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

04.26.15

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • The Open Source Community Support System

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

  • Databases

    • Deep Engine Brings Enterprise-Level Performance to MySQL Databases

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

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • BSD

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Hilarious random startup website generator is pretty damn realistic

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

  • Science

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

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

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

  • Security

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

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

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

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

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Miliband Goes the Full Henry Jackson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Killing of Americans Deepens Debate Over Use of Drone Strikes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Drones Kill Innocent People All the Time

      But now the White House can’t deny it

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • GOP strongly backs drone strikes, despite accident

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Obama’s Orwellian language on drones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Drone warfare

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

    • From the Left: Eugene Robinson — Strikes against morality

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

    • Rise of robotic killing machines has a cautious world talking

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

    • Understanding the Suffering War Brings

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

    • Hillary the Hawk

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

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

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

    • Waging Electoral Warfare – Analysis

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

    • The Decline and Fall of the United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • US Drone Killed Two Hostages: Reprieve Comment

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

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

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

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

    • Hostages’ death in drone attack shocking: FO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

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

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

  • Privacy

    • White House releases report on NSA surveillance six years later

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

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

    • House Passes Cybersecurity Bill Despite Privacy Protests

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

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

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

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

    • You Should Google Everyone, Even Your Therapist

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

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

      That’s how I got comfortable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • German Intelligence Agency Helped NSA Spy on EU Targets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Jeb Bush praises Obama over NSA spying

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

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

    • Jeb Bush Praises Obama’s Expansion of NSA Surveillance

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

    • Rand Paul targets Obama, Jeb Bush in NSA rant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Senate’s NSA skirmish stalling cyber bill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Chinese Spies With Poor Grammar Tried Hacking NSA Historian

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

    • Beijing Demands NSA Stop Trying to Hack Chinese Consulate

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

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

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

    • How NATO Kills Africans in the Club Med

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

  • Civil Rights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Woman who hit Venezuelan president with mango rewarded with house

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Ford Foundation and its alleged CIA connections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • CIA Interrogator Convicted For Torture Speaks Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Today is the forty eighth anniversary of the military coup.

    • Was Putin Right About Internet As CIA Project?

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

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

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

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Liberals furious with Obama’s trade comments

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

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

    • Copyrights

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

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

04.25.15

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

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

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

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

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

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

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

      • Turning the world upside down

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

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat broadens programming language support

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

      • Why Red Hat is tackling BPM

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

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

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

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

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Security Team’s 90-day Challenge

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

        • Red Hat launches beta of Linux distro Fedora 22

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

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

        • Instant Messaging in Fedora Workstation 2

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

    • Debian Family

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

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

      • What to expect on Jessie release day

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

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

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

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

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

      • Release Critical Bug report for Week 17
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Five Easy Steps to Greatly Improve Your Ubuntu 15.04 Experience

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

          • Hidden Options in Ubuntu 15.04 Can Make It Much Better

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

          • Firefox 37.0.2 Arrives in Ubuntu 15.04

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

          • Ubuntu Kylin 15.04 Continues the Process of Conquering China

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

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

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

          • Scientists Use Ubuntu to Interpret Hubble Telescope Data

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

          • BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition review

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

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

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

  • Devices/Embedded

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Phones

      • Tizen

      • Android

        • Android Candy: Intercoms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • The Turing Phone Is Super Durable and Ultra Secure

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

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Jolla Tablet Ship Date Slips

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

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

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Security

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Transparency Reporting

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

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

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Koch Funding of Universities Shrouded in Secrecy

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

  • Finance

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

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

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

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

    • Slovakia earmarks EUR 12 million for central bankruptcy portal

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

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

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

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

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

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

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

  • Privacy

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

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

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

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

    • NSA had German spies target Euro allies

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

  • Civil Rights

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

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

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

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

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

    • A Psychedelic History of the CIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Comcast Plans to Drop Time Warner Cable Deal

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

  • DRM

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

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

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

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

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

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

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

04.24.15

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 10 Mini-PCs With Pre-Installed Linux

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

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

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

  • Desktop

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

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

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

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

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

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

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

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

      • Identities, I usually don’t stop being myself

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

      • Qt Creator 3.4.0 released

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

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

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.17.1 unstable tarballs due

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

  • Distributions

    • Build Your Own Linux Distro

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

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

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

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

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Developer Toolset 3.1 is Available Now

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

      • ​Red Hat gives developers more programming goodies

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

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

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

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

      • Fedora

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

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

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Conference explores Linux for high performance embedded systems

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Phones

      • Android

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • Use Flynx to load websites in the background on Android

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

        • Android Candy: Intercoms

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

        • Galaxy Zoo Android app: New Surveys

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • Samsung begins updating Galaxy A3 with Android Lollipop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • NVIDIA’s SHIELD Console Becomes SHIELD Android TV

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

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

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Sci-fi meets open source at annual Penguicon nerdfest

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

  • Web Browsers

    • Top 4 Browsers For Linux With Good And Bad

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

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

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

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

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

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

  • Business

  • BSD

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

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

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

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

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

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

  • Public Services/Government

    • Spanish regions grappling with eInvoicing

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

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

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

  • Openness/Sharing

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

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

    • Announcing CIR’s open-source Impact Tracker

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

    • Governance

      • New Bulgarian agency to focus on eGovernment

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

      • All communes of Brussels use FixMyStreet app
    • Open Hardware

      • How to get involved with the Open Source Hardware Association

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

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

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

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

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

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

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

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

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

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

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

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

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

  • Civil Rights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

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

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

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

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

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

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

    • Copyrights

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

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

04.23.15

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg talks privacy and open source

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Events

    • Looking forward to LinuxFest Northwest 2015

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

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

    • LinuxFest Northwest Ready to Roll

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

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • A guide to Apache’s Spark Streaming

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

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Is OpenOffice Dying?

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

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

  • BSD

    • My switch to OpenBSD, first impressions

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

    • EuroBSDcon 2015: Extended deadline for submissions.

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

    • OpenBSD on Digital Ocean

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

  • Public Services/Government

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

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

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Internet forums are good for you

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

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • McConnell bill would extend NSA surveillance

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • European Rights Body Again Rejects Mass Surveillance

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

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

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

    • How to Detect Sneaky NSA ‘Quantum Insert’ Attacks

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

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

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

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

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

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

  • DRM

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

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

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

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

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

04.22.15

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Can Microsoft Really Rival Linux?

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

  • Report Shows Linux Developers Are Increasingly in Demand

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

  • Desktop

    • 8 Linux file managers to try

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

    • 76 Everyday Linux User Guides For Beginners

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

  • Server

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Evolving KDE

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

      • XPQ4 Theme Pack Provides Uncanny Resemblance with Windows OS

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

      • LaKademy 2015 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

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

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

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

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

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

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Fedora 22 Beta Arrives with Plasma 5 & GNOME 3.16

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

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

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

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

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

    • Phones

      • Tizen

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

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

        • History of Samsung Smart TV to Tizen TV 2015

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

      • Android

        • Google takes aim at Apple Watch with Android Wear updates

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

        • Sony’s REAL flagship could land next month

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

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

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

        • 10 Things to Do Before the Nexus Android 5.1.1 Update

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

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

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

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

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

        • Google engineers on Android ecosystem facts and myths

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

        • Pioneer brings Android Auto to aftermarket car audio systems

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

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

        • 5 Best Android Phones [April, 2015]

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

Free Software/Open Source

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 42 Disables NPAPI Plugins by Default

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

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

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

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

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

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

      • [jitsi-users] Big News!

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

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • GCC 5.1 released

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

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source saves costs at Portugal road authority

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

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Internet Security Marketing: Buyer Beware

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

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

    • A Horror We Made

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

      [...]

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

    • WH won’t call Armenian killings ‘genocide’

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

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

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

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

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

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

    • New Google Doodle Celebrates Earth Day 2015

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

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

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

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

    • TV Reporters Shoot Down BP’s Misleading PR Campaign

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

  • Finance

    • MtGox insolvent long before collapse – FT.com

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

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

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

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

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

    • Hillary Clinton–Bolshevik?

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

  • Censorship

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

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

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

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

  • Privacy

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

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

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

      The Dark Net is under attack.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

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

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

    • La Quadrature du Net upgrades to version 2.1

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

  • DRM

    • 4 Crappy Side Effects Of Streaming TV Nobody Saw Coming

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Dotcom Appeals Extradition Delay Ruling, Colleague Lawyerless

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

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

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

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

04.21.15

Links 22/4/2015: Calculate Linux 14.16, SparkyLinux 4.0 RC KDE

Posted in News Roundup at 7:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel 3.10.75 LTS Is a Small Update that Brings New and Updated Drivers

      After announcing the fifth maintenance release of Linux kernel 3.19, Greg Kroah-Hartman also published details about the seventy-five point release of the Linux 3.10 kernel, urging users of the 3.10 kernel series to upgrade as soon as the packages become available in the official software repositories of their Linux distributions.

    • LLDB Is Getting Into Shape For Linux 64-bit Debugging

      From Valve’s interest in the LLDB debugger to many other firms also being interested in LLVM’s debugger as an alternative to GDB on Linux, LLDB is getting into very usable shape for 64-bit Linux systems.

    • Linux Kernel 3.14.39 LTS Is Now Available for Download

      After releasing the Linux kernels 3.19.5 and 3.10.75 LTS, Greg Kroah-Hartman had the pleasure of announcing the immediate availability of Linux kernel 3.14.39, an LTS (Long Term Support) version that is currently maintained for a couple of years with security patches, drivers updates, and bugfixes.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel’s Windows Driver Now Supports OpenGL 4.4, Linux Driver Still With OpenGL 3.3

        The Intel Windows driver is up to supporting the OpenGL 4.4 specification while the company’s open-source Linux graphics driver still doesn’t yet fully support OpenGL 4.0.

      • AMD Open-Sources “Addrlib” From Catalyst

        As part of AMD finally releasing the AMDGPU kernel driver yesterday along with initial Iceland/Carrizo/Tonga support in Gallium3D, they also open-sourced a component formerly within the Catalyst proprietary driver.

      • AMD Releases New “AMDGPU” Linux Kernel Driver & Mesa Support

        At long last the source code to the new AMDGPU driver has been released! This is the new driver needed to support the Radeon R9 285 graphics card along with future GPUs/APUs like Carrizo. Compared to the existing Radeon DRM driver, the new AMDGPU code is needed for AMD’s new unified Linux driver strategy whereby the new Catalyst driver will be isolated to being a user-space binary blob with both the full open-source driver and the Catalyst driver using this common AMDGPU kernel driver.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • 72 Applications ported to Kde Frameworks 5 (KDE Applications 15.04)

        Great news for Kde fanatics since this is a month full of great releases. In fact, after the stable release of KDE Frameworks 5.9 and the up-and-coming beta of Plasma 5.3 there’s another important step for the Kde development: KDE Applications 15.04.

        With this new release of KDE Applications 15.04 we have the full porting of 72 applications to KDE Frameworks 5 and consequently to Qt5.

  • Distributions

    • What’s in a name?

      Hello all, from the first post on our new domain!

      Firstly we’d like to apologise for the downtime, confusion and general inconvenience of late. In short we’ve been involved in a naming dispute for the previously named “Evolve OS” project. On April 1st (yep, really) we were contacted regarding a naming dispute over the use of ‘OS‘. In the past the Evolve OS project had applied for a trademark in the name of “Evolve OS”, which was going through a 2 month period in which those opposing the mark can file their objection.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Gentoo Family

      • Trials & Tribulations: Installing Gentoo Linux With GNOME & Systemd

        Despite going four years without using GNOME 3 to any real degree, it felt familiar from the get-go, almost as if it was just mere months since I last used it. As I’ve had to do with Ubuntu’s Unity, I needed to find a tweaking tool for GNOME, stat, as many of its defaults don’t suit me very well. After figuring out via Web search that it was gnome-tweak-tool I was looking for, I was rather surprised to see that Gentoo had included it in that monolithic ‘gnome’ install. It’s really easy to see why.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora’s Christian Schaller Asks ‘What Can We Do?’

          Today in Linux news Fedora developer asks the community what can we do to get you to switch to Fedora? Elsewhere, the number of Debian 8 release blockers remains steady despite looming release date and Rob Williams shares his “trials and tribulations” installing Gentoo with GNOME and systemd. The former Evolve OS has a projected release date of the release of their newly renamed Linux and Simon Phipps reports on the latest Open Invention Network members.

        • Fedora Workstation: More than the sum of its parts

          Anyway, I thought this could be a good opportunity to actually ask the wider community a question, especially if you are using GNOME on another distribution than Fedora, what are we still missing at this point for you to consider making a switch to Fedora Workstation? I know that for some of you the answer might be as simple as ‘worn in shoes fits the best’, but anything you might have beyond that would be great to hear.

          I can’t promise that we will be able to implement every suggestion you add to this blog post, but I do promise that we will review and consider every suggestion you provide and try to see how it can fit into development plans going forward.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • CamJam EduKit

      When the Raspberry Pi launched in 2012 it was clear that it would rise or fall on the strength of the supporting material. And so it has proved; there are more powerful and cheaper devices out there, but the Pi has grown a huge community providing how-tos and projects, and several third-parties have popped up selling add-on equipment.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

      • Android

        • 10 Android for Work Features Sure to Appeal to Enterprises

          There’s a new enterprise mobile platform for companies that are prepared to invest in Android. Google has introduced its long-awaited mobile device management (MDM) platform Android for Work. Android for Work gives IT departments and companies a more secure way for employees to access corporate data and applications with their Android mobile devices. It’s the Android equivalent of platforms such as Apple’s own MDM platform and others from Good Technology and BlackBerry. One advantage Android for Work has that all those others don’t, however, is that it can be used on more than a billion Android devices that are in users’ hands around the world. In other words, it’s an MDM system that’s destined to be adopted on a massive scale worldwide. But what in Android for Work will make it an effective management tool for the millions of workers who want to not only bring their Android mobile devices to work but use them productively for business? This slide show looks at the features that could make Android for Work an effective MDM platform for enterprises.

        • Android Wear’s biggest update ever takes aim at the Apple Watch
        • Android Wear’s Second Big Update Is Coming: Gestures, WiFi, And Better UI In The Next Few Weeks

          Word around the rumor mill was that Android Wear was about to get a pretty big update — and sure enough, such an update is officially on the way.

        • Android Wear adds WiFi support, always-on apps, emojis

          Google released a major update to Android Wear that adds always-on apps, WiFi support, a wrist-flipping gesture for scrolling, and emoji drawing support.

          Google just released a major Android 5.1.1 update for its Android Wear smartwatch platform, and considering the huge pre-sales for the Apple Watch, it’s not a moment too soon. Even with a nine month head start over the new Apple Watch, Google’s Android Wear hardware partners sold only 70,000 watches by the end of 2014, according to an early February estimate from Canalys.

