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05.02.16

Links 2/5/2016: Linux 4.6 RC6, DragonBox Pyra

Posted in News Roundup at 6:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Download Linux Voice issue 18
  • Desktop

    • Windows desktop share falls below 90% [Ed: based on Microsoft-connected firm]

      The desktop share of Windows computers worldwide fell below 90 per cent for the first time since it established the mark, according to figures from the web analytics company Net Applications.

      While there were encouraging figures for Microsoft among the various Windows versions, the overall share fell to 89.23 per cent.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.6-rc6

      Things continue to be fairly calm, although I’m pretty sure I’ll still
      do an rc7 in this series.

      There’s nothing particularly scary in here – there’s a fix for a
      long-standing infiniband interface problem, but since you actually
      have to have the hardware for that, it’s not like that is going to
      affect all that many people, and the workaround was pretty
      straightforward. The bulk of the rest is really just the normal random
      noise. Drivers (sound, gpu, ethernet being the bulk of it),
      architectures (arm, s390, x86), networking is the bulk of it.

      Shortlog appended for your edification,

      Linus

    • Linux 4.6-rc6 Kernel Released, Codenamed “Charred Weasel”
    • Linus Torvalds Announces Linux Kernel 4.6 RC6, Dubbed “Charred Weasel”

      It’s Sunday night, so Linus Torvalds has announced the release of a new RC build for the upcoming Linux 4.6 kernel series, which has been dubbed “Charred Weasel.”

      According to Linus Torvalds, things continue to remain fairly calm in the development cycle of Linux kernel 4.6, which might very well get one more Release Candidate (RC), version RC7, next week, on May 8, 2016. Then, one week later, on May 15, we should be able to get our hands on the final release of Linux kernel 4.6, which will hit the stable repositories of various distributions most probably around June 2016.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Akonadi Support For Microsoft Exchange
      • Akonadi Resource for Microsoft Exchange Web Services (EWS)

        Whether you are a Microsoft hater or a lover, when you have ever had a chance to work for a medium or large corporation, you have probably stumbled upon Microsoft Exchange mail server. While it can be made to talk to regular e-mail clients using standards such as IMAP, POP3 and SMTP, some corporate admins choose not to enable any of the standard mail protocols leaving the user with no choice other than to use Microsoft Outlook. Even if it is possible to use regular e-mail clients they will not be able to explore the full potential of Exchange, as it is not only a mail server but rather a groupware server which includes support for calendar, tasks, contacts and many more.

      • Evaluation of the Qt Quick Scene Graph Performance

        QPainter, which is the base of drawing in KStars, uses an imperative way whereas QtQuick Scene Graph utilizes declarative paradigm. In Scene Graph you add some set of “nodes” (classes with prefix QSG) to the root node that is returned by calling QQuickItem::updatePaintNode() whenever you want to render QQuickItem and manipulate them during the runtime (change position, geometry, material, etc.) This gives possibilities to perform some optimization like batching the nodes to draw them in fewer calls to OpenGL, which can be of tremendous help for us in drawing stars, for example.

      • Hello World!

        As the title suggests it is a lite version for mobile/tablets, slow machines like budget laptops, netbooks, single-board computers like Raspberry Pi, etc. One of the main differences between desktop and lite versions is that the graphics of the latter is based on QML/QtQuick. KStars Lite is built bearing in mind the differences between mouse/touch interfaces and the graphical frontend will be designed according to touch interfaces of mobile platforms.

      • Plasma Mobile : New base system

        Last Akademy, the Plasma team revealed the first prototype of the new Plasma Mobile.

        [...]

        Our initial Ubuntu Touch base was Ubuntu 15.04. Eventually, our image started to diverge from the Ubuntu Touch base. For example, we upgraded libhybris to upstream version because libhybris available in Ubuntu archive diverged too much from upstream to be useful in our context. We also had to upgrade to a newer Qt version, and we also needed to upgrade the base system to Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) because we did not have the resources for managing different branches for packaging the latest git KF5/Plasma for 15.04.

      • Converging Kubes

        Kube, our PIM-Client in the making, is supposed to run on a variety of platforms and form-factors. We aim to provide a consistent look and feel across them all. If you know how to use Kube on your desktop machine, you will know how to use it on your Android phone or tablet as well. So what we are going to do, is building a UI for the phone, allowing it to display multiple pages on the tablet and in the end serving it on the desktop as well. Good idea, right?

  • Distributions

    • 4MLinux 17.0 OS Hits the Stable Channel, Brings Firefox 46.0 & Thunderbird 45.0

      Softpedia has been informed by 4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki about the general availability of his 4MLinux 17.0 independent, desktop-oriented GNU/Linux distribution.

    • Third OpenELEC 7.0 Beta Is Out, Built Around the Kodi 16.1 “Jarvis” Media Center

      On May 1, 2016, the OpenELEC devs have had the pleasure of announcing the release of the third Beta build of the forthcoming OpenELEC 7.0 Linux kernel-based operating system for embedded devices.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Arch Family

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE announces first round of accepted proposals

        The first round of proposals for the openSUSE Conference have been accepted and people who submitted a call for papers should log-in to events.opensuse.org and check to see if their talk has been accepted as part of the first round of proposals.

        For proposals that have been accepted, users should confirm their proposal as soon as possible and also register for the conference if they had not done so already.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Backporting of PHP security fixes

        Next step would be to start doing the same for PHP 5.3 (back porting from PHP 5.4, and later on also from PHP 5.5). This can be in use for RHEL 6.x (as LTS support for Debian Squeeze was recently finished).

      • Trusting, Trusting Trust

        A long time ago Ken Thompson wrote something called Reflections on Trusting Trust. If you’ve never read this, go read it right now. It’s short and it’s something everyone needs to understand. The paper basically explains how Ken backdoored the compiler on a UNIX system in such a way it was extremely hard to get rid of the backdoors (yes, more than one). His conclusion was you can only trust code you wrote. Given the nature of the world today, that’s no longer an option.

        Every now and then I have someone ask me about Debian’s Reproducible Builds. There are other groups working on similar things, but these guys seem to be the furthest along. I want to make clear right away that this work being done is really cool and super important, but not exactly for the reasons people assume. The Debian page is good about explaining what’s gong on but I think it’s easy to jump to some false conclusions on this one.

      • OMG Maven 3.0.4 on stretch
      • My Debian Activities in April 2016

        This month I marked 171 packages for accept and rejected 42. I also sent 3 emails to maintainers asking questions. It seems to be that another quiet month is behind us. Nevertheless the flood of strange things in NEW continued this month. Hmm, weird world ..

      • Derivatives

        • Debian-Based GParted Live 0.26.0 Is Out with Linux Kernel 4.5 and GParted 0.26.0

          Last week, we reported news on the release of the GParted 0.26.0 open-source partition editor software, and now Curtis Gedak informs us about the availability of GParted Live 0.26.0-1.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Installing Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

            In the good tradition of our Ubuntu installation tutorials, as well as at the request of several of our readers, we’ve decided to publish a new guide that will teach you who to boot and install the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS operating system.

          • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (aka Xenial Xerus) What’s In The Bits and Bytes?
          • Gorgeous Live Voyager 16.04 Linux OS Comes Hot on the Heels of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

            The team of developers behind the Live Voyager desktop-oriented operating system have announced today, May 1, 2016, the release and immediate availability for download of Voyager 16.04 LTS.

            Coming hot on the heels of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), the Voyager 16.04 LTS GNU/Linux distribution is in fact based on the Xubuntu 16.04 LTS flavor, featuring a highly customized Xfce 4.12 desktop environment and a huge collection of open-source tools.

          • Entroware Ubuntu Laptop Launches For $650

            If you are in search of an affordable Ubuntu laptop that comes pre-installed with the Linux-based operating system you might be interested in a new Linux laptop system created by the UK-based company Entroware.

            The new Entroware Orion Ubuntu laptop is equipped with a 14 inch screen offering users a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, and comes with a variety of specification options that include the ability to install a choice of Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 Skylake processors that can be supported by up to 16GB of RAM.

          • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

            It is always a big deal when Canonical releases a new long-term support version of Ubuntu. Despite Ubuntu’s important place in the Linux distribution ecosystem, I should admit right off the bat that I am not a regular user of Ubuntu. I try out each new release of the desktop version Ubuntu and occasionally use Ubuntu Server, but I tend to use Fedora and CentOS for almost all of my daily desktop and server needs. Still, I’ve always been fascinated by what Canonical is doing with Ubuntu and their Unity desktop environment. Below, I take a look at Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and share my thoughts on the Unity desktop environment and the distribution as a whole.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • The Thunderbird hypothesis

        Let the contributors speak first

        It sounds either like something obvious or someting that should have been already asked. To my knowledge, however, nobody has asked the community of contributors of Thunderbird if they have a clear opinion on the path to a (brighter) future. There’s more. Whatever the final choice of entity that will be made, Thunderbird should actually agree to that choice. And at least in the case of the Document Foundation, I believe it would only be logical that the members of the Document Foundation decide on whether it is a good idea for themselves.

        One implied matter here is that the Thunderbird project should have a precise idea on who his actual contributors are, and from that data extract some notion on who can work on what, for how long and with what capability. What I’m trying to suggest here is that it is important to know where you’re starting from so that you can also tell what’s the more urgent tasks, technical or logistical.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Databases

  • CMS

    • The intersection of Drupal, IoT, and open hardware

      Back in the day, I was working at a large nonprofit in the “webmaster’s office” of the marketing department and was churning out custom PHP/MySQL forms like nobody’s business. I finally got weary of that and starting hunting around the web for a better way. I found Drupal 6 and starting diving in on my own. Years later, after a career shift and a move, I discovered the Portland Drupal User Group and landed a job as a full-time Drupal developer. I continued to regularly attend the meetups in Portland, which I found to be a great source of community, friendships, and professional development. Eventually, I landed a job with Lullabot as a trainer creating content for Drupalize.Me. Now, I’m managing the Drupalize.Me content pipeline, creating Drupal 8 content, and am very much involved in the Portland Drupal community. I’m this year’s coordinator, finding and scheduling speakers.

  • Education

    • 6 colleges turning out open source talent

      Most IT departments have project road maps that will require open-source skills, but finding recent college grads with open source talent can be challenging.

      Whether your company is planning an open-source-based big data implementation, installing an open-platform file manager, or adopting an open approach to customer relationship management, experts say traditional computer science departments might not be turning out students you need.

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 10.3 to Add ZFS and UDF Support, Will Be Based on FreeBSD 10.3

      The development cycle of the GhostBSD 10.3 has started, and a first Alpha build is now ready for public testing, bringing various new features, several improvements, as well as bug fixes.

      Based on the recently released FreeBSD 10.3 operating system, GhostBSD 10.3 should arrive later this year with support for the ZFS (Z File System) and UFS (Unix File System) filesystems, ZFS encryption support in the installer, as well as quarterly updates to the GhostBSD Software applications, adding more stability to the OS.

    • bsdtalk264 – Down the Gopher Hole

      Playing around with the gopher protocol. Description of gopher from the 1995 book “Student’s Guide to the Internet” by David Clark.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NZ Government open source software licensing consultation

      Open and transparent: NZ Government open source software licensing consultation a success

      A consultation to develop a framework for consistent licensing of New Zealand Government open source software has been carried out successfully in an open and transparent manner, says Paul Stone, Programme Leader Open Government Data at Land Information NZ.

      The consultation considered proposals for consistent policy and guidelines that would extend the NZ Government Open Access and Licensing (NZGOAL) framework to cover open source software as well as government content and data.

    • “Hugely useful” Loomio powers consultation on open source software

      A consultation to develop a framework for consistent licensing of New Zealand Government open source software has been carried out successfully in an open and transparent manner, says Paul Stone, Programme Leader Open Government Data at Land Information NZ.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • Smarthistory: No grand strategies needed, just openness

        For many, open initiatives within higher education may have begun when The New York Times declared 2012 as “The Year of the MOOC.” According to the article, “Traditional online courses charge tuition, carry credit and limit enrollment to a few dozen to ensure interaction with instructors. The MOOC, on the other hand, is usually free, credit-less and, well, massive.” Today MOOCs may not be living up to the hopes (or hype) of many of their original proponents, but the concept of developing and delivering educational content online is now certainly common practice.

        Perhaps your history with open educational resources is a bit longer? Before MOOCs, increasing awareness of the costs associated with college texts spawned the open textbook movement. Founded in 1999 at Rice University, OpenStax (then Connexions) began its mission to create open textbooks as freely available educational resources with nonrestrictive licenses, where faculty, researchers, and even students could share and freely adapt educational materials such as courses, books, and reports. While the open textbook movement never really enjoyed the flare of popularity of MOOCs, they too have found advocates and an audience within higher education.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

  • Programming/Development

    • Three Cheers for Monotasking!

      Anyone who has coded—or worked with coders—knows all about this. They complain constantly about interruptions, and with good reason. When they’re deep into a problem, switching their attention is costly. They’ve lost their train of thought, and it can take several minutes to get it back. That’s not much of a problem if it happens a few times a day, but it’s a real killer if it happens a few times an hour.

Leftovers

  • Publishers ‘feeding on scraps from Facebook’, says Bloomberg Media boss

    Newspapers, magazines and other publishers are “feeding on the scraps” of Facebook’s multibillion-dollar ad business despite playing a central role in keeping the social network’s users happy, according to the boss of Bloomberg Media.

    Justin Smith, chief executive of the financial information company’s publishing arm, told the Guardian that even though Facebook was sending traffic to publisher websites, it was making far more from ads in its news feed which was filled with publisher content.

  • Science

    • Science Says This Centuries-Old Discovery Will Save the Planet

      That might sound strange, given that electricity production is the number-one source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Coal- and gas-burning power plants are still our main sources of electricity, and in some parts of the country the power grid is so dirty that electric vehicles might actually cause more pollution than traditional gas-guzzlers.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • A Potent Side Effect to the Flint Water Crisis: Mental Health Problems

      Health care workers are scrambling to help the people here cope with what many fear will be chronic consequences of the city’s water contamination crisis: profound stress, worry, depression and guilt.

      ….Diane Breckenridge, Genesee Health’s liaison to local hospitals, said she had seen “people come into the hospitals directly related to breakdowns, nervous breakdowns, if you will….Most of it’s been depression or suicidal ideation directly linked to what’s going on with their children,” she added. “They just feel like they can’t even let their children take a bath.” Children, too, are traumatized, said Dexter Clarke, a supervisor at Genesee Health, not least because they constantly hear frightening things on television about the lead crisis, including breathless advertisements by personal injury lawyers seeking clients.

      ….Too often now, Nicole Lewis cannot sleep….To help her nerves, she recently installed a home water filtration system, paying $42.50 a month for the service on her main water supply line. She also bought a blender to make her sons smoothies with lead-leaching vegetables, like spinach and kale.

      But still her mind races, especially late at night. Her 7-year-old was just found to have attention deficit disorder, she said. Her 2-year-old is already showing athletic promise, but she wonders whether lead exposure will affect his ability to play sports.

    • War on Drugs has failed – ENCOD Article

      I have had the honour of serving as the European Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) for the last four years, and have been thrilled to oversee the establishment of thriving national groups in the UK and Germany, with the possibility of more on the horizon. In my view, law enforcement offers a unique and critical voice to the international drug policy reform debate.

      LEAP, founded in 2002, today has over 150,000 supporters and speakers in 20 countries. We consist of police officers, lawyers, judges, prison governors, probation officers, intelligence and military personnel, and even international drug czars. What unites us is a shared professional knowledge, experienced across the full spectrum of law enforcement, that drug prohibition has egregiously failed.

    • Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?

      In 1996, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated that Chernobyl was “the foremost nuclear catastrophe in human history”.

    • If Obama Visits Hiroshima

      It is remarkable that it required a wait of over 60 years until John Kerry became the first high American official to make such a visit, which he termed ‘gut-wrenching,’ while at the same time purposely refraining from offering any kind of apology to the Japanese people for one of the worse acts of state terror against a defenseless population in all of human history.

  • Security

    • Pirate Bay visitors infected with crypto-ransomware via bad ads [Ed: Windows]

      Although malvertising attackers have hit a number of torrent sites over the past month, as noted by TorrentFreak, this weekend’s premier of the sixth season of Games of Thrones triggered a huge spike in BitTorrent activity. The attackers may have been trying to cash in on a surge in traffic to The Pirate Bay.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • D.C. Elite Hated Larry Wilmore’s Drone Joke Last Night, But Loved Obama’s in 2010

      Last night at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore compared President Barack Obama to Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry because they both “like raining down bombs on people from long distances.”

      The audience of Washington, D.C. journalists, politicians and celebrities reacted with pained “oooooooh’s,” as did Obama himself (before grinning widely).

    • Pentagon Won’t Prosecute Troops Involved in Deadly Strike on Afghan Doctors Without Borders Hospital

      The incident, in which a US aircraft bombed a Doctors Without Borders medical facility continuously for at least 30 minutes, left 42 civilians dead—including medical staff and patients. The attack destroyed the main building, including the emergency room and intensive care unit. Some patients were burned alive in their hospital beds.

    • A Week of Slaughter in Aleppo Also Destroyed One Of Its Hospitals

      This week’s increased attacks on Aleppo come amid what was supposed to be a partial ceasefire in Syria, but which has all but collapsed. Staffan de Mistura, the UN envoy for Syria, characterized the talks as “barely alive,” the Guardian reports. “How can you have substantial talks when you have only news about bombing and shelling?” he asked.

      Meanwhile, many believe the situation in Aleppo will only get worse in coming weeks, with reports of a military buildup around Aleppo that some fear will result in the government’s attempt to embark on a complete siege of the city’s civilian neighborhoods.

    • Tailor hacked to death in Bangladesh; ISIS claims responsibility

      Police in Bangladesh say they have detained three people in relation to the killing of a Hindu tailor, who was hacked to death in the central Bangladeshi district of Tangail.

      Those detained for questioning include two party members, one from the opposition BNP party and a local leader of the Jamaat e Islami Islamist party.

      The tailor, Nikhil Joarder, is the latest victim in a series of similar attacks in this South Asian nation.
      Police said Joarder was inside his tailoring shop in Tangail on Saturday when at least two assailants drove up on motorbikes and attacked him with machetes. He died immediately, according to Tangail Police Superintendent Mohammed Tanvir.

    • ISIS Says It Killed Bangladesh Tailor Once Jailed for Blasphemy

      A Hindu tailor who had been briefly jailed several years ago over accusations that he made an unfavorable comment about the Prophet Muhammad was hacked to death on Saturday near his shop in central Bangladesh, the police said.

      Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the killing, citing the accusations of blasphemy against the tailor, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist websites.

      Mohammad Abdul Jalil, the officer in charge of the Gopalpur police station in the Tangail district, a central region where the attack occurred, said in a telephone interview that it was too early to determine the motivation of the assailants or whether they were Islamist militants.

      Similar attacks claimed by the militants seem to be accelerating, with five people hacked to death in the past nine days.

    • Rediscovering nonviolence in the Vatican

      Is the Catholic Church ready to abandon ‘just war’ theory and recommit to pacifism?

    • Drop the Just War Theory

      Laity and religious meeting in Rome appeal to Pope Francis to share with the world an encyclical on nonviolence and just peace and for the church to no longer use or teach ‘Just War theory’

    • Remembering the Rev. Daniel Berrigan, Jesuit Priest and Peace Activist

      He was a Jesuit priest, a man of the cloth and a man of letters—but most of all, the Rev. Daniel Berrigan was a man of peace. He was also, as it happened, the man whom Kurt Vonnegut went so far as to call “Jesus as a poet.”

      Berrigan died Saturday at age 94, leaving as his legacy his poetry and prose, along with his life story, which reads as an object lesson on how to follow the Gospels to the letter without bending to the political tides that all too often have pressed his Catholic cohorts into submissive poses. Not so with Berrigan, who was known for his steadfastness and forcefulness, particularly with regard to his anti-war and anti-nuclear activism.

    • Remembering Daniel Berrigan, with Gratitude

      Daniel Berrigan has died, and so we have lost our great teacher who, flinty and generous and relentlessly persistent, taught us how to live in a culture of death and madness:

    • Drafting Women Means Equality in Slavery

      Last week the House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act requiring women to register with Selective Service. This means that if Congress ever brings back the draft, women will be forcibly sent to war.

      The amendment is a response to the Pentagon’s decision to allow women to serve in combat. Supporters of drafting women point out that the ban on women in combat was the reason the Supreme Court upheld a male-only draft. Therefore, they argue, it is only logical to now force women to register for Selective Service. Besides, supporters of extending the draft point out, not all draftees are sent into combat.

    • Israel Wants More from US

      The Obama administration and Israel are locked in a curious negotiation over how many billions of dollars the U.S. will send to Tel Aviv, a demonstration of Israel’s political clout, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • The EU – A CIA Covert Operation

      The upcoming British referendum on whether to stay in the European Union (EU) represents the culmination of a long term project by the United States to destroy the concept of national sovereignty in the Old World and replace it with a supranational entity with ironclad links to Washington.. Whether that longstanding ambition has succeeded will be decided on June 23 – which is why President Barack Obama made a special trip to the Mother Country to give them a little lecture on the alleged evils of nationalism and the goodness of the EU.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Feds Rely On Industry-Funded Study To Push For More Offshore Oil Exploitation

      Less than one day after President Obama tweeted out that message on climate change, David Sirota and Ned Resnikoff from the International Business Times aimed a spotlight at the Obama administration’s hypocrisy in an investigative piece that exposed again the fossil fuel industry’s influence over our government. Prior to that, the Public Accountability Initiative had revealed the massive influence that the industry had over the government’s assessment of the economic impacts of offshore drilling.

      According to the IB Times report, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s recent analysis of the economic benefits of increased offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and on the Pacific Coast near Alaska was funded partly by the fossil fuel industry. The analysis is currently being used by the administration to sell the project to the American public.

    • Humans Care More About Climate Change if They Know They’re Responsible

      Climate change denial is still a huge problem among elected representatives, to say nothing of the general populace, and even when our elected leaders do try to act to combat climate change, their efforts often leave much to be desired. While it’s easy to blame the problem on scientific illiteracy, a lot of research has shown that even when individuals are educated about climate change and its effects, this knowledge does little to change their concern about the problem—they are still more likely to stick to political narratives than scientific ones.

      However, a new study coming out of the University of Michigan suggests that what people know about climate change can make a difference. Namely, people who understand that climate change is largely caused by human activity are more likely to be concerned about climate change and its effects.

    • Assassinated Activist Berta Caceres Took on the Entire Oligarchy in Her Home Country

      On March 3, assassins entered the home of Berta Caceres, leader of Honduras’ environmental and indigenous movement. They shot her friend Gustavo Castro Soto, the director of Friends of the Earth Mexico. He pretended to be dead, and so is the only witness of what came next. The assassins found Berta Caceres in another room and shot her in the chest, the stomach and the arms. When the assassins left the house, Castro went to Berta Caceres, who died in his arms.

      Investigation into the death of Berta Caceres is unlikely to be conducted with seriousness. The Honduran government suggested swiftly that it was likely that Castro had killed Berta Caceres and made false statements about assassins. That he had no motive to kill his friend and political ally seemed irrelevant. Castro has taken refuge in the Mexican embassy in Honduras’ capital, Tegucigalpa. He continues to fear for his life.

  • Finance

    • #TTIPleaks: confidential TTIP papers unveil US position

      Greenpeace Netherlands has obtained 248 pages of leaked Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiating texts [1], which will be published on Monday 2 May at 11:00 CET. The documents unveil for the first time the US position and deliberate attempts to change the EU democratic legislative process.

    • Leaked TTIP documents cast doubt on EU-US trade deal

      Talks for a free trade deal between Europe and the US face a serious impasse with “irreconcilable” differences in some areas, according to leaked negotiating texts.

      The two sides are also at odds over US demands that would require the EU to break promises it has made on environmental protection.

      President Obama said last week he was confident a deal could be reached. But the leaked negotiating drafts and internal positions, which were obtained by Greenpeace and seen by the Guardian, paint a very different picture.

    • A Simple Solution to Boost Workers Across the Planet

      In the competition for jobs between U.S. workers and developing world workers, American workers are losing, and the TPP, which the Obama administration touts as being pro-labor, is, like NAFTA, anything but. Under the TPP, signatories will be required “to have laws governing minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health,” but the level of the minimum wage and any other standard is left entirely to each country to determine on its own.

    • Why the People Picking California’s Tomatoes Can’t Afford to Eat Them

      Given the success of the agricultural industry in California, says Gail Wadsworth, co-executive director of CIRS and one of the authors of the report, there’s no reason why farm workers should get the short end of the stick. CIRS has advised the Yolo Food Bank to encourage more farms to contribute fresh food to the food bank or directly to their workers. Says Wadsworth: “I don’t see any rational reason why farm workers, who are essential to every American’s well-being, should be so poorly paid.”

    • The Socialist Alternative

      The disintegration of the ruling political parties, along with the discrediting of the established political and economic elites, presage radical change. This change may come from the right. It may result in a frightening proto-fascism. If it is to come from the left it must be pushed forward by dogged activists and citizens who are willing to accept that stepping outside the system will mean surrendering all hope of power for perhaps a decade. To continue to engage in establishment politics, especially attempting to work within the Democratic Party, will further empower corporate capitalism and extinguish what remains of our democracy.

    • Wall Street Has Taken Over the Economy and is Draining It
  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Call for ‘Revolution’ Still Reverberating as Sanders, Clinton Head Neck and Neck Into Indiana

      Days ahead of Indiana’s May 3 primary, a new poll shows Democratic presidential rivals Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton neck and neck while observers foresee the Vermont senator’s impact being felt long after the nomination is secured.

      According to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll, Clinton leads among likely Indiana primary goers 50 percent to Sanders’ 46 percent. But that lead is within the poll’s margin of error of 4.6 percentage points for Democrats.

    • Political Revolutionists: Does an Inside-Outside Strategy Have a Chance?

      As the presidential candidates for 2016 go kicking and sliding toward the final primaries — and most especially into California, an increasing number of pundits with a knack for the writing and rewriting of history will offer their best guesses about Bernie’s next steps. Many groups with thousands of Bernie volunteers will feel the pressure from those Bernie loyalists to never give up or give in. And many thousands more are also clamoring now about how they might be able to influence those next steps.

      Though many Bernie supporters know it in their minds, few like to acknowledge that the people’s movement Bernie has ignited will not be led by Bernie in the post-primary season, the general election campaign season, or even when the next president is inaugurated in January 2017. Even if Bernie is elected as our president, his role has changed too. The movement to bring about the kind of transformational change Bernie has adopted as his campaign platform is a “marathon not a sprint” to November. This people’s movement requires a longer term commitment to the slogging, uncomfortable, underfunded and rarely appreciated work of getting and keeping people organized to fight the good fight.

      [...]

      Keep working for Bernie. Keep working to get out the vote in the remaining primary states.

    • Trump’s Toxic Culture: How His Mix of Threats and Fear Is Closing People’s Minds From Reality

      For the past 10 months, Donald Trump has been a political enigma. Against the predictions of journalists, policy wonks and odds makers, a tabloid darling with no political experience and few coherent policies is now poised to be the Republican nominee for president.

    • Hilarious: Trump Jumps Over Wall to Get to California GOP Convention as Protesters Block Entrance

      Apparently, Old Bayshore Road was blocked by anti-Trump protesters, demonstrating against Trump’s southern border proposal, among other policies.

    • Keeping Wall Street Speeches Secret Speaks Volumes About Hillary Clinton

      It’s been roughly three months since Hillary Clinton promised, during her Feb. 4 debate with Bernie Sanders on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, to “look into” releasing the transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street investment houses.

      If you’re a stickler for details and would like to know precisely how long Clinton has delayed on fulfilling her pledge or exactly how much cash she has raked in for her speaking gigs and from whom, you don’t have to spend hours scouring the Internet. You can simply log onto two sites created by a 40-year-old Sanders supporter and web developer named Jed McChesney of Olathe, Kan.

    • Donald Trump’s Policy Feast of Incoherence

      Contradictory promises abound, with no explanation of how any of it could work.

    • This Is Why Hillary Clinton Can’t Tell Bernie Sanders to Drop Out

      Eight years ago this month, Clinton was trailing hopelessly behind then-Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. On May 1, 2008, Clinton loaned her bankrupt campaign $1 million (following at least $10 million in earlier loans). Before the end of that week, pundits were calling the contest for Obama, whose May 6 win in the North Carolina primary, by 14 points, had made his delegate lead essentially insurmountable. “We now know who the Democratic nominee will be,” Tim Russert said on MSNBC after the results came in. Less than a week later, Obama surpassed Clinton in the super-delegate count, signaling that the party establishment was shifting behind the presumptive nominee.

    • Why Hillary Clinton’s Promise of a Gender-Equal Cabinet Is So Shrewd

      Internationally, pre-election pledges for gender equality in the most powerful offices of state have become increasingly common. In 2004, Spanish prime ministerial hopeful Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero made this pledge before his election and went on to appoint Spain’s first gender-parity cabinet. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau famously pledged in 2015 that half of his cabinet would be female. He made good on that pledge, and when asked why, simply replied: “Because it’s 2015.”

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • TOR And VPN Users — Government’s Hacking Targets Under New Spying Rule

      According to the updated rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, law enforcement agencies can target people who either use privacy tools or those who are a victim of the same. This small amendment might bring a big change in the way we see the law enforcement.

    • GCHQ has disclosed more than 20 vulnerabilities in 2016

      This came to light after it emerged that GCHQ was instrumental in discovering vulnerabilities in Mozilla Firefox thanks to its info-sec arm Communications Electronics Security Group (CESG).

    • Snowden: Without encryption, everything stops

      Edward Snowden defended the importance of encryption, calling it the “backbone of computer security.”

      “Encryption saves lives. Encryption protects property,” the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor said during a debate with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that aired Sunday.

      “Without it, our economy stops. Our government stops. Everything stops.”

      Snowden, who previously leaked documents revealing the extent of the NSA’s surveillance program, said we are in the midst of the “greatest crisis in computer security in history.”

    • NSA pins another badge of honor on Snowden

      If the Director of National Intelligence “’blames” you for something, is that bad, or is it a badge of honor?

      That would be the latter for Edward Snowden… again.

      This time, he’s not getting the blame for a massive data dump proving that nefarious governments have been using computer technology to invade individuals’ privacy.

    • How Mark Zuckerberg became the internet’s most powerful man

      Can anyone stop Mark Zuckerberg? Most of Silicon Valley would be happy to forget the last couple of weeks – Apple’s revenue has declined for the first time in a decade, Google has become embroiled in a new stand-off with the European Commission that will almost certainly be long and painful, and the less said about Twitter at the moment the better – but Facebook can do no wrong.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Smearing Three Dead Teenagers

      In classic style, the police seem to believe that by playing up the alleged criminal pasts of these young Black girls, the public will be led to believe that they alone are responsible for their deaths and stop asking questions about the role of police.

    • Why we can’t reform our cops: Race, guns and the failure to police the police

      We learn more about the problem of police violence and how it can persist and might be covered up when a video only surfaces after some significant delay. That allows time for the police to provide their account of the incident before the video evidence is available, and possibly before they even know that any video recording exists. In the case of Walter Scott’s death, it took more than two days before the video became available to authorities. Feidin Santana, who captured the shooting on his cellphone camera, initially kept quiet about the video, fearing retribution, but was angered when he heard the police account of the incident and made the recording available to Scott’s family and to the media.

    • Stop Calling Them Conservatives! The New GOP of Trump & Cruz Is the Party of Nihilism

      In a candid and often funny interview currently making the rounds, the recently retired Speaker of the House John Boehner let’s everyone know how he truly feels about the state of his own party, and what he thinks about some of the more extreme characters that exist within it. Not surprisingly, Boehner’s amusing assessment of Ted Cruz, whom he called a “miserable son of a bitch” and “Lucifer in the flesh,” made all of the media headlines.

    • Kid Criminals

      Forcing kids as young as 9 years old to register as sex offenders has enormous costs to society.

    • Will you be punished for revealing classified info? Depends who you are

      So said President Obama in a recent interview when asked about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Essentially, the president was saying it was no big deal, despite the findings that classified information was involved.

      Yet, the Obama administration has brought more charges under the Espionage Act against officials for allegedly mishandling classified information than all other administrations combined since it was signed into law 99 years ago.

      Consider Thomas Drake, a former top NSA official who faced prosecution in 2011 for the “willful retention of national defense information” after communicating unclassified information to The Baltimore Sun regarding illegal surveillance programs at the agency. Eventually, Drake pled guilty to a misdemeanor and the government dropped the espionage charges against him.

    • TSA bosses are called ‘some of the biggest bullies in government’

      The Transportation Security Administration on Wednesday was caught in a crossfire by three of its executives who said the agency’s managers punish employees when they point out security lapses at the nation’s airports.

      “These leaders are some of the biggest bullies in government,” Jay Brainard, a TSA security director in Kansas, told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “While the new administrator of TSA has made security a much-needed priority once again, make no mistake about it, we remain an agency in crisis.”

      As airports anticipate what may be a record crush of passengers this summer, the three men testified that morale was near rock bottom among TSA security workers.

    • 5 Government-Sanctioned Ways America Still Honors the Confederacy
    • May Day Rallies Worldwide Demand Workers’ Rights

      In U.S. ” there’s manufactured ignorance that prevents us from knowing about May Day,” says historian

    • Lunchroom Lunacy: Cops investigate $2 bill spent on school lunch

      When you think of felony forgery your thoughts might turn to Al Capone or Bonnie and Clyde shooting it out with the Texas Rangers.

      Not for some local school cops. For one day, public enemy number one when it came to forgery was 13-year-old eighth grader Danesiah Neal at Fort Bend Independent School District’s Christa McAuliffe Middle School.

      Now 14, Daneisha was hoping to eat that day’s lunch of chicken tenders with her classmates using a $2 bill given to her by her grandmother when she was stopped by the long arm of the law.

      “I went to the lunch line and they said my $2 bill was fake,” Danesiah told Ted Oberg Investigates. “They gave it to the police. Then they sent me to the police office. A police officer said I could be in big trouble.”

      Not just big trouble. Third-degree felony trouble.

    • This 28-Year-Old Is Running For Congress To Try To Destroy U.S.-Saudi Relations

      Earlier this month, a political newcomer named Alex Beinstein picked up enough delegates to pose a credible primary challenge to three-term congressman Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.).

      That means voters in Colorado’s 3rd district will have a new name to consider when they gather on June 28 to choose their Republican standard-bearer — along with a lot of new ideas.

      Beinstein, a 28-year-old libertarian, wants to use the district’s House seat to place Saudi Arabia on the list of state sponsors of terror. He believes the longtime U.S. partner is responsible for the 9/11 attacks and the growth of violent extremist groups, including the self-described Islamic State, in Syria.

      The only reason Saudi leaders haven’t been held accountable yet, Beinstein says, is because Saudi money has corrupted everyone from President Barack Obama and CNN’s Anderson Cooper to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Fox News leadership. He told The Huffington Post that Bill Gates, Apple Inc., The Plaza Hotel in New York and the Four Seasons hotel chain are among other alleged lackeys of the kingdom. (Let’s not even get started on Hillary Clinton.)

    • How Body Cameras Help Prevent Tragic Police Shootings

      Fourteen-year-old Dedric Colvin was shot on Wednesday when Baltimore Police mistkook his BB gun for a semi-automatic pistol.

  • DRM

    • Tuesday Is ‘International Day Against DRM’

      Tuesday May 3 is International Day Against DRM, which for ten years has been an annual even to protest and build awareness about digital rights management. The event is sponsored by the organization Defective by Design, the anti-DRM initiative of the Free Software Foundation.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay Gets a ‘Massive’ $9 in Donations, Per Day

        When The Pirate Bay and other torrent sites started accepting Bitcoin donations a few years ago, copyright holders voiced concerns about this new ‘unseizable’ revenue stream. Thus far, this fear seems unwarranted with TPB raking in an average of $9 per day in Bitcoin donations over the past year. While hardly a windfall, it’s a fortune compared to the donations received by the leading torrent site KickassTorrents.

05.01.16

Links 1/5/2016: Wine 1.9.9, Devuan Jessie 1.0 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 12:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Elections System: Update from City & County of San Francisco, California USA

    The OSI has has voiced our support to recent efforts by the City and County of San Francisco’s Department of Elections to develop an open source voting system. The following is an update provided to the OSI from Commissioner and Vice President of the Elections Commission, Chris Jerdonek.

  • Events

    • LinuxFest NorthWest 2016

      I was at LinuxFest NorthWest 2016 last weekend. I’ve been going to LFNW for several years now, and I look forward to it every year – it’s just a great conference, which has managed to grow to nearly 2000 registrations this year while keeping its community/grassroots feel. The talks are always widely varied and interesting, and there’s a great feeling that you could run into anyone doing anything – I spent an hour or two at the social event talking to a group of college students who run a college radio station entirely on F/OSS, which was awesome.

    • foss-north – Schedule available

      Just a short update on foss-north – the schedule is up. We have a whole list of speakers that I’m super excited about and tickets are selling well. I still don’t know what to expect, but more than 1/3 of the tickets are gone and the sales numbers are actually even better for the full priced tickets than the early birds.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome 51 Beta Brings Lower Overhead For Offscreen Rendering, Up To 30% Power Savings

        A day after Mozilla released the Firefox 47 Beta, Google has released their beta of the Chrome/Chromium 51 web-browser.

        Chrome 51 Beta brings a Credential Management API, lower overhead for offscreen rendering, ServiceWorker improvements, HTML5 canvas improvements, Chrome on Android now uses the same media pipeline as desktop Chrome, and various other enhancements.

    • Mozilla

      • WebExtensions in Firefox 48
      • Mozilla’s WebExtensions API Is In Good Shape For Firefox 48

        Mozilla has announced that for Firefox 48 their WebExtensions API is considered to be in a stable state. They encourage developers looking to develop browser add-ons to begin using this new API.

        WebExtensions is an API for implementing new browser add-ons/extensions that makes it easier to port to/from other browsers, is compatible with Firefox’s Electroloysis, and should be easier to work with than the current APIs. In particular, Google designed portions of the WebExtensions API around Google’s Blink extension API.

      • Mozilla a Step Closer to Thunderbird Decision

        The good news is that the folks at Mozilla seem to be determined to find Thunderbird a good home where it will be able to grow and find newfound success. This isn’t surprising. As Surman pointed out in his post, the project is quite popular among those associated with the foundation — but that popularity is also contributing to the problem Mozilla has with keeping the project in-house.

      • Firefox 46: Find out what is new

        Firefox 46.0 was released on April 26, 2016 to the stable channel. The new version of the web browser is offered as an update or as a separate download from the Mozilla website.

      • WebExtensions in Firefox 48
  • SaaS/Back End

    • OpenStack Summit Returns to Austin With Much Fanfare

      Back in July 2010, 75 developers gathered at the Omni hotel here for the very first OpenStack Summit. At the time, OpenStack was in the earliest stages of development. In April 2016, OpenStack returned to Austin in triumph as the de facto standard for private cloud deployment and the platform of choice for a significant share of the Fortune 100 companies. About 7,500 people from companies of all sizes from all over the world attended the 2016 OpenStack Summit in Austin from April 25 to April 29. In 2010, there were no users, because there wasn’t much code running, but in 2016, that has changed. Among the many OpenStack users speaking at the summit were executives from Verizon and Volkswagen Group. While the genesis of OpenStack was a joint effort between NASA and Rackspace, the 2016 summit was sponsored by some of the biggest names in technology today—including IBM, Cisco, Dell, EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at some highlights of the 2016 OpenStack Summit.

    • A Look Into IBM’s OpenStack Meritocracy

      Angel Diaz, IBM vice president of Cloud Architecture and Technology, discusses how Big Blue has earned its place in the OpenStack community.

    • OpenStack cloud’s “killer use case”: Telcos and NFV

      Today, 114 petabytes of data traverse AT&T’s network daily, and the carrier predicts a 10x increase in traffic by 2020.

      To help manage this, AT&T is transitioning from purpose-built appliances to white boxes running open source software. And according to AT&T Senior Vice President of Software Development and Engineering Sarabh Saxena, OpenStack has been a key part of this shift.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Book review: Designing with LibreOffice

      Being a book that discusses the style of (among other things) books, it seems unavoidable that the metrics given in DWL should be used to measure the book itself. On the whole it passes with flying colors, being pleasant to read and possessing a visual style that is distinctive without being distracting.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • 3D Printer Crowdfunding projects

      Like every Kickstarter project, there is a risk. But I think that Trinus appears to be a good project, we need to wait to the launch and review a real machine to know if it worth it. Also, the Youtube Channel Maker’s Muse, made a review of the project and the company Konama, creators of Trinus, sent him a the 3d printer and he currently makes the review of this printer that pledged more then 1 million dollars on KickStarter.

    • Refactoring the open-source photography community

      Generally speaking, most free-software communities tend to form around specific projects: a distribution, an application, a tightly linked suite of applications, and so on. Those are the functional units in which developers work, so it is a natural extension from there to focused mailing lists, web sites, IRC channels, and other forms of interaction with each other and users. But there are alternatives. At Libre Graphics Meeting 2016 in London, Pat David spoke about his recent experience bringing together a new online community centered around photographers who use open-source software. That community crosses over between several applications and libraries, and it has been successful enough that multiple photography-related projects have shut down their independent user forums and migrated to the new site, PIXLS.US.

    • DIY recycling, UCONN’s open source chemistry book, and more news
    • Design

  • Programming/Development

    • Updating POSIX

      To the first point, many people seem unaware that POSIX is an actual set of standards – IEEE 1003.1 in several variations, plus descendants. These standards cover a lot more than just operations on files, and technically “POSIX” only refers to systems that have passed a set of conformance tests covering all of those. Nonetheless, people often use “POSIX” to mean only the section dealing with file operations, and only in a loose sense of things that implement something like the standard without having been tested against it. Many systems, notably including Linux, pretty explicitly do not claim to comply with the actual standard.

    • Delete Your Dead Code!

      A few days ago, Ned Batchelder’s post on deleting code made the rounds on HN, even though it was originally written in 2002. Here I want to echo a few of Ned’s points, and take a stronger stance than he did: delete code as soon as you know you don’t need it any more, no questions asked. I’ll also offer some tips from the trenches for how to identify candidate dead code.

      This is the first in a series on eating your vegetables in software engineering, on good, healthy practices for a happy and successful codebase. I don’t (yet) know how long the series will be, so please stay tuned!

Leftovers

  • Brilliant Twitter Bot Replaces Every ‘God’ in Joel Osteen’s Tweets With Something Naughty

    The automated twitter account removes every reference to “God” and replaces it with the phrase “your d*ck.” The bot has been in existence since 2013 with hardly any of the notoriety it so richly deserves.

  • Science

    • Human Extinction Isn’t That Unlikely

      Nuclear war. Climate change. Pandemics that kill tens of millions.

      These are the most viable threats to globally organized civilization. They’re the stuff of nightmares and blockbusters—but unlike sea monsters or zombie viruses, they’re real, part of the calculus that political leaders consider everyday. And according to a new report from the U.K.-based Global Challenges Foundation, they’re much more likely than we might think.

      In its annual report on “global catastrophic risk,” the nonprofit debuted a startling statistic: Across the span of their lives, the average American is more than five times likelier to die during a human-extinction event than in a car crash.

    • Claude Shannon, the Father of the Information Age, Turns 1100100

      As is sometimes the case with encyclopedias, the crisply worded entry didn’t quite do justice to its subject’s legacy. That humdrum phrase—“channel capacity”—refers to the maximum rate at which data can travel through a given medium without losing integrity. The Shannon limit, as it came to be known, is different for telephone wires than for fibre-optic cables, and, like absolute zero or the speed of light, it is devilishly hard to reach in the real world. But providing a means to compute this limit was perhaps the lesser of Shannon’s great breakthroughs. First and foremost, he introduced the notion that information could be quantified at all. In “A Mathematical Theory of Communication,” his legendary paper from 1948, Shannon proposed that data should be measured in bits—discrete values of zero or one. (He gave credit for the word’s invention to his colleague John Tukey, at what was then Bell Telephone Laboratories, who coined it as a contraction of the phrase “binary digit.”)

    • Scientists Looking To Fix The Many Problems With Forensic Evidence

      Everything everyone saw in cop shows as evidence linking people to crimes — the hair left on someone’s clothing, the tire tracks leading out to the road, the shell casings at the scene, etc. — is all proving to be about as factual as the shows themselves.

      While much of it is not exactly junk science, much of it has limited worth. What appears to indicate guilt contains enough of a margin of error that it could very easily prove otherwise. Science Magazine is taking a look at the standbys of forensic science and what’s being done to ensure better presentations of evidence in the future.

    • My Earthquake in Japan

      It is the sound I remember as much as the shaking — a train roaring under the ground, a zipper larger than a river untangling itself, a tremendous noise made by the living rock underneath us shifting. The earth/the apartment building/the room/the bed began moving up and down, all adding to the sound. My wife, seven months pregnant with our second child, began screaming. I began screaming. I was thrown from my bed. At 5:46 in the morning on January 17, 1995, in Nishinomiya, Japan, outside Kobe, my world changed, what came to be known as the Great Hanshin earthquake.

    • Southerners Weren’t ‘Lazy,’ Just Infected With Hookworms

      Stereotypes are almost always the conclusions of lazy science—they’re just empirical generalizations that are stripped of their variances and encoded as fact into the collective consciousness of a general population. They’re the tools of propagandists, xenophobes, and oppressors, and tend to stick around through the ages like a bad smell.

      However, sometime a stereotype will reveal a hidden truth that provides an origin to the myth.

      The trope of the “lazy Southerner” dates back to America’s postbellum period following the end of the Civil War. No one really knew where it came from, but the image of a lethargic, filthy, drawling farmer has pervaded art, literature, and popular culture up until this very moment.

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Nestle Is Trying to Break Us: A Pennsylvania Town Fights Predatory Water Extraction

      Donna Diehl, a 55-year-old school bus driver from Kunkletown, Pennsylvania, a small historic town located on the edge of the Poconos, wanted to do three things this year: drive the bus, paint her bathroom and learn to crochet. Instead, Diehl, along with dozens of her neighbors, is spending her time trying to stop the largest food and beverage corporation in the world from taking her community’s water, putting it in bottles and selling it for a massive profit.

      Nestle Waters, the North American subsidiary of the Swiss-owned Nestle Corporation, had been active in Kunkletown for years, conducting well testing on a privately owned property adjacent to Diehl’s home. Last summer, residents noticed Nestle had rented an office in the local community center. Word spread, and with some investigation, Diehl and her neighbors found out that the transnational corporation had been active in the community as early as 2012, testing water quality and quantity with the ultimate goal of constructing and operating a bulk water extraction facility.

