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06.02.15

Links 2/6/2015: Black Lab Linux Releases, Krita Fundraiser

Posted in News Roundup at 8:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How to Make Money from Open Source Platforms, Part 3: Creating a Product

    What is the value of an open source platform? Would someone ever pay for it outright? Indeed, how does someone use an open source platform? Let’s start with the oldest and most significant of open source platforms, Linux. For the longest time, Linux was dismissed as a non-viable data center technology for “enterprise-grade” or “business critical” operations because it had no support model, no applications that ran on it and no obvious way to make money from it. How, then, did Linux become the engine that fueled the growth of the world’s open source ecosystem, an ecosystem that could be valued in the trillions of dollars, when calculating the percentage of the world’s economy that relies on open source systems? Was it just a bunch of hippies sharing the software and singing about it, or were there clear business reasons paving the way to its eventual victory?

  • Why enterprises embrace open source

    The state of affairs of enterprise IT is changing quickly. Open source will become a much higher percentage of every IT organization’s environment, given its advantages in terms of cost, control, and innovation. Likewise, open source skills will soon become a critical requirement, both for using open source wisely, but also in attracting the kind of talent necessary to compete in a Third Platform world.

  • SourceForge locked in projects of fleeing users, cashed in on malvertising [Updated]

    The takeover of the SourceForge account for the Windows version of the open-source GIMP image editing tool reported by Ars last week is hardly the first case of the once-pioneering software repository attempting to cash in on open-source projects that have gone inactive or have actually attempted to shut down their SourceForge accounts. Over the past few years, SourceForge (launched by VA Linux Systems in 1999 and now owned by the tech job site company previously known as Dice) has made it a business practice to turn abandoned or inactive projects into platforms for distribution of “bundle-ware” installers.

    Despite promises to avoid deceptive advertisements that trick site visitors into downloading unwanted software and malware onto their computers, these malicious ads are legion on projects that have been taken over by SourceForge’s anonymous editorial staff. SourceForge’s search engine ranking for these projects often makes the site the first link provided to people seeking downloads for code on Google and Bing search results.

    And because of SourceForge’s policies, it’s nearly impossible for open-source projects to get their code removed from the site. SourceForge is, in essence, the Hotel California of code repositories: you can check your project out any time you want, but you can never leave.

  • Make your very own emojis with Open-Source emojidex
  • Emojis go open-source with emojidex
  • Measuring the performance of a community manager

    In an open organization, measuring performance for particular roles like community managers may not be straightforward, especially when comparing those roles to others with more defined success metrics, goals, and outcomes. In my experience over the past six years, I’ve worked closely with my manager to make sure that we are in sync with my objectives and what I need to do in order to maximize my impact in my role as a community manager.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Security, creating a federated cloud, and more OpenStack news

      Interested in keeping track of what’s happening in the open source cloud? Opensource.com is your source for news in OpenStack, the open source cloud infrastructure project.

    • DNSSEC, DANE and the failure of X.509

      As a few people have noticed, I’m a bit of an internet control freak: In an age of central “cloud based” services, I run pretty much my own everything (blog, mail server, DNS, OpenID, web page etc.). That doesn’t make me anti-cloud; I just believe in federation instead of centralisation. In particular, I believe in owning my own content and obeying my own rules rather than those of $BIGCLOUDPROVIDER.

  • Databases

  • Funding/GSoC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Mr Paulwell, we cannot afford to be left behind

      As a technology user and enthusiast, I believe in the critical role of open-source software to create the applications and infrastructure necessary to support government-funded technology projects. There is an accelerating interest in and use of open-source software worldwide. Local governments are changing. Forward-thinking municipalities are embracing technology to make countries and cities better for everyone. Innovative government staff are sharing resources, best practices, and collaborating on common problems. Jamaica needs to provide a broad range of resources, programmes and services to support and advance civic innovation.

      As open-source software becomes the leading information technology day by day, and there are open-source alternatives to most of the commercial software, Jamaica must join this technological revolution, as the national pledge does state, “…so that Jamaica may play her part in the advancement of the whole human race”.

      Open-source software is computer software with its source code made available with a licence in which the copyright holder supplies the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any reason or function. Open-source software is oftentimes developed in a public, collaborative manner. It is the most striking example of open-source development and often compared to (technically defined) user-generated content or (legally defined) open-content movements.

  • Licensing

    • Conservancy Seeks Your Questions on GPL Enforcement

      Historically, Conservancy has published extensive materials about enforcement of the GPL, including blog posts, announcements regarding compliance actions, many sections appearing in the definitive Copyleft Guide (a joint initiative with the Free Software Foundation). After Conservancy’s recent announcement of its funding of Christoph Hellwig’s lawsuit against VMware, Conservancy has sought to answer as many questions as possible about GPL enforcement.

    • The Licensing and Compliance Lab interviews François Marier, creator of Libravatar

      In this edition, we conducted an email-based interview with François Marier, a free software developer from New Zealand. He is the creator and lead developer of Libravatar. In addition to his passion for decentralization, he contributes to the Debian project and volunteers on the FSF licensing team.

      Libravatar is a free network service providing profile photos for a number of Web sites, including bugs.debian.org and git.kernel.org. Its flexible architecture allows end users to host their own images and allows Web sites to use Gravatar as a fallback when necessary. It is licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License version 3, or end user can opt for any later version (GNU AGPLv3+).

  • Openness/Sharing

    • 5 reasons wikis rock for documentation

      You may not have noticed, but people often become attached to their favorite technology. This could be a mobile phone, a programming language, or a text editor. When you work on someone else’s project, you generally have to go with whatever the prevailing tools and languages are, but when it’s your own project, you get to choose the toys. Documentation requires technology, too, but most people have less of a pre-set opinion about documentation tooling than they do about web frameworks and version control systems. So how is a project to choose?

    • Open Data

      • UW students use open source mapping to aid relief efforts in Nepal

        Half a world away, University of Washington civil and envi­ron­men­tal engi­neer­ing stu­dents trace the out­lines of roads, paths and build­ings in Nepal from their lap­tops.

        Using open data soft­ware Open­StreetMap, the students in assistant professor Jes­sica Kamin­sky’s Civil Engi­neer­ing in Devel­op­ing Com­mu­ni­ties class joined an online com­mu­nity effort to turn satel­lite imagery of Nepal into maps and aid the earth­quake relief effort. These dig­i­tized maps provide emer­gency respon­ders and relief coordinators responding to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and powerful aftershocks in Nepal with crit­i­cal data to guide teams deployed on the ground.

      • Bulgarian government publishes first open datasets

        Bulgaria has just published the first datasets on its open data portal. Currently, about 36 datasets from 26 public agencies have been made available online. The organisations involved were summoned to do so by the Council of Ministers. The Council even has a dedicated team to overcome resistance at the agencies and help them to extract and cleanse the data from the databases. The ambition is to publish another 100 datasets before the end of this year.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • UK overhauls its Digital Service Standard

      The United Kingdom has revised its Digital Service Standard, which describes the components for building eGovernment services. The update came into effect on 1 June, and is to be used for new and redesigned external-facing services.

Leftovers

06.01.15

Links 1/6/2015: wattOS R9, Tanglu 3

Posted in News Roundup at 5:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • LightSail solar spacecraft gets back in touch with its ground crew

    The Planetary Society reports that the Carl Sagan-inspired spacecraft rebooted as predicted, and the ground team is once again in touch. There’s already a software fix waiting in the wings, and there will be a decision on when to deploy it “very soon” — if all goes according to plan, the Society will deploy the vehicle’s namesake sails soon afterward.

  • Why Doesn’t Everyone Love Linux and Open Source?

    If Linux is so great, why has it not replaced Windows, OS X and other closed-source operating systems completely? More generally, why do people still write and develop proprietary software, if open source is a more efficient, user-oriented and secure way to code? Those are important questions about the big-picture significance and future of free and open source software, and they’re worth thinking more about.

    I do not mean those questions to sound pejorative, or dismissive of the idea that Linux and other open source software is actually good. Open source has distinct benefits for both users programmers and users, which make it superior in many ways to closed-source software.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • OpenDaylight is One of the Best Controllers for OpenStack — Here’s How to Implement It

      The integration of OpenStack and OpenDaylight (ODL) is a hot topic, with abundant, detailed information available; however, the majority of these articles focus on explaining usage aspects, rather than how the integration is implemented.

    • Docker Delivers Security Configuration Checking Tool

      The Docker Bench for Security script is packaged as a Docker container to make it easier to run and test. One of the CIS Benchmark’s recommendations is to limit container privileges to only what is needed to run. Somewhat ironically, the Docker Bench for Security script is a very high-privilege container that has broad access to host resources—usually something a container should not be able to do. That said, as a security testing tool, the container does need the broad access to validate host configuration for container deployment properly.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.2 To Support The EFI System Resource Table

      The Linux 4.2 kernel cycle that will soon officially commence will be adding support for the EFI System Resource Table (ESRT) in order to allow the updating of UEFI/BIOS on modern systems from the Linux desktop.

    • Linux 4.0, Linux 4.1 Brings Performance Boosts For Some Intel Low-Power Hardware
    • Linux 4.1-rc6

      It’s been a fairly normal week, although I can’t say that the rc’s
      have exactly started shrinking yet. No, the rc’s haven’t been all that
      big to begin with this release cycle, and things have been fairly
      calm, but I’d be happier if we didn’t have noise in raid5 and
      device-mapper at this stage.

      That said, it’s not like rc6 is a big rc, and things look normal. This
      is about half drivers (mainly scsi target, networking, and graphics,
      plus the aforementioned raid and dm changes, with other random fixes).
      The rest is fairly evenly split between architecture updates (alpha
      stands out), filesystem updates (xfs, cifs and overlayfs) and “misc”
      (networking, turbostat tool update, documentation).

      Most of the fixes are really quite small. Shortlog appended, skimming
      it gives a flavor of the kinds of things we have here.

      Linus

    • Linux 4.1-rc6 Kernel Released
    • Linus Torvalds Announces Linux Kernel 4.1 Release Candidate 6

      It’s Sunday, so guess what?! Linus Torvalds has just announced yet another Release Candidate (RC) version for the forthcoming Linux kernel 4.1, available for download and testing right now.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Broadwell HD Graphics Tests With Mesa 10.7 Git

        While Mesa 10.7 just recently entered development, the Git code is often benchmarked on Phoronix, and with not having delivered any Intel Broadwell Linux graphics tests in some time, here’s the latest numbers as of this weekend.

      • Libav Adds H.264 & HEVC Encoders For NVIDIA’s NVENC

        Following FFmpeg in supporting NVENC for NVIDIA’s GPU-based video encoding on Linux systems, the forked Libav project has now written up their own NVENC support for H.264 and H.265/HEVC.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva : An obituary

        Mandriva is certainly a rather unique company; it has also been the company for which I was privileged enough to work two times, one in 2003 as an intern for several months. Back then I used to handle the national resellers’network. The second time was ten years afterwards in 2012 and 2013, this time as a consultant helping them with their Open Source strategy and their marketing activities. One can see how this company is rather special for me. During my last “tenure” there I got to know what we now know to be the “last” team of Mandriva, its last incarnation as a company. Last week, we learned that the company has been liquidated, which essentially means not just that the company filed for bankruptcy, but that the company as such exists no more. Mandriva went several times (three times?) into bankruptcy, but was never obviously liquidated. At this stage I have no idea what became of the assets, nor its subsidiaries.mandriva-logo-opt

    • Arch Family

      • Latest Manjaro Linux Update Patches the Nasty EXT4 RAID Data Corruption Bug

        On May 30, the Manjaro Development Team, through Philip Müller, informed all Manjaro Linux users about the immediate availability for download of the tenth update for the stable Manjaro Linux 0.8.12 distribution.

      • Manjaro Linux 0.8.13 RC2 Comes with KDE Plasma 5.3.1 and KDE Apps 15.04.1
      • Manjaro OpenRC 0.8.13 – reinventing init without systemd

        It would be an understatement to say that systemd’s introduction as the dominant init system for modern Linux distros has stirred controversy. Both opponents and supporters of this new way of doing things have tended to get rather excited – to put it mildly – whenever the topic of systemd comes up on various tech blogs and forums. Defending one’s choice of init systems from critics has become a sort of moral obligation, if not a way of life. Take the “wrong” side of the argument on your favourite tech forum, and you can expect a deluge of heated comments, frequently containing accusations of “troll” and even nastier descriptive words not suitable for publication.

        I suppose it’s natural for geeks to get emotional about their operating system. In fact, if you’ve seen the 2013 movie Her, it’s predicted that in the near future not only will we be able to love our own personal operating system, but also have sex with it. Indeed, I think we’re already there, to judge by the way people have become attached to their mobile handsets.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 8.1 to Arrive on June 6

        Debian 8 (Jessie) was announced only a month ago, and now its developers are preparing the first point update for it and they even have a precise date in mind.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Goodbye, SourceForge.

    ourceForge, once a trustworthy source code hosting site, started to place misleading ads (like fake download buttons) a few years ago. They are also bundling third-party adware/malware directly with their Windows installer.

  • Google’s I/O 2015 Web App Released As Open Source

    Now that the weekend is here, the after effects of this year’s android extravaganza that is Google I/O is still being fully digested. The announcements that came through will have repercussions going forward for the rest of this year, not to mention well into next year and beyond as well. Although, this year did not as many mega announcements as there was last year, there was still quite a few notable ones on offer. A few of the big headline points included the unveiling and releasing of the developer preview of Android M, as well as the announcing and brief explanation of Google’s next mobile payment platform, Android Pay. Of course, one of the surprise hits of this year’s event was the announcement (and subsequent release) of Google’s new photo service, which is now known as Google Photos.

  • SourceForge Accused of Bundling GIMP with Adware

    If you’ve downloaded a copy of GIMP for Windows from SourceForge in recent days, you may want to double check to make sure you didn’t get other programs installed as well. Some copies of the “open source Photoshop” were apparently being offered with for-profit adware bundled with the installer.

  • Project Releases

    • GNU Octave 4.0 Released, Includes A GUI & OpenGL

      GNU Octave, a high-level programming language for numerical computations and an open-source alternative to MATLAB, is out this weekend with a huge release. Meet GNU Octave 4.0.

      The GNU Octave 4.0 release now uses a GUI by default when running interactively, defaults to using OpenGL graphics with Qt while having fallback support for Gnuplot and Fltk, adds new audio functions/classes, makes other language additions, and has a whole lot of other changes.

    • Brasero Review – Burning CDs Like It’s the ’90s

      Brasero is an application from the GNOME stack that is used to burn CDs and DVDs or to creates copies from other disks. It’s been around for many years, and it’s trusted implicitly, but it doesn’t hurt if we analyze it a little bit more thoroughly.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Now, open-source platform emojidex offers emojis as service

      Washington: Now, a new project, named emojidex, is offering emojis as a service that allows developers to share new emojis with each other and add them to their apps and websites.

    • Indian Wikipedia page grows to 800K page views a month

      The Odia language is spoken by more than 40 million people in the Indian state of Odisha (the 9th largest Indian state by area) and its neighboring states, as well as, the Odia diaspora living outside India. With over 5000 years of literary heritage, the Odia language has been recognized as one of the oldest South Asian languages and has been given the status of a “classical language” by the Indian government.

    • Open Data

      • NU grad aids Nepal relief effort through open-source mapping

        When a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, the world wanted to help the people, but few were as well-placed as 1998 NU graduate Neil Horning, who lives in Kathmandu.

        Already well-known to the open source mapping community for a human rights mapping website called NepalMonitor.org, Horning had only to grab his laptop and make his way through the rubble to be tapped for a new assignment.

        He would be the new coordinator of Quakemap.org, born the day after the quake in a high-tech workshop called Kathmandu Living Labs.

      • Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) Develops a Code Of Conduct

        Over the last decade there has been a gradual adoption of Code-Of-Conduct statements at events and within organisations, including at FOSS4G events and within OSGeo projects. Adopting a good Code-Of-Conduct consolidates expectations about respectful behaviour at events and forums, ensuring they are safe, welcoming and productive and helps communities discretely address indiscretions should they occur.

    • Open Hardware

Leftovers

  • After ‘One Year In Orbit,’ Russian Search Engine Sputnik Finds Few Users

    Russia’s new search engine hasn’t found many users.

    Created a year ago as part of a Kremlin effort to exert more control over the Internet, the search engine was given the high-flying name of the Soviet satellite that beat the United States into space in 1957: Sputnik.

  • Hardware

    • Tablet shipments lose momentum; Total PC unit forecast downgraded

      IC Insights will release its Update to the 2015 IC Market Drivers report in June. The Update includes revisions to IC market conditions and forecasts for the 2015 2018 automotive, smartphone, personal computer and tablet markets, as well as an update to the market for the Internet of Things. This bulletin reviews IC Insights’ 2015 unit shipment forecast for total personal computing unit shipments.

    • Fraunhofer study: software thin clients are both climate and wallet-friendly

      As part of a study commissioned by IGEL Technology, the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT) carried out research into various different approaches for IT work stations in terms of their impact on the climate and cost effectiveness. The researchers compared new PCs and notebooks with older devices, which continue to be operated as software-based thin clients. The researchers found that over the entire life cycle of a three-year operating phase, software thin clients reduced global warming potential by up to 60%, and cut overall costs by up to 47%.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Tobacco industry accused of fueling cigarette smuggling to boost profits

      The tobacco industry has been accused of “appalling hypocrisy”, amid claims that it is fuelling the illicit trade in cigarette smuggling to bolster its arguments against tax increases and other anti-smoking measures.

      In a report published to coincide with World No Tobacco Day, the pressure group ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) claimed that some tobacco companies are flooding foreign markets with more products than there is demand.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Top Bush Era CIA Official Just Confirmed the Iraq War Was Based On Lies

      Michael Morell’s stint with the CIA included deputy and acting director, but during the time preceding the US invasion of Iraq, he helped prepare daily intelligence briefings for Bush. One of those briefings, from October 2002, is an infamous example in intelligence history as how not to compile a report. This National Intelligence Estimate, titled “Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction”, was the ostensibly flawed intelligence cited continuously by Bush supporters as justification to pursue a war of aggression against Iraq. However, this claim is dubious at best, and serves more as a smokescreen to lend credence to a president who was otherwise hellbent on revenge against Saddam Hussein, as evidenced in his statement a month before the report, “After all, this is the guy who tried to kill my dad.”

    • The New York Times calls for blood in Iraq-Syria war

      The New York Times published a major front-page critique Tuesday of the Obama administration’s military tactics in the air war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The article quotes several US and Iraqi military and intelligence officials, most of them unnamed, denouncing the supposed restraint on bombing due to excessive fears of killing civilians.

    • ‘Obama at War’ Shows How Syria Was Lost

      Meanwhile, Smith reports, “The administration’s training program has been severely delayed. Only 90 rebels have taken part so far. And the Pentagon now says the first 5,000 rebels won’t be vetted and ready until the end of this year at the earliest.”

    • Getting the CIA — and Secrecy — Out of the Drone Program

      President Barack Obama’s disclosure last month of the death of two hostages in a January drone strike offered the public a brief glimpse of the tragic consequences of the government’s clandestine drone killing program. We cannot know how commonplace these kinds of civilian casualties are because of the government’s selective secrecy on the program. But now, Congress has an opportunity to weigh in.

    • Pentagon report says West, Gulf states and Turkey foresaw emergence of ‘IS’

      A newly declassified Pentagon report provides startling high-level confirmation that the US-led strategy in Syria contributed directly to the rise of the Islamic State (IS).

    • Iran’s military mastermind: Only Iran is confronting ISIS

      The general in charge of Iran’s paramilitary activities in the Middle East said the United States and other powers were failing to confront Islamic State, and only Iran was committed to the task, a news agency on Monday reported.

    • Pentagon Report Predicted West’s Support for Islamist Rebels Would Create ISIS

      A declassified secret US government document obtained by the conservative public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad.

    • Obama ordered CIA to train ISIS jihadists: Declassified documents

      U.S. intelligence documents released to a government watchdog confirms the suspicions that the United States and some of its so-called coalition partners had actually facilitated the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as an effective adversary against the government of the Syrian dictator President Bashar al-Assad. In addition, ISIS members were initially trained by members and contractors of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at facilities in Jordan in 2012. The original goal was to weaken the Syrian government which had engaged in war crimes against their own people, according to a number of reports on Sunday.

    • The Benghazi outrage we actually should be talking about

      Newly revealed documents show how the CIA stood by as arms shipments from Libya enabled the rise of ISIS

    • Ex-CIA operative, author to speak to New Mexico graduates

      In 2003, Valerie Plame was exposed as a CIA operative by officials of the George W. Bush administration in an effort to discredit her husband, Joe Wilson, a former ambassador who had criticized the decision to invade Iraq.

    • Senior Al Shabaab Commander wanted by CIA dies in Somalia

      A Senior Al Shabaab commander wanted by CIA has died in Southern Somalia. Somalia based group, Al Shabaab said.

    • Sanders has been a longtime critic of CIA covert actions

      An interview televised by CSPAN in 1989, when he was mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Sen. Bernie Sanders gave a stinging criticism of American covert actions to undermining socialist governments in Latin American countries.

      “If you trace the history of the United States vis a vis Latin America and Central America, there has never been a time where a country made a revolution for the poor people where it was not overthrown by the CIA or the United States government, or the marines,” Sanders said.

    • ‘Sudden Justice’ – an interview with Chris Woods on drone warfare.

      Much of Wood’s research has uncovered how the ‘war on terror’ has been a ‘tit-for-tat’ affair. Extraordinary rendition, began under Clinton, and resulted in alleged militants from Bosnia and Albania being taken to Egypt where they were tortured. One of these militants was the brother of the Al Qaeda Number Two El-Zawahiri, who subsequently ordered an attack on the US in Tanzania in revenge. In response, Clinton’s government put Osama bin Laden on the kill list. 9/11 soon followed, with the first US targetted drone strike happening a month later.

    • Drone Warfare

      With Chris Woods, investigative journalist and author of the book Sudden Justice: America’s Secret Drone Wars.

    • Far from facing the truth, the US is telling new lies about Iraq

      A couple of weeks ago, the Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush was asked in an interview with Fox News whether, knowing what he knows now, he would have invaded Iraq. It’s the kind of predictable question for which most people assumed he would have a coherent answer. They were wrong. Jeb blew it. “I would have [authorised the invasion],” he said. “And so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got.”

    • American leadership should be like Putin – Iraq War veteran

      Iraq seems to be losing the war with Islamic State (IS). Its army is retreating as the jihadists speed up their advance, with reinforcements coming from all across the globe, volunteers bolstering the extremists’ ranks. Airstrikes don’t seem to halt the offensive – either in Iraq and Syria. Isn’t this the time for the world to act? Shouldn’t the US do something decisive on the matter – given some claims that it’s America’s fault IS even came into existence in the first place. What should be done, what could’ve been done, and what should never have been done in the War on Terror?

    • Do the Right Thing

      How can we foresee unexpected situations before the fact? Mr. Mudd suggests what he calls “right-to-left thinking,” or asking completely different questions related to what we don’t know about a problem, instead of what we do know— Donald Rumsfeld’s famous “known unknowns.” For example, current analysts at the CIA might ask: Where is ISIS going to strike next? We know that the Islamist group will attack somewhere, but the where and when are unknown.

      But what about the “unknown unknowns,” things that we don’t even know that we don’t know? For this problem, Mr. Mudd believes a good leader needs to call in a “fresh team” of renegade thinkers who will purposefully challenge prevailing ideas, popular leaders and establishment traditionalists locked into the known unknowns. The renegades aren’t just playing devil’s advocate, or joining the contemporary equivalent of President Lincoln’s “team of rivals,” because that means staying within the boundaries of what is known about the unknown. To get to the unknown unknowns (assuming that they’re knowable in principle, if not in practice), you need to think outside parameters of convention, and this usually means bringing in outsiders and giving them a chance to be heard.

    • Finding support for invasion of Iraq is stretch

      In her Wednesday letter “ Army should avoid politics, do right thing,” Sylvia Bower began and ended her comments that the government “should acknowledge that Bush was right and there were WMD.” The writer’s premise and conclusion don’t agree with history and miss the point of the article.

    • Bob Woodward: George W. Bush did not lie about WMDs to get into Iraq War

      Former President George W. Bush did not lie about weapons of mass destruction to justify a war with Iraq, journalist Bob Woodward said in a segment on “Fox News Sunday.”

    • The Long, Long Fall of Bob Woodward

      This week many liberals gasped when Bob Woodward showed up on Fox News to defend George Bush and Dick Cheney’s prosecution of the Iraq War. Woodward told Chris Wallace that neither Bush nor Cheney lied about Iraq’s WMDs, that the intelligence on Iraq’s nuclear, biological and chemical weapons wasn’t seriously flawed and that the disastrous war against Saddam Hussein was probably justified.

    • The Fox Political Cult

      Probably the most infamous cases of mass mind control involves religious cults, with the People’s Temple Jonestown Massacre in Guyana, South America being the most tragic. In 1978, Jim Jones, most likely suffering from megalomania, forced 912 followers into committing mass suicide. Attempts to rescue the followers, ultimately by a member of the US House of Representatives, ended in the representative’s murder and the deaths of all sect members.

      The totality of Jim Jones’ control was blamed on a religious extremism administered through a charismatic leader with a regimen of 24/7 control of mind and body. In today’s world, religious cultism is not dead, but is still a problem.

      There is a more extensive form of mind control involving millions of Americans, not in the religious sense but in the political sense. There is no immediate threat of death for humans but, in effect, a deadly threat to a democracy founded well over 200 years ago, the American experiment in democracy.

