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11.07.16

Links 7/11/2016: NES Classic Linux Computer

Posted in News Roundup at 7:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Stop searching for projects and start searching for bugs

    GitHub has a powerful search engine where you can customize your search in a variety of ways. The easiest way to search is by issue label.

    A lot of open source projects label their issues to conveniently track them, using labels like beginner, easy, starter, good first bug, low hanging fruit, bitesize, trivial, easy fix, and new contributor.

    You can further narrow down your search based on the programming language you’re comfortable with, by adding language: name to your search query. For example, here are all issues labeled as “beginner” in JavaScript.

  • ‘Open source’ is not ‘free software’

    In the open source universe, using terms such as FLOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source Software) is common and represents a casual conflation of the terms open source and free software, which are often used interchangeably. I would be remiss if I didn’t also admit that I have been guilty of same. I won’t be doing that anymore—or at least I’ll try not to—for a simple reason: Using the terms interchangeably is dangerous to the goals of free software and open media advocates (read “anti-DRM”). To continue this practice is to undermine beliefs that are fundamental to free software and associated movement.

  • RPG Open Source Horse Pulls IBM i Community Plow

    The RPG development community is shrinking. I don’t mean because old programmers are riding into the sunset. I’m talking about collaboration and its ability to guide development that benefits the community by addressing the challenges of next generation applications for IBM midrange shops. Not that a collaborative open source culture is thriving here. But it could and it should. There are efforts to get this under way. And that will figuratively shrink the community.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome Crushing It In The Browser Wars While Edge Continues To Sputter

      Despite all the effort Microsoft is expending in getting Internet users to try out and stick with its Edge browser, Chrome continues to the popular choice. Even worse for Microsoft, Chrome’s popularity is growing—it now accounts for more than half of all desktop browser usage and has nearly double the market share of Edge and Internet Explorer combined.

      Market research firm Net Applications has Chrome sitting pretty with a 54.99 percent share of the desktop browser market, up from 31.12 percent at this moment a year ago, while Internet Explorer and Edge combine for 28.39 percent and Firefox stuck at around 11 percent. Even more interesting is that when Windows 10 launched to the public at the end of July 2015, Chrome had a 27.82 percent share of the market while Internet Explorer still dominated the landscape with a 54 percent share. Now the script has flipped.

    • Chrome

      • Google’s Chrome Hackers Are About to Upend Your Idea of Web Security

        In a show of hacker team spirit in August of last year, Parisa Tabriz ordered hoodies for the staff she leads at Google, a group devoted to the security of the company’s Chrome browser. The sweatshirts were emblazoned with the words “Department of Chromeland Security,” along with Chrome’s warning to users when they visit insecure websites that leave them open to surveillance or sabotage: a red padlock crossed out with an X.

      • Gopass, a Chrome extension for Pass

        Last week I treated myself to some hardware upgrades for my desktop, which will be my main workstation from now on. After installing Ubuntu Gnome, I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of my favorite applications from OSX have a Linux version.

        One application that does not have a native Linux client is 1Password, my (now ex-) password manager. Luckily, there’s Pass.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Databases

    • Open-source database PostgreSQL powering GOV.UK portal

      The UK Government Digital Service (GDS) has been running PostgreSQL for one year now to power the GOV.UK portal. This open-source database system hosts the central content store underlying the portal, its Content Management System (CMS), and its internal publishing API.

  • Education

    • Hungary seeks nationwide, open source eLearning tool

      Municipalities in Hungary should be able to use modern, web based eLearning tools to train their staff. To make this possible, Hungary’s State Treasury is looking for a service provider to help them run the open source Moodle eLearning solution.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 11.0

      There were definitely some attractive features in FreeBSD 11.0. I especially enjoyed the changes to the system installer. The ability to set up UFS and ZFS through a series of guided steps was a welcome feature. I also really appreciate that the installer will allow us to enable certain security features like PID randomization and hiding the processes of other users. Linux distributions allow the administrator to set these options, but they often require digging through documentation and setting cryptic variables from the command line. FreeBSD makes enabling these features as straight forward as checking a box during the initial installation.

      I also like how pkg has progressed. I think it has become faster in the past year or two and handled dependencies better than it did when the new package manager was introduced. In addition, FreeBSD’s documentation is as good as ever, though I feel it has become more scattered. There were times I would find what I wanted in the Handbook, but other times I had to switch to the wiki or dig through a man page. The information is out there, but it can take some searching to find.

      Other aspects of running FreeBSD were more disappointing. For example, I had hoped to find boot environments working and accessible from the boot menu. However, progress seems to have reversed in this area as switching boot environments prevented the system from loading. There were some other issues, for example I was unable to login from the graphical login screen, but I could access the Lumina desktop by signing into my account from the command line and launching an X session.

      Hardware was a weak point in my experiment. FreeBSD did not work on my desktop machine at all in BIOS mode and failed to boot from installation media in UEFI mode. When running in a VirtualBox environment, the operating system did much better. FreeBSD was able to boot, play sound and run smoothly, but screen resolution was limited, even after VirtualBox modules had been installed and enabled.

      Perhaps my biggest concern though while using FreeBSD 11.0 was that I could not update the base operating system, meaning it would be difficult to keep the system patched against security updates. Even once I had manually created a /boot directory to fix the boot environment creation issue, freebsd-update and freebsd-version continued to fail to detect the running kernel. This leaves the system vulnerable and means our best chance for keeping up with security updates is to manually install them from source code, not an ideal situation.

      All in all, FreeBSD 11.0 does have some interesting new features, but it also has several bugs which make me want to hold off on using the operating system until a point release has been made available to fix the existing issues.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • The People’s Code – Now on Code.gov

      Over the past few years, we’ve taken unprecedented action to help Americans engage with their Government in new and meaningful ways.

      Using Vote.gov, citizens can now quickly navigate their state’s voter registration process through an easy-to-use site. Veterans can go to Vets.gov to discover, apply for, track and manage their benefits in one, user-friendly place. And for the first time ever, citizens can send a note to President Obama simply by messaging the White House on Facebook.

      By harnessing 21st Century technology and innovation, we’re improving the Federal Government’s ability to provide better citizen-centered services and are making the Federal Government smarter, savvier, and more effective for the American people. At the same time, we’re building many of these new digital tools, such as We the People, the White House Facebook bot, and Data.gov, in the open so that as the Government uses technology to re-imagine and improve the way people interact with it, others can too.

    • People’s Code: The U.S. Government Delivers Numerous Open Source Projects

      When it comes to the U.S. government, most people’s eyes are trained on the Presidential race, and if yours are, you may have missed the substantial work promoting open source software that the government is doing. For example, The Office of Management and Budget recently mandated in a lengthy memo that under the final Federal Source Code policy, federal agencies will have to share internally developed code with each other and release at least 20 percent of their code to the public.

      Now, the government has launched an update of its website, Code.gov, aimed at housing key open source projects.

    • Code.gov is the US government’s open-source software hub
  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • Deep Dive: Open Access and Transforming the Future of Research

        EFF works to inform the world about breaking issues in the world of technology policy and civil liberties. And one of our best ways of communicating with our friends and members is through our nearly-weekly newsletter, EFFector. Last week, we sent out a very special EFFector: a deep dive, single-issue edition that got into the nitty-gritty of open access and research. To keep the conversation going, we are publishing it here on the Deeplinks blog as well.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • East African Nations Agree Declaration Promoting Regional Pharma Sector Investment

      The three-day conference brings together key stakeholders from EAC Partner States including Ministries of Health, Finance and Industry, National Medicines Regulatory Agencies (NMRAs), National Procurement Agencies (NMPAs), AU-NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the private sector (local and international pharmaceutical manufacturers) as well as international development partners and investors among others.

    • Indian Generic Pharma Warns Against Government Caving To US Pressure On Data Exclusivity

      The Indian Drug Technical Advisory Board meeting on 7 November is expected to discuss a measure that could lead to opening the way to a 10-year data exclusivity period for originator pharmaceutical companies in India, according to the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance. The alliance submitted a letter to the advisory board to warn against consequences on public health of data exclusivity if the Indian government “succumbs to” pressure by the United States.

      In a letter to the Indian Drug Technical Advisory Board dated 27 October, D G Shah, secretary general of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA), explained why data exclusivity, which extends market exclusivity, would delay access to cheaper versions of the medicines.

    • WHO Makes Headway In Hepatitis C Treatment Access Campaign

      A leading cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis, chronic infection by hepatitis C virus (HCV) affects more than 80 million people worldwide, 85% of whom live in low (13%) and middle (72%) income countries. Around 15% of Egypt’s population, for example, is infected – one of the world’s highest prevalence rate – while it is estimated that 12 million people in India have hepatitis C.

      Nearly 700 000 people are killed by hepatitis C yearly, where preventive vaccines are lacking.

      And this occurs at a time when at least 1.2 million people in Japan and three million Americans suffer from hepatitis C, while the infection is a major European public-health challenge (between 0.4% and 3.5% of the population in different EU Member States), as the most common single cause of liver transplantation.

  • Security

    • Free security is the only security that really works

      There are certain things people want and will pay for. There are things they want and won’t. If we look at security it’s pretty clear now that security is one of those things people want, but most won’t pay for. The insane success of Let’s Encrypt is where this thought came from. Certificates aren’t new, they used to even be really cheap (there were free providers, but there was a time cost of jumping through hoops). Let’s Encrypt make the time and actual cost basically zero, now it’s deployed all over. Depending who you ask, they’re one of the biggest CAs around now, and that took them a year? That’s crazy.

    • SQLi, XSS zero-days expose Belkin IoT devices, Android smartphones

      Research director Scott Tenaglia and lead research engineer Joe Tanen detailed the vulnerabilities during their ‘Breaking BHAD: Abusing Belkin Home Automation devices’ talk at the Black Hat Europe conference in London last Friday.

      The zero-day flaws specifically relate to Belkin’s smart home products and accompanying Android mobile application, which is used to wirelessly control the home automation devices.

      The first flaw, a SQL injection vulnerability, enables would-be hackers to inject malicious code into the paired Android WeMo smartphone app, and thus take root control of the connected home automation device.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Evil Russian Propaganda from the Evil Russian Invaders

      The BBC World Service was founded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and funded by them directly for six decades, until a cosmetic change last year. Its specific purpose is to spread British values and the British view of the world abroad. It specifically, on its dozens of different national services, gives an opportunity to dissident voices who cannot get on their mainstream media. The Americans spend hundreds of millions annually on outfits like RFE/RL to do the same. Yet when the Russians do precisely the same thing on a much smaller scale, for example by enabling you to listen to me, this is portrayed as evil propaganda.

      Fortunately we have the Henry Jackson Society to defend you from it. The Henry Jackson Society, supported by Liam Fox, Jim Murphy and pretty well every other right wing enthusiast you can name, is of course a great believer in free markets. And its sense of the market has detected that its old product of a constant stream of Islamophobia is becoming dated, and currently buyers want Russophobia. Whatever your phobia, the Henry Jackson Society will have some to sell you, so here we have their new Manual of Russophobia.

    • Do Wars Make Us Safer? The People Aren’t Feeling It

      A new poll from an unlikely source suggests that the US public and the US media have very little in common when it comes to matters of war and peace.

      This poll was commissioned by that notorious left-wing hotbed of peaceniks, the Charles Koch Institute, along with the Center for the National Interest (previously the Nixon Center, and before that the humorously named Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom). The poll was conducted by Survey Sampling International.

    • Yemen: The man who lost 27 family members in an air strike

      The war in Yemen had been going on for just two months when Abdullah al-Ibbi sat down for a late-night meal with his two wives, their children and grandchildren. It was then, in an instant, that his world shattered.

      The air strike that hit Abdullah’s home killed 27 members of his family. He survived, but only learnt about their deaths six weeks later when he woke up in a hospital bed.

      “If I didn’t fear God, I would have committed suicide at that moment,” he recalls. “I would have jumped off a building… but God gave me patience.”

      The family had lived in the Houthi rebel stronghold of Saada, which has come under intense aerial bombardment by the Saudi-led coalition supporting the exiled President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

      The air strike hit their home at around midnight, says Abdullah. Rescuers with bulldozers worked until morning to retrieve the bodies buried under the rubble. Seventeen were children – the youngest, Abdullah’s granddaughter, Inas, was one month old.

      Three of his adult sons also made it out alive.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • NOAA 2017 Tide Tables are Available

      NOAA 2017 tide tables are now available. NOAA tide tables have been in production for 150 years and are used by both commercial and recreational mariners for safe navigation. Printed tide tables provide users with tide and tidal current predictions in an easy-to-read format for particular locations. NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services produce these tide tables on an annual basis.

    • Rose Aguilar on Standing Rock Reporting, Michelle Chen on Samsung Labor and Environmental Abuses

      This week on CounterSpin: In their feature “What to Know About the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests,” Time magazine told readers that “environmental activists say” the pipeline would contribute to man-made climate change; “they insist that fossil fuels—including the vast reserves in the Bakken Shale—need to be kept in the ground to protect the world from the worst effects of climate change.”

    • Adidas is making a million pairs of its much-anticipated sneakers created from recycled ocean plastic

      For more than a year, Adidas has been teasing the release of a shoe made almost entirely from discarded plastic fished out of the oceans. It revealed its first prototype of the sustainable sneaker, created in collaboration with environmental organization Parley for the Oceans, in June 2015. Finally, in mid-November, the first mass-produced quantity—7,000 pairs, to be exact—will go on sale, and according to Adidas, that’s just the start.

      “We will make one million pairs of shoes using Parley Ocean Plastic in 2017—and our ultimate ambition is to eliminate virgin plastic from our supply chain,” Eric Liedtke, an Adidas executive board member responsible for global brands, said in a Nov. 4 statement.

    • Green Party Candidate In 33rd Senate Race Feels Real Issues Have Been Ignored By Major Parties

      Colin Bennett is no stranger to running as a Green Party candidate in the 33rd Senate District. He ran and lost in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2014. The only race he missed in the past decade was in 2012, when he ran for Congress.

      Bennett believes that the issue of climate change is too important not to keep trying to find a way to awaken people to the dangers involved, and if that involves running for office, then so be it, he says.

      “Literally, I feel the world is on the precipice of disaster,” said Bennett. “I’m doing everything in my power to turn that around.”

      Bennett, 37, lives in Westbrook, runs a small used bookstore in Deep River called Bennett’s Books, and has other jobs to make ends meet. In the summer, Bennett works for Sail Connecticut Access, a nonprofit operation that gives people with special needs the opportunity to go sailing.

      The campaign across the 33rd Senate District, which stretches down the Connecticut River Valley from Portland to Old Saybrook, has been dominated by disputes between Republicans and Democrats over Donald Trump and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

    • French Greens pick MEP Jadot for 2017 presidential race

      French MEP Yannick Jadot will be the Green candidate for French president next year after winning a second-round party primary Monday.

      Jadot won 54 percent of the vote against Michèle Rivasi, who also sits in the Greens/European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament.

      Jadot, a 49-year-old former Greenpeace activist, won the most votes in the primary’s first round in late October with support of 36 percent. Around 13,000 party members and supporters cast their ballot either by mail or online (for French nationals abroad) last week in the second-round of voting.

  • Finance

    • NYT’s Kristof Blames Poverty on Too Many TVs, Not Too Little Money

      Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for giving “voice to the voiceless” on international social justice issues, wrote an op-ed in yesterday’s Times (10/30/16) arguing for increased government action on poverty. His calls for heightened attention to economic deprivation, though, were buried in a larger message that was familiar to longtime Kristof-watchers: that the poor aren’t actually poor because they lack enough money, but because of their own moral failings.

    • CEO’s message a jolt to IT workers facing layoffs

      IT workers in the infrastructure team at Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) were notified recently of their layoff. They expect to be training replacements from India-based contractor HCL. The layoff affects more than 500 IT workers, according to the insurance firm.

      This familiar IT story began a little differently. A few days before employees were notified in mid-October of their layoff, HCSC CEO Paula Steiner talked about future goals in an internal, company-wide video.

      Steiner’s comments weren’t IT-department-specific, but the takeaway quote by one IT employee was this: “As full-time retiring baby boomers move on to their next chapter, the makeup of our organization will consist more of young and non-traditional workers, such as part-time workers or contractors,” said Steiner in the video.

      What Steiner didn’t say in the employee broadcast is that some of the baby boomers moving “on to the next chapter” are being pushed out the door.

    • What is a blockchain, and why is it growing in popularity?

      Last year, Ripple Labs, creator of the virtual currency XRP, was fined $0.7 million (~£540,000) by the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network for violating regulations concerning money laundering.

      Some observers cite this as the moment cryptocurrencies shaved off their startup hipster beards, put on a tie, and went mainstream. Being fined by a regulator means that you’re part of the financial services industry at last.

      Given that the first and most famous cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was launched back in 2009, it has taken the wider industry a relatively long time to warm to it. But now suddenly everyone is talking about Bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology as a disruptor of potentially massive proportions: Sweden is trialling a new land registry that uses a blockchain, dozens of startups spanning numerous sectors are poking around at possible uses, and importantly policy makers such as the European Parliament have voted in favour of a more hands-off approach towards blockchain tech regulation.

    • Dutch campaigners gather signatures to derail EU-Canada trade deal

      Activists in the Netherlands have gathered almost two-thirds of the signatures needed to lay the groundwork for a referendum on Europe’s free trade deal with Canada, which they say overly favours the interests of multinational companies.

      The Dutch have twice voted down European Union initiatives in referendums, scuppering a proposed EU constitution in 2005 and in April throwing into disarray plans for closer EU relations with Ukraine.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The Art of Spin

      How Hillary Clinton backers deployed faux feminism and privilege politics to divert attention from her destructive policies.

    • Front-Page Election News: More Horserace, More Trump, More Presidency

      Most, but not all campaign stories featured these sorts of empty calories; some dealt with important questions of candidates’ leadership, demeanor and conflicts of interest. One piece (Washington Post, 8/30/16) highlighted Trump’s “us vs. them” strategy, often blaming US problems on minority groups. Another (New York Times, 9/3/16) detailed Clinton’s cozy relationship with and frequent courting of the ultrarich.

      Another 12 percent of front-page election stories were focused on voters. Over half of these stories featured straightforward polling reports, while the others were more detailed looks at voter mood and logic. The New York Times covered voters particularly well; giving voice to their doubts and hopes for the candidates (9/14/16, 9/9/16). The Washington Post (8/22/16) and USA Today (9/13/16) both published some illuminating voter pieces, but many merely regurgitated poll data.

    • Podesta Congratulated on Nevada Fraud

      Nevada was of course one of the most blatant examples of all of the Democratic National Committee rigging the election against Sanders. Firstly the caucuses featured casino owners bussing in coachloads of employees with firm instructions to vote for Hillary. Even with this, Hillary was struggling. Next the Democratic party machine announced to the media on 21 February that Hillary had won, despite it being by no means clear if that were true.

      Finally at the delegate conference, Hillary acolyte and DNC member Roberta Lange in the chair called the state for Clinton on the basis of the most dubious delegate vote imaginable – and denying any recount. What is more, the Clinton camp scored a double whammy by portraying, throughout the controlled corporate media, the precise scenes you see in this video as a violent riot by Sanders supporters. I do ask you to watch this video through and see what you think. It may just change your entire mind on what is really happening in US “democracy”.

    • Clintons Are Under Multiple FBI Investigations as Agents Are Stymied

      Current and former FBI officials have launched a media counter-offensive to engage head to head with the Clinton media machine and to throw off the shackles the Loretta Lynch Justice Department has used to stymie their multiple investigations into the Clinton pay-to-play network.

    • Franken: FBI’s Comey should face Senate hearings

      Sen. Al Franken called Sunday for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private server. And the Minnesota senator said he thinks Hillary Clinton can rely on his state’s voters despite a last-minute visit from Donald Trump, though he said he’s always “nervous.”

      “I think that there should be hearings, and I’m certain there will be hearings in the Judiciary Committee on this matter,” the Franken told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

      His comments reflected the Democratic frustration with Comey telling lawmakers 11 days before the November 8 election that the FBI was reviewing new emails potentially connected to its investigation into whether Clinton mishandled classified information.

      [...]

      Franken also defended the Clinton Foundation as Tapper pressed him on whether it should be shuttered if Clinton wins the election.

    • Can The Oligarchy Still Steal The Presidential Election?

      At this point, I would think that the Oligarchy would prefer to steal the election for Trump, instead of from him, rather than allow insouciant Americans to destroy America’s reputation by choosing a person under felony investigations for president of the United States.

    • Not all Americans are Barking Nutters

      The journalists of course attempt to say that to vote for Stein is to let Trump in. Stein sticks strongly to the argument that the “Queen of Corruption” and “Warmonger” Clinton is not in fact a real choice from Trump. This is of course absolutely true, Clinton is a dangerous extremist – she just happens to support the extremism of the right wing establishment and its poodle media.

      I have been fascinated by the apoplexy generated in the pretend left by the notion that people ought not to vote for Clinton. The go-to argument is that not to vote for her is in itself an act of misogyny. I wonder if they will argue the same for Marine Le Pen. The second argument is that a corrupt warmonger is better than the racist bigot Trump. The interesting thing is, close examination reveals an almost 100% correlation between those apoplectic at any lack of support for Clinton, and those who supported Tony Blair. The idea that being an ultra-corrupt warmonger is not a big problem is obviously a fixed principle with these people.

    • Defying the Politics of Fear

      Our only chance to overthrow corporate power comes from those who will not surrender to it, who will hold fast to the causes of the oppressed no matter what the price, who are willing to be dismissed and reviled by a bankrupt liberal establishment, who have found within themselves the courage to say no, to refuse to cooperate. The most important issue in this election does not revolve around the personal traits of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. It revolves around the destructive dynamic of unfettered and unregulated global capitalism, the crimes of imperialism and the security and surveillance apparatus. These forces are where real power lies. Trump and Clinton will do nothing to restrict them.

      It is up to us to resist. We must refuse to be complicit, even in the act of voting, with the fossil fuel industry’s savaging of our ecosystem, endless wars, oppression of the poor, including the one in five children in this country who is hungry, the evisceration of constitutional rights and civil liberties, the cruel and inhumane system of mass incarceration and the state-sponsored execution of unarmed poor people of color in our marginal communities.

      [...]

      The rise of Donald Trump is the product of the disenchantment, despair and anger caused by neoliberalism and the collapse of institutions that once offered a counterweight to the powerful. Trump gives vent to the legitimate rage and betrayal of the white underclass and working poor. His right-wing populism, which will grow in virulence and sophistication under a Clinton presidency, mirrors the right-wing populism rippling across much of Europe including Poland, Hungary, France and Great Britain. If Clinton wins, Trump becomes the dress rehearsal for fascism.

    • US election poll tracker: Who is ahead – Clinton or Trump?

      Americans will vote on 8 November to choose their next president.

      The numbers have begun to tighten as we approach election day amid crises affecting both Democratic contender Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump.

      Use our tracker to follow the contest and scroll down to find some explanation on what the polls show.

    • WikiLeaks Show Washington Post Writer Asked DNC For Anti-Trump Research

      Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank appears to have asked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to do the majority of the research for a negative column he wrote about Donald Trump in April 2016.

      Milbank’s column was titled, “The Ten Plagues of Trump,” and featured a list of “outrageous things” said by Trump. One of the “plagues” listed by Milbank, for example, was “Blood” and centered around a quote from Trump about Megyn Kelly: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

    • WikiLeaks: Chicago mayor used private domain to communicate with officials

      Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel used personal email accounts and a personal email domain to communicate with government officials and political figures, according to a published report based on hacked emails posted by WikiLeaks.

      Emanuel’s personal account information turned up among the thousands of emails from John Podesta, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, the Chicago Tribune reported. Clinton has come under fire for her use of a private email server because doing so potentially jeopardized classified information.

      Emanuel registered his personal email domain, “rahmemail.com,” on May 16, 2011, the day he was sworn into office. The hacked emails also turned up evidence of Emanuel’s personal Gmail account.

    • Chelsea’s husband allegedly used foundation ties to boost hedge fund

      Chelsea Clinton’s husband used his connections to the Clinton family and their charitable foundation to raise money for his hedge fund, according to an allegation by a longtime Clinton aide made public Sunday in hacked documents released by WikiLeaks.

      Marc Mezvinsky extended invitations to a Clinton Foundation poker event to rich Clinton supporters he was courting as investors in his hedge fund, and he also relied on a billionaire foundation donor to raise money for the fund, according to the WikiLeaks documents. They also assert that he had his wife Chelsea Clinton make calls to set up meetings with potential investors who support her family’s political and charitable endeavors.

      The documents — a memo and an email — were written in late 2011 and early 2012, respectively, by ex-Clinton aide Doug Band. They were sent to family confidants including John Podesta, who is now serving as Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, and Cheryl Mills, who was Clinton’s State Department chief of staff.

    • Why Historians Must Use Wikileaks To Write The History Of The 2016 Election

      Wikileaks is playing a prominent, if under reported, role, in the 2016 American presidential election. Few understand the importance of Wikileaks in the eventual writing of the history of presidential politics.

      The media write and talk about events as they happen, usually without historical background or context. A good historian writes with retrospection about past events that explain historical outcomes. U.S. Presidential elections leave behind a clutter of accounts of those who were (or claim to have been) eyewitnesses to history – campaign insiders, journalists, pundits, and hangers-on. The best insider accounts pierce some of the veil of campaign rhetoric, PR, talking points, and smoke and mirrors to explain what was really happening behind the scenes.

    • Viggo Mortensen will be voting for Jill Stein on Tuesday, says it’s not a protest vote

      Like most of Hollywood, Viggo Mortensen is solidly anti-Trump in this election, but he’s also no fan of Hillary Clinton.

      Instead the “Lord of the Rings” star — a Bernie Sanders supporter until he dropped out of the race — will be casting his vote for Jill Stein.

      “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and look back and go, ‘You know, I never voted my conscience,’ ” he said at a luncheon for his movie “Captain Fantastic” at the Explorer’s Club.

      “Not really, when it mattered. I don’t want to do that. And I don’t look at it as a protest vote. I’m not voting against something, I’m voting for something. I’m voting my conscience. It’s not a protest, it’s an affirmation.”

    • WikiLeaks: DNC and CNN colluded on questions for Trump, Cruz

      Newly released emails from WikiLeaks suggest that the Democratic National Committee colluded with CNN in devising questions in April to be asked of then-Republican primary candidate Donald Trump in an upcoming interview.

      In an email to DNC colleagues on April 25 with the headline “Trump Questions for CNN,” a DNC official with the email username DillonL@dnc.org asked for ideas for an interview to be conducted by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.

      “Wolf Blitzer is interviewing Trump on Tues ahead of his foreign policy address on Wed. … Please send me thoughts by 10:30 AM tomorrow.”

      The sender of the email would seem to be DNC Research Director Lauren Dillon, who was identified in previous reports of DNC emails released by WikiLeaks in July.

    • Chelsea Clinton ‘used Foundation resources to fund her 2010 wedding to Marc Mezvinsky’, according to new Wikileaks emails

      Hillary Clinton’s daughter Chelsea allegedly used resources from the Clinton Foundation for her wedding, a new dump of Wikileaks emails appear to reveal.

      In several emails, Doug Band, a former top aide to president Bill Clinton and a former Clinton Global Initiative board member, complains about Chelsea Clinton (writing ‘cvc’ for Chelsea Victoria Clinton).

      In one email, dated January 1, 2012, Band emails John Podesta, Chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, and says Chelsea Clinton was conducting an internal investigation into CGI and the Clinton Foundation, which posed a conflict of interest.

      It is unclear why Chelsea Clinton was investigating her family’s foundation and its dealings with money.

    • DNC staffers prepared CNN anchors Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper for interviews with Trump, new batch of 8,000 WikiLeaks emails reveals

      The Democratic National Committee helped CNN anchors Wolf Blizter and Jake Tapper prepare for interviews with Donald Trump, the latest WikiLeaks email dump has revealed.

      Among the batch of 8,263 emails released on Sunday night, one shows that staff working for the network hosts asked DNC staffers what questions they should put to the Republican candidate.

      They also asked for advice when it came to an appearance from former candidate, Ted Cruz.

      An email dated April 28 entitled ‘Cruz on CNN’ reads ‘CNN is looking for questions. Please send some topical/interesting ones.’

    • Vote Your Conscience, Vote for WikiLeaks and Vote for Dr. Jill Stein

      With Hillary Clinton circumventing yet another FBI investigation, progressives have an alternative to establishment Democrats. If your conscience won’t allow you to side with a person who is advised by Henry Kissinger and neoconservatives like Robert Kagan, then you have a choice on November 8, 2016. You can vote for a future without a media beholden to John Podesta’s dinner parties. You can choose a future without Wolf Blitzer or Donna Brazile colluding with the DNC, and without a Democratic nominee accepting Foundation contributions from countries that fund ISIS. If you envision a world without wars for oil, fracking, the prison industrial complex, and severe breaches in campaign finance laws, then you certainly don’t have to pick Clinton or Donald Trump.

      You can vote for WikiLeaks.

      You can vote for WikiLeaks, and appease your conscience by championing Dr. Jill Stein and the Green Party.

      Every movement has a beginning, and although Jill Stein has been active in politics for years, this year marks a turning point in American history. Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have allowed voters to see the inner workings of the Clinton campaign; countering an American media serving essentially as Hillary Clinton’s public relations machine. Instead of a 2005 hot mic audio of Donald Trump (considered to be Pulitzer Prize winning journalism by the The Washington Post) Assange and WikiLeaks have published enough Podesta emails to highlight the long-term implications of a Clinton presidency.

    • Meme warfare: how the power of mass replication has poisoned the US election

      If you use Facebook, or Twitter, have a Wi-Fi connection, watch television or have been to an office Halloween party, you’ve probably encountered them: internet memes.

      These shareable, sometimes pithy and often puerile units of culture have emerged as the lingua franca of the 2016 election, and have given the American people an entirely new way of articulating their beliefs. Clinton’s top tweet is a meme. Trump’s taco bowl became one. Through memes, Ted Cruz was “unmasked” as the Zodiac killer. Jeb Bush’s limp plea for applause got him Vined into oblivion. Bernie Sanders shared a moment with a bird that blossomed into something out of Walt Disney’s long-lost Marxist phase.

      Memes can be fun, or they can be dumb – but as an emerging medium, they haven’t provoked a lot of debate or analysis. In fact, they seem to defy scrutiny.

      And slowly, before anyone can even take note, memes are ruining democracy.

    • WikiLeaks releases latest batch of emails from Clinton campaign chair

      WikiLeaks has published its 33rd tranche of emails from the hacked account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.
      Trends

      The whistleblowing organization has now published more than 55,600 emails in a series of daily online releases which it said were building towards the November 8 presidential election.

    • Democrats advised CNN on interview questions for Donald Trump, according to new WikiLeaks release

      The Democratic National Committee (DNC) apparently helped CNN anchors prepare for interviews with Donald Trump, according to the latest WikiLeaks email dump.

      Included in some 8,263 emails released by WikiLeaks is an exchange that shows DNC staff discussing how to advise CNN on what questions to ask Mr Trump in a scheduled interview ahead of his foreign policy address.

      However CNN defended the practice, saying it had sought the Republicans’ opinions about questions to ask Hillary Clinton in order to “ensure a tough and fair interview”.

      Although the interview with Mr Trump was ultimately cancelled, the emails showed numerous questions were submitted by the DNC.

    • Campaign collusion: Is CNBC’s John Harwood too close to the Clinton operation?

      The following question was asked on Sept. 21, 2015, via email, to the chairman of a major presidential campaign, John Podesta: “What should I ask Jeb?”

      At the time, Jeb Bush was still a leading candidate to challenge Hillary Clinton for the White House — and had more money behind him.

      The question didn’t come from a campaign surrogate or an opinion host — it came from the chief Washington correspondent at CNBC, John Harwood. And just to make sure he hit Bush where the Clinton campaign — which still viewed the former Florida governor as its most likely opponent for 2016 — wanted him to most, Harwood went to Clinton’s campaign chief to do all the thinking for him.

      It should be noted that the title “chief Washington correspondent” means Harwood is not an opinion host or a partisan pundit — he’s one who represents the network as objective and nonpartisan. It also means he cannot consult with opposition campaigns for advice — nor can he provide advice back to a campaign, which Harwood has on several occasions via recent WikiLeaks dumps.

    • Husband Of CNN Exec Tipped Clinton Campaign Off To Network’s Polls Prior To Release

      An email released by WikiLeaks on Sunday shows that the husband of CNN vice president and Washington bureau chief Virginia Moseley tipped the Clinton campaign off to a favorable poll just before its release last September.

      “Good CNN poll coming,” Thomas Nides, Moseley’s husband, wrote to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in a Sept. 20, 2015 email.

      Nides served as deputy secretary of state under Clinton and is currently vice president at Morgan Stanley. His name has been floated for a possible high-level spot in a Clinton White House.

    • A call to progressives: Help build and own the Green Party

      It hasn’t been an easy election year for progressives. Many were crushed when Bernie Sanders failed to pull off a historic upset of establishment pick Hillary Clinton, then outraged when leaked emails proved what they already knew — that the Democratic Party elite had conspired against Sanders’ political revolution the whole time.

      But with the racist, sexist billionaire buffoon Donald Trump leading the GOP, many progressives have resigned themselves to pulling the lever for Clinton in an attempt to keep Trumpismo at bay. But before you accept yet another election year of “lesser evilism,” allow yourself to consider investing your vote in the Green Party

      In a 2006 interview with the editorial board of the Jewish Press in Brooklyn, then-Senator Hillary Clinton shared her opinion on the recent election in Palestine: “I do not think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake,” said Sen. Clinton. “And if we were going to push for an election, then we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win.”

    • Clinton aide says Foundation paid for Chelsea’s wedding, WikiLeaks emails show
    • Don’t Move To Canada If Your Candidate Loses, Read This

      Regardless of who wins this election, around half of the country is going to have to learn to live under the rule of someone they’ve vilified for the entire election cycle. (That’s two and a half years, but with a RealFeel of untold centuries trapped in the Phantom Zone.) In order to help people from both sides, we’ve put together a few tips in case the other side wins.

    • New WikiLeaks email suggests possible ‘collusion’ between CNBC, Clinton campaign

      CNBC host John Harwood in September 2015 asked Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, what he should ask then-Republican presidential candidate former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in an upcoming interview, according to new emails published by WikiLeaks.

      Harwood, who faced harsh criticism for his performance as a debate moderator in the third Republican presidential primary debate in October 2015, sent Podesta an email on Sept. 21, 2015, with the subject line, “What should I ask Jeb…” The body of the email read, “…in Speakeasy interview tomorrow.”

    • Chris Hedges: The End of the Election Will Not Mean the End of Public Anger

      It’s impossible to tell you, because it really will depend on the mood, on the emotions of the voters on election day. That’s all these campaigns are about, because they both essentially are neo-liberal candidates who will do nothing to impede imperial expansion and corporate power. The whole campaign has descended to, you know, not surprisingly, to the level of a reality TV show, with presidential debates featuring women who have accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault being brought in by Donald Trump; videos – I’ll go back to the primaries – of the size of people’s genitals. I mean, it’s just appalling, but all of that is emblematic of a political system in deep decay and one that no longer revolves around fundamental issues. We know from the Wikileaks emails, the John Podesta emails that were leaked from Hillary Clinton, that there was a calculated effort on a part of a Clinton campaign to promote these fringe candidates – like Trump, and they particularly wanted Trump, because the difference between Hillary Clinton and a more mainstream Republican candidate, like Jeb Bush, is so marginal. So if you had to ask me, I don’t think Trump will win, but I don’t rule out the possibility that he will win – we have to look at the Brexit polls in Britain…

    • Jill Stein: ‘We Have Crossed the Rubicon in This Election’

      Jill Stein is already looking past tomorrow’s election.

      The Green Party candidate, who is has a polling average of about 2% heading into Election Day, chuckled at the prospect of an outright win Tuesday. She said she’s hoping for 5% in election returns, and beyond that, she’s planning to push for reforms in the presidential debate commission and to help pave the way for future third party candidates with a rank choice voting initiative.

      Stein spoke to TIME on the eve of the election about what she’s seem from voters this year, how women were talked about in the race and why she never takes vacations.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Serbia’s censorship debate

      Is the Serbian government using underhanded censorship methods to control the media narrative or are critics too harsh?

    • FOSS Friendly IBM is Attempting to Destroy OpenLava

      Several years ago Platform Computing (now owned by IBM) released an open source version of LSF (Platform Load Sharing Facility) — their premier software product. LSF is a workload management platform and job scheduler for distributed HPC environments. In recent years that open source product has begun to flourish, and now IBM is using the DMCA in an attempt to erase all progress made on the project since it was first released. I guess if you can’t compete, you call your legal team…

    • Internet Pioneers Slam $750,000 Settlement for the ‘Man Who Invented Email’

      Two early internet pioneers are expressing sadness and disbelief at the fact that Shiva Ayyadurai, a self-described “world-renowned scientist, inventor, lecturer, philanthropist and entrepreneur” who says he invented “email: the electronic mail system as we know it today,” will receive a $750,000 settlement from Gawker Media, the bankrupt publisher that he sued for defamation earlier this year over a series of stories that, his lawsuit claims, “falsely trace the origin of email and call Dr. Ayyadurai a liar.”

      Computer programmer Ray Tomlinson is credited by many experts and historians with developing the technology that we understand today as email. Dave Crocker, who helped write several foundational standards documents about messaging over the internet, told Gizmodo that Ayyadurai’s settlement with Gawker Media represents a victory for a version of the history of email’s development that isn’t supported by evidence. “I grew up being taught that the truth is always a sufficient defense against claims of defamation,” Crocker said upon hearing about the settlement. “Given the extensive documentation about the history of email, I’m sorry to find that that the adage no longer holds true.”

      John Vittal, one of Crocker’s co-authors, seconded his frustration. Vittal is best known in the traditional history of email for being the first person to implement “reply” and “forward” functions. “What’s true is true, and you can’t hide from it, and shouldn’t be able to capitalize on thwarting it,” said Vittal. “To me, it’s a sad day.”

    • Clinton Campaign Also Not A Fan Of Free Speech: Sends Legal Threat Letters Over Trump Ads

      If there’s one thing that the two major Presidential candidates seem to agree on it’s that we have too much free speech and all you First Amendment whiners should quiet down. Just this morning, we wrote about Trump threatening a documentary filmmaker with a cease & desist letter (the latest in a fairly long list of defamation threat letters). And it appears that the Clinton campaign is also ramping up its similar legal threat letter business.

      Last week, it sent cease & desist letters to broadcasters in Florida who were airing Trump ads that used some footage of Michelle Obama back in the 2008 campaign taking something of a swipe at Clinton. And, just today, the campaign supposedly sent out cease & desist letters to broadcasters airing new Trump ads claiming that Clinton is “under investigation by the FBI.”

    • Facebook Blocks Profiles Of Far-Right Polish Groups, Sparks Protests

      Several far-right Polish groups have protested outside Facebook’s office in Warsaw after the social networking site temporarily blocked their profiles.

      About 120 people demonstrated in the Polish capital Saturday afternoon, denouncing what they said was “censorship.”

    • Poland’s far-right groups protest Facebook ‘censorship’ after social accounts removed
    • Far-right Polish groups protest Facebook profile blockages
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • If The FBI Can’t Stop All These Leaks About An Investigation, Why Would it Be Able To Keep Encryption Backdoor Secret?

      In the last 10 days or so, James Comey sent two letters to Congress — the first one notifying Congress of some new information in an “unrelated” investigation that may pertain to Hillary Clinton’s emails. And then the one from yesterday admitting that there was nothing important in those emails. That was effectively all that Comey said officially. Yet, in between all of that a ton of information leaked from the FBI about the investigation. We learned what it pertained to (the Anthony Weiner investigation), heard estimates of the number of emails involved, heard that the FBI found them weeks ago but only told Comey right before he sent the letter, that the FBI didn’t have a warrant to read the emails — and then that it did, and that a whole bunch of people inside both the FBI and DOJ have opinions on both sides of this whole mess.

      Basically, the FBI (and the DOJ) were leaking information like it was the last chance they’d ever have to leak information and their lives depended on who could leak the most.

    • The USA threatens to unleash cyber warfare against Russia
    • A second Privacy Shield legal challenge increases threat to EU-US data flows

      The Privacy Shield transatlantic data transfer deal is now caught in a pincer action: A week after it emerged that Irish digital rights activists had filed suit to annul the deal come reports that a French campaign group has begun its own legal action.

      French civil liberties campaign group La Quadrature du Net filed suit against the European Commission, the European Union’s executive body, on Oct. 25.

      Although the Court of Justice of the EU has not yet published details of the complaint, Brussels-based news agency Euractiv reported Thursday that La Quadrature’s goal is to annul the Commission’s decision that Privacy Shield provides adequate protection under EU law when the personal information of EU citizens is transferred to the U.S. for processing.

    • China Adopts Cybersecurity Law Despite Foreign Opposition

      The Cyber Security Law was passed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, and will take effect in June, government officials said Monday. Among other things, it requires internet operators to cooperate with investigations involving crime and national security, and imposes mandatory testing and certification of computer equipment. Companies must also give government investigators full access to their data if wrong-doing is suspected.

      China’s grown increasingly aggressive about safeguarding its IT systems in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations about U.S. spying, and is intent on policing cyberspace as public discourse shifts to online forums such as Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat. The fear among foreign companies is that requirements to store data locally and employ only technology deemed “secure” means local firms gain yet another edge over foreign rivals from Microsoft Corp. to Cisco System Inc.

    • A Guy Put Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ In Big Mouth Billy Bass’ Body And People Are Rightly Horrified

      So Big Mouth Billy Bass — you know, that animatronic singing fish that was annoyingly popular at the end of the 1990s — was, frankly, already pretty creepy. But one little modification brought it to new, disturbing heights.

      Brian “Wizard of Terror” Kane posted this lil’ video to Facebook on Oct. 27, which features a Big Mouth Billy Bass configured so that the voice of Alexa — Amazon’s voice assistant similar to Apple’s Siri — emanates from the fish’s mouth.

      The video is simply captioned, “the future” ― and it’s a dystopian vision indeed.

    • How to talk with your loved ones in private

      A few days ago I ran a very biased and informal survey to get an idea about what options are being used to communicate with end to end encryption with friends and family. I explicitly asked people not to list options only used in a work setting. The background is the uneasy feeling I get when using Signal, a feeling shared by others as a blog post from Sander Venima about why he do not recommend Signal anymore (with feedback from the Signal author available from ycombinator). I wanted an overview of the options being used, and hope to include those options in a less biased survey later on. So far I have not taken the time to look into the individual proposed systems. They range from text sharing web pages, via file sharing and email to instant messaging, VOIP and video conferencing. For those considering which system to use, it is also useful to have a look at the EFF Secure messaging scorecard which is slightly out of date but still provide valuable information.

    • Researchers Matched Images on Tattoo Websites to a German Police Database

      For the last year, EFF has been battling to free records from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) regarding an ethically dubious research program to promote the development of automated tattoo recognition technology. The agency is months delinquent in providing a variety of information, most notably the list of 19 research entities who received a giant set of tattoo images obtained from prisoners in custody. This delay is particularly alarming as NIST is currently recruiting institutional participants for the next stage of its expanded research, scheduled to begin on Dec. 1.

      What we’ve discovered so far about NIST’s approach to tattoo identification raises major concerns for privacy, free speech, the freedom to associate, and the rights of research subjects. We’ve also learned that similar tattoo recognition experiments are being conducted in Germany, a country that is usually sensitive to personal privacy.

    • ‘Our Identity Is Often What’s Triggering Surveillance’

      The civil rights director of the Oregon state Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against his employer. It seems the department got a new computer program that lets them search social media, and to test it out, they looked for hash tags related to Black Lives Matter and activism against police violence, turning up a tweet by Erious Johnson, which led his colleagues to start compiling a report on him without his knowledge. Johnson’s lawsuit claims racial discrimination and a hostile work environment for engaging in protected activity.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • 25 Years After Junk Science Conviction, Texas Finally Admits Sonia Cacy’s Innocence

      Twenty-five years after she was first accused of the arson-murder of her uncle, 68-year-old Sonia Cacy on November 2 was finally exonerated by Texas’ highest criminal court, a move that clears the way for her to seek compensation from the state for her decades-long ordeal.

      Cacy’s conviction for a crime that never happened is a prime example of the devastating consequences of allowing junk science into the courtroom, of the need for continuing education of forensic practitioners, and for the robust review of convictions that may have been tainted by outdated, or imagined, science.

      In fact, arguably, it was Cacy’s case that set in motion a series of events that would eventually culminate in a unique partnership between the Innocence Project of Texas and the Texas state fire marshal, designed to review old arson-related criminal cases in order to ferret out convictions based on unsupportable fire science. “Sonia’s case is a lesson to the entire criminal justice system of how important it is to keep bad science out of court,” said Gary Udashen, president of the IPTX and Cacy’s longtime attorney.

    • Officer fired over feces sandwich

      A San Antonio police officer has been fired after an internal investigation determined he tried to give a homeless man a sandwich with feces inside it.

    • Man shot and killed by off-duty officer after ‘road rage incident’ escalated

      A man was shot and killed by an off-duty Chicago police officer Saturday afternoon in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood. The man was riding as part of a funeral procession, his family says, when what officials are calling a “road rage incident” escalated and he was shot and killed.

      During a short press conference, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson described the chaotic scene near 111th and Troy that led to the fatal shooting around 3 p.m. Saturday.

      Johnson said it began as a “road rage incident” between multiple people and a “fire department member.” Then, Johnson said, an off-duty police officer who was in a barbershop across the street saw the fight and headed over, “announcing his office” as he got involved. That’s when “the subject,” identified by his family as 25-year-old Joshua Beal, “displayed a weapon,” according to Johnson.

    • Nigeria frees Muslims accused of murder over blasphemy

      A court in northern Nigeria has freed five Muslim men accused of killing an elderly Christian woman for allegedly blaspheming the Prophet Mohammed.

      The court in the city of Kano discharged the five men on Thursday on the legal advise of the prosecution.

      “The legal advice presented to the court, dated June 24, states that there is no case to answer as the suspects are all innocent and orders the court to discharge all the suspects,” the judge said in his ruling.

    • Fresh attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh, houses torched

      In fresh attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh, unidentified miscreants set ablaze some of their houses and damaged two temples in central Brahmanbarhia district where several places of worship of the minority community were vandalised earlier this week, police said.

    • Luxembourg’s Asselborn: Turkey is using Nazi-era tactics

      Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, in an interview with Deutschlandfunk Monday, compared the Turkish government’s dismissal of civil servants to methods used by the German Nazi regime, and recommended that the European Union impose economic sanctions.

      Since the failed July 15 coup that killed more than 240 people, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has detained, suspended or dismissed more than 110,000 public servants as part of a wider crackdown on his political opponents.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Despite ESPN Whining, Nielsen Confirms Historic Subscriber Losses For Channel

      Last week, we noted how Disney and ESPN threw a bit of a hissy fit when Nielsen data indicated that ESPN had one of the biggest subscriber losses in company history last month. According to Nielsen’s data, ESPN lost 621,000 homes in a single month, as well as losing 607,000 ESPN2 households and 674,000 ESPNU homes. That’s of course on the heels of losing more than 7 million subscribers over the last three years or so, thanks largely due to the rise of cord cutting, cord trimming (scaling down your TV package) and the rise of some “skinny bundles” that exclude ESPN from the base channel lineup.

      ESPN demanded that Nielsen withdraw its numbers, insisting they represented a “dramatic, unexplainable variation” that didn’t match ESPN’s own numbers. Nielsen obliged, but after conducting an “extensive” review of the numbers found them to be “accurate as originally released.” Of course, this shouldn’t be a surprise; we’ve noted how everybody but ESPN appears to have seen the writing on the wall. But instead of adapting to the changing times, ESPN responded by denying that cord cutting was real, and suing companies like Verizon for trying to bring some flexibility to the traditional cable bundle.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Clinton v. Trump on copyrights and patents: Reading the platform and the tea leaves

      The hot-button issues this election can be counted on one’s fingers—and for most voters, things like copyright and patent policy don’t make the list. Assigned to a wonkish zone far from the Sunday morning talk shows, intellectual property issues aren’t near the heart of our deeply polarized political discourse.

      Of the two major party candidates in 2016, only the Democratic candidate has a platform that even addresses copyright and patent policies. So today, let’s look at what we know about Hillary Clinton’s plan, and make some informed speculation about what could happen to these areas under a Donald Trump presidency.

      Given that the campaign is focused (as always) on a relatively small group of issues, tech policy watchers who spoke to Ars were surprised to see a presidential platform that mentions IP issues at all. Clinton’s briefing paper on technology and innovation addresses both copyright and patent issues directly, and that in itself is something of a surprise. Trump’s website has no such information, so the best clues to his approach lie in his public statements and the people he has surrounded himself with.

    • Copyrights

11.06.16

Links 6/11/2016: Vista 10 Plagued With Ads, Linux 4.9 Now in RC4

Posted in News Roundup at 4:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Women-Focused Networking Events Can Make a Big Difference, Says Twitter’s Vinu Charanya

    During LinuxCon North America in Toronto, The Linux Foundation organized a women’s networking summit that included more than 100 women from different walks of life. What’s most exciting about this event was that instead of having one speaker, or a panel of speakers delivering speeches, each attendee was allowed to introduce herself, which turned all those 100 attendees into speakers and audiences.

  • Difference Between Freeware and Open Source Software

    The word ‘ware’ means an article of merchandise (among other things, but those aren’t the relevant meanings). The word is often combined with another word to describe the product, like in the word silverware. The fact that the word software has the suffix ‘-ware’, shows that it was intended to be sold. We all know how computer people love puns and other jokes in the technical terminology, so now we have software, hardware, firmware, freeware, shareware, malware, spyware, and the list goes on. But the funny thing is, there are a few of them that are oxymoronic, or self-contradictory, like freeware and shareware.

  • Foreseeing an Open Source Future With FOLIO

    Libraries have always been spaces where members of a community can gather to gain knowledge, whether through books or through events and activities. But where can library staffers go to do their own learning? They need designated spaces too, which is why the Open Library Foundation is so important. This new organization encourages everyone in the library and library services communities to share their ideas for an open source future.

    The Open Library Foundation was created “as an unbiased, independent not-for-profit organization designed to ensure the availability, accessibility and sustainability of open source and open access projects for and by libraries,” according to its About page. It provides the infrastructure that allows librarians, technologists, designers, service providers, and vendors to work together to develop resources for the library community.

  • ToaruOS With Kernel Written From Scratch Is Still In Development

    Two years ago to the day the most-viewed article was about A Hobby Kernel and User-Space, Runs Mesa and GCC. That hobbyist OS written from scratch seemed promising back then but hadn’t heard anything at all since. When deciding to check on the project today I was anticipating that it had died off, but surprisingly, it’s still under development.