    • What Small Farms Need to Compete With Corporate Food

      Small farmers across the United States are fighting for food sovereignty — the freedom to produce and sell food without government regulation. Creating local ordinances is just one of the ways farmers and other activists are advocating for freedom from rules they say favor large farms. The cost and scale of licensing, proper facilities, and packaging make sense for large-scale farms, they argue, but not for farmers who want to sell their products to neighbors.

  • Security

    • 66% of USB Flash Drives infected – don’t trust a stray [Ed: Windows]

      The problem is that the OS will automatically run a program that can install malware from a USB stick.

    • Dental Assn Mails Malware to Members

      The domain is used by crooks to infect visitors with malware that lets the attackers gain full control of the infected Windows computer.

    • Slack bot token leakage exposing business critical information

      Developers are leaking access tokens for Slack widely on GitHub, in public repositories, support tickets and public gists. They are extremely easy to find due to their structure. It is clear that the knowledge about what these tokens can be used for with malicious intent is not on top of people’s minds…yet. The Detectify team shows the impact, with examples, and explains how this could be prevented.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • US Apocalypse in Mosul in the Guise of Bombing ISIS

      The illegal occupation and decimation of Iraq continued until December 2011. In June 2014 they returned to bomb again in the guise of combating ISIS. As the thirteenth anniversary of Bush’s ridiculous appearance with a vast “Mission Accomplished” banner behind him, Iraq is largely in ruins, Iraqis have fled the murderous “liberation” and its aftermath in millions, and there are over three million internally displaced.

      The nation is pinned between a tyrannical, corrupt US puppet government, a homicidal, head chopping, raping, organ eating, history erasing, US-spawned ISIS – and a renewed, relentless US bombardment. So much for the 2008 US-Iraq State of Forces agreement, which stated that by 31st December 2011 “all United States forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory.”

    • Armenians Demand Recognition of Genocide at Los Angeles Protest

      Last week, President Barack Obama broke his promise to Armenians for the eighth time.

      During his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama vowed to recognize as genocide the massacre of some 1.5 million Armenians at the beginning of the 20th century.

      Instead, in his April 22 annual statement on the events, the president referred to them, in Armenian, as mets yeghern, which means “a great calamity”—a lesser designation, and not what the Armenian community in Los Angeles expected.

    • ‘Us’ and ‘Them’

      Today’s Israeli reality means that there is not the slightest chance to remove the Right from power if it is not faced with a united and resolute Left which is based on Jewish-Arab partnership.

      There is the demographic reality. Arab citizens constitute about 20% of Israelis. In order to achieve a majority without the Arabs, the Jewish Left would need 60% of the Jewish public. A pipe dream.

    • Pentagon Claim That War Crimes Must Be “Intentional” Called “Flatly Wrong”

      The U.S. Department of Defense on Friday released its redacted report on the military’s deadly October 2015 airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, which found that the bombing was a mistake—and thus, not a war crime—a conclusion which human rights groups called “an affront” to justice and accountability.

      The report follows an announcement on Thursday that the Pentagon would not file any criminal charges against 16 people it found associated with the bombing that killed 42 people.

      General Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), said during a press conference on Friday that the individuals responsible for the airstrike “were trying to do the right thing. They were trying to support their Afghan partners.”

    • Only One of Six Air Force F-35s Could Actually Take Off During Testing

      Five of six Air Force F-35 fighter jets were unable to take off during a recent exercise due to software bugs that continue to hamstring the world’s most sophisticated—and most expensive—warplane.

    • The Life and Death of Daniel Berrigan

      Rev. Daniel Berrigan, the renown anti-war activist, award-winning poet, author and Jesuit priest, who inspired religious opposition to the Vietnam war and later the U.S. nuclear weapons industry, died at age 94, just a week shy of his 95th birthday.

      He died of natural causes at the Jesuit infirmary at Murray-Weigel Hall in the Bronx. I had visited him just last week. He has long been in declining health.

    • Daniel J. Berrigan, Defiant Priest Who Preached Pacifism, Dies at 94
    • Father Daniel Berrigan, Anti-War Activist & Poet, Dies at 94

      The legendary anti-war priest Father Daniel Berrigan died today at 94. He was a poet, pacifist, educator, social activist, playwright and lifelong resister to what he called “American military imperialism.” Along with his late brother, Phil, Dan Berrigan played an instrumental role in inspiring the anti-war and anti-draft movement during the late 1960s as well as the anti-nuclear movement.

    • Daniel Berrigan Dead at 94

      Daniel Berrigan—Jesuit priest, peace activist, poet, author, and inspiration to countless people—died on Saturday. He was 94 years old.

      When America magazine asked a then-88-year-old Berrigan if he had any regrets over the course of his long life, he replied, “I could have done sooner the things I did, like Catonsville.”

      In 1968, Berrigan and eight other Catholic activists, including his brother Philip, a group subsequently known as the Catonsville Nine, took hundreds of draft files and burned them outside a Selective Service office with homemade napalm.

    • Iraqi Protesters Storm Parliament, Break Through Green Zone

      Iraq’s political unrest continued on Saturday as hundreds of protesters waving Iraqi flags breached the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad and stormed the parliament.

      Iraqi military announced a state of emergency in Baghdad, though, according to reporting by BBC News, “there has been no serious violence so far.”

      The protesters were described in various media reports s being followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

    • ‘Unacceptable’: Kunduz Survivors Lambaste Pentagon Claim of No War Crime

      That’s the reaction from 27-year old Hamdullah to the Pentagon’s announcement Friday that the U.S. military’s deadly airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan did not amount to a war crime.

      His uncle was among the 42 people killed in the October 3, 2015 strike.

      “This was a deliberate bombardment by the American forces, and we are not satisfied that they have said this was not a war crime,” Hamdullah told Agence France-Presse. Those responsible, he said, “should be publicly put on trial.”

      Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French acronym, MSF, along with other human rights groups criticized the U.S. military’s assessment of the strike, and the fact that 16 individuals involved face no criminal charges for their roles in the attack.

    • Yemen troops killed as Aden police chief survives bombing

      A large explosion hit central Aden on Sunday,an Al Arabiya News Channel correspondent reported, adding that there were several casualties.

      The correspondent said the blast targeted the city’s governor and security chief.

      Four Yemeni guards were killed in a bombing that targeted the convoy of Aden’s police chief, officials said, the second such attack on him in the southern city this week.

      A bomb-laden car in Aden’s Mansura district exploded as General Shallal Shayae’s convoy passed, damaging military vehicles and prompting clashes between his guards and Al-Qaeda suspects in the area, the officials added.

    • The moat that preserves the castle. What are the elections in Iran for?

      As Frantz Fanon once argued, for colonial powers the most effective way to control a colonized people is to humiliate them. Reformist discourse in Iran functions in the same way.

    • Russia Rises From the Mat

      The U.S. government doesn’t want to admit that its heady “unipolar” days are over with Russia no longer the doormat of the 1990s, but Washington’s arrogance risks war, even nuclear annihilation, explains Gilbert Doctorow.

    • Escalating U.S. Air Strikes Kill Hundreds of Civilians in Mosul, Iraq

      USA Today revealed on April 19th that U.S. air forces have been operating under looser rules of engagement in Iraq and Syria since last fall. The war commander, Lt Gen McFarland, now orders air strikes that are expected to kill up to 10 civilians without prior approval from U.S. Central Command, and U.S. officials acknowledge that air strikes are killing more civilians under the new rules.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Redaction Failure In FTC/Amazon Decision Inadvertently Allows Public To See Stuff It Should Have Been Able To See Anyway

      A court has found that Amazon engaged in deceptive practices by not obtaining “informed consent” about in-app charges, especially with apps targeted at children. The finding is perhaps unsurprising, as the world of microtransactions relies greatly on a minimum number of steps between app makers (and app purveyors like Amazon) and users’ wallets.

    • Hillary Clinton’s Damning Emails

      A few weeks after leaving office, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have breathed a sigh of relief and reassurance when Director of National Intelligence James Clapper denied reports of the National Security Agency eavesdropping on Americans. After all, Clinton had been handling official business at the State Department like many Americans do with their personal business, on an unsecured server.

      In sworn testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on March 12, 2013, Clapper said the NSA was not collecting, wittingly, “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans,” which presumably would have covered Clinton’s unsecured emails.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • This Chart Will Warm Your Heart If You Want America To Use Less Coal

      The report said that electricity sales either stayed flat or saw slow growth in most states, so there was little opportunity for coal to grow its share of powering the grid. Meanwhile other fuels, particularly natural gas as well as solar and wind, saw strong growth as their prices dropped precipitously.

    • Power sector coal demand has fallen in nearly every state since 2007

      Consumption of steam coal used for electricity generation in the U.S. electric power sector fell 29% from its peak of 1,045 million short tons (MMst) in 2007 to an estimated 739 MMst in 2015. Consumption fell in nearly every state, rising only in Nebraska and Alaska over that period. States with the largest declines were concentrated in the Midwest and Southeast, with six states in these regions accounting for nearly half of the national decline. Smaller declines in power sector coal consumption occurred in Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana, all in the Rocky Mountain region.

    • Proposed Coal Terminal Would Be The Equivalent Of Adding 8 Million Cars To The Road

      Cowlitz County and the Washington State Department of Ecology have finally released the draft of their long-awaited Environmental Impact Statement regarding a proposed coal export terminal in Longview, Washington. Located just two hours north of Portland, Oregon, along the Columbia River, the proposed terminal would ship a maximum of 44 million metric tons of coal from the Western United States each year to markets overseas, making it, if built, the largest coal export terminal in the country.

    • How the car industry trumped banking for sociopathic corporate behaviour

      Since the financial crisis of 2008, we have had multiple scandals about banks and bankers behaving badly – from the misselling of payment protection insurance and interest-rate hedges, to the rigging of Libor and foreign exchange rates, and corporate collusion in money laundering. The banking industry has been singled out for its unhealthy internal culture. But the car emissions scandal shows that sociopathic corporate behaviour is widespread, and its effects are even worse elsewhere.

    • “These Kids Can’t Wait”: New Win in Youth Climate Lawsuit in Washington

      The young activists suing the U.S. government over its role in climate change scored another victory in court on Friday, as a judge in Seattle ordered the Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) to announce an emissions reduction rule by the end of the year and make recommendations to reach those targets to the state legislature in 2017.

      King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill also ordered the department to consult with the young plaintiffs on crafting those recommendations.

      “This is an urgent situation,” Hill said in issuing the order. “These kids can’t wait.”

      The DOE in February withdrew its proposal to cap emissions, following a landmark ruling in November 2015 which found that the state’s current standards fail to “preserve, protect, and enhance the air quality for the current and future generations.”

    • Greenland ice sheet melting has started early

      In a year of startling data pointing to a warming world, the thin blue line in the chart below of Greenland’s ice melt was initially dismissed as just too outlandish to be accurate.

      Greenland is home to the world’s second largest ice mass, containing enough water to lift average sea levels about seven metres if it all melted.

    • Six killed in Texas floods as severe weather lashes central US

      A woman and four of her grandchildren were among six people killed by floods in Texas caused by storms that unleashed tornadoes, damaging hail and torrential rains on several central US states.

      The family of flood victims in Palestine, Texas, 100 miles (160km) south–east of Dallas, escaped a house where flood waters had reached the roof line and were then swept away, police captain James Muniz said.

    • Can the climate movement break free from the ‘jobs vs. environment’ debate?

      For two weeks this May, organizers across 12 countries will participate in Break Free 2016, an open-source invitation to encourage “more action to keep fossil fuels in the ground and an acceleration in the just transition to 100 percent renewable energy.” Many of the month’s events — pulled together by 350.org and a slew of groups around the world — are set to take place within ongoing campaigns to shut down energy infrastructure, targeting “some of the most iconic and dangerous fossil fuel projects all over the world” with civil disobedience.

    • Brendan DeMelle on Exxon’s Climate Cover-Up

      Exxon knew decades ago that the increase in CO2 from burning fossil fuels posed a global threat. And it acted on that information–with a conscious and vigorous effort to sow uncertainty about climate science and to forestall regulation on its industry. This is all coming to light now thanks to environmental journalists at InsideClimate News and elsewhere, and state attorneys general are taking note. But it will take more work from the rest of the press to turn reporting into the action necessary to address the implications. DeSmog Blog has tracked this story for years, and they’ve unearthed more information that moves the story forward. We’ll talk about what Exxon knew and what it means with DeSmog‘s executive director and managing editor Brendan DeMelle.

  • Finance

    • Lawsuit Challenges State’s “Immoral, Unjust, Illegal” Law Banning Local Wage Increases

      Workers in Birmingham have launched a federal civil rights lawsuit charging that a fast tracked bill signed into law by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley that blocked the city’s minimum wage increase is “tainted with racial animus” and violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

      Plaintiffs include fast-food workers, as well as the Alabama NAACP and Greater Birmingham Ministries.

      Among the plaintiffs is 23-year-old Marnika Lewis, a restaurant worker who is paid $7.75 an hour. “I can’t afford to feed my son or heat my home on the $270 I’m paid each week, so I have to rely on public assistance just to scrape by. If the legislature and governor hadn’t illegally stolen my raise, I would have had money to pay for my son’s child care,” she said in a press statement.

    • Venezuela Runs Out of Beer

      Venezuela’s largest privately-owned beer company has stopped producing beer after running out of malted barley (or, more specifically, running out of foreign currency with which to buy malted barley).

    • Brexit Bunkum

      Dispelling some prime nonsense from the campaign to leave the EU.

    • How Two Toxic Trade Deals Just Got a Litttle Bit Less Likely

      Though the fight continues, the prospects for both TTIP and CETA have taken new hits

    • When Bad Financial Advice Pushes Seniors into Poverty

      Fortunately, earlier this month at the Center for American Progress, the U.S. Department of Labor announced its final fiduciary rule that would require financial professionals who advise on how to invest retirement savings to act in their clients’ best interest. The fiduciary rule is much more than an obscure legal concept—it’s a commonsense action that closes 40-year-old loopholes in retirement security laws that were left open by Congress. It also returns at least $17 billion a year to American families.

    • Puerto Rico Governor Says Island Will Default on May 1
    • Talking to Nike’s Knight About ‘Entrepreneurial Edge,’ Worker Abuses Are Beyond the Pale

      Billionaires whose wealth was built on the work of people in less developed countries making cents an hour in notoriously abusive conditions—practices only curtailed after years of activism, much of it by students the company did its best to ignore—well, their concerns about the pessimism of today’s youth warrant a side-eye on any day.

    • Where Are the Other 10 Million Panama Papers?

      When I posted my scepticism that we would be given the full truth about the content of the Panama Papers by the mainstream media outlets who were controlling them, it went viral and became the first individual article to be read by half a million people on this blog alone, and a multiple of that as it was posted all round the web, translated into several languages.

      I also attracted some derision from establishment propagandists. I had contended that the fact the papers themselves were not made available, but we were rather fed selected information by the western and corporate state media, would limit and slant what the public was told. The initial concentration on Russia, Iran, Syria etc seemed to confirm this. But it was urged that more was to come, and I should wait, and it was suggested I would look foolish when they finished publishing. “Wait and see” tweeted the editor of the lead newspaper, the Suddeutsche Zeitung, in response to my post.

    • “Ponzi austerity” scheme imposed by E.U. and U.S. bleeds Greece dry on behalf of banks, says ex-finance minister

      “The problem is not that Germany has not paid enough. Germany has paid too much, in the case of the Greek bailout,” Varoufakis explained on Democracy Now. “We had the largest loan in human history. The question is, what happened to that money?”

      “It wasn’t money for Greece. It was money for the banks. And the Greek people took on the largest loan in human history on behalf of German and French bankers, under conditions that guaranteed that their income, our income in Greece, would shrink by one-third.”

      According to Varoufakis, 91 percent of the first bailout and 100 percent of the second bailout went to German and French banks. The money did not end up in taxpayers’ pockets; it ended up in bankers’ pockets.

    • Inequality Will Get Worse Until There’s a Revolution

      America’s wealth concentration has increased tenfold since Bill Clinton first ran for president.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Recent Discussions of Neoliberalism

      People seem to have trouble defining neoliberalism adequately, and especially when it comes to labeling Hillary Clinton as a neoliberal. In a recent article at Jacobin Corey Robins gives a short history of the neoliberal version of the Democratic Party, specifically aimed at the Clinton/DLC/Third Way. Billmon discussed this article in this storify piece, in which he describes three current factions in the practice of neoliberalism, There is the Neo-Keynesian version, as with Krugman; the Monetarist version, that of Milton Friedman and his many followers;, and the Supply Side version, like Paul Ryan and his economic advisors. Each of the factions has attached itself to a political ideology. Both of these pieces should be read by anyone seeking to clarify their thinking about neoliberalism.

    • KKK ‘Imperial Wizard’ Endorses Trump, Won’t Vote For Cruz Because He Was ‘Born In Canada’
    • KKK Grand Imperial Wizard Endorses Trump—’a Lot of What He Believes, We Believe’

      You won’t believe how seriously the Ku Klux Klan thinks its endorsement is a boon to candidates this election season.

    • How Bernie Sanders Can Squander—or Expand—His Victory

      Nobody should be surprised that he couldn’t beat Clinton, whose political durability is routinely underestimated by hostile media coverage. What did seem surprising, however briefly, was the mere possibility that a self-described Democratic socialist from a tiny New England state could win the nomination of a party he had never condescended to join.

    • Sanders-Warren ticket would sweep the nation

      For purposes of analysis, and to offer a hint to Team Clinton about the respect that should be shown to Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and his supporters between now and the Democratic convention, my bet would be that a ticket combining Sanders with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) would leave any Republican ticket with Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) ticket in the distant dust and win a landslide victory for Democrats in November.

    • Glenn Beck Mocks Donald Trump By Covering His Face With Crushed-Up Cheetos

      On his radio program yesterday, Glenn Beck and his co-hosts mocked Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump for looking like an “orange racoon” and wondered how he obtained his unnatural hue. In an attempt to figure it out, they planned an experiment for today in which they would smear crushed-up Cheetos on their faces “to see if we can get our face close to the face of Donald Trump.”

    • No, Donald Trump Didn’t Oppose the Iraq War

      Granted, the Post’s version is in an editorial, where writers have more freedom to say what they want. Still, straight news reporters have, obviously, an obligation to report the news straight. And the straight truth is that Donald Trump didn’t oppose the war in Iraq—not until well after it had already become a disaster, anyway. All the available evidence says so, and reporters shouldn’t enable Trump’s lies by repeating them unchallenged.

    • Donald Trump, the Emperor of Social Media

      This is usually taken to mean that Trump, like some political McLuhan, is a mastermind who understands social media the way his forebears understood their media. But I suspect that with him, it may be less a matter of his brilliance or even his intuition than of the accidental match of personality with medium. He is a man of his technological moment.

    • Campaign Reporters Fess Up: They Really Can’t Stand Hillary Clinton

      Last month Politico polled 80 campaign reporters about this year’s race. It turns out they hate Nevada and Ohio but love South Carolina—mainly because it has good food, apparently. They think Maggie Haberman is the best reporter covering the race, and Fox News has done the best job of hosting a debate. Donald Trump has gotten the softest coverage, probably because they all agree that “traffic, viewership, and clicks” drives their coverage.

    • Journalist Inundated With Antisemitic Vitriol After Publishing Profile of Melania Trump

      And that’s when it began. Trump supporters sent Ioffe a deluge of vicious anti-Semitic attacks on social media, some going as far as to call her cell phone and leave threatening voicemails. On Twitter, Ioffe began reposting some of the more, er, creative attacks sent to her by Trump supporters: a photo of a concentration camp prisoner superimposed with her head; fake movie posters reading “Back to the Oven”; and a cartoon caricature of a Jewish man getting shot in the head.

    • ‘Clinton Cash’ Has Been Made Into a Movie

      A year ago, before Donald Trump dubbed her “Crooked Hillary” and Bernie Sanders was assailing her secretive speeches to Wall Street banks, Hillary Clinton looked like a powerful presidential front-runner. Then, in May, HarperCollins published an investigative book about the Clintons by the conservative author Peter Schweizer that caught them off guard and took a prominent place in the political conversation for months. Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich became a surprise bestseller.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Corbyn was right to suspend Ken Livingstone and Naz Shah – but where was Boris Johnson’s suspension?

      “Dog whistle racism” is a phrase many have thrown around recently in reference to Tory tactics, not least in the case of Zac Goldsmith’s campaign for London Mayor. The Conservative candidate has released statements decrying Sadiq Khan for “giving platform and oxygen to extremists”, going as far as to suggest that he has provided “cover for extremists”. The Evening Standard ran the front page headline “ZAC BLASTS SADIQ OVER EXTREMISTS” a few weeks ago, which voiced concerns that Khan had met with a radical “extremist” imam. It subsequently emerged that Goldsmith had posed for a picture with the same imam, that the imam is in fact a Tory himself, and that he was invited to a meeting to help canvass for the party by Dan Watkins last year.

    • Ken Livingstone gets the history wrong on anti-semitism and Hitler

      The Nazis couldn’t frankly care less where the Jews went, so long as they left Germany, preferably with as few possessions as possible. Later on they conceived ideas such as the Madagascar Plan of July 1940 which would they hoped involve mass migration to places where the Jews would suffer and eventually die of disease and malnutrition, all long before the full-scale genocidal programme conceived at the Wannsee Conference in 1942. Jews were being killed in large numbers as soon as the war began, but especially after Hitler’s invasion of Russia in June 1941. The idea that Hitler ever wanted a fully-functioning successful Jewish state in Palestine – the dream of Zionists – is ludicrous, as Mr Livingstone undoubtedly knows.

      The sole reason Ken Livingstone brought up the Fuhrer in his interview was to be as vicious and loathsome as he possibly could to any Jews listening, rather than genuinely intending to make some valid historical point about the migration policies of the putative Third Reich in the 1930s. He must know perfectly well that the very insertion of the word “Hitler” in the context of a debate over anti-Semitism would create precisely the effect that it has. It was therefore a totally cold-blooded attempt to offend the maximum amount of Jews to the maximum extent, and was said to a Jewish interviewer Vanessa Feltz.

    • Will Russia implement its own ‘Great Firewall’?

      While Russia has occasionally mirrored Chinese internet censorship practices, notably the random shutting down of popular websites and criminal charges brought against bloggers, the Kremlin has never revealed its admiration for China’s web policies as blatantly as it has this week. Russian leaders joined Lu Wei, China’s head of cybersecurity and internet policy (also dubbed the country’s online czar or cyberczar), and Fang Binxing, attributed with creating China’s Great Firewall, at the Russia-China ICT Development & Security Forum at the 7th International Safe Internet Forum.

    • Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

      Russian authorities are seeking greater control of information on the internet, with some who favor tighter restrictions looking to China.

      Russia’s Safe Internet League, an influential lobby, hosted a first-ever forum Wednesday in Moscow with China’s top internet censors, including Fang Binxing, known as the “Father of the Great Firewall of China.”

      Comments from speakers at the event underscored the desire for authorities to further limit and control information online.

    • Meet the all-women group fighting internet censorship in Pakistan

      The irony couldn’t have been thicker.

      On April 13, Pakistan’s lower house of Parliament, the National Assembly, passed a controversial cybercrime bill that infringes on its citizens’ right to free speech. On the same day, a Pakistani group was honoured for its tireless work towards defending freedom of expression, whose centrepiece has been a campaign against the “draconian cybercrime legislation”.

      “Many times in our struggles we get disillusioned because there are no visible results or quick victories,” said Farieha Aziz, co-founder of Bolo Bhi. “(But) that shouldn’t be our benchmark. What’s important is the process, and that we keep at it.”

    • Campaign launched against UK media censorship

      London has hosted the launch of a new initiative expressing solidarity with television channels that have been taken off the air in the UK. Bringing together legal, media, and rights organizations, the newly formed Journalist Support Committee set out the vision for the Campaign for Journalism and Broadcasting Freedom. The UK’s inability to protect freedom of opinion and expression under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was called into question. Amina Taylor attended the launch and filed this report.

    • Speaker to discuss importance of free speech, danger of campus censorship

      A leading advocate of free speech and religious liberty will be in New Orleans this week to speak about the importance of free speech and what he says are the dangers of campus censorship.

      Greg Lukianoff, a Stanford law school graduate and president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, is the author of “Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate.”

      Last year he also co-wrote with Jonathan Haidt an article in The Atlantic, “The Coddling of the American Mind.”

      In the article, Lukianoff and Haidt condemned what they said is overuse of “trigger warnings,” or alerts that professors issue if something in a course might cause a strong emotional response, such as racism or sexual violence in a written work. Students can then choose to avoid that subject.

    • Video Uses “Man Boobs” To Demonstrate How To Do A Breast Self Exam
    • A breast cancer charity is using “man boobs” to avoid censorship on female nipples
    • Best breast-checking video you will ever see
    • How To Check For Breast Cancer: Censorship Forces MACMA To Use Man Boobs
    • Man boobs are the perfect solution to pesky female nudity
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Google AI gains access to 1.2m confidential NHS patient records

      Google has been given access to huge swatches of confidential patient information in the UK, raising fears yet again over how NHS managers view and handle data under their control.

      In an agreement uncovered by the New Scientist, Google and its DeepMind artificial intelligence wing have been granted access to current and historic patient data at three London hospitals run by the Royal Free NHS Trust, covering 1.6 million individuals.

    • Supreme Court Quietly Approves Rule to Give FBI ‘Sprawling’ Hacking Powers

      The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday quietly approved a rule change that would allow a federal magistrate judge to issue a search and seizure warrant for any target using anonymity software like Tor to browse the internet.

      Absent action by U.S. Congress, the rule change (pdf) will go into effect in December. The FBI would then be able to search computers remotely—even if the bureau doesn’t know where that computer is located—if a user has anonymity software installed on it.

    • Can you say ‘rubber stamp?’ FBI and NSA requests never denied by secret court

      You likely don’t know much about the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Though it keeps a low profile, this is the court the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency go to when they want permission to put someone under surveillance. And they don’t get turned down, according to Reuters, citing a Justice Department memo. In 2015 the court received and approved 1,457 requests from the FBI and NSA. There were a bit fewer requests in 2014, but all of those were approved as well.

    • US surveillance court reportedly rejected zero spying requests last year
    • US surveillance court didn’t reject a single spy order last year
    • US spy court approved all 1457 govt surveillance orders in 2015 – report
    • US spy court didn’t reject a single government surveillance request in 2015
    • US foreign intelligence court did not deny any surveillance requests last year
    • Rubber Stamp Court Gave NSA, FBI Permission for all Electronic Surveillance
    • US Surveillance Court A Bigger Rubber Stamp Than Chicago City Council
    • With Rule 41, Little-Known Committee Proposes to Grant New Hacking Powers to the Government

      The first part of this change would grant authority to practically any judge to issue a search warrant to remotely access, seize, or copy data relevant to a crime when a computer was using privacy-protective tools to safeguard one’s location. Many different commonly used tools might fall into this category. For example, people who use Tor, folks running a Tor node, or people using a VPN would certainly be implicated. It might also extend to people who deny access to location data for smartphone apps because they don’t feel like sharing their location with ad networks. It could even include individuals who change the country setting in an online service, like folks who change the country settings of their Twitter profile in order to read uncensored Tweets.

    • SCOTUS Approves Broader Hacking Powers For FBI. What Could Go Wrong?

      While conversations surrounding decryption dominate the tech news cycle, the FBI is on the cusp of drastically increasing its hacking powers.

      On Thursday, the Supreme Court quietly signed off on changes to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41 that one expert calls “possibly the broadest expansion of extraterritorial surveillance power since the FBI’s expansion.”

    • How a federal spy case turned into a child pornography prosecution

      FBI agents entered Keith Gartenlaub’s home in Southern California while he and his wife were visiting her relatives in Shanghai. Agents wearing gloves went through boxes, snapped pictures of documents and made copies of three computer hard drives before leaving as quietly as they had entered.

    • FBI Used FISA Warrant To Prosecute Boeing Employee For Child Porn Possession

      Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post has the disturbing story of former Boeing employee Keith Gartenlaub, whose home was searched for evidence of his alleged spying for the Chinese. Specifically, the FBI was looking for documents about the military’s C-17 transport plane. Instead, FBI agents came across something else.

      [...]

      The defense had more difficulty than usual in challenging the evidence. The search wasn’t performed with a standard FBI warrant, but instead — due to its supposed national security implications — with a warrant issued by the FISA court. That the FBI found child pornography instead is unfortunate, but that fact shouldn’t nullify the original warrant or result in the suppression of the evidence, at least according to the DOJ.

      While the DOJ is correct in the fact that the FBI wasn’t going to call off the search after it uncovered evidence of other wrongdoing, its defense of the way the evidence was obtained is disingenuous. Unlike a regular warrant, a FISA warrant is almost completely unchallengeable. The entire process is ex parte, including the submission of evidence obtained — even if the evidence has nothing to do with national security.

      In Gartenlaub’s case, every submission by the government was done under seal. His legal representation had no access to the government’s presentation of evidence. The possession of child porn is certainly nothing the government takes lightly, but once the focus of the investigation shifted away from alleged espionage, the process likewise should have changed. At the very least, the FBI should have had a new warrant issued, signed by a regular magistrate judge — one that would have allowed the defense to examine the affidavit and the results of the search.

    • Backwards Software in Snowden Movie

      Roy Schestowitz noticed the new Snowden movie gets an important detail wrong. “It shows him copying the files using #microsoft #windows but he used #gnu #wget.” Roy is right.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Baltimore Police Commissioner Blames Eighth Grader For His Own Police Shooting

      One day after a plainclothes cop unloaded on a fleeing eighth grader holding a toy gun, Baltimore’s police commissioner defended the shooting officer for having to make a split-second decision “in a very emotional moment.” He also blamed the boy for his own shooting, saying he should not have had a toy gun at all.

      Dedric Colvin was carrying a basketball and his BB gun when two non-uniformed officers approached him on the street. Commissioner Kevin Davis says the officers identified who they were before the boy tried to run away. Colvin allegedly stopped and turned toward the cops, which is when Officer Thomas Smith shot Colvin in the shoulder and leg.

    • How Court Debt Erects Permanent Barriers to Reentry

      Jared Thorburg sits in his living room playing with his cat, at his home in Westminster, Colo. After getting a traffic ticket and a $165 fine that Thorburg was unable to pay, the fine grew, and he ended up spending 10 days in jail in May 2012 to settle the debt.

    • The Supreme Court Just Offered The Thinnest Ray Of Hope To Victims Of Voter Suppression

      The Supreme Court just imposed what could prove to be a very significant deadline on one of the most conservative federal appeals courts in the country.

    • Muslim convert in France refuses to sell clothes to women on weekdays

      When Jean-Baptiste Michalon posted a notice on the outside of his general store last year, he hardly imagined that it would create a national outcry.

      “Sisters on Saturdays and Sundays only,” the note read. Michalon’s message to customers in the French city of Bordeaux: Women were welcome only on weekends. Men could shop on weekdays.

    • EU military police carry out ‘extremely WORRYING’ civil unrest crisis training

      The training, which took place in the German North Rhine-Westphalia province was designed to prepare troops as part of the EU’s Lowlands Gendarmerie programme.

      Breitbart London reported that the exercise was attended by 600 members of various European police and military forces, in a bid to prepare the united troops of the European Gendarmerie Force.

      The military police group is made up of seven European nations, including Spain, Romania, Poland and Germany, and aims to quell post conflict scenarios within EU member states.

    • Members of Congress Call for End to Mass Voter Suppression and Insecure Elections

      Congressional briefings are typically dull affairs, usually with only a few dozen participants, but it was standing room only in a House Judiciary Committee hearing room on April 21, when nine members of Congress, their staff and 200 activists gathered to address the present crisis in US democracy: voter suppression and the manipulation of US elections.

      In 2016 – the first presidential election since the US Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act – a slew of new malicious laws and tactics are disenfranchising millions of Americans, even as the private control of US vote-counting technology has come under renewed scrutiny in a primary season marked by allegations of fraud and election rigging.

    • Jane Sanders Says Bernie Would Lead a National Movement Whether or Not He Wins the Presidency

      Now that Bernie Sanders has a “massive national and indeed international profile,” MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asked Thursday in an interview with Jane Sanders, the candidate’s wife and senior strategist, “Do you see an organization being formed out of the Sanders-centered movement that has sprung up around his campaign?”

      “Yes,” she responded. “That’s always been the intent. As he said, right from the beginning, it’s been a two-prong approach: Run for president, and the most important thing is not electing Bernie president—the most important thing is starting a political revolution. Bernie said that since the day he announced.

    • Is Hillary Stealing the Nomination? Will Bernie Birth a Long-Term Movement?

      PLEASE!!! If someone – anyone! – can demonstrate EXACTLY how the electronic vote count will be monitored, verified and made clear to the media in 2016, and then guarantee that the public and the courts will react with enforceable fury, we will be eternally grateful.

    • Asylum seeker dies from self-inflicted burns

      An asylum seeker from Australia has died after setting himself on fire.

    • Why Do Progressives Cling to Hillary?

      As the primaries move into their final act, Sanders supporters confront a perplexing question: How could so many progressives vote for Hillary over Bernie?

      After all, you would think that progressives would race toward the first self-declared socialist in American history who actually has a chance at becoming the nominee of a major political party, and even of winning the Presidency. What does Hillary offer to progressives that Bernie can’t provide in abundance?

    • Donald Trump Thinks He Can Win Over Disaffected Bernie Sanders Supporters

      Donald Trump is polling underwater with nearly every demographic group in America except white Republican and conservative men. And despite the braggadocio that is the blustery billionaire’s campaign, Trump’s campaign fundamentally understands that it will need to search for some unorthodox alliances to have any chance of not being absolutely clobbered by Hillary Clinton in the general election. Enter Bernie Sanders.

    • Community Groups Come Together Across the U.S. to Promote Digital Rights

      When setting out on a recent speaking tour in the wake of launching the Electronic Frontier Alliance (EFA) earlier this spring, I expected to encounter supporters of digital rights from all walks of life and backgrounds. My expectations, however, were vastly exceeded by what I witnessed in the nine cities that EFF visited over the course of this month.

    • Satanists Are Furious That Boehner Compared Ted Cruz to the Dark Lord

      On Wednesday night, former House Speaker John Boehner bluntly called GOP candidate Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh.”

      When asked for his opinion about the Texas senator, Boehner said, “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

    • Cruz Super PAC Head Promotes ‘Biblical’ Slavery for Non-Christians

      Since 2013 (and with growing interest, especially since Ted Cruz mounted his bid for the presidency), various authors have sought to address Cruz’ ties to the diffuse but widespread movement known as dominionism.

    • Global solidarity for workers organising critical in the face of neoliberalism

      In a world where the hard-won gains of the labour movement are being gradually eroded, International Workers’ Day isn’t a time for celebration. It’s a time to reflect, re-strategise, and reorganise.

    • Here’s Why Oral Rape is Not Rape in Oklahoma

      In Oklahoma, it’s legal to have oral sex with someone who’s completely unconscious, the state’s highest criminal court has ruled.

      In a unanimous decision, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals found that a teenage boy was not guilty of forcible sodomy after having oral sex with a teenage girl who was so intoxicated after a night of drinking that she had to be carried to his car. “Forcible Sodomy cannot occur where a victim is so intoxicated as to be completely unconscious at the time of the sexual act of oral copulation,” the judges ruled on March 24. The decision was reported by the Guardian on Wednesday.

      Local prosecutors were shocked, saying the court’s ruling perpetuated victim-blaming and antiquated ideas about rape. Benjamin Fu, assistant district attorney in Tulsa County, described the decision as “insane,” “dangerous,” and “offensive.”

    • U.S. Chamber Works Behind the Scenes to Gut Whistleblower Protections

      Efforts to gut the federal False Claims Act backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce got a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday. The federal push builds on previous back-door Chamber efforts through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to discourage states from pursuing fraud claims.

      The False Claims Act (FCA) allows the government to recover from businesses that defraud government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and protects whistleblowers who report suspected fraud on government contracts. According to the Department of Justice, cases brought under the FCA resulted in the recovery of $42 billion from 1987-2013, making it an important legal tool for deterring fraud and protecting public funds.

      Ensuring that contractors don’t defraud the government is clearly in the public interest. Yet for a number of years, the Chamber has been targeting the FCA through its lobbying efforts and its Institute for Legal Reform, which advocates policy changes that would reduce financial penalties on many companies and make it harder for whistleblowers to report alleged misconduct.

    • Story of Incarcerated Teen Shows Injustice of Juvenile Imprisonment

      By the time Karter Kane Reed became a teenager, his hometown of New Bedford, Massachusetts, had been dubbed “the most violent place in New England” by the FBI. And violence was just one of the Whaling City’s problems. According to Jean Trounstine’s Boy With a Knife, between 1985, when Reed was 9, and 1993, when he killed a schoolmate, a slew of major employers had moved out of the area, among them, Goodyear Tires, Stride Rite Shoes and Morse Cutting Tools. This meant that unemployment and poverty were endemic, leaving most residents of the hardscrabble town — including the Reeds — struggling.

    • The Little-Known Farmworkers Who Sparked the Biggest Labor Movement in U.S. History

      The growers capitalized on this. If one group struck, the growers would use the other group to break the strike.

      Lorraine Agtang, who was in school in Delano during the strike, explains that pitting the two ethnic groups against each other was what kept the growers powerful. “When working, the grower would tell our crew how the Mexican crew had picked more grapes than we had,” she recalls. “I was a mestizo, half-Filipino and half-Mexican. I always felt torn between the two cultures.”

    • Lucy Parsons: The Anarchist and Intersectional Feminist Who Inspired May Day
    • Rahm Emanuel’s Political Machine Is Overwhelmingly White: Here’s Why It Matters—Even Beyond Chicago

      The report shows that the donor class is incredibly white. Though the adult population of Chicago is 39 percent white, 82 percent of council and mayoral donors were. Emanuel relied the most on white donors, who made up 94 percent of his donors. Chuy Garcia, Emanuel’s opponent in last year’s Democratic primary, relied less on white donors; 39 percent of his donors were people of color. (27 percent were Latino.) Only 18 percent of council donors were people of color.

    • What do Muslims think? Same old, same old… time to wake up

      Second, there is no revelation in this poll. Since at least the 2007 Gallup poll, we know that Muslims across Europe display conservative values on family life, sexuality and women, while at the same time expressing high levels of loyalties to the country of Europe to which they belong. Having conservative family views does not mean lack of integration. In the US, Christian fundamentalists display the same values but nobody would say that they are not socially integrated!

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Ted Cruz Pushing Bill Protecting Large ISPs From Competition

      We’ve long noted how ISPs have convinced (read: paid) more than twenty states to pass protectionist broadband laws that prohibit towns and cities from improving their own broadband infrastructure. The bills not only saddle community broadband with onerous restrictions to make them less viable, they often even block towns and cities from striking public/private partnerships with companies to improve broadband. Last year, the FCC voted to take aim at two such laws in Tennessee and North Carolina, arguing the laws do little but protect the status quo, hindering the development of alternative broadband delivery options.

      Pressured by ISPs, both states quickly rushed to sue the FCC, saying that the agency was violating “states rights” (ignoring the rights violated by letting ISPs write awful state law). The FCC, in contrast, says its Congressional mandate to ensure “even and timely” broadband deployment under the Communications Act gives it full legal authority to take aim at such restrictions.

    • Take that, ISPs: FCC declares war on data caps

      The FCC is about to let the third-largest cable company in the United States buy the second-largest — and there’s actually a silver lining in that news for consumers.

  • DRM

    • DRM in HTML5 Will be Hardware Specific and Hooked to the DMCA

      The EME is a set of predefined javascript functions that invoke functions in Content Decryption Modules (CDM) and CDMs are containers for DRM functionality. It’s simple and innocuous but how it’s worded and what they refuse to define is where the danger lies.

    • Organize your community for digital freedom on May 3rd

      This global but decidedly not grassroots event is a project of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Yes, those are the same wise folks who convinced governments around the world to make it a crime to circumvent DRM even for legal purposes, undercutting digital freedom, security research, and access for those with disabilities.

    • Day Against DRM

      On Tuesday, May 3, 2016, our global community will come together to celebrate ten years of the International Day Against DRM. We’ll be gathering, protesting, making, and sharing, showing the world and the media that we insist on a future without Digital Restrictions Management. Will you join us? Here’s what you can do now:

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Trade mark infringement leads to ‘poultry’ profits

        Account of profits in trade mark infringement and passing off cases? The IPKat is delighted to host a guest contribution by Simon Chapman (Lewis Silkin) on this very topic and on a case (Jack Wills v House of Fraser) in which he and his team have acted for the defendant.

    • Copyrights

      • Aussie Gov Agency Endorses VPN Use to Reduce Piracy

        The Australian Government’s Productivity Commission has endorsed the use of VPNs and similar unblocking tools to give consumers greater choice. The agency says that new anti-piracy legislation has had only a “modest impact” on infringement so improved access to legal content is the preferred solution.

      • Hulu Tracks Pirates to Decide What to Buy

        With millions of paying subscribers in the United States, Hulu is one of the leading video streaming services. The company is battling with other services to license the best content, and as part of this quest it uses piracy data to see what is popular among potential viewers.

      • Mississippi Attorney General Withdraws Burdensome Subpoena, but Google Continues to Fight

        Last week, after over a year of fighting in court, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood withdrew a burdensome, 79-page investigatory subpoena issued to Google back in October 2014. Documents from the 2014 Sony hack implied the subpoena was part of a Hollywood plot against the search giant, with the Motion Picture Association of America (“MPAA”) pushing the Attorney General to aggressively investigate and smear the company.

        Last year, a federal district court issued an injunction prohibiting Hood from enforcing the subpoena. Although the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the injunction last month on the ground that Hood had not yet moved to enforce the subpoena (and because he did not have statutory authority to enforce the subpoena without asking for court’s help), the court made it clear that the subpoena was “expansively” written and presented a serious threat of violating both the First Amendment and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA).

04.29.16

Links 29/4/2016: GNOME 3.21.1, Fairphone

Posted in News Roundup at 6:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • RMS Gets Award, OwnCloud Founder Resigns & More…
  • Coreboot Gets Ported To A Unique Industrial Board

    While the Siemens MC_BDX1 will likely be unavailable for purchase as a computer motherboard similar to some of the past Siemens Coreboot ports, it’s still worth mentioning and interesting watching them bring Coreboot to more industrial boards. The MC_BDX1 in this case is a unique motherboard based off Intel’s Camelback Mountain CRB platform, a.k.a. a Xeon D Broadwell motherboard.

  • 4 keys to leading open source teams

    I like to be busy and have a lot of energy to be a part of leadership teams in open source communities, aside from my fulltime job as Developer Evangelist for Cisco in the DevNet.

    I’m a community leader and member of the PHP and the Joomla communities. I’ve been part of the Joomla organization since 2011 and have held leadership roles for the past few years. Previously, I was a Board of Director for Open Source Matters (OSM), the organization that supports the Joomla! Project legally, financially, and from all business aspects. For the past year, I’ve been on the Joomla Production Leadership Team (PLT), which is responsible for coordinating the production of the Joomla CMS and Framework, including the code, documentation, and localization. I was brought on to help evangelise and market the Joomla project in the greater developer communities by speaking about our community and code. I also run the Seattle PHP meetup and Seattle Joomla meetup. And, I organize the Pacific Northwest PHP Conference in Seattle (PNWPHP).

  • Events

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Coming up: the Month of LibreOffice

      There’s so much fantastic work going on in LibreOffice at the moment, in all areas of the project: development, translations, bug fixing, documentation, user support and much more. The community is doing stellar work to make the software better, faster, more reliable, easier to use, and available for everyone.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Ionic Downloads $8.5M to Rev Up Business Around Open-Source Software

      But the company saw a bigger opportunity with Ionic, which allows developers to use Web-based languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to make mobile apps that work across different platforms—meaning users can simultaneously create iOS, Android, and Windows apps. The software is geared toward Web developers, many of whom have never built a mobile app before. One of the goals is to help companies’ existing staff of Web developers quickly and easily build mobile apps, thereby saving businesses time and money they would’ve spent to hire or contract with more mobile-savvy developers.

  • BSD

    • LLVM Pulls In More Than $300,000 USD A Year In Sponsorships

      The LLVM Foundation published its plans and budgets this week for 2016. There are a few interesting details when analyzing the information.

      The post at LLVM.org explains of the LLVM Foundation for those unfamiliar, “The LLVM Foundation originally grew out of the need to have a legal entity to plan and support the annual LLVM Developers’ Meeting and LLVM infrastructure. However, as the Foundation was created we saw a need for help in other areas related to the LLVM project, compilers, and tools. The LLVM Foundation has established 3 main programs: Educational Outreach, Grants & Scholarships, and Women in Compilers & Tools.”

    • LLVMpipe Ported To Android x86 For Running Android Apps Without GPU Support

      For x86 Android users, patches are available for making use of Mesa’s LLVMpipe driver in Gallium3D for cases where hardware drivers are not available.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • ACM RECOGNIZES MAJOR TECHNICAL CONTRIBUTIONS THAT HAVE ADVANCED THE COMPUTING FIELD

      Richard Stallman, recipient of the ACM Software System Award for the development and leadership of GCC (GNU Compiler Collection), which has enabled extensive software and hardware innovation, and has been a lynchpin of the free software movement. A compiler is a computer program that takes the source code of another program and translates it into machine code that a computer can run directly. GCC compiles code in various programming languages, including Ada, C, C++, Cobol, Java, and FORTRAN. It produces machine code for many kinds of computers, and can run on Unix and GNU/Linux systems as well as others.

      GCC was developed for the GNU operating system, which includes thousands of programs from various projects, including applications, libraries, tools such as GCC, and even games. Most importantly, the GNU system is entirely free (libre) software, which means users are free to run all these programs, to study and change their source code, and to redistribute copies with or without changes. GNU is usually used with the kernel, Linux. Stallman has previously been recognized with ACM’s Grace Murray Hopper Award.

    • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: April 29th
    • Tumbleweed gets glibc 2.23

      There has not been a new snapshot for openSUSE Tumbleweed for the past week, and it has been a couple weeks since the last time it was discussed on news.opensuse.org.

      A new snapshot of Tumbleweed arrived today and the reason for not having one the past week is that the entire rolling release distribution was rebuilt on the Open Build Service and thoroughly tested by openQA.

  • Public Services/Government

    • FRAND Is Not A Compliance Issue

      The European Commission has been persuaded by lobbyists to change its position on standards to permit the use of FRAND license terms for patents applicable to technologies within those standards. This is a massive mistake that will harm innovation by chilling open source community engagement.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Saving Lives with Open-Source Electrocardiography

      A few months ago, MobilECG wowed us with a formidable electrocardiograph (ECG, also EKG) machine in the format of a business card, complete with an OLED display. We’ve seen business card hacks before, but that was the coolest. But that’s peanuts compared with the serious project that it supports: making an open-source ECG machine that can actually save lives by being affordable enough to be where it’s needed, when it’s needed.