      We are speaking of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which has potential access to a global audience of 4.7 billion people, three-fourths of the world’s population. Its Fox News Channel acts as the ultimate political cult in the United States.

    • Judith Miller’s Comeback

      Miller was renowned as a Times national-security reporter prior to 9/11, achieved stardom as the face of the pro-war propaganda effort prior to the Iraq invasion, and then became a household name all over the world once it was discovered she’d made the most impactful mistake the media business had ever seen.

    • Time for a frank discussion on the Iraq war

      There was a segment on America’s crumbling infrastructure on 60 Minutes last night. Congress, even Congress, recognizes the problem, if not its full gravity. They say, not without reason, that funding infrastructure overhaul is expensive and we can’t pay for it. With the Bush tax laws this is a problem. With the staggering cost of the American invasion of Iraq addressing America’s urgent domestic issues is a huge problem. Our inner cities fester and our bridges and highways are crumbling, to mention but two infrastructure problems.

    • Resurgence of the ‘Surge’ Myth

      Official Washington loves the story – the Iraq War was failing until President George W. Bush bravely ordered a “surge” in 2007 that won the war, but President Obama squandered the victory, requiring a new “surge” now. Except the narrative is dangerous make-believe, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

    • ISIS: An Inside Job?

      Poor Jeb! Being even less informed than his ambusher, he could only “respectfully disagree” and reiterate the neocon party line: if only we’d kept more troops in longer ISIS wouldn’t have coalesced. “You can rewrite history all you want,” he said, with a sigh, “but the simple fact is we’re in a much more unstable place because America pulled back.”

    • Why the Saudis just blacklisted two Lebanese militants

      This week, Saudi Arabia just sanctioned two senior Hezbollah members, Khalil Harb and Muhammad Qabalan, for “terrorist actions.” Both operatives have long Hezbollah resumes, but they stand out for playing leadership roles overseeing Hezbollah’s operations in one particular region: the Middle East. Tellingly, the decision to blacklist these two Hezbollah operatives comes in the wake of Hezbollah threats that Saudi Arabia would “incur very serious losses” and “pay a heavy price” as a result of its Yemen campaign. Given Hezbollah’s recent investment in expanding its regional presence and operations, the Saudis are taking these threats seriously.

    • Heirs of the ‘Secret War’ in Laos

      On the morning of May 14, 1975, in a valley of limestone, sinkholes and caves, the end was drawing near. The discarded possessions of those who had fled were everywhere: suitcases, shoes, wrinkled blouses. This was Long Tieng, a secret military air base established by the Central Intelligence Agency from where it led clandestine operations in Laos during the Vietnam War.

    • Henry Kissinger Just Turned 92. Here’s Why He’s Careful About Where He Travels.

      As Henry Kissinger turns 92, the former uber-diplomat still enjoys international prestige for his many career accomplishments. Still, there are wide areas of the globe he steers clear of — the better to avoid questioning in connection with war crimes.

      As National Security Advisor and Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon and then Secretary of State under President Gerald Ford, Kissinger was known for his realpolitik approach to foreign policy. In the context of the Cold War, that often meant employing ruthless means to undermine perceived U.S. enemies and bolster allies. It is perhaps no coincidence that Kissinger has gone to great lengths to argue that countries cannot prosecute a world leader for crimes against humanity committed in a third country.

      Below are some of the most glaring examples of foreign policy decisions Kissinger made — from Vietnam to Chile — that violated human rights.

    • U.S. defense chief to China: End South China Sea expansion

      As China rapidly builds new artificial islands in the South China Sea to expand its territory claim there, Washington is adamantly refusing to recognize those claims.

      On Saturday, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter called for “an immediate and lasting halt” to the practice.

    • Bin Laden killing in 2011: a ‘Volcano of Lies’!

      In the May 21st 2015 issue of the London Review of Books, legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh who, in 1969, first exposed the ghastly My Lai massacre by US forces during the Vietnam War, published an new account of the killing of Osama Bin Laden which exposed the story told by the Obama Administration to be, as he put it, “a blatant lie.”

      Using sources inside the CIA and Pakistani intelligence, Hersh dismantled, plank-by-plank, the official narrative first paraded by President Obama in his public address a few hours after the raid in Abbottabad and later embellished by John Brennan.

      Hersh’s revelations establish that at the time of the raid Bin Laden was essentially an invalid. He was living under a sort of ‘house-arrest’ by the Pakistanis, who were monitoring him 24/7. US intelligence was alerted to Bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad by a ‘walk-in’ informant who wanted to collect (and, in fact, did) a portion of the $25 million ‘reward’ that was on offer.

    • Judge Who Blocked Release of Osama bin Laden Death Photos Now Blocks Release of Senate Torture Report

      A federal judge has thwarted an attempt to force the release of the Senate report on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) torture program.

      The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s full report on the CIA interrogation program. The executive summary of the report was previously made public, albeit with numerous redactions.

      But U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg rejected the ACLU’s request, ruling the report remains a congressional record and thus isn’t subject to the FOIA. When Congress created FOIA in 1966, it made sure to exempt the legislative branch from its provisions.

    • Osama’s ghost comes back to haunt US

      Much as the U.S. did that night by projecting Osama’s killing as an act of victory. By killing a terrorist who had long lost his relevance even in the eyes of his most serious backers, the only point U.S. President Barack Obama was trying to make was that killing an individual could compensate for not being able to address the circumstances that made his terror network flourish.

      [...]

      The same narrative later played out in Libya, where the intervening nations were more intent on finishing off Qaddafi than stabilising the country. The same story is gaining traction in the case of Syria, where the West’s recalcitrance on dealing with Assad has led to Islamic State gaining greater foothold, to a point now where it controls almost half its territory. The farce that played out in Libya is being repeated now in Syria and Yemen. We wonder if Osama’s ghost has been wilfully kept alive.

    • White lies

      The investigative journalist Seymour Hersh takes apart several important pieces of the U.S. narrative on the death of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in Pakistan in 2011.

      [...]

      Hersh alleges that Saudi Arabia paid for bin Laden’s accommodation. This is unverified but not improbable. More than anything, the Saudis wanted bin Laden silent, either under house arrest in Pakistan with no connection to the outside world, or dead. Their money got the former; the U.S. did the latter. The world did not get to hear of bin Laden’s account of who funded him and groomed him during the 1990s and early 2000s.

    • Celerier: Pandering to our enemies

      Meanwhile, we pander to our greatest enemies in the Middle East: Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which support terrorism and allow no human rights within their borders. This policy is both absurd and repugnant. Our policy should be to take sides with Assad before it is too late and help him destroy the terrorists. Then we must take Saudi Arabia to task for its contemptible acts against civilization.

    • “Death in the Congo” highlights obscure subject: African liberation

      The struggle for African liberation, often spearheaded by socialist, left-leaning national liberation movements, is an important part of African history. Many figures loom large as part of this history, including Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected prime minister of the Congo.

      Young and charismatic, Lumumba endeared himself to the emerging national liberation movement, while trying to balance conflicting needs and agendas in a country largely controlled by Belgium financial interests – even after independence.

    • Bangladesh Says Coca-Cola Unit Manager Tied to Islamic State

      Bangladeshi authorities arrested two men suspected of being recruiters for the Islamic State, police said, one of whom works for a local unit of the Coca-Cola Co.

    • Turkey says US agrees to provide air cover for anti-Assad “rebels” in Syria

      Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday that the US had agreed to provide air support for so-called “moderate rebels” being trained in Turkey, once they cross the border into Syria.

      Cavusoglu told the Daily Sabah that there was “a principle agreement” between the two governments for Washington to provide air cover for the proxy forces being trained in a US-funded program aimed at toppling the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    • Turkey, US to provide air protection for moderate Syrian opposition forces

      Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu, speaking to Daily Sabah in an exclusive interview while attending the fifth MIKTA Foreign Ministers Meeting in Seoul, said the moderate Syrian opposition forces that will be part of the train and equip program in Kırşehir won’t be abandoned once they are back in Syria. He said ignoring their plight once in Syria was against what the program wanted to achieve, adding that the U.S. and Turkey had agreed in principle to provide the trained and equipped moderate forces with air protection in Syria. He said that the air cover for trained Syrian forces was not part of the comprehensive plan put forward by Turkey that included setting up no-fly zones and safe zones in Syria. On the issue of Rohingya refugees, he said Turkey was in close contact with Indonesia and Malaysia, which are also MIKTA members, adding that the government had donated $1 million to help the refugees. The foreign minister also remarked on the start of the latest round of Cyprus unification talks, noting that Turkey was more determined than ever to resolve the issue. The current positive climate created by the resumption of talks needed to last, he said.

    • The American Mainstream Media – A Classic Tale of Propaganda

      The US bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the NATO’s 1999 Kosovo campaign was no accident.

    • The Bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999, Reconsidered

      When I was in Beijing during the protests in 1989, a middle-aged man came up to me and asked, “Couldn’t America send some B-52s here and…” and he made a swooping motion with his hand.

      Ten years later, on May 7, 1999, the American bombers did show up.

      Instead of showering freedom ordnance on China’s dictators, however, they dropped five bombs on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.

      As to why this happened, the United States has always declared it was an accident.

    • Ted Yoho Leads a Coalition to Ensure Only DOD Handles Drones

      Teaming up with conservatives, libertarians and liberals, at the end of last week U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., continued his fight to ensure authority over armed drones remains solely with the Department of Defense (DOD), as he brought back the “Drone Reform Act (DRA)” on Friday.

    • Germany and US Drones

      Germany should make sure that Ramstein is not used for illegal attacks

    • German Court Turns Down Drone Lawsuit but Leaves Door Open to Others
    • Court rejects Yemenis’ case against Germany over US drones

      A German court on Wednesday rejected a lawsuit against the government brought by three Yemeni men who lost two relatives in a U.S. drone strike.

      The men, who were unable to leave Yemen to attend the hearing, alleged in their suit that the German government let the United States use an air base in southern Germany to relay flight control data for lethal drone strikes, including the 2012 attack in which their relatives were killed.

    • Court hears Yemenis’ case against Germany over US drone strike that killed 2 relatives
    • Yemeni Claim that Germany Helped US Drone Strikes Dismissed
    • Court rejects case against US drone strikes
    • German court to begin hearing in Yemen drone case
    • German court hears case into US drone killings in Yemen
    • Family Of American Drone Victims Vow To Fight German Court Ruling
    • German court set to hear testimony from family of Yemeni drone victim
    • Yemenis Are Taking Germany to Court Over US Drone Strikes
    • Court rejects Yemenis’ case against Germany over US drone strike that killed 2 relatives
    • Court dismisses claim of German complicity in Yemeni drone killings
    • German court rejects Yemen drone case
    • Drone War: German Court Throws Out Case by Family of Slain Yeminis
    • German court rejects Yemenis’ case over US drone killings
    • German court rejects complaint from Yemeni drone victims
    • German court case centers on Ramstein’s possible role in drone attack
    • Yemeni Claim that Germany Helped US Drone Strikes Dismissed
    • ‘US Can Do Whatever It Wants on German Soil’: German MP on Ramstein Base
    • Court dismisses Yemenis’ case over German role in US drone strikes
    • German Court Rejects Case Brought by U.S. Drone Strike Victims’ Family

      A German court in Cologne has rejected the lawsuit of a Yemeni family whose two relatives died in a U.S. drone strike.

    • Andrew Cockburn chronicles how U.S. drones complete Obama’s Kill Chain

      The United States military’s desire to kill without putting its soldiers at risk began earlier than many realize. In Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins, veteran Washington reporter Andrew Cockburn begins the story of America’s modern assassination program in the 1960s, on the Ho Chi Minh trail in North Vietnam.

    • The debate on lethal robots is starting too late
    • Beyond drone warfare: Prof warns of ‘automated killing machines’
    • Drones deciding on their own when to kill? No thanks
    • Who will police the killer robots?
    • DARPA’s Autonomous Robots might Do More Damage than Good
    • DARPA’s ‘killer robots’ technology can leave humans ‘utterly defenseless’
    • US Military Developing Killer Robots For War
    • US air force embraces sci-fi technology in a dynamic shift in advanced weaponry

      From Artificial Intelligence, drones and the Internet of Things – the US army also has something clever up their sleeves and it’s no messing around with this new weapon of defense.

    • DARPA tests laser weapon for fighters, drones

      The U.S military will come one step closer to its dream of arming fighter jets with ray guns this summer, as DARPA shifts one of its hottest laser projects onto White Sands Missile range for field tests.

    • Drone warfare gone awry…

      Victims of drones are living witnesses of the US’ barbaric policies, brutalities and indiscriminate killing of civilians.

    • Casualties and Polls: Some Observations

      Ryan, who I don’t believe opposes drone technology per se, nevertheless criticizes the many surveys that consistently show solid U.S. support for drones because they “fail to seek information about public attitudes in the face of drone operations that, in reality, often cause civilian deaths.” He is right to conclude that, logically, public support declines when civilian casualties are involved, and he is also right to critique the polls. I do disagree, however, with the popular assumption (and not just Ryan’s) that “in reality” drone strikes “often” cause civilian casualties.

    • The Kill List: ICWatch Uses LinkedIn Account Info to Out Officials Who Aided Assassination Program

      WikiLeaks has begun hosting a new database called ICWatch, built by Transparency Toolkit. The site includes a searchable database of 27,000 LinkedIn profiles of people in the intelligence community. Organizers say the aim of the site is to “watch the watchers.” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange talks about how the database could be used to help identify individuals connected to the U.S. kill list, formally known as the Joint Prioritized Effects List, or JPEL.

    • ICWatch Uses LinkedIn Information to Out Officials Who Aided Assassination Program
    • Death From Above

      This formula is repeated throughout the rest of the book. That is 1) There is a military problem 2) Someone always tries to find a technological solution, and then 3) Spends a lot of money only to find out the U.S. has made the problem worse.

    • Why a Muslim Peace Hero May Not Be Welcome

      Speaking in my hometown, Oxford, on Tuesday, Qatar’s Shaikha Moza told an audience at the university that Muslims are being “dehumanised” by Western media coverage of violent Islamic extremism and identified as “something fearful and unknowable”.

      I have to agree and do not consider this phenomenon to be particularly new. The British tabloids have worked hard to present Muslims at home and abroad as backward and hostile. I imagine this makes it easier to kill them when we send bombs and armed drones into Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

    • American prisoner’s fate unknown after deadly air strikes on Yemen jail

      Fears are growing over the fate of an American citizen trapped in a Yemeni military prison after a Saudi air strike bombed the compound where his lawyers believe he is held.

    • Podcast: The Case of Sharif Mobley, Detained American Possibly Killed in Saudi Attack in Yemen

      Sharif Mobley is a US citizen, who was kidnapped in Yemen and has been in detention for five years. The FBI is known to have interrogated him. His life has been increasingly endangered as war rages in Yemen, and this past week the military compound, where he has been held, was bombed.

    • Public Opinion, International Law, and Drone Strikes: Some Reflections

      We commend Professor Charles Dunlap for his excellent recent post on international law and public support for drone strikes. As he notes, there are many points of agreement between him, Professor Goodman, and ourselves, primarily that when it comes to drone strikes, the American public is interested not just in being safe, but in being compliant with international law. Of course, he points to a number of differences and we appreciate the opportunity to respond to what we take to be the main criticisms he raises.

    • Justice Department issues policy on domestic drone use

      The Justice Department is acknowledging that the FBI, DEA and other federal law enforcement agencies are likely to make increasing use of unmanned aerial drones in the United States.

    • NYT Trumpets U.S. Restraint against ISIS, Ignores Hundreds of Civilian Deaths

      The article claims that “the campaign has killed an estimated 12,500 fighters” and “has achieved several successes in conducting about 4,200 strikes that have dropped about 14,000 bombs and other weapons.” But an anonymous American pilot nonetheless complains that “we have not taken the fight to these guys,” and says he “cannot get authority” to drone-bomb targets without excessive proof that no civilians will be endangered. Despite the criticisms, Schmitt writes, “administration officials stand by their overriding objective to prevent civilian casualties.”

    • Humanizing War and the Dangers of Drone Warfare

      Though war is one of the greatest scourges of humanity, the Church has always sought to humanize war, as much as this is possible. This effort faces a new challenge with the rise of drone warfare, now in nascent stage. The USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace has just released its second letter in two years on the topic. What does it mean to humanize war? How has this challenge become more difficult? I will briefly examine these questions before introducing the important contribution of these two letters from the bishops.

    • The U.S. Navy’s Big Mistake — Building Tons of Supercarriers

      The Pentagon behaves as if aircraft carriers will rule forever … they won’t

    • Hawks of a Feather

      The glaring exception to all this hawkishness, of course, is Rand Paul, the libertarian senator who made his mark in 2013 with a filibuster protesting the American policy of using drones to kill Americans engaging in terrorism overseas. Paul was absent from Oklahoma City last month, busy with another filibuster to stop the National Security Agency’s metadata collection program. Days later, in an interview on MSNBC, the Kentucky senator lambasted the “hawks in our party” for policies that he said have allowed the terrorist group ISIS to “exist and grow.”

    • Dying in Vain at Home is No Different Than Abroad

      Just to round out this discussion of dying in vain and to give the concept a domestic feel, here is something to think about: Black men aged 20-34 died at a higher rate in Philadelphia in 2002 than in the military in Iraq from 2003-06 at the height of the US war there. Now that is real dying in vain, and a dying in vain that seems to grind on every day in America’s urban areas.

    • 30 Years Later: The Bombing Of MOVE Part 2

      Jared Ball and Bashi Rose continue their coverage of the May 13th Commemoration of the 1985 Bombing of MOVE

    • The weapons of war

      A century ago, the world witnessed the first use of weapons of mass destruction. On April 22, 1915, the German High Command launched their first chlorine attack with a bombardment of the trenches on the Western Front, sending a thick yellow cloud floating towards the French and Canadian lines. Its effects were horrific even by the standards of the trenches. Chlorine burnt the throat and destroyed the lining of the lungs. Many drowned in their own bodily fluids.

    • Activists condemn Swiss drone deal with Israel

      Swiss activists started a campaign on Tuesday against an official deal between their country and Israel through which Switzerland is to buy drones, Quds Press has reported. The first protest took place outside Switzerland’s largest military base.

    • The Vocabulary of War Criminals

      In the land of American exceptionalism, bipartisan political leaders make “mistakes” in foreign policy; they do not commit war crimes. The invasion of Iraq offers a much needed case study; and the brother of the president who launched the invasion sets the stage.

    • Taking Responsibility For Drone Killings- President Obama And The Fog Of War

      When President Barack Obama apologized on April 23 to the families of Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto, an American and an Italian, both hostages killed in a drone attack in Pakistan in January, he blamed their tragic deaths on the “fog of war.”

    • TV ads urge Syracuse drone pilots to refuse flying over Afghanistan

      A coalition of peace groups began airing TV ads in Syracuse this week urging pilots from the 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field in Mattydale to stop flying their remotely-piloted drones over Afghanistan.

      The 15-second TV ads are critical of the attacks carried out by the New York Air National Guard’s MQ-9 Reaper drones operated by the attack wing.

      “Drone pilots: Please refuse to fly,” the ads say. “No one has to obey an immoral law.”

    • Families Press for Changes in Policy on Hostages

      Mr. Obama, she said, also conceded that his administration had failed her. “That was the least he could do,” Mrs. Foley said in an interview this week. “That was hopeful. I recognize that the administration feels badly it was not handled well and it was not given the priority it should have had.”

    • The Foreign Policy Essay: Just How Effective is the U.S. Drone Program Anyway?

      While these announcements represent an uncommon acknowledgement of casualties from drones, notably absent from these remarks was the acknowledgement that Weinstein and Lo Porto were indeed killed by a drone strike, the specific location of the strike, and which government agency was responsible for conducting the strike. Even in a moment of apparent transparency, the U.S. government was opaque.

    • RAF Waddington drone protesters’ trial put back until later this year

      The trial of four protesters who allegedly cut the perimeter fence at RAF Waddington and walked onto the base has been postponed until October.

      The defendants, members of the End The Drone Wars group, were arrested on January 5 following their protest against the use of unmanned Reaper ‘drones’ in the Middle East, remotely piloted from Waddington.

      Christopher Cole, 51, from Oxford, Gary Eagling, 52, from Nottingham, Dr Katharina Karcher, 31, from Coventry, and Penelope Walker, 64, from Leicester, all deny criminal damage.

    • The Interpreter on terrorism and dual citizenship

      Given yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister that his Government would legislate within weeks to revoke Australian citizenship from dual-nationality terrorists, it is worth revisiting three Interpreter pieces on whether this is a useful weapon in the fight against terrorism.

    • Interactive map shows details of every bomb that hit Aberdeen in World War II

      Recalling historical dates in chronological order might not be everyone’s party trick, but a new online map has just made gathering World War II knowledge a little easier. Powered by Google, the digital tool highlights the areas of Aberdeen which fell victim to the air raids of the 1940s – and the dates of when they were hit.

    • Memorial Day Heroes: “Thank You For Your Service”…On Second Thought

      It is Memorial Day again. Some will celebrate. Some will drink too much. Some will march in parades. Some will rally around the flag. Some will go shopping. Some will mourn. I am among the mourners. I mourn mostly for those we have killed — and I mourn for those we haven’t killed yet, but will in the days ahead. I mourn for all of the mothers and fathers who put their children to bed at night and wonder if this will be the night that they are killed by a drone attack.

      I mourn for the 500,000 Iraqi children – dead because of U.S. foreign policy. The official policy as described by Madeleine Albright on 60 Minutes was ‘that we think the price was worth it.’ Worth it to whom? Not to the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, grandmothers and grandfathers of those children.

    • Gaza Strip: Israel to open investigation into Palestinian Bedouin sisters’ death near Khan Younis

      The deaths of Hakema Abu Adwan, 66, and Nadjah Abu Adwan, 47, was first documented by soldiers in the report in early May, when it was claimed the sisters were shot dead on 22 July by Israeli forces who then listed them as terrorists despite knowing that they were civilians.

    • Catch 22 at the German Embassy

      In an aggressive move, one of the demonstrators repeatedly forced a list of children killed by U.S. drone strikes into the embassy “janitorial” staff’s view.

    • A Civilian Is A Combatant Is A Civilian Is A Combatant

      The researchers found that many people who have lived where wars are fought have taken part in those wars in one way or another, and that they have no clear understanding (not that anyone else does) of when they have been civilians and when combatants. Said one interviewee, highlighted as typical: “What I think is that there is no line at all. . . . Civilians can turn into fighters at any time. Anybody can change from a fighter to a civilian, all in one day, in one moment.”

      The interviewees made clear that many are forced into participation in war, others have very little choice, and others join in for reasons not too different from those expressed by the Pentagon: primarily self-defense, but also patriotism, prestige, survival, civic duty, social standing, outrage at the targeting of peaceful protesters, and financial gain. Bizarrely, not a single interviewee said they joined in a war in order to prevent Americans from going shopping after church or otherwise continuing with their lifestyle or freedoms.

    • Albania and Serbia vow to work for Balkans’ stability

      At the heart of the mutual friction was Kosovo, the former Serbian province with an ethnic Albanian majority which unilaterally declared independence in 2008.

    • Neocons: The Men of Dementia

      So it happened also that when our modern heroes rode through the deserts of the Middle East, they saw a robust fellow (Iraq) mistreating a little fellow (Kuwait). When our heroes accosted him, the big fellow said that the little fellow was stealing his oil and not helping him protect his flock (the Arab nations) from the advancing Iranians. So Iraq, who had no money “with him” as Cervantes says of the lout Don Quixote encountered, said he could not pay Kuwait what it owed it.

    • Colorado theater shooting victims relive terror in courtroom

      From the witness stand, Christina Blache could finally do what she had most wanted and most feared: She looked for the first time at the man who shot her, who killed her friend, who ravaged so many lives.

      Her muscles tensed. Her nerves tingled. She fought back tears.

    • Kurdish women’s militia takes a stand for Ras al Ayn

      Nujaan, who is 27 and has been a soldier for four years, says that Isis’s “target is women”. She says: “Look at Shingal [in Iraq] where they raped the women and massacred the men. It is a matter of honour to defend ourselves first, and then our families and lands.” Sitting beside her is Zenya, 22, who adds that she also “is fighting for myself and my family”.

    • US Military and Civilians Are Increasingly Divided

      While the U.S. waged a war in Vietnam 50 years ago with 2.7 million men conscripted from every segment of society, less than one-half of 1 percent of the U.S. population is in the armed services today — the lowest rate since World War II. America’s recent wars are authorized by a U.S. Congress whose members have the lowest rate of military service in history, led by three successive commanders in chief who never served on active duty.

    • Chinese embassy in Pakistan verifying hostage video

      The Chinese embassy in Pakistan is attempting to verify reports of a video purporting to show a Chinese kidnapped by Taliban-allied fighters in Pakistan a year ago asking Beijing to help secure his release.

      Chinese in Pakistan have been told to be on the alert, despite the security situation improving this year.

    • Video surfaces of a kidnapped Chinese tourist in Pakistan

      A militant video released Sunday purported to show a Chinese tourist kidnapped by Taliban-allied fighters in Pakistan a year ago asking for his government to help him be released.

      A militant known to belong to a Taliban splinter group called Jaish Al-Hadeed, or the “Contingent of Steel,” gave the video to The Associated Press. While it could not be independently verified by the AP, the man in the video resembled other known photographs of Hong Xudong, kidnapped in May 2014.

