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04.21.17

Links 21/4/2017: Qt Creator 4.2.2, ROSA Desktop Fresh R9

Posted in News Roundup at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 12 ways to maintain your existing community: How you deal with difficult conversations?

    Help us collect community knowledge by blogging about the weekly community management theme. Blog posts are due the following Thursday after each new theme is announced. Next week’s challenge is Difficult Conversations.

    Check out ways to recruit new community members in week #1 blogging challenge.

  • Baidu To Open-Source Its Self-Driving Vehicle Platform
  • Baidu launches Apollo, opens self-drive platform
  • Baidu Makes Its Self-Driving Car Technology Available for Free
  • Uber has high hopes for its open source data visualization software

    Any time a representative of car sharing service Uber Technology Inc. shows up at an analytics conference, his or her session is always packed.

    People crowd into the room for two reasons. First, Uber does a lot of interesting things with advanced analytics, and getting a peak under the hood at how it all works can inspire new projects at other enterprises.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Tor Browser 6.5.2 Features Important Security Updates from Firefox 45.9.0 ESR

        Tor Project announced the release and immediate availability for download of the second and probably the last scheduled point release of the Tor Browser 6.5 stable series of the anonymous web browser based on Mozilla Firefox.

        Tor Browser 6.5.2 is out for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows, and it looks like it incorporates all the important security updates that Mozilla implemented in the Firefox 45.9.0 ESR (Extended Support Release), along with HTTPS-Everywhere 5.2.14 and NoScript 5.0.2.

      • This Simple Tweak Will (Apparently) Make Firefox Faster
      • Firefox 53 Introduces Quantum Compositor, Reducing Browser Crashes

        Mozilla released its Firefox 53 update on April 19, introducing a new browser engine and patching 39 vulnerabilities in the open-source web browser.

        The new browser engine technology in Firefox 53 is known as Project Quantum and is a multipart effort to accelerate and improve the web browsing experience for users. The Project Quantum component included in Firefox 53 is known as the Quantum Compositor; it is designed to help reduce the number of browser crashes due to graphics issues.

  • Databases

    • The new replication features in MySQL 8

      This year at the Percona Live open source database conference, I will present a talk on the latest replication features in MySQL 8.0.

      It was a huge amount of work to get the MySQL Group Replication plugin out with MySQL 5.7.17. Group Replication is a new plugin that gives the user some nice replication properties by resorting to group communication and state machine replication. This makes the system able to protect data against split brain situations, enables fault-tolerance and high availability, and provides coordination between servers committing transactions that change the data.

      In addition to Group Replication, the team has also invested quite a bit on core replication features. Some of these features were already released, and others will be released at some point in time in a MySQL Development Milestone Release (DMR).

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Programming/Development

    • Meet Mark Hinkle, the New Executive Director for the Node.js Foundation

      These days, Node.js is under the hood of everything from the web, the Internet of Things and desktop applications to microservice architectures. Node’s 15 million-plus downloads per month, and more than a billion package downloads per week, render it the world’s biggest open source platform.

      The Node.js Foundation was started in 2015, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation, to support Node’s ongoing growth and evolution. The foundation represents an open governance of the Node ecosystem, with a steadily growing roster of members from every cohort, from Fortune 500 companies to sole proprietor freelancers.

    • Node.js Monitoring/Debugging Tool Now Free for Open Source Projects
    • Announcing Free Node.js Monitoring & Debugging with Trace

      Today, we’re excited to announce that Trace, our Node.js monitoring & debugging tool is now free for open-source projects.

    • veggies: Haskell code generation from scratch

      I wish we had a formally verified compiler for Haskell, or at least for GHC’s intermediate language Core. Now formalizing that part of GHC itself seems to be far out of reach, with the many phases the code goes through (Core to STG to CMM to Assembly or LLVM) and optimizations happening at all of these phases and the many complicated details to the highly tuned GHC runtime (pointer tagging, support for concurrency and garbage collection).

Leftovers

  • Science

    • How Garry Kasparov Learned To Stop Worrying & Love The Machines That Beat Him At His Job

      I am sure that some will dismiss this as a retread of techno-utopianism, but I think it’s important for people to be focusing on more broadly understanding these changes. That doesn’t mean ignoring or downplaying the disruption for those whose lives it will certainly impact, but so much of the discussion has felt like people throwing up their arms helplessly. There will be opportunities for new types of work, but part of that is having more people thinking through these possibilities and building new companies and services that recognize this future. Even if you can’t predict exactly what kinds of new jobs there will be (or even if you’re convinced that no new jobs will be coming), it’s at the very least a useful thought exercise to start thinking through some possibilities to better reflect where things are going, and Kasparov’s essay is a good start.

    • Computer pioneer Harry Huskey dies aged 101

      Engineer Harry Huskey, who helped build many of the first ever computers, has died aged 101.

      Dr Huskey was a key member of the team that built the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (Eniac) which first ran in February 1946.

      Eniac is widely considered to be one of the first electronic, general purpose, programmable computers.

      Dr Huskey also helped complete work on the Ace – the Automatic Computing Engine – designed by Alan Turing.

    • Scientists prepare for protest: ‘the march should be a starting point’

      The placards are made, the speeches prepared. On Saturday, crowds in their thousands are expected at 500 marches in more than 35 countries to remind the world, and its many politicians, that society cannot thrive without science. It will be the largest show of solidarity for science the globe has ever seen.

      Arranged to coincide with Earth Day, the anniversary of the modern environmental movement, organisers hope that the mobilisation of so many can help restore science to what they consider to be its rightful place. But despite healthy support for the events – more than 100 professional societies and organisations have endorsed them – marches alone will not be enough, according to researchers who study protest movements.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • WHO: Hepatitis Death Toll Rising, Vaccination Works But Access To Tests And Medicines Still Issue [Ed: People die from hepatitis (maybe a million dead over the years) because companies bicker over money.]

      Hepatitis-related mortality is on the rise, despite the existence of an efficient vaccine for hepatitis B and a cure for hepatitis C, according to the World Health Organization hepatitis report 2017 published today. One of the issues is that a majority of people are unaware of their condition due to limited access to affordable hepatitis testing. The price of the hepatitis C medicines has decreased in low-income countries, but still remains a barrier in upper-middle income and high-income countries, the WHO said.

    • Licence For A New Hepatitis Treatment, With An Eye To Affordability

      The Medicines Patent Pool has received a licence to develop ravidasvir, a new treatment for hepatitis C.

      The new licence is in partnership with Pharco Pharmaceuticals in Egypt, and expands upon the licence issued in March 2016 by Presidio, the original developer of ravidasvir, and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi).

  • Security

    • Security updates for Friday
    • Network Firewalls: How to Protect Your Network from Unauthorized Access
    • The Architecture of the Web Is Unsafe for Today’s World

      The Internet is based on protocols that assume content is secure. A new, more realistic model is needed.

      Twenty-eight years ago, British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee proposed a system to link text documents across a computer network. It changed the way the world communicates and does business. From its humble beginnings, the Internet has become a complex, dynamic, and heterogeneous environment.

      Today, the Internet revolution’s main instrument, the Web browser, exposes users to unbounded malicious content and has become unmanageable.

      How did browsers become such a liability? Because they’re based on an ancient set of communication rules, protocols that assume connections are secure and content is safe. The openness and utility of the protocols led to enormous innovation. But today, with all its sophistication, the Web is still based on protocols that weren’t designed for security or enterprise-class management.

    • In encrypted-messaging market, open source not only key to success [Ed: Overlooked the point that easy-to-use programs whose sources code you cannot study are worse than nothing, just a trap. In this age of government-mandated back doors in programs and protocols the term "proprietary encryption" should be a paradox.]

      A couple months ago, one of the oldest encrypted, ephemeral messaging apps, Wickr, decided to open up its cryptographic code for the world. By allowing hackers and developers to examine their crypto code, it reasoned, it could earn a veritable security merit badge. And the approach had already boosted the appeal of another secure-messaging app, Signal.

      At least on the surface, Wickr’s open-source move appears to be paying off. Scott Stender, vice president of cryptography at NCC Group, a British company that specializes in helping clients manage cybersecurity risks, says it influenced his company’s decision to use Wickr, which incorporates end-to-end encryption, to keep its internal communications private.

    • Self Driving Taxis Are Going To Be A Nightmare To Secure, Warns Ex-Uber Security Researcher [Ed: Trams, trains, subways etc. go on rails; flights managed by programs nowadays. But there's a reason a pilot/driver is still crucial. Same for cars. Unless your driver/pilot is a suicidal maniac (which happens), the negative impact of accident on her/him helps secure the passengers.]

      So over the last few years you probably remember seeing white hat hackers demonstrate how easily most modern smart cars can be hacked, often with frightening results. Cybersecurity researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek have made consistent headlines in particular by highlighting how they were able to manipulate and disable a Jeep Cherokee running Fiat Chrysler’s UConnect platform. Initially, the duo documented how they were able to control the vehicle’s internal systems — or kill it’s engine entirely — from an IP address up to 10 miles away.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • New York Times defends hiring extreme climate denier: ‘millions agree with him’

      Amidst backlash and subscription cancellations for hiring extreme climate science denier, Bret Stephens, the New York Times offered a stunning defense: There are “millions of people who agree with him.”

      With that ‘logic’, the Times could hire as a columnist former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke — or a flat earther or someone who thinks vaccines pose a health hazard. After all, millions agree with them.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • VIDEO: iPhones Are iSpies – Wikileaks “Vault 7” Revelations Continue To Terrify

      Most of us carry smartphones and watch web-enabled TVs without much thought. But the revelations found in Wikileaks’ “Vault 7” release warn that we should consider the sinister capabilities that such devices could lend to those who might abuse them.

    • In Secret Court Hearing, Lawyer Objected to FBI Sifting Through NSA Data Like It Was Google

      In her first appearance representing the American public before the top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2015, Amy Jeffress argued that the FBI is violating the Fourth Amendment by giving agents “virtually unrestricted” access to data from one of the NSA’s largest surveillance programs, which includes an untold amount of communications involving innocent Americans.

      The NSA harvests data from major Internet companies like Facebook, Google and Apple without a warrant, because it is ostensibly “targeting” only foreigners. But the surveillance program sweeps up a large number of Americans’ communications as well. Then vast amounts of data from the program, including the Americans’ communications, are entered into a master database that a Justice Department lawyer at the 2015 hearing described as the “FBI’s ‘Google’ of its lawfully acquired information.”

    • In Time for the Reform Debate, New Documents Shed Light on the Government’s Surveillance of Americans

      The ACLU today released more than a dozen new documents concerning the government’s warrantless surveillance of millions of Americans. They were obtained from several intelligence agencies in an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit and relate to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the law that the government relies on to conduct its PRISM and Upstream spying programs.

    • Frms make sweet 8K 360 cameras using Facebook Surround’s open source [Ed: Facebook is openwashing a truly spooky and villainous surveillance apparatus; remember what Zuckerberg said]
    • Weeping Angel

      Today, April 21st 2017, WikiLeaks publishes the User Guide for CIA’s “Weeping Angel” tool – an implant designed for Samsung F Series Smart Televisions. Based on the “Extending” tool from MI5/BTSS, the implant is designed to record audio from the built-in microphone and egress or store the data.

      The classification marks of the User Guide document hint that is was originally written by the MI5/BTSS and later shared with the CIA. Both agencies collaborated on the further development of the malware and coordinated their work in Joint Development Workshops.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright & Censorship on Instagram: How Marie Claire Stole My Photo

        I soon discovered that my photo had been picked up by a few other Instagram accounts before Marie Claire, the main one being Bumble and bumble, a company owned by Estée Lauder. The other accounts, including Bumble and bumble, at least had the decency and respect to credit me as well as the hair stylist when reusing my photo. Sadly the model wasn’t credited, which upset me quite a bit.

      • Singapore Court Tosses Copyright Troll Cases Because IP Addresses Aren’t Good Enough Evidence

        We’ve been saying this for years, but IP addresses are not good enough evidence on which to base copyright infringement lawsuits. At some level, everyone already knows this to be true. You can tell that’s the case because the typical pretenders stating otherwise are the copyright trolls with a business model that relies on gathering large numbers of supposedly infringing IP addresses, mailing out settlement demands to the supposed pirates that own the accounts of those IP addresses, and then collecting very real money from some percentage of the recipients. On top of that, even these trolls will often claim that the onus is on the account holder of an internet connection to police their own pipe, which is a delightful end-around to the common concept of punishing true infringers as opposed to innocent third parties.

        There are places with legal systems that have had enough of this practice and we can now add Singapore’s to the list. The High Court in Singapore recently threw out requests from several copyright trolls made to ISPs there to produce account information for IP addresses they claim were used to infringe on two movies, Fathers & Daughters and Queen Of The Desert.

Links 21/4/2017: System76 Entering Phase Three, KDE Applications 17.04, Elive 2.9.0 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 7:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Dangers of in-person meetings for an existing community

    It is inarguable there is a lot of value that we humans get from meeting with people in person. For a free/open source software project, this is often cited as the glue that holds together people whose normal interactions are textual (email, IRC) and lower-resolution than an in-person interaction gives. People who are bound together not by an employment agreement but rather a social agreement.

  • How to run your small business with free open source software ["This article was originally published in November, 2013. It was last updated in April 2017."]

    Take a look at the next desktop PC or laptop you come across. Odds are good it won’t be running an open-source operating system. Microsoft’s closed-source Windows has by far the highest share of the PC client operating system market, followed in a distant second by Apple’s macOS. Linux and other wholly open source operating systems have only a tiny market share.

    It’s not hard to see why. Despite the advances made by distributions such as Ubuntu, desktop Linux is still miles behind Windows and macOS in terms of the look, the feel and the slickness that most office workers have come to expect. The vast majority of companies simply aren’t prepared to make office workers use an open source OS — and most office workers aren’t prepared to use them, either.

  • Agreement on software preservation signed at UNESCO

    UNESCO and the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA) today signed an agreement at the Organization’s headquarters to contribute to the preservation of the technological and scientific knowledge contained in software. This includes promoting universal access to software source code.

  • How the ‘itch-to-scratch model’ can solve our UX woes

    Open source is a developer-centric solutions model, which, in a nutshell, could be described as building communities of developers to solve problems.

  • Baidu to Open Source Its Self-Driving Technology

    Baidu Inc. will share software technology it is developing for self-driving cars in a bid to catch up with competitors including General Motors Co. and Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc.

  • Baidu To Open-Source Autonomous Driving Platform Apollo to Spur Industry Innovation
  • A Chinese internet giant just made a big move to compete with Tesla in the self-driving-car space
  • Baidu Has Decided To Open-Source Its Self-Driving Car Tech
  • Events

    • Event report: FOSSASIA 2017

      FOSSASIA 2017 reminded me of foss.in. After a long time, finally, a conference which has the similar aspects. Similar kind of tight organizing team, the presence of upstream communities from different locations. The participation from the local Singapore tech community along with Hackerspace Singapore is a serious boost. This was my 4th FOSSASIA conference, and also 3rd time in Singapore. I should thank Mario, Hong, and rest of the organizers to make this event a very pleasant experience.

    • Share Your Apache Mesos Expertise and Best Practices at MesosCon Events in 2017
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Will Google move to block adverts?

        Google’s vast wealth and huge influence is built on one thing – advertising – so it might seem bizarre for the search giant to make it less likely that users would see ads.

        But the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is planning to introduce ad-blocking in its popular Chrome web browser.

      • Google might roll out their own ad-blocker in Chrome
      • The Weird Antitrust Questions Of A Google Chrome Ad Blocker

        So rumors have started flying that Google is about to build some ad blocker technology into Chrome, that would block ads that the company considers to be “unacceptable ads” — as determined by the “Coalition for Better Ads.” Of course, while a coalition for “better ads” sounds like a good thing, this Coalition for Better Ads has been criticized. It was put together by the biggest companies in the internet ad space, and many worry that it’s just an attempt to whitewash over a lot of bad practices by declaring just the extremely egregious practices as “bad.” Either way, the original report from the paywalled Wall Street Journal notes that the ad blocker might even block all ads on sites that run “bad” ads (i.e., not just the bad ads).

        There have been all sorts of reactions to the news of a built-in Chrome ad blocker, but a lot of people are raising the antitrust questions. Obviously, Google is unlikely to consider its own ads to be the “bad ads.” And thus, an official Google ad blocker — especially one that allows its own ads through and is default on its very popular browser — at least raises eyebrows about antitrust issues. There’s a strong argument to be made (and I’m pretty sure that some ad firms would raise this with a court within a day or so of such an ad blocker being released) that this is an anti-competitive move to suppress competing ad firms.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox web browser may no longer be supported on your Linux computer

        Firefox is a wonderful open source web browser. As a result, it comes pre-loaded on many Linux-based operating systems, such as Ubuntu and Fedora. Yeah, some people choose to install Chromium or Chrome instead, but Mozilla’s offering remains a staple in the Linux community.

      • If Only Thunderbird Did Look Like This…

        If Thunderbird looked like the design you see above would there be any question on whether Ubuntu should drop it from the default install? I think not.

      • Mockups of a new Thunderbird style look quite incredible
      • Ubuntu might retire Thunderbird

        The open saucy Ubuntu is considering dumping the Thunderbird mail app because users tend to favour using webservices mail instead.

        Ubuntu 17.10 may not include a default desktop email app at all and Thunderbird is Ubuntu’s default email app at the moment.

      • Firefox 53 Released With 2 New Compact Themes

        Mozilla Firefox 53 has been released, and is now available to download right now. The latest release of the popular open-source web-browser ships with two new compact themes, reader mode improvements, and updated site permission requests.

      • This April, Mozilla is Standing Up for Science

        We believe openness is a core component not just of a healthy Internet, but also a healthy society. Much like open practices can unlock innovation in the realm of technology, open practices can also invigorate fields like civics, journalism — and science.

        In laboratories and at academic institutions, open source code, data and methodology foster collaboration between researchers; spark scientific progress; increase transparency and encourage reproducibility; and better serve the public interest.

      • Mozilla, Microsoft rebuilding their browsers’ foundations without anyone noticing

        Project Quantum is how Mozilla plans to adapt for this new age. Mozilla is using its safer Rust programming language for parts of Quantum. The company has an experimental rendering engine called Servo that’s written in Rust, and pieces of this will make their way into Firefox. The initial focus will be on updating those parts of Gecko that are most amenable to parallel or GPU-based computation, and Firefox 53 contains the first element of this. Firefox 53 will (for most people; it requires Windows 7 with the Platform Update, or better, plus a GPU that isn’t blacklisted) create a separate GPU process that’s used to perform compositing. The compositor process takes the different elements of the page and the Firefox window and merges them together to create the finished product.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Mirantis enters the Kubernetes game and ups its OpenStack play

      The Sunnyvale, Calif. company is doing this by launching a new single integrated distribution of OpenStack and Kubernetes: Mirantis Cloud Platform (MCP) 1.0. This new release also offers a unique build-operate-transfer delivery model.

    • Mirantis launches its new OpenStack and Kubernetes cloud platform

      Mirantis, one of the earliest players in the OpenStack ecosystem, today announced that it will end-of-life Mirantis OpenStack support in September 2019. The Mirantis Cloud Platform, which combines OpenStack with the Kubernetes container platform (or which could even be used to run Kubernetes separately), is going to take its place.

      While Mirantis is obviously not getting out of the OpenStack game, this move clearly shows that there is a growing interest in the Kubernetes container platform and that Mirantis’ customers are now starting to look at this as a way to modernize their software deployment strategies without going to OpenStack. The new platform allows users to deploy multiple Kubernetes clusters side-by-side with OpenStack — or separately.

    • Open Source Tools for Enterprise Data Science
    • Open for business: Hortonworks aims for open source profitability

      It used to be the Hadoop Summit, but the strategic focus at Hortonworks the enterprise-ready open source Apache Hadoop provider, has evolved. So, this year it was renamed DataWorks Summit. The company now encompasses data at rest (the Hadoop Data Platform now in version 2.6), data in motion (the Hadoop Data Flow) and data in the cloud (the Hadoop Data Cloud). Hortonworks aims to become a multi-platform and multi-cloud company. The focus is on the data in data driven organisations. Just a few years ago Hortonworks connected with IT architects. Today it’s launching conversations with lines of business and chief marketing officers.

    • What’s new in OpenStack Ocata

      OpenStack Ocata has now been out for a little over a month and we’re about to see the first milestone of the Pike release. Past cycles show that now’s about the time when people start looking at the new release to see if they should consider moving to it. So here’s a quick overview of what’s new in this release.

    • Research: OpenStack user satisfaction ratings drop, as adoption of the open source cloud rises
  • CMS

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Rewriting the bottom line: Docker EE and the open-source profit question

      Docker Inc., which provides an open platform for developers and sysadmins to build, ship and run distributed applications, is a company sometimes knocked for failing to monetize, is a case study in how the evolving open-source community is rethinking how to drive profit.

      “Open source today is very different than open source five years, ago, 10 years ago,” said Jerry Chen, partner at Greylock Partners. “The ecosystem is very different, because all of a sudden, the developers and contributors are not just kind of your misfits and rebels working on the weekends. They are Fortune 100, Fortune 500 companies.”

  • BSD

  • Compiler

    • Psychec: A Type Inference Engine For C, The C Language Meets Unification

      Here, at the Compiler’s Laboratory of UFMG, we’ve been trying to understand the meaning of incomplete C code. How well can a parser reason about a source when declarations (or complete headers) are missing? In the C language, challenges appear already during parsing, since, not only syntax, but also semantic information (possibly absent) is required. Yet, the really cool challenges emerge when we want to reconstruct a partial program into a complete one that passes the type-checker.

    • GCC 7 Has Been Branched, GCC 8.0 Now On Master

      The GCC 7 mainline code-base hit the important milestone today of having zero P1 regressions — issues of the highest priority — and as such they branched the GCC7 code-base and GCC 7.1 RC1 is then being announced later this week as they prepare for this first stable release of GCC 7.

  • Public Services/Government

    • UK GDS looking for architects with open source expertise

      The UK Government Digital Service (GDS) has released a ‘Technical Architects recruitment guide’. The agency hopes to attract more technical architects by describing its recruitment process, thereby helping candidates to prepare better for the job interviews and making these more accessible to people unfamiliar with the Civil Service Commission recruitment principles.

    • Two tender announcements: lock-in vs. moving freely

      Using open source software and avoiding proprietary products is the only way to structurally prevent vendor lock-in. This principle has once again become clear from two procurement announcements recently published on Tenders Electronic Daily (TED), the public procurement journal of the European Union.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open source @ Midburn, the Israeli burning man

      Our code is available on GitHub at https://github.com/Midburn/. And while it still need to be more tidy, I prefer the release early and often approach. The main idea we want to bring to the Burn infrastructure is using Spark as a database and have already began talking with parallel teams of other burn events. I’ll follow up on our technological agenda / vision. In the mean while, you are more than welcome to comment on the code or join one of the teams (e.g. volunteers module to organize who does which shift during the event).

    • Flying The First Open Source Satellite

      The Libre Space Foundation is an organization dedicated to the development of libre space hardware. It was born from the SatNOGS project — the winners of the first Hackaday Prize — and now this foundation is in space. The Libre Space Foundation hitched a ride on the Orbital ATK launch yesterday, and right now their completely Open Source cube sat is on its way to the International Space Station.

    • Why open source pharma is the path to both new and cheaper medicines

      We can all agree that we have some life-saving medicines available to us. We may have benefited directly, or have family members who are benefiting at the moment.

      Some medicines, however, are too expensive. Some don’t work too well and there are, of course, many terrible diseases for which we have no medicines at all. These issues affect rich and poor nations alike.

    • Open Access/Content

      • States are moving to cut college costs by introducing open-source textbooks

        Every cost associated with higher learning has steadily increased over the past decade, but none more so than college textbooks. While tuition increased by 63% between 2006 and 2016, and housing costs increased by 50%, the cost of textbooks went up by 88%, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    • Hardware/Modding

      • Atreus: Building a custom ergonomic keyboard

        As mentioned in my Working on Android post, I’ve been using a mechanical keyboard for a couple of years now. Now that I work on Flowhub from home, it was a good time to re-evaluate the whole work setup. As far as regular keyboards go, the MiniLa was nice, but I wanted something more compact and ergonomic.

      • Korean researchers develop open source 3D bioprinter

        Researchers from Seoul National University of Science and Technology in Korea have published the schematics for an open source 3D bioprinter.

      • 3d-Printing is cool

        I’ve heard about 3d-printing a lot in the past, although the hype seems to have mostly died down. My view has always been “That seems cool”, coupled with “Everybody says making the models is very hard”, and “the process itself is fiddly & time-consuming”.

      • Intel Open Sources All Lustre Work, Brent Gorda Exits

        In a letter to the Lustre community posted on the Intel website, Vice President of Intel’s Data Center Group Trish Damkroger informs that effective immediately the company will be contributing all Lustre development to the open source community. Damkroger also announced that Brent Gorda, General Manager, High Performance Data Division at Intel is leaving the company. Gorda is the former CEO of Whamcloud, the Lustre specialist acquired by Intel in 2012.

      • Intel axes lack Lustre file systems and open sources features

        According to The Register, Trish Damkroger, Intel’s Vice President and General Manager for Technical Computing Initiative sent an email this week to partners and customers confirming the change.

        [...]

        The Enterprise Edition provides large-scale, high bandwidth storage with the power and scalability of Lustre, whilst the Foundation Edition offers maximum speed and scale Lustre storage with support from Intel.

      • Should Desktop 3D Printing Be Open Source or Closed Source?

        Open source development has brought a lot of advantages to desktop 3D printing. Is our flirtation with open source a youthful indiscretion that will soon be discarded? Or is open source the key to our recent past and to unlocking the future of 3D printing?

      • How desktop 3D printing’s open source platforms shaped the industry’s diverse material supply

        Ten years ago, John Kawola remembers the 3D printing industry as a very different place to how it looks today. While still a dynamic field with innovation aplenty, it was dominated by a handful of players. “3D Systems, Stratasys, EOS and EnvisionTEC,” the President of Ultimaker North America lists. Between them, they dominated the 3D printer business, they drove innovation at a rate smaller companies could not keep up with, and they all had a closed materials environment.

  • Programming/Development

    • 5 ways to succeed at learning a programming language

      Whether you’re taking up programming for the first time, or learning your 50th language, you might ask, “What’s the best way to learn to program?” I surveyed dozens of people who taught themselves to program in Rust as part of my OSCON talk in 2016, and asked the expert autodidacts what advice they would give to others for picking up a new language. I found that despite their diverse backgrounds, all of my interviewees shared five common approaches to building new programming skills.

    • GitHub Developer Program shows bigger love

      The GitHub Developer Program (programme, if we’re using Her Majesty’s English) has been around for around three years now.

      Essentially, this initiative exists to encourage developers to test out application builds that integrate with GitHub.

    • GitHub Opens Developer Program to All

      GitHub Inc. has revamped its developer program with several changes, including opening it up to all developers for the first time.

      Previously, the three-year-old GitHub Developer Program was available to only those developers who had paid accounts at the open source code repository and software development platform specializing in Git-based version control.

    • 3 open source code libraries to handle MARC-formatted records
    • RcppQuantuccia 0.0.1
    • Rblpapi 0.3.6

Leftovers

  • A user’s guide to failing faster

    Most failures in the pure software realm don’t lead to the same visceral imagery as the above, but they can have widespread financial and human costs all the same. Think of the failed Healthcare.gov launch, the Target data breach, or really any number of multi-million dollar projects that basically didn’t work in the end. In 2012, the US Air Force scrapped an ERP project after racking up $1 billion in costs.

  • Artist Sues Church For Moving His 9/11 Memorial Sculpture

    It’s pretty rare for us to bring up the issue of “moral rights” over creative works in the US, and even rarer to directly reference VARA — the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 — and yet, here we are, twice in one week discussing VARA claims. Even more incredibly, both are about sculptures that were placed for free in parts of lower Manhattan, right off Wall St. The claim that’s received lots of attention was the one over the Wall St. Bull and the fact that another statue was placed near the bull, which the artist claims changes his message, and thereby violates VARA. This other claim is from another sculptor, Steve Tobin, who is suing Trinity Church for moving his 9/11 memorial sculpture to Connecticut.

    [...]

    In the end, while the damaging of the statue perhaps adds at least some greater credibility to the VARA claim — even though it wasn’t designed to be a mutilation, just an accident while moving — the fact that an artist can claim (even after giving up all rights and title to the piece) that because the piece has some connection to a site, the owners can no longer move it, would be really, really dangerous. Yes, there’s a stronger argument here as to why this one location is directly tied to this piece of artwork (and many other artists would have trouble showing the same level of connection), any time you argue that artwork is so connected to its siting that moving it would violate the law… something seems to have gone wrong. I can certainly understand why the artist is upset, but as we noted with the bull, artists give up quite a lot of control when they let art out into the world and, as in this case, hand ownership over to a third party.

  • Science

    • Scientists to take to the streets in global march for truth

      Scientists and science supporters will take to the streets in a global March for Science on 22 April . What began as a small Facebook group in the US capital, Washington DC has spiralled into a global phenomenon that will now see marches and other events in more than 500 locations around the world, from Seattle to Seoul.

      It is great news that so many people are prepared to stand up and defend the need for evidence-based thinking and the scientific method. But it is also a sad comment on our times that a March for Science is needed at all. Post-truth populism has infected democracies around the world, scientific objectivity is under threat from multiple sources and there seems a real danger of falling into a modern dystopian dark age.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • African Civil Society, Farmers Demand ARIPO Lift Blackout On Protocol Protecting Plant Varieties

      Civil society and farmers allege communication blackout from by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) about a protocol protecting new plant varieties. The 2015 protocol was highly criticised by those organisations as endangering traditional practices of African farmers. Draft regulations could not be adopted in December, but the regional organisation, according to the civil society and farmer groups, is keeping the outcome of the December meeting secret.

    • Open-source mungbean genetic information website enables better varieties

      Scientists and mungbean growers around the world now have access to an open-source website containing the latest genetic information on the qualities of 560 accessions of mungbean.

      The new website, from QUT’s Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities, provides a database of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genetic markers which can be used to map a variety of traits like disease resistance and yield.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • Reproducible Builds: week 103 in Stretch cycle
    • ‘Benign’ worm seeks out vulnerable smart devices

      A “benign” worm is scouring the net seeking out poorly protected smart gadgets.

      CCTV systems, routers, digital video recorders and other internet-of-things (IoT) devices are now believed to be harbouring the Hajime worm.