    ToaruOS remains under development and has been since late 2011. The most recent Git commits were from 11 days ago according to their GitHub site. For those that don’t remember the article from two years ago, the Toaru kernel provides a Unix-like environment with some similarities to Linux but is written from scratch.

  • Netrounds Joins the Open Source MANO Initiative

    Netrounds has joined the Open Source MANO (OSM) Community, which is focused on delivering an open source management and orchestration (MANO) stack aligned with ETSI NFV.

    OSM was launched on 22 February 2016 and has been created under the umbrella of ETSI. It is an operator-led community collaborating to meet the requirements of production NFV networks. Founding members include Telefónica, BT, Canonical, Intel, Mirantis, RIFT.io, Telekom Austria Group, and Telenor, among others.

    Open Source MANO’s charter consists of working with the OSM community to deliver a production-quality open source. MANO stack. OSM Release ONE was announced on 4 October 2016 and is available with full documentation today. The initial Release 0 of OSM code was already capable of orchestrating complex NFV use cases using vendor-neutral Information Models capable of capturing all of the significant features of an E2E service and the requirements of its individual Virtual Network Function (VNF) components.

  • Equinix VP: New Power Models Make Open Source Necessary

    The 100 Gbps router and transponder device called Voyager, announced last Tuesday, may be recorded in history as the first such device ever to have been created by a social network and a colocation provider. Facebook’s and Equinix’ joint laboratory are data centers SV3 and SV8 in Silicon Valley, in two of Equinix’ prime locations.

    In an exclusive interview with Data Center Knowledge, Dr. Kaladhar Voruganti, Equinix’ vice president for technology innovation and formerly an IBM researcher, told us his company’s participation in Facebook’s Open Compute Project, and its networking offshoot Telecom Infra Project (TIP), is not some little experiment on the side. It’s a campaign necessitated by a perfect storm of conditions: the status of the cloud services market, the architecture of servers, and the laws of physics.

  • Build Strong Real-Time Streaming Apps with Apache Calcite

    The Apache Calcite data management framework contains many pieces of a typical database management system but omits others, such as storage of data and algorithms to process data. In his talk at the upcoming Apache: Big Data conference in Seville, Spain, Atri Sharma, a Software Engineer for Azure Data Lake at Microsoft, will talk about developing applications using Apache Calcite’s advanced query planning capabilities. We spoke with Sharma to learn more about Calcite and how existing applications can take advantage of its functionality.

  • The Community and Software Development

    Central to the development of open source software is the community. This is partly because many open source projects depend on contributions from unpaid volunteers, which makes community ties important. But even large enterprise projects must pay attention to community needs. Large scale projects like Hadoop, OpenStack, Hyperledger, and even Linux, all transcend corporate boundaries, which necessitates communities that span individual corporate cultures.

    It’s not surprising, then, that successful open source enterprises take on experts to help them develop, manage and nurture their communities.

    Jono Bacon is one of the most visible open source community managers. For nearly eight years he was the community manager for Ubuntu. After that he spent time as the senior director of community at XPRIZE and as GitHub’s community director. These days he heads his own consulting firm, with clients that have included IBM, Deutsche Bank, Intel and SAP.

  • Events

    • Aaron Swartz Day and International Hackathon: Scheduled Speakers

      In San Francisco, we have a hackathon going on, with an upstairs, where speakers are going on, and a downstairs, where code and society are being “hacked” on.

    • Keynote: Collaboration Beyond Code by Jilayne Lovejoy, Principal Open Source Counsel, ARM
    • Ten dozen Embedded Linux Conference and IoT Summit videos

      Videos of ten dozen talks and keynotes from last month’s Embedded Linux Conference and IoT Summit in Berlin are now available for free streaming on YouTube.

      The videos span a wide range of topics relating to developing, deploying, and maintaining embedded devices and Internet-of-things gizmos that incorporate various forms of embedded Linux, Android. and other open source software. ELCE 2016 and the colocated IoT Summit featured more than 150 conference sessions, and offered “an extended scope to include user-space developers, the people building applications on embedded Linux,” says the Linux Foundation. The LF promotes the annual event as “the preeminent space for kernel, systems and user space developers to collaborate and learn.”

  • Web Browsers

    • Another 40 million people bolt from Microsoft’s browsers as mass exodus continues [iophk: "can only truly leave the browser by leaving that so-called OS, because it is tied into the system"]

      Microsoft’s browsers hemorrhaged another 40 million users last month, according to analytics vendor Net Applications, pushing the year’s total number of deserters near the one third of a billion mark.

      Net Applications pegged the combined user share of Internet Explorer (IE) and Edge at 28.4% for October, a fall of 2.3 percentage points. The month’s decline was the second-largest ever for Microsoft’s browsers, behind only May’s plummet of 2.7 points.

      Unlike in most previous months, Microsoft’s bane was not Google’s boon, but instead Mozilla’s. Firefox’s user share jumped nearly 2 percentage points, to 11.1%. Atop an almost-as-large increase in September, Mozilla’s Firefox has stepped away from a precipice, and in two months recovered almost all the losses it incurred during the past year.

      IE has shed 20.2 percentage points in 2016, and the fall shows no sign of stopping, or even slowing. In the last six months, four have recorded declines of 2 points or more, twice the number of the six months before that.

    • Microsoft loses about 40 million Internet Explorer users in one month

      Despite continued updates and improvements to its Edge browser, Microsoft can’t seem to hold on to users as they transition from various versions of Internet Explorer. The latest figures suggest that in October alone, Microsoft shed some 40 million users, with the likes of Chrome and Firefox scooping them up.

      Looking at the latest data from NetMarketShare, Chrome is still the undisputed king of the hill, boasting the kind of percentages Microsoft used to enjoy — with a 55 percent market share at the end of October. It found an extra 0.58 percent from the likes of Internet Explorer, which dropped a surprising 2.5 percent — equivalent to about 40 million users, per ComputerWorld.

    • Chrome

      • Chrome/Chromium Now Enabling WebGL 2 By Default On The Desktop

        With the very latest open-source Chromium web-browser development code, WebGL 2.0 support is now being turned on by default for desktop (non-Android) builds.

        With the latest Chromium Git as of yesterday, WebGL 2 is turned on by default for the desktop but isn’t yet ready to be turned on for the Android builds. The WebGL 2 support can be toggled via about:flags.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox disables loophole that allows sites to track users via battery status

        Mozilla Firefox is dropping a feature that lets websites see how much battery life a visitor has left, following research showing that it could be used to track browsers.

        The feature, called the battery status API, allows websites to request information about the capacity of a visitor’s device, such as whether or not it’s plugged in and charging, how long it will last until it is empty, and the percentage of charge remaining.

        It was intended to allow websites to offer less energy-intensive versions of their sites to visitors with little battery power left: for instance, a mapping site could download less information, or a social network could disable autoplaying video.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • OpenStack Puts Interoperability to the Challenge at OpenStack Summit

      Among the major highlights of the OpenStack Summit last week was the live on-stage interoperability challenge. 16 different vendors participated in the challenge, including AT&T, Canonical, Cisco, DreamHost, Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, HPE, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Linaro, Mirantis, OSIC, OVH, Rackspace, Red Hat, SUSE and VMware.

      As part of the on-stage interoperability challenge, participants used Ansible to orchestrate an architecture including network, storage and security groups. Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director of the OpenStack Foundation, said that vendors have been testing different workloads over the last several month in advance of the challenge.

    • Hortonworks’ Q3 Results Reflect Ongoing Welcome for Hadoop

      Hortonworks, which focuses on the open source Big Data platform Hadoop, has steadily been cementing its reputation as a leader in the Hadoop arena. The company’s third quarter results are now reported, and they provide a window on the momentum that Hortonworks now has.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The November 2016 Month of LibreOffice begins!

      Back in May we had a Month of LibreOffice, crediting contributions to the software across the entire project. It was fantastic, with hundreds of badges and barnstars awarded to developers, translators, bug reporters, and also to people who help with documentation, the Ask.LibreOffice site and social media.

  • CMS

    • The future of Drupal could be cooking in this lab

      Acquia Labs has no illusions of making self-driving cars or shooting things into space like Google X, but the budding applied research arm of enterprise open-source Drupal provider Acquia does have designs on a slew of new applications for what it anticipates will be an increasingly browserless world.

      Preston So, development manager at Acquia Labs and a 9-year veteran of the Drupal community, shared his vision for Acquia’s skunkworks-plus outfit at the company’s annual Engage event for customers held in Boston this week.

    • Newly Redesigned Boston.gov Just Went Open Source

      Boston is open sourcing its municipal website, three months after redesigning Boston.gov.

      Taking the source code public, a move overseen by the city’s Digital Team, will speed the rate at which the site evolves through the addition of new features developed by local software designers, academic institutions and organizations.

    • WordPress attacks Wix, and Wix strikes back
    • The WordPress-Wix Dispute
    • The Price Of GPL [Ed: hatred of the GPL]

      Wix’s CEO, Avishai Abrahami, responded with a round of non-sequiturs that carefully evade the point that his product is built from source code for which they have not paid. One of his engineers equally misses the point, focusing on the circumstances surrounding the violation, rather than taking responsibility for the theft.

      Some will take issue with the use of strong words like “stolen code,” and “theft,” with respect to a GPL violation. But that’s exactly what it is: software has been taken and deployed in Wix’s product, but the price for doing so has not been paid.

      [...]

      Many developers understand, and view the price of GPL as perfectly justified, while others (myself included) find it unacceptable. So what am I supposed to do? Not use any GPL source code at all in any of my proprietary products? Exactly. Because the price of GPL is too much for me, and I don’t steal source code.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Ring Joins The GNU, Aims For Decentralized, Multi-Device Communication

      Ring is now the newest GNU software project. Ring aims to be a universal communication software platform respecting user’s freedoms and privacy. GNU Ring doesn’t rely upon a centralized server and is based upon SFLPhone SIP/IAX2-compatible softphone for communication, far different from Skype.

    • ARM Cortex M23 & M33 Now Supported By GCC

      Landing in the GNU Compiler Collection development code yesterday for next year’s GCC 7 release is support for some new ARM processor targets.

      The Cortex-M23 is now formally supported by the latest development code. Similarly, the Cortex-M33 is now also supported.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Conservancy Promotes Transparency by Publishing Template Agreements for Linux Compliance Program

      Today at the Linux Plumbers Conference, Software Freedom Conservancy hosts its second feedback session on the GPL Compliance Program for Linux Developers. These sessions, which Conservancy is hosting at relevant events over the next year and summarizing for public review, will seek input and ideas from the Linux community about GPL enforcement, answer questions, and plan strategies to deal with GPL enforcement actions that do not follow Conservancy and FSF’s Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement.

    • Eben Moglen on GPL Compliance and Building Communities: What Works

      Software Freedom Law Center, the pro-bono law firm led by Eben Moglen, Professor of law at Columbia Law School and the world’s foremost authority on Free and Open Source Software law held its annual fall conference at Columbia Law School, New York on Oct. 28. The full-day program featured technical and legal presentations on Blockchain, FinTech, Automotive FOSS and GPL Compliance by industry and community stalwarts.

      The program culminated in remarks by Moglen that highlighted the roles of engagement and education in building effective, ever-lasting communities. While expressing his gratitude to his colleague, friend and comrade Richard M. Stallman, Moglen emphasized the positive message relayed by Greg Kroah-Hartman and Theodore Ts’o –earlier in the day– for creating win-win solutions and spreading users’ freedom.

    • Freedom In Moderation [Ed: Freedom insistence (in software) equated with “extremism”, worse a term than “purism”]

      I must define some terminology in case readers are unfamiliar. Free software is defined by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as software that carries four fundamental freedoms: the freedom to run the program for any purpose, the to study and change it, to redistribute unmodified copies, and to redistribute modified copies. The “free” refers not to price but to freedom, and is sometimes called “libre”, from the same Latin root as “liberate”.

      The Free Software Foundation has been campaigning for “users’ freedom” since 1985. They advocate for the release of software under licenses they approve that give users those freedoms. Some of their notable successes include the GNU project, which develops various low-level and mid-level system tools, and their Defective By Design campaign to oppose digital rights management (DRM).

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open-source plastic recycling machine plans allow anyone to convert waste into new products

      Within just a few generations, plastic has already taken over the world, and while this material enabled a revolution in manufacturing and design, plastic has also managed to become one of the biggest menaces on the planet, thanks to its convenience and ease of production. And although commercial collection and recycling of plastics is getting better and more accessible, in many areas plastics end up in the dump instead of the recycling facility, essentially burying this resource, which could be used to great effect if only the machinery were available to do so.

    • Germany to create an open education portal

      Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research has earmarkes EUR 1.2 million to finance the creation, over the next two years, of a portal to aggregate open educational resources, the ministry announced this week. The OER portal is to support schools and universities, and will be managed by the country’s Bildungsserver (Education Server).

      The OER was announced by the ministry on Wednesday. “This is a major step towards a pedagogically meaningful and copyrighted use of open educational resources in all fields of education”, Cornelia Quennet-Thielen, Secretary of State is quoted as saying.

    • Norway: Communities should share eGovernment services
    • Open Data

      • Spain promotes sharing of public sector information

        The Agencia Española de Protección de Dato (AEPD), Spain’s agency for data protection, is encouraging the country’s public administrations to share their information. In October, the agency published a manual intended for managers at public administrations on how to facilitate information sharing, while keeping sensitive data safe.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • My own self balancing Lego Segway

        A while back I received a Gyro sensor for the NXT Mindstorms controller as a birthday present. It had been on my wishlist for a while, because I wanted to build a Segway like balancing lego robot. I had already built a simple balancing robot with the kids, using the light/color sensor included in the NXT kit as the balance sensor, but it was not working very well. It could balance for a while, but was very sensitive to the light condition in the room and the reflective properties of the surface and would fall over after a short while. I wanted something more robust, and had the gyro sensor from HiTechnic I believed would solve it on my wishlist for some years before it suddenly showed up as a gift from my loved ones.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Our proposal to get the CC logo and icons into Unicode

      We’ve submitted a proposal to get the Creative Commons logo, license, and public domain icons into Unicode (more specifically, the Universal Coded Character Set or UCS). Unicode is the industry standard for encoding characters into text, which means that virtually all text-based editors, or tools with text-based editors, enable those characters and symbols that have been encoded into the standard. Examples of encoded characters range from ancient Greek letters to the current day ©, @, and universal ♲ symbols.

    • HTTP-SS: “A New Faster Internet Protocol”

      A German company is promising a new protocol dubbed “HTTP-SS” that “should be able to double Internet speed, decrease data volume almost by 90% and get rid of the other general issues” compared to HTTP/HTTPS, at least that’s what they claim.

      The HTTP-SS is short for HTTP Single Stream and this protocol aims to be faster, implements the Delta Data Algorithm, allow faster downloads, and other benefits. They claim this is a “revolutionary development” with the usual PR garbage mailed over this weekend.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • OpenPOWER Summit Europe 2016 Recap

      I was in Barcelona last week for two big events: the OpenStack Summit and the OpenPOWER Summit. Luckily, the events were separated only by a five minute walk. Many of the slides from the OpenPOWER Summit are already available online.

      One of my favorite talks was from Prof. Mateo Valero, the director of the Barcelona Supercomputer Center (Centro Nacional de Supercomputación). He was a great speaker and he talked a lot about how OpenPOWER has given them a new edge. It’s part of what helps them stay on the forefront of supercomputer technology.

    • Apple temporarily cuts prices on all USB-C cables and accessories

      Apple is offering an olive branch to new MacBook and MacBook Pro buyers annoyed that their old stuff won’t work with their new laptops. The company is discounting most of the USB-C cables, dongles, and accessories it sells in its online and retail stores. The downside? The discounts only last from now until the end of the year, and prices will presumably go back up after that.

      The USB-C to USB adapter goes from $19 to $9; the Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter drops from $49 to $29; the USB-C to Lightning cable goes from $25 to $19 for one-meter cables and from $35 to $29 for two-meter cables; both the HDMI and VGA versions of Apple’s multi-port dongles drop from $69 to $49; and SanDisk’s Extreme Pro SD card reader drops from $49 to $29. All other third-party USB-C cables and peripherals will be discounted by about 25 percent. The only excluded products are Apple’s USB-C power adapters and the USB-C charge cables sold for use with those power adapters.

    • Is a Thinkpad Still Like a Rolls-Royce

      My first Thinkpad was quite underpowered when compared to desktop PCs, it had 32M of RAM and could only be expanded to 96M at a time when desktop PCs could be expanded to 128M easily and 256M with some expense. It had a 800*600 display when my desktop display was 1280*1024 (37% of the pixels). Nowadays laptops usually start at about 8G of RAM (with a small minority that have 4G) and laptop displays start at about 1366*768 resolution (51% of the pixels in a FullHD display). That compares well to desktop systems and also is capable of running most things well. My current Thinkpad is a T420 with 8G of RAM and a 1600*900 display (69% of FullHD), it would be nice to have higher resolution but this works well and it was going cheap when I needed a new laptop.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Studying marijuana remains a drag

      Whatever happens November 8, marijuana won. It’s hit an all time high in popularity—60 percent of Americans now support legalization. That handily beats both major-party candidates in favorability. Twenty-five states and Washington, DC have already legalized it for medical use. And come election day, nine states will decide whether to loosen laws further (five voting on legalization, four more on medical use).

      The psychoactive plant is no longer the gateway drug of deadbeats and loafers; it’s becoming acceptable socially and politically. And with the public opinion that it’s largely harmless, users have stoked hopes that it can safely and effectively treat a range of medical ailments, from chronic pain and migraines to epilepsy and autism

      Marijuana advocates are delighted by these shifts, of course. But as voters, lawmakers, patients, and doctors look to make informed decisions on legislation and usage, they’re coming up with questions—and some are pretty simple. Are there long term effects? What diseases or symptoms can it really treat? In which patients? And how? What strains and products are best? Is it OK to mix it with prescription meds? What all does marijuana’s 60 or so active cannabinoids do in our brains exactly?

    • Flint Michigan Water Crisis Is Still A Crisis

      If you think the water crisis in Flint Michigan has gone away or has improved and been fixed you are sadly mistaken. Unfortunately, they are still using bottled water and water filters to get “clean” water to cook & drink with according to the Washington Post.

      The residents of Flint Michigan who have suffered tremendously through this crisis are now able to file a lawsuit against the state of Michigan and city officials. A judge in the Michigan Court of Claims ruled that Flint residents have the right to sue for negligent decisions made leading to the contamination of the water supply.

      To read more on that story click TheRoot.com.

      Meanwhile, there is another story coming out of Michigan that involves the worlds largest food supply company Nestle. Apparently, the food company asked for more groundwater (from 150 gallons per min. to 400 gallons per min.) to be pumped from Michigan to supply it’s $36 million Ice Mountain bottling plant expansion project.

      All for the cost of a $200 annual paperwork fee. So basically, because Nestle owns the “private property” they get to pump ALL of that water out for FREE.

    • Is Flint the Tip of the Iceberg?

      The Flint water crisis has aroused public concern over the quality of our nation’s water infrastructure, leaving many to wonder when and where the next tragedy will occur. After temporarily relying on the Flint River while seeking a lower-cost water provider, locals immediately found themselves in murky waters.[1] Even though the state Department of Environmental Quality knew about the river’s highly corrosive properties, the agency failed to treat the water, in violation of federal law.[2] The untreated water caused service lines to leach lead into public waterlines,[3] exposing thousands to toxic levels of polluted water. Despite obvious warning signs, Flint Mayor Dayne Walling attempted the “come on in, the water’s fine” approach, even drinking Flint water on local TV to encourage citizens to follow suit.[4] Ultimately, Flint residents did just that, filing a class action lawsuit against the State of Michigan and others last November.[5]

      Let’s turn the clock back and examine the evolution of federal standards for the lead content of drinking water. Congress promulgated the Safe Drinking Water Act[6] in 1974 in response to the discovery of contamination in public drinking water and the lack of enforceable national standards. The Act prohibits the use of certain non-lead-free (by statutory standards) materials in potable water systems and the introduction of such materials into commerce.[7] The Act was amended in 2011 with the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act.[8] The amendment redefined the term “lead-free,” previously a weighted lead content of 8 percent or less, as a weighted average of not more than 0.25 percent.[9] In addition to congressional efforts to purify public drinking water, the EPA promulgated the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) in 1991,[10] requiring local water systems to undertake corrective action where lead concentrations exceed federal standards.

    • [Older] EU drops law to limit cancer-linked chemical in food after industry complaint

      The European commission has dropped plans to legally limit a pervasive but naturally occurring chemical found in food, that is linked to cancer, just days after lobbying by industry, the Guardian has learned.

      Campaigners say that leaked documents revealing the legislative retreat show “undue influence” by the food industry over EU law-making and a “permanent scandal”, although the issue is complex.

      Acrylamide is a hazardous substance found in the browned and burned parts of common starchy foods that have been fried, roasted or oven-cooked at temperatures higher than 248C (478F).

      Crisps, potato chips, breakfast cereals and instant coffee all contain high levels of the substance, as do baby foods, biscuits and rusks.

      Scientists are still trying to quantify the health risks posed, but acrylamide has been judged an “extremely hazardous substance” by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Friday
    • Netherlands to trial Internet voting [Ed: terrible idea, for many reasons.]

      The Dutch government will this year test the possibilities of voting via the Internet. The test will include citizens abroad: the pilot, by the Ministry of the Interior, will involve the city of The Hague, which manages the registration of citizens abroad.

      The city recently invited citizens to take part in the tests – a simulated election. Participants will be able to vote for fictitious political parties and candidates. The pilot is intended to test security measures, and to check if Internet voting reliable.

    • U.S. boosting cyber defenses, but not police presence, for election

      Federal and state authorities are beefing up cyber defenses against potential electronic attacks on voting systems ahead of U.S. elections on November 8, but taking few new steps to guard against possible civil unrest or violence.

      The threat of computer hacking and the potential for violent clashes is darkening an already rancorous presidential race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, amid fears that Russia or other actors could spread political misinformation online or perhaps tamper with voting.

    • 10 ways to make sure your remote workers are being safe

      With an ever-expanding mobile workforce, infosec teams are increasingly tasked with extending cybersecurity safeguards beyond the physical and virtual walls of their organizations. With endpoints not only increasing but on the move, the challenge is real. In addition to implementing the appropriate technical defenses, there is an important aspect to protecting corporate data and systems: Asking end-users to get involved.

    • Did the Mirai Botnet Really Take Liberia Offline?

      KrebsOnSecurity received many a missive over the past 24 hours from readers who wanted to know why I’d not written about widespread media reports that Mirai — a malware strain made from hacked “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices such as poorly secured routers and IP cameras — was used to knock the entire country of Liberia offline. The trouble is, as far as I can tell no such nationwide outage actually occurred.

      First, a quick recap on Mirai: This blog was taken offline in September following a record 620 Gpbs attack launched by a Mirai botnet. The source code for Mirai was leaked online at the end of September. Since then, the code has been forked several times, resulting in the emergence of several large Mirai-based botnets. In late October, many of the Internet’s top destinations went offline for the better part of a day when Mirai was used to attack Internet infrastructure firm Dyn.

    • Admins, update your databases to avoid the MySQL bug

      MySQL, MariaDB, and PerconaDB administrators need to check their database versions, as attackers can chain two critical vulnerabilities and completely take over the server hosting the database.

      The two critical vulnerabilities, which can lead to arbitrary code execution, root privilege escalation, and server compromise, affect MySQL and forks like Percona Server, Percona XtraDB Cluster, and MariaDB, according to security researcher Dawid Golunski, who provided details of the vulnerability on LegalHackers. Administrators should install the latest updates as soon as possible, or in cases where the patches cannot be applied, they should disable symbolic link support within the database server configuration by setting symbolic-links=0 in my.cnf.

    • OOPS! MySQL Falls Down…

      While programming, it’s easy to get tunnel-vision or to accept some “tiny” risk that things could go wrong at some point but write the code that way anyway. That’s what happened with MySQL and MariaDB. Creating a database should not create a vulnerability but it does, because a repair operation allows changing permissions of a file with a particular name which a bad guy could substitute with malicious code…

    • Talk Recap: Holistic Security for OpenStack Clouds

      Thanks to everyone who attended my talk at the OpenStack Summit in Barcelona! I really enjoyed sharing some tips with the audience and it was great to meet some attendees in person afterwards.

      If you weren’t able to make it, don’t fret! This post will cover some of the main points of the talk and link to the video and slides.

    • [Older, out of paywall now] Dirty COW and clean commit messages
    • Book Review: PAM Mastery

      Linux, FreeBSD, and Unix-like systems are multi-user and need some way of authenticating individual users. Back in the old days, this was done in different ways. You need to change each Unix application to use different authentication scheme. Also, authentication schemes differed between a variant of Unix systems. Porting was a nightmare. For example to use Windows Server (Active Directory) or LDAP for authentication you need to make changes to an application. Each application had its way of authenticating users. So Open Group lead to the development of PAM for the Unix-like system. Today Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS X and many other Unix-like systems are configured to use a centralized authentication mechanism called Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM). The book “PAM Mastery” deals with the black magic of PAM.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • [Older] Leaked Hillary Clinton emails show U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar supported ISIS

      A recently leaked 2014 email from Hillary Clinton acknowledges, citing Western intelligence sources, that the U.S.-backed regimes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar have supported ISIS.

      “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region,” the document states.

      This adds to a growing body of evidence that theocratic Gulf monarchies have helped fuel the surge of extremist groups throughout the Middle East.

    • Somali militants intensify attacks, death count doubles: experts

      Islamist rebels have intensified their attacks in Somalia, detonating larger, more sophisticated devices, bringing in more foreign expertise and doubling the death toll from last year, experts said.

      The surge in violence threatens an upcoming presidential vote and the reconstruction of a nation whose population is already leaving in droves, swelling a global migrant crisis, analysts and academics told Reuters.

      The findings, some of them also outlined in a coming U.N. report, reveal the challenge facing Somalia’s Western-backed government as it battles militants who want to overthrow it and impose their harsh version of sharia, or Islamic law.

    • Indonesian President cancels Australia trip after violent protests

      Indonesian President Joko Widodo has postponed his trip to Australia following the violent protest that erupted Friday in Jakarta.
      Widodo informed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of his decision Saturday and instructed his Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to reschedule his visit, according to a statement released from the palace.

      Violent clashes erupted in Jakarta on Friday as protesters demanding the ouster of the city’s governor, who has been accused of blasphemy against Muslims, clashed with police, CNN Indonesia reported.
      Gov. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly known as Ahok, is alleged to have insulted Islam by criticizing his opponents’ use of a Quranic verse in a stump speech. Ahok is a member of Indonesia’s Christian minority.

    • Indonesia’s Blasphemy Protest Prompts President to Postpone Australia Visit

      President Joko Widodo postponed a state visit to Australia, citing unrest at home after a rally called by hard-line Muslims drew 200,000 people protesting against the capital’s Christian governor.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Clinton Campaign Responds to DAPL Face-Off

      Charlie Galbraith, serving as a Clinton advisor, shared the campaign’s official statement in an e-mail to ICTMN: “We received a letter today from representatives of the tribes protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. From the beginning of this campaign, Secretary Clinton has been clear that she thinks all voices should be heard and all views considered in federal infrastructure projects. Now, all of the parties involved—including the federal government, the pipeline company and contractors, the state of North Dakota, and the tribes—need to find a path forward that serves the broadest public interest. As that happens, it’s important that on the ground in North Dakota, everyone respects demonstrators’ rights to protest peacefully, and workers’ rights to do their jobs safely.”

      As ICTMN contributor Sarah Sunshine Manning reported this afternoon from the Treaty Camp, the newest camp set up by the water protectors directly in the pipeline’s path along Highway 1806. The police massed and pressed the protectors south, using piercing sirens, armored cars, and ATVs, while low flying planes and helicopters circled above. “Within minutes,” Manning said, “a large force of police arrived on both sides of the camp and surrounded about 400 to 500 water protectors.”

    • Presidential Race a Choice Between Levels of Climate Catastrophe

      The definition of ‘climate denier’ should include the states and institutions that are not taking necessary steps to avoid dangerous climate change, says professor Chris Williams

    • Trump just proposed ending all federal clean energy development

      In the last week, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly vowed to zero out all federal spending on clean energy research and development. And the plan he released would also zero out all other spending on anything to do with climate change, including the government’s entire climate science effort.

      You may have missed this bombshell because team Trump did not spell out these cuts overtly. In a campaign where the media has “utterly failed to convey the policy stakes in the election,” as Vox’s Matt Yglesias explained recently, it appears only Bloomberg BNA bothered to follow up with the campaign to get at the truth of Trump’s radical proposal.

      Polling guru Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com fame gives Trump a one in three chance of becoming president. So I agree with Yglesias that we ought to seriously look at the implications of Trump’s proposals — especially since if Trump wins, he’s all but certain to have a GOP-controlled Congress to back him.

    • The Election Will Decide if Obama’s Clean Power Plan Lives or Dies

      In February of 2009, during his second month in office, President Barack Obama stepped up to the lectern to deliver his first speech to a joint session of Congress. In it, he lobbied members of the House and Senate to come up with a mandatory cap on carbon emissions, a key tenant of his campaign stump. “I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America. That’s what we need,” he said. Not surprisingly, that didn’t happen.

      Five years later, with Congress wallowing in its own motion-stopping muck, he took a different approach. He used existing federal laws to create climate legislation without needing the consent of Congress. The resulting mandate, known as the Clean Power Plan, requires States to significantly cut their carbon emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants within the next 14 years. It was a major victory for environmentalists and gave serious credence to the U.S.’s role in the Paris Climate Agreement.

    • Real friends of the Earth vote Green

      In a recent blog, Erich Pica, head of Friends of the Earth, argues against voting for Jill Stein and the Green Party, and tells environmentalists to vote for Hillary Clinton in order to defeat Donald Trump. The call of liberals like Pica to embrace a lesser-of-two-evils strategy is not going to save the planet or humanity.

      Pica admits that Clinton has been bad on key environmental and climate justice issues and recognizes that the Green Party has a much better agenda. Stein’s agenda is in fact much stronger than that of FOE. The Green New Deal, for instance, calls for a transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030, a halt to the build-out of fossil fuels, and a full employment program.

  • Finance

    • How A Feeble Joke At A Party Derailed Japan’s Ratification Of TPP At The Last Moment

      Given the government majority, it seems likely that the TPP bill will finally pass at some point in the near future. But the fact that a rather unfunny joke was able to throw a spanner in the works even at this late stage shows that when it comes to trade deals, things aren’t over until they are over, as the recent CETA saga also indicates.

    • And you thought the TPP was secret. The RCEP is even worse

      There’s another massive deal you’ve never heard of. The Trans-Pacific Partnership – negotiated in secret between Australia and 11 other nations over 10 years – appears to be dead.

      It would have allowed US corporations to sue Australian governments in offshore tribunals, as they have long wanted to do, effectively trumping our own High Court. Donald Trump himself opposes it (bless him) as does Hillary Clinton, although she once helped to draw it up.

    • Black Lives Matter declares its opposition to TPP

      In that year, TPP went from a fringe issue to a central election battle, with Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump (and later, Hillary Clinton), all agreeing that it’s not a “trade deal” — it’s a kind of wishlist from multinational corporations that will allow them to subvert environmental, consumer, labor and safety laws to ensure maximum profits — and uniting in their opposition to it.

      Now, add another name to the list of TPP’s strange bedfellows opponents: Black Lives Matter, who have found a signature plank in Donald Trump’s platform that they can endorse wholeheartedly, as improbable as that may sound. It’s pitting the Congressional black caucus against Obama, who sees TPP as his legacy.

    • Democracy needs to know how sausage is made: NO Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki

      Think about the 7 million euros yearly which will be the running price paid by taxes from Helsinki. This means that every one of us who pays taxes in the capital will be paying a membership fee for this museum without having been asked for it. A membership fee of over 30 euros for each one of us every year. On top of that, the museum will charge entrance fees for us, as well as the tourists. By comparison, we have the Amos Anderson [2] museum, which is privately funding its new museum in the city center.

      On top of that comes the construction of the building, which is another 80 million from our taxes (some 200 euros from each one of us for that) and handed over a top land piece just in the heart of Helsinki.

      If approved, I suggest we then have a new optional tax clause for the citizens of Helsinki as we have for religious taxes; we should call it THE STATUS TAX. Whoever wishes to pay for the Guggenheim Museum from their taxes can click on it. If this goes ahead without these providences, I can see the start of a new business model where everyone asks for such a helping hand on the pretext of tourism and prestige! I know I will.
      I suggest that universities apply for such a business model to compensate for the recent budget cuts. For example, the Aalto University with its Alvar Aalto designed buildings, which attracts many tourists to Helsinki, should apply for an equal sum on terms of a fair opportunity clause.

      If Guggenheim wants to open a museum in Helsinki or anywhere else, they should do so at their own costs.

    • Accuracy of employees’ overtime records in question

      After yet another long day at work, Matsuri Takahashi was at the end of her rope.

      “It is already 4 a.m. now, and my body is trembling,” an employee of advertising giant Dentsu Inc. wrote on a social media site. “I am dying. It is too much. I am exhausted.”

      Her words were posted on Oct. 21, 2015, after she spent nearly 19 hours–from 8:56 a.m. the previous day to 3:38 a.m.–at work, according to data kept by a flap barrier gate at the Dentsu head office in Tokyo’s Shiodome district.

    • Corporate culture fixated on ‘Devil’s 10 principles’

      A Supreme Court ruling in 2000 is described as the “bible” on preventing “karoshi,” or death from overwork.

      The decision, concerning the death of a young and overworked male employee at Dentsu Inc., was supposed to have been a wake-up call for the advertising agency on taking care of its workers’ health.

      However, inside sources say the mind-set at Dentsu remains faithful not to the “bible” ruling, but instead to the “Oni-jussoku” (Devil’s 10 principles) set by a former president.

      One of those principles urges employees to reach their goals, even if it kills them.

      The court case stemmed from the suicide of a second-year employee at Dentsu’s radio division in August 1991, when Japan was nearing the end of its asset-inflated “bubble” economy. He was 24.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Clinton and Cybersecurity: Has She Learned From Hacks and Wikileaks Dumps?

      Surrounded by desert marigold and prickly pear at the Ritz-Carlton’s Dove Mountain resort in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton revealed her greatest fears when facing cyberattacks. “It’s not only what others do to us and what we do to them and how many people are involved in it,” she said, recounting how the U.S State Department was attacked hundreds of times each day while she was secretary of state. “It’s what’s the purpose of it? What is being collected, and how it can be used?”

      It was October 2013, and she was speaking at a private summit of Silicon Valley executives convened by Goldman Sachs, the audience peppered with such high-fliers as Anne Wojcicki, CEO of genomics firm 23andme and former wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson, among other luminaries. Cyberattacks, Clinton told them, whether perpetrated by state-sponsored groups or lone hackers, all tended to be for the same reason: “People were trying to steal information, use it for their own purposes.”

    • #PodestaEmails30: Wikileaks releases the second batch of the day

      Included in WikiLeaks’ 30th release of Podesta Emails was a message sent Sunday, December 20, 2015, by Lisa Jackson. She is vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives for Apple and reports directly to CEO Tim Cook.

    • Jill Stein: Don’t ‘Throw Your Vote Away’ On Clinton Or Trump

      The Green Party candidate for president is pushing back against those who see her as a spoiler in the race.

      Jill Stein, who is up to 4 percent in the latest CBS News poll, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 that every vote counts.

      “We encourage people not to throw your vote away on more of a two-party failed political system, but to invest your vote in a real movement for change that our party alone represents,” she said.

    • Stop Hoping For a Hillary Landslide

      Will pro-Hillary progressives go along with a belligerent Clinton White House? It’s a fair question, given how quickly the last decade’s anti-war movement fell nearly silent after Barack Obama’s victory in 2008.

      In an Oct. 25 essay, former U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich warned readers of The Nation about the influence of a “bipartisan foreign-policy elite [that] recommends the next president show less restraint than President Obama… As this year’s presidential election comes to a conclusion, the Washington ideologues are regurgitating the same bipartisan consensus that has kept America at war since 9/11 and made the world a decidedly more dangerous place.”

      Ms. Clinton’s own record and the endorsements she has received from Bush-Cheney neocons suggest we’ll see a shift from President Obama’s recent caution back to the war-machine polices of the last decade and even the last century. In 2017, that’ll mean a renewed Cold War with Russia with a possible standoff over Syria, deeper U.S. military involvement in Muslim nations in which civilians will suffer most (including more aid for Saudi Arabia’s assault on Yemen), and unconditional support for Israel’s violent suppression of Palestinian human rights.

    • WikiLeaks Founder Assange Refutes Clinton Russia Claims – Feels Sorry For Her

      Julian Assange counters the claims of Hillary Clinton and her media propagandists stating unequivocally that the source of the leaks that WikiLeaks has made a campaign fixture over the last few weeks is not, contrary to her deflective claims, the Russians.

      The Clinton camp picked an impressive, overwhelmingly large and credible sounding number of 17 as the number of agencies that have supported their claims. No evidence has been provided, but we can trust Hillary. She’s not the kind of person to say something if it isn’t true, we all know that. Having 17 intelligence agencies backing up your allegations is the kind of support that would make the claims of Russian interference nearly irrefutable if they are true. “If and true,” here we go again. She could have chosen any number and been equally dishonest, as Mr. Assange explains.

    • Julian Assange: Isis and Clinton Foundation are both funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar

      Wealthy officials from Qatar and Saudi Arabia who donated money to Hillary Clinton’s charitable foundation also provided financial support to Isis, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has claimed.

      In an extended interview at the Ecuadorian embassy in London with documentary maker John Pilger for RT, Mr Assange said the same Saudi and Qatari officials could be seen to be supporting both the Clinton Foundation – founded by Mrs Clinton’s husband Bill – and funding the activities of Isis.

      Mr Pilger asked if Mr Assange believed that “this notorious jihadist group, called Isil or Isis, is created largely with money from people who are giving money to the Clinton Foundation”

    • Majority of voters think Clinton acted illegally, new poll finds

      A majority of voters believe Hillary Clinton has done something illegal, according to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll days before the presidential election.

      A total of 83 percent of likely voters believe that Clinton did something wrong – 51 percent saying she did something illegal and 32 percent saying she something unethical but not illegal. Just 14 percent said she’s done nothing wrong.

      By comparison, 79 percent think Donald Trump did something wrong, though not nearly as many think he did something illegal. Just 26 percent think he’s done something illegal, while 53 percent think he’s dome something unethical but not illegal. Just 17 percent think he’s done nothing wrong.

    • WIKILEAKS: Clinton pal praises Hillary: ‘Eventually she will sound like a human’

      Hillary Clinton is dishonest and robotic, her friend Neera Tanden wrote in an email to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in August 2015.

      In the email exchange, published by WikiLeaks on Friday, Tanden wrote that Hillary “often says she absolutely won’t do something and then does it.” It is not clear from the context of the email what specifically Tanden was referring to.

      Tanden, president of the left-wing think tank Center for American Progress, urged Podesta to “stay on her” and “lock her in,” because if he did, “eventually [Hillary] will sound like a human.”

    • WikiLeaks impact: Clinton Foundation accepts it received $1mn gift from Qatar

      The Clinton Foundation has confirmed it accepted a $1 million gift from Qatar while Hillary Clinton was US secretary of state without informing the State Department, even though she had promised to let the agency review new or significantly increased support from foreign governments.

      Qatari officials pledged the money in 2011 to mark the 65th birthday of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband, and sought to meet the former US president in person the following year to present him the check, according to an email from a foundation official to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta. The email, among thousands hacked from Podesta’s account, was published last month by WikiLeaks.

      Clinton signed an ethics agreement governing her family’s globe-straddling foundation in order to become secretary of state in 2009. The agreement was designed to increase transparency to avoid appearances that US foreign policy could be swayed by wealthy donors.

    • Clinton’s charity confirms Qatar’s $1 million gift while she was at State Dept

      The Clinton Foundation has confirmed it accepted a $1 million gift from Qatar while Hillary Clinton was U.S. secretary of state without informing the State Department, even though she had promised to let the agency review new or significantly increased support from foreign governments.

      Qatari officials pledged the money in 2011 to mark the 65th birthday of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband, and sought to meet the former U.S. president in person the following year to present him the check, according to an email from a foundation official to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta. The email, among thousands hacked from Podesta’s account, was published last month by WikiLeaks.

      Clinton signed an ethics agreement governing her family’s globe-straddling foundation in order to become secretary of state in 2009. The agreement was designed to increase transparency to avoid appearances that U.S. foreign policy could be swayed by wealthy donors.

    • Hillary Deleted Email Showing She Forwarded Classified Information To Her Daughter

      Hillary Clinton deleted a 2009 email in which she forwarded classified information to her daughter, Chelsea.

      The email was released on Friday by the State Department. It is one of thousands of documents recovered by the FBI from Clinton’s private email server.

    • Mid East ‘not all bad’ : Bill Clinton’s speeches revealed in WikiLeaks’ #PodestaEmails31

      WikiLeaks has released more emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta, with only four days until the presidential election.

      The latest release contains more than 2500 emails, bringing the total number to over 50,000. WikiLeaks has said it would publish 50,000 emails before election day.

      On Friday, there were two releases of Podesta emails. They revealed further examples of the campaign’s disdain for former Clinton rival Bernie Sanders, and shed light on Bill Clinton’s paid speeches when Clinton was secretary of state. The emails also revealed the campaign’s relationship with Apple and its influential donors.

    • Hillary Clinton Email Investigation: Alleged NYPD Source Reportedly Says Clintons Involved In Sex Slavery, Child Sex Crimes, Child Exploitation And More

      The Hillary Clinton email investigation has rocked this year’s election with its timing, but it’s about to be rocked even more, that is if a report by online news source True Pundit is legitimate.

      The right-wing publication claim the new emails have exposed the Clintons for being involved in such atrocities as child sex crimes, child exploitation, sexual slavery, money laundering, perjury and obstruction of justice to name a few.

    • How Jill Stein Could Force the Enforcement of Election Laws and Save Us All

      CTR has long been criticized for its announcement that it would engage in coordination with the Clinton Campaign. Citing a legal loophole, CTR enraged campaign finance reformers with what they considered to be illegal activity, announcing AstroTurf efforts over social media to assist Hillary Clinton. In June I wrote a piece about this supposed loophole.

      Under the Code of Federal Regulations, activity is coordinated with a candidate, campaign or committee when it satisfies what is known as the three-pronged analysis: Payment, content, and conduct. When that happens, unless exempted, it is treated as an in-kind contribution or coordinated expenditure. We can spare ourselves the nitty gritty of each of these prongs because CTR has openly acknowledged that its activities meet the requirements to be considered coordinated.

    • Jill Stein is polling at four percent. But she says she’s staying in the race

      We met Jill Stein, the Green Candidate for president, outside Hillary Clinton’s campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, a two fingers-up at her opponent.

      A week ago this would have been an interesting interview, but it might have felt a bit peripheral to the main election story. Hillary was comfortably ahead in most polls, and no one was discussing Jill Stein and libertarian Gary Johnson as much.

      Then the Great Tightening happened, and the polls narrowed. And suddenly the number of votes accrued by third party candidates feels very relevant indeed.

      Averages have had Jill at about two percent recently, but the latest New York Times/CBS News poll released this week has her at four percent. That’s more than the gap separating Trump and Clinton in the same poll.

      I asked her if she is willing to instruct her voters to back Hillary in key swing states. She said no.

      “It is a race to the bottom with the greater and lesser evil,” she begins. “I urge people not to throw their vote away on the same political system that has thrown you under the bus. It’s very important to invest your vote in a real movement for change.”

    • Susan Sarandon: ‘DNC is completely corrupt’

      Actress Susan Sarandon on Thursday tore into the Democratic National Committee (DNC), calling it “completely corrupt.”

      “After my experience in the primary, it’s very clear to me the DNC is gone,” she told CNN’s Carol Costello.

      “Every superdelegate is a lobbyist. The way that the system is set up in terms of trying of having superdelegates — you could win a state and not get the delegates. It’s crazy.”

      Sarandon backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for the Democratic nomination. She said she still respects Sanders even though he endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

    • Confused Reporter Doubles Down On Bogus Trump/Russian Server Story With ‘I’m Just Asking Questions’ Non-Apology
    • WikiLeaks Emails: Podesta Threatened To Quit Campaign Last Year

      John Podesta threatened to quit his position as Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman late last year over an issue involving campaign contributions from his brother, superlobbyist Tony Podesta.

      Podesta appears to have made the threat in order to protect Tony, who is the elder Podesta, from pressure that the campaign’s finance team gave over donations to the Hillary Victory Fund (HVF), a controversial joint fundraising committee coordinated between the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and 32 state party committees.

    • WikiLeaks: Top Clinton Aides Bemoan Campaign ‘All Tactics,’ No Vision

      A hacked email released Saturday by WikiLeaks provided fresh evidence that top aides were frustrated that Hillary Clinton’s campaign lacked a vision or principles beyond simply acquiring power.

      In the email, sent on Jan. 22, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta responded glumly to a question from Morgan Stanley executive Tom Nides about how things were going.

    • ‘Rahmemail.com’: Wikileaks shows Emanuel’s use of personal domain

      The mayor also received an email from Podesta on a separate personal Gmail account that was included in the hacked emails posted by WikiLeaks.

    • Clinton Foundation ‘More Like a Political Operation’ Than Charity

      The Clinton Foundation operated “more like a political operation” than a traditional charity, a lawyer warned in a memo marked “confidential” in 2008.

      Bruce Lindsey, chairman of the foundation’s board of directors, sent the memo — an earlier draft of the final report — to Clinton family consiglieri Cheryl Mills in 2011. WikiLeaks released that email Saturday in its latest batch of communications hacked from the Gmail account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

    • “The DNC is gone”: Susan Sarandon defends vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein

      Actress, activist, and former Bern-feeler Susan Sarandon is now going Green in support of Jill Stein.

      Sarandon appeared on CNN Thursday to discuss the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, and the corruption of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. She also condemned the DNC.

      “The DNC is gone and we need a progressive party,” Sarandon said in defense of her support for Jill Stein.

      Sarandon talked to CNN’s Carol Costello as a representative on the side of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe pipeline protesters. She explained that the issue has been largely ignored because neither presidential nominee wants to talk about it.

      “You’re not going to hear anything from her,” Saradon said about Clinton and the pipeline. “Because if you look at who supports their campaign and who’s contributed to Hillary’s campaign, it’s every single one of these corporations and banks.”

    • The Left Is Under No Obligation To Support Hillary Clinton

      But if we want to move beyond the cycle of mobilization and retreat that dominates left electoral activity in the US, we have no choice but to build our own political formations, as difficult as that will be. They will have to do what all parties do—run candidates for office, particularly in states and localities where competition between Democrats and Republicans is low. Considering the many institutional barriers to effective independent politics, they will also have to launch fights to change ballot access laws and other measures aimed at maintaining the two-party duopoly.

      Beyond that, they should also focus on building the intellectual and organizational capacities of their base between elections, and raise people’s expectations of what is possible instead of managing them downward. And perhaps most importantly, they must resist the tendency of unions and other social movement organizations to prioritize short-term interests and goals above all other concerns.

      The Sanders campaign and the mini-revival of protest activity shows us that millions of people are fed up with the political order and want an alternative to it. Instead of accepting and working within the limitations of the system they despise, why not begin the hard work of offering one to them?

    • Ohio judge warns Trump campaign as voter advocates score court wins

      A U.S. judge in Ohio ordered Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign on Friday not to intimidate voters as voting-rights advocates scored a string of last-minute victories in several politically competitive states.

      The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge James Gwin creates the possibility of fines or jail time for Trump allies who harass voters, a significant victory for Democrats who had worried the real-estate mogul was encouraging supporters to cause mayhem at the polls on Nov. 8.

      The ruling also deals a blow to a Trump-aligned “exit poll” that seeks to mobilize thousands of supporters.

      The Trump campaign appealed the decision.

    • Data Wars: Trump Bought Battery-Powered Toy Car for Toddlers; Hillary Runs Up-Engined Race Car (and a TEAM to run it). Perhaps the Biggest Lopsided Advantage of 2016

      The two are night-and-day. The Obama system is 4.5 TIMES BETTER. Not 4.5 PERCENT better (in a year when the election was decided by 5%). It was not 45% better. the Obama machine is 4.5 TIMES BETTER. 350% better. Understand. One side has something that is not 100% better or 200% better than your system. Its something that is 350% better than yours. When you spend a million dollars on a TV ad campaign that boosts your voter turnout by 10,000 votes. And the other side uses their system to run a better TV ad campaign – that also costs 1 million dollars, but they get 45,000 votes!!! 4.5 time better! 350% better!.

      That is what Obama built in 2012. That is what was called ‘Narwhal’. That was using the bleeding-edge tech called Big Data. I wrote several blogs about it then and did a total analysis of the two systems compared head-to-head, written for MARKETING people, in other industries than politics, that I published here in early 2015. This is THE DEFINITIVE article about what is Big Data and why its the new era in databases. Why it makes psychographics like used by Romney (and now Trump) obsolete.

    • Southern states have closed down at least 868 polling places for the 2016 election

      Next week, Americans will hold the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act.

      It’s a terrifying fact. The Voting Rights Act targeted policies that purposely kept black voters from the polls. But the US Supreme Court struck down part of the law in 2013, limiting the federal government’s oversight of states with long histories of suppressing minority voters.

      As a result, states have passed more voting restrictions over the past several years — including controversial voter ID laws and cutbacks on early voting days and hours.

    • WikiLeaks releases latest batch of emails from Clinton campaign chair

      The whistleblowing site has published more than 50,000 emails in the lead up to the presidential election on Tuesday. Today’s trache contains 2074 new emails.

      Saturday’s release contained transcripts from Bill Clinton’s fundraising speeches, which included the former president attacking UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and discussing the need for a tough leader to “enforce the trigger that will re-impose sanctions” should Iran violate the nuclear deal.

    • Paul Ryan: The choice facing America

      This is how Clinton can so casually classify whole groups of people as “deplorables.” And it is how the Clintons can treat transparency like it’s something for other people, not for them.

    • Clinton directed her maid to print out classified materials

      As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton routinely asked her maid to print out sensitive government e-mails and documents — including ones containing classified information — from her house in Washington, DC, e-mails and FBI memos show. But the housekeeper lacked the security clearance to handle such material.

      In fact, Marina Santos was called on so frequently to receive e-mails that she may hold the secrets to E-mailgate — if only the FBI and Congress would subpoena her and the equipment she used.

      Clinton entrusted far more than the care of her DC residence, known as Whitehaven, to Santos. She expected the Filipino immigrant to handle state secrets, further opening the Democratic presidential nominee to criticism that she played fast and loose with national security.

    • Will the Media Reset After the Election or Are We Stuck With This Tabloid Stuff?