    • Video of Chinese hostage could prove embarrassing for Pakistan

      An armed militia group in Pakistan with links to the Taliban released a video of a Chinese tourist they announced that they kidnapped last year, according to Hong Kong’s Oriental Daily.

      In the video, the hostage asked the Chinese government to pay the ransom or his captors would execute him, but did not specify the sum of money. The hostage also criticized the Pakistani government, stating that they only care about money and had made no attempt to rescue him, the paper said.

    • The Global Elite’s Crimes Against Humanity

      Virtually every government in the world creates an illusion for its people. Take economic policy. Government policies might hurt us in the short term, but we are all on a one way route to the ‘promised land’ of happiness, or so we are told by the politicians, the corporate media and spokespersons for the ones who make us suffer to ensure they never have to – the privileged elite, the ruling class.

    • ISIS vs 3D printing

      Time and again, conflict has been bad news for historical artifacts and sculptures. There was the infamous burning of the Library of Alexandria, the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan by the Taliban, and the Nazi’s battle to burn as much “degenerate art” as they could find. Swept up in a violent fervor, mobs and soldiers have been quick to destroy what took societies centuries to create; what museums and collectors spent decades collecting, preserving, and documenting for the public.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • CIA Hordes Climate Data from Scientists

      In other words, MEDEA was a program that scientists relied on to get accurate and classified climate data — and now it is gone. But why?

    • Awkward: CIA Shuts Down Climate Research Program After Obama Frames Climate Change as National Security Threat
    • CIA Stops Sharing Climate Change Info With Scientists

      In a recent speech, President Obama proclaimed that climate change “constitutes a serious threat to global security (and), an immediate risk to our national security,” and warned that it actually could exacerbate other menaces, such as terrorism and political instability.

      “Severe drought helped to create the instability in Nigeria that was exploited by the terrorist group Boko Haram,” Obama said. “It’s now believed that drought and crop failures and high food prices helped fuel the early unrest in Syria, which descended into civil war in the heart of the Middle East.”

      But even as the White House is affirming its focus, the CIA reportedly is ending a key program that shared the agency’s climate change data — some of it gathered by surveillance satellites and other clandestine sources.

    • The CIA shuts down program that gives scientists access to vital climate change data

      The CIA will no longer allow climate change scientists to access data from spy satellites and submarines in order to study global warming. Prior to the announcement, scientists could study global warming data in extreme detail thanks to a program, called MEDEA — Measurement of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis. Now the CIA is shutting down the program, saying that there is no longer a need to study the implications of climate change.

    • CIA Ends Information Sharing with Climate Scientists

      The CIA began the program in 1992 under President George H. W. Bush, whose son George W. Bush, as president, shut down MEDEA. In 2010, President Barack Obama revived the program along with establishing a new CIA office, Center for Climate Change and National Security. That office was shut down without explanation in 2012.

    • Gelderland uses ‘neck breaker’ to kill geese at €13.50 a bird

      Gelderland provincial council has given a €22,000 contract to a small pest control company to kill 1,600 geese using a controversial method of breaking the birds’ necks.

      Despite the cost of €13.75 per bird, no-one has seen if or how the method works and the province does not plan to check up on the work or animal welfare issues, the AD reports.

      The contract has been awarded to a company named V&T, based in Leerdam but details about how the neck breaker will work are sketchy.

      The method, known as cervical dislocation, involves snapping the birds’ necks one by one. According to the local broadcaster Omroep Gelderland, the bird’s neck is placed between two blocks and then broken, resulting in a ‘stress-free and painless death’.

    • What Will the Refugio Oil Spill Kill?

      Since last Tuesday’s oil spill, more than 20,000 gallons of death-dealing crude has sickened or killed pelicans, cormorants, grebes, dolphins, sea lions, elephant seals, bass, guitarfish, spiny lobsters, rock crabs, urchins, octopi, shrimp, mussels, sea hares, sponges, anemones, coral, and whole swaths of smaller sea life along the long-protected and once-pristine Gaviota Coast.

    • 4 more bodies found after Texas flooding

      Authorities said Friday they reclaimed four more bodies from Texas waters, adding to the growing death toll inflicted by record-setting storms that continue to submerge highways and flood homes.

    • Texas, Okla. Flooding Kills 19, More Rain Expected

      Floodwaters deepened across much of Texas on Tuesday as storms dumped almost another foot of rain on the Houston area, stranding hundreds of motorists and inundating the famously congested highways that serve the nation’s fourth-largest city.

  • Finance

    • Germany: many strikes and a big scandal

      Was the German working class suddenly turning super-militant? Some may have been fearful, some hopeful that on the rail lines and elsewhere the old IWW-Wobbly song from 1915-USA, “Solidarity Forever” was literally coming true: “… without our brain and muscle not a single wheel can turn.”

      The strike of locomotive engineers stopped freight cars May 19 and passenger traffic the next day. Unlike eight previous strikes by the same union, the strike was not for 30 hours, 42 hours or six days – but with no end date. Although the state-owned but largely independently-run railroad company tried to maintain a skeleton schedule, two-thirds of the wheels stopped turning; also city rail service was cut by 40 to 85 percent. In Berlin the crucial “S-Bahn” elevated system tried hard to achieve at least 20-minute intervals on main routes. Subway, bus and tram lines were unaffected – but overfilled.

    • Disgraced general David Petraeus is now being rolled out by private equity firm in a bid to impress potential new clients

      Former CIA director’s name recognition has become way for company KKR to help attract big name clients from country’s richest families

    • KKR rolls out ex-CIA director David Petraeus in hunt for family wealth

      Matthew McCarthy was asked by KKR to fly to New York from Ohio, where he manages money for the founders of a consumer-products company. First he had dinner with KKR’s billionaire co-founder Henry Kravis. The next morning, he met David Petraeus, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and current chairman of the KKR Global Institute at the company’s headquarters.

    • Why would anyone want to buy shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland?

      Front and centre of these will be the settlement with US regulators for as much as $10bn (£6.5bn) for the mis-selling of sub-prime mortgages and mortgage securities, the scale of which could provide a serious headache for chief executive Ross McEwan.

    • Acting for Your Life on LA’s Skid Row

      The more he researched, the more he was drawn into the population that most middle-class people would prefer to ignore. After raising some modest funds, he opened an office to begin recruiting Skid Row’s residents for a theater that would tackle their problems and those of society as a whole. As you can imagine, given the psychological wreckage and drug problems of those who he would be directing, this was not an easy task. McEnteer writes about Jim Beame, a talented but mentally ill member of Malpede’s company who riffed about baseball and other things that struck his fancy in a performance piece and as such was described as the company’s “star” by People magazine:

      But there was no Hollywood happy ending for Jim Beame. True, his association with LAPD appeared to calm him down somewhat. He had become more subdued and less overtly angry. But still, in his anger he hallucinated whoever he was with into his parents or his ex-wife, who was trying to control him. He had been kicked out of virtually all the shelters on Skid Row for his loud, abusive behavior. He interrupted long recitations of baseball or basketball statistics only to make lewd comments to any women who happened to be present. Conversation with him was impossible. By the time he joined LAPD he had been on the streets for six years, living in a vacant lot near Chinatown, eating out of the trash.

    • 5 Facts About The Cuban Economy

      Cuba was doing business with the U.S. even before the embargo was lifted.

    • In Shocking Move, Goldman Slashes America’s Long-Run “Potential GDP” From 2.25% To 1.75%

      While Ben Bernanke will never agree that global economic growth has ground to a halt as a result of his monetary policies, a phenomenon which in the past year has been dubbed “secular stagnation” by the very serious weathermen (and will certainly never admit the reason for such stagnation), with every passing month one thing becomes clear: there can be no growth and certainly no prosperity for the broader population with a $200 trillion (and rising at over $10 trillion per year) overhang in global debt. And now, even Goldman gets it.

    • Proposals to extend marketplace subsidies would only delay damage

      Congressional proposals to temporarily extend federal health insurance subsidies if they’re lost in an upcoming Supreme Court decision would only delay, not avoid premium hikes, insurance market disruptions and potential coverage losses for millions of Americans.

    • Thousands of Ukrainians protest Kiev regime’s draconian utility price hikes

      Protests are mounting against decisions by the NATO-backed regime in Kiev to drastically increase prices for energy, water, and other basic necessities. Protesters reportedly set up a mock gallows near government buildings in downtown Kiev this weekend. The protests follow a march on May 16 of an estimated 5,000 people in Kiev to protest the price hikes.

      The right-wing government in Kiev is slashing spending on subsidies to basic goods to funnel the money to the Ukrainian regime’s Wall Street creditors and boosting military spending on the war against Russian-backed forces in east Ukraine. As a result, consumer prices for basic necessities are skyrocketing.

    • Elon Musk’s growing empire is fueled by $4.9 billion in government subsidies

      Los Angeles entrepreneur Elon Musk has built a multibillion-dollar fortune running companies that make electric cars, sell solar panels and launch rockets into space.

      [...]

      Tesla and SolarCity continue to report net losses after a decade in business, but the stocks of both companies have soared on their potential; Musk’s stake in the firms alone is worth about $10 billion. (SpaceX, a private company, does not publicly report financial performance.)

      Musk and his companies’ investors enjoy most of the financial upside of the government support, while taxpayers shoulder the cost.

  • Lobbying/Politics

    • Here’s what’s in Ben Bradlee’s FBI file

      Ben Bradlee was a legendary editor, a man whose Washington Post brought down a president and whose swashbuckling style made him a celebrity and a hero to many an aspiring journalist.

      But according to J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI’s towering, autocratic leader for much of the postwar era, Bradlee was “a colossal liar” who was out to smear him.

    • Now open: The Clinton campaign store
    • Dredging Hanoi Lake for Life after McCain

      They have deranged smiles, hefty laughs, sometimes, like John McCain, seven homes, a cool twenty million in the bank, and that syphilitic grin.

      I was in Vietnam, 1994, talking with people in Hanoi. Saw the photos of children all lined up in the courtyard of an orphanage. Oh, maybe 20 in one shot, 10 in another, and the story was repeated through narratives, both visual and oral.

    • Dana Milbank: The clown car Republican field

      In the oversold Republican primary situation, a candidate is likeliest to get attention when there’s a screw-up, such as Jeb Bush’s five attempts last week to answer a simple question about Iraq, or the borderline racist questions posed to Cruz by Mark Halperin of Bloomberg News.

  • Censorship

    • Court Orders VPN, TOR & Proxy Advice Site to be Blocked

      The site, RUBlacklist, is an information resource aimed at users who wish to learn about tools that can be used to circumvent censorship. It doesn’t host any tools itself but offers advice on VPNs, proxies, TOR and The Pirate Bay’s Pirate Browser.

  • Privacy

    • WhatsApp and Google – Forced By MI5 to Hand Over Encrypted Messages

      New laws are about to take effect in the UK, where the Conservatives want to force Google, Apple and Facebook to hand over encrypted messages from suspects (criminals or terrorists) to unravel their plans and annihilate them. These encrypted messages might be analyzed by MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

    • Inside the company that can predict the future by analyzing every piece of information on the web

      Even so, his company is likely to be clued in. That’s because Recorded Future doesn’t just mine open forums for information: it tries to scan every part of the open web. Hackers frequently talk to each other on chat platforms known as IRCs — and Recorded Future is able to pick up those conversations too.

    • PowerPoint should be banned. This PowerPoint presentation explains why.

      The indiscriminate and ingrained use of PowerPoint presentations threatens the military’s institutional integrity. Former defense secretary Robert Gates said he was terrified by the thought of promising young officers sitting in cubicles and reformatting slides in their prime working years. At the CIA, he was able to ban slides from briefings, but at the Pentagon, he couldn’t even cut down the number used. Earlier this year, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter banned PowerPoint presentations during a summit in Kuwait to encourage analysis and discussions, instead of the usual fixed briefings.

    • Athenians, lobby your lawmakers to let PATRIOT Act expire
    • Patriot Act reform: Senate debates NSA surveillance – live updates

      Controversial provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire tonight if the Senate doesn’t reach a compromise on government surveillance in a rare Sunday session. We are inside Congress with all the latest updates on the fate of the first major reform package since the Edward Snowden revelations – and what another marathon legislative session could mean for the future of intelligence.

      The USA Freedom Act, a bipartisan compromise that would ban the bulk collection exposed by Snowden and is overwhelmingly backed in the House of Representatives, fell three votes short of advancing in another marathon nine days ago. A two-month extension of government surveillance proposed by supporters of the status quo also fell short of the 60-vote supermajority needed to start debate on a bill in the Senate.

    • Orange schools to monitor social media posts of students, staff

      What Orange County students — and staff — post on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube is now being monitored by their school district to “ensure safe school operations,” the district announced this morning.

    • UK police requests to access phone calls or emails are granted 93% of the time

      Ministers are facing calls to curb the scale of police access to private phone and email records, after a report by privacy campaigners found officers were making a request every two minutes and getting access in 93% of cases.

      The figures, released to Big Brother Watch under freedom of information laws, found there were more than 730,000 requests for communications data between 2012 and 2014 from forces across the UK. There were annual increases in applications in each of those years, peaking at just under 250,000 last year, according to the report.

  • Civil Rights

    • Theater of the Absurd

      Elected in the brand name of peace, the Barack Obama has joked to his White House staff that he is “good at killing people.”

    • North Korea, Somalia top most corrupt countries’ list
    • Jeffrey Sterling vs. the CIA: the Untold Story
    • Persecution of CIA’s Jeffrey Sterling

      The U.S. government’s successful prosecution of ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling for leaking secrets about a failed covert operation to the press followed a long campaign against him for protesting racial discrimination inside the spy agency, writes Norman Solomon.

    • Jeffrey Sterling vs. the CIA: An Untold Story of Race and Retribution
    • Jeffrey Sterling vs. the CIA: An Untold Story of Race and Retribution
    • LATEST VICTIM IN U.S. WAR ON WHISTLEBLOWERS

      Jeffrey Sterling recently stood before a judge as his sentence was read. The former CIA officer, the judge declared, would spend 42 months — that’s three and half years — behind bars.

      The feds had convicted Sterling on nine felony charges, including seven counts of espionage.

      He didn’t sell secrets to the Russians. He didn’t trade intelligence for personal gain. He made no attempt to disrupt the American way of life.

      What did he do, then?

    • CIA Whistleblower Kiriakou Joins Anti-War Activists To Write Letters To Political Prisoners

      He spent 30 months in federal prison for blowing the whistle on the CIA’s government-sanctioned torture practices. Now John Kiriakou joins activists from the anti-war group Code Pink to write letters to other activists, dissenters and perceived political prisoners.

    • AUDIO: Whistleblower John Kiriakou to Robert Scheer: Whistleblowers ‘Are Not Alone’
    • Truthdigger of the Week: Whistleblower John Kiriakou

      As Kiriakou told Scheer, the DOJ stacks the cards in its favor by filing as many charges as it can against a defendant, burying the victim in legal fees and, even more important, in fear. And win it does. According to a ProPublica piece that Kiriakou references in the Truthdig interview, the Department of Justice is victorious in 98.2 percent of its cases.

    • Why the last of the JFK files could embarrass the CIA

      Shortly after the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Chief Justice Earl Warren, who oversaw the first official inquiry, was asked by a reporter if the full record would be made public.

    • Top-Secret JFK Files Coming Soon—Maybe

      The 1992 JFK Records Act established that 40,000 documents relating to the assassination of John F. Kennedy would be made public in October 2017. Now that the date is little more than two years away, seven archivists and technicians with top-secret security clearances have begun poring over the pages for processing at the National Archives, Politico reports. “Within our power, the National Archives is going to do everything we can to make these records open and available to the public,” Martha Murphy, head of the archives’ Special Access branch, says. “That is my only goal.” However, the president-to-be will have the power to keep the records—including 3,600 documents that have never been made public—under lock and key, a move many fear will fuel lingering doubts about whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, whether US officials knew about the plot in advance, and if officials purposefully blocked a full investigation.

    • 3,600 unseen documents on JFK assassination to be released, website reports

      Was the assassination of John F. Kennedy engineered by a government agency? Did Lee Harvey Oswald work for the mob, or for communists? And just why was he in New Orleans in the summer before the assassination?

    • Remaining JFK Records Could Prove Controversial to Nation’s Spy Agencies

      The remaining records concerning the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy are to be made public by October 2017, by law, but the release of those records is not guaranteed and may not happen if agencies such as the CIA and FBI appeal to the then-sitting president.

      “We have sent letters to agencies letting them know we have records here that were withheld,” Martha Murphy, head of the National Archives’ Special Access Branch, told Politico. While no agencies have requested a waiver quite yet, some have “gotten back to ask for clarification” while seeking more information.

    • The Kennedy files

      The JFK Records Act of 1992 ordered that all of the files related to the federal inquiry into John F. Kenney’s assassination be made public in 25 years. As the October 2017 deadline nears, POLITICO takes a look at what the files might tell us – if we actually get to see them.

    • Sen. Richard Burr: The Cloak and Dagger Senator

      No sooner had he become committee chairman this year when he staged an unheard of stunt in trying to reclaim from the executive branch copies of a classified report — revealing new evidence of torture via “enhanced interrogation techniques” by the Central Intelligence Agency — in order to bury it. It had been issued by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and the committee only weeks earlier.

    • Church Committee’s Fading Legacy

      In September 1975, CIA Director William E. Colby told Sen. Frank Church’s committee that 37 lethal poisons were discovered in an agency lab. Church, left, with Co-Chairman John G. Tower, R-Texas, displayed a poison dart gun for all to see.

      [...]

      Schwarz, Fenn, Weiner and Wyden all agree that in the years following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, many of the institutions spawned by the Church Committee’s investigations were seriously weakened.

      One blow to the power of the FISA court, Weiner said, came when President George W. Bush authorized warrantless NSA surveillance of American citizens without going to the court. It was an effective end-run, he said.

      “The system broke down after 9/11 on the direct orders of the president of the United States, who tried to bypass and countermand the court,” Weiner said.

      Fenn recalled a CIA official’s telling remark during a hearing.

    • Journalist’s Spying Trial Starts In Iran

      Washington Post’s Tehran reporter Jason Rezaian is accused of espionage and gathering classified information, among other charges.

    • Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian goes on trial in Iran for spying

      Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post reporter imprisoned in Iran for nearly 10 months, is standing trial behind closed doors in Tehran on charges of espionage and at least three other major crimes.

    • Can you tell the difference between Bush and Obama on the Patriot Act?

      Dick Cheney and George W Bush were widely condemned by Democrats for their baseless fear-mongering to pressure members of Congress into passing expansive surveillance laws that infringed on American’s civil liberties. Unfortunately, with parts of their Patriot Act set to expire on Monday, the Obama administration is playing the very same game that its own party once decried hyperbolic and dishonest – even after a Justice Department report released last week concluded that the expiring section used to collect Americans’ phone records in bulk has never been vital to national security.

      See if you can tell the difference between the Obama administration’s statements about the renewal of the Patriot Act and those from the Bush administration when they wanted Congress to renew some of the controversial mass surveillance authorities they passed after 9/11.

    • Jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez goes on hunger strike

      The jailed leader of the Venezuelan opposition, Leopoldo Lopez, has declared he is on a hunger strike and called for a protest march next weekend against the socialist government.

      Lopez, the best-known opposition activist in custody, was jailed more than a year ago for his role in instigating street protests against the president, Nicolás Maduro, that led to violence in which 43 people died and hundreds more were injured.

    • Facts About the Media Garbage Against Diosdado Cabello

      The CIA has been linked to each and every one of the conspiratorial and coup-making processes against the Bolivarian Revolution, call them coups, economic war, assassination attempts against the president, or barricades (guarimbas). (The CIA is) another sewer pipe that logically excretes pestilent water against the Revolution that it has been unable to overthrow. The CIA being used as a “journalistic sewer pipe” demonstrates what their intentions are.

    • Operation Condor: Cross-Border Disappearance and Death

      Operation Condor was a covert, multinational “black operations” program organized by six Latin American states (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, later joined by Ecuador and Peru), with logistical, financial, and intelligence support from Washington.

    • An ex-spy whose cover is author

      Escaping surveillance is what Matthews used to do for a living. Officially he was a diplomat, in Europe, Asia and the Caribbean, but his real job was recruiting and then managing foreign agents, often in places where such activity was forbidden.

    • The dirty truth about voting & How to be a billionaire by 40

      An extensive Princeton University study shows that the American people have no impact on which laws get passed.

    • Beauty queen fights racial bias in Japan

      Can a beauty pageant combat racial bias in one of the most homogeneous societies on Earth?

      Ariana Miyamoto, who is part African-American, thinks it can. And she has been enduring a lot of abuse to make that point.

    • Colossal Injustice Of Torture Victim Abu Zubaydah’s Ongoing Imprisonment

      It’s been some time since I wrote about Abu Zubaydah (Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn), one of 14 “high-value detainees” transferred from secret CIA prisons to Guantánamo in September 2006, beyond discussions of his important case against the Polish government, where he was held in a secret CIA torture prison in 2002 and 2003. This led to a ruling in his favor in the European Court of Human Rights last July, and a decision in February this year to award him — and another Guantánamo prisoner and torture victim, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri — $262,000 in damages, for which, just last week, a deadline for payment was set for May 16, even though, as the Guardian noted, “neither Polish officials nor the US embassy in Warsaw would say where the money is going or how it was being used.”

    • “Incommunicado” Forever: Gitmo Detainee’s Case Stalled for 2,477 Days and Counting

      Since being seized in a raid in Pakistan in 2002, Abu Zubaydah has had his life controlled by American officials, first at secret sites, where he was tortured, and since 2006 in a small cell in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. And, thanks to one of the strangest, and perhaps most troubling, legal cases to grow out of the War on Terror, it appears he’s not going to be leaving anytime soon—which was exactly the plan the CIA always wanted. Not even his lawyers understand what’s transpired behind closed doors in a Washington, D.C., courtroom.

    • Enemies of the State: Beijing Targets NGOs

      Fear of foreign infiltration behind a draft law that turns civic groups into security risks

    • Report alleges border patrol engaged in abusive behavior

      An American Civil Liberties Union report alleges that border patrol agents have engaged in racial profiling and intimidation tactics along southern New Mexico’s border with Mexico.

    • Confirm EU blacklist demands MP

      The EU has imposed sanctions and some travel bans on Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

    • The Cost of Secrecy

      Early last year, Pakistani anti-drone activist Kareem Khan received an unannounced visit at his Rawalpindi home from over a dozen unidentified men, some in police uniforms. He was subsequently abducted without being offered any explanation and, over the course of the next nine days, interrogated about his anti-drone work and tortured. After a local court ordered Pakistan’s intelligence agencies to produce Khan he was released and told not to speak to the media.

      Khan was due to travel to Europe to testify before parliamentarians about a December 2009 U.S. drone strike on his North Waziristan home that killed his brother and son along with a local stonemason staying with his family. He had also filed a case against the Pakistani government for its failure to investigate the deaths of his family members.

    • Why is this war hero being investigated?

      Lt. Col. Jason Amerine, a Special Forces war hero who played an instrumental role in the overthrow of the Taliban in the months after 9/11, is under investigation over a purported unauthorized disclosure relating to a U.S. hostage held overseas that was made to U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter’s office.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Cloudflare: We’re Not Aiding and Abetting Piracy

        Popular CDN service CloudFlare has denied allegations from the RIAA that accuse the company of aiding and abetting piracy. Warning against a SOPA-like precedent, the company has asked the court not to include CloudFlare in the restraining order which aims to stop a reincarnation of music service Grooveshark.

      • Steve Albini: The music industry is a parasite… and copyright is dead

        Steve Albini is a renowned musician, record engineer, producer and songwriter. He’s also not shy of expressing a controversial opinion or two.

      • European Court To Explore If Linking To Infringing Material Is Infringing

        A couple of years ago in the Svensson case, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) made it clear (finally) that merely linking to content is not infringement. That was a case involving a news aggregator linking to official sources. However, in a new case that has been referred to the CJEU, the court will examine if links to unauthorized versions of content is infringing as well. The excellent IPKat has the details of the case which involves a blog that linked to some pre-publication Playboy photos in the Netherlands. A lower court had said that it wasn’t copyright infringement, but still broke the law, by facilitating access.

05.30.15

Links 30/5/2015: Wine 1.7.44, Berry Linux 1.20

Posted in News Roundup at 4:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Save server admin time and money with these two open source solutions

    Fortunately, an open-source solution exists that does not require a monthly fee. That solution is Webmin, which, like competing closed-source products, allows users to configure and control various applications, such as the Apache HTTP Server, PHP, MySQL, Dovecot, SpamAssassin, ClamAV, and others, without needing to use command-line configuration of these disparate products.

  • GNU guru slams Windows, OS X, popular apps as malware

    Microsoft Windows and Apple’s operating systems are malware because they “snoop and shackle” users, GNU creator Richard Stallman said in an opinion piece published in The Guardian.

  • 2 Geeks Invent Technology that Thwarts the NSA

    COMMUNITY CUBE is an open source initiative dedicated to protecting the privacy and security of online citizens around the world. We design, build and distribute technological solutions that protect email, web browsing, data storage and social media activity in a safe, affordable and easy to use manner.

  • Richard Stallman and Phil Zimmerman underline key concerns with tech sector

    Two of technology’s most pioneering developers have strongly criticised the current state of the industry, warning that the right to encryption is doomed and that users are exploited by the software that they use.
    Open sourcerer Richard Stallman has painted a very bleak picture of today’s technology and communications environment, describing proprietary software as “malware”.

