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06.24.14

Links 24/6/2014: KDE Plasma Media Center 1.3, Linux Mint 17 KDE

Posted in News Roundup at 10:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • To Get Developer Adoption Today You Have To Build a Community

    Michael Williams, BIRT Product Evangelist & Forums Manager at Actuate, outlines some key points to keep in mind for building your own open source community.

  • Cisco developing open-source block ciphers

    Cisco says it is experimenting with ciphers it claims can better protect traffic privacy in cloud systems and result in bandwidth and storage savings.

  • Cisco Releases Open Source FNR Cipher

    Cisco has released a new open-source block cipher called FNR that is designed for encrypting small chunks of data, such as MAC addresses or IP addresses. The cipher is still in the experimental stage, but Cisco has released the source code and a demo application.

  • 12 challenges for open source projects

    Open source is the combined contributions of millions of independent volunteers. This single concept brings with it a few inherent realities. In this article let’s look at a few potentially concerning points about the nature of open source contributions.

    One of the major, oft-touted benefits of open source software is the diverse, large, and ever ready army of developers contributing to the project. This can be an incredibly powerful argument when demonstrating the value of open source to a corporation. However, the larger the community and the bigger the pool of contributors the more opportunity there exists for problems or potential security risks.

  • Events

    • Where’s the money in open source?’ – limited places for exclusive event

      Open source is a growing and arguably successful strategy for making our corner of the world a better place. While altruism motivates many individuals and some companies to make things open source, others are in it for the money. On the other hand, many companies use or are forced to use open source for its perceived cost-saving value, often disregarding its risks. So what’s the business case for open source?

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • ownCloud Conf coming… And REWE offers a cheap way to get there!

      ownCloud is organizing an ownCloud conference/hackathon at the Technische Universität Berlin this August. And as Steffen Lindner shared on twitter, the German REWE supermarket is offering cheap tickets to go to Berlin from all over Germany during the event!

    • OpenStack speaking opportunities, design guide book sprint, and more
    • Cloud trends point to PaaS, open source as the future

      As the cloud market matures, customer behavior is changing and questions remain about where the true value of the technology will lie in the future.

      A group of industry professionals tackled a variety of topics as part of a panel discussion on the future of the cloud last week at a Cloud Standards Customer Council symposium. They discussed the impact of savvy customers and looked ahead at trends around burgeoning cloud services, vendor lock-in issues and the role of open source.

    • Debate: How Many Open Source Platforms Are Enough?

      “When it gets there, we will support the OpenStack API,” Mikos relented.

      Dholakia noted that CloudStack, like Eucalyptus and OpenStack, has long maintained a “compatibility layer for the Amazon API precisely because, as business folk, we follow the dollars.”

    • GoGrid CEO John Keagy Building Coalition For Open Source Cloud Orchestration Engine

      Over the last several months, GoGrid CEO John Keagy has been quietly holding meetings with partners and rivals alike to share an ambitious plan.

      His brainchild has the potential to shake up the entire cloud services industry by uniting some of its largest players around an open source project: a universal cloud orchestration engine called OpenOrchestration.org.

  • Databases

  • CMS

    • 5 Factors to Help You Choose an Open-Source CMS

      Being able to present that content effectively depends on having the right foundation for your site, and that means choosing a content management system (CMS) that will best match up with your site’s intended purpose.

  • Healthcare

    • What’s behind the success of free and open source healthcare?

      I ask more questions in this survey of free and open source healthcare developers for my thesis project: “The state of open source electronic medical records: An anthropology study.” My goal is to better understand the characteristics, motivations, and knowledge background of healthcare developers in order to determine what is behind the success of free/open source software in healthcare.

  • BSD

    • Clang Is Already Working On “Highly Experimental” C++1z Support

      With LLVM developers already having lots of C++1y / C++14 support implemented, they have begun working on “highly experimental” support for C++1z — the next major revision to the C++ programming language anticipated for release in 2017.

      C++14/C++1y should be officially released this year as a small update over C++11, for which LLVM/Clang (and GCC) already have decent support. In fact, with the current Clang 3.4 stable release all of the key C++11 functionality should be in place.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • Red Hat, Joyent, and others break down licensing barriers

      Open source is an environment where no permission is required to use the source code; the flexibility to do as you wish is already provided. The open source license creates this permissionless environment, and developers are able to gather around a source code commons to meet their individual needs without having to seek approval from anywhere. Requiring a CLA to contribute immediately obstructs this goal.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Should Everyone Learn to Code?

      “I do think that everybody should learn to code, at least on a basic level,” said Linux Rants blogger Mike Stone. “It would teach them to break down a problem into small, manageable portions and solve each of those parts logically.” It’s actually “less about the code itself than solving a problem logically,” he said. “That’s a skill that I think everybody should have.”

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Intel Expresses Interest In AMD’s Mantle API

      Intel has asked AMD about access to their Mantle technology for experimenting with this graphics API alternative to Direct3D and OpenGL.

      Intel and AMD confirmed to PCWorld that the two companies were communicating about Mantle cooperation but “[Intel] remains committed to what it calls open standards like Microsoft’s DirectX API.”

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Journalism Without Information

      I thought of that when I saw the new issue of Time magazine (6/30/14), which featured a short item on Kevin McCarthy, the new majority leader in Congress. As such, he is someone who certainly will be wielding enormous political power.

    • Scott Walker Says the Dark Money Probe Is ‘Over,’ but He’s Wrong

      The federal judge who halted the state investigation, Rudolph Randa, wrote an opinion so detached from First Amendment precedent, Wisconsin law, and the facts of the case that many legal experts believe that it will be reversed by the Seventh Circuit appellate court reviewing it. (Plus, Randa’s May 6 ruling was a preliminary ruling, not a final decision.) Other legal experts think Randa should not even be involved in the case, given that he is a regular attendee at “judicial junkets” funded by the Bradley and Koch foundations, which are closely tied to Walker and the group that filed the federal lawsuit, Wisconsin Club for Growth.

    • This Is the New Stat Facebook Should Be Worrying About

      “A solid majority of American adults say that social media have no influence at all on their purchasing decisions — suggesting that the advertising may be reaching smaller segments of the market, or that the influence on consumers is indirect or goes unnoticed,” Gallup concluded. The company said people are more likely to consult in-store displays, television commercials, mail catalogs and magazines than a brand’s Facebook or Twitter account when making a purchasing decision.

  • Censorship

    • Russia asks Twitter to block a dozen accounts

      Russia has asked Twitter to block access to a dozen accounts it deems “extremist”, the head of the country’s telecoms watchdog said, as Moscow seeks greater control over internet sites based beyond its borders.

  • Privacy

  • Rights

    • Lord Byron, Terrorist

      The dreadful violence and destruction the West has inflicted and promoted in recent years in its efforts to gain control of the mineral resources of the Middle East continues to play out. Those who see communities with which they identify abroad engaged in military conflict will always produce a small number of people going to join the fight. This is in no sense unusual, and in no sense a threat to ordinary citizens in the UK. The link to terrorism here is entirely a fiction. The unfortunate thing is that the mainstream media allows no outlet for people to mock its false assertions and point out its sinister agenda.

    • CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou Advocates for Prison Sentencing Reform in New ‘Letter from Loretto’

      Reflecting on mass incarceration in the United States, which he has experienced firsthand during his time in prison at the Federal Correctional Institution of Loretto, Pennsylvania, CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou advocates for prison sentencing reform in his latest letter from jail.

      Firedoglake has been publishing “Letters from Loretto” by Kiriakou, who was the first member of the CIA to publicly acknowledge that torture was official US policy under the George W. Bush administration. He was convicted in October 2012 after he pled guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) when he confirmed the name of an officer involved in the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation (RDI) program to a reporter. He was sentenced in January 2013, and reported to prison on February 28, 2013.

    • Back to Black: Interrogation Sites on the High Seas
    • Senate’s CIA Torture Report Awaiting Final White House Approval

      The release of a long-delayed, $40 million Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s “rendition, detention and interrogation” program during the George W. Bush administration is pending final approval from the Obama White House, Politico reported.

    • CIA report now on to White House

      The Obama administration is inching toward declassification of the Senate’s report on the CIA’s controversial interrogation techniques.

      The Central Intelligence Agency has finished redacting sensitive information from a 500-page summary of the 6,800-page report that the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to make public in April, Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in an interview Monday night.

    • The growing Police State in America
    • Police violence and law enforcement militarization in the greater borderlands

      Slightly more than three months after the police shooting of homeless camper James Boyd catapulted Albuquerque into the international spotlight, activists returned to the streets to advance their movement against police brutality.

      On a blistering Summer Solstice Day, whose blazing mid-day sky was oddly crested by a half-moon, more than 200 people marched up Central Avenue near the University of New Mexico chanting “Justice Now” and “They say justified, we say homicide!”

    • Opinion: It’s Time for Civilian Oversight of OPD

      Based on the most recent report issued by federal monitor Robert Warshaw, the Oakland Police Department will most likely require months of additional monitoring by the court — after eleven years of failure to comply with the Negotiated Settlement Agreement (NSA). No other city in the United States has required this length of time to bring its police department into compliance with a federal consent decree.

    • BRUCE: America’s expanding police state

      We all know about the scope of National Security Agency (NSA) spying. It’s fair to say at this point in our lives that the notion of privacy is all but dead and gone. However, it didn’t start there. In her book, Mrs. Chumley takes us on a ride through history, reminding us of the original intentions of the Founding Fathers versus the assault on the original design by “21st century realities.”

    • For The Last Time, Freedom Isn’t Free
    • 2014 Pioneer Award Nominations Are Now Open

      Nominations are now open for EFF’s 23rd Annual Pioneer Awards, to be presented this fall in San Francisco. EFF established the Pioneer Awards in 1992 to recognize leaders on the electronic frontier who are extending freedom and innovation in the realm of information technology. Nominations are open until midnight on Wednesday, July 2. Nominate the next Pioneer Award winner today!

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • New Open Source Firmware Encourages Wi-Fi Sharing

      The “Open Wireless Movement” was devised years ago by the EFF, Free Press, Mozilla and others to advocate for the sharing of broadband via publicly-accessible Wi-Fi hotspots. At the upcoming Hackers on Planet Earth conference, the group says they’re going to unveil new “Open Wireless Router” firmware that simplifies the process of safely and securely offering free Wi-Fi without hindering your own network.

    • What Everyone Gets Wrong in the Debate Over Net Neutrality

      The only trouble is that, here in the year 2014, complaints about a fast-lane don’t make much sense. Today, privileged companies—including Google, Facebook, and Netflix—already benefit from what are essentially internet fast lanes, and this has been the case for years. Such web giants—and others—now have direct connections to big ISPs like Comcast and Verizon, and they run dedicated computer servers deep inside these ISPs. In technical lingo, these are known as “peering connections” and “content delivery servers,” and they’re a vital part of the way the internet works.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XXX

      As well as all the varied developments I discussed in the previous TTIP update, plenty has been happening recently in the hotly-contested area of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has published another of its informative reviews of developments in the ISDS field [.pdf]. This edition is particularly welcome since it focuses on the interaction between the EU and US.

    • Copyrights

      • UK ISPs Quietly Block More Torrent Site Proxies

        Several UK Internet providers have quietly added a list of new domains to their secretive anti-piracy blocklists. TorrentFreak was able to confirm that several popular torrent site proxies were added over the past weekend. However, the blocked domains have been quickly replaced by new ones, continuing the cat-and-mouse game that never seems to end.

      • The rules for using images from the internet

        Think it’s fine use downloaded images in your own website, poster or publication? You could be breaking copyright law… We show you how to use images legally and find free images that are available for commercial use.

06.23.14

Links 23/6/2014: New Releases of Opera, MakuluLinux, Netrunner

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • ARM Revolution

    • RUSSIA FINALLY MOVING TO */LINUX

      These will, of course, run some */Linux operating system. At the rate the government replaces PCs this changeover could take years or, if they accelerate the change, just a year or two. I expect countries like China and India have the will and ability to make such changes. This is a clever move because the savings on hardware could more or less pay for the cost of changing software. The move to */Linux accelerates.

    • Feasibility of desktop on ARM cpu

      Thinkpad X60 is old, Core Duo@1.8GHz, 2GB RAM notebook. But it is still pretty usable desktop machine, as long as Gnome2 is used, number of Chromium tabs does not grow “unreasonable”, and development is not attempted there. But eats a bit too much power.

      OLPC 1.75 is ARM v7@0.8GHz, .5GB RAM. According to my tests, it should be equivalent to Core Solo@0.43GHz. Would that make an usable desktop?

    • debootstrap, olpc, and gnome
  • Kernel Space

    • Open-Source Radeon Performance Boosted By Linux 3.16

      Besides the Nouveau driver performance being faster thanks to experimental re-clocking when using the Linux 3.16 kernel, there are also performance improvements to note with some generations of AMD graphics processors.

      The changes found within Linux 3.16 to benefit the Radeon DRM graphics performance are the GPU VM optimizations and large PTE support. Separate from this performance-related work for this kernel-side open-source AMD update is also HDMI deep color support, HDMI audio clean-ups, and other bug-fixes.

    • Transferring maintainership of x86info
    • Linux 3.16-rc2 gets a Saturday evening release
    • Graphics Stack

      • Gallium3D VDPAU & XvMC Support Are Now Single Libraries

        The start of the Gallium3D “mega drivers” patches by Emil Velikov are starting to land in Mesa. First up, the patches to consolidate the Gallium3D VDPAU and XvMC support into single libraries for supporting multiple drivers.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Debugging KF5 build failures

        Those familiar with running development versions of KDE software are familiar with the idea of having to sometimes remove their whole development install directory and “start all over” in order to resolve some types of build errors.

      • NetworkManager 0.9.10 Brings Many New Features
      • Section handling progress
      • Tracklist interface for Plasma Media Center

        I have completed the MPRIS specifications Tracklist interface for PMC. Now other applications can view and control the current playlist in PMC over DBus. This was a part of my GSoC project. This interface will allow me to send commands to PMC, asking it to play a particular song in the playlist. After some changes to the Simon MPRIS plug-in, a user will be able to play a song in the current playlist by naming it. As the Simon plug-in is itself based on MPRIS specifications, it will be able to interact with any media player following the MPRIS specs.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • MakuluLinux KDE 6.0 Released !

        The Long Awaited update to the KDE Edition is now over, Stability, Speed and Beauty is what drives this edition. This Edition is a special one for me because I worked on most of it while being extremely sick to the point where I could not walk, with nothing but a bed, laptop and time on my hands I went to work on this baby and this is the result.

      • Netrunner 14 released

        The Netrunner Team today released Netrunner 14 Frontier – 32bit and 64bit versions. The release follows Kubuntus support cycle, giving it a full 5 year support life via the backport repos.

      • Netrunner 14
    • Arch Family

      • KDE 4.13.2 Is Now Available In Manjaro 0.8.10

        Manjaro 0.8.10 has received its Update-Pack 1, getting regular kernel updates and latest upstream packages. This update adds some new Gnome3 packages, latest linux kernels, drivers and many updated applications needed for performing your tasks.

        According to the official announcement available in the Manjaro blog, KF5 got updated to 4.100 version, the latest mesa 10.2.1 with a better working mhwd is included and the following kernels are supported.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Debuts ‘Orange Box’ for Ubuntu OpenStack Cloud Demos

            Canonical’s Orange Box, the portable server cluster that the company intends to use to showcase OpenStack, MAAS, Juju and other aspects of the Ubuntu Linux-based cloud, is out. Here’s what it’s all about.

            For starters, it’s important to understand what the Orange Box is not: A revenue-generating hardware product from Canonical. The company has given no indication so far that it plans to sell these devices on a large scale—although if you truly want you can buy one, for the equivalent of around $12,900, from TranquilPC Limited, the company that has the contract for manufacturing them.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu 12.04 LTS and 13.10 Updated with KDE 4.13.2

              “Packages for the release of KDE SC 4.13.2 are available for Kubuntu 12.04LTS, 13.10 and our development release. You can get them from the Kubuntu Backports PPA. Bugs in the packaging should be reported to kubuntu-ppa on Launchpad. Bugs in the software to KDE,” said the leader of the Kubuntu project, Jonathan Riddell.

            • elementary OS Changes Its Codename from Isis to Freya

              Many users have raised this issue in the last few weeks and the elementary OS developers were forced to abandon the Isis codename in order to make sure that people don’t make any connections.

              “elementary obviously has no ties to the militant group known as ISIS – and we don’t think people will get us confused – but we want to both recognize the ongoing turmoil and choose a less controversial name. Freya is a Norse goddess of love and beauty. As we push our design forward, a goddess associated with beauty makes a lot of sense. And evoking the powerful emotion of love is always a good thing!” said the devs on their Google+ account.

            • Elementary OS “Isis” Is Now Freya
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Stroke and gestures now on Raspberry Pi touch screen

      The PiTFT is one of our favourite little things for the Raspberry Pi, making it much more portable than it naturally is and opening it up to many more cool projects than you could do before. The one thing it did lack was proper, modern touch screen controls such as swiping and gesture but this has now been added thanks to Xstroke.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Is a code of conduct vital to the success of an open source community?

    Late last month, the Debian project voted to adopt a community code of conduct, a set of guidelines for acceptable participation in its official communication channels. Members agreed to abide by the following principles:

    Be respectful
    Assume good faith
    Be collaborative
    Try to be concise
    Be open

  • Steps to diversity in your open source group

    Coraline Ehmke has developed apps for the web for 20 years. In that time, she’s learned a lot about open source culture and what makes a community of contributors tick. At the Great Wide Open conference this year, Coraline gave a talk about diversity in open source.

  • Jenkins User Conference – Boston [Event Report]
  • Review: Open source proxy servers are capable, but a bit rough around the edges

    Providing a common gateway for web services, caching web requests or providing anonymity are some of the ways organizations use proxy servers. Commercial proxy products, especially cloud offerings, are plentiful, but we wondered if open source or free products could provide enterprise-grade proxy services.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox OS Chromecast-like device leaks online

        Not long after it was revealed that Mozilla was working on adding support for Google’s Chromecast in their mobile iterations of the Firefox browser, it appears that they are also creating a device of their own, with functions similar to the Chromecast. The device, which was created by an unknown hardware manufacturer, looks similar to a Chromecast dongle and runs Firefox OS, according to tweets from Christian Heilmann, a “Mozilla Developer Evangelist“. He describes the device as a “fully open TV casting prototype”, which is pretty much the Chromecast, but more open.

      • Mozilla at Open Source Bridge

        This week Open Source Bridge will kick off in Portland and I’m extremely excited that Mozilla will once again be sponsoring this wonderful event. This will also mark my second year attending.

      • Mozilla develops open-source streaming dongle
      • Mozilla puts a development environment into the browser with WebIDE

        Mozilla cites two major advantages of using WebIDE as compared with developing apps for competing platforms. In-browser development tools are already familiar to the enormous number of Web developers that exist, so using them for application development minimizes the number of new tools and new skills that must be learned.

        Second, they’re extremely lightweight as development tools go. The substantial size of downloading tools such as Xcode or Visual Studio, in addition to the cost of developer licenses on other platforms, can limit their appeal and usability, especially in emerging markets. Putting the tools into the browser means that Mozilla’s reach is near universal.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Codescaling Catchup

      I’ve been doing some work with Eclipse Orion, a web-centric IDE with some interesting attributes, so I was interested to see news of forthcoming language support enhancements coming in Orion 6.0. Lots of interesting bits like syntax highlighting that brings in Arduino files, new documentation generators, the ability to use all the tooling while the JavaScript is embedded in HTML, better tunable JavaScript validation with new rules and so on… worth checking out.

Leftovers

  • Man who wore colander on his head for gun licence photo says it is part of Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s religion

    AN Adelaide man who had his gun licence photo taken with a colander on his head says it is significant to his religion — the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster — and he should not have had to undertake a psychological test.

  • Hardware

  • Security

    • Syrian Electronic Army hacks Reuters

      Reuters, the international news agency, was reportedly been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army – a hacking group who support the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and attack news organizations.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Prosecutor details 14 killings in Blackwater trial

      In a recitation of death and destruction, a federal prosecutor on Tuesday chronicled for a jury the alleged conduct of four Blackwater security guards accused of killing 14 Iraqis and wounding 18 others in downtown Baghdad nearly seven years ago.

      In opening statements at the trial of the four guards, Assistant U.S. Attorney T. Patrick Martin said some of the victims were “simply trying to get out” of the way of gunfire from Blackwater guards. “Fourteen died, 18 injured. For what?” he said.

    • Fournier: Obama Lies as Bad as Bush

      In a review of a new book by a journalist who claims George Bush lied to the country in the run up to the Iraq war, National Journal columnist Ron Fournier insists that Obama has been just as bad as Bush with his constant stream of lies to the country.

    • Crashes mount as military flies more drones in U.S.

      Shortly after the day’s final bell rang and hundreds of youngsters ran outside Lickdale Elementary School with their book bags and lunchboxes, a military drone fell from the sky.

    • Death at Five Times the Speed of Sound
    • Western intervention in Iraq will be a gift to Isis

      Whether it’s bombs or boots that are sent to stop them, the fallout will provide the militants with dangerously effective propaganda for their cause

    • ‘Stop saying ‘uh-oh’ while you’re flying’: Drone crash pilot quotes unveiled

      Drones are often called unmanned aircraft. But there is a lot of human drama when they crash. Drone pilots and other crew members swear, scream and yell at their remote-control video screens when the aircraft fly out of control. Those moments are often captured by audio recorders in ground control stations.

    • Israeli youngster killed in blast on border with Syria
    • Israel strikes Syrian military targets in retaliation for deadly attack

      The Israeli military struck Syrian army positions in the Golan Heights overnight Sunday in retaliation for an attack earlier in the day that killed an Israeli teen and injured three other people.

      Fighter jets fired missiles at nine targets on the Syrian side of the border, including military command posts and firing positions. An artillery unit that uses high-precision Tamuz missiles was also employed in the strike, the military said in a statement. It confirmed direct hits.

    • Has drone campaign in Pakistan been revived?

      For the first time in nearly six months, U.S. drone strikes hit Pakistan’s tribal region three times in less than a week, killing at least 20 militants with suspected ties to the Haqqani network.

      The hiatus was the longest pause in the controversial CIA program since 2006, and the drones’ sudden return begs the questions: Why now? And is this the beginning of a renewed drone campaign in Pakistan?

    • Iraq and the Persistence of American Hegemony

      With ‘official’ America debating how to respond to what at present appears to be a Saudi-Iranian proxy war in Iraq the question both within and outside of the US is: why do America and the Americans have any say in the matter? The last quarter century of US engagement in Iraq has been a series of military and geopolitical blunders with catastrophic consequences across the Middle East. The answer of course, as it was with the mis-sold invasions of 1990 and 2003, is Operation Iraqi Liberation, oil. The dim hubris of Bush / Cheney / Rumsfeld / Rice that broke ‘Iraq’ into sectarian factions has been met by leading Democrats with claims that the war was ‘mismanaged’ and that Iraq remains of some vaguely specified ‘vital interest.’ The moral, ethical and societal sickness that has US President Obama now sending murder robots (drones) and additional troops to force the will of ‘official’ Washington onto what remains of the national government of Iraq misses that it was this very same will that caused the social / political catastrophe now claimed to be in need of rectification.

    • Shaw details Cleburne links to JFK assassination

      Shaw argues that evidence available, evidence gone missing and discrepancies simply don’t add up to the official story that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone that day.

    • FORMER TOP CIA OFFICIAL REVEALS GULEN RELATIONS

      Speaking to the BBC on Friday , former top CIA official, Graham Fuller, admitted that he wrote a reference letter for the Gülen movement leader, Fethullah Gülen, after the FBI resisted granting him permanent residency status between 2006 to 2010.

      The former top official and Middle East expert, yet claimed that there was no relation between the Gülen movement and CIA, during the BBC interview on his newly released book “Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East.”

    • UN hears testimony that contradicts Cuban account of dissident’s death

      The United Nations Human Rights Council, currently sitting in Geneva, has heard testimony from leaders of the Venezuela protest movement and from the survivor of the car crash that killed Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá.

      The hearings on human rights in Venezuela and Cuba, was organized by a coalition of NGO’s as an official event inside the Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 17.

    • Iraq, ISIS and intervention: Just what is going on?

      A high Israeli official was quoted recently saying it was Iran’s influence that is most dangerous in the region, not that of ISIS. Of course, that should tell us a great deal. In this part of the world, Israel’s views count for far more than those of all the other countries put together, at least, so far as the United States’ government is concerned, the ridiculous lopsidedness in that reflecting the best Congress campaign funding can buy.

    • Kurds say they warned MI6, CIA about ISIL

      Five months ago, a Kurdish intelligence “asset” walked into a base and said he had information to hand over.

      The capture by jihadists the month before of two Sunni cities in western Iraq was just the beginning, he said. There would soon be a major onslaught on Sunni territories.

    • Britain and US ‘neglected alert to Iraq jihadist takeover’
    • CIA trained ISIL in Jordan: Report

      A new report says the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants were trained by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Jordan more than two years ago.

    • American Senator: US arming ISIL terrorists

      Senator Rand Paul said the US government has been arming ISIS militants in Syria and funding its allies.

    • Don Obama, Capo di Tutti Capi

      Indeed, Mafia Dons have learned the hard way after RICO not to give clear cut instructions to their operatives. Obama, our Capo Di Tutti Capi, has learned his lesson well. He lets his capos — heads of the IRS, DOJ, CIA, know how to proceed with vague injunctions that set the tone.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • [April] Why US fracking companies are licking their lips over Ukraine

      From climate change to Crimea, the natural gas industry is supreme at exploiting crisis for private gain – what I call the shock doctrine

    • Crude Awakening: 37 years of oil spills in Alberta

      Timelapse: All spills of crude oil crude bitumen and synthetic crude in Alberta each year from 1975-2012. Each dot is one spill; dot size does not indicate spill size. Source: Energy Resources Conservation Board

      Alberta’s had an average of two crude oil spills a day, every day for the past 37 years.

      That makes 28,666 crude oil spills in total, plus another 31,453 spills of just about any other substance you can think of putting in a pipeline – from salt water to liquid petroleum.

  • Finance

    • Tens of thousands march in London against cuts in public and welfare services

      An estimated 50,000 people marched through London, including supporters of Stop the War, CND and other peace groups who called for warfare spending to be cut and not welfare services.

    • Revealed: Asian slave labour producing prawns for supermarkets in US, UK

      Slaves forced to work for no pay for years at a time under threat of extreme violence are being used in Asia in the production of seafood sold by major US, British and other European retailers, the Guardian can reveal.

    • The Pakistani women behind the official FIFA World Cup balls make $182 per year each

      She has no idea who Lionel Messi is and her home country isn’t even playing, but Pakistani mother-of-five Gulshan Bibi can’t wait for the World Cup – because she helped make the balls.

    • It’s Official: The Boomerang Kids Won’t Leave – NYTimes.com

      The NY Times, in It’s Official: The Boomerang Kids Won’t Leave, explores the trend of increasing numbers of young people continuing to live with their parents after college.

      The article notes that one in five people in their 20s and early 30s currently lives with parents, and 60 percent of all young adults receive financial support from parents. In the prior generation, only one in 10 young adults moved back home and few received financial support.

      The common explanation for the change is that young people had the misfortune of growing up during several unfortunate and overlapping economic trends.

      Today, almost 45 percent of 25-year-olds, have outstanding loans, with an average debt above $20,000, and more than half of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, causing them to make substandard wages in jobs that don’t require a college degree.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Dropcam acquired by Google owned Nest

      Dropcam, a San Francisco based home surveillance company has on their official blog post revealed that they have been acquired by Nest. Nest, a Google owned company, confirmed on their blog the acquisition and also the fact that this acquisition will not change anything for either of the companies’ immediate future, as both Nest products as well as the Dropcam products will be available to customers without any change. The deal went down for $555 million.

    • A history of the federal government’s ‘lost’ e-mails

      A watchdog group this week called on Congress to investigate federal record-keeping practices to determine why the government has repeatedly lost e-mails that could shed light on alleged wrongdoing.

    • Mass Surveillance in Britain

      European officials have often acted as though excessive government surveillance was solely an American problem. The recent release of a legal statement from a senior British counterterrorism official, Charles Farr, shows that the United States government is certainly not alone in justifying such practices.

    • The Majority Has Spoken: Email Privacy Reform Possible Right Now

      Yesterday, Reps Reps. Ron Desantis (R-Fla.) and Cedric Richmond (D-La.) became the 217th and 218th members of the House to sign on to the Email Privacy Act. More than half of the 435 members of the House of Representatives now formally support updating the outdated law governing the privacy of our electronic communications and requiring police to get a warrant before they read our emails, look at our online photo albums, or view our texts. Among those 218 members who have endorsed reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) are 136 Republicans – more than half of the members of the majority party.

    • Vulturization: ‘Privacy’ is fightin’ words to cloud touters – they get angry

      Being as these folks stand up OpenStack, I also took the time to find out what it’s like to work with the community and whether it’s really as much of a pain to work with as everyone claims.

