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Links 28/4/2015: Plasma 5.3, Cutelyst 0.8.0

Posted in News Roundup at 6:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Citrix Delivers Linux Virtual Desktop Offering

      Citrix is out with some interesting moves in the Linux virtual desktop arena. The company has a new kit called the “Linux Virtual Desktop Tech Preview” which is available here for XenApp or XenDesktop customers with active Subscription Advantage accounts. Citrix Partners can get it as well.

    • Chrome OS will get Lucid sleep mode

      François Beaufort, a Google developer, writes on his Google+ page that Chrome OS is receiving the ability to perform some Wifi functions while the device is sleeping.

    • VXL Launches Gio 6 Linux OS for its Suite of Thin, Cloud and Zero Client Desktop

      VXL Instruments has developed and designed exclusively in-house, VXL’s new, industry-leading Gio 6 Linux operating system features a new look, user-friendly design together with greater flexibility, connectivity, security and multimedia capabilities.

  • Server

    • Linux vendor Cumulus rolls out management pack

      Linux network operating system developer Cumulus Networks this week at Interop rolled out a management platform that provides a common interface and operational process for data center racks.

      The Cumulus Rack Management Platform is based on the company’s Cumulus Linux network operating system code base. Out-of-band management switches running Cumulus RMP may be managed by the same Linux toolsets as both servers and data-plane switches running Cumulus Linux, the company says.

    • VMware Draws on Open Source to Manage Cloud Micro Services

      VMware last week released details about two new open source projects that aim to bridge the divide between the company’s virtualization software and other vendors’ containers. Both projects integrate into VMware’s unified platform for the hybrid cloud, allowing the company to create a consistent environment for cloud-native and traditional applications.

  • Kernel Space

    • A Brief Update On Fwupd For Linux Firmware Updating Of Devices

      One of the latest focuses of prolific free software developer Richard Hughes has been on fwupd, an open-source and easy way to update device firmware.

      Fwupd is part of the initiative to make updating of UEFI/BIOS easily from the Linux desktop and fwupd can be used for updating the firmware of peripheral devices like Richard Hughes’ ColorHug device.

    • Updating OpenHardware Firmware

      One of the use-cases I’ve got for fwupd is for updating firmware on small OpenHardware projects. It doesn’t make sense for each of the projects to write a GUI firmware flash program when most of them are using a simple HID or DFU bootloader to do basically the same thing. We can abstract out the details, and just require the upstream project to provide metadata about what is fixed in each update that we can all share.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Radeon R9 290 OpenGL On Ubuntu 15.04: Catalyst vs. RadeonSI Gallium3D

        While I’ve posted some new AMD OpenGL benchmarks on Ubuntu 15.04 since last week’s release of the Vivid Vervet, the Radeon R9 290 wasn’t tested since at that time this Hawaii graphics card was busy on other Phoronix test systems. However, due to the interest level in seeing some fresh Ubuntu 15.04 numbers for the Radeon R9 290 series, here’s some numbers.

      • Nouveau NVC0 Gallium3D Driver Now Exposes GLSL 4.10

        While there’s still more work to be done before advertising OpenGL 4.0~4.1 compliance, the Nouveau NVC0 Gallium3D driver is now advertising support for GLSL 410 (4.10), the GL Shading Language version to match OpenGL 4.1.

      • GTX 750 Maxwell Acceleration Starts Working On Nouveau With Linux 4.1

        While the Nouveau developers remain blocked by NVIDIA on bringing up accelerated support for the GeForce GTX 900 series, with the forthcoming Linux 4.1 kernel there is initial GeForce GTX 750 “Maxwell” accelerated support out-of-the-box.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • BackBox Linux 4.2 Is a Complete Penetration Testing Distro Based on Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS [corrected URL]

      BackBox Linux, a distribution based on Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS, developed perform penetration tests and security assessments has just received a new update and is now ready for download.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • CUDA enabled programs

          There is a new repository available with CUDA enabled programs in package format. This contains programs that have been linked to CUDA libraries or have CUDA support enabled. At the moment this is available only on Fedora 21, if there is sufficient feedback I will enable it also for other distributions.

        • Making It Easier To Deploy CUDA On Fedora

          While Fedora 21 ships with decent OpenCL support, if you’re running the binary NVIDIA graphics driver on Fedora Linux and wishing to use CUDA-accelerated programs, it’s a little bit easier today thanks to a new third-party package repository.

        • FLISOL Panama 2015 Report

          Panama Fedora team participated in Festival Latinoamericano de Instalación de Software Libre (FLISOL) given on Saturday, April 25th at Universidad del Istmo, main campus.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 8.0 Jessie Debuts After Two Years of Effort

        New Debian releases don’t occur every day, or even every year. This past week, Debian 8.0 codenamed Jessie was released after nearly two years of development effort. Debian is the first major milestone update for the GNU/Linux distribution since Wheezy was released in 2013.

      • why not trying to package Hadoop in Debian?

        OpenStack Sahara already provides the reproducible deployment system which you seem to wish. We “only” need Hadoop itself.

      • Backporting and git-buildpackage

        For working with Debian packages, one method of maintaining them is to put them in git and use git-buildpackage to build them right out of the git repository. There are a few pitfalls with it, notably around if you forget to import the upstream you get this strange treeish related error which still throws me at first when I see it.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Arrow Electronics Joins Open-Source Software Pioneer Linaro to Help Bring Innovative New Boards to Market
    • Compact embedded PC runs Linux on Bay Trail

      Aaeon’s ruggedized, 158 x 95 x 20mm “Boxer-6403″ PC offers Celeron or Atom SoCs, plus four USB ports and double helpings of GbE, serial, and mini-PCIe I/O.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Learn more about the Tizen Web Application Development Process

          Tizen is a new Linux based HTML5 centric Operating System that will offer developers a great opportunity for developers to bring their existing or new apps to a brand new ecosystem, where they actually have a chance of being discovered, and better still stand a chance of generating some real cash revenue.

        • Samsung’s 4K SUHD Smart Tizen TV

          The Samsung Smart TV revolution is upon us, and Samsung promises to redefine your viewing experience with television. We now have curved screens that feel more natural to watch as we see the world in a non-linear way, so why should we watch TV on a flat screen?

          Samsung Tizen TV offers some great image quality and promises to be able to become the Smart hub of your Smart home, allowing you to control peripheral devices from the comfort of your armchair.

      • Android

        • Android could ignite the Nokia of old

          For an entire generation, the name Nokia will stir up a lot of emotion. From the iconic 3210 to the symbolic N95, the pre-smartphone years were Nokia’s heyday and a large majority of current smartphone users will be able to recall using a Nokia handset in their past.

        • Disney’s Infinity Digital Toys Finally Come To Android With The Toy Box 2.0 App

          If you’re not familiar with Disney Infinity, it’s basically the media giant’s answer to digital toys like Skylanders, Angry Birds Telepods, and Nintendo Amiibo. The gist is that you buy your kids RFID-enabled collectible statues, they stick ‘em on a base station, and then they can use digital versions of those characters inside the Disney Infinity game. Is there a technical reason that a completely digital character needs a $15 hunk of physical plastic to unlock? Why certainly, so long as “technical reason” includes “making Disney a boatload of money.”

        • Google blushes over Google Maps showing Android icon urinating on Apple icon

          As of Monday, all was well in Pakistan’s Ayub National Park, at least as far as Google Maps was concerned, which was showing it as a verdant green swath of pixels.

          It was a nice change from the image of Google’s Android icon peeing on an Apple logo: an image that a map prankster uploaded to Google Maps and which had stayed up for an undetermined time.

        • Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition to get Android 5.1 Lollipop

          The Galaxy S4 may be more than two years old now, but it’s still very much a part of Samsung’s Lollipop upgrade plans. The device has already received an Android 5.0 upgrade, and according to a new report, Google Play Edition variants will get Android 5.1, too.

        • Will This Android Wear Update Fend Off the Apple Watch?

          Meanwhile, Google has kept the ability to customize Android Wear low compared to Android for smartphones and tablets, which has caused several manufacturers to experiment with homegrown solutions. These updates keep Android Wear’s feature set compelling enough to keep most OEMs from venturing out on their own.

        • The Livescribe 3 smartpen finally works with Android devices

          Livescribe has been in the business of merging physical content you generate — things like hand-written notes and voice recordings — with the digital world for years now. The Livescribe 3 “smartpen,” which launched in the fall of 2013, was certainly its most successful attempt to date. The combo of the Livescribe 3 pen alongside specially designed notebooks meant that you could take traditional notes, make drawings, do calculations, or anything else you do with a pen and paper and have them synced to your phone, tablet, or computer. That’s assuming you were an iOS user, of course — the Livescribe 3 only supported Apple’s mobile devices.

        • Samsung Galaxy Android 5.1 Release Details Arrive

          While the Android 5.1 update probably won’t be hitting the Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S5 or Galaxy Note 4 anytime soon, it does appear that the rumored Galaxy Android 5.1 Lollipop update will be hitting at least one device in the near future.

Free Software/Open Source


  • Security

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • ‘All Weather Is Part of Actual Climate’
    • Climate change could drive air conditioning to boost carbon emissions

      The climate is full of feedback loops. When a warming climate melts sea ice, the water that’s left behind reflects far less sunlight, leading to a further warming. Now, some researchers at the University of California Berkeley have looked at a human feedback loop: the relation between climate change and air conditioning. Using Mexico as an example, they find that the rising use of air conditioning may boost the country’s electricity use and carbon emissions by 80 percent before the century is over—but only if economic growth continues at a pace that allows people to buy air conditioners.

  • Finance

    • The End of a Job as We Know It

      The concept of a job, as we know it, is starting to go away.

    • Wall Street Halts Twitter Trading Following Earnings Leak (Liveblog)

      Wall Street briefly halted trading for Twitter stock Tuesday afternoon after the company’s Q1 earnings were leaked early.

      Twitter missed analyst’s revenue projections, and the market reacted as Twitter stock quickly dipped almost 6 percent before trading was halted. Trading then resumed, and the stock finished the day down more than 18 percent.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Vouchers on the Move: Return to School Segregation?

      Twenty-five years ago, Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson signed the nation’s first school voucher bill into law. Pitched as social mobility tickets for minority students, Wisconsin vouchers allow children to attend private, and sometimes religious, schools on the taxpayers’ dime.

  • Censorship

    • Salman Rushdie: The authors boycotting event awarding Charlie Hebdo a prize for free speech are ‘pussies’

      Salman Rushdie has accused fellow authors, including Peter Carey and Michael Ondaatje, of being “pussies” for boycotting an event organised by the free-speech organisation PEN at which the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is to be given an award.

    • Rieder: Why ‘Charlie Hebdo’ deserves free speech award

      A debate has erupted over the decision by PEN American Center to give its annual Freedom of Expression Courage Award to the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

      It was at the offices of Charlie Hebdo that an assault by Muslim extremists in January left 12 people dead, including the publication’s top editor and a number of prominent cartoonists.

    • Demonoid Blocks Adblock Users – Fair or Fail?

      Demonoid, once one of the Internet’s most popular torrent sites, is now barring users who try to visit the site with advert blocking software Adblock installed. The move raises some interesting questions, not least the value of revenue to torrent sites and the intricacies of whether or not content really should be ‘free’.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

Links 28/4/2015: More on Debian 8 “Jessie”, Fedora 22 Beta Walkthrough

Posted in News Roundup at 7:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 2016 might just be the year of Linux on the (virtual) desktop

    Come November, some “pundit” will declare that next year is the year of Linux on the desktop. This November, expect a twist on that prediction, as 2016 could just perhaps conceivably be the year of virtual Linux desktops now that Citrix has taken kit capable of delivering it into Beta.

    That kit is called the “Linux Virtual Desktop Tech Preview” and can be had here if you’re a XenApp or XenDesktop customer with an active Subscription Advantage account. Citrix Partners can get it too.

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Anti-Systemd People

      For some reason the men in the Linux community who hate women the most seem to have taken a dislike to systemd. I understand that being “conservative” might mean not wanting changes to software as well as not wanting changes to inequality in society but even so this surprised me. My last blog post about systemd has probably set a personal record for the amount of misogynistic and homophobic abuse I received in the comments. More gender and sexuality related abuse than I usually receive when posting about the issues of gender and sexuality in the context of the FOSS community! For the record this doesn’t bother me, when I get such abuse I’m just going to write more about the topic in question.

    • Unix and Personal Computers: Reinterpreting the Origins of Linux

      So, to sum up: What Linus Torvalds, along with plenty of other hackers in the 1980s and early 1990s, wanted was a Unix-like operating system that was free to use on the affordable personal computers they owned. Access to source code was not the issue, because that was already available—through platforms such as Minix or, if they really had cash to shell out, by obtaining a source license for AT&T Unix. Therefore, the notion that early Linux programmers were motivated primarily by the ideology that software source code should be open because that is a better way to write it, or because it is simply the right thing to do, is false.

    • Linus Torvalds Announces Linux Kernel 4.1 RC1 with Initial ACPI Support for ARM64

      Linus Torvalds announced a few minutes ago, April 27, the immediate availability for download and testing of the first Release Candidate version of the upcoming Linux 4.1 kernel, due for release later this year.

    • Reducing power consumption on Haswell and Broadwell systems

      Haswell and Broadwell (Intel’s previous and current generations of x86) both introduced a range of new power saving states that promised significant improvements in battery life. Unfortunately, the typical experience on Linux was an increase in power consumption. The reasons why are kind of complicated and distinctly unfortunate, and I’m at something of a loss as to why none of the companies who get paid to care about this kind of thing seemed to actually be caring until I got a Broadwell and looked unhappy, but here we are so let’s make things better.

    • Intel Haswell/Broadwell Power Use On Linux Still Moving Lower

      The latest work of Matthew Garrett is on further lowering the power consumption of modern x86 systems powered by Intel’s Haswell and Broadwell processors.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Gallium3D’s HUD Gets New Customization Options

        For the past two years there has been an optional Gallium3D HUD to display various performance-related metrics as an overlay while running OpenGL applications with the Gallium3D drivers. With the latest Mesa Git code, the heads-up display can be a bit more customized.

      • Intel Is Making Some Progress With Compute Shaders

        One of the big extensions of OpenGL 4.3 and also a requirement of OpenGL ES 3.1 is support for compute shaders. While the work isn’t complete yet, Intel’s open-source developers are making progress on GL_ARB_compute_shader support.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Radeon GPUs With Linux 4.0 + Mesa 10.6-devel

        For at least the few graphics cards tested, the results of Linux 4.0 + Mesa 10.6-devel didn’t end up being much more interesting than the stock Ubuntu 15.04 numbers with Linux 3.19 and Mesa 10.5. However, for those interested, I’ve enclosed the results in this article. Though the Radeon HD 6870 numbers are missing as with Linux 4.0 stable the graphics card could no longer properly mode-set on this system: the HD 6450, HD 6570, HD 7850, and R9 270X all were fine in this situation.

      • GCC 4.9.2 vs. GCC 5 Benchmarks On An Intel Xeon Haswell

        For those craving some more GCC 5 compiler benchmark numbers following last week’s release of GCC 5.1, here’s some new comparison numbers between GCC 4.9.2 stable and the near-final release candidate of GCC 5.1.

        Pardon for this light article due to still finishing up work on migrating to the new Phoronix web server while separately working to take care of thermal issues coming about in the new Linux benchmarking server room.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KActivities powered recent media in Plasma Media Center

        As you may have already read the blog post from Eike Hein about Building on new pillars: Activities and KPeople in Plasma 5.3, activities can provide the useful information about the recent applications and resources used by them.

      • kreenshot-editor is incubating

        Now, kreenshot-editor is a new Qt-based project that was inspired by Greenshot’s image editor. It is hosted on KDE playground. It focuses on the image editing task, can be invoked from command line and should also provide a resuable editor component which could be integrated into other screencapture tools. The current code is already separated into an image editor widget and the main application.

      • Spring break for the KDE system monitor
      • Kubuntu 15.04 With Plasma 5.3 – A Totally Different Kubuntu

        The latest version of Kubuntu, 15.04, aka Vivid Vervet was released last week and it’s available for free download. With this release it has become the first major distro to ship Plasma 5 as the default desktop environment.

        There are chances that some users may still have bad memories of Kubuntu. It’s true. Back in 2011 when Ubuntu made a switch to Unity, I started looking for alternatives as their desktop environment was not suited for me. I started trying KDE-based distros and Kubuntu was among the top choices. However my experience with the distro was mixed. It was buggy, bloated and GTK apps would look ugly in it. That’s when I found openSUSE and settled down with it.

      • Google Summer of Code 2015

        The list of students accepted to the 2015 edition of Google’s Summer of code has just been published. We’ve got two students this working on Krita: Jouni and Wolthera. Wolthera has been a Krita developer for quite some time, working on color selectors perspective assistants and more, while Jouni has contributed with bug fixes for 2.9.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • A brief glimpse into usability testing

        This provides the description and results of my 1-person usability test for GNOME version 3.14.2. I set up the test environment on a virtual machine running Debian Jessie, and conducted the usability test with only one participant on February 21, 2015.

        When doing usability testing, I strongly believe that understanding the participants is a very important point that we shouldn’t ignore. Here, the tester was a 23 year old female student in computer science, who self-reported a medium level of computer expertise.

  • Distributions

    • BackBox Linux 4.2 Is a Complete Penetration Testing Distro Based on Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS

      BackBox Linux, a distribution based on Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS, developed perform penetration tests and security assessments has just received a new update and is now ready for download.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 5 Release Candidate Includes the LXQt Desktop, Supports Intel Broadwell

        After several delays, the Mageia development team, through Rémi Verschelde, announced the immediate availability for download and testing of the Release Candidate version of the upcoming Mageia 5 Linux operating system, due for release sometime in May 2015.

      • Debian 8 and Mageia 5 RC Released Over the Weekend

        What an exciting weekend that just passed. First up, the long-awaited Debian GNU/Linux 8.0 “Jessie” was released in live and traditional installation media. Elsewhere, Mageia 5 Release Candidate was released with UEFI support and other installation improvements. In addition, LibreOffice 4.3.7 was released Saturday as well.

      • All things come to those who wait

        While you wait for the download to complete, all restless and eager that you are to try this new release, let’s talk a bit about this release candidate: what can you expect of it, and why did it take so long?

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 8 Jessie released

        For the first time since 2013 the Debian team have released a major upgrade of Debian, bumping it up to version 8. The new version has gone under the moniker ‘Jessie’, a continuation of the Toy Story themed names.

      • Debian Edu 8.0 Beta 1 Is Now Available for Testing, Based on Debian 8 Jessie

        The Debian Edu / Skolelinux project, through Holger Levsen, announced the general availability for download and testing of the first Beta release of the upcoming Debian Edu 8.0 distribution.

      • Debian 8.0 ‘Jessie’ arrives following Ubuntu 15.04 release

        The DEBIAN OPERATING SYSTEM has reached version 8.0 as the company announces the latest edition of the popular Linux distro.

        The Debian ‘Jessie’ release information says: “After almost 24 months of constant development the Debian project is proud to present its new stable version 8 (codename Jessie), which will be supported for the next five years thanks to the combined work of the Debian Security team and the Debian Long Term Support team.”

      • Debian 8 ‘Jessie’ Released: The Road To systemd Is Complete

        Following nearly two years of “constant development”, Debian 8 ‘Jessie’ hit the Web this past weekend. As with Ubuntu 15.04 and its derivatives, all released last week, Debian 8’s most notable feature is the adoption of systemd. With this move, Gentoo becomes the final major distro that doesn’t ship with systemd as default.

      • Debian 8 “Jessie” the GNU/Linux-based operating system released

        After being for almost two years in development, Debian 8 “Jessie” version is now released for download. Debian is a Unix-like computer operating system and a Linux distribution that is composed entirely of free and open-source software, most of which is under the GNU General Public License, and packaged by a group of individuals known as the Debian project.