    Stallman, the founder of the free software movement, perhaps not surprisingly has a very jaundiced view of proprietary software, and of Microsoft Windows especially.

  • A fight is brewing over ads in the ‘open-source Photoshop’

    It’s an accusation that SourceForge quickly refuted, with its public response titled “GIMP-Win project wasn’t hijacked, just abandoned.” As far as it’s concerned, the project was dumped more than 18 months ago, and SourceForge charitably “stepped-in to keep this project current.” The rebuttal also claims that previous concerns over misleading third-party ads were discussed and addressed well before this controversy began.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Considering Hadoop? Evaluate Apache Drill Along With It

      MapR Technologies, which focuses on Apache Hadoop, recently announced the general availability of Apache Drill 1.0 in the MapR Distribution. Drill, which we’ve covered before, delivers self-service SQL analytics without requiring pre-defined schema definitions, dramatically reducing the time required for business analysts to explore and understand data.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Libre Office comes to Android

      The Document Foundation has released a version of Libre Office for Android.

      The new app allows users to read and edit documents. The Document Foundation bills the app as a “Viewer” with “experimental … basic editing capabilities, like modifying words in existing paragraphs and changing font styles such as bold and italic.”

      Viewing documents will also feel like an experiment for many users: when Vulture South tried the app it dumped us into a listing of our Galaxy S5′s directories and offered no depiction of the phone’s internal storage or secondary SD card. Nor does the app integrate with the cloud storage services to which we subscribe.

  • CMS

    • Dynamically static

      Since 26th December 2005, I’ve been runnning this blog with WordPress. At the time there were little alternatives and finally I had got hold of a host (Dreamhost, at the time) that supported PHP and MySQL without being overly restrictive. 10 years later, things have somehow changed.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU FISICALAB 0.3.5

      I’m glad to announce the release of version 0.3.5 of GNU FisicaLab, this is a feature release. FisicaLab (can be pronounced as PhysicsLab) is an educational application to solve physics problems. Its main objective is let the user to focus in physics concepts, leaving aside the mathematical details

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Why aren’t you using github?
    • Announcing GitTorrent: A Decentralized GitHub

      I’ve been working on building a decentralized GitHub, and I’d like to talk about what this means and why it matters — and more importantly, show you how it can be done and real GitTorrent code I’ve implemented so far.

    • PHP version 5.5.26RC1 and 5.6.10RC1

      Release Candidate versions are available in remi-test repository for Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS) to allow more people to test them. They are only available as Software Collections, for a parallel installation, perfect solution for such tests.

Leftovers

  • ‘Farewell, readers’: Alan Rusbridger on leaving the Guardian after two decades at the helm

    This, if you’re reading the physical paper – which, of course, you are not – is my last edition as editor. In just over 20 years we have put nearly 7,500 papers “to bed”, as almost no one says nowadays. At some point in the 24-hour, seamlessly rolling digital news cycle, you’ll have a new editor. I will have slipped away and my successor, Katharine Viner, will have materialised at the helm.

  • Bangert: Awkward … Ed reform called out at Purdue

    Maryann Santos de Barona, dean of Purdue University’s College of Education for the past six years, was at the front of a Stewart Center meeting room May 14 for one of those death-by-PowerPoint presentations. From among her dozens of slides, the dean was showing the university’s trustees a sinking trend line of undergraduates enrolled in Purdue’s teacher education program.

  • Pakistani CEO arrested for selling degrees from “Barkley” and “Columbiana”

    The CEO of a Pakistani company called Axact, which called itself the country’s largest software exporter, was arrested yesterday in Karachi. Axact and its CEO, Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh, are accused of running a global network of selling fake diplomas.

  • Stuxnet

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Why did the US Army ship live anthrax?

      US military officials revealed Wednesday that the Army bioweapons laboratory at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah shipped live anthrax samples to 18 facilities in nine US states, as well as to a US military base in South Korea.

    • China doesn’t recognize ‘illegal’ McMahon Line: Beijing responds to NSA Ajit Doval

      Sticking to its stand that McMahon Line on India-China boundary is “illegal”, China said on Monday it is ready to work with India to resolve the vexed border issue at an early date through “friendly consultations” to create more favourable conditions for bilateral ties.

    • Assange: UK Media Silent on Trident Leaks Due to Self-Censorship
    • ​Trident nuke safety questioned by Salmond after Navy whistleblower leak

      Alex Salmond has secured time in Parliament on Thursday afternoon to debate claims by a Navy whistleblower that Britain’s Trident nuclear missiles are unsafe and unsecure.

      The MP for Gordon and former Scottish National Party (SNP) leader will question the government on safety at HM Naval Base Clyde, where Trident submarines are based.

      Whistleblower William McNeilly, 25, is currently being held in a secure military base in Scotland. He went AWOL following the publication of his damning report into safety and security at the site.

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has accused the “conspicuously silent” British media of self-censorship over its coverage of the Trident revelations.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Even Before TPP And TTIP, US Already Being Forced To Change Laws By Trade Agreements

      As that makes clear, alongside the fact that it is quite possible that the US will indeed modify its laws here because of a trade agreement, this would be happening even though the laws in question enjoy huge support among the US public. Which shows that trade agreements can not only force laws to be changed, but can do so with absolutely no regard to what the people in whose name they are supposedly negotiated, actually want.

    • How to Prevent the Next Global Recession
    • We Need New Budget Agreement to Reverse Mindless Austerity

      Cuts to affordable housing deny resources to transform clusters of poverty into functioning and sustainable mixed-income neighborhoods and eliminate lead poisoning in communities such as Baltimore, where this preventable and prevalent illness is a contributing factor in the cycle of poverty.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Charter Industry Strong-Arms Public Officials; $3.3 Billion Spent (Part 5)

      The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has pledged to tighten controls of its quarter-billion-dollar-a-year charter schools program—a program repeatedly criticized by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for waste and inadequate financial controls, as CMD has helped document in this special report series.

    • The Press And Bernie Sanders

      As the Vermont liberal spreads his income equality campaign message, the press corps seems unsure of how to cover him. In the month since he announced his bid, Sanders’ coverage seems to pale in comparison to comparable Republican candidates who face an arduous task of obtaining their party’s nomination. The reluctance is ironic, since the D.C. press corps for months brayed loudly about how Hillary Clinton must face a primary challenger. Now she has one and the press can barely feign interest?

    • Why The Media Ignores Jeremy Hammond While Praising Edward Snowden

      Jeremy Hammond’s hack of Stratfor, a corporate intelligence agency, created global solidarity by revealing how the 1% targets activists worldwide.

  • Censorship

    • Did the New Statesman censor its censorship issue?

      Now, Spiegelman has accused the magazine of censoring him. In a post on his Facebook page, Spiegelman says that he pulled the special cover he had drawn for the magazine at the last minute after the magazine went back on an agreement to include his ‘First Amendment Fundamentalist’ full-page cartoon. The cartoon in question referenced the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists.

    • A summer break from campus muzzling

      The attack on free expression is sinister because it asserts that such freedom is not merely unwise but, in a sense, meaningless. Free speech is more comprehensively and aggressively embattled now than ever before in American history, largely because of two 19th-century ideas. One is that history — actually, History, a proper noun — has a mind of its own. The other is that most people do not really have minds of their own.

    • 6 June: Artistic censorship in repressive regime

      The panel will be asked to explore from their personal and political perspective different aspects of freedom of expression in repressive regimes; the interface between artistic inspiration and life in repressive regimes, and the role of the media in terms of raising awareness of the increasing restrictions placed on artists to curb freedom of expression.

    • Anti-Censorship Coalition Backs Steinbeck’s Book
    • Censorship of breasts is misogynistic

      Sexualization of the female body is a man-made concept, a notion that dates far prior to the tantalizing brushstrokes of Picasso’s daring hand. Society’s ingrains the impression that the female body is somehow erotic and must be suppressed in order to prevent adultery and fornication. Instead of placing responsibility on the patrilineal figures, the blame is continually set on women.

    • Nipple censorship: Why are we so afraid of the human body?

      I have nipples.

      As does everyone. So why are we obsessed with hiding them?

      Instagram clarified its nipple rule last week: They are a no-no, but breastfeeding is OK, as are mastectomy scars. Facebook is also anti-nip.

    • Should Authors Shun or Cooperate With Chinese Censors?

      A report by the PEN American Center, which found some books were expurgated by Chinese censors without the authors even knowing it, called on those who want their works published in the lucrative Chinese market to be vigilant, and recommended a set of principles in dealing with publishers.

    • ‘The UK is becoming the world leader in censorship’, says obscenity lawyer following porn ID checks proposal

      Britain is at the cutting-edge of censorship, it has been claimed, as government plans to implement ID-based age checks for pornography websites gather pace.

    • UK pornography industry proposes user ID checks for adult websites

      Britons may soon face identity checks to access adult material on the internet, according to discussions between Whitehall and the private sector.

      A scheme proposed by the pornography industry would see adult sites verifying visitors’ identity with organisations such as banks, credit reference agencies or even the NHS.

    • Free porn sites in the UK could be subject to age checks
    • UK porn laws might mean ID checks with the post office
    • Will User ID Verification Proposed By UK Pornography Industry Come To The US?
    • The onslaught of Internet porn
    • Government plans pose serious risk to free expression

      The new UK government’s plans to tackle extremism and introduce a British bill of rights, as outlined in the Queen’s Speech on 27 May, raise the stakes significantly for freedom of expression in the United Kingdom.

    • Scholar takes a dim view of haredi censors

      Last week, after Israel’s new cabinet ministers posed for a photographer, the picture appeared in a popular news site and a newspaper serving the country’s haredi, or fervently Orthodox, community. There was, however, a notable alteration: The faces of the three women cabinet ministers were blurred out, apparently for the sake of “modesty.”

    • Film censorship in China

      A group of Chinese filmmakers, scholars and curators discuss independent filmmaking in China and the government’s crackdown on independent film festivals in recent years

    • Muhammad Cartoon Ad Blocked From D.C. Buses and Train Stations

      The mass transit authority that oversees commuter buses and trains in the nation’s capital is banning issue-oriented ads for the remainder of the year after receiving an ad proposal featuring a cartoon of Muhammad, Islam’s central figure.

      The cartoon is a sketch by artist Bosch Fawstin of a turban-wearing, sword-wielding man saying “You can’t draw me!” It won a “draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas, that was unsuccessfully attacked by Muslim-American roommates earlier this month.

      The ads would have sported a banner saying “Support Free Speech.”

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • U.S. removes Cuba from list of terrorism sponsors
    • “Pretrial Punishment”: Julian Assange Remains in Ecuadorean Embassy Fearing Arrest If He Leaves

      Five years ago this week, U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning was arrested in Kuwait and charged with leaking classified information. Weeks later, WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of internal logs from the war in Afghanistan. It was one of the largest leaks in U.S. military history. Major articles ran in The New York Times, Guardian, Der Spiegel and other outlets. Chelsea Manning, then known as Bradley, and Julian Assange soon became household names. While Manning was sentenced to 35 years in jail, Assange has been living for the past three years inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he has political asylum. Assange faces investigations in both Sweden and the United States. Here in the United States, a secret grand jury is investigating WikiLeaks for its role in publishing leaked Afghan and Iraq war logs and State Department cables. In Sweden, Assange is wanted for questioning on allegations of sexual misconduct, though no charges have been filed. “Look at Thomas Drake, for example, NSA whistleblower … The pretrial process was both the deterrent, the general deterrent, and it was the penalty,” Assange said. “And the same thing is happening here in the WikiLeaks process, where we have no rights as a defendant because the formal trial hasn’t started yet. The same thing has happened with me here in this embassy in relation to the Swedish case: no charges, no trial, no ability to defend yourself, don’t even have a right to documents, because you’re not even a defendant.”

    • Julian Assange on NSA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Secretive Deal, and Europe’s Secret Plan for Military Force on Refugee Boats from Libya.
    • VIDEO: Julian Assange on NSA, TPP, British Nukes, Libyan Refugees and His Struggle for Freedom

      In an hourlong discussion on “Democracy Now!” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says that the NSA can continue to spy on Americans in spite of legislation coming out of Congress and that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is about corporate control.

    • Real Democracy Promotion: Lord Acton and Tom Clancy vs John Yoo

      This currently anti-democratic system can likely be traced to a couple of weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks, when a top secret memo was written by Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) Attorney John Yoo, (who would also write the “torture memo” a year later). The OLC memo stated, among other things: “First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully. ‘When a nation is at war, many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right.’” This OLC opinion–see full article by retired Army Major Todd Pierce–claimed authority of the President as the Commander in Chief to use the military both inside and outside of the U.S., and was probably the authority for the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) military operation within the U.S., spying on Americans.

    • Dallas PD Guts Specifics From Citizen Recording Policy, Leaving Only Vague Reminder To Respect Pre-Existing Rights

      It shouldn’t need to come to this, but the Dallas Police Department has finally issued a policy related to citizen photography. There are many reasons law enforcement agencies need to remind officers of the right to record, but the Dallas PD may have needed a bit more of a nudge after a Texas legislator tried (unsuccessfully) to impose additional restrictions on citizen recordings — like a 25-foot “halo” around working officers, supposedly for their safety.

    • New Dallas Police Photo Rights Policy Way Too Vague, Photographers Say

      The Dallas Police Department has officially released a new general order that’s meant to inform officers on photographers’ rights. The document, titled “Public Recording of Official Acts,” warns officers that they cannot interfere with a person photographing or filming their activities as long as the recording is being done in an appropriate way.

    • Man Threatens Suicide, Police Kill Him

      On May 11, Justin Way was drinking and threatening to hurt himself. His father, George Way, said his son was a recovering alcoholic and had been alcohol-free for five weeks.

      “He just lost his job, and he had a setback,” he said.

      Way’s live-in girlfriend, Kaitlyn Christine Lyons, said she’d caught Justin drinking a bottle of vodka, which she took away from him to pour out. She said he was drunk, lying in their bed with a large knife, saying he would hurt himself with it. She called a non-emergency number in an attempt to get her boyfriend to a local St. Augustine, Florida, hospital for help—and told them she did not feel threatened.

      “My brother has been Baker Acted three times because he was threatening to hurt himself so I figured that would happen with Justin,” said Lyons. Florida’s Baker Act allows the involuntary institutionalization of an individual, and it can be initiated by law enforcement officials.

      “The only person Justin threatened was himself and I honestly don’t think he wanted to die.”

      Minutes later, two St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies, 26-year-old Jonas Carballosa and 32-year-old Kyle Braig, arrived at the home, armed with assault rifles, and told Kaitlyn to wait outside.

      “I thought they were going into war,” she remembered thinking when she first saw the large guns. Within moments, Justin was shot dead.

    • Sunk: How Ross Ulbricht ended up in prison for life

      On October 1, 2013, the last day that Ross Ulbricht would be free, he didn’t leave his San Francisco home until nearly 3:00pm. When he did finally step outside, he walked ten minutes to the Bello Cafe on Monterey Avenue but found it full, so he went next door to the Glen Park branch of the San Francisco Public Library. There, he sat down at a table by a well-lit window in the library’s small science fiction section and opened his laptop.

      From his spot in the library, Ulbricht, a 29-year-old who lived modestly in a rented room, settled in to his work. Though outwardly indistinguishable from the many other techies and coders working in San Francisco, Ulbricht actually worked the most unusual tech job in the city—he ran the Silk Road, the Internet’s largest drug-dealing website.

    • Silk Road Mastermind Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison

      Ross Ulbricht, the man behind the darkweb drug marketplace known as the Silk Road, has just been sentenced to more imprisonment than he has actual lives: two life sentences and “max sentences on all other charges.” In addition, the government has chosen to hold him financially culpable for every single transaction that occurred at the Silk Road — a fine of $184 million — $166 million of which it has already recouped through the auction of seized Bitcoins.

    • Former House speaker Dennis Hastert indicted by federal grand jury

      J. Dennis Hastert, the longest-serving Republican speaker in the history of the U.S. House, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges that he violated banking laws in a bid to pay $3.5 million to an unnamed person to cover up “past misconduct.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • After FBI domain expires, seized Megaupload.com serves up porn

        Earlier this week, something suspicious started happening with Web addresses related to sites seized by the FBI from Megaupload and a number of online gambling sites. Instead of directing browsers to a page with an FBI banner, they started dropping Web surfers onto a malicious feed of Web advertisements—some of them laden with malware.

05.29.15

Links 29/5/2015: ALT Linux 7.0.5, Google I/O 2015

Posted in News Roundup at 5:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Five Reasons to Use Linux

    Quite simply, most of us use desktop Linux because it’s superior to all other brands, including Windows and OS X — even including Unix and the BSDs. This is a fact, not an opinion. There are reasons why Linux runs a majority of the worlds servers and powers most big enterprises, and in an example of where the trickle down theory actually works, those reasons trickle down (or up — depending on your viewpoint) to the desktop.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Goodbye Marco

        The GNOME project is sad to have learnt that Marco Pesenti Gritti recently passed away after a long fight with cancer. Marco made major contributions to GNOME, having been the original author of both the Epiphany (also known as “Web”) browser and Evince, the GNOME PDF reader. Besides his significant contributions and technical ability, Marco was known as a good friend who served as an inspiration to many within the community.

        Members of the GNOME community have expressed their sadness at Marco’s death. Xan López, the current Epiphany maintainer, wrote: “I remember fondly working with Marco on Epiphany many years ago. His patience and good character were instrumental in getting me involved with GNOME and Free Software”. Another contributor, Tomeu Vizoso, said: “He reviewed my first patches ever to a free software project and his contagious enthusiasm was what put into motion my career in open source.”

        GNOME wasn’t the only community that Marco was a part of: he also played an important role in the development of Sugar, a platform which focused on education and the developing world.

        Our thoughts are with Marco’s family and friends at this difficult time.

      • GNOME Boxes 3.18 to Offer Express Installation for Fedora 22 and 21

        The GNOME developers are still preparing for the release of the second milestone towards the GNOME 3.18 desktop environment, due for release on September 23, 2015.

  • Distributions

    • Run the Kali Linux Penetration Testing Distro on Any Platform via Docker Images

      At the request of many users, the Kali Linux developers are proud to announce the immediate availability of Docker images for the Kali Linux operating system, helping users run Kali on various OSes.

    • Reviews

      • An About.com Review Of Bodhi Linux

        Bodhi Linux is a distribution I have followed for a number of years. I used to have it installed on my Acer Aspire Netbook and it featured in my list of “12 great distributions for netbooks” article that I wrote back in October 2013.

        The point of Bodhi Linux is to get out of your way and let you decide which applications are installed on your computer.

        I gave my previous review of Bodhi Linux the title “Quick but Quirky”.

        The reason for that title was that the desktop whilst whizzing along quite nicely had a few strange Enlightenment-isms which would have made it a probably no-no for beginners.

        How does the latest version measure up? Read on and find out.

      • Review: Ubuntu 15.04 is an amazing release, but I hate it

        I have run Ubuntu 15.04 since the day it was made available, and while it was a great release, one decision by Ubuntu is ruining it for me.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva’s Next Release Will be a Tribute to Mandrake Linux

        Softpedia was among the first to report a few days ago the sad news that the French Mandriva S.A. company that developed, maintained, and distributed the popular Mandriva Linux operating system is in the process of being liquidated.

      • After 17 Years Mandriva Being Liquidated

        It’s with a heavy heart that I report that Mandriva Linux is no more. Mandrake Linux, as it was known in the beginning, was the Linux distribution that freed my computer from the lock-in and insecurity of proprietary alternatives. While saddened, no one is really surprised at this last whimper. Mandriva suffered financial issues for nearly the entirety of its existence, even filing bankruptcy at least once. Fortunately, with projects like Mageia and OpenMandriva, Mandrake Linux will live on in more than just our memories.

      • Tribute to Mandrake

        Good news everyone, a new version of OpenMandriva is ready to see the world in a few days, 2014.2 will soon bemaking its way to you. Listen out for details, features – and torrents!

      • Mandrake, Mandriva, Mageia, OpenMandriva… FOSS is FOSS!

        Yesterday we learned that Mandriva, the company, was shutting down. I read a lot of sad comments on Twitter about it and realized that few of those guys seemed to be aware that actually Mandriva, the company, wasn’t doing a Linux distribution anymore for several years. The Mandriva Linux distribution, which earlier forked as PCLinuxOS, Mageia and others, is now OpenMandriva.

    • Slackware Family

      • New calibre packages – finally

        During the previous couple of weeks I enjoyed several long weekends due to national holidays, and so it happened that I could spend some time re-visiting the calibre.SlackBuild and updating it so that it was able to compile a package for Calibre 2.x.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat: Top 3 cloud barriers for NZ businesses

        The Red Hat Cloud Adoption survey also revealed that many companies fear their applications won’t be suitable for deployment into IaaS or PaaS.

      • Tech bubble will end badly: Red Hat CEO
      • Fedora

        • F22 release & upgrades, Flock & FUDCon
        • Appstream data for RPMFusion – now available!

          I’ve been working on generating appstream data for RPMFusion packages recently. At the moment, since only Fedora packages provide appstream data, only they can be installed using Gnome software – for RPMFusion packages, a user must use another package manager – DNF and so on. Considering that a lot of the packages in RPMFusion are media player front-ends and things, it’d make it a lot easier for users if these were also listed in Gnome software. I spent a number of hours today writing appstream data files for the RPMFusion packages – both in the free and non free repositories. I believe I’ve written appstream data files for all packages that could be listed in Gnome software now. (They’re hosted here in the Github repository I set up for this purpose). I had already generated initial RPM packages for the free and non free repositories and submitted review tickets to RPMFusion. They’re still unassigned, so if you are a package maintainer with a few free cycles, please consider reviewing them. They are really simple reviews.

        • Fedora’s “Fedup” To Be Replaced In Fedora 23

          Fedup right now is the command for handling in-place Fedora upgrades from release-to-release and it’s been around since Fedora 17. However, with the Fedora 23 release due out in late 2015, that utility will likely be replaced with a new version to handle upgrading to new releases.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Innocent Until Proven Guilty

            In case you missed the latest news, Jonathan Riddell has been accused by the Ubuntu Community Council (CC) of breaking Ubuntu Code of Conduct (CoC) and has been asked to resign from his position of leader of the Kubuntu project (a title which actually does not exist and which he never claimed to hold)

            I had the chance of meeting Jonathan when I joined Canonical in 2009. I was a bit intimidated during my first Canonical real-life meeting, but Jonathan carried me around and went out of his way to introduce me to many of my then new colleagues.

            Since then he has always been one of the friendliest person I know. We often shared rooms during Canonical, Ubuntu or KDE events and went on to be colleagues again at Blue Systems. I believe Jonathan kindness is one of the reasons why the Kubuntu community has grown into such a welcoming and closely-knit group of people.

          • Ubuntu Phone Update This Month Brings Many Improvements

            This month’s Ubuntu Phone Update sent over-the-air is bringing a number of new features and improvements for Ubuntu smartphone users over the next few days.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Platform Emojidex Offers “Emojis-As-A-Service”

    Like them or not, emojis are turning into the mobile era’s lingua franca. Now a project called emojidex is offering “emojis-as-a-service,” with a platform that lets developers share new emojis with each other and add them to their websites and apps.

  • Trade agreement could prohibit open source code supply

    An international trade agreement under negotiation with Australia, the United States, the European Union and others may have wide-ranging implications for the technology users, according to civil liberties groups.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation has analysed leaked drafts of texts for the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) written in February this year, and claims it would prohibit countries involved from forcing vendors to disclose source code used for applications in their equipment.

  • The real road to democracy: how open source is sparking a revolution in enterprise

    Forget the dotcom bubble burst of the noughties; never before has the promise of a digital economy ranked so highly in the global marketplace. Having faced significant downturns over the last decade or so, many economies – the UK, Portugal and Iceland, to name a few – have spawned a new wave of digital entrepreneurs.

    Those who perhaps found themselves out of a job, or facing unprecedented levels of competition for limited employment opportunities after education, have created their own jobs and companies, bringing new found energy and increased competitiveness into the enterprise sector.

  • First Look Media Publishes Warrant “Canary,” Releases Software for Managing Canaries
  • Twitter open-sources Kit and Digits developer tools for Android

    In advance of Google I/O later this week, Twitter is making both Twitter Kit and its telephone sign-on tool Digits open source on GitHub for Android developers.

  • Twitter Open Sources Twitter Kit and Digits for Android
  • Events

    • Open source + big data = Apache: Big Data

      The Linux Foundation in conjunction The Apache Software Foundation has announced Apache: Big Data, an inaugural conference to take place on September 28-30 in Budapest, Hungary.

    • U.S. Moodle Conference To Focus on Open Source in Education

      The Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota will be hosting a Moodle conference sponsored by the main organization behind the Moodle project. “MoodleMoot US” will run Aug. 4-6 in Minneapolis and feature Moodle founder Martin Dougiamas as well as speakers from higher ed and K-12 sharing how they use open source tools, including the Moodle open source course management system, in education.

    • Hands on Embedded Linux Development Training

      This 3-day seminar focuses on how Linux has been adapted for use in embedded environments, with specific emphasis on the ARM architecture. Through extensive hands-on lab work, you learn how to install a cross-development environment, build a compact version of Linux for an embedded device, install the build on the target system, and test its operation. You’ll create and test programs that exercise I/O as well as networking applications .

