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Links 23/4/2014: GNOME Maps Application, LG in Headlines

Posted in News Roundup at 10:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • HotLinuxJobs: The demand has always outstripped the supply for Linux professionals

    LinuxCareer.com: How do you see the future development of Linux professionals recruitment sector?

    Brent Marinaccio: Well, Linux is not going away. It just continues to grow. Thus, it bodes well for the individuals in this space. Throughout our time recruiting in the open source arena, the demand has always outstripped the supply for Linux professionals. Even in the two recessions we have been through. Therefore, I see no indication this is going to change in the near to mid term. All in all, it is a good time to be involved with open source software.

  • Desktop

    • Future update gives better view of Chromebook CPU usage

      Chromebooks have been able to show system performance through the Task Manager in the Chrome browser, however a future update is showing a new way to view a Chromebook’s system performance. Currently, on the stable build for Chromebooks, going to the chrome://power page allows users to view battery performance over time in the form of a chart. However, the Beta channel shows not only battery performance on this page, but CPU performance over time, too. This view gives Chromebook users a better idea of Chromebook CPU usage. (The Beta channel is one of Google‘s early release channels, where users can receive future updates early, though they can be unstable.)

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Another X.Org EVoC Proposed For OpenGL 4+ Tests

        Announced yesterday were a bunch of Mesa/X/Wayland student projects to be worked on this summer by students attending university and participating in this year’s Google Summer of Code. There’s a ton of great open-source work Google is sponsoring that will hopefully be successful in the months ahead.

        While the GSoC work is great and the X.Org Foundation has been involved most years, separate from that is the X.Org Endless Vacation of Code. The X.Org EVoC is the X.Org Foundation’s own GSoC equivalent that they fund out of their own foundation money — generated from corporate donors, etc. This is a very rarely advertised campaign put on by this foundation that also stewards Wayland, Mesa, etc.

  • Applications

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • Gearbox Software Is Talking About a Linux Port for Borderlands 2
      • Nuclear Dawn Seems To Run Fine On AMD Linux

        Nuclear Dawn, the Source Engine game now with full Linux support after a major game update was rolled out on Steam this week, seems to be running fine on AMD Linux hardware.

      • Puppy Arcade 11 – Portable Retrogaming

        Puppy Linux is a lightweight distribution built to run in memory and therefore the overall footprint is very small.

        Puppy is designed to run from a USB drive and not for installation on a hard drive.

        There are a number of Puppy derivatives available including MacPup and Simplicity.

        Puppy Arcade is designed for fun. It includes emulators for every games console imaginable as well as ROM loading software and joystick calibration.

      • Tabletop Simulator now on Steam Early Access

        Tabletop Simulator, the very uncommon physics sandbox game that deals with the accurate simulation of a table top, is now available on Steam Early Access. The game has been creating quite a few ripples ever since its announcement. The game started its journey on Kickstarter which it quite successfully completed and is now headed for a full release on Steam.

        The game is basically a sandbox with the sole purpose of simulating all kinds of possible table top physics. Now the interesting part of the game is that it is kind of a blank table top over which users can put up any game that they fancy. Once set, the game can be played just like in the real world moving around the pieces as if on a real world. But the interesting part is that, just like in the real world, should you decide, you can rage flip the table, throw the pieces at your opponent or just push the table over!

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Nitrux OS Icons Features Superb Handcrafted Themes for Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Arch Linux

      The icons in Nitrux OS are infinitely scalable, which is one of the most interesting features of this icon pack. This is also one of the biggest collections for the Linux platform, which means that it will be hard to find an application that is not supported.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Announces Software Compilation 4.13

        The KDE community has announced a major update to its desktop application set. KDE Software Compilation 4.13 includes bug fixes and many new features. KDE developers have focused on building a new infrastructure for semantic search, and the Kontact personal information manager includes several improvements.

      • The Best Features Coming With Qt 5.3

        For those not keeping up closely with the Qt 5.3 development over the past half-year, fortunately at Phoronix we have you covered. Here’s some of the features that interest me most about the imminent Qt 5.3 tool-kit release

      • KDE 4.14 Release Schedule Published

        KDE developers are still discussing whether KDE 4.14 will end up being the last Qt4-based KDE release or if there will be a KDE 4.15 release. Whatever release ends up being the last Qt4-based release will be preserved in a long-term support form. KDE Frameworks 5, Plasma 2, and the other next-generation KDE components are set to be released later in the year, hence the shift in focus to the newer platform.

      • Calligra 2.8.2 Office Suite Gets Lots of Krita Fixes and Improvements

        Krita, an application that is used to make digital painting files from scratch, received the most attention in this version and that usually garners the most changes. For example, resetting the slider spin box when double clicking on it has been fixed, the tablet press/release events that did not produce any sane buttons are now ignored, support for “evdev” tablets has been added, and line smoothing options are now saved between runs of Krita.

      • Favourite Twitter Post

        There’s only 1 tool to deal with an unsupported Windows XP…

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • 39 Interns Will Work to Improve GNOME this Summer

        The GNOME Foundation is happy to announce that 39 participants have been accepted for Google Summer of Code (GSoC) and the Outreach Program For Women (OPW) internships to work with the GNOME Project this summer.

        The work will cover a wide range of tasks including improving Shell animations, annotation support in Evince, DLNA capabilities in Photos, and documentation updates. Information about all accepted participants and their projects is available in the e-mail welcoming the interns, which was sent to the Foundation mailing list.

      • (GNOME) What’s coming in Maps 3.14 and beyond

        GNOME Maps is a simple maps application being developed in javascript, using the Gjs bindings. The map data for Maps comes from OpenStreetMap which is a collaborative project to create a free and editable map of the world.

      • GNOME Has Big Plans For Its Maps Application

        GNOME Maps began development during the GNOME 3.10 cycle and going ahead for GNOME 3.14 and beyond are some ambitious plans to make this open-source OpenStreetMap-powered JavaScript application more like Google Maps in its abilities.

        Right now GNOME Maps is written in JavaScript with Gjs bindings, loads up data from OpenStreetMap, and attempts to auto-find your position using the Geoclue D-Bus service. There’s also basic search support.

  • Distributions

    • IPFire 2.13 Core 76 Linux-Based Firewall Distribution Features Latest Strongswan Fixes

      “It comes with a security fix for the strongswan package which is responsible for IPsec VPN connections. The vulnerability has got the number CVE-2014-2338. It was possible to bypass the authentication and therefore to overtake a VPN connection whilst the original peers are rekeying. IKEv1 connections are not vulnerable, but IKEv2,” reads the official announcement.

    • Clonezilla Live 2.2.2-39 Backup Distro Is Based on Linux Kernel 3.13.10

      The Linux kernel for this latest testing version has been upgraded to version 3.13.10-1, which is one of the newest stable releases available, and the drbl package has been updated to version 2.8.16-drbl1. It’s likely that future versions will switch to Linux kernel 3.14 soon.

      Clonezilla Live is a Linux distribution that does only one thing: bare metal backup and recovery. It’s very similar to other older cloning software, such as True Image or Norton Ghost.

    • DEFT 8.1 Is a Forensic Distro Used by Law Enforcement to Catch Bad Guys

      DEFT stands for Digital Evidence & Forensic Toolkit and is based on Lubuntu. It’s a set of tools used by law enforcement agencies during computer forensic investigations.

      “Computer Forensics software must be able to ensure the integrity of file structures and metadata on the system being investigated in order to provide an accurate analysis. It also needs to reliably analyze the system being investigated without altering, deleting, overwriting or otherwise changing data,” reads the official website.

    • Smoothwall Express 3.1 RC5 Is a Powerful Firewall and It’s Completely Free

      The rest of the changes in this latest version are not all that exciting and consist of mostly updated packages. For example, Linux kernel has been updated to version 3.4, glibc has been updated to version 2.18, GCC has been updated to version 4.7, perl has been updated to version 5.14, Squid has been updated to version 3.3, httpd has been updated to version 2.2.26, iptables has been updated to version 1.4.14, and openswan is now at version 2.6.4.

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Deepens its Focus on Docker
      • Red Hat’s RHEL7 RC ISO Is Now Publicly Available

        For anyone wishing to try out the release candidate to the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 operating system release, the ISO is now publicly available.

        Last week Red Hat released the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Release Candidate and initially it was just made available to Red Hat’s partners, OEMs, ISVs, etc. However, as planned, this week they have opened up the release candidate to everyone.

      • The Performance Of Fedora 20 Updated

        Fedora in general tends to have a more liberal update policy than Ubuntu and others when it comes to stable releases of software; new versions of the Linux kernel are shipped down to stable releases of Fedora, etc. With Fedora 21 not arriving until late in 2014, exceptions have been given to also ship new Mesa updates for Fedora 20 users to provide a more modern and updated hardware experience. For those curious how Fedora 20′s performance compares to when it made its debut in December to how it performs now with all official stable updates, here’s some benchmarks.

      • Cern Deploys Red Hat, Continued Heartbleed Heartache, & a CentOS Desktop

        Cern, “the European Organization for Nuclear Research” and probably best known for the Large Hadron Collider, has chosen Red Hat for its mission critical systems according to a report on ComputerWorlduk.com. Elsewhere, folks are still all worked up over Heartbleed, but some say its beyond the little guy – so relax. Finally today, Chris Clay at ZDNet.com has deployed CentOS on his desktop. How’d that work out?

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 Is Looking Fantastic
      • CentOS 6 on the desktop: What I’ve learned so far

        Having this platform with the long-term support (10 years) for me is a step in a positive direction for desktop Linux. Not only is the base operating system good for the 10-year period, but I’m also able to find updated applications that keep in line with some of the latest Fedora versions, without having to upgrade the entire operating system at one time. Plus, the recent adoption of CentOS by Red Hat will only make this GNU/Linux distribution even stronger.

        The upgrade process with Fedora is fine for some and is an easy way to refresh the entire system at once, but for remote computers that I support it just makes sense to go with an operating system with long-term support so that the base will stay static for many years to come and packages on that base can be updated remotely. I’ll definitely be doing more work with CentOS 6, while we wait for the release of CentOS 7 later this year.

      • Fedora

        • Five Things in Fedora This Week (2014-04-22)

          Fedora is a big project, and it’s hard to follow it all. This series highlights interesting happenings in five different areas every week. It isn’t comprehensive news coverage — just quick summaries with links to each. Here are the five things for April 22nd, 2014.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Landed with New Features, Interface Changes [Overview & Screenshots] | TuxArena

            For this new Long-Term Support release, major changes have been implemented, not only in Ubuntu, but in its derivatives as well. Trusty will be supported for five years for Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Ubuntu Kylin, while the other flavors using a different desktop environment will be supported as well, if only for three years. These include Xubuntu and Lubuntu.

          • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don’t mention the…

            Ubuntu 14.04 adds back an option to have window level menus. There are two caveats, though. First, the defaults have not changed. If you want the new menus you’ll need to head to the system settings and enable them yourself. Once you’ve done that you’ll find that Canonical’s decision on where to put the menus is a tad unusual: instead of adding the menu as a line of options below the window title bar the way you might expect, Ubuntu 14.04 packs them into the title bar itself to save space.

          • How to Dual Boot Android 4.4.2 and Ubuntu for Phones

            Testing Ubuntu for phones is now even simpler with an application that is capable of installing the new operating system from Canonical without having to delete Android. Getting a dual boot system in place will perhaps turn the attention of even more users towards the new open source platform for mobiles and tablets.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • How LG Took WebOS from Mobile Phones to TVs in Under a Year

      When LG acquired the WebOS project from HP early last year, it was a stripped down Linux-based mobile operating system hardly fit to run on any hardware. Then in January, less than a year later, LG debuted its new WebOS smart TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And until the first WebOS TVs hit retail shelves earlier this month the team was working around the clock for the release.

    • LG Electronics Places Open Source Bet on Smart TV Apps

      For years now, pundits have predicted that the age of connected TVs is upon us, and televisions have become much smarter, but LG Electronics is one of a growing number of companies betting that an open source development model can really drive the trend forward. The company recently made Connect SDK, an open source software development kit, available to Android and iOS developers for the creation of apps that could reach tens of millions of big TV screens around the world.

    • SBC apes RasPi, beefs up CPU, adds SATA

      Shenzhen China based Lemaker.org has launched its Banana Pi single board computer for $49 plus shipping at Ali Express. The Banana Pi is aimed at Raspberry Pi users who want a more powerful processor without abandoning the comfort and convenience of a familiar board design. First noticed by CNXSoft, the board has dimensions, port positions, and 24-pin header layout similar to the Raspberry Pi, and supports the same add-on modules, says Lemaker.org.

    • Wireless router garment runs on Linux threads

      The “BB.Suit,” a wearable wireless router garment prototype created by Dutch design house By Borre, runs OpenWRT Linux on a TP-Link router board.

      Last month at South-by-Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, Dutch fashion designer Borre Akkersdijk unveiled his wearable computer called the BB.Suit. While most wearables are eye- or wrist-wear, the BB.Suit is an actual onesie garment with electronic circuitry woven in, including Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, and a WiFi access point.

    • Intel Is Launching An Interesting Bay Trail NUC Next Week
    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • GitHub Cofounder Resigns but Denies Harassment

    “Even though the IT industry and geek culture can be innovative and progressive, the reality is it is often antiquated and backward,” said 451 Research analyst Jay Lyman. “This is particularly so when it comes to workplace discrimination and harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, race, age or other factors. You would expect more from good software developers and IT professionals.”

  • Top 5 OpenDaylight Video Tutorials for Developers
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Education

    • An introduction to the School of Open

      Every generation since the beginning of human existence has passed its value system, principles, methodologies, and skillsets on to the next generation. This passing on of information within cultures has been followed by the development of a systematic approach to learning techniques. Formal structures were created throughout the world to learn and apply these skillsets.

      During the middle ages, the monasteries of the church became the nucleus of education and literacy. Ireland, during those times, was known as a country of saints and scholars. During the Islamic Golden age in Baghdad, the House of Wisdom was established and became the intellectual hub. Similar institutions of great nature and vision were established in other parts of the globe as well.

  • Funding

    • X.Org, Mesa, Wayland Have Interesting Summer Projects

      Google has published today their list of accepted student proposals for various open-source organizations to work on this summer… The X.Org Foundation work, which includes work to Mesa and Wayland, has seven projects to be tackled.

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD forks, prunes, fixes OpenSSL

      OpenSSL is the dominant SSL/TLS library on the Internet, but has suffered significant reputation damage in recent days for the Heartbleed bug. The incident has revived criticism of OpenSSL as a poorly-run project with source code that is impenetrable and documented, where it is at all documented, badly and inaccurately.

    • OpenSSL Forked By OpenBSD Into LibreSSL

      LibreSSL is a fork of the SSL/TLS protocol code from OpenSSL and aims to rewrite code as well as remove a lot of functionality that is only of limited use or has been deprecated and destined for removal. Developers will still worry about portability and they will work on multi-OS support once LibreSSL has an established baseline. For now, OpenBSD is the only supported platform of LibreSSL and there’s already plans to ship it as part of OpenBSD 5.6.

    • OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
    • OpenSSL code beyond repair, claims creator of “LibreSSL” fork

      OpenBSD developers “removed half of the OpenSSL source tree in a week.”


  • Public Services/Government

    • ‘Basque schools value savings of open source’

      The education sector in the Basque Region is increasingly switching to free and open source, reports ESLE, an industry trade group representing free software IT service providers in the autonomous region in Spain. This type of software is helping schools in computing, mobile learning, open data and 3D printing, ESLE writes in a first strategic review, published in December.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Bug can cause deadly failures when anesthesia device is connected to cell phones

      No, it’s not clear why anyone would ever connect a phone to a medical device.

    • 60% of China underground water polluted: report

      Sixty percent of underground water in China which is officially monitored is too polluted to drink directly, state media have reported, underlining the country’s grave environmental problems.

      Water quality measured in 203 cities across the country last year rated “very poor” or “relatively poor” in an annual survey released by the Ministry of Land and Resources, the official Xinhua news agency said late Tuesday.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • New York police fall flat with #MyNYPD

      Twitter users swamp New York Police Department’s online campaign with police brutality photos.

    • KKK Forms Neighborhood Watch Group In Pennsylvania

      In response to a string of recent break-ins, the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan has given a local Pennsylvania chapter the go-ahead to form a neighborhood watch group.

    • Petition of concern for the use of drones

      Amherst and Leverett are holding town meetings to consider resolutions to regulate drones, and to end government use of the aircraft for assassinations.

    • At Creech Air Force Base, drones land, protesters chant, and one man waves a flag

      The peace walkers arrived sweaty and gross, feet blistered and knees creaking, and Phil was waiting for them. Phil had his signs up, his American flags out, his star-spangled cap on. He extended a tight-fisted thumbs up toward the cars exiting Creech Air Force Base. A couple hundred yards away, every couple of minutes, a drone glided earthward with a baleful elegance.

    • Court orders US to release memos on drone strikes

      A federal appeals court ordered the US Department of Justice on Monday to turn over key portions of a memorandum justifying the government’s targeted use of drones to kill terror suspects, including Americans.

    • How American Drone Strikes Are Devastating Yemen – OpEd

      In the latest wave of attacks, 55 “militants” are said to have been killed.

      It would probably be much more accurate to report that approximately 55 people were killed, few if any of their names are known and they are suspected to have been members of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

      Rather than calling these targeted killings, they should probably be seen as speculative murders — the act of terminating someone’s life when the U.S. government has the suspicion that person might pose an unspecified threat in the future.

    • Report on CIA interrogations shadows Gitmo trials

      The Senate’s forthcoming report on the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques could add to the legal complications facing the long-delayed U.S. military tribunals of terrorist suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

    • Govt Must Turn Over Info on CIA Prisons to Defense
    • Pasco man, behind CIA interrogation program, defends actions

      The man widely considered to be an architect of the CIA’s controversial enhanced interrogation techniques program is a retired Air Force psychologist living in Land O’ Lakes who likens the use of waterboarding and other methods now considered torture to “good cop/bad cop” interrogation efforts employed by law enforcement.

    • 11 Popular Songs the CIA Used to Torture Torture Prisoners in the War on Terror

      Imagine you are chained with your hands between your legs, crouching. You’re isolated in a small, dark room with earphones you can’t take off. Queen’s “We Are the Champions” has been playing on repeat for 30 hours now at full volume, and you’ve lost your ability to think. It could go on for months.

    • CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou Denied Freedom Of Speech

      The limits put on John Kiriakou’s freedom of speech is telling of how the United States treats its political prisoners.

    • Bureau of Prisons Throws CIA Torture Whistleblower John Kiriakou’s Children Out of Visitors Room

      In the midst of a thirty-month prison sentence at the federal correctional institution of Loretto Pennsylvania, former CIA officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou has written a letter where he reports that his children were told they had to leave the visitors room because it was “overcrowded.” Kiriakou immediately saw this as an act of retaliation for writing letters from prison.

    • An Australian killed, to the studied indifference of his government

      An Australian has been killed overseas. But the federal government is strangely incurious about it, and has nothing to say about it. Its ideology is getting in the way.

    • Key silent on possibility more Kiwis killed by drones

      Prime Minister John Key is refusing to comment on the possibility that more Kiwis have been killed by drone strikes in Yemen.

      He last week confirmed that one New Zealander, known as Muslim bin John, had been killed alongside three others, one of them an Australian.

    • In Yemen, Drones Don’t Kill Innocents

      Nonetheless, the reporting on shadowy military strikes that are part of a program that US government does not officially speak about is bound to rely on mostly unnamed government officials, either here in the US or in Yemen.

      Just look at today’s New York Times story (4/22/14), with the headline “US Drones and Yemeni Forces Kill Qaeda-Linked Fighters, Officials Say.” The paper explains that those targeted were “militants who were planning to attack civilian and military facilities, government officials said in a statement.”


      While it’s possible that the strikes are indeed targeting and killing terrorists on the verge of launching attacks, history suggests that initial claims can be flat-out wrong.

      When a US drone struck a wedding convoy in Yemen last December, for example, the Times offered a sketchy account that backed the official line–”Most of the dead appeared to be people suspected of being militants linked to Al-Qaeda,” the paper explained (FAIR Blog, 12/13/13)

      A 2009 US attack that included cluster bombs was initially reported by the Times as an attack on an Al-Qaeda camp. On-the-ground reporting (Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 3/29/12) later disclosed that the attack had killed 41 civilians, including 22 children and five pregnant women.

    • US sends 600 troops to Eastern Europe, warship USS Taylor enters Black Sea

      US frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50) has entered the Black Sea, according to the US Navy, as the Pentagon announces plans to dispatch some 600 troops to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia for military exercises.

    • Preparing Ukraine for a Proxy War with Russia

      Biden’s visit is not the first time Western representatives have traveled to Kiev in direct support of the “Euromaidan” protests and the subsequent unelected regime that violently seized power. US Senator John McCain would literally take the stage with the ultra-right, Neo-Nazi Svoboda Party leaders as well as meet with “Fatherland Party” member and future “prime minister,” Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

    • Ukraine: Poland trained putchists two months in advance
    • 23 April 2014 Russia’s foreign minister says US and CIA behind Ukrainian actions
    • OPINION: US Vice President in Kiev Week After CIA Director’s Trip
    • 5 Times the U.S. Did Exactly What It’s Telling Putin Not to Do
    • CEO Of “Russian Facebook” Says He Was Fired And That The Social Network Is Now In The Hands Of Putin Allies

      Pavel Durov, the founder of VKontakte, Russia’s most popular social network, said on Monday that he had been fired and that the site was now “under the complete control” of two close allies of President Vladimir Putin.

      Announcing his firing on his VKontakte page, Durov said: “Today, VKontakte goes under the complete control of Igor Sechin and Alisher Usmanov.” Usmanov is a metals tycoon who expanded into tech via his company Mail.ru, which has steadily upped its stake in the Russian social network. Until recently, Usmanov owned a 10% stake in Facebook. Sechin is the leader of the hardline silovik faction that backs Putin, is CEO of Rosneft, the state-owned oil company, and is believed to be one of the Russian president’s closest advisors.

    • George W Bush taken to US court for his war crimes in Iraq

      George W Bush and five of his co-conspirators in the illegal war against Iraq are being taken to court for their violation of international law.

    • Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Imperative

      Exclusive: The mainstream U.S. news media is flooding the American people with one-sided propaganda on Ukraine, rewriting the narrative to leave out the key role of neo-Nazis and insisting on a “group think” that exceeds even the misguided consensus on Iraq’s WMD, reports Robert Parry.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Chernobyl No “Eden” Say Beyond Nuclear Experts

      A newly published study has uncovered alarming indications of biological loss and ecological collapse in the area around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor that exploded in Ukraine on April 26, 1986.

      Nuclear boosters have long claimed that the superficial appearance of teeming wildlife in the approximately 1,000 square mile Chernobyl exclusion zone indicates an Eden-like outcome. But the study observed a frightening halt to organic decay and the disappearance of important microbes that indicate the steady advance of a potential “silent spring.”

    • In Small Canadian Town Democracy Wins, Tar Sands Loses

      One of the most divisive issues in Kitimat, B.C., in a generation came to a head Saturday night as residents voted ‘no’ against Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project.

      The ballot count from Saturday’s vote was 1,793 opposed versus 1,278 who supported the multi-billion dollar project — a margin of 58.4 per cent to 41.6 per cent.

      “The people have spoken. That’s what we wanted — it’s a democratic process,” said Mayor Joanne Monaghan in a statement on Sunday. “We’ll be talking about this Monday night at Council, and then we’ll go from there with whatever Council decides.”

      More than 900 residents voted in advance polls on a question that has split the community.

    • Ottawa removing North Pacific humpback whales from list of ‘threatened’ species

      The Harper government is downgrading the protection of the North Pacific humpback whale despite objections from a clear majority of groups that were consulted.

      Critics say the whales could face greater danger if two major oilsands pipeline projects get the go-ahead, since both would result in a sharp increase in movement of large vessels on the West Coast that occasionally collide with, and kill, whales like the humpback.

    • The Change Within: The Obstacles We Face Are Not Just External

      Scientists are studying cases of climate-related mistiming among dozens of species, from Arctic terns to pied flycatchers. But there is one important species they are missing—us. Homo sapiens. We too are suffering from a terrible case of climate-related mistiming, albeit in a cultural-historical, rather than a biological, sense. Our problem is that the climate crisis hatched in our laps at a moment in history when political and social conditions were uniquely hostile to a problem of this nature and magnitude—that moment being the tail end of the go-go ’80s, the blastoff point for the crusade to spread deregulated capitalism around the world. Climate change is a collective problem demanding collective action the likes of which humanity has never actually accomplished. Yet it entered mainstream consciousness in the midst of an ideological war being waged on the very idea of the collective sphere.

    • ‘Jobs vs. the Environment’: How to Counter This Divisive Big Lie

      We can, and must, create common ground between the labor and climate movements.

  • Finance

    • One Food Bank Opening In UK Every Four Days

      Food banks were almost unheard of just a few years ago – now they are being opened in the UK at the rate of one every four days.

      For Kenny and Leanne Jones, spiralling debts caused by rising utility bills and high rents led them to the St Andrew’s Community Centre in north Liverpool.

    • Austerity in Greece caused more than 500 male suicides, say researchers

      Study finds clear link between spending cuts and rise in number of men who killed themselves between 2009 and 2010

    • How Underpaid German Workers Helped Cause Europe’s Debt Crisis

      To understand a crucial reason for the European financial crisis that nearly caused a global financial collapse and threatened to undo a six-decade push toward a united Europe, you could look at a bunch of charts of bond markets and current account deficits and fiscal imbalances.

      Or, you could take a look at new data compiled by LIS, a group that maintains the Luxembourg Income Study Database, that shows how income is distributed in countries around the world. It offers a surprising insight about why Europe came to the financial brink.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Positive Headlines

      The Guardian will still do anything to oblige the war criminals who invaded Iraq.

    • Partisan Witchhunt Claims from Club for Growth Upended by New Court Filings

      New court filings in a federal challenge to Wisconsin’s John Doe campaign finance probe into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker undermine claims from Wisconsin Club for Growth and the Wall Street Journal that the investigation is a “partisan witch-hunt” and a case of biased selective prosecution on the part of Milwaukee’s Democratic District Attorney.

    • David Aaronovitch Posts Fake Book Reviews and Lies About Why

      La guerre is what you supported so enthusiastically in Iraq, and involves the blasting to pieces of young children, the rape of countless women, the end of hundreds of thousands of lives and the wrecking of millions more. It involves the destruction of the infrastructure of countries and the loss of decades of economic development, and a ruinous expense to our own economy. It involves the bombing of densely packed urban areas in Gaza, for which you are an enthusiast, and from which the terror and suffering is something you will never understand. For you just sit here in the highly paid heart of the warmongering Murdoch establishment, and indulge in lies and cheats to further your income and your grubby little career.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Brazil conference will plot Internet’s future post NSA spying

      A global conference in Brazil on the future of the Internet in the wake of U.S. spying revelations might be much less anti-American than first thought after Washington said it was willing to loosen its control over the Web.

    • Brazil Conference to Sound Off on Future of Internet, NSA Spying
    • Huawei says reports of NSA spying won’t impact growth

      China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world’s No.2 telecoms equipment maker, on Wednesday shrugged off analysts’ concerns that its growth will suffer from media reports alleging the United States accessed servers at its Shenzhen headquarters.

    • Edward Snowden’s NSA hacking claim creates woes for Huawei
    • NSA spying revelations have tired out China’s Huawei
    • Making Sure NSA Reform Isn’t Caught in the Gears of the D.C. Machine

      It’s been over ten months since the Guardian published the first disclosure of secret documents confirming the true depths of NSA surveillance, and Congress has still not touched the shoddy legal architecture of NSA spying.

      There have been myriad NSA bills presented in Congress since last June. None of them are comprehensive proposals that fix all the problems. Many of them seem to be dead in the water, languishing in committee.

    • Feds Get More Time to Review Classified Filings
    • NSA Finally Reveals How PRISM Works, But It’s Nothing New

      The NSA has finally decided to tell the world how the Internet surveillance program PRISM works, though it’s been almost a year since its existence was revealed by one of the very first Edward Snowden leaks.

      On Tuesday, the spy agency released a report on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is the legal justification for PRISM. The document explains how the NSA collects Internet data but, perhaps unsurprisingly, it reveals almost nothing new.

    • Most Britons approve of publication of NSA secret files revealed by Snowden – survey

      The number of Britons approving of the publications of NSA secret files by The Guardian and The Washington Post is twice the number of those who are against, according to a poll by the YouGov analytical agency. According to the survey, 46 percent of Britons polled believe that British society stood to gain by the publications of files provided by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
      Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_04_23/Most-Britons-approve-of-publication-of-NSA-secret-files-revealed-by-Snowden-survey-2574/

    • NIST Finally Removes NSA-Compromised Crypto Algorithm From Random Number Generator Recommendations

      Back in December, it was revealed that the NSA had given RSA $10 million to push weakened crypto. Specifically, RSA took $10 million to make Dual Elliptic Curve Deterministic Random Bit Generator, better known as Dual_EC_DRBG, as the default random number generator in its BSAFE offering. The random number generator is a key part of crypto, because true randomness is nearly impossible, so you need to be as random as possible. If it’s not truly random, you’ve basically made incredibly weak crypto that is easy to break. And that’s clearly what happened here. There were other stories, released earlier, about how the NSA spent hundreds of millions of dollars to effectively take over security standards surreptitiously, including at least one standard from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). People quickly realized they were talking about Dual_EC_DRBG, meaning that the algorithm was suspect from at least September of last year (though there were indications many suspected it much earlier).

    • Access and partners call on NIST to strengthen cryptography standards

      Following revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) deliberately weakened cryptographic standards put out by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NIST recently proposed a series of principles to guide cryptography standards-setting going forward. Access, together with a coalition of eleven other digital rights, technology, privacy, and open government groups, submitted a letter today calling on NIST to strengthen cryptography principles, noting in particular that the principles must be “modified and amended to provide greater transparency and access.”

    • Stop the NSA and the Targeting of Activists!
    • NSA uses Heartbleed bug to spy on citizens

      Recently, news of a bug called Heartbleed spread, and with it came news of the National Security Agency possibly abusing the bug to gather information on U.S. citizens. If this information is true, it would be yet another strike against the NSA.

    • Despite NSA Fears, Microsoft, Others Bet on U.S. Data Centers
    • Edward Snowden installed as Glasgow University rector

      Intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has been installed as rector at Glasgow University.

      The former US National Security Agency contractor fled from his homeland last May after revealing extensive details of internet and phone surveillance.

      The 30-year-old is currently staying in Russia, where he has temporary asylum.

      Speaking via a satellite link from Russia, Mr Snowden said he was honoured to take up the post but could not attend as he was not allowed in the UK.

  • Civil Rights

    • Hyper-Sensitive Illinois Mayor Orders Police Raid Over Parody Twitter Account

      Just yesterday, I wrote a post about how a South Carolina construction worker was fined $525 and lost his job for not paying $0.89 for a drink refill while working at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston. The point was to emphasize how the law comes down with a devastating vengeance when an average citizen commits a minor crime, yet allows the super rich to loot and pillage with zero repercussions. There is now a systemic two-tier justice system operating in these United States, and the result will unquestionably be tyranny if the trend continues unabated.

    • Liberals on Twitter demand feds kill Bundy family, supporters with drones

      No doubt inspired in part by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who called supporters of the Bundy ranch “domestic terrorists,” a number of liberals on Twitter expressed their desire to see the ranch and its supporters killed by drone strikes, Paul Joseph Watson reported at Infowars Monday. Such a raid would, of course, kill innocent children as well as men and women, but it seems that didn’t matter to those demanding the deadly raid.

    • Christian nursery worker claims unfair dismissal over dispute with gay colleague

      Christian Legal Centre calls on David Cameron to intervene in alleged religious discrimination case

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Netflix Says Comcast Time Warner Cable Merger Harms Net Neutrality

      Netflix has continued to criticise US Internet Service Providers (ISPs) over the issue of net neutrality, warning that if the proposed Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger is approved, the new company will be able to use its market dominance to demand greater fees from streaming services.

    • AT&T’s ‘Expansion’ of 1 Gbps to 100 Cities is a Big, Fat Bluff
    • Hey AT&T, enough with the gigawashing!

      AT&T plans to possibly bring speeds of up to a gigabit to 21 new cities. But before these cities get too excited it’s time to call Ma Bell out for its gigawashing.

    • The “Internet Governance” Farce and its “Multi-stakeholder” Illusion

      For almost 15 years, “Internet Governance” meetings1 have been drawing attention and driving our imaginaries towards believing that consensual rules for the Internet could emerge from global “multi-stakeholder” discussions. A few days ahead of the “NETmundial” Forum in Sao Paulo it has become obvious that “Internet Governance” is a farcical way of keeping us busy and hiding a sad reality: Nothing concrete in these 15 years, not a single action, ever emerged from “multi-stakeholder” meetings, while at the same time, technology as a whole has been turned against its users, as a tool for surveillance, control and oppression.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • “The U.S. Will Request South Korea to Take down Trade Barriers as a Condition to Its Joining the TPP”

      Jane Kelsey (58), professor of law at the University of Auckland in New Zealand said that the United States would mention the 2014 report on trade barriers and raise an issue with South Korea to get what they want in exchange for approving South Korea’s membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

    • Copyrights

      • Record Labels: Used MP3s Too Good and Convenient to Resell

        Responding to a consultation of the EU Commission, various music industry groups are warning against a right for consumers to sell their MP3s. IFPI notes that people should be barred from selling their digital purchases because it’s too convenient, while the quality of digital copies remains top-notch. Interestingly, the UK Government opposes this stance with a rather progressive view.


Links 22/4/2014: More GNU/Linux Gains, Syria Updates

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Telerik Open Sources Mobile App UI Software Code

    The offering makes the source code of 38 UI widgets in the Kendo UI Core publicly available for use by both commercial and non-commercial developers. In addition, developers have access to related tools for mobile app development, such as templates and input validation. The resources are available from both Telerik’s website and a GitHub repository.

  • Why an open source community beats access to tech support

    I’ve been using Drupal, an open source content management system (CMS), for the websites I manage for over four years now. Though there may be some quirks in working with an open source product, I cannot imagine doing it any other way.

  • 7 skills to land your open source dream job

    “Work on stuff that matters” is a famous call to action from founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Tim O’Reilly. But, how about working on stuff that matters while getting paid for it? There are an abundance of open source-related jobs out there if you’ve got the right skills.

    Mark Atwood, Director of Open Source Engagement at HP gave a talk on How to Get One of These Awesome Open Source Jobs at the Great Wide Open conference in Atlanta, Georgia this year (April 2 – 3). His talk was originally targeted to students, but he later removed the “Advice for Students” part because the seven tips below really apply to anyone looking to score their open source dream job.

  • Events

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Apache OpenOffice hits 100-million download milestone

      “Apache OpenOffice has been downloaded 100 million times,” reads an announcement by The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) which oversees more than 170 Open Source projects and initiatives. ASF, a non-profit corporation, provides organizational, legal, and financial support for a broad range of over 170 open source software projects. Apache projects deliver enterprise-grade, freely available software products that attract large communities of users. The pragmatic Apache License makes it easy for all users, commercial and individual, to deploy Apache products.

    • Rebuilt LibreOffice 4.2.3 packages fix KDE-related bug
  • Education

  • Funding

    • Google Is Financing A Lot Of Great Open-Source Work This Summer

      Google just announced their list of accepted student projects for this year’s Google Summer of Code. After going through all of the projects on the list for the different upstream open-source projects involved, there’s a ton of improvements to be worked on by students this summer and financed by Google. This is perhaps the most exciting Google Summer of Code ever.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Munich praises open source development community

      The German city of Munich is complimenting the free and open source software development community for providing fast and easy assistance. On the blog of the city’s IT department, Peter Onderscheka, business unit manager for IT stategy and IT security, writes how the developers’ quick responses helped the city implement new services. Examples include sending alerts about new job openings, a solution based on Phplist, and an online order form for coupons, using Pdfsam.

      “Users of open source products can easily get in touch with the developers, pose questions, propose features and even help fix bugs”, Onderscheka writes. “The developers usually respond immediately.”

      “These informal and direct contacts provide straightforward and free access to the core developers of open source software”, he adds.

      Onderscheka thanks two developers in particular, Michiel Dethmers, from the Netherlands, who is involved in the Phplist project, and Italian Andrea Vacondio, helping the the city tweak Pdfsam.

