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09.28.14

Links 27/9/2014: Linux (Almost) Everywhere, Features Of Linux 3.17

Posted in News Roundup at 2:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Giving Away Software to Make It More Valuable
  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack day two operations tools

      This is the third part in a series of three articles surveying automation projects within OpenStack, explaining what they do, how they do it, and where they stand in development readiness and field usage. Previously, in part one, I covered cloud deployment tools that enable you to install/update OpenStack cloud on bare metal. In part two, I covered workload deployment tools. Today, we’ll look at tools for day two operations.

  • CMS

    • Bitnami: Making it easy and efficient to test server apps on your desktop and in the cloud

      It’s Friday morning and marketing tells you they need a WordPress blog up and running by Monday and they want a theme like this and features like that and, and, and … you’ve not got much time if you plan to have a weekend off so the last thing you’re going to want to do is work with a remote server. If you did you’d be loading themes one after another, testing them with various plugins, and generally beating the application into submission while dealing with the delays inherent in using a machine that’s somewhere out on the Internet. That would mean you’d be waiting just that little bit longer (or quite possibly, a lot longer) to do everything than you’d prefer.

  • Project Releases

    • xfce4-power-manager updated to 1.4.1

      Xfce4-power-manager has now been updated to the latest version on my xfce411 COPR repo.One nice thing about this update for me is that it seems to fix the lid closing actions!

    • PSPP 0.8.4 has been released.

      I’m very pleased to announce the release of a new version of GNU PSPP. PSPP is a program for statistical analysis of sampled data. It is a free replacement for the proprietary program SPSS.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Churchgoers decrease in Germany due to ‘church tax’

    The Catholic Church in Germany has even forbidden those who do not pay their church taxes from receiving communion.

  • Tory minister Brooks Newmark quits over sex scandal

    The married dad-of-five exchanged X-rated pictures with an undercover reporter posing as a young female activist

  • Mark Reckless is second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month

    “Today I am leaving the Conservative party and joining Ukip,” Tory MP Mark Reckless announced today in a second shock defection to the Eurosceptic party in recent weeks.

    Mr Reckless, the MP for Rochester and Strood, made the announcement that he is quitting the party this afternoon at the Ukip party conference in Doncaster.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The cost of action in Iraq

      When parliament voted to invade Iraq in 2003, it was based on what we later found out to be disinformation and deceit. We were misled. The countless thousands who opposed the war were vocal in their opposition – but they were not listened to, they were ignored. And the UK went to war.

    • Iraq – Repeating Past Mistakes

      Before we move forward against ISIL in Iraq, we have to learn from our past mistakes, or we will be doomed to repeat them.

    • Should the UK fight ISIL in Iraq
    • Bombing Islamic State is fueling the violence

      So yes, we need to do something. But that “something” is not more violence and war. Answering violence and war, with more violence and war, is always part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    • A Wartime President

      All pretense ended Monday night, when President Barack Obama became Commander-in-Chief at a time of war. He has never been reluctant to kill terrorists with unmanned drones, but now the United States military is bombing ISIS targets inside Syria. The president has authorized strikes by fighter planes, bombers, and Tomahawk missiles, the same weapons brandished by President Bush a decade ago.

    • The Aborted Origins Of The First Hunt For Osama Bin Laden

      The author of a new book on the U.S. drone program reveals an early attempt to pilot drones out of Germany, without the German government’s knowledge.

    • Drone warfare in Good Kill … and a roundtable interview with writer-director Andrew Niccol and actor Ethan Hawke
    • ‘Norway can stop drone war’: UN advisor

      Professor Christof Heyns asked Norway on Thursday to challenge its allies on the US’s use of armed drones which Heyns states violates international law and will, in the long run, make the world become a more dangerous place, reported NTB.
      Heyns, who normally investigates and reports to the UN on extra-judicial and illegal executions, said: “The world listens to the voice of Norway for it is often the voice of reason.”

      The professor thinks Norway should bring the case to a human rights council of the UN and the general assembly.

      The issue of the US’s drone attacks was the subject of a seminar in the Norwegian parliament on Thursday. The debate was raised by spokesperson for foreign affairs, Bård Vegar Solhjell.

    • Killing people rarely kills their ideas

      Every vote I cast in Parliament weighs heavily on my mind, especially as, unlike most other MPs, I have no whip telling me what to do – I consider the evidence, reflect on the principles I was elected to stand up for, listen to my constituents in Brighton Pavilion.

    • How the Pentagon Exploits ISIS to Kill Surveillance Reform and Re-Occupy Iraq

      As the US, Britain and France are maneuvering to escalate military action in Iraq and Syria against the ‘Islamic State’ in an operation slated to last “years,” authorities are simultaneously calling for new measures to tighten security at home to fend off the danger of jihadists targeting western homelands. Intervention abroad, policymakers are arguing, must be tied to increased domestic surveillance and vigilance. But US and British military experts warn that officials have overlooked the extent to which western policies in the region have not just stoked the rise of IS, but will continue to inflame the current crisis. The consequences could be dire – while governments exploit the turmoil in the Middle East to justify an effective re-invasion of Iraq along with intensified powers of surveillance and control – the end result could well be accelerated regional violence and increasing criminalization of Muslims and activists.

    • US’ Anti-ISIS Campaign: Emulating the ‘Success’ in Somalia and Yemen?

      US President Barack Obama pointed to “successful” campaigns in Yemen and Somalia as models for his strategy to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). But in both countries, US military action has only worked to embolden extremist groups like al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Shabaab.

    • US government tweets and deletes photos of dead jihadists

      A US government Twitter account tasked with countering jihadist propaganda triumphantly posted pictures of dead Islamic State fighters only to delete them a short while later.

      The US State Department runs a number of social media accounts to push back against Isil and al-Qaeda and convince young Muslims not to enslist with the jihadists.

      The “Think Again Turn Away” Twitter account posted pictures of the corpses of four jihadist fighters reportedly killed in US air strikes in an apparent warning to those thinking of taking up arms.

    • Why Are We Sending Soldiers Trained for War to Respond to the Ebola Crisis?

      The use of the US military in this operation should raise red flags for the American public as well. After all, if the military truly is the governmental institution best equipped to handle this outbreak, it speaks worlds about the neglect of civilian programs at home as well as abroad.

    • US says airstrikes targeted ISIL-run oil refineries
    • Australia, the United States, the Islamic State and oil

      The current commentary about Australia’s latest Middle East military adventure ignores the obvious, says Dr Geoff Davies — oil and its impact on U.S. foreign policy.

    • FP’s Situation Report: Islamic State oil installations are targeted; France weighs joining the fight in Syria; Ebola takes center stage at U.N.; and a bit more.
    • U.S.-Led Strikes Target ISIS Oil Operations in Syria

      U.S.-led warplanes are bombarding oil-producing facilities in eastern Syria for a second day in a row in a bid to cut off key revenue from Islamic State militants. According to U.S. Central Command, the refineries net about $2 million per day. On Thursday, the Pentagon rejected accounts that up to 24 civilians have been killed by U.S.-led strikes in Syria, saying there are no “credible” reports of civilian deaths. U.S. planes are also continuing to bomb Iraq with at least 11 airstrikes on Thursday. Pentagon spokesperson Rear Admiral John Kirby acknowledged the Islamic State remains strong.

    • Lord Alton on Government call for military action against ISIS

      It is hard to imagine that a campaign of aerial bombardment in Syria will make that dire situation any better.

    • Drone crashes in Shabwa

      A drone crashed into a mountain in Shabwa governorate, southeast of Sana’a, on Tuesday morning, eyewitnesses told the Yemen Times.

    • US pulls some embassy staffers from Yemen
    • US orders some of its diplomats out of Yemen
    • US gives ‘strong support’ to Yemen government despite Shia rebel uprising

      Administration officials say there has been has no dropoff in backing for Hadi, days after Shia minorities, who have endured a brutal crackdown, took hold of government and military installations in the capital of Sana’a. Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism chief, a critical manager of the relationship with Yemen, passed along the US president’s “strong support” for Hadi in a phone call to him earlier this week.

    • How TV dupes our public

      IF today, with remote in hand, you randomly flip through channels on your TV, or browse through nearly two dozen online newspapers, you will see video clips or photos of Pakistan Air Force jets pounding targets in North Waziristan, artillery firing into the mountains, or, perhaps, some other celebration of Operation Zarb-i-Azb. But hang on! You rub your eyes. Our jets bombing Islamic fighters within the territory of this Islamic republic?

    • Q&A with journalist John Pilger: ‘What the US did to Cambodia was an epic crime’

      Since his early days as a correspondent covering the wars in Southeast Asia in the 1960s and 1970s, documentary filmmaker and journalist John Pilger has been an ardent critic of Western foreign policy. Following in the footsteps of Martha Gellhorn, Pilger set out to cover the Vietnam War from the perspective of those most affected by it – the Vietnamese people and US draftees. In 1979, he filmed Year Zero: the Silent Death of Cambodia, which depicted the humanitarian catastrophe following the ousting of the Khmer Rouge from Phnom Penh. He would go on to make three more films about Cambodia and become an outspoken critic of the United States’ intervention in the country and the West’s support of Pol Pot.

    • ISIS: Their barbarism… and ours

      The incessant drumbeat of war, accompanied by the harsh propaganda of “barbarism” and “brutality” directed at individuals in Syria and Iraq, is as wearily familiar as that used to demonize the German “Hun” a century ago and dozens of other “enemies” in the interim. The PR industry, which is the landing pad for many politicos from the Conservatives to the NDP, is having a field day, from allegations that “Islamic militants” are murdering seniors in hospital rooms (perhaps an update of the Hill & Knowlton-created falsehood that Iraqis ripped babies from incubators after the 1991 invasion of Kuwait) to claims that a group with no air force, weapons of mass destruction, overseas military bases, aircraft carriers, and hundreds of billions in other war infrastructure presents the greatest threat known to our generation.

    • US drone strikes like death sentences, worse than ISA, says Dr M
    • ISA not nearly as bad as killing people with drones, says Dr M

      Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today shrugged off criticism over his use of the now-defunct Internal Security Act (ISA), saying it does not compare to the atrocities committed by the United States in the use of unmanned drones to kill suspected terrorists.

    • Don’t Reinvent the Wheel in Syria and Iraq

      Hersh further explains the clandestine unit masqueraded as “a civilian aerial photography operation.” He is referring, of course, to the units that ultimately found Pablo Escobar, in an age predating drones. Manhunting is a core competency of the United States, and the last thirteen years have seen no shortage of attempts to not only reinvent the wheel but form an octagon for no logical reason.

    • Officials: US drone kills 10 in northwest Pakistan

      A suspected U.S. drone fired four missiles at a vehicle carrying Uzbek and local militants in the country’s northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border on Wednesday, killing 10 of them, two Pakistani intelligence officials said.

    • Echoes of Bush in Obama’s U.N. speech

      President Barack Obama’s blunt words on Islamic terrorism marked a striking shift for his annual address to United Nations, as he moved away from the language of accommodation to rhetoric reminiscent of predecessor President George W. Bush.

    • US drones kill eight militants in N. Waziristan

      US drones on Wednesday fired missiles at a compound and vehicle and killed at least eight militants in a restive tribal area bordering Afghanistan, officials said.

    • ‘Brainwashed’ British fighter reportedly killed by US drone strike in Syria

      A British teenager fighting with Islamist militia Al-Nusra Front in Syria has reportedly been killed in US airstrikes, with his mother finding only finding out via social media.

    • 9 Arrested in Overnight U.K. Terror Raids As Strikes Against ISIS Continue
    • British Police Arrest 9 in Antiterror Sweep

      A day after Prime Minister David Cameron pledged British support for the American-led air campaign in Iraq, the counterterrorism police in Britain rounded up nine men suspected of having links to a banned Islamist group and searched 18 buildings across the capital and in the English Midlands.

    • As U.S. Bombs Fall, Islamic State’s British Hostage Warns of Another Vietnam

      In the propaganda video, Cantlie is again seated at a table wearing an orange jumpsuit, in a reference to the outfits worn by Muslim prisoners at U.S. detention centers at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He reads from a prepared script, explaining how the United States’ involvement in the Syrian conflict will mirror its misadventures in Vietnam.

    • Islamic State posts video showing British hostage John Cantlie

      Man identified as British journalist criticises Obama preparations for US-led attacks on militant group in five-minute clip

    • Blasts From The Past

      So, the other day, he hipped me to some recently declassified CIA material, specifically National Intelligence Estimates dated April 17, 1963 and titled “Prospects In South Vietnam.” These concerned, among other things, the CIA’s assessment of the relative strength of the Viet Cong in our adopted Indochinese client state.

    • Letter: Signs of imminent war in Ukraine

      Our CIA and German BND triggered a coup in Kiev because independent Ukraine elected Victor Yanukovich president of Ukraine. He is the legal Ukrainian president. When the BND took over the government in Kiev, NATO and the European Union offered membership to Ukraine and Russia, detached Crimea and annexed it into Russian rule for its strategic importance, as well as its economic importance.

    • FBI report: Mass shootings increasing fast

      The number of shootings in which a gunman wounds or kills multiple people has increased dramatically in recent years, with the majority of attacks in the past decade occurring at a business or a school, according to an FBI report released Wednesday.

    • The Secret Service’s Open-Door Policy

      In the first case, federal prosecutors said Omar Gonzalez, 42, jumped the White House fence and raced into the front door before he was apprehended. He was carrying a small pocket knife and, apparently a message for the president about global warming. Later, authorities said they found two hatchets, a machete and 800 rounds of ammunition in his car.

    • French, U.S. planes strike ISIL; Britain to join coalition

      The strikes killed 14 fighters and at least five civilians, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syrian conflict.

    • America’s wartime president

      Quick: Which U.S. president has authorized wars of various kinds in seven Muslim countries?

      If you guessed Barack Hussein Obama, you are correct.

    • Syria Strike Protesters Arrested at White House

      About two dozen anti-war activists rallied near the White House Tuesday against U.S. airstrikes in Syria, which began Monday.

      Five of the mostly gray-haired protesters were arrested for blocking a White House gate after insisting they meet with President Barack Obama or a senior official to discuss their concerns.

    • As US Bombs ISIS in Syria, Even Some Pro-War Pundits Express Skepticism

      Here we go again, I thought. This is how modern America goes to war. When superpower Goliath is challenged by sudden savagery, it has no choice but to respond with brute force. Or so we are told. Otherwise, America would no longer be a convincing Goliath. When war bells clang, politicians of every stripe find it very difficult to resist, lest they look weak or unpatriotic. And the American people, as usual, rally around the flag, as they always do when the country seems threatened. Citizens and members of the uniformed military are tired of war, but both in a sense are prisoners of the media-hyped hysteria that is the usual political reflex. Shoot first, ask questions later.

    • In Post-Qaddafi Libya, It’s Stay Silent or Die

      On Sept. 19, Benghazi witnessed a string of assassinations that seemed to be coordinated. The assassins targeted military and security personnel as well as civilians. Among those killed were two teenage civil society activists, Sami al-Kawafi and Tawfik Bensaud. They were 17 and 18 years old respectively. Their murders have capped off more than two years of extremist attacks on peace activists and journalists, killings that are endangering any remaining freedoms Libyans still have.

    • Islamic fighters advance in Syria despite US strikes

      US and coalition planes pounded Islamic State positions in Syria again on Wednesday, but the strikes did not halt the fighters’ advance in a Kurdish area where fleeing refugees told of villages burnt and captives beheaded.

    • Syrians say 8 to 24 civilians killed in US airstrikes

      Hours after the last airstrike, fighters with the group gathered on Tuesday in public areas of the city where the corpses of those executed by Islamic State are put on display. They told residents that Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which took part in the airstrikes, were attacking them, resident Abu Muhammad said. The militants threatened the Arab countries with car bombings in retaliation for cooperating with the West, he said.

    • Ron Paul: Congress Votes For More War In The Middle East
    • The big question on ISIS: Does Obama really know what he’s getting into?

      Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also warns about jumping head-first into funding Syria’s rebels.

    • War On Terror II: Upping The Ante

      With congressional authorization in his back pocket, U.S. president Barack Obama stepped up American military aggression against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) this week.

    • US drone strike kills as many as 10 in Pakistan

      While AP’s source claimed ten were killed in the strike, Reuters cited “intelligence officials” who said five to eight militants perished in the blast.According to AFP, eight suspected fighters died.

    • Foreign Ministry slams US drone strike on militants
    • Dawn reveals scope of bombardments

      Many government supporters were worried about where events might lead because some of the countries in the coalition, like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, have called for Assad to step down or actively supported his enemies with money and arms.

    • The Islamic State and Obama’s Diabolical “Hidden Agenda”: Iraq, Syria and “Superpower Prerogatives”

      Obama’s intention to bring his air war against IS to Syria may result in a serious violation of international law. The Damascus government has said it will allow the U.S. to act but Washington must first ask permission to bomb its territory. The White House indicated it has no desire to ask for authorization. In addition, the Russian government, which supports and supplies arms to both Iran and Syria, pointed out that any such strike against Syria would need backing from the UN Security Council. Otherwise, it “would constitute an act of aggression.”

    • The audacity of air strikes and secret deals: just making Isis grow stronger?

      The insurgency in Iraq, Syria and beyond is a fight for natural resources as much as political control. Why are we so busy giving leverage to terrorists?

    • ‘Private sector’ mobilization to fight IS launched in NY

      CEP lists among its goals the compilation of the world’s most exhaustive database on extremist groups and their networks, and places unmasking the funding sources for IS high on its list of immediate priorities.

    • Help Us Crowd-Fund SecureDrop For These Four Independent Media Organizations

      We are excited to announce the first four recipients of our next crowd-funding campaign, all of whom may now start receiving donations intended to cover the costs of installing SecureDrop, our open-source whistleblower submission system. The first round includes BalkanLeaks, the Government Accountability Project, Cryptome and Firedoglake.

    • UK warned to increase transparency of armed UAV operations

      Failure of the British government to inform Parliament of its intention to redeploy armed unmanned air vehicles outside recognised warzones may result in legal action, a charity and law firm have warned.

      Following a notification by the UK’s minister of state for the armed forces, Mark Francois, in July that claimed it was not necessary for Parliament to approve UAV strikes, charity Reprieve and law firm Deighton Pierce Glynn notified the government that action will be taken if it is not clear on where armed UAVs are being used.

    • War on Terror: What’s Old Is New Again [pro-war ravings]
    • Germany Decides Not To Arm Syrian Rebels

      As we just heard, so far there is no coalition behind U.S. airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. There is more support, however, for operations in northern Iraq, where France and Germany are actively involved. Peter Wittig is German Ambassador to the U.S. I spoke with him earlier this week and asked him to describe Germany’s current strategy against ISIS.

    • Arming ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Is Questionable

      Heeding the call to do something about ISIL, Congress passed and Barack Obama signed a measure approving weapons and training for “moderate” Syrian rebels. These moderates are ostensibly fighting against the new Islamic upstarts but are also sworn to overthrow Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad. Obama has repeatedly assured Americans that no boots would be on the ground in Syria (or Iraq, for that matter), sending out National Security Advisor Susan Rice to state, “This program will be hosted outside of Syria in partnership with neighboring countries.” Rice added the process would take “many months,” which the administration hopes will be enough time to sort out all of the various regional players.

    • ANSWER statement against the U.S. bombing of Syria

      We in the ANSWER Coalition oppose this war and are calling for demonstrations to oppose the bombing of Syria and Iraq from September 23 through September 28. This war, like the earlier ones, is being sold on the basis of misinformation and fear. The United States is a major part of the problem and cannot be the solution to the current crisis in Syria and Iraq.

    • US military has large force arrayed across Mideast

      Having expanded its air war against Islamic State jihadists into Syria, the US military can draw on a vast arsenal of aircraft, troops and hardware across the Middle East.

      Here are the basic facts on the American military presence in the region and the strikes carried out so far, according to the Pentagon and defense analysts:

    • American Amnesia: Why the GOP Leads on National Security

      If the latest polls are accurate, most voters believe that Republican politicians deserve greater trust on matters of national security. At a moment when Americans feel threatened by rising terrorist movements and authoritarian regimes, that finding is politically salient—and proves that amnesia is the most durable affliction of our democracy.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Inside the New York Fed: Secret Recordings and a Culture Clash

      Barely a year removed from the devastation of the 2008 financial crisis, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York faced a crossroads. Congress had set its sights on reform. The biggest banks in the nation had shown that their failure could threaten the entire financial system. Lawmakers wanted new safeguards.

    • Housing, Fair Wages, Water, Food, Schools — Ya’ Gotta Bomb them First!

