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02.02.15

Links 2/2/2015: Linux 3.19 RC7, Kodi 14.1

Posted in News Roundup at 2:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Welcome the New Breed of Linux Users

    Some people don’t like any changes made to Linux user space which makes the operating system easier to use or configure for casual users. They would rather the user be befuddled and helpless, because according to them, people who don’t know how to open a terminal and edit a configuration file in Emacs have no business sitting at a computer keyboard for any purpose.

  • Videos: 10 Interesting Technical Talks from LinuxConf.Au 2015

    Many Linux and open source leaders gave presentations at LinuxConf.Au 2015 a few weeks ago, including Linux Creator Linus Torvalds. All of the conference videos are available on YouTube, and there were many excellent presentations — so many it would be impossible to watch them all. The range of topics covered everything from open source governance and community management, to inspiring uses of Linux and open source technologies, to technical talks and tutorials. Here are ten interesting technical talks focused on Linux and the kernel. (Disclaimer: I have not watched every single minute of all of these videos. I’ll leave it to you to decide how captivating they are.)

  • Which Linux Desktop is Right For You?

    Over the years, the debate over the best Linux desktop environment has raged on. KDE, Gnome, one of the lighter weight Linux desktops – there are so many options to choose from. In this article, I’ll examine the variety of desktops available and compare them accordingly.

  • February 2015 Issue of Linux Journal: Web Development

    I think it was in the late 1990s, possibly into the 2000s, when it was common to put a cutesy graphic on the bottom of your Web page letting everyone know your site wasn’t finished. Generally the graphic was an animated GIF file of a little construction guy shoveling a pile of gravel. Mind you, this was before animated GIF files were the most annoying thing on the Internet, and long before they started getting cool again. The thing that makes me smile isn’t how clever we were to make such graphics, it’s the naiveté of the concept that a Web site might ever be truly finished.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel 3.19 RC7 Is Out, Last One Before Stable

      Linux kernel 3.19 RC7 was announced by Linus Torvalds and it’s probably the last release in this development cycle before the branch becomes stable, most likely next week.

    • Linux 3.19-rc7 Kernel Released: Linux 3.19 Final Coming Soon

      The seventh and likely last release candidate to the Linux 3.19 kernel is now available.

    • 4 Useful Cron Alternatives For Linux

      For those who are familiar with the Unix system, you will also be familiar with the cron application that allows you to schedule and automate tasks to run on their own. We even have tutorials that show you how to get started with cron and crontabs. However, cron is not perfect, as it requires your system to be running 24 hours a day. If you have a habit of turning off your computer at night, and a cron job is scheduled in the sleeping hours, the task won’t be executed. Luckily, there are several cron alternatives that can do a better job than cron. Let’s check them out.

    • Gummiboot UEFI Boot Loader To Be Added To Systemd

      The newest feature being worked on for systemd? A boot loader, of course! It was revealed this weekend that systemd developers are looking at integrating Gummiboot into systemd.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Interview with Lucas Falcão

        I think Krita is doing great and I really like the direction it’s going, the software it seems to be made for artists, at least I have this impression when I use the tools to work on the creation and painting of textures. I don’t hate anything in Krita, and I don’t use all the tools, but I think usability could always be improved.

      • digiKam Quick Tip: Using Album Categories

        Did you know that you can assign categories to albums in digiKam? To do this, right-click on an album, choose Properties from the context menu, and the desired category from the Category drop-down list.

      • SoK Final Report – Theme Designing for Pairs

        Theme designing for pairs is my Season of KDE project, mentored by Heena Mahour. In this project i created new themes for KDE-Edu project “Game Pairs”.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • I Messed Up GRUB2… What a Happy Mistake!

        Yesterday, I was using my daughter’s desktop computer, which is a Mageia 4/PicarOS dual-boot, when I noticed something that has happended before: after running an update of packages, Mageia changes GRUB2 and erases the entry to boot PicarOS.

        I am not very GRUB2 literate. Last time that it happened, I solved the problem with GRUB Customizer, but it wouldn’t help this time.

        I tried the Mageia GRUB tool in the Control Center to no avail.

        Then I installed the KDE package that lets one configure GRUB2… and that’s when I messed up: trying to recover the PicarOS boot entry, I seemed to have installed a useless boot entry on the MBR and the computer, logically, could neither boot PicarOS not Mageia.

        I looked for the Mageia 4 install DVD to run the rescue tool but, since I could not find it, I ran the rescue tools from the Mageia 3 install DVD instead. It did not work; GRUB2 could not be rescued.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Tried to boot my laptop from a cafe…

        Today I tried to boot it in a cafe, off-line and without the extra disk. It was not possible. Systemd would just wait indefinitely for some start-up jobs (it was waiting for the missing disk to come on-line among some other things). Fortunately, I had the extra disk with me, so I attached it and tried again. Still for no use. Systemd now waited for the network interfaces. So I had to actually connect an ethernet cable to a router just to get the crap to boot, and then unplug it and walk back to my table.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Why can Ubuntu dethrone Android and iOS?

            Next week we will finally get to see the first commercially available Ubuntu smartphone when the BQ Aquaris e4.5 rolls out of its incubation unit. It feels like years since the Ubuntu Edge’s doomed for failure crowdfunding campaign…failed, yet there is still a whole lotta love for the mobile OS that some genuinely think has a chance at rivalling Android. Why is it so popular though?

            Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu OS, has spent a couple of years stripping down Android to the bare bones and replacing it with technology that allows it to keep the OS constantly updated at a level not enjoyed by Android users. The OS back end is divided into a trio of partitions that are comprised of three separate sections of code: one each for the device, manufacturer or carrier, and Ubuntu. It means that each one can deliver bug fixes as-and-when they are needed, and customisation specific to the carrier or manufacturer will be far easier to implement. Basically if you’re an Android user constantly bemoaning the time it takes for your update to arrive, we think you’ll have a lot of joy here.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Should You Upgrade From Windows 7 To Windows 8.1 Or Linux Mint?

              Upgrading your computer from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 is not guaranteed to be a seamless experience whereby you click a few buttons and hey presto it works.

              To prove this point I took a Windows 7 computer and installed Windows 8.1 in two different ways to see what would happen. In both cases the result was the same.

              The computer that I used for this experiment was a Dell Inspiron 3521. After upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 the video drivers were lost and I was left with a fuzzy low resolution screen. The network drivers were also a bit ropey. The same thing happened when I installed Windows 8.1 straight from disk as a clean installation.

              To fix the problems all I had to do was download the correct drivers and install them but that meant navigating the Dell website (which isn’t a particularly easy affair) and download the correct drivers and install them in the correct order.

              Whilst the task in hand was fairly straight forward it clearly shows that Windows doesn’t just work in the same way that when you install Linux for the first time you might have to install extra drivers and codecs as well.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • The Driver’s Licence on the Mobile Phone? Its Now Live. Not in the country you thought: it happened first in Dubai

        Its part of the Police App that they have here, which will for example let you do an accident report if you had a fender-bender type accident, and post it in 3 minutes, so for example for insurance claims etc. You take a few pictures of the car and register the accident report with your Driver’s Licence number and your car licence plate, plus the other car’s licence plate, and thats it. The police will review both sides of the story, the pictures from both cars, and issue the official police report for your insurance agency. If the police department has to send an officer to come see the accident, that costs about 2,000 dollars per visit in the time the police have to allocate. Now everything is done electronically and you get your official police accident report by the next day – straight to your mobile phone haha. Brilliant.

      • Delaware aims to be 1st with digital driver’s licenses

        Delaware is aiming to be the first state to offer virtual driver’s licenses accessed through a secure smartphone app.

      • Android

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop Update For Galaxy Note 4 Delayed Further

          The Android 5.0 Lollipop update for Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has been delayed by Oculus. Samsung already started rolling out the software update for various handsets such as the Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4. However, the Android 5.0 Lollipop is yet to arrive on the South Korean tech giant’s latest phablets, the Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy Note Edge.

        • Applications? Yes, The Applications Set Android/Linux On Fire

          Remember when folks were telling us that GNU/Linux wouldn’t fly because it lacked applications? Consider Android/Linux. It had zero applications a while back but now it’s on fire. 2 billion applications downloaded a day. Amazing.

        • Taiwan amid top-5 Google Play markets globally, says Google Play executive

          There have been more than one million free and chargeable applications at Google Play, with two billion downloads a day on average from about 190 countries. Google paid a total of US$5 billion to developers of Google Play applications during June 2013-June 2014.

        • Lollipop-based Paranoid Android 5 Alpha 1 is here!

          The Paranoid Android team just announced the release of the first alpha version of the Lollipop-based Paranoid Android 5.

        • Android just achieved something it will take Apple years to do

          It’s easy to be negative about Android’s outlook these days. Apple just posted the most profitable quarter of any company ever, largely on the back of runaway iPhone sales. And Google faces an unprecedented threat from “forked” versions of Android — independently developed offshoots out of Google’s control.

        • Android 5.1 Lollipop to release next month?

          Amidst the problems and issues surrounding the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop OS, its alleged major update Android 5.1 is finally taking shape. Latest whispers say that the OS update will be rolled out near the end of February.

Free Software/Open Source

  • How Pivotal cracked the one-billion-dollar code

    Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry, an open source Platform-as-a-Service offering, just clocked the largest first-year financial bonanza in open source history: spun out of EMC and VMware in 2013 and trading since February 2014 Pivotal pulled in $40m during three quarters of active selling it said last week. As good as this is for Pivotal, it’s perhaps even better for would-be open source entrepreneurs, who may finally have a blueprint for large-scale financial success.

  • Four open source networking projects explained

    Open source projects and protocols have huge potential for networking. Initiatives such as OpenStack and OpenDaylight have attracted the attention both of end-users, as evidenced by the Open Networking User Group (ONUG), major vendors participating in OpenDaylight, OpenFlow and OpenStack, and telecoms creating their own open source efforts like the Open Networking Lab.

  • Zimbra gets back to open source roots

    The open source market landscape is growing by leaps and bounds, and it’s at a time like this that it’s important for Zimbra, a provider of collaboration software, to reinvigorate its open source roots. Here’s how we plan to encourage increased participation in community open source projects in 2015.

  • Good design matters for open source projects

    The design of everyday things is an important cultural movement. Of that, most of us have no doubt. We want our tools to work flawlessly and naturally. And open source projects are catching up on this too.

    Like, Elementary OS, an open source operating system that hopes to make the Linux desktop accessible for everyone. And many other open source web applications, like Ghost, Taiga, and the upcoming Flarum. Also, BeautifulOpen is a collection of open source projects with great websites and a great source for inspiration. They all have designers on their core team.

  • Events

    • Does open source power your entertainment media center?

      Open source media center solutions have really taken off in the past few years, and there are now many more approaches to using both open source software and open hardware to power entertainment on your television. If you’re consuming media with the help of open source, we’re curious: how are you doing it? Are you running Kodi (formerly XBMC), MythTV, MediaPortal, or something similar on a custom-built machine? Or are you going slim and using a specialized Linux build on top of the Raspberry Pi? Or are you doing something else entirely?

    • FOSDEM 2015

      I had a chat with the Diaspora folks at the booth next to us and greatly look forward to the upcoming release. They had a nice flyer-y paper which also included some development stats with the number of active contributors and such, a very useful thing to have so you can quickly see how a project is doing. Diaspora had a hard time since the crazy start, but things are picking up again and 66 people contributed to this important project over the last year.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Report: Companies are Investing in Big Data, But Not All Succeed With It

      Capgemini, a consulting and technology services company, has announced the findings of a global survey into the use of Big Data in corporate decision-making. An Economist Intelligence Unit report “The Deciding Factor: Big Data & Decision making”, commissioned by Capgemini, shows that nine out of ten business leaders believe data is now the fourth factor of production, as fundamental to business as land, labor and capital.

    • Eucalyptus Cloud Originator Rich Wolski on the Cloud and Big Data

      All the way back in early 2008, OStatic broke the news about Eucalyptus, an open source infrastructure for cloud computing on clusters that duplicated the functionality of Amazon’s EC2, using the Amazon command-line tools. The project resided at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and was driven and overseen by Rich Wolski, a professer there (shown here).

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Perl 6.0 Might Finally Be Released This Year

      It was revealed this weekend at FOSDEM in Brussels that the plan is to hopefully release Perl 6.0 by this Christmas.

      Larry Wall is hoping to finally see the Perl 6.0 release out this year, with version 1.0 of Perl 6.0 by Christmas. It’s not yet certain Perl 6.0 will make it out this year but that’s the goal.

      Perl 6 has been in development since 2000 as a big update over Perl 5. Perl 6 seeks to significantly improve the programming language and will break compatibility with Perl 5 though a compatibility mode is expected. Going back a while now have been multiple Perl 6 implementations albeit none complete; a basic overview of Perl 6 can be found via Wikipedia.

    • A peculiar development setup, again

      I never have enough screen real-estate. I sometimes keep six files open at the same time in split-screens, but that requires my Vim windows to be maximized, and then I don’t see the terminal. So I can not see the results of auto-tests (for example), and the relevant code at the same time.

    • 9 Best IDEs and Code Editors for JavaScript Users

      Web designing and developing is one of the trending sectors in the recent times, where more and more peoples started to search for their career opportunities. But, Getting the right opportunity as a web developer or graphic designer is not just a piece of cake for everyone, It certainly requires a strong mind presence as well as right skills to find the find the right job. There are a lot of websites available today which can help you to get the right job description according to your knowledge. But still if you want to achieve something in this sector you must have some excellent skills like working with different platforms, IDEs and various other tools too.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Norway finds first case of mad cow disease, says food safe

      Norway reported its first ever case of mad cow disease on Thursday, saying the instance was an isolated one and telling consumers it was still safe to eat beef and drink milk.

      Tests at a British laboratory confirmed the disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), in a 15-year-old cow, which had been slaughtered, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority said.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • New Mexico toddler shoots both parents with one bullet after finding gun

      A toddler in Albuquerque, New Mexico, shot both his parents with just one bullet on Saturday, after apparently reaching in to his mother’s handbag to get her iPad and coming across a loaded gun instead.

      The 3-year-old and his 2-year-old sister were taken into the care of local authorities.

    • ‘There was no snowball fight’: Video showing New Rochelle police officer pulling gun on teens not what it seems: cops

      A video that appears to catch a New Rochelle police officer pointing a gun at a group of teenagers who were having a snowball fight — and went viral on the Internet — is not what it appears to be, cops said.

      “There was no snowball fight,” New Rochelle Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Murphy told the Daily News, calling the video a piece of “clever mischief.”

      He said police were responding to a 911 call around 4 p.m. Friday that a teenager standing in a group of six near the Heritage Houses had pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at another person.

    • UK government feared terrorists would weaponise Ebola

      British military experts were asked to draw up guidance at the height of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa late last year on the feasibility and potential impact of terrorists ‘weaponising’ the virus.

      The Ministry of Defence has released a heavily redacted report, prepared in October, that identified three different scenarios regarding the exploitation of Ebola for bioterrorism.

    • Drone wars: the gamers recruited to kill – video

      In tiny bunkers in the United States, young pilots are operating unmanned drones targeting ‘bad people’ in Pakistan. Recruited at video game fairs by military leaders who know the value of games that glamourise ‘militainment’, drone pilots are left traumatised by the civilian casualties – or ‘collateral damage’ – their strikes cause. Psychologically distanced from the enemy, are drones the future of warfare?

    • US rethinks arming Ukraine’s troops

      With Russia-backed separatists pressing their attacks in Ukraine, NATO’s military commander, General Philip M. Breedlove, now supports providing defensive weapons and equipment to Kiev’s beleaguered forces, and an array of administration and military officials appear to be edging toward that position, US officials said Sunday.

    • U.S. considering giving arms to Ukraine forces, NYT reports

      Separatist leader says rebels plan to boost fighting force to 100,000 men; shells continue to fall in Donetsk, killing 15 over the weekend; Russian official: If U.S. government decides to go forward, it will lead to irreversible results.

    • Ukraine Conflict: US Mulls Giving Fresh Arms to Kiev Forces as Tensions Escalate Post Failure of Peace Talks

      The United States is mulling over supplying Ukrainian forces with defensive weapons and equipment as tensions have escalated in the region after peace talks aimed at ending the fight in eastern Ukraine failed on Saturday.

    • ‘Censored Voices’ film tears apart Israel’s heroic narrative of Six-Day War

      In the wake of Israel’s seemingly miraculous triumph in the Six-Day War in 1967, the country’s victorious soldiers were lionized as heroes.

      But in private, even just one week after the conflict, many of them didn’t feel that way. One describes feeling sick to his stomach in battle and collapsing into a trench.

      “I wanted to be left alone,” he says. “I didn’t think of the war.”

      Another talks about watching an old Arab man evacuated from his house.

      “I had an abysmal feeling that I was evil,” the soldier says.

    • Michael Jansen: Netanyahu the manipulator

      Binyamin Netanyahu’s latest scrap with Hizbollah has given his Likud bloc a boost in Israeli opinion polls, placing the Likud at the top of the line-up for the first time since the Labour and Hatnua parties merged on December 10 to form the Zionist Union.

    • Marwan’s calls tapped

      SUSPENDED national police chief Alan Purisima and US troops used Marwan’s wife as a “tracer” to pinpoint the precise location of the world’s most wanted terrorist, a police general privy to the ongoing probe of the Mamasapano massacre said Sunday.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Another Kind of Isolation

      In 2006 and 2008, the Bureau of Prisons quietly created new restrictive units for terrorists or other inmates they feared might coordinate crimes from behind bars. The Communication Management Units (CMUs) were designed to more tightly monitor and restrict inmates’ communication with the outside world. The units, at Terre Haute, Indiana and Marion, Illinois, operated largely in secret, without any formal policies or procedures in place — until last week.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The British Army is Creating a Battalion of “Facebook Warriors”

      Warfare is a constantly changing landscape, from the weapons that are used to the battlefields they’re fought on. Amidst mountains of Snowden leaks from the NSA and GCHQ, it’s no longer a mystery that the digital warfare is advancing quickly, and the British Army just upped its digital artillery.

  • Privacy

    • Verizon Will Now Let Users Kill Previously Indestructible Tracking Code

      Verizon says it will soon offer customers a way to opt out from having their smartphone and tablet browsing tracked via a hidden un-killable tracking identifier.

      The decision came after a ProPublica article revealed that an online advertiser, Turn, was exploiting the Verizon identifier to respawn tracking cookies that users had deleted.

    • Without broadband under Title II, Verizon will get off scot-free for ‘supercookies’

      Revelations this week that Verizon Wireless secretly used “supercookies” to track customers’ browsing habits underlines a less-talked about benefit of the FCC’s potential reclassification of broadband as a Title II public utility — consumer privacy protection.

    • New e-mail shows feds considered snooping on cars parked at gun shows

      Nearly six years ago, two federal law enforcement agencies considered using license plate readers (LPRs) at gun shows—at least in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

      LPRs scan plates at a very high speed—often 60 plates per second—and record the date, time, and precise location that a given plate was seen. Typically, on a patrol car, that plate is then immediately compared to a list of wanted or stolen cars, and if a match is found, the software alerts the officer. But all scans are routinely kept by various law enforcement agencies for long periods of time, sometimes as long as years or more.

    • The FBI’s plan to collect everyone’s DNA just got a huge boost from congress

      In 2011, 1 in 25 Americans was arrested. In a few years, if the FBI has its way, the federal government will possess the DNA of all of those people and more. Under the radar of most lawmakers and journalists, the Bureau—with private industry and congress’ help—is pushing the most massive expansion of biometric state surveillance since the invention of the fingerprint.

    • Attorney General Nominee: NSA Surveillance is “Constitutional and Effective”

      On Capitol Hill, attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch will return today for day two of her confirmation hearing. If confirmed, Lynch will become the first African-American woman to serve as attorney general. During Wednesday’s hearing, Lynch described the National Security Agency’s spying programs as “constitutional and effective” and defended the government’s surveillance operations.

    • Watchdog: White House has done little on surveillance reform

      A federal privacy watchdog tasked with reviewing the National Security Agency’s controversial spy programs said Thursday the White House has agreed to many of its suggested reforms but taken little action.

    • Privacy Board Says NSA Doesn’t Know How Effective Its Collection Programs Are, Doesn’t Much Care Either

      The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) has just released its assessment [pdf link] of the NSA’s ability to follow instructions. One year ago, it assessed the Section 215 bulk records collection. Six months later, it assessed the Section 702 program, which hoovers up email communications. Now, it has followed up on its recommendations and found the NSA surprisingly cooperative.

    • PGP creator Phil Zimmermann: ‘Intelligence agencies have never had it so good’

      The recent hack against Sony Pictures is likely to have made companies of all sizes consider upping their cybersecurity measures. Perhaps, though, it’s also a different kind of wake-up call: a reason to think less about security, and more about privacy.

      That’s the belief of Phil Zimmermann – the creator of email encryption software Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), and now president and co-founder of secure communications company Silent Circle – initially expressed in a blog post, and expanded on in an interview with the Guardian.

      “Sony had all kinds of things: intrusion detection, firewalls, antivirus … But they got hacked anyway. The security measures that enterprises do frequently get breached. People break in anyway: they overcome them,” says Zimmermann.

    • Hackers Use Old Lure on Web to Help Syrian Government

      Mr. Assad was also the victim of cyberattacks, but of a far more advanced nature.

      A National Security Agency document dated June 2010, written by the agency’s chief of “Access and Target Development,” describes how the shipment of “computer network devices (servers, routers, etc.) being delivered to our targets throughout the world are intercepted” by the agency. The document, published recently by Der Spiegel, the German magazine, came from the huge trove taken by Edward J. Snowden; this one shows a photograph of N.S.A. workers slicing open a box of equipment from Cisco Systems, a major manufacturer of network equipment.

    • ‘Anonymized’ Credit Card Data Not So Anonymous

      Credit card data Relevant Products/Services isn’t quite as anonymous as promised, a new study says. Scientists showed they can identify you with more than 90 percent accuracy by looking at just four purchases, three if the price is included — and this is after companies “anonymized” the transaction records, saying they wiped away names and other personal details. The study out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, published Thursday in the journal Science, examined three months of credit card records for 1.1 million people.

    • Nullification Season: 200 State Bills and Counting

      It’s less than one month into the 2015 state legislative season and the Tenth Amendment Center counts more than 200 bills seeking to block or limit federal power.

    • “Prism” Exhibit and SSMU Art & Expression mixer

      Ever feel like you’re being watched? Well, chances are, you’re probably right. If you’ve ever wondered about modern surveillance but have been too creeped out to pursue your curiosity, it might be time to face your fears and check out the “PRISM” exhibit this week. A solo exhibition by Vancouver-based David Spriggs, “PRISM” is a series of works that explore modern surveillance and its uncanny omnipresence in our daily lives. The name of the exhibit alludes in part to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) program, which was exposed by Edward Snowden in 2009. Looking at different modes of surveillance, from cameras to digital scanners, Spriggs’ large-scale works are bound to inform and probably also intimidate. If you really want to know how closely Big Brother is watching, “PRISM” may offer some creative insight.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Swedish Schindler who disappeared

      During World War Two, a young Swedish diplomat saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis. But in January 1945 Soviet troops arrested him – he was never seen in public again.

    • China is world’s worst jailer of the press; global tally second worst on record

      More than 200 journalists are imprisoned for their work for the third consecutive year, reflecting a global surge in authoritarianism. China is the world’s worst jailer of journalists in 2014.

    • Greste family joy at journalist son’s release

      The family of Australian journalist Peter Greste has thanked everyone who helped secure his release from an Egyptian jail after 400 days.

      ‘Peter Greste is a free man,’ brother Andrew Greste said, with his delighted parents Lois and Juris by his side, in Brisbane on Monday.

    • Peter Greste: Australian journalist on his way home after being released and deported from Egypt

      Australian journalist Peter Greste has been deported from Egypt after 400 days behind bars, and has flown to Cyprus on his way home to Australia.

      Greste was set free by order of Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi under a new law allowing foreign prisoners to be deported.

    • Glimmer of Hope for Assange

      There is a window of hope, thanks to a U.N. human rights body, for a solution to the diplomatic asylum of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, holed up in the embassy of Ecuador in London for the past two and a half years.

    • John B. Geer had hands up when shot by police, four officers say in documents

      John B. Geer stood with his hands on top of the storm door of his Springfield, Va., townhouse and calmly said to four Fairfax County police officers with guns pointed at him: “I don’t want anybody to get shot . . . . And I don’t wanna get shot, ’cause I don’t want to die today.”

    • The controversial punishment of Barrett Brown: A deep dive

      I’ve read a lot of criticism recently about the sentencing of Barrett Brown. The online commentary mostly portrays Brown’s sentence as a disturbing example of prosecutorial abuse, in which the Obama Administration’s war on journalists and war on hackers came together to shred First Amendment freedoms. I wondered, is that true? What really happened in the case, and was Brown’s sentence troublesome or not?

    • Fox Host Tells Caller Her Bipolar Disorder Is “Made Up” And “The Latest Fad” For Money

      Fox News Radio host Tom Sullivan told a caller who said she suffered from bipolar disorder that her illness is “something made up by the mental health business” and just “the latest fad.” When the caller told Sullivan that she “would not be alive today” if she hadn’t received mental health treatment, Sullivan wondered if “maybe somebody’s talked you into feeling and thinking this way.”

    • The Coming Biological Infowar: US Proposes DNA Database

      While precision medicine is indeed a powerful tool in fighting disease and repairing injury – in fact, truly the future of medicine – those appointing themselves as its arbiter in the US have already demonstrated they cannot be trusted with such a responsibility.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Time Warner Cable’s 97% Profit Margin on High-Speed Internet Service Exposed.

      In our Petition for Investigation of Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Comcast, we point out that TWC’s High-Speed Internet service has a 97% profit margin and a number of people asked how that statistic was derived. Simple. Time Warner Cable provides the information, (with some caveats).

      Below is the actual financial information excerpted from the Time Warner Cable, 2013 SEC-filed annual report. (Please note that this same mathematics is also used by Comcast and probably Verizon and AT&T, though they do not explicitly detail their financials in this way.)

      Moreover, we need to put this financial information in context to what customers are paying, and more specifically with the Time Warner Cable Triple Play bill that’s been featured in previous articles.

    • Before Net Neutrality: The Surprising 1940s Battle for Radio Freedom

      As we again set policies that define core power relationships for a new medium, we might look to our past to discern lessons for charting our future. For the media system we’ve inherited—one dominated by a small number of corporations, lightly regulated in terms of public interest protections, and offset by weak public alternatives—was not inevitable or natural; it resulted from the outcomes of specific policy battles, and from specific logics and values triumphing over others.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Downloading Fatwa Issued By Turkish Religious Leaders

        Turkey’s top religious body has handed down a fatwa in response to a question raised on the issue of illegal downloading. Obtaining content without permission from creators is forbidden, the Diyanet said. Meanwhile, a Catholic Church debate on the same topic raised an interesting dilemma.

02.01.15

Links 1/2/2015: Devil-Linux 1.6.8, SymphonyOS 15.0

Posted in News Roundup at 8:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Navy’s Newest Linux-Powered Command Center Is Right Out Of Star Trek

    The DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class Destroyer could very well revolutionize the way the Navy does its surface warfare business. One of its biggest innovations is ditching the cramped, darkly lit Combat Information Center (CIC), a fixture for many decades on past USN combat ships, and replacing it with the state-of-the-art, spacious, Star Trek bridge-like Ship’s Mission Center.

