaked

      The government of Ecuador has been accused of cutting off Internet access for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after the organisation released details of speeches given to Goldman Sachs by Democrat presidential contender Hillary Clinton.

      In a tweet, WikiLeaks said: “We can confirm Ecuador cut off Assange’s internet access Saturday, 5pm GMT, shortly after publication of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speechs.”

      Assange has been taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since August 2012. He has been accused of rape in Sweden and the country has said recently that it is willing to interview him in the embassy.

    • Someone has pulled the plug on Julian Assange’s internet

      BEFORE ANYONE asks whether someone has tried turning it off and on again, we will quickly get in the fact that somewhere in or around the Ecuadorian embassy someone has turned off Julian Assange’s internet connection and plunged him into a world of daytime television. And no-one is sure how or why.

      Assange has made a home for himself at the embassy, although reportedly not a very comfortable one, and may consider himself lucky to be in exile when he sees The Jeremy Kyle Show. He may even plead for a bit of time out of the office so that he can check any attics for cash.

    • Assange’s Internet “intentionally severed by state party”

      WikiLeaks announced via its Twitter account this morning that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s Internet connection had been cut off, blaming a “state party” for the outage. Assange, who has been ensconced in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since he sought asylum there over four years ago to avoid extradition, has been “detained in absentia” by the Swedish government for questioning on allegations of rape. Other lesser allegations have been dropped because they have passed the time allowed by Sweden’s statute of limitations.

    • Wikileaks: Julian Assange’s internet access ‘cut’

      Wikileaks says that Ecuador has shut down internet access for its founder Julian Assange.

      The transparency activist has sought asylum at London’s Ecuadorean embassy since 2012 to avoid extradition over sex assault allegations.

      Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Guillaume Long made no comment on the claim, saying only: “The circumstances that led to the granting of asylum remain.”

      Wikileaks has recently been releasing emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

    • These Cryptic Wikileaks Tweets Don’t Mean Julian Assange Is Dead [Update]

      In the absence of context, some users on Twitter, Reddit, and various image boards were quick to speculate that the tweets were the result of a “dead man’s switch,” triggered in the event of Julian Assange’s untimely end. Such switches do exist (both mechanically and electronically) and many speculated that all 349 gigs of the heavily-encrypted “Wikileaks insurance” from 2013 are intended for precisely that purpose.

    • What’s Going On With Julian Assange and WikiLeaks? Here Are 4 Theories [Ed: Time continues its endless, years-long attacks on Wikileaks under the guise of “coverage” or “journalism”]
    • Republicans warm up to Assange [iophk: “they are too stupid to understand WL”]

      Republicans are making common cause with an old enemy: Julian Assange.

      In 2010, prominent figures in the GOP wanted the WikiLeaks founder jailed for releasing thousands of diplomatic cables leaked by former Pvt. Chelsea Manning.

      Onetime presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said the leak “put American lives at risk.” Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said Assange had “blood on his hands” and should be “hunted down.” Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) called for the Australian anti-secrecy activist to be tried under the Espionage Act and asked if WikiLeaks could be designated as a terrorist organization.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • WWF: Finnish wildlife already feeling the burn from climate change

      WWF Finland issued a report Monday in which it outlined signs that global warming is already beginning to affect Finland. The organisation noted that ice formations on lakes and open seas last for shorter periods, while vegetation has changed and the tree line is migrating further north.

      “These changes and winter temperatures in particular have a massive impact on species that depend on snow and ice in Finland,” said WWF Finland programme manager Sampsa Vilhunen in a statement.

      According to the report, the Arctic fox has almost entirely disappeared from Finland and the snowy owl has all but shunned Finland as a nesting site, only returning occasionally. Wolverines, the Saimaa ringed seal and salmon are also suffering the effects of climate change, the NGO said.

    • The Riverkeeper: Just a Florida Man Trying to Save Waterways From Toxic Algae

      Marty Baum jumped on a friend’s boat, his phone blowing up with frantic phone calls from fishermen. Forty square miles of catfish, mullet, redfish and most other common game were dead in the water. Thousands of fish, all belly-up.

      “We went out on his boat and I cried,” Baum said. “Every little thing that required dissolved oxygen was dead.”