    • How to manage the computer-security threat

      COMPUTER security is a contradiction in terms. Consider the past year alone: cyberthieves stole $81m from the central bank of Bangladesh; the $4.8bn takeover of Yahoo, an internet firm, by Verizon, a telecoms firm, was nearly derailed by two enormous data breaches; and Russian hackers interfered in the American presidential election.

      Away from the headlines, a black market in computerised extortion, hacking-for-hire and stolen digital goods is booming. The problem is about to get worse. Computers increasingly deal not just with abstract data like credit-card details and databases, but also with the real world of physical objects and vulnerable human bodies. A modern car is a computer on wheels; an aeroplane is a computer with wings. The arrival of the “Internet of Things” will see computers baked into everything from road signs and MRI scanners to prosthetics and insulin pumps. There is little evidence that these gadgets will be any more trustworthy than their desktop counterparts. Hackers have already proved that they can take remote control of connected cars and pacemakers.

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Open Source Remote Access Trojan Targets Telegram Users

      Remote access Trojans are mainly used to steal consumer data, either for consumers themselves or the conglomerate keeping this information safe from prying eyes. However, it appears criminals are looking at a different approach for these tools right now. A new open source remote access Trojan can now be used to extract data from the Telegram communication platform.

    • New Open Source RAT Uses Telegram Protocol to Steal Data from Victims
    • Open Source Remote Access Trojan Targets Telegram Users
    • Should we worry the general election will be hacked? [iophk: "it will be. no worries."]
    • Hackers use old Stuxnet-related bug to carry out attacks
    • Oracle databases at risk because of a leaked NSA hacking tool, researcher says
    • Script kiddies pwn 1000s of Windows boxes using leaked NSA hack tools

      The NSA’s Equation Group hacking tools, leaked last Friday by the Shadow Brokers, have now been used to infect thousands of Windows machines worldwide, we’re told.

      On Thursday, Dan Tentler, founder of security shop Phobos Group, told The Register he’s seen rising numbers of boxes on the public internet showing signs they have DOUBLEPULSAR installed on them. These hijacked machines can be used to sling malware, spam netizens, launch further attacks on other victims, and so on.

      DOUBLEPULSAR is a backdoor used to inject and run malicious code on an infected system, and is installed using the ETERNALBLUE exploit that attacks SMB file-sharing services on Windows XP to Server 2008 R2. That means to compromise a computer, it must be running a vulnerable version of Windows and expose an SMB service to the attacker. Both DOUBLEPULSAR and ETERNALBLUE are leaked Equation Group tools, now available for any script kiddie or hardened crim to download and wield against vulnerable systems.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Actual Lawyer Thinks That Criminalizing Showing Murder On Facebook Will Prevent Murders On Facebook

      Earlier this week, we wrote about the silly take at Wired, more or less suggesting that it was somehow Facebook’s issue that a troubled individual took a video of himself randomly killing an elderly man and then uploaded the video to Facebook. Unfortunately, others have had similar takes, including the New Yorker’s Steve Coll, whose piece is mostly balanced and admits that it’s basically impossible for Facebook to prevent this thing… but then at the end ignores all that and says, effectively, “Well, Facebook’s big so it has no excuse not to do something.”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Chancellery investigated in hunt for WikiLeaks sources: reports

      German media reported on Thursday that Angela Merkel’s Chancellery has been included in an ongoing investigation into a recent WikiLeaks release of confidential documents.

      Broadcaster NDR reported on Thursday that according to unnamed sources, public prosecutors in Berlin are investigating employees of the Chancellery in their search to find who sent confidential documents to WikiLeaks.

    • Journalism in the Doxing Era: Is Wikileaks Different from the New York Times?

      The question is provocative, but the answer is hard. The reaction to WikiLeaks’ publication of the fruits of Russia’s DNC hack raises many puzzles about how we should think about publication of truthful secret information that touches on public affairs. These puzzles are important to figure out, since organizational doxing is growing more prevalent and consequential and our intuitions about it are not obviously coherent. I don’t have great answers to what traditional news sources like the Times should do with hacked documents, but in practice I think the Times and other mainstream news organizations operate more like WikiLeaks than we have appreciated. Even if I am wrong about that, I hope the following analysis and questions shed a little light on the problem.

      Many people who are appalled by WikiLeaks’ publication of the stolen DNC emails applauded the publication by mainstream news organizations of Snowden’s stolen NSA documents. They emphasize Snowden’s good intent as a whistleblower, the Times’ aim to foster the public interest, and the positive consequences of publication for the public interest (such as exposure of the U.S. intelligence practices, the spread of encryption, more NSA transparency, and a global privacy movement). By contrast, one story goes, Russia and WikiLeaks had bad intent and publication of the DNC emails skewed the public interest.

    • Julian Assange: US set to ‘seek arrest of Wikileaks founder’

      US authorities have prepared charges to arrest the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, according to CNN.

    • Sources: US prepares charges to seek arrest of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

      US authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, US officials familiar with the matter tell CNN.

      The Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site first gained wide attention for posting thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.

      Prosecutors have struggled with whether the First Amendment precluded the prosecution of Assange, but now believe they have found a way to move forward.

      During President Barack Obama’s administration, Attorney General Eric Holder and officials at the Justice Department determined it would be difficult to bring charges against Assange because WikiLeaks wasn’t alone in publishing documents stolen by Manning. Several newspapers, including The New York Times, did as well. The investigation continued, but any possible charges were put on hold, according to US officials involved in the process then.

    • German chancellery investigated in probe into WikiLeaks sources

      Berlin’s chief public prosecutor has extended an investigation into the release of a trove of documents by WikiLeaks to include the chancellery as well as the Bundestag lower house of parliament, broadcaster NDR said on Thursday.

      Last December, WikiLeaks released the confidential documents, which German security agencies had submitted to a parliamentary committee investigating the extent to which German spies helped the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to spy in Europe.

    • Justice Dept. debating charges against WikiLeaks members in revelations of diplomatic, CIA materials

      Federal prosecutors are weighing whether to bring criminal charges against members of the WikiLeaks organization, taking a second look at a 2010 leak of diplomatic cables and military documents and investigating whether the group bears criminal responsibility for the more recent revelation of sensitive CIA cyber-tools, according to people familiar with the case.

      The Justice Department under President Barack Obama had decided not to charge WikiLeaks for revealing some of the government’s most sensitive secrets — concluding that doing so would be akin to prosecuting a news organization for publishing classified information. Justice Department leadership under President Trump, though, has indicated to prosecutors that it is open to taking another look at the case, which the Obama administration did not formally close.

  • Finance

    • Immigrants flooded California construction. Worker pay sank. Here’s why

      But for more than a decade before immigrants flooded the market, contractors and their corporate clients were pushing to undercut construction wages by shunning union labor.

      [...]

      The result: Today slightly more than 1 in 10 construction workers are in a union, compared with 4 in 10 in the 1970s.

    • The final tipping point for O’Reilly and Fox was plain old money
    • EU leader: UK would be welcomed back if voters overturn Brexit

      The president of the European parliament has said Britain would be welcomed back with open arms if voters changed their minds about Brexit on 8 June, challenging Theresa May’s claim that “there is no turning back” after article 50.

      Speaking after a meeting with the prime minister in Downing Street, Antonio Tajani insisted that her triggering of the departure process last month could be reversed easily by the remaining EU members if there was a change of UK government after the general election, and that it would not even require a court case.

    • Argentina: Brexit could end Europe’s support for UK control of Falklands

      Argentina believes Brexit might cost Britain the support of European allies for its control of the Falkland Islands and is watching developments closely, the Argentinian foreign minister said in Brussels.

      Visiting the EU capital for trade talks on Thursday, Susana Malcorra stressed it was too soon to say whether Britain quitting the bloc might soften EU backing for London against an 18th-century claim to the South Atlantic islands that Buenos Aires has maintained despite losing a brief war there in 1982.

    • EU leader: UK would be welcomed back if voters overturn Brexit

      The president of the European parliament has said Britain would be welcomed back with open arms if voters changed their minds about Brexit on 8 June, challenging Theresa May’s claim that “there is no turning back” after article 50.

      Speaking after a meeting with the prime minister in Downing Street, Antonio Tajani insisted that her triggering of the departure process last month could be reversed easily by the remaining EU members if there was a change of UK government after the general election, and that it would not even require a court case.

      “If the UK, after the election, wants to withdraw [article 50], then the procedure is very clear,” he said in an interview. “If the UK wanted to stay, everybody would be in favour. I would be very happy.”

    • Corporate Sovereignty Used To Bully Ukraine, Colombia And Italy For Protecting Public Health And The Environment

      Since Rockhopper is an oil exploration company, it must have carried out detailed studies on the geology of the field before deciding to drill for oil and gas. Either its geologists were negligent in not spotting that there was a risk of earthquakes which made the area unsuitable for exploitation, or the company knew about the dangers, and decided to continue with its plans anyway. In any case, it’s ridiculous that Rockhopper thinks the Italian government owes it money for “lost future profits” that clearly never existed anywhere other than in the company’s fantasies.

      This is a general problem with corporate sovereignty claims: they often invoke some mythical “future profits” as if those were indisputable and guaranteed. But business is based on rewarding calculated risk-taking, and that includes the risk that hoped-for profits never materialize. ISDS is an attempt to remove the risk of investment from companies, and place it squarely on the public’s shoulders, without any quid pro quo.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Could Trump’s Financial Ties Have Influenced His Phone Call With Erdogan?

      Instead, Trump’s actions point to a subtler type of influence. Whether or not he wants it to be—indeed, whether or not he even knows it—it is natural that Trump’s attitude toward Erdogan and Turkey is shaped in part by the fact that he has business interests within the country.

    • Poll: Trump gets historically low approval ratings

      President Trump’s average approval rating is the lowest since Gallup began presidential approval surveys in 1953, the polling firm said Thursday.

      Trump’s approval rating has been as low as 39 percent since January, but averaged out at 41 percent. According to Gallup, the historical average approval of presidents is 61 percent.

      The previous president to hold Gallup’s lowest approval rating in their first quarter was former President Bill Clinton, who had a 55 percent approval rating.

    • A quarter of news shared about French election is fake: report

      One in four political links shared on social media in France ahead of the first round of the country’s presidential election Sunday contained misinformation, according to a study by Oxford University researchers.

      “Highly automated accounts,” which “occasionally generated large amounts of traffic” are particularly targeting Conservative presidential candidate François Fillon, according to the study, which is to be published Friday but was previewed by Reuters.

      But Europeans are sharing better quality news than Americans did ahead of the U.S. presidential election last year, the study found.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • New GCHQ chief arrives in wake of UK-US wiretap spat

      A senior intelligence officer who led counter-terrorism operations for the London 2012 Olympics has been appointed as head of the UK’s surveillance agency GCHQ.

    • Intelligence Community Pushes to Keep Surveillance Powers

      The Office of the Director of National Intelligence Wednesday published a document advocating for the protection of what newly minted spy chief Dan Coats has described as the “crown jewels” of the intelligence community.

      The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act, in particular Section 702, authorizes the bulk of the intelligence community’s overseas digital collection powers. A new informational questionnaire published by the ODNI, says maintaining those surveillance powers is “the intelligence community’s top legislative priority for 2017.”

      If Congress didn’t reauthorize those authorities, it would “greatly impair the ability of the United States to respond to national security threats,” the document notes.

    • We’re spying on you for your own protection, says NSA, FBI

      A new factsheet by the NSA and FBI has laid bare ludicrous contradictions in how US intelligence agencies choose to interpret a law designed to prevent spying on American citizens, but which they use to achieve exactly that end.

    • Schiff advocates for NSA, Cyber Command split

      Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Wednesday said it would be “wise” to have separate leaders for the two organizations, pushing for a civilian head of the NSA during remarks at Columbia Law School in New York.

      Currently, the two organizations are both led by Adm. Mike Rogers. Congress elevated Cyber Command to a unified combatant command using annual defense policy legislation passed last year, but also required the Pentagon to conduct a full assessment before splitting it from the NSA.

    • The Teddy Bear And Toaster Act Is Device Regulation Done Wrong

      Should government to protect us from snooping teddy bears and untrustworthy toasters? The California State Senate seems to think so.

      With traditional devices on the decline, laptop and desktop computers now account for less than 25 percent of internet network traffic. Indeed, American households now use, on average, seven connected devices every day. As this so-called “internet of things” continues to expand, an array of connected objects—from toasters to lightbulbs to dishwashers—now include embedded microprocessors, multiplying the number of potential threat vectors for data breaches and cyberattacks.

    • Thursday’s papers: New intelligence powers under scrutiny, also, warm summer ahead? Nope.

      On Wednesday Juha Sipilä’s government unfurled long-awaited draft legislation aimed at beefing up the country’s intelligence-gathering muscle. Experts immediately weighed in, saying that the draft bill clearly needs finessing.

      Capital-based daily Helsingin Sanomat interviewed two experts who both said that the government’s attempt to craft unified legislation governing intelligence-gathering activities still needs work. HS spoke with international law professor Martin Scheinin, who said outright that Finland doesn’t need such legal reform – at least not in the form proposed by the Interior and Defence ministries.

      “It has not been shown that there are any shortcomings in the powers of Finnish police, customs and intelligence police,” Scheinin told the paper.

    • Microsoft will cut services to standalone Office users so they’ll subscribe to Office 365

      In an update to Microsoft’s Office 365 system requirements released on Thursday, Microsoft said that consumers who have already purchased “perpetual”—i.e., standalone—versions of Office, such as Office 2010, Office 2013, and Office 2016, would be cut off from accessing the business versions of OneDrive and Skype after mainstream support expires.

    • Facebook Just Handed Out Thousands of 360 Cameras. We’ve Got a Review

      Giroptic released a new Android-compatible version of its mobile 360 camera as part of the F8 giveaway.

    • Illinois resident sues Bose over alleged wiretapping

      Zak said he had bought a set of Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless Bluetooth headphones. He alleged that unknown to customers, a Bose Connect app had been designed to collect and record the titles of the music and audio files that users of its wireless products played.

      Additionally, he claimed, Bose was transmitting this data, including personal identifiers, to third parties, including a data miner, without the user’s consent or knowledge.

    • Bose faces lawsuit claiming headphone apps collects user data

      The complaint filed in U.S. district court in Illinois alleges Bose collected information such as music and audio choices through its Connect mobile app, then shared that with other companies — including a data mining firm — without user consent.

    • DHS Boss Calls For More Fear, Less Encryption

      The Trump administration is rebranding the country: Make America Fear Again. In response to a national crime wave that doesn’t exist, the head of the DOJ is rolling back police reform and replacing it with extra “toughness.” Under the new regime, law enforcement officers will have the full (and, apparently, unconditional) backing of the White House.

      The DHS is joining the DOJ in flexing its new muscle. DHS Secretary John Kelly has already stated he’s looking to turn requests for visitors’ social media/email account information into demands, which would include the mandatory relinquishment of account passwords.

    • Digital Economy Bill: What Could Happen After the Government Crackdown on Online Pornography

      “What they [the government] haven’t taken into account is privacy or security,” Mr Jackman told The Independent explaining there is “absolutely no prohibition” on companies that provide the age verification checks from “monetising” the data of the website visitors.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Don’t Bet On The Emergence Of A ‘Religious Left’
    • Taslima Nasreen supports Sonu Nigam, says Kolkata Imam issued fatwa against her too

      The row began after Sonu Nigam tweeted saying how the sound of azaan woke him up from sleep. He had said that it was “forced religiousness” and use of loudspeakers at religious places should stop. Reacting to Sonu’s statement, a Kolkata Imam Syed Shah Atif Al-Qaderi said that he would give Rs 10 lakh to anyone who shaves Sonu Nigam’s head and garlands with him footwear.

    • Iran’s Guardian Council Tries to Exclude Non-Muslims from Running

      Just one week before parliament is to approve a list of candidates, a letter published this week by Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the head of the Guardian Council, declared it is against Sharia (Islamic law) for non-Muslims to be candidates in Shia Muslim-majority areas in city and village council elections. These contests, along with the presidential election, are set for May 19.

    • Indonesia prosecutors call for Christian Jakarta governor to be jailed amid election defeat

      Hardline Muslim groups alleged that the governor had insulted Islam and dishonoured the Quran by quoting a verse during his campaign to boost his chances of winning the governor’s post for a second term.

    • Ayaan Hirsi Ali on What the Future Holds for Muslim Women

      At many American universities today, any critical examination pertaining to Islam, including Shariah and the treatment of women in Islam, is declared to be out of the realm of scrutiny. My thoughts on the crisis within Islam were so terrifying to Brandeis University — the university named for a champion of the First Amendment — that it withdrew its invitation to speak and accept an honorary degree. A strange irony that my story frightened the university more than the litany of honor killings and wholesale abuse of women in so many parts of the Islamic world.

    • Indian Army tie captured Kahmiri man to the front of a jeep to deter rock-throwers
    • NYPD Finally Comes Up With A Body Camera Policy, And It’s Terrible

      Nearly four years after the NYPD was ordered by a federal judge to implement body cameras, the department is finally getting around to finalizing its rule set for deployment. Part of the delay is due to the NYPD seeking input from the public — input it has apparently decided to ignore.

      As Scott Greenfield notes, the NYPD gets everything wrong about its policies, applying guidelines that directly contradict the responses received from everyone in New York City not wearing a blue uniform.

    • First prison unit for extremists to open this summer

      Three purpose-built blocks are to open within high-security jails to hold the most dangerous extremist prisoners away from other inmates.

      The Ministry of Justice said the blocks will have their own facilities and be able to hold up to 28 people in total.

      The first unit will open this summer at Frankland Prison, County Durham, with two more to follow at other jails.

      Ministers said last year that they wanted to isolate extremist inmates who “seek to poison the minds of others”.

      [...]

      Justice Secretary Liz Truss first announced the plans last August after accepting a recommendation from an independent review into radicalisation in English and Welsh prisons.

      The report had found evidence of inmates advocating support for so-called Islamic State and some prisoners acting as “self-styled emirs” to radicalise offenders.

    • Cop Arrested, Fired After Wife Captures His Abusive Actions On His Own Body Camera

      This is one of the strangest “but for video” cases ever. We know many cops are hesitant to clip body-worn cameras on themselves for a variety of reasons. The official statements always express concern about privacy, as though people interacting with public servants somehow believe these interactions are private. Others show concern for police officers’ privacy, as though the public is really hoping to FOIA footage of officers sitting in the break room or using the restroom.

      Deep down, everyone knows the cameras are a tool of accountability, albeit one that’s far from perfect. Body camera footage frequently goes “missing” when force is deployed questionably. And it’s completely possible to make the footage subjective with strategic body positioning and constant yelling of exonerative phrases like “Stop resisting!”

      So, it’s accountability in its infancy, run through a layer of law enforcement-friendly filters (footage is controlled by police officers and often sheltered from FOIA requests). But it’s much better than what we had before, where all action had to take place in front of stationary dashboard cameras.

    • 162 Tech Companies Tell Appeals Court That Trump’s 2nd Travel Ban Is Illegal

      As you’ll recall, back in early February, over 100 tech companies signed onto an amicus brief, arguing that President Trump’s initial plan to bar immigration from certain countries was unconstitutional and illegal. A month later, a smaller group of companies signed onto an amicus brief in the district court in Hawaii concerning the revised travel ban (and a few people noted that some of the companies that signed onto the first brief had not signed onto the second one — wondering if that meant many companies weren’t as worried about the revised ban. Except, yesterday an even larger group of tech companies (162 in total) signed onto a new amicus brief for the 4th Circuit court of appeals which is the next appeals court hearing a case on the revised travel ban. And, yes, we at the Copia Institute signed onto this one as well (we also signed onto the first two).

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • CRTC strengthens its commitment to net neutrality, consumer choice and free exchange of ideas by citizens

      The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today strengthened its commitment to net neutrality by declaring that Internet service providers should treat data traffic equally to foster consumer choice, innovation and the free exchange of ideas. As such, the CRTC today is publishing a new framework regarding differential pricing practices.

    • Canada Censures Quebecor in Net Neutrality Split With U.S.

      Canada is strengthening regulations to protect the principle of net neutrality just as the U.S. is preparing to gut Obama-era internet rules.

    • Your internet provider can’t pick which apps and services count against your data cap, says CRTC

      “While the CRTC could have gone further,” the group said in a statement, “today’s ruling is still a very positive step in the right direction.”

    • Roku Hires DC Lobbyists For First Time To Fight For Net Neutrality

      With broadband privacy rules dead, ISP lobbyists and their loyal lawmakers have begun quickly shifting their attention to killing FCC oversight of broadband providers and net neutrality. We’ve pointed out how folks concerned about this shouldn’t expect a lot of help from the likes of Facebook, Netflix and Google this go round. We’ve also noted how folks need to begin waking up to the false arguments being used to sell the pitch (namely that gutting net neutrality and FCC authority over ISPs will be fine because existing FTC rules will protect users, which simply isn’t true).

    • FCC Moves To Make Life Easier For Business Broadband Monopolies

      By now, most people understand that the residential broadband market simply isn’t very competitive. They also understand that’s in large part due to the lobbying and financial stranglehold many providers have over both state and federal lawmakers and regulators. But however uncompetitive the residential broadband market is, the business “special access market” (often called Business Data Services (BDS)) is notably worse. This important but overlooked segment of the telecom market connects schools, cell towers, ATMs, retailers, and countless others to the internet at large.

      But consumer groups and smaller companies for years have complained that this segment suffers under an absurd amount of monopoly control, resulting in many companies and organizations paying sky-high rates for basic connectivity. According to the FCC’s own data (pdf), in the lion’s share of markets, 73% of the special access market is controlled by one provider (usually AT&T, CenturyLink or Verizon), 24% usually “enjoys” duopoly control, and only a tiny fraction of markets have more than two choices of BDS providers providing this key connectivity.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ISP Can’t Have Blanket Immunity From Pirating Subscribers, Court Rules

        A New York federal court has dismissed the ‘piracy liability’ case U.S. Internet provider Windstream filed against music group BMG and its anti-piracy partner Rightscorp. The court rules that, without concrete examples of alleged copyright infringements, it can’t just give blanket approval to the ISPs business model.

      • Departure Of YouTube From Russia Could Result In Growth Of Pirated Content, Government Warns

        The use of pirated content in Russia may significantly increase in the event of a decision by leading foreign video-sharing websites and servers to leave the country due to the planned imposition of restrictions on their ownership by foreigners, which is currently being considered by the Russian government and the local Parliament (State Duma).

04.20.17

Links 20/4/2017: Tor Browser 6.5.2, PacketFence 7.0, New Firefox and Chrome

Posted in News Roundup at 6:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Sia Blockchain Encrypted Cloud Storage Technology Now Integrates with Nextcloud

    Jos Poortvliet from Nextcloud informed us about the availability of a new external storage app developed by the Sia folks to provide Nextcloud users with blockchain-based cloud storage support.

    Sia is known as a blockchain-based, decentralized cloud storage technology, and starting with version 1.1.2, the platform appears to integrate with Nextcloud, providing users with an affordable, distributed, and last but not least encrypted external storage.

  • Introducing the Open Source Entrepreneur Network

    I’ve been an open source guy for many years now – since 1998. Over the years I’ve been a proud open source user, sometime developer, and overall advocate. Seeing the success of open source has been a real joy, but I’ve also been mystified by the myths that permeate the industry when it comes to business models and product development and where they intersect with open source software. Now that open source has “won” the focus now shifts to opimization. As in, how do you optimize your processes to fully participate in and get maximum benefits from all the things happening right now in open source ecosystems?

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla abandons experimental Aurora Firefox channel

        Mozilla is killing the channel it introduced for developers to test experimental new features in Firefox and keep pace with Chrome.

        The Aurora channel will stop receiving new code releases from 18 April, Mozilla has said.

        New code will revert to the established Firefox Nightly builds from where it will land in beta builds of Firefox Developer Edition.

      • 53.0 Firefox Release

        Today’s Firefox release makes Firefox faster and more stable with a separate process for graphics compositing (the Quantum Compositor). Compact themes and tabs save screen real estate, and the redesigned permissions notification improves usability. Learn more on the Mozilla Blog.

      • Mozilla Firefox 53.0 Released, Drops Old Linux CPU Support
      • Mozilla Firefox 53.0 Released, Drops Old Linux CPU Support

        Firefox 53.0 drops pre Pentium 4 and Opteron Linux support. Firefox 53.0 also has support for WebM videos with alpha channel, lightweight theme changes along with new light and dark lightweight/compact theme options shipping, the Reader Mode can now display a time estimate for reading a given web page, and more. Mozilla also decided to remove the Aurora channel from their release cycle. There are also other changes in Firefox 53.0, but mostly affecting macOS and Windows users (like a “Quantum Compositor” being used now by Firefox on Windows)

      • Mozilla Firefox 53.0 Web Browser Drops Linux Support for Older Processors

        The Firefox 53.0 web browser was made available for download earlier today, for all supported platforms, but and an official announcement was published by the Mozilla folks a few moments ago with details about the new features.

        As revealed already, most of the new changes implemented in Mozilla Firefox 53.0 are related to the Windows platform, including the improved graphics stability by using the Quantum Compositor in a separate process, which should reduce browser crashed with approximately 10 percent.

      • Firefox faster and more stable with the first big bytes of Project Quantum, simpler with compact themes and permissions redesign

        Today’s release of Firefox includes the first significant piece of Project Quantum, as well as various visible and the under-the-hood improvements.

      • Firefox 53.0 officially released, ends old processor support

        Mozilla have now officially announced Firefox 53.0 and it ends support for older processors on Linux. If you’re on a CPU older than a Pentium 4 or AMD Opteron it’s time to upgrade if you want to continue being supported.

      • Why Firefox? Because not everybody is a web designer, silly

        Write, as I have, about Firefox and you receive the usual slew of critics who demand to know why Firefox matters? Who cares if Firefox continues to exist? This is often accompanied by “Chrome is better! Chrome is all we need!”

        Clearly a lot of people do think Chrome is better. StatCounter, which offers reasonably reliable numbers on browser market share, puts Chrome at just over 50 per cent of all web browsers.

        That’s an impressive market share, one that leaves the remainder of the browser world as a fight among minor fiefdoms, with Mozilla holding about 14 per cent and Microsoft (combining Edge and IE) about the same. Safari and Opera are hardly worth mentioning on the desktop (though you should see Opera’s worldwide mobile stats, nothing to sneeze at there).

  • SaaS/Back End

    • IBM Brings Anaconda Open Data Science Platform to its Cognitive Systems

      IBM is working with Continuum Analytics to offer the latter’s Anaconda open data science platform as part of IBM’s Cognitive Systems. Anaconda will also integrate with IBM’s PowerAI software for machine learning and deep learning.

    • Hadoop: the rise of the modern data lake platform

      Hadoop, while it may be synonymous with big data, and while it may be free to access and work with, engineering teams globally will admit that behind every Hadoop undertaking is a major technical delivery project.

      Failures are so commonplace that even the experts don’t have great expectations of 2017: at the recent Gartner Data & Analytics Summit in Sydney, research director Nick Heudecker claimed that 70% of Hadoop deployments in 2017 will either fail to deliver their estimated cost savings or their predicted revenue.

    • The best minds in open source gather at OpenStack Summit Boston

      In my keynote address a year ago at the OpenStack Summit Austin, I offered the OpenStack community an ultimatum. First, I described how our world was exploding with connected devices (50 billion by 2020) and that 400 million new servers would be needed to process and store that data, which creates a massive challenge for those of us in the infrastructure business. How will we meet the needs of users at that scale?

    • What will OpenStack R be Named?

      That time again, when members of the OpenStack community vote on the release name for the upcoming series of milestones. The current release is called Ocata, the next release is code named Pike and is set to debut August 28.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Upcoming Features of LibreOffice 5.4

      As reported the other day, The Document Foundation announced that the first bug hunting session for the upcoming LibreOffice 5.4 office suite would take place on April 28, 2017, debugging the first Alpha build that’ll be released early next week.

      However, as promised, in this article we’ll take a look at the upcoming features of LibreOffice 5.4, at least those that have been already revealed. These include new “Edit Section” and “Footnotes and Endnotes” entry in the context menu of the Writer, which work if the cursor is in a section, as well as in a footnote or endnote. Check out the screenshot gallery below to see them in action.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

  • Programming/Development

    • Uncovering 32 Qt best practices at compile time with clazy

      In a previous blog post we introduced clazy, a clang plugin which makes the compiler understand Qt semantics, allowing you to get compile-time warnings about Qt best practices ranging from unneeded memory allocations to misuse of API, including fix-its for automatic refactoring.

    • Clang-Based Tool Makes It Easy To Show Inefficient Qt Coding Mistakes

      Back in 2015 we wrote about the “Clazy” static analyzer for Clang as a way to uncover various coding shortcomings for KDE/Qt programs. Since then, Clazy has become much more capable.

      KDE developer and KDAB employee Sérgio Martins has written a new blog post about 32 of the best practices that Clazy can now spot at compile-time to point out to developers. He confirmed in a message to Phoronix that most of the issues brought up by Clazy are in regards to performance-sensitive areas that could be improved by the developer analyzing their code with this tool.

    • Automatic MySQL schema management with Skeema

      I first started using MySQL at a college IT job in 2003, and over the years I eventually began tackling much larger-scale deployments at Tumblr and Facebook. I’ve spent most of the past decade working on social networks, where massive high-volume database technology is fundamental to the product. I love the technical challenges present in that type of environment, as well as the huge potential impact of database automation and tooling. In companies with giant databases and many engineers, a well-designed automation system can provide a truly enormous increase in productivity.

    • 5 lessons learned when developing my first web app

      I developed my first web app as part of my final project in college. Instead of developing a web app only for the purpose of completing my project, I chose to develop one that could solve a real-world problem. I decided to create Cyber Manager, an online cyber cafe management system for cyber cafe administrators, which has been downloaded nearly 3,000 times since I first uploaded it on SourceForge.net in 2011. In this article, I’ll walk through five lessons I learned during the process, which might help you during and after developing your own web app. I’ll end with a quick look at Cyber Manager and how it works.

    • Secure Web Apps with JavaEE and Apache Fortress

      ApacheCon is just a couple months away — coming up May 16-18 in Miami. We asked Shawn McKinney, Software Architect at Symas Corporation, to share some details about his talk at ApacheCon. His presentation — “The Anatomy of a Secure Web Application Using Java EE, Spring Security, and Apache Fortress” will focus on an end-to-end application security architecture for an Apache Wicket Web app running in Tomcat. McKinney explains more in this interview.