      Choosing the Phplist newsletter solution allowed Munich to rely on the feedback from the community “which answered in detail our questions about security.”

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Programming is fun – the free software column

      Computer programming is an art and is essential to the way we live. Computing provides the bricks and mortar of our lives, it’s an important component in the way our world is built and shouldn’t be tucked away under sufferance in a dry and dusty science classroom as an adjunct to something else. Programming is fun and practical and useful, and makes things happen. Just by grasping a few concepts, anyone can be a programmer and turn a game on its head, make something work – and this is a world that the Raspberry Pi was made for, a tool such as Meccano and Lego that is useful and fun for both teachers and pupils alike, and is as simple or as complicated as you want it to be.

    • Open Source Better Than Proprietary Code


  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Fukushima disaster: Tokyo hides truth as children die, become ill from radiation – ex-mayor

      The tragedy of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster took place almost three years ago. Since then, radiation has forced thousands out of their homes and led to the deaths of many. It took great effort to prevent the ultimate meltdown of the plant – but are the after effects completely gone? Tokyo says yes; it also claims the government is doing everything it can for those who suffered in the disaster. However, disturbing facts sometimes rise to the surface. To shed a bit of light on the mystery of the Fukushima aftermath, Sophie Shevardnadze talks to the former mayor of one of the disaster-struck cities. Katsutaka Idogawa is on SophieCo today.

    • Russia won’t import GMOs, has ‘enough space and opportunities to produce organic food’

      The importation ban, issued with the consent of the Russian parliament, was initiated in late February. As the orders trickle down, a widespread monitoring effort will be placed over the Russian agricultural sector. Imports will be heavily inspected to assure that GMOs aren’t entering the country. This new all-out ban strengthens very restrictive policies already put in place. Current Russian law requires producers to label any product containing GMOs in excess of 0.9 percent of the product.

  • Security

    • The Heartbleed drama queens

      The news is rife with screeching reports about the Heartbleed vulnerability, with some news outlets questioning the security model of open source. If you aren’t familiar with it, Heartbleed is “…a security bug in the open-source OpenSSL cryptography library, widely used to implement the Internet’s Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol” according to Wikipedia. While it certainly is a bad thing, it’s also not the armageddon of the Internet that some in the media have been proclaiming it to be, and it’s not a harbinger of doom for open source software development either.

    • Easter egg: DSL router patch merely hides backdoor instead of closing it

      First, DSL router owners got an unwelcome Christmas present. Now, the same gift is back as an Easter egg. The same security researcher who originally discovered a backdoor in 24 models of wireless DSL routers has found that a patch intended to fix that problem doesn’t actually get rid of the backdoor—it just conceals it. And the nature of the “fix” suggests that the backdoor, which is part of the firmware for wireless DSL routers based on technology from the Taiwanese manufacturer Sercomm, was an intentional feature to begin with.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • MANPADS to Syria Rebels: Good or Bad Idea?
    • Syrian rebels get SA-16 anti-aircraft missiles after receiving advanced anti-tank weapons

      Syrian rebels have been sighted wielding anti-aircraft weapons in various combat sectors including the Damascus region in the last few days. Just as on April 6, debkafile was the first publication to disclose the arming of Syrian opposition forces with their first US weapons, BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles, our military sources now reveal that they have also acquired – and are using – Russian-made 9K310 Igla-1 aka SA-16 anti-tank rockets, which have an operational range of 5.2 km.

    • US ordered to release memo in Anwar al-Awlaki drone killing

      Federal court rules in favour of ACLU and New York Times to force release of papers describing legal justification for strike

    • Obama ordered to divulge legal basis for killing Americans with drones

      The Obama administration must disclose the legal basis for targeting Americans with drones, a federal appeals court ruled Monday in overturning a lower court decision likened to “Alice in Wonderland.”

    • Obama Will Finally Have to Explain Why the US Can Kill Americans with Drones

      In the years-long conversation about President Barack Obama’s incredible drone wars, we’ve heard opaque, albeit scintillating, references to threat matrices and kill lists. But there’s one thing we’ve never heard: What is the president’s legal rationale for extrajudicial killing of Americans with drones?

    • 55 al-Qaida militants reported dead in Yemen after US-backed air offensive

      At least 55 al-Qaida militants have been killed in Yemen, the country’s interior ministry claimed after an intensive weekend air offensive in which US drones are believed to have been involved.

    • In Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and now Ukraine: catastrophe follows US and Nato meddling

      Different though Ukraine is from Iraq and Afghanistan there are some ominous similarities in the Western involvement in all three countries, says Patrick Cockburn

    • More than 100 hate-crime murders linked to single website, report finds

      Stormfront founder Don Black, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, criticized Miller for giving users of his site a bad reputation. “We have enough of a problem with how we are portrayed without some homicidal whack job coming along and reinforcing that,” Black told the Daily Beast. After he was banned from Stormfront, the SLPC said Miller posted more than 12,000 times on a similar forum, Vanguard News Network, whose slogan is “No Jews, Just Right.”

    • A Key Test for International Law

      In truth, if colonial conquest and force majeure are legitimate grounds of sovereignty, and if extermination of a population can wipe out the legal right to self-determination, then in international law Britain has the right to Diego Garcia and to give it as tribute to their US overlords. But if international law has any relationship of any kind to principles of justice, then Britain should not be permitted to reap the dubious benefit of genocide. What international law actually is in the neo-conservative era is the real question before the UN tribunal now looking at the Diego Garcia question.

    • Missile Strikes in Yemen and Weapons to Syria: the US Steps Up its Middle East Military Interventions

      American drone missile attacks and air strikes killed more than three dozen people in southern Yemen over the weekend. The carnage coincided with press reports that the Obama administration is moving to ship advanced weapons to “rebel” groups fighting the Assad government in Syria.

    • Seymour Hersh: Turkey Behind 2013 Sarin Gas Attack in Syria

      Turkey was behind the horrific Aug. 21, 2013, sarin gas attack that killed hundreds of innocents in a Damascus suburb “to push [President] Obama over the red line” and strike Syria, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh claims in the London Review of Books.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Spain’s ‘Robin Hood’ swindled banks to help fight capitalism

      They call him the Robin Hood of the banks, a man who took out dozens of loans worth almost half a million euros with no intention of ever paying them back. Instead, Enric Duran farmed the money out to projects that created and promoted alternatives to capitalism.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Police raid home searching for owner of Twitter account mocking mayor

      Covered by the Peoria Journal Star in Illinois this week, seven members of the Peoria Police Department executed a search warrant yesterday in order to discover the identity of someone operating a fake Twitter account that parodied Peoria mayor Jim Ardis (pictured above). The police seized multiple mobile phones in addition to computers stored at the residence. Three people at the home were brought into the police department for questioning and two members of the household that were working at the time were picked up by police from their place of employment and taken to the station.

    • Sweden Goes Full Retard, Requires Registration Of Every Individual Playing Lottery

      Sweden, like most European countries, has a number of governmentally-run state lotteries that are an efficient extra tax on the people who can’t math properly. Because of the jackpot sizes (nine-figure euro or dollar amounts), they are still hugely popular. From June 1, the Swedish state lottery requires people who want to buy a simple lottery ticket to identify and register.

    • Science teacher’s suspension spurs petition drive

      A popular Los Angeles high school science teacher has been suspended after students turned in projects that appeared dangerous to administrators, spurring a campaign calling for his return to the classroom.

  • DRM etc.

    • Home entertainment implementations are pretty appalling

      Which left dealing with the installed software. The BDT-230 is based on a Mediatek chipset, and like most (all?) Mediatek systems runs a large binary called “bdpprog” that spawns about eleventy billion threads and does pretty much everything. Runnings strings over that showed, well, rather a lot, but most promisingly included a reference to “/mnt/sda1/vudu/vudu.sh”. Other references to /mnt/sda1 made it pretty clear that it was the mount point for USB mass storage. There were a couple of other constraints that had to be satisfied, but soon attempting to run Vudu was actually setting a blank root password and launching telnetd.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Five Things to Know About How Corporations Block Access to Everything From Miracle Drugs to Science Research

      Should a company be able to patent a breast cancer gene? What about a species of soybean? How about a tool for basic scientific research? Or even a patent for acquiring patents (see: Halliburton)?

      Intellectual property rights are supposed to help inventors bring good things to life, but there’s increasing concern that they may be keeping us from getting the things we need.

    • Copyrights

      • Google Asked to Censor Two Million Pirate Bay URLs

        The Pirate Bay reached a dubious milestone today, as copyright holders have now asked Google to remove two million of the site’s URLs from its search results. According to Google this means that between one and five percent of all Pirate Bay links are no longer discoverable in its search engine.


Links 21/4/2014: New Games for GNU/Linux, Some NatSec Politics

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 10:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • HP Chromebook 14 Review – New Chromebook adds style and size

    The HP Chromebook 14 has been my companion for the last few weeks and has surprised me in its functionality and ease of use. At the beginning of the week, I went to Walmart and picked this Chromebook up, having made my decision to purchase it a couple of days before. I expected it to be tablet like and slow, yet it has surprised me in its power. There are limitations to Chrome OS, the operating system that runs on all Chromebooks. However, I have learned to accept them and hope that over the next year or two my Chromebook will be as capable as my Windows PC.

  • What Would You Do to Improve Linux?

    I’ve spent a good share of my time asking myself what would have to change in order to make Linux on the desktop a viable choice for the mainstream user. I became curious enough to ask you a question: if you could wave your magic wand and change only one thing about Linux or even the Linuxsphere in general, what would it be? Let’s take a look at what some of you had to say.

  • Will Korea survive end of Windows XP?

    He advised that the government should shift to open source operating systems like Linux to achieve security at little additional cost. “The cost to update Linux is small, and problems can be solved even in old versions as it is open source.”

    He pointed out that many devices, including smartphones and smart TVs, now use the Android operating system, which is another sign that it is time to change. “The dominance of Windows is over. Shifting to open source is the new trend.”

    The government is also aware of the problem caused by the heavy dependence on MS. Ha at the MOSPA said there has been much discussion about open source operating systems, “but right now, we have to deal with what’s on our plate. Upgrading is the best solution for now.”

    He said the overdependence on MS is not limited to Korea and some countries have shifted to Linux. “We too are continuing efforts, but there is much to consider. As most government programs are based on Windows, we have to make sure all programs run smoothly on Linux.”

  • How to upgrade from Windows XP to Ubuntu

    If you can’t free up more than 10GB, consider wiping your Windows installation to give Ubuntu space. This is easy to do during the installation process, but if you plan to take this route, back up your files to an external disk first – and be very careful not to miss any.

  • 5 key insights on the transition from Windows to Linux

    Use Linux all the time. Although there was common ground in the networking and development world, there was almost none in the system administration arena. The only way to remedy that was by using Linux all the time. This was daunting. Just trying to find my way around the Linux file system was hair-pulling frustration, yet work needed to get done. I experimented with different forms of coexistence: Linux virtual machines hosted on Windows; Windows virtual machines hosted on Linux; the Windows Ubuntu Installer (WUBI), formating old workstations. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but in the end I decided the best setup was to format a workstation as a Linux workstation with a full GUI desktop, and to format a remote server as a typical Linux server. I found keeping a Windows workstation too tempting; it was too easy to fall back into old habits. With this setup it was possible to power up a Windows VM when necessary, but the inconvenience of working on an underpowered VM encouraged me to stick with Linux, regardless of frustrations. The setup gives you the full Linux experience: learning how to connect printers and handle things like email on the workstation side, while also administering a server via secure shell (SSH). Then it was a matter of figuring out how to get productive, especially at the command line.

  • Does OpenSSL need a Linus Torvalds?

    There’s no doubt Chromebooks have become very popular, look no further than Amazon’s list of the bestselling laptops and you’ll find a lot of Chromebooks hitting the top of the sales charts. There’s clearly a big market for Chromebooks out there, and it seems to be expanding rapidly.

  • Server

    • Microservers and the hurry up and wait conundrum
    • IBM Enhances I/O On Power7 And Power7+ Machines

      The Power8 system announcements might be right around the corner, but IBM has not forgotten about customers using its current machines based on Power7 and Power7+ processors. As part of the trickle of announcements on April 15 that saw Technology Refresh 8 for IBM i 7.1 roll out, Big Blue made some enhancements to the enterprise-class machines and put out a bunch of Ethernet and storage controller adapters.

    • Java On IBM i 7.1 Brings JVM Migrations

      Making an inference that IBM dropped SPEC benchmarks on IBM i in favor of benchmarks on Linux is a signal that more Java/WebSphere customers would go that direction draws a debate from Grozinski.

  • Kernel Space

    • Benchmarks

      • Oracle Linux 6.5 vs. Oracle Linux 7.0 Beta Benchmarks

        In the days ahead we will have benchmarks of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS against Oracle Linux 6.5 and 7.0 Beta 1 along with CentOS 6.5 and the RHEL 7 release candidate among other enterprise-oriented Linux distributions. For this article to end out the weekend are just some benchmarks of Oracle Linux 6.5 vs. 7.0 Beta 1 when tested from the same hardware — an Intel Core i7 3960X Ivy Bridge Extreme Edition system with a total of 12 logical CPU threads.

  • Applications

    • Games

      • Gearbox looking at viability of a Linux version of Borderlands

        The original Borderlands was released way back in 2009. The game was initially released on the PC, Mac and the consoles. It immediately caught on and got itself a huge fan following. Following up the success, Gearbox went on and published a sequel to the game, Borderlands 2, in 2012, which like its predecessor also was praised by the gaming community. In fact, the Borderlands games became so famous that due to fan demands, Gearbox even made a Vita version for Borderlands 2, bringing the addictive and fun coop game to the portable console for the very first time. Now the founder and CEO of Gearbox Software tweeted that they are looking for the viability of a Linux version of Borderlands.

      • Octodad – Dadliest Catch comes to PS4 on April 22nd in US and on 23rd in UK

        Octodad: Dadliest Catch game initially launched to PC, Linux and Mac platforms on January 30, 2014. It was supposed to launched for Sony’s PS4 gaming console in March, but the developer Young Horses announced in February that the game launch has been postponed to April 1st week. Although the April 23 is not in 1st week of the month, finally the game sees a launch date.

      • Play Mass Effect 3′s ultimate space battle with this Homeworld 2 mod
      • Political-based strategy game ReignMaker now available for PC via Steam

        ReignMaker, a game built around political strategy and match-3 tower defense combat from indie developer Frogdice, is now available via Steam for Linux, Mac and Windows PC.

      • Watch Dogs heading to Linux?

        A recent post in the Linux gaming section of Reddit seems to have uncovered a hint towards a possible Linux release of the highly anticipated game from Ubisoft: Watch Dogs. According to the post on the Reddit boards, the SteamDB entry for the game shows a value assigned to Linux Icon which might point to a possible Linux version in the future.

        The full post reads, “Flicking through SteamDB, under additional information you can find the Watch_Dog app sub includes a Linux client icon section including archived icon added 13 days ago. Couldn’t open the zip but changing extension to jpg reveals a single tiny icon so far, similar to those found along with other sizes in other Linux games.”

      • Nuclear Dawn Linux support moving out of beta

        In other words, the game was basically abandoning its Linux release. Before this fatal new InterWave Studios, the original developers from whom GameConnect took over, had announced a beta of the Linux version of the game. But thanks to perhaps all-of-a-sudden interest by big shot gaming companies and publishers in Linux, GameConnect has just made a public announcement on their Facebook page that a Linux version of the game is finally out of the beta and ready for public deployment.

      • ‘Outcast Reboot HD’ Crowd Funding Campaign Needs Help – New Screens

        Once the original $600,000 goal has been reached, additional finding will unlock Mac/Linux edition ($750k), DirectX 11 enhancements ($950k), Oculus Rift support ($1M), next-gen consoles ($1.35M), and last but not least an entire new world (1.7M).

      • Hover: Revolt of Gamers Kickstarter Launched – Jet Set Radio Meets Mirror’s Edge

        Hover: Revolt of Gamers is planned for the Xbox One/PS4/Wii U and PC/Mac/Linux. It’s also adapted to Oculus Rift so get those barf bags ready. Hit up the Kickstarter page to pledge your support.

      • Hover: Revolt Of Gamers Is Whizzing Through Its Kickstarter
      • Worms dev invites you to think inside the box with Schrodinger’s Cat

        Yes, Schrodinger’s Cat is a platformer in which players explore the subatomic level of existence and use quantum physics to solve puzzles. And who said quantum science wasn’t fun? Schrodinger’s Cat is slated to release in Q3 of this year for PC, Mac and Linux via Steam.

      • Wasteland 2: Early Access now available for Linux
      • Awesome 40 Minute Star Citizen Arena Commander Reveal (video)

        Star Citizen will feature Oculus Rift support and is an upcoming space trading and combat simulator video game for PC, OS X and GNU/Linux.

      • Can you survive the harsh and unforgiving environment of a prison?
      • Wasteland 2 adds Linux support in major Early Access update

        In addition to Linux support, Wasteland 2 added another major area to its map, a new vendor screen, and about 400 other changes, all of which may be seen in these patch notes. Wasteland 2 added Mac OS support in late February

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • i3 – Tiling Window Manager

      i3 is a tiling window manager, completely written from scratch. The target platforms are GNU/Linux and BSD operating systems, our code is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) under the BSD license. i3 is primarily targeted at advanced users and developers.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Embedded tech and use of Linux at the 2014 GPU Technology Conference

      The first keynote took place on the second day, and was delivered by Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA CEO. His talk featured announcements of new architectures such as Pascal that will power the next generation of GPGPU products from the company, to the Jetson TK1 which is billed as the world’s first embedded supercomputer. While Pascal will be used in the next generation of supercomputers and workstations, Jetson is targeted at the embedded market and both make extensive use of Linux. The keynote featured an Audi self-driven car appearing on stage powered by a Jetson-based architecture, and it ended in the announcement that all attendees would receive an Android powered NVIDIA shield.


      It is clear that OpenGL is alive and well, with many exciting developments in this area. Interestingly, many of these are being fuelled by growing interest from the gaming industry as they port to new Linux-based platforms such as SteamOS. Live demos were given on the Jetson in the future of OpenGL session, and the Approaching Zero Driver Overhead talk from the preceding Game Developers Conference was referenced quite heavily. Several enhancements to the binary driver were mentioned in reference to better supporting scene graphs and real-time ray-tracing using nVidia’s Optix platform was showcased and ultimately featured in one of the awards for the work on the HIV capsid as a showcase of what GPU technology can do to help drive forward progress in scientific research.