    • The Montreal Protocol Is the Most Successful Climate Agreement Ever

      Remember the hole in the ozone layer? If you were around in the 80s, you definitely do—it was a climate bogeyman of the time, along with acid rain, and rightfully so.

      It was in that decade that scientists confirmed that chemicals called CFCs (found in aerosol cans like hairspray and deodorant) were eating away at the ozone layer, and would produce some scary consequences, from skyrocketing skin cancer rates to damaging effects on plant life and marine ecosystems, if left unchecked.

      That realization lit a fire under scientists and, importantly, government officials. (Margaret Thatcher, who trained as a chemist, was among those spooked by it.) In 1987, almost every country in the world signed the Montreal Protocol, agreeing on a plan to phase out damaging CFCs. Consumers bought in, too, voluntarily boycotting the spray cans. As a result of this global effort to get rid of CFCs, scientists now say the ozone layer is slowly healing.

  • Finance

    • SoftBank and Saudi Arabia Partner to Form Giant Investment Fund

      SoftBank of Japan has already earned a reputation as one of the most ambitious technology companies around, unafraid to strike huge deals.

      Now the conglomerate is aiming to become one of the world’s biggest investors in tech — potentially with the help of Saudi Arabia.

      SoftBank announced on Thursday that it would form a new investment fund that could invest up to $100 billion in technology companies worldwide.

      SoftBank will invest at least $25 billion into what’s provisionally called the SoftBank Vision Fund over the next five years, while Saudi Arabia is weighing putting in at least $45 billion. They may draw in other partners who could eventually push the fund’s size to its maximum.

    • Cadbury owner paid no UK corporation tax

      The owner of Cadbury paid no corporation tax in its latest financial year, despite making a profit of £177.6m on sales of £1.73bn.

      Mondelez, the UK subsidiary of US snacks giant Kraft Foods, said its annual profit was inflated by a “one-off gain” from the sale of its coffee business, behind brands such as Douwe Egberts, for £147m last year.

      This sale was not subject to tax under UK law.

    • From laptops and cars to Cadbury and Heinz: the brands accused of exploiting Brexit to ramp up prices

      Today a Sun on Sunday investigation has unearthed an epidemic of price increases in the pipeline from firms ready to blame Brexit and the falling Pound.

      Former Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith has blasted these “Brexit bandits” as firms are already using the impact of the vote to crank up the cost of iPads, Dell laptops and our holiday cash.

      And everyday shopping items such as Cadbury chocolate, Majestic wines and Next clothes could increase too.
      A tub of Marmite on a white background

    • Andersson: “If there were no trade unions, this would be the time to invent them”

      Holmström has predicted that the age of trade unions is about to be over. He estimated last week that changes in the nature of employment will result in a decline in trade union membership and, therefore, in the inevitable disintegration of trade unions.

      “The age of trade unions is over in the sense that their societal power will decrease and their nature and role change,” he told Talouselämä on Friday.

      Andersson acknowledged that the changing nature of traditional occupations and the working life in general will also have an impact on the position and responsibilities of trade unions.

      “Having a high rate of organisation and strong trade union movement is not self-evident, but the trade union movement has to demonstrate that it can keep step with social changes and understand the problems created by the fragmentation of employment and the working life,” she said.

    • The job juggle is real. Many Americans are balancing two, even three gigs

      Many Americans who struggled to find a job several years ago are now juggling two or three.

      The number of multiple job holders hit an eight-year high in September as several forces reshape the labor market. Many workers are seeking extra income as wages are inching up. Job openings are near record levels. And the burgeoning gig economy is putting a premium on freelance work and short-term projects.

      Michael Alfaro, 49, of Coloma, Mich., toils full-time as an executive customer service representative for an appliance manufacturer. And on most evenings and some weekends, he works the late shift — 6 PM to 10 PM or 4 PM to midnight — in the electronics department of a local department store.

      Alfaro decided to take the gig last November to whittle down about $37,000 in debt, including credit card, and student and personal loans. But he also was spurred by the struggles of area retailers and other businesses to find employees.

      “It encouraged me,” he says.

      The ranks of multiple job holders jumped by 300,000 last month to 7.8 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The moonlighters represent 5.2% of all those employed, up from 4.9% in September 2015.