    • Regulate This! Time to subject algorithms to our laws

      Algorithms are almost as pervasive in our lives as cars and the internet. And just as these modes and mediums are considered vital to our economy and society, and are therefore regulated, we must ask whether it’s time to also regulate algorithms.

      Let’s accept that the rule of law is meant to provide solid ground upon which our society can function. Some laws stop us taking each other’s stuff (property, liberty, lives) while others help us swap our stuff in a way that’s fair to the parties involved (property, liberty, time).

Leftovers

  • G Suite vs Office 365 – What’s the best office suite for business? [iophk: "false dilemma; also notice the "Microsoft Look and Feel" promotion"]

    For businesses wanting an online suite that is most simple to use, Google is the ideal option. Its one-stop-shop approach is particularly attractive to businesses starting out and those looking for a clean and responsive productivity suite. Yet Office 365′s user interface is one that most will be familiar with, drawing on Microsoft’s extensive experience with productivity tools.

  • Apple Takes Heat For Software Lock That Prevents iPhone 7 Home Button Replacement By Third-Party Vendors

    We’ve been discussing for some time how John Deere, Apple, Sony and Microsoft are among a laundry list of companies fighting against so-called “right to repair” bills. The bills, currently being pushed in a handful of different states, make it easier for consumers to repair their own products and find replacement parts and tools. The bills are an organic consumer response to the attempts of many of these companies to monopolize repair, driven in large part by John Deere’s draconian lockdown on “unauthorized repairs” — forcing tractor owners to pirate tractor firmware and maintenance tools just to repair products they thought they owned.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Fresno shooting: three killed by gunman in suspected race attack

      Three white men have been shot and killed by a black gunman in Fresno, California, in a suspected race attack, police have said.

      The suspect, Kori Ali Muhammad, allegedly said “God is great” in Arabic before he was arrested, the police chief, Jerry Dyer, said at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon.

      However, Dyer said the shooting did not appear to be connected to terrorism.

      “He [Muhammad] did clarify that the reason he had made that statement was that in the event that anything did happen to him he was in fact pledging his allegiance to God for protection,” he said.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • What Julian Assange Is Really Doing

      Most people know the what about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks – that they publish secret information – but they don’t know the why. And that’s a great loss, because the reason behind all the leaks is both brilliant and illuminating.
      It Usually Starts with the Cypherpunks

      The first thing to understand is that WikiLeaks, like Bitcoin, came from the cypherpunks. In particular, WikiLeaks was spawned by a cypherpunk group that formed (spontaneously) in Melbourne, Australia.

      [...]

      I hope you can see how brilliant the WikiLeaks strategy really is. They’re not reacting after the events, as in exposing dirty laundry. They are acting in advance, disrupting their enemy’s ability to function in the future.

      And here’s where it gets even better: A network of this type invariably reacts to leaks by closing itself tighter against untrusted links. And so, by closing itself off from intrusion, the network becomes less and less able to engage with anything outside itself. And the less it engages with things outside itself, the less it can enact power outside itself.

    • Assange, Melenchon and the animals.

      Be aware that the CIA/Pompeo has desperately vowed to “end” Wikileaks “now”.

      I feel the French especially understand how important it is to seek the truth.

  • Finance

    • Amazon expands in Australia and plans huge warehouse

      # sweatshop

      The company announced the long-anticipated move on Thursday, and according to Business Insider reported is looking for warehouse space in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne to become its first 93,000 sq m Australian “fulfilment centre”.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Skype top comms tool among cyber criminals: study

      Despite its lack of end-to-end encryption, Microsoft’s Skype remains the top communications tool used by most English-speaking cyber criminals, and among the top five tools used by five other language groups, a study has found.

    • New ‘Perceptual’ Ad Blocking Tech Doesn’t Win The Ad Blocking War, But It May Put Advertisers On Their Heels… Permanently

      We’ve long documented how there’s a growing array of websites that seem intent on shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to “defeating” ad blocking. Quite often that includes punishing customers for a website’s own misdeeds, or using ham-fisted (and frankly often broken) systems that attempt to block the ad blockers. Of course, this tends to obfuscate why these users are using blockers in the first place, whether it’s to keep ads from eating their broadband usage allotments, or simply as an attempt to protect themselves from “ads” that are often indistinguishable from malware.

      The bottom line is that thanks to aggressive, poorly designed or downright hostile ads, many consumers quite justly now feel that ad blockers are an essential part of their privacy and security. Here at Techdirt, we long ago decided to let our visitors decide what their ad experience looks like, letting visitors disable ads entirely if that’s they’re preference (we just, of course, hope they’ll try to support us in other ways). Elsewhere though, websites are engaged in what feels like a futile game of Whac-a-Mole that seems increasingly obvious (to some) won’t be “winnable.”

      New developments on the ad block front seem to indicate this game of Whac-a-Mole may soon end up with the mole being — well — most decidedly whacked.

    • Finnish intelligence to get broader online surveillance powers
    • WhatsApp and Facebook might soon share your data with each other

      A new EU agreement could mean WhatsApp user data is shared with Facebook, despite user protest over privacy incursions. The new deal amends WhatsApp’s relationship to Facebook in what would be a radical new way forward for the messaging app, which has long celebrated its encrypted nature.

    • Pirate Bay Founder Launches Anonymous Domain Registration Service

      Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde has a new privacy-oriented startup. Today he launches the domain registration service Njalla, which offers site owners full anonymity, shielding them from the prying eyes of outsiders.

    • How to Delete Your Facebook Account Now

      However, for many, it’s simply a colossal waste of time.

      Regardless of why you want to cut ties with Facebook, here’s how to deactivate and delete your account now.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Melbourne man pleads guilty to marrying 14yo bride in wedding at Noble Park
    • How to beat your wife

      If you want people to respect your religion, then accept that there are problematic verses and reform them. Do not try to tell us that we are making a big deal. Let me reiterate, it’s not that these commands are not taken as being symbolic, it is that they exist.

    • State of Neglect: Breaking the Silence on Sexual Abuse in Pakistan

      There are not enough social workers and social activists who can go out and combat this issue or try to amend this biased judicial system. Those who try to voice their opinions and bring change are silenced.

    • Jakarta election: Ahok makes last appeal as polling booths open

      In the neighbourhoods of Jakarta, banners claiming that Muslims who vote for Ahok will be denied burial rites have been strung up at local mosques.

    • “Un-Islamic practices” detected once again at Malacca’s Pulau Besar

      He said without a permanent presence, khurafat practices would go on, despite enforcement officers periodically raiding the area, as the heretical groups would simply return to the island, as they have done in the past.

    • [Older] Preserving the Values of the West / The Decline and Fall of History [iophk: "warning for PDF"]

      Remarks by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a fellow of the Future of Democracy Project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and founder of the AHA Foundation, and Niall Ferguson, senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a senior fellow of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, upon accepting the 2016 Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education. The award was presented on October 28, 2016.

    • Praise Allah and Pass the Cudgel
    • MCA: Night-market ruling in Kelantan an ‘erosion of non-Muslim rights’

      He added that it is also ridiculous to solely target petty traders, adding that if the state government wanted all businesses to stop operations temporarily, then it must do the same for its banking system.

    • [Older] Fleeing Woman Returned to Saudi Arabia Against Her Will

      Human Rights Watch has documented how under Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system, adult women must obtain permission from a male guardian to travel abroad, marry, or be released from prison, and may be required to provide guardian consent to work or get health care. These restrictions last from birth until death, as women are, in the view of the Saudi state, permanent legal minors.

    • Algeria parties ordered to show female faces on posters

      Parties in Bordj Bou Arreridj Province had been showing hijabs surrounding blank spaces alongside photos of male candidates.

    • Arizona Governor Signs Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Into Law, Raising Evidentiary Burden For Law Enforcement

      While it doesn’t go so far as to establish a conviction requirement, it does make it a little more difficult for law enforcement agencies to walk off with citizens’ possessions. Unfortunately, not much has been done to address the terrible recourse process, which dumps the burden of proof back on the citizen whose possessions have been taken.

      Navigating this particular legal thicket often requires a lawyer and there’s a good chance the best possible outcome will be a partial release of the property seized. Fortunately, going the lawsuit route will be a little less risky in the future: the new law also ensures legal fees will be awarded to winning parties who manage to litigate the return of seized property.

      Even if Governor Ducey had been opposed to the reform bill, he wouldn’t have been able to defend a veto in the same way Idaho Governor Butch Otter did when shooting down a popular reform effort there. There’s plenty of evidence the state’s asset forfeiture laws have been abused.

    • Court: No Immunity For Federal Agent Who Made Elderly Woman Stand In Urine-Soaked Pants For Two Hours While He Questioned Her

      The Ninth Circuit Appeals Court has affirmed a lower court’s stripping of a federal officer’s qualified immunity in a… moon rock sting case. This is a thing. Relatives and friends of NASA personnel have received what they believe are gifts from them — items containing moon rock pieces, or heat shield fragments, or whatever. The problem here is the government believes it owns anything related to its exploration missions.

      It’s not always illegal to be in possession of these items, but as Lowering the Bar’s Kevin Underhill explains, it’s almost always going to be treated as illegal by the federal government.

    • ‘Pakistanis themselves give a bad name to Pakistan and Islam,’ says Malala Yousafzai

      Referring to the recent mob-lynching of a university student for ‘blasphemy’, Pakistani Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai, in a strongly-worded video message, said no one but Pakistan is to blame for the poor image it has in the world.

      “We talk about Islamophobia and how people give a bad name to our country and our religion. No one is giving a bad name to our country or our religion. We are doing that all by ourselves. We are enough for that,” Yousafzai said in the video message.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Comcast Belatedly ‘Introduces’ Faster Broadband To City It Sued To Keep From Doing The Same Thing Years Ago. It Didn’t Go Well

      Back in 2008, Comcast sued the city of Chattanooga shortly after the city-owned utility (Electric Power Board, or EPB) announced plans to deliver the kind of cheap, ultra-fast broadband Comcast long refused to. After being saddled with legal expenses, EPB ultimately won that lawsuit, and in 2010 began offering ultra-fast fiber broadband. But it wasn’t long before the community-owned broadband network ran into another obstacle: a Tennessee state protectionist law — quite literally written by AT&T and Comcast — that hamstrung the operation and prohibited it from expanding.

      Fast forward nearly a decade, and EPB now offers symmetrical gigabit connections for around $70 a month — at least to the parts of Chattanooga ISP lobbyists have allowed it to. A 2016 survey by Consumer Reports ranked EPB, outside of Google Fiber, as the only ISP with a truly positive consumer satisfaction rating among the 30 national ISPs ranked by the magazine. Chattanooga’s Mayor, meanwhile, has cited EPB as a major contributor to the city’s reinvention.

    • Why Is The Hotel Industry More Focused On Harming Airbnb Than Improving Their Own Product?

      It’s no secret that the hotel industry hates competition from Airbnb. Hell, politicians have even admitted to crafting anti-Airbnb policies to keep hotels from being disrupted. But, now, the NY Times has got its hands on a specific plan from the hotel industry to basically hamper Airbnb and burden it with legal and policy challenges (I should note, by way of some sort of disclosure, that I’m typing this while sitting at a desk at an Airbnb apartment in Washington DC — and, similarly, that it’s much nicer and significantly cheaper than comparable hotels, but I digress…).

    • [Older] Roku has hired a team of lobbyists as it gears up for a net neutrality fight

      That’s why Roku has hired a pair of Republican lobbyists through an outside government-affairs firm, according to a federal ethics reports filed this week, specifically to focus on net neutrality. It’s the first time the company has ever retained lobbyists in Washington, D.C.

  • DRM

    • Internet Archive: “DRM for the Web is a Bad Idea”

      Brewster Kahle, who invented the first two search engines and went on to found and run the Internet Archive has published an open letter describing the problems that the W3C’s move to standardize DRM for the web without protecting otherwise legal acts, like archiving, will hurt the open web.

    • DRM for the Web is a Bad Idea

      I asked our crawler folks what the impact of the EME proposal could be to us, and what they came back with seems well reasoned but strongly negative to our mission.

04.19.17

Links 19/4/2017: DockerCon Coverage, Ubuntu Switching to Wayland

Posted in News Roundup at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 Open Source companies to watch in 2017

    As if getting venture funding themselves isn’t exciting enough for open source-oriented startups, seeing an open source-focused company like Deis get snapped up by Microsoft must be a thrill as well.

    While it would be more thrilling, perhaps, if Microsoft disclosed how much it paid, I’m sure those in the startup world and their backers have ways of finding out that information. Not that the acquisition path is necessarily the exit route that all of these startups envision for themselves, but such money can obviously talk.

  • Open source telco projects will struggle to gain traction until 5G matures

    Large-scale telco cloud deployments will reach global critical mass after 2020, in parallel with the deployment for 5G, according to a new study from ABI Research. Such massive deployments will likely require the new core network currently being architected by 3GPP to allow for advanced concepts, including network slicing and services geared toward different business verticals. The research firm adds that early 5G deployments will likely focus on enhanced mobile broadband, during which time there will not be an immediate need for a new telco core.

  • 3 things community managers can learn from the 50 state strategy

    There are a lot of parallels between the world of politics and open source development. Open source community members can learn a lot about how political parties cultivate grass-roots support and local organizations, and empower those local organizations to keep people engaged. Between 2005 and 2009, Howard Dean was the chairman of the Democratic National Congress in the United States, and instituted what was known as the “50 state strategy” to grow the Democratic grass roots. That strategy, and what happened after it was changed, can teach community managers some valuable lessons about keeping community contributors. Here are three lessons community managers can learn from it.

  • Open source is changing the build or buy question
  • Events

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Partnerships and collaboration: the secret to big data innovation done better with open source software and Obsidian Systems

      The strength of open source software is the community that helps to develop it and the vendors that adopt it, and that’s just as true in the world of high-end enterprise solutions for real-time big data management as it is for traditional data warehousing and business intelligence. That’s why Obsidian Systems, South Africa’s leading open source software provider, has partnered with global leaders in the field to bring the benefits of live data capture and analytics to local companies with some of the most powerful and cost-effective platforms available.

      Obsidian has built a strong reputation for real-time analytics in finance, retail, mining and telecommunications. It’s done this by leveraging the capabilities of its key partners in the field, Hortonworks and Talend.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.4 Office Suite Enters Development, Slated for Release in Late July

      The Document Foundation, through Italo Vignoli, announced today, April 18, 2017, that the upcoming major update to the popular LibreOffice open-source office suite, versioned 5.4, has entered development.

      While the LibreOffice 5.4 release should hit the streets sometime at the end of July, the folks over at The Document Foundations already planned the first bug hunting session for the first Alpha build, which should happen next Friday, on April 28, 2017. During this session, the team plans to squash numerous bugs.

    • A Look At Some Of The Changes So Far For LibreOffice 5.4

      LibreOffice 5.4 is due out this summer as the next feature update to this open-source cross-platform office suite.

      Some of the changes queued so far for LibreOffice 5.4 include various Writer and Calc refinements, improved importing of EMF+ vector images, integration of pdfium for rendering inserted PDF images, Notebookbar improvements, a responsive design for the document iframe, some performance improvements, localization enhancements, and more.

    • The felt dependency on Microsoft Outlook [iophk: "psychological addiction"]

      On 10th April an international journalist team around Harald Schumann of the German tagesspiegel published the results of researches they did over several months about “Europe’s dire dependency on Microsoft“. The article mainly focuses on LibreOffice as an alternative to Microsoft Office. I can only underline all of the explanations, experiences and facts described in this article from my eleven years of experience in the OpenSource groupware scene.

    • [Old] The Problem Isn’t Email, It’s Microsoft Exchange

      If your email experience is via Exchange and Outlook, the net effect is both time consuming and disruptive.

    • iWork and iLife apps are now free for old and new Mac and iOS users [iophk: “No ODF support for the garbage

      Previously, users with old hardware had to pay for each app. Individual programs cost between $5 and $20 each

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • These New Yorkers Are Covering Advertisements with Art
  • The Building Shaker: a thumping gadget for annoying your noisy neighbors

    The Chinese media report on a man called Zhao from Xi’an who took revenge on his noisy upstairs neighbors whose boy wouldn’t stop jumping on his ceiling by buying a “building shaker” — a gadget that thumps your shared walls until your neighbors capitulate — and leaving it on while he went away for the weekend.

  • Science

    • Explained: Neural networks

      In the past 10 years, the best-performing artificial-intelligence systems — such as the speech recognizers on smartphones or Google’s latest automatic translator — have resulted from a technique called “deep learning.”

      Deep learning is in fact a new name for an approach to artificial intelligence called neural networks, which have been going in and out of fashion for more than 70 years. Neural networks were first proposed in 1944 by Warren McCullough and Walter Pitts, two University of Chicago researchers who moved to MIT in 1952 as founding members of what’s sometimes called the first cognitive science department.

    • Why Slashing the NIH Budget Is Indefensible

      We can’t afford to defund the vital efforts that could help solve some of our greatest challenges, from cancer to climate change.

  • Hardware

    • Chinese HDMI-to-SDI converters

      The last issue is by far the worst, but it only affects 3G-SDI resolutions. 720p60, 1080p30 and 1080i60 all work fine. And to be fair, not even Blackmagic’s own converters actually send 352M correctly most of the time…

      I wish there were a way I could publish this somewhere people would actually read it before buying these things, but without a name, it’s hard for people to find it. They’re great value for money, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them for almost all use… but then, there’s that almost. :-)

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • History of Iran Covert Action Deferred Indefinitely

      A declassified U.S. Government documentary history of the momentous 1953 coup in Iran, in which Central Intelligence Agency personnel participated, had been the object of widespread demand from historians and others for decades. In recent years, it finally seemed to be on the verge of publication.

      But now its release has been postponed indefinitely.

      Last year, “the Department of State did not permit publication of the long-delayed Iran Retrospective volume because it judged the political environment too sensitive,” according to a new annual report from the State Department Historical Advisory Committee (HAC). “The HAC was severely disappointed.”

      “The HAC was unsuccessful in its efforts to meet with [then-]Secretary Kerry to discuss the volume, and now there is no timetable for its release,” the new report stated.

    • Julian Assange Tweets About Running in the UK Election

      The Brits are having an election on June 8th, as Prime Minister Theresa May looks to shore up support before things really get messy with Brexit. But an unlikely person has just floated the idea of running for British Parliament. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange just asked his followers on Twitter if he should run for election.

    • Hypocritical CIA Director Goes On Rant About Wikileaks, Free Speech

      The current administration is back to threatening free speech. On his way to being elected, Trump’s passion for bogus defamation suits led him to declare he would “open up” libel laws to make it easier for him to sue people for saying things he didn’t like.

      This continued after the election. Trump tweeted his opposition to “fake news,” calling out pretty much any major network that wasn’t Fox News and calling them “enemies of the people.” His new CIA director, Mike Pompeo, is similarly threatening the First Amendment. In his remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Pompeo went on a rant about Wikileaks — one no doubt motivated by the site’s recent data dumps on CIA computer exploits.

      [...]

      This is an interesting change of heart for Pompeo. Last year, when he was running for re-election in Kansas, he seemed pleased with Wikileaks and its ability to obtain damning documents.

    • Pompeo vs. WikiLeaks: It’s No Contest

      Last July, while stumping for then-candidate, now-president Donald Trump, US Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS) gleefully referenced nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails released by the transparency/disclosure journalists at Wikileaks. “Need further proof that the fix was in from Pres. Obama on down?” Pompeo tweeted. The emails showed that DNC officials had worked overtime to rig their party’s primaries for eventual nominee Hillary Clinton and against challenger Bernie Sanders.

    • Intercepted podcast: Julian Assange speaks out as Trump’s CIA director threatens to “end” Wikileaks
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Denmark to contest UK efforts to ‘take back control’ of fisheries

      The British government’s plan to “take back control” of its waters after leaving the EU is about to be challenged by a claim from Denmark that its fishermen have a historical right to access to the seas around Britain dating back to the 1400s.

      Officials in Copenhagen have mined the archives to build a legal case that could potentially be fought in the international court of justice in The Hague, although officials hasten to say that this is not their intention.

      Denmark is seeking a Brexit deal that recognises the right of its fleet to continue to exploit a hundred shared stocks of species such as cod, herring, mackerel, plaice and sand eel.

  • Finance

    • It’s time to regulate the gig economy

      Over a century ago, labour laws began to be instituted in diverse countries throughout the world. These laws were intended to provide protection to workers in what was recognised as an unequal relationship of exchange, but it also gave authority to managers to organise and direct their employees’ work. While the world of work has changed since these initial labour regulations were instituted, the fundamental reasons for the existence of labour protections – to ensure safe and healthy workplaces, to give workers a voice, and to provide minimum protections with respect to working time and earnings – remain valid.

    • Why The Command-and-Control Mindset Is Killing Your Company

      The world has reached a key moment in the history of the way we work. We have entered a new business environment, dictated by rapid changing technological variables that create an entirely new economic landscape. Exponential growth of our interconnected world forces us to see the world anew. The 21st century asks for a different mindset now the rules of the game have fundamentally changed.

      In this game it is not anymore relevant to optimize an organization’s efficiency based on a stable set of known variables. Instead, there’s a strong need to adapt as fast as possible to increasingly complex working conditions. Efficiency has to make place for engagement and adaptability. The organizations that know how to fully engage their employees and those who are natives in this information-rich, densely interconnected world of the 21st century are the ones that thrive.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Poll: Bernie Sanders country’s most popular active politician

      Sanders is viewed favorably by 57 percent of registered voters, according to data from a Harvard-Harris survey provided exclusively to The Hill. Sanders is the only person in a field of 16 Trump administration officials or congressional leaders included in the survey who is viewed favorably by a majority of those polled.

    • Up In Arms in Jakarta

      His election victories have sparked a backlash. Since he ran for deputy-governor in 2012, hard-line Muslim organizations have argued that the Quran forbids Muslims from selecting non-Muslims as leaders, in an effort to attack the ambitious, highly popular pluralist politician.

    • ‘It’s performance art’: Lawyer for Alex Jones says InfoWars founder is ‘playing a character’

      The real Alex Jones is not his bombastic, conspiratorial InfoWars persona, his lawyer is hoping to convince a Texas jury in the radio host’s child-custody battle.

      That’s more or less what attorney Randall Wilhite told Texas District Judge Orlinda Naranjo, the Austin American-Statesman reported on Sunday.

      Wilhite told Naranjo that Jones’ public personality should not be considered as material in evaluating the InfoWars founder’s ability to be a father. Wilhite said doing so would be comparable to judging actor Jack Nicholson in such a custody battle based on his performance as the Joker in “Batman.”

      “He’s playing a character,” Wilhite said of Jones. “He is a performance artist.”

      But Kelly Jones, the InfoWars host’s ex-wife who is seeking sole or joint custody of the couple’s three children in the case, testified that Jones’ InfoWars personality was indeed the real Jones.

      [...]

      Jones, with millions of followers, rose to new prominence during the 2016 election cycle after Donald Trump, then the Republican frontrunner, appeared on his broadcast in late 2015. Trump’s Democratic challenger in the election, Hillary Clinton, called Jones out in a speech she delivered in August that targeted Trump’s support from the so-called alt-right.

    • 7 takeaways on Britain’s snap election

      The most tumultuous period in post-war British history just got more tumultuous.

      Over the next seven weeks and two days, Theresa May will take on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the most consequential election of the last 30 years.

      On the ballot paper is Britain’s future outside the European Union.

      Standing outside Number 10, the prime minister framed the election as a choice between an orderly, clean Brexit under her leadership, or a half-hearted, chaotic version under the most radical Labour leader since the 1930s.

    • Lenin Again Wins Ecuador’s Presidential Race After Recount

      Despite the opposition alleging fraud in the presidential elections, they didn’t bother to send any delegates to observe the recount process.

      Ecuador’s National Electoral Council President Juan Pablo Pozo reported that Tuesday’s recount of the ballots that had inconsistencies during the April 2 presidential run-off election was completed, with Alianza Pais candidate Lenin Moreno again winning the vote.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Facebook adds a login shortcut to other Android apps
    • NVIDIA and Facebook Team Up to Supercharge Caffe2 Deep Learning Framework
    • Caffe2: A New, Open-Source Deep Learning Framework From Facebook [Ed: Facebook is openwashing surveillance again; what do people think it's used for?]

      Facebook just announced Caffe2, a new deep learning framework developed in cooperation with NVIDIA and other vendors.

    • German Consumers Face $26,500 Fine If They Don’t Destroy Poorly-Secured ‘Smart’ Doll

      We’ve noted repeatedly how modern toys aren’t immune to the security and privacy dysfunction the internet-of-broken-things has become famous for. A new WiFi-enabled Barbie, for example, has come under fire for trivial security that lets the toy be modified for use as a surveillance tool. We’ve also increasingly noted how the data these toys collect isn’t secured particularly well either, as made evident by the Vtech incident, where hackers obtained the names, email addresses, passwords, and home addresses of 4,833,678 parents, and the first names, genders and birthdays of more than 200,000 kids.

    • Microsoft Latest Service Provider To Pry A National Security Letter Free From Its Gag Order [Ed: Show trials and publicity stunts are made for the media, for the most privacy-infringing companies (NSA PRISM also) to come across as heroes. PR stunt here. As Microsoft also secretly helps the NSA by inserting back doors into everything...]

      Microsoft is the latest to publish a National Security Letter, following Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Calyx, Cloudflare, and… the Internet Archive. Microsoft’s NSL [PDF] was issued by the FBI (of course) and demanded the usual subscriber info.

      In the post accompanying the disclosure, Microsoft points out the USA Freedom Act is the only reason it’s been able to release the NSL. This is one of the benefits of the recent law: a better, faster way to compel review of NSL gag orders, which used to take place almost never.

      In addition, Microsoft notes FISA orders are on the rise. Of course, its reporting is limited to useless “bands,” so the only thing that can definitely be determined is Microsoft’s FISA interactions have at least doubled.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Manual on protesting CIA drew the Agency’s ire

      A 1987 CIA memo shows that the Agency was not only deeply concerned about anti-CIA protests on college campuses in the United States, but held the protestors themselves in derision.

      While some of the protest tactics were described by the CIA as “so sophomoric that it’s depressing,” it should be noted that several years before these very tactics had been extremely effective – as a result of Yale and Harvard Law Schools’ questioning of the Agency’s (flagrantly homophobic) policies towards homosexuals, the Agency’s General Counsel had recommended cancelling the recruitment trips.

    • Judge: Doctor in alleged genital mutilation case a danger to public

      In a historic female genital mutilation case that has planted a bull’s-eye on what prosecutors are calling an “incredibly secretive” religious ritual, a federal magistrate on Monday denied bond to an Indian-Muslim doctor accused of mutilating the genitals of two Minnesota girls at a Livonia medical clinic.

  • DRM

    • Microsoft Follows Valve Down The Road Of Refunds On Digital Game Purchases [Ed: If you buy a boxed game at the store (as people did before), you have many rights, including the right of return. No EULAs. Rarely DRM.]

      With Steam’s policy for providing refunds on digital game purchases being roughly two years old, many people forget the context of the time when Valve began offering those refunds. It’s worth being reminded that at that time nobody in the neighborhood of the Steam client’s popularity was offering any real avenue for getting refunds on digital game purchases. Those that did mostly did so under the most restrictive conditions, with insane single-digit day windows in which a refund could be had, and only for certain reasons, of which the game being shitty was not included. Steam’s criteria was that you could request a refund during a two-week period for any reason, be it the game not living up to expectations, the gamer’s machine not being able to run it properly, or anything else. The other contextual aspect to keep in mind was that Steam had endured several weeks of absolutely brutal PR, with awful customer service ratings and the whole fiasco over its attempt at creating a paid-mod system.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Mac DeMarco Tells Fans to Grab Leaked Album From The Pirate Bay, Or Kazaa…

        Instead of complaining, he actively encouraged fans to download a free copy from The Pirate Bay, Soulseek, or even long defunct pirate classics such as Napster, Limewire, and Kazaa.

      • No, The Wall St. Bull Sculptor Doesn’t ‘Have A Point’

        Last week, we wrote twice about sculptor Arturo Di Modica and his claim that the “Fearless Girl” statue, that was placed last month in front of his “Charging Bull” statue, violates his rights. As we explained, in detail, he has almost no legal case here. His letter to New York City argues three possible claims of action — all of which would almost certainly be losers in court (as we detailed in that last post).

        However, I still have seen a bunch of people arguing in support of Di Modica, claiming that he “has a point.” Many have pointed to a blog post by Greg Fallis that is literally titled “Seriously, the guy has a point.” Others have raised other issues in discussions I’ve seen (and taken part in…) on Twitter and Facebook. I still don’t think he has any point at all, but I wanted to do a post addressing each of the key issues I’ve seen raised, and explaining why I think they fail as legitimate arguments.

04.18.17

Links 18/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.4, FFmpeg 3.3

Posted in News Roundup at 5:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How to deal with leaving an open source project

    A few months later, I made an even more difficult decision. The decision was to leave an open source project that I’d helped to start and had been active in running for the past 14 years. I’d been working on the project longer than my last five jobs combined. When I announced that I was leaving the project a lot of people were surprised, mostly because up until that point no one in a leadership position had left the project and no one knew what that meant for the project, especially me. Unlike the previous jobs I’d quit, there was no exit strategy in place and I didn’t have a plan for what I would do next.

  • Dell EMC takes on streaming storage with open-source solution, Pravega

    Kaitchuck joined theCUBE at the Flink Forward conference last week in San Francisco to talk about Pravega, a new open-source stream storage system that Dell EMC designed and built from the ground up for modern-day stream processors like Apache Flink, an open-source stream processing framework.

  • Equinix CTO: Open Source Critical for Interconnection

    Open Networking Summit – Equinix sees open source as a critical aspect of its ability to be the place where networks and data centers converge, connect and share data, and that view is fueling its efforts to be an early tester of what the Open Compute Project and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) are developing.

    Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi tells Light Reading in an interview here earlier this month that the next-generation architecture toward which telecom networks are evolving will require massive scaling of the Equinix interconnection model that will depend on open source approaches to manage the disaggregation of hardware and software that virtualization is enabling.

  • Is Mastodon the new social media star, or imploding black hole?

    Mastodon has exploded onto the social scene in the last week and is gaining users at a phenomenal rate. But is the new network an open source geek’s dream or Twitter’s ultimate nightmare?