  • Programming/Development

    • Why and how I became a software engineer

      Throughout my experiences, the fascinating weeks I’d spent writing out DOS commands remained a prominent influence, bleeding into little side projects and occupying valuable study time. As soon as Geocities became available to all Yahoo! Users, I created a website where I published blurry pictures that I’d taken on a tiny digital camera. I created websites for free, helped friends and family fix issues they had with their computers, and created a library database for a church.

      This meant that I was always researching and trying to find more information about how things could be made better. The Internet gods blessed me and open source fell into my lap. Suddenly, 30-day trials and restrictive licenses became a ghost of computing past. I could continue to create using GIMP, Inkscape, and OpenOffice.

    • PHP version 5.5.35, 5.6.21 and 7.0.6
    • Learn Perl Online for Free
    • Top Ten Programmers of All Time

      3. Linus Torvalds

      The man who created Linux Kernel. Linux operating system is a clone to the Unix operating system, written originally by Linus Torvalds and a loosely knit team of programmers all around the world.

      [...]

      5. Richard Stallman

      He founded the Free Software Foundation, developed the GNU Compiler Collection(GCC). Richard Stallman is the prophet of the free software movement. He understood the dangers of software patents years ago. Now that this has become a crucial issue in the world. He has hugely successful efforts to establish the idea of “Free Software”.

    • Node.js version 6 is now available

Leftovers

  • EU Regulators Can Barely Contain Their Desire To Attack Google And Facebook, Believing It Will Help Local Competitors

    Look, we warned everyone. Back in December of last year, we told you that the EU Commission was looking to put in place new regulations that were clearly designed to hamper Google and Facebook with needless regulations. It was pretty obvious from the way it phrased its broken survey form, that this was the intent. We, along with a bunch of internet startups told the EU that this was a mistake. We explained that Google and Facebook are big and they’ll be able to handle whatever regulations the EU throws at them, because they can just throw money at the problem.

    But… everyone else? They’re going to get screwed over. The folks over at Euractiv have got their hands on a leaked draft of the plan to regulate online platforms, and it’s more or less what we expected, and what was hinted at a few weeks ago.

  • Science

  • Hardware

    • USB Type C speed test: Here’s how slow your laptop’s port could be

      USB Type C is the intriguing new port that began appearing in laptops, tablets, phones, and other devices well over a year ago, but we had no real way test its throughput performance until now. Thanks to Sandisk’s Extreme 900, we’re finally able to push that tiny reversible port to its limits. To do that I gathered up no fewer than eight laptops equipped with USB Type C ports, and threw in a desktop PCIe card for good measure too.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Outrage and outsourcing in Russian healthcare

      The doctor is out. Hunger strikes, mistreatment of patients and general desperation are beginning to seem like a feature – as opposed to a bug – of Russia’s healthcare system.

  • Security

    • Friday’s security updates
    • Hacking Slack accounts: As easy as searching GitHub

      A surprisingly large number of developers are posting their Slack login credentials to GitHub and other public websites, a practice that in many cases allows anyone to surreptitiously eavesdrop on their conversations and download proprietary data exchanged over the chat service.

      According to a blog post published Thursday, company researchers recently estimated that about 1,500 access tokens were publicly available, some belonging to people who worked for Fortune 500 companies, payment providers, Internet service providers, and health care providers. The researchers privately reported their findings to Slack, and the chat service said it regularly monitors public sites for posts that publish the sensitive tokens.

    • Time for a patch: six vulns fixed in NTP daemon
    • NTP Daemon Gets Fixes for Vulnerabilities Causing DoS and Authentication Bypass
    • Cisco Spots New NTP Bugs
    • Network Time Keeps on Ticking with Long-Running NTP Project [Ed: corrected URL]
    • Open Source Milagro Project Aims to Fix Web Security for Cloud, Mobile, IoT

      As the Internet continues to both grow in size and widen in scope, so do demands on the supporting infrastructure. The number of users and devices, amount of activity, internationalization of the web, and new devices that range from mobile apps and cloud instances to “Internet of Things,” put strain on the system. Not just for bandwidth or service availability, but also on the assurance of trust — trust that the entities at each end are who (or what) they say they are, and that their communications are private and secure.

    • M2Mi Obtains DHS Open-Source Cryptographic Tool Development Funds

      Machine-to-Machine Intelligence Corp. has been awarded $75,000 in funds by the Department of Homeland Security‘s science and technology directorate to create a deployable cryptographic protocol for an Internet of Things security initiative.

    • Encrypted Network Traffic Comes at a Cost

      The use of encryption over the Internet is growing. Fueled by Edward Snowden’s revelations on the extent of NSA and GCHQ content monitoring, encryption is now increasingly provided by the big tech companies as part of their standard product offerings. It’s effectiveness can be seen in the continuing demands by different governments for these same tech companies to provide government backdoors for that encryption. Encryption works: it safeguards privacy.

      Against this background, the use of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) to encrypt network traffic is likely to grow dramatically. Google is encouraging this. It already uses HTTPS as a positive weight for web sites in its search algorithm, while current rumors suggest it will soon start to place a warning red X in the URL bar of sites that do not use it. Taken together, these are strong incentives for businesses that don’t currently use SSL/TLS to start doing so. Some predictions believe that almost 70% of network traffic will be encrypted by the end of this year.

    • Raptor Engineering Updates Details On Their POWER8-Based Talos Secure Workstation

      Raptor Engineering has published new information around their proposed high-performance Talos Secure Workstation that for around $3k is a high-end POWER8 motherboard.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Tony Blair courted Chinese leaders for Saudi prince’s oil firm

      Tony Blair obtained a “blessing” from Chinese leaders for a company owned by a Saudi prince to do business in China as part of an arrangement that paid the former UK prime minister’s firm £41,000 a month and a 2% commission on any multimillion-pound contracts he helped to secure.

      A series of documents, seen by the Guardian, show how Blair courted some of the most influential Chinese political leaders in 2010 and then introduced them to the Saudi-owned company he worked with, PetroSaudi. The company was not allowed to divulge his role without permission, according to the contract.

    • ‘It’s Remarkable How Little Real News Comes From Saudi Arabia’

      Janine Jackson: The New York Daily News cover is a photograph of Barack Obama with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, and the headline “Oil Protect You, Sire.” It’s far from elegant, but the paper’s trying to say something about the relationship CNN likened to “an unhappy marriage in which both sides, for better or worse, are stuck with each other.” News of Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia changed by the hour: First we were told things were chilly, then that they’d been smoothed over. But people who might want to understand more about the abiding goals of the US alliance with a monarchy where women can’t have bank accounts could easily remain confused.

    • The Coming World of ‘Peak Oil Demand,’ Not ‘Peak Oil’

      On the structural side, global demand for energy had, in recent years, ceased to rise quickly enough to soak up all the crude oil pouring onto the market, thanks in part to new supplies from Iraq and especially from the expanding shale fields of the United States. This oversupply triggered the initial 2014 price drop when Brent crude – the international benchmark blend – went from a high of $115 on June 19th to $77 on November 26th, the day before a fateful OPEC meeting in Vienna. The next day, OPEC members, led by Saudi Arabia, failed to agree on either production cuts or a freeze, and the price of oil went into freefall.

      The failure of that November meeting has been widely attributed to the Saudis’ desire to kill off new output elsewhere – especially shale production in the United States – and to restore their historic dominance of the global oil market. Many analysts were also convinced that Riyadh was seeking to punish regional rivals Iran and Russia for their support of the Assad regime in Syria (which the Saudis seek to topple).

    • Hiding the Indonesia Massacre Files

      Perhaps nowhere does U.S. hypocrisy over human rights stand out more clearly than Indonesia’s “Year of Living Dangerously” slaughter of vast numbers of people in 1965, dirty secrets that Jonathan Marshall says finally deserve airing.

    • It’s Not About Drones, It’s About Lazy War

      Clinton dabbled in other conflicts, such as bombing what turned out to be a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory in 1998. And yes, Kosovo was his big blowout event in 1999. Yet, he didn’t walk away from office with the reputation as a warmonger. If anything, his stickiest critique was that he didn’t kill Osama Bin Laden when he had the chance. That comes from the right. Mostly on the left, Clinton is loved and missed – or at least a world in which a presidential sex scandal was the biggest news is missed.

      Bush Jr. was loud, and obvious in his wars. The damage that his administration wrought in the Middle East will be felt for generations. And so, yes, Obama felt like a revelation simply because he wasn’t Bush. He even said a few things that were called “apologizing for America” by offended hawks. This usually meant that Obama was admitting America had not been perfect in its foreign policy choices in the past.

      [...]

      The Obama administration has stretched the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force to impossible lengths, using it to justify excursions into Syria and elsewhere that Daskal very nearly calls illegal (she goes with “expansive legal interpretation” instead). Perhaps hoping to use a carrot instead of a stick, Daskal suggests Obama knows better than this. Yet, there’s little evidence to suggest that he does. And she notes, Obama’s suggested a narrower AUMF to justify his current adventuring, but intended for it to be piled atop the old one, thereby adding, and not extracting war-making powers.

    • Drone Wars Produce PTSD Victims on Both Sides

      “When we are in our darkest places and we have a lot to worry about and we feel guilty about our past actions, it’s really tough to describe what that feeling is like,” says Daniel, a whistleblower who took part in drone operations and whose last name is not revealed in National Bird. Speaking of the suicidal feelings that sometimes plagued him while he was involved in killing halfway across the planet, he adds, “Having the image in your head of taking your own life is not a good feeling.”

    • Trump’s Foreign Policy Mishmash

      Donald Trump’s “big” foreign policy speech was a mishmash of his reasonable calls for American restraint blended with some bluster about unleashing military force, salted with some predictable Obama bashing, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • No Dissent from Anti-Russian Propaganda

      The European Union prides itself on its commitment to free expression, except apparently when a documentarian diverges from the official line bashing Russia. Then silencing dissent becomes the “responsible” response, as Gilbert Doctorow explains.

    • Pentagon Denies War Crimes Allegations In Kunduz Hospital Killings

      Nearly seven months after the first shots were fired, the Pentagon has released its full report detailing the night of chaos and horror that left 42 patients and staffers dead at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. In publishing the highly anticipated account, the military concluded that its attack did not amount to a war crime because its effects were not intentional, a view at odds with certain interpretations of international law.

    • Doctors Without Borders Launches New Solidarity Action as U.S. Military Brushes Off Deadly Kunduz Attack as ‘Accidental’ (Video)

      The International medical aid group Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) was attacked Wednesday in the Syrian city of Aleppo. According to the charity, the direct U.S. airstrike killed more than a dozen doctors and patients including “one of the city’s last pediatricians.”

    • The Joke of U.S. Justice and “Accountability” When They Bomb a Hospital

      Ever since the U.S. last October bombed a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Kunduz, Afghanistan, the U.S. vehemently denied guilt while acting exactly like a guilty party would. First, it changed its story repeatedly. Then, it blocked every effort – including repeated demands from MSF – to have an independent investigation determine what really happened. As May Jeong documented in a richly reported story for The Intercept yesterday, the Afghan government – rather than denying that the hospital was targeted – instead repeatedly claimed that doing so was justified; moreover, they were sympathetic to calls for an independent investigation, which the U.S. blocked. What is beyond dispute, as Jeong wrote, is that the “211 shells that were fired . . . were felt by the 42 men, women, and children who were killed.” MSF insisted the bombing was “deliberate,” and ample evidence supports that charge.

    • As More American Boots Hit the Ground in Syria, U.S. Parses “Boots” and “Ground”

      After President Obama announced on Monday that he would deploy 250 additional special operations troops to Syria, State Department spokesperson John Kirby tried to deny that Obama had ever promised not to send “boots on the ground” there.

    • “To demand peace is not a crime”: Turkish academics on trial

      Last Friday, April 21st, four Turkish academics, Meral Camci, Kivanc Ersoy, Muzeffer Kaya and Esra Mungan, after five weeks remanded in prison, were brought to the Heavy Penal Court in Istanbul to face charges of making “propaganda for terrorism” and of association with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), labelled as a terrorist organisation by the EU and the US. The indictment accused them under Article 7(2) of Turkey’s anti-terror law and if convicted they could face sentences of up to 7 ½ years in detention.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Why Climate Change Is No Longer Shocking Enough

      Back in the real world, 97% of climate scientists have determined that climate change is happening and caused by human activity. And, it’s already affecting people and places all over the world. Climate change should be the issue of the 2016 election, but the only way for this to happen is if the media partners with the people to put actual issues ahead of circus-like entertainment value. This is also where young people must come in.

    • Droughts trigger tree ‘heart attacks’

      Research identifying survival traits in different tree species could prove vital in helping to reduce the massive losses caused by heat extremes as the world warms.

    • $5 Million In Arizona Higher Education Funding Is Going To Koch-Backed ‘Freedom Schools’

      Five million dollars has been earmarked for conservative institutes at Arizona’s public universities.

    • These Republican Lawmakers Are Turning To Climate Action To Help Keep Their Seats

      For most Senate Republicans, climate change is an anathema: 70 percent of Republicans in the Senate deny the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and humans are the main cause.

      But a growing number of liberal and moderate Republican voters are concerned about climate change and want their elected officials to reflect that concern. And that leaves Republicans in tight campaigns for reelection with an interesting choice: embrace climate action, long seen as a liberal stance, or risk losing crucial voters.

    • Using the “Public Trust” to Frame “Break Free From Fossil Fuels” Actions

      Governments have no more right to authorize the emission of greenhouse gases that destroy the climate than the trust officers of a bank have to loot the assets placed under their care. , The people of the world have a right to our common natural resources. And we have a right, if necessary, to protect our common assets against those who would destroy them.

    • Widespread loss of ocean oxygen to become noticeable in 2030s

      A reduction in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans due to climate change is already discernible in some parts of the world and should be evident across large regions of the oceans between 2030 and 2040, according to a new study led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

      Scientists know that a warming climate can be expected to gradually sap the ocean of oxygen, leaving fish, crabs, squid, sea stars, and other marine life struggling to breathe. But it’s been difficult to determine whether this anticipated oxygen drain is already having a noticeable impact.

    • Save the Starfish: Deoxygenated ‘Dead Zones’ Threatening Marine Life
    • Why is Congress Trying to Give Military Half a Wildlife Refuge it Doesn’t Want?

      The overreaching rider is part of a trend: this is only the latest attempt by the House Armed Services committee, long dominated by Republicans, to demolish endangered species protections through the NDAA, the annual “must-pass” legislation that authorizes annual military spending.

    • America’s Most Notorious Coal Baron Is Going to Prison. But He Still Haunts West Virginia Politics

      As CEO of Massey Energy, central Appalachia’s largest coal producer, Don Blankenship towered over West Virginia politics for more than a decade by spending millions to bolster Republican candidates and causes. That chapter came to an end in April, when Blankenship was sentenced to a year in prison for conspiring to commit mine safety violations in the period leading up to the deadly 2010 explosion at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine. But even in absentia, he casts a long shadow over state politics. For evidence, look no further than the contentious Democratic primary for governor.

    • Retrofitting Suburbia: Communities Innovate Their Way Out of Sprawl

      The future for suburbanites, who now have twice the carbon footprint of city dwellers, seems to be pointing backward to pre-automobile, train-based living.

    • Obama’s Offshore Drilling Proposal Based on Fossil Fuel Industry Research

      A key component of President Barack Obama’s push for offshore oil drilling—an economic analysis touting the benefits of opening up waters in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic—was based on studies conducted by the fossil fuel industry, a new investigation reveals.

      The “apparently impartial” analysis from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) justified the offshore drilling proposal unveiled last month as having potential for “increased wages, additional jobs, increased tax collection, revenue sharing, and proximity of supply and consumers economic,” the nonprofit research group Public Accountability Initiative states in its report, Offshore Shilling: An Analysis of the Economic Studies Justifying the Department of Interior’s Offshore Drilling Plan.

  • Finance

    • Chevron Lobbied For Corporate Sovereignty Rights In TAFTA/TTIP To Act As ‘Environmental Deterrent’

      Back in 2014, Techdirt noted that arguably the most serious problem with corporate sovereignty was not the huge awards that could be imposed on countries, but the chilling effect the mere threat of those awards could have on national sovereignty. In that post, we quoted from a remarkable 2001 article in The Nation. A former Canadian government official in Ottawa revealed that numerous proposals for new environmental regulations had been dropped in the face of threats that NAFTA’s investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) framework would be used against Canada if it brought in new laws. The Techdirt post also mentioned a case in Indonesia, where a mining company dropped a corporate sovereignty case when it was offered “special exemptions” from a new mining law.

      More recently, we’ve seen New Zealand put on hold its plans to require plain packaging for cigarettes, as a result of Philip Morris bringing an ISDS claim against the Australian government for doing the same. The New Zealand government was concerned it too might get hit, and so decided to wait. Now that the Australian case has been thrown out, New Zealand is pressing ahead with its plain packs legislation.

    • Weighing Obama’s Economic Legacy–With a Thumb on the Scale

      The economy has also seen close to 3 million prime-age workers (ages 25–54) drop out of the labor force. No one had predicted this back in 2009 when President Obama took office. The number of people who are working part-time involuntarily is still close to 1.7 million above its pre-recession level. No one had expected this back in 2009, either.

      The 73 consecutive months of private-sector job growth, “the longest period of sustained job growth on record,” is kind of a joke. This is sort of like a weak-scoring basketball player telling a reporter about the number of consecutive games in which he scored points; it is an utterly meaningless statistic. It is the average job growth, GDP growth and improvement in living standards that matter, not the monthly job creation streak. (And President Obama wonders why people don’t feel better.)

      Sorkin then turns to mind-reading on the Wall Street bailout, telling readers: “But Obama, convinced that anything short of a major bailout could lead to economic catastrophe, said Democrats should back Paulson’s plan. They did.”

      Sorkin doesn’t indicate how he knows that Obama was “convinced.” No one has ever given an argument as to why the government could not have boosted the economy with massive spending after the market had been allowed to work its magic in putting Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and the rest out of business. Elite types call people names who raise this point, but that doesn’t mean it is not valid.

    • More Lies From the Government

      The government has reported a growth in first quarter 2016 GDP of one-half of one percent — 0.5%.

      Residential investment accounted for the entire increase.

      Yet housing starts fell by 0.7%.

    • How to Redistribute Wealth—Without the Guillotine

      We can’t just tax billionaires’ paychecks. We should tax the wealth they’ve already amassed.

    • The Question Is Not “Free Trade” and Globalization, It Is Free Trade and Globalization Designed to Screw Workers

      Why are none of the “free trade” members of Congress pushing to change the regulations that require doctors go through a U.S. residency program to be able to practice medicine in the United States? Obviously they are all protectionist Neanderthals.

      Will the media ever stop the ridiculous charade of pretending that the path of globalization that we are on is somehow and natural and that it is the outcome of a “free” market? Are longer and stronger patent and copyright monopolies the results of a free market?

      The NYT should up its game in this respect. It had a good piece on the devastation to millions of working class people and their communities from the flood of imports of manufactured goods in the last decade, but then it turns to hand-wringing nonsense about how it was all a necessary part of globalization. Actually, none of it was a necessary part of a free trade.

      First, the huge trade deficits were the direct result of the decision of China and other developing countries to buy massive amounts of U.S. dollars to hold as reserves in this period. This raised the value of the dollar and made our goods and services less competitive internationally. This problem of a seriously over-valued dollar stems from the bungling of the East Asian bailout by the Clinton Treasury Department and the I.M.F.

      If we had a more competent team in place, that didn’t botch the workings of the international financial system, then we would have expected the dollar to drop as more imports entered the U.S. market. This would have moved the U.S. trade deficit toward balance and prevented the massive loss of manufacturing jobs we saw in the last decade.

    • Crime Can Pay if It’s Big Enough

      For banksters like Goldman Sachs, federal criminal settlements are just a cost of doing business.

    • Could US Trade Threaten Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba?

      The future of agroecology in Cuba rests not only on how U.S.-Cuban relations continue to develop but also on how the Cuban state proceeds with ongoing economic reforms. Cuban farmers who practice agroecological methods by necessity will face a choice between committing to them in principle and returning to using imported agrochemicals to resolve the issue of labor shortages. The Cuban government will face a tricky balancing act between using U.S. agricultural exports to settle the question of food security and protecting its own industries, particularly agroecological and organic farms, from increased competition. Will a pioneering, sustainable food system that emerged from a period of extreme scarcity and hardship survive the transition to an era of relative abundance?

    • ‘Brazil Is One of the Most Unequal Countries in the World’

      The situation in Brazil—where President Dilma Rousseff faces impeachment charges spurred by legislators, many of whom are themselves under investigation for corruption—is hard to grasp at a glance, but glances are all we get in US media. And when it comes to Latin America, elite media haven’t been shy about their disaffection for leftist governments, sometimes going to great lengths to paint them as delusional and dangerous to the region, and somehow to the US.

    • NYT Photographer Mauricio Lima, 2016 Pulitzer Winner, Denounces Globo and the “Coup” in Brazil

      Ten days ago, the photographer Mauricio Lima was feted by Brazil’s large corporate media when he won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography, the first Brazilian ever to win the award. Lima shared the Pulitzer with fellow New York Times photographers Sergey Ponomarev, Tyler Hicks and Daniel Etter, with whom he worked to produce a series of stunning photographs documenting the journey of a Syrian refugee family, the Majids, as they traveled from Greece to Sweden to seek asylum. The year before, Lima, along with two colleagues, was named a Finalist in the same Pulitzer category for his work in The New York Times showing the devastation from the war in Ukraine. Last week, one columnist for O Globo quoted Joseph Pulitzer’s definition of journalism’s purpose and gushed that “there is no better definition to describe the work of Maurício Lima.”

    • Puerto Rico Is Cracking Down On Tax-Exempt Status For Churches

      Locked in the midst of a spiraling debt crisis, the government of Puerto Rico has taken a number of drastic steps to make money, such as cutting public education, hiking sales tax to be the highest in the U.S., and raising the cost of amenities such as water and electricity.

      But this past week, its Treasury Department announced another, somewhat unusual tactic: cracking down on churches that abuse tax-exempt status.

    • Republicans Shoot Down Rule That Bans Financial Advisers From Scamming Retirees
    • As Millions of Workers Face Pension Cuts Thanks to Wall Street Greed, Executive Benefits Remain Lavish

      In October of 2008, while the economy was in the early stages of what the IMF called “the worst recession since World War II,” the Washington Post reported that the “stock market’s prolonged tumble has wiped out about $2 trillion in Americans’ retirement savings in the past 15 months, a blow that could force workers to stay on the job longer than planned.”

      Thanks, in other words, to Wall Street’s reckless and criminal behavior, workers who were promised a secure retirement were cheated out of the benefits they worked hard — for decades — to attain.

      Which brings us to 2016: Just over a week ago, the Washington Post reported (déjà vu?), “More than a quarter of a million active and retired truckers and their families could soon see their pension benefits severely cut — even though their pension fund is still years away from running out of money.”

    • The Sanders Campaign – From Sea to Shining Sea

      Really, you can’t fault Hillary Clinton’s campaign for trying to get Bernie Sanders out of the race. It’s a campaign – that’s what you do. They want to win the nomination. We on the Sanders side want it too and we’d love to see Clinton out. But we’re also campaigning to change the nation by ending the corporate stranglehold on Washington. And as more and more people come to understand what that’s all about, we think we’re winning that campaign.

    • Banks Assert Constitutional Right to Billions in Subsidies

      A trade group for the nation’s largest banks has asserted a constitutional right to risk-free profit from the Federal Reserve.

      Rob Nichols, the chief lobbyist for the American Bankers Association, argued in a comment letter Thursday that a recent federal law reducing the dividend on the stock that banks purchase as part of membership in the Federal Reserve system, violates the Fifth Amendment clause banning the uncompensated seizure of property.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Amid Media Megamergers, a Mosaic of Community Media Thrives

      The business press is all atwitter with merger news, as federal regulators are set to approve a massive deal between cable giants Charter, Time Warner and Bright House Networks. The $78 billion transaction will create the second-largest cable TV/Internet company, dubbed “New Charter,” next to Comcast, and leave just three major cable providers in the U.S. Meanwhile, the Gannett Company, which owns more than 100 newspapers, including USA Today, is attempting to acquire Tribune Publishing, which owns several major newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune.

      This looming consolidation in the corporate media is happening as we celebrate “Democracy Now!” news hour’s 20th anniversary. We are on a 100-city tour of the United States, going from city to city, hosting fundraisers for community media outlets and broadcasting the news as we travel. Our travels confirm that a thriving, vibrant community media sector exists, serving the public interest, free from the demands to turn a profit at any cost.

    • To Clear the Air, Sanders Should Challenge New York Vote

      In November 2004, the officially announced results of the Ukrainian presidential election differed from exit polling by 12%.

      U.S. officials officially cried fraud.

      Last Tuesday, the results of the New York primary between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders differed from exit polling by 12%.

      Tim Robbins has cried fraud, and the Washington Post’s most consistent Clinton hack this cycle is leading the charge in mocking him.

    • Does the First Amendment Justify Corruption?

      Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s Supreme Court corruption appeal will help decide whether the First Amendment protects average Americans or special interests.

    • Opening the Closed Political Culture

      Don’t they know how American democracy works? Real change isn’t part of the game. The mainstream media looks on in fascination at those (mostly young people) who don’t get this yet and seem to think that something more is at stake than which preselected big-money candidate wins the election.

    • The Pragmatic Impacts of Sanders’ Big Dreams

      The race for the Democratic presidential nomination has pitted a dreamer against a realist, right? Bernie Sanders is the unrealistic one, and Hillary Clinton, the pragmatist, is the candidate who can get things done.

      That’s what many pundits say. But, even with Tuesday’s setbacks to the Sanders campaign, it’s worth examining which is actually unrealistic—Bernie’s pledge to make the country more equitable and sustainable? Or Hillary’s progressive talking points, given her deep ties to corporate power players?

      One way to see if Sanders really is a dreamer is to look at his record as mayor of the city of Burlington, Vermont.

    • Fourteen to Go: Sanders Set on ‘Transforming Nation’

      That’s how many Democratic presidential nominating contests remain. From Indiana next week to the District of Columbia on June 14—with delegate prizes as large as 546 in California and small as 12 in Guam to be won in between—14 states and territories have yet to hold their respective caucus or primary.

    • Reputation Management Revolution: Fake News Sites And Even Faker DMCA Notices

      Pissed Consumer has uncovered another apparent case of bad reputation management, this one revolving around bogus websites facilitating bogus DMCA takedowns. It previously exposed a pair of lawyers using shell companies and highly-questionable defamation lawsuits to force Google to delist negative reviews hosted around the web. These faux litigants always managed to not only find the supposed “defamers,” but to also obtain a signed admission within 48 hours of the lawsuit being filed — a process that usually takes weeks or months, especially if the alleged “defamer” utilizes anything other than their real name when posting negative reviews.

      In this case, the reputation management scheme involves the use of hastily-set up “news” sites that contain a blend of scraped content and negative reviews hosted at sites like Yelp, Ripoff Report and Pissed Consumer.

    • Rhode Island’s Primary Results Show Us How Independents Are Shaping the 2016 Election

      Rhode Island’s primary results “show just how tough and unpredictable the battle for the presidency will be this year, all the way to the White House,” Guardian journalist Suzanne McGee writes.

      The key factor is the rising anger of middle-class or formerly middle-class Americans, an experience given voice by the author and critic Neal Gabler in a recent essay for The Atlantic, in which he confesses that he is one of many Americans suffering from “financial impotence,” or the inability to find even $400 to cover an emergency. One study suggests 47 percent of Americans find themselves in this plight, and “millions of Americans are succumbing to a form of economic despair, a factor that has been cited as one of the contributing factors in sending the US suicide rate to a 30-year high,” McGee says.

    • Yanis Varoufakis, Former Greek Finance Minister, Returns to Public Life More Hopeful Than Ever

      Just a year ago the eyes of progressives all over the world were turned toward Greece. That which rarely happens had transpired in the Greek electoral system: a left-wing party with a strong ideological position was elected to power. The Syriza Party, which had upheld a staunchly anti-austerity platform, was propelled by the collective despair of the Greek populace into a landslide victory.

      The challenge of Syriza, and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, lay in navigating between the opposing pressures of austerity-weary Greeks on the one hand, and the troika of creditors (the European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund) on the other. Part of international fascination with this European moment was based on the hope that if Greece could thumb its nose at neoliberal capitalism, there might be positive repercussions throughout Europe and even elsewhere.

    • How the New York Times Helped Hillary Hide the Hawk

      In our critique of the media, we tend to focus on the New York Times, because it purports to be the gold standard for journalism, and because others look to the paper for coverage guidance. But the same critique could be applied to the Washington Post,Politico, CNN, and most other leading outfits.

      In prior articles, we noted how the Timeshelped Clinton walk away with most of the African-American vote—and therefore victory in many states—by essentially hiding Sanders’ comparably far more impressive record on civil rights. We also noted how it seemed that every little thing the Clinton camp did right was billboarded, while significant victories against great odds by Sanders were minimized.

      These are the kinds of decisions that determine the “conventional wisdom,” which in turn so often determines outcomes.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Rosemary Collyer’s Worst FISA Decision

      Collyer has a history of rulings, sometimes legally dubious, backing secrecy and executive power, some of which include,

      2011: Protecting redactions in the Torture OPR Report

      2014: Ruling the mosaic theory did not yet make the phone dragnet illegal (in this case she chose to release her opinion)

      2014: Erroneously freelance researching the Awlaki execution to justify throwing out his family’s wrongful death suit

      2015: Serially helping the Administration hide drone details, even after remand from the DC Circuit

      I actually think her mosaic theory opinion from 2014 is one of her (and FISC’s) less bad opinions of this ilk.

    • GCHQ Has Disclosed Over 20 Vulnerabilities This Year, Including Ones in iOS

      Earlier this week, it emerged that a section of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the UK’s signal intelligence agency, had disclosed a serious vulnerability in Firefox to Mozilla. Now, GCHQ has said it helped fix nearly two dozen individual vulnerabilities in the past few months, including in highly popular pieces of software like iOS.

      “So far in 2016 GCHQ/CESG has disclosed more than 20 vulnerabilities across a number of software products,” a GCHQ spokesperson told Motherboard in an email. CESG, or the National Technical Authority for Information Assurance, is the information security wing of GCHQ.

    • Russia’s Trace in NSA Spying Scandal Proofless Rumors – Ex-BND Chief

      The Russian involvement in Edward Snowden’s leaks on the BND targeting European authorities and individuals at NSA’s request should be qualified as unsubstantiated rumors, August Hanning, former head of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), told Sputnik Friday.

    • Senators Burr & Feinstein Write Ridiculous Ignorant Op-Ed To Go With Their Ridiculous Ignorant Bill

      Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein are not giving up that quickly on their ridiculous and technically ignorant plan to outlaw real encryption. The two have now penned an op-ed in the WSJ that lays out all the same talking points they’ve laid out before, without adding anything new. Instead, it just continues to make statements that show how incredibly ignorant they are. The piece is called Encryption Without Tears (and may be paywalled, though by now everyone knows how to get around that), which already doesn’t make any sense. What they’re pushing for is ending basic encryption, which will lead to many, many tears.

      [...]

      I love this. They give two examples that have been rolled out a bunch in the last few weeks. The attack in Garland, Texas, where the attackers supposedly exchanged some messages with potential ISIS people, and the case of Brittney Mills, who was tragically murdered, and whose case hasn’t been solved. Mills had her smartphone, but no one can get into it. Of course, it took nearly two years of fretting before law enforcement could dig up these two cases, and neither make a very strong argument for why we need to undermine all encryption.

      It’s a simple fact that law enforcement never gets to have all of the evidence. In many, many, many criminal scenarios, that’s just the reality. People destroy evidence, or law enforcement doesn’t find it or law enforcement just doesn’t understand it. That’s not the end of the world. This is why we have police detectives, who are supposed to piece together whatever evidence they do have and build a picture for a case. Burr and Feinstein are acting like in the past, law enforcement immediately was handed all evidence. That’s never been the way it works. Yes, law enforcement doesn’t get access to some information. That’s how it works.

    • Notorious “FOIA Terrorist” Jason Leopold “Saves” FBI Over $300,000

      I noted at the time that 1) Jim Comey has a history of telling untruths when convenient and 2) he had an incentive to exaggerate the cost of this exploit, because it would pressure Congress to pass a bill, like the horrible Burr-Feinstein bill, that would force Apple and other providers to help law enforcement crack phones less expensively.

    • Supreme Court Approves Rule 41 Changes, Putting FBI Closer To Searching Any Computer Anywhere With A Single Warrant

      The DOJ is one step closer to being allowed to remotely access computers anywhere in the world using a normal search warrant issued by a magistrate judge. The proposed amendments to Rule 41 remove jurisdiction limitations, which would allow the FBI to obtain a search warrant in, say, Virginia, and use it to “search” computers across the nation using Network Investigative Techniques (NITs).

      This won’t save evidence obtained in some high-profile cases linked to the FBI’s two-week gig as child porn site administrators. Two judges have ruled that the warrants obtained in this investigation are void due to Rule 41(b) jurisdiction limitations. (Another has reached the same conclusion in an unrelated case in Kansas). The amendments recently approved by the US Supreme Court would strip away the jurisdiction limitation, making FBI NIT use unchallengeable, at least on jurisdiction grounds.

    • FBI Spent $1.3 Million To Not Even Learn The Details Of The iPhone Hack… So Now It Says It Can’t Tell Apple

      Once the DOJ told the court in San Bernardino that it had succeeded in hacking into the iPhone of Syed Farook, the big question people asked is whether or not the FBI would then tell Apple about the vulnerability. After all, the administration set up the so-called “Vulnerabilities Equities Policy” (VEP) with the idea of sharing most vulnerabilities it discovers with companies.

    • The Shell Game the Government Played During Yahoo’s Protect America Act Challenge

      The unsealed classified appendix released today (the earlier released documents are here) provides a lot more details on the shell game the government played during the Yahoo litigation, even with Walton. (It also shows how the government repeatedly asked the court to unseal documents so it could share them with Congressional Intelligence Committees or other providers it wanted to cooperate with PAA).

      [...]

      As a result of the government’s successful argument Yahoo had to argue blind, it did not learn — among other things — that CIA would get all the data Yahoo was turning over to the government, or that the government had basically totally restructured the program after the original expiration date of the program, additional issues on which Yahoo might have challenged the program.

    • Here’s Why FBI Won’t Tell Apple How It Hacked San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone

      After it was possible to hack into the San Bernardino iPhone, FBI has again come up with another statement that it cannot reveal the information about the method that was used to hack into the iPhone as FBI did not purchase the rights to the technique used in hacking.

    • The NSA doesn’t even know how many Americans it’s spying on
    • Now FBI Can Hack Any Computer In The World With Just One Warrant
    • ‘Snowden’ Movie Trailer: Can Oliver Stone Make Whistleblowing Suspenseful?
    • Oliver Stone’s Snowden: American whistleblower portrayed as hero in trailer
    • Edward Snowden Reacts To ‘Snowden’ Movie Trailer
    • Official Trailer Released for Oliver Stone Film ‘Snowden’
    • Snowden movie trailer teases an action-packed NSA thriller
    • Ssh, Don’t Tell Anyone, But The Official Trailer For ‘Snowden’ Has Leaked
    • Watch: First trailer for ‘Snowden’ looks intense
  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • It’s unfair to say Hillsborough police were incompetent – it takes great organisation to tell such shocking lies

      One touching side to the aftermath of the Hillsborough verdict, is how few people responsible for the tragedy, the lies or the cover-up appear to show the slightest signs of remorse, which is heartening because there’s no point in adding to the suffering is there?

      This is excellent news as it should save on counselling. For example, Paul Middup, who as chair of South Yorkshire Police Federation blamed the disaster on a “rampaging mob”, has refused to make a further statement.

      So if he had to see a therapist, they’d say, “Now Paul, you were at a traumatic event weren’t you? And the force you speak for was partly to blame, but you invented a rampaging mob to deflect that blame. Do you ever experience feelings of, perhaps, slight guilt in any way?” And he’d say “no not really”, and the session would be over, saving on costs all round.

      [...]

      It also suggests our society is now controlled by new age liberals, as the police falsified at least 116 statements, which we’ve known about since the last inquiry, and no one’s yet been punished for it. Because it’s wrong to see these police officers as liars, they’re suffering from Compulsive Statement Alteration Syndrome, and we shouldn’t be negative by saying they make stuff up but recognise they’re “differently realitied” – which is why many of them have been promoted, to raise their self-esteem.

    • British Police Forces Sued for “Abuse on an Industrial Scale” Over 96 Soccer Fans’ Deaths

      This past Tuesday, a jury ruled that the fans were not to blame, that the 96 dead were “unlawfully killed,” and that the chief officer in charge was had been “in breach of duty.”

    • A Battery of Dangerous Cybercrime Proposals Still Hang Over Brazil

      Digital rights activists across Brazil held their breath yesterday, as the country’s Parliamentary Commission on Cybercrime (CPICIBER) debated whether to send its report to the full lower house of Congress for committee assignment and debate. In the end, the vote was postponed, and rescheduled for Tuesday, May 3rd. A postponement does not fix the problems with the commission’s proposals — but it may show a growing realization of the negative attention the report is gathering from Brazil’s Internet users.

    • Our children aren’t inheriting the liberties of our parents: The importance of “Analog Equivalent Rights”

      The civil liberties of our parents are not being passed down to our children. Somehow, liberties are being interpreted to only apply to analog technology, despite this limitation being nowhere in the books. This is a disastrous erosion of the fundamental liberties our ancestors fought, bled, and died to give us.

      This week, there was news of a new law passed in the US House of Representatives – the lower legislative chamber in the United States – passing a bill to require a search warrant for the government to search and seize people’s e-mail. In other words, the government would need a search warrant to obtain people’s private correspondence if it happened to be transmitted electronically, which practically all correspondence is today.

    • Cruelty of Solitary Detention Challenged as Obama Pushes State-Level Reform

      When President Obama in January announced plans to limit federal prisons’ use of solitary confinement—a practice a UN expert described as “torture” and “cruel”—human rights activists applauded.

      Those activists were still skeptical, however, that such a measure would reach far enough to enact meaningful change, as the vast majority of solitary confinement happens in state-level prisons. A total of about 90,000 people are imprisoned in solitary in state prisons, compared to about 10,000 incarcerated in segregated cells in federal facilities. (The nationwide total of approximately 100,000 people in solitary confinement surpasses the total prison populations of countries such as France, Japan, Germany, and the UK, as the Yale Law Journal points out.)

    • Anti-Trump protesters shatter windows of police cruiser at California rally
    • Trump Held A Rally In A Heavily Latino City Last Night. Chaos Ensued.
    • One Ugly Summer: Is Latest Trump Rally Violence Just Taste of What’s to Come?

      If events in California outside a Donald Trump rally on Thursday night are any indication, the months ahead are likely to inspire more acrimony than political inspiration as billionaire media personality Donald Trump emerges as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

      While holding an event at the Orange County Fair grounds in the city of Costa Mesa, approximately twenty people were arrested after anti-Trump demonstrators clashed with the candidate’s supporters and police were confronted with a hostile crowd who vowed to challenge the noxious views of Trump’s campaign.

    • FBI failed to follow its own rules when it impersonated The Associated Press in a 2007 investigation

      The FBI failed to follow its own rules when agents impersonated an Associated Press reporter in order to locate a criminal suspect in 2007, according to documents newly released in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and The Associated Press.

      The documents further show that after the impersonation became public, an FBI analysis determined that the non-compliance was reasonable, raising questions about the efficacy of the guidelines altogether.

      The Reporters Committee and AP sued the FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice last August for records related to the FBI’s practice of impersonating the news media.

    • Historic Ruling Puts Justice Within Reach for CIA Torture Victims

      CIA torture victims are a big step closer to accountability.

      A federal judge has ruled against two CIA contract psychologists, James Mitchell and John Bruce Jessen, in their effort to dismiss a case brought against them on behalf of three victims of the torture program they designed and implemented for the agency.

      Senior Judge Justin Quackenbush announced his decision rejecting the psychologists’ motion to dismiss during an argument last Friday in Spokane, Washington. Yesterday, the federal court issued its written opinion.

    • Robert Scheer Talks With Eddie Conway About Making Real News After Prison

      In this week’s “Scheer Intelligence,” the Truthdig editor in chief sits down with former Black Panther Eddie Conway to hear about how he helped fellow prisoners organize for reform while serving a nearly 44-year term sentence for a murder he didn’t commit.

    • Texas Prisons Assert Right to Censor Inmates’ Families on Social Media

      On the morning of April 15, Pat Hartwell drove up from her home in Houston, Texas, to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Austin, where the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which runs the state’s prisons, was holding a board meeting. The board only offers a public comment period during two of its meetings each year, and this would be the first time in 2016 that the public would have a chance to air grievances or concerns about agency operations, for example, or prison conditions.

    • You Serve Your Time, Earn Your Freedom, Then the Job Market Shuts the Door in Your Face

      I decided I had to prove to the next potential employer that I’m worthy. On my next interview, I took the actual piece of paper with the executive grant commuting my sentence that the president gave me. When the interviewer asked me about my conviction, I showed her my executive order. Next thing I know, she is calling other people into the room, and they are looking at me and my clemency paper. The interviewer told me she would talk to the manager and tell him to hire me because she knows how hard it is for someone who has served time to get a job. Her brother was in prison, and she’d seen it happen to him. The manager agreed to hire me as a welder, but I was unable to get the job because I didn’t have a driver’s license. Mine had expired after 17 years, and it was going to take a month to take a driving test.

    • Reforming Democracy From the Grassroots Up

      America is in the midst of a grassroots revolution. Ordinary people are standing up to big money and denouncing the culture of corruption that permeates our political system. Just this month, more than 1,200 people were arrested and sent to jail for protesting special interests and lobbyists. Thousands more joined anti-corruption rallies in communities across America to demand a government that represents us.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • The Cable Industry Threatens To Sue If FCC Tries To Bring Competition To Cable Set Top Boxes

      Back in February the FCC voted on a new plan to open up the traditional cable box to competition. According to a fact sheet being circulated by the agency (pdf), under the FCC’s plan you’d still pay your cable company for the exact same content, cable operators would simply have to design systems — using standards and copy protection of their choice — that delivered this content to third-party hardware. The FCC’s goal is cheaper, better hardware and a shift away from the insular gatekeeper model the cable box has long protected.

      Given this would obliterate a $21 billion captive market in set top box rental fees — and likely direct consumers to more third-party streaming services — the cable industry has been engaged in an utterly adorable new hissy fit. This breathless hysteria has primarily come in the form of an endless stream of editorials — most of which fail utterly to disclose financial ties to cable — claiming that the FCC’s plan will boost piracy, hurt privacy, “steal the future,” and even harm ethnic diversity.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • USTR: Foreign Governments Engaging In Censorship And Rights Abuses Should Add IP Enforcement To Their ‘To Do’ Lists

      If it’s mid-spring, it means it’s time for the US Trade Representative’s “Special 301 Report,” the annual “event” that names and shames countries who don’t live up to US industries’ intellectual property protection ideals. The same countries that have made the list for years still make the list, although a few have moved up a notch from the “Priority Watch” list to just the normal “Watch” list.

      There are lots of familiar names on the lists, including such perennial favorites as China, India, Russia and… Canada. The report offers congratulations to countries like Italy, which has managed to steer clear of the watchlists by instituting censorious IP enforcement procedures like site-blocking. And it pats other countries on the head for ceding to the USTR’s IP imperialism in exchange for upgraded 301 listings.

    • China Tops Annual US Trade Watch List — Again [Ed: pushing for software patents]

      The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released the 2016 Special 301 Report on the global state of intellectual property rights protection and enforcement.

      [...]

      India also remains on the 2016 Priority Watch List “for lack of sufficient measurable improvements to its IPR framework despite more robust engagement and positive steps forward on IPR protection and enforcement undertaken by the Government of India.” The Priority Watch List includes a total of 11 countries, including Algeria, Argentina, Chile, Indonesia, Kuwait, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine and Venezuela.

    • Discussions Continue On How To Govern WHO Interactions With Outside Actors

      The World Health Organization interacts with a large number of actors aside from governments, such as industry, philanthropic organisations, academia, and civil society. With an eye to preventing undue influence on the work of the organisation, member states have been trying to finalise a draft framework on WHO interaction with those actors. This week, what was seen as a last effort at reaching a consensual text did not quite meet the goal and some additional informal discussions are expected to take place before the annual World Health Assembly in late May.

    • Congress May Be About to Shake Up Trade Secret Law: Is That a Good Thing?

      Defend Trade Secrets Act may be the ‘most significant expansion’ of federal IP law in 70 years

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Captured U.S. Trade Agency Resorts to Bullying Again in 2016 Special 301 Report

        Every year at around this time the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issues a Special 301 Report in which it chastises other countries for not submitting to its unilateral demands (often lacking any legal basis) as to how they should be enforcing copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets in their countries. And just like last year, this gives us the opportunity again to point out how unbalanced these demands are, missing the real harms of strict copyright and patent enforcement and failing to acknowledge the benefits of a more flexible, user-centered approach.

        It would be unfair to say that the USTR just doesn’t get this; after so many submissions pointing this out the agency surely gets it just fine. Rather, it just doesn’t care, because its priorities lie with appeasing the special interest groups who pre-write most of the demands that end up in the report; major entertainment companies and the pharmaceutical industry [PDF]. In the USTR’s calculus, the concerns of other stakeholders—such as technology users, cultural institutions, remixers, fans, patients, people with disabilities, libraries and archives, independent creators and innovators—scarcely figure at all. After all, it’s Hollywood and the pharmaceutical industry who offer former USTR staff a much more lucrative career path.

      • Freedom of panorama in France: could even a visit to Père Lachaise become a problem?

        Game of Thrones? House of Cards? Forget them.

        The battle around what until recently was an area of copyright not many cared knew about, ie freedom of panorama, has now become one of the most eventful sagas ever.

        The relevant provision in this sense is Article 5(3)(h) of the InfoSoc Directive, which allows Member States to introduce national exceptions/limitations to the rights harmonised by that directive to permit the “use of works, such as works of architecture or sculpture, made to be located permanently in public places”.

      • The end of the Google Books legal saga

        While I was a law student in India, I was required to search for books in a physical library and the resources therein were few and far between. Searching manually took a lot of time but with Google Books, every student, researcher, lawyer, academician stands to benefit as it brings them to the book at the click of a mouse and also the authors close to their target audience. Therefore, I for one, cannot extol enough the virtues of the Google Books project.

        The Supreme Court too seems to embrace the goal of Google Books, which is, to make the life of every researcher or avid book reader much easy. The decision of the Supreme Court augers well for the reading/researching population. This case has certainly brought delight to researchers all over the world but dismay to the Authors Guild.”