      Monthly data can be volatile, but the totals through the first nine months of 2016 have averaged 7.5 million, nearly 300,000 higher than the year-ago figure.

    • UK inflation rises to 1% in September

      The UK inflation rate rose to 1.0% in September, up from 0.6% in August, according to official figures.

      It is the biggest monthly rise in the cost of household items in more than two years, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

      Rising prices for clothing, overnight hotel stays and motor fuels led to the rise in the Consumer Prices Index.

      However, the ONS said there was “no explicit evidence” the lower pound was increasing prices of everyday goods.

    • Brexit is simulated in Football Manager 2017, and it’s going to make the game harder than ever

      Miles Jacobson is frank about what he is up against: “As far as I know this is the first time a computer game has tried to predict the future of a country.”

      This would always have been a busy time of year for the man in charge of Sports Interactive, the makers of the phenomenally successful Football Manager series of videogames. A new instalment is released on 4 November, but the period leading up to the 2017 edition has been made particularly complicated by the biggest political decision taken in this country since the Second World War.

      While the rest of the world waits to see how the government approaches the triggering of Article 50, Jacobson and his team have built a Brexit simulator into this year’s game, which models some of the consequences of the UK leaving Europe.

      The world outside football is not something that had previously been incorporated into Football Manager, a game so comprehensive that some clubs are now using it as a resource to help scout players. But Brexit, says Jacobson, was too big to be left out: “We usually try and keep politics out of the game because nobody wants it rammed down their throat.

    • How Trump’s Casino Bankruptcies Screwed His Workers out of Millions in Retirement Savings

      When pressed about the multiple bankruptcies at his Atlantic City casinos, Donald Trump routinely says the episodes highlight his business acumen. He made out well, he claims, at the expense only of his greedy Wall Street financiers. “These lenders aren’t babies,” he said during a Republican primary debate last fall. “These are total killers. These are not the nice, sweet little people that you think, okay?”

      Yet among those who suffered as a result of Trump’s bankruptcies were his own casino employees, who collectively lost millions of dollars in retirement savings when the company’s value plummeted.

      Trump’s company encouraged its employees to invest their retirement savings in company stock, according to a class-action lawsuit filed by employees against Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts following its 2004 bankruptcy. Then, when the stock price was near its nadir as bankruptcy loomed, the company forced the employees to sell their stock at a huge loss. More than 400 employees lost a total of more than $2 million from their retirement accounts, the lawsuit states.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • John Oliver Treated Jill Stein and Gary Johnson Like What They Are: Presidential Candidates (Video)

      In the video seen above, the “Last Week Tonight” host powerfully dismisses the idea that third party candidates are “spoilers” and expresses his understanding at the American public’s desire for alternatives to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. In an assessment of both the Libertarian and Green Party candidates aired on the HBO show on Sunday, Oliver vetted their positions and statements in a segment that contained quite a few jokes, and, admittedly, quite a bit of ridicule. Johnson came under attack for his less-than-detailed desire to rid the nation of several important government organizations while Stein was criticized for making vague comments that, in Oliver’s view, seemed to egg on conspiracy theorists.

      Yet perhaps being ridiculed by the comedian is part and parcel of running for office. In this sense, Oliver has offered the third party candidates more respect than many other pundits have, including his political comedy peers (see Samantha Bee, for example, who refused to name Stein on her show). The “Last Week Tonight” host even groups the four candidates together at the end of his monologue (something most of the rest of the media have been reluctant to do, still treating third party candidates like extras rather than main players), joking that on Nov. 8 Americans will have to choose between the lesser of four evils, not two.

      “As uncomfortable as this is, everyone has to own the floors of whoever you vote for,” says the host in his wrap-up. “Whether they are a lying, handsy, narcissistic sociopath; a hawkish, Wall-Street-friendly embodiment of everything that some people can’t stand about politics; an ill-tempered mountain molester with a radical, dangerous tax plan that even he can’t defend; or conspiracy-pandering political neophyte with no clear understanding of how governments operate …”

    • The media’s extermination of Bernie Sanders, and real reform

      All politicians love to complain about the press. They complain for good reasons and bad. They cry over frivolous slights and legitimate inquiries alike. They moan about bias. They talk to friendlies only. They manipulate reporters and squirm their way out of questions. And this all makes perfect sense, because politicians and the press are, or used to be, natural enemies.