    • Performance and Scalability Microconference Accepted into 2015 Linux Plumbers Conference

      Core counts keep rising, and that means that the Linux kernel continues to encounter interesting performance and scalability issues. Which is not a bad thing, since it has been well over ten years since the “free lunch” of exponential CPU-clock frequency increases came to an abrupt end. This microconference will therefore look at futex scaling, address-space scaling, improvements to queued spinlocks, additional lockless algorithms, userspace per-CPU critical sections, and much else besides.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • RMS, free software and where I fail the goal

      Maybe my memory is blurred due to the fact, that the seperation of firmware from the Linux kernel, and proper firmware loading got implemented only years later. I remember the discussion about the pwc driver and its removal from Linux. Maybe the situation wasn’t better at that time but the firmware was just hidden inside the Linux driver code?

  • Licensing

    • Relicensing Dolphin: The long road to GPLv2+

      Since its resurfacing as an open source project in 2008, Dolphin has been licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2). This license, created in 1991, is still a fairly common license used in the open source world. But as with anything that deals with technology, times are changing at a rapid rate. More recent projects are using GNU Public License version 3 and Apache 2.0, for their additional freedoms, protections from outside liability, and improved inter-license compatibility. Unfortunately these newer licenses are not compatible with GPLv2, and any project using these licenses cannot link to Dolphin and thus, Dolphin cannot link to them.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Openness and Innovation for Smart Cities

      Apps implementation and open government data use and re-use, are examples of it, and Open & Smart Government are nowadays trends where technology has an important role. In this paper we explore this perspective, with special focus in the open innovation within the city.

    • Open Hardware

      • HACKberry 3D Printed Myoelectric Prosthesis Now Open Source

        Over the past few years we have seen rapid progress in the use of 3D printing to create low cost alternatives to traditional prostheses for amputees. The latest development involves the exiii team from Japan whom we previously reported on for their handii device. In review, the team is made up of former Sony and Panasonic engineers, they set out to create a low cost myoelectric prosthesis that was not only functional but also stylish and customizable. The result of the efforts is the HACKberry, a sleek and functional $300 prosthesis made up of 3D printed components and myoelectric sensors. The sensors interact with a smartphone to actuate the fingers of the device. The design won them a James Dyson award in 2013.

      • Can Open-Source 3D Printing Make Custom Prostheses Affordable?

        Then, in 2014, Chris read about an organisation called e-NABLE, a 5000-strong international group of 3D-printing enthusiasts. Using open-source prosthetic designs, these volunteers print and assemble prosthetic hands and arms costing as little as £40. Those wanting a prosthesis send through photos, measurements and other specifications. The organisation then matches recipients with volunteers.

  • Programming

    • Is SourceForge hijacking project accounts?
    • SourceForge ‘hijacks’ GIMP, wraps it inside ads

      SourceForge didn’t stop at taking over the GIMP account and locking Simončič out, they also manipulated the software and wrapped it inside an ad-infested installer. I checked yesterday and it was indeed adware. Unfortunately I didn’t bother to grab a screenshot and I regret it now. Today when I checked, the package had been updated and it’s now ad-free. There is no changelog on SourceForge so I can’t see what changes were made to the package, but I can see that the last update was made today.

  • Maintaining an open source project at the Guardian

    Over the 2015 Easter holiday the Scribe project received more than 3000 stars (a combination of bookmarking, liking and favouriting) on Github, making it easily one of the most popular open-source projects we have created at the Guardian.

    In addition to that milestone we also celebrated the release to our internal production systems of a number of community-contributed changes to Scribe. Guardian journalists now benefit every day from participation in the open-source community!

Leftovers

05.28.15

Links 28/5/2015: SourceForge Hijack, RIP Marco Pesenti Gritti

Posted in News Roundup at 2:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Voice of the Masses: What will Linux look like in 10 years?

    The future promises to bring us many things: solar powerered hoverboards, giant underground cities on Mars, and slightly less painful dentistry. But what about in Linux? How do you think our operating system will look like in 10 years? Maybe we’ll all be controlling our Wayland-powered Gnome 18 desktops via eye movement trackers, or perhaps the long-established desktop metaphors will ultimately win and not much will drastically change.

  • Running Linux On The Intel Compute Stick

    The Intel Compute Stick has begun shipping, a tiny device that plugs into any HDMI TV or monitor and turns it into a fully-functioning computer. This low-power PC ships with Windows 8.1 or Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, though at the moment the Windows version is first to market with the Ubuntu Compute Stick not widely shipping until June. I have an Intel Compute Stick at Phoronix for testing.

  • 11 pointless but awesome Linux terminal tricks

    Linux is one of the most astoundingly functional and utilitarian Operating Systems around when it comes to working from the command line. Need to perform a particular task? Odds are there is an application or script you can use to get it done. Right from the terminal. But, as they say in the good book, “All work and no play make Jack really bored or something.” So here is a collection of my favorite pointless, stupid, annoying or amusing things that you can do right in your Linux Terminal.

  • Desktop

  • Security

  • Kubuntu/Canonical Feud

    • Moderating and Code of Conduct

      To me there seems to be a lot of similarities between above and personal experience with moderating. Basically: don’t moderate in threads you’ve participated in because you’re biased. If you think you’re unbiased, guess again and have fun dealing with the fallout if you still take a decision. I thought a few times that I really could be unbiased and was proven wrong each time.

    • Ubuntu Community Council Can’t Track Down $143,000 Worth of Donations

      The Ubuntu Community Council has made a rather troublesome discovery regarding the accounting of $143,000 in donations. From the looks of it, no one knows how this money was spent.

    • Jonathan Riddell gets full support from the Kubuntu community

      By now, you’ve probably met the donate page on Ubuntu, the one you see when you go to download an Ubuntu ISO. This donation page has led to a schism between the Ubuntu Community Council and Jonathan Riddell, the ‘leader’ of the Kubuntu project. All stemming from a perceived lack of transparency regarding donations made to Canonical.

    • Challenges and opportunities

      Jonathan’s questions to the CC about a legal issue and that of funds donated to the flavors were not personal, but done on behalf of the Ubuntu community, and on behalf of us, the Kubuntu Council and the Kubuntu community as a whole. We are still concerned about both these issues, but that pales in comparison to the serious breach in governance we’ve experienced this past week.

    • Making Sense of the Kubuntu/Canonical Leadership Spat
    • Jonathan Riddell forced out of Kubuntu

      He has also stated his intent to leave the Ubuntu community. “I also wish to extend my personal apology to the Kubuntu community for keeping this private for as long as we did. Generally, I don’t believe such an approach is consistent with our values, but I supported keeping it private in the hope that it would be easier to achieve a mutually beneficial resolution of the situation privately. Now that it’s clear that is not going to happen, I (and others in the KC) could not in good faith keep this private.”

    • Of course I support Jonathan

      I’m disappointed in the way the Ubuntu Community Council has handled this and I think the way they treated Jonathan is appalling, even taking into account that he could’ve communicated his grievances better. I’m also unconvinced that the Ubuntu Community Council is at all beneficial to the Ubuntu community in its current form. The way it is structured and reports to the SABDFL makes that it will always favour Canonical when there’s a conflict of interest. I brought this up with two different CC members last year who both provided shruggy answers in the vein of “Sorry, but we have a framework that’s set up on how we can work in here and there’s just so much we can do about it.” – they seem to fear the leadership too much to question it, and it’s a pity, because everyone makes mistakes.

    • #ISupportCommunity
    • Ubuntu Community Manager Explains the Workings of the Community Council

      Canonical has a community team that interacts with the users and Nicholas Skaggs is part of that team. He wasn’t involved in the discussions regarding Jonathan Riddell, but he posted a lengthy post on his blog explaining what is the Community Council and why it’s important to respect its decisions. One phrase, in particular, is very interesting.

      “So please respect the authority of our community governance structure. Respect those who serve on both councils. Not satisfied? We vote again on Community Council members this year! Think we should tweak/enhance/change our governance structure? I welcome the discussion! I enjoyed learning more about ubuntu governance, and I challenge you to do the same before you let your emotions run with your decisions”, wrote Nicholas Skaggs.

    • Joining the Kubuntu Family

      I’m very happy to join the Kubuntu Team and look forward to supporting the project through contributions in my spare time.

    • #ISupportJonathan

      You too can let folks know that you support Jonathan Riddell just like the Kubuntu Council has by tweeting with hashtag #ISupportJonathan or using this nifty banner on social media.

    • Shuttleworth delivers death blow in Umbongoland dispute

      A storm of accusations, claims, and furious counterclaims has hit the Ubuntu penguins, with a community cleaved of its head following allegations of unsavory behavior.

      Long-time Kubuntu dev Jonathan Riddell has been dismissed as head of Kubuntu and removed from all positions of responsibility within the Ubuntu community.

    • Kubuntu: Statement from a not so important Kubuntu Developer.

      It truly saddens me to see all this FUD being thrown around, by folks that up till recently I had great respect for.
      Couple things that do not sit well with me at all.
      1) Absolutely zero communication to the Kubuntu Council about the “issues” with Jonathan prior to the shocking “request”.
      2) The Kubuntu Council asked (repeatedly) for one thing: proof. This still has not been provided.
      So what was suppose to happen here? Evidently bow down, walk away and happily work away silenced.
      This is NOT the open source / FLOSS way. At least not to my understanding. Perhaps I have misunderstood the meaning all these years.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux 4.1 Kernel Benchmarks With An Intel Core i7 IVB System

        Yesterday I ran some fresh tests of Intel Ivy Bridge on the latest Mesa Git code to see if the performance has changed much recently for the slightly-older generation of Intel HD Graphics. Today I’ve done some similar tests in kernel-space with the Linux 4.1 kernel.

        I ran benchmarks from the same Core i7 3770K system while testing the vanilla Linux 3.19, 4.0, and 4.1 Git kernels and running various graphics tests to see if there’s been any recent i915 DRM kernel changes affecting the Ivy Bridge graphics performance.

      • Mesa Git OpenGL Tests With Intel Ivy Bridge Graphics

        From an Ubuntu 15.04 x86_64 system with the Linux 3.19 kernel, I ran some tests on an Intel Core i7 3770K Ivy Bridge desktop system in our labs. Compared was the stock Mesa 10.5.2 on Ubuntu 15.04 against Mesa 10.7-devel Git as of this week.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • ColorHugALS and Sensor HID

        As Bastien hinted in his last blog post, we now have some new test firmware for the ColorHugALS device. The ever-awesome Benjamin Tissoires has been hacking on an alternative device firmware, this time implementing the Sensor HID interface that Microsoft is suggesting vendors use for internal ambient light sensors on tablets and laptops for Windows 8.

      • Mourning Marco Pesenti Gritti

        I unfortunately have some terrible news, Marco Pesenti Gritti passed away last Saturday in London, after a long fight against cancer. He was with his family and in good medical hands. He leaves behind his girlfriend Daniela and 4 year old daughter Daniela. I had the chance to say goodbye last week, and convey thoughts and support for his coworkers, current and passed.

        I was lucky to have worked with Marco for many years at litl, on a very broad range of projects, and had the chance to count him as a good friend. He was the most passionate and dedicated hacker I knew, and I know he was extremely respected in the GNOME community, for his work on Epiphany, Evince and Sugar among many others, just like he was at litl. Those who knew him personally know he was also an awesome human being.

        We will try to help his family as much as we can. He will be sorely missed.

      • GNOME’s Mutter 3.17.2 Adds X11/Wayland Clipboard Interoperation

        GNOME’s Mutter window manager was updated to v3.17.2 today as the latest development version in the road to GNOME 3.18.

        Of importance to Mutter 3.17.2 is that it now supports X11/Wayland clipboard interoperation. Now the clipboard contents from copying and pasting can be done between native X11 and Wayland applications, which previously wasn’t possible up until now for those running a mix of X11 and Wayland programs on the desktop.

      • The 5 best distros for the Gnome desktop

        Gnome is a great great desktop environment that offers an elegant and simplified Linux experience. These are the 5 best distros for Gnome that offer it as the default DE.

      • GNOME Shell for GNOME 3.18 Increases Expanders’ Visibility in the Alt-Tab Popup

        The GNOME Project is about to release the second development release towards the GNOME 3.18 desktop environment, which will see the light of day on September 23, 2015.

      • GNOME’s Orca Is Now Compatible with the Latest Mozilla Thunderbird Releases

        The Orca open-source screen reader and magnifier software that is used by default in numerous Linux kernel-based operating systems, including Ubuntu, has received a new update in preparation for GNOME 3.17.2.

      • Cinnamon 2.6.3 Arrives in Unstable Official Repository for Linux Mint

        Cinnamon developers have just released a new version of the desktop environment today, 2.6.3. The packages are now available for testing in Linux Mint 17.1 and Linux Mint Debian 2, via the Romeo unstable repository.

  • Distributions

    • 10 of the most popular lightweight Linux distros

      Modern Linux distros are designed to appeal to a large number of users. As a result, they have become too bloated for older machines or systems with limited resources. If you don’t have several gig of RAM to spare and an extra core or two, these distros may not deliver the best performance for you. Thankfully, there are many lightweight distros that you can use to breathe new life into older hardware.

      But there’s one caveat when working with lightweight distros – they usually manage to function with limited resources by cutting away just about everything you take for granted, such as wizards and scripts which make everyday tasks easier.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • Indonesia uses Linux, openSUSE for pilot project

        An estimated 45,000 students from a province in Indonesia have enhanced their education and computer-usage knowledge through a pilot program using Linux and openSUSE that is expected to become a nationwide educational program.

        From 2009 to 2014, the project called “Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Utilization for Educational Quality Enhancement in Yogyakarta Province” used openSUSE and created material with Linux to enhance educational quality and equality in Yogyakarta Province schools.

    • Slackware Family

      • KDE 5_15.05 packages are available for slackware-current

        I am trying to keep up with a monthly release of KDE 5 (Plasma5) packages for Slackware-current. So far, so good, and every month I have been able to make a significant difference. Today the KDE developers released an update to Plasma 5 while earlier this month you could have noticed updates for Frameworks and Applications. Time for some new packages for Slackware land!

    • Red Hat Family

      • New Red Hat Cloud Suite for Applications Offers Open Source Integrated IaaS and PaaS Solution

        Red Hat has announced Cloud Suite for Applications, an accelerated way to develop, deploy, and manage applications at scale using open source technologies. The new cloud offering helps enterprises reduce silos and enable more efficient OpenStack cloud deployments. Through the platform, Red Hat is offering IaaS, PaaS and management in an open environment, supported by Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the ability to leverage certified hardware of choice.

      • Red Hat Extends Enterprise Management for OpenStack with CloudForms 3.2

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced Red Hat CloudForms 3.2, the latest version of its award-winning solution for managing private and hybrid clouds. CloudForms 3.2 delivers innovative management features that enable customers to automate the deployment and management of OpenStack infrastructures, using advanced management instrumentation available in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 7 release (based on OpenStack Kilo).

      • Jim Whitehurst

        • Beware Red Hat interviews: you’ll pay for coffee, lunch and fuel

          Want a job at Red Hat? If so, prepare to buy your interviewer coffee, lunch and maybe even the petrol needed to drive to the coffee shop.

          That’s what happened to the company’s CEO Jim Whitehurst when he was interviewed by his predecessor Matthew Szulik.

        • Red Hat CEO: Here’s how to create an ‘Open Organization’

          In a brand-new book, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst explains what he’s learned from leading the largest open source company and how the lessons can be applied

        • The open source CEO strikes again

          In The Open Organization, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst presents a compelling, modern alternative to the traditional, top-down hierarchy of business organization. I had the pleasure of interviewing Whitehurst for TechCrunch.com in early 2012, and the seeds of many of the ideas in the book were clearly present even then. Reading The Open Organization felt, in some ways, like the conclusion to that interview.

        • Why I Wrote “The Open Organization”

          In my line of work, I get a lot of questions. Most of these are along the lines of “What’s it like to be CEO of an open source company” or “Where do you see technology moving over the next year?”

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • SourceForge hijacks GIMP account, loads it with adware

    It looks like SourceForge has taken over the account of GIMP user Jernej Simončič who was maintaining the Windows version of the project.

  • SourceForge grabs GIMP for Windows’ account, wraps installer in bundle-pushing adware [Updated]

    SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP’s lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements.

  • Using Windows? Avoid SourceForge.

    GIMP is not the only program. According to Ars Technica, a SourceForge staffer appears to have taken control of the SourceForge repository for all these projects:

  • SourceForge accused of shackling GIMP in kinky adware
  • SourceForge takes liberties with open-source software, uses it to push advertisements
  • GIMP Devs Accuse Sourceforge of Locking Them Out and Distributing Adware
  • Sourceforge accused of hijacking GIMP photo editor, company claims project was abandoned
  • Genode OS 15.05 Brings New Drivers, Architecture Improvements

    The release of the Genode OS 15.05 Operating System Framework is now available and it’s quite a sizable release.

    Genode OS 15.05 is shipping with a new AHCI driver, new audio drivers ported from OpenBSD, new SD-card drives, platform support for the i.MX6, and multi-touch support.

  • Test out DocHive for data geeks and journalists

    DocHive is an open source Ruby on Rails project for capturing data from image-based PDFs. Created for journalists and other professionals who need a more efficient way to extract meaning for tedious data, DocHive is in development and ready for testing in the community.

  • Philly’s open source mentorship program is back and expanding to 3 cities

    Women are drastically underrepresented in the open source movement. Of the open source contributions made in 2013, only 11 percent were made by women, according to a survey of the open source community.

    Girl Develop It wanted to change that. That’s why the nonprofit partnered with civic hacking group Code for Philly last year to launch a summer-long open source fellowship for women. Fellows said the program helped them find their place in the tech community.

  • Research community looks to SDN to help distribute data from the Large Hadron Collider

    There is one project called the LHC Open Network Environment (LHCONE) that was originally conceived to help with operations that involved multiple centers. To understand this, though, I have to explain the structure of the data and computing facilities.

  • How to Find the Best Open Source Project to Work On

    In my last article for Linux.com, I explored a few ways newcomers to open source projects can get started. While there are many resources to explore open source project communities, choosing which project to contribute to can still be a quite daunting task. You could go searching in the more than 23 million repositories on GitHub, the world’s largest source code hosting platform. But there are better ways. This article is meant to be a short guide to help novice open source practitioners more easily identify the first project they’d like to contribute to.

  • Using Raspberry Pi to get teens involved in open source

    At the end of last month, I had the unique opportunity to participate with a few of my work colleagues on the US2020 RTP STEM EXPO. About 500 students from North Carolina interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) showed up to the event. My colleagues and I gathered around a couple of tables and chatted with students, teachers, administrators, and parents about open source, open hardware, and programming.

  • Companies should be on the hunt for gremlins in the open-source machine

    Open-source software makes the computer code at its heart publicly accessible. This in turn means that anyone can update it or change it to suit their own needs. Closed-source, or proprietary software, remains the property of its original authors, who are the only ones legally allowed to copy or modify it. So Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is a closed-source product, but if you are reading this article on Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, you are making use of an open-source product. The authors of those browsers have made the source code available to you, and – if you were so inclined – you could view the code, copy it, learn from it, alter it and share it. But read to the end before you dive in.

  • Twitter Kit and Digits for Android go open source

    With a swarm of developers from around the world converging on San Francisco’s Moscone Center tomorrow for Google I/O, Twitter wants them to keep the company’s real-time social platform at the top of mind. This afternoon it announced that its developer tools for integrating Twitter into Android apps have been open-sourced, with the projects now hosted publicly on Github.

  • First Look Publishes Open Source Code To Advance Privacy, Security, and Journalism

    The Intercept and its publisher First Look Media strongly believe in the benefits of free and open source software — in part because we rely on such software every day. To keep our journalists and sources safe, we use secure communication tools like the data-encryption system GnuPG, the Off-the-Record secure messaging protocol, the SecureDrop communications platform, and the secure calling and texting app Signal. To publish on the web, we use the GNU/Linux operating system; the Apache web server; OpenSSL, a web encryption library; WordPress, the open-source blogging engine; and Piwik, which tracks web traffic. The list goes on.

  • Google Makes The Roboto Typeface Open Source

    With Ice Cream Sandwich, Google introduced Roboto to the world. Since then, the family (designed by Googler Christian Robertson) has expanded to include a set of slab serif fonts, and has even seen a major revision introduced with Android 5.0 last year.

  • Google has made its Roboto font open source
  • Google’s Roboto font for Android and Chrome is now open source
  • Google has made its Roboto font totally open source
  • Google makes its Roboto font from Android/Chrome OS open source
  • The Android ‘Roboto’ Font Is Now Open Source To Be Modified
  • Google makes their most famous font: Roboto completely open-source
  • Chrome for Android Goes Open Source; Now Anyone Can Build a Chromium Browser for Android
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • Basho combines its databases with open-source tech into an analytic bundle

      The intensifying competition in the NoSQL world is driving Basho Technologies Inc. to move up the value chain with a new platform promising to provide a unified environment for storing and processing the growing amounts of unstructured data entering the corporate network. It’s the latest realization of the tried and true one-shop-stop approach to differentiation in the enterprise.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice launches Open Document Format viewer app for Android

      THE DOCUMENT FOUNDATION, curator of the LibreOffice suite, has announced LibreOffice Viewer for Android.

      LibreOffice Viewer is the first native application from the group to offer Open Document Format documents.

      The term ‘Viewer’ should be emphasised at present, as the Foundation acknowledges that it is not ready for “mission critical tasks” in edit mode, and indeed users have to opt in to editing within settings.

      It is an important first step, however, and the community is already working on a fuller version that offers more of the expected features.

  • CMS

    • 8 features multilingual organizations should look for in a CMS

      For rapidly growing organizations, global expansion introduces hosts of new challenges. As you are spinning out more sites, you will likely be opening the door to new regional sites featuring local translations. In this scenario, a content management system (CMS) with multilingual capabilities isn’t just a nice feature to have, but rather a necessity.

  • Education

    • NY State school libraries fund flexible software

      OPALS is licensed under a GPL license, and libraries can elect to support it on their own hardware or have it hosted by Media Flex in the United States, or by Bibliofiche in Canada and internationally. Media Flex hosts nearly two thirds of the 2,000 libraries worldwide currently using OPALS. The other third are self-hosted and supported by MediaFlex.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU ease.js 0.2.5 release [stable]

      This is a feature release, focused primarily on the continued development of traits. This release succeeds v0.2.4, which was released 07 Aug, 2014.

  • Project Releases

    • Blender 2.75 Allows For AMD OpenCL Support

      A test build of Blender 2.75 was released this past week and it will be of interest to a lot of open-source designers and artists.

      Blender 2.75 notably has added initial support for OpenCL on AMD Radeon GPUs with the Cycles Rendering. The AMD OpenCL support is coming as the Cycles compute kernels have finally been split into smaller kernels, so they now compile and work for AMD GPUs. However, the AMD OpenCL stack failing to work with transparent shadows due to a compiler bug. The AMD OpenCL improvements for Blender was work led by AMD that we previously covered on Phoronix.

    • Blender 2.75 Open-Source 3D Modelling App Will Be a Massive Release with AMD GPU Support

      The Blender Foundation has informed users today, May 27, about the immediate availability for download and testing of the first Beta test build of the forthcoming Blender 2.75 open-source and cross-platform 3D modelling software.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • BuzzFeed Founder Launches New Lab for Open-Source Invention

      Over the nearly two decades that BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti has spent inventing things, he’s figured out that one of the most important ingredients of new ideas is something closer to play—experiments taken on not to profit immediately, or to develop a product, but because they’re flat-out fascinating. It’s what he figured out at MIT Media Lab, where he first became Internet Famous after his correspondence with a Nike customer service representative over getting the word “sweatshop” stitched into his sneakers went viral. And it’s what he promoted at the Brooklyn art and technology nonprofit where he built Eyebeam OpenLab, an open-source research and development space for artists.

    • Open Hardware

      • Introducing the Cubic Board — A Completely Open Source FPGA Project

        We believe the Cubic SoC board has a lot more performance and capability than other similar products out there (e.g., Arduino or Raspberry Pi) and — using the Cyclone FPGA’s pin migration capability — adding additional hardware resources by building the same board with a larger capacity FPGA is possible. All that processing power does, however, come at a price premium, probably retailing for sub-$200, which we believe is still very accessible for many hobbyists and commercial product developers.

      • exiii Japan releases Open Source files for amazing 3D printed HACKberry Bionic Hand

        Exiii, which consists of graduates from Sony’s manufacturing industry including Gentu Kondo, Hiroshi Yamaura, Tetsuya Konishi and by Akira Morikawa – have concluded the first iteration of their Open Source HACKberry bionic hand and have just released all of the design files online for others to use in creating their own bionic hands using a 3D printer and some basic hardware components – including an existing smartphone for the onboard computer.

      • Can Open-Source 3D Printing Make Custom Prostheses Affordable?

        One exciting thing about 3D-printed prostheses is that the designs are all freely available open source and constantly evolving. Holmes-Siedle is particularly interested in tensioning, and the fishing wire that acts as tendons in the prosthetic hands. He made some changes to the basic design of Joe’s hand and within minutes of sharing his new designs online, other volunteers around the world were printing, testing and giving feedback on the adjustment. He’s now working on a new revision based on what he’s learned.

      • Building better assistive technology with open hardware

        For many people, technology assists and augments our lives, making certain tasks easier, communicating across long distances possible, and giving us the opportunity to be more informed about the world around us. However, for many people with disabilities, technology is not an accessory but essential to living an independent and quality life.

        [...]