  • Desktop

    • GOL Survey Results: January

      Thanks to GOL reader Fedso, we now have month-by-month comparisons for the survey as well as an automated program which takes the raw survey data and makes graphs. This is pretty exciting stuff since now one of the main goals of the survey project has been achieved and we can observe trends over time.

  • Server

    • Report: Docker Not Yet Widely Used in the Cloud

      Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind the open-source Ubuntu Linux operation system, has published its latest Ubuntu Server and Cloud Survey, showing the emerging trends in server and cloud deployments.

    • CoreOS ‘Rockets’ Ahead With Docker Alternative

      Linux operating system distribution vendor CoreOs aims to expand its own vision for container-based virtualization.
      CoreOS is moving forward on its plans to displace the Docker application virtualization technology and expand its own vision for container-based virtualization. CoreOS got its start in 2013 as a clustered operating system project focused on the optimized delivery of Docker containers but has found fault in the Docker model that it aims to correct with its own Rocket approach.

    • CoreOS Linux: it’s how Google, Facebook & Twitter run at scale
  • Kernel Space

    • Witcher 2 Bug Prompts Linux Creator To Recommend Devs Play Steam Games

      It’s common for NVIDIA and AMD to tweak their drivers to optimise specific titles, but patches to operating systems just for games? Usually developers work around platform quirks, but that’s not good enough for Linus Torvalds, the man behind Linux. When crashes in The Witcher 2 were caused by Linux’s core software, Torvalds not only requested the bug be fixed, but that Steam games should be used in the future as “good tests of odd behaviour”.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Flattr Is the Icon Pack with the Flattest Icons for Linux Systems – Gallery

      Users who like flat icons might want to give Flattr a try. It’s probably the flattest theme that you can find on the Linux platform and it’s been recently updated.

    • Elementary Extensions for Python-EFL

      For those who are unaware the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries and Elementary are the tools that power the Enlightenment desktop and a growing number of other applications. To learn more about getting started with Elementary and python you should check out the full API reference here, the examples on git, or stop by #e.py on Freenode.

      I have been working on a number of small applications using Elementary. While building these applications I found myself reusing a few of the same gadgets in different places, so I had the idea others might find some of them useful as well.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Children’s book with Krita

        Today we’ve got a guest article by John Gholson. John is an artist who is currently working on a big project — an illustrated children’s book. As far as we know, it’s the first time an artist is using krita to illustate a whole children’s book project. So, over to John!

  • Distributions

    • If You Like the Terminal, You Will Love the Terminal-Only Alpine Linux OS

      Security-oriented, lightweight Linux distribution Alpine Linux is based on based on musl libc and Busybox, which make up the terminal, has been upgraded once more and is now available for download.

    • New Releases

      • BackBox Linux 4.1 Is a Powerful Penetration Testing Distro Based on Ubuntu 14.04.1

        BackBox Linux is a distribution based on Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS, that is built to perform penetration tests and security assessments. A new version has been released and is now available for upgrade and testing.

      • Devil-Linux 1.6.8 released

        Devil-Linux 1.6.8 has been released! This release brings lots of software updates and resolves the GHOST glibc vulnerability (CVE-2015-0235). Please see the change log for details.

      • Black Lab Professional Desktop 6.0 SR3 released

        Today we are pleased to announce the release of Black Lab Professional Desktop 6.0 Service Release 3 or SR3. Black Lab Pro Desktop 6.0 SR3 is a major upgrade to our pro desktop line of distributions. With this release we worked on a few issues with memory consumption, security and speed. With the Black Lab Pro Desktop we deliver it in two different desktops, KDE and GNOME Shell . While these are commercial releases we do offer a cut down version of it available for download from our website. While we do not release for download all of the features of the retail release it is far from being crippled. The KDE release boots only consuming 480 mb of RAM and the GNOME Shell release boots using only 545 mb of RAM

      • Release: SymphonyOS 15.0

        I am pleased to announce the release of SymphonyOS 15.0. This release continues improvements to the Mezzo 4 desktop bringing it to a much more stable state.

    • Red Hat Family

      • ‘Enterprise customers are now more willing to implement open source’

        Jim Whitehurst expects India to play a larger role in NYSE-listed Red Hat’s global strategy, thanks to the rapid pace of infrastructure creation.

        “When a new system’s put into place, it’s increasingly likely that it may be built on open source. We like places where there is a lot of infrastructure going in,” Whitehurst, President and Chief Executive Officer, Red Hat, said. Red Hat is the world’s largest commercial distributor of the open source-based Linux operating system. Open source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. In an interaction with BusinessLine, Whitehurst throws light on the opportunities in the Indian marketplace for open source. He also explains why the company is keen to increasingly move more support functions to India.

      • Fedora

        • I Switched (Back) Over To Fedora As My Main OS & It’s Going Great!

          Before this long stint with Ubuntu on my main system, I was using Fedora (Core) and before that was openSUSE, Mandrake, and others. I stopped using Fedora (Core) due to some of the releases being less reliable than others with at the time less of a focus on shipping quality releases and at times just feeling like a dirty testing ground for RHEL. With being very pleased with Fedora 20 and Fedora 21 on the many test systems around the office, I decided to give Fedora another go on my main system. I’ve also been very interested in Fedora.Next and how Fedora 22 is shaping up. Fedora these days seems to be back on a solid footing for end-users with a bright future ahead; Fedora 22 might even ship on time for a change while not sacrificing quality! Fedora 21 brings back a lot of good memories for me of the early Fedora days.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi robot and hobby kit robot guide part 1

      The rise of our robot overlords is well underway – give it another five years and we’ll all be watched over by Pi-powered machines of loving grace. In the meantime, though, we’ve rounded up the very best DIY robotics kits available to buy right now that are designed to work with your Raspberry Pi, so you can get a head start on the inevitable revolution. Whether they’re Arduino or Raspberry Pi-based, we’re getting all of our robots to listen to our master Pi controller and showing you how to do the same with your kit. We’ll also be scoring these robotics kits to identify their strengths and weaknesses in terms of their build quality, functionality out of the box, the construction process and of course their programmability, to help show you which kit is right for you and where you can get hold of your own.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • 2014 was a record-breaking year for Android smartphones

          Apple may be selling more iPhones than ever before, but 2014 was a record-breaking year for Android too: New analyst figures show that one billion smartphones running Google’s mobile OS were shipped over the 12 month period. That’s a rise of 30 percent over the previous year and means that 81 percent of the mobile phones shifted in 2014 were running Android.

        • Android Wear just got very, very smart

          Google’s Android Wear software just got smart – very smart – simply because it integrates Google Now top to bottom. With an update to Google Now comes an update to Android Wear, and what we’re seeing today is an explosive update that’ll make the suggestions for directions and sports scores you’ve been getting so far seem like drops in a barrel of friendly, and I daresay helpful, updates from apps of all kinds. Everything from eBay auction updates to the ability to “Download Venice” – all on your wrist, very soon.

        • Some HTC One versions will get Android 5.0 later than expected

          Some carrier versions of HTC One (M8) and One (M7) will get updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop a bit later than expected. HTC initially promised to update all versions of its 2013 and 2014 flagship smartphone within 90 days of receiving the Android 5.0 code.

        • New Nexus 7 Android 5.0.2 Lollipop Updates Imminent

          After nearly three months of silence, Google’s finally spoken. The missing Nexus 7 Android 5.0 Lollipop updates for the cellular versions of the Nexus 7 2012 and Nexus 7 2013 will start rolling out soon and the two models will be getting bumped from Android 4.4 KitKat to Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, Google’s newest update.

        • Nexus 7 2012 Android 5.0.2 Update Review

          The Nexus 7 2012 Android 5.0.2 update is one that many users could not wait to install, but after a week of using the latest version of Android Lollipop on the oldest Nexus 7 tablet we came away less than impressed. It’s not out of the ordinary for old devices to run new software at a slower pace, but the Nexus 7 2012 exhibits annoying lag while using common functions like switching apps and opening apps for the first time since a restart.

        • Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Android 5.0 Lollipop update rolls out in Russia

          Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in Russia finally received the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop OS update, according to reports. XDA developers reminded Russian users to constantly check the notifications panel as the much awaited major Android update is now rolling out.

        • You can print 3D objects from Android App

          Makerbot has some of the most popular 3D printers which are powered by Linux. The company is now offering an app for Android devices which allows users to control your 3D printer right from your palm.

        • Android apps 2014 – A year in review

          2014 was an exciting year. We saw the release of Lollipop and with it, a whole new design standard we now call Material Design. It saw the release of Android Wear and the second themer revolution with the Android Wear watch faces. Games are slowly becoming higher quality with better graphics, controls, and premises than any prior year. It was the most successful year in Android apps and games of all time. Let’s take a look at just how it good it was on paper.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • A new kind of DDoS threat: The “Nonsense Name” attack

      There’s a new species of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack targeting name servers, which could be called the “nonsense name” attack. It can wreak havoc on recursive and authoritative name servers alike, and some of our customers at Infoblox have fallen victim to it—but it’s not always clear whether they were actually the targets.

    • Key rotation in OpenSSH 6.8+

      Something that’s bugged me about the SSH protocol is its lack of key continuity – key algorithm changes and key rotations are basically unsupported, as there is no in-protocol way for a client to learn updated host keys for hosts that the user already trusts. About the best one can do is cat /etc/ssh/*.pub once logged in to manually learn the host’s other keys, but this only works if you have shell access and is a kludge anyway…

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Retroactively Authorizing War

      They went largely unnoticed, four words President Obama ad-libbed during the State of the Union address last month as he asked lawmakers to provide legal cover for America’s military intervention in Iraq and Syria.

      “We need that authority,” the president said, adding a line to the prepared remarks on his teleprompter that seemed to acknowledge a reality about which his administration has been inexcusably dishonest.

      As the new Congress gets settled in, the debate over the scope and legal authority of Washington’s new war in the Middle East has resurfaced amid strikingly disparate views. The White House is consulting with lawmakers from both parties on the parameters that would retroactively establish ground rules for the bombing campaign against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria that began in September.

    • Drones Are Now Appearing on Afghan Rugs

      When it comes to what to depict on rugs, Afghan weavers traditionally turn to what’s most familiar. So in the 1980s, when the Mujahedeen were fighting back the Soviet occupation, some local weavers abandoned flowers and water jugs to illustrate what their days consisted of back then: war.

    • Kadyrov Says CIA is Recruiting Russians for Islamic State

      Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has accused the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies of using fake social media accounts to draw young Russian men into the Islamic State and other terrorist networks.

    • Drone strikes kill at least ‘45 militants’ in Somalia

      At least 45 suspected al-Shabaab militants have been killed in drone strikes in Southern Somalia on Saturday, a government official said.

    • Book review: A Theory of the Drone – the morality of killing by remote control

      In May 2009, a former adviser to General David Petraeus named David Kilcullen wrote an op-ed in The New York Times calling for a moratorium on drone strikes carried out by the US against al-Qaeda and its associates in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. The military advantages of using drones (the US Army defines a drone as a “land, sea or air vehicle that is remotely or automatically controlled”) are outweighed, Kilcullen argued, by their costs.

    • Conor Friedersdorf: Research on killer drones could backfire on Americans

      Americans would react no differently to a commencement of drone attacks on our soil.

    • Droning the truth

      For Pakistan, drone attacks have become something like the forbidden fruit. These attacks, which have suddenly increased since December 16, 2014, are decidedly illegal, immoral and they undermine the country’s sovereignty. A United Nations (UN) resolution urges member states “to ensure that any measures taken or means employed to counterterrorism, including the use of remotely piloted aircraft, comply with their obligation under international law, including the Charter of the UN human rights law and international humanitarian law, in particular the principles of distinction and proportionality.”

    • CIA tested 25 bombs before helping Mossad kill top Hezbollah figure – report

      The US helped Mossad assassinate a top Hezbollah figure in Syria in 2008 by lending bomb expertise and surveillance on the ground, Washington Post reported. The joint operation marked CIA’s post-9/11 drift toward modern-day drone killings.

    • Focus on Research: Drone strikes: Legal weapon against terror or violation of the right to life? [pro-drones]
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • 100,000 flock to Madrid for Podemos rally against austerity

      Four years ago, Madrid’s central Puerta del Sol square belonged to los indignados – an impromptu revolt of thousands, camping out for weeks and rallying against a political establishment felt to be out of sync with the people.

      On Saturday, up to 100,000 people again filled the square, determined to show the world that 2015 would be the year that the change demanded by the indignados would come about.

    • Thousands Attend Spain’s Left-Wing Podemos Anti-Austerity March

      Spain’s new party believes that politicians should “serve the people, not private interests,” and has gained huge support.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Facebook censors images of Muhammad

      Only two weeks after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a strongly worded “Je suis Charlie” statement on the importance of free speech, Facebook has agreed to censor images of Prophet Muhammad in Turkey – including the very type of image that precipitated the Charlie Hebdo attack.

    • How Mark Zuckerberg Should Have Responded to Turkey’s Censorship Order

      On Monday, Reuters reported that a Turkish court ordered Facebook to remove pages the government deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammed. They even threatened to block Turkish access to Facebook entirely if it did not comply. As a result, Facebook has prohibited access to at least one page already.

      There was an alternative to compliance: Facebook could have refused to honor Turkey’s court order. And Mark Zuckerberg could have delivered the message himself. After all, who better to stand up for freedom of expression than the head of the world’s biggest social network?

    • Does Censorship Make Us Safer?

      Democratic societies are always exploring the proper relationship between security and liberty. We should not lose sight of the fact that our right to view websites such as North Korea’s, or to look at dirty pictures, however tawdry they might be, constitute important liberties that should not be surrendered without constituting a clear and present danger.

    • Thailand junta squelches forum on media censorship

      Thailand’s junta has effectively forced a German foundation to cancel a forum discussing new restrictions on the media, scheduled to be held Friday in Bangkok, raising concerns among journalists and right advocates about the junta’s efforts to curtail press freedom and political dissent in what has long been a relatively open society in the region.

    • Thailand Internet Censorship: Junta Defends Cybersecurity Laws, Orders Press Freedom Briefing Canceled

      Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is pushing for the country’s business and government sectors to be better integrated with the Internet, but he has brushed aside criticism that his junta government’s recent attempts to introduce cybersecurity laws infringe on freedom of expression and the press. At the same time, the junta has also ordered a German rights group to cancel a press freedom briefing scheduled to be held in a Bangkok hotel Friday.

    • Opinion: Bill to ban a word is just censorship

      But the willingness to violate the First Amendment and censor politically incorrect speech is not confined to academe. And proof of that is found in Assembly Bill 30, which would bar California high schools from using “Redskins” as sports team names.

    • The state of online censorship around the world

      In the UK, policies that restrict the flow of information across the Internet are generally met with outcry and consternation for contradicting our fundamental right of free speech, but for many individuals widespread Internet censorship is the norm.

      However, online censorship is much more pervasive than one might initially think, with Ethiopia, Russia and even the UK currently listed as Enemies of the Internet by the French non-governmental group Reporters without Borders (RWB).

    • China doubles down on counterproductive censorship

      China operates the world’s largest and most sophisticated Internet censorship infrastructure. Colloquially called the “Great Firewall,” this infrastructure blocks a huge amount of content deemed contrary to China’s interests as a nation. However, as with any such censorship infrastructure, people will try to access content despite the restrictions–creating a game of cat and mouse between censors, citizens, and online service providers.

  • Privacy

    • What Uber Still Won’t Say About Your Data

      Uber has since refocused its attention on riders’ privacy, rewording its data policy and hiring an outside attorney to conduct an investigation.

    • Shameless: rogue Lords sneak Snooper’s Charter back in AGAIN

      Last Friday, four rogue Lords copy/pasted the repeatedly defeated “Snooper’s Charter” spying bill into a pending bill as an amendment, only to withdraw it on Monday after the Lords were bombarded by an aghast public — and now, incredibly, these Lords have reintroduced the same language as a new amendment.

    • The Intercept’s Invitation to Criminality—and to Intelligence Agencies

      But let’s say I were with some other intelligence agency, either one allied with our forces or one hostile to it. I might noticed that The Intercept is trafficking in really neato stolen goods. They’re soliciting more. And what’s more, they’re advertising what could be a really great, so to speak, phishing hole—that is, a mechanism to send them files and maybe get them onto their computers. If I were a foreign intelligence agency, I’d be looking at this as a great way to send enticing-looking documents, maybe even real ones, that contain some nifty bits of executable code that offered visibility for me onto the activities of people with access to the Snowden materials, people who are talking to and recruiting other leakers. Or maybe I’d be drop some honey-pot files, some files that beacon their location. Or maybe I’d just use the opportunity to drop disinformation on journalists who have shown they will believe just about anything if it’s disparaging of U.S. intelligence.

    • iPhones Can Rat You Out To NSA, Snowden Claims

      iPhones have been getting a lot of heat from privacy advocates for years. It’s likely that privacy concerns will continue to be a public relations nightmare for Apple iPhones despite company efforts to include encryption features in its mobile operating system iOS8. Recent comments from Edward Snowden’s lawyer reveal that the NSA whistleblower doesn’t use iPhones due to professional concerns over security.

    • 45 Percent Of British Consumers Think Online Privacy Is More Important Than National Security
    • Mississippi Action Alert: Help Stop NSA Spying, Support SB2753

      Mississippi SB2753 would deny much-needed material support and resources to the NSA and all federal illegal spying operations. The bill must pass through the Senate Judiciary, Division A Committee before it can receive a vote in the Senate.

  • Civil Rights

    • Prosecutors used the same legal strategy against Barrett Brown as they did me. Are you next?

      When it happened to me, I dismissed it as an anomaly. The government – while trying to access the private emails of my company’s 410,000 users – made material misrepresentations to the courts in a coordinated campaign to portray me as obstinate and uncooperative. Their intent? To manipulate a judge into accepting an unconstitutional legal theory. It cost me my business.

    • Ladar Levison Weighs in on Barrett Brown Case

      Okay, Ladar has a piece in the Guardian today that you should read. As of 9:49 a.m. Central Standard, the piece appears to link to the same cache of hacked Stratfor information that Barrett got busted for linking to. (!) But that’s not really the most interesting part of Ladar’s story. Ladar reveals that the FBI agents that forced him to shut down his business (the email service that Edward Snowden used) were the same agents that busted Barrett.

    • My Post Cyberpunk Indentured Servitude

      Not long ago I was a mild-mannered freelance journalist, activist, and satirist, contributing to outlets like the Guardian and Vanity Fair. But last Thursday I was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison in a case that Reporters Without Borders cited as a key factor in its reduction of America’s press freedom rankings from 33 to 46. As inconvenient as this is for me, the upside is that for the first time in the two and a half years since I was arrested, I am at last able to speak freely about what has been happening to me and why—and what it means for the press and the republic as a whole.

    • The government loves the policy ‘technology for me but not for thee’

      Three seemingly unrelated events explain a lot about the federal government’s complicated and hypocritical reaction to the proliferation of drones and other technology – technology they love to use to track millions of citizens but to which they don’t want citizens to have access.

    • At retreat, Dem staffers escort reporters to restroom

      Reporters covering the House Democrats’ retreat in Philadelphia this week are having a much different experience than when they’re on their home turf on Capitol Hill.

      Reporters are being escorted to and from the restroom and lobby and are being barred from entering the hotel outside of scheduled events, even if they’ve been invited by a member of Congress.

      During Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks at the retreat Friday, reporters were required to have a staff member, usually a junior member of the press team, escort them when going to the bathroom or to the lobby. The filing center for reporters was at a separate hotel from where the retreat was taking place, so access was limited to members of Congress specifically made available to the press.

    • What it’s like to come home to America if your name is “Ahmed”

      Ahmed Shihab-Eldin is a respected journalist who holds US citizenship. Every time he returns to his home in New York, he is detained for many hours by the DHS, subjected to humiliating questioning and detention without evidence or charge, because he fits a “profile” that seems to consist entirely of “brown dude with Arabic name who visits the middle east.” He recently returned from the World Economic Forum in Davos and found himself detained for hours, despite having been assured that his name had been removed from the DHS’s watch-list.

    • CIA did use United Kingdom territory for secret terror interrogations, says top US official

      Terror suspects held by the CIA were interrogated on the British‑owned island of Diego Garcia despite the repeated denials of London and Washington that any such incidents took place, a senior American official said today.

    • Cameron hints at new independent inquiry into Britain’s role in CIA torture

      David Cameron has raised the prospect that Britain’s alleged role in torture could be the subject of a second investigation by an independent inquiry.

      The move, which would be applauded by human rights groups, could see the intelligence and security services forced to give evidence before a judge, which may present an unwelcome distraction for MI5 and MI6 as they seek to combat the growing threat from radical Islamist groups.

    • Westminster child abuse scandal: KGB and CIA kept secret dossiers on Britain’s VIP paedophiles

      Russian and US spies compiled their own secret dossiers on paedophile MPs and other VIP abusers , it has been claimed.

      Police are investigating missing files put together by UK campaigners which allege a powerful network at the heart of Westminister in the 1970s and 80s.

      The Sunday People can reveal that agents from the Russian KGB and the American CIA were also said to have compiled their own intelligence in search of “dirt” on key individuals at the height of the Cold War.

    • Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions since World War II, Updated Edition, by William Blum
    • Feinstein and CIA step up war over spying on Senate

      Sen. Dianne Feinstein intensified her long-running battle with the CIA on Tuesday, accusing the agency of trying to whitewash its spying on Senate computers when the California Democrat was leading an investigation into the government’s use of torture.

    • Tony Abbott dismisses social media as ‘electronic graffiti’, again

      The Prime Minister has dismissed as “electronic graffiti” a medium that his own government and corporate Australia spend millions of dollars a year monitoring and engaging in.

    • Australian Prime Minister: Social Media Is Like Electronic Graffiti

      That acceleration, and the loss of control it implies, probably goes a long way to explaining the fear and loathing that many leading politicians display towards digital technologies — and not just in Australia.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The NFL wants you to think these things are illegal

        The Super Bowl is the NFL’s flagship event each year, and the league has invested a lot in the event’s branding and broadcasting. In light of that investment, it’s understandable that the NFL would be protective of its trademarks and copyrights surrounding it. But that protectiveness has led to the NFL, and other businesses around it, perpetuating a number of myths about what you can and can’t do with the Super Bowl—including the words “Super Bowl.”

01.31.15

Links 31/1/2015: Open Lunchbox, Librem 15 at Around $400,000

Posted in News Roundup at 8:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • HGI Publishes New Open Source Tool for Smart Device Modelling
  • Breaking out of the ‘comfort zone’ with open source

    The PHP community here is really strong, and we have Rafael Dohms to thank for that. Getting in contact with those amazing folks inspired me to get out of my comfort zone, and that little world where I used to live before started to look too small for me.

  • Events

    • Get a paycheck in open source, be a social activist

      Ross currently serves as director of member services with the Linux Professional Institute. He has over 15 years of experience as Linux trainer and has authored several books on Linux and open source software.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice spruces up, adds new features in 4.4

      One of the major complaints levelled against free and open source software is that it looks bad. The user-interfaces for many applications are not geared towards being pleasing visually and this is not surprising as the software is merely meant to do a job.

    • Oracle Releases Node.js Tools

      Back at its OpenWorld event in 2014, Oracle announced it was working on a Node.js driver for its database products. The resulting code was released last week, as open source code with an Apache 2.0 license.

      The driver is now available from GitHub, and includes tools for working with JavaScript objects and arrays, and for translating between Oracle and JavaScript data types. It’s designed to handle transactions, and to work with Oracle’s built-in scaling tools. This includes the ability to quickly end transactions in the event of server failures – allowing Node.js applications to quickly failover to another database, without losing user data.

    • Pondering the Fate of Open Source & Software Licenses

      Having used OpenOffice for several years on the Panasonic Toughbooks I use in the field, I’ve avoided buying into traditional or subscription-based services. While enterprises may have a different view on licensing, cost most always figures into the decision-making process. So if they go the subscription route, they’ll have to then ask what strategies they can use to lower those costs. Will they be able to haggle on price?

      If the subscription model does become the norm, will OpenOffice and other open-source software thrive, dive, or stay the same in market share? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

  • CMS

    • Sydney developer brings open source e-commerce to WordPress

      Sydney-based WPCommerce has launched a hosted cloud e-commerce platform on the open source WordPress and WooCommerce platforms.

      WPCommerce automates the integration, localisation and deployment requirements to provide business owners with a fully hosted local solution that allows them to start selling online without manual setup or configuration.

    • Mark Morton: Why we chose an open source website

      Platforms like WordPress and Drupal, which are maintained by a community of users, can be a cost-effective and flexible option for charities, writes the digital media manager at Epilepsy Action

  • Project Releases

    • YAY! A New, Improved Inkscape!

      I like SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics). I use it a lot on this blog because I don’t need thumbnails and the viewer gets the size he wants.

    • Inkscape Version 0.91 is Released!

      The Inkscape community proudly announces the release of Inkscape 0.91.

    • Bugzilla 5.0 Is Coming Soon With New Features

      Bugzilla 5.0 is gearing up for a release in the next few weeks and with this big version bump will come a number of new features to this popular open-source bug tracking software.

      Bugzilla 5.0 RC2 was released this week in preparation for an official Bugzilla 5.0 release in “the next few weeks” for general availability.

    • Calamares 1.0 Distribution-Independent Installer Framework Released

      Calamares 1.0 is a completely modular design with three plug-in interfaces, C++ and Python API support, 25 different modules for extending the base framework, a self-contained branding component, an advanced partitioning tool, and various other features.

    • Sometimes you need to reinvent the wheel

      On behalf of the Calamares team and Blue Systems, I am proud to announce the immediate availability of Calamares 1.0.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Weekly Top 5: The big R, 30 on Twitter, and open source jobs
    • HabitRPG to-do list, OUYA gets support, Linux games, and more
    • Open Data

      • Open Addresses: Location, Location, Location

        As I mentioned last summer, it’s scandalous that the privatisation of the Royal Mail resulted not only in the public being short-changed by a billion quid or so, but also – arguably even worse – in the loss of one of the most precious UK datasets: postcodes. These are crucially important because geolocation data is central to providing services to mobile devices; giving a monopoly on this information to a company was irresponsible in the extreme.

    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

      • The future of devices for health is not wearables

        Existing open hardware tools now make it easy for anyone to greatly contribute to this change. For example, the team at BITalino recently completed a series of anti-wearable biohacking projects that resulted in things like a bicycle handlebar fitted with a 3-axis accelerometer and an Electrocardiography (ECG) sensor. The ECG sensor leads are connected to conductive textile electrodes on the left and right grips of the handlebar. Whenever the rider holds the grips with each of his/her hands, the data is streamed via Bluetooth to a smartphone that shows the heart rate.

      • Open Source 3D Printing

        Mark Bonenfant and students from Calumet High School will present “Open Source 3D Printing” at the Calumet Public Library.

      • Spanish Tech Company BQ Releases Open Source Horus Software to Complement Their Ciclop 3D Scanner

        Spanish tech firm BQ manufactures smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and 3D printers, but it’s their entry into the 3D scanner market that’s turning heads. The company’s new Ciclop 3D scanner uses laser triangulation technology and a rotating turntable, and it’s billed as “the first DIY 3D scanner.”