  • S4i Systems Embraces Open Source Project

    Open source development on IBM i bodes well for the platform and all those who look to the future as well as recognizing the value of the past. RPG development isn’t threatened by open source options. It’s stimulated by open source. The modernization of RPG, C, or COBOL investments gets a boost from open source. There are people writing applications on IBM i that would not be within shouting distance of the platform if open source language options were not available.

  • Events

    • Volunteering at the 2017 SFBay ACT-W conference

      I had the privilege of volunteering for the Open Source Initiative (OSI) table at the ACT-W conference at Galvanize, San Francisco this last Saturday with Erich Clauer and Zachariah Sherzad. It was an event focused on giving women the best information on advancing in technical careers. Keynotes and talks sounded excellent on paper, but I missed out on them, as I was in the career fair part of the event for the day. There were many volunteering tables set up in the career area. OSI was one of them. Pyladies, Chicktech, Docusign, among others were there to support technical women. I answered questions about OSI and open source. There was a mix of experience levels, but most were just starting their technical careers.

    • How to organize an OpenStack Operators Meetup

      When we started organizing this operators mid-cycle meetup we had no idea what it meant to gather so many people — especially operators. This last cycle, the two last standing competitors to host the Operators Meetup were Milan and Tokyo. Tokyo had already hosted the Summit last year so it was finally our opportunity to bring part of the global OpenStack community to Italy.

    • 5 OpenStack user sessions you can’t miss at the Boston Summit

      OpenStack Summits are a whirl of energy—from session rooms with standing room only, all-day trainings to onboard new Stackers and an expo hall with over 100 companies explaining new products and performing live demos.

    • Free Webinar: Why and How To Publish Your Work and Opinions

      As part of its goal to cultivate more diverse thoughts and opinions in open source, the April Women in Open Source webinar will discuss why publishing your own research, technical work and industry commentary is a smart move for your career and incredibly beneficial to the industry at large.

    • SPACK: A Package Manager for Supercomputers, Linux, and MacOS

      In this video from Switzerland HPC Conference, Massimiliano Culpo from EPFL presents: SPACK – A Package Manager for Supercomputers, Linux and MacOS.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Palemoon Looking forward in 2017

        This is a general announcement to lay down our rough plans for 2017, since there will be some big changes coming in the Mozilla landscape.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • Using SlideWiki for OpenCourseWare

        Open source is about much more than free (as in beer and speech) software and hardware designs. It’s being harnessed to do things like bring free or affordable health care to undeveloped nations, and as the underpinning for free education.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Z80 Fuzix Is Like Old Fashioned Unix

        Of course, 1980 Unix was a lot different from modern-day Linux, but it is still closer to a modern system than CP/M. Fuzix also adds several modern features like 30 character file names and up-to-date APIs. The kernel isn’t just for the Z80, by the way. It can target a variety of older processors including the 6502, the 6809, the 8086, and others. As you might expect, the system can fit in a pretty small system.

  • Programming/Development

    • Why don’t you just rewrite it in X?

      Recently there has been movement to convert tooling used by various software projects in the Gnome stack from a mishmash of shell, Awk and Perl into Python 3. The main reasoning for this is that having only one “scripting” dependency to a modern, well maintained project makes it simple to compile applications using Gnome technologies on platforms such as Windows. Moving between projects also becomes easier.

Leftovers

  • Go back in time with the Internet Archive’s collection of Macintosh programs from the 1980s

    Earlier today, the site released a new software library: emulated programs from Macintosh computers dating from 1984 through 1989. The collection is a wonderful dose of nostalgia for anyone who grew up using these computers at home, work, or school. The best part is that you can emulate the programs right in your browser.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Using Microsegmentation to Prevent Security Breaches

      No one likes to admit it but most of what has passed for IT security in the enterprise has historically been rudimentary at best. Most organizations physically segmented their networks behind a series of firewalls deployed at the edge of the network. The trouble is that once malware gets past the firewall it could move laterally almost anywhere in the data center.

      With the rise of network virtualization, a new approach to microsegmenting networks is now possible. The new approach involves using microsegmenting to prevent malware from laterally generating East-West traffic across the data center. Instead of a physical instance of a firewall, there is now a virtual instance of a firewall that is simpler to provision and update.

    • Latest Exploit Dump By Shadow Brokers Contains Easy-To-Use Windows Exploits, Most Already Patched By Microsoft [Ed: Sad to see TechDirt repeating Microsoft's lies in the same way many ‘journalists’ repeated Apple lies after Vault 7 revelations. Some of the holes remain unpatched, and some versions (still under support) will always remain unpatched.]

      Not that those with the latest and greatest should rest easy. The NSA hasn’t stopped producing and purchasing exploits. The SB stash was a few years old. Current Microsoft software remains under attack from state intelligence agencies and criminals. But this dump of tools shows just how powerful the NSA’s toolkit is — one made even more dangerous by its apparent ease of use. It makes exploit delivery possible for anyone, not just those with a very specific skillset.

    • Leaked NSA exploits plant a bull’s-eye on Windows Server

      Friday’s release of suspected NSA spying tools is bad news for companies running Windows Server. The cyberweapons, which are now publicly available, can easily hack older versions of the OS.

      The Shadow Brokers, a mysterious hacking group, leaked the files online, setting off worries that cybercriminals will incorporate them in their own hacks.

    • The YARA tool for Linux security – part 001.
    • Twistlock 2.0 Improves Container Security and Compliance

      Container security vendor Twistlock is updating its namesake platform with a 2.0 release that aims to help improve container visibility and security.

      Twistlock first debuted its container security platform in November 2015, providing runtime security options for container deployments. The platform has evolved since then with a steady stream of updates. The new Twistlock 2.0 update, includes several enhanced container security capabilities as well as a new backend code infrastructure.

    • Cyber crime: British Chambers of Commerce urges firms to ramp up defences after spate of hacks [iophk: "banning Windows finally?"]

      “Firms that don’t adopt the appropriate protections leave themselves open to tough penalties,” he said.

    • HTTPS Certificate Issuance Becomes More Secure Thanks to New CAA Standard

      Last week, the CA/Browser Forum voted to implement CAA mandatory checks before the issuance of new SSL/TLS certificates, as a measure to prevent the misissuance of HTTPS certificates.

      According to CA/Browser Forum ballot 187, 100% of all browser makers and 94% of all certificate authorities voted to implement CAA mandatory checks starting September 8, 2017.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Facebook responds to reported shooting on its live platform
    • Iraqis Making Freelance Bomb Disposal Into A Lucrative New Business

      When someone gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right?

      And so it goes in Freedom Land of Iraq, where for many, now out from under the heels of Islamic State, the Iraqi people have only to clear out all the bombs, IEDs, and unexploded ordnance left everywhere they want to live by all sides in this ongoing clusterf*ck of foreign policy adventurism.

      Despite the gazillions of dollars in U.S. aid, Iraq claims not to have the personnel to defuse all the explosives left behind once freedom reigns in places like Fallujah.

    • Trump’s Abrupt Regime-Change Pivot Raises Concerns About a “Mad Max Syria” Should Assad Fall

      President Trump’s cruise-missile strike against Syria was celebrated by establishment politicians and media, their glee at striking a blow against Bashar al-Assad swamping any rational discussion of what happens next.

      Assad is undoubtedly the most despicable war criminal in power today. His forces have ruthlessly starved and bombed hundreds of thousands of his own people, and tortured and executed thousands more.

      But the enthusiasm to take military action against a hated leader is highly reminiscent of the run-up to U.S. interventions in Iraq and Libya. And the U.S. is even less prepared to cope with the potentially disastrous consequences in Syria.

    • The Problem is Washington, Not North Korea

      Washington has never made any effort to conceal its contempt for North Korea. In the 64 years since the war ended, the US has done everything in its power to punish, humiliate and inflict pain on the Communist country. Washington has subjected the DPRK to starvation, prevented its government from accessing foreign capital and markets, strangled its economy with crippling economic sanctions, and installed lethal missile systems and military bases on their doorstep.

    • President MOABA (Mother of All Bullshit Artists)

      To call the ever-shifting decisions and actions from Donald Trump and his team of Billionaire Big Shots a dark comedy is a natural defensive response. I do it all the time. But it may be time to recognize it has become inadequate to address our condition as citizen/victims of a looming train wreck. Donald Trump is not funny anymore.

      As a New Yorker review of Stephen Colbert’s Late Show painfully suggests, the satire/journalism of a Colbert and a Jon Stewart, while sanity-saving, come up short in the face of Donald Trump as president of the United States. Bill Maher works better, because he has much more edge. It’s also true that superlatives like preposterous begin to fall short.

      As we watch classic authoritarianism seep into what’s glibly touted as a constitutional republic, how does journalism respond? In a “post-truth” intellectual environment where a presidential adviser can with a straight face propose “alternative facts,” how does one report anything? When absolutely everything is in question, how can answers be anything but opinions? What does journalism do when the ground underneath it is destabilized and all the truth-seeking oxygen is sucked out of the air by a Mother Of All Bombs set off in the middle of the country’s most revered faith in a free press?

    • Through the ‘War on Terror’ Looking Glass

      The U.S. government’s 15-year-long “global war on terror” has spread death and chaos across entire regions – while also imposing propaganda narratives on Americans – with no end in sight, says Nicolas J S Davies.

    • UK attorney general in bid to block case against Tony Blair over Iraq war

      It seeks their conviction for the crime of “aggression” and is based on the damning findings of last year’s Chilcot report into the British decision to join the invasion of Iraq, under the false pretext that the Saddam Hussein regime had weapons of mass destruction.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • CIA Director calls WikiLeaks an “enemy,” says Assange has “no First Amendment freedoms”

      Pompeo is the head of an organization whose record in criminality, illegality and murder is unsurpassed.

    • Pompeo, Power and Wikileaks

      The Central Intelligence Agency’s current director, Mike Pompeo, has a view of history much like that of any bureaucrat as understood by the great sociologist Max Weber. The essential, fundamental purpose of bureaucracy is a rationale to manufacture and keep secrets. Transparency and accountability are its enemies. Those who challenge that particular order are, by definition, defilers and dangerous contrarians.

      On Thursday, April 13, Pompeo was entertained by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, an opportunity of sorts to sound off on a range of points.[1] Pompeo’s theme is unmistakeable, opening up with a discussion about Philip Agee’s “advocacy” as a founding member of CounterSpy, which called in 1973 for the outing of CIA undercover operatives.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Natural gas is leaking from city pipes, but spotting leaks is getting easier.

      The researchers admit in their paper that their measurements were conservative and their results aren’t a full census of all the leaks in a particular area. But the largest leaks are identified, and the researchers estimated that repairing the largest 20 percent of leaks could cut methane emissions from natural gas pipelines in half.

  • Finance

    • Uber lost $2.8 billion last year

      But that rapid growth came at a cost. Uber says it lost $2.8 billion in 2016, excluding the China business it sold midway through the year. Uber’s CEO had previously said it was losing $1 billion a year in China, prior to selling its China business to rival Didi Chuxing in August.

    • The De-Professionalization of the Academy

      Rather, what follows is a jeremiad decrying the direction that academia has taken in order to underscore the threats posed to academic integrity and institutional legitimacy.

    • Saudi Arabia raises $9 billion in first global Islamic bond issue

      Saudi Arabia raised $9 billion in its first global Islamic bond issue, the government announced today, a move analysts say could ease pressure on foreign reserves.

      The sale of Islamic bonds, known as sukuks, comes after the kingdom in October turned to the conventional global debt market for the first time, raising $17.5 billion in a bond issue. Saudi Arabia has also sold domestic bonds and drawn on its accumulated reserves, all in an effort to reform the economy and address budget deficits caused by a collapse in oil revenues since 2014.

    • Happy Tax Day! Here’s How Corporations Plan to Screw You Over.

      Few things transform us into frustrated baboons like navigating Turbotax each year. It’s incredible any computers physically survive April.

      First there’s the maddening fact, when all is said and done, that the U.S. has something approaching a flat tax system. It’s true that, as right-wing think tanks constantly bleat, the top 1 percent pay a much higher rate than everyone else in federal income tax. But most people pay higher rates than the rich do in payroll and state and local taxes. Add everything together, and everyone from the middle class on up is paying about the same percentage in taxes overall.

      Then there’s the grim reality that a big chunk of our money goes to buy things like 21,000-pound bombs, which we drop on, say, Afghanistan, a country with an economy one-one thousandth the size of ours.

    • Trump’s Five Worst Tax Secrets, Revealed

      Thousands of demonstrators marched on Saturday to demand that Donald Trump release his tax returns. But, barring an unexpected surprise – a W2 form issued by Vladimir Putin, or a 1099 from mafia boss Anthony ‘Fat Tony’ Salerno – we already know Trump’s ugliest tax secrets. We will reveal those secrets…

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Voting machines stolen ahead of Georgia special election: report

      The equipment was stolen last Saturday evening from a Cobb County precinct manager’s vehicle, Channel 2 Action News said Monday. He did not immediately report the theft.

    • Warren: McConnell won’t say hello to me
    • Turkey’s President Erdogan claims victory in vote to give him sweeping new powers – but opposition cries foul [iophk: "big problem for Europe and NATO"]
    • It’s time for Theresa May to ditch grammar school plans

      It is one of the worst kept secrets in Westminster that education secretary Justine Greening is not the biggest supporter of the policy that is now the social mobility “flagship” of Theresa May’s government – expanding the number of grammar schools.

      Greening must be aware of the clear UK and international evidence that selective education both fails to raise overall standards, and undermines the prospects of poor children. Education Policy Institute researchers last year analysed the government’s own schools data and drew two key conclusions. First, that almost no children on free school meals get into grammar schools – a risible 4,000 out of more than eight million pupils in the whole of England. Second, that although there is a small benefit for pupils who are admitted to selective schools, this is offset by the worse results for other pupils in areas with a significant number of grammar places.

    • Turkish democracy has just died; Europe could not have saved it

      Well farewell then Turkey. Or at least, farewell the Turkey of Kemal Ataturk. It’s a shame. Ataturk-ism nearly made its own centenary.

      But the nation that he founded, which believed broadly in progressive notions such as a separation of mosque and state, has just been formally snuffed out. President Erdogan’s success in the referendum to award himself Caliph-like powers for life finally sees the end of Turkey’s secular and democratic experiment. Perhaps the poll which gave him victory was rigged. Perhaps it wasn’t. In the same way that perhaps the ‘coup’ last summer was real. Or perhaps it wasn’t. Either way, it’s all worked out very well for the man who once famously said that democracy, for him, was like a bus: he would ride it until it got him to his desired destination, at which point he would get off. On Sunday Erdogan got off the bus, coaxing or hauling his country off with him.

    • Trump Administration Kills Open.Gov, Will Not Release White House Visitor Logs

      It will never be said that the Trump presidency began with a presumption of openness. His pre-election refusal to release his tax returns set a bit of precedent in that regard. The immediate post-election muffling of government agency social media accounts made the administration’s opacity goals… um… clearer.

      So, in an unsurprising move, the Trump administration will be doing the opposite of the Obama administration. The American public will no longer have the privilege of keeping tabs on White House visitors.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Shadow Brokers leak links NSA to alleged US-Israeli Stuxnet malware that targeted Iran

      Malicious computer malware that caused substantial damage to Iran’s nuclear program may be the work of the NSA, researchers burrowing into the latest leak from hacking group Shadow Brokers have discovered within the computer data.

      A tool found in Friday’s leak matched one used by the notorious Stuxnet malware.

      First detected in 2010, Stuxnet is believed to be the joint work of the US and Israel; a claim that Edward Snowden backed up in a 2013 interview but which has never been acknowledged by either government.

    • Data protection agency investigates gov’t sending personal data of Hungarian citizens to Russia

      „More and more foreign funded organizations operate in Hungary with the aim of covertly interfering in our the domestic affairs. These organizations could jeopardize our independence. What do you think Hungary should do?”

    • Tuesday’s papers: Intelligence proposal, coming job boom, frozen statue

      The HS headline warns that Supo could soon open private letters and conduct workplace searches as part of intelligence gathering, a phase preceding criminal investigation. The new powers could only be used in connection with severe threats to national security.

      Public discussion has so far centred on whether either of Finland’s main intelligence authorities could spy on citizens’ internet traffic if it extends beyond Finland’s cyber-borders. Neither Supo nor the Defense Forces may currently gather intelligence on personal traffic in this way.

    • Bad Take: Rep. Sensenbrenner’s Response Over Internet Privacy Concerns: ‘Nobody’s Got To Use The Internet’

      The idea that people “have a choice” in using the internet today is laughably out of touch. Indeed, so many things that people rely on today pretty much require the internet. Jobs, transportation, housing and more frequently require the internet. And, to put an even stronger “WTF” on Sensenbrenner’s misguided statement: a big part of the problem here is the very lack of choice. The vast majority of Americans have no real choice when it comes to getting true broadband access — as the very questioner stated, and which Sensenbrenner totally ignored. Thanks to bad policies, we have a non-competitive market, where if you want broadband, you basically have to go with one company, and then it gets access to a ton of data about you.

      If Sensenbrenner truly meant what he said here, he’d have been against rolling back the rules. As small ISP boss Dane Jasper recently noted on our podcast, without these privacy rules, it actually gives the giant providers that much more power over the smaller upstarts, and makes it harder for the small providers to compete.

      Also, Sensenbrenner is simply flat out wrong with his argument about “if the internet was regulated like a utility at the beginning” because it WAS regulated like a utility at the beginning and it resulted in tons of competition and innovation. Indeed, for most of the internet’s early rise it was treated as a utility in terms of things like open access and line sharing. And privacy rules. It’s only more recently that that went away.

    • Surveillance and our Insecure Infrastructure

      Less discussed is how many of these same surveillance techniques are used by other — smaller and poorer — more totalitarian countries to spy on political opponents, dissidents, human rights defenders; the press in Toronto has documented some of the many abuses, by countries like Ethiopia , the UAE, Iran, Syria, Kazakhstan , Sudan, Ecuador, Malaysia, and China.

      That these countries can use network surveillance technologies to violate human rights is a shame on the world, and there’s a lot of blame to go around.

    • Inabox weighs in on industry dissatisfaction with data retention laws

      Australia’s new data retention laws have been labelled as rubbish, and even anti-competitive, by wholesale telecommunications and IT services group Inabox.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • “Spit on the Cross or Die”
    • Children taken to meet Islamic preacher who had ‘promoted and encouraged religious violence’

      A primary school took children on a trip to meet an Islamic preacher, just months after the High Court ruled the imam an ‘extremist’ who had ‘promoted and encouraged religious violence’.

    • Finland has a nascent ‘jihadist underworld’

      Radical {sic} Islamic networks have an increasingly strong presence in Finland, Jyri Rantala, the head of communications at the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo), estimated in an interview with Talouselämä on Thursday.

      “We could even say that a ‘jihadist underworld’ is emerging in Finland. These networks have ties to all key terrorist organisations,” he said.

    • Nashville-Murfreesboro-Franklin Metro Area One of Top 20 Places in U.S. Where Women and Girls at Risk for Female Genital Mutilation
    • After triple talaq, woman attacked with acid by husband, in-laws
    • Over one hundred cars damaged after double garage fire in Malmö
    • With laptops banned onboard aircraft, your data is no longer yours if you fly

      New US regulations ban laptops on board some aircraft, requiring laptops to be in checked luggage. One of the first things you learn in information security is that if an adversary has had physical access to your computer, then it is not your computer anymore. This effectively means that the US three-letter agencies are taking themselves the right to compromise any computer from any traveler on these flights.

    • A Personal Look Inside Modern Islam

      In describing this and many other conversations, Aspden’s reporting makes another very important point: that the Islamic revival of the last four decades has been anything but a simple story of fundamentalism vs. modernism. Instead she shows that Islamism in Egypt has taken many different forms, some fanatically reactionary and intolerant and some trying to find ways to reconcile strong religious belief with life in a modern, diverse world.

    • Trump’s immigration policy splits children from their mothers

      Children have the right to freedom and dignity, and should not be separated from their parents against their will unless it is in child’s best interest. These rights, as reflected in the 1959 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which the US is not a signatory, are basic for all children, including immigrant and refugee children. Today, these rights are under threat by the Trump administration and it is our moral obligation to fight for these basic rights on behalf of mothers and children coming to the United States seeking safety.

      On March 6, 2017, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, John Kelly, confirmed that the Department was considering a policy that would separate children from their parents at the Mexico-US border. Under this plan, mothers would be held in custody while children would initially be placed in the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This policy, first considered and announced but not implemented by the Obama administration, served as a pathway for the Trump administration to intensify its agenda to dehumanise immigrants and refugees.

    • Alabama Sheriff In Court For Starving Inmates, Paying Critic’s Grandson To Install Keylogger On Her Computer

      A number of statutes and practices have created perverse incentives for law enforcement, but none are nearly so blatant as this Alabama state law governing the feeding of inmates. The law, passed over 100 years ago, says law enforcement personnel — mainly sheriffs — can keep whatever’s left over from state and federal inmate food stipends. This doesn’t mean the leftover money is routed to a general fund or used to defray law enforcement/jail-related expenses. No, this means the money flows from taxpayers, (mostly) bypasses prisoners, and ends up in sheriffs’ personal checking accounts. (via Radley Balko)

      This legalized skimming has resulted in the obvious: underfed inmates and sheriffs with overfed bank accounts. The law first received national attention in 2008, when Morgan County sheriff Greg Bartlett found himself in federal court, defending himself against a lawsuit brought by his prisoners. Inmates were dropping weight and going hungry while Bartlett increased his personal income by $212,000 over three years, taking home a great deal of the $1.75 per prisoner per day state funds. (Federal prisoners housed in state jails are allowed $3 per day, which can also be rerouted to sheriffs’ checking accounts.)

      [...]

      There appears to be corruption all over the place in Morgan County, Alabama. But it all starts with a bad law state lawmakers are in no hurry to take off the books. Despite multiple federal lawsuits stemming from sheriffs’ starve-and-skim tactics, the incredibly perverse incentive remains intact. There are probably plenty of taxpayers who don’t like the idea of their money being used to food and house convicted criminals, but I doubt any of those taxpayers are happier knowing they’re padding sheriffs’ bank accounts and investing in shady businesses.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Russian MP Says She Loves Torrents, Hates Web Blockades

      When it comes to Internet file-sharing, most mainstream politicians rarely have anything good to say, but for Senator Lyudmila Bokova of the Russian parliament, things are clearly quite different. “I like to use torrents,” she says, “because they provide the ability to download information quickly and cheaply.”

    • [Old] Using ARIA Roles to Make Your Websites More Accessible

      Here are a few guidelines to follow when adding ARIA roles to your web page

    • [Older] Right to access Internet cannot be curtailed, says SC

      In case the nodal officers detect illegal online content, they would communicate with the search engine’s experts, which would take it off within the next 36 hours of receiving the information. These experts would then follow it up by providing the nodal officers concerned with an action taken report.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Secret Sorority Handshakes, Questionable Lawsuits, Free Speech, The Right To Be Forgotten And Section 230

      Instead, I’d like to go back one more year to May of 2015, when we wrote about a bizarre case in which the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority was officially suing a “Jane Doe” former member, who had apparently posted the sorority’s super secret handshake to the Penny Arcade forums.

    • Copyrights

      • Nintendo Ended Up Creating A Competitor After DMCAing Fan-Game It Decided It Didn’t Want To Make Itself

        In the wake of the success of Nintendo’s Mario Maker game, Nintendo fans almost immediately began clamoring for similar versions of other classic Nintendo properties. The obvious choice for the next franchise to get the treatment was the Zelda series, of course. The desire for a Zelda Maker title reached enough of a pitch that Game Informer asked Nintendo reps in 2015 about whether the company would be producing such a game.

        [...]

        Sink has set up a Patreon page where people can support his efforts. Runiya comes packaged with Legend Maker, which pretty much everyone knows is actually Zelda Maker slightly modified. In other words, what started off as a single fan and hobbyist looking to prove to fans and Nintendo alike that a Zelda Maker game could indeed be made has now morphed into a competitor for Nintendo. Legend Maker isn’t going to run afoul of the intellectual property of Nintendo any longer, yet it still exists, and Sink is now collecting money for his efforts. Meanwhile, if Nintendo does want to try giving Zelda Maker a go, someone basically already was first to market with that kind of product. The company didn’t listen to its fans, so another fan did. And the bullying didn’t really stop the project, it just made sure that the project — that, again, Nintendo didn’t want to do itself — no longer gets the brand recognition of having Zelda attached to it.

      • An interview with Michael Geist: copyright reform in Canada and beyond

        Dr. Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law. He is an authority on intellectual property, telecommunications, and privacy policy, and is a frequent writer and commentator on issues such as international trade negotiations and Canadian copyright reform. Geist will join the CC community at the Creative Commons Global Summit later this month.

04.17.17

Links 17/4/2017: Devil Linux 1.8.0, GNU IceCat 52.0.2

Posted in News Roundup at 12:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Guide To Finding a Home-Based Linux Job

    With the technology advancements that keep on evolving, locating a home-based Linux job is a lot of Linux engineers dream. Unfortunately, there is still a majority of engineers that work in a typical office setting, but the opportunity to work out of the house continues to increase over time. After all, why not? Not having to commute seems to make a lot of sense. If all is done right, the efficiencies that can be gained by telecommuting are significant, for both the employer and employee. Therefore, since it is of great interest to find this work arrangement for many engineers, how does one find such a position? The goal of this article is to hit on some high points that will hopefully help one locate this type of role.

  • Desktop

    • It’s Windows Time in Linux Land Again

      Windows being Windows, a monkey wrench was thrown into the machinery right off. I booted the laptop into Windows, which then refused to connect with the Wi-Fi. It found the on-board Broadcom Wi-Fi just fine, but every time I’d try to get it to connect, it’d throw up an “unknown error” notice and ask if I’d like to enable logging so I could figure it out myself. This was odd, considering I’d used the machine to do my taxes last year, and it connects with the Wi-Fi just fine in Linux. But I wasn’t going to spend the better part of a day trying to fix it — I had no desire to start relearning my way around Windows. Time for Plan B, which was the reverse of Plan A: boot the desktop to Windows and use the laptop in Linux for finding all my facts and figures.

    • Ten Reasons You Should Try Linux Today

      I know despite the posts about how great Linux is and why I like it, many of you are probably still hesitant to try Linux. I understand. I remember years ago when I first heard about it, even I was slow to try it at first. After all, Windows just worked. Everything I needed Windows would do, so why bother trying something else that may or may not work for me. Of course, back then, Linux was quite different from what it is today.

      Over the years, Linux has evolved to become one of the most powerful operating systems in the world. In addition to computers, did you know that it powers a wide range of devices including routers, switches, your smartphones and even your televisions. That’s right, when your fancy television boots up chances are its running a customized version of Linux. Most web servers today are powered by Linux as well, including the one that is serving this site out to you.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.11-rc7

      You all know the drill by now. We’re in the late rc phase, and this
      may be the last rc if nothing surprising happens.

      Things have been pretty calm this past week (the beginning of the week
      seemed particularly calm, and then as usual Friday happened..). We
      have a number of reverts for things that didn’t work out and aren’t
      worth trying to fix at this point, that’s also normal (and people will
      look at it for the next version instead).

      So not too big, and things look very normal with two thirds of the
      changes being to drivers, and the rest being a mixture of arch updates
      (arm, x86, ia64, parisc), networking and filesystems (btrfs, cifs,
      orangefs). With a smattering of other stuff (tooling, header files,
      core kernel).

    • Linux 4.11-rc7 Kernel Released: Final Might Come Next Week

      Linus Torvalds has announced the seventh weekly test build of the upcoming Linux 4.11 kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Trying AMDGPU-PRO 17.10 On Ubuntu 17.04

        In early April AMD released the AMDGPU-PRO 17.10 driver as their first hybrid proprietary driver update in some time. With this update came support for Ubuntu 16.04.2 (and also 16.10, unofficially) but to little surprise it doesn’t work out-of-the-box with this week’s Ubuntu 17.04 release. But it can be made to work.

      • RadeonSI Polaris: Mesa 12.0 vs. 13.0 vs. 17.0 vs. 17.1 Git

        With Mesa 17.1 branching this weekend I figured it would be a fun Easter running benchmarks of Mesa Git compared to previous branches with a Radeon RX 470 Polaris graphics card. Here are these Mesa 17.1 benchmarks while other tests and on more GPUs is forthcoming.

      • Nouveau In Linux 4.13 Will Support HDMI Stereo 3D
      • Vulkan 1.0.48 Released

        There’s another weekly update available to the Vulkan API, but this Easter update is on the small side.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Introducing Babe – History

        This is my very first post for KDE blogs and it is also my very first application. So when I sit down to think about what to write about I thought I would like to tell you all about how and why I wanted to start coding and then why I decided to create a (yet another (i know)) music player, specially made for KDE/Plasma.

      • Kubuntu 17.04 Banner
  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • GNU/Linux Review: Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus

        This is a review of Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus with both Unity 7 and 8 desktop environments. This release is beautiful as always, ready for serious use, and complete with more than 70000 packages on official repository. It will be supported for 9 months until January 2018. Finally, I hope this review helps people to find how Ubuntu is and what’s interesting from 17.04. Enjoy!

      • Maui Linux 17.03

        On the whole I enjoyed using Maui, more than I had expected. There was not any one feature or program which really stood out as amazing, but I liked the overall style of the distribution. Maui provides a lot of software and features out of the box, offers a stable core based on an Ubuntu LTS release and includes cutting edge KDE Plasma software. I like that the application menu is full of useful software while avoiding overlap in functionality. I also appreciate how easy it is to use the Calamares installer and how quickly Calamares sets up the operating system. Mostly, I like that the distribution provides distinct windows, large fonts and a high-contrast theme which I found easy to look at over longer periods.

        I ran into just two issues or concerns while using Maui. One was the performance of the desktop with its default settings in the virtual test environment. Maui performed well on my desktop computer, but Plasma was slow to respond when running in VirtualBox. It is possible to improve performance by adjusting some items in the System Settings panel, but it would have been nice if the desktop had defaulted to more efficient settings.

        My second issue was not a bug, but rather a matter of style. Maui has a friendly look, lots of simple configuration modules and, over all, a very modern and easy to use approach. Everything looks new and tasks are typically performed through slick, graphical wrappers. The one exception I found was Synaptic. The venerable package manager works well, but is a bit cryptic compared to most modern software managers. I like Synaptic for its speed and flexibility, but I think something like GNOME Software or mintInstall might be more in line with Maui’s newcomer-friendly approach.