      • Who’s downloading pirated papers? Everyone

        Just as spring arrived last month in Iran, Meysam Rahimi sat down at his university computer and immediately ran into a problem: how to get the scientific papers he needed. He had to write up a research proposal for his engineering Ph.D. at Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran. His project straddles both operations management and behavioral economics, so Rahimi had a lot of ground to cover.

        But every time he found the abstract of a relevant paper, he hit a paywall. Although Amirkabir is one of the top research universities in Iran, international sanctions and economic woes have left it with poor access to journals. To read a 2011 paper in Applied Mathematics and Computation, Rahimi would have to pay the publisher, Elsevier, $28. A 2015 paper in Operations Research, published by the U.S.-based company INFORMS, would cost $30.

      • Paramount Copyright Claim on Klingon Language Challenged in Klingon Language

        The Language Creation Society has filed an amicus brief challenging Paramount’s claim of copyright over the Klingon language in its lawsuit against Axanar, a fan-produced film set in the Star Trek universe. Marc Randazza, a top notch first amendment attorney who has helped out Reason on copyright issues, and Alex Shepard filed the brief yesterday.

04.28.16

Links 28/4/2016: Fedora 24, EE Goes Open Source

Posted in News Roundup at 6:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 1º Computer Science Week 2016

    And since the beginning, I had tried to bring the most of the content about Free Software ideology. And this time next week, it will start the 1º Computer Science Week, and what is more amazing is that this edition is bringing people from more there 14 cities around the state of Rio de Janeiro, for watch the talks. I didn’t expect that.

  • OpenDaylight as an NFV Controller

    In discussing our use cases, we’ve noticed that a key domain for OpenDaylight (ODL) is Cloud and NFV. ODL is closely tied to NFV and accordingly works very closely with the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), a related project with the Linux Foundation that concentrates on providing a carrier-grade, integrated, open source platform to accelerate the introduction of new NFV products and services.

  • Open, available & interoperable: How open source is transforming the data centre industry

    Analysis: From commercial to enterprise hubs, from smaller to bigger players, open source is gearing up to be the future of the data centre.

    The use of open source to design, build and deploy software and even hardware infrastructure in the data centre seems to be an accelerating trend amongst companies in the hosting space.

    Open source software revenues worldwide are expected to go beyond the $50bn barrier this year for the first time, according to Statista. By 2020, that value will rise to $57.3bn.

  • ​OwnCloud founder resigns from his cloud company

    Frank Karlitschek, ownCloud’s founder and CTO, has resigned from his company. OwnCloud is a popular do-it-yourself infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud.

  • 7 science projects powered by open source GIS

    Next week, FOSS4G North America is coming to Raleigh, NC. FOSS4G is a conference celebrating all of the ways that free and open source software are changing the world of geographic and geospatial information science (GIS).

    These days, with ever-expanding technologies for collecting geographic data, sensor networks and the Internet of Things are driving larger and larger quantities of data that must be stored, processed, visualized, and interpreted. Practically every type of industry imaginable is increasing the types and quantities of geographic data they utilize. And the traditional closed source tools of the olden days can no longer keep up.

    Many of the applications of geographic tools are scientific in nature, from biology to oceanography to geology to climatology. Here are seven applications for geographic science that I’m excited about hearing talks on next week.

  • EE

    • EE partners with open source tech innovators to boost connectivity in rural areas

      EE has collaborated with Lime Micro and Canonical on an open source project set to boost connectivity in rural areas.

    • EE Looks To Open Source Networks For 5G And Rural 4G

      EE wants developers to create network services and applications using Lime Micro’s software defined radio transceiver and Canonical Ubuntu Snappy Core

    • EE goes Open Source with Network in a Box solution

      UK telco EE has announced that it is partnering with Lime Micro and Canonical, two of the UK’s leading open source technology companies, to launch a fully programmable network capability with the ability to change the way future mobile networks are built. The solution is built on Lime’s ‘network in a box’ solution, which developers can configure by software to provide any wireless service, including 4G and WiFi. The configuration software, available through the Snappy Ubuntu Core stores, should allow developers to create new applications and services for a mobile network.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 47 Beta Enables VP9, Embedded YouTube Videos Use HTML5

        Running hot off this week’s release of Firefox 46 is the beta release issued by Mozilla for Firefox 47.

        The Firefox 47.0 beta is another hefty update by Mozilla developers. With Firefox 47 Beta, embedded YouTube videos can now play with HTML5 video if Flash is not present, there is support for Google’s Widevine CDM but only on Windows/OSX, and the VP9 video codec is enabled for users with “fast machines.” Outside of the video work, there is now support for ChaCha20/Poly1305 cipher suites, Service Workers improvements, about:debugging additions, smart multi-line input in the Web Console, RSA-PSS signature crypto support, the Firefox User Extension Library (FUEL) has been removed, and various other user and developer additions.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • CoreOS’s Stackanetes Puts OpenStack in Containers

      CoreOS said a few weeks ago it was working on a way to run OpenStack as an application on the Kubernetes container platform. Today the company says it has done just that with its new Stackanetes.

      Stackanetes puts OpenStack in containers as a way to make OpenStack easier to use, according to Alex Polvi, CoreOS CEO, who spoke with SDxCentral in early April. He said OpenStack can be “a bit fragile,” and containers can be useful to make an organization’s infrastructure behave like that of a Web-scale cloud provider.

    • 5 Developers Explain Why They Attend ApacheCon

      ApacheCon North America and Apache Big Data are coming up in just a few weeks and it’s an event that Apache and open source community members won’t want to miss.

      Apache products power half the Internet, manage exabytes of data, execute teraflops of operations, store billions of objects in virtually every industry, and enhance the lives of countless users and developers worldwide. And behind those projects is a thriving community of more than 4,500 committers from around the world.

    • Apache Apex Is Promoted To Top-Level Project

      Streaming and batch big data analytics technology Apache Apex has been elevated to a Top-Level Project by the Apache Software Foundation. Used by organizations including Capital One and GE, the technology can help developers more quickly create apps that leverage real-time data.

    • Qubole releases Kafka ingestion, conversion service to open source

      Less than three weeks after open-sourcing its Quark cost-based SQL optimizer, big data-as-a-service provider Qubole Inc. is at it again.

      Coincident with Kafka Summit taking place in San Francisco this week, Qubole said it’s releasing its StreamX ingestion service under an Apache open source license. StreamX is used to efficiently and reliably capture large scale, real-time data using Apache Kafka, the message broker that is surging in popularity thanks to growing interest in real-time and streaming analytics.

      StreamX ingests data logs from Kafka and persists them to cloud object stores such as Amazon Web Services LLC’s S3. It guarantees that data is delivered without duplicates, addressing a characteristic of Kafka that can cause problems for users in some situations.

    • Qubole and Looker Join Forces to Empower Business Users to Make Data-Driven Decisions

      Qubole, the big data-as-a-service company, and Looker, the company that is powering data-driven businesses, today announced that they are integrating Looker’s business analytics with Qubole’s cloud-based big data platform, giving line of business users across organizations access to powerful, yet easy-to-use big data analytics.

    • Talk Recap: Automated security hardening with OpenStack-Ansible
    • Data and Announcements Roll in from OpenStack Summit
    • OpenStack Summit Austin – Start
    • OpenStack Swift Proxy-FS by SwiftStack

      Proxy-FS is basically a peer to a less known feature of Ceph Rados Gateway that permits accessing it over NFS. Both of them are fundamentally different from e.g. Swift-on-file in that the data is kept in Swift or Ceph, instead of a general filesystem.

  • CMS

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU founder Stallman: ‘Open source is not free software’

      Stallman is frequently described as an advocate of open source computing, even its father. It’s a characterization he vehemently denies. “I want people to associate me with free software, not open source,” he said. “I don’t want to make statements about open source except how it differs from free software.”

      Or, as a statement on GNU.org sums it up: “The free software movement campaigns for your freedom in your computing, as a matter of justice. The open source non-movement does not campaign for anything.”

  • Public Services/Government

    • EU jeopardises its own goals in standardisation with FRAND licensing

      On 19 April, the European Commission published a communication on “ICT Standardisation Priorities for the Digital Single Market” (hereinafter ‘the Communication’). The Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy intends to digitise industries with several legislative and political initiatives, and the Communication is a part of it covering standardisation. In general, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) welcomes the Communication’s plausible approach for integrating Free Software and Open Standards into standardisation but expresses its concerns about the lack of understanding of necessary prerequisites to pursue that direction.

    • A fresh look at the U.S. draft policy on ‘federal sourcing’

      The policy both reaffirms and broadens a goal laid out in the Administration’s Second Open Government National Action Plan for “improved access to custom software code developed for the Federal Government.” The Plan emphasized use of (and contributing back to) open source software to fuel innovation, lower costs, and benefit the public. It also furthers a long-standing ‘default to open’ objective going back to the early days of the Administration.

    • The Situation Report: NIST Framework Mandatory? Open Source Rebellion at DHS?

      The Department of Homeland Security’s chief information officer Luke McCormack was put in a tough position recently when he had to publicly flip-flop on the department’s official position on the use of open source software.

      McCormack was forced to post to GitHub a strong formal endorsement of a draft White House policy for publishing Federal source code in the open. “We believe moving towards Government-wide reuse of custom-developed code and releasing Federally-funded custom code as open source software has significant financial, technical, and cybersecurity benefits and will better enable DHS to meet our mission of securing the nation from the many threats we face,” McCormack wrote, reversing the concerns expressed a week earlier by members of his own team.

      Those DHS IT officials had called out the misguided geeks at the White House noting that most security companies do not publish their source code because that would allow hackers to develop highly targeted attacks.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Guide to Facebook’s Open Source Data Center Hardware

        When Facebook rolled out the Open Compute Project in 2011, it started somewhat of a revolution in the data center market. In a way, that revolution had already been going on; Google had figured out it was better off designing its own hardware than buying off-the-shelf products from the top vendors, and it had been some time before Facebook reached that point too.

  • Programming/Development

    • Purdue’s IronHacks series puts unique spin on hackathons

      Hackathons are well-known as events where developers come together to quickly turn out a piece of software, often competing against each other. But what if they were also a place for learning? The Research Center for Open Digital Innovation at Purdue University is making that happen. The IronHacks series of hackathons is designed to allow participants to learn from judges and Center researchers to learn from the participants.

    • Concourse: Scalable Open Source CI Pipeline Tool

      Concourse, an open source CI pipeline tool that uses yaml files for configuring pipelines and configuration-free setup, has recently bumped its major release and is currently available in version 1.1.0. According to the team sponsored by Pivotal, the major benefits of Concourse are explicit and first-class support of pipelines, running isolated builds in containers, avoidance of snowflake build servers and easy access to build logs.

    • GNU compilers learn new C++, parallelism tricks

      The GNU Compiler Collection will be refreshed with updated C++ standards compliance and improvements in parallelism and diagnostics.

      Described as a “major” release, GCC 6.1 leverages the C++ 14 standard, which was approved in 2014. “The C++ front end now defaults to the C++ 14 standard, instead of C++98, [which] it has been defaulting to previously,” said Jakub Jelinek, a Red Hat consulting engineer and a co-release manager of GCC, in a bulletin.

Leftovers

  • Scientology Honcho Miscavige Threatens to Sue Own Father to Block Book That Could Finally Bring Down ‘Church’

    High-ranking Church of Scientology member David Miscavige’s lawyers have threatened to file suit against Miscavige’s father, Ron. The threat is a last-ditch effort to stop Ron Miscavige from releasing a tell-all book about his son’s involvement in the religion, a belief system that outsiders and former members call a cult.

  • Dead Body Found In Conference Room Of Apple’s Headquarters

    A dead body was found in one of the conference rooms of the Apple’s Cupertino headquarters. No other injuries have been reported except a female employee who was also reported to be injured. Sheriff’s department have refused to comment on this case.

  • Annoying Windows 10 Update Request Highlights Its Annoying-Ness On Live Weather Broadcast
  • Microsoft’s Windows 10 nagware storms live TV weather forecast

    Microsoft’s relentless Windows 10 nagware has interrupted a live TV weather forecast, urging meteorologist Metinka Slater to upgrade.

    The operating system suddenly popped up a box on screen insisting the station’s computer be upgraded to the latest version – while Slater was on air describing thunderstorms rolling through Iowa, US.

  • The Best Windows 10 Commercial Ever

    We interrupt this weather report with a very important announcement. Despite our best efforts, your local TV station has not yet upgraded to Windows 10. We warned them that something like this was bound to happen sooner or later.

  • Teen Pregnancy Rate Has Fallen by More Than Half

    Why are teen women having fewer babies? First, more teens appear to be taking advantage of effective contraceptive methods. Second, they also are having less sex than earlier generations did. In an earlier report on adolescent sex the CDC noted that since 1988 the rate of teen sexual activity had fallen by 22 percent for teen males and 14 percent for teen females. Interestingly, a 2014 study found that births to teens dropped by nearly 6 percent 18 months after the preimiere of the MTV reality show, 16 and Pregnant.

  • Science

    • 3 women who radically changed the course of technology

      Now however, for no discernable reason, just 20% of the Australian IT workforce are women. So in order to not forget the industry’s roots – and hopefully inspire more Australian women to start crunching code – we thought we’d remember three notable innovators who radically changed the course of technology as we know it.

    • More particle than wave

      ASKED by a journalist in April about Canada’s role in fighting Islamic State, Justin Trudeau, the prime minister, came back with a pithy lecture on quantum computing. “The uncertainty around quantum states,” he explained, lets quantum computers encode much more information than the conventional binary sort can. This detour into geekdom seemed natural at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, which Mr Trudeau was visiting to proclaim his enthusiasm for basic research. The video of the impromptu lecture went viral, adding to the glamour already radiated by the snowboarding, cannabis-legalising, refugee-embracing prime minister. The assembled physicists duly cheered; Mr Trudeau then answered the question.

    • Scientists Think Intelligent Life Could Have Evolved Before Brains

      Learning is a function that has always been precious to humans. In a way, it allows us to believe the fallacy that we can revolt against our evolved, basal tendencies, and forge our future as a species through intellect, as opposed to natural selection.

      We value the capacity to learn in ourselves, but also in other species. It’s why we take so much delight in teaching a dog new tricks, and yet feel threatened by the possibility of sentient, non-human beings.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Here’s Why Kids Are Still Getting More Obese

      But obesity doesn’t exist just because of individual choices by parents and kids. On the policy front, the US government “has yet to aggressively do more than try to make some minor changes in a few programs,” Popkin added. For example, Congress and President Barack Obama reformed the school food environment in important ways back in 2010, cutting down on the once-ubiquitous availability of sugary snacks and beverages, but public school cafeterias are still constrained by tight budgets to churning out plenty of highly processed food. (More here on the the modest US lunch reforms and the brewing congressional backlash against them.) In Brazil, by contrast, “70 percent of all food served in schools must be real food that is healthy,” Popkin said.

    • Plant Variety Protection To Meet Food Security Plant Treaty, But Where Are Farmers’ Rights?

      A planned symposium to identify potential interrelations between the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), and the United Nations International Plant Treaty is raising concerns from civil society about farmers’ rights.

    • Is a GMO Labeling Victory within Our Grasp?

      Oh, to be a fly on the wall inside the offices of the top lobbyists for the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

      So close to the July 1 deadline for complying with Vermont’s GMO labeling law, and still no court ruling to overturn Vermont’s law. Still no federal legislation to preempt Vermont’s law.

      Hundreds of millions of dollars spent to keep labels off GMO ingredients. Lawsuits, dirty tricks, shady schemes—all, so far, for naught. Meanwhile, food corporations are labeling, or announcing plans to label, and preparing to implement those plans. Others, including Dannon, will remove GMO ingredients from their products.

    • 3 Pesticides Are Putting Nearly All U.S. Endangered Species At Risk

      The EPA’s draft report, which was released earlier this month, looked at three widely-used pesticides: chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. It found that both malathion, which is used in agriculture, for lawn care, and for mosquito control, and chlorpyrifos, which is used on a range of crops including cotton, almonds, and fruit trees, was “likely to adversely affect” 97 percent of the 1,782 species listed under the Endangered Species Act. The other pesticide, diazinon, which is used in orchards and vegetable crops, was found to likely adversely affect 79 percent of these species.

    • Should We Worry About Arsenic in Baby Cereal and Drinking Water?

      According to a 2007 study this may be because of previous use of arsenic-based pesticides to control the boll weevil pest on cotton. From the 1930s to the 1960s, approximately 10 to 15 pounds of arsenic-based pesticide were used per acre for every planting.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • No Exit: The Case for Moving Security Information Front and Center

      The OWASP Top 10 list is extremely well known; it is impossible to walk through the show floor at a security conference without encountering at least some mention of the top 10 list. The Top 10 list is cited several times by the PCI Security Standards Council Penetration Testing Guidance and has been used as an acceptance test criteria for contract fulfillment for public procurement.

    • What Is Gitian Building? How Bitcoin’s Security Processes Became a Model for the Open Source Community

      But open source code doesn’t necessarily eliminate all risk. Users still need to trust that the software they run on their computers actually reflects the open source code as it should. To eliminate this risk, Bitcoin developers have developed a fierce security policy which goes beyond the open source nature of Bitcoin itself: “Gitian Building.”

    • The road to hell is paved with SAML Assertions

      A vulnerability in Microsoft Office 365 SAML Service Provider implementation allowed for cross domain authentication bypass affecting all federated domains. An attacker exploiting this vulnerability could gain unrestricted access to a victim’s Office 365 account, including access to their email, files stored in OneDrive etc.

    • Cisco Finds Backdoor Installed on 12 Million PCs

      Cisco started analyzing Tuto4PC’s OneSoftPerDay application after its systems detected an increase in “Generic Trojans” (i.e. threats not associate with any known family). An investigation uncovered roughly 7,000 unique samples with names containing the string “Wizz,” including “Wizzupdater.exe,” “Wizzremote.exe” and “WizzInstaller.exe.” The string also showed up in some of the domains the samples had been communicating with.

    • The “Wizzards” of Adware [Ed: unsurprisingly Windows]
    • All About Fraud: How Crooks Get the CVV

      A longtime reader recently asked: “How do online fraudsters get the 3-digit card verification value (CVV or CVV2) code printed on the back of customer cards if merchants are forbidden from storing this information? The answer: If not via phishing, probably by installing a Web-based keylogger at an online merchant so that all data that customers submit to the site is copied and sent to the attacker’s server.

    • Why We Should Be Worried About Ancient Viruses Infecting Power Plants [Ed: unsurprisingly Windows again]

      The reasons these patients are vulnerable to viruses like W32.Ramnit and Conficker is because they run legacy systems that haven’t been patched or updated for a decade. And that’s fine as long as the operators of the plant keep them isolated and assume they are insecure, hopefully keeping the more critical parts of the network away safer.

    • Magical Thinking in Internet Security

      Increased complexity without corresponding increases in understanding would be a net loss to a buyer. At scale, it’s been a net loss to the world economy.

    • Edward Snowden: The Internet Is Broken

      In 2013, a now-infamous government contractor named Edward Snowden shined a stark light on our vulnerable communications infrastructure by leaking 10,000 classified U.S. documents to the world.

      One by one, they detailed a mass surveillance program in which the National Security Administration and others gathered information on citizens — via phone tracking and tapping undersea Internet cables.

      Three years after igniting a controversy over personal privacy, public security, and online rights that he is still very much a part of, Snowden spoke with Popular Science in December 2015 and shared his thoughts on what’s still wrong and how to fix it.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Puerto Rico: a Junta By Any Other Name

      Empire is once again fashionable. The financial crisis that is presently gutting the island of Puerto Rico plays out like the world’s worst case of botched assisted suicide. The sell of its municipal funds and its constitutionally guaranteed promise of repayment to investors has plunged the island into a very precarious situation for its millions of citizens and the opportunity of a lifetime for hedge fund vultures. While it is laudable that the current economic meltdown on the island has made some headlines, including a mostly well-thought out piece by comedian John Oliver, the same cannot be said for the congressional knee-jerk legislative reaction to it. The bill, H.R. 4900, was designed to impose an oversight board meant to administer the fiscal responsibilities of the Puerto Rican people and has unleashed a firestorm of opposition that was glossed over by Oliver’s otherwise on-point observations. The controversy surrounding this bill has served as a catalyst underscoring the deep disregard bordering on contempt that frames the question of self-determination and complete lack of sovereignty afforded to islanders.

    • Taking Page from Israel War Tactics, US Military Employs Controversial ‘Roof Knocking’

      An Israeli tactic deemed “ineffective” at preventing civilian causalities by a United Nations commission has now been adopted by the United States in its fight against ISIS, according to a U.S. military official.

      Air Force Maj. Peter Gersten, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for the U.S.-led coalition, explained at a press briefing Tuesday that the tactic dubbed “knocking on the roof” was, in fact, used during a strike in Mosul, Iraq against a “major distributor of funds to Daesh fighters.” A woman the military had seen come and go with her children from the building died in the strike—”an unfortunality,” as Gersten called it.

      “We went as far as actually to put a Hellfire on top of the building and air burst it so it wouldn’t destroy the building, simply knock on the roof to ensure that she and the children were out of the building. And then we proceeded with our operations,” Gersten said. He went on to say that ISIS fighters are “using the civilian force as human shields.” He said that the military saw the woman and children leave the building. They then “began to process the strike,” but the woman ran back into the building and was killed.

    • Why NATO Has Become One of the Most Destructive Forces on the Planet

      Europe is rife with political conflict. Southern European economies continue to splutter along on fumes. The defeat of the Grexit (Greece’s departure from the Euro) is temporary. When the pain of austerity rises once again, the politics of exit from Europe will return. In Spain, there is no government as the conservatives refuse to give up power to the anti-austerity bloc in parliament. The “refugee crisis” continues to rattle European societies, where an anti-refugee bloc has made gains at the ballot box. Austria is the latest test, where the far right anti-refugee party and the Green Party displaced the establishment parties in the presidential elections; it is the right and the Greens that will go for a run-off. It is this polarity between the Far Right and the Left that has broken the “centrist” consensus of European politics.

    • How Big Money in Politics Fuels Inequality and War

      Following the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision and related rulings, corporations and the wealthiest Americans gained the legal right to raise and spend as much money as they want on political candidates.

      [...]

      Most notoriously this included Halliburton, a military contractor previously led by Dick Cheney. The company made huge profits from George W. Bush’s decision to wage a costly, unjustified, and illegal war while Cheney served as his vice president.

      Military-industrial corporations spend heavily on political campaigns. They’ve given over $1 million to this year’s presidential candidates so far — over $200,000 of which went to Hillary Clinton, who leads the pack in industry backing.

    • Rahm AWOL on Chicago Police Reform

      Chicago is a city on edge. Last weekend, 20 people were shot over 13 hours. According to the Chicago Tribune, 1,051 have been shot this year alone, through April 25. One hundred seventy-eight have been killed, more than one each day. And while shootings take place across the city, they are concentrated in neighborhoods scarred by deep poverty.

    • US Pivot to Asia Poised to Enter Nuclear Phase

      I’m expecting tactical nuclear weapons to reappear overtly in the US military equation for Asia…

    • What The Next Execution Tells Us About Childhood Trauma And The Death Penalty

      Less than two weeks after executing Kenneth Fults, Georgia is getting ready to lethally inject its fifth death row inmate this year.

      Daniel Anthony Lucas is scheduled to die Wednesday night for the fatal shootings of two children. He doesn’t dispute that he committed the crime. But his story demonstrates how early childhood trauma plays out on death rows across the country today. A substantial number of executions involve people who grew up around substance abuse or grew up in environments where violence and neglect was the norm.

    • Searching for Ground Truth in the Kunduz Hospital Bombing

      Deliberately targeting a hospital is a war crime, after all, but so is the indiscriminate killing of civilians outside a hospital. And it’s worth noting, according to a Western security analyst who is an expert on Kunduz, that “even if they had struck the NDS headquarters, there still would have been civilian casualties.” The NDS office, which the U.S. military has said was the intended target, stands in a residential neighborhood, as do the private home and the tea factory that were also bombed on the night of the MSF hospital strike. An AC-130, the analyst pointed out, is a disproportionate and indiscriminate weapon, not appropriate for use in civilian areas in the dead of night.

    • Bob Graham Says FBI Aggressively Deceived on Sarasota 9/11 Investigation

      James Clapper has suggested that the 28 pages of the Joint Congressional Inquiry may be declassified by June. I’m skeptical the pages will be entirely declassified, but look forward to them.

      Meanwhile, former Senate Intelligence Chair has begun to press for an accounting on the Sarasota cell of apparent 9/11 supporters. In an interview with NPR, he stated clearly that FBI lied (um, misstated) what they knew about the Sarasota cell and called for the investigations to be reopened without the tight time limits imposed on the original commissions.

    • French Assembly adopts resolution calling to end anti-Russian sanctions imposed by EU

      French MPs have voted in favor of a resolution to lift the EU-imposed sanctions initially slapped on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine and the reunification with Crimea. The document is non-binding.

      Fifty-five members of the French National Assembly have supported the resolution calling on the government not to extend the sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU. Forty-four voted against and two abstained. Of the 577 deputies in the National Assembly, the lower house of the French Parliament, 101 took part in the vote.

    • The People of the USA will Have the Final Word

      It has been repeatedly said that the American people are the only ones who could perform the Herculean task of bringing down the most powerful and bloodthirsty empire ever known to humankind. Humanity anxiously hopes to see the US people act, and will provide the solidarity they would have earned.

      [...]

      The continuous embarrassing exposure of prisoners’ human rights violations – including torture and serious indignities– in US public or secret prisons scattered around the world, have awakened the awareness of millions of Americans who condemn such injustice.

    • Tibet, symbolism and the Czech Republic

      According to the official statement of the dean’s office, the display of the Tibetan flag was a symbol of the institution’s freedom of thought, a critical expression of the injustices of our times and therefore a reaction to a state visit “reminiscent of communist-era masquerades”.

    • Ten inconsistencies in Donald Trump’s big foreign policy address

      For a speech purporting to challenge Washington’s accepted wisdom, there was much that was familiar about Donald Trump’s first big foreign policy address, not least the customary certainty of its delivery.

      A call to challenge radical Islam through “philosophical struggle” as well as military force might even have come from the lips of Barack Obama. Certainly no mainstream Republican would ever disagree with the somewhat motherhood-and-apple-pie exhortation for US presidents to view the world “through the clear lens of American interests”.

    • 46 Seconds Everyone Should Watch Before Handing Donald Trump The Nuclear Codes

      Now, however, things are getting serious. Trump is, in all likelihood, one of the two people with a shot at becoming our next president. As Commander-In-Chief, Trump would have full control of America’s nuclear weapons arsenal and would be in charge of our diplomatic relationships with the other 8 nations that possess nuclear weapons.

      Trump has said that he believes nuclear weapons are the greatest threat facing our country. Yet the nuclear deterrence strategy he outlined last night during a 46-second soundbite on Fox News borders on incoherency.

    • ‘Outrageous Targeting’ as MSF-Supported Hospital in Syria Bombed

      Doctors Without Borders said Thursday that a hospital it supported in the Syrian city of Aleppo was bombed, destroying the key pediatric facility and killing at least 14 people.

      The medical humanitarian aid group, also known by its French acronym, MSF, said in a statement that two doctors were among the casualties, including one of last pediatricians in Aleppo, and that other medical structures in the city had also been attacked this week.

      Witnesses said the Al Quds hospital was hit by a missile from a fighter jet Wednesday, according to CNN.

    • US expats told to ‘avoid crowded places’ in Stockholm

      The US embassy has warned Americans to avoid crowded places in Sweden as Swedish security police continues to investigate a potential terror threat against Stockholm.

    • Veteran Hindu saint murdered in Bangladesh by pro-Jihadists.

      A Hindu priest died on Saturday, a day after he was stabbed by a local Islamist lumpen in Tungipara of Gopalganj. The deceased Hindu man eschewed his material association with his family life and entered into a life of sainthood for greater social service and emancipation.

      Police arrested the Muslim youth identified as Shariful Sheikh (aged 25), son of Abdul Mannan Sheikh, in the murder case filed in a local police station.

      The dead, Sadhu Paramananda Roy, 75, of Dakkhin Bashuria village under Kushali union, used to preach Hindu values according to scriptures to the people at different programmes in the area, family members said. He was a disciple of Thakur Rasraj Roy.

      He was returning home on last Friday afternoon from a market near Gimadanga village. As he reached a bridge around 6:30pm, fanatic Shariful stabbed him in the abdomen and the right hand with a knife, the victim told his family members before his death.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • BREAKING: DSM Communication on Platforms leaked!

      The role and responsibility of online platforms and intermediaries is a key issue in the Digital Single MarketStrategy, which the EU Commission launched last May [see Katposts here, here, here, here and here]. After a number of public consultations, on-line and off-line enthusiasts were anxiously awaiting for the Commission to release a Communication on that very issue by the end of May 2016. A few hours ago, Politico provided for a good remedy against our anxiety by leaking the draft Communication, which bears the lovely title “Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market Opportunities and Challenges for Europe”. The draft version is dated 18 April.

      The draft Communication addresses a number of DSM initiatives where platforms’ liability is involved and shades light upon the general principles that will guide the Commission’s reform efforts as regards E-Commerce, AVMS, and IPRED Directives. Overall, the draft Communication describes a strongly pro-competition program that reminds to this Kat the EU he knew when he attended university [i.e., agesago], when the Commission was perceived as a disruptive Institution aimed at battling status quos, rather than preserving them. Be that as it may, here are the major points that the Communication addresses.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Belarus’s Chernobyl taboo

      Thirty years after the catastrophe at Chernobyl, the government of neighbouring Belarus still refuses to release information about real radiation levels in the surrounding area. It’s even planning to build a new nuclear power plant.

    • Rejection of Montana Coal Train a ‘Big Win’ for Ranchers and Environmentalists

      Driving one more nail into the coal industry’s coffin, a federal board on Tuesday officially rejected a proposal to build a coal-hauling railroad through farm and ranch land in southeastern Montana.

      Ranchers and environmentalists, who aggressively opposed the project, celebrated the Surface Transportation Board ruling.

      “It’s a historic day when a federal agency recognizes there’s no foreseeable future for coal,” stated Ken Rumelt, an attorney at the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at the Vermont Law School, who represented the grassroots conservation group Northern Plains Resource Council (NPRC) before the Board.

    • Summer swelter will be no joy for US

      Scientists warn that the current pleasures of warmer weather will pall for US citizens as climate change brings extreme temperature rises and unhealthy levels of atmospheric ozone.

    • Germany to launch 1 billion-euro discount scheme for electric car buyers

      Germany is set to launch a new incentive scheme worth about 1 billion euros ($1 billion) to get more consumers buying electric cars as it struggles to meet a target of bringing 1 million of them onto its roads by the end of the decade.

      The costs of the incentives, similar to those already established in some other European countries, are to be shared equally between the government and automakers with a view to selling an additional 400,000 electric cars, Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said on Wednesday.

      Critics say higher electricity generation to charge battery cars will increase carbon dioxide emissions.

    • Germany Just Announced A Major Push To Increase Electric Car Sales
    • Malaysia planning to amend law to seize land if there are big fires

      Malaysia is proposing to amend an Act to allow the government to seize control of land where big fires are discovered, as part of its long-term efforts to curb haze from slash-and-burn forest clearing techniques usually linked to palm oil plantations.

      The palm oil sector in top producers Indonesia and Malaysia has been facing criticism for deforestation and its land-clearing methods that send vast plumes of smoke across South-east Asia every year.

      Indonesia has already taken measures to reduce the industry’s environmental impact, with the latest being a moratorium on new oil palm concessions.

    • Panama Papers Prove America Has the Money to Transition to 100% Clean Energy

      Last week, the IRS asked anyone who might be exposed in the Panama Papers to come forward before they get caught. And for good reason—America is a hotbed of tax evasion.

      There’s an old myth that we can’t have a comfortable lifestyle—cars, homes, creature comforts—without sacrificing clean water and clean air, because it requires lots of energy and we don’t have the money to transition to cleaner energy sources.

    • Climate Change Is Driving Ocean Oxygen Levels Down, And That’s a Big Problem For Marine Ecosystems

      Scientists know that climate change is slowly robbing the oceans of their oxygen, but historically, it’s been hard to differentiate oxygen loss that’s due to natural ocean cycles and warming-driven loss. Now, a new study predicts that within the next 15 to 25 years, warming-caused oxygen loss will be detectable across the worlds’ oceans.

      The study, published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles, used modelling to determine that, between 2030 and 2040, warming-caused oxygen loss will be severe enough — and data will be comprehensive enough — for scientists to see what parts of the ocean are being affected by human-caused deoxygenation.

  • Finance

    • Capitalism Without the Das Capital: Welcome to Uber’s Gig Economy

      Uber has succeeded in almost completely pushing its operating costs (absent the relatively small investment needed to run the app and backoffice) down to people who often can’t afford it but are lured into trying because the alternatives seem even lower paying.

      [...]

      In addition to having to raise their own capital to essentially buy themselves a job driving for Uber, drivers face risks far above the simple “risk” associated with any “investment.”

    • ‘Let the Rich Pay More Taxes’: Thousands Take to Streets in Costa Rica

      Public sector workers in Costa Rica were on strike Tuesday and Wednesday, demanding salary increases, higher taxes on the wealthy, and land rights for peasants.

      Thousands of teachers, medical workers, and their allies reportedly marched to the national congress building on Tuesday, demonstrating to President Luis Guillermo Solís “that the people are not happy with his administration,” said Gilberto Cascante, the president of the ANDE teachers union, one of three major teachers unions joining the strike.

      Spanish language news agency EFE reports that protesters carried banners with messages like “Let the rich pay more taxes” and “For the dignity of workers,” among others.

    • SF College Faculty Strike for Justice Stop Class Reductions & Pay Cuts

      Currently, there are approximately 43.3 million Americans carrying student loans amounting to an astounding $1.2 trillion. This is greater than the country’s towering credit card bill. And, it’s getting worse. 2015 graduates set a new record of indebtedness.

    • How the Democrats Destroyed Welfare [Ed: short]
    • Inequality Will Increase Until There’s a Revolution

      Imagine, after a deep sleep, you suffered the fate of Rip Van Winkle and woke in the spring of 2040. What might you find?

      Among other things, maybe a presidential candidate railing against America’s concentration of wealth. Except this time, it’s not the 1 percent that owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent — it’s the top hundredth of a percent.

      Could it get that bad? Yes, quite easily. In fact, that nightmare is already on the way.

      To see this better, take a step back in time. If you woke up 24 years ago, you could hear candidate Bill Clinton lamenting the fact that the top 1 percent owned as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.

    • Elon Musk, Crony Capitalist

      Creating something that people want is how one gets wealthy in a market economy. Sadly, there’s another way to get rich. It’s called cronyism, and it can make billions for the lucky businesses that get government support—whether their products are profitable or not. In the process, the taxpayers foot the bill.

      Taxpayer insurance against unprofitability takes many forms, from loan guarantees to grants, which provide a no-lose scenario for beneficiaries. If the business is profitable, then the corporation makes massive profits. If the business goes bust, then the taxpayers take a hit. Either way, the crony capitalist wins.

      Perhaps the most prominent case of cronyism in modern history is Elon Musk. A brilliant entrepreneur, Musk founded the online payment company X.com with profits he made off the sale of Zip2—another profitable company and the first online version of the Yellow Pages. X.com eventually merged with Confinity and became the wildly successful PayPal.

    • Economic Growth Slows to 0.5% in First Quarter

      The economy grew at a sluggish 0.5 percent annual rate in the first quarter. The main culprits for the poor performance were downturns in durable goods, nonresidential construction, and defense spending. This is the third year in a row in which growth has been poor in the first quarter, which means that one-off excuses about snowstorms and so forth don’t really hold water anymore. But it might be a statistical artifact. Jared Bernstein says “there’s some concern with the seasonal adjusters, which some argue are biasing Q1 down and Q2 up.” I guess we’ll have to wait until Q2 to find out.

    • Are Fair Trade Policies “Extreme?” Is Clinton Ready For Trump On Trade?

      In our country’s current trade regime, however, “trade” is used as a justification and enabler for closing American factories and moving American jobs to places where people are paid less and the environment is not protected, and bringing the same goods that used to be made here back here and selling them in the same outlets. The people who used to employ those American workers can then pocket the wage and environmental-protection-cost differential; the country gets a massive trade deficit.

    • Saudi efforts to ‘modernise’ its economy away from oil are just PR tactics – and the West is lapping them up

      Just like his adventure in Yemen, Saudi Arabia’s young Deputy Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman got it all wrong this week. It’s not Saudi Arabia which suffers from “oil addiction”, it’s we who are addicted. The unique Saudi drug – a cocktail of wealth, arrogance and infantile Puritanism – is far more dangerous, since it depends on the arithmetic (or myth) of its 716 billion barrels of oil reserves.

      If this statistic is as ill-conceived as the Sunni Saudi war on Yemen’s Shiite Houthis, along with its massive civilian casualties, then Prince Mohamed’s ‘reforms’ – oiled (if that’s the right word) by a $2 trillion public investment fund which would take over ownership of the state oil company Aramco – will have to kick in long before the deadline of his ‘Vision 2030’.

      [...]

      No wonder, as the Washington Post revealed this month, the Saudis are spending millions on Washington’s top law, lobby and public relations companies to promote foreign investment in the Saudi economy – some of them, according to the paper, “tasked with coming up with content for the [Saudi Washington] embassy’s official Twitter and YouTube accounts”. The PR firm Qorvis, it turned out, also ran the Twitter account for the Syrian Opposition Coalition. Firms like Podesta, BGR Government Affairs, DLA Piper and Pillsbury Winthrop are trying to raise the Kingdom’s “visibility”.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Could Voters Opposed to Both Clinton and Trump Team up Using VotePact?

      Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have incredibly high negatives. Most people don’t agree with, like or trust either. In a political system responsive to the public, an alternative with broad support would emerge if they become the nominees, as seems increasingly likely.

      Unfortunately, in our system — which enshrines the dominance of the two establishment parties — the negatives of each end up perversely being the basis of support for the other. Voters end up being trapped by the very unpopularity of the candidates. The main things holding the system together are fear and hate — even as the candidates claim to be bringing people together.

      That is, most people supporting Clinton are not doing so because they view her as upstanding, wise or just. They support her because they fear and despise Trump and his misogyny, racism and temperament.

      And the same largely goes for Trump. He supporters back him because they detest the establishment of the Republican Party as well as Clinton, who shares so much with that very Republican establishment even as she postures as a newly born progressive.

    • The Atlantic Primaries: Trump and Clinton Consolidate

      Sanders won Rhode Island, the only state that had an open primary, allowing independents to vote. The others were limited to registered Democrats only, effectively blocking independent and many young voters from casting a ballot.

    • Judge Throws Out Lawsuit Challenging Arizona’s Disastrous Primary

      Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David Gass has tossed a lawsuit from a Tucson, Arizona voter challenging the March 22 presidential primary, which was marred by confusion, 5-hour lines, and rampant errors.

    • After Bitter Tuesday, Progressives Ask Democratic Party What It Stands For

      ‘What I want to know from my Democratic Party is…when will our voices be effective, legitimate, equal leaders?’

    • Amid Media Megamergers, A Mosaic of Community Media Thrives

      The business press is all atwitter with merger news, as federal regulators are set to approve a massive deal between cable giants Charter, Time Warner and Bright House Networks. The $78 billion transaction will create the second-largest cable TV/Internet company, dubbed “New Charter,” next to Comcast, and leave just three major cable providers in the U.S. Meanwhile, the Gannett Company, which owns more than 100 newspapers, including USA Today, is attempting to acquire Tribune Publishing, which owns several major newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune.

    • On Open Marriages and Closed Elections

      Cheating is a word that simply is redefined in an open marriage. Hillary and Bill Clinton have had an open marriage for decades. Most of us don’t know the terms of the arrangement. Nor should we, I suppose. Don’t sleep with my friends or lovers might be one. Who knows? Palling around with Jeffrey Epstein the pedophile?

    • An Alternative After a Likely Bern-Out: The Green Party’s Jill Stein

      With Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign falling short, his followers have limited choices. Many would support Hillary Clinton. But the cadre of activists and political newcomers, including the young who have flocked to him, may not accept that choice. Perhaps they’ll retreat from the 2016 election battle. Perhaps they’ll find another candidate.

      They would be welcomed by Dr. Jill Stein. The physician-activist is favored to win the Green Party presidential nomination this year after heading the party’s ticket in 2012.

      “The whole reason for having an independent third party that cannot be silenced is there are 25 percent of Bernie’s voters who are not going into that dark night to vote for the No. 1 cheerleader for Wal-Mart, for Wall Street, for an endless war,” Stein said in a telephone interview this week. “They are looking for another place to hang their hat.”

    • Drudge, Koch, Soros, Bezos: 4 Non-Politicians Exerting an Outsized Influence on the Election

      So-called dark money, in conjunction with a wide-reaching “mouthpiece,” paves the road to the Oval Office—and even a brilliant John Oliver expose can’t change that.

    • Sanders Calls for 50-State Strategy to ‘Revitalize American Democracy’

      Bemoaning a failing democratic process that leaves too many people left out, Bernie Sanders on Thursday said his campaign would continue to bring disenfranchised people into the political process and said the Democratic Party as a whole must forge a 50-state strategy in order to restore civic vibrancy and fuel meaningful outcomes on the key issues people care about in every community nationwide.

    • Dark money group spends $58,000 attacking Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

      Since it formed in 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been under siege from financial institutions. Senate Republicans tried very hard to stop it from functioning at all, and since then they’ve tried to “tighten the leash” on the agency. Nearly five years since it officially opened, a new dark money group is taking aim at the agency — and no one has any idea who’s behind it.

      Protect America’s Consumers is a 501(c)(4) group that incorporated in November 2015. Its registered agent is North Rock Reports LLC, located at the same address in Warrenton, Va., as the law firm Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky. According to Politico, “The firm specializes in untraceable pressure groups for conservative causes.” In 2012, Bloomberg News reported that the firm was tied to groups that had spent more than $250 million on the 2012 election, including Karl Rove’s American Crossroads. In 2015, the firm represented the super PAC Pursuing America’s Greatness before the U.S. District Court in D.C., defending its right to use Mike Huckabee’s name in its communications. Jill Vogel, a partner at the firm, is also a Virginia state senator; her website describes the firm as “a law firm that specializes in charity and nonprofit organizations, election law, and ethics.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Online censorship: A new flank in the US-China trade wars?

      Remember Hillary Clinton’s internet freedom agenda? In a groundbreaking speech in 2010, Clinton outlined her State Department policy for promoting internet freedom in the context of human rights and democratisation. This meant funding anti-surveillance tools, chiding repressive governments, and funding efforts to support online democratic activism in troubled states.

    • China Just Earned Its Worst Ever Score in an Annual Global Press Freedom Survey

      On Wednesday, China scored its worst ever marks in the new Freedom of the Press report by Freedom House, with the advocacy group blaming a “trend of ideological tightening” under Xi. Freedom House scored China 87/100 — with higher marks indicating greater restrictions — on press freedom in its 2016 survey. (Last year was the China’s previous worst score with 86.)

    • The waltz of censorship

      In order to avoid censorship, Flaubert honed his prose to convey the scandalous in a subversively indirect manner, making readers complicit in the immorality by inviting them to apply their own understanding to the text. Analysis of Flaubert’s manuscript drafts of Madame Bovary compared to the published text reveals that the author trimmed and entirely cut explicit passages. It is hard to tell whether alterations were legally or artistically motivated. Flaubert was famously fastidious about writing and it could be that his wish to sublimate scandalous content was solely (or at least primarily) due to literary considerations.

    • New Study Shows Mass Surveillance Breeds Meekness, Fear and Self-Censorship

      A newly published study from Oxford’s Jon Penney provides empirical evidence for a key argument long made by privacy advocates: that the mere existence of a surveillance state breeds fear and conformity and stifles free expression. Reporting on the study, the Washington Post this morning described this phenomenon: “If we think that authorities are watching our online actions, we might stop visiting certain websites or not say certain things just to avoid seeming suspicious.”

      The new study documents how, in the wake of the 2013 Snowden revelations (of which 87% of Americans were aware), there was “a 20 percent decline in page views on Wikipedia articles related to terrorism, including those that mentioned ‘al-Qaeda,’ “car bomb’ or ‘Taliban.’” People were afraid to read articles about those topics because of fear that doing so would bring them under a cloud of suspicion. The dangers of that dynamic were expressed well by Penney: “If people are spooked or deterred from learning about important policy matters like terrorism and national security, this is a real threat to proper democratic debate.”

    • Press Freedom Declining Around the World

      Every year Reporters Without Borders (RSF) compile an index of press freedom around the world. The index has been published since 2002 and measures the state of press freedom in 182 countries. It measures “the media freedom situation based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country”. The data is compiled through a questionnaire (answered by experts around the globe) and combined with quantitative data on violence and abuses against journalists.

    • Will Ankara’s new culture plan lead to more censorship of the arts?

      On April 21, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu revealed the long-awaited sustainable cultural development plan in Ankara. The program, commonly referred to as “culture package,” has been in the works for over four months. Davutoglu’s one-hour introduction of the plan generated more questions than answers. He suggested, for instance, that it was the responsibility of artists in Turkish society to act as amicable peacemakers. At one point during his speech he said, “When a society is approaching a crisis, you [artists] should be the light of hope. You must stand against polarization, you must spread a unifying language.”

    • Wikipedia Is Basically a Corporate Bureaucracy, According to a New Study

      Wikipedia is a voluntary organization dedicated to the noble goal of decentralized knowledge creation. But as the community has evolved over time, it has wandered further and further from its early egalitarian ideals, according to a new paper published in the journal Future Internet. In fact, such systems usually end up looking a lot like 20th century bureaucracies.

      Even in the brave new world of online communities, the Who had it right: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

    • Huffington Post killed story pitch critical of Uber

      Uber yesterday announced that Huffington Post Editor in Chief Arianna Huffington would be joining its board of directors, a move that put the site’s reporters in an instant bind. To fight the notion that Huffington Post would somehow take it easy on Uber because of these ties, Huffington’s folks noted that her news operation has churned out various hard-hitting stories on Uber while the announcement was “impending,” as spokeswoman Lena Auerbuch put it.

      There was an omission, however.

      On April 6, reporter Sarah Digiulio sent a note to some colleagues apprising them of this story in the New York Times: “Uber Driver Napped as His Passenger Led Highway Chase, Police Say.”

    • The Crime of Speech

      Freedom of expression is a universal right, but the specific threats to it vary widely from country to country and region to region. As activists fighting for free speech worldwide, it is essential that we better understand the specific legal and procedural mechanisms that governments use to silence it. When you begin to untangle the array of laws that are used to prosecute speech in a given country, you get a much clearer picture of the state of digital rights in that country.

      EFF is proud to present The Crime of Speech: How Arab Governments Use the Law to Silence Expression Online. This report was the culmination of six months of work by Wafa Ben Hassine as an Information Controls Fellow through the Open Technology Fund. The ICFP fellowship supports examination into how governments restrict the free flow of information, debilitate the open Internet, and thereby threaten human rights and democracy.