        • I’m tired of getting excited about Nokia Android phones, but I can’t help it

          For years, I waited for Nokia to change its mind and start making the gorgeous Android handsets many fans wanted from the company. Instead Nokia steered clear of a path that may have brought it some success, and eventually succumbed to iOS and Android. Yet, Re/code has learned that Nokia is once again working on Android smartphones, something that was previously rumored as well, and I can’t help but get excited all over again.

        • Nokia phones expected in 2016: Android or something else?

          Nokia is planning a return to the smartphone market in 2016, after it sold off its handset business to Microsoft in 2013, sources tell Re/code. The timing is right: Based on the Microsoft deal, Nokia can’t sell phones with the Nokia brand until next year.

        • Sony’s Android-powered 4K TVs and new soundbars are coming in May

          After first showcasing its 2015 lineup of 4K TVs at CES earlier this year, Sony has now revealed pricing and release dates for most of the sets. All of them run Android TV, which replaces Sony’s previous, clunky software for a richer experience deeply tied to Google’s own software and third-party streaming apps. Most of Sony’s lineup is on the larger side when it comes to display size. Though you’ll find a few options available in the 43- to 55-inch range, Sony is putting the most effort into models that will dominate most home theater setups at 65 or 75 inches. It’s here you’ll find the flagship XBR-75X940C, a $7,999 TV that features full-array local dimming, 4K resolution, and support for HDR video output, which Sony will deliver through a firmware update sometime this summer.

        • Best new Android widgets (April 2015) #2
        • Android Lollipop OS update live for Sprint Spark-driven Samsung Galaxy S4 tri-band LTE users in US: What’s new

          After rolling out the Android 5.0 (Lollipop) OS update to Samsung Galaxy Note 3 users who have subscribed to its wireless network services in the US, Sprint is now seeding the much expected OS update to Galaxy S4 owners using its Sprint Spark service in the country.

        • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop almost ready for Nexus 9, WiFi Nexus 7

          You may be excited that your device is finally getting the Android 5.0 Lollipop update but others are already getting Android 5.0.1 (Moto E, and Moto 4 with 4G LTE, Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4) and Android 5.0.2 (LG G2 from T-Mobile and AT&T, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Nexus 7, original Moto X). Several mobile devices have even received Android 5.1 already like the Nexus 5, Nexus Player, HTC One (M7), Moto G GPE, LG G Pad 8.3 GPE, and the Sony Z Ultra GPE. And to further burst your bubble, sorry, but Android 5.1.1 is almost ready.

        • 8 great Google Maps tips for Android and iOS
        • ZTE’s Spro 2 Android-powered ‘smart projector’ will hit AT&T for $399.99

          How would you like a 120-inch screen you can toss into your backpack or purse? Yes, please!

          First announced at CES 2015, ZTE’s Android-powered smart projector Spro 2 is finally launching in the U.S. The 1.2-pound portable projector that measures 5.28 x 5.16 x 1.22 inches will be available on April 24 from AT&T.

        • Your favorite websites can now send notifications to Chrome on Android

          Support for push notifications was the most important feature in last week’s Chrome 42 release — and starting today you’ll begin to see why. Today, several websites including eBay, Facebook, Pinterest, Vice News, and Product Hunt will begin to offer Chrome push notifications on both desktop and Android. It’s that last platform that’s a big deal: websites that support Chrome push notifications can send out updates that look and feel like regular app updates even if the Chrome browser isn’t currently active on an Android device.

        • Google just unveiled a hugely ambitious Android Wear update – here are the 3 coolest features

          With all the hype surrounding the Apple Watch, you may have forgotten that Google has a smartwatch software platform of its own called Android Wear. To remind us of this, Google on Monday took the wraps off a hugely ambitious Android Wear update that adds three important features that the platform had been sorely missing.

        • Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge Receiving Android 5.1 Lollipop Software Update
        • Australia’s first Android TV device arrives with Google Nexus Player

          The player, which runs the Android TV platform, was released in the U.S. in October 2014. It will be sold at JB Hi-Fi and Dick Smith from Tuesday for A$129. The device sits in the same market as Apple TV, and is the first device to offer Android TV locally.

        • Improve your game with the best golf Apps for Android

          These days, technology is just as much a part of golf as a good swing. Both professional and amateur players are constantly seeking an edge from the best equipment and engineering breakthroughs.

        • Nexus 5 & 7 Still Facing The Same Issues After Android 5.1 Update

          Usually with updates to software, developers try to address any bugs or issues that were present in the previous version. Unfortunately it seems that in the case of Android 5.1, Google has yet to address some problems that are still plaguing handsets like the Nexus 5 and the Nexus 7 which are no doubt rather annoying for its users.

          The issues in question are related to memory leaks in which after prolonged periods of use, the devices start to feel sluggish due to the amount of free RAM remaining which is less than ideal. This is an issue that Google had acknowledged back in Android 5.0.1 and was actually reported back in 2014.

        • Chrome’s push notifications reach your Android phone

          Chrome’s website push notifications are no longer confined to your desktop — they now surface on your phone, too. Grab Chrome 42 for Android and you can opt into alerts from websites that show up no matter what you’re doing. You won’t have to worry about missing out on breaking news, even if your favorite sites don’t have dedicated apps. You’ll also have an easier time adding home screen shortcuts for those sites if you always want them close at hand. It’ll be a while before many of the sites you frequent can deliver notifications (eBay, Facebook and Pinterest are some of the early adopters), but it’s worth upgrading now to get ready.

Free Software/Open Source

  • A Gigabyte Sandy/Ivy Bridge Motherboard Now Handled By Coreboot
  • Myth Busting the Open-Source Cloud Part 1

    On the contrary, open-source cloud computing products are designed from the outset with security in mind. For example, there are features such as identity management to monitor who has access to content, and data encryption to safeguard information while it’s at rest or in transit.

    Furthermore, open-source cloud software is peer-reviewed by community participants, leading to continuous improvements in the quality of security features and mechanisms. This community also monitors and rapidly discloses vulnerabilities and issues, and provides security updates to address them.

  • Why the Open Source Stars Must Align

    Open source projects like OpenStack, Docker, OPNFV and OpenDaylight are more supported and better funded than ever before. They mark a broader trend of large, active and well-resourced open source projects that are among the leaders in Big Data, cloud computing, operating systems and development practices. Open source has come a long way in 30 years – and its success marks a new era for the overall OSS community.

    But success does not come without potential pitfalls. One of the greatest obstacles to project success isn’t the proprietary competition – it’s the lack of communication between large open source projects like OpenStack and Docker.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Shuts Off NPAPI in Chrome

        With the release of Chrome 42 this week, Google fixed more than 40 vulnerabilities. But the most significant security change in the new browser is Google’s decision to disable the NPAPI, essentially turning off plugins such as Java and Silverlight by default.

    • Mozilla

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • German Greens want increased support for open source

      The Greens in the German parliament want the government to shore up support for open source, but are not sure how. The politicians are working with the Free Software Foundation Europe, to figure out the most convincing arguments and how to increase pressure on the federal government.

    • Germany’s Foreign Ministry Questioned Over Use of Proprietary Software

      Germany has been in the news many times with its open source policy, usually at the local level, but now the Parliament is getting involved, and it’s making some serious accusations towards its Foreign Ministry.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Sony CEO Michael Lynton Slams Middle East Peace Talks In Leaked Emails: ‘Let Them All Kill Each Other!’ PLUS Secret Chats With State Department

      Assange posted a massive collection of hacked Sony emails on Thursday, he explained that they show the workings of a corporation “at the centre of a geo-political conflict.” Indeed, RadarOnline.com can exclusively report that the leaked emails reveal extensive communication between SONY CEO Michael Lynton and the US State Department. And it wasn’t just business: Lynton was not shy about sharing his political beliefs via his work email. In one communication, Lynton bashes the Middle Eastern peace process and sniffs, “Let them all kill each other!”

      The disturbing email came as a response to an October 2014 article by Fareed Zakaria in The Washington Post regarding President Barack Obama‘s foreign policy in Syria. A relative had forwarded it to Lynton with the comment, “Brilliant.”

  • Censorship

  • Civil Rights

    • Guest Post: Undermining Attorney – Client Privilege Weakens Rule of Law

      The systems of surveillance that Edward Snowden revealed in both the UK and US depend on law for their justification, and are facing legal challenges in both countries’ legislatures. This might give the impression that, whatever the merits of these controversies, they will be sorted out through well-established, neutral principles of law. But a case in the UK has raised concerns about whether the impartial protections of the legal system are themselves being undermined.

    • Michael Eric Dyson’s Hatchet Eulogy for Cornel West

      In most respects, it’s very much a by-the-numbers smear, which credits West’s increasingly vocal antipathy to Obama to personal and professional decline, and the usual array of pathologies and character defects that prevent public figures from staying within the boundaries of permissible dissent: grandiosity, selfishness, envy, political calculation, hypocrisy and grudges. Y’know, Ralph Nader syndrome.

  • DRM

    • Apple and Sony emails on Wikileaks

      The leaks included Apple’s agreements to distribute Sony videos through the iTunes Store. This includes the original agreement between the companies covering TV shows such as Charlie’s Angels and Who’s The Boss that was signed in 2007 with term extensions, high-definition amendments, and “Virtual Storage Locker” – the service that we now know as iTunes in the Cloud.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights and Sony

      • The Sony hacking scandal

        The threat came from a group of hackers that had already caused havoc with a cyber-attack on Sony Pictures, and leaked reams of the studio’s confidential information. Washington was quick to blame the hack on North Korea and many in the US media could not wait to do the same.

        [...]

        Pyongyang’s official response to the film – that releasing it would amount to an act of war – also struck people as a reach, but when you consider the way the country is depicted by Hollywood and take a closer look at what was actually revealed in the hack-job on Sony Pictures, you may reconsider.

      • Wikileaks reveals that David Cameron met with Sony before the Scottish Independence referendum to discuss the release date of Outlander

        I have no real time for conspiracy theories as people reading these blogs will know. Sure, some are fun but mainly they’re there to be dismissed so when before the Scottish Independence referendum there were people saying that the UK government had ‘blocked’ the broadcast of Outlander, a SF series set in 18th century Scotland I just treated these people pushing that idea with the contempt they deserved.

      • Leaked Sony email speaks of political ‘importance’ of Outlander to independence debate

        The Outlander TV series and its possible impact on the Independence Referendum were raised by Sony executives before a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron last year.

      • Sony Once Again Ridiculously Warns The Media Not To Report On Leaked Emails

        Back in December, when the Sony emails first leaked, we wrote about how Sony hired super-high-powered lawyer David Boies to send off ridiculously misinformed letters to media outlets warning them that they should not write anything based on information in the leaks. Boies took it a ridiculous step further, threatening to sue Twitter for not blocking screenshots of the emails. Both threats had no real legal basis.

        Of course, now that the emails are in the news again, thanks to Wikileaks posting the archive online and making it searchable, Sony is apparently shelling out more big bucks to Boies to send around another version of the letter. You can see the letter here or at the bottom of the post.

      • WikiLeaks Release of Stolen Sony Data Is ‘Just Wrong’ – Former NSA Director

        WikiLeaks made the wrong decision in releasing the cache of data hackers obtained from Sony Pictures Entertainment in November 2014, former National Security Agency Director General Keith Alexander said on Friday.

      • WikiLeaks reveals new Springsteen contract, with release plans

        The document goes into a lot of economical details (higher royalty rates, a $31-million advance, a contract extension until June 2027, etc), including details of the benefits the 2005 contract brought to Columbia ($73-million on top of the $101-million paid to Springsteen)

      • WikiLeaks: What is written about BiH and Sarajevo in hacked Mails of SONY

        Three days ago, WikiLeaks released thousands of documents and e-mails which they reached after the company Sony has been hacked last year. Our country is mentioned as well in the published content.

        Among more than 170.000 e-mails, there are ones of the author Jennifer Rawlings who filmed a documentary in 2008 that investigates lives of several women that survived the war in BiH. Author of the movie “Forgotten voices: Women in Bosnia“, has frequently been visiting war zones, including BiH after the war.

04.20.15

Links 21/4/2015: Project Photon, Ubuntu Touch Buzz

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • The best free, open-source software for everyday PC users

    Finding new software is a breeze for Linux users. The Linux desktop offers powerful, easy-to-use open-source applications for everything you need, just a few clicks away in your Linux distribution’s package manager. The programs are free, too—and you don’t have to dodge the installer crapware you do on Windows.

    But which of those programs are right for you? We have answers. The applications highlighted here are the pick of the litter for the average Linux user looking to stock up on software. Heck, these particular applications are so good that almost all of them are available on other platforms and are popular even among Windows users.

    Say what you want about the Linux desktop—it’s a much more capable, mature environment than the WinRT environment in Windows 8. Chrome OS and its Chrome apps still can’t match Linux’s power, either.

  • What does an adult look like in an open source community?

    Communities can be as simple as a person having a campfire and someone else joining them. If you’re a commerce-minded campfire owner, it’s about what other people need to trade to sit beside it. If you’re a government-minded campfire owner, it’s about when you need to implement a firewood tax so that you can maintain the fire. And social structures manifest in very straightforward ways. Every village has its idiot. Every playground has its bully.

  • Solving the Free Software Liability Conundrum

    As you may have noticed, a lot of software has a lot of bugs. Even open source code has them, but the main damage tends to come from certain well-known, widely-used proprietary programs – not forgetting well-known, widely-used open source programs with proprietary layers like Android. In fact, some estimates put the annual damage caused by serious software flaws in the hundreds of billions of pounds range, which probably means that many trillions of pounds’ value has been destroyed thanks to buggy, flawed software over the years.

  • Ten lessons from Open Source Open Society 2015

    There’s a dark underside to open source culture. Chris Kelly from GitHub says because anyone can take part in open source, the door is open to assholes (he’s American, I’d prefer to say arseholes). That includes bullying white men with a sense of entitlement. Things often end up argumentative.

    He says this culture can frighten off outsiders, only a few women coders work in open source and the movement is missing out on the benefits of diversity. There’s a clear need to deal with this and to improve communications between people working in open source.

  • The future of Audacity, interview with the team

    We’re working on ways to make the code smaller, less work to bug fix, and related things to keep the project fun.

  • Events

    • POSSCON Successfully Reboots

      Last week in Columbia, South Carolina, the developers’ conference POSSCON went through something of a reboot. Last year the conference was cancelled to allow It-oLogy, the organization behind the event, to put its energy behind launching the Great Wide Open conference in Atlanta. This year, with last year’s successful premiere of the Hotlanta event under its belt, IT-oLogy pulled-out all the stops to reestablish POSSCON.