        On the whole, I like Maui. The distribution is easy to set up, friendly and generally stayed out of my way while I was working. This seems like a fairly beginner friendly desktop distribution which does a good job of making things easy without distracting the user or doing too much hand holding.

    • New Releases

      • AV Linux 2017.4.9 Released!

        An updated 2017 ISO for AV Linux has been released, it features a new Audio Routing system,
        many refinements and improvements and probably the most stable and functional collection of
        Applications across the board to date! The older AV Linux 2016.8.30 ISO’s are currently still
        in the FTPs and will be phased out soon, make sure to download the 2017.4.9 release.

      • Devil-Linux 1.8.0 released

        Devil-Linux 1.8.0 has been released! This is a major overhaul of Devil-Linux. Most programs and libraries have been updated and unmaintained ones have been removed. The main file system has been switched to squashfs, to further reduce the iso size. See the changelog for additional details.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Chris Lamb Elected As New Debian Project Leader

        Chris Lamb has unseated Mehdi Dogguy as the next Debian Project Leader.

        The 2017 Debian election results were posted today. Chris Lamb managed to secure more votes than current DPL Mehdi Dogguy and these two were the only ones competing in this year’s elections. The DPL term is one year.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • UBports Community Q&A: April 15, 2017

            Today marked another Q&A session in the books. You can find it right over here on our shiny new Youtube channel! The following are the majority of asked questions and a summary of their answers.

          • More Details On UBports’ Plans For Unity, Mir & Anbox

            The UBports community are among those planning to fork the work on Unity 8 and they’ve already made ambitious plans like porting Unity 8 to Wayland. More details were revealed today.

            The UBports team issued their latest FAQs with some interesting remarks…

          • Why Ubuntu 18.04 Should Use KDE Plasma Instead of GNOME

            I think it was a mistake for Canonical to have chosen GNOME rather than KDE Plasma and in this video I explain why. Essentially it boils down to the fact that the vast majority of features in Ubuntu’s Unity are already available in KDE Plasma, most of which are available by default. Canonical could maintain the switch to Qt that Unity 8 started, maintain the design vision that Mark Shuttleworth wanted all the while not having to hack on the code of the KDE Plasma desktop environment much and in some cases at all.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Could A New Linux Base For Tablets/Smartphones Succeed In 2017?

        Over the years we have seen many mobile/smartphone focused Linux efforts come and go from OpenMoko, Moblin/MeeGo, webOS, Firefox OS, and most recently Ubuntu Touch while others like Sailfish OS and Plasma Mobile appear to be somewhat stagnate or at least not gaining much marketshare nor advancing rapidly. But what if more of these mobile Linux efforts were to collaborate on a common base? There’s a new effort being worked on in this area.

        A Phoronix reader involved with this new project codenamed HALIUM shared with us some early details on the work. This open-source project is trying to pool resources and developers from UBports (one of the groups forking Unity 8), Sailfish OS community developers, the open webOS Lune OS project, and KDE Plasma Mobile contributors, among other developers.

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • Freedom Doesn’t Have to Be Free: Revenue and Open Source

    In 1983, Richard Stallman kicked off the free software movement with the launch of the GNU Project. From that point onwards, free software was commonly associated with being free in the monetary sense as well.

    Most all open source projects, especially those in the world of Linux are available free of charge. And while this is very nice in itself, it can result in developers not being able to fully commit to their projects.

    In turn fantastic open source projects going nowhere in development when the lives of the maintainers catch up to them. But there is another way to go about open source!

  • Web Browsers

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

  • Programming/Development

    • Xfce Session Manager 4.13 Released, Ported To GTK3

      An updated version of the Xfce4 session manager was released this Easter weekend.

      The xfce4-session 4.13.0 package was released today and it’s a significant step forward for Xfce’s session manager.

    • Relm: A GTK-Based GUI Library In Rust For Async GUI Apps

      With there being many Rustlang fans reading Phoronix, many of you will probably be interested in Relm: a new GUI library for Rust.

      Relm is a new crate/library for developing asynchronous GUI applications in Rust. Using GTK up to now in Rust looks rather messy, but Relm aims to change that and also make the applications more responsive by making the user-interface asynchronous and makes use of the language’s futures capability.

    • Comprehend X86 Assembly Language with Open Source Books

      An assembly language is a low-level programming language for a computer, or other programmable device. Assembly language is used by almost all modern desktop and laptop computers. It is as close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal. It is converted into executable machine code by a utility program referred to as an assembler.

    • Rcpp now used by 1000 CRAN packages

Leftovers

  • Forgotten audio formats: The flexi disc
  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • [Older] Subpoena reveals federal grand jury investigation of Flint water crisis

      The subpoena, obtained by MLive-The Flint Journal, shows federal prosecutors made an extensive request for documents from the city of Flint as part of the grand jury proceedings.

    • Trump Says He’ll Combat the Opioid Crisis, but His Agenda Could Make It Worse

      Like his predecessor, President Trump has promised to take bold action to address the nation’s opioid crisis and overdose epidemic, but critics say his efforts to undo President Obama’s signature health care law could prevent large numbers of people with opioid use disorders from receiving treatment.

      Others fear that instead of expanding community access to opioid disorder treatments, the Trump administration will push poor and marginalized people into “treatment” within the brutal confines of the prison system.

      With his “law and order” approach to governing, Trump is poised to reverse federal momentum on opioids, shifting the focus from public health back to law enforcement and incarceration. What could that look like, besides more drug arrests? For starters, the man rumored to be Trump’s pick for drug czar, Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, has called for placing parents facing minor drug charges in a “hospital-slash-prison.”

    • Louisiana Offers Clear Example Why States Should Expand Medicaid – Not Reduce It

      While recent Republican healthcare legislation failed to even come to a vote in Congress, a look at one microcosm state, Louisiana, shows the potential effects of the Republican plan on Medicaid recipients – notably, a decline in health for a large portion of the population, and an increase in the cost of healthcare.

      In January 2015, immediately after taking office, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued an executive order expanding Medicaid by 21 percent, reaching 300,000 additional residents. As a result, a quarter of the state’s population is now covered under Medicaid.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Trump Lurches into Chaos and Conflict

      It seems clear – as much as anything is ‘”clear” – that the so-called Tomahawk “tweets” were intended as a message (in the sense that they did not constitute a military strategic act, per se), but even now, the address on these Tomahawk tweets remains disputed. Ostensibly, it was directed at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Xi Jinping of China, and Kim Jong Un of North Korea are considered probable addressees too (although no one seems certain of this, and U.S. statements are both confused and confusing).

    • Afghans Respond to Insult of U.S. Dropping Massive Bomb: “Would a Mother Do That to Any Children?”

      The “Mother of All Bombs” is the nickname for the bomb the U.S. dropped Thursday on Afghanistan, but our guests in Kabul say civilians there are asking if any mother would conduct such an attack. Basir Bita is a mentor with Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, and Dr. Hakim is a medical doctor who has provided humanitarian relief in Afghanistan for over a decade. He works with Afghan Peace Volunteers, an inter-ethnic group of young Afghans dedicated to building nonviolent alternatives to war. We are also joined by Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, who is just back from Afghanistan, and Wazhmah Osman, professor of media and communication at Temple University and member of the Afghan American Artists and Writers Association.

    • Syria: Cui Bono?

      A military act must have a political aim. As Carl von Clausewitz famously said 200 years ago: war is the continuation of politics by other means.

      The two main opponents in the Syrian civil war are the Assad regime and Daesh. So what is the aim of the US? It sounds like a joke: The US wants to destroy both sides. Another joke: First it wants to destroy Daesh, therefore it bombs Assad.

      The destruction of Daesh is highly desirable. There are few more detestable groups in the world. But Daesh is an idea, rather than just an organization. The destruction of the Daesh state would disperse thousands of dedicated assassins all over the world.

      [...]

      Syria was created by France after World War I. A part of it later split off and became Lebanon.

      Both are artificial creations. I doubt whether there are even today real “Syrians” and real “Lebanese”.

      Lebanon is a mountainous country, ideally suited for small sects which need to defend themselves. Over the centuries, many small sects found refuge there. As a result, Lebanon is full of such sects, which distrust each other – Sunni Muslims, Shiite Muslims, Maronite Christians, many other Christian sects, Druze, Kurds.

    • Trump Finds His Groove with Warmaking

      President Donald Trump has bathed in the praise from both Democrats and Republicans for his surprise missile attack on Syria last week, even as he prepared for a state dinner with the president of China at Trump’s elite Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

      As U.S. policies now push the world closer to World War III, I interviewed John. Pilger, an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker who has just completed his 60th film for TV, which anticipates a global conflagration.

      The Coming War on China, says Pilger, “reveals what the news doesn’t – that the world’s greatest military power, the United States, and the world’s second economic power, China, both nuclear-armed, are on the road to war.”

    • U.S. Insurers Sue Saudis For $4.2 Billion Over 9/11

      The 10 defendants in the lawsuit include Al Rajhi Bank, aviation contractor Dallah Avco, the Mohamed Binladin Co, the Muslim World League, and other charities, but the biggest target is the Saudi National Commercial Bank, which is majority state-owned. The Saudi government heavily pressured the Obama Administration to block the JASTA last year, threatening to crash the US treasury market if it led to lawsuits, but overwhelming Congressional support still got it passed into law.

      While there were more than a few lawsuits already filed in the past several weeks related to JASTA, this is by far the biggest, and most previous lawsuits are still in limbo as the court and lawyers try to combine them into various class action groups.

      Historically, US sovereign immunity laws have prevented suits against the Saudi government related to overseas terrorism. With the release of the Saudi-related portions of the 9/11 Report last year, however, such suits were inevitable, and the federal government could no longer protect the Saudis from litigation.

    • A Father Describes Saving His Daughter From U.S. Bombardment of Mosul

      On March 17, Ala’a Ali left his wife and 4-year-old daughter at the home of relatives in the al Jadida neighborhood of Mosul, and went home to wash before the morning call to prayer. Two minutes after he arrived home, a deafening explosion ripped through the neighborhood, engulfing the narrow street in black smoke.

      “I hid in the corner of the building, and smoke crept in through the windows,” 28-year-old Ali told The Intercept. “Then the smell hit me, and I could barely breathe.” As soon as he could, he bolted from his hiding place and ran to the scene of the explosion, and the house where he had left his family.

      It had been hit by an airstrike from U.S.-led coalition forces bombing Islamic State fighters.

    • Take a 3D tour of North Korea’s nuclear test site, thanks to open source intelligence

      Rumors have been flying around about the possibility of a North Korean nuclear test, thanks in part to activity at North Korea’s nuclear test site. If it is, this will be the sixth known nuclear test in 11 years — and a clear sign that North Korean arms development is continuing.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • CIA Director calls WikiLeaks an “enemy,” says Assange has “no First Amendment freedoms”

      In a speech Thursday at a Washington, DC think tank, CIA Director Michael Pompeo called the whistleblower site WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service” and said news organizations that reveal the government’s crimes are “enemies” of the United States.

      Pompeo’s remarks announce an open break with the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech and a threat that the Trump administration will not tolerate opposition to war, surveillance and corporate plunder.

      Referring to WikiLeaks’ founder, Pompeo declared that “Julian Assange has no First Amendment freedoms.” Pompeo’s remarks were prompted by Assange’s April 11 op-ed in the Washington Post, in which the whistleblower defended WikiLeaks. The threat of US prosecution or assassination has forced Assange to seek refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012.

  • Finance

    • Trump’s Goldman Sachs Vampire Squid Presidency

      The things that come out of President Trump’s mouth seem to depend on who he talks to or what he sees on TV in the minutes immediately preceding his mouth motion.

      Based on his recent switchbacks, Trump has been spending a LOT of time talking to the alums of Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs who now form his inner circle.

    • Workers cheated as federal contractors prosper

      For 11 years, Karla Quezada assembled sandwiches at the Subway in the food court of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, a sprawling complex in downtown Washington, D.C., owned by the U.S. General Services Administration.

      She routinely worked more than 40 hours a week, with no overtime pay. She worked holidays, also without extra compensation. Her paychecks took a hit whenever she stayed home sick.

      “I knew it was a federal building, but since everyone else was paying low wages, too, I just figured that’s how it was supposed to be,” Quezada, 40, said in a recent interview at her home in Arlington, Virginia.

    • US foreign aid, explained

      President Donald Trump seeks to fulfill his campaign promise to “put America first” in his proposed 2018 budget.

      “This includes deep cuts to foreign aid,” Trump said in his opening message to his proposed budget. “It is time to prioritize the security and well-being of Americans, and to ask the rest of the world to step up and pay its fair share.”

      His budget would slash funding for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to US$25.6 billion, down 28 percent from the current level. Although the budget doesn’t specify how much USAID alone would lose, if enacted, these deep cuts would significantly disrupt America’s ability to deliver foreign aid.

    • Roots of Trump’s ‘Economic Nationalism’

      As the Trump administration seeks to develop a coherent policy on global trade and the promotion of American manufacturing, looking to the current of Hamilton, Clay, Carey and Lincoln could, in the best case scenario, lead to an important shift in modern politics; at the least, it should allow for a deeper discussion of what protectionism actually means in U.S. history, beyond the caricature that has dominated the public discussion to date.

      The President is clearly picking and choosing his references, not without some confusion; indeed he speaks glowingly of Andrew Jackson, whose economic approach was diametrically opposed to that of Clay and other representatives of the economic nationalist current.

    • Britain set to lose EU ‘crown jewels’ of banking and medicine agencies

      The EU is set to inflict a double humiliation on Theresa May, stripping Britain of its European agencies within weeks, while formally rejecting the prime minister’s calls for early trade talks.

      The Observer has learned that EU diplomats agreed their uncompromising position at a crunch meeting on Tuesday, held to set out the union’s strategy in the talks due to start next month.

      A beauty contest between member states who want the European banking and medicine agencies, currently located in London, will begin within two weeks, with selection criteria to be unveiled by the president of the European council, Donald Tusk.

    • Labor union calls out Peru over land bond dispute

      The Teamsters labor union has escalated an investor dispute against Peru, arguing that its members’ pensions could be thrown into jeopardy as a result of the government’s alleged failure to pay investors $5 billion worth of debt tied up in land bonds.

      “Many of our pension funds are holding defaulted Peruvian land bonds through various investment vehicles,” Teamsters President James Hoffa said in a March 24 letter to Peru’s U.S. envoy, Carlos Pareja, that was obtained by POLITICO. “We believe that America can no longer allow countries that take advantage of our large domestic market to get away with defaulting on their debts, particularly when it hurts our workers and retirees. The Teamsters union calls on the Peruvian government to make good on its responsibility to pay its debts.”

    • Rockhopper launches arbitration claim against Italy

      Rockhopper Exploration is fighting for compensation from Italy after it banned offshore drilling, leaving the company unable to develop one of its oil and gas fields.

      The Aim-listed explorer said that it had begun international arbitration against the country for “very significant monetary damages” over the loss of future profits from its Ombrina Mare field.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Five Obama-era tech policies on the chopping block
    • Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Travel Triggers Cost and Ethics Concerns
    • White House says it will keep visitor logs secret, reversing transparency policy introduced by Barack Obama

      The visitor logs, which are maintained by the Secret Service, are a record of everyone who enters the White House. Watchdog groups claim publication of the logs are crucial to government transparency.

    • The Trump Administration Lost Again in Court, This Time on Voter ID

      A federal court in Texas has again ruled the state’s 2011 voter identification law intentionally discriminated against minorities. It’s the latest loss in the case for Texas — which has spent years unsuccessfully defending the law. But it also has implications for the Trump administration.

      In February, the new administration abruptly abandoned the crux of the Justice Department’s opposition to the voter ID law. Government lawyers also asked the judge to delay her decision on whether the law intentionally discriminated against blacks and Latinos.

    • How Facebook and the New York Times corporatised ‘fake news’

      What is new is the extent to which fake news has overtaken the media landscape and the forms that this misinformation takes. News pieces from far-right ideologues like Alex Jones’ Infowars or Breitbart or Fox News constitute one type of propaganda. Another propagator of deception are Macedonians pumping out stories through politically named websites, more to generate personal income than to push a particular agenda. But the third – and perhaps surprising source – are the mainstream marketers.

      In the last few years, a new marketing trend – what I call “Black Ops Advertising” – has overtaken the digital landscape. Black ops, or covert, advertising is commercial content that has been obscured so as to appear to be editorial content. These hidden sales messages primarily take two forms: native advertising and content marketing.

      Native advertising is any type of sponsored content that has been created to be indigenous to the site within which it appears. You are likely most aware of this in the form of the ads that appear within your newsfeed on Facebook or Twitter. These in-feed native ads look like anything else that a friend or family member might send to you, but with some limited indicators that there is an advertiser attached – such as “sponsored” or “promoted” in faded gray type. An increasingly popular form of this is ‘custom native’: advertising produced by the publisher for the marketer.

    • Trump 90 Days Ago: “My People Will Have a Full Report on Hacking Within 90 Days!”

      Exactly 90 days ago — on Friday, January 13 — Donald Trump, then president-elect, issued a series of tweets attacking the claims in former British MI6 officer Christopher Steele’s “dossier” that the Russian government had long been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” Trump.

      Trump called the allegations “phony” and “totally made up” and pledged that “My people will have a full report on hacking within 90 days!”

      No such full report has appeared, nor is there any evidence that an investigation by the Trump administration is currently underway — or was ever initiated.

      Reached by phone, Senior Assistant White House Press Secretary Michael Short said, “I’m in the parking lot, I don’t have an update” on the promised report. Asked when he might be able to provide an update, Short repeated, “I’m in the parking lot.” Then he said “I’ve got to run” and hung up.

    • ‘What, You Chicken?’ Coast-to-Coast Protests Dare Trump to Release Taxes

      From the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to Fairbanks, Alaska, to the Mar-a-Lago Resort in West Palm Beach, Florida, Americans are taking to the streets on Saturday to send a clear message to President Donald Trump: “Release your tax returns.”

      As residents prepare to submit their own yearly tax forms, the president continues to evade scrutiny by keeping his own returns hidden from view—breaking generations of precedent and prompting many to wonder what the financial disclosures might reveal.

      “Without seeing his tax returns, we have no idea what he’s hiding—shady business deals? Financial ties to foreign countries? Conflicts of interest?—or who his policies are really benefitting,” state the organizers, who include alumni of the Center for American Progress (CAP) Action Fund, the Indivisible movement, and the Working Families Party, among other progressive organizations.

    • Trump is Hiring Lobbyists and Top Ethics Official Says ‘There’s No Transparency’

      President Trump has stocked his administration with a small army of former lobbyists and corporate consultants who are now in the vanguard of the effort to roll back government regulations at the agencies they once sought to influence, according to an analysis of government records by the New York Times in collaboration with ProPublica.

    • DeVos Pick to Head Civil Rights Office Once Said She Faced Discrimination for Being White

      The new acting head of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights once complained that she experienced discrimination because she is white.

      As an undergraduate studying calculus at Stanford University in the mid-1990s, Candice Jackson “gravitated” toward a section of the class that provided students with extra help on challenging problems, she wrote in a student publication. Then she learned that the section was reserved for minority students.

      “I am especially disappointed that the University encourages these and other discriminatory programs,” she wrote in the Stanford Review. “We need to allow each person to define his or her own achievements instead of assuming competence or incompetence based on race.”

    • No More Silver Lining: Trump Turns Clintonian

      The election of Donald Trump was a catastrophe. This was clear before Election Day; it is even clearer now.

      Nevertheless, his victory was not a total disaster — Hillary Clinton lost. She and her husband had done enough harm already. Three decades of Clintons is enough.

      I put the point this way because with the Republicans’ success in replacing the late Antonin Scalia with Neil Gorsuch, a smoother but more reactionary jurist, the Supreme Court is on my mind.

      The allusion is, of course, to an infamous remark of the much venerated – and ostensibly liberal –Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior in a ruling (Buck v. Bell, 1927) that permitted the state of Virginia to require the sterilization of an intellectually disabled woman. Holmes declared: “three generations of imbeciles is enough.”

    • Trump Uses Tiny Nation to Insult Russia

      Donald Trump has just approved Montenegro’s accession into NATO, the latest sign that hopes for a new détente with Russia have been dashed. Though Montenegro is a tiny nation and its inclusion doesn’t significantly affect NATO’s capabilities, the move does send a clear message to Moscow that Trump is continuing his reversal from his campaign promises of warming up to Russia and cooling off to NATO into the opposite.

    • Erdoğan Claims Ultimate Power in Turkey After Nearly Split Vote

      In a very close—and closely watched—referendum vote, Turks on Sunday handed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan what many say is authoritarian rule.

      With more than 99 percent of ballots counted, Erdoğan claimed a win with 51.36 percent voting in favor of the referendum and 48.64 voting against.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Photos: ‘Exorcists’ Attempt To Cast Demons Out Of Alleged NSA Spy Building In Tribeca

      While the Christian world focuses on Easter today, a different group of people with spirituality on their minds showed up in Tribeca yesterday afternoon with the aim of casting out some devils from a building that’s been reported to be an NSA listening station.

      As mentioned earlier this week, a group of demonstrators organized by editors of The Quiet American showed up in front of the AT&T building at 33 Thames Street to call attention to the purported NSA activity going on at the building and to “exorcise the malevolent energy and information coursing through the AT&T monolith.”

    • ‘Released docs on alleged NSA malware provide instructions for criminals’

      Alleged NSA cyber-infiltration tools empower criminals and intelligence agencies to develop more in this direction, and could be used by anyone able to reproduce and modify the code, software developer and co-founder of Dyne.org Denis Roio says.

      A hacking group named Shadow Brokers has published what it claims are some of the cyber-infiltration tools used by the NSA, alleging that the American spy agency used them to break into banking systems.

      The leaked NSA malware is said to be capable of breaking into more than half of computers using a Microsoft Windows operating system.

      The hacking group behind the revelation also says the NSA may have penetrated several banking services, including SWIFT.

    • More On Private Internet Access

      So my biggest issue now is that I can’t use my email. That’s pretty surprising, as I wouldn’t think using a VPN would make any difference for that. I don’t actually care about my Google Apps account, but I need to be able to read my Igalia mail in Evolution. (Note: My actual IP seems to leak in my email headers, but I don’t care. My name is on my emails anyway. I just care that it works.)

    • [Older] Government Goes After Critic on Twitter, Remembers Constitution Just in Time

      The attempt to unmask a critical Twitter account was an affront to our fundamental right to anonymous expression.

      For a few weeks, the government seemed to forget that the Constitution protects the right to speak anonymously. Thankfully, the prospect of a legal challenge from Twitter and the ACLU appears to have jogged its memory.

    • Hippies Exorcise New York ‘Spyscraper’ of NSA Demons

      Because today, at noon, an exorcism was performed on the AT&T Building in Lower Manhattan. If you’re not familiar, the AT&T Building is a building that would be rejected by the production team behind Power Rangers as too obvious a location for a supervillian lair. It is 550 feet tall. It has no windows. It is clad entirely in concrete thick enough to withstand an atomic weapon. It has three subterranean levels and enough food to support 1,500 people for three weeks, supposedly. At night, it remains unlit, an imposing clot of concrete that casts 29 stories of Manhattan’s glittery skyline in permafrost shadow.

    • NSA surveillance protested with mock prayers, chants

      “Exorcists” wearing tinfoil hats and burning sage staged a faux purification ritual in Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood Saturday outside a building that they said was an outpost used by the U.S. government to surveil everyday Americans’ phone calls, texts and internet usage.

    • FBI Uses BitTorrent to Find and Catch Child Porn Offenders

      The FBI is using BitTorrent clients, specifically modified for law enforcement purposes, to track down people who share child porn and prosecute them. The software in question is configured to download complete files from a single suspect, to confirm that this person has the illegal content in his or her possession.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Sharia Councils and Sexual Abuse in Britain

      If one asks how all of this jibes with British law, the answer is that it does not.

    • Jakarta election challenger Anies accused of courting Islamic vote amid religious divide [iophk: ""political islam" redundant term"]

      “He is going to mosques, and then preaching in the mosque and he also shows his closeness to radical groups like the FPI [the Islamic Defenders Front].

    • Dorm debate led to death in Pakistan ‘blasphemy killing’: witnesses

      The day before, a heated debate over religion with fellow students broke out at the dorm and led to people accusing Khan of blasphemy against Islam. That attracted a crowd that grew to several hundred people, according to witnesses.

      The mob kicked in the door, dragged Khan from his room and beat him to death, witnesses and police said.

    • For-Profit School Chain Camelot Suffers Setback Following Abuse Allegations

      The Muscogee County School Board in Columbus, Georgia, dealt another blow to embattled Camelot Education when it voted Monday night to delay for three months a decision on whether to hire the company to run its alternative education programs.

      The delay in awarding the $6.4 million annual contract comes in the wake of a recent report by ProPublica and Slate that more than a dozen Camelot students were allegedly shoved, beaten or thrown by staff members — incidents almost always referred to as “slamming.” The for-profit Camelot runs alternative programs across the country for more than 3,000 students, most of whom have emotional or behavioral difficulties or have fallen far behind academically.

    • ‘The Tamil Nadu factor’: demanding justice for genocide in Sri Lanka

      From politicians to protestors, the people of Tamil Nadu are making waves in Indian politics, rallying around the need for justice for the war crimes committed against Sri Lanka’s Tamils.

    • Students at Pakistani University Lynch Classmate Falsely Accused of Blasphemy

      The brutal lynching of a journalism student by classmates at a Pakistani university on Thursday, shortly after he was accused of blasphemy by administrators, appalled civil society activists, and provided new evidence of the corrosive effects of the nation’s strict blasphemy laws.

    • Snipers and Infiltrators at Standing Rock: Quashing Protests at Taxpayer Expense

      The inner-workings and cost of the government’s militant and violent crackdown on peaceful Standing Rock protesters have been trickling in these past few months, yet it hasn’t received the headlines it all deserves. In March, MUCKROCK was provided with an unredacted look at Indiana’s Department of Homeland Security’s EMAC (Emergency Management Assistance Compact) operation at Standing Rock, and just this week files and photos obtained by journalist Mike Best from Ohio’s State Highway Patrol confirm that at least one sniper was deployed on a nearby hill, overlooking the protests.

      First, here’s a look at Indiana’s EMAC, which was asked to join North Dakota’s efforts to silence Standing Rock protests at taxpayer expense. For 18 days, from October to November of last year, 37 officers from Indianapolis PD were sent to North Dakota’s Morton County. Estimates of the cost of sending these cops, including their equipment, transport and commodities, exceeded $725,000. Wisconsin’s Dane County Sheriff’s Office also sent 13 deputies, with a total cost of $91,166 per day for an eight day stint.

    • “Worse Since Trump’s Election” — For-Profit I.C.E. Jail Faces Second Hunger Strike in Two Years

      A hunger strike at a privately-run immigration detention facility in Tacoma, Wash. is slated to enter its third day on Thursday.

      More than 750 people are participating, according to supporters holding a demonstration at noon on Wednesday, in front of the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC). The rally is being held, in part, to see if the hunger strike will continue.

      Inmates began refusing meals at lunchtime on Monday, in protest over conditions at the privately-run prison. Specifically, they want speedier hearings, improved food and healthcare access, and lower prices at the prison’s store.

      The hunger strike was also launched to protest working conditions at NWDC. Inmates are paid $1 every day for fulfilling jobs that prison managers need completed. Despite the pitiful compensation they receive, some have reported wage theft.

      “Some have even been denied the $1/day payment, and have been given a bag of chips in exchange for several nights of waxing the prison’s floors,” Latino Rebels said on Monday.

    • Ralph Nader Explains Why United Airlines Has “Total Unbridled Discretion to Throw You Off a Plane”

      And what United Airlines did in the flight from Chicago to Louisville, when they wanted to get four seats empty for four flight attendants deadheading it to Louisville to get on another plane, was offer vouchers that expire in one year. And they got three out of the four, and they picked a doctor, Dao, and called the security when he objected, and dragged him off the plane. And a billion people have seen that.

    • United gave doctor’s luggage the runaround, too

      “Instead, the airline flew their luggage to Louisville, Kentucky. And instead of delivering it to their home, they sent it to their medical practice office,” he added.

    • The women who sleep with a stranger to save their marriage

      A number of online services are charging “divorced” Muslim women thousands of pounds to take part in “halala” Islamic marriages, a BBC investigation has found. Women pay to marry, have sex with and then divorce a stranger, so they can get back with their first husbands.

    • Indonesian gay couple beaten on video before vigilantes hand them over to religious police

      The pair are to go on trial in an Islamic court for having gay sex and could receive 100 strokes of the cane if found guilty, officials in the conservative province of Aceh said, sparking calls for their release.

    • Why rightwingers are desperate for Sweden to ‘fail’

      There are few countries in the world that have “lost their innocence” as many times as Sweden. Even before a suspected terrorist and Isis supporter killed four and injured many more in last week’s attack in central Stockholm, Sweden’s policies were being portrayed on the programmes of Fox News and pages of the Daily Mail as, at best, exercises in well-meaning-but-naive multiculturalism, and at worst terrorist appeasement.

      So, when terrible events take place, they are framed as evidence of the decline and fall of the European social democratic project, the failure of European immigration policies and of Swedish innocence lost.

    • Another Startling Verdict for Forensic Science

      Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced this week that the Justice Department is closing a federal agency formed four years ago that was designed to instill more scientific rigor in the forensic sciences. The National Commission on Forensic Science had been working on best practices for crime labs and had been funding research to assess reliability in whole fields of evidence. Sessions said a new approach will be outlined by an as-yet-unnamed “senior forensic advisor.”

      As ProPublica originally detailed in April 2015, there has been plenty of reporting over the years on faulty forensics.

    • Trump’s Wall: How Much Money Does the Government Have For It Now?

      During the campaign, President Donald Trump promised to build a wall across the southern border some 1,000 miles long. The number of miles the president currently has money for: seven.

      U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials delivered the startling news this week at a conference in San Antonio for businesses eager to win contracts for beefing up security along the border.

      Although estimates to build the wall soar past $20 billion, the agency has so far managed to scrape together only about $20 million, according to its top contracting official. The rest of the cash will have to come from Congress, which so far has proven reluctant to foot the bill.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

04.15.17

Links 15/4/2017: OpenELEC 8.0.1 Released, Windows Security Up in Flames

Posted in News Roundup at 4:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • The Future of Desktop Ubuntu

      There hasn’t been this much news about a single Linux distro in like forever. Well, maybe when Caldera, operating under the name SCO, sued IBM for a cool billion, but other than that…nada. One thing’s for sure, the announcements that have been coming out of the Isle of Man for the last couple of weeks mean that Canonical has forever changed its course.