      • Debian 8 released
      • Debian ships new ‘Jessie’ release with systemd AND sysvinit

        The Debian project is touting new ports for ARM and POWER architectures, a bunch of software updates, an upgraded Gnome desktop and better security in its just-unleashed Jessie release.

        However, El Reg fully expects that the switch to systemd as the default init system will divert at least some attention from the release.

      • Updates tothe Debian sources editor

        If your browser performs automatic updates of the extensions (the default), you should soon be upgraded to version 0.0.10 or later, bringing all those changes to your browser.

        Want to see more? multi-file editing? emacs and vim editing modes? in-browser storage of the modified files? that and more can be done, so feel free to join me and contribute to the Debian sources editor!

      • Debian 8 Linux moves to systemd by default and drops Itanium and Sparc

        Debian, one of the most widely used Linux distributions, has been updated with the release of Debian 8 ‘Jessie’, which now uses systemd to initialise the system and ships with updated versions of the Gnome desktop and numerous other enhancements.

      • These Are Good Days

        I decided to use the last hour of my day to install Debian GNU/Linux 8, Jessie, again, this time with defaults from “tasksel”: Debian desktop XFCE and “base utilities”. I did this in a virtual machine while grooving to a stream of my local “oldies” radio-station, checking the weather on the web, blogging, browsing the web and Beast’s CPU is barely above idling speed, and I’m nowhere near out of RAM. It’s all surreal compared to the work we had to do in the old days: downloading multiple .iso files, burning CDs, checking them for defects…, having the installation fail to boot or not start X, and the old systems ground away for an hour or more. Heck, Beast doesn’t even have a CD-drive these days.

      • GLT15: Slides of my “Debian 8 aka jessie, what’s new” talk

        I wasn’t sure whether I would make it to Linuxdays Graz (GLT15) this year so I didn’t participate in its call for lectures. But when meeting folks on the evening before the main event I came up with the idea of giving a lightning talk as special kind of celebrating the Debian jessie release.

      • virt-builder Debian 8 (Jessie) image
      • Derivatives

        • Debian-Based Distribution Updated With KDE 3.5 Forked Desktop

          Q4OS 1.2 “Orion” is the new release that is re-based on Debian Jessie, focused on shipping its own desktop utilities and customizations, and designed to run on both old and new hardware.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Is Ubuntu moving away from .deb packages? Here is the complete story

            Canonical loves to shake things up. After introducing Unity, HUD, Mir, Click and Snappy the sponsor of Ubuntu is now contemplating moving away from just .deb based desktop and adopting its own Snappy.

          • My Ubuntu Phone is here!

            The BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition comes in a nice, fancy package, with the right dose of orange color. Inside the box, you will find a phone that’s neither too big nor too slim. It’s more like what the mainstream market used to offer a couple of years ago, which makes far more sense than the ultra-slippery models today. Aquaris reminds me of iPhone 4, not that I’m a great connoisseur of phones and what they should be like, but that’s how it is.

          • First impressions of Ubuntu 15.04

            Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system is probably the most widely used Linux distribution in the world. Ubuntu is made available in several editions, including desktop builds, server builds and there is a branch of Ubuntu for mobile phones. Ubuntu provides installation images for the x86, ARM and Power PC architectures, allowing the distribution to run on a wide variety of hardware. The most recent release of Ubuntu, version 15.04, includes a fairly short list of changes compared to last year’s Ubuntu 14.10, however some of the changes are significant. Some small changes include an upgrade of the kernel to Linux 3.19 and placing application menus inside the application window by default. A potentially larger change is the switch from Canonical’s Upstart init software to systemd.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • New gst-rpicamsrc features

      These bring the GStreamer element up to date with new features added to raspivid since I first started the project, such as adding text annotations to the video, support for the 2nd camera on the compute module, intra-refresh and others.

    • The most recent project hits a Yak-shaving milestone…

      …so that’s sucked me into the world of spectrometers, reverse engineering the protocols to use them on Linux (oh, yeah, I need to publish that), binning leds by hand with a makeshift integration chamber…

    • 64-bit STB SoC supports 4K video and Android TV

      Marvell announced an “Ultra” version of its Android-focused Armada 1500 STB SoC that advances to a 64-bit, quad-core Cortex-A53 foundation for 4K delivery.

      The Armada 1500 Ultra (88DE3218) is designed to “enable PayTV operators and set-top box (STB) manufacturers to cost-effectively deliver small form factor devices with feature-rich 4K entertainment and gaming services,” says Armada. As with earlier Armada 1500 system-on-chips, it’s primarily focused on Android, with specific support for Android TV

    • Interview: Eben Upton

      The founder and CEO of the Raspberry Pi Foundation talks about the Pi Model 2, and how Google’s Eric Schmidt convinced him to knock down the price.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Tizen DevLab coming to Bangalore and Mumbai in India for May 2015

          Following on from the successful Tizen DevLabs in London and Paris, we have some great news for developers as the Tizen DevLab Series is coming to India, well specifically to Bangalore and Mumbai. If your a you’re a novice or an expert, a programmer or an innovator then you are welcome to come along, you could even find yourself winning a Samsung Z1.

        • [Game] Angry Birds comes to the Tizen Store and the Samsung Z1

          The hugely successful game Angry Birds is now available for the Tizen based Samsung Z1 Smartphone. The game is an Android App (equivalent to Android Angry Birds version 5.0.2.) that is running on the Z1 thanks to OpenMobile’s ACL technology.

          Angry Birds is an iconic game for MeeGo and Tizen as this one of the big games to be shown running on developer devices at Tizen developer events. The original game supports In-App purchases, but this doesn’t seem to be working with the Tizen Store, most likely a compatability issue. The gameplay is pretty good and any slowness can be attributed to the modest hardware of the Z1.

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • File a bug!

    Sadly, these are often just empty words. “Patches welcome” can be a seemingly-polite way of saying “your problem is not important to me. Go solve it yourself and I’ll accept your solution.” And telling a user to go file a bug can be equally dismissive, especially if the bug-filing process is unpleasant.

  • Bazel, Google’s Open Source Build System

    One of the most important, yet unsung, applications in a software developer’s life is the Make utility, or its equivalent. Make first appeared in 1977 and has been with us ever since. There are a very large number of build utilities, some based on Make, others completely different. The principle remains the same. The build system has a set of rules that tell it how to build an application from source files, usually fetched from a version control system. The Make utility reads the rules, then runs the compilers and linkers to do the build. The really good ones will run tests, as well.

  • Linux Freedom vs. Convenience

    One of my favorite websites that illustrate this point is WhyLinuxIsBetter.net. As the page loads, you’re immediately presented with clear, easy to understand reasons why Linux is better than proprietary operating systems. Now granted, the website is a bit dated. But the overall message is timeless and positive. What this site does well is show its readers exactly why Linux on the desktop is awesome. From its features to its built-in safety, everything is clearly illustrated and easy to understand.

  • Events

    • PyCon 2015 conference report & video roundup
    • [Event Report] April Python Pune Meetup 26th April, 2015
    • [Event Report] Docker Pune Meetup #5
    • Open Source Conference in Oslo – May 8 – 10

      In just a few days we’ll have an open source conference in Oslo. I’m happy that we’ll have a Qt and KDE track, so I’d like to invite everyone to join for the weekend May 8-10 at the University of Oslo.

    • LinuxFest Northwest in the Books for 2015

      Feast or famine: This is the typical modus operandi for FOSS shows, where Saturdays (or the “first days,” whatever they are) are a literal beehive of activity on the expo floor while talks are standing-room only. Sundays (or “second days”) — ah, those second days — the activity drops off a bit.


      With Sunday being more low-key, I got to catch up with LibreOffice’s Robinson Tryon, who said that the show was a hit for the project. Without the cacophony of multiple conversations going on at the same time, like on Saturday, we got to talk about advances LibreOffice is making in Android, which is going faster than expected, and various aspects of document freedom, not the least of which is the successful growth of Document Freedom Day. Heady days are in store for LibreOffice.

    • KVM and Xen to Hold Joint Hackathon for Open Source Virtualization

      That’s right. The teams behind Xen Project Developer Summit and KVM Forum recently announced plans to co-host a hackathon and social event on August 18, 2015, at the close of the Xen Project Developer Summit and on the eve of KVM Forum. Virtualization is one of the most important technologies in IT today, so it makes perfect sense for the two best hypervisor projects to collaborate and socialize at an event that celebrates their similarities and bridges that gap between all things KVM and Xen.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Microsoft & Education: The Song Remains the Same

      One of our hardware donors emailed me and asked if I would come to Austin and pick up a dozen Optiplex 745s with 17 inch monitors and accompanying keyboards. These Dells already had scrubbed drives and had either 4 or 8 GB of RAM, depending on what they were originally assigned to do. I said I most certainly would and arranged a time to be there. This donor has been especially generous to us, and not with just decent hardware. They also present us an annual Christmas cash donation of $1000. On the years they do employee matching, it is more than that — a lot more.

  • Healthcare

  • Funding

    • EUR 38 million EU funds for ICT in Malta

      Over the next seven years, the EU is funding ICT programmes in Malta with some EUR 38 million, the government of Malta announced in March. The funds are part of a EUR 400 million package earmarked to finance socio-economic development in the country. ICT is seen as one of the main ‘enablers’ for development and innovation in Malta.

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • Can funding open source bug bounties save Europe from mass-surveillance?

      The report also suggests promoting open-source software as a way to build resilience to surveillance, which could be achieved by funding audits of important open-source software. Among several products it highlights is disk encryption software, TrueCrypt, which was recently subjected to a crowd-funded audit that was able to rule out the existence of NSA backdoors in the product.

      “TrueCrypt is a typical example of a problem of the commons: worldwide use of software package was probably dependent on two or three developers,” the study notes to highlight why funding open source projects may be valuable.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • C++ Daddy Bjarne Stroustrup outlines directions for v17

      Calm yourselves, readers. The Spring 2015 C++ Standards Committee Meeting takes place next week in Lenexa, Kansas. And at that meeting much of the discussion is expected to consider C++ 17, a major revision of the programming language due in 2017.

    • Atom Shell is now Electron

      Atom Shell is now called Electron. You can learn more about Electron and what people are building with it at its new home electron.atom.io.


  • UK Elections

    • Clegg Hoist With Own Petard

      Indeed if the total number of votes cast in the UK for Tories plus Lib Dems is equal to the total number of votes cast in the UK for Labour plus Scot Nats (which is more or less what the polls are showing), then Labour plus the Scot Nats will win approximately 35 more seats than the rival bloc for the same total votes, entirely because of the Lib Dem veto on the Boundary Commission proposals.

    • General Election 2015: What do MPs think about mass surveillance?

      Like the British public, the vast majority of MPs had no idea about the extent of bulk data collection by the security services when whistleblower Edward Snowden spoke out. With the election pending, what do parliamentary candidates think there needs to be done about mass surveillance?

    • BBC Mock Balance

      Whereas the “equal time” allowed the SNP candidate included BBC commentary giving direct personal criticism of her, there was no critical note in the Alexander side of the coverage. An interesting example of how the state propaganda system works.

  • Security

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Dan Bull’s ‘Death To ACTA’ Video Silenced After Claim From Rapper Who Used The Same Sample

      Back in 2010 we wrote about rapper Dan Bull’s excellent “Death to ACTA” song and video, which is a parody of Jay-Z’s “Death of Autotune.” In 2011, we further wrote about the MP3 of that song (which Bull distributes willingly on file sharing platforms) being taken down from Mediafire due to a questionable takedown request. Now, years later (well after ACTA is pretty much long dead), Dan’s discovered that his video on YouTube was just silenced due to copyright claims.

  • Privacy

    • Facebook denies fresh allegation that it DOES collect the text you decided against posting

      Ever written out a status update or comment but decided against posting it? One techie has claimed Facebook collects this content, despite the company’s claims to the contrary

    • Encrypting Your Laptop Like You Mean It

      Unlike in Windows and Mac OS X, you can only encrypt your disk when you first install Linux. If you already have Linux installed without disk encryption, you’re going to need to backup your data and reinstall Linux. While there’s a huge variety of Linux distributions, I’m going to use Ubuntu as an example, but setting up disk encryption in all major distributions is similar.

    • Facebook Messenger Gets Video Calling on iOS, Android

      Move over Skype, Google Hangouts, and FaceTime. Facebook wants to host your next mobile video chat.

    • Senior Police Officer Suggests Companies Allowing People To Use Strong Crypto Are ‘Friendly To Terrorists’

      The technology is not being “exploited” by terrorists, it’s being used by them, just as they use telephones or microwaves or washing machines. That’s what those devices are there for. The idea that trying to make broken internet technologies should be “front and center” of technology companies’ thinking bespeaks a complete contempt for their users.

      This constant refrain about how awful strong crypto is, and how we must break it, is simply the intelligence services implicitly admitting that they find the idea of doing their job in a free society, where people are able to keep some messages private, too hard, so they would be really grateful if technology companies could just fall in line and make life easier by destroying privacy for everyone.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Treaties

      • As resistance grows, TTIP is increasingly in trouble.

        It’s been a couple of months since my last TTIP update. That hiatus reflects the talks themselves, which feel strangely suspended. That’s not to say nothing is happening: indeed, there’s an air of desperate busy-ness beginning to creep into the proceedings as even the most fervid supporter of the agreement realises that TTIP is not going to be finished by the end of 2015, and people rush around vainly trying to do something about it. That’s pretty astonishing when you remember that the original plan was to finish it by the end of 2014:

      • President Obama Demands Critics Tell Him What’s Wrong With TPP; Of Course We Can’t Do That Because He Won’t Show Us The Agreement

        President Obama is apparently quite annoyed by the fact that his own party is basically pushing against his “big trade deals” (that are not really about trade). Senator Elizabeth Warren has been pretty aggressive in trashing the TPP agreement, highlighting the fact that the agreement is still secret (other than the bits leaked by Wikileaks). In response, President Obama came out swinging against the critics of TPP arguing that “they don’t know what they’re talking about.”

      • NYT Lets Economic Pundit Disappear TPP’s Economist Critics

        So all economists are for TPP because TPP is a “free trade” bill and all economists are for “free trade.” Simple, right? The only reason Congress wouldn’t pass fast track, Mankiw suggests, is if politicians listened to voters who were “worse than ignorant about the principles of good policy.”


Links 27/4/2015: Debian 9 Named, Linux 4.1 Reaches RC

Posted in News Roundup at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • What is open source? Licensing, history, and more

    Another example of open source: You wouldn’t buy a car with the hood welded shut, so why do we buy proprietary software? If you can’t see what’s going on and see what’s happening under the hood then you’re stuck with the car exactly the way it is and that might not be so great. While some people are fine with that, computer geeks shouldn’t be. We should want to get in there and tinker with it.

  • AMD FP3 Motherboard Ported To Coreboot

    Another AMD motherboard has been ported to work under Coreboot.

    Sage Electronic Engineering, a company that does a lot of Coreboot work for AMD and other firms, has ported the AMD Lamar reference board for Coreboot. AMD Lamar is a consumer reference board used for AMD Kaveri APUs of the FP3 socket.

  • Events

    • A Rousing Start for LinuxFest Northwest

      With around 2,000 registrants, this year’s LFNW seems to be the largest in its history. This not only bodes well for the widespread popularity and acceptance of FOSS in general, but it also bodes well for one of the longest-running FOSS shows here in the Pacific Northwest.

  • CMS

    • An open source, e-commerce friendly CMS

      Developers Peter Ivanov, Alex Raikov, and I came up with the idea for Microweber about five years ago, when we were all having problems building sites with the existing solutions.



  • Poll: SNP increase lead over Labour
  • Security

    • Google Provides Detailed Analysis of GitHub Attack Traffic

      It wasn’t until March 26 that the attackers actually began targeting two separate resources on GitHub, one of which housed content from GreatFire.org, a censorship monitoring organization in China. The other resource was Chinese language content from the New York Times. The attack on those resources lasted until April 7 and Provos said that the attack wouldn’t have been possible if all of the Web’s links were encrypted.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • University offering free online course to demolish climate denial

      The course coordinator is John Cook, University of Queensland Global Change Institute climate communication fellow, and founder of the climate science myth debunking website Skeptical Science. Cook’s research has primarily focused on the psychology of climate science denial.

  • Finance

    • Charles Gladden: Homeless man employed at US Senate building earns just $360 a week

      Like many of the people who work in menial jobs in the US Senate, Charles Gladden works long, hard hours for very modest pay. Unlike probably everyone else, Mr Gladden is homeless.

      The 63-year-old sweeps and mops, cleans dishes and carries laundry, for take-home pay of around $360 a week. He says he gives most to his children and grandchildren and spends most of his nights at the McPherson Square Metro Station, less than half-a-mile from the White House.

  • Privacy

    • Here’s how you can see and delete your entire Google search history

      The list does not stop at Google’s search engine function. It also includes documentation of searches within users’ email accounts and addresses that may have been typed into Google Maps. The range of personal information available has given rise to concerns over the databases’ potential vulnerability.

      Google has said the company is aware of the dangers associated with storing an extensive amount of personal information on home computers and warns users with a message before they download their entire search archive, asking users to “please read this carefully, it’s not the usual yada yada,” normally seen in warning messages.


      But just because a user deletes his or her search history, that does not mean that it disappears completely.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Gordon and Dougie Show

      Douglas Alexander not only facilitated the use of Diego Garcia for torture and extraordinary rendition, in an act of extreme hypocrisy the evil little shit also declared a “marine conservation area” around it. In the 1960’s Britain forcibly deported the entire population of the islands to make way for the US Air Base. Faced with a continual political and legal fight for them to return, Alexander sought to make it impossible with his “marine conservation area”. There is nobody who better represents Scottish Labour’s loss of its soul than Alexander. If Mhairi beats him I shall be extremely happy.

    • 7 whistle-blowers facing more jail time than David Petraeus

      The administration of President Barack Obama once promised to be “the most transparent administration” of all time. Instead, Obama’s Department of Justice has led the most targeted campaign against whistleblowers of any president ever, charging more government employees under the Espionage Act than all previous presidents combined—almost all of whom sit in prison serving sentences up to 30 years.

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 26/4/2015: Debian 8, OpenMandriva Lx 3 Alpha, Mageia 5 RC

Posted in News Roundup at 11:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • The Open Source Community Support System

      Whether you’re a novice Web developer or seasoned CIO, at some point you will require technical support with either a new IT development, task or project. What type of support will you want? With open source software, the flexibility and choice is yours.

  • Databases

    • Deep Engine Brings Enterprise-Level Performance to MySQL Databases

      Deep Information Sciences has launched Deep Engine, a plug-and-play storage engine that brings scale and performance to MySQL databases, without the need for recoding or redeploying applications that use MySQL as a data source. What’s more, Deep Engine is installed as a simple 10M-byte plug-in, which can run alongside other storage engines or replace them entirely. Deep Engine brings hybrid transactional and analytical processing (HTAP) capabilities to MySQL, making it suitable for big data and other data-intensive projects that require billions of rows of information in both structured and unstructured record formats. Substantial performance improvements and exponentially greater levels of scale are offered, thanks to compression technology, as well as machine learning routines that leverage intelligent heuristics to better organize queries and storage elements. Taken altogether, Deep Engine can potentially delay or prevent the need to transition to more expensive server and database platforms to handle big data or other data-intensive projects.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • BSD

  • Openness/Sharing


  • Hilarious random startup website generator is pretty damn realistic

    A pair of Georgia Tech computer science students have created a Random Startup Website Generator that spits out a different jargon-laden startup website every time you click on the URL.

  • Science

    • The huge flaw in Moore’s Law? It’s NOT a law after all

      Critics have had half a century to pick apart and predict the end of Moore’s Law, which marked its Big Five Zero birthday this week.