    • Libre Graphics Meeting 2015 for free and open source design

      This conference is open to the public, and registration is free. Libre Graphics Meeting is four days of talks, workshops, and hack sessions about free/libre and open source software for software developers, artists, designers, users, and other contributors. This year, the conference will be held in Toronto from April 29 to May 2.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome 43 Beta: Web MIDI and upgrading legacy sites to HTTPS

        The newest Chrome Beta channel release includes Web MIDI support, new features to improve security and compatibility and a number of small changes to enable developers to build more powerful web applications. Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to Chrome for Android, Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Big Data Titans Align Around Open Data Platform, Open Tools

      Big data leaders are really converging around the Open Data Platform, recently announced by Pivotal, which we covered here. Hortonworks, IBM and Pivotal have announced that they are essentially harmonizing their Hadoop and data analytics strategies.

  • Databases

    • How real time data supply has changed

      RethinkDB is an open-source scalable database for what its makers call “the real time web”, but what does real time data supply mean in terms of the way web-centric applications function today?

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • April 2015 GNU Toolchain Update
    • Gnuastro webpage is activated

      The Gnuastro webpage ( http://www.gnu.org/software/gnuastro/ ) was activated and the documentation is now available. There is still a lot of work to do until it is ready for release though.

    • 30 Years On, HURD Lives: GNU Updates Open Source Unix Kernel

      The latest version of GNU HURD is out. If you’re asking, “What is GNU HURD?” you’re probably in good company. But as the open source kernel that was supposed to do what Linux ended up doing—provide the core for a cross-platform, Unix-like operating system whose code would be freely shared—the HURD is important. That it is still being actively developed three decades after its launch is worth remarking.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • L.A. School District Terminates iPad Program and Seeks Refund From Apple

    As the Los Angeles Times reports, the Unified School District Board of Education told its attorneys that they should consider litigation against Apple and Pearson. (Pearson developed the iPad curriculum as an Apple contractor.) District counsel David Holmquist said that Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines “made the decision that he wanted to put them on notice, Pearson in particular, that he’s dissatisfied with their product.” In a letter to Apple, the school district wrote that it won’t continue to pay for the Pearson curriculum or services. And board members are calling for a refund.

  • ‘Help! Fire!’ Talking parrots cause house fire confusion

    Emergency crews responded to a structure fire in Canyon County Friday night that caused some confusion.

  • Report: Scientology spy pretending to be a Time reporter tries to interview Paul Haggis

    Paul Haggis, the filmmaker and prominent ex-Scientologist whose story formed the backbone of Alex Gibney’s Scientology expose “Going Clear,” has alleged that a spy from the church pretended to be a Time reporter in order to get an interview with him.

    According to Haggis, on April 7th he received an email from someone named Mark Webber, who claimed to be a Time magazine reporter seeking to interview Haggis for a piece about the “golden age of film.”

  • We all risk losing our most previous memories: Mobiles mean we’re taking more pictures than ever, but RAY CONNOLLY has a warning

    Surely only a modern-day Luddite would disagree. Well, maybe not. Because it seems to me that the march of progress doesn’t always keep everything in step.

    While many things are gained by any great leap forward, other things are lost. When the CD was introduced in 1985, music fans were in raptures.

    Albums would never again get scratched, and CDs were so much better to play in the car than those cassettes on which the tape was liable to stretch or snap. What’s more, CDs were easier to store than those large pancakes of vinyl we used to love.

    But 30 years on, as Record Store Day showed at the weekend, those pancakes are making a comeback, with two million expected to be sold in Britain this year. Apparently, while CDs may be handier, the good old LP offers a warmer sound than the compressed noise we get on digital.

  • Science

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • New Saudi-Led Airstrike Kills At Least 26 Civilians in Yemen

      At least 26 people were killed by a Saudi-led bombing in Yemen’s capital, including a journalist at a nearby television station headquarters.

    • Oxfam Condemns Coalition Bombing of a Warehouse Containing Vital Humanitarian Aid

      Oxfam has vehemently condemned yesterday’s Coalition airstrike on one of its storage facilities in Saada Governorate in northern Yemen.

      Grace Ommer, Oxfam’s country director in Yemen said: “This is an absolute outrage particularly when one considers that we have shared detailed information with the Coalition on the locations of our offices and storage facilities. The contents of the warehouse had no military value. It only contained humanitarian supplies associated with our previous work in Saada, bringing clean water to thousands of households. Thankfully, no one was killed in this particular airstrike although conservative estimates put the death toll in the country as a whole, since the conflict began, at around 760 – the majority of which are civilians.”

    • Explosion Rips Through Homes in Yemen’s Capital After Airstrike

      Dozens of people were feared dead after an airstrike on Monday morning by a Saudi-led military coalition set off a huge explosion that flattened homes in the Yemeni capital, according to witnesses.

      The explosion shattered windows and shook buildings miles from the site of the attack, in the Faj Attan area of the capital, Sana. The wounded were taken to a nearby hospital in a stream of ambulances and trucks, and medical workers called for blood donations.

    • Saudi King Salman receives former UK Quartet envoy Tony Blair

      Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz received Britain’s special envoy for the Middle East quartet and former Prime Minister Tony Blair in his palace in Riyadh on Sunday, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported.

    • US Military Spending Still Up 45% Over Pre-9/11 Levels; More Than Next 7 Countries Combined

      Despite a decline in military spending since 2010, U.S. defense expenditures are still 45 percent higher than they were before the 9/11 terror attacks put the country on a seemingly permanent war footing.

      And despite massive regional buildups spurred by conflict in the Ukraine and the Middle East, the U.S. spends more on its military than the next seven top-spending countries combined, according to new figures compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Keeping Track of the US Intelligence Community’s Leakers

      Harvard Law School professor Yochai Benkler has written an excellent law-review article on the need for a whistleblower defense. And there’s this excellent article by David Pozen on why government leaks are, in general, a good thing. I wrote about the value of whistleblowers in Data and Goliath.

      Way back in June 2013, Glenn Greenwald said that “courage is contagious.” He seems to be correct.

    • The Right Way to Share Information and Improve Cybersecurity

      This year is turning out to be a banner one for flawed proposals that would allow businesses to share information about Americans’ online activity with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the name of cybersecurity. First came the White House plan in January, then the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) — which passed the Senate Intelligence Committee on a 14-1 vote earlier this month — and on Tuesday, the House introduced the Protecting Cyber Networks Act.

    • Official Leaks: “These Senior People Do Whatever They Want”

      When asked whether he would have supported working with the producers of Zero Dark Thirty, Department of Defense’s Director of Entertainment Media said he would not have recommended working with screenwriter Mark Boal and director Katherine Bigelow, because he was not happy with the way their movie Hurt Locker had presented the military. But he was not given a choice. “These senior people do whatever they want,” the Director told DOD’s Inspector General, according to a draft of the IG’s report on the leaks of classified information to Boal and Bigelow.

      The Project on Government Oversight released the draft this week.

      The Director’s comments are all the more telling given how much more centrally this draft of the report — as compared to another POGO obtained and released — point to the role of then CIA Director Leon Panetta and his Chief of Staff, Jeremy Bash, in leading the government to cooperate on the movie.

    • Assange: How ‘The Guardian’ Milked Edward Snowden’s Story

      In recent years, we have seen The Guardian consult itself into cinematic history—in the Jason Bourne films and others—as a hip, ultra-modern, intensely British newspaper with a progressive edge, a charmingly befuddled giant of investigative journalism with a cast-iron spine.

      The Snowden Files positions The Guardian as central to the Edward Snowden affair, elbowing out more significant players like Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras for Guardian stablemates, often with remarkably bad grace.

      “Disputatious gay” Glenn Greenwald’s distress at the U.K.’s detention of his husband, David Miranda, is described as “emotional” and “over-the-top.” My WikiLeaks colleague Sarah Harrison—who helped rescue Snowden from Hong Kong—is dismissed as a “would-be journalist.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • The Big Business of Being Sergey Brin

      Running Sergey Brin’s family affairs is a full-time job—and it takes dozens of people. The Google co-founder, who’s worth about $30 billion, has ex-bankers and philanthropy experts working at his family office, Bayshore Global Management. Brin also has employed a former Navy SEAL for security, a yacht captain, a fitness coordinator, a photographer, and an archivist, according to profiles on LinkedIn.

    • Who Subsidizes Restaurant Workers’ Pitiful Wages? You Do

      For Americans who like to eat out occasionally, the full-service restaurant industry is full of relatively affordable options—think Olive Garden, Applebees, or Chili’s. But these spots aren’t exactly a bargain once a hefty hidden cost is factored in: The amount of taxpayer assistance that goes to workers earning little pay.

      Food service workers have more than twice the poverty rate of the overall workforce, and thus more often seek out public benefits. A new report published last week by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC), a restaurant workers’ advocacy and assistance group, calculated the tab and found that from 2009 to 2013, regular Americans subsidized the industry’s low wages with nearly $9.5 billion in tax money each year. That number includes spending from roughly 10 different assistance programs, including Medicaid, food stamps, and low-income housing programs like Section 8.

    • Migrants are not stealing our jobs; we have stolen theirs, even their lives

      So now we have deserving and undeserving migrants. Police in Sicily arrested 15 Muslim boat people rescued from a leaky rubber dinghy after other survivors accused them of having thrown 12 Christian passengers overboard in a dispute about religion. Perhaps this new moral category may help ease European consciences over the 22,000 desperate people who have died crossing the Mediterranean from Africa since the year 2000. We now have innocent migrants to contrast with guilty ones, good migrants and bad, or perhaps we should say bad migrants and worse migrants.

      We can add that to our existing hierarchy of moral culpability. Refugees are somehow accorded an ethical superiority over economic migrants because they are escaping persecution, rather than merely wanting a better life. Yet, in Africa, the migrant is celebrated as a contemporary hero, the daring risk-taker.

    • How to get into Harvard

      WikiLeaks has published all the Sony emails that had been hacked last November, and made them searchable by keyword. In 2014, a senior executive emailed an Ivy League vice-president of philanthropy: he’d like to endow a scholarship, anonymously, ‘at the $1mm level’. In another email, he tells a development officer that his daughter is applying to the college as her first choice. It’s all very decorous. The development staff arrange a ‘customised’ campus tour for his daughter and a meeting with the university’s president; but he asks for no favours and nothing is promised. An email from the president says that his daughter’s application will be looked at ‘very closely’. She gets in. He writes to his sister: ‘David… called me. he is obsessed with getting his eldest in Harvard next year.’ She replies: ‘If David wants to get his daughter in he should obviously start giving money.’ Obviously.

  • Censorship

    • The Miami Herald, the CIA, and the Bay of Pigs scoop that didn’t run

      There were a lot of bad days during the Cold War, but 54 years ago this weekend was one of the worst, at least for the United States. President John F. Kennedy sent an army of anti-Castro exiles backed by the CIA onto the beach at Cuba’s Bay of Pigs to suffer bloody, catastrophic defeat. It was “the beating of our lives,” the despondent Kennedy would say a few days later as he wondered aloud why nobody had talked him out of it.

      One of the piquant questions of Cold War history is, could the Miami Herald have done that — talked him out of it? In a little-known collision of journalism and national security, the Herald, seven months before the Bay of Pigs, had prepared a news story saying that the United States was planning to launch a military operation against Cuba. But the paper’s top management killed the story after CIA Director Allen Dulles said publishing it would hurt national security.

  • Privacy

    • GitHub’s 2014 Transparency Report

      Like most online services, GitHub occasionally receives legal requests relating to user accounts and content, such as subpoenas or takedown notices. You may wonder how often we receive such requests or how we respond to them, and how they could potentially impact your projects. Transparency and trust are essential to GitHub and the open-source community, and we want to do more than just tell you how we respond to legal notices. In that spirit, here is our first transparency report on the user-related legal requests we received in 2014.

    • ACCAN: Gov’t should remove ambiguity around VPNs

      Holy moly, ACCAN has issued a submission on the Copyright Amendment Bill 2015 regarding VPNs, website blocking, whack-a-mole and more.

      ACCAN, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, has made a 10-page submission on the Copyright Amendment (Online Infrigement) Bill 2015.

    • HBO Cracks Down on Paying VPN “Pirates”

      HBO has started to crack down on paying customers who access the HBO Now service from outside the United States. Subscribers from countries including Canada, the UK, Germany and Australia who use VPNs and other unblocking tools are now being threatened with account terminations.

    • The NSA’s Earth Day Mascot Is So Freaking Creepy

      The National Security Agency had released a mascot (?) for Earth Day (??) and it’s an anthropomorphized and oddly buff recycling bin named Dunk (???).

      Earth Day is this Wednesday, and the NSA apparently forged Dunk from the ether of our collective nightmares as part of its STEM education partnership with Maryland schools.

  • Civil Rights

    • Germany defies Turkey, calls Armenian massacre ‘genocide’

      The German government backed away on Monday from a steadfast refusal to use the term “genocide” to describe the massacre of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turkish forces 100 years ago after rebellious members of parliament forced its hand.

      In a major reversal in Turkey’s top trading partner in the European Union and home to millions of Turks, Germany joins other nations and institutions including France, the European parliament and Pope Francis in using the term condemned by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Geneva Internet Platform

      The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA) and the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) have initiated the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), which fulfils the mission of an observatory, a capacity building centre (online and in situ), and a centre for discussion. The GIP is hosted by DiploFoundation.

    • Letter to MEPs: Do not give up Net Neutrality!

      On 3rd March 2015, the Council of the European Union voted a text endangering Net Neutrality in Europe, despite European Parliment’s position adopted a year ago. Negotiations between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union (trialogue) started on 11 March in order to settle an agreement on the final version. It is crucial that the European Parliament remains firm on the preservation of Net Neutrality, that ensure equal treatment on the data network and on prices. Infringing Net Neutrality means infringing fundamental rights and liberties of any European citizen. This is why, in order to remind our representatives their responsabilities, La Quadrature du Net sends a letter to Members of European Parliament calling them to reject Council’s propositions and to come back to a real protection of everyone’s rights and liberties.

    • Internet.org: delivering poor Internet to poor people

      Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet.org project bribes corrupt, non-neutral carriers in poor countries to exempt Facebook and other services of its choosing from their data-caps, giving the world’s poorest an Internet that’s been radically pruned to a sliver of what the rest of the world gets for free.

      Internet.org characterizes its goals as charitable and development-oriented. In their framework, poor people either face severe data-caps that limit their access to the Internet to almost nothing, or they get unlimited access to some of the Internet, thanks to Internet.org’s largesse.