      It also indicates that Mark Shuttleworth has decided that it’s now do or die time — you know, put up or shut up, money talks and bullcrap walks and all that. This means that from this point forward, Canonical will no longer be a company focused on the desktop. From here on out, it’s enterprise all the way, baby.

      That’s probably going to work out well for enterprise users of Linux — time will tell. It doesn’t bode well for down in the trenches users of desktop Linux. From here on out, at Canonical, desktop Linux will be job number two. If that.

    • Galago Pro Available for Preorder

      Today Denver-based System76 allowed for preorder of the new Galago Pro. The Galago Pro is a 13” aluminum-body laptop, weighing in at 2.87lbs (1.3kg). The new laptop is very thin, but despite its size sports up to 32GB of RAM, 6TB of storage, and a 7 th Gen Intel i5 or i7 CPU. On top of that, the Galago Pro has many ports missing from modern ultra-thin laptops, such as an ethernet port. The starting price is $899.

    • Old Vista Laptop Into A Linux ZFS File Server Part 2

      In the previous Linux ZFS File Server article I put forth a list of parts that allowed me to utilize an old Vista laptop as a Linux+ZFS fileserver. In this article, I will detail how to put all the pieces together, from installing the Linux OS to connecting all the hard drives.

      First, we need to connect all the hardware. The eSATA card needs to be plugged into the slot, the USB3 Ethernet adapter needs to go in an available USB2 slot and connected with a CAT5 or better (CAT5e, CAT6) Ethernet cord to your existing router.

    • Old Vista Laptop Into A Linux ZFS File Server Part 3

      In the previous article, I showed you how to install Lubuntu 14.04 64-bit and install the important bits of Samba and the ZFS filesystem. In this article, I will give you the interesting details on how to get your Probox-connected disks up and running as a ZFS RAID10, starting with (1) disk and growing to a full 4-disk RAID10 in real-time. Please note: Follow these steps at your own risk. I take no responsibility for data loss! You will need to be careful and make sure you are using the right disks when entering administration commands.

  • Server

    • Rancher Launches Tiny Linux Distro

      Rancher Labs is announcing general availability today for RancherOS, the stripped-down version of Linux that the company uses with its own container management platform.

      The container management platform, called simply Rancher, is what the startup is best known for, and it doesn’t even have to run on RancherOS. It can run on any variety of Linux.

    • Containers are Linux

      Containers are Linux. The operating system that revolutionized the data center over the past two decades is now aiming to revolutionize how we package, deploy and manage applications in the cloud. Of course, you’d expect a Red Hatter to say that, but the facts speak for themselves. Interest in containers technology continues to grow, as more organizations realize the benefits they can provide for how they manage applications and infrastructure. But it’s easy to get lost in all the hype and forget what containers are really about. Ultimately, containers are a feature of Linux. Containers have been a part of the Linux operating system for more than a decade, and go back even further in UNIX. That’s why, despite the very recent introduction of Windows containers, the majority of containers we see are in fact Linux containers. That also means that if you’re deploying containers, your Linux choices matter a lot.

    • Running system services in containers

      Our computers run many programs that talk to the Internet, and the Internet is an unsafe place as we all know—with states and assorted organizations collecting “zero-day exploits” to exploit them as they see fit. One of the big tasks of operating system distributions has been to keep track of known software vulnerabilities and patch their packages as soon as possible.

      When we look closer, many vulnerabilities out there can be exploited because of a combination of two major weaknesses of GNU/Linux and similar Unix-like operating systems: lack of memory-safety in the C language family, and ambient authority in the operating system itself. The former leads to a huge class of bugs that become security issues: buffer overflows, use-after-free, and so on. The latter makes them more exploitable because processes have access to many resources beyond those they really need.

    • Enterprise Container Spending Is Skyrocketing

      A new study from container data services company Portworx, released on the eve of Dockercon 2017, bodes well for container vendors.

      Docker and other application container platforms are rapidly gaining traction in enterprise IT environments and spending is following suit. In its survey of 491 IT professionals, Portworx discovered that nearly a third (32 percent) of organizations are poised to spend $500,000 or more on container license and usage fees in 2017. Last year, only five percent were spending as much.

  • Kernel Space

    • Big Linux bug, low security concerns

      This Linux/Android bug sure sounded bad.

      The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Symantec announced a LinuxKernel ipv4/udp.c bug that made the LinuxKernel 4.4 and earlier vulnerable to remote code-execution. In turn, an attacker could exploit this issue to execute arbitrary code. Worse still, even failed exploits might cause denial-of-service attacks.

      There’s only one problem with this analysis and the resulting uproar: It’s wrong.

      Yes, the bug existed. NIST described it as a “critical” bug, and its description makes it sound like it can open Linux and Android-powered devices to attacks via UDP network traffic. The important phrase is “sound like.”

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 5 1600X Linux Benchmarks and Review: Good CPU Poor Value

        Finally, we have the top model of the AMD Ryzen 5 launch series, the AMD Ryzen 7 1600X. This is a really interesting CPU. In terms of specs, it is a 6 core 12 thread part with 16MB L3 cache and a 95W TDP. Immediately that gives it an advantage in a market where the average consumer space PC has, at most, 4 cores and 8 threads. While a lot of sites are pitting the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X against competition from Intel, we have the full Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 lineups to pit the CPU against. In our view, the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X is a great CPU, but it struggles in the value department against AMD’s other CPU offerings. With a dozen test systems set up, mostly for DemoEval, and running and over a month worth of hours on the clock with Ryzen, we have a good idea regarding where value lies in the continuum.

      • Blender Cycles: OpenCL now is on par with CUDA

        AMD videocard owners rejoice! With the work on the split Cycles OpenCL Kernel, the performance of AMD GPU’s has increased dramatically.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt World Summit 2017 Early Bird Tickets Now Available!
      • ArcGIS Runtime SDK 100.0 by Esri is here

        In 100.0, Qt developers have even more capabilities for adding mapping and geographic analysis to native apps than ever before. 3D geographic visualization, 2D vector tiled basemap support, enriched error handling in the API, and additional geoprocessing tools are just a few of the new highlights.

      • Progressive Web App and Planet KDE

        Since I started to programming more serious, was with Qt and with the goal to made Desktop applications. And I was running with all my strength from Web Development. My little experience with the web made me be pissed. It’s hard to debug and find solutions for a web problem, because exist too many solutions for the same problem in a lot of languages, see for example the Js frameworks that each day a new one appears.

      • Kubuntu 17.04 Released!
      • Qt 3D Animation Easter Teaser

        As an Easter treat here is a quick taster of some of the animation goodies coming to Qt 3D along with Qt 5.9. In this post we will briefly outline the steps needed to create a simple Qt 3D application and the assets it uses to produce this little animation:

      • WikiToLearn: now available in German!

        Thanks to the work of our volunteers, with a special mention to Matthias Heil and Karin Cienkowski, we’re happy to announce the official opening of the German portal of WikiToLearn. We hope it will be of great service to the German community and we’re sure it will help creating even more free textbooks for everyone to use.

      • KActionRunner

        Sometimes I create a small widget for my own usecase and never blog about it, but this one I think it should be pushed upstream. It’s a small KComboBox that uses a KActionCollection based model to display *all* of the actionCollection’s actions.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Q4OS 1.8.3 Orion review – Bayeux distro

        Q4OS is like an ancient tapestry. Beautiful, stylish, iconic, but then, also fraying at the seams. The initial impression is mighty. You can’t argue that. I was amazed by the virtual machine setup, and loved the live session even on the LG laptop. But then, the more I used it, the more I started seeing problems.

        Orion does some things exceptionally well – it’s friendly, it’s designed to assist newbs in getting underway, it has a calm presence, and it’s very frugal. But the hardware side of things is mediocre. First, no boot on UEFI. Then, no smartphone or Bluetooth support. Wonky suspend & resume. Moreover, customization is weak, UI has some rather rusty spots, and the multimedia front can benefit from improvement. The worst part is, prehistoric bugs linger, souring the experience.

        All in all, Q4OS 1.8.3 Orion is the kind of desktop that got worse the more I used it, rather than better. Eventually, I settled in and enjoyed most of the experience, but there’s a lot missing that most people take for granted. Curiously, it does some things exceptionally well, especially where some other distros struggle. But the balance isn’t worth it. At the end of the day, TDE isn’t the promised desktop and Q4OS isn’t the promised distro. Good, but a lot more effort is needed to nail that professional feel. If you have an old laptop, you should definitely give it a try, just remember that the Ghost of KDE3.5 may come to haunt you. 5.5-6/10.

    • New Releases

      • [Stable] OpenELEC 8.0.1 released

        OpenELEC 8.0.1 release has been published. Users running OpenELEC 8.0.0 or later with auto-update enabled will be prompted on-screen to reboot and apply the update once it has been downloaded and enabled in some hours. Users running older OpenELEC releases or with auto-update disabled will need to manually update. If you would like to update from an older OpenELEC release please read update instructions/advice on the Wiki before updating. Manual update files can be obtained from the downloads page.

    • Red Hat Family

      • An Important Linux Kernel Security Patch Is Available for CentOS 7, Update Now

        CentOS maintainer Johnny Hughes has informed the community about the availability of yet another important kernel security update, this time for users of the CentOS Linux 7 operating system series.

      • Red Hat Updates OpenShift Container Platform

        Red Hat officially announced the general availability of its OpenShift Container Platform 3.5 release on April 13, providing new application container features.

        OpenShift is Red Hat’s packaged distribution of the open-source Kubernetes container management and orchestration system. The OpenShift 3.5 update is based on the Kubernetes 1.5 update that was released in December 2016. Kubernetes 1.6 is actually the most recent release of KubernetesRed Hat CloudForms and debuted on March 29.

      • Red Hat Tunes Up OpenShift For Legacy Code In Kubernetes

        When Red Hat began building out its OpenShift cloud application platform more than five years ago, the open source software vendor found itself in a similar situation as others in the growing platform-as-a-service (PaaS) space: they were all using technologies developed in-house because there were no real standards in the industry that could be used to guide them.

      • Manage OpenStack deployments with Red Hat’s Platform Director

        An OpenStack deployment doesn’t always come easy for an IT team. Learn how Red Hat’s Platform Director can help with OpenStack implementation and lifecycle management.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Workstation: Get the features you want now

          Christian Schaller is a long time free software contributor and advocate. He’s also a manager of emerging platform development at Red Hat. The groups in this area include desktop engineering, where developers work on many GNOME features seen in Fedora. Recently Christian posted on his blog about desktop features and improvements users want. He also discussed how Fedora delivers them.

          Many such comments came in a recent Hacker News thread concerning Ubuntu. But listening to users doesn’t stop with just Linux users. Christian writes, “I often read such articles and threads about non-Linux systems too, to help understand what people are looking for and thus enable us to prioritize what we do with Fedora Workstation even better.”

        • The new Fedora Project mission statement

          When we started Fedora.next, we decided to work underneath the mission as it stood. This has worked out well enough, but we’re coming up to what feels like the limit. This is clear in the “Budget.next” process — it’s one thing to say that spending is to be determined in public based on clear objectives and measurable results, but for it to really work, those objectives need to be attached to a goal with a more clear scope.

    • Debian Family

      • The State Of Debian 9.0 Stretch

        Debian developers are preparing for the final phase of the development freeze on Debian 9.0 “Stretch” and it’s looking like the official release might not be too far out.

      • Status on the stretch release
      • Underestimating Debian

        I had two issues in the last days that lead me a bit into panic until they got solved. In both cases the issue was external to Debian but I first thought that the problem was in Debian. I’m not sure why I had those thoughts, I should be more confident in myself, this awesome operating system, and the community around it! The good thing is that I’ll be more confident from now on, and I’ve learned that hurry is not a good friend, and I should face my computer “problems” (and everything in life, probably) with a bit more patience (and backups).

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Gets Serious About Doing Enterprise Right

            With what we now know — that Canonical is working overtime to attract investors — it become apparent that the activity we’ve seen coming from the Isle of Man during the past week or so is a carefully orchestrated series of events designed to both reassure its enterprise customers and to get word to potential investors that Canonical is getting its priorities in order.

            It all started last week with Mark Shuttleworth’s announcement that the company is killing Unity, which has been Ubuntu’s default desktop since 2011. Development of Unity 8 is ceasing immediately, he said, and Unity 7 will no longer be the default desktop, beginning with version 18.04 which will be released next April. With the death of Unity comes the death of Ubuntu’s phone and convergence efforts, which never got traction, as well as the company’s go-it-alone display server, Mir, which had been seen as a disruption by many Linux developers. Mir will still have a life, however, in the company’s IoT offerings.

          • What To Do After Installing Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus

            If you’re a new comer to Ubuntu in 17.04 Zesty Zapus release, then welcome, this article is for you. This introduces some options you can do once finished installing Ubuntu. There are 13 options listed you can choose, mainly about applications and some tweakings. You’ll find some list about software replacements (if you come from Windows) and also educational apps. I hope this what-to-do article helps you to be a new Ubuntu user easier. Enjoy Ubuntu 17.04!

          • Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) Available For Download
          • Ubuntu 17.04 “Zesty Zapus” All Flavors Download Links
          • Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus Has Been Released (Download Links)
          • Downloading Ubuntu 17.04 with Zsync, Saving Bandwidth Cost
          • Ubuntu 17.04 Released, Not Much Changed

            Canonical finally announced the release of Ubuntu 17.04. Codenamed “Zesty Zapus”. In general, there doesn’t exist any new features or important updates. Just newer packages with bugs fixed and problems addressed from previous releases.

          • Ubuntu Unity – Present, Past and Future Discussed
          • Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 Released and What’s Next

            The Ubuntu GNOME developers are proud to announce our latest non-LTS release 17.04. For the first time in Ubuntu GNOME’s history, this release includes the latest stable release of GNOME, 3.24.

            Although Ubuntu’s release schedule was originally centered around shipping the latest GNOME release, this had not been possible since Ubuntu GNOME’s first release four years ago.

          • “Jono Bacon” – Lunduke Hour – Apr 11, 2017

            In this episode of the Lunduke Hour, I talk with my buddy Jono Bacon. The former Community Manager for Canonical waxes poetic about the recent announcements and what they mean — and offers some advice for the current team at Canonical. He also says the word “community” very few times. So proud of the little guy.

          • Return Home to GNOME

            A while back I wrote about the importance of those of us in the Ubuntu community coming together around Ubuntu’s Unity 8 project. The post was called “Return Home and Unify”. I wrote that in order to promote the idea to contributing to the desktop that would inevitably ship on Ubuntu so that the experience would be a good one for its users. I wanted convergence to be a real thing, so that there would be a more open alternative to iOS (closed-source) and Android (open source but heavily controlled by Google) in the phone and tablet space. But that Unity 8 isn’t happening and, here’s the kicker, I’m just fine with it.

          • 6 Things Gnome Shell needs to do Before Ubuntu 18.04

            Few days ago Canonical, company behind Ubuntu, announced that they will end development of their signature desktop environment, Unity. Starting with 18.04 release, Ubuntu will ship with Gnome Shell as the default environment. Although I have been using Ubuntu Gnome as my primary work environment for about two years now, this made me a bit sad since Unity 8 preview looked really amazing.

          • Snaps and snapcraft.io explained in 3 minutes
          • [Video] Ubuntu convergence Phone Tablet Desktop
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu Mate 17.04 – The Refined Gold Standard

              In this video we take a look at some of the refinements of Ubuntu Mate 17.04 and I get into a little history of the OS from Martin himself. This is a great all around distro and it is worth your time to try it out. Thanks for watching and thanks to everyone involved on the project.

            • The theater of Linux distributions

              The two most extreme Theater distros are Linux Lite and LXLE. The only thing that gives them their character are the PPAs they’re built with, and if even one of those PPAs isn’t maintained by its creator, the whole thing falls apart. You can’t do any updates but the ones they demand, and you have to do every one of those. If you add something or change something, it’s all over, they just disintegrate. Can’t afford to have actors ad-lib!

            • Welcome Ubuntu Budgie 17.04: A Short Review

              Ubuntu Budgie begins its debut as official Ubuntu family in 17.04 “Zesty Zapus” release. It’s a new choice of flavors with new desktop environment (Budgie) as operating system for us. Ubuntu Budgie is crafted purely for desktop use, no tablet-like interface (like Unity or GNOME), thanks to Budgie DE. So I want to introduce Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 to beginners especially if they’re new to GNU/Linux. I hope you’ll enjoy Ubuntu Budgie starting from this review.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • What is GNU social and is Mastodon Social a “Twitter Clone”?

    Mastodon Social is the name of an instance on GNU social which uses the OStatus protocol to connect to a vast variety of servers in what’s known as a federation. Mastodon is also the name of the software being used on that server, which was developed by Eugen “Gargron” Rochko. It was built with Ruby on Rails, Redux, and React.js. I learned the latter from the Wikipedia page, which is about the extent of research given by any of the other articles published this week.

  • Events

    • Registration for Linux Plumbers Conference is now open

      The 2017 Linux Plumbers Conference organizing committee is pleased to announce that the registration for this year’s conference is now open. Information on how to register can be found here [1]. Registration prices and cutoff dates are published in the ATTEND [2] page of the web site. A reminder that we are following a quota system to release registration slots. Therefore the early registration rate will remain in effect until early registration closes on June 18 2017, or the quota limit (150) is reached, whatever comes earlier. As usual, contact us [3] if you have questions.

    • CloudNativeCon and KubeCon Europe 2017: an overview

      CloudNativeCon and KubeCon Europe 2017 took place in Berlin on March 29th and 30th, and they were packed with clever things you can do in, around, and on top of, Kubernetes. It is possible that not every reader of LWN is familiar with Kubernetes, so I’d like to give a brief description of it before I describe any of the talks that I heard there. To do that, I’ll have to at least mention tools, containerization, cloud-native computing and microservices, and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).

      Containers are an elegant way to combine two Linux primitives, control groups and and namespaces, with loopback filesystems to provide isolated structures that in many ways resemble virtual machines (VMs), though they don’t have their own kernels. It is important to remember, however, that they are not actually VMs; no less an authority than Jessie Frazelle, who maintained Docker and now hacks on containers for Google when not speaking at KubeCon 2017, says exactly that in her blog. If you treat your containers like VMs, you’re using them wrong, and things may not end well if you do that in production.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

    • 1.3.0 Development Preview: New icon themes

      As version 1.3.0 of the Lumina desktop starts getting closer to release, I want to take a couple weeks and give you all some sneak peaks at some of the changes/updates that we have been working on (and are in the process of finishing up).

      This week’s preview covers the new icon theme which will be distributed/used by default in the upcoming version of Lumina.

      The “material-design-[light/dark]” themes[1] are collections of ~800 SVG icons (each) from the Google “material design” application icon theme[2] plus some of the “Templarian” additions[3] to the material design icon pack.

    • Lumina Desktop Environment 1.3 Preparing For Release

      TrueOS developers continue working on their Lumina Desktop Environment and coming up soon is the v1.3 release of their Qt5-powered desktop environment.

      Lumina 1.3 is releasing soon and the developers have begun delivering weekly sneak-peaks of their progress. In today’s preview, they share the work done on their new icon theme.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • “Richard Stallman” – Lunduke Hour – Apr 14, 2017

      In today’s episode of the Lunduke Hour, I get the chance to sit down and chat with the one and only Richard Stallman. Founder of the Free Software Foundation. We talk about everything from the W3C’s stance on DRM to opinions on the movie “Galaxy Quest”.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Indian Engineer wins UN Challenge to create open-source tool providing greater visibility into Member State voting patterns

      Unite Ideas is a big data crowd-sourcing platform developed by the Office of Information and Communications Technology, which seeks to provide a platform for collaboration between academia, civil society, and the United Nations.The vast amount of information generated by the UN in at least 6 official languages, and formats e.g. documents, datasets, and multimedia is increasingly being made available to the public as “open data”. At Unite Ideas, the public can access not just these these datasets, but also the source code of the solutions to previously completed challenges and build on them. Solutions and expertise developed can be re-used by governments and civil society to support international peace and security, sustainable development, human rights, international law, and humanitarian aid.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Ubuntu ditches Unity, Maryland embraces open textbooks, and more open source news
    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Happy Hardware Freedom Day 2017!

        And today is the day where we celebrate Free Hardware and the possibilities to build and design upon other people’s work or simply start something with the community in mind by ensuring projects can be shared and improved at will. In case you’ve missed our announcement the registration for Hardware Freedom Day will remain open for the month to come allowing you to celebrate at a later date, just make sure you specify the new date on your wiki page.

  • Programming/Development

    • HHVM 3.19

      HHVM 3.19 is released! This release has some exciting new experimental features. Packages have been published in the usual places; see the installation instructions for more information.

    • Ask Hackaday: How Do You Python?

      Python is the Arduino of software projects. It has a critical mass of libraries for anything from facial recognition and neural networks to robotics and remote sensing. And just like Arduino, I have yet to find the killer IDE for Python. Perhaps I just haven’t tried the right one yet, but it could be that I’m just doing Python wrong.

    • Learn Swift Programming with No-Charge Books

      Swift is a new language, first appearing in 2014. It is friendly to new programmers, feels familiar to Objective-C developers, and the language is optimized for development. It was launched under a proprietary license, but Apple made the language open source in December 2015 by releasing Swift 2.2 and later under the Apache License 2.0. By open-sourcing Swift, developers are able to use the language for their own purposes and go beyond OS X, iOS and watchOS apps.

Leftovers

  • Seoul Taxi Drivers to Wear Uniform Again

    Some 490,000 self-employed cab drivers will be given their new outfits by the Seoul Private Taxi Association.

  • Apple

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Capsule8 Building Container-Aware Security Platform for Linux

      Security startup Capsule8 emerged from its stealth mode in February with a plan to help provide a new model for application container security. In a video interview with eWEEK, Capsule8 CTO Dino Dai Zovi and CEO John Viega explain what’s missing from container security today and what they are building to help fill the gap.

      “Capsule8 is container-aware, real-time threat protection for Linux-based production environments,” Dai Zovi said.

      Dai Zovi explained that the company name Capsule8 is a pun on what it does—which is encapsulates security knowledge in software, providing a secure approach to application delivery and deployment.

    • Security updates for Friday
    • careful with the chrome HSTS

      I mean, yes, I set the HSTS header, but that was with the same cert that chrome is now insisting can’t be trusted. Why in the world would you permanently store “must have trusted cert” on the basis of an untrusted cert?

    • Microsoft blocks Kaby Lake and Ryzen PCs from Windows 7, 8 updates

      That means all updates, including security updates, will be unavailable on PCs with brand new hardware running the two older operating systems.

    • Hacked NSA tools put Windows users at possible risk

      The hacking group known as Shadow Brokers claims to have released National Security Agency malware designed to break into Windows computers. The software could make millions of Microsoft users vulnerable to malicious parties.

      [...]

      The NSA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But this isn’t the first US intelligence agency whose tools have been leaked to the public. Just last month, WikiLeaks released techniques it claimed the CIA used for breaking into phones, computers, cars and smart TVs.

    • Leaked NSA point-and-pwn hack tools menace Win2k to Windows 8

      The Shadow Brokers have leaked more hacking tools stolen from the NSA’s Equation Group – this time four-year-old exploits that attempt to hijack venerable Windows systems, from Windows 2000 up to Server 2012 and Windows 7 and 8.

      The toolkit puts into anyone’s hands – from moronic script kiddies to hardened crims – highly classified nation-state-level weaponry that can potentially compromise and commandeer systems around the world. This is the same powerful toolkit Uncle Sam used once upon a time to hack into and secretly snoop on foreign governments, telcos, banks, and other organizations.

    • Leaked NSA Malware Threatens Windows Users Around the World

      The ShadowBrokers, an entity previously confirmed by The Intercept to have leaked authentic malware used by the NSA to attack computers around the world, today released another cache of what appears to be extremely potent (and previously unknown) software capable of breaking into systems running Windows. The software could give nearly anyone with sufficient technical knowledge the ability to wreak havoc on millions of Microsoft users.

    • EFF Director: WikiLeaks Move to Share CIA Hacking Tools with Tech Giants Could “Make Us All Safer”

      DN! talks with Electronic Frontier Foundation Executive Director Cindy Cohn about thousands of documents WikiLeaks published this week, dubbed “Vault 7,” that describe CIA programs to hack into both Apple and Android cellphones, smart TVs and even cars. Some of the released documents describe tools to take over entire phones, allowing the CIA to then bypass encrypted messenger programs such as Signal, Telegram and WhatsApp. Other documents outline a CIA and British intelligence program called “Weeping Angel,” through which the spy agency can hack into a Samsung smart television and turn it into a surveillance device that records audio conversations, even when it appears to be off. Other documents outline how the CIA has used the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany, as a covert base to spy on Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “It’s extremely troubling that the CIA was keeping all of this information rather than giving it to the tech companies so that they could fix these problems and make us all safer,” Cohn notes.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • N. Korea blasts US ‘military hysteria & aggression’ in Syria, vows to mercilessly foil provocations

      Pyongyang has called the US cruise-missile strike against Syria a war crime, urging Washington to stop its “military hysteria” and come to its “senses” – or otherwise face a merciless response in case of any provocations against North Korea.

      “The US should be punished according to international law as its military attack on Syria was an undisguised act of aggression and war crime,” a spokesman for the Korean Jurists Committee said in a statement cited by KCNA.

    • China seeks Russia’s help to ‘cool’ N Korea situation

      China is seeking Russia’s help to cool surging tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, the country’s foreign minister has told his Moscow counterpart, after Beijing warned of possible conflict over North Korea.

      Fears over the North’s rogue weapons programme have soared in recent days, with a US naval strike force deployed near the Korean peninsula, while President Donald Trump has warned the threat “will be taken care of” and Pyongyang has vowed a “merciless” response to any provocation.

      China — the North’s sole major ally and economic lifeline — on Friday warned that war over North Korea could break out “at any moment”.

    • A Businessman’s Murder Unmasks a Web of Violent Police

      The abduction and killing of an innocent South Korean executive in the Philippines has blossomed into a national scandal amid President Duterte’s war on drugs

    • North Korea Parades New Long-Range ‘Frankenmissile’

      North Korea showed off what appeared to be at least one new long-range missile at a military parade Saturday, as tensions simmer over the possibility of a military confrontation between the U.S. and North Korea.

    • Neocons Point Housebroken Trump at Iran

      The Trump administration’s growing use of military force in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen has neoconservative hawks rooting for armed confrontation with what they view as the root of all evil in the Middle East: Iran.

    • Roaming Charges: Love at First Strike

      Ivanka, our Park Avenue Electra, did it. She’s the one who softened her daddy’s leathery heart by forcing him to watch those dreadful pictures of dead and dying babies, eyes fixed on the carnage scrolling across the screen like Alex in A Clockwork Orange. The obscene photos made Donald squirm. His eyes even moistened. Then he began to tremble with rage.

      “What kind of evil animal could kill innocent babies, Ivanka?”

      “A monster, Daddy, a real monster. You must do something! This cannot stand!”

      “But do what, Sweetie? I’ll call that guy who works for me, Steve something. He’ll know what to do…”

      “No, not Bannon, daddy. He won’t do a damn thing. Call Jared. He’s already talked to the generals. They’re dialing up the targets right now.”

      “Ivanka, I’m so glad I picked you to join me in the West Wing. I only worry about the business. Are your brothers really up to it on their own?”

    • Handing Killer Drones to Donald Trump

      The news is rife with President Trump’s threatened and actual military misadventures: in Syria, Yemen, and North Korea. But these military actions take on a new gravity considering the vast and secret powers Trump inherited.

      [...]

      Specifically, President Obama’s constraints on drones included that targets pose an “imminent threat,” that their capture is “not feasible,” and that there be “near certainty” civilians will not be injured or killed. However, Obama didn’t always hew closely to his own policy, which evolved throughout his Presidency as legitimate criticism of drone strikes increased.

    • Never Give Robots Guns

      Never give robots guns. Guns are for killing. Robots can’t make analogue decisions and those are the only ones that should ever control the taking of the life of another person. Robots make quantised decisions, not analogue ones. The quanta reflect the programming, and the programming arises from the approximation and modelling of a human view.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • Yext: The newest $1 billion tech company

      Companies like McDonald’s (MCD), one of Yext’s clients, need the addresses, hours and contact info for its many restaurants up to date on sites as diverse as Google Maps, Yelp, Facebook, Bing, etc. Yext provides the software for companies to update their information on all of those sites with one click.

      [...]

      But for all its success, the company still isn’t profitable.

    • British government realises Brexit is a mistake, official says

      The British government is slowly realising Brexit is “an act of great self-harm” and that upcoming EU-UK negotiations must seek to limit the damage, the State’s top Brexit official has said.

      The official, John Callinan, said on Thursday: “I see signs in the contacts that we’re having, both at EU level and with the UK, of a gradual realisation that Brexit in many ways is an act of great self-harm, and that the focus now is on minimising that self-harm.”

      The remarks by Mr Callinan, the second secretary-general at the Department of the Taoiseach, were delivered at a Brexit seminar organised by the trade unions Impact and Siptu.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Secret Service has spent $35,000 on golf cart rentals since inauguration: report
    • Paul Ryan Raised $657,000 While Avoiding His Constituents During Recess

      We already reported, based on fundraising brochures we obtained, that Ryan had scheduled a whirlwind of stops for his Team Ryan PAC — in Miami, Corpus Christi, Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, and Menlo Park — rather than meet with constituents.

    • New York Times Promises Truth and Diversity, Then Hires Climate-Denying Anti-Arab White Guy

      And although Stephens has been hailed as an anti-Trump conservative, he and Trump share a very significant belief that defies reality: They both deny the existence of climate change. Stephens used his Wall Street Journal columns to compare climate science to a religion, saying that environmental groups “have been on the receiving end of climate change-related funding, so all of them must believe in the reality (and catastrophic imminence) of global warming just as a priest must believe in the existence of God.”

      In April of 2010, he proclaimed that “global warming is dead, nailed into its coffin one devastating disclosure, defection and re-evaluation at a time. Which means that pretty soon we’re going to need another apocalyptic scare to take its place.”

      He then mockingly proposed “a readers’ contest to invent the next panic. It must involve something ubiquitous, invisible to the naked eye, and preferably mass-produced. And the solution must require taxes, regulation, and other changes to civilization as we know it.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Snowden Says Cyberweapons Dump Underscores NSA Hacking Tools Are Not Secure

      Hackers and security experts are raising alarm over a massive cyberweapons dump that they say underscores the danger of government spy agencies developing intrusive surveillance tools.