      The venerable New York Times ran a story saying Donald Trump lies about the height of his buildings.

      For no apparent reason, the Times resurrected some information from 1979 saying Trump insisted on counting the basement levels of his signature Trump Tower in the overall count of how many floors the building has. The Times compares this lie to “reports” that Trump adds an inch to his actual body height in his bio materials, and also repeated the gag line that he boasted about how long his penis is (no word on whether it is or is not actually longer than expected.)

      You have to wade down to paragraph 12 to learn other New York developers use the same count-the-basements levels gimmick to be able to advertise their buildings as taller. There is absolutely no news.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Munich court to try Facebook’s Zuckerberg for inciting hatred

      A Munich court has opened a lawsuit against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, German media reported on Friday. News outlet “der Spiegel” wrote on its website, before the main weekly magazine’s Saturday release, that it had obtained court documents charging the social media mogul with incitement to hatred.

      Zuckerberg is reportedly being charged alongside Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg, chief Europe lobbyist Richard Allan, and his Berlin counterpart Eva-Maria Kirschsieper.

      According to Spiegel, the complaint comes from the Würzburg-based attorney Chan-jo Jun. In the suit, he accuses Facebook of tolerating appeals for murder, threats of violence, and Holocaust denial, among other things.

      Laws regulating hate speech in Germany are extremely tight, with most Nazi symbolism and racist propaganda strictly forbidden, a legacy of Germany’s role in World War II. Although Facebook is obliged to remove illegal content from its site, it has repeatedly garnered hefty criticism for the time it takes to do so.

    • Israeli Lawmakers Pushing Mandatory, Default ISP Porn Filtering Because That Always Works So Well

      So, because internet porn is easier to access than ice cream, ISPs may be forced to stop allowing ice cream to flow uninterrupted through its lines unless customers of age specifically ask to be “exposed to” ice cream. If customers want porn to burst from every digital orifice connected to their ISP, they would need to opt-in via phone call, letter, or through the ISP’s website.

      Other people, who would just like to have their access to websites less effed up will also have to do the same, considering website filtering/blocking is far from perfect and tends to net a bunch of false positives. Critics of the bill only have to point to all the other times this has happened to provide examples of why this is a bad idea.

      In addition, a list of opt-in users would be created because there’s no way an opt-in “service” doesn’t. I can’t imagine why the government might be interested in the contents of such a list, but the fact that it’s there means it could be obtained without too much paperwork if “needed.” Then there are other outside forces, like malicious hackers, who might find it entertaining to plaster lists of “porn, please!” users all over the internet.

    • Bare-chest activist plans to show up on Md. beaches

      This coming summer, Chelsea Covington plans to hit the beach topless.

      She’s is not an exhibitionist or a nudist. Instead, she believes in normalizing the female body and has traveled throughout the mid-Atlantic, blogging about her interactions with people along the way.

      She has taken photos at the Washington Monument, biked along trails in Philadelphia and visited beaches in New Hampshire, Assateague Island and Ocean City.

      The 27-year-old from Maryland’s Eastern Shore advocates for “topfreedom,” the belief that women have the same rights as men to not be obligated by laws cover their chests.

      Covington believes that this type of gender shaming can be associated with “lifelong health concerns.” She uses the term “bare chested,” because she said topless is a gendered term that wouldn’t be used to describe a man.

    • Turkey blocks WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter all over again

      THE ANTI-FRIENDLY Turkish government has once again blocked local access to commonly used social networks including WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.

      We have been here before. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan squats on communications every time anyone starts talking about him, his party, his family, and probably Turkey, in a less than positive way.

      Today it is because some political opposition is getting the spotlight, so the move makes sense if you are someone like Erdogan who shuts down communications at the drop of a hat.

      “The TurkeyBlocks monitoring network has detected restrictions on access to multiple social media services Facebook, Twitter and YouTube throughout Turkey beginning Friday Nov 04 2016 1:20AM local time, ongoing as of Friday noon,” reported Turkey watcher TurkeyBlocks.

    • Turkey Doubles Down on Censorship With Block on VPNs, Tor

      In what’s a significant escalation in its censorship efforts, the Turkish government now wants to block the very same tools that tech-savvy citizens use to get around the government-imposed social media blocks.

      On Friday, the Turkish information technologies and communications authority, or BTK, ordered internet providers in the country to block Tor and several other censorship-circumvention Virtual Private Networks or VPNs, such as VPN Master, Hotspot Shield, Psiphon, Zenmate, TunnelBear, Zero, Vypr, Express, according to multiple local reports.

      Earlier in the day, the government had already blocked Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and restrictions on messaging apps like WhatsApp and Skype were also reported. The independent monitoring organization TurkeyBlocks also reported throttling and other forms of censorship on Friday, linking the disruptions and blocks to the arrests of pro-Kurdish party leaders.

    • Tired of people circumventing social media blocks, Turkey calls for VPN ban

      As of a few hours ago, there’s a new VPN ban in Turkey. Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority has issued an order to Turkish Internet service providers (ISPs) telling them to institute a VPN ban. Many Turkish internet users were using VPNs to access social media platforms after Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube were blocked last night amid ongoing military operations and political unrest, according to Turkey Blocks. In addition to attempting to ban connections to VPN services, Turkish ISPs are also blocking access to VPN homepages as well as the Tor project homepage.

    • Turkey blocks access to Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook

      Ban is reportedly related to 11 arrests of opposition party politicians

      Turkey has blocked Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube, according to censorship monitoring site, Turkey Blocks.

      The group broke the news today around 1am local time, saying the government was throttling these services. This is a method of slowing down websites to the extent that they become difficult to use or unusable.

    • Chinese Police Dub Censorship Circumvention Tools As ‘Terrorist Software’

      The Great Firewall of China is pretty well-known these days, as is the fact that it is by no means impenetrable. The Chinese authorities aren’t exactly happy about that, and we have seen a variety of attempts to stop its citizens from using tools to circumvent the national firewall. These have included Chinese ISPs trying to spot and block the use of VPNs; deploying China’s Great Cannon to take out anti-censorship sites using massive DDoS attacks; forcing developers of circumvention tools to shut down their repositories; and pressuring Content Delivery Networks to remove all illegal circumvention, proxy and VPN services hosted on their servers.

      Despite years of clampdown, anti-censorship tools are still being used widely in China — one estimate is that 1-3% of China’s Internet users do so, which would equate to millions of people. However, Global Voices has a report of police action in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, whose indigenous population is Turkic-speaking and Muslim, that may be the harbinger of even tougher measures against circumvention tools.

    • Scottish film explores censorship in the GDR
    • Deputy Justice Minister slams FB ‘censorship’ of Polish nationalists

      Twitter banner for 5 November protest outside Facebook’s Warsaw HQ reads: Freedom of Speech for Nationalists – Stop Censorship. Photo: Twitter.com/Marsz Niepodległości @StowMarszN

      Deputy Justice Minister Patryk Jaki accused the social media giant of censorship, which he said was “outrageous”.

      Facebook’s reported decision to block the pages comes ahead of Poland’s Independence Day, which falls on 11 November and is typically marked by marches organised by nationalist organizations and others in the country’s capital.

      Tens of thousands annually take to the streets on the day, which has in recent years ended in outbreaks of violence and clashes with police.

      Nationalists are planning a 5 November protest outside the social media site’s Warsaw offices.

    • Nielsen Forced To Pull Report Offline After It Shows ESPN Losing More Subscribers Than Ever

      ESPN has been losing hand over fist as consumers shift to streaming alternatives and new “skinny” TV bundles of smaller channels. The company is estimated to have lost roughly 7 million subscribers in just a few years, and a recent survey found that 56% of consumers would drop ESPN in a heartbeat if it meant saving $8 a month on their cable bill (the estimate of how much ESPN costs each subscriber). The losses are largely thanks to ESPN executives failing to see the cord-cutting threat coming. Apparently it’s difficult to identify shifting viewership trends with your head buried squarely in the sand.

      Fast forward to this week, when viewer-monitoring firm Nielsen released a report stating that ESPN lost more subscribers than ever last quarter. According to the original Nielsen report, ESPN lost 621,000 homes in a single month, as well as losing 607,000 ESPN2 households, and 674,000 ESPNU homes.

    • Adobe Asked Google To Censor Techdirt’s Story On How Adobe’s DRM Got Cracked

      Another day, another example of copyright being a tool for censorship. MarkMonitor is one of the largest companies out there in the “IP protection” business — and they also have a decently long history of filing bogus DMCA notices. And in one of its recent ones… they targeted a Techdirt news story. You see, three years ago, our own Tim Cushing wrote a little story about how Adobe launched its Creative Cloud subscription offering and had the DRM on it cracked within 24 hours. It was a fun (yet all too predictable) story.

    • Govt to block more websites, raising censorship specter

      The government says it will intensify its crackdown on websites accused of spreading hatred based on issues of ethnicity, religion and race (SARA) after receiving more requests to do so, raising the specter of online censorship.

      The move came as religious sentiments over the upcoming Jakarta gubernatorial election escalated and spread online, mainly after Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama was accused of disrespecting Al-Maidah 51, a verse in the Quran.

      The Communications and Information Ministry claimed that since Oct. 31 it had received more requests to block websites allegedly spreading SARA-based hatred from several authorities, including the National Police, the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) and the State Intelligence Agency (BIN)

    • Mapplethorpe complaint at Westmount library brings censorship into focus

      In 1990, a Robert Mapplethorpe photography exhibit opened at the Contemporary Arts Centre in Cincinnati, Ohio. Both the centre and its director, Dennis Barrie, were charged with obscenity. The public outcry against censorship was remarkable. Later, the charges were dropped.

      In 2016, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts opens an interesting, if not entirely satisfactory, exhibit of the same Robert Mapplethorpe’s work, this one called Focus: Perfection.

    • Comic artists in Vietnam face the tight grip of censorship

      A young generation of Vietnamese comic artists is struggling to get its work published as local publishers hesitate to give the nod to comics targeting older age groups.

      The third volume of popular Vietnamese comic Meo Moc (Musty Mew) by rising 24-year-old artist Dang Quang Dung was recently recalled by publishers after a one month run in local bookstores.

      The artist attributes the recall to a scene featuring the comic’s feline protagonist on the toilet and the word ‘poop’ appearing later in the volume, both of which were deemed ‘offensive’ by book censors.

    • CENSORED: 100 years of film censorship in New Zealand

      One hundred years ago, film censorship was introduced to New Zealand, making it illegal to show any film without it first being passed by the Censor.

      The 1916 Cinematograph Film Censorship Act was the government’s first attempt to restrict what New Zealanders could watch and hear in audiovisual media.

    • Turkey Doubles Down on Censorship With Block on VPNs, Tor

      In what’s a significant escalation in its censorship efforts, the Turkish government now wants to block the very same tools that tech-savvy citizens use to get around the government-imposed social media blocks.

      On Friday, the Turkish information technologies and communications authority, or BTK, ordered internet providers in the country to block Tor and several other censorship-circumvention Virtual Private Networks or VPNs, such as VPN Master, Hotspot Shield, Psiphon, Zenmate, TunnelBear, Zero, Vypr, Express, according to multiple local reports.

      Earlier in the day, the government had already blocked Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and restrictions on messaging apps like WhatsApp and Skype were also reported. The independent monitoring organization TurkeyBlocks also reported throttling and other forms of censorship on Friday, linking the disruptions and blocks to the arrests of pro-Kurdish party leaders.

    • Ilya Troyanov: ‘Against censorship, for an open discussion’

      There needs to be an open discussion against simplifying the past, says the award-winning author. Troyanov speaks to DW about the dangers of glorifying Communist dictatorship in Eastern European countries.

    • YouTube blocks a video…on left wing censorship: Site’s algorithm blacklists educational footage

      Last month, YouTube was accused of censorship after it emerged it has been removing the ability for users to make money from their videos if they express politically incorrect or offensive views.

      And the latest video to fall victim to the site’s new censorship rules is, ironically, one on left wing censorship.

      The video, titled ‘The Dark Art of Political Intimidation’, was placed in ‘restricted mode’, making it inaccessible to schools, libraries and those with a YouTube filter.

    • China demands live-streaming censorship
    • China Moves to Regulate Live Streaming
    • Chinese internet authorities to crack down on ‘threatening’ live-streaming
    • China to Censor Online Streaming from December 1st
    • Cyberspace Admin Issues New Live-streaming Rules
    • China to regulate live streaming
    • China rules on live video streaming
    • China Censors Online Video Streaming
    • China Issues New Rule Requiring Licence for People Live-Streaming News, Entertainment Content
    • China formalizes its live-streaming industry rules
    • China to regulate online live streaming services
    • China tightens screws on live-streaming firms
    • China cracks down on growing live streaming industry
    • New Chinese Law to Tighten Grip on Live Streaming Services Online
    • China to Enforce Stricter Regulations on Chinese Live-Streaming Sites
    • China demands live-streaming censorship
    • Open Rights Groups slams porn censorship proposal
    • Hong Kong lawmakers-elect who called for independence threatened China’s security -state TV
    • Hong Kong lawmakers-elect who called for independence threatened China’s security
    • If China Meant to Chill Hong Kong Speech, Booksellers’ Case Did the Job
    • Report: China Censorship Machine Not the Monolith It Appears to Be
    • Researchers reverse-engineer Chinese streaming services to learn how they’re censored
    • Researchers uncover hidden censorship on Chinese live-streaming apps
    • No censorship at UAE book fairs — NMC [Ed: Puff piece from government media, trying to obscure a culture of overt censorship at UAE]
    • DirecTV blackout of Fox News, CNN spurs allegations of censorship plot
    • Demystifying Social Media Censorship — in Arabic, Spanish and English
    • Here’s The Truth: Shiva Ayyadurai Didn’t Invent Email
    • Censorship Kills: Remembering Sattar Behesthi
    • Harsh Censorship Like In Emergency: Editors Guild On Action Against NDTV
    • Editors Guild Slams Ban on NDTV India, Says it Violates Freedom of Media
    • Anger at ‘harsh censorship’ as Indian network silenced
    • Indian editors accuse govt of imposing censorship
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Why I won’t recommend Signal anymore

      One of the things I do is cryptography and infosec training for investigative journalists who have a need to keep either their sources and communications confidential so they can more safely do their work in the public interest. Often they work in places which are heavily surveilled, like Europe, or the United States. Ed Snowden’s documents explain a thing or two about how the US intelligence apparatus goes about its day-to-day business. They sometimes also work in places in the world where rubber hose cryptanalysis is more common than in say the U.S. or Europe. Which is why crypto tools alone are not the Alpha and the Omega of (personal) security. This requires careful consideration of what to use when, and in what situation. One of the things I have recommended in the past for various cases is the OpenWhisperSystems’ app called Signal, available for Android and iOS. In this article, I want to explain my reasons why I won’t be recommending Signal in the future.

    • GCHQ wants internet providers to rewrite systems to block hackers [Ed: GCHQ wants more mass “surveillance” because “HACKERS” (they use to say “TERROR”). The latest routers from BT (not the older ones) already block/break VPNs. This was noticed by the media. Nobody knows why?]

      GCHQ is urging internet providers to change long-standing protocols to stop computers from being used to set off large-scale cyber attacks.

      The Government’s cyber-defence arm said it plans to work with networks such as BT and Virgin Media to rewrite internet standards to restrict “spoofing” – a technique that allows hackers to impersonate other computers and manipulate them to carry out anonymous attacks.

    • How to block the ultrasonic signals you didn’t know were tracking you

      Dystopian corporate surveillance threats today come at us from all directions. Companies offer “always-on” devices that listen for our voice commands, and marketers follow us around the web to create personalized user profiles so they can (maybe) show us ads we’ll actually click. Now marketers have been experimenting with combining those web-based and audio approaches to track consumers in another disturbingly science fictional way: with audio signals your phone can hear, but you can’t. And though you probably have no idea that dog whistle marketing is going on, researchers are already offering ways to protect yourself.

      The technology, called ultrasonic cross-device tracking, embeds high-frequency tones that are inaudible to humans in advertisements, web pages, and even physical locations like retail stores. These ultrasound “beacons” emit their audio sequences with speakers, and almost any device microphone—like those accessed by an app on a smartphone or tablet—can detect the signal and start to put together a picture of what ads you’ve seen, what sites you’ve perused, and even where you’ve been. Now that you’re sufficiently concerned, the good news is that at the Black Hat Europe security conference on Thursday, a group based at University of California, Santa Barbara will present an Android patch and a Chrome extension that give consumers more control over the transmission and receipt of ultrasonic pitches on their devices.

    • Why do diplomats use this alien WhatsApp emoji for Vladimir Putin? [iophk: "corporate surveillance"]

      When the world’s nations sit down to talk nowadays, there is a distinct difference to the way diplomacy is done. Influence is no longer defined only by special relationships and old alliances, but which WhatsApp group you are invited into.

      The rise of WhatsApp diplomacy is transforming the negotiating chamber. There are countless groups of allies and virtual huddles, exchanges over policy statements and fine print, and fair amounts of banter and even emojis (Vladimir Putin is referred to by widespread use of a grey alien avatar).

      “You can form small groups of like-minded allies, take photos of annotated documents, ask people what they think without the whole room knowing,” a senior western diplomat said.

      The tool is useful for communicating with allies who might not be sitting close to them, diplomats say, as well as for agreeing negotiating tactics during difficult sessions and for organising break-out huddles in a way that avoids offending those left out.

    • How Bureaucrats and Spies Turned Canada Into a Surveillance State

      This week, Canadians received a shock to the system when a spate of news items revealed how police and spy agencies flout the law and moral conventions to spy on citizens and journalists, in some cases dating back for many years.

      The largest blow to Canada’s often rosy image came on Thursday when a federal court ruling revealed that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has been operating a secret metadata collection program since 2006, and retained citizens’ identifying information illegally. The question on every Canadian’s mind now is: how, in our supposedly sleepy liberal democracy, did this happen?

      In establishing the domestic spy agency with the CSIS Act, legislators largely left it up to CSIS itself to decide how the law should be interpreted. “It appears that CSIS got their own legal advice that gave them the most favourable spin or interpretation of the law that one could possibly take,” said privacy lawyer David Fraser in an interview. “Really, stretching it almost to the breaking point.”

    • Oliver Stone’s Snowden puts the spotlight back on the NSA

      The US election is imminent. It pits a dangerous demagogue in Donald Trump against an establishment candidate in Hillary Clinton. The list of those victimised by Trump is dwarfed only by his detractors.

      On the campaign trail, Trump has managed to insult women, Hispanics and Muslims just to name a few groups. Yet Clinton hardly arouses the enthusiasm of voters. Many feel she has been co-opted by Wall Street and that she is a foreign policy hawk.

      The Wikileaks revelations confirmed that the leadership of the Democratic National Committee worked against Bernie Sanders in order to secure Clinton the nomination. I am wondering what Oliver Stone makes of it all. But, getting hold of Stone, at several removes, proves to be difficult. You could say he is almost as elusive as the subject of his latest movie – Snowden.

    • Don’t cyber-mess with Britain, warns UK Chancellor

      Britain’s adversaries want to damage its economy and society and their new weapon of choice is the Internet.

      Thirty years ago this sentence would have read like science fiction. Twenty years ago it would have sounded like technobabble. By 10 years ago it would merely have been dismissed as a bit far-fetched.

      And yet this is what Philip Hammond, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, suggested yesterday in a speech outlining an ambitious UK cyber-security strategy that has been emerging gradually since 2010.

    • Inside the NSA’s For-Sale Spy Town

      Operations around Sugar Grove have also been tied to the NSA’s controversial ECHELON surveillance program, according to National Security Archive researchers. The top-secret program was created during the Cold War to monitor Soviet and Eastern Bloc communications, but later evolved into a global interception and data harvesting system.

      After being shut down last year, the spy town can now be yours—for a couple of million dollars.

      Once home to some 400 government employees and their families, Sugar Grove Station’s only residents a year after it was decommissioned appear to be spiders and a particularly brazen groundhog. The spying activities have moved on, some of them to a related nearby base that’s still operational.

    • We Can’t Trust Trump With Today’s NSA

      Donald Trump has shown he’ll stop at nothing to humiliate and intimidate his critics. He published Sen. Lindsey Graham’s personal cellphone number so Trump supporters could harass him. He encouraged the Russian government to hack Hillary Clinton (though he later claimed he was joking) and promised to imprison her. He has tweeted false and embarrassing accusations against Sen. Ted Cruz, former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, and many others.

    • ‘UK’s censorship & harassment are no solution’: European journalists’ union speaks up for RT

      The General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has chastised the UK government for its treatment of RT, in relation to state-owned British bank NatWest’s decision to close its accounts.

    • GCHQ recruiting for elite cyber force… but past experience not required
    • Big Brotherism, by platform
    • Lost in the splinternet
    • Britain’s cybersecurity policy needs common sense, not just cash
    • Identifying Your Company’s Edward Snowden
    • Here’s what happened at the Edward Snowden talk you couldn’t get into
    • Edward Snowden speaks on privacy and surveillance at McGill University
    • What Snowden Had to Say at the McGill Videoconference
    • McGill University: Progress Report on the Strike by Casual Employees
    • Edward Snowden gives a virtual conference at McGill University
    • Edward Snowden Calls Out Canadian Police for Spying
    • Three New Scandals Show How Pervasive and Dangerous Mass Surveillance is in the West, Vindicating Snowden
    • Edward Snowden Update: NSA Whistleblower Says Security Agencies Use Your Smartphones To Listen In

      Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden warned that phones can be compromised by security agencies to listen in on the user’s activities even when the device is not programmed to do so.

      Snowden spoke about the surveillance state in an interview with Digits, a series on privacy during the age of the internet. The 33-year-old whistleblower rose to prominence when he leaked classified documents that revealed the NSA spying on U.S. citizens.

      “The TV is a medium that you watch. The internet is a medium that watches you as you watch it,” Snowden reportedly said in the interview. ”Everywhere you go, even when you’re not actively using your phone, it’s still listening.”

    • Police surveillance scandal: Quebec minister calls for new probe

      The police spying crisis has gone from bad to worse, with Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux ordering an administrative investigation into the practises of the Sûreté du Québec dating back to 2013.

      Coiteux made the announcement within hours of the provincial police force revealing it had tracked the calls and movements of six journalists that year after news reports based on leaks revealed Michel Arsenault, then president of Quebec’s largest labour federation, had his phone tapped.

      The controversy began Monday after Montreal media outlet La Presse reported that police had tracked columnist Patrick Lagacé’s cellphone to find out if he was being leaked information from police officers.

    • Hackers Say They’re Revealing More from Trove of NSA Data
    • The US Government and Zero-Day Vulnerabilities: From Pre-Heartbleed to Shadow Brokers
    • What we can (and can’t) learn from the latest shadow brokers dump
  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Why Non-Immigrant Visas are Unconstitutional (H-1B, L-1, etc.)
    • Chelsea Manning Tried Committing Suicide a Second Time in October

      Chelsea Manning tried to commit suicide last month at the start of a week of solitary confinement at the prison barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., that was imposed on her as punishment for a previous attempt to end her life in July.

      Ms. Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst who is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking archives of secret documents to WikiLeaks, disclosed the attempted suicide, which took place Oct. 4, in a statement she dictated over the phone to a member of her volunteer support network. She asked that it be sent this week to The New York Times, according to members of the network who want to keep their identities private.

      Chase Strangio, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer representing Ms. Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, said, “I can confirm there was a second suicide attempt.”

      “She asked me to confirm that,” he added.

    • ‘There’s So Much Money On The Table’: Hillary Aide Reacts To SCOTUS Ruling

      Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook was only too pleased after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down aggregate limits on individual donations to political candidates, parties, and political action committees (PACs), according to new emails released by WikiLeaks in connection with its dump of campaign chairman John Podesta’s server.

      “Gotta have the state parties in the joint — so much money on the table,” he wrote to colleagues April 3, 2014, shortly after the Court’s ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC. McCutcheon is the spawn of the controversial Citizens United ruling, which authorized independent political expenditures by corporations or labor unions. Clinton denounces the decision regularly and says she will apply Citizens United as a litmus test against her judicial nominees.

    • Apple Offers Anti-Trump App Allowing Voters To Trade Votes

      At a time rife with speculation that the presidential vote on Tuesday may be rigged or tampered, we find it troubling – not to mention illegal – that Tim Cook has allowed the Apple store to distribute an app called #NeverTrump created by Trimian, whose mission statement is “Red or Blue, we must all unite to defeat Trump this election. Let’s ensure Hillary wins in swing states, and make sure third-party votes count.”

      The app allows potential voters to trade votes, boosting Hillary’s support in swing or battleground states, while 3rd party candidates get more (meaningless) support in blue states.

    • Erik Prince: NYPD Ready to Make Arrests in Anthony Weiner Case

      Blackwater founder and former Navy SEAL Erik Prince told Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM that according to one of his “well-placed sources” in the New York Police Department, “The NYPD wanted to do a press conference announcing the warrants and the additional arrests they were making” in the Anthony Weiner investigation, but received “huge pushback” from the Justice Department.

    • Support Whistleblowers at the Aaron Swartz Hackathon This Weekend

      This weekend you have the chance to add to Aaron Swartz’s legacy by boosting tools for whistleblowers.

      The 2016 Aaron Swartz International Hackathon—held in honor of the late Internet and political activist—will take place during the day Saturday and Sunday at the Internet Archive in San Francisco. The hackathon will focus on whistleblower submission system SecureDrop, which was created by Swartz and Kevin Poulsen to connect media organizations and anonymous sources and is managed by the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

      This weekend’s events—timed to what would have been his 30th birthday on Nov. 8—will also feature a series of speakers on Saturday night, including SecureDrop’s Conor Schaefer, Fight for the Future Co-founder Tiffiniy Cheng, and EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn, as well as a special statement from Chelsea Manning.

    • Remember, remember: Liberties are like muscles

      In the spirit of commemoration, I thought we could mark this November the Fifth by taking some time out of our daily lives and consider again where society is going. Where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. It may not be much, yet, but it is there. How did this happen?

    • Protest Against Corruption, Censorship Leads to Arrests in London

      British police arrested nearly 50 people in London Saturday during a protest they described as “anti-capitalist,” organized by the computer hacking group known as Anonymous.

      A similar demonstration in Washington, said to be “anti-corruption,” resulted in two arrests for defacing or damaging public property.

    • What is the Million Mask March and when is it taking place? Date, map and how to watch

      The marches, which are organised through Facebook groups, call for people to protest against mass government surveillance, internet censorship and ‘corrupt politicians who put capitalism before the people’.

      A post about the marches on the Anonymous website states: “2016 has arguably seen little, to absolutely no improvements, and in fact many situations have worsened tremendously in various regions of the world.

      “It is crucial we stand together now to show our increasing numbers to those who call themselves the ‘elite’ and their political puppets.

      “Join us in November to spread the message to the masses that our worldwide revolution is at hand.

      “Stand with the Anonymous Movement, and together in one voice let us remind our world-dictators that we do not forgive and we do not forgot.

      “They should have expected us.”

    • Thousands join Million Mask March in London amid rigorous police restrictions

      Thousands of protesters have descend on central London for the Million Masked March, despite Scotland Yard imposing strict restrictions on the event.

      Supporters of the hacking collective Anonymous began marching on Trafalgar Square on Saturday with scores of police officers maintaining a tight perimeter.

      The group’s agenda is broadly anti-capitalist and pro-civil liberty, with many of the demonstrators wearing Guy Fawkes masks in an effort to recreate the final scene of cult film V For Vendetta. It is one of many similar marches held worldwide on 5 November.

    • Million Mask March: police curb protests amid fears of violence

      Thousands of masked protesters have gathered in central London for the annual Million Mask March.

      Wearing trademark Guy Fawkes masks, supporters of the hacking collective Anonymous met in Trafalgar Square in Westminster accompanied by scores of police officers.

      Scotland Yard has imposed stringent restrictions on protesters after clashes with police, incidents of criminal damage and attempts to invade official buildings at previous years’ events.

    • Million Mask March ends with dozens arrested in central London

      Thousands of masked protesters descended on central London on Saturday night for the Million Mask March, an annual global anti-capitalism and pro-civil liberties demonstration.

      Wearing characteristic Guy Fawkes masks, supporters of hacking collective Anonymous crowded into Trafalgar Square with scores of police on hand to keep order. The protest passed off without major incident, though by 10.45pm police had made 47 arrests, the majority for drug offences and obstruction of officers.

    • Remember, remember, the Fifth of November

      In the spirit of commemoration, I thought we could mark this November the Fifth by taking some time out of our daily lives and consider again where society is going. Where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. It may not be much, yet, but it is there. How did this happen?

    • Rolling Stone and journalist found guilty over false Virginia rape story

      Rolling Stone magazine and a journalist have been found guilty of defamation over a false article about a gang rape at the University of Virginia.

      The $7.5m (£6m) lawsuit was brought by Nicole Eramo, an associate dean from the university, who said the article had cast her as the “chief villain”.

      The 2014 article, written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, included the rape claim of an unidentified female student.

      The magazine retracted the article in April 2015, citing inconsistencies.

      The 9,000-word article, entitled A Rape on Campus, centred on the testimony of a student, referred to as “Jackie”, who claimed to have been gang raped at a party held at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity’s house in 2012.

    • Pope: “It is inhumane to shut our doors to refugees but prudence is needed to integrate them properly”

      During the press conference on the flight from Malmö to Rome, Francis said “there is a political price to pay when imprudent calculations are made” regarding the numbers a country is able to host, resulting in it being unable to offer housing, schooling and jobs. The Pope also praised oratories and volunteers in Italy, that were born “from the apostolic zeal of parish priests” and he once again rejected the possibility of female priests in the Catholic Church

    • Why travelling to the US from Sweden is about to get easier

      Travelling to the US from Swedish capital Stockholm is about get much easier, with the two countries signing a ‘preclearance’ agreement on Friday that will allow American customs procedures to take place in Sweden’s Arlanda international airport before passengers board their flight.

      The Swedish government said it hopes the increased ease of travel will have positive consequences like for example making Sweden a more attractive place for international companies to base their headquarters in.

    • ERDOGAN THREAT: Give Turkey VISAS BY CHRISTMAS or it will open EU borders to migrants

      Under the current EU agreement, Turkey takes back migrants who have travelled illegally through the country to Greece, but the warning could spark a new wave of migrants trying to use Turkey as a way in to Europe.

      The deal was agreed last year when more than a million people arrived in Europe, most reaching Greek islands by boat and continuing by land to Germany.

      The number of migrants arriving in Greece has fallen dramatically since the agreement, with 2,970 crossing the Aegean from Turkey in October compared with 211,663 in the same month last year.

    • Yet another young woman is seen being publicly caned ‘for standing too close to her boyfriend’ as Indonesia becomes the latest country to embrace radical Islamic law

      ANOTHER young woman has been publicly caned in Indonesia after falling foul of the country’s strict Islamic laws.

      The 20-year-old “criminal” was put through the harrowing ordeal after being caught standing too close to her boyfriend in Banda Aceh – the capital of Aceh province.

    • Fears over violence in Jakarta as hardline Islamists protest governor’s ‘blasphemy’

      Security forces in the Indonesian capital Jakarta are on high alert in preparation for a Friday rally by hardline Islamist groups against the city’s non-Muslim governor.

      Thousands of people are due to move into the capital to protest against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese and Christian nicknamed ‘Ahok’, who has governed the city since 2014.

      They accuse him of blasphemy after he criticised his opponents for referencing a verse in the Koran that warns against allying with Christians and Jews.

      In September, Ahok suggested those who used the passage against him were “lying”, leading to outrage from some hardliners who interpreted his comments as criticism of the Islamic holy text. He later apologised.

    • Myanmar police to arm, train non-Muslims in conflict-torn region

      Myanmar police will begin arming and training non-Muslim residents in the troubled north of Rakhine State, where officials say militants from the Rohingya Muslim group pose a growing security threat, police and civilian officials said.

      Human rights monitors and a leader of the mostly stateless Rohingya told Reuters the move risked sharpening intercommunal tensions in a region that has just seen its bloodiest month since 2012, when hundreds of people were killed in clashes between Muslims and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists.

      Soldiers have poured into the Maungdaw area along Myanmar’s frontier with Bangladesh, responding to coordinated attacks on three border posts on Oct. 9 in which nine police officers were killed.

      Security forces have locked down the area – shutting out aid workers and independent observers – and conducted sweeps of villages in Maungdaw, where the vast majority are Rohingyas. Official reports say five soldiers and 33 alleged insurgents have been killed.

    • Judge orders closure of low-cost Bridge International schools in Uganda [Ed: Articles about Bill Gates in The Guardian are now literally sponsored by Bill Gates. And this is not corrupt journalism? Classic. It's still a mouthpiece for Gates after he paid them millions.]

      Uganda’s high court has ordered the closure of a chain of low-cost private schools backed by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, respectively the founders of Microsoft and Facebook.

    • Dakota Access pipeline protests: UN group investigates human rights abuses

      Native American protesters have reported excessive force, unlawful arrests and mistreatment in jail where activists describe being held in cages

    • Speaking from prison, incarcerated reporter maintains innocence

      After having served nearly three months in a federal prison camp in central California, Matthew Keys is making the best of it.

      In August 2016, the 29-year-old journalist began his two-year sentence in Atwater, California, about 120 miles east of San Francisco. Earlier this year, Keys was convicted at trial under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the notorious anti-hacking federal law that dates back to the 1980s. An effort to reform that law has languished in Congress.

      Keys told Ars that, even post-conviction, he did not hand over any login information that led to the 40-minute alteration of a Los Angeles Times headline in 2010.

      Hours before Keys’ sentencing hearing in April 2016, Ars received a letter from someone under the pseudonym “Sam Snow,” who claimed that he, and not Keys, was the one who actually handed over the login details. This new claim by Snow will likely have no impact on Keys’ appeal, which is pending at the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals.

      Ars has been periodically corresponding with Keys by e-mail through CORRLINKS, the monitored e-mail system set up for federal inmates, and the following interview has been edited for clarity. We hope to be able to visit him in person in the coming months.

    • Tunisian PM sacks minister over criticism of Saudi Arabian Islam

      Tunisia’s prime minister sacked the minister of religious affairs on Friday after he accused Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi brand of Islam of being behind “terrorism and extremism”.

      “Prime Minister Youssef Chahed decided to dismiss Salem Abd El Jalil, minister of religious affairs, from his duties due to the lack of respect for government work and his statements that touched principles of Tunisian diplomacy,” the premier’s office said in a statement.

      Tunisian media on Thursday quoted Abd El Jalil as saying in parliament: “I told the Saudi ambassador in Tunisia that terrorism and extremism historically came from you … You should reform your (religious) school.”

      He could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • How the Soviets invented the internet and why it didn’t work

      Consonant with Glushkov’s greater life-work commitments, the network plans reflected a deliberately decentralised design. This meant that, while Moscow could specify who received which authorisations, any authorised user could contact any other user across the pyramid network – without direct permission from the mother node. Glushkov intimately understood the advantages of leveraging local knowledge in network designs, having spent so much of his career working on related mathematical problems while ferrying between his home and the central capital (he jokingly called the Kiev-Moscow train his ‘second home’).

      The OGAS project appeared to many state officials and economic planners, especially in the late 1960s, to be the next best response to an old conundrum: the Soviets were agreed that communism was the way of the future, but no one since Marx and Engels knew how best to get there. For Glushkov, networked computing might just inch the country toward an age of what the author Francis Spufford later called ‘red plenty’. It was the means by which the sluggish pulp-based lifeblood of the command economy – quotas, plans and wrist-bending compendiums of industry standards – would transform into the nation’s neural firings, moving at the sublime speed of electricity. The project signified no less than the ushering in of ‘electronic socialism’.

      Such ambitions require brilliant, committed people willing to throw off the old ways of thinking. In the 1960s, those people could be found in Kiev – a couple of blocks from where the Strugatsky brothers wrote their science fiction by night and worked as physicists by day. There, on the outskirts of Kiev, Glushkov ran the Institute of Cybernetics for 20 years, beginning in 1962. He filled his institute with ambitious young men and women; the average age of researchers was about 25. Glushkov and his youthful staff dedicated themselves to developing the OGAS and other cybernetic projects in the service of the Soviet state, such as a system of electronic receipts for virtualising hard currency into an online ledger of accounts – this in the early 1960s. Glushkov, who was known to talk down Communist Party ideologues by quoting paragraphs of Marx from memory, described his innovation as a faithful fulfilment of Marxist prophecy of a moneyless socialist future. Unfortunately for Glushkov, the idea of Soviet e-currency stirred up unhelpful anxieties and did not receive committee approval in 1962. Fortunately, his grand economic network project did live to see another day.

    • Senator Wyden Warns That AT&T’s New Merger Poses A Massive Threat To Net Neutrality

      As AT&T fires up its lobbyists and various policy tendrils to sell the company’s $100 billion (including debt) acquisition of Time Warner, the focus of the conversation has very quickly shifted to net neutrality and zero rating. AT&T already exempts its own content from the company’s usage caps, and its DirecTV Now streaming service, launching later this month, is expected to follow suit. Once AT&T acquires Time Warner and its various properties (HBO, CNN), the worry is that this content will also get a leg up by being cap-exempt, creating an unlevel playing field for competing content and streaming services.

    • DOJ Sues DirecTV, Calling It A ‘Ringleader’ of Collusion Over Regional Sports Programming

      Back in 2013, Time Warner Cable (now Charter Communications) struck an $8.35 billion deal with the LA Dodgers to create LA SportsNet, the exclusive home of LA Dodgers games. To recoup that money, Time Warner Cable began demanding exorbitant prices from competing cable providers if they wanted access to the channel. Unsurprisingly, all of Time Warner Cable’s competitors in the region balked at the $5 per subscriber asking price for the channel. As a result, for three years now a massive portion of Los Angeles hasn’t been able to watch their favorite baseball team, since Time Warner Cable’s asking price not only kept competing cable operators from delivering the channel, but prohibited over-the-air broadcasts of the games.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Finally Come The Calls In Major Media To Rethink Canada’s ‘Notice And Notice’ Copyright System

        To be fair to our neighbors to the north, Canada really tried. Amidst calls to implement something like the “notice and takedown” system for copyright infringement claims that we have in the States, Canada instead did what Canada does and tried to implement a nicer version of this, called “notice and notice.” The idea was that ISPs and service providers, rather than simply taking down content or banning people from the internet over copyright violations, would instead notify users that their behavior had been reported as infringing. More specifically, it allowed copyright holders to pass along these messages, with ISPs acting as the go-between. The theory was that when internet users — or in many cases family members of those internet users, such as parents — learned that potentially infringing activity was occurring, the notifications would cause the behavior to cease.

        As our own Karl Bode noted in 2014, this theory was backed by the ISPs, who claimed these notices helped curb a majority of piracy. We also noted in that post that the “notice and notice” system appeared to be preferable to our “notice and takedown” system because it appeared to be a less likely avenue for abuse by copyright holders and trolls. Sadly, that was immediately disproven by Rightscorp, with abuse of the system continuing up to the present. When eighty-year-old women are getting settlement shakedown threats from copyright trolls over video games, the aims of educating the public have clearly been subverted.

      • TED Accused of Using the DMCA to Silence Talk Criticism

        TED, a series of popular conferences, has the motto Ideas Worth Spreading. However, when a YouTuber made a video criticising and featuring content from a recent TED talk, the non-profit filed a DMCA notice with YouTube. Speaking with TorrentFreak, TED says that regardless of content, YouTube videos which violate its usage policy will be removed.

      • Anti-Piracy Group Uses ‘Pirated’ Code on its Website

        The Business Software Alliance, a trade group representing Adobe, Apple and Microsoft, is well known for its aggressive anti-piracy campaigns. The organization actively encourages people to snitch on software pirates, luring them with big cash rewards. Amusingly, however, the page where people can report unlicensed software is using ‘unlicensed’ jQuery code.

11.04.16

Links 4/11/2016: Qt 5.8 Beta, New Systemd

Posted in News Roundup at 4:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Linux-based personal micro PC Panther Alpha launches on Kickstarter

      We cover a lot of macOS and Windows 10 news here on the site but we don’t always cover Linux as much as we should. Part of that is because we don’t have anyone on staff who uses the OS on a daily basis. There was a time though that I used Linux extensively when I was dead broke. I built my PC’s out of spare parts and installed Linux on them to get things working.

      Back then it was a chore to get just about anything to work properly, finding the proper drivers, or even finding the right programs to open certain files took time to put together. Linux has evolved a lot over the years and many distros offer out of the box functionality that I never knew. Panther is launching a Kickstarter for a personal micro PC that is Linux-based and very affordable. Check out the full press release below and hit the Kickstarter link below to support the project if you find it may fit your needs.

    • Panther Alpha Super Mini PC Hits Kickstarter For $79 (video)

      A new Linux powered “super mini PC” has been launched by Kickstarter this week in the form of the Panther Alpha, which is looking to raise $79,000 over the next 45 days to make the jump into production.

      The Panther Alpha is being marketed as the most efficient desktop computer currently available allowing you to do more with less. Watch the promotional video below to learn more about its construction, integrated technology and operating system.

    • Lenovo issues fixes for laptop Linux installs [Ed: thanks to Techrights]

      The world’s biggest PC seller Lenovo has announced that it will be releasing a series of updates to the firmware in some of its signature laptops so that Linux can be installed on them.

      Some of the models, as released originally, could only run Windows 10.

      The models in question were unable to see Linux installed on a proprietary RAID mode that was locked by the UEFI of the laptops in question.

  • Server

    • Running MongoDB and Other Open Source Apps on the Mainframe

      Open source software is increasingly becoming available on the mainframe. MongoDB is among the most popular of several programs supporting Linux for mainframe. Yes, the mainframe. Surprisingly to some, mainframe computing is still in heavy use in large organizations. Indeed, 92 of the top 100 banks still run critical data on the mainframe, as do many top retailers, airlines and government organizations.

      But that’s not to say that over all these years, mainframe computing has remained the same. Earlier it was primarily run over IBM’s own z/OS operating system with databases such as DB2 and IMS, but also with a smattering of other vendor products such as CA’s and their IDMS and Datacom offerings. However, over the past several years, there has been a mainstream shift to Linux on the mainframe, and that trend is continuing.

    • Apache Mesos users focus on big data, containers

      Mesosphere, the main commercial outfit behind the Apache Mesos datacenter and container orchestration project, has taken a good look at its user base and found that they gravitate toward a few fundamental use cases.

      Survey data released recently by Mesosphere in the “Apache Mesos 2016 Survey Report,” indicates that Mesos users focus on running containers at scale, using Mesos to deploy big data frameworks, and relying heavily on the core tool set that Mesos and DC/OS provide rather than using substitutes.

    • AWS launches Linux container image for on-premise

      AWS has launched a new Linux Container Image in response to customer demand, designed for use with cloud and on-premise workloads.

      Linux AMI is a secure environment for firing up applications running on EC2, but due to customer demand, AWS has now made the image available for on-premise as well as cloud infrastructures, addressing more businesses’ needs.

    • Secured DevOps for microservices

      Containers and microservices have revolutionized application development and infrastructure management. They have also introduced new security challenges without solving the old ones. What are some of the new security challenges, and what can you do about them?

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • WikiToLearn Reaches 1.0

        WikiToLearn is KDE’s project to create textbooks for university and school students. It provides free, collaborative and accessible text books. Academics worldwide contribute in sharing knowledge by creating high quality content.

        One year after founding WikiToLearn, the love for sharing knowledge helped our community to grow stronger. During this year a lot of great things happened, but we also had to face some technical and organizational problems.

      • Qt 5.8 Beta Released

        I am pleased to announce that Qt 5.8 Beta is now released. Containing all-new configuration system, new graphics architecture with integrated Qt Quick 2D Renderer for devices without OpenGL, build in QML cache for improved startup and many other new features, Qt 5.8 will be a very interesting release. I hope many will take the Qt 5.8 Beta release, test it and provide feedback for us to complete Qt 5.8. For the big picture of the release, see the alpha release blog post.

      • Qt 5.8 Now In Beta Form

        Qt 5.8 Beta is now shipping with their new configuration system, their graphics changes for the Qt Quick 2D renderer, built-in QML cache, and much more. As covered previously, some of the other work includes an experimental Direct3D 12 back-end for Qt Quick, new Qt Quick Controls 2 additions, Qt WebEngine upgrades, Bluetooth Low Energy improvements, Qt Network improvements, embedded support improvements, and more. New modules for Qt 5.8 coming are the Qt Wayland Compositor, Qt SCXML, Qt Serial Bus, and new platform support is for Apple tvOS and watchOS. There are also technology previews of Qt Gamepad, Qt Speech, and Qt Network Authentication.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Searching in GNOME Software

        I’ve spent a few days profiling GNOME Software on ARM, mostly for curiosity but also to help our friends at Endless. I’ve merged a few patches that make the existing –profile code more useful to profile start up speed. Already there have been some big gains, over 200ms of startup time and 12Mb of RSS, but there’s plenty more that we want to fix to make GNOME Software run really nicely on resource constrained devices.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Vs Closed Source

    There are many differences between open source operating system and closed source operating system. Here we have written few of them.

  • Four Node.js Gotchas that Operations Teams Should Know about

    There is no doubt that Node.js is one of the fastest growing platforms today. It can be found at start-ups and enterprises throughout all industries from high-tech to healthcare.

    A lot of people have written about the reasons for its popularity and why it has made sense in “digital transformation” efforts. But when you implement Node.js, do you have to replace your mainframes and legacy software with a shiny new Node.js-based microservice architecture?

  • Automating Infrastructure Deployment for Kubernetes

    Many organizations run Kubernetes clusters in a single public cloud, such as GCE or AWS, so they have reasonably homogenous infrastructure needs, says Alena Prokharchyk, Principal Software Engineer at Rancher Labs. In these situations, deploying Kubernetes clusters is relatively straightforward. Other organizations, however, may need to deploy Kubernetes across multiple clouds and data centers, which can lead to challenges.

    Prokharchyk, who will be speaking along with Brian Scott of The Walt Disney Company at KubeCon in Seattle, shared more about these challenges and how Rancher Labs has worked with various organizations to solve them.

  • Internet-based and open source: How e-voting works around the globe

    I live in one of the most wired parts of the United States—the San Francisco Bay Area—but for the presidential election, I’ve already voted by mail. On a piece of paper. From the comfort of my living room. Between folks like me who vote by mail and everyone else who votes by marking paper in some way, we comprise about two-thirds of all American voters. Approximately 25 percent of all Americans, however, will use paperless and electronic voting machines to cast their ballots on November 6.

    Around the world though, these percentages don’t hold. An increasing number of countries are beginning to tackle e-voting with gusto. Estonia, Switzerland, Spain, Brazil, Australia, India, Canada, and a handful of other countries have all held elections through the use of electronic voting machines in recent years.

  • Events

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.2.3 Arrives with over 80 Fixes, LibreOffice 5.3 Lands January 2017

      Today, November 3, 2016, we’ve been informed by Italo Vignoli from The Document Foundation about the general availability of the third maintenance update to the LibreOffice 5.2 “Fresh” office suite series.

    • Announcement of LibreOffice 5.2.3

      The Document Foundation (TDF) announces the availability of LibreOffice 5.2.3 “fresh”, the third minor release of the LibreOffice 5.2 family, representing the bleeding edge in term of features and as such targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users.

      For all other users and especially for enterprise deployments, TDF suggests LibreOffice 5.1.6 “still”, with the backing of professional support by certified people (a list is available at: http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/professional-support/).

    • Red Hat 7.3, LibreOffice 5.2.3 Released

      The Document Foundation today announced the release of LibreOffice 5.2.3, “representing the bleeding edge in term of features and as such targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users.” This release represents 81 squashed bugs. Some of the more interesting include:

      * some hidden text not imported as hidden correctly
      * unable to undo formatting in master slide placeholder textboxes
      * Deleting all content from a cell changes font formatting
      * copying a single sheet with a chart on it garbles the chart
      * writer cannot save 3d shape inserted from draw
      * opencl: don’t initialize OpenCL when disabled

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • No, Microsoft does not love open source

      I used to follow Microsoft’s intellectual property Twitter account in order to see exactly how much Microsoft loved open source as it bragged about all the people it had coerced into signing patent agreements. I guess someone realized that crowing about that was not a great idea, because today the feed tweets puff pieces about how great software patents are and how they drive innovation (through litigation).

      The truth is that Microsoft’s principal open source strategy hasn’t changed and probably never will. The point of open source to Microsoft (or any other company) is to give you an on-ramp to its platform. For Microsoft, that platform is morphing from Windows to Azure, so of course Microsoft has dialed back its rhetoric toward Linux. If you read Microsoft hates Linux, then you probably won’t host your VMs on Azure — same deal if you have a choice between two virtual private clouds. Duh, Microsoft loves Linux … on Azure. Why wouldn’t it?

      Microsoft may even be willing to accept open source that’s tied to its technologies, but not directly to its platform. Generally these will be “children’s edition” versions like .Net Core. I’m not saying Visual Studio for Linux isn’t progress, but is anyone really itching to run .Net on Linux? I mean, after the outrageous commercial success of Mono (/sarcasm), are any of you going, “Woo-hoo, I want to write .Net code and run it on Linux”? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

      Now, about those lawsuits — Microsoft likes it both ways: Embrace on one hand, and get tidy patent settlements on the other. People who work at Microsoft say it’s a big company, and as with all big companies, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Actually, that would be dismal management — if “we love open source” was really part of Microsoft’s strategy.

      As evidence that Microsoft loves open source and Linux, last year Microsoft noted some long-running lawsuits that it wasn’t really winning and dropped them. Repositioning “we cut our losses” to “because we love you” is good PR. Respect! But let’s talk about real change.

    • Hard ‘committals’, Microsoft open sources cloud hardware [Ed: Yet more openwashing of Microsoft; this is NOT "Open Source" (as per OSI licences)]
    • Microsoft Contributes a Next-Generation Cloud Hardware/Software Concept
  • Public Services/Government

    • U.S. government launches Code.gov to showcase its open-source software

      The White House today is announcing the launch of Code.gov, a website that shows off U.S. government open-source projects and offers relevant resources for government agencies. By launching this site the White House is hoping to improve public access to the government’s software and encourage the reuse of software across government agencies.

      The launch comes four months after the White House introduced the Federal Source Code policy, which specifically mandates that government agencies “make custom-developed code available for Government-wide reuse and make their code inventories discoverable” at Code.gov, with certain exceptions.

      The new site already has almost 50 code repositories from more than 10 agencies, U.S. chief information officer Tony Scott wrote in a blog post.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Data

      • Git for data is here: Announcing FlockerHub and Fli

        We are very excited to announce the upcoming release on November 8th of two major new products designed to make running stateful apps in containers easy–FlockerHub and Fli. FlockerHub will be released in beta on November 8th. During the beta, users can store up to 5GB of data volumes and share with an unlimited number of other users for free. Fli will be released as an Apache 2.0 licensed software project.