      Don’t forget that much of this murder hardware is designed and conjured up by the best and brightest at our Western colleges. Lawyers abound in this industry. Unions love good Boeing missile making jobs. This is the legacy of killing, empire, a black president who isn’t and is, fabricated by the same shit schools and teachers who also advance murder, economic hits or direct hits with drones and napalm or guided bunker busters.

    • Tax fraud’s such a drone on economy

      The Buenos Aires province’s tax agency says it has used drones to identify around 200 mansions and 100 swimming pools that have not been declared by their owners.

    • Should The Cuban Trade Embargo Be Scrapped?

      It seems like ages ago that Americans spent 13 days wondering if we were on the brink of nuclear war as the Soviet Union and Cuban government engaged the Kennedy Administration in the tumultuous Cuban Missile Crisis. Or even longer ago when American CIA agents stormed the shores of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in a failed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro’s government. Cuba’s allegiance to the Soviets and their admiration for communism encouraged the US to go on the defense and place a trade embargo and severed diplomatic relations with our neighbors 90 miles to the south.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Awful Spanish Copyright Law May Be Stalled Waiting For EU Court Ruling On Plans To Change Spain’s Copyright Levy System

        Techdirt has written about Spain’s new copyright law a couple of times. There, we concentrated on the “Google tax” that threatens the digital commons and open access in that country. But alongside this extremely foolish idea, there was another good one: getting rid of the anachronistic levy on recording devices that was supposed to “compensate” for private copying (as if any such compensation were needed), and paying collecting societies directly out of Spain’s state budget. Needless to say, it is such a good idea that the collecting societies hate it, and have appealed against the new system.

09.26.14

Links 26/9/2014: LibreOffice Celebrations, Betas of *buntu

Posted in News Roundup at 7:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source tools to prepare your ebooks for publication

    Self publishing a book has never been easier. There are numerous open source tools that you can use to create a book.

    Having published three ebooks, and being in the process of putting together another one, I’ve learned that after writing a book there are a few more things that you need to do before sharing your book with the world.

  • Hadoop Developer Cask, Formerly Continuuity, Goes Open Source

    Continuuity Inc., whose software makes it easier for developers to build applications that run on the big-data storage and analysis system Hadoop, has changed its name to Cask and will put its technology into open source.

  • Joint Staff Dumps Oracle and PeopleSoft Planning Software for Open Source

    The Joint Staff currently uses Oracle and PeopleSoft for strategic planning software through a contract managed by a division of the Naval Sea Systems Command.

    The Joint Staff runs the software on the Joint Organization Server and a server covering the Office of Secretary of Defense.

    NAVSEA said in a contract notice it plans to issue a new contract to MYMIC LLC of Portsmouth, Virginia, for open source planning software to “reduce the high cost of licenses, technical support and custom modifications” with Oracle and PeopleSoft.

  • Open Source email solution ownCloud Mail is coming!

    The only solution is self-hosted, fully open source email services. Kolab is one such service and now ownCloud team is also working on offering mail to users.

    ownCloud is actually more aggressive and is working on a replacement for Google Map, called ownCloud Maps. It is built on Leaflet, using Open Street Map data says an ownCloud blog. The project has just started and you can test and contribute on GitHub.

  • Back to the Source: Why FOSS is More Important Than Ever

    In the olden days the topic of software freedom was central to Linux and free/open source software. Software freedom needs to remain front and center. Remember Richard Stallman’s Four Freedoms?

    “Nobody should be restricted by the software they use. There are four freedoms that every user should have:

    the freedom to use the software for any purpose,
    the freedom to change the software to suit your needs,
    the freedom to share the software with your friends and neighbors, and
    the freedom to share the changes you make.”

  • Hijacking Open Source

    There is a way for open source to actually win. We simply have to put the power of choice and control back in the hands of the consumer. I say simply because it’s an easy thing to say, and an easy concept to understand, however we all know full well that implementation is much, much harder. We can start by not giving up on the Linux desktop. We can take the next step by investing in an open mobile platform that respects our privacy. Finally, we can continue building the free, open, and distributed Internet that the world needs.

  • Twitter’s Mesos brainbox joins data centre OS venture

    Benjamin Hindman, the co-founder of open-source cluster manager Mesos – which runs at large web properties including Twitter and Airbnb – has joined VC-backed Mesosphere. The startup was founded in 2013 to drive a paying business around the cluster manager he built as a student.

  • Events

    • The Big Value of Small Open Source Conferences

      Historically, the computer industry has been impressed with big things. In the early decades, the mainframes and supercomputers were all the rage. Even as the technology began to shrink, big rollouts supplanted the big machines. And now you can find powerful technology which easily fits in the palm of your hand — but you’ve probably only heard of the brands which sell in huge numbers.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firejail – A Security Sandbox for Mozilla Firefox

        Firejail is a SUID sandbox program that reduces the risk of security breaches by restricting the running environment of untrusted applications. The core technology behind Firejail is Linux Namespaces, a virtualization technology available in Linux kernel. It allows a process and all its descendants to have their own private view of the globally shared kernel resources, such as the network stack, process table, mount table, IPC space.

      • Pale Moon Shines for Classic Firefox Fans

        Much of the good stuff about Pale Moon is under the hood. Taken together, all of it contributes to a more efficient performance. For example, Pale Moon is optimized for modern processors such as SSE2. A lot of the built-in bloat of the Firefox code is removed. That gets rid of things like accessibility features and WebRTC. The social API code is disabled by default.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Mirantis OpenStack 5.1 Re-Fuels Cloud Server

      The open-source OpenStack cloud platform only has major milestone releases every six months, but that doesn’t mean there are aren’t incremental updates. One of the leading vendors in the OpenStack community is privately-held Mirantis, which updated its OpenStack Distribution to version 5.1 this week.

    • Deploying OpenStack and Trove (DBaaS) at eBay
    • Rackspace Delivers Managed OpenStack Private Cloud and Services

      Rackspace has announced the release of its latest Rackspace Private Cloud offering, built on OpenStack and designed for enterprises. The platform now includes a 99.99 percent OpenStack API uptime guarantee, and is more scalable. Customers can deploy Rackspace Private Cloud in their own data centers, or have their deployments run at Rackspace or run in both locations. The Private Cloud platform also includes Rackspace’s “fanatical support.”

    • Eight Up and Coming OpenStack Cloud Projects

      When the open-source OpenStack cloud platform first got started back in 2010, there were only two components, with Rackspace bringing in the Swift storage project and NASA contributing the Nova compute piece. Over the last four years, OpenStack has expanded significantly beyond its initial two core contributors and two primary components. OpenStack now counts many of the world’s leading technology vendors—including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Cisco, Intel, Dell, VMware, AT&T and Comcast—among its many supporters.

    • OpenStack day two operations tools

      This is the third part in a series of three articles surveying automation projects within OpenStack, explaining what they do, how they do it, and where they stand in development readiness and field usage. Previously, in part one, I covered cloud deployment tools that enable you to install/update OpenStack cloud on bare metal. In part two, I covered workload deployment tools. Today, we’ll look at tools for day two operations.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.3.2 Is Out, The Document Foundation Celebrates Four Years

      The Document Foundation has announced that the final version of LibreOffice 4.3.2 is now available for download.

    • LibreOffice 4.3.2 Hits The Marketplace Just Before The Fourth Anniversary Of The Project

      LibreOffice 4.3.2 hits the marketplace just before the fourth anniversary of the project on Sunday, September 28, 2014. The community has been growing for the past 48 months, attracting at least three new developers per month plus a larger number of volunteers active in localization, QA and other areas such as marketing and development of local communities.

    • LibreOffice will turn four this year

      The Document Foundation was formed back in 2010, when a team of OpenOffice developers forked the project and created LibreOffice. Since then while Oracle unloaded the OOo burden on The Apache Foundation and the project continued its decline, LibreOffice experienced a steep growth.

    • LibreOffice’s superlow defect rate puts proprietary software to shame

      The LibreOffice team has analyzed more than 9 million lines of code to find and fix 10,000-plus defects of all types, including some with the potential to impact security and many that affected stability and memory use. The team working through the Coverity results is led by Caolán McNamara of Red Hat and includes Stephan Bergmann, Noel Grandin, Norbert Thiebaud, Julien Nabet, and others.

    • LibreOffice Celebrates – and Does Something Unusual

      LibreOffice is thriving, and trying something bold

    • Reuniting LibreOffice and AOO – a personal take

      As we are approaching the 4th anniversary of the LibreOffice project in just a few days, an old theme has been reappearing on the Internet: Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice should reunite. I would like to share my perceptions on this topic although I think it is not a really important one, at least as long as the LibreOffice or Apache OpenOffice do not officially call for such a reunion. Before I start, let me remind everyone that what follows is my own opinion and neither the one of the Document Foundation, nor the one of the Democratic Party, the one of my Government, nor, at last, the one of Bob’s Shipping and Handling Company.

    • Oracle OpenStack for Linux Arrives, As Competition Heats Up

      In case you thought the OpenStack cloud computing race wasn’t crowded enough, Oracle has just made its Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux distribution generally available. Based on the OpenStack Icehouse release, it allows users to control Oracle Linux and Oracle VM through OpenStack in production environments. It can support any guest operating system (OS) that is supported with Oracle VM, including Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris, Microsoft Windows,and other Linux distributions.

    • Nuage Networks Adds SDN Support to Oracle OpenStack

      Nuage is also pitching the integration as a win for open source within the cloud and SDN ecosystems. “We’re pleased to work with Oracle on this Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux integration. It provides choice in an open cloud solution, optimized for enterprise workloads to mutual customers worldwide,” said Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Nuage Networks. “This is great news for the OpenStack community as we continue to show momentum with OpenStack in enterprise and cloud provider deployments.”

    • Oracle Linux 5.11 Features Updated Unbreakable Linux Kernel

      The new Oracle Linux update is probably the last one in the series. This operating system is based on Red Hat and the company has just pushed out the last update for the RHEL 5x branch, which means that this is the end of the line for the Oracle version as well.

      Oracle Linux also comes with a series of features that make it very interesting, like zero-downtime kernel updates with the help of a tool called Ksplice that was originally developed for OpenSUSE, inclusion of the Oracle Database and Oracle Applications, and it’s used in all x86-based Oracle Engineered Systems.

  • Education

    • Open source tools help kids discover digital creativity

      Youth Digital just moved into their new offices, tucked away in a nondescript office park in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It’s a big step up from their humble beginnings, when company founder and director Justin Richards hauled a laptop to his students’ houses, tutoring them on web and graphic design. Their first office was barely more than a closet, and now they have an expansive space complete with conference rooms, recording studio space, and their own 3D printer.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF Issues Statement On Shellshock Bash Vulnerability

      The Free Software Foundation has issued their response to this week’s news of the “Shellshock” bug that affects Bash.

    • Free Software Foundation statement on the GNU Bash “shellshock” vulnerability

      A major security vulnerability has been discovered in the free software shell GNU Bash. The most serious issues have already been fixed, and a complete fix is well underway. GNU/Linux distributions are working quickly to release updated packages for their users. All Bash users should upgrade immediately, and audit the list of remote network services running on their systems.

      [...]

      Proprietary, (aka nonfree) software relies on an unjust development model that denies users the basic freedom to control their computers. When software’s code is kept hidden, it is vulnerable not only to bugs that go undetected, but to the easier deliberate addition and maintenance of malicious features. Companies can use the obscurity of their code to hide serious problems, and it has been documented that Microsoft provides intelligence agencies with information about security vulnerabilities before fixing them.

    • Linux Shellshock’d, Pale Moon Rising, and LibO 4.3.2 Released

      Today in Linux news, The Document Foundation celebrates four years with the release of LibreOffice 4.3.2. Bash exploit “Shellshock” is making more headlines today as servers and devices are under attack. Bruce Byfield looks at the thankless job of community managers and Jack Germain test drives the Pale Moon Web browser. And finally today, Jack Wallen explains the difference between LibreOffice and OpenOffice.

    • Hanoi SFD 2014 Report

      On Friday morning we went to the VAIP office and had a Fedora APAC ambassador meetup the whole day. The meetup was set up for APAC ambassadors to discuss critical tasks. EMEA has had a lot of similar meetups, but for APAC, it was the first to my knowledge. (It was at least the first in this year.)

    • Open source proponents in Trivandrum celebrate Software Freedom Day

      The Software Freedom Day was celebrated in the capital city last week at an event organised by Zyxware Technologies, a Thiruvananthapuram based IT services company, in association with the International Centre for Free & Open Source Software (ICFOSS) and the Free Software Users Group (FSUG-Tvm).

      The theme for the day was ‘Government Organisations and Free Software in Kerala’, in the light of the government order asking all departments to migrate to Free Software. At the event, experiences of government organisations who have successfully migrated to Free Software was showcased.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • Another Open-Source Developer Claims Hyperkin is Illegally Using Code for Retro Console System

      The makers of the open-sourced emulation software program, RetroArch are the latest to say that video games accessories company Hyperkin is using its program in violation of the GPL license. RetroArch uses a development interface called “libretro” that allows for the “easy creation of emulators and games that can plug straight into this program called RetroArch.” It supports 15 different hardware platforms including Android.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Constructing an industry, open-source style

      That open source philosophy will benefit Stefannuti Stocks in the long run, because other companies may devise some improvements. Then, if the demand increases, the units could be built more cheaply in bulk rather than individually crafted.

    • Better open source security, learning to code, open home design, and more
    • Open Data

      • The changing tide of open government and open data

        There is definitely something different about the Code for America Summit this year. It’s still got the family feeling and warm welcome that I’ve come to expect each year, but the tone is a little more serious. The civic projects being worked on are having a bigger impact on society. The projects highlighted during the first day of the conference are saving people time and improving our experience with government. The tide is on the rise and so is the impact of open government and open data.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Save money with open-source textbooks

        It’s hardly a secret that the price of new college textbooks has risen 82% in the last decade, forcing students to find cheaper alternatives or forego course materials altogether.

        Rentals, buybacks and used textbooks are part of the solution, but they still involve textbooks from the three major publishers that control the market. Experts say the next disruptive force in the textbook market could cut out these “big three” altogether.

  • Programming

    • APIcon UK: Open Source Fuels the API Economy

      Industry leaders say open source is the backbone of the software infrastructure required to fuel the API economy. At APIcon UK, Simon Phipps, president of the Open Source Initiative, explained why open source licensing will enable the API and Internet of Things economies to grow.

    • HHVM 3.3 Implements More PHP Language Functionality & Faster Performance

      A few days ago the Facebook developers working on the HipHop Virtual Machine — that serves as a faster implementation of PHP and it also serves as the basis of their Hack language — released HHVM 3.3.0.

Leftovers

  • Apple

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Rush to Violence

      Between 4 and 20 August the Saudi Arabian government beheaded 19 people. Saudi Arabia, which has funded and armed ISIS from inception (initially with CIA support), is now bombing alongside the USA in Iraq and Syria.

      Forget the war technology porn regularly being broadcast by western media, with those spectacular photos of missiles erupting from ships into the night sky. Those missiles and bombs eviscerate and maim innocents as well as combatants, children as well as terrorists. The West always first denies, then regrets, “collateral damage”. The propaganda can be laughable. During the invasion of Iraq I remember a news propaganda item about how a cruise missile can enter a specific window, being followed by the next item – the US had apologised to Syria for two missiles aimed at Iraq which had hit Syria by accident.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Interview with Bitcoin Armory

      In this edition, we conducted an email-based interview with Alan Reiner, core developer of Bitcoin Armory, a bitcoin wallet focused on security. Bitcoin Armory is licensed under the terms of GNU Affero General Public License version 3, or (at your option) any later version.

  • Finance

    • Washington Post Slams Venezuela for Electing ‘Former Bus Driver’

      It’s no secret that the Washington Post editorial page was quite alarmed by Venezuela’s shift to the left under former President Hugo Chavez. The Post–like the rest of elite US media (Extra!, 11/05)–was an unrelenting critic of Chavez’s policies.

      Some things haven’t changed.

      In a scathing editorial (9/20/14), the Post went after Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro, calling him an “economically illiterate former bus driver” because he “rejected the advice of pragmatists” and will continue to pursue policies that are ruining what was “once Latin America’s richest country.”

    • Jeff Bezos Takes WaPo’s Advice, Rips Off WaPo Workers

      Now, that’s a rotten thing to do–taking away large sums of money that you promised people for their retirement after years of service. Where could Bezos have gotten the idea that it was OK to act that way?

      Well, maybe he reads the paper he just bought.

      The Washington Post has a long tradition–in its news reports and its editorials–of calling on politicians to treat public employees and their pensions the way that Bezos is treating the Post’s.

    • RT America Interview: Sweden Said Good Riddance to Austerity – When Will America?

      Professor Wolff joins host of RT America Thom Hartmann. Sweden has said good riddance to austerity. On Sunday – the country’s voters chose a group of left-wing and center-left parties -led by the Social Democrat party – to head a new government. In total – left wing parties won 43.7 percent of the vote and 159 seats in parliament. When all is said and done and the Social Democrats have formed a government – it will mark the end of Sweden’s short-lived experiment with austerity. In the eight years since outgoing prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s right-leaning Moderate Party took control of parliament – Sweden has seen huge tax cuts and a flurry of so-called “pro-market reforms” – a change that many in the country saw as a a betrayal of a decades-long tradition of social democracy. With Sunday’s elections – though – it looks like the Scandinavian Model is back in business – and will be for quite some time.

    • The Green Tea Party and The Fight for Affordable Housing in America’s Most Expensive Community

      An alliance of tea party activists and some misled progressive liberals has united to defeat affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area. In a concerted effort to protect property values and a perceived quality of life, the Koch Brothers’ libertarian think tanks have developed strategies, talking points, and tactics to repel any efforts to provide affordable housing.

    • WSJ’s Misleading Defense Of ALEC Doesn’t Disclose Its Parent Company’s Membership

      The Wall Street Journal editorial board defended the corporate bill mill American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in an editorial whitewashing the organization’s climate change denial and vindicating their one-sided attacks on renewable energy, without mentioning that the Journal’s parent company News Corp. is an ALEC member.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • After Koch-Tied Judge Is Reversed, Walker Probe Rests with Conflicted WI Supreme Court

      A federal appellate court has shut down Judge Rudolph Randa’s decision halting the criminal probe into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and allied groups, rejecting Randa’s interpretation of campaign finance law and declaring the investigation best resolved by state courts.

      The investigation remains halted by a state court decision from January, and the probe’s future now rests with Wisconsin appellate courts. However, some justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court could have a conflict of interest: the four-justice Republican majority was elected by millions in spending from the same groups under investigation in the coordination probe, calling into question whether they can be impartial.

  • Censorship

    • When can a High Court grant an injunction to trade mark holders against ISPs to block access to “infringing” websites?

      The question before the Court is whether the owner of a trade mark can obtain an injunction – not against an alleged counterfeiter, or even against the owners and operators of the websites on which counterfeiters sell their items. The Court is instead being asked to grant an injunction against the internet service providers (ISPs), so that websites alleged to be infringing the trade marks are blocked to ISP subscribers.

    • Trade mark case could set a precedent for website blocking

      For the first time ISPs are being asked to block websites on the basis of alleged trade mark (rather than copyright) infringement. Whilst ORG takes no view on the merits of the trade mark claims in the current case, we believe the outcome of this case will have implications for future trade mark blocking applications, which could potentially threaten the legitimate interests of third parties.

  • Civil Rights

    • Attorney General Eric Holder to step down

      Attorney General Eric Holder, who has addressed questions about drones, cybersecurity, marijuana legalization, and other issues during his time in the Obama administration, is stepping down. NPR first reported the news today, saying that Holder would leave as soon as the Senate confirmed a successor, which could happen as late as next year; the White House has since confirmed the news in a statement. Holder took office in 2009, appointed by President Barack Obama in his first term. NPR quotes a former official as saying that Holder wanted to leave before being committed to staying the rest of Obama’s second term; he’s already one of the longest-serving US attorneys general. This spring, he said he would stay “well into 2014,” but declined to be more specific.

    • Fox Report Cherry-Picks Immigration Data To Stoke Terrorism Fears

      Fox News hyped fears that an influx of immigrants from the Middle East could pose a terrorism threat for the U.S., advocating for greater immigration from English-speaking countries. But Fox’s report parrots a study released by the anti-immigration group, the Center for Immigration Studies, and ignored the fact that the growth of Middle East immigrants in the U.S. was modest when compared to other regions.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Web Inventor Tim Berners-Lee Gets To The Core Of Net Neutrality Debate: You Need An Open Internet To Have A Free Market

      The creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has now spoken out strongly in favor of net neutrality in an interview with the Washington Post. The headline and much of the attention are going to his quip that what the big broadband providers are doing is a form of “bribery” in trying to set up toll booths to reach their users. And that is, indeed, the money quote, but it’s not the most interesting part of what he’s really saying. It’s in the context that he gets to that, where he’s countering the bogus arguments from folks who insist that we don’t need net neutrality rules because that would mess with “the free market.” That’s wrong for a whole number of reasons that we’ve discussed previously, but Berners-Lee points out that to have a free market, you do need some basic accepted rules, and that’s where some basic regulations are useful: regulations to keep the market free and open. And that’s true of most “free markets.”