        Examined through the lens of accessibility, open hardware brings a lot of advantages, such as letting people with disabilities use readily available hardware that others use regardless of ability. Open hardware’s basic tenets in openness and usability allow for the creation of more customized, personalized assistive technology devices that fit a user’s needs. Open hardware allows for features to be added or removed as an individuals’ needs change with age and ability, extending the life of their device. The availability of parts, detailed guides, and tutorials on various single-board computers (SBCs) and components, ease of repair, and affordability are all profound qualities that are not only wanted, but needed in AT. Also, since open hardware is not locked behind proprietary controls and patents, there’s no requirement to use insurance or obtain medical permission to alter, modify, or change the state of what is truly owned by the person—in this case, their own assistive technology device.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe

      The 6th May 2015, the European Commission published a communication to the European Parliament, the Council, The European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions councerning a new Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe.

Leftovers

  • Reynolds: Fire administrators to fix higher ed

    Administrators increasingly outnumber faculty, and they’re weighing down higher education.

  • UK TV Licensing – Time to let a court hear this episode.

    So my message to TV Licensing is this: Good. Lets go to court. Lets have a court hear how I’ve written twice, let a court see my payment already made and my in date license; and then let the court hear my counter claim for the waste of my time and loss of earning incurred from attending. I’ll donate any award from the court to a local food bank.

  • Science

  • Security

    • IT Security Pros See Rise in Salaries

      Lead software security engineers, security consultants and others tasked with repelling cyber-threats can expect to earn six-figure salaries per year.

      Salaries for security tech professionals can greatly exceed the baseline for IT professional salaries, according to a report from Dice, the IT jobs portal.

      Lead software security engineers, directors of security, security consultants and others tasked with repelling cyber-threats can expect to earn six-figure salaries per year, so long as their skills, experience and certifications prove to be a match for demanding roles that are continuously evolving, the report noted.

    • The Price Of Ignoring Free Internet Security Advice: Billboards Of Goatse

      Great, so because whoever is in charge of managing that electronic billboard couldn’t be bothered to take the advice any competent technology person who came across the setup, of which there must have been at least one, the great people of Atlanta were treated to one of the most disgusting images in human existence. I’m generally loathe to blame the victim, but the owner of a public-facing billboard must have some culpability when it comes to securing their display. And I say that there was at least one person who warned them about this, because at least one has come forward publicly.

    • Hush! Call that bug ‘severe’ at your own risk

      Ever had a job where you had to constantly look over your shoulder and were hesitant to make decisions because you could be blamed for them? It’s not fun. I once found myself in such a situation, but fortunately, it didn’t last too long.

      In the late aughts, I worked for a large national bank that was acquired by an even larger national bank. Our bank still ran our own IT operation, but we engaged with the larger bank’s incident management team for any major problems. Part of my job supporting our Retail Bank organization was incident coordination.

    • iOS bug lets anyone crash your iPhone with a text message

      Glitch causes iOS to choke when certain non-Latin script is sent in a text message, causing the device to crash

    • Logjam, Part 1: Why the Internet is Broken Again (an Explainer)

      The discovery last week of another major flaw in TLS was announced, nicknamed “Logjam” by the group of prominent cryptographers who discovered it. It’s getting so hard to keep track of these flaws that researchers at INRIA in France created a “zoo” classifying the attacks (which is not yet updated to include Logjam or the FREAK attack discovered in March). Despite the fact that these attacks seem to be announced every few months now, Logjam is a surprising and important finding with broad implications for the Internet. In this post I’ll offer a technical primer of the Logjam vulnerability.

    • Logjam, Part 2: Did the NSA Know the Internet Was Broken?
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Tony Blair Resigns As Middle East Peace Envoy, Twitter Has A Field Day

      Yes, the news that the former British prime minister has quit his job as a peace envoy for Quartet after eight years has been met with the sort of reaction you’d expect. At least: the sort of reaction you’d expect on Twitter. Which is a mixture of mirth, relief and irony…

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Critics of Capitalism Must Include Its Definition

      Because capitalism is so regularly defined as “a market system,” we may consider first the actual nonequivalence of capitalism and markets. Capitalism became the dominant economic system in England in revolt against feudalism there in the 17th century. Capitalism spread from England to the western European mainland and thereafter to the rest of the world. However, capitalism was neither the first nor the only system to utilize markets as its means of distributing resources and products. In the slave economic systems that prevailed in various times and places across human history, markets were often the means of distributing resources (including slaves themselves) and the products of slaves’ labor. In the pre-Civil War United States, for example, masters sold slaves and cotton produced by slaves in markets. Thus, the presence of a “market system” does not distinguish capitalism from a slave system.

    • NYT: ‘Too Generous’ Family Policies Cause Discrimination Against Women

      That’s one way to put it, and the article, by “Women at Work” columnist Claire Cain Miller, puts it that way repeatedly. Women are paid less in Chile as a “result” of the law that requires employers to provide childcare for working mothers. Maternity leave measures “have meant that” European women are less likely to achieve powerful positions at work. Policies intended to mitigate the penalty women pay for their traditional “dual burden,” the Times says, “end up discouraging employers from hiring women in the first place.”

      The workplace repression of women is described as the “unintended” impact of family-friendly policies. Sure, such impacts weren’t intended by the policies’ drafters, but that makes it sound as though there were no conscious human beings behind decisions to pay working mothers less or not to hire women. It isn’t the policies that “make it harder” for women, but the male-centric management structure’s unwillingness to integrate those policies into the way work is done. Why not say that?

    • KKR Rolls Out Petraeus in $4 Trillion Hunt for Family Wealth

      McCarthy is the type of investor that KKR and its private equity competitors including Blackstone Group LP and Carlyle Group LP are increasingly courting. Family offices and their advisers manage an estimated $4 trillion, including for the newly rich in Silicon Valley and China, Midwestern entrepreneurs and old money in Europe.

    • Sterling falls on UK GDP data

      Sterling fell on Thursday after data confirmed that the UK economy grew at 0.3 per cent in the first quarter compared with the previous three months, disappointing those who had expected a higher reading.

    • “Dirty last-minute deal” sees ISDS accepted by key European Parliament committee

      In a significant omission, one of the European Parliament’s key committees, INTA, has not called for the rejection of the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in its TTIP report, which will be voted on by the full European Parliament on June 10. Although neither today’s vote, nor the plenary next month, has any direct effect on the negotiations, it is regarded as an indicator of the mood of the MEPs, and of how any eventual vote on ratifying TTIP might go.

      The second-largest party in the European Parliament, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group, published a position paper on ISDS back in March, which said: “we have made it clear that we do not see a need for its inclusion and have called for it to be excluded when negotiations for the investment chapter start.” It appears that S&D MEPs initially held onto this position in INTA, but as the result of what the Greens MEP Michel Reimon calls a “dirty last-minute deal” between the main political parties, they voted to drop all mention of ISDS from the committee’s final report.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • NYT Scrapes the Bottom to Argue ‘Democrats Pulled Too Far Left’

      Surely Wehner remembers that after the first half of Clinton’s first term, Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate for the remainder of his administration—exactly as happened under Obama. There were 30 Democratic governors when Clinton took office, and 19 when he left; there were 29 when Obama took office, and currently there’s 18.

      It’s true that Obama has been been bad news for his party—but as FAIR has long pointed out, that’s true of Clinton as well. An honest appraisal of the administrations of both Clinton and Obama, with their emphasis on deficit-cutting and corporate-friendly trade deals, reveals both Democrats to be establishment centrists—and centrist politics, contrary to what the punditocracy would have you believe, do not have a particularly winning record at the ballot box.

  • Privacy

    • The government’s data law – an attack on encryption?

      Overdue modernisation of the way the authorities monitor criminals and terrorists – or a Snooper’s Charter eroding our basic liberties? The proposal outlined in the Queen’s Speech to “modernise the law on communications data” will divide opinion. But prepare for another long battle over the way that law is framed and the balance it strikes between privacy and public safety.

      [...]

      The Open Rights Group (ORG), which campaigns against increased surveillance, is convinced this is the return of the so-called Snooper’s Charter, with increased powers of data collection and retention aimed at the entire population, coupled with attacks on encryption.

      The ORG’s executive director Jim Killock thinks the bill will have two aims – codifying existing practices by the intelligence agencies uncovered by Edward Snowden and expanding data retention by ISPs.

      But he believes that the increasing use of encryption by the likes of Google and Facebook means that ordering ISPs to store their customers’ data won’t be enough: “There’s going to be a very interesting discussion about whether government can break encryption or order companies to break it.”

    • Obtained Emails Show FBI’s General Counsel Briefly Concerned About Privacy Implications Of License Plate Readers

      According to documents obtained by the ACLU, the FBI briefly had a crisis of (4th Amendment) conscience while putting together its license plate reader program. How it talked itself out of its privacy concerns remains secret, as do any policies or guidelines addressing potential privacy issues. All we have so far is a heavily-redacted email in which the FBI’s General Counsel is noted as struggling with the issue.

    • German “Gründlichkeit” (Thoroughness)

      The German BND and the American NSA are not so different in the end, especially regarding their objectives and actions. The NSA might be better equipped technically and the BND signs formally correct contracts. In any case, this shows again that we can not trust that suggestions like “Schengen-Routing”, data storage in Germany only or even German inventions like “De-Mail” serve to protect the privacy of communications and data.

    • Queen’s Speech: Snooper’s Charter is back, plus extension of GCHQ powers

      The Queen’s Speech, delivered this morning at the opening of UK parliament, has confirmed earlier indications that the Snooper’s Charter is on its way back, with the UK government promising that “new legislation will modernise the law on communications data.”

      An analysis in The Guardian claims this new legislation will also include “an extension of the powers of the security services in response to the surveillance disclosures by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden,” although no sources are given for that information.

    • UK Government Goes Full Orwell: Snooper’s Charter, Encryption Backdoors, Free Speech Suppression

      The old joke goes “George Orwell’s 1984 was a warning, not a ‘how to’ manual.” But that joke is increasingly less funny as the UK really seems to be doing everything it can to put in place Orwell’s fictitious vision — just a few decades later. Right after the election a few weeks ago, we noted the government’s plan to push forward with its “extremist disruption orders” (as had been promised). The basic idea is that if the government doesn’t like what you’re saying, it can define your statements as “extremist” and make them criminal. Prime Minister David Cameron did his best Orwell in flat out stating that the idea was to use these to go after people who were obeying the law and then arguing that the UK needed to suppress free speech… in the name of protecting free speech. Really.

    • Updated: Flower Mound HS Student Photographer Forced to Take Down Website

      A sophomore honors student at Flower Mound High School who posted online some of the photos he took as part of his yearbook class, has been forced by school administrators to take down the photos. Anthony Mazur, 16, is on his school’s yearbook staff, and over the past year has been learning about photography- focusing mostly on sports photography. Mazur posted his best photos on Flickr, and had even been successful at selling a few of them to the parents of his subjects, until school administrators threatened him with in-school suspension or loss of privileges unless he removed them all.

      [...]

      Hass declined to answer our followup questions about how the AUP applied to the situation, since his work was related to a class project (yearbook), and since photographs taken at public events have no legal expectation of privacy, or whether Brown threatened him with expulsion, confiscating money, or reporting him to the IRS.

      Although the Mazur family is fighting the decision, Anthony says he is undeterred. He has since obtained his own camera, and is continuing to photograph sporting events, where he says he has the same access as other members of the public, and members of the media. “They’re not going to stop me, I’ll keep doing what I love,” said Anthony.

    • Hola VPN Sells Users’ Bandwidth, Founder Confirms

      The operator of 8chan says the bandwidth of millions of Hola users is being sold for reuse, with some of it even being used to attack his site. Speaking with TorrentFreak, Hola founder Ofer Vilenski says that users’ idle resources are indeed utilized for commercial sale, but that has been the agreement all along.

  • Civil Rights

    • Meanwhile, In Japan: More Arrests For Cheating At Video Games

      Some months back, we noted that something odd was happening in Japan: online gaming cheaters were being arrested. Yes, arrested. Not arrested in a virtual sense, not banned from games, arrested as in picked up by police and charged with a crime. This, in case you are undecided on the matter, is insane. Cheating and online gaming have been a virtual arms-race for going on forever and generally it’s been on the gaming companies to win that war. If they can use law enforcement as a new ally, the implications could be scary, especially when it’s quite easy to levy accusations of cheating and when simply finding ways to exploit an advantage within a game is often times mistaken for cheating as well.

    • Steam Replaces The Linux Tux Logo With SteamOS

      In an unsurprising move, Steam has replaced the Linux icon of “tux” with their own SteamOS icon. I completely understand why they did this, but it does make things confusing.

    • A Bill AP Calls a ‘Compromise’ Could Put AP’s Sources Away for 10 Years

      If you’re more worried about the government spying on you than you are about the government losing “valuable surveillance tools”—well, I guess AP is not the news service for you, then.

      One such PATRIOT Act preservation effort is labeled a “compromise” by AP—Senate Intelligence Committee chair Richard Burr’s proposal to extend the NSA’s bulk collection of domestic phone records until 2017—in what AP calls a “transition.”

    • Corruption Welcome in London

      The FBI had somebody wearing a wire at the London Olympics to capture the FIFA corruption taking place in the margins. What were the British authorities doing? Nothing.

      Britain prides itself as having in London the world’s leading financial centre. Substantial assets, both financial and real estate, from FIFA corruption are located in London. But Britain has taken over the crown from Switzerland as the major financial destination which will always protect ill-gotten wealth.

      Alisher Usmanov played a major role as bagman for the corrupt Russian World Cup bid, particularly with delegates from FIFA’s Asian Confederation. His place as Britain’s third richest resident is very obviously based on extreme Russian corruption and he rose to power and wealth solely with the use of gangster muscle and contacts he gained and expanded while serving a prison sentence for blackmail. But he is a billionaire and beloved by the City of London so there is no danger of him ever being investigated in the UK.

    • Fifa scandal: Why the US is policing a global game
    • Putin: FIFA-linked arrests are US attempt to thwart Blatter re-election
    • 2 Teen Diablo Players Were Charged, Got Probation For ‘Stealing’ Virtual Items That Were Replaced

      With some of the recent news stories about how cheating, or other crimes, committed in virtual settings is resulting in real-world legal consequences, I’m sort of surprised the media hadn’t picked up on this story before. Apparently back in the summer of 2012, two teenagers, Patrick Nepomuceno and Michael Stinger, ran a scheme in Blizzard’s Diablo 3 in which Stinger would send out a link to another player that allowed Nepomuceno to take control of the player’s computer, force the player’s character to drop all of his/her valuable virtual game items, and then Stinger would scoop them up.

    • An Innocent Pressure Cooker Pays The Price In The War On Terror

      Israel Shimeles operates a food truck (SUSPICIOUS!) and moved those items to his parked car to make more room in his truck. He has since apologized and calls his own actions “stupid.” That’s the world we live in today, where a propane tank and a pressure cooker laying in plain sight in a parked vehicle results in destroyed property and apologies from the person who’s now out a pressure cooker, propane tank and rear window.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T Argues Net Neutrality Violates Its First Amendment Rights

      Back when Verizon sued to overturn the FCC’s 2010 net neutrality rules, the telco argued that the FCC was aggressively and capriciously violating the company’s First and Fifth Amendment rights. According to Verizon’s argument at the time, broadband networks “are the modern-day microphone by which their owners engage in First Amendment speech.” Verizon also tried to claim that neutrality rules were a sort of “permanent easement on private broadband networks for the use of others without just compensation,” and thereby violated the Fifth Amendment.

    • Code injection: A new low for ISPs

      Imagine you’re on the phone with your doctor, discussing a very sensitive and private matter that requires your full attention. Suddenly in the middle of a sentence, your mobile phone provider injects a recording saying you’ve used 90 percent of your minutes for the month and to press 1 to contact customer service, and repeats the message until you either hit 1 or hit 2 to cancel.

      Or you’re on a call with a buddy, talking about your favorite sports team. Suddenly you get several text messages with “special offers” from companies that sell jerseys and other sporting goods.

    • Net Neutrality On The Ropes In Europe As Some EU Members Wimp Out On Real Rules

      While net neutrality may have recently found its way into the Merriam Webster dictionary, it still hasn’t managed to find its way to Europe. Most assumed that the EU would have passed net neutrality protections long before the States, so the FCC beating the EU to the punch surprised more than a few people. That was especially true if you’d been watching some of rhetoric coming out of the EU over the last few years.

      [...]

      The EU’s net neutrality bill began in 2013 when Kroes introduced a proposal for a Telecoms Single Market (TSM), or a single piece of regulation covering all telecom issues across the EU. That proposal was slowly but surely boiled down to just two major proposals: one aimed at eliminating wireless roaming between EU nations to reduce consumer rates, and one focused on enshrining net neutrality into law. Like initial efforts in the States, however, this proposal was packed with all manner of loopholes pushed for by major telecom carriers, worried their ability to abuse limited last-mile competition would come to an end.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Never Ending Copyright Dispute

        For the last few years, we’ve been covering a long (now complete) saga concerning the status of the copyright on Sherlock Holmes. A few years ago, we wrote about the odd state of the copyright according to the Conan Doyle Estate — which insisted that the character was not in the public domain in the US (even as it is in the public domain in many other countries). That’s because, while nearly all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works were published long before 1923, a final set of 10 stories were published after. The Estate erroneously argued that as long as any part of Sherlock Holmes was under copyright, all of it was. In 2013, a scholar of Sherlock Holmes sued the Estate to argue otherwise. And despite the silly fears of the Estate, both the district court and the appeals court rightly explained how copyright law works to the Estate, noting that all of the early works are in the public domain, and the only copyright that may be maintained is in the marginal creative additions in those final 10 works. The appeals court even went so far as to argue that the Estate was abusing antitrust laws in demanding fees from everyone. And the Supreme Court refused to review the case.

05.27.15

Links 27/5/2015: Fedora 22 is Out, Mandriva Liquidated

Posted in News Roundup at 5:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Innovation: What’s In and What’s Out

    Open source innovation has not only revolutionized the software and biotech industries — it’s completely changed the way we think about creativity. To be derivative is now a form of being creative. That is, in order to do something new, we don’t have to build something new — we can use existing and emerging forms, made available through open access, and do something new with them. This promotes a democracy in the innovation game: with open source services, there is no discrimination against persons or groups or against fields or endeavors.

  • 4 steps to creating a thriving open source project

    Andrey Petrov spoke at a Sourcegraph open source meetup about lessons learned from his successes and failures creating open source projects.

  • Google turns its Android font Roboto into an open source project

    Designed by Christian Robinson, the Roboto font files were first released in 2011 under the Apache license. Now, the company is organizing the files and the font production toolchain into a fully realized open source project on Github.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Downgrading to stable

      The system works fine otherwise and can be accessed via ssh, but restarting kdm doesn’t help to fix it, it just changes the pattern. Anyway, as explaining a toddler he cannot watch his favourite youtube cartoons because suddenly the computer screen has become an abstract art work is not easy I quickly decided to downgrade.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Richard Stallman Says He Created GNU, Which Is Called Often Linux

      Richard Stallman is the President of the Free Software Foundation and also the founder of GNU or GNU’s Not Unix! operating system that contains only free software. One of his constant claims is that GNU/Linux is a misnomer and that it shouldn’t be used. In fact, he’s now saying that the GNU operating system is often called Linux.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Researchers to track down obstacles to digital DIY

      An EU-funded research project wants to find regulations and other obstacles that hinder digital Do-It-Yourself companies. A consortium of universities and research institutes in Manchester, Milan, London, Thessaloniki and other cities intends to help small enterprises benefit from digital DIY, help policy makers and prepare teachers and educators.

    • Open Data

      • Open Government and geo-data infrastructures at AGIT 2015

        One of the themes at the AGIT 2015 conference will be Open Government and geo-data infrastructures. According to the organisers, the availability of standardised open government services has increased the importance of government geo-data infrastructures, taking the opportunities for using geo-information to a new level. Discussions will focus on questions like what value can be created by building a European ‘spatially-enabled society’ as part of the European knowledge society, and what are the challenges and prospects with regard to cloud computing.

      • How open data is transforming the business landscape

        Despite pledges by the G7 and G20 to boost transparency by opening up government data, fewer than 8% of countries publish data sets in open formats and under open licences on public sector budgets, spending and contracts.

    • Open Hardware

      • Hubble delivers a more affordable 3D laser cutter

        Hubble is an open source, mid-level laser cutter designed to be affordable, versatile, and hackable. Hubble was created to fill the current gap between amazing, entry-level projects, like MicroSlice, and the expensive, proprietary laser cutters on the market.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Stop Feeding the Troll: The Case for an ISIS Propaganda Blackout

      Now, there’s no actual evidence that any of this is anything more than deranged ranting, yet here we are: Millions of casual news observers who scrolled through western media this weekend came away thinking ISIS is plotting to acquire a nuclear bomb, kill the president and prostitute his wife.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • EU dropped plans for safer pesticides after pressure from US

      EU plans to regulate hormone-damaging chemicals found in pesticides have been dropped because of threats from the US that this would adversely affect negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), according to a report in The Guardian. Draft EU regulations would have banned 31 pesticides containing endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that have been linked to testicular cancer and male infertility.

      Just after the official launch of the TTIP negotiations on 13 June 2013, a US business delegation visited EU officials to demand that the proposed regulations governing EDCs should be thrown out in favour of a further “impact study.” Minutes of the meeting on June 26 show Commission officials saying that “although they want the TTIP to be successful, they would not like to be seen as lowering the EU standards.” Nonetheless, the European Commission capitulated shortly afterwards.

  • Privacy

    • Glenn Greenwald, I’m sorry: Why I changed my mind on Edward Snowden

      I was wrong. So was most of the media

    • New surveillance laws must have full public debate, say top UK academics

      A group of 35 top academics have published an open letter calling on the UK government to ensure “the Rule of Law and the democratic process is respected as UK surveillance law is revised.” This comes in response to the UK government previously turning to draft “Codes of Practice” and “clarifying amendments” to extend its surveillance powers, rather than using primary legislation that is subject to full parliamentary and public debate. Interestingly, the letter includes signatories both for and against such extensions, working in the fields of law, media, policy, and technology.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Last chance for MEPs to save Net Neutrality?

      The negotiations on Net Neutrality comes to the end in June with next and probably final trialogue expected on 2nd of June. Until now, the different documents received from the negotiations1 have shown a very weak position of the Members of European Parliament (MEPs), abandoning the improvement on Net Neutrality that had been brought by the previous legislature. If the MEPs do not take this last chance to save Net Neutrality, it would have a critical impact on the way Internet is functioning, on the citizens’ fundamental rights and on further regulations adopted within the so-called Digital Single Market.

    • How people power took on big business in the fight for net neutrality in India

      At the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Jan Koum, chief executive of WhatsApp, made an announcement that would cause much unease 4,000 miles away in New Delhi. “We want to make sure people always have the ability to stay in touch with their friends and loved ones really affordably,” he said. “We’re going to introduce voice on WhatsApp in the second quarter of this year.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Court Order Forbids ‘Poor Pirate’ To Use BitTorrent

        A federal court in Oregon has signed off on a highly peculiar judgment against a Dallas Buyers Club pirate. Citing “financial hardship,” the woman doesn’t have to pay the $7,500 in costs and fees as long as she promises not to download any infringing material in the future, and removes any and all BitTorrent clients.

      • Rightscorp Offered Internet Provider a Cut of Piracy Settlements

        Rightscorp, the piracy monetization company that works with Warner Bros. and other prominent copyright holders, goes to great lengths to reach allegedly pirating subscribers. The company offered Cox Communications a cut of the piracy settlements if they agreed to forward their notices, the ISP revealed in court.

05.26.15

Links 26/5/2015: Reviews of Kubuntu 15.04, Linux 4.1 RC5

Posted in News Roundup at 5:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux and Windows Are Heading Towards a War That Microsoft Will Lose

    The “battle” between Windows and Linux is more of a fictional one, and it has been raging on for the past couple of decades. It wasn’t really a battle, despite what each side was saying, but that will undoubtedly change when Linux clearly becomes a force to be reckoned with.

  • A Linux proud history – 15 years ago and the Brazilian ATM

    The history i want to share with you is how that “marble Tux” happens. Yes, it was a production machine that you see in the picture and was running in every place in Brazil for at least 10 years.

    So, a 25 years old boy, in this case me, the guy typing now, who was working in a ILOG graphical toolkit partner suddenly decide to look for Linux jobs, it was out of university for 1 year, but was already infected for the open source and Linux for more than 3 years, and thought it can be done.

  • Nitpicking Linux

    If you present someone to the Linux world as GNU/Linux, you spend the next fifteen minutes trying to explain GNU. It’s difficult to explain in just a few minutes, it’s difficult to pronounce and it confuses the new Linux user. However, I make it a practice to bookmark websites that explain what GNU is and why it’s critical to Linux, and I tell people why it’s important to read about the subject when they have time.

  • The CompuLab Fitlet Is A Neat Little Linux PC With AMD SoC

    Earlier this year CompuLab announced the Fitlet PC as a tiny, fanless, Linux-friendly PC. The Fitlets are finally starting to ship at scale and recently I received one of the AMD-powered Fitlets that’s preloaded with Linux Mint. Here’s a quick look at the Fitlet.

  • CoreOS becomes available in OpenStack App Marketplace: Linux Wrap
  • CoreOS Linux is in the OpenStack App Marketplace

    Today at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, we are pleased to announce that CoreOS Linux – the lightweight operating system that provides stable, reliable updates to all machines connected to the update service – is included in the OpenStack Community App Catalog.