      It’s unlikely that Gordon Earle Moore, the former electrical engineer who authored the eponymous law for a 1965 article, and who two-years later co-founded Intel, has any doubts over its value.

  • Security

    • IoT ‘Security Hopscotch’ Is No Game: Chris Roberts

      Chris Roberts has been in the news a lot this week, for all the wrong reasons. Roberts was banned from United Airlines after tweeting on a flight about his theoretical ability to hack into a plane’s WiFi system. FBI agents detained him for an interview after his flight, and there is now a federal advisory alerting airline staff to look for passengers trying to hack into airplane WiFi.

    • Home router security 2015 – 9 settings that will keep the bad guys out
    • 6 Most Dangerous New Attack Techniques in 2015

      Experts with the SANS Institute convened at RSA Conference for their annual threats panel, this time dishing on the six most dangerous new attack techniques. Led by SANS Director John Pescatore, the panel featured Ed Skoudis, SANS faculty fellow and CEO of CounterHack Challenges, Johannes Ullrich, dean of research for SANS, and Michael Assante, SANS project lead for Industrial Control System (ICS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) security. Each offered up thoughts on how they’ve seen threats evolving and which techniques they expect to gain steam over the next year.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Miliband Goes the Full Henry Jackson

      Full on neo-con philosophy underpinned Miliband’s “speech” to the Royal Institute of International Affairs yesterday. Miliband acknowledged that our bombing of Libya back to the stone age was the root cause of the boat people crisis.

    • Bishop says Britain has a moral duty to accept refugees from its wars

      Rt Rev David Walker, bishop of Manchester, says it is ‘unworthy’ for politicians to label displaced migrants as criminals, and country should take in ‘fair share’

    • Migrant boat crisis: the story of the Greek hero on the beach

      It was an image that came to symbolise desperation and valour: the desperation of those who will take on the sea – and the men who ferry human cargo across it – to flee the ills that cannot keep them in their own countries. And the valour of those on Europe’s southern shores who rush to save them when tragedy strikes.

      Last week on the island of Rhodes, war, repression, dictatorship in distant Eritrea were far from the mind of army sergeant Antonis Deligiorgis. The world inhabited by Wegasi Nebiat, a 24-year-old Eritrean in the cabin of a yacht sailing towards the isle, was still far away.

    • ‘The more civilians US drones kill in the Mideast, the more radicals they create’

      American drone-strike strategy in the Middle East is counterproductive because killing civilians, even if it’s accidentally, breeds more al-Qaeda or other radical militants, defense analyst Ivan Eland told RT.

    • Warren Weinstein Death Puts U.S. Drone Strikes in Uncomfortable Spotlight

      The U.S. government’s use of drone strikes came under mounting pressure on Friday, as Pakistan joined a chorus of criticism over the policy following the accidental killings of two al Qaeda hostages.

      The White House said it was conducting “a thorough independent review to understand fully what happened and how we can prevent this type of tragic incident in the future” after it emerged that U.S. aid worker Warren Weinstein and Italian national Giovanni Lo Porto were killed by a CIA drone strike near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

    • A Drone Program That Has Killed Hundreds Of Civilians Finally Killed Some That The White House Regrets

      This morning, the White House disclosed that a January 2015 drone strike, conducted in Pakistan by the CIA with the intention of taking out an al Qaeda compound, resulted in the deaths of two al Qaeda hostages who were not known to have been in the line of fire at the time of the attack. “The killing of American development expert Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto is the first known instance in which the U.S. has accidentally killed a hostage in a drone strike,” Wall Street Journal’s Adam Entous reported Thursday.

    • Killing of Americans Deepens Debate Over Use of Drone Strikes

      The Obama administration said Thursday that two American Qaeda operatives killed in Pakistan in January had not been “specifically targeted,” and officials added that the Central Intelligence Agency had no idea the two men were hiding in compounds under surveillance by armed drones when orders were given to carry out the strikes.

    • Obama: US was not ‘cavalier’ over hostage drone killings

      Barack Obama has insisted the US was not “cavalier” in its assessment of the risks to civilians as the accidental deaths of two hostages in a drone strike against al-Qaida overshadowed a planned pep talk for intelligence chiefs.

    • American, Italian Hostages Killed in CIA Drone Strike in January

      A U.S. drone killed an American and an Italian held hostage in a January attack on an al Qaeda compound in Pakistan, sparking new questions about the use of the controversial and still-evolving weapon.

      The intelligence that underpinned the drone strike turned out to have been tragically incomplete, U.S. officials and lawmakers said Thursday. As a result, American development expert Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto lost their lives after years as captives of the militants.

    • Obama regrets drone strike that killed hostages but hails US for transparency

      The White House was forced to concede on Thursday that it killed two innocent hostages – one American, one Italian – in a drone strike that targeted an al-Qaida compound despite officials not knowing precisely who was in the vicinity.

    • Drones Kill Innocent People All the Time

      But now the White House can’t deny it

    • CIA Drones Kill Two Hostages
    • Drone Strikes Reveal Uncomfortable Truth: U.S. Is Often Unsure About Who Will Die

      Barack Obama inherited two ugly, intractable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when he became president and set to work to end them. But a third, more covert war he made his own, escalating drone strikes in Pakistan and expanding them to Yemen and Somalia.

      The drone’s vaunted capability for pinpoint killing appealed to a president intrigued by a new technology and determined to try to keep the United States out of new quagmires. Aides said Mr. Obama liked the idea of picking off dangerous terrorists a few at a time, without endangering American lives or risking the yearslong bloodshed of conventional war.

    • The U.S. Is Still Dropping Bombs Without Knowing Who Is Under Them

      For those who took seriously President Obama’s stated goals of restoring accountability and legal legitimacy to U.S. counterterrorism operations, the 2013 speech at the National Defense University was one of the most significant watersheds of his presidency. In retrospect, though, it was one of the biggest disappointments.

    • Washington yawns at an American atrocity: Why the latest drone fiasco won’t change anything

      You would have thought yesterday, upon hearing President Obama’s admission that a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan killed an American held hostage by al-Qaida, would rank among the most serious (and legitimate) scandals of his presidency. A disaster of this nature was bound to happen, given the White House’s loose standards for green-lighting drone strikes.

      Yet the reaction was fairly ho-hum. Media coverage of the event and statements from members of Congress, allies and critics of the president alike, were basically, Well isn’t that sad. Also: It’s al-Qaida’s fault. Is al-Qaida in control of the United States’ drones? There are some pretty good hackers out there, but they haven’t mastered that capability yet.

    • Deep Support in Washington for C.I.A.’s Drone Missions

      About once a month, staff members of the congressional intelligence committees drive across the Potomac River to C.I.A. headquarters in Langley, Va., and watch videos of people being blown up.

    • GOP strongly backs drone strikes, despite accident

      Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said it would be “crazy” to curtail drone usage because of the two deaths, though he urged significant review of this particular incident.

    • The ‘kill/capture’ approach ain’t working for us: Narratives do better than drones
    • US drone kills own citizen, Italian national

      The White House on Thursday broke its silence after four months and admitted to have accidentally killed its elderly national Dr Warren Weinstein and Italian citizen Giovanni Lo Porto in January this year in the tribal areas straddling the Pak-Afghan border in pursuit of senior al-Qaeda leaders.

    • The Word That Cannot Be Uttered (It’s Drones)

      President Obama has chosen to operate his drone war in such unprecedented, absurd and arguably illegal secrecy that even in a rare burst of compelled transparency yesterday, neither he nor his press secretary could actually bring themselves to say the word “drone.”

    • Drones Are Illegal Beyond the Battlefield
    • The United States Does Not Know Who It’s Killing
    • Existential Meets Exponential

      This is one of the ugly realities of the war on terror. By using drones to kill members and leaders of some of the most evil organizations the world has ever known, innocent bystanders, children and woman are blown to bits along with the targeted foe. And I wish I had an answer, or even an alternative to this carnage. Do nothing and let these terrorists operate unmolested? Is it any of our business? Allies ask for our help; sometimes we’re bound by treaties. Should we send in our special forces and take these monsters out one at a time, surgically? Do we have that many SEALS and Green Berets? For every soulless, bloodthirsty terrorist we kill with a drone strike, we create hundreds more. And another issue, when do drones show up in the terrorist arsenal? More than one American drone has been shot down and captured by terrorist organizations. What happens when one of those Muslim countries with the technological capability steals our technology and manufactures their own drones on a large scale and send them to attack our friends such as Israel. What I know for sure is World War III is getting off to a fine start and so far there’s no end in sight. As in all wars I’ve lived through, I have more questions than answers, and I wish I could solve the problems, but I’m just an observer. I have one more question; is all this killing of innocents worth it? Oh, and one more question. How do we know when it’s over?

    • Obama’s Orwellian language on drones

      There is an eerie Orwellian cost to the Obama administration’s refusal to use the term “War on Terror” to describe its … war on terror. In his briefing after the White House’s admission that two hostages – one American, one Italian – were killed in a U.S. “operation,” press secretary Josh Earnest struggled mightily to avoid the word “war” to describe exactly what the U.S.is up to. Finally he gave in and stated that under the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, the nation is “at war” with al Qaeda.

      Why do the words matter? Because the inevitability of civilian casualties, even in the most justified of wars, is accepted both in international law and in the ethics of war. Civilian casualties are never good. They are a tragedy, a terrible cost that must be avoided whenever possible. But in wars, they happen.

    • The Art of War: Sculpting God, Guns and Drones

      Dominic Sansone is a cast and industrial-fabrication sculptor concerned about militarized and cultural violence.

    • Nasir Shansab: Drone Strikes Manifest Afghans’ Hatred of US

      American Drone strikes that inadvertently kill civilians are breeding distrust and even hatred for the United States in Afghanistan, according to Nasir Shansab, a former Afghan industrialist forced to flee his country.

      “They believe that civilians are suffering more by drone attacks than real fighters do,” he said during an appearance Friday on Newsmax TV’s “America’s Forum.”

    • US drone strikes have traumatised a generation of Yemenis and will push them towards militancy

      A year ago today, Hussein Ahmed Saleh Abu Bakr, a labourer, was travelling to work in Al-Bayda, central Yemen, with 11 colleagues including family members when a drone struck the car. When the attack was over, Hussein emerged from where he had taken cover to look for the other passengers and found his father, 65, slumped in the road with shrapnel injuries to his head and chest. The bodies of the other passengers were scattered around the area, with some injuries so severe, Hussein was only able to identify them from their clothing. Four of the passengers were killed: Sanad Nasser Hussein Al-Khushm, Abdullah Nasser Abu Bakr Al-Khushm, Yasser Ali Abed Rabbo Al-Azzani and Ahmed Saleh Abu Bakr.

    • Drone warfare

      The botched drone strike resulting in the death of two foreign hostages has once again brought the controversial nature of this tactic to the forefront. It is very sad that the death of two US men in a drone attack made headlines but other civilian deaths were swept under the carpet by describing them as collateral damage. The US does not realize the cost of these drone strikes and the resultant civilian causalities. These drone attacks are fueling the fire of radicalism in the Muslim world. Washington on and off expresses concern over the growing anti-America sentiments in the Muslim world but fails to identify the factors that lead to such a situation.

    • From the Left: Eugene Robinson — Strikes against morality

      Drone strikes, by their nature, are bound to kill innocent civilians. It is all too easy to ignore this ugly fact — and the dubious morality of the whole enterprise — until the unfortunate victims happen to be Westerners.

    • Rise of robotic killing machines has a cautious world talking

      They’re called lethal autonomous weapons, or LAWs, and their military mission would be to seek out, identify and kill a human target independent of human control. Human decision would not be in the loop, and the only button a military commander would push would be the “on” button. In military terms, it’s called “fire and forget.”

    • Understanding the Suffering War Brings

      Now, it’s hard to separate deaths due to disease and starvation, from the direct effects of warfare, with warfare creating refugee crises and destroying farms and so forth. It’s also true that the financial resources to address human needs could be found in another place other than war, namely in the pockets of the greediest 400 people in the United States. Their hoarding of wealth, even those of them not principally funded by the war machine, can certainly be blamed as well when a child starves to death anywhere on earth. But blame is not a finite quantity. You can blame plutocracy or militarism, and niether one exculpates the other. Military spending could end starvation for the price of a small rounding error and is therefore culpable.

    • Hillary the Hawk

      Announcing her latest campaign for the presidency, Hillary Clinton declared she was entering the race to be the champion for “everyday Americans.” As a lawmaker and diplomat, however, Clinton has long championed military campaigns that have killed scores of “everyday” people abroad, from Iraq to Yemen. As commander-in-chief, there’s no reason to believe she’d be any less a hawk than she was as the senator who backed George W. Bush’s war in Iraq, or the Secretary of State who encouraged Barack Obama to escalate the war in Afghanistan. If her nomination is as sure a thing as people say, then antiwar organizing needs to start right away.

    • When Hillary Clinton Pitched The Iraq War To CodePink – OpEd
    • Bring back the drone debate, Sen. Paul

      When Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) declared his candidacy for the presidency, I will admit to having a certain excitement. In part, this feeling is based on the opportunity he offered to literally blanket myself in the Constitution. Another is the opportunity to read a political comic book — but the real reason is that he clearly embraces his willingness to be a voice of concern about American use of drones. In other words, Paul’s campaign offers the most likely possibility that discussion and debate around the U.S. counterterrorism, military and diplomatic use of drones will reemerge. Despite the fact that the drone debate has quieted dramatically in the recent past, there are several reasons why the American populace needs to reengage with this important policy space prior to choosing our next president.

    • Waging Electoral Warfare – Analysis

      Democracies do not go to war with each other – or so it has been argued since 1795. But what if politics is, as Michel Foucault once claimed, the continuation of war by other means? And what if the boundaries between “violence” and “legitimate force” are blurred as they are in the German word Gewalt? That might enable us to imagine a “peaceful war” involving several aspects of the modern state, including elections. Whenever states engage in a “bloodless military confrontation” over elections, they are actually waging electoral warfare (EW). Indeed, the ‘existence’ of EW also suggests that international relations possess an electoral dimension that must be acknowledged and analyzed without prejudice.

    • The Decline and Fall of the United States

      After a speech I gave this past weekend, a young woman asked me whether a failure by the United States to properly surround and intimidate China might result in instability. I explained why I thought the opposite was true. Imagine if China had military bases along the Canadian and Mexican borders with the United States and ships in Bermuda and the Bahamas, Nova Scotia and Vancouver. Would you feel stabilized? Or might you feel something else?

    • Encouraging Arabs and other Muslims to Kill each other is Good for U.S. Weapons Industry

      The Saudi Arabia-led Sunni coalition versus the Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) versus ISIS in Syria. Qatar arming Islamist militias in Libya and rebels in Syria to battle government forces. It’s all good in the eyes of American merchants of war.

      The raging conflicts in the Middle East have involved all kinds of U.S. weaponry built by and sold by defense contractors. They’ve made millions of dollars off weapons sales to the oil-rich Persian Gulf states, and they’re likely to make even more as these governments seek to replenish or upgrade their arsenals.

      Saudi Arabia’s attacks on Yemeni rebels were made possible by F-15 fighter jets purchased from Boeing, while the UAE air force has hit ISIS in Syria using F-16s made by Lockheed Martin. The UAE also wants General Atomics’ Predator drones “to run spying missions in their neighborhood,” according to The New York Times.

    • With Obama Under Heat, New York Times Defends Drone Strikes

      The cover of Saturday’s New York Times featured the article discussed below with an updated headline, “Despite Errors, Drones Decimate Weakened Al Qaeda,” which adds in its sub-headline that the al Qaeda “leadership is ‘in tatters.’”

      Also published on Saturday was the opinion of the editorial board that “it was important to see candor and remorse from President Obama in his apology” for the strikes that killed hostages. The editorial board, however, called for more than just an apology, urging the administration to release more information about how many civilians have been killed in Obama’s drone-based counterterrorism campaign.

    • US Drone Killed Two Hostages: Reprieve Comment

      “It’s right that the White House has come clean and admitted its tragic mistake in killing these hostages, and our hearts go out to their families.

      “It’s worth remembering, however, that Dr. Weinstein and Mr Lo Porto are far from the first innocents to die by our drones, and in no other case has the US apologized for its mistake.

    • Obama Should Hand Back Peace Prize as Civilians Killed by US Drones

      The reaction came a day after President Obama announced that two innocent hostages had been killed in a US counter-terrorism operation using lethal drones to target an al-Qaeda compound in Pakistan in January.

    • Hostages’ death in drone attack shocking: FO

      The Foreign Office expressed on Friday shock at the death of two western hostages in a US drone attack in tribal areas in January and recalled its criticism of the US drone war for causing collateral damage.

    • Three Quick Thoughts on the Drone Strike in Pakistan That Killed Two Innocent Civilians

      Why the sudden transparency about the American and Italian civilian victims but not the many non-Western civilians killed in US operations?

    • 1,600 US bombs dropped in Syria and Iraq during March cost $8.5m a day

      Obama’s foreign policy has come under fire as it was revealed that the US dropped 1,600 bombs in Syria and Iraq last month alone at a cost of $8.5m (£5.6m) a day, according to the Times newspaper.

    • US Should Make Public Number of Civilian Deaths Caused by Drone Strikes

      US Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein said that an annual report on the number of deaths, both combatant and civilian, from US airstrikes should be public.

    • US Should Make Public Number of Civilian Deaths Caused by Drone Strikes

      The United States should review counterterrorism procedures and develop an annual report on the number of terrorist and civilian deaths as a result of drone strikes, US Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein stated on Thursday.

      “To the greatest extent possible, more information on US counterterrorism operations should be made public,” Feinstein said. “I believe this should include an annual report on the number of deaths — both combatant and civilian — from US strikes.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • New Russian Anti-Piracy Law Could Block Sites “Forever”

      People who run ‘pirate’ sites out of Russia have been given a final warning by the government. Amendments to local copyright law that come into force May 1 not only protect more content than ever before, but also contain provisions to permanently block sites that continually make unauthorized content available.

  • Privacy

    • White House releases report on NSA surveillance six years later

      With debate gearing up over the coming expiration of the Patriot Act surveillance law, the Obama administration on Saturday unveiled a six-year-old report examining the once-secret programme to collect information on Americans’ calls and emails.

      The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) publicly released the redacted report following a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the New York Times. The basics of the National Security Agency (NSA) programme already had been declassified, but the lengthy report includes some new details about the secrecy surrounding it.

    • House Passes Cybersecurity Bill Despite Privacy Protests

      Congress is hellbent on passing a cybersecurity bill that can stop the wave of hacker breaches hitting American corporations. And they’re not letting the protests of a few dozen privacy and civil liberties organizations get in their way.

    • DHS Opening Office In Silicon Valley To More Efficiently Complain To Tech Companies About Encryption

      “Let me be clear: I understand the importance of what doors bring to privacy. But, imagine the problems if, well after humanity moved out of caves, the warrant authority of the government to investigate crime had only extended to dwellings without doors.”

      Bullshit. The DHS, along with other law enforcement agencies — is seeking is the path of least resistance. It can get warrants to search encrypted devices. It just may not be able to immediately crack them open and feast on the innards. It may also get court orders to compel decryption. This is far less assured and risks dragging the Fifth Amendment down to the Fourth’s level, but it’s still an option.

    • You Should Google Everyone, Even Your Therapist

      When I first met my shrink, I wasn’t so sure about him. He’s handsome, fit, not much taller than me, reticent. I couldn’t tell if his reticence was disapproval and judgment or if he was just doing his job: staying quiet, staying neutral. I’m new to therapy, and, frankly, had wanted a woman therapist, but here I was with this silent, unreadable man and I didn’t know how to feel comfy about it.

      So I Googled him. I found his Facebook page, saw that he might be a band geek (like me), that he seems generally empathetic and that he has a cute dog that sometimes wears clothes.