      Conservative politicians have built their hostility toward the press into a full-blown theory of liberal media bias, a pseudosociology that is today the obsessive pursuit of certain nonprofit foundations, the subject matter of an annual crop of books, and the beating heart of a successful cable-news network. Donald Trump, the current leader of the right’s war against the media, hates this traditional foe so much that he banned a number of news outlets from attending his campaign events and has proposed measures to encourage more libel lawsuits. He does this even though he owes his prominence almost entirely to his career as a TV celebrity and to the news media’s morbid fascination with his glowering mug.

    • Green Party Candidate Jill Stein: What Global Citizens Should Know

      Hillary Clinton isn’t the only woman breaking records in this year’s election.

      Dr. Jill Stein, this year’s Green Party nominee, holds the current record for most votes ever received by a woman candidate for president of the United States in the general election.

      That’s because she also ran in 2012 as the Green Party’s nominee, and since her defeat, Stein has not slowed down.

      A physician who graduated from Harvard, Stein worked in the medical field for 25 years, until 1988, when she moved into activism. This transition was more seamless than you might expect.

    • 6 Signs That the Election is Rigged
    • Donald Trump’s rigged election is GOP’s latest headache

      It might seem as though Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is moving further away from the party that nominated him. Since he declared himself “unshackled” he’s escalated his maverick rhetoric, hammering home his claims that the November 8 election is “rigged” against him.
      Cornered by a flood of accusations of sexual assault, Trump’s Fifth Avenue headquarters has become an unlikely fort from which he’s staging a last stand against an ever-widening circle of enemies that includes not only the media and his Democrat opponent, Hillary Clinton, but much of the GOP. “100% fabricated and made up charges … may poison the minds of the American voter. FIX!” he tweeted on October 15.

    • Judicial Watch Statement on FBI Interview Document Detailing Open Source Investigation into Hillary Clinton’s Emails
    • FBI Agents Say Comey ‘Stood In The Way’ Of Clinton Email Investigation

      FBI agents say the bureau is alarmed over Director James Comey’s decision to not suggest that the Justice Department prosecute Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of classified information.

      According to an interview transcript given to The Daily Caller, provided by an intermediary who spoke to two federal agents with the bureau last Friday, agents are frustrated by Comey’s leadership.

    • Documenting Trump’s Abuse of Women

      When the news broke that Donald Trump had been caught on video in 2005 boasting that, as a celebrity, he feels free to “grab” women “by the pussy,” Harry Hurt III experienced a sense of vindication. In 1993, Hurt published “Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump,” an unauthorized biography that has long been out of print. The day the tape surfaced, he was hitting golf balls at a driving range in Sagaponack, New York, when a text message arrived from a friend: “Donald is done!”

      After Hurt watched the tape, he said, “I thought, Finally, this behavior is coming out.” But he doubted that the revelation would do any real damage to Trump’s campaign. Researching his book, in the early nineties, Hurt discovered and documented more serious instances of Trump’s mistreatment of women, yet most news outlets had declined to report on them. Even during the current campaign, Hurt said, “I’ve been a voice in the wilderness.”

    • Companies used Clinton fundraisers to lobby State Department

      The nexus among private companies, Hillary Clinton’s State Department and the Clinton family foundations is closer and more complex than even Donald Trump has claimed so far.

      While it is widely known that some companies and foreign governments gave money to the foundations, perhaps in an effort to gain favor, one of the key parts of the puzzle hasn’t been reported: At least a dozen of those same companies lobbied the State Department, using lobbyists who doubled as major Clinton campaign fundraisers.

      Those companies gave as much as $16 million to the Clinton charities. At least four of the lobbyists they hired are “Hillblazers,” the Clinton campaign’s name for supporters who have raised $100,000 or more for her current White House race. Two of the four also raised funds for Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid.

    • Private Prison Company Bankrolls Pro-Trump Super-PAC

      It’s unusual for a publicly traded corporation to donate to a super-PAC, but in August, private prison company GEO Group steered $150,000 to Rebuild America Now, a pro-Donald Trump outfit launched by the GOP nominee’s longtime friend, developer Tom Barrack.