        FlockerHub is like GitHub® for data. With FlockerHub, teams can store and share any Docker data volume with access-controlled users or servers.

        Fli is like Git for data. It is command line interface that runs on any Linux server or laptop, and lets developers snapshot, clone, push and pull data volumes to FlockerHub.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Mellanox Open-Sources Its Network Processor Platform

        In a move designed to seed a new ecosystem around its line of NPS line of network processor units (NPU), including its 400 Gbps NPS-400 model, Mellanox Technologies on Wednesday announced its launch of an open source initiative, and the release of an SDK, called OpenNPU. After wallowing in the shallow end of open source development for the past two years with the Open Compute Project, now the company seems ready to dive deeper.

        The NPS series is already programmable using the classic C language, and features a built-in Linux operating system. Mellanox has been pushing NPS as a platform for network functions virtualization (NFV) — for virtualizing the class of functions required to run applications and customer services on networks themselves.

  • Programming/Development

    • The Vulkan Programming Guide Has Begun Shipping
    • App developers spend too much time debugging errors in production systems

      According to a new study 43 percent of app developers spend between 10 and 25 percent of their time debugging application errors discovered in production, rather than developing new features.

      The survey carried out by ClusterHQ found that a quarter of respondents report encountering bugs discovered in production one or more times per week.

      Respondents were also asked to identify the most common causes of bugs. These were, inability to fully recreate production environments in testing (33 percent), interdependence on external systems that makes integration testing difficult (27 percent) and testing against unrealistic data before moving into production (26 percent).

      When asked to identify the environment in which bugs are most costly to fix, 62 percent selected production as the most expensive stage of app development to fix errors, followed by development (18 percent), staging (seven percent), QA (seven percent) and testing (six percent).

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Design for the present

      The new MacBook Pro is probably great, and most of the initial skepticism probably won’t age well. But I want to pick on one aspect today.

      Having four USB-C ports is awesome.

      Having only four USB-C ports is going to hurt the versatility requirement of pro gear, because there’s a very real chance that you won’t have the right dongle when you need it.

      This is going to happen a lot, because even though USB-C is the future, it’s definitely not the present. We’ve had the standard USB plug (USB-A) in widespread use for 18 years, and it’s going to take a few more years for USB-C to become so ubiquitous that we can get away without USB-A ports most of the time.

  • Security

    • Thursday’s security updates
    • Why I don’t Use 2048 or 4096 RSA Key Sizes

      I have used non-standard RSA key size for maybe 15 years. For example, my old OpenPGP key created in 2002. With non-standard key sizes, I mean a RSA key size that is not 2048 or 4096. I do this when I generate OpenPGP/SSH keys (using GnuPG with a smartcard like this) and PKIX certificates (using GnuTLS or OpenSSL, e.g. for XMPP or for HTTPS). People sometimes ask me why. I haven’t seen anyone talk about this, or provide a writeup, that is consistent with my views. So I wanted to write about my motivation, so that it is easy for me to refer to, and hopefully to inspire others to think similarily. Or to provoke discussion and disagreement — that’s fine, and hopefully I will learn something.

    • Black Hat Europe: IoT devices can hack phones

      The Internet of things (IoT) has already been used to launch the biggest DDoS attacks ever, but now it represents a potential path for attackers to compromise cell phones.

      Flaws in Belkin WeMo devices – electrical switches, cameras, light bulbs, coffee makers, air purifiers, etc. – enabled Invincea Labs researchers to not only hack into the devices, but to use that access to attack an Android phone running the app that controls the WeMo devices.

      “This is the first instance we’ve seen of IoT hacking something else,” says researcher Scott Tenaglia, who pledges to look for other vulnerable devices that might be abused to carry out similar attacks.

    • Why Light Bulbs May Be the Next Hacker Target

      The so-called Internet of Things, its proponents argue, offers many benefits: energy efficiency, technology so convenient it can anticipate what you want, even reduced congestion on the roads.

      Now here’s the bad news: Putting a bunch of wirelessly connected devices in one area could prove irresistible to hackers. And it could allow them to spread malicious code through the air, like a flu virus on an airplane.

      Researchers report in a paper to be made public on Thursday that they have uncovered a flaw in a wireless technology that is often included in smart home devices like lights, switches, locks, thermostats and many of the components of the much-ballyhooed “smart home” of the future.

      The researchers focused on the Philips Hue smart light bulb and found that the wireless flaw could allow hackers to take control of the light bulbs, according to researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science near Tel Aviv and Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.

    • Microsoft extends EMET end of life date

      Microsoft will continue to support and provide security patches for its Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit security software for Windows until July 31 2018, after taking customer feedback into account.

      EMET is a security utility software popular with enterprise customers running supported versions of Windows. It uses mitigation techniques to block attackers from exploiting vulnerabilities in software.

    • Linux/Moose is loose: Analysis finds IoT botnet malware favors Instagram fraud
    • DKIM Verification

      Domain Keys Identified Mail, or DKIM, is a highly regarded email security system that can be used to independently authenticate the contents and sender of an email that uses it.

      DKIM was developed and is widely deployed as an email server anti-spam mechanism, including on Gmail.com and HillaryClinton.com. DKIM-enabled mail servers cryptographically sign the emails they relay so that the recipients’ mail servers can authenticate them. DKIM has the beneficial side-effect of causing messages to become “cryptographically non-repudiable”; that is, after the email has been sent, the sender cannot credibly repudiate the message and say that it is a forgery. A DKIM mail server creates a cryptographically strong proof attesting to the authenticity of the email, which it adds to each of the headers of each email it sends. This cryptographic proof can then be tested by anyone who obtains a copy of the email.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • How Sweden develops cyber war methods at Nato’s centre

      Sweden is developing methods for cyber defence and offence in Nato’s cyber warfare centre, says the Ministry for Defence.

      As hacking and threats of “cyber attacks” play a bigger role in the worsening relations between the USA and Russia, Radio Sweden hears how Sweden is part of the Nato Centre for Cyber Defence Cooperation in Tallinn, and speaks to the Swedish expert who now works there.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Climate Change Is Already Forcing Americans to Move

      Loraine Helber runs the public housing authority in Punta Gorda, Florida, a city of 18,000 just north of Fort Myers at the mouth of the Peace River. In March, she hopes to celebrate a milestone: the opening of new apartments for the elderly, replacing about 80 units destroyed by the hurricane.

      But the storm that destroyed the original public housing wasn’t Hurricane Matthew; it was Hurricane Charley, 12 years ago. Neither the insurance company nor the federal government provided enough money to rebuild what was lost. Construction could proceed only once Bank of America, through a subsidiary, invested in the new building to get a tax write-off.

      None of the people forced to leave their homes will be there to move back in. Many of them left Punta Gorda altogether; there was nowhere for them to stay. Helber thinks most went to Tampa. Yet she says Punta Gorda fared better than most housing authorities, because the units got rebuilt at all. “We refused to give up,” Helber told me.

    • Finland on its way to become world’s first country to ban coal use in energy production

      The Finnish Government has announced that it is mulling over prohibiting the use of coal in energy production by 2030.

      Olli Rehn (Centre), the Minister of Economic Affairs, revealed in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat on Wednesday that the energy and climate strategy currently under preparation recommends that the use of coal be stopped by 2030 – possibly by means of a statutory prohibition.

    • You no longer need to own a solar panel to reap the financial benefits of solar energy

      For Americans, solar power can now come without the panel.

      Solar energy isn’t an option for millions of people living in cities—who have no rooftop to call their own—or without reasonable solar prices. There are 113 million homeowners in markets with competitively-priced solar power—but because of poor credit scores, 90% of them can’t get solar panel installation loans at terms favorable enough to make the panels financially viable, reports Greentech Media.

      A startup is now separating solar from the rooftop. Arcadia Power launched a community solar program Nov. 3 that lets customers buy solar panels anywhere in the US—technically, they buy a tiny share of a Power Purchase Agreement from a solar project—and pay their energy bills with sales from its electricity.

    • 2 Police Officers Turn In Badges In Support Of Standing Rock Water Protectors

      North Dakota water protector Redhawk reported today at Standing Rock that two police officers just turned in their badges to show their support for the water protectors.

      “There have been at least 2 reports of police officers turning in their badges acknowledging that this battle is not what they signed up for,” Redhawk writes.

      “You can see it in some of them, that they do not support the police actions,” he continues.

      “We must keep reminding them they are welcome to put down their weapons and badge and take a stand against this pipeline as well. Some are waking up.”

      While most of the police officers at the scene of the DAPL protests have been brutal, violent, and unconstitutionally-militarized, it is clear from this recent act of solidarity that some of their hearts can be turned to the cause of justice.

      This recent incident is reminiscent of what happened in Frankfurt, Germany in May of 2012, when police removed their helmets and began marching with the people protesting big banks.

  • Finance

    • Chinese Innovation: Nude Photo Loan Platform Adds Uber-Style Debt Collectors Feature

      Some may applaud Jiedaibao’s idea of creating an Uber-like crowd of private debt collectors, but the scope for abuse is clear. And those suddenly finding themselves on the receiving end of these amateur debt collectors are unlikely to be so enthusiastic about Jiedaibao’s innovative approach.

    • Loans secured against nude photos stir debate

      A number of female college students were requested to send their nude photos in exchange for usury loans on an internet lending platform, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

    • CETA Implementation Bill Provides Reminder of the IP Cost in the Canada – EU Trade Deal

      The Canadian government moved quickly from signing the trade agreement between Canada and the European Union on Sunday to tabling Bill C-30, the CETA implementing legislation, on Monday. While most of the attention has focused on the political issues surrounding CETA in Europe and the potential gains for Canadian exporters due to tariff reductions, the implementing bill provides a reminder that there are significant costs associated with CETA that have generated far less discussion. In fact, the majority of the 140-page bill features changes to Canada’s intellectual property rules, requiring changes that largely serve European interests.

      Mandated reforms to patent protections (in the form of term restoration provisions) and the expansion of protections for dozens of European geographical indications was always part of the price to be paid for CETA. There were concerns expressed throughout the negotiations on both issues. Geographic indications rules grant protections to foods widely produced around the world and establish new marketing and naming restrictions on Canadian food producers. Meanwhile, the patent term restoration provisions are likely to increase health care costs in Canada by delaying the availability of generic pharmaceuticals due to the extension in the term of protection for patented pharmaceuticals.

    • The vicious assault on UK judges by the Brexit press is a threat to democracy

      The Brexit-supporting press has mounted a vicious assault on the three high court judges who ruled in the article 50 case. And it has undermined our constitution in the process. The government appears to be fuelling this attack. Sajid Javid, the local government secretary, described the judges as seeking to “thwart the will of the people”.

      The judiciary is a pillar of our constitution. Allow faith in the judges to be eroded and that pillar is eroded at a huge cost to our freedoms.

      The front page of the Daily Mail labelled the three judges “enemies of the people”. It described Sir Terence Etherton as the first “openly gay” judge, detailed Sir Philip Sales’ earnings when he was a barrister and worked for the government and captioned a photograph of the third judge “The Europhile: Lord Chief Justice Thomas”. The Sun and the Daily Telegraph stooped to spraying abuse with the same lack of concern for the constitutional place of the judiciary in our democracy.

    • Sturgeon says Holyrood might join Brexit court case

      Scotland could join the Brexit court battle to make sure Theresa May does not win back the power to trigger Article 50, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

      The First Minister says that Holyrood could join businesswoman Gina Miller and hair dresser Deir Dos Santos as “participants in that case” when it goes to the Supreme Court in early December.

      A High Court ruling on Thursday morning handed victory to campaigners who said the Prime Minister did not have the right to set in motion the official notice of divorce from the European Union without consulting parliament.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Presidential Candidates Dr. Jill Stein & Gov. Gary Johnson [Pt. 2]

      Dr. Jill Stein is a mother, physician and longtime teacher of internal medicine. Also the co-author of two major environmental reports — In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development and Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging — Dr. Stein has dedicated years of public service as an environmental-health advocate. She has testified before numerous legislative panels as well as local and state governmental bodies, playing a key role in the effort to get the Massachusetts fish advisories to better protect women and children from mercury contamination. Her first foray into politics was in 2002, when she ran for Governor of Massachusetts. Dr. Stein is again running to be the Green Party nominee for President in 2016.

    • Sweden’s business with Clinton Foundation in a geopolitical context

      Ensuing a brief characterization of ties maintained between Sweden and the Hillary Clinton-led US Department, and summarily reviewing the Swedish political and media consensus on this and related issues, I present a list of Swedish state-owned and private companies contributing in the monetary transactions of the Clinton Foundation. The question being is whether those were always ‘donations’ from the Swedish government, or corporations, or if it was an exchange of favors that resulted in investments for both sides. One illustration of the geopolitical/financial quid pro quo arising between the Swedish donors and the Clinton Foundation (or US State Department at the time) is provided by the deal represented by the giant Swedish company Ericsson. The company Ericsson paid nearly six million dollars to Bill Clinton for one speech, and, coincidentally, the US government excluded Ericsson from the list of companies banned for doing business with Iran. Another main ‘donor’ is the Lundin Foundation (Lundin Oil). The Lundin Oil Company, where Carl Bildt was a board member 2000-2006, operated mining exploitation in South Africa in spite the UN boycott against the apartheid regime [See “A Nigger is a Nigger and a Swede is a Swede…“]. Adolf H. Lundin was once asked if he would have done business with Hitler, he replied, “That I certainly would have done.” Adolf H. and Mrs Lundin were first-row guest at the White House in an older presidential installation.

    • The Dallas IRS Office That’s Quietly Determining the Fate of the Clinton Foundation

      The Earle Cabell Federal Building in downtown Dallas is an all purpose office complex, a bastion of federal bureaucracy located at 1100 Commerce St. Most people come for a passport or to get business done in front of a federal judge. But inside, a quiet review is underway that has direct ties to the raging presidential election: The local branch of the IRS’ Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division is reviewing the tax status of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

      This IRS review has not generated similar waves as Department of Justice probes into the foundation, and has largely been forgotten in the campaign’s melee. It’s just not as sexy as private email servers, FBI infighting and charges of political pressure applied to law enforcement.

      But even though this examination is less scrutinized and is harder to conceptualize, it’s impact may be important. The report won’t likely be done in time to influence the presidential campaign — even though the review started more than four months ago — but it could certainly influence the first term of a Hillary Clinton presidency.

      As with anything tax related, the status of the foundation may be determined using rules few understand. And that makes understanding the work at 1100 Commerce St. in Dallas that much more important.

    • Trump Versus Clinton: How the Hell Did We End Up Here?

      You hear the expression “lesser of two evils” when people talk about how they will vote in November. Poll after poll shows a growing number of voters saying they will vote negatively – they’re against Hillary, so they’ll hold their nose and vote Trump, and vice-a-versa.

    • Hillary unfiltered

      “We view this not as a ‘clever game’ of wiki leaks [sic] but rather as a ‘criminal act’ against the United States of America,” Abedin wrote in a previously unreleased December 2, 2010 email to Clinton that laid out a suggestion for how to respond to the leak. “He might think this is a clever game today but when he is prosecuted and if convicted he will move from being a clever cyber thief to a convicted criminal and -will find out that’s a whole different kind of game.”

    • FBI Clinton Foundation probe finds ‘avalanche’ of corruption evidence against her – but agents fear Justice Department will stop her going on trial

      An FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation is likely to lead to an indictment unless the Justice Department interferes, two sources familiar with the probe told Fox News.

      The Clintons are accused of running a pay-for-play operation out of the State Department that favored donors to their charity – a charge they have denied.

      But the feds are ‘actively and aggressively pursuing this case,’ Fox’s Brit Hume said Wednesday, and they have an ‘avalanche’ of evidence.

      A Wall Street Journal report says the FBI’s pursuit of the case is rooted in recordings of a suspect in a different corruption case who spoke about the Clinton Foundation’s alleged dirty dealings.

    • Inside the Clintons’ Moroccan money ‘mess’

      Hillary Clinton’s top advisers downplayed her involvement in arranging a lavish Clinton Foundation conference in Marrakech last year, but behind the scenes they acknowledged her pivotal role and worked to minimize fallout from it.

      After media inquiries about the role of Clinton and the king of Morocco in setting the stage for the conference, Clinton confidants, including her husband, Bill, scrambled to craft a new foreign contribution policy that looked tougher but still let them accept the Moroccan cash, according to hacked emails released by WikiLeaks.

    • The Most Revealing Emails from the #PodestaFiles, Separated By Category (Parts 1 – 28)

      John Podesta is Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign Chairman. Podesta previously served as Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton and Counselor to President Barack Obama.

      On October 7th, 2016, WikiLeaks publish thousands of emails belonging to Podesta’s private email archives. More emails were released in the days that followed. Below is a compilation of some of the most revealing and damaging emails discovered:

    • Former British military chief: Trump presidency might make the world safer

      David Richards, an independent member of the British House of Lords and former head of the British military, said a Donald Trump presidency might make the world safer.

    • Spirit Cooking: The Most Disturbing Podesta Email Yet? (Warning: Graphic Content)

      In perhaps the most disturbing Wikileaks release to date, Tony Podesta (John Podesta’s brother) is invited to a “Spirit Cooking” dinner with performance artist Marina Abramovic.

      Dinner with a famous artist might sound deeply mundane, but there is far more to this story.

      Abramovic, 69, is a fairly famous Serbian performance artist, who now lives in New York.

    • Leaked email: “Bernie needs to be ground to a pulp,” Clinton adviser and lobbyist wrote to John Podesta

      A Clinton adviser and longtime Democratic Party operative stressed in an email to the Hillary Clinton campaign, “Bernie needs to be ground to a pulp. . . . Crush him as hard as you can.”

      The email was leaked by the whistleblowing journalism organization WikiLeaks, which has released thousands of emails to and from John Podesta, the chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

      Joel Johnson, an influential lobbyist with powerful corporate ties and a former senior adviser for President Bill Clinton, sent Podesta a brief message in February titled “Friendly advice. No mercy.”

      He wrote, “Bernie needs to be ground to a pulp. We can’t start believing our own primary bullshit. This is no time to run the general. Crush him as hard as you can.”

      In a sudden lighter note, Johnson then added, “Other than that, hope all is well and congrats on Nevada!” Hillary Clinton had just won the Nevada Democratic caucus against Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont who ran an insurgent leftist grassroots campaign.

      Joel Johnson is an influential political operative with a long history in Democratic circles.

    • Sorting Through the Clinton Email Case and What the F.B.I.’s Options Are

      The F.B.I. needed custom software to allow them to read Mr. Weiner’s emails without viewing hers. But building that program took two weeks, causing the delay. The program ultimately showed that there were thousands of Ms. Abedin’s emails on the laptop.

    • Julian Assange Denies Russia Fed Clinton Emails to Wikileaks

      The founder of whistleblowing website Wikileaks, Julian Assange, has denied that emails leaked from the U.S. Democratic Party (DNC) came with the help of the Russian government.

    • What the WikiLeaks emails tell us about Hillary Clinton’s campaign (and what they don’t)

      It’s one of the greatest ironies of the 2016 presidential campaign: Hillary Clinton — long averse to public scrutiny — forced to deal with the theft and disclosure of thousands of private emails exchanged by her campaign aides and advisors.

      The hacked emails of campaign chairman John Podesta, being released daily by WikiLeaks, have offered unprecedented insight into the way the Democratic nominee and her team grappled with unexpected developments and self-inflicted setbacks.

      The Clinton campaign has refused to validate the emails, noting that U.S. intelligence agencies say they were stolen by Russian government hackers in an effort to affect the election.

    • Wikileaks Has Chilling Effect on Hollywood Ambassadorships

      Whether it was raising a few million for a super PAC or taking to social media, super bundlers including Peter and Megan Chernin and Tom Rothman have been there for Hillary Clinton — support that typically might be rewarded with an ambassadorial posting. But “if and when [Clinton] wins, I do think they will be extremely careful,” says Adam J. Schiff, senior vp of Strategies 360 (Schi previously worked with L.A. operative and fundraiser Noah Mamet, who once served as an adviser to the Wasserman Family Foundation and now is ambassador to Argentina).

      “Sure, donors will be considered, but the vetting process will be more intensive than ever.” Says one political strategist at a major studio: “Some [President Obama appointees] weren’t the most well versed on issues they were expected to be, and that was embarrassing for the administration. The Clinton machine will work hard to avoid that experience, especially as a former secretary of state, so a lot of the top posts will be off the table for the new players.”

      With a Republican-controlled Senate, confirmation for Obama appointees was grueling: Mamet’s took almost 18 months. And that was before the specter of WikiLeaks. Nicole Avant, the wife of Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, was given the Bahamas posting by Obama in 2009; a State Department inspector general’s report that criticized her tenure recently made its way into a WikiLeaks dump.

    • A True November Surprise: The Clinton Campaign at Obama Justice: Emails on WikiLeaks Show a Top Federal Lawyer Giving Hillary a Quiet Heads Up

      Don’t let Mr. Kadzik’s fancy title fool you: He is a Clinton partisan. Before joining the Justice Department in 2013, Mr. Kadzik spent 30 years at the (now-closed) law firm Dickstein Shapiro, engaging Democratic causes—and Clinton causes. Mr. Kadzik’s wife, Amy Weiss, was deputy press secretary in Bill Clinton’s White House and a communications director for the Democratic National Committee. Mr. Kadzik also represented the DNC. Campaign-finance records show the two variously donated to Hillary’s Senate leadership PAC, to her 2008 presidential campaign and to her current campaign.

    • WikiLeaks: Podesta invited to ‘Spirit’ dinner; host’s known ‘recipes’ demand breast milk, sperm

      A new WikiLeaks release of stolen emails belonging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta reveal an invitation by his brother to a “Spirit Cooking dinner” at the home of artist Marina Abramovic.

      “Spirit Cooking with Essential Aphrodisiac Recipes” was released by Ms. Abramovic in 1996, but the “ingredients” call for “fresh breast milk with fresh sperm milk” to be consumed “on earthquake nights.”

      New York’s Museum of Modern Art called it a “cookbook” for “evocative instructions for actions or thoughts.” Another recipe calls for “fresh morning urine.”

      “Are you in NYC Thursday July 9 Marina wants you to come to dinner Mary?” Tony Podesta says in an email forwarded to his brother June 28, 2015.

      “Dear Tony, I am so looking forward to the Spirit Cooking dinner at my place,” Ms. Abramovic says in a June 25 email sent at 2:35 a.m. GMT +2. “Do you think you will be able to let me know if your brother is joining? All my love, Marina.”

      Ms. Abramovic is a well-known artist who has performed since the early 1970s. Her latest memoir, “Walk Through Walls,” was reviewed by The New York Times Nov. 1.

      “You will need to be able to withstand a great deal of conversation about clairvoyants and tarot cards and didgeridoos and kundalini life forces and monks and gurus and ‘how the soul can leave the body through the center of the fontanel of the head’ to make it very far in this memoir,” the Times wrote.

    • Susan Sarandon on why she is not voting for Hillary Clinton: ‘I don’t vote with my vagina’

      Susan Sarandon has said she will not be voting for Hillary Clinton in the forthcoming presidential elections because she does not vote with her “vagina”.

      The 70-year-old oscar-award-winning actor, who is known for her roles in Thelma & Louise and Dead Man Walking, said she wanted the “right woman” to become President.

      Sarandon, who has formally endorsed Green Party candidate Jill Stein, explained she would not be voting for either Ms Clinton or Donald Trump. She argued it is imperative to get independent candidates up to the five per cent mark in order to start a new party.

      “I want the right woman. There are great women that I admire that have headed nations,” the actor and activist, who was an outspoken Bernie Sanders supporter, told BBC Newsnight on Wednesday.

    • WikiLeaks: Podesta agrees Sanders needs to be ‘ground to a pulp’

      Sanders endorsed Clinton after she clinched the nomination and has been campaigning for her in recent weeks.

      Other leaked emails have also shown Clinton campaign officials talking negatively about the Vermont senator.

    • WikiLeaks: Bill Clinton had ‘real serious conflicts’ with foundation work

      Justin Cooper, a longtime staffer who managed Hillary Clinton’s private server at the State Department, told other high-level aides in Nov. 2011 that he shared the concerns of Doug Band, another longtime staffer, over the possibility that Bill Clinton might soon be asked to sign a disclosure form.

      “I think there [sic] WJC may have some real serious conflicts if we start to make too many rules,” Cooper wrote, using Bill Clinton’s initials, in an email made public Friday by WikiLeaks. “It may be time to update some procedures but we can not ignore the nexus of WJC’s life.”

      Cooper’s warning came at a time when the Clinton Foundation was undergoing a corporate review given the conflicts and bureaucratic excess that had begun to plague its operations.

    • Getting a grip of Bill: #PodestaEmails29 reveals concerns over rogue ex-president
    • ‘Not for this channel’: Podesta was wary of sending intel over Clinton server

      John Podesta was willing to discuss sensitive information with future boss Hillary Clinton while he worked for President Obama and she was a private citizen in August 2014 – but he knew better than to send the intel over Clinton’s private server from his Gmail account, emails released Thursday by WikiLeaks show.

      In the exchange, Clinton, who had resigned as secretary of state 18 months earlier, asked then-Obama counselor Podesta if he knew who was responsible for an Aug. 18 airstrike in Tripoli, in which unidentified bombers blew up an Islamist-controlled arms depot in the Libyan capital.

    • Political Medicine – An Interview With Dr. Jill Stein

      I recently had the privilege of interviewing one of the brightest lights of our times, Dr. Jill Stein. Over the course of our discussion I was profoundly humbled, deeply impressed, educated and surprised, and I even picked up a few vocabulary words while transcribing this interview along the way. Here at Inquisitr I’ve often spoken about the way the press has treated Dr. Stein, so for our interview, I thought it would be nice to give her a chance to freely discuss the things America wants to hear about, without any interruption, badgering or gotcha journalism. So here she is, in her own words.

    • ‘The FBI is Trumpland’: anti-Clinton atmosphere spurred leaking, sources say

      A political firestorm erupted, with Comey and the bureau coming under withering criticism, including a rebuke on Wednesday from Barack Obama. Even some congressional Republicans, no friends to Clinton, have expressed discomfort with Comey’s last-minute insertion of the bureau into the election.

      The relevance of the communications to the Clinton inquiry has yet to be established, as Comey issued his letter before obtaining a warrant to evaluate them. Clinton surrogates contend that Comey has issued innuendo rather than evidence, preventing them from mounting a public defense.

    • FBI examining fake documents targeting Clinton campaign: sources

      The FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies are examining faked documents aimed at discrediting the Hillary Clinton campaign as part of a broader investigation into what U.S. officials believe has been an attempt by Russia to disrupt the presidential election, people with knowledge of the matter said.

      U.S. Senator Tom Carper, a Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, has referred one of the documents to the FBI for investigation on the grounds that his name and stationery were forged to appear authentic, some of the sources who had knowledge of that discussion said.

      In the letter identified as fake, Carper is quoted as writing to Clinton, “We will not let you lose this election,” a person who saw the document told Reuters.

      The fake Carper letter, which was described to Reuters, is one of several documents presented to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice for review in recent weeks, the sources said.

    • Congress: Shut Down Government Until the New President Restores the Republic

      Whoever wins the presidency on November 8, Congress should shut down the government, except for essential military or law enforcement personnel, on the first day after the 2017 inaugural unless and until the new President restores the Republic by doing the following:

      1. Immediately end multi-trillion dollar presidential wars that have not been declared by Congress as required by Article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution. That means, among other things, ceasing the offensive use of the military to fight wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

      All United States military personnel should be withdrawn from these war zones for redeployment back home to protect Americans against foreign aggression as the Constitution envisions. To demonstrate that fighting wars only in self-defense does not subtract from our respect for the military, all rank-and-file soldiers should be given pay raises concurrently with the ending of all presidential wars.

    • WikiLeaks: Clinton Camp Brags about Hiding Hillary and Still Getting Positive Media Coverage

      The latest WikiLeaks dump reveals Team Clinton boasting about hiding Hillary for months and still getting positive stories from the media.

    • WikiLeaks: Clinton Campaign Chair Participated in Occult Magic

      While powerful political insiders partaking in ceremonies that have been described as Satanic may seem like something that could exist only in a Dennis Wheatley novel, a June 2015 conversation between Podesta and famed performance artist and occultist Marina Abramović proves such scenarios are chillingly real.

    • Clinton Aides: ‘Definitely’ Not Releasing Some HRC
    • The Clinton Campaign at Obama Justice

      The most obnoxious spin of the 2016 campaign came this week, as Democrats, their media allies and even President Obama accused the FBI of stacking the election. It’s an extraordinary claim, coming as it does from the same crew that has—we now know—been stacking the election all along in the corridors of the Justice Department.

    • What I learned from visualizing Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails

      It all started early last week. Kevin Hu, one of my senior grad students, told me that a friend of him asked if we could use Immersion — an email visualization tool we had released in 2013 — to visualize Clinton’s Wikileaks email dataset.

      The timing was not ideal for us. Kevin asked me this question when the Media Lab member’s event was getting started, which is a particularly busy time of the year. So my first question to Kevin was: “Can we?”

      [...]

      For years I have created teams that embody a unique capacity to make large datasets easy to understand. Earlier this year we released DataUSA, the most comprehensive visualization of US public data. In 2013, we released a project visualizing the entire formal sector economy of Brazil (dataviva.info). My group also has been hosting the world’s most popular tool to visualize international trade data (atlas.media.mit.edu) since 2011 (see chidalgo.com for a full list of projects). So in this environment, where I command groups with a unique capacity to make data easily digestible, and have a commitment to make data accessible so that people can explore it directly, and make their own decisions, I decided that improving people’s ability to navigate a politically relevant dataset that was already publicly available was the right choice. My intuition was that, if you were going to spend 1, 5, or 10 minutes looking directly at these emails, you would get a slightly deeper understanding of what was in them if you used our interface than the ones that were presently available. I believe that these potential increases in depth, together with the creation of tools that allow people to explore primary sources of data directly, are a contribution. You may disagree with my choice, but I hope you at least understand it.

      So what did I learn by making this dataset accessible?

      [...]

      Later, a friend of one of my students posted the news on Reddit where it went viral. And I mean really viral. It became the top story of the Internetisbeautiful subreddit, and made it to Reddit’s frontpage. It collected more than 3000 upvotes and 700 comments. But as the story peaked, a moderator single handedly removed it in an authoritarian move, and justified his unilateral silencing of the post by adding a rule banning “sites that serve a political agenda or that otherwise induce drama.” Of course, the rule was added AFTER the post was removed.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Leftist Group: Saying Islam Has Problems Makes You A Terrorist

      Last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a list of 15 anti-Muslim extremists, including writers, intellectuals, and activists. This “Field Guide” is meant to help journalists tell the “good guys” from the “bad guys” by providing them with ammunition against outspoken critics of Islam.

      The people on this list are lambasted for talking about violence in Islam, unequal treatment of women, the increasing number of Islamist advisors to our government—including Muslim Brotherhood-backed groups like the Islamic Society of North America and the Center for American-Islamic Relations—and the growing treatment of Islam as a protected class, mostly at the behest of the aforementioned Islamist groups.

    • Alibaba’s use of ‘pig’ for new web name angers Muslims

      Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba changed the name of its travel website to cater to the younger generation, its primary customer group, the company announced on Tuesday.

      The group announced last week that it was rebranding its travel portal, changing the name of the website from Alitrip.com to Fliggy.com. The new name is feizhu, or “flying pig” in Chinese. The company also introduced a cartoon-like image of a pig as its new logo.

      “A key goal of the rebranding is to appeal to a younger demographic that accounts for more than 80 percent of our customer base,” Alibaba said in a statement.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Head of MI5 goes public

      For the first time a serving head of a major intelligence service in the UK, Andrew Parker the Director General of the UK domestic Security Service, has given an interview to a national newspaper.

      Interestingly, he gave this interview to The Guardian, the paper that has won awards for publishing a number of the Edward Snowden disclosures about endemic illegal spying and, for its pains, had its computers ritually smashed up by the powers that be.

      The timing was also interesting – only two weeks ago the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (the only legal body that can actually investigate allegations of spy crime in the UK and which has so far been an unexceptional champion of their probity) broke ranks to assert that the UK spies have been illegally conducting mass surveillance for 17 years – from 1998 to 2015.

    • Mass surveillance: First it was for terrorism, then it was for drug trade, and now it’s for unlicensed driving

      As mass surveillance was introduced, we were promised it was only for combating terrorism and violent uprisings. Then, it was used mostly to combat illegal drug trade. As the surveillance is outsourced to private actors, and they’re seeking additional revenue streams, it’s now an option on the table – today – for insurance companies to access mass surveillance data to price a car insurance.

      The ACLU has a long feature article on how aerial mass surveillance footage in Baltimore is being retained far beyond specifications, but the real bombshell comes toward the end: mass surveillance data is being now offered to private clients on purely commercial grounds. It’s certainly bad enough when cities are videofilmed from above in gigapixel resolution and the footage kept forever, despite promises and assurances of the opposite, but letting the surveillance contractors re-sell the same surveillance data to anybody interested opens up a can of worms not previously imagined.

      (Did you get that? There are now aircraft with gigapixel cameras just videorecording how people move across the city, because they can.)

      It all started out with the necessity to defend against terrorism, when mass surveillance laws like the US Patriot Act were being rushed through. Then, it turned out that these anti-terrorism laws were mostly used to fight contraband substances (“narcotics”) and practically not used at all against shady people with an explosive suitcase of plutonium. And so now, we learn that the private contractors doing the actual surveillance have decided they can also sell the data to insurance companies.

    • ‘Operation Hyperion’ Targets Suspected Dark Web Users Around the World

      Earlier this week, law enforcement agencies from across the world announced an operation targeting vendors and users of dark web marketplaces. Codenamed Operation Hyperion, the move is one of the most dramatic police coordinations around the dark web yet, with thousands of people allegedly being identified.

      But how exactly these arrests or interviews were connected to one another, if they were at all, remains unclear, and a large part of the operation seems to be geared toward intimidating current and potential sellers and buyers, and dissuading others from participating in the online drug trade, rather than leading to a substantial number of actual arrests.

    • How much money does Facebook make from you?

      Facebook is making more money than ever: On Wednesday night the company revealed that between July and September it made $7bn (£5.7bn) in revenue – a 59 per cent increase on a year ago.

      This means that each user is increasingly valuable to Facebook. The average revenue per user in the third quarter was $4.01.

    • Facebook’s mobile ad boom ride is almost done, and Wall Street wants to see its next trick

      But Facebook execs have warned that the meteoric revenue growth rates are due for a slowdown next year as the company reaches the limit on how many ads it can squeeze into the News Feed.

    • In scathing ruling, Federal Court says CSIS bulk data collection illegal

      The Federal Court of Canada has faulted Canada’s domestic spy agency for unlawfully retaining data and for not being truthful with judges who authorize its intelligence programs. Separately, the court also revealed that the spy agency no longer needs warrants to collect Canadians’ tax records.

      All this has been exposed in a rare ruling about the growing scope of Canadian intelligence collection disclosed by the court on Thursday. At issue is how the federal domestic spy service has been pushing past its legal boundaries in the name of collecting data, in hopes of rounding out the holdings of a little-known Canadian intelligence facility dubbed the “operational data analysis centre.”

      Many corporations and government agencies are now gravitating toward so-called big data computer analytics that can predict patterns of future behaviour based upon records about what has happened in the past. Spy agencies are no different, and the centre in question appears to be the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s equivalent of a crystal ball – a place where intelligence analysts attempt to deduce future threats by examining, and re-examining, volumes of data.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • A journalist at Standing Rock was shot by police for no reason—and caught the awful moment on video

      As peaceful protests over the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline again turn violent, one journalist near the Standing Rock Sioux Indian reservation in North Dakota captured shocking video showing herself being shot by police out of nowhere as she conducted an interview.

      Erin Schrode, an activist and journalist, was doing an interview at the edge of the Cantapeta Creek when police shot her with a rubber bullet. In her video of the incident, Schrode can be heard screaming, “Ow!” before crumbling to the ground.

    • On Anniversary of the Patriot Act, Artist Passes Out Pocket Knives at the Airport

      Last week, performance artist Michele Pred handed out small pocket knives passengers arriving at San Francisco’s International Airport to replace those that have been confiscated since the passage of the Patriot Act 15 years ago.

    • Artist celebrates Patriot Act’s anniversary by handing out “Official Air Travel Replacement Knives” to arriving SFO passengers

      Last week, artist Michelle Pred celebrated the anniversary of the Patriot Act by dressing up as an old-timey Pan Am flight attendant (she wore her mother’s old Pan Am hat!) and handing out “Official Air Travel Replacement Knives” to people waiting for their bags at SFO (she had 50 knives, but it took more than 50 tries to give them away, as more than half of the people she approached refused to engage with her).

      She had to get a “Free Speech and Expressive Activities Permit” for her performance, and the lengthy application process gave her time to figure out which knives she’d pass out: she chose 2.25″ red pocket knives, these being the kind of knife most often seized by the TSA. The people who took the knives often share stories lamenting the beloved tools, knives and other items they’d had taken away by airport security since the Patroit Act was passed.

      Pred is part of a large, multi-artist show in San Francisco’s Presidio called “Home Land Security,” which features works that critically examine “the human dimensions and increasing complexity of national security, including the physical and psychological borders we create, protect, and cross in its name.”

    • Defense tries to exclude video from trial of cop shooting man in back

      Michael Slager, a white North Charleston officer, is accused of killing Walter Scott, 50, a black man who was pulled over in April 2015 for a routine traffic stop. Scott had a warrant for his arrest, fled the Mercedes-Benz he was driving, was chased into a field, and was then shot and killed as a passerby secretly captured the shooting on video.

      For the most part, those are the general undisputed facts in a case that likely would have been swept under the rug without video evidence. Before the video surfaced, the police defended the officer’s actions. As reported by the Post and Courier, the police said that “…a man ran on foot from the traffic stop and an officer deployed his department-issued Taser in an attempt to stop him. That did not work, police said, and an altercation ensued as the men struggled over the device. Police allege that during the struggle the man gained control of the Taser and attempted to use it against the officer. The officer then resorted to his service weapon and shot him…”

    • How Video Games Unwittingly Train the Brain to Justify Killing

      Would you be surprised to learn that the first statement, suggesting remorse, comes from the American mass murderer David Alan Gore, while the second, of cool acceptance, was made by Andy Wilson, a soldier in the SAS, Britain’s elite special forces? In one view, the two men are separated by the thinnest filament of morality: justification. One killed because he wanted to, the other because he was acting on behalf of his country, as part of his job.

      While most psychologically normal individuals agree that inflicting pain on others is wrong, killing others appears socially sanctioned in specific contexts such as war or self-defence. Or revenge. Or military dictatorships. Or human sacrifice. In fact, justification for murder is so pliant that the TV series Dexter (2006-13) flirted exquisitely with the concept: a sociopath who kills villainous people as a vehicle for satisfying his own dark urges.

      Operating under strict ‘guidelines’ that target only the guilty, Dexter (a forensics technician) and the viewer come to believe that the kill is justified. He forces the audience to question their own moral compass by asking them to justify murder in their minds in the split second prior to the kill. Usually when we imagine directly harming someone, the image is preventive: envision a man hitting a woman; or an owner abusing her dog. Yet, sometimes, the opposite happens: a switch is flipped with aggressive, even violent consequences. How can an otherwise normal person override the moral code and commit cold-blooded murder?

    • ‘Go away, you shouldn’t be here. Don’t come back’: The corner of Yorkshire that has almost no white residents

      From the window of her flat overlooking the canal path in a suburb of Dewsbury in Yorkshire, a blonde woman watches two female figures walking past as they chatter in a foreign tongue.

      Both the passers-by are covered in black Islamic gowns, only a glimpse of their eyes show from the 2 in gap in the veils across their faces.

      They, like many Muslim women who live here, speak little or no English. Lots of them will have no contact with any person from another religion or culture. Almost all have been brought to the UK to wed the British men of south Asian heritage who have made this area their home.

    • The UN is morally corrupt

      A majority of the members of the United Nations Human Rights Council are non-democratic. Obviously, this is a problem – if we presume human rights to have anything to do with fundamental democratic principles such as free speech, a free press and free and fair elections.

      With countries such as China, Cuba, Iraq and Saudi Arabia in the council – one must also doubt what it will and can do when it comes to the right to fair trials, the issue of cruel and unusual punishments and the death penalty.

    • REVEALED: Rahm Emanuel Used A Private Email Server

      Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel used a private email server to communicate with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta, leaked emails reveal.

      Emanuel, a former House lawmaker who served early on in the Obama administration, sent an email to Podesta asking him to consider Brian DeSplinter for a position with Clinton’s campaign. Emnauel sent the email from the address [email protected]

      The email address is still active, according to Mailtester.com, and is run through Google’s Gmail service. This is unlike Clinton who used a private email server based out of her Chappaqua, New York home.

    • Police Union Joins Rights Groups In Criticizing Police Chief For Snooping On Journalists

      Police unions are best known for creating distance. They carve out space between police officers and accountability. They widen the gap between fiction and reality. They often act like the loudmouthed relative with the missing brain/mouth filter you always hope won’t insert themselves into discussions about current events.

      On rare, rare occasions, they come across misconduct even they can’t condone. Every so often, police union heads act like normal, decent human beings.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • FCC Lends Support To Google Fiber, Louisville In Fight To Access AT&T Utility Poles

      As we’ve been discussing, the hot new broadband battleground is the boring old utility pole. In most existing markets, a new competitor needs the incumbent ISP to move their gear and “make ready” the pole before a competitor can attach their own fiber. With every incentive to slow new competition, incumbent ISPs have long (ab)used this bureaucracy to their advantage. As a result, this preparation can take the better part of a year, especially if gear from multiple incumbents needs moving.

      In a recent Google Fiber blog post, the company documented the end result of this logjam. In Nashville, the company noted that of the 88,000 poles in Nashville needed to deploy Google Fiber, over 44,000 will require make-ready work — but only 33 had been adequately prepped by incumbent ISPs. In response, Google Fiber has been pushing cities like Nashville and Louisville to pass “one touch make ready” rules, which allow an insured, third-party contractor to move any ISP’s gear (often a matter of inches), provided they give the incumbent ISP a 15-day heads up.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • WIPO Members Divided On IP Agency’s Role In Implementation Of UN Sustainable Development Goals

      Countries of the world decided in 2015 to launch an ambitious agenda to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. What should be the role of the UN World Intellectual Property Organization in the attainment of the adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals? This question, discussed at the WIPO Committee on Development and IP, is dividing countries, as developed countries argue that only a few goals apply to the work of WIPO, and others argue that there should be no ‘cherrypicking’ as all the goals in one way or another do apply to WIPO’s work as a UN agency.

    • Copyrights

      • A Summary Of International CopyCamp 2016

        Apart from speaker sessions, the “Maker Party” event took place at the conference, which is a Mozilla Foundation’s campaign initiative for better copyright reform, which is in sync with the digital age.

      • UK Govt. Will Address Music ‘Value Gap” as Part of Brexit

        The UK government says it will address the so-called music ‘value gap’ as part of Brexit negotiations. The confirmation came in response to a probing Digital Economy Bill amendment which would see sites like YouTube lose their safe harbor protections if they “optimize the presentation” of uploaded works.

11.03.16

Links 3/11/2016: Ubuntu Snappy Core 16 and New RHEL

Posted in News Roundup at 4:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How the Apache Way has Influenced Open Source

    Brian Behlendorf is well known in the open-source community as one of the founders of the Apache Software Foundation. Today, Behlendorf serves as the Executive Director of the Hyperledger project at the Linux Foundation, though he still takes an interest in Apache.

    In a video interview, Behlendorf discusses how the Apache Way continues to influence the open source movement. Among the key ways that Apache has helped to influence open source development is by having a focus on enabling a community that outlasts the original developers.

  • Developers prefer open source tools

    New research shows that 98 percent of developers use open source tools at work, with 56 percent revealing that more than half of their development tools are open source, and 18 percent using only open source tools.

    The study from code collaboration platform GitLab also shows that more than half of developers (55 percent) are able to choose the tools they work with.

    When asked about the tools and techniques that are most important to them, 92 percent say distributed version control systems (Git repositories) are very or extremely important for their everyday work followed by continuous integration (77 percent), chat/collaboration tools (63 percent), agile development (59 percent) and continuous delivery (55 percent).

  • IndieWeb: Make your social media posts open first

    Where do your witty Tweets end up? What about the rest of the content you create inside walled platforms like Facebook, Swarm, and Instagram*?

    Those posts and images are part of your identity yet they are “lost” in a sense when posted to platforms that aren’t open. That’s where the IndieWeb comes in; it’s based around the idea that you have a personal domain and web space where you post everything first, then you can copy it to third party services, like Twitter.

    The phrase that has been coined to describe it is: Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere, or POSSE.

  • Google’s TensorFlow Powers Data Robot’s Machine Learning Platform

    Artificial intelligence and machine learning are creating a lot of buzz right now, and open source tools are part of the buzz. A few months back, Google made a hugely influential contribution to the field of machine learning. It open sourced a program called TensorFlow that is now freely available. It’s based on the same internal toolset that Google spent years developing to support its AI software and other predictive and analytics programs.

    Now, data science company DataRobot has announced the latest version of its enterprise machine learning platform. The new release integrates the TensorFlow library for deep learning along with new tools to help users extract insights from all models on the platform. This is a great example of how powerful open source tools are driving commercial offerings forward.

  • Google Working On Open-Source TPM 2.0 Implementation

    For future Chromebooks/Chromeboxes, Google appears to be building an open-source TPM 2.0 implementation that’s possibly backed by open hardware.

    Their own TPM (Trusted Platform Module) 2.0 implementation can be found in their Git code and here plus more code here. The TPM 2.0 implementation uses a Cortex-M3 core and there’s also an FPGA version.

  • DirectFB Returns Online

    Over one year after the DirectFB project site disappeared and the code just appearing on GitHub, they have a project site restored but the development still appears rather dormant.

  • TM Forum Wants Role of Open Source Glue

    TM Forum is stepping up to be the organization that unites the multiple open source network management and orchestration efforts going on within telecom today, intending to create a hybrid network management platform that incorporates diverse open source efforts.

    In an interview here today in advance of a TM Forum Workshop tied to Light Reading’s OSS in the Era of SDN & NFV event this week, Barry Graham, senior director of agile business & IT for TM Forum, tells Light Reading the organization has already held one meeting of eight open source groups and is intending to create a Catalyst project for early 2017 as well. Catalyst projects are a TM Forum method of bringing network operators and others together to create real-world solutions that can be demonstrated to the broader community.

  • New open source project Trireme aims to secure containers

    A team made of former Cisco and Nuage Networks veterans has developed an open source project it released this week named Trireme that takes an application-centric approach to securing code written in containers.

  • Walmart Employs Open Source to Level E-Commerce Playing Field

    Now that organizations of all sizes have discovered that IT is indeed a competitive weapon, an interesting phenomenon is starting to occur. IT organizations that build their own software are moving to make that software available under an open source license. Case in point is Walmart, which is now making a React/Node.js application platform dubbed Electrode available as an open source project.

    Alex Grigoryan, director of software engineering for the Application Platform at Walmart Labs, says even though Walmart has spent millions of dollars developing Electrode, the retailer has a vested interest in recruiting other IT organizations to contribute code to extend the core platform.

    “We’re looking for contributions that can help us stay on the cutting edge,” says Grigoryan.

  • IoT Monitoring and Open Source Software With OpenNMS Founder Tarus Balog

    Second, since the software in an open source business is free, selling software licenses can’t be the revenue model. There are a number of ways, however, to make money with open source. One is monetize stability. This is kind of what Red Hat does. They support both the leading edge technology through Fedora and monetize stability through Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Both our open source, but people are willing to pay for stability.

  • Events

    • Video: What’s Next for Containers?

      Red Hat’s Vincent Batts gives a presentation at systemd.conf 2016 conference entitled, “What’s next for containers?”. It is a good overview of where the various container projects are (with no mention of OpenVZ however) and what work needs to be done. I enjoyed his assessment that the first thing that is next is, “Get Past the Hype,” and to, “Make Containers Boring.” Vincent goes over several of the userland tools as well as covers the areas where Linux native containers still need work.

    • Video: systemd.conf 2016 – State of the Union / Portable Services

      There have been a ton of conferences in the last couple of months… and luckily a lot of the presentations were recorded and have been posted. Here is Lennart Poettering’s presentation from the systemd.conf 2016 conference on, “State of the Union / Portable Services”.

    • Software Freedom Kosova 2016

      The 7th edition of Software Freedom Kosova took place in Prishtina from October 21-23. The main conference venue was held at RIT Kosovo (AUK) and workshops were held at Prishtina Hackerspace as well as at Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK). This years conference involved around 300 participants, 41 speakers, 48 sessions, 10 booth tables aand lots of food

    • Nov. 7 Webinar on Taking the Complexity Out of Hadoop and Big Data
    • Embedded Linux + OpenIoT 2016 Conference Videos Now Available

      Watching the ELCE 2016 / OpenIoT Summiy 2016 videos is free, but a basic registration is required. If you want to watch it, visit LinuxFoundation.org.

    • A new directory of open source technology events

      For the past several years, Gabor Szabo has been the owner and primary editor of the Perl Weekly, and the Perl Maven. Never willing to rest on his laurels, he recently started the Code Maven Podcast, and recently, during the last week of October, he spun up his newest site, a listing of open source technology events.

    • DevOps is a battlefield at the IT shop

      If implementing DevOps practices is difficult, then maintaining them may be even tougher. Michael Nygard knows this—which is why he’s turned to the language of warfare to describe the ongoing campaign that is the agile workflow.

      In his upcoming talk at this year’s DevOps Enterprise Summit (“Tempo, Maneuverability, and Initiative”), Nygard, VP of Customer Solutions at Cogitect, Inc., will draw several useful parallels between the theater of modern war and the scene inside the contemporary IT shop. He graciously agreed to tell us about them in advance of the conference, which begins next week.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • An Everyday Linux User Guide To The Thunderbird Email Client

        This is an overview of Thunderbird and hopefully it has highlighted a few new features to those of you who didn’t know they existed and for others it might have convinced you that actually this is a tool I might want to use after all.

        The RSS feed reader is very useful as it allows you to browse your favourite sites without actually visiting them.

      • Corrode Making Progress On Translating C To Rust

        Jamey Sharp, the developer known for some of his past contributions to X.Org, has been hacking a lot lately on his latest project: Corrode. This project is about automatically converting C source files into Rust.

        Corrode is able to convert C code into Rust, but so far is able to perform just basic operations automatically and doesn’t yet take full advantage of Rust’s potential. Corrode is designed to help with partial automation of legacy code into Rust and as a new/complementary approach for static analysis of C programs. Corrode is going along so well that Mozilla has begun sponsoring Jamey’s work with Mozilla continuing to spearhead Rust’s development.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Collabora Online Development Edition 2.0

      Today we release CODE 2.0 which includes Collaborative Editing. We’ve done a huge amount of work since CODE 1.0 – and many of these improvements have been back-ported for our customers & community, but it is perhaps well to credit the authors in one place and survey progress over the last six months.