    • My visit to the US – ICANN, net neutrality, women in ICT and more

      I was very pleased to meet Tom Wheeler, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Tom and I had a very fruitful exchange, particularly on “Net Neutrality”. We are on the same line about preventing blocking and throttling of Internet access; but it’s clear that our approach to specialised services is quite different; in Europe we have been clear that they must not slow down or hinder the quality of access to the open Internet. I was also struck that the FCC received almost four million comments on its own proposed net neutrality rules: and in a way that is unsurprising, as our own consultations and analyses for the Connected Continent proposal show just how important this topic is to citizens, businesses and governments alike.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • New Bill Designed To Stop Bogus Copyright Claims From Stopping You From Selling What You Own

      We just wrote about an audio equipment manufacturer trying to argue that it was criminal for someone to resell their products. While this was obviously crazy, never underestimate the lengths that some companies will go through these days to try to block people from selling products they (thought they had) legally bought. And guess what tool they’re using to block you from actually owning the products you bought? Why copyright, of course. It’s yet another example of how copyright is often used to block property rights rather than to create them.

    • Questions for the 2014-2019 European Commissioners

      Starting from Monday, September 29th, the nominees intended to constitute the future College of Claude Junker’s Commission, will face a full parliamentary hearing, in view of the definitive confirmation of their appointment. La Quadrature du Net invites any Members of the European Parliament to question the candidates on their views and positions on the protection of European citizens’ digital rights. In particular, the set of questions, that La Quadrature du Net provides, covers a broad range of issues that are essential to guarantee people’s rights to access a free and open Internet, as well as to protect their personal data. Most of the questions directly relate to the portfolio of Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for Digital Single Market. Other Commissioners designate, whose Directorate-General is competent for specific issues, are indicated below.

09.25.14

Links 25/9/2014: KDE Roadmap, Bash Bug, GNOME 3.14 in Next Fedora

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • After XP, is an open source operating system for you?

    Instead of moving to Windows 8 or waiting for Windows 9, enterprises might consider Linux because of the open source operating system’s flexibility.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • 2.8.6 → 2.9 → 3.0 → …

        Yesterday Kexi 2.8.6 has been released within Calligra. Click the link for a list of changes, and a mention of pretty unusual addition to Kexi – it proposes direct donations on its Welcome screen. It turned out to be convenient and hopefully not too annoying given what the benefits might be. It’s best explained by the screen shot.

      • KDE Applications 14.12 Release Schedule Published

        If all goes well, KDE Applications 14.12 will be released on 17 December. The current release schedule that was published on Wednesday has an API/feature/dependency/message/artwork freeze on 29 October, a beta release on 5 November, a second beta on 12 November, and beta 3 on 19 November. The KDE Applications 14.12 release candidate is due out on 26 November and then if all goes well the official release will come on 17 December. KDE Applications 14.12.x point releases will come monthly just like we saw with the conventional KDE 4 Software Compilation releases.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Gnome 3.14 Review

        In a nutshell I like Gnome 3.14 a lot. It’s a really nice release. Though I am a hard core Plasma user, I see myself spending some time with Gnome, enjoying things like online integration, easy-to-set-up Evolution and many more features which I can’t find in KDE’s Plasma. That said, both are my favorite. They both excel in their focus areas. If you have not tried Gnome yet, do give it a try.

      • There’s Wayland Changes Needed Before GNOME Will Be 100% Ported

        With yesterday’s GNOME 3.14 release the Wayland support is considered sufficient for day-to-day use running the GNOME stack on Wayland rather than an X11 Server on Linux. However, the GNOME developers don’t consider this to be “100% complete” yet and there’s still some more work needed to be cleared up on the Wayland side.

  • Distributions

    • Sharing Distros, Tiny Core Fights Fires, and Bash Bug

      In today’s Linux news the Linux Journal has the story of a firehouse that saved time, money, and hair by using Tiny Core Linux. GNOME 3.14 is “lazier” than ever and Fedora 21 is getting lots of kudos. Red Hat is on its way to Mars and Bash has been found to be vulnerable to attack.

    • Practical Tiny Core in the Fire Service

      From a budgetary standpoint, I was encouraged to keep costs down. The first decision and the easiest decision was to use Linux. I just shaved off the cost of the Windows license.

    • The hair loss cure for new Linux users

      To foster the idea of sharing installable distros for specific hardware or purposes, I created distroshare.com. An example purpose may be to mimic Windows or Mac OS X for users comfortable with those user interfaces. Anyone can submit a distro to share and each one will be reviewed for security issues or functionality problems. Submissions can be uploaded directly to distroshare.com or a link to the file/project can be provided in the submission form. The submission form also accepts an optional PayPal or Bitcoin address for users to donate to. Currently there are nine distributions listed and only three for a specific machine (the Acer C720 chromebook). As the number of distributions grow, we should see more desktop Linux users and perhaps even cause OEMs to pay more attention.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • GNOME 3.14 released — all this goodness will be in Fedora 21

          Today, the GNOME Project announced the availability of their latest stable release, GNOME 3.14. This version of GNOME is what will be available as the basis of the Fedora 21 Workstation, and features a wide range of amazing new features and enhancements. This new version contains major updates to the weather application, the evince document viewer, maps, and games. The default theme has been given a lot of care and attention, including new transition animations. Additionally, GNOME 3.14 now also has support for “Captive Authentication”, so when logging into a wifi hotspot, the login screen is automatically pops up.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Elive 2.3.6 beta released

          This new version includes:

          Configured network connections are now persistent on reboot for USB Images.

          Improved USB bootable Image by creating a separate partition, this fixes the issue with USB images not booting on some rare computers

          Elive now boots with an amazing Splash theme

          Improved the listing of kernels on the boot screen

          Added memtest to the boot screen

          SSH between Elive computers is now much faster

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • elementary OS Freya beta review

              Ok, enough about tarnished acronyms. Let’s get back to elementary OS Freya beta, which was released in early August. As with any distribution that I review, there are stuff that I like about elementary OS Freya and stuff that I don’t like. A particular issue that I don’t like is the same one I drew attention to in my review of the Luna edition.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Dan Allen and Sarah White: Documentation Dearth Dooms Open Source Projects

    Dan Allen: I can understand the programmer’s dilemma in having to write documentation. It can be a long and painful process. Documentation in open source is often a missing link. There are four major pillars of developing open source software. Each one has it own elements of problem-solving associated with it. These are design, code writing, testing and documentation.

  • Puppet-wearing devs: There’s now an app (or two) for that

    Kanies, who is the original author of Puppet, said the Puppet Server has been re-engineered for increased efficiency, greater flexibility, and improved stability and scalability. The new version, which is now available in Puppet 3.7, improves improved performance by 300 per cent, he said.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • What’s new in OpenStack Juno

      OpenStack is on a six-month release cycle, with each release given a code name starting with consecutive letters of the alphabet. On October 16th, OpenStack Juno will be released, with several new projects, and lots of new features. Here’s a few of the things you can expect in the next release of OpenStack. This isn’t intended to be comprehensive—just a taste of some of the things that are coming.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Public Services/Government

    • 7 local governments announced to build with Code for America

      This week, Code for America is thrilled to announce new partnerships with seven local governments for the 2015 Code for America Fellowship Program. The official announcement was shared with more than 750 attendees at the annual Code for America Summit on September 23, and in this press release.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Man on a Quest to Open-Source Cancer Research

      Isaac Yonemoto is a chemist, but he’s been writing software code since he was a kid. He calls himself a “semi-recreational” programmer, and now, he’s running an experiment that combines this sideline with his day job. In short, he’s using open source software techniques to kickstart the world of cancer research.

    • WikiHouse open source project: fast and cheap homes

      We’ve seen examples of low-cost 3D printed houses (and an unrelated castle), and while they’re all interesting, they are out of the reach of most prospective home buyers. That could change with WikiHouse, a project that aims to provide the public with plans for cheap homes that can be built in a matter of days.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Maryland professors test open-source textbooks

        For university students enrolled in Scott Roberts’ PSYC 100: Introduction to Psychology class since fall of 2010, the idea of a college course that doesn’t require spending hundreds on a textbook isn’t foreign, it’s reality.

      • The story of Aaron Swartz and his fight for open

        A new documentary about the life of Aaron Swartz was released in June this year. It recounts the story of one of the most impactful young talents of the Internet age, and the tragic saga of his quest to make the world a better place.

        Directed by Brian Knappenberger, the film was funded through Kickstarter and backed by 1,531 supporters who collectively pledged $93,741, surpassing the initial funding goal of $75,000.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Trolling in the aisles with LulzSec: Teh Internet is Serious Business

      The story of LulzSec is one of trust and betrayal, justice and lawlessness, authority and subversion. In the winter of 2010, six geographically disparate people came together online to form a hacking group that delighted some, infuriated others and quickly came to the attention of law enforcement on both sides of the Atlantic.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • I Was a Pair of Boots on the Ground in Iraq

      I was once a pair of “boots on the ground,” so I know a little about what the phrase means. And I can tell you that, listening to the back-and-forth between the White House and the Pentagon over who exactly we’re sending to Iraq (and now possibly Syria), neither side is giving the American people the whole story. First of all, you know those boots on the ground everybody’s still discussing whether we should deploy? Well, they’re already there. We are already effectively engaged in combat in Iraq, in direct contradiction of what President Obama said when he announced he was taking action against the Islamic State terrorists, telling the American people in an address from the White House that the mission “will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.” He said pretty much the same when he told troops at MacDill Air Force Base: “The American forces do not and will not have a combat mission.”

    • When are boots on the ground “boots on the ground”?

      President Obama vows not to involve U.S. troops in another land war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. He refers to this as not having “boots on the ground.”

    • America’s never-ending war

      It is official: US President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama is at war again. After toppling Libyan ruler Muammar el-Qaddafi and bombing targets in Somalia and Yemen, Obama has initiated airstrikes in northern Iraq, effectively declaring war on the Islamic State – a decision that will involve infringing on the sovereign, if disintegrating, state of Syria.

    • Reactions to Obama’s Naked Aggression Against Syria

      On Tuesday, Obama attacked another country lawlessly. Syria poses no threat to America.

    • Israel Part of US Anti-Syrian Coalition

      It’s unannounced. It’s no secret. Israel is heavily involved. It’s been so all along. It wants Assad ousted.

    • ‘Peace’ President? How Obama came to bomb seven countries in six years

      Barack Obama, the man many hoped would be the ‘peace President’ when he entered office, has bombed seven countries during his six years in office.

      The President oversaw the first US air strikes launched in Syria this week, in a huge escalation of America’s military campaign against Isis (also known as Islamic State).

      Mr Obama was elected partly of his opposition to the Iraq war and was even awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.

      The arguably optimistic decision taken by the Norwegian Nobel Committee was taken just nine months into his Presidency and came as he was trying to manage the war in Afghanistan.

      His famous speech in Cairo saw the President declare he was seeking “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world”, sparking hopes he would be the antidote to George W. Bush’s controversial term.

    • ‘The Last Days of Vietnam’ traces a complicated exodus from war

      Multiple stories of heroism, indecision and guilt converge in a riveting documentary

    • ‘Last Days in Vietnam’ review: Sadness, heroism that must be told

      One of the film’s less affable talking heads is Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, who negotiated the Paris Peace Accord two years earlier. I’ll leave it to viewers to evaluate his input here.

    • Once upon a time in Vietnam

      It’s very hard to watch the vile vampire Kissinger in hornrims smiling as he mimics a human being.

    • The Kurds as cannon fodder

      Once again the West has found a way to use the Kurds as cannon fodder for its own purposes. Once more, however, the biggest losers will be the ordinary Kurdish people.

      The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq comprises two rival armed groups — the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) — which have a history of killing each other’s supporters in their mutual drive for absolute power. The PUK began as a faction inside the KDP. In 1964 the KDP militia literally pushed the dissident faction into Iran.

    • White House Fence Jumpers, 9/11 and “Khorasan”, the Mysterious Al Qaeda Splinter Group

      Just when we thought the jokes and lies couldn’t get any sicker and thicker, we get, via CBS, a new figurative, yet also polysemously literal, present: “Khorasan.” Of course, the “new”, to be sure, is also by now rather old. Do have a look; we’ve got yet another recycling of the bin Laden/Emmanuel Goldstein image, this time associated with the out-of-thin-air Khorasan group. CBS kindly informs us that “an expert on Al-Qaeda” (who is undoubtedly also expert in the knowledge of Eurasia, Eastasia, and telescreens) “says they [Khorasan] are following bin Laden’s vision.”

    • Hoping Bombs Will Solve Iraq/Syria Mess

      Contradictions beset the U.S. war over Iraq and Syria. The principal target ISIS wouldn’t even exist but for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria have benefited from defections of U.S.-backed “moderates.” But now warplanes and missiles are supposed to fix things, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Ron Paul: Congress votes for more war in the Mideast

      >Last week, the House and Senate voted to rubber stamp President Obama’s war plans for the Middle East. Both bodies, on a bipartisan basis, authorized the U.S. to begin openly training and arming the rebels who have been fighting for three years to overthrow the Assad government in Syria.

      Although the Syrian government also has been fighting ISIS and related extremist groups for three years, the U.S. refuses to speak to the Syrians and has warned Assad not to interfere with the U.S. attack on sovereign Syrian territory

    • Guest Post: Is Credible Vetting of the Syrian Opposition for Human Rights Abuses Possible?

      Tucked inside the continuing resolution the United States Congress passed late last week was a provision to authorize the training and equipping of “moderate, vetted” elements of the Syrian opposition. The CIA has been carrying out a covert, small-scale version of this program, according to media reports. However, the rapid territorial gains and brutality of ISIS tipped the scales and encouraged the administration to go bigger – and go public — with a $500 million Pentagon-run, train-and-equip program, said U.S. President Barack Obama in a Sept. 10 speech.

    • The JFK Assassination: The CIA’s “Lone Assassin” Propaganda Strategy for the Warren Commission Report

      Communiqué encouraged media assets to counter notions of “political conspiracy”

  • Censorship

    • Hundreds of High Schoolers Walk Out to Protest Conservative Takeover of History Standards

      What Board Chairman Ken Witt probably didn’t expect is what happened next. Yesterday, hundreds of students from five high schools marched out of their classrooms and into the streets to reject the conservative board’s proposal. Carrying signs such as “people didn’t die so we could erase them,” the students demanded that the proposal be withdrawn.

      To get a sense of the size of the protests, the local CBS station reported that 500 students walked out at a single high school, Arvada West High. That is about a third of the students at the school.

      In addition to the mass student protests, teachers have been leading actions as well. Last week, as many as 50 teachers at Standley Lake and Conifer high schools staged a sickout to protest the new standards, forcing classes to be canceled.

  • Privacy

    • Opinion/Editorial: U.S. should take a look at its spying

      It took awhile, but Washington now has done the responsible thing and ceased spying on friendly governments.

      That information comes from current and former U.S. officials, reports The Associated Press, although the CIA has declined to comment.

  • Civil Rights

    • Director thanks Jeremy Renner for helping him avoid horror shocker

      In the new Cuestra film, Renner portrays investigative reporter Gary Webb, who became the target of a vicious smear campaign that drove him to the point of suicide after exposing the CIA’s role in arming Contra rebels.

    • Return of the messenger: How Jeremy Renner’s new film Kill The Messenger will vindicate Sacramento investigative journalist Gary Webb

      Nearly two decades after the reporter exposed a connection between the CIA and crack cocaine in America, Hollywood chimes in with a major movie

    • Kill the Messenger’s Jeremy Renner Admits He Got Hitched

      “Kill the Messenger” is a political thriller about real-life journalist Gary Webb who documented the link between drug dealers, contra rebels in Nicaragua and the C.I.A. He wrote a series of articles for the San Jose Mercury Times called the “Dark Alliance” series in 1996. His work received critical praise and attention from the media, who later turned on him and discredited his work.

    • A Farce at Forty

      These authors also assert that President Ford had not made a deal with the president who appointed him vice president and then stood aside to elevate him to the presidency, trading a pardon for the country’s two national offices over ten months. Many pundits as well as the dense ranks of Nixon’s opponents (they almost completely overlapped for a long time), screamed this at the time, including relatively sober commentators such as Joseph Alsop, but there was never a shred of evidence of it and such a thought arose only in the perfervidly malignant atmosphere confected by the anti-Nixon media, with, it must be admitted, what amounted to the cooperation of Nixon himself in his incompetent handling of the issues from the Watergate intrusion of June 1972, right up to his resignation in August 1974. Of course there was no such arrangement, the suggestion of it was always scurrilous and defamatory of both presidents, and to proclaim triumphantly 40 years later that they are now free of that suspicion is fatuous.

    • The fundamental rule of international law is that states cannot attack other states, even for humanitarian reasons

      Does US care about violating international laws? Nope. Is there any entity that can take action against US and Allies if they violate international laws? Nope. So what is the use in an UN and its Secretary General or the UN Human Rights head? They simply take home lavish salaries, remunerations and travel VIP and issue statements at all states the US and Allies are against. If so, is there a point in continuing with the UN? That’s a question that the public of the member nations must pose to their governments and decide to walk out of the UN as the current double standards and ugly precedents being created has reached beyond the level of tolerance. Since independence in 1776, the U.S. has been engaged in over 53 military invasions and expeditions and nothing is being done against such illegal actions.

    • ‘Surveillance state’

      Ex-CIA analyst joins Chico State profs in discussion of Fourth Amendment, government power over Americans

    • Torture in Iraq: Pakistani citizen challenges UK’s ‘act of state’ stance

      A Pakistani citizen who says he was tortured over a period of 10 years after being captured by UK special forces in Iraq and handed over to US troops will on Wednesday contest the government’s claim that he cannot pursue his case on the grounds that it would damage Britain’s relations with America, The Guardian reported.

      Yunus Rahmatullah was seized in Iraq in 2004 in an incident that was kept secret from ministers and only disclosed to MPs five years later. Rahmatullah, now 31, was released by the US without charge in May and is seeking to sue the ministry of defence (MoD) and the foreign office, accusing them of responsibility for his subjection to torture and abuse.

    • Spotlighting regional issues, UN reform, Latin American leaders address General Assembly

      Mr. Maduro Moros urged United States President Barack Obama to end the embargo in Cuba and called on the General Assembly to draft a document that would defend poor countries against “vulture funds” that sought to plunder economies and impose detrimental finance systems. He expressed solidarity with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and Argentina in particular. A decolonization plan for Puerto Rico was critical so that the island could join its neighbours in CELAC.

    • Senate Torture Report Vanishes

      Back here at home, the dispute over the Senate Intelligence Committee report on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) torture, a hot button issue earlier this year, has also benefited, largely disappearing from sight. The meticulously researched Senate report, covering 6000 pages and including 35,000 footnotes, apparently concluded that torturing terrorist suspects was not only illegal under the United Nations Convention on Torture, to which Washington is a signatory, it was also ineffective, producing no intelligence that was otherwise unobtainable.

    • ROSS: Obama regime trampling free press

      AP’s Washington Bureau Chief, a reporter who has been illegally spied upon by the Obama regime, has just given a talk about the ways the president is trampling press freedom.

    • Don’t Execute Those We Tortured

      But there are reasons Mr. Mohammed should not be executed, irrespective of how one feels about capital punishment. He was the victim of blatantly illegal treatment — the C.I.A. waterboarded him 183 times in March 2003, and threatened to kill his children while imprisoning him in a secret jail — at the hands of the government.

    • France Adopts Anti-Terror Law Eroding Civil Liberties

      Last week, a nearly empty French lower house (National Assembly) voted with a large majority in favour of the “bill strengthening provisions on the fight against terrorism”. In an atmosphere heavy with “apocalyptic” anxiety and speeches on the terrorist threat – particularly online –, interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and rapporteur Sébastien Pietrasanta wore down all opposition, blocking any further thought on the serious breaches of the Rule of Law contained in this bill.

09.24.14

Links 24/9/2014: GNOME 3.14 Released, Bash Has a Bug

Posted in News Roundup at 8:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google Brings Coreboot To 64-bit ARM

    As of today there’s now mainline Coreboot support for 64-bit ARM (AArch64) thanks to work originally done by Google.