    • Time to put an end to film censorship

      When the credits rolled over Sholay’s powerfully ambiguous ending—Sanjeev Kumar’s Thakur on his knees beside the body of the man he had just killed, Amjad Khan’s Gabbar Singh, weeping in despair—Ramesh Sippy had established his film as perhaps the most iconic representation of Indian popular cinema in the public consciousness.

      Save that it didn’t quite turn out that way. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) deemed the idea that a police officer would violate the law and kill a man in this fashion distasteful. It demanded that the ending be changed. A furious Sippy complied and shot the anodyne sequence everyone knows; the police arrive in time to prevent Gabbar Singh’s murder and arrest him instead. Sholay had enough going for it to survive the hit mostly unscathed—but Sippy’s authorial vision had been violated.

    • A major Hollywood screenwriter self-censored because he was worried about angering China
    • ‘Doctor Strange’ shows why diversity advocates should take Chinese censorship seriously
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • First FISC Phone Records Ruling Post-USA FREEDOM Exposes Shortcomings of Reforms

      The secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) had its first opportunity to review a government request for telephone call records since the enactment in June 2015 of the USA FREEDOM Act, which placed some restrictions and oversight on the NSA’s surveillance powers. Unfortunately the results of this first post-USA FREEDOM FISC review are not pretty, and remind us all that there is still much work to be done.

      In approving a request for “call detail records” by the FBI, Judge Thomas Hogan allowed the FBI to get people’s call records even in the absence of any belief that those records will be relevant to an investigation, and let the bureau keep records with no foreign intelligence value for 6 months or longer even though USA FREEDOM requires “prompt” destruction of such records. He also declined to take advantage of the new provisions that allow him to appoint an amicus to help sort through the new statute. The opinion, issued on December 31, 2015, was made public April 19, 2016.

    • Supreme Court Gives FBI More Hacking Power

      The Supreme Court on Thursday approved changes that would make it easier for the FBI to hack into computers, many of them belonging to victims of cybercrime. The changes will take immediate affect in December, unless Congress adopts competing legislation.

      Previously, under the federal rules on criminal procedures, a magistrate judge couldn’t approve a warrant request to search a computer remotely if the investigator didn’t know where the computer was—because it might be outside his or her jurisdiction.

      The rule change, sent in a letter to Congress on Thursday, would allow a magistrate judge to issue a warrant to search or seize an electronic device if the target is using anonymity software like Tor. Over a million people use Tor to browse popular websites like Facebook every month for perfectly legitimate reasons, in addition to criminals who use it to hide their locations.

    • Game Critic Keeps YouTube Vids Ad-Free By Creating ContentID Feeding Frenzy

      You should know by now that YouTube’s ContentID system is a horrible mess. This system, which allows purported intellectual property owners to claim other people’s uploads as containing their content, and then allowing those purported owners to either take the videos down or monetize them for themselves, is so rife with abuse, trolls, and mistakes that it’s a wonder anyone at any point thought this was an idea that could work. Lost in all of this bowing towards intellectual property owners has bred some creative methods for getting around ContentID abuse, but it’s still a problem. A problem particularly challenging in the video game reviews space on YouTube, where entirely too many game studios think that using ContentID to flag game reviews is a practice worth repeating.

    • What the NSA Doesn’t Know? How Many Americans It’s Spying On

      At a press briefing on Monday, National Intelligence Director James Clapper stated that his intelligence network has no idea how many Americans are spied on by the National Security Agency (NSA).

      Congress is being pushed to approve giving the nationally-mandated Federal Bureau of Investigation access to NSA data, undermining the claim that the notorious surveillance agency is not targeting American citizens, but lawmakers seek an answer to a basic question before giving approval.

    • New ‘Tinder Social’ feature under fire for exposing Facebook friends

      There’s the online persona you want to share with your friends — carefully filtered Instagram photos of your sublime beach vacation, for example.

      Then there’s the side you’d perhaps rather keep private — like your Tinder profile.

      But a new feature on the dating app seems to be mixing the two.

      Tinder has come under fire after testing a new feature called Tinder Social for a small number of users in Australia.

      It allows users to create a group of friends, who can then swipe and match with other groups of friends.

    • Zuckerberg has given Facebook investors all they need. He wants one thing in return: control

      Mark Zuckerberg has dominated the desktop internet. He’s dominated the mobile internet. Now he’s going to dominate Facebook itself, and the company is probably going to let him.

    • NSA lauds The Citadel for cybersecurity training [Ed: How long before puff pieces like this one once again outnumber actual NSA news (like pre-2013)?]
    • Germany outlines plan to create Bundeswehr cyber command

      German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen outlined on 26 April a plan to establish a dedicated cyber and information command by merging the Bundeswehr’s current cyber and IT units.

      The Kommando Cyber- und Informationsraum (Cyber and Information Space Command) will be responsible for cyber, IT, military intelligence, geo-information, and operative communication. It will be headed from 1 April 2017 by a lieutenant-general.

    • Defense authorization bill would elevate Cyber Command

      A defense authorization bill that cleared a House committee early Thursday would elevate U.S. Cyber Command and launch a review into whether the agency should still be run by the National Security Agency (NSA) head.

    • The US declares cyber-war on Islamic State
    • U.S. Cyber Command closer to break from NSA

      In an acknowledgement that cyber war is gathering momentum on the international stage, the House on Thursday cleared a defense authorization bill that could split off the U.S. Cyber Command from under the direction of U.S. Strategic Command and the National Security Agency (NSA) and elevate it to its own military command, according to The Hill.

    • Watch: The New Trailer for Oliver Stone’s Biopic of Edward Snowden

      The film covers similar ground as Citizenfour, the 2014 documentary chronicling the fallout of Snowden’s revelations, which was directed by Laura Poitras, one of the journalists who helped report on the documents, along with Glenn Greenwald. Citizenfour received the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2015.

    • Even The Surveillance-Loving Wall Street Journal Is Bashing The FBI For Its War With Apple

      The Wall Street Journal has been a reliably pro-surveillance voice over the years, calling Snowden a “sociopath” while calling for even less NSA oversight, making up bizarre conspiracy theories, and fighting back against any surveillance reform. It even once argued that the tech industry should put backdoors into its encryption to better help the surveillance state.

    • Dangerous new uses for government eavesdropping

      The U.S. government claims the right to eavesdrop at will on your email when you’re writing to someone who lives abroad. Now it wants to be able to use those emails to convict you of a crime.

      [...]

      No court has yet reviewed the law’s constitutionality because until 2013 the government didn’t tell anyone that it had been doing this. The Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that no one had legal standing to challenge the law based merely on the speculation that it might be applied to them.

    • Italy orders Facebook to hand over fake user account data to its alleged victim

      The Italian data protection authority has ordered Facebook to provide an Italian user with all their data, including the personal information, photos, and posts of a separate fake account set up in that person’s name by somebody else.

      In addition, the US social network must provide details of how the personal data was used, including who it was sent to or might have obtained knowledge about it.

    • Students shrug over NSA spying

      Last year, as the school bathroom wars were heating up, I asked a group of college students how they’d feel if they had to share a toilet with people of a different gender. Nobody seemed to mind; indeed, some of them were doing so already.

    • The NSA has no idea how many Americans it’s spying on

      The answer, says National Intelligence Director James Clapper, is that we have no idea. “We’re looking at several options right now, none of which are optimal,” said Clapper at a press briefing in Washington DC on April 25. Security officials argue that analyzing the dataset would mean even more intrusions upon Americans’ privacy. “Many people find that unsatisfactory, but that is a fact,” says Clapper.

    • Watch first Snowden trailer: Whistle-blower mocks NSA on Twitter

      The first trailer of political thriller Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is out. If the 2.39 minute-long trailer is anything to go by, the movie seems to be fast-paced, action-packed and chaotic.

      Academy-winning director Oliver Stone, whose directing opus includes Wall Street, Born on the Fourth of July and George W Bush biographical drama W, is the mastermind behind this sensational thriller. The movie recreates the story of Edward Snowden, who went from being an aspiring Special Forces member to a fugitive living in Russia under political asylum. In the movie, Shailene Woodley features as Snowden’s long-term girlfriend Lindsay Mills, while Nicolas Cage plays an unnamed government official.

    • Snowden trailer is out: Oliver Stone unveils the true story behind NSA leak

      The story of National Security Agency contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden captivated the US in 2013 and now Snowden is getting the Hollywood treatment, as the trailer for Oliver Stone’s Snowden was released on Wednesday (April 27).

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • The Commons and the Centennial of the Easter Rising

      The Proclamation called on Irishmen and Irishwomen to strike for freedom. The republicans were “supported by her exiled children in America.” “We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible.” Sovereignty meant independence from Great Britain, the United Kingdom, England. James Connolly explained, “the essential meanness of the British Empire is that it robs under pretence of being generous.” What was true of the British Empire is doubly true for the American who call robbery “aid.”

    • ‘Stark deterioration of press freedom’ in Europe, says Index on Censorship

      There has been a “stark deterioration of press freedom” in Europe in 2016 with conflict in Turkey and Ukraine creating especially difficult conditions for journalists.

      Index on Censorship said it had seen 301 verified incidents reported to its Mapping Freedom project over the first three months of the year, including four deaths and 43 assaults. The figure is up 30% on the first quarter of 2015.

      Three of the killed journalists died while reporting on conflict in Turkey, while a third, Russian culture journalist Dmitiri Tsilikin, was stabbed to death in his St Petersburg flat.

      Of the 43 assaults, more than half occurred in Ukraine, Italy or Russia, with 12 in the Ukraine alone.

      There were also 27 arrests recorded, with 15 in Turkey when journalists were reporting on violence or protests, with a pattern of arrest on terror charges or during anti-terror operations.

    • John McCain’s Fundraiser Busted for a Meth Lab With LSD, Coke, Heroin and Counterfeit Cash

      Sen. John McCain’s re-election fundraisers all list the same name as the RSVP contact, but that name also showed up as a person arrested during the bust of a meth lab Tuesday.

      In Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff’s deputies made arrests when they found an operational meth lab as well as other illicit drugs when they were carrying out a search warrant for the woman’s home. According to The Arizona Republic, the sheriff’s office identified Emily Pitha, 34, who is a former staffer of retired U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ). She also has worked most recently as a campaign fundraiser for McCain’s 2016 reelection.

    • FT post on Theresa May, Hillsborough, human rights law and the politics of superficiality

      In brief: the new Hillsborough Inquest could not have ranged as widely without Article 2 of the ECHR having effect in domestic law – the same ECHR which May wants the UK to leave.

    • The CIA Illegally Let the Wrong People Do Intelligence Work, Declassified Report Finds
    • OPSEC for Activists (Part 1)
    • OPSEC for Activists, Part 2: Packing for a Protest
    • Jeremy Corbyn, the future not the past

      Whatever the truth of that judgment, the surge continued. When his win seemed assured, but just before the actual vote, the second column fantasised on his first hundred days in power. This made the point that for many in the Labour Party, especially the tens of thousands of new members, Corbyn’s appeal stemmed from opposing what was seen as the cavalier way the Conservatives were reversing previous coalition policies in pursuit of ideological certitude:

    • Letter Details FBI Plan for Secretive Anti-Radicalization Committees

      The idea of the committees is to enlist counselors, social workers, religious figures, and other community members to intervene with people the FBI thinks are in danger of radicalizing — the sort of alternative to prosecution and jail time many experts have been clamoring for. But civil liberties groups worry the committees could become just a ruse to expand the FBI’s network of informants, and the government has refused to provide details about the program.

    • So Much For The Fifth Amendment: Man Jailed For Seven Months For Not Turning Over Password

      The FBI recently spent more than $1 million for assistance in decrypting a device’s contents. It may have overpaid. Alternatives exist, whether it’s a $5 wrench or indefinite imprisonment for not helping the government with its prosecution efforts.

    • The Geopolitics of Generosity

      On April 16, Ecuador suffered an earthquake registering 7.8 on the Richter scale. One week later, the death toll stood at 656, with more than twelve thousand injuries reported and more than fifty people still missing. Hundreds of aftershocks, some very powerful, continue to shake the country’s northwest coast and cause more damage.

      The day after the disaster, aid began arriving from Ecuador’s Latin American neighbors: Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and Bolivia. Quick responses were crucial, as hundreds of people were still missing, many trapped in crumbling rubble.

    • Where Angels Fear to Tread

      I have accepted an offer from Sky News tomorrow to discuss anti-Semitism in the UK, where I shall argue that opponents of Israeli policy are being tarred with anti-Semitism in an witch-hunt.

      [...]

      There is a deliberate ploy by Israel to brand Palestinian sympathisers and critics of the Israeli state as anti-Semitic, in order to delegitimise criticism of Israel, as the settlements programme makes any two state solution completely non-viable.

    • Where will we end up? Terrorism, Islamophobia and the logic of fascism

      Fascism is not only a form of prejudice, it is also a political logic. A logic that reduces complex problems to ‘us and them’ issues.

    • Noam Chomsky: Young Bernie Sanders Supporters are a “Mobilized Force That Could Change the Country”

      During an event Tuesday at the Brooklyn Public Library, Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned political dissident, linguist, author and professor, was asked about Bernie Sanders’ run for the White House. “[H]e’s considered radical and extremist, which is a pretty interesting characterization, because he’s basically a mainstream New Deal Democrat,” Chomsky said. “His positions would not have surprised President Eisenhower, who said, in fact, that anyone who does not accept New Deal programs doesn’t belong in the American political system. That’s now considered very radical.” Chomsky concluded by noting that Sanders “has mobilized a large number of young people, these young people who are saying, ‘Look, we’re not going to consent anymore.’ And if that turns into a continuing, organized, mobilized force, that could change the country—maybe not for this election, but in the longer term.”

    • An Indictment of Thatcher’s Legacy: Justice for Hillsborough Families, at Last

      The victory of the Hillsborough families in their long struggle for justice was won against an establishment that viewed them and their loved ones as nothing more than scum and which, make no mistake, continues to do so today. Harsh words, perhaps, but true nonetheless. For at the very core of this scandal is the issue of class and the legacy of a prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, who throughout the 1980s waged war against working class people, communities, and sought to destroy the bonds of solidarity that provided them with their strength and pride in who they were.

    • In defence of today’s anti-fascist protesters

      Populist leaders today are unable to completely abolish multi-party systems, free press, individual freedom, or instigate actual war both inside and outside the country. But we can’t ignore the danger they present.

    • Hunger Strike in San Francisco Puts a Spotlight on Police Brutality

      At the corner of 17th and Valencia Streets in San Francisco late Tuesday afternoon, a group of about 20 protesters remained camped outside the Mission Police Station, fueled by coconut water, vitamin supplements, and cars honking in solidarity. Several were in the sixth day of a hunger strike. Their goal: The ouster of San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr and his boss, Mayor Ed Lee, over a string of police violence and alleged misconduct.

      A stash of rations sat near the entrance of the station, where last week five people began the protest: Maria Cristina Gutierrez, Ilyich Sato, Sellassie Blackwell, Ike Peterson and Edwin Lindo. The demonstrators also set up three tents on a nearby corner. Gutierrez, a short, soft-spoken woman who runs a neighborhood preschool, has also at times escaped the cold evenings in her van parked across the street.

    • Workers Say T-Mobile Created A Fake Union To Kill The Real One

      One of the largest cell phone carriers in America is trying to derail a years-long campaign to organize tens of thousands of workers by creating a fake in-house union, Communication Workers of America (CWA) officials say.

      Union leaders are accusing T-Mobile of co-opting worker dissatisfaction through a new internal organization it calls T-Voice. The group functions as “a direct line for Frontline feedback to senior leadership,” according to an internal email obtained by Bloomberg’s Josh Eidelson. But management selects the workers who serve as part of T-Voice, and has allegedly pointed to the group as a reason not to unionize during captive-audience meetings with employees.

    • Our Military Shouldn’t Turn Its Back on Servicewomen Who Need an Abortion

      How the U.S. military restricts servicewomen from accessing abortion on military bases is a discriminatory scandal.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Nervous About Regulatory Action, Comcast Bumps Usage Caps To One Terabyte Per Month

      After taking a PR beating for several years on the matter, Comcast has announced that it’s significantly bumping the company’s usage caps. Since 2013 Comcast has been conducting a “trial” in many of the company’s less competitive markets, capping usage at 300 GB per month, then charging users either $10 per each additional 50 gigabytes, or providing users the option of paying $30 to $35 per month extra to avoid the cap entirely. But according to a new blog post by the cable giant, the company will be bumping that usage allotment to one terabyte per month starting June 1.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Blizzard Pretends IP Made It Kill Fan Server

      Blizzard, maker of World of Warcraft, has a long and dubious history when it comes to trying to twist intellectual property laws and requirements to be whatever they want it to be at the time. These instances have mostly revolved around using copyright in an attempt to stop people who use cheat-bots to play the company’s games, as well as those who make the bots. The actual tactics Blizzard uses in those cases, which chiefly revolve around twisting copyright into knots as never intended, can get lost because of the hatred most players have for those who game the gaming system.

      But it’s a different story when it comes to Nostalrius, which was the name for fan-servers offering up a “vanilla” version of World of Warcraft to gamers who wanted to play the game without any of the expansion packs that Blizzard has released. Serving thousands of individual gamers, Blizzard decided the fan-server was a threat to its business and used trademark law to threaten those running it into shutting the whole thing down. Smart or not, Blizzard was within its rights to do this. Its explanation as to why, however, is absolutely dripping with bullshit and needs to be called out.

    • DTSA as a Shoe Horn for Contract and Employment Law Claims

      I expect that an important result of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) will be the creation of supplemental federal jurisdiction over contract and employment disputes that are otherwise a matter of state law decided by state courts. The majority of trade secret lawsuits also involve breach of contract and/or employment law claims – with the breach serving as the requisite ‘improper means,’

    • Copyrights

      • Publishing and “the Machine”: help or hindrance?

        This Kat wants to make it clear: from his discussions, it seems that with a few stellar exceptions (some of whom this Kat has had the pleasure of working with), the broad strokes of his tale are not unique to the particular publisher involved. And yes, this Kat holds “the Machine” responsible in part. This Kat would like to think that he is not naïve. He knows that in today’s business climate, there is a strong push to replace labor with capital, even in the publishing world. Digital platforms are ultimately cheaper than additional employees. However, publishing still rests on the human element—author, editor, and publisher. Over reliance on a digital manuscript submission platform does harm to that interrelationship and the exercise of human judgment that has been a linchpin of publishing. Even if, for over 300 years, “the Machine” has been good to authors and publishers, it seems to this Kat the publication process is impaired when it develops an over reliance on digital platforms, at the expense of the human element and at the cost of rigidity and tunnel vision.

      • Techdirt Reading List: How To Fix Copyright

        Nevertheless, Patry was then convinced to write a follow up book How to Fix Copyright, in order to respond to those critics (most of whom will never be satisfied). Once again, the book is an excellent read. It is not — as some believed — an entire book dedicated to discussing possible solutions. Instead, it again spends a lot of time making sure people really understand how messed up copyright law has become, and then towards the end proposes a few, relatively simple, solutions (which, frankly, may not go far enough). It talks about things like bringing back formalities (i.e., make copyright opt-in again) and shortening copyright terms.

      • Lessons From Prince’s Legacy And Struggle With Digital Music Markets

        Famously, Prince, via Universal Music, was behind the “dancing baby” DMCA lawsuit, which featured Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” playing faintly in the background of a short clip as a toddler danced. Ultimately our friends at EFF, who were representing defendant Stephanie Lenz, prevailed on their fair use claim. In 2013, EFF awarded him their “Raspberry Beret Lifetime Aggrievement Award” for “extraordinary abuses of the takedown process in the name of silencing speech.”

      • Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood Withdraws Google Subpoena As Google Appeals Court Ruling

        Earlier this month, the Fifth Circuit appeals court tossed out the lawsuit that Google had filed against Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, following Hood’s decision to send a subpoena that was written by the MPAA’s lawyers, as part of a plan by the MPAA to pay money to get state Attorneys General to attack Google.

        While some in the legacy copyright world painted the ruling in the Fifth Circuit as a “victory” for Jim Hood, and a loss for Google, anyone reading the details would recognize it was anything but that. The court made it pretty clear that Hood’s subpoena was ridiculous and had no chance of surviving a judicial review… but dumped the case on a procedural issue, arguing that since Jim Hood had not yet taken any action concerning Google’s unwillingness to respond to parts of the subpoena, there was nothing to dispute. Basically, the court said “wait until Hood actually tries to force you to do something… and then we’ll tell him his subpoena is bogus.”

Links 28/4/2016: Tomb Raider for GNU/Linux, Proxmox VE 4.2

Posted in News Roundup at 6:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Where did we all go wrong? And why doesn’t anyone remember?

    But we didn’t pursue them. We replaced them with something cheaper — with Unix machines, an OS only a nerd could love. And then we replaced the Unix machines with something cheaper still — the IBM PC, a machine so poor that the £125 ZX Spectrum had better graphics and sound.

    And now, we all use descendants of that. Generally acknowledged as one of the poorest, most-compromised machines, based on descendants of one of the poorest, most-compromised CPUs.

    Yes, over the 40 years since then, most of rough edges have been polished out. The machines are now small, fast, power-frugal with tons of memory and storage, with great graphics and sound. But it’s taken decades to get here.

    And the OSes have developed. Now they’re feature-rich, fairly friendly, really very robust considering the stone-age stuff they’re built from.

    But if we hadn’t spent 3 or 4 decades making a pig’s ear into silk purse — if we’d started with a silk purse instead — where might we have got to by now?

  • Your Beard Doesn’t Intimidate Me Anymore!
  • Server

    • Understanding Your HPC Application Needs

      Many HPC applications began as single processor (single core) programs. If these applications take too long on a single core or need more memory than is available, they need to be modified so they can run on scalable systems. Fortunately, many of the important (and most used) HPC applications are already available for scalable systems. Not all applications require large numbers of cores for effective performance, while others are highly scalable.

    • 5 Container as a Service Tools You Should Know About

      In a previous article on next-generation cloud technologies, I mentioned Containers as a Service (CaaS), which provides a framework to manage container and application deployment.

    • Don’t Worry About IBM’s Mainframe Sales Collapse

      For those who know little about International Business Machines , the company’s hulking System Z mainframe computers may seem like little more than a relic. The 42% year-over-year decline in System Z sales during IBM’s first quarter would appear to offer proof that the mainframe business is struggling.

      But investors shouldn’t worry about this mainframe sales collapse. It’s happened before, and it will happen again. IBM’s System Z product cycle, which sees new models introduced every few years, induces an extreme amount of sales volatility as clients rush to upgrade. While IBM doesn’t report System Z sales numbers directly, the company does report year-over-year performance, and that allows us to see that the big drop in sales during the first quarter is nothing out of the ordinary.

  • Kernel Space

    • PulseAudio Adds Memfd Transport Support

      PulseAudio gained support for utilizing the Linux kernel’s memfd as a transport mechanism as spearheaded by the systemd/KDBUS crew.

    • Linux Kernel 3.12.59 LTS Out Now with Crypto & Networking Fixes, Updated Drivers

      Linux kernel developer Jiri Slaby today announced the availability of the fifty-ninth maintenance release of the long-term supported Linux 3.12 kernel series, urging all users to update as soon as possible.

      Looking at the appended shortlog, we can notice that Linux kernel 3.12.59 LTS is here to patch various security issues that have been discovered since the previous point release, version 3.12.58, which has been announced two weeks ago by Mr. Jiri Slaby, along with an important piece of information, that the Linux 3.12 series will be supported until 2017 because it is used in SUSE Linux Enterprise 12.

    • Linux infosec outfit does a Torvalds, rageblocks innocent vuln spotter

      An open source security firm has blocked a security researcher who reported flaws in a recently issued patch in an apparent fit of pique.

      Hector Martin took to Twitter on Tuesday to note a trivial crashing vulnerability in a recently issued patch by Grsecurity.

      “I literally crashed my box by pasting a bunch of text into a terminal, due to a really sad bug in the patch,” Martin said.

      In response, Grsecurity acknowledged the issue, which it said would be fixed in the next release. At the same time it blocked Martin on both Twitter and by IP address.

    • Why Linux Creator Linus Torvalds Thinks That C++ Programming Language Sucks?

      This morning, I was reading some news about Linux creator Linus Torvalds and I came across a decade-old note from him. You might have heard about Linus Torvald’s opinion of programming language C++ and this note was about the same.

    • Open Source: Thinking Big by Jim Zemlin

      Zemlin’s career spans three of the largest technology trends to rise over the last decade: mobile computing, cloud computing and open source software. Today, as executive director of The Linux Foundation, he uses this experience to accelerate the adoption of Linux and support the future of computing.

    • Graphics Stack

      • See How Your Linux GPU Compares To Various GeForce GPUs With NVIDIA 364.19

        While waiting for today’s release of Tomb Raider on Linux, for which I just posted various NVIDIA Tomb Raider benchmarks on Ubuntu, I was running some other OpenGL benchmarks.

        One of the benchmark runs I did with various graphics cards this morning while waiting for Tomb Raider was the well known and demanding Unigine Valley demo. Tests were done with various Kepler and Maxwell GeForce graphics cards while using the brand new NVIDIA 364.19 driver on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS x86_64.

      • X.Org Foundation Election Results

        Two questions were up for voting, 4 seats on the Board of Directors and approval of the amended By-Laws to join SPI.

        Congratulations to our reelected and new board members Egbert Eich, Alex Deucher, Keith Packard and Bryce Harrington. Thanks a lot to Lucas Stach for running. And also big thanks to our outgoing board member Matt Dew, who stepped down for personal reasons.

      • X.Org Members Approve Becoming Part Of The SPI Organization

        The results just are in of the 2016 X.Org Foundation elections and the members have voted to become part of the SPI. The foundation thus is basically becoming dissolved to become part of Software in the Public Interest.

        After last year’s vote failed for the X.Org Foundation to merge with the SPI due to not reaching the two-thirds quorum to change the by-laws, this year was a success: 61 of the 65 members voted.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Proxmox VE 4.2 Officially Released with Let’s Encrypt Support, ZFS Improvements

        Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH, a renowned company developing the Proxmox VE (Virtual Environment) server virtualization operating system based on the Linux kernel, announced the release of Proxmox VE 4.2.

      • Proxmox VE 4.2 Released

        Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH, the company developing the server virtualization platform Proxmox Virtual Environment (VE), today announced the general availability of version 4.2. The open source virtualization platform Proxmox VE is a hyper-converged solution enabling users to create and manage LXC containers and KVM virtual machines on the same host, and makes it easy to set up highly available clusters, as well as to manage network and storage via an integrated web-based management interface.

      • antiX 16 Linux OS Gets a Second Beta Build with Kernel 4.4.8 LTS, Many Changes

        It’s been a little over two weeks since the first Beta build of the upcoming antiX 16 Linux operating system was announced, and now we can get our hands on the second Beta release.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva Adds F2FS Support

        It’s been a while since last having anything to report on with the OpenMandriva Linux distribution, but they wrote in today with news about adding Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) support.

        Within their OpenMandriva “Cooker” development repository is the most interesting support with F2FS support being part of their kernel, shipping f2fs-tools by default, and their Calamares installer allowing F2FS for SSD disks. They’ve also added a F2FS patch for GRUB2. With that work in OpenMandriva Cooker, users can be running F2FS as their root file-system with ease!

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Entroware’s Orion Laptops Now Ship with Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS and Skylake CPUs

            Entroware, one of the few hardware companies to offer laptops with Ubuntu MATE Linux operating system pre-installed, today announced a refresh of its Orion series of laptops.

            The new Orion laptop is now in stock, and it looks like it comes with the next-generation of Intel Skylake processors, as well as the latest and greatest version of the Ubuntu MATE distro, Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus).

          • my Shuttleworth Foundation flash grant

            More important than features is making Propellor prevent more classes of mistakes, by creative use of the type system. The biggest improvement in this area was type checking the OSes of Propellor properties, so Propellor can reject host configurations that combine eg, Linux-only and FreeBSD-only properties.

          • Wolfram Research turns your Ubuntu phone into an IoT sensor
          • Ubuntu 16.04′s support for the ZFS file system may violate the General Public License

            Ubuntu 16.04′s support for the ZFS file system is one of many useful enterprise features on top of all the Linux desktop polish in the new OS. But Linux distributions have avoided shipping ZFS support in the past due to licensing issues, and Ubuntu 16.04’s ZFS support sits smack-dab in the middle of a controversial legal gray area.

          • Ubuntu’s $70 computing stick could fit nicely behind your TV

            Want to turn a TV into a Ubuntu computer? The very orange MeLE PCG02U just might be what you’re looking for. This tiny stick computer costs only $70, meaning you can add a desktop to any TV for very little money. It’s the first Ubuntu device from Mele, a Chinese manufacturer that until now has focused on Android and Windows devices.

          • This $70 computer stick is designed for Ubuntu

            Ubuntu is starting to show up in lot more places lately: tablets, phones, and this neat little computer-on-a-stick created by MeLE called the PGC02U. It’s $70, with an Intel BayTrail processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. It also comes in Ubuntu orange and has a wee little antenna to help with wireless reception. Liliputing points out that you might want to go ahead and install this build of Ubuntu created by Ian Morrison, as it’s designed specifically for stick computers.

          • Mele PCG02U is a $70 Ubuntu PC stick

            Chinese computer maker Mele has been offering small Android and Windows computers for a few years. Now the company is selling a PC-on-a-stick that runs Ubuntu Linux.

          • Mele PCG02U Ubuntu PC Stick Launches For $70
          • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS video review

            Ubuntu 16.04 LTS was recently released, and many Linux users have been wondering what it has to offer and if it’s worth installing or upgrading from a previous release of Ubuntu.

            Not to worry, a YouTuber by the name of Quidsup has a full video review of Ubuntu 16.04 that will walk you through the latest changes to Canonical’s popular desktop distribution.

          • [Older] Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Released, This Is What’s New
          • uNav 0.59 GPS Navigation App for Ubuntu Phones Brings Pinch-Zoom, a Refreshed UI

            uNav developer Nekhelesh Ramananthan announced the release of version 0.59 of the default GPS navigation app for the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system for Ubuntu Phones.

            According to the announcement, uNav 0.59, which has been dubbed “Beauty and the Beast,” comes with exciting new features, among which we can mention a brand-new navigation structure, giving users the possibility of searching for locations, favorites or coordinates directly from the menubar, as well as a refresh of the UI (details below).

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • YouTube will soon roll out six-second ads that you can’t skip

    YouTube’s adding a new option to help advertisers get their message to consumers — but in a much shorter amount of time than normal. Today the company announced that beginning next month, it’ll offer six-second “Bumper” ads that are designed to be a better companion to the shorter video clips that millions of YouTube users are watching on smartphones. “We like to think of Bumper ads as little haikus of video ads — and we’re excited to see what the creative community will do with them,” YouTube’s Zach Lupei wrote in a blog post. You can see a sample of one below, which was an early test by Atlantic Records.

  • YouTube just announced plans to steal six seconds of your life

    PEOPLE FALLING over and cat fanciers hangout YouTube is planning to make people sit through six seconds of un-skippable advertising in the sort of move that makes sense to businesses but makes people go cray cray.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • German nuclear plant infected with computer viruses, operator says

      A nuclear power plant in Germany has been found to be infected with computer viruses, but they appear not to have posed a threat to the facility’s operations because it is isolated from the Internet, the station’s operator said on Tuesday.

      The Gundremmingen plant, located about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Munich, is run by the German utility RWE (RWEG.DE).

      The viruses, which include “W32.Ramnit” and “Conficker”, were discovered at Gundremmingen’s B unit in a computer system retrofitted in 2008 with data visualization software associated with equipment for moving nuclear fuel rods, RWE said.

      Malware was also found on 18 removable data drives, mainly USB sticks, in office computers maintained separately from the plant’s operating systems. RWE said it had increased cyber-security measures as a result.

    • Death of the enterprise VPN – if remote access is not secure what comes next? [iophk: "Spam. Besides, if an app cannot be put on the net without a VPN then it does not belong on the net in the first place."]

      VPNs are the backbone of enterprise remote access and yet their security limitations are starting to pile up. The problem is that the very thing that once made them so useful, network access, is now their biggest weakness. As the 2014 attacks on retailers Target and Home Depot painfully illustrate, this architecture can easily be exploited by attackers armed with stolen credentials to move around networks from within in ways that are difficult to spot until it’s too late.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The classified ’28 pages’: A diversion from real US-Saudi issues

      The US government has known that Saudi financing of madrassas all over the world has been a major source of jihadist activism. The Saudi regime’s extremist Wahhabi perspective on Shia Islam is the basis for its paranoid stance on the rest of the region and the destabilisation of Syria and Yemen. The 28 pages should be released, but at a time when the contradictions between US and Saudi interests are finally beginning to be openly acknowledged, the issue is just another diversion from the real debate on Saudi Arabia that is urgently needed.

    • Is This What’s in Those 28 Pages? And Does it Matter?

      Did the CIA meet with some of the 9/11 hijackers ahead of the attacks on New York? Did the Saudi government help finance those hijackers? Someone knows the answers, and soon, you might know as well.

    • Rio Sees A ‘Surge’ In Police Killings Ahead Of The Summer Olympics

      Since the beginning of April, 11 people have been killed by the police in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the Summer Olympics are scheduled to begin in just 100 days. One of the victims was a five-year-old boy.

    • Censored, Surveilled, Watch Listed and Jailed: The Absurdity of Being a Citizen in the American Police State

      April 26, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – “Ron Paul Institute”- In the American police state, the price to be paid for speaking truth to power (also increasingly viewed as an act of treason) is surveillance, censorship, jail and ultimately death.

      However, where many Americans go wrong is in assuming that you have to be doing something illegal or challenging the government’s authority in order to be flagged as a suspicious character, labeled an enemy of the state and locked up like a dangerous criminal.

    • Nuclear Escalation in Europe

      The United States feigned surprise during the simulation of an attack by the Russian aviation against the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea. And yet, as we have reported, Russia already has the capacity to block the ship’s Communications & Commands, and did so, observes Manlio Dinucci, because the ship was in the process of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Furthermore, the US nuclear deployment occurred as China is developing hypersonic launchers, a part of whose trajectory will be in glide mode, inspiring new research by DARPA. As from now, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are participating in the Tactical Boost Glide Program.

    • Ukraine’s Rightists Return to Odessa

      For two years, Ukraine’s U.S.-backed regime has balked at investigating dozens of arson deaths in Odessa and now is doing little as far-right nationalists rally for another confrontation, writes Nicolai N. Petro.

    • Can We Feel the Heat?

      I am travelling as a peace witness in Iraqi Kurdistan. We visited a sheikh whom I had met in Fallujah in 2012. He and his family were forced to flee to Kurdistan about two years ago. Fallujah iis being held by ISIS. None of the residents are allowed to leave. People are dying of starvation.

    • Has The American Age of Decline Begun?

      “Low-energy Jeb.” “Little Marco.” “Lyin’ Ted.” “Crooked Hillary.” Give Donald Trump credit. He has a memorable way with insults. His have a way of etching themselves on the brain. And they’ve garnered media coverage, analysis, and commentary almost beyond imagining. Memorable as they might be, however, they won’t be what last of Trump’s 2016 election run. That’s surely reserved for a single slogan that will sum up his candidacy when it’s all over (no matter how it ends). He arrived with it on that Trump Tower escalator in the first moments of his campaign and it now headlines his website, where it’s also emblazoned on an array of products from hats to t-shirts.

      You already know which line I mean: “Make America Great Again!” With that exclamation point ensuring that you won’t miss the hyperbolic, Trumpian nature of its promise to return the country to its former glory days. In it lies the essence of his campaign, of what he’s promising his followers and Americans generally — and yet, strangely enough, of all his lines, it’s the one most taken for granted, the one that’s been given the least thought and analysis. And that’s a shame, because it represents something new in our American age. The problem, I suspect, is that what first catches the eye is the phrase “Make America Great” and then, of course, the exclamation point, while the single most important word in the slogan, historically speaking, is barely noted: “again.”

      With that “again,” Donald Trump crossed a line in American politics that, until his escalator moment, represented a kind of psychological taboo for politicians of any stripe, of either party, including presidents and potential candidates for that position. He is the first American leader or potential leader of recent times not to feel the need or obligation to insist that the United States, the “sole” superpower of Planet Earth, is an “exceptional” nation, an “indispensable” country, or even in an unqualified sense a “great” one. His claim is the opposite. That, at present, America is anything but exceptional, indispensable, or great, though he alone could make it “great again.” In that claim lies a curiosity that, in a court of law, might be considered an admission of guilt. Yes, it says, if one man is allowed to enter the White House in January 2017, this could be a different country, but — and in this lies the originality of the slogan — it is not great now, and in that admission-that-hasn’t-been-seen-as-an-admission lies something new on the American landscape.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Harmful Algal Bloom Reddit “Ask Us Anything”

      With harmful algal bloom (HAB) season beginning over the next few months in several areas of the U.S., this is your chance to talk with two NOAA scientists who study the impacts of harmful algal blooms and forecast bloom conditions for various U.S. coastal regions.

    • Climate Change Is Taking The Spotlight In Australia’s Election

      Australia hasn’t exactly been seen as a leader on climate policy in recent years: Former prime minister Tony Abbott once called climate change “absolute crap,” and current Prime Minister Malcolm Turbull hasn’t delivered the about-face on climate that many environmentalists had hoped for. But that could change with this year’s election.

      On Wednesday, Australia’s Labor Party, the main opposition to the country’s current Turbull-led coalition government, announced a plan to tackle climate change that’s more ambitious than the country’s current approach. Under the Labor Party, Australia would work to decrease emissions 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, compared with the current pledge to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels. A ruling Labor party would also implement a country-wide emissions trading scheme and would set a goal of getting 50 percent of the country’s electricity from renewables by 2030.

    • Climate Change Action Emerges As Winning Wedge Issue In 2016

      A new public opinion survey finds that “Americans across political lines, except conservative Republicans, would support a presidential candidate who strongly supports taking action to reduce global warming.”

      The survey of 1,004 registered voters by the Climate Change Communication programs at Yale and George Mason University yielded a number of important findings consistent with earlier polling this year by Gallup.

    • Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative

      Oyster beds stabilize the shoreline and filter contaminants from the water, which, in turn, promotes seagrass growth, providing habitat for numerous fish and shellfish species. Oysters are an important food source for animals and people alike, and they are fundamental to the region’s economy. A February 2014 report from NOAA Fisheries estimated that in 2012, the oyster harvest garnered $331 million in revenue in Louisiana alone.

    • ‘Neutral is Not Acceptable’: Nationwide Protests Demand Colleges Go Fossil Free

      A series of sit-ins and protests urging universities to divest their endowments from fossil fuels gained new strength this week, as students at the University of Montana, Vassar College, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison launched their own actions to combat climate change.

      Two nights in a row, on Monday and Tuesday multiple students at Northern Arizona University (NAU) were arrested for taking part in a nonviolent action demanding their school divest from oil and gas companies.

      “Our administration would rather arrest students then take serious action on climate change,” lamented Fossil Free NAU on its Facebook page.

      “We believe that it is morally unjust to be investing in a dying industry,” said NAU senior Michaela Mujica-Steiner, one of the coordinators of the school sit-in. “We would like to see the school step up and lead with students who are currently demonstrating leadership.”

    • Hanford Seeks Possible Leak in 2nd Double-Walled Tank
    • Michigan Official Tried to Manipulate Lead Tests—Eight Years Ago

      A newly resurfaced email demonstrates that in 2008 an official from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) tried to game lead tests by suggesting that technicians collect extra water samples to make the average lead count for a community appear artificially low.

      The email was sent in response to a test result that showed one home’s lead levels were ten times the federal action level of 15 parts per billion, and urged the lead test technician to take an additional set of water samples to “bump out” the high result so that the MDEQ wouldn’t be required to notify the community of the high levels of lead in its water.

      “Otherwise we’re back to water quality parameters and lead public notice,” complained Adam Rosenthal of the MDEQ’s Drinking Water office in the email.

    • Michael Moore Blasts Obama in an Open Letter About the Flint Water Crisis

      Political documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has been extremely active in advocating for his hometown of Flint, Mich., since the news of the water crisis there broke months ago.

      He has repeatedly posted about Flint on his website, even going so far as demanding Gov. Rick Snyder’s arrest. And, like other activists in Flint, he’s been urging President Obama to pay a visit to the desperate town.

    • Locals In Peru Force US Company To Scrap $5 Billion Mining Project

      Activists in Peru have forced the second-largest gold mining corporation in the world, Newmont, to abandon its $5 billion Conga copper and gold mining project.

      Indigenous Peruvians say the conga mine project, which was intended to replace the nearly-depleted Yanacocha gold mine nearby, threatens the local environment

  • Finance

    • Luxembourg Puts Journalist and Whistleblowers On Trial for Ruining Its “Magical Fairyland” of Tax Avoidance

      LUXEMBOURG IS TRYING to throw two French whistleblowers and a journalist in prison for their role in the “LuxLeaks” exposé that revealed the tiny country’s outsized role in enabling corporate tax avoidance.

      The trial of Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet, two former employees of the international accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, and journalist Edouard Perrin began Tuesday.

      Deltour and Halet were charged in connection with theft of PwC documents. Perrin is charged as an accomplice for steering Halet toward documents that he considered of particular interest.

    • Former Tax Lobbyists Are Writing the Rules on Tax Dodging

      The secret tax-dodging strategies of the global elite in China, Russia, Brazil, the U.K., and beyond were exposed in speculator fashion by the recent Panama Papers investigation, fueling a worldwide demand for a crackdown on tax avoidance.

      But there is little appetite in Congress for taking on powerful tax dodgers in the U.S., where the practice has become commonplace.

    • Reinventing Saudi Arabia after Oil: The Prince’s $2 Trillion Gamble

      Saudi Arabia’s citizen population is probably only about 20 million, so it is a small country without a big domestic market. It is surrounded in the general region by huge countries like Egypt (pop. 85 million), Iran (pop. 75 mn.) and Turkey (75 mn.), not to mention Ethiopia (pop. 90 mn.) Without petroleum, it is difficult to see what would be distinctive about Saudi Arabia economically.

      The excruciatingly young prince, who was born in 1985, has a BA in Law from a local Saudi university and his way of speaking about the elements of the economy is not reassuring. Take his emphasis on the maritime trade routes that flow around the Arabian Peninsula. How exactly does Saudi Arabia derive a dime from them? The only tolls I can think of are collected by Egypt for passage through the Suez Canal. By far the most important container port in the region is Jebel Ali in the UAE, which dwarfs Jedda. His estimate of 30% of world trade going through these bodies of water strikes me as exaggerated. Only about 10% of world trade goes through the Suez Canal.

    • Letter from Oxford

      The future independence of universities is in doubt, especially those dependent on alumni support. Old grads are turned off by the erasure of what they remember. Recent grads are not experiencing the same success. A university degree no longer brings the same economic success that it did in the 20th century. A financialized and offshored capitalism has heavily redistributed income and wealth to the One Percent. One consequence is that the alumni donor base will shrink.

    • A majority of millennials now reject capitalism, poll shows
  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Hillary Clinton is DINO-mite to the Billionaires

      Now that Charlie Koch has admitted that his money could ride on Clinton would she just tweak a few of her ideas here or there, I can only presume he may have paid for the Yahoo! ad, which can’t be cheap.

      I’m kidding. Hillary has plenty of money.

      But it would be an expression of his devotion, would it not? Koch likes her for good reason. She’s as much about the money as he is, but not everyone admires Madam.

      The dislike of Clinton is borne out in some polls. People are going to hold their noses and vote for Hillary all the way to the convention. Many dislike her, but it’s in their best interest to keep things the way they are. Not just for the Kochs, but for the majority.

      Bernie and The Donald would mess something up. This election is ultimately about pragmatism once you exit the powder room.

    • Vox’s Puff Piece on Goldman Sachs Doesn’t Reveal Goldman Sponsors Vox

      Matthew Yglesias (4/25/16) gave a generous write-up to Goldman Sachs’ new commercial banking subsidiary, GS Bank, without noting that Goldman Sachs is a sponsor of Vox.

      Despite the obligatory “to be sure” paragraph, where Yglesias ran through some of the downsides (“they don’t have a checking account and there’s no ATM access”), the post mostly served to promote a new product “for the masses” from Goldman Sachs, a company worth roughly $87 billion.

    • Amy Goodman on How the Media Is Ruining the 2016 Election by Focusing on ‘Trump-land’

      If you’ve been near a television, computer or newspaper over the past six months, you know it’s impossible to escape media coverage of Donald Trump. Beyond mere annoyance, this avalanche of attention has created a serious problem in media accountability.

      Amy Goodman, host of “Democracy Now!”, argues that the 24/7 Trump coverage is ruining the election. “We need a media that covers power, not covers for power,” she says, noting the imbalance in election coverage among the candidates in this year’s presidential race.

    • Amy Goodman on AJ+: How the Media Ruins Elections
    • Money Couldn’t Buy Love for Maryland Congressional Candidate David Trone

      David Trone entered Maryland’s 8th Congressional District race in late January, but his late start didn’t hinder his campaign spending. Trone broke the record for self-funding a House campaign by spending more than $12 million of his own money, breaking New Mexico Democrat Phil Maloof’s 1998 record of $6.3 million.

      Despite this significant lump of cash, Trone lost Tuesday’s primary race.

      Throughout the campaign, Trone never labeled himself a front-runner—quite the opposite. “There is no question that I am the underdog,” Trone told Bethesda Magazine in January. The “wine superstore owner” faced seven other opponents for the seat, including Kathleen Matthews, wife of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews; State Sen. Jamie Raskin; and two of Barack Obama’s former aides.

    • Exclusive: Half of Americans think presidential nominating system ‘rigged’ – poll

      More than half of American voters believe that the system U.S. political parties use to pick their candidates for the White House is “rigged” and more than two-thirds want to see the process changed, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

      The results echo complaints from Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders that the system is stacked against them in favor of candidates with close ties to their parties – a critique that has triggered a nationwide debate over whether the process is fair.

      The United States is one of just a handful of countries that gives regular voters any say in who should make it onto the presidential ballot. But the state-by-state system of primaries, caucuses and conventions is complex. The contests historically were always party events, and while the popular vote has grown in influence since the mid-20th century, the parties still have considerable sway.

    • Cracked Distills Idiocy, Mendacity of American Politics (Video)

      This Cracked video provides a humorous overview of the presidential election process and explains why candidates can’t be honest.

    • Offshore Democracy, or Argentina through the looking glass

      Exclude the poor from politics on the grounds that they are tempted to misappropriate public funds, and replace them with the rich: this is the project.