  • CMS

    • WordPress is not delighting me

      I switched back to WordPress, on a premium subscription, because WordPress started supporting markdown, which I like, and because WordPress is open source software (with open source comments support), which I also like. What’s more, paying for hosting through Automattic means not having to mess with WordPress updates myself, and means helping to support a legit open source software company, and I’m into both of those, big time.

    • WordPress is not delighting me, followup

      Anyway, I let my annual premium subscription auto-renew about a month and a half ago, so I’m out of the refund window, so I’ll probably stick around, although this markdown to HTML autoconvert misfeature is pretty distressing. Worst case scenario, I’m supporting open source software, so there’s that.

  • Healthcare

    • EC’s eHealth interoperability tests use open source

      The European Commission Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) is using the open source tools for its interoperability testing. On Wednesday, the DG published a request for tender, specifying the eHealth test framework Gazelle and the healthcare documentation and ePrescription specification, implementation and testing tool Art-Decor as reference tools for its digital service infrastructure (DSI).

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Public Services/Government

    • Danish taxes seek Linux and Apache services

      Denmark’s tax authorities (SKAT) are looking for a service provider that can help them with their tax account system, which uses Apache and Linux servers. SKAT on Wednesday published new information on its procurement request from last month.

    • David Graham: Your FOSS Rep in the Canadian Parliament

      You didn’t know we had one? We do! Sort of. David Graham is the Member of Parliament for Laurentides—Labelle, which is in Quebec. He’s also a cofounder of the OFTC (Open and Free Technology) IRC network and for many years used the online handle “CDLU,” for “Confused Debian Linux User.” Confused or not, he got his start in politics running for (and becoming) Secretary of Software in the Public Interest, a non-profit group that helps develop and spread free and open source software, most notably Debian Linux. David was also the newsfeed editor for Linux.com for eight years (Disclosure: I was his boss). He’s also a licensed pilot, a rail fan and the father of a delightful little girl. Hey! I’d vote for him. Wouldn’t you? Assuming we lived in his district, that is.

  • Programming/Development

    • Perl and the birth of the dynamic web

      The web’s early history is generally remembered as a few seminal events: the day Tim Berners-Lee announced the WWW-project on Usenet, the document with which CERN released the project’s code into the public domain, and of course the first version of the NCSA Mosaic browser in January 1993.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML 5.1 Now an Official Web Standard

      The lead up to the official debut of HTML 5 in October 2014 was a very big deal. Now two years later HTML 5.1 was declared an official standard on November 1.

      With HTML 5 work was ongoing for more than seven years and the standard replaced HTML 4.x which had been in place for a decade. HTML 5.1 in contrast is a very incremental step up, dealing with minor items that fell out from the original HTML 5 approach.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Human brain is predisposed to negative stereotypes, new study suggests

      The human brain is predisposed to learn negative stereotypes, according to research that offers clues as to how prejudice emerges and spreads through society.

      The study found that the brain responds more strongly to information about groups who are portrayed unfavourably, adding weight to the view that the negative depiction of ethnic or religious minorities in the media can fuel racial bias.

      Hugo Spiers, a neuroscientist at University College London, who led the research, said: “The newspapers are filled with ghastly things people do … You’re getting all these news stories and the negative ones stand out. When you look at Islam, for example, there’s so many more negative stories than positive ones and that will build up over time.”
      Everyone’s a little bit racist, sometimes | Dean Burnett
      Read more

      The scientists also uncovered a characteristic brain signature seen when participants were told a member of a “bad” group had done something positive – an observation that is likely to tally with the subjective experience of minorities. “Whenever someone from a really bad group did something nice they were like, ‘Oh, weird,’” said Spiers.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • As Flint Suffers, Nestlé Plans Dramatic Expansion of Water Privatization in Michigan

      The state of Michigan has reportedly issued preliminary approval for bottled water behemoth Nestlé to nearly triple the amount of groundwater it will pump, to be bottled and sold at its Ice Mountain plant, which lies roughly 120 miles northwest of the beleaguered community of Flint.

      “Nestlé Waters North America is asking the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for permission to increase allowed pumping from 150 to 400 gallons-per-minute at one of its production wells north of Evart,” MLive reported on Monday.

      “The DEQ Water Resources Division conducted a site review and signed-off on the pumping increase in January, but the Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance is approving the permit,” the report continued. The agency is accepting public comment on the proposal (pdf) until Thursday, Nov. 3.

      While Nestlé and other bottled water companies have rankled many communities for privatizing their public water supply, the news particularly stung in Michigan, where citizens have faced a years-long nightmare over lead contamination in their drinking water. Many residents of Flint are still forced to rely on bottled water for cleaning, cooking, and bathing as government delays have hampered efforts to replace the corroded pipes.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • ​Linux developers under denial of service attack

      According to James Bottomley, an IBM Research distinguished engineer and a member of the Linux Plumbers Conference committee, “Since yesterday we are being attacked from the outside. The attack follows us as we switch external IP and the team has identified at least one inside node which looks suspicious.”

      The conference is not being attacked by some sophisticated Internet of Things distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack like the Dyn attack. No, it’s being mugged by one of the oldest attacks in the DoS book: a SYN flood.

    • Computer Virus Cripples UK Hospital System [iophk: “dodges naming OS affected…does a lot of victim blaming”]

      Citing a computer virus outbreak, a hospital system in the United Kingdom has canceled all planned operations and diverted major trauma cases to neighboring facilities. The incident came as U.K. leaders detailed a national cyber security strategy that promises billions in cybersecurity spending, new special police units to pursue organized online gangs, and the possibility of retaliation for major attacks.

      In a “major incident” alert posted to its Web site, the National Health Service’s Lincolnshire and Goole trust said it made the decision to cancel surgeries and divert trauma patients after a virus infected its electronic systems on Sunday, October 30.

    • Breaking: NHS Trust crippled by cyberattack [iophk: "again, dodges naming the OS causing the malware"]

      Patients who had a scheduled operation on Tuesday November 1 have been told to presume it has been cancelled, unless they are contacted. A select number of services will continue; inpatients will continue to be looked after and patients who would be at “significant clinical risk should their treatment be delayed”, will also be treated. The trust is apparently reviewing the situation on an hourly basis.

      Few details have been released about the nature of the attack but the shutdown has affected Goole and District Hospital, Scunthorpe General Hospital and Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital.
      Ed Macnair, CEO of CensorNet told SCMagazineUK.com that the “NHS is one of the most advanced in the world in terms of digitisation, which clearly has its benefits, but also increases the impact of a cyber attack. The NHS holds hugely personal information about patients and the consequences of that getting into the wrong hands could be devastating.”

      Independent Security Evaluators (ISE) carried out a study into the cyber-resilience of the US healthcare industry last year, finding that security teams in the healthcare sector overemphasised protection of data and didn’t focus on more advanced threats.

    • How Hackers Could Steal Your Cellphone Pictures From Your IoT Crock-Pot

      If you have an internet-connected home appliance, such as a crock-pot, a lightbulb, or a coffee maker, you can control it from the comfort of your smartphone. But a bug in the Android app that controls some of those devices made by a popular manufacturer also allowed hackers to steal all your cellphone photos and even track your movements.

      Security researchers found that the Android app for internet-connected gizmos made by Belkin had a critical bug that let anyone who was on the same network hack the app and get access to the user’s cellphone. This gave them a chance to download all photos and track the user’s position, according to new research by Scott Tenaglia and Joe Tanen, from Invincea Labs.

    • Reproducible Builds: week 79 in Stretch cycle

      Reproducible Debian Hackathon – A small hackathon organized in Boston, USA on December 3rd and 4th. If you are interested in attending, contact Valerie Young – spectranaut in the #debian-reproducible IRC channel on irc.oftc.net.

    • Linux/Moose: Still breathing

      Linux/Moose is a malware family that primarily targets Linux-based consumer routers but that can also infect other Linux-based embedded systems in its path. The compromised devices are used to steal unencrypted network traffic and offer proxying services to the botnet operator. In practice, these capabilities are used to steal HTTP Cookies on popular social network sites and perform fraudulent actions such as non-legitimate “follows”, “views” and “likes”.

    • Cyber security governance in public, private sectors falls short

      Cybercrime is the second most-reported economic crime in Australia and costs the economy an estimated $17 billion annually, but despite this there are widespread “frailities” in the governance of cyber security among executives in both the public sector and private enterprise, according to a newly published report.

      The survey of Australia’s security preparedness by the Macquarie Telecom Group and the National Security College found that there is considerable variation in cyber-risk governance arrangements and an absence of cyber-risk knowledge at the executive/board level.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Controlling the burn: Indonesia’s efforts to prevent forest and land fire crisis

      Forest and land fires making the news in Indonesia is nothing new. But a hostage drama in the middle of “fire season”? That’s a new twist, and indeed dominated headlines in early September. After collecting evidence of burned land within a palm oil concession in Rokan Hulu, Riau, seven inspectors from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MOEF) were taken captive and violently threatened to handover or delete the gathered evidence.

      Only a few days later, the head of the Peatland Restoration Agency (Badan Restorasi Gambut or BRG) was forcefully prevented from entering lands managed by a prominent pulp-and-paper concessionaire in Pulau Pisang, Riau. BRG was investigating reports of alleged illegal conversion of peatland.

      Both incidents illustrate how divisive the fire issue is, particularly at the local level. The incidents also illustrate that despite political will and improved efforts to contain the fires, without an overarching and enforced fire policy, fires will continue to smolder.

      Forest and land fires are now an annual man-made event. Some 2,356 hotspots were detected in Sumatra and Kalimantan between January and August of 2016, and fire-prone provinces of South Sumatra, Riau, Jambi, and parts of Kalimantan have declared emergency fire status. This is a significant improvement from last year, thanks largely to a wetter La Niña-induced dry season; the number of hotspots have dropped by over 74% compared to 2015.

      Government has taken action that includes the moratorium on peat swamp conversion and the ban on new oil palm licenses. The establishment of the BRG in January 2016 is a particularly bold move, as President Joko Widodo set an ambitious target for the agency: restore two million hectares of degraded peatlands. Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya has also pursued legal action against those suspected of starting fires.

    • Elephant Poaching Is Costing African Countries $25 Million Every Year

      With other pressing developmental problems, it’s difficult for many African governments to justify the costs of ramping up the fight against elephant poaching. But a new study published in the journal Nature Communications might give them a good financial reason.

      Elephants are a big draw to parks across Africa, so as their numbers dwindle, so too do the numbers of tourists coming to see them. The first continent-wide assessment of poaching’s effects on tourism reveal that the annual killing of elephants results in a $25 million loss in tourism revenue across Africa. What’s more, this lost revenue is significantly higher than the cost of combating poaching, making it economically favorable to invest in the protection of elephants.

      Every year some 20,000 to 30,000 elephants are slaughtered for their ivory tusks to feed a demand for Chinese and Southeast Asian markets, despite a commercial ban on the trade of ivory. Elephant populations across the continent have fallen up to 60 percent.

    • Say no to the Dakota Access Pipeline

      Native American tribes, including the Sioux, have clear historical causes for grievances against the federal government, including treaties that were approved and then violated. Complaints that pipeline workers have already plowed up previously unrecognized sacred sites should be taken seriously. More broadly, though, the environmental costs of continued reliance on fossil fuels are not only real, but the damage is already underway. The pipeline begins at the Bakken Formation in western North Dakota then angles southeastward through South Dakota, Iowa and into southern Illinois before tying into an existing pipeline network. Proponents of the pipeline argue that the oil it will carry will get to market even if the project is scuttled, transported by truck or rail, which they say carry more risk of environmental damage. But data show that while train and truck accidents might occur more often, pipeline breaks spill more oil and generally cause more damage to the environment by fouling groundwater and wilderness areas.

  • Finance

    • No pay for moths, Karnataka man says he is starving in Saudi Arabia

      Imtiyaz Sheikh Sardar, a resident of Honnavar in Uttara Kannada district, is penniless and starving in Saudi Arabia, where he has been working as a driver since 2014. Imtiyaz, whose Saudi employer hasn’t paid him for months now, said that he is not being allowed to come back home. “I have been hungry for the last several days and my employer is not ready to listen to my grievances,” said Imtiyaz in a WhatsApp message seeking immediate help from the Uttara Kannada district administration. In his communication, however, Imtiyaz has refrained from revealing his local address and only mentioned his passport number.

      With no money to feed himself or support his family , Imtiyaz has decided to contact the Uttarra Kannada deputy commissioner’s office, which is now working towards helping him return to India. “My family too is in trouble,” he said in the WhatsApp message. Imtiyaz has thanked the authorities for their efforts to help him return.

    • America’s road trip: will the US ever kick the car habit?

      A battered Dodge Challenger roars past as I head out on the nine-lane highway, riding past shuttered shops and decaying restaurants and row upon row of vacant, overgrown housing lots.

      Normally I wouldn’t even consider cycling on such an expanse of road, but it’s not so bad in Detroit. After all, the birthplace of America’s car industry doesn’t have that many cars any more.

      My ride along Jefferson Avenue passes the low bulk of Chrysler’s car assembly factory. Along with General Motors’ Hamtramck plant, it is all that remains of the once-great industry which supported this city. Where there were 285,000 jobs, now there are just 10,000.

      In 1940, Detroit was the fourth largest city in the US; now it doesn’t even make the top 20. From a peak of 1.8 million inhabitants, the population now stands at 677,000.

      But the city is resurgent – and its near-total collapse may unwittingly have created one of its most powerful and unique assets. The well-documented flight to Detroit’s sprawling suburbs killed the city inside, but it also left space. The wide rivers of asphalt carved deep into the city were designed to transport a population three times its current size.

    • Brexit court defeat for UK government

      Parliament must vote on whether the UK can start the process of leaving the EU, the High Court has ruled.

      This means the government cannot trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – beginning formal exit-negotiations with the EU – on its own.

      Theresa May says the referendum – and existing ministerial powers – mean MPs do not need to vote, but campaigners called this unconstitutional.

      The government is appealing, with a further hearing expected next month.

      A statement is to be made to MPs on Monday but the prime minister’s official spokesman said the government had “no intention of letting” the judgement “derail Article 50 or the timetable we have set out. We are determined to continue with our plan”.

    • Brexit: can the ECJ get involved?

      Today’s ruling by the High Court requires the government to obtain approval from Parliament if it wishes to trigger ‘Article 50’, ie the process of withdrawing from the European Union. This short post won’t focus on the national constitutional law issues, but on the process of possible involvement of the EU courts in Brexit disputes.

      The government has announced its intention to appeal today’s ruling to the Supreme Court. Some have suggested that the case might then be ‘appealed’ to the ECJ, but this misunderstands the judicial system of the European Union. There is no ‘appeal’ from national courts to the ECJ. Rather a national court may suspend proceedings and ask the ECJ some questions relating to EU law that the national court believes it needs the answers to. After the ECJ gives the answers to those questions, the national court resumes its proceedings and gives its judgment in light of them. The ECJ normally takes about 16 months to give a ruling, although it could (and probably would) fast-track a case raising fundamental questions about Brexit.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • WikiLeaks: DOJ official gave John Podesta a heads-up on Hillary Clinton’s emails

      Peter Kadzik, the assistant attorney general of the U.S. Justice Department involved with the probe into Huma Abedin’s emails, gave John Podesta a heads-up on when the State Department would start releasing Hillary Clinton’s emails.

      “There is a HJC oversight hearing today where the head of our Civil Division will testify,” Mr. Kadzik emailed from his personal gmail account, with the header “Heads up.”

      “Likely to get questions on State Department emails,” Mr. Kadzik continued. “Another filing in the FOIA case went in last night or will go in this am that indicates it will be awhile (2016) before the State Department posts the emails.”

      Mr. Podesta, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, then forwarded the email to Mrs. Clinton’s inner-circle and added: “Additional chances for mischief.”

      The email was dated May 19, 2015.

      Mr. Kadzik has a close relationship with Mr. Podesta. They both attended Georgetown University law school together in the 1970s and have remained good friends, with Mr. Kadzik frequently dining with Mr. Podesta.

      The Washington Free Beacon reported Mr. Kadzik previously donated to Mrs. Clinton and the daughter of Mr. Podesta.

    • FBI deputy director whose wife took Clinton friend’s cash is asked why he is still involved in email probe as Congress turn heat up on Clinton

      Even if Hillary Clinton does not win the presidency on Tuesday, Republicans on Capitol Hill say they are revving up for more investigations involving the former secretary of state.

      House Oversight Committee members remain unconvinced that charges of impropriety against Clinton have been fully reviewed.

      Chairman Jason Chaffetz also wants to know if the FBI’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, whose wife received $675,000 in political donations from a close friend of the Clintons, is still working on the Clinton email case in light of that disclosure.

    • Emails show Justice Department official overseeing Clinton probe has close ties to Podesta

      A Department of Justice official who notified Congress Monday that the agency would “dedicate all necessary resources” to the reopened Hillary Clinton email investigation has a close relationship with campaign chair John Podesta, hacked emails show.

      Peter Kadzik, assistant attorney general, sent his son to seek a job on the Clinton campaign given his personal relationship with Podesta. He was invited to a small birthday gathering for Podesta’s lobbyist brother last year. Kadzik also dined with Podesta at his home in January, when the first FBI probe was well underway.

      Emails made public by WikiLeaks over the past several weeks raise fresh questions about the Justice Department’s handling of an investigation into a case with such close ties to the agency’s leadership. Just one week before FBI Director James Comey closed the original Clinton email probe in July, Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s private meeting with Clinton’s husband sparked a wave of outrage that ultimately clouded the Justice Department’s decision to end the investigation.

    • How Clinton Campaign Gamed Super PAC Regulations

      Memos prepared by legal counsel for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign reveal how the campaign developed workarounds so it could coordinate with a network of pro-Clinton super political action committees or Super PACs. The memos were explicitly developed to ensure regulators at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) would not detect any signs of unethical practices.

      While the workarounds may not necessarily be illegal as a result of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, they clearly undermine campaign finance law, and for those concerned about the influence of money in politics, the policies developed show how candidates can easily game the system.

      The documents, produced by Marc Elias of Perkins Coie LLP, were attached to emails from the Clinton campaign, which were published by WikiLeaks. They were drafted on April 1, 2015, before Clinton officially launched her presidential campaign.

      Perkins Coie recommended, “Secretary Clinton and her agents to make a hard solicitation for $5,000,” when discussing any Super PAC with prospective donors. Super PACs and their personnel would be free to “follow up with the donor—that day or at any other time of their choosing – to ask for additional funds, without any participation by Secretary Clinton or her agents.”

    • It’s ignorant to vote for Hillary Clinton without reading WikiLeaks

      Those voting for Hillary Clinton, defending Clinton and supporting Clinton without reading the information reported by WikiLeaks are intellectually no different than those who criticize climate science without ever having read the science. In short, if you defend Clinton and ignore WikiLeaks, you have something in common with Sarah Palin. Let that sink in for a moment. Finished processing that? Now process this — if the journalists responsible for reporting on Watergate were labeled “Russian sympathizers,” charged by the media as “attempting to influence an election,” and banned from travel or communication access, how would history judge the event? This is exactly what has happened to Julian Assange, who has done more for journalism than any of these corporate-owned, brand-named media products have done this election cycle. Either you support access to information or you have a problem with an informed public. Which side are you on?

    • WikiLeaks emails show close links between Google’s Eric Schmidt and the Democrats

      Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Alphabet and former Google chief executive, has been closely involved in the “strategic planning” of the 2016 Democratic Party presidential campaign for at least two years, emails released by whistleblowing outfit WikiLeaks suggest.

      A number of emails, which were directly highlighted by the WikiLeaks Twitter account, show how Google has previously loaned a company jet to the Democratic Party for an official trip to Africa and how Schmidt himself wanted to be “head outside advisor” to any future presidential candidate.

      In an email sent to Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills on 15 April 2014, Schmidt included a detailed draft plan on how the Democratic candidate should structure their campaign, where it should be based and how technology should be utilised for maximum effect.

      It was sent directly to Robby Mook, who now serves as Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief, and was later sent to John Podesta, whose emails were leaked online by the Julian Assange-led anti-secrecy group. At the time of writing, over 30,000 messages have been published.

      “Here are some comments and observations based on what we saw in the 2012 campaign,” Schmidt wrote, adding: “If we get started soon, we will be in a very strong position to execute well for 2016.”

    • New WikiLeaks Release Shows DOJ Official’s ‘Heads Up’ to Podesta

      A new WikiLeaks release shows a possible conflict of interest between a Justice Department official and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

      Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik, the DOJ official in charge of the email investigation, emailed Podesta a heads-up on the case in May 2015.

      Under the subject “heads up,” Kadzik wrote: There is a HJC [House Judiciary Committee] oversight hearing today. Likely to get questions on State Department emails. Another filing in the FOIA case went in last night or will go in this am that indicates it will be awhile (2016) before the State Department posts the emails.”

      Podesta wrote back, adding other Clinton aides, “additional chances for mischief.”

      Kadzik used a private Gmail address to send the note, not his .gov email account.

      Trump argued today in Florida this is yet another example of the “rigged system” being exposed by WikiLeaks.

      “These are the people who want to run our country, folks!” he said about Kadzik and Podesta.

    • WikiLeaks: DOJ official gave ‘heads up’ to Clinton camp
    • WikiLeaks: DOJ official gave Clinton camp ‘heads up’ about email filing

      A senior Department of Justice official gave Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman a “heads up” about new developments related to Clinton’s email use as secretary of state, according to hacked emails published Wednesday by WikiLeaks.

      In May of 2015, Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik emailed Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta to tell him about potential developments at an impending congressional hearing, as well as about a new development in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for the emails Clinton turned over to the State Department from her private account.

      In an email from Kadzik’s personal account titled “Heads up,” he wrote: “There is a [House Judiciary Committee] oversight hearing today where the head of our Civil Division will testify. Likely to get questions on State Department emails. Another filing in the FOIA case went in last night or will go in this am that indicates it will be awhile (2016) before the State Department posts the emails.”

    • Hacked emails show Clinton campaign communicated with State

      A State Department official appeared to coordinate with Hillary Clinton’s nascent presidential campaign hours before the former secretary of state’s exclusive use of private emails was first detailed in a news account last year, newly released hacked emails show.

      Emails from the files of Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta show that the department official provided Clinton aides with the agency’s official response to a New York Times reporter in advance of the newspaper’s March 2015 report that Clinton had used a private email account to conduct all of her work-related business as secretary.

    • Jill Stein op-ed: The real reason millennials are going Green

      Young people are planning to break from the two-party system in unprecedented numbers this year. Their discontent is real: one May 2016 poll showed 91 percent of voters under age 29 wanted an independent challenger to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

      Media pundits have reacted harshly toward these young rebels, especially those supporting me and Ajamu Baraka, who as progressive Green candidates are constantly framed as taking votes from Clinton.

      But instead of attacking our young voters, why not ask what’s motivating them to vote outside the two-party box? They’re well aware of the conventional wisdom that they should vote for the “lesser evil,” which the media has beaten into them for months. What few pundits have been willing to admit is that for many young people, voting Green is not a whim but a well-considered decision.

      Millennials are disillusioned with politics and desperate to change it. For many, WikiLeaks exposing how the Democratic Party sabotaged Bernie Sanders confirmed their suspicions that the political system is rigged. They see Clinton as the embodiment of a political establishment that serves the economic elite, and they reject Trump’s sexist, racist behavior and regressive platform.

    • Liberals wary as Facebook’s Sandberg eyed for Treasury

      Sheryl Sandberg, the billionaire Facebook executive whose book “Lean In” has made her an icon to women in the workplace, is getting lots of attention as a potential Treasury secretary under Hillary Clinton.

      But she’s also drawing red flags from progressives, who are suspicious about her ties to former Clinton administration Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, unhappy with Facebook’s international tax practices and wary about seeing the next Democratic White House stack its Cabinet with allies of big business.

      That makes Sandberg an illustration of the lingering skepticism by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other progressive Democrats about the staffing and economic policies of a Clinton presidency — even though Sandberg saidthis month that she has no intention of leaving Facebook.

    • Mainstream Presidential Polls Fuel Illusion That Voters Are Stuck With Only Two Choices

      Corporate media are focused on Donald Trump’s accusations of “oversampling” on the part of Democrats against Republicans. He’s half right, because polls do oversample declared Democrats by up to 14 percent in polls that compose the RealClearPolitics average.

      The deeper story is that mainstream polls skew against youth and independents, who are undersampled in most polls up to a whopping 30 percent. A recent CNN poll sampled few people under the age of 50. Not one major poll lists alternative-party identification in the breakdown of its sample.

      The first problem with sampling involves definitions. Most polls sample “likely voters,” with a bit of expansion to count for a smattering of “registered voters.” So who are “likely voters”? Voters who (1) consistently vote—which automatically excludes people ages 18 to 22, who have no voting history, (2) identify with either of the two major parties and (3) say that they intend to vote in the next election. “Registered voter” polls don’t count first-time voters not yet registered to vote, so forget about the opinions of those college students who are signed up in enthusiastic campus get-out-the-vote drives.

      The questions asked in the polls reinforce established, dualistic views of the political spectrum. The presidential-preference questions in polls that deign to include Green Party nominee Jill Stein and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson don’t ask “Who is the candidate you want to vote for?” or “Which candidate is most aligned with your positions and values?” Nearly all the polls frame the presidential question as “If the election were held tomorrow, who would you vote for?” In a media landscape where we are told—through unbalanced news coverage, controlled debates and ceaseless cultural propaganda, down to the red and blue cups at 7-Eleven stores during election season—that only the Democratic and Republican candidates are considered viable, most people will, of course, hold their noses and vote for the lesser of two evils. It’s telling that the very next follow-up question reads, “If the election were ONLY held between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who would you vote for?” You might as well reword the questions to (1) “Which candidate do you think will win?” and (2) “Which of these two candidates do you hate the least?” Neither of these questions address the issue of who people want to be their next president.

    • [Old] The Electoral College Still Makes Sense Because We’re Not A Democracy

      The Electoral College has been on life support since a chad—specifically a “hanging” chad—tipped the White House to George W. Bush in 2000. The painful reality of how our Constitution works was never more apparent. The Gore/Lieberman ticket won the popular vote 50,994,086 to 50,461,092 but lost the electoral vote 266 to 271.

      There was a lot more to it, but the punchline is that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Bush the winner because he won the electoral vote. It’s a tribute to the American national character that we weathered that cataclysm without civil war, but it left a bad taste in the electorate’s mouth.

    • FBI’s Clinton Foundation investigation now ‘a very high priority,’ sources say

      The FBI’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation that has been going on for more than a year has now taken a “very high priority,” separate sources with intimate knowledge of the probe tell Fox News.

      FBI agents have interviewed and re-interviewed multiple people on the foundation case, which is looking into possible pay for play interaction between then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. The FBI’s White Collar Crime Division is handling the investigation.

      Even before the WikiLeaks dumps of alleged emails linked to the Clinton campaign, FBI agents had collected a great deal of evidence, law enforcement sources tell Fox News.

      “There is an avalanche of new information coming in every day,” one source told Fox News, who added some of the new information is coming from the WikiLeaks documents and new emails.

      FBI agents are “actively and aggressively pursuing this case,” and will be going back and interviewing the same people again, some for the third time, sources said.

      Agents are also going through what Clinton and top aides have said in previous interviews and the FBI 302, documents agents use to report interviews they conduct, to make sure notes line up, according to sources.

    • New emails suggest coordination between State Department and Clinton camp

      New revelations from the emails of Hillary Clinton campaign head John Podesta on Wednesday appeared to show coordination between the State Department and the Democrat’s campaign. The stolen emails released by Wikileaks suggested that a government official may have tipped Clinton off that news was about to break about the private email server she used as Secretary of State.

      The message, dated March 1, 2015, came from Department of State press aid Lauren Hickey. In it, she describes having “just cleared” a reply to a New York Times reporter about to publish the story.

      The mail also seemed to imply that the reply to the newspaper had been altered at the Clinton camp’s behest, saying: “Yes on your point re records – done below,” but without context, it was difficult to say what kind of change was made.

      State Department spokesman John Kirby rejected the implication that anything untoward was taking place. Speaking to the press on Wednesday, Kirby said that his department was always determined to “provide accurate information to the media” and that this sometimes required checking in with relevant parties to ensure veracity.

      Wednesday’s trove of emails about Clinton’s private server also included a note from Clinton aide Phillippe Reines saying “there’s a lot to respond to here, but first and foremost the premise is wrong. There is nothing wrong with anyone having personal email addresses or her emailing someone’s private account or vice versa. Maybe she was wishing [aide] Jake [Sullivan] a happy birthday. Or I was sending her a note about her mom. … We’re allowed to have personal lives.”

    • Trump child rape accuser calls off news conference over threats

      A woman who accused Donald Trump of raping her when she was 13 called off a press conference at which she planned to speak out after receiving threats, her attorney said.

      The unidentified accuser, known as Jane Doe, was set to make a public statement for the first time about the accusations Wednesday afternoon alongside lawyer Lisa Bloom.

    • Woman who accused Donald Trump of child rape said she could not go public as she received ‘terrible threats’

      The woman who accused Donald Trump of raping her when she was 13 years old at a party failed to show up at a press conference to give her first public statement as she “received terrible threats” and was “in great fear”.

      Her lawyer, Lisa Bloom, told reporters at a Los Angeles press conference that the accuser was “unable ultimately to do this”.

      Ms Bloom said the accuser planned to reschedule the press conference.

    • Secret Recordings Fueled FBI Feud in Clinton Probe

      Secret recordings of a suspect talking about the Clinton Foundation fueled an internal battle between FBI agents who wanted to pursue the case and corruption prosecutors who viewed the statements as worthless hearsay, people familiar with the matter said.

    • #PodestaEmails27: WikiLeaks releases latest batch of emails from Clinton campaign chair

      The latest batch consists of over one thousand emails, bringing the number released so far to over 44,000. WikiLeaks said it will publish a total of 50,000 emails in the run up to next week’s presidential election.

    • Feds probing Clinton Foundation were told to ‘stand down’

      Senior Justice Department officials gave a “stand down” order to FBI investigators digging into the Clinton Foundation, according to a report.

      The order was delivered in February — just as voting got under way in the Democratic presidential primary, a source told the Wall Street Journal.

      “The message was, ‘We’re done here,’” a source told the paper, saying that prosecutors were not moved by the FBI’s presentation of evidence it had gathered to that point.

      Soon after the presentation, Justice Department officials handed down the “stand down” message.

    • Report: Indictment ‘likely’ in FBI’s Clinton Foundation probe

      Two sources within the FBI told Fox News on Wednesday that the investigation of the Clinton Foundation is likely to lead to an indictment.
      Fox News’ Bret Baier said Wednesday that the FBI probe into a possible pay-to-play scheme between Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation has been going on for over a year.

      Sources told the news network that the investigation, which is conducted by the White Collar Crime division of the FBI, is a “very high priority.”

      One source further stated that the bureau collected “a lot of” evidence, adding that “there is an avalanche of new information coming every day.”

      Baier also said that the Clinton Foundation probe is more expansive than previously thought, and that many individuals have been interviewed several times throughout the course of the investigation.

    • The FBI controversy is the latest example of how we don’t believe in anything anymore

      The FBI has long been an iconic institution in American life. After the last week’s announcement by FBI Director James Comey that the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server continues, it’s hard to see it staying that way.

      Wrote Roz Helderman, Tom Hamburger and Sari Horwitz in a story headlined “After another release of documents, FBI finds itself caught in a partisan fray”: “For the second time in five days, the FBI had moved exactly to the place the nation’s chief law enforcement agency usually strives to avoid: smack in the middle of partisan fighting over a national election, just days before the vote.”

      Clinton and her allies — including President Obama(!) — are criticizing Comey for stepping into the fray so close to an election. Republicans, who spent the last several months castigating Comey for failing to indict Clinton over the email server when he initially wrapped the investigation in July, are now singing his praises.

      The result of the FBI-as-political-football narrative is nothing but bad for the Bureau.

    • Hillary Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speeches to be published by OR Books

      In the introduction, Assange writes: “Hillary Clinton made significant money from delivering these three speeches to Goldman Sachs immediately after stepping down from her role as Secretary of State. Now we can all profit from learning what the likely future president says behind closed doors.”

    • Jill Stein: Hillary Clinton Is ‘Queen of Corruption’

      Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein discusses Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the “politics of integrity.” She speaks with Bloomberg’s Tom Keene on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

    • WikiLeaks: Clintons Sell Political Favors to Clinton Foundation Donors

      On November 1, WikiLeaks released an email that revealed one of the most dubious pay-to-play examples between the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons.

      In a March 2015 email, Clinton Foundation director of foreign policy Amitabh Desai asked the Clinton campaign whether Bill Clinton could meet with Ukrainian Clinton Foundation billionaire donor Victor Pinchuk. The purpose of the meeting was to use Bill Clinton as a selling point to other Western leaders, so that Pinchuk could make a statement in opposition to Russian Leader Vladimir Putin.

    • State Dept ‘cleared’ reports on Clinton emails while in close touch with her team – #PodestaEmails

      The chain of emails that WikiLeaks released in its 26th batch of what has been dubbed the “Podesta emails” show communication between Clinton’s team and the State Department, right before the Times published its report.

      It appears the State Department and its former spokeswoman Jen Psaki personally “cleared” and made changes to the report.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Islam’s Apologists Encounter Reality

      One-third of Australians, according to the latest poll, oppose Muslim immigration — down on an earlier survey which put the figure at around fifty per cent. Whatever the actual number, it is heartening to note that good sense continues to defy the elites’ favoured narrative

    • Now we want censorship: porn controls in the Digital Economy Bill are running out of control

      The government’s proposal for age verification to access pornograpy is running out of control. MPs have worked out that attempts to verify adult’s ages won’t stop children from accessing other pornographic websites: so their proposed answer is to start censoring these websites.

    • Gawker and Hulk Hogan Reach $31 Million Settlement

      In fighting a lawsuit filed by the former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, Gawker Media lost nearly everything — the verdict, its founder, its independence — but it maintained its resolute conviction that it would win on appeal.

      On Wednesday, however, Gawker capitulated, settling with Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry G. Bollea, for $31 million, according to court documents, and bringing to a close a multiyear dispute that stripped the company of much that once defined it.

      Faced with a $140 million judgment in the invasion of privacy lawsuit brought by Hogan over the publication of a video that showed him having sex with a friend’s wife — and the later revelation that Peter Thiel, the billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur, was financing the lawsuit and others against the company — Gawker filed for bankruptcy in June and ultimately sold itself in August to Univision for $135 million.

    • Facebook Deletes Music Piracy Groups Following Complaints

      When peer-to-peer file-sharing was in its infancy, Internet forums were the places where the enthusiasts came to meet. Regular users hung out with file-sharing site owners, while developers offered the latest builds of their new clients.

      For a number of years, these forums housed thriving communities but slowly but surely most fell out of use, hit by a double whammy of failing to stay current alongside the advent of social media. For many, sites like Facebook and Reddit became the go-to place for discussion and news.

      Of course, these platforms can be used for outright piracy too, with users posting links to the latest content on groups dedicated to file-sharing. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the entertainment industries who often put sites like Facebook under pressure to take action.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Slapped wrists for “privacy law breakers” Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, and Mio

      It comes after the Norwegian Consumer Council filed a complaint against fitness app Runkeeper in May for illegally sending users’ personal data to a third party in the US, even when not in use.

      The new complaint against Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, and Mio will be sent on Thursday to both the data protection authority and Norway’s consumer ombudsman.

      None of the four companies gives users proper notice about changes in their apps’ terms and conditions, the complaint claims, and all of them collect more data than is strictly necessary to provide their service. Nor do the companies fully explain who they may share user data with, or for how long they retain that data.

      As part of its AppFail campaign earlier this year, the Norwegian Consumer Council analysed the terms and conditions and privacy policies of dozens of everyday mobile phone applications. It found that fitness trackers were particularly bad at looking after personal data. Following the 24-hour readout of those T&Cs—designed to shame companies into behaving better—some did update their policies.

    • Montreal Police Face a Storm of Criticism Over Surveillance of a Journalist

      Investigators looking into corruption within Montreal’s police force for almost six months focused their attention on one of Quebec’s most prominent journalists even though he had neither reported on the corruption case nor had any strong connection to it.

      Advocates of press freedom expressed alarm about revelations this week that the police had captured calls and text messages to and from an iPhone belonging to the journalist, Patrick Lagacé, a columnist with the Montreal newspaper La Presse, and were given permission to track his movements by using the phone’s GPS function.

      In response, legal scholars have questioned the legality of the police action, and journalism organizations and politicians have condemned the police monitoring. On Tuesday, the government promised greater protections for journalists.

      On Monday, La Presse reported that Mr. Lagacé had been spied on as part of an effort by Montreal’s police force to find the source of leaks to news outlets about an internal inquiry into allegations that members of a drugs and street-gang unit had fabricated evidence.

      From January to July this year, the police obtained 24 warrants, allowing them to track Mr. Lagacé’s movements by activating the GPS chip on his phone and to record all the numbers associated with texts and calls to and from the device, according to La Presse.

      Most of the warrants, the newspaper reported, were approved by Josée De Carufel, a justice of the peace who was previously a criminal prosecutor.

      Mr. Lagacé said he believed that the surveillance was prompted by general concern within the police force over leaks to the media by its members rather than by worries that the leaked information about the drugs and street-gang unit might jeopardize the investigation. He added that most of the articles based on the leaks that concerned the police did not appear in La Presse but in a competing newspaper and on a television network owned by the same corporation.

    • Facebook isn’t looking out for your privacy. It wants your data for itself
    • Admiral to price car insurance based on Facebook posts
    • Facebook blocks Admiral’s car insurance discount plan
    • Facebook scuppers Admiral Insurance plan to base premiums on your posts
    • Facebook must stop ads that exclude races: lawmakers

      The Congressional Black Caucus has called on Facebook to stop allowing advertisers to exclude racial and ethnic groups when placing housing ads in what lawmakers say is a violation of federal anti-discrimination housing laws.

      “We are writing to express our deep concerns with reports that Facebook’s ‘Ethnic Affinities’ advertising customization feature allows for advertisers to exclude specific racial and ethnic groups when placing housing advertisements,” members of the caucus wrote in a letter addressed to Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday.

      “This is in direct violation of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, and it is our strong desire to see Facebook address this issue immediately,” reads the letter.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Corruption-Fighting Minister Hopes for Obama Pardon

      The birthday cards and letters for the Reverend Edward Pinkney’s 68th birthday this month will be opened and searched before reaching him. That is part of the price the political activist is paying for taking on a powerful corporation in Michigan.

      Pinkney is currently serving a two-and-a-half to ten-year sentence — of which he has served 22 months already — after being found guilty of changing dates on a recall petition. Pinkney denies that he changed these dates.

      He believes that his actual crime was to challenge the Whirlpool Corporation and its political allies in the city of Benton Harbor, Michigan.

    • Amos Yee to be released on home detention

      Social activist Shelley Thio said in her Facebook that teen blogger Amos Yee will be released for Home Detention by the end of this week.

    • Amnesty staff blocked from Moscow office after officials seal premises

      Staff at Amnesty International in Moscow say their office has been broken into and sealed off by municipal officials.

      When employees arrived on Wednesday they found new locks on the door and a stamped paper across the entrance that demanded the office contact the city authorities, said Alexander Artemyev of human rights group’s Moscow office. No warning had been given.

      “Our neighbours told us that five men came around 9.30am, broke in and then changed the locks. When asked what they were doing, the men said it was a rent issue,” Artemyev told the Guardian.

    • Christian convert in French refugee camp told: ‘We will kill you’

      A Kurdish church leader smuggled to Britain says he received death threats – for having left Islam for Christianity – while living in makeshift camps in northern France.

      The church leader, who did not wish to be identified, spent nine months living in camps outside the French cities of Calais and Dunkirk. He told World Watch Monitor that Kurdish Muslims in both camps antagonised him.

      “In Calais, the smugglers [saw] my cross [round my neck], and said: ‘You are Kurdish and you are a Christian? Shame on you,’” he recalled. “I said, ‘Why? I’m in Europe, I’m free, I’m in a free country.’ They said, ‘No, you are not free, you are in the Jungle. The Jungle has Kurdish rule here – leave this camp.’ The smugglers were from inside the camp, and were Kurdish. They said to me, ‘We will tell the Algerians and Moroccans to kill you.’”

      The church leader, who taught art in his home in Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as helping to lead a church there, said he received further threats in the camp outside Dunkirk. “They [set] fire [to] my tent,” he said.

    • Calls to UK in Pro-Clinton media to suspend diplomatic immunity of Ecuador Embassy over WikiLeaks publication of Hillary’s emails

      As in almost all articles at mainstream Western media – staunch supporters of Ms Clinton’s candidacy and the geopolitical stances she represents – the Newsweek piece do not treat the main issues in the context: a) whether the published Clinton’s emails kept on private servers are a matter of state-secrets or of national security, b) whether the content of the revelations constitutes aggravating wrongdoings of for instance Hillary Clinton or the Clinton Foundation, the DNC tops, etc., or c) whether the revelations done by WikiLeaks refers to true facts –which should be the paramount concern of the analyses, instead of solely focusing in the messenger, or in how the true was obtained and by whom.

    • Controversy over WikiLeaks Podesta Emails Opens a Debate for Future Journalism

      After the DNC email leaks that led to the resignation of top DNC officials, WikiLeaks has intensified its activity. Since October 7, they began publishing emails from the private account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta. The archive contained transcripts of Clinton’s paid Goldman Sachs speeches that show her two faces and total disconnect from the middle class. It also revealed her private remarks dismissing climate activists. As usual, the leaks have been condemned by the status quo and Clinton loyalists. This time, a narrative that ‘Vladimir Putin was meddling in the election’ was used to discredit their publication, with the mainstream media creating an echo chamber of McCarthy-era style hysteria.

      Over the years, as WikiLeaks grew, incorporating their evolving strategies, criticism against the organization has also changed. Back in the day, WikiLeaks was slandered with Pentagon official’s rhetoric of “blood on their hands”, and was depicted as reckless hackers putting innocents in danger. Proclaimed liberal media institutions such as The New York Times abandoned WikiLeaks, with then executive editor Bill Keller differentiating it from his kind of journalism.

      Now, while the beam of transparency is focused on U.S. rigged contest for power, WikiLeaks is once again in the eye of media storms. Some criticize what they perceive as a politically driven information dump and question whether WikiLeaks has gone too far. This new sensation around WikiLeaks is now opening up a debate for all to examine the role of journalism and at the same time gives us an opportunity to understand how the organization’s efforts to open governments is changing the media landscape.

    • Truss: Extra 2,100 prison officers to be deployed

      An extra 2,100 prison officers are to be recruited to ease staffing shortages in jails in England and Wales, Justice Secretary Liz Truss will say later.

      Unveiling a White Paper, Ms Truss will say the new recruits should help to reduce attacks on staff and prisoners.

      She will detail plans for more autonomy for governors and ensure drug tests for inmates when they enter and leave jail.

      But Labour said the speech would be a “blatant PR stunt” unless comprehensive plans to address staff cuts were made.

    • I can’t vote. If you can, you must

      Although some people of color were allowed to vote, many still faced disenfranchisement prior to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. With the recent gutting of that act by the supreme court, the systematic disenfranchisement of people of color is alive and well today.

      Progress on suffrage has always tended to be incremental. And, far from being a closed chapter in our history, the fight to keep things moving forward continues to this day.

      For every thousand people living in the US, seven are incarcerated. That population consists disproportionately of black and brown people, whether accused and convicted of crimes or held by immigration authorities.

    • Turkey threatens EU refugee deal over visa lag

      Turkey could pull out of its refugee deal with the European Union this year if visa-free travel for its citizens is not introduced soon, the country’s foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, warned in an interview published Thursday.

      “Our patience is running out,” Çavuşoğlu told German newspaper Neuen Zürcher Zeitung. “We are waiting on an answer [on visa liberalization] in the coming days. If we don’t get one, we’ll terminate the agreement.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Internet Archive turns 20, gives birthday gifts to the world

      On May 12, 1996, like a benevolent mad scientist, Brewster Kahle brought the Internet Archive to life. The World Wide Web was in its infancy and the Archive was there to capture its growing pains. Inspired by and emulating the Library at Alexandria, the Internet Archive began its mission to preserve and provide universal access to all knowledge.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Alleged KickassTorrents Owner Stays in Prison, Court Rules

        A Polish appeals court has ruled that Artem Vaulin, the alleged owner of KickassTorrents, will remain in prison. The court refused the request for a supervised release and deems the accusations of the U.S. Government serious enough to keep him in custody.

      • File-Sharing Can Be Legalized Immediately, While Complying With All Treaties

        There’s consistent disinformation from the copyright industry that even if a national parliament wanted to legalize file-sharing, it is not permitted to do so because of international treaties. This disinformational notion is hogwash, and I’m going to show exactly how it’s possible to legalize the private sharing of music, movies, and other culture while complying with all international treaties.

        When determining whether it is possible to legalize file-sharing – defined as the noncommercial sharing of cultural works for personal use, without the consent of the distribution monopoly holder – and still stay in accordance with all international treaties, an obvious shortcut is to check if there is such legislation already somewhere, legislation that has been around for a long time and is accepted as a legislative precedent by the international community and the host legislature.

        It turns out there is. Specifically, there is a very little-known such exception in Sweden (a country and a law I’m very familiar with since it’s my native country), and Sweden is affected by pretty much all existing EU treaties: what applies to Sweden will apply to any EU/EFTA country, like Germany, Czech Republic, or Iceland. When computer programs were moved in under the copyright monopoly umbrella in the early 1990s, politicians actually considered the cost of enforcement of the distribution monopoly when designing the law, unlike today.

      • It’s Finally Legal To Hack Your Own Devices (Even Your Car)

        You may have thought that if you owned your digital devices, you were allowed to do whatever you like with them. In truth, even for possessions as personal as your car, PC, or insulin pump, you risked a lawsuit every time you reverse-engineered their software guts to dig up their security vulnerabilities—until now.

        Last Friday, a new exemption to the decades-old law known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act quietly kicked in, carving out protections for Americans to hack their own devices without fear that the DMCA’s ban on circumventing protections on copyrighted systems would allow manufacturers to sue them. One exemption, crucially, will allow new forms of security research on those consumer devices. Another allows for the digital repair of vehicles. Together, the security community and DIYers are hoping those protections, which were enacted by the Library of Congress’s Copyright Office in October of 2015 but delayed a full year, will spark a new era of benevolent hacking for both research and repair.

11.02.16

Links 2/11/2016: Fedora 25 Final Freeze, Minoca OS Under GPL

Posted in News Roundup at 10:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • What if Linux never existed?

    Linux has been around for a long time now, and many of us take it for granted as part of our everyday lives. But have you ever paused to consider what life would be like if Linux never existed? A writer at Network World recently explored this question based on some funny social media posts.

  • Linux Journal November 2016

    I like the idea of life hacking. I’m not sure it’s a term that you’ll find in the dictionary (although perhaps—dictionaries have some odd things in them now), but the idea of improving life by programmatically changing things is awesome. I think that might be why I’m such an open-source fan. When it’s possible to change the things you don’t like or improve on something just because you can, it makes computing far less mystical and far more enjoyable.

  • Desktop

    • Some Disappointed Apple Fans Are Moving To Ubuntu Linux

      At its October event, Apple tried hard to convince the users that its latest MacBook Pro is machine built for professional users. The company showed off the brand new Touch Bar that changed its appearance depending on the applications running on the screen. The new MacBooks are thinner and more powerful than ever. But, there’s something missing that’s driving away some diehard Apple fans.

      Firstly, Apple decided to ditch a large array of connectivity ports–HDMI ports, SD card slot, Thunderbolt 2 ports, and standard USB port. These ports have been replaced by 4 Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports. So, the same power user segment that’s being aimed by Apple, is expressing lots of concerns.

      Apart from the disappeared ports, these MacBooks have maximum 16GB of RAM. On the contrary, minimum 32GB RAM is becoming a standard for power users. While Microsoft is presenting itself as the new innovative tech company, some Apple loyalists are turning to another alternative, i.e., Linux.

    • Elementary, My Dear Siri!

      I’m not one prone to knee-jerk reactions, but I’m also not one to sit about idly without considering alternatives. So the first thing I did after the Apple keynote was to download a copy of Elementary and burn it to an SD card.

      An hour or so later, after checking that my Chromebook would work OK with it1, I installed from the live image to the SSD and began the process of figuring out whether, three years after I first tried it, Elementary is finally good enough for me as a development environment.

      Like last time, this isn’t a review per se, but rather a smattering of my impressions while trying to assess whether it suits me.

      I’m being realistic here – I know it’s not macOS, I don’t expect it to be macOS, it will not be a magical replacement for macOS for most people who share my current disenchantment with Apple, but I am very familiar with Linux, and most definitely need to consider moving to it in the long term given the way Apple has been neglecting Mac hardware and software over the past few years.

      So given this week’s keynote completely ignored desktops and that I sorely need to upgrade my six-year-old Mac mini, this is as good a time as any to evaluate what’s out there.

  • Server

    • AWS releases Amazon Linux container image for use in on-premises data centers

      Amazon Web Services (AWS), a division of Amazon that offers cloud computing and storage services, today announced that it has released a container image of its Amazon Linux operating system — which has, until now, only been accessible on AWS virtual machine instances — that customers can now deploy on their own servers.

      Of course, other Linux distributions are available for use in companies’ on-premises data centers — CentOS, CoreOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Canonical’s Ubuntu, and so on. Now companies that are used to Amazon Linux in the cloud can work with it on-premises, too. It’s available from AWS’ EC2 Container Registry. Amazon Linux is not currently available for instant deployment on other public clouds, whether Oracle’s, Google’s, Microsoft’s, or IBM’s.

  • Kernel Space

    • Fireside Chat: GKH Talks Licensing, Email, and Aging Maintainers

      No one aside from Linus Torvalds has more influence or name recognition in the Linux Kernel project than Greg Kroah-Hartman. More commonly known as GKH, the ex SUSE kernel developer and USB driver maintainer is now a Linux Foundation Fellow and the full-time maintainer of the -stable Linux branch and staging subsystem, among other roles. In a recent Fireside Chat with Kroah-Hartman at Embedded Linux Conference Europe, Tim Bird, Chair of the Architecture Group of the Linux Foundation’s CE Working Group, described him as the hardest working person he knows.

    • Linux 4.4.30

      I’m announcing the release of the 4.4.30 kernel. This fixes a bug in
      4.4.29 and older kernels by reverting two patches that should not have
      been applied.

      All users of the 4.4 kernel series must upgrade.