      That’s how I got comfortable.

      A couple of weeks ago, Anna Fels wrote for the New York Times about patients Googling their therapists. Written from the perspective of a Googled therapist, the piece cautions against the ways in which knowing about your doctor’s personal life can affect the experience of therapy. She also acknowledged it happens in the other direction, too: ER nurses, for instance, are Googling their patients to find out if they’re criminals, or if they’re famous, or just if they’re anything interesting at all.

    • The CIA couldn’t properly use a mass surveillance program for years

      Whatever you think about the morality of using mass surveillance to catch evildoers, the technology only works if people can use it — just ask the CIA. The New York Times has obtained a declassified report revealing that that the agency was largely kept in the dark about the President’s Surveillance Program (aka Stellarwind), which allows for bulk data collection, until at least 2009. Only the highest-ranking officials could use PSP as a general rule, and those few agents that did have access often didn’t know enough to use it properly, faced “competing priorities” or had other tools at their disposal. To boot, there wasn’t documentation showing how effective the program was in fighting terrorism.

    • CIA couldn’t fully use NSA spy program as most analysts didn’t know about it

      A newly-released document from the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) own internal watchdog found that the government’s controversial warrantless surveillance and bulk data collection program was so secretive that the agency was unable to make “full use” of its capabilities even several years after the September 11 attacks. Initially, only top-level CIA officials were cleared on its use, rather than rank-and-file “CIA analysts and targeting officers.”

    • When the Schmidt hits The Man: Look what the NSA made Google do

      In an interview at the BoxDEV developer event in San Francisco today, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said end-to-end encryption for services like Google’s is the solution to mass online government surveillance.

      “What do you think of the state of cyber security in the USA today?” Box CEO Aaron Levie asked Schmidt during an onstage talk at BoxDEV on Wednesday.

    • Google is Keeping the NSA Out of Your Data, Eric Schmidt Brags

      Google (GOOGL) Chairman Eric Schmidt boasted on Wednesday about how improving the encryption of Google’s products has successfully shut out warrantless surveillance by the NSA and other law enforcement. Schmidt talked about the encryption advances, and how former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks prompted them, at BoxDev, a yearly developers conference for Box.

    • Surveillance reform bill returns with concessions to NSA on data collection

      Modifications made on behalf of the National Security Agency have paved the way for the return of a major piece of surveillance reform legislation, the Guardian has learned.

    • New bill proposes 5-year extension of Patriot Act and permission for NSA data collection
    • Former NSA head Alexander asks agency to review patents

      Former National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander has asked the U.S. intelligence agency to review patent filings by his company to make sure that they do not reveal any secrets or misappropriate any government work.

    • NSA surveillance needed to prevent Isis attack, claims former intelligence chair

      Mike Rogers, former chairman of the House intelligence committee, says the NSA needs to preserve its wide powers in case of an attack on US homeland

    • Declassified Report Shows Doubts About Value of N.S.A.’s Warrantless Spying

      The secrecy surrounding the National Security Agency’s post-9/11 warrantless surveillance and bulk data collection program hampered its effectiveness, and many members of the intelligence community later struggled to identify any specific terrorist attacks it thwarted, a newly declassified document shows.

    • It Started With a Hack: How an NSA Director Became a Four-Star General

      “Someone hacked into the Department of Defense [DoD] network,” he said.

    • Bush-Era Documents Show Official Misled Congress About NSA Spying

      Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales downplayed a dispute between the White House and Justice Department over the program’s legality, previously classified documents say.

    • NSA spied on EU politicians and companies with help from German intelligence

      Germany’s intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), has been helping the NSA spy on European politicians and companies for years, according to the German news magazine Der Spiegel. The NSA has been sending lists of “selectors”—identifying telephone numbers, e-mail and IP addresses—to the BND, which then provides related information that it holds in its surveillance databases. According to the German newspaper Die Zeit, the NSA sent selector lists several times a day, and altogether 800,000 selectors have been requested.

    • The big boys made us do it: US used German spooks to snoop on EU defence industry
    • German parliament may limit intelligence agency communications with the NSA

      Germany was in an uproar when news broke that the National Security Agency (NSA) had been monitoring Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone calls and communications. Now it turns out that German intelligence agency BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst) was passing select information — including phone numbers and IP addresses — to the NSA on politicians and defense contractors in Europe, reports Der Spiegel.

    • German Intelligence Agency Helped NSA Spy on EU Targets

      The German intelligence agency has found itself in the middle of another scandal following the 2014 revelations that the NSA had tapped the German chancellor’s cellphone.

    • Infosec bods can now sniff out the NSA’s Quantum Insert hacks

      Security researchers have developed a method for detecting NSA Quantum Insert-style hacks.

      Fox-IT has published free open-source tools to detect duplicate sequence numbers of HTTP packets, with different data sizes, that are the hallmarks of Quantum Insert.

      The utilities developed by Fox-IT are capable of exposing fiddling with HTTP packets but are no by no means perfect and might themselves be circumvented, as a blog post by Fox-IT explains.

    • Fox-IT releases answer to NSA’s ‘Quantum Insert’ attack
    • How to Detect Sneaky NSA ‘Quantum Insert’ Attacks

      Among all of the NSA hacking operations exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden over the last two years, one in particular has stood out for its sophistication and stealthiness. Known as Quantum Insert, the man-on-the-side hacking technique has been used to great effect since 2005 by the NSA and its partner spy agency, Britain’s GCHQ, to hack into high-value, hard-to-reach systems and implant malware.

    • Rootpipe exploit still an issue in Mac OS X, security expert finds
    • OS X Yosemite still open to Rootpipe hijacking, says ex-NSA bod

      Apple hasn’t patched admin privilege backdoor in 10.10.3, it’s claimed

    • OS X 10.10.3 update failed to fix Rootpipe vulnerability, says former NSA staffer

      A former NSA staffer says that the OS X 10.10.3 update which Apple claims fixed a significant security vulnerability has failed to do so, reports Forbes. Patrick Wardle, who now heads up research at security firm Synack, demonstrated the vulnerability in a video (without revealing exactly how it was done) to allow Apple time to issue a further fix.

    • Jeb Bush praises Obama over NSA spying

      Jeb Bush, a likely presidential contender, said Tuesday that President Obama’s greatest accomplishment was keeping in place controversial spying programs at the National Security Agency.

      “I would say the best part of the Obama administration would be his continuance of the protections of the homeland using the big metadata programs,” Bush said in an interview on the Michael Medved radio show.

    • Jeb Bush Praises Obama’s Expansion of NSA Surveillance

      One of the most glaring myths propagated by Washington — especially the two parties’ media loyalists — is that bipartisanship is basically impossible, that the two parties agree on so little, that they are constantly at each other’s throats over everything. As is so often the case for Washington partisan propaganda, the reality is exactly the opposite: from trade deals to Wall Street bailouts to a massive National Security and Penal State, the two parties are in full agreement on the bulk of the most significant D.C. policies (which is why the leading candidates of the two parties (from America’s two ruling royal families) will have the same funding base). But because policies that command the agreement of the two parties’ establishments are largely ignored by the D.C. press in favor of the issues where they have some disagreements, the illusion is created that they agree on nothing.

    • Rand Paul targets Obama, Jeb Bush in NSA rant

      Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program is “one of the worst parts of the Obama administration,” a jab not only at the current president but also fellow Republican Jeb Bush.

    • Rand Paul on NSA: ‘Our Founding Fathers would be mortified’
    • Privacy advocates urge more transparency about how NSA keeps an eye on people

      As Congress considers whether to extend the life of a program that sweeps up American phone records, privacy advocates and civil liberties groups say too much about government surveillance remains secret for the public to fully evaluate its reach or effectiveness.

    • Hello Barbie, Amazon win big in Germany’s “Big Brother” awards for privacy abuses

      Germans by and large are wary of surveillance in all its forms, and nowhere is that more apparent than at the Big Brother Awards, which awards “prizes” to organizations and individuals around the world making especially egregious use of Germans’ private personal data.

    • Hello Barbie, NSA Win Big in Germany’s ‘Big Brother’ Awards for Privacy Abuses

      Germans by and large are wary of surveillance in all its forms, and nowhere is that more apparent than at the Big Brother Awards, which awards “prizes” to organizations and individuals around the world making especially egregious use of Germans’ private personal data.

    • Senate’s NSA skirmish stalling cyber bill

      A Senate skirmish over National Security Agency (NSA) reform has stalled the upper chamber’s plan to move a major cyber bill.

    • House Passes Major Cybersecurity Bill Despite Fears It Will Bolster NSA Spying

      The House on Wednesday passed major legislation intended to improve the nation’s defenses against cyberattacks, Congress’s first significant step toward attempting to limit the kind of debilitating hacks that brought Sony Pictures to its knees five months ago.

    • Congressional Battle Brews Over Bill To Extend NSA Data Collection
    • Key Republican Is Not on Board With NSA Reform
    • Congress Doesn’t Seem Totally Sure Who Should Deal With NSA Reform
    • Rubio: NSA spying concerns are overblown
    • Citizenfour: A must see for U.S. activists
    • Millennials worldwide show broad support of Edward Snowden – poll
    • Pirate Bay’s Peter Sunde Kills NSA-Proof Messenger App

      After promising so much the highly anticipated encrypted chat project Hemlis has come to an end. The software was left with too many obstacles to overcome, not least the absence of former Pirate Bay spokesman Peter Sunde who was arrested and taken away to serve his jail sentence for copyright infringement last summer.

    • Snowden docs: NSA, New Zealand plotted to hack Chinese

      The National Security Agency (NSA) collaborated with New Zealand on a plan to digitally monitor Chinese diplomats, according to documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

      The operation centered on breaking into a data link between two Chinese diplomatic offices in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city.

      While it is unclear whether the break-in ever took place, Snowden’s documents reveal that the NSA and New Zealand were “formally coordinating” on the plan in 2013.

    • NSA Spying Scandal Sparks a New European Smart Home Platform to Protect Privacy

      In Germany, a country considering broad new regulations to prevent citizens’ data from being passed through U.S.-based servers, a new consortium is promising a home automation platform that will keep its customers’ data within European borders.

    • Top 3 Apps to prevent your smartphone from being snooped.

      Ultimate privacy Apps : Top three Apps to prevent NSA and cyber criminals snooping on you

    • The NSA’s Split-Key Encryption Proposal is Not Serious

      The US Government has been busy on the encryption front in both positive and negative ways. On the positive front, there is a major effort underway to move all government websites to HTTPS; I’ll discuss that in a future post. But on the problematic and negative side of the ledger, we once again turn to the NSA.

    • Chinese Spies With Poor Grammar Tried Hacking NSA Historian

      Over the last four months, hackers traced back to the Chinese regime have been trying to breach the computers of NSA historian Matthew Aid. He recently detected two attempted breaches, one on April 2 and another on April 11, which he documented Monday on his blog.

    • Beijing Demands NSA Stop Trying to Hack Chinese Consulate

      The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Monday that they were “seriously concerned” by reports that New Zealand spies collaborated with the US National Security Agency to spy on Chinese diplomats.

    • U.S. Secretary Of Homeland Security Warns About The Dangers Of Pervasive Encryption

      In a speech at cybersecurity conference RSA, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson outlined the government’s discomfort with increasing implementation of encryption by technology companies, and what impact the shift might have on national security.

    • How NATO Kills Africans in the Club Med

      Humanitarian imperialism as applied to what the Pentagon loves to define as MENA (Middle East-Northern Africa) has led, according to Amnesty International, “to the largest refugee disaster since the Second World War.”

  • Civil Rights

    • Latest on Baltimore police-custody death: Protests wind down
    • POGO Adds its Voice to Calls for Secret Law Oversight

      We urge you to end mass surveillance of Americans. Among us are civil liberties organizations from across the political spectrum that speak for millions of people, businesses, whistleblowers, and experts. The impending expiration of three USA PATRIOT Act provisions on June 1 is a golden opportunity to end mass surveillance and enact additional reforms.

    • We must disband the police: Body cameras aren’t enough — only radical change will stop cops who kill

      After Michael Slager gunned down Walter Scott in a North Charleston park, a deafening chorus of voices has emerged, insisting that “the system worked.” And they are right. The system did work, just not in the way that they mean.

      The system didn’t only begin to work when the video of the shooting emerged days later: it went into motion immediately. The system began to work when Slager cuffed a dying man and then ran (ran!) back to grab his alibi, the Taser he would then plant near Scott’s failing body (as some have noticed, Slager did so in an eminently practiced way).

    • The Key War on Terror Propaganda Tool: Only Western Victims Are Acknowledged

      The British-Yemeni journalist Abubakr Al-Shamahi put it succinctly: “It makes me angry that non-Western civilian victims of drone strikes are not given the same recognition by the US administration.” The independent journalist Naheed Mustafa said she was “hugely irritated by the ‘drone strikes have killed good Westerners so now we know there are issues with drones’ stories.” The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson this morning observed: “It is all too easy to ignore … the dubious morality of the whole enterprise — until the unfortunate victims happen to be Westerners. Only then does ‘collateral damage’ become big news and an occasion for public sorrow.”

    • New Zealand Prime Minister John Key Apologizes for Pulling Waitress’s Hair

      New Zealand Prime Minister John Key apologized on Wednesday for pulling the ponytail of a waitress who accused him of bullying, media reported.

      The unnamed waitress in an Auckland cafe said on a blog site that Key had pulled her hair over several months and initially she thought he was being “playful and jolly.” However, she said Key kept pulling her hair when he visited the cafe over a six-month period and she became increasingly annoyed.

    • Woman who hit Venezuelan president with mango rewarded with house

      Marleny Olivo scrawled a note on the fruit and hurled it at the head of the passing Nicolás Maduro – and has now been promised a place to live

    • Licence to chill: Ex-CIA spyboss Petraeus gets probation for leaking US secrets to his mistress

      General David Petraeus – the former head of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and briefly the head of the CIA – has been sentenced to two years’ probation and fined $100,000 after admitting leaking America’s secrets to his lover.

      Married Petraeus, 62, handed over military logs containing classified material to his official biographer, and mistress, Paula Broadwell. He also lied to FBI agents during their investigating into the case, and faced charges that could have put him behind bars for up to five years.

    • Former CIA Director David Petraeus escapes jail for leaking military secrets to his mistress
    • Ex-CIA head David Petraeus sentenced over military leak

      David Petraeus, a retired US four-star general and former CIA director, has been put on probation and fined for leaking material to his mistress.

    • Petraeus Gets Leniency for Leaking — And Risen’s CIA Source Should Too, His Lawyers Say

      Lawyers for Jeffrey Sterling, convicted earlier this year of leaking classified information to New York Times reporter James Risen, urged today that Sterling “not receive a different form of justice” than David Petraeus, the former general and CIA director who has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for leaking classified information to his biographer.

    • Ford Foundation and its alleged CIA connections

      The US based Ford Foundation is not new to controversies. Many call it a front for the American external spying agency CIA. There have been thousands of articles and research papers on Ford Foundation’s CIA links. Even in India, the Ford Foundation is accused of funding the NGOs and movements which actually work against India’s socio, political and economic interests.

    • Obama Admin. Seeks “Severe Sentence” for Ex-CIA Officer Convicted of Leaking
    • Federal prosecutors urge ‘severe’ sentence for ex-CIA officer in leak case
    • CIA Worked With China To Attack Russia

      On Thursday, the U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter admitted that Russian hackers had infiltrated into Pentagon’s computer network earlier this year. It was the latest high-profile hack of the U.S. government networks by Russian hackers. Over the past few months, Washington has also accused China of hacking the U.S. satellite network, weather systems, and the U.S. Postal Service network.

    • Spy shocker: CIA cooperated with Chinese intelligence to target Russia
    • PACE President welcomes former Romanian President’s CIA secret prison admission

      President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Anne Brasseur, welcomed in a press release on Friday the admission of former Romanian President Ion Iliescu of his knowledge of a secret CIA (United States Central Intelligence Agency) prison in Romania.

    • Ion Iliescu for Der Spiegel: I approved CIA request for location in Romania

      Ion Iliescu said, in an interview granted to Der Spiegel, that he approved “in principle” over 2002-2003, a request made by the USA to set up a CIA center in Romania, but he did not know it was a unit meant for detention. Details of the project were established by Ioan Talpes, the head of the presidential Administration, Der Spiegel writes.

    • CIA Interrogator Convicted For Torture Speaks Out

      In the long debate over torture, there remains only one instance when a CIA interrogator ever faced trial for torture – and he was convicted. That CIA contractor, David Passaro, is now speaking out in a new Retro Report documentary.

    • Sheriff Joe Arpaio was concerned about CIA wiretaps on MCSO phones

      A bizarre twist came during the fourth day of testimony in the civil contempt trial against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and four of his top deputies.

      Speaking on the stand and taking questions from the judge, MCSO chief deputy Jerry Sheridan said the department was working with a man named Dennis Montgomery who was identified as a former employee of the Central Intelligence Agency.

      Montgomery was a confidential informant, or CI for the sheriff’s office. While living in Seattle, he purportedly gave information to MCSO about a CIA operation that was secretly gathering personal information on United States citizens, according to Sheridan.

    • Ex-CIA officer Ray McGovern: V-E Day celebration spoiled by Washington’s support for Ukrainian revolution

      The controversy over alleged Russian “aggression” in Ukraine is already raining on the Kremlin parade with which Russia will mark the 70th anniversary of the Allies’ victory over Adolf Hitler and the Nazis on May 9. U.S. President Barack Obama set the tone by turning down the Kremlin’s invitation to take part in the celebration, and allies in Western Europe have been equally uncouth in saying No.

    • CIA Daughter On the Anniversary of the Coup Her Dad Helped

      Today is the forty eighth anniversary of the military coup.

    • Was Putin Right About Internet As CIA Project?

      “The Internet is not a CIA creation,” Tim Berners-Lee, a London-born computer scientist who invented the Web in 1989 – the year that the Berlin Wall collapsed – told media when asked about Putin’s CIA comment.

      Berners-Lee said the Internet was invented with the help of U.S. state funding, but was spread by academics.

      “It was the academic community who wired up their universities so it was put together by smart, well-meaning people who thought it was a good idea,” he said.

      Berners-Lee has previously scolded the United States and Britain for undermining the Internet’s foundations with their surveillance program. He has also called on China to tear down the “great firewall” that limits its people’s access to the Internet.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Liberals furious with Obama’s trade comments

      The already bitter fight between the White House and the progressive base over trade policy has turned ugly after President Obama said his critics on the left “don’t know what they’re talking about” and compared their arguments to conspiracy theories about “death panels.”

      Progressives trade critics are up in arms over the comments, made Thursday night to a gathering of Organizing for Action, the grassroots group that spun off of Obama’s presidential campaign, at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington, D.C.

    • Copyrights

      • BitTorrent Inc. Lays Off Close to a Third of its Workforce

        BitTorrent Inc., the company behind the popular uTorrent file-sharing client, has laid off close to a third of its U.S. workforce. Speaking with TorrentFreak a source close to the company says that up to 45 workers had their contracts terminated Thursday, “gutting” the company’s advertising team and pushing more work to its offices in Minsk, Belarus.


Links 25/4/2015: Debian LTS Plans, Turing Phone Runs Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 3:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Btrfs In Linux 4.1 Has Fixes For File-Systems Of 20 Terabytes & Up

      It’s nearing the end of the Linux 4.1 kernel and Chris Mason has now sent in his pull request of Btrfs file-system updates for this next kernel update.