      The timing of the GEO Group’s contribution is significant. It cut a $100,000 check to the super-PAC on August 19, the day after the Justice Department announced that it would phase out the use of private prisons. (The company’s political action committee donated $50,000 to Rebuild America Now a week before the announcement.)

      The multibillion-dollar-a-year private prison industry has been under increasing scrutiny, in part thanks to a groundbreaking investigation by Mother Jones that revealed a litany of disturbing practices at a Louisiana prison run by the Corrections Corporation of America. GEO Group is one of just three companies that operate prisons and detention centers on behalf of the federal government. It’s no surprise the company is putting its money behind Trump. While Hillary Clinton has sharply criticized private prisons, Trump has expressed support for expanding their use, and his policy proposals, including his plan to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, could be a boon for the industry. In addition to backing Trump, the company recently brought on three lobbying firms to represent its interests in Washington.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Porn in the classroom? Here’s why it makes sense

      What a cat I put among the pigeons last week by suggesting, in answer to a question about pornography at a literary festival, that it should be considered suitable for pupils to watch and analyse this material in schools. I was accused, on social media of course, of being a danger to innocent children, and, yes, I received my first online death threat.

      What, I wondered, do so-called grown-ups think our youngsters are up to when it comes to sex? The internet is the wild west of the information age, and the younger generation is far more adept than the older ones at gaining access to its more unsavoury territories.

      Teenagers will always be drawn to the raunchier aspects of whatever culture is available to them. This would once have been a copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, passed around the classroom with a giggle, disguised beneath the cover of Calculus for Beginners.

      In the 1990s there were the lads’ mags, and lots of work for any feminist mother trying to persuade her sons that the exploitation of women – putting semi-nude pictures of them on a bedroom wall – was not a good idea. That was a difficult one, because you didn’t want your kids to think sex was dirty or to make them afraid to share their interest in it with their parents. You just wanted them to know that women should never be used or objectified.

    • Posting on Facebook is now a crime under Ethiopia’s state of emergency

      A state of emergency declared in Ethiopia last week is growing more draconian by the day. Posting updates on the current status of the country, hit by anti-government protests since last November, is now a crime, the government said over the weekend.

      Watching Oromia Media Network and Ethiopian Satellite Television and Radio, outlets run by the Ethiopian diaspora supportive of the protesters, is also illegal.

      “The military command will take action on those watching and posting on these social media outlets,” Siraj Fegessa, Ethiopia’s minister of defense, said on state television. Those who violate the terms of the state of emergency risk imprisonment of three to five years.

    • Tomorrow’s Wars Will Be Livestreamed

      Hundreds of thousands of people around the world watched the start of the invasion of Mosul, a city held by ISIS in Iraq, live on Facebook and YouTube this morning.

      The most popular stream—there were several, some of which are still live—was shared by Kurdish outlet Rudaw and re-posted by outlets like the Washington Post and Channel 4 in the UK. While some viewers commented on the merits of the offensive, for others, the livestream itself was the most startling thing. As angry cartoon faces and “Wow!” emoticons floated over top of live images of war, viewers noted that it all seemed like a bit too much like a sci-fi fever dream about a war-obsessed culture.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • ]Older] United States v. Ganias and the Case for Selective Seizures of Digital Evidence

      Recent high-profile cases involving digital searches and seizures have largely focused on government access to data, from the battle over breaking strong encryption to the debates over whether a warrant is required to hack a computer or to obtain private communications from a third-party service provider. But the next big set of questions lurking in the wings revolves around what happens after law enforcement gains access to a cache of personal data: How much can they seize? What can they can search, and how? What happens to non-responsive data? What if it is evidence of another crime? A handful of courts and commentators have grappled with these questions, but the issues seem to be coming up with increasing frequency, highlighting the lack of clarity and consensus on a difficult suite of problems.

      Earlier this year, the Second Circuit waded into these waters when an en banc panel decided United States v. Ganias, a case that many observers expected to resolve a thorny Fourth Amendment question about how long the government can keep seized data that falls outside the scope of a warrant.

      Unfortunately, the opinion may do more to muddy the water than clear it. In particular, it operates on mistaken assumptions about the need to copy entire caches of data and search them off-site, suggesting that such an invasive process will often be reasonable for Fourth Amendment purposes. But a few additional facts make clear that such an approach ought to be exceedingly rare.