  • Open source middleware is everywhere in financial services

    The UK economy is growing at its fastest rate since 2007, according to the Office of National Statistics, and the financial services sector is playing a major role in supporting this recovery. Renewed confidence in the City is driving up demand for effective IT. However, mirroring austerity measures put in place to help get national economies back on track, most (if not all) banks these days have cost reduction programmes in place.

  • UNICEF launches RapidPro open source app store

    The United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has launched RapidPro, an open-source platform of apps that can help governments to quickly deliver important information in real time. It can also be used to connect communities to lifesaving services.

  • 5 New Enterprise Open Source Projects to Watch

    The open source software community is nothing if not prolific, and exciting new projects arrive on the scene practically every day. Keeping up with it all can be a formidable challenge; on the other hand, failing to do so could mean you miss out on something great.

    Nowhere is that more true than in enterprises, where upstart new contenders can change the way business is done almost overnight. Take Docker, for example. Though it only just launched last year, the container technology tool has taken the enterprise world by storm, becoming a fundamental part of the way many businesses work.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla: Phasing Out Certificates with SHA-1 based Signature Algorithms

        We plan to add a security warning to the Web Console to remind developers that they should not be using a SHA-1 based certificate. We will display an additional, more prominent warning if the certificate will be valid after January 1, 2017, since we will reject that certificate after that date. We plan to implement these warnings in the next few weeks, so they should be appearing in released versions of Firefox in early 2015. We may implement additional UI indicators later. For instance, after January 1, 2016, we plan to show the “Untrusted Connection” error whenever a newly issued SHA-1 certificate is encountered in Firefox. After January 1, 2017, we plan to show the “Untrusted Connection” error whenever a SHA-1 certificate is encountered in Firefox.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • InfiniDB bows out of the database wars the open-source way

      Consolidation is a natural part of any industry’s maturation, especially a segment as fiercely competitive as the database space, which has witnessed a massive influx of new players in recent years each vying for their own slice of the market. The resulting overlap in products and capabilities is starting to claim its first victims.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Towns in Umbria region switch to LibreOffice

      The public administrations of the Italian cities Todi and Terni are switching to LibreOffice, announces LibreUmbria. The regional project is assisting the Umbria region’s public administrations to use this free software suite of office productivity tools.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Tor Challenge hits it out of the park

      If you need to be anonymous online, or evade digital censorship and surveillance, the Tor network has your back. And it’s more than a little bit stronger now than it was this spring, thanks to the Tor Challenge.

      Tor is a publicly accessible, free software-based system for anonymizing Internet traffic. It relies on thousands of computers around the world called relays, which route traffic in tricky ways to dodge spying. The more relays, the stronger and faster the network.

      We’d like to warmly thank our allies at the Electronic Frontier Foundation for organizing the Tor Challenge and inviting us to join them in promoting it. And most of all, thanks to the 1,635 of you who started a relay! (The FSF would have started one too, but we’ve already been running ours for a while.)

    • GNU Parallel 20140922 (‘Scotland’) released
    • MediaGoblin 0.7.1 released

      MediaGoblin 0.7.1 has been released! This is a bugfix release building on MediaGoblin 0.7.0.

    • RCS savannah project page

      On the project page for RCS on savannah, the intro blurb now has a proper link to CVS, as well as a link to the tip jar page.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • MSA takes open-source pitch to faculty

      But rather than pushing for a bill at the state Legislature, this year the Minnesota Student Association is focusing its open-source efforts on winning over faculty members one by one.

    • Darkcoin Releases RC5, Prepares to Open Source Darksend

      Almost a month after releasing RC4, the Darkcoin team is back again with its much-awaited client upgrade, Release Candidate 5.

      As assured by the project’s core developer Evan Duffield, this new client easily fixes the concerns raised in security review, published earlier by renowned security expert Kristov Atlas. This includes the improvisation of Darksend’s anonymity effectiveness. Other fixes that has been implemented in RC5 is: Enforcement of masternode payments; improved Darksend speed; and Added Darksend overview screen so users can see what’s happening.

    • Bitsmart: Open-Source DIY Bitcoin Wallet with Raspberry Pis
    • Open Data, OpenCorporates, OpenOil

      Open data can play a crucial role in helping us navigate such mazes. In the world of business, the key store of open information is OpenCorporates, which I’ve written about several times. But OpenCorporates is just the start; what’s really exciting is the way that people are starting to use its growing resources to investigate companies and their industries. A particularly good example of this is a project called OpenOil

    • Share your genetic story with openSNP

      Once you fall down the genealogical rabbit hole, it’s hard to find your way back out. My journey began with my grandfather, a polio survivor confined to a wheelchair who took to computers in his later years. One of his passions was researching his ancestors, and the tool he used to collect his findings was Brøderbund’s Family Tree Maker. I was fascinated by the charts and tables that he’d print out on his bubble jet printer, but I didn’t have the patience for all the data entry.

    • Open Data

      • EC unveils open data site on EU cohesion funding

        The European Commission in July unveiled the Cohesion Policy Data platform – offering information and open data on the performance of EU Cohesion Policy. The policy determines one-third of the total EU budget: each year the EU invests about 50 billion euro in economic development at the national and regional level. The new open data platform shows how the funding is distributed between countries, by categories of regions, and with details on the different funds and policy objectives.

  • Programming

    • Out in the Open: The Site That Teaches You to Code Well Enough to Get a Job

      Wanna be a programmer? That shouldn’t be too hard. You can sign-up for an iterative online tutorial at a site like Codecademy or Treehouse. You can check yourself into a “coding bootcamp” for a face-to-face crash course in the ways of programming. Or you could do the old fashioned thing: buy a book or take a class at your local community college.

    • PyPy 2.4 “Snow White” Released
    • CLike: A New, “Simple C-Like” Programming Language

      One of the latest programming languages out there is now CLike, a language inspired by the C programming language but with an extensible syntax and typed macros support.

    • Why Python 4.0 won’t be like Python 3.0

      Newcomers to python-ideas occasionally make reference to the idea of “Python 4000″ when proposing backwards incompatible changes that don’t offer a clear migration path from currently legal Python 3 code. After all, we allowed that kind of change for Python 3.0, so why wouldn’t we allow it for Python 4.0?

      I’ve heard that question enough times now (including the more concerned phrasing “You made a big backwards compatibility break once, how do I know you won’t do it again?”), that I figured I’d record my answer here, so I’d be able to refer people back to it in the future.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Google’s war on spam and how encryption could finally win it – for the spammers

      When you cut the knees out from under a complex society, as Edward Snowden and the NSA have done to the internet over the past year or so, the effects ripple outward unpredictably. Right away, there was a rush on cryptography software, which immediately threatened the online status quo; privacy software might just as accurately be called “anti-analytics” or “anti-big-data” software, and your details and behavioral data (tracking cookies) are the lifeblood of the online economy. That looming problem can only get so big while encryption solutions remain clunky and intimidating to newbies — but pressure is mounting for more aggressive, far-reaching protection of online traffic. In particular, large email providers are looking forward to a future in which they must try to protect a user’s inbox while encryption prevents them from knowing virtually anything about it. By using encryption to protect ourselves from Google, hackers, and the NSA, we could be making ourselves vulnerable to spam.

    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • My free software will respect users or it will be bullshit

      The four freedoms are only meaningful if they result in real-world benefits to the entire population, not a privileged minority. If your approach to releasing free software is merely to ensure that it has an approved license and throw it over the wall, you’re doing it wrong. We need to design software from the ground up in such a way that those freedoms provide immediate and real benefits to our users. Anything else is a failure.

    • Bash specially-crafted environment variables code injection attack

      Bash or the Bourne again shell, is a UNIX like shell, which is perhaps one of the most installed utilities on any Linux system. From its creation in 1980, bash has evolved from a simple terminal based command interpreter to many other fancy uses.

    • Unix/Linux Bash: Critical security hole uncovered
    • SHELL SHOCK: Big bad Bash bug blows hole in Unix, Linux web servers
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Bombing Is Good For You

      If bombing a country really made it better, we would have made a paradise of Iraq by now. Instead it is a total disaster, with access to electricity, drinking water, education and health services all far worse than they were before we started bombing it. That is even without the growth of the Caliphate, or ISIS, a direct result first of our deposing Saddam and conniving in the intolerant Shia rule of Maliki, and then of our connivance in arming and funding anyone willing to fight Assad.

    • Syria Becomes the 7th Predominantly Muslim Country Bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate

      The U.S. today began bombing targets inside Syria, in concert with its lovely and inspiring group of five allied regimes: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan.

      That means that Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama—after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq.

    • Barack Obama, War President

      “A decade of war is now ending,” Barack Obama proclaimed from the steps of the Capitol in the first minutes of his presidency. “We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”

    • Reluctant Warrior Bombs Yet Another Country

      It does make one wonder: What would an enthusiastic warrior look like to the corporate media? Would bombing eight countries in six years be enough?

    • Washington informed Syria before airstrikes

      The Syrian foreign ministry said Tuesday that Washington informed Damascus’ envoy to the United Nations before launching airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria, attacks that activists said inflicted casualties among jihadi fighters and civilians on the ground.

    • Britain will be ‘at war’ by weekend as RAF is set to blitz ISIS

      America and its Arab allies launched a devastating blitz on Islamic State strongholds in Syria yesterday as Britain was poised to join in.

    • Obama among most aggressive US Presidents: CNN
    • O, bomber! Obama bombs 7th country in 6 years

      American jets hit targets in Syria on Tuesday in the US-led fight against Islamic State. Although the US has not declared war since 1942, this is the seventh country that Barack Obama, the holder of the Nobel Peace Prize, has bombed in as many years.

    • Reality Check: Obamawar

      Okay, now the anti-war president is at war. This makes sense. Sure it does. Remember in 1964 when LBJ’s campaign included this nugget: “We are not about to send American boys nine- or 10-thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves?” Then Nixon got elected in ’68 with a secret plan to end the Vietnam War and escalated it to horrifically criminal heights by bombing peaceful, sovereign nations “back to the stone age.” Oh, and remember when George W. Bush spoke in the late-summer of 2000 of a “humble foreign policy?” They can’t help it. I

    • Here are the seven countries the United States has bombed since 9/11

      The US began airstrikes in Syria today, fulfilling president Barack Obama’s vow to “degrade and destroy” the extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State. The Pentagon said it deployed bombers, fighters, armed drones, and cruise missiles against IS forces in the group’s de facto capital of Raqqa, Syria and along the Iraq border. Military aircraft from Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates took part in the strikes, US officials told the New York Times.

    • Syria: US begins air strikes on Islamic State targets

      The US and five Arab allies have launched the first strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria.

      The Pentagon said warplanes, drones and Tomahawk missiles were used to targeted several areas including IS stronghold Raqqa. At least 70 IS militants were killed, Syrian activists say.

    • Sweden ‘missed’ global opportunities

      These drones kill more civilians than the United States wants to make out.

    • Edward Snowden Wins Sweden’s ‘Alternative Nobel’
    • US Drone Attack Kills 10 in Pakistan

      At least 10 militants were killed today in a US drone attack in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region, officials said.

      [...]

      The identity of those killed was not known immediately.

    • U.S. Drones Kill Eight Militants in NW Pakistan

      U.S. drones Wednesday fired missiles at a compound and vehicle and killed at least eight militants in a restive Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan, officials said.

    • Sri Lanka condemns use of drones to counter terrorism

      Sri Lanka has condemned the use of drones by certain countries for combating terrorism and said it violates the international humanitarian law.

      The Sri Lankan delegation at the UN Human Rights Council has said the use of remotely piloted aircraft or armed drones result in killing of civilians and the matter should be “promptly investigated”.

    • Why Drones Don’t Cut It in Syria

      Drones can perform a critical intelligence role by staying the air a long time and providing a good overview but without a pilot on board they have a limited ability to distinguish between combatants and civilians and quickly make sense out of confusing situations on the ground.

    • Drone crashes in south Yemen: witnesses

      A drone similar those used by the United States to track down and attack suspected al Qaeda militants in Yemen crashed in the southern part of the country on Tuesday, witnesses and a local official said.

    • Suspected U.S. drone crashes in Yemen

      An aircraft believed to be a U.S. unmanned aerial drone crashed Tuesday in Yemen’s southern Shabwah province, eyewitnesses have said.

    • Israel Uses Gaza and West Bank to Test Weapons For Sale

      To illustrate this disturbing fact, Israel just wrapped up its annual drone conference during which it showcased drones that had just successfully been deployed during the devastating Operation Protective Edge in Gaza where 2,100 Palestinians were killed.

    • US vows more airstrikes on Syria

      US President Barack Obama says air strikes unleashed against the Islamic State group in Syria send a clear message the world is united in confronting them.

    • Bombing ISIS will do more harm than good. Here’s why

      ISIS may think they have a monopoly over the truth, but all they’ve shown is their own arrogance as they bask in their fantasy caliphate. Their stupidity and arrogance means they will destroy themselves. But recent history suggests that the current bombing campaign in civilian areas risks radicalising a new generation of already marginalised young men.

    • Suddenly Khorasan: New US Enemy Came Out of Nowhere

      It was no surprise when the Obama Administration began attacking ISIS targets in Syria last night. What was surprising was that the US also attacked a group known as Khorasan, then hyped what a huge, “imminent” threat they supposedly are.

    • Six Totally Shocking, Crazy, Outrageous Predictions About the War Against the Islamic State

      As you’ve probably heard, the US-led Coalition of the Willing to Be Seen Putting the Hurt on the Islamic State just made an overnight delivery of live ordinance to Islamic State targets throughout Syria, and they really blew the heck out of some stuff. Meanwhile, the White House and Pentagon have taken the field in the battle for public opinion armed with briefings, statements, videos, pictures, calls, and other weapons of mass communication.

    • Syria Airstrikes: PM In Talks Over UK Role
    • Government told to reveal plans for drone strikes outside war zones

      The British government has been warned it may face legal action if it fails to consult Parliament and the public on the redeployment of drones outside declared war zones.

    • Expanding US Strikes to ISIS in Syria, Has Obama Opened New Phase of “Perpetual War”?

      The United States has launched airstrikes in Syria targeting the Islamic State, as well as members of a separate militant organization known as the Khorasan group. The Pentagon says U.S. forces launched 47 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles from warships in the Red Sea and North Arabian Gulf. In addition, U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fighters, bombers and drones took part in the airstrikes. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 20 Islamic State fighters were killed in strikes that hit at least 50 targets in Raqqa and Deir al-Zor provinces in Syria’s east. The United States says Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had either participated or supported the strikes against the Islamic State, which has seized swaths of Syria and Iraq. The United States acted alone against the Khorasan group, saying it “took action to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests.” The Syrian government claims the United States had informed it of the pending attacks hours before the strikes began. Meanwhile, the United States has expanded its bombing of Iraq, launching new strikes around Kirkuk. To discuss this development, we are joined by two guests: Vijay Prashad, professor of international studies at Trinity College who has written extensively about the Islamic State, and Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the peace group CodePink and author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.

    • US Expands Global ‘War On Terror’ By Striking ISIS Targets In Syria

      The United States and several of its Gulf Arab allies launched at least 50 air and missile strikes on Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) strongholds in Syria on Tuesday, opening a new, far more complicated front in the battle against the militants, as well as marking the start of a new chapter in the ongoing US-proclaimed global “war on terror.”

    • 8 civilians, incl. 3 kids, killed in US-led strikes on Syria – monitor

      Eight civilians, three of them children, have been killed in the US-led air strikes on Al-Qaeda Nusra front positions, Reuters reported, citing Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    • Bombs away over Syria

      I’m all in favor of doing something about ISIS, but as the bombs fall over Syria, may I ask: How many unilateral bombing campaigns does a left-wing President get to launch before the Nobel committee has to consider taking his Peace Prize away?

    • Shock and Awe in Syria: It Never Works

      The Syrian government acknowledged that the US gave fair warning it would bomb Raqqah to the Syrian ambassador to the UN. That is, the US may not militarily be coordinating with Syria, but it does inform the regime of enough information to avoid a shoot-down.

      Not only ISIL positions but also some targets of the Jabhat al-Nusra or Succor Front (the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria) were struck by the US and its allies. Once you enter a war, it doesn’t stay limited.

      The US deployed not only fighter jets but also drone strikes and Tomahawk missiles, presumably fired from a destroyer from the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. It targeted suspected arms depots, the mayor’s mansion (used by ISIL as its HQ in Raqqah), and checkpoints, among other things. Dozens of ISIL fighters were said to be killed and more wounded.

    • Lest We Forget: remembering the airstrikes of the past

      I remember the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and how, for a moment, I was seduced by the notion that we needed to re-run World War 2, ousting Saddam, the new Hitler.

      I remember the generals and their briefings that told us that the precision weapons used in airstrikes protected civilians, and reading news reports that said otherwise.

      I remember that Britain and America armed Saddam Hussein in the first place.

    • The Islamic State terrorists aren’t just our enemy: they’re our legacy

      In the past year the United States has expanded its drone warfare campaign into Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Somalia, beyond the traditional Afghan-Pakistani battleground. The story of a young eastern Afghani man, Miya Jan, was widely reported throughout the western media last year. A United States drone strike changed his life forever: it killed his brother, his sister-in-law and their child.

    • If A Bank Can Be Liable For Terrorism, Are The Saudis Next?

      A Brooklyn jury’s verdict holding a Jordanian bank liable for Hamas terrorist attacks, combined with a federal appeals court’s reinstatement of a similar lawsuit against National Westminster Bank, is ratting international banking as well as policymakers at the U.S. State Dept. In both cases U.S. courts rejected traditional deference to foreign laws and sovereign immunity and showed a willingness to apply American tort law to overseas terrorist attacks.

    • Behind Obama’s Historic U.S.-Led Arab Coalition Conducting Airstrikes In Syria

      Qatar, a proven financier of Hamas, played a supporting role in the airstrikes.

    • Obama Launches an Unconstitutional War on ISIS in Syria

      Article One, Section Eight of the U.S. Constitution vests the power “to declare war” in the hands of Congress. But as the world now knows, President Barack Obama took it upon himself last night to launch an undeclared war against ISIS in Syria. Just like President George W. Bush before him, Obama believes his vast war powers as commander in chief trump whatever old-fashioned limitations the text of the Constitution happens to impose on the presidency.

      This is not Obama’s first undeclared war, of course. That would be his 2011 war in Libya, which he also launched after refusing to obtain congressional authorization as required by the Constitution. Nor is it Obama’s only unilateral exercise of unprecedented executive power. That list of misdeeds is growing too long to summarize in a short blog post. As Obama himself bragged in January 2014, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone…. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward.”

    • Oliver Stone says Putin ‘a strong person’, backs Crimea actions

      US film director Oliver Stone said in an interview published Tuesday he admired Russian President Vladimir Putin and understood his actions in Crimea and Ukraine.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate Crisis? That’s Not News
    • What Chuck Todd Talks About Instead of Talking About Climate

      Not talking about the largest climate march in history (Action Alert, 9/22/14) left Chuck Todd with some time to fill up on NBC’s Meet the Press. Some of it he spent explaining his theory that the 2014 midterms are really a battle between Chick-fil-A and Starbucks. (Republicans like the chicken franchise, apparently, whereas Democrats prefer the coffee chain.)

    • WSJ’s Noxious Climate Coverage Surrounding Historic March

      The Wall Street Journal sandwiched their coverage of the largest climate change march in history between commentaries that cast doubt on global warming and the need for action, fulfilling the newspaper’s trend of pushing harmful rhetoric against international climate negotiations.

  • Finance

    • Civilization-Threatening Crises? Nope, Can’t Think of Any

      I suppose if you’re in the economic class that sells a house for $4.5 million that you bought two years ago for $4 million, then, yes, there are a lot of interesting restaurants you can eat at in New York City. If you’re not in that class, it might be easier to recognize that New York is also one of the most unequal and most segregated cities in the US.

    • Tesco troubles could spark ‘race to bottom’

      The troubled supermarket giant, which yesterday (Monday), announced it had overstated its half-year profit guidance by £250m, has been battling falling sales as discount chains such as Aldi and Lidl gain popularity.

    • Tesco crisis: ‘They say every little helps, but supermarket’s demands are never little’

      To shoppers reading about Tesco’s £250m black hole with their jaws to the floor, the most extraordinary thing about it could be this: none of Tesco’s suppliers are surprised.

      For years we have been bullied and browbeaten by Tesco’s buyers, who demand a lowball price for our goods then keep screwing us for more as the contract goes on.

      You see, with Tesco, after you’ve agreed a price for your product, often through a tender process if it’s own label, you never know how much extra they’re going to demand back from you further down the line. They say every little helps, but when it comes to its demands of suppliers, with Tesco it’s never little.