  • Desktop

    • Xolo Chromebook: Handy device for enterprises

      Google Chrome OS has been developed on the Chrome browser which has become hugely popular and successful. Google, which has also made the OS capable of running Android apps and games, recently launched three Chromebooks (laptops that run on the Chrome OS) made by three different manufacturers in India targeted at different segments of consumers with attractive price tags. Here’s a peek under the hood of Xolo Chromebook, priced at Rs. 12,999.

  • Server

    • Contain(er-ize) yourself, it’s Intel Clear Linux

      Intel explains that its aim was NOT to make ‘yet another general-purpose Linux distribution’; and so, as such, while it has included ‘many’ software components from the OpenStack Foundation, but it chose (among other decisions to cull) not to include a GUI or printing support.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Xfce’s Power Manager Is Finally Ported To GTK3

      The xfce4-power-manager 1.5.0 update is a big release! Xfce4-power-manager 1.5.0 is ported over to using the GTK3 tool-kit rather than GTK2, has also been ported to using GDBUS, has dropped its LXDE panel plug-in with upstream focusing upon LXQt, and there’s also various other improvements with this new Xfce power manager release.

    • xfce4-power-manager updated to 1.5.0

      Xfce4-power-manager version 1.5.0 was released today and I have updated that for rawhide and F22. Apart from bug fixes, there are one or two nice UI changes (shown in the screenshots).

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Interview with Griatch

        I’ve known about Krita for a long time, I might have first heard about it around the time I started to complement my GIMP work with MyPaint for painting. Since I exclusively draw in Linux, the open-source painting world is something I try to keep in touch with.

      • Hitting the ground running

        Today is officially the first day of coding for this year’s Google Summer of Code. For the next three months I will be working on bringing animation to Krita. There’s a lot of work ahead, but I have a solid plan to work with.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Why a Rolling Release Model is the Way to Go for Any OS

      In the last year or so, I’ve noticed that rolling-release distributions are becoming more and more popular among Linux users, and even big names like Ubuntu are considering the switch to a rolling update development model, but I think all operating systems should use the rolling release model.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Plex Home Theater 1.4.1 for Debian Jessie and Sid

        Recently Plex Plex Home Theater was updated to 1.4.1 with fixes for some errors, in particular concerning the new music handling introduced in 1.4.0. As with 1.4.0, I have compiled PHT for both jessie and sid, both for amd64 and i386.

      • Debian/TeX Live 2015 preparations

        I have uploaded a preliminary version of the texlive-bin based on the 2015 sources (plus the first fixes) to the Debian archive, targeting experimental. As there are four new packages built from the sources (libtexlua52, -dev, libtexluajit2, -dev) the packages have to go through the NEW queue, which at the moment is an impressive 500+ entries long (nearly top in total history). But ftp-masters are currently very active and I hope they continue for some time.

      • Reproducible builds: week 4 in Stretch cycle

        Lunar rebased our custom dpkg on the new release, removing a now undeed patch identified by Guillem Jover. An extra sort in the buildinfo generator prevented a stable order and was quickly fixed once identified.

      • Derivatives

        • Parsix GNU/Linux 7.0 Will Reach End of Life on June 14 to Make Room for Parsix 8.0

          The Parsix Project has recently announced that their Parsix GNU/Linux 7.0 (Nestor) distribution will reach the end of its life support in the coming weeks, urging users to upgrade to Parsix GNU/Linux 7.5 (Rinaldo) as soon as possible.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch to Get Improved Desktop Mode with Next Update

            Canonical is preparing a major new update for Ubuntu Touch, but it will take a while until it’s going to be ready. From the looks of it, the devs are preparing some interesting improvements and updates.

          • Ubuntu Powers Self-Driving Tesla Model S Modified by Bosch

            Ubuntu can be used for almost any task you can imagine and that includes powering a Boss-modified Tesla Model S so that it can run autonomously.

          • Dell Now Has Ubuntu Installation Tutorial on Its Website

            Dell is one of the biggest companies that sell PCs preinstalled with Ubuntu, and now they are also featuring a tutorial on how to install Ubuntu on your Dell machines.

          • GPS Navigation Coming to Ubuntu Touch

            One of the apps still missing from Ubuntu Touch is one that provides GPS navigation. Well, if you are an Ubuntu user that really needs this functionality, then you will be glad to know that an app called GPS Navigation is currently being developed.

          • Apport Exploits Closed in All Supported Ubuntu OSes

            A couple of Apport vulnerabilities have been found and fixed in Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

          • Canonical on the cusp of becoming a public traded company

            Since 2004, when Ubuntu was launched, Mark Shuttleworth, its founder, has been paying privately to keep Canonical (Ubuntu’s parent company) alive. While Canonical as a whole has been unprofitable, its OpenStack cloud division has become profitable. Based on this Shuttleworth has been contemplating whether Canonical should become publicly traded.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Review: Kubuntu 15.04 “Vivid Vervet”

              This month has been quite busy for me with classes. Now that the semester is finally over, I have a little more time, and that means I have enough time to do a review. It has been a few years since I’ve reviewed Kubuntu, the officially-supported variant of Ubuntu that uses KDE. Moreover, Kubuntu now features KDE 5 (I know the KDE naming and numbering system has become a lot more complicated, so this is, as a physicist might say, an intentional abuse of notation) as stable for the first time, so I figured I should try this version. I tried it as a live USB made with UnetBootin. Follow the jump to see what it’s like. (It should become progressively clearer through this review why there are no pictures.)

            • Exploring Kubuntu 15.04

              Kubuntu Kubuntu is an official Ubuntu community project which releases new versions in step with the rest of the Ubuntu community. Kubuntu ships with KDE’s Plasma desktop by default, offering users the latest technology to come out of the KDE project. Kubuntu’s most recent release, version 15.04, is the first to ship with Plasma 5 and this is also the first version of the distribution to ship with systemd as the default init technology. The distribution’s release announcement states, “Plasma 5, the next generation of KDE’s desktop, has been rewritten to make it smoother to use while retaining the familiar setup. The second set of updates to Plasma 5 are now stable enough for everyday use and is the default in this version of Kubuntu.”

            • elementary OS “Freya” Finally Gets Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

              elementary OS “Freya” has been out for some time now, but developers are still adding features to it despite the fact that it has been dubbed stable. Now, users have the option to define custom keyboard shortcuts, which was a very sought after feature.

            • Elementary OS 0.3 Freya Has Received A New Option, Permitting The Users To Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

              Elementary OS 0.3 Freya has received a new option that permits the users to define their custom keyboard shortcuts, a feature which has been long awaited by the community.

            • Pre-order Linux Mint 17.2 Rafaela
            • How to turn your old PC into a modern media center with Kodibuntu

              We will be using Kodibuntu, a Linux based operating system with sole purpose of giving you a modern HTPC features and interface. The goal of this tutorial is to help you in building a standalone, multi purpose media center which you can control from your smartphone, tablet or PC.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Introducing Tessel 2, a $35 Open-Source IoT Development Board That Runs Linux

      After having introduced you to the Lemon Pi single computer board, today we are happy to present Tessel 2, a development platform created by Technical Machine and designed from the ground up to be embedded in a product.

    • FPGA add-on boards support Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black

      Newark Element14’s new ValentFX Logi-Pi and Logi-Bone FPGA add-on boards for the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black feature Arduino and PMOD hooks.

      We first covered the Logi-Pi and Logi-Bone Logi-Boards back in Sept. 2013 when ValentFX showed off prototypes at the New York Maker Faire. The Logi-Boards, which integrate Xilinx SPARTAN-6 XC6SLX9 FPGAs, and plug into the Linux-based Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black hacker boards, respectively, have now reached market, thanks to a partnership with Newark Element14. ValentFX and Newark have also launched a $45.48 Logi-Edu educational board add-on that purports to teach everyday hackers the mysteries of FPGA.

    • Phones

      • Smartphone Bloodbath Q1 of 2015 same ole, same ole

        Nokia’s own MeeGo OS (used in Nokia N9) was regularly rated better than iOS…

      • Android

        • Google Makes Chrome For Android Open Source

          Google has announced that Chrome for Android is now open source, the news was announced by Android software engineer Aurimas Liuyikas on Reddit.

        • Screenshots of Google’s new Photos app for Android leak

          We’ve heard rumors since at least August 2014 that Google+’s image functions may be spun out into a standalone photo service. In March, Sundar Pichai, senior vice president for products at Google, said the company is going to put a renewed focus on photos. “Photos are a big use case,” Pichai said. “So we are going to say this is the stream now.”

        • Android’s stand-alone Photos app will give you more creative control

          Android Police has peeked at a leaked copy of a reworked Photos app, and it’s clear that Google is using the service split as an incentive to shake things up. The highlight may be Assistant (below), an effective substitute for Auto Awesome that gives you more creative power — you can produce more content yourself (such as Stories) instead of waiting for it to show up.

        • Android Factory Resets Are Flawed, Allow User Data to Be Recovered: Study
        • Factory data reset for Android leaves encrypted data and login keys intact

          Researchers at Cambridge University discovered they were able to recover data on a vast array of Android powered devices that had undergone the factory data reset process.

        • Android 5.1 Lollipop Update Coming To The NVIDIA Shield Tablet

          The update would improve performance and stability, and bring a Shield controller update that makes pairing easier. Among many other features, the LTE model includes improvement in camera, audio, and performance of the modem.

        • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop For Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9190: How To Install It Using CM12.1 Nightly Custom ROM

          Users of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini with the model number GT-I9190 can have the latest Lollipop experience on their smartphones with the help of a new custom ROM. The new CyanogenMod 12.1 (CM12.1) Nightly custom ROM is based on stock Android user interface with additional features and options.

        • Android Payments Could Be Key Item News From Google I/O: Merrill Lynch

          In the research report published on Friday, Merrill Lynch analysts gave their input on 2015 Google I/O developer conference that will take place on May 28- 29 in San Francisco, California. Since competition in the payments industry is on the horizon, the research firm expects Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) to launch an upgraded payment platform for the Android users.

        • Android M: This is Google’s new Photos app

          Google is expected to announce a bunch of new software initiatives later this week, one of them being Android M. Some leaks have already provided early information on what the upcoming operating system will have to offer, and a new report sheds light on what could be one of the most important new apps for Android M (and other Android versions) that Google is expected to announce at I/O 2015.

        • Best new Android widgets (May 2015) #2

          If you’re a dedicated Android fan and not making full use of widgets, then you’re totally not using the full potential of Google’s platform. See, if we take away widgets out of the feature bag, we are easily stripping it from one of its defining features.

        • Boffins silently track train commuters without tripping Android checks

          Nanjing University boffins Jingyu Hua, Zhenyu Shen, and Sheng Zhong have tracked commuter train trips with 92 percent accuracy using stolen phone accelerometer data.

        • ZTE unveils Q519T smartphone in China: 4000mAh battery, Android 5.0 Lollipop

          Chinese smartphone maker ZTE has unveiled the successor to the Q509T, dubbed Q519T, a new affordable smartphone which is priced at 599 Yuan (approximately Rs 6,100) in China. There is no information provided as to when the device will be available in India.

        • Android M and Nexus updates: The good, the bad and the ugly

          Android M is expected to be unveiled later this week at Google I/O, and it will bring several new features to Google’s mobile platform according to various reports, including a brand new device update guarantee for Nexus devices.

        • 10 Best Android Apps & Games This Week

          A week has passed, which means we’re back with our usual roundup with some of the best new Android apps and games that have made their way into the Play Store. This time we’ve got a good collection of games, so if you were looking to add some new ones on your Android smartphone or tablet, now is the right time to do it. Also, do check out our previous roundup, as well as this week’s sister list with the newest and greatest iOS apps, as well.

        • Asus ZenFone 5 Android 5.0 Lollipop Update to Release in ‘Next 3-4 Months’

          The Android 5.0 Lollipop update for Asus ZenFone 5 has been delayed by 3-4 months, reveals the Taiwanese company.

        • [Android Auto Watch] 2015 Hyundai Sonata Android Auto Upgrade Now Available At Some Dealers, Others Soon
        • AT&T to begin selling LG G Pad F 8.0 Android tablet on May 29

          After releasing its own branded 8-inch Android tablet a mere two weeks ago, AT&T is giving itself some fresh competition. The mobile carrier has announced that it’s bringing the LG G Pad F 8.0 to its customers starting on May 29.
          What’s Hot on ZDNet

          The new model should not be confused with the LG G Pad 8.3, which, while being an older tablet, offers a slightly larger, higher-resolution screen and a faster processor. Rather, it’s more of a bigger sibling to the LG G Pad 7.0 that was released late last year, coming with the same 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor (compared to the 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 inside the G Pad 8.3).

        • ZTE Q519T With 4000mAh Battery, Android 5.0 Lollipop Launched

          ZTE, soon after launching the Nubia Z9 smartphone in China, has now unveiled yet another smartphone, the Q519T. Unveiled in China, the ZTE Q519T has been priced at equivalent of $95 (approximately Rs. 6,000).

          The highlight of the ZTE Q519T smartphone is that it features a massive battery capacity of 4000mAh, which is claimed to deliver up to 35 days of standby time. The new ZTE Q519T smartphone will be available in Blue, Gold, and White colours.

        • LG Watch Urbane Review: Wonderful Hardware But Android Wear Is Still Frustrating

          When I wear the LG Watch Urbane people almost never ask me about it. Why? Because it looks like a watch. Other smart watches, like the original Samsung Gear and the Sony Smartwatch 3 attracted more questions from people, perhaps because they’re more obviously not watches.

          The shape helps, like the G Watch R, the Urbane is circular and has a prominent button on the side. If you have the right watch face installed it’s actually nearly impossible to tell it’s not a standard, but chunky, watch. That is surely a good thing from a design perspective, although watch elitists will still tell you the smartwatch thing is nonsense, and a fad. The truth is that even big names in traditional watchmaking are thinking about how they can offer smart features in their watches.

        • Roman Nurik’s FORM Android Wear Watch Face Is Now Available, Includes Cool Muzei Integration

          Roman Nurik works for Google, but he also develops really cool (and free) Android apps from time to time. He’s the man behind Dash Clock, Muzei, and now the FORM Watch Face for Android Wear. You can grab it right now and enjoy it all on its own, or you can take advantage of the sweet Muzei functionality.

        • Roman Nurik’s latest FORM Watch Face demonstrates the power of Android

          If the name Roman Nurik doesn’t ring a bell, he’s a design advocate for Google, and every time he decides to publish an Android app it seems to turn out a winner. His two previous apps that created quite a stir in the Android community are DashClock Widget and Muzei Live Wallpaper. Both are awesome, so you shouldn’t expect the next to be less so. While not immediately useful to non-Android Wear users, Roman’s new FORM Watch Face demonstrates the power of Android as a mobile platform.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Is your open source security software less secure?

    “Your secure software is open source; doesn’t that make it less secure?”

    This is a recurring question that we get at Benetech about Martus, our free, strongly encrypted tool for secure collection and management of sensitive information built and provided by the Benetech Human Rights Program. It’s an important question for us and for all of our peers developing secure software in today’s post-Snowden environment of fear and worry about surveillance. We strongly believe not only that open source is compatible with digital security, but that it’s also essential for it.

  • Open HUB: How to find the best open source projects

    Let’s say you want to identify something like a Kanban system for your software project management and you’ve looked at various commercial products but for one reason or another nothing quite fits your requirements. Perhaps they’re not organized in a way you’d like or they come with a load of other features at a price that doesn’t make sense for you or they can’t be integrated into your workflow so you’re going to bite the bullet. You’re going to look for an open source Kanban system and adapt it to meet your needs. But how do you find such a beast?

  • Events

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Software Commons vs. Product

      One regular reader of this blog contacted me a few days ago to share a few suggestions and some concerns about the LibreOffice project. I did not agree with many of the points he was making, but a few of them made sense. I’d like to discuss the main one, because I think there is no clear cut answer about it even inside the LibreOffice project.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Open source data integration with Karma

        I recently attended a half-day workshop on Karma with Pedro Szekely, our instructor. He started by warning us that he knows very little about libraries, but a ton about data. The files we needed for the workshop were on GitHub, if you’re interested in checking it out. You can follow the tutorial steps on the Wiki, and, of course, you can find Karma itself on GitHub.

    • Open Hardware

      • LayerOne Hardware Hacking Village

        Go to DEFCON and you’ll stand in line for five hours to get a fancy electronic badge you’ll be showing to your grandchildren some day. Yes, at DEFCON, you buy your hacker cred. LayerOne is not so kind to the technically inept. At LayerOne, you are given a PCB, bag of parts, and are told to earn your hacker cred by soldering tiny QFP and SOT-23 chips by hand. The Hardware Hacking Village at LayerOne was packed with people eagerly assembling their badge, or badges depending on how cool they are.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Failure of the US coup d’État in Macedonia

      Macedonia has just neutralised an armed group whose sponsors had been under surveillance for at least eight months…

    • The War Commemoration Racket

      Memorial Day commemorates soldiers killed in war. We are told that the war dead died for us and our freedom. US Marine General Smedley Butler challenged this view. He said that our soldiers died for the profits of the bankers, Wall Street, Standard Oil, and the United Fruit Company.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Holy Shit! Almonds Require a Ton of Bees

      Growing 80 percent of the globe’s almonds in California doesn’t just require massive amounts of water. It also takes a whole bunch of honeybees for pollination—roughly two hives’ worth for every acre of almonds trees, around 1.7 million hives altogether. That’s at least 80 percent of all available commercial hives in the United States, Gene Brandi, a California beekeeper who serves as vice president of the American Beekeeping Federation, recently told NPR.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Right-Wing Pundits’ Anti-Memorial Day

      With all this talk about epistemology and the messiness of history, it’s easy to forget that what Bush was being asked to do was not travel through time but to say whether or not he agreed with a decision, made by the last president from his party (who also happens to be his brother), that was based on lies and resulted in the deaths of half a million people. Would his brother have made that same choice? It’s an important question whose answer is obviously not obvious.

  • Privacy

    • Encryption is good for the economy, even if the Tories say otherwise

      Digital privacy has been a growing concern for businesses and general web users ever since Edward Snowden leaked PRISM documents to the press, and for good reason.

      The documents revealed a digital surveillance operation that was larger and more efficient than even the most zealous tinfoil hat wearer could have imagined.

      They detailed operations that collected vast streams of data from big name companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Yahoo, that had been approved in dark, back-room, secret courts away from the eyes of privacy advocates and digital watchdogs.

    • Why Mitch McConnell Cannot Be Allowed to Decide the Fate of the Patriot Act

      Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear this week that, while the Senate is rapidly approaching recess, the Senate “will stay in [session] until a deal is struck to extend” the Patriot Act. McConnell has also introduced legislation for both long-term and short-term reauthorization of the Patriot Act’s expiring provisions. It seems that McConnell is trying to bully the entire Senate into passing short-term reauthorization, giving him more time to further weaken reform efforts.

    • Philip Zimmermann: king of encryption reveals his fears for privacy

      Zimmermann and Snowden are 30 years apart in age, but their actions have framed the privacy debate. Zimmermann switched his focus from campaigning against nuclear weapons to pushing back on state snooping in 1991, when he released PGP for free over the internet in an act of political defiance. His protest helped prevent legislation which would have forced software companies to insert “backdoors” in their products, allowing the government to read encrypted messages.

      The user manual for PGP, written by Zimmermann in 1991 and updated seven years later, is a startling prediction of the mass surveillance methods that were eventually adopted by the NSA after 9/11.

    • Senate Fails To Pass Both USA Freedom And PATRIOT Act Extension, Setting Up Possible Expiration Of Section 215

      Well, well. Here’s a quick (rare) Saturday post just to get folks up to speed on what happened late last night. After going back and forth for a while, the Senate voted on… and failed to approve both a version of the USA Freedom Act and a short “clean extension” of the clauses of the PATRIOT Act that were set to expire — mainly Section 215 which some (falsely) believe enables the NSA to collect bulk metadata from telcos (and potentially others). What this means is that it is much more likely that Section 215 expires entirely. The Senate has since left town, though it plans to come back next Sunday, May 31st to see if it can hammer out some sort of agreement. Though, beware of false compromises, such as those being pushed by Senate Intelligence Committee (and big time NSA supporter), Richard Burr. His “hastily introduced” bill pretends to try to “bridge the gap” but in actuality is much worse than basically anything else on the table.

    • Paper Says Public Doesn’t Know How To Keep Score In Privacy Discussion While Glossing Over Government Surveillance

      Lawfare — a blog primarily devoted defending the practices of spy agencies — has released a paper authored by Benjamin Wittes and Jodie Liu that theorizes that the public’s concern over privacy encroachments are — if not overblown — then failing to properly factor in the privacy “gains” they’ve obtained over the past several years.

      The theory is solid, but the paper fails to differentiate between what sort of privacy losses people find acceptable and which ones they don’t — mainly by leaving privacy invasions by government entities almost completely undiscussed. It opens by quoting a scene from an old Woody Allen film in which the protagonist attempts to “hide” his purchase of porn at a magazine stand by purchasing several unrelated (and presumably uninteresting) magazines at the same time. This leads to the conclusion that people’s ability to enjoy porn in private has risen with the advent of the internet, while simultaneously opening them up to data harvesters and internet companies less interested in personal privacy than selling users to advertisers.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • A Licence With Limited Value: Copyright Board Delivers Devastating Defeat to Access Copyright

        The Copyright Board of Canada delivered a devastating defeat to Access Copyright on Friday, releasing its decision on a tariff for copying by employees of provincial governments. Access Copyright had initially sought $15 per employee for the period from 2005 – 2009 and $24 per employee for the period from 2010 – 2014. It later reduced its demands to $5.56 and $8.45. The board conducted a detailed review of the copying within government and the applicability of the Access Copyright licence. Its final decision gives Access Copyright pennies rather than dollars: 11.56 cents for 2005-2009 and 49.71 cents for 2010-2014.

      • Pirate Bay Founder Appeals Domain Seizure Decision

        The court order to transfer ownership of two Pirate Bay-related domains to the Swedish state will not be a straightforward process. Site co-founder Fredrik Neij, a party in the two-year long case, has just announced he will appeal the ruling. Neij isn’t interested in the domains though, he has much more serious things to consider.

05.24.15

Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

Posted in News Roundup at 6:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Science

    • 20 First Photos from the History of Photography

      Photography has been a medium of limitless possibilities since it was originally invented in the early 1800s. The use of cameras has allowed us to capture historical moments and reshape the way we see ourselves and the world around us. To celebrate the amazing history of photography and photographic science, we have assembled twenty photographic ‘firsts’ from over the past two centuries.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Fascists Flipping Burgers in Saigon or Stalingrad

      These legends have some fundamental similarities. They are based on deliberate misrepresentations of the war and obfuscation with regard to the interests involved. In order to explain the deceptions behind the Vietnam Syndrome it is necessary to examine the “other war”. Contrary to much official history of US involvement in Indochina—the stuffing of almost all the films made—whether documentary or feature—the war began and ended as a CIA operation. The confusion as to war aims, strategy, tactical and operational effectiveness arise entirely from the fact that more than probably any other war fought with conventional forces—up to that time (except Korea but that war hasn’t ended yet)—the war in Vietnam was initiated, managed, funded, advertised and ultimately waged by the invisible army of US capitalism.

    • Unlike Chavez, Chavistas Appealed To A Powerless US President Who Works For Investors In Genocide!

      Yet, Obama is known to be just another powerless US president serving war industrialized Wall Street and at present dutifully ordering lethal multi nation bombings.

    • Congress must not abdicate its duty to authorize or declare war

      Despite the fact that the US plans on conducting airstrikes on Isis in Iraq and Syria for years, the Chicago Tribune reported on Monday that key members in the House and Senate have resigned themselves to the fact that there’s virtually no chance of Congress agreeing on any sort of bill to constrain or legalize the Obama administration’s bombing campaign in the Middle East.

    • Pentagon sham: Defense Dept altered books in long-awaited audit, reports claim

      The US Defense Department’s watchdog knowingly turned a blind eye to financial irregularities, leading to the Pentagon signing off on an audit. This has led to questions regarding just how transparent the government auditing process actually is.

      A special investigation by Reuters revealed that a senior member of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Inspector General team had colluded with an independent auditing company, Grant Thornton LLP, to falsely keep the US Marine Corps books clean.

    • Inside the fall of an Army Green Beret hero
    • Is the US-UK’s special relationship in decline?

      Is Anglo-America a failed state? In the realm of intelligence and national security, the special relationship is being tested.

      As he spoke to a crowd of Americans, Britain’s defence minister, Michael Fallon, had a US-UK flag pin on his lapel.

      “Just as together we broke the bonds of totalitarianism and tyranny in the Second World War,” he said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in March, “so we faced down the threat of communism in the cold war”.

    • TribuneDrones, jets and sovereignty

      There is no independent identification of the casualties or any explanation as to why they were targeted.

    • Lindsey Graham Literally Says U.S. Drones Should Kill Americans Who Consider Joining ISIS
    • Lindsey Graham’s comments on drones were very blunt

      It’s springtime, and Republicans are feeling hawkish again. See how Sen. Rand Paul’s views on foreign policy have shifted as he’s adopted a more aggressive stance. It wasn’t that long ago when the Kentucky Republican was staging a talking filibuster against the Obama administration’s drone policy, warning the American people that the president might deploy a drone against an American citizen on American soil without judicial process.

    • Lindsey Graham Will Drone You for Thinking About Joining ISIS

      At the Lincoln Day Dinner dinner in Des Moines Saturday night, Senator and probable 2016 candidate Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he would have no problem droning potential ISIS recruits, and was so excited to do so he reckoned he might could skip the whole due process part.