    • Snowden’s year in Russia: From airport hideout to mystery location
    • Snowden collects documents to extend asylum on one-year anniversary of stay in Russia
    • A ‘Cool War’?

      With the revelations of Edward Snowden, Beijing has fittingly dismissed the nuanced American distinction. Snowden revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has infiltrated into Huawei Technologies, a hi-tech Chinese multinational company. A recent Foreign Policy article confirmed that an elite NSA ultra-secret China hacking group “successfully penetrated” Chinese computers and its telecommunication industry for the past 15 years.

    • Matt Robinson: General public must oversee our overseers

      Take for example a situation happening across the United States, but most recently exemplified in a records request in Florida. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a public records request with a police department in Sarasota, Fla., for information on a surveillance tool called “Stingray,” which is used by law enforcement agencies across the country to mass collect data.

    • Sirota: US government at war with itself over civil liberties
    • Glenn Greenwald expands exposure of privacy violators

      “We’re working on that story now,” said Greenwald, who grew up in New York and lives in Rio de Janeiro with his longtime partner, David Miranda. “It’s highly likely it will be out before the end of the month. It will be reporting on the people the NSA is targeting domestically.”

    • 4 July: Annual Independence FROM America demo at NSA Menwith Hill

      Join the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (CAAB) at the main entrance to NSA Menwith Hill, HG1 4QZ, on Friday 4 July from 5pm to 9pm for the annual “Independence FROM America” demonstration.

    • PM makes off-the-record visit to NSA

      Prime Minister John Key took a secret trip to the NSA spy agency while he was in Washington last week.

      It is not surprising that he went — he made the same trip the last time he was in Washington in 2011.

      This time, it was left off the published schedule of meetings that is handed out to the news media. Last time, it was declared.

    • US spying: Who do you believe? Snowden or Key?

      The results of a Stuff Ipsos poll released last week shows 71.6 per cent of Kiwis believe United States spy agencies are gathering data on New Zealanders and 61.8 per cent of those people do not support the US being able to do so.

    • Key’s off-the-record visit to controversial spy HQ

      Prime Minister John Key took a secret trip to the NSA spy agency while he was in Washington last week.

      It is not surprising that he went — he made the same trip the last time he was in Washington in 2011.

    • NSA Hurting Millennials’ Way of Life

      Millennials are criticized for broadcasting too many intimate details of our everyday lives online. We readily publish what we had for lunch, when we went to the gym, relationship status updates, and more. Things more senior generations might deem “TMI” are standard online chatter for us; however, there is a method to the madness. Global connectivity has enabled us to open new lines of communication with people across town, across the country, and across the world. We see value in being able to speak freely, giving us access to new ideas and cultures through comparing the human experience, hemisphere to hemisphere.

    • Redeeming NIST’s Reputation

      Bill Would Ban NSA from Undermining NIST Crypto Standards

    • Encrypted Email Service ProtonMail Soars Past $160,000 Campaign Goal
    • Walsh: Federal government has no right to spy on Americans
    • NSA mixing rule of law with cloak-and-dagger spy world – expert
    • US Funds “Terror Studies” to Dissect and Neutralize Social Movements

      The U.S. Department of Defense is immersed in studies about…people like you. The Pentagon wants to know why folks who don’t themselves engage in violence to overthrow the prevailing order become, what the military calls, “supporters of political violence.” And by that they mean, everyone who opposes U.S military policy in the world, or the repressive policies of U.S. allies and proxies, or who opposes the racially repressive U.S. criminal justice system, or who wants to push the One Percent off their economic and political pedestals so they can’t lord it over the rest of us. (I’m sure you recognize yourself somewhere in that list.)

    • ‘Double standards’: Apple implements MAC anti-tracking technique used by Aaron Swartz

      Apple is going to implement random MAC addresses technology in its iOS8 devices, an anonymity-granting technique which late computer prodigy Aaron Swartz was accused of using to carry out his infamous MIT hack.

      Swartz, who faced criminal prosecution on charges of mass downloading academic documents and articles, was also accused of using MAC (Media Access Control) spoofing address technology to gain access to MIT’s subscription database.

    • New Eavesdropping Equipment Sucks All Data Off Your Phone

      In a Capitol Hill hearing room two summers ago, privacy activist Christopher Soghoian organized a stunning demonstration of some new police surveillance technology. A small group of congressional staffers were handed “clean” cellphones and invited to start calling each other while, off to the side, a Berkeley communications researcher named Kurtis Heimerl turned on his gear. After a few minutes, Soghoian told the staffers to hang up—and then Heimerl played back their conversations. Not only that, the two men told the staffers, the digital eavesdropping equipment was capable of sucking all the data from their phones—emails, contact files, music, videos—whatever was on them.

    • Can you spy on a phone when it is turned off?
    • Snowden Gets German Fritz Bauer Award for Exposing US Intelligence

      Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has been awarded the Fritz Bauer Prize of the German Humanist Union, a prominent civil rights organization, for exposing the controversial surveillance practices of the NSA and its accomplices.

    • Little reform since Snowden spilled the beans

      A year has passed since the American former intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden began revealing the massive scope of Internet surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency.

      His disclosures have elicited public outrage and sharp rebukes from close U.S. allies like Germany, upending rosy assumptions about how free and secure the Internet and telecommunications networks really are.

      Single-handedly Snowden has changed how people regard their phones, tablets and laptops, and sparked a public debate about the protection of personal data.

    • More Foreign Governments Provide NSA with Support for Global Data Surveillance

      The National Security Agency’s (NSA) reach of spying on worldwide communications is even broader than previously reported, according to new information leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      In addition to working with allied spy agencies in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, the NSA has partnered with other, unnamed foreign governments to access enormous volumes of emails, phone calls and Internet data.

  • Civil Rights

    • Parliament is sexist, masculine and out of date, say British women

      A poll about attitudes to Westminster on the influential parenting website Mumsnet has revealed startling levels of disillusionment with a male-dominated political system

    • sRepressing World Cup Protests — A Booming Business for Brazil

      On June 12, Brazilian police fired tear gas on a group of 50 unarmed marchers blocking a highway leading to the World Cup arena in São Paulo. On June 15 in Rio de Janeiro another 200 marchers faced floods of tear gas and stun grenades in their approach to Maracana stadium. Armed with an arsenal of less lethal weapons and employing tactics imported from U.S. SWAT teams in the early 2000s, police clad in riot gear are deploying forceful tactics, wielding batons and releasing chemical agents at close range. In Brazil, this style of protest policing is not only a common form of political control, but also a booming business.

    • Total US Tab Tops $5.2 Billion For Guantanamo Prison

      The cost for this year, $454.1 million to operate, staff and build at the prison complex, comes from a report by the Defense Department’s Office of the Comptroller.

    • The USS Guantanamo

      No way, no how will President Obama send a terrorist to Guantanamo Bay. But how about a few weeks on a Navy warship to chat with U.S. interrogators without a Miranda warning? Welcome aboard the President’s floating not-so-secret prison.

    • Iraqis Are Not ‘Abstractions’

      When I saw the Washington Post’s banner headline, “U.S. sees risk in Iraq airstrikes,” I thought, “doesn’t that say it all.” The Post apparently didn’t deem it newsworthy to publish a story headlined: “Iraqis see risk in U.S. airstrikes.” Then, in an accompanying article, authors Gregg Jaffe and Kevin Maurer observed nonchalantly that “Iraq and the Iraqi people remain something of an abstraction,” a point that drove me to distraction.

    • Iraq’s Next PM? Ahmed Chalabi, Chief Peddler of False WMDs, Meets US Officials as Maliki Falters

      Pressure is mounting on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to form a less sectarian government or to resign. A representative of the influential Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called for the creation of what he described as a new “effective” government. On Thursday, The New York Times revealed the U.S. ambassador in Iraq, Robert Beecroft, and the State Department’s top official in Iraq, Brett McGurk, recently met with the controversial Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi, who has been described as a potential candidate to replace al-Maliki. Chalabi is the former head of the Iraqi National Congress, a CIA-funded Iraqi exile group that strongly pushed for the 2003 U.S. invasion. The INC helped drum up pre-war claims that Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction and had links to al-Qaeda. The group provided bogus intelligence to the Bush administration, U.S. lawmakers and journalists. We are joined by Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor for Harper’s Magazine.

    • New Hollywood assassination film raises hackles in North Korea

      The Interview, a new action comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, has elicited choice comments from North Korea for showing the “desperation” of American society. Due out in October, the film tells the tale of two US journalists who are given the opportunity to interview North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, then recruited by the CIA to assassinate him.

    • Rekindle ties with Arab League, Rogers says

06.22.14

Links 22/6/2014: New Linux RC, FreeBSD RC

Posted in News Roundup at 2:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Will Carriers Step Up to Open Challenge?

    Telecom service providers are being asked in multiple ways to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to supporting open source software and technology in the move to virtualization.

    The most obvious move those willing to embrace openness will make is joining the new open source project — called Open Platform for NFV, or OPN — that a number of telecom operators associated with the ETSI Network Functions Virtualization Industry Specification Group are setting up with the Linux Foundation , already home to OpenDaylight . (See Is Open Source the New De Facto Standard?)

  • Google Chrome PDF Engine is now Open Source
  • Google open sources PDF rendering
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla is Working on a Firefox OS-powered Streaming Stick à la Chromecast

        Mozilla took the world by surprised when it announced that it was developing a Firefox operating system that would be used for mobile phones, especially in developing markets. Now, there are already a few devices out there, but it seems that this isn’t the last step for the company whose name is still associated with the famous web browsers.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • ForgeRock Raises $30M for Open-Source Identity-Relationship Tech

      ForgeRock’s $30 million capital injection will help the company drive adoption of identity-relationship management technology.

    • OpenStack by the numbers

      Haven given that warning, I still think there’s good value in project statistics. They say something about trajectory, and when used in conjunction with solid knowledge of why the numbers are what they are, they can tell a good bit about comparative success. And they can be inspiring. “Look what we’ve done” you can say to your community, as you provide them with the raw data about what they’ve created. They can also say something about the relative participation in a project, as with Chuck Dubuque’s look at how to gauge the contributions of the various corporate contributors to OpenStack.

    • OpenStack: What It Is, What It Does

      OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage and networking resources throughout a data center, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface. In general, it is an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) operating system for building and managing cloud computing platforms for public, private and hybrid clouds.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Are there too many computers in the classroom?

      I could not disagree more with Dvorak. One of the things I always hated when I was in school was having to sit in a classroom and listen to a teacher drone on endlessly about a subject. It felt like it was taking forever for them to get to the point and present the information. Really, I remember doodling on my notebook while the teacher went on and on in what seemed like an endless monologue about whatever.

      Maybe that was just my perception at the time (I graduated high school back in 1987), but I would much rather have had faster access to all of the course information rather than waiting for the teacher to regurgitate it verbally to me. Oral communication in person is such a slow and ponderous way to transfer information compared to what you can do with today’s computers and tablets.

  • Healthcare

    • Some patients are eager to share their personal data

      While many researchers encounter no privacy-based barriers to releasing data, those working with human participants, such as doctors, psychologists, and geneticists, have a difficult problem to surmount. How do they reconcile their desire to share data, allowing their analyses and conclusions to be verified, with the need to protect participant privacy? It’s a dilemma we’ve talked about before on the blog (see: Open Data and IRBs, Privacy and Open Data). A new project, Open Humans, seeks to resolve the issue by finding patients who are willing—even eager—to share their personal data.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC Allowed To Add Offloading Library To Code-Base

      The GCC steering committee has ruled on allowing a foreign library for compute offloading into the GNU Compiler Collection.

      The first library in question is the poorly named “liboffload”, which handles offloading work to Intel’s high-end Xeon Phi compute cards. Permission was needed from the GCC steering committee for introducing a foreign library plus that there’s some GPLv2.1 header files and new sources.

    • Democracy and Software Freedom

      It is striking that, despite talking a lot about freedom, and often being interested in the question of who controls power, these five criteria might as well be (Athenian) Greek to most free software communities and participants- the question of liberty begins and ends with source code, and has nothing to say about organizational structure and decision-making – critical questions serious philosophers always address.

      Our licensing, of course, means that in theory points #4 and #5 are satisfied, but saying “you can submit a patch” is, for most people, roughly as satisfying as saying “you could buy a TV ad” to an American voter concerned about the impact of wealth on our elections. Yes, we all have the theoretical option to buy a TV ad/edit our code, but for most voters/users of software that option will always remain theoretical. We’re probably even further from satisfying #1, #2, and #3 in most projects, though one could see the Ada Initiative and GNOME OPW as attempts to deal with some aspects of #1, #3, and #4

    • Staying free – should GCC allow non-free plug ins?

      To this extent, the argument between LLVM and GCC is a retread of the historic differences between GNU/Linux and the BSDs, between ‘open source’ and free software. Open source developers allow the code to be reused in any context, free or proprietary. Free software is restrictive in that it insists that the code, and any modifications to the code, must remain free in perpetuity. Advocates of free software would argue that the integrity of copyleft licensing has been instrumental in the spread of GCC, and has taken Linux and free software into places it would not otherwise have reached, and that free software cannot be bought or corrupted by commercial or corporate interests. Open source advocates argue that open source is more free because the user has no restrictions and can do what he or she likes, including developing closed source versions of the code.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • PHP 5.6 Is Nearly Ready For Release, RC1 Is Out

      PHP 5.6 is on track for its official release this summer as a major update to PHP5 while those looking to do some pre-production testing, RC1 is now available.

    • Replacing freecode: a proposal

      Web frameworks have gotten much more powerful since the original Freshmeat was built 17 years ago; today, I think building a replacement wouldn’t be a huge project. It is not, however, something I am willing to try to do alone. Whether or not this goes forward will depend on how many people are willing to step up and join me. I figure we need a team of about three core co-developers, at least one of whom needs to have some prior expertise at whatever framework we end up using.

    • ESR Mulls Replacing freecode

      The concept is interesting. Distros do a lot of similar things as does Sourceforge, GitHub and Distrowatch. A site specializing in distributing release-announcements could have a niche. On the one hand, with the millions of projects that might use the service, the site might be too busy to be useful. On the other hand, a good search engine might make the site scale well. Perhaps Google could provide the searching function.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • After 47 years in print, Computerworld finally goes digital-only
  • Happy Midsummer Solstice! with A Kopimist Gospel

    Today is the Midsummer Solstice, which has been celebrated as a holy day by most religions throughout human history. and is also recognized by science as one of the four special days in the solar year.

    Kopimism is one of Sweden’s newest religions. On or about the winter solstice of 2011, the Swedish authority Kammarkollegiet — blessed be its name! — officially recognized by Kopimism as a religion, just like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and others.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • American ‘Healthcare’ Exceptionalism: Highest Costs, Worst Care
    • The measles crisis

      Suspicion increased when Dr Shakeel Afridi was revealed to have been running a fake hepatitis vaccination programme for the CIA to help in its search for Osama bin Laden. Now with deaths that can be linked to a vaccine, and that too a vaccine purchased from India, our public health goals will be that much harder to achieve. Those responsible for the deaths should of course be held responsible but it will now become very difficult to contain the damage they have caused.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The New Ground-Based Defense Missiles Cost $40 Billion We Could Use For A Lot of Other Things. Oh, and They Don’t Work.

      A decade after it was declared operational for bogus political reasons – “you just needed to build them” – the $40 billion Ground-based Midcourse Defense System, or GMD, “cannot be relied on,” says a blistering report from the L.A. Times. It has an “abysmal” record: It has failed more tests than it has passed, has “performed less well than people had hoped,” has been hyped by U.S. officials who claimed it was more reliable than it was, has failed tests far less stringent than real-life scenarios would be, and over time has continued to perform worse, not better, despite years of tinkering, failing five of its last eight tests. It was also designed for a threat that likely doesn’t exist, or in the immortal words of Charles Pierce, “not to defend ourselves against missiles but, rather, as a platform for international dick-waving.” Oh yes, and members of Congress – the guys who battled over how much to cut food stamps – want a bunch more.

    • Why Bush and Blair Should Be Prosecuted for War Crimes

      Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair recently stated that air strikes and drones should be used once again on Iraq to stem recent gains by extremists in that country. Mr. Blair is oblivious of the responsibility he shares with former U.S. president George W. Bush on account of one of the most serious breaches of international law in recent times. The prosecution of Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush, along the lines of similar trials conducted in Argentina, Chile and Peru, is the only fitting response to such careless remarks.

    • S.Korean Soldier Said to Kill 5 Comrades at Border

      All able-bodied South Korean men must serve about two years in the military under a conscription system aimed at countering aggression from North Korea.

    • Washington Digest: House declines to put its foot down on Iraq

      “We must not let history repeat itself,” Lee said. “Calls to be dragged back into a war in Iraq must be rejected.”

    • Rolling Back the Clock? –Progressive Style?

      In 1981, my first professor in political science, the late Dr. Charles Benjamin, explained that roll-back-the-clock was the plan of the new Ronald Reagan administration in terms of American foreign policy. We had just come out of the Carter era–the only time that USA presidential leadership had sincerely tried to put the CIA and NSA leadership in their societal places (subservient to the executive branch and constitution) and had unveiled a practicing Human-Rights policy that would support popular people’s rebellions against dictators around the globe. During the Carter term, from Central America to the Middle East, the USA foreign policy had allowed people’s movements to have their day in the sun.

    • What Megyn Kelly Should Have Asked Dick Cheney

      The former vice president got his comeuppance on Fox News last Wednesday, producing a minor news story.

      Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz had published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal advocating renewed U.S. military involvement in Ira to prevent a seizure of power by the al-Qaeda spin-off ISIS (or ISIL) and opining, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

      Citing this comment, Fox anchor Megyn Kelly unexpectedly snapped, “But time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well sir.” She referred specifically the false accusation about weapons of mass destruction used to sell the Iraq War. A flustered Cheney fumbled his interrogator’s name (“Reagan, um, Megyn”) before declaring, “You’ve got to go back and look at the track record.” (As though Megyn were doing something other than precisely that.) “We inherited a situation where there was no doubt in anybody’s mind about the extent of Saddam’s involvement in weapons of mass destruction. … Saddam Hussein had a track record that nearly everybody agreed to.”

      In other words, the unfortunately mistaken but universal belief in Saddam’s WMD preceded the Bush-Cheney administration, was part of its heritage but in no way its invention. Everybody was honestly mistaken. Thus he utterly rejects personal responsibility for crediting, promoting it, and using it to justify a war he badly wanted.

    • Rand Paul Defends Obama Against Dick Cheney

      “Do you think Dick Cheney is a credible critic of this president?” host David Gregory asked Paul, quoting from Cheney’s op-ed in which Cheney wrote, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

    • Utah is where Army learns to fly drones better

      Two types of drones — the MQ-1C Gray Eagle and the RQ-7 Shadow — began flying in tandem with the Apaches. The drones’ cameras and sensors transmit the intelligence to the Apache crew — showing it what lies over the hill so the Apaches don’t have to expose themselves to find a target to attack or don’t fly into an ambush.

    • Drone strikes more right than wrong, Key says

      New Zealand has no issue with US drones striking terrorists in Iraq, PM John Key told TV1′s Q+A this morning.

      “They sometimes go wrong and that’s a great tragedy.

      “On balance of benefit, are they more often right than they’re wrong? I think the answer is ‘yes’,” he said following a meeting with US President Barack Obama.

    • No consensus on ‘targeted’ military action in Iraq

      President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that the United States is “prepared to take targeted and precise military action” in Iraq if the situation on the ground requires it. The president added that if he decides to take military action in Iraq, he would consult with Congress and world leaders.

    • Iraq veterans now wonder if all their sacrifices were for naught

      Mike Dizmang thinks about the Iraqi children who shook his hand and smiled when he told them that all would be OK in the end.

    • The Drone Memo Cometh

      In response to consolidated lawsuits filed by the ACLU and The New York Times, the Second Circuit recently ordered the Obama administration to disclose (with redactions) one of the legal memos authorizing the government’s premeditated killing of Anwar al-Aulaqi, an American citizen. The government has challenged certain aspects of the court’s decision, apparently with some degree of success (more on that below), and it has managed to defer the release of the memo by two months. To its credit, though, the court appears unwilling to allow the government to delay the release of the memo indefinitely. If the court holds to a plan it set forth ten days ago, it will publish the memo itself this coming week.

    • US aid of f $96 million approved for Pakistan
    • The crisis of ISIS in Iraq: was America the midwife?

      Communities Digital News published a report outlining strong circumstantial evidence that arms transferred from the Special Mission Compound in Benghazi before the attack on September 11, 2012, ended up in Syria and are now being used against the Iraq government. Media reports and Pentagon / State Department statements have confirmed that U.S. weapons are being deployed by ISIS in Iraq.

      More disturbing information is emerging to bookend these revelations. The United States probably trained elements of the ISIS militia, which has accounted for the deaths of hundreds of civilians in Syria and now in Iraq.

    • Why The MSM Is Such A Farce

      hen again one only has to remember the MSM basically cheering on the the preemptive illegal invasion and all the breathless bullshit emanating from “embedded” journalists to see how effing useless they are.

    • Isis threat justifies greater surveillance powers in UK, says Liam Fox
    • John Prescott: I’m proud to have served with you Tony but we DID cause Iraq mess

      The Sunday Mirror columnist and former Deputy Prime Minister says it’s time to learn from the past and leave Iraq and its neighbours to sort out this mess

    • The Iraq Surge ‘Worked’ All Over Again

      Treating “the US troop surge worked” argument as a fact, as Engel is doing, is very dangerous–since it logically suggests that it is only the presence of US troops that can keep Iraq safe. That is a recipe for a never-ending war.

    • Iraq blowback: Isis rise manufactured by insatiable oil addiction
    • Iraq and Your Gas Tank

      When it comes to US foreign policy and warmaking in the Middle East, you’re not supposed to talk about oil. To suggest it plays a serious role in US decision-making is to invite taunting about conspiracy theories.

    • Russia Reignites The Proxy War: Putin Offers “Complete Support” To Iraq Prime Minister Scorned By Obama

      It was the bolded text that was of biggest interest because as we noted the next day, when discussing the next steps for ISIS, we said that “One wonders how long until the mercenary force finds its latest major backer, because for all the western, US-led intervention, both Russia and China are oddly missing from the scene. We expect that to change soon.”

    • Where Is the Accountability on Iraq?

      Can someone explain to me why the media still solicit advice about the crisis in Iraq from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)? Or Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)? How many times does the Beltway hawk caucus get to be wrong before we recognize that maybe, just maybe, its members don’t know what they’re talking about?

    • Capitalism’s Bullets in Latin America: Invisible Empires, State Power and 21st Century Colonialism

      “Soccer, metaphor for war, at times turns into real war,” wrote Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano. For many people in Brazil, a war has indeed broken out surrounding the current World Cup. Poor communities have been displaced by stadiums and related infrastructure for the event, the high level of security has increased police violence, and the enormous economic costs of the World Cup are seen by many as a blow against the rights of the country’s most impoverished people. As a result of these controversies, the international sports event has been met with wide-spread protests.

    • Assange Urges Ecuador to Counteract Massive U.S. Spying

      The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, felt that despite being a small nation, Ecuador can pursue the cessation of US mass espionage against its citizens, according to an interview published here today.
      The Australian publisher and journalist considered that Ecuador can pass laws to mandate that companies providing services within the country use audited industrial standard encryption by default.

      In an interview with the El Telegrafo, Assange said the best model for small nations like Ecuador is the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, which aimed to make Iceland into a competitive jurisdiction among the market of jurisdictions for companies wishing to provide internet services.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • The Teaching Class

      Teaching college is no longer a middle-class job, and everyone paying tuition should care.

    • Spain’s new king sworn in amid anti-monarchy rally (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

      ​Several people have been detained at an anti-monarchy protest near Madrid’s heavily guarded central square following the coronation of Felipe VI as Spain’s new king.

    • BBC and press ignore massive demonstration against austerity in London

      It seems the BBC are capable of tracking down a single Scot in Brazil who cheered a goal against England but fail to notice 50,000 demonstrating on their doorstep.

    • Miami Sues Banking Giant Over Predatory Mortgages

      The city of Miami on Friday filed a lawsuit in a federal court against JPMorgan Chase & Co., accusing the banking giant of a pattern of discriminatory loan practices “since at least 2004″ which sparked foreclosures and violated the U.S. Fair Housing Act.

      “JPMorgan has engaged in a continuous pattern and practice of mortgage discrimination in Miami since at least 2004 by imposing different terms or conditions on a discriminatory and legally prohibited basis,” Bloomberg reports lawyers for Miami as saying in the complaint.

    • Tens of thousands march in London against coalition’s austerity measures

      Tens of thousands of people marched through central London on Saturday afternoon in protest at austerity measures introduced by the coalition government. The demonstrators gathered before the Houses of Parliament, where they were addressed by speakers, including comedians Russell Brand and Mark Steel.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Koching of America — and of PBS

      A few months back the filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin got some bad news. The PBS funding that they had counted on to complete their documentary on campaign financing was being withdrawn. This setback came not long after PBS took the unusual step of warning David Koch (of right-wing billionaire donors “the Koch Brothers” fame) that he had been negatively portrayed in another of the networks documentaries, and giving them a chance to respond.

    • Fox Covers Up a Benghazi Story

      So why no mention of the suspect’s stated motive now? Fox News has aired more than 2,000 segments on the Benghazi attacks. Like other right-wing media with the Benghazi bug, Fox News claims that the White House deceived the public by not immediately branding the incident an Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist attack, but instead claimed that it was a spontaneous reaction to the notorious internet video. The motive for the deception, goes the theory, was the White House’s desire not to remind voters that Al-Qaeda was still active two months before a US presidential elections (e.g., Special Report, 5/14/13.)

      Indeed, the conspiracy-mongering got so out of control at one point that the Republicans, with Fox News at their backs, attempted to turn a State Department email mentioning that the anti-Muslim Internet video had caused incidents at a number of US embassies into a smoking gun–evidence, they said, that State Department was trying to repeat inaccurate talking points to be used on Sunday morning chat shows (e.g., Kelly File, 5/1/14). They were ultimately unsuccessful, as more level-headed media corrected the record (e.g., Slate, 4/30/14).

    • How Fox News Has A Conversation About Islam
    • Steve Wozniak wants you to support Mayday.US and get money out of politics

      Apple co-founder, nerd legend, and all-round Good Guy Steve Wozniak has recorded an excellent video explaining why he’s supporting Larry Lessig’s Mayday.US super PAC, which is raising $5M to elect lawmakers who’ll promise to vote to abolish super PACs and effect major campaign finance reform.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • No answer yet on how many elected politicians have been monitored by police’s domestic extremism unit

      Two Green Party politicians have criticised police chiefs who recorded their political activities on a secret database that tracks ‘domestic extremists’

    • US demotes Thailand and Qatar for abysmal human trafficking records
    • Sign the petition to provide reparations to the Chicago Police torture survivors
    • Guildford Four’s Gerry Conlon dies of cancer in Belfast, aged 60

      Belfast man who was wrongly jailed for 15 years devoted his life after release to campaigning for justice

    • How the CIA Stole ‘Dr. Zhivago’

      As The Zhivago Affair reveals, Feltrinelli was not the novel’s only publisher: The CIA played a central role in promoting and disseminating Pasternak’s novel. “The CIA, as it happened, loved literature,” Finn and Couvee write, and the agency was involved in the shipment of some one million books behind the Iron Curtain, including Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Nabokov’s Pnin. It became an urgent American agenda to place Doctor Zhivago in the hands of Russian readers. At a 1958 exposition in Brussels, attended by many Soviet visitors, the Vatican pavilion gave out free copies of Zhivago. In the words of a CIA memo, “this book has great propaganda value.”

    • Benghazi suspect faces US criminal court
    • Daphne Eviatar: Sending Benghazi suspect to Gitmo would be obstruction of justice
    • Kangaroo courts and guns on the table: The week in quotes

      Activist Margaretta D’Arcy made a strong presentation to an Oireachtas committee on the use of Irish airspace and Shannon Airport by, in particular, the US Military and CIA.

    • Revealed: Police investigate evidence that six CIA torture flights landed in Scotland

      POLICE are investigating evidence that a CIA jet landed in Glasgow after carrying 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to a secret torture prison in Poland.

      And the Sunday Mail can reveal that elite detectives are also probing five other stopovers in Scotland, which researchers suspect were part of CIA “rendition circuits” to move terror suspects between secret jails and torture sites.

    • Risen’s Petition Denied

      According to sources however, Eric Holder has declared, “As long as I’m attorney general, no reporter will go to jail for doing his job.”

    • UK government urged to prevent US use of Diego Garcia for renditions

      Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee has called on the UK Government to restrict the use by the US of Diego Garcia, a British overseas territory, for renditions.

    • Miracles, secrecy and Obama

      To make matters worse, agencies can’t deal with the explosion in electronic information. The CIA is believed to generate 1 petabyte of classified records every 18 months, or the equivalent of 20 million four-drawer filing cabinets of documents.

    • Canadian woman who stopped car on highway to save ducklings found guilty of causing two deaths

      25-year-old Emma Czornobaj stopped her car on the left lane of a highway near Montreal in 2010 after spotting a group of stray ducklings on the road. A motorcyclist and his daughter were killed after slamming into her car.