    • ‘Sky wouldn’t let me leave until I had discussed my account for 90 minutes’

      Sky customers are continuing to report difficulties cancelling their contracts despite a crackdown by the regulator and a promise from Sky’s senior management last year that it would make it easier for customers to leave.

    • Net neutrality: What The Top People in Industry Have to Say

      Net neutrality has become a raging issue in the country and over the last one month everybody has been talking about it. Net neutrality is the concept that makes it mandatory for all service providers to offer access to consumers to all content on the internet including websites and applications, irrespective of the source and no special favors or blocking of any applications or websites.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Hundreds in Poland protest TTIP

      As many as 300 protesters took to the streets of Warsaw to voice their disapproval of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

    • Sony Emails Show Industry Execs Pushing for Trade Deal

      Broadcast media has not devoted much air time to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, an agreement that will greatly impact 40 percent of the global economy. But hacked emails from Sony reveal that media industry executives have been engaged in active discussions about the agreement behind closed doors.

    • MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough Pleads “Guilty” on Failing to Cover TPP Trade Pact

      MSNBC TV personality Joe Scarborough pled “guilty” to not giving the major Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal enough coverage when I spoke to him about the issue over the weekend.

      I caught up with the Morning Joe cohost at the First in the Nation conference in Nashua, New Hampshire, a gathering of potential Republican presidential candidates and local activists. Scarborough spoke onstage about the importance of media diversity, encouraging his audience to listen to all sides of the ideological spectrum.

    • Copyrights

      • Sony Lawyer David Boies Warns Media Not To Publish Information On New WikiLeaks Database

        An attorney for Sony Pictures Entertainment is demanding media outlets ignore a new WikiLeaks database of internal documents obtained during a high-profile hack last year. The searchable archive, published Thursday, contains more than 200,000 documents and emails from a cyberattack that created a public relations nightmare for the studio, and which the U.S. government linked to North Korea.

        Lawyer David Boies sent a warning letter regarding use of the database to news outlets on Friday. The Hollywood Reporter said that it received the letter, and Bloomberg News reported it had reviewed the letter as well.

      • WikiLeaks Docs: Sony Chiefs Met With Cameron Ahead of Scottish Referendum

        British Prime Minister David Cameron met with representatives from Sony Pictures just ten weeks before the Scottish independence referendum to discuss the release of a TV show based on Scotland’s repression under British rule, documents released by WikiLeaks have revealed.

      • Leaked emails reveal Hollywood execs at work for Israel

        Top Hollywood bosses enjoy a strong relationship with the Israeli government and various pro-Israel lobbying groups across the United States, according to a cache of Sony internal emails leaked to Wikileaks and published for the first time last week.

        The emails reveal a dinner between Sony executives and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; the presenter of American X-Factor chiding actress Natalie Portman aggressively for her views on Israel; meetings between top entertainment chiefs and the Israeli consulate-general; close ties between Sony’s Co-Chairperson and various pro-Israel lobbying groups; and film chiefs planning, in detail, a new documentary about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, about which the emails also reflect rising concern.

      • New WikiLeaks documents reveal the inner workings of the Dr. Oz Show

        Dr. Mehmet Oz often appears on his popular show to promote new health products and devices. Most viewers are likely under the impression that he’s doing this because he’s closely considered their merits and decided the products are widely beneficial.

        But newly leaked emails suggest that business considerations — not health or science — can be a driving factor in which products Oz decides to promote.

04.19.15

Links 19/4/2015: New KaOS (2015.04), Manjaro Linux 0.8.13 Pre1

Posted in News Roundup at 5:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux-Powered Endless Computer Raises $100k+ In A Few Days

    Launched this week on Kickstarters was Endless Computers, a $169 Linux PC for the developing world. Quite quickly the project has already surpassed its $100k USD goal.

  • Desktop

    • Congratulations to Endless Computer

      For everyone else out there I strongly recommend getting in on their kickstarter, not only do you get a cool looking computer with a really nice Linux desktop, you are helping a company forward that has the potential to take the linux dektop to the next level.

    • OMG! Desktop GNU/Linux in Bahrain Goes Critical

      According to the ITU, they are among the top countries in ICT development. Good for them. Despite being fabulously wealthy, they appear to be doing IT the right way with lots of FLOSS.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • WikiLeaks Release: US Recruits Hollywood to Boost ‘Anti-Russian Messaging’

      The latest documents released by Wikileaks reveal some uncomfortable – yet unsurprising – truths about the relationship between Hollywood and the US Government. In its propaganda efforts against Russia, the US State Department may have pressured Sony – and some of the biggest stars – into cooperating.

      The latest Wikileaks release includes thousands of documents which reveal ties between the White House and Sony pictures. It’s taking journalists a long time to comb through the weeds, but some troubling details are emerging.

  • Kernel Space

    • EXT4 In Linux 4.1 Adds File-System Level Encryption

      The EXT4 file-system updates for the Linux 4.1 kernel have been sent in and it features the file-system-level encryption support.

      Earlier this month we wrote about the newly-published patches for EXT4 encryption support coming out of Google and intended to land in the next major release of Android. Those patches for file-system-level encryption will now be landing upstream with the Linux 4.1 kernel update.

      Besides this native encryption support for EXT4, the rest of the updates for this merge window pull request equate to mainly fixes. More details via the pull request itself.

    • F2FS For Linux 4.1 Has New Features & Fixes

      New F2FS file-system features for this next kernel release include an in-memory extent_cache, an fs_shutdown feature to test power-off recovery, now uses inline_data to store a symlink path, F2FS is now shown as a non-misc file-system.

    • The Strained Relationship Between Systemd and Syslog

      World-renowned Unix master Chris Siebenmann has written an article entitled ‘I wish systemd would get over its thing about syslog’. It addresses the strained relationship between the systemd init system and the traditional syslog approach to logging used on many Linux systems.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • ChromeOS 42.0.2311.87 (Official Build) (64-bit) – A brief look

        ChromeOS is a crafty devil. If you are not paying attention you can miss the fact that you’ve received an update. Its a little like a dog near to a buffet table, turn away and it will have a cake off there and carry on as normal without you being any the wiser.

        I decided to pen a few thoughts on the latest build which has found its way through the interwebs and landed on my HP 14″. When I say land, the image I’d like to convey is not so much a smooth journey opening up a wealth of treats but more of a thump and an exercise in wasting my time.

        These are the things I’ve noticed within the first few hours of the update. There will be more.

    • New Releases

      • Tanglu 3.0 Alpha Out Now Based on Debian 8 Jessie, Offers GNOME 3.16 and KDE Plasma 5

        Matthias Klumpp announced today, April 18, the immediate availability for download and testing of the first Alpha version of the upcoming Tanglu 3 Linux operating system.

      • KaOS 2015.04 is here — Download the KDE-focused Linux distro now!

        There are too many Linux distributions nowadays. Choice and variety is wonderful, but in this case, it spreads resources very thin. Linux-based operating systems might be further along by now if more developers came together to work on projects. For someone new to Linux, finding a distro can be a daunting task. Many of the releases are simply noise, making it hard to find the quality operating systems.

        KaOS is one of those quality operating systems. It is a wonderful Linux distribution that focuses on KDE. Quite frankly, if you are a KDE purist, this should be on your radar. To cerebrate the two-year anniversary of the distro, the team releases 2015.04. Whether you are a Linux noob, or even an an expert, you should give it a try.

      • 4MRescueKit 12.0 BETA released.

        4MRescueKit provides its users with software for antivirus protection, data backup, disk partitioning, and data recovery. It is distributed in the form of a multiboot CD, which includes four (extremely small) operating systems.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Arch Family

    • Debian Family

      • skx-www upgraded to jessie

        Today I upgraded my main web-host to the Jessie release of Debian GNU/Linux.

      • Ardour 4 on Debian Jessie
      • Debian 8.0 Installer RC3 “Jessie” Officially Released

        Debian Installer, the official installation system for the Debian distribution since the Sarge release, developed the Debian Installer Team, has been upgraded to version 8.0 RC3 and is now available for download and testing.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Elementary OS Freya 0.3 review

              Elementary OS is a Linux desktop distribution that’s being primed as a “fast and open replacement for Windows and OS X.”

              It’s safe to say that that’s the goal of every Linux distribution. Some distributions have, to a large extent, succeeded, while some are partially or completely misguided. Elementary OS, even though it’s still just at version 0.3, belongs to the first group.

              Some of the design decisions make it slightly painful to use, but as a unit, the distribution is moving in the right direction. Will it ever get to the point where it replaces Windows and OS X for all users? No, because there’ll always be those that love Windows and Mac OS X no matter what. And there are still applications that have no real alternatives in Linux.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • What Your CIO Needs to Know About Open Source

    Today’s businesses are becoming increasingly familiar with the many benefits of open source software. In fact, 74 percent of IT professionals, in the U.S. alone, agree that the software offers better quality of continuity and control than that of proprietary. However, some CIOs are still skeptical about adopting open source software into their IT infrastructure as they’ve grown accustomed to their proprietary software vendors.

  • How open source grew up

    When I was writing daily about Linux, the operating system and open source apps were already hard at work in data centres, on servers and on high-end workstations.

    The IT market was still moving away from a model where servers came with an expensive to buy and expensive to support operating system linked to the hardware maker.

    Some of those OSes were fully proprietary. Others were versions of Unix although they often had proprietary branding and non-open components.

  • Six months selfhosting: my userop experiences

    Debian brings peace of mind (for me)

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • GitHub: Now Supporting Open Source License Compliance

      Ask any developer where to turn for access to the latest software code for open source projects, and you’ll likely be directed to GitHub—one of the largest providers of open source code online.

      While GitHub has always been a great site for developers to come together, network and share code, up until a few years ago, the website had a problem. Though it was easy for developers to share code, finding the right software license to go along with it was much harder. The majority of downloads on GitHub, therefore, were taking place without the critical software license component.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Kansas senator’s ‘Frozen’ ring tone interrupts hearing, goes viral

    Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas became an Internet sensation on Thursday when his cell phone went off in the middle of a senate finance committee hearing, filling the somber room with the first few bars of a song from Disney’s “Frozen.”

  • This incredible interactive graphic shows the second most common language in every country
  • The Independence Vote

    Nicola Sturgeon is to be congratulated for refusing to back off from the goal of independence, and the right of the Scottish people to self-determination, under pressure from Andrew Marr today.

  • I saw up close how an establishment closed ranks over the Janner affair

    A little over 24 years ago, as a young freelance journalist on the Independent on Sunday, I telephoned the Leicester office of Raymonds News Agency and arranged for a reporter to cover an imminent pre-trial hearing at the city’s magistrates court. It was the sort of mundane hearing that would not normally trouble the media. A few days before, in a Leicester pub, I had met a solicitor’s clerk, to whom I had been introduced by a source on a previous story. The clerk told me that at the hearing a former children’s home manager called Frank Beck, who stood charged of sexually abusing the children in his care, would claim the man responsible for the offences was actually Leicester West’s long-standing MP, Greville, now Lord, Janner.

    Events played out exactly as I had been told they would. At the hearing’s conclusion, Beck shouted out his claims and was duly wrestled to the floor by the clerk of the court, before being taken back to the cells. Rumours about Janner that had circulated in the city for some years were now recorded by the journalist I had placed there and thus out in the public domain.

    Last week, the director of public prosecutions, Alison Saunders, announced that the now 86-year-old Janner would not be facing any charges on the grounds that he was suffering from dementia and therefore unfit to stand trial. It required the CPS to add that “this decision does not mean or imply that… Janner is guilty of any offence”. In turn, Janner’s family issued their own statement praising the man’s “integrity” before adding: “He is entirely innocent of any wrongdoing.”

  • The Remarkably Unobservant Baron Carlile

    Rayner states “The establishment, in the shape of his fellow MPs, men such as Labour’s Keith Vaz, Tory David Ashby and the then Lib Dem MP now Lord Carlile, closed ranks.” In the 1991 House of Commons debate deploring accusations against Janner, Carlile played a prominent part, describing Janner as a man of “integrity” and “determination”. Carlile should have known Janner fairly well. They were both MPs, both QCs, both members of Friends of Israel, both patrons of UK lawyers for Israel. The appear still to both be patrons of the Friends of Israel Educational Foundation. They were regulars on the same parliamentary committees dealing with legal affairs. They were both to leave the Commons at the same time and both to join the Lords only slightly apart.

  • Science

    • The Nanda Devi mystery

      Fifty years after deadly plutonium was lost on India’s second highest mountain, the enigma continues

    • How the Computer Got Its Revenge on the Soviet Union

      In 1950, with the Cold War in full swing, Soviet journalists were looking desperately for something to help them fill their anti-American propaganda quota. In January of that year, a Time Magazine cover appeared that seemed to provide just the thing. It showed an early electromechanical computer called the Harvard Mark III, and boasted the cover line, “Can Man Build a Superman?”

    • We’re teaching our kids wrong: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates do not have the answers

      Money has infiltrated our schools through another portal as well. Bankers and businesspeople have decided that they are the ones to improve our schools. In 2010 the educational historian Diane Ravitch did a dramatic about-face regarding educational testing and the promise of charter schools. Having been a loud and influential proponent of both (among other things, she worked in the administration of George H.W. Bush), in recent years she began to see that the national obsession with tests was in fact corrupting rather than improving the process of education in our schools. She also began to think that charter schools were sucking the lifeblood out of the public school system as well as allowing business interests to shape what was happening in classrooms. In her book “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” she documents some of the ways that people in business and finance have been wielding their influence and sidelining the input of parents and teachers. The signs of this influence are not always subtle or ephemeral either. They can be seen and heard within the halls and classrooms of schools all over the country.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • US to Blame for Spike in Opium Production in Afghanistan

      The production of opium increased 40-fold in the 13 years of the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan and thanks to CIA covert aid.

    • Suspicion slows dangerous work to eradicate polio in Pakistan

      The Pakistani branch of the Taliban, the TTP, has seized on evidence that the vaccination campaign was used as cover by the CIA to gather intelligence. The US government said last year that the practice had stopped and the CIA director had instructed the agency “to make no operational use of vaccination programmes, which include vaccination workers”.

    • Fear of doctors, vaccines in California and around the world

      Modern society deeply depends on doctors. Which is why recent international reactions against doctors – from mistrust to outright attack – represent a disturbing trend that can not only lead to an immediate threat to global health workers but also precipitate that all-feared outbreak of an uncontrollable epidemic.

    • U.S. Blocked Declaration of “Right to Health Care”, Says Bolivia’s President at OAS Summit

      Said Mr. Morales: “One point (in the drafted declaration) was important: health as a human right, and the U.S. government did not accept that health should be considered a human right … President Obama did not accept” that concept.