      The updated 4.4.y git tree can be found at:
      git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.4.y
      and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

      http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st…

    • Linux Kernel 4.4.30 LTS Fixes a Bug in 4.4.29 and Older Kernels, Update Now

      After informing the Linux community about the release and immediate availability of the Linux 4.8.6 kernel, renowned Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the Linux 4.4.29 LTS kernel.

      Linux kernel 4.4.29 LTS was a fairly normal maintenance update that brought changes to a total of 82 files, with 657 insertions and 358 deletions, according to the appended shortlog and the diff from Linux kernel 4.4.28 LTS announced a week ago. However, later that day Greg Kroah-Hartman bumped the version to 4.4.30, removing two patches that shouldn’t have been applied in the first place.

    • Hyperledger Eyes Mobile Blockchain Apps With ‘Iroha’ Project

      A blockchain project developed by several Japanese firms including by startup Soramitsu and IT giant Hitachi has been accepted into the Hyperledger blockchain initiative.

      Developed by Hyperledger member and blockchain startup Soramitsu, Iroha was first unveiled during a meeting of the project’s Technical Steering Committee last month. Iroha is being pitched as both a supplement to other Hyperledger-tied infrastructure projects like IBM’s Fabric (on which it is based) and Intel’s Sawtooth Lake.

    • It’s Bitcoin’s Birthday: Whitepaper Released 8 years Ago Today

      At the time, many people who first read the paper became interested in the background technology, and several wanted to see it in a working state.

      It seems very few knew that was going to happen.

      Once Bitcoin launched in 2009, the biggest success story in digital money was launched. Satoshi launched Bitcoin as open source software so anyone could use it, fork it and update it. At first, the early adopters were mainly from the cryptography community like Hal Finney, the recipient of the very first bitcoin transaction.

    • Web Pioneer Tries to Incubate a Second Digital Revolution

      Brian Behlendorf knows it’s a cliché for veteran technologists like himself to argue that society could be run much better if we just had the right software. He believes it anyway.

      “I’ve been as frustrated as anybody in technology about how broken the world seems,” he says. “Corruption or bureaucracy or inefficiency are in some ways technology problems. Couldn’t this just be fixed?” he asks.

      This summer Behlendorf made a bet that a technology has appeared that can solve some of those apparently human problems. Leaving a comfortable job as a venture capitalist working for early Facebook investor and billionaire Peter Thiel, he now leads the Hyperledger Project, a nonprofit in San Francisco created to support open-source development of blockchains, a type of database that underpins the digital currency Bitcoin by verifying and recording transactions.

    • ​New round of HPE software layoffs begins

      Linux Plumbers, the invite-only conference for core Linux developers, is usually a happy occasion, but not this time.

      Several top programmers came looking for work because they had just been laid off by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). And they weren’t the only ones. Last week, HPE laid off numerous OpenStack cloud developers.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Rust and Vala
      • Bézier curves, markers, and SVG’s concept of directionality

        In the first post in this series I introduced SVG markers, which let you put symbols along the nodes of a path. You can use them to draw arrows (arrowhead as an end marker on a line), points in a chart, and other visual effects.

        In that post and in the second one, I started porting some of the code in librsvg that renders SVG markers from C to Rust. So far I’ve focused on the code and how it looks in Rust vs. C, and on some initial refactorings to make it feel more Rusty. I have casually mentioned Bézier segments and their tangents, and you may have an idea that SVG paths are composed of Bézier curves and straight lines, but I haven’t explained what this code is really about. Why not simply walk over all the nodes in the path, and slap a marker at each one?

      • Rust and GObject

        From documentation Rust provides a low level and high level API to access common operations. Provides a set of assumptions to help its great features like automatic memory management, secure and concurrent data access. On high level side, Rust provides a rich set of common collection, iterators, tuples and others.

        For GObject interoperability, there is a project , and this too, I found to allow you to use GObject based libraries in Rust, while they depends on other project, or directly on GObject Introspection generated XML files to introspect these C libraries.

      • Meet Meow, a Purfect GNOME Menu Editor

        If you love using GNOME Shell but wish that it was easier to create and customise folders in the App View, here’s an app that might help.

      • GNOME Shell 3.23.1 Introduces Dual-GPU Integration, Mutter Adds Wayland Fixes

        We reported last week that the first milestone of the upcoming GNOME 3.24 desktop environment, due for release on March 22, 2017, arrived for early adopters, but the changes weren’t all that significant.

        A few days after the announcement for GNOME 3.23.1, the GNOME Shell 3.23.1 graphical interface and Mutter 3.23.1 window and composite manager made their appearance on the official FTP server, and looking at their changelogs, attached at the end of the article for reference, it appears there are plenty of new features to get excited for.

      • GNOME and Rust

        I’ve been keeping an eye on Rust for a while now, so when I read Alberto’s statement of support for more Rust use in GNOME, I couldn’t resist piling on…

        From the perspective of someone who’s quite used to C, it does indeed seem to tick all the boxes. High performance, suitability for low-level tasks and C ABI compatibility tend to be sticking points with new languages — and Rust kills it in those departments. Anyone who needs further convincing should read up on Raph Levien’s font renderer. The usual caveat about details vis-a-vis the Devil applies, but the general idea looks exactly right. Rust’s expressiveness and lack of baggage means it could even outperform C for non-trivial code, on top of all the other advantages.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • IPFire 2.19 Linux Firewall Distribution Switches to Unbound as DNS Proxy

        On the first day of November 2016, Michael Tremer from the IPFire project, an open source, professional, secure and hardened Linux-based firewall distribution, proudly announced the release of IPFire 2.19 Core Update 106.

        IPFire 2.19 Core Update 106 is the latest stable release of the Linux firewall OS, and it looks like it implements a new DNS proxy, namely Unbound, which replaces the Dnsmasq DNS forwarder and DHCP server used in previous releases. The decision was made because of the recent DNSSEC implementation by default in the distribution, which proves to offer better DNSSEC reliability, enhanced features, such as import of static leases, and improved performance.

      • 4MLinux 20.0 GNU/Linux Distribution Hits Stable Channel, Adds New Boot Options

        Today, November 1, 2016, 4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki informs us about the general availability of the final release of his independent 4MLinux 20.0 GNU/Linux operating system.

        4MLinux 20.0 has entered development at the beginning of September, when the Core edition was pushed to the Beta channels for early adopters, as well as for the 4MLinux developer to rebase all of his GNU/Linux distribution on the new system, which is now powered by the long-term supported Linux 4.4.27 kernel fully patched against the “Dirty COW” vulnerability.

    • Arch Family

      • Arch Linux 2016.11.01 Now Available for Download, Powered by Linux Kernel 4.8.6

        Today is the first day of November (still is in some countries), which means that a new ISO respin of the popular and lightweight Arch Linux operating system is now available for download.

        That’s right, Arch Linux 2016.11.01 is out, and it’s powered by the recently released Linux 4.8.6 kernel, which makes Arch Linux the first GNU/Linux distribution to offer a live and installable ISO image powered by the latest stable and most advanced Linux kernel version available, at least at the moment of writing this blog story.

      • Manjaro 16.10 “Fringilla” Released

        A new version of the Arch-based Manjaro Linux distribution is available and continues with its Xfce desktop choice while a KDE Plasma 5.8 version is also available.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Extends IT Automation Reach

        Using a more declarative approach to IT automation that doesn’t require IT operations staff to learn how to program has the obvious benefit of being simpler for more IT organizations to embrace. Now Red Hat is extending the reach of that approach with the release today of an update to the agentless Ansible open source framework that reaches deeper into the realms of networking, containers and the cloud.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 25 Linux Now in Final Freeze, Slated for Release on November 15, 2016

          ovember 1, 2016, was an important day on the release schedule of the forthcoming Fedora 25 Linux operating system, as it hit the Final Freeze development stage, leading to significant cut-offs.

          The Final Freeze stage is a very important step in the development process of any GNU/Linux distribution, which means that no new packages will be added to the operating system and its current state will be preserved until the final release, but not before it passes all tests for all supported hardware architectures. As usual, during the Final Freeze stage, only critical bug fixes are accepted, and new package versions will be pushed to the stable repos after the OS officially hits the streets.

        • Fedora 25′s Hybrid Graphics Improvements, To Support NVIDIA Wayland EGLStreams

          When Fedora 25 ships in (hopefully) two weeks it will contain much better support for hybrid graphics / Optimus systems thanks to improvements led by Red Hat.

        • Fedora 25 Is Vetting Their Switchable Graphics Support This Week

          For those with a NVIDIA Optimus laptop or other dual-GPU system, Fedora QA has organized a test day this week for testing the switchable graphics support for Fedora 25 that will be shipping later this month.

        • Hybrid Graphics and Fedora Workstation 25

          When we started the Fedora Workstation effort one thing we wanted to do was to drain the proverbial swamp of make sure that running Linux on a laptop is a first rate experience. As you see from my last blog entry we have been working on building a team dedicated to that task. There are many facets to this effort, but one that we kept getting asked about was sorting out hybrid graphics. So be aware that some of this has been covered in previous blog entries, but I want to be thorough here. So this blog will cover the big investments of time and effort we are putting into Wayland and X Windows, GNOME Shell and Nouveau (the open source driver for NVidia GPU hardware).

    • Debian Family

      • Debian developer completes 20 years with project

        The Debian GNU/Linux project is 23 years old and one of its developers has just completed two decades with the community Linux organisation.

        Steve McIntyre, who led the project in 2008 and 2009, joined Debian in 1996. He wrote that he had first installed Debian in late October that year, migrating over from his existing Slackware installation with the help of a friend. It took an entire weekend and he says he found it so painful that he thought of bailing out at many times.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Aporeto Announces Trireme, an Open-Source Security Project for Kubernetes and Docker
  • Trireme Open-Source Security Project Debuts for Kubernetes, Docker

    Network isolation isn’t the only way to secure application containers anymore, so Aporeto unveils a new security model for containers running in Docker or as part of Kubernetes cluster.
    Dimitri Stiliadis co-founded software-defined networking (SDN) vendor Nuage Networks in 2011 in a bid to help organizations improve agility and security via network isolation. In the container world, however, network isolation alone isn’t always enough to provide security, which is why Stiliadis founded Aporeto in August 2015. On Nov. 1, Aporeto announced its open-source Trireme project, providing a new security model for containers running in Docker or as part of a Kubernetes cluster.

  • Minoca OS: A new open source operating system

    Minoca OS is a general purpose operating system written completely from the ground up. It’s intended for devices looking to conserve power, memory, and storage. It aims to be lean, maintainable, modular, and compatible with existing software.

    In other words, it’s built for little devices that want a full-featured OS.

    On the app side, we’ve got a package manager (opkg), and a growing suite of packages like Python, Ruby, Git, Lua, and Node. Under the hood, Minoca contains a powerful driver model between device drivers and the kernel. The idea is that drivers can be written in a forward compatible manner, so kernel level components can be upgraded without requiring a recompilation of all device drivers.

  • Minoca Is A New GPLv3, General Purpose OS
  • ReactOS 0.4.3 Is Near With New Features, RC1 Released

    There are a lot of operating system updates to end out October and begin November… Even the “open-source Windows” ReactOS is out with a new test release.

  • OpenIndiana 2016.10 Released With MATE 1.14 Desktop, Drops Sun SSH

    The latest version of OpenIndiana, the Illumos-powered Solaris distribution letting OpenSolaris live on in community form, is now available.

  • OpenIndiana 2016.10 Unix OS Migrates to FreeBSD Loader, Adds MATE 1.14 Desktop

    OpenIndiana is a free and open-source Unix operating system, based on Illumos and derived from OpenSolaris. The latest version, 2016.10, was announced by Alexander Pyhalov on October 31, 2016.

    The OpenIndiana 2016.10 “Hipster” release comes with a large number of updated components, new features and under-the-hood improvements, but the most exciting ones are the migration to FreeBSD Loader, porting of Intel KMS (Kernel Mode Setting), implementation of Python 2.7 by default, removal of Sun SSH, and MATE 1.14 desktop, which is now integrated and installed by default.

  • Google “Eve” Kabylake System Gains Coreboot Support

    I haven’t seen Google announce any Intel Kabylake powered Chromebooks yet, but activity indicates that they may not be too far out with now having mainlined Coreboot support for a new device codenamed “Eve”.

  • 8 Open Source BPM Software Options

    Open source business process management (BPM) software appears to account for a large percentage of recent innovation in the broader BPM market.

    “Open source solutions are leading the evolution of the BPM technologies: from pure BPM solutions that automate processes, increase productivity and ensure regulatory compliance to business application platforms that include tools and capabilities to empower DevOps teams to effectively create and maintain business applications,” said Miguel Valdes Faura, CEO and founder of Bonitasoft, provider of an open source BPM platform.

    The trends in open source BPM software mirror the broader BPM market, said Phil Simpson, manager, BPM Product Marketing for Red Hat, mentioning a move away from on-premise deployments in favor of BPM-as-a-service, and adoption of more dynamic ad-hoc case management style flows in lieu of rigid process models.

  • Managing Production Systems with Kubernetes in Chinese Enterprises

    Kubernetes has rapidly evolved from running production workloads at Google to deployment in an increasing number of global enterprises. Interestingly, US and Chinese enterprises have different expectations when it comes to requirements, platforms, and tools. In his upcoming talk at KubeCon, Xin Zhang, CEO of Caicloud, will describe his company’s experiences using Kubernetes to manage production systems in large-scale Chinese enterprises.

  • Node.js Is Helping Developers Get the Most Out of JavaScript

    Node.js, the JavaScript runtime of choice for high-performance, low latency apps, continues to gain popularity among developers on the strength of JavaScript.

  • 10 tips for making your documentation crystal clear

    So you’ve some written excellent documentation. Now what? Now it’s time to go back and edit it. When you first sit down to write your documentation, you want to focus on what you’re trying to say instead of how you’re saying it, but once that first draft is done it’s time to go back and polish it up a little.

  • Apache Ignite Powers GridGain’s In-Memory Computing Platform

    Here at OStatic, we’ve often noted that whenever the Apache Software Foundation graduates an open source project to become a Top Level Project, it tends to bode well for the project. Just look at what’s happened with Apache Spark, for example.

    Last year, Apache, which is the steward for and incubates more than 350 Open Source projects, announced that Apache Ignite had become a top-level project. Ignite is an open source effort to build an in-memory data fabric that was driven by GridGain Systems. Now, GridGain Systems has announced that it is offering the Ignite-based GridGain Enterprise Edition in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace.

  • Nitrous.io shuts down, open source self-hosted version promised

    Nitrous.io, a Singapore and San Francisco-based cloud integrated development environment (IDE) provider, has announced it is to shut down its development platform and cloud IDE on November 14, with customers given until that date before their data is deleted.

    The company has stopped new signups, and said that payments made after October 16 will be refunded in full, as well as promising that subscriptions to any Nitrous email list will expire at the end of this month.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Forrester: OpenStack and AWS are Now Crowned Cloud Standards

      At the recent OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, nteroperability among OpenStack-powered clouds was trumpeted far and wide. And, in tandem with that, OpenStack proponents are also touting the fact that the open cloud computing platform has emerged as a de facto standard, alongside Amazon Web Services.

      Forrester Research’s latest report, “The State of Cloud Platform Standards, Q4 2016,” specifies that OpenStack and AWS are now the cloud standards. That’s quite something when you consider that OpenStack is only a few years old.

      There are, of course, numerous open cloud platforms out there. OpenNebula, Eucalyptus, and CloudStack are just a few of the choices. But Forrester Research reports that ”almost every public, private, and hosted private cloud provider has either already developed or is in the process of developing varying levels of support for the OpenStack APIs.”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GIMP 2.9.6 Readying New Clipboard, GUI Improvements

      GIMP is taking another step towards the long overdue GIMP 2.10 image program update with a new milestone release being on the horizon.

      The GIMP 2.9.6 release has yet to happen but its NEWS entry was updated for the pending release.

      What users can look forward to in GIMP 2.9.6 is a new clipboard implementation to copy/paste layers and layer groups, color tags, the mouse pointer dialogs and colors applied to images are now color-managed, various GUI additions, improvements to some of the built-in tools, a native WebP loader/exporter, and around 60 bug fixes over the earlier GIMP 2.9 development release.

    • Update NEWS for the GIMP 2.9.6 release
  • Public Services/Government

    • Emilia-Romagna ends its use of OpenOffice

      For the second time this year, an Italian public administration is ending its use of open source office productivity software. A source in the IT department of the Emilia-Romagna region confirmed to the Open Source Observatory last week that the region will end its use of OpenOffice. The region will move to a cloud-based proprietary office solution, others say.

      The IT department did not respond to emails seeking comments sent last week and yesterday. This news item will be updated with more information as it becomes available.

      On 31 October, a press statement by the region’s councillor for the Digital Agenda, Raffaele Donini, mentions the use of unspecified cloud solutions, which should reduce the number of pages printed by the administration each year by some 5 million. The switch would save EUR 700,000 per year.

      Update: the region took its decision to switch to a cloud solution on 24 October.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Wix gets caught “stealing” GPL code from WordPress

      Abrahami was alluding to the use in the WordPress text editor of code originally published as open source under the more permissive MIT public license, as Wix developer Tal Kol said explicitly in a followup post on Medium. Kol said that the code was developed in an attempt to collaborate with WordPress engineers—porting the Automattic, GPL-licensed editor to the React Native JavaScript platform for mobile apps. After a prototype was ready in June, Kol explained, he tweeted a link to the code to Automattic’s engineering team but didn’t get a response until October 28, when Mullenweg called Wix out for a GPL violation.

      The problem for Wix is that while it may very well have open-sourced the component it built using WordPress’ editor—which Kol says was in turn built using another editor licensed under the more permissive MIT open source license—the company then published the component as part of commercially licensed software. That action violates both the spirit and the letter of the GNU Public License, which requires anything built with GPL-licensed code to be distributed with the same GPL license. By adding the GPL-licensed editor module code to its own application, Wix essentially placed its whole mobile application under the scope of the GPL license.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • The Polls of the Future Are Reproducible and Open Source

      There’s a new poll aggregator in town. And it’s a monster, harnessing three of the most powerful ideas in science today: Bayesian inference, open-source software, and reproducible research.

    • Open Data

      • Open Source Data Sharing Software Takes Aim At Cancer

        Researchers collaborating in Pittsburgh have developed an open-source software resource that can better enable investigators studying cancer to process large amounts of genomic cancer data.

        The new resource, developed by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center can assist investigators in sorting through genomic cancer data to determine better methods of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

        The open-source software, which processes data generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project and is called TCGA Expedition, is described in an article in the journal PLOS ONE.

  • Programming/Development

    • Which ‘ancient’ programming language do you use the most?

      The definition of an “older” language is a little fuzzy. For many developers, the languages they are working with were created before they were born. For the purposes of this poll, we selected a few popular languages from Wikipedia’s History of programming languages article and selected the somewhat arbitrary cutoff of needing to have been created prior to 1980.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Paranoid Android: Erica May Be the Creepiest Robot Ever Built

      Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro is a weird dude. For the last couple of decades, he’s been on a quest to make the most lifelike android possible. His first creation was based on his daughter’s image and proved so frightening to his child that the machine had to be locked away in a crate. Later, Ishiguro–who dresses in all-black, like a Japanese Johnny Cash–made a machine that looks exactly like him. As you do.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Let’s Automate Let’s Encrypt

      HTTPS is a small island of security in this insecure world, and in this day and age, there is absolutely no reason not to have it on every Web site you host. Up until last year, there was just a single last excuse: purchasing certificates was kind of pricey. That probably was not a big deal for enterprises; however, if you routinely host a dozen Web sites, each with multiple subdomains, and have to pay for each certificate out of your own dear pocket—well, that quickly could become a burden.

      Now you have no more excuses. Enter Let’s Encrypt a free Certificate Authority that officially left Beta status in April 2016.

      Aside from being totally free, there is another special thing about Let’s Encrypt certificates: they don’t last long. Currently all certificates issued by Let’s Encrypt are valid for only 90 days, and you should expect that someday this term will become even shorter. Although this short lifespan definitely creates a much higher level of security, many people consider it as an inconvenience, and I’ve seen people going back from using Let’s Encrypt to buying certificates from commercial certificate authorities for this very reason.

    • Microsoft says Russia-linked hackers exploiting Windows flaw [Ed: So it says the back doors it gave the NSA are used by many others]

      Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) said on Tuesday that a hacking group previously linked to the Russian government and U.S. political hacks was behind recent cyber attacks that exploited a newly discovered Windows security flaw.

      The software maker said in an advisory on its website there had been a small number of attacks using “spear phishing” emails from a hacking group known Strontium, which is more widely known as “Fancy Bear,” or APT 28. Microsoft did not identify any victims.

      Microsoft’s disclosure of the new attacks and the link to Russia came after Washington accused Moscow of launching an unprecedented hacking campaign aimed at disrupting and discrediting the upcoming U.S. election.

    • Lack of cybersecurity standards leaves election process vulnerable [Ed: Windows in voting machines is a real issue [1, 2]]

      Hackers continue to exploit vulnerabilities in the U.S. political technology, highlighting the need for cybersecurity standards and guidelines to help protect voter information.

    • Windows zero-day exploited by same group behind DNC hack

      On Oct. 31, Google’s Threat Analysis Group revealed a vulnerability in most versions of Windows that is actively being exploited by malware attacks.

      Today, Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices group, acknowledged the exploit was being used actively by a sophisticated threat group—the same threat group involved in the hacks that led to the breach of data from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. And while a patch is on the way for the vulnerability, he encouraged customers to upgrade to Windows 10 for protection from further advanced threats.

    • How DNS Works: A Primer

      DNS has been in the news a great deal as of late. First, there was the controversy over the United States government essentially handing over control of the Internet’s root domain naming system. Then DNS made headlines when cybercriminals performed three separate distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on a major DNS service provider by leveraging a botnet army of millions of compromised IoT devices. Yet with all the hoopla surrounding DNS, it surprises me how many IT pros don’t fully understand DNS and how it actually works.

      DNS stands for Domain Name System. Its purpose is to resolve and translate human-readable website names to IPv4 or IPv6 addresses. Technically speaking, it’s not a necessary part of the networking processes. Rather, DNS simply makes it easier for human beings to know and remember what server they are trying to reach. For example, it’s much easier to remember that if you want to perform an internet web search, you type in www.google.com as opposed to the IPv4 address of 216.58.217.4.

    • Security Blogger Identifies Next IoT Vulnerability, This Time on Linux OS [Ed: not Linux is the problem here but bad developers of devices]

      Recommendations for mitigation include turning off global telnet open services and not using known vulnerable usernames or passwords. If a device is infected (or you’re not sure if it is), this can be removed by rebooting the infected devices, the post said. Of course it will then have to be secured against the intrusion, or it will be re-infected.

    • Top GCHQ director calls security industry “witchcraft”

      The National Cyber Security Center’s technical director Ian Levy has slammed commonly-accepted cyber security advice, equating the security industry to “witchcraft” and accusing it of deliberately creating unnecessary fear around cyber threats.

      Speaking at Future Decoded 2016, Microsoft’s annual digital transformation conference, Levy argued that cyber security is not transparent and that the industry is “blaming the user for designing the system wrong”.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Swiss police detain eight in a mosque raid

      Swiss police on Wednesday raided a mosque in the north of the country, detaining eight people, AP reported.

      Those in custody are suspected of calling for killing of Muslims refusing to attend prayers.

      Police searched the mosque in Winterthur, near Zürich, and the apartments of three people, according to a statement from the regional prosecutor’s office. Among those arrested was an Ethiopian imam who could have been behind the call for the killings.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiLeaks releases 26th batch of #PodestaEmails from Clinton campaign chair

      The latest release consists of over 1,100 emails. More than 43,000 emails have now been published by the whistleblowing site, which has pledged to make public a total of 50,000 in the run up to next week’s US presidential election.

      Tuesday’s email release divulged more details on the Clinton team’s reaction to her email server scandal and gave further insight into its relationship with the MSM.

    • The FBI Seems To Be Leaking Like A Sieve Concerning Details Of Clinton Email Investigation

      Okay, look, let’s face the fact that any time we write about anything having to do with either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, people in the comments go nuts accusing us of being “in the tank,” or “shills.” or even (really) “up the ass” of one candidate or the other (and, yes, this has happened with both of the major party candidates). I’m assuming it will happen again with this post, even though it’s not true. As should be abundantly clear, we’re not big fans of either choice (and don’t get us started on the third parties…). So when we talk about one, the other (or even both together), it’s not because we’re “biased” or trying to help or hurt one or the other. We’re just doing the same thing we always do, and which we never had a problem with before, which is reporting on policy related issues having to do with technology, free speech, the 4th amendment, law enforcement, etc. So, before you rush in to yell at us in the comments, please consider that maybe just because we’re not toeing the party line on your preferred candidate, maybe it’s not because we’re in the tank for the other one.

    • The Clinton-Obama Emails

      or everyone wondering why the Clinton email case never went to a grand jury, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey offers an explanation: After disclosure of emails between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama , “the president said during an interview that he thought Mrs. Clinton should not be criminally charged because there was no evidence that she had intended to harm the nation’s security—a showing required under none of the relevant statutes.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Why Dakota Is the New Keystone

      The Native Americans who have spent the last months in peaceful protest against an oil pipeline along the banks of the Missouri are standing up for tribal rights. They’re also standing up for clean water, environmental justice and a working climate. And it’s time that everyone else joined in.

      The shocking images of the National Guard destroying tepees and sweat lodges and arresting elders this week remind us that the battle over the Dakota Access Pipeline is part of the longest-running drama in American history — the United States Army versus Native Americans. In the past, it’s almost always ended horribly, and nothing we can do now will erase a history of massacres, stolen land and broken treaties. But this time, it can end differently.

    • State of emergency declared for Alabama after Colonial pipeline incident

      Alabama Governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for the state due to an explosion and fire involving Colonial Pipeline Co [COLPI.UL] in Shelby County on Monday.

      “The State of Emergency is effective November 1, 2016 through December 1, 2016 unless sooner terminated,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.

    • Dakota Access pipeline protesters crowdsource for $5,000, get $1 million

      The crowdsourcing goal was modest: $5,000, enough to help a few dozen people camping in North Dakota to protest the nearby construction of the four-state Dakota Access oil pipeline. The fund has since topped a staggering $1 million.

      The fund is among several cash streams that have provided at least $3 million to help with legal costs, food and other supplies to those opposing the nearly 1,200-mile pipeline. It may also give protesters the ability to prolong their months-long encampments that have attracted thousands of supporters, as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe pursues the fight in court.

  • Finance

    • Liam Fox’s attempt to secure pre-Brexit deal with EU suffers setback

      Liam Fox’s hopes of securing a trade deal with the European Union before Brexit have been dealt a blow by a leading member of the European parliament, who insists no deal can be struck until the UK has left the bloc.

      Danuta Hübner, a former Polish government minister who became the country’s first European commissioner, said it would not be possible for the UK to conclude a trade deal while still an EU member.

      Now an MEP, she chairs the European parliament’s constitutional affairs committee, which will be responsible for vetting any post-Brexit free-trade agreement with the UK.

      In an interview with the Guardian, she stressed negotiations on Britain’s EU exit under article 50, due to begin next year, would be on a different track to talks on the future relationship.

      “Formally you cannot conclude or even negotiate the agreement that belongs to a third-country situation while you are still a member. Article 50 is only about withdrawal and only when you are out can [you] negotiate another agreement.”

    • European Taxi Unions Merge to Create United Front Against ‘Uber Lobby’

      In Spain, as in almost all other markets it has entered, Uber has faced pushback from authorities, protests by taxi drivers, and a rash of rival startups looking to get their own piece of the lucrative ride-hailing market. But the latest attempt to challenge the US company’s hegemony in the taxi app market is a different beast. Perhaps realizing the difficulties in relying on regulation to keep Uber out, taxi drivers in Spain announced this week plans to create their own app.

      This is not the first time taxi drivers have tried to beat Uber and its ilk at their own game. The last few years have seen a rash of rival apps brought out by taxi drivers, but this approach faces considerable challenges, not least winning over customers from big, established brands with multi-billion dollar budgets.

    • Wells Fargo blackballed employees who refused to commit fraud, forcing them out of the industry forever

      Earlier this month, Planet Money aired an interview with a Wells Fargo whistleblower who was fired for trying to alert the bank to the millions of criminal frauds being committed against its customers, and we learned that the whistleblower had been added to a confidential blacklist used by the finance industry, preventing her from ever getting work in the industry again.

      This week’s Planet Money (MP3) airs an interview with another Wells Fargo whistleblower who resigned when the bank made him recant his complaints to upper management, and then put pressure on him to engage in the same frauds as his colleagues. This whistleblower, too, was unable to get work at any other bank, and it wasn’t until a sympathetic hiring manager at a rival bank told him confidentially that he had been blacklisted that he found out why.

      The blacklist is called “U5,” and it’s maintained by the finance institutions as a way of alerting each other to fraudsters who are fired for breaking finance rules. The list was designed to protect banks from fraud, but it has no defenses against fraudulent banks.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Dems should blame Hillary, not Comey, for the ‘October surprise’

      Before Democrats burn James Comey in effigy, they should think about how the FBI director came to have an outsized influence in the election in the first place.

      It’s not something Comey sought or welcomed. A law enforcement official who prizes his reputation, he didn’t relish becoming a hate figure for half the country or more. No, the only reason that Comey figures in the election at all is that Democrats knowingly nominated someone under FBI investigation.

      Once upon a time — namely any presidential election prior to this one — this enormous political and legal vulnerability would have disqualified a candidate. Not this year, and not in the case of Hillary Clinton.

    • WikiLeaks: Clinton Foundation Plagued by Corruption and Conflict

      On November 1, WikiLeaks released an email from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta that provided perspective into the corrupt inner conflicts of the controversial non-profit the Clinton Foundation.

      “I cannot stress enough that if this is not handled appropriately it will blow up,” wrote Tina Flournoy, Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, in an April 8 2015 email to Podesta. The subject of the email was “CHAI” referring to the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

      The day before, on April 7, Flournoy noted in an email to Podesta and other Clinton staff, “do you guys know where we are – as of today – on CHAI? That needs to be discussed – but he’s about to lose it if we don’t wrap the call.”

      A 2015 New York Times article explained the tensions between CHAI CEO Ira Magaziner, and the rest of the Clinton Foundation, based on a performance review of Magaziner and by CHAI’s board, an influential member of which is Chelsea Clinton. “Ira’s ‘paranoia’ was mentioned by several board members to encompass Ira’s general mistrust of the board and its intentions,” the performance review noted.

    • CNN Gets Caught in Cheating Scandal

      That’s not the way CNN and Brazile reacted when exposed by the WikiLeaks emails. In the first incriminating email, Brazile told the Clinton team, “From time to time I get the questions in advance” and shared a question on the death penalty that Clinton would be asked on CNN’s March 13 town hall.

    • Hillary Supporters Are Still Trying To Pretend Nothing’s Wrong, And It’s Hilarious

      If you want to have an easy condescending laugh at someone else’s expense (and who doesn’t?), type the words “non story” into the Twitter search bar and look how many Hillary Clinton supporters are using that phrase to try and spin away the FBI’s discovery of new evidence pertinent to the criminal investigation of their candidate. Use quotation marks. You can do it with Facebook’s search function too, just make sure you click “Latest” to get the last few days’ worth of spin.

    • Corruption is the cornerstone of the Clinton campaign

      Reopening Hillary Clinton’s FBI investigation isn’t a political ploy, nor is it an “October Surprise.” But it could be God’s early Christmas gift to America.

      Hillary Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, says she doesn’t know how her emails showed up on husband Anthony Weiner’s computer. The FBI stumbled upon another treasure trove of Clinton-related emails while investigating Abedin’s now estranged husband, who is under investigation himself for allegedly exchanging lewd messages with a 15-year old girl.

      Additional emails released in August found that Abedin carelessly toted around classified government information in her car, once asking Clinton’s personal assistant to intercept “a bunch of burn stuff in the pocket of my front seat” she’d left unattended.

      If this wasn’t so incredibly dangerous it would be Saturday Night Live-worthy.

      Despite how we feel about WikiLeaks, Americans should be thanking the good Lord the belly of the beast that is Hillary Clinton has been exposed for what it is. Emails have revealed, as the old song goes, corruption so high, you can’t get over it, so wide, you can’t get around it, and so deep, you can’t get under it.

    • Debunking Trump’s “secret server”

      This is nonsense. The evidence available on the Internet is that Trump neither (directly) controls the domain “trump-email.com”, nor has access to the server. Instead, the domain was setup and controlled by Cendyn, a company that does marketing/promotions for hotels, including many of Trump’s hotels. Cendyn outsources the email portions of its campaigns to a company called Listrak, which actually owns/operates the physical server in a data center in Philidelphia.

      In other words, Trump’s response is (minus the political bits) likely true, supported by the evidence. It’s the conclusion I came to even before seeing the response.

      When you view this “secret” server in context, surrounded by the other email servers operated by Listrak on behalf of Cendyn, it becomes more obvious what’s going on. In the same Internet address range of Trump’s servers you see a bunch of similar servers, many named [client]-email.com. In other words, trump-email.com is not intended as a normal email server you and I are familiar with, but as a server used for marketing/promotional campaigns.

    • Clinton Loyalist Thought Super PAC Coordination With Campaign Was “Skirting if Not Violating Law”

      Neera Tanden, president of the liberal Center for American Progress and policy director for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, is arguably Clinton’s most fervent supporter. In one of the hacked emails to and from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta published by WikiLeaks, Tanden emphasized that “I would do whatever Hillary needs always.”

      But as a recently released email chain shows, even Tanden was concerned in May last year that plans of a pro-Clinton Super PAC to directly coordinate with the campaign were “shady” and “skirting if not violating [the] law.”

      That Super PAC’s coordination with the Clinton campaign has since become the subject of a complaint to the Federal Election Commission from the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington, D.C., watchdog organization.

    • Susan Sarandon Goes Full ‘Bernie Or Bust,’ Endorses Jill Stein

      Actress and activist Susan Sarandon is backing Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein instead of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

      In a letter published on Stein’s campaign website, Sarandon cites Clinton’s lack of support for a $15 minimum wage and her silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline as some of her reasons for not supporting the candidate.

      “Fear of Donald Trump is not enough for me to support Clinton, with her record of corruption,” Sarandon’s letter reads. “Now that Trump is self-destructing, I feel even those in swing states have the opportunity to vote their conscience.”

      Sarandon was a vocal champion of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) throughout the Democratic presidential primary, and was among his “Bernie or bust” supporters who said they likely wouldn’t back Clinton’s candidacy if the senator lost the primary.

    • Thankin’ Stein

      Green Party candidate Jill Stein has not endorsed Donald Trump, and she has expressed wariness of either Trump’s or Clinton’s winning the presidency.

    • WikiLeaks: ‘Kept Me Out of Jail’: Top DOJ Official Involved in Clinton Probe Represented Her Campaign Chairman

      The Justice Department official in charge of informing Congress about the newly reactivated Hillary Clinton email probe is a political appointee and former private-practice lawyer who kept Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta “out of jail,” lobbied for a tax cheat later pardoned by President Bill Clinton and led the effort to confirm Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

    • Clinton aide advised: ‘Dump all those emails’

      Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman advised a longtime aide that they were “going to have to dump all those emails” on the day that a report revealed Clinton’s exclusive use of a private email server while secretary of State, according to stolen emails released Tuesday by WikiLeaks.

      “Not to sound like Lanny, but we are going to have to dump all those emails so better to do so sooner than later,” says the March 2015 message, labeled as from John Podesta to Cheryl Mills and apparently referencing longtime Clinton confidant Lanny Davis.

      “Think you just got your new nick name,” Mills replied.

      Clinton campaign officials have refused to confirm the authenticity of the emails, which are believed to have been stolen from Podesta’s personal account by Russian government hackers.

      Previously released emails have revealed some advisers were frustrated that Clinton hadn’t made information about the server public sooner.

      “Why didn’t they get this stuff out like 18 months ago? So crazy,” policy adviser Neera Tanden wrote to Podesta that same evening, March 2, 2015.

      “Unbelievable,” Podesta replied.

    • All The Dumb Sh!t Trump Has Done As Nominee In One

      Donald Trump has never met a person he didn’t want to publicly shame. Google the words “Donald Trump feuds” and you’ll get hundreds of articles detailing spats with random people like world-renowned architect Frank Gehry and comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who, in the fallout of his feud with Trump, said, “If God gave comedians the power to invent people, the first person we would invent is Donald Trump.”

    • Ajamu Baraka Makes His Case to the People of Baltimore

      The Real News profiles scholar, human rights activist and Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate Ajamu Baraka on a recent visit to Baltimore

    • CNN Debate Attendee Reacts to Her Question Being Leaked to Clinton Campaign

      On Tuesday’s Happening Now, Fox’s Jenna Lee spoke with the woman who asked the question that former CNN contributor Donna Brazile gave to Hillary Clinton‘s campaign before a CNN presidential debate.

      Lee-Anne Walters identified herself as the “woman with a rash” who wanted to ask Clinton about her plan to address the poison water crisis that continues to afflict Flint, Michigan. Hacked emails from WikiLeaks revealed that when Brazile was still with her old network, she somehow got hold of Walters’ question, and then sent campaign chairman John Podesta advanced notice of what was coming.

      When asked how she felt about the news, Walters said that Clinton “should be disqualified because she had had an advantage she shouldn’t have had.” Walters also said that she was “disgusted” by Clinton’s answer, describing it as a “cop-out” that would not adequately address the lead in the city’s water.

    • Make America Think Again: Why You Should Consider Jill Stein

      You just cannot make up the sort of things we have seen this wild, sordid election cycle. Is it any wonder that sixty percent of Americans think that we need another political party in the United States?

      A vote for Jill Stein would help build such a party. The Greens have been around since 1984 and have had some limited election successes. This year, they have managed to get an all time high number of states, 45, including the District of Columbia, that feature their candidate, Jill Stein, on the Presidential ballots. This came about during an all out effort by the Greens for ballot access across the country. Many Bernie Sanders supporters flocked to the Stein campaign after his withdrawal from the Democratic Presidential race.

    • They Don’t Care About Us

      The Podesta emails show that Democratic power brokers won’t reward labor’s unwavering loyalty or record contributions.

    • Presidential Candidates Dr. Jill Stein & Gov. Gary Johnson [Pt. 1]

      Dr. Jill Stein is a mother, physician and longtime teacher of internal medicine. Also the co-author of two major environmental reports — In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development and Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging — she has dedicated years of public service as an environmental-health advocate. She has testified before numerous legislative panels as well as local and state governmental bodies, playing a key role in the effort to get the Massachusetts fish advisories to better protect women and children from mercury contamination. Her first foray into politics was in 2002, when she ran for Governor of Massachusetts. Dr. Stein is again running to be the Green Party nominee for President in 2016.

    • Democratic megadonor bankrolls ‘Republicans for Clinton’ super PAC

      Most of the money behind an upstart “Republicans for Clinton” super PAC has come from billionaire Democratic megadonor Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook.

      According to a Center for Public Integrity review of new campaign finance filings, Moskovitz has contributed $250,000 to the R4C16 super PAC. That represents about 70 percent of the group’s income through Oct. 19.

      R4C16 nevertheless touts itself as “a grassroots movement” of “concerned Republicans who are committed to vote for Hillary Clinton for president to defeat Donald Trump.”

      During the final presidential debate last week in Nevada, the super PAC sponsored an anti-Trump mobile billboard with the message “DON’T GROPE. VOTE,” which traversed the Las Vegas strip for hours.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • 15 Temples Vandalised In Bangladesh Over Facebook Post

      An angry mob vandalised at least five Hindu temples and attacked property in Bangladesh after an alleged Facebook post mocking one of Islam’s holiest sites, police and residents said Monday.

      Scores of people attacked the places of worship late Sunday in the eastern town of Nasirnagar after a local Hindu fisherman allegedly posted an edited photo on social media of a Hindu deity inside the black cube-shaped Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

      District police chief Mizanur Rahman said two Islamist groups had been demonstrating to demand the arrest and execution of the fisherman when a group of between 100 and 150 men broke away and attacked the temples.

      A local Hindu community leader said at least 15 temples were vandalised and numerous Hindu idols were smashed during the hour-long rampage.

    • Turkey detains editor of secular opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet and bans media reporting on it

      Turkish courts have ordered a media blackout on reporting the detention of the editor-in-chief of secularist opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet.

      Murat Sabuncu was detained while authorities searched for executive board chairman Akin Atalay and writer Guray Oz, the official news agency Anadolu said.

      Police were searching the homes of Mr Atalay and Mr Oz, the agency added.

      CNN Turk said police have issued detention warrants for 13 of the paper’s journalists and executives.

    • Louis Smith banned for two months by British Gymnastics after ‘mocking Islam’ in leaked video

      Louis Smith has been given a two-month ban by British Gymnastics after he appeared to mock Islam in a video that emerged last month.

      The four-time Olympic medallist has already apologised after a video, filmed by Smith that included his friend and retired fellow gymnast Luke Carson, mimicked Islamic prayer practices.

      The incident happened a month after Smith competed at the Rio Olympic Games, where he won a silver medal in the men’s pommel horse.

      He issued a statement soon after the video was leaked to the media to say he was “deeply sorry” for his “thoughtless actions”. The 27-year-old also said that his heavy training regime during his gymnastic career has not allowed him to “behave like an idiot” when he was younger, but accepted that his actions were inappropriate nonetheless.

    • YouTube Signs Landmark Deal to End Music Video Blocking in Germany

      After years of legal battles, YouTube and German music rights group GEMA have reached a landmark licensing agreement. As a result, Germans now have access to tens of thousands of music videos that were previously “not available” in their country.

    • YouTube Censors Video on … Left-Wing Censorship

      What do you suppose happens on YouTube to a video that is a “discourse on the First Amendment and the tactics that progressives are using to limit speech and political engagement by conservatives”? Well, according to the Wall Street Journal, it falls victim to an algorithm with absolutely no sense of irony.

      A video titled “The Dark Art of Political Intimidation” was posted last week by WSJ columnist Kimberly Strassel as a PragerU lecture. “Within several hours of PragerU posting the video,” said a WSJ editorial, YouTube placed it in ‘restricted mode,’ making it inaccessible to schools, libraries and young Americans whose parents have enabled YouTube technology filters.”

    • YouTube Finally Buries The Hatchet With GEMA, Meaning People In Germany Can Watch Videos Again

      Almost four years after we noted that the fight between German collection society GEMA and YouTube had gone on way too long, it looks like it’s finally been settled. If you don’t know, way back when, GEMA, which is effectively a mandatory copyright royalty collector in Germany, demanded insane rates for any music streaming on YouTube. Apparently, it initially argued that a stream on YouTube was no different than a purchase on iTunes, and thus it should be paid the same rate. In 2009, it asked for 17 cents per video view (which was a decrease from the 37.5 cents per stream it had asked for earlier). 17 cents. Anyone who knows anything about how the internet works and how advertising works knows that’s insane. YouTube was paying out a decent chunk of its advertising revenue to other collection societies at a fraction of a penny per view, which is inline with the potential ad revenue.

    • Chinese Live-Streaming Apps Employing Censorship Against Rivals

      Chinese video services have long censored taboo topics to promote the government’s vision of a “harmonious society.” Now some popular providers are turning the same tools on each other, using blacklists to shut out rival platforms, according to a research group.

      Live-streaming video services in China have grown into a $2.5 billion industry by featuring everything from celebrities cooking lunch at home to women seductively eating bananas. But the competition for fickle viewers is such that several of the largest players have quietly scrubbed mentions of rivals along with political red-flags such as party leaders’ names, according to Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto.

    • Researchers reverse-engineer Chinese streaming services to learn how they’re censored

      As live streaming apps surge in popularity in China, the companies profiting from the craze are pulling out all the stops to censor millions of users and avoid the wrath of a government intent on maintaining a tight control over the flow of information.

      A new report from the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs describes how China’s biggest live streaming apps work to shut down discussion on everything from sex and gambling to political gaffes and government corruption.

    • Civil rights groups take Facebook to task over content censorship
    • Rights groups ask Facebook to clarify policies on content removal
    • Facebook accused of censorship
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Clinton Emails Could Help ex-NSA Contractor Who Took Terabytes Home, Attorneys Say

      In the four years Hillary Clinton sent and received State Department correspondence using a private and insecure email system, Harold T. Martin III allegedly stockpiled classified information inside his Maryland home and an unlocked shed.

      Martin faces charges for alleged theft of government documents and mishandling classified information that carry up to 11 years in prison, and he’s been behind bars since his August arrest, with prosecutors saying they intend to file more serious Espionage Act charges, often used by the Obama administration to go after leakers and whistleblowers.

    • Ex-FBI Chief Reviews Security For Booz Allen After NSA Contractor Arrest

      Consultant firm Booz Allen Hamilton has engaged the services of former FBI director Robert Mueller for an external review of its security practice after one of its employees contracted with the National Security Agency (NSA) was arrested on charges of stealing classified information, reports Reuters. In three years this is the second Booz Allen staff with NSA to have been involved in a controversy, the first being Edward Snowden who leaked classified files in 2013.

      Prosecutors allege that Harold Thomas Martin had been downloading secret documents for over two decades and stolen at least 50 terabytes of classified information. The files seized from Martin’s home include “specific operational plans against a known enemy of the United States and its allies.”

    • ShadowBrokers Release More Alleged Equation Group Data

      Data purports to show configuration details of servers that NSA allegedly hacked and used to host exploits

      For the second time in the last three months, a group that calls itself ShadowBrokers has publicly released data allegedly purloined from the Equation Group, an outfit that many consider to be the cyber hacking arm of the National Security Agency (NSA).

      In August, ShadowBrokers rattled many in the security industry when they leaked details on highly classified hacking tools and exploits that they claimed the NSA had developed and used over the years for breaking into systems belonging to US adversaries.

    • ShadowBrokers dump Equation group hacked servers in publicity push
    • Shadow Brokers Dump List of Servers Hacked by the NSA’s Equation Group
    • ShadowBrokers Dumps Lists of Equation Group Hacked Servers
    • ShadowBrokers Data Dump Leaks Compromised Servers Used By NSA For Hacking Operations
    • Despite its Nefarious Reputation, New Report Finds Majority of Activity on the Dark Web is Totally Legal and Mundane

      Dark web data intelligence provider Terbium Labs has conducted the industry’s first data-driven, fact-based research report that looked to identify what’s really taking place on the far corners of the Internet. For most, the term dark web immediately conjures thoughts of illegal drug sales, pornography, weapons of mass destruction, fraud and other criminal acts. The reality however is that the bulk of activity appearing on the dark web is much like the content and commerce found on the clear web. In fact, research found that nearly 55% of dark web content is legal.

      “What we’ve found is that the dark web isn’t quite as dark as you may have thought,” said Emily Wilson, Director of Analysis at Terbium Labs. “The vast majority of dark web research to date has focused on illegal activity while overlooking the existence of legal content. We wanted to take a complete view of the dark web to determine its true nature and to offer readers of this report a holistic view of dark web activity — both good and bad.”

    • Researchers Claim AI Can Identify Gang Members on Twitter

      Social media feeds contain a wealth of personal information: daily gripes, tastes in music and movies, and plans for nights out. It’s no wonder that police are interested in mining that data for insights into where crime might spring up.

      But can these digital artifacts, taken together, say anything deeper about who you really are? A number of experts believe so: In the near future, algorithms trained on this sort of information may make important decisions about individuals.

      Here’s a recent example. Researchers from the Ohio Center of Excellence in Knowledge-enabled Computing (Kno.e.sis) at Wright State University, in a paper posted to the arXiv preprint server, say they’ve devised a deep learning AI algorithm that can identify street gang members based solely on their Twitter posts, and with 77 percent accuracy.

    • How Canada’s Anti-Cyberbullying Law Is Being Used to Spy on Journalists

      Patrick Lagacé, a columnist for Montreal’s La Presse newspaper, says that police told him he was a “tool” in an internal investigation when they tapped his iPhone’s GPS to track his whereabouts and obtained the identities of everyone who communicated with him on that phone.

      Lagacé alleges that this surveillance was designed to intimidate and discourage potential sources within the Montreal police department from approaching him with information for his story.

      Police obtained a warrant for this under the hugely controversial Bill C-13, which gave investigators new powers, privacy lawyer David Fraser noted in an interview. The bill was initially sold as combatting cyberbullying and the unwanted publication of intimate images online, also known as “revenge porn.”

      “These laws are presented with certain scenarios in mind, but these are laws of general application that can be used for any offence,” Fraser said. “We need to be very careful in parsing, and frankly, not believing, the objectives that politicians use [when selling the public on the need for these laws]. We need to cut through that and look at the substance of the law to see how they can be used, and more importantly, abused.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • These Native American Dakota Access Pipeline protesters say they were held in kennels after being arrested

      After a day of clashes between police and demonstrators, at least 140 protesters were arrested near the Dakota Access Pipeline route last Thursday. Now some of the Native American activists arrested say they were kept in dog kennel-like enclosures and that police wrote identification numbers written on their arms.

      One protest coordinator who was arrested, Mekasi Camp-Horinek, told the Los Angeles Times police wrote a number on his arm and kept him and his mother in a mesh enclosure that appeared to be a dog kennel, which did not have any bedding or furniture.

    • Christian priest pelted with stones by children shouting ‘Allahu Akhbar’

      The Ethiopian vicar was visiting the town of Raunheim on the outskirts of Frankfurt when the pre-teens started throwing stones at him.

      Dressed in traditional priest’s gear and wearing a cross around his neck, the 47-year-old was walking to the Russian Orthodox chapel in Frankfurter Straße with a local priest, who wished to remain anonymous, when he was attacked.

      The three children, aged between 10 and 12-years-old, shouted “Allahu Akhbar” as they threw the stones, the other priest who was visiting from a nearby church said.

    • Dakota pipeline protesters say they were detained in dog kennels; 268 arrested in week of police crackdown

      Tens of thousands of people have checked in on Facebook at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation over the past few days. They are expressing solidarity with the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota, which have faced an increasingly brutal backlash from police.

      Native American activists on the ground recently told reporters they had been detained in dog kennels after being arrested at protests against the proposed pipeline. Other protesters have been pepper-sprayed by police and targeted with beanbag bullets as the militarized police crackdown has escalated.

      For months, indigenous groups at Standing Rock have led protests against the $3.8 billion pipeline, which will transfer oil nearly 1,200 miles, from North Dakota south to Illinois.

      Native Americans, who call themselves water protectors rather than protesters, warn that the pipeline will contaminate their lone source of drinking water and pollute their land. Thousands of environmental and social justice activists from around the country have joined their demonstrations in solidarity.

    • Armed migrants fight running battles in the French capital

      A MIGRANT turf war erupted into violence on the streets of one of Paris’ trendiest neighbourhoods early this morning as asylum seekers beat each other to a pulp with wooden clubs.