    • Zicom introduces first-of-its-kind Hybrid Mini DVR

      Besides supporting standard algorithms for video and audio encoding and decoding, a Linux operating system is embedded.

    • Intel Fanless Bay Trail NUC Mini PC Unveiled
    • PCI Express launches TBS 2910 Matrix ARM mini PC

      The Matrix is a single board minicomputer based on ARM with a wide range of interface connections, equipped with a powerful i.MX6 Freescale processor, it can run Android, Linux and XBMC operating systems, a switch between different operating systems can be done within just a few minutes!

    • TQ InCover One is an 8.3 inch, full HD Bay Trail tablet for professionals

      It’s called the InCover One and the tablet features a full HD display, support for Windows, Android, or Linux, a waterproof and dustproof case, and a removable battery, among other features.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • HTML5 components released as open source

    Telerik has released a free package that includes all the features in the commercial Kendo UI Mobile package

  • Events

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Public Services/Government


      According to Victor Lam, Deputy Government CIO of Hong Kong, open source provides government agencies with the capability to be more agile and innovative while effectively optimising the way taxpayers’ dollars are spent.

      “The Hong Kong Government has been leveraging open source for over a decade. In fact, we have more than 2000 Linux servers supporting various applications like the e-Government Infrastructure Service, eHRMS system, Government Notification application and www.gov.hk.”

      “We recognise the fact that it is the kind of technology we need to be ahead of the curve and keep up with the rapid advancement of technology. In this regard, the government is working with various industry stakeholders to promote the development of open source in Hong Kong through our Digital 21 Strategy.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Man Compares His $42k Prosthetic Hand to a $50 3D Printed Cyborg Beast

        Today 3DUniverse did a story about a man named Jose Delgado Jr. Jose was born without a left hand, and in his 53 years on this planet has had first hand experience with the various prosthetic devices available to him. For over a year Jose had been using a $42,000 myoelectric prosthetic device, which took signals from the muscle fibers in his forearm, translated those signal, and then used them to mechanically move the fingers of the prosthetic, which looks pretty close to an actual hand. Luckily his insurance covered the cost of the device, unlike many individual’s who are less fortunate.

      • The world’s first open source laptop laptop crosses halfway mark in crowdfunding.

        Designed by the guys who worked on security of the Xbox and developing the Linux kernel, we know we are in good hands with this project. Many of the products are manufactured at AQS, a company that has been a part of Silicon Valley for over 20 years and has developed projects for the United States Department of Defense.The limited edition heirloom version of the laptop is designed at Kurt Mottweiler’s studio in Portland, Oregon.

      • Micro 3D Printer Costs 4 Times Less Than Its Competitor

        The cube-shaped device is 7.3-inch wide and weighs roughly 2.2 lbs. Micro works with Windows, Mac and Linux, has a USB-compatible connection and works with a number of different materials, including ABS, PLA and Nylon.


  • Chagos Islands dispute: court to rule on UK sovereignty claim

    Britain’s sovereignty over the Chagos Islands and America’s lease for the Diego Garcia military base could be thrown into doubt by an international court hearing due to open in Istanbul on Tuesday.

  • Colour-tinted photographs of North America – in pictures

    This collection of photochroms and Phostint postcards from the private collection of Marc Walter was produced – as colour tints of black and white photographs – by the Detroit Photographic Company between 1888 and 1924. It shows North America’s vast and varied landscape in all its splendour, as well as its people

  • Security

    • Oracle updates users on Heartbleed progress

      The Heartbleed fallout continues, but enterprise customers can draw some comfort from the fact that the companies that keep them in software are clearly as concerned as they are. For example, Oracle Corp. has announced mostly good, some bad and a bit of ugly news when it comes to security holes in its products.

    • Eugene Kaspersky: Smart TVs could be cyber criminals’ next target

      “But more and more engineers are developing software for Android. All the systems are vulnerable and I am afraid it is very possible to see the scenario of bad guys developing malware for iOS. Technically, it is possible to infect millions of devices. Internet-enabled TV sets use both Android and Linux.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • It’s back: The Cold War

      Such a policy is what the anti-Communists of the last Cold War, the ones who were initially willing to launch nuclear war, not with the confidence, but rather with the mere hope that some would survive, had to settle for.

    • China: “Violent Government Thugs” Beaten To Death By Angry Crowds After They Killed A Man Documenting Their Brutality
    • How Obama lost friends and influence in the Brics

      The president’s real pivot is not to Asia but to America, inspired by domestic sentiment

    • Important Revelations In New Leaks of CIA Torture Report
    • DoD Directive Used Duplicity to Hide Current Use of SERE Torture Techniques in Interrogations

      Recent revelations about the content of a still secret Senate report on the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program, which allowed for use of torture, highlight the use of techniques used by a little-known military department.

      These techniques from the military’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape program (SERE) had been lifted from a mock-torture prison camp exercise used to inoculate U.S. prisoners against the effects of torture. Two military psychologists hired as contractors for the CIA allegedly helped form the CIA’s controversial “enhanced interrogation” program.

    • Americans Don’t Want Drones At Home – Here’s Why

      Regardless of Americans’ fears, the use of drones is coming to a sky near them. In 2012, Congress passed a bill authorizing unmanned spy planes in the U.S. skies. President Obama signed it into law soon after.

    • US Drones Kill Three Al-Qaeda Suspects in Yemen

      The assassinations came as a result of a two-day air campaign, which killed 40 suspected Al-Qaeda militants.

    • Innocents abroad

      “An Ambassador”, says the old joke, “is an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country”. The only US Ambassador I’ve met was a Californian automobile salesman. (Well, he owned a whole string of dealerships, and I guessed owed his position not to mastery of statecraft but to the size of his campaign contributions.) It was during the Iraq war and he gave a public lecture which never once mentioned the war. And then I forgot all about him, until I came on this piece in Politico by James Bruno arguing that one reason the Kremlin is running rings round the US in Europe is the relative incompetence of American ambassadors compared to their Russian counterparts.

    • Too Big to Jail?

      …most obvious of national security state crimes seem to fall into a “too big to fail”-like category.

    • At Least 46 Killed in Two Days of US Drone Strikes in Yemen

      Most ‘Suspects’ But Some Confirmed Civilian Deaths

    • US elbows deep in world terrorism
    • Civilians caught up in US drone strike against al-Qaeda
    • Pro-Kremlin politician aims shocking rant at pregnant reporter

      A pregnant journalist is recovering in hospital today after a pro-Kremlin political leader in Russia told two male aides to “violently rape” her at a press conference.

    • ‘Other’ protest deserved our notice

      The CIA is supposed to collect intelligence, they said, not operate its own war.

    • Unpunished: The CIA’s Felony War Crimes

      The United States Senate’s decision to let the public see a summary of its report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) torture program following the September 11 attacks hides the fact Congress and the White House are happy to let people guilty of ordering and committing war crimes walk free. That is the stark truth ignored in all the mass media coverage of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 11-3 vote to declassify 500 pages of the 6,300 pages of its shocking torture report.

    • Kwame Nkrumah—The CIA Connection

      CIA has played a pivotal role in this history of subverting political systems…

    • Ukraine stupidity in action

      Governments that are “routinely” visited by the head of the CIA are usually puppet governments.

    • Humbug and provocation

      At least Brennan didn’t hand out hamburgers to members of the Ukraine parliament, but you have to wonder what he and his countless CIA minions dished out otherwise. We all know what the CIA’s solutions are to most problem with people who don’t follow US demands: bribery, character assassination or – much more conveniently – quiet ‘termination with extreme prejudice’ as they used to call it.

    • World Wars and Cold War

      Within the ambit of Cold War the two super powers used propaganda, espionage, politico-economic pressure and nuclear arms race as tools to increase power and influence. CIA and KGB competed with each other to subvert the loyalties of leadership of developing countries and bringing them into respective camps. Truman doctrine in 1947 followed by Marshall Plan was aimed at containment of communism. Apart from making strenuous efforts to bring in line as many States in Latin America, CIA backed by NATO also fished in troubled waters of Eastern Europe and exploited their relatively poorer socio-economic conditions as compared to prosperous Western Europe.

    • Trying Not to Give Peace a Chance

      The unnecessary and regrettable conflict between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine brings to mind sad remembrances of important junctures at which I watched – as a citizen and a CIA analyst – chances for genuine peace with Russia frittered away.

      How vividly I recall John Kennedy’s inaugural address when he bid us to ask not what our country could do for us, but rather what we could do for our country. Then and there I decided to put in the service of our government whatever expertise I could offer from my degrees in Russian. So I ended up in Washington more than a half-century ago.

    • White House Debates ‘Game-Changer’ Weapon For Syria

      White House officials are weighing whether to send surface-to-air missiles to opposition factions at the risk of a possible terrorist “nightmare”.

    • Seymour Hersh: Benghazi Attack A Consequence Of Weapons “Rat-Line” To Syria

      A veteran journalist presents a damning timeline of the lead up to the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi and alarming details of how the U.S. was feeding weapons to Syria.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • TRNN Original Report: Manning Determined to Fight Back After Army Upholds 35- Year Sentence
    • Crackdown on journalists: State security vs human rights

      On this front, Western governments face growing criticism for their leading role in putting national security concerns ahead of civil liberties – a legacy of former US President George W Bush-era “war on terror” policies amplified into the present day. The US and European governments increasingly rely on post-2001 anti-terrorism laws to shield government secrets and constrain journalists from publishing classified information.

      These measures have been hastened in the post-WikiLeaks, post-Edward Snowden era. Although no US journalist has been successfully prosecuted under the country’s anti-terrorism laws, US President Barack Obama’s administration has aggressively utilised the Espionage Act of 1917 to crackdown on government whistleblowers who leak classified information to journalists – a measure decried by reporters and human rights groups for undercutting basic democratic tenants and the media’s watchdog role.

    • Intelligence Directive Bars Unauthorized Contacts with News Media

      The Director of National Intelligence has forbidden most intelligence community employees from discussing “intelligence-related information” with a reporter unless they have specific authorization to do so, according to an Intelligence Community Directive that was issued last month.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • The 1% Wants to Ban Sleeping in Cars Because It Hurts Their ‘Quality of Life’

      This happened most recently in Palo Alto, in California’s Silicon Valley, where new billionaires are seemingly minted every month – and where 92% of homeless people lack shelter of any kind. Dozens of cities have passed similar anti-homeless laws. The largest of them is Los Angeles, the longtime unofficial “homeless capital of America”, where lawyers are currently defending a similar vehicle-sleeping law before a skeptical federal appellate court. Laws against sleeping on sidewalks or in cars are called “quality of life” laws. But they certainly don’t protect the quality of life of the poor.

    • Extravagant CEO pay doesn’t reflect performance – it’s all about status

      Even American eyes are starting to pop at the sheer extravagance of executive pay. Last week, the New York Times published its annual league table of chief executive pay at the US’s top 100 publicly quoted companies. The average has now climbed to $13.9m (£8.3m).

    • An Indictment of the Invisible Hand

      Here in a nutshell is what he argues: Current rates of inequality are closer to historical norms than aberrations. Inequality is likely to stay high and perhaps increase. The normal workings of the free market won’t change this. The only way to rectify the imbalance is more aggressive taxes on property and high incomes to reduce inequality.

    • Who made your clothes? It’s time we knew – and cared

      Sometimes events occur so horrific it can make finding a constructive response seem almost impossible and inadequate by comparison. As politicians we recognise in such circumstances our profession most of all can be found wanting. Yet we refuse to give up on the power of collective action to bring forward the possibility of change no matter how difficult the issue – if we are all prepared to play our part in securing it.

    • Michael Lewis: ‘Wall Street has gone insane’

      On a sliding scale of difficulty, writing a general-interest book about high-frequency trading is slightly harder than making baseball statistics interesting, but easier than animating the role played by quantitative analysis in the 2007 financial collapse. “Collateralised debt obligations,” says Michael Lewis, who has written about all three, “are impossible to describe. There’s nothing harder. However, trying to show a reader how a market moves? How stock prices move? You can already see them tuning out.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Broadcast media are shirking their duties

      But nothing on that hazardous scale had been published or broadcast lately. The statist reaction of the broadcast media was set last June by the figureheads of the two most powerful television news organizations. Bob Schieffer of CBS called Snowden a “narcissist.” David Gregory of NBC implied that Glenn Greenwald, who wrote about the NSA misconduct while at the Guardian, had “aided and abetted” Snowden and that Greenwald might be prosecuted as a criminal.

    • Dana Milbank on Snowden and the Pulitzer

      Certainly, many of the Snowden-fueled disclosures following the original NSA revelation have been gratuitous and harmful; those, and his sheltering in Russia rather than arguing his case in a U.S. court, raise doubts about his motives. But the original NSA leaks were justified because U.S. intelligence officials had misled the public and members of Congress about the program. There’s no value of “oversight” if the overseers are being fed lies.

      Fox went on, about the “ultra-narcissistic” Snowden committing “treason” and the Guardian’s “incompetence, arrogance, all added to a perverse anti-Western ideology.”

      “I am outraged,” the Briton said. “I hope you’re outraged.”
      “I’m outraged,” Thiessen assured him.

    • Who says Fox News isn’t dumb?
    • The CIA Through The Looking-Glass

      Covert operations were explicitly authorized by the new law.

    • Russia Deplores Kiev’s Little Interest in Disarming Extremists

      The Foreign Ministry of Russia criticized today in a communique the lack of interest from self proclaimed authorities in Kiev in disarming their extremist allies.

    • Obama Should Act Like M.L. King, Not Khrushchev
  • Censorship


      Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by the communiqué that the National Telecommunications Council (CONATEL) issued on 8 April condemning “certain” radio stations that “systematically broadcast false information liable to disturb pubic order, destabilize the Republic’s institutions and attack the integrity of many citizens.”

    • Teachers ‘devastated’ by online insults
    • April 19-20: Happy Easter! Guardian’s censorship over Ukraine, Big Brother watching and more

      I would like to draw your attention to a recent phenomenon that is now occurring since the start of the crisis in Ukraine to CIF (comment is free) commenters on articles in the Guardian newspaper where the subject of Ukraine is concerned.
      I have been commenting on articles in the Guardian newspaper for years and never in my life have I seen such a level of censorship being applied to commenters as I am presently seeing. Normally when you comment on an article in the Guardian your comment gets posted and it appears straight away. In the past if a comment is offensive or abusive it can then later be removed by the “moderators” and deleted. This has now all changed. Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine and the massive anti Russian propaganda being fed to the people of the UK by the MSM, it has now become extremely difficult for ordinary people to air their views which contradict the establishment views by commenting on CIF in the Guardian. In the last few weeks the newspaper has introduced something called “pre – moderation” which basically means when a commenter posts something on CIF instead of being posted straight away like it used to be someone somewhere decides whether to post it or not and if it is something that particularly contradicts the anti Russian propaganda being spouted then it just doesn’t get posted. This is what is now being shown on the Guardian website about this new development :
      When I post a comment, it says that my comments are being pre-moderated – what does that mean? Does that apply to everyone in the conversation?
      There is a further exception to the overall reactive-moderation approach adopted by the Guardian website: in isolated situations, a particular user may be identified as a risk, based on a pattern of behaviour (e.g. spam, trolling, repeated/frequent borderline abuse), so a temporary filter can be applied to anything they post, which means that their comments will need to be pre-moderated before appearing on the site.

    • The New York Times wrestles with Israel’s gag orders

      Two senior editors at the newspaper say they were unaware of The Times ever agreeing to abide by gag orders in Israel.

    • Erdoğan’s policies lead to Turkey’s isolation

      In a recent visit to Turkey, US Assistant Secretary of State Douglas Frantz got together with Turkish reporters and nongovernmental organizations. According to reports, Frantz addressed the Turkish government during these talks: “Do not punish those who use Twitter and other social media websites legally. Do not go after those publishing documents. Instead, go after those who leaked them. The Snowden incident can be a guide for Turkey,” referring to how the US handled the famed whistleblower’s case. The Washington Post and the Guardian newspapers — which published a number of documents leaked by Edward Snowden, shaking the whole world with revelations regarding the US’s monitoring of phone calls and Internet activities through the National Security Agency (NSA) — were recently awarded Pulitzer prizes. Prior to Frantz’s remarks, Turkey had been subjected to harsh criticism from top Western officials during the government’s two-week-long Twitter ban, introduced shortly before the March 30 local elections. At the time, international civil rights organizations expressed their concerns about Turkey’s future in terms of democracy and freedom of speech.

    • China steps up purge of online porn amid wider censorship push

      China has shut down more than 100 websites carrying pornography and closed thousands of accounts on social media sites in a renewed effort to clean up the Internet, state media reported.

    • Chinese director takes on Oliver Stone over his criticism of China’s film industry

      A war of words has erupted between a mainland movie director and American filmmaker Oliver Stone over the Oscar winner’s accusation that Chinese directors are failing to confront the damaging legacy of the country’s past.

    • Turkish artists condemn Erdogan re-election

      Artistic community expresses concern at censorship and crackdown on personal freedom

    • Egypt’s censorship board head resigns in film spat
    • PM to restructure censorship authority after film crisis

      The Cabinet said Saturday Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb decided to form a panel tasked with restructuring the Censorship Authority following a controversy over his earlier decision to ban Lebanese star Haifa Wehbe’s latest movie, which was deemed sexually provocative.

    • Gosar: Blocking science education standards is censorship

      For those not familiar with budget footnote No. 3, it prohibits the State Board of Education and the Wyoming Department of Education from, “expending any amount appropriated under this section for any review or adoption of the next generation science standards….This footnote is effective immediately.”

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Toronto Strikers Bump Up Boycott Tactics

      Steelworkers are holding the line against two-tier wages and pensions at a can plant in Toronto—ruining the plans of their employer, can manufacturing giant Crown Holdings. In late March, after seven months on strike, workers voted against going back to work 117 to 1.

      Crown has been trying to impose two-tier across all its union plants, said Stuart Deans of the USW. “It’s gotta stop somewhere,” he said. The Philadelphia-based company operates 149 factories in dozens of countries. About half its workers are unionized.