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Huge Security Flaw Leaks VPN Users’ Real IP-Addresses

      VPN users are facing a massive security flaw as websites can easily see their home IP-addresses through WebRTC. The vulnerability is limited to supporting browsers such as Firefox and Chrome, and appears to affect Windows users only. Luckily the security hole is relatively easy to fix.

    • D-Link routers subject to backdoor hacking, again

      D-LINK ROUTERS have been found to contain a software bug which could allow traffic hijacking and DNS rerouting.

      The bug is in ZynOS, designed by ZyXEL, which also features in products from TP-Link, ZTE and ZyXEL itself.

      However, it was the D-Link DSL2740R that was subject to a proof-of-concept hack this week by a Bulgarian white witch hacker collective called Ethical Hacking, mailed to Computerworld.

      The miscreant wouldn’t even need credentials to make the changes, just access to the remote set-up page or the local network.

    • Why Network Segmentation is Imperative on the Internet of Things

      I’m speaking on a frequent (and increasing) basis with customers about the opportunities and risks that they need to prepare for as they continue to support new business models related to mobility, cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT).

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Tomgram: Nick Turse, A Shadow War in 150 Countries

      From the point of view of the U.S. military and the national security state, the period from September 12, 2001, to late last night could be summed up in a single word: more. What Washington funded with your tax dollars was a bacchanalia of expansion intended, as is endlessly reiterated, to keep America “safe.” But here’s the odd thing: as the structure of what’s always called “security” is built out ever further into our world and our lives, that world only seems to become less secure. Odder yet, that “more” is rarely a focus of media coverage, though its reality is glaringly obvious. The details may get coverage but the larger reality — the thing being created in Washington — seems of remarkably little interest.

    • British army creates team of Facebook warriors

      The British army is creating a special force of Facebook warriors, skilled in psychological operations and use of social media to engage in unconventional warfare in the information age.

      The 77th Brigade, to be based in Hermitage, near Newbury, in Berkshire, will be about 1,500-strong and formed of units drawn from across the army. It will formally come into being in April.

    • New British Army unit ‘Brigade 77′ to use Facebook and Twitter in psychological warfare

      The British military is setting up a specialist force modelled on the Chindits, the commandos who gained renown through their daring missions behind enemy lines in Burma during the Second World War.

      They will specialise in “non-lethal” forms of psychological warfare, using social media including Facebook and Twitter to “fight in the information age”.

    • Spanish Peacekeeper Is the Latest Example of Israel Killing United Nations Personnel

      On January 28th a barrage of Israeli artillery fire struck near the South Lebanese village of Ghajar, killing United Nations peacekeeper Francisco Javier Soria. Soria, 36, was a Spanish citizen deployed with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, a peacekeeping mission tasked with maintaining the ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon in the occupied Golan Heights.

    • Under Suspicious Circumstances, FBI Places Brother of No-Fly Litigant on Most Wanted Terrorist List

      In late December 2010, 18-year-old Somali-American Gulet Mohamed was detained in Kuwait without charges and tortured, almost certainly at the behest of U.S. officials. Through a cellphone smuggled into the detention camp by another inmate, Gulet was able to call me and New York Times reporter Mark Mazzetti and recount what happened; that morning, we both published articles reporting on the detention, and (with Gulet’s consent) I published the recording of the 50-minute call I had with him, showing him in extreme distress as he described his ordeal.

    • Don’t Blame Islam

      Al-Qaeda and ISIS are products of US and Saudi imperialism.

    • McCain rips protesters during Kissinger hearing, calls them ‘low-life scum’

      The protest broke out at the opening of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on national security and global challenges, where Kissinger and other prominent former secretaries of state were testifying. Standing inches behind the Nixon-era diplomat, the protesters shouted, “Arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • A quarter of the world’s marine species in danger of extinction

      The world’s ocean species are up to nine times more likely to become extinct than previously thought, according to new research.

      The alarming study by the University of Sheffield, said to be the most thorough analysis of marine conservation data yet, comes as campaigners accused the Government of “watering down” plans to protect England’s marine life.

  • Finance

    • Spain rally: Podemos holds Madrid mass ‘March for Change’

      Tens of thousands of people have massed in central Madrid for a rally organised by radical Spanish leftists Podemos.

      The “March for Change” is one of the party’s first outdoor mass rallies, as it looks to build on the recent victory of its close allies Syriza in Greece.

      Podemos has surged into the lead in recent opinion polls, and says it will seek to write off part of Spain’s debt if it wins elections later this year.

    • Leftist Syriza Party Victory in Greece Strengthens Anti-Austerity Movement Across Europe

      Running on an uncompromising anti-austerity platform, Greece’s Syriza party, the Coalition of the Radical Left, won a decisive victory over the conservative New Democracy party in the economically battered nation’s Jan. 25 election. Syriza fell only two seats short of winning an absolute majority in Greece’s 300-seat Parliament, prompting party leader Alexis Tsipras to form an alliance with the small, center right Independent Greeks party to form a governing coalition.

  • Censorship

    • More Comcast customers write in, report name changes of “whore,” “dummy”

      As if Comcast’s recent account name change to “asshole” wasn’t bad enough, there are new reports of more rude names like “whore,” “dummy,” and “Fakoe Boz.”

      According to the travel website BoardingArea, which first broke the story this week of the earlier vulgar naming incident, more users have written in with their own reports of Comcast naming chicanery.

  • Privacy

    • Are you already violating the feds’ new anti-terror bill?

      And Harper introduced Bill C-51, a sweeping piece of legislation that covers everything from what you’re allowed to say and write to who can board a plane, what happens to your tax information and how long you can be detained without charge, he cited fatal attacks last fall in Ottawa and St. Jean Sur Richelieu.

    • Statement from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada following the tabling of Bill C-51
    • Facebook Tests Bluetooth ‘Beacons’ to Feed Users Local Content

      Facebook Thursday said it would begin testing a service to deliver information about shops and landmarks to users who are nearby, in part by using localized transmitters known as “beacons.”

    • Just four credit card clues can identify anyone

      Drop the disguise: your metadata still gives you away.

    • Warning – Microsofts Outlook app for iOS breaks your company security

      Microsoft has released their iOS for Outlook today. And it will break your companies security for mobile PIM access in multiple ways! No matter if you’re a Microsoft Exchange or IBM Notes Traveler customer.

    • Submission filed by ORG and Privacy International in DRIPA case

      ORG and Privacy International have filed a second submission in the judicial review proceedings against the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA). We argue that the legislation is contrary to EU law, in particular Article 15 of the E-Privacy Directive. The intervention draws the Court’s attention to (i) the substantial and carefully calibrated EU rules in the field of data retention, (ii) the seriousness of data retention as an interference with the relevant Charter of Fundamental Rights and European Convention on Human Rights rights and (iii) the inconsistency between the relevant provisions and the strict requirements of EU law.

    • Breach of trust

      Each year, recruiters from the National Security Agency (NSA), said to be the largest employer of mathematicians in the United States, visit a few dozen universities across the country in search of new talent. It used to be an easy sell. “One of the appealing aspects that they pitch is that you’ll be working on incredibly hard and interesting puzzles all day,” says one mathematician who requested anonymity. In the wake of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, he adds, “I felt that if there was any way I could use my mathematical ability to prevent such a thing from ever happening again, I was morally obligated to do it.” Several times over the past decade, he has set aside his university research to work for the agency.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP and digital rights

      A major problem with the TTIP negotiations so far has been the disturbing lack of transparency. General summaries of what has been discussed in each round of negotiations are released, but the negotiating texts are not. Because the talks are shrouded in secrecy, proper scrutiny by the public, media, law-makers and civil society of what is being negotiated on our behalf is not possible. The negotiating texts should be made public. We cannot move ahead with a process where the first time the details of TTIP are made public is when the text is final and the opportunity for constructive input has passed. This is clearly an undemocratic and unacceptable way for trade negotiations to be carried out.

Links 30/1/2015: CERN Adopts 64-bit GNU/Linux, Inkscape 0.91 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 12:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • SCALE Prep Continues; Will Dell Get It Right?

      So whenever I’m told the key to Linux’s success is tied to big manufacturers offering distros on their hardware, my response is always, “You mean like Dell?”

    • Dell’s line of Linux laptops expands to include new MacBook Pro competitor

      Dell’s Precision M3800 mobile workstation launched recently, and rejoice Linux lovers! The powerful, flexible MacBook Pro competitor is also available with Ubuntu Linux thanks to Dell’s Project Sputnik endeavor.

      If you’d prefer a sleeker Linux laptop, you can still pick up an XPS 13 Ultrabook with Linux, and yes, the latest, super-sleek version of the XPS 13—which PCWorld hardware editor Gordon Mah Ung called a MacBook Air killer—will get a “developer edition” with Ubuntu preinstalled soon, according to Project Sputnik lead Barton George.

    • Linux-Powered Librem 15 Laptop Crowdfunding Campaign Is a Major Success

      Librem 15 is a new Linux-powered laptop that will ship with completely free applications, drivers, and kernel. The crowdfunding campaign for this laptop is almost over and it has been a resounding success.

  • Server

    • NI to help CERN adopt 64bit Linux

      European lab CERN is working to standardise 64bit Linux as the operating system for all if its control systems, according to test firm National Instruments (NI).

    • Supercomputing the 1000 MPH Car at HPC Wales

      In a bid to break the world land speed record of 1000 miles an hour, the UK’s largest distributed general supercomputing network is challenging schools in Wales with the ultimate science project.

    • Installing and using Git and GitHub on Ubuntu: A beginner’s guide

      GitHub is a treasure trove of some of the world’s best projects, built by the contributions of developers all across the globe. This simple, yet extremely powerful platform helps every individual interested in building or developing something big to contribute and get recognized in the open source community.

    • CoreOS Co-Founder Alex Polvi Talks Containers, Rocket vs. Docker, and More

      CoreOS has gained notoriety over the past few years as the creator of a new Linux distribution designed for massive, Google-scale server deployments. The company’s star has risen along with the popularity of Linux containers — a key component of CoreOS — and their open source components are being widely incorporated by companies on the bleeding edge of distributed computing.

    • Plex Media Server Review – The Ultimate Steaming Server

      Plex Media Server is a media center application that allows users to stream video and audio content to local and remote clients, such as mobile devices or smart TVs. We now take a closer look at this powerful server and client and see what’s the fuss all about.

  • Kernel Space

    • Online Linux designer certification gets easier

      According to the Linux Foundation, over the last year 300,000 students signed up for the free Introduction to Linux Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) created by The Linux Foundation and offered through the edX platform.

    • Linux Foundation’s AllSeen IoT Alliance Opens up IP Policy

      The Allseen Alliance, which is an Internet of Things (IoT) Linux Foundation Collaboration project, was launched in December of 2013. But it was missing one key element — a definitive patent policy. Now at long last in January 2015, the AllSeen Alliance has defined a patent policy for Intellectual Property (IP), which will come into effect in April.

    • Libinput 0.9 Adds Support For Hovering Fingers On Touchpads

      The libinput 0.9.0 release adds support for hovering fingers on touchpads, click methods are now configurable, and there’s support for the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Broadwell model with regard to the physical buttons above the touchpad area.

    • Graphics Stack

      • New Mesa Patch To Improve CPU-Bound Applications

        For those wondering what else Kristian Høgsberg is working on in his post-Wayland days, after tackling initial Skylake enablement in Mesa his latest achievement is a new Mesa performance patch.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Broadwell: GCC 4.9 vs. LLVM Clang 3.5 Compiler Benchmarks

        GCC 4.9.2 and LLVM Clang 3.5.0 were benchmarked using the packages provided on Fedora 21 x86_64. The same Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon was used for all of the benchmarks, the first Broadwell laptop/ultrabook at Phoronix and it features the Core i7 5600U that’s dual-core with Hyper Threading and tops out at 3.20GHz. Fedora 21 was running with the Linux 3.17.8 kernel while testing each of the provided compilers.

      • Ubuntu vs. Fedora Linux On Lenovo’s X1 Carbon With Core i7 Broadwell

        The latest distribution I tried on the X1 Carbon (and the OS I’ll ultimately use for running the X1 Carbon in a production capacity as my main system) is Fedora 21. Fedora 21 booted up on the X1 Carbon wonderfully without any issues aside from the trackpoint button clicks being wonky (though the button clicks in the corner of the trackpad works fine). Fedora 21 with Wayland also ran fine on this system with Intel HD Graphics 5500. Overall, it was a pleasant experience without any major problems.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • A small note on window decorations

        If you have updated to the recently released GNOME development version, you may have noticed that some window decorations look slightly different. Of course it is quite normal for the theme to evolve with the rest of GNOME, but in this case the visual changes are actually the result of some bigger changes under the hood which deserve some more explanation.

        It is well-known that GTK+ gained support for client-side decorations a while ago – after all, most GNOME applications were quick in adopting custom titlebars, which have become one of the most distinguished patterns of GNOME 3 applications. However it is less well-known that client-side decorations may also be used for windows with no custom decorations, namely when using GDK’s wayland backend.

  • Distributions

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Receives “Positive” Rating in Gartner’s Vendor Rating Report
      • OpenShift by Red Hat Named InfoWorld Technology of the Year Award Winner

        Red Hat is among the only technology vendors to offer a full family of open PaaS solutions: OpenShift Origin, the open source PaaS project; OpenShift Online, a commercial public PaaS offering; and OpenShift Enterprise, an on-premise private PaaS product. OpenShift delivers to developers a cloud application platform with a choice of programming languages, frameworks and application lifecycle tools to build and run their applications. The platform provides built-in support for Node.js, Ruby, Python, PHP, Perl, and Java and the capability for developers to add their own languages. OpenShift also supports many popular frameworks, including Java EE, Spring, Play and Rails.

      • Fedora

        • Corebird 0.9 now in Fedora for testing

          Version 0.9 of Corebird is now in the updates-testing repo for Fedora 21 and Rawhide.

        • Inkscape 0.91 built and ready for testing in Fedora 21

          Earlier this week, the Inkscape upstream made the final tarballs available for the long-awaited new 0.91 version of Inkscape. This version has not been announced by upstream yet, but thanks to the awesome Fedora Inkscape package maintainer Limb, this version is now available for testing on Fedora 21. Please try it out, and give karma to the package in Bodhi.

    • Debian Family

      • Going selfhosting: Installing Debian Wheezy in my home server
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Survey Highlights Private Cloud Popularity

            A survey by Canonical of cloud and server trends among Ubuntu Linux users shows that public clouds are declining in popularity as a result of security and privacy concerns, while private cloud adoption is on the rise.

          • Ubuntu Users See Private, Hybrid Cloud Expansion

            Canonical, the company behind the open source cross-platform operating system Ubuntu, released its annual cloud and server survey this week that seeks to cast more light on the makeup of cloud infrastructure, how it is managed, and what is driving cloud adoption.

          • Ubuntu Server and Cloud Survey Highlights Private Clouds, OpenStack

            Canonical is out with findings from its sixth annual Ubuntu Server and Cloud Survey, which went out to respondents at the end of 2014. The survey aims to provide an overview of the enterprise cloud market, including emerging and changing trends, current challenges and technology preferences. It also tracks the adoption of OpenStack and Ubuntu as well as public cloud usage.

          • Seeing the cloud through Ubuntu-colored glasses

            In Canonical’s sixth annual Ubuntu Server and Cloud Survey, the company found — no surprise — that the enterprise is rapidly adopting the cloud. Further, the cloud is moving from “mostly development and testing to more production-grade workloads”.

            What kind of cloud? It’s still heavily weighted to private clouds, which has 35 percent of users. The most popular platform for private cloud is OpenStack, which is used by 53 percent of users. At the same time, hybrid clouds are on the rise, at 20 percent, up from 15 percent last year. Indeed, the survey found that hybrid clouds are now almost as popular as public cloud, which is at 23 percent.

          • Bill Gates Inadvertently Shows Off Ubuntu on His Facebook Page

            Bill Gates is much more involved in philanthropy than Microsoft these days and he’s done some great work regarding the eradications of certain diseases and to improve the quality of life in a number of third world countries. He’s also inadvertently promoted Ubuntu, which is a Linux system.

          • Camera App for Ubuntu Touch Gets Major Improvements – Gallery

            Ubuntu Touch is almost ready, but some of the core apps are still updated. The camera app recently received an upgrade and numerous features have been added.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • CAMdrive is an Open Source Time-lapse Photography Controller

      The system can be controlled using an Android app.

    • Rugged Type 6 COM runs Linux on 5th Gen Intel Core
    • Black Swift, the tiny wireless computer is on Kickstarter

      Another beautiful board is coming to kickstarter: it’s tiny and powerful. Black Swift runs on OpenWRT Linux, and it can be programmed in a bunch of languages, ranging from C/C++ to PHP, Python, Perl, and Bash scripting (there’s also a Node.js port).

    • Phones

      • Jolla Tablet running Linux-based Sailfish OS enters second round on Indiegogo with 64GB model

        Finnish startup Jolla is looking to crowdsource a new 64GB version of its tablet on Indiegogo, following the original campaign a few months ago.

        For those unfamiliar with this project, Jolla aims to bring a new platform to the market with its tablet, which runs a Linux-based operating system called Sailfish OS.

      • ​Jolla takes second bite at crowdfunding with a 64GB Sailfish OS tablet

        Finnish mobile startup Jolla has announced a fresh crowdfunding campaign, returning to Indiegogo to offer a new 64GB version of its Sailfish OS tablet.

        Jolla initially took to Indiegogo earlier this year, seeking funds to allow it to build its first tablet. The company went on to raise $300,000 over its original $1.5m target, enabling it to start manufacturing the 32GB slate and hitting its stretch goal of offering the device with microSD card support up to 128GB.

      • Android

        • OnePlus Will Reveal Details Of Its ‘Oxygen’ Android ROM On February 12

          OnePlus introduced its own version of Android for its One smartphone earlier this month in response to its standoff with Cyanogen, and now the company has revealed that it will unveil its own ROM which can be installed on third-party Android devices on February 12.

          Correction: OnePlus tells us that, in fact, it won’t launch the ROM on the 12th. This is a tease-of-a-tease, and instead we can expect to see “more information about the ROM” not an actual download for third-party Android devices.

        • Android is suddenly surrounded by enemies

          Cyanogen is one of these forks. It has just raised $70 million from a number of investors including Microsoft to continue producing its own version of Android that it can position as a direct competitor to Google’s.

        • Working New Android 5 Lollipop Features into Your Apps
        • Major Blackphone Security Flaw Discovered

          You might want to think twice before sending that sensitive text message over your supposedly secure Blackphone. A security flaw discovered by an Australian communication security expert could have allowed attackers to decrypt a Blackphone user’s messages, gather location information, and run additional code of the attacker’s choosing.

        • World’s most ‘NSA-proof’ phone vulnerable to simple SMS hack

          A smartphone marketed as the most anti-surveillance, NSA-proof personal device – the BlackPhone – has been found vulnerable to a simple SMS attack that allows the hacker to steal contacts, decrypt messages, and even take full control of the device.

        • Google’s Project Ara Open Source Smartphone to Debut in Puerto Rico This Year

          In Oct. 2013 when Google’s Motorola subsidiary announced Project Ara, for building an open source, modular smartphone, the consensus was that it would fail on both the technical and business levels. Today, however, the odds have tilted in the project’s favor.

          Google sold Motorola to Lenovo, but retained the Advanced Research and Projects (ATAP) R&D group that runs the project. ATAP recently showed off a second generation prototype of the Ara phone, and earlier this month, Google announced plans to launch a 2015 pilot program in Puerto Rico. Project Ara has also recently attracted some interesting technology partners, including battery maker SolidEnergy, audio experts Sennheiser, and health accessory designer Lapka.

Free Software/Open Source

  • How I landed a job in open source

    I have been working in the computer business for over 40 years, but the best years have been the last 17 or so working with Linux and open source software. I got into the computer business unintentionally and kind of sideways, but that is a whole other story. I’ll tell you about how I got into open source and Linux semi-intentionally and also kind of sideways.

  • Sphinx: An outstanding open source documentation platform

    Sphinx is a free, open source project written in Python and, not surprisingly, is really well suited for documenting Python projects. Now, before you harrumph “Meh, I code in which isn’t at all like Python!” be aware that Sphinx supports several other languages (C and C++ support is in development).

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL, the NoSQL Database

      One of the most interesting trends in the computer world during the past few years has been the rapid growth of NoSQL databases. The term may be accurate, in that NoSQL databases don’t use SQL in order to store and retrieve data, but that’s about where the commonalities end. NoSQL databases range from key-value stores to columnar databases to document databases to graph databases.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Major Release LibreOffice 4.4 Announced

      The Document Foundation today announced the latest and “most beautiful” LibreOffice ever. LibreOffice 4.4 is the ninth major release for the project and brings with it lots of design and functionality improvements. Redesigned toolbars, menus, status bars, rulers and new theme selector are among the goodies for users. Michael Meeks said today that this release not only improves the visible features but also the foundations underneath.

    • LibreOffice 4.4, the most beautiful LibreOffice ever

      The Document Foundation is pleased to announce LibreOffice 4.4, the ninth major release of the free office suite, with a significant number of design and user experience improvements.

    • LibreOffice 4.4 Is out! GREAT!!!

      You can find out what’s new, from the technical viewpoint, about this suite here . Let’s see…it comes with a nice sidebar…it has better OOXML support (I don’t care about that as I use ODF), and it even added textboxes. Well, texboxes are something I never needed and I actually find them annoying, but others may think they’re handy… Still, I am more interested in knowing if this new release could meet my needs.

    • LibreOffice under the hood: progress to 4.4.0

      Today we release LibreOffice 4.4.0, packed with a load of new features for people to enjoy – you can read and enjoy all the great news about the user visible features from so many great hackers, but there are, as always, many contributors whose work is primarily behind the scenes in places that are not so easy to see. That work is, of course, still vitally important to the project. It can be hard to extract those from the over eleven thousand commits since LibreOffice 4.3 was branched, so let me expand:

    • LibreOffice 4.4 released, How to Install/Upgrade In Ubuntu/Linux Mint

      LibreOffice and open source office suit released LibreOffice 4.4 that is said to have the most beautiful changes ever. LibreOffice is a must app that has lots of features that makes office work in Linux easier. Let’s see the new features and how we can Install/Upgrade to LibreOffice 4.4 in Ubuntu Vivid Vervet, Trusty Tahr etc. and Linux Mint Rebecca, Qiana etc.

    • LibreOffice 4.4 Is Out And It’s Beautiful
    • LibreOffice 4.4 is more than just a pretty face

      LibreOffice (aka LO) is among the best and the most used free (of cost) and open source office suites. The just-announced, brand new version 4.4 boasts some new features and a much needed design overhaul.

    • LibreOffice 4.4 Released With Major UI Revamp

      A new version of open-source office suite LibreOffice is now available for download and the hands behind it are calling it ‘the most beautiful’ release ever.

    • LibreOffice gets a streamlined makeover, native alternatives for major Microsoft fonts

      The Document foundation announced availability of the latest version of LibreOffice on Thursday, which it says is the most beautiful version of the open source productivity suite yet. LibreOffice 4.4 also fixes some compatibility issues with files that are saved in Microsoft’s OOXML formats.

    • LibreOffice 4.4 Released With Better OOXML Support, UI Improvements

      LibreOffice 4.4 is now available as the newest version of this leading open-source, cross-platform office suite.

    • Does VirtualBox VM Have Much A Future Left?

      It’s been a long time since last hearing of any major innovations or improvements to VirtualBox, the VM software managed by Oracle since their acquisition of Sun Microsystems. Is there any hope left for a revitalized VirtualBox?

  • BSD

    • HAMMER2 File-System Is Still Slowly Coming Together

      Back when DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER2 file-system development began being publicized, it was believed it wasn’t going to be ready until at least 2013. Fast forward two years, HAMMER2 isn’t yet used by default on this BSD operating system and it’s still being actively developed.

    • PfSense 2.2 Open Source Firewall Receives Important Security Update

      PfSense is a free, open source customized distribution of FreeBSD that has been built to be used as a firewall and router. A new iteration has been released and the distro now sports the 2.2 version number.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • ESA implements open source based private cloud infrastructure

      The European Space Agency (ESA) has implemented a private cloud infrastructure to offer IT services to its user communities. The datacentre in Frascati, Italy, is already operational, while a second datacentre in Darmstadt, Germany, has just been completed.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Why Flash sucks

      You might have noticed that a new Apple product launched recently. I’m not going to name it here, because the presstitutes have already flooded the Web with coverage of it to the point where people are suffering from the-Apple-device-that-must-not-be-named fatigue.

      [...]

      I decided recently to see what the modern Web was like without Flash, so I uninstalled it from one of my systems.

      The first thing I noticed was that the Flash ads were gone. I still saw ads on Web pages I visited, but without most of the irritating animation. (Some pages used animated GIFs, but there were a lot fewer of those.) This meant that I also missed out on some parts of Web sites that used Flash—things like interactive slide shows and games weren’t viewable in my browser.

Leftovers

  • Mitt Romney Won’t Run in 2016 Presidential Election
  • Spain plane crash death toll rises

    The death toll from the crash of a Greek F-16 at a Spanish military base rose to 11 after one of the French airmen who suffered serious burns died at a Madrid hospital.

    The death came as Spanish investigators were trying to determine what caused the jet to lose thrust as it took off and crash into five parked planes at the Los Llanos air base in south eastern Spain.

    The crash triggered a series of explosions and a fire that took about an hour to put out.

    Two pilots aboard the Greek F-16 were killed along with eight French air force members on the ground and the French airman who died on Tuesday.

    Eleven Italians and nine French were injured. Three French jets and two Italian jets were damaged.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Why “American Sniper” Chris Kyle’s defenders are so misguided

      That’s an important distinction because, as American Sniper continues t obreak box office records, many of its fans are having trouble separating the flesh-and-blood human being from his celluloid counterpart. This was perhaps best embodied by Kid Rock’s response to the public criticisms of the film made by Seth Rogen and Michael Moore on Twitter. “F*** you Michael Moore, you’re a piece of s*** and your uncle would be ashamed of you,” he wrote. “Seth Rogen, your uncle probably molested you. I hope both of you catch a fist to the face soon. God bless you, Chris Kyle. Thank you for your service.”

    • U.S. Suddenly Goes Quiet on Effort to Bolster Afghan Forces

      The United States has spent about $65 billion to build Afghanistan’s army and police forces, and until this month the American-led coalition regularly shared details on how the money was being put to use and on the Afghan forces’ progress.

      But as of this month, ask a question as seemingly straightforward as the number of Afghan soldiers and police officers in uniform, and the military coalition offers a singularly unrevealing answer: The information is now considered classified.

    • U.S. military cited for increasing classification of information on Afghan forces

      The top U.S. general in Afghanistan is increasingly classifying information about the Afghan military and police that had previously been released, an “unprecedented” decision that keeps it from the American public, according to a new watchdog report.

    • ‘Kill our pilot and we’ll execute ALL your prisoners’: Jordan ‘says it will hang its ISIS captives’ if airman hostage is dead

      Jordan has threatened to fast-track the execution of a would-be suicide bomber the Islamic State…

    • Lebanon to complain to UN over Israeli border shelling

      Two IDF soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded in the Wednesday attack, when Hezbollah launched an anti-tank missile at an IDF convoy traveling near the Israe-Lebanon border. The IDF responded to the attack with heavy artillery fire, which killed a Spanish UNIFIL peacekeeper.