      On Friday, the hacking group Shadow Brokers released a cache of cyberweapons developed by the National Security Agency (NSA) to access computers that run on Microsoft Windows, a release described by Vice New’s Motherboard as “the hacking equivalent of a bomb.”

      This means that any computer-savvy individual could download the tools and hack into any of the millions of personal Microsoft computers worldwide.

    • US government ‘hacked global bank system’

      The BBC is not able to verify the authenticity of the files – and the NSA has not commented on the leak.

    • Apathy about privacy is a myth: why users do care about data collection

      In recent weeks, two events have deviled the digital-privacy community and online commentariat. In March, Wikileaks released Vault7, a series of leaks detailing the CIA’s comprehensive program to surveil American citizens through such devices as smart TVs, Web browsers, and operating systems. Later that month, Congress voted in favor of S.J. Res. 34, a bill repudiating the late-Obama-era regulations of surreptitious user-data collection by internet service providers (ISPs) for commercial gain. In the wake of these developments, the matter of online privacy has reached the forefront of political discourse, lightly evoking the fevered concerns of Edward Snowden’s 2013 NSA revelations.

    • When Did You First Realize the Importance of Online Privacy?

      Maybe your parents snooped around an email account when you forgot to log out. Maybe photos you thought were private ended up online. Maybe you didn’t land your dream job, and you suspect an old LiveJournal account still visible in search results of your name may be the culprit. Maybe you got hacked.

    • PIA and freenode joining forces

      I am incredibly excited to be able to share some amazing news with you today. For the last few years, Private Internet Access has been a dedicated supporter of the freenode project and we are delighted to be able to announce that freenode is now officially part of the PIA family.

      freenode has been providing services to Free and Open Source Software projects, peer-directed projects and other projects that have a broadly licensed output for the past 18 years, and there is a great deal of overlap between the visions and missions of the two organisations, as well as the projects and organisations the two organisations have supported, albeit in very different ways over the years.

    • EFF’s “Spying on Students” Report Highlights Tech Companies’ Data Collection, Parents’ Frustrations
    • Victory for Now: California Hits Pause on A.B. 165, Bill that Sought to Undermine Student Privacy

      It’s a great day for digital privacy in California. Confronted with opposition from a powerful and diverse coalition, Assemblymember Jim Cooper has pulled his legislation, A.B. 165, from consideration by the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee. EFF joined over 60 civil rights organizations, technology companies, and school community groups in fighting A.B. 165, and we thank all the EFF members and friends who joined us in speaking out. The unrelenting, principled opposition to this anti-privacy bill stopped it from reaching its first committee hearing.

      A.B. 165 attempted to create a carve-out in the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA), one of the strongest digital privacy bills in the nation. If A.B. 165 had passed, it would have left millions of Californians who attend our schools without strong protections against invasive digital searches.

    • EFF Releases Spying on Students Ed Tech Report

      A goal of the “Spying on Students” survey was to highlight the struggles of average people trying to navigate the student privacy issue. So throughout the discussion of the survey results, we present the case studies of a parent, technology director, system administrator, and school librarian.

    • Whispers from the Past: Political Figures Caught Up in NSA Intercepts

      Word that President Donald Trump as well as some of his family and associates may have appeared in National Security Agency (NSA) intercepts as masked (and in some cases later unmasked) identities has caused a great deal of sturm und drang in the United States. Many Americans are convinced that the mentions of Trump-linked personalities in signals intelligence reports indicates that the “deep state” or the Obama administration was “surveilling” them and that this is a dangerous politicization of the intelligence community.

    • Hackers release files indicating NSA monitored global bank transfers

      Hackers released documents and files on Friday that cybersecurity experts said indicated the U.S. National Security Agency had accessed the SWIFT interbank messaging system, allowing it to monitor money flows among some Middle Eastern and Latin American banks.

      The release included computer code that could be adapted by criminals to break into SWIFT servers and monitor messaging activity, said Shane Shook, a cyber security consultant who has helped banks investigate breaches of their SWIFT systems.

      The documents and files were released by a group calling themselves The Shadow Brokers. Some of the records bear NSA seals, but Reuters could not confirm their authenticity.

      The NSA could not immediately be reached for comment.

    • New Leak Shows NSA Hacked Overseas Banking Networks
    • New leak shows how a major hacking group cracked Windows and international banks

      Likely originating with the NSA, the tools give new clues as to the group’s targets in recent years, which seem to include both international anti-money-laundering groups and oil companies in the Persian Gulf region.

    • Major Leak Suggests NSA Was Deep in Middle East Banking System
    • NSA-leaking Shadow Brokers just dumped its most damaging release yet

      The Shadow Brokers—the mysterious person or group that over the past eight months has leaked a gigabyte worth of the National Security Agency’s weaponized software exploits—just published its most significant release yet. Friday’s dump contains potent exploits and hacking tools that target most versions of Microsoft Windows and evidence of sophisticated hacks on the SWIFT banking system of several banks across the world.

    • Microsoft says U.S. foreign intelligence surveillance requests more than doubled

      Microsoft said it received between 1,000 and 1,499 FISA orders for user content between January and June of 2016, compared to between 0 and 499 during both January-June 2015 as well as the second half of 2015.> Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) said on Thursday it had received at least a thousand surveillance requests from the U.S. government that sought user content for foreign intelligence purposes during the first half of 2016.

    • Facebook is stepping up efforts to automatically identify fake accounts and Likes
    • Not even the telcos like Australia’s mandatory metadata retention scheme aka the Big Brother policy

      Now that all of these Australian companies are holding all of this data, at their own cost, they’re going to need to think of ways to make more money from that data – hopefully without following the American example.

    • Why one Republican voted to kill privacy rules: “Nobody has to use the Internet”

      Sensenbrenner did not address the fact that the privacy rules would have let customers make a choice about whether their data is tracked and used. The rules would have required ISPs to get customers’ opt-in consent before using, sharing, or selling their Web browsing history and app usage history. Because Congress eliminated the rules before they could go into effect, ISPs can continue to use customers’ browsing and app usage history without offering anything more than a chance to opt out. Without such rules, customers may not even be aware that they have a choice.

    • Tor exit node operator arrested in Russia – a solidarity Tor Relay Challenge launched

      Russia counts 230.000 Tor users everyday and only 46 exit nodes. Tor is extremely popular after a bunch of laws restricting usage of Internet and enforcing the lawful interception procedures (obliging ISPs to store all metadata for 3 years, and the traffic – even though encrypted – for 6 months). However, the Bogatov case has had an influence on the perception of Tor by ‘end users’.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Fears as fleeing Saudi woman is returned to her ‘abusers’

      However eyewitnesses in Manila airport said Ali warned officials that if they sent her back to Saudi with her uncles, who had come to collect her, she would be “killed”.

    • The place in Afghanistan where it’s “easy to kill women”
    • Four brothers confess to killing sister for ‘hanging around with men’ in Turkish capital

      In their testimonies, the brothers said Aykutluğ was “hanging around with men and everyone in the village was talking about it.”

    • Swedish Muslim Association Risks Losing State Funding Over Misogyny, Extremism

      However, the SFM landed subsequently landed in hot water as it turned out that one of its hired speakers was none other than Sweden’s arguably best-known jihadist Michael Skråmo, who repeatedly called on his fellow Muslims to join Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) and bomb their workplaces. Gothenburg native Skråmo converted to Islam, changed his name to Abdul Samad al Swedi and moved to Syria with his family.

      [...]

      Terror researcher Magnus Ranstorp of the National Defense College previously voiced his surprise that the SFM had been awarded state grants.

    • ‘Stop being racist to Muslims or die,’ hackers tell far-right group Britain First
    • Pak university closes after journalism student lynched for ‘blasphemy’

      A university in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was closed until further notice after a journalism student was killed by his peers for allegedly sharing blasphemous {sic} content online and promoting the Ahmadi faith.

    • Oregon Cop’s Inability To Keep His Hands Off A Resident’s Phone Costs Taxpayers $85,000 In Legal Fees

      Oregon residents will be opening up their wallets and handing out $85,000 to a citizen and her ACLU representation, thanks to a police officer being the only cop on the scene unable to handle being filmed while effecting an arrest.

      Carrie Medina sued the city of Portland in early 2015 after an officer seized her camera and ended her livestream of an arrest two years earlier. The lawsuit [PDF], filed by the ACLU, contains the full conversation between Officer Taylor Letsis and Medina during the livestream’s premature conclusion.

      It contains some choice highlights in law enforcement overreach and the assertion of nonexistent authority. The confrontation starts with Officer Letsis claiming Medina’s phone probably contains “evidence of a crime,” and continues on through to Letsis claiming his seizure and search of the phone is neither a seizure or a search but is very definitely something he has the “legal jurisdiction” to do.

    • On Ambedkar Jayanti, Naidu says religion-based reservation will create ‘another Pakistan’

      Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said implementation of reservations on the basis of religion may result in social unrest in the country and “lead to creation of another Pakistan”.

      Speaking at a BJP meeting organised on the occasion of the Ambedkar Jayanthi, Naidu also hinted that Telangana s recent proposal to hike reservations for certain sections may not be constitutionally valid.

      He also said that architect of Constitution B R Ambedkar had opposed religion-based reservation.

    • President Trump Can Take Concrete Action to Protect Syrian Civilians by Lifting the Muslim Ban

      President Trump seemed visibly moved by the suffering of Syrian civilians in the wake of a brutal chemical attack in the country that killed over 89 civilians. However, there are far more effective ways for him to alleviate their plight than with military action that contravenes the Constitution.

    • In crisis-stricken Somalia, no safe haven

      During Somalia’s 2011 famine, in which a quarter of a million people died, Hassan lost many of his cattle. With the few that survived, he managed to stay at home in Qansahdheere, in southwestern Somalia. Six years on, as Somalia faces yet another humanitarian disaster, Hassan and his family have fled to Mogadishu hoping to find aid. Hassan and his family made it to the capital city’s only government-managed camp, Badbaado.

      Half of Somalia’s population of 12.3 million people currently need humanitarian assistance. Legal, political and security restrictions and limited funding are restricting the access of international aid agencies to parts of the country, including areas controlled by the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab. Every day thousands of people like Hassan are moving into urban areas under government control, where international assistance is more likely to arrive. According to the United Nations, just under half a million people have fled their homes since November largely because of the drought, many arriving in Mogadishu and Baidoa, a town at the epicenter of the crisis.

    • Why Was a 3-Year-Old in South Dakota Forcibly Catheterized as He Screamed in Pain?

      This incident raises a multitude of practical, moral, and constitutional questions. Collecting bodily fluids from a toddler to gather evidence against an adult member of the household is simply unreasonable. Period. Second, catheterization of anyone — adults and children alike — is an incredibly invasive procedure that should only be employed when absolutely necessary. Additionally, the compelled production of bodily fluids is a search under the Fourth Amendment, which, absent consent, requires a warrant supported by probable cause. In this case, the DSS conducted the search without a warrant, without legal justification, and without judicial oversight. (To be clear, when a parent “consents” to the collection of her children’s bodily fluids under the threat of losing her children, that consent is invalid.)

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Tennessee Could Give Taxpayers America’s Fastest Internet For Free, But It Will Give Comcast and AT&T $45 Million Instead

      “Tennessee will literally be paying AT&T to provide a service 1000 times slower than what Chattanooga could provide without subsidies.”

      Chattanooga, Tennessee has the fastest, most affordable internet in the United States. Many of the rural areas surrounding it have dial up, satellite, or no internet at all. Chattanooga wants to expand its network so these rural areas can have the same Gbps and 10 Gpbs connections the city has. Rather than allow that to happen, Tennessee’s legislature just voted to give Comcast and AT&T a $45 million taxpayer handout.

    • Congress kills FCC Internet privacy rule: Help states resist

      On April 3, Trump signed in to law Senate Joint Resolution 34, nullifying broadband privacy rules that were to take effect at the end of 2017, and preventing the FCC from introducing similar rules in the future. This leaves Internet users in the United States with little recourse if their Internet service providers (ISPs) want to collect and even sell information about their Internet activity. By 2015, more than half of all broadband customers in the United States purchased from a single company, in part due to monopolization of broadband offerings.

      The right to use the Internet without fear of indisciminate bulk surveillance is an important aspect of software freedom. We’ve spoken out against mass surveillance by governments before, and when people’s options for Internet access become limited to a few huge companies, they become more vulnerable to the possibility of having records of their Internet activity collected.

  • DRM

    • That Was Fast: Denuvo’s Version 3 Update Has Been Cracked

      It’s seems like just yesterday that I was writing about how Denuvo’s DRM, the once-vaunted but since defeated DRM unicorn, had been patched to Version 4 with the company proclaiming that it was once again out ahead of the pirate groups that had cracked its previous versions. Oh, wait. That actually was yesterday.

      Anywho, the latest version of Denuvo is being used on several recently released games, out since January, with much made about how those games were once again taking quite a bit of time before cracks for them appeared in the wild. With the company pushing the narrative that protecting the first few weeks of a game’s release was where the value of Denuvo really stood, companies using the DRM likely cheered. This week, however, things took a familiar turn for the DRM unicorn.

    • W3C Pushes Past Critics as DRM Gets Closer to Becoming an Official Web Standard

      The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has elevated the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) to the status of “Proposed Recommendation,” the last step before becoming an official W3C standard, pending a vote from its members.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright Society’s ‘World IP Day’ Lesson: Give Us Your Copyrights For Nothing

        Every year around April 26th, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) hosts a weird dog and pony show of copyright/patent/trademark maximalism that it calls World IP Day. In the past, we’ve pointed out that the events and festivities are disturbingly one-sided and frequently clueless. For example, two years ago, WIPO used Bob Marley’s famous line “Get Up, Stand Up” as the theme for World IP Day, ignoring the history of Jamaican music, in which the lack of copyright protections in the 50s and early 60s is basically what allowed Bob Marley to become a world phenomenon (and, later, the fact that Marley and Universal Music got tangled up in a fight over copyrights).

04.14.17

Links 14/4/2017: Wine 2.6, Ubuntu’s April Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 3:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Un-Masking FD.io – the Open Source Project that Processes Packets

    The Fast Data Project (FD.io) is a networking open source project whose scope includes software-based packet processing, fast Input/Output (IO), and universal data plane management across bare metal, hypervisor, and container environments.

    FD.io, which was open-sourced by the Linux Foundation in February 2016, was garnering quite a lot of attention at the recent Open Networking Summit (ONS) 2017 in Santa Clara, California.

  • Like Twitter but Hate the Trolls? Try Mastodon

    Users choose for themselves which instance they want to join and select from a host of privacy and anti-harassment settings. Oh, and the character limit is 500, not 140. In essence, Mastodon is an experiment in whether individually moderated communities can make a social network like Twitter more civil.

  • Encouraging New Contributors in Lima, Peru

    A worldwide enthusiastic representative FLOSS as Stormy is, have public encouraged contributors to share experiences about their communities around the world. So I decided to post about it since I usually have the support of two great communities such as GNOME and Fedora to do Linux events in my local community. Following the suggested structure, here are some experiences that I can make you know. Hope you do not mind to check every single link I pointed out to the words throughout this post because it has more posts of the job we do in Lima, Peru.

  • 8 new blog posts on how to encourage new contributors
  • New open source router aims to compete with Cisco and Juniper

    Drew Conry-Murray, writing in Packet Pushers, looked into the Free Range Router (FRR), a new open source router offering that is looking to challenge Cisco and Juniper. FRR isn’t new; it came about as a result of a split within the Quagga open source community. Contributors such as Cumulus Networks, Big Switch and 6WIND, frustrated by the slow pace of Quagga’s development, decided to form their own community, offering FRR as an alternative. The open source router, currently in version 2.0, is designed to run on Linux and Unix operating systems and offers support for a variety of routing protocol daemons, including intermediate system to system, Border Gateway Protocol and Open Shortest Path First.

  • Events

    • APIStrat Becomes a Linux Foundation and Open API Initiative Event

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration, today announces that the API Strategy & Practice Conference has become a Linux Foundation event and will be jointly produced with the Open API Initiative (OAI), a Linux Foundation project. Linux Foundation events are where the world’s leading technologists meet, collaborate and innovate. APIStrat 2017 will take place October 31 – November 2 in Portland, OR.

    • APIStrat Conference Now Organized By The Linux Foundation and Open API Initiative
    • A guide to packing and preparing for a tech conference
    • Going to ApacheCon? Check out TomcatCon, a Mini-Conference Featuring Apache Tomcat

      ApacheCon North America is only a few weeks away and will be happening May 16-18, 2017, in Miami. It’s particularly exciting this year because ApacheCon is going to be a little different. For one thing, there is a series of mini-conferences running in and around ApacheCon that you will not want to miss.

      We spoke with Mark Thomas, Apache Tomcat committer and Senior Principal Software Engineer at Pivotal, about one of these mini-conferences, TomcatCon, to get a feel for what participants can expect from this event. TomcatCon offers a range of presentations to help users expand their Tomcat knowledge in areas such as networking, security, performance, and deployment, and it provides users and developers with the opportunity to discuss the current Tomcat roadmap and help inform future development. Here’s what Mark said about the conference.

  • Databases

    • MariaDB CEO on the open source enterprise – and why good databases are NOT a commodity

      MariaDB’s first annual user conference in New York City found MariaDB CEO Michael Howard in a confident mood. I decided to push issues, like whether “the revenge of relational databases” favors the incumbents, and see if I could find any cracks. I didn’t get those, but I got some spicy/illuminating responses. I also learned why MariaDB thinks its “open source mandate” will carry the day.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • TDF Team’s Interviews: Christian “Cloph” Lohmaier

      Christian “Cloph” Lohmaier has been LibreOffice’s release manager for quite a long time. We asked him some questions, to not only get better knowledge about his daily activities, but find out his opinions about The Document Foundation and LibreOffice.

  • CMS

    • Drupal Confessions – An Open Letter [iophk: "CoCs are about controlling tech not producing tech"]

      Larry Garfield, a long-time, veteran contributor to Drupal was ejected from the community, allegedly not for breaking the Code of Conduct, but, to quote your own post on the matter, because “he holds views that are in opposition with the values of the Drupal project.”

      [...]

      Our concerns do not make us pro-Larry — we do not endorse his beliefs or his personal life — but we are passionately committed to openness, transparency, due process, fairness, inclusivity, diversity, having personal lives that are none of Drupal’s business, and professionalism in tech; and we are vehemently opposed to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying, doxxing, secret trials, and digging up information on member’s personal lives.

      [...]

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • Investigative journalists: “Government lock-in by Microsoft is alarming”

      IT infrastructures at government administrations all over Europe are largely based on proprietary, closed software from Microsoft. With digital systems constantly growing in size as well as importance, countries are becoming increasingly dependent on this single American corporation. Investigate Europe, an international group of journalists, has investigated the current situation and the consequences of this vendor lock-in. The results, they say, are alarming.

    • Helsinki Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s New Journey Planner Showcases Open-Source Software Development

      The Helsinki metropolitan transportation authority, Helsinki Region Transport HSL, has released a new version of its Journey Planner. The service is exceptional among similar trip planners worldwide in that it is based on open-source code. Thus the ongoing development of the Journey Planner can be a collaborative activity joined by developers, the general public, and other cities’ transportation authorities. Among others, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority MTA is testing the source code.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Rancher Labs releases RancherOS, VMware’s intent to acquire Wavefront, and OpenBSD 6.1 — SD Times news digest: April 12, 2017
    • Open Access/Content

      • Initiative for Open Citations Takes Alternative Approach To Freeing Up Knowledge

        We’ve just written about widespread frustration at the slow pace of the shift to open access publishing of academic papers, and about how some major funding organizations are trying to address that. Open access aims to make entire publications publicly available, and that is meeting considerable resistance from traditional publishers who derive their healthy profits from charging for subscriptions. Rather than continue to tackle publishers head-on, an interesting new project seeks instead to liberate only a particular part of each article, albeit an important one. The new Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC) seeks to promote the unrestricted availability of the list of citations that form a key part of most academic articles…

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Ultimaker unveils next generation of open-source 3D printing

        When Ultimaker, a manufacturer of open-source 3D printers headquartered in Amsterdam with an office in Boston, announced recently the global availability of the next generation of its 3D-printing product line, it promised professionals unprecedented freedom of design. Open-source 3D printing has become popular, particularly in the desktop printing market, according to John Kawola, U.S. President of Ultimaker.

  • Programming/Development

    • HHVM 3.19 Brings CLI Server Mode, Retranslate-All, Performance Boosts

      Facebook developers have put out their latest release of HHVM to empower this PHP interpreter as well as what powers their Hack programming language.

      HHVM 3.19 is the new release this week and it ships with some interesting experimental features. First up, there is a “Retranslate All” feature to re-translate all profiled code into optimized translations after it hits a specified number of requests. This re-translate all can be used for getting better performance, quicker warmups, and more. This experimental feature will likely go on by default in HHVM 3.20.

    • Intel’s Beignet Lands LLVM 4.0 Backend Support

      While Intel’s Beignet is a terrific project especially when it comes to being a leading open-source OpenCL implementation that works with OpenCL 2.0 on GPUs (something that can’t be said for Radeon with its open-source OpenCL stack consistently lacking and Nouveau not really being usable either), the sad part of it is that Beignet is consistently slow in supporting new versions of LLVM.

    • Salaries for storage, networking pros continue to rise

      Though salaries overall remained flat, most tech pros (61 percent) reported receiving a salary increase in 2016 and 9 percent reported a decrease, according to the survey. Increased compensation is the most common motivator employers provided to tech pros in 2016 (18 percent), followed by flexible work location and ability to telecommute (14 percent) and more interesting and challenging assignments (12 percent), according to the survey.

    • QA in Production

      Gathering operational data about a system is common practice, particularly metrics that indicate system load and performance such as CPU and memory usage. This data has been used for years to help teams who support a system learn when an outage is happening or imminent. When things become slow, a code profiler might be enabled in order to determine which part of the system is causing a bottleneck, for example a slow-running database query.

      I’ve observed a recent trend that combines the meticulousness of this traditional operational monitoring with a much broader view of the quality of a system. While operational data is an essential part of supporting a system, it is also valuable to gather data that helps provide a picture of whether the system as a whole is behaving as expected. I define “QA in production” as an approach where teams pay closer attention to the behaviour of their production systems in order to improve the overall quality of the function these systems serve.

    • For programmers, the ultimate office perk is avoiding the office entirely

      For many programmers, the attractions of working from home are obvious. I’m one of them—I wrote the code for this analysis—and I know all too well the intense concentration required to engineer good solutions to complex problems, as well as the productivity-wrecking frustration of being interrupted mid-flow. Working from home, assuming one can maintain a certain discipline, offers a tranquility seldom found in an office.

    • RcppArmadillo 0.7.800.2.0
    • loadable library and perl binaries are mismatched
    • Spam from postmaster [of Fedora]
    • PHP version 7.0.18 and 7.1.4 [of Fedora]
    • LLVM Is On The Path To Getting Faster

      LLVM contributor Mikhail Zolotukhin has issued a report about the continued evolution of LLVM and its impact on the compiler’s performance.

      He’s found that in the past few months LLVM is getting faster, which is a good sign as the months prior to that LLVM was getting slower.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Strategy of “inconvenience” may be the best way to boost vaccination rates

      By adding an extra, in-person step to the process of obtaining a vaccination waiver (which allowed a child to forego the necessary vaccinations), Michigan quickly and significantly boosted its vaccination rate, as Kaiser Health News reports.

    • FGM: Detroit doctor Jumana Nagarwala faces life in jail
    • US lakes soaking up road salt, some heading toward toxic levels [iophk: "probably driven in part by the auto industry to rust out old cars and drive sales"]

      Although no ancient civilization probably ever pulled off the logistical feat of intentionally salting a conquered people’s lands, our modern ones may be doing it unintentionally. Those friendly snowplows (and your sidewalk-shoveling neighbors) are spreading an astounding volume of salt, and it has to go somewhere once it melts.

    • 6 WTF Things You Had No Idea Tobacco Companies Got Away With

      Tobacco companies, and people complicit in their business, are responsible for the deaths of six million people a year, equivalent to the number of Jewish people killed in the Holocaust. Per year. You’d think that they’d be on the decline, what with everyone knowing how dangerous their products are. You’d be wrong. Tobacco companies have developed insidious tactics to stay relevant.

    • Nestle’s bid for more water withdrawal riles residents [iophk: "draining the watershed, privatizing water"]

      “If Flint could pay that rate, their annual household cost would be less than 75 cents per year,” said Peggy Case, president of the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, which opposes Nestle’s bid.

    • Germany Brings Health Issues To G20; First Health Ministers Meeting In May

      Global health matters are entering into the Group of Twenty (G20) agenda under the German presidency of the group, which started in December 2016. The first-ever G20 Health Ministers’ meeting is scheduled to take place in May, before the regular G20 meeting in July. This week, a professor from the Graduate Institute of Geneva explained how health has become part of the G20 agenda.

      [...]

      Answering a question about the best outcome for health of the G20, Kickbusch said on a declaration level it would be a strong commitment for the SDGs and universal coverage. On a practical level, she added, it would be desirable that the action plan that might emerge actually commits to financing the establishment of IHR capacities in developing countries.

    • Mary Jane Goes Crazy

      There are so many issues related to legalization of marijuana in Canada, I scarcely know where to start. I’ve never used the stuff and I especially hate smoking anything. It’s just stupid and unhealthy to take into lungs random chemical products subjected to high temperatures.

      Nevertheless Canadians like most other humans to some extent enjoy or value marijuana either for “recreation” or medical benefits. Perhaps the best place to look for reason in all this is to consider why marijuana was made illegal in the first place. After all, alcohol and tobacco are almost certainly more harmful but legal.

      [...]

      Eventually, farmers could benefit from marijuana as they used to. As a child I used a rope made of hemp in a swing in the maple trees in my yard. Hemp is a valuable fibre from the plant. I’m sure farmers could produce marijuana in quantity if not quality compared to the greenhouse operations I’ve seen on the news. I’d sure prefer Canadian farmers grew and profited from marijuana rather than tobacco especially if non-smoked products were manufactured. I see nothing wrong with people having some pleasure from their meals rather than sucking tar into their lungs.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Microsoft kills off security bulletins after several stays
    • Thirteen must-watch TED Talks on cyber security
    • DNS record will help prevent unauthorized SSL certificates

      In a few months, publicly trusted certificate authorities will have to start honoring a special Domain Name System (DNS) record that allows domain owners to specify who is allowed to issue SSL certificates for their domains.

      The Certification Authority Authorization (CAA) DNS record became a standard in 2013 but didn’t have much of a real-world impact because certificate authorities (CAs) were under no obligation to conform to them.

      The record allows a domain owner to list the CAs that are allowed to issue SSL/TLS certificates for that domain. The reason for this is to limit cases of unauthorized certificate issuance, which can be accidental or intentional, if a CA is compromised or has a rogue employee.

    • Linux remote root bug menace: Make sure your servers, PCs, gizmos, Android kit are patched

      The programming blunder – CVE-2016-10229 – exposes machines and gizmos to attacks via UDP network traffic: any software receiving data using the system call recv() with the MSG_PEEK flag set on a vulnerable kernel opens up the box to potential hijacking. The hacker would have to craft packets to trigger a second checksum operation on the incoming information, which can lead to the execution of malicious code within the kernel, effectively as root, we’re warned.

    • Unpatched vulnerability exposes Magento online shops to hacking

      An unpatched vulnerability in the Magento e-commerce platform could allow hackers to upload and execute malicious code on web servers that host online shops.

      The flaw was discovered by researchers from security consultancy DefenseCode and is located in a feature that retrieves preview images for videos hosted on Vimeo. Such videos can be added to product listings in Magento.

      The DefenseCode researchers determined that if the image URL points to a different file, for example a PHP script, Magento will download the file in order to validate it. If the file is not an image, the platform will return a “Disallowed file type” error, but won’t actually remove it from the server.

    • NSA’s arsenal of Windows hacking tools have leaked

      A new trove of alleged surveillance tools and exploits from the National Security Agency’s elite hacking team have been released by the Shadow Brokers’ hacking group.

      The group Friday appeared to release tools designed to target Windows PCs and servers, along with presentations and files purporting to detail the agency’s methods of carrying out clandestine surveillance.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • UK goes beyond UN to say South Sudan violence ‘is now genocide’

      More than 1.5 million people have fled the East African nation, creating Africa’s largest refugee crisis.

    • AUSTRALIA BECKONS A WAR WITH CHINA

      Australia is sleep-walking into a confrontation with China. Wars can happen suddenly in an atmosphere of mistrust and provocation, especially if a minor power, like Australia, abandons its independence for an “alliance” with an unstable superpower.

      The United States is at a critical moment. Having exported its all-powerful manufacturing base, run down its industry and reduced millions of its once-hopeful people to poverty, principal American power today is brute force. When Donald Trump launched his missile attack on Syria – following his bombing of a mosque and a school – he was having dinner in Florida with the President of China, Xi Jinping.

    • Out of 46 Major Editorials on Trump’s Syria Strikes, Only One Opposed
    • The Pentagon Money Pit: $6.5 Trillion in Unaccountable Army Spending and No DoD Audit

      For backstory, Congress passed The Government Accountability Act of 1996 that required annual audit on government department budgets. This bill was passed to resolve the previous accounting mistakes made in 1991. Surprisingly, the DoD is still unable to implement the measures over 20 years later. Looking at the Federal Discretionary Spending of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, the DOD was allocated $600 billion of the $1.1 trillion budget. The rest of the budget was split between $70 billion for education, $63 billion for housing and community development, $66 billion for Medicare and Health care, $65 billion for Veterans, $39 million for energy, $26 billion for transportation, and finally $41 billion for International affairs. With the exception of DoD, all the other departments have reported their budgets since the bill was passed.

    • ‘The Only Sensible Path at This Point is Dialogue’

      The Washington Post suggests that people in Seattle and San Francisco “should be worried” about being hit by a ballistic missile from North Korea, citing an analyst who described such an event, a bit cryptically, as “a looming threat but not a current threat.”

      If the concern is that the saber-rattling between Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump could indeed have dire consequences, it’s hard to see how such stories help, or maps that show ranges for North Korea’s missiles far greater than any actually tested missiles have gone, or the conflation of nuclear and non-nuclear weaponry. But we’re equally ill-served by a failure to interrogate US policy on the Korean peninsula, and corporate media’s reduction of North Korea to caricature in the time-honored method reserved for official enemies.