    • Guantánamo Bay detainees’ release upon end of Afghanistan war ‘unlikely’

      US officials indicate fate of inmates captured during the country’s longest conflict will continue to complicate Obama administration’s efforts to close wartime detention complex

    • Tennessee set to criminalise pregnant women who use illegal drugs

      Tennessee is poised to become the first state in the US to criminalise pregnant women for harm caused to their foetuses or newborn babies as a result of addiction to illegal drugs.

    • Pakistan: Draft computer crimes law violates human rights

      As states have been revealed to be snooping on citizens and other governments, and we are confronted by data breaches and security issues like the latest Heartbleed crisis, more people are becoming aware of their internet rights. Voters and civil society around the world are pushing their governments to provide secure and private online spaces for internet users. It is quite refreshing to see Pakistan’s government working for internet laws. However, though some provisions of the proposed Computer Crimes Law (CCL) are copied from other countries’ legislation, several parts of the draft version violate international human rights, including the freedom of expression.

    • Cruelty on Day for the Disabled

      Members of National Solidarity for Ending Discrimination Against the Disabled are sprayed with tear gas by police…

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Copyright Monopoly’s Fundamental Problem Remains The Same…

        The fundamental problem with the copyright monopoly today is that it can’t coexist with private communications as a concept. Our sharing of culture and knowledge happens as part of the private correspondence that leaves our computer, and therefore, the monopoly cannot be enforced as long as private correspondence exists.


Links 20/4/2014: EFF FOSS, Easter Drone Strikes, Copyright Industry Fear of Google

Posted in News Roundup at 4:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Safety you can bank on: Chromebook, Linux, phone

    If you’re not deterred by learning strange software, you can save hundreds of dollars by downloading a copy of the open-source Linux operating system and burning it to a CD or copying it to a flash drive. As security journalist Brian Krebs explained in the summer of 2012, you can pop that into your Windows PC, boot the machine off it, and go online insulated from whatever might lurk in your copy of Windows.

    (In that post, Krebs endorsed a version of Linux with the charming name Puppy Linux; I usually recommend a different variety called Ubuntu, but the differences don’t amount to much in this context.)

    Using Linux just for online banking also insulates you from most of its potential complexity: You’re only running a browser.

    But if installing new apps in Windows already fills you with dread, or the thought of picking one version of Linux out of dozens makes your head hurt, spend money instead of time. A Chromebook just might work — and might be all the computer you needed in the first place.

  • Emmabuntüs: A philanthropist’s GNU/Linux

    Emmabuntüs is a desktop GNU/Linux distribution which originated in France with a humanitarian mission. It was designed with 4 primary objectives – refurbishing of computers given to humanitarian organizations like the Emmaüs communities, promoting GNU/Linux among beginners, extending the life of older equipments and reducing waste by over-consumption of raw materials.

    The latest version, Emmabuntüs 2 is based on Xubuntu 12.04 LTS and is very user-friendly. Though it is designed to work on older computers it includes many modern features like a large number of pre-configured programs, dockbar to launch applications, easy installation of non-free software and multimedia codecs and quick setup through automated scripts. It also supports 6 languages.

  • 50 Open Source Replacements for Windows XP

    Fortunately, the open source community has free operating systems that meet the needs of users in all of these situations. This month we’ve put together a list of 50 different applications that can replace Windows XP. It’s organized into several different categories. Those that are easiest for beginners to use come first, followed by lightweight operating systems that can run on old hardware, then operating systems that are particularly tailored for business users and open source operating systems that aren’t based on Linux. The list ends with a few applications that aren’t complete operating systems but do allow users to run their existing XP software from Linux.

  • Kernel Space

    • Easter Yields The Linux 3.15-rc2 Kernel Release

      There’s many new features to the Linux 3.15 kernel with some of my favorite features being AMD VCE 2.0 video encoding support, EFI mixed mode support, file-system improvements, continued power management / ACPI work, virtualization improvements, near-complete support for building the Linux kernel with LLVM’s Clang, and many other additions and new hardware driver support.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Is Disabling DPM Support For RV770 GPUs

        AMD’s Alex Deucher sent out a patch on Friday to disable Dynamic Power Management on the RV770 by default. The DPM for the RV770 was enabled by default with the Linux 3.13 kernel and it yields better/lower power consumption while idling, better performance if the video BIOS sets lower clock speeds at boot time, and with the lower power consumption can also come lower heat output. However, some users have reported issues with RV770 GPUs in using the Linux 3.13 kernel and newer. (In my personal testing of several different RV770 GPUs, I haven’t encountered any issues with Linux 3.13+.)

      • Linux 3.15 Lands Some DRM Graphics Driver Fixes

        Likely most notable from this latest DRM fixes series entering the Linux kernel is the microcode fixes for some newer graphics cards, mainly fixing up the dynamic power management support for the AMD Radeon R7 260X graphics card. Besides the microcode fixes to stabilize newer GCN-era hardware, there’s also some run-time power management fixes, and PLL regression fixes for the Radeon driver. Hopefully this pull will fix a Radeon DRM problem previously mentioned on Phoronix during the early Linux 3.15 benchmarking. Many more Linux 3.15 kernel benchmarks are forthcoming on Phoronix.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Weeeee, Kubuntu 14.04 is out! and already looking to the future

        It is really fabulous to be able to present the latest KDE software into our Kubuntu LTS. This will give us the freedom to try out the newest stuff from KDE based on the sparkly new Frameworks, Plasma Next and so forth, in our next release. So, our users will be able to use software supported for five years if they want, while also having the option to install 14.10 (if all goes well) and check out the newest.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Jolla’s Confidence and Marketing Grows Through Monthly OS Updates

        Once more, Finnish smartphone manufacturer Jolla has updated the Sailfish OS for the Jolla handsets. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who is intensely following the adventures of the boutique mobile platform as Jolla has promised to update the OS every month. Not just ‘next month’ but ‘every month’ .

Free Software/Open Source


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • 6 of Dick Cheney’s Biggest Whoppers Since Leaving Office

      The good news is that Dick Cheney is not our Vice President anymore. The bad news is that he continues to say evil, blatantly false things to the press. We didn’t appreciate his opinions when he was in the White House, and we certainly don’t appreciate them any better now. Here are six more recent quotations that leave us wishing Cheney would just shut up altogether…


      George Soros and Bill Gates – both supporters of immigration reform – are investors in a controversial private prison firm…

    • Bill Gates Foundation’s Investments Questioned In Street Protest

      For-profit prison company accused of lobbying for harsher sentences and holding deportees longer than necessary

    • Bill Gates attacked over G4S child prisoners ‘shame’

      The philanthropic body run by the world’s richest person, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, today faced accusations that the charity is complicit in the torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian detainees, including child prisoners.

    • Bill Gates Criticised for Investment in G4S’ Israel Torture Prisons
    • What Really Happened at the Bay of Pigs
    • US Nuclear Weapons Proliferation: We’re No. 1!

      The corporate media is focused on the question of how or if Iran could ever break out of its promise under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to eschew nuclear weapons to use reactors only for civilian purposes. So many headlines refer to sanctions imposed against Iran that millions of people mistakenly think Iran has a nuclear arsenal. It doesn’t.

    • Star-Spangled Baggage: How America’s Wars Came Home With the Troops

      After an argument about a leave denied, Specialist Ivan Lopez pulled out a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and began a shooting spree at Fort Hood, America’s biggest stateside base, that left three soldiers dead and 16 wounded. When he did so, he also pulled America’s fading wars out of the closet. This time, a Fort Hood mass killing, the second in four and a half years, was committed by a man who was neither a religious nor a political “extremist.” He seems to have been merely one of America’s injured and troubled veterans who now number in the hundreds of thousands.

    • On Nazis, Jews & Ukraine ‘de-escalation’

      For starters; the regime changers in power in Kiev did not commit themselves, explicitly, to constitutional reform (the draft language is slippery, to say the least); they did not commit, explicitly, to leaving Ukraine out of NATO; and a minor but still significant point – this was not a joint press conference by the two key players, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

      Arguably, the US State Department is bound to interpret ‘de-escalation’ as a sort of ultimatum to every anti-fascist, pro-autonomy and pro-Russia group in eastern Ukraine, as in ‘disarm or else’. That’s the same logic behind the nefarious March 2011 UN approval of a no-fly zone over Libya.


      Expectations were not high for Thursday’s four-party Ukraine talks, and we were not denied. While the illegal, violent coup-meisters were represented by themselves and their two major benefactors, the US and EU, the East Ukrainians were not invited. Imagine that.

    • Twin Shocks Shake Foundation of German Power

      That shocking news — “snooping among friends, that just doesn’t work,” as Ms. Merkel put it — is still reverberating through the political elite and most recently spurred Parliament to appoint a committee to look into the case.

    • Geneva deal appears meaningless on battle lines

      The agreement signed by the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union suggested that people such as Alexander, a 31-year-old unemployed man who joined the pro-Russian protests in this industrial city should have been making preparations to head home. Instead, he was patrolling the entrance to the Donetsk regional headquarters as usual, clutching a club and wearing a balaclava.

    • CIA Working On Proxy War Against Russia in Ukraine

      The primary reason CIA boss John Brennan went to Kyiv on Sunday was not to talk about intelligence sharing as the establishment media has reported. This was the paper thin cover story floated by Rep. Mike Rogers, the out-going chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. It is propaganda.

    • Hidden Agenda behind CIA Director Brennan’s Trip to Kiev: “Initiate the Use Of Force” in Eastern Ukraine
    • Imperial overreach

      However, the most significant event unfolding before our eyes, which has undermined US dominance in the world, is occurring in Ukraine. The US engineered the outcome in Ukraine, which led to the toppling of the previous government and installation of the current regime. In the past, the contest was always between an overwhelmingly superior force and an opponent that was weak, isolated or defenceless. This time, however, it is the feathers of Russia that have been ruffled from the interference in Ukraine. And Russia is not weak, isolated or defenceless. Neither the US nor Russia will back down from the conflict in Ukraine as a matter of international prestige and domestic reputation. If that is not wrong and the escalation leads to a proxy war between the two, to be played out as a civil war in Ukraine, will the US be able to win in Russia’s backyard, where the armies of Charles XII, Napoleon and Hitler all failed?

    • The Ukraine Imbroglio and the Decline of the American Empire

      When discussing the Ukraine-Crimea “crisis” it might be hygienic for Americans, including their political class, think-tank pundits, and talking heads, to recall two striking moments in “the dawn’s early light” of the U. S. Empire: in 1903, in the wake of the Spanish-American War, under President Theodore Roosevelt America seized control of the southern part of Guantanamo Bay by way of a Cuban-American Treaty which recognizes Cuba’s ultimate sovereignty over this base; a year after the Bolshevik Revolution, in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson dispatched 5,000 U. S. troops to Arkhangelsk in Northern Russia to participate in the Allied intervention in Russia’s Civil War, which raised the curtain on the First Cold War. Incidentally, in 1903 there was no Fidel Castro in Havana and in 1918 no Joseph Stalin in the Kremlin.

    • Anti-Semitic ‘provocation’ signals dangerous game in Ukraine city

      Rabbi Pinchas Vishedski was chatting outside this city’s lone synagogue after Passover prayers on Wednesday night when three men in masks approached. They were unarmed, Rabbi Vishedski says, but carrying something hateful in their hands: a leaflet demanding that Jews living in Donetsk come to the regional administration building “to be registered,” or face expulsion.

    • Boston and Baghdad

      All this carnage, following the destruction of Iraq by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, and the aftermath, is occurring in a country less than one twenty-third the size of the United States with less than one ninth the population, and far fewer emergency and hospital facilities.

    • Drone strikes: We’re humans, not bugs waiting to be squashed
    • Air strike in Yemen kills suspected militants

      A drone strike in Yemen on Saturday killed at least 10 suspected al Qaeda militants but also inadvertently resulted in the deaths of three civilian day laborers, a high-level Yemeni government official told CNN.

    • Documentary reveals US Air Force unit recruits gamers to kill with drones in Pakistan
    • 11 detained during drone protest at Beale AFB

      Eleven people protesting the U.S. government’s use of unmanned drones were detained at Beale Air Force Base on Friday, base officials said.

    • Jack Tame: Remote death by drone, so 2014

      So we killed a dude and no one seems too fazed. What’s the deal with that? You’ll excuse my casualness, I hope, but it seems to be the way we’re approaching this. A Kiwi dude got killed by a drone. It took months to even identify him. But meh, it is what it is. Back to your brioche and latte.

    • Haunting Instagrams Show What Drone Operators Would See if They Targeted Americans
    • US drone pilots are ‘stressed’ and ‘demoralized’ – official report

      ​The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has produced a scathing report detailing the Air Force’s mismanagement of its active-duty drone pilots, who are responsible for the most demanding and deadly missions in the entire US military.

    • LETTERS: Anger against Bundy misdirected

      Ask yourself what is worse: execution by drone without due process, or private cattle grazing on public lands?

    • The Obama Drama

      The Obama drama means that the president can easily decide to kill bin Laden, resort to drones, establish his own kill list, and refuse to prosecute the torture mongers of the Bush administration, but the president cannot beat the NRA and get sensible gun laws passed in Congress, and he cannot force Israel to stop its illegal settlement policy, which, in the long run, will be harmful to Israel itself, and in the short term is brutal for the Palestinians and disastrous for the image of both the U.S. and Israel.

    • America’s “Exceptional” Reality

      Mainstream media are intensively focused on last year’s Boston Marathon victims in their run-up stories to this year’s April 21st Marathon. It is enough to divert people’s attention from what our government does to countless more human beings in our name—which would explain why so-called “terrorists” would want to hurt us Americans. This statement is not meant, in any way, to minimize what happened in Boston in 2013. The lives of the four persons killed and over 260 injured last year are most precious, and words will never adequately express the terrible loss of loved ones and devastating injuries suffered. Nor is the intent to minimize the culpability of the alleged Marathon bombers. But something else is going on here—and it is not in the best interest of last year’s bombing victims, nor the rest of us citizens.

    • U.S. drone strike kills 5 terror suspects in Yemen

      But critics said the drone strikes often violate international law and cause heavy civilian casualties. Last December, a U.S. drone strike mistakenly hit a wedding party in Yemen’s southeastern province of al-Bayda, killing 11 Yemeni civilians and wounding another 21.

    • People panic as drones fly over Hangu

      Those killed were mostly Afghan refugees.

    • URGENT – Yemen-Drone-Target

      Nobody killed in the strike was believed to be among AQAP’s senior leadership, the source said.

    • Benghazi Mystery Explained!?!

      Answer offered by Seymour Hersh Gets Little Public Attention

    • Did Israel steal bomb-grade uranium from the United States?

      Nearly 50 years have passed since the events in question. It is time to level with the public. At this point it is up to the president himself to decide whether to declassify completely the NUMEC documents, all of which are over 30 years old. He should do so. We know that is asking a lot given the president’s sensitivity about anything involving Israel, and especially anything relating to Israeli nuclear weapons. But none of his political concerns outweigh his responsibility to tell the US public the historical truth it deserves to know.

    • Guantánamo trial judge orders CIA to account for treatment of detainee

      A judge overseeing the trials of terror suspects at Guantánamo Bay has ordered the CIA to turn over details of its treatment of a detainee in one of its secret prisons, a watershed ruling that sets the stage for the military commissions to learn much more than the US public about the agency’s brutal interrogations.

    • Military Judge Orders CIA To Turn Over Details On ‘Black Site’ Prisons
    • James Mitchell: ‘I’m just a guy who got asked to do something for his country’

      Dr James Elmer Mitchell has been called a war criminal and a torturer. He has been the subject of an ethics complaint, and his methods have been criticized in reports by two congressional committees and by the CIA’s internal watchdog.

    • On CIA abuses, denial does Americans no favors

      Instinct pushes us away from reckoning with the mindset that led our country into disastrous foreign adventures over the last few decades. We prefer not to ask why we misjudged the world and our ability to change it. This form of denial is dangerous. Pretending that nothing went seriously wrong can only lead us to future trouble.

    • US Drone Strike Kills 21 in Yemen, Including Civilians

      The strike targeted a pickup truck carrying 16 people, and was apparently a “signature strike” on the assumption the truck was carrying al-Qaeda. Though none of the slain were identified, reports dubbed all 16 “suspected militants.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Princeton Concludes What Kind of Government America Really Has, and It’s Not a Democracy

      And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.

    • Save the World, Work Less

      With climate change threatening life as we know it, perhaps it’s time to revive the forgotten goal of spending less time on our jobs

    • Lessons from corporatized college: Even PhDs are being squeezed out of the middle class

      In our US of A, those words ought never be juxtaposed. The very concept of paying poverty wages in the richest nation in the history of the planet is an abomination–a mark of societal failure. Yet, not only have millions of our people been shoved into the abyss of the working poor, but our soulless corporate and political elites tell us to get used to it, for the Walmartization of work is our nation’s future.

    • Wall Street market rigged!

      More bluntly, Michael (of Liar’s Poker and The Big Short fame) claimed on TV’s 60 Minutes in early April that the US’s US$22 trillion stock market is rigged by HFTs. It’s not surprising that some Wall Street titans, including Charles Schwab (founder of the old established discount brokerage house) agreed, describing the practice of HFT as “a cancer undermining confidence in the free enterprise system.” To be fair, other high profiles on Wall Street also insist that few investors are actually hurt by the activities of HFTs; in fact, these “New Barbarians” do have redeeming features, including injecting competition, generating market liquidity and lowering transaction costs.

    • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Censorship

    • Privacy

      • Snowden Calls BS On Putin’s Answer: Says He Was Playing The Role Of Ron Wyden

        Yesterday we, like many, were perplexed by Ed Snowden’s decision to go on a Russian television program, and to ask Vladimir Putin a question about whether or not the Russians do mass surveillance like the NSA does (which was, of course, exposed by Ed Snowden). It was clearly playing into Putin’s propaganda efforts, because Putin immediately took the opportunity to insist that no, Russia does not do mass surveillance like that. Of course, Putin’s answer was not true. Many of Snowden’s detractors immediately jumped on this as an example of how he was working for the Putin propaganda machine — and many (including us), wondered if he was, at the very least, pressured to play a role in order to keep his temporary asylum. Others thought he was just being naive. Some Snowden supporters, however, insisted that we should hear him out, and see if there was some more specific motive behind his question.

        Apparently, we didn’t have to wait long. Snowden himself has now directly called Putin out for lying about Russian surveillance, and said that his question was designed to act similar to Senator Ron Wyden’s now famous question to James Clapper, leading to Clapper’s lie, which (in part) sparked Snowden’s decision to finally release the files he’d been collecting.