    • Noam Chomsky: Bernie Sanders is Not a Radical, He Has Mass Support for Positions on Healthcare & Taxes

      During an event Tuesday night, Noam Chomsky was asked about Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and said he considered him more of a “New Deal Democrat” than a radical extremist, as some have portrayed him. Chomsky said Sanders’ positions on taxes and healthcare are supported by a majority of the American public, and have been for a long time. He added that Sanders has “mobilized a large number of young people who are saying, ‘Look, we’re not going to consent anymore.’ If that turns into a continuing, organized, mobilized force, that could change the country—maybe not for this election, but in the longer term.”

    • Fourteen to Go: Sanders Set on ‘Transforming Nation’

      That’s how many Democratic presidential nominating contests remain. From Indiana next week to the District of Columbia on June 14—with delegate prizes as large as 546 in California and small as 12 in Guam to be won in between—14 states and territories have yet to hold their respective caucus or primary.

      “That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast,” said Bernie Sanders on Tuesday night, following a win in Rhode Island and losses to rival Hillary Clinton in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

    • Why Bernie Will, Should and Must Stay in the Race

      Bernie has substantively—even profoundly—changed American politics for the better, which is why he’s gaining more and more support and keeps winning delegates. From the start, he said, “This campaign is not about me”—it’s a chance for voters who have been disregarded and discarded to forge a new political revolution that will continue to grow beyond this election and create a true people’s government.

    • Why Sanders Supporters Should Not Let Democratic Primary Demoralize Them

      Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was expected to do very well in the five primaries on April 26, but after the results, Bernie Sanders and his supporters face a critical moment in the election as the campaign fights for every possible delegate on the way to the convention.

      Clinton won Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware decisively. She also eked out a win in Connecticut. She lost in Rhode Island, which was the only state with an open primary that allowed independents to vote for Sanders without affiliating with the Democratic Party.

      Numerous dedicated Sanders volunteers, who have put thousands of hours into the campaign, now face low morale. Sanders supporters lost a lot of hope after New York, and much of that had to do with the establishment news media aggressively promoting the Clinton campaign’s talking points that there was no way Sanders could achieve victory (which was not accurate).

    • The Best Reason for Bernie Sanders to Fight On: Hawkish, Neoliberal Clintons Need a Watchful Eye From Progressives

      Hillary Clinton’s victory language last night showed that she has picked up some of Sanders’ language, and her effort to fold Sanders’ vision into her party’s sounded compelling. But let me mention and rebut some of the Clinton camp’s most convincing points before … ah, elephant in the argument that could end up embarrassing Democrats and actually worsening conditions in the United States even (perhaps especially!) if Clinton wins the White House.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Rhode Island Attorney General Pushing For A State-Level CFAA That Will Turn Researchers, Whistleblowers Into Criminals

      We recently wrote about the Rhode Island attorney general’s “cybercrime” bill — a legislative proposal that seeks to address cyberbullying, revenge porn, etc. with a bunch of broadly — and poorly — written clauses. Two negative comments written months apart could be viewed as “cyber-harassment” under the law, separating it from the sustained pattern of abuse that one normally considers “harassment.”

      In addition, the proposed law would criminalize “non-consensual communications.” If the sender does not obtain the recipient’s permission to send a message, it’s a criminal act if the recipient finds the message to be distressing — which could mean anything from emailing explicit threats to posting a negative comment on someone’s Facebook page.

      But that’s not Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin’s only bad idea. It appears he’s behind another legislative proposal — one that would amend the state’s computer crime laws into something more closely resembling the catastrophic federal equivalent: the CFAA.

    • Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t got an ‘antisemitism problem’. His opponents do.

      These are extraordinary claims to level against the UK’s principal party of opposition, and they have generated an extraordinary amount of media coverage, albeit no serious investigation. The common premise underlying this torrent of articles, think-pieces and polemics – that antisemitism is a growing problem within the Labour party – is rapidly congealing into conventional wisdom. Yet this basic claim is devoid of factual basis. The allegations against Corbyn and the Labour party are underpinned by an almost comical paucity of evidence, while what evidence does exist not only fails to justify the claims being made, but has itself been systematically misrepresented. There is no grounds for supposing either that antisemitism is significant within the Labour party, or that its prevalence is increasing. But, under mounting pressure, the Labour leadership’s response to the accusations has regressed from dismissive to defensive, to the point where policy interventions from such noted antisemitism experts as Richard Angell of Progress are reportedly being treated as serious, good-faith contributions.

    • Egypt’s Dangerous Turn

      Egypt’s military regime is suppressing political opposition even more ferociously than the longtime Mubarak dictatorship while also collaborating in the strangulation of Gaza, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • FDA to Massachusetts Group Home: Stop Shocking Disabled Residents

      The government questions whether The Judge Rotenberg Center has been straight with families about the risks of its electrical shock devices and alternative treatments.

    • Bill Clinton’s Shameful Legacy on Immigration: ‘Terrible’ Laws He Signed ‘Rip Apart’ Families and Authorize Unjust Detention, Human Rights Watch Says

      Clinton-era immigration laws “have subjected hundreds of thousands of people to arbitrary detention, fast-track deportations and family separation,” Human Rights Watch says in a new report.

    • Longest-Serving GOP Speaker In History Is A Liar And Serial Child Molester, Federal Judge Says

      Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was sentenced in federal court today to 15 months in prison and a $250,000 fine, in addition to two years of supervised release, on the condition that he get treatment as a sex offender. Last year, Hastert pled guilty to breaking banking laws by making illegal withdrawals — which he then lied about to the FBI.

      Hastert took out $1.7 million in small amounts to avoid suspicion, according to the indictment, which he then used as hush money to prevent a victim of sexual abuse from going public. The victim, identified only as “Individual A” in the court papers, was a 14-year-old on Hastert’s wrestling team when Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High school in Illinois. When the allegations become public, three other victims came forward and said that they had been molested by Hastert while he was their wrestling coach. While the statute of limitations on the sexual crimes ran out long ago, the judge can take any behavior surrounding the banking crimes into account when sentencing.

    • Notorious Louisiana Prison Accuses Inmate Of ‘Defiance’ For Speaking With Reporters

      Officials at one of the United States’ most notorious prisons have reportedly punished an outspoken inmate for daring to correspond with reporters about conditions inside the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.

      William Kissinger was abruptly relocated from Angola to the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center some 70 miles south in early February, after emailing with a reporter from the New Orleans Advocate for some weeks. Prison officials say he was moved as a disciplinary action because he was guilty of “defiance” and “general prohibited behavior,” the Advocate reports — two broad and vague rules of prisoner conduct that allow officials to punish inmates for anything they decide insults staff or impedes the prison’s function.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Roku CEO Kisses Up To Comcast, Supports Opposition To Cable Set Top Box Competition

      As we’ve been discussing, the FCC is cooking up a plan to open up the closed cable set top box to third party competition. As we’ve also been pointing out, the cable industry has been throwing an absolutely epic hissy fit about this plan, given it would destroy the $21 billion in annual revenues cable operators make off of cable box rental fees. Since it can’t just admit this is all about protecting set top rental fees, the cable industry has been pushing an endless wave of editorials in newspapers and websites nationwide, claiming more set top box competition will hurt consumer privacy, increase piracy, harm diversity, and rip the very planet from its orbital axis.

    • As Broadband Usage Caps Expand, Complaints To The FCC Skyrocket

      For several years now, broadband providers have been taking full advantage of the lack of competition in the broadband market by expanding usage caps and overage fees. More recently, companies like AT&T, Comcast and Suddenlink have taken this practice one step further by charging users a $10 to $35 per month surcharge if consumers want to avoid usage caps. In other words, consumers are paying more money than ever for a service that costs less and less to provide, thanks again to limited competition in the broader broadband market.

      And while companies like Comcast have used the same approach seen in the boiling frog metaphor to slowly expand its usage cap “trials” and hope nobody notices, people are definitely noticing the rising temperatures.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Drawn Out Battle Over Genetic Resources Dampens Africa’s Hopes

      The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is the world’s most authoritative legal instrument on intellectual property. It falls under the World Trade Organisation, which sets the rules for trade between countries. The United Nations also has an agency specialising in intellectual property rights, the World Intellectual Property Organisation. The two bodies signed a cooperation agreement in 1996.

      But the trade agreement doesn’t mention traditional knowledge, let alone its association with genetic resources. The UN body, meanwhile, has been trying – unsuccessfully – to negotiate a new framework over the past 16 years. These gaps show how conventional intellectual property frameworks have neglected the knowledge that indigenous communities produce.

      [...]

      All of these examples have attracted international interest. This has prompted indigenous and local communities to spar with foreigners over the benefits that are due to them.

      In the absence of clear rules, a process called “biopiracy” has emerged. Biopirates appropriate genetic resources and their associated traditional knowledge by using patents. Sometimes these are turned into blockbuster products. Local communities don’t benefit at all.

    • Magic Leap lampoons Google Glass in patent filing

      Patent drawings are not generally a source of amusement, as artistic as they may sometimes be. Magic Leap, the fabled and secretive augmented reality start-up valued at USD 4.5 billion, however, snuck a first class nerd joke in its application US2016/0109707 published 21 April 2016 with the memorable title “combining at least one variable focus element with a plurality of stacked waveguides for augmented or virtual reality display” (and containing no less than 152 patent drawings).

    • BREAKING: House passes Defend Trade Secrets Act, next stop President Obama

      The US Senate only just unanimously passed S.1890 (see AmeriKat report here) three weeks ago. Following the Senate vote, the Obama administration called the DTSA “important protection” for American business and industries. Why is the DTSA so important? It provides trade secrets owners with the possibility of filing civil claims for trade secrets misappropriation within the federal court system (necessary given the ease and speed with which misappropriated trade secrets can cross state borders). The DTSA also provides for a seizure order to prevent the destruction or dissemination of misappropriated trade secrets. See the recent post by trade secrets expert, James Pooley.

    • US House passes trade secrets bill
    • Implementing and Interpreting the Defend Trade Secrets Act [iophk: “Microsoft, for example, defines just about everything as a trade secret, especially contracts with public entities.” Has Microsoft (along with other corporations that bought the US government) just criminalised revealing Microsoft contracts? Has Microsoft just criminalised revealing its patent racketeering deals?]

      With today’s 410-2 House vote, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) has now passed both the House and Senate and is headed to President Obama for his expected signature.[1] The DTSA amends the Economic Espionage Act to create a private civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation based upon the Congressional sense that trade secret theft exists and is harmful.[2] Trade secret misappropriation (as a civil matter) has previously been purely a matter of state law. Although there is substantial uniformity between the states,[3] there are also a number of differences and perceived procedural weaknesses.[4] The DTSA would not eliminate or preempt the various state trade secret rights but rather would operate as an additional layer of potential protection.[5] The law is designed to go into effect on its day of enactment and apply to any misappropriation that occurs on or after that date.

    • Transparency of patents on medicines and other technologies

      The Beall/Attaran paper deals specifically with the WHO Essential Medicines List (EML), and the authors might make the argument that not much is known about the patent landscape of the entire EML, per se, but that really misses the point. There are many studies and commentaries on the patent landscape for medicines that are essential, including both those on and off the WHO EML. Much of the work in publishing patent landscapes in recent years has been done by MSF, I-Mak, and the Medicines Patent Pool, as well as several academics and health NGOs. NGOs, including but not limited to KEI, have also addressed policy issues related to the transparency of patent landscapes, not only for medicines, but also in other areas, including clean energy, climate change, and standards essential patents on mobile computing devices, for example.

    • On IP Protection, USTR Finds Fault With China, India … And Switzerland? [Ed: see what else it did, bullying nations that don’t obey the demands of US corporations]

      The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) does not hesitate to add even its closest friends to its annual list of concerns about possible inadequate protection of US intellectual property rights. So this year, along with perennial listees China, India and dozens of others, vigorous IP-rights defender Switzerland makes an appearance. The annual Special 301 report was issued today, and in its press release this year, USTR also included its primary client in publishing the list – the rightsholder industry.

    • Trademarks

      • Priceline Throws A Fit And Sues USPTO For Not Granting Them Booking.com Trademark

        The Priceline Group has something of a history with intellectual property. Several years back, Jay Walker, Priceline’s founder, appeared to have transitioned to becoming a full-blown patent troll. In the year’s since, the company he once founded has been in something of a tussle with the USPTO over its attempt to register a trademark for “booking.com.” The USPTO had initially approved of the mark, before reversing its own decision only weeks later due to “booking.com” being essentially descriptive. The Priceline Group appealed, but the appeals board upheld the rejection of the mark, affirming it as being descriptive.

    • Copyrights

      • Judge: RIAA and MPAA Can’t Copy Megaupload’s Servers, Yet

        The legal battles between the RIAA, MPAA and Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload have been put on hold for another six months. Virginia District Court Judge Liam O’Grady agreed to stay the cases, but did not grant a request from the industry groups to allow them to copy Megaupload’s data which remains stored at its former hosting provider.

      • US Supreme Court debates copyright case attorneys’ fees in Kirtsaeng

        The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Susap Kirtsaeng v John Wiley, with justices appearing sceptical that prevailing defendants should be awarded fees in close cases

      • International report – Google Books project gets green light

        On April 18 2016 the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in Authors Guild v Google, thus leaving in place a lower court ruling that Google did not infringe authors’ copyrights in its project to create a searchable library of the world’s books. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit had held that Google’s project was a protected ‘fair use’ of copyrighted works.

      • Rep. Goodlatte Promises ‘Consensus’ Copyright Reform Proposals Soon

        Congress has mostly stayed away from any attempt at copyright reform since the great SOPA blackout of 2012, afraid that anything will set off the public again. However, in 2013, Copyright Register Maria Pallante called on Congress to create the “next great copyright act” designed to update copyright for the 21st century. The House Judiciary Committee has been holding hearings and roundtables every few months since then, some of which have been more encouraging than others.

04.27.16

Links 27/4/2016: A Lot About OpenStack, Vivaldi 1.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • A tech company accusing a Google-backed UK rival of copying code is now suing its customers

    London startup Yieldify has been hit with a second lawsuit from competitor Bounce Exchange, again alleging that it copied its code. The more recent suit also names some of Yieldify’s customers as defendants in the suit.

    Bounce Exchange, a New York-based company, alleges in New York and Texas court filings that it gave Yieldify executives a demonstration of its product in 2013 and that Yieldify went on to launch a very similar competing product.

  • I lived with an undercover officer – this BBC series gets it all wrong

    The TV drama is well produced but based on such an implausible premise it is misleading and inauthentic

  • Science

    • Court Smacks Down Kansas Christians for Labeling Evolution a Religion to Force School Ban

      A federal court rejected the argument from a Christian group in Kansas which said that evolution was religious “indoctrination” and should not be taught in schools.

      After the state of Kansas adopted Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in 2013, Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) argued that teaching science without a religious explanation for the creation of the universe would indoctrinate children into atheism.

      COPE said that teaching evolution took children “into the religious sphere by leading them to ask ultimate religious questions like what is the cause and nature of life and the universe—‘where do we come from?’”

    • Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg and others urge Congress to fund K-12 computer science education

      Some of the biggest names in tech and corporate America, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, have teamed up with governors and educators to ask Congress to provide $250 million in federal funding to school districts in order to give every single K-12 student in the nation an opportunity to learn how to code. On the legislative side, these tech CEOs are joined by governors from both sides, including California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R).

    • EC aims to build EUR 6.7 billion science cloud

      In 2017, the EC will make open by default all scientific data produced by future projects under the EUR 77 billion Horizon 2020 research and innovation funding programme, the Commission announced on 19 April “The benefits of open data for Europe’s science, economy and society will be enormous”, the statement quotes Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, as saying.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The U.S. Is Dropping Bombs Faster Than It Can Make Them

      Like about 90% of the news today, this would be terrific satire, if it wasn’t true.

      America is dropping so many bombs on ISIS that the country is in danger of running out.

      “We’re expending munitions faster than we can replenish them,” said Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has asked Congress to include funding for 45,000 “smart bombs” in the Defense Department’s 2017 budget. But it could take a while to rebuild the stockpile.

    • US finally acknowledging al-Qaeda factor in breakdown of Ceasefire

      One of the frustrations of following the Syria conflict from the Arabic press is that when you then turn to the English language accounts, they tend to play down the importance of al-Qaeda or the Support Front (al-Jabha al-Nusra).

      In American parlance, there have just been three sides– the regime of Bashar al-Assad, the Free Syrian Army, and Daesh (ISIS, ISIL). The Free Syrian Army is depicted as democrats deserving US support (only some of them are).

    • From Brady to MH-17, Power Defines Reality

      From the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down to Tom Brady’s NFL suspension, reality gets defined not by facts and reason but by power and propaganda, reports Robert Parry.

    • Saudia Arabia and 9/11: the Kingdom May be in For a Nasty Shock

      Foreign leaders visiting King Salman of Saudi Arabia have noticed that there is a large flower display positioned just in front of where the 80-year-old monarch sits. On closer investigation, the visitors realised that the purpose of the flowers is to conceal a computer which acts as a teleprompter, enabling the King to appear capable of carrying on a coherent conversation about important issues.

    • The Return of the Coup in Latin America

      Venezuela and Brazil are the scenes of a new form of coup d’état that would set the continent’s political calendar back to its worst times. Meanwhile, in Argentina, the brutal model for the demolition of democracy is set forward by the continental oligarchic right and the hegemonic forces of US imperialism who wish to impose their model in the region.

      As we can see in the previews that test the memory of the peoples in the continent, it is difficult to accept that the new types of coups are actually softer and more covert than those which Latin America suffered for so long.

    • ISIL Endgame: Obama to send 250 more US Troops into Syria

      That Obama is focusing on this Kurdish-Arab coalition is a further slap in the face to Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who are backing hard line far-right Salafi groups like the Freemen of Syria in the Aleppo area, who have been attacked by the Arab/Kurdish SDF, which is to their left.

    • Mexico Finds It Easier to Focus on Trump Than Its Own Failings

      During my many years as a correspondent in Mexico, some of my best reporting happened around dinner tables. So on a recent trip back, I dined with a range of old contacts to catch up on how Mexico was handling its most pressing challenges, like the 2014 student massacre in southern Mexico, which shocked the world and ignited protests across the country.

      But all anyone wanted to talk about was Donald Trump.

    • Trapped In Turkey: One Afghan Asylum Seeker’s Quest To Make A Life In The EU

      A 23-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, and an example of the collateral damage of America’s longest war, Kakar has been stuck in Turkey since March 20, waiting for human smugglers to get him to Greece. But things have recently tightened up in the Mediterranean route, with Greece even sending some asylum seekers back.

    • An open letter to Jeremy Corbyn from an Italian

      France has just sold 1 billion dollars worth of military equipment to Egypt. Prime Minister François Hollande flew there to sign the eye-watering deals. Other European nations are counting on Field Marshall Al-Sisi’s regime and Turkey to keep ISIS in check. Egypt’s help with Libya is crucial. The scenario is complex. What else can be done to do posthumous justice to the Cambridge PhD student? Not an easy one.

    • Left-wing, Antiwar Voice in Ukraine Assaulted by Rightist Extremists

      On April 22, the leader of the Union of Left Forces (Союз Лівих Сил) of Ukraine, Vasyl Volga, was attacked in Zaporizhia, southern Ukraine by ‘activists’ – extreme nationalists – of the Azov Battalion and Syla Natsii (Force of the Nation). Volga and his colleagues came to Zaporizhia to present the program of their party which fights for the cessation of war in Ukraine, the restoration of peace and integration of Donbass back into Ukraine.

      Volga and his colleagues were heading to a building in Zaporizhia to hold a press-conference. In an interview with Channel 112 television after the attack, Volga told the 112 journalist that he tried to talk to his attackers but they replied that Ukraine needs war and that they do not want politicians like Volga. One of these thugs attacked Volga from behind. Volga and his colleagues were able to escape thanks to Zaporizhia local police.

    • Meddlesome Empire: Obama and Client Britain’s EU Referendum

      Good to see that history, if it does not possess historical cunning, as Hegel rather foolishly observed, has, at the very least, some humour. US President Barack Obama has been busy making it his business to make sure that Britain remains in the European Union after the referendum elections of June. The urging has all the meaning of a Wall Street plea. If Britain leaves, there will be instability. A world of chaos will ensue.

      Obama in imperial mode has been some sight. Armed with words of condescension, he has treated Britons in a fashion they are rarely used to: being lectured as subjects in need of a good intellectual thrashing. For years, the nostalgic establishment Briton has become the supposedly sagacious backer of US power in various parts of the planet. The US has been assured that it can count on vassal insurance when Washington’s more bizarre imperial failures come to light.

    • Saudi Role Beyond the 28 Pages

      Release of the 28 secret pages from the congressional 9/11 report may be long overdue, but the depth of Saudi involvement with Islamic radicals goes much deeper, says Gareth Porter at Middle East Eye.

    • Orwell’s Ghost is Laughing

      What’s the difference between “boots on the ground” and military personnel wearing boots who are engaged in combat – and perhaps dying – on the ground? If you can answer that question convincingly, perhaps you’d like to apply for John Kirby’s job, because he’s not doing it very successfully. Kirby is the State Department spokesman who, in answer to a question from a reporter about the 250 US troops being sent to Syria, denied President Obama ever said there’d be “no boots on the ground” in Syria.

    • In Yemen, Saudi-Led Intervention Gives Rise to New Armed Religious Faction

      Thickly bearded men — some wrapped in traditional outfits, others masked — can be seen these days driving through Yemen’s central city of Taiz in pickup trucks mounted with machine guns.

      The men belong to a growing faction of Salafis, an ultra-conservative Sunni religious group. In Taiz, the Salafis were once known for being preachers in mosques and religious scholars, but now they have become the most dominant fighters among local resistance to the Shiite Houthi rebels, who ousted from power Yemen’s President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

    • The Pentagon’s Medal Inflation

      Like grade inflation in college, the Pentagon has engaged in medal inflation, diluting awards for actual heroism by proliferating ribbons for bureaucratic skills, as Chuck Spinney and James Perry Stevenson explain.

    • 9/11 Commission Didn’t Clear Saudis

      As the Obama administration belatedly weighs releasing the 28 pages on the Saudi role in 9/11, Americans should not be fooled by claims minimizing the Saudi involvement, writes 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser.

    • Justin Trudeau outrage at beheading of Philippines hostage Ridsdel

      The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned the beheading of a Canadian hostage kidnapped by Islamist militants in the Philippines.

      John Ridsdel, 68, was taken from a tourist resort with three others by the Abu Sayyaf group in September 2015.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Grauer’s Gorillas May Soon Be Extinct, Conservationists Say

      The Grauer’s gorilla, the world’s largest primate, has been a source of continual worry for conservationists for more than two decades. Longstanding conflict in the deep jungles of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo left experts with no choice but to guess at how that gorilla subspecies may be faring.

      Now, with tensions abating somewhat, researchers finally have an updated gorilla head count — one that confirms their fears. According to findings compiled by an international team of conservationists, Grauer’s gorilla populations have plummeted 77 percent over the last 20 years, with fewer than 3,800 of the animals remaining.

    • Bold Moves Block Tapajós Mega-dam and Uphold Indigenous Rights, for Now

      In the shadow of last week’s contentious vote to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s indigenous agency FUNAI and environmental agency IBAMA made unexpected, decisive rulings in defense of indigenous rights and ecological protection in the Amazon. As if pouncing on the opportunity to finally do their jobs without the overbearing interference of an embattled executive, FUNAI moved to demarcate a besieged indigenous territory while IBAMA took this cue to suspend approval of São Luiz do Tapajós, a mega-dam projected to flood it and displace its Munduruku inhabitants.

    • CNN Is More Focused On Running Fossil Fuel Ads Than It Is On Covering Major Climate Stories

      If you tuned into CNN earlier this year, when NASA And NOAA announced that 2015 was the hottest year on record, you weren’t likely to see much coverage of that announcement. In fact, you were more likely to see an ad for the fossil fuel industry than a news story on how fossil fuels are driving the planet’s warming, according to a new report.

    • Flint and America’s Corroded Trust

      It’s been the subject of protests and debates, but if anything is improving in Flint, Michigan, it’s hard for any of us on the ground to see.

      One of the city’s lead pipes has been replaced for the benefit of the press, but more than 8,000 additional service lines are likely corroded and still leaching toxic lead. It took a mom, a pediatrician, and a professor in Virginia to discover Flint’s children were being poisoned. It took cable television to get the nation to give a damn.

    • The Great Barrier Reef Won’t Survive Bleaching Events If Global Warming Continues

      The Great Barrier Reef’s coral is dying, and it may never be the same again.

      Last month, as historically high ocean temperatures bathed the waters around the Great Barrier Reef, the Australian government raised the coral bleaching threat to the highest level possible.

      On an aerial reconnaissance trip from Cairns to Papua New Guinea, researchers observed the parts of the reef that are supposed to be the most pristine and vibrant. What they saw was chilling.

    • Chernobyl at 30: Thousands Still Living in the Shadow of Nuclear Disaster

      Just this week, the Associated Press described Belarus, where 70 percent of the radioactive fallout from Chernobyl landed, as “a nation showing little regard for the potentially cancer-causing isotopes still to be found in the soil.”

    • 30 Ways Chernobyl and Dying Nuke Industry Threaten Our Survival

      April 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the catastrophic explosion at theChernobyl nuclear power plant.

      It comes as Germany, which is phasing out all its reactors, has asked Belgium to shut two of its nukes because of the threat of terrorism.

      It also comes as advancing efficiencies and plunging prices in renewable energy remind us that nukes stand in the way of solving our climate crisis.

    • What does justice for slain Honduran environmentalist Berta Cáceres mean?

      Particularly worrisome to human rights organizations was the government’s response within the first 48 hours after the murder, in which investigators allegedly tampered with the crime scene and treated COPINH members as suspects, while ignoring the escalating death threats Berta had been receiving for her opposition to Agua Zarca — a hydroelectric dam project that would have impacted communities surrounding the Gualcarque River.

    • ‘Days of Revolt’: Chris Hedges, Tim DeChristopher Discuss Far-Reaching Effects of Climate Change

      In this week’s episode of “Days of Revolt,” Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges sits down with Tim DeChristopher, founder of the Climate Disobedience Center.

      The two analyze how the industrialized world fails to significantly confront climate change, beginning with the “exercise in make-believe” that was the 2015 Paris climate conference.

    • Saudi Prince Announces Plan To Free Kingdom From Oil ‘Addiction’

      Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia — second in line behind the crown prince, and his father, King Salman. Before his father ascended the throne a year ago, Prince Mohammed began to quietly plan for his kingdom’s future with the encouragement of the late King Abdullah, according to Bloomberg. Kings and princes frequently plan for the future, but this time the House of Saud wants to be able to thrive in a low-carbon economy.

    • The Chernobyl accident in Ukraine, 30 years after

      April, 26, 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the accident in Unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which resulted in a very large release of radionuclides which were deposited over a very wide area in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in Europe and, most particularly, in Belarus, Northern Ukraine and part of Western Russia.

      Much work has been conducted immediately after the accident and in the 30 years since in order to secure the area, limit the exposure of the population, provide support and medical follow-up to those affected and study the health consequences of the accident.

    • Mitsubishi Lied About Vehicle Emissions for 25 Years

      Following VW’s smog-testing cheating scandal in September, Mitsubishi on Tuesday announced that its employees used outdated emissions testing methods outlawed in Japan on millions of vehicles sold since 1991.

      The outdated methods violated Japanese regulatory standards and provided deceptively low results for emissions measurements. The environmental impact of Mitsubishi’s decades-long deception is as of yet still undetermined.

    • “There is no doubt”: Exxon Knew CO2 Pollution Was A Global Threat By Late 1970s

      Throughout Exxon’s global operations, the company knew that CO2 was a harmful pollutant in the atmosphere years earlier than previously reported.

      DeSmog has uncovered Exxon corporate documents from the late 1970s stating unequivocally “there is no doubt” that CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels was a growing “problem” well understood within the company.

    • Exxon Knew CO2 Pollution Was A Global Threat By Late 1970s

      Throughout Exxon’s global operations, the company knew that CO2 was a harmful pollutant in the atmosphere years earlier than previously reported.

      DeSmog has uncovered Exxon corporate documents from the late 1970s stating unequivocally “there is no doubt” that CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels was a growing “problem” well understood within the company.

    • 30 Ways Chernobyl and Dying Nuke Industry Threaten Our Survival

      April 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the catastrophic explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

      It comes as Germany, which is phasing out all its reactors, has asked Belgium to shut two of its nukes because of the threat of terrorism.

      It also comes as advancing efficiencies and plunging prices in renewable energy remind us that nukes stand in the way of solving our climate crisis.

  • Finance

    • Kansas Governor Justifies Kicking 15,000 People Off Food Stamps

      For over five years now, Kansas has served as an economic policy experiment for anti-tax, small-government conservatives. Their lab work is costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars, crippling public service budgets, and making life harder for low-income families without reducing the state’s poverty rate at all.

      With his political star beginning to tarnish, Gov. Sam Brownback (R) came to Washington on Wednesday to discuss his poverty policies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. At one point, the embattled governor justified his policy of forcing people off of food stamps if they can’t find a job by likening low-income and jobless people to lazy college students.

    • ‘We’re At War’ Says Organizer Behind Education Protests Sweeping The Country

      Keron Blair will look you directly in the eye the whole time he’s talking to you, making sure you absorb every single word he’s saying. His personality seemed a bit reserved when he sat down with me at a Starbucks to discuss Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, the coalition he is director of, which been responsible for organizing and supporting school protests across the country. But when you listen to his speeches, you hear a minister’s voice.

      “Public education…could die on our watch,” Blair said at a recent event for the Milwaukee Teachers Association. “The reality is what drew me to this fight is the shared acknowledgement that we are in fact at war, and what I’ve learned about wartime is that you cannot operate with the same kind of rules. You’ve got to make some wartime adjustments.”

    • Fast Food Industry Looks To Skirt Labor Law, With An Assist From Scott Walker

      With fast food workers on the march nationwide, deep-pocketed corporate interests have quietly turned to state lawmakers for help.

      The quiet push uses low-profile legislation to shore up a liability firewall that has made it hard for workers in some industries to pursue their labor rights fully since the mid-1980s. Last month, buried in a stack of 59 different laws, Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed a bill that made Wisconsin the latest state to join the party.

      Businesses in the state that use franchising agreements to insulate corporate headquarters from legal liability down at ground level will have a slightly easier time thanks to Wisconsin Act 203. The law prohibits state labor agencies and judges from applying the same logic the federal National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has invoked in recent years to eat away at a common corporate liability shield.

    • Monster Corporate Sovereignty Ruling Against Russia Overturned By Dutch Court, But It’s Hard To Tell Whether It’s Over Yet

      By now, the theoretical risks of including corporate sovereignty chapters in TPP and TAFTA/TPP are becoming more widely known. But as Techdirt wrote back in 2014, there’s already a good example of just how bad the reality can be, in the form of the monster-sized case involving Russia. An investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunal ruled that Vladimir Putin really ought to pay $50 billion to people who were majority shareholders in the Yukos Oil Company. The Russian government didn’t agree, and so naturally took further legal action to get the ruling overturned.

    • On Revolutionary Attitude

      I am willing to predict that Cameron, Blair and Clinton all find their way on to Philip Green’s new yacht. I am willing to bet that no ex-employee of BHS ever does.

      [...]

      The truth is that there is very little hope for young people in the UK. They are saddled with massive tuition fee debt as they leave a commoditised education system in which University Principals are paid £300,000 a year plus. They move in to a market which does not provide nearly enough graduate level jobs for the number of graduates produced. Work they do find leaves them at the mercy of their employers with very few rights or benefits. They will normally live most of their lives in private sector rental, where each will be a small part of the astonishing 9 billion pounds per year the taxpayer gives to private landlords in housing benefit – yet another direct transfer by the state from ordinary people to the rich. Indeed, for a great many tenants, every penny they pay in tax goes in effect to their landlord in housing benefit.

    • UK’s Secret TTIP Assessment: No Benefits, Plenty of Risks

      The TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would have “lots of risks and no benefits” for the UK, according to a government analysis released publicly Monday through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the advocacy group Global Justice Now.

    • New York Times Finds Verizon Strike Beneath Notice

      The New York Times actually mentioned the ongoing strike against Verizon on Tuesday.

      David Wacker, a service technician with Verizon who is one of around 39,000 landline and cable employees participating in the largest U.S. strike action in four years, was quoted in an article about Bernie Sanders supporters, which noted, in a subordinate clause, that he was on strike.

      That brief reference was the first mention of the Verizon labor action on the news pages of the New York Times in a week.

      The most recent references before that also had to do with Sanders, when he visited a Verizon picket line in midtown Manhattan on April 18. Outside of those Sanders-focused stories, the New York Times hasn’t run a story on this major labor battle since its second day of action, nearly two weeks ago.

    • Did The Beatles Help Fuel The Reagan Revolution?

      Overcrowded classrooms. Crumbling bridges. Shuttered libraries. These have become our everyday realities after over a generation of tax-cutting political bravado.

      A shrinking middle class. Rising dead-end poverty. The splurges of a new super rich. These have also become the markers of our time.

    • How Bill Gates and His Billionaire Pals Used Their Enormous Wealth to Start Privatizing the Schools in Washington State

      Once upon a time, the super-wealthy endowed their tax-exempt charitable foundations and then turned them over to boards of trustees to run. The trustees would spend the earnings of the endowment to pursue a typically grand but wide-open mission written into the foundation’s charter—like the Rockefeller Foundation’s 1913 mission “to promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world.” Today’s multibillionaires are a different species of philanthropist; they keep tight control over their foundations while also operating as major political funders—think Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, or Walmart heiress Alice Walton. They aim to do good in the world, but each defines “good” idiosyncratically in terms of specific public policies and political goals. They translate their wealth, the work of their foundations, and their celebrity as doers-of-good into influence in the public sphere—much more influence than most citizens have.

      Call it charitable plutocracy—a peculiarly American phenomenon, increasingly problematic and in need of greater scrutiny. Like all forms of plutocracy, this one conflicts with democracy, and exactly how these philanthropists coordinate tax-exempt grantmaking with political funding for maximum effect remains largely obscure. What follows is a case study of the way charitable plutocracy operates on the ground. It’s a textbook example of the tug-of-war between government by the people and uber-philanthropists as social engineers.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The Trump University Fraud Case Could Become A Big Problem For Trump This Fall

      GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump may have to testify shortly before November’s election in a case accusing his now-defunct Trump University of fraud. On Tuesday, a New York judge ruled the New York Attorney General’s case against Trump University will go to trial.

      New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman first filed the lawsuit in 2013 and only recently received the go-ahead from the New York Appellate Division.

    • Here Are 10 Ways to Make Elections More Democratic

      Voter suppression is real and comes in many forms.

    • Clueless CEOs at the Top

      The Wall Street Journal recently reported that “Populist Tone Rankles America’s Executives.”

      Apparently the CEOs and board members of big American companies are “increasingly frustrated” by the anti-business rhetoric of both parties, and concerned such sentiments might translate into meaningful public policy change after the election.

      “The precipitousness of the political debate is a little scary right now,” Boeing CEO Jim McNerney told The Wall Street Journal. General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt informed investors that relations between government and big business is “the worst I have ever seen.”

    • Hillary: Wall Street’s Golden Girl

      So it’s a go for Zeus to launch the thunderbolt. Neo-Athena – minus the wisdom – Hillary Clinton, Queen of Chaos, Goddess of War, Empress of the Perma-Smirk, will finally have her shot at the U.S. presidency. After the Battle of New York, she’s on top on number of votes; number of states; number of pledged delegates; number of superdelegates.

    • Dark Money Group Tells the Government it Won’t Spend on Elections While Bragging to Donors it Will “Win Senate Seats” with “No Donor Disclosure”

      Newly-released documents expose how shadowy political operatives flaunt campaign finance law to keep donors secret – and that federal regulators are asleep at the switch.

      The Commission on Hope Growth and Opportunity (CHGO) formed in February 2010 – just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC –told the Internal Revenue Service it would not “spend any money attempting to influence” any “election.”

      Shortly after making those sworn assertions to the IRS, however, CHGO officials prepared a memo and PowerPoint slides telling donors that the group’s goal is to “win Senate seats” and to “make a measureable impact on the election outcome” but “with no donor disclosure.” Citizens United, the group told donors, “creates unprecedented opportunity.”

    • Leading Advocates of “Dark Money” Previously Supported Disclosure

      The campaign to allow money to be spent in the political system without a hint of its origin — the growing phenomenon known as dark money — racked up a major victory last week when a federal judge in Los Angeles issued a permanent injunction ending California Attorney General Kamala Harris’s attempt to obtain the donor list for Americans for Prosperity, the primary campaign and elections arm of the Koch brothers’ $889 million advocacy network.

    • Here’s What Today’s Primary Voters Think About the Planet’s Most Important Issue
    • Bernie Sanders Blames Closed Primaries As Path To The Nomination Narrows

      Sen. Bernie Sanders suffered a crushing defeat Tuesday night, losing three out of five states to Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton by significant margins at press time.

      In a speech shortly after most polls closed at 8 pm, Sanders blamed his loss on closed primaries, which barred independent voters from participating in four of five primaries. He did win Rhode Island, which allows participation by independent voters.

    • Sanders’ Choice

      Should Bernie Sanders abandon the Democratic Party, which he’s technically not a member of, and make a run of some kind either as an Independent or in amalgamation with Jill Stein and the Green Party? It’s a fair question, one many of his supporters will be asking.

    • Seymour Hersh on Sanders vs. Clinton: ‘Something Amazing Is Happening in This Country’

      Legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh weighs in on the foreign policy positions of the 2016 presidential candidates. “For me to say who I’m going to vote for and all that … I’m not a political leader, that’s not what I’m into,” Hersh says. “But I will say this: Something that’s amazing is happening in this country, and for the first time, I do think it’s going to be very hard for a lot of the people who support Sanders to support Hillary Clinton. … There’s a whole group of young people in America, across the board, all races, etc., etc., who have just had it with our system.”

    • Gutless Democrats Fear Fights: Why Triangulating Neoliberal Clintonites Back Big Business Over People

      But it’s not just that American factory workers were sold out. At the same time, professionals (the same class of people who tell us it’s inevitable) were carefully protected. “The arguments on gains from trade are the same with doctors as with textiles and steel,” Baker noted. “The reason that we import manufacturing goods and not doctors is that we designed the rules of trade that way.” Those rules made it easy to off-shore jobs, but retained obstacles to foreign professionals moving here to work. “The reason is simple,” Baker pointed out: “Doctors have more political power than autoworkers.”

    • Donald Trump Is No Match for the Cruz-Kasich Tag Team

      Don’t call it strategy, call it strategery: Ted Cruz and John Kasich are going to cooperate to deny Donald Trump the Republican nomination. Also, I don’t know, maybe a hurricane will dishevel Trump’s comb-over and reveal his bald pate, causing such mortification that he quits the race. Or maybe there will be an earthquake next week in Indiana, affecting only precincts where Trump has a lead.

    • Ted Cruz Literally Tells Transgender People They Should Only Pee At Home

      Ted Cruz’s tour de transphobia, launched last week to capitalize on Donald Trump’s criticism of North Carolina’s anti-transgender law, has embraced a new extreme position. Speaking to reporters this weekend in Indiana, he actually admitted that he doesn’t believe transgender people should be allowed to use any restroom except the ones in the privacy of their own home.

    • Cruz Reminds Us That Social Conservatism Has Roots in Prejudice

      All Cruz is really doing is reminding Americans that social conservatism was born in anti-integration politics and anti-gay hysteria.

    • Sanders Didn’t Start The Fire, So Don’t Ask Him To Put It Out

      Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign operation has been anything but subtle in suggesting that now that her win in the New York primary Tuesday has made her nomination at the Democratic convention pretty much inevitable, it’s time for the Bernie Sanders campaign to die with dignity.

      Let’s get on with the laudatory memorial service, the campaign seems to be saying, and then the estate sale, in which Sanders’ cadre of fervent and largely young supporters can be snapped up for pennies on the dollar.

      But Sanders, to the Clinton campaign’s frustration, is not bowing to this bit of conventional wisdom because the Sanders campaign is not a typical campaign. It is, to use Sanders’ oft-repeated word, a “revolution.”

    • GOP Mega-Donors Are So Frustrated by Their Failure to Buy Elections That Some Are Actually Bowing Out

      With all the talk of legalized corruption, it should be good news that money can’t always buy an election—case in point, Jeb Bush. But even months after the once “inevitable GOP frontrunner” dropped out, GOP megadonors have been actively throwing money at Trump’s opponents, without catching a break.

      “John Kasich’s campaign took in $4.5 million and his supporting super-PAC $2.8 million for the month,” The Hill reported, also stating that “Ted Cruz took in just $12.5 million in March—less than half of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton’s campaign haul.”

      Any average person would look at these numbers and think, “That’s a lot of money.” But it’s a actually not enough money.

    • Winning in Losing: How Sanders pushed Clinton to the Left

      Bernie Sanders’ path to the nomination as the Democratic Party standard bearer in 2016 was all but closed off by Clinton’s four big wins on Tuesday. His only hope had been to get close enough to her in pledged delegates to have a substantial number of super-delegates switch to him. (This kind of switch actually took place in summer of 2008 when super-delegates deserted Clinton for Obama). Sanders could not turn a string of primary wins into a victory because he went on splitting the state’s delegates with Clinton. His loss in New York was probably already fatal to his campaign, but the delegate count turned radically against him yesterday. If she can keep her super-delegates, which she now can, Clinton is only a couple hundred away from clinching the nomination (she has on the order of 2,168 with super-delegates, and just needs 2383). Even if she only gets half of California’s 475 Democratic pledged delegates, that would put her over (and she did defeat Barack Obama in California in 2008).

    • Clinton and Trump Edge Closer to Party Nominations, as Sanders Softens His Confrontational Tone

      Donald Trump moved closer to the Republican nomination on Tuesday as he swept five mid-Atlantic primaries, while Bernie Sanders slipped further behind Hillary Clinton—despite winning the smallest state, Rhode Island, and promising to keep campaigning to influence the Democratic Party’s agenda.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • What White Teachers Can Learn From Black Preachers

      Researchers have found that such mental sorting is commonplace in American classrooms and has huge impact on a student’s ability to succeed. When teachers think a student is “teachable,” he or she supports that student in hundreds of invisible ways: by giving them more time to answer questions, or through visual cues such as nodding and smiling. What’s more, new research found that when a white teacher and a black teacher evaluate the same black student, white teachers are almost 40 percent less likely to think the black student will graduate high school. That same bias often translates into a white teacher being less rigorous with the student and more prone to discipline him or her.

    • Man Sentenced To Die After ‘Expert’ Testified That Black People Are Dangerous

      After Buck was convicted of murder, his own attorneys retained a now-discredited psychologist who testified that Mr. Buck is more likely to be a danger to society in the future because he is black. This testimony then went unchallenged at a later, crucial state court proceeding even though Buck was then represented by a new lawyer. The only new claim that lawyer raised at this proceeding was “based on a non-existent provision of the penal code.”

    • As Poles shift right, democracy runs scarce

      Poland has become yet another European country to take the risky route of a nationalist policy, much to the despair of its international partners, including but not limited to the European Commission, Council of Europe and the United States.

    • Law and policy round-up: Theresa May’s call for the UK to leave the ECHR

      Theresa May, the Home Secretary, gave a speech yesterday which included a call for the United Kingdom to leave the European Convention on Human Rights.

      The speech is set out in full at ConservativeHome, and (as it appears to be a statement on behalf of her department) it is also now on the Home Office site.

      The statement is, of course, more about the politics of Brexit and succession to the Tory leadership than anything serious about law and policy. It is a sort of counter-balance to her position on the UK remaining in the European Union.

    • immigration issues

      Peter and Mickey spend the hour examining immigration issues. They speak to two undocumented young adults who arrived in the US as children. Also on the show are two immigration attorneys, who explain the Obama Administration’s DACA and DAPA actions — one of which is now before the Supreme Court — and the millions of US residents affected by them.

    • Samantha Bee on the Racist, Sexist and Historically Ignorant Responses to Harriet Tubman on the 20

      Placing one of the most important black women in American history on the 20 dollar bill hasn’t been so popular among conservatives, explains the “Full Frontal” host.

    • A Syrian constitution by August: by whom and for whom?

      This comes after the December 2015 UN Security Council Resolution endorsing the road map for the peace process in Syria, and setting a timetable for talks. Resolution 2254 already set optimistic targets including a six-month political process to arrive at an agreement on both governance arrangements and a process for drafting a new constitution – while also acknowledging “the close linkage between a ceasefire and a parallel political process”. Kerry and Lavrov’s call for a draft constitution by August seems to accelerate this already problematic and challenging timetable and raises alarm in light of recent constitutional transitions.

    • What I Told the Attorney General and the HUD Secretary About My Criminal Record

      After four decades of mass incarceration and over-criminalization in the United States, as many as 1 in 3 Americans now have some type of criminal record, and nearly half of U.S. children now have a parent with a record.

      Today, as part of the Department of Justice’s inaugural National Reentry Week, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro visited Philadelphia to hear how brushes with the criminal justice system have stood in the way of employment, housing, and more—and how people have persevered.

      Here are three stories told to Attorney General Lynch and Secretary Castro—they are representative of the experiences of millions of Americans held back by a criminal record.

    • In / Out: Which Way for the European Union?

      Egyptian Marxist and political economist, Samir Aziz on the other hand has long made known his preference for what he refers to as “convergence of diversity.” Diversity is what the left does well, so why can’t it make it work?

      Part of the problem is that we don’t have a good working definition for such a condition of diversity. Those of us who grew up in a north west European culture have been exposed to the tradition of precise and clinical thinking. We sometimes call this “clear thinking” even in the midst of muddle. This has served us well, especially in the physical world. In the social world where diversity thrives and often seems to be ahead of our particular curve its utility is less certain.

      So we are left with one of life’s old conundrums. How to do the right thing, how to do the thing right? The technocrats and many of my friends in political parties seek to eliminate risk. Others accept risk – this is not just for the entrepreneur classes – it’s part of diversity.

      In the meantime RISE – like them or loath them – goes to the electorate with a convergence of diversity working model, ready to be tested in the referendum. That’s got to be a good start.

    • More Than a Few Rogue Cops: the Disturbing History of Police in Schools

      Another week, another video of police abuse surfaces. This time the video shows San Antonio school resource officer Joshua Kehm body-slamming 12-year-old Rhodes Middle School student Janissa Valdez. Valdez was talking with another student, trying to resolve a verbal conflict between the two, when Kehm entered and attacked her. “Janissa! Janissa, you okay?” a student asked before exclaiming, “She landed on her face!” In a statement on the incident, co-director of the Advancement Project Judith Browne Davis wrote, “Once again, a video captured by a student offers a sobering reminder that we cannot entrust school police officers to intervene in school disciplinary matters that are best suited for trained educators and counselors.”

    • Four Ways To Fight For Democracy

      As we slog through another negative, money-saturated presidential campaign, Americans are doing everything they can to let their leaders know they are fed up. As if the votes for anti-establishment candidates weren’t enough to send the message, thousands of activists spent the last week in Washington and more than 1,200 were arrested in sit-ins at the Capitol.