    • “Mother of All Bombs” Never Used Before Due to Civilian Casualty Concerns

      Fulfilling Donald Trump’s campaign promise to “bomb the shit” out of ISIS, the Pentagon dropped the “mother of all bombs” — one of its largest non-nuclear munitions — for the first time on Thursday, in Afghanistan. The 21,600 pound weapon was developed over a decade ago, but was never used due to concerns of possible massive civilian casualties.

      The Pentagon said it used the weapon on an ISIS-affiliated group hiding in a tunnel complex in the Nangarhar province. The group, according to the Pentagon, is made up of former members of the Taliban.

      The Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), nicknamed the “mother of all bombs,” has a mile-long blast radius.

      [...]

      “We were going after a target, I would say, in a similar manner,” said Garlasco. “But the concern there was that once the weapon was put forward as an option, we reviewed it, did a collateral damage estimate, and well let’s just say the collateral damage was impressive. It was decided that the civilian harm greatly outweighed the military gain.”

      Garlasco said the strike would have been in a “high-collateral region.” And he said that to his knowledge that was the only time the use of the MOAB was ever suggested.

    • Thomas Friedman’s Perverse Love Affair With ISIS

      The word “encouraged” is doing a lot of work here. The CIA, along with Saudi Arabia, assisted and funded the mujahideen and other foreign fighters to fight the Soviets and Soviet-aligned Afghans throughout the 1980s, resulting in a prolonged, brutal war, and spawning thousands of radical jihadists for years to come. That Friedman would use this as an example of how the US should wage war in Syria—and presumably drag the war on and spawn similar extremism—would be considered absurd on its face if it weren’t coming from a Very Serious Person at the New York Times.

      [...]

      “Everyone”? Everyone is bad, Friedman’s pseudo–tough guy argument goes, so let’s be just as bad by explicitly using ISIS in a weapon against Iran, Russia and Hezbollah.

      [...]

      In a political climate where Americans are being arrested for merely sending out pro-ISIS tweets, and dozens are swept up in dubious FBI entrapment plots, it’s notable that one of the most influential columnists in the United States can call for arming the designated terrorist organization so long as he frames it as “just asking questions” and does so to the end of killing Evil Iranians. (Friedman is not the only establishment figure to suggest that the US goal in Syria should be to prolong the bloodbath indefinitely—but usually this ghoulish argument isn’t offered so blatantly.)

      [...]

      Perhaps, one can imagine, they would be less so if Western columnists weren’t casually cheerleading for using the extremist group as a bludgeon against America’s enemies.

    • Tillerson’s Bad Hand in Kremlin Showdown

      President Trump’s hasty decision to attack Syria may have lightened political pressure at home but Russia’s retaliation – suspending a key “deconfliction agreement” – left Secretary of State Tillerson as supplicant at the Kremlin, reports Gilbert Doctorow.

    • To Russia with More Russia-Bashing

      Now that President Trump is bashing Russia, not resetting relations, the mainstream U.S. media has gone from pushing “Russia-gate” conspiracies to decrying doubts about U.S. government anti-Russia claims, notes Nat Parry.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiLeaks ‘hostile intel,’ Assange & his followers ‘demons’: CIA chief goes rogue

      CIA Director Mike Pompeo called Julian Assange and his associates “demons” and accused WikiLeaks of siding with the world’s dictators and endangering the security of the “free world” with the help of states like Russia.

      Speaking at an event organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC on Thursday, the former Kansas congressman went on the warpath against the whistleblower website, accusing its editor Julian Assange of being on the “wrong side of history” and seeking to harm America, freedom and democracy.

      “It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia,” Pompeo told the audience.

    • Trump’s CIA Director Pompeo, Targeting WikiLeaks, Explicitly Threatens Speech and Press Freedoms

      In February, after Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. media were the “enemy of the people,” the targets of his insult exploded with indignation, devoting wall-to-wall media coverage to what they depicted as a grave assault on press freedoms more befitting of a tyranny. By stark and disturbing contrast, the media reaction yesterday was far more muted, even welcoming, when Trump’s CIA Director, Michael Pompeo, actually and explicitly vowed to target freedoms of speech and press in a blistering, threatening speech he delivered to the D.C. think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.

      What made Pompeo’s overt threats of repression so palatable to many was that they were not directed at CNN, the New York Times or other beloved-in-D.C. outlets, but rather at WikiLeaks, more marginalized publishers of information, and various leakers and whistleblowers, including Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • That time passengers were told to give up their seats for United’s CEO and his family

      I’ve received many, many recollections of indignities large and small suffered by United passengers. The unifying thread to all of them is a seeming disregard on the airline’s part to how its customers are treated and whether the passengers would ever use the carrier again.

    • United is Heavy-Handed Again: Boarded, Seated Passenger Threatened With Cuffs to Disembark
    • United’s passenger-beatings are a feature of its business, not a bug

      In a world where the airlines record-smashing profits comes from a small number of increasingly luxurious first-class seats, the entire focus of the industry is on figuring out how to convince just a few marginal customers to spend more for one of those profit-centers instead of deadheading in coach.

      [..]

      The airlines can’t control how badly you want to get somewhere, but they have total control over how awful getting there can be.

    • Meet the millennials making big money riding China’s bitcoin wave
    • An Entire Generation is Likely to See Its Standard of Living Regress

      It is modern feudalism, happening in a slow motion crash as we watch, aware of what is coming down, but at first unwilling and likely now unable to stop it.

      Welcome to the Third World

    • When WaPo Calls for ‘Honest’ Debate, Check for Your Wallet

      The Washington Post editorial page is, of course, famous for absurdly claiming, in an editorial defending NAFTA, that Mexico’s GDP had quadrupled between 1987 and 2007. (According to the IMF, Mexico’s GDP increased by 83 percent over this period.) Incredibly, the paper still has not corrected this egregious error in its online version.

      This is why it is difficult to share the concern of Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor, that we will see increasingly dishonest public debates (Washington Post, 4/9/17). Hiatt and his team at the editorial page have no qualms at all about making up nonsense when pushing their positions. While I’m a big fan of facts and data in public debate, the Post‘s editorial page editor is about the last person in the world who should be complaining about dishonest arguments.

      [...]

      Okay, so yesterday we had too few workers and today we have too many because of automation. These arguments are complete opposites. The one unifying theme is that the Post is worried that we are being too generous to the poor and middle class.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Burger King didn’t hack Google Home, it hacked the media

      It appears that its aim was to create a commercial that would tap into the target demographic’s concerns for intrusive advertising and invasion of their privacy. In turn, this would grab the attention of digital and traditional media who would write about those issues at length and generate tens of millions of dollars of free media and bucket loads of engagement. In that vein, Burger King’s campaign is a stunning success. It even managed to get around Google’s hasty block from letting the ad trigger Google Homes by releasing an alternate version during the prime-time slot it bought.

    • Fake news is being cited by pupils as fact in their studies, warn teachers [iophk: “seen that for a long time now”

      More than a third of teachers say their students have cited false information found online, according to a poll by the NASUWT teaching union.

      [...]

      Others expressed frustration over students refusing to believe news they had seen on Facebook and other social sites was not true, even when the problem was explained to them.

    • The White House Easter Egg Roll, Alongside the Republic, is in Peril!!!!!!

      That seems to be what’s happening with our media, especially outlets like the New York Times, who are stuck in a loop of denial some six months after the election. Each day it seems they find fellow party members something Trump to direct their hate at.

    • Bernie Sanders, the Company Man

      As I pointed out back in July of 2015, U.S. Senator Bernie Senator (“I”-VT) is not the independent left politician many progressives claim he is. He’s a Democratic Party company man.

      That was been clear from his long Congressional record of voting with the neoliberal, dollar-drenched Democrats and accepting their seniority-based committee assignments. It was clear when he came out to Iowa City in December of 2014 to give a speech so focused on the terrible Republicans that a professor had to remind him that corporate and imperial Democrats are a problem too. It was clear when he decided to the run for the U.S. presidency as a Democrat and promised to back the Democrats’ eventual nominee (Hillary Clinton).

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Cloudflare Doesn’t Want to Become the ‘Piracy Police’
    • The dangers of equating words with actions

      The email encourages faculty members to make no distinction between words and physical violence. The professors discuss a ‘disturbing… pattern of harm’ in the speakers thus far invited. They describe how students have been left ‘in distress’ at having to listen to such ‘painful’ ideas. These talks have caused ‘damage’, and any who have had the courage to rebut the speakers’ arguments have experienced ‘injury’ as a result. If students really are as delicate as this assessment implies, it’s a good job the US government hasn’t reinstated conscription.

    • China’s WeChat Is a Censorship Juggernaut
    • China Censors Posts About Crackdown on Lawyers From Social Media Sites

      China’s internet censors have consistently blocked content related to a nationwide police operation targeting rights lawyers since it was launched in on July 9, 2015 (709), a Canada-based investigation has revealed.

      Researchers at CitizenLab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto found “detailed evidence” that tweets and photos posted to to the popular smartphone chat app WeChat and the Twitter-like platform Sina Weibo were censored with “forbidden” keywords.

    • In China, the art of media censorship is becoming more sophisticated

      Technology and social media advances empower the public in China, but they also empower the censors.

      “The art of censorship is becoming more and more sophisticated,” explained Fang Wang, senior duty editor and head of video content at FTChinese.com, speaking at the International Journalism Festival in Italy last week (5 April).

      “The mouse and cat game is still ongoing and social media plays a key role in it.”

      Wang joined the FT Chinese team about seven years ago. At the festival, she gave insights into how the advancement of technology since then has been used by the Chinese government to control the information accessible in the country.

    • Thai Government Forbids Any Online Contact With Three Overseas Critics Of The Monarchy

      The three people concerned are only able to voice their criticisms of the monarchy and government because they live outside the country — it would obviously be far too risky to do the same inside it. So this latest move is effectively an attempt to forbid Thai citizens from accessing “forbidden” material that lies beyond the Thai government’s direct control, and which has proved impossible to block using technical means. It will doubtless be just as futile.

    • Do we need a film censor?

      The state considers every citizen rational enough to make serious, life-affecting decisions like who to vote for (at 18), who to marry (at 21), what career to choose, investments to make etc. but, cross the threshold and enter a cinema theatre and the citizen turns into a bumbling idiot, unable to discern what to watch or not, to be lent a helping hand by the Pahlaj Nihalani-fied Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

    • Netizen Report: Censorship Spikes After Venezuela’s ‘Self-Inflicted Coup’

      Global Voices Advocacy’s Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world.

      Protesters in Venezuela have been mobilizing almost daily and in large numbers since the Supreme Court of Justice temporarily nullified the National Assembly on March 30, a move that many described as a “self-inflicted” coup. The change sparked international outrage.

    • Netizen Report: Censorship Spikes in Wake of Venezuela’s “Self-Inflicted Coup”

      Although the court reversed course days later and reinstated the National Assembly, public unrest has continued, forcing public officials to confront the economic and political crisis that has been ongoing since 2014. Alongside political turmoil and rising rates of violent crime, the global drop in the price of oil, the country’s main export, has left Venezuela with staggering inflation rates for more than three years. Inflation has not fallen below 50 percent since 2014. It exceeded 100 percent in 2015, and reached 800 percent at the end of 2016. President Nicolas Maduro has repeatedly blamed the United States for the downturn in the oil market.

    • Moderation Over Censorship

      This spring, the Open Campus Initiative was formed to explore the limits of free speech on Harvard’s campus by inviting controversial speakers across the ideological spectrum, starting with Jordan B. Peterson. In response to Peterson’s statements on gender nonconformity and reports of harassment from his previous lectures, many students took issue with his invitation, echoing the backlash to Harvard Financial Analyst Club’s invitation of Martin Shkreli this February. Although we have qualms with the mission statement of OCI and disagree with Peterson’s statements, we nonetheless recognize OCI’s potential value and the difference in the two groups’ purposes and processes.

    • Dissent: Harvard: Where Hate Speech is Welcome

      The sign is meant to present Harvard as a welcoming place: a home to students from all different identities. The inspiring message pulls on the heartstrings of students passing through Harvard Yard as they walk to class. You almost believe it. You almost believe that a school which promotes such a message would never allow anything to make a student here feel otherwise.

      The creation of the Open Campus Initiative has shown us where Harvard students’ values lie. It recently formed with the intention of bringing controversial speakers to Harvard as a way to promote free speech. By inviting these speakers, students are meant to engage in dialogue with people who have opposing viewpoints as a way to understand their opinions and bridge the partisan gaps between polarized groups in order to foster greater community. However, by allowing odious speakers on campus, Harvard is not promoting freedom of speech; it’s promoting hate speech.

    • Open Campus Initiative Shakes Up College Life

      The new organization brought controversial professor Jordan Peterson to campus Monday, despite backlash from other student groups.

      On Monday evening, new student organization the Harvard College Open Campus Initiative hosted its first event on campus. They hosted Dr. Jordan Peterson, a professor at the University of Toronto who has recently come under fire for a video series decrying political correctness, in an event titled “Mask of Compassion: Postmodernism & Neomarxism in Modern Times.”

      The group, which consists of a small number of students who have come together to promote free speech on campus by bringing controversial speakers, is itself nonpartisan but has scheduled more conservative speakers so far, as it believes that these are the perspectives which are not adequately represented on campus.

    • Censorship Undressed: Iranian State TV Cuts Broadcast Mid-Sentence

      In an unusual broadcasting flub this week, Iran’s official state media network cut off the live video feed of a reporter in mid-sentence when she mentioned the name of presidential hopeful Hamid Baghaei, one of the more controversial politicians who has filed to run for president next month.

      Baghaei served as vice president to former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Both represent a frequently contested hardline political position, and both men now have registered to run for president in Iran’s May 2017 elections.

    • Singapore diplomat hits back at The Economist again
    • How Amos Yee won political asylum in the US: Part 2
    • S’pore’s High Commissioner to UK rebuts The Economist again
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • EFF Urges Court to Roll Back Ruling Allowing Remote-Control Spying

      Recent Decision Would Allow Foreign Governments to Wiretap Americans on U.S. Soil

      Washington, D.C. – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged an appeals court today to review a dangerous decision by a three-judge panel that would allow foreign governments to spy on Americans on U.S. soil—just as long as they use technology instead of human agents.

      In Kidane v. Ethiopia, an American living in Maryland had his family computer infiltrated by the Ethiopian government. Agents sent an infected email that made its way to Mr. Kidane, and the attached Microsoft Word document carried a malicious computer program called FinSpy that’s sold only to governments. The spyware took control of the machine, making copies of every keystroke and Skype call, and sending them back to Ethiopia as part of its crackdown on critics.

    • New leak suggests NSA penetrated Mideast banking networks

      A new set of documents purportedly lifted from the U.S. National Security Agency suggests that American spies have burrowed deep into the Middle East’s financial network, apparently compromising the Dubai office of the anti-money laundering and financial services firm EastNets. The company said Friday that the documents were dated and denied that any customer data had been affected.

      TheShadowBrokers, which startled the security experts last year by releasing some of the NSA’s hacking tools, has recently resumed pouring secrets into the public domain. In a first for TheShadowBrokers, the data includes PowerPoint slides and purported target lists, suggesting that the group has access to a broader range of data than previously known.

    • On Private Internet Access

      I’m soon going to be moving to Charter Communications territory, but I don’t trust Charter and don’t want it to keep records of all the websites that I visit. The natural solution is to use a VPN, and the natural first choice is Private Internet Access, since it’s a huge financial supporter of GNOME, and I haven’t heard anybody complain about problems with using it. This will be a short review of my experience.

    • [tor-talk] Fwd: Russian FOSS activist arrested for extremist materials/Tor exit-node
    • YouTube TV Will Force You to Watch Ads on Many DVR’d Shows

      Instead, viewers will be forced to watch the on-demand episode and all of the ads, even though consumers thought they saved the show on their DVR.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Saudi Woman Abducted at the Airport

      The story of Dina Ali Lasloom is the story of a struggle that feels as insurmountable as it does desperately urgent. This is a story of religious theocracy meeting royal patriarchy. It is the story of Saudi womanhood, denied.

      Twenty-four-year-old Dina left Saudi Arabia full of hope. Most 24-year-old women the world over dream of the usual things young women do at that age: how to live the full, independent, and exciting life that lies ahead of them. But Dina just wanted to be. Have you ever felt utter, total, and overwhelming helplessness? For Saudi women, such a feeling is a matter of law. They feel it every day. In Saudi Arabia, they are the permanent legal wards of the men in their lives. Powerlessness is a state of being for Saudi women, who lack the lawful agency to study, marry, divorce, work, or travel without formal permission from their father, brother, husband, or son. It is enforced by the system. And the system is a total and absolute religious monarchy.

    • Anti-Pakistan protest in Washington DC against death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav

      The AFB also called upon the Trump administration to cut off US military help to Pakistan. “How long will USA continue to serve these jackals, who don’t care two hoots about the lives of freedom loving American and Baloch people? Or for that matter Afghan and Indian lives–, but only care about the greenbacks.”

    • Arrested for a Kiss

      Two young Algerians, a girl and a boy, recently lived through a nightmare. Following a simple kiss and a hand on the shoulder, the couple found themselves under arrest.

    • Government is ‘institutionally biased’ against Christian refugees from Syria, claims former Archbishop of Canterbury

      Last year the House of Commons passed a resolution stating that “Christians, Yazidis and other ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria are suffering genocide”, though this stance has not been adopted by the British Government.

    • The Push to Ban Arabic Sermons in Europe’s Mosques

      In several Western European countries, some politicians want to force imams to deliver sermons only in the official language: In Germany, imams should preach in German; it Italy, in Italian; in Britain, in English; in France, in French.

      To justify this requirement, two rationales are cited. Some say it will function as a counterterrorism strategy. Others say it will promote the social integration of Muslims. A few appeal to both lines of reasoning.

    • Facebook can’t escape mounting evidence that it’s making people miserable

      Social media has irrevocably changed the nature of friendship, in that we now split our time between virtual relationships and real ones. Now a big new study adds to the growing body of research on the fallout of our socializing online: The more we use Facebook, the less happy we feel.

      From the moment we awake, the first thing we’re tempted to do is “tap on that little blue icon,” Holly B. Shakya, who studies public health at the University of San Diego and led the new study, told the Harvard Business Review. “What impact does it have on you?”

    • Memo shows Kissinger and Rumsfeld in damage control mode following revelation of CIA domestic activities

      To this end, Kissinger suggested to Rumsfeld that the White House not issue a statement at all. In Kissinger’s view, a formal statement would have lent credence to the article’s accusations and create the impression that the Ford Administration faced “a scandal of major proportions.” Kissinger wanted to make it clear that any abuses “anti-dated the current Administration” and wouldn’t be continuing under President Ford. The problems which were coming to light were categorically the fault of someone no longer in power, and thus the current Administration should be blameless. This strategy would be brought up again in the ensuing fallout.

    • UK denies residency to London-born children of Dutch-Spanish couple

      A Dutch and Spanish couple who have lived in Britain all their adult lives have told of their “devastation” after the Home Office refused their post-referendum application to have their two London-born children recognised as permanent residents of the country.

      Jan-Dinant Schreuder and Monica Obiols, both 49, found themselves in a “bureaucratic nightmare” when they were told their 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter had to provide more evidence that they lived permanently with their parents.

      “What evidence are they supposed to have? They don’t have council tax bills or proof of where they live. They are children,” said Obiols. “They have gone to school here all their lives, English is their mother tongue. I was just so shocked when we got the refusal letters.”

    • Taser Seeking To Lock Down Body Camera Market With ‘Free’ Camera Offer To Law Enforcement Agencies

      Taser — manufacturer of law enforcement’s favorite electronic battle weapon and the “I’m not a doctor but I play one in courtroom proceedings” creator of arrestee-specific medical condition “excited delirium” — is branching out and (sort of) rebranding.

      It’s not like Taser doesn’t have the less-lethal market sewn up. Its titular device is in the latter stages of genericide — a catch-all term for any sort of stun gun. It’s been busy building a new market: law enforcement body cameras. Under the name Axon, Taser has introduced a number of body-worn cameras, some of them with more advanced feature sets that tie their activation to weapon deployment by officers.

      Now, Axon is hoping to increase its dominance of the body camera market. Its latest move is to offer free cameras and footage storage to any law enforcement agency that requests it. The pay-nothing-now offer lasts for a year. Once the offer expires, agencies are free to look elsewhere for cameras.

    • How I faced misogyny in Hinduism—and found peace with my faith

      Unlike most of my peers, my favorite time of day as a child was bedtime. Well, at least it was when my maternal grandmother — who visited my family every other year from the time I was born to the time I left for college — was in town. >From the minute she arrived at the airport, I would latch onto her like a tiny barnacle, pestering her with questions from sunup until she finally fell asleep at night, no doubt exhausted by a five-year-old girl with a seemingly unquenchable curiosity about everything.

      There was one question to which, however, she never said no. “Ajji?” I’d ask her, my voice high and ever so slightly petulant as she brushed my hair and got me in my pajamas, “Can you tell me a story?”

      And she always did. Her repository of stories was seemingly endless, and she had a natural talent for making these tales accessible to a kindergartener without glossing over any moral nuances or situational complexities addressed therein. She drew upon her knowledge of Hindu epics to feed me bite-sized excerpts; exciting tales of kings at battle or goddesses who harnessed their rage to destroy evil.

    • Trump’s Deepening Embrace of Bahrain’s Repressive Monarchy May Lead to More Instability

      On the morning of March 14th, 2011, military forces from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) crossed the 16-mile causeway from Saudi Arabia to Bahrain to crush a popular uprising that had arisen there against the Bahraini monarchy. The military intervention was the first salvo in a series of counterrevolutions launched against the Arab Spring uprisings, pitting largely unarmed democracy activists against the repressive force of local security forces and militaries. Six years later, many of the Bahraini civil society leaders whose protests briefly captured the world’s imagination languish in prison, their brief democratic moment snuffed out with the help of regional powers.

      Under Barack Obama, the United States stood by quietly while its GCC allies suppressed the Bahraini revolution. Since taking office, the Trump administration has signaled it will strengthen U.S.-Bahrain ties, recently lifting human rights restrictions on arms sales to its government to clear the path for a multi-billion dollar sale of F-16s. Such measures are likely to be taken by the regime as a green-light to escalate repression, while dimming hopes for the release of the estimated 4,000 political prisoners still held in Bahraini prisons, some analysts say.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Tennessee Gives AT&T, Comcast Millions In New Taxpayer Subsidies, Yet Banned A City-Owned ISP From Expanding Broadband Without Taxpayer Aid

      If you want to understand what’s wrong with the American broadband industry, you need look no further than Tennessee. The state is consistently ranked as one of the least connected, least competitive broadband markets in the country, thanks in large part to Comcast and AT&T’s stranglehold over politicians like Marsha Blackburn. Lawmakers like Blackburn have let Comcast and AT&T lobbyists quite literally write protectionist state laws for the better part of a decade with an unwavering, singular focus: protecting incumbent revenues from competition and market evolution.

      The negative impact of this pay-to-play legislature is non-negotiable. One state-run study last year ranked Tennessee 40th in terms of overall broadband investment and availability (pdf), and found that 13% of households (or 834,545 Tennesseans) lack access to any high-speed broadband internet service whatsoever. The study found that the vast majority of Tennessee residents still get internet access through slower services like DSL, wireless or dial-up connections, either because that’s all that’s available, or because they couldn’t afford faster options.

      Like twenty other states, Tennessee long ago passed a state law hamstringing towns and cities looking to improve regional broadband networks. As a result, popular municipal broadband providers like Chattanooga’s utility-run ISP, EPB, have been banned from expanding its up to 10 Gbps offerings into any more markets. Attempts to repeal the law earlier this year went nowhere after mammoth pressure from incumbent ISP lobbyists. When that didn’t work, one lawmaker tried to pass a compromise bill that would have allowed EPB to expand into just one neighboring county.

    • FTC Commissioner: If The FCC Kills Net Neutrality, Don’t Expect Our Help

      So we’ve been talking a lot about new FCC boss Ajit Pai and his plan to not only kill net neutrality, but eliminate FCC oversight of broadband providers almost entirely. Reports recently surfaced indicating Pai has been busy meeting with large ISPs behind closed doors to discuss his plan to kill hard net neutrality rules and replace them with “voluntary commitments” from ISPs. This won’t cause any problems, Pai and ISP lobbyists have argued in perfect unison, because the FTC will rush in to protect broadband consumers — and net neutrality — in the wake of the FCC’s dismantling.

    • Don’t Wait For Google, Netflix Or Facebook’s Help If You Want To Save Net Neutrality

      So if you’ve not been paying attention, broadband ISPs (with help from new FCC boss Ajit Pai) are slowly but surely working to eliminate oversight of one of the least-competitive sectors in American industry. It began with Pai killing off a number of FCC efforts piecemeal, including plans to beef up cable box competition, investigate zero rating, and FCC attempts to stop prison telco monopolies from ripping off inmate families. From there, Congress used the Congressional Review Act to kill FCC privacy protections for broadband consumers. Next up: reversing the FCC’s 2015 Title II reclassification and gutting net neutrality.

      Between this, cable’s growing monopoly over broadband (including the rise in usage caps), the sunsetting of Comcast NBC merger conditions and a looming wave of new megamergers and sector consolidation, you should begin to notice there’s a bit of a perfect storm brewing on the horizon when it comes to broadband and media competition, anti-competitive behavior, and oversight — one that’s not going to be particularly enjoyable for broadband consumers, or the numerous companies that compete and/or do business with the likes of AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.

  • DRM

    • Obedience Award granted to Tim Berners-Lee for deference to pro-DRM corporations

      Today Defective by Design granted Tim Berners-Lee the first ever Obedience Award, recognizing his work to help wealthy corporations add DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) to official Web standards. Inspired by the MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award, the Obedience Award highlights activity upholding the status quo despite an overwhelming ethical case against it. Today is the first opportunity for the addition of DRM to become final as per the formal process for setting Web standards.

      As the director of the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Berners-Lee previously fought to advance Web users’ rights, supporting net neutrality, privacy and universal access. Born in the UK, he was knighted by H.M. Queen Elizabeth in 2004 and awarded the Order of Merit in 2007. Most recently, he received the Association for Computing Machinery’s A.M. Turing Prize.

      Though he was previously critical of DRM, Berners-Lee decided not to take a stand against Netflix, Microsoft, Google, and Apple when they began developing a Web standard for streaming video DRM, instead encouraging them to do so within the W3C. These wealthy companies supply copious membership dues to the W3C.

    • The Web Is At A Crossroads – New Standard Enables Copyright Enforcement Violating Users’ Rights

      The World Wide Web today stands at a crossroads, as its standards body, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), considers the demand of big content providers to provide them with the facility to be able to control user devices for ensuring that their content is not copied. This facility is called the Encrypted Media Extension (EME), which enables these companies to put digital rights management (DRM) into the user’s browser, whether the user wants it or not, and whether such restrictions are as per the user’s local national laws or not.

    • Open Letter to the European Commission on Encrypted Media Extensions

      The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is considering to standardize a highly controversial proposal on Encrypted Media Extensions for the use of DRM technology (copyright restrictions) in modern web browsers.

      Together with my colleague Lucy Anderson, I wrote the following letter to Vice-President Andrus Ansip and Commissioners Elżbieta Bieńkowska and Margrethe Vestager with a set of questions concerning the European Commission’s position and involvement into this work…

    • MEP to Commission: World Wide Web Consortium’s DRM is a danger to Europeans

      German Member of the European Parliament Julia Reda (previously) has published an open-letter signed by UK MEP Lucy Anderson, raising alarm at the fact that the W3C is on the brink of finalising a DRM standard for web video, which — thanks to crazy laws protecting DRM — will leave users at risk of unreported security vulnerabilities, and also prevent third parties from adapting browsers for the needs of disabled people, archivists, and the wider public.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Victoria Beckham trademarks her daughter Harper’s name in Britain and Europe

      The fashion designer has registered “Harper Beckham” with intellectual property {sic} authorities in Britain and Europe.

    • Trademarks

      • Court Tosses Company’s Bid To Slap Down Olympics Social Media Restrictions Over Jurisdictional Issues

        By now everyone should know that the IOC and USOC have completely perverted the concept of trademark law surrounding any mentioning of the Olympic Games. It’s gotten so bad that the USOC has taken to threatening businesses that tweet out congratulatory messages to athletes, even when those businesses supported those athletes getting to the Olympics in the first place. The USOC seems to be under the impression that tweeting about the Olympics as a business is trademark infringement. It’s not. It never was.

      • Trademark Bullying Works: Mooselick Brewing Co. Becomes Granite Roots Brewing Out Of Fear Of Moosehead Breweries

        I will occasionally get a common question when discussing stories about trademark bullies: why do these bullies actually do this? The easy answer is, of course, because it works. And it works on many levels. For example, the primary targets in actual lawsuits can be bullied out of using names and terms for their businesses or brands, so it works on that level. But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Where being a trademark bully really works is when it makes lawsuits unnecessary, because other businesses and people are so fearful of the bully tactic.

        To see that in practice, one need only look at the brewery formerly named Mooselick Brewing Co., which is now rebranding itself as Granite Roots Brewing without putting up a fight against, you guessed it, Moosehead Breweries.

        [...]

        The warning shot by Moosehead Breweries was all it needed to fire — so entrenched is its reputation for trademark bullying and its willingness to engage in costly lawsuits.

    • Copyrights

      • Legal Threat From Creator Of Wall St. Bull Statue Even More Full Of Bull Than Expected

        Yesterday, we wrote about reports that Arturo Di Modica, the artist behind the famous “Charging Bull” statue near Wall St., was claiming that the new “Fearless Girl” statue that was put up in front of the bull infringed on his copyrights. As we noted in our piece, the only possible claim we could see was a weak moral rights claim, under VARA — the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990. However, as we noted in an update to the post (with a helping hand from law professor James Grimmelmann) VARA shouldn’t apply. If you read the actual law, it applies to works created after VARA went into effect or to works created before the law went into effect if the title to the artwork has not been transferred from the artist.

        But, of course, the history here is that Di Modica dumped the statue in front of the NY Stock Exchange as a surprise in 1989, only to have it moved by the city and given a “temporary permit” in a nearby park that is continually renewed. 1989 is, obviously, prior to the enactment of VARA in 1990. And, Grimmelmann argues, Di Modica “transferred the title by accession when he installed it.”

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