      • The End Of Facebook

        It’s taken five years to get the Booooooom Facebook page to the size it is now and after all that it appears, due to Facebook’s greed, it’s a complete waste of time to continue using it. The other day I made a post, and of the 155,000 people following our page, only 400 people saw it. That’s not even 1% of our followers! That’s kinda insane if you think about it. There was a time when 60,000 people would see a post, and we had less followers then!

      • US, India are the top offenders on Facebook

        Facebook released its global government transparency report. USA the oldest democracy, UK the representative democracy and India the largest democracy are the biggest offenders of its citizen’s privacy. For the first time it is revealed that how often countries have restricted or removed content from the site.

      • Covert Inquiry by F.B.I. Rattles 9/11 Tribunals
      • Judge in Sept. 11 case confirms FBI is investigating defense lawyers

        The sudden turn of events has frustrated prosecutors, who want to move the case closer to trial, and angered relatives of the victims, some them coming away from this week’s hearings believing the pretrial process has been “sabotaged.”

      • The mentality of J Edgar Hoover’s FBI undergirds today’s surveillance state

        The new documentary 1971, about the formerly anonymous FBI burglars who exposed the crimes of former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, debuted to a rapt audience at the Tribecca film festival last night. As the filmmakers noted in an interview with the AP, the parallels between Nixon-era FBI whistleblowers and Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations are almost eerie in their similarity.

      • Is Data Hoarding Necessary for Lawful Surveillance?

        The answer is emphatically no. Well understood cryptographic techniques can enable lawful intercept and surveillance without the creation of centralized hoards of personal information. This is not a geeky footnote in the mass surveillance saga. Such hoards are dangerous as well as unnecessary; they could be leaked or sold to a foreign state or criminal gang by a future, more venal incarnation of Edward Snowden.

      • Edward Snowden’s vindication: Burman

        The Pulitzer Prize in public service journalism is ultimately a tribute to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, once regarded as an American traitor.

      • Student Data: Moving Past Transparent to Tangible

        The one-stop data warehouse provider inBloom, despite its non-profit status and open source code, suffered a series of setbacks thanks to a combination of unfortunate timing (that NSA thing), guilt-by-association (controversial statements by Bill Gates about teachers as the Gates Foundation provided funding, and coding work done by an edtech company owned by Rupert Murdoch), and self-inflicted wounds (initial sluggishness in directly responding to criticism or clearly explaining what inBloom-the-service was).

      • The Rise of Big Data Brings Tremendous Possibilities and Frightening Perils

        In my mind, there is no doubt that data analytics will one day help to improve health care and crime detection, design better products, and improve traffic patterns and agricultural yields. My concern is about how we will one day use all the data we are gathering — and the skeletons it will uncover. Think about how DNA technology is being used to free people who were wrongfully imprisoned decades ago. Imagine what supercomputers of the future will be able to do with the data that present-day data gatherers haven’t yet learned to use.

      • Xinhua Insight: China on frontlines of cyber security threat

        The situation became more urgent after Edward Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, said the U.S. had been hacking into institutions based on the Chinese mainland.

        The NSA has also been spying into the servers of Chinese company Huawei’s sealed headquarters, according to revelations by The New York Times and Der Spiegel, which the U.S. has not denied.

      • Tribeca Docs on Government Spying: ‘What Was Illegal Under Nixon Is Legal Under Obama’

        “Silenced” and “1971” deal with 43 years of surveillance and retaliation against whistleblowers

        Government surveillance, abuses of power and the supression of dissent kicked into high gear after 9/11, one documentary argued at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday night.

        But the whistleblowers who exposed recent activities were hardly breaking new ground, because some of the same things were going on more than four decades ago, another Tribeca doc pointed out.

      • FALLOUT: The Geopolitics of the Snowden Files

        ON JULY 2 LAST YEAR, the governments of Portugal, France, Italy, and Spain bowed to US orders and refused airspace to the plane carrying Bolivian president Evo Morales. He’d been traveling from Russia to South America until his presidential jet was forced to land in Vienna. Morales and his ministers were stranded there for 15 hours. Acting on bad intelligence or mere suspicions, the higher-ups in the Obama administration, and perhaps President Obama himself, decreed this embarrassing, unprecedented, and illegal detention of a foreign sovereign. The lies fed to Morales and his pilots in Vienna — that there were “technical” issues for the emergency landing — fooled no one: American authorities suspected that the Bolivians were helping NSA whistleblower Edward J. Snowden’s escape from Russia to South America.

      • Lavabit Complies With U.S. Government Request — In A Teeny, Tiny Font

        U.S. based secure email provider Lavabit has been fighting its government for months now, after shutting down to avoid having to provide information about its clients. But, unable to fight any longer, it finally relinquished its SSL keys — in a less-than-readable font size.

        It seems like a troll move. But, known for his stance on a free internet, Lavabit founder Ladar Levison is clearly not joking around when putting any obstacle he can in the government’s path of snooping on his email clients. The provider was set up with total security in mind for its users, and Levison claims that handing over his encryption keys would “compromise all of the secure communications in and out of my network, including my own administrative traffic.”

      • You Are Being Watched

        Secret NSA courts, established in 1978, called Federal Intelligence Surveillance Courts or FISA courts, grant warrants to the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for secret searches.

      • Bill to protect e-data advances

        Voters in November could be asked by the General Assembly whether to protect electronic data from unreasonable search and seizure, under a measure introduced this week at the state capitol.

        The measure, Senate Concurrent Resolution 14-002, is sponsored by perhaps the most unlikely pairing of senators: Sen. Greg Brophy (R-Wray) and Senate President Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora). In the House, Rep. Dan Nordberg (R-Colorado Springs) is its sponsor. The measure would amend the state constitution to add electronic data to “persons and papers” that are not subject to unreasonable search and seizure.

        SCR 002 is in part a response to re

      • In a MaidSafe state of mind
      • Justices Ginsburg, Scalia says Supreme Court to rule over NSA surveillance despite lack of know-how

        Two US Supreme Court justices have admitted in front of the National Press Club that the country’s to court has no choice but to decide on the controversial surveillance activities of the National Security Agency, TechCrunch said.

        Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told the club that the US’ high court is the least qualified institution to decide on the federal agency’s activities.

      • GCHQ Names New Director Amidst Snowden Controversy

        Senior Foreign Office official Robert Hannigan has been named new head of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British intelligence and surveillance agency that came under scrutiny alongside its US counterpart, the National Security Agency (NSA), following the damaging disclosures of highly classified SIGINT by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

      • Joint Letter from Civil Society Organizations to Foreign Ministers of Freedom Online Coalition Member States

        Snowden explicitly told PACE members that the NSA had “specifically targeted the communications of either leaders or staff members in a number of purely civil or human rights organizations … including domestically, within the borders of the United States.”

      • Governments up the ante on cyberspying styles

        We don’t mean to imply that all forms of technospying are this advanced, though. Russia was busted last year after putting infected memory sticks in gift baskets presented to world leaders at a G-20 summit (lat.ms/1gWn3Ra). And among the NSA’s many tricks were intercepting shipping deliveries, planting bugs or back doors in the packaged hardware, then sending the packages on their way (bit.ly/1iiDw7e).

      • ‘1971’, An Early Echo Of NSA, Snowden
      • TECH TOYS: What would George Orwell think of the new Gmail update?

        And Google is promising that it won’t allow Glass facial recognition apps that tap into Google tell the wearer who someone is, who they work for, what football team they like, when was the last time they changed their underwear and things like that. That’s the only reason I’d want to buy Google Glass, but Google is worried about the perception it’s the world’s No. 1 corporate voyeur.

      • Looking for Terrorists? Why Not Check the Extreme Right Website Linked to 100 Hate Crime Killings

        The Southern Poverty Law Center found that users on the White Nationalist Web forum Stormfront.org were responsible for something like a hundred slayings that related to discrimination. Among the infamous killers the site boasts as users are the man responsible for the 2011 Norway massacre, Anders Behring Breivik, and Wade Michael Page, who shot six people dead at a Sikh temple in 2012 in Wisconsin.

      • Greenwald Reacts to Pulitzer Win: They ‘Had to Recognize’ Snowden Reporting in Some Way

        On this Sunday morning’s Reliable Sources, CNN’s Brian Stelter will conduct the first interview with Glenn Greenwald since his reporting based on NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks, along with that of The Washington Post, won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. In a preview from the upcoming segment, Greenwald said he know the Pulitzer committee “had to recognize” the Snowden-based work in some way, and he’s pleased with how they chose to do it.

      • State of control

        As the world celebrates the 25th birthday of Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of the World Wide Web, the fight for an open and free internet gains more momentum. Although the openness – and scrutiny – of the internet has always been a cause for concern for digital rights advocates, things got pretty messy after Edward Snowden’s (ongoing) leaks about NSA and GCHQ’s snooping tactics.

      • Protests continue against Dropbox after appointment of Condoleezza Rice

        The decision by Dropbox this month to appoint Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, to the company’s board of directors sparked a heated online debate about her views on Internet surveillance and the role of the National Security Agency.

      • In brief: Dropbox won’t drop Condoleezza Rice over surveillance concerns
      • Australian VPN Offers Anonymity to Citizens Concerned About Their Online Privacy
      • Stephan Lesher: Thank you, Edward Snowden

        But as a whistleblower who has revealed government machinations on a scale not seen since Daniel Ellsberg gave America the Pentagon Papers, he does deserve, at the very least, a thank you, a pat on the back, and a get out of jail free card.

      • Clapper Goes on Tour to Persuade University Students Snowden Is No Whistleblower, Not a Hero

        Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is touring universities and colleges in the United States in an attempt to persuade students that they should not consider former NSA contractor Edward Snowden a whistleblower or a hero.

      • Former CIA Director: Snowden Is Obviously A ‘Prop’ For Putin
      • Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: ‘Why all the criticism?’

        Fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden has written an op-ed column in the Guardian justifying his decision to go on live TV to question Russian President Vladimir Putin about his country’s policies on mass surveillance.

      • Documentary ’1971′ explores break-in of FBI office in Pa.

        “They’re ordinary Americans who decided to take a stand,” says Hamilton, a producer of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.”

      • Way to go DHS! And Shame on the Rest of You

        If the FBI is collecting and using cyber data in the same way the NSA deals with phone calls – we are in trouble.

      • The U.S. Government: Paying to Undermine Internet Security, Not to Fix It

        The United States spends more than $50 billion a year on spying and intelligence, while the folks who build important defense software 2014 in this case a program called OpenSSL that ensures that your connection to a website is encrypted 2014 are four core programmers, only one of whom calls it a full-time job.

      • The UK’s response to Snowden’s revelations lets Putin off the hook

        The surveillance watchdog report clearing GCHQ provides a worrying precedent for the Russian president and other autocrats

      • IRS, other agencies award contracts to license plate tracking company

        The Internal Revenue Service and other agencies awarded about $415,000 in contracts to a license plate-tracking company before Homeland Security leaders dropped a plan for similar work amid privacy complaints.

    • Civil Rights

      • Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: Boxer whose wrongful conviction for murder caused international outrage, dies aged 76

        Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, has died at 76.

      • World Cup 2014: Brazil’s plans for anti-terror law alarm rights groups

        Human rights campaigners have sounded the alarm about proposed Brazilian anti-terrorism legislation that they fear will be used to crack down on legal protests during the World Cup.

        The government says that it needs the new law before the tournament, which kicks off on 12 June, because the high-profile international event could be a target for violent extremists. But lawyers, politicians, NGOs and protest organisers warn that the current wording of a bill submitted to the Brazilian National Congress is dangerously vague and could allow security forces unprecedented powers to arrest demonstrators.

      • The militarization of the police

        Recently a black family was awakened to the thunderous sounds of their front door crashing in and Gestapo-like footsteps fanning throughout their home. It was the St. Louis SWAT Team with no search warrant or explanation of their intrusion.

        This is just one example of the militarization of domestic police which has accelerated over the years with little public scrutiny or restraint. And now, Police Chief Sam Dotson wants to add drones to his arsenal.

        The mother in the no-knock raid was temporarily put in hand-cuffs and the father was thrown on the floor. Their juvenile son was taken to police headquarters and questioned without the presence or permission of his parents.

      • Hillary Clinton and the Future Failure of Progressive Hope and Change

        The crowd cheered when she said it; the party seems to be teeing up issues like gender equality to facilitate it; and with the McCutcheon decision, the way seems paved for a DLC Democrat like Hillary to waltz into the nomination. And yes, gender equality is a critical issue, but don’t hold your breath looking for progress from Hillary. She’s likely to do as much for women, as Barack Obama has done for African Americans – which is to say damn little, other than a better brand of rhetoric.

      • Washington’s Corruption and Mendacity Is What Makes America “Exceptional” — Paul Craig Roberts

        The Los Angeles Times has acquired its own Judith Miller. His name is Sergei L. Loiko. An incompetent Obama regime has botched its takeover of Ukraine with its Kiev coup. The White House Fool is embarrassed that so many Ukrainians prefer to be part of Russia than part of Washington’s stooge “freedom and democracy” government in Kiev. The prostitute American and European media have thrown the propaganda into overdrive, demonizing Russia and President Putin, in order to cover up Washington’s blunder.

      • The Psychologist Behind the CIA’s Torture Program Desperately Wants to Speak Out

        The psychologist who wrote the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program wants to tell his story to the world, if only non-disclosure agreements with the U.S. government weren’t holding him back.

      • Why Constitutionalists Should Celebrate April 18

        Throughout 1774 and the Spring of 1775, Paul Revere was hired by the Boston Committee of Correspondence and the Massachusetts Committee of Safety to serve as an “express rider,” an 18th-century mailman of sorts. Revere’s job was to carry information — news, letters, dispatches, copies of proposed resolutions — to dispersed patriots throughout New England and as far away as New York and Philadelphia.

        This day, April 18, Dr. Joseph Warren notified Revere that he was to ride to Lexington, Massachusetts, and alert local patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British regulars were marching to arrest them.

    • Intellectual Monopolies

      • Bill Gates Files Anti Google Glass Patent Application

        Google Glass, recently put on limited sale to the general public, has raised privacy concerns because it may record video and audio with little indication to outside parties. There are instances where individuals may not want or expect to be recorded by strangers in public. Embarrassing or incriminating recordings of an individual may be obtained at locations such as restaurants, bars, or support groups without an individual’s knowledge. Further, sensitive information on laptop or ATM screens may be compromised by Google Glass wearers peeking over one’s shoulder and recording what they see.

      • Copyrights

        • Android Pirate gets busted, agrees to go undercover for the Feds – but is this the right approach?

          Two years ago, TechDirt did a fantastic job covering the seizure of a domain named Dajaz1. It took the Department of Justice over a year to admit that they had no evidence. In fact, after the site had been withheld by the government for over a year, Congress seemed to finally take notice that the government was holding the site hostage without bring an actual lawsuit.

          The Department of Justice seems to handle all the alleged “piracy” sites the same way: Pull down with no warning, give no hearing and give no due process. Before last year’s Super Bowl, ICE seized 313 websites without any adversarial hearing along with a “few” arrests for counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise. ICE did not publicize the fact that they also had seized legitimate merchandise.

          Several weeks ago, the Homeland Security’s ICE division joined with GoDaddy to censor a Mexican political protest site. GoDaddy suspended the domain and ICE would not give an explanation as to why they were taking down the site. When Mike Masnick over at TechDirt was looking into filing FOIA requests about this case, he asked for a fee waiver, which is standard procedure. Under FOIA, government agencies can charge for the requested work, but they’re supposed to waive the fees if the request is for the public interest or reporting. ICE rejected his fee waiver request. Why? Because…ICE actually told him they rejected his request “because” with no additional information.

        • ‘We Are Afraid of Google’: A German Media Mogul Tells It Like It Is

          It’s not like Google’s impending world domination isn’t already well-known or well-documented, as a cursory Google search clearly shows. But few prominent public figures have stood up and really ripped into the tech giant for holding a terrifying amount of power—not to its face, anyway. And not as candidly as Germany’s largest publisher Mathias Döpfner, CEO of the German media empire Axel Springer, did earlier this week.

        • Why we fear Google

          In your text you refer to the marketing cooperation between Google and Axel Springer. We were also happy with it. But some of our readers have now interpreted this to mean that Axel Springer is evidently schizophrenic. On the one hand, Axel Springer is part of a European antitrust action against Google, and is in dispute with them regarding the issue of enforcement of German ancillary copyright prohibiting the stealing of content; on the other hand, Axel Springer not only benefits from the traffic it receives via Google but from Google’s algorithm for marketing the remaining space in its online advertising. You can call it schizophrenic – or liberal. Or, to use one of our Federal Chancellor’s favorite phrases: there is no alternative.

        • Google is building up a digital superstate, says German media boss


Links 19/4/2014: Slow Easter News Day

Posted in News Roundup at 6:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • What open source really means

    As open source software continues to develop, many companies have begun to see the incredible value that it could bring to their organizations.

  • Open source trounces proprietary software for code defects, Coverity analysis finds
  • Open source code has fewer errors than proprietary code

    THE QUALITY of open source code has overtaken that of proprietary code for the first time, according to a survey.

  • Coverity Scan: Open Source Code Is Better Quality – The VAR Guy
  • Open source trounces proprietary software for code defects, Coverity analysis finds
  • Hey! Don’t Criticize Open Source Code Over Quality
  • ReactOS Working On A Community Windows OS

    A few months after ReactOS announced plans for a Cloud OS, the open-source project aiming for binary compatibility with Microsoft Windows platforms, is now trying to spin a community edition of its operating system.

  • Open source now tier 1 for software development

    As Day 2 begins, I wanted to take the time to remember all the way back to yesterday on theCUBE. It may have been only 24 short hours ago, but the conversations had with some of the top executives, regarded by John Furrier as luminaries in their field, really highlighted the overall maturity of Linux and the open source community as both the future of the Cloud and that community seem to have converged this year.

  • Telerik Makes Framework for JavaScript Available via Open Source

    With strong roots in the Microsoft ecosystem, Telerik has always been part of the commercial software landscape. But starting today Telerik, a provider of application development tools, is embracing open source. The company today announced Telerik Kendo UI Core, an open source implementation of the JavaScript framework and user interface tools that Telerik created for its cross-platform application development environments.