    • Court Finds UK Spies Unlawfully Collected Bulk Data for Over a Decade

      The UK government used its bulk collection powers, including sweeping up details on ordinary citizens’ internet usage, illegally for over a decade, according to privacy campaigners.

      On Monday, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), a court tasked with keeping tabs on the country’s surveillance powers, highlighted the intense veil of secrecy that has formed around the UK’s use of bulk powers, and the lack of oversight around those powers, in a written judgment. The judgment comes when the country is just preparing for a huge overhaul in its surveillance legislation, via the Investigatory Powers Bill, which is likely to soon become law.

    • Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America

      There is a knock on your door. It’s the police. There was a robbery in your neighborhood. They have a suspect in custody and an eyewitness. But they need your help: Will you come down to the station to stand in the line-up?

      Most people would probably answer “no.” This summer, the Government Accountability Office revealed that close to 64 million Americans do not have a say in the matter: 16 states let the FBI use face recognition technology to compare the faces of suspected criminals to their driver’s license and ID photos, creating a virtual line-up of their state residents. In this line-up, it’s not a human that points to the suspect—it’s an algorithm.

      But the FBI is only part of the story. Across the country, state and local police departments are building their own face recognition systems, many of them more advanced than the FBI’s. We know very little about these systems. We don’t know how they impact privacy and civil liberties. We don’t know how they address accuracy problems. And we don’t know how any of these systems—local, state, or federal—affect racial and ethnic minorities.

    • Telemetry, an essential part of any cloud-native app [Ed: Putting surveillance in Clown Computing (servers) advocated by this network, under the guise of "diagnostics"]

      Auditing and monitoring cloud applications are often overlooked but are perhaps some of the most important things to plan and do properly for production deployments. If you wouldn’t blindly launch a satellite into orbit with no way to monitor it, you shouldn’t do the same to your cloud application.

    • GPG Sync simplifies encryption key management

      In all the discussion about using encryption, a critical point keeps getting lost: It’s difficult to work with, and it’s even harder to deploy it at scale. Nowhere is the challenge more evident than in sending secure email.

      There are many ways to interact and collaborate — instant messaging, Slack, and so on — but email still dominates in enterprises. Even as encryption goes mainstream with secure messaging tools, more websites adopting HTTPS by default, and cloud storage services allowing easier file encryption, sending an encrypted email message is still a challenge.

    • NSA contractor accused of hoarding classified information seeks pre-trial release

      A former National Security Agency contractor accused of bringing a large volume of classified information to his home is asking to be released as the legal proceedings against him grind forward.

      Harold Martin was arrested by the FBI on Aug. 27 and has been in pretrial detention since, without objection from his lawyers. The defense strategy seemed aimed at convincing investigators that Martin meant no harm with his activities and had no intention to disclose sensitive information to anyone.

      That phase of the case seemed to come to a close Monday as Martin’s defense lawyers filed a motion in federal court asking for a hearing to discuss conditions for the computer specialist’s release.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Spy fraud

      Taxpayers are paying intelligence contractors to browse Facebook, watch porn, and commit crimes

    • Intelligence Watchdog Finds Contractor Abuses

      Last week brought news that another Booz Allen Hamilton employee was accused of improperly removing sensitive material from the National Security Agency (NSA). Harold Thomas Martin III was charged with theft of government property and unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials. The government alleges Martin took documents and digital files containing information that, if disclosed, “reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”

      It was another black eye for Booz Allen, which was NSA surveillance program whistleblower Edward Snowden’s employer. It was equally embarrassing for the U.S. intelligence community, which pays contractors like Booz Allen billions of dollars each year to help run its global operations and keep a tight lid on our country’s more sensitive secrets.

    • The Pentagon Must Stop Abusing the War Budget

      After years of claiming that the war budget has been limited to paying for the costs of foreign conflicts, the Pentagon has finally admitted that it has been using that account to pay for tens of billion of dollars in costs that have nothing to do with fighting wars. This budget shell game has been particularly egregious in recent years, as the Pentagon has sought to evade the caps on non-war spending that were imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

      The revelation was recently confirmed by Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col Eric Badger. Badger acknowledged that this year’s request for the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account – the formal term for the war budget – contains $30 billion for “enduring requirements” that have always been funded whether or not the nation was at war.