    • Canadian Police Use Cell Tower Dumps To Text 7,500 Possible Murder Witnesses

      The police are utilizing “dumps” from cell towers in the area to obtain these phone numbers. And that’s all they’ve obtained, apparently. Using the list of connected phones in the area at the time of the murder, the police are sending text messages asking recipients to fill out a website questionnaire to help police find the killer.

      As much as this might seem like an intrusion, it’s probably preferable to the alternative: sending out dozens of officers to question potentially thousands of witnesses. Obviously, it works out well for the police. But it also works out for citizens. Nothing obliges anyone to respond to the unsolicited texts and answering a few questions on a website is far less annoying than being questioned at home by officers peeking through open doors to see if they can spot anything resembling indicia of criminal activity. Why make the entire day a waste? Why not make a few ancillary arrests while investigating an unrelated crime?

      Unfortunately, it appears ignoring the message (or sending back “UNSUBSCRIBE”) isn’t going to keep the cops from using your phone for their communications.

    • DOJ Finally Releases Its Internal, Mostly-Vague CFAA Prosecution Guidelines

      I’d imagine the DOJ is more concerned about crafty cybercriminals beating them in the tech arms race than it is about legislators’ inability to reform the CFAA (something the DOJ routinely opposes). The “Intake and Charging Policy” memo [PDF] for the DOJ’s prosecution of cybercrimes lists a number of factors to be considered before pursuing federal charges.

      The first key is the sensitivity of the information or system accessed “without authorization,” followed by national security considerations and economic impact. Public safety is also a factor. The document points out that information obtained without authorization can be deployed to stalk and harass officials and lower level members of the general public.

      But the definition of “unauthorized access” isn’t explored adequately in the legal memo, leaving this to be answered on a case-by-bad case basis. The prosecutions of Aaron Swartz and Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer suggest the DOJ allows this definition to be set by the complainant rather than by policy. When MIT or AT&T complain, the government listens.

    • If You Want To Believe This Country Is Falling Apart, Just Ask Those Who Are Supposed To Be Keeping It Together

      Nothing sells like fear. And the Department of Public Safety is in need of some sales. There’s $800 million in border security dollars at stake. At least. The DPS would like $300 million more this year because it’s just damn unsafe to share a border with a foreign country.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • After North Carolina Law Bans Municipal Broadband, One ISP Gives Gigabit Connections Away

      Back in August, we noted how the FCC lost an incredibly important case regarding municipal broadband. In short, the FCC tried to dismantle state-level protectionist laws, written by incumbent ISPs, that hamstring towns and cities from building their own broadband networks or striking public/private partnerships for broadband — even in areas those same incumbent ISPs refused to upgrade. The FCC had tried to claim that its congressional mandate to ensure “even and timely” broadband deployment allowed it to strip away any part of these laws that hindered broadband expansion.

      But the courts argued that the FCC lacks this authority, forcing the agency to acknowledge it was giving up on this fight. But there are still countless municipal broadband providers in the 19 states that have passed these laws that can’t launch or expand existing service lest they run face-first into a law written by Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, or CenturyLink lawyers. And there are millions of customers that are incredibly frustrated by the lack of broadband market competition, resulting in the expensive, inconsistent broadband connections most of us “enjoy” today.

    • Canada To Debate Banning ‘Zero Rating’ This Week

      While the United States finally passed net neutrality rules this year, the FCC’s decision to not ban zero rating (exempting some content from usage caps) has proven to be highly problematic. ISPs like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon have all begun exempting their own content from usage caps, putting competing services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu (or smaller startups) at a disadvantage. The loophole has also spawned new confusing options from Sprint that throttle games, music and video by default, unless a consumer is willing to pony up $20 or more extra to have those services actually work as intended.

      So yes, the United States passed net neutrality rules, but its unwillingness to tackle zero rating means that net neutrality is now being hamstrung anyway — now just with regulatory approval.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Germany pours cold water on takeover bids as concern regarding China’s IP-driven M&A activity spreads

      A number of prospective Chinese takeovers of German high-tech businesses have been suspended by Berlin pending further investigation of their potential economic impact and national security implications. The German government’s intervention does not bode well for Chinese buyers, which have been pinning their hopes of procuring strategically valuable IP on Europe after missing out on US acquisitions due to similar concerns.

      Writing in Die Welt at the weekend prior to departing for Beijing to meet with counterparts, German vice chancellor and economy minister Sigmar Gabriel was markedly critical of China’s approach to acquiring foreign technology. While claiming that China protects its own businesses from foreign buyouts through the imposition of “discriminatory requirements”, Gabriel accused the country’s high-tech industries of “going on a shopping tour here with a long list of interesting companies” with the clear intention of gaining control of strategically important technologies. “Nobody can expect Europe to accept such foul play of trade partners,” he added.

    • Ottiglio Leaves IFPMA For Consultancy In Geneva [Ed: Mario Ottiglio to use connections acquired in public corridors in Europe to push private US Big Pharma interests]
    • WIPO Committee Debates SDGs, Review Of Development Agenda Recommendations

      The World Intellectual Property Organization Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) is meeting this week with an agenda including the presentation of a first review on how well WIPO implemented its Development Agenda Recommendations from 2008 to 2015. Also on the agenda is a discussion on what United Nations Sustainable Development Goals can be applied to WIPO’s work, and what the role of WIPO is in technology transfer.

    • Proposal By WHO To Increase Country Contributions Receives Mixed Reactions

      As the head of the World Health Organization warned of funding shortfalls at this week’s financing dialogue, she also proposed to raise assessed country contributions by 10 percent to help mitigate the situation. However, countries had a different take on the suggestion, which is expected to be further considered in the discussions on the budget for 2018/2019, at the Executive Board meeting in January, and at the annual World Health Assembly next May.

    • SCA Hygiene Laches Oral Arguments: How Do we Interpret Congressional Silence?

      Sitting in the background is the Supreme Court’s parallel copyright decision in Petrella v. MGM (2014) holding that the doctrine of laches cannot bar a claim for legal damages brought within the three-year statutory limitations of copyright law. In its opinion, the Federal Circuit distinguished Petrella – finding that in this situation patents should be treated differently than copyrights.

      Martin Black (Dechert) argued for petitioner-patentee SCA Hygiene and suggested that Petrella paves the way: “There is nothing in the Patent Act which compels the creation of a unique patent law rule, and if the Court were to create an exception here, that would invite litigation in the lower courts over a wide range of Federal statutes.”

    • Trademarks

      • CJEU tackles meaning of “so” in trade mark case

        Does the word “so” have a laudatory function when used on its own? The CJEU has struggled to resolve that question in its latest EU trade mark ruling

      • Video Game Voice Actor Strike Devolves Into Petty Trademark Dispute

        For those who don’t follow the video game industry closely, you may not be aware that there is currently a worker’s strike by voiceover actors belonging to SAG-AFTRA against some of the larger game publishers out there. The union and ten or so publishers have been attempting to negotiate a new labor agreement for something like two years, with the sticking point being additional compensation based on game sales. While this concept may sound foreign to those of us that grew up with the gaming industry in its infancy, the explosion in the market and its evolution as an artform certainly warrants the same consideration talents get from other entertainment industries, such as television and film. After all, why shouldn’t game voiceover actors be just as frustrated with Hollywood-style accounting as their on-screen counterparts?

        And, yet, because this is a labor dispute, of course there had to be a petty wrong-turn along the way, which brings us to how SAG-AFTRA is now firing off demands that a PR firm hired by the game studios stop trying to influence the public because of a lame trademark claim. The key issue appears to be that this PR firm is using domain names and social media handles that include the SAG-AFTRA union name.

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright Office Fucks Over Thousands Of Sites With Plans To Remove Their DMCA Safe Harbors

        If you run any kind of website it’s super important that you file with the Copyright Office to officially register a DMCA agent. This is a key part of the DMCA. If you want to make use of the DMCA’s safe harbors — which create a clear safe harbor for websites to avoid liability of infringing material posted by users — then you have to first register with the Copyright Office. Larger corporate sites already know this, but many, many smaller sites do not. This is why for years we’ve posted messages reminding anyone who has a blog to just go and register with the Copyright Office to get basic DMCA protections (especially after a copyright troll went after some smaller blogs who had not done so).

        A few months back, we noted, with alarm, that the Copyright Office was considering a plan to revamp how it handled DMCA registrations, which had some good — mainly making the registration process cheaper — but a really horrific idea of requiring sites to re-register every three years or lose their safe harbor protections.

      • Star Athletica arguments: Will SCOTUS find a uniform test for useful articles?

        Supreme Court oral arguments in Star Athletica v Varsity Brands touched on copyright, cheerleader uniforms and camouflage, with observers uncertain the court will come up with an appropriate test for useful articles

        The Supreme Court heard arguments in Star Athletica v Varsity Brands on Monday in a copyright dispute over designs for cheerleading uniforms. The question presented was: “What is the appropriate test to determine when a feature of a useful article is protectable under section 101 of the Copyright Act?”

      • Reykjavik: Icelandic Pirates Triple Result, But Not Largest Party

        The Icelandic Pirate Party has made a record election. Early vote counts place Pirates at 14 percent, for nine ten seats of the 63-seat world’s oldest Parliament. As the victory party draws to a close and the results slowly finalize, it’s worth looking a little at what comes next.

        Pirate Parties keep succeeding, although on a political timescale. It started out a little carefully with getting elected to the European Parliament from Sweden, then to multiple state parliaments in Germany, city councils all over Europe, the Czech Senate, and the Icelandic Parliament, all in a decade’s insanely hard volunteer work.

11.01.16

Links 1/11/2016: Linux Hallowee, Debian Drops PowerPC

Posted in News Roundup at 11:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 6 ways to use open tools to better support Indian languages

    India is a large and a populated country that makes up a large base of Google consumers. So in recent years, Google’s widened support of world languages for its various products has been a blessing. It has specifically helped Indian people grow their use of and participation on the Internet.

    For one, Google Summer of Code helps students experiment with and build prototypes that enhance language-based software. Another way is through Google Translate, a web and app-based platform that provides machine translation from one language to another. It is predominantly maintained and serviced by volunteer contributions. Yet, there are more ways Google can support great inclusivity through the support of world languages; particularly people speaking South Asian-languages.

  • FreeDOS 1.2 RC1 Released
  • FreeDOS 1.2 RC1

    You may know that I am involved in many open source software projects. Aside from my usability work with GNOME, I am probably best known as the founder and project coordinator of the FreeDOS Project.

  • Minoca OS: A new open source operating system

    Today we’re thrilled to announce that Minoca OS has gone open source. We are releasing the entirety of the Minoca OS source code under the GNU GPLv3. We’re excited to build a community of users and developers around this new operating system, and we need help. You can check out the source at https://github.com/minoca/os. You can also check out our repository of third party source packages here. If you’re just looking to download the latest stable binaries of Minoca OS, head to the download page.

  • Minoca OS goes open source
  • What software documentation can learn from tabletop gaming

    That was it. Those were the (altered for the sake of this example) instructions. Three steps and one big shout that hey, don’t look now but you’re playing the game already, and you’re up and running.

    To be fair, there were a lot of nuances that those three steps did not in any way cover. Luckily, there were three more paragraphs that the author snuck in after the “You’re playing!” pronouncement, providing more details on the types of cards, what they mean, and so on.

    And there were lots of times during those first few games where we had to stop game play and scratch our heads, asking “Wait, we can’t play this card after that card can we? What happens now?” For an answer, we went back to the rules and looked in the little reference section on the back of the rule sheet, learning about the technicalities of the game as we went along.

    But you see, it tricked us; we didn’t feel like we were reading the instructions because we were actively playing the game. We weren’t reading instructions, as such; we were using the rules as reference. It was practically part of the game.

  • How Do We Encourage Technologists in the Public Interest?

    As I mentioned when the Recompiler interviewed me, my inspirations and role models in technology are technologists who serve the public interest. The person who introduced me to free and open source software, Seth Schoen, is a kind teacher and a rigorous thinker who deploys his software engineering expertise at the intersection of technology and activism. I was lucky enough to meet the right people early in my career so I see public interest technology as a desirable and viable career path AND something you can integrate into a career that doesn’t focus on nonprofit/government work — but not enough people know about it, and not enough institutions encourage it.

    How do we help encourage and employ more Seths, more Bruce Schneiers, more Eleanor Saittas, more Kelsey Gilmore-Innises? If you were to say “Sumana, that’s a pretty infosecurity-centric list there, what about people who are more about analytics to enable policy work, or the web developers at 18F, or –” then I would agree with you! This is a broad and deep field, and thus a broad and deep question.

  • Using Open Source to Roll Back Prices at Walmart

    What do you do when your e-commerce site adds at least a million new products every month, and sometimes more than a million in a single week? According to Jeremy King, who is senior vice president and CTO for Walmart Global eCommerce, one of the things you do is invest in open source, both as a user and as a developer. But how do you convince the suits in the front office to release code developed in house as open source?

    “The good part about WalmartLabs is that we sort of didn’t ask for permission,” he admitted last week before a crowd of over 2,000 at the All Things Open conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was being interviewed on stage by ATO’s master of ceremonies, community manager Jono Bacon, in a “fireside chat” during the opening day keynote sessions. “We sort of started off with that approach. As we got bigger, obviously you don’t open source a product that you’ve spent resources on for a couple of years without really talking to the enterprise, so it really was a baby step as you go in.”

  • LendingCalc.com’s PUFIN Open Source Blockchain Tech May Be Marketplace Lending Answer

    In the wake of recent company shakeups and growing pains in the marketplace lending industry, the need for better transparency and industry tools for all participants has become a critical concern. PUFIN, an online and open source project to create free and global loan identifiers using blockchain technology, aims to deliver order and uniformity in a secure environment to the marketplace.

    Recent entrants into the market are proposing systems that reserve the right to charge fees at any time. The idea of a free enticement that allows for charging fees later may be the basis for a slow or incomplete industry adoption of online loans.

    LendingCalc.com‘s Ben McMillan and Mike Mazier may have the open source answer: They have filed to patent a fee-free system to use blockchain technology to generate unique identifiers for loans in line with the US Treasury’s whitepaper “Opportunities and Challenges in Online Marketplace Lending.” The company is in the works to set up their system as an open source resource for the industry.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • 130 serious Firefox holes plugged this year

        Mozilla has shuttered more than 130 serious vulnerabilities reported by community hackers this year.

        The browser-backing outfit announced the statistics in a post covering its bug bounty program and broader information security efforts.

        More than 500 million users ran Firefox at the close of 2015. It’s since become the world’s second-most-used browser.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Road to LibreOffice 5.3

      With the availability of the LibreOffice 5.3 Alpha, we have entered the road to LibreOffice 5.3, the next significant major release of the best free office suite ever developed. The software is in the early stage of the final development cycle, and as such should be installed only by expert community members skilled in quality assurance tasks, or involved in launch activities. Although in Alpha stage, LibreOffice 5.3 has an outstanding Coverity Scan score, as confirmed on October 20, with 0.01 defects per 1,000 lines of code (the image on the left is a screenshot of the Coverity Scan dashboard). LibreOffice 5.3 will be officially announced at the end of January 2017.

  • CMS

    • The Wix Mobile App, a WordPress Joint

      Anyone who knows me knows that I like to try new things — phones, gadgets, apps. Last week I downloaded the new Wix (closed, proprietary, non-open-sourced, non-GPL) mobile app. I’m always interested to see how others tackle the challenge of building and editing websites from a mobile device.

      I started playing around with the editor, and felt… déjà vu. It was familiar. Like I had used it before.

      Turns out I had. Because it’s WordPress.

    • WordPress and Wix Are Fighting About Open Source Software

      So WordPress and Wix are fighting one another – and I’m not talking about them competing for customers. Instead, the two website building heavyweights are having a brawl via the blogosphere.

    • Attackers use patched exploits to hit Joomla! sites
    • Joomla websites attacked en masse using recently patched exploits

      Attackers are aggressively attacking Joomla-based websites by exploiting two critical vulnerabilities patched last week.

      The flaws allow the creation of accounts with elevated privileges on websites built with the popular Joomla content management system, even if account registration is disabled. They were patched in Joomla 3.6.4, released Tuesday.

    • Georgia state government earns national recognition for web accessibility

      Georgia’s enterprise web platform runs on Drupal 7, which includes many accessibility features in its baseline code and structure. That makes it easier for any new site to build in accessibility from day one. This comes with the caveat that not all modules are accessible, and plenty can be coded and designed without accessibility in mind, meaning that just using Drupal does not make a site accessible to users with disabilities. That said, even in its original implementation with Drupal 7 in 2012, Georgia’s web publishing platform was built to meet federal accessibility standards (Section 508, for those of you interested in the details).

      From there, when the product team wanted to improve the platform’s underlying code to meet the more modern WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility guidelines, they were working from a flexible and scalable base.

  • Healthcare

    • How open source can change the face of healthcare

      The significant advances being made in technology over the past decade have introduced world changing solutions that are revolutionising how businesses operate.

      However, it is not only business which is reaping the benefits of technologies in the fields of cloud, big data, the IoT, artificial intelligence and others, areas such as

      healthcare are also being boosted.

      Numerous companies such as IBM, Google, Microsoft and more have all invested significantly in the area and have made great strides in placing their technologies in this field.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • AMD’s HSAIL Front-End For GCC Might Finally Be Close For Merging

      There is finally an update on the proposed HSAIL front-end for GCC for supporting the BRIG binary form of the Heterogeneous System Architecture Intermediate Language.

      See that earlier article for more background information on the ongoing GCC HSA efforts that have been happening for a few years now. That HSAIL GCC front-end has been quiet since it was proposed back in May but now it looks like it may be close to going mainline.

  • Public Services/Government

    • France opens source code of three new simulators

      France is continuing to improve its fiscal transparency by opening the source code of three new algorithms, and has promoted use of this code through a hackaton called #CodeGouv.

      The three algorithms are used by the French administration to calculate:

      The cost of a car registration document which can change according to the geographical location or the type of vehicle;
      The legal bonus of an apprentice, which can vary according to the number of working hours;
      The penalty rate. The simulator assesses the interest the French administration should pay if payments are delayed.

      Read more

    • Slovakia: 40% ICT systems to use open source by 2020

      By 2020, 40% of public administration ICT systems in Slovakia should use open source software. The target for open source is part of the country’s ICT architecture, which was updated in September.

    • Nantes: ‘Surveys support switch to open source’

      When implementing free and open source desktop software, public administrations should gather feedback through user surveys, says Eric Ficheux, change management specialist at Nantes Métropole, France’s 6th largest city. “Good news comes only if you organise feedback”, he says, adding: “Survey data cannot be challenged by project opponents, and helps to defend against foul play.”

    • Ho Hum. Another City Switches To LibreOffice

      I knew that 15 years ago when OpenOffice.org came out with version 1.0. It’s still true today. Further, LibreOffice also works on GNU/Linux so another barrier to FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) has been broken.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • React’s license: necessary and open?

      React’s patent license (1) isn’t a bad idea, because the BSD license is not explicit about granting patent rights; and (2) probably meets the requirements of the Open Source Definition.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • What are the impacts of participatory budgeting in Europe?
    • Open Data

      • Slovakia to fully automate the publication of open data

        Slovakia will automate the publication of public sector information as open data as much as possible, and integrate this process in all government information processing systems. This is one of the main priorities in the National Concept of Public Information Services (Národná Koncepcia Informatizácie Verejnej Správy; NKIVS) that was adopted last month.

      • ODIC 2016: some case studies emerge in Open Contracting

        Start small, clearly demonstrate the impact, and adopt a standardised approach with civil society – these are among the lessons learnt arising from a session on Open Contracting, held as part of the Open Data International Conference (ODIC 2016). This event took place in Madrid at the beginning of October.

        Open Contracting is a way to make public procurement more transparent to citizens and a way to avoid corruption. But only 10% of countries are aligned on an Open Contracting basic standard, it was noted during the session. Data are published in open format. The Open Contracting Partnership has developed a data standard for Open Contracting, the goal of which is to “reflect the complete contracting cycle”, according to the website.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Outdoor Gear Companies: It’s Time to Open-Source Your Technology

        Patagonia finally released the Yulex wetsuits this fall. Even more important, it also released the technology behind the rubber and the names of the factories that produced the suits. The company’s hope: to motivate other manufacturers to use fewer resource-intensive materials. “We knew from the beginning that we’re a very small player in the surf industry—there’s no way we’re going to disrupt that industry—but it was always our intention to invite other companies to use [the technology],” Hubbard says.

  • Programming/Development

    • Perl might be old school, but it continues to attract new users

      Earlier this year, ActiveState conducted a survey of users who had downloaded our distribution of Perl over the prior year and a half. We received 356 responses–99 commercial users and 257 individual users. I’ve been using Perl for a long time, and I expected that lengthy experience would be typical of the Perl community. Our survey results, however, tell a different story.

      Almost one-third of the respondents have three or fewer years of experience. Nearly half of all respondents reported using Perl for fewer than five years, a statistic that could be attributed to Perl’s outstanding, inclusive community. The powerful and pragmatic nature of Perl and its supportive community make it a great choice for a wide array of uses across a variety of industries.

      For a deeper dive, check out this video of my talk at YAPC North America this year.

Leftovers

  • The Great “Cultural Appropriation” Pumpkin: Psst, Halloween Belongs To The Irish

    Yale lecturer Erika Christakis and her husband, professor Nicholas Christakis, were uglied out of the university after she dared to offend the crypussies that pass for college students these days by sending out the mildest call to let people express themselves as they wish on Halloween.

    The thing about all these tiny little authoritarian screechers on campus — they should spend more time going to class and learning the stuff of Western culture that promotes logical thought. Because they don’t bother to do the slightest bit of, “Hmm, where does this argument I’m supporting lead?”

  • How the White House will hand over social media accounts to Clinton or Trump

    The White House just published an overview explaining its plans for a “digital transition” between the departing Obama administration and the incoming 45th president of the United States. It details how each White House social media account (and position-specific handles like @POTUS, @FLOTUS, and @VP) will be transferred to the victor of November 8th’s presidential election. Since Obama is the first commander in chief to have a presence on most of these apps, there’s not much in the way of precedent for figuring out how it’s all supposed to work. So the White House developed some of its own.

    For the big ones, the switchover will happen on inauguration day: January 20th. That’s when either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will assume the @POTUS Twitter account, for instance. The White House says that the account’s followers (currently over 11 million) will carry over to the next Oval Office occupant, but tweets will be zeroed out so that the 45th president can start fresh. President Obama’s @POTUS tweet history will be moved over to a new account, @POTUS44. That page is already live, though it’s currently protected.

  • Science

    • Finland to allow voters to cast votes online in all general elections

      “The Government intends to carefully look into the possibility of introducing electronic voting in general elections. The matter is associated with both advantages and disadvantages. It is good to examine online voting as a means to promote democracy ahead of the one-hundredth anniversary of Finland,” says Jari Lindström (PS), the Minister of Justice and Employment.

      The task force is expected to conclude its preparatory work by the end of next year.

      General elections include the municipal, parliamentary and presidential elections, the elections to the European Parliament, and the planned provincial elections. Voters in indicative referendums will also be allowed to cast their votes online, according to the Ministry of Justice.

  • Hardware

    • Steve Jobs would probably be rather upset with what Apple has become today

      This past week, Apple spent 82 minutes unveiling a new app, a computer screen made by another company, and three laptops with the same name. They weren’t exactly the major overhauls that many were hoping for, and the event comes not too long after the company released a new iPhone that looked much like the last two it put out, and its other notable innovations of late have been making its products in different sizes and unleashing a sea of dongles on the world.

      In an old interview that’s making the rounds online today, former CEO Steve Jobs explained, in his mind why companies like Xerox, a company that once had one of the most innovative research labs in the world, failed. He compared the product cycles and the corporate structures of strong, stable consumer brands, such as PepsiCo, which John Sculley, the CEO that once replaced him at Apple, previously ran.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Water, jobs, justice: an urgent demand to rebuild America’s water infrastructure

      During this year’s election, both major party candidates have discussed the need for massive infrastructure investments to upgrade everything from our highways and bridges to our airports. Unfortunately, there has been little conversation highlighting our nation’s urgent need to upgrade our aging drinking water and wastewater systems.

      While our interstate highway system officially turned 60 this year, some of the infrastructure delivering water to our communities is over a century old, and that includes the pipes—many made of lead. So it’s no surprise that there’s an urgent national health crisis unfolding before our eyes. Far beyond Flint, Mich., every week more information is revealed showing that millions of homes, schools, restaurants and small and large businesses in almost every state throughout the country are serviced by lead pipes or old crumbling water lines. According to a recent study by the Government Accountability Office, economically distressed cities with declining populations continue to have urgent water infrastructure needs: there are more Flints waiting in the wings if we don’t act.

    • America’s Legal Pot Economy Is Forced Underground

      Punctuated by sharp intakes of breath, Max Simon repeated himself softly, trying to mask a deep frustration. “We … are … a … media … company. We produce media.”

      Like many startup founders, the 34-year-old has a spiel right down to the enunciation and cadence. He gave his speech nine times, to nine different bankers. Eight rejected him. But it wasn’t venture capital he was seeking. It was a checking account.

      Simon is the founder of Green Flower Media LLC, a production company in Ojai, Calif., that sells educational videos about marijuana, with topics ranging from medicinal use to cannabis industry investing. He likens the platform to a cannabis-centric Lynda.com, the online-course company owned by LinkedIn. Shortly after Green Flower sold its first batch of videos, Simon received an e-mail from Chase Bank. The company’s corporate account was being shut down.

    • Flint, and Michigan, Brace for More Charges in Water Inquiry

      As Flint continues to suffer from a water crisis, one question percolates here in Michigan’s capital: Who will be charged next?

      So far, nine low-level or midlevel government officials have been criminally charged as part of the state investigation into the water’s contamination, which has been tied to lead poisoning in children and the deaths of 12 people from Legionnaires’ disease.

      In recent weeks, however, there have been growing indications that investigators are focusing on bigger targets, and they seem to be looking more intently at the state’s failure to respond to the Legionnaires’ cases.

      “Twelve people died,” said Bill Schuette, Michigan’s attorney general, who is leading the investigation. “That is certainly a high priority for us.”

    • Judge: Flint water allegations ‘shock the conscience’

      The State of Michigan can be sued over allegations that the contamination of Flint’s drinking water damaged the health of residents and hurt the value of their properties, a Michigan Court of Claims judge has ruled.

      Judge Mark Boonstra, in an opinion issued Wednesday, said that if proven true, allegations brought against Gov. Rick Snyder and other defendants by Melissa Mays and other Flint residents, “shock the conscience.”

      Boonstra dismissed two counts against the state, but said two other counts may proceed to trial.

      The lawsuit can proceed on allegations the state violated the due process clause of the state constitution by failing to protect Flint residents’ “bodily integrity,” Boonstra ruled. The suit can also proceed on allegations that state actions were a substantial cause of decline in Flint property values and the state “abused its powers” by “continuing to supply each water user with corrosive and contaminated water,” he said in a 50-page opinion released Thursday.

    • ‘Fix rooms’ plan for Glasgow drug addicts set for green light

      A controversial plan to set up so-called “fix rooms” to allow drug addicts to inject safely under supervision in Glasgow is likely to get the go-ahead.

      Members of the health board, the city council and police are expected to agree the idea in principle.

      The move aims to address the problems caused by an estimated 500 or so users who inject on Glasgow’s streets.

    • Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops

      The controversy over genetically modified crops has long focused on largely unsubstantiated fears that they are unsafe to eat.

      But an extensive examination by The New York Times indicates that the debate has missed a more basic problem — genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.

      The promise of genetic modification was twofold: By making crops immune to the effects of weedkillers and inherently resistant to many pests, they would grow so robustly that they would become indispensable to feeding the world’s growing population, while also requiring fewer applications of sprayed pesticides.

      Twenty years ago, Europe largely rejected genetic modification at the same time the United States and Canada were embracing it. Comparing results on the two continents, using independent data as well as academic and industry research, shows how the technology has fallen short of the promise.

    • The Candy Hierarchy for 2016: Halloween’s best and worst treats

      The results of our survey are in. This year’s list of the most loved and hated Halloween treats has a surprise in store!

    • Chan Issues Clarion Call For Increased WHO Funding

      World Health Organization Director General Margaret Chan today warned of serious funding shortfalls for the current biennium endangering the implementation of certain programmes. Areas most in need of financing include non-communicable diseases (such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases), food security, and antimicrobial resistance. The high-profile Health Emergencies Programme is also underfunded and Chan proposed to ask countries to raise their assessed contributions at the next World Health Assembly.

    • Brazil, China, India, South Africa Put UN High-Level Panel On Medicines Access On TRIPS Council Agenda

      For next week’s World Trade Organization intellectual property committee meeting, the major developing economies have submitted a request to discuss the recently released report of the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, according to Knowledge Ecology International (KEI). A key element of the UN report was to make it harder for countries deter or discourage other countries from trying to use patent flexibilities built into the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) – something the major developing economies have been discouraged from doing in the past.

    • Michigan Mother: Hillary Clinton Receiving Advance Debate Question ‘Should Be an Automatic Disqualification’

      A Michigan mother is furious that now-DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile sent Hillary Clinton advance notice of her question at a Democratic presidential debate in Flint, Michigan this March.

      According to the latest Wikileaks release of John Podesta’s emails, Brazile tipped off Clinton to an incoming question from an audience member at the debate hosted by CNN — where Brazile was then a paid contributor.

      “One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash,” Brazile wrote in the email’s subject line. “Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint.”

      LeeAnne Walters, the woman who asked that question, said on her Facebook page Monday that she found the revelation “appalling.”

  • Security

    • DDoS of SN Underway [Updated]

      Right, so there’s currently a DDoS of our site specifically happening. Part of me is mildly annoyed, part of me is proud that we’re worth DDoS-ing now. Since it’s only slowing us down a bit and not actually shutting us down, I’m half tempted to just let them run their botnet time out. I suppose we should tweak the firewall a bit though. Sigh, I hate working on weekends.

    • AtomBomb: The New Zero-Day Windows Exploit Microsoft Can’t Fix?

      There’s a new zero-day Microsoft Windows exploit in the wild by the name of AtomBomb, and Microsoft may not be able to fix it.

    • New code injection method affects all Windows versions [iophk: “watch the ‘news’ play this one down or ignore it; full product recall is needed at this point”]

      Researchers at cyber-security firm enSilo have discovered a method of code injection in all versions of Windows that cannot be eliminated as it is part of the operating system design.

      The design flaw allows for code injection and is dubbed AtomBomb as it makes use of the system’s atom tables.

      As Microsoft defines it, “An atom table is a system-defined table that stores strings and corresponding identifiers. An application places a string in an atom table and receives a 16-bit integer, called an atom, that can be used to access the string. A string that has been placed in an atom table is called an atom name.”

      In a blog post describing the method of attack, enSilo’s Tal Liberman wrote: “Our research team has uncovered a new way to leverage mechanisms of the underlying Windows operating system in order to inject malicious code. Threat actors can use this technique, which exists by design of the operating system, to bypass current security solutions that attempt to prevent infection.”

    • British parliament members urge Obama to halt hacking suspect’s US extradition

      This week, culture minister Matt Hancock and more than 100 fellow MPs (Members of Parliament) have signed a letter calling on president Barack Obama to block Lauri Love’s extradition to the US to face trial over the alleged hacking of the US missile defence agency, the FBI, and America’s central bank.

      Love—an Asperger’s syndrome sufferer from Stradishall, Suffolk—was told in September at a Westminster Magistrates’ Court hearing that he was fit to be extradited to the US to face trial in that country. The 31-year-old faces up to 99 years in prison in the US if convicted. According to his lawyers, Love has said he fears for his life.

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Tug of war between SELinux and Chrome Sandbox, who’s right?

      Over the years, people have wanted to use SELinux to confine the web browser. The most common vulnerabilty for a desktop user is attacks caused by bugs in the browser. A user goes to a questionable web site, and the web site has code that triggers a bug in the browser that takes over your machine. Even if the browser has no blogs, you have to worry about helper plugins like flash-plugin, having vulnerabilities.

    • Trick or Treat! Google issues warning of critical Windows vulnerability in wild

      Recently, Google’s Threat Analysis Group discovered a set of zero-day vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash and the Microsoft Windows kernel that were already being actively used by malware attacks against the Chrome browser. Google alerted both Adobe and Microsoft of the discovery on October 21, and Adobe issued a critical fix to patch its vulnerability last Friday. But Microsoft has yet to patch a critical bug in the Windows kernel that allows these attacks to work—which prompted Google to publicly announce the vulnerabilities today.

      “After 7 days, per our published policy for actively exploited critical vulnerabilities, we are today disclosing the existence of a remaining critical vulnerability in Windows for which no advisory or fix has yet been released,” wrote Neel Mehta and Billy Leonard of Google’s Threat Analysis Group.”This vulnerability is particularly serious because we know it is being actively exploited.”

      The bug being exploited could allow an attacker to escape from Windows’ security sandbox. The sandbox, which normally allows only user-level applications to execute, lets programs execute without needing administrator access while isolating what it can access on the local system through a set of policies.

      But by using a specific type of call to a legacy support Windows system library generally used for the graphics subsystem—win32k.sys—malicious code can escalate its privileges and execute outside of the sandbox, allowing it to execute code with full access to the Windows environment. Win32k.sys has been a problem before: Microsoft issued a warning back in June about a similar privilege escalation problem that had not yet been exploited, and another arrived in August.

    • DDoS defenses emerging from Homeland Security

      Government, academic, and private-sector officials are collaborating on new ways to prevent and mitigate distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, based on research years in the making but kicked into high gear by the massive takedown this month of domain name system provider Dyn.

    • US DMCA rules updated to give security experts legal backing to research

      The US government has updated and published a new list of exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a move perhaps long-overdue which will protect cybersecurity professionals from prosecution when reverse-engineering products for research purposes.

      On October 28, the US Copyright Office and the Librarian of Congress published the updated rules on the federal register.

      The DMCA regulations now include exceptions relating to security research and vehicle repair relevant to today’s cybersecurity field. For the next two years, researchers can circumvent digital access controls, reverse engineer, access, copy, and manipulate digital content which is protected by copyright without fear of prosecution — within reason.

    • Stop being the monkey’s paw

      This story got me thinking about security, how we ask questions and how we answer questions. What if we think about this in the context of application security specifically for this example. If someone was to ask the security the question “does this code have a buffer overflow in it?” The person I asked for help is going to look for buffer overflows and they may or may not notice that it has a SQL injection problem. Or maybe it has an integer overflow or some other problem. The point is that’s not what they were looking for so we didn’t ask the right question. You can even bring this little farther and occasionally someone might ask the question “is my system secure” the answer is definitively no. You don’t even have to look at it to answer that question and so they don’t even know what to ask in reality. They are asking the monkey paw to bring them their money, it’s going to do it, but they’re not going to like the consequences.

    • Tyfone looks to open-source to solve IoT security issues

      It came as no surprise to Tyfone CEO Siva Narendra when tens of millions of Internet connected devices were able to bring down the Web during a coordinated distributed denial of service attack on Oct. 21.

      Narendra’s Portland-based company Tyfone has been working on digital security platforms to safeguard identity and transactions of people and things for years.

      Narendra says mobile devices in conjunction with the cloud have brought new levels of productivity to our lives. Internet of Things devices (the common name given to these connected items) are poised to bring even greater levels of productivity and cost-savings to businesses, and safety and convenience to our everyday lives.

    • Google just disclosed a major Windows bug — and Microsoft isn’t happy

      Today, Google’s Threat Analysis group disclosed a critical vulnerability in Windows in a public post on the company’s security blog. The bug itself is very specific — allowing attackers to escape from security sandboxes through a flaw in the win32k system — but it’s serious enough to be categorized as critical, and according to Google, it’s being actively exploited. As a result, Google went public just 10 days after reporting the bug to Microsoft, before a patch could be coded and deployed. The result is that, while Google has already deployed a fix to protect Chrome users, Windows itself is still vulnerable — and now, everybody knows it.

      Google’s disclosure provides only a general description of the bug, giving users enough information to recognize a possible attack without making it too easy for criminals to replicate. Exploiting the bug also depends on a separate exploit in Adobe Flash, for which the company has also released a patch. Still, simply knowing that the bug exists will likely spur a lot of criminals to look for viable ways to exploit it against computers that have yet to update Flash.

    • AtomBombing: A Code Injection that Bypasses Current Security Solutions

      Our research team has uncovered new way to leverage mechanisms of the underlying Windows operating system in order to inject malicious code. Threat actors can use this technique, which exists by design of the operating system, to bypass current security solutions that attempt to prevent infection. We named this technique AtomBombing based on the name of the underlying mechanism that this technique exploits.

      AtomBombing affects all Windows version. In particular, we tested this against Windows 10.

    • Disclosing vulnerabilities to protect users

      On Friday, October 21st, we reported 0-day vulnerabilities — previously publicly-unknown vulnerabilities — to Adobe and Microsoft. Adobe updated Flash on October 26th to address CVE-2016-7855; this update is available via Adobe’s updater and Chrome auto-update.

      After 7 days, per our published policy for actively exploited critical vulnerabilities, we are today disclosing the existence of a remaining critical vulnerability in Windows for which no advisory or fix has yet been released. This vulnerability is particularly serious because we know it is being actively exploited.

      The Windows vulnerability is a local privilege escalation in the Windows kernel that can be used as a security sandbox escape. It can be triggered via the win32k.sys system call

    • The next president will face a cybercrisis within 100 days, predicts report

      The next president will face a cybercrisis in the first 100 days of their presidency, research firm Forrester predicts in a new report.

      The crisis could come as a result of hostile actions from another country or internal conflict over privacy and security legislation, said Forrester analyst Amy DeMartine, lead author of the firm’s top cybersecurity risks for 2017 report, due to be made public Tuesday.

      History grades a president’s first 100 days as the mark of how their four-year term will unfold, so those early days are particularly precarious, said DeMartine. The new commander in chief will face pressure from foreign entities looking to embarrass them early on, just as U.S. government agencies jockey for position within the new administration, she said.

    • Hackforums Shutters Booter Service Bazaar

      Perhaps the most bustling marketplace on the Internet where people can compare and purchase so-called “booter” and “stresser” subscriptions — attack-for-hire services designed to knock Web sites offline — announced last week that it has permanently banned the sale and advertising of these services.

      On Friday, Oct. 28, Jesse LaBrocca — the administrator of the popular English-language hacking forum Hackforums[dot]net — said he was shutting down the “server stress testing” (SST) section of the forum. The move comes amid heightened public scrutiny of the SST industry, which has been linked to several unusually powerful recent attacks and is responsible for the vast majority of denial-of-service (DOS) attacks on the Internet today.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • WikiLeaks Reveals Team Hillary’s Libya Spin: It Would Be Syria Without Clinton’s War

      In the lead-up to Hillary Clinton’s marathon testimony before Congress on Benghazi in October 2015, her presidential campaign prepared to make some eye-popping claims—including that Libya would have turned into Syria without U.S. intervention.

      That’s according to an internal talking-point memo released in Tuesday’s dump of WikiLeaks emails. WikiLeaks says those emails were hacked from the inbox of Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta. The Clinton campaign is not commenting on whether or not the emails are doctored, and blames the Russian government for the hack.

    • Media Roll Out Welcome Mat for ‘Humanitarian’ War in Syria

      As she marches toward the US presidency, Hillary Clinton has stepped up her promotion of the idea that a no-fly zone in Syria could “save lives” and “hasten the end of the conflict” that has devastated that country since 2011.

      It has now been revealed, of course, that Clinton hasn’t always expressed the same optimism about the no-fly zone in private. The Intercept (10/10/16) reported on Clinton’s recently leaked remarks in a closed-door speech to Goldman Sachs in 2013…

    • Shahid Buttar and Selling Empire, War and Capitalism with Peter and Mickey

      In the first half of the program, Shahid Buttar discusses the chapter he wrote for Censored 2017, “Ike’s Distopian Dream,” where he examines the many ways that President Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial complex has proven correct.For the second half of the program, Mickey and Peter survey some of the other chapters of Censored 2017, particularly Peter’s chapter, “Selling Empire, War and Capitalism,” a look at the advertising / public relations industry, and how its influence extends far beyond peddling consumer products.

    • Whistleblower exposes how NATO’s leading ally is arming and funding ISIS

      A former senior counter-terrorism official in Turkey has blown the whistle on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s deliberate sponsorship of the Islamic State (ISIS) as a geopolitical tool to expand Turkey’s regional influence and sideline his political opponents at home.

      Ahmet Sait Yayla was Chief of the Counter-Terrorism and Operations Division of Turkish National Police between 2010 and 2012, before becoming Chief of the Public Order and Crime Prevention Division until 2014. Previously, he had worked in the Counter-Terrorism and Operations Division as a mid-level manager for his entire 20-year police tenure, before becoming Chief of Police in Ankara and Sanliurfa.

      In interviews with INSURGE intelligence, Yayla exclusively revealed that he had personally witnessed evidence of high-level Turkish state sponsorship of ISIS during his police career, which eventually led him to resign. He decided to become a whistleblower after Erdogan’s authoritarian crackdown following the failed military coup in July. This is the first time that the former counter-terrorism chief has spoken on the record to reveal what he knows about Turkish government aid to Islamist terror groups.

    • Inside Palantir’s War With the U.S. Army

      Palantir is the Palo Alto, California, data analytics company co-founded and backed by billionaire Peter Thiel. It had won seed funding and praise from the Central Intelligence Agency a few years earlier and had become a darling among the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a few other government customers. Its employees were at the Pentagon to show off the company’s ability to compile disparate data streams and display the information graphically for non-technical consumers; Palantir hoped to win a big contract.

      But the conversation went poorly. The slacks and dress shirts with a few buttons undone that Palantir executives wore may have been a step up for sunny California where hoodies are the norm but were a sign of disrespect at the Pentagon, according to a person familiar with the meeting. Senior officials, including U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Dean Popps, were not impressed, this person said.

      They told Palantir: “Don’t come to the E-ring without a tie unless your name is Gates or Buffet,” said the person, referring to the portion of the Pentagon occupied by senior officials. “They couldn’t get over the tie thing. They didn’t care about the technology.”

    • German Magazine Uses Daesh Propaganda Video to Show All is Well in Mosul

      In an almost four-minute video, political editor of Spiegel Online Christoph Sydow tried to defend the editorial policy of his magazine regarding the developments in Aleppo and Mosul. However, the shots demonstrated in his video turned out to be the propaganda materials of Daesh terrorists.

      The video was supposed to be a response to critical letters of Spiegel Online readers and their comments on social networks. Many of them accused the magazine of spreading propaganda and presenting the situation in the Middle East in a biased manner.

    • CIA Releases Controversial Bay of Pigs History

      The CIA today released the long-contested Volume V of its official history of the Bay of Pigs invasion, which it had successfully concealed until now by claiming that it was a “draft” and could be withheld from the public under the FOIA’s “deliberative process” privilege. The National Security Archive fought the agency for years in court to release the historically significant volume, only to have the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2014 uphold the CIA’s overly-broad interpretation of the “deliberative process” privilege. Special credit for today’s release goes to the champions of the 2016 FOIA amendments, which set a 25-year sunset for the exemption: Senators John Cornyn, Patrick Leahy, and Chuck Grassley, and Representatives Jason Chaffetz, Elijah Cummings, and Darrell Issa.

      Chief CIA Historian David Robarge states in the cover letter announcing the document’s release that the agency is “releasing this draft volume today because recent 2016 changes in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires us to release some drafts that are responsive to FOIA requests if they are more than 25 years old.” This improvement – codified by the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 – came directly from the National Security Archive’s years of litigation.

    • Still fighting the last war: Syria and the Western peace movement

      The anti-war movement is struggling to find its place in a multipolar world in which stopping the war requires new thinking

      When I was five years old, a very small Vietnamese man came to my bedside to say goodnight. He was the Vietnamese ambassador, and he had a very kindly, wrinkled smile, and, as I later discovered, both he and his wife were veterans of the very long war in Vietnam against foreign occupiers. He himself had crawled under barbed wire fences to set explosives under French war planes during the early 1950s. His wife, also diminutive, had been the 16-year-old leader of an anti-aircraft unit that helped bring down enemy planes during the conflict, which back in 1973 was still ongoing.

    • Sweden declares WWII hero Raoul Wallenberg dead, 71 years after he disappeared in Hungary

      Sweden declares WWII hero Raoul Wallenberg dead, 71 years after he disappeared in Hungary.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Utilities In Florida Are Using A Fake Consumer Group To Hamstring Solar Competition

      Earlier this year, we noted how traditional utilities were playing extremely dirty in Florida to try and derail efforts to ramp up solar competition and adoption in the state most likely to benefit from it. After all, the vision of a future where competition is rampant, customers pay less money, and solar users actually get paid for driving power back to the grid gives most of these executives heartburn. As a result, utilities have gotten creative in the state, launching fake solar advocacy groups that actually function to pollute public discourse and derail any amendments intended to help solar grab a larger foothold in the state.

    • Fracking Linked to Cancer-Causing Chemicals, New YSPH Study Finds

      An expansive new analysis by Yale School of Public Health researchers confirms that numerous carcinogens involved in the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing have the potential to contaminate air and water in nearby communities.

      Fracking is now common in the United States, currently occurring in 30 states, and with millions of people living within one mile of a fracking site. The study suggests that the presence of carcinogens involved in or released by hydraulic fracturing operations has the potential to increase the risk of childhood leukemia. The presence of chemicals alone does not confirm exposure or risk of exposure to carcinogens and future studies are needed to evaluate cancer risk.

    • Stein Campaign Condemns ‘Violent Repression of Peaceful Protests Against DAPL’

      The conflict surrounding the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline escalated dramatically Thursday, October 27. Water protectors at Treaty Camp, a new frontline in the path of the pipeline along Highway 1806, were forced off the land in a dramatic and often violent manner by police. The large police action included armored, military vehicles, pepper spray, high-velocity bean bags and tear gas. Shortly after the disturbing confrontation Jill Stein, Green Party nominee for the Presidential Election, and running mate Ajamu Baraka released a statement condemning the actions being used in North Dakota:

      “The Stein/Baraka campaign is horrified and outraged at the militarized repression of water protectors at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota. Police and private security forces have engaged in violent actions against peaceful earth defenders who have come to protect the land and water from the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

    • Two more Honduran land rights activists killed in ongoing violence
    • NASA Scientists Suggest We’ve Been Underestimating Sea Level Rise

      About 71 percent of the Earth is covered by water, so measuring sea level changes around the world is no small feat. Up until now, scientists believed they knew how much global sea level had risen during the 20th century. This number has hovered around 0.6 inches per decade since 1900, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and has been partly driven by warming ocean temperatures.

      But a new study, published this month to Geophysical Research Letters, found evidence to suggest that historical sea level records have been off—way off in some areas—by an underestimation of 5 to 28 percent. Global sea level, the paper concluded, rose no less than 5.5 inches over the last century, and likely saw an increase of 6.7 inches.

      The reason for this discrepancy was uncovered by earth scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. By comparing newer climate models with older sea level measurements, the team discovered that readings from coastal tide gauges may not have been as indicative as we thought. These gauges, located at more than a dozen sites across the Northern Hemisphere, have been a primary data source for estimating sea level changes during the last several decades.

  • Finance

    • How the British Brexit Economy Works

      1) A containerful of shoddy training shoes are produced in China, shipped to UK, sorted by lowly paid British zero hours workers and put on shelves of High Street sports shop.
      2) While this is happening, sterling plunges 25%.
      3) Coachload of Chinese tourists visit sports shop attracted by collapsed pound sterling. They exclaim “Wow Western trainers! And so cheap”. They buy them to take back to China as gifts for family members they don’t like that much.
      4) Declare a Brexit sales boom!

    • Theresa May’s ‘just managing’ families set to be worse off

      Low-earning families that Theresa May has promised to help will be thousands of pounds a year worse off by 2020 because of rising inflation, lower wage growth and Tory social security cuts, according to new analysis of their post-Brexit economic prospects.

      Those who the prime minister describes as “just managing” – and who are her key priority, she says – are in line for substantial falls in real incomes unless the chancellor, Philip Hammond, steps in to help them in his autumn statement on 23 November.

      Pressure is growing on Hammond from senior Tories to reverse the decisions to slash benefits, which were announced last year by his predecessor George Osborne, in order to assist those who May said on entering Downing Street were “working around the clock” but still struggling to get by.

    • How Minnesota’s governor performed an economic miracle by raising tax on the rich and increasing minimum wage

      By every measure, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton’s five year run as governor has been a stellar success: while Tim Pawlenty, his tax-slashing, “fiscally-conservative” Republican predecessor presided over a $6.2B deficit and a 7% unemployment rate (the mere 6,200 jobs added under Pawlenty’s 7-year run barely registered), Dayton added 172,000 new jobs to the Minnesota economy, brought Minnesota down to the fifth-lowest unemployment rate in the country, and brought the average Minnesotan income up to $8,000 more than the median US worker, while posting a $1B budget surplus.

      How did Dayton do it? He raised the state income tax on individuals earning more than $150K, from 7.85% to 9.85%; he raised Minnesota’s minimum wage and guaranteed equal pay for women.

    • CETA Signed Off As Wallonia Folds Under Pressure

      Democracy and civil rights took a crushing blow today. Shortly after news surfaced that Wallonia folded under the pressure, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has been signed.

      One of the many secret trade deals floating around is known as CETA. While proponents say these trade agreements are simply about trade, the details suggest that such agreements are much more about pushing laws than actual trade.

      Last year, we dug into some of these details and found a number of provisions that adversely affects digital rights. This includes censorship through site blocking, account termination through a three strikes law, unlimited damages for copyright infringement, and provisions that allow border patrols to seize your cell phone at the border.

      Other concerns raised revolve around ISDS (Inter-State Dispute Settlement) that sets up an international tribunal for major multi-national corporations. The purpose is to allow corporations to sue governments if laws are passed that get in the way of profits and future potential profits. Examples raised in the past revolve around warning labels on cigarette packages, regulations on price for pharmaceuticals, and rulings against oil extraction and pipelines.

    • Swiss rail stations will sell bitcoins at ticket machines

      Switzerland is stepping up its bitcoin fascination in a big way. Railway operator SBB (with the help of SweePay) is launching a 2-year trial for a service that lets you exchange Swiss francs for bitcoin at any of the company’s ticket machines in the country. Scan a QR code with your phone and you can get between 20 to 500 francs ($20 to $505) of digital currency at any time. If you want to go shopping without using cards or physical cash, you can do it right after you leave the train station.

      There are some big catches involved. You need to have a Swiss phone number to get bitcoin, so you’re not completely anonymous… and of course, you’re out of luck if you’re not a resident. You also can’t buy tickets with bitcoin at the machines, so don’t think your bitcoin mining operation will pay for your next trip to Zurich.