  • Infoblox Announces Support for XenServer Open-Source Virtualization By Delivering a Virtual Appliance for Network Control

    Infoblox Inc. (NYSE:BLOX), the automated network control company, today introduced Infoblox Virtual Appliance Software for XenServer, bringing the full range of Infoblox enterprise-grade network control technologies to the open-source XenServer virtualization platform.

  • Infoblox to support XenServer open source virtualization
  • Open The Box: Cloud Company Gives Back To Community With Open Source

    Box has made its identity as a cloud company with generous file management features. The company showed another generous side by contributing to the Open Source movement with its own repository.

  • Box offers new open source initiative ahead of $250m IPO
  • The Cost of Open Source: the Problem

    Although I might give Mr Seggelmann the benefit of the doubt, the NSA’s track record for veracity in the wake of Edward Snowden’s astonishing leaks is not been of the best, and I am not inclined to do the same for them. But that’s another article. Here I want to concentrate on what is perhaps the most interesting facet of this story for readers of this column: the fact that the OpenSSL code suffering from Heartbleed is open source.

  • Box announces open source initiatives to ramp up community engagement

    Enterprise cloud storage and collaboration firm Box announced this week that the company is open sourcing a range of internal initiatives to “give back” to the coding communities that have contributed to its success.

  • Intel on open source: Software, hardware conversations must merge

    Doug Fisher, VP & GM, Software Services Group, Intel, took a trip down the memory lane of being a part of the open source community since its beginning and discusses his takes on the matter with theCUBE co-hosts John Furrier and Stu Miniman, live from the 2014 Red Hat Summit.

  • SocioBoard Wants To Be Your Open Source Social Media Dashboard. Can It?

    Social media networks need to be streamlined otherwise you will get lost. A common problem that has been solved by a lot of social media dashboard startups already and SocioBoard is another startup trying to grab a pie from the existing market. The Mumbai based startup calls itself an open source product in social media space, the first of its kind globally from India. There have been Indian startups in the past that have tried to crack the space, they have had to face challenges. So it was interesting to give SocioBoard a spin.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • New tab page for Chrome: which one do you use?

        If you go to the Chrome Web Store and search for ‘new tab page’ or ‘startpage,’ you will find at least 30 different apps and extensions claiming to be the best. However, you do not have time to sift through all of them, so you settle for the one with the best reviews. Usually, the app or extension with the best reviews is the one I would suggest. However, when it comes to your new tab page, you cannot just pick the one with the highest reviews, and if you still use Google‘s standard new tab page, it is time for you to install a different one.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • With OpenStack Icehouse Here, Database-as-a-Service Tech Draws Attention

      One notable thing about Icehouse is that it introduces a new database-as-a-service feature, focused on building and managing relational databases, called Trove. Trove is starting to get a lot of notice, and Tesora is among the companies with a stake in Trove’s success. The company is focused on Database-as-a-Service technology.

    • Getting Hit By The Variable Performance Of The Public Cloud

      With yesterday’s official release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS I set out to do some benchmarks of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS vs. 14.04 LTS in the public cloud. Unfortunately, that testing was drawn out due to the variable performance out of instances/droplets in the public cloud that are even of the same instance type.

    • Leveraging Cloud, Open Source To Aid Embattled IT

      IT executives laid out the challenges and opportunities created by cloud computing, open source, and other disruptive technologies during this week’s Red Hat summit in San Francisco.

  • CMS

    • We still believe in Linus’ law after Heartbleed bug, says Elie Auvray of Jahia

      Today Jahia is the #1 Open Source alternative to proprietary CMS vendors for upper tier digital projects. Over the years, we’ve focused on building a content platform that delivers true technology convergence: business user and developers work in harmony to deploy digital projects (Portals, multichannel, multi site, Multilanguage corporate sites, extranets, intranets and even full digital applications) securely and seamlessly.


    • XP shutdown: Switch to free software, say FSMI activists

      Activists of the Free Software Movement of India say you had better switch to free software that can easily substitute the proprietary, costly licences of Microsoft. “When you migrate, it involves a lot of cost on hardware upgrades and migration. Besides buying the OS copy of a higher version, users need to upgrade their hardware so that their systems can support the new OS,” Y Kiran Chandra, General Secretary of the Free Software Movement of India, told Business Line.

    • Please protest the “Windows 8 Campus Tour”

      Microsoft is running “Windows 8 Campus Tour” events at many US universities. We’re inviting free software supporters, associated with the universities in question, to mount simple nondisruptive protests at these events.

    • GNU Dap 3.10 Released

      I am happy to announce the next release of GNU Dap.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Public sector slowly embracing cloud and open source

      The Red Hat Summit, celebrating its 10th anniversary this week, is being held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Continuing its commitment to live coverage of tech events, SilconANGLE’s theCUBE is there, hosted by SiliconANGLE founder John Furrier.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Meet TrustTheVote, A Project To Make Voting Open Source And Transparent
    • Blender Foundation needs more help to crowdfund the world’s first fully open source animated feature

      Julius writes, “With people like Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales backing them up, the Blender Foundation’s first full feature length film looks like one of those things that’s just bound to happen by itself. Except right now it isn’t. Having successfully collected over $630 000 in funding from over 3500 individual pledgers (setting a new world record for animated film), Project Gooseberry needs more to become what it promises to be — a historic open content film production.”

    • OSCAL, creating an open source ecosystem in Albania

      OSCAL (Open Source Conference Albania) is the first annual conference in Albania organised to promote software freedom, open source software, free culture and open knowledge, a global movement that originally started more than 25 years ago.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Source 3D Printers for Small Business

        You may have heard of 3D printers—they’ve been all over the news. But you may not know that they represent real opportunity for small business owners. While 3D printers have been around since the 1980s in manufacturing (they were more commonly known as industrial robots), the big change came just a few years ago, when affordable models for hobbyists hit the market. Savvy small business owners take note: we’re witnessing the start of an affordable technological revolution, and it’s just the beginning.

      • Robohand: 3D-printed open source hand replacements

        Supposing you’ve had several fingers chopped off in the recent past and you understand how to operate a scissors, Robohand may well have a solution for you. The company began with a fellow by the name of Richard van As, a fellow who lost his fingers in a carpentry accident in 2011. Searching for the past several years for a solution to his problem, as a good carpenter never gives up, he discovered a future partner with whom he’d eventually found Robohand.

      • Open-Source Designs Could Turn You Into The Next Philippe Starck [Video]

        Customizable clothing has been inching its way into society for a while now, but with the kick off of Milan Design Week, a new company has unveiled an opportunity to customize your own designer furniture.

      • Open-source project teaches design of ARM boards

        A Linux programmer from the Slovak Republic has created an open-source project to help engineers and students to learn about advanced hardware design and how to port Linux to your own ARM board.

        It is the idea of Robert Feranec at the Fedevel Academy and colleague Martin Murin who has created the iMX6 Rex module based on a Freescale i.MX6 1.2GHz quad-core processor.

      • Build this open source DIY wind turbine for $30

        Getting started with home wind energy projects can set you back a pretty penny if you buy a finished product, but if you’re a little bit handy and don’t mind scrounging for materials and getting creative in the garage or backyard, you can try your hand at building one of these DIY wind turbines for about $30 in materials. After all, it is #iheartrenewables week!

  • Programming

    • [ANNOUNCE] Git v2.0.0-rc0

      A major version bump between v1.x.x series and the upcoming v2.0.0
      means there are a handful of backward incompatible UI improvements,
      but for most people, all the tricky preparation for the transition
      would have been already done for you and the upcoming release just
      flips the default. Unless you were living in a cave and have stayed
      with an ancient version of Git (e.g. one before 1.8.2 that was
      released more than a year ago) for all these times, that is—those
      of you may want to double check the backward compatibility notes
      section at the beginning of the draft release notes.

    • Using Clang’s Static Analyzer To Find Bugs In Your Code


  • Science

  • Security

    • GNUtls: GnuTLS 3.3.1

      Released GnuTLS 3.3.1 which is a bug fix release on the next stable branch of GnuTLS.

    • gnutls 3.3.1

      libgnutls: Enforce more strict checks to heartbeat messages
      concerning padding and payload.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Ukraine: how America’s coup machine has destroyed democracy worldwide since 1953

      Soon after the 2004 US coup to depose President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, I heard Aristide’s lawyer Ira Kurzban speaking in Miami. He began his talk with a riddle: “Why has there never been a coup in Washington D.C.?” The answer: “Because there is no US Embassy in Washington D.C.” This introduction was greeted with wild applause by a mostly Haitian-American audience who understood it only too well.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Caroline Lucas cleared of anti-fracking protest charges

      Caroline Lucas, the Green party MP, has been found not guilty of obstructing a public highway and a public order offence during high-profile anti-fracking protests.

    • GMO Lobby Works Tirelessly Against Mandatory Labeling

      A coalition of genetically modified organism (GMO), pesticide, grocery and agriculture corporate trade groups are fighting mandatory labeling efforts at the state and local level by pushing preemption measures in Congress and at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

  • Finance

    • Krugman: Worried About Oligarchy? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

      In an interview with journalist Bill Moyers set to air Friday, Nobel laureate and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman celebrates both the insights and warnings of French economist Thomas Piketty whose new ground-breaking book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, argues that modern capitalism has put the world “on the road not just to a highly unequal society, but to a society of an oligarchy—a society of inherited wealth.”

      The conclusions that Piketty puts forth in the book, Krugman tells Moyers, are revelatory because they show that even people who are now employing the rhetoric of the “1% versus the 99%” do not fully appreciate the disaster that global wealth inequality is causing.

    • South Carolina City Approves Plan To Exile Its Homeless

      Many homeless people in Columbia, South Carolina are facing an arduous choice: vacate downtown or be arrested.

    • Zero-hours contracts cause shopworkers’ misery

      Super-flexible working results in financial insecurity for supermarket workers and create potential for abuse by managers

  • Censorship

    • Florida on bloggers didn’t go far enough

      Remember when the word “blog” was first being bandied about? That was back in the early 2000′s when free web hosting from Geocities and Angelfire was still a big deal. Then the idea began taking off, especially after bloggers exposed Jeff Gannon of “Talon News” as James Guckert.

      It was a sordid affair that left CNN and other so called “mainstream” outlets in the dust as it proved how irrelevant they were becoming.

      Unfortunately, people in positions of power aren’t dealing with this new media very well. Neither are businessmen such as Christopher Comins. He attempted to sue a blogger because they posted about him shooting two dogs in a field. Comins claimed that bloggers such as Matthew Frederick VanVoorhis didn’t count as media since he was a blogger.

  • Privacy

    • Forget Dropbox: BitTorrent Sync Allows You To Skip the Cloud Entirely

      As cloud service companies battle it out for supremacy, one file sharing service sets itself apart by skipping the cloud altogether. It’s called BitTorrent Sync, and starting this week, it’s going to be available through Netgear’s native app store.

    • Making sense of Snowden

      This is a fantastic example of how to conduct an academic discussion of a really contentious subject. It brings together academics and NSA people to talk calmly about what’s happened and what it means. The participants are Yochai Benkler, Bruce Schneier, and Jonathan Zittrain of the Berkman Center and John DeLong and Anne Neuberger of the National Security Agency. The conversation is expertly moderated by the Berkman Faculty Director Terry Fisher.

  • DRM

    • ‘Kill Switch’ Included on All Cell Phones Made in U.S. by 2015

      Yeah, because law enforcement really cares quite a bit about whether or not your smartphone is stolen…unless it’s law enforcement stealing your phone from you in the first place because you’ve used the camera on it to protect yourself from police state activity by taking incriminating photos and videos of said law enforcement.

      Well, now they won’t even have to physically take your phone from you, because apparently they’ll be able to just push a button and remotely wipe it clean of all data.

      On an aside, someone tried to break into my house and it took a whole day for the cops to even bother to show up…like they really give a crap about whether or not your phone is stolen.

      As with every other trendy new technology advertised as making consumer’s lives just Jetsons-level awesome, there’s an obvious flipside that can be used (abused) for quite the opposite.

      By the way, the 2014 CTIA Board of Directors and Officers include the higher ups (Presidents, CEOs and VPs, etc.) from most of the major communications companies including Ericsson, Verizon Wireless, Blackberry, AT&T, Sprint, Qualcomm, LG Electronics, Samsung, T-Mobile, Motorola, U.S. Cellular, Nokia and Apple.

      And remember, many of these companies are the same ones the NSA taps to track all your online communications and populate their databases with your data.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Knock off Nigel is back! – You won’t believe who it is.

      If I may we will start with Knock Off Nigel. For those that don’t live in the UK and maybe missed this treat, its an advert showing the evils of Copyright infringement, or it tries too. With an unsophisticated attempt to create a stigma around Copyright Infringement, because the creators seem to have been of roughly GCSE level, it created a cult following for its catchy jingle and cheesy character. Shamefully previous campaigns failed too, with the Channel 4 Series “IT Crowd” even getting in on the act of mocking the creators of these “adverts”.

    • Eli Lilly Enlists Congress In Fight Against Canada For Refusing Patent On Useless Drug

      Eli Lilly bet its entire business model on patents years back, rather than on creating useful products that people want to buy. Lately it’s been having trouble getting new patents, and is reacting extremely poorly to the fact that its last-gasp efforts to get new patents aren’t working. As we’ve noted, a few years back, Canada rejected some patent applications for some Eli Lilly drug after the Canadian patent board “determined that the drug had failed to deliver the benefits the firm promised when obtaining the patent.” In other words, after realizing that the drug is not useful, Canada rejected the patent.

    • Novel Open Source Seed Pledge aims to keep new vegetable and grain varieties free for all

      Jack Kloppenburg (left), professor in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, Irwin Goldman (center), chair of the Department of Horticulture, and Claire Luby (right), graduate student in the UW’s Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics program, fill envelopes with non-patented seeds in the Horticulture office in Moore Hall.

    • U.S.: open source seed program keeps varieties in public domain

      Twenty-nine broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetable and grain varieties have been made public through the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI).


Links 18/4/2014: New KDE, Kubuntu, and More

Posted in News Roundup at 5:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Amnesty Responds to Comments on CIA torture by Dr James Mitchell
    • John Pilger: Obama’s coup in Ukraine has ignited a civil war and lured Putin into a trap

      Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US has ringed Russia with military bases, nuclear warplanes and missiles as part of its Nato enlargement project. Reneging on the Reagan administration’s promise to the Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that Nato would not expand “one inch to the east”, Nato has all but taken over eastern Europe. In the former Soviet caucuses, Nato’s military build-up is the most extensive since the second world war.

    • Why Allende had to die

      The truck owners’ strike was the final blow. Because of the wild geography of the country, the Chilean economy is at the mercy of its transport. To paralyse trucking is to paralyse the country. It was easy for the opposition to co-ordinate the strike, for the truckers’ guild was one of the groups most affected by the scarcity of replacement parts and, in addition, it found itself threatened by the government’s small pilot programme for providing adequate state trucking services in the extreme south of the nation. The stoppage lasted until the very end without a single moment of relief because it was financed with cash from outside. “The CIA flooded the country with dollars to support the strike by the bosses and . . . foreign capital found its way down into the formation of a black market,” Pablo Neruda wrote to a friend in Europe. One week before the coup, oil, milk and bread had run out.

    • In War, Truth Is the First Casualty

      Thank God we live in America, where this kind of thing doesn’t happen.

    • Greece’s Golden Dawn party describes Hitler as ‘great personality’
    • The criminalisation of anti-fascist protest

      Tomorrow, 14 April, the Metropolitan police and CPS will prosecute five anti-fascists arrested on 1 June 2013 while trying to stop the British National party from marching on the Cenotaph. Police decided the anti-fascist protest was a “threat to public safety” and imposed a dispersal order under section 12 of the Public Order Act 1986; 59 people were arrested. A few months later 286 protesters against the English Defence League, which had declared its intention to march on a park named after Altab Ali, who was murdered in a racist attack, were arrested in Tower Hamlets.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Seattle’s Elite Begin Their Counter Attack

      Seattle’s corporations were blindsided, it all happened so fast. Socialist candidate Kshama Sawant’s successful City Council campaign tore through Seattle politics like a tornado, leaving the 1% devastated, unable to cope with a storm they didn’t see coming. The Seattle elite had no way to counter her arguments, silence her supporters, or keep her from gathering a tidal wave of support for the $15 campaign. The establishment was paralyzed, powerless.

    • Caring too much. That’s the curse of the working classes

      “What I can’t understand is, why aren’t people rioting in the streets?” I hear this, now and then, from people of wealthy and powerful backgrounds. There is a kind of incredulity. “After all,” the subtext seems to read, “we scream bloody murder when anyone so much as threatens our tax shelters; if someone were to go after my access to food or shelter, I’d sure as hell be burning banks and storming parliament. What’s wrong with these people?”

      It’s a good question. One would think a government that has inflicted such suffering on those with the least resources to resist, without even turning the economy around, would have been at risk of political suicide. Instead, the basic logic of austerity has been accepted by almost everyone. Why? Why do politicians promising continued suffering win any working-class acquiescence, let alone support, at all?

      I think the very incredulity with which I began provides a partial answer. Working-class people may be, as we’re ceaselessly reminded, less meticulous about matters of law and propriety than their “betters”, but they’re also much less self-obsessed. They care more about their friends, families and communities. In aggregate, at least, they’re just fundamentally nicer.

    • Matt Taibbi: America Has A ‘Profound Hatred Of The Weak And The Poor’

      Living in America has taught Matt Taibbi that we as a society have “a profound hatred of the weak and the poor.”

      That’s one claim the former Rolling Stone writer makes in his new book, “The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap.” Taibbi defended this statement in a HuffPost Live interview on Tuesday.

    • Happy Tax Day, and Why the Top 1% Pay a Much Lower Tax Rate Than You

      It’s tax time again, April 15, when our minds turn toward paying the taxes we owe or possibly getting a tax refund. But what we don’t think about enough is whether our tax system is fair. The richest 1 percent of Americans are now getting the largest percent of total national income in almost a century. So you might think they’d pay a much higher tax rate than everyone else.

    • New study finds US to be ruled by oligarchic elite

      Political scientists show that average American has “near-zero” influence on policy outcomes, but their groundbreaking study is not without problems.

      It’s not every day that an academic article in the arcane world of American political science makes headlines around the world, but then again, these aren’t normal days either. On Wednesday, various mainstream media outlets — including even the conservative British daily The Telegraph — ran a series of articles with essentially the same title: “Study finds that US is an oligarchy.” Or, as the Washington Post summed up: “Rich people rule!” The paper, according to the review in the Post, “should reshape how we think about American democracy.”

    • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

      • The Corruption of Mainstream Media

        America’s mainstream media still pretends it is the custodian of “serious journalism,” but that claim continues to erode as the corporate press shies away from its duty to challenge propaganda emanating from various parts of the U.S. government, as Danny Schechter describes.

    • Censorship

      • Censorship on the rise: CPJ

        According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the latest report documents 52 instances of censorship during the first three months of 2014 compared with 45 during the same period last year. The most notable example is the abrupt blackout of a live telecast on the final moments of parliamentary deliberations and voting on a controversial bill to create the new state of Telangana. While the government claims the blackout was due to a technical glitch, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) insists it was a tactical move by the ruling Congress party to ram through the vote to shore up support during an election in which its prospects look grim. Other parties also slammed the blackout as “undemocratic.”

      • Oliver Stone: China’s film-makers need to confront country’s past

        Hollywood’s habit of allowing Chinese censors to cut offending material from blockbuster movies has led to accusations of artistic surrender from some critics. But at least one US film-maker has clearly not been reading the script: Oliver Stone has told an audience in Beijing that the world’s most populous nation desperately needs to confront its past on the big screen if its burgeoning film industry is to be taken seriously.

      • Weibo Warns Censorship Could Hit Future Earnings
      • Turkey to censor tweets with ‘malicious’ content

        Twitter might not be banned in Turkey anymore, but the country’s government isn’t quite done putting it through the censorship wringer yet. In fact, Turkish Communications Minister Lütfi Elvan just released a written statement that says: “We [Twitter and Turkey] have reached a consensus to ‘neutralize’ malicious content that is the object of court decisions by pixelating.” He didn’t expound on what he means by “pixelating,” but it’s typically associated with the mosaic-like classic approach to censorship. If Turkish authorities can indeed blur out tweets, then this saga might have taken an even crazier turn. Since that’s bordering on the absurd, though, it’s possible that “pixelating” might have just been the term Lütfi used for Twitter’s Country Withheld Tool, which the website uses to hide tweets and accounts from a whole nation.

    • Privacy

    • Civil Rights

      • Answers and Questions About Military, Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agency Chatbots

        Sgt. Star is the U.S. Army’s dedicated marketing and recruitment chatbot, and he isn’t going to turn whistleblower any time soon. There’s no use threatening him for answers either—he’s programmed to report that kind of hostility to the Army Criminal Investigation Division.

      • Army comes clean about its recruitment AI, accidentally discloses info about pedophile- and terrorist-catching chatbots that roam the net

        Dave from the Electronic Frontier Foundation writes, “Not too long ago, Boing Boing covered EFF’s (at the time) unsuccessful attempt to retreive records about Sgt. Star (the Army’s recruiter-bot) using the Freedom of Information Act. We’ve now received the files and compiled our research: It turns out Sgt. Star isn’t the only government chatbot — the FBI and CIA had them first.

      • US Has A ‘Secret Exception’ To Reasonable Suspicion For Putting People On The No Fly List

        Over the past few months, we covered the bizarre trial concerning Rahinah Ibrahim and her attempt to get off the no fly list. In January, there was an indication that the court had ordered her removed from the list, but without details. In February, a redacted version of the ruling revealed that the whole mess was because an FBI agent read the instructions wrong on a form and accidentally placed her on the no fly list, though we noted that some of the redactions were quite odd.

      • Outside counsel to probe FBI’s action in Guantánamo 9/11 case

        A four-day hearing meant to edge legal arguments closer to an actual 9/11 trial ended in uncertainty Thursday as the war crimes prosecutor named a special outside counsel to probe for possible FBI spying on defense lawyers.

      • Iranian woman pardons son’s killer — after slapping him at the gallows — moments before his scheduled execution

        But at the last minute, Hosseinzadeh’s mother, Samereh Alinejad, forgave him, after giving a speech to the crowd and then slapping Bilal in the face. Hosseinzadeh’s father helped take the noose off of Bilal, whose weeping mother hugged Alinejad in thanks, as seen in the photos.

      • Arundhati Roy: Another World Is Not Only Possible, She Is on Her Way

        Speech to the People’s University of the Occupy Movement

        Yesterday morning the police cleared Zuccotti Park, but today the people are back. The police should know that this protest is not a battle for territory. We’re not fighting for the right to occupy a park here or there. We are fighting for Justice. Justice, not just for the people of the United States, but for everybody. What you have achieved since September 17, when the Occupy Movement began in the United States, is to introduce a new imagination, a new political language, into the heart of Empire. You have reintroduced the right to dream into a system that tried to turn everybody into zombies mesmerized into equating mindless consumerism with happiness and fulfillment. As a writer, let me tell you, this is an immense achievement. I cannot thank you enough.

      • Bay Area transit police conduct militarized training exercises with TSA

        Among the problems that got us here is that the federal government asserts we have no Fourth Amendment rights at the border, and claims that the border extends a full 100 miles inside the country. That extremely broad definition of “the border” means two-thirds of Americans live in the Constitution Free Zone. To give you a sense of the magnitude of this assertion, consider that both the Bay Area and the entire state of Massachusetts fall within this 100-mile rights-swallowing vortex.

    • DRM

      • Kill-switch coming to smartphones

        CTIA and participating wireless companies today announced the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment,” which is the most recent effort by the industry to deter smartphone thefts in the U.S. The safety and security of wireless users remain the wireless industry’s top priority, and is why this commitment will continue to protect consumers while recognizing the companies’ need to retain flexibility so they may constantly innovate, which is key to stopping smartphone theft.

    • Intellectual Monopolies

      • Grand majority of Parliament votes in favour of a regulation on investor-state lawsuits – Greens sharply criticise the result

        Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) has come into the focus of critics since the start of negotiations on a free trade agreement with the US (TTIP). ISDS means that foreign investors can sue the states hosting their investments in front of international courts when they see their rights and profit expectations violated. Often it is environmental or social legislation of a state which investors claim to be in violation of their investment expectations. Currently, for example, Vattenfall is suing the German federal government for 3 billion euros because of the German nuclear phase-out. Since Lisbon, the EU has gained the competence on investment policy, and thus also on ISDS policy. This Regulation establishes rules on whether EU or Member States act as a defendant in ISDS proceedings and who pays in the case of successful investor claims.

      • Copyrights


Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

Posted in News Roundup at 4:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Witnesses Report a ‘Loud Noise’ Before Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast

    It’s not clear what caused the multi-story vessel to list and sink, but witnesses reported an impact and loud noise just before the ship began to roll over in the water.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • UN Report Says Small-Scale Organic Farming Only Way to Feed the World

      Transformative changes are needed in our food, agriculture and trade systems in order to increase diversity on farms, reduce our use of fertilizer and other inputs, support small-scale farmers and create strong local food systems. That’s the conclusion of a remarkable new publication from the U.N. Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Donetsk leaflet: Jews must register or face deportation

      Fear replaced communal atmosphere in Donetsk’s Jewish community as armed men handed out a leaflet Passover eve calling on Jews register their religion and property with the interim pro-Russian government or face deportation and loss of citizenship.

    • “We Are Not Beginning a New Cold War, We are Well into It”: Stephen Cohen on Russia-Ukraine Crisis

      As negotiations over the crisis in Ukraine begin in Geneva, tension is rising in the Ukrainian east after security forces killed three pro-Russian protesters, wounded 13 and took 63 captive in the city of Mariupol. Ukrainian officials said the pro-Russian separatists had attempted to storm a military base. The killings came just after the unraveling of a Ukrainian operation to retake government buildings from pro-Russian separatists. Earlier today, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the authorities in Kiev of plunging the country into an “abyss” and refused to rule out sending forces into Ukraine. Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has announced a series of steps to reinforce its presence in eastern Europe. “We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water and more readiness on the land,” Rasmussen said. We are joined by Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. “We are not at the beginning of a new Cold War, we are well into it,” Cohen says, “which alerts us to the fact ‘hot war’ is imaginable now. It’s unlikely, but it’s conceivable — and if it’s conceivable, something has to be done about it.”

    • Putin reveals NATO chief secretly recorded their talk, leaked it to media

      Vladimir Putin says that current NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen secretly recorded and leaked a private conversation with him, when he was the head of the Danish government.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Thousands of China workers on strike

      Labour disputes pop up regularly in China, but one strike in the southern Chinese city of Dongguan is attracting attention because of its size.

    • The Neoliberal Theory of Society: The Ideological Foundations of Neo-liberalism

      Neoliberalism presents itself as a doctrine based on the inexorable truths of modern economics. However, despite its scientific trappings, modern economics is not a scientific discipline but the rigorous elaboration of a very specific social theory, which has become so deeply embedded in western thought as to have established itself as no more than common sense, despite the fact that its fundamental assumptions are patently absurd. The foundations of modern economics, and of the ideology of neoliberalism, go back to Adam Smith and his great work, The Wealth of Nations. Over the past two centuries Smith’s arguments have been formalised and developed with greater analytical rigour, but the fundamental assumptions underpinning neoliberalism remain those proposed by Adam Smith.

    • Markets Are the Problem (Not the Solution)

      As might be expected, underlying this monument to excess is an army of laborers from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal. These desperate souls arrive heavily indebted to recruiters and those who pay their passage, only to be brutally exploited by sponsoring employers, who confiscate their passports. It is a system of semi-slave labor; workers are not free to leave, even if they have not been paid.

    • Nearly one million people relying on food handouts in UK

      One of Britain’s largest food charities says that more than 900,000 people visited its food banks last year. The Wednesday report comes as 600 religious leaders urge the government to take action against the country’s growing hunger problem.

      The new information shows the shocking number of people reliant on food handouts in the UK, largely because of harsh new benefits sanctions.

      According to The Trussell Trust, Britain’s largest food bank charity, 913,138 people received emergency food aid from the organization in 2013-2014, compared to just 346,992 in 2012-2013 – marking an increase of 163 percent.

  • Censorship

    • Did You Retweet The USAir Pornographic Tweet? You May Have Violated New Jersey’s Revenge Porn Law

      We’ve pointed out for a while how the various attempts at creating revenge porn bills will have serious unintended consequences and raise serious First Amendment issues. This is not to minimize the problems of revenge porn (or to absolve the sick and depraved individuals who put together, submit to or regularly visit such sites). However, it’s to point out that pretty much any way you try to legislate such actions as criminal likely will create other problems. For example, I’m sure many of you heard the story recently about US Airways… um… unfortunate pornographic tweet. It was the story of the internet a few days ago, in which a United Air social media employee did a very unfortunate cut and paste error, tweeting out a very graphic image that involved a naked woman and a plane where it… doesn’t quite belong (for slightly lighter fare, I highly recommend reading some of the of the funny replies to that tweet). For what it’s worth, US Air has said that it was an honest mistake and it’s not even firing the person responsible.

    • US Airways Tweeted An Extreme Pornographic Image And Left It Up For A Long Time

      The photo shows a completely nude woman on her back with a plane inserted into her vagina.

  • Privacy

    • Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked with glue mould

      The fingerprint sensor on Samsung’s Galaxy S5 handset has been hacked less than a week after the device went on sale.

      Berlin-based Security Research Labs fooled the equipment using a mould it had previously created to spoof the sensor on Apple’s iPhone 5S.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, ‘Targeted’ Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

Posted in News Roundup at 10:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


  • Exposing the NSA: A Public Service Worthy of a Pulitzer Prize

    Earlier this week, journalism’s most prestigious award, the Pulitzer Prize for public serice, was given to two newspapers for their exposés of mass surveillance by the U.S. government. The award citation praised the Washington Post for “its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.” The Guardian was recognized for “aggressive reporting” that helped “to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy.”

  • Pulitzer Prize Winners 2014: Edward Snowden NSA Leaks, Boston Marathon Coverage Win Awards


Lavaboom and Lavabit

  • Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches

    Lavaboom, a German-based and supposedly NSA-proof email service, will go into private beta this week. Its mission is to spread the Edward Snowden gospel by making encrypted email accessible to all.

  • ‘Zero knowledge privacy’: NSA-proof email service goes online

    A new email service that protects its users from the prying eyes of the NSA and other spy agencies has gone online. The service’s creators say it will make encrypted messaging accessible to all and curtail internet snooping.

    Germany-based Lavaboom was inspired by Lavabit, the encrypted email service that was believed to have been used by whistleblower Edward Snowden before it shut down its operations in August last year. The service pioneers a new system called “zero-knowledge privacy”, which allows users to personally encrypt and decrypt their mail from their browsers using JavaScript codes.

  • Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over Edward Snowden encryption keys

    Court ruled against Lavabit for refusing to hand over encryption keys to government investigation into NSA whistleblower

  • Edward Snowden Email Firm Loses Appeal On Contempt Charge
  • Here’s the software that helps Edward Snowden avoid the NSA

    Edward Snowden hasn’t escaped the NSA’s watchful eyes purely by exploiting lax security — he also uses the right software. He communicates with the media using Tails, a customized version of Linux that makes it easy to use Tor’s anonymity network and other tools that keep data private. The software loads from external drives and doesn’t store anything locally, so it’s relatively trivial for Snowden and his contacts to discuss leaks without leaving a trace.



  • NSA whistleblowers to speak at WCU

    Bill Binney and Thomas Drake, both former executives with that agency, plan to discuss their views on the collection of personal data by the NSA as well as the risk taken by those who expose wrongdoings and violations of the law, according to a release from the university.

  • NSA has ‘piggybacked’ on corporate surveillance efforts

    As online providers thrive on offering free products and services in exchange for marketing data, government has started piggybacking on these surveillance mechanisms.

  • The IRS is Taking a Page From the NSA’s Playbook and Snooping on Social Media

    According to Marketplace the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which loses an estimated $300 billion due to tax evasion every year, is using data from social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in order to investigate those who don’t file taxes or file suspicious returns.

  • Is the NSA out of control?

    An attorney and specialist on Constitutional Law, Shahid Buttar, was the third panel member. He is the Executive Director of the “Bill of Rights Defense Committee.” Buttar traced the history of government-sanctioned spying and warned that the NSA’s egregious conduct has currently reached Orwellian proportions and is a serious threat to “Freedom of Thought”



  • U.S. Efforts to Arm Jihadis in Syria: The Scandal Behind the Benghazi Undercover CIA Facility

    In January, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the assault by a local militia in September 2012 on the American consulate and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three others. The report’s criticism of the State Department for not providing adequate security at the consulate, and of the intelligence community for not alerting the US military to the presence of a CIA outpost in the area, received front-page coverage and revived animosities in Washington, with Republicans accusing Obama and Hillary Clinton of a cover-up.

  • America’s Great Leap towards Global Tyranny

    Not only is there a quantitative difference now, there is a new qualitative difference. After the holocaust of Vietnam (3 million dead Vietnamese justify the term), the United States military realized that it could no longer depend upon citizen-soldiers in its colonial wars. It also realized that that it could no longer tolerate even a moderately free press nosing around its battlegrounds, thus was born the idea of an imbedded press in a professional army. Of course, in the intervening years, America’s press itself changed, becoming an intensely concentrated corporate industry whose editorial policies are invariably in lock-step over colonial wars and interventions and coups, almost as though it were an unofficial department of government. In addition, this corporatized press has abandoned traditional responsibilities of explaining even modestly world affairs, reportage resources having been slashed by merged corporate interests as well as by new economic pressures on advertising revenue, the result of changing technologies.

  • Why isn’t the K.C. shooting suspect a ‘terrorist?’

    Frazier Glenn Cross is a former KKK leader with political ambitions accused of killing three people outside Jewish centers. The shooting seems to fit the Justice Department’s definition of terrorism: 1) premeditated, 2) political, 3) aimed at civilians, 4) and not carried out by another nation. And yet, this has been classified as a hate crime.

  • US Air Strike Kills Three Civilians in Eastern Afghanistan

    An overnight US air strike against the Khost Province in eastern Afghanistan has killed three civilians, a woman and her two children. It also injured the father of the children.

  • Militias and mayhem: The truth about American military assistance in Libya

    Is the U.S. secretly training Libyan militiamen in the Canary Islands? And if not, are they planning to?

    That’s what I asked a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). “I am surprised by your mentioning the Canary Islands,” he responded by email. “I have not heard this before, and wonder where you heard this.”

    As it happens, mention of this shadowy mission on the Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa was revealed in an official briefing prepared for AFRICOM chief General David Rodriguez in the fall of 2013. In the months since, the plan may have been permanently shelved in favor of a training mission carried out entirely in Bulgaria. The document nonetheless highlights the U.S. military’s penchant for simple solutions to complex problems — with a well-documented potential for blowback in Africa and beyond. It also raises serious questions about the recurring methods employed by the U.S. to stop the violence its actions helped spark in the first place.

  • Too High A Price

    Why we need to #movethemoney out of the military and into healing people and the planet

  • Putin Jokes on Possible Reunification of Alaska with Russia: Who Needs It?

    Russian President Vladimir Putin jokingly commented on a suggestion of unifying Alaska with Russia the same way as with Crimea.
    Alaska was part of Russia until 1867 and was sold to the United States for $7.2 million in gold.

  • Why CIA Director Brennan Visited Kiev: In Ukraine The Covert War Has Begun

    Ukraine is on the brink of civil war, Vladimir Putin has said, and he should know because the country is already in the midst of a covert intelligence war. Over the weekend, CIA director John Brennan travelled to Kiev, nobody knows exactly why, but some speculate that he intends to open US intelligence resources to Ukrainian leaders about real-time Russian military maneuvers. The US has, thus far, refrained from sharing such knowledge because Moscow is believed to have penetrated much of Ukraine’s communications systems – and Washington isn’t about to hand over its surveillance secrets to the Russians.

  • CIA Directs Kiev Proxy Regime to Launch Military Assault against Rebels in Eastern Ukraine
  • CIA director in Kiev searching for missing mercenaries

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov revealed that CIA director John Brennan was in Kiev last weekend. One of his advisors told the newspaper Vzgliad that Brennan had not come to oversee the “anti-terrorist” operations conducted by the Ukrainian authorities, but to seek information and rescue twenty Greystone Ltd mercenaries of whom there has been no news.

  • CIA presence in Ukraine gives the wrong impression, senator warns

    CIA Director John Brennan visited Kiev this weekend as pro-Russian militants seized control of a police station in eastern Ukraine. The reason for Brennan’s visit is still unknown.


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