    • Marwan leaves behind 300 bomb makers in Mindanao

      Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias “Marwan” may be dead, but the government still has a huge task ahead: To locate the whereabouts of some 300 bomb makers he trained in Central Mindanao over the past two years.

    • News Analysis: Deadly clash in Mindanao could derail passage of Bangsamoro law

      The deadly clash in southern province of Maguindanao between government forces and Muslim rebels could derail the passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

      A series of clashes occurred in the early hours yesterday in Mamasapano town between the Special Action Force of the Philippines National Police (PNP) and the alleged members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

    • What next for Yemen as death toll from confirmed US drone strikes hits 424, including 8 children

      A confirmed US drone strike that hit Yemen in the midst of one of the country’s worst ever crises this week means at least 424 people, including eight children, have now been killed in such missions since the start of operations in 2002, Bureau research shows.

      Monday’s attack south of Yemen’s capital Sanaa was ordered by the CIA and killed three people, one of whom was reported to be a child aged between 12 and 15.

    • Exclusive: U.S. armed drone program in Yemen facing intelligence gaps

      The United States is facing increasing difficulty acquiring intelligence needed to run its stealth drone program in Yemen, undermining a campaign against the most lethal branch of al Qaeda after Houthi rebels seized control of parts of the country’s security apparatus, U.S. officials say.

      Gaps in on-the-ground intelligence could slow America’s fight against a resurgent al Qaeda in Yemen and heighten the risk of errant strikes that kill the wrong people and stoke anti-U.S. sentiment, potentially making the militants even stronger in areas where al Qaeda is already growing.

    • Police Brutality, Colonial Violence and the War on Terror

      As the new year unfolds, the Western and Muslim worlds are now subject to the renewed hysteria over Salafist Islamists who have assassinated the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists in their offices, and others have been killed, arrested and accused of impending operations in Belgium and Cueta (a Spanish colony on the Mediterranean coast, in Morocco). The wars in Syria and Iraq are said to have spread to new front lines in Europe (according to Jim Sciutto, of CNN), xenophobes rally in Dresden and Leipzig, and counter-terrorism ideologues claim new urgency and relevance. The public is being warned of the increasing need for vigilance, border control, and law and order across the West, as the freedom of speech and public safety is declared to be yet again under threat by heavily armed and professionally trained “religious fanatics”and “extremists”of radical Islam. As the Arab Rebellions continue to unravel a century of Western designs on the region, dangerous women, hidden by their notorious veils (hijab, niqab, chador, burqa, et al) are thought to mysteriously slip through dragnets and across borders to plot and finance further attacks! Gaza has been wrecked and Iraq remains a smoldering ruin, but the adolescent proclivity to insult the religious and engineer hyper-security for shopping must be our abiding preoccupations!

    • American role in the botched SAF operation

      That’s the name given to the operational plan to arrest or “neutralize” (meaning, kill) Malaysian Zulkifli bir Hir, alias Marwan – for whose capture, dead or alive, the US government had offered a $6-million reward, he being in its list of “most wanted terrorists.”

      The covert operation, carried out at dawn last Sunday in Mamasapano, Maguindanao by the US-trained PNP Special Action Force, reportedly succeeded in killing Marwan. But it tragically ended up with 44 SAF officers and men dead in firefights with forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

      Something went terribly wrong in the execution of the operation, although there was plenty of time to prepare, if the latest reported details prove to be true. Who botched it?

    • CIA and Mossad killed senior Hezbollah figure in car bombing

      The device was triggered remotely from Tel Aviv by agents with Mossad, the Israeli foreign intelligence service, who were in communication with the operatives on the ground in Damascus. “The way it was set up, the U.S. could object and call it off, but it could not execute,” said a former U.S. intelligence official.

    • Islamic State – Confused battle against terrorism won’t help

      For many in the Middle East collaboration with America is a betrayal. And their presence spawns more terrorists than the drones can kill.

    • Full text: Zeman’s speech at Holocaust event

      Czech president compares current crisis with Islamic State to lack of resistance to the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936

    • Hostage in Sydney siege ‘killed by police bullet ricochet’

      One of the hostages held during a siege at an Australian cafe last month was killed by a ricochet of at least one police bullet that also injured three other hostages, an inquest into the deaths was told on Thursday.

      Jeremy Gormly, counsel assisting the New South Wales state coroner, said lawyer Katrina Dawson, 38, was hit by six fragments of a police bullet, or bullets, with one striking a major blood vessel.

    • Column: Fear in Our Times, and Overcoming It

      We resist the power of fear partly by acknowledging our own vulnerability and reaching out to victims. Instead of building more walls along the Rio Grande, we can use our resources to combat the poverty, injustice and violence that send desperate people away from their homes and across our borders. The money we spend to operate drones would be more likely to diminish fear if we used it instead to help care for the millions of people displaced and impoverished by hatred and violence in Syria and Iraq.

    • The US’ Dark Empire Has Secret Operations in Over 100 Countries
    • Confessions of a U.S. drone pilot

      Mr. Bryant worked on U.S. military bases in Nevada and New Mexico. From those bases, he remotely controlled drones that flew over the skies of Iraq and Afghanistan approximately 10,000 kilometers away. He worked over 10 hours every day and accumulated a total flight time of over 6,000 hours. Mr. Bryant also participated in about 4,300 missions ranging from surveying objective points or specified personnel, escorting U.S. convoys from above, and additionally assisting forces on the ground and conducting actual strikes. He mentions the number of targets he hit with a direct missile attack is 13 and that the total number of people killed in the missions that he participated in is 1,626.

    • U.S. drone strategy in trouble as Yemeni al Qaeda gathers support

      Schoolboy Mohammed Taeiman died this week on a remote Yemeni road, a casualty of a U.S. drone campaign against the local branch of al Qaeda that seems to be sliding into disarray.

      The sixth-grader’s death as he returned home with a family friend aroused the kind of anger that has long helped Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to recruit fighters.

    • 12-year-old Yemeni boy killed in U.S. drone strike

      A US drone strike targeting al-Qaeda fighters in Yemen on Monday killed a 12-year-old boy, whose father and 14-year-old brother were killed in a previous American aerial attack.

    • Drones, by the numbers

      As this Reuters graphic shows, according to data compiled by the New America Foundation, drone and cruise missiles have been a part of the global anti-militant campaign since 2002, with 396 total strikes taking place in Pakistan and 118 occurring in Yemen. The frequency of strikes increased in late 2008, and then rose substantially once President Obama took office, peaking in 2010, when they killed at least 609 in Pakistan. Since then the frequency has somewhat abated, and the majority of monthly strikes have shifted to targets in Yemen. Drones killed 411 Yemenis in 2012, the worst year for deaths in that country.

    • Yemeni Family Wiped Out In Two Separate Drone Attacks

      A U.S drone strike this week that killed two suspected Al Qaeda militants also led to the death of a sixth-grade boy whose brother and father were killed by drone strikes in 2011, according to Yemeni officials and a human rights group.

    • Intelligence Gaps Mount as US Continues Yemen Drone Strikes

      Since officials can’t tell the different between a 12-year-old student and “al-Qaeda,” that’s an understatement, and they are trying to blame this on the recent Houthi takeover in Sanaa.

    • The Demonized and the Lionized

      A young Chris is told by his father, “You got a gift. You gonna make a fine hunter some day.” Indeed. In 1999, Kyle joined the US Navy and became a Navy Seal, hunting Arabs, Muslim men, women, and children. He loved his work. And so many Americans love that he loved it. You know the story. A gun culture. Testosterone. Nationalism.

    • CIA Tried to Give Iraq Nuclear Plans, Just Like Iran

      If you’ve followed the trials of James Risen and Jeffrey Sterling, or read Risen’s book State of War, you are aware that the CIA gave Iran blueprints and a diagram and a parts list for the key component of a nuclear bomb.

      The CIA then proposed to do exactly the same for Iraq, using the same former Russian scientist to make the delivery. How do I know this? Well, Marcy Wheeler has kindly put all the evidence from the Sterling trial online, including this cable.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Justice Department Confirms WikiLeaks Investigation Continues as Google Claims It Fought Gag Orders

      The spokesperson for Eastern District of Virginia has confirmed that the United States Justice Department’s investigation into WikiLeaks continues. The confirmation came when asked to comment on search warrants that were served against Google for data associated with three of the media organization’s staff members. And, in an interview for The Washington Post, a lawyer for Google explained that the company had fought the gag orders, which prohibited them from informing WikiLeaks staff about the search warrants.

      Sarah Harrison, investigations editor, Kristin Hrafnsson, spokesperson and Joseph Farrell, section editor, each had search warrants served against them in March 2012.

    • Google Says It Fought Gag Orders Over WikiLeaks

      WikiLeaks is demanding answers after it was notified by Google that it handed over staff emails to the FBI almost three years after it was served with search and seizure warrants. But Google says it fought the gag orders throughout this time.

    • Court Views State Secrets Too Narrowly, Govt Says

      The scope of the state secrets privilege is again a matter of contention, as government attorneys in an ongoing lawsuit told a judge last week that he had construed the privilege too narrowly.

      Is the state secrets privilege applicable only to discrete items of evidence whose disclosure can be shown to harm the Nation? Or can the privilege be invoked more broadly based on the “context” in which litigation occurs? The proper parameters of the state secrets privilege have never been defined in statute, and so these questions recur.

      In a pending lawsuit concerning the constitutionality of the “no fly” list (Gulet Mohamed v. Eric Holder), the presiding judge has taken a distinctly skeptical view of the government’s use of the state secrets privilege.

    • Fury over BBC writer’s ‘kill Assange’ tweet

      The writer of the BBC’s new comedy inspired by Julian Assange once called for the police to publicly shoot the Wikileaks founder in the head.

      Supporters of Assange say tweets Thom Phipps posted about him were ‘shocking’ and ‘dangerous’ – and make him unfit to write about the issue.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Something Really, Really Terrible Is About to Happen to Our Coral

      Coral reefs cover just 0.1 percent of the ocean floor, but provide habitat to 25 percent of sea-dwelling fish species. That’s why coral scientist C. Mark Eakin, who coordinates the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Watch program, is surprised that the warning he has been sounding since last year (PDF)—that the globe’s reefs appear to be on the verge of a mass-scale bleaching event—hasn’t drawn more media attention.

  • Finance

    • How Democrats killed Obama’s college savings plan

      Pelosi insisted that Obama drop the plan, scuttling what had been quickly labeled a disastrous policy that would hurt the middle class.

    • We Have No Money, So Central Banks Give More Money to Banks

      It’s unanimous! The European Central Bank confirms that the only possible solution to falling wages and depressed spending is to throw more money at the banks and inflate another stock-market bubble.

      The ECB thus joins the world’s other most important central banks in the hope that “quantitative easing” — a form of “trickle-down” economics — will somehow work despite having never achieved anything other than the inflation of asset bubbles, a benefit primarily to the one percent. Then again, perhaps that might explain it.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • House of Cards: A DC Real Estate Column

      In October of 2014, former Democratic Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle and his wife sold their seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom house on Foxhall Road for $3.25 million.

      It was not an unusually large haul for a member of Washington’s political elite, but it was a big step up from his financial circumstances in 2003. Daschle’s financial disclosure form—filed a year before he lost a race to John Thune, marking the first time in more than half a century that a Senate party leader failed to win reelection—showed his net worth to be between $400,000 and $1.2 million. It was a pitiful amount by congressional standards and led CNN to disparage him as a senator of “modest means.”

      After leaving office, however, Daschle immediately began making millions by advising corporations. During the two years prior to his failed nomination to head Health and Human Services he netted $5.2 million, mostly from healthcare, energy, private equity and telecommunications companies. That included big compensation for speaking appearances (he is, according to his speakers’ bureau profile, “a tireless fighter for the common man”) and for authoring such works as, Getting It Done: How Obama and Congress Finally Broke the Stalemate to Make Way for Health Care Reform, which was subsequently found to induce narcolepsy in laboratory rats.

    • How Roy Cohn Helped Rupert Murdoch

      In a photograph of the Jan. 18, 1983 meeting, Cohn is shown standing and leaning toward Reagan who is seated next to Murdoch. Following that meeting, Murdoch became involved in a privately funded propaganda project to help sell Reagan’s hard-line Central American policies, according to other documents. That PR operation was overseen by senior CIA propaganda specialist Walter Raymond Jr. and CIA Director William Casey, but the details of Murdoch’s role remain sketchy partly because some of the records are still classified more than three decades later.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Honoring NSA’s Binney and Amb. White

      In our age of careerism, it’s rare for high-ranking officials to sacrifice their powerful posts for principle, but that was what NSA’s William Binney and the late U.S. Ambassador Robert White did. Their sacrifices and integrity were honored by likeminded former government officials, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern describes.

      [...]

      As a CIA analyst, MacMichael encountered similar attempts to conceal human rights crimes by U.S.-backed forces in Central America, an early example of the “politicized” intelligence pushed by Reagan’s CIA Director William Casey and his deputy, Robert Gates. MacMichael quit his senior CIA position and testified at The Hague to the truth about the Reagan administration’s secret war to overthrow Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government.

    • Why Alice has a problem if Bob can’t encrypt

      More open-source initatives are working towards an encrypted future than ever before. This is a good thing! This shows a stronger level of interest and activity anyone would have expected prior to June 2013.

    • IT vendors cry foul at new Chinese security rules requiring built-in backdoors

      Last year, the Chinese government started laying out new rules for technology products used by government agencies and banks, in part as a response to revelations about the National Security Agency’s exploitation of Chinese networks. Now, new rules for selling products to China’s financial sector have drawn a protest from North American and European technology vendors because of how intrusive they are—including demands for back-doors into hardware and complete source code.

    • Seven things we learned from Facebook’s latest financial results

      The financial reports also tell us how much each person on Facebook is worth to the company, which varies by country.

      A user in the US or Canada was worth $9 in the final quarter of 2014, but Europeans were only worth $3.45 and users in Asia-Pacific $1.27. Users in the rest of the world including Africa and Latin America – which is the big potential growth area – were only worth 94 cents.

      Of course, as advertising revenue grows, each person outside the US might be worth more, though users themselves are unlikely to benefit: the time has not yet come when they can cash out their work to Facebook.

    • European Commission Wants Collection And Retention Of Passenger Data For Everyone Flying In And Out Of Europe

      Another day, another shameless exploitation of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. We’ve just reported on an EU call for Internet companies to hand over their crypto keys; now the European Commission is trying to push through a requirement for wide-ranging information about everyone flying in and out of Europe to be collected and stored for years.

    • Drug Dealers Swapping Down To Old Cellphones To Stay One Step Ahead In The ‘Tech Arms Race’

      The FBI, along with seemingly every law enforcement agency in the country, wants a backdoor into every new, encrypted-by-default cellphone, arguing that without this, the “bad guys” will win the “tech arms race.” The DOJ cited this same “arms race” in its (losing) argument against a warrant requirement for cellphone searches. To hear law enforcement tell it, today’s criminals are racing far ahead of today’s under-equipped cops, who are stymied by their billions of federal drug-chasing dollars, automatic license plate readers, warrantless GPS tracking, building interior-scanning radar devices and cell tower spoofers.

    • Nobody Saw This Coming: Now China Too Wants Company Encryption Keys And Backdoors In Hardware And Software

      Although there is a clear protectionist element to many of these, as well as a desire to take a look at Western source code, the boldest demands — those for backdoors and encryption keys — are identical to what the US and EU are implicitly calling for. And so, once again, there is no way for the West to claim the moral high ground here, which inevitably undermines any protestations it might make about China’s decision to follow its example.

    • A Year After Reform Push, NSA Still Collects Bulk Domestic Data, Still Lacks Way to Assess Value

      The presidential advisory board on privacy that recommended a slew of domestic surveillance reforms in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations reported today that many of its suggestions have been agreed to “in principle” by the Obama administration, but in practice, very little has changed.

      Most notably, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board called attention to the obvious fact that one full year after it concluded that the government’s bulk collection of metadata on domestic telephone calls is illegal and unproductive, the program continues apace.

      “The Administration accepted our recommendation in principle. However, it has not ended the bulk telephone records program on its own, opting instead to seek legislation to create an alternative to the existing program,” the report notes.

    • Democratic congressman calls to put GOP. Sen. Marco Rubio under NSA surveillance

      One of the more controversial issues during the Obama administration has been the National Security Agency (NSA) and its handling of domestic spying. While many Republicans have been in an agreement with the president, other members of Congress from both parties aren’t too happy.

    • No, Mass Surveillance Won’t Stop Terrorist Attacks

      The recent terrorist attack on the office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo generated a now-familiar meme: Another terrorist attack means we need more surveillance.

    • Why Google made the NSA

      INSURGE INTELLIGENCE, a new crowd-funded investigative journalism project, breaks the exclusive story of how the United States intelligence community funded, nurtured and incubated Google as part of a drive to dominate the world through control of information. Seed-funded by the NSA and CIA, Google was merely the first among a plethora of private sector start-ups co-opted by US intelligence to retain ‘information superiority.’

    • NSA Bears Ability to Compromise and Re-use Intermediate Malicious Programs

      By utilizing numerous servers NSA maintains worldwide, the agency keeps track of botnets comprising innumerable contaminated PCs. When required, it resorts to those botnets’ features for injecting more malware created at NSA into the already-hijacked PCs via certain methodology codenamed Quantumbot, published Der Spiegel a news magazine in Germany.

      A confidential document, which Edward Snowden an erstwhile contractor of NSA exposed as also which Der Spiegel published, has a thorough description of stealthy software from NSA known as DEFIANTWARRIOR which’s utilized for compromising botnet PCs that are then utilized as “throw-away computer network attack (CAN) source points of non-attributable nature” and “all-encompassing vantage points for network analysis.”

    • Surveillance Board Pressures Obama on NSA

      A government-appointed group of privacy watchdogs is again calling on President Barack Obama to end the National Security Agency’s domestic phone data collection, in a reminder that it views the spying program as illegal and ineffective at stopping terrorism.

    • Review group says Obama can stop NSA phone surveillance ‘at any time’

      Review group says Obama can stop NSA phone surveillance ‘at any time’​A review group assembled by the White House to recommend changes concerning the United States’ intelligence gathering operations is calling out the Obama administration for not yet halting the bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records.

    • Obama must finally end NSA phone record collection, says privacy board

      White House could take action ‘at any time’, says Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board chair as key Patriot Act measure is poised to expire

    • Regin malware and NSA’s QWERTY tool exposed as part of the same platform
    • Researchers link QWERTY keylogger code to NSA and Five Eye’s Regin espionage malware

      Kaspersky Lab researchers analyzed source code released via Snowden documents and found ‘solid proof’ that links the QWERTY keylogger plugin to the Regin cyber-attack platform used by the NSA for espionage.

    • EFF prevails in legal battle over government spying

      The case was filed back in 2011, demanding disclosure of information on secret interpretations, using the Freedom of Information Act as its basis in the argument.

    • States Move to Curb NSA Spying by Shutting Off Water & Power Supply

      With Congress unable to curtail the National Security Agency’s controversial surveillance programs, privacy-minded lawmakers in eight states are pushing bills they hope will either boot NSA facilities or ban the agency from setting up shop.

    • Washington Bills Would Ban “Material Support or Resources” to NSA
    • Mississippi Bill Would Ban “Material Support or Resources” to NSA
    • Oklahoma Bill Would Ban NSA Activity Called the “Biggest Threat Since the Civil War”
    • Mississippi Bill Would Help Stop How NSA Uses Some of its Data
    • NSA’s Water, Power Supply Under Threat in State Legislatures

      With federal reform elusive, state lawmakers and activists resume back-up plan to shut down mass surveillance.

    • Deutsche Telekom’s Answer For Germans Spooked by NSA Spooks

      Deutsche Telekom is stepping up data protection on its networks to soothe Germans spooked by international surveillance.

      Germany’s leading telecommunications group said this week it keeps domestic Internet traffic within the country and sources key equipment from at least two suppliers.

    • Michael Hayden’s Hollow Constitution

      Attentive viewers will also notice that at the beginning of the speech he treats the NSA’s dragnet surveillance on millions of innocent Americans as a response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks—whereas near the end of the speech, he characterizes such practices as a pragmatic, pre-9/11 response to technological trends. To me, the distinction hardly matters. As I see it, the Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and mass surveillance always qualifies. I’d argue that this makes my Constitution more resilient to terrorism than his.

    • Section 215 of the Patriot Act Expires in June. Is Congress Ready?

      You may have heard that the Patriot Act is set to expire soon. That’s not quite the case. The Patriot Act was a large bill, as were the reauthorizations that followed in 2005 and 2006. Not all of it sunsets. But three provisions do expire on June 1st: Section 215, the “Lone Wolf provision,” and the “roving wiretap” provision.

    • DOJ Scraps Fight Over Grab of Census Records

      The Justice Department has dropped its bid to keep secret a legal analysis of how the Patriot Act justifies law enforcement and intelligence access to census records, watchdog group EFF said Thursday.

    • nternet of things needs global privacy push, says UK regulator

      The U.K. telecommunications regulator Ofcom has called for international industry standards on privacy in the internet of things.

      On Tuesday the regulator published an outline of its approach to the developing internet of things, largely based on responses to a call for input that it made last year. It noted that “stakeholders” had identified data privacy and consumer literacy as their primary areas of concern.

    • Dropbox received 275 government requests for user data in the past six months

      With increasing concerns about government access to user data, tech companies try to appease us with reports on how frequently they’re asked to turn over information on users. Dropbox today released its own semiannual transparency report.

    • ‘A law meant for spies is being used against whistleblowers’

      Whistleblowers from the US and the EU recounted the problems they faced in trying to expose what they believed to be wrongdoing in the organisations they worked for, testifying this week at a hearing of PACE’s Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee.

      Jesselyn Radack, an attorney and former ethics adviser to the US Department of Justice who revealed ethics violations in the FBI’s interrogation of John Walker Lindh, known as the “American Taliban”, told parliamentarians via video-link of her experience of being prosecuted for revealing state secrets. “A law meant for spies is being used against whistleblowers. No distinction is made between selling secrets to our enemies and revealing public interest information.”

      She also communicated a statement to the hearing from former CIA agent John Kiriakou, who is currently in prison in the US after a conviction for revealing state secrets.

      Maria Bamieh, a British former prosecutor at EULEX, the EU’s Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, went public after she felt that her evidence of possible corruption in the mission was not being properly investigated internally. “I have no problem with abiding by secrecy laws for genuine national security reasons, but I have a problem when they are used to cover up crimes,” she told the hearing.

    • Canada’s spy agency tracks file-sharing websites worldwide – Snowden docs

      Millions of pictures, videos, and other files downloaded online globally are being watched by Canada’s electronic spy agency CSE, says the latest mass surveillance report based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

      Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE), an equivalent to the US National Security Agency (NSA), focuses on electronic surveillance. It can access data from over 100 global free upload sites, monitoring downloaded content in countries across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and North America, suggests a covert operation revealed by CBC News in collaboration with The Intercept journalist Glen Greenwald.

    • What I learned watching the Lords try to sneak the snooper’s charter through the back door

      Fans of The Simpsons might recall an episode entitled Mr Spritz Goes to Washington. Krusty the Clown gets elected to Congress and the family receives an education in the activities required to get things done in the political capital. Against the ever-decent Lisa’s better judgement, they surreptitiously attach a change to air traffic control law to a bill giving US flags to orphans. The provisions get passed, thereby curing the Simpsons’ recent air traffic noise pollution problem created by Mayor Quimby.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Lies Hidden Inside the Torture Report

      “Waterboarding is torture. . . . And thus, illegal,” Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch said during her confirmation hearing Wednesday.

      Lynch is not the first AG nominee to definitively label waterboarding as such; Eric Holder made the same declaration during his 2009 appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

      [...]

      In the days after the Senate torture report was released, John Yoo, the architect of the original Department of Justice memos, said that the report indicated some of the CIA officers involved went beyond the strict guidance they were given and engaged in acts that “were not approved by the Justice Department at the time.” However, as the dust has settled from the report’s release, a closer, detailed reading of the report makes clear that the program’s legality was undermined because of how the agency misled the Justice Department lawyers looking over their shoulders.

    • Cops Arrest Public Defender For Attempting To Do Her Job

      The public defender, Jami Tillotson, was charged with the one-size-fits-all-who-give-us-any-lip crime of “resisting arrest.” This charge doesn’t work the way people expect it would, much to their anger, dismay and surprise. One would think that the police would need to be arresting you for a different crime and, after encountering some resistance, add “resisting arrest” to the charges. But no, apparently “resisting arrest” simply means not doing what cops say to do, no matter the legality of the request.

    • French Police Question Boy, 8, After Remarks on Paris Attacks

      Police officials in the southern French city of Nice questioned an 8-year-old boy who is believed to have made comments in school defending the gunmen who killed 17 people in terrorist attacks in and near Paris this month, a senior regional police official confirmed on Thursday.

      The questioning of the boy, which occurred Wednesday, grabbed headlines across the country and spurred a debate on social media and elsewhere about whether France’s desire to combat terrorism was tipping over into hysteria. Since the attacks, France has moved to enforce tough new laws against the incitement of terrorism, fueling tensions between free speech and public order.

    • Police Union: You Can Have Safe Neighborhoods Or Be Free Of Flashbang-Burned Toddlers, But Not Both

      A Georgia state senator has announced a bill to limit the use of no-knock warrants. These warrants have gone from the exception to the rule over the past several years, as our nation’s drug warriors apparently labor under the assumption that drug dealers keep banker’s hours.

      Of course, no-knock raids have resulted in plenty of collateral damage — both to cops and civilians — as the element of surprise tends to be bullet-and-flashbang heavy. It’s the use of flashbang grenades that has prompted this new legislation, which unfortunately puts it into the category of “Laws Named After Victims,” most of which are written badly and hastily.

    • Former Top Spy Calls CIA Leak Verdict an ‘Injustice’

      But the government failed to produce any proof that Sterling talked with Risen about the Iran operation, Lang and other close observers of his trial have noted. Prosecutors could show only that Risen and Sterling, an African-American, talked and traded emails after an appeals court rejected a race discrimination suit by Sterling against the CIA in 2005.

    • If I were Prime Minister: I would make Britain a true champion of human rights

      I would champion human rights at home and abroad. The prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment, the right to free speech and peaceful protest, equality before the law, the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial – these are not alien to British values and constitutional traditions. They go to the heart of what it means to call Britain a free society.

      So I would strengthen, not scrap, the Human Rights Act and support, not withdraw from, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The Act has brought very real benefits to people living in Britain: preventing the separation of elderly couples, securing accommodation for survivors of domestic violence, and tackling discrimination against the homeless.

      The ECHR – which British lawyers helped create – has greatly advanced human rights across Europe: helping to end torture in custody, promoting equal treatment for women and for gays and lesbians, ending corporal punishment in schools and protecting press freedom. The suggestion that Britain should ignore rulings from the Court that it doesn’t like would gravely damage the institution and set a dreadful precedent for abusive governments elsewhere in Europe, for example in Russia and Turkey.