      So, for example, did you know that Tesco will try to charge us for the shortfall in their profits if they drop the price of our products halfway through our contract period? Did you know that they will try to bill us for wastage if our goods are unsold and go off?

      As Aldi and Lidl eat into Tesco’s market share, this has been a growing problem. But many suppliers are starting to say: “No. If you drop your prices halfway through our contract, that’s your problem, not ours. If you can’t get enough shoppers into your stores to buy our product, that’s out of our control too. Don’t try to bill us retrospectively because you can’t run your business properly.”

    • For real politics, don’t look to parliament but to an empty London housing estate

      This weekend, while commentators yawped on about local democracy, and Ed Miliband vowed he’d close the chasm between the rich and the rest of us by a whole couple of centimetres, a bunch of young women in east London just got on and did it.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Facebook Plans to Cut Ties With ALEC

      Just one day after Google announced it was cutting ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), fellow tech giant Facebook announced that they are “not likely” to renew their ALEC membership next year.

      “We re-evaluate our memberships on an annual basis and are in that process now,” a Facebook representative wrote in a September 23 e-mail to the San Francisco Chronicle. “While we have tried to work within ALEC to bring that organization closer to our view on some key issues, it seems unlikely that we will make sufficient progress so we are not likely to renew our membership in 2015.”

    • WI ALEC Plagiarists Criticize Burke for Copying Jobs Plan

      Two Wisconsin Republicans who have copied-and-pasted model legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and passed the bills off as their own ideas are claiming that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke is not suited for office because her jobs plan contained language borrowed from other candidates.

      Senators Alberta Darling and Leah Vukmir issued a statement on September 20 knocking Burke for lifting portions of her jobs plan from proposals by gubernatorial hopefuls in other states. Burke blamed the copy and paste job on a consultant, who had worked for those same candidates.

  • Censorship

    • Google Inc. Gets Caught Up In China’s Internet Crackdown

      Beijing’s Internet censorship ‘overrides’ Web’s use in ‘commerce or scientific research.’

    • Will America Embrace the Right to be Forgotten?

      By now most of us have been made aware of the profound need for a Google self-appraisal. Whether you’re looking for a new job, a scholarship, or a big promotion—whether you’re seeking public office or just trying to get a date—what the Internet says about you matters, and Google is the most prominent and influential gatekeeper. An entire industry, christened “online reputation management,” sprang up a few years back to help people and businesses manage what Google says about them; as of right now, that industry seems to be dwindling, but interest in matters of online privacy does not.

  • Privacy

    • Discovering the limits of surveillance

      Where are the “limits of surveillance”?

      For internet activists debating that very subject it was when someone in the audience started live-streaming their discussion.

      The panel did not look entirely comfortable with the young man’s attempt to beam the “Stop Spying On Us” debate at Manchester’s Anthony Burgess Museum to a worldwide audience.

    • BM Foreign Affairs — Role of Intelligence Agencies in the Modern World
    • Jihadist Threat Mutes Debate, Action on NSA Spying

      The heated debate about America’s massive electronic spying dragnet is mostly “muted” as foreign jihadists rush in to fight alongside Islamic State (ISIS) militants, Foreign Policy reports.

      The extent of the National Security Agency’s electronic snooping – first revealed in documents snatched from the NSA by ex-contractor Edward Snowden in 2013 – shocked the West.

      That was then.

      Today, legislation that would restrict the spy agency’s reach – a version of which passed the House – is stuck in the Senate.

    • Intel Committee Chief Says Cyber Bill Could Face Two-Year Wait

      On September 19, 2014, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers followed up on comments he and Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss made last week concerning the prospects for cybersecurity information sharing legislation. Chambliss and Rogers have been sounding the alarm that cyber legislation is not likely to get done this year.

    • Everyone agrees that NSA reform legislation is needed. So why hasn’t it happened?

      Last year, Edward Snowden made headlines around the world with news of the extent of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs. You might have thought that Congress would react by passing legislation to address the issue. But with Congress now on break until after the November elections, that’s looking increasingly unlikely.

      Politico’s Tony Romm has an in-depth story examining what happened to the leading reform proposal, the USA Freedom Act. It passed the House in May, and a version sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was introduced in July. And then… nothing happened. The calendar ran out without Leahy’s proposal getting a vote by the full Senate.

    • Tech’s surveillance hopes stopped in their tracks
    • Fearmongering NSA Reform

      What the law would do is restrict the government’s ability to spy on Americans, particularly by requiring the government to justify programs that collect details of the call or Internet use of all citizens under Section 215 of the Patriot Act and other parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Some say we need these programs to fight terror. Yet an assessment by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent government oversight body, found that there were no instances where the nationwide call-metadata program conducted under Section 215 prevented an act of terrorism.

      Put another way: Our country has spent billions on programs under Section 215 that trample the rights of Americans, hamper journalists, and take resources away from more effective counterterrorism efforts – and we have nothing to show for it.

    • Huntsville City Schools monitoring students’ online activity since January

      They say it started with a call from the NSA. In May 2013 Al Lankford, a schools security official, took a call from someone he said identified themselves as with the National Security Agency. They warned of a student who had posted tweets threatening violence against an assistant principal as well as two teachers.

    • Huntsville schools say call from NSA led to monitoring students online

      A secret program to monitor students’ online activities began quietly in Huntsville schools, following a phone call from the NSA, school officials say.

    • Parents, AL.com readers express mixed emotions about Huntsville school officials monitoring students on social media
    • School Secretly Monitoring Students’ Facebook Posts—On Advice from NSA

      A Huntsville, Alabama, public school superintendent says that after taking a friendly call from the NSA, he decided to start secretly monitoring students’ social media activities.

      The school board had no idea what he was doing, and the NSA has denied that it would make a phone call concerning a domestic matter. But Superintendent Casey Wardynski says no, it was definitely the NSA who called.

    • Snowden Wins Sweden’s ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’

      Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden has been awarded Sweden’s Right Livelihood Honorary Award, often referred to as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, for his work on press freedom, the award’s foundation said on Wednesday.

    • Row as Snowden wins Swedish rights prize

      Sweden’s foreign ministry has banned a civil rights group from its premises after news leaked that this year’s winner of the Swedish Right Livelihood Award would be whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • US whistleblower Edward Snowden wins Swedish rights prize
    • ‘Alternative Nobel’ human rights award goes to Snowden
    • Edward Snowden Wins 2014 Right Livelihood Award

      Fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden and Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian newspaper, were named honorary co-winners on Wednesday of the 2014 Right Livelihood Award.

    • Edward Snowden and Alan Rusbridger receive Right Livelihood award

      Award for whistleblower and Guardian editor recognises their work in exposing mass surveillance by the NSA and others

    • US whistleblower Snowden wins Swedish rights prize
    • Right Livelihood Award to Snowden

      The Stockholm-based Right Livelihood Award Foundation on Wednesday praised Snowden, a former US intelligence agent, for “revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance.”

    • Edward Snowden Awarded ‘Alternative Nobel’

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden will be awarded the Right Livelihood Award, a Swedish honor often called “the alternative Nobel Prize”, along with the editor of The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, which published his revelations.

    • Asma Jahangir, Edward Snowden win prestigious Swedish human rights award
    • Snowden given ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’
    • Claim: NSA Is Spying on The Whole Of Vienna Including the UN

      Following revelations that the American National Security Agency (NSA) spies on the German Government and had tapped Chancellor Merkel’s private phone, an Austrian journalist has alleged the NSA has a significant listening station in central Vienna, overlooking the United Nations complex there, reports The Local.

    • NSA ‘could be spying on UN’ in Vienna
    • Suspected NSA listening post discovered in Vienna

      A series of photos of what is believed to be an NSA-operated listening post on top of a skyscraper in the Austrian capital of Vienna have been circulated by Austrian media Tuesday.

      The IZD Tower building is situated next to the Vienna International Centre that hosts the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV), with media reports speculating the suspected listening hut atop the building, which at first glance appears to be a maintenance hut, is used to receive signals from bugs installed at the UN premises.

    • Rekha Basu: Edward Snowden: traitor or patriot?

      If this is what passes for national security or foreign policy, we’re all in trouble.

      [...]

      Knowing all this does not give me confidence in my government, but it does tend to vindicate Snowden’s actions. Maybe he did betray the government’s trust, but the government has been betraying the people’s trust to a far greater degree.

    • Who profits from our new war? Inside NSA and private contractors’ secret plans

      A massive, $7.2 billion Army intelligence contract signed just 10 days ago underscores the central role to be played by the National Security Agency and its army of private contractors in the unfolding air war being carried out by the United States and its Gulf States allies against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

    • Your data is the government’s data

      Governments around the world are increasingly demanding their citizens’ data, or rather the user data stored by companies such as Yahoo and Google. These demands have been justified under the veil of national security, tied to the NSA surveillance program brought to light in 2013 by Edward Snowden.

    • Recent poll on anti-terrorism policies tells only half the story

      Yet, this poll tells only half the story. While Americans seem to have re-found fear of international Islamic terrorism — thus the willingness to allow the nation’s security enterprise to protect them — there remains a disconnect about this feeling regarding domestic efforts to protect.

      The recent events in Ferguson, Mo. have led to a nationwide dialogue about the “militarization” of police. Polls taken in the wake of police conflicts with protestors in the St. Louis suburb suggest that Americans do fear domestic law enforcement at levels not previously seen. A poll taken by YouGov/Huffington Post, for example, showed that only 28 percent of Americans believe that police use of military weapons is necessary, while 51 percent of respondents believe that police go “too far” in their use of those weapons.

    • Former NSA Chief Calls NSA Data Sharing “Biggest Threat Since Civil War”

      The NSA peeks and pries into our lives in countless ways, violating our privacy and ignoring the Fourth Amendment. But a former NSA chief says one agency activity endangers Americans more than the rest: the routine sharing of warrantless data with state and local law enforcement.

      In an interview earlier this month, William Binney called NSA information sharing “the most threatening situation to our constitutional republic since the Civil War.”

    • CFPB collecting data on 600 million credit accounts despite privacy, security risks

      A Government Accountability Office comprehensive study released by the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee confirms that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is collecting financial data on up to 600 million consumer credit card accounts, without sufficient security and privacy protections to ensure there is no risk of improper collection, use, or release of consumer financial data.

    • It’s Time for a Real Debate on Reader Privacy

      Last week longtime local publisher Howard Owens, founder of the online news site the Batavian, launched a new publication covering Wyoming County in upstate New York. Buried in a parenthetical within his welcome message to readers was a fascinating promise: “We’ll also respect your privacy by not gathering personal data to distribute to multinational media conglomerates for so-called ‘targeted advertising.’”

      This kind of explicit promise regarding reader privacy is increasingly important and all too rare.

    • Jihadists didn’t increase security due to NSA leaks

      Edward Snowden’s leaks about the NSA haven’t caused Islamic terrorists to hide communications behind encryption software, according to a report by Flashpoint Partners.

      The report states that their groups are now using more secure means of communication, but attributed this not to the leaks about the NSA, but to the development of encrypted communications packages made by the terrorists themselves; going against the GCHQ claim that terrorists have increased security measures because of Snowden’s information about the NSA.

    • Kim Dotcom and Edward Snowden: New Zealand conducts mass surveillance

      Add New Zealand to the list of governments snooping on you. State surveillance has become a central issue in New Zealand’s national elections, following today’s revelation by the A-Team of whistleblowers who gave details surrounding the creation of a Kiwi mass surveillance operation code-named “Speargun.” Revelation of the secret program could lance prime minister John Key’s reelection bid next week.

    • New Zealand’s prime minister wants to cut the Union Jack out of his country’s flag

      This weekend, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key secured his third term in power after his center-right party won an increased majority in parliament. Key, a popular premier credited with steering the country through the global financial crisis, withstood the challenges of a slew of parties, including an eye-catching intervention by controversial Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, who beamed in via video link Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden at an Auckland event last week.

    • US gave surveillance data to a country ‘hostile’ to many Americans — Bamford
    • New Questions Raised About NSA-Israel Intelligence Sharing
    • Snowden Reveal Makes Israeli Spies’ Protest An American Issue

      Last Friday, 43 veteran and reserve members of Israel’s secretive spy organization, Unit 8200, claimed they’d been directed to spy on Palestinians for coercion purposes.

      The group signed an open letter of protest to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to the head of the Israeli army, accusing the spy agency of targeting innocent Palestinians and collecting data for political purposes, not national security.

    • E.O. 12333: End-Running the Fourth Amendment

      Historians of the Constitutional Era of the United States (1789-2001, RIP) will recall the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, the one that used to protect Americans against unreasonable and unwarranted searches.

      The Supreme Court had generally held that searches required a warrant. That warrant could be issued only after law enforcement showed they had “probable cause.” That in turn had been defined by the Court to require a high standard of proof, “a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a particular place.”

      The basic idea for more or less over 200 years: unless the government has a good, legal reason to look into your business, it couldn’t. As communications changed, the Fourth evolved to assert extend those same rights of privacy to phone calls, emails and texts, the same rules applying there as to physical searches.

    • Local Use of Military Equipment is Drawing Scrutiny—But Local Use of Surveillance Equipment and Training Needs Attention Too

      Since the police shooting of Michael Brown and the response in the streets, militarization of the police, especially with surplus military hardware like armored vehicles, has been a hot topic, both in the news and in Congress. And that’s a good thing.

      But the equipment we can see on the news isn’t the only thing flowing from our military to local cops. Alongside armored vehicles and guns, local police are getting surveillance technology with help from the federal government. And while we don’t know the full contours of that aid, what we do know is worrisome and should spur further scrutiny, both locally and nationally.

    • American Universities Aid And Abet Unconstitutional Spying: They Can Be Stopped

      The surveillance state doesn’t operate in a vacuum.

      In fact, the NSA and other federal spy agencies depend on support from a wide array of both public and private entities in order to engage in world-wide snooping.

      American colleges and universities count among the institutions supporting dragnet spying. Through more the 170 schools, the NSA recruits and trains future spies and gains valuable research.

    • Access, Partners Recognize Heroes, Villains on Human Rights and Communications Surveillance

      The Principles, endorsed by more than 400 civil society groups worldwide, provide a framework to assess whether government surveillance complies with international human rights obligations. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Principles, which were publicly released on September 22, 2013. Today’s announcement follows on from the Principles Coalition’s Week of Action last week, which highlighted the Principles and promoted their adoption.

    • The Fappening: Gabrielle Union Enlists Help Of FBI After NSFW Photos Leak Of Kim Kardashian, Emily Ratajkowski & More, What’s Apple Doing About This?
    • Are Apple and Google Really on Your Side Against the NSA?
    • On Key Escrows and Backdoors
    • Apple Still Has Plenty of Your Data for the Feds

      But despite these nods to privacy-conscious consumers, Apple still strongly encourages all its users to sign up for and use iCloud, the internet syncing and storage service where Apple has the capability to unlock key data like backups, documents, contacts, and calendar information in response to a government demand. iCloud is also used to sync photos, as a slew of celebrities learned in recent weeks when hackers reaped nude photos from the Apple service. (Celebrity iCloud accounts were compromised when hackers answered security questions correctly or tricked victims into giving up their credentials via “phishing” links, Cook has said.)

      While Apple’s harder line on privacy is a welcome change, it’s important to put it in context. Yes, a leading maker of smartphones, tablets, and laptops is now giving users better tools to lock down some of their most sensitive data. But those users have to know what they’re doing to reap the benefits of the new software and hardware — and in particular it helps if they ignore Apple’s own entreaties to share their data more widely.

    • Justice Department Halts Rand Paul’s NSA Lawsuit

      The U.S. Department of Justice successfully halted Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s pending National Security Agency lawsuit on Monday, which will stay on hold while a similar case questioning the constitutionality of certain surveillance moves forward.

    • Rand Paul’s NSA lawsuit put on hold

      Sen. Rand Paul’s lawsuit over National Security Agency surveillance was put on hold Monday, pending an appeals court ruling on a parallel case brought before the senator’s.

    • Canada’s Privacy Debate Goes Online with Streaming Greenwald Event

      Canadian specialty channels and online mediacasters will provide coverage of a talk about online privacy and data security by controversial American author Glenn Greenwald.

      Greenwald’s upcoming presentation will be live streamed and recorded as part of media podcasting and on-demand access plans for the event.

    • War, Whistleblowing and Independent Journalism Panel

      William Binney was the former technical director of the World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group and a senior NSA cryptomathematician at the NSA. He worked there for over three decades, and retired after 9/11 as the agency began to implement domestic spying programs that he says are unconstitutional. He is also a whistleblower, having disclosed information to the Defense Department in 2002 about corruption, waste, fraud, and abuse in the agency related to the use of data collection and analysis program called Trailblazer.

    • Lawmakers want to expand role of government privacy watchdog

      A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to expand the ability of an independent agency to investigate government surveillance activities. The Strengthening Privacy, Oversight and Transparency (SPOT) Act would expand the role of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) — an executive branch watchdog group formed as a result of suggestion from the 9/11 Commission to investigate the privacy implications of counterterrorism policies.

    • Bipartisan, Bicameral Group Introduces Bill to Strengthen Privacy Oversight Board

      In an effort to significantly improve the oversight and accountability of the nation’s intelligence community, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, (D-Ore.) and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) spearheaded a bipartisan, bicameral effort to strengthen the government’s privacy protection board. The legislation gives the oversight board greater ability to carry out its function of balancing the government’s national security and counterterrorism activities with the need to protect the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans. The bill is cosponsored by U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-N.M., and U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

    • It’s time to break up the NSA to ensure security and privacy

      A year and a half after the Edward Snowden revelations, with promised reform measures stalled in congress, security expert Bruce Scheier says we should break up the National Security Agency to help build trust and transparency, while preserving its necessary functions.

    • How to use the Tor Browser to surf the web anonymously

      Recently, BoingBoing ran an article about how some librarians in Massachusetts were installing Tor software in all their public PCs to anonymize the browsing habits of their patrons. The librarians are doing this as a stand against passive government surveillance as well as companies that track users online and build dossiers to serve highly-targeted advertising.

    • New app tracks employee moods

      Which means, of course: There’s now an app for that. The Niko Niko platform is an emerging service that can measure and track mood data via iOS app, email or a Google Chrome extension. The idea is that managers can pose an emotional question on the platform — e.g., “How do you feel about progress you made on your priorities for the week?” — and team members can indicate how they are feeling on a quick smiley-face scale.

    • Eric Schmidt slams ‘paranoid’ Assange over accusations in new book

      Google’s Eric Schmidt is infuriated with Julian Assange allegations that Google is tied to the US government when it comes to the openness of the internet, which the WikiLeaks founder expressed in his new book ‘When Google met WikiLeaks.’

    • Google’s Eric Schmidt Calls Julian Assange ‘Paranoid’ and Says Tim Cook Is Wrong
    • Assange warns about Google’s ‘revolving door’ with the US state dept
    • A state within a state at an alarming rate: Assange says NSA just keeps on growing

      Julian Assange reminisced to RT’s Afshin Rattansi about a meeting he had with Google in 2011 and how the company is in bed with the State Department. He also mentioned that a state within a state is being developed within the USA.

    • Hackers ‘could watch you having sex via your smartphone’

      It was revealed earlier this year that GCHQ had operated a secret surveillance project called Optic Nerve which captured images from millions of Yahoo! webcam chats made between people suspected of no crime.

      Leaked documents dated from 2008 to 2010 reveal that Yahoo! was chosen because it was known to be used by “GCHQ targets”. The NSA was also involved, providing software to identify video traffic online and make screenshots searchable once intercepted.

  • Civil Rights

    • Pro-Palestinian activists held after demo at Glasgow defence site

      SIX pro-Palestinian activists have been arrested following a demonstration at the Glasgow premises of defence systems firm Thales UK.

    • ​‘Stop arming Israel!’ Scottish Pro-Palestinian activists occupy Israel-linked arms factory in Glasgow
    • Jason Leopold on the Samir Khan Case

      Over at VICE News, reporter Jason Leopold has this very interesting story about the FBI investigation of Samir Khan, the AQAP propagandist and editor of Inspire magazine, who was killed in the strike against Anwar Al-Aulaqi. Khan, like Al-Aulaqi, was a U.S. citizen, though the government maintains that he was not the target of the strike that killed him. The article is based largely on documents released by the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act. While Leopold notes that they are heavily redacted, he actually gleans a lot of worthwhile detail from them.

    • Where do we draw the line on secrecy?
    • CPJ urges US to mitigate threats to journalism, newsgathering

      The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide, is writing to express its concern about the effects of intelligence and law enforcement activities undertaken by agencies, over which your administration has oversight, on the free flow of news and other information in the public interest.