    • Women and children targeted by US drones: Pundit
    • Why Elites Love Drones

      Elites want more violence. They are unconcerned that innocent civilians are killed.

    • Good Kill – American Sniper with Drones
    • Drone strikes take a terrible toll in innocent lives

      The truth is that we can never be certain who is in the target zone of any drone strike. Even though drones spent a week watching this compound, it is obvious that drones cannot see everything in the area.

    • Drone Warfare’s Costs and Benefits

      Lethal drones are President Obama’s weapon of choice in striking at suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists in remote areas, but – as with any weapon of war – there must be a cost-benefit analysis, including whether drone strikes create more enemies than they kill, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

    • US drone complex bureaucratizes murder

      Machinery of lethal strikes enjoys moral and legal impunity – as intended

    • Justice Department issues policy on domestic drone use

      The Justice Department is acknowledging that the FBI, DEA and other federal law enforcement agencies are likely to make increasing use of unmanned aerial drones in the United States.

    • The Future of War

      MALE VOICEOVER (Good Kill, Voltage Pictures): The remotely-piloted aircraft is not the future of war. It is the here and now. Make no mistake about it: this ain’t PlayStation. We are killing people.

    • Why the Drones Keep Firing

      President Obama’s announcement last month that earlier this year a “U.S. counterterrorism operation” had killed two hostages, including an American citizen, has become a fresh occasion for questioning the rationales for continuing attacks from unmanned aerial vehicles aimed at presumed, suspected, or even confirmed terrorists. This questioning is desirable, although not mainly for hostage-related reasons connected to this incident. Sometimes an incident has a sufficient element of controversy to stoke debate even though what most needs to be debated is not an issue specific to the incident itself. More fundamental issues about the entire drone program need more attention than they are getting.

    • Interview: Robotics Professor Noel Sharkey

      TONY JONES, PRESENTER: All this talk of killer drones raises some very profound questions. For instance, are nations more likely to go to war if there’s less risk of their civilians being killed? And what does it mean if you take human decision-making out of the loop? Can a machine tell the difference between a civilian and a combatant?

    • Mission Unstoppable: Why Is the CIA Running America’s Foreign Policy?

      The programs in question involved such activities as the CIA’s efforts to derail Iran’s nuclear program and the agency’s use of drones to kill militants inside Pakistan. Again, the cracks in Blair’s authority were revealed: The DNI, as determined by the 2004 legislation that created the position, was to be the focal point for intelligence support to the president and other senior government leaders, and was allowed some say in budgetary matters, but was not granted command over any covert missions abroad.

    • Why can’t we handle the truth?

      Don’t expect any news you read or watch today or in the future to tell you that. The fact that President George W. Bush knowingly lied us into a disastrous war in Iraq cannot be told. Our media systems even now cannot report this story.

    • Iraq’s phantom army

      These are the choices facing Washington, all stemming from the events of just one weekend. The path of this war has changed, leaving western powers with ever less room for manoeuvre.

    • 9 depressing predictions for the future of America

      Remind me who, even among opponents and critics of the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq, ever imagined that the decision to take out Saddam Hussein’s regime and occupy the country would lead to a terror caliphate in significant parts of Iraq and Syria that would conquer social media and spread like wildfire. And yet, don’t think that the future is completely unpredictable either.

    • Local View: What we knew then

      On top of this evidence, known to the Bush White House but not the general public or Congress, was the public evidence from the international weapons inspectors on the ground in Iraq. They found no WMD, yet the Bush administration insisted the weapons must be there and only by invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein could America be safe.

    • The War In The Shadows

      In which we examine the shadowy death of democracy, where we’ve come from and where we may still go.

    • Rachel Maddow slams Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio’s half-assed Iraq answers: “They weren’t duped by the CIA!”
    • Marco Rubio crashes and burns on Iraq question, says war was “not a mistake”

      So when Jeb Bush gave four answers in four days last week to the same question — “Knowing what we know now, would you have invaded Iraq?” — one would expect that his primary opponents realized that they were about to get asked the same question, and spent all of five minutes coming up with a better answer than “yes.”

      If Marco Rubio’s appearance yesterday on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace is any indication, he did not take those five minutes.

    • Yet plans call for guns-blazing war games on Pagan at least 16 weeks a year. Hundreds of Marines, potentially joined by troops from Japan, Australia and South Korea, would storm ashore in landing craft, firing mortars and small arms, backed by naval bombardments, swarms of helicopters, drones, fighter jets and perhaps B-52s dropping real bombs.

      The plan has sparked an outpouring of resentment toward the U.S. military, fueled by strong sentiment that Pagan’s future should be determined by the people of the islands, not by Washington.

      “We love our island. We don’t want to give it up,” said Jerome Aldan, the 40-year-old elected mayor of the Northern Mariana Islands. “This proposal is going to turn it into a wasteland.”

      Aldan was 6 when the eruption of Mt. Pagan forced the island’s residents — about 100 families in all — to evacuate 200 miles south to Saipan, capital of the Northern Marianas, a U.S. commonwealth territory. The military, he fears, will turn Pagan into a war zone and kill the families’ decades-old dream of returning.

    • US Lacks Transparency on Drone Policy Despite Children’s Deaths – NGO

      Pentagon’s admitted partial responsibility in the death of two children was meant to divert attention from more widespread abuses, critics of the US government’s drone strikes claim.

    • What the accidental drone killing of an American ‘traitor’ says about the power of visual weapons

      This designation, I suggest, was less a reflection of the seriousness of Gadahn’s actions and more an indication of how much they perplexed the state. Gadahn never killed anyone, never blew up a building; the closest he ever came to actual operational significance was when he petitioned bin Laden, offering his services as a media strategist. Ultimately, the real threat was not so much Gadahn as his image. With his undeniable American-ness and (renounced) Jewish heritage, Gadahn confounded prevailing understandings of who “terrorists” are, where they come from and what they look like.

    • German court to hear case brought by relatives of Yemen drone attack victims

      A German court is to hear a case against the government brought by relatives of victims of a US drone attack in Yemen in a groundbreaking action that has the potential to interrupt the American strikes.

    • German court to consider evidence from Yemeni drone victim

      A court in Germany is set to take evidence from a Yemeni victim of the USA’s secret drone programme following revelations that military bases on German soil play a key role in the strikes.

      Faisal bin Ali Jaber, an environmental engineer from Sana’a who lost two relatives to a 2012 drone strike, has won the right to have his evidence heard as part of a constitutional claim filed in Germany.

    • US Drone Program Fails to Reduce Terrorism, Violence

      KnowDrones.com Coordinator Nick Mottern claims that the US Army and Air Force program to use unmanned aerial systems in combat has had catastrophic results because the drones have killed large numbers of civilians, but have not had significant impact on the scale of terrorist activities.

    • Scrutiny of CIA drones necessary

      No miraculous leap of faith is necessary to believe that U.S. officials did not know that the hostages were at the target site. And, still, it raises the question of whether the CIA really knows who it is killing when it launches strikes.

    • Saudi-led coalition pounds Yemen rebels in three cities

      Warplanes from the Saudi-led coalition pounded Shiite rebels across three Yemeni cities today, as Riyadh reported the death of a Saudi child from cross-border fire.

    • Two Saudis killed in rocket attacks launched from Yemen – SPA

      Cross border rocket attacks launched from inside Yemen have killed two people in southern Saudi Arabia over the last 24 hours, Saudi Arabia’s state news agency SPA reported on Friday.

      SPA quoted a Civil Defence official in the southwestern province of Jizan as saying that a child was killed and three other children were wounded on Friday in the al-Tawal region.

    • Whoopi Goldberg mocks ‘dummy’ Lindsey Graham and GOP contenders: They all want to be action heroes

      Whoopi Goldberg lit into Republican presidential candidates on The View on Tuesday for their attempts to sound tough on foreign policy.

      “The Republican candidates are kind of sounding more like action heroes,” Goldberg said. “Chris Christie wants to pump up the military. Marco Rubio says he will find and kill terrorists like Liam Neeson in Taken. You’re too short to be Liam Neeson, find somebody else.”

    • ‘Children died’ in US air strike

      A US air strike on Syria last year probably killed two children, officials say – the first admission of civilian casualties in the campaign.

      “We regret the unintentional loss of lives,” said Lieutenant General James Terry, head of the US-led campaign.

      US Central Command said the strike on 5-6 November, near Harim City, targeted the al-Qaeda-linked Khorasan Group.

    • Six Months Later, Pentagon Admits (Maybe) We Killed Some Kids in Syria

      While notable for admitting the possibility it killed two young children, admission called “too little, too late” by expert who says deathtoll of innocent people far exceeds Pentagon statement.

    • U.S. military and civilians are increasingly divided

      The segregation is so pronounced that it can be traced on a map: Some 49% of the 1.3 million active-duty service members in the U.S. are concentrated in just five states — California, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia.

    • Making sense of Hersh’s Bin Laden blockbuster

      The capture and killing of the world’s most wanted man was always going to be an enthralling story, considering how he challenged and punctured the pride of the sole global superpower as well as evade arrest for a decade before being liquidated.

    • How Was Bin Laden Killed?

      Some might argue that knowing exactly how Osama bin Laden was killed really doesn’t matter. Some might even argue that he is still alive, which, if nothing else, would demonstrate the persistence of urban legends relating to conspiracies allegedly involving the U.S. government. JFK’s assassination has the grassy knoll and second gunman, plus Mafia, CIA, and Cuban connections as well as a possible Vietnamese angle. 9/11 had the mystery of the collapse of Building 7. More recently still, the Texas State Guard was mobilized to monitor a military training exercise because it was rumored to be a ploy to impose martial law. Demonizing Washington as one large conspiracy is good business all around.

    • World Bank: Gaza economy on ‘verge of collapse’

      Gaza’s economy is on the “verge of collapse,” a new World Bank report warned Friday, saying the unemployment rate there is now the highest in the world and calling on Israel and international donors to remedy the situation.

    • FO condemns NWA drone strike

      Pakistan has strongly condemned the US drone strike in North Waziristan on May 16, and has called for cessation of such strikes.

      “Such strikes are a clear violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said.

    • 3 EU nations pledge cooperation on developing ‘Euro-drone’

      Germany, France and Italy have pledged cooperation to jointly develop a “Euro-drone” for intelligence-gathering and surveillance of the skies.

    • As Long as the War on Terror Continues, There Will be More Dzhokhar Tsarnaevs

      Last week, just over two years since that note was written, a jury sentenced Tsarnaev to death for his role in the bombing. Speaking to the press outside the John J. Moakley courthouse in Boston, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said, “We are not intimidated by acts of terror, or radical ideals,” and described the marathon bombing as “a political crime, designed to intimidate and coerce the United States.”

    • Freedom and Death

      On May 12, 2015, Ananta Bijoy Das (32), a progressive writer, blogger, editor of science fiction magazine Jukti, and an organizer of Gonojagoron Mancha (People’s Resurgence Platform), was hacked to death, using machetes, by four assailants at Subidbazar Bankolapara residential area of Sylhet city, for writing against religious fundamentalism.

    • Nepal quake death toll becomes highest on record
    • How Seeing Argo Helped Me Uncover a Top Secret Operation to Save My Dad

      In 1979, my father was arrested and tried as a CIA agent in Iran.

    • Morsi’s Death Sentence Reminds Us of Our System

      It would be difficult to find a better example of tyranny than the U.S.-supported military dictatorship that has ruled Egypt for decades. In many ways, it mirrors the brutal U.S.-supported military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile. No legislature. No independent judiciary. No due process of law. And lots of round-ups, kidnappings, torture, and execution of people who protest or who just hold the “wrong” beliefs.

    • Drones best weapon against Al-Qaeda despite collateral damage – ex-CIA deputy

      Drone use against terrorists causes collateral damage, but it remains “the most effective weapon” in the United States’ arsenal, former Deputy Director of the CIA Michael Morell told RT in a wide-ranging interview.

    • Is U.S. Foreign Policy Making Americans Less Safe?

      In summary, the most likely—though not most lethal—terror threats to Americans come from individuals living within the United States who are partially motivated to undertake self-directed attacks based upon their perception that the United States and the West are at war with the Muslim world.

    • Secrets, the C.I.A. and The New York Times

      Since 9/11, the United States’ “war on terror” has become the overarching news story of our time.

      As the nation’s dominant news organization, The Times deserves, and gets, intensive scrutiny for how it has handled that story. The grades, clearly, are mixed. Its role in the run-up to the Iraq War has been rightly and harshly criticized. Its early reporting on surveillance, though delayed, was groundbreaking. Its national-security reporting has been excellent in many ways and, at times, is justifiably slammed for allowing too much cover for government officials who want to get their message out.

      Nearly 14 years after 9/11, a reckoning finally is taking place. The Times’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, has said repeatedly in recent months that he thinks it’s time to toughen up and raise the bar.

    • Matt Taibbi on the Journalist & Politician Cheerleaders for Iraq War, Then & Now

      In this web-only conversation with journalist Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, we turn to Iraq. He recently wrote a piece for Rolling Stone titled “Forget What We Know Now: We Knew Then Iraq War Was a Joke.” Taibbi wrote the piece after Jeb Bush’s infamous interview on Fox News. Megyn Kelly asked Bush “knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?” Bush responded, “I would have.” Jeb Bush later reversed his stance.

    • VIDEO: Former CIA Deputy Director Grilled on Falsehoods That Led to Iraq War

      In a heated 10-minute exchange, MSNBC host Chris Matthews confronts CIA Deputy Director Mike Morrell with the question of why, during the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, he let Vice President Dick Cheney get away with saying Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was building nuclear weapons.

    • Ex-CIA Official, Intel Briefer: Bush Admin Made False Claims on Iraq

      A former top CIA official and intelligence briefer to President George W. Bush before the Iraq War has acknowledged Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney falsely presented information to the public. In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Michael Morell was asked about Cheney’s claim that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons.

    • Here’s how George W. Bush handled the big question that’s dogging Jeb

      Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) could learn a lesson from his older brother on how to field questions about the Bush family political dynasty.

    • Ex-CIA Leader Endorses Freedom Act and Mass Collection of Email Metadata

      Michael Morell, twice acting director of the CIA and a member of President Barack Obama’s five-member surveillance review panel, said he supports the latest version of the USA Freedom Act, which backers say would end the dragnet collection of domestic call records.

    • The CIA is dropping Burmese bombs on China

      Mystery bombs have fallen twice on China, from Myanmar. The first time, March 13, killed five Chinese and injured eight. On May 14th, another one was dropped, injuring five villagers.

    • Turkey Hires Ex-CIA Director to Lobby US Congress
    • Ex-CIA director hired by Turkey

      Goss registered through Dickstein Shapiro law firm which is his new employer. The company has long-lasting relations with the Turkish government in its turn.

    • Cheney Thought al Qaeda was Bluffing

      So it’s not just that Cheney is cartoonishly evil, it’s that he’s monstrously incompetent; in fact, his monstrous incompetence is a large part of why he’s so cartoonishly evil. He was overwhelmingly powerful, but with no understanding of reality, and so blundered around the world strewing destruction wherever he went.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Ralph Nader on Bernie Sanders’ Presidential Bid & His Unanswered Letters to the White House

      Since independent Senator Bernie Sanders announced his presidential candidacy in April, polls in Iowa show support there for him has increased to 15 percent among Democrats, up from five percent in February. This compares to about 60 percent backing for former secretary of state, senator and first lady Hillary Clinton. Sanders is the longest-serving independent member of Congress in U.S. history, yet he is going to run in the Democratic Party for the Democratic nomination. We discuss Sanders’ plans with former presidential candidate, Ralph Nader, author of the new book, “Return to Sender: Unanswered Letters to the President, 2001-2015.”

    • Murderous spooks drive journalism project to WikiLeaks

      Just two weeks after its launch, Transparency Toolkit’s ICWatch project, which documents more than 100,000 job profiles associated with the US “intelligence community” has been rehoused at WikiLeaks due to death threats and DDoS attacks on its infrastructure.

    • Bernie Sanders has been against the CIA’s role in destroying democracy since his early days

      As Independent Senator Bernie Sanders ramps up his campaign for the presidency, his focus has been on issues like economic inequality, the corrupting influence of money in politics, and stopping global climate change. Yet questions have remained about his views on the realm of policy most relevant to the commander in chief’s job: foreign affairs.

      A televised CSPAN interview Sanders gave in 1989, when he was mayor of Burlington, Vermont, offers a look into his thinking about the world. At one point, the interviewer asked Sanders about the distinction between socialism in Latin American countries and the authoritarian government of the Soviet Union.

    • Treat leakers like Edward Snowden, David Petraeus equally

      Earlier this month, a federal judge sentenced Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA analyst convicted of leaking information about a secret anti-Iran plot, to three-and-half years in prison. It was a strikingly heavy sentence. If it were part of a serious crackdown on all government employees who violate their oaths, it might be justifiable. Instead, it is something quite different: further evidence of the wildly different ways leakers are treated, depending on who they are.

    • The war on whistleblowers continues

      Even worse, the feds claimed that Sterling, who is black, did it out of resentment over a failed racial discrimination lawsuit against the agency — in effect using Sterling’s willingness to stand up for his rights against him.

    • A case of ‘selective prosecution’?

      There were no Blacks on the jury, and according to Mr. Solomon, “the evidence presented by the prosecution was circumstantial email and phone call metadata without content of any incriminating nature.”

      Despite pledging to be the most transparent presidential administration, Pres. Obama has expanded Bush era surveillance techniques, and has used the Espionage Act more than all previous administrations combined.

    • Louis: Clinton emails — A mix of conflicts?

      The mere fact that Hillary Clinton’s official emails were kept on her personal computer system is turning out to be one of the least important things about them. What matters most about this first batch of messages released by the State Department is that they reveal Clinton, as secretary of state, at the center of a tangled web of connections and conflicts of interest between public and private actors.

    • Clinton’s Benghazi emails show correspondence with adviser

      The messages show the role played by Sidney Blumenthal, who was working for the Clinton family foundation and advising a group of entrepreneurs trying to win business from the Libyan transitional government. Blumenthal repeatedly wrote dispatches about the events in Libya to Clinton, who often forwarded them to her aides at the State Department.

    • Britain hid secret MI6 plan to break up Libya from US, Hillary Clinton told by confidant

      Britain acted deceitfully in Libya and David Cameron authorised an MI6 plan to “break up” the country, a close confidante of Hillary Clinton claimed in a series of secret reports sent to the then-secretary of state.

      Sidney Blumenthal, a long-time friend of the Clintons, emailed Mrs Clinton on her personal account to warn her that Britain was “game playing” in Libya.

      Mr Blumenthal had no formal role in the US State Department and his memos to Mrs Clinton were sourced to his own personal contacts in the Middle East and Europe.

    • Alegedly US Officials Leak Worse Than Whistleblowers

      Unnamed US officials allegedly disclosed very sensitive information in a report on raid in Syria, published by New York Times.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Women and Biodiversity Feed the World, Not Corporations and GMOs

      The two great ecological challenges of our times are biodiversity erosion and climate change. And both are interconnected, in their causes and their solutions.

      Industrial agiculture is the biggest contributor to biodiversity erosion as well as to climate change. According to the United Nations, 93% of all plant variety has disappeared over the last 80 years.

    • Pesticides offer bees a risky allure

      Bees flit from flower to flower dining on nectar. Sometimes that nectar may contain traces of widely used pesticides. Yet the bees are unlikely to know which nectar is tainted. Indeed, they can’t taste these pesticides, a new study finds. However, the pesticides are similar to nicotine. This can encourage the bees to come back for more. And especially troubing: A second new study suggests the pesticides can harm some wild bees.

    • Survivor bees

      “We need that relationship with bees,” says author and beekeeper Crowder. “That’s how we need nature. We can’t live without nature and bees help us recognize that connection.”

    • The CIA Is Shuttering a Secretive Climate Research Program?

      So gushes Mother Jones, adding the enticing word “exclusive” to the story. But – weirdly enough, for a confection of spying and science reporting, both of which are normally so reliable – this appears to be a bit garbled. Firstly, the “climate research programme” looks to be more like the CIA had allowed civilian scientists to access classified data—such as ocean temperature and tidal readings gathered by Navy submarines and topography data collected by spy satellites. So, not CIA research at all: just data sharing. And presumably not CIA data mostly; if this is stuff routinely gathered by Navy subs, its presumably Navy data; which the CIA had been given the job of giving out? Hard to be sure. National Journal seems to support my interpretation.

    • CIA shuts down program using spy satellites to track climate change

      For most of the past two decades, a handful of climate change scientists have had the CIA’s MEDEA (Measurement of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis) program as an ace in the hole: they could draw on classified info from spy satellites and subs to study global warming in extreme detail. However, they’ll now have to make do with alternatives. The agency has shut down MEDEA, saying that its projects to study the security implications of climate change “have been completed.” While the CIA says it’ll still “engage external experts” on the subject, it won’t be providing consistent access to its extremely accurate and rare data.

    • The CIA Is Shutting Down Its Secretive Climate Change Research Project

      The Central Intelligence Agency has announced that it’s closing down MADEA, a decades-old research program that shared classified information with scientists to study how climate change might exacerbate global security risks.

    • CIA ends climate research program after Obama calls climate change a security risk

      Measurements of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis, or Medea, which began in the 1990s, allowed civilian scientists access to classified satellite data. The program was scrapped under former President George W. Bush, but reconstituted in 2010 under president Obama.

    • Britain sends biggest warship for NATO drills on Russian border

      Britain is ramping up its military rhetoric, sending its biggest warship for NATO drills in the Baltic, right off the Russian coast, in this latest show of force. The drills kick off on June 5 and will last for two weeks.

      The helicopter carrier HMS Ocean is expected to reach Russia’s city of Kaliningrad sometime this week, carrying aboard about 80 Royal Marines who are to join other NATO troops in Poland, the Sunday Times reports.

  • Finance

    • Bank of England’s EU exit strategy leaked to national newspaper – by its head of press

      A senior official at the Bank of England “inadvertently” sent research assessing the economic dangers of the UK leaving the European Union to an editor at a national newspaper.

      The Bank was left in an embarrassing situation on Friday after it accidentally emailed details – including how to fend off inquiries related to the report – directly to the Guardian newspaper.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Ira Glass Clarifies That Public Radio Is Ready for the GOOD Kind of Capitalism

      The context was “Hearing Is Believing,” an event sponsored by NPR and member stations WNYC and WBEZ to pitch public radio (and its podcasts) as an advertising vehicle (American Community Radio, 5/12/15).

    • Jeff Bezos’ Paper Assures Us System Isn’t Rigged for Amazon

      Actually, Border Books did close in large part because the economic system is rigged against ordinary Americans. One of the main reasons Amazon has been able to grow as rapidly as it did is that Amazon has not been required to collect the same sales tax as its brick-and-mortar competitors in most states for most of its existence. The savings on sales tax almost certainly exceeded its cumulative profits since it was founded in 1994.

      While there is no policy rationale to exempt businesses from the obligation to collect sales tax because they are internet-based, this exemption has allowed Amazon to become a huge company and made its founder, Jeff Bezos, one of the richest people in the world.

      Oh yeah—Jeff Bezos now owns the Washington Post.

    • War Propaganda. “Planting Stories” in the News Chain

      The most powerful component of the Fear and Disinformation Campaign (FDI) rests with the CIA, which, secretly subsidizes authors, journalists and media critics, through a web of private foundations and CIA sponsored front organizations. The CIA also influences the scope and direction of many Hollywood productions. Since 9/11, one third of Hollywood productions are war movies. “Hollywood stars and scriptwriters are rushing to bolster the new message of patriotism, conferring with the CIA and brainstorming with the military about possible real-life terrorist attacks.” “The Sum of All Fears” directed by Phil Alden Robinson, which depicts the scenario of a nuclear war, received the endorsement and support of both the Pentagon and the CIA.

    • The Infernal Cocktail Party Corruption of Washington’s Elite Media

      In particular, Allen frequently documents how intimately and seamlessly connected the members of the media aristocracy are with other members of Washington’s ruling elite, whether they come from the intelligence community, the super-wealthy, big banks, the lobbying community, or top levels of government.

    • Fox News confused about whether Allah and God are the same
    • The Accidental Operative

      Here is the shocking story of how the niece of former CIA director Richard Helms became an intermediary for the Taliban in Afghanistan and relayed an offer by the Taliban to the US government for the surrender of Osama Bin Laden months before the 9/11 attacks. The offer was refused. This story, written by my friend and Cockburn’s old partner at the Village Voice, James Ridgeway, and Camelia Fard, was published in the Voice on June 12, 2001, and promptly vanished from the cultural memory after 9/11. In the wake of Seymour Hersh’s recent revelations, Ridgeway asked me to re-run the article on CounterPunch. I was very happy to oblige him. It’s an astounding read. –Jeffrey St. Clair

    • The Misinformation Burnout. Media Fatigue with “Islamism” and “Terrorism”

      Every nation must create a bogey man or a group to crucify and persecute, in order to unify the public behind their leaders, help them act out their collective aggression, and dodge the important domestic issues that plague the day.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Here’s how badly we’re getting ripped off by our mobile phone providers

      It is hard to overstate how much I love the British mobile provider Three and how I wish it would come to the United States.

      My fellow Americans, let me (again) re-iterate how badly we’re all getting overcharged: Three offers a 30-day prepaid plan with unlimited data, unlimited texts, and 200 minutes of domestic calling, all for £20 ($31). That’s about one-third less than what I pay right now Stateside.

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