    • Document reveals that U.S. military knows force-feeding Gitmo detainees violates medical ethics

      VICE News FOIA’d the first disclosure by the US government that force-feeding war-on-terror detainees who are capable of making informed decisions about their own health is a violation of medical ethics and international law.

    • The Military Admitted Force-Feeding Gitmo Detainees Violates International Law and Medical Ethics

      A two-page document recently obtained by VICE News contains the first disclosure by the US military that force-feeding people who are capable of making informed decisions about their own health is a violation of medical ethics and international law.

    • Book Review: Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions since World War II, Updated Edition, by William Blum

      In Killing Hope, William Blum aims to provide a comprehensive account of America’s covert and overt military actions in the world, all the way from China in the 1940s to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and – in this updated edition – beyond. Julia Muravska is disappointed by some shallow characterizations and concludes that academic readers may not be satisfied by Blum’s analysis.

    • CIA ‘used Diego Garcia to interrogate terror suspects’
    • CIA ‘used Diego Garcia to interrogate terror suspects’

      CIA terror suspects were interrogated on the British overseas territory of Diego Garcia, an official in the Bush administration claimed yesterday.

      Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to Colin Powell when he was US secretary of state , said that the island was used for “nefarious activities” after 9/11 when other sites were too full or insecure.

    • America’s terror suspects WERE interrogated on British territory: Pressure on PM as Bush aide tells of ‘nefarious activities’ on Diego Garcia
    • CIA ‘used British island to interrogate terror suspects for weeks at a time,’ says former White House aide

      The CIA used a remote British island to interrogate terror suspects for weeks at a time, it has been claimed.

      A former aide to the Bush administration claims Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean was used as a transit site and as a site for interrogations.

      The island – which is nearly 1,800km to the south of India, was used by the CIA to carry out “nefarious activities”, Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s ex-chief of staff, claimed.

    • CIA did use United Kingdom territory for secret terror interrogations, says top US official

      Terror suspects held by the CIA were interrogated on the British‑owned island of Diego Garcia despite the repeated denials of London and Washington that any such incidents took place, a senior American official said today.

    • CIA interrogated suspects on Diego Garcia, says Colin Powell aide

      The UK government is facing renewed pressure to make a full disclosure of its involvement in the CIA’s post-9/11 kidnap and torture programme after another leading Bush-era US official said suspects were held and interrogated on the British territory of Diego Garcia.

    • Exclusive: CIA Interrogations Took Place on British Territory of Diego Garcia, Senior Bush Administration Official Says

      Interrogations of US prisoners took place at a CIA black site on the British overseas territory of Diego Garcia, a senior Bush administration official has told VICE News.

      The island was used as a “transit location” for the US government’s “nefarious activities” post-9/11 when other places were too full, dangerous, insecure, or unavailable, according to Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff.

    • If you are an unmarried Pakistani, you cannot visit Sweden

      Apparently, even ‘tourism’ related purposes are not permitted. Obviously, none of this makes a part of their official press release; they wouldn’t want bad press attention for this racist policy, now would they? This brings me to the purpose of my blog today.

    • USA Today columnist calls for arrest and imprisonment of vaccine skeptics

      Now we finally come to the real agenda of the vaccine industry. After vaccines have been repeatedly documented by the Natural News Lab to contain neurotoxic chemicals such as mercury, formaldehyde and MSG; after vaccine shots have been repeatedly shown to kill people who take them; and after flu shots have been exhaustively shown to be based on no science whatsoever — with vaccine manufacturers openly admitting there are no clinical trials to show they even work — the rabid vaccine pushers are unveiling their end game: throw vaccine resistors in prison.

    • MI5 says rendition of Libyan opposition leaders strengthened al-Qaida

      A secret UK-Libyan rendition programme in which two Libyan opposition leaders were kidnapped and flown to Tripoli along with their families had the effect of strengthening al-Qaida, according to an assessment by the UK security service, MI5.

      Prior to their kidnap, Abdel Hakim Belhaj and Sami al-Saadi had ensured that their organisation, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), focused on the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi, the classified assessment says. Once handed over to the Gaddafi regime, their places at the head of the LIFG were taken by others who wanted to bring the group closer to al-Qaida.

    • Supreme Court pauses 3 Oklahoma executions

      The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered stays of three Oklahoma executions as it considers a case challenging the state’s current lethal injection regimen.

    • World leaders put aside differences to pay respects to Saudi’s King

      David Cameron’s government only a week ago raised its voice to slightly above its customary whisper to condemn Saudi Arabia’s public flogging of a liberal writer, Raif Badawi.

    • CIA torture report: An interactive timeline of who’s who in government

      The Bureau has constructed a timeline showing all the people in charge of US national defence and intelligence agencies during the years from 2002 to 2007, the period when the CIA’s detention and interrogation programme was operating.

      The interactive timeline also includes the changes in leadership and the people at the top of the CIA (formerly Central Intelligence), Defense Intelligence Agency, Secretary of State, National Counterterrorism Center, and the Senate intelligence committee.

    • Compensation claim against the CIA

      Kamil Shah is demanding compensation for the mistreatment he says he suffered at the Hands of the CIA whilst imprisoned in the military detention facility in Bagram, Afghanistan

    • Will the Obama administration finally bring the CIA’s torturers to justice?

      The woman who will probably be the nation’s top lawyer opened the door to prosecuting the men and women responsible for the CIA’s torture program on Wednesday. And whether the President who nominated her likes it or not, she should act on it as soon as she’s in office.

    • NLA president: CIA intervention worse

      Mr Pornpetch said that he was not surprised Mr Russel had met in Thailand with groups of people in a way that violated appropriate diplomatic practice because the US State Department often acted this way.

    • Spy named new director of National Clandestine Service once jumped to save Hamid Karzai before he became Afghanistan’s president

      The officer, a former Marine who is under cover and whose first name is Greg, was recently the head of the Special Activities Division, the CIA’s elite paramilitary force. He has twice been station chief in Afghanistan, where in December 2001 he jumped to shield Karzai when the U.S. military accidentally bombed the position of the man who would become Afghanistan’s president. He earned Karzai’s trust, and the Obama administration asked him to troubleshoot the fraught relationship with the Afghan leader in 2012, when he again served as station chief in Kabul.

    • CIA Taps Undercover ‘Spider’ as Its Top Spy

      The Central Intelligence Agency has selected a new top spy, tapping an undercover veteran who played a central role in developing personal relationships with Afghan leaders after the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • One in five online scholarly articles affected by ‘reference rot’

      While the immediacy of publishing information on the Internet dramatically speeds the dissemination of scholarly knowledge, the transition from a paper-based to a web-based scholarly communication system has introduced challenges that Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists are seeking to address.

      “For more than 70 percent of papers that link to web pages, revisiting the originally referenced web content proved impossible,” said Herbert Van de Sompel, of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Research Library. “These results are alarming because vanishing references undermine the long-term integrity of the scholarly record.”

    • Copyright Law Is Eating Away At Our Cultural History: And It’s Time To Fix That

      This, of course, was only the latest in an ongoing effort by the Internet Archive, led by Jason Scott (who has been involved in all sorts of archival efforts of internet content and video games and made a documentary about text adventure games called Get Lamp). Andy Baio has a great post up discussing this work and how important it is that it’s being done by the Internet Archive, rather than a giant corporation. As he notes, while Google used to really focus on similar archival projects, in the recent past, it seems to have let that focus fade, which is quite disappointing.

      Of course, in discussing the possible reasons why Google’s archival efforts have stagnated, Baio tosses out a few suggested reasons, including the lack of profitability, but also, the potential legal liability. After all, Google is still fighting in court about the Google book scanning project, and the focus of that project seems much more about pushing people to buy books, rather than being able to do useful searches through that huge corpus of knowledge.

  • DRM

    • You Don’t Own What You Bought: Drone Maker Updates Firmware On All Drones To Stop Any Flights In DC

      You may have heard the news recently about how a drunk employee of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (can’t make this crap up) accidentally flew a DJI Phantom II drone onto White House property, leading to a general collective freakout over the security implications of these personal helicopters. In response to this, President Obama has called for more drone regulations — which may or may not make sense — but it needs to be remembered that the FAA has been refusing to actually release any rules for quite some time.

01.29.15

Links 29/1/2015: Android Shipments in 2014 Exceed 1,000,000,000, LibreOffice 4.4 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 9:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • The 5 best open source email clients for Linux

      Windows users have Outlook; Mac users have Mail. What options are there for Linux users? As it turns out, Linux land is rich with email clients. I have chosen five of the best, fully open source email clients (with two exceptions) for Linux users.

  • Kernel Space

    • As simple As That

      The challenge of the Internet of Everything is that it needs to be just that – an Internet of everything, a global ecosystem of billions of interoperable products, applications and services all speaking the same language, all working together regardless of manufacturer, industry or platform. AllJoyn is the open source software project built by the AllSeen Alliance’s thriving technical community of over 110 companies that is delivering on this challenge, creating simple and open technology that connects everything and enables the Internet of Everything.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

    • New Releases

      • GParted Live Now Supports Microsoft’s New Filesystem, ReFS

        GParted Live is a small bootable GNU/Linux distribution that has a lot of features and that can be used in operations like creating, reorganizing, and deleting disk partitions on a variety of filesystems. A new stable update has been made available and the operating system is now at version 0.21.0.

      • Papyros Is a Linux OS That Follows Google’s Material Design and It Looks Stunning

        Papyros is a new Linux distribution in the making that will use the Material Design style from Google. There is nothing to test so far, but the progress made by the developers is impressive and it’s very likely that this will become one of the most interesting distros available.

      • BackBox Linux 4.1 released!

        The BackBox Team is pleased to announce the updated release of BackBox Linux, the version 4.1!

        This release includes features such as Linux Kernel 3.13, EFI mode, Anonymous mode, LVM + Disk encryption installer, privacy additions and armhf Debian packages.

    • Red Hat Family

      • CoreOS Releases Building Block For Distributed Systems

        Hyperscale Linux operating system specialist CoreOS said it is releasing its latest open source component for sharing and managing configuration data and other functions used in distributed systems.

        San Francisco-based CoreOS announced its first stable release of etcd, or “etc distributed,” an open-source distributed key value store that provides the backbone of CoreOS clusters and the etcd clients that run on each machine in a cluster. “Our goal with etcd has been to make building and using distributed systems easier,” CoreOS CTO Brandon Philips said Wednesday (January 28) in announcing the release.

      • Fedora

        • DNF Plugins Extend The Functionality Of Fedora’s Yum Successor

          With the upcoming Fedora 22 release due out in May, DNF is positioned to replace Yum as the default package manager.

          While there’s been many DNF articles on Phoronix in past months, one of the aspects not covered much to this point is the dnf-plugins-extra package that’s in its very early stages. Version 0.0.3 of dnf-plugins-extras was released today as a collection of DNF plugins done by the community.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 7 reasons why I prefer elementary OS Freya over Ubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn”

            When we laid out our featured article on things you need to do after installing Ubuntu 14.10, we shared a few little issues we have had with the latest Ubuntu release. Well things got worse, and I decided to try something else for a change. I’ve been using elementary OS Freya as my daily driver since then. And I have to say, I’m mighty impressed so far. And the fact that Freya is still very much in beta makes the whole affair all the more interesting. A list of reasons why I prefer elementary OS Freya over Ubuntu 14.10 at the moment.

          • Don’t Use Ubuntu, Use Mint – or elementary

            Tech Drive-in today listed seven reasons he prefers elementary OS over Ubuntu. Despite all that, Michael Larabel today reported on the improved performance of Ubuntu 15.04 on newer machines.

          • OpenJDK 7 Vulnerabilities Closed in Ubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu 14.10

            Canonical published details about a new OpenJDK 7 version has been pushed to the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Ubuntu 14.10 repositories. This update fixes a number of problems and various vulnerabilities.

          • Ubuntu Touch Apps Can Now Be Launched In A New Windowed Mode

            A new Ubuntu smartphone OS feature has been created by developer Michael Zanetti, who has created a way to run Ubuntu Touch apps in windows rather than full screen, allowing them to be dragged , shrunk, maximised, or minimised, just like they were desktop applications but on your smartphone.

          • Ubuntu Users See Private, Hybrid Cloud Expansion

            Canonical, the company behind the open source cross-platform operating system Ubuntu, released its annual cloud and server survey this week that seeks to cast more light on the makeup of cloud infrastructure, how it is managed, and what is driving cloud adoption.

          • Ubuntu 15.04 Now Based on Linux Kernel 3.18.4, Devs Are Tracking the 3.19 Branch
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Introducing BodhiBuilder

              If you follow me on GitHub then you likely noticed I have added a few projects in the last few days. One of these projects has been on my TODO list for awhile – cleaning up the old remastersys script I have always used to create the Bodhi Linux ISO images for the last few years. Today I am pleased to announce you can find my fork of remastersys dubbed “BodhiBuider” on GitHub here.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tough multi-display controller runs Linux on i.MX6

      MEN Micro unveiled the “CC10S,” a Linux-ready i.MX6 based multi-display controller board for touchscreens deployed in harsh, -40 to 85° C environments.

      Imagine a humongous earth-moving rig prepping an oil shale site in North Dakota in the middle of January. You’re going to want a touchscreen with that, and it better be tough. The MEN Micro CC10S single board computer is designed for controlling 7- to 15-inch LCD touchscreens that must deal with the rough, tough stuff on a daily basis.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Airdroid – Transfer files between Android Phones/Tablets and Linux (Any Distribution)

          We often need to transfer large amount data in the form of mp3 Songs, Video Songs, Movies and most importantly, large Games between android phones/tablets and Linux machine. Transferring via USB cable takes time, so let’s do it with ‘Airdroid’ easily and quickly.

        • Android shipments in 2014 exceed 1 billion for first time

          For the first time ever, worldwide shipments of smartphones packing Android exceeded 1 billion units in 2014, a significant gain from the 780.8 million units that shipped around the world in 2013, researcher Strategy Analytics announced Thursday. Android dwarfed its second-place competitor, Apple’s iOS, which mustered 192.7 million worldwide shipments in 2014.

        • 1B Android phones shipped in 2014, but they don’t all help Google

          When Android first arrived in 2007, it was (and still is) a key part of the OHA, or Open-Handset Alliance. OHA partners — which include Samsung, LG, Dell, HTC, Huawei and ZTE, to name a few — all loosely work together to help improve Android, while competing against one another by using Android on their respective hardware products. Android is the commonality between all of the OHA partners. And then there’s Google.

        • Android beats iOS for app downloads, but revenues are still a different story

          There are plenty of caveats to this line of reasoning, though. First, Google Play is not the only Android app store – Amazon and Samsung run their own stores, while in countries like China there are dozens of stores offering Android apps.

        • HTC One M8 Android 5.0 Lollipop Update: What U.S. Owners Can Expect

          When Google announced Android 5.0 Lollipop back in October many smartphone owners like those with the HTC One or HTC One M8 instantly started waiting for details regarding the Android 5.0 Lollipop update. It has arrived for a few devices already, including the HTC One and HTC One M8 Google Play Edition handsets, but below we’ll go over what regular HTC One owners need to know about the Android 5.0 update.

        • Samsung Galaxy S4 Updated To The Android Lollipop 5.0 OS

          The Android Lollipop 5.0 update is finally available for the Samsung S4. The operating system is also available for the Samsung Galaxy S5, Note 4, Note 3, and Note Edge. Samsung Galaxy and Note users will be happy to hear that the long waited update is coming in the near future. But should Galaxy S4 users take advantage of the Android Lollipop update?

        • Don’t wait for Android 5.0, this app makes your phone look like Lollipop for free

          Android 5.0 Lollipop is a huge upgrade for Google’s mobile operating system. The only problem with it, of course, is that it’s only available for a handful of devices. Most Android smartphone users still have plenty more waiting to do before Lollipop is finally available for their handset, but now there’s a terrific app that will make your older version of Android look just like Lollipop — and it’s free!

        • Is this Apple’s secret weapon that could force Android users to buy an iPhone?

          There are many reasons why Android users switch to iPhone, and vice-versa, but Apple may have a secret (or not-so-secret) weapon that could pressure some Android fans to considering a move to the other side. No, it’s not Apple Pay, an exclusive iPhone 6 feature that’s heavily marketed by various banks in the U.S., further helping Apple market its 2014 iPhones. It’s actually a stock iOS app that has been hiding in plain sight for years.

        • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop Problems Frustrating Nexus Users

          Google rolled out its Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update to fix Nexus Lollipop problems. And while it did fix some of the bigger issues, Android 5.0.2 Lollipop problems continue to frustrate Nexus users.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • From Opera to… Vivaldi!

      Yes, the name is familiar. Vivaldi was that KDE tablet that never saw the light of day, but now Vivaldi is the name of a beautiful browser that runs on Linux.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Hortonworks Spreads its Open Source Wings to Bring Governance to Hadoop

      We all know Hortonworks is committed to open source, insisting that it’s the way to innovate on Hadoop and deliver the best enterprise-grade technology to the marketplace. And though its main competitor, Cloudera (or at least a member of its management team) may have taunted that Hortonworks’ business model is “undependable,” Wall Street certainly didn’t agree — its shares soared 65 percent above the opening price on Dec. 12, 2014, its first day of trading as a public company.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.4 Released as the Most Beautiful LibreOffice Ever

      The Document Foundation has just announced that a new major update has been released for LibreOffice and it brings important UI improvements, enough for them to call this the most beautiful version ever.

    • The best open-source office suite, LibreOffice 4.4, gets new release

      Who says you can’t have fast, good and cheap? The Document Foundation’s latest release of the most popular open-source office suite, LibreOffice 4.4 is quite fast on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows; it works well on all three desktop operating systems, and it won’t cost you a penny.

    • LibreOffice 4.4 Released With Major UI Revamp

      A new version of open-source office suite LibreOffice is now available for download and the hands behind it are calling it ‘the most beautiful’ release ever.

      Jan Holesovsky, leader of the LibreOffice design team, says “LibreOffice 4.4 has got a lot of UX and design love, and in my opinion is the most beautiful ever.”

      The productivity suite, which was spun out of the slow moving OpenOffice project back in 2010, has certainly upped its game in the design department over the past few years, with each release of the 4.x series adding finesse.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Guix 0.8.1 released

      We are pleased to announce the next alpha release of GNU Guix, version 0.8.1.

      The release comes both with a source tarball, which allows you to install it on top of a running GNU/Linux system, and a USB installation image to install the standalone Guix System Distribution.

    • Libreboot X200 laptop now FSF-certified to respect your freedom

      This is the second Libreboot laptop from Gluglug (a project of Minifree, Ltd.) to achieve RYF certification, the first being the Libreboot X60 in December 2013. The Libreboot X200 offers many improvements over the Libreboot X60, including a faster CPU, faster graphics, 64-bit GNU/Linux support (on all models), support for more RAM, higher screen resolution, and more. The Libreboot X200 can be purchased from Gluglug at http://shop.gluglug.org.uk/product/libreboot-x200/.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Your Open Source 3D Printed Designs Could Save the 3D Printing Community Millions

        In an article published in Modern Economy by Dr. Joshua Pearce, of Michigan Technological University, titled “Quantifying the Value of Open Source Hardware Development” one of the challenges of Open Source Hardware has been addressed: Creating a real world value for community developed creations. Three methods for quantifying the value of free and open source hardware designs were used, including “1) downloaded substitution valuation; 2) avoided reproduction valuation and 3) market savings valuation along with additional benefits related to market expansion, scientific innovation acceleration, educational enhancement and medical care improvement.”

  • Programming

    • LLVM Adds Options To Do Fuzz Testing

      LLVM/Clang developers have begun work on adding fuzz testing capabilities, the providing semi-random test data in an automated manner to test functions for potentially unchecked scenarios using malformed data, etc. Fuzzing helps developers avoid potential crashes, security issues, and uncovering other possible pitfalls.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • YouTube flushes Flash for future flicks

      Adobe would need to have buried its head under many metres of sand, and strapped many layers of black tape about its head, not to see this coming. So there can’t be too much gnashing of teeth and wailing down San Jose way, not least because the masses who use YouTube probably don’t care how their video is delivered*.

    • YouTube ditches Adobe Flash for HTML5 on most browsers

      GOOGLE’S YOUTUBE video portal has made the switch to HTML5 as a default renderer, marking yet another milestone in the downfall of the Adobe Flash format.

      Historically, Adobe Flash has been the renderer of choice despite its buggy limitations because it offered a number of tangible benefits over early HTML5 implementations.

    • 10 capabilities we want to see in HTML6

      The buzzword “HTML5” came and went a few years ago, but the standard itself wasn’t made final until the end of 2014. In the five-plus years it took the “second coming of this Web stuff” to be fully realized and ratified, we got deep into the changes, examined how early adopters pushed HTML5 to its limits, and surfaced more than a few hard truths about the limitations of the spec.

Leftovers

  • Looks like those IBM layoffs have started

    Reports of big layoffs to come this week at IBM were correct, at least with regard to timing. Starting Wednesday, the message board at Alliance@IBM, a site manned by former IBM employees, was full of posts from people saying (anonymously) that they had been laid off. More accurately, most said they had been “RA’d,” which is IBM parlance for Resource Action, but which means — you got it — laid off.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Have we reached ‘peak food’? Shortages loom as global production rates slow

      The world has entered an era of “peak food” production with an array of staples from corn and rice to wheat and chicken slowing in growth – with potentially disastrous consequences for feeding the planet.

    • NHS – Calling for a minor change in Policy..

      There are arguments made all the time as to why privatisation is beneficial. The more cynical, and those led entirely by a fundamental belief in free market solutions for everything, simply see the potential economic gains as being too great to pass up. After all, in the US, health care spending makes up a significant portion of GDP, one that has been rising providing profit and opportunity for companies and investors. The impact on patients? Well, that’s collateral damage – you should be working harder, or better insured.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • The FTC Calls for Lockdown Security on the Internet of Things

      The Internet of Things (IoT) was big news at January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and many large tech companies had related announcements. Apple wan’t demonstrating, but partners had the first set of devices that are HomeKit certified, which is Apple’s protocol for allowing smart home devices to work with the iOS platform. And, Google announced 15 new partners in “Work With Nest,” its developer program for adding third-party devices to Nest devices and networks. Meanwhile, The Linux Foundation oversees one of the biggest Internet of Things initiatives: The AllSeen Aliance, which is rapidly gaining members.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • US Drone Strike in Yemen Killed 12-Year-Old Student

      Officials Had Previously Identified Him as ‘Al-Qaeda Militant’

    • CIA operations to aid Syrian rebels go bad

      CIA operations to aid moderate fighters battling Syria’s Bashar Al Assad regime has gone badly as rebel forces keep shifting loyalties, says a Wall Street Journal reports.

    • Covert CIA Mission to Arm Syrian Rebels Goes Awry

      It didn’t take long for rebel commanders in Syria who lined up to join a Central Intelligence Agency weapons and training program to start scratching their heads.

    • Exclusive: Obama Cuts Off Syrian Rebels’ Cash

      In the past several months, many of the Syrian rebel groups previously favored by the CIA have had their money and supplies cut off or substantially reduced, even as President Obama touted the strategic importance of American support for the rebels in his State of the Union address.

      The once-favored fighters are operating under a pall of confusion. In some cases, they were not even informed that money would stop flowing. In others, aid was reduced due to poor battlefield performance, compounding already miserable morale on the ground.

    • Should The U.S. Military Be Educators?

      Military academies have always been funded by taxpayer dollars & revered for their traditional and all-American ways. But one Naval Academy professor says the money is wasted and the standards for entrance are low. Is the end of West Point in sight?

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Open Letter in Defence of WikiLeaks Journalists

      We, the undersigned journalists and human rights defenders cannot remain silent while our colleagues and profession are under attack.

      We deplore the actions taken the US Government against WikiLeaks journalists Sarah Harrison, Joseph Farrell and Kristin Hfaffnsson. We believe they represent political persecution of journalists and journalism.

      Free societies everywhere are best served by journalism and publishing that holds governments and corporations to account and guarantees citizens’ right to know. Such work is not espionage or terrorism; it is journalism.

  • Finance

    • Germans Are in Shock As New Greek Leader Starts With A Bang

      One senior German official described Tsipras as part of a brash new generation of European leaders, including Italy’s Renzi, who weren’t afraid to stand up to Merkel and challenge the assumptions that have shaped policy in the eurozone and Ukraine crises in recent years. – See more at: http://portside.org/2015-01-29/germans-are-shock-new-greek-leader-starts-bang#sthash.U8rGKwEr.dpuf

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • The Tsarnaev trial and the rest of us
    • Seth Rogen and Michael Moore banned from steakhouse over American Sniper
    • Here’s what moviegoers in Baghdad think of ‘American Sniper’

      The film, set during the US-led occupation of Iraq and released on Christmas Day, hit nerves in the United States immediately. Some critics and commentators lauded it as patriotic and unflinching; others dismissed it as reductionist and racist.

      Many people also objected to the film’s portrayal of Kyle — a man who described Iraqis as “savages” in his memoir — as a hero.

    • 7 heinous lies “American Sniper” is telling America

      One way to get audiences to unambiguously support Kyle’s actions in the film is to believe he’s there to avenge the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The movie cuts from Kyle watching footage of the attacks to him serving in Iraq, implying there is some link between the two.

    • Killing Ragheads for Jesus

      “American Sniper” lionizes the most despicable aspects of U.S. society—the gun culture, the blind adoration of the military, the belief that we have an innate right as a “Christian” nation to exterminate the “lesser breeds” of the earth, a grotesque hypermasculinity that banishes compassion and pity, a denial of inconvenient facts and historical truth, and a belittling of critical thinking and artistic expression. Many Americans, especially white Americans trapped in a stagnant economy and a dysfunctional political system, yearn for the supposed moral renewal and rigid, militarized control the movie venerates. These passions, if realized, will extinguish what is left of our now-anemic open society.

    • S.F. public defender detained outside court; office outraged

      A San Francisco deputy public defender was handcuffed and arrested at the Hall of Justice after she objected to city police officers questioning her client outside a courtroom, an incident that her office called outrageous and police officials defended as appropriate.

      The Tuesday afternoon arrest of attorney Jami Tillotson as she denied police officers’ attempts to take photos of her client without explanation raised questions about police intimidation and harassment, Public Defender Jeff Adachi said at a Wednesday news conference.

      But police said the five officers, led by a plainclothes sergeant, were investigating a burglary case in which Tillotson’s client and his co-defendant were considered persons of interest. Tillotson was cited for misdemeanor resisting or delaying arrest because she obstructed a police investigation, officials said.

    • Sterling Conviction a Victory for Government’s Right to Hide
    • This is how a police state protects “secrets”: Jeffrey Sterling, the CIA and up to 80 years on circumstantial evidence

      The participants in the economy of shared tips and intelligence in Washington D.C., breathed a collective sigh of relief when, on January 12, the government announced it would not force James Risen to testify in the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling. “Press freedom was safe! Our trade in leaks is safe!” observers seemed to conclude, and they returned to their squalid celebration of an oppressive Saudi monarch.

      That celebration about information sharing is likely premature. Because, along the way to the conviction of Sterling this week on all nine counts – including seven counts under the Espionage Act — something far more banal yet every bit as dear to D.C.’s economy of secrets may have been criminalized: unclassified tips.

    • Eric Holder plugs his legacy on leak cases

      A federal jury’s decision Monday to convict a former CIA officer for leaking top-secret information to a New York Times reporter was a big win for prosecutors — and for Attorney General Eric Holder’s new approach to handling sensitive cases involving journalists.