    • CPJ Calls on Obama to Defend the Right to Report in the Digital Age

      Global Voices is joining more than 60 other media and press freedom organizations in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists’ campaign for the Right to Report in the Digital Age, targeting the Obama administration. Revelations about surveillance, intimidation, and exploitation of the press have raised unsettling questions about the rights and safety of journalists’ ability to report in the digital age. The revelations also give ammunition to governments seeking to tighten restrictions on media and the Internet.

    • ‘Obama’s America’ filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza avoids prison time in campaign-finance case, plus more movie news: Popcorn Breakfast (video)

      Conservative documentary filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza — the man behind such anti-Obama films as “2016: Obama’s America” and “America” — was sentenced Tuesday (Sept. 23) to serve eight months in a “community confinement center,” five years of probation and to pay a $30,000 fine for a campaign-finance violation to which he pled guilty earlier this year. But in the process, he avoids the hard jail time to which he could have been sentenced (via The New York Times). That story tops this morning’s Popcorn Breakfast, my regular three-minute(ish) movie-headlines roundup.

    • Amnesty wants Assam government to guarantee fair trial to detained journalist
    • Amnesty calls for fair trial of detained scribe

      Global human rights body Amnesty International today called for a fair trial for detained TV journalist Jaikhlong Brahma.

      “The Government of Assam must release Jaikhlong Brahma from administrative detention or charge him with recognizably criminal offences, and guarantee him a fair trial which meets international standards,” Amnesty International India said in a release.

    • Obama: The Most Secretive President?

      A presidential administration expected to be more open and transparent than preceding ones has become focused on keeping secrets and preventing legitimate public inquiry.

    • Notes on my struggle with fascism

      In totalitarian America, nonstandard freedom of speech is frowned on, and the police snuff it out. The authorities require any demonstrators to get a permit, thereby allowing them to eliminate the Constitutional right to redress of grievances based on a pretext. The Constitutional right to protest is all or nothing; so soon as you allow the Fascists to demand a permit, the right vanishes. They come up with a pretext to ban what they find distasteful. As usual, the Constitution that is so precious states absolutely nothing about a permit. He who would understand class society must study the pretext.

    • Unfinished Business: The Trickle-Down Effects of the War on ISIS on Civil Liberties, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law

      As members of Congress left town for the mid-term election campaigns last week, they managed to leave unresolved almost every important pending national security question before them. Issues of war, torture accountability, NSA surveillance, and even expatriation of terrorists remain to be taken up, by the lame-duck Congress after the elections, or by the next Congress altogether. Given how dysfunctional and divided this Congress has been, maybe doing little or nothing is the best we can hope for. But the questions are not going to go away, and require democratic reckoning. The emerging war with the Islamic State in Syria, otherwise known as ISIS or ISIL, will almost certainly color resolution of all the pending questions. President Obama insisted, in his May 2013 speech at the National Defense University, that our democracy demands an end to perpetual war. But he has now, it seems, bequeathed to us a new perpetual war. And as with the war with Al Qaeda, there is a real risk that we will inappropriately discount rule of law, civil liberties, and human rights concerns.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Seed brings locally hosted internet to developing countries

      There are a number of ongoing initiatives trying to bridge the gap between developed and developing countries in terms of internet access. We wrote about Cosmos Browser in one of our earlier articles. We found another such initiative to extend the bliss of the information available in the internet to the 4 billion people who don’t enjoy a reliable internet connection – Project Seed. The goal of the project is to let the light of knowledge reach everyone on the planet.

09.23.14

Links 21/9/2014: Fedora 21 Alpha

Posted in News Roundup at 5:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10 Reasons to use open source software defined networking

    Software-defined networking (SDN) is emerging as one of the fastest growing segments of open source software (OSS), which in itself is now firmly entrenched in the enterprise IT world. SDN simplifies IT network configuration and management by decoupling control from the physical network infrastructure.

  • Open source is not dead

    I don’t think you can compare Red Hat to other Linux distributions because we are not a distribution company. We have a business model on Enterprise Linux. But I would compare the other distributions to Fedora because it’s a community-driven distribution. The commercially-driven distribution for Red Hat which is Enterprise Linux has paid staff behind it and unlike Microsoft we have a Security Response Team. So for example, even if we have the smallest security issue, we have a guaranteed resolution pattern which nobody else can give because everybody has volunteers, which is fine. I am not saying that the volunteers are not good people, they are often the best people in the industry but they have no hard commitments to fixing certain things within certain timeframes. They will fix it when they can. Most of those people are committed and will immediately get onto it. But as a company that uses open source you have no guarantee about the resolution time. So in terms of this, it is much better using Red Hat in that sense. It’s really what our business model is designed around; to give securities and certainties to the customers who want to use open source.

  • Only FOSSers ‘Get’ FOSS

    About a week later I got another email with the subject, “Did you receive my previous email?” It was Samantha again; she really, really thought that FOSS Force and her software selling partner would be a perfect fit. I remained unconvinced and again ignored the email, figuring that would be the last I’d hear from her. Most affiliate marketing companies don’t try to interest me more than twice for a particular client. After the second go, they’d usually rather wait until they have another client to use as bait on the hook.

    Not Samatha. On Friday I received a third email. She was still wondering if I’d received her previous messages. She still thought FOSS Force would be a perfect fit for her client. “We sell retail, OEM and discounted versions of software titles from Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Corel, Intuit, McAfee, Symantec and many more,” she gushed.

    Obviously she doesn’t understand FOSS or those of us who advocate its use. She’d probably seen the site, noticed a lot of writing about computers and software and jumped to the conclusion that we’d be great for her software hawking client. I wouldn’t doubt that she’d Googled the term “FOSS,” but got no further than the word “software” when reading the definition.

    This time I broke down and sent a reply, thanking her for her interest in our site. Unfortunately, I explained, almost all of our visitors use Linux and most of your client’s software won’t even run on Linux. Besides, I went on, our site advocates the use of free and open source software and a large percentage of our visitors would take exception if we were to offer software by the likes of Microsoft or Apple, even if it would run on their machines. As for McAfee and Symantec, I explained, our visitors rarely need antivirus products.

  • Brocade Launches Commercial Vyatta OpenDaylight SDN Controller
  • Brocade Unveils Vyatta SDN Controller

    The new controller, which will launch in November, is based on the upcoming “Helium” release from OpenDaylight.

    Brocade in November will launch a software-defined networking controller based on the OpenDaylight Foundation’s upcoming “Helium” release and which will represent the vendor’s latest move to grow its Vyatta platform.

  • Brocade intros the open-source inspired Vyatta SDN controller

    Brocade on Monday announced the release of the Vyatta Controller, a new keystone product within its SDN portfolio.

  • 3 tools to make creating presentations easy

    In recent years, there has been a proliferation of JavaScript presentation frameworks. These frameworks use HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to create presentation slides that can be viewed in any modern web browser. Gone are the days of being tied to using PowerPoint, nowadays there are a plethora of tools to choose from when it comes to creating a presentation.

  • Twitter engineer joins Mesosphere to push the open-source project he helped make

    Inside an academic lab, Ben Hindman created key parts of Apache Mesos, an open-source tool for efficiently running lots of applications in data centers. He found himself at Twitter for four years, putting the system in place. But now he is doing what he arguably was destined to do: working on the project for a living to make it a standard everywhere.

  • Visualizing nanotechnology in 3D with open source software

    Modern computers are built with nanotechnology. A processor contains billions of transistors, each around 14 nanometers. A single bit of information on a hard disc drive is confined to a 10 nanometer domain spinning on a disc 75 miles per hour. The accelerometers in our smartphones contain nano-springs that measure gravitational forces to determine orientation.

  • 10 Reasons to use open source software defined networking
  • Major players join hands on open source
  • Reader Forum: Accelerating ‘IoT’ with an open-source, embedded platform for connected applications

    Providing an end-to-end solution for building and deploying new connected applications extremely quickly, at scale, and at a fraction of the cost compared to conventional processes is key to streamlining M2M development. And, using an open-source, Linux-based platform, companies can run applications on any vendor’s hardware and use any cloud management platform.

  • 7 killer open source monitoring tools

    Network and system monitoring is a broad category. There are solutions that monitor for the proper operation of servers, network gear, and applications, and there are solutions that track the performance of those systems and devices, providing trending and analysis. Some tools will sound alarms and notifications when problems are detected, while others will even trigger actions to run when alarms sound. Here is a collection of open source solutions that aim to provide some or all of these capabilities.

  • Technology on a Diet: 5 Reasons to Embrace Open Source

    Sharing information in the name of innovation isn’t anything new. Collaborative intelligence helped publish the Oxford English Dictionary, spur advances in 19th century science and powered the world’s first automobile. Even Ben Franklin insisted on donating his bifocals and lightning rod to the public domain, likely dubbing him America’s first open-source advocate. The notion of “open source” predates software and the Internet by centuries, yet many of today’s largest government IT shops are still reluctant to turn to open alternatives from proprietary software, even in the face of shrinking budgets, overworked staff and heightened citizen expectations.

  • Community at the speed of light: Best practices for the new era of open source

    The methodology of open source development has come a long way in the past twenty years. It took the Linux kernel team eleven years to gain one hundred contributors in a month; it’s taken Ansible two years. Of course, the Linux community had to make up the methodology as they went along; the Ansible team has benefitted from years of studying and participating in Linux and other open source communities.

  • 50 Noteworthy New Open Source Projects

    The list also includes a potpourri of projects from other categories, including Web content management, software-defined networking, desktop publishing, games, IT management, electronic health records, operating systems and more. All of these apps were released for the first time within the last couple of years and most of them haven’t been featured on our lists in the past.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open Source OwnCloud Seeks to Combine Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds

      Over the past two years IT managers at the public research universities in Germany’s most populous state, Northrhine-Westfalia, have been researching how to build a private inter-university cloud. It will provide about 6 Petabytes of free-to-use storage to 500,000 affiliates of more than 30 public research and applied science universities in the region, Raimund Vogl, director of IT at Münster University wrote on Linux.com.

    • HP Passes Red Hat as Leading Contributor to OpenStack

      It’s no secret that the list of companies backing the OpenStack cloud computing platform is growing mighty long. In fact, most analysts agree that that list has to be whittled down over time. But if you think you have a handle on which companies are the top contributors to OpenStack, you may find some surprises.

    • Dealing with OpenStack’s growth, improving documentation, and more
    • Can Marten Mickos make ‘Linux for the cloud’ work for HP?

      Hewlett-Packard didn’t just buy cloudy startup Eucalyptus Systems to build its fledgling OpenStack cloud biz, it also bought Marten Mickos, the firm’s Finnish CEO.

      HP isn’t the first to pay for Mickos’ expertise – that was Sun Microsystems, when it acquired his venture previous venture, MySQL AB, for $1bn in 2008.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Growing Cloud Business Rapidly

      Larry Ellison announced on September 18 that he was stepping down as CEO of Oracle, but little will actually change at the company he has led for four decades. Ellison is now Oracle’s Chairman of the Board and CTO, while Mark Hurd and Safra Katz now jointly hold the CEO role.

  • CMS

    • Is Your Small Business Website Like a Bad First Date?

      Open source platforms like Drupal and WordPress provide a backend framework that small businesses can use to build and customize their websites while managing key functions like registration, system administration, layout and RSS. Users can also create their own modules to enable new functions or change the website’s look and feel.

      Smaller companies can use open source content management systems (CMS) to reduce or eliminate the need for coding while delivering rich media online, including text, graphics, video and audio. They can use open source assets to create responsive design sites that optimize content for viewing across multiple device types, including smartphones, tablets and laptops, while eliminating the need to scroll from side to side.

      With open source tools available to help small businesses establish an online presence with robust front and backend functions quickly and affordably, there’s never been a better time to focus on content excellence. And the best way to do that is to concentrate on the customer. Engage with your target customers and find out what they value the most. Use that information to develop your content, and speak directly to your customers’ needs.

  • Education

    • Bringing Literacy to Millions of Kids With Open Source

      This is a $15 million competition in which teams are challenged to create Open Source software that will teach a child to read, write, and perform arithmetic in 18 months without the aid of a teacher. This is not designed to replace teachers but to instead provide an educational solution where little or none exists.

    • The XPrize Foundation announces $15-million open-source literacy prize

      I still wear my XPrize t-shirt for the first sub-orbital private manned spaceflight from Mojave Space Port. The XPrize Foundation is best known for this and other high-technology challenges such as the prizes to land a private robot on the moon and to create a true Star Trek style Tricorder. Now, the Foundation has turned its eyes closer to home with its new Global Learning XPrize.

  • Public Services/Government

    • City of Turin to move to open source desktops

      The Italian city of Turin will switch to a complete open source desktop system, over the next 18 months. In August, the city administration decided to phase-out the current outdated proprietary system on its 8300 PCs and replace it by the Ubuntu open source alternative. Turin estimates the move will save some six million euro over the next five years.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • PyPy 2.4 – Snow White

      PyPy is a very compliant Python interpreter, almost a drop-in replacement for CPython 2.7. It’s fast (pypy 2.4 and cpython 2.7.x performance comparison) due to its integrated tracing JIT compiler.

Leftovers

  • Critics lambaste choices for European Commission technology positions

    Oettinger has no experience in the area he has been nominated for, Reda said. And by appointing Ansip, the Commission is getting a vice president who has been an advocate for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which threatened digital rights of European citizens, she added. The Commission gave up its fight on behalf of the controversial antipiracy trade pact in 2012.

  • Science

    • 50 years of Moog, the analog synth that still beats 1s and 0s

      This time last year, I walked into a Toronto store called Moog Audio and walked out with a Teenage Engineering OP-1—a curious little portable digital synthesizer that looks, at first glance, like a child’s toy. It has a row of just four candy-colored knobs as primary input controls, and there are only enough keys for an octave-and-a-half’s worth of range. But damn does it ever sound cool. Its tiny OLED screen uses all sorts of clever visual conceits to convey otherwise complex audio transformations. Colors and animations explain the differences between synthesizer engines, changes to modulation and frequency, and attack and decay. And it’s done in a way that’s easy for anyone with little synthesizer knowledge to understand while still being powerful in more experienced hands. This is a synthesizer, drum machine, and four-track recorder all-in-one—all in a device that fits inside a purse or messenger bag with ease.

  • Security

    • CipherShed: A replacement for TrueCrypt

      While the Open Crypt Audit Project, headed by cryptographer Matthew Green and Kenneth White, Principal Scientist at Social & Scientific Systems, has been considering whether to take over the development of TrueCrypt and is working on the second phase of the audit process (a thorough analysis of the code responsable for the actual encryption process), one of TrueCrypt’s developers has expressed his disapproval of a project that would fork the software.

    • Google to turn on encryption by default in next Android version

      Google is turning on data encryption by default in the next version of Android, a step that mirrors broad moves in the technology industry to ensure better data security.

      Android has been capable of encryption for more than three years, with the keys stored on the device, according to a Google spokesman.

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Tuesday’s security updates
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Podcast: As Congress Buys Into More War, CODEPINK Becomes the Conscience of America

      The past week was filled with officials coming before members of Congress to sell President Barack Obama’s strategy for escalating war in Iraq and Syria. It worked. Congress approved the arming and training of rebel forces in Syria to fight ISIS. However, this did not take place without members of Congress hearing some voices of dissent loud and clear.

      CODEPINK Women for Peace managed to convince a group of people to be at almost all of the hearings on combating ISIS. They held up pink signs that could be seen behind officials like Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry. The group even provoked a lecture from Kerry, who scolded them for protesting the administration’s war plans.

    • Terrorism and drones change struggles for peace

      Professor Lowell Ewert, director of Peace and Conflict Studies, Conrad Grebel University College

      “Events in the world today profoundly demonstrate how violence begets violence. It is impossible to kill one’s way to peace. What is needed is a new paradigm of mutual respect, human rights, affirmation of the dignity of everyone, which is formed and strengthened through education.”

    • Pictures from My War

      The photo was taken just after the U.S. invasion of Iraq had concluded. We’d missed the initial combat, but within the next eighteen months Doug would fight in the First Battle of Fallujah and I would fight in the Second. Both of us would be wounded. Doug was decorated for his valor, and a much-circulated profile of him ran in the Los Angeles Times, headlined “The Unapologetic Warrior.” When he was asked about the intense fighting he’d seen in April, 2004, he replied with characteristic bombast. “I’ve told [my troops] that killing is not wrong if it’s for a purpose, if it’s to keep your nation free or to protect your buddy,” he said. “One of the most noble things you can do is kill the enemy.” Doug often said things like that, and he believed them. I’d anchored myself in his mentorship because of his unshakable faith in being a Marine. Combat made more sense when you held to those kinds of precepts, and when they felt true.

      [...]

      When I look at the photo, I can’t help but think that Suleimani would recognize the irony that his victory was due in part to the very U.S. air power that his surrogates had once dodged in Sadr City, where Doug was killed. I doubt he would be aware of a further irony—that his surveillance drones were taking off right next to Zembiec Landing Zone. Given that America’s wars are no longer punctuated by clear declarations of victory or defeat, the photo seemed an appropriate bookend to my memory of the conflict in Iraq. With American planes once again flying sorties there, and with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff speculating about the deployment of ground troops, it may also mark, for someone else, a beginning.

    • The new military morality: Can the principles of Just War have meaning in today’s world?

      War has changed in recent decades. Once, it was about opposing armies facing off across a battlefield. But in the “war on terror”, one side attacks with air strikes and drones that can be operated by an Air Force lieutenant in Nevada, putting in a 9am-5pm shift before going home for dinner with his wife and kids. And the other side responds by chopping the heads off journalists and aid workers – and is now threatening to do the same to a taxi driver from Salford whose only crime was to deliver nappies and baby food to refugees in a far-off land. We have entered a new and thorny thicket in the military moral maze.

      [...]

      So where lies justice in our modern wars? We clearly have to rethink the rules to reflect our changed reality. But in doing that, we must not throw away the ethical constraints of the classical tradition. We must not sacrifice our openness to self-criticism by becoming trapped in a self-referential morality. Democracies may be at a disadvantage when it comes to terrorism. But we will be even more disadvantaged if we throw away the values on which democracy rests in our determination to win.

    • MoD facing legal challenge over armed drone deployment outside Afghanistan

      News comes amid claims RAF’s Reaper squadron could operate against jihadists in the Middle East

    • Drone Vet Speaks Out: Killer Crafts More Deadly Than Government Admits

      An insider in the U.S. military’s covert drone war has confirmed what critics of the killing program have long-warned: the program is far more “dangerous” than the government admits.

      In an op-ed published in Salon on Tuesday, the unnamed former Air Force imagery analyst writes, “I was the only line of defense between keeping someone alive and providing the intelligence for a strike using technology not accurate enough to determine life and death.”

    • ​‘Obamastein’ is no Machiavelli

      President Obama seems poised to declare war on the world. American policy in 2014 has taken on a “zombie-like” feverishness aimed at war. Terror has been turned into a horror gag reel these days, as Washington acts out some fetish for chaos in our world. And for those who consider Obama a Machiavellian genius, this requires a massive intellect. A modern day political Frankenstein seems more apt.

    • Bill Clinton: Hillary Was Right About Arming Syrian Rebels

      Former president Bill Clinton told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that he agreed with Hillary Clinton that the Obama administration should have taken the chance years ago of arming Syrian rebels fighting Bashar Assad.

      He said she lost the argument “within the administration and she admitted then and acknowledged in her book that she can’t know that if her recommendation had been followed, it would have worked. That’s one of those things you can’t know,” said Clinton. “That’s why all of these decisions are hard,” according to CNN.

    • Ron Paul – Congress Votes for More War in the Middle East

      Last week, the House and Senate voted to rubber stamp President Obama’s war plans for the Middle East. Both bodies, on a bipartisan basis, authorized the US to begin openly training and arming the rebels who have been fighting for three years to overthrow the Assad government in Syria.

    • Former Pentgon chief Leon Panetta says Barack Obama should have armed moderate Syrian rebels earlier
    • Fmr. Defense Sec. Panetta: Obama Should Have Already Armed Syrian Rebels
    • Clinton backs Clinton on Syria; defends Obama
    • Op-Ed: Troubles continue in Libya as clashes threaten oil production
    • The Power and the Peril of Oil author Firooz Eftekhar Zadeh

      The Power and the Peril of Oil is Firooz Zadeh’s passionately written account about how oil has given strength and empowered some countries while it has imperiled others. It documents the history, politics, and players in the quest for dominance of the Middle East and its highly prized resource.