      This pull request is coming in late in part due to him running a longer series of load tests than normal. For this cycle he changed around the free space cache writeout and wanted to ensure the code is properly conditioned. Changing the free space cache writeout should fix stalls on large file-systems. In particular, over at Facebook they were seeing 10+ second stalls during commits on file-systems with around twenty terabytes of space and greater. Should you happen to have a 20TB+ Btrfs file-system, Linux 4.1 will perform better.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • こんにちは日本! Krita Launches Japanese Site

        We are happy to announce that we have launched a Krita site in Japanese! Over the coming months, this website will be evolving to help the Japanese community stay current with all things Krita. Currently, almost everything online is in English, so it can be difficult for other countries to learn about and use Krita. With this Japanese site, we can provide specialized instructions and resources to help them get started. We are still finishing up translations, but are far enough along that we want to release it in the wild.

      • Turning the world upside down

        So what do I mean when saying that I’m running a kwin_wayland session? Does it mean that everything is already using Wayland? No, unfortunately not, rather the opposite: all running applications are still using X11, but we use a rootless Xwayland server. The only Wayland application in this setup is Xwayland and KWin itself.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat broadens programming language support

        Potentially making work easier for system administrators, Red Hat has updated its development packages to support running multiple versions of the same programming language on its flagship enterprise operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

      • Why Red Hat is tackling BPM

        In today’s business environment, as enterprises seek to do more work with limited resources, orchestrating and planning daily business operations to optimize resources can be a big challenge.

        This environment is putting new pressure on developers and IT, according to a Forrester Consulting survey commissioned by Red Hat.

      • Storage VP: Red Hat Gluster, Ceph see faster start than Linux

        Red Hat vows to improve file and database-as-a-service features for its open source storage software while also planning to tackle hyper-convergence.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Security Team’s 90-day Challenge

          Earlier this month the Fedora Security Team started a 90-day challenge to close all critical and important CVEs in Fedora that came out in 2014 and before. These bugs include packages affected in both Fedora and EPEL repositories. Since we started the process we’ve made some good progress.

        • Red Hat launches beta of Linux distro Fedora 22

          RED HAT has announced the beta availability of Fedora 22, the newest iteration of its free Linux operating system that’s so hot off the press it hasn’t been christened with a codename yet.

          The OS, which runs on an incredibly short update cycle, forms the basis of Red Hat’s own products and forks into Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Tizen, the embedded system being used in Samsung smart products.

        • Instant Messaging in Fedora Workstation 2

          Last week I wrote about the suboptimal state of instant messaging in Fedora Workstation with some thoughts how it could be improved. I also asked Fedora users on Facebook and Google+ what IM clients they use. Especially in the case of Google+, I gathered votes from a number of people which is large enough to draw some conclusions.

    • Debian Family

      • The #newinjessie game: new forensic packages in Debian/jessie

        Debian/jessie AKA Debian 8.0 includes a bunch of packages for people interested in digital forensics.

      • What to expect on Jessie release day

        Release day is a nerve-wracking time for several teams. Happily we’ve done it a few times now*, so we have a rough idea of how the process should go.

      • Debian 7 Wheezy and Debian 8 Jessie Might Become LTS Releases

        Following on the success of the Squeeze LTS project, the Debian LTS team had the pleasure of announcing that they are preparing to support the Debian 7 (Wheezy) operating system with security patches for a longer period.

      • Join the LTS project to help shape Wheezy and Jessie LTS

        Almost a year after the birth of the Debian Long Term Support (LTS) project, Squeeze LTS can be considered a success. Thanks go to the many volunteers and sponsors! Debian 6 “Squeeze” has seen more than 200 security uploads since the start of its extended support period. The most widely used packages have been fixed in a timely fashion and many organizations can thus safely rely on the continued maintenance of Squeeze LTS.

      • Release Critical Bug report for Week 17
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Five Easy Steps to Greatly Improve Your Ubuntu 15.04 Experience

            Now that Ubuntu 15.04 has been officially released, we can advise new users regarding a few extra steps that they need to take in order to get the most out of their system.

          • Hidden Options in Ubuntu 15.04 Can Make It Much Better

            Ubuntu 15.04 is a complete operating system and can be used just as Canonical has intended, but some very interesting options and features are hidden inside the OS and the not usually accessible, unless you install a couple of applications.

          • Firefox 37.0.2 Arrives in Ubuntu 15.04

            Canonical has just announced a Firefox vulnerability has been corrected and that version 37.0.2 of the browser has been integrated into Ubuntu 15.04 and all the other supported Ubuntu versions.

          • Ubuntu Kylin 15.04 Continues the Process of Conquering China

            Ubuntu Kylin 15.04 (Vivid Vervet), the Chinese Linux distribution developed in collaboration with Canonical that’s based Ubuntu, has been released and is now ready for download.

          • Ubuntu 15.04 hands-on: One giant leap for developers and the cloud, but one small step for the desktop

            If you’re running Ubuntu on the cloud, there’s a lot to like here. In this release, the distribution boasts a new light-weight snappy Ubuntu Core version for devices, micro-servers, and containers. It also includes updated developer tools and the latest frameworks, languages, databases and packages. This cloud brand of Ubuntu also comes with superior Docker support, Canonical’s own new container-based hypervisor, LXD, and built-in support for the Chef DevOps program.

          • Scientists Use Ubuntu to Interpret Hubble Telescope Data

            A new documentary about the Hubble space telescope was just released on Nova, and a Reddit user pointed out that one of the scientists was using Linux to manage the date provided by the telescope.

          • BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition review

            The BQ Aquaris e4.5 Ubuntu Edition is not the debut Canonical must have envisaged for Ubuntu Phone, in the early days of the platform’s development.

            It’s a perfectly functional smartphone for the most part, and we like the concept of scopes, but the hardware is humdrum, performance is sluggish, and the software running on it is rough and ready, and full of holes.

            We’ll be tracking the progress of Ubuntu Phone with interest – it surely must get better than this – but this first device is one to write off to experience.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Mini-PC Intel Compute Stick Launches Only with Windows, Linux Users Need to Wait

      Intel Compute Stick, the mini-PC that runs a quad-core Intel processor and that fits inside a case the size of a USB flash drive, is now available for purchase, although just with Windows.

    • World’s smallest i.MX6 module has onboard WiFi, eMMC

      Variscite unveiled a 50 x 20mm “DART-MX6″ module that runs Linux or Android on the Freescale i.MX6, with up to 64GB eMMC flash and -40 to 85°C support.

      Variscite’s claim that the 50 x 20mm DART-MX6 is the world’s smallest computer-on-module based on Freescale’s i.MX6 system-on-chip appears to be a valid one. It beats the smallest ones we’ve seen to date: TechNexion’s 40 x 36mm PICO-IMX6, and Solid-Run’s 47 x 30mm microSOM i4. It’s also just a hair larger than Variscite’s own 52 x 17mm DART-4460, which is based on a dual-core TI OMAP4460 SoC, and Gumstix’s slightly larger 58 x 17mm Overo modules, which use TI Sitara AM37xx SoCs.

    • Open-source IoT kit runs OpenWRT, mimics Arduino Yun

      A “Domino.IO” Kickstarter project offers an Atheros AR9331 module running OpenWRT Linux, plus two tiny baseboards, one of which is Arduino Yun compatible.

      To stand out from the growing number of OpenWRT Linux-based computer-on-modules and tiny, com-LIKE single board computers running Qualcomm’s WiFi-ready Atheros AR9331 system-on-chip, startups are now offering entire modular kit families based on an AR9331. Last month, we saw an Onion OmegaKickstarter project, which has since been funded, based on an AR9331 COM with stackable expansion modules. Now a Hong Kong based startup called Domino.IO has gone on Kickstarter to sell its own kit that expands on a Domino Core COM with Domino Pi and Domino Qi expansion boards, as well as smaller I/O modules that enable further customization.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

      • Android

        • Android Candy: Intercoms

          Ever since my “tiny $20 tablet” project (see my Open-Source Classroom column in the March 2015 issue), I’ve been looking for more and more cool things to do with cheap Android devices. Although the few obvious ones like XBMC or Plex remotes work well, I’ve recently found that having Android devices around the house means I can gain back an old-school ability that went out of style in the late 1980s—namely, an intercom system.

        • There’s a wild prank hidden in Google Maps that insults Apple in the most childishly inappropriate way

          Rawalpindi is a vibrant Pakistani city known for its bazaars, ancient ruins, and array of religious shrines. But if you pay it a visit on Google Maps, you’re going to notice something very unusual on the outskirts of the city — the Android “droid” mascot urinating on the Apple logo.

        • There’s an Android bot peeing on an Apple logo on Google Maps

          Sick of all the Apple Watch news today? You’re in luck, because we have something completely different for you. An image of an Android mascot, also known as an Android bot or Bugdroid, peeing on an Apple logo has been discovered on Google Maps.

        • An Android robot is peeing on an Apple logo in Google Maps
        • An Android is urinating on the Apple logo in Google Maps (update)

          Google and Apple have always had their differences, but a new Easter egg inside Google Maps has just taken their rivalry to a whole new level. As spotted by Team Android, if you head to these coordinates with the regular Map view enabled, you’ll see Google’s iconic Android mascot taking a leak on the Apple logo. At the moment, it’s unclear who created this little piece of mischief and whether Google is taking action. But if this hidden message is any indication, it was snuck through by a member of the public using Google’s Map Maker service, rather than a Google employee. Regardless, it’s a crazy (and pretty hilarious) addition that’s sure to rile some of the employees in Cupertino. Shots fired!

        • Sony’s Android TV-powered 4K televisions are ridiculously thin

          Four models from Sony’s 2015 Android TV-powered 4K television range are now available for pre-order, with shipping to begin in May.

          The Japanese electronics giant unveiled its 4K TV lineup for 2015 at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but kept pricing and release information to itself, only saying the new sets would be available sometime in the spring. Those details are finally here and the TVs themselves aren’t far off.

        • Android Wear v1.1 APK has Apple references in it, but when is iOS support coming?

          That Google is working on iOS support for Android Wear is nearly undeniable at this point, but even more evidence has surfaced in case you aren’t a believer. We peeked inside the latest Android Wear update APK to see what hidden bits were swarming about, and we came across some very interesting references.

        • 5 Things to Expect from the Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Release

          A few weeks ago, an Android 5.1.1 update mysteriously appeared alongside an update for Google’s Android SDK. Earlier this week, Google finally confirmed the Nexus Android 5.1.1 release with an update for its Nexus Player. With an Android 5.1.1 update now on the minds of Nexus users, particularly Nexus 5 users dealing with Android 5.0 Lollipop problems, we want to take a look at what we expect from the Nexus 5 Android 5.1 release from Google.

        • The Turing Phone Is Super Durable and Ultra Secure

          The device also sports a 13MP/8MP camera combo, 64GB / 128GB of internal storage and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Jolla Tablet Ship Date Slips

        According to the Jolla Blog the ship date for the much anticipated Jolla Tablet has slipped: From June-ish to July-ish. (The original ship date was expected to be May).

        Jolla had one of the most successful Crowdfunded projects run by IndieGOGO. It ended up being over funded by 480%, exhibiting strong support for another tablet that isn’t IOS, isn’t Android, and isn’t Windows.

Free Software/Open Source


  • Security

    • Friday’s security updates
    • An Incredibly Insecure Voting Machine

      If asked for a password, the administrator password is “admin” (VITA provided that).

      Download the Microsoft Access database using Windows Explorer.
      Use a free tool to extract the hardwired key (“shoup”), which VITA also did for us.

      Use Microsoft Access to add, delete, or change any of the votes in the database.

      Upload the modified copy of the Microsoft Access database back to the voting machine.

    • Bug in Wi-Fi software could open Android, Linux and BSD to wireless attacks

      A flaw in a component used to authenticate client devices on Wi-Fi networks could potentially expose devices running on Android, Linux and BSD to hackers. The security problem resides in wpa_supplicant, a widely used open-source software implementation of the IEEE 802.11i specification for Wi-Fi clients.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • DoD’s New ‘Transparent’ Policy on Cybersecurity Is Still Opaque

      When the U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter laid out the Pentagon’s new cybersecurity strategy this week, few were expecting it to break news. And, indeed, his talk at Stanford’s Hoover Institution on Thursday offered no surprises. But the secretary did set up an expectation during his speech on which he ultimately failed to deliver.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Koch Funding of Universities Shrouded in Secrecy

      In a recent column entitled “The Campus Climate Crusade,” The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel spent over 800 words arguing the basic conceit of UnKochMyCampus, a campaign uniting students at universities around the country who are working to increase transparency on their campuses and fight attempts by corporate donors like Charles and David Koch from influencing their education.

  • Finance

    • Newly Leaked TTIP Draft Reveals Far-Reaching Assault on US/EU Democracy

      A freshly-leaked chapter from the highly secretive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement, currently under negotiation between the United States and European Union, reveals that the so-called “free trade” deal poses an even greater threat to environmental and human rights protections—and democracy itself—than previously known, civil society organizations warn.

      The revelation comes on the heels of global protests against the mammoth deal over the weekend and coincides with the reconvening of negotiations between the parties on Monday in New York.

      The European Commission’s latest proposed chapter (pdf) on “regulatory cooperation” was first leaked to Friends of the Earth and dates to the month of March. It follows previous leaks of the chapter, and experts say the most recent iteration is even worse.

    • Slovakia earmarks EUR 12 million for central bankruptcy portal

      Slovakia’s Ministry of Finance signed a contract worth nearly EUR 12 million in March for the creation of a portal on bankruptcies, financial restructuring and debt reduction. By creating this portal, the Ministry aims to assist citizens, companies and legal professionals, by bringing together information that is already available in the systems of public administrations.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • It’s Not the 1 Percent Controlling Politics. It’s the 0.01 Percent.

      Even before presidential candidates started lining up billionaires to kick-start their campaigns, it was clear that the 2016 election could be the biggest big-money election yet. This chart from the political data shop Crowdpac illustrates where we may be headed: Between 1980 and 2012, the share of federal campaign contributions coming from the very, very biggest political spenders—the top 0.01 percent of donors—nearly tripled…

    • Kochs, Corps, and Monsanto Trade Group Have Bankrolled Group Attacking Dr. Oz

      A group of ten doctors has called for NBC’s Dr. Oz (Dr. Mehmet Oz) to be fired from Columbia University, where he is vice chairman of the surgery department.

      The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has long tracked the group that is connected to several of the signers attacking Dr. Oz, and CMD’s Executive Director Lisa Graves spoke with the Dr. Oz show about the background of that group and some of the signers. (CMD does not receive any funding from Dr. Oz or NBC.)

  • Privacy

    • Cybersecurity Official Believes Encryption Can Be Backdoored Safely; Can’t Think Of Single Expert Who Agrees With Him

      The government continues to looks for ways to route around Apple and Google’s phone encryption. The plans range from legislated backdoors to a mythical “golden key” to split-key escrow where the user holds one key and the government shares the other with device makers.

      None of these are solutions. And there’s no consensus that this is a problem in search of one. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies will still find ways to get what they want from these phones, but it may involve more legwork/paperwork and the development of new tools and exploits. Without a doubt, encryption will not leave law enforcement unable to pursue investigations. Cellphones are a relatively recent development in the lifespan of law enforcement and no crime prior to the rise of cellphone usage went uninvestigated because suspects weren’t walking around with the entirety of their lives in their pockets.

      But still the government continues to believe there’s some way to undermine this encryption in a way that won’t allow criminals to exploit it. This belief is based on nothing tangible. One can only imagine how many deafening silent beats passed between question and answer during White House cybersecurity policy coordinator Michael Daniel’s conversation with reporters following the recent RSA conference.

    • NSA had German spies target Euro allies

      German spies targeted politicians in friendly European nations and inside Germany for surveillance on behalf of the US National Security Agency (NSA), a media report revealed on Thursday.

  • Civil Rights

    • Cop Smash & Grab: Houston Police Caught on Video Kicking in Door to Business, Stealing Cash

      Two Houston Police officers were caught on camera kicking down the door of local business owner Marcquette Jones last Wednesday.

      Jones, the 36-year-old owner of The South Side Game Room, says this isn’t the first time the officers unlawfully entered his business. According to the business owner, the two cops paid him the first visit on January 20, claiming they were there to “check building code compliance.”

    • FBI tortured US citizen in foreign prison for months for refusing to become an informant, man claims

      An Eritrean-born American citizen has filed suit against the FBI, alleging the agency was responsible for having him detained and tortured for years in an Arab country for refusing to become an informant in his mosque in Portland, Oregon.

    • A Psychedelic History of the CIA

      What went entirely unmentioned by the American press was that 37 years ago Stanley Faulder had been the unwitting victim of medical experiments partially funded by the CIA. According to Faulder’s sister, Pat Nicholl, who lives in Jaspar, Alberta, “At 15 Stanley was arrested for stealing a watch and sent to a boys’ home for six months. At 17, another theft got him six months in jail. At 22 he was caught in a stolen car and sent to jail in New Westminster, B.C. for two years. There, he asked for psychiatric help and was put in an experimental drug program which involved doses of LSD”.

    • A Residence With Locking Doors And A Working Toilet Is All That’s Needed To Justify A No-Knock Warrant

      No-knock warrants have become the strategy of first choice for many police departments. Most of these target those suspected of drug possession or sales, rather than the truly dangerous situations they should be reserved for. The rise in no-knock warrants has resulted in an increased number of deadly altercations. Cops have been shot in self-defense by residents who thought their homes were being invaded by criminals. Innocent parties have been wounded or killed because the element of surprise police feel is so essential in preventing the destruction of evidence puts cops — often duded up in military gear — into a mindset that demands violent reaction to any perceived threat. In these situations, the noise and confusion turns everything into a possible threat, even the motions of frightened people who don’t have time to grasp the reality — and severity — of the situation.

    • Former CIA head’s no-jail sentence for leaking called “gross hypocrisy”

      Yesterday, former CIA Director David Petraeus was handed two years of probation and a $100,000 fine after agreeing to a plea deal that ends in no jail time for leaking classified information to Paula Broadwell, his biographer and lover.

      “I now look forward to moving on with the next phase of my life and continuing to serve our great nation as a private citizen,” Petraeus said outside the federal courthouse in Charlotte, North Carolina on Thursday.

      Lower-level government leakers have not, however, been as likely to walk out of a courthouse applauding the US as Petraeus did. Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, called the Petraeus plea deal a “gross hypocrisy.”

      “At the same time as Petraeus got off virtually scot-free, the Justice Department has been bringing the hammer down upon other leakers who talk to journalists—sometimes for disclosing information much less sensitive than Petraeus did,” he said.

      The Petraeus sentencing came days after the Justice Department demanded (PDF) up to a 24-year-term for Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA agent who leaked information to a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer about a botched mission to sell nuclear plans to Iran in order to hinder its nuclear-weapons progress.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Comcast Plans to Drop Time Warner Cable Deal

      Fourteen months after unveiling a $45.2 billion merger that would create a new Internet and cable giant, Comcast Corp. is planning to walk away from its proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said.

  • DRM

    • All about PlayReady 3.0, Microsoft’s secret plan to lock down 4K movies to your PC

      The name of the movie might as well be Digital Rights Management: The New Nightmare. It stars Microsoft, who is working with chip vendors Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm to protect Hollywood’s movies from piracy as they travel through your PC. The technology it’s promoting is called PlayReady 3.0.

      Microsoft is also dangling promises for consumers: Buy a Windows 10 system with PlayReady, Microsoft says, and you’ll be able to view Hollywood’s latest movies in all their 4K glory. Without Microsoft’s hardware DRM technology—pay attention, those of you with older PCs—you may only be able to view a lower-quality version of the film.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Canadian Recording Industry: Works Entering the Public Domain Are Not in the Public Interest

        On World Book and Copyright Day, it is worth noting how Graham Henderson, the President of Music Canada (formerly the Canadian Recording Industry Association) characterized the government’s decision to extend the term of copyright in sound recordings and performances:

        With each passing day, Canadian treasures like Universal Soldier by Buffy Sainte-Marie are lost to the public domain. This is not in the public interest. It does not benefit the creator or their investors and it will have an adverse impact on the Canadian economy.”