      [...]

      The attorney general’s action was consistent with a series of moves over the past year and a half in which he sought to demonstrate greater sensitivity to the concerns of journalists. The recalibration was prodded not by Risen’s predicament or a sudden bout of introspection, but by a political firestorm that broke out in 2013 over prosecutors’ aggressive investigations of leaks to the Associated Press and Fox News.

      [...]

      Holder’s decision to drop demands for Risen’s testimony about his sources could help dampen concern about the treatment of journalists, but it won’t extinguish complaints that the unprecedented flurry of nine leak-related prosecutions during the Obama administration has chilled whistleblowers from taking their concerns to the media. In fact, Sterling’s conviction on every count sent to the jury — and the prospect of a lengthy prison term for the ex-CIA officer — might embolden prosecutors intent on stamping out leaks.

    • VIDEO: CIA Whistle Blower Found Guilty Proves That Using “Proper Channels” Doesn’t Work

      Monday’s guilty verdict for former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling is another example of whistleblowers attempting to go through proper channels to expose wrongdoing, and then being “flagged as troublemakers” and facing severe retaliation from the government, according to transparency advocate Norman Solomon.

    • CIA Officer’s Conviction to Discourage More Intelligence Leaks

      The conviction of CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling for leaking classified information about a covert plan to derail Iran’s nuclear program to a journalist, sends a message that intelligence leaks will not go unpunished while reducing the risk of encouraging more leaks, former CIA official Paul Pillar told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    • CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling found guilty on all counts

      Sterling was charged under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified information about a mission meant to slow Iran’s nuclear program to New York Times reporter James Risen, who then wrote about the CIA’s Iranian plot in his 2006 book, “State of War.” The plan’s goal was to learn more about the country’s controversial nuclear program and impair its progress, and the schematics were reportedly funneled to the Iranians via a Russian scientist with the codename “Merlin.”

    • The mass media have suddenly discovered Jeffrey Sterling

      The mass media have suddenly discovered Jeffrey Sterling — after his conviction Monday afternoon as a CIA whistleblower.

    • ACLU asks judge to block attempt to repossess copies of CIA torture report

      The American Civil Liberties Union is turning to federal court to stop the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee from repossessing the secret copies of a landmark inquiry into CIA torture.

    • ACLU: Don’t Let Senate Block Full CIA ‘Torture Report’ Release

      The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a motion in federal court on Tuesday night in an effort to block the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee from retrieving all the copies of the committee’s full, unredacted report on the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation program.”

    • Meet the CIA’s secret protector: Why Sen. Richard Burr is its favorite “overseer”

      One of the newest pieces of conventional wisdom among the political commentariat is the idea that under the influence of the Tea Party and the libertarians, the Republicans are no longer the national security hawks they once were. They are going back to their old isolationist ways, the thinking goes, because Rand Paul is running for president and he doesn’t support military adventurism overseas (except when he does) and the right wing of the GOP is uninterested in national security.

    • Editor of major newspaper says he planted stories for CIA

      Becoming the first credentialed, well-known media insider to step forward and state publicly that he was secretly a “propagandist,” an editor of a major German daily has said that he personally planted stories for the CIA.

    • CIA: A spy agency gone rogue?

      American author and journalist Charles Glass joined Shainin with anecdotal references where he first talked about the origins of the CIA and the failures from its very conception. He said that from its very formation in 1947, the agency had agents in the field “torturing people or bribing foreign officials”. He talked about CIA’s role in overthrowing an elected parliamentary government in Syria in 1949, on behalf of an Arabian oil company “to have a dictator who would then allow an oil line to go through Syria.” The country never really had a democracy again, the effects of which can be seen today.

    • US Incarceration System Facilitates Breakdown of Society

      What we’re doing isn’t working, justice-wise, order-wise, sanity-wise. The state of Illinois is bankrupt and yet its jails are full to bursting, at a cost, per occupant, equal to or greater than the cost of luxury suites at its ritziest hotels. And 90 percent of the teenagers who enter the system come back within three years of their release. This is no surprise: The system is a spiral of entrapment, especially for young men of color.

    • US Spy Agency CIA Heading For A Shake Up: Top Spy To Step Down

      The Central Intelligence Agency–the spy agency of United States of America, is reportedly heading for a shake up. In the run up to that, the chief of secret intelligence operations will shortly step down. The office of the secret intelligence wing has announced that “the director soon plans to retire after a long and distinguished career at CIA.”

    • Spy panel shakeup will add focus on cyber, CIA

      The House Intelligence Committee is shaking up its structure to put a new focus on cybersecurity and the CIA, among other areas.

    • LoBiondo named chairman of House CIA subcommittee
    • LoBiondo named chairman of the House Subcommittee on Central Intelligence Agency

      LoBiondo takes the chairmanship at a time when the CIA has come under scrutiny. A report released in December by the Senate Intelligence Committee found the agency’s interrogation techniques to be more brutal and used more extensively than the agency had portrayed.

    • Former CIA spies come in from the cold as Hollywood players

      The place in Brooklyn looks like a CIA safehouse. Red brick office building with peeling metal awning. No sign. Inside, writers are plotting out popular cold war espionage show The Americans – one of an assortment of Hollywood spy or national security dramas being driven by ex-spies.

      The show’s creator and co-head writer Joe Weisberg is a former CIA officer who never fathomed he would one day sit in an office with Soviet propaganda posters and a cut-out figure of President Ronald Reagan, concocting television fiction.

    • Feinstein Slams CIA Report as Error-Riddled

      In the waning months of her tenure as head of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein transformed into a tireless critic of the CIA’s torture program and the measures the agency is accused of taking to avoid scrutiny.

    • Feinstein Disputes CIA Report on Spying on Senate

      Her office provided a list of 15 items where Feinstein takes issue with the Accountability Board review. Some of them relate to an apparent dispute over the scope of the investigation. Among them, Feinstein says the claim that the CIA and investigators did not have a “common understanding” about access is simply false.

      “This is a serious matter and has been acknowledged by the CIA inspector general and the CIA Accountability Board. Regardless of the extent of the violation or intent of those involved, someone should be held accountable,” Feinstein said.

    • Feinstein offers 15 point rebuttal to report on CIA
    • Egypt’s War on Atheism
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • Drone maker DJI will disable its units over Washington, DC, after White House crash

      Following the crash of one of its Phantom drones at the White House on Monday and a response from President Obama that more regulation of drones was needed, Chinese drone maker DJI will reportedly be disabling its units from flying over the DC area. According to the FAA, it was already against federal regulations to fly in that region, not to mention the fact that the pilot told the Secret Service he was drinking.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Canadian Government Spies on Millions of File-Sharers

        New revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden have revealed that Canada’s main electronic surveillance agency spied on millions of file-sharing downloads from some of the world’s most popular sites. More than 100 sites including Dotcom’s Megaupload were routinely monitored in a search for extremists.

01.28.15

Links 28/1/2015: Ubuntu Touch Windowed Mode, NVIDIA Linux Legacy Drivers Updated

Posted in News Roundup at 8:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • These Are the Hottest New Open Source Projects Right Now

    Gobs of new open source projects are released every year, but only a few really capture the imaginations of businesses and developers.

    Open source software management company Black Duck tries to spot these, measuring which projects attract the most contributors, produce the most code, and garner the most attention from the developer world at large.

  • Confessions of a systems librarian

    These are just two examples of serious flagship projects, but even on a day-to-day level there are plenty of opportunities for systems librarians to interact with open source software. A large amount of vendor software runs on Linux, so there’s plenty of systems administration to do. I work in a relatively small library, and even here we run five Drupal websites: one as a portal for library services, one as the primary repository for our archive, another provides the public interface for an aboriginal research center, and one to manage safety information for our bio sciences lab.

  • 7 reasons asynchronous communication is better than synchronous communication in open source

    Traditionally, open source software has relied primarily on asynchronous communication. While there are probably quite a few synchronous conversations on irc, most project discussions and decisions will happen on asynchronous channels like mailing lists, bug tracking tools and blogs.

  • 5 Reasons Your Company Should Open Source More Code

    Given intense competition for the world’s best engineering talent, can your company really afford to lock up its code behind proprietary licenses? Sure, if you’re in the business of selling software, giving it all away may not make sense. But the vast majority of companies don’t sell software, and should be contributing a heck of a lot more as open source.

  • Square tries to make open source “welcoming and inspiring” to women

    What is open source? Simply put, it is source code (used to develop software programs) that is freely available and modifiable on the Internet. Open source developers from all over the world contribute to various projects, which are hosted on various websites—GitHub, a popular code hosting site, has over 8 million users and over 19 million code “repositories.”

  • 7 communities driving open source development

    Not so long ago, the open source model was the rebellious kid on the block, viewed with suspicion by established industry players. Today, open initiatives and foundations are flourishing with long lists of vendor committers who see the model as a key to innovation.

  • Events

    • Embedded Linux Conference hijacked by drones

      The Embedded Linux Conference + Android Builders Summit on Mar. 23-25 in San Jose is about “Drones, Things, and Automobiles,” but drones get the most love.

      Maybe it’s just our imagination, but the Linux Foundation’s Embedded Linux Conference seems to be getting more interesting than ever. The program increasingly reflects new opportunities for Linux in areas such as drones, robots, automotive computers, IoT gizmos, 3D sensing, modular phones, and much more. For those of you worried that ELC North America is skimping on the basics as it explores the more colorful sides of Linux, rest your mind at ease. There are still plenty of sessions on booting, trace analysis, NAND support, PHY frameworks, power management, defragmenting, systemd, device tree, and toolchain. Geeks still rule!

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Get Smart On International Data Privacy Day

        Today is International Data Privacy Day. It is a day designed to raise awareness and promote best practices for privacy and data protection. It is a day that looks to the future and recognizes that we can and should do better as an industry. It reminds us that we need to focus on the importance of having the trust of our users. At Mozilla, we start from the baseline that privacy and security on the Web are fundamental and not optional. We are transparent with our users about our data practices and provide them options for choice and control. We seek to build trust so we can collectively create the Web our users want – the Web we all want. Still, we are working to do better.

      • Deploying tor relays

        On November 11, 2014 Mozilla announced the Polaris Privacy Initiative. One key part of the initiative is us supporting the tor network by deploying tor middle relay nodes. On January 15, 2015 our first proof of concept (POC) went live.

      • mozilla-requestpolicy extension and IceCat

        RequestPolicy is an extension for Mozilla browsers that requestpolicyincreases your browsing privacy, security, and speed by giving you control over cross-site requests.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Building a cloud career with OpenStack

      What can OpenStack do for you? How about helping you along your career? OpenStack is a growing space and there are more than enough jobs still to go around for qualified seekers. So how do you go about getting one of those jobs?

      In this video from the Kilo OpenStack Summit in Paris, Niki Acosta, Ryan Yard, Shamail Tahir, Kenneth Hui, Eric Wright, and Aaron Delp offer their perspectives on a variety of topics around creating and building a career in cloud software through the OpenStack community.

    • MapR Delivers Free, On-Demand Hadoop Courses

      When the topic turns to job market opportunities these days, hardly any technology trend is drawing more attention than Big Data. And, when talking Big Data, the subject of Hadoop inevitably comes up, as it remains the star open source framework for drawing insights from large data sets. Big tech companies like Yahoo and eBay use Hadoop extensively, but it’s also used by smaller companies these days, and we’ve reported before that the job market is very healthy for people with Hadoop skills.

    • The earnestness of being important

      Despite all these challenges, exceptions, and subtleties, we’ve made good strides in separating the wheat from the chaff when it comes to identifying important data, in no small part thanks to open source. In particular, gains made in search engine technology like Apache Lucene and Solr have revolutionized our ability to deal with multi-structured content at scale, rank it and return it in a timely manner. Search engines have evolved significantly in recent years to seamlessly collect, collate, and curate data across a wide variety of data types (text, numeric, time-series, spatial, and more) and are no longer about just doing fast keyword lookups. Combined with large scale data processing frameworks (Hadoop, Spark, et. al), R for statistical analysis, machine learning capabilities like Apache Mahout, Vowpal Wabbit, MLlib and NLP libraries like Stanford’s NLP libraries, Apache OpenNLP, NLTK and more, it is now possible to build sophisticated solutions that take in your data, model it, serve it up to your users and then learn from their behavior.

    • VMware OpenStack Customers Growing Faster than Overall Business

      VMware announced its own OpenStack distribution in August of 2014. Gelinsger said that the market will be hearing more this quarter about the VMware OpenStack product and he’s very excited about what’s coming.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.4 the beautiful

      We are very close to release LibreOffice 4.4 and I thought I’d share my thoughts on the work that has been put into this new branch and what the general idea is about it. LibreOffice 4.4 is unusual; as a major release you may expect some important underlying change in its architecture, or the inclusion of a set of major features. The 4.4 does include several important features and improvements, most notably for Impress and the much forgotten HTML editor (the comprehensive release notes may be found here). But the most important details are not to be found in this area. If you want to understand where the 4.4 branch is headed, I think it is useful to keep two fundamental trends in mind.

    • LibreOffice for Android coming soon

      The next major LibreOffice desktop release is just around the corner and now the developers behind the open source productivity suite are preparing to extend it to Android.

    • LibreOffice for Android coming soon

      The Document Foundation on Tuesday announced it had assigned the work necessary to build the Android apps to two companies. The Document Foundation is hoping the result will be a “compelling, elegant and full-featured experience of LibreOffice on Android”, Ital Vignoli, one of its founders, said.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • IceCat 31.4.0 release

      GNUzilla is the GNU version of the Mozilla suite, and GNU IceCat is the GNU version of the Firefox browser. Its main advantage is an ethical one: it is entirely free software. While the Firefox source code from the Mozilla project is free software, they distribute and recommend non-free software as plug-ins and addons. Also their trademark license restricts distribution in several ways incompatible with freedom 0.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Citizens call on Dortmund to use free software

      Four citizens of the German city of Dortmund have started a citizens’ initiative, asking the city council to seriously consider the use of free and open source software. “The city needs to recognise free software as a topic in the public interest”, the DO-FOSS initiators write.

    • Political parties favour openness to reconstruct Greek productivity

      Ahead of the parliamentary elections in Greece last week, the Greek Free/Open Source Software Society (GFOSS) contacted all political parties to ask about their positions [in Greek] with regard to open software, open data, open hardware and open government. The four parties to respond all came out generally in favour of openness. Some of them were even able to present very detailed planning on how to improve the current institutional and legislative framework and outlined how openness could help reconstruct Greek productivity.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • YouTube says HTML5 video ready for primetime, makes it default

      Everyone hates Flash, right? You have to install a plug-in, it’s resource intensive, it doesn’t work on mobile, and it causes all sorts of security problems. YouTube has been working on ridding itself of Adobe’s ancient Web plug-in for several years now, and while the whole site has been slowly transitioning away from Flash, today YouTube announced that it finally serves HTML5 video by default. Users of Chrome, IE 11, Safari 8, and “beta versions of Firefox” will all have a Flash-less experience.

      YouTube’s transition seems to have been pretty straightforward. Four years ago, YouTube laid out a laundry list of problems it had with HTML5, and today it has a blog post explaining how it has worked with the Web community to solve each issue.

    • YouTube dumps Flash for HTML5
    • YouTube Says Goodbye to Flash, HTML5 Is Now Default

      It’s been a long time coming, but YouTube has finally made the switch from Flash to HTML 5 and no one seems to really care about that.

      [...]

      Basically, you can mark this day in the calendar as the official date for the death of Flash, or at least as the culmination of its decline.

Leftovers

  • Philippines moved homeless people to luxury resort for pope’s visit

    The Philippines government came under fire on Friday after admitting that hundreds of homeless people were taken off Manila’s streets and put into luxury accommodation during Pope Francis’s recent visit, when he preached compassion for the poor.

  • Security

    • FTC to Internet of Stuff: Security, motherf****r, do you speak it?

      US regulator the FTC says now is not the time for new laws on the “Internet of Things” – but security needs to be improved as we enter the era of always-on, always-connected gadgets, sensors and machines embedded in homes, streets and pockets.

      In a report [PDF] published today, the commission’s staff make a number of policy recommendations for the wave of new devices that collect and transmit data on our everyday lives.

      From the camera that posts pictures online with a click, to automated home lighting and heating, to FitBits and Apple Watches, the Internet of Things (IoT) was the focus of this year’s Consumer Electronic Show, as well as a speech by FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez.

    • SE Linux Play Machine Over Tor

      I work on SE Linux to improve security for all computer users. I think that my work has gone reasonably well in that regard in terms of directly improving security of computers and helping developers find and fix certain types of security flaws in apps. But a large part of the security problems we have at the moment are related to subversion of Internet infrastructure. The Tor project is a significant step towards addressing such problems. So to achieve my goals in improving computer security I have to support the Tor project. So I decided to put my latest SE Linux Play Machine online as a Tor hidden service. There is no real need for it to be hidden (for the record it’s in my bedroom), but it’s a learning experience for me and for everyone who logs in.

    • Security advisories for Wednesday
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • White House Drone Crash Described as a U.S. Worker’s Drunken Lark

      It was 42 degrees and raining lightly around 3 a.m. on Monday when an inebriated off-duty employee for a government intelligence agency decided it was a good time to fly his friend’s drone, a 2-foot-by-2-foot “quadcopter” that sells for hundreds of dollars and is popular among hobbyists.

      But officials say the plan was foiled, perhaps by wind or a tree, when the employee — who has not been named by the Secret Service or charged with a crime — lost control of the drone as he operated it from an apartment just blocks from the White House.

    • White House Threatened by Drones

      The official said the White House is taking urgent steps to protect itself from its association with the murderous state terror of the drone campaign. “We’re going to be stepping up the number of happy, peppy events we have at the White House,” he said, “and making sure they all have a very prominent ‘White House’ label. In the next few weeks, we’ll be having the ‘White House Sweet Ole Granny Quilting Bee’ featuring photogenic grannies from all over the country, and the ‘White House ‘Smores and More Weekend,’ where the President and Mrs. President will gather with kindergarten kids from across this great land of ours to make some simple, tasty picnic treats.

    • Drone crash at White House hints at worry

      So when a man said he was flying a drone for fun just after 3 a.m. in downtown Washington, D.C., and had an accidental crash-landing into a tree on the wrong side of one of the world’s most highly protected fences, he didn’t merely touch the famous property at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    • Of drone strikes: “Did we just kill a kid?”

      Brandon Bryant’s recent exposé of drone operations killing hundreds of innocent civilians during his service, which led to his post-traumatic stress and retirement, explains the dark side of the CIA led US drone operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

      Adding to Bryant’s shock and surprise, his peers believed that they had killed a dog and not a kid that day, and thus it was nothing to worry about.

      Bryant worked as a drone sensor operator for the USAF from 2006 to 2011, mainly operating from a dark container at a facility in New Mexico. But his oversight of these operations, where he became directly and indirectly responsible for the death of more than 1,000 people, nagged at his conscience forcing him to call it quits.

    • A conference considers the morality of drones

      A Notre Dame University law professor says the legal and moral issues related to the U.S. government’s use of unmanned drones to kill individuals in war zones could be more difficult than similar issues on torture.

    • Trust Reality Rather Than President Obama’s Words on Drones

      A message to President Obama: saying something does not make it so. How does killing people, so many of them innocent of any wrongdoing whatsoever, with missiles launched from drones by “pilots” thousands of miles away, demonstrate respect for human dignity and the application of “proper” constraints?

      Let’s consider all the ways in which Obama’s drone assassination program undermines “human dignity” and lacks proper constraints. To do so, one need only consider the many reports that have been entered into the public record by United Nations Special Rapporteurs, human rights organizations, and academic institutions.

      In May 2010, Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council. In his report, Alston noted that some states, including the U.S., had adopted targeted killing policies, which they have justified as necessary for fighting terrorism. According to Alston, “In the legitimate struggle against terrorism, too many criminal acts have been re-characterized so as to justify addressing them within the framework of the law of armed conflict.”

    • Drones and the New Ethics of War

      Over the past decade, the United States has manufactured more than 6000 drones of various kinds. 160 of these are Predators, which are used not only in Afghanistan but also in countries officially at peace with the US, such as Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. In Pakistan, CIA drones carry out on average of one strike every four days. Although exact figures of fatalities are difficult to establish, the estimated number of deaths between 2004 and 2012 vary from 2562 to 3325.

    • Kathy Kelly: My Future In Prison

      The Bureau of Prisons contacted me Friday, assigning me a prison number and a new address: for the next 90 days, beginning Saturday I’ll live at FMC Lexington, in the satellite prison camp for women, adjacent to Lexington’s Federal Medical Center for Men. Very early Saturday morning, Buddy Bell, Cassandra Dixon, and Paco and Silver, two house guests whom we first met in protests on South Korea’s Jeju Island, traveled with me to Kentucky and deliver me to the prison gates.

      In December, 2014, Judge Matt Whitworth sentenced me to three months in federal prison after Georgia Walker and I had attempted to deliver a loaf of bread and a letter to the commander of Whiteman Air Force Base, asking him to stop his troops from piloting lethal drone flights over Afghanistan from within the base. Judge Whitworth allowed me over a month to surrender myself to prison; but whether you are a soldier or a civilian, a target or an unlucky bystander, you can’t surrender to a drone.

    • Jordan Agrees to Prisoner Swap with the Islamic State

      The Jordanian government has agreed to release a female prisoner in exchange for the freeing of an air force pilot captured by militants in Syria a month ago. The Islamic State had threatened to kill the pilot and a kidnapped Japanese journalist if the prisoner, Sajida al-Rishawi, was not released. She had been facing a death sentence for her role in a 2005 attack on three hotels in Amman that killed more than 57 people.

    • Grade 6 student killed by U.S. drone strike in Yemen, rights group says
    • Suspected US Drone Strikes On Al Qaeda In Yemen Continue After President Hadi’s Resignation

      The U.S. reportedly killed three al Qaeda members in a drone strike Monday, the first strike on militants since Yemen’s U.S.-backed president resigned last week, according to Reuters. The strike is a sign that the U.S. air campaign in Yemen will continue without the blessing of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who was a leading U.S. partner against the militant group.

    • The Ghastly, Remotely Piloted, Robotic Reaper Drone

      The MQ9 Reaper – now deployed 24/7 over Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere – makes killing too easy. It makes war easier to initiate and perpetuate. US drone wars are started with little or no public awareness or support – and with little apparent stake in the game. The weaponized drone cheapens honor. It cheapens life.

    • Disillusioned by War, Israeli Soldiers Muted in 1967 Are Given Fuller Voice

      A young Israeli soldier, fresh from the front, bluntly recounts the orders from above. “They never said, ‘Leave no one alive,’ but they said, ‘Show no mercy,’ ” he explains. “The brigade commander said to kill as many as possible.”

      Another recalls encountering Arabs on rooftops. “They’re civilians — should I kill them or not?” he asks himself. “I didn’t even think about it. Just kill! Kill everyone you see.” And a third makes it personal: “All of us — Avinoam, Zvika, Yitzhaki — we’re not murderers. In the war, we all became murderers.”

    • Attack on Israeli Soldiers ‘Most Serious Flare-Up in Years’–if Arab Deaths Aren’t Taken Seriously

      More details come in the 12th paragraph: The January 18 airstrike “killed five fighters from Hezbollah, including the son of the group’s slain military commander, Imad Mughniyeh, and an Iranian general.” So that’s a more serious flare-up, right? Assuming that we’re not defining the seriousness of an attack based on the nationality of those killed, that is.

      But the New York Times is seemingly able to forget about the Israeli attack moments after it mentions it: “The flare-up shattered a fragile calm that has mostly held along the frontier since the month-long war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.” Mostly–aside from that Israeli airstrike that killed six people ten days ago.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • How to Leak to The Intercept

      People often tell reporters things their employers, or their government, want to keep suppressed. But leaking can serve the public interest, fueling revelatory and important journalism.

    • FBI: Give Me Back My Email to WikiLeaks

      Back in the solidarity movements of the 1980s, activists were encouraged to apply for our FBI files under the Freedom of Information Act.

      Nobody expected the FBI to tell the truth about what it had. It was intended as a protest of the FBI’s spying on activists.

      I applied. Eventually, I got back a letter from the FBI, saying: “We have no records responsive to your request.” Everybody said, that doesn’t mean anything, the FBI lies.

    • Though Feds Allegedly Embarrassed by Wikileaks Case, Ongoing Probe Means Journalism Could Still Be Indicted

      “The US attorney’s office thought the notice and the resulting publicity was a disaster for them,” Gidari said. The Perkins Coie partner added that federal prosecutors at the US Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, Va. “went through the roof” after the name of assistant US Attorney Tracy Doherty-McCormick was published.

      A spokesperson for the federal prosecutor’s office did not respond to The Post’s request for comment because the investigation of Wikileaks is ongoing, the spokesperson said. Gidari said that Google is still fighting gag orders on subpoenas “to the present.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Good News! US Corporations Won’t Have to Pay for Nuclear Disasters in India

      “US, India Move Forward on Nuclear Energy Deal” read the headline at the top of USA Today’s front page (1/26/15). Moving forward–that sounds good, doesn’t it? The subhead was “Obama makes progress on the 1st day of his 3-day visit”–making progress also generally being seen as a good thing.

    • STUDY: How Broadcast Networks Covered Climate Change In 2014

      Broadcast Networks Provided The Most Climate Coverage In Five Years. During 2014, the major broadcast networks’ evening and Sunday news programs aired a total of 154 minutes of coverage of climate change. This was an increase from the previous year’s 129 minutes and was significantly above the six-year average of about 108 minutes, but remained below the 205 minutes of coverage in 2009.

  • Finance

    • Yanis Varoufakis: Greece’s finance minister is no extremist

      Syriza, a hard left party, that outrightly rejects EU-imposed austerity, has given Greek politics its greatest electoral shake-up in at least 40 years.

      You might expect the man who now occupies the role of finance minister to be a radical zealot, who could throw Greece into the fire.

      He is not.

      Yanis Varoufakis, the man at the core of the coalition Syriza has forged, is obviously a man of the left.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Calls for ISPs to filter content could be illegal, EU council documents suggest

      Last week justice ministers from across the European Union called on ISPs to conduct voluntary censorship of online content—but documents in preparation for a meeting of telecoms ministers suggest such a move could be illegal.

      The documents, prepared by the Latvian presidency of the Council of the EU, note that calls to allow Internet service providers to block or filter content in the “public interest” as part of a proposed net neutrality law could violate privacy laws that protect the confidentiality of communication.

    • Two weeks after Zuckerberg said ‘je suis Charlie,’ Facebook begins censoring images of prophet Muhammad

      Only two weeks after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a strongly worded #JeSuisCharlie statement on the importance of free speech, Facebook has agreed to censor images of the prophet Muhammad in Turkey — including the very type of image that precipitated the Charlie Hebdo attack.

    • Facebook Is Said to Block Pages Critical of Muhammad
    • The Petulant Entitlement Syndrome of Journalists

      Blogs, and online political activism generally, changed all of that. Though they tried – hard – these journalists simply could not ignore the endless stream of criticisms directed at them. Everywhere they turned – their email inboxes, the comment sections to their columns, Q-and-A sessions at their public appearances, Google searches of their names, email campaigns to their editors – they were confronted for the first time with aggressive critiques, with evidence that not everyone adored them and some even held them in contempt (Chait’s bizarre belief that “PC” culture thrived in the early 1990s and then disappeared until recently is, like his whole grievance, explained by his personal experience: he heard these critiques while a student at the University of Michigan, then was shielded from all of it during most of the years he wrote at The New Republic, and now hears it again due to blogs and social media).