    • Pentagon Admits Half of War Spending Account Is Slush

      The Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account was originally designed to support unanticipated and difficult-to-plan costs for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. But over time—particularly to circumvent spending caps established by the Budget Control Act and subsequent budget deals—it’s become a slush fund for programs with little connection to our current war efforts. Now a new story by Tony Bertuca at Inside Defense reveals we grossly underestimated just how slushy this fund has truly become.

      The Congressional Research Service (CRS) previously found that even according to the Pentagon’s own accounting, $71 billion in OCO spending went to non-war programs from 2001 to 2014. The definition for OCO became increasingly squishy as Congress and the Pentagon sought opportunities to increase Pentagon spending to circumvent spending caps first established by the Budget Control Act. For example, in 2014 then-House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon expanded the definition of OCO to include “readiness shortfalls.”

    • Out-of-control North Dakota prosecutors still pursuing reporter Amy Goodman, even after judge dismisses riot charge

      Award-winning journalist Amy Goodman won an important victory for press freedom yesterday, but given alarming new comments made by her prosecutor, it may be short lived.

      On Monday, a judge quickly dismissed an absurd ‘riot’ charge brought against her by North Dakota authorities that stemmed from her coverage on Democracy Now of a violent attack on Dakota Access Pipeline protesters. But apparently, prosecutors don’t plan on dropping their investigation into her. They announced they may charge her again and indicated they want her unaired footage.

    • Malaysian sharia laws: Parliament to debate hudud bill that could introduce stonings and amputations in state of Kelantan

      The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party — commonly known as PAS — is pushing to introduce the proposed laws in the conservative north-eastern state, but first the bill must be passed by the Malaysian national parliament.

      Kelantan is a major stronghold for PAS, which was founded in 1951 and is among the country’s oldest and largest opposition parties.

      “Among the mandate from the people is to try to establish the Islamic system here, including the Islamic criminal law,” PAS executive council member Mohd Fadzi said.

      Kelantan’s state capital Kota Bahru is deeply religious and many of its citizens live by a strict adherence to Islam.

      At shops and supermarkets there are separate queues for males and females, while signs advising women to cover up are common outside offices and government buildings.

    • Aggravated judge tosses off robe, joins courtroom scuffle

      When McBain’s court officer went to take Larson into custody, he resisted. McBain said he was “hand fighting” the officer, Jared Schultz, then a deputized law clerk. Larson would not cooperate, tensed up and made a fist as though he was trying to fight, said Schultz, now working for the state Court of Appeals.

      There were no other officers or any sheriff’s deputies in the courtroom – they are not typically present unless there is a jailed person in court – and McBain said he assisted in getting control of Larson’s hands, arms and elbows. Schultz, a former police officer, said he was fortunate to have the judge as backup.

      Schultz said at one time he removed his Taser from its holster, but did not have to use it.

      Even when Larson was on the floor, he wouldn’t allow the officer to cuff him, said McBain, who says he was concerned about the welfare of both men.

    • Sweden’s Shaky Walk Down the Aisle of Equality

      Everything was perfect on the day of Hanna Skjutare’s wedding. On a Saturday in September the sun shone down on the rural church where the ceremony was held and Skjutare was sipping champagne and getting ready with her bridesmaids. They took a car to the church and met up with Hanna’s dad, who escorted the bride down the aisle to her groom and their toddler son.

      “That was one of the strongest memories of the whole day when my dad saw me in my wedding dress and his eyes teared up,” Skjutare explains over lunch.

    • Muslim woman who was sentenced to 40 lashes for wearing a MINISKIRT as a teenager reveals how she left Iran to forge a new life in the US as a bikini designer

      A Muslim woman who was punished for wearing a miniskirt says she’s been heavily criticised for pursuing a career as a swimwear designer.

      Tala Raassi told FEMAIL how she was sentenced to 40 lashes in her hometown of Tehran for attending a mixed party when she was 16 – but has refused to let her ordeal hold her back.

      Instead Tala moved to the States where, despite speaking no English, she carved out a career in fashion, launched her own swimwear line and has just written her first book.