    • The Lunacy of Sanctions and the Psychosis of US Exceptionalism

      Sanctions, sanctions and more sanctions! Every day we are subjected to an onslaught of stories and reports about how western countries, Europe, certain Asian countries and their master across the Atlantic are imposing new and ever more expanded and devious sanctions against Russia, its leaders, its businesses, industries, entire segments of the financial sector and other parts of the Russian world, even Japan has jumped on the sanctions wagon to show “support” for the hegemon across the Pacific, yet no one stops to question or stand up and say “Wait! All of these sanctions are based on lies.”

    • US says IC could have prevented Sri Lanka’s civilian deaths – If US hadn’t invaded Iraq 1.5m Iraqi’s would be alive today!
    • US is insincere about stopping ISIS

      During the 1980s, the CIA helped arm and train Osama Bin Laden and his mujahideen in Afghanistan in response to the Soviet invasion, which became a way for the mujahideen to give the USSR “their Vietnam.” Bin Laden’s goal was to bleed the USSR dry of its money and resources; it worked. The USSR soon crumbled and Bin Laden’s new target became his former ally, the U.S. Bin Laden’s new goal was to have the U.S. become involved in the region in the same capacity the USSR had; this also worked. After over a decade of the War on Terror, the U.S. claims to have decimated al-Qaeda and its leadership, with the biggest blow coming when they finally took out Bin Laden. Now, new enemy ISIS has become the U.S.’s biggest concern. ISIS has been moving through Iraq killing tons of innocent people in their path. ISIS must be stopped, but we must ask, how did they become so powerful and, knowing what we do about the history of U.S. involvement in the region, what is the best course of action to take in stopping them?

      [...]

      Chelsea Manning, the jailed Wikileaks whistleblower, recently stated in an op-ed on ISIS that the U.S. should let ISIS die out on its own. The only way for this to happen is if the U.S. stays out of the fight and stops supplying arms to rebels. If the U.S. were sincere about stopping ISIS, they would stop arming rebels. But the U.S. is not sincere; this is not about stopping ISIS. This is about the profits of Boeing, Raytheon, and the entire weapons industrial complex. The U.S. must do what’s best, stop supplying weapons that are only helping to escalate violence and embolden the enemy. Only then will we see ISIS die out.

    • Iraqis suspect CIA and jihadis are united

      US air strikes against the ISIS for more than a month appears to have done little to tamp down the conspiracy theories still circulating from the streets of Baghdad to the highest levels of Iraqi government that the CIA is secretly behind the same extremists that it is now attacking.

    • Was ISIS Created By The CIA? Many Arabs Think So
    • When The U.S. Backs Rebels, It Doesn’t Often Go As Planned

      As the U.S. steps up arms and training, Syria’s “moderate” rebels are joining a long line of resistance movements the Americans have backed over the decades, from Angola to Afghanistan.

      The high-water mark was President Reagan’s administration in the 1980s, when the U.S. supplied weapons to three rebel groups on three separate continents in Cold War proxy fights designed to undermine the Soviet Union.

    • Looking back at secret war in Afghanistan

      In the Reagan 1980s, I often attended the annual gatherings of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. Several days of meetings featuring speeches by the most influential (domestic) thinkers on the right were capped off by a formal dinner that was often attended by President and Mrs. Reagan.

    • The Myth of Syria’s Moderate Rebels

      Political Islam has a long history of cooperating with Western imperialism at certain times and in certain places, and of turning against it at other times and in other places. For example, Osama bin Laden cooperated with the United States to overthrow a progressive pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan, and then launched a jihad against the domination of the Middle East by the United States. Many Palestinians were sent to Afghanistan in the 1980s by the Muslim Brotherhood to struggle against the atheists in Kabul (much to the delight of Israel) only to return to join a Palestinian national liberation struggle against Israel in the ranks of Hamas.

      What separates the rebels in Syria that the United States and its allies arm, train, fund and direct from those it seeks to degrade and ultimately destroy is not a secular vs. Islamist orientation. Even the so-called “moderate” rebels are under the sway of Islamist thinking. Instead the dividing line between the good “moderate” rebels and the bad “extremist” rebels is willingness to cooperate with the United States and the region’s former colonial powers. The “good” ones are under the control of the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies, or aren’t, but are working in directions that comport with Western foreign policy goals, while the “bad” ones are working in ways that frustrate the attainment of the foreign policy objectives of the West. In other words, one set of rebels is cooperating with Western imperialism while the other frustrates it.

      The “moderate” Syrian rebels who US officials are counting on to battle the Islamic State as part of the Obama administration’s plan to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS comprise dozens of groups which report directly to the CIA [1] and are under the sway of Islamist thinking. [2] According to General Abdul-Ilah al Bashir, who led the Free Syrian Army before its collapse at the end of last year, the CIA has taken over direction of the rebel force and FSA groups now report directly to US intelligence. [3]

    • Neocons Grow Frantic over Iran Progress

      With an agreement on constraining Iran’s nuclear program within reach, Official Washington’s neocons are getting apoplectic about the need to rev up new animosities toward Iran, an approach not helpful to real U.S. security needs, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Linda Tirado: ‘It was insane. I got 20,000 emails in a week’

      In your book you say the rich are afraid of the poor. Do you think fear played a part in the media’s treatment of you?

      In America we have this myth that if you deserve it, you will have it. We’re afraid to look at our downtrodden because it undercuts that myth. There is a fear of the poor that is uniquely American. It’s especially hard to look at someone who could be one of their kids – someone like me who’s white and intelligent – and see them as poor. When the crash happened, there was a panic among the rich because suddenly wealth wasn’t only to do with how hard you’d worked. It could be taken away! They got really fearful. So much of Americans’ self-image is based on what we own and how we present ourselves.

    • On the Trail of Nazi Counterfeiters

      On Thursday, the CIA declassified hundreds of files from its in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence, after a successful Freedom of Information Act request from a former employee, resulting in a bonanza of fascinating and downright weird tales from the history of the CIA from the 1970s through the 2000s. Among the hundreds of files, available here, we found this intriguing tale of Nazi plans to destabilize the American and British economies in the final days of the Third Reich.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Hidden Interests, Closer to Home

      THE article ran above the fold on the front page early this month, a Times investigation into the influence of foreign money within American research organizations.

      It reported that more than a dozen think tanks “have received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments in recent years while pushing United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities.” It warned of the danger of that big money, which it said was “increasingly transforming the once-staid think-tank world into a muscular arm of foreign governments’ lobbying in Washington.”

    • Google Says ALEC Is Literally Lying about Climate Change, Ends Membership

      Google chairman Eric Schmidt said Monday that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is “literally lying” that climate change is not a reality, and that its membership in ALEC “was some sort of mistake.”

  • Privacy

    • Judge OKs serving legal papers via Facebook

      Social-media users, beware — that next Facebook “poke” could be from a process server.

      In a groundbreaking court ruling, a Staten Island man got permission to use Facebook to serve his ex-wife legal notice that he doesn’t want to pay any more child support.

      A Family Court official ruled that Noel Biscocho could use Facebook to serve Anna Maria Antigua because other, more traditional methods to slap her with papers have not worked.

    • Statement on the Use of Finfisher by Members of the Freedom Online Coalition

      Documents recently released by WikiLeaks have brought new evidence to the public eye that the intrusive surveillance spyware FinFisher may be in use by several members of the Freedom Online Coalition, including Mongolia, Netherlands, and Estonia.

    • ‘Normale Leute’ vs NSA spying: meet Germany’s ‘average’ data protesters

      Normale Leute: a Berlin-based group wants to fight data protection protest prejudices – and government spying – by demonstrating in suits. “Akkurater Widerstand” reject anonymous masks to appear “normal.”

    • When Does Google Hand Over Your Data To Governments?
    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt linked with Edward Snowden role for Oliver Stone

      Oliver Stone is set to make a film of Edward Snowden’s story, and is targeting Joseph Gordon-Levitt to star…

    • National parliaments raise the pressure on data protection

      Parliamentary delegations from 16 different EU member states have called upon the EU to rapidly adopt the legislative package on the protection of personal data.

      The EU must act swiftly on the protection of personal data. This is the clear message sent by elected representatives of 16 EU member states, assembled in Paris for an interparliamentary meeting.

    • Why the NSA has no right to recruit on campus—or anywhere (video)

      The first big revelation of NSA criminality in the modern era came from the New York Times’ James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, who revealed the NSA was warantlessly wiretapping over 30 million Americans, or roughly one in every ten citizens of the country.

    • 5 Companies That Make Money By Keeping Americans Terrified of Terror Attacks

      On August 11, former NSA head Michael Hayden, the man at the center of the Bush administration’s 2005 surveillance scandal, was defending his former agency on CBS News in the wake of the latest NSA spying scandal. Commenting on President Obama’s half-hearted promises to reform some NSA practices, Hayden told host Bob Schieffer that “the President is trying to take some steps to make the American people more comfortable about what it is we’re doing. That’s going to be hard because, frankly, Bob, some steps to make Americans more comfortable will actually make Americans less safe.”

      Former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff had a similar message when he appeared on ABC News August 4. Speaking about the purported threat from an Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen that led to the closure of 19 U.S. embassies, Chertoff said that “the collection of this warning information [about Al Qaeda] came from the kinds of programs we’ve been discussing about, the ability to capture communications overseas.”

      CBS and ABC did not see fit to inform viewers that both Hayden and Chertoff are employees of the Chertoff Group, a private firm created in 2009 that companies hire to consult on best practices for security and combatting terrorism. Some of the companies the firm advises go on to win government contracts. Chertoff is the founder and chairman of the group, while Hayden serves as a principal. So they profit off a war on terror they say is crucial to keeping Americans safe.

    • What we talk about when we talk about sexting

      Like most trends involving nudity, sexting was also started by the most despicable group of people in the world: teenagers. Now, I didn’t actually speak to a real live teen person for this piece. I wouldn’t wish such a fate even on my worst enemy. Instead, I watched an episode of a “reality” show on MTV and accidentally spent ten seconds in the vicinity of a car that was playing a Justin Beiber song. So, by the conventions of the Indian Columnists Association, I am now considered a bonafide expert on #teens and their psychology. In fact, in some circles I’m known as a teen whisperer. Sure, none of those circles exist outside my head, but as a wise fellow once said, it’s the thought that counts.

    • Snowden’s claims no big surprise

      The obvious conclusion to draw from these claims is firstly that the NSA can peer into the databases of Facebook, Amazon, Google (for Gmail) and other large American corporations. Slightly disturbing perhaps, but hardly surprising or news.

    • BFI London Film Festival Announces UK Premiere of ‘Citizenfour’
    • Israel ramps up cyber defense with new national body

      Israel is stepping up its cyber-defense efforts. The government on Sunday announced establishment of a new cyber-defense authority to coordinate cyber-security efforts among government, industry, and the civilian sectors. Just last year, it set up the National Cyber Bureau and the two steps show that the nation is taking cyber threats seriously, now that it’s a favorite target for politically motivated hackers.

    • ORG Manchester surveillance debate 21-Sep-14 report
    • Snowden: New Zealand Is Spying, Too

      Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden warned New Zealanders in a media blitz on Monday that all of their private emails, phone calls and text messages are being spied on despite government denials.

    • Google nixes G+ requirement for Gmail accounts

      The grand unbundling of Google’s G+ social network continues, with Gmail becoming the latest Google service to gain its independence from Google’s campaign of forced integration. As noted in a post on the WordStream Blog, Google has axed the requirement that new Gmail accounts be tied to a G+ social networking account as of “early September.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Could Taking A Selfie In A Museum Violate Copyright Law?

        Copyright infringement is everywhere. A few years back, John Tehranian wrote a paper (and then a book*) called “Infringement Nation” about just how much copyright infringement happens incidentally on a daily basis. The conclusion, from a back of the envelope estimate, is that an average person is likely liable for $4.544 billion in incidental infringement in a normal year. And that’s not for sharing music and movies and what not, but just doing the normal everyday things you do.

      • Why Record Labels Want Kim Dotcom’s Album Taken Down
      • BPI Hits Record Breaking 100 Million Google Takedowns

        The BPI has reached a new milestone in its ongoing efforts to have pirated content removed from the Internet. This week the music industry group reported its 100 millionth URL to Google. Although the takedown notices are processed quickly, the music industry group believes that Google should do more to prevent piracy.

      • “The Letter” Is Still The Best Story To Explain Why Copyright Monopoly Must Be Reduced

        People are still getting distracted by the silly question of “how somebody will get paid” if the copyright monopoly is reduced. It’s irrelevant, it’s a red herring. What this debate is about is bringing vital civil liberties along from the analog environment into the digital – and that requires allowing file-sharing all out.

      • Anti-Piracy Police Begin Targeting eBook Pirates

        After very publicly taking down a number of sites offering music, movies and TV shows without permission, City of London Police appear to have taken down their first ebook-related domain. OnRead is now under police investigation but according to its operators the site operated legally. That seems unlikely, however.

        [...]

        While it seems more than likely that OnRead was operating without licenses recognized by UK publishers, an archive of the domain reveals that the site’s operators tried to claim that in at least one jurisdiction the site had operated legally.

09.21.14

Links 21/9/2014: xorg-server 1.16.1, Linux Kernel 3.16.3

Posted in News Roundup at 4:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • What happened to the budget crisis?

      It appears that the much-talked up budget crisis has disappeared because Tony Abbott’s government is spending big on war.

      The Coalition government has quickly allocated half a billion dollars a year to join the new war on Iraq by another US-led “coalition of the willing”, or — if we call it what it is — a “coalition for the killing”.

      The ABC’s 7.30 program said on September 15 that the Australian government has “invested a billion dollars buying into a state-of-the-art military satellite system”.

    • Letter from America: Western Invaders were no liberators

      The western invaders of Muslim lands have never been their liberators and, bluntly speaking, are responsible for the majority of the problems plaguing those nation states today. Their interest has never been stability of those former colonies but the existence of a dynamic balance of power in which all players are effectively paralyzed so that no one would threaten them. Thus, they would rather have murderous criminals like Assad and Sisi rule those former colonies than someone who is perceived as a threat to western interest and hegemony. Period!

    • DECLASSIFIED: CIA intelligence official describes spending 9/11 with the US President

      “HE PUT DOWN the newspaper and said, “Anything of interest this morning?”

      Those were the actions of US President George W Bush on the morning of 11 September 2001, before any news of disturbances on domestic flights emerged.

    • Looking back at secret war in Afghanistan

      In the Reagan 1980s, I often attended the annual gatherings of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. Several days of meetings featuring speeches by the most influential (domestic) thinkers on the right were capped off by a formal dinner that was often attended by President and Mrs. Reagan.

      Among the 1,000 or so attendees in an ornate ballroom were a few tables of men who stood out because of their native dress. They were all male, wore turbans, and had beards. Despite their discordant appearance, when they were recognized from the dais, they were greeted with thunderous applause.

      They were introduced as Afghan freedom fighters, representing the front lines in their war against the Soviets in the midst of our Cold War. And those of us gathering in the glow of the Gipper wanted desperately for them to succeed against communism.

    • Letter: Don’t return to Cold War relations with Russia

      In a recent article in The American Conservative titled “Does the CIA believe Obama?” former CIA officer Philip Giraldi stated: “I know of no former or current intelligence official who believes that the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe is a good idea, that toppling Bashar al-Assad would bring anything but chaos, or that bombing ISIS will actually accomplish anything.” Intelligence pros are far more skeptical of government claims than their bosses let on.

      As a fellow CIA retiree, I have to agree that Giraldi’s observations are absolutely correct. Having been invaded at least seven times in its history, a Russia with few natural barriers needs a protective collar of friendly or neutral states as a buffer, and an aggressive NATO pushing ever-closer to its border constitutes a threat Russia cannot afford to tolerate.

    • Threat magnified

      All I was saying was that the threat of terrorism has been magnified and amplified, if not created, to justify war. I did not make this up myself, I got it from a BBC documentary that quotes CIA sources in challenging and rubbishing the perceived image of Al Qaeda.

    • More of the same

      US intellectual and commentator Noam Chomsky explains the likely consequences of US plans to attack Iraq to Nermeen Al-Mufti

    • Ex-CIA Chief Hayden: 5,000 Covert ‘Boots on Ground’ in Syria by Year’s End
    • U.S. boots already on the ground

      Here’s a national-security riddle: How can President Obama provide limited military support on the ground to help “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State without formally violating his pledge not to send U.S. combat troops? The answer may lie in the legal alchemy known as “Title 50.”

      Title 50 of the U.S. Code regulates the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency. An often-cited passage is section 413b, which deals with presidential approval and reporting of “covert actions.” In essence, this statute gives the president authority, with a proper “finding,” to send U.S. special forces on paramilitary operations, under command of the CIA. The best-known example was the 2011 raid on Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed Osama bin Laden.

      Talking with U.S. and foreign military experts over the past week, I’ve heard two consistent themes: First, the campaign against the Islamic State will require close-in American training and assistance for ground forces, in addition to U.S. air power; and, second, the best way to provide this assistance may be under the command of the Ground Branch of the CIA’s Special Activities Division, which traditionally oversees such paramilitary operations.

    • Focus: Wining Hearts

      The U.S. is trying to win a war for the hearts and minds of Africa.

    • Prelude to war

      The old trick, a trial balloon, while POTUS sits pretty and has deniability. The important thing, build war sentiment, feed the public a steady diet of war propaganda. It is working.

    • Fighting ISIS and the Morning After

      Driven by ideological hubris, the Bush administration on the eve of the Iraq war rejected any suggestions that the war could destabilize the whole region and rock the foundations of the Arab nation-state system.

    • Fox Leaves Out Important Context Of Leon Panetta’s Statement On Iraq Troop Withdrawal

      Fox News’ Special Report left out necessary context when previewing former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s upcoming interview with 60 Minutes in which he stated, “it was important for us to maintain a presence in Iraq.”

      During his September 19 coverage of Panetta’s statement, host Bret Baier depicted Panetta’s account of the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq as the latest in “a very public back-and-forth between the White House and the Pentagon.” Baier added, “Now this weekend, 60 Minutes has an interview with former CIA director and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in which he will say the U.S. should not have pulled out all of its troops out of Iraq in 2011″…

    • Obama signs bill to train, arm Syrian rebels

      President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill authorizing the military to arm and train Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State group.

      Obama signed the bill Friday in the Oval Office. The Senate gave its final approval Thursday, a day after the legislation drew strong bipartisan support in the House.

    • Risky bet on Syrian rebels

      President Obama’s new strategy for routing ISIS, the extremist Sunni group that controls large areas of Iraq and Syria, rests substantially and precariously on having rebels in Syria fight ISIS, even as they battle the forces of the Syrian president, Bashar Assad. The plan is full of hope and fraught with obstacles.

    • House Poised To Vote On Arming, Training Syrian Rebels
    • After A Long Wait, Syrian Rebels Hope The Weapons Will Now Flow

      President Obama has long been reluctant to provide substantial aid to Syria’s so-called moderate rebels, often dismissed as weak and disorganized. But the rapid rise of the group that calls itself the Islamic State has changed many calculations.

      The CIA has been running a small-scale covert weapons program since early this year, according to rebels who have been trained and are now receiving arms shipments. The modest program has strengthened moderate battalions, according to Western and regional analysts, even as rebel commanders complain about the meager arms flow.

    • Why Everyone in Iraq Believes Islamic State is a CIA Invention?

      Even as the United States, post initial hiccups, enters into an all-out war to destroy Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, many Iraqi still believe in the conspiracy theory that ISIS is a CIA invention.

    • Assad Calls to Stop Funding Armed Groups in Syria, Iraq

      The fight against terrorism must begin by placing more pressure on those countries which are supporting and financing insurgents in Syria and Iraq, Syrian President Bashar Assad said while speaking with an Iraqi security official in Damascus.

    • West to blame for rise of Islamic State, says UK spy chief ["chaos in Syria that opened the door"]
    • US Senate Approves $500 Million To Arm Syrian Militants

      Lawmakers back president’s plan to expand new war in the Middle East.

    • Paul Slams Obama’s Plan To Arm Syria Rebels In Senate Floor Speech
    • ISIS Crisis, Inc.

      The Guardian, as I did, had a certain amount of difficulty coming up with the suitable nomenclature for this force. I don’t think “proxy army” cuts it, because I expect this army, though composed of Syrians and not a US military unit, will be under the day to day command of the CIA and it will not be allowed to slip the leash and pursue its own political, strategic, and tactical agendas as happened with the feckless Free Syrian Army.

    • After 47 years, the US is still pretending Israel doesn’t have nuclear weapons

      Former CIA director Robert Gates said so during his 2006 Senate confirmation hearings for secretary of defense, when he noted — while serving as a university president — that Iran is surrounded by “powers with nuclear weapons,” including “the Israelis to the west.” Former president Jimmy Carter said so in 2008 and again this year, in interviews and speeches in which he pegged the number of Israel’s nuclear warheads at 150 to around 300.