    • Watch: Samantha Bee’s Stunning Interview with Wrongfully Accused and Tortured Former Gitmo Prisoner
    • Watch: Samantha Bee Shuts Down Conservative Whining about Tubman on the $20
    • The One-State Mirage

      The reality is that the settlers are there precisely because of a subsidy that involves American tax monies. This in turn means that, should Americans demand of their tax dollars cease being used to fund the illegal settlements, the Israelis will either have to do some serious financial restructuring or the settlers will have to move to subsidized housing inside Israel proper. Those who refuse to budge will have to do so in a Palestinian state. Think removing this subsidy is impossible? How long did it take Bill Clinton to get rid of the subsidy to poor mothers via Welfare?

    • Denying a Cadet Her Right to Wear Hijab Will Not ‘Make America Great’

      Should a Muslim woman who enrolls as a cadet at the Citadel, a public military college in South Carolina, be permitted to wear hijab with her uniform?

      One student cadet at the Citadel doesn’t think so. As The Washington Post recently reported, when Cadet Nick Pinelli found out that an incoming Muslim student had requested a religious accommodation to wear hijab, he took to his Facebook page, publicly proclaiming it “shameful that people expect to be accommodated by groups that are opposite to themselves” and calling on people to “Make America Great Again.”

    • 6 Corrupt Police Forces That Didn’t Even Pretend to Give A F

      In the last few years, there seems to have been a drastic increase of police violence plaguing the United States, as if everyone with a badge is auditioning to become Mad Max in the pending societal breakdown. However, the even more depressing truth is that things haven’t really gotten worse. Quite a few cops have been dragging their asses way over the thin blue line since time immemorial. For instance …

    • A Year After the Baltimore Uprising, the Real Work Is Just Beginning

      ONE YEAR AND one day after Freddie Gray succumbed to the spine injury he received during a 45-minute drive in a police van, the Baltimore police commissioner sat on stage before a room packed with people who had poured into the city’s streets demanding justice. On the walls, black-and-white photos of protesters reminded everyone of the rawness and emotion of Baltimore’s breaking point.

    • Jurors caught using social media could be fined up to $1,500

      Jurors who don’t obey a judge’s admonition to refrain from researching the Internet about a case or using social media during trial could be dinged up to $1,500 under proposed California legislation.

      The first-of-its-kind measure, now before the California Assembly, would give a new weapon to judges in the Golden State who can already hold misbehaving jurors in contempt. But under the new law, designed to combat mistrials, a judge would have an easier time issuing a rank-and-file citation under the proposed law instead of having to go through all of the legal fuss to charge somebody with contempt.

      Judges routinely warn jurors not to research their case or discuss it on social media. Normally, errant jurors are dismissed without any penalty, and sometimes a mistrial ensues. Under the new law, levying a fine would be as easy as issuing a traffic ticket.

      “We are all on our cellphones and iPads all the time,” the bill’s sponsor, state Assemblyman Rich Gordon, said. “The problem with that is that it can lead to a mistrial. We’ve seen that happen across the country where verdicts have been tossed out, trials have had to be redone.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • New Report Shows Which Brazilian ISPs Stand With Their Users

      We entrust our most sensitive, private, and personal information to the companies which provide us access to the Internet. Collectively, these companies are privy to the online conversations, behavior, and even the location of almost every Internet user. As this reality increasingly penetrates the Brazilian public consciousness, Brazilian Internet users are justifiably concerned about which companies are willing to take a stand for their privacy and protection of personal data. That is why InternetLab, one of the leading independent research centers on Internet policy in Brazil, has evaluated key Brazilian telecommunications companies’ policies to assess their commitment to user privacy when the government comes calling for their users’ personal data.

    • NBC Smells Cord Cutting On The Wind, Will Reduce ‘SNL’ Ad Load By 30% Next Season

      For several years now we’ve noted how instead of adapting to the cord cutting age, many in the cable and broadcast industry have responded with the not-so-ingenious approach of aggressive denial, raising rates as fast as humanly possible, and stuffing even more ads into every television hour. And when broadcasters can’t get the ads to fit, they’ll just resort to speeding up or editing programs to ensure that they’re hammering paying customers with more ads than ever. Given the rise in alternative viewing options, this obviously isn’t the most ingenious form of market adaptation.

    • FCC Green Lights ‘Crushing’ Charter Cable Mega-Merger

      When the deal is complete, two-thirds of the nation’s high-speed Internet subscribers will be under the control of just two corporations, Charter and Comcast.

    • Measurement Lab explores the current state of the Internet

      M-Lab isn’t just about open data either—it’s an open platform for a few different research projects. The one that most people know is called Network Diagnostic Test (NDT). NDT measures your Internet connection by seeing how much information it can transfer between you and a server in 10 seconds. Everything about how NDT works is published openly, and anytime someone runs an NDT test the data is published to M-Lab and available for others to study and analyze.

    • Brazilian Cybercrime Bills Threaten Open Internet for 200 Million People

      Brazilian internet freedom activists are nervous. On Wednesday, a committee in the lower house of Congress, the Câmera dos Deputados, will vote on seven proposals ostensibly created to combat cybercrime. Critics argue the combined effect will be to substantially restrict open internet in the country by peeling back the right to anonymity, and providing law enforcement with draconian powers to censor online discourse and examine citizens’ personal data without judicial oversight.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • WHO Debates Changes To Safeguards Against Undue Influence By Outside Actors [Ed: The World Health Organization has already complained about the corrupting influence of Bill Gates, who’s trying to profit from it]

      Meanwhile, some 34 civil society groups issued a letter [pdf] this week, titled, “Save the World Health Organization from the undue influence of corporations and corporate linked entities.”

    • Innovative R&D Financing Discussed At Geneva Health Forum

      Given this year’s theme for the forum of ‘Sustainable and Affordable Innovations in Healthcare’, the conference discussed innovation across a whole range of issues. This included sessions on the multi-sectoral approaches to health in the era of SDGs, in dealing with viruses such as Zika and Ebola, on health cooperatives, on the IT revolution for health, innovation solutions for migrations and health, access to innovation at scale for Universal Health Coverage, and on healthcare insurance, among many others. There were also side events on clinical trials and on the future of global public health procurement.

      At an open session on April 21, on ‘Innovation Funding for R&D and Access to Global Health’, TDR – the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases – presented the proposal for a global financial mechanism. The session’s speakers at the Geneva Health Forum included representatives from TDR, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), and the University of Geneva.

    • Irony? Publisher Celebrates IP By Revoking IP

      There’s no better way to celebrate something than by doing the opposite of it. That seems to be the message of a leading publishing company. In a campaign today to hail the virtues of intellectual property, it appears to be hoping to gain goodwill – and possibly some sales – by removing intellectual property on some of its products.

      [...]

      It provides open access to numerous – admittedly intriguing – chapters from copyrighted academic books and journals, like samplers of products for sale.

      Exceptions and limitations to copyright are a part of copyright law. But publishers have been under fire for years to make products open access in order to encourage sharing and creativity, and have had to defend the benefits to authors, research and business of copyrighting content.

    • Trademarks

      • Washington NFL Team Asks Supreme Court To Hear ‘Redskins’ Trademark Case

        On Monday, the Washington Redskins asked the Supreme Court to hear its case, which challenges the constitutionality of allowing a trademark to be barred if it “disparages” others.

      • Washington Redskins Appeal To SCOTUS On Trademark And Seek To Tie Their Case To That Of The Slants

        We’ve talked quite a bit around here about the saga of the Washington Redskins trademark cancellation. The long-held mark by the football team was cancelled after a group of Native Americans petitioned against it, claiming that the team’s name was disparaging of their people. After I, dare I say, flip-flopped from cheering on the cancellation to having the team itself change my mind with a delightfully vulgar ruling, which demonstrated that the USPTO grants all kinds of marks on “offensive” terms, the current status of the trademark remains cancelled. Well, the team has now appealed to the US Supreme Court, not only seeking to have its own case reviewed, but also seeking to tie their case to another that we’ve talked a bit about, that of the Asian music group, The Slants.

        The Slants’ case is different from the Redskins’, with the music group never getting its trademark registration, also based on the notion that its name was disparaging of the very group of people who comprised the band. An appeals court declared the refusal of the band’s trademark applications was a First Amendment violation, rightly. But the USPTO has appealed to the Supreme Court. The Redskins, meanwhile, have petitioned the Supreme Court to take the two cases in tandem, arguing that the slight differences between the two would give the court a well-rounded look at the question of whether blocking disparaging trademarks was a constitutional violation.

      • Hong Kong accepts first movement mark registration

        The Trade Marks Registry recently accepted the first movement mark for registration since the IPD published guidance two years ago. What lessons are there for applicants?

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA Says Pirate Sites Will Take Advantage of Set-Top Box Proposals

        Earlier this year the Federal Communications Commission promised to “tear down anti-competitive barriers” by opening up the set-top box market in the United States and freeing consumers from $20 billion a year in rental charges. The proposals have spooked content owners, not least the MPAA who fear that pirate sites will take the opportunity to build a “black market” business.

      • The Misguided Plan to Expand A Performers’ Veto: More “Copyright Creep” Through Policy Laundering

        A proposal to rewrite parts of copyright law being pushed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office would create new restrictions for filmmakers, journalists, and others using recordings of audiovisual performances. Against the background of the the Next Great Copyright Act lurching forward and the Copyright Office convening a new series of roundtables on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, few have noticed the USPTO push happening now. But these proposals are a classic instance of copyright creep and are dangerous for users, creators, and service providers alike.

      • Copyright Maximalists And Lobbyists Celebrate Vancouver Aquarium Censoring Critical Documentary With Copyright

        We’ve written many times about how copyright is frequently used for censorship, and just recently we wrote about law professor John Tehranian’s excellent article detailing how copyright has a free speech problem, in that people using copyright to censor has become more common and more brazen. Whenever we write this kind of thing, however, I get pushback from copyright maximalist lobbyists and lawyers, who insist that no one really wants to use copyright for censorship purposes, but merely to “protect” their works.

        I’m finding those claims difficult to square with the following story, which I only found out about because the Copyright Alliance — a front group for the big legacy entertainment companies, and put together by some well known lobbyists — tweeted out a link to a story on a blog by Hugh Stephens, entitled A Whale of a (Copyright) Tale. Stephens is a former copyright policy guy for Time Warner as well as a former diplomat, who blogs about copyright issues in Canada.

        He happily tells the tale of how the Vancouver Aquarium has successfully blocked filmmaker Gary Charbonneau, who made a documentary critical of the Aquarium’s treatment of dolphins and whales, from using clips from the Aquarium’s website. In the original version of the documentary, approximately five minutes of the hour-long film came from clips he pulled from the Aquarium’s own website. The Aquarium wanted to get the entire film blocked by the court, giving you a pretty clear vision of how they were looking to censor the film. While the courts have not gone that far, they did order Charbonneau to make a new edit and remove all of those clips.

04.26.16

Links 26/4/2016: Firefox 46.0, Thunderbird’s Stewardship

Posted in News Roundup at 5:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Why shun Linux, CM Oommen Chandy asks V S Achuthandnan

    Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has slammed opposition leader V S Achuthandnan for preaching free software on the one hand and using a product of Microsoft for his own website. The Chief Minister said though Achuthanandan had repeatedly accused Microsoft of being a global monopolist, his website has been developed using asp.net , which is a product of Microsoft.

  • Microsoft caught in Kerala’s political battle

    Continuing his attack on V S Achutanandan, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today slammed the Marxist veteran for using a product of Microsoft, which he had earlier dubbed as a “global monopoly giant”, to develop his website ahead of the May 16 assembly polls.

  • In Kerala, Chandy, Achuthanandan spar over usage of software

    Chandy has asked Achuthanandan to explain why he opted for Microsoft when it came to setting up his own website and Facebook page while he has been battling for free software (open source) all these years.

  • Desktop

    • My Linux Desktop — Hither and Yawn

      An argument has taken the form of a verbal running gun battle at our shop, depending on who’s working that day. Does training a student in the use of Linux deprive them of valuable, life-long learning opportunities? I mean, it’s hard to argue the value of being able to delve into the registry and edit the offending subkeys and values that are allowing your banking information to be spread across three continents. How are they to learn the ins and outs of virus and malware protection and for Pete’s sake, do it for the children. Make sure they learn how to use Malwarebytes. For the love of Linux, please don’t fail these kids.

    • The ‘Year of the Linux desktop’ never came, and it never will [Ed: Ignoring Chromebooks for self-fulfilling prophecies and FUD]

      Every culture has its myths and prophecies. For Linux users, it was “The Year Of The Linux Desktop.” The idea: someday in the future, likely soon, everyone is going to notice how great Linux is and just switch over, en masse.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator: Adedayo Samuel

      From my experience interviewing for jobs and to advance my career, it has been a personal desire of mine to understand the inner workings of a computer, and Linux provided a platform for doing that by having a design philosophy that doesn’t shy away from the command line so that caused me to dive right in!

      I like open source because of the free software movement (we can always do with more free software), and more importantly because such a movement is capable of inspiring an operating system like Linux which powers servers of Fortune 500 companies and services we depend on like Banks, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and my favorite mobile OS – Android.

    • Checkpoint-Restore Microconference Accepted into 2016 Linux Plumbers Conference

      This year will feature a four-fold deeper dive into checkpoint-restore technology, thanks to participation by people from a number of additional related projects! These are the OpenMPI message-passing library, Berkeley Lab Checkpoint/Restart (BLCR), and Distributed MultiThreaded CheckPointing (DMTCP) (not to be confused with TCP/IP), in addition to the Checkpoint/Restore in Userspace group that has participated in prior years.

    • Setting Up The Radeon Open Compute Platform On Linux

      Posted today to the GPUOpen blog was a guide on setting up the Radeon Open Compute Platform (ROCm) support. The RoCm 1.0 platform consists of the ROCK kernel driver, ROCR runtime, ROCT Thunk Interface, HCC compiler, LLVM-AMDGPU-Assembler-Extra, and LLVM/Clang. AMD/RTG offers the Radeon Open Compute Platform packages for Ubuntu/Debian systems as well as Fedora/RedHat distributions.

    • Many EFI Updates Prepped For Linux 4.7 Kernel

      Matt Fleming at Intel sent out the set of patches he intends to submit as the queue of EFI changes for what will become the Linux 4.7 kernel. He noted of this queue, “this is probably the biggest EFI pull ever sent, and there quite a few different topics covered.”

    • The Linux Foundation’s Jim Zemlin To Keynote ITS America 2016 San Jose Day Two “Infrastructure of Things”
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • QRegion will be iterable in Qt 5.8

        Apart from providing a non-allocating, non-throwing way to inspect a region, there are other positive effects. Because no QVector is returned that needs to be destroyed by the caller, even in projects (such as QtGui) that are compiled with exceptions disabled, porting even a few loops to the new construct saves more than 1KiB in text size on optimized GCC 5.3 Linux AMD64 builds, not to mention countless memory allocations at runtime.

      • Starting KWin/Wayland on another virtual terminal

        So far when one started KWin/Wayland on a virtual terminal it took over this virtual terminal. This made it difficult to read the debug output and even more difficult to run the complete session through gdb.

        The reason for this behavior is that KWin interacts with logind and needs to take session control on the current logind session. This is needed to have logind open the restricted device files like /dev/dri/card0 or the /dev/input/event* files.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Epiphany Browser Does Its First Development Release Towards GNOME 3.22

        GNOME’s Epiphany web-browser has done its first development release in the GNOME 3.21 series, which is culminating with the GNOME 3.22 release this September.

        Some of the changes to find with Epiphany 3.21.1 include “paste and go” support for the address bar, allow opening WebP files with the open dialog, redesigned error pages, a Duplicate Tab menu item for tabs, various fixes, updated translations, and more.

      • A GNOME Software Hackfest report

        The incarnation of GNOME Software used by endless looks pretty different from what the normal GNOME user sees, since it’s adjusted for a different audience and input method. But it looks great, and is a good example for how versatile GS already is! And for upstream GNOME, we’ve seen some pretty great mockups done by Endless too – I hope those will make it into production somehow.

      • GNOME Software Package Manager Prepares for GNOME 3.22, Gets Steam Support

        For those of you not in the loop, the GNOME Project is currently working hard on implementing new features of the upcoming GNOME 3.22 desktop environment, and they are about to seed the first development milestone.

        GNOME 3.21.1 will be the first development version towards the major GNOME 3.22 desktop environment, due for release on September 21, 2016, and it should be ready for deployments tomorrow, April 27, 2016, according to the release schedule. And, as part of this first GNOME 3.22 milestone, several core components have been updated with new features and bug fixes.

      • Google Summer of Code 2016

        Hello everyone! I am participating in the Google Summer of Code program for the second time with GNOME, this year working on Epiphany. I am one of the two students working on this product, the other person being a friend of mine. We are both excited to leave our mark with some serious contributions.

  • Distributions

    • Should beginners install Kali Linux on their computers?

      Kali Linux is bird of a slightly different feather, in terms of Linux distributions. Kali’s focus is on security and forensics, but some Linux novices have been installing it without knowing much about either thing. DistroWatch has a full review of Kali Linux 2016.1 and doesn’t think it’s really appropriate for beginners.

    • Download ready-to-use Linux virtual machines from OSBoxes

      VirtualBox is a great tool for trying out some new Linux distro, but you’ll usually have to spend a while finding a download and setting up your VM and operating system, first.

      OSBoxes.org makes life easier by providing 40+ prebuilt VirtualBox (VDI) and VMware images for Android x86, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, FreeBSD, Gentoo, Linux Mint, Remix OS, Ubuntu and many more.

    • Infographic: Which Linux Distribution Is Right For You?

      When setting up a new web server for your website, one of the most important decisions you have to consider making is which operating system you are going to use. If you’ve moved past the Windows Server versus Linux Server debate and decided to go host your website on a Linux Server, you have a whole host of distributions to chose from.

      Every Linux Distribution will have its pros and cons, and all of those pros and cons are dependent on your own needs and requirements for the project.

      In this infographic, the team at Future Hosting takes a look at three of the most popular Linux distributions to try to help you answer all of these questions while guiding you along the path to choosing the right operating system for your next website.

    • Reviews

      • elementary OS 0.3.2 “Freya” review

        The most recent version of elementary OS, codenamed Freya, was released in December 2015 and is based on Ubuntu’s 14.04 Long Term Support distribution. I downloaded the distro’s ISO from their website, for a paltry fee of $0.00, and loaded it onto a USB using Unetbootin. After the quick Unetbootin boot-up screen, I found a familiar install process. elementary’s installation process is beautiful, simple, and works. This is because the installation software, much like everything else in this distro, is based off of Ubuntu. Using the Ubuntu installer is very easy, but elementary turns it into an exercise in beauty as well. The install was quick, taking only about ten minutes to complete.

        The first thing I noticed about elementary was the dock. The dock is located at the bottom of the screen and includes the applications that the elementary team thinks you will use most. Initially included on the dock are applications for music, pictures, videos, mail, the calendar, the web browser, and the settings panel.

        The desktop environment on elementary is called Pantheon. Pantheon includes the dock at the bottom and the panel at the top. The panel at the top is a picture of sheer beauty, and I mean sheer. Where previously the panel was a solid bar at the top of the screen with text in it, it is now completely transparent. This gives the effect that the words are part of the screen. The panel includes the applications on the left, a clock in the middle, and the indicators on the right to show wi-fi, alerts, and battery life, among other things. Pantheon was overall a big hit for me, and I would love to see this desktop environment get ported over into other big distros. Unfortunately, Pantheon crashed many times during my use. Each time it automatically restarted and prompted me to send a bug report; I am disappointed by this instability.

    • New Releases

      • Black Lab Linux 7.6 Released

        Today we are releasing Black Lab Linux 7.6. Black Lab Linux 7.6 is the latest release of our stable 7.x series of OS’s. Black Lab Linux 7.6 is supported long term until April 2019.

      • Pisi-Linux-2.0-Beta-KDE5

        After the last Pisi-Linux-Alpha 7 Release, the Team has work on a lot of bug fixes, to give you a good stable beta Pisi Linux.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE to Mentor Six Google Summer of Code Students

        Google made an announcement April 22 that 1,206 students were selected for the Google Summer of Code and six of those students will be mentored through the openSUSE Project, which is one of 178 mentoring organizations in this year’s GSoC.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Verizon taps Red Hat and OpenStack for its NFV deployment
      • The great systemd bug squashing party of 2016

        After the initial ramp-up period last summer, the trend for new issues is approximately linear, with a hundred new issues opened each month. The trend for issues being closed is different: we seem to have longer and shorter periods of bugfixing activity, separated by periods where very few bugs are being closed. The final outcome is not too bad, with 265/1015 ≈ 26% issues remaining open.

      • Red Hat names telecoms VP in EMEA

        Red Hat has appointed Massimo Fatato vice president of its telecommunications business in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

        According to the company, Fatato will lead strategic development and programme execution to support Red Hat’s expansion in the telecommunications market in EMEA.

      • Red Hat Doubles Down on Cloud With OpenStack Platform 8 and Cloud Suite

        Two new products from Red Hat announced today are aimed squarely at helping enterprise clients deploy private clouds. Red Hat Cloud Suite and Red Hat OpenStack Platform 8 are each designed to offer companies a complete solution for building and deploying private clouds, the company said.

      • Verizon and NASA Double Down on Red Hat OpenStack

        The OpenStack Austin Summit gets under way today in Austin, Texas, and with it comes news of continuing momentum among some big-name organizations. Verizon is announcing a major OpenStack cloud networking milestone, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory reveals it is using Red Hat’s OpenStack Platform, and Red Hat now claims to have trained 10,000 IT professionals on OpenStack.

      • NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Powers Planetary Exploration with Red Hat OpenStack Platform
      • OpenStack and Red Hat ready for hybrid deployments | #OpenStack

        As the enterprise moves toward its digital transformation, OpenStack is becoming a key player in the arena of hybrid cloud. The changes in open-source software and the growth of OpenStack has enabled the enterprise to develop a dynamic infrastructure that will help them migrate workloads to and from the cloud, working with on-premise and with legacy systems.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora BTRFS+Snapper – The Fedora 24 Edition

          In the past I have configured my personal computers to be able to snapshot and rollback the entire system. To do this I am leveraging the BTRFS filesystem, a tool called snapper, and a patched version of Fedora’s grub2 package. The patches needed from grub2 come from the SUSE guys and are documented well in this git repo.

        • Fedora @ GNOME.Asia
        • Linux Fest North West Day 0

          We had about 250 at Fedora Game Night, gave away shirts to table winners and ran out of early sign-in badges.

        • Linux Fest North West Day -1

          If you live in the Northwest come an join all the Linux enthusiast this weekend at LinuxFest NorthWest. Seminars and Exhibits are at Bellingham Technical Collage Saturday and Sunday, and the Fedora sponsored Game Night is Friday from 6-10 at Fox Hall at the Hampton Inn. If you join us at Game Night you can get your pass early, play some board games and try out the SuperTuxKart races. At the exhibit on Saturday and Sunday you can participate in the SuperTuxKart Tournament at the Fedora booth. We could also use some help staffing the booth, contact me if you can help.

        • Going to Bitcamp 2016

          The Fedora Project attended as an event sponsor this year. At the event, we held a table in the hacker arena. The Ambassadors offered mentorship and help to Bitcamp 2016 programmers, gave away some free Fedora swag, and offered an introduction to Linux, open source, and our community. This report recollects some highlights from the event.

        • GSoC-2016
        • Data science and Fedora

          I’ve decided to use Fedora as my default GNU/Linux operating system to develop and test data science stuffs. Fedora is pretty nice because it has regular releases and includes most updated mainstream packages.

        • Crouton Fedora new version available!

          I’ve managed to clean the scripts even further, and now it is using Docker images from Koji to set itself up instead of downloading RPM’s. You save a lot of data and a lot of time. It now can install a base Fedora system in less than a minute.

        • Introducing the extra wallpapers for Fedora 24

          In the Fedora 24 alpha release, you could preview an early version of the default wallpaper for Fedora 24. Each release, the Fedora Design team collaborates with the Fedora community to release a set of 16 additional backgrounds to install and use on Fedora. The Fedora Design team takes submissions from the wider community, then votes on the top 16 to include in the next release.

        • How to create Fedora feed in Jekyll

          Across the Linux communities, there are several people that write and maintain their own blogs across all four corners of the world. From low-skills men to professionals, a lot of contents are posted everyday and informations at all levels are available on the Internet. What about to stay in touch with Fedora people that publish on the web?

        • Fedora 24 Linux Default Wallpapers Revealed, They’re Truly Gorgeous

          Fedora Project’s Sirko Kemter announced the winners of the community wallpapers that will be included in the upcoming Fedora 24 Linux operating system, due for release on June 7, 2016.

          The Fedora 24 Linux distribution is currently in heavy development, and it only saw a first Alpha release until now, unveiled at the end of last month, so it’s now time for early adopter and public beta testers to get their hands on the Beta build of the upcoming Linux kernel-based operating system sponsored by Red Hat.

          As with every new release of the Fedora Linux OS, the artwork is being tweaked, optimized, and revamped, with a new default wallpaper, as well as a brand-new set of supplemental desktop background images contributed by various members of the Fedora community as part of a well-organized contest.

        • Refreshed Look of Fedora Developer Portal

          I have just deployed a new version of Fedora Developer Portal. The most visible part is refreshed look with more uniform layout. I have also compressed all the images in titles (from ~1.2MB to ~50kB in average) – so the loading should be much faster.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache® Apex™ as a Top-Level Project
  • Apache Apex reaches top level
  • Apache Elevates Another Big Data Project to Top-Level Status

    Just last week, in conjunction with covering the Allura project, I wrote about the many projects that the Apache Software Foundation has been elevating to Top-Level Status. The organization incubates more than 350 open source projects and initiatives, and has squarely turned its focus to Big Data and developer-focused tools in recent months.

    Today, the foundation announced that Apache Apex has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP), signifying that the project’s community and products have been well-governed under the ASF’s meritocratic process and principles. Apex is a large scale, high throughput, low latency, fault tolerant, unified Big Data stream and batch processing platform for the Apache Hadoop ecosystem. Here is more on the project, and Apache’s other Big Data projects.

  • FLISoL Venezuela 2016 in Numbers

    First of all, CONGRATULATIONS to those who organized each one of the FLISoL’s that were held at Venezuela and THANK YOU to the hundreds of visitors that went to each one of those locations, without you, none of this would have been possible. From my position as National Coordinator I was able to see how 17 cities from our country joined the largest OpenSource celebration from LATAM, at large locations and small ones, with months of planning and also just days. What matters is to multiply that knowledge that can help many.

  • Ask Safia: How do I unite similar open source projects?
  • How one e-commerce giant uses microservices and open source to scale like crazy
  • 2.4 million Euros for making embedded software safe, customizable, and open source

    Nowadays microprocessors are used in thousands of items that were previously not computer-related. These are embedded inside such devices. Together with the proprietary software controlling them, they each form a so-called embedded system. Several of these are at work in an average middle-class household, hundreds in cars, and as the American multinational semiconductor company AMD concludes in its 2014 annual report: “There is significant demand [...] which address the growth of data and content in a world of 50 billion connected devices”.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 46.0 Is Ready To Ship, GTK3 Support Appears Finally Baked

        Firefox 46 won’t be formally announced until the morning, but in usual fashion the source and various platform binaries have appeared this evening.

      • Mozilla Firefox 46.0 Now Available for Download with GTK3 Integration for Linux

        Just a few moments ago, we discovered that Mozilla has uploaded the final version of the Firefox 46.0 web browser to its FTP servers, making them available for download for all supported platforms.

        The Firefox 46.0 web browser is expected to be officially unveiled by Mozilla later today, April 26, 2016, finally bringing the GTK3 integration for the GNU/Linux platform, along with improved security of the JavaScript JIT (Just In Time) compiler and support for using the Content Decryption Module (CDM) as a fallback for decoding unencrypted H.264 and AAC streams.

      • Finding a new home for Thunderbird
      • Thunderbird Evolving

        Since December, Simon has been working on a report describing the options the leaders of the Thunderbird mail client community have for hosting their project now that Mozilla is ready to take the last steps of separation they have long trailed. The report was published today and is now being considered by the Thunderbird community. While it considers a number of potential destinations, it recommends a choice between the Software Freedom Conservancy, The Document Foundation and a new, arms-length status at the Mozilla Foundation.

      • [OT but related] Why email hasn’t killed the fax

        Five years ago, I wrote a column about how the fax machine refuses to die. Five years is a long time in terms of technology, but only a short time in terms of fax machines. Depending on how you define the point of origin of the first method of distributing images or photographs over an electrical wire, the fax machine may date back to 1843.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Open365 Is An Open Source Alternative to Microsoft Office 365

      One of Microsoft’s Office 365 program chief advantages over open source alternatives is the ability to sync documents via the cloud so you can edit them everywhere. Open365 has stepped up to finally match this feature set.

      Open365 works a lot like Office 365 does. The suite builds on LibreOffice Online to let you open your documents in the browser, or use any of the client apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android to open them. Open365 also gives you 20GB of cloud-based storage to store your files on that will be synced across your devices.

    • Open365: open source Office 365 alternative

      Open365 is an open source Office 365 alternative that allows you to edit or create documents online, and to sync files with the cloud.

      The service is in beta currently but you can sign up for it already on the official website. You may use it using a web browser, download clients for Windows, Mac or Linux desktop machines, or for Android. An iOS client is in the making currently and will be made available as well soon.

      Open 365 offers two main features that you can make use of. First, it enables you to synchronize files between devices you use and the cloud.

    • The importance of the Document Liberation Project

      Today I would like to focus on a quite interesting project, even though it is rarely spoken of: The Document Liberation Project. The Document Liberation Project is LibreOffice’s sister project and is hosted inside the Document Foundation; it keeps its own distinct goals and ecosystem however. We often think of it as being overly technical to explain, as the project does not provide binaries everyone may download and install on a computer. Let’s describe in a few words what it does.

    • Tested the Libre Office software.
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU releases ethical evaluations of code-hosting services

      Today the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the GNU Project announced evaluations of several major repository-hosting services according to the standards of the GNU Ethical Criteria for Code Repositories. Released in 2015, these criteria grade code-hosting services for their commitment to user privacy and freedom. At the time of publication, Savannah and GitLab have met or surpassed the baseline standards of the criteria.

    • GNU Rates GitHub & SourceForge With “F” Ratings

      The Free Software Foundation today announced their evaluations of major code repository-hosting services per the standards of the GNU Ethical Criteria for Code Repositories.

    • guix @ Savannah: GNU Guix welcomes four students for GSoC

      All four projects sound exciting to us and we are happy to see progress on these fronts. Happy hacking!

  • Public Services/Government

    • Oettinger: ‘Open source licences should be the norm’

      Industry-friendly open source licences should become the norm for building data platforms, for the web, and for digital consumer services, says Günther Oettinger. The European Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society urges cooperation between standardisation organisations and open source communities on cloud computing services.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • 10 SQL Tricks That You Didn’t Think Were Possible

      But once your database and your application matures, you will have put all the important meta data in place and you can focus on your business logic only. The following 10 tricks show amazing functionality written in only a few lines of declarative SQL, producing simple and also complex output.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • DNA: The Long-term Data Storage Format that Will Never Go Obsolete

      At the Linux Foundation’s Vault storage conference, held last week in Raleigh, North Carolina, European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) researcher Nick Goldman talked about the feasibility of using DNA as a long-term storage format, a talk timely not only because it was at a storage conference, but also because Monday is DNA Day.

  • Hardware

    • Inside One of the World’s Most Secretive iPhone Factories

      John Sheu, known at the factory as Big John, or the Mayor, is giving the tour to a Bloomberg reporter. He’s the president of Pegatron’s facility, where as many as 50,000 people assemble iPhones. It’s his job to make sure that more time is spent making phones rather than wasting it on unproductive distractions, like roll calls and ID checks.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Eliminating malaria, once and for good

      What is an end game? In the case of malaria, the end game is at the same time obvious and enormously challenging. Obvious because the disease can be prevented (mosquito target) and treated (human target) with tools which already exist – so that it is, indeed, obvious that it can be done. Challenging because, as colleagues running national malaria programs are quick to emphasize, doing this at a national scale, given the millions of people infected, is really an uphill task. Besides the complexity of the parasite that causes malaria, the capacity of both the parasite and mosquitoes to develop resistance to widely used drugs and insecticides, the variability of the immune responses – the list goes on –, there exists an uneasy truce between the parasite and humans, developed over thousands of years. Most infections actually do not result in death, particularly in the case of adults who have some level of immunity from prior infections. If left unchecked, however, malaria has shown it can make a comeback, as it did in the 1990s, when deaths increased to about a million per year – mostly children, mostly in Africa. If merely controlled, the entire package of tools, systems and trained staff need to remain in place forever.

    • Ban on THC-Infused Gummy Bears Advances in Colorado

      The most straightforward solution to this problem, of course, is to make sure that marijuana edibles are kept away from children. If that does not happen, the fact that gummy candies are shaped like stars instead of bears is not going to make much of a difference.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Can we train our way out of security flaws?

      Just as humans are terrible drivers, we are terrible developers. We won’t fix auto safety with training any more than we will fix software security with training. Of course there are basic rules everyone needs to understand which is why some training is useful. We’re not going see any significant security improvements without some sort of new technology breakthrough. I don’t know what that is, nobody does yet. What is self driving software development going to look like?

    • Windows Security Flaw Lets Hackers Run Any App On PCs Without Admin Rights

      This Windows security flaw lets you run any app on Windows without admin rights…

    • ‘New’ Windows Security Flaw Runs Apps Without Admin Rights

      Newly discovered Windows security hole bypasses AppLocker and lets apps run without admin rights. Proof-of-concept code published.

    • HTTPS is Hard

      This blog post is the first in a regular tech series from the Yell engineering team looking at challenges they face and problems they solve across Yell’s various digital solutions.

      Here, Yell’s Head of Web Engineering, Steve Workman, looks back over Yell.com‘s seven-month transition to HTTPS, (a secure version of the HTTP protocol – which sends data between a browser and a website) to raise awareness of the issues with the move in the industry and to make the adoption process easier for other engineering teams.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Remembering Argentina’s Mothers of the Disappeared

      On April 30, 1977, Azucena Villaflor de De Vincenti and a dozen other mothers gathered in the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina’s capitol city to demand justice for their children, who had been “disappeared” by the military junta during the Dirty War period – a reign of terror that would last from 1976 to 1983, backed by the CIA.

    • World War III Has Begun

      Washington is currently conducting economic and propaganda warfare against four members of the five bloc group of countries known as BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Brazil and South Africa are being destabilized with fabricated political scandals. Both countries are rife with Washington-financed politicians and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Washington concocts a scandal, sends its political agents into action demanding action against the government and its NGOs into the streets in protests.

    • Contractor Hired Former African Child Soldiers to Guard U.S. Forces in Iraq

      A defense contractor hired mercenaries from Africa for $16 a day to guard American bases in Iraq, with one of the company’s former directors saying no checks were made on whether those hired were former child soldiers.

      The director of Aegis Defense Services between 2005 and 2015, said contractors recruited from countries such as Sierra Leone to reduce costs for the U.S. occupation in Iraq. He said none of the estimated 2,500 boys recruited from Sierra Leone were checked to see if they were former child soldiers who had been forced to fight in the country’s civil war.

    • PART 2: Seymour Hersh’s New Book Disputes U.S. Account of Bin Laden Killing

      …when he argues the official U.S. account of how bin Laden was found and killed was deceptive, and that Pakistan detained bin Laden in 2006 and kept him prisoner with the backing of Saudi Arabia. He suggests that the U.S. and Pakistan then struck a deal: The U.S. would raid bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, but make it look as if Pakistan was unaware.

    • Repeating His Own ‘Mistake,’ Obama to Send More Troops to Syria

      President Barack Obama on Monday announced plans to send up to 250 more troops to Syria to allegedly aid in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), just a day after he made emphatic statements against using ground troops to deal with the crisis there.

      The deployment will increase the U.S. troop count in Syria to 300. Obama made the announcement during a visit to Hanover, Germany, stating that the decision comes in response to Syrian fighters recently gaining back territory from the militant group.

      “Given the success, I’ve approved the deployment of up to 250 additional personnel in Syria, including special forces to keep up this momentum,” he said.

    • U.S. to Send 250 Additional Military Personnel to Syria
    • Israel Just Freed A 12-Year-Old Palestinian Girl From Prison

      The Israeli prison service released a 12-year-old girl, believed to be the youngest Palestinian female ever imprisoned, on Sunday after she confessed to planning a stabbing attack against Israelis in a West Bank settlement.

      “I am happy to be out. Prison is bad,” the girl, Dima al-Wawi told AP after her release, where she was greeted by around 80 relatives. “During my time in prison I missed my classmates and my friends and family.”

    • The Panama Papers: Laundering Havens for War Budgets (Video)

      In mid-April, economist Michael Hudson told The Real News Network that global oil and mining industries and the U.S. State Department created Panama and Liberia for the express purpose of tax evasion.

    • Turns Out Their Reassurances Were Too SWIFT

      So SWIFT had warning there were vulnerabilities in its local printer system (though it’s not clear this is the same vulnerability the Bangladesh thieves used).

      You’d think SWIFT would have made some effort when that became public to shore up vulnerabilities in the global finance system. Instead, they left themselves vulnerable to a $10 router.

    • CyberCommand Turns Its “Cyberbombs” from Assad to ISIS

      Golly, what a novel idea, hacking an adversary that relies on the Internet for its external strength? Imagine how many people we could have saved if we had done that a few years ago? And all this time CyberCom has just been sitting on its thumbs?

      Sanger suggests, of course, that CyberCom has been otherwise focused on Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, which (post-StuxNet) would be significantly an active defense. He pretends that cyber attacks have not been used in the ISIS theater at all.

      Of course they have. They’ve been going on so long they even made the Snowden leaks (as when NSA “accidentally” caused a blackout in Syria).

      But it would be inconvenient to mention attacks on Syria (as distinct from its ally Iran), I guess, because it might raise even more questions about why we’d let ISIS get strong enough, largely using the Internet, to hit two European capitals without undercutting them in the most obvious way. It all makes a lot of sense if you realize we have, at the same time, been directing those resources instead at Bashar al-Assad.

    • Pentagon Claims Coalition Civilian Bombing Death Toll 25x Smaller Than NGO Estimates in Syria and Iraq

      The military says its nearly two years of bombings against Islamic State have killed 41 civilians, but a key monitor group puts the number far higher.

    • The US Should Quit Coddling Badly-Behaving Saudi Arabia

      Yet the United States mutes its criticism of such practices because of the pervasive myth among US policymakers that the Saudis can manipulate world oil prices and that the American economy will crash if the Saudis wink and create a world price spike. Neither is true.

    • The Hell on Earth Paved by Samantha Power’s Good Intentions

      Gaddafi’s arsenals were looted by Islamists and other militants.

    • Neocons Panting for President ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis

      Thanks to Target Liberty for its diligence in “Mad Dog” spotting, we see the (former) house organ of the CIA, Time Magazine, joining the neocon cheering section behind the notion of a third party run by retired Major General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, former Commander of the US Central Command.

    • A genocide century: Armenia’s light, Turkey’s denial

      Yerevan is consumed by passionate commemoration of the end of the centennial of the Armenian genocide. What is striking is the new, humanist message.

      When the commemorations started on 24 April 2015, the slogan was “I remember and I demand”: a political message in the tradition of the century-long Armenian struggle, demanding recognition that the mass slaughter that took place during the first world war constitutes a genocide – which remains to be addressed.

      This year, the message emanating from Armenia has a significantly different tone. It is no longer angry, but serene; it is no longer about Armenians, but about humanity still struggling to cope with its own self-destruction.

    • Long Time Coming: Georgia Rises Up

      The racist protesters were outnumbered by police in over-the-top riot gear, as well as by several hundred anti-racism protesters under the auspices of Rise Up Georgia. The protesters, including about 50 Black Lives Matter activists, had carefully orchestrated the action, beginning with blocking traffic by paying $15 park entrance fees in pennies. Others took to the woods to get around police, scuffled with them or threw rocks at them; several were arrested. Using hashtags like #HeritageofHate and #‎Time2Escalate, the protesters argue against having to fight a newer, subtler racism that feels as offensive as the old explicit kind. “It’s 2016,” said Shanda Neal. “We should not be dealing with this same BS of racism and prejudice. There’s no room for it. It should just be over.” Decades ago, Georgia’s own Otis Redding sang of it: “It’s been a long, long time coming/ But I know, but I know a change is gotta come.”

    • Pages Said to Detail Saudi Arabia’s Involvement in 9/11 to be Made Public

      As Obama administration and Gulf ally try to evade accountability, 28-page document may be declassified by June

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • So We Signed the Paris Agreement. Now What?

      “I’m on the front line of the suffering” from climate change, Assaad Razzouk told me at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on Friday.

      Razzouk, the sharp-eyed CEO of Sindicatum, a sustainable energy developer based in Singapore, had just finished excoriating Wall Street for sticking its head in the sand with regards to the costly impact of climate change.

    • Civil Society Takes on the Haze Crisis in Indonesia

      The Indonesian province of Riau declared a state of emergency last month as haze from agricultural fires across Sumatra continued to envelope the region. The fires are the result of an early dry period, which comes all too quickly after last year’s extended dry season that saw agricultural fires burn over two million hectares of peatland mostly in Central Kalimantan, Riau, and South Sumatra.

    • Within One Week, Plans For Two Major Proposed Natural Gas Pipelines Are Scrapped

      It’s been a good week for anti-pipeline activists in the Northeast.

      Plans for two proposed natural gas pipelines have been scrapped within the last week — but not for the same reasons. On Wednesday, energy company Kinder Morgan halted operations on its Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, which would have carried natural gas from northeastern Pennsylvania into Massachusetts. Kinder Morgan said it wasn’t able to secure the commitments from energy customers it needed to justify building the pipeline, and said that low energy prices made it difficult for natural gas producers to commit to the pipeline.

      Then, on Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration rejected water quality permits needed to construct the Constitution Pipeline, effectively killing the project, which would have brought natural gas 124 miles from Pennsylvania to New York. New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation said in its decision to reject the permits that the pipeline would have impacted about 250 streams, “including trout spawning streams, old-growth forest, and undisturbed springs.”

    • Sea Change in Gasland? PA Primary Shaping into Fracking Referendum

      Pennsylvania Democrats will have the opportunity to choose a host of anti-fracking candidates on the states’ primary ballot on Tuesday—representing a potential sea change against the industry at the heart of the Marcellus Shale, one of the country’s largest fracking plays.

      The state is the second largest producer of natural gas in the country, after Texas. Pennsylvanians living close to wells and suffering the accompanying adverse effects on their health and land have long appealed to corporate officials and local politicians to put a stop to the controversial practice.

    • Pennsylvania Attorney General Candidate Says He’d Look Closely At Fossil Fuel Companies Like Exxon

      The day before Pennsylvania voters cast their votes in the primary election, the leading Democratic candidate for attorney general has confirmed to ThinkProgress that, if elected, he would join a growing coalition of state attorneys general in examining whether fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil have purposefully misled the public on climate change.

      “Climate change is one of our world’s most pressing issues and and I’ve made addressing it a top priority in my campaign and have pledged to hold the fracking industry accountable for violating Pennsylvania’s environmental laws,” Josh Shapiro, who according to the most recent polling from Harper Poll leads the current Democratic attorney general race by almost 20 points, told ThinkProgress via an emailed statement. “I applaud [New York Attorney General Eric] Schneiderman and the 16 other state Attorneys General who are investigating Exxon Mobil for misleading investors about climate change. As Attorney General, I will join them in looking closely at whether fossil fuel companies like Exxon Mobil have violated Pennsylvania’s laws.”

    • After Paris COP21: Top 6 Green Energy good News Stories Today

      World leaders signed the COP21 Paris climate accord on Friday, Earth Day. Whether it will be meaningful in stopping carbon dioxide emissions and emissions of other dangerous greenhouse gases that are warming our planet remains to be seen. But there is some good news on the emissions front, and new renewable energy installations are key to it.

    • Revealed: After Big Oil Pressure, EU Dropped Key Environmental Measures

      According to a 10-page letter obtained by the Guardian, the unnamed executive warned that proposed pollution cuts and a push for clean technologies “has the potential to have a massively adverse economic impact on the costs and competitiveness of European refining and petrochemical industries, and trigger a further exodus outside the EU.”

    • Despite Chernobyl, Belarus goes nuclear

      Nuclear fall-out, like carbon dioxide and other climate-changing greenhouse gases, does not respect national borders.

      On 26 April 1986 an explosion at the Chernobyl power plant, in Ukraine but only a few kilometres from the southern border of Belarus, sent clouds of radioactive dust into the atmosphere.

      It’s estimated that up to 70% of the fall-out from what rates as the world’s worst nuclear accident fell on Belarus, affecting hundreds of thousands of people.

    • Clinton Says No Thanks To Charles Koch’s Endorsement, Citing His Climate Denial
    • Why Right-Wing Oligarch Charles Koch Doesn’t Seem That Concerned About a Hillary Presidency

      How Clinton handles such endorsements, or even the occasional kind word from Charles Koch, is important. She already has a problem with perceptions. After all, she earned millions of dollars in speaking fees from strategically-situated business groups and has refused to release the transcripts of those talks. Her vote on the Iraq war in 2003 was a true and monumental misjudgment. Still, she will likely be the Democratic nominee. (And I should add that if she is the nominee, I am likely to vote for her myself).

    • Here’s what publicly owned energy would actually cost – and why the stockbrokers got it wrong

      A substantial majority of people want to see the UK’s electricity and gas services in public ownership.

    • Two Years of Tragedy in Flint

      The water in Flint, Michigan, is still unsafe to drink — two years after the crisis was set in motion. Badly needed federal assistance has been marooned by a handful of congressional Republicans. And the larger national problem of lead in too much of our drinking water is yet to be addressed.

    • ‘Catastrophic Leak’ Found at Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington State

      The amount of radioactive waste that has been leaking between the two walls of one of the underground tanks at Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State for several years grew dramatically on Sunday, April 17, with up to 13,000 liters (3,500 gallons) of new waste.

    • Australian Politician Sets Methane-Laden River on Fire to Protest Fracking

      An Australian elected official set fire to a river in Queensland this weekend in an act of protest against the coal seam gas industry, stating that fracking causes methane to seep into the river.

      In a video posted to his official Facebook page, Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham can be seen leaning over the side of an aluminum boat on the Condamine River, touching a barbecue lighter to the water and setting it instantly ablaze.

  • Finance

    • TTIP: UK Government found trade deal had ‘lots of risk and no benefit’ in its only assessment

      The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will have “few or no benefits to the UK”, according to the only official assessment of the deal commissioned by the UK Government.

      The stark warning was disclosed in response to a Freedom of Information request by anti-TTIP campaigners Global Justice Now.

      Campaigners filed a request to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills to ask what risk assessments had been made about the treaty.

    • A word-switch, not a phrase-insertion: “back of the line” is an Obama rhetorical staple

      The contention is being (seriously) made that President Obama’s use of “back of the queue” in a speech about Brexit shows that the phrase was inserted by his UK hosts. This contention rests on “queue” not being a word Americans use. They use the word “line” instead.

    • TPP Benefits the Few and Harms Many
    • TTIP is a very bad excuse to vote for Brexit

      Barack Obama’s key message to Europe’s leaders last week was “let’s speed up TTIP”. The US-EU trade deal, formally called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, has been mired in controversy on both sides of the Atlantic. The “free trade” agenda has become poison in the US primaries, forcing even pro-trade Hillary Clinton to re-examine TTIP.

      The next round of talks begin on Monday in New York and Obama is worried – unless serious progress is made in coming months, his trade legacy may be doomed. The problem for the US president is selling TTIP at the same time as trying to warn against the dangers of Brexit. This is a tough ask because TTIP has been a godsend for Brexit campaigners, who argue that the deal is a major reason to cut loose from Brussels.

      It’s true that TTIP is a symbol of all that’s wrong with Europe: dreamed up by corporate lobbyists, TTIP is less about trade and more about giving big business sweeping new powers over our society. It is a blueprint for deregulation and privatisation. As such it makes a good case for Brexit.

    • The Theory of Business Enterprise Part 2: Neoclassical Economists and Veblen

      At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution factories were owned an operated by individuals with a view to making a living. Over time the Captains of Industry (his words) built up capital and began to treat factories not as sources of livelihood but assets to be bought and sold, and operated as generators of profit from investment. As Veblen describes the activities of the businessmen, it feels like the creation of a market in plants and equipment and other rights of ownership like railroad rights-of-way and patents. The industrial processes themselves were not operated, or even necessarily understood, by the Captains. They were designed and operated by engineers, inventors and mechanics, ond operated by workers with varying degrees of skill. All of them were working to make production as simple and as useful as possible. They depended for their livelihoods on paychecks from the Captains of Industry.

    • Globo’s Billionaire Heir, João Roberto Marinho, Attacked Me in the Guardian. Here’s my Response.

      Look, João: like virtually all Brazilians, I had to battle a great deal to earn my place in life. I did not inherit a huge company and billions of dollars from my parents. The things I have had to overcome in my life are far more burdensome than your effort to discredit me with condescension, and it is thus not difficult to demonstrate that your response was filled with falsehoods.

    • John Oliver: We Have to Start Treating Puerto Rico Like an Island of American Citizens (Video)

      The “Last Week Tonight” host outlines the Puerto Rico debt crisis and calls on Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and star of the Broadway hit “Hamilton,” to explain just how dire the situation in the U.S. territory is.

    • Trump and Clinton share Delaware tax ‘loophole’ address with 285,000 firms

      1209 North Orange Street in Wilmington is a nondescript two-storey building yet is home to Apple, American Airlines, Walmart and presidential candidates

    • Apple, Twitter and Facebook under scrutiny

      Also on Tuesday, Twitter reports results. When co-founder Jack Dorsey came back to lead the company last year, he put it through the wash — laying off employees, changing the boardroom, dropping some projects and prioritising others. Turns out Twitter shrunk in the wash – in its latest financial results, Twitter revealed it lost users for the first time in its history.

    • Transforming finance can help to tackle the biggest problems of society

      Analysis by the UK housing charity Shelter recently found that since 1969, house prices for first time buyers have increased by 48 times, far out-pacing incomes which have only grown 29 times. The received wisdom is that this is a simple issue of supply and demand: build more houses and the market will sort itself out. But the truth is more complex. As a group called Positive Money has pointed out, the role played by huge increases in mortgage credit is potentially far more significant.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The Endgame of 2016′s Anti-Establishment Politics

      Will Bernie Sanders’s supporters rally behind Hillary Clinton if she gets the nomination? Likewise, if Donald Trump is denied the Republican nomination, will his supporters back whoever gets the Republican nod?

      If 2008 is any guide, the answer is unambiguously yes to both. About 90 percent of people who backed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries that year ended up supporting Barack Obama in the general election. About the same percent of Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney backers came around to supporting John McCain.

      But 2008 may not be a good guide to the 2016 election, whose most conspicuous feature is furious antipathy to the political establishment.

    • Bernie Says Hillary Will Need to Challenge Oligarchs to Get Enthusiastic Support From His Voters

      “If she continues to be a proponent of establishment politics and establishment economics … she’s not going to generate the excitement that I think we need.”

    • Missing the Biggest 2016 Story

      For one thing, journalists as a whole don’t look like the rest of America. “The typical U.S. journalist is a 41 year-old white male,” began a 2006 report by the Pew Research Center. When that report was updated in 2013, that typical journalist had become a 47 year-old white male, and the median age had risen not only at newspapers, where one might expect journalists to be aging along with their institution, but also at TV and radio stations and even online news sites.

    • Clinton’s Defense of Big Money Won’t Cut It

      Hillary Clinton’s heated defense of the money she has raised from Wall Street and other interests won’t cut it. Her protests contradict the basic case that virtually all Democrats and reformers have made for getting big money out of politics. It is vital that voters not be misled by them.

    • How the CIA Writes History

      Policy and ethics aside, I’m impressed. My attempt to write a more comprehensive history of Angleton’s mole hunt has been limited. My plans to quote Cram and Applewhite on Angleton’s legacy have been called into question. My chapter describing the human toll (and the taxpayer’s bill) for the mole hunt will have to be revised. As I write the story of one of the CIA’s most notorious characters, the agency is redacting my book, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. That’s how the CIA writes history.

    • Clintonism the Future? NYT’s Political Science Fiction

      Just before the New York primary, the New York Times (4/16/16) published an op-ed by Michael Lind called “Trumpism and Clintonism Are the Future.” It’s a good guide to how the wishful thinking of the pundit class will likely lead them to misread the clear message of the 2016 elections.

    • Pro-Israel Billionaire Haim Saban Drops $100,000 Against Donna Edwards in Maryland Senate Race

      IN THE FINAL DAYS leading up to Maryland’s Democratic voters going to the polls on Tuesday to choose their U.S. Senate nominee, Rep. Donna Edwards has been barraged by ads and mailers from the Super PAC backing her opponent, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, called the Committee for Maryland’s Progress.

      A television ad assails Edwards as “one of the least effective members of Congress,” contrasting her career with Van Hollen’s legislative record. It mentions no foreign policy issues, despite the dominant issue motivating one of the Super PAC’s largest funders.

      Recently released disclosures reveal that $100,000 — a sixth of what the Super PAC has raised —comes from a single source: a donation by pro-Israel billionaire Haim Saban.

    • Millennials Poll Shows Sanders’ Revolution Reshaping US Electorate

      Bernie Sanders is changing the face of American politics, a new poll from Harvard’s Institute of Politics suggests.

      According to the survey released Monday, Sanders remains the most popular presidential candidate for so-called millennials between the ages of 18-29, 54 percent of whom view him favorably, compared to 31 percent who harbor unfavorable views.

    • Clinton Team Cynically Exploits ‘Cyberbullying’ to Justify $1 Million Online Propaganda Push

      Friday, Clinton super PAC Correct the Record announced it was starting a million-dollar social media campaign to “push back” against online criticism of Clinton supporters and her superdelegates. It’s a plan awash in PR posture about “cyberbullying” that amounts to little more than a classic social media astroturf campaign—the likes of which we’ve seen everywhere from Russia to Mexico to the Department of Defense.

    • Sanders Still Strongest Candidate as New Poll Shows Trump and Clinton in Near-Tie

      Sanders continues to trounce Trump by double digits, 51 to 40 percent, according to the George Washington University survey

    • Final Poll Results for Pennsylvania and Maryland

      Here are the final Pollster aggregates for the Democratic primaries in Pennsylvania and Maryland, the two big states up for grabs tomorrow. If this is how things turn out, there’s really no case left to be made that Bernie Sanders has a chance to win the nomination. A few minutes ago I was watching his town hall with Chris Hayes, and it seemed like he knew it. He struck me as more subdued than usual, pumping out his standard answers sort of mechanically, rather than with any passion. He may have said “revolution” several times, but his eyes didn’t seem to agree. We’ll see.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Facebook is reportedly building a standalone camera app

      A team of Facebook engineers in London are working on a standalone camera app with a big live-streaming component, according to a report today in The Wall Street Journal. The app would open straight into a camera, as Snapchat does, to foster immediate capturing and posting of photos and videos, as well as letting users stream via Facebook Live. The app is just a prototype and the experimental effort may never see a finished public release, the report adds.

    • Facial Recognition Service Becomes a Weapon Against Russian Porn Actresses

      The developers behind “FindFace,” which uses facial recognition software to match random photographs to people’s social media pages on Vkontakte, say the service is designed to facilitate making new friends. Released in February this year, FindFace started gaining popularity in March, after a software engineer named Andrei Mima wrote about using the service to track down two women he photographed six years earlier on a street in St. Petersburg. (They’d asked him to take a picture of them, but he never got their contact information, so he wasn’t able to share it with them, at the time.)

      From the start, FindFace has raised privacy concerns. (Even in his glowing recommendation, Mima addressed fears that the service further erodes people’s freedoms in the age of the Internet.) In early April, a young artist named Egor Tsvetkov highlighted how invasive the technology can be, photographing random passengers on the St. Petersburg subway and matching the pictures to the individuals’ Vkontakte pages, using FindFace. “In theory,” Tsvetkov told RuNet Echo, this service could be used by a serial killer or a collector trying to hunt down a debtor.”

    • Kuwait to DNA Test Everyone, Including Tourists. No exceptions

      According to Traveller 24, Kuwait is going to become the first nation in the world to conduct total mandatory DNA tagging, which applies both to their own population and tourists.

      The legislation that will make DNA tagging mandatory will come in effect later this year. After that each and every person entering the country will undergo a mandatory DNA sampling. This will be done by taking samples of saliva or blood (by person’s choice). Refusing to undergo such procedure will cause “consequences” that have yet to be specified.

    • Britain’s Investigatory Powers Bill: a gift to securocrats everywhere

      Britain is responding to terror threats in ways that are likely to increase global insecurity, including in southern countries that face no major terrorist threats, like South Africa. An example of a dangerously inappropriate response is the Investigatory Powers Bill – the “Snoopers Charter”– which is passing through the British parliament at the moment.

      If passed in its current form, the bill may well give Britain’s intelligence and police agencies sweeping powers to spy on the communications of its and other countries’ citizens on vague grounds, and with inadequate oversight. It writes unprecedented new mass surveillance powers into law: powers that have been shown to have been abused.

    • Court Tells Cops They Can’t Open A Flip Phone Without A Warrant

      Lower courts appear to be taking the Supreme Court’s Riley decision seriously — give or take the occasional “there’s no Constitution at the border” decision. If the Supreme Court says there’s a warrant requirement for cell phone searches, there’s a warrant requirement for cell phone searches.

      The Central District of Illinois has just handed down a decision that makes it clear, in no uncertain terms, that any examination of a cell phone’s contents, no matter how brief, is a search covered by Riley.

      The Pekin Police Department participated in a couple of FBI-assisted controlled buys of weapons and drugs involving defendant Demontae Bell. Shortly thereafter, Bell was arrested.

    • [older] U.S. reluctant to change data pact after EU watchdogs’ concerns
    • Practical Applications For Massive Surveillance Databases: Timely Birthday Cards, Travel Diaries

      The information collected includes data that could reveal political preferences, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, memberships in associations or groups, mental/physical health along with biometric data and financial documents. With a little digging, the massive database could be used to uncover journalists’ sources and privileged communications.

    • FBI Hides Its Surveillance Techniques From Federal Prosecutors Because It’s Afraid They’ll Become Defense Lawyers

      We know the FBI isn’t willing to share its investigative techniques with judges. Or defendants. Or the general public. Or Congress. The severely restrictive NDAs it forced law enforcement agencies to sign before allowing them to obtain IMSI catchers is evidence of the FBI’s secrecy. Stingray devices were being used for at least a half-decade before information starting leaking into the public domain.

      The FBI doesn’t want to hand over details on its hacking tools. Nor does it want to discuss the specifics of the million-dollar technique that allowed it to break into a dead terrorist’s phone (which held nothing of interest).

      USA Today’s Brad Heath has obtained documents showing the FBI’s tech secrecy extends even further than its nominal opponents (judges, defense lawyers, defendants). Its secrecy even involves freezing out other players on the same team.

    • NSA Definitely Working On Maybe Telling Us How Many Americans It Spied On

      Will the NSA reveal how many Americans they spy on? Maybe! One thing is for certain, they are most definitely working very hard on it.

      This morning James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, told reporters “we are looking at several options right now, none of which are optimal.” Sounds promising!

      For years civil liberties groups like the ACLU and some senators (namely Ron Wyden D-OR) have been trying to pry this information out of Clapper to no avail. There’s a famous 2013 video of Wyden asking Clapper if the NSA spies on millions of Americans, to which Clapper replies “not wittingly.”

    • US Spy Chief Considers Disclosing Number Of Americans Surveilled Online
    • US might reveal how many Americans it caught in ‘incidental’ surveillance – spy chief
    • US weighs disclosure of number of surveilled Americans -spy chief
    • US exploring ways to disclose number of Americans caught in data grabs: spy chief
    • Spy chief appalled that Americans don’t want government snooping through correspondence
    • National Intelligence Director Answers U.S. Data Collecting Questions
    • Spies see obstacles for calculating surveillance of Americans
    • James Clapper: Snowden accelerated crypto adoption by 7 years
    • Clapper: Snowden accelerated commercial crypto by 7 years
    • James Clapper: Snowden sped up sophistication of crypto, “it’s not a good thing”
    • Another Reason to Praise Snowden: He Sped Up Encryption Development
    • Spy Chief Claims Edward Snowden Has Made It Harder To Catch Terrorists, Sped Up Rollout Of Strong Encryption
    • US Spy Chief Claims Snowden Helped ‘the Terrorists’ by Improving Technology
    • Congress demands to know how many citizens are being spied on
    • Snowden Leaks Accelerated Encryption Technology By 7 Years, US Intelligence Chief Says
    • Tracking Islamic State Plots Impeded by Encryption, Clapper Says
    • Encryption hindering efforts to stop Islamic State, intelligence director says

      [Ed: Evidence suggests that ‘successful’ terrorists never use encryption so The Liar (Clapper) must be lying again]

    • Clapper says Snowden’s leaks accelerated roll-out of strong encryption
    • Intelligence Director Clapper: Snowden Advanced Encryption Technology ‘Seven Years’
    • Snowden Leaks Advanced Encryption by 7 Years, US Spy Chief Says
    • Plaid Cymru candidate Arfon Jones defends ‘bomb’ tweet

      The Plaid Cymru police and crime commissioner candidate for north Wales said a tweet urging people to “keep GCHQ quiet” by sending emails containing the words “bomb, terrorist and Iran” was meant “in jest”.

      Arfon Jones said the comment was “banter” in response to UK government plans to extend surveillance powers.

      Mr Jones also stood by a tweet that said the “UK created ISIS”.

      He added that he did not recall using a swear word to describe David Cameron.

    • Plaid Police and Crime Commissioner candidate under fire over tweets on GCHQ and David Cameron

      A Plaid Cymru Police and Crime Commissioner candidate has been dubbed unfit to hold office by Labour and the Conservatives after it emerged he had tweeted a message calling on people to “keep GCHQ quiet” by sending emails containing the words “bomb, terrorist and Iran”.

    • NSA Failed to Fully Inform FISC Even After It Started Fact-Checking Itself

      On Friday, I described how, for four years after the FISA Court ruled that NSA couldn’t keep otherwise unlawfully collected information from a single traditional FISA order, the NSA continued to do just that with data from 702 orders.

    • On Encryption Battle, Apple Has Advocates in Ex-National Security Officials

      In their years together as top national security officials, Michael V. Hayden and Michael Chertoff were fierce advocates of using the government’s spying powers to pry into sensitive intelligence data.

      Mr. Hayden directed a secret domestic eavesdropping program at the National Security Agency that captured billions of phone records after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Mr. Chertoff pushed for additional wiretapping and surveillance powers from Congress both as a top prosecutor and as Homeland Security secretary.

    • Decrypted PGP BlackBerry Messages Helped Convict UK Gun Smugglers

      Law enforcement agencies across the world are cracking down on PGP smartphones as a means of secure communication for organised crime.

      Last week, two leading members of a UK gang, which bought the largest amount of automatic weapons into the UK mainland ever detected by police, were convicted of importation and firearms offences. The two men, Harry Shilling and Michael Defraine, used so-called PGP BlackBerrys (custom smartphones that come pre-configured with an encrypted email feature), but their messages were ultimately decrypted and used to help convict them.

    • Spy Chief Complains That Edward Snowden Sped Up Spread of Encryption By 7 Years

      THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE on Monday blamed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for advancing the development of user-friendly, widely available strong encryption.

      “As a result of the Snowden revelations, the onset of commercial encryption has accelerated by seven years,” James Clapper said during a breakfast for journalists hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

      The shortened timeline has had “a profound effect on our ability to collect, particularly against terrorists,” he said.

    • House Reps To James Clapper: No, Really, Stop Ignoring The Question And Tell Us How Many Americans Are Spied On By NSA

      Way back before Ed Snowden became a household name, Senator Ron Wyden kept pushing James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, to reveal more details on how the NSA was interpreting certain provisions in the PATRIOT Act to spy on Americans. You probably recall the infamous exchange in a 2013 Senate hearing in which Wyden asked Clapper “does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” and Clapper said “No sir… not wittingly.” Snowden himself later noted that this particular exchange was part of what inspired him to leak documents to reporters just a couple months later.

      However, that question had some history. Two years earlier, in 2011, we wrote about James Clapper’s ridiculous response to a letter from Wyden about this topic. Wyden had asked Clapper to answer some questions about NSA authorities to collect information on Americans and Clapper had refused to answer on the basis of he didn’t really want to.

      A year later, in the summer of 2012, Wyden got more explicit, saying that he would block the FISA Amendments Act until Clapper gave an estimate of how many Americans had their information sucked up by the NSA. This time, Clapper responded in December of 2012 by saying that it would be impossible to actually say how many Americans had their information scooped up by the NSA. We now know why — because six months later, Ed Snowden revealed the answer to be “basically everyone.”

    • Tech titans are busy privatising our data

      Are we facing another tech bubble? Or, to put it in Silicon Valley speak, are most unicorn startups born zombies?

      How you answer these questions depends, by and large, on where you stand on the overall health of the global economy. Some, like the prominent venture capitalist Peter Thiel, argue that virtually everything else – from publicly traded companies to houses to government bonds – is already overvalued. The options, then, are not many: either stick with liquid but low-return products such as cash – or go for illiquid but potentially extremely lucrative investments in tech startups.

    • DOJ Drops Other Big Case Over iPhone Encryption After Defendant Suddenly Remembers His Passcode

      While so much of the attention had been focused on the case in San Bernardino, where the DOJ was looking to get into Syed Farook’s iPhone, we’ve pointed out that perhaps the more interesting case was the parallel one in NY (which actually started last October), where the magistrate judge James Orenstein rejected the DOJ’s use of the All Writs Act to try to force Apple to help unlock the iPhone of Jun Feng, a guy who had already pled guilty on drug charges, but who insisted he did not recall his passcode.

      There were some oddities in the case. Feng had pled guilty and there was some issue over whether or not there was still a need to get into the iPhone. The DOJ insisted yes, because Feng’s iPhone might provide necessary evidence to find others involved in the drug ring. The other oddity: Feng’s iPhone was running iOS7. While the device itself was a newer model iPhone than the one in the Farook case, it still has an older operating system, where it was known that Apple (and others) could easily get in. So it made no sense that the FBI couldn’t get into this phone. In fact, Apple’s latest filing in the case, just over a week ago was basically along those lines, noting that the DOJ claimed Apple’s assistance was “necessary,” but that seemed unlikely.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • 10 percent of Michigan kids have parents in prison

      Michigan is among the states with the highest number of children who have a parent behind bars, according to a report released Monday.

      Some 228,000 children — one out of 10 — have had a parent incarcerated, according to Kids Count in its report “A Shared Sentence: The Devastating Toll of Parental Incarceration of Kids, Families and Communities.”

      Michigan ranked fifth in the number of kids affected in 2011-12, the latest figures available. California was first with 503,000, followed by Texas, Florida and Ohio.

    • Mexican Human Rights Defenders Say They Are Target of Smear Campaign

      On the eve of the release of a report investigating a student massacre in 2014, its authors and other human rights advocates fear an attempt to pre-empt the findings and discredit the work.

    • The Political Miseducation of DeRay Mckesson

      When it comes to changing the way we talk about race in America, Black Lives Matter has been one of the most successful political movements in the country’s recent history. At Dooby’s, Mckesson told me that the future of Black Lives Matter is one of continued coalition building, with the goal of strengthening what he calls “the inside-outside,” or the pressure placed on institutions of power from both agitators on the outside and political playmakers within.

    • My Frustrating Primary Day as a New York Poll Worker

      More than one million New York City residents participated in Tuesday’s presidential primary. I served as a poll worker on election day and it left me with many questions. Why did many would-be voters receive affidavit ballots on Tuesday? What do you do when everything breaks down at once? Once you go through this process, you have a newfound annoyance with the way New York conducts elections.

      [...]

      There is now a lot of discussion over the affidavits that many people, especially in Brooklyn, had to fill out on Tuesday. Brooklyn is not alone, and at PS 51 we saw voters who had not moved or changed parties in 10 years and were not listed in the book. We had new voters who registered properly and were not in the book. We found misspellings, birthdate issues, and we even found someone’s name backwards. When I placed a follow-up call to the Board of Elections today, I was told by a spokesperson that they do not know how many affidavit ballots they have received but they will be counted in three to four weeks. Whether an affidavit ballot is approved or not will be subject to the same database that showed the voter to be ineligible to cast a regular ballot in the first place.

      New York City voters stepped up to do their civic duty on Tuesday. They deserve an election system better than this.

    • Breivik reminds us human rights never stand alone

      Many have found a Norwegian court’s ruling that mass murderer Anders Breivik was being tortured in jail hard to swallow

    • Turkish academics go on trial for ‘terrorist propaganda’

      Four Turkish academics go on trial Friday for “terrorist propaganda” in the latest of a series of court cases that have highlighted growing restrictions on free speech under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

      Across town, journalists accused of divulging state secrets also return to court for the third hearing of their Istanbul espionage trial.

      The university scholars are being prosecuted for signing a petition along with over 1,000 colleagues and supporters denouncing the government’s military operations against Kurdish rebels in the country’s southeast.

    • Theresa May faces huge backlash over call to leave European human rights convention

      Theresa May’s call for Britain to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights would be a betrayal of the post-war generation who helped create it, human rights groups have said.

      In a speech on the EU, the Home Secretary said that the ECHR was able to “bind the hands of Parliament”, by preventing the deportation of foreign criminals, and called for Britain to stay in the EU but withdraw from the Convention.

      The comments drew immediate criticism from human rights campaigners.

    • Texas is using “Of Mice and Men” to justify executing this man. Seriously.

      Bobby James Moore has a lifelong intellectual disability, yet he sits on Texas’s death row because the courts there used John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” to decide his fate.

      That’s right—the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals went with a fictional novel over science and medicine to measure Bobby’s severe mental limitations. The justices heard a vast body of evidence demonstrating these limitations, which meet the widely accepted scientific standards for defining intellectual disability. Then they rejected it all according to seven wildly unscientific factors for measuring intellectual disability, drawn in large part from the fictional character Lennie Small. Bobby was no Lennie, they concluded, ruling that his disability wasn’t extreme enough to exempt him from the death penalty. On Friday, the Supreme Court will decide whether to take Bobby’s case.

    • What’s Driving Religious Discrimination at the Alabama DMV?

      I am a Christian woman who follows the Biblical instruction on headscarves, and the state of Alabama should respect that.

      I have always been a spiritual being. Even as a young child I would spend countless hours delving into the tattered pages of my Bible. Though I often have failed, I have tried to remain obedient to God and his Word. But last December, at the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles, my faith was tested in a way that was humiliating and demeaning.

      In accordance with my Christian faith, I cover my hair with a headscarf, but the DMV refused to take my driver’s license photo unless I removed it. The DMV officials said only Muslims were allowed to keep their headscarves on for photos. I didn’t know what to do. Without question, I believe that Muslim women should not have to violate their faith just to take a driver’s license photo, but neither should Christian women.

    • Independent Investigators Leave Mexico Without Solving the Case Of 43 Disappeared Students
    • ‘Illegal, Immoral, A Slap in the Face’: Experts Blast Mexico over Missing Students

      A scathing report issued Sunday accuses the Mexican government of stonewalling an international probe into the disappearance of 43 students in September 2014, and Mexican police of torturing suspects in the case.

      The 608-page report from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights—the fruit of an oft-obstructed, year-long investigation—was unveiled “at an emotional press conference on Sunday attended by some of the relatives of the missing students,” according to VICE.

      No high-ranking government officials showed up.

    • The Tories Are Disgusting

      Basic human rights are under greater attack in the UK than in any other member state. We have more communications surveillance, more video surveillance, more organised government informers under “Prevent” and more secret police per head of population than either Russia or Turkey.

      It is therefore not surprising that it is in the UK that the responsible Minister – Theresa May – is today calling for the UK to leave the European Convention of Human Rights. It is indeed complete affirmation of the truth of what I have been saying about the police state the UK has become.

    • Obama is Wrong about Social Movements and Activists

      President Obama is on his farewell tour. Speaking to a young, university audience in London while trying to drum up some support for Britain to stay in the European Union, he offered what has to be seen as totally gratuitous advice to them – and of course all of the rest of us – about what he sees as the proper, underline “proper,” role for social movements and activists.

    • The Tory ‘remain’ strategy is based on fear and selfishness

      PM David Cameron and other prominent politicians campaign for a Remain vote. Stefan Rousseau/PA images. All rights reserved.As confirmed a Remainer I watched with some dismay Chancellor George Osborne’s high-profile defence of British membership in the European Union. The alleged crushing monetary cost of Brexit constituted the central message delivered in his performance in Bristol at the National Composite Centre (who thinks up these names?).

      For progressives – and any open-minded voter — the problems with Mr Osborne’s championing of the EU cause were 1) the Treasury cost estimates are dubious to the point of absurd, 2) the Osborne argument seeks to inspire fear by appealing to narrow self-interest, and 3) for reactionary political reasons the central benefits of the EU were ignored.

    • Donald Trump Once Again Fearmongers About Muslims

      During a Monday afternoon rally in Warwick, Rhode Island, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump warned Ocean State residents to “lock your doors” because Syrian refugees, some of whom he thinks might be associated with ISIS, are being resettled in the state.

      While reading off Rhode Island factoids from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Trump said, “Here’s one I don’t like… Syrian refugees are now being resettled in Rhode Island.” The audience responded with loud boos.

    • An Obscure GOP Rule Aimed at Stopping Insurgents Is Helping Donald Trump
    • Illinois Police Department Pulls Plug On Body Cameras Because Accountability Is ‘A Bit Burdensome’

      Police body cameras aren’t the cure-all for bad policing. However, they are an important addition to any force, providing not only a means for accountability (albeit an imperfect one) but also documentation of day-to-day police work. They can help weed out those who shouldn’t be cops as well as protect officers from bogus complaints.

      It’s not enough to just have the cameras, though. Effort must be made to keep them in working order (and to prevent intentional damage/disabling). The footage must also be preserved and provided to the public when requested. This does mean there’s additional workload and expenses to be considered, but the potential benefits of increased documentation should outweigh the drawbacks.

    • Cleveland To Shell Out Millions For Tamir Rice’s Death
    • “No Such Thing as Closure”: Tamir Rice’s Family Settles for $6M with Cleveland
    • Tamir Rice’s Family Should Spend Money Warning of Toy Guns, Say Cops Who Shot Him With Real One

      The City of Cleveland announced on Monday that it will pay $6 million to settle a lawsuit by the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was tragically killed by police officers in 2014 while holding a toy gun.

      The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association released a statement responding to the settlement. Rather than acknowledging any error on the police’s part, the association suggested that the Rice family use the funds to “educate the youth of Cleveland in the dangers associated with the mishandling of both real and facsimile firearms.”

    • Even As Cleveland Pays $6 Million Over Tamir Rice Killing, Police Union Can’t Resist Victim-Blaming

      Hours after the city of Cleveland revealed it will pay $6 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit brought by relatives of slain 12-year-old Tamir Rice, the labor group that represents the police officers who killed Rice sought to remind the world that the boy brought this on himself.

      “We can only hope the Rice family and their attorneys will use a portion of this settlement to help educate the youth of Cleveland in the dangers associated with the mishandling of both real and facsimile firearms,” Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association (CPPA) President Stephen Loomis said in a statement.

    • Democratic Hope in New York

      We face a crisis in this country: A majority of young Americans have lost faith in our government. According to a 2015 Harvard poll, only 17% of 18-29 year olds trust Congress as an institution.

      Having spent three years as a student organizer, I’ve witnessed this political distrust first hand. Many young people view Congress as an auction house, in which politicians are bought via political donation. Given our dysfunctional campaign finance and lobbying systems, none of this should come as a surprise. Indeed, most Americans of all ages believe politicians are more responsive to large donors than their constituents.

    • 8 States Still Have Holidays Celebrating The Confederacy

      Over 150 years ago, the state of Alabama took up arms against the United States in order to defend the state’s practice of enslaving black people and forcing them to work to enrich white property owners. Today, the state celebrates its four years of treason in defense of slavery with a statewide holiday.

      Under Alabama law, the fourth Monday in April is “Confederate Memorial Day” — and this is actually one of two Confederate-themed holidays celebrated by the state. State law also recognizes the first Monday in January as a celebration of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s birthday. State offices, courts, and licensing offices are all closed on Monday because of the state holiday.

    • Psychologists Who Designed the CIA Torture Program Can Be Sued by Victims, Federal Judge Rules

      For the first time, a federal judge is allowing torture victims to sue the psychologists who devised the CIA’s brutal interrogation methods that included sleep deprivation, starvation and forcing captives into coffin-like boxes.

    • Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood most popular leader in Wales, says poll

      Poll suggests Welsh nationalists could become second biggest party ahead of Tories in next week’s assembly election

    • Protests in motion: When films inspire rights’ movements

      Films, like every kind of art, are often made purely for cinema’s sake – but sometimes they aren’t. Some of the most iconic recent films have actually played a major role in inspiring rights’ movements and protests around the world.

      Ten Years, recipient of Hong Kong’s best film award on 3 April 2016, is just one of the latest examples of how cinema can side up with rights: films have often given protests momentum and a cultural reference.

      Sometimes, directors have spoken out publicly in favour of protests; other times the films themselves have documented political abuses. In other cases, protesters and activists have given a film a new life, turning it into an icon for their protests on social media even against the directors’ original ideas.

    • Internet Protections Enshrined In Brazil’s Marco Civil Framework Under Threat From New Laws

      Clearly, if these bills pass in their present form, they will nullify many of the safeguards found in the Marco Civil. The key vote is expected to take place on April 27, and the EFF has a page where you can ask Brazilian lawmakers to reject the proposals. There is also a joint statement to the Brazilian congress, which companies active in the country are invited to sign.

    • Oklahoma Is About to Enact a Bill That Would Jail Abortion Providers

      In the most draconian statewide anti-abortion measure yet, the Oklahoma state House of Representatives approved a state Senate bill last week that could make nearly all abortions in the state illegal and jail doctors who provide the procedure.

      The measure, SB 1522, would make it a felony to perform an abortion, with no exceptions for a woman’s health. The minimum punishment for those who do so would be one year in prison. If it is discovered that they have provided an abortion, doctors would be stripped of their state medical licenses. The only exception to these rules would be abortions to save the life of the mother, and the bill makes clear that the threat of suicide by a woman seeking an abortion doesn’t fulfill the “life” requirement. The bill is now with Gov. Mary Fallin. It’s unclear if she will sign it, though historically she has supported anti-abortion legislation.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Comcast Preventing Customers From Accessing Starz Streaming App, Can Only Offer Flimsy Reasons Why

      Last year, we noted that Comcast was refusing to let the company’s customers access HBO’s streaming video service on certain platforms. In order to watch a service like HBO Go on your Roku or, say, gaming console, you need to log in using your cable credentials, as with most “TV Everywhere” type services. Most cable operators had no problem quickly enabling this authentication, but when it came to say — HBO Go on Roku or the Playstation 3 or 4, Comcast refused to let the services work. Why? If users can’t access this content via a third-party app, they’re more likely to watch the content on Comcast’s own apps, devices, and services.

    • FCC To Ban Charter Communications From Imposing Usage Caps If It Wants Merger Approval

      If you recall, the FCC and DOJ blocked Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable, in large part because of the sheer volume of nonsensical benefits Comcast tried to claim the deal would bring consumers. When Charter Communications subsequently announced its own acquisition of the company, it decided to take a different tack; most notably by taking a more congenial tone with regulators, dialing back the tone-deaf rhetoric and astroturf, and even hiring long-time net neutrality and consumer advocate Marvin Ammori to help seal the deal.

      And it’s now apparent that Charter’s approach paid off. After months of meetings with regulators, both the FCC and the DOJ have announced they intend to approve the deal — with a few conditions. After Bloomberg leaked word of the looming approval, FCC boss Tom Wheeler issued a statement saying (pdf) that most of the conditions being attached to the deal will focus on preventing Charter from harming Internet video competitors.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • MPP Amends HIV Licensing Agreement To Cover More Countries

      The Medicines Patent Pool announced today that its current licensing agreement with ViiV Healthcare for a new antiretroviral drug will be extended to all lower middle-income countries.

      According to an MPP press release, this decision to amend the agreement allows generic dolutegravir distribution in four countries with patents that were not covered in the initial agreement: Armenia, Moldova, Morocco and Ukraine. These were the last lower middle-income countries remaining uncovered, it said.

    • Own name defence narrowed in Europe

      The recently introduced EU trade mark reforms limit the scope of the own name defence. James Whymark and Rachel Boakes explain why the change was introduced, and ask if it is really necessary

    • Federal Cause of Action for Trade Secret Misappropriation

      Nothing is likely to deter the DTSA from passing on Wednesday. The House Leadership is not permitting further amendments prior to the vote and no strong opposition has been voiced other than a group of law professors. States-rights activists have not suggested any reason why the traditional state-law-tort should not also be a federal cause of action.

    • World IP Day – Anne Frank & Geo-blocking Special

      The case highlights the curious lack of copyright harmonisation across the EU, which goes against the single-market premise. Under a single market, capital, goods and services are freely able to move. This freedom stems requires moving towards harmonisation in domestic regulations, lower barriers to trade and reduced restrictions on labour mobility, among others. The goal is to create a trade bloc which functions more like a single European economy, rather than a collection of smaller economies. In theory, this creates a stronger economy that is able to compete internationally with other large economies such as the U.S. and China. In practice, well, geo-blocking is only one example of a number of contentious issues.

    • Trademarks

      • Courts clarify OEM trade mark infringement

        Original equipment manufacturing for export raises several potential trade mark issues in China. Matthew Murphy, Yu Du and Joyce Chng examine the impact of the recent Pretul and Dong Feng cases

      • How to protect your brand when your endorser goes rogue

        Sports sponsorship is big business, and can bring benefits to both the brand owner and the endorser. Nisha Kumar discusses how you can minimise the damage when things go wrong

      • Court Dismisses Trademark Suit Brought By Racetracks Against Gaming Company Referencing Historical Races

        We don’t see nearly enough good trademark rulings, especially concerning Fair Use, that it’s worthwhile in highlighting those that do occur. A nice recent example of this is a court tossing a trademark action started by several horse racing tracks against a gambling gaming company over the latter’s use of track names. To get just a bit of background on this, Encore Racing Based Games makes electronic gambling games, including video slots and video poker. You see these types of machines in bars and restaurants wherever this type of gaming has become legal. But they also make a more innovative type of game in which players are presented with historical races and given the option to bet on them in a parimutuel fashion. The results, as best as I can tell, are based on the real-world outcomes of what I assume are obscure enough races that people aren’t able to simply look up the results on their smartphones in whatever the allotted time is that they’re given. Those results and races, naturally, include the names of the venues in which they were run.

    • Copyrights

      • Kim Dotcom and MEGA Ratchet Up War of Words

        Kim Dotcom and the site he founded, MEGA, appear to be at war. After Dotcom warned users to back up their files last week, MEGA hit back with an attack on the entrepreneur’s business plans, noting that his MegaNet project has failed to materialize. Unfazed, Dotcom says MEGA is losing a million dollars per month.

      • Pacemakers and Piracy: The Unintended Consequences of the DMCA for Medical Implants

        As networked computers disappear into our bodies, working their way into hearing aids, pacemakers, and prostheses, information security has never been more urgent — or personal. A networked body needs its computers to work well, and fail even better.

        Graceful failure is the design goal of all critical systems. Nothing will ever work perfectly, so when things go wrong, you want to be sure that the damage is contained, and that the public has a chance to learn from past mistakes.

        That’s why EFF has just filed comments with the FDA in an open docket on cyber-security guidelines for medical systems, letting the agency know about the obstacles that a species of copyright law — yes, copyright law! — has put in the way of medical safety.

04.25.16

Links 25/4/2016: Kodi 16.1, OpenStack Summit

Posted in News Roundup at 5:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Running Windows on System76

      By tonight, this laptop’s time as a Windows only machine will be over. As soon as I finish writing this, I plan to print a file copy of my return, which got mailed before last Monday’s deadline by the way, and also save a copy of the file that Tax Act created to a USB drive so I can move it to our desktop for safekeeping. Then I’ll be downloading the recently released Xubuntu 16.04 for a review, partitioning the hard drive to save Windows for next year’s taxes and then seeing what our new laptop can do running a real operating system.

  • Server

    • Debunked! The CIA-Docker connection

      Some readers may have been alarmed to also learn that one of the companies that presented at a summit sponsored by In-Q-Tel was Docker. But Docker’s involvement with In-Q-Tel appears limited to a government support contract for its software — a wholly uncontroversial connection between Docker and the spy agency.

  • Kernel Space

    • Inside The Mind Of Linus Torvalds — Open Source, Linux, And Power Of Code

      Linus could be very easily regarded as one of the most influential peoples of last century who created a software that serves as the foundation of the 21st-century computing. Notably, he changes the technology twice — first with the Linux kernel, and again with Git, the source code management system being used all over the world by developers to maintain their code.

    • Kernel 4.4.8 Has Been Released
    • Linus Torvalds Announces Linux Kernel 4.6 RC5, Final Release Lands Mid-May

      Just a few moments ago, April 24, Linus Torvalds made his regular Sunday announcement about the next RC (Release Candidate) build of the upcoming Linux 4.6 kernel.

      Things are looking great and safe for the development cycle of Linux kernel 4.6, and while this fifth RC build is considerably bigger than the previous one, it still remains in the normal range, at least as Linus Torvalds sees it, and Linux 4.6 might just be one of those rare releases to not even get a seventh RC.

      “If things continue this way, this might be one of those rare releases that don’t even get to rc7. At least that’s how it feels now, although to be honest I suspect that even if things continue this calm I’d do the normal rc7 just because there’s no particular hurry or reason not to,” said Linus Torvalds in today’s announcement.

    • Linux 4.6-rc5 Is Another Fairly Calm Weekly Kernel Update
    • Linux 4.6 rc5
    • Kernel 4.2.8 CKT8 Has Been Released
    • /dev/random – a new approach

      The venerable Linux /dev/random served users of cryptographic mechanisms well for a long time. Its behavior is well understood to deliver entropic data. In the last years, however, the Linux /dev/random showed signs of age where it has challenges to cope with modern computing environments ranging from tiny embedded systems, over new hardware resources such as SSDs, up to massive parallel systems as well as virtualized environments.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Reordering a Qt Quick ListView via drag’n’drop

        It is common in user interfaces to provide the user with a list of elements which can be reordered by dragging them around. Displaying a list of elements with Qt Quick is easy, thanks to the ListView component. Giving the user the ability to reorder them is less straightforward. This 3 article series presents one approach to implementing this.

      • A note to those who test kde apps building them from sources
      • Google Summer of Code,2016

        So, finally, the wait is over. The result of GSoC selections is out and Voila! my proposal has been accepted and is now a GSoC project. I would like to thank KDE community, my mentor, and co-mentors for their support and giving me an opportunity to be a part of this programme. I will be working on the project LabPlot (KDEdu) which is a KDE-application for interactive graphing and analysis of scientific data. LabPlot provides an easy way to create, manage and edit plots.

      • open365, let’s declare war at Google and Microsoft

        Open365 is a public and/or private cloud designed to compete with the likes of Google Drive or Office365 by leveraging all the best free software out there.

        The service is designed to scale horizontally as well as to be resilient to components crashing or going crazy. In order to achieve this we have implemented a microservice architecure that communicate using a bus (rabbitmq) plus some other tricks so we can scale using commodity hardware horizontally. Nothing fancy, nothing revolutionary but it had to be done :)

        Finally, we’ve integrated under the same system very well know software solutions for File sinchronization, PIM (Email, calendar,contacts…) and office.

        Specifically

        Seafile
        Kontact
        Libreoffice

        For the last two, we re using SPICE and our HTML5/Javascript client to run those applications in the server and send only the interface to the Web browser in a really efficient way.

      • clazy: Suppressing warnings
      • Summer Is Coming

        First, we managed to kill of projects.kde.org for good. It used to run ChiliProject – which has been discontinued and no longer provides security updates – and used to be a constant source of headaches for the syasadmins, with the seemingly endless HTTP 500 ISEs we’d generate. After it went down in the middle of CKI – and resulted in a few embarrassing moments in the middle of talks – we decided it had to go.

      • Interview with Tomáš Marek

        I’m a GNU/Linux user and when I wanted to paint I always had to reboot to Windows to use Photoshop for painting, so with Krita I don’t have to use Windows at all.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Cinnamon 3.0 Desktop Primed For Release

        The GNOME3-forked Cinnamon Desktop is ready for its 3.0 milestone.

        Linux Mint lead developer Clement Lefebvre has tagged version 3.0 of Cinnamon within their official Git repository on GitHub. Cinnamon 3.0.0 succeeds Cinnamon 2.8 and adds an option for showing/hiding the favorite box in the menu applet, new default application buttons, changes to the sound settings, effects on dialogs and menus are enabled by default, power setting improvements, and many bug fixes.

      • Cinnamon 3.0 Desktop Environment Tagged for Linux Mint 18, Here’s What’s New

        Linux Mint project leader and Cinnamon lead developer Clement Lefebvre has tagged the Cinnamon 3.0.0 desktop environment as ready for release on the project’s GitHub page.

        Therefore, we’re happy to inform you today, April 25, 2016, that the development cycle of the Cinnamon 3.0.0 desktop environment has ended, and it should hit the stable repositories of various GNU/Linux operating systems, such as Arch Linux, in the coming days.

        Cinnamon 3.0 has been tagged as ready for deployment in the upcoming Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” distribution, which should hit the streets this summer, sometimes around June or July, but we should be able to get an early taste in the coming weeks as the developers will announce the RC (Release Candidate) version.

  • Distributions

    • This Week In Solus – Install #27

      Welcome to the 27th installation of This Week in Solus and one I’m happy to say is actually being written and published on schedule.

    • Kali

      • Kali Linux 2016.1

        Kali Linux Kali Linux, which was formally known as BackTrack, is a forensic and security-focused distribution based on Debian’s Testing branch. Kali Linux is designed with penetration testing, data recovery and threat detection in mind. The project switched over to a rolling release model earlier this year in an effort to provide more up to date security utilities to the distribution’s users.

        I have been finding a lot of posts about Kali Linux from Linux newcomers on various forums and social media recently and this surprised me. Kali Linux is not marketed toward novice users, in fact the distribution has a fairly narrow focus (security, forensics and penetration testing) so I was eager to experiment with the distribution and see if I could find out why so many newcomers to Linux have been installing Kali as their first GNU/Linux distribution.

        Kali Linux is available in two editions, with each edition available in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds. The main (or full) edition ships with the GNOME desktop and a large suite of security tools. The Light edition features fewer tools and the Xfce desktop. There is also an ARM port of Kali Linux. The 64-bit build of the main edition is 2.7GB in size and this is the ISO I downloaded for the purposes of my trial.

      • Kali Sana New Look & Features – Cyber Security OS
    • New Releases

      • Solus 1.2 Linux Operating System Is Coming in May with Multilib Support

        Josh Strobl from the Solus Project published earlier today, April 24, 2016, the twenty-seventh installment of the weekly “This Week In Solus” newsletter to inform the community about the latest news from the Solus OS land.

        This week’s newsletter reminds us that the second point release of the GNU/Linux operating system, Solus 1.2, is coming next month, in May, with multilib support, updated packages, and latest security patches.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Evangelizing open source: Interview with OSCON speaker Gabrielle Crevecoeur

      A recent graduate of Florida State University, Gabrielle Crevecoeur is a technical evangelist at Microsoft specializing in open source development. She will be speaking at OSCON about how to run the Johnny-Five Javascript framework on Arduino and have it sing Frozen’s hit song Let It Go. So, I caught up with her to ask some questions before her talk.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google open sources Chromium browser bug tracker

        Chrome is a proprietary software application development product… and Chromium is open source. Google draws its source code for Chrome from the Chromium project once it is happy with the stability and functionalities of features in production.

  • OpenStack

    • OpenStack’s director: Why open source cloud should be the core of your data center

      Six years ago over two days engineers from Rackspace and NASA met in Austin, Texas, for the very first OpenStack Summit. Six years later, OpenStack is returning to its roots.

      As it does so, OpenStack has cemented itself as the dominant open source IaaS platform. But at the same time, more proprietary offerings from vendors like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and VMware still seem to reign in the broader market.

    • Blueprint: Top 10 Use Cases for OpenStack SDN

      Years ago, Linux opened up the data center and made it programmable, uncorking a Genie’s bottle of previously unimagined use cases, wealth and possibilities that became known as the cloud. For years after the data center became a software-programmable cloud, networking remained the bottleneck in an otherwise programmable environment. Today, we’re seeing a similar transformation with the advent of SDN and NFV. Launching in 2010, a free and open-source software infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform for cloud computing, OpenStack, made it easier to configure cloud infrastructure by linking compute, storage, and networking resources to support a range of use cases. Now, SDN is not just supporting but driving some of the biggest innovations in cloud services. Enabling users to easily deploy and manage resources from a single pane of glass, production services that used to take months to provision are now live in mere minutes.

    • OpenStack by the numbers: Who’s using open source clouds and for what?

      The latest bi-annual survey data of OpenStack users shows a continuing march of the open source cloud software into mainstream of enterprises, but also the projec