    • No, CETA is NOT approved yet
    • Canada and E.U. Sign Trade Deal, Bucking Resistance to Globalization

      The European Union and Canada signed a far-reaching trade agreement on Sunday that commits them to opening their markets to greater competition, after overcoming a last-minute political obstacle that reflected the growing skepticism toward globalization in much of the developed world.

    • Icelandic women walk off the job 14% early to protest 14% pay-gap

      On October 25, thousands of Icelandic women went home at 2:38PM, after 86% of their work-days had passed, to protest the fact that they only earn 86% of their male counterparts’ wages.

      They turned out for a mass demonstration that echoed the 1975 protests over pay equity, which saw over 90% of the country’s women take to the street.

    • EU-Canada trade deal signed, but our fates (and ISDS) not yet sealed

      On Sunday, the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Council Donald Tusk, prime minister of Slovakia Robert Fico, and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada. It followed more than a week of frenzied negotiations after Belgian regions refused to give permission to the central government of Belgium to proceed with the deal.

    • Don’t celebrate Justin Trudeau signing the Ceta deal with the EU – like TTIP, it is a ticking time bomb

      Don’t be fooled by the triumphant rhetoric emanating from Brussels today – the controversial EU-Canada trade deal known as CETA might have returned from the dead in time for Halloween, but it’s very much a zombie agreement. While CETA will now be approved by the European Council and head towards the Parliament, its future looks bleak.

      And it gets worse for Brussels. Because Belgium’s regional parliaments have, in the process of hobbling CETA, driven a stake into the heart of European trade policy. No wonder Financial Times columnist Wolfgang Munchau hailed the so-called ‘breakthrough’ as “a huge victory for Belgium’s Ceta opponents”.

      CETA (the Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement) is the sister deal of the better known TTIP trade deal between the US and EU. Just like its sibling, it is essentially not about reducing tariffs, but deregulation, liberalisation, and the handing of further powers over law-making to big business. Despite some fancy footwork by the EU to reform the hated “corporate court” system, which gives foreign investors their own special legal process to sue governments, that system is very much still in place in CETA.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Podesta paid $7,000 a month by top donor

      Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, last year signed a $7,000-a-month contract with the foundation of a major Clinton donor who made a fortune selling a type of mortgage that some critics say contributed to the housing collapse, hacked emails show.

      In February of last year, as Podesta was working to lay the groundwork for Clinton’s soon-to-launch campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, he signed the contract with the Sandler Foundation, which was started by Herb Sandler and his late wife Marion Sandler.

    • Trump Supporter Voted Twice in Iowa Because “Polls Are Rigged”

      Donald Trump has been warning supporters left and right about the potential devastating consequences of voter fraud. But the first arrest for voter fraud in this election season is actually a staunch Trump supporter. Terri Rote, 55, was arrested on first-degree l misconduct charges after she cast two ballots in the election. She was released on a $5,000 bond.

      So why did Rote, a registered Republican, decide to cast two ballots? She was apparently afraid that her first ballot would be counted as a vote for Hillary Clinton. “I wasn’t planning on doing it twice, it was spur of the moment,” Rote told Iowa Public Radio. “The polls are rigged.”

    • Donald Trump rolls out endorsements from people he pays

      At a campaign event in Miami on Tuesday that was more in keeping with the norms of politics in North Korea, Donald Trump brought reporters to one of his golf courses and invited 10 of his employees on stage to praise him.

      [...]

      Siegel also boasted about helping to secure Florida for George W. Bush in 2000, by pressing thousands of employees to vote for the Republican candidate. In an interview with the same publication, the developer explained that he gave employees not-so-subtle hints about what he wanted them to do by putting negative articles about Al Gore in envelopes along with their paychecks.

      As The Atlantic explained in 2012, after Siegel’s anti-Obama memo was leaked to Gawker, employers cannot explicitly pay workers to vote a certain way, but, in most states, they are permitted to make their preferences known before election day.

      Unlike Florida, California does have a law stating that “no employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.”

    • Five takeaways from the latest WikiLeaks releases

      Government ethics watchdogs have long warned that the Clintons’ nonprofit would present serious conflict-of-interest concerns should the former secretary of State obtain the oval office.

      Republicans — led by Donald Trump — have accused the Clintons of using the foundation to peddle influence and line their own pockets.

      The details in Band’s memo gave new ammunition to critics who have pressed for the foundation to be shuttered.

      In it, Band describes how Bill Clinton’s personal wealth skyrocketed with the help of the same consultants raising money for the foundation, and the same donors who poured millions into the charity.

      “I think it’s going to be a continuing problem unless they close the thing down after she’s elected,” said Democratic strategist Brad Bannon.

      Those calls were echoed by the press.

      “Let me go to bottom line: There is no way under any circumstance the Clinton Foundation should be operating if she becomes president,” Chuck Todd, moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” told WGN Radio in Chicago on Thursday. “I just don’t see how they can keep that going.”

    • Leaked Email Reveals Google Chairman Wanted To Be Clinton Campaign’s ‘Head Outside Advisor’

      WikiLeaks has continued to reveal Schmidt’s cozy relationship with the Clinton campaign.

    • WikiLeaks: Podesta Continued Ties to Russian Firm After He Said He Divested

      More hacked emails released Sunday by WikiLeaks appear to show Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s apparent continued connection to Joule Unlimited Technologies, despite his claims that he divested from the Kremlin-financed energy company, The Daily Caller reported.

      Podesta has said he transferred his 75,000 shares from Joule to a holding company named Leonidio Holdings. But included in the released emails is information that Podesta received a K1 income tax form indicating that he was a partner sharing income with Leonidio Holdings, while another form was made out to Podesta’s daughter Megan Rouse, who is a financial planner.

      A June 5, 2015 email from Rouse to John, Mae and Gabe Podesta shows the extent to which other family members were involved: “Mae and Gabe, Please see attached K1 for Leonidio. You can use this to complete your 2014 tax return. We will each report 1/3 share of what’s on the form. Mom and Pa, Please see attached K1 showing the distribution to Leonidio.”

    • Tax form Indicates Podesta Put Kremlin-Tainted Shares In Daughter’s Company

      Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta received a K1 income tax form indicating that he was a partner sharing income with Leonidio Holdings, according to emails released Sunday by WikiLeaks. Another form was made out to Podesta’s daughter, Megan Rouse, his partner in Leonidio Holdings.

      Podesta has always maintained that he transferred his 75,000 shares from Joule Unlimited Technologies, a Kremlin-financed energy company, to an “anonymous” holding company named Leonidio Holdings. Not only does Leonidio share an address with Podesta’s daughter, Rouse, but they share a tax return.

      The other beneficiaries are all in the family too.

    • Obama told us he’s honorable — but he’s just another liar

      Now we know Obama was lying. His own aides said so, in e-mails uncovered by WikiLeaks and made public this week.

    • WikiLeaks: Trump Rally Agitator and Clinton Campaign Manager Are ‘Close’

      Robert Creamer, the operative behind sending provocateurs to Donald Trump rallies, was close to Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, according to new emails released by WikiLeaks.

      Creamer, who allegedly spearheaded the dirty tricks for the Democrats, wasn’t just consulting for the Democratic National Committee, according to videos made by Project Veritas. He was sending people to provoke Trump at events.

    • Fmr U.S. Atty: Comey’s Hand Forced by FBI ‘Seething’ Anger at Botched Hillary Email Investigation

      In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Joseph DiGenova gave a stark assessment of what led to FBI Director James Comey’s recent decision to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, after an investigation into Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal led to the discovery of thousands of emails on the computer of Weiner’s estranged wife, top Hillary Clinton aide, Huma Abedin.

    • Boring or Annoying Things We Have to Know

      I have always glazed over at any mention of Hillary Clinton’s emails. The USA is not my country, and it seemed like a rather boring argument about classifications and document security. I also had a natural resistance to anything that appeared to promote the interests of Donald Trump. I now realise that is how a complicit media was deliberately presenting it, and my lack of interest was the desired effect. They are still presenting the issues in a manner which I hope I will be able to prove to you is entirely tendentious. So this weekend I request you to grit your teeth, set aside your disinterest and read through this article. Please.

      Those Hillary server emails are largely a separate thing to those which WikiLeaks has been releasing. What the WikiLeaks release of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary campaign chair Podesta emails has proved beyond any reasonable doubt, is the extent of Hillary’s corruption. Both in terms of the fixing of the primary election against Bernie Sanders by the people who were supposed to be organising it, and the vast sums of money the Clinton family were receiving personally through Clinton Foundation and consultancy activity linked to State Department access, decisions and activity.

      Before Clinton handed over her private email server to the FBI investigation into her handling of classified material, she scrubbed over 30,000 emails and had drives physically treated to ensure permanent destruction. It is obviously very likely that many of those emails referred to the kind of nefarious activity we are now seeing from the DNC and Podesta leaks.

      It is also of course a fact that those 30,000 emails all had recipients, as well as Hillary as a sender. We can be sure that a major effort will have been undertaken to make sure recipients deleted them too. But from time to time some are sure to turn up. That is what has just happened and prompted yesterday’s announcement of a renewed investigation. In the course of an unrelated investigation into alleged paedophile grooming, the FBI has come across some of Hillary’s deleted emails on the device of a close political aide.

    • The Podesta Emails Revelations: A Collection

      —In an email containing information from intelligence sources, Clinton detailed a strategy for defeating the Islamic State and noted Qatar and Saudi Arabia are funding ISIS operations. (Dan Wright, Shadowproof)

      —Hillary Clinton’s letter to mega-donor Haim Saban against the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel was leaked to press to attract pro-Israel donors. (Rania Khalek, Electronic Intifada)

      —During one of her paid speeches for Goldman Sachs, Clinton admitted a no fly zone in Syria would mean the United States and NATO would “kill a lot of Syrians.” (Zaid Jilani, The Intercept)

      —Representatives of Qatar wanted to meet for “five minutes” with Bill Clinton to present a $1 million check to him for his birthday (New York Times)

    • Sometimes You Need to Dig a Little to Unearth the Point of an NYT Story

      As it turns out, most other news outlets did not share the Times‘ sense of newsworthiness.

    • ‘Will Every Eligible Voter Be Able to Cast a Ballot?’

      It’s hard to pick the most ominous or disturbing thing Donald Trump has said, but his call for supporters to “go and watch” polling places in “certain areas” because “you know what I’m talking about” is up there. But Trump’s claim that the election is rigged—unless he wins, in which case it isn’t—didn’t spring full-blown from his head. Republicans have claimed voter fraud benefiting their opponents for a long time. And for a long time, corporate media have set those claims alongside concerns about voter suppression, of African-Americans and immigrants in particular, as though they were equally grounded, or just analogous partisan gripes.

    • FBI discovered Clinton-related emails weeks ago

      The FBI stumbled upon a trove of emails from one of Hillary Clinton’s top aides weeks ago, law enforcement officials told CNN Sunday.
      But FBI Director James Comey didn’t disclose the discovery until Friday, raising questions about why the information was kept under wraps and then released only days before the election.
      Meanwhile, the Justice Department has obtained a warrant that will allow it to begin searching the computer that is believed to contain thousands of newly found emails of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, two law enforcement sources confirmed to CNN.

      The timeline behind the discovery of the emails came into greater clarity Sunday.
      Investigators took possession of multiple computers related to the inquiry of Anthony Weiner in early October, U.S. law enforcement officials said. Weiner is Abedin’s estranged husband and is being probed about alleged sexting with a purportedly underage girl.

    • Clinton emails: FBI chief may have broken law, says top Democrat

      The Democratic leader in the US Senate says the head of the FBI may have broken the law by revealing the bureau was investigating emails possibly linked to Hillary Clinton.

      Harry Reid accused FBI director James Comey of violating an act which bars officials from influencing an election.

      News of the FBI inquiry comes less than two weeks before the US election.

      The bureau has meanwhile obtained a warrant to search a cache of emails belonging to a top Clinton aide.

      Emails from Huma Abedin are believed to have been found on the laptop of her estranged husband, former congressman Anthony Weiner.

    • The FBI is sitting on ‘explosive’ information regarding Donald Trump and Russia, top Democrat asserts

      A top Democrat in Washington says the FBI has shone a spotlight on a new trove of emails potentially associated with Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while sitting on “explosive information” allegedly tying Donald Trump to the Russian government.

      Senator Harry Reid, the Democrat leader of the US Senate, accused the FBI of double standards in a letter sent late on Sunday to James Comey, the agency’s director, who jolted the presidential race on Friday by revealing the existence of a new cache of emails.

    • Facebook wants to be your guide on Election Day

      Now that the presidential debates are over, Facebook wants to help you prepare for the last political battleground: the voting booth.

      The social-media company unveiled a feature this week designed to help users create a voting plan, showing not just presidential candidates but also information on statewide elections. Should you want to dive down to the local level, you can give Facebook your address and the company will tell you what’s on the ballot in your neck of the woods.

    • Google’s Schmidt drew up draft plan for Clinton in 2014

      Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, submitted a detailed draft to a key Clinton aide on 15 April 2014, outlining his ideas for a possible run for the presidency and stressing that “key is the development of a single record for a voter that aggregates all that is known about them”.

      Though Schmidt did not mention it, this kind of information is the lifeblood of Google’s business.

      The ideas, in an email released by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, were sent to Cheryl Mills, former deputy White House counsel to Bill Clinton. Mills forwarded it to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, campaign manager Robby Mook and Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign manager David Plouffe.

    • Schmidt sought top outside post in Clinton campaign

      Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, expressed a desire more than two years ago to be the “head outside adviser” to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, according to an email released by WikiLeaks.

      The email, dating back to 2014, was part of a bigger trove released by the whistle-blower website, all of which were from the Gmail account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

      There have been unproven claims by the Democratic Party that the leaked material has been provided by Russian sources.

      In the email, sent to campaign manager Robby Mook, Podesta wrote that he had met Schmidt on 2 April 2014 and that he (Schmidt) was “ready to fund, advise recruit talent, etc”.

      Podesta apparently expected Schmidt to be a pushy sort, as he wrote, “He (Schmidt) was more deferential on structure than I expected. Wasn’t pushing to run through one of his existing firms. Clearly wants to be head outside advisor, but didn’t seem like he wanted to push others out. Clearly wants to get going.

      “He’s still in DC tomorrow and would like to meet with you if you are in DC in the afternoon. I think it’s worth doing. You around? If you are, and want to meet with him, maybe the four of us can get on the phone in the am.”

      Mook was in Australia at the time, but wrote back to Podesta that he would “to do a call w him before I get back or meet with him after the 23rd”.

    • Democrats should ask Clinton to step aside

      Has America become so numb by the decades of lies and cynicism oozing from Clinton Inc. that it could elect Hillary Clinton as president, even after Friday’s FBI announcement that it had reopened an investigation of her emails while secretary of state?

      We’ll find out soon enough.

      It’s obvious the American political system is breaking down. It’s been crumbling for some time now, and the establishment elite know it and they’re properly frightened. Donald Trump, the vulgarian at their gates, is a symptom, not a cause. Hillary Clinton and husband Bill are both cause and effect.

      FBI director James Comey’s announcement about the renewed Clinton email investigation is the bombshell in the presidential campaign. That he announced this so close to Election Day should tell every thinking person that what the FBI is looking at is extremely serious.

      This can’t be about pervert Anthony Weiner and his reported desire for a teenage girl. But it can be about the laptop of Weiner’s wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin, and emails between her and Hillary. It comes after the FBI investigation in which Comey concluded Clinton had lied and been “reckless” with national secrets, but said he could not recommend prosecution.

    • Clinton Foundation: Only 10% and 6% towards charity grants in 2013-14

      The Clinton Foundation spent less than 6 percent of its budget on charitable grants in 2014 and less than 10% the year prior, according to documents the organization filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

    • U.S. Officials Doubt Donald Trump Has Direct Link to Russia

      For much of the summer, the F.B.I. pursued a widening investigation into a Russian role in the American presidential campaign. Agents scrutinized advisers close to Donald J. Trump, looked for financial connections with Russian financial figures, searched for those involved in hacking the computers of Democrats, and even chased a lead — which they ultimately came to doubt — about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.

      Law enforcement officials say that none of the investigations so far have found any link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government. And even the hacking into Democratic emails, F.B.I. and intelligence officials now believe, was aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump.

      Hillary Clinton’s supporters, angry over what they regard as a lack of scrutiny of Mr. Trump by law enforcement officials, pushed for these investigations. In recent days they have also demanded that James B. Comey, the director of the F.B.I., discuss them publicly, as he did last week when he announced that a new batch of emails possibly connected to Mrs. Clinton had been discovered.

    • Don’t settle for the lesser of two evils in this election. Vote for the Green party

      Donald Trump’s self-inflicted wounds and propensity for public meltdowns had pushed the public-opinion needle toward Hillary Clinton, according to recent polls. That may have changed a little in the aftermath of the FBI’s renewing of its email probe last week. But even so, the fears of many voters that a Donald Trump presidency might become a reality have abated.

      Those fears are not unfounded. Trump’s failings as a candidate and a person are manifest, and he would be in a position to wreak considerable havoc if elected. That’s especially true at the agency level, with the judiciary and in other arenas where the president can wield executive power. The wildcard aspect of his personality poses risks that can’t be predicted, nor can anyone know the degree to which congress would be inclined to obstruct or approve his most damaging initiatives.

      What has been lost in the salacious and obsessive media coverage of the Republican nominee’s outrageous behavior, bigoted remarks and appeal to the worst instincts of the electorate, however, is a critical examination of what a Clinton administration will mean for the nation. The FBI probe, information on tangled interests within the Clinton Foundation, evidence of influence peddling and Wikileaks revelations detailing manipulation of media and the democratic process, signal a plutocratic style of governance that is all too familiar and increasingly dominant at the federal level.

      The content of what has been revealed in these leaks, as well as her lengthy track record in government and policy statements as a candidate yield an inescapable conclusion: Hillary Clinton represents the entrenched interests of the status quo. Her election will expand the excesses of global interventionism and corporate welfare that have characterized US policies for several decades – at tremendous, almost incalculable cost both domestically and internationally.

    • Jill Stein’s AMA (Ask Me Anything) On Reddit: All You Need To Know About The Green Party Candidate’s Q & A Session

      “We could for example cancel the obsolete F-35 fighter jet program, create a Wall Street transaction tax (where a 0.2% tax would produce over $350 billion per year), or canceling the planned trillion dollar investment in a new generation of nuclear weapons. Unlike weapons programs and tax cuts for the super rich, investing in higher education and freeing millions of Americans from debt will have tremendous benefits for the real economy.”

    • WIKILEAKS: Here’s How The Clinton’s Free Private Jet Scam Works

      Ira Magaziner, the CEO of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, asked former President Bill Clinton to thank Morocco’s King Mohammed VI for “offering his plane to the conference in Ethiopia.”

      “CHAI would like to request that President Clinton call Sheik Mohammed to thank him for offering his plane to the conference in Ethiopia,” Magaziner gushed in a November 22, 2011 email released by WikiLeaks.

      Clinton frequently has expected free, luxurious private jet travel during his post-presidential life. Clinton, his wife and daughter have artfully secured free air travel and luxurious accommodations since they left the White House. It’s an effective way to accept gifts of great value without declaring them for the Clinton Foundation.

    • Clinton Foundation memo reveals Bill and Hillary as partners in crime

      Last week, WikiLeaks dropped a 2011 memo by top Bill Clinton aide Doug Band that lays bare Team Clinton’s sordid financial dealings when Hillary Clinton was secretary of State.

      Band describes how the Clinton Foundation served as a conduit for what he called “Bill Clinton Inc.” — the former president’s for-profit arm. Other documents show State Department involvement.

      The result is an unsavory mix of charity work, profiteering, and pay-to-play politics that potentially reaches the highest levels of US foreign policy and screams for IRS and Department of Justice reviews.

      At center is Band and his consulting firm Teneo. Band served as gatekeeper to all things Bill Clinton. Those wanting a former president as golf partner ponied up. Requests for Foundation dough followed. Next came Clinton Inc. — the steady stream of speeches, books, and honorary titles that enriched Bill Clinton. Teneo managed it all.

      Huge corporations and others seeking Clinton’s orbit lined up. Teneo’s clients included major U.S. corporations Coca-Cola and Dow Chemical, which donated huge sums.

      Foreign firms like UBS donated and greased Clinton Inc.

      For-profit Laureate International Universities went further, buying Clinton “advice” and rights to his prestige for $3.5 million annually. In all, Band states Teneo’s management yielded the former president $50 million — including a $2 million upfront slice of Band’s firm — with another $66 million queued. Band also facilitated political activity including securing campaign donors and managing Clinton’s political schedule.

    • The Clinton Foundation: Hopelessly Corrupt Or Just A Lousy Charity?

      Public Corruption: As the unseemly ties between the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s State Department become more glaring and disturbing, the rhetoric from the Democratic side is getting more desperate. Now Clinton hatchet man James Carville says critics of the foundation are going to hell.

    • Poll: Comey’s bombshell changes few votes

      The race for the White House is tight, but it has not been radically changed by the FBI director’s bombshell announcement last week.

      Hillary Clinton has a slim three-point lead over Donald Trump one week before Election Day, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted entirely after FBI Director James Comey announced the discovery of new emails that might pertain to the former secretary of state’s private server.

      Clinton leads Trump 46 percent to 43 percent in a two-way race, and 42 percent to 39 percent in a four-way race, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson at 7 percent and the Green Party’s Jill Stein at 5 percent.

      The poll was conducted using an online panel of 1,772 likely voters on Saturday and Sunday, beginning one day after Comey’s announcement. The poll carries a margin or error of 2 percentage points.

    • National poll: Trump now leads Clinton by 1 point

      Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has overtaken Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for the first time since May in a national tracking poll.

      Trump has a 1-point lead over the former secretary of State, 46 to 45 percent, in the ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday morning.

    • Trump Leads Clinton by 1 Point in New Poll as Enthusiasm Declines

      While vote preferences have held essentially steady, she’s now a slim point behind Donald Trump — a first since May — in the latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates.

      Forty-six percent of likely voters support Trump in the latest results, with 45 percent for Clinton. Taking it to the decimal for illustrative purposes, a mere .7 of a percentage point divides them. Third-party candidate Gary Johnson has 3 percent, a new low; Jill Stein, 2 percent.

    • Report & Wikileaks Reveal How Facebook, Clinton Loyalists Control Your Newsfeed

      Censorship by Facebook has become a thorn in the side of nearly anyone with an opinion differing from the narrative touted by the corporate press — for instance, sentiments not praising Hillary Clinton — and now, through both a new report from Reuters and emails published by Wikileaks, we have insight into why certain posts are targeted.

    • John Podesta’s Best Friend At The DOJ Will Be In Charge Of The DOJ’s Probe Into Huma Abedin Emails

      Now that the FBI has obtained the needed warrant to start poring over the 650,000 or so emails uncovered in Anthony Weiner’s notebook, among which thousands of emails sent from Huma Abedin using Hillary Clinton’s personal server, moments ago the US Justice Department announced it is also joining the probe, and as AP reported moments ago, vowed to dedicate all needed resources to quickly review the over half a million emails in the Clinton case.

    • ‘Google has power to control elections, can shift millions of votes to Clinton’ – Robert Epstein

      People trust the “unbiased” internet search giant Google so much it can actually influence up to 10 million undecided voters to choose Hillary Clinton for president, prominent US psychologist and author Robert Epstein told RT following years of research.

      Despite being a supporter of the Democratic presidential nominee, Dr. Epstein believes Google’s unchecked algorithm of placing one candidate over the other in search results constitutes a “threat to democracy.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Interrogated by Finnish police for alleged idendity crimes, fraud and attempts of fraud

      Putting the word out: I was interrogated by the Finnish police today for
      multiple alleged counts (15+) of identity crimes, fraud and attempts of
      fraud. The invitation letter to be interrogated was sent out on
      2016-10-21 and received by me on 2016-10-25. Today is 2016-10-31.

      The police suspects me because of an “IP-address assigned to my name”,
      which I can’t confirm or deny to have a relation to me. As a suspect, I
      was not told what this aclaimed IP-address was on a specific date to my
      knowledge. It is only speculation if these allegations wrongly against
      me have something to do with my relation with the Tor community or
      activism about digital rights online.

      Pending ongoing investigation, I am not allowed by law to share more
      specific details about to the investigation. I’d be glad to reveal more
      details about the case once the investigation is over and share/hear how
      I became a suspect, once I know about it. (Note that my story is at
      least slightly opinionated.)

      I had a witness with me and I feel like my rights were being violated
      during the interrogation. The officer (not to be named publicly in
      respect for privacy) didn’t want to allow me to write down their badge
      number by taking the badge away from me while trying to write down the
      numbers. The officer looked slightly anxious.

    • Google Glass can teach you Morse code in four hours without trying

      If all that is meaningless to you, don’t worry. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found a way for humans to learn Morse code in four hours just by playing games.

      The subjects were given Google Glass headsets (ask your parents) and continued to play games while vibrations near the ear slowly embedded subconscious Morsey goodness into their brains, reported Phys.org.

    • South African Spy Company Used by Gadaffi Touts its NSA-Like Capabilities

      The South African company best known for selling Muammar Gaddafi’s regime spy equipment used to monitor millions of Libyans’ international phone calls is now claiming it can intercept communications on a scale that rivals a government spy agency, according to a company brochure obtained by The Intercept.

      In a 2016 pamphlet produced by VASTech SA Pty Ltd., the company outlines its current capabilities for governments, militaries, and law enforcement agencies around the world, claiming it can conduct “passive detection” of communications transmitted from satellites, fix-and-mobile phones, and fiber optic cable.

      The company is offering multiple tools to vacuum up communications from around the globe undetected, or what the company calls “communication intelligence extraction solutions” — a capability not unlike the U.S. National Security Agency’s PRISM program.

    • Who are the Shadow Brokers?
    • New Leak Leads To Another NSA Spying Scandal
    • Hackers say they’re revealing more from trove of NSA data
    • NSA-Hacking ‘Shadow Brokers’ Reveal Spy-Penetrated Networks
    • Shadow Brokers leak second batch of data allegedly from NSA-linked ‘Equation Group’ hacking unit
    • Shadow Brokers releases list of servers hacked by the NSA
    • Shadow Brokers post list of compromised IP addresses
    • New leak may show if you were hacked by the NSA
    • Hacking group says list features servers infiltrated by National Security Agency
    • The Shadow Brokers dump more intel from the NSA’s elite Equation Group
    • Shadow Brokers leak list of supposed NSA controlled computers in China, Russia
    • Shadow Brokers claim to leak NSA cyberespionage targets
    • ‘Shadow Brokers’ dumps list of NSA-hacked attack servers
    • Shadow Brokers Tell U.S. to Pay to Get Files Back
    • Second Shadow Brokers dump released
    • Shadow Brokers Give NSA Halloween Surprise With Leak Of Hacked Servers
    • Hackers expose apparent NSA cyber espionage operations
    • NSA has been hacking Sonatrach from 2010 to 2002
    • Shadow Brokers leak systems hacked by NSA – mostly mail and uni servers in India, China
    • New leak reveals over 100 web addresses compromised by the NSA
    • Shadowbrokers’ NSA dirty tricks spill points to compromised servers in China and Russia
    • Shadow Brokers leaks list of NSA targets and compromised servers
    • NSA Hackers The Shadow Brokers Dump More Files
    • Hacker group releases list of NSA-compromised servers
    • Past behaviour did not stop leaker from accessing sensitive NSA Data

      The US National Security Agency’s (NSA) latest alleged leaker apparently raised no red flags despite a history of abnormal behaviour. The New York Times reported on 29 October that Harold T. Martin III, who is accused of stealing 50 terabytes of data from the NSA, apparently dealt with divorces, unpaid taxes, legal charges and drinking problems and was still allowed access to top secret information.

      In a detention hearing on 28 October, Judge Richard D. Bennett noted that Martin had a history of drinking problems. In 2006, he faced a drunk driving charge. Martin is known to have been called up for unpaid taxes in 2000, which he did not pay off for over a decade. Martin’s other run ins with the law include a computer harassment charge and an incident where he pretended to be a police officer during a traffic dispute.

      Martin’s house would eventually be raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in August 2016. He was arrested when investigators found thousands of pages of classified material on several storage devices, apparently taken from a variety of jobs he held as an NSA contractor, most recently for Booz Allen. It is not clear whether Martin was merely hoarding this information, or intended to leak it. His lawyers have stated that “there is no evidence that he intended to betray his country”.

    • Rights Groups, Activists Ask President To Respond To Unanswered Encryption Petition

      A bunch of organizations concerned with privacy, free press, and human rights are gently reminding the outgoing president that he still hasn’t fully responded to a We the People petition about encryption.

    • Montreal police monitored iPhone of La Presse journalist Patrick Lagacé

      Montreal police strongly defended a highly controversial decision to spy on a La Presse columnist by tracking his cellphone calls and texts and monitoring his whereabouts as part of a necessary internal police investigation — while the journalist involved called what they did “indefensible.”

      “Lives were not at stake, this was not a question of national security,” La Presse columnist Patrick Lagacé said in an interview Monday. “The leaks made them look bad, that’s why they decided to go after me in the way they did.”

      Opposition politicians are also condemning Montreal police for spying on Lagacé, though Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre stood by police chief Philippe Pichet on Monday, noting that a mayor should not intervene in police operations, but did say he was troubled by the news.

      For several months this year, police were monitoring Lagacé’s iPhone to determine the identity of his sources, La Presse reported. This was confirmed to Lagacé last Thursday by Montreal police.

      At least 24 surveillance warrants were granted by courts in 2016, at the request of the Montreal police department’s special investigations section, which probes crime within the police force. The warrants allowed police to track the telephone numbers of incoming and outgoing calls on Lagacé’s phone, and to monitor the phone’s location, although Pichet denied at a hastily convened press conference Monday that the GPS on his phone was monitored.

      Lagacé said he is sure many judges around the world have been asked by police departments to grant similar warrants, but refused because it was too “vulgar” to spy on a reporter. “It was incredibly aggressive,” he said, questioning the judgment of the judge involved.

    • Lords examines Investigatory Powers Bill

      The Investigatory Powers Bill will have its third reading, a final chance to tidy up the bill and make changes, in the House of Lords on Monday 31 October.

    • Belgian Court Fines Microsoft For Failing To Comply With Its Impossible Order

      The court, failing to understand anything but its power to order people around, demanded Skype turn over communications. Skype turned over the only thing it could actually obtain, explaining that its architecture didn’t support the interception of calls. No dice. That only made the court angry.

      The court was no more happy to have pointed out to it that Microsoft didn’t actually fall under its jurisdiction. It maintains no data centers in Belgium, nor does it have anyone employed there. Microsoft suggested the court work with governments of countries where it actually maintains a presence and utilize their mutual assistance treaties.

    • Brandi Collins on Black Lives Surveillance

      Corporate journalists rely on the First Amendment, but it’s increasingly unclear if the First Amendment can rely on them. The relative lack of interest in the impact of spying on activists—a practice with a long and disturbing history given new power by technology—is the latest example.

    • As Expected, FCC Passes Modest Privacy Rules For Broadband Providers, ISPs Act Like World Has Ended

      Over the past week, we’ve been talking a lot about the need for more transparency and user control for privacy on the internet, so it’s only fitting that the FCC has officially adopted its new privacy rules for ISPs that will require broadband providers to be much more explicit concerning what information it collects and shares with others, and provide (mostly) clear “opt-in” requirements on some of that data collection. This isn’t a surprise. It was pretty clear that the FCC was going to approve these rules that it announced earlier this year. And, of course, the big broadband providers threw a giant hissy fit over these rules that just ask them to be more transparent and give users at least a little bit of control over what data is collected.

      Comcast has caused these proposals “irrational” and various think tankers paid for by the broadband providers tried to tell the world that poor people benefit from a lack of privacy. And magically new studies came out claiming that broadband providers are cuddly and lovable, rather than snarfing up everyone’s data.

      And, of course, the various broadband providers want to blame Google for the rules, because everyone wants to blame Google for everything. The issue here is that the broadband access providers have these rules, while online service providers, like Google and Facebook do not. There are, of course, a few responses to this. The first, is that the FCC doesn’t have authority over those sites, like it does have over the access providers under the Telecom Act. The second is that users are much more locked in to their broadband access provider, and there is much less competition. Switching is much more difficult. The third argument is, basically, that Google and Facebook don’t have nearly the same history as the broadband access providers of really nasty privacy violations. Hell, just as these new rules were coming, Verizon was being fined for stealth zombie cookies. Finally, the simple fact is that broadband access providers have the power to spy on a lot more internet activity than Google or Facebook. Yes, those other services are in more and more places, but it’s not difficult to block them. With your ISP everything goes through their pipes, and unless you carefully encrypt your traffic via a VPN, they get to see everything.

    • Why do we still accept that governments collect and snoop on our data?

      In recent weeks, the Hollywood film about Edward Snowden and the movement to pardon the NSA whistleblower have renewed worldwide attention on the scope and substance of government surveillance programs. In the United States, however, the debate has often been a narrow one, focused on the rights of Americans under domestic law but mostly blind to the privacy rights of millions of others affected by this surveillance.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • At DAPL, Confiscating Cameras as Evidence of Journalism

      While elite media wait for the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline to go away so they can return to presenting their own chin-stroking as what it means to take climate change seriously, independent media continue to fill the void with actual coverage.

      One place you can go to find reporting is The Intercept (10/25/16), where journalist Jihan Hafiz filed a video report from North Dakota, where the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies continue their stand against the sacred site–trampling, water supply–threatening project.

    • ‘Dumbfounded’: Documentarian facing 45 years for filming pipeline protest

      Schlosberg was arrested in Walhalla, North Dakota, on October 11 for filming activist Michael Foster — a member of the group known as Climate Direct Action — as he shut off a valve of a Canadian tar sands pipeline. In solidarity with protesters opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, activists shut down similar valves in Washington, Montana, and Minnesota on the same day.

      However, authorities in North Dakota have charged the filmmaker with two Class A felonies and one Class C felony, including conspiracy to theft of property, conspiracy to theft of services, and conspiracy to tampering with or damaging a public service.

    • Descendants of Jewish refugees seek German citizenship after Brexit vote

      Descendants of the tens of thousands of German Jews who fled the Nazis and found refuge in Britain are making use of their legal right to become German citizens following the Brexit vote.

      German authorities have reported a twentyfold increase in the number of restored citizenship applications – a right reserved for anybody who was persecuted on political, racial or religious grounds during the Nazi dictatorship, as well as their descendants.

    • Inside Nigeria’s Baby Factories

      Baby factories in Nigeria are pumping out babies for sale on the illegal adoption market. Swedish journalist Therese Cristiansson infiltrated these baby-trafficking networks with a hidden camera.

    • Nigeria lost $9bn to Boko Haram attacks – Presidential panel

      The Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative has revealed that the nation lost about $9bn to the violent activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

      According to the committee, a strategic framework would soon be set up by President Muhammadu Buhari in line with his determination to rebuild the North-East.

      The Vice-Chairman of the PCNI, Alhaji Tijani Tumsah, said this on Thursday in Abuja, while briefing newsmen on the outcome of its inaugural meeting.

      According to him, the focus of the meeting was to discuss the mandate given to the PCNI to fashion out a way that would be most direct, in terms of the delivery of that mandate, analyse the enormity of the task and fulfil the presidential mandate to give succour to the people of the North-East.

      Tumsah said, “We are not investigating anybody; there are people who are investigating such diversions. I’m glad you mentioned the Senate, the House of Representatives, police and the EFCC. Our mandate, going forward, is to provide a strategic framework for the implementation of all interventions going into the North-East in terms of humanitarian works, resettlement and eventual rebuilding of the North-East.

    • Iran: Writer Jailed For Writing Unpublished Story

      On Monday, Iranian intelligence authorities broke the apartment door of writer and human rights activist Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, raided her apartment and took her by force to serve a 6 year prison sentence for writing a story on stoning women in Islam, that was never published.

      Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee 35 years old, is the wife of political prisoner Arash Sadeghi, 36 who is now serving a 19 year prison sentence in Iranian prisons. The family has suffered much mistreatment since the 2009 disputed presidential election in Iran and have been in and out of prison. They have also lost their mother who had a stroke the minute the authorities raided their home in 2009.

    • Iran: Writer facing imminent imprisonment for story about stoning

      Iranian authorities must immediately repeal the conviction and sentence of Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, a writer and human rights activist who is due to begin serving six years in prison on charges including “insulting Islamic sanctities” through the writing of an unpublished story about the horrific practice of stoning, Amnesty International said today.

      “The charges against Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee are ludicrous. She is facing years behind bars simply for writing a story, and one which was not even published – she is effectively being punished for using her imagination,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

    • Woman recalls moment she was strip-searched by police aged 12

      A woman has described being strip-searched by police when she was 12 years old.

      Georgia Wood, now 20, said the officers were “horrible and demeaning” and the incident had “really affected” her life, leaving her lacking confidence and suffering panic attacks.

      Ms Wood was taken into police custody in south Wales eight years ago with her mother, who was suspected of possessing drugs.

      No illegal substances were found on Ms Wood or her mother, Karen Archer, who wasn’t charged with an offence.

      According to figures acquired by the BBC from 13 police forces in England and Wales, more than 5,000 children aged 17 and under were strip-searched between 2013 and 2015.

    • Saudi Arabia is preparing to behead and crucify a 21-year-old activist

      A young Saudi Arabian Shi’a activist, who was sentenced to death last year, has lost his final appeal for justice and is due to be executed by beheading, followed by the mounting of his headless body onto a crucifix for public viewing.

      Human rights groups and Saudi critics are appalled by both the nature of the execution and the flimsy case against Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, though neither of these factors are unusual in today’s Saudi Arabia.

    • Muslim women complain about Sharia inquiries

      More than 100 Muslim women have complained about their treatment under two government probes into Sharia law.

      The inquiries – one ordered by Theresa May when she was home secretary, and another by the home affairs select committee – are ongoing.

      But some women have signed an open letter and said the aim is to ban Sharia councils, not reform them.

      The Muslim Women’s Network UK said the inquiries risk treating women like “political footballs”.

      The councils are tribunals often used to settle disputes within the Muslim community.

      The first evidence session on Sharia councils is due to be held by the home affairs committee on Tuesday.

    • Sharia Courts interfered to protect domestic abusers, MPs told

      Leading figures from the UK’s Sharia councils will give evidence in parliament tomorrow, in the wake of accusations that a leading Sharia court has been protecting domestic abusers from criminal proceedings.

      The Home Affairs Select Committee has published written evidence submitted to it that is heavily critical of the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal (Mat) in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, in advance of its session on Tuesday. The Mat states on its website that it urges the Crown Prosecution Service to “reconsider” criminal charges brought against Muslim men accused of domestic violence.

      The Southall Black Sisters, a group that helps vulnerable women, have told the committee that the strategy of asking the CPS to “reconsider” cases is an “attempt to sabotage criminal proceedings”.

    • UK.gov’s pricey Five Year Plan to see off cyber thugs still in place

      UK Chancellor Philip Hammond is due to reaffirm a pledge to spend £1.9bn up until the end of 2020 to bolster the UK’s cyber security strategy in a speech early this afternoon.

      The updated strategy – which doesn’t include any new spending pledges1 – is expected to include an increase in focus on investment in automated defences to combat malware and spam emails, establish a fund earmarked to recruit 50 specialists to work on cybercrime at the National Crime Agency, the creation of a Cyber Security Research Institute and an “innovation fund” for cyber security startups. All this investment is needed because of increased threats from nation state attackers, terrorists and organised crime gangs, the Chancellor is expected to say.

    • Legislators Demand Answers From DOJ On Expanded Hacking Powers It’s Seeking

      There’s only a couple of months left until the DOJ’s proposed Rule 41 changes become law. All Congress has to do is nothing. This is a level of effort Congress is mostly amenable to. If this becomes law, worldwide deployments of malware/spyware during investigations will be unable to be challenged in court. In addition, the DOJ wants to be part of the cyberwar. It’s seeking permission to remotely access zombie computers/devices used in cyberattacks to “clean” them.

    • There’s no way your Facebook “check-in” is confusing North Dakota cops

      On Monday, supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline began a viral campaign enticing people to “check in” to the reservation on Facebook as a way to “overwhelm and confuse” local law enforcement.

      However, there is no evidence that this tactic is effective, particularly as the Morton County Sheriff’s Department expressly said on its own Facebook page that it “is not and does not follow Facebook check-ins for the protest camp or any location. This claim/rumor is absolutely false.”

      In recent months, activists have been protesting at the site on the border of North and South Dakota in an attempt to halt a planned oil pipeline that many believe would damage the local water supply and desecrate tribal lands.

      This Facebook plea is similar to calls in 2009, during the controversial presidential election in Iran, where supporters of the Green Movement urged people to change their Twitter location to Tehran. Similarly, there was no indication that this action mitigated local Iranian authorities’ ability to arrest protesters.

    • Turkey detains 13 journalists after mass firings of public servants

      Turkey has detained 13 journalists in an ongoing wave of government crackdowns following a coup attempt in July.
      Early Monday morning, Turkish police detained Murat Sabuncu, editor-in-chief of the newspaper Cumhuriyet, along with a dozen other reporters in a raid, according to official news agency Anadolu.

    • Branding Moderates as ‘Anti-Muslim’

      As if facing down violent Islamist fanatics isn’t enough, Muslim reformers now have to dodge attacks from the American left. Consider the Southern Poverty Law Center’s decision last week to brand two such reformers, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Britain’s Maajid Nawaz, as “anti-Muslim extremists.”

    • Indonesian woman becomes latest person to be caned ‘for standing near boyfriend’

      A 20-year-old woman in Indonesia has been publicly caned for standing too close to her boyfriend, becoming the 14th person to be flogged this month in the same province.

      The unnamed woman was accused of breaking Islamic Sharia law, which strictly forbids unmarried couples to become intimate, and was flogged in front of a crowd in Banda Aceh province.

      She was escorted onto a stage outside a mosque wearing a headdress and was lashed with a cane.

      Incidents of the punishment have reportedly increased recently in Indonesia.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T’s Already Making Things Up To Get Its Massive New Merger Approved

      Over the years, we’ve noted how AT&T has a nasty habit of lying to sell the public, press and regulators on the company’s neverending attempts to grow larger. Whether it’s promising broadband expansions that never arrive, or using astroturf to try and argue anti-consumer mergers are good for toddlers, AT&T’s lobbyists, lawyers, and policy tendrils work tirelessly to argue that up is down, black is white, and any skepticism of its claims are unfounded hysteria. As we saw with the blocked T-Mobile merger, this sort of behavior doesn’t work quite as well as it used to.

      Enter AT&T’s latest $85 billion planned acquisition of Time Warner. Consumer advocates worry AT&T could use its size and leverage to make content more expensive, while the usage caps and zero rating give AT&T’s own upcoming streaming video service an unfair market advantage. Wall Street hasn’t exactly been bullish on the idea either, noting how AT&T’s $69 billion acquisition of DirecTV, followed by its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner is not only a giant risk on the eve of the cord cutting revolution, but it saddles AT&T with an absolute mountain of debt that will potentially damage the company’s credit rating.

    • Most of Canada’s Biggest Telecoms Want to End Net Neutrality

      On Monday, Canada’s federal telecommunications regulator debates the principle of net neutrality—the idea that every online service should be equally accessible in terms of connection speed and data costs.

      It’s fitting that this hearing takes place on Halloween, because the idea that one of Canada’s telecoms could favour a certain music streaming service, for example, over another—by making Spotify free to use, while Apple Music eats away at your data plan, for example—is pretty spooky.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Sega/Steam Took Down A Bunch Of Legitimate Steam Workshop Mods Over Copyright Concerns

        We’ve talked often about how common it is for legitimate customers to get caught up in attempts to thwart piracy and copyright infringement. From DRM keeping legit purchasers from using what they paid for to Fair Use uses of content getting taken down by automatic systems on sites like YouTube, it’s worth noting whenever this happens. After all, there is an expression in the legal system that goes something like: I’d rather set 100 guilty people free than imprison a single innocent. The stakes when it comes to copyright aren’t as high as jail time, typically, but it’s interesting how little this mantra penetrates with those who would enforce copyright via carpet-bomb rather than a scalpel.

        Take the recent incident with Sega’s Steam Workshop mod-space, for instance, where dozens and dozens of mods within the platform suddenly disappeared.

      • My Talk At Wikimedia: Copyright Impacts Everything

        Last week, I mentioned that I was giving a talk at the Wikimedia Foundation about copyright. It was a fun time, and the video from the talk is now online. Unfortunately, the audio and the video are… not entirely great. I’d complain about the terrible microphone, but that sounds like a certain presidential candidate. The video is okay, but the colors are off, so my presentation looks a little weird. Either way, you should still be able to get the basics. There’s an introduction from Jan Gerlach at the Wikimedia Foundation, talking about all the important policy work they do, then my talk that runs about half an hour, followed by a Q&A with the audience that runs another half hour or so. It was a fun time, with a really great group of folks, and the conversation continued on after the official session ended for quite a while.

      • Supreme Court Asks White House To Weigh In On Dancing Baby Fair Use Case

        The copyright case involving Stephanie Lenz and her dancing baby is one that may finally be nearing a conclusion after many, many years — but it’s not over yet. As you may recall, Lenz posted a very brief clip of her then toddler, dancing along to a few seconds of a barely audible Prince song. This was almost a decade ago.

      • Copyright and cheerleaders at the Supreme Court

        Star Athletica v Varsity Brands involves copyright protection for cheerleader uniforms. The question asked is: What is the appropriate test to determine when a feature of a useful article is protectable under Section 101 of the Copyright Act?

        “It is important because the court may well strike out on a new course or at least throw its determinative hat in the ring on how to approach useful articles more generally,” says Robert Brauneis of The George Washington University Law School, who will be presenting the session.

      • Copyright on a Useful Item

        Today the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the pending copyright case of Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands. Although not a patent case, the issue involves the boundary line (if any) between patent and copyright and the “useful article” exception. Question Presented: What is the appropriate test to determine when a feature of a useful article is protectable under section 101 of the Copyright Act. The statutory test under Section 101 states that “the design of a useful article . . . shall be considered a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work only if, and only to the extent that, such design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.”

      • Power Struggle In Russia As Internet Pirates Vie For Upper Hand

        The Russian intellectual property industry is on the verge of a new scandal. Following the recent arrest of Sergey Fedotov, head of the Russian Authors’ Society (RAS), Russia’s leading public association for the protection of intellectual property rights, on the charge of multi-million ruble thefts, the Russian police has announced the initiation of criminal proceedings against Maxim Ryabyko, head of the Russian Association for the Protection of Copyright on the Internet (RAPCI).

      • 86-Year Old Grandma Accused of Pirating a Zombie Game

        Since it’s become mandatory for ISPs to forward piracy notifications in Canada, hundreds of thousands of people have received letters over alleged copyright infringements. One of these accused pirates is an elderly woman, who’s threatened with $5,000 in potential damages for downloading a zombie game she’s never heard of.

      • ‘Shocked’ grandmother on hook for illegal mutant game download

        Post-nuclear war, mutant-killing video games are not Christine McMillan’s thing.

        But the 86-year-old from Ontario has been warned she could have to pay up to $5,000 for illegally downloading a game she’d never heard of.

        She is one of likely tens of thousands of Canadians who have received notices to pay up, whether they are guilty or not.

        “I found it quite shocking … I’m 86 years old, no one has access to my computer but me, why would I download a war game?” McMillan told Go Public.

        In May, she received two emails forwarded by her internet provider.

        They were from a private company called Canadian Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement (CANIPRE) claiming she had illegally downloaded Metro 2033, a first-person shooter game where nuclear war survivors have to kill mutants.​

      • Canada Copyright Troll Threatens Octogenarian Over Download Of A Zombie War Game

        Copyright trolling is somehow still a thing and it never seems to fail to provide ridiculous examples of miscarriages of justice. It has been long pointed out how rife with inaccuracy the process of threatening individuals with lawsuits and fines based on infringement as evidenced only by IP address is. Even courts have time and time again pointed out that an IP address is not sufficient to identify a person responsible for a given action. Yet the trolls still send out their threat letters, because bullying in this manner generally works.

        The latest example of this kind of trolling misfire comes from Canada, where 86-year-old Christine McMillan received a threat letter from CANIPRE over an alleged infringing download of Metro 2033, a game in which the player slaughters zombies in a post-nuclear world.

      • Pirate Party Books Election Victory in Iceland

        The Pirate Party in Iceland booked an important victory in the local parliamentary election today, scoring 14.5% of the total vote. While lower than most polls predicted, it marks the first time that a Pirate Party, anywhere in the world, has a serious shot at taking part in a government coalition.

      • Iceland’s Pirate Party Gains Ground in Election

        After near-constant exposure to the nausea-inducing dumpster fire that is the 2016 U.S. presidential race, it might be hard to grok that a movement of anti-establishment internet pirates has become one of the leading political parties of a small island nation.

        And yet that’s what’s happening in right now in Iceland, where the hacktivist-inspired Pirate Party achieved significant victories in the country’s parliamentary elections yesterday. Yesterday they won 14.5 percent of the popular vote, putting them in third place behind the center-right Independence Party and the Left-Green Movement, who won 29 percent and 15.9 percent of the vote respectively. (Earlier results showed them beating the Left-Green Movement for second place, but that changed as more votes were counted.)

        It wasn’t enough to seize majority control of the country as some polls for the extremely tight race were suggesting, but it was enough to win them 10 seats in the 63-seat parliament, up from the mere three they held after the 2013 elections. The formerly leading center-right Progressive Party, meanwhile, saw its seats drop by over half from 19 to eight, its dominance soundly trounced by the Pirates and the country’s smaller left-leaning parties: Left-Green, Bright Future, and Social Democrats. In the wake of the news, Icelandic prime minister and progressive Party member Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson resigned Sunday.

      • EU Advocate General Declares That Hotels Don’t Need To Pay Copyright License To Have In-Room Television

        We’ve seen all manner of silly claims by copyright licensing groups as to what requires what kind of license in every kind of circumstance. These licensing groups have gone after children’s charities. A UK collection society had the strategy of calling up local businesses and demanding payments should they hear music playing in the background. The Author’s Guild once claimed that reading a book out loud constituted the need for a separate license, while ASCAP asserted with a straight face that the ring of a mobile phone was a public performance. This panoply of idiocy might be funny, except for the very real harm done through this kind of harassment.

        Even the good stories in this vein weigh heavily in that they are necessary at all. For instance, the advocate general for the EU’s Court of Justice recently wrote an opinion advising that hotels didn’t need a copyright license just to have televisions within guest rooms. It’s a good ruling, but conjures the frustrating question as to why it was needed in the first place. The answer, of course, is because a collection group was attempting to collect from hotels for just that reason.

10.30.16

Links 30/10/2016: Lenovo Surrenders to Linux, Bodhi Linux 4.0.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 11:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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