  • Privacy

    • EU’s ‘Counter-Terrorism Co-ordinator’ Finally Says It: Force Internet Companies To Hand Over Their Crypto Keys

      Although calls to ban or backdoor encryption have been made in the past, David Cameron’s rather vague threats against crypto clearly mark the start of a new, concerted campaign to weaken online privacy. Thanks to a leaked paper, written by the EU Counter-Terrorism Co-ordinator and obtained by Statewatch, we now have a clear statement of what the European authorities really want here (pdf)…

    • Facebook and Instagram are down right now

      A Facebook spokesperson said, “Earlier this evening many people had trouble accessing Facebook and Instagram. This was not the result of a third party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems. We moved quickly to fix the problem, and both services are back to 100% for everyone.”

    • No, Lizard Squad Was Not Responsible For Facebook Outage

      Contrary to suggestions hacker group Lizard Squad took out Facebook, there was almost certainly no attack on the social network and its photo sharing property Instagram, which both went down late last night. According to a source with knowledge of the matter, the downtime was the result of a technical foul up. Facebook is now confirming this in statements to media.

    • Secret ‘BADASS’ Intelligence Program Spied on Smartphones

      British and Canadian spy agencies accumulated sensitive data on smartphone users, including location, app preferences, and unique device identifiers, by piggybacking on ubiquitous software from advertising and analytics companies, according to a document obtained by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      The document, included in a trove of Snowden material released by Der Spiegel on January 17, outlines a secret program run by the intelligence agencies called BADASS. The German newsweekly did not write about the BADASS document, attaching it to a broader article on cyberwarfare. According to The Intercept‘s analysis of the document, intelligence agents applied BADASS software filters to streams of intercepted internet traffic, plucking from that traffic unencrypted uploads from smartphones to servers run by advertising and analytics companies.

    • CSE tracks millions of downloads daily: Snowden documents

      Harper government plans to introduce new legislation increasing the powers of Canada’s security agencies.

    • Canada Casts Global Surveillance Dragnet Over File Downloads

      Canada’s leading surveillance agency is monitoring millions of Internet users’ file downloads in a dragnet search to identify extremists, according to top-secret documents.

      The covert operation, revealed Wednesday by CBC News in collaboration with The Intercept, taps into Internet cables and analyzes records of up to 15 million downloads daily from popular websites commonly used to share videos, photographs, music, and other files.

    • Canada’s electronic spy agency takes the lead on internet surveillance

      It’s never been clear exactly how Communications Security Establishment Canada, or CSEC does its work. What kind of information does it gather? Who does it target? CBC’s Dave Seglins joins us to give us a rare glimpse into the operations of a part of the Canadian Government we know little about.

    • Canada Joins World Powers in Spying on Smartphone and Download Data

      In North America, the Canadians have long had to play country mouse to the flashier city mouse of the U.S. It’s the latter that gets all the attention, while the former sits quietly in a corner.

      But recent stories have shown just how big a player the Canadians are becoming—at least in the surveillance realm.

    • European counter-terror plan involves blanket collection of passengers’ data

      A new European commission counter-terror plan will require the blanket collection and storage for up to five years of personal data records of all passengers flying in and out of Europe, the Guardian can reveal.

      Civil liberty campaigners say the revised European passenger name record plan – in the aftermath of the Paris attacks – breaches a recent European court of justice ruling that blanket collection of personal data without detailed safeguards is a severe incursion on personal privacy.

    • BlackPwn: BlackPhone SilentText Type Confusion Vulnerability

      Privacy is a hot topic at the moment – it continues to dominate the headlines as news of new NSA incursions, celebrity phone hacks, and corporate breaches are being reported on an increasingly regular basis. In response to this, a number of products have been brought to market that attempt to provide consumers with a greater level of privacy than typical devices allow for. In the phone market, one of the premier products to be released in recent years is undoubtedly the BlackPhone (http://www.blackphone.ch), which has been cited numerous times in tech publications as being one of the best available defenses against mass surveillance, as it provides full end-to-end encryption facilities for voice calls and text/MMS messaging.

    • Everything we know of NSA and Five Eyes malware

      Several documents released by Der Spiegel and The Intercept in the last year demonstrate that the exploitation and infiltration of computers often complements the “passive” collection by providing entrance into systems and networks that would otherwise be invisible to the mass surveillance infrastructure. The separation between mass and targeted surveillance is becoming blurry as we learn of attacks against Internet Service Providers, of targeting of system administrators and systematic compromise of Internet routers.s

    • Infamous Regin malware linked to spy tools used by NSA, Five Eyes intelligence
    • Experts Unmask ‘Regin’ Trojan as NSA Tool

      Earlier this month, SPIEGEL International published an article based on the trove of documents made available by whistleblower Edward Snowden describing the increasingly complex digital weapons being developed by intelligence services in the US and elsewhere. Concurrently, several documents were published as well as the source code of a sample malware program called QWERTY found in the Snowden archive.

      For most readers, that source code was little more than 11 pages of impenetrable columns of seemingly random characters. But experts with the Russian IT security company Kaspersky compared the code with malware programs they have on file. What they found were clear similarities with an elaborate cyber-weapon that has been making international headlines since November of last year.

    • Report: Mass surveillance is counter-productive and “endangers human rights”
    • Google says it fought gag orders in WikiLeaks investigation

      Google has fought all gag orders preventing it from telling customers that their e-mails and other data were sought by the U.S. government in a long-running investigation of the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, which published leaked diplomatic cables and military documents, an attorney representing the tech firm said this week.

    • NSA Was Not the Only Government Agency to Spy on You

      A spokesman for the Justice Department claimed that the DEA’s data collection program was suspended in September 2013, has been terminated, and the data deleted. If true, that is rare good news in the field of civil liberties preservation; however, citizens should still be alert for other unconstitutional or illegal government behavior originating from bureaucratic incentives to exploit people’s excessive fear of being killed by the rare terrorist attack.

    • America’s surveillance state, part 3 – the press versus the NSA

      We begin at The New York Times, widely considered America’s most powerful newspaper. Its office near Manhattan’s Times Square is a symbol of the power of the influential media outlet, which often sets the political agenda and tells us what’s important.

    • Former FBI assistant director: to keep budgets high, we must ‘Keep Fear Alive’

      In the context of an interview about a case in which a paid FBI informant is alleged to have offered destitute men a quarter of a million dollars to execute an attack, a former assistant director of the FBI admits it’s in the bureau’s best interest to inflate the supposed terror threat. That’s remarkably candid, and profoundly disturbing.

    • Source code reveals link between NSA and Regin cyberespionage malware

      Keylogging malware that may have been used by the NSA shares signficant portions of code with a component of Regin, a sophisticated platform that has been used to spy on businesses, government institutions and private individuals for years.

      The keylogger program, likely part of an attack framework used by the U.S. National Security Agency and its intelligence partners, is dubbed QWERTY and was among the files that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked to journalists. It was released by German news magazine Der Spiegel on Jan. 17 along with a larger collection of secret documents about the malware capabilities of the NSA and the other Five Eyes partners—the intelligence agencies of the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

    • NSA ‘suspected of spying on European Commission’

      Computer malware used in cyber attacks on European Commission and International Atomic Agency developed by the US National Security Agency, Germany’s Spiegel magazine claims

    • NSA gunning for Google, wants cop-spotting dropped from Waze app

      The US National Sheriffs’ Association wants Google to block its crowd-sourced traffic app Waze from being able to report the position of police officers, saying the information is putting officer’s lives at risk.

      “The police community needs to coordinate an effort to have the owner, Google, act like the responsible corporate citizen they have always been and remove this feature from the application even before any litigation or statutory action,” AP reports Sheriff Mike Brown, the chairman of the NSA’s technology committee, told the association’s winter conference in Washington.

    • EFF details plan to end NSA online surveillance once and for all
    • The EFF outlines how to bring the NSA to its knees
    • Edward Snowden Wins ‘Debate’ With NSA Lawyer

      At a public event last week, Edward Snowden argued that the NSA has developed a “culture of impunity,” that its people “are not villains, but they think they can do anything because it is for a just cause.” John DeLong, an NSA Director, responded that “the idea that NSA activities were unauthorized is wrong, it’s wrong in a magnificent way.”

    • New Rules in China Upset Western Tech Companies

      The Chinese government has adopted new regulations requiring companies that sell computer equipment to Chinese banks to turn over secret source code, submit to invasive audits and build so-called back doors into hardware and software, according to a copy of the rules obtained by foreign technology companies that do billions of dollars’ worth of business in China.

    • Happy Data Privacy Day From The NSA! Twitter Users Respond To Agency’s Wishes
    • Documents Show N.S.A.’s Wiretap Moves Before Congress’s Approval

      A federal judge ruled in 2007 that the U.S.A. Patriot Act empowered the National Security Agency to collect foreigners’ emails and phone calls from domestic networks without prior judicial approval, newly declassified documents show.

      The documents — two rulings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — fill in a chapter in the history of the N.S.A.’s warrantless surveillance program. They show the agency’s secret moves in the months before Congress authorized the spying by enacting the Protect America Act in August 2007.

      The disclosure also brought into public view a previously unknown example of how the surveillance court, which hears arguments only from the government before issuing secret rulings, sometimes accepts novel interpretations of the law to bless government requests for spying powers.

    • No, Department of Justice, 80 Percent of Tor Traffic Is Not Child Porn

      “Tor obviously was created with good intentions, but it’s a huge problem for law enforcement,” Caldwell said in comments reported by Motherboard and confirmed to me by others who attended the conference. “We understand 80 percent of traffic on the Tor network involves child pornography.”

      That statistic is horrifying. It’s also baloney.

      In a series of tweets that followed Caldwell’s statement, a Department of Justice flack said Caldwell was citing a University of Portsmouth study WIRED covered in December. He included a link to our story. But I made clear at the time that the study claimed 80 percent of traffic to Tor hidden services related to child pornography, not 80 percent of all Tor traffic.

      That is a huge, and important, distinction. The vast majority of Tor’s users run the free anonymity software while visiting conventional websites, using it to route their traffic through encrypted hops around the globe to avoid censorship and surveillance. But Tor also allows websites to run Tor, something known as a Tor hidden service. This collection of hidden sites, which comprise what’s often referred to as the “dark web,” use Tor to obscure the physical location of the servers that run them. Visits to those dark web sites account for only 1.5 percent of all Tor traffic, according to the software’s creators at the non-profit Tor Project.

    • Marco Rubio Wants to Permanently Extend NSA Mass Surveillance

      Republican Rep. Justin Amash, in reference to this story, tweeted “disqualified.” His office would not clarify what the Michigan libertarian meant by the tweet.

    • Congressman Calls For 24-Hour NSA Surveillance of Marco Rubio

      Colorado Congressman: if Marco Rubio wants to declare permanent surveillance of Americans forever, he should be the first volunteer

    • Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence, Berlin 2015

      Last week in Ber­lin the 2015 Sam Adams Award for Integ­rity in Intel­li­gence was presen­ted to the former Tech­nical Dir­ector of the NSA, whis­tleblower and tire­less pri­vacy advoc­ate, Wil­liam Bin­ney.

      A 36-year intel­li­gence agency vet­eran, Bill Bin­ney resigned from the NSA in 2001 and became a whis­tleblower after dis­cov­er­ing that ele­ments of a data-monitoring pro­gramme he had helped develop were being used to spy on Amer­ic­ans. He explained that he “could not stay after the NSA began pur­pose­fully viol­at­ing the Constitution”.

  • Civil Rights

    • Five Years After: Long Live Howard Zinn

      Today—Jan. 27—marks five years since the death of the great historian and activist Howard Zinn. Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder what Howard would say about something—the growth of the climate justice movement, #BlackLivesMatter, the new Selma film, the killings at the Charlie Hebdo offices. No doubt, he would be encouraged by how many educators are engaging students in thinking critically about these and other issues.

      Zinn is best known, of course, for his beloved A People’s History of the United States, arguably the most influential U.S. history textbook in print. “That book will knock you on your ass,” as Matt Damon’s character says in the film Good Will Hunting. But Zinn did not merely record history, he made it: as a professor at Spelman College in the 1950s and early 1960s, where he was ultimately fired for his outspoken support of students in the Civil Rights Movement, and specifically the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC); as a critic of the U.S. war in Vietnam, and author of the first book calling for an immediate U.S. withdrawal; and as author of numerous books on war, peace, and popular struggle. Zinn was speaking and educating new generations of students and activists right up until the day he died.

    • Prosecutors promise thorough probe of police killing of teen

      Jose Castaneda, center, speaks about his cousin who was killed in an incident with Denver Police as activists Rev. Patrick Demmer, left, and Anthony Grimes lsten before heading into a meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, with officials from the office of the Denver District Attorney. The activists are calling for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate the fatal shooting of the 17-year-old girl who allegedly hit and injured a Denver Police Department officer while driving a stolen vehicle early Monday in a northeast Denver alleyway. Photo: David Zalubowski, AP

    • Cop who stole nude pics off arrested women’s phones gets no jail time

      A now-former California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer who was charged with criminal felony charges after seizing and distributing racy photos copied from arrestees’ phones has pleaded no contest and will serve no jail time.

      Sean Harrington’s plea deal, which was finalized on Tuesday, means that he receives a 180-day suspended sentence, three years of felony probation, and according to local media accounts “must also speak at a community violence solutions class to tell everyone what he did.” Harrington resigned from the CHP last year after the charges were filed.

    • Police Department Refuses To Release Use Of Force Policies Because ‘Criminals Might Gain An Advantage’

      Last month, dashcam video of a 23-year-old (Victoria) Texas cop throwing a 76-year-old man to the ground and tasing him emerged, leading to plenty of outrage across the web. The imagined “crime” was the lack of an inspection sticker on the vehicle the elderly man was driving. Of course, had the officer known the law, he would have known that inspection stickers aren’t needed on vehicles with dealer plates — something that could have been confirmed by anyone inside the car dealership where the incident occurred.

    • Ecuador recommends Sweden to advance on human rights: Assange case

      The Ecuadorian government recommended Sweden in the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Human Rights to advance in the defense and protection of human rights, particularly in the case of Australian computer expert Julian Assange, asylee over two years in his diplomatic mission in London.

    • CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling Convicted of Espionage

      Investigative journalist Marcy Wheeler says Sterling faces decades in prison for leaking details of a botched CIA operation against Iran’s nuclear program

    • Senator slams CIA panel conclusions on Hill spying

      The former chair of the Senate Intelligence committee excoriated a report on the CIA’s searches of computers used by her staff as riddled with “mistakes and omissions.”

      In a statement Tuesday, Senator Dianne Feinstein rejected the CIA accountability board’s conclusions that five agency personnel shouldn’t be penalized for searching computers used by her staff to compile a scathing report on the torture of detainees.

      “The bottom line is that the CIA accessed a Senate Intelligence Committee computer network without authorization, in clear violation of a signed agreement…,” said Feinstein, reiterating an assertion that the searches violated “the constitutional separation of powers between Congress and the executive branch.”

    • Torture If You Must, But Do Not Under Any Circumstances Call the New York Times

      Monday’s guilty verdict in the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling on espionage charges — for talking to a newspaper reporter — is the latest milepost on the dark and dismal path Barack Obama has traveled since his inaugural promises to usher in a “new era of openness.”

      Far from rejecting the authoritarian bent of his presidential predecessor, Obama has simply adjusted it, adding his own personal touches, most notably an enthusiasm for criminally prosecuting the kinds of leaks that are essential to a free press.

      The Sterling case – especially in light of Obama’s complicity in the cover-up of torture during the Bush administration – sends a clear message to people in government service: You won’t get in trouble as long as you do what you’re told (even torture people). But if you talk to a reporter and tell him something we want kept secret, we will spare no effort to destroy you.

      There’s really no sign any more of the former community organizer who joyously declared on his first full day in office that “there’s been too much secrecy in this city… Starting today, every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information but those who seek to make it known.”

    • Horizon scanners cannot save Jeremy Heywood from MPs’ well-aimed flak

      Head of civil service questioned about delays to Chilcot inquiry and accused of letting prime minister pressurise him

    • Noam Chomsky discusses terrifying “American Sniper” mentality

      Noam Chomsky discussed the film “American Sniper” at an event held by the Baffler, last week in Cambridge, Mass. The noted linguist, philosopher and political commentator discussed the film, and drew comparisons with the mentality of Chris Kyle (the American sniper whose memoirs are the basis of the film), that of drone operators, and the American public for ignoring the drone war.

      “In the memoirs he describes what the experience was like, so I’ll quote him,” Chomsky said. “His first kill was a woman, who walked into the street with a grenade in her hand as the Marines attacked her village. Chris Kyle killed her with a single shot, and he explains how he felt about it.”

    • ‘American Sniper’ – Evidence of the Swamp of Moral Depravity in Which America Is Sinking

      The swamp of moral depravity in which America is sinking is illustrated by a movie glorifying the exploits of a racist killer, American Sniper, receiving six Oscar nominations, while a movie depicting the historic struggle against racism led by Martin Luther King, Selma, has been largely overlooked.

      Directed by Clint Eastwood, American Sniper tells the story of Chris Kyle, a US Navy Seal who served four tours of duty in Iraq and was credited with 160 confirmed ‘kills’, earning him the honour of being lauded the most lethal sniper in US military history

    • American Sniper illustrates the west’s morality blind spots

      Say what you like about the film American Sniper, and people have, you have to admire its clarity. It’s about killing. There is no moral arc; no anguish about whether the killing is necessary or whether those who are killed are guilty of anything. “I’m prepared to meet my maker and answer for every shot I took,” says Bradley Cooper, who plays the late Chris Kyle, a navy Seal who was reputedly the deadliest sniper in American history. There is certainly no discursive quandary about whether the Iraq war, in which the killing takes place, is either legal or justified. “I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis,” wrote Kyle in his memoir, where he refers to the local people as “savages”.

    • Ventura won’t see ‘American Sniper’; says Kyle is no hero

      Ventura also dismissed the movie as propaganda because it conveys the false idea that Iraq had something to do with the 9/11 attacks. “It’s as authentic as ‘Dirty Harry,’” he said, referring to fictional movie series starring Clint Eastwood, the director of “American Sniper.”

    • Arab-American Group Asks ‘American Sniper’ Star And Director To Denounce Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

      A pro-Islam group says that Clint Eastwood’s new film “American Sniper” is partially responsible for a recent rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric online since the film premiered.

      Members of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee penned a letter to director Clint Eastwood and the film’s star Bradley Cooper to express their concern that the war film has lead to an increase in threats against Muslim people.

      In the letter, members of the ADC claim that the “majority of the violent threats we have seen over the past few days are result of how Arab and Muslims are depicted in American Sniper.” The organization also says they’ve collected “hundreds of violent messages targeting Arab and Muslim Americans from movie-goers” on social media since the film’s release.

    • Does ‘American Sniper’ take aim at the truth?

      It is easy to understand how these movies were denied any support from the Pentagon. Besides showing the determination of the enemy, they also showed American soldiers committing suicide, fratricide and mass killings of civilians. Aeschylus said, “In war, truth is the first casualty.”

    • Lay down war toys

      No more drones sent to slaughter whoever happens to be the target, and then some.

    • Stop Flipping Out Because Old People Have Sex

      For years now we’ve heard about randy grandparents getting nasty in the old folks home. Yet studies of septuagenarian sex continue to make the news as if it’s weird, shocking or gross.

      It’s blatant ageism against the canasta class.

      Yet another study, reported on by the Huffington Post, confirms what we already know: The elderly continue to have sex. This particular study claims significance because it’s the “first piece of research of its kind to include people over the age of 80.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XLIX

      New leaks show how transatlantic regulatory bodies will undermine EU and national sovereignty

01.27.15

Links 27/1/2015: Plasma 5.2, Dell Precision With GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 7:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Finland’s million dollar list: an open source guide to the country’s startup investors

    As a result, Finland’s government has invested heavily in the country’s startup scene, resulting in some major post-Nokia success stories such as billion dollar startups Rovio and Supercell.

  • Security

    • Facebook denies outage due to Lizard Squad hack

      The Lizard Squad hackers’ group has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s outage on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook officials, however, denied it was a hack attack, saying it occurred after they introduced a change affecting configuration systems.

    • Why screen lockers on X11 cannot be secure

      Today we released Plasma 5.2 and this new release comes with two fixes for security vulnerabilities in our screen locker implementation. As I found, exploited, reported and fixed these vulnerabilities I decided to put them a little bit into context.

      The first vulnerability concerns our QtQuick user interface for the lock screen. Through the Look and Feel package it was possible to send the login information to a remote location. That’s pretty bad but luckily also only a theoretical problem: we have not yet implemented a way to install new Look and Feel packages from the Internet. So we found the issue before any harm was done.

    • Now-Closed KDE Vulnerabilities Remind Us X11 Screen Locks / Screensavers Are Insecure
    • Tuesday’s security updates
  • Transparency Reporting

    • Google Secretly Gave WikiLeaks Data To US Government

      Incident happened almost three years ago but gag order on Google kept the search giant silent

      Google handed over data belonging to WikiLeaks to the US Government, but was not allowed to tell the group for almost three years.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • ‘Profiteering’ care agency ‘took money’ from workers

      A “profiteering” care agency took hundreds of pounds from low-paid carers who were desperate for work, a BBC London investigation has found.

      HCA Professionals, based in Barking, east London, promised carers jobs if they paid for unnecessary and “highly unprofessional” training.

      Criminal record checks were charged for but not submitted and work did not materialise, but cash was not returned.

      The company, run by Chris Rigland, denies all wrongdoing.

    • Improbable as It May Seem to WaPo, Greek Voters Doubt Austerity Is Required

      Witte ends his article with Greek economist George Pagoulatos warning that Syriza’s voters “are not ready to accept the kind of compromise that the situation requires.” Witte describes Pagoulatos as “a former government adviser,” but doesn’t note that the governments he advised presided over some of the worst economic performance in Greece’s history, from November 2011 to June 2012. Perhaps voters might be forgiven for being skeptical of the benefits of the kind of compromises that Pagoulatos thinks are required (Beat the Press, 1/25/15).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Race For Rupert Murdoch’s Endorsement

      The race for Rupert Murdoch’s endorsement is on as potential presidential candidates line up to seek political support from the owner of Fox News and The Wall Street Journal.

      Murdoch has long been a major political player whose media companies play a substantial role shaping the debate. Last year he declared that Fox News had “absolutely saved” the Republican Party by giving “voice and hope to people who didn’t like all that liberal championing thrown at them on CNN.” Prominent politicians on the national and international stage regularly seek out Murdoch’s opinion and approval.

    • The Kochs Will Spend $1 Billion on the 2016 Elections, but Deny It

      The political network organized by Charles and David Koch plans to spend an incredible $889 million to capture the White House in 2016 and deepen the Koch party’s bench in Congress. But that’s not what they’ll tell federal regulators.

  • Censorship

    • Facebook complies with Turkey page block order

      The BBC has learned that Facebook has complied with a Turkish court order demanding the blocking of a page it said offended the Prophet Muhammad.

      If the social media platform had refused, the court had threatened to block access to the entire site.

      The site is believed to have around 40 million members in Turkey.

    • TalkTalk forces porn filter choice

      TalkTalk says customers who have not yet chosen whether to activate net filters must opt out of its safety system if they wish to continue viewing adult material online.

  • Privacy

    • FOIA Documents Reveal Massive DEA Program to Record American’s Whereabouts With License Plate Readers

      The Drug Enforcement Administration has initiated a massive national license plate reader program with major civil liberties concerns but disclosed very few details, according to new DEA documents obtained by the ACLU through the Freedom of Information Act.

      The DEA is currently operating a National License Plate Recognition initiative that connects DEA license plate readers with those of other law enforcement agencies around the country. A Washington Post headline proclaimed in February 2014 that the Department of Homeland Security had cancelled its “national license-plate tracking plan,” but all that was ended was one Immigrations and Customs Enforcement solicitation for proposals. In fact, a government-run national license plate tracking program already exists, housed within the DEA. (That’s in addition to the corporate license plate tracking database run by Vigilant Solutions, holding billions of records about our movements.) Since its inception in 2008, the DEA has provided limited information to the public on the program’s goals, capabilities and policies. Information has trickled out over the years, in testimony here or there. But far too little is still known about this program.

    • WikiLeaks threatens legal action against Google and US after email revelations

      WikiLeaks is fighting back in an escalating war with both Google and the US government, threatening legal action the day after demanding answers for the tech giant’s wholesale handover of its staffers’ Gmail contents to US law enforcement.

      The targets of the investigation were not notified until two and a half years after secret search warrants were issued and served by the FBI, legal representatives for WikiLeaks said in a press conference on Monday.

    • Argentine president seeks to dissolve spy agency after murky death of state prosecutor

      President Cristina Fernandez plans to disband Argentina’s intelligence agency amid suspicions that rogue agents were behind the mysterious death of a state prosecutor investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center.

      In her first televised address since Alberto Nisman was found dead with a single bullet to the head, Fernandez said on Monday night she would send Congress a bill creating a new security body that would be more transparent.

    • The TSA Wants To Read Your Facebook Posts And Check Out Your Purchases Before It Will Approve You For PreCheck

      The TSA is disappointed that so few Americans have opted out of its bottle-tossing, package-groping screenings by signing up for its PreCheck program. For a few years now, the TSA has been selling travelers’ civil liberties back to them, most recently for $85 a head, but it’s now making a serious push to increase participation. The TSA can’t do it alone, so it’s accepting bids on its PreCheck expansion proposal.

    • [tor-talk] surveillance discussion in Finland

      Here is a very short summary of the surveillance discussion in Finland.

      Ministry of Defence of Finland published a report that proposes internet intelligence activities. The problem is that they also propose (Swedish FRA style) MITM to cross-border communication.

    • In Response to EFF Lawsuit, Government Ordered to Release Secret Surveillance Court Documents Today

      The government released two new FISC opinions this evening, both of which concern the transition of NSA surveillance to the oversight of the FISC in 2007. Neither of the two documents, available here and here, is the Raw Take order or the 2008 FAA order. The government has one additional production deadline in this case on March 2, 2015.

    • Lords should drop the Snooper’s Charter and let the parties set out their views at the election

      Yesterday’s Lords debate ended up with the future of the Snooper’s Charter amendments uncertain, after considerable criticism of both the process and the principle of reintroducing the Communications Data Bill into the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill. Further debate on the amendments may come back at the report stage of the Bill.

    • EFF’s Game Plan for Ending Global Mass Surveillance

      We have a problem when it comes to stopping mass surveillance.

      The entity that’s conducting the most extreme and far-reaching surveillance against most of the world’s communications—the National Security Agency—is bound by United States law.

    • Mass surveillance is fundamental threat to human rights, says European report

      Europe’s top rights body has said mass surveillance practices are a fundamental threat to human rights and violate the right to privacy enshrined in European law.