      The 8-point draft had resulted from four months of negotiations between the participating countries prior to the Summit in Panama, which was held on April 10-11. There was such strong sentiment for declaring health care to be a right, so that this provision was included in the draft despite Obama’s opposition to it.

      A report from the Latin American television network Telesur (majority-owned by the Venezuelan government, which Obama unsuccessfully tried to overthrow via an aborted February 2015 coup, announced at the start of the conference, that, “The Seventh Summit of the Americas begins Friday in Panama without a final declaration because the US Government has expressed its disagreement with some of the clauses, which blocked agreement.” Furthermore, this was personally done by U.S. President Obama: “This information was confirmed by Foreign Minister of Argentina, Hector Timerman, who described the event as ‘a debate among presidents.’” That’s how personal, and top-level, the ideological disagreement here was.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The shroud of secrecy around US drone strikes abroad must be lifted

      It’s been over two years since President Obama promised new transparency and accountability rules when it comes to drone strikes, yet it’s become increasingly clear virtually no progress has been made. The criteria for who gets added to the unaccountable ‘kill list’ is still shrouded in secrecy – even when the US government is targeting its own citizens.

    • ‘Civilization has no place for drones’
    • Should human-killing robots be allowed to exist? The UN is deciding once and for all

      They’re terrifying machines – capable of operating without human control and built with a vicious streak that could steal the lives of thousands of humans in a split second.
      As artificial intelligence develops and improves, who’s to say the killer robots we put together with our own hands won’t one day cause serious devastation to the human race and maybe even turn against us?

    • Still No Accountability for US Drone Kills

      If the US wanted Rizzo and Banks prosecuted we could do it ourselves. We have the means. US drone strikes in Pakistan are unsanctioned by international humanitarian law because the United States is not engaged in an armed conflict with Pakistan; drones do not distinguish between civilians and combatants; and the staggering number of civilian deaths is vastly disproportionate in relation to the numbers of Taliban and Al-Qaeda killed. This qualifies drone strikes as “grave breaches” of the Geneva Conventions punishable under the US War Crimes Act. Since the US has decided not to prosecute Banks and Rizzo why should anyone believe the US will allow Pakistan to prosecute them?

    • Do Drones Really Reduce Civilian Casualties?

      Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as “drones” have been the subject of heated debate in recent years. Without a doubt, the number of strikes has increased at an astonishing rate. Consider that between Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, the U.S. government has launched over 1,500 known drone strikes since 2008. (This visualization of strikes in Pakistan is particularly illustrative)

    • The real significance of our drone war, and why you’ll hear little about it in Campaign 2016

      Nothing shows the decay of the Republic like our drone wars, almost mindless killing — now including execution of Americans by Presidential decree.

    • Obama Says He’d Rather Capture Terrorists Than Kill Them. Then Why Doesn’t He Do That?

      On Jan. 23, 2013, after an afternoon of hanging out with friends and chewing qat at a marketplace a few miles outside of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, Saleem al-Qaweli, a 27-year-old university student, was approached by a group of six men who asked for a ride back to their nearby village in his truck. Saleem agreed, and asked his cousin Ali Saleh al-Qaweli, a 32-year-old schoolteacher, to come along. A little after 7:30 p.m., as the pickup passed through the village of al-Masna’ah, a U.S. drone fired four missiles into Saleem’s vehicle, obliterating it. Investigators on the scene would find bone fragments 150 meters away from the car.

    • Is Use Of Drones A War Crime According To International Criminal Court?

      The issue of drones or Unarmed Aerial Vehicles provides an intriguing legal debate as drones are increasingly being used in warfare and counter-terrorism. There are divergent views and opinions as to their legality in international law. Some argue that the use of armed drones by the U.S military for example in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries is illegal under international law, while some argue that drones are an acceptable tool of war. The use of drones raises many questions. But for purposes of this article, the main question is whether their use amounts to a war crime.

    • Chemical Weapons Used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen Kill Scores of Civilians

      Civilians who were injured during the attacks said they have been suffering from suffocation, nausea and diarrhea since the start of the attacks.

    • U.S. drones keep Obama’s struggling war in Yemen alive

      When U.S. special operations forces exited Yemen last month, it was seen as a severe blow to the fight against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which President Barack Obama had previously held up as a success in the global effort against terrorism.

    • How Washington Adds to Yemen’s Nightmare

      Joining a growing list of U.S. foreign policy failures in the Middle East, including Iraq, Syria and Libya, Yemen is fast becoming a humanitarian disaster. Its indigenous conflict, cruelly fueled by Washington and Saudi Arabia, has killed hundreds of people, wounded more than 2,000, and displaced more than a quarter million people, according to the United Nations. All this at a time when 16 million of its desperately poor inhabitants are critically short of food, water and fuel.

    • Yemen needs all-out political process: OIC sec-gen

      An all-out political process is needed as soon as possible to ensure long-lasting peace in Yemen, says Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Tan Sri Iyad Ameen Madani.

    • Yemenis displaced, forced from homes as conflict worsens

      Street battles and air raids are driving more and more Yemenis from their homes, the United Nations said Tuesday as the worsening conflict forced the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country’s liquefied natural gas company to shut down production.

    • UN chief for immediate truce in Yemen

      UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for an “immediate cease-fire” in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is conducting airstrikes against Houthi rebels, saying the impoverished country was “in flames”.

    • The Ineffective Campaign in Yemen

      Almost a month ago, on March 25, the Saudis launched what they called Operation Decisive Storm to stop the onslaught of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen. It turns out that, to no one’s surprise, Decisive Storm isn’t actually decisive.

      The Saudis have been bombing rather freely, killing by UN estimates more than 600 people, at least half of them civilians. On March 31, for example, Saudi bombs hit a dairy factory killing 31 civilians, the kind of mistake that would be greeted with global outrage if it were committed by the Israeli Air Force but it is met with polite silence when it’s the Saudis.

    • Drone Strikes in Yemen Said to Set a Dangerous Precedent

      An investigation of American drone strikes in Yemen concludes that the Obama administration has not followed its own rules to avoid civilian casualties and is setting a dangerous example for other countries that want to use unmanned aircraft against terrorists.

      The study, by the Open Society Justice Initiative, a legal advocacy group based in New York, was released on Monday at a time when Yemen has been engulfed in violence and American drone strikes have been slowed or halted. But its observations about the performance of American counterterrorism strikes from 2012 to 2014 remain relevant for assessing a novel weapons system that the United States has used in several countries and has now approved for export to a limited number of allies.

    • Open Society Justice Initiative Issues New Report on U.S. Drone Strikes in Yemen
    • Impunity, Death, and Blowback: Report Exposes Illegal US Drone War in Yemen

      The brother of a drone strike victim told researchers, “We had hoped that America would come to the region with educational and development projects and services, but it came instead with aircrafts to kill our children.” (Image via Open Society Justice Foundation/ Mwatana Organization for Human Rights)

    • Report documents carnage of US drone war in Yemen

      The first known airstrikes carried out by the Obama administration came on December 17, 2009, when a cruise missile loaded with clusters bombs slammed into the village of Al Majala in Abyan province. While purportedly targeted at an AQAP training camp, it killed at least 44 civilians, including five pregnant women and 21 children. A separate strike the same day killed four people in Arhab.

      Since then, there have been at least 121 drone and other airstrikes that have taken the lives of as many as 1,100 people, most of them officially classified as combatants. As a means of limiting the official civilian casualty count in any particular attack, President Obama approved the redefinition of a “combatant” as any male of military service age killed or injured by a drone strike.

    • Unmanned ‘Killer Robots’: A New Weapon in the US Navy’s Future Arsenal?

      The report further points out that real problems will arise holding people accountable for wrongful actions of autonomous weapon systems (e.g., striking the wrong target) – an “accountability gap” as the study calls it. Thus, technological problems may perhaps be only one obstacle to overcome before the future use of autonomous “killer robots” in the U.S. military.

    • Boston, Blowback, and Barack Obama

      Obama is a skilled murderer in a wide range of places. While his “cowboy” predecessor George W. Bush has him beat by far on total body count (thanks to “the American-led war in Iraq”), Obama takes the prize when it comes to geographical scope. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism last January, “At least 2,464 people have now been killed by US drone strikes outside the country’s declared war zones [Iraq and Afghanistan] since President Barack Obama’s inauguration six years ago.” The Nobel champion’s drones, bombs, missiles, and Special Forces have wreaked havoc in many more Muslim nations than were invaded by Bush’s troops, something that has helped Washington spread and intensify Salafist jihad across a much broader territory (including Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Syria) in the Age of Obama

    • Obama Approved Illegal Drone Killings
    • Can the President Legally Kill Americans?

      Obama’s secret execution approval process denies citizens due process.

    • America’s New ‘Lend-Lease’ for Drones

      Lawmakers are pushing Obama take a page out of the World War II playbook—and let Jordan borrow Predator drones to keep the terror group at bay.

    • American violence from Ferguson to Fallujah

      It is the same professional methodical coldness with which the drone operator kills. In his book, Chamayou argues that assassination, combat, and law enforcement have become jumbled together in US counterinsurgency programs. He wants to re-separate them. He points out that the Obama administration has defended drone strikes as justified by both the laws of war and the norms of law enforcement, even though the legal frameworks regulating war and policing are quite different, indeed often opposed. Under the laws of war, combatants are excused from the usual prohibition against killing, but on condition that they kill in carefully circumscribed ways. The killing is of and by combatants, and must take place in a declared war zone, within which soldiers are free to kill their enemy counterparts at will, even shooting them in the back, unless the target is trying to surrender. Those engaged in law enforcement, on the other hand, can hunt criminals more freely across space, but killing them is considered a last resort, justified only by exceptional circumstances. Quoting UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston, Chamayou writes that in law enforcement, “the use of lethal force should remain the exception … it is permissible only if it is the sole available means in the face of a threat that is ‘instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation.’”

    • U.S. Law Students Criticize Architect of Obama’s Illegal Targeted Killing Program, Law Professors Defend Him, Repress and Intimidate Students

      The gravity of targeted killings via drones and the factual basis upon which we built our petition warranted this expression of disaffection. Academic institutions, after all, are supposed to be places for honest and critical debates. At times, we have known NYU Law to be such a place—that is, a setting where compassionate and thoughtful people confront, rather than dismiss uncomfortable facts.

    • ‘Kill Chain’ Author Andrew Cockburn LIVE

      Journalist Andrew Cockburn joins Alyona to discuss his new book, “Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins,” and the evolution of technology in warfare.

    • Former US Drone Operator – Brandon Bryant

      Brandon Bryant’s story provides a rare glimpse into a secret world and raises questions about the nature of 21st Century warfare.

    • The Guardian view on robots as weapons: the human factor

      Drone wars signal a future in which weapons may think for themselves.

    • The Navy is Preparing To Launch Swarm Bots Out of Cannons

      The U.S. Navy will launch up to 30 synchronized drones within one minute, possibly from a single cannon-like device, in what marks a significant advance in robot autonomy. The drones, when airborne, will then unfold their wings and conduct a series of maneuvers and simulated missions with very little human guidance over the course of 90 minutes.

    • US Navy’s drone cannon

      The US Navy says its system will be able to launch a 30 drone ‘swarm’ in under a minute. They will then be able to fly together to carry out missions. The US Navy says the drones are a ‘new era in autonomy and unmanned systems for naval operations’.

    • I Just Asked Erik Prince To Stop Bribing Politicians

      “It’s bad enough to be creating more profit incentive for war,” I told former head of Blackwater Erik Prince, “but you recycle part of the profits as bribes for more war in the form of so-called campaign contributions. You yourself have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to political parties and candidates. The three of you,” I said, referring to Prince, another guest, and the host of a television show that had just finished filming and was taking questions from the audience, “you seem to agree that we need either mercenaries or a draft, ignoring the option of not having these wars, which kill so many people, make us less safe, drain the economy, destroy the natural environment, and erode our civil liberties, with no upside. But this systemic pressure has been created for more war. Will you, Erik Prince, commit to not spending war profits on elections?”

    • The US and Israel: Diverging interests

      It is often alleged that the basis for US-Israeli relations lies in “shared concerns and interests”. However, what really holds the relationship together is a systemic aspect of American politics: the system of special interest lobbying and the money that underlies it. That practice is just about as old as the country itself, and the Zionist lobby is a past-master at exploiting this system. With the Supreme Court rulings telling us that political spending and donations are forms of free speech, this rather perverse aspect of US politics is not going to change in the foreseeable future.

    • Here’s what would really happen if the US bombed Iran

      Last week, Republican Senator Tom Cotton criticized President Obama’s nuclear deal framework with Iran, saying Obama was refusing to admit that airstrikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities would only take “several days” and wouldn’t require any longer-term military commitment to be effective. Obama, he said, was offering a “false choice” between the deal and war.

    • Congress to Have Say in Iran Deal After Obama Backs Down
    • Culture and war

      The lead editorial in today’s New York Times titled “Iraq’s cycles of Revenge,” reminds me of my thoughts about sword-rattling in America before we invaded Iraq in 2003. It was clear that President Bush and his advisers were considering an invasion of Iraq, which I felt would be a grave mistake. Even in my wildest flights of the mind, however, I didn’t begin to imagine the damage that the American invasion of Iraq would cause. Even though I didn’t imagine the destruction that our invasion of Iraq would bring about I was right on one essential point. I understood that by intervening in Iraq we were exposing ourselves to the terrible risks of waging war in a part of the world where revenge is a main part of, if not the driving force within ,the overall culture.

    • The next US president could be dangerously clueless about foreign policy

      It’s already election season in the United States, and that means it’s time to start hearing from people who believe they’re uniquely qualified to run America’s wars, drones, nuclear deals, trade partnerships, and everything else.

      There are already a handful of front-runners. And when it comes to foreign policy, unfortunately for us all, they’ve each said things that are — to put it gently — a little out of touch with reality.

      Hopefully they’ll brush up on world affairs before really hitting the campaign trail. Until then, here are a few of the clueless things that they’ve said about the rest of the world.

    • War: It’s Human Nature only if Collective Suicide is Natural

      Now, we all know that resentment and blame are tools of war propaganda. So, in Mary’s defense and mine: neither of us called anybody a name in the presence of that person or proposed to harm any person or armed ourselves with massive machinery of death in preparation for books going missing or a basketball team losing. I didn’t put any Michigan State fans on a kill list and blow them and everyone near them to bits with hellfire missiles. Neither of us launched any invasions.

    • Peace: More Normal and Wonderful Than We Think

      If we want war to end, we are going to have to work to end it. Even if you think war is lessening – by no means an uncontroversial claim – it won’t continue doing so without work. And as long as there is any war, there is a significant danger of widespread war. Wars are notoriously hard to control once begun. With nuclear weapons in the world (and with nuclear plants as potential targets), any war-making carries a risk of apocalypse. War-making and war preparations are destroying our natural environment and diverting resources from a possible rescue effort that would preserve a habitable climate. As a matter of survival, war and preparations for war must be completely abolished, and abolished quickly, by replacing the war system with a peace system.