    • Perpetual Fear under Empire

      Think about all the official enemies that have scared the dickens out of the American people since the advent of the national-security state.

    • ‘US, UK disgusted only when their enemies chop people’s heads off’
    • What Washington doesn’t know

      It’s dangerous to demonize a country. Washington can repeat its painful and costly mistakes from Iraq.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Finance

    • Financial Criminals Have Been Fined Billions, but They Rarely Pay

      On a plane earlier this week, I watched The Wolf of Wall Street. The film’s outsized antics—public masturbation, the tossing of little people, lots and lots of Quaaludes—seemed too big for a seatback screen, or, for that matter, reality. As despicable as some of Jordan Belfort’s behavior was, I was able to occasionally laugh at Leonardo DiCaprio’s version of him knowing that, by now, more than 10 years after his real-life sentencing, Belfort has been sufficiently punished.

      But in fact, that’s hardly the case: After pleading guilty to fraud and money laundering, Belfort was ordered in 2003 to pay out about $110 million to those he wronged. Since then, he’s only paid $11.8 million. He was also sentenced to four years in federal prison, but he only ended up serving just shy of two years.

    • Luxury brands in a quandary as China’s wealthy young develop resistance to bling

      Gucci and Prada’s financial results are disappointing and there’s a fear that the west can’t provide what sophisticated Chinese shoppers want

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Ex-Gov. convicted

      In this Thursday Sept. 18, 2014 photo, former Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland arrives at federal court in New Haven, Conn. A jury convicted Rowland Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 on all charges that he conspired to be paid for work on two political campaigns while disguising those payments in business deals. It is the second felony conviction for Rowland, who resigned as governor a decade ago in a scandal over illegal gifts he received while in office. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

  • Censorship

    • Fight censorship – read a banned book

      Banned Books Week begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday, bringing focus to the censorship of books throughout America. The event began in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. You might remember in the 1984 film, “Footloose,” a group of citizens burning books in front of the library.

      [...]

      Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Association of American Publishers, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the National Association of College Stores, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the National Council of Teachers of English, PEN American Center and Project Censored.

    • Book review: ‘Censors at Work: How States Shaped Literature,’ by Robert Darnton

      In this provocative study of censorship as it was practiced in three different places at three different times, the distinguished scholar Robert Darnton argues that it can be a considerably subtler and more nuanced undertaking than it is generally assumed to be. He has not written a defense of censorship — far from it — but he emphasizes that when the state sets itself up as arbiter of what goes into books and what does not, the results are not always predictable, but are sometimes surprising and even — occasionally — beneficial to authors and their publishers.

    • The Soul of the Censor

      If the concept of censorship is extended to everything, it means nothing. It should not be trivialized. Although I would agree that power is exerted in many ways, I think it crucial to distinguish between the kind of power that is monopolized by the state (or other constituted authorities such as religious organizations in some cases) and power that exists everywhere else in society. Censorship as I understand it is essentially political; it is wielded by the state.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights and NZ

      • NZ First secures ‘wonderful’ result

        Mr Peters also suggested NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and US journalist Glenn Greenwald are “thoroughly credible witnesses” in recent mass spying allegations.

      • [Washington Post attacks Dotcom et al.] Snowden fatigue is spreading abroad

        If you think Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald have stopped attacking NSA, you haven’t been following them closely enough. While American media have largely lost interest in Snowden and Greenwald, the pair continue to campaign outside the United States against the intelligence agency.

      • [Another example] Kim Dotcom falls short in New Zealand elections

        The opposition Labor Party received just under 25 percent of the vote, its lowest vote total since taking 24 percent in 1922. The left-leaning Green Party took 10 percent, with the populist anti-immigration New Zealand First Party taking 9 percent. The results were disappointing for Labor and the Green Party, Jennifer Curtin, an assistant professor of politics and international relations at the University of Auckland, said in an e-mail. Both parties had expected better results.

      • Dotcom’s Internet Party Fails to Enter New Zealand Parliament

        Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party has scored just over 1.2% of the vote in New Zealand’s parliamentary elections. It’s a disappointing result that doesn’t come close to the 5% required for a seat in Parliament. Dotcom takes full responsibility for the failure which he attributes to his “poisoned brand.”

      • Harre mum on Internet Party’s future

        Internet Party leader Laila Harre will not say if she will stay on with the political movement after it failed to win a seat in parliament.

      • Road ends for Internet-Mana

        Dotcom spent big on the party, ploughing just shy of $4 million into a political marriage of convenience.

      • Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party bombs out of New Zealand election

09.20.14

Links 20/9/2014: GNOME 3.13.92, Android L

Posted in News Roundup at 3:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • German Official: Google Should Reveal Its Ranking Algorithm

    One of the unanswered questions in the ongoing European-Google antitrust saga is what concrete changes or concessions critics want (or will accept) from Google. One of those things may have just come to light in a Financial Times interview with German justice minister Heiko Maas.

  • Germany wants Google’s search engine formula
  • With Open-Source Software, You Don’t Have to Start From Scratch

    As an entrepreneur, you always have questions to answer: “How do I efficiently manage my people?” “How can I keep track of my projects?” “Where do I start with my website?”

    It can all feel pretty overwhelming, but luckily, there’s a fantastic resource you can use to solve an abundance of entrepreneurial problems: open-source technology.

    It all began in the ’90s when there was a big push to create operating systems to make using new computer technology more efficient. Companies saw the value in these operating systems and acquired creators such as Linux to write the code.

  • The future of analytics lies in open source technology

    There’s the parquet system that they added to Hadoop. That was based on work that Google did on Dremel. Facebook has introduced things like PrestoDB. There’s just a fascinating array, and the biggest thing about this is that these things are truly freely licensed from companies that have incredible depth of knowledge. They’re really going to drive it now, and I think the open source stack is going to be pushed higher and higher. Even commercial vendors will incorporate it. So, it’s definitely going to work itself into the enterprise.

  • Oculus Makes Rift DK1 Open Source

    The first surprise of the Oculus Connect virtual reality (VR) developer conference in Hollywood, California has been revealed. Earlier today event host Oculus VR announced that the first development kit (DK1) of its Oculus Rift head-mounted mounted display (HMD) was now open source. This means that anyone can now download the company’s full list of workings on the device and use them how they see fit.

  • Open source is on top of the ‘TODO’ list

    Open-source software comes in many different shapes and sizes, and some are better maintained than others. Because of this, organizations need to spend time, money and resources to ensure the quality of source code, and not every company has the ability to do so.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Global Web Literacy Gets a Boost From Maker Party 2014

        This week we celebrated the record-breaking 2,513 events in 86 countries that made up Maker Party 2014. The campaign, which officially began on July 15th and ended this week, brought nearly 130,000 adults and children together to learn valuable digital literacy skills in classrooms, libraries, cafes, and living rooms around the world.

  • Databases

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • A New Update For The Curl Package Has Been Released

      There are two exploits identified by the developer in this package. One of them allows the disclosure of cookies to the wrong sites and malicious sites being able to set cookies for others. The other vulnerability which has been identified by this developer in the curl package incorrectly allows cookies to be set for Top Level Domains (TLD). According to the Canonical’s security notification this could allow a malicious site to set a cookie that gets sent to other sites.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source and the NHS: Two huge disorganised entities without central control

      Newton argues open source is well suited to systems that need to be transparently stable and secure, where a lot of people have an interest in collaborating. He adds it is favoured by intelligence services for exactly these reasons, and if it’s good enough for spooks, it should serve for hospitals.

      Alfresco hit its initial end-of-year download target of 10,000 in the first week, with eventual downloads numbering in the millions for the initial release of its software in 2005. “You want to join the cool party,” Mr Newton said. “That’s what open source is all about.”

    • India yet to catch up with FOSS, says Rushabh Mehta of ERPNext

      We got a chance to interact with Rushabh Mehta, the founder of Web Notes Technologies, a company based in Mumbai, India. ERPNext is the major product of the company. It is a free and Open Source web based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution for small and medium sized businesses with its presence in more than 60 countries. In addition to the regular discussions on their Open Source product, strategy, customers etc. we also got a chance to understand how hard it is to thrive in an environment where the “Open Source” philosophy is not a familiar term yet. A software developer by passion and an Industrial Engineer by training, Rushabh also informed us about their imminent product conference in Mumbai he is quite excited about.

Leftovers

09.19.14

Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

Posted in News Roundup at 2:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source mobile innovation improves Atul’s competitiveness

    Understanding the importance of mobility, the IT team at Atul realized that access to ERP applications on mobile devices could greatly enhance business capabilities and insights. The team aspired to enable its sales team to punch in orders directly from their smartphones into the ERP. However, after prospecting various solutions available in the market – it was inferred that mobile integration was an expensive and complex proposition. The solution costs were in the range of Rs 40-50 lakh in addition to the database license costs which seemed to be prohibitive for Atul.

  • Facebook’s TODO Project brings serious momentum to open source
  • Simple Secure — open source security organization backed by Google and Dropbox

    Strong security is necessary nowadays. However, some solutions can be overwhelming to many users, so they are often not implemented or simply misunderstood. In other words, regardless of how strong a security implementation is, if users do not understand how it works or how to use it, it may be worthless.

  • Google, Dropbox: Open Source Needs to Be More Secure
  • Cloudflare launches open source keyless SSL

    Cloudflare today announced it has made available a keyless SSL solution that enables the content delivery network to provide data transfers that are both authenticated and encrypted, without requiring customers’ private digital keys.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Quietly Shutters its Labs, Delivers Firefox OS Phone in Bangladesh

        Mozilla is much in the news this week, partly for technology efforts that are moving forward, and partly for shuttering a long standing effort from the company. Partnered with Grameephone, an operator in Bangladesh, Mozilla rolled out Firefox OS-based phones for Bangladesh that are priced under $60 and are poised to put smartphones in the hands of some users who haven’t had phones before.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Rackspace Says It’s Not for Sale, Despite Obstacles

      Rackspace names a new CEO, as the OpenStack cloud founder chooses not to sell after evaluating its strategic options.

    • Workload deployment tools for OpenStack

      This is the second part in a series of three articles surveying automation projects within OpenStack, explaining what they do, how they do it, and where they stand in development readiness and field usage. Previously, in part one, I covered cloud deployment tools that enable you to install/update OpenStack cloud on bare metal. Next week, in the final article, I will cover automating “day 2 management”—tools to keep the cloud and workloads up and running.

  • Databases

    • Tesora Delivers OpenStack Database-as-a-Service for Enterprises

      As the OpenStack cloud computing arena grows, a whole ecosystem of tools is growing along with it. Tesora, the leading contributor to the OpenStack Trove open source project, is out this week with what it is billing as the first enterprise-ready, commercial implementation of OpenStack Trove database as a service (DBaaS). Tesora also recently announced that it has open sourced its Tesora Database Virtualization Engine, and now is also offering the Tesora OpenStack Trove Database Certification Program.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • King Ellison Abdicates As Oracle CEO

      Under Ellison, Oracle has already squandered all of their open source holdings. We don’t need MySQL anymore, we’ve got Maria. The Document Foundation with LibreOffice has made Open Office irrelevant — and it doesn’t even belong to Oracle anymore anyway. What’s left? Java? What a fine job they’ve done managing that mess. Oracle Linux? OMG, what’ll we do if they screw that up?

      Oracle couldn’t do any worse with Ellison gone than they’ve done with him.

    • Ellison Steps Down as Oracle CEO, but Management Team Stays

      The all-purpose IT vendor reported that its fiscal 2015 Q1 total revenues were up 3 percent; net income was unchanged at $2.2 billion over Q1 2014.
      Few people keep their jobs for life, except perhaps the pope, members of the U.S. Supreme Court, and those who own their own businesses and don’t wish to retire.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Software Freedom Day serves online democracy

      The Christchurch Unix community has its annual technical show this weekend, as part of international Software Freedom Day celebrations. Personal Computer operating systems derived from Unix offer an alternative, to Microsoft desktop security issues and costs, and are maintained by a large international community. Main variants of Unix are GNU/Linux and Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) operating systems. BSD is the core of Apple Computer’s OS-X. Licensed free software installation discs, install help and tuition are made available to the public on Software Freedom Day.

    • RCS 5.9.3 available

      GNU RCS (Revision Control System) 5.9.3 is available.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Facebook’s TODO project, Coursera in Brazil, Drupal, and more
    • Open Data

      • Going behind the scenes at Data.gov

        Data.gov wants to be the fuel that helps power the organizations and people that will change the world.

        Data by itself is just the tinder for the spark of imagination and innovation. Without it many of the kinds of innovations we see like iTriage, Bright Scope, and Patients Like Me would not be possible. The Data.gov project is how the United States government, under the Obama administration, is striving to empower citizens to create the change they envision; not just by fixing a temporary problem, but by helping to let citizens solve the problem themselves.

Leftovers

  • Russia cries foul over Scottish independence vote

    Russia has said the conduct of the Scottish referendum “did not meet international standards”, with its observers complaining the count took place in rooms that were too big and that the procedure was badly flawed.

    In an apparent attempt to mirror persistent western criticism of Russia’s own elections, Igor Borisov – an accredited observer – said the poll failed to meet basic international norms.

  • Moving On For Social Justice

    I met numerous voters who had received letters from their employers – including Diageo, BP, RNS and many others – telling them to vote No or their job was in danger.

  • About Apple’s Dead Warrant Canary

    I find Apple’s dead warrant canary of particular interest given the revelation in the recent DOJ IG Report on National Security Letters that some “Internet companies” started refusing NSLs for certain kinds of content starting in 2009; that collection has moved to Section 215 authority, and it now constitutes a majority of the 200-some Section 215 orders a year.

  • Security

    • TrueCrypt Getting a New Life

      When the developers of TrueCrypt delivered the bombshell that they were abandoning their popular open source encryption program, it left many organizations in a hugely difficult position. Should they continue to use it, or heed the developers’ advice that it was no longer secure and switch to another encryption product?

      On the face of it, the decision should be an easy one: If the developers of something as security sensitive as an encryption program say that their program is no longer secure, surely it would be rash not to heed the warning.

    • Encryption goof fixed in TorrentLocker file-locking malware

      The developers of a type of malicious software that encrypts a computer’s files and demands a ransom have fixed an error security experts said allowed files to be recovered without paying.

      The malware, called TorrentLocker, popped up last month, targeting users in Australia, according to iSight Partners, a security consultancy. It now appears to be also geo-targeting victims in the U.K.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Ombudsman ‘appalled’ by ex-Customs lawyer’s OIA allegations

      A former Customs lawyer claim that he was told to bury bad news matches similar stories which have sparked a wide-ranging inquiry by Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem.

      She said she was “appalled” by Curtis Gregorash’s claim. “Having said that one of the reasons I am undertaking of selected agencies in respect of their OIA practices is that anecdotally a number of people have told me similar stories,” she said.

      She said a planned inquiry to be launched after the election could see the Ombudsman’s office using its Commission of Inquiry powers to compel evidence to be given under oath were there signs information was being hidden.

    • Banned Books Week

      On the next Project Censored Show on Pacifica Radio, join co-hosts Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips as they celebrate Banned Books Week. This year, BBW focuses on Graphic Novels. Their first guest is Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Charles will give a history of censorship and comic books and why this theme was chosen for BBW this year; Barbara Jones joins the program to give perspectives on BBW from the American Library Association where she is director of Director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom; the second half of the show looks at a recent example of book banning in Delaware regarding The Miseducation of Cameron Post– the librarian of the Dover Pubic Library, Margery Cyr, joins the program to give overall details of the struggle over the book; Susan McAnelly, manager of Browesabout Books in Rehoboth Beach tells of her role and that of independent bookstores in fighting censorship; and recent high school graduate, Maddi Bacon, explains how she was active opposing the ban as a student at the Cape Henlopen High School. We round out the show with a quick update from former CIA analyst, transparency activist and civil libertarian Ray McGovern who will be speaking in the San Francisco Bay Area next week.

    • PROJECT CENSORED is a proud sponsor of Banned Books Week again this year!
  • Civil Rights

    • NYPD suspends “totally unprovoked” officer caught kicking street vendor

      Responding to public outcry after a video showing officers from the New York Police Department assaulting unarmed street vendors in Brooklyn recently was posted online, NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton announced on Wednesday that a cop seen in the video viciously kicking one merchant had been suspended and was under investigation by the department’s office of internal affairs.

    • L.A. schools police will return grenade launchers but keep rifles, armored vehicle

      Los Angeles Unified school police officials said Tuesday that the department will relinquish some of the military weaponry it acquired through a federal program that furnishes local law enforcement with surplus equipment. The move comes as education and civil rights groups have called on the U.S. Department of Defense to halt the practice for schools.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Jimmy Kimmel Joins John Oliver In Explaining Net Neutrality

      A few months ago, John Oliver did an amazing job making net neutrality into a mainstream issue, by reducing it to its core element: that it’s all about “preventing broadband provider fuckery.” That was a great segment that truly went viral. But, still, the TV folks have remained pretty quiet on the issue. However, it appears that another late night comedian has jumped into the game as well, with Jimmy Kimmel doing a segment last week trying to explain the fast lane/slow lane issue in rather graphic form:

    • ​Russia eyes counter to Washington’s internet kill-switch – report

      Facing a possible cut-off from the internet by the US, Russian security officials and IT giants are discussing the possibility to make the Russian sector of the net independent, according to insiders.

      The issue would be discussed at several closed-door events in the days to come, including a national Security Council session on Monday next week, reports Vedomosti newspaper citing a number of unnamed security and industry sources.

      The meeting of security officials, to be chaired by President Vladimir Putin, will to discuss the results of a July Communications Ministry exercise to test how robust the Russian internet infrastructure would be if it were subject to a massive cyber-attack. The answer to that is reportedly “Not robust enough.”

    • Verizon, enemy of Open Internet rules, says it loves the “open Internet”

      No company has gone to greater lengths than Verizon in trying to stop the government from enforcing network neutrality rules.

      Verizon is the company that sued to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order from 2010. Verizon won a federal appeals court ruling this year, overturning anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules and setting off a months-long scramble by the FCC to get enforceable rules into place.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • 7 Amazing Works of Pop Culture That Have Been Lost Forever
      • Only Surviving Recording Of The Very First Superbowl Is Because A Fan Recorded It, But You Can’t See It, Because Copyright

        We’ve written a few times in the past about how the entertainment industry’s woeful job of preserving and archiving old works has resulted in culture being lost — but also how unauthorized copies (the proverbial “damn dirty pirates”) have at least saved a few such treasures from complete destruction. There was, for example, the “lost” ending to one of the movie versions of Little Shop of Horrors that was saved thanks to someone uploading it to YouTube. Over in the UK, a lost episode of Dad’s Army was saved due to a private recording. However, Sherwin Siy points out that the very first Super Bowl — Super Bowl I, as they put it — was basically completely lost until a tape that a fan made showed up in someone’s attic in 2005. Except, that footage still hasn’t been made available, perhaps because of the NFL’s standard “we own everything” policy.

      • Report Brands Dotcom’s Mega a Piracy Haven

        A new report published by the Digital Citizens Alliance estimates that the most popular cyberlockers generate millions of dollars in revenue. The research claims that the sites in question are mostly used for copyright infringement. The list of “rogue” sites includes the Kim Dotcom-founded cloud hosting service Mega, albeit based on a false assumption.

      • Hollywood Workers Demand Peter Sunde’s Dignity & Freedom

        Led by director Lexi Alexander, a collection of Hollywood directors, producers, actors, writers and other workers have teamed up in support of Peter Sunde. As the jailed former Pirate Bay founder prepares for his father’s funeral, the insiders call for his uncuffing. “We oppose your imprisonment,” they say in their video.

      • Hollywood Insiders: Directors, Actors, Producers, Camera People And More Demand Peter Sunde Be Freed & Treated With Dignity

        While we’ve written plenty about Peter Sunde, the former spokesperson for The Pirate Bay, we didn’t cover his eventual jailing earlier this year. Given all the coverage of his trial and efforts post-trial to have the results revisited, the fact that he finally ended up going to jail didn’t seem like much of a story. However, the way in which he’s been treated in jail is simply inhumane. He’s been put in the equivalent of a maximum security prison and basic requests for more humane treatment have been rejected. The latest outrage was that Peter’s father recently passed away, and while prison officials have said they’ll make arrangements for him to attend the funeral, he’ll have to wear handcuffs. TorrentFreak says he’ll have to wear handcuffs while carrying his father’s coffin — but from Peter’s brother’s quote, it seems clear that the prison officials were actually saying he can’t even carry his father’s coffin. The handcuff remark was just their way of saying “fuck you.”

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