      The parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe says in a report that it is “deeply concerned” by the “far-reaching, technologically advanced systems” used by the US and UK to collect, store and analyse the data of private citizens. It describes the scale of spying by the US National Security Agency, revealed by Edward Snowden, as “stunning”.

    • U.S. Spies on Millions of Cars

      The Justice Department has been building a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists, according to current and former officials and government documents.

  • Civil Rights

    • Dwindling group of survivors to mark Auschwitz 70 years on

      A decade ago, 1,500 Holocaust survivors traveled to Auschwitz to mark the 60th anniversary of the death camp’s liberation. On Tuesday, for the 70th anniversary, organizers are expecting 300, the youngest in their 70s.

    • Auschwitz 70th anniversary: Survivors mark camp liberation

      About 300 Auschwitz survivors have gathered at the site of the former Nazi death camp to mark the 70th anniversary of its liberation.

      The commemoration will be held at the site in southern Poland where 1.1 million people, the vast majority Jews, were killed between 1940 and 1945.

      It is expected to be the last major anniversary event that survivors are able to attend in considerable numbers.

      [...]

      On the eve of the anniversary, German Chancellor Angela Merkel drew attention to discrimination against Jews in contemporary Europe, saying it was a “disgrace” that Jews faced insults, threats and violence in Germany.

      “We’ve got to fight anti-Semitism and all racism from the outset,” she said at a memorial event in Berlin.

      “We’ve got to constantly be on guard to protect our freedom, democracy and rule of law.”

    • Jury Convicts Former CIA Officer Jeffrey Sterling of Leaking to Journalist & Violating Espionage Act

      Jesselyn Radack, a Justice Department whistleblower, attorney and director of the Government Accountability Project’s National Security and Human Rights Division, reacted, “It is a new low in the war in whistleblowers and government hypocrisy that CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling was convicted in a purely circumstantial case of ‘leaking.’ It shows how far an embarrassed government will go to punish those who dare to commit the truth.”

    • C.I.A. Officer Is Found Guilty in Leak Tied to Times Reporter

      The conviction is a significant victory for the Obama administration, which has conducted an unprecedented crackdown on officials who speak to journalists about security matters without the administration’s approval. Prosecutors prevailed after a yearslong fight in which the reporter, James Risen, refused to identify his sources.

    • Jeffrey Sterling, ex-CIA officer, convicted of leaking secrets to reporter

      A former CIA officer was convicted Monday of leaking classified details of an operation to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions to a New York Times reporter.

      Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/26/deliberation-to-reach-third-day-in-cia-leak-case/#ixzz3Q1X5Pwhm
      Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

    • Jury convicts CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling on all nine counts including espionage

      I’m not surprised the jury found Sterling guilty of some of the charges: of leaking Risen information on Merlin and the operation he was involved in, and of retaining and then leaking Risen a document involved in that. The government multiplied the charges for both the 2003 New York Times story (at which point, Sterling and Risen had only spoken for two minutes and 40 seconds) and the 2006 book (by which point they had had more lengthy discussions), such that each leak amounted to multiple charges. In addition, the jury convicted Sterling of passing government property worth over $1,000, and of obstruction of justice.

    • Bad week for press freedoms in North America

      Also this week, reports emerged showing that a Mexican mayor ordered a cop to kill a journalist he didn’t like; the “officer said they decapitated the journalist, mutilated his body and abandoned it in a ravine.” The journalist and social justice activist had been reporting about government corruption and killings. Now he’s dead and so cannot report on his own death at the hands of his government.

    • NUJ condemns US government’s communications data grab

      British citizen and investigations editor of Wikileaks, Sarah Harrison, has had all her emails and digital data handed over to the US government by Google. It took two and a half years to provide the details and the delay has potentially limited her ability to challenge the communications data grab.

    • ‘Attack on journalism’: WikiLeaks responds to Google’s cooperation with US govt

      Google’s willingness to surrender the private emails of WikiLeaks staffers to the United States government amounts to an “attack on journalism,” a representative for the whistleblower group says.

      Kristinn Hrafnsson, an Icelandic journalist who joined WikiLeaks as the group’s spokesman in 2010, said he’s “appalled” that Google gave up his personal correspondence and other sensitive details to the US government in compliance with a search warrant served to the tech giant, apparently in an effort to bring charges against the anti-secrecy organization and its editor, Julian Assange.

    • Single rose left at station in memory of teen shot by Longview police

      A single rose was left in front of the Longview police station on Cotton Street in memory of the teenager shot Thursday night.

      Investigators say the woman, identified as Kristiana Cognard, 17, of Longview, walked in the front doors of the empty lobby and made her way to the after-hours assistance phone.

      “We don’t know how she got here,” said Longview police officer Kristie Brian.

      After hours the police lobby is closed and all the windows are shut down. Police say Coignard came up to the courtesy phone and was connected to dispatch who then sent officers out to her.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • More Than Three Billion People Worldwide Now Have Broadband

      We Are Social report shows 20 percent increase in broadband Internet users throughout 2014

    • Tomorrow Is Move Your Domain Day: Support The EFF And Get A Year For Free

      If you’ve been a Techdirt reader since the days of SOPA/PIPA, you probably know that Namecheap is a big supporter of a free and open internet, and was one of the first registrars to speak out against the bills. More recently, they’ve been big supporters of Techdirt directly, providing matching funds to our crowdfunding campaign for net neutrality reporting and sponsoring our sitewide switch to HTTPS. In October, they were one of only two companies that got a perfect score on the EFF’s ranking of service providers that stand up to copyright and trademark bullies, and many of us here at Techdirt use them for all our personal domain registration needs.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Get Ready For Classic Songs Of The 50s & 60s To Disappear From Internet Streaming Thanks To Copyright Lawsuits

        Say goodbye to the musical hits of the 50s and 60s, if you like that sort of thing and listen via online services. Chances are they may start to disappear, as the places where you now get your streaming music realize they need to protect themselves against a possible massive liability. As we’ve covered for some time, there have been a few lawsuits filed recently over the licensing status of pre-1972 sound recordings. There’s a lot of history here, but a short explanation is that in 1909, when Congress redid copyright law, it didn’t think that sound recordings (then a relatively new concept) were copyrightable subject matter. Of course, in the years following that, as the “music business” turned into the “recording industry” pressure mounted by that industry led to a bunch of state regulations and common law creating copyright or copyright-like rights for sound recordings.

01.26.15

Links 26/1/2015: Debian 8.0 “Jessie” RC1, Linux Kernel 3.19 RC6

Posted in News Roundup at 4:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • OEMs Adapt To The Decline In The Market For PCs

      ACER, for instance, is even diversifying ChromeBooks, cranking out small, medium and large sizes.

      Meanwhile, Qualcomm is rumoured to be shipping a 14nm, 8-cored, LPDDR4 RAMed monster “for mobiles”, and other processors with clocks in the 2-2.5gHz range, in late 2015. If you don’t think desktops/notebooks/tablets/smartphones will all shine with such power, you are living in a deep hole. OEMs will find a way to integrate ARM into every aspect of IT. We are no longer living in a time when */Linux or ARM were just “barely good enough”. They are perfect for many purposes. Consumers want them. OEMs will supply them. Shipped by the millions, these new solutions will cost much less than Wintel’s monopolistic prices.

    • Intel’s Education Content Access Point for Schools Runs Ubuntu

      It’s been a long time since Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux has made big headlines in the education market. Thanks to Intel (INTC), however, the open source operating system may soon have a new presence in classrooms as part of the Intel Education Content Access Point.

    • Intel readying first NUC mini-desktop PC with Core i7 Broadwell processor
  • Server

    • CERN and NI Collaborate to Define the Future of LabVIEW Support for Linux 64-Bit

      NI (Nasdaq: NATI), the provider of solutions that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, announced a collaboration with CERN, an intergovernmental research organization building the world’s largest and most advanced scientific instruments. The objective is to push the standardization of all CERN control systems to Linux 64-bit OSs, with goals to boost system performance, design cost-effective distributed control systems and enlarge opportunities for small and medium enterprises with expertise in NI and open-source technologies.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE battery monitor

        In loosely related news, this old status is still valid. UMTS is stable-ish now but even though I saved the SIM’s PIN, KDE always displays a “SIM PIN unlock request” prompt after booting or hibernating. Once I enter that PIN, systemd tells me that a system policy prevents the change and wants my user password. If anyone knows how to get rid of that, I would also appreciate any pointers.

      • KDE Frameworks 5 based apps available in copr

        I have built RPM packages of some KDE applications frameworks branch, such as Konsole, Dolphin which are available in my copr. It is based on the Plasma-5.2 beta copr from Dan Vratil, you’d need to enable it first to pull dependencies. Packages are available for Fedora 20 and 21, i686 and x86_64 architectures.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MatchStick Hands-On: A Cheap Open Source Chromecast? Yes Please.

      Chromecast has largely caught on as a way to easily use services like Netflix on your computer. MatchStick is an open source HDMI stick for everyone who wants to use there TV for more than just watching movies.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Why I prefer Samsung Gear’s Tizen to Android Wear

          A few months ago our US Senior Editor Andrew Grush offered his praise of the Moto 360, having spent a month with it. Despite the quality of the writing itself, I took issue with the core of the content: that Android Wear is a suitable platform for wearables. I have to disagree, at least as things now stand. Android Wear seems fundamentally broken due to its being chained to Google Now and a smartphone, something not so true of Samsung’s Gear products, which run on Tizen.

      • Android

        • Google Project Ara Modules Will Be Compatible with BLOCKS Modular Smartwatch

          A while ago we talked about the BLOCKS modular smartwatch platform, which is built according to rules similar to Google’s Project Ara, an initiative that aims to build a smartphone made out of swappable modules.

        • Microsoft, Adobe beat open source developers to Android
        • Cyanogen CEO says he wants to ‘take Android away from Google’

          Cyanogen is one of the most popular open source Android variants, running on the OnePlus One and and available for all to tinker with on their own phone.

          But CEO Kirt McMaster has bigger plans. He hopes to build it into a full-fledged Android rival with its own app store and a more “open” structure that recalls the early days of Android.

        • Sony SmartWatch 3 Review: Android Wear’s First Generation Champion

          Sony is both early to the smartwatch game, and late at the same time. The SmartWatch 3 puts aside some of the lessons of Sony’s previous wearables, but manages to learn some valuable lessons from the competition.

        • Conjuring Android’s best features

          GOOGLE’S LATEST ANDROID mobile operating system is incredibly powerful. Many of us don’t come close to touching its potential capabilities.

        • Google Updates Its Android Compatibility Definition Document For Lollipop

          Google’s compatibility definition document (CDD) is meant to provide guidelines, requirements, and recommendations to Android device manufacturers who want their devices to be “compatible” with the latest release of Android, allowing them to pass Google’s Compatibility Test Suite.

        • Android Lollipop UK release date, new features and upgrades: When will my phone get Android Lollipop?

          When will your phone get Android Lollipop? The final version of Android 5.0 Lollipop was unveiled only in October, yet Android 5.1 Lollipop is rumoured to be on its way. Here’s what you need to know about Android Lollipop’s release date, design and new features – plus when your phone will get the upgrade. Also see: When will my phone get Android Lollipop?

        • Galaxy S5 Android Lollipop update coming to the U.S. as early as next week

          Proud (or otherwise) owners of the Samsung Galaxy S5 are lucky enough to be among the first ones with Samsung phones to get Android 5.0 Lollipop on a carrier device. The update has started rolling out about a week ago, and people all over the world, except in America, are reporting that the OTA is hitting their phones. Good for you! It seems that only European and some Asian countries are getting the Galaxy S5 Android Lollipop update as of yet, but that means that the U.S. should follow soon.

        • This man wants to be Google’s new worst nightmare

          Android is the most popular operating system in the world, but can it be freed from Google’s clutches? Android Authority reports that Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster last week spoke at a special event dedicated to the “Next Phase of Android” and he revealed that his company has a plan to decouple Android from Google and make it the truly open-source mobile platform the world has been waiting for.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source software for quantum information

    NIST is a world leader in quantum information research, harnessing the strange properties of quantum mechanics (nature’s instruction book for atoms, photons, and other microscopic systems) to vastly improve computational power, make secure communications systems, and affect many other applications. Quantum information products are already coming to market, with much greater impacts expected in the future.

  • What leadership and community look like at Opensource.com

    Our team celebrated during an afternoon last week that focused on the growth our readership has seen since 2010, but most importantly, an afternoon that recognized the tremendous work of the publication’s Project Lead and Community Manager, Jason Hibbets.

  • 30 community managers in open source to follow on Twitter

    Here, I’ve compiled a list of 30 community managers in open source you should follow on Twitter. All of them have tremendous experience. And there’s a good chance, if you’re going to this year’s Community Leadership Summit, you’ll get to meet many of them in person.

  • How open source can be a gateway to your next job

    By my observation, the demand for people in open source is at an all-time high. Open source technologies such as programming languages, libraries, and tools are now mainstream. Participating in an open source community can help you learn those tools, and when you go on job interviews you can not only discuss your shiny new degree, but you can point to things you’ve actually done that made a difference.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Why Security May Be the Key Issue in the OpenStack Race

      Still. the competition going on between the remaining players is fierce, and it is becoming increasingly clear that security may be a giant differentiator in the OpenStack race. In fact, Red Hat’s Vice President of Customer Engagement and Experience, Marco Bill-Peter, recently made that issue plain in a blog post.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Portugal engineering lab: facts favour open source

      Open source should win. This type of software is more reliable, more stable and provides more flexibility than proprietary software, says João Marcelino, an engineer working for Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil (National Laboratory for Civil Engineering, LNEC), a state-owned research and development institution. On top of that, the software lets organisations inspect and audit the code without restriction.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Time for IT jobs to be set aside for women

    With women accounting for only a fraction of people studying computer science, there have been calls for gender-related quotas for IT roles.

  • IT Jobs More Lucrative, but Wage Satisfaction Dips

    U.S. technology professionals earned an average salary of $89,450 last year, up two percent from 2013, according to IT jobs portal Dice’s annual salary survey.

  • Security

    • David Cameron says hoax call did not breach security

      David Cameron has said a hoax call he received from someone claiming to be taking part in a high level conference call, did not “breach security”.

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Digital Democracy? – Yes, Please; but Not Online Voting

      It is a sign of the times that the Speaker of the House of Commons – not the first person that comes to mind as being part of the digital age – has established a Digital Democracy Commission to look into ways to re-imagine democracy for the connected world. With one important exception – that concerning online voting – its recommendations are sensible and to be welcomed. What follows is a selection of some of the more relevant areas for the world of openness.

      [...]

      For what it is worth, this is my view too, and I regard it as deeply regrettable that an otherwise welcome report should choose to ignore such a clear and strongly-worded warning to avoid online voting completely until its many problems are sorted out. In particularly, setting a specific and imminent date for its introduction is premature and extremely foolish. I hope others join me in urging the authorities to ignore this particular recommendation, while accepting the others.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Google hands data to US Government in WikiLeaks espionage case

      The alleged offences are:

      Espionage: 18 U.S.C. § 793(d) – imprisonment up to 10 years
      Conspiracy to commit espionage: 18 U.S.C. § 793(g) – imprisonment up to 10 years
      The theft or conversion of property belonging to the United States government: 18 U.S.C. § 641 – imprisonment up to 10 years
      Violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: 18 U.S.C. § 1030 – imprisonment up to 10 years
      (general) Conspiracy: 18 U.S.C. § 371 – imprisonment up to 5 years

    • The war on leaks has gone way too far when journalists’ emails are under surveillance

      The outrageous legal attack on WikiLeaks and its staffers, who are exercising their First Amendment rights to publish classified information in the public interest—just like virtually every other major news organization in this country—is an attack on freedom of the press itself, and it’s shocking that more people aren’t raising their voices (and pens, and keyboards) in protest.

    • Search Warrants Against WikiLeaks Staff: Justice Department, Google & US Media Silence Threaten Press Freedom

      The United States government served search warrants on Google in March 2012 and demanded that the company hand over data from WikiLeaks staff members for the purpose of an investigation into violations of the Espionage Act, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a larceny statute and a “conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United States” statute.

      Sarah Harrison, investigations editor, Kristin Hrafnsson, spokesperson and Joseph Farrell, section editor, each had their accounts targeted.

      The warrants required the disclosure of: all contents of emails associated, “including stored or preserved copies of emails sent to and from the account, draft emails and deleted emails; all records or other information related to the identity of the account (associated phone numbers, IP addresses, types of services utilized, account status, log files, any credit or bank account numbers associated); all records or other information “stored at any time by an individual using the account; any communications the person had with Google.

    • [A bit older] Barrett Brown statement: ‘This is not the rule of law, it is the rule of law enforcement’
    • Where Are Silicon Valley’s Surveillance Whistleblowers?

      Last week, following the terrorist attacks in Paris, British Prime Minister David Cameron said—surprise!—that his government needed more power to monitor online communications. He went so far as to imply that encryption itself was a problem, and later said that American tech firms “have a social responsibility to fight the battle against terrorism.”

      There was an immediate backlash from tech commentators, who pointed out that Cameron’s “snoopers’ charter” makes little sense in light of recent high-profile data breaches. But the tech industry itself was noticeably quiet. Silicon Valley appears to be at a kind of crossroads: will it continue to be a silent (and occasionally paid-up) partner in government dragnet surveillance? Or will some of the people helping to facilitate this surveillance finally speak up?

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • China’s 2015 GDP growth forecast at 6.8 pct: UBS

      China’s 2015 GDP growth forecast has been maintained at 6.8 percent, as further policy support and export recovery is expected to help bolster the sluggish economy, said UBS on Monday.

    • Greece, London, Scotland and Europe

      The citizens of the United Kingdom gave 45,000 pounds each, every man woman and child of them, direct to the bankers in bailouts. We will be paying off that money in taxes – with vast sums in interest to the same bankers, from whom we borrowed virtual money they did not have, to give to them as real money – for generations to come. Quantitive easing gives yet more money to the bankers, cash in place of risky bonds they wish to dump.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Saudi Dictator’s Death Shows NYT as Pawn of Power

      As Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept (1/23/15) observed, in addition to fomenting religious extremism and sectarianism, King Abdullah participated in various US crimes throughout the Middle East and encouraged the United States to commit more. George W. Bush’s war of aggression against Iraq relied upon secret, extensive Saudi military assistance (AP, 4/24/04). And a classified cable from the US embassy in Riyadh (Wikileaks, 4/20/08) noted “the king’s frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran.”

  • Censorship

    • Internet filters block websites of sex abuse charities

      The adult content filters being rolled out by some internet providers under a scheme championed by David Cameron are blocking the websites of businesses and charities and are a “distraction” for parents seeking to protect children from online pornography, claim campaigners.

      TalkTalk announced this weekend that it would follow Sky and become the second of the UK’s four major internet providers to roll out automatic filters for all its customers unless they specifically ask for them to be turned off. It plans to begin applying the blocks to all users’ accounts next month.

  • Privacy

    • UK Legislators Hoping To Rush Through New ‘Snooper’s Charter’ In The Wake Of The Charlie Hebdo Attacks

      The UK legislators, law enforcement agencies and intelligence services looking to expand the government’s surveillance programs got a big boost from the attack on Charlie Hebdo. This violent attempt to place extremist religious ideology ahead of free speech was twisted by many into justification for expanded government powers. Prime Minister David Cameron even went so far as to suggest that no citizen’s communications should be beyond the government’s reach.

    • New Measures Against Terrorism: No Doublespeaking On Liberties!

      After the attacks of 7 and 9 January, French Prime Minister Valls announced this morning a series of measures to “fight against terrorism”. Given this long speech evoking increased information retention and surveillance, La Quadrature du Net recalls that many recent announcements prepare a further decline of civil liberties on the Internet, and calls for greater political and citizen alertness on the measures to be implemented.

    • ‘A very real violation of privacy,’ WikiLeaks editor says of Google email release

      WikiLeaks has accused Internet giant Google of handing over emails of the whistleblowing website’s senior staff to the US authorities – and keeping the release silent. DW talked to one of those staff about the release.

    • Chaos Computer Club contradicts EU, demands full encryption

      The leading German computer club has rejected EU anti-terror plans to tap online chatter, instead calling for all online communication to be encrypted. Politicians, meanwhile, are seeking ways to read encoded messages.

    • Counter-terrorism is supposed to let us live without fear. Instead, it’s creating more of it

      People think that catching terrorists is just a matter of finding them – but, just as often, terrorists are created by the people doing the chase.

      While making our film (T)ERROR, which tracks a single counter-terrorism sting operation over seven months, we realized that most people have serious misconceptions about FBI counter-terrorism efforts. They assume that informants infiltrate terrorist networks and then provide the FBI with information about those networks in order to stop terrorist plots from being carried out. That’s not true in the vast majority of domestic terrorism cases.

    • Tell Britain’s Lords: Don’t Let the Snooper’s Charter Sneak Past You!

      Their eighteen pages of amendments to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill would grant the UK government sweeping new powers to compel telecommunications companies to harvest and store data collected on their users, and for police and intelligence companies to obtain and analyze that data without warrants or effective oversight.

      The Lords’ proposals were introduced at short notice, without the usual explanatory notes that would let other peers decide for themselves whether they are appropriate. Britain’s House of Lords are expected to consider the new amendments on Monday, leaving them only this weekend to find out just how bad these amendments are.

  • Civil Rights

    • Top Tory Leon Brittan ‘photographed entering underage sex den during police investigation’

      Leon Brittan was photographed entering an underage sex den during a police investigation, it has been claimed.

      The Tory Lord, who died on Wednesday, is said to have been snapped by officers on a 1986 surveillance operation focusing on rent boy orgies run in North London buildings.

    • Rupert Murdoch and the police treat journalists like terrorists

      Murdoch’s great fear was that the hacking scandal would lead to a corporate prosecution of News International. As the journalists who hacked the phone of Milly Dowler and made Sienna Miller’s life a misery worked for News International, and as the executives of News International justified their princely incomes by saying that they were responsible for the organisation, a corporate prosecution was indeed essential. It would show that the Crown Prosecution Service wanted to punish the powerful, not just the hired help.

      At the trial of six Sun journalists, which ended last week with the jury acquitting two and failing to reach a verdict on the other four, defence lawyers quoted Gerson Zweifach, News Corp’s general counsel. He feared a corporate prosecution of News International in the UK would destroy its American interests. (The US authorities are a little more willing to punish wrongdoing than the indolent Brits.) He had emergency talks with the Met in 2012. According to Scotland Yard, he told the police: “The downstream effects of a prosecution would be apocalyptic. The US authorities’ reaction would put the whole business at risk.” If you can get past his atrocious jargon – why can’t the managers of communications business communicate? – you will hear the panic in his voice.

      He need not have worried. Murdoch cut a deal to save his wizened hide. The police had no more right to go into his offices on a fishing expedition than they have to come into your home. They would have needed a reasonable suspicion and a search warrant. Murdoch spared them the inconvenience. The team behind his clean-up campaign went through company records and threw out journalists and journalist sources to keep the cops happy.

    • Gaza in Arizona: How Israeli High-Tech Firms Will Up-Armor the US-Mexican Border

      It was October 2012. Roei Elkabetz, a brigadier general for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was explaining his country’s border policing strategies. In his PowerPoint presentation, a photo of the enclosure wall that isolates the Gaza Strip from Israel clicked onscreen. “We have learned lots from Gaza,” he told the audience. “It’s a great laboratory.”

    • Jewish outrage as ship named after SS war criminal arrives in Europe

      Leaders of Jewish communities and Holocaust memorial groups in Britain and the Netherlands have reacted with rage and despair at the arrival in Rotterdam of the world’s biggest ship, the Pieter Schelte, named after a Dutch officer in the Waffen-SS.

      The vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Arkush, said: “Naming such a ship after an SS officer who was convicted of war crimes is an insult to the millions who suffered and died at the hands of the Nazis. We urge the ship’s owners to reconsider and rename the ship after someone more appropriate.”

      Esther Voet, director of the Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel (Cidi), based in The Hague, said that the timing of the ship’s arrival, shortly before Jews were targeted and killed in Paris and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, was “a coincidence, I’m sure, but a sign of the times. We lost our battle to have the ship’s name changed, and we are left eating dust.”

    • American student arrested for Arabic flash cards in airport after TSA freaked out settles lawsuit

      “Five years ago, the Philadelphia police thought that carrying Arabic-language flashcards was enough to warrant the arrest of an innocent traveler,” writes that traveler, Nick George.

      With help from the American Civil Liberties Union, he reached a settlement today in a lawsuit brought against the Philadelphia police department. America is safe once again for people who like to study foreign languages and read books on foreign policy in airports.

    • The No-Go Zone Myth Comes To America

      The rhetoric around the debunked right wing media meme about the existence of “no-go zones” throughout France, the United Kingdom, and the rest of Europe, ratcheted up last week. Driven by politics, viewers, listeners, and page views, even the multiple mea culpas from Fox News just last weekend haven’t stopped the myth.

      By the conservative telling, in these supposed “Muslim only” enclaves the population has “take[n] over parts of the country, entire portions, towns,” (allegedly more than 700 in France alone!), and outside police are forbidden as extremism and Sharia Law flourish. And now, they present an active threat to the United States and our American values.

    • Protectors or Offenders?

      Jerry Maynard is reported to have been assaulted by a responding officer after calling paramedics. Maynard had called the paramedics after experiencing some chest pains while consuming liquor. The responding paramedics checked him over and determined that he was fine, so they left. A short time later the chest pains returned to Maynard causing him to call for a second dispatch of paramedics. This time, two county sheriffs accompanied the ambulance. The two deputies proceeded to yell at Maynard telling him that if he called again, they were going to kill him. One of the deputies then is seen by a neighbor’s surveillance camera shoving Maynard onto to the ground. The officer was put on administrative leave while the incident was investigated, but there has been no comment on whether actions or reprimands will be taken against him.

    • Sexual Abuse of Children by Ministers and Youth Pastors

      A pastor named Albert Young, who had been a minister for nine years in Philadelphia, was accused of fondling his 15-year-old, mentally challenged niece, all during his time in his office while running the ministry. This reverend who is a wolf clothed in a sheep disguise at Total Deliverance Ministries, was charged with using his leadership as the pastor of the church to be able to sexually abuse his niece. Allegedly, Young was placed into custody a week prior after being accused of enticing this young girl into his lap while in his office. On that night, once the girl was on top of him, young touched her, putting his hands inside the girl’s pants, kissing her neck, and fondling her buttocks as well as pressing his genitals against her and guiding her hands to his penis. As officials reported, the minor did report him and even stated to the police that he threatened her and ordered her to keep silent. Young eventually was arrested on the following Thursday afternoon, and was charged with unlawful sexual contact with a minor, corruption of minors, and indecent assault of a child. Yet he was released on $50,000 bail on Friday and his next court issue was on November nineteenth.

    • Open source empowers city archive Hospitalet

      Open source has modernised the archive of the Catalan city of Hospitalet de Llobregat (Spain). The software helps manage the administrative records, but also allows easy access to historical records. This facilitates research and education, and enables public information dissemination. For its historical records, the Hospitalet city archive implements ICA-Atom, a web-based and open source archive solution.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright Reform: The European Parliament Must Follow the Reda Report!

        Yesterday, MEP Julia Reda presented in the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) of the European Parliament a report on the harmonization of copyright in Europe. She tables modest but welcome proposals for a reform of copyright, several of which have been supported by La Quadrature du Net.

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