    • ‘Cash cow’ spy cars to be banned

      The “overzealous” use of spy cars by councils to issue parking fines will be reined in as the government seeks a better deal for the High Street.

    • Telling Folk Heroes From Monsters

      Even if hackers like Mr. Swartz are still a problem for us to reconcile in real life, maybe it is in the movies, with their capacity to empathize with the outré, their ability to present difficult, morally prismatic antiheroes, that we can properly come to terms with them. Especially now, in a world so vividly shaped by complex agents of change like Mr. Assange and Edward J. Snowden, we may need movies to help us comprehend our shades of gray.

    • Immigration And Mindless Partisanship – OpEd

      Many news articles have reported record deportations under Obama, while his anti-immigration critics have argued that a sensitivity to novelties in classification expose a president lax on border enforcement. Adjusting for all this, it appears that the truth is somewhere in the middle: Overall, the Obama administration has conducted deportation policies qualitatively similar to the last administration’s. Whether one concludes a slight decline or increase, the more important fact is that there has been no radical shift since he took office, and certainly not one toward liberalization. Obama’s proposal for reform last year was in fact quite reminiscent of Bush’s plan. Although conservatives tended to find Bush too liberal on immigration, a June 2007 poll showed that 45 percent of Republicans favored their president on these policies, down from 61 percent just a few months before.

    • Brazilian police criticised over raid on protest camp

      Several people were injured by rubber bullets and teargas canisters in Tuesday’s dawn attack by police on a tent community occupying a historic wharf known as Cais José Estelita.

    • Police say they have not counted how many politicians they have been monitoring

      It seems as though we may never know how many elected politicians have been monitored by the police’s ‘domestic extremism’ unit.

      And the reason? Police say that they have not counted how many there are.

      In response to a freedom of information request from the Guardian, Scotland Yard said that the national ‘domestic extremism’ unit “has not conducted any research to count how many elected politicians are currently recorded in any way in its files.”

    • Iran’s morality police: patrolling the streets by stealth

      President Rouhani vowed to rein them in, but they are still in force quietly keeping check on Tehran’s dress code

    • Groups Appeal to UN for ‘Humanity’ as Detroit Shuts Off Water to Thousands

      ‘By denying water service to thousands, Detroit is violating the human right to water.’

    • Brutal Repression Of Anti-FIFA & World Cup Protests in Brazil: at least 109 Arrested, countless Wounded

      Clashes in São Paulo ongoing, activists erected barricades and police have begun trying to disperse them with gas bombs. Protestors trashed a high-class car dealership and a bank on their way to the barricades, the cops could not keep up.

    • Spain: Piss Off The New King, Get Arrested For Displaying Anti-Monarchy Flags

      At least 5 people were arrested by the Spanish police for displaying flags for the Republic during the crowning ceremony of an imposed king aimed to reboot the fading support for the monarchy.

      Since 2008, it is legal to carry flags in support of the republic in Spain, but police arrested old people, young people, parents in front of their kids, intimidated and abused dozens for speaking against the king on the streets, or for wearing anti-monarchy signs. The ones who shouted ”¡Viva la República!” (Long live the Republic), during the ceremony, were arrested on the spot, officials said that it was for the crime of “opposing resistance to the authorities“.

    • Report: California Illegally Sterilized Dozens of Female Inmates

      Last year, the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) accused California of sterilizing over 140 female inmates between 2006 and 2010 without required state approvals.

      One doctor, James Heinrich, was responsible for the two-thirds of the tubal ligation referrals during that period from the biggest offender, Valley State prison.

      Asked by CIR about his startling record, Heinrich justified the money spent sterilizing inmates by claiming it was minimal “compared to what you save in welfare paying for these unwanted children—as they procreated more.” He has since been barred from future prison work.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The EFF wants to improve your privacy by making your Wi-Fi public

      Conventional wisdom dictates that to maintain your security and privacy, you should encrypt your Wi-Fi network. But what if the conventional wisdom is wrong? The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) argues that partially opening up your home Wi-Fi network could actually enhance your privacy, and is working on a tool to make it easier to do so.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XXIX

      Since the text itself is pretty dry, WikiLeaks has asked one of the world’s top experts on these trade agreements, Professor Jane Kelsey of the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, New Zealand, to provide a commentary. I strongly recommend reading her analysis, since it explains what all those innocuous-sounding phrases really mean. Here is her summary of what the new leak tells us…

    • Copyrights

      • Dotcom’s Disruptive Music Service First to Support FLAC Streaming

        After several years of development, Kim Dotcom’s much-anticipated music streaming platform Baboom is gearing up for its public release. Baboom aims to disrupt the music industry by closing the bridge between artists and fans. This includes a higher revenue share for artists and free music streaming in a lossless format for fans.

      • EU Commission Set to Unveil New Anti-Piracy Action Plans

        The EU Commission will next week announce new strategies for dealing with online piracy and counterfeiting. These non-legislative measures will include an EU action plan aimed at fighting IP infringement, plus a strategy to protect and enforce IP rights in third countries. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the aim is to “follow the money”.

      • Digital Content Online Should Be Free, Children Say

        A new survey of young children and adults has found consensus on what should be charged for content online. In both groups, 49% said that people should be able to download content they want for free, with a quarter of 16-24 year olds stating that file-sharing was the only way they could afford to obtain it.

06.21.14

Links 21/6/2014: Russia Dumps x86/Wintel, Steam Summer Sale is On

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 10:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-Source Tool Aimed At Propelling Honeypots Into the Mainstream

    Researchers have built a free open-source honeypot software program aimed at propelling the hacker decoys into security weapons for everyday organizations.

  • Google investing $50 million to get girls to code

    Google conducted research to determine why girls are opting out of learning how to code? As a result Google found that most girls decide before they even enter college whether they want to learn to code—so the Tech-world must win them over them at a young age. They also found that there were four major factors that determined whether girls opted into computer science: social encouragement, self-perception, academic exposure and career perception. According to recent studies less than 1 percent of high school girls express interest in majoring in computer science.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla working on a WordPress, Disqus competitor?
      • ​How to Try Firefox OS Apps on Android

        Android: Mozilla is best known for its web browser, but the company also produces Firefox OS for a limited number of handsets. With a little sideways thinking, though, you can try some of its apps in Android.

        Much like Google Chrome, Firefox supports webapps—the OS and apps are built with the same technology—and this is how you can bring Firefox OS to Android. Apps work like browser extensions, so they take up very little room making them ideal for older devices or those with limited storage. Download a copy of Firefox for Android from the Google Play Store, or update your existing copy to 29 or above.

        Fire up Firefox and visit the Firefox Marketplace, the Firefox version of Google Play or the Chrome Web Store. Take a browse through the Marketplace and tap an app that takes your fancy. Just as with regular Android apps, Firefox OS apps let you know about the permissions they need, and you have to accept this before you install anything.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • It’s time to stop the open-on-open violence in cloud computing

      A Structure conference panel discussing the state of open source cloud computing agreed that open source clouds need to get easier to use, but not on much else.

    • LeaseWeb Offers CloudStack-based Flat-Fee Private Cloud Service
    • Why I Built OwnCloud and Made It Open Source

      There I was, 4 years ago (this past January) at CampKDE in San Diego, giving a talk on data privacy, warning the audience about the risks to their privacy from cloud vendors – in particular, Dropbox. So, build it yourself they said. Sure, I’ve built things in the past, so sure, I’ll do it. And there is where I started my odyssey, first, to protect myself, my friends and my colleagues from the snooping of governments, and other bad guys, and later – as I saw the worldwide interest grow – to build a real and successful project.

      I had to decide a few things before I got started of course, including what it is I wanted ownCloud to do, what development platform to use, how I wanted to structure ownCloud, and of course, to name it ownCloud.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.3 RC1 Get Multiple DOCX Improvements
    • LibreOffice 4.2.5 Released with Fixes from 800 Contributors

      The Document Foundation has announced that the final version for LibreOffice 4.2.5 has been released for all the available platforms, including Linux.

      This is just a maintenance release for the 4.2.x branch, but users of this particular version should consider upgrading nonetheless. The developers have squashed numerous bugs for this release and that can be easily observed from the changelog,

      LibreOffice 4.2.5 is now the most advanced build available from The Document Foundation, but the developers maintain a number of other branches as well. Users will be able to find the 4.1.6, 4.2.3, and 4.2.4 downloads on the official website…

  • BSD

Leftovers

  • After Forty-Seven Years, Computerworld, Tech Publishing’s Elder Statesman, is a Print Publication No More

    The news comes three months after the passing of Pat McGovern, who started IDG in 1964 as a research firm and put out Computerworld with a tiny staff in its earliest days. It’s sad to think of IDG losing its founder and flagship print publication so close together, but in a way, it’s also fitting.

  • Maybe it’s time to consider a Gross Domestic Happiness Index

    Just for fun, I checked to see which countries are the wealthiest in the world, based on a ranking of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. According to the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA’s) World Factbook, the crown goes to energy-rich Qatar, where GDP per capita last year stood at more than $102,000 US.

    Rounding out the list of top-10 richest nations are Liechenstein, Macau, Bermuda, Monaco, Luxembourg, Singapore, Jersey, Norway, and the Falkland Islands.

    Paraguay ranked a lowly 143rd, with a GDP per capita of just $6,800 per person in 2013. In fact, most of the happiest countries according to the Gallup poll results failed to crack the top-100 list of the world’s wealthiest nations, based on the CIA’s data.

  • Hardware

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Reflections on Fascism

      Iraq is back, as in blowback: this replaces Ukraine for the moment, America always on the lookout for a situation which can be turned, because of US policy in the first place, into a source of provocation. Iraq, our intervention guaranteed internal civil war, here, with the gains of ISIS, a chance to return in some form, concentrated drone attacks, rather than so-called “boots on the ground,” possibly to inflame the entire region, itself destabilized for obvious reasons (protection of Israel and the continued plight of the Palestinians). As Spinney and Polk wrote in CounterPunch, contradiction plagues American policy, in this case, turning to Iran for help against ISIS while threatening Iran for some time with severe military and economic punishment. How Obama and Kerry can keep straight faces is one for the annals of war.

    • The Redrawing of the Map of the Middle East Begins with the Destruction of Iraq

      The US is playing all sides of this exploding conflict, towards larger US/NATO objectives.

      The invading force, ISIS, is a creation of the US CIA and oil-soaked US allies Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.It is an Al-Qaeda front. Al-Qaeda has been the military-intelligence arm of the CIA since the Cold War. ISIS is the Anglo-American empire’s leading military-intelligence army in its ongoing war against Syria.

    • Amerika’s “Third Crusade” In Iraq Is Having Trouble …

      Back in the early 2004, comedian Dave Chappelle produced a masterpiece entitled “Black Bush” – a comedic mockumentary of the events leading up to (and immediately following) the United States’ “second crusade” in Iraq, led by former president George W. Bush.

      [...]

      Now they’re our allies or something … sort of like al-Qaeda (who we were supporting in Syria) is now our enemy in Iraq.

    • Is Obama’s new Iraq strategy just a cover for expanding his secret war?

      At the White House on Thursday afternoon, the American president outlined an everything-but-the-war strategy that was classic Barack Obama: his press briefing offered perhaps a telling signal about his own expansive version of the Global War on Terror, while still managing to be subtly evasive about what he might actually do in Iraq.

      The US military will be increasing surveillance, Obama said, preparing to send military “advisers” to Iraq and urging, not so subtly, for a political shift away from Nouri al-Maliki’s government. He did not, of course, answer the question on everyone’s minds about how America plans to deal with the Iraq crisis: Will Obama engage in fighting to stabilize the country?

    • Pakistan condemns drone strike in North Waziristan

      Six suspected militants were killed in a drone strike in Miranshah Tehsil in North Waziristan, Pakistan, local tribesmen and Pakistani intelligence sources not authorized to speak to media told CNN on Wednesday.

      The drone struck a house and a pickup truck in the Daraga Mandi area of Miranshah, they said.

    • More than 400 US military drones lost in crashes: report
    • Dick Cheney Should be Rotting in The Hague, Not Writing Editorials

      This should be obvious to pretty everyone by now, but apparently the Wall Street Journal didn’t get the message. Today, the paper published an editorial by Cheney and his daughter Liz in which the former Vice President blasts the “collapsing Obama doctrine” of foreign policy.”

    • The U.N. Says 257 civilians Have Been Killed in East Ukraine but Refuses to Condemn the Ongoing Bombardment

      According to a recent report by the U.N. 356 people have been killed in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Of these 257 were civilians, 86 were Ukrainian military. If these numbers are accurate it would mean that only 13 separatists have been killed so far (I find that hard to believe). The real death toll is likely higher than this.

    • CNN Brings Back Those Who Were Wrong on Iraq

      TV coverage of the current Iraq crisis looks a lot like 2003, when pro-war pundits, former generals and hawkish politicians dominated the debate. CNN’s Situation Room, hosted by Wolf Blitzer, illustrates how TV has returned to that narrow, pro-government discussion of Iraq.

    • Bertrand Russell Society Calls for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and Supports Lawsuit

      The Bertrand Russell Society held its 41st annual conference at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario on June 13-15, 2014. Dozens of academics, students, and Russell admirers from five countries and eight US states attended the conference, which featured presentations on various aspects of Russell’s diverse interests and works, including his work in logic and philosophy, and his political writing and activism. Bertrand Russell was one of the twentieth century’s most important and influential philosophers and public intellectuals. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, and he was a founder and early leader of the nuclear disarmament movement.

    • Obama Prepares for Drone War in Iraq

      President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that he will send 300 Green Beret Army special operations soldiers to Iraq. They will be detailed to Iraqi National Army Headquarters and brigade HQs and their primary task will apparently be intelligence-gathering and helping with the Iraqi National Army response to the advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL). Likely the intelligence-gathering in turn is intended to allow the deployment in Iraq of American drones. At the moment, the US has no good intelligence on the basis of which to fly the drones.

    • Iraq strategy: Obama, Congress leaders meeting

      Obama has ruled out returning combat troops to Iraq in order to quell the insurgency. However, he has notified Congress that up to 275 armed U.S. forces are being positioned in and around Iraq to provide support and security for U.S. interests.

    • Best Case Against Attacking Iraq? The Last Attack On Iraq

      As the latest reporting from both Baghdad and Washington, D.C. reveal diplomatic machinations paving the way for possible U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, increasing numbers of people are asking President Obama—and the American people—to look at the repeated and failed policy of military intervention in the region as the best argument against making the same mistake yet again.

    • Local Christians unite to protest for peace

      Critics claim these drone strikes have killed thousands of innocent civilians, including children.

    • Pentagon crashed more than 400 military drones
    • 400 drones crashed since 2001, six in Pakistan

      More than 400 large US military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001, a record of calamity that exposes the potential dangers of throwing open American skies to drone traffic, according to a year-long Washington Post investigation.

    • Military drones fall from the sky

      The unmanned military planes have slammed into homes, farms, runways and a transport plane in midair.

    • Drones crash with alarming frequency

      Commercial drone flights are set to become a widespread reality in the United States, starting next year, under a 2012 law passed by Congress. Drone flights by law enforcement agencies and the military, which occur on a limited basis, are projected to surge.

    • Report: Over 400 Military Drones Have Crashed Since 2001
  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Criminal Justice Media’s ‘Twisted’ Coverage

      Khan strayed from most media coverage around New York’s “biggest gang raid ever” by writing about the people living in the housing projects at the heart of the early-morning 400+ officer raid (complete with helicopters and riot gear), and by including voices of residents critical of it. The initial New York Times story (6/4/14) included only official accounts. The Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post (6/4/14) printed Facebook quotes of some of the teenagers indicted (an apparent attempt to prove their guilt in the court of public opinion–a guilt assumed by the headline’s flat assertion about “Rival Gangs Arrested”), as well as quotes from the Manhattan district attorney and residents offering comments supportive of the end to alleged violence–if not the raid itself.

      [...]

      It’s of course this type of media objectivity that allows for authorities to dominate public discourse through the virtual invisibility of criticism. Their heightened voice, made possible by the media’s willingness to become echo chambers for them, point to a relationship where the line between media and the state is blurred.

  • Censorship

    • Laziness Is Censoring the Internet

      Every time a government attempts to censor the Internet and block access to websites, advocates of Web freedom ritually respond that the effort is useless: Technology will beat police action every time. It’s true — but only to the extent that people are interested in resisting. Most aren’t, which is why governments have not stopped messing with site blockages and other Web restrictions.

      A few days ago, Iraq blocked the social networks, as beleaguered governments sometimes do, believing it would cut off activists from each other and stop them from organizing. Immediately, traffic to Tor, the anonymous network supported by volunteers throughout the world, rocketed…

    • Twitter ends censorship of ‘blasphemous’ tweets after #TwitterTheocracy campaign
    • Government of [CENSORED] censors cyberbullying docs

      The Star has obtained documents related to the Conservatives’ controversial Internet surveillance bill that have been heavily censored — even blocking out the “Canada” in “Government of Canada.”

  • Privacy

    • Don’t panic about Facebook outages, the NSA has your back

      Yet they don’t seem to think about what they lose when Facebook hands that personal data over to the NSA, or to any other security or intelligence authorities, such as GCHQ in the UK.

    • EU judgement on Facebook to take over a year

      Any EU-level judgement on a case filed against Facebook for its alleged involvement in helping the Americans snoop on millions of people is likely to take over a year.

    • The case that might cripple FacebookThe case that might cripple Facebook
    • Top 10 Reasons Why Corporate Social Media is Not Your Friend, and Dark Social Media Is

      Facebook currently limits the number of your “friends” who can see your posts to about 7 or 8%. What? You thought that “friends” list was yours? It’s not. It’s theirs. And think about it, if you had a thousand friends, and 25 of them, that’s 2.5% posted 3 or 4 times a day, another 25 posted once a day, and a hundred posted once a week, that would be at least 150 daily posts for you to comb through, leaving little room for Facebook to insert ads and promoted content which customers have paid for into your news feed.

    • The German Government has reportedly tightened tender rules for sensitive public IT contracts

      The German Government has reportedly tightened the rules for awarding sensitive public IT contracts, following whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations regarding the US National Security Agency’s (“NSA”) mass surveillance activities.

    • Opinion: Where is Europe’s outrage?

      One year ago, Europeans were livid when Edward Snowden revealed NSA mass surveillance of European citizens. Now that new documents show most EU countries are in cahoots with the NSA, the public remains mostly mum.

    • House votes 293-123 to cut funding for NSA spying on Americans
    • EU states let NSA tap data cables, Danish media say
    • Danes tapped Norway data for NSA: Information

      Denmark’s Defence Intelligence Service (DDIS) is intercepting data sent through fibre cables from Norway, according to newly published documents leaked from the US’s National Security Agency (NSA)

    • NSA Working With Denmark, Germany To Access ‘Three Terabits Of Data Per Second’ From Overseas Cables

      Another set of leaked NSA documents has been posted in a team effort by The Intercept and Danish newspaper Dagbladet. This one deals with the NSA’s RAMPART-A program, a surveillance effort that depends on the cooperation of involved countries to be successful. As the NSA has always made an effort to point out, its interception of foreign communications is both completely legal and the sort of thing people would expect a national security agency to be doing.

    • NSA uses 33 countries to intercept web traffic – Snowden Files
    • UK urged to give Germany access to RAF base that ‘helped spy on Merkel’

      The UK needs to grant Germany access to RAF Croughton military base which reportedly hosts a joint CIA/NSA unit, a Labor MP told British PM David Cameron, urging him to help the German federal investigation of the phone tapping of Angela Merkel.

    • Scenes of the NSA Are Watching Over the London Underground

      Paglen’s latest work, a site-specific piece for the London Underground stop, is a huge photographic panorama that depicts the area surrounding Menwith Hill, an RAF base used by the NSA. At first glance, the landscape is idyllic and unmistakably British, with luscious green fields and a smattering of stone cottages. But lurking on the horizon are a series of white bubbles; a rare but tell-tale physical sign of the secretive surveillance conducted by the security agency.

    • ZOMG! The FBI commissioned this WTF list of netspeak
    • British gov’t reportedly intercepting conversations from Facebook, Twitter, and Google

      The British government is reportedly intercepting communications from social networks, emails and text messages even when there is no suspicion of wrongdoing. According to a report from Privacy International, British spy agencies have been monitoring the Facebook and Twitter activity of every Internet user in the country. Authorities are also said to be collecting data on people’s web searches and emails.

    • How did ‘don’t mess with the money’ become the NSA’s motto?

      So why doesn’t the NSA start watching Wall Street’s agents of financial terror? Why don’t its snoops look into every nook and cranny of our economy where investment bankers, hedge fund managers, private equity kingpins, and derivative wheeler-dealers are trading inside information and rigging markets, milking mergers and nuking jobs, all the while stuffing multiple millions (or billions) in their pockets?

    • House Votes to Defund NSA ‘Backdoor’ Searches
    • House unexpectedly votes to stop warrantless NSA searches

      In what’s being billed as a momentum boost for anti-surveillance advocates, the US House of Representative on Thursday approved an amendment that significantly reigns in warrantless searches on Americans’ communication records.

    • Here’s how the NSA snoops on India

      According to these documents, India is an “Approved SIGINT partner” with the NSA. SIGINT is a common term used in intelligence circles that stands for signals Intelligence, and refers to capturing of communication between two people. Decrypting of messages, traffic analysis etc are also part of SIGINT. The agency then taps these SIGINT partnerships for creating two major programs called RAMPART-A and WINDSTOP for collecting data in transit between the source and the servers, as opposed to collecting data from each Internet company (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo) separately. Considering WINDSTOP only partners with second parties, primarily the UK, to access communications into and out of Europe and Middle East, third-party partner like India should fall under RAMPART-A.

    • Can you spy on a phone when it is turned off?

      Whether you consider Edward Snowden a traitor or a patriot, before he hit the news most people didn’t give much thought to government spying on everyday citizens. During a recent interview, he said that the NSA has the ability to spy on your smartphone, even if it’s turned off.

    • Spook Rebuke

      Keep in mind what the NSA is up to. This goes well beyond a sniffer program scanning Karachi-bound text messages for “Death to the Great Satan! Allahu Akbar!” The NSA has been intercepting laptop computers being shipped to customers in order to install software bugs in them, redirecting Web traffic to install malware on computers, installing agents in video games, and generally behaving like an implausible villain in a Robert Ludlum novel. It is using the flimsiest rationales to extend its surveillance to domestic targets. The toothless USA Freedom Bill passed by the House last month was intended to curtail some of this, but would have relatively little practical effect even if it were to become law, its enforcement protocols being remarkably loosey-goosey. The bipartisan amendment put forth by Kentucky’s Thomas Massie (R.) and California’s Zoe Lofgren (D.) passed 293 to 123, and would impose funding restrictions as well as implement a specific ban on any agency effort “to mandate or request that a person redesign its product or service to facilitate” surveillance.

    • NSA helps foreign governments conduct mass surveillance at home

      A new release of Snowden’s leaked NSA docs detail RAMPART-A, through which the NSA gives foreign governments the ability to conduct mass surveillance against their own populations in exchange for NSA access to their communications. RAMPART-A, is spread across 13 sites, accesses three terabytes/second from 70 cables and networks. It cost US taxpayers $170M between 2011 and 2013, allocated through the NSA’s “black budget.”

    • Senator Wyden Congratulates House on Bipartisan Vote to Ban Backdoor Searches
    • House backs limits on government spying
    • New leaks show Germany’s collusion with NSA

      Several new Snowden-leaked documents show how closely Germany’s intelligence agencies work with the NSA. But did the German government deliberately soften laws protecting privacy to make life easier for them?

    • Even The NSA Likes Final Fantasy

      Documents published earlier this week by German magazine Der Spiegel reveal that one of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs in Germany was named “WILDCHOCOBO.”

    • WILDCHOCOBO: Evidence of Final Fantasy fans at the NSA?
    • Germany opens criminal probe into spying operations by NSA

      Germany’s lead federal prosecutor has opened a criminal probe into espionage operations by the National Security Agency (NSA) of the nation’s leadership; especially the allegation of NSA’s spying against German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    • House passes measure aimed at NSA snooping

      The House on Friday passed a defense spending bill with an amendment that would bar the National Security Agency from conducting warrantless searches of its databases for Americans’ communications records.

    • Court Approves NSA Gathering of Phone Metadata for Three More Months

      U.S. intelligence officials disclosed late Friday that the Obama administration has received approval from a special federal court to continue the National Security Agency’s collection of telephone metadata for another three months.

    • US lawmakers pass bill to curb NSA
    • House votes to expand protections against NSA
    • European Union’s Highest Court To Consider PRISM’s Impact On EU Data Protection Laws
    • Edward Snowden won’t meet with German officials in Moscow
    • Edward Snowden rejects German plans for meeting in Moscow
    • Digital Rights Activist Hails House Vote on Bill Limiting NSA Surveillance

      In an unusual show of bipartisan unity, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a funding bill Friday with an amendment, co-sponsored by San Jose Democrat Zoe Lofgren, that would limit the surveillance powers of the National Security Agency.

    • “Politically Explosive” Docs Show How NSA Wiretaps Earth
    • Fisa court grants extension of licence for bulk collection of US phone records
    • Macedonia gave permission to NSA to spy on citizens?

      The United States has made top-secret deals with more than 30 third-party countries so that the National Security Agency can tap into fiber optic cables carrying internet data in those parts of the world, new leaks reveal.

    • U.S. Government at War With Itself Over Civil Liberties

      Over the past year, the United States government has been in the news a lot for its efforts to undermine the Internet’s basic privacy and security protocols.

      There were the Edward Snowden revelations about the National Security Agency sweeping up metadata, paying contractors to embed backdoors into their security technologies, hacking various private accounts of network administrators and developing malware to infect computers.

    • Another US spying problem in Latin America: The DEA

      Rousseff summed it all up rather succinctly in a blunt speech at the United Nations last September, denouncing “a situation of grave violation of human rights and of civil liberties; of invasion and capture of confidential information concerning corporate activities, and especially of disrespect to national sovereignty.”

    • Canadians Don’t Trust the Harper Government’s New Cyberbullying Bill

      Canadians were largely unmoved by the Edward Snowden leaks and the disclosure of mass surveillance programs like PRISM, with few showing any serious worries about domestic government surveillance in a poll by Abacus Data in June 2013. But now a new poll by Forum Research suggests Canadians are growing suspicious of the latest Conservative cyberbullying bill C-13, with most rejecting a piece of legislation many think is more about beefing up government surveillance powers than protecting teens from bullies.

    • Cops hid use of phone tracking tech in court documents at feds’ request

      ACLU uncovers e-mails regarding Stingray devices borrowed from US Marshals Service.

    • Stingray Documents Show Law Enforcement Using ‘Terrorism’ To Obtain Equipment To Fight Regular Crime

      Scott Ainslie at MuckRock has pried loose a few more Stingray documents with a FOIA request. What was requested were contractual documents, which seem to be something law enforcement agencies feel more comfortable with releasing. Anything pertaining to the actual use of Stingray devices still remains heavily shrouded, thanks in no small part to the intercession of the federal government.

    • Lawyers, locals react to WPD’s surveillance device

      The Wilmington Police Department has surveillance equipment called Stingray. It turns your phone into a tracking device, giving law enforcement crucial information on where you are. But it might violate your rights.

    • Glenn Greenwald On Why Privacy Is Vital, Even If You ‘Have Nothing To Hide’

      Journalist Glenn Greenwald defended the value of digital privacy and slammed those who dismiss its importance during a stop on his national book tour Thursday.

      “We all need places where we can go to explore without the judgmental eyes of other people being cast upon us,” he said. “Only in a realm where we’re not being watched can we really test the limits of who we want to be. It’s really in the private realm where dissent, creativity and personal exploration lie.”

      He said that people who downplay the importance of privacy typically say, “I have nothing to hide.” But, he added, those people aren’t willing to publish their social media and email passwords.

    • US House Votes To Cut Funding For NSA Spying On American Citizens

      Even when the government conducts secret activities, those ventures have to be funded, and a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives last night took a swipe at the NSA’s domestic spying practices by cutting some of its funding.

    • Tell a lie, remove the gear: How the NSA covers up when cable taps are found

      On March 14, 2013, an SSO weekly briefing included a note regarding such a discovery. The unit had been informed two days earlier that “the access point for WHARPDRIVE was discovered by commercial consortium personnel. Witting partner personnel have removed the evidence and a plausible cover story was provided. All collection has ceased.”

      According to Der Spiegel, Wharpdrive was a fiber-optic cable tap (underseas fiber is often laid by consortia of companies, so it’s possible this took place at an onshore landing point for such a cable). Employees from one of the companies involved—though not the company that had a relationship with NSA and the German intelligence agency BND—apparently noticed some unusual gear and commented on it. In response, the company involved with the NSA (“witting partner personnel”) removed the tap and made up a story to explain what the gear in question had been doing.

    • The NSA in Germany: Snowden’s Documents Available for Download

      In Edward Snowden’s archive on NSA spying activities around the world, there are numerous documents pertaining to the agency’s operations in Germany and its cooperation with German agencies. SPIEGEL is publishing 53 of them, available as PDF files.