    • ‘Americans used plane, not drone in Mamasapano’
    • PNP officials face more grilling at House

      Rep. Luz Ilagan of Gabriela said the executive session is important because she will be able to get answers to her questions related to the alleged involvement of the US in the Mamasapano operation.

      “The resource persons were very cagey . . . We can extract this info. Unfortunately it may not be shared with the public and the media,” Ilagan said.

      While matters discussed in the executive session cannot be divulged publicly, Pagdilao said these will have a bearing in the evaluation and result of the House inquiry.

      He added that the report should be finished by the time the ad hoc panel tasked to review the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will resume its hearings.

      Over 60 people were killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao including 44 members of the SAF who were in an operation to capture Marwan and his protégé Abdulbasit Usman. Members of the MILF and civilians were also among the casualties.

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has confirmed that the police commandos were able to kill Marwan.

    • Podcast: Tell us the whole truth about your drone killing program, ACLU chief warns White House

      The US government’s tactic of releasing details about its targeted killing programme in only a piecemeal way is “very dangerous”, the American Civil Liberties Union warns in this week’s Drone News.

      Jameel Jaffer, the ACLU’s deputy legal director, tells the Bureau’s Owen Bennett-Jones that for the sake of accountability it is vital to understand the reasons why targets are selected for execution – and this can only come through the fullest transparency.

    • Australian citizen on US drone “kill list”

      A front-page article in last Friday’s Australian reported that, for the first time, an Australian citizen—Mostafa Farag—had been placed on the Obama administration’s “kill list” for assassination by drone attack. The lack of any response, let alone criticism, from any section of the Australian political and media establishment underscores not only its support for Washington’s criminal actions but its contempt for democratic rights at home.

    • Drone Strike Kills al-Qaeda Cleric in Yemen—But are clerics lawful military targets?

      The initial reports of the death of al-Rubaysh do not state whether he was the target of the alleged U.S. drone strike. If he was, a key legal and moral question that major media outlets (AP, NYT, etc.) are not asking: is a cleric like al-Rubaysh a legitimate military target?

    • SC dismisses petition seeking halt to drone strikes

      The Supreme Court rejected on Monday petition filed against the federal government to put an end to the drone program launched by the United States in the tribal areas, Express News reported.

    • SC rejects petition seeking stoppage of drone attack

      The Supreme Court Monday dismissed a petition that sought direction to the federal government to stop drone attacks, which had killed hundreds of people in the Federal Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
      A three-member bench headed by Justice Saqib Nisar, hearing the petition filed by Syed Muhammad Iqtidar remarked that the court could not issue a war order to stop the drone attacks, adding the petition did not fall under the jurisdiction of Article 184 (3).

    • Op-Ed: CIA-linked Libyan armed forces head General Haftar is untouchable

      There is ample evidence to show that General Khalifa Haftar is untouchable no matter what he does to directly snub his nose at the UN-supported peace talks promoted by the U.S. and other countries.

    • Military strikes not answer to Libya

      U.S. President Barack Obama and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Friday urged a political solution to the conflict in Libya, saying foreign military operations were unlikely to solve the crisis there.

    • Libya stability key to migrant crisis: Renzi

      Restoring stability in Libya is the only way to solve the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Friday, as President Barack Obama warned re-establishing peace could not be achieved by military force.

    • Up to 700 feared dead after migrant boat sinks off Libya

      Twenty eight people were rescued in the incident, which happened in an area just off Libyan waters, 120 miles south of the southern Italian island of Lampedusa

    • Gunfire and explosions heard in Libyan capital

      Clashes broke out in a district and a suburb of Libya’s capital on Saturday, home to groups opposing an alternative government controlling Tripoli and parts of western Libya, residents said.

    • Turkish consulate comes under molotov attack in Greece

      The Turkish Consulate General building in the Greek city of Thessaloniki was struck by Molotov cocktails several times during a demonstration against high-security prisons Friday night, consulate sources told the Anadolu Agency.

    • Sale of U.S. Arms Fuels the Wars of Arab States

      To wage war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is using F-15 fighter jets bought from Boeing. Pilots from the United Arab Emirates are flying Lockheed Martin’s F-16 to bomb both Yemen and Syria. Soon, the Emirates are expected to complete a deal with General Atomics for a fleet of Predator drones to run spying missions in their neighborhood.

    • Pakistani Court Rejects Petition to Stop US Drone Strikes
    • Pakistan top court denies petition challenging US drone strikes
    • Pakistan Could End Up Charging CIA Officials With Murder Over Drone Strikes

      A landmark case may open the door for a possible multibillion-dollar class-action lawsuit launched by relatives of the alleged 960 civilian victims of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan

    • Americans with illegal Iraq War souvenirs go unprosecuted

      As the elected Iraqi government seeks diplomatic respect and struggles to save its ancient sites from the rampages of the Islamic State group, American military members, contractors and others caught with culturally significant artifacts they brought home from the war there are going largely unprosecuted.

      Years after the war, swords, artifacts and other items looted from Saddam Hussein’s palaces are still turning up for sale online and at auctions, and in some cases U.S. agents have traced them to American government employees, who took them as souvenirs or war trophies.

    • China, Taiwan, Japan and The U.S. In the West Pacific

      The pictures also show that China is building similar infrastructure in two other places, Johnson South Reef and Gaven Reefs. This naturally put the U.S. at extreme unease. The U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence has just published its first report on the Chinese navy since 2009, and says that China “appears to be building much larger facilities that could eventually support both maritime law enforcement and naval operations.”

    • Neocon ‘Chaos Promotion’ in the Mideast
    • The Kremlin and the Neocons

      According to Clark, Wolfowitz said: “We should have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein. The truth is, one thing we did learn is that we can use our military in the Middle East and the Soviets won’t stop us. We’ve got about five or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet client regimes – Syria, Iran (sic), Iraq – before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us.”

      It’s now been more than 10 years, of course. But do not be deceived into thinking Wolfowitz and his neocon colleagues believe they have failed in any major way. The unrest they initiated keeps mounting – in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Lebanon – not to mention fresh violence now in full swing in Yemen and the crisis in Ukraine. Yet, the Teflon coating painted on the neocons continues to cover and protect them in the “mainstream media.”

      [...]

      A week after it became clear that the neocons were not going to get their war in Syria, I found myself at the main CNN studio in Washington together with Paul Wolfowitz and former Sen. Joe Lieberman, another important neocon. As I reported in “How War on Syria Lost Its Way,” the scene was surreal – funereal, even, with both Wolfowitz and Lieberman very much down-in-the-mouth, behaving as though they had just watched their favorite team lose the Super Bowl.

    • Ask Hillary and the GOP: Why Are We the Country of War?

      In 1952, the British government asked the U.S administration for assistance in removing the democratically-elected Prime Minster Mosaddeq. The CIA then covertly helped the MI6 take Mosaddeq out of power and funneled money to General Fazlollah Zahedi’s regime. Afterwords, the U.S and Britain put a pro-west leader, who they called the Shah, into power. Over the course of his regime, the Shah ruled brutally and implemented pro-western policies that caused disdain for his leadership.

      Then, in 1979, the Iranian people, fed up with the Shah, violently revolted against him in what is know as the Iranian Revolution. After the revolution, the Iranian people replaced the Shah with an Islamic Republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Soon afterwords, the U.S helped prop up Saddam Hussein and sold chemical weapons to him in order to fight Iran and their new Islamic Republic. This all escalated to what is now known as the Gulf War and the Iraq War.

      The last example is referred to as Operation Cyclone. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union tried to expand its control into Afghanistan. In order to prevent expansion, the CIA supplied and trained Islamic militant groups to fight the Soviet Union upon expansion. The most prominent group was called the Mujahideen. Operation Cyclone was one of the longest and most expensive CIA operations ever undertaken.

    • Reining In Soldiers of Fortune

      But fewer people remember the Haditha massacre of 2005, when a squad of United States Marines murdered 24 innocent Iraqis in a revenge killing spree. It started when one of their Humvees hit an improvised mine, killing one and injuring two more. The squad immediately killed five people in the street. They then went house to house, and killed 19 more civilians, ranging in age from 3 to 76. Many were shot multiple times at close range, some still in their pajamas. One was in a wheelchair.

    • The Nasty Blowback from America’s Wars
    • ‘Mission Accomplished’ (Yet Again)

      Today, we know that those combat operations had barely begun. Almost 12 years later, with the Obama administration pursuing a bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State, they have yet to end. On only one thing was President Bush right: with the invasion of Iraq, a new era had indeed been launched. His top officials and their neoconservative allies imagined the moment as the coronation of a new order in the Middle East, the guarantee of another American half-century or more of domination. Iraq, that crucial state in the oil heartlands of the planet, was to be garrisoned for decades (on the “Korea model”); the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad was to be brought to heel; and above all, fundamentalist Iran was to be crushed. That country’s rulers were to find themselves in an ever-tightening geopolitical vise, with American Iraq on one side and American Afghanistan on the other. (A quip of the moment caught the mood of Washington and its high-flown hopes perfectly: “Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran.”) The Bush administration would ensure that the great blemish on the American half-century in the region, the reversal of the CIA’s coup by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 and the humiliation of having American diplomats taken hostage for 444 days in Tehran — would be wiped away. The regime of the Ayatollahs was soon to be history.

      Of course, it all turned out so unimaginably otherwise, leaving us today knee-deep in the chaos of that “new era.” Shock and awe, indeed! The American half-century has been swept away as definitively as was the Soviet Cold-War version of the same before it. Someday, the disastrous invasion of Iraq will have its historian and we’ll understand more fully just what that moment really launched, what forces already building in the region it let devastatingly loose. It certainly blew a hole in the heart of the Middle East in ways we have yet to come to grips with and prepared the ground, as dynamite does a construction site, for the disintegration of both the European and the American versions of “order” in the region, as well as for the building of we know not what… yet.

    • Why extremists hate us

      But both terrorists themselves and those who study them present a dramatically different explanation. Osama bin Laden himself, for example, said the 9/11 attack reflected his deep anger at America’s Middle East policies. He was appalled by the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children who died from lack of food and medicine due to American sanctions and resented the deployment of American forces throughout the Gulf states, particularly in his own homeland, Saudi Arabia. He repeated such sentiments many times.

      American authorities did not consider them mere propaganda. Michael Scheur, the CIA’s top Middle East specialist, accepted that Mr. bin Laden “has been precise in telling America the reasons he is waging war on us. None of the reasons have anything to do with our freedom, liberty, and democracy, but have everything to do with U.S. policies and actions in the Muslim world.”

    • Rand Paul In 2011 Book: U.S. Intervention Increased Threat Of Islamic Terrorism
    • US Drone Strike Kills Four in North Waziristan

      Slaying anonymous tribesmen has been mostly without consequence for the US drone program, apart from growing anti-US sentiment in the area. One exception was a 2009 strike which killed three civilians, and which has led to murder charges against a former CIA station chief.

    • Former chief of staff to Powell: U.S. involvement in Iraq disturbed “balance of power,” Iran key to region’s stability

      Two days before he’d tell the United Nations that Iraq was training al-Qaida operatives to use chemical weapons, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell dragged his chief of staff into a private room at Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Va.

    • American spies could have ordered Yemen airstrikes killing dozens of innocent civilians

      American spooks may have been partly to blame for horrific civilian casualties in Yemen, human rights campaigners claimed.

      Dozens of non-military Yemenis were slaughtered and at least 11 injured in Saudi Arabia’s air-strikes on local factories last month.

      But it is suspected that US special forces and CIA officers on the ground may have helped call in the strikes last month by Saudi warplanes.

    • Euromaidan Was Special Operation by US, Poland – Polish MEP

      A European MP and leader of Poland’s conservative KORWiN party said that the 2014 Euromaidan riots in Kiev were organized by the CIA and also by Polish spooks.

    • From Utah to the ‘darkest corners of the world’: the militarisation of raid and rescue

      The evocative imagery used in militant activism fails to address the historical underpinnings of trafficking and slavery while reinforcing neo-colonial representations of the ‘saviour’ and the ‘saved.’

    • ISLAM, A FORGOTTEN HOLOCAUST, AND AMERICAN HISTORICAL AMNESIA

      In a September 2014 address to the nation, President Obama attacked ISIL (or ISIS) as “terrorists… unique in their brutality. They execute captured prisoners. They kill children.”1 But of course such terrorism in the last half-century is hardly “unique.” Nor is it unprecedented. Still less is it confined to America’s foes. In fact the first major Muslim extermination campaign against civilians killed without trial for their “Westernness,” occurred a half century ago, on a far, far vaster scale, and with active American support and encouragement.

    • US ‘handed Cambodia to butcher’, ambassador recalls

      Twelve helicopters, bristling with guns and US Marines, breached the morning horizon and began a daring descent toward Cambodia’s besieged capital. Residents believed the Americans were rushing in to save them, but at the US Embassy, in a bleeding city about to die, the ambassador wept.

      Forty years later, John Gunther Dean recalls one of the most tragic days of his life — April 12, 1975, the day the United States “abandoned Cambodia and handed it over to the butcher.”

    • Today in history, and birthdays
    • Vietnam in the Battlefield of Memory

      On the war’s 50th anniversary, peace activists will be challenging the Pentagon’s whitewashed history.

    • Forty Years Ago: Victory In Vietnam! History and Reflections

      Over four million were killed in Washington’s aggressive war upon a very poor largely peasant society beginning in the mid-1950s when the U.S. took over from the defeated French colonialist armies. France had occupied and oppressed Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (Indochina) for over 100 years, then it became America’s turn. U.S. bombings killed at least a million more people in Laos and Cambodia.

    • Rory Kennedy’s Oscar-Nominated ‘Last Days in Vietnam’ Finds Some Nobility Amid the Ruins

      It is one of the iconic images of the Vietnam war: a line of desperate citizens climbing to the top of a building to board one of the last American helicopters leaving before the North Vietnamese invade Saigon. Though most remember it as a photograph of the U.S. Embassy, it was actually a neighboring building, and most of the men and women were CIA station personnel, not civilians, “but it indicated to what extent chaos had descended on this entire operation,” says Frank Snepp, a CIA analyst who was there that day. Even our shared memories of the Vietnam War are wrong.

    • Ward Just Looks Back at Writing Career Full of Secrets

      “There was a certain amount of lying going on,” he says. “But what I thought much more interesting was the wishful thinking … people who looked into the maw and said “it’s gonna be alright,” just out of sheer belief,” he says.