        This statement raises several issues. First, it should be noted that the song Universal Soldier by Buffy Sainte-Marie is not in the public domain nor will it be entering the public domain for decades. As the songwriter, Buffy Sainte-Marie still holds copyright in the song and will do so for her entire lifetime plus an additional 50 years (Howard Knopf further explains the issue of copyright term in songs in this post).


Links 24/4/2015: Ubuntu and Variants in the News, Red Hat Developer Toolset 3.1

Posted in News Roundup at 4:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 10 Mini-PCs With Pre-Installed Linux

    As computers shrink in size, the line between mini-PCs and small desktop PCs is getting blurrier every year. As the name suggests, however, mini-PCs, are smaller than usual, usually less than five inches square and a few inches tall, making them easier to carry and hide away on a crowded desktop or behind a signage or kiosk display. They’re also usually fanless, which means they’re quiet and have one less moving part to break, and they tend to be cheaper, with more limited I/O. That usually translates into lower prices.

  • 10 Linux Mini PCs
  • Five Important Steps Linux Job Seekers Should Take

    Linux talent is in high demand, and the evidence is in the numbers. According to the 2015 Linux Jobs Report from the Linux Foundation, 92 percent of IT managers plan to hire Linux pros within the next six months. The 2015 Linux Jobs Report includes data from hiring managers (1,010) and Linux professionals (3,446) and provides an overview of the state of the market for Linux careers and what motivates professionals in this industry. With the rise of open cloud platforms positively affecting this ever-growing market, a new generation of open-source projects like Docker and OpenStack ensure the longevity of developers who can hone the most cutting-edge skills. Yet in the same report, 88 percent of companies stated it is somewhat difficult to find qualified candidates. Organizations are willing to pay big bucks for those with the right qualifications. To glean more perspective from a company that is constantly looking to hire the best open-source talent, eWEEK spoke with Marie Louise van Deutekom, global HR director at SUSE, to uncover tips for Linux job seekers and showcase which skills will help them stand out.

  • Desktop

    • M$’s Client Division Sinks Slowly Into The West

      As expected, M$’s client division is doing poorly.

      The drop was huge, though, meaning they’ve been diversifying sufficiently rapidly just to keep some growth on the bottom line. One wonders how bad it would have been if not for support from Android/Linux…

      See? There’s a reason this is The Year Of GNU/Linux on the Desktop. That other OS has dropped out.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Calligra @ conf.kde.in
      • Kubuntu 15.04: the first major distro to ship Plasma 5

        Kubuntu is one of the best Plasma distros, along with openSUSE. Jonathan Riddell, the lead developer of the project, just announced the release of Kubuntu 15.04.

        Kubuntu 15.04 is undoubtedly one of the most impressive and important releases due to many reasons. First of all it is the first major distro to ship Plasma 5 as the default desktop environment.

      • Identities, I usually don’t stop being myself

        One of the most interesting developments I’ve seen recently inside KDE is KAccounts (or Web Accounts, as it used to be called). It’s not even a KDE project, but a project Nokia started some years ago, I’m guessing that on MeeGo days.

      • Qt Creator 3.4.0 released

        We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 3.4.0 today. I’m highlighting some of the many new features below. Please take a look at our change log for a more complete list of features and fixes.

        The C++ support in Qt Creator now has a new refactoring action that moves all function definitions out of a class declaration. We also added auto-completion for signals and slots in Qt 5 style connects. Just type the “&” and let auto-completion figure out the type of the object. Also new is a locator filter, All Included C/C++ Files, which finds all files that are used in your project by including them, even if they are not explicitly mentioned in your project. The filter is part of the default that is used when you just type in the Locator input field, and shares the shortcut string with Files in Any Project.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.17.1 unstable tarballs due

        Tarballs are due on 2015-04-27 before 23:59 UTC for the GNOME 3.17.1 unstable release, which will be delivered on Wednesday. Modules which were proposed for inclusion should try to follow the unstable schedule so everyone can test them. Please make sure that your tarballs will be uploaded before Monday 23:59 UTC: tarballs uploaded later than that will probably be too late to get in 3.17.1. If you are not able to make a tarball before this deadline or if you think you’ll be late, please send a mail to the release team and we’ll find someone to roll the tarball for you!

  • Distributions

    • Build Your Own Linux Distro

      There are hundreds of actively maintained Linux distributions. They come in all shapes, sizes and configurations. Yet there’s none like the one you’re currently running on your computer. That’s because you’ve probably customised it to the hilt – you’ve spent numerous hours adding and removing apps and tweaking aspects of the distro to suit your workflow.

      Wouldn’t it be great if you could convert your perfectly set up system into a live distro? You could carry it with you on a flash drive or even install it on other computers you use.

      Besides satisfying your personal itch, there are several other uses for a custom distro. You can spin one with apps that you use in school and pass it around to everyone in class, stuffed with class notes and other study aids. You can do something similar within a professional organisation as well that uses a defined set of apps.

      There are various tools for creating a custom distro. We’ll start with the ones that are simple to use but offer limited customisation options and move on to more complex ones that enable you to customise every aspect of your distro.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Developer Toolset 3.1 is Available Now

        Red Hat has announced its Red Hat Developer Toolset 3.1, the company’s selection of some of the latest open source C and C++ compilers and complementary development tools. Available through the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Program and related subscriptions, Red Hat Developer Toolset 3.1 is targeted at application development for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but is also potentially useful for all kinds of developers and administrators depending on Red Hat’s cloud tools.

      • ​Red Hat gives developers more programming goodies

        Corporate IT operators love Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) for its stability and support options. Developers, however, want the latest programming tools. To help settle this eternal DevOps battle, Red Hat provides the Red Hat Developer Toolset and the Red Hat Software Collections so that programmers can have up-to-date tools on the operators’ rock-steady RHEL 6 or 7 servers.

      • Red Hat Developer Toolset 3.1 Now Available
      • Red Hat broadens programming language support

        Potentially making work easier for system administrators, Red Hat has updated its development packages to support running multiple versions of the same programming language on its flagship enterprise operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

        Red Hat has released updates to two of its packages of third-party open source software for running programs on RHEL, Red Hat Developer Toolset and Red Hat Software Collections. Red Hat Developer Toolset is a package of compliers and related tools for the C and C++ programming languages. Red Hat Software Collections assembles a set of tools, languages and databases for building Web applications.

      • Fedora

        • Redesign of spins.fedoraproject.org; Help make your spin rock!

          We made a decision to split the desktop spins away from the functional spins. Functional spins will be housed at a new site catered specifically for them: labs.fedoraproject.org. ARM builds will also have their own one-page site with references to important documentation and the Fedora ARM community as well.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Conference explores Linux for high performance embedded systems

      Presented by an industry expert Richard Copeman of Lauterbach, the workshop will explore how to approach a Linux project from the perspective of the development environment and debug tools

    • Undo Software exhibits Linux and Android reversible debugging tools at conference

      Undo Software – which this week announced a successful new funding round – will be available to discuss and explain its Linux and Android reversible debugging tools at the UK Device Developers’ Conference next month.

    • The Intel Compute Stick is the right idea, but not the right execution

      And a $99 Ubuntu Linux version of the Compute Stick will arrive in June, albeit with slightly lower specs: 1GB RAM, 8GB storage.

    • Intel’s Compute Stick: A full PC that’s tiny in size (and performance)

      Our appreciation of mini desktop PCs is well-documented at this point. In the age of the smartphone and the two-pound laptop, the desktop PC is perhaps the least exciting of computing devices, but there are still plenty of hulking desktop towers out there, and many of them can be replaced by something you can hold in the palm of your hand.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android Wear Updates: Wi-Fi, Always-On Apps and Usability

          This week Google announced the latest update to their smart watch focused operating system, Android Wear. Google did not specify the exact version number, but the previous version was 1.0.5 and each release has bumped the last digit, so best guess is this is version 1.0.6. This update adds three main features: Wi-Fi support, Always-On application support, and several welcome usability upgrades.

        • 4 iOS/Android fighting games that are times better than Mortal Kombat X

          Mortal Kombat X, the latest installment in the classic game series, is now available on both iOS and Android. Don’t pop the champagne yet – it’s nothing like the classic Mortal Kombat games we’ve once played and had fun with. This card-based “fighting” game indeed comes with fancy graphics, but the gameplay is as disappointingly out of sync with the roots of the legendary game series.

        • Mortal Kombat X lands on Android: in-app purchases, gore, swiping and tapping galore!

          A few weeks ago, the latest title in the legendary Mortal Kombat game series – Mortal Kombat X – executed a fatality and landed on iOS. Fortunately for Android fans, the game has just “somersaulted” and soft-released on Android in select regions.

        • Facebook says ‘Hello’ with new dialer app for Android phones
        • This Is Facebook’s Latest Move to Take Over Your Phone
        • Facebook Hello tells you who’s calling before you pick up
        • How to get emoji symbols on your Android phone
        • 13 Nexus Android 5.1.1 Release Date Tips

          With a Nexus Android 5.1.1 Lollipop release now confirmed for Nexus smartphones and tablets, we want to offer up some helpful tips to Nexus users poised to get the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update from Google. These tips should help make release day go a lot smoother for owners of the Nexus 5, Nexus 9, Nexus 7, Nexus Player and more.

        • LG G Watch, G Watch R and Asus ZenWatch miss big Android Wear update
        • Get the Best Apple Watch Features on Android Wear

          The long wait for the Apple Watch is almost over, but wait one second—you don’t necessarily have to rush out and spend $349 (or more) to get some of its most useful features on your wrist. You can add these tweaks and third-party apps to Android Wear to get a more Apple Watch-like experience from your wearable.

        • Confirmed: An Android 5.0 and Windows 10 dual-boot capable smartphone with 2K display to launch in June

          Chinese smartphone manufacturer Elephone is working on a feature-rich flagship smartphone which will ship in two variants — one running on Android 5.0 Lollipop, and the other one offering dual-boot capability with Windows 10 for phones, the company confirms to BetaNews. The Android counterpart will launch next month while the dual-boot capable phone will launch in June.

        • Samsung Galaxy S5 Said to Have Security Flaw That Leaks Your Fingerprint to Hackers

          The Samsung Galaxy S5 was the first device from the company’s S lineup to boast a fingerprint scanner, and people were pretty excited about it. But as it turns out, the fingerprint scanner inside Samsung’s previous flagship houses a very dangerous flaw.

        • Use Flynx to load websites in the background on Android

          Reading through your social streams probably results in a bit of link-clickage here and there. If you’re on a computer, leaving those links open in other tabs is no big deal. However, if you’re on an Android device, it starts to feel less convenient to open and read links from apps like Twitter or Facebook. Sure, you can use the in-app browser for most social apps these days, but they don’t have the same convenient features you’ll find with Flynx.

        • Android Candy: Intercoms

          Ever since my “tiny $20 tablet” project (see my Open-Source Classroom column in the March 2015 issue), I’ve been looking for more and more cool things to do with cheap Android devices. Although the few obvious ones like XBMC or Plex remotes work well, I’ve recently found that having Android devices around the house means I can gain back an old-school ability that went out of style in the late 1980s—namely, an intercom system.

        • Galaxy Zoo Android app: New Surveys

          The web-based Galaxy Zoo has switched to showing subjects from two new surveys, with new sets of questions for these surveys. So I’ve updated (see in github) the Android app too and the new version is now available in the play store. These new images are less clear, and the questions are a little harder to answer. Apparently some clearer images are on the way.

        • Twitter Launches Highlights For Android To Summarize The Day’s Tweets

          If keeping up with all those tweets is starting to feel a little overwhelming, Twitter just announced a new feature that could help — at least if you own an Android phone.

          Earlier this year, it launched “While You Were Away,” which can put older, popular tweets at the top of your feed. The theme here is helping users find relevant content even if it’s not the most recent thing posted — something that could help the service seem less intimidating to casual users.

        • How to enable Twitter’s new Highlights feature on Android

          Make sure you never miss an important tweet or conversation, by enabling Highlights.

        • Samsung begins updating Galaxy A3 with Android Lollipop

          Samsung is now seeding yet another Android Lollipop firmware update – this time around the Galaxy A3 is the lucky smartphone. Samsung previously announced the entire Galaxy A series will be treated to Lollipop, so we expect the Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7 to follow suit soon.

        • This free Android app is packed with more than 3,000 Material Design wallpapers

          Some people are perfectly happy to use one of the few stock wallpapers that came preinstalled on their smartphones. But you’re not “some people.” You’re a savvy Android user and you’ve gone to great lengths to personalize your device with the right apps, widgets and even launchers, in order to ensure that your device is set up exactly how you want it.

        • All Android Wear watches have Wi-Fi chips, but some won’t get Wi-Fi support

          Android Wear is getting a big update that enables a top-level app list, always-on apps, a hands-free scrolling gesture, and it’s also enabling Wi-Fi support. Wi-Fi is coming not just in the software; a lot of existing devices will have their Wi-Fi functionality enabled—but not all of them.

        • Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 gets updated to Android Lollipop 5.0.2

          When it comes to updating to new versions of Android, Samsung generally isn’t the quickest OEM on the block. Thankfully, this situation has changed some with Lollipop, at least as far as many of their flagship handsets are concerned. Unfortunately, tablets have been a completely different matter, with Samsung being much slower to push out Lollipop, and has only recently started introducing 5.1 to its tablet range. With that in mind, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (Wi-Fi) is the latest tablet to get Google’s sweet treat, moving from KitKat over to Android 5.0.2.

        • Samsung Galaxy Note 2, A3, A5, A7 Confirmed For Android 5.0 Lollipop Update
        • 7 Things to Expect from the Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 Release

          Earlier this month, an Android 5.1.1 update mysteriously appeared alongside an update to Google’s Android SDK. Earlier this week, Google finally confirmed the Nexus Android 5.1.1 release with an update for the Nexus Player. With an Android 5.1.1 update now on the minds of Nexus users, particularly Nexus 7 users dealing with Android 5.0 Lollipop problems, we want to take a look at what we expect from the Nexus 7 Android 5.1 release going forward.

        • Acer’s building an Android gaming tablet to go with its Predator PCs

          It’s safe to say that Acer’s gone a little batty this morning – the company crammed announcement after announcement into a press conference overlooking the New York City skyline, but some of the most interesting stuff didn’t get much detail. Case in point: The company’s working on an Android-powered Predator tablet to go along with its series of angular, red and black gaming PCs and it’s going to launch by the end of 2015.

        • NVIDIA’s SHIELD Console Becomes SHIELD Android TV

          NVIDIA updated their SHIELD website today with a bit more information on the SHIELD Console. And while an earlier $299 device listing ended up being erroneous – NVIDIA accidentally listed the developer edition console for a time – there is one other minor update that is true and bears mentioning.

          With today’s site update, NVIDIA has updated the name of the SHIELD Console. All of their branding now refers to the device as the SHIELD Android TV, doing away with the “Console” branding. The original SHIELD Console name has been somewhat inconsistent on NVIDIA’s part – the company would call it the Console at times, and other times simply the NVIDIA SHIELD – so this slight rebranding is presumably NVIDIA settling on what should be the device’s final name for next month’s launch.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Sci-fi meets open source at annual Penguicon nerdfest

      This weekend over 1,400 nerds will convene at the Southfield Westin Hotel for the 12th annual Penguicon, a technical conference and social convention that marries sci-fi fandom with collaborative, nonprofit software development.

  • Web Browsers

    • Top 4 Browsers For Linux With Good And Bad

      Selecting a good browser for you Linux machine depends on your needs but nowadays most of us require to use browsers for surfing Internet without some special work like development or so on. Most of us use browsers to do social networking, watching lectures for hours and playing games in browser. So here I’m reviewing Top 4 Browsers for Linux with mentioning some good and bad that I’ve faced.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • What’s Next for Apache’s Open Source Office Suite, OpenOffice?

      Still, as one of the longest-standing open source productivity apps, and one that played a major role in making desktop Linux viable, OpenOffice is a venerable project. Indeed, its history stretches all the way back to 1985 (when I was still merely an idea!), and it has been open source since 2000. If it folds, it will be one of the first big-name open source apps to do so—even if few people notice as they continue happily chugging along on LibreOffice.

    • OpenOffice development is looking grim as developers flock to LibreOffice
    • Is OpenOffice on its way out?

      A recent report prepared on the state of Apache OpenOffice shows that the organization is having a difficult time. While mailing list activity remains robust, there are few mentor for would-be developers and there’s currently no release manager. We won’t quote directly from the document, as its currently listed as a work-in-progress, but interested readers can find it here.

  • Business

  • BSD

    • No Linux, no Docker, no cloud OS? Think again

      Operating systems like CoreOS and Joyent’s SmartOS/Triton have worked to redefine, in radically different ways, what an OS needs to be to run applications at scale in the cloud.

      Now another OS is set to join the ranks of those trying to do the cloud-OS thing in a maverick way: OSv, an open source, hypervisor-optimized OS “designed to run an application stack without getting in the way.”


    • 6th Dev Mumble – April 27th, 9pm CEST @ gnunet.org

      On the 27th we get to officially announce the results from the GSoC application process to the students, so we should probably use this opportunity to also have a first discussion with those that have been selected. So, let’s have the 6th develper Mumble on Monday, April 27th, 9pm CEST, as usual using the Mumble server on gnunet.org.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Spanish regions grappling with eInvoicing

      The open source tool is provided for three computer operating systems, two proprietary ones and Linux. According to Seres marketing manager Alberto Redondo Correas, the software is hindered by its dependency on Java, and has to deal with different versions and inconsistent updates per platform. “A web service would perhaps be better”, he says.

    • European Union Should Finance Key Open Source Projects, Says “Mass Surveillance” Study

      According to a new study that was discussed today, April 23, in a committee meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels, a group of IT security experts think that the European Union should finance key open source projects that strengthen privacy and security, and configure certification schemes for fundamental open source tools.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Building Lenses: An open-source tool for mobile data viz

      The growth of mobile traffic to news sites raises the challenge of packing large amounts of information onto a small screen, a challenge even more present in stories with data visualisations.

    • Announcing CIR’s open-source Impact Tracker

      We’re excited to announce the upcoming launch of the CIR Impact Tracker, an open-source software platform for media organizations and content producers to keep track of outcomes and impact. We’ll be looking to have this new product live in early fall. Here’s a bit more about it and how it can help your newsroom.

    • Governance

      • New Bulgarian agency to focus on eGovernment

        The Bulgarian government wants to increase its eGovernment efforts. It is starting a new agency in the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications, by splitting the current Information Technology and eGovernment department in two. The eGovernment agency “will focus on one of the main priorities of the government”, it announced on Wednesday.

      • All communes of Brussels use FixMyStreet app
    • Open Hardware

      • How to get involved with the Open Source Hardware Association

        Back in October of 2014, I was lucky enough to be elected to the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) board. Because the association received its nonprofit status, the board is finally able to begin increasing its reach in the community. Many new initiatives are being discussed, and we’ve been collecting a lot of community input on what is needed in the open source hardware world. One of the main objectives the board has in mind for the next year is to continue building up the community interaction and awareness of the association.

      • Conceptualization and validation of an open-source closed-loop deep brain stimulation system in rat

        We used an Arduino open-source microcontroller between input and output sources. This allowed us to use hippocampal local field potentials (LFPs) to steer electrical stimulation in the mRt. Our results showed that closed-loop DBS significantly suppressed locomotion compared to no stimulation, and required on average only 56% of the stimulation used in open-loop DBS to reach similar effects. The main advantages of open-source hardware include wide selection and availability, high customizability, and affordability. Our open-source closed-loop DBS system is effective, and warrants further research using open-source hardware for closed-loop neuromodulation.