    • Interview with Ex-Stasi Agent: ‘The Scope of NSA Surveillance Surprised Me’

      During the Cold War, West Germany’s foreign intelligence service cooperated closely with the NSA. Klaus Eichner, an agent with the East German Stasi, monitored it at the time, and now he tells SPIEGEL what he knew about the collaboration.

    • Watchdog urges EU leaders to shield citizens from snooping

      European Union countries need stricter controls to protect citizens from spying, a top data protection official said on Thursday, a warning that may rekindle a debate about snooping before an EU summit next week.

    • NSA Reform Gathers Momentum In Congress After Late-Night Vote

      After a somewhat desultory year of little to no change, reform of the United States surveillance state appears to have finally found momentum.

      Recently the USA FREEDOM Act was gutted and rammed through the House, and two funding amendments that would have cut monies for forced backdoors and certain government searches failed.

      Last night, however, the House passed a single amendment to the military funding bill that did what the two failed amendments had attempted. At once, a large House majority had taken an unambiguous stand against certain parts of the government’s surveillance activities.

    • Congress wants NSA reform after all. Obama and the Senate need to pass it

      An overwhelming House vote to cut funds for back doors into your private life sets up a summer surveillance fight: will the Senate stand up before the White House shuts it down?

    • Reps. Goodlatte And Ruppersberger Admit That NSA Is Warrantlessly Spying On Americans’ Communications

      We’ve already written about the surprising, but encouraging, vote late last night to defund backdoor searches by the NSA. But it’s worth looking at some of the floor debate on the amendment last night — in particular the push against the amendment from Reps. Goodlatte and Ruppersberger, who both appear to flat out admit that the NSA does warrantless spying on Americans’ communications, in direct contrast to earlier claims. The reasons for these two to argue against the amendment are clear. Goodlatte was the guy who negotiated the “deal” with the White House and the House Intelligence Committee to completely water down the USA Freedom Act, and he knows that this amendment puts some of the substance that he stripped out right back in. Ruppersberger, of course, represents the district where the NSA is headquartered, and is the ranking member for the House Intelligence Committee. His loyalty to the NSA over the American public has always been clear. But to have them basically admit that the NSA does warrantless spying on Americans is quite impressive.

    • 38 Civil Liberties and Public Interest Organizations Call on Congress to Pass Real NSA Reform

      A bipartisan coalition of 38 civil liberties and public interest organizations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, sent a letter to Congress yesterday that draws a line in the sand on NSA reform. The coalition made it clear that it cannot support the watered-down version of the USA FREEDOM Act passed in the House of Representatives without significant changes to the legislation, and outlined clear steps that Congress can take to address problems with the bill.

    • Amash spokesman: ‘Congress is clued in’ on NSA spying programs with passage of bipartisan proposal
    • House Votes To Defund Warrantless Communications Searches

      The House voted 293 to 123 late Thursday to approve amendments to a Defense appropriations bill (HR 4670) that would defund warrantless seraches of NSA-collected communications and prevent the NSA and CIA from requiring products have “back doors” that allow them to more easily conduct searches.

    • More Than $116K Has Been Raised in 3 Days for NSA-Proof Encrypted Email

      Roughly three days ago, an Indiegogo surfaced promising “to protect people around the world from the mass surveillance that is currently being perpetrated by governments and corporations around the world.” More than $116,000 has already been raised, and that’s without the viral guidance of media attention.

    • Inflation? Only If You Look At Food, Water, Gas, Electricity And Everything Else

      Anyone that has to regularly pay for food, water, gas, electricity or anything else knows that inflation is too high. In fact, if inflation was calculated the same way that it was back in 1980, the inflation rate would be close to 10 percent right now.

    • The Supreme Court is about to decide what police can do with your phone

      Within the next week, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to decide on a pair of cases that will have major implications for the over 91 percent of Americans who carry a cellphone. At issue is the question of whether police officers are legally allowed to search through the contents of someone’s phone—that is to say, much of a person’s private life—without first obtaining a warrant.

    • The NSA’s big problem, explained by the NSA

      Amongst the new trove of classified documents released by Der Speigel is a rather academic discussion, in the NSA’s own foreign affairs journal, about the differences between American signals intelligence collection and German signals intelligence collection.

      One passage in particular stands out, as it highlights how the Germans give far more weight to privacy than the NSA does.

    • How to Keep Public Support for Spying

      A poll suggests intelligence agencies could benefit from some controlled leaks.

    • Senators should take Snowden’s lead, shine light on NSA

      Former federal government contract worker Edward Snowden’s disclosures of virtually limitless surveillance of American citizens by the National Security Agency corroborated the late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis’ wisdom that sunshine is said to be the best of disinfectants.

  • Civil Rights

    • New Meme: Liberty Movement More Dangerous Than Al-Qaida

      Is the liberty movement more dangerous than al-Qaida? CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen thinks so.

    • How many Palestinians will die in the search for missing Israeli youths?

      Mustafa Aslan died on Friday afternoon after being shot in the head by an Israeli soldier at Qalandiya refugee camp near Ramallah a few hours previously. He was 22-years-old.

      Mustafa is the third Palestinian victim of the Israeli authorities’ ‘search’ for three teenagers – two Israeli and one US-Israeli – who went missing on 12 June after leaving the illegal Israeli settlement bloc of Gush Etzion near Hebron.

    • Japan Brought an End to Gun Violence by Doing What The U.S. Won’t

      Let’s say it all together now: The United States has a problem with guns.

      Since the horrifying Sandy Hook tragedy of 2012, there have been 74 school shootings and 17,042 gun deaths.

      To the frustration of many Americans, a stalled debate stands in the way of solving our gun violence problem, even though the solution is staring us in the face. The Onion captured this feeling perfectly with one of its headlines last month: “‘No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.”

    • Supreme Court Sides With Whistleblower In Retaliation Case

      In a case over retaliation against a public employee who was fired after testifying about corruption, the Supreme Court says the man gave testimony as a concerned citizen and should not have been punished. The decision was unanimous, overturning lower courts.

    • Let’s have a day off from ‘joy’ of technology

      TECHNOLOGY saves stress. Except when it adds stress. Supermarket self-checkout machines may look inviting enough, but were, in fact, inspired by medieval devices of torture.

    • Flying drones, quad-copters in SA: legal or illegal?

      The issue of whether it is legal or illegal to fly radio-controlled and unmanned aircraft in South Africa is a complex one involving three different organisations.

      As things stand today, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has no regulations to govern what it calls Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS’s), which means it is illegal to fly unmanned drones in South Africa.

    • EXISTENCE OR NONEXISTENCE: CIA’s Linguistic Somersault Takes to the Sky

      This past Memorial Day weekend, New Yorkers who happened to look up may have seen the words EXISTENCE OR NONEXISTENCE appear across the skyline in synchronized bursts of white smoke.

      The seemingly spontaneous event was a project of mine called Severe Clear. It was inspired by a letter the CIA sent the ACLU rejecting their Freedom of Information Act request for documents relating to the U.S. government’s classified drone program. The letter reiterates the now familiar Glomar response, stating that the agency can “neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence” of records responsive to the request.

    • G.I. Joe creator made Osama bin Laden action figure for CIA
    • CIA, G.I. Joe inventor made ‘demon’ bin Laden dolls
    • CIA Created ‘Demonic’ Osama Bin Laden Toy to Scare Afghan Children

      The CIA secretly developed a “demonic” Osama bin Laden action figure to scare Pakistani and Afghan children and undermine public support for the al-Qaida figurehead, it has emerged.

    • The State of the Fourth State in the State

      What the journalists’ body asked for from other newspapers was a form of censorship: self-censorship. George Orwell has written about the damages of self-censorship in any democratic society. The first priority of journalists is to unearth the truth and if they start exercising self censorship than truth is going to be the first casualty.

    • David Usborne: President, press and prejudice: it’s America

      At a conference in New York in March, Risen said the Obama administration has shown itself to be “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation”. By then his case had reached the Supreme Court, where the Justices declined to intervene.

    • Another View: Journalist shield law critical to democracy

      The letter was sent to Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a few days after the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of James Risen, a New York Times reporter who has been contesting a subpoena requiring him to testify at the upcoming trial of a former CIA agent.

      The agent, Jeffrey Sterling, is accused of revealing classified information about a failed CIA plan to compromise Iran’s nuclear program, an operation described in a book by Risen.

    • Media seeks Guantanamo force-feeding videos
    • Status of CIA Detention and Interrogation Program Declassification (updated)

      In the meantime, Senator Feinstein, Chair of the SSCI, has stated that the Director of National Intelligence has assured her that the declassification of the SSCI’s executive summary and findings and conclusions will be completed by early next month, ideally before July 4. If this is still the case, it is not necessarily inconsistent with the CIA’s status reports filed today. Presumably the Executive branch will be finished with its declassification review of the SSCI’s documents before it turns to the two ancillary documents (the CIA response and the Panetta Report), and will then deliver the declassified versions of the executive summary and findings and conclusions to the SSCI, which could decide to publish them before August 29. The period between early July and August 29 would also give the SSCI and the Executive branch eight weeks or so to negotiate over any possible disagreements about the scope of the declassification.

    • Here Are Some Of The Most Bizarre Ideas From The CIA

      In the 1950s, the CIA produced a pornographic film starring an actor made up to resemble Indonesian President Sukarno. The idea was to discredit Sukarno in the eyes of his countrymen, according to the 1976 memoir of a CIA officer, Joseph Burkholder Smith, as the Indonesian leader was viewed as insufficiently pro-West at the time.

    • America Is Also “Ripe For Regime Change”

      There’s been a lot of talk coming out of Washington, D.C. lately about the need for “regime change” in Iraq – which is particularly ironic when you consider the current regime was hand-picked by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during an American military invasion that cost trillions of dollars and thousands of lives.

    • Why The World Should Care About The War Against Guatemalan Women

      Biden’s visit, though, only serves to highlight the historical role the U.S. has played in prompting some of the problems seen today in Guatemala. In 1954, the C.I.A. helped organize a coup to oust a popular leader and install a right-wing dictator who plunged the country into a 36-year civil war. Effects of the war, which Amnesty International and many other groups label a genocide of the Mayan people, are still felt today and contribute greatly to Guatemala’s current problems.

    • The assassin’s guide to Western ‘democracy’

      We live in an age now where the Western media has been virtually subsumed by banking and military interests. If “our side’s” dirty deeds are kept out of the news, and the latest “bogeyman” kept in, then today’s war profiteers can get away with whatever they want. “Defensive” NATO with its proxy armies and “deniable” private military contractors sponsoring butchery across the globe has become a Napoleon with nukes, bringing the day ever closer when these wonder-weapons might again be used in anger.

    • Pentagon Funds “Cold War-Style” Science Study to Track Political Protest in America

      The controversial program called Project Camelot had been operational nearly a decade into the Vietnam war, as the Special Operations Research Office (SORO) located at American University had received millions in funding from the US Army to conduct a six country study on civil unrest. The current social science program directed by Minerva and the Department of Defense (DoD), appears to have also partnered with some of the most well-known universities in the United States by studying the behavior of peaceful activism and how political ideology shapes protest movements in the world at large.

    • Did CIA Smear a Former Operative to Cover Up a Bad Firing?

      And now a former CIA operative may get a day in court to add to that peculiar lore. On Friday a federal trial judge in Washington, D.C. could rule on a discovery motion by “Peter B.,” a former CIA officer who contends that the spy agency fired him without due process and then badmouthed him, scuttling his chances for a job with a CIA contractor.

    • Is it right to jail someone for being offensive on Facebook or Twitter?

      Jake Newsome was jailed last week for posting offensive comments online. His is the latest in a string of cases that have led to prison terms, raising concern that free speech may be under threat from over-zealous prosecutors

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Senate Is Officially Considering a CISPA Clone

        The Senate Intelligence Committee is moving forward with its Cybersecurity Information Protection Act—a problematic, potentially civil liberties-killing piece of legislation that looks just like the CISPA bill the internet fought so hard to kill last year—and the year before that.

        CIPA, written by Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) will be considered by the committee next week, according to Feinstein.

      • The German war against the link

        Half the major publishers in Germany have started a process of arbitration — which, no doubt, will lead to suits — to demand that Google pay them for quoting from and thus linking to their content. And now we know how much they think they deserve: 11% of Google’s revenue related to their snippets. From their government filing, they want a cut of “gross sales, including foreign sales” that come “directly and indirectly from making excerpts from online newspapers and magazines public.” [All these links are in German.]

      • That Story You’ve Read About YouTube ‘Blocking’ Indie Artists… Yeah, That’s Not Accurate

        As you may have heard, there’s been some hubbub this week about claims that YouTube is going to remove some videos from indie musicians/labels who don’t agree to the contract terms for YouTube’s upcoming music subscription service. Ellen Huet, over at Forbes, has a good article explaining how this isn’t as dire as some are making it out to be, but the more I’m digging into it, it seems even less than that. There’s no doubt that this is a royalty dispute, with some indie labels upset about the basic terms that Google is offering, but, if you haven’t noticed, the complaints seem to be coming from the same folks who complain about the royalty rates of every single online music service. There are some people who will just never be satisfied. Furthermore, the deeper you dig into this, it becomes quite clear that any artist who wants to have their videos on YouTube can continue to do that.

06.19.14

Links 19/6/2014: New Mir, Dalvik Changes, X.org Turns 30

Posted in News Roundup at 7:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Kerala govt all prepared to keep Padmanabhaswamy temple wealth in museum

    Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy is apparently okay with the suggestion of converting the massive holding of the treasures, discovered in the cellars of the famous Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, into a museum.

  • Health and OBL

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The absurdities of U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan: Siddiqui

      More than a decade after the beginnings of George W. Bush’s two wars, bombs are still falling in the invaded countries.

    • A Note on Fawning and US-Australian Ties

      The most grotesque spectacle in recent years has been that of an Australian prime minister on tour in the United States. The bib has to be procured to capture the drool. Fawning admiration accompanies unqualified assertions of promise and valour in the face of common enemies and those who do not share the “values” of each country.

    • A Brief History of Iraq for Westerners

      Supporting and arming a brutal dictator in Saddam Hussein and his catastrophic war against Iran, then bombing Iraq and imposing the most murderous sanctions in history, and then newly bombing Iraq and occupying it for 8 years while arming and training death squads and torturers and imposing sectarian segregation, creating 5 million refugees, and killing a half-million to a million-and-a-half people, while devastating the nation’s infrastructure, and then imposing a puppet government loyal to one sect and one neighboring nation. That, plus arming the new government for vicious attacks on its own people, while arming mad killers in neighboring Syria, some of whom want to combine parts of Syria and Iraq: that was all it took, and suddenly, out of nowhere, ignorant Arabs are killing each other, just out of pure irrationality, just like in Palestine.

    • Clinton: I Wanted to Arm Syrian Rebels

      If Hillary Clinton had had her way, the US would have armed Syrian rebels “two-plus years ago,” she says. The former secretary of state told CNN that she, the defense secretary, and the head of the CIA sought to arm moderates, but the president disagreed. “We pushed very hard. But as I say in my book, I believe that Harry Truman was right, the buck stops with the president.” Would that have affected the current crisis in Iraq? “It’s very difficult, in retrospect, to say that would have prevented this,” she noted, per Reuters.

    • US Poised to Strike Iraq, But CIA Has No Idea Who They’re Aiming At

      US officials are all set to launch air strikes against ISIS-controlled parts of Iraq, but are warning of a major “intelligence gap” in the CIA regarding where potential targets might conceivably be.

    • Green Party LogoGreen Party: No new U.S. military action in Iraq

      The Green Party of the United States is calling for no new U.S. military action in Iraq, including on-the-ground troop deployment and airstrikes.

      Greens are urging President Obama to resist demands by belligerent politicians and pundits for a U.S. assault in Iraq against ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).

    • ISIS “Made in USA”. Iraq “Geopolitical Arsonists” Seek to Burn Region

      When a fire is raging, firefighters are called – not the arsonist who started it, especially if they return to the scene of the crime dragging a barrel of gasoline behind them. Yet, this is precisely what the US proposes – that they – the geopolitical arsonists – be allowed to return to Iraq to extinguish the threat of heavily armed sectarian militants streaming from NATO territory in Turkey and edging ever closer to Baghdad.

    • US flying F-18 surveillance missions over Iraq, Obama reviews options with lawmakers

      The United States is flying F-18 surveillance missions over Iraq from an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, officials confirm to Fox News, as President Obama weighs options for “increased security assistance” in the country.

    • The Worst Effect of the Afghan War

      Although few in the United States dare say it, the U.S. military lost the war in Afghanistan a long time ago. As in Vietnam, if the weaker insurgents don’t lose, they win by just keeping an army in the field and hoping the stronger foreign occupier will tire of the conflict and go home. The American colonists used the same strategy to win their independence from Britain. After the U.S. forces leave Afghanistan at the end of 2016, the Taliban will likely be resurgent, and eventually most U.S. political and economic development efforts in Afghanistan likely will be reversed. Thus, unfortunately, much of what U.S. service personnel died or were wounded for will have been lost.

    • US shifts focus away from Iraq airstrikes

      President Barack Obama has shifted his focus away from airstrikes in Iraq as an imminent option for slowing a fast-moving Islamic insurgency, in part because there are few clear targets that U.S. could hit, officials said.

    • New Rep Unveils Drone Strikes’ ‘Pattern Of Life’ — And Death

      On the face of it, “Pattern of Life” mines predictable territory, going back and forth between an American drone operator and a Pakistani villager, skillfully portrayed by Lewis Wheeler and Nael Nacer. Wheeler’s Carlo starts off as a callow macho man, but becomes more and more wary of what he’s doing.

    • THEATER REVIEW Grounded
    • Artist shows suffering caused by brainless killing machines

      British-Iraqi artist Athier Mousawi has fused these natural and man-made phenomena to create pictures that show the helplessness and despair of the countless, nameless people crushed or enmeshed by the tentacles of war.

    • Ten years on: Eyewitnesses describe the aftermath of the first Pakistan drone strike

      Ten years ago today, the first CIA drone strike hit Pakistan, starting a bombing campaign that would span two US presidencies and three Pakistani administrations.

      On the evening of June 17 2004, a drone targeted Nek Mohammed, a senior Taliban figure. But it also killed five other people – two of whom were children. While Nek Mohammed received detailed obituaries in major Pakistani newspapers, the children were not even identified by name. And 10 years after their deaths, details of what happened that evening are only just starting to emerge.

    • More US bombs and drones will only escalate Iraq’s horror

      Nothing has exposed the delusionary disaster of the war on terror like the past week’s eruption of its mutant progeny across Iraq. David Cameron declared today that the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, rejected as too extreme and sectarian by al-Qaida itself, is now the most serious threat to Britain’s security.

    • Pezz: Punk with a Conscience

      “It’s a walk against drone warfare. The slogan is ‘Ground the Drones.’ We’re here to highlight that the drones kill primarily civilian noncombatants and create enmity among the countries where we’re using them. And if there’s one thing that will create more terrorists, it’s to keep using these drones.”

    • Drones Kill 5 as Pakistan and U.S. Target Tribal Belt

      An American drone strike killed at least five people in North Waziristan on Wednesday, Pakistani officials said, as the Pakistani military continued its offensive against militants in that tribal district.

      The officials said that two drones fired at least six missiles on a compound near Miram Shah, the main town in North Waziristan, as tens of thousands of civilians fled in anticipation of intense fighting.

    • Pepper spray and laser-armed drone receives first orders

      A mining company has ordered 25 Desert Wolf Skunk unmanned aerial vehicles for breaking up riots with pepper spray and “blinding lasers.”

    • ‘Riot control drone’ that shoots plastic bullets with ‘real stopping power’ goes on sale
    • Mining company buys armed drones for ‘riot control’

      The supplier, South African-based Desert Wolf, describes the ‘Skunk’ as a “riot control copter” – but there are concerns it breaks international treaties on the use of torture, lasers and even the Geneva Convention.

    • African firm is selling pepper-spray bullet firing drones
    • This drone shoots crowds with pepper spray paintballs
    • Against Intervention in Iraq

      American military involvement would inflame, not ease, Iraq’s sectarian divisions.

    • Obama considering ‘selective” air strikes: Report

      President Barak Obama has not yet announced a decision on the shape and extent of US military intervention in Iraq, but he may be considering targeted and selective air strikes.

    • Chelsea Manning Speaks–But Who Listened?

      chelsea-manningUS Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning wrote a remarkable piece for the Sunday edition of the New York Times (6/15/14), one of the most prestigious venues in the corporate media. It represents an extraordinarily clear statement from someone who is certainly one of the country’s most important political prisoners.

    • Impeach Blair: As Iraq burns, parliament should put this deluded liar on trial

      Tony Blair’s deceit over Iraq still contaminates British politics and continues to have the most shocking and lethal consequences. Time to lance this boil says Daily Mail’s Simon Heffer.

    • ‘Drawn Back Into War’ in Iraq

      The United States was not “drawn” into Iraq in 2003; it made a conscious decision to launch a war. Thus it cannot be “drawn back” into the conflict either. It is nonetheless quite revealing that journalists employ this language, making US warmaking sound like a reaction–not an action.

    • Further military intervention by the west in Iraq? The very idea beggars belief

      The yearning to intervene, to bomb someone even if just to “send a message”, shows how thin is the veneer of sanity cloaking great power aggression.

    • Iraq: The US Sponsored Sectarian “Civil War” is a “War of Aggression”, The “Supreme International Crime”

      The great command of the Nuremberg Tribunal convened after the Second World War to punish the evil that had shaken Europe was to abolish the “supreme international crime” – the planning and waging of wars of aggression. “War is essentially an evil thing,” the Tribunal held as it passed judgment on German leaders. “Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world.”

    • The Russia as “Imperialist” Thesis Is Wrong and a Barrier to Solidarity With the Ukrainian and Russian People

      The violent coming to power of a rightist regime in Kyiv, Ukraine in late February 2014 has opened an exceptionally dangerous political period in Europe. For the first time since World War II, a European government has representatives of fascist parties as ministers. These are the ministers of the armed forces, prosecution service and agriculture, and deputy ministers of national security (police), education and anti-corruption.

    • US appetite for European market responsible for Ukrainian crisis – experts

      The US is keen to take a tighter grip on the Ukrainian energy sector, and the new government in Kiev is eager to help it do so. On Tuesday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced that the country’s gas transportation system was being handed over to US and European partners. Moreover, US Vice-President Joe Biden’s son is now a board director at the Ukrainian private oil and gas company Burisma.

    • ‘No chance to survive’: Rossiya TV journalists Kornelyuk and Voloshin killed in Ukraine shelling

      Born and raised in Ukraine, Igor Kornelyuk worked as a journalist for over 15 years. He went to Ukraine to cover bloodshed there, but never returned home. His colleague sound engineer Anton Voloshin was killed alongside him in Ukraine’s army shelling.

      Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin both worked for Rossiya TV channel. They are the first Russian journalists to have died while on professional duty in Ukraine since the coup in Kiev and the beginning of civil unrest in eastern regions.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • The bottom line is: Will we be better or worse off under this agreement?

      The Trade in Services Agreement document WikiLeaks has obtained is arcane, but it shows that Australia, the US, the European Union and 20 other large and small countries are talking about unprecedented mutual access to their financial service sectors.

    • Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) – Financial Services Annex

      This memorandum provides a preliminary analysis of the leaked financial services chapter of the Trade in Services Agreement dated 14 April 2014. It makes the following points:

      The secrecy of negotiating documents exceeds even the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and runs counter to moves in the WTO towards greater openness.
      The TISA is being promoted by the same governments that installed the failed model of financial (de)regulation in the WTO and which has been blamed for helping to fuel the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).
      The same states shut down moves by other WTO Members to critically debate these rules following the GFC with a view to reform.
      They want to expand and deepen the existing regime through TISA, bypassing the stalled Doha round at the WTO and creating a new template for future free trade agreements and ultimately for the WTO.
      TISA is designed for and in close consultation with the global finance industry, whose greed and recklessness has been blamed for successive crises and who continue to capture rulemaking in global institutions.
      A sample of provisions from this leaked text show that governments signing on to TISA will: be expected to lock in and extend their current levels of financial deregulation and liberalisation; lose the right to require data to be held onshore; face pressure to authorise potentially toxic insurance products; and risk a legal challenge if they adopt measures to prevent or respond to another crisis.

      Without the full TISA text, any analysis is necessarily tentative. The draft TISA text and the background documents need to be released to enable informed analysis and decision-making.

    • Julian Assange’s Life Inside A Converted Women’s Toilet At The Ecuadorian Embassy

      “And the quietest room is the women’s bathroom, the only room that’s easy to sleep in. So I thought I’d try and somehow get hold of it and renovate it. Eventually, somewhat reluctantly, the staff relented. They ripped out the toilet. They’ve been very generous.”

    • Hope and anger: WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange marks two years in Ecuador’s London embassy
    • Assange marks two years in legal limbo

      ​Julian Assange, a modern day hero and enemy of state, is preparing to mark two years in captivity inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, with another major leak of state secrets and a fresh challenge to escape legal limbo.

    • Wikileaks’ Julian Assange: I’m still here

      Two years after he took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, lawyers for the controversial Wikileaks honcho rally for another attempt to secure his freedom.

    • How WikiLeaks opened our eyes to the illusion of freedom

      We remember anniversaries that mark the important events of our era: September 11 (not only the 2001 Twin Towers attack, but also the 1973 military coup against Allende in Chile), D-day, etc. Maybe another date should be added to this list: 19 June.

      Most of us like to take a stroll during the day to get a breath of fresh air. There must be a good reason for those who cannot do it – maybe they have a job that prevents it (miners, submariners), or a strange illness that makes exposure to sunlight a deadly danger. Even prisoners get their daily hour’s walk in fresh air.

    • Assange’s Anniversary: Two Years Cornered, but Still World-Changing

      Julian Assange. Well, it’s not happy per se, but tomorrow marks two years that he has spent stuck in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, which is surrounded at all hours by police. It is a good day to look back on the accomplishments of his information-leaking organization and reflect on how large an impact Assange has had and continues to have on issues of government, journalism, and whistle-blowing.

    • Assange calls for US to drop investigation into WikiLeaks

      Julian Assange calls for US Attorney General Eric Holder to drop WikiLeaks investigation or resign.

    • Julian Assange calls on US to drop Wikileaks investigation after two years in Ecuador embassy
    • Julian Assange: Life in Ecuadorian Embassy ‘May Never End’

      Julian Assange – the Australian journalist, editor-in-chief and co-founder of WikiLeaks whistle-blower website – has now spent two years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

      He went to live in the embassy after the UK Supreme Court had ordered his extradition to Sweden, where he awaits investigations of sexual assault allegations.

    • WikiLeak’s Julian Assange tries to end deadlock with Swedish legal challenge
    • Embassy life cramped, quiet for Julian Assange

      A room, shower, and the Internet – such is daily life for Julian Assange. For two years, the controversial and enigmatic co-founder of the whistleblower site WikiLeaks has been living at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

    • Policing Assange Embassy Has Cost £6.5m

      The money spent on policing the embassy would be enough to keep 325 bobbies on the beat for a year, while the £9,000 daily cost is the same as it costs to put a child through state school for a year.

  • Finance

    • The New Brazil: the continuation of imperialism by other means

      Zibechi’s new book forcefully exhibits how the insatiable drive for capital accumulation continues to dispossess and repress Brazil’s marginalized poor.

    • China says it wants to back major UK infrastructure projects and has signed £14bn in trade deals.

      The news comes on the first full day of a visit by its leader.

      The BBC understands the projects the state-owned China Development Bank (CDB) wants to invest in include High Speed 2 and the next generation of nuclear power stations.

      A major deal between BP and China National Offshore Oil Corporation is worth about $20bn (£11.8bn).

    • The NSA now owns Bitcoin

      Satochi Nakamoto (the nom de guerre of the mind behind Bitcoin) designed this flaw into the software because of one false assumption. What was that assumption? He believed that it was possible to build an open and free economic system built purely on simple self-interest (selfishness). Lots of people make this mistake (famously, Greenspan believed that selfish decision making would prevent the banking crisis of 2008).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • We finally gave Congress email addresses
    • Taking American leadership back from political elites

      Ever since the Supreme Court removed corporate spending limits on political campaigns via Citizen United, the field of American politics has become overwhelmingly dominated by the messaging of corporate donors and wealthy individuals. And two months ago, the situation got much worse. McCutcheon v. FEC removed limits on the total amount any one person can contribute. Now individuals can give more than $3.5 million over two years, instead of the previous $123,200 limit.

      Who can afford to spend that kind of money on politics other than the very rich? And what, exactly, are they getting in return for their million-dollar donations? A lot more than a campaign t-shirt.

    • Bradley Foundation Bankrolled Groups Pushing Back on Scott Walker John Doe Criminal Probe

      The Bradley Foundation and its directors have given nearly $18 million to groups that are now connected to individuals involved in the John Doe investigation and the campaign against it. That high-profile probe is examining possible campaign finance violations during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections as Wisconsin Club for Growth and other nonprofit “dark money” groups spent tens of millions trying to protect the seats of Scott Walker and Republican legislators.

  • Censorship

    • Putin Goes After Bloggers, Not Profits

      At a highly anticipated meeting last week, President Vladimir Putin spoke to Yandex’s Arkady Volozh and Mail.Ru’s Dmitry Grishin, both Internet industry leaders who stand to lose huge sums of money if the Kremlin’s Internet crackdown causes Russian consumers to take their business to foreign competitors like Google.

    • Anonymous Browser Mass Hit as Russians Seek to Escape Internet Censorship

      The government’s campaign for online censorship has created a backlash, with the number of Russia-based users of anonymous web surfing software Tor more than doubling in the past three weeks.

  • Privacy

    • Demand your ISP stops retaining your data
    • Data retention: why we have to keep the pressure on ISPs

      In the last four hours, over 400 ORG supporters have contacted their ISPs to demand that they stop retaining customers’ email, SMS, web and phone data. It’s crucial that we keep up the pressure.

    • Possible hidden Latin warning about NSA in Truecrypt’s suicide note

      When the anonymous authors of the Truecrypt security tool mysteriously yanked their software last month, there was widespread suspicion that they had been ordered by the NSA to secretly compromise their software. A close look at the cryptic message they left behind suggests that they may have encoded a secret clue in the initials of each word of the sentence (“Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues”), the Latin phrase “uti nsa im cu si” which some claim can be translated as a warning that the NSA had pwned Truecrypt.

    • TrueCrypt probably didn’t leave a Latin message alerting users to NSA spying

      When popular security software TrueCrypt closed its doors, many users simply couldn’t believe that the stated reason – that the developers had decided to stop work because Microsoft had rendered their software obsolete – was true.

    • TrueCrypt – a matter of assurance

      For example, the audit raised serious questions about code quality and the antediluvian build environment. But this is a bit like criticising a donkey for not being a horse. The groundwork was laid when Microsoft was only just waking up to the need for a secure development methodology.

    • Lawmakers Skeptical on Emails and I.R.S.

      Six additional Internal Revenue Service workers lost emails sought by congressional investigators when their computers crashed, investigators announced Tuesday, escalating Republican suspicions that the employees may have been trying to cover up political targeting of Tea Party organizations.

    • Lawmakers Sound Alarm Over Wider Internal Surveillance

      Lawmakers on Wednesday voiced concern over the Obama administration’s plans for monitoring individuals who hold security clearances as part of a crackdown in the wake of leaks by former government contractor Edward Snowden.

      Sens. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) said in a letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that the stated possibility of “continuous evaluation” of legislative officials would raise constitutional questions and that extensive employee monitoring could inhibit people from coming forward to point out fraudulent or illegal activities. These concerns suggest growing worries among lawmakers about the extent to which the government’s monitoring capabilities will be turned on the legislative branch.

    • Facebook down, people take to Twitter to poke fun

      Facebook, the world’s most popular social media website, crashed for a brief while on Thursday. “We’re working on getting this fixed as soon as we can,” said an message on the website when users tried to log in.

    • NSA Turned Germany Into Its Largest Listening Post in Europe
    • ​Germany is NSA’s primary host of surveillance architecture in Europe – report
    • Snowden’s German NSA dossier leaks online

      The so-called “German NSA dossier” leaked on the Internet. According to Edward Snowden, over 50 files in the dossier contain information about the locations, where NSA agents stay in Germany.

    • NSA using third-party countries to tap into broadband cables worldwide

      According to new documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the US National Security Agency (NSA) is using third-party countries to gain access to thousands of fibre-optic cables in their jurisdictions.

    • How Secret Partners Expand NSA’s Surveillance Dragnet

      Huge volumes of private emails, phone calls, and internet chats are being intercepted by the National Security Agency with the secret cooperation of more foreign governments than previously known, according to newly disclosed documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • Let’s end the NSA dragnet

      One year ago this month, Americans learned that their government was engaged in secret dragnet surveillance, which contradicted years of assurances to the contrary from senior government officials and intelligence leaders.

    • Germany is NSA’s largest listening post, according to new report based on Snowden leaks

      Using documents leaked by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, Der Spiegel reports that the NSA has turned Germany into its most important base of operations in Europe. “NSA is more active in Germany than anywhere else in Europe,” reports the paper, “And data collected here may have helped kill suspected terrorists.”

    • Top European court to rule on NSA Facebook data privacy challenge

      Europe’s top court is to rule on a case that seeks to force data protection authorities to investigate allegations that Facebook passes personal data to the US National Security Agency.

      The case, brought by Austrian privacy campaigner Max Schrem, was referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg by the high court in Dublin.

    • Data sharing deal with U.S. referred to EU’s top court
    • Facebook privacy case sent to Europe
    • Irish court raises questions on Facebook’s relationship with NSA

      Leaks from the NSA’s Edward Snowden revealed the extent to which US technology companies were cooperating with intelligence agencies. Many at the time claimed that their hands were forced.

    • US data sharing deal referred to EU’s top court

      Ireland’s High Court has asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to review a European Union-US data protection agreement in light of allegations that Facebook shared data from EU users with the US National Security Agency.

    • Europe v Facebook: higher court to decide on giving data to spies

      THE European Court of Justice will be asked to examine the law governing data protection, following a student’s legal challenge over the mass transfer of data by Facebook to the US intelligence services.

    • Congress Decides This Week Whether to Shut the NSA Backdoor: Here’s How You Can Help

      The NSA may seem like an intimidating giant, but it has a serious Achilles’ heel— the enormous budget it claims from taxpayer dollars every year. While change to the actual words of the laws that govern NSA surveillance seems to be a difficult task, a group of representatives have decided to take the battle to the bank.

    • Stop The NSA’s Backdoor: Call Congress Today To Support Key Amendment
    • Funding Amendment To Curtail Warrantless Surveillance Proposed In House

      A bipartisan group of Congress members have proposed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Defense Appropriations Act aimed at reining in government surveillance. The amendment would ban the funding of government to either demand or request a “backdoor” into products built by technology companies. It would also ban the funding of searches of the data of US persons under the authority of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

    • CALL CONGRESS NOW, END NSA MASS SURVEILLANCE

      If you call your Congressional rep today, we can stop NSA mass surveillance in its tracks. Today, Congress will vote on a critical amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill: under this amendment, the NSA will be prohibited from using its prodigious budget to conduct mass, warrantless surveillance and to sabotage security standards and technology. This doesn’t solve all the surveillance problems, but it’s the cleanest, quickest and most plausible way to hamstring NSA spying. The last time this happened, Congress came within seven votes of passing it. The chances are even better now. CALL.

    • Hail hackers for reverse-engineering NSA bugs
    • Hackers reverse-engineer NSA’s leaked bugging devices

      RADIO hackers have reverse-engineered some of the wireless spying gadgets used by the US National Security Agency. Using documents leaked by Edward Snowden, researchers have built simple but effective tools that can be attached to parts of a computer to gather private information in a host of intrusive ways.

      The NSA’s Advanced Network Technology catalogue was part of the avalanche of classified documents leaked by Snowden, a former agency contractor. The catalogue lists and pictures devices that agents can use to spy on a target’s computer or phone. The technologies include fake base stations for hijacking and monitoring cellphone calls and radio-equipped USB sticks that transmit a computer’s contents.

    • Gmail Encryption May Stop NSA Snooping, Not Google’s
    • German minister rules out Google breakup

      The European Union has to rely on antitrust and privacy rules to curb Google’s search-engine dominance and can’t just break up the company, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said.

    • Over-intrusive government surveillance

      One of my primary responsibilities as your representative in Congress is to ensure that the privacy and civil liberties guaranteed in the Constitution for every American remain protected. Revelations that U.S. intelligence agencies have been collecting phone records, e-mails, credit card transactions and other private communications in the name of national security are breathtaking in their potential ramifications for the rights of our citizens. While law enforcement and the intelligence community should have all the resources necessary to combat terrorism, they should be held within the bounds of the Constitution.

    • Opinion: An agency of questionable intelligence

      A year after the Snowden revelations, Germany’s domestic spy agency has so little to say about the NSA surveillance scandal it calls into question the intelligence of the intelligence agency, says DW’s Marcel Fürstenau.

    • Your Local Police May Be Collecting Metadata

      When talking of freewheeling domestic spying, it would behoove us to remember that it’s not just the National Security Agency (NSA) that needs reform and a tight leash. Hell, it’s not even just federal agencies who are disinterested in your Fourth Amendment rights. Like the war toys that move from the Pentagon down to myriad local law enforcement agencies, dragnet spying is happening at the state and city level, too.

    • Time to end NSA’s secret dragnet surveillance

      One year ago this month, Americans learned that their government was engaged in secret dragnet surveillance, which contradicted years of assurances to the contrary from senior government officials and intelligence leaders. – See more at: http://www.vindy.com/news/2014/jun/19/time-to-end-nsas-secret-dragnet-surveill/?newswatch#sthash.r1kBLsr4.dpuf

    • Government Defends Social Media Spying As Perfectly Legal
    • VMware: NSA revelations have been the single biggest issue for cloud clients

      The impact of Edward Snowden’s leaks about NSA spying have been the single biggest issue that has changed the conversation for VMware’s cloud clients, said Bill Fathers, VMware’s SVP of hybrid cloud services, at Gigaom’s Structure conference on Wednesday. “It’s been absolutely fascinating,” Fathers said in a conversation about making the enterprise comfortable with the public cloud. Currently just two or three percent of work loads are in the public cloud, but Fathers expects that to move to 20 percent over the years.

    • Brazil reinvents optical fiber encryption to foil NSA
    • U.S. seeks to repair relations with Brazil after NSA surveillance fallout

      U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who cheered Team USA onto victory over Ghana at Monday’s World Cup match in Rio de Janeiro, is on a mission of soccer diplomacy to repair relations with Brazil.

    • US VP Biden meets Brazilian leader Rousseff in effort to thaw relations, offers no details

      U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden briefly met with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday in a bid to thaw stalled relations between the two nations

      Biden, speaking to reporters in the U.S. Embassy after the abrupt cancellation of a joint statement he was expected to make with Brazil’s vice-president, said he reassured Rouseff that the U.S. had changed espionage tactics that previously led to direct spying of the Brazilian leader’s communications.

    • Joe Biden, Dilma Roussef Meeting: Brazil’s President and American VP Have First Meeting Since NSA Scandal
    • Biden visits Colombia as part of regional tour to repair ties, address immigration

      Speaking to reporters after the abrupt cancellation of a joint statement he was expected to make with Brazil’s vice president, Biden said he reassured Rousseff that the U.S. had changed espionage tactics, since it emerged last year that the NSA had spied on her personal communications.

    • Biden assures Rousseff that NSA activities are ‘under review’

      The meeting was part of a diplomatic drive to improve relations between the two countries, which were damaged after Brazilian companies and Rousseff herself appeared among the alleged targets of espionage activities conducted by the US National Security Agency (NSA).

    • It’s perfectly legal for us to rummage in your cloud data, states UK’s top spy boss
    • Government defends its Facebook snooping
    • UK spy agency says to share cyber threat data with private firms

      Britain’s GCHQ intelligence agency said on Tuesday it would start to share classified cyber threat information with private companies amid concerns over increasingly sophisticated targeting of businesses by hackers.

    • GCHQ boss attacks British media over Snowden leaks

      Iain Lobban, the UK spy chief, has defended GCHQ in light of the British media’s publication of the Snowden documents

    • UK admits to spying on citizens via Google, Facebook
    • Facebook updates, Twitter posts and Google searches spied on by Government

      Facebook status updates and Twitter posts are being intercepted by the UK Government because they are regarded as external communications from countries based overseas, it has been revealed.

    • NSA’s Data Center Back in the Shadows After Government Maneuver

      Local officials in Bluffdale, Utah, have voted to help keep the NSA’s new data center hidden from public view.

      Back in March, we introduced you to Nate Carlisle, a Salt Lake Tribune reporter who was waging war with local officials to learn a simple fact about the NSA’s sprawling data center, just completed in nearby Bluffdale.

    • 3 ways Glenn Greenwald changed how I look at privacy

      The government is “truly devoted to the elimination of privacy in the digital age,” the lawyer and journalist told a sold-out crowd of 850 at Town Hall Seattle Tuesday night. “That’s not hyperbole.”

    • How GCHQ Justifies the Mass Surveillance of UK Social Media Users

      GCHQ has given itself legal justification for sweeping up the Facebook, Google, Twitter and YouTube data of UK citizens, without warrant, by labelling that kind of information “external communications.”

    • House Supports Bill Requiring Warrants For Email Searches

      A majority of lawmakers in the House of Representatives now support a bill requiring agencies like the National Security Agency to get warrants before accessing private emails.

    • Ralph Fiennes interview: Logging Google searches like ‘getting inside people’s brains’

      Actor and director Ralph Fiennes has described as “profoundly frightening” the idea that internet companies such as Google and Facebook hold data on their users that can be used by governments.

    • How the NSA may be using games to encourage digital snooping

      German magazine Der Spiegel on Wednesday posted a new cache of documents related to National Security Agency surveillance activities within Germany. Among the trove is a report that sheds new light on how the U.S. government may be using games to motivate analysts using XKeyscore, a tool for searching through online data that the agency collects that was revealed last year by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

    • More Than Half Of The House Co-Sponsoring Email Privacy Reform; So Why Isn’t It Moving?

      For quite some time we’ve talked about the importance of ECPA reform. ECPA — the Electronic Communications Privacy Act — is woefully outdated. Passed in the 1980s, when the internet was just a small network that connected a few universities, it has allowed law enforcement and other government officials to snoop on your email based on some very outdated definitions and assumptions. As we’ve discussed in the past, one very obvious example, is the idea that, under the law, emails stored on a server for over 180 days are considered “abandoned” and that there’s no need to get a warrant to view those emails. Of course, that was back when people expected old emails to be either deleted or downloaded. No one predicted “cloud” computing with virtually unlimited storage.

    • Call to open RAF base for investigation into NSA tapping of Merkel’s phone

      Britain should grant Germany’s federal prosecutor access to an RAF base which is alleged to have acted as a relay station for data intercepted from Angela Merkel’s mobile phone by the US National Security Agency (NSA), the Labour MP Tom Watson has said.

    • “H4CKERS WANTED” report: NSA not having trouble filling cybersecurity jobs

      Demand for cybersecurity skills in general began rising within the last five years, the report says, not because hackers are attacking networks more but because the defenders of those networks are far more aware of the hackers and are eager to employ someone who can set up ways to detect and stop them. In addition, the rise of state-sponsored stealthy cyber-espionage—and in some cases, even hard-hitting attacks suggestive of cyberwar–is heightening concerns.

    • Secret Collaboration Between the Power of Force and the Pursuit of Profit

      At the front of the room, under a swag of the heavy red draperies and the American flag, sat the panel. The lineup was peculiar. The speakers, waiting for the audience to settle in, included a number of very big names from the intelligence community, including General Michael Hayden, by this time the former director of both the CIA and the NSA; James Woolsey, former CIA director; and Michael Mukasey, former Attorney General for George W. Bush.

      And then there were the others. First among them was the facilitator and director of the Economic Warfare Institute herself. Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld was a relative unknown who, throughout the long afternoon, would aggressively use her academic title at every opportunity, an unusual practice in this company. According to the available brochure, one of the other panelists would argue that jihadists were setting the wildfires ravaging Colorado that summer. Another, a former alternate director for the United States at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), would present a memorable anecdote involving complex terror scenarios not even Hollywood had ever produced.

    • Senators: No ‘watered down’ NSA reform

      Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) pledged on Tuesday to fight against “limited” and “watered down” legislation to reform the spy agency, which they said includes the bill that passed the House last month.

    • Afghanistan’s journalists betrayed

      NSA’s mass surveillance may unfairly implicate the country’€™s courageous reporters for communicating with insurgents

    • Automatic license plate scanners ‘just like’ NSA surveillance, congressman says

      John Fleming sees plenty of parallels between police departments’ use of automatic license plate scanning technology and widespread electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency.

    • NATO’s Jamie Shea reflects on the balance between security and participation

      Cyber attacks are “not just about trying to paralyze people’s networks,” says senior NATO official Jamie Shea. “It’s also about trying to use cyberspace for propaganda.” Shea recently spoke to Deutsche Welle.

    • Germany Seeks Criminal Prosecution of NSA Snoops

      Germany’s top federal prosecutor has opened a criminal probe into espionage operations by the U.S. National Security Agency, particularly focused on the NSA snooping directed against German Chancellor Angela Merkel (shown).The goal, he said at a press conference, is to bring to justice specific individual U.S. government agents who were allegedly involved in the unlawful snooping operations against German officials. Prosecutions for spying on everyday citizens, while a violation of German law, will not be forthcoming — at least not yet.

    • Inspired by Edward Snowden, Lawmakers Want Missouri to Stand Against NSA Surveillance

      The “Snowden effect” has hit the Show-Me State, and two state lawmakers hope the feds will take notice.

      Sen. Rob Schaaf and Rep. Paul Curtman, both Republicans, have added a ballot to the August 5 primary that will allow Missourians to vote on whether the government shall be allowed to access their electronic communications without a search warrant.

    • Missourians To Vote On Updated Fourth Amendment Against NSA
    • Why Facebook and the NSA love graph databases

      Is there a benefit to understanding how your users, suppliers or employees relate to and influence one another? It’s hard to imagine that there is a business that couldn’t benefit from more detailed insight and analysis, let alone prediction, of its significant relationships.

    • Treating Snowden as a ‘Personality’

      The mainstream U.S. media prefers personalities over substance, so it was perhaps not a surprise that its focus at the first anniversary of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks was on his alleged peculiarities, not the frightening prospect of a Big Brother state, says ex-State Department official William R. Polk.

    • Privacy groups ask Obama not to renew NSA powers

      A coalition of more than two dozen privacy and digital rights groups is asking President Obama not to renew a contested National Security Agency program when its legal authority expires this week.

    • Is General Motors Working with the NSA to Snoop on Auto Owners?

      Mary Barra, the embattled CEO of General Motors, currently embroiled in a recall scandal, is also on the Board of NSA surveillance contractor General Dynamics. Specifically, General Dynamics is the contractor helping the NSA process recorded phone calls going in and out of the Bahamas…

    • VC funding for European cyber security firms

      The London-based asset manager has already made its first two investments, investing US$ 8 million (£5 million) in Balabit, a Luxembourg-based company which specialises in detecting insider threats. The company does this with its technology which monitors normal and unusual behaviour, using algorithms to discover the latter.

    • Court: Terror suspect can’t get NSA evidence gathered against him

      The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled against terrorism suspect Adel Daoud, saying that he and his attorneys cannot access the evidence gathered against him. The Monday ruling overturns an earlier lower district court ruling that had allowed Daoud and his lawyers to review the legality of digital surveillance warrants used against him.

    • Brothers who worked for the NSA and George W. Bush now defend against snoops
    • Bank of England CIO: “cloud opens UK data to CIA spies”

      The Bank of England’s CIO has advised businesses to be aware that partnering with US-based cloud suppliers could result in confidential data being accessed by government agencies such as the FBI and CIA.

    • FBI And CIA Have A Sense Of Humor?

      The FBI released its 83-page “Twitter Shorthand” dictionary this week in order to give you a laugh or perhaps finally discern what that person you follow was getting on about in their last tweet.

  • Civil Rights

    • Pakistan’s parallel justice system proves Taliban are ‘out-governing’ the state

      While Islamabad’s authority does not extend to the tribal areas, Taliban’s unofficial court in Waziristan rules on cases in Karachi

    • How an FBI Informant Helped Orchestrate the Hack of an FBI Contractor

      Weeks after he started working quietly as an FBI informant, Hector Xavier Monsegur, known by his online alias “Sabu,” led a cyber attack against one of the bureau’s very own IT contractors.

    • NSA Aftershocks: Businesses in the wake of Snowden

      Len Padilla, Vice President Product Strategy, NTT Communications Europe discusses how ICT decision-makers have responded to PRISM allegations

    • Alleged Benghazi Mastermind Enters Obama’s Hybrid Terrorism Justice System

      A White House badly in need of some good news on the international front got some today with the capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala, a senior leader of the militant group Ansar al-Sharia and one of the primary suspects in the 2012 Benghazi attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Abu Khattala’s capture may also show that the administration, which has been criticized for its reliance on lethal drone strikes and its failure to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, has settled on a preferred method for dealing with senior terrorist leaders.

    • Guantánamo Detainee Arraigned in Case That Could Help Decide Fate of Tribunals

      An Iraqi detainee at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, was arraigned Wednesday on war-crimes charges before a military commission, setting in motion a case that could help determine whether the tribunals system will be used extensively in the future or wither away after the handful of cases before it are completed.

    • Government told to renegotiate with US over use of Diego Garcia for rendition flights

      Britain must renegotiate the deal which allows a key American military base on Diego Garcia to demand that any use of the Indian Ocean island for “extraordinary rendition” can only take place with London’s prior approval, MPs warn today.

    • MPs demand control over CIA activity on British territory of Diego Garcia

      Detainee and combat operations by US on Chagos island must have cooperation of Britain, says Commons defence committee

    • US commitments sought over base

      The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said public confidence had been “dented” by the disclosure in 2008 that the US had secretly used the island as part of its “extraordinary rendition” programme without informing British ministers – in contravention of previous assurances.

    • “We are now a blood-ridden country”: Margaretta D’Arcy rounds on TDs over Shannon…

      A PANEL OF TDs and senators have pledged to consider a petition asking for the Government to set up an investigation into US Military and CIA use of Irish airspace and Shannon Airport in particular.

    • Shannonwatch raises concerns over suspected rendition planes

      Shannonwatch made a number of recommendations to the Oireachtas Committee, including that the government should establish an independent and impartial inquiry into the possible use of Shannon in the CIA’s illegal renditions programme.

    • Sending Benghazi suspect to Gitmo would be obstruction of justice

      Within hours of the Pentagon’s announcement that the key suspect in the Benghazi attack on the U.S. mission had been apprehended, the usual suspects came out to denounce the Obama administration.

    • Book Review – Surviving Evil: CIA Mind Control Experiments in Vermont

      While the CIA’s MK-ULTRA mind control research, and associated experimental programs concerned with interrogation, torture, and use of incapacitating agents and lethal weapons, involved many dozens, if not hundreds of top U.S. researchers, and cost many millions of dollars, actual testimony from its victims is extremely difficult to find.

      Publishers, news agencies, and mainstream bloggers have shunned such stories, while most victims have been either too psychologically and physically damaged, or too frightened, to come forward. Others have been written off as “crazy.” Indeed, CIA stories about “mind control” have sometimes brought out persecutory delusions in the purely mentally ill.

    • Boston’s most vicious gangster profiled in Whitey

      Born just before the big crash of 1929, the brutal, charismatic James “Whitey” Bulger worked his way up through Beantown’s notorious Winter Hill Gang. This was after stints in juvenile hall, army stockades, and Alcatraz. The movie doesn’t mention it, but Bulger claims he was also forced into a CIA experiment with LSD. If so, his mind didn’t expand much past murder, mayhem, and vast extortion rackets. He was sharp enough to take advantage of the early-’60s crackdown on the Italian Mafia—something FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover once claimed did not exist.

    • The Story of a Reformed Drug Kingpin – ‘Freeway Rick Ross: The Untold Autobiography’

      The eagerly awaited autobiography of ‘Freeway’ Rick Ross has just been released. A notorious drug kingpin reigning over Los Angeles, California and operating across numerous other states, Rick was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1996. But following the discovery his drug source was linked to the CIA and he had been used as a pawn in the Iran-Contra scandal, he received a reduced sentence.

    • U.S. Rendition Records May Face Disclosure

      A British parliamentarian can sue the CIA, Pentagon and other intelligence agencies for information on the United Kingdom’s complicity in the extraordinary rendition of terrorism suspects, the D.C. Circuit ruled.

    • Cop Burns the Body of a 3-yr-old Child for “Not Letting Him Sleep”

      Cody Marrone, a Hernando County cop, was taken into custody over the weekend after it was discovered that he used the hot end of a hairdryer to repeatedly scorch the body of a 3-yr-old toddler.

    • Parents of toddler injured by flash bang grenade during raid on Georgia home call for justice after meeting with feds

      The parents of a 19-month-old severely injured when police threw a flash bang grenade into his playpen during a raid met with federal authorities in Georgia Tuesday to plead for justice.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Life begins at 50: keeping the Internet unified, open, and inclusive

      I and many others recently met to discuss the future of global Internet governance at the NETmundial conference in Brazil. Next week is the next milestone in the roadmap we set out there: the 50th meeting of ICANN, and the High Level Governmental Meeting of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee on Monday 23rd. I thank the UK government and Minister Ed Vaizey for hosting such significant events in Europe, and would like to remind you all – colleagues, friends, stakeholders and Internet users of all kinds – why this is important.

    • Democrats unveil legislation forcing the FCC to ban Internet fast lanes

      Democratic lawmakers will unveil a piece of bicameral legislation Tuesday that would force the Federal Communications Commission to ban fast lanes on the Internet.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

06.18.14

Links 18/6/2014: Red Hat to acquire eNovance

Posted in News Roundup at 3:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • 7 Improvements The Linux Desktop Needs

      In the last fifteen years, the Linux desktop has gone from a collection of marginally adequate solutions to an unparalleled source of innovation and choice. Many of its standard features are either unavailable in Windows, or else available only as a proprietary extension. As a result, using Linux is increasingly not only a matter of principle, but of preference as well.

      Yet, despite this progress, gaps remain. Some are missing features, others missing features, and still others pie-in-the sky extras that could be easily implemented to extend the desktop metaphor without straining users’ tolerance of change.

    • Kerala and Leipzig Move to Free Software on the Desktop

      The government of the Indian state of Kerala has ordered all of its public sector agencies using Windows XP to migrate to free and open source (FOSS) operating systems by 30 June.

      Nor is Kerala alone in doing so in India:

      Since March this year, there have been moves across the Indian public sector to open source. The central government’s IT arm has encouraged agencies to switch to open source operating systems. Another state, Tamil Nadu, has told its departments to install open source operating systems.

  • Server

    • Opening A Window To Linux Virtual Server Hosting

      Manufacturers are getting on board with Linux virtual server hosting in part because oflower set-up and maintenance costs, and the ability to modify the OS according to their needs. Because of its flexibility, scalability, high availability and open-source nature, Linux virtual server hosting is becoming an increasingly attraction option for small and midsize manufacturing concerns.

  • Kernel Space

    • ALSA 1.0.28 Released

      ALSA 1.0.28 features various small updates to the alsa-oss and alsa-tools components, adds new sound firmware files for the Cirrus Logic CS46xx, boasts small changes to alsa-plugins, and as usual most of the work happened within the alsa-lib and alsa-utils components. Within the ALSA library for 1.0.28 are many API updates while within the ALSA utilities area are many updates to ALSA Control and Speaker Test.

    • Welcoming #MesosCon to CloudOpen

      A few years ago we put together the CloudOpen conference to unite the open source projects and products companies are using to create cloud or elastic computing infrastructures inside their companies: OpenStack and CloudStack, containers technology like Docker, data clustering platforms like Hadoop, storage platforms like Gluster and Ceph, and automation tools like Puppet, to name just a few. The defining characteristic of all of these projects (besides being open source) is that they are delivering on the promise of distributed and elastic computing to enable scalable and responsive infrastructures.

    • SCSI Multi-Queue Performance Appears Great For Linux 3.17

      Building upon the major blk-mq work for the multi-queue block layer, the SCSI multi-queue code is now in good shape according to its developers, is delivering very promising performance results, and should be merged into the Linux 3.17 kernel cycle.

    • Ext2Fsd: EXT3/EXT4 Support Now Works On Windows 8

      The Ext2Fsd project that provides an EXT3/EXT4 file-system driver for Microsoft Windows operating systems was recently updated with Windows 8 support and other changes.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Reportedly Plans To Bring Mantle To Linux, Calls Mantle An Open-Source API

        There’s been a bit of flip-flopping from various AMD sources and reports about whether their Mantle API will come to Linux in the near-term, which is AMD’s high-performance graphics API designed to complement OpenGL and Direct3D for the gaming space by offering faster frame-rates. Mantle for now remains Windows-only and bound to just the Catalyst driver with the more recent “GCN” graphics cards.

      • Radeon VCE, OpenMAX Improvements Land In Mesa

        A number of commits have landed within mainline Mesa today for improving the open-source Radeon driver’s video encoding support via the recently exposed VCE video encoding engines and the recently introduced OpenMAX state tracker to Gallium3D.

      • Gallium3D “Mega Drivers” Might Be Ready For Merging In The Next Month

        Work on a Gallium3D approach to Mesa “mega drivers” is still progressing. The final reported patch series is now out there and the developer hopes to have the support merged over the next month.

      • Broadcom VC4 Work Well Underway On DRM, Gallium3D Support Planned

        Beginning this week, Eric Anholt is now working for Broadcom after working for Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center the past several years on the Intel Linux graphics driver stack. While Eric just started there, he’s already made some headway on a Broadcom DRM driver and expects to begin developing a Gallium3D driver soon.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Randa Meetings Interview: Sanjiban Bairagya

        Here we are in conversation with Sanjiban Bairagya, a current Google Summer of Code 2014 intern who is working on Marble for KDE and is one of the younger, fresher, newer lots at KDE and has quite a bit to offer in terms of enthusiasm and brilliant ideas as well as zeal!

      • Sponsors required for KDE code sprint in Randa

        KDE is organizing a “coding sprint” in Randa, Switzerland. KDE Developer Sprints are focused gatherings of KDE developers to work on a specific part of KDE. Sprints are an opportunity to plan, design, and hack (think 20% socialization and 80% perspiration). Though sprints are supported by KDE e.V. financially and organizationally, we are having more enthusiastic people than funds allotted to us by KDE e.V. We need your support in helping us to fill this gap.

      • Starving Developers

        Phonon, a pillar of our multimedia solutions, was revived in Randa. Kdenlive, our video editor, became 302% more awesome in Randa. The KDE Frameworks 5 movement seeking to make our awesome libraries more useful to all the world started in Randa. Amarok 2 was planned in Randa. Approximately a godzillion bugs were fixed in Randa.

      • after convergence

        Two years later I gave a presentation summarizing these thoughts at Akademy in Dublin. A desktop layer that was stackable like a normal window (“dashboard” in today’s jargon), scripted components instead of compiled applets, dataengines, network services, dynamically loading different layouts for different user activities, using threads to keep the UI fluid, easy animation systems, configure/manipulate-in-place, a window manager that did more than just put title bars around things, etc. It was finally time to get to turning scribbles in notebooks into code. (I was still maintaining various parts of KDE’s 3.x desktop at the time, in particular kicker, as well as working on a variety of other bits of KDE software. This, along with a semi-crazy travel schedule kept me busy with productive things while these ideas were crystallizing.)

      • QML module versions and automatic imports
      • Five Musings on Frameworks Quality

        KDE Frameworks 5 will be released in 2 weeks from now. This fifth revision of what is currently known as the “KDE Development Platform” (or, technically “kdelibs”) is the result of 3 years of effort to modularize the individual libraries (and “bits and pieces”) we shipped as kdelibs and kde-runtime modules as part of KDE SC 4.x. KDE Frameworks contains about 60 individual modules, libraries, plugins, toolchain, and scripting (QtQuick, for example) extensions.

      • Geogebra file support in Kig ( GSoC Report )

        KIG currently has filters for various formats ( Cabri, Dr-Geo, KGeo, KSeg ). I have been working on implementing the Geogebra-filter for KIG. Here’s some introduction about the Geogebra-filter that we are trying to implement :

      • First Report

        As the title (Lyrics Support improvements) of my Google Summer of code project suggests, I am improving the way lyrics are fetched and displayed in Amarok. Personally, I like to follow the lyrics of the song that is playing; so I added this is idea to the Idea Page for GSoC 2014. And now here I am, working on it. I goal of my project is to highlight the particular line from the entire lyrics text that is being played.

      • Last week in Krita — week 23 & 24

        In the last two weeks, besides the coding work on the git repositories, Boudewijn has made available a hefty number of testing builds for the windows community. This builds brings up the latest novelties and features developed in the master branch. Note, however, not all feature sets are finished and it is not recommended for production use. Get the bleeding edge build

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME: A notifications update

        Previously, I described a work-in-progress design that we have been pursuing in GNOME design. Since that post, the process has diversified, and we are exploring several variations on the original design. These different options are in a state of evolution, and we are developing and evaluating them in parallel. To help with this, Jasper has created a couple of rough prototypes that we’ve been testing.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • BeagleBone SBC goes OEM, COM version coming

      CircuitCo debuted an HDMI- and flash-free OEM version of the BeagleBone Black called the “BlueSteel-Basic,” to be followed by industrial and COM versions.

    • In-Rack Linux Development Module fosters custom code writing.
    • The IFC6410 Pico-ITX Is A Developer ARM Single-Board Computer Capable Of Running Ubuntu 14.04 And Fedora 20

      As you may know, the IFC6410 Pico-ITX is a single-board computer powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU, having 2 GB of RAM memory, 4 GB internal storage, 2 USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet port, Wifi, Bluetooth, a SATA connector and other pins and conectors, capable of running Ubuntu 14.04 and Fedora 20 systems, with open source graphics drivers from the Freedeno project.

    • MIPS Takes on ARM in the Internet of Things

      Already, MIPS is widely used in smartwatches, such as the new Android-ready SpeedUp Smartwatch-S, and it supports Google’s upcoming Android Wear platform, claims Imagination.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Oppo R1 Android Smartphone

          Oppo is a relative newcomer out of China offering high-end phones that are gaining popularity in developed and emerging markets. Its new offering the R1 combines processing power, design and feel. Powered by the MediaTek MT6582 with 4 cores humming along at 1.3GHz with Mali-400 graphics unit the phone has a 1GB RAM and 16GB of storage. The R1 runs Android 4.2.2. The 5-inch (1280×720) high-definition screen is crisp and clear. Both front and back are a mirror-like glass. The buttons on the front have very faint markings but do light up a little when the screen is on. This device certainly has a quality feel and look.The cameras are 8MP rear and 5MP rear. Travel a lot? Duel sims give you carrier flexibility. Oppo is clearly a new kind of Chinese manufacturer and this is a solid phone for the business traveler.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Is Open Source the New De Facto Standard?

    Marc Cohn, senior director of market development at Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) and chair of the ONF market education committee, kicked off the discussion and highlighted the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Network Functions Virtualization ISG’s decision to start its own open source project, called Open Platform for NFV, or OPN, with the Linux Foundation , which already runs OpenDaylight .

    The idea, Cohn said after the panel, is to develop a framework for an open NFV platform in a similar way that OpenDaylight has created an open source approach to an SDN controller. Participation in the OPN requires a financial buy-in for both network operators and industry hardware and software vendors, and if it follows the Open Daylight model, would also require the contribution of code.

  • GCHQ Plans to Open Source Bits of Its Spy Technology

    By open sourcing that technology, the global security community can probe it for weaknesses and make it even stronger, said Professor Alan Woodward, security expert from the computing department at the University of Surrey. It should also inspire confidence that there are no backdoors or purposeful weaknesses, as the security community would be keen to probe the code, he added.

  • NICTA to release drone OS as open source
  • Auto-Summarization Tool TextTeaser Relaunches As Open Source Code

    TextTeaser, the text-summarization API that TechCrunch first profiled back in October 2013, is now open source and available on GitHub. Creator Jolo Balbin says that he decided to make the code available after “stumbling upon some scalability issues, especially in the API.”

    So he took down the API and recoded TextTeaser to make its auto-summarization process faster. Developers can chose from two plans, including one that costs $12 for every 1,000 articles summarized. The second is an enterprise plan that costs $250 per month and comes with a dedicated server that can store the article source. That means each time someone uses the tool to summarize an article, TextTeaser will learn the keywords in the text and use it to improve its results.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome/Google

      • Google Open Sources PDF Software Library

        The PDF code in Google Chrome has been made open source and available for use in apps for viewing, printing and form filling PDF files.

      • Opinion: Why CIOs should cheer Google’s latest open source move

        Virtualization is changing the IT landscape, and two news items last week drove home its impact. The first was Google’s release of Kubernetes under an open-source license. Kubernetes is basically a public version of Borg, the software that the company has used internally to harness computing power from across its data centers into a massive virtual machine.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • MemSQL, GoGrid Partner on High-Performance Big Data Cloud Analytics

      MemSQL, which provides Big Data analytics based on an in-memory database, and GoGrid have partnered to simplify deployment of the analytics solution within the cloud.

    • What is the best Linux filesystem for MariaDB?

      How do you choose the best Linux filesystem for your MariaDB server? The primary factors to look at are data integrity, performance, and ease of administration. Data integrity tops the list because fixing a corrupted database is even less fun than it sounds, and filesystems play a key role in data integrity. Performance is important because faster is better and time is money, and ease of administration matters for the same reasons as performance.

      [...]

      Trying to figure out which filesystem gives the best performance may be fun, but the filesystem won’t make a large difference in the performance of your MariaDB server. Your hardware is the most crucial factor in eking out the most speed. Fast hard drives, discrete drive controllers, lots of fast RAM, a multi-core processor, and a fast network have a larger impact on performance than the filesystem. You can also tailor your MariaDB configuration options for best performance for your workloads.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • A free photo editor worth trying: Getting started with GIMP

      When most of us are looking for a photo-editing tool, we immediately think of Photoshop. Adobe’s program is powerful and popular, but it’s pricey at $100—and that’s for the “light” version called Photoshop Elements.

      Meanwhile, $20 per month is the standard charge for individual one-app subscriptions to Photoshop Creative Cloud. Adobe offers a free in-browser version called Photoshop Express Editor, but it’s very limited and only allows you to edit JPEG files.

      A better free alternative is to turn to the open-source world and a popular program called GIMP. The GNU Image Manipulation Program is the standard photo-editing tool included or available to most Linux distributions. GIMP is also available for Windows (XP and up) and Mac.

    • Register now for the GNU Hackers’ Meeting 2014
  • Public Services/Government

    • European Parliament to weigh open source pilots

      Next Monday, the European Parliament’s budget committee will consider a proposal from the Green/EFA group to pilot the use of open source encryption software, to be used by parliament members and their staff. The Green/EFA group is also asking to trial the use of open standards and open source to make available the EP’s data available in machine-readable format.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • EZTV Users Help to Fund Horror Movie, and Open Source Another

      EZTV users may download many TV-shows for free, but they are by no means cheapskates. A team of filmmakers from Laos recently noticed that nearly all traffic to their Indiegogo campaign came from the torrent site. As a token of their appreciation they have now offered to open source their first horror film, if their funding goal is reached.

    • A web platform for streamlining scientific workflows

      If you haven’t heard, science has been experiencing some issues. Though most scientists believe in the ideals of openness, transparency, and reproducibility, the reality is that the incentive structure of academic research encourages exactly the opposite. So, scientists have a stronger professional incentive to get results published than to get them right. To make things worse, many scientists are stuck with outdated and closed source tools that aren’t up to the task of managing their increasingly complicated workflows.

    • Can we make research more like the web?

      Kaitlin Thaney is the Director of Mozilla’s Science Lab and an open science advocate. Her work in this space began with John Wilbanks building the science wing of Creative Commons (formerly known as “Science Commons”). Their focus was on crafting the infrastructure, policy and advocacy for Open Access and sharing data on the web. She moved to Digital Science, where the focus was on tools and science software, but there was still a gap.

  • Programming

    • The New asyncio Module in Python 3.4: Event Loops

      Python 3.4 added a new asynchronous I/O module named asyncio (formerly known as Tulip). The asyncio module provides a new infrastructure with a plugabble event loop, transport and protocol abstractions, a Future class (adapted for use within the event loop), coroutines, tasks, threadpool management, and synchronization primitives to simplify coding concurrent code. In this overview of asyncio, I provide a brief introduction to the main components of the module and a few simple sample applications that work with some of the event loop functions.

    • Enroll now in free, online open source programming classes

      When Kushal Das helped found the Durgapur, India, Linux users group in 2004, he was struggling to find a teacher who could show him the open source ropes.

      “During that time,” Das said in a recent presentation at PyCon 2014, “there was almost no one to tell us what exactly to do with this thing called Linux, other than clicking randomly.”

    • Real life experiences thanks to Google Summer of Code projects

      While the open source community is filled with some of the most talented minds in the world, fresh perspectives from the next generation of developers is essential to the continued pioneering spirit of open source projects. Such an injection of youthful enthusiasm lends new creative blood to the open source community, allowing projects to stay cutting edge and in keeping with current trends.

    • Inspired by Lego, fuelled by creativity: Linux-based Kano kit wants to get kids hacking again

      Both OS X and Windows 8 are fairly closed operating systems, merely allowing coders to run commands and pulling a veil over the internals of the software powering the machine. The same goes for hardware: all-in-ones, laptops, and tablets alike aren’t easy for curious types to take apart and see what’s inside.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • I stopped a ten million dollar robbery

    “For various reasons, including my wife Claudia is slightly worried I could get killed, I am changing all of the names. All of the other details are intact.” A true story by James Altucher

  • What’s Up With That: Building Bigger Roads Actually Makes Traffic Worse

    I grew up in Los Angeles, the city by the freeway by the sea. And if there’s one thing I’ve known ever since I could sit up in my car seat, it’s that you should expect to run into traffic at any point of the day. Yes, commute hours are the worst, but I’ve run into dead-stop bumper-to-bumper cars on the 405 at 2 a.m.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Feeding Hawai’i

      The early Hawaiian settlers, who arrived in the uninhabited islands around A.D. 300 from Polynesia, developed a unique system of resource management to support their growing population. Recognizing the connection between the mountains and the oceans and the key role of freshwater in linking the two, they divided the islands into self-sustaining units called ahupua’a. The ahupua’a were usually wedge-shaped sections of land that ran from the mountains to the sea (extending into coastal fishing grounds) and contained a freshwater source such as a stream, spring, or river. Each ahupua’a contained within it all the resources needed for a community to sustain itself independently.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Finance

    • Dear Marc Andreessen

      I appreciate that smart, ambitious people like you are thinking about a future of universal prosperity. You borrow terminology from finance in saying that you’re “way long human creativity”. While I’m creeped out by the commodification of our species’s ingenuity, I appreciate the sentiment. If our industry stops painting anyone who questions our business models as Luddites and finds creative ways to build products and services that sustainably address real needs, maybe we can hold on to the receding myth of triumphal disruption. Hopefully we can agree that there are many more meaningful quality of life improvements technology has yet to deliver on before we can start brainstorming the “luxury goods markets” of the future.

      Meanwhile, we don’t need to wait until a hypercapitalist techno-utopia emerges to do right by our struggling neighbors. We could make the choice to pay for universal health care, higher education, and a basic income tomorrow. Instead, you’re kicking the can down the road and hoping the can will turn into a robot with a market solution.

      [...]

      The factory owner gets rich. The line worker, not so much.

    • Private Wealth, Public Squalor: America’s Dilemma

      In the first six months of this year, Senate Republicans used the filibuster to block the Senate majority from increasing the minimum wage, providing paycheck fairness to women, and enabling those with student debt to refinance at lower rates, paid for by insuring millionaires pay a minimum tax.

      Senate Republicans joined Democrats to pass extension of unemployment insurance and comprehensive immigration reform. But Republican House Speaker John Boehner has refused to allow either measure a vote in the House, despite likely majority support for both.

      Profits are at record heights and wages near record lows as a portion of the economy. CEO pay soars to new heights. The wealthiest 1 percent pockets nearly all of the nation’s income growth, while typical household income continues to decline. We are five years into the official “recovery” that has yet to reach most Americans.

  • Censorship

    • Flying the coup: Circumventing censorship in Thailand

      On 22 May 2014, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, Commander of the Royal Thai Army, launched a coup d’état, replacing the Kingdom’s beleaguered civilian political institutions with a military-led National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). The move came after months of street protests, the most recent in Thailand’s ongoing political unrest. While Thailand is no stranger to military coups, this time the military junta is focusing unprecedented efforts towards restricting online speech and the digital rights of users in Thailand.

      [...]

      The most popular way to secure email communications is using Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), popularly available through its open source implementation, Gnu Privacy Guard (GPG). While PGP leaves metadata traces unencrypted (such as the email subject line and the sender’s and recipient’s email addresses), it encrypts the content and attachments of your email to ensure that only the intended recipients can read the message (all recipients must have GPG for this to work). For help installing GPG, follow Security in a Box’s walkthrough, which covers Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux operating systems. GPG is also available for Android devices with K-9 Mail and APG.

  • Privacy

    • Pentagon working on anonymity tools to dodge NSA?

      So you already know about the NSA’s massive information-collection system to spy on U.S. citizens (courtesy Edward Snowden) which, perhaps, sends shivers down your spine? But did you also know that there is a network called Tor which you can use while surfing the Internet to dodge the NSA?

    • Mikko Hypponen says John Kerry should ‘shut the f*** up’ about Snowden

      Mikko Hypponen has slammed US Secretary of State John Kerry for branding Edward Snowden a “coward” and a “traitor,” and saying that the US National Security Agency (NSA) document leaker should “man up” and return to the United States from Russia to “make his case”.

      In not so many words, Hypponen said that Kerry should pipe down and have respect for Snowden after he blew the whistle on the world’s largest intelligence agency, the NSA.

    • Ex-NSA Guys’ Startup To Protect You From NSA

      It’s like hiring Darth Vader to build planetary defense systems to thwart the Death Star.

      Except the analogy doesn’t quite work. Vader switched to the light side because of his love for his son. These guys are just doing it for the money.

  • Civil Rights

    • 70 Years Later, Still Playing Politics With Freedom of the Press

      Today we’re in year four of the third spy investigation of a publisher in U.S. history. Since 2010 the Justice Department has investigated WikiLeaks, confirmed by court filings this April. Obama called the organization “deplorable” and continues to sponsor confining the organization’s editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, to the Embassy of Ecuador in London. June 19th marks the two-year anniversary of Assange’s entry into the Embassy. Public officials accused WikiLeaks of treason, called for Assange’s assassination, and asked private companies to cut ties to the organization. Ecuador granted Assange political asylum owing to the credible risk of torture, inhumane treatment, and unfair trial he would face here.

    • When Aaron Swartz Spoofed His MAC Address, It Proved He Was A Criminal; When Apple Does It, It’s Good For Everyone

      Whenever we write about Aaron Swartz and the criminal prosecution against him, some of our (and Aaron’s) critics scream that it was “obvious” that he knew he was up to no good, because he chose to spoof his MAC address on the machine he used to download JSTOR articles. Of course, as many people explained, spoofing a MAC address isn’t some crazy nefarious thing to do, and often makes a lot of sense. In fact, Apple recently announced that iOS 8 will have randomized MAC addresses to better protect people’s privacy. Simply speaking: Apple is making “MAC spoofing” standard. And, as the folks over at EFF are noting, this is a very good thing for your privacy.

    • GM Recalls: How General Motors Silenced a Whistle-Blower

      It was close to 3 a.m. on June 6 when Courtland Kelley burst into his bedroom, startling his wife awake. General Motors (GM), Kelley’s employer for more than 30 years, had just released the results of an investigation into how a flawed ignition switch in the Chevrolet Cobalt could easily slip into the “off” position—cutting power, stalling the engine, and disabling airbags just when they’re needed most. The part has been linked to at least 13 deaths and 54 crashes. GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra, summoned before Congress in April to answer for the crisis, repeatedly declined to answer lawmakers’ questions before she had the company’s inquest in hand. Now it was out, and Kelley had stayed up to read all 325 pages on a laptop on the back porch of his rural home about 90 miles northwest of Detroit.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Court Hands Google a Worldwide Site Blocking Injunction

        In what is being viewed as an over-broad action with serious implications, a Canadian court has ordered Google to completely block a group of websites from its worldwide search results. The ruling was handed down despite Google’s protestations that the court has no jurisdiction over Google locally or in the United States.

      • Advocate General Says EU Libraries May Digitize Books In Their Collection Without Permission

        As that indicates, this is a fairly specific result, rather than a broad general right as in the US digitization case. However, what is encouraging is that it is the latest in a string of good decisions handed down by the European Union’s Court of Justice that are starting to introduce a modicum of common sense to Europe’s outdated copyright laws.

      • Torrent Domain Suspensions Damage Credibility, Registrar Says

        When the police coerce registrars to suspend domain names there are a series of damaging knock-on effects, Iceland’s top domain registry says. ISNIC says that it’s difficult to repair the kind of damage suspensions cause to the credibility of top-level domains, something that could be avoided through better understanding of Internet functionality.

06.17.14

Links 17/6/2014: More Games, Plasma 5 Demos

Posted in News Roundup at 4:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • HP’s The Machine Open Source OS: Truly Revolutionary

    Last week, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) announced its plan to build a revolutionary new type of computer called The Machine. And here’s what makes it truly revolutionary, in all senses of the word: The Machine will run an open source operating system developed in universities, as well as Linux and Android.

  • Linux professionals use tweak tools to customize their OS, and so can you

    Where Windows has utilities, Linux has tweak tools. And whether you’re a Linux pro or a recent refugee from Windows XP, they can help you makeA Ubuntu 14.04 LTS “Trusty Tahr” (the latest and greatest offering from Linux distro pioneer Canonical) really start to feel like home.

    Customizability has long been one of Linux’s most compelling features–particularly when compared with proprietary alternatives such as Windows and OS X–but the tweak tools out there today let you refine the OS even further. And if you’re making the migration to Linux on your workplace PCs, tweak tools can help ease the transition.

  • Server

    • IBM’s Empowerment of SAP HANA

      SAP’s and IBM’s strategies around HANA emphasize how a unified in-memory platform can deliver the goods in both analytics and common line-of-business applications. That’s all good — but just as important will be the increasing competition that viable Power-based HANA solutions should inspire in the marketplace. Analytics and Big Data belong everywhere, not just in enterprise or BI ivory towers.

    • Linode Unveils $10/Month Linux Cloud Hosting Plan with SSD Storage

      In celebration of its 11th anniversary, cloud host Linode has slashed its prices. Users can now purchase hosting plans on Linux-powered servers with SSD storage starting at $10 per month.

      The offering was made possible through a $45 million upgrade of Linode’s infrastructure back in April 2014, which brought SSD storage to the company’s servers, as well as Intel (INTC) Xeon E5 2680v2 Ivy Bridge processors, more RAM and higher network throughput.

  • Kernel Space

    • Systemd’s Plan For Stateless Systems, Factory Resets

      Following the exciting systemd 214 release that worked on new sandboxing features and other improvements toward a stateless Linux system, Lennart Poettering has blogged about the latest features and their plans going forward.

    • USB Attached SCSI (UAS) Is Now Working Under Linux

      With the recently released Linux 3.15 kernel is support for UAS. USB Attached SCSI will allow for significantly faster performance out of UAS-supported USB drive enclosures.

    • UAS: USB Attached SCSI now available in the 3.15 kernel, qemu USB-3.0 compatibility coming up

      At the end of 2013 I’ve spend 2 full months working on getting XHCI streams support and the UAS driver in the Linux kernel, which uses streams into shape. With the release of the 3.15 kernel this work now is available for end users to use.

    • VXLAN Support Added To Systemd’s Networkd

      The latest addition to systemd’s networkd networking component is support for Virtual Extensible LANs.

      With the latest networkd work, networkd can now create VXLANs. Virtual Extensible LANs are a network virtualization method designed for cloud computing needs.

    • Allwinner A23 “Sun8i” Support Gets Cleaned Up For The Linux Kernel

      Developers have put out their latest batch of Allwinner patches that allow for basic upstream kernel support of Allwinner’s A23 SoC.

      The Allwinner A23 SoC is a dual-core Cortex-A7 part that’s been out since last year. The A23 isn’t impressive by other tier-one ARM SoCs, but it’s low-cost and with the A23 System-on-a-Chip they switched from using PowerVR graphics to instead using ARM’s Mali with their new designs.

    • The People Who Support Linux: Embedded Linux Hobbyist Maintains eLinux Wiki

      Bill Traynor first got hooked on embedded Linux development when a friend who maintained Hitachi’s SH architecture helped him install Linux on his Sega Dreamcast. From there he developed a hobby of installing Linux on various gaming consoles, toys, and handheld devices. And when embedded development boards became more abundant, accessible and cheaper, Traynor moved on to more serious tinkering.

      “For me, the availability of Linux on the many low-cost, ARM-based dev boards has been fun,” he said via email. “Small, powerful boards, like the BeagleBone Black have really made things fun again.”

    • Linus Torvalds Releases First RC for Linux Kernel 3.16
    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • Open-Source Radeon Takes On AMD Catalyst In 2D Performance

        Last weekend I published 2D performance benchmarks comparing Nouveau to NVIDIA’s official driver. To no real surprise, the proprietary NVIDIA driver beat Nouveau in most micro-benchmarks when it comes to 2D (and separately, 3D) performance. With the open-source Radeon stack, however, it presents a much tougher fight against the proprietary Catalyst driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Enlightenment E19 Is Moving Closer To Release

      Enlightenment 0.19 features improved Wayland support, the tiling module rework has landed, support for the new X PRESENT extension for reducing compositing overhead in X.Org Server 1.15 and newer, the E16-style live pager has returned, and the new compositor code has landed.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Context-sensitive CMake documentation in QtCreator
      • Kubuntu 14.04 LTS Users Can Test the Beautiful Plasma 5 Beta 2 Desktop

        The new KDE Plasma 5 Beta 2 that was released only a few days ago can be tested in Kubuntu 14.04 LTS with a just a minimum of effort.

      • Easily Manage Remote Files on Linux with Konqueror and Kate

        One of the great things about Linux, especially for web developers or server administrators, is that all of the basic tools you need to get set with your remote server and files tend to be included and well integrated into the system from the get go. You don’t necessarily need to install an FTP client, a code editor or a special terminal emulator.

      • KWin is no more

        Now that I have your attention: the binary of KWin/5 just got renamed from “kwin” to “kwin_x11″. For you as a user nothing changes, the startup is adjusted to start kwin_x11 instead of kwin. Nothing else changed. The D-Bus interface is still org.kde.KWin, the config file is still “kwinrc”, etc. etc. Only if you start KWin manually remember to run “kwin_x11 –replace &” instead of “kwin –replace &”.

      • Managing internal dependencies in a build of Calligra

        During the move of KDE’s software projects from Subversion to Git most projects split their subprojects over multiple Git repositories. Calligra did not, but is keeping all code of all apps and extras in one single repository. That is all of the apps Author, Braindump, Flow, Karbon, Kexi, Krita, Plan, Sheets, Stage and Words as well as all of the extras like the file format converter, the Okular generators, file thumbnailers and other file manager integration.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Quick Look: Linux Lite 2.0

      Linux Lite 2.0 includes updated applications, Whisker Menu as the default menu, Linux Lite software repositories, sound control from the tray, descriptive title bars in terminal windows, and more than twenty popular applications that you can easily install from the terminal window. This release also offers a new system font called Droid Sans, tabs in the file manager, and dialog boxes for auto-login.

    • KaOS Linux: Hands-on with this solid and focused distribution

      When I saw the release announcement for KaOS 2014.06 on Distrowatch, it caught my eye for two reasons. First, because there have been a few times when I have thought I would really like to have a special KDE-focused distribution with rolling updates where I could find and test the latest in the KDE Software Collection and associated packages. And second, because I have recently been trying and writing about a totally “over-the-top” Linux distribution (Makulu) with absolutely everything thrown in, including the kitchen sink and whatever other appliances and paraphernalia were within reach, so the prospect of a smaller, carefully focused and selective distribution sounded quite interesting.

    • Rescatux 0.32 Beta 1 OS Can Help Users Fix Windows Systems and Linux Distributions

      Rescatux can fix GRUB and GRUB2, check and fix filesystems (Windows MBR included), change GNU/Linux passwords, regenerate sudoers files, and much more.

    • Migration to open source tool inspires new Linux distribution

      In 2005, in version 5.0, The Pharmacy Server was mature and solid, running on a central server that supported over 300 drugstore chains in Brazil, and has been featured by Red Hat as a certification success story.

      In 2010, after mergers and acquisitions, the company’s operation was terminated and Pharmacy Server was shut down. Its last version used Red Hat 5.4, Firebird 1.5.3, and a custom version of Webmin web admin interface.

    • New Releases

      • Meet Cubicle OS 2.3, a Failed Attempt at Building a Proper Linux Distribution

        Cubicle OS is a rather new operating system and it shows, especially from the way it’s built. The developer chose to implement GNOME as the default desktop environment, but it looks like he didn’t bother to customize it too much.

      • OpenELEC 4.0.5 Integrates Latest OpenSSL Fixes

        OpenELEC, an embedded operating system built specifically to run XBMC, the open source entertainment media hub, has advanced to version 4.0.5 and is now available for download.

        The OpenELEC makers usually follow the XMBC releases, but from time to the time the devs make their own upgrades that are not taken from the other project. After all, XBMC is just a software and OpenELEC is in fact a Linux distribution, which means that there are a number of other components that need improvements and fixes.

    • Screenshots

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon Linux 14.06 Can Be Turned into a Gentoo-Based Steam Machine

        Sabayon 14.06 is based on Gentoo and that is not something that you see every day. In fact, there are very few Linux distros out there that are using Gentoo as a base and it’s good to see that developers take the time and the effort to utilize something else than Debian and Ubuntu.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Core Linux Business Should Drive Q1 Earnings RHT
      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Finally Hits the Big Time

        Perhaps the biggest release on the Linux Planet in the past week came from the world’s largest Linux vendor (by revenue); Red Hat.

        After what might have seemed like an eternity to some (though was only 3 and half years in reality), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (RHEL) officially became generally available. RHEL 6 was first releasedin November of 2010.

      • Red Hat Advances Enterprise Virtualization Platform With RHEV 3.4

        The Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV 3.4) platform, released today, provides new features that make hypervisor-based virtualization easier to deploy and manage. The new RHEV release comes at a pivotal time for the virtualization industry as Docker container-based virtualization is now beginning to pick up momentum.

        RHEV 3.4 is based on the upstream open-source oVirt project, which had its 3.4 release March 27. RHEV provides additional hardening and commercial enterprise support.

      • Red Hat looks to the OpenStack cloud with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.4

        In this latest RHEV release, Red Hat states that it brings new “enhancements for traditional virtualization infrastructure, guest support for the newly released Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7, as well as advanced OpenStack [cloud] support across compute, storage and networking.”

      • Red Hat unveils Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7
      • Red Hat Announces Updated Training for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7
      • Red Hat Positions its Enterprise Virtualization Platform as an OpenStack Bridge

        Red Hat is out with its new Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization platform version 3.4, which arrives just after the new version of its Enterprise Linux offering. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) 3.4 is being positioned as a bridge to the OpenStack cloud, among other things. The latest RHEV version offers new “guest support for [RHEL] as well as advanced OpenStack support across compute, storage and networking.”

      • Goodtech Energizes its IT Infrastructure with Red Hat

        Goodtech develops and delivers projects, services and products creating business value for customers within a number of industries and sectors including manufacturing, energy, green technology and infrastructure. Among Goodtech’s customers in the Nordic region are industry leaders such as Astra Zeneca, LKAB, Vattenfall, Statoil and Norsk Hydro.

      • Fedora

        • DNF v.s. Yum

          A lot has been said on fedora-devel in the last few weeks about DNF and Yum. I thought it might be useful to contribute my own views, considering I’ve spent the last half-decade consuming the internal Yum API and the last couple of years helping to design the replacement with about half a dozen of the packaging team here at Red Hat. I’m also a person who unsuccessfully tried to replace Yum completely with Zif in fedora a few years ago, so I know quite a bit about packaging systems and metadata parsing.

        • Xorg without root rights now available in Fedora
        • Fedora Rawhide Can Now Run The X.Org Server Without Root Rights

          Following a lot of work by Hans de Goede at Red Hat, Fedora Rawhide now supports running the X.Org Server without root rights.

        • Bodhi2 Fedora Activity Day

          The Bodhi2/Taskotron Fedora Activity Day happened earlier this month! A bunch of us gathered in Denver for a few days and worked on some of our critical releng & qa infrastructure. The hackfest was held in a conference room in my apartment building, which worked out quite nicely for the amount of people that we had. The hotel was right up the road, and we were able to walk to a lot of awesome spots, like the 1UP Barcade :).

        • Compare files with these graphical diff tools in Fedora
        • PGP Keysigning Event and CACert Assertion at SELF2014

          SouthEast LinuxFest is happening this upcoming weekend. I offered to host a PGP (I’ll substitute PGP for GPG, GnuPG, and other iterations) keysigning and CACert Assertion event and have been scheduled for 6:30 PM in the Red Hat Ballroom. Since there is a little bit of planning needed on the part of the participant I’m writing this to help the event run smoothly.

        • YUM Will Be Replaced By DNF On Fedora 22 And Later Versions
    • Debian Family

      • Debian 6 Gets LTS Support That Will End in February 2016

        The Debian developers have announced a few of months back that they intend to make Debian 6 an LTS release. The period for this extended release period has now begun.

      • Tails interview

        Tails was built with two specific things in mind: sustainability and usability.
        Sustainability refers to how this is a project that can be relied on by its users. The team goes on to explain the importance of usability: “We believe that the best security tool is of no use if people who really need it on the field cannot use it. Moreover, security tools must be hard to misuse, they should prevent you from doing critical mistakes, or ask you to make security decisions that you are not able to make.”

      • MATE 1.8 Has Been Added To Debian’s Default Repositories

        Mate is a Gnome 2 fork, created by the Arch Linux developers as a an alternative to Gnome Classic (Gnome 2), when the Gnome developers decided to create Gnome 3. Mate became very popular in a short time and now is used on many Linux systems. The latest version available is Mate 1.8, which has been released a while ago.

      • Debian 6 Will Be Maintained Under An LTS Flag

        Debian developers have announced today that Debian 6 will be maintained as a long-term support (LTS) state until February of 2016.

      • Debian 6 debuts its long term support period

        The Debian project is pleased to announce that the “Long Term Support (LTS)” infrastructure to provide security updates for Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 (code name “squeeze”) until February 2016 is now in place. Users of this version should follow the instructions from the LTS wiki page to ensure that they get the LTS security updates.

      • Mate 1.8 Is Now Available In Debian
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mir Gains Support For “Trusted Prompt Sessions”

            According to the Ubuntu Wiki, this feature comes down to “the main purpose of a trusted prompt session (TPS) then is to tie together the [application requesting access to a resource via a trusted helper, the trusted helper, and a trust prompt provider] components mentioned before, both in terms of presenting the final prompt to the user and in terms of lifecycle/focus mgmt. (from a shell’s perspective). In this respect, a temporary, virtual app is introduced that spans across all three components.”

          • Ubuntu for Phones Activated on 10,000 Devices

            Canonical has announced that its Ubuntu for phones operating system has been activated on 10,000 devices, marking an important milestone for the company.

            Ubuntu for phones was announced at the beginning of 2013 and the development team has been working on it since then. It took them a while to get a functioning version and they’ve been improving it constantly.

          • Hands-on with Canonical’s Orange Box and a peek into cloud nirvana

            First off, Canonical emphasized to Ars multiple times that it is not getting into the hardware business. If you really want to buy one of these things, you can have Tranquil PC build one for you (for £7,575, or about $12,700), but Canonical won’t sell you an Orange Box for your lab—there are too many partner relationships it could jeopardize by wading into the hardware game. But what Canonical does want to do is let you fiddle with an Orange Box. It makes for an amazing demo platform—a cloud-in-a-box that Canonical can use to show off the fancy services and tools it offers.

          • Linux 3.16 Won’t Land On Ubuntu 14.10 Quite Yet

            The stable Linux 3.15 is now available from the Ubuntu 14.10 development archive while the Linux 3.16 kernel isn’t landing quite yet in its early development form.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • More on Mint, Email Clients, and Weather Apps
            • Initial thoughts on Linux Mint 17

              As night follows the day, so too do Linux Mint launches follow Ubuntu releases. Linux Mint is a project which puts together a desktop-oriented distribution based on Ubuntu packages. The Linux Mint project tends to take a more practical and conservative approach to crafting a desktop operating system when compared to Ubuntu. While Ubuntu experiments with the Unity desktop, servers, cloud computing and mobile devices, the Mint team stays focused on producing a familiar, user-friendly, multimedia-enabled desktop solution. Starting with their most recent release, Linux Mint 17, the Mint team has announced they will be adjusting their release cycle, basing all Linux Mint releases on the most recent Ubuntu long term support release. This should make for a more stable platform and a more relaxed release cycle.

            • Download Linux Mint 17 Xfce and KDE release candidates

              In today’s open source roundup: Linux Mint 17 Xfce and KDE RC released. Plus: Deepin 2014 RC released, and a review of Linux Mint 17 MATE by DistroWatch

            • Tizen SDK Live DVD updated to Lubuntu 14.04

              The unofficial Tizen SDK Live DVD has now been updated to the latest version of lubuntu 14.04, and you can download the ISO image now.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • IFC6410 Snapdragon 600 dev board now supports Fedora, Ubuntu

      The IFC6410 Pico-ITX board is a tiny computer-on-a-board powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor as the Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One M7 smartphones. It sells for $149 and it’s aimed at developers, hobbyists, and others interested in testing their hardware or software designs… but thanks to a few recent developments, you can also use the IFC6410 as a small, inexpensive desktop computer.

    • Google Fit: Google’s new health service to challenge Apple’s HealthKit

      However, there is a need for more clarity on whether Google Fit will be integrated into the next version of Android, or offered as a standalone app that could be downloaded independently.

      It added: “One source with knowledge of Google’s plans said Google Fit would allow a wearable device that measures data like steps or heart rate to interface with Google’s cloud-based services, and become part of the Google Fit ecosystem.”

    • IFC6410 Pico-ITX Development Board Now Supports Fedora And Ubuntu

      Makers, hobbyists and developers looking for a new Linux Fedora or Ubuntu development board for their projects might be interested to learn that the IFC6410 Pico-ITX board which is available to purchase for around $149.

    • Phones

      • Call for Papers – Tizen Developer Summit Shanghai 2014
      • Russia Tizen App Challenge, Total of 7,000,000 Rubel in Prize money on offer

        The Russia Tizen App Challenge has been launched with the aim of bringing talented application and game developers to the new Tizen platform, for new challenges and above all new opportunities. The competition has started on the 9th June and is open to citizens of the Russia or Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan with permanent or temporary registration in the territory of Russia.

      • Control Your Phone with These Open Source Linux Apps

        If your phone can be connected to your computer with an USB cable you can do a lot more through this connection than just recharging it or transferring files to and from your phone’s storage. For example, you can make phone calls, read and send text messages, and see a bunch of other information from your phone, right on your PC. There is a number of Free Open Source software applications that allow you to do this, and you don’t even need to have a smartphone for this to work, just a phone that can connect to USB.

      • Ballnux

        • Leak reveals Galaxy S5 and S4 KitKat update coming this month

          The document leaked to Android Geeks by an anonymous tipster indicates two versions of the S5 are due to receive the 4.4.3 update within the next couple of weeks. The leaked document was an email sent to Android Geeks titled “KTU84 Update Status Report”, containing a visible Samsung header and dated “June 10th”. The document suggests the Galaxy S5 (SM-G900F and SM-G900H) are both due to receive the update in June with both models having ‘completed testing’.

      • Android

        • World’s most secure Android phone finally starts shipping next month

          Secure communications specialist Silent Circle recently set out to build the most secure Android phone in the world, and some have gone as far as to call the company’s Blackphone an “NSA-proof” smartphone. That statement can’t be confirmed, of course, since the NSA surely still has a few tricks up its sleeve that we don’t know about. What we can say, however, is that people concerned with keeping their mobile communications private will soon have a new option that is more secure than any publicly available Android phone currently on the market.

        • Silent Circle’s Blackphone will ship out in three weeks

          Silent Circle in partnership with Geeksphone announced the Blackphone in January this year. The makers of the Blackphone claims that the handset is the world’s first smartphone that gives its user total control of privacy.

          The upcoming smartphone is powered by a modified version of Android, PrivatOS, which is believed to be more security-oriented. The Blackphone will be carrier and vendor independent, which will ensure that individuals and businesses are able to make and receive secure phone calls, send texts, store files, browse the internet and more without compromising the privacy of the user.

        • Blackphone is about to sidle stealthily into the mainstream
        • NSA-Proof? Super-Secure Blackphone Shipping by July
        • Super-Secure Blackphone Shipping by July
        • Anti-forensic mobile OS gets your phone to lie for you

          In Android Anti-forensics: Modifying CyanogenMod Karl-Johan Karlsson and William Bradley Glisson present a version of the Cyanogenmod alternate operating system for Android devices, modified so that it generates plausible false data to foil forensic analysis by law enforcement. The idea is to create a mobile phone that “lies” for you so that adversaries who coerce you into letting them take a copy of its data can’t find out where you’ve been, who you’ve been talking to, or what you’ve been talking about.

        • OnePlus makes official announcement defending anger against ‘Invite’ System
        • A warm welcome to CyanogenMod

          In short, CyanogenMod (pronounced sigh-AN-oh-jen-mod) is an open-source operating system for smartphones and tablets. CM is based on the android platform but contains a wealth of add-ons, third party extensions and customisations. Until now CM was pretty much an alternative operating system only used by those who were brave enough to self-install (aka ‘flashing’). However more recently CM is starting to hit the mainstream market in all new ways. At present CM can claim over 12 million installs which when considering was never released (until recently) as a direct-from-launch pre-installed product is quite impressive. In addition alternative phone manufacturers are starting to see the benefits of CM and jumping on board. The first device to officially utilize CM was the OPPO N1 which launched back in December 2013 with the ColorOS operating system. This was the first device ever to offer a pre-loaded CM firmware.

        • The wait is over! OnePlus One available to buy without invite

          It looks like the wait is over! OnePlus One has arguable created a lot of controversy over the last few months with the release of their new device. This first began with ‘OnePlus’ (the company) creating a real buzz around their open-source device ‘OnePlus One’ (the device – yes, it is confusing). However with increasingly delayed release dates and a purchase system relying on “invites”. OnePlus is starting to receive a backlash from the very people who were initially creating the buzz.

        • Must have apps for rooted Android devices

          Rooting your device and installing custom ROMs unleashes the true open nature of Android. Customising phone or tablet and having tight control over their functions is what hardcore Android users dream of. Once your device is rooted, it paves way for installing apps that can take advantage of the added permission and access to core software. Here are few of the best apps that will give you Super Powers that non-root users cannot wield.

        • Android Glom Experiments

          Over the past few weeks I’ve been diving into Android development using a semi-realistic project to force me to learn properly. I wrote a rough first version of a read-only Glom database UI for Android, called android-glom. So now there’s a version in gtkmm (C++), Qt (C++), GWT (Java) and Android (Java). It’s a good way to really try out a framework and I’ve really enjoyed doing that with no pressure.

        • 6 Android Phones with Great Battery Life

          One of the most common complaints of smartphone ownership is battery life. Big displays and powerful processors conspire together to drain your phone of life before the day is through. You can get a portable battery charger to keep you going (and you probably should for emergencies and travel), but that’s one more device to carry.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The future of open source: speeding technology innovation

    As one of the contributors to Black Duck’s eighth annual Future of Open Source Survey, the industry’s leading indicator of open source software (OSS) industry trends, JFrog was pleased to be able to help show the world the true impact of open source software. This was the first year that we decided to take part in the survey. We felt that it was a natural partnership, since our work revolves around regularly interacting with the OSS community to help create and distribute open source software.

  • Ionic ngCordova Open-source AngularJS Services and Extensions for HTML5 Apps

    Ionic offers a free and open source library of mobile-optimized HTML, CSS and JS components for building HTML5 apps. Ionic has recently announced ngCordova, an open-source collection of AngularJS services and extensions that allow the use of Cordova plugins and native features in hybrid apps.

  • Building and Maintaining an Open-Source Community: How to Get Developer Attention

    There are many useful open-source technologies out there. With all of this competition, it’s critical to make it clear why your particular open-source offering should be considered, and for which needs. That’s the reality any builder of an open-source community needs to adopt right from the start: While participation by developers in an active, viable open-source community will undoubtedly improve their projects, as well as your product’s evolution, getting a community up and running can be a challenge.

  • 110 Fun Open Source Games and Apps

    Once again, we’re celebrating the arrival of summer with a list of some of the best open source games available. We’ve updated last year’s list with some new arrivals, as well as getting rid of some of the older games that are no longer under active development. You’ll find arcade, board, casual, puzzle, educational, first-person shooter, music, racing, role-playing, adventure, simulator and strategy games, as a well as a few apps that aren’t really games but are still a lot of fun.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • PBJ100: No. 9 ThinkShout leans on the open source movement for growth

      How has operating in the Portland area worked to your advantage? Portland is a hotbed of technical innovation, and open source in particular. It’s also fast becoming a hub for Drupal, the open source framework we use for many of our projects. Finally, Portland is a magnet for people who care about more than just a paycheck. Our team is made up of folks who care as much, if not more, about the nonprofits we’re helping as the technology we use and user experiences we craft.

    • XOOPS 2.5.7 Final Goes Live

      The XOOPS development team have announced the release of version 2.5.7.

      XOOPS is an acronym of, “eXtensible Object Oriented Portal System”. It’s a free open source content management systems (CMS), written in PHP.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Peter Schaar on “Technik, Recht und Überwachung”

      On July 7th 2014 Peter Schaar (Head of the European Academy for Freedom of Information and Data Protection, former Bundesdatenschutzbeauftrager) will give a talk about technology, law and surveillance in German. The talk will be at the Garching campus of the TUM (U-Bahn stop: U6 Garching Forschungszentrum), in the FMI (Informatics/Mathematics) building, in Hörsaal 3 (lecture hall 3) starting at 16:00. Admission is of course free, registration is not required.

    • GIMP On TV

      I was watching an issue of CNN’s “Forensic Files” early this morning when I was surprised to see GIMP on TV. A murder had been committed and the local anthropologist lacked software to compare a skull with a portrait to verify the identity of the victim. A local computer guru was able to use GIMP to compare photographs of the skull with the portrait. That set the police on a course towards solving the crime. It turned out the truck driver did it. DNA from a tooth compared to some surgical evidence confirmed GIMP’s conclusions.

      What was interesting is that Forensic Files mentioned that GIMP was available to anyone for a $free download. I liked that. The software licence, GPL, described in generic terms the public can understand got out there.

  • Public Services/Government

    • How Open Source Software Transformed a Nation’s Police Force

      In 2012, the Dutch police force – which consists of over 63,000 workers – came to the realization that their disunity was directly impacting their role in Dutch society.

    • ‘Open source crucial for cutting edge industry’ – South Korea ICT ministry

      Public administrations using open source software help make the country more competitive and lay a foundation for a creative economy. Consequently, the South Korean government wants its public administrations to consider free and open source software alternatives, according to its national open source competence centre, presented at a workshop in the capital Seoul, on 3 June.

    • Leipzig is switching to open source office suites

      The German city of Leipzig is switching to using open source suites of office productivity tools: Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice. It expects that in the first five years the anticipated savings will be swallowed by the exit costs associated with the proprietary software used by the city. Starting in 2017, however, the city expects to lower its IT costs by some 100,000 euro, says Lars Greifzu, responsible for marketing and sales at Lecos, the city-owned IT service provider.

    • M$ Drives Away Another Big Customer
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open-Source Agriculture: The Sprouting Of A New Food Movement?

      The Open Source Seed Initiative is trying to preserve some of the world’s seeds from patents and licenses.

    • What’s open source got to do with Earth science? NASA explains

      Earth scientists, including remote sensing experts, climate modelers, practitioners, policy makers, and decision makers, have had a hand in furthering and monitoring the open source space. For example, the climate modeling community executes its daily operations of building, testing, and validating climate and Earth system models, many of which today are open source, released under Open Source Initiative (OSI) approved licenses, and software packages that involve community contributions from very diverse participants. Similarly, the remote sensing community leverages open source packages, including Python and R, as well as non-open source, but community oriented packages, such as MATLAB, ENVI/IDL, and other software to share code, disseminate it amongst the community of experts, and also to process remote sensing data.

    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

      • 3D Printing goes open source

        There’s been a ton of excitement around 3D printing over the last few years and it’s definitely justified. While the techniques of 3D printing have been around for many decades, recent cost reductions have thrust 3D printing into wide-spread use. In fact, I designed a custom engagement ring for my wife and had it 3d printed in silver; more on that below.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Internet of Things – proprietary vs open source systems

      Internet of Things (IoT) market is estimated to generate $ 7.1 trillion in sales by 2020, but its main issue is often considered to be the lack of interoperability between devices belonging to different systems.

    • Unicode 7.0 Adds A Lot Of New Characters

      The Unicode 7.0 standard was announced yesterday and adds 2,834 characters.

      Unicode 7.0 brings in new currency symbols, historic scripts, and a variety of other symbols — including plenty new emoji characters.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Rendor Turns Your Single-Camera Smartphone Into A Real 3D Scanner

      Built by Replica Labs, the program uses only a single camera to render the object. As you can see from the video below, the front of the object was very nicely rendered, but because they didn’t spin around the back, the object is “connected” to the background. However, thanks to the printed sheet, they should be able to get a 360-degree view of the object and allow the system to assess bulges, creases and other aspects of 3D objects. Plus it looks cool.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Kaua’i Cocktail: Why Hawaiians Are Outraged by GMO Farming on Kaua’i

      The island of Kaua’i, Hawai’i, has become Ground Zero in the intense political battle over genetically modified (GMO) crops in the United States. But the fight isn’t just about the concerns over GMO technology. It’s also about chemical pesticides.

      The four transnational corporations that are experimenting with genetically engineered crops on Kaua’i have transformed part of the island into what could be one of the most toxic chemical environments in all of U.S. agriculture.

    • Polio vaccine campaigns face difficulty amid spying revelations

      Despite efforts by the World Health Organization (WHO) to eradicate polio worldwide, ten countries, including Pakistan, Nigeria, and Syria, are on red alert as new cases have been detected and fears grow of the virus spreading to neighboring countries.

      Yemen is not on the list, but fear over the polio virus has increased amid a regional breakout and concerns that Syrian refugees fleeing to Yemen could reintroduce the virus.

      Yemen’s Health Ministry on April 3 launched a comprehensive national campaign to vaccinate children against polio in cooperation with the WHO. The move was to act against fears of polio spreading in Yemen.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • General Haftar launches new attacks on Islamist militias in Libya

      The CIA-linked rebel Retired General Khalifa Haftar is continuing his Operation Dignity ostensibly designed to rid Libya of jihadist militias but which also involved an attack on the Libyan parliament.

    • Libya is on the brink of civil war, again

      In the early days of the Arab Spring, according to a Libyan diplomat, Tunisians would mock Libyans by admonishing their neighbours to the east to keep their heads down so that they, in Tunisia, could have an unobstructed view of the real revolutionaries in Egypt, who had risen up against the long autocracy of Hosni Mubarak.

    • Is Israel Building an All-Drone Army?

      According to CNN, the state of Israel is the largest exporter of drones and drone technology in the world. Leading Israeli defense concern Israel Aerospace Industries, or IAI, counts as its customers the military forces of more than two-dozen nations around the world. These customers buy Israeli drones first and foremost because they’re easier to acquire than American models — where sales can be held up by government restrictions on drone exports. But customers also flock to buy Israeli drones because they work.

    • A Coup? Nonsense!

      A CYNIC might interrupt here: “Why should the army bother with a coup? It governs Israel anyhow!”

    • Three Troubling Lessons from the Latest U.S. Drone Strikes
    • How the U.S. helped turn Iraq into an al-Qaida haven in just 53 steps

      Eleven years after the U.S. invasion, Iraq is on the brink of collapse. We have only ourselves to blame

    • Iraq redux: The dogs of war are barking again

      It’s predictably pitiful that the Bush-era architects of our Iraq disaster have resurfaced to insist that the current sectarian bloodbath is all President Obama’s fault.

      They have no shame. In the words of Paul Pillar, a former top CIA analyst, these dogs of war precipitated “one of the biggest and costliest mistakes in American history” – and yet here they are, indulged anew in the press, shirking accountability and shifting blame and presuming to offer advice. This spectacle would be hilarious if it were not so nauseating.

    • OPINION: Violence in Iraq Result of Wreckage of US Policy Since 9/11
    • Iraq: Fools rush in, fools rush out

      I have written it before and I will write it again: Iraq has made fools of us all.

      It made a fool of George W. Bush, who invaded the country to destroy Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, only to have American troops get there and discover Iraq had no WMDs.

      It made a fool of CIA Director George Tenet, who infamously responded to Bush’s skepticism regarding the WMD reports by jumping up and shouting “It’s a slam dunk, Mr. President!”

      The war made a fool of most Americans like myself, who believed that the U.S. military needed to invade Iraq to keep their country safe.

    • Boris Johnson: Blair should ‘put a sock in it’ over Iraq

      The London Mayor, Boris Johnson, has said that he thinks Tony Blair “should put a sock in it” rather than comment on the situation in Iraq.

      Mr Johnson said that when looking at the current situation in Iraq it was important to consider the impact of previous foreign intervention in the country.

    • Boris Johnson: Tony Blair’s Iraq comments ‘unhinged’

      Boris Johnson has described Tony Blair’s argument that the violent insurgency in Iraq has nothing to do with the 2003 invasion as “unhinged”.

      Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the Mayor of London says the former prime minister is undermining the case for “serious and effective intervention”.

      He described the invasion as a “tragic mistake” and a “misbegotten folly”.

    • Letters: Fighting ISIS monsters in Iraq is not Australia’s duty

      IF AUSTRALIA wants to assist the United States in Iraq with intelligence reports, that’s fine.

      Just keep Prime Minister Tony Abbott away from the phone.

    • Debating Iraq in 2014: Wrong All Over Again

      The crisis in Iraq has brought war back to the US airwaves. But if you were expecting a more robust discussion about US military action this time around, think again. The rule seems to be that if you were wrong in 2003, you’re still an expert in 2014.

    • MSNBC’s Ed Schultz Calls Out Media For Giving Discredited Iraq War Architects A Platform

      Schultz: “They Should Not Be Treated As Experts, Because They Aren’t”

    • Who lost Iraq? What we can do about it?

      The Iraq war was conceived in sin. It was based on the lies of the Bush administration, the most notorious of which were not about “weapons of mass destruction.” More dangerous were the fabricated projections they presented about how: the war would last only a few weeks and our presence would end in six months; it would only cost one to two billion dollars; American soldiers would be greeted as “liberators” with flowers at their feet; and Iraq’s new democracy would be “a beacon for the new Middle East.”

    • The fall of Mosul and the crimes of imperialism

      No one has been held accountable for these actions, which indisputably constitute war crimes. Those responsible include not only George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and others in the previous administration. Both major political parties, the media, the corporations and every American institution are responsible for the lies that have pervaded US policy—both foreign and domestic—for the past decade and a half. All of the criminal policies under Bush—aggressive war, torture—have been continued and deepened by the Obama administration. With its “pivot” to Asia and coup in Ukraine, it is preparing military confrontation with Russia and China and laying the groundwork for a nuclear Third World War.

    • Ron Paul: Haven’t We Already Done Enough Damage In Iraq?
    • Former Rep. Ron Paul warns about getting more involved in Iraq

      Despite the Obama administration’s vow not to put any troops on the ground, Mr. Paul, a libertarian icon, said members of the special forces or the CIA will be sent. He also warned against shipping arms to Iraq and said the Iraq military’s performance to date suggests that a lot of the money invested in it was “wasted or stolen.”

    • Obama Should Resist Military Intervention, in Iraq and Beyond

      If we are to solve our myriad domestic problems and revitalize our economy we need to be more selective about our involvement in foreign crises large and small. The president should embrace that truth in his remaining years in office. For starters, that means staying out of Iraq.

    • The War in Iraq Cost $4 Trillion and Enormous Loss of Life: 8 Warmongers Who Would Take Us Back

      The Iraq War hawks are back. And they have two knee-jerk ways of seeing the convulsions in Iraq where Sunni militants have seized cities from Syria to Baghdad’s doorstep, killing government workers and civilians, and grabbing weapons from a vanishing Iraqi Army.

      First, it is always President Obama’s fault; and second, the U.S. must return to war, despite what has been one of the biggest debacles in American military history. Hawks are only happy when we are at war, fueling the military-industrial complex as U.S. soldiers die and platoons of maimed veterans return home to underfunded medical care.

    • As Obama Considers Drone Strikes in Iraq, Could U.S. Military Action Worsen Sectarian Conflict?
    • Tom Friedman will never ever get tired of telling Iraqis to ‘suck on this’

      Walking TED talk and taxi-driver-chatter-upper Tom Friedman is obviously not a big fan of Iraq. Possibly because it doesn’t seem like a place where Apple would extend their global empire; building factories full of low-wage worker bees churning out iToothbrushes or whatever the hell they are going to iMake next in an effort to suck every last dollar out of every last wallet before Steve Jobs returns to Earth to take them all to iHeaven.

    • Militants battle Iraq forces as US weighs drone strikes

      Militants battled Iraqi security forces for control of a strategic northern town on Monday, prompting half the area’s population to flee, as Washington weighed drone strikes against fighters leading the charge.

    • A Wild Weekend With Kristof, Snowden and Manning

      Then there’s this from Kristof: “The Democratic narrative is that President Bush started the cascade of dominoes. The problem with that logic is that Obama administration officials were boasting just a couple of years ago about how peaceful and successful Iraq had become because of their fine work.” Again: It’s just “the Democratic narrative,” not an objective fact, that Bush “started the cascade of dominoes.”

      Just the latest Kristof embarrassment. And let’s not forget that he strongly urged Obama to bomb Syria last year—which would have aided the ISIS rebels.

    • Obama considers military options in Iraq

      The US already has an aircraft carrier accompanied by two ships with guided-missile capabilities in the Gulf.

    • There’s No Such Thing as ‘Other Military Options’ in Iraq

      The Obama Administration has been supplying Iraq with their foreign military sales program with a total of $15 Billion in supplying the country in chaos with F-16 jets, drones, tanks, arms, and Apache attack helicopters. Baghdad has been urging the US to deliver military weapons to stabilize its country, but the Iraqi military does not seem sufficiently trained to effectively use such complex military hardware.

    • U.S. Doesn’t Know Who to Hit in Iraq

      The U.S. military has the capability to conduct air strikes over Iraq within hours. The problem is they don’t know exactly who they are supposed to be targeting.

    • Tony Blair’s call for anti-Isis drive criticised

      Tony Blair came under fierce attack from former Labour cabinet members, some diplomats and the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Ashdown after he called for limited military intervention to drive the militant group Isis out of Iraq and restore order in Syria.

    • Blair: Bombing Iraq Better – Again
    • Anderson Cooper shilling for Bush

      CNN on Sunday night aired a “documentary” about former President George H.W. Bush on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

      It was a glowing tribute to the nation’s 41st president filled with testimonials from notables, including President Obama, Bill Clinton and 39 other friends and family members. What was missing was a warning that what viewers were about to see was propaganda masquerading as journalism.