    • Journalist Richard Engel’s 2012 kidnapping account was part of drive to war with Syria

      In December 2012, NBC chief correspondent Richard Engel and five other members of a news team were allegedly kidnapped in Syria near the Turkish border. According to Engel, the gunmen claimed to be Shiite supporters of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. After five days, the NBC newsman said at the time, the news team was rescued by anti-Assad Sunni rebels in a gun battle.

    • Time for Washington to be held accountable for war crimes in Iraq – Sponeck

      The term “regime change,” widely used among the United States’ policy-makers has no basis in international law; US-organized “regime change” operations have never solved international conflicts but have only led to incessant civil wars and fierce internal strife, Hans von Sponeck, former UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, noted, according to Sputnik.

      “Following years of clandestine co-operation between US spies and Iraqi opposition groups, the US Congress came out into the open by approving the Iraq Liberation Act, which stated that US policy should seek to ‘support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein’.”

      Curiously enough, the Act was signed by US President Clinton on October 31, 1998, and five years later a full-scale military campaign was launched by George W. Bush under an utterly false pretext.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Five years after spill, Gulf Coast waits for fine money

      Five years after the massive BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf Coast communities are still waiting for the billions promised to help them recover from the nation’s worst environmental disaster.

      Local officials and environmentalists from the five affected states — Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas — have taken steps to identify which projects would be financed with fine money paid by BP.

    • The Drought Isn’t California’s Only Water Problem

      In 1997, this little fish was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. It made an easy target: dry faucets, fallow fields, and dessicated lawns all to save a fish the size of a newborn’s pecker. Don’t judge. These farmers and cities have been worried about California’s water situation for a lot longer than you’ve been wringing your hands over almonds. Actually, you know what? Delta smelt is the almond of endangered species.

    • OPEC Global Oil Wars Threat to US Energy Advantage and Security

      The Organization of Petroleum Export Countries (OPEC) increased oil output strategy was a direct retaliatory strike at the massive U.S. oil boom not seen since the 1970s. The main feature of the war is about political dominance, relevance and survival. But while one side sees this was war the other sees it as a private matter. By flooding the market, OPEC cut international prices in half from $115 last June to $57 per barrel as of today.

    • Drought is not just a California problem

      With all the attention focused on California’s water woes, an observer might conclude that the Golden State’s drought is the exception. It isn’t. Forty states expect to see water shortages in at least some areas in the next decade, according to a government watchdog agency.

  • Finance

    • America’s political system is broken

      I have been arguing for years that the American political system is broken. Not in the way that everyone else says it is — the Democrats and Republicans unable to compromise or get anything done. Given what happens when the two major parties cooperate — “free trade” agreements that send American jobs overseas and cut wages for those that remain, wars we have no chance of winning, and tax “reform” that only benefits the extremely wealthy and the corporations they control — we could use a lot more Washington gridlock.

    • Meet The Woman Who Attacked Mario Draghi: In Her Own Words

      The biggest star of today’s ECB’s press conference was not Mario Draghi but 21-year-old German feminist, Josephine Witt, an ex-Femen activist who jumped on Draghi’s desk wearing an “ECB Dick-tatorship”, a slogan she repeatedly screamed as she was led away by security guards. She threw paper copies of her demands at Mr Draghi, while showering him with confetti that were created from her finely chopped up manifesto.

    • WikiLeaks’ emails show Cuomo’s fundraising push at Sony

      The emails drew criticism because New York offers the most generous film-tax breaks in the nation, and Cuomo reportedly took in $900,000 from Hollywood for his political campaign since taking office in 2011.

      In one email dated Jan. 6, 2014, a Sony executive urged CEO Michael Lynton to have the company raise $50,000 by July for Cuomo’s re-election bid.

    • Thousands March Against TTIP in Germany

      The mobilization day organized by alterglobalization movement Attac found great success in Germany. Over 200 German cities held protests Saturday against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States.

    • Obama nominates Szubin as Treasury undersecretary for terrorism, financial crimes

      Szubin has been director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence since 2006, where he played a key role in devising U.S. economic sanctions against Iran and Russia.

    • Obama taps Adam Szubin as sanctions czar

      Szubin, nominated Thursday to be undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, would if confirmed by the US Senate be the third Jewish undersecretary in the role.

    • Raul Castro’s Photo-Op With a War Monger

      Obama speaks with his usual florid lexicon about “an historic turning point”. But the fact is that the US still maintains its economic stranglehold on Cuba. This American boot on Cuba’s neck has been condemned around the world in the forum of the United Nations General Assembly and among Latin American nations. Yet still the American boot remains firmly in place. Obama will be long out of White House and the gung-ho US Congress will ensure that the strangulation of Cuba will continue.

    • Obama’s «Diplomacy» Masks His Bullying at Jamaica and Panama Summits
    • Ben Bernanke is going to advise one of Wall St.’s biggest hedge funds

      As Fortune predicted (tongue-in-cheek), it looks like blogging alone isn’t going to pay Ben Bernanke’s bills for long.

    • On welfare in Kansas? These are taboo

      Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill Thursday instructing poor families about what they can’t spend their state cash assistance on.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • US revives MSM propaganda arm in ‘big way’ against Russia

      The US media industry has been the arm of the government for decades, but now the Cold War tool is being resurrected in a “big way” to tackle any Russian influence on the information flow, foreign affairs expert Richard Becker told RT.

    • 10 Shocking Conspiracy Theories Which Were Actually True

      A lot of theories are written off as conspiracy by the public because they are just too wild to believe, or if they were to be true, they are too shameful and shocking to comprehend. Sometimes these theories spread like wildfire because they sound so crazy, but a recent study by political scientists Eric Oliver and Thomas Wood showed that 50% of Americans believe in at least one conspiracy theory. Though they may seem unreal, some of these conspiracy theories end up being true, and test the limits of possibility. Here are ten of those theories that, as it turns out, weren’t just a figment of someone’s imagination.

    • Tell Us No Lies

      John Pilger, an Australian based journalist and filmmaker in London, has been subjected to persistent abuse, in Britain and his native Australia, for his reportage that spreads over last 50 years across Vietnam, Cambodia, East Timor, Burma and Palestine. One of his books ‘Tell Me No Lies’, is an anthology of write-ups from diverse people like Edward Said, Seymour Hersh, James Cameron and some committed reporters. The book ranges across many of the critical events, scandals and struggles of the past, exposing the lies perpetuated through media by the people in power.

    • Fresh Air Remembers Historian Stanley Kutler

      We’re going to remember historian Stanley Kutler. He died Tuesday at the age of 80. Kutler helped uncover some of the dark secrets of the Nixon administration. Some of Nixon’s secretly recorded White House tapes were released in April 1974. Nixon resigned that August.Nixon tried to prevent the release of the remaining tapes, but in 1992 Kutler and the advocacy group Public Citizen sued the National Archives which led to the 1996 release of about 200 more hours of Nixon White House tapes. Those recordings detail how the Nixon administration tried to destroy Daniel Ellsberg who leaked the Pentagon papers and how the group of former CIA agents known as the Plumbers broke into the office of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist looking for incriminating information.

  • Censorship

    • Prof. Andrew Pessin is latest victim of anti-Israel thought police

      Every time I learn about the latest antics of the anti-Israel thought police on university campuses, I find myself offering silent thanks that they are, for the moment, just thought police. Because if these kids and their faculty supporters ran a real police force, the pro-Israel students and academics they didn’t manage to arrest would be driven underground.

    • Censorship has got worse: Patwardhan

      Sunday saw the city host the second edition of Litmus Festival, and the weighty speakers ensured that Bengalureans went home intellectually satiated.

    • BuzzFeed’s censorship problem

      Earlier this week, Gawker broke the news that BuzzFeed Beauty Editor Arabelle Sicardi has resigned from the site. She wrote a piece last week criticizing a Dove soap advertising campaign that BuzzFeed deleted and later republished at the direction of Editor in Chief Ben Smith. Her resignation is the latest chapter in the evolving “DoveGate” scandal.

    • 15 Feminist Artists Respond To The Censorship Of Women’s Bodies Online

      In March, artist and poet Rupi Kaur uploaded an image to Instagram, depicting Kaur curled up on the bed in sweats and a t-shirt. She’s also on her period, and the blood has dripped through her pants onto the sheets. The image was flagged and removed from Instagram — twice.

    • Climate censorship gains popularity in states

      Various people in Florida and Wisconsin might find climate censorship as humorous but other states have not been seen laughing over it. Contrastingly political and environmental experts have asked this news to be used as a model.

      Florida Gov. Rick Scott became the leader of this potential trend last month when news emerged that he had ordered environmental staffers not to use the terms “climate change” or “global warming” in communications or reports. Wisconsin established a similar policy this month, voting to ban staffers who manage thousands of acres of forests from working on or talking about global warming.

    • A Poster Child for Misguided Censorship

      Two weeks ago, a group of Harvard College students launched Renegade, a magazine that seeks to provide an outlet for students of color on Harvard’s campus. This past week, the Crimson reported that several posters parodying the publication had been posted in Pforzheimer House. The House Masters subsequently issued a statement condemning the fake posters, while also indicating their intention to remove the satirical posters

  • Privacy

    • SEC Boss Can’t Keep Her Story Straight On Whether Or Not SEC Snoops Through Your Emails Without A Warrant

      For many years now, we’ve been writing about the need for ECPA reform. ECPA is the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, written in the mid-1980s, which has some frankly bizarre definitions and rules concerning the privacy of electronic information. There are a lot of weird ones but the one we talk about most is that ECPA defines electronic communications that have been on a server for 180 days or more as “abandoned,” allowing them to be examined without a warrant and without probable cause as required under the 4th Amendment. That may have made sense in the 1980s when electronic communications tended to be downloaded to local machines (and deleted), but make little sense in an era of cloud computing when the majority of people store their email forever on servers. For the past few years, Congress has proposed reforming ECPA to require an actual warrant for such emails, and there’s tremendous Congressional support for this.

    • A CIA-backed company may be scanning all your Facebook chats

      If you thought your Facebook chats are safe from prying eyes, you’re apparently wrong. Bosnadev says that Facebook’s chats are being scanned by a CIA-funded company, a discovery Bosnadev made after looking into some unusual activity on a website triggered by a link present in a Facebook chat.

    • Facebook Chats Are Safe? New Reports Reveal It’s Monitored By CIA-Funded Firm

      According to the post, the group built an app that was never published and posted its link in Facebook through a private chat box. They then noticed some unusual activity after keeping track of any attempt to access the link.

      “During the testing of an application we’ve set up in a non-published area we have noticed some unusual activity,” said Bosnadev. “The link for the app was sent via Facebook chat and afterwards comes the interesting part.”

    • Your Facebook Chats Are Being Monitored By CIA-Funded Agencies

      Recorded Future is an American-Swedish firm which identifies real-time online risks through web-based source collecting and analyzing. These include analyzing links that have never been published anywhere else.

    • Recorded Future Explains Why People Thought It Was Crawling Your Facebook Chats

      The public site Recorded Future is referencing is Pastebin. A commenter on the original post laid out what happened: Some time after the URL was published, it was posted to Pastebin, which is a public text repository, like imgur. There, it was crawled by Recorded Future.

    • Recorded Future Has Raised $12M for Its Cyber-Threat Web Crawling Service
    • Mass surveillance can never prevent terrorism fully: Snowden

      “Even the most extensive monitoring system would never be able to make us perfectly safe from terrorism,” Snowden said, while taking part in a debate via video link, which was broadcasted by Ansa News agency.

      “Yet, mass surveillance is often used by intelligence agencies to spy on citizens regardless if a crime is being committed or not,” he added.

    • Burner promotion shows how much phone numbers reveal

      It can be unsettling to watch a computer spit out your personal information before it even knows your name. Especially when the information appears in a terminal font, superimposed over a map of your area.

      That’s probably what you’ll see if you take the Burner Challenge, which uses your phone number to show you just how much information those digits can reveal – everything from names of acquaintances, to lists of old employers, to your current and previous addresses. And it’s all gleaned from public sources.

    • Groups push to end NSA spying before June

      The National Security Agency’s authority to collect the phone records of millions of people is scheduled to end on June 1, and a bipartisan privacy coalition of 39 organizations wants to make sure it stays that way.

    • Congress May Scrap Patriot Act’s Data Collection Program
  • Civil Rights

    • Is This Justice? Charging an Eighth Grader with a Felony for “Hacking”

      A 14-year-old eighth grader in Florida, Domanik Green, has been charged with a felony for “hacking” his teacher’s computer. The “hacking” in this instance was using a widely known password to change the desktop background of his teacher’s computer with an image of two men kissing. The outrage of being charged with a felony for what essentially amounts to a misguided prank should be familiar to those who follow how computer crimes are handled by our justice system.

    • When Bolivia Tried to Murder a US Folk Legend

      Uruguay was polarized between between revolutionaries and a militaristic right wing. Nueva Cancion performers and other musicians rooted in the working-class struggle were heavily repressed alongside political activists and suspected guerrillas. The members of Camerata and Daniel Viglietti were arrested, and singer Mercedes Sosa was banned from the country entirely. Singer Braulio Lopez was arrested and tortured there before being sent to prison for a year in Argentina.

    • Sen. Dianne Feinstein Urges Pentagon To End ‘Unnecessary’ Force-Feeding At Guantánamo

      Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the vice-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, recently sent a letter to Ashton Carter, the new defense secretary, urging him to “end the unnecessary force-feedings of detainees at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility.”

    • Why Failure Doesn’t Daunt the National Security State

      Years ago, Chalmers Johnson took a term of CIA tradecraft, “blowback,” and put it into our language. Originally, it was meant to describe CIA operations so secret that, when they blew back on this country, Americans would be incapable of tracing the connection or grasping that the U.S. had anything to do with what hit us. The word now stands in more broadly for any American act or policy that rebounds on us. There is, however, another phenomenon with, as yet, no name that deserves some attention. I’ve come to think of it as “blowforward.”

    • Newman/My Turn: Fiction that rings too true

      The Chicago police, America has learned, operate a secret interrogation facility in a nondescript warehouse called Homan Square. Prisoners — both adults and juveniles, some as young as 15 — are disappeared there, often shackled for endless hours, denied their right to counsel, and beaten. At least one man, found unresponsive in an interview room, later was pronounced dead.

    • Chicago offers $5.5 million to police torture victims

      Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and several Chicago aldermen are offering a $5.5 million reparations package for people who were tortured during the tenure of former police commander John Burge.

    • How Chicago Is Finally Coming To Grips With Its Dark History Of Police Torture

      More than 30 years after he was brutally tortured by Chicago detectives, Darrell Cannon may finally see what he calls a “measure of justice.”