  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • WikiLeaks shows Sony concerned by IDF’s use of its cameras in Gaza bombings

      Sony Pictures Entertainment executives were concerned about a news report that showed one of its cameras being used to guide Israeli rockets bombing Gaza, company correspondance.

      Correspondence about the situation from last August was part of the release by WikiLeaks last week of more than 173,000 emails and more than 30,000 company documents. The story was first reported by the Electronic Intifada.

      The correspondence among Michael Lynton, the company’s CEO; Stevan Bernard, its head of corporate security; and David Diamond, executive assistant to the company chairman, included a link to an Iranian Press TV report in which the reporter held up a part of a bomb fired by Israel on Gaza during last summer’s conflict and said it contained a camera marked Sony.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Lancet medical journal under attack for ‘extremist hate propaganda’ over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

      One of the world’s oldest and most venerable medical journals is under attack from an international group of more than 500 doctors over its coverage of the humanitarian disaster caused by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

      The Lancet and its editor, Richard Horton, have been targeted over what the group claims is the “grossly irresponsible misuse of [the journal] for political purposes”. The controversy was sparked by an article deemed to be critical of Israel’s conduct in Gaza.

      The protesting doctors, including five Nobel laureates as well as Lord Winston, the broadcaster and IVF pioneer, style themselves “concerned academics”, and accuse the journal of publishing “stereotypical extremist hate propaganda”. They also accuse the journal’s owner, the publishing firm Reed Elsevier, of “profiting from the publication of dishonest and malicious material that incites hatred and violence”.

  • Civil Rights

    • Aaron’s Law Reintroduced To Try To Reform Dangerous, Broken Anti-Hacking Law

      We’ve written in the past how Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Senator Ron Wyden had introduced “Aaron’s Law” (named after Aaron Swartz) as a way to fix the very broken CFAA law, which was used to throw the book at Swartz for downloading too many JSTOR journal articles on MIT’s campus (where anyone on the network is allowed to download whatever they want from JSTOR). Swartz later committed suicide, which many blame on the aggressive prosecution against him (I hesitate to join those who do so, as you never know all the factors that went into the decision). Still, the CFAA has long needed a massive overhaul, as the law is frequently abused by law enforcement to threaten massive penalties for rather routine activities on a computer network.

    • New Jersey Cop Demands Camera From Eyewitness After Police Dog Allowed To Maul Prone Suspect

      If you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to hide, right? That’s what the government tells us when it wants to erect cameras and fund domestic surveillance efforts. So, what do you tell a police officer who demands a citizen hand over their phone? Even if the officer has done something wrong, he still can at least attempt to hide it. And even if the effort fails, he still likely has nothing to fear. That’s the imbalance of power at work and it leads directly to this sort of thing.

    • WATCH: New Jersey officer takes video from witness after filming arrest of man who later died in police custody

      New Jersey police may have gone too far when they took the cell phone from an onlooker who recorded their encounter with a suspect who was mauled by a police dog and later died.

      The man, Phillip White, had dog bites all over his body last week, his lawyer said, and a jarring video shows cops struggling to pull the dog away.

    • Cops are the terrorists in our neighborhood: On Freddie Gray, another victim of police brutality

      “Freddie Black” is what GD and some of his other friends called him. His real name was Freddie Gray. Gray, 25, was minding his business near Gilmore homes when the cops tried to stop him for no apparent reason.

      He ran, like a lot of black men do when we see cops, because for our generation, police officers have been the most consistent terrorists in our neighborhoods. Plus we are currently in a culture where a cop can shoot you if you put hands up, or if you follow their directions, or if you lie down, or if you are asleep. I swear they see black skin and think bull’s-eye.

      A pack of BCPD officers pursued Gray in traditional bully fashion, caught him, found a legal pocketknife and arrested him for no reason. Who knew that running with a pocketknife is against the law in Baltimore? Once they got Gray into the van, he seems to have been taken on what we call a Nickel Ride, which is basically when cops throw you in a vehicle, drive crazy and beat you until you reach the police station.

      The cops who arrested Gray apparently took it to another level, severing his spinal chord and smashing his voice box. Police officers are responsible for following the rules provided by the Red Cross or National Institute of Health: Do not bend, twist or lift the person’s head or body, do not attempt to move the person before medical help arrives unless it is absolutely necessary and do not remove any clothing if a spinal injury is suspected. Instead these officers beat and dragged his lifeless limbs across the pavement that probably caused further damage to his spinal column.

    • Corporate Sovereignty Trumps National Laws; Here’s How The US Thinks It Can Get Around That

      For a while now, Techdirt has been writing about the extraordinary corporate sovereignty chapters in trade agreements that grant foreign companies far-reaching powers to sue a government simply for issuing regulations that impact their investments. Recently, there has been a textbook example of how the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals that adjudicate corporate sovereignty cases are literally a law unto themselves.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Cable’s Top Lobbyist Just Can’t Understand Why People Like Google Better

      Trying to justify the cable industry’s latest lawsuit over net neutrality, former FCC boss turned top cable lobbyist Michael Powell has offered up an incredibly entertaining interview in which he struggles to understand why Google tends to see higher customer satisfaction ratings than the cable industry, and tries to brush away anti-competitive concerns as the ramblings of the uninformed masses who just don’t understand what a sweetheart the cable industry truly is.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • When three is company: trilogue happy with proposed EU trade mark reforms

        The European family of trade mark owners, practitioners, consumers, judges and administrators has been waiting patiently to find out what might be the fate of the European Commission’s proposals for trade mark reform. Today we have found out: both the EU Council and the European Parliament are, at least in theory, supportive. This Kat reproduces today’s media release below, with a few comments inserted in bold red print. This is how it reads:

      • Dogged pursuit of a trade mark parody: PUMA v PUDEL in the Bundesgerichtshof

        The claimant was the leading sports article manufacturer Puma, who owns the well-known German word-device trade mark for the word element “PUMA” combined with the outline of a jumping puma. The sign is used on sports wear. The defendant was the owner of the younger German word device trade mark registration for the word element “PUDEL” (English: poodle) and the outline of a jumping poodle, which had been registered since early 2006 for clothing and t-shirts, among other goods.

    • Copyrights

      • Dice Loaded Against Public in Canada’s Copyright Term Extension

        The announcement of the Canadian Government’s plan to extend copyright terms for sound recordings came as a surprise when it was released in Canada’s federal budget yesterday. The smooth stage management of the announcement has to be admired, accompanied as it was by pre-prepared soundbites from Canada’s music A-list extolling the benefits of this handout. In fact, with all the drama and glamor of the announcement, all that was missing was any prior public consultation or debate that could give the government an actual mandate to make this sweeping change to Canadian law.


Links 23/4/2015: Ubuntu 15.04 is Out, Debian 8.0 Out Very Soon

Posted in News Roundup at 5:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg talks privacy and open source

    The man behind the privacy-focused search engine talks about the benefits of privacy in web search and explains why he recently donated $125,000 to open source projects.

  • FlashRouters Celebrates Four Years of Offering Popular Routers with Open Source Firmware Enhancements for Personal & Business Users
  • Eight Ways to Use Open Source for More Effective Data Protection

    Linus’s Law, named after Linux creator Linus Torvalds, postulates that open code leads to more effective bug detection because when an entire community is scouring through code, fixes come more quickly. This is often the first thing IT pros consider when installing security inside an open-source model. Through popular code-and tool-sharing sites like GitHub, the open-source community aids other organizations in securing their own code and systems, offering a list of free security tools and frameworks for malware analysis, penetration testing and other tasks. Along these same lines, a recent report from the Ponemon Institute explored how IT professionals view commercial open-source software, data protection, and the security impact of messaging and collaboration solutions on their organizations. This slide show, based on eWEEK reporting and industry insight from Olivier Thierry, chief marketing officer of Zimbra, offers eight takeaways to help your business harness the value of open source and get serious about security.

  • Open source, IoT-ready Udoo hacker SBC starts at $49

    The open source, IoT-focused Udoo Neo SBC has won Kickstarter funding. The Neo runs Android or Linux on an i.MX6 SoloX, and has WiFi, BT, and Arduino hooks.

    Seco’s Udoo project unveiled the Udoo Neo single board computer in prototype form in early March. The project went to Kickstarter yesterday to formally launch the tiny Linux- and Android-ready hacker board and raised its modest $15,000 goal in just 80 minutes. We say modest because the Udoo project has already won a fair share of popularity in the community SBC world with open-spec SBCs like the Udoo Quad, and probably didn’t need a Kickstarter campaign to find success with the Neo. The campaign is now running in the $60,000+ range, with 43 days to go.

  • Sourcegraph: A free code search tool for open source developers

    A goldmine of open source code is available to programmers, but choosing the right library and understanding how to use it can be tricky. Sourcegraph has created a search engine and code browser to help developers find better code and build software faster.

    Sourcegraph is a code search engine and browsing tool that semantically indexes all the open source code available on the web. You can search for code by repository, package, or function and click on fully linked code to read the docs, jump to definitions, and instantly find usage examples. And you can do all of this in your web browser, without having to configure any editor plugin.

  • Events

    • Looking forward to LinuxFest Northwest 2015

      Wow, I haven’t posted anything new in a quite a while. Been working on remixing Fedora 22 since slightly before the Alpha was released. The Beta was released today. Been remixing EL6 and EL7 (CentOS, Scientific Linux and even OEL)… but enough about that.

      This post is to state what presentations I plan to attend at the upcoming LFNW in Bellingham, WA (this weekend). How many LFNWs in a row have I attended? I can’t recall.

    • LinuxFest Northwest Ready to Roll

      But what’s more important than those two items at the moment — we can deal with those later — is that LinuxFest Northwest is ramping up its 15th annual show in Bellingham, Washington, this week.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • A guide to Apache’s Spark Streaming

      Apache Spark is an open source cluster computing framework. In contrast to Hadoop’s two-stage disk-based MapReduce paradigm, Spark’s in-memory primitives provide performance up to 100 times faster for certain applications.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Is OpenOffice Dying?

      In September 2014, rumors were flying that Apache OpenOffice was floundering and might soon merge with LibreOffice. The rumors were denied, but revived in March 2015 when Jonathan Corbett used development activity statistics to show that OpenOffice was seriously short of developers, and had corporate support only from IBM. Now, OpenOffice’s most recent report to the Apache Foundation appears to reinforce these previous reports, and then some.

      To be fair, the report is listed as “a working copy and not to be quoted.” However, I am discussing it anyway for two reasons. First, much of the report was mentioned in earlier reports, which suggests that its information is accurate. Second, when I contacted Jan Iversen, the new OpenOffice Chair, three weeks ago, he gave the same warning even more strongly. Since then the contents has gone through at least one more draft, but with little change of content, which makes me suspect that the excuse is an effort to delay discussion of the content. If I am mistaken, the fact will eventually become obvious, since the report is, after all, a public document.

  • BSD

    • My switch to OpenBSD, first impressions

      So I switched to OpenBSD, and this blog post is here to talk about my first impressions. This probably won’t be my last blog post on the subject.

    • EuroBSDcon 2015: Extended deadline for submissions.

      Since there was a huge rush of submissions just on the very last day, we have decided to give a second chance for all of you that didn’t quite finish your talk or tutorial proposal in time for the deadline.

    • OpenBSD on Digital Ocean

      For OpenBSD users, it has been pretty disappointing that Digital Ocean didn’t launch other BSDs with introduction of FreeBSD, even though the technical barrier had been removed to allow it.

  • Public Services/Government

    • EP study: “EU should finance key open source tools”

      The European Union should finance initiatives that increase security and privacy of open source solutions, and set up certification schemes for essential open source tools, IT security experts recommend in two studies written for the European Parliament. They argue for EU funding of key open source tools and for the financing of bug hunts, to find and fix security issues in open source tools.

  • Openness/Sharing


  • Science

    • Internet forums are good for you

      Internet forums have a positive impact on life satisfaction and lead to increased involvement in communities outside the confines of the online world, according to a study published in Computers In Human Behavior. Redditors might be doing it right. The study approached users on a range of interest, lifestyle and hobby forums. The study split users into two groups: stigmatized subjects (like mental health discussion), and non-stigma related forums (sports, cooking and the rest). They were then polled about their reasons for joining the forum, how they felt about it, their life satisfaction and offline engagement with “issues raised in the forum”. Author lead Dr. Louise Pendry of the University of Exeter said that: “As well as finding answers, our study showed users often discover that forums are a source of great support, especially those seeking information about more stigmatizing conditions.”

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • McConnell bill would extend NSA surveillance

      Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a bill Tuesday night to extend through 2020 a controversial surveillance authority under the Patriot Act.

      The move comes as a bipartisan group of lawmakers in both chambers is preparing legislation to scale back the government’s spying powers under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

    • Some tech firms being ‘friendly to terrorists’ says UK police chief

      Some technology and communication firms are helping militants avoid detection by developing systems that are “friendly to terrorists”, Britain’s top anti-terrorism police officer said on Tuesday.

      Mark Rowley, the national police lead for counter-terrorism, said companies needed to think about their “corporate social responsibility” in creating products that made it hard for the authorities to access material during investigations.

      “Some of the acceleration of technology, whether it’s communications or other spheres, can be set up in different ways,” Rowley told a conference in London.

    • European Rights Body Again Rejects Mass Surveillance

      Europe’s top rights body, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has crystalized its censure of mass surveillance as a threat to fundamental human rights and to democracy itself by adopting a draft resolution in which it reiterates deep concerns over the practice of intelligence agencies systematically harvesting untargeted communications data, without adequate legal regulation or technical protection.

      “Mass surveillance does not appear to have contributed to the prevention of terrorist attacks, contrary to earlier assertions made by senior intelligence officials. Instead, resources that might prevent attacks are diverted to mass surveillance, leaving potentially dangerous persons free to act,” PACE warned yesterday.

      “These powerful structures risk escaping democratic control and accountability and they threaten the free and open character of our societies,” it added.

    • How to Detect Sneaky NSA ‘Quantum Insert’ Attacks

      Among all of the NSA hacking operations exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden over the last two years, one in particular has stood out for its sophistication and stealthiness. Known as Quantum Insert, the man-on-the-side hacking technique has been used to great effect since 2005 by the NSA and its partner spy agency, Britain’s GCHQ, to hack into high-value, hard-to-reach systems and implant malware.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Google may launch wireless service, all set to shake the US wireless market

      Google shook the US ISPs with their Google Fiber project which forced monopolies like Comcast to improve their own services. Google is now all set to shake another abusive market – wireless carriers.

    • Telco Trade Group USTelecom ‘Supports’ FCC Neutrality Rules, Just Not The FCC Actually Being Able To Enforce Them

      Despite the endless, breathless proclamations about “outdated, utility-style regulation” or the death of innovation, there’s really only one reason ISPs don’t want to be reclassified as common carriers by the FCC: the billions to be made by abusing the uncompetitive broadband last mile. The very threat of a regulator actually doing its job and establishing what are relatively thin consumer protections (just ask ISPs like Frontier, Cablevision, Sprint or Sonic.net) is really only a problem if you plan to make money off the backs of a captive audience that can’t vote with its wallet.

  • DRM

    • We Can’t Let John Deere Destroy the Very Idea of Ownership

      It’s official: John Deere and General Motors want to eviscerate the notion of ownership. Sure, we pay for their vehicles. But we don’t own them. Not according to their corporate lawyers, anyway.

      In a particularly spectacular display of corporate delusion, John Deere—the world’s largest agricultural machinery maker —told the Copyright Office that farmers don’t own their tractors. Because computer code snakes through the DNA of modern tractors, farmers receive “an implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Hollywood Anti-Piracy Initiative Requires a VPN Outside the U.S.

        MPAA chief Chris Dodd has urged theater owners and customers alike to support WhereToWatch, a “one-stop shop” designed to quickly guide audiences to legal content. Following its launch everyone could access the resource but perhaps fittingly, users outside the U.S. now need a VPN to receive advice.


Links 22/4/2015: Fedora 22 Beta, Atlassian Acquires BlueJimp

Posted in News Roundup at 6:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Can Microsoft Really Rival Linux?

    Why the high numbers for Linux? Linux is more stable. Linux servers have been known to run without failure for several years. That’s because Linux handles multitasking and process management better than Windows. That is debatable on the mobile area since many cheap Android (a Linux descendant) devices often freeze. Linux is also more secure since it’s built as a multiuser operating system from the ground up. It is better at sandboxing or containing applications and processes from the root system than Windows does. Linux servers are also minimal targets of hackers and malware, though not exactly a guarantee but it’s something to take advantage of. As for hardware requirements, Linux can be run on most computers. Depending on the distribution, Linux can run very smoothly on ten-year old computers. Lastly, all Linux distributions are free though some versions for the enterprise, like Red Hat, offer technical support for a fee.

  • Report Shows Linux Developers Are Increasingly in Demand

    A recent report show that IT departments are increasing efforts to hire Linux developers. The 2015 Linux Jobs Report, which forecasts the Linux job market based on a survey of hiring managers and Linux professionals, was commissioned by the Linux Foundation.

  • Desktop

    • 8 Linux file managers to try

      One of the most common administrative tasks that end users and administrators alike need to perform is file management. Managing files can consume a major portion of your time. Locating files, determining which files and folders (directories) are taking the most disk space, deleting files, moving files, and simply opening files for use in an application are some of the most basic—yet frequent—tasks we do as computer users. File management programs are tools that are intended to streamline and simplify those necessary chores.

    • 76 Everyday Linux User Guides For Beginners

      This article provides links to beginners guides to Linux, dual boot guides, guides for creating Linux USB drives, running Linux in a virtual machine, Linux installation guides, Linux customisation and application guides, Linux gaming guides, Raspberry PI guides, Chromebook guides and more.

  • Server

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Evolving KDE

        Paul and Lydia have blogged about how KDE should and could evolve. KDE as a whole is big, diverse, sprawling thing. It’s a house of many rooms, built on the idea that free software is important. By many, KDE is still seen as being in competition with Gnome, but Gnome still focuses on creating a desktop environment with supporting applications.

      • XPQ4 Theme Pack Provides Uncanny Resemblance with Windows OS

        XPQ4 is a funky open source theme that aims to provide Linux users with the look and feel of a Windows desktop. It might seem weird at first, but this is probably one of the most advanced solutions available right now.

      • LaKademy 2015 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

        The KDE Community in Brazil will host LaKademy 2015 June 3rd through 6th. The conference is an opportunity for KDE users and contributors to meet in person to make plans, work on software and other aspects of KDE technology. There will also be outreach to potential new contributors. The group is raising money for conference expenses and to offset travel costs for attendees.

      • Chakra: KDE Applications 15.04 , Frameworks 5.9 and linux 3.19.4 available

        KDE’s first release of its 15.04 series of Applications and Frameworks 5.9.0 are now available to all Chakra users. With this release kde-workspace has also been updated to version 4.11.18 and kdelibs to 4.14.7. Have in mind that the applications that have been ported to Frameworks 5 will not be updated but remain at their previous versions, as they are being prepared to be included in the upcoming Plasma5 switch.

      • Kubuntu 15.04 Users Can Install the Gorgeous Plasma 5.3 Beta Desktop

        Kubuntu 15.04 will be made available tomorrow as a stable release, along with all the flavors from the Ubuntu family, and it will be powered by KDE Plasma 5.2. To make things even better, developers have decided to make the latest Plasma 5.3 Beta available to willing users, as well.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Fedora 22 Beta Arrives with Plasma 5 & GNOME 3.16

        Red Hat and The Fedora Project Team today announced the release of Fedora 22 Beta, the last developmental release before Final. The default Workstation ships with GNOME 3.16 but spins are available with KDE Plasma 5, Xfce, LXDE, MATE, and Sugar in 32-bit and 64-bit. There are even spins for gaming, robotics, security, media creation, ARM, Docker, and more not counting the Server and Cloud images. If you can’t find a Fedora to fit, then you don’t need Linux.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-friendly TI SoC takes on FPGAs in DAQ apps

      TI’s Linux-ready 66AK2L06 SoC for high-speed data acquisition apps features dual Cortex-A15 cores, four DSPs, a digital front end, and a JESD204B interface.

      The 66AK2L06 system-on-chip is the latest salvo by Texas Instruments in a long-running campaign to demonstrate that DSP-based SoCs can more efficiently and easily perform tasks typically done with FPGAs and ASICs. The Linux-supported 66AK2L06 aims to replace FPGAs with what it claims is an easier, cheaper, faster, and more power efficient way to directly connect to ADCs, DACs, and AFEs for high-speed data generation and acquisition. Applications are said to include avionics, defense, medical, and test and measurement equipment.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Here are the top 20 most popular Tizen apps in March, 2015.

          Samsung have released a list of their Top 20 most popular Tizen apps in March 2015′. The company previously did a similar thing for February 2015 (I can see a tend starting now).

        • History of Samsung Smart TV to Tizen TV 2015

          There is nothing better than an Infographic to get your point across, and here we have one that shows the TV / Smart TV revolution. Samsung Introduced their Smart TV back in 2008 (seems like yesterday) with the PAVV Bordeaux TV 750, which gave consumers the option of connecting to the Internet, YouTube, access USB devices and explore the world of DLNA.

      • Android

        • Google takes aim at Apple Watch with Android Wear updates

          The company on Monday announced an upgrade to its Android Wear operating system for smart watches. Some features seem to take direct aim at the Apple Watch, including Wi-Fi support, a watch face that always shows the time, and doodles for messaging.

        • Sony’s REAL flagship could land next month

          Poor old Sony – after unveiling the Xperia Z4 earlier today, the company has faced a backlash across social media – and from myself – about how the Xperia Z4 isn’t really an upgrade, it’s just the same device with a couple of tweaks to the specifications. Except, all might not be as it seems with a new report suggesting that we’ll see Sony announce a real global flagship towards the end of next month.

        • Motorola begins testing Android 5.1 Lollipop for first-gen Moto X

          The original Motorola Moto X, released in 2013, has been in disadvantage since the official Lollipop release. Due to the dated Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset the Android updates need further tweaking before their rollout and first-gen Moto X was always the last of the Moto lineup on the update queue.

        • 10 Things to Do Before the Nexus Android 5.1.1 Update

          A Nexus Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update is confirmed and an Android 5.1.1 release could take place at any time. With that in mind, we want to take a look at some things we think Nexus users should do ahead of Google’s latest Android 5.1.1 release. These tips are geared towards non-power users and those that are thinking about installing the Android 5.0 Lollipop update for the first time.

        • The LG G Watch doesn’t have WiFi, all other Android Wear smartwaches will get WiFi support

          Yesterday, Google announced that Android Wear smartwatches would be getting WiFi support in the next coming weeks, bringing most Android Wear devices in line with the upcoming Apple Watch. Having a WiFi connected Android wearable is definitely a highly sought after feature, even if you still need to have your phone powered on and connected to the Internet in one way or another for full watch functionality. The question remains, does every Android Wear smartwatch support WiFi? Sadly, no.

        • Clean Up Your Messy Android and iPhone Contacts Without Going Mad
        • Adobe updates Lightroom with facial recognition, GPU enhancements, & new Android features
        • Good Technology expands Android security options

          Mobile security provider Good Technology on Tuesday released a set of security options that puts hardware-backed security capabilities into all Good-secured Android apps.

        • Google engineers on Android ecosystem facts and myths

          Ludwig decried a number of myths surrounding the definitions of malware and spyware in general. Among these, some of the assumptions floating around include the spread of malware is always increasing, most devices aren’t protected, and all malware can compromise them.

        • Pioneer brings Android Auto to aftermarket car audio systems

          With the introduction of Pioneer’s latest aftermarket car audio systems, Android users with Apple CarPlay envy now have access to the same kind of in-car phone integration that iOS fans enjoy—as long as they’re willing to spring for an aftermarket radio to get it.

          That’s because for now, at least—like Apple CarPlay—Android Auto has yet to make an appearance in a system from a mainstream automaker. The Android Auto website does list 28 carmakers set to roll the system out soon. (Android Auto is compatible only with Andoroid OS 5.0—aka Lollipop—or later.)

        • 5 Best Android Phones [April, 2015]

          With several new Android flagships now on shelves, those in the hunt for a new Android smartphone have some more options to choose from. With that in mind, we want to help narrow things down for those that need things narrowed down as we take a look at the device’s we think represent the best Android phones for April, 2015.

Free Software/Open Source

  • VMware introduces new open source projects to accelerate enterprise adoption of cloud-native applications

    VMware has announced two new open source projects built to enable enterprise adoption of cloud-native applications – Project Lightwave, an identity and access management project that will extend enterprise-scale and security to cloud-native applications; and Project Photon, a lightweight Linux operating system optimized for cloud-native applications.

  • The Fighting Unicorns charge into robotics competition with open source edge

    Open source has a strong tie to the FIRST value of gracious professionalism. What it boils down to is sharing what you know with others. There are countless other ways that open source is used in FIRST. Teams embrace a culture of sharing and learning for the good of all—an open source culture. And, at all levels of the program, from grade school to high school, kids are being taught numerous skills—including the value of open source. The world of FIRST is full of students, mentors, and volunteers who make it all happen and worthwhile. I cannot say enough how much the mentors and volunteers do, and how important they are. I want to take a moment to thank them for their time and dedication!

  • How I use Android: Open source superstar Jean-Baptiste Quéru (JBQ)

    Few people are as known and loved among Android enthusiasts as Jean-Baptiste Quéru — or JBQ, as he’s more often called online. JBQ spent years as the maintainer and public face of Google’s Android Open Source Project (AOSP), the publicly accessible source code that makes up Android and is used by manufacturers and developers to get the software onto devices.

  • Linux in the Air: Drone systems go open-source

    Not only is spring in the air, so is Linux. But this wasn’t always the case. Early drones relied on either proprietary OSes or simple Arduino-based controllers such as the ArduPilot. While both of these approaches to drone control have been successful, they implicitly limit innovation — the former because they are closed systems, and the latter because of limited computing power. The recent introduction of Linux-based drones will stimulate the UAV (Unpiloted Aerial Vehicle) market by creating more flexible, open platforms. Here’s how Linux takes off … literally.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 42 Disables NPAPI Plugins by Default

        Google has finally disabled the NPAPI plug architecture for the Chrome browser, but the means to use that architecture will still be there for a few more months.

        The NPAPI plugin architecture has been around for quite some time, and it helped people use some services like Silverlight or Flash, but that is coming to end. Developers have been trying to move their services to alternative technologies that don’t rely on NPAPI, and they’ve done this for the most part, but it’s possible that some users will feel the loss.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Atlassian Acquires Open Source Video Conferencing Company BlueJimp To Power HipChat’s Video Chat

        Atlassian, the company behind developer and collaboration tools like JIRA, Confluence and HipChat, today announced that it has acquired the video conferencing service BlueJimp.

        BlueJimp, which is headquartered in Strasbourg, France, is the company behind Jitsi, a popular open-source chat and video conferencing tool. BlueJimp’s technology will replace the current video chat technology that powers Atlassian’s HipChat video features, both in Atlassian’s hosted and on-premise versions.

      • [jitsi-users] Big News!

        BlueJimp has just become part of the Atlassian family, and we’re really excited.


    • The Licensing and Compliance Lab interviews Matt Lee from The List powered by Creative Commons

      This is the latest installment of our Licensing and Compliance Lab’s series on free software developers who choose GNU licenses for their works.

    • The Curious History of Komongistan (Busting the term “intellectual property”)

      The purpose of this parable is to illustrate just how misguided the term “intellectual property” is. When I say that the term “intellectual property” is an incoherent overgeneralization, that it lumps together laws that have very little in common, and that its use is an obstacle to clear thinking about any of those laws, many can’t believe I really mean what I say. So sure are they that these laws are related and similar, species of the same genus as it were, that they suppose I am making a big fuss about small differences. Here I aim to show how fundamental the differences are.

      Fifty years ago everyone used to recognize the nations of Korea, Mongolia and Pakistan as separate and distinct. In truth, they have no more in common than any three randomly chosen parts of the world, since they have different geographies, different cultures, different languages, different religions, and separate histories. Today, however, their differentness is mostly buried under their joint label of “Komongistan”.

      Few today recall the marketing campaign that coined that name: companies trading with South Korea, Mongolia and Pakistan called those three countries “Komongistan” as a simple-sounding description of their “field” of activity. (They didn’t trouble themselves about the division of Korea or whether “Pakistan” should include what is now Bangladesh.) This label gave potential investors the feeling that they had a clearer picture of what these companies did, as well as tending to stick in their minds. When the public saw the ads, they took for granted that these countries formed a natural unit, that they had something important in common. First scholarly works, then popular literature, began to talk about Komongistan.

    • GCC 5.1 released

      …major release containing substantial new functionality not available in GCC 4.9.x

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source saves costs at Portugal road authority

      Open source has helped Estradas de Portugal, Portugal’s road authority, to reduce IT costs while increasing flexibility. EP is using Odoo, an open source solution for management assets. Odoo is combined with a proprietary financial reporting system, and is used for managing the government-owned company’s tangible and non-tangible assets.


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Internet Security Marketing: Buyer Beware

      As security breaches increasingly make headlines, thousands of Internet security companies are chasing tens of billions of dollars in potential revenue. While we, the authors, are employees of Internet security companies and are happy for the opportunity to sell more products and services, we are alarmed at the kind of subversive untruths that vendor “spin doctors” are using to draw well-intentioned customers to their doors. Constructive criticism is sometimes necessarily harsh, and some might find the following just that, harsh. But we think it’s important that organizations take a “buyers beware” approach to securing their business.

    • Tuesday’s security updates
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • A Horror We Made

      We are directly responsible for the disasters in the Mediterranean. The bombing of Libya into failed state status is now coming back to haunt us. The ludicrous idea, propounded by Blair, Robert Cooper and the Henry Jackson Society, that you could improve dictatorial states by massive bombing campaigns that targeted their basic infrastructure, is now a total bust. Sadly so are Iraq and Libya, to the permanent detriment of many millions of people. We caused both the Islamic State and the Mediterranean boat disasters, and we caused them with bombs.


      There will be no security anywhere if the world does not address the terrible scourge of African poverty and under-development. That is a huge subject on which I have written extensively and worked much of my life, and I do not wish to open it here. But what it does show is the utter stupidity – inhumanity yes, but also stupidity – of UKIP in thinking that cutting development aid will increase the economic security of the UK.

    • WH won’t call Armenian killings ‘genocide’

      The White House again will not use the term “genocide” to describe the Ottoman Turks’ massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915.

      Senior administration officials met with leaders from the Armenian-American community Tuesday to discuss the 100th anniversary commemoration of the killings, but a statement summarizing the meeting did not contain the word “genocide.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • “A bathtub ring of oil the size of Rhode Island”: The endless horrors of the BP oil spill

      A blowout at the Macondo oil well five years ago today touched off what has since become known as the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history. Oil washed ashore on long stretches of the Gulf of Mexico coast, killing animals and crippling communities. Last week we asked our readers to send us photos, video and written accounts of how the spill continues to affect their lives and livelihoods—including successes and failures in restoring the environment.

      Overall, the responses indicate a few bright spots, but in many cases damage to ecosystems and fishing grounds has simply not been addressed. In large part this is because communities are still waiting for money from the government; 80 percent of the $13 billion BP paid in fines is supposed to go to states and communities most affected by the spill, but the money is still held up, waiting for a federal court to make final rulings on dispersement.

    • New Google Doodle Celebrates Earth Day 2015

      In 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets to spread the message of environmental awareness, and in the process created the first ever Earth Day. To honor what has become a global observance, a new Google Doodle has been created for Earth Day 2015.

    • Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris

      There is a one-in-ten chance of the world being 6C warmer than it is today by 2100 which would lead to cataclysmic changes in the global climate with unimaginable consequences for human civilisation, leading climate researchers have warned in an “Earth Statement”.

      The risk of hitting the highest upper estimate for global warming based on current levels of carbon dioxide emissions is now so high that it is equivalent to tolerating the risk of 10,000 fatal aircraft crashes a day, according to the 17 “Earth League” scientists and economists who have signed the joint statement.

    • TV Reporters Shoot Down BP’s Misleading PR Campaign

      On the five-year anniversary of the worst oil spill in U.S. history, television reporters detailed the devastating environmental and economic impacts still facing the Gulf Coast region today, and directly rebutted BP’s misleading spin. But they should not lose sight of another equally-important part of the story: how increasingly risky and expansive offshore drilling practices, along with insufficient oversight, could lead to another major spill.

  • Finance

    • MtGox insolvent long before collapse – FT.com

      MtGox, a bitcoin trading platform that collapsed early last year, was insolvent long before it went bankrupt because thieves practically cleaned it out, the Financial Times reported Sunday, citing a report by independent investigators.

      Findings by WizSec, an independent consulting firm, showed that bitcoins were periodically being stolen from the Tokyo-based exchange two years before its collapse, the newspaper reported online.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • General Election 2015: If Rupert Murdoch can’t swing it for the Tories, he will lose his grip over Britain

      This newspaper is independent, as its name subtly hints, but its columnists are not. And so, knowing that this can be of no interest to anyone, I declare that I will be voting Labour for the first time since reluctantly overcoming my feelings about Tony Blair and his “project” to do so in 1997.

    • Hillary Clinton–Bolshevik?

      So the basis for referring to Clinton as a “Bolshevik” is her healthcare reform plan–a plan that was specifically designed (not unlike Obamacare) to maintain the role of private insurance companies in the healthcare system (Extra!, 1-2/94).

  • Censorship

    • MPAA Strategized On How To ‘Tell The Positive Side’ Of Internet Censorship

      Back in December, when the Sony emails first leaked, we wrote a detailed post about the bizarre views of the MPAA on site blocking, in that it was absolutely obsessed with putting site blocking in place while admitting it didn’t understand the technical issues. That was based on the reporting done by some reporters who had seen a few of the emails. Now that Wikileaks has released the entire trove, we can discover some more details, like the fact that part of the MPAA’s plan was to figure out how to create pro-censorship propaganda.

    • Twitter announces crackdown on abuse with new filter and tighter rules

      Social network moves to ban indirect threats of violence and introduces temporary suspensions for accounts that fall foul of its policies

  • Privacy

    • French Intelligence Bill: French President Hollande to shut down public debate

      French President François Hollande announced yesterday that he would bring the Intelligence Bill before the Constitutional Council. At the same time there is growing criticism from all sides, previous support in favour of the bill crumbles. In this light, French president’s announcement look nothing more than an evasive action to avoid public debate on crucial provisions. La Quadrature du Net calls on parliamentarians to decide for themselves whether the bill complies or not with fundamental rights and citizens must then hold them accountable.

    • How Tor is building a new Dark Net with help from the U.S. military

      The Dark Net is under attack.

      Actually, it’s always under attack. That’s the smart attitude to take as the spotlight has been turned up on technology like the Tor-anonymizing network. Threats from governments and hackers around the world have pushed Tor’s decade-old hidden service technology to its limits.

      To stay ahead in the security race, Tor is building the next-generation Dark Net in part with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the U.S. military agency charged with inventing the cutting edge of new technology.

    • The FBI’s Stance on Encrypted Communications [written by FBI]
  • Civil Rights

    • Baltimore judge allows police use of Stingray phone tracking in murder case

      A city judge turned back a challenge Monday to the Baltimore Police Department’s use of a controversial cellphone surveillance tool in a murder case, ruling that a suspect can’t complain about police deploying the device to find a stolen phone.

    • Is Merely Explaining The Streisand Effect To Someone A ‘Threat’?

      Ken White, over at Popehat, has a story on the ridiculous situation concerning how lawyer/psychotherapist Jose Arcaya is going after lawyer Scott Greenfield (whose work we often mention around these parts). The history of how it got this far is a bit convoluted, and you can read the full Popehat post for the details, but here’s my shortened version: An apparently unsatisfied former client of Arcaya left a negative review of Arcaya on Yelp. Arcaya sued for defamation, arguing that being called “absolute scum” is not merely an opinion because of the use of the word “total” (which as far as I can tell is not actually used in the review — though perhaps he means “absolute” or perhaps something was edited.

    • ‘Aaron’s Law’ focuses penalties on malicious hackers

      Named for Aaron Swartz — the programmer and digital activist who took his life while facing data theft charges — the bill would ease punishments stemming from the law under which Swartz was charged, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

      Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) is backing the House version; Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Ron Paul (R-Ky.) are supporting the Senate’s companion bill.

      “At its very core, CFAA is an anti-hacking law,” said Lofgren in a statement. “Unfortunately, over time we have seen prosecutors broadening the intent of the act, handing out inordinately severe criminal penalties for less-than-serious violations.”

    • If It Speeds, It Leads: Daredevil’s Media Criticism Is Tough to Swallow

      Take the character Ben Urich, played by Vondie Curtis-Hall. On the show as well as in the comic, Urich is an old-school city reporter whose dogged reporting puts him on the trail of Daredevil’s secret identity. Naturally, you can’t have a journalistic hero without obstacles to overcome, so Urich has an editor who doesn’t want him to pursue the story.

      And here’s where the story gets improbable : The New York City tabloid editor’s objection is that people don’t read crime stories.

      “Another organized crime thing?” says the editor (as transcribed by Romenesko). “It’s not sexy.”

      When Urich explains that the Daredevil story may tie in to an earlier scoop of his, the editor has a memorable dismissal: “And you remember what that expose did for circulation? Dick—with a side of who-gives-a-shit.”

      The editor’s bottom line on crime: “It doesn’t sell papers, Ben! Not anymore.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Facebook’s Zuckerberg Thinks Aggressively Violating Net Neutrality Is Fine…If You Just Mean Well

      As we noted last week, India is in the midst of a heated conversation about net neutrality, as the government puts out feelers to determine how best to define an “open internet.” As part of this conversation, Facebook’s Internet.org initiative has come under particular scrutiny; the platform offering users in some countries walled gardens to a limited crop of zero rated apps and content. While Facebook consistently emphasizes the philanthropic nature of this effort, content companies have been dropping out of the project in droves, arguing that they don’t like the idea of Facebook (or an ISP) determining who does and doesn’t get cap-exempt treatment (and therefore a leg up in the market).

    • La Quadrature du Net upgrades to version 2.1

      A significant choice looms ahead of us: will we let establish societies of surveillance and mass suspicion will we build societies of freedom, collaboration and sharing? To face these historical challenges and thanks to the +6 000 supporters who donated in late 2014, La Quadrature du Net is renewing its team and getting stronger.

  • DRM

    • 4 Crappy Side Effects Of Streaming TV Nobody Saw Coming

      Streaming services are undoubtedly the future of entertainment. Never before has it been so easy and convenient to watch SeaQuest DSV, or whatever show you’re wasting your time on instead. But there’s also a dark side to this breakthrough in boob-tubery — because streaming’s ability to trump the old television system has also irrevocably damaged television in ways we didn’t see coming.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Dotcom Appeals Extradition Delay Ruling, Colleague Lawyerless

        As the battle over Kim Dotcom’s fate continues, the entrepreneur was back in court today appealing the decision not to delay a June extradition hearing. But while Dotcom enjoyed support from a reported 10-strong legal team, former Megaupload colleague Finn Batato appeared lawyerless amid an application for legal aid.

      • Court: Google Can See Emails About MPAA’s Secret ‘SOPA Revival’

        In backroom meetings the MPAA and Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood discussed a plan to bring website blocking and search engine filtering back to the table after the controversial SOPA law failed to pass.

        The plan, dubbed “Project Goliath,” became public through various emails that were released during the Sony Pictures leaks. In a response Google said that it was “deeply concerned” about the developments.

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