      As noted by the always spot-on David Zurawik, the program — titled “41ON41” —was paid for by the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation and one of its producers worked as a speechwriter for Bush in the White House.

    • What Can We Do in Iraq? Nothing!

      That is the way of the world. We have seen this before. In March of 1973, American troops withdrew from South Vietnam, leaving our local allies to take over that war. Two years later the North Vietnamese reached Saigon, as the ISIS has reached the suburbs of Baghdad. Do you think we should have gone back and resumed the war in Southeast Asia? That would have been nuts, and it is nuts to go back into Iraq.

    • Obama Announces About 275 Troops Deploying To Iraq

      Nearly 300 armed American forces are being positioned in and around Iraq to help secure U.S. assets as President Barack Obama nears a decision on an array of options for combating fast-moving Islamic insurgents, including airstrikes or a contingent of special forces.

    • US Deploys Extra Troops to Iraq, Mulls Air Strikes
    • U.S. adds troops, mulls air strikes in Iraq

      The U.S. was deploying extra troops to protect its embassy in Baghdad and mulling air strikes against militants who have seized key cities, amid warnings Tuesday that Iraq has polarized irrevocably.

    • Letter: Not another U.S. life or dollar for Iraq

      Now, our drone-happy President is under the illusion that he can find a “political solution” to overcome a 14-century-old animosity between the Sunnis and the Shiites and force them to compromise and reconcile. Good luck.

      And John McCain, with his Napoleon complex proposes to bomb them, as he does in every other troubled corner of the world. Somehow, having spent the majority of his military service as a war prisoner qualifies him to be an expert on and a spokesman for everything military and foreign policy.

    • ‘America can’t be part of any solution to stop the ISIS violence’
    • Anti-war groups demonstrate against drones in Battle Creek.

      A protest that began a week ago at Boeing Headquarters near Chicago, ended Saturday at the Air National Guard Base at Fort Custer.

      The demonstrators want the U.S. to stop using remotely controlled aircraft to carry out military missions around the world.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Contamination of Natural Kaua’i: Rare Plants and Wildlife at Risk

      Given its fragile and unusually rich ecology, the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i seems ill-suited as a site for agricultural experiments that use heavy amounts of toxic chemicals. But four transnational corporations — Syngenta, BASF Plant Science, DuPont Pioneer, and Dow AgroSciences — have been doing just those kinds of experiments here for about two decades, extensively spraying pesticides on their GMO test fields. As a result, the landscape on the southwest corner of the island has become one of the most toxic chemical environments in all of American agriculture.

    • Climate change will ‘cost world far more than estimated’

      Lord Stern, the world’s most authoritative climate economist, has issued a stark warning that the financial damage caused by global warming will be considerably greater than current models predict.

    • Demand the right to know about dangerous oil train threats

      That’s what the U.S. Department of Transportation called shipments of crude oil by rail last month when it issued an emergency order requiring rail companies to notify emergency responders when dangerous shipments of explosive crude oil move through communities.

    • Dying to save the Amazonian rainforest

      An environmental campaigner is killed every week in Brazil.

  • Finance

    • Hospital Uses Executive Bonus Money To Give Its Workers A Raise

      Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas will raise its own minimum wage to $10.25 an hour next month, paying for the increase with money originally devoted to executive bonuses.

      The lowest-level employees at the hospital currently make $8.78 an hour, and the increase will give about 230 workers a raise. Those workers were already making more than Texas’s minimum wage, which is the same as the federal $7.25 an hour rate. The move also means that every worker employed by Dallas county, inside and outside the hospital, will make more than $10.25 an hour.

    • Rousseff and Merkel Meet Ahead of German Debut in World Cup
    • Rousseff, Merkel seek progress toward EU-Mercosur free trade deal
    • Berlin and Brasilia vow to strengthen ties

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s meeting with Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff served to emphasize common interests. German-Brazilian relations increasingly shape world politics.

    • Ralph Nader on Dave Brat: ‘A Clear Populist Challenge by Main Street Against Wall Street’
    • Fomenting a Revolution: Extreme Acts of Greed Against the American People

      Examples of extreme inequality are becoming easier to find. Progressive leaders have us thinking about revolution. If a revolution is to take place, Americans — especially young Americans— need to know the facts, and they need to know how they’re getting cheated, and they need to get angry. The following should help.

    • We Can No Longer Ignore Bitcoin’s Fatal Flaw

      Bitcoin is no longer decentralised and the cryptocurrency needs fixing if it’s to survive. That’s the warning some cryptocurrency researchers are giving since a single entity, a Bitcoin mining pool called GHash, managed to acquire 51 percent of total network mining power for 12 hours straight at the end of last week.

    • Crypto-”armageddon:” Researchers claim mining concentration threatens to destroy bitcoin

      Here we go again. For the umteenth time in recent memory, the sanctity of the bitcoin network is facing an existential threat from a large and overly secretive organization. It’s not an exchange or wallet service this time around that has the attention of crypto-currency watchers, but rather a large mining pool, specifically GHash.io, the self-described world’s “#1 Crypto & Bitcoin Mining Pool.”

    • Bitcoin security guarantee shattered by anonymous miner with 51% network power
    • ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Calls Rich to Tax-Free Tropical Paradise

      He’s known as Bitcoin Jesus in the world of cyber-currencies. Though he can’t promise you heaven, he is offering a haven: a condo in the Caribbean that comes with a new passport and almost zero taxes.

      Meet Roger Ver, ex-U.S. citizen, ex-convict, millionaire investor, self-described libertarian and founder of Passports for Bitcoin.com.

      The ever-expanding universe of what you can buy with bitcoins includes a hotel stay in Rome, a kimono in Tokyo, and cable TV in the U.S. Ver, a pioneer investor in bitcoin startups, now says he can add citizenship to the list.

    • Supreme Court Ruling Against Argentina: Global Consequences

      Analysis: Expect hedge fund copycats to begin to buy defaulted sovereign debt and break apart previous settlement packages while a well connected global enforcer group filled with Blackwater thugs collects in mafia fashion

      [...]

      Another fallout from the ruling could be a rise in additional hedge fund managers imitating Elliott Management and other “vulture funds,” buying debt claims for pennies on the dollar and then demanding payment in full and breaking previous negotiated settlements. What is needed for this hedge fund strategy to succeed is a global enforcer, a more sophisticated version of dog the bounty hunter, to physically repossess debtor assets as Elliott did when it seized an Argentine navel vessel sitting off the shore of Ghana. Or think about those separate holdout investors who attempted to reposes the President of Argentina’s personal jet as it sat refueling in a foriegn airport – with el Presidente inside. The enforcer group must be led by a high level operative familiar with maneuvering government assets to benefit large banks. Eric Holder might be a good person, with potential sponsorship from the large banks and their venture capital arm. This group could include ex CIA working with Blackwater type thugs to collect debt the old school way with a baseball bat. Whatever the future, it might not be kind to governments that grow massive debts – including, surprise, the USA.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Wikipedia creates new rules, forcing editors to disclose if they’re paid

      The Wikimedia Foundation, a nonprofit that operates Wikipedia and related projects, explained yesterday that it will establish new rules covering paid editing.

      The heart of the change is that anyone who is paid to edit the site must “add your affiliation to your edit summary, user page, or talk page, to fairly disclose your perspective,” according to Wikimedia’s explanation of the change. The organization has also published an FAQ on paid editing.

    • Hero vs. Villain

      So why doesn’t Congress agree with the people they represent? Two reasons. The lobbyists have bribed them into protecting the future of cheap labor for their rich clients. The second reason is the fear of the Republican Party and Tea Party that Hispanics would vote for the Democratic Party in elections.

      This is the future of the United States of America; protecting the interests of special-interest groups and ignoring the majority of our citizens. The Constitution has died an unacceptable death, and no amount of CPR (Congressional Posturing and Rationalization) can bring it back to life.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Missiles-on-rooftops Brit spy Farr: Yes, UK.gov slurps your Facebook, Twitter… What of it?

      One of the UK’s top spies has said that the country reckons spying on British folks’ Facebook posts and tweets is legal because they’re classed as “external communications” – though he wouldn’t confirm outright that it did so.

    • Mass surveillance of social media is permitted by law, says top UK official

      Mass surveillance of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and even Google searches, is permissible because they are “external communications”, according to the government’s most senior security official.

    • How to Anonymize Everything You Do Online

      One year after the first revelations of Edward Snowden, cryptography has shifted from an obscure branch of computer science to an almost mainstream notion: It’s possible, user privacy groups and a growing industry of crypto-focused companies tell us, to encrypt everything from emails to IMs to a gif of a motorcycle jumping over a plane.

    • Unmasking Big Brother

      One year ago, Glenn Greenwald began reporting on the leaked documents provided by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Together, Snowden and Greenwald have exposed vast government programs of domestic and international surveillance that threaten civil liberties here and around the world. As a result of these shocking revelations, Snowden has been stranded in Russia, facing espionage charges, and Greenwald has become the target of media hit jobs questioning whether he had the right to report on these spy programs and the erosion of our civil liberties.

    • Forget national security: Drones are the latest scandal at the World Cup

      Along with Edward Snowden, the NSA, and wars, drones are the hottest topic in national security these days.

    • Hillary Clinton Refuses ‘No Spy Agreement’ with Germany

      State Hillary Clinton angered the entire nation of Germany by refusing to support a “no spy agreement” with one of the USA’s most supportive allies.

      The Voice of Russia reports that, “Clinton, meanwhile, said she understood Germany’s anger at revelations that the US Natural Security Agency (NSA) had listened into Merkel’s mobile phone as part of its large scale surveillance of electronic communications in Germany, America’s close ally.”

    • ‘Access My Info’ Tool Lets Telecom Subscribers Know If They’ve Been Spied On
    • This App Helps Reveal What Personal Data Is Stored by Canadian ISPs

      Moreover, Access My Info is based on an open platform. As a result, it can be reconfigured to send the same kinds of legal requests for information to all kinds of companies: credit card companies, banks, stores, or even car companies.

    • Ron Wyden, Mark Udall and Rand Paul: How to end the NSA dragnet

      One year ago this month, Americans learned that their government was engaged in secret dragnet surveillance, which contradicted years of assurances to the contrary from senior government officials and intelligence leaders.

    • British Spy Agencies Are Said to Assert Power to Intercept Web Traffic

      In a broad legal rationale for collecting information from Internet use by its citizens, the British government has reportedly asserted the right to intercept communications that go through services like Facebook, Google and Twitter that are based in the United States or other foreign nations, even if they are between people in Britain.

      The British position is described in a draft summary of a report to be released Tuesday by Privacy International and other advocacy groups.

    • Calif. Court To Review Secret NSA Phone Surveillance Docs

      A California federal judge on Friday ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to produce top secret documents requested by the Electronic Frontier Foundation related to the National Security Agency’s surveillance of Americans’ call data so that the court can review if they are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

    • NSA Can Neither Confirm Nor Deny It Uses The Phrases It Used On A Leaked Slide

      Leopold asked the NSA about its variations on the phrase “collect it all” (a.k.a. former NSA head Keith Alexander’s personal motto), including “sniff it all,” “process it all,” “exploit it all,” “partner it all” and “know it all.” As is its particular idiom, the NSA Glomared all over the response letter.

    • Appeals court reverses decision in Chicago terrorism case

      An appeals court has overruled a groundbreaking decision by a Chicago judge to let lawyers for an alleged terrorist see classified surveillance evidence.

    • Government Demands Whistleblower Organization’s Encrypted Files

      For those people who still do not believe we have crossed a terrible line into a Post-Constitutional state, here’s another chance to repent before we all go to hell.

      The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) in-house watchdog has demanded that the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) turn over all information it has collected related to abuses and mismanagement at VA medical facilities, according to a subpoena delivered to POGO May 30.

    • A year after Snowden, DEF CON and government agencies are friends again
    • The History of Domestic Surveillance in WWI America

      When the Espionage Act passed in 1917, the Federal government left no proverbial stone unturned, using all communication channels available at their disposal to secretly monitor as many citizens of the United States proper as they could, given the technology of the time.

    • The Pentagon is trying to make the internet more anonymous
    • No cloud privacy or security: If NSA wants your cloud data ‘be big boys about it’

      Most of us don’t like the idea of intelligence agencies or law enforcement accessing our data stored in the cloud; that doesn’t mean your data is, by default, being accessed, but it’s likely a matter of principle. As NSA spying scandal revelations rolled out over the last year, many businesses and individuals decided they don’t want their data stored in the US. Countries want their cloud data to be stored locally in hopes of keeping it safe from US snooping. Whether you regard that as a privacy issue or a security issue, one security expert basically says, “Get over it.”

    • Vint Cerf: “It’s not Google that will be tracking you. It will be the cameras.”

      Google’s response to “erosion of privacy” has been to “encrypt everything…to protect people’s interests.” A top Google executive recently spoke to DW and will join the Global Media Forum on June 30 via video link.

    • Surveillance at the Local Level: the Militarization of America’s Police State

      “We believe in transparency here, you have a right to know what the police are up to in your country.” – Camden Police Chief Scott Tomson

      On VICE News, Vikram Gandhi went to Camden, New Jersey to preview the latest technologies and strategies that are being employed to help local law enforcement in the long fought, and long failing, War on Drugs here in America.

    • Facebook App Adds Yet Another Powerful Tracking Feature

      This policy decision is likely the result of a penalty imposed in 2011 by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that requires the social media mammoth to submit to 20 years of privacy audits conducted by the agency. Another provision of the penalty mandates that any new features offered by Facebook must be “opt in.”

    • Mobile app monitoring startup Crittercism expands to London

      While the company’s technology has already been available to international customers, Levy tells me he’s hearing growing concerns from companies who’d like their cloud infrastructure to be hosted more locally. You can thank Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks for that.

    • Edward Snowden using telepresence robot to attend events internationally

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is making his ‘telepresence’ felt at events across the world with a telepresence robot that transmits a live feed from his computer to a roaming robot.

      Just over a year since Snowden first revealed the extent to which the US National Security Agency (NSA) had been spying on not just US citizens but people across the world, the man is now looking to end his exile in Russia through the means of telepresence.

    • Greenwald, Snowden take on Big Brother state

      When journalist Glenn Greenwald spoke via Skype to the Socialism 2013 conference in Chicago in June last year, it was just three weeks after he had begun reporting on the leaks provided by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden that revealed the massive scope of government surveillance.

    • Report: CIA Rendition Jet was waiting in Europe to Snatch Snowden
    • N977GA was waiting to render Snowden back to the U.S.
    • U.S. officials tried really, really hard to catch Edward Snowden but still couldn’t do it
    • Edward Snowden Proves A Difficult Catch For US Authorities
    • Catch me a spy: Secret Snowden rendition plot revealed?
    • NSA’S SECRET SPY CENTER IN BERLIN

      Germany’s foreign intelligence agency officially lifted the lid on some of its worst-kept secrets Friday, acknowledging that half a dozen facilities around the country are in fact spy stations as anyone with Internet access could already figure out.

      The Federal Intelligence Service, known by its German acronym BND, maintained the facade for decades that it had nothing to do with sites bearing cryptic names such as “Ionosphere Institute.” But amateur sleuths long suspected their true identities and posted them on websites such as Wikipedia.

      The subterfuge wasn’t helped by the fact that some sites sport unmistakable signs of spy activity, like the giant golf ball-shaped radomes in Bad Aibling, near Munich until now, the “Telecommunications Traffic Office of the German Armed Forces.”

    • NSA spying ruled unconstitutional by US court
    • The Teenager Who Tripped Up Pelosi Has Words for Obama…And Glenn Beck

      Demeter considers himself a foe of both Democrats and Republicans.

    • 10 fascinating facts about Watergate 42 years later

      9. The Smoking Gun tape as the coup de grace. The release of the Smoking Gun tape, among 64 recordings that Nixon was forced to surrender by the Supreme Court, ended the Watergate drama. The tape showed Nixon ordering a cover-up of the break-in right after it happened in June 1972.

    • Falsifying Evidence on a Smart Phone

      Here’s a way to plant false evidence — call records, locations, etc — on your smart phone. I have no idea how good this will be. Presumably it will be an arms race between programs like this and programs that harvest data from your phone.

    • Congressman asks NSA to provide metadata for “lost” IRS e-mails

      Representative Steve Stockman (R-TX) has sent a formal letter to the National Security Agency asking it to hand over “all its metadata” on the e-mail accounts of a former division director at the Internal Revenue Service.

      “Your prompt cooperation in this matter will be greatly appreciated and will help establish how IRS and other personnel violated rights protected by the First Amendment,” Stockman wrote on Friday.

    • Tor Is For Everyone: Why You Should Use Tor

      EFF recently kicked off our second Tor Challenge, an initiative to strengthen the Tor network for online anonymity and improve one of the best free privacy tools in existence. The campaign—which we’ve launched with partners at the Freedom of the Press Foundation, the Tor Project, and the Free Software Foundation—is already off to a great start. In just the first few days, we’ve seen over 600 new or expanded Tor nodes—more than during the entire first Tor Challenge.

    • On Surveillance: A Conversation

      To mark the one-year anniversary of the Snowden leaks, the PEN Center has invited a number of journals to participate in a collaborative project on the theme of living in a surveillance society. For the American Reader’s contribution, AR editors Alyssa Loh, Uzoamaka Maduka, Jac F. Mullen, and Jonathon Kyle Sturgeon conducted a wide-ranging discussion on surveillance and its impact on narrative, free expression, and the creative arts. The edited transcript of this conversation, found below, also appears on the PEN Center website, along with the full suite of articles produced by the multi-journal collaboration.

    • Stop Including Sender IPs in Email Headers

      To many people, the design of email is fundamentally broken when it comes to security and privacy. That’s the impetus behind projects like the Dark Mail Technical Alliance, LEAP Encryption Access Project, and efforts to make PGP more accessible such as Mailpile, OpenPGP.js and Google’s recently announced Chrome extension, End-To-End. One issue is the contents of email headers. With all the recent talk about long-term technical solutions to enforce privacy by default, here is one thing that all mail server administrators and email providers should do to improve the security risks associated with communicating via email.

    • Not Just the NSA, Even the Local Cops Are Tracking You

      Across the whole of America, you are continuously being monitored by local police forces using a secretive technology without any warrant, while you are completely oblivious to this and thinking that it’s just the NSA, according to media reports.

    • Smart Meters: Are They Spying On You?

      Former CIA Director David Petraeus once stated that WiFi connected devices, such as appliances commonly found inside many homes, will “transform the art of spying.” Petraeus also said that spies will be capable of monitoring Americans without going inside the home or perhaps even acquiring a warrant. He went on to state that remote control radio frequency identification devices, “energy harvesters,” sensor networks, and small embedded severs all connected to an internet network will be all that is necessary for clandestine intelligence gathering.

  • Civil Rights

    • Journalist wrongly facing jail time

      A few of us remember when a young man named James Risen joined The Journal Gazette fresh out of Northwestern’s journalism school and was a reporter here in 1978-79. He did some good reporting. In a yellowed clip file, there are photos of him using a drill and a welder for an article he did about working on the International Harvester Scout assembly line. And he got married at Trinity Lutheran Church while he was here, to his college sweetheart, Penny Blank, who was an editor at The News-Sentinel. They had their reception across the street at the Women’s Club.

    • The Secret Statex

      Ask five of your friends what “rendition” means and chances are you will not get a clear answer.

    • The Latest News On Guantánamo Force-Feeding Videotapes, And Prisoners’ Ongoing Legal Challenges – OpEd

      A month ago, a federal court judge, Gladys Kessler, delivered a historic ruling on Guantánamo, ordering the government to stop force-feeding a hunger striking prisoner, Abu Wa’el Dhiab, and to release to his lawyers videos of his force-feeding and “forcible cell extractions,” whose existence had only recently been discovered by one of his lawyers. She also ordered the government to release his medical records, and to “file a list of all current Standard Operating Procedures/Protocols directly addressing enteral feeding and/or the use of a restraint chair at Guantánamo Bay.”

    • In America, It’s Always Torture Approval Month

      I’ll bet you didn’t know that June is “torture awareness month” thanks to the fact that, on June 26, 1987, the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment went into effect internationally. In this country, however, as a recent Amnesty International survey indicated, Americans are essentially living in Torture Unawareness Month, or perhaps even Torture Approval Month, and not just in June 2014 but every month of the year.

    • Report on CIA to be released within weeks

      Senator Diane Feinstein, the head of the US Senate Intelligence Committee says she believes a secret report into the CIA’s extreme actions against terror suspects post 9 11 will be made public within weeks.

    • The limits of protest

      To reconnect to the central question here of why protest is stumped in Pakistan, despite its critical economic and developmental challenges, it may be appropriate to end with the observation that it is this role of religion that used to be a subject of interest for an older generation that has now been sidelined and considered irrelevant by many post 9/11 scholar-activists.

    • Chris Hedges: American Socrates

      Noam Chomsky, whom I interviewed last Thursday at his office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has influenced intellectuals in the United States and abroad in incalculable ways. His explications of empire, mass propaganda, the hypocrisy and pliability of the liberal class and the failings of academics, as well as the way language is used as a mask by the power elite to prevent us from seeing reality, make him the most important intellectual in the country. The force of his intellect, which is combined with a ferocious independence, terrifies the corporate state—which is why the commercial media and much of the academic establishment treat him as a pariah. He is the Socrates of our time.

    • Aboriginal Tent Embassy is Reclaiming the Black Heart of Sydney

      As you approach the Aboriginal tent embassy on the Block in Redfern, inner city Sydney, you see the sacred fire burning within a large circle marked on the ground, serving to cleanse the area. Some ten metres up from the fire, at the edge of the Block, the Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC) has erected a sign that reads: “Warning. Private Property.”

    • Secret Legal Opinions Face Judge’s Scrutiny

      A federal judge demanded access to key opinions by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court related to domestic surveillance so she can decide whether they are fit for public release.

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) brought the case at hand under the Freedom of Information Act in 2011, seeking access to opinions in which the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court found some of the National Security Agency’s surveillance unconstitutional.

    • Lord Lucan fled to Greece with ex-MI5 agent’s help

      LORD Lucan was smuggled out of Britain to a remote Greek monastery by a former MI5 agent financed by his wealthy friends, the author of a new book claims.

    • Dear kids: Daddy’s a spy

      By day, we were an embassy family, raising our kids in foreign cultures and foreign languages. Our children’s lives were fairly normal: schools, parties, trips. But my night job was as a CIA operative — a second life my kids couldn’t know about until they were in their mid-teens. We needed to cut them in on the secret when they were old enough to handle the responsibility of keeping it to themselves but still young enough that they hadn’t stumbled across information that might disclose my true mission and then, unthinkingly, share it with their friends. Operatives try to find just the right age, when a kid’s judgment can be trusted not to compromise any operational cover, and by extension put their parents or their sources at risk.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • New ‘parent control’ app remotely turns-off your kid’s smartphone

      With the traditional family dinner and other pastimes on the verge of extinction thanks to an array of distracting hand-held devices, mobile applications are now available for parents to remotely bloc access to smartphones and tablets.

      Are you tired of your child behaving like Pavlov’s salivating dog, mindlessly jumping for some smartphone or tablet every time it rings, sings or vibrates, crashing the solemn family dinner, or disrupting homework time?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XXVIII

      The big news this week is an important leak detailing what the European Commission will offer the US in the fields of services and investment. It’s super fresh: the document is currently being circulated to the governments of the EU’s Member States, and comments remain open until 30 June, so we are gaining important insights into real-time discussions that have hitherto been completely hidden from us.

      That makes this leak doubly important: not just for its content, but also for the fact that it took place at all. It shows that despite the European Commission’s attempt to keep key negotiating documents out of the public debate, the Brave New World of leaking whistleblowers means that we will get to see some of them anyway. The only difference is that the Commission looks arrogant and high-handed by refusing to release them officially.

      The leak takes the form of three PDF files – unfortunately they are scans, not searchable documents. They were leaked to the European Federation of Public Service Unions, which apparently represents some 265 unions and 8 million public service workers.

    • Copyrights

      • YouTube to block indie labels as subscription service launches

        YouTube will remove music videos by artists such as Adele, Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead, because the independent labels to which they belong have refused to agree terms with the site.

        Google, which owns YouTube, has been renegotiating contracts as it prepares to launch a music subscription service.

      • City Of London Police Claim That ‘The Tor’ Is 90% Of The Internet, And Is A Risk To Society

        We’ve written a bunch about the City of London Police* and their extrajudicial campaign against “piracy” by trying to scare web hosting and domain registrar firms into taking down websites based on nothing more than the City of London Police’s say so. However, Adrian Leppard, the guy in charge of the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (funded both by taxpayers and legacy entertainment companies) spoke at an IP Enforcement Summit in London and his comments, relayed by Torrentfreak, should raise questions about whether or not this is the right person to have anything to do with stopping “crime” on the internet…

06.16.14

Links 16/6/2014: First RC of Next Linux, Tizen Spreading

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • ‘Syngenta methods of silencing GMO opposition are unbelievable’

      A German farmer has revealed shocking GMO company tactics to silence him in an exclusive interview with RT Op-Edge.

      German dairy farmer, Gottfried Glöckner, has told William Engdahl about attempted blackmail, character assassination and, ultimately, wrongful imprisonment he suffered when he refused to back off his charges that the Anglo-Swiss GMO company, Syngenta, had provided him with highly toxic GMO Maize seeds that ruined his prize dairy herd and his land.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Lawmakers fume over lost emails in IRS probe
    • Witness Wednesday Protests Launched In Washington To Highlight Tragedy of Longterm Unemployed

      In the sweltering mid-day Washington, DC heat yesterday, a small group of members of Congress and community leaders gathered outside of the capitol building.

      Solemnly, as if at a funeral, they read a handful of stories written by a few of the more than 3 million Americans who are longterm unemployed (a category defined as being unemployed for six months or more and still looking for work). Since December 2013, when Congress let emergency unemployment compensation, or EUC, expire—a program that offers minimal financial support to the longterm unemployed—they have been without the help they need to get back on their feet.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Why Does the Right Embrace Ignorance as a Virtue?

      Spouting off about stuff you know nothing about is traditionally considered unwise. But as the Republican war on science intensifies, ignorance has started to become not only less of a handicap, but a point of pride. In the face of expertise and facts, being belligerently ignorant—and offended that anyone dare suggest ignorance is less desirable than knowledge—has become the go-to position for many conservative politicians and pundits. Sadly, it’s a strategy that’s working, making it harder every day for liberals to argue the value of evidence and reason over wishful thinking and unblinking prejudice.

  • Civil Rights

    • Activists Pour Concrete Over Spikes Meant to Deter Street Sleeping
    • Amazon Worker Deaths Examined by U.S. Labor Department

      One man was crushed to death after getting caught between a conveyor system in December 2013 while sorting packages, the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said yesterday. OSHA cited five companies for violations at the Amazon facility in Avenel, New Jersey, including the contractor responsible for the sorting operation, and four staffing agencies that hired temporary employees to work at the warehouse. Amazon wasn’t cited by the government for the death.

    • ​Tiananmen Square June 4, 1989: What really happened?

      According to the mainstream Western version of events, thousands of Chinese university students began their sit-in protest demanding democracy and transparency from the Communist government in April and into May 1989 in the huge Tiananmen Square, directly across from the historic Forbidden City edifice in central Beijing. They defiantly faced off against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the People’s Liberation Army. On May 20, 1989, the CCP imposed martial law and ordered truckloads of soldiers to Beijing to take back the square from protesters. The Western account has it that then, on June 3 into June 4, PLA soldiers opened fire and killed “up to 1000 student protesters.”

    • Citing “Intense Public Interest and Concern” Over Mass Surveillance, Judge Orders DOJ to Turn Over Secret Legal Opinions for Court to Review

      A federal judge today ordered the Department of Justice to hand over key opinions by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (also known as the “FISA court”) so the judge can directly review whether information about mass surveillance was improperly withheld from the public.

    • Brazil: Arrests and crackdowns but anti-World Cup activists get their message across

      To be in Brazil for the World Cup should be every football fan’s dream, but as exhilarating as it is, it’s impossible for any sane supporter not to feel the competition has been tainted.

      [...]

      According to Samy, police are using a new law aimed at organised crime to hold and question individuals. “These activists are being accused of being part of a criminal organisation. The law passed last year created special procedures for crimes involving three or more people, and was aimed at organised crime, but it is now being used to criminalise, and eventually punish, protesters.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • WordPress Demands $10,000 For DMCA Takedown Censorship

        WordPress has had it with copyright holders who abuse the DMCA takedown process to censor perfectly legal content. Through a lawsuit they demand $10,000 in compensation to cover the damage they, and one of their users suffered through a false DMCA takedown notice.

      • ‘We Will Never Support Illegal BitTorrent Downloads’: Vuze

        If you’ve ever downloaded something via BitTorrent, odds are you’ve used (or seen) an app called Vuze. It’s one of the internet’s most prolific BitTorrent clients, and it’s used for downloading countless terabytes of copyright-protected material every day. The developers of Vuze have hit back at the online piracy epidemic, condemning copyright theft and promoting legal torrents.

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