    • Prison Labor Company Features Promo Video Touting “Best-Kept Secret in Outsourcing”

      Searching for the “best kept secret in outsourcing,” one that can “provide you with all the advantages” of domestic workers, but with “offshore prices”? Try prison labor!

      That’s the message of Unicor, also known as Federal Prison Industries, a government-owned corporation that employs federal workers for as little as 23 cents an hour to manufacture military uniforms, furniture, electronics and other products.

      Though FPI markets itself as an opportunity for inmates to obtain skills training, critics have attacked the program as exploitative. Small business owners have also complained that FPI’s incredibly low wages make it impossible to compete.

    • I Spent Seven Years Locked in a Human Warehouse

      I was found not guilty of the charges against me, by reason of insanity. But with the way our society operates, I may have been better off had I been motivated by evil, anger, greed or malice and been found guilty. Society understands malice. We understand retribution. But we do not understand mental illness and are often unable to see the humanity in those with mental illness. Thus, instead of being locked in a prison for three years, I was locked in a mental hospital for seven years. And I am one of the lucky ones. I know many others who have recovered from their illness but still have spent decades, even their whole lives, locked inside mental hospitals, simply because we choose to fear rather than understand mental illness. It is just so much easier and more convenient to throw people away. Many people with mental illness would love to have the rights that are given to convicted criminals.

    • Assange Calls on Obama to Revoke Executive Order on Venezuela

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has added his name to a growing list of Australian journalists, academics, politicians, trade unionists and solidarity activists calling on U.S. president Barack Obama to revoke his executive order against Venezuelan . On March 9, Obama issued the order which imposed sanctions on a number of Venezuelan state officials and deemed Venezuela to be an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

    • Affleck demanded PBS program hide his slave-owning ancestor

      Ben Affleck insisted on censoring the fact that one of his ancestors owned slaves from PBS show “Finding Your Roots,” the Sony email hack has revealed.

      In a hacked Sony email from July 22, 2014, now available on WikiLeaks, the show’s host, Henry Louis Gates Jr., writes to Sony USA chief Michael Lynton asking for advice: “One of our guests has asked us to edit out something about one of his ancestors–the fact that he owned slaves. Now, four or five of our guests this season descend from slave owners, including Ken Burns. We’ve never had anyone ever try to censor or edit what we found. He’s a megastar. What do we do?”

      Lynton’s advice was to take Affleck’s family secret out of the show, as long as nobody would find out. The Sony chairman and CEO writes, “On the doc the big question is who knows that the material is in the doc and is being taken out. I would take it out if no one knows, but if it gets out that you are editing the material based on this kind of sensitivity then it gets tricky.”

    • Ben Affleck Pressured PBS to Edit Out Slave-Owning Grandfather in Ancestry Doc
    • Ben Affleck Demanded PBS Suppress His Slave-Owning Ancestry
    • Batman star Ben Affleck hid his family’s slave-owning past in TV documentary
    • Ben Affleck Reportedly Asked PBS To Censor His Slave-Owning Ancestor
    • Ben Affleck asked PBS not to reveal ancestor owned slaves – hacked emails
    • Ben Affleck ‘wanted details of slave-owning ancestors removed from documentary’ claims leaked Sony emails
    • PBS Defends Ben Affleck’s Finding Your Roots Episode, Refutes Claims That They Censored Slave-Owner Ancestry
    • Leonardo DiCaprio the ‘eco warrior’ flew on a private jet from NY to LA SIX times in SIX weeks, Sony hack documents reveal
    • Former FBI Agent Speaks Out: ‘I Was Not Protected’

      Robyn Gritz spent 16 years at the FBI, where she investigated a series of major national security threats. But she says she got crosswise with her supervisors, who pushed her out and yanked her security clearance.

      For the first time, she’s speaking out about her situation, warning about how the bureau treats women and the effects of a decade of fighting terrorism.

    • FBI can’t cut Internet and pose as cable guy to search property, judge says

      A federal judge issued a stern rebuke Friday to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s method for breaking up an illegal online betting ring. The Las Vegas court frowned on the FBI’s ruse of disconnecting Internet access to $25,000-per-night villas at Caesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino. FBI agents posed as the cable guy and secretly searched the premises.

      The government claimed the search was legal because the suspects invited the agents into the room to fix the Internet. US District Judge Andrew P. Gordon wasn’t buying it. He ruled that if the government could get away with such tactics like those they used to nab gambling kingpin Paul Phua and some of his associates, then the government would have carte blanche power to search just about any property.

    • The Future Of International Law

      We need a sense of the unity of all mankind to save the future, a new global ethic for a united world. We need politeness and kindness to save the future, politeness and kindness not only within nations but also between nations. To save the future, we need a just and democratic system of international law; for with law shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.

    • British judge: Respect women’s right to wear veil in court

      Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger said judges must have “an understanding of different cultural and social habits,” as part of their duty to show fairness and impartiality in trials.

      [...]

      His speech comes after nearly a year after the European Court of Human Rights upheld the April 2011 ban on niqab in British courts.

    • FBI overstated forensic hair matches in nearly all trials before 2000

      The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

    • Rendition expert fears police were too quick to clear CIA over torture flights landing in Scotland

      DR SAM RAPHAEL wants to know if the flights which landed at Prestwick and Glasgow Airports violated Scottish law and if Holyrood or Westminster was aware of what was going on on board.

    • Police find no evidence Scots airports used for CIA torture flights

      A Police Scotland probe into CIA flights is yet to find any evidence Scots airports were used to transport terror suspects.

    • Dying CIA Agent Claims He Assassinated Marilyn Monroe

      Dying CIA officer Normand Hodges claims he assassinated 37 people, including Marilyn Monroe. The 78-year-old said he worked for the CIA for 41 years as an operative. He also admitted to acting as a hitman for the governmental agency.

    • Dying 78 Year Old CIA Agent Admits To Killing Marilyn Monroe

      When people are on their deathbed, they have nothing to lose and nothing to gain. One of the most awe inspiring stories from the entertainment industry is that of Marilyn Monroe and the 78 year old retired CIA officer, Norman Hodges, who made some of the most ground breaking confessions ever noted from an ex CIA officer.

    • In 1960, CIA stopped Miami Herald scoop about Bay of Pigs invasion

      There were a lot of bad days during the Cold War, but 54 years ago this weekend was one of the worst, at least for the United States. President John F. Kennedy sent an army of anti-Castro exiles backed by the CIA onto the beach at Cuba’s Bay of Pigs to suffer bloody, catastrophic defeat. It was “the beating of our lives,” the despondent Kennedy would say a few days later as he wondered aloud why nobody had talked him out of it.

    • ‘Some good men’: Alabama airmen killed at Bay of Pigs to be honored today at Forest Hills Cemetery

      Four Alabama airmen killed during the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba will be honored by the Alabama Air National Guard in a ceremony at Forest Hills Cemetery today at 3:30 p.m., according to a news release from the Guard’s 117th Air Refueling Wing.

    • The CIA in Hollywood: How the Agency Shapes Film and Television by Tricia Jenkins

      Though everyone would surely prefer otherwise, public relations crises are part of the CIA’s ordinary business. The fact that so much of its work is classified puts the Agency in one of those tricky, plumber-like governmental roles: when it does its job right, no one should notice. But when it screws up, there’s a mess, and things smell awful.

      The nature of any covert enterprise is rigged against popularity: the Agency can’t ordinarily brag about its hard-won successes or even update Americans with news of general competence. The FBI, by contrast, gets to issue press releases detailing high-profile arrests and convictions. But with rare exceptions, the CIA hits the front page only when something has gone badly sideways.

      This asymmetry naturally gives rise to an image problem, so the CIA needs a way of loopholing if it wants to shape public perception. Fiction about the Agency—particularly television and movies, the most potent and culture-shaping mediums—has turned out to be that loophole. But it has its risks.

    • CIA Declassifies 99 Documents On Dr. Zhivago’s Publication

      The CIA just released 99 documents which laid out its plan to publish “Doctor Zhivago” in Russian for the first time in 1958, which experts believe might have been part of an agency plot to reveal the shortcomings of Soviet life.

    • US, UN Fight To Keep Rape Allegations Against Them Quiet

      As violators of human rights move to issue stronger guidelines for selective recourse and expect victims to comply, reports on past human rights violations offer invaluable testimony on the link between power and abuse. At the helm of various forms of abuse, including sexual violence, are U.S. military personnel and United Nations-affiliated personnel involved in peacekeeping operations.

      Even in instances in which it’s not been directly involved in acts of sexual violence, the United States has certainly ensured the backing of dictatorships that have committed severe sex crimes. A prime example of this is Chile under the U.S.-backed dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet from 1973 to 1990.

    • Claims of Dalai Lama’s ties to CIA reincarnated by Xinhua

      A white paper published by the Chinese government on Wednesday accused the Dalai Lama of receiving armed support from the CIA and urged the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader to relinquish his attempt to divide China and achieve independence for Tibet, reports the state propaganda service Xinhua.

    • From diplomacy to disillusion with the Dalai Lama’s big brother

      Perhaps of greatest interest to Tibet-watchers is his account of his early involvement with the CIA, and the agency’s encouragement, sponsorship and eventual abandonment of anti-Chinese resistance inside Tibet.

    • Dalai group has got armed support from CIA: white paper

      The Dalai Lama group has got armed support from the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), says a white paper issued on Wednesday.

    • Xinhua Insight: China issues white paper on Tibet, denouncing Dalai Lama’s “middle way”

      The Chinese government on Wednesday issued a white paper on southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, lauding its development path and denouncing the “middle way” advocated by the Dalai Lama.

      The white paper, “Tibet’s Path of Development Is Driven by an Irresistible Historical Tide”, holds that Tibet’s current development path is correct.

    • China issues white paper on Tibet, denouncing Dalai Lama’s ‘middle way’

      According to the report, during the armed rebellion in Tibet in the late 1950s, the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) not only sent agents to help the 14th Dalai Lama flee Tibet but also trained militants to support his forces and airdropped a large quantity of weaponry.

    • Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated by America

      Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, Pakistan’s first Prime Minister, was assassinated on October 16, 1951 while addressing a public meeting in the garrison city of Rawalpindi. His assassin, later identified as Saad Akbar Babrak was shot dead on the spot. Saad Akbar Babrak was an Afghan national and a professional assassin. For more than 63 years controversy continued about the motives and perpetrators after the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan. Conspiracy theories abounded with little to substantiate. However, the controversy is now coming to end as declassified documents of the US State Department disclosed that Americans murdered the first elected prime minister of Pakistan through the Afghan government.

      The US documents, released several years ago but highlighted recently by the Pakistani media and social media.

      A leading English newspaper of Pakistan, the Nation and also the Express News reported on April 17: The United States wanted to get contracts of oil resources in Iran. Pakistan and Iran enjoyed cordial ties and Afghanistan used to be the enemy of Pakistan during 1950-51. The neighboring Afghanistan was the only country that didn’t accept Pakistan at that time.

    • Focus: Why the International Criminal Court Remains Silent [on torture]?
    • ‘Any reader of Orwell would be perfectly familiar’ with US maneuvers – Chomsky to RT

      Major American media organizations diligently parrot what US officials want the public to know about global affairs, historian Noam Chomsky told RT. To US leaders, any news outlet that “does not repeat the US propaganda system is intolerable,” he said.

    • Revisionist history

      Jeffrey, in a somewhat ingenious tactic but meretricious strategy terminated his discourse by concluding “a strategy much wider in scope had to be developed for alliance alone could not bring down the PPP.” Tucked away at the beginning 14 lines earlier his analysis did identify 1961 as the year in point, artfully omitting that in 1964 a post-electoral alliance, stage-managed by the USA/UK via the Governor of British Guiana did oust the PPP from government. This fact is made clear in a stunningly researched publication, US intervention in British Guiana: a Cold War story by Stephen G Rabe, Professor of History at the University of Texas, authographed and presented to me in 2009 by a former Senior Vice-President in the Burnham government, a Guyanese of rare erudition and universal recognition.

    • Deindustrialization, NATO-Style

      NATO’s bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999 was the deliberate targeting of factories and manufacturing plants.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net neutrality to aid Digital India drive: DoT

      After telecom and information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad backed an open internet three days ago, a note prepared by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for a meeting of the committee on net neutrality said the concept may help the government’s Digital India programme and ensure equitable and inclusive development.

    • Mark Zuckerberg Can’t Have It Both Ways on Net Neutrality

      Mark Zuckerberg says Internet.org and net neutrality “can and must coexist,” despite a backlash against his organization, which aims to bring free internet access to the developing world.

      It can’t, at least not from where users sit.

      The trouble started this week when several Indian publishers decided to remove their services from the Internet.org app, claiming the app violates the basic tenets of net neutrality. The app offers users in developing countries access to a select group of services, like Facebook, news sites, and health information, without paying data charges. That’s possible because, in the countries where Internet.org operates, the group has negotiated these terms with local carriers. The Indian publishers took issue with this setup, often referred to as “zero-rating,” arguing that giving away some services puts those services that aren’t available on the app at a disadvantage.

    • COAI calls for a debate on Net neutrality

      The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), whose members have been at the receiving end of the Net neutrality campaign, on Sunday called for a debate on the issue from an Indian perspective.

      “The association urges all stakeholders to have a comprehensive and informed debate on the subject of Net neutrality keeping in mind the requirements of India and its citizens,” a statement said. A subject as important and complex as Net neutrality should “not be left to the opinion of a few.”

  • DRM

    • Bill Introduced To Fix Broken DMCA Anti-Circumvention Rules

      It’s no secret that the DMCA’s section 1201 is extremely problematic. It’s the “anti-circumvention” part of the law, that makes it illegal to circumvent “technological protection measures” even if it’s for non-infringing purposes. This is a mess — especially in an age of DRM trying to lock up everything. Try to get around it, and it’s a violation of the law — even if you’re not trying to infringe on the underlying material. This is why Cory Doctorow is running a new effort to eradicate DRM with a target placed firmly on Section 1201.

    • Hacked Sony emails reveal that Sony had pirated books about hacking

      Sony doesn’t like pirates—except, perhaps, when Sony feels like pirating.

      Hacked Sony Pictures Entertainment emails, published in full on Thursday by WikiLeaks, reveal that Sony had pirated ebooks on its servers. This is particularly notable because Sony has engaged in aggressive and even illegal anti-piracy actions in the past.

    • Leaked: The MPAA’s iPad Piracy Potential Analysis

      It’s been five years since the launch of Apple’s iPad but how was the device initially received by the Hollywood studios? A leaked analysis reveals the MPAA’s hopes and fears for the ground-breaking tablet, with a few spot on predictions and a notable shift in the piracy landscape it simply